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[Chapter Archives] - Chaos Space Marines - Chaos Undivided

By Jelly - 3rd June 2017 - 10:43 AM

Welcome to the second episode of Chapter Archives. Appreciate the glory of the true gods and take a gander at potential unit candidates in the likely to come Chaos Faction in Dawn of War III!

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Beware, for the traitors have come to claim their reward.

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In the universe of Warhammer 40k there are two planes of existence: the physical realm, known as the Materium, where all living and sentient beings of flesh and blood live, and the Warp, known as the Immaterium, a place where the laws of physics do not apply and are merely a fancy of those that reside there. Both are inter-connected with one another, and both can and often do affect each other. In ancient times, Warp was the closest thing the sentient species of the galaxy had for an after life; it is a realm that reflects the minds and souls of those living in the Materium. And for the longest time it was calm, until species with psykers, individuals who could access and use its power in the Materium, had appeared. All sentient beings are connected to the Immaterium, but it is psykers that are especially so.

Warhammer 40k is not a peaceful realm, and uncountable millennia of warfare and strife has left its toll on those that live there. When once it was peaceful as was its sister Materium, today the Warp is synonymous with hell, filled with monsters and abominations that only the mortal mind could birth, and even more ancient beings, ones that could only be described as gods.

And it was these Chaos Gods that seeded the birth of heresy and betrayal in the early Imperium. It is them that led to the decline of Man and the creation of the Traitor Legions. For ten thousand years the Chaos Space Marines have bid their time in the Warp, ever ready for the Final War.

There exist 4 Chaos Gods; beings of immense power, always at war with each other. They are Khorne, Tzeentch, Slaanesh, and Nurgle.

The Lord of Decay

Nurgle - the oldest of the four gods for his aspects are mortality, death and decay and these have been a part of the galaxy since its beginning. He is also positively interested in the plights of mortals, welcoming with warmth all who wish to join his church.

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The Lord of Skulls

Khorne - second oldest among the four Gods of Chaos, he is the lord of rage, hate, violence and bloodshed. His followers build no temples, and Khorne only accepts worship via blood and skulls no matter if they’re his followers’ enemies or their own.

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The Architect of Fate

Tzeentch - representing change, ambition, schemes and sorcery, he is most interested in humanity for the unique power and drive of the human spirit. He is a grand schemer, with countless ploys and plans in motion, often sabotaging one scheme with another for reasons only he can fathom.

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The Dark Prince

Slaanesh - the youngest of the Chaos Gods but no less powerful; as the embodiment of pleasure and excess, she is too much caught up with her own pleasures to have much interest in the goings of the material plane. She often takes the form of a hermaphrodite but is also able to take both male and female forms. She is best worshipped when her followers live a life of unrestricted pleasure, a hedonistic lifestyle and in the pursuit of beauty, art and food as well any and all stimulation of the senses.
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Naturally opposed to one another, it is only when all 4 sides join together to form a grand warband against Imperial forces that Chaos becomes Undivided. It is only then that a champion of all four Chaos Gods manages to unite respective warbands and acquire the favour of all four ruinous powers.

General Gameplay Gimmicks and Flavour

Chaos Space Marines would be a force composed mainly from units analogous to Space Marines; due to using ancient technology ten thousand years old, they would have generally weaker damage from their normal units only by branding themselves with a Chaos God’s mark, symbols of allegiance to a particular god which endows the marine with their power, would they be able to improve themselves. Normally daemons do not heed the orders of mortals, even if they also worship Chaos; but should there be an apocalyptic war coming, then even daemons join their mortal allies to spread Chaos. The faction’s main gimmicks would be the Mark of Chaos upgrades present in almost every infantry squad or vehicle. Both Marks and Daemons would cost a specific to CSM resource called Ruinous Favour - it would be gained at a steady rate and its gain could be increased via killing enemy forces or losing one’s own and improved via building Chaos shrines. Daemons would be summoned from the T0 meatshields, Cultist squads; weaker Daemons would cost less models to summon while stronger ones even a whole squad or more. Marks of Chaos would change the way units looked to make them more easily distinguishable from each other; Khorne units would get skulls and melee weapons (when applicable), Tzeentch ones would pulse with malevolent energies and Nurgle ones would have tumors and fleshly bits hanging out.

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Chaos Marked Space Marines. From left to right: Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, Tzeentch

Alternatively, a tech-tree that mirrors the one of Orks with Chaos Shrines instead could also provide an interesting change. A Chaos player could dedicate each shrine to a particular god and the amount of dedicated shrines would unlock further Mark upgrades for other units.


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The fanatic, the heretic, those who have sold themselves, body and soul, for a promise.

Chaos Cultists

Madmen, forsaken and seeking their luck in service of darker beings, hoping to gain even a sliver of power. All those that worship Chaos do so to gain favour from their patron deities. Very few manage to succeed, but almost all start as a cultist and climb the treacherous hill to immortality.

