Today comes the conclusion of the Chaos Marine Analysis segment, and about time too really, this concluding over 2 months after the release of the book. However, if you have enjoyed this segment, never fear, for it will be back in January with Dark Angels. I also hope to be releasing a PDF of all of the articles that I've done on this subject with additional visuals aids and pictures to try and break up the enormous wodge of text that has gone up here, so stay tuned for that. In the mean time, here comes the final unit on the agenda. Possessed.
Compared to a base marine, they have quite a bit going for them statline wise. +1 attack, leadership and strength are all very useful in close combat. They also come with a 5+ invulnerable save, fearless and fear (whoo!).
In essence, this is a close combat unit that is designed to mash marines. A be squad. 15 attacks on the charge, 7.5 hit, 5 wound, 1.67 dead marines. Not fantastic, but then take a look at the Vessels of Chaos special rule, whereby you re-roll to wound, count as AP 3 or get +1 attack and initiative.
So, the first possibility. 7.5 hits, 5 wound, 6.67 wound. 2.2 dead marines. Maybe the next one will be a little better. 7.5 hits, 5 wounds, 5 dead marines. Now that's a bit more like it. Now the last one. 10 hits, 6.67 wounds, 2.2 dead marines, the same as the first. Ah.
So essentially, you have a 33% chance of doing a decent amount of damage to marines in combat. They aren't great against much else either, against hordes they churn out too few hits for their points for the opponent to care and they don't have the AP to deal with Terminators.
Granted, you can take them in a squad of 20 but that's one enormous points sink that you've got there, coming in at over 500pts before marks and icons.
Plus, they have to make it into combat, they're fearless marines with a 5+ invulnerable. Granted the invulnerable is nice when I'm throwing missiles at them all day look but I have enough shots to bring them down, especially when considering that a possessed Marne costs more than a long fang with a missile launcher.
So you can stick them in a Land Raider, but why would you waste over 200pts on transportation when a squad of 10 won't do too much damage considering how much it cost when it hits, bearing in mind that the champion (yes, there's a possessed champion) will be in a challenge. Maybe they could jump out and take 2 assault phases to bring down their prey, but even if they get a second squad they're still unlikely to make their points back including the raider.
Marks. I'd say that the marks of Tzeentch and Nurgle are the best here. If you're running them in a Land Raider yes you could go for Mark of Khorne but then you're more likely to win the combat in a single assault have and get shot up in the next turn.
Tzeentch provides the improved invulnerable save but with the increased effectiveness of rapid fire in this edition I'd go Nurgle, allowing you to shrug off more 'small arms' fire, and yet some of the heavier stuff will be soaked up by the invuln. The Nurgle mark is also slightly cheaper per model.
The problem then comes with if you want to walk them across the field, meaning that you'll have to increase their unit size to survive, meaning that you're pumping more points into the squad and it is also attracting more attention, meaning that it will eat more shooting so you'll further need to increase the squad size.
All in all, I think that Possessed will struggle to see combat, I played against them on Friday and although the did make it that was when a Lone Wolf charged them and made his points back pretty quickly.
So, I think that this is another unit that I am tempted to get, as it fits in with my Word Bearers and it looks like a lot of fun. But f I was building a competitive army here, I would steer clear if I'm being perfectly honest, more points for your Fast Attack.
And there we have it, this segment is done. So I'll quickly sum up.
The Fast Attack slot is clearly the most competitive in the Codex, with Bikers, Heldrakes and Spawn very legitimate choices. That said, I think that you will really struggle to do well in this edition without some firepower, and although your Heldrakes can help to neuter your opponent's equivalent, you really need to look to the Heavy Support slots. Obliterations and Havocs are your friend.
I don't think that the Codex will be mono-build, and although Typhus is far and away the best special character in the book, I still think that it's possible to build a good list without him.
All in all, the book is generally well costed. I may be coming back to this in the near future to see how my opinion has changed, along with list ideas and the suchlike, but in the next few weeks I would mainly like to concentrate on some other stand-alone ideas that I have rattling around in my head.