Warhammer Armies: Renegade Chapters Tactics


   Welcome to Warhammer Armies! Today, we’re going to be breaking down everything you could want to know about Renegade Chapters. This article is a supplement to the Chaos Space Marine Warhammer Armies article, intended to help you play Renegade Chapters specifically alongside the information contained in Warhammer Armies-Chaos Space Marines. We’re going to go over everything specific to Renegade Chapters, any specific units you might want to consider, a breakdown of how Renegade Chapters adjusts the general Chaos Space Marine gameplan, and close out with a sample 2000 point list for Renegade Chapter. With this information at hand, you should feel very comfortable using Renegade Chapters at all your local events, both casually and competitively, and even be capable of performing well at a large scale event.


Kicking us off is the Renegade Chapters (RC here after) trait, “Dark Raiders”, which simply allows you to advance and still charge. This is a straightforward but effective trait that generally boosts the mobility of many units in the codex, and helps increase the playability of certain units that otherwise suffer from mobility issues.

Unfortunately, this is simply where the dollar stops for RC. They have no warlord trait, no stratagem, and no relic. In addition, they’re explicitly forbidden from using Veterans Of The Long War. These losses are completely debilitating to RC, and they need to be built around and planned for to make RC function since they compete with both World Eaters and Night Lords, both of which are in significantly better positions.


RC can generally use anything that we recommend in “Warhammer Armies-Chaos Space Marines”, but many units available to them simply are not as effective because of the loss of Veterans Of The Long War. This means that RC have to look for other ways to boost their damage output. Because of this need, and the fact that RC tend to be all in as a melee army, they gain a few new recommended units.
HQ’S: Dark Apostles, Exalted Champions, Huron Blackheart
Dark Apostles: Apostles are the CSM equivalent of Chaplains. They come equipped with a Power Maul and a 4+ invulnerable save, and they broadcast two auras. Their first allows nearby units to re-roll all missed hits, but only in close combat. Their second allows them to broadcast an improved leadership aura, which may occasionally be useful.
However, they suffer from a lack of mobility, and a lack of weapon options. In addition, their only role is to improve the quality of melee combat, which means they’re really only worth taking in a list that is dedicated to close combat. When you wrap this all together, Apostles have a home in a dedicated melee army, where their benefits outweigh their downsides and they’ll have a Rhino to transport them to compensate for their poor mobility. You could give him The Black Mace for extra punch, but this usually isn’t necessary.
Exalted Champions:  Champions provide a powerful and highly desirable melee buff to all LEGION units within 6”. Their buff allows you to Re-roll all failed to wound rolls. As a general rule of thumb, Chaos Space Marines are far more accurate than they are deadly, especially given Prescience exists. Normally, they use Veterans Of The Long War to overcome this.  However, RC can’t use Veterans Of The Long War, which makes an Exalted Champion basically an auto take.
Champions have an extremely flexible set of equipment options, as they effectively mirror a Chaos Lord. However, they lack an Invulnerable Save, so fighting anything that’s actually good in close combat will quickly spell the end of your Exalted Champion. This is a tad confusing when you consider that Champions also have the ability to re-roll all missed hits when attacking an enemy CHARACTER. Despite these weaknesses, an Exalted Champion is a powerful addition to any dedicated melee army, and a must have for a RC army.

Huron Blackheart: Huron is technically a special character for The Red Corsairs, not RC in general. However, since The Red Corsairs are a RC, he fits in most naturally here. Huron clocks in at a somewhat pricy 125 points, which is steep for a Chaos Lord equivalent that’s on foot. However, he has a slew of benefits over a regular Chaos Lord which easily justifies that price.
For starters, Huron actually comes with a second model, called The Hamadra. The Hamadra has two uses. First, he allows Huron to manifest a second psychic power, which means he can manifest a power and cast Smite (more on that later). In addition, The Hamadra is actually its own model, complete with stat line. This means that Huron effectively has the world’s best bodyguard. If Huron gets wounded by a seriously threatening weapon, you can toss that attack onto the Hamadra. The Hamadra only has 1 wound, and has no invulnerable save, so it will almost certainly die from being assigned that attack. However, it does mean that Huron can soak something like a Shieldbreaker Missile or a Thunder Hammer swing without taking damage.
As stated, Huron is also actually a miniature Psyker. He knows one power, and he can cast and deny one power. With the Hamadra alive, that means he can cast one power and Smite, which is already a lot of utility on top of him being a regular Chaos Lord, complete with a buff that enables friendly RED CORSAIR units within 6” to re-roll hit rolls of 1. We can push this utility even higher with the use of the Chaos Familiar stratagem. For the low price of 1 CP, we can remove Smite and pick a second power from the Chaos Space Marine psychic power list. With the Hamadra active, this means that Huron effectively knows 2 powers, casts 2, and denies one, which is the same as a regular Sorcerer. The only difference is that you don’t have access to Smite at this point, but you should have better things to use your powers on in Chaos Space Marines.
As if all this utility wasn’t enough, he’s also very threatening in close combat. He has a bonus attack over a regular Chaos Lord, and he comes equipped with the Tyrant’s Claw, basically a Power Fist and a Heavy Flamer in one along with a Power Axe. This equipment loadout along with the fact that the Hamadra can eat a single attack for Huron makes Huron actually far more flexible of a combatant than most Chaos Lord configurations. Against hordes, the bonus attack and Heavy Flamer mean that Huron has a respectable amount of attacks to thin their numbers. Against elite units, he still has a Power Fist, the main heavy hitting weapon option for CSM, and he can survive an extra heavy hit. If Huron has to stare down an enemy that does a flat 3 damage, or even D6 damage, the ability to throw away a single attack is super powerful.
As icing on this proverbial cake goes, if Huron is your Warlord he also gives you a single bonus CP. Although RC don’t have quite the same intense hunger that the other Legion’s do, they still have access to a variety of helpful stratagems, so the extra CP is welcome. At nothing else, it’s an extra Command Roll.
Huron really only has three weaknesses, and two are fairly minor. His main weakness is his poor mobility. He’s stuck on foot, with no ability to teleport or take a jump pack or bike. In addition, Huron has a rather poor warlord trait and no MARK. He’s forced to take the Eternal Vendetta warlord trait, which will be blank most games, although the games that it’s live Huron will transform into a one man wrecking crew. In addition, the lack of a MARK makes him ineligible to receive certain psychic powers or use a handful of stratagems.  Despite these weaknesses, Huron is still an incredibly strong character in the right hands, and in general he’s the main payoff for playing RC. If you’re playing a RC of your own choosing, consider making a “counts as model” that uses Huron’s rules, as he’s easily the best payoff for playing RC.