A very cheap squad with awful stats, used mainly for fodder and to soak up damage at first and later in the game would be used to build Chaos shrines and as a conduit for daemonic summons. They would also have a T1 grenade launcher upgrade for a slight damage buff and a crowd control ability to disrupt charging units.

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Veterans of the countless battles fought for the Emperor, and then of the ten millennia spent in literal hell. They have become changed.

Chaos Space Marines

Known also as the Traitor Legions, these former Angels of Death have betrayed their fatherly figure the Emperor, and swore allegiance to his most beloved son, Horus the Betrayer. After losing the civil war, Chaos Space Marine legions retreated into the warp, waiting for their next chance to strike. Like their loyalist brethren they are still disciplined genetically enhanced soldiers, but also something more.

Line infantry, similar in power but ultimately weaker than vanilla Tactical Marines, they would instead have flexibility via upgrades depending on the selected Mark. Mark of Khorne would change them into a melee variant with chain axes and a plasma pistol; Mark of Tzeentch would give them a plasma gun variant while Mark of Nurgle would turn their armor into heavy infantry armor, slightly increasing their damage and adding a damage over time modifier as well as adding a bile spewer crowd control ability that would slow affected units in a cone.

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Madmen, yes, but the art of warfare is still ingrained deep in their souls.


Chaos Space Marines dedicated to heavy weapon support. Virtually a weaker version of the Devastator Marines, they would also come in a few varieties. Mark of Khorne would give them autocannons for better anti infantry damage, Mark of Slaanesh would turn them into Noise Marines, adding disruptive area of effect blob projectiles with a small damage circle but a bigger slow/stun radius, while Mark of Nurgle would give them a rocket launcher as a form of anti vehicle damage.


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Imprisoned against their will, they fight in a crazed state, awaiting the release of death.


Critically injured Space Marines are bound into amniotic sarcophagi; they see it as an honor to fight for their chapters for eternity whereas the Traitor Legions instead cherish every moment to torment their brethren; Helbrutes are both life-support machines but also prisons. Loyalists let their veterans sleep between calls of service; Chaos Space Marines do not give them such mercy. To be released into the maelstrom of the Warp is seen as a blessing for many entombed within.

Helbrutes would come equipped with a weak ranged weapon but its overall stats would be a bit worse than Space Marine Dreadnoughts. It would instead have weapon upgrades without having to rely on an elite unit. A Helbrute would have a melee upgrade - either a Thunder Hammer or a Power Scourge and a ranged upgrade - a Multimelta for close range or Plasma Cannon for better distance.

Chaos Predator

Almost identical if not a bit outdated to the loyalist version, stats and damage would be similar in its default variant. As with other units, different marks would bestow different functionality. By default it would be an anti-infantry vehicle. With Mark of Tzeentch it would turn it into a powerful anti vehicle unit, while Mark of Nurgle would make it shoot blobs of pus and other unholy fluids, slowing both vehicle and infantry alike, dealing light damage over time and adding an damage multiplier debuff, increasing damage received of the affected units.

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Like mortals, even the machine is not free from the daemonic corruption and taint,
with the risk of possession by daemonic entities ever present.



Lesser daemons of Khorne, these exist solely for battle. Able to form ranks and move in unnatural precision; in battle they lose all such notions and instead try to outdo each other in carnage.

In game they would have little to no armour but instead deal high true damage, and with a charge they would close the distance quickly. However they would require big numbers or ample support to let them get into enemy lines.

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Daemons, eager to charge into enemy ranks with savage ferocity.

Horrors of Tzeentch

Cheerful, seemingly happy and ecstatic beings belies them being malevolent daemons, with forms of an ever changing mass of limbs and a face in the centre of their bodies. Created by Tzeentch, as all of his daemons, they are able to use sorcery.

They would provide dedicated anti-vehicle support with balls of warp flames in the form of skillshots. They would have a short distance teleport and their projectiles would be ammo based that would recharge via a passive.

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Shifting masses of flesh, they embody chaos and change

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Charged with spreading Nurgle’s gift, their wish is to share it with the whole galaxy.


When Grandfather Nurgle bestows his diseases to mortals, some are fortunate enough to be afflicted with Nurgle’s Rot. A disease so powerful that it affects not only the mortal flesh, but also the cursed one’s very soul. With this their fate is sealed and in death a Plaguebearer is born.

In game they would be a Tier 3 heavy infantry, carrying a Plague sword each. Despite their appearance they are very sturdy and hard to kill. To balance that they would be slow but once finally reaching their target, they would deal heavy damage with a moderately strong damage over time effect, unless the affected squad reaches a reinforcement point.


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Most battle-hardened Chaos Space Marines, they are the survivors of countless battles and the most dedicated warriors to Chaos.

