Start Competing: Emperor’s Children Tactics

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This is a companion article to our larger Start Competing: Chaos Space Marines article. In this article, we’re looking specifically at the Emperor’s Children traitor legion and how to manage their custom rules and strategies.

The Emperor’s Children are the primary Slaanesh-aligned faction of Chaos Space Marines, and though for a while they played second fiddle to the Flawless Host, Faith and Fury put them right back at the forefront. Emperor’s Children have access to a ton of great stratagems and boosts, giving you options regardless of whether you want to make a single big mudermonster warlord, run large blobs of Noise Marines, or play with shooting-heavy squads of Terminators or Bikers. As a Slaanesh-devoted faction, they’re interesting in soup builds as well, since Slaanesh daemons have some really strong options and make great soup partners.

 

Legion Overview

The Emperor’s Children are probably the strongest individual legion among the Chaos Space Marines’ options right now, owing to great synergy with Chaos Daemons, superior stratagems, great Troops, and a suddenly much-more-relevant legion trait. Their weaknesses are few and they have a lot going for them strength-wise.

Strengths

  • Noise Marine Troops. Noise marines are pretty good, and definitely have a lot to offer over regular Chaos Space Marines. They’re even better for Emperor’s Children, where they’re both Troops and are able to use stratagems like Excrutiating Frequencies to massively up their damage output.
  • Shooting. If you want to build a shooting army with Chaos Space Marines, Slaanesh is the key to getting there. Endless Cacophony is only available to Slaanesh units and the ability to shoot twice with Noise Marines, Obliterators, Terminators, Bikes, or Havocs is very strong, particularly when paired with stratagems like Excrutiating Frequencies and Veterans of the Long War.
  • Melee. While they aren’t as good at melee combat as say, World Eaters, Emperor’s Children are still pretty damn good at it, and have a host of nasty tricks they can pull off.
  • Daemon Support. Slaanesh daemons are really good right now, and they have a lot of great synergy with Emperor’s Children.
  • Legion Trait. Fighting first didn’t matter as much in 8th but it’s very relevant in 9th, where it the non-active player gets to activate a unit for melee first after chargers have gone.

Weaknesses

  • Mark-locked. The mark of Slaanesh is arguably the strongest mark you can give to Chaos Space Marines, but being forced into it does have some downsides. The big one being that your units can’t fight twice. The other one being that Eldar get to clown on you for having the mark of Slaanesh, which isn’t great when you’re facing Harlequins on a top table and they can suddenly re-roll hits and wounds against your units.
  • CP Thirsty. Having a lot of your best rules tied to stratagems means you’re going to need all the CP you can get, and you’ll have to manage your total pretty carefully compared to other “dumber” lists that can spend the bulk of their CP during army construction and plow forward. You’ll have some tough choices to make about the stratagems you use and when they’re applied.
  • Custom Units. The Emperor’s Children don’t really have much in the way of custom units or things exclusive to Slaanesh. That’s not a huge downside, but it does mean you’ll have fewer options than some other chapters, particularly when it comes to daemon engines.

 

Rules

Legion Trait: Flawless Perfection

Units with this ability always fight first in the Fight phase, even if they didn’t charge. This is much better in 9th edition, where changes to the order of activation for units in the Fight phase make always-goes-first abilities much stronger and the emphasis on melee units to flip objectives and smaller board size means you’re much more likely to see multiple charges happen in a turn in any given game, giving you an option to alternate wtih one of these units. This also lets your units get in against multiple chargers, and counteracts “fight last” abilities that have shown up a little more on units. In addition, all Emperor’s Children units have to have the Mark of Slaanesh if they can have a mark, and the faction can take Noise Marines as Troops. The Mark of Slaanesh is just fine and the Noise Marine Troops aren’t something you have to take, but do open up some interesting build opportunities. A

Warlord Traits

The Emperor’s Children Warlord Traits are a bit unbalanced. There are two clear winners and a bunch of more mediocre traits for generating more attacks or giving you a defensive boost in melee combat. The two winners here are Loathsome Grace, a big offensive boost, and Glutton for Punishment, the best of the defensive boosts.

