The Inevitable Chaos Review, With A Banal And Stupid Twist, Part 1: Special Rules

Huron Blackheart, Tyrant of Badass. Or something.

Hello, and welcome to the Ruthless Casual analysis of the new Chaos manual.
Hello, and welcome to Top Bryss.
Wait, what?
Yes, I couldn't decide whether or not to review Ye Boke of Ruinous Powers from my gaming perspective, or my silliness perspective. So I'm doing it from both. This is going to be fun.
In Part 1, we look at the fluff and all the non-specific special rules.
The Cover

Now then, since Mr Ruthless Casual over there can't be bothered to look at it, this is a job for Top Bryss. This cover couldn't have made any prettier unless Kiera Knightley turned to Slaanesh and inserted hereself under the feet of the featured Chaos Marine. He perfectly exemplifies the Veterans of the Long War, with fire blazing at his feet and stupidly twisted and ornate battle armour. Top marks.

Incidentally, being in full colour really has emphasised the strength of the art across the board. If you compare the newer stuff to the classic Horus/Emperor image you can see how far we've come in a short time. My favourite two are Huron, who looks much more diabolical than he did when he was introduced, and... I'll save my other favourite for Part 2.

The Fluff

To the Top Bryss studio again. For the most part, this is a re-hash of what was in the last Chaos book, although this time they have helpfully given brief rundowns on all the Traitor Legions in handy information boxes to help out new players, a feature sorely lacking in the previous book. They also include tiny new bits, like a small prophecy basically saying Abaddon was SUPPOSED to fail to invade the Imperium twelve times before getting in.

Incidentally, on one page they give a list of Chapters that changed their names when they went evil. Two of these names are notable. One lot are dubbed the Flylords (hmm, sounds familiar...), and another lot become the Vectors of Pox. At first, you'd be thinking "I knew it! Maths turns people to Chaos!" However, as it transpires, vector is also Latin for 'carrier,' which makes the name a lot more sensible.

General Special Rules

Aha, now the Ruthless Casual side gets a look-in. We'll start with Champion of Chaos, which is easily the single stupidest rule in the book, and yet one of the most clever. You see, being forced to issue and accept challenges is both the right and wrong thing to do here. On the one hand, Chaos Marines should probably have some sort of superiority complex going, and therefore challenging puny Guard sergeants should logically be beneath them. Then there's the fact that it essentially gimps your best combatants every other turn when your enemy has characters.

On the other hand, it gives your opponent a properly tough decision to make in some cases. Does he refuse your challenge and allow the character to potentially kill more than one model, or does he accept and risk your character getting a Boon? In some cases, this is an easy decision, eg. refusing to let your Shas'Ui get wrecked by a Chaos Lord as you'll lose the combat anyway and this way he won't get tougher. However, it gets tougher when you have evenly-matched combatants (or at least evenly-matched Weapon Skill).

Then we have the Warlord Traits. As with the 'generic' tables, there are good (Master of Deception) and bad (Lord of Terror) picks. Overall it's a fairly solid chart and definitely worth considering, although you'll want to keep in mind that they're fairly combat-biased bar two.

Aah, the Boon Table. We all wanted one after Fantasy Chaos got one, and now we have it. It's got everything you want, and some things you didn't think about, and it's far too random to rely on as a tactic, as you'd expect. That said, there is a 1/6 chance of getting nothing and a 1/18 chance of being a Spawn...

While we're here, let us mourn the loss of generic Daemon Weapons. If you want one now, you buy a Shiny Shiny Artefact or take a Unique, full stop. Furthermore, only two Shiny Shinies are Daemon Weapons, and one of them is a Maul. Farewell Bloodfeeder, I shall miss you. Oh, and did I mention that the drawback got worse?

Veterans of the Long War is a nice little addition. Pretty much everything can take it, it's fairly cheap, and it gives most units a little bit more Leadership, emphasising their veterannyness. If that's a word. The Hatred thing may or may not be a big deal depending on your local area/ what you expect at whatever tourny you go to. But I'm mainly concerned with base Leadership 9 on Troops.

The Marks of Chaos haven't really changed, with the exception of Khorne, which is now more an action-reaction type deal instead of a generic boost. Seems a bit of a bad deal, really. Oh, and taking a Mark on a Sorceror forces you to dilute your powers with at least one god-specific one, as does becoming a Daemon Prince of X.

To see if that's a good or bad thing, we need to look at the Psychic Powers of Chaos. One liners time!

Discipline of Tzeentch

Tzeentch's Firestorm: Fairly standard blast power, a bit random and a bit meh.

Boon of Mutation: The 40k equivalent of the Pokemon move Acupressure (look it up). Except Acupressure doesn't hurt. The range on this one kinda sucks. Would 6" really have killed you?

Doombeam: Wait, Doombolt? Err, no. It's not a bolt any more, it's a beam. I don't know if I prefer this to the old Bolt of Change. The side-effect is sort of amusing, though. Plus, it's multi-purpose, which BoC wasn't.

Breath of Chaos: It's still the same, it's just harder to use. That sucks. It wasn't even very good on foot Sorcerors before. I can't use my Flying Breath Prince in the CSM book without paying a million points and praying for a good roll.

Discipline of Slaanesh

Sensory Overload: Fairly typical Primaris, nothing to see here.

Hysterical Frenzy: This is also a lot like Acupressure, except much less random. Not to mention more usable than BoM.

Symphony of Pain: BUYNOISEMARINESBUYNOISEMARINESBUYNOISEMARINES. The BS reduction is still very much appreciated, and since Maledictions work on vehicles, it's very multi-use.

Ecstatic Seizures: This is fun. Shame it doesn't work on Walkers too, it's a missed opportunity. On another amusing note, I take it we're assuming they're hitting themselves? If so, how does Look Out, Sir! work?

Sarge: Aaaaargh! I must hit myself to the funky, funky Slaaneshi beat!
Guardsman: *whacks Sergeant with his own funky dance moves*
Sarge: Oh, I'm still alive. How the hell did that work?

Discipline of Nurgle

Nurgle's Rot: Again, a formulaic Primaris, this time a Nova.

Weapon Virus: Another very fun power. And very, very nice range. I like.

Gift of Contagion: This can go one of two ways. On the one hand, the range is nice, as are two of the results. On the other hand, there is a 1/3 chance of helping the enemy at long range.

Plague Wind: Basic Large Blast affair.

Overall, I reckon Slaanesh got the highest quota of good powers. The other two are about equal in terms of their 'Oh, nice one: How situational' ratio.


Next time, we'll go into the units. Signing off...