Arks of Omen Faction Focus: Emperor’s Children

With a new batch of rules updates comes the need to revisit the strategies and tactics of each faction. Today Anthony “Violence” Vanella is talking about the changes to Emperor’s Children and how those changes will affect them in the meta.

Welcome to Arks of Omen! There has been a monumental amount of changes coming all at once with the new dataslate, MFM, big FAQ and the new Chapter Approved. Needless to say, there’s a lot set to change going forward and we’re here to cover it all.

With every seasonal change you can count on the Goonhammer competitive crew to write a new series of Faction Focus articles and we’re doing the same for Arks as we did for Nephilim. If you missed our overview of Chaos Space Marines sans EC, you can find that one here. In this article Anthony “Violence” Vanella will talk about the Emperor’s Children, covering how the faction changed, what it means for playing them, how they fare in the new meta, and offer a list with some thoughts on playing them.

The Notable Changes 

  • The Adorn the Canvas Eclectic secondary objective is much better, and is now an auto-take in nearly every game. This is a huge quality of life increase for an army that can’t rely on its durability as much with AoC gone.
  • Noise Marines escaped the nerfs untouched, somehow, and remain one of the best Troops choices in the game. They’re even better thanks to secondary changes which reward you with extra CP for doing things with Troops.
  • Terminators went up in cost significantly (+3 ppm base and +5 points for the mark). Don’t panic, we are still running them.
  • Abaddon is Abba-gone, which opens up more points for those aforementioned great troops and terminators.
  • The Mark of Slaanesh went up 5 points, increasing the cost of most “Core” things we can take. This unfortunately reduces the desire to take things like Bikes, but thankfully our backbone of Noise Marines doesn’t pay for their mark.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The Matchups

The story for Emperor’s Children is a bit different than that of other CSM armies, in part because the Emperor’s Children have better shooting and in part because their daemon ally options are much more limited.

The Positive

Emperor’s Children in Nephilim was one of the premier “combined arms” armies in the game, pairing excellent shooting with brutal combat characters and great fight phase control from their plethora of Fights First, a fights last and fight on death strat. Broadly, this means they’re great into armies on a similar plan as true to the legions form they’re simply better at it. The combat control combined with the powerful long range shooting means you’re at a significant advantage into melee armies as you’ll outshoot them at distance and get the first go in melee. I think EC will remain generally good into Loyalist marines as they can keep up on the shooting elements, while a buffed terminator brick shrugs off most punishment aimed their way so long as you land the buffs. 

The Negative

Shooting skew armies. You know them, you hate ‘em. The Tau/Votann/Guard armies of the world. Honor the Prince is very powerful, but closing the gap against these armies before you’re dead is very difficult. Adorn helps here, and with the combination of Adorn, Raise the Banners, and a Psychic Secondary you have a reasonably sturdy secondary game, but it’s definitely a difficult proposition to engage in a fair fight with these armies without Armor of Contempt keeping your units on the table longer.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Building a List

It’s time to put all of this together and develop a list for the new Arks of Omen meta.

++ Arks of Omen Emperor’s Children Detachment (2,000 pts, 1 CP) ++

Legion: Emperor’s Children
Compulsory Unit Type: Troops

+ HQ +

Daemon Prince with Wings – 185pts 2CP – Flames of Spite, Diabolic Strength, Hellforged sword, Mantle of Traitors, Mark of Slaanesh, Wings

Dark Apostle – 115pts – Mark of Slaanesh, Illusory Supplication. 

Master of Possession – 125pts 1CP – Liber Hereticus, Mark of Slaanesh, Mutated Invigoration, Pact of Flesh Warlord

+ Troops +

7x Noise Marines – 135pts – Icon of Slaanesh

1 Noise Marine: Blastmaster

3 Noise Marine: chainsword and bolt pistol

Noise Champion: Astartes chainsword, Power fist

+ Elites +

Chaos Terminator Squad – 415pts 1CP – Mark of Slaanesh
. 4x Chaos Terminator: Combi-bolter, Power fist
. 4x Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. 1 Chaos Terminator: Chainfist, Combi-bolter
. Terminator Champion: Black Rune of Damnation, Chainfist, Combi-melta

Master of Executions – 85pts 1CP – Hatred Incarnate, Mark of Slaanesh

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn – 25pts

Venomcrawler – 105pts

++ Total: 2,000pts, 1CP ++

The list seeks to run Warp Ritual, Banners and Adorn unless you have a good reason to deviate (Bring it Down over Banners against Knights, as an example). I would lean towards starting at minimum 4, and in some matchups 5, Noise units on the board assuming they can reasonably hide. The terminators have the MoE sit inside them and hand out fights last with his innate 6” heroic. Use Mantle of Traitors to hand out rerolls to Noise Marines your Prince won’t be able to tag with his aura. 

The single most important play decision of this list is going from using Illusory Supplication to Blissful devotion (advance and charge) on the terminators. This will range from any number of factors, the main decider being if you can inflict a blow your opponent will be unable to recover from even if they’re able to kill the terminators in response. 

Wrapping Things Up

Emperor’s Children is a complex army to play with a lot of moving parts as it participates in all phases. It’s very rewarding to master but don’t be discouraged if it’s difficult at first.

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