Monday, May 25, 2009

My take on List Building with CSM

A conversation I had recently about the Chaos Codex got me thinking about this topic. The conversation was more about how much the Codex sucks with me playing devil’s advocate. This person was lamenting the loss of customization that the last Codex provided. I agreed with this, but replied that we have some of the best troop choices in the game with Cult Troops and some really great heavy support choices.

Under 5th, troops are center stage since they are the only choice when it comes to holding objectives. Right next to them is anything anti-tank and next to them is anything anti-horde. These are what I usually try to have an answer for when designing a list. Anything in the codex that can serve double duty usually makes the cut.

So after preening the Codex, my lists are chosen from:

•Daemon Princes

I enjoy the versatility of Princes. Equip them with wings and throw on a mark. For what you get, they are really cheap. As for Abaddon, I haven’t used him yet, but it would be fun (more so for me than my opponent) to let this beat stick off of the bench occasionally. The only downside is the model is terrible and is the only reason I haven’t used him yet.

•Noise Marines
•Plague Marines

Fearless, Furious Assault, Sonic Weapons/Blastmaster, and Feel no Pain. I found fearless to be a huge advantage in 5th, especially when combined with CSM. Many times I have had a squad, reduced to a couple of models, still running around and causing havoc and holding objectives.

There are only a few units in the game better than Berzerkers at close combat, two of which are Gene Stealers and maybe Harlequins. Throw in tank-busting and the Gene Stealers can’t compete. Berzerkers are my shock troops and are expected to die. I want them to cross the table cut a hole in the enemy, then die as my opponent is forced to deal with them. Hopefully my other units are in position by then. If facing a horde, Berzerkers are my counter assault unit.

Noise Marines are a staple in my list, usually one squad, equipped with Blastmaster and some Sonic Weapons. This unit’s primary use is to squat an objective in my deployment zone and then shoot. The Blastmaster is one of my favorite weapons, but it is unpredictable. Sonic Weapons are there for hordes and outflankers.

Plague Marines are another staple. With Feel No Pain, Blight Grenades, and the ability to take Melta Guns or Flamers, what’s not to like? OK, their Initiative and price but definitely worth it. This unit is great at holding objectives and tying up units. Mine usually clean up after the Berzerkers.

•Land Raider

Obliterators are one of the best heavy support choices in the game. They get and deserve a lot of attention. I run six.

I haven’t used a Defiler yet but will do so as soon as I get one. Defilers seem to meet my “double duty” requirement, plus I like the model.

I don’t think I need to elaborate on the virtues of Vindicators and Land Raiders. Both are solid choices.

This look at list building and the CSM Codex was taken from a competitive viewpoint. I like the elite nature of my lists. They require me to be more tactical in my thinking. With the low model count, nothing is expendable as each unit needs to have an impact.

Note: Although I try to make competitive lists, my goal is not to crush my opponent, but to have a good game. Fun above all.

Well, there you have it, one man’s opinion.


CrusherJoe said...

I have to say I agree with most of what you're come up with here. In fact, I can't really say that I disagree with you at all, but I'd add a couple of things to your list. :)

1. HQ: Greater Daemon. Never underestimate a GD. They're super-cheap (though you should figure in the cost of the "sacrificial vessel" to be completely fair, I usually run a champ naked and keep him in a Rhino or LR to keep him alive). Especially in this day and age of lots of mechanized Guard, few things rip up tanks in CC like a GD. The trick, of course, is getting them out of reserves at just the right time.

2. Defiler. It's every bit as good as you think it is -- actually probably better. Max it out with CC wargear and then TURN IT LOOSE! Yeah you can shoot the battle cannon (and you should at least once or twice) but where it REALLY shines is in CC. 5 or 6 DCCW attacks on the charge, and Fleet to get you there quicker. Dynamite unit, hands down.

AshAxe said...

Thanks for the feedback Crusher. I have not added a Defiler yet but will do so soon and probably would have already if it wasn't for Age and his project ideas leading me off on tangents.

Thanks again and stay tuned....