Friday, May 28, 2021

Imperial Armour Compendium Critical Review: Part 6- Chaos Space Marines, Death Guard, and Chaos Daemons

 A Continuation of our 11 part review of the Imperial Armour Compendium. This time we are diving into Chaos.

Sorry for the long delay. Just more and more life has gotten in the way and I find myself without time lately.

I am really trying to not be salty in this, and I am going to be as factual as possible but maintain a critical eye, the intent of which is to inform you and maybe, just maybe, let GW know we notice and care about this stuff. The details matter in an expensive hobby like this, and if it takes a small time blog to hold them accountable then so be it.

This review will be an in depth 11 part series, and I will update and link each successive article below, so keep checking back for updates.

So first off all, follow the link above to Part 2 and read that, because most of it is identical. Anything that used to be a Hellforged Varian of an SM vehicle is now the same as its SM variant, just with Chaos Keywords. The only difference really to note is that now Chaos follows their space marine equivalents almost directly, where as in the previous edition Imperial Armour index, some weapons were uniquely made "Chaosy" like Ectoplasma cannons instead of plasma cannons and Butcher Cannons instead of Autocannons, and now they all share instead.
This covers the Contemptor, Leviathan, Land Raider Variants, Predator, Scorpius, Sicaran Variants, Deredeo, Rapiers, and Super heavy tanks and any Space Marine Flyer. This also goes for the Terrax Termite drill, even though it is not Hellforged. Of note, the Chaos Vindicator Laser Destroyer was forgotten in the FW compendium and is only in the FAQ on warhammer community.

Many of these vehicles have marital legacy as well, covered extensively in the SM Article linked above. But for this one, lets just same I am not a fan.

Additionally, at the time the books came out, they had removed the ability for 1k Sons and Death Guard to take any of the Heretic Astartes vehicles. Fortunately this has been fixed in the FAQ, and they now operate as Bubonic or Arcana Astartes.

And before I go to the Data Sheets, its sad to see all the Dark Mechanicum, Vraks Characters, Spine beasts, plague toads and Plaguehulk all go to legends

Chaos Space Marines

Decimator- Improved. Went up in W (but now has a degrading profile).  Butcher cannons were nerfed and lost a point of S and no longer modify target LD. The C-Beam Cannon was made into a conversion beamer, which up close doesn't have a good of AP, overall this is a improvement because of the more consistent damage, more shots and blast.  The Hellflamer was boosted with range like all flamers. Slight nerf to the soulburner as it now has to roll to wound to do a mortal wound, but its on a 2+. The storm laser gained range by 12" and gained a shot.  And the decimator claw went from +2S to x2S. And all of this with really no change in points

Greater Blight Drone- Nerfed IMO. Now a single profile instead of a degrading one.  Lost a point of LD but gained a point of WS. Lost 3W and infernal regenaration but gained disgustingly resilient. Gained shots on their bile maw, going from a D3 pistol to a d6 assault, but lost a point of S, AP and went from D3 damage to 1. Blightreaper cannons went from 2D to 1D and Plague Probes went from D3 damage to 1D. The biggest thing IMO is their 4+ explosion went from 7" D3 mortals to 6" 1 Mortal. They also separated this out for a datasheet for Death Guard specifically, 

Dreadclaw Drop Pod- Major Nerfs. Slower,  Lost a wound, lost Toughness, but no longer degrades on S and A... but really how much charging are you doing with a Dreadclaw? Thermal Jets are now an ability instead of a weapon that does mortal wounds to 1 unit instead of automatic hits on all units it passes over. It lost the Mchina Malifica and/or Hateful Assault abilities, meaning it no longer eats its people to heal or add attacks for charging. When it explodes it does only 1 mortal instead of D3 (and D6 against psykers!). Its blade struts did get stronger, and it didn't change points. I don't know why they hit it so hard with nerf bats. BUT it did gain drop pod assault, so its got that going for it. 

Blood Slaughterer- First of all it went to a single profile from a degrading one, so that is a nice boon. But instead of starting at S8 and 6A it now stay at S7 and 5A the whole time and is 9W instead of 10W, but it is BS 3+ and the Impaler Harpoon did gain 6" in range. It no longer has blind fury, but that's probably a good thing. Points went down by 15 points (per the last munitorum field manual). Overall probably a neutral change, but these aren't that common to begin with because they ultimately are just meh. Probably some cool tech in a Daemon Engine list, but nothing to write home about. 

