The Inevitable Chaos Review Part The Last: Fast and Heavy
It's time for the last part of the Chaos review, with Fast Attack and Heavy Support in the spotlight. After this, I can finally get to doing other things again!
Bikers: Whoa, they're cheap. For 3 points more than a Raptor, you get a T5 twin-linked bolter, a bolt pistol and CCW if you want to go combat, plus the normal options (30 points extra for 5 T6 men, for example). They also get the Veterans rule for cheaper than Raptors, which makes them overall more efficient than their winged cousins. Damned good, but as with all Bikers, expensive money-wise. How on earth are these cheaper than Reavers?
Spawn: These use up a slot now, probably due to being on manual control now. They're also not Slow and Purposeful any more, which is a huge improvement. Definitely better, but still hard-pressed to compete with other Fast units.
Raptors: Less efficient Bikers. It costs them more to get Veterans, which annoys me. On the other hand, 15 points makes five men T5 and they can Deep Strike, which is their real ecological niche within the Fast Chaos biome. For 118 points I can have 3 T6 men with two plasma guns, or for 140 I can have five T5 men with two plasma guns. Both have their advantages, but Bikes are probably the better bet. That said, I now have two squads of five with double specials, so in they go anyway. I'm not even going to bother mentioning the Fear thing, it's nigh-on worthless.
Warp Talons: They're good at what they do, but get expensive fast. 190 points grants you 5 4+ Invulnerables, 10 points less gets you T5 instead, 5 points less than that gives you I5. Every Mark has a reason to be taken here. Shame they can't buy Icons, which could have made Slaanesh even better. They are cost-effective, for sure. It's just the cost is really bloody high. That said, Cultist-based armies have the spare...
Heldrake: Same cost, all the time. Both guns have their uses, it just depends on how much you need one or the other. That said, the Baleflamer is probably harder to pass up. Incidentally, if you want to die a painful death, you may elect for it to Hover. This is the first model we've encountered that has the Daemonforge rule. Since it must be declared at the beginning of the Shooting Phase, it's more useful on the Baleflamer than the Hades, which might whiff horribly that turn. This is likely going to be my first buy from Fast because it's winged and deathy.
Havocs: 175. This is the base cost of our first ever incredibly flimsy dedicated anti-air infantry unit, or FEIFDAIU for short. However, since you're not an idiot and know they will die, the real base cost is actually 240 for the extra bodies, 270 if you're serious about protection. Why can't we take Flakk as our base missile? That would bring it down to 210/180/115, a far nicer and more justifiable number. You could attempt to save points by saying you don't really need all four Havocs to pack flakk, but that's not really a big saving.
Incidentally, Autocannons are now awesomely cheap in their talented hands. For 10 points less than the basic 10-man, you could have 8 autocannons, or 2.66666667 flyer hits. Of course, the disadvantage here is that this uses up two Heavy slots. The Autocannon paradigm is excellent versus most things though and I'm guessing it will be slightly more popular than flakk.
And of course, they can still take Specials. They nearly made it into the Gimmicky Plasma Army but I ran out of points.
Obliterators: Unsurprisingly still good. They now add the Assault Cannon to their plethora, but need a turn's cooldown on all weapons. Oh, and buy Veterans, better safe than sorry.
Land Raider, Vindicator, Predator: These are as they are in all armies, a statement as unsurprising as the 'surprise' within a large, obviously plastic cake.
The one thing I'd add is Warpflame Gargoyles on Dakka Preds adds a teensy bit extra dakka for not very much extra cost.
Defiler: As I expected given its status as a 4HP Vehicle, it's more expensive. It also gains Daemonforge for extra Battle Cannon goodness and, like all Daemonic Thingies, It Will Not Die. Oh, and the weird swirly weapon is now a Power Scourge, meaning I'll need to chop it off to make my Defiler not prohibitely expensive for AV12. That said, it does help even the WS odds versus infantry.
Forgefiend: It's a gun centaur. You can stay far away and harry the foe with S8 autocannons, or go up closer and use plasma cannons (up to three, in fact). This runs the risk of HP depletion, but you might recover it naturally. Or you'll blow up due to AV12. I'd stay at distance, thanks.
Maulerfiend: It's a not-gun centaur. It wants your vehicles dead. And it's bloody fast enough to do it. I actually prefer this to the Forgefiend as it's dead cheap for what it does.
Oh, and here's a query. The Magma Cutters are said to hit ONE of the models HIT by the Maulerfiend, not WOUNDED/DAMAGED. But you don't ever specifically hit someone except by Precision Strikes.
Does this mean that, when charging a squad, if the Maulerfiend gets a hit in, it can use Magma Cutters to attack any model in base-to-base with it (ie, anything it could potentially have hit)? If yes, it's a decent snipe attack. But I don't think that's how it was intended. Aargh, I'm confused. For now, I'll use it only on multi-hit point models, or one-wound models that pass their Invulnerable Save, to avoid this.
That's all that units out the way. I'll allow Top Bryss to wrap up.
This is the book that will set the standard of all other books to come. Yes, it has its weaknesses, yes, it made a few odd decisions. But the fact of the matter is that we now have a more flavourful, diverse book than the previous one, even if it is broadly similar, and we should be proud of it. If it isn't anything else, it's better than the paperback books at whacking your opponent when you lose.
This is the book that made Chaos chaotic again. And with that, I'm off to see how fast it goes round our track.