  • Stimulated By Pain. Add 1 to your attacks characteristic for each wound suffered (max 3), if you somehow regain the wounds you drop the attacks. Extra attacks are good but there are tons of ways to get them in Chaos Space Marines and as far as Warlord Traits go there are just many better options than this. C
  • Intoxicating Musk. Enemy attacks made within 3” of the warlord have -1 to hit. Not a bad way to protect the warlord from getting punched back by a target that he either multi-charged or couldn’t kill, but marginal defensive boosts aren’t really what you want from your traits. This is one of those times where the best defense is a good offense. C
  • Unbound Arrogance. This one is a fun mini game: When you fight with your Warlord, both you and your opponent pick a number between 1 and 3 on a dice, hiding it behind your hands. Reveal the numbers. If the numbers are different add the number you chose to your attacks. This is making you work really hard to get +D3 Attacks and there are just better ways to get more attacks that don’t require you frequently guessing “2” because it’s always in your opponent’s best interest to take away the “3” option. C
  • Faultless Duellist. At the start of the fight phase, roll a D3. Until the end of the phase, subtract that many attacks from enemies within 1” of the warlord. Another way to reduce the damage you take back from nearby enemies and potentially better than Intoxicating Musk against anything with 2+ attacks. C+
  • Glutton For Punishment. Reduce any damage inflicted on the Warlord by 1 (to a minimum of 1). This is a great way to boost the longevity of a Daemon Prince or a Lord Discordant against the increasingly large pool of 2 damage weapons out there. You probably still want Loathsome Grace most of the time because of the Strength bonus getting you over important thresholds, but this is a good consolation and would be an easy second take if Emperor’s Children had a way to take two traits. A
  • Loathsome Grace. Re-roll charge rolls and add 1 to your warlord’s Strength and Attacks when you charge or make a Heroic Intervention. Pretty much a copy paste of the Imperium’s Sword trait from Codex: Space Marines, but very helpful to have when it comes to boosting a Lord Discordant or Daemon Prince. Works very well with the Intoxicating Elixir to double up on your Attacks and Strength boosts, but also very helpful on Jump Pack Slam Lords who want to make sure they nail their charges out of deep strike. A

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Stratagems

Emperor’s Children get access to an incredibly good set of Stratagems – likely the best of any legion, matched only by the set that the Night Lords have access to. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a boost to melee or shooting, terminators or bikes, or deployment shenanigans, there’s something to work with in the stratagems for the Emperor’s Children.

