Chaos HQ Configurations

Hey everyone, I was curious as to what you all were finding to be the best HQ configurations in your games and talk abut some of my favorites.

So, Chaos is growing on us a bit. I am still really disappointed that regular CSMs are so bad (at least they still appear that way to me at this point in time) but the HQs are pretty awesome.

You guys have seen that I really like the Daemon Princes, but they are pretty dang fragile as a lot of you have pointed out. Whitedragon also noted that for about the same price, you can get a Blood Thirster who has better stats. However, a kitted out DP with a Daemon Weapon, while unpredictable, is pretty damn fun! I think in a true competitive build though, you need to go with the more predictable choice as that 1 crucial combat where the DP pokes himself in the eye instead of whipping ass can cost you the game.

The Khorne Juggernaut Lord, besides looking like a total boss, is also hell on wheels. I think a lot of folks will be using this guy. People like the Axe of Blind Fury for obvious reasons, but I prefer the Fist and Lightening Claw as they grant you a bonus attack for being specialist weapons, and it allows you to swing at your initiative with a Claw or at I1, AP2 Strength 8 with the fist. This is great as these guys will be in Challenges all the time. That versatility (and only costing 40pts) and the bonus attack stand out to me as the best weapon combo. The Boon table is bananas too, once you start racking up abilities, your characters can go god mode, fast.

I also really like the Slanesh lord on the Bike. Tough 5 allows him to not fear fists, and the I6 (again with Claw and Fist) allow him to get the drop on almost anyone in a challenge.

Frankie has really been liking the Nurgle Lord on Palanquin. He’s a resilient bastard, and packs a punch (again with Claw and Fist).

I am also really liking the Nurgle Sorcerer, level 3 with Spell Familiar on Palanquin. That is a tough as nails sorcerer with lots of versatility and packs a punch in a fight. With the extra wounds and Spell Familiar, he also doesn’t have to worry nearly so much about killing himself with Perils.

I have not had a chance to try the Dark Apostle or Warpsmith yet, and can’t speak to them. Honestly, outside of a themed list, I am not seeing the advantages they offer over the Lords and Sorcerers. The Warpsmith’s abilities are pretty boss, though, and I could see particularly his curse power being really good against certain units like War Walker and Venoms (or anything with high RoF, obviously).

Of the named characters, Kharn is awesome…until he fights someone who can one shot him and swings first. Not many models that can do that, but he is super vulnerable to that.

Abby is a damn tank, so good. His only weakness is the boon table and his Daemon Weapon (although the Claw is certainly the better weapon in almost every situation).

Typhus is pretty good, and unlocks a lot of cool stuff. I can see him in many competitive lists.

Fabulous Bile looks cool, but he hits like a wet noodle and when you factor him into the cost of upgrading a unit, it really isn’t worth it, IMO. Have you all had success with him?

I haven’t had the chance to try the others yet, but Airman looks promising.

What about you all? What have you been finding to work best for you?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

18 Responses to “Chaos HQ Configurations”

  1. Greg October 22, 2012 10:27 am #

    I think that I would run Typhus as my normal 1850 – 2000 pt list. Which is the level we like to play. At 1750, I would be looking at building a more point efficient Chaos Lord and Sorceror, for Nurgle. The Nurgle lord can unlock Plague Marines as troops like Typhus, and with either list the Sorceror would be there to cast psychic attacks.

    I have been in the habit of running four troop units at 10 per unit but I am having a hard time with my Chaos list with 2 plague marine units and 1 CSM unit and 1 large cultist unit running about 900 points!!??? Admittedly I am new to the Chaos army so I need help.

    Lol… I know this was supposed to be about the HQs. Sorry!

    • Reecius October 22, 2012 10:37 am #

      Haha, no worries, I am still stuck on troops, myself! I know what support units I want to take, but the troops still have my scratching my head. I am thinking either Chosen, or a mix of Plauge Bearers, Cultsits and Plague Marines. Maybe Noise Marines, but they are still really expensive and die like Marines.

      It is a quandary. I just wish stupid CSMs were better!

