Tactics for a 7th Edition Chaos Assault Army
Tapping that Chaos Sweet Spot
IMHO this seems to be how it is for the current 40K meta: there is a plethora of shooting armies that shoot very well and then there is the rest. How do the rest compete? Well they have to aim for that special sweet spot where their army does very well. For Chaos that sweet spot use to be the Flying Circus and ScreamerStar. And I was well into the beginning stages of putting together my Flying Circus tournament list when low and behold 7th broke and turned my Chaos sweet spot upside down. ( <-- did that sound dirty? Eh, probably just me.)
It was a real shame too, I was enjoying playing the Flying Circus; all the flying and swooping; all the psychic powers; all the very fast models; all the assaulting monstrous creatures and it played fast too. I was having a ball until 7th took that proverbial ball away and poked big angry holes into it. Oh well! Looking on the bright side of the situation one thing can be said about 40K - it is always evolving. It might be a slow evolution at times but it constantly changes and that is a good thing.
My personal feeling.
After about a month of reevaluating Chaos I tossed out the Flying Circus and came to a personal conclusion: The only thing Chaos (especially Chaos Marines) still has going for it in 7th is either a Nurgle list or an all in rush assault. That's it. Neither Chaos army can shoot very well unless you want to argue a daemon Tzeentch list. And I'm not even so sure about the Nurgle list being able to hang against prolific shooting but I do feel much more confident about the rush assault being competitive.
So what do you mean 'rush assault'.
Here are three rules that I believe a successful assault oriented army has to abide by:
1. Be all in.
Pretty much what it says. Forget psychic phase, forget the shooting phase --> live for the assault phase. Basically you are focusing your army all on one phase to increase your potency in that one area. You either sink or you swim so do your best to make sure you swim. Now I'm not saying to completely avoid having psykers or support fire in your army I'm just saying those should be a side dressing at best. Just remember whatever you do you want to hit 'em hard and hit 'em often.
2. Fast, fast and faster.
This is a no brainer really. You want the majority of your army in the enemy's grill turn two, turn three at the latest. Wait any longer and you probably have been shot off the table by then. Your army must live in the Fast Attack section of your codex and I'm not talking about flyers. Then branch out and grab all those fast assault units not found in your Fast Attack section. Chaos players you know what your good fast units are already, for everyone else here is a quick list: chaos spawn, chaos bikers, raptors, maulerfiends, flesh hounds, screamers, daemon princes (winged), daemonettes.
So to elaborate on the mantra from Rule 1; hit 'em hard, hit'em often and hit 'em fast.
3. Have a knockout punch and don't hold back.
To deal with the enemy lynchpin/deathstar/super HQ you must have an answer. You are playing to be all in remember? If you don't have a unit powerful enough to defeat their most powerful unit then you have already lost the battle. At the very least you must be able to weaken, stall or tarpit the enemy super units while the rest of your army murders the rest of the bums.
The knockout unit must be fast so that it can keep up with the rest of the army. Don't let your best unit be left out in the open to be shot off the board - ram them into the enemy immediately. Not only will this put pressure on the your opponent but with so many dangerous units charging them in a hurry your big scary unit has a better chance to make it into the assault. That's what the smart peeps call target saturation. That's what I call bum rush tha' lot and murder 'em all!
The likely prospects for your knockout punch? Take a gander at some of these fast and mean guys: Chaos Lord on Juggernaut/Bike, Chaos Lord in Land Raider, Daemon Prince, Bal'akor, Blood Thirster, Thypus or Abaddon in Raider, Skulltaker on Juggernaut, Karanak with flesh hound pack. Can you tell I like Khorne? Heh.
To elaborate even further on our mantra; hit 'em hard, hit 'em often, hit 'em fast and hit 'em in the jimmy!
Let's build a tournament list.
Alright, I found a sweet spot that I like and it sounds like a hell of a lot of fun to play with. And after many revisions I have come up with a new army that I'm happy with. Win or lose I know that it is the type of army that I enjoy playing. It is fast playing, all in for assault, steals candy from babies and hits like a bowling ball to the solar plexus.
To be continued.
Coming Soon: Part II
The Angry Red Tide.
Found the Sweet Spot!