Start Competing: Iron Warriors Tactics (Updated 12/13/2022)

The Iron Warriors are the bitter, angry Marines who simulate battles with tabletop wargames, and the true masters of siege warfare. Their abilities to demolish buildings would be great if buildings weren’t completely worthless in 9th Edition Warhammer 40K. Fortunately, the 9th edition Codex: Chaos Space Marines gives us an updated version of the Iron Warriors with a legion trait that’s very good and a stable of Stratagems that support both vehicle-heavy and infantry-heavy playstyles. If you like running Daemon Engines or heavy infantry, then Iron Warriors may be the faction for you.

Legion Overview

The Iron Warriors have typically taken a back seat to the other traitor legions in terms of power and competitive play, but have quite a bit going for them in 9th edition with a lot of strong tricks they can make use of. They’re worth considering as a single detachment option in some builds, particularly if you’re running a detachment of daemon engines or vehicles. Because they’re focused on shooting and ranged units, the Iron Warriors tend to work best as the compliment to a melee-focused detachment that can flip objectives after the units on them have been softened up with shooting.

Strengths

  • Durability. The Iron Warriors’ legion trait – which thanks to the dataslate prevents opponents from re-rolling wound rolls against them – gives them a solid durability boost against armies that otherwise might smooth out variance via re-rolls. They’ve also got stratagems like Dour Duty, Unholy Vigor, and Spiteful Endurance to further improve their staying power on the battlefield.
  • Shooting. The Iron Warriors’ shooting isn’t amazing, but it’s among the best you’ll get from the CSM army’s non-Noise Marine units. Thanks to a legion trait that takes away cover save bonuses and a set of Stratagems that can further improve their damage output like Tank Destroyers and Methodical Annihilation, they’re particularly good at killing vehicles and heavy infantry.
  • Vehicle support. The Iron Warriors have solid support for VEHICLE and DAEMON ENGINE units with a mix of Stratagems and Warlord Traits that can buff vehicles, including some of the aforementioned durability stratagems. Because of this, Lords Discordant can be particularly nasty in Iron Warriors armies. Iron Warriors are also your best option for making classic Chaos Space Marine vehicles like Vindicators and Land Raiders really shine. 

Weaknesses

  • Weak Melee Support. Iron Warriors have several tricks for boosting shooting and durability, but not much to help you on the melee front if you aren’t fighting Imperial Fists. The good news is that there’s more than enough in the CSM basic stratagems to work with.
  • Lack of Mobility. Many of the Iron Warrior’s best units are very slow, and they can struggle to reach the opponent or far-away objectives.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Rules

Legion Trait: Iron Within, Iron Without

  • Each time a model with this trait makes an attack, the target doesn’t receive the benefits of cover against that attack.
  • Each time an attack is made against a unit with this trait, that attack’s wound roll cannot be re-rolled.

From a raw power standpoint, this is one of the stronger legion traits. Ignoring the benefits of cover means you can trivially ignore both bonuses to save from Light cover and hit modifiers from dense cover, effectively making a lot of your opponents’ positioning tricks worthless and dramatically improving your damage output against those targets. The inability to re-roll wounds is a bit more situational since not every army has access to that buff in the first place, but it’s a common enough ability that turning it off can make a big difference. It’s better on vehicles, where you’ll often see lower-shot, higher-damage attacks that might otherwise really want to CP re-roll a failed wound roll.

Warlord Traits

The Iron Warriors Warlord traits are pretty good, and tend to focus more on either increasing your durability or buffing nearby units over creating a single melee monster. Notably, many of them allow you to buff or affect VEHICLE units.