  • Combat Elixirs (2 CP). At the start of the battle select one Emperor’s Children unit that is not a vehicle or chaos cultist. You can only use this once per battle. Apply one of the following effects of your choice:
    • +1 Attack
    • +1 Strength
    • +2” to Move
    • +1 Toughness
      2 CP is expensive, but very good. This is great for pushing a character’s stat over a key threshold, like getting Daemon Princes to S8. This is also great for boosting a squad of something like Terminators or Warp Talons that really need the offensive boost to be viable, and it lets you get that boost without having to keep a Herald of Slaanesh around. Most of the time you’re going to be looking at Strength and Toughness . The flexibility is just so good. A
  • Excess Of Violence (1 CP). Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase, when you choose an Emperor’s Children Infantry Unit to fight. Any time you destroy an enemy model you may make one additional attack with the same weapon against that unit. Also appears in Codex: Chaos Space Marines. It’s solid ability for clearing hordes, where it can quickly help you rack up more attacks. Note that this also triggers if a unit of yours dies and then shoots something (and kills it) using the Music of the Apocalypse ability, so you can create some fun situations where you chew through units and then, when killed, you pop off 3 shots and if one of those kills a model, you can get another shot (and shoot at things outside your combat). Note that, post-FAQ, this will only work for models killed that aren’t within 1″ of an enemy model when they die, so feel free to get creative with your wound allocations in order to make your opponent pay for causing you harm with more than a bolt pistol shot. B+
  • Incessant Disdain (1 CP). Use this at the end of your opponent’s charge phase. Select one Emperor’s Children’s character and give them a 6” Heroic Intervention. You have to move towards enemy Character models OR the nearest enemy model.  This isn’t quite as powerful as it was now that your character can get punched in the nose by the units he’s intervened against, so you’ll have to be careful about when and how you use this. That said, it does combo with the Legion Trait so you can activate your character after the first charging unit fights, which forces your opponent to address the character immediately (and even if they don’t, your other units will also be in the mix with chargers). This can be very useful for creating surprise Interventions, and forces your opponent to play around some very tricky situations if they don’t want to catch a face full of Daemon Prince when charging into another unit nearby. B
  • Honour The Prince (1 CP). Use this AFTER making a charge roll for an Emperor’s Children Slaanesh unit from your army. Change the result of one of your D6 to a 6. This is an absolute pearl of a stratagem. With this it’s a mere re-rollable 3+ roll to get deep strikers in and critically you can use it after you have rolled, meaning as long as you roll a 3+ on either die, your deep-striking Lord is going in hot. Note that this also combos well with Loathsome Grace, giving you even better odds of making that charge. This Stratagem allows you to build around reliably putting melee combatants in combat against enemy units whenever you want, easily closing 7+” distances, and is one of the game’s strongest stratagems. A+
  • Excruciating Frequencies (1 CP). When you select an Emperor’s Children Noise Marine unit to shoot with, use this stratagem to give them +1 S and +1 Damage on Blastmasters, Sonic Blasters and Doom Sirens to the end of the phase. This is exactly what Noise Marines need as a boost to be viable. Getting S5 D2 sonic blasters ignoring cover and firing 3 shots on the move is great, and the Blastmaster loves this just as much. Combine this with Endless Cacophony to double up on boosts and you’ve got something real nice. Remember that Noise Marines can be in squads of 20. A
  • Cruel Duellists (1 CP). Use when you pick an Emperor’s Children unit (but not a cultist or vehicle unit) to fight with in the fight phase. Any unmodified 6s to wound will cause the attack to be resolved at AP-3. Solid for a unit of something like Raptors or Terminators where you might have a good volume of attacks but low strength or AP because of how they’re outfitted. Shame it doesn’t combo with Veterans of the Long War. B
  • Tactical Perfection (1 CP). Before the first turn begins, select one Emperor’s Children unit and redeploy it to a new position, following the deployment rules for the mission being played. If it’s a transport with models inside they too get redeployed as well. This is a very solid ability, even if you can no longer put units on the table into Deep Strike with it. A

Relics

The Emperor’s Children have access to a solid list of relics, with most of their options supporting the strategy of “make some insane melee characters who will be absolute buzzsaws,” though Remnant of the Maraviglia is cool for supporting a longer-ranged shooting strategy with multiple units.

  • Blissgiver. Replaces a Bolt Pistol with one that’s 6″ range, Assault D6, Strength:User, AP-1, 1 damage, can be fired within 1″ of an enemy like a pistol, and can target enemies within 1″ of a friendly. Every time it wounds but doesn’t kill a Character, roll a D6 at the end of the phase and on a 6 they take D3 mortal wounds. This is the Codex: Chaos Space Marines relic for Emperor’s Children. It’s… fine, but there isn’t anywhere you’d really wanna put it. There are better relics fighting for a slot. C-
  • The Endless Grin. Enemy units get -1 to their Leadership and roll an additional dice, dropping the one of your choice when they take Morale tests within 6” of the model with this relic. Choosing the die is interesting for when you’re up against daemons, but otherwise this is another worthless Leadership-modifying ability. D
  • Fatal Sonancy. This is a weapon with 12” range, Assault D6, S6, AP-2, 1 Damage that hits automatically and ignores cover. So a nasty flamer in other words. Interesting because it doesn’t replace an existing weapon, acting like an upgraded Doom Siren. Neat for giving your Warlord a little extra short-range damage output, but the range is probably too short and the damage too low to make this worth taking.  C
  • Armour of Abhorrence. Enemy units can not fire Overwatch at a model with this relic and if they fail a morale test within 6” of a model with this relic, an additional model flees. This used to be great when turning off Overwatch was really good and now it’s just kind of an OK add-on against Iron Hands and Tau, the latter of which are so bad you won’t need help from this to clown them. So it’s not nearly as relevant. The extra model fleeing is OK but not good enough to make this worth taking. C-
  • Remnant of the Maraviglia. Priest model only. Once per battle instead of chanting and prayer, the model can broadcast the Remnant. For the rest of the battle round, reroll wound rolls within 6” of the model with the relic. This is great for Chaos, who don’t get access to Lieutenants, and something you’re always going to combine with the Endless Cacophony and Veterans of the Long War Stratagems to have an insane round of Shooting. A
  • Distortion. Replaces a Power or Force Sword, S user, AP -4, D3 Damage and you can opt at the start of the fight phase to gain -1 to hit and S x2 if you wish, turning it into an AP-4 power fist. Pretty nasty, and the dual mode gives it a lot of utility. B
  • Raiment Revulsive. A model with this relic can re-roll all charge, hit and wound rolls. All of them. This is a very strong upgrade, particularly on a Chaos Lord with Loathsome Grace. Give him a Thunder Hammer and Jump Pack, maybe a Combi-Melta for extra punch and you’ve got an incredibly powerful melee unit that can spend 1 CP to nearly guarantee you make it into combat whenever you need to with Honour the Prince. A+