      • NickWenker October 22, 2012 11:40 am #

        This is what I decided I would run as an ultra-competitive 1850 army:

        35x zombies
        35x zombies
        10x zombies
        10x zombies
        helbrute with multi-melta and powerfist
        helbrute with multi-melta and powerfist
        dragon with baleflamer
        dragon with baleflamer
        4 lascannon veteran havocs
        4 lascannon veteran havocs
        4 autocannon veteran havocs
        aegis line with quadgun

        1850 exactly

        reserve the two zombie squads to get back objectives, push kharn and typhus at the enemy with 2 huge zombie squads, shoot 8 lascannon and 12 autocannon shots a turn, take anything not 2+ off the board with two dragons. Autocannons and vector strikes take out fliers. Helbrutes move up with zombie squads/behind (getting cover) to take out AV 14 transports, other walkers, and min/maxed squads with nothing good to kill walkers.

        • Reecius October 22, 2012 11:53 am #

          I like the list, but why Vets on the Havocs? For the leadership bonus? For 5 pts, that actually is a pretty good investment as going from leadership 9 to 10 halves the chances of breaking. Definitely not a bad idea.

          That is interesting, I suppose Kharn could join Zombies as they technically don’t have the MoN. I would prefer not to take them myself though, as S&P really hinders them getting up field. I think just regular Cultists with Kharn would be the better bet as with his buffing they actually hit pretty hard, and they are a lot faster.

          Other than that, that is a solid list. Nice one!

          • NickWenker October 22, 2012 12:22 pm

            Thanks. Making good lists has really been my favorite part of the hobby over the last 13 years. I haven’t lost a game yet in Austin with my 1850 space wolves/dark angels list since I moved here a few months ago, including local tournaments.

            Yes, the vets are for leadership. I learned from my space wolves how important the leadership 9/10 is on those units. You will often lose 1-2 in a turn (aegis/ruins keeps you from losing more. Since you only need to lose 1 or 2 models for a test, you want to make sure you pass. This is extra important on havocs/long fangs because they are often within 8-12 inches of the board edge, since they are long-range heavy weapons that do not move after deployment. It’s EXTRA EXTRA important for havocs since they do not auto-rally after falling back once like my long fangs. At only 1 pt per model, the upgrade is a steal.

            I don’t think that you should change the second zombie squad to cultists for the following reasons:
            1) you ideally want at least a few models left in those squads at the end of the game to have scoring units in the enemy deployment/middle of the board. Therefore, survivability > destructive power
            2) kharn should be able to single-handily wreck any walker or squad or HQ the zombies contact anyway, other than abbadon or some other Super HQ.
            3) the point of of the squads is to be as durable as possible to make sure your 2 HQs not only get into combat without taking damage, but have extra models with them in the assault to soak up wounds. Normal cultists moving up directly to the enemy can get cleared out fast
            4) getting into combat on turn 3 instead of turn 2 (with a first turn run) is not that big of an issue, as this anyway give your two dragons a turn to come in and soften up anything in their lines that may be too troublesome before your frontline and his/her frontline meet up
            5) you may not want to outrun typhus and his squad anyway;
            6) since your helbrutes can run turn 1, you still have an extended threat bubble and this lets them try to pop av 13/14 vehicles before your zombies get there
            7) zombies in the open with 5+ FNP moving 6 inches a turn in the open may get there as fast or faster than cultists doing difficult terrain move + run to get a 5+ cover save while moving through area terrain at enemy

          • Reecius October 22, 2012 12:51 pm

            Hmm, some very good points. I can’t fault your logic at all. And having fearless troops does mean they stay a threat to objectives to the last man.

            I agree that writing lists is one of the most fun aspects of the hobby for me, as well. I have a file on my computer full of lists for every book. I just love the puzzle of it, and there are so many variables that it never gets old.

            I think this list will be quite good.

            And what are you running in your DA/Wolf list? I am curious!

