For those of you who guessed that pulling a rabbit out of my ass was the clue for today’s episode, you are right! I am going to talk about MAGIC.
Ok, not magic per-se, but psychic powers, and not just any powers, but the Chaos Space Marine ones in specific.
So, as many of you may know I play Chaos Space Marines and I often run a level 3 sorcerer with no god-mark. Now I specifically take no mark for several reasons. Mainly it’s due to the amount of suck that surrounds the Chaos powers, but they also don’t have a full list of spells, which means GW had to throw in an asinine rule because they are too lazy to think of 3 more spells. The rule in question is you must have one power from the discipline of your chosen mark, but you can only have half (rounding up) of that discipline. This essentially means that you must roll on 2 different charts if you have a mark, making it extremely difficult to rely on anything. What they also should have done, like they did for the Chaos Daemons codex, was to give followers of each god a different set of BRB disciplines they can choose from on top of the god disciplines. Seriously, how the hell did Tzeentch followers NOT get access to Divination.
Are you telling me this guy can't see the future even a little bit?!?!
So, in order to keep this post a reasonable length, I’m only going to talk about some of the spells that really stand out in my eyes. Otherwise it would just bore the shit out of you.
Discipline of Tzeentch is mainly a shooty set of powers with the exception of Boon of Mutation, which may just be the most useless and pointless psychic power in the game. Even in this series I cannot justify using this power so I won’t even mention it. However the other 3 powers are decent.
Doombolt is, in my eyes, the best power in this discipline. 18” beam, strength 8, AP1, with a boost if you explode a vehicle. This power is awesome at killing terminators. For those of you who aren’t sure how this power works, its like this:
This has nothing to do with what I’m talking about.
draw a line 18” long, the first model on the line takes a strength 8 hit. The next model takes a strength 7 hit, then 6, 5, 4, etc until there are no more models or the beam ends, all at AP 1. If you hit a wall or obstacle it loses a point of strength as if it hit a model. Now if you check the wording carefully, each individual model that is touched by the line is hit, not the closest model in the unit. This means that this power can be used to snipe out characters, weapons, banners, etc, and you don’t need to roll to hit with your mediocre BS of 4. This power is great if coupled with a method of moving quickly, a disk, jump pack, anything that can move you into a position to hit lots of models with that 18”.
Last is Breath of Chaos. A little less than its previous version in that it costs 2 warp charges, but still a great power. A template that wounds on 4+ and AP2 is awesome.
The discipline of Nurgle is possibly my favorite of the Chaos disciplines because it mirrors my play style quite well, not overly aggressive, subtle, with some de-buffing and a final power shot.
Weapon virus is possibly my favorite spell of all the spells in the game. After casting this spell, and your opponent fails his DTW roll, you have just given every ranged weapon in that unit the Get’s Hot special rule. Yeah, exactly, awesome. Let’s say there’s this unit of orks that have these big guns that shoot 48” and have D3 shots. You get this spell off, and he gets 3 shots, half of those suckers are gonna die. Those damn venoms bugging you, cast this on them and there is a damn good chance it kills itself in 1 round of shooting. And it has a 24” range which is really pretty good.
Plague Wind is a great spell. 12”, large blast, poison 4+, and AP 2. It does cost 2 warp charges, but this sucker kills half of everything it touches.
Onto the Rocky Horror Picture Show of powers, the Discipline of Slaanesh.
Take a step to the left!
This is another set of powers that I like, although it seems that there are other powers out there that are similar or better.
Symphony of Pain is a good spell with a great kick if you build your army just right. This malediction sets the target back 1 BS and WS. Not bad if you’re getting ready to charge a nearby unit. On top of that, all of your sonic weaponry that shoots at that unit counts as being 1 point of strength higher, which is pretty damn awesome if you’ve taken a bunch of sonic weapons. I really like this power on a Prince flying around, coupled with a couple of units of Noise Marines with a Doom Siren. S6 AP3, and without a Helldrake, so it isn’t cheesy, and you can have 6 of them. Then you take a Helldrake on top of that and unless your opponent is packing a lot of 2+ armour (Garth) he is in a world of hurt.
Ecstatic Seizures sounds like it is a really cool power. Every model takes a hit at it’s own unmodified strength. So in most cases, half of the models in a unit will take a wound. That means it sucks vs small elite units and is great against large units with high S, low T, and low armour saves. There are 3 things that hurt the viability of this power, it is 2 warp charges to cast, and it’s a witchfire, meaning you have to roll to hit. With your sorcerer only having a BS of 4, this is too unreliable and it’s not powerful enough to take a lvl 2 Daemon Prince. Third, the wounds inflicted don’t use any of the models special rules like poison or rending. Now if you check the wording again, it says each model takes a hit, meaning that all the wounds won’t necessarily go on “jabronies”. Those special weapons guys have to take their own hits and suffer their own wounds, same goes for IC’s and squad leaders, so it isn’t all bad.
So lets talk about combos. My very most favorite combo is Weapon Virus and Puppet Master from Telepethy. Start off by casting Weapon Virus, then move up and cast Puppet Master in your shooting phase, making the target not only shoot at his own army, but it’s weapon could get hot. Then you charge that unit with some puny expendable unit and have them fire overwatch and cause more wounds on themselves than they do to you (because they have to roll to wound you, while gets hot is an automatic wound). This works great on Dreadnoughts and other Dreadnought like vehicles that can shoot overwatch, and shoot lots. Also, the FAQ allows you to pivot the walker to shoot at something out of it’s fire arc, as long at it’s turned back to it’s original position. So lets take a practical look at the situation. A Contemptor Dreadnaught with 2 of those fancy assault cannons shoots 12 shots. So when you cast Puppet Master, it’s going to over heat twice and lose 1 hull point on top of the damage it inflicted while shooting. Then, because your sorcerer targeted it with a shooting attack, you shoot your melta’s at it possibly taking off another hull point. Then you assault it and it overwatches you inflicting yet another hull point, and by that point possibly killing itself.
Another combo that gives me a warm feeling is Cultists and Hysterical Frenzy(which I didn't talk about). 35 Cultists with pistol and knife have 2 attacks each. Give them the mark of Khorne and they have 4 attacks on the charge. If you then cast Hysterical Frenzy on the unit, they either have 5 attacks on the charge, or their attacks are made at I4, or S4. That equates to 29, 23 (at I4), and 35 wounds respectively. If you give the cultists mark of Slaanesh, they could be inflicting 17 wounds at I5. This is of course assuming that all of them get there and your opponent is T4. Even if only half of them get to attack, that is still a staggering number of armour saves they are causing.
The last combo I am going to talk about I already mentioned, Symphony of Pain and Doom Sirens. We all know how awesome S6 AP3 flamer templates are. A unit of Noise Marines in a Rhino, coupled with a Prince flying around is a fairly maneuverable pair, the Rhino able to move 18” the first turn, then 6”, disembark 6” in the second, plus the 8” template. If your getting within flamer template range, then you could also give some models in that unit sonic blasters and get a handful of S5 shooting in there also. Not to mention that all Sonic weapons ignore cover.
Yet again, I could list a dozen combos but that's going to be it for this episode. Post thought and future episode ideas in the comments section, I do read them and respond.