Welcome to Top Warhammer 40K Lists, where we take a look at three lists for a given faction and break down what makes them tick and how they fared. Every entry will be pulled from a recent GT, and we’ll be going over everything from who played the army to how likely the army in question is likely to continue to perform as the game evolves.
Today, we’re looking at Chaos in all it’s warp fueled glory. Chaos has been getting a lot of love recently, and it’s also performing at top tables. We’re going to have a mix of Chaos armies today, so let’s get started!
First up we have Matthew Allee who took 1st Place at The Alamo GT. Matthew was actually playing pure Thousand Sons, which is surprising since Chaos armies tend to dip into multiple codex’s.
Matthew’s list is actually pretty straight forward. He has 3 Battalions so he has 18 Command Points to play with. This means he can use Veterans of The Long War, Cycle of Slaughter, and any other Stratagems he needs to gratuitously. He also has a whopping 13 Psychic Powers a turn, many of which are spent on Smite. You can easily do 20 Mortal Wounds a turn with this list if you sacrifice casting a couple of your supportive powers, which is insane!
Backing all these characters up are 35 Rubrics. Each unit of Rubrics can fire 8 S4 AP-2 Damage 1 shots at 24” thanks to Bolter Discipline. In cover, they have a whopping 1+ save and 4+ Invulnerable Save. They still die on rolls of a 1, but it means they take a 2+ against AP-1, 3+ against AP-2, etc. This makes them fairly hard to remove without over-committing unless you shoot weapons that have a Damage Characteristic higher than 1. That pulls them down to a 2+/5++ since you’re negating All Is Dust, which makes them a bit more reasonable to kill.
Finally, we have some melee threat in the 2 Demon Princes and two units of Tzaangors. The Tzeentch DP’s are just all stars for Chaos as they have an extra power known and cast along with an improved invulnerable save while still costing the same as a normal DP. You can throw one unit of Tzaangors across the table with the Dark Matter Crystal, effectively deep striking them in for free. The second you can deep strike for 1 CP with Webway Infiltration, and this gives you some nasty melee threats while you grind your opponent out with a bunch of AP-2 Bolter fire and Mortal Wounds. Matthew took a simple list, but a highly effective one with a lot of teeth.
Next up we have Justin Curtis, who was playing Death Guard with a sprinkle of Thousand Sons. He took 1st place at The Circle City GT. Let’s check it out!
We can glaze over his Thousand Sons since he’s doing a lot of what Matthew was doing. He has some Psychic support from Ahriman and the other Sorcerer and 3 units of Tzaangors for melee threats. He can deep strike all 3 if necessary thanks to the Dark Matter Crystal and Webway Infiltration, but realistically that’s a call you make game by game for how many to Deep Strike.
Next, he has Mortarion. Mortarion is a lawnmower of a Primarch. He makes 6 attacks at a devastating Strength 16, AP-4, Damage D6, or he can make 18 Strength 8 AP-2 Damage 1 attacks. Against Imperium targets, Morty shoots to insane values since every 6 (5+ with Prescience) to hit with those 18 attacks can get cashed in for 3 more small swings or 1 big swing thanks to how his Scythe’s profiles are worded. Aside from being a lawnmower made out of brick, Morty also supports the army by lowering the enemy’s Toughness by 1. Finally, Morty showers the enemy army in Mortal Wounds thanks to Host of Plagues.
Buff Morty up with a couple Psychic Powers and Warptime him across the table, and he’ll get dug in on Turn 1 and stay there until he dies.
Where this army gets interesting is in the Vanguard Detachment. He has some Poxwalkers for objective play, some Death Shrouds to keep Morty alive on turn one and counter charge past that, and 2 Contemptors with C Beam Cannons. C Beam Cannons are anti-tank weapons that get stronger the further the target is, and with a 72” range you can sit in a corner and pretty much always be in range. Where these weapons get interesting is that if they kill a model, the unit left behind takes 2D6 Strength 6 AP0 Damage 1 hits.
This means that you can shred Infantry Squads too if need be, making the two Contemptors a highly flexible unit at a cheap price.
Rounding out the firepower in this list is a single Scorpious. A Scorpious makes 3D3 Strength 6 AP-2 Damage 2 shots, and it doesn’t need line of sight to its target. Plus, if it holds still it can shoot twice for free! When you tie this all together, you have a list with some really strong melee elements that can get dug in very quickly while also bringing some serious firepower. Combined with a competent general and it’s clear why this list got 1st place.
Finally, we have Asa Carlson who took 9th at the Spring Conflagration 40K GT. Asa took a summoning based list out of Slaanesh Demons.
This is a rather interesting list, as it’s trying to summon in the threats it needs based on the game. He has a DP with a Sword for Soulstealer, a super charged Hellforged Sword that heals the Demon Prince when it kills things, a Herald on Steed for mobility, and a Masque of Slaanesh. The Masque improves the accuracy of your units in melee and makes your units harder to hit in melee at the same time, so she’s a natural fit.
Beyond that, there’s a few standard 10 man units of Daemonettes and two units of Fiends. Fiends move quickly, can take a punch and give it back thanks to their 4 Wounds and 4 attacks each, and as an added perk they stop the enemy from falling back unless they Fly. He also has a giant unit of 20 Seekers complete with an Icon and an Instrument. These things move 14”, can advance and charge thanks to the Slaanesh Locus, and they get to re-roll failed charges. Tie this together and you have a pretty solid chance of making a Turn 1 charge.
Asa also took a Supreme Command with 3 Infernal Rapturess’s. The Rapturess are primarily here because they add 3 to their summoning roll, which in turn makes it very likely you’ll succeed on summoning almost anything. Since Asa’s list clocks in at 1324, they have 676 points to spend on summoning. The Rapturess’s make this a fairly consistent strategy, and with multiple units being summoned in a turn it’s likely at least one will make a charge to keep the pressure on.
That wraps us up for today! Chaos lists can take all kinds of forms at the competitive level, which in turn makes them a very flexible faction to play.
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As always a big thanks to Games Workshop for the images used in our article!