An Idea Worth Discussing



Let’s talk about a new idea that may be a lot of fun.

So on the Frontline Gaming forums, we’ve been discussing a lot of ideas for tournaments going forward. We’ve been batting around a lot of ideas but one that I wanted to pitch to the community was a simple, but big, change to Chaos Space Marines.

As most of us know, Chaos Space Marines are pretty hard off. They are easily the worst troop in 6th ed, possibly the worst troop we’ve seen in the game. I have written numerous articles on the subject, but to summarize: the combination of no reliable morale control and the Champion of Chaos rule combines to make them an incredibly poorly designed unit that will often end up committing suicide.

It’s a shame because in the fluff/art/idea of Chaos Space Marines, they are always brutal, bad-ass, heavy metal space warriors without peer. On the table, they’re bumbling idiots that barely function. The real straw that broke the camel’s back for me, was seeing that Crimson Slaughter Cultists, little ragamuffins with lead pipes and pea shooters, cause fear tests in Chaos Space marines. WTF? That is ludicrous. Beyond ludicrous.

So, what about a tournament rule addendums that states:

For 1 point per model, a unit of Chaos Space Marines may be upgraded to have And They Shall Know No Fear. Every model in the unit must purchase the upgrade. 

EDIT-Or, as an alternative to the above, make the Icon of Vengeance (Fearless Icon) a mark so that it cannot be sniped out of the unit. It is still very expensive though, at 25 points, and Fearless is not as good as ATSKNF. I feel that this a viable alternative, but may not fix the issue as at 15.5 points per model in a 10 man unit, plus upgrades, Chaos Space Marines go up in points rapidly and are not nearly as good as Loyalist Marines who come in at a cheaper price point and have Combat Squads and Chapter Tactics.

And we would also alter the Champion of Chaos rule to state that any Chaos Character MAY challenge, but does not have to.

So what does this mean?

It means that Chaos can be reliable. We thought about a more toned down version of ATSKNF, but, this seems simpler. Everyone already knows how ATSKNF works so it would be an easy transition, and Chaos Space Marines are still Space Marines. They may be selfish and evil, but they certainly aren’t cowards. Fluff aside, it makes the units playable in a competitive setting.

And, even with these changes, if you compare Chaos to loyalist Marines, they still fall short. For 14pts a model, a Chaos Space Marine has the same stats but no Chapter Tactics, no Stubborn (Dark Angels), no Counter Attack (Space Wolves), etc. They HAVE to buy the Aspiring Champion who in the edition of challenges is a waste of points in most cases. Loyalist squads usually don’t take the Veteran Sarge upgrade, for example. So on a strict points efficiency basis, Chaos Space marines would still fall short of their loyalist brothers but at the least would be playable.

The Champion of Chaos rule is now a nice little bonus instead of a ridiculous detriment. It doesn’t compare to Chapter Tactics by a mile, but it is something.

It also makes units like Chosen, Raptors, Bikers, Havocs, etc. worth considering. They can run up in price quickly and with ATSKNF, those points spent aren’t a liability.

Most importantly, it would be fun! And you would actually see Chaos Space Marines in a Chaos Space Marine army…imagine that!

What do you gall think?


About Reecius

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

203 Responses to “An Idea Worth Discussing”

  1. steven morrow March 29, 2014 10:34 am #


  2. kontraktkiller March 29, 2014 10:35 am #

    DO IT! This needs to happen.

  3. steven morrow March 29, 2014 10:36 am #

    Frontline gaming chaos space marine supplement “Not Pussys”

    • steven morrow March 29, 2014 10:36 am #

      pussies lol

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:21 pm #

      Lol, awesome! haha

  4. Siphen March 29, 2014 11:20 am #

    I completely agree that Chaos Space Marines are a pathetic troops choice, but I would actually be against a rule like that.

    Despite how terribad Chaos Marines are, the book itself doesn’t really need more buffs. They’re certainly not a strong army, but they’re not a weak one either…especially with all the good extras they’ve received since their release (Be’Lakor, Crimson Slaughter, etc).

    It’s understandable that people want to be able to take Chaos Space Marines and I wish they were better. But the same could be said for half of the units in Chaos Daemons and most of the units in Tyranids. If you created a rule like this, then shouldn’t you also give Genestealers (the iconic Tyranid unit) a nice buff? How about Bloodletters?

