Chaos Lords

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Anton


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In the old, 3rd edition Codex, Chaos Lords were a unit on their own. They had the ability to destroy entire squads of infantry, and slay rival independent characters with ease. Chaos Lords were notorious for the sheer amount of wargear, daemonic gifts and weapons they could take, and their potency. Chaos Lords were rightly feared, and unjustly criticised for being too 'powerful' or 'cheesy,' but with the new Codex, that has all changed.
The amount of options for a Chaos Lord are still vast, yet not obscenely vast like the 3rd edition Codex. They no longer have stat-line changing daemonic gifts, or, for that matter, any daemonic gifts at all! Daemon Weapons are very powerful, but are also a hefty risk to take. Chaos Lords can still be the 'lone wolf/tank' character, preying on squads of lesser units, yet in this role they are not 'overkill.' Chaos Lords are still weapons of mass destruction, and in no way have been weakened, only corrected so that those gamers among us can no longer 'abuse' or 'cheese out' the Chaos Lord.
Now that we've begun, shall we see what else this potent unit can do?

The basics

Upon first inspection, you will notice that the basic Chaos Lord has changed. You will notice an increased weapon skill, a standard invulnerable save and that the Chaos Lord is now Fearless. This 'buff' in the Basic Chaos Lord is a way of compensating for the dramatic cut-down on useless wargear, weapons and daemonic gifts. You will also notice that with this new and improved basic Chaos Lord, he is now more geared towards the assault phase than previously in the 3rd edition codex. The basic Chaos Lord also comes with a bolt pistol; close combat weapon, frag grenades and krak grenades as standard.

