Chaos Heavy Support Strategies


Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming again to discuss tactical choices

in the Heavy Support Slots for Chaos.

So. Let’s be clear. This is a tactics article geared towards

making efficient list building choices that help you to win games of 40K. If playing

to win offends you, or you think any BoLS article that isn’t a How To on

LARPing the Horus Heresy is horrifying, you may want to pass on this one! That

said, I know some of the commenters here at BoLS love having an article to poo

poo on over their morning cup of hatorade as a part of their daily routine, so we

now both play our parts.

Chaos has some great choices in Heavy Support. I honestly

feel spoiled for choice as I do with the book in general. I really feel that

this is a great book that will provide a TON of lists and permutations of lists

that will reveal themselves to us over the entire edition, which is awesome. I

don’t think this will be a “one list to rule them all” book as we saw with the

previous Chaos Dex. I was fortunate enough to learn one of Phil’s processes

when writing a Codex (as related to me by a friend that spoke to him about it),

and he said that he comes up with a number of lists he thought would be fun to

play (and it is a lot of different types of lists), and then building a Codex

around that. I think that is a quite clever idea, and it is fun to try and

figure out the lists he had envisioned.

The troops still have my guessing a bit (and I am really disappointed

that CSM’s aren’t better, but that is my only real complaint of the dex, to be

honest) but with more and more practice games, we’re getting it worked out. All

praise the Kelly for fixing the issue with Zombies only coming in 10 man units.

Brains!! Besides being flat out cool, Zombie Hordes make great, cheap scoring


The choice that a lot of folks gravitated towards

immediately in Heavy Support was Havocs. Why? Dirt cheap firepower. Long Fangs

are still one of the most efficient units on the table top and Havocs give a

lot of the same at a comparably cheap price point, but without the bells and whistles

of the venerated Fangs. However, for 115pts, you get a 5 man unit with 4 Auto

Cannons. Win.

A lot of folks have been excited about Flakk Missiles, but

they really aren’t that hot, in my opinion. At 25pts per weapon, and not having

interceptor, they are expensive and any Flyer coming on the board is going to

target them first before they can fire. Auto Cannons are actually very close in

AA capability on a point for point comparison, and as good or better against

everything else. They also have the benefit of being able to hide when facing

Flyer nation, and then move out of cover and shoot as they will be snap firing


Las Cannon Havocs are a solid choice, too, and we will be

seeing quite a few of these units I imagine. The other nice benefit of Havocs

is that they go with an Aegis Line and Quad Gun like steak and fries! Sarge

mans the Gun, the boys line up behind that Aegis Line and unleash hell, or the

warp as the case may be.

Lastly, as pointed out to me by a reader of ours over at

Frontline (thanks Nick Wenker) the Veterans of the Long War is a really solid

upgrade. For 5pts, you halve the odds of failing a break test (from 1/6 to

1/12). Considering these guys will attract a lot of attention and that they are

often close to the table edge, you really don’t want to have these guys run for

the hills on a crappy roll.

Obliterators are the other stand-out in heavy support that grabbed

my attention immediately. Oblits are the business, and now that they have

Assault Cannons, they’re even better. Mark of Nurgle is the clear winner in my

eyes, as it makes them proof against Instant Death from most weapons, and gives

you a big boost against small arms fire. They have leadership issues (which is

very interesting, I think we will see Daemons in the new Daemon codex losing

Fearless and Eternal Warrior based off of the new rules, which somewhat explains

the dramatic points drops in Flamers) but they are very flexible, being able to

deep-strike and fight reasonably well in HtH. While not as points efficient on

a per shot basis as the Havocs, their mobility, flexibility and increased

durability makes them a really solid choice, in my opinion. Too Oblit to quit!

Yeah, I went there. Cheesy jokes all over the place, today!

The poor Defiler. I love Defilers but they really got the Carnifex

treatment this edition. If you play against loads of strength 6, you’ll love

them. Las Cannons, not so much. So far in our test games the Defiler has been a

massive points sink You pay a lot of points for durability against mid

strength, AP 3+ weapons when any player with a brain in his head will shoot it only

with weapons that will one shot the Defiler. I don’t think it is awful by any

means, just as I don’t think the Carnifex is awful, it just struggles in

comparison to other choices in Heavy Support. It straddles the line between

Maulerfiend and Forgefiend, but doesn’t do either job as well and costs a lot. At

least it can take a Dirge Caster!

Speaking of the Fiends, the Maulerfiend is a big winner,

chicken dinner for me: fast, cheap, hits hard and a cool model. Imitative 3 is

a bummer as with the Defiler, but unlike his Crabby Cousin, the Maulerfiend can

take lasher tendrils which really up its odds of surviving to swing against

swifter foes, particularly other Dreads or Monstrous Creatures. For the speed

and cost, this is a solid unit that I think will see a lot of play time. Too

bad he can’t take a Dirge Caster, but oh well.

The Forgefiend is not bad. I am not sold on it over Havocs

which do the same thing cheaper, at longer range and without the odds of being

one-shotted like the Fiend. Ectoplasma cannons only being 24” is another

drawback in my eyes, plus the model is ugly as sin to me, so I won’t be using

it. However, I can see the Hades Autocannon version getting playtime for its

volume of strength 8 attacks.