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:23 pm #

      Bloodletters are incredibly good for 10pts, they simply aren’t as good as Deamonettes for 9 =)

      This idea isn’t about making Chaos stronger, it’s abotu making Chaos Space Marines actually playable. That is the essential difference here, I think. Bloodletters are totally playable. Chaos Space Marines are not.

      • Aventine March 29, 2014 8:28 pm #

        Just brushed right over the mention of Genestealers, huh?

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:19 pm #

          I’m hoping that the 7th edition update we keep hearing about allows you to assault out of reserves again and thus fixes them.

          But yeah, Steelers suck balls.

      • DexKivuli March 29, 2014 8:47 pm #

        But Chaos Cultists and Plague Marines are playable. There are troops in other codexes that are unplayable. Are Chaos Space Marines something that you feel needs to be fixed because they’re so integral to the fluff of the army?

        As an aside, I do think it’s completely ridiculous that loyalist Spaceys know no fear, but the ones that have turned do know fear. And gear too – loyalist spaceys have the best of the modern gear, and a selection of the old, powerful gear (e.g. Conversion Beamers); but chaos marines have the old crappy gear, and none of the new good gear.

        But those are more fluff-based objections. However, I think they interact with the reduced power of Chaos Spaceys as troops.

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:20 pm #

          Cultists and Zombies are functional, yes, but they are shitty =)

          And yeah, they shouldn’t know fear, either. It makes no sense.

  5. Rich with GSI March 29, 2014 11:28 am #

    I’d be grateful for any help. But, i might go one further with champs of chaos rule, seeing as you have to buy them (unlike regular SM, as you stated) why not allow them to refuse a challenge but still fight in the main combat? This would represent their treacherous nature and lust for blood. But, they have to pass a leadership check or be automatically killed by their squadmates for cowardess. Too complex?

    Not sure about the atsknf, addition. Why not just make them fearless like plague marines and other elite troops? That differentiates them a bit from SM.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:23 pm #

      That’s actually a much bigger change, and a much more powerful change.

      • Rich with GSI March 29, 2014 3:16 pm #

        So? If you are going to change something, have some balls and make a CHANGE. Taudar and all those other top tier codices and allies are still going to destroy the competition. It blows my mind how protective everyone who has one of those armies seems to be of their advantage. No interest in balanced play. No interest in challenge. If you are at all confident in your skill as a player, these changes shouldn’t bother you. We Chaos players aren’t asking for an auto win button, just some changes that make a single unit payable again. It’s a set of rules, not the Ten Commandments.

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:30 pm #

          I agree that the rules aren’t the ten commandments. However, what you are suggesting here is a HUGE advantage and it really diverges from the rules in a dramatic way and it would have a lot of unintended consequences you may not be considering.

          Going with something simple, such as giving them a rule everyone already knows, may be the easier solution.

          • Rich with GSI April 1, 2014 2:46 pm

            I was just spitballin’ on the rules. Everything must be play tested, of course. But, rather than doing the minimum tweak, do something that may be this side of too much and then scale back… you reach a solution MUCH faster. Tiny increments may never actually fix the problem.

            Likely, everyone will cry and moan and then realize (much like the addition of Dataslates) that it really isn’t a big deal because the top tier codices are still wrecking face.

  6. Interrogator_Chaplain March 29, 2014 11:29 am #

    What? I always take Veteran Squads for my Dark Angels. It’s saved me a lot.

    My friend is starting up a CSM army and we floated the idea of including ATSKNF because they’re still cut from the same cloth as Space Marines. So he could actually, you know, play Chaos Space Marines and not Typhus and the Cultists. We both agreed that this would be a good idea, so when he’s finished his Tyranid force, he’ll get started on his… I’m going to guess Death Guard.

    (Also I just realized my standard Angels have Stubborn. FML.)

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:24 pm #

      Veteran Sargents, not Veteran Squads.

      Let us know how the change goes for you.

  7. Km March 29, 2014 11:40 am #

    I swear any character can challenge anyway so the champions of chaos rule would be redundant…

    • Adam March 29, 2014 12:34 pm #

      It would allow them to roll on the chaos boon table if they win the challenge.

  8. Noah March 29, 2014 11:40 am #

    Hey and while you’re at it could you add the melta rule back to burna boyz? I’m totally against changing/modifying a Codex as it stands. Yes it is very ridiculous that Cultists can cause Fear checks to Chaos Marines but that’s the hand they were dealt.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:26 pm #

      So you’re saying it is better to let one of the most iconic units in the game sit on the shelf for years, never seeing the light of day than to make a change? That sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face, for me. Sure those are official rules, but so is playing with Revenant Titans.