The Options

The options in the 4th edition Codex for a Chaos Lord have been considerably reduced since the 3rd edition Chaos Codex. There are no Daemonic Gifts, which cuts down on the useless options, reduces the 'abuse' factor and removes much confusion with the Chaos Lord. Instead we have improved Daemon Weapons and simplified Marks.
The Marks of Chaos, which can be purchased for a Chaos Lord, have been simplified, and grant the same abilities that Chaos Icons do. There is no mark of Chaos Undivided for the Chaos Lord, which would be a waste as he is fearless anyway! The way in which a Chaos Lord upgrades his weapons is just like the Characters in the new Codex's Eldar and Dark Angels. Rather than flicking to an armoury page and picking what you want, instead you replace his standard close combat weapon with the weapons listed that he can take. The same applies for his Bolt Pistol. The weapons, which the Lord can replace his close combat weapon with, are basically the same as in the 3rd edition Chaos Codex, although there are no longer any Great Weapons.
The Daemon Weapons in the 3rd edition Codex no longer exist in the new Codex, instead we are given 5 to choose from, 4 of which require specific Marks. Daemon Weapons are now two-handed weapons, and have been balanced more so that the player has more options for modelling his daemon weapon, rather than following instructions in the Codex. All Daemon Weapons don't allow armour saves (like Power Weapons,) and give the bearer an extra D6 attacks! But, for such power there is a dire cost to the Chaos Lord.
The Codex states that before a Chaos Lord with a Daemon Weapon attacks, you roll the extra D6 attacks which is granted by the Daemon Weapon, and if the result of that roll is a 1, you then suffer a automatic wound which doesn't allow any armour saves, and prevents the Chaos Lord from attacking in that turn. This rule represents the rebellious and unstable nature of Daemon Weapons.
The first Daemon Weapon I'll focus on is the 'vanilla' Daemon Weapon, which can be wielded by Chaos Lords who have no mark of Chaos. The 'vanilla' Daemon Weapon grants the bearer all the usual bonuses and drawbacks that Daemon Weapons give when equipped, but also increases the bearer's strength by 1 in close combat, an ability that is unique to the 'vanilla' Daemon Weapon.
Now, I know most people will be thinking, "Why is he giving the example Lords all Jump Packs/Wings?" Well, the reason why is that in my opinion a Jump Pack/Wings is better than say Terminator Armour, for the most obvious reasons. But also that not everyone wants a Steed or Bike, and that Lords equipped like this will complement a unit of Raptors very well. Remember, they are just examples.
Example:
Lone Wolf/Tank Chaos Lord = 150pts.
  • Bolt Pistol.
  • Daemon Weapon.
  • Jump Pack/Wings.
  • Frag & Krak Grenades.
This Chaos Lord not only has the advantage of speed, but also the advantage of a superior Strength, which can help greatly in attacking e.g. Space Marine Tactical Squads, Necron Warriors squads, or rival Chaos Space Marine Squads. On the Charge this Chaos Lord would get: 4 attacks as standard, at WS6, S5 with no armour saves allowed. With the extra D6 attacks that the Daemon Weapon Grants, those 4 attacks could increase to a minimum of 6, or up to a maximum of 10!
My personal thoughts on the 'vanilla' Daemon Weapon are that any Chaos Lord which wields this Daemon Weapon has the advantage of an increased strength, and can prove useful for a 'Lone Wolf/Tank' Chaos Lord, whose role is to attack weaker units. The combination of a high Weapon Skill and Strength will aid the Chaos Lord in destroying tough foes like Necrons, Space Marines and rival Chaos Space Marines.
The First Mark specific Daemon Weapon we'll focus on will be the Bloodfeeder, a Daemon Weapon that can be equipped by Chaos Lords with the Mark of Khorne. The Bloodfeeder is, without a doubt, the most devastating of all the Daemon Weapons, and should be rightly feared by Infantry alike. The Bloodfeeder grants the bearer all the usual bonuses and drawbacks that all Daemon Weapons give when equipped, but on-top of this the Bloodfeeder grants the bearer another D6 attacks along with the standard D6 attacks the bearer is granted, which totals up to a extra 2D6 worth of attacks! That's insane! Unfortunately the bearer still maintains at his base strength of 4, which means against Space Marines, Necrons and rival Chaos Space Marines the 'To Wound' roll is not all that great, but the sheer amount of attacks and a high weapon skill should compensate for a average Strength.
Example:
'Lone Wolf/Tank' Chaos Lord = 160pts
  • Bolt Pistol.
  • Bloodfeeder (Daemon Weapon.)
  • Mark of Khorne.
  • Jump Pack/Wings.
  • Frag & Krak Grenades.
Like the Chaos Lord with the 'vanilla' Daemon Weapon, this Chaos Lord has the advantage of speed, but also the devastating salvo of attacks he can unleash. So, on the charge this Chaos Lord would get: 5 attacks as standard, at WS6, S4 with no armour saves allowed. With the extra 2D6 attacks that the Bloodfeeder grants those 5 attacks could increase to a minimum of 9, or up to a maximum of 17! Good Gods that is an insane amount of attacks!?
My personal thoughts on the Bloodfeeder Daemon Weapon are that it is the most insanely fantastic weapon I've seen! A Chaos Lord with a Bloodfeeder is basically a ticking time bomb, a weapon of mass destruction, and I feel sorry for those on the opposing end of this behemoth of a weapon. Alas, with such a mighty weapon a Chaos Lord will attract an unholy amount of attention, and should focus only on getting into assault as soon as possible, which is why I thought that for most Daemon Weapon wielding Lords, a Jump Pack/Wings would be better suited than Terminator Armour. Although a Steed or Bike would be just as good.
