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Chaos Master Guide Part 1

By Sovietpride - 13th May 2008 - 22:35 PM

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Tier 1 Analysis

And the more humane elements of chaos appeared from the warp, their constitutions still not yet corrupted to the point they need the direct effects of chaos to fuel them. And it is here that the Chaos lord told his followers: "Kill those who will not listen, maim those who oppose you, Burn all they hold dear to the ground! Only in doing so will we gain the attention of the Gods, and destabilise the barriers to allow the most terrifying of our brothers and Warriors of the Dark Gods to set foot in this place! For the glory of chaos!"

And so here, the fight begins. Where we begin the rituals to call forth the Warriors of the Dark gods. It is here, that the beginning of our plans form.


ah, the flying (chain)swords of chaos. Soaring through the heavens on wings of fire, they bring death and destruction in bloody melee from above.

The first signs of a good chaos player is a good understanding of his raptors, and has the ability to utilize them to their maximum effect. These are close combat specialists with the advantage of speed. They do not have two jumps, but this is a minor hindrance, as will be explained later.
hell it is, you would have thought that after thousands of years of war they could have at least bothered to improve their damn technology! *stares at tau*
Now, in quite a lot of Mu's, you will get raptors as soon as the rax is finished. Generally try to aim for the 1:05 marker if not sooner to get them out.
It takes experience to master a harass, but do the following, and you will take great leaps to accomplish this:
  • assign them to a group number, cntrl-1 will do. this will allow you to keep tabs on their movement/whereabouts.
  • learn your priorities when harassing.
  • your raptors are tough, but not that tough. They are also incredibly expensive to the early game chaos economy, and melt under heavy firepower. Use their jumps wisely.
  • your raptors beat all other tier-one close combat specialists 1v1 except ASM. do not shy away from fights that are in your favour. However, do not engage in a war of attrition.
  • decaps. - word of warning. you MUST keep an eye on this one. If you tell them to decap, they will simply try to decap, then go and attack the capping squad. attack the capping squad, and them keep ordering them to de-cap that point. (there is a command that makes sure they do this before anything else, but it doesn't seem to work for me)
  • cappers. squishy things. they are typically much slower then your raptors, and definitely cannot out-fight them. Remember, even with units like scouts, if they cap, they're dead. they just have to keep running.
  • other cappers. same thing? not really. the golden rule of thumb here is to do as much damage as possible after economic harassment, whilst taking as little damage in return. Therefore, if your chasing a capping squad, but see another cap in progress, switch targets. If theres another squad heading towards you, chase that one.
  • builders - stop them from building that LP. Remember, they only get that 50 req gift back when they complete it. Always get the builder currently constructing it if possible, but if under heavy fire, pull out.
  • Tier-1 ranged units. In fact, most ranged units cannot fight your raptors, but these guys especially. typically slower, squishier, and weaker in cc, they make prime prey.
  • generators. If you really are stuck looking for things, then bash their gen. Be wary though, they could be much better else where.
Tips, Tactics, and Tricks: (TTT)

the feint
Faced with stiff t1 opposition from units? Still got tasty cappers to murder? Happens to me a lot. The solution here is to retreat, probably luring them away from their prime spots (cover, etc). this becomes more devastating the more your timing is precise. Once they have followed you enough, jump right back over their heads, preferably over a peice of non-traversable terrain and do what you do best. Cause havoc, before making a swift exit.

If you're about to face a pitched ranged battle, or at least, your opponnent seems to have the advantage, send your ranged troops in and close with the enemy,
with cultists mingled with them
This requires nerves of steel to take that fire, but send your raptors and cultists in too early, and they'll be focus fired to death. Too late, and your ranged units are dead.
Therefore, my most basic solution to this is simply to keep your raptors with your main force. Keep them selected, and move all of the force towards the enemy. When your raptors can jump behind the enemy, then do so immediately.
It is more effective however, if your opponent doesn't see the raptors. remember, they are jump troops, and you can jump them in from a cliff, for example, for that extra shock factor.
Your enemy is then forced to run, or be gunned down by your now superior ranged firepower. Add Cl to the mix for a better effect.

fighting shadows, slaughter of sacrifices

You are now in a position where your raptors, a cult squad (and only a cult squad if you wish to repeat this maneuver) and possibly lord are now in CC with the enemy army, your CSM are jogging in pursuit, raining down bullets on your fleeing enemies. Now, remember the point where i said maximum damage dealt with minimum damage taken? Knowing when to pull out of a fight is a good skill to learn, but at a minimum i take that time to be from when the raptors jump in, to when they are able to jump out. If the resistance gets tough (Lp2, for example), then first, tell your lord to attach to a csm squad (if not already done so) and tell them to retreat. By the time your opponnent catches on, it is normally too late, as as soon as your csm are at safety, you jump your raptors out. they are left shooting their shadows.
Oh, and the cultists, but they're there so your raptors can get out with minimal damage. cheap as chips remember?

