Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chaos Marines Overview Part 3 - Marks, Icons, Troops, Vehicle Upgrades

A good part of the motivation and flavor of many Chaos Marines is their belief in and devotion to the gods of Chaos, some of the big movers and shakers in the warp.  In game this is mostly represented by Marks and Icons.  

Marks and Icons have different costs based on the unit involved.  More units than before can take marks, so you will be seeing things like marked Obliterators (hint, they'll all be Nurgle or Tzeentch) soon.  Mark of Nurgle and Slaanesh are the same, giving +1 T and +1 I respectively.  Mark of Khorne gives Rage and Counter Attack.  Tzeentch gives +1 to invulnerable save, or 6+ if you don't have one.  Some units will benefit more from these than others, and the costs tend to reflect this.  (While some might say Mark of Tzeentch is pretty useless on some units, consider briefly Tzeentch Havocs sitting on a Skyshield Landing Pad.)  Vehicles can't be marked, but there are upgrades that lean towards different gods thematically.
Marked psykers have to take at least one power from that god's discipline, so level 1 psykers have no opportunity to take disciplines from the main book.  
ICs with a mark can't join a unit with a different mark.  Abaddon might need to be FAQd, as he is considered to have all four marks, therefore couldn't join ANY marked unit.  Might be intentional, who knows.  For now, I think he has to stick to unmarked units.

Like marks, icons tend to be costed based on usefulness, and if the unit already has part of the benefit.  Each mark opens up one icon, and only units with that mark can take that icon, plus most units can take the Icon of Vengeance which is not mark dependent.  May only take one icon per unit.
Icons no longer do anything for deep strike.  Instead they give a +1 to combat resolution (which is not cumulative) plus other benefits as follows:
*Icon of Wrath (Khorne) - Furious Charge and can re-roll charge distance
*Icon of Despair (Nurgle) - Fear
*Icon of Excess (Slaanesh) - Feel no Pain
*Icon of Flame (Tzeentch) - bolt weapons get Soul Blaze
*Icon of Vengeance (unrestricted) - Fearless

When I heard that there was going to be marks plus icons, I was hopeful that we would see a little more variety, like 2-3 different kinds for each god plus several undivided/generics, but oh well.  Marks are inherent to the model, so not vulnerable to being sniped out.  The icons of course still are.

Oh, and if you're looking at starting a new army based on a Legion, check out this list of info and starting resources from Screwed Up Dice.

Only two Troops units available standard (Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultists), but can kit them out in a variety of ways, plus your HQ choices can open up other options as noted last time.
Chaos Space Marines - Start out cheaper, but need to pay to get their CCW back.  5-20 size, one special, second special or a heavy at 10+.  Champ can get options/upgrades.  Marks and icons, Veterans of the Long War and Rhino available to buy.  If you don't spring for Fearless, get used to these guys failing morale checks a lot more than they used to with Ld10 re-rolls.  Of course, if you win you don't have to take as many checks. ;-)

Chaos Cultists - Cheap, can get marks but not icons.  If you want them Fearless, make them zombies or stick a Fearless character with them.  They're OK, but if you're already allying with IG, just take more guardsmen instead.  If you're not taking IG allies or any allies, they can be cheap scoring units to help bulk you up.

Vehicle Upgrades 

Not every vehicle can take every upgrade, and many can't take any at all (Helbrute/Forgefiend/Maulerfiend/Heldrake).  No upgrade can be taken more than once/vehicle.

Combibolters/Combiweapons/Havoc Launcher - Interestingly, it looks like Defilers can take these, as if they didn't have enough going on already.

Daemonic Possession - lowers BS/WS to 3, ignore shaken/stunned on 2+ (though passengers still affected).  Eats passengers on a 1 to repair hull points.

Destroyer Blades - d6 S5 hits on a tank shock, 2d6 if they try to Death or Glory.

Dirge Caster - changed significantly.  Enemy within 6" of a vehicle with these cannot fire Overwatch.  Cheap, so if you're planning to assault bring these along and run the vehicles up.  Especially great for Land Raiders and Defilers.  This is the standout one for me, by far.

Warpflame Gargoles - weapons have Soul Blaze.

I guess we'll keep going through FOC categories, so probably Elites next!

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