RC don’t receive a lot of the same perks that most of the other Legions do. They don’t have access to Veterans Of The Long War, nor do they get their own relic, warlord trait, or stratagem. What they do get, however, is a powerful trait and a powerful special character. In order to achieve success with RC, you’ll have to leverage your advantages as much as possible to make up for your weaknesses. With these facts in mind, let’s take a look at a sample 2K list for RC, and the tactics at work for them.
RC Battllion
HQ’s- 259
Demon Prince With Wings, Malefic Talons, Warp Bolter,  Mark of Slaanesh, Delightful Agonies, Intoxicating Elixir, Warlord-183
Dark Apostle with Power Maul and Bolt Pistol- 76
Troops- 120
10 Cultists – 40
10 Cultists- 40
10 Cultists- 40
RC Battallion
Sorcerer with Jump Pack, Bolt Pistol, Force Sword, Mark of Tzeentch, Prescience, Warptime-120
Exalted Champion with Chainsword, Power Sword- 74
10 Cultists- 40
10 Cultists- 40
10 Cultists- 40
7 Berzerkers, 6 with Chainsword/Chainaxe, Champion has Chainsword/Power Fist, Icon of Wrath-140
8 Berzerkers, 7 with Chainsword/Chainaxe, Champion has Chainsword/Power Fist, Icon of Wrath-157
Fast Attack-191
6 Chaos Bikers with Chainswords, Two Bikers have Plasmaguns, Champion has Chainsword/Combi Plasma, Mark of Slaanesh- 191
Heavy Support-304
Maulerfiend with Lasher Tendrils, Mark of Slaanesh- 152
Maulerfiend with Lasher Tendrils, Mark of Slaanesh- 152
Heldrake with Baleflamer, Mark of Slaanesh- 185
Heldrake with Baleflamer, Mark of Slaanesh-185
Dedicated Transports-144
Rhino with Combi Bolter 72
Rhino with Combi Bolter 72
1620+379= 1999
Our list clocks in at just under 1999, and it’s fairly straightforward. We have 240 points in cultists to just walk around for controlling objectives and board space, and 1759 points that are aimed to rush our opponent down. However, there are lots of little synergies, and the army has a rather particular turn 1 gameplan.

Our Heldrakes and Bikes move up the board. At first glance, you would assume we advance the Bikes to take advantage of Turboboost, but in general you actually don’t want to do this. The bikes should be looking to receive Warptime, Prescience, and Delightful Agonies from your Psykers. This way they can move 28” in total, while still being able to shoot all of their weapons. You don’t have access to Veterans Of The Long War, but 6 Bikes in rapidfire range spit out 48 bolter rounds with Endless Cacophony, and you also get 12 Plasmagun shots which is solid as well.
From there, our Heldrakes and Bikes charge and dig into the enemy army. Your objective here is to tie up as many units as possible to minimize their movement options and firepower, not to cause as much as damage as possible. Ideally, you will also find a way to pin an enemy unit with your Bikes to help keep them safe. While you set up to engage the enemy army Turn 1, the two Rhino’s with the Berzerkers, Dark Apostle, and Exalted Champion should run up the board. Prioritize getting closer over cover, as you should be able to stun the enemy army with your Bikes and Heldrakes enough that your Rhinos are relatively safe.
Turn two, everything should be in melee range , at which point you make short work of the enemy. Maulerfiends and Berzerkers that get to re-roll all missed hits and wounds will put out an insane amount of damage. You can push this higher by using the Chaos Familiar stratagem on your Tzeentch Sorcerer to swap out Smite for Diabolic Strength, and then you can cast Diabolic Strength on a Maulerfiend along with your other powers by using The Great Sorcerer. Meanwhile, your cultists move across the board and take objectives.  If your opponent has a really troublesome character, spend 1CP to give your Exalted Champion the Murder Sword so he can easily and quickly dispatch the target. Anything with 4 wounds or less is all but guaranteed to die.
Overall, it’s a very straight forward gameplan compared to many of the other Legions, but it’s a gameplan that plays to the strengths of the RC trait. If you wish to play with Red Corsairs, you’ll have to reshuffle your entire character line up around based on your specific list. In general, 1 Demon Prince, 1 Exalted Champion, Huron, and a swing spot would make for a good lineup.
In closing, Renegade Chapters can be built to be a strong close combat army, as long as careful consideration is given for constructing the army. As long as you play to your strengths, you should find plenty of success on the table.

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