So this has basically turned into a mini-series, where mini may prove to be an inappropriate choice of word, but I’ve started so I will finish (that’s what she said). 2 troops choices seems a bit sparse for those who played with the old dex. Luckily, the Kelly got yo back. As I’ve already mentioned take a lord of nurgle, khorne, or slaanesh or a sorcerer of tzeentch and you can take the relevant cult choice as troops (ie bezerkers, plague marines, thousand sons and noise marines).
If you’ve already got a theme in mind then the choice will pretty much be made up for you as to which one you take which is why I will try to approach this from an angle of how you might use each choice (a la 40k uk) rather than the which is best, ergo the others are fail method (11th company).
Sticking with the order in the book, up first in the Khorne Bezerkers. 105 points for 5 (including a champion unlike the previous version), with extra models costing 19 points. They have lost an attack since the last book, but basically gain this back though having both rage and counter attack. As I currently run a death company unit in my BA army I can attest to the effectiveness of a raging unit, one of biggest strengths of my DC is the ability to reroll hits (and wounds) so I would recommend taking veterans of the long war for an extra point per model.
I don’t expect that a chainaxe at 3 points per model will be a great investment. The unit champion is also a champion of chaos, so must challenge and accept where possible. As such it’s probably not worth going OTT with his wargear as he will likely bite it if he goes up against a dedicated combat character but a power sword may be worthwhile.
In terms of unit size and composition, I would recommend a unit to accompany a Lord in a land raider (which is basically what I do with my DC), its a big points sink but hits hard in combat. Alternatively, running them on foot in a large blob could be effective, although it can be quite pricey as well as slow and susceptible to shooting.
Not much in the way of change here (ironically). 150 points buys 5 including the aspiring champion with the option for up to 15 more at 23 points per. They still have AP3 bolters, fearless and a 4+ invul and on the downside, slow and purposeful. I think much of the problem with them under 5th edition was just down to the meta, AP3 bolters are no good if everything is inside a transport. With the nerf to vehicles and the potential for a greater prevalence of foot lists the thousand sons might take a bit of a de facto buff.
On the downside this is not going to be a cheap unit (although slightly cheaper than before). A unit of 10 comes in at 242 points, the main problem appears to be paying 58 just for the aspiring sorcerer. He has access to the tzeentch powers for free but, as I will discuss more later, I don’t think it’s the best of the 3. He isn’t even able to use breath of chaos due to it requiring 2 warp tokens, which is probably the pick of the powers. Having said that, it does seem to be a more attractive system than under the last dex. He also has the champion of chaos rule so I would be very wary about letting him go anywhere near combat.
I would expect to start hearing the dust being blown of models near you soon. A slight improvement to the rules for the champion (and cost) as well as changes in the new edition make thousand sons look a pretty viable option.
Again, pretty much business here as usual. Plague marines were a stalwart choice under 5th and not much has changed since then. They have got up marginally in points (by 1) but now get the plague champion for free. They also get plague knives which are poisoned (4+) which is a nice touch. They can also be given an icon of despair giving them the fear special rule, although with the amount of ATSKNF around I don’t think it is an ‘autotake’. They can still take 2 special weapons regardless of the squad size so are still a great all round unit, hard to shift through shooting and combat and good for either objective camping or making a nonsense of themselves.
Almost a cut and paste job from last time round, but if it’s not broken why change it?
A nice buff here for any devotees of She who thirsts. 3 points cheaper base, and a cheaper sonic blaster now means you get a Salvo 2/3 weapon toting model for the price of a noise marine base under 5th. The blast master is also slightly cheaper at 30 rather than 40 points. 222 points now gives you a unit that pumps out 27 boltgun shots which ignore cover with an AP3 flamer. Not bad at all. 30 man ork shooter boys or blob squad getting you down? Here’s your answer.
The changes to the cult troops are probably my favourite bit of the new codex. With them being elites with the ability to be taken as troops, I certainly feel like you have to make a choice for which path you want to go down with your army. All seem very viable with their own niche, so hopefully we will see more variety in builds than under 5th.
Next up the rest of the Elites. This really is getting rather out of hand.