  1. Siege Lord. In your Command phase, pick one friendly IRON WARRIORS CORE or VEHICLE unit within 6”. Until the start of your next Command phase, each time a model in that unit makes an attack against an enemy VEHICLE or BUILDING unit, if that attack is made with a Strength characteristic of 7 or more, add 1 to the damage of that attack. This can be solid, since it’s a good way to boost the output of a unit of Havocs or something like a Forgefiend’s Hades Autocannons. That said, the VEHICLE target and S7 restrictions are a bit tough, keeping this from being a real gem. It’s great against an army like Knights, but worthless against an army like Tyranids or most Daemon lists. C+
  2. Daemonsmith. In your Command phase, pick a friend IRON WARRIORS DAEMON ENGINE, CULT OF DESTRUCTION, or MACHINE SPIRIT unit within 6”. Until the start of your next Command phase, each time that unit makes an attack, add 1 to the hit roll. This is a really solid force multiplier ability, and the +1 to hit is something you just do not see often. This is great on a unit of Obliterators, who really need the +1 to hit and can make it work across 3 models, and likewise is something that Decimators and Lords of Skulls love to get. Do note that because of the Command Phase timing, this won’t work on units like Obliterators if you choose to deepstrike them in. A-
  3. Unyielding Mettle. The Warlord gets +1 Toughness and each time it would lose a wound roll a D6; on a 5+ that wound is not lost. This is really, really good on a Lord Discordant, where pushing them up to Toughness 7 crosses a key threshold and the 5+ to ignore wounds gives the model an effective 50% increase (to 15ish wounds), without taking away the protection of Look Out, Sir. It’s pretty great on a Daemon Prince too, for similar reasons, and combines really well with the Mark of Nurgle. While most of the time you’ll probably want an offensive trait over a defensive one, this is on the upper end of what you can get on the defensive side. A
  4. Bastion. In your Command phase, pick a friendly IRON WARRIORS CORE unit within 6” of your Warlord. Until your next Command phase, that unit gains Objective Secured (and if they already had the ability they count as double models), and every time an enemy unit declares a charge against them, they can Hold Steady or Set to Defend as long as they aren’t already in Engagement Range of enemy units. This is neat. The ability to give a unit ObSec can be crazy powerful, especially on units of Terminators and Chosen, and getting a free Set to Defend away from cover is also very solid, especially on a unit that can fight first with the Mark of Slaanesh. This is likely the best of the Iron Warriors traits and a near auto-include.  A+
  5. Architect of Destruction. In your Command phase, you can pick one friendly IRON WARRIORS CORE or VEHICLE unit within 6”. Until your next Command phase, each time a model in that unit makes an attack, if your army is engaged in either Wanton Massacre or Wanton Slaughter, that unit is considered to be engaged in Wanton Devastation instead. In effect, this lets you put a unit with Heavy weapons back into Devastation every turn to retain their exploding 6’s on turns 2 through 5… which would be great on Obliterators if they were a valid target. Instead your best targets for this are Havocs, Forgefiends, Leviathan Dreadnoughts, and the Lord of Skulls. B-
  6. Implacable Taskmaster (Aura). While a friendly IRON WARRIORS CORE unit is within 6” of this Warlord, each time that unit is picked to shoot, if that unit made a Normal Move in your Movement phase, then until its shooting attacks have been resolved, it counts as having Remained Stationary. This is… not particularly good. Havocs already ignore the penalty to hit rolls for moving and shooting, Terminators and Bikers can shoot full shots with bolters on the move, and Helbrutes and Dreadnoughts don’t take a penalty to hit when they move and shoot heavy weapons. This means it’s basically just for either Reaper Autocannon terminators or Legionaries’ Heavy Weapons, and you can do better than a Warlord Trait that buffs 2 guns in your army. D

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Stratagems

The Iron Warriors have a solid list of Stratagems, which are a bit unique in that many of them can affect vehicles and daemon engines. There are also some solid defensive buffs in the set. One upside is that most are priced at 1 CP.

