The Contemptor dreadnought was once a key asset of the space marine legions before the Horus Heresy, but after millennia of constant war they are now a very rare sight. Whilst rare, they still exist in the ranks of the dark gods, and are very powerful relics only bolstered by thousands of years of corruption.
Chaos Contemptors have experienced a few changes with the arrival of Imperial Armour: Apocalypse. Their stats have changed slightly in their latest ruleset. They remain 195 points basic, and have gained an extra attack and the Adamantium Will special rule. However, they have lost a point of rear armour. It is now more important than ever to keep the back arc covered.
The major changes have been in the war-gear selection. Chaos Contemptors can no longer use twin-linked heavy flamers, and some options, like the Plasma Blaster, are more expensive. However, there are a few new options open to us. We can now take meltaguns on our power-fists on Contemptors for added anti-armour, and Plasma Blasters and Soul Burners are no longer limited to one per dreadnought.
Another major change is they can now take two gun choices (by swapping the power fist that comes as standard). This means that Chaos Space Marines have access to a mortis/rifleman type setup, and gives the Contemptor another possible and useful role as a dedicated gun platform. One configuration that sounds very fun is dual Butcher Cannons. Eight strength eight shots will frighten most armour, and even unsettle flyers. Even with a shorter range and no twin-linking when compared to the rifleman, the higher rate of fire and strength more than covers the pitfalls.
The other key area of change is the marks of the four gods. All four are cheaper than before, though some are cheaper than others. All have changed in how they benefit your unit:
-Khorne- this mark is still combat focused, granting rage and rampage
-Nurgle-granting it will not die, this mark helps make the contemptor more durable
-Slaanesh-this grants assault and defensive grenades as before, but you no longer get +1 initiative. It is the cheapest mark now.
-Tzeentch-as well as getting soulblaze on flamers, you also get to re-roll 1's on your invulnerable saves. like the Nurgle mark the walker becomes more survivable.
To finish off, here are a few ideas for combinations that might be fun to try out.
Balanced chaos-Butcher Cannon, Power fist, Soul Burner
Chaos Rifeman-2x twin linked autocannons
-Butcherman- 2x butcher cannons,
-Bloodspiller. 2x powerfist, 2x meltagun, mark of khorne
long range killer- heavy conversion beamer, twin linked autocannon
blast-frenzy- 2x plasma cannon, havoc launcher
Tank-buster- 2x multi-melta/twin linked lascannons