 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Notable Units

Characters

The Emperor’s Children only have access to one character – Lucius the Eternal (Fabius Bile is a former member, but no longer has the keyword or the affiliation. He’s doing his own thing – check out Creations of Bile). Lucius is a bit of an oddity; he’s got a Chaos Lord’s aura and statline, but only a 5+ invulnerable save, though whenever he makes a save in the fight phase, on a D6 roll of a 4+ he causes the attacker a mortal wound. He comes with a Doom Siren and the Lash of Torment, a 6″ S User AP-1, 2 damage whip that can be shot within 1″ of an enemy unit and target units within 1″ of a friendly unit. His master-crafted power sword is a nice +1 damage boost, and his Duellist’s Pride ability gives you +2 attacks if you put all of your attacks on the same character in the Fight phase. He’s a bit weird, but he’s at 90 points, he’s only 10 points more than a naked Chaos Lord and at that price he’s priced competitively. He basically gives you an efficiently costed Lord on foot and while the uses for those are limited, he’s kitted out to mulch characters with one of the faction’s few 2-damage weapons that doesn’t also give you a negative modifier to hit. If Lucius is your Warlord he has to take the Stimulated by Pain trait, which is a good reason to never make him your warlord.

Noise Marines

While any Chaos Space Marine army that can take the Mark of Slaanesh can have Noise Marines, they’re especially potent in an Emperor’s Children army. For starters, they’re troops in an Emperor’s Children army, which means you can easily fill the Troop slots of a Patrol or Battalion detachment with some legitimately powerful units. Second, in the Emperor’s Children faction they get access to the Excrutiating Frequencies Stratagem, which super charges a single unit’s Sonic Blasters, Blastmasters, and Doom Sirens for a turn, giving them +1 Strength and +1 Damage. This is a massive benefit for those weapons, where previously the volume of shots and ignoring cover was nice but not quite enough to get them over the top. Now that they can hit S5 and 2 damage they can much more reliably punish marines, and combining this with Veterans of the Long War gives you the ability to wound T4 models on a 2+. You also have the option to use a Dark Apostle’s Remnant of the Maraviglia to give you the ability to re-roll wound rolls for a turn for Emperor’s Children units within 6″, another powerful boost.

Don’t sleep on melee Noise Marines. Yeah it’s not the preferred way to run them, but for 2 points per model more than standard Chaos Space Marines you can get a unit of Noise Marines with bolt pistols and the new AP-1 Astartes Chainswords that have 2 attacks base instead of 1, always fight first, can be boosted to either 3A or S5 with Combat Elixirs (mathematically, the extra attack is better most of the time), and have access to the Cruel Duellists Stratagem, which for 1 CP can give turn their wound rolls of 6 into AP-3 attacks and the Excess of Violence Stratagem, which give them additional attacks every time they kill a model. And on top of all that, you can make sure they’ll make their charges with Honour the Prince. Put them in a Rhino or Drill with Lucius and you’ve got a pretty nasty little unit that can tear through larger units of chaff like Cultists or Termagants pretty quickly.