  • Bitter Enmity (Battle Tactic, 1 CP). The throwaway rivalry stratagem. When you’re fighting an Imperial Fists unit in melee combat, you can re-roll the hit and wound rolls. These faction-specific stratagems are the worst. On the plus side, Imperial Fists are pretty much the worst faction in the game right now and there isn’t an Iron Warriors player around that can’t get a good chuckle out of that fact. F
  • Tank Destroyers (Battle Tactic, 1 CP). Use in the shooting or Fight phase and pick an enemy VEHICLE unit. Until the end of the phase, each time an IRON WARRIORS HERETIC ASTARTES model makes an attack against that enemy unit, an unmodified hit roll of 6 automatically wounds the target. This can be surprisingly nasty if you’ve got something like Reaper Chaincannon Havocs, Terminators, Bikers, or Obliterators that can put out a high volume of shots with a chance to score more 6s to help take down a heavier target like a knight or riptide. Works best against targets that don’t have Armour of Contempt, where you can force through a bunch of extra AP-1 or AP-2 shots that have a solid chance of converting to damage. This becomes especially effective if you’re also running Abaddon to give a unit full hit rerolls to fish for 6’s. B
  • Dour Duty (Battle Tactic, 1 CP/2 CP). Use in any phase, when an IRON WARRIORS CORE INFANTRY or DAEMONKIN unit is picked as the target of an attack. Until the end of the phase, each time an attack is allocated to a HERETIC ASTARTES model in that unit, subtract 1 from the damage characteristic of that attack (to a minimum of 1). If the unit has a power rating of 10+, this costs 2 CP, otherwise it costs 1. This is extremely good, and there’s never a time you won’t enjoy having this in your back pocket. It’s really good for weathering attacks from something like Harlequin Troupes or Tyranid Warriors, and it’s great for keeping your Terminators on the board. Best against high-volume 2- or 3-damage attacks. A+
    NOTE: It is actually very unclear if a unit’s power rating changes over the course of a game – the rules that define this don’t cover it, and the datasheet for units seems to indicate that Power Rating is a function of unit size. We tend to lean toward the notion that power rating *doesn’t* change mid-game, but this one could literally go either way. Ask your TO. Why GW chose to make this contingent on Power level and not model counts, we have no idea.
  • Cold-Hearted Malignity (Battle Tactic, 1 CP). Use at the start of any phase and pick one IRON WARRIORS CORE unit from your army that is below Half-Strength. Until the end of the battle, that unit automatically passes Morale tests, and each time a model in that unit makes an attack, add 1 to that unit’s hit roll. This is situational, but pretty solid since the effect lasts until the end of the game and sticks around even after you return models to a unit to take it above half strength with Pact of Flesh. This will most likely give you value on your big unit of Terminators, Chosen, or Plague Marines after you lose half the models. B
  • Methodical Annihilation (Battle Tactic, 1 CP). Use in your Shooting phase, when an IRON WARRIORS unit from your army shoots. Until the end of the phase, when resolving that unit’s attacks, you can re-roll one damage roll, each time a model in that unit makes an attack with a Blast weapon, count the target as having double the number of models, and if the unit shooting is a VEHICLE, it can shoot its blast weapons even if you have enemies in Engagement range, but each hit roll of a 1 causes you to take 1 mortal wound. This is pretty neat, and helpful for actually Defilers worth a crap (though spending 3-4 CP per game on them to make them work is a clear sign they aren’t worth it). Vindicators are great targets for this as it prevents opponents from turning off their Blast weapon by tagging it in melee, as are Land Raiders and the Lord of Skulls. The real winners of this stratagem are Forgefiends, as their d3 Blast plasma weapons get max shots against any unit with 3 or more models. B+
  • Unholy Vigor (Epic Deed, 2 CP/3 CP). Use in any phase, when an IRON WARRIORS MACHINE SPIRIT or DAEMON ENGINE unit is picked as the target of an attack. Until the end of the phase, each time an attack is made against that unit, subtract 1 from the attack’s wound roll. If the unit you’re using this on is TITANIC, this costs 3 CP. This is also very good, and a huge durability boost. It can flat stonewall heavy firepower coming at something like a T9 Land Raider or a T8 Lord of Skulls, but it’s also great to use on a Lord Discordant. B+
  • Cannon Fodder (Strategic Ploy, 2 CP). Use at the start of your opponent’s shooting phase. Pick an IRON WARRIORS INFANTRY unit, then pick an IRON WARRIORS CULTISTS unit wholly within 6” of that unit. Until the end of the phase, enemies can’t target the selected unit if the Cultists unit you picked is a closer eligible target. A hilarious and flavorful way to protect your units, and it’s a lot better than it used to be now that you can use something like Accursed Cultists or Traitor Guardsmen (which both have the CULTISTS keyword) to protect a unit. The Accursed Cultists can be particular solid at this since they’re fairly durable and less susceptible to morale losses. This can be hilarious if you can screen your terminators or a unit of Obliterators with Cultists. Note that because it specifies Closest Eligible target, opponents can play around this by using terrain to block line of sight to the unit of Cultists in front of your back unit from some angles. B+
  • Spiteful Endurance (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP). Use in any phase, when an IRON WARRIORS HERETIC ASTARTES model from your army would lose a wound as the result of a mortal wound. Until the end of the phase, each time that model or any other HERETIC ASTARTES model in the unit would lose a wound from a mortal wound, roll a D6; on a 5+ that wound is not lost. This is sneaky very good, since one of your Terminators’ biggest weaknesses is taking mortal wounds. Not having to break this out until you know how many are coming and from what source is a huge plus, since you can wait to see if you’re taking 1 or 5 mortal wounds from a big Smite before you spend the CP. Situational, but great. A