          • NickWenker October 22, 2012 1:09 pm

            My 1850 SW/DA list is as follows:

            rune priest
            10x grey hunters, two plasma guns, wolf banner
            10x grey hunters, two plasma guns, wolf banner
            10x grey hunters, two plasma guns, wolf banner
            10x grey hunters, two plasma guns, wolf banner
            6x long fangs, two lascannons, three rocket launchers
            6x long fangs, two lascannons, three rocket launchers

            belial th/ss
            5x th/ss terminators, cyclone missile launcher, apothecary
            5x th/ss terminators, cyclone missile launcher

            aegis defense line

            Most of the lists I have played against, even powergaming lists, get both out-shot and out-assaulted by this army. No one wants to come close, because 8 plasma guns and 32 bolters hurt in rapid-fire range. However, if they don’t come straight at me, they eat 10 rockets, 4 lascannons (and I divination re-roll one long fang squad every turn), 4 twin-linked assault cannon, 8 plasma gun, and 32 bolter shots a turn. Only-cheesed out AV 14 or mass AV 13 spam armies can sit back and take that.

            the 11 terminators make anyone too afraid to assault me since I have a counter-assault unit that can fight almost anything, and since it is never fun assaulting grey hunters anyway. Also- a die-hard assault army will still have to roll difficult terrain to assault my grey hunters over the aegis line.

            The two terminator squads are fearless and hard to get rid of, making them perfect for holding objectives on any part of the map.

            I’ve played maybe 14 games with this list against many different good opponents and have tabled maybe 9-10 of them, and won the rest as well. The army is surprisingly difficult to play due to lack of mobility, so you have to be very experienced with deciding when to move MEQs out of midfield and towards back objectives/towards their backfield (this is sometimes a gamble). This army is only playable by tactical players who can use multiple units in tandem and do so while thinking 2-3 turns in advance every turn. I sometimes overcome the mobility issue with deathwing assaulting one squad of terminators and then doing something funky like warlord-trait outflanking belial and the other squad.

          • Reecius October 22, 2012 2:31 pm

            That looks very solid. Any list in 6th that has really tough scoring units is going to be a big advantage. Grey Hunters are so insanely points efficient that you just can’t go wrong with them.

            You like the Las Cannon/M.Launcher split? I always went for 5 Missile Launchers, although I can see the utility in having the las cannons. In my Shooty Wolf list from last ed, I had all my las cannons on Razorbacks (and you do need them in case you come up against AV14 as you pointed out).

            The only issue I see is that I think you would struggle a lot with an Airforce army. Have you played Cron Air yet? We brought a crazy shooty wolf army with divination all over the place against Cron Air and it got obliterated. It’s actually a really funny video:

            And I agree, the first thing that jumped out at me was the lack of mobility. An army with mobile long range shooting will be able to dance around you. Barrage heavy armies like IG, if they can hide from direct fire, will also give you issues, but Deep Striking Termies will help with that a lot.

            I think that is a solid list. Any plans to take it to a big tournament? Maybe Wargamescon? It’s in your backyard!

          • NickWenker October 22, 2012 1:10 pm

            *4 twin-linked auto cannon shots per round from the quad-gun, sorry.

          • mercutioh October 22, 2012 2:44 pm

            Hmm Reece has a magic list file somewhere. Note to self hack computer when I head down in 3 weeks.

          • Reecius October 22, 2012 3:15 pm

            Hahaha, I am happy to share it! I have a ton of lists from themed, to ultra competitive to gimmicky. I just really enjoy writing lists.

          • NickWenker October 22, 2012 2:57 pm

            I played the LC/ML split in 5th and I have forgotten that there is even any other way to play long fangs. It is so far and away the best configuration (unless you are super short on points). You can hid the lascannons slightly back and let the missile launchers die first. You can shoot the lascannons at AV 13/14 while the rockets hunt AV 10-12, 3+ infantry, or hordes. Taking no lascannons is universally terrible- you need the ability to pop AV 14 (even if it takes 2-3 turns) and you need the ability to force your opponent not to run 2+ infantry in the open with no consequences (and 2+ units can be taken by grey hunters if ranged fired takes them down a little bit).