      And again, this isn’t about wish-listing, it would be about making a core unit that is currently unplayable, playable.

      • Noah March 30, 2014 11:34 am #

        Reece every time a Codex gets released there are always unit(s) that get shelved. It has been this way for a very long time. I understand your desire to get play out of the Marines instead of the Cultists. For me it would be like shelving Ork Boyz for Gretchin. I just think that once you do this for one Codex everyone is going to chime in on what they want or feel should change for their Codex. I’m not trying to be hostile I just think it’s treading on a dangerous path my friend.

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:32 pm #

          I don’t think you’re being hostile at all, I was just offering a counter point.

          I understand what you’re saying about the slippery slope, though.

    • The Voice March 30, 2014 2:51 am #

      And this is why, as a tournament community, were in trouble.

      This attitude would mean that NOTHING ever gets changed and 40k needs tweeks from the people that play it, because the people that make it, dont make the rules with us in mind.

      if we dont change anything then it wont be fun, and thats what its all about really. Whats fun about having chaos marine being sh!t when they are so iconic. Do other things need doing too? Sure.

      But to give you an idea, have you ever looked at a warhammer fantasy tournament pack?? Have you seen how many changes and nerfs/buffs to the core rules system every tournament has? A long time ago in came to a head that the rules were just getting stupid, so they did something about it. Reece and co are now doing the same for 40k, and this is a GOOD thing,

      Incidentally reece i put a question to some fantasy types about this very thing, and i got a very interesting response, thought i might share:

      “I don’t know enough about 40k to say what would or wouldn’t work as a comp system. If it’s something you’d like to encourage though I’d suggest maybe talking to tournament organizers and seeing if they’d be interested in running a trial event. This is something that can work well. Swedish comp for example was pretty much unheard of in the UK until Tom Mawdsley ran the first Bjorn event. It didn’t get a massive turn out at first, but with subsequent events the number of players has increased and a couple of other tournament organizers have used the same comp pack.”

      If you look at a tournament pack for fantasy there are loads of core rules add ons and targeted changes to every single army book. All of them. And no one bats an eye.

      Forty k needs to get to this level of acceptance. Soon, and for the good of the game.

      • The Voice March 30, 2014 3:00 am #

        Basically – just do it. The people that dont like it wont come, the people that do – will. And it will be a good event, be well documented and then the naysayers will come around when they see its better.

        I think maybe you taking too much of what people say too much to hart. Alot of the time people dont want to be asked what they want, they want to be told. Sound a little harsh but gw seem to be using it as a business model :P. But seriously, alot of time someone wont know that they like it till theyve experienced it. So just take the plunge.

        Do a tournament with a bucket of changes. Some people will gripe but others will go “ooooooo a new system to list build to” – youll get lots of threads of new types of list discussions – which this community loves. You will get a surge of enthusiasm from some quarters as people get to use troops never before considered and the challenge of trying to get to tweek your list to counter these unknowns.

        Breath new life in to 40k? Maybe, maybe not. But a breath of fresh air for sure.

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:17 pm #

          Thanks for the support, The Voice. You make some really good points. I think we need to think about some changes or the game continues to degenerate and we end up going down with the ship.

  9. Novastar March 29, 2014 11:46 am #

    Chaos space marines wih ATSKNF? I feel like Bob Cratchet gettin a raise and giant Turkey from Scrooge, but why not just get it for free? Space marines certainly don’t pay for the rule in their points cost

    • Km March 29, 2014 11:48 am #

      That would make them basically the same as space marines though just with marks and bigger squads…. I guess GW are trying to make them play differently to represent the fact that they are very different after 10,000 years away

      • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:27 pm #

        Space marines still get Combat Squads, though, which is a HUGE advantage. Not to mention Combat Tactics.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:27 pm #

      They are one point cheaper than Marines, to make it equal, they would both be pointed at 14pts per model.

  10. Sepharam March 29, 2014 12:12 pm #

    1. If we’re going to have any hope of a competitive and fair tournament scene, the RAW needs playtesting and tuning.
    2. Given GW’s complete and utter disregard for playtesting, it falls on the “community” to tune the rules.