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Relics

The Iron Warriors Relics are decent, with some interesting defensive options.

  • Axe of the Forgemaster. Replaces a power axe, exalted power axe, axe of dismemberment, or daemonic axe with one that’s S+3, AP-3 2 damage and each time you roll an unmodified 6 to wound with this weapon, the target takes an additional mortal wound… unless it’s a vehicle, in which case it takes 3 additional mortal wounds. This is a neat upgrade, and really nasty if you’re going after knights, dreadnoughts, or paragon warsuits. It pairs well with the Slaanesh stratagem to change a wound roll to a 6 and reliably proc mortal wounds. This is, somewhat puzzlingly, one of the Iron Warriors’ champion upgrade relics for Trophies of the Long War. That’s pretty silly when you realize it can’t be taken by a Terminator or Chosen model. B
  • Siegebreaker Mace. This replaces a power maul, thunder hammer, accursed crozius, or accursed weapon with one that gives you +1 attack each time you attack with it using a special smash profile, and the rest have to be made using the swing profile. Swings are S+2, AP-2, 2 damage, while the Smash attack is Sx2, AP-3, D3+3 damage. That’s a spicy extra attack, but it’s just one attack and this doesn’t really go on any of the models you want to take. If this was an option for Trophies of the Long War, it might have play, but it’d probably get beaten out by the Black Mace. C
  • Fleshmetal Exoskeleton. INFANTRY model only. Each time an attack is allocated to the bearer, subtract 1 from the damage characteristic of that attack (to a minimum of 1), and each time an enemy unit fights or shoots, after it finishes making its attacks, if the bearer lost any wounds but wasn’t destroyed roll one D6: on a 4+ the bearer regains up to D3 wounds lost from those attacks. This is pretty cool but you can’t really get it on any of the units you’d want it on. C
  • Cranium Malevolus. The model gains an ability where at the start of your Shooting phase you can roll a D6 for each enemy VEHICLE unit within 9” of the bearer: on a 4-5, that enemy unit takes D3 mortal wounds; on a 6, they take 3 mortal wounds. This is really sweet when you’re fighting a bunch of small knights, and can be a helpful kick against other vehicles, but it’s only going to go off half the time you need it so you can’t really depend on it. That said, it’s pretty funny to put this on a Lord Discordant for the chance to drop 9 mortal wounds on an enemy knight per turn. C+
  • Insidium. INFANTRY model only (excluding DAEMON models). The bearer gains the DAEMON and DAEMONKIN keywords and gets +1 Strength, Toughness, and Wounds. This is pretty neat, and opens your Warlord up to being the beneficiary of a few different Malefic Discipline powers. Like Warp Marked, Cursed Earth, or Infernal Power, plus they can get the double bonus on Mutated Invigoration. The best target for this is the Master of Executions, since giving him T5 and 6W boosts his durability and giving him S5 gives him S8 axe swings (or S9 with the Mark Of Khorne!), which is pretty great. Though giving him this means you’re not giving him a better weapon replacement. B+
  • Spitespitter. Replaces a combi-bolter, combi-flamer, combi-melta, or combi-plasma, and specifically replaces the “boltgun” profile of the weapon (it keeps the others). The new gun either has Rapid Fire 1 or 2 depending on if you used a combi-bolter (2) or not (1) and has S5 AP-3 2 damage and a 30” range. It’s an OK upgrade on a Terminator champion, and the other option for Trophies of the Long War. The issue is that pre-game CP is so tight in CSM, you’re usually going to want to give your Terminators the Black Rune Of Damnation or nothing at all. You pretty much always want to replace a combi-bolter with this, especially since it leaves you open for more combi-weapon options elsewhere to maximize your shooting output. B-
  • Techno-Venomous Mechatendrils. WARPSMITH model only. Each time you do a repair action, you automatically heal up to 3 lost wounds instead of D3, and each time you hit with your mechatendrils, you do a mortal wound and the attack sequence ends. Warpsmiths make 4 additional attacks with their mechatendrils normally, but there’s nothing stopping you from making all of them with the mechatendrils, giving you the potential to make 9 attacks with the things, typically dropping somewhere around 6+ mortal wounds on a target. That actually turns your Warpsmith into an incredibly nasty little melee fighter, and with the Mark of Slaanesh he can be the kind of Intervention threat no one wants to tangle with while he runs up the field and heals your Decimator (or whatever else) for 3 wounds per turn while also giving it +1 to hit. A+

