Saturday, August 17, 2013

Black Legion Musings

The new Black Legion supplement is out for CSM, available for the ipad (epub and hardback due out in a few months). We've had some users online share the basic rules on various web forums and so far the response has been mixed, boarding on underwhelming. What do I mean?

First, let's look at rundown of the new army rules:
  • Every model that can must take Veterans of the Long War
  • Chosen are troops, even without taking Abaddon.
  • If Abaddon is taken as an HQ, he can upgrade one unit of terminators to have +1 WS and +1 BS for something like 6 points a model (and they must also buy Veterans of the Long War).
That's it! I mean... that's it? Well, it is for "Army Rules" but we have new Warlord Traits and new Artifacts of Chaos. Copied from Cheexsta from Warseer:

"There's a new Daemon Sword, slightly cheaper than the Axe of a Blind Fury. Gives a bonus to initiative. Should've always been in the codex, IMHO.

There's an awesome artefact that allows the bearer to fire an unlimited range large blast that scores D3 automatic penetrating hits to any vehicle it touches, usable once per game. Very expensive, though.

A psyker-only artefact increases the bearer's mastery by 1, though it doesn't allow him to generate another power (boo). Instead, it gives him a Nova power that increases range with more Warp Charge points.

Oh hey, an artefact that gives Eternal Warrior and Adamanitium Will. Nice. Not cheap, though.

Warlord Traits:
1. Black Crusader
2. Rerolls to Chaos Boon table for the Warlord.
3. A one-use Flamer. Woo.
4. Warlord has IWND.
5. Attacks have a chance of causing Instant Death.
6. Friendly units near the Warlord have Stubborn."

So the reaction has been mixed. Few people like the idea of running Chosen as troops and the upgrade to Terminators is okay... but it's making them more and more expensive, even before wargear upgrades. I'm mixed on it.

However, people seem to be liking the new Warlord Traits and the new Artifacts. I like the idea of Chosen, but they are damned expensive. I've created several variations and they all end up around 200 points for an 7-8 man squad before Rhino. Let me share one that I like:
  • 6 Chosen with VotLW and Mark of Slaanesh
  • +1 power sword
  • 1 Chosen Champion with VotLW, Mark of Slaanesh, and a power sword
  • 184 points
This unit gives us 28 attacks on a charge, at Initiative 5, with re-rolls against any Space Marine army due to Hatred. The champion should win any challenges against I4 or lower characters (excluding terminator armor). Also, the unit itself has a "hidden" power sword that can't be challenged-out. Let's see what they can do:
  • The non-power-sword Chosen should inflict 2.5 unsaved wounds versus loyal marines
  • The power-sword Chosen should inflict 1.5 unsaved wounds
  • The Champion (in a challenge) should inflict 1 unsaved wound (more if not challenged).
  • A total of 5 unsaved wounds before your loyal marine enemies can strike back.
  • In return, versus even a space marine assault squad, your Chosen should only receive 0.83 unsaved wounds in return (so either 0 or 1 barring some damned-lucky rolling).
This is all done in your Assault Phase, so in your opponent's turn, you should wipe out the remaining marines (considering you will now have 1 power swords attacking the squad now that the Champ is free). You should then be free to assault a unit on your next turn. Rinse and Repeat.

Obviously there are some problems with this build. There is no Assault transport option, except to put them in a separate Land Raider. Hmm. They can take a Rhino... move up, get out, hope they don't get shot, and then assault on the next turn. This is basically what Assault Squad on the loyalist side have to do... however, at cheaper points for slightly worse troops.

I think the idea here, and with much of 40k now, is Target Saturation. It's the idea that you must present to your opponent so many credible threats that they are forced to "pick their poison". Yes, this squad of Chosen can get shot all to hell... but what if they are running next to an allied unit of Daemonettes? Mark of Nurgle Obliterators? Chaos Bikers?

This is how I run my Chaos Daemons army... Everything is melee oriented, and they are all running across the board. I win more games than most due to Target Saturation. Albeit, Daemons are now cheaper than Chosen... but the same tactic can be modified.

Alright, that's my run down. Questions? Comments? Thanks for reading. Murphy Out!

1 comment:

  1. im building CSM now and in theory came up with this idea of target saturation as well" thinking of fielding Land Raider packed with 8chosen with 3 flamers and Abaddon/or Chaos Lord. Then 5 bikers w 2 meltas and Lord on bike and then 5 spawns. All coming forward.
    Havent playet the game yet but this seems to me as good pressure to opponent.
    In addition 2 havoc squads, 4 autocannons, and 4 lascannons for long range support.
    additional troops 10csm and two squads of 20 cultist.
    And I think you forgot to mention that Black legion can have CSM allies, that means we can field 3 chaos lords?