Well, I skipped out yesterday, but 4 out of 5 isn’t bad is it?
First, some brief housekeeping: I got the Daemonforge rule wrong last post. You can only do it once per game and have to declare at the beginning of the shooting or assault phase in order to pull it off, so, although the downside is still very minor, think a lot before blowing stuff up with it!
Next, I was going to do a unit-by-unit first impressions thing for the Codex, but my fellow Underling Ollie at Predictably Unconventional is doing that and in more detail that I would have done, so I urge you to give his series a read. He’s up to Cult Troops and he’s more or less on the money as far as the analysis goes. Good stuff. I’ll just concentrate on what ever grabs my attention at the time, which in this case, is the prospective army I’m planning to build. So sit down and pay attention, because its story time.
My planned CSM army is currently at about 2,000 points, but (as is the way with many of these things for me) could easily run to so, so much more. This interesting thing for me is that the army is basically made of two different factions, each a force in its own right and both with their own backstories. This makes it a fun deal for me and a nice exercise in army fluff, which I haven’t talked about much for ages, what with the competition-style Necrons I’ve been running. My CSM aren’t going to be a hardcore tournament list, I don’t think (not that they’ll be any slouch in that department), but should be a fun force to play against. I think of them as a more ‘Throne of Skulls’ level list. Good for pickup games without me feeling like a prick.
Anyway, the first force is a bit of a holdover from back when I played Warriors of Chaos in Fantasy, and had an army called The Whispered Word, who were Tzeentch aligned but would visit Empire border-towns and incite rebellion, bring a fair bit of Khorne along with them because of this. So I’ve updated the Whispered Word and brought them forward to the 41st millennium. However, their god has now changed from Tzeentch to Slaanesh for, I will admit, game play reasons. For your bog-standard troops in 40k, Tzeentch just isn’t an effective power. For anyone with an Invulnerable save, Tzeentch is still awesome and its Icon is a lot of fun, but the Initiative bump from Slaanesh and the FnP from the Icon is just too good to pass up. However, story wise, is still very easy to see Slaanesh as a Machiavellian corrupting presence in Imperial space, so it’s a change I’m fairly happy with. This side of the army is the Power Armour side. Almost exclusively foot troops (with one Flyer for support) and almost exclusively Slaanesh aligned. I’ve even got a couple of Warp Talons in there for shits and giggle, even if the lack of grenades and the high price tag could make them difficult to squeeze value out of.
The other side came to me when I was looking through the Codex. I always knew I was going to get a Warpsmith. It was a given. My favourite HQ choice in the original Space Marines codex was the mast of the forge and the model looks awesome, and this is his Chaos counterpart. It had to be done. In fact, this guy beats the regular master of the forge for a simple reason. He has access to an Invulnerable save. It still boggles my mind that the master of all the technology in a Chapter cannot even get his hands on a bloody Refractor field. Imperial Guard Officers get them for Emperor’s sake!
Anyway, another thing I liked when looking through book were the Daemon Engines. I think they’re a good step forward to making Chaos more unique on the table and I really like the models too. The image of the hideously beweaponed Warpsmith walking alongside these gun-wielding metal clad monsters the same way master would his hounds was a good image, and so the Malicant Locus was born.
Then there was the matter of the cultists. I’ve made no pretence about my feeling about these guys. I think they are an excellent addition to the ‘dex and long, long overdue. There was never going to be a serious chance of my lists not having a sizable quantity of them. Both of the forces can easily take them due to back story, but in the end I decided that since I want to run a massive mob of Khorne assault cultists, and as the models mainly look like crudely bionic-ed manufactorum workers, I decided that they should be part of the Malicant Locus.
My Warpsmith (let’s call him Threx) would target Forge worlds and manufactora planets and infect the more vulnerable systems and altered personnel with scrapcode, causing widespread unrest and violent sedition. My Chaos Lord (Hieronymus Reach) and his cohorts would make contact under the guise of the loyalist chapter ‘The Emperor’s Call’ and assist in quelling the uprisings whilst undermining planetary defence and communications. Eventually the chaos caused by Threx would come to a head and the daemon Engines would be unleashed against the combine forces of the loyalist PDF, Imperial Guard and skitarii, supported by the space marines of the Emperor’s Call. Who would then turn on the loyalists with whomever they had coaxed over to their side.
That’s the plan anyway. But you know what they about plans and contact with the enemy.
That said, I think there could well be a Black Crusade RPG campaign in this army’s back-story. Time will tell…