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Notable Units

Iron Warriors don’t have any special characters or units of their own, but there are a number of units that perform well or better in Iron Warriors armies, and are worth talking about here.

Lord Discordant

The Lord Discordant is a strong unit and generally a melee monster, capable of putting out some very nasty output with the right mix of Warlord Traits and relics, one of the most common being Flames of Spite Ul’o’cca, the Black to drop out tons of mortal wounds. However as a VEHICLE unit, many of the buffs available through Stratagems and traits in Codex: Chaos Space marines are just not available to the Lord Discordant. Enter the Iron Warriors. Not only is turning off cover benefits and wound re-rolls more relevant to the Lord Discordant than many other legion traits, the legion also offers a number of abilities that can buff and affect vehicles like the Lord Discordant. Of these, the most important are the Unyielding Mettle Warlord Trait and the Unholy Vigor and Spiteful Endurance Stratagems, which dramatically improve the durability of the Lord Discordant in different ways. A Lord Discordant with Unyielding Mettle and the Mark of Nurgle is a proper pain in the ass to take down.

Warpsmiths

Warpsmiths become significantly more useful when you put them in vehicle-heavy armies. With the tools available to the Iron Warriors, if you’re taking one, you should give him the Techno-Venomous Mechatendrils relic to get the most out of him and poop out mortal wounds in melee. The core CSM Warlord Trait Hateful Incarnate pairs very well with the relic mechatendrils, as full hit rerolls solves his issue of being WS3+ instead of WS2+. 

Masters of Possession

While Masters of Possession don’t get a ton of value out of being Iron Warriors on their own, their ability to cast the Warp Marked, Cursed Earth, Mutated Invigoration, and Infernal Power psychic powers gives them powerful effects for buffing nearby Daemon Engines, including the Lord Discordant (who very much appreciates having a 4+ invulnerable save).

There is a cute play where you can give a Master Of Possession the Fleshmetal Exoskeleton for -1 Damage, and then use the stratagem Dour Duty for an additional -1 Damage (remember, the MOP is a Daemonkin unit). This isn’t good, but it’s funny, and that’s half the battle sometimes. 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Vehicles and Daemon Engines of All Shapes and Sizes

Iron Warriors have a bunch of stratagems that affect Vehicles, making them a good fit for vehicle-heavy strategies. Iron Warriors vehicles love the benefits they get from the Legion Trait, as well as the Stratagems that make them more durable on the field. The Daemonsmith Warlord Trait is a big help here for giving your big units +1 to hit and likewise Unholy Vigor can keep your big beaters on the table, while Methodical Annihilation helps you get the most out of your vehicles’ shooting. Heldrakes also have some potential play in Iron Warriors lists thanks to the added durability. Don’t forget that all Daemon Engines have access to universal CSM stratagem Infernal Engine to get -1 Damage, which combos very well with the other Iron Warriors-specific durability buffs that you can bring. 