Chaos Chosen

The most experienced and dedicated Chaos Space Marines; they are veterans of countless of battles that would leave a weaker mind broken. Confident and with skill to back it up, these warriors are as dangerous as any daemon.

With a relatively low price of 2 to 3 points, they would function in a similar fashion to the Space Marine Kill Team. However they would lack the flamer/missile launcher upgrade and instead possess Mark upgrades, one upgrade per deployment/death.

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Driven by ambition and lust for power, Sorcerers make pacts with numerous daemons to field eldritch power.

Chaos Sorcerer

Selling their souls in exchange for power, these are schemers with a silver tongue. With their souls forfeit, their quest for power is even more desperate, for there is no afterlife for them; theirs is a simple fate - attain Daemonhood and immortality, or become a plaything for all eternity.

A high damage dealer unit with a relatively low cost of about 4 to 5 points. Being able to teleport around the battlefield and having all around damage for both melee and ranged, a Sorcerer would be able to defeat most non-specialized forces.

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Fallen Techmarines, masters of soul forges and those that create Daemon Engines.


They are the masters of the machine, their origins possibly coming from the priesthoods of Mars or Techmarines; unlike their counterparts who worship machines and technology, Warpsmiths seek to control and rule over them, to force them to do their bidding.

They would function in a role similar to the Chaplain that is as a dedicated support unit. They would be able to buff allied vehicles and repair them, as well as curse enemy vehicles so that they receive more damage.

Chaos Possessed

Normally when a daemon enters a body, it devours both mind and soul and mutates the body to reflect its own personality; often it is claws, tentacles and pincers. Chaos Possessed are those Traitor Marines that allow daemons to willingly possess them. This process does not kill the mortal host and both daemon and host work in unison to bring as much carnage and death as possible.

Chaos Possessed would be a dedicated heavy infantry melee squad with a cost of about 5 points. They would be ideal for early T2 to charge into enemy armies and lighter vehicles with true damage. Their attacks would also have an area of effect in a small circle around each individual model.

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Fully dedicated to Chaos, willingly possessed only to be able to bring horror and death in a much more efficient manner.

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Abominations of flesh and weaponry, they stay true to their namesake.


An unholy fusion of flesh and weaponry. They are mostly comprised from Techmarines, infected by a daemonic virus causing the host to slowly grow into their armor absorbing it into their very flesh, as well as absorbing any weapon they held for a time. Oddly enough they are also able to grow their own ammunition. The side effect is mental instability and insanity.

These would come at a 5 point price. Stat wise they would be between Assault Terminators and default Terminators and come in squads of 4 or 5 equipped with an autocannon by default and buyable upgrades for melee and anti-vehicle types (that cost normal resources) to let the player specialize them. These upgrades are not final and for a price they can swap into whatever they need.

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Leading warbands of other raving fanatics, they hold the most power of the mortal Chaos followers, but also the greatest risk for failing their respective patron gods.

Chaos Lord

The most powerful individuals in the Traitor Legions, these are men hungry for power and immortality, lured by the promise of Daemonhood they wage war in the names of their dark gods, bringing slaughter and calamity to lesser mortals.

Costing around 6 to 7 points, he would be a dedicated melee unit with high enough true damage to destroy heavier vehicles thanks to his lightning claws. Slow movement, very tanky, and a teleport to close the gap, he would surprise any foe slow to react.

Forgefiends / Maulerfiends

Gigantic battle machines created by Warpsmiths or sorcerers by infusing summoned daemonic entities into bodies of metal. These bodies, through corruption, gain a form most suitable for the now bound daemons. These forms are almost never uniform, and each is different depending on the intention of their creators.

The super elite units would come in a cost of 9 point for the melee and 10 for ranged version, and on its own would be pretty straight forward. Powerful and slow ranged variant, while the melee one would be able to charge and latch onto enemy super walkers to hold them in place for a short amount of time, immobilizing each other.

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Unholy union of daemon and machine, huge battle machines,
incredibly agile despite their size, they bring destruction to the battlefields.


A Chaos faction would, at a quick glance, play like the Space Marines, but a bit weaker in the early game. They would, however, show their true colours in the mid and late game, for it is then that a Chaos player would be able to summon daemons and change their forces to suit their needs.

From the perspective of lore, Chaos Space Marines are a tragic faction. As Space Marines, they were designed to be the ultimate weapons of war, but even that did not manage to rid them of their humanity; for Chaos is humanity personified. Even Space Marines have emotions, dreams and hopes and it was those that were used against them as lure for betrayal. This does make them even more badass than other factions; for they have ventured into a place worse than hell, where embodiments of emotions and thoughts exist as terrifying beings, and they have come back stronger for it.

Want more? Check out the previous edition: Necrons - The Ancient Darkness.

Article written by Misiok, Edit by Jelly and Yukiko

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