So it’s been a while. 11 months and a day in fact since we last had the excitement of a new codex release (although admittedly we have had a new edition in the meantime). By the end of today everyone will be throwing their 2 cents around on the internet and by the end of the week it will probably already have been broken.
But here are my first impressions of the book. Firstly, it’s a very jazzy hardback, colour publication which is all well and good, except that everyone who buys it cares more about the rules inside so wouldn’t care if they were written on a roll of toilet paper.
So onto the rules. The marks of Chaos are still all there, the only difference being a change to the mark of Khorne, now bestowing counter-attack and rage (which essentially isn’t much of a change from the +1 attack anyway).
There’s also a new warlords traits table, which seems pretty cool and very chaosy as well as something called the chaos boon table which characters roll on when he kills an enemy character in combat. Its a pretty long table so I won’t go into the details, other than saying most of them are good (+1 attack, +1 toughness, FNP) but there is the chance of turning your character into a spawn (or a daemon prince). I would say that it would have been nice to see a few more negative boons, although the one time in 18 you spawn your character you will be probably be cursing the whole system anyway.
The psychic powers are also interesting, each of the disciplines containing only 3 powers + the primaris power. As chaos sorcerers can take up to 3 mastery levels there’s also a pretty good chance you’re going to get the powers you want from the table. The disciplines, all of them look pretty good. Its quite hard to pick between them, which is probably a good thing for the game. Overall, I would probably say that slaanesh takes it by a margin, but the best thing about the new powers? Lash of Submission has finally gone.
The wargear list s also back, rather than listing all possible wargear options under the unit entry, which is a nice touch. A smooth segway into the HQ choices; I’ll skip past the special characters as I feel that they have no place in the game but that’s a conversation for another time.
First up, the Chaos Lord. The first thing you will probably notice is his cost. 65 points, yes read that and weep Space Marine, Blood Angels and Dark Angels players. Obviously it’s a bid drop in price from the last codex, but I think it’s probably right. A marine captain is ludicrously overpriced at 100 points, for a toughness 4 model without eternal warrior who isn’t even that great in combat. The second important thing about the chaos lord is that taking one moves cult troops (bezerkers, plague marines and noise marines) from the elite to troops slot. This is probably my favourite thing about the codex, hopefully forcing players to creating slightly more themed lists (begone Slanesh HQ leading plague marines).
Sorcerers; another cool move by the Kelly here. Taking a sorcerer of Tzeentch rather than the Lord allows you to take thousand sons as troop choices which fits in slightly better with fluff. The price here is a slight worry; 60 points base seems a bit on the cheap side. He can take up to 2 extra mastery levels (up to a max of 3) for 25 points each. To gain access to the god specific disciplines does mean paying 15 points for a mark, but 125 points for a level 3 psyker does seem to be a bit of a bargain.
But that’s where the cheap HQ choices end. Next up the ubiquitous Daemon Prince; tipping the scales at a pretty hefty 145 points base. It even costs 20 points to give him a 3+ armour save. Not great for a T5 model with 3 wounds. Then most people will be looking at giving him a set of wings (40 points) and it becomes a model you could quite easily drop 200 points on. It does seem that the design team has recognised the power of the flying MC with this first codex of 6th and adjusted the points accordingly.
This appears to have turned into a full blown review of the new codex, so I will leave it there for today. Tomorrow, I will continue and talk about the new HQ choices and the troops section.