Friday, May 28, 2010

Chaos Hate 4.0

You've all seen them. Maybe even participated in them, maybe even started them. The Chaos hate threads. About how the 4.0 "Gavdex" is an insult to Chaos players, how it sucked all the life out of the legions, etc. It's been years since the book has come out, but there seems to be little letup in the bile (not Fabius, small B ) directed at it. Other book changes have also experienced negative reactions, like the loss of traits for Space Marines, or the loss of Craftworld-specific rules for Eldar, but the fires of hatred for these don't seem to be as well-tended as those for Chaos.

Fluff. Some complain about the fluff emphasis on Renegades. Eh, who cares? There's tons of stuff about the Traitor Legions out there over the past 20+ years already, the Horus Heresy series is still coming out, Black Library books, etc. There's a ton of Legion fluff out there already, do we need it repeated every time a new codex comes out? Why not throw a little bone to the Renegades now and then? A few pages hardly overshadows the decades of Legion background that's already been established.

 Let's look through the various CSM books from 3-4 and see how much fluff there is about Legions, not counting that about the special characters. 3.0 = 2 pages. 3.5 = 8 pages. 4.0 = 8.5 pages. About the same. More added about renegades, but they hardly gutted talking about Legions. And all the old stuff is still out there, in older books, WD, online and so on. I don't know of much of anything that was invalidated by the background in 4.0. There's a lot of extra RULES for Legions (though half of those rules are just restrictions, and for the cult legions the main benefit is free champions and +1 to reserve rolls for daemons), but I don't see a lot of extra fluff about them in 3.5 compared to 4.0.  Also: 3.5 pages devoted to the story of the Horus Heresy: 2 -- 4.0 pages devoted to the story of the Horus Heresy: 4

Options. Some complain about the lack of options, that they want the return of the big, fluffy armory and daemonic gifts chart. As much as people bemoan that, I can't take it too seriously. Look back through the lists made with the prior book and see how often people took "cool and fluffy" things like Daemonic Fire compared to the efficient workhorses like D.Str and D.Mutation. Veteran Skills - again, cool, but you mostly saw lots of Furious Charge and Infiltration, sometimes Tank Hunters for whoever was packing lascannons. Not a lot of Move through Cover or Counter Attack.

Cult changes. Here, to some degree I feel the pain. For those with their sonic-toting Slaaneshi Havocs and the like, I can understand frustration. And I agree it is annoying not being able to Mark anything outside of the Cult Troops - while I like having the option for Icons, it would be good to have the options for Marks too. And here is where I think one of the mistakes was and where the rage comes from - it's not that IoX Chosen, Terminators, etc. are necessarily *bad*, it's that the Troops version is so much better. If they hadn't made Zerkers WS5 and Furious Charge and hadn't given Plague Marines FNP, and had given a way to make Terminators, etc. Fearless I think a lot of folks wouldn't have the same disconnect. But when your grunts have FNP, but your Nurgle Lord, Terminators and Chosen can't get it, or your Zerkers have WS5 and FC but your terminators and Chosen don' feels off.

Antagonism. Some complain about the lack of restrictions on gods working together, of having Slaaneshi princes leading Plague Marines and so on. You know what? If you want to create a mono-god force, there's nothing stopping you. If you don't want to be restricted in other ways, why try to force others to be restricted in this way?

Daemons. Here again I can feel some of the pain. It would be nice to have at least some minor differentiation among daemon types, and for the GDs that typically have wings to be able to get them, but there's no *need* for the kind of powerhouses like the old Bloodletters. And not counting for compulsory troops is a bit sad for the various -wing Chaos players.

Legion Flavor. There are some aspects I can feel the pain on, like for those who bought/made a bunch of cultists for their Alpha Legion. And the aforementioned full-cult folks with their Slaaneshi sonic havocs and such. But for others...not so much. How critical is it *really* for your Dark Apostle to have a 4++ vs a 5++? It's nice to have, sure, but it shouldn't be enough to pull you out of the feel of the Word Bearers. Your Iron Warriors don't get 4 HS slots anymore or a basilisk, but you can get multiple oblit units and multiple vindicators when the vindi used to be 0-1. Night Lords can still get lots of Raptors, which used to be 0-1 for everyone else.

I liked the 3.5 Codex too. It had a lot of fun stuff and some nifty options. But a lot of it was a mess. Multiple reprints and it was still a mess. Compared to the confusion and questions that arose from that book the questions about Lash were a drop in the ocean. How long did it take for the average starting CSM player to finally stop making lists that A) were right regarding wargear/gifts limits, B ) were right about what FOC slot marked units ended up in and C) stopped having Marked units with multiple veteran skills? It was a needlessly confusing mess and needed some measure of simplifying and cleaning up. Did they go too far? In some ways, yeah, they probably did. But staying with that same maze would have been a bigger mistake IMO.

I would like to see some way of having Marked as well as merely Icon'd units. I would like to see a little variation among daemons. I'd like to see a few tweaks on things like dreads and spawn. But I don't feel the same rage that many seem to feel.

So where's your rageometer on Codex: Chaos Space Marines, and why?


  1. I would have to say that I am in the "fan" camp with the new codex. While I think it is a little bare and that some Force Organization Slots are a wee bit harder to fill.
    However, the fact that Chaos troops come with bolters and bolt pistols and ccw and grenades (how do the move) they have the tool for every situation.

  2. I am also in the "fan" camp of the new CSM codex. The bolter, bolt pistol and ccw addition really adds to the basic troop. I was unhappy about removing the legion specific rules but I decided to live with it.


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