Saturday, 6 October 2012

Chaotic Marines and Deviant Astartes Part One: The Codex

For those joining me in chaotic worship today, welcome to the first part of my new mini-series, "Chaotic Marines and Deviant Astartes", a short series I'm running to discuss and cover elements of the new Chaos Space Marine releases. I will go over things like tactics, options, and changing your chaotic armies to fit in the new codex.

But to start off, we have the new Codex.

Codex: Chaos Space Marines (6th edition) is a much needed change from the previous incarnation. Now the old book wasn't bad, it was just.....flavourless. Bland. Dull. And to some, uncompetitive. So, how does this book differ?

The Book

For starters, you certainly get a lot more book. The new edition comes in hardback form, with a glossy main picture (Nabbed from Henry Zou's Blood Gorgon) and embossed title and chaos marine. It also contains 105 full colour pages, full of new artwork and history.

Compared to the semi-coloured 104 of its predecessor, it doesn't sound like much is different, but it is a massive change. Whilst only one page longer, it does include a number of fold out sections, and a number of old images have had much needed colour added. The book is also fractionally larger in overall size; being much thicker and taller than Codex: CSM 5th edition.

The Price

I might as well be honest, it's £30. Which is a whole 50% more than the last. The special edition was more expensive, and was sold for £50 at a limited run, for a few extra shiny bits. Some may argue that this is an extortionate price for a book, which it kind of is. But lets remember, it will last us a while; the last book chaos players have used has been faithful to us since 2007. Since it is a necessary purchase to play the game, most of us will just have to bite this expensive bullet.

The Content

There are a number of new unit which should excite fans, but they are all ones we will have seen before. Sadly there aren't any secret units without models. But something it better than nothing; we finally get to use cultists without having to use Codex: Imperial Guard or an opponent's permission. We also have the new ground based Daemon Engines (which will appear later on) and of course the Helldrake, which is some seriously needed anti-flyer material.

In terms of existing units, there are changes here and there. For instance, sorcerers have less wounds, but the ability to reach mastery three, meaning Chaos Space Marines will have some of the best psykers in the game. Ahriman is mastery four, making him THE best. A number of units have gotten much cheaper, and there has been an attempt to make spawn much better, with the bonus chart.

The war gear list, making a small comeback, can lead to some interesting options. For example, its perfectly legal for a terminator to wield a chainfist and a lightning claw, or two chainfists. So perhaps those unusual modelling combos can finally be used in-game. I for one intend to use the Burning Brand of Skalathrax, which is a very, very killy flamer.

The Verdict

Overall, this new codex, whilst somewhat lacking for those wanting an extreme makeover, certainly freshens up Chaos Space Marines, and makes for a more varied, more fun, and more competitive codex. It is a definite improvement over the plain porridge we have been using previously. After you get over the shock of the pricing, it is definitely a must have (and an essential for gamers) for anyone thinking about turning to the dark side.


  1. I'm also intending to use the burning brand in my world eaters army Matt... Nice job!

    1. It's a nice piece of gear :D Managed to take out 5 marines in one shot, thanks to AP3. And that's before the soulblaze :D