            Flier spam is difficult for this list, as it’s probably the hardest thing in the game to counter. IMO my list deals with it as well as possible without taking anti-flier allies or ruining other things you need to bring. A twin-linked 3 rocket, 2 lascannon squad, a normal 3 rocket, 2 lascannon squad, 4 cyclone rockets, a quad gun, and 8 str 7 ap 2 plasma guns stand at least a fighting chance against the kind of fliers you might see at 1850.

            I recently played versus a nasty 1850 necron flier army, which becomes a really uphill battle on Hammer and Anvil (this list’s worst deployment). I still won by deathwing deep striking near the 1k worth of stuff not in reserve that he hid in the way backfield corner out of range of all my long fangs and grey hunters (this is why Hammer and Anvil is hard). I then outflanked belial and the other squad next to him. His fliers really couldn’t do anything about that and even though I got smashed in the face by the rest of the army, the 2 terminator squads wiped out 1k+ of non-reserved necrons, got first blood, got linebreaker, got slay the warlord, and took his back corner objective. Between 11 terminators and 40 grey hunters, you have enough durability that fliers don’t do THAT much, and you can hang on until one of your units strikes gold somewhere on the board.

            Mobile shooting does not give this list problems. Either vehicles are very mobile and less threatening (chimeras, wave serpents, raiders), or they are very threatening but not mobile (leman russes, manticores). My list does very well against light/medium vehicle spam, and while I am shooting I move my grey hunters and terminators straight at him and give him no safe place on the board. I will either win with shooting all those points of vehicles down or I will eventually win via assault. If he brings a handful of AV 14 high-threat vehicles (2 plasma russes, 2 demolishers, etc.) it becomes much harder, because I can’t move up safely. However, then he doesn’t have the mobility so that is not an issue anymore, and he also has less vehicles to lose.

            I would like to go to more big tournaments and make a name for myself. I just recently moved back from being in Europe for 2 years and not being able to go to tournaments, and before that I was traveling and couldn’t compete. I just played in my first local tournament in 4 years in Austin with that list and won first place (very tough final round versus old codex chaos/daemons epidemius list on hammer/anvil). I just started law school so I can’t travel to national tournaments. I’ll be at War Games Con if summer law jobs don’t take me out of state/country!

          • Reecius October 23, 2012 10:21 am

            Nice, sounds like you have a game plan for the tougher battles, which is key. I found that I became a good player when I could look at any other list and know what I needed to do to win within a minute or two.

            Russes are hot right now, that and barrage weapons. I take heavy templates and barrage weapons in every list I can these days, they’re so useful.

            Funny about the Long Fangs, I always found the frag missiles to be better at taking out Terminators than the Las Cannons. If you can hit 2-3 models with each template, I find it to be more potent than the 2 las cannon shots.

            I also always let sarge die first to preserve punch. However, I also had a hard core MSU shooty Wolf army where I didn’t need to hang on to their ability to split fire. It was more of a nice bonus while it lasted.

            We’ll be at Wargames Con this year again, if you make it out you’ll have to come by and say hi! Good luck with Law School, that is awesome!

          • NickWenker October 22, 2012 3:07 pm

            *and deathwing assault deep struck the other squad next to where belial outflanked next turn/turn 2, as I went first (divination final powers helps a lot when you land that warlord trait that lets you outflank).

            Wished there was an edit button here….

    • Mike October 22, 2012 11:35 am #

      All they really need to do is make icons not be able to be ‘sniped’ and then it will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the regular CSM troops.

      Maybe the FAQ will save us!

      • Reecius October 22, 2012 11:39 am #

        The FAQ already came out, and no such luck. I totally agree though, making the stupid Icons not so vulnerable, or at least cheaper, would go a long way to helping.

  2. mercutioh October 23, 2012 9:33 am #

    With regards to the vulnerability of Icons. Does it not make sense to put the icon on the Champ/Sorceror so that you can Look out, Sir for it if Sniped?

    • Reecius October 23, 2012 10:21 am #

      That’s a good question. I would say no, as it just means more eggs in one basket and a 4+ is nothing to be relied on. I would split up my assets to protect them and make them harder to take out.

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