Sunday, 18 November 2012

Chaos Marine Analysis - Fabius Bile

Sorry for the hiatus, I'm snowed under with work at the minute with 3 coursework deadlines next week and 3 more the week after. But here comes the next load of Chaos Analysis posts, hopefully I can get these done before December, the Christmas lights are already being turned on and there's an enormous, fully decorated Christmas tree in the shopping centre. Thank you consumerism.

Anyway, special characters. A lot is currently being said pretty much everywhere about Typhus and his friends. He is far and away the Special Character that I've encountered the most, on 5 occasions to be precise, the only other Special Character that I've seen being Ahriman on 1 occasion. So I'm going to go for something different today. Fabius Bile.

I quite like Fabius, he comes in at 100pts more than a stock Chaos Lord so he's not cheap, but then Special Characters never are, and he's also weighed down with all manner of wargear and special rules.

He does come with Champion of Chaos, so the boon table is open to him, he also comes with Veterans of the Long War as you'd expect which is also a nice touch. What is more useful is that he's Fearless, again this is something that I'll come onto in a second. He doesn't come with a Mark though, and he's also T4 with power armour and no eternal warrior. All of this makes him perfect for putting in a squad. You can confer fearless onto it, he can go into any squad due to his lack of a Mark and in return the squad will keep him from getting punked by missiles every time you put him down on the board.

So what can you do with the squad. Well for a start, Fabius can improve a squad, making them Fearless and giving them a strength boost. I originally thought that this would be nice on the squad that Fabius is with, but I did think that alternatively it could be useful elsewhere. Having Fabius in there makes them Fearless anyway which is kind of a waste. But that Strength bonus is big. However, this can only be used on squads of Chaos Space Marines, so I probably wouldn't bother giving it to another squad. You're either going to be wasting the Fearless or the Strength boost, as even Khorne marines aren't that great charging up by themselves.

Fabius himself is quite beasty in combat though. He has a large number of attacks, is WS5 and is 1 higher strength than usual. He also gets feel no pain which is nice until a Power Fist hits him. Another reason why you want him in a squad, so he can't be challenged out an punched until the Aspiring Champion is gone. He also inflicts instant death, which is nice. However. He doesn't come with any kind of power weapon, which is a huge blow, so he's not great in a challenge. He's probably best for taking out hordes.

He also gets a short ranged poisoned weapon, which wounds easily but everyone bar Orks get their save against it. There are also a respectable number of shots in there.

So, how best to use Fabius. I see 2 options. The first is to put him in a squad of 9 Chaos Space Marines with Mark of Khorne and dual close combat weapons, then buff them with Fabius. Slap them in a Land Raider and smash them across the board. They have enough attacks to be a problem but I think that this is really too many points for what it does.

The second option is to put him in a squad of 20 Chaos Marines, buff them, give them Mark of Khorne and dual close combat weapons and run them across the board. This would take some chewing through and may attract some attention away from Havocs and Obliterators, but again, is this too expensive? All I can say for certain, do not make Fabius your Warlord.

So in all, what do I think of Fabius? I don't think he's terrible at all. But I really think that he's lacking that power weapon, just any anti-save capability whatsoever would make him so much better. As it stands it's so easy to let him challenge you and then when he doesn't kill you hit him with a Thunder Hammer. He has a good statline for combat and FNP is nice but without the ability to cancel out armour saves he just isn't quite worth his points as a beatstick. His force multiplication powers, although nice, are too restrictive and don't make up his points on improving 1 basic troops choice.

I like all of his gimmicks and cool wargear. But honestly, he's overcosted.


  1. From just looking at him but not using him yet, I don't think he's overcosted for what you get. In the old book the upgrade was like 3pts a model, and could cause problems too - now it's reliable, and free - so essentially if you upgrade a 20-man squad, you're getting what would probably be a 60pt upgrade as part of Bile's cost, cutting his "real" cost down significantly. With his instant death, I think he could do OK in some challenges, though there are situations he would be in trouble.

    If he had an invuln save and the ability like other medics in the game to confer FNP on his squad, he would be awesome, though probably a good deal more expensive.

    I wouldn't run him with the upgraded squad - stick him in ANOTHER CSM squad to confer Fearless to them too.

    1. Good point, hadn't thought of running up both squads of standard marines.

      Yes he's better than he was in the old book but I'm still not sure about him. You mention the 60pt from his cost but is the rest of him really worth just over 100pts?

      I agree with him being better at some challenges, such as against an Ork Warboss, but against anything in Power Armour I think that he could be in trouble.

      I may grow to like him in the future, but just from looking at him I'm not a fan. I can understand the appeal though.

      Thanks for the suggestions.