Obliterators and Havocs

These units take proper advantage of Dour Duty and Cannon Fodder for additional protection, and can pack heavy enough weapons to get the most out of the Tank Destroyers Stratagem on occasion, plus they’re good targets for Siege Lord and Architect of Destruction if you’re set on taking one of those. Both units also benefit greatly from the Legion trait, as they can otherwise really struggle to dig power armour bodies out of cover with their middling AP. 

Terminators and Bikes

Even though they are middling offensively, Terminators and Bikes are some of the most durable units Chaos Space Marines have for controlling objectives and both make great targets for Dour Duty (for the Terminators, not Bikers) and the Bastion Warlord Trait, and both can make use of Cold-Hearted Malignity after they take some casualties.

Plague Marines

While a versatile Cult Marine option in any Legion that can take Nurgle units, they become especially durable in an Iron Warriors list. Being able to stack Dour Duty for -1 Damage with their innate -1 Damage rule means that even 3 damage attacks turn to 1 damage attacks. Spiteful Endurance also helps cover up their vulnerability to mortal wounds. Their damage isn’t amazing, especially since they don’t get the Legion trait to ignore cover on their shooting, but they can really hold the center of the battlefield well.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Playing Iron Warriors

If you’re building an Iron Warriors army, whether you’re going monofaction or mixing in daemons, you’re going to largely be focusing on units that are good at shooting and can take advantage of the faction’s buffs. That’ll typically mean taking a few Daemon Engines to go with your large Terminator block, plus a character with the Bastion Warlord trait (probably a Dark Apostle) and a Lord Discordant.

Lists

Iron Warriors haven’t been completely bereft of results, though they haven’t yet smashed through the ceiling and have only managed podium results at GTs and majors, not event wins.

Aidan Barkley’s List

Aidan took this list to a 2nd place finish at the Flames of Autumn Major at Tables & Towers in early November, losing to Gonyo’s T’au in the final round.

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [89 PL, 1,697pts, -8CP] ++

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ HQ +

Dark Apostle [6 PL, 110pts, -1CP]: 4. Bastion, Aspiring Lord, Illusory Supplication, Mark of Slaanesh
. 2x Dark Disciple: 2x Close combat weapon

Lord Discordant on Helstalker [10 PL, 190pts, -2CP]: 1. Flames of Spite, Aspiring Lord, Baleflamer, Gifts of Chaos, Intoxicating Elixir, Mark of Slaanesh, Techno-virus injector

Master of Possession [7 PL, 120pts, -1CP]: Gifts of Chaos, Liber Hereticus, Mark of Slaanesh, Mutated Invigoration, Pact of Flesh

+ Troops +

Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts]
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ cultist firearm: 9x Cultist firearm, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Cultist Champion
. . Autopistol and brutal assault weapon

Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts]
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ cultist firearm: 9x Cultist firearm, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Cultist Champion
. . Autopistol and brutal assault weapon

Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts]
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ cultist firearm: 9x Cultist firearm, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Cultist Champion
. . Autopistol and brutal assault weapon

+ Elites +

Chaos Terminator Squad [19 PL, 365pts, -1CP]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Chaos Terminator: Chainfist, Combi-melta
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Terminator Champion: Black Rune of Damnation, Chainfist, Combi-melta, Trophies of the Long War

Plague Marines [13 PL, 225pts]
. Plague Champion: Daemonic plague blade, Plasma gun, Power fist
. 2x Plague Marine w/ blight launcher: 2x Blight Grenades, 2x Blight launcher, 2x Plague knife
. 2x Plague Marine w/ cleaver: 2x Blight Grenades, 2x Great plague cleaver, 2x Plague knife
. 2x Plague Marine w/ flail: 2x Blight Grenades, 2x Flail of corruption, 2x Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ mace and axe
. Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Plasma gun
. Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Plasma gun