Emperor’s Children Noise Marines. Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Helbrutes

Able to combine some bigger guns with the melee advantages of Emperor’s Children, Helbrutes are especially potent here, and whether you give one a fist or a scourge, are a nightmare to deal with in melee. Sadly, Sonic Dreadnoughts are no longer an option in competitive play, so you’ll have to make do with a multi-melta or reaper autocannon as the ranged weapon or go full melee.

Mutilators

Kind of a dark horse in the Codex, Mutilators have found a place in 9th edition by virtue of being cheap, durable units able to grab Linebreaker and Engage at All Fronts or Deploy Scramblers. They can double as a melee threat in Emperor’s Children armies thanks to Honour the Prince. 

 

Playing Emperor’s Children

There are three key things to know about playing Emperor’s Children:

  1. If you’re taking Troops, take advantage of the Noise Marines. You don’t need to max out on them – two squads and a unit of Cultists is fine in a Battalion – but being able to have Obsec Noise Marines is a real advantage and you should be leveraging it as much as you can, unless you’re just tacking on an Outrider or something that doesn’t require Troops choices for your Emperor’s Children. You’ll also want to have a way to protect them (they’re very fragile with only 1 wound) so they can open up with their guns, and that will mean either a transport or putting them in Strategic Reserves. Note that the Power Level on Noise Marines changed in the big FAQ update; you’ll pay 3 CP if you want to put an entire squad of 20 into reserves, so it may behoove you,
  2. Take advantage of the ability to charge from Deep Strike (or just make any charge). Honour the Prince essentially guarantees a unit can reach enemies in a charge the turn it arrives from Deep Strike, requiring only that you have rolled a single 3+ on either of the dice for your charge roll. This means you can bank on having a powerful jump pack chaos lord or other Deep Strike threat arrive, shoot, and charge a unit, clearing objectives or cleaning out an enemy’s backfield. It’s a great, reliable ability to have.
  3. One major challenge you’re going to have is that between all of the great stratagems you have – there isn’t a dud among them – you’re going to quickly find that you don’t have enough CP to do everything you want. Your army’s game plan should have a set plan for how you’re going to spend your CP so you know when and how you can overcharge your Noise Marines, how many units you can redeploy with Tactical Perfection, and how often you can double shoot with Endless Cacophony. Having success with Emperor’s Children requires planning and forethought

Tips and Tricks to Remember

There are a few things you’ll want to remember as you play Emperor’s Children that will help you get the most out of the faction:

  • Endless Cacophony combines with shooting buffs. Stratagems that last until the end of your shooting phase like Excrutiating Frequencies and Veterans of the Long War stay active if you use Endless Cacophony to shoot a second time. Use this combination to double up on your strongest effects, so you’re getting more bang for your buck. Same goes for Remnant of the Maraviglia.
  • When you’re shooting primaris marines, watch out for Transhuman Physiology. You have to declare stratagems like Excrutiating Frequencies before an opponent has to decide to use Transhuman, so be wary of stacking all your buffs on one unit right away or you could find the extra +1 to wound going to waste as your opponent just makes it so only rolls of a 4+ will wound anyways. This is where having two squads of Noise Marines can come in – you can tease out the use with one squad using Frequencies or VotLW, then clear a path for the other squad, and use Endless Cacophony to pick a new target at the end of the phase.
  • Remember that you can use Tactical Perfection to move a unit around before the first battle round. You can use this to put a key unit out of harm’s way, line up to take out an important target that was deployed later, or even deploy to bait out an opponent – place a key unit on one side of the table early, then redeploy it to the other after your opponent has responded with their deployment, trapping them out of position.
  • Give your Noise Marines some help. They’re good at shooting but a BS 3+ is only going to go so far. Remember to give them support – Chaos Lord/Daemon Prince auras to re-roll 1s to hit, the Prescience psychic power, and Warp-Sight Plea are all boosts you can give to your Noise Marines’ accuracy without spending even more CP.
  • Don’t be afraid of melee. If you’re running Noise Marines, even your Troops are at least OK at fighting, owing to two attacks base. Yeah, you don’t want your noise marines tied up in a long melee or getting charged, but your army also isn’t bad at it either.