Hell Blade- Minimum speed went barely up and it gained a wound. Helstorms turned into Auto cannons, which is a major improvement, gaining 12", doubling the number of shots and increasing S. They are 1 less AP and 1 less D and no change to do mortals (on a wound of a 6+ on the old profile). But the damage output is going to average higher and be more consistent. In unfotunately lost is Skyborn Predator rule though, which made it deadlier against other fliers. It did go up 5 points for base profile, but if you swap out for Lascannons, its 5 points cheaper.

Hell Talon- Faster as it degrades and gained 2 wounds and basically doubled attacks. Same weapon changes as the hellblade. The bomb was greatly simplified from 3 different affects to choose from to one you can use twice. Less useful against large units, but better against a cluster of small units, potentially decent for sniping characters with. 30 points cheaper too.

Greater Brass Scorpion- Gained 8W, went from 8/6/4 Attacks to flat 6 and 10/8/5 S to flat 8. Degrades with WS/BS now. The Soulshatter bombard is now just a Demolisher Cannon, and lost 2 points of S and no longer does more damage against Vehicles, Buildings and Monsters. The Hell Crusher Claws did gain a profile for mauling through hordes, making 3 attacks for each 1.  Scorpion cannon got weaker and less damage but gained 5 shots. And the hellmaws gained a range boost like other flamers. Explodes now on a 5+ instead a 4+ which is dissapointing. No longer forces perils onto psykers targeting it, but instead can ignore psychic powers on a 4+. Ultimately though, its a model with 28 wounds, and that makes it a 9th ed vulnerability with targeting rules. 

Kytan Ravager- No longer degrades in Attacks, instead in WS and BS. Gained 4W and now stays S8 instead of 10/8/5. Its slash melee attacks went from D3 damage to 2 flat, so it should average out to be the same, bit can no longer whiff. 30 point increase. But this is still a unit at 26W, which is a huge liability in 9th edition. 

Kharybdis Assault Claw- 75 point increase for the same nerfs really as the Dreadclaw above. It did gain 4 wounds and flattens out on S at 8, but it degrades worse with WS and BS now, has fewer attacks, and slows down. The Storm luncher is improved with a krak and frag version instead of 1 middile version. Blade struts are improved as they were on the Deadclaw. but the melta array is unfortunately half the S, down from 16 to 8. It does and the standard 9th ed damage bonus for melta though.

Chaos Daemons-

Uraka the Warfiend- Stat line improvements in M, S, W and A. Big Nerf to his shooting attack, going from D3 to 1 shot and D6 damage to 3. Range did double though and it is stronger. Melee damage improved to 3, but lost its ability to do d6 damage on a wound of a 6, so while more consistent, the big exciting gamble is gone. His tally mechanic was greatly simplified, but isn't as good overall IMO. And instead of a +S and A aura he now has a reroll aura. 5 point reduction. 

Mamon Transfigured- Much like Uraka, he had some stat line boosts, shooting profile impovements and more consistent damage out put for melee, all with a significant 70 point drop.

Cor'Bax Utterblight- some stat line tweeks as well for better more consitent output. Gaping Maw as nerfed extensively though, but it did gain the ability to swallow a model whole instead. Its putrid demise (explode) got smaller as well.  IMO this daemon was nerfed when all the others were boosted.

Scabeiathrax the Bloated- Massive points drop with some minor decreases in stats to bring him into the realm of playable. Horrific Vomit was made both more consistent and gained blast. Blade or decay has a higher average damage output now and rerolls built in.  He does do 1 less psychic power a turn than previously, but IMO he still has "it" and isn't a bad thing to consider, but Im not aware of current GUO stats either.

An'ggrath the Unbound- Much like Scabbie, massive points drop with some minor decreases in stats to bring him into the realm of playable. The axe of khorne picked up a second profile for dealing with hordes, and its higher damage profile wend fromd6 to d3+3. 

Aetaos'rau'keres- Points more than cut in half from 1500 to 700 with only minor stat reductions and a few improvements event (such as max S). It did go from 2d6 to d6 shots on its staff however, with 1 less S, and its warpfire talons are less for doing extra damage to large things through mortals to know being used to fight hordes. The mantle of twisted fate was made more effective and it gained the master of magics rule, making it a buff aura for S. 

Zarakynel- Decent point drop, about 150. but not as significant as above. some minor stat line tweeks, both good and bad. Its slicing claws went from being a strong melee weapon to being a dedicated anti-horde weapon, generating up to 24 A with them. The Soul eater blade also improved in its killing potential with higher S. 

Overall, much like SM, the Chaos SM stuff was nerfed pretty badly IMO. However, daemon players should rejoice. 9th edition is an infantry heavy edition, so with all the weapon profile changes to aid with hordes and the massive points drops. the have some good potential. Time shall tell if they get the love they deserve by players. Really their biggest impediment to use in play is model ownership and cost dollar wise.