Try to keep your raptors alive to t2. If you do, build the armoury whilst teching (after at least two gens are now up) research the powersword followed by plasma pistol, whilst getting the champion.
If resources allow, get the speed fiends upgrade.
Have a nice squad size, say 6-8 members, but keep them alive. With Purge the weak upgrade, this unit now becomes a very real threat, with both fury and speed boost at their disposal, they can jump in to an opposing army where your berserkers would still be chasing them, activate both abilities and wreck absolute havoc.
They hinder the retreat of an enemy army, ranged units are slaughtered, and if we repeat the shadows technique, will be a constant thorn in your opponents side.

warning: Do not overspend on raptors. Yes, they are fun to play with (<3 planez) but they are also very expensive. cost for cost, other CC specialists, i.e, zerkers, are more cost effective. They are incredibly useful (remember combined arms?) but do not delay your plans too much for them.

chaos space marines

The basic infantry unit available to chaos. Durable, good speed, and good damage out of the box means a good deal. However, they are also not as cost-effective as other races like for like.
i'll say. Thousands of years of endless war and their blasted loyalist counter parts can shoot straighter. I mean, WHAT THE HELL?!?

  • things which make CSM shine include the fact that they are general combat units. They can hold in their own in CC (besting mandrakes 1v1 before researches), and their ranged damage can't be ignored (cough stealth suits cough)
  • Early plasma pistols on aspiring champions are very effective in any t1-2 firefight. ( three plasma pistols do more damage then three unupgraded big shootas ). I recommend having at least 2-3 squads before getting the armoury though, or you will find out you have too many eggs in too few baskets.
    Knowing when and where to use these are key. At the beginning of a fight, when your opponent is retreating, etc. That three second stun can be lethal when you have upgraded heavy bolters roaring, and against a similarly powerful ranged army, (plas sm, for example) the more damage you inflict before he can fire a single shot, then all the better.
  • I tend to recommend either get the one Csm squad, or go for three. Two csm squads with HB's aren't going to achieve very much against nobz for example, but three will.
    One csm squad with hb's on the other hand, lend excellent fire support, whilst the saved requisition can be spend on berserkers for example.
  • Furious charge is another tech that i see few players use, yet is the one with almost immediate effects. This research, as well as increasing their cc damage, gives them a 20% speed boost. Very handy for attacking and defending.
  • Infiltration is a hard technology. I tend to put this on the back burner, as possessed seem to be more cost effective, and MoK having more immediate effect. However, it makes them undeniably more potent, as woe betide any army without detectors.
  • plasma guns are better than heavy bolters overall, and require no setup time. However, doing so gives away the fact your in t3, and as such might alter the plans of your opponent.
The Chaos Lord

Bow to me, for i am the chosen of the Gods, and I am here to lead us to victory over these deluded fools. Kneel before my might, and cower at my skill. My strength is chaos, and my foes will die before me.

A sharp exception to what i said before, the chaos lord is pure evil. For his price, he is a powerhouse of destruction. He outfights all other t1 commanders and slaughters t1 units.

in most rax builds, you will want to get him asap. At full health, use him to supplement your forces. I.e, if you have Csm, use him on CC, if you have raptors, try to use him on ranged.

His strongest asset is his commander armour. he is incredibly durable, and can weather a lot of t1 firepower to get into cc, where he is devastating.

  • If on low health, attach him to the closest squad available, then at a later date attach him to a csm squad. you want him out of that bad situation as soon as possible, and most importantly you want him to live. Attaching him to cults and moving him away means the firepower he has to face is sharply reduced.
  • If fighting an Lp2, remember to move out of its range before attaching.
  • When fighting other commanders, it is sometimes a good idea to attach him to a squad of any kind, especially if your opponent is doing the same. However, the down side of this is your opponent gets his disruption attacks, which makes it easier for him to flee.
  • On that note, if you are trying to flee commanders because you are low on health, order him to attack the commander until the commander vs commander animation begins, then run. The poison slowing effect means he cannot pursue you.
  • On that note, no enemy commander without abilities can escape from you if they decide to flee. Chase them till they die. It is a matter of when. but do not pursue if he has heavy firepower waiting. I.e, a waagh banner farm
  • Attaching your CL to your upgraded csm squad serves a dual purpose. It means that he benefits from the target randomisation(and PtW if applicable) and is a less vulnerable target, but it also means that any cc squad trying to melee the squad he is in will weather casualties. It makes the squad he is in much less attractive a target.
  • Opponent making frequent usage of infiltrated targets? Don't forget about the tainted auspex. Doesn't cost much, but stays infiltrated and reveals infiltrators. Handy if mandrakes are operating in the area.
  • On that topic, the chaos lord is also good at intelligence. Drop an auspex down where the enemy can attack you, and you will gain additional time to set up a counter. Examples here include the middle ground in MoM, the centre and north in OR, and many more.
  • I definitely advise getting the commander 1 veteran upgrade. Doesn't take too long, gives him additional hp and boosts his cc stats. makes him very potent in combination with the sorcerer and zerkers in a large cc situation.
  • if resources allow, and if time is on your side, always try to get the symbol of chaos upgrade. +10% power to all units within range is NOT to be sniffed at.
  • Dp upgrade is almost always a must in t3. irrelevant of your Lord's Hp, the Dp will spawn with full health. More on this upgrade later.