The next mark specific Daemon Weapon we'll focus on will be the Plaguebringer, a Daemon Weapon that can be equipped by a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Nurgle. The Plaguebringer grants the bearer all the usual bonuses and drawbacks that all Daemon Weapons give when equipped, but the bearer's attacks count as being poisoned, which means the worst he can wound on is a 4+, not bad, yet not terrific. Personally this Daemon Weapon is pretty unimaginative.
Example:
Chaos Lord = 165pts
  • Twin-Linked Bolter.
  • Plaguebringer (Daemon Weapon.)
  • Mark of Nurgle.
  • Terminator Armour.
  • Frag & Krak Grenades.
This Chaos Lord should approach the enemy on foot, or via Deep Strike, making use of his 2+ save, 5+ Invulnerable and improved toughness. The Juggernaut should accompany a unit of Chaos Terminators to further increase the roll of line bolsterer or Juggernaut. The Plaguebringer does not present any options for a quick, fast moving Lord, so I felt that this Lord would be better suited in Terminator Armour and grinding his way to the lines with Terminators in-tow.
Personally I find this type of Lord boring, mainly because of the sterilised Daemon Weapon and the lack of muscle that the Weapon has. The potential to do damage does definitely show, but not as much as the Bloodfeeder. And so I say that the Plaguebringer should be avoided in competitive games, and taken only in friendly games.
The next mark specific Daemon Weapon we'll focus on will be the Blissgiver, a Daemon Weapon that can be equipped by a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Slaanesh. The Blissgiver grants the bearer all the usual bonuses and drawbacks that all Daemon Weapons give when equipped, but any wounds caused by the Blissgiver inflict Instant Death, regardless of said targets toughness! That's almost as better as a Force Weapon! The Blissgiver will be hyper efficient at killing enemy Independent Characters, but not so much enemy monstrous creatures, as you have to be able to wound first before the enemy model is instantly killed. A shame, but it will still work perfectly against e.g.: Necron Lords and Space Marine Commanders and Librarians.
Example:
'Character Killer/Commander Killer' Chaos Lord = 155pts
  • Bolt Pistol.
  • Blissgiver (Daemon Weapon.)
  • Mark of Slaanesh.
  • Jump Pack/Wings.
  • Frag & Krak Grenades.
This configuration of Lord is like the Khornate one; he is a ticking time bomb. But, instead of attacking squads of lesser units/infantry, the Slaaneshi Lord should instead attack Command Squads, Retinues or Terminator Bodyguards. Of course this role will require a unit of Raptors for Fodder, but if executed correctly, instead of having to butcher a entire Command Squad to get to a enemy Character you should be able to single the Character out and kill him outright. Plus, as the Mark of Slaanesh grants an Initiative bonus, Space Marines Commanders will stand little chance of survival.
Personally I find this type of Lord quite well suited for the role of Character Killer, with the combination of a Instant Death causing weapon and a high Initiative, most armies Characters will struggle to survive, and will require the utmost protection! I sort of see this role as a 'Smash & Grab' role, killing an enemy Character and bagging the Victory Points will be well worth the risk, and then you can leave any Command Squads or Retinues for an accompanying unit of Raptors to finish off.
The next mark specific Daemon Weapon we'll focus on will be the Deathscreamer, a Daemon Weapon that can be equipped by a Chaos Lord with the Mark of Tzeentch. The Deathscreamer grants the bearer all the usual bonuses and drawbacks that all Daemon Weapons give when equipped, but as well as being a close combat weapon, it can also fire a ranged attack, which is basically a (Loyalist) Storm Bolter, which is AP3 and is a Assault D6 instead. Basically a glorified Storm Bolter. As the Deathscreamer is both powerful at ranged combat and close combat, I feel that this weapon would best suit a Terminator Lord, accompanying a Squad of Terminators on foot. Plus with the addition of the Mark of Tzeentch, this 'Juggernaut' Chaos Lord would stand an even better chance of surviving AP2 and AP1 weaponry, ergo, his resilience will increase dramatically.
Example:
'Juggernaut' Chaos Lord = 160pts.
  • Combi-Bolter.
  • Deathscreamer (Daemon Weapon.)
  • Mark of Tzeentch.
  • Terminator Armour.
  • Frag & Krak Grenades.
This type of Lord will be great on the offensive, combined with Terminator Armour; this Chaos Lord will be near to unstoppable! And will alone cause much damage against Power Armoured targets. Keep this guy on the move, and nestled between some Chaos Terminators, because once you're opponent learns of his destructive powers then he will end up dying too quickly. This type of Chaos Lord should always attack units weaker than it, preferably: Necrons, Space Marines, Sisters of Battle or rival Chaos Space Marines.
Personally, I think I may field one of these Chaos Lords! The amount of damage he can do in the shooting phase and assault phase is fantastic! Combined with Terminator Armour and the Mark of Tzeentch, this Chaos Lord will be sporting a 4+ invulnerable save! I don't know about you, but right now this type of Chaos Lord is looking very promising, hence the reason I nicknamed it a 'Juggernaut,' because that's what it is! I battle quite a lot of Power Armour heavy armies, and for 160pts this Lord is totting some serious Anti-Power Armour muscle.
 




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