The poor Chaos Land Raider still struggles. If only we got a

Crusader style Land Raider chassis, it would make a HUGE difference with a lot

of the assault units available to Chaos. But, we get the old school Raider. As

a straight gun ship, it really isn’t bad. Set it in a good firing position

(behind an Aegis works very well) and let rip with the 2 twin las cannons. AV14

is in a renaissance these days and the fact that a glance doesn’t stop you from

shooting really helps these bad boys to give you resilient firepower. Again,

compared to Havocs they aren’t as efficient, but they are tough nuts to crack.

As an assault boat, it works really well. Mine have never

failed to deliver my assault units where I want them in our test games so far.

It then almost always dies to a melta weapon or Monstrous Creature/Dreadnaught.

For the points, I’d rather have a big unit of Assaulters running up the board

on foot. Hopefully we’ll get a White Dwarf update with a new Chaos Land Raider variant

in the future!

The Vindie and Predator are nothing new, so I won’t go too

far into it. A Vindie is a solid choice for the Strength 10, AP2 blast,

particularly now that blasts are so much better. And the Pred is a solid

offensive tank, but suffers the same drawbacks as any vehicle: one shot, on

kill. Again though, park it behind an Aegis and let er rip. While it can be one

shotted, it is also immune to small arms (at least from the front) so it does

have a place in a list, plus it’s cheap as chips.

I hope that helps some of you to make solid choices for the

heavy support slots in your list! What I am using? Most likely 2 units of 5 Havocs

with 4 Auto Cannons, and a unit of 3 MoN Oblits with an Aegis and Quad Gun. I

may drop one unit of Havocs for a Maulerfiend, but time will tell. I like the

Vindie, but I have 3 in my Marine army and I like using the Chaos specific

units for variety. I like having a large variety of units because I like the flexibility

and I think it is more fun to play, but those cheap Havocs are just tough to



About Reecius

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

11 Responses to “Chaos Heavy Support Strategies”

  1. Avatar
    Paul Cornelius October 24, 2012 2:17 am #

    “Hatorade,” nice

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 25, 2012 10:47 am #

      Hahaha, glad you liked that!

  2. Avatar
    captainA October 24, 2012 9:39 am #

    Loved the intro, I just can’t believe the lengths people will go through to share their negative opinion on free information, yet offer nothing themselves. If I disagree with an author or think their material is weak, I’ll make the choice and not read their future offerings instead of wasting so much time posting and getting into arguments online.

    Personally, I have really enjoyed your guys insight into the chaos dex in your articles, podcasts, and videos as building lists and unlocking the “puzzle” isn’t my strongest thing. I kept looking at the dex and didn’t see a ton that would really compete with some of the builds I see in my area and we have some tough competitors at my store. (Guy who took third at Nova recently, Aventine, and others) Thanks again for your hard work and insight as people like me appreciate it.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 25, 2012 10:51 am #

      Thank you very much, Captain A. You see, you are a mature adult, haha, and a lot of the BoLS commentors, while technically being adults, are neither mature nor very adult like. It blows my mind how some of the rudeness and hostility there. But hey, it comes with the territory, and I really like the guys who run BoLS, they’re good people so I am happy to contribute to the site. Plus it helps us a lot, too.

      Glad you like the Frontline stuff! It’s always good to hear that folks get something from it.

  3. Avatar
    BBF October 24, 2012 4:10 pm #

    I think the landraider stripped down is a great choice for the points.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 25, 2012 10:52 am #

      Mine always does what it is meant to do, but if only we could get a 15-16 capacity transport Land Raider, that would be awesome! Kharn and 15 Zerkers coming out of that, or Possesses (with assault launchers!) would be so good.

  4. Avatar
    Darthdiggler October 24, 2012 5:49 pm #

    I wouldn’t be so quick to add an ADL each time. I think the Bastion is a better choice for small elite armies. Imagine the Flakk Havocs sitting inside the Bastion, immune to enemy fire, and then firing at enemy flyers in their turn. 4 can fire out the two front windows. On top of the a bastion are 3 Obliterators with an attached IC. The IC mans the Icarus and the Oblits survive with a 2+ armor and 3+ cover save. Unless your banning bastions, I think it serves chaos better than an ADL.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 25, 2012 10:54 am #

      That’s a really good point I had not considered, actually. We don’t ban any Fortifications (they’re actually a lot of fun to play with). My only thought with the Bastion is that a Flyer can fly out of the firing arc of the Bastion and then the Flakk missiles won’t be able to shoot, or only shoot with reduced efficacy (2 out of the side).

  5. Avatar
    Dave From montreal October 24, 2012 9:35 pm #

    Hello !

    I would just like to point out that the 5 point warpfire garg. upgrade (which gives your tank shots warpfire) can get really interesting , even on rhinos (altho better invested on a havok rhino for that extra ooph). A must-have on a dakkapred !

    If getting a land raider seriously consider getting a dirge caster to cover the delivered squad on that all important charge.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 25, 2012 10:56 am #

      Hey Dave!

      Yeah, the Warpfire gargoyles are really good for the points, I agree. I think they go great on a Pred as you said. I tried a Dirge Caster on the Land Raider, but I always found the guys inside would be charging outside of the 6″ bubble the Dirge Caster provided.

  6. Avatar
    Gorkamorker November 20, 2012 9:27 pm #


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