I've decided that I really need to get moving with the Chaos breakdowns. Out of the 37 units in the Codex I've done 13 of them. At this rate I'll be done by the time Dark Angels drops.
So I'd better get on with it then. Obliterators have taken a bit of a hit through the Codex transition. The most notable downgrades are twofold. The first is that they're no longer Fearless, which is irritating, as they're only Ld8 base, and losing a model will always mean taking a leadership check, unless there's only 1 guy in the squad.
The second hit being that now you can't use the same weapon on your Obliterators twice in a row, so no hurling Plasma Cannon blast after Plasma Cannon blast down the table.
However, there have been a couple of plus points too. Obliterators are now 5pts cheaper than they used to be, but that's going to go straight out the window as the part of the post where I talk about the upgrades is going to be something other than just saying 'no'.
Obliterators can take Marks now. Starting with Mark of Khorne, it's pretty expensive, 1pt less than melta bombs on an Aspiring Champion. I don't really see you using this. If you're looking for a close combat unit then there are better options out there than Obliterators. Sure, they're 2 wound models with 2 attacks base and a Power Fist, but the best thing to kill an Obliterator with is another Power Fist in combat, cancelling out their main save and doubling them out. This one is a no.
Mark of Tzeentch is twice as expensive as Mark of Khorne, but it's actually useful. Giving your Obliterators a 4++ (invulnerable) save. I think that this is a good upgrade, but I just think that it's a bit more than I'd want to spend on a 4+ save when I already have a 5++ and a 2+ armour which isn't cancelled out too often. No, but better than Khorne.
Half way between Khorne and Tzeentch in points is Nurgle. What it does is gives you a +1 to your toughness, and I think that this is 'the money mark'. The simple reason for this is that you are really reducing your chances to get doubled out. Most of the AP1 and 2 weapons around will generally double out T4 models, but not T5, like Melta weapons, Lascannons, etc. The only weapon that I can think of that I see reasonably often that is also S10 and AP2 or better is the demolisher cannon, which isn't particularly long ranged, giving you a chance to bring the offending vehicle down before it gets in range. So, this Mark is definitely worth its points, and definitely better than the previous ones.
There's a reason why the Mark of Slaanesh is so much cheaper on Obliterators, it's terrible. It's ¼ of the cost of the Mark of Khorne, and considering that your Obliterators all have Power Fists, isn't very useful. The only benefit that I can think to it is that it makes it easier to pass initiative tests such as ones caused by Jaws of the World Wolf. Even if you're playing against Wolves, Nurgle is still better, as it gives you some insurance for when you fail saves against all of those S8 weapons.
The final upgrade is also a very important one. Veterans of the Long War. It's cheaper than Mark of Khorne, and although that Hatred Marines is nice, you really take it for that +1 to your Leadership, the last thing you want is a 200pt squad running off the board because it's only Ld8.
Overall, I still think that Obliterators are still a good unit, whether they still hold the top slot in the Heavy Support options is yet to be seen, but I reckon that they'll be up there.
I'm done for tonight, it's 1:00am. I'll be back again tomorrow / today.