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 Chaos Space Marine Tactica

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Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-06-02
Age : 32
Location : Stewart

PostSubject: Chaos Space Marine Tactica   Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:00 pm

This is a very in depth tutorial on picking CSM units, their strengths, uses, and weaknesses found here on Heresy-Online.. For our viewing pleasure, I've posted it up here. In my perusings of the interweb, this is by far the best advice I've found and have used it quite extensively for my own list-building.

I'll post it up in installments so as to not overwhelm anyone with a giant wall-o-text.

With this first article, I wanted to cover a few basic items for Chaos players and for army building in general:

This is the post that ties all other posts together and with practice will will help you make an army that is more than just a collection of units, but a self-supporting entity that can handle various situations efficiently. This post essetially IS the reason to read the rest of this tactica. Without it, everything else is just a unit review. Run your lists past this and think about the principles of Defense in Depth, Mobility and Mutual Support when you finalize the list and take it to the field.

Protect your troops! Though Chaos Space Marines tend to be extremely resilient whether they are regulars or cult Marines, it is important that they are not wasted and that they also are given the chance to complete their goal in the battle, which is typically scoring. The best way to do this is with the Rhino! The 5th edition vehicle damage chart is very kind to the Rhino and its front and side armor 11 combined with two firing points (check the FAQ) make it a very good vehicle for both getting heretics to objectives and protecting them from the enemy's harshest fire.
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What gear do I give my Rhino? The rhino is nice and cheap and gets its job done quite well by itself. I have not given my rhinos extra armor in a year and a half and I do not regret it. That 60 points (in all) is used for other, more offensive purposes, but then again, I play with Plague Marines.
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Other units, such as Khorne Berzerkers, need to bring the full might of their arms to the enemy, so they need their transports to get them to the fight. This can make extra armour very attractive and possibly worth while, but there is more than one way to bring the zerks to war! (more on that when I cover them).
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As for daenomic possesion, it is a little expensive for a rhino and I would have a hard time justifying spending 20 points for it. Combi-weapons can be useful for units that do not have their own organic special weapons, like thousand sons, they could always use a flamer to help wittle down a unit of orks before hopping out to rapid fire. Just remember that plas and melta will also restrict your range of movement when attempting such a manuver.
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With all that being said about combi-weapons, there is one weapon that I take from time to time that is really useful: THE HAVOC LAUNCHER! This may be a small blast, which would normally make it prone to scatter, but with it being twin linked, you will find it makes its mark more often than not. This is a great weapon for busting hordes and armies that you want to have to come to you as you shoot them as much as possible. Disembarked Dire Avengers can also get mulched in numbers from this device. It's range also makes it deadly, capable of whacking the enemy turn one. While its AP is a small let down against Marines and other power armour armies, it is so very useful against anything else where it's strength and footprint really come into play.
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If you run the Havoc Launcher, try to take it on all your rhinos that aren't outflanking as they become more threatening in numbers. Combined with a proper lash, it can free up your Oblitz to take on harder targets while you havoc template the lashed unit. This weapon doesn't fit every army or every style, but it is one that I recommend everyone try out a few games.
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Who gets a Rhino? There is a good question. Any unit that can take a rhino is one that I recommend take one. For instance, a unit of Noise Marines with a Blastmaster may seem just mobile enough, but in the first couple turns, it will allow you to fire from your parked rhino at full frequency while taking advantage of full range and protecting you from those first turn ordnance blasts. If it live and the time to disembark comes, that rhino can still be used to block LOS and to tank shock enemy units off objectives. When in doubt roll your rhinos out!
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Beyond that, a unit of Chosen can outflank with a rhino, delivering 5 meltaguns or flamers with a good chance of reaching their target regardless of the board edge they come in from. Havocs with special weapons can perform drive-bys or do some serious rhino raping with rapid fire plas! Rhinos kick ass!
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A note on building a chaos army: The keys to a successful Chaos army are the same keys for almost any army whether real or tabletop, Mutual Support, Mobility and Defense in Depth.
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Defense in Depth: Defense in Depth is something Chaos Space Marines are very good at. From across the table to assault, we have units that are capable of reaching out and touching the enemy effectively. The way defense in depth work is that the closer the enemy gets to you, the more weapons are brought to destroy him. This means you will want to have weapons in your army list capable of shooting at least 48" and because of the prevelance of mech, weapons that are also capable of stripping troops from transports and putting the hurt to tanks. Great examples of these units are Oblits, Missle Launcher or Lascannon Havocs, Preds ect.
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The next step is to ensure that as he closes, there will be even more weapons that can hurt the enemy at 24 and 12 inches. As he gets closer, the more his men die. This works well against straight up assault armies like Blood Angels and Space Wolves, but gunlines will require you to bring the fight to them, using the same idea to become deadlier as you get closer. Mobile armies like Eldar and dark Eldar will also have to deal with this as you can create firing lanes, allowing you to make the decision about where they move, lest they meet your full firepower!
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This brings me to Mobility: Defense is nice, but mobility is what gets you onto objectives and kills more of the enemy! We already discussed rhinos, but there are other methods of mobility that should be addressed. Daemon Princes with wings are great for the threat range they place on the table. Obliterators are good for moving from cover to cover shooting the whole way. Outflanking chosen use outflanking to outmanuever the enemy. Summoned Daemons are also offer great mobility as they can be summoned by a unit shooting forward in a rhino and then can assault in the same turn. The bottom line is that mobility creates dead enemies and wins missions, this is not a game for footslogging heretics!
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Mutual Support: Mutual Support on the tabletop means that multiple units are ready to respond to any situation that may come up. Oblitz got assaulted? No problem, you have the choice of countercharging with your Warptime Daemon Prince ... or a unit of Plague Marines ... or ... ect. Ironclad Dreadnought creeping up on you? No problem, you have a couple units of oblits with LOS, a unit of plague marines in a rhino 10 inches away with two meltaguns ... ect.
This idea makes the enemies make decisions and every time they make a choice it could be a bad one and it makes their 'plan a little harder to execute.
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I use a spearhead deployment regardless of the mission type in order to force the enemy from the begining to make bad choices, to potentially segment his army in order to kill it peicemeal and to utilize mutual support, defense in depth to it's full potential while countering the enemy assault through my own mobility and breaking through weakened units to get to their objectives!
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Food for thought, take it or leave it! As always feel free to comment.
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