Possessed [7 PL, 140pts]: Possessed Champion
. 4x Possessed: 4x Hideous mutations

Rubric Marines [7 PL, 132pts]
. Aspiring Sorcerer: Warpflame pistol, Warptime
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ warpflamer: 4x Warpflamer

+ Heavy Support +

Chaos Land Raider [14 PL, 265pts]

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [15 PL, 300pts] ++

Abaddon the Despoiler [15 PL, 300pts]

++ Total: [104 PL, -8CP, 1,997pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A Dark Apostle with Illusory Supplication and the Bastion Warlord Trait
  • A Flames of Spite Lord Discordant
  • A large unit of Plague Marines for midtable objective control
  • A Chaos Land Raider

Playing This List

One of the best things about Iron Warriors is that you can absolutely make a case for bringing a T9 Land Raider to the table and opponents will need to take it seriously. Aidan’s list brings one and likely fills it with Rubric Marines, who are more than happy to hop out when it’s time to immolate something and warptime their way across the table. He’s got big units of Terminators and Plague Marines for mid table control, and either can benefit from the Bastion ability on the Dark Apostle.

Iron Warriors Chaos Lord and Space Marines. Credit: SRM

Sam Boardman’s List

Sam took this list to a 4th place showing at the Protect Ya Neck GT in mid-November. It mixes in a detachment of Flamers, taking advantage of one of the best units in the game right now.

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [83 PL, 2CP, 1,540pts] ++

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ HQ +

Dark Apostle [5 PL, -1CP, 95pts]: 4. Bastion, Aspiring Lord, Chaos Undivided, Illusory Supplication
. 2x Dark Disciple: 2x Close combat weapon

Lord Discordant on Helstalker [10 PL, -2CP, 190pts]: 1. Flames of Spite, Aspiring Lord, Baleflamer, Gifts of Chaos, Gorget of Eternal Hate, Mark of Tzeentch, Techno-virus injector

Master of Possession [7 PL, 120pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, Mutated Invigoration, Pact of Flesh, Warlord

+ Troops +

Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts]
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ cultist firearm: 9x Cultist firearm, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Cultist Champion: Cultist firearm

Cultists Mob [2 PL, 50pts]
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ cultist firearm: 9x Cultist firearm, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Cultist Champion: Cultist firearm

Legionaries [6 PL, 90pts]: Chaos Undivided
. Aspiring Champion: Astartes chainsword, Boltgun
. 4x Marine w/ astartes chainsword: 4x Astartes chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites +

Chaos Terminator Squad [19 PL, -1CP, 345pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Chaos Terminator: Accursed weapon, Combi-bolter
. Terminator Champion: Accursed weapon, Black Rune of Damnation, Combi-bolter, Trophies of the Long War

+ Heavy Support +

Chaos Land Raider [14 PL, 270pts]: Havoc launcher

+ Flyer +

Heldrake [9 PL, 165pts]: Baleflamer
Heldrake [9 PL, 165pts]: Baleflamer

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [22 PL, -2CP, 460pts] ++

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided
Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Changecaster [4 PL, 80pts]: Bolt of Change, Infernal Flames, Ritual dagger

+ Troops +

Bloodletters [6 PL, 130pts]: Daemonic icon, Instrument of Chaos
. 9x Bloodletter: 9x Hellblade

+ Elites +

Flamers [6 PL, 125pts]: Pyrocaster
. 4x Flamer: 4x Flickering flames

Flamers [6 PL, 125pts]: Pyrocaster
. 4x Flamer: 4x Flickering flames

++ Total: [105 PL, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Two Heldrakes, which can just be annoying as hell
  • Two 5-model units of Flamers to fly around and roast things
  • A Bastion Apostle
  • A Chaos Land Raider

Playing This List

Sam’s list trades out some of the durability from Aidan’s list for firepower from the Flamers. His list also gets melee support from a unit of Bloodletters, and he’s got a pair of Heldrakes that can fly around and just be incredibly annoying, harassing enemy units and making them move while soaking up damage.

Where to Read More

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