My Tactics pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor a seal pup. I will endeavor to speak from my experience and always be honest about what is theory and what is play tested. Never will I assume to know better than anyone else... unless I must call out ego or pretension.
Please take the time to read this article before continuing.
--Chaos Space Marines Unit Review--
The other big change is additional icons/marks available to the unit. This allows you to kit out your Chaos Space Marine squads to fit most competitive or fluffy needs. Keeping an eye on rising unit cost makes all the difference when constructing the perfect Chaos Space Marine unit.
--Chaos Space Marine Unit Mark Impressions-- (Hover over slide titles for additional info)
--Chaos Space Marine Unit Icon Impressions-- (Hover over slide titles for additional info)
Regardless of all the options afforded Chaos Space Marine units; going bare bones is an alluring option for many "competitive"players. Consider this, a 10-man Chaos Space Marine Unit with two Meltaguns and Rhino is 175 points: 15 points cheaper than an equivalent vanilla Space Marine unit, and 5 points less than a Wolf Standard Grey Hunter unit. The loyalists will have And they shall know no Fear and Grey Hunters a Close Combat Weapon and Counter-Attack.
The frustration many players will have with Chaos Space Marines units will come from losing combat. It is paramount to use Icons and Marks to your advantage and not be lulled into the cheap option, besides that is what Cultists are for.
One of the ways that separates Chaos Space Marines from the false Emperors champions is the ability to run in large units. Bare Bones 20-man is only 270 and adding an Icon of Vengeance is a no-brainer.
Then there is the Veterans of the Long War Models gain +1 Ld and Hatred (Space Marines), a very situational upgrade.
I am a bit torn on the Veterans of the Long War upgrade. Part of me tells me it's not worth it and then the other part of me says, I see a lot of Space Marines and +1 Leadership is can make a difference.
Chaos Space Marine units for the most part trying to avoid assault, so why would I want to spend the points on a unit that plans on shooting and nothing else? I think the Long War upgrade does have a place just not for this unit.
--Ways to Play Chaos Space Marines--
Remember the building units should always be done in consort with an over arching theme to your list, because units are only as good as the rest of your army.
Death Star Configuration: 300 pts 15-man Chaos Space Marine unit with 2 Meltaguns , Powerfist, Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, additional Close Combat Weapon instead of the Bolter. Run with a corresponding Chaos Lord for Fearless or take Fabius Bile for Strength 6 on the charge.
MSU Configuration: 127 pts 5-man Chaos Space Marine unit with Flamer, Rhino w/ Havoc Launcher. Sit back for scoring and poor mans Razorback. Flamer for non MEQ infiltrators and good Overwatch utility.
Balanced Configuration: 245 pts 10-man Chaos Space Marine unit with 2 Plasma Guns, Power Weapon, Combi-plasma, Mark of Slaanesh, Icon of Excess. Use this unit for midfield defense, it can easily out class any equivalent Space Marine unit. Consider a Rhino or additional Close Combat Weapon depending on role.
Horde Configuration: 345 pts 20-man Chaos Space Marine unit with 2 Flamers, Combi-Flamer, Mark of Nurgle, Icon of Vengeance. At a "reasonable" 345 this unit can hold objectives and take up a lot of real estate against Flyers. Flamers are for Overwatch and overwhelming other Horde units.
There is many more ways to build your Chaos Space Marine units, but as you can see the 13 pt starting cost per model is an illusion to say the least. Always keep this perspective, a 10-man Grey Hunter unit with Powerfist, 2 Meltaguns, Wolf Standard, and Rhino is only 225 pts.
Well that will do it for Chaos Space Marines, next up will be Cultists and there reintroduction to the ranks of the Chaos Space Marine codex.