 

Chaos Space Marines Obliterators

Chaos Space Marines Obliterators. Credits: That Gobbo

The List

Emperor’s Children work fine as a standalone force, but really shine when they’re combined with Slaaneshi daemons, some of the game’s most powerful units. The list below is one that Barrett Gibb piloted to a 5-1 finish at the Northern Front GT in October 2020, and while the Sonic Dreadnoughts are no longer an option for the list, they can be replaced with standard Helbrutes or even Decimators to get similar firepower at a similar cost.

Barrett Gibb’s Emperor’s Children with Slaaneshi Daemons

++ Emperor’s Children Chaos Space Marines Battalion Detachment (0 CP, 1,784pts) ++

Gifts of Chaos (1 Relic) [-1CP] Legion: Emperor’s Children

HQ: Chaos Lord [7 PL, 155pts]: 6. Loathsome Grace, Combi-melta, Jump pack, Mark of Slaanesh, Raiment Repulsive, Thunder hammer, Warlord
HQ: Daemon Prince with Wings [10 PL, 205pts]: Intoxicating Elixir, Malefic talon, Warp bolter, Warptime, Wings, Slaanesh
HQ: Sorcerer [6 PL, 115pts]: Bolt pistol, Delightful Agonies, Force stave, Jump pack, Mark of Slaanesh, Prescience

Troops: Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 60pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun, Cultist Champion: Autogun
Troops: Noise Marines [10 PL, 221pts] . 2x Marine w/ blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Marine w/ sonic blaster: 7x Bolt pistol, 7x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Sonic Blaster, Noise Champion: Chainaxe, Sonic blaster
Troops: Noise Marines [10 PL, 221pts] . 2x Marine w/ blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Marine w/ sonic blaster: 7x Bolt pistol, 7x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Sonic Blaster, Noise Champion: Chainaxe, Sonic blaster

EL: Sonic Dreadnought [7 PL, 113pts]: 2 x Blastmaster, Helbrute fist: Combi-bolter
EL: Sonic Dreadnought [7 PL, 113pts]: 2 x Blastmaster, Helbrute fist: Combi-bolter
EL: Sonic Dreadnought [7 PL, 113pts]: 2 x Blastmaster, Helbrute fist

HS: Obliterators [15 PL, 315pts]: Mark of Slaanesh x3

DT: Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh
DT: Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh

++ Chaos Daemons Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [11 PL, -3CP, 215pts] ++

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

HQ: Herald of Slaanesh [3 PL, 55pts]: Phantasmagoria, The Forbidden Gem

Troops: Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress, 9x Daemonette]

FA: Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh x5
FA: Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh x5

++ Total: [101 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Raiment/Loathsome Grace Chaos Lord with Thunder Hammer and Jump Pack
  • Noise Marines
  • Obliterators too – really just all the niftiest Slaanesh shooting threats.
  • Chaos Daemon detachment provides Furies for actions and a powerful relic

Playing This List

There are a lot of Chaos Space Marines armies that can compete at lower levels – many builds are reasonably viable at the RTT level, which is great – but significantly fewer that can “punch through” and make the top 4 of a GT. The good news for Emperor’s Children players is that ECs are one of those factions.

Noise Marines got a good deal out of the Munitorum Field Manual, now being very healthily priced for how much damage they can do when under Excruciating Frequencies and also having the ever-desirable trait of being pretty good against almost any target thanks to the mixture of high shot count and good damage. It’s a little surprising to see there’s no Dark Apostle with the Remnant of the Maraviglia in the list, but given that the plan is to put at least one squad of Noise Marines into strategic reserves some of the time setting up that aura is more difficult. And also, the army doesn’t realy need it – with a full squad of Obliterators as well (able to unleash Endless Cacophony for massive damage) there are very few targets it can’t take down at range, with packing melee threat being the place it needs help.

