In my previous post I discussed the history of Chaos Codexes and my experience with them from 3rd edition on. This post will focus on my thoughts of the new Chaos Codex and my reactions to the reactions of other people on the internet to this release.
First, I want to discuss the Appearance of the book.
This is the first 40k Codex to be released in full color and hard cover. I think it looks fantastic and there is a lot of new art work I have never seen before. There is some rehashed art work that has been around since 3rd edition. The art work of the Emperor versus Horus and the chaos ships entering the warp as a couple examples of this. However, these may be the only lingering old artwork.
I see a lot of brand new art work as well. And its mostly well done. I am a bit disappointed that there isn't any John Blanche stuff since I am a huge fan of his art work and he really captures the 41st millenium I feel.
With a few small complaints I've listed above I still feel that this book is the best looking codex that I've ever seen. I love the small bits of art scattered through out like the axe dripping blood suspended above the chaos star on page 64. I also like the borders, very chaosy and evocative.
On the whole I'd give Appearance a 9/10.
Next I want to talk about the Fluff (and I know GW hates that word).
I have read most of it. What I've read is actually pretty well-written and it does give a new reader just exactly what drives Chaos Space Marines. Like the last book there is a lot written about warbands and there are a couple of sections talking about this mentality. They also list a number of warbands and give some brief back ground info about them. Its a neat idea and i like the Renegade/Warband idea of a chaos army.
They also discuss the Traitor Legions and go into quite a bit of depth on the Horus Heresy. Which is a part of the background that I felt GW neglected during the whole of 5th edition. They tell the story of the Heresy and actually bring in a lot of elements and story that has been flushed out with the Black Library novels. The talk about Istvaan III and Garro and the Eisenstein.
There is a timeline section that details a number of different events since the Heresy and gives brief blurbs about battles I've never heard of before. I am sure these will be fleshed out in a number of upcoming Space Marines Battles novels from Black Library.
The Iron Warriors have a paragraph about what drives them. They mention Perturabo's orchestration of the Siege of Terra and the Iron Warriors love of big guns and in particular Vindicators.
I think they did a much better job in the Fluff of this book than the previous one and for that I give it a 8/10.
The Organization of the book is a bit frustrating to me.
I will get over it the more I use it I am sure but you have to flip from the army list section back to the wargear section then back to the other relevant section to find out what a specific Chaos Artefact or Reward does and then go back to the army list entry to see if you want to use it or not.
It harkens back the 3.5 Codex in that there is an armoury page that lists points costs for specific pieces of wargear and weapons. I do like that. Its one of those things that right now I am not familiar with the special pieces of wargear yet so it just takes a while to put together a list because of all the page flipping involved especially since a lot of the rules in the codex refer to new special rules in 6th ed that I am not yet familiar with.
Well I will give Organization a 4/10, they could have put stuff closer together in the book of they wanted.
Next up is the overall Chaos Space Marines Release that occured on October 6th.
This release was looked forward to by every single chaos player out there. We all have been dying for new rules for our beloved army for many many years (okay not as many as Dark Eldar). And there are alot of people on the lovely interwebz that are panning this release. They say they didn't release enough new models and that they should have redone Plague Marines or whatever. People also are saying the new daemon engines don't fit the look of the old models.
I say they released plenty of new stuff. I am fine with the quantity and I am also fine with the way the new models look. I was mostly interested in new rules anyways. The thing about the new rules and the new models is that you can take the new daemon engines and convert them how you see fit to make them fit the look you are going after. The rules themselves do not suggest a specific look for the daemon engines.
There will be more models released. I have heard this rumor and I feel pretty confident that this is not the only release of chaos models until the next codex. I have heard of new cultists and a new helbrute so you don't have to run out and buy Dark Vengeance to get those models. I also feel the upgrade resin kits for thousand sons and others are simply stop gaps until they release new models. No need to get worried here folks.
So my rating for the Release is a 7/10. It could have been more, but its sufficient.
Next up is the Rules themselves.
I think this rulebook is a nice compromise. It feels like a mix of the 3.5 and 4th ed book. On first glance it looks alot like the previous codex but once you start looking deeper you realise this codex can do things that the previous one never could.
Take a chaos lord with mark of Khorne and Berzerkers are troops. Take Typhus and Cultists become plague zombies. Take a chaos lord and give him so much wargear that he can kill almost anything in the game. The are some of the cool new possibilities with this codex.
I like that Dreadnoughts (Helbrutes) are usable again. Their fire frenzy has changed for the better. No more shooting my own guys because I rolled a dice and was unlucky.
Chaos Lords, Daemon Princes and Sorcerors can be killing machines or simply cheap dudes if you don't want to spend the points.
Chaos Space Marines are cheaper than before and they are also more customizable. They can be shooty or assaulty or a jack of all trades or you can spam 5 man squads in rhinos or take huge 20 man blobs.
Cultists are a new troop choice that are really cheap, not very tough, but nice and fluffy.
Chosen are very customisable as are terminators just like before.
There are actually viable fast attack choices now. Bikes and Raptors are cheap enough points-wise to be used now. The Heldrake is a decent flyer.
Chaos Predators have gone down by 20 points usually than the old codex. Its weird that they are still more expensive than the Space Marine version because they are EXACTLY the same otherwise.
Obliterators went down in points but they cannot fire the same gun two turns in a row. I am ok with that.
Havoc went down ALOT in points so they are similar in cost to Long Fangs. They also get Flakk Missiles. I am very happy about those two things.
Overall this codex is not the glorious return to the 3.5 edition codex but its light years better than the previous one. The Rules are well done. I am going to give them a 8/10.
I will have to give this new codex a score of 7/10.
I think its a vast improvement. It could have been more. But I think GW got this one mostly right. The are so many different builds that I have barely begun to scratch the surface of what this codex has to offer.
In the next post post I will wrap up my review with some army lists and some of my plans for new stuff I want to do with this codex.