The big challenge to the list is that it has lost the three sonic Dreadnoughts, but these can be replaced by similar units. Multi-melta Helbrutes have gotten significantly better, as have Reaper autocannon Helbrutes. Neither is quite as good as the sonic dreadnought when it comes to shooting, but the drop-off isn’t dire. Basically you’re looking for something that can offer some decent shooting support but still run the day of some gravis units in melee if they get too close. The goal is to add pressure to push onto objectives once the army’s shooting units have done the work, and a helbrute can do that fairly reliably.

Finally, we see something that’s increasingly common in successful lists – some units essentially dedicated to ensuring that Deploy Scramblers is on lockdown. Cheap, fast INFANTRY are what you want for this, and Chaos Furies sure do get that done, also providing a space for a Forbidden Gem herald to tag along and ruin one or two opponents’ days per event. People have quickly learnt that you need to have a real good reason to open yourself up to a kill secondary, and thus having Scramblers in your back pocket is a huge boost to your chances of winning an event, as it minimises the frequency with which you’ll hit a game without enough good choices to fill out with your Secondary options. Chaos Marines have several options here in addition to Furies – Mutilators are a good pick for this since they’re relatively cheap and durable and can deep strike, and a small squad of Raptors isn’t awful for it either.

UPDATE: Since we posted this article, Barrett got back to us with an updated version of the list post-Imperial Armour Compendium. Here’s the new version:

++ Emperor’s Children Chaos Space Marines Battalion Detachment (-2 CP, 1,784pts) ++

Gifts of Chaos (extra relic) -1 CP
Martial Legacy (Chaos Leviathan) -1 CP

HQ: Chaos Lord [7 PL, 155pts]: Bolt pistol, Jump pack, Mark of Slaanesh, Raiment Repulsive, Thunder hammer, Combi-Melta, Warlord: Loathsome Grace
HQ: Daemon Prince with Wings [10 PL, 200pts]: Intoxicating Elixir, Hellforged sword, Warp bolter, Warptime, Wings, Slaanesh
HQ: Sorcerer [6 PL, 115pts]: Bolt pistol, Delightful Agonies, Force axe, Jump pack, Mark of Slaanesh, Prescience

Troops: Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 60pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 9x Autogun, Champion w/Autogun
Troops: Noise Marines [10 PL, 225pts]: 2x Marine w/ blastmaster, 7x Marine w/ sonic blaster, Noise Champion: Power Sword, Sonic blaster
Troops: Noise Marines [10 PL, 221pts]: 2x Marine w/ blastmaster, 7x Marine w/ sonic blaster, Noise Champion: Chainaxe, Sonic blaster

Elites: Chaos Leviathan Dreadnaught [13 PL, 225pts]: Grav-flux Bombard, 2x Twin volkite caliver, Leviathan siege drill, Hellforged hunter-killer missile.

HS: Obliterators [15 PL, 315pts]: Mark of Slaanesh x3

DT: Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh
DT: Chaos Terrax-pattern Termite [10 PL, 190pts]: Terrax melta cutter, Termite drill, 2x Twin volkite charger

Chaos Daemons Patrol Detachment (-3 CP, 215 Points)

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh
Rewards of Chaos (1 Relic)

HQ: Herald of Slaanesh [3 PL, 55pts]: Phantasmagoria, The Forbidden Gem

Troops: Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts]: Alluress, 9x Daemonette

FA: Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh x5
FA: Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh x5

++ Total: [99 PL, 7CP, 1,999pts] ++

And Barrett’s comments (via Reddit) on the army:

This is my latest tournament list since my beloved sonic helbrutes have been consigned to legends (RIP). The only major changes from my previous list that preformed quite well is dropping three helbrutes and one rhino to make room for a leviathan and a terrax drill. The only small changes i’ve made was replacing malefic talons for a hellforged sword and some spare points bought a noise champion a fancy sword. I feel the list is still fairly strong and with a lot more armor pen capabilities and slightly more 3+ damage potential I can better deal with things like custodes or BGV’s/Eradicators.

The general strat for the list is to take ground with furies and the rhino while moving up the prince and the sorc to support with the leviathan either moving up or holding the backline with the daemons and cultists. turn 2/3 all my beta strike pops out and I nuke where necessary, most likely auto charging either the lord or the drill depending on targets. The furies are nice as I can quite easily score deploy scramblers and often engage on all fronts with them which is quite nice.

 

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