    Thus, given your place on the tournament rules “council” for BAO, Adepticon, etc., I absolutely say go for it. Playtest it at Frontline, add it for a single tournament for further validation and then make it part of the standard tournament rule additions. I for one am glad to see you taking this step Reece. Thank you on behalf of the community.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:28 pm #

      Right now this is just an idea, nothing more. We would certainly play-test it a lot before implementation, if it were to go beyond anything more than just talk.

      And you are welcome!

    • The Voice March 30, 2014 3:09 am #

      i agree

  11. Jay Pena March 29, 2014 12:25 pm #

    Now that makes sense! That’s been one of my complaints; I never understood why my Word Bearers, the ones who started it all out be afraid of the Daemons that they brought into existence! I played a game yesterday using my Ultramarines who went up against Khorne Daemons. I combat squad 3 ten man units. I had first turn so two of my 5 man units were charged by 15 Flesh Hounds and a Herald on a Juggernaut. That combat would last until turn 6, would claim 15 Tactical Marines, 5 Veterans and my Captain. His units wouldn’t survive either and I only won one of those combats. My point is that had they been CSM I would have been “Steam rolled” on turn one. We can wait for 7th Edition and hope they get it right then. I also hate the boon table. Fucking Kharn always wants to turn into a fucking spawn!!!

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:29 pm #

      Lol, I have had Kharn turn into a Spawn too, it is idiotic. I hope they fix things with 7th ed, too, and we are waiting patiently hoping it happens, but if they fuck things up again, we have to take matters into our own hands.

      • scousematt March 30, 2014 3:17 am #

        Thats ridiculous lol. Any Chaos model with (Unique) in its profile should be immune to turning into a spawn.

  12. Adam March 29, 2014 12:27 pm #

    Honestly, I really don’t want to go to tournaments to play fandexes, even with my Chaos Marines… I think this is the first step off a cliff.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:30 pm #

      And yet you are a proponent for the grossly imbalanced D weapons in the game?

      It makes me laugh that people are so afraid of the sacred cow of rules changes that they would rather endure unplayable rules that GW vomits on us than change them.

      • Adam March 29, 2014 2:45 pm #

        I’d just much rather play 40k than to have to relearn the game and my army for every event.

        • Reecius March 29, 2014 3:45 pm #

          We don’t play straight 40k, now. Every tournament already alters rules, it’s just a matter of to what degree.

          • Adam March 29, 2014 5:34 pm

            I think this is a degree too far then. The scenarios you guys wrote were fantastic because they were still very faithful to how the game is played. Your FAQ was great because it answered things that weren’t in the GW FAQ. But now we are talking totally new rules for armies, which is a huge difference.

          • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:41 pm

            Changing missions is a MUCH larger change to the game than altering the rules for a single unit. It’s funny though because people don’t question that at all.

  13. Casey H March 29, 2014 12:46 pm #

    A reasonable (at first glance) fix to CSM. Their suckage is one of the main reasons I shelved ’em. … but tau & eldar came along not too long after.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:31 pm #

      It’s the same reason you and every other player ha sstuck their Chaos Space marines on the shelf and only run Heldrakes and Cultsists. They totally, 100% screwed up the rules on CSMs.

  14. Joshua March 29, 2014 12:48 pm #

    The only addition I would add to the ability to purchase ATSKNF would be if the unit did not purchase Veterans of the Long War. As the length of time for the “original” marines is why they have lost the ATSKNF in the first place. So if you wanted to take this rule you wouldn’t be able to take the Veterans of the Long War as well. (Not that I see a whole lot of people taking this in a competitive setting anyway.) But it would fit the thematic aspect a bit more in my opinion. Just my two cents.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:37 pm #

      That’s fair, although the Veterans are if anything, even more fearless, but I see no issue with that.

      • Joshua March 29, 2014 10:08 pm #


        I sat down at the shop today while Keno and everyone played Star Wars tearing through the Chaos Codex trying to figure out a way to make CSM units viable. I don’t know if you guys have anyone down there willing to playtest any ideas, but I am definitely down for giving it a go. I would be up for trying to make them work. You know how much I like to run the “unplayable”.

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:42 pm #

          We have tried and tried and tired to make CSMs work, but they suck big, fat, hairy donkey balls.

          • Joshua March 30, 2014 12:48 pm

            Yeah, that is the problem I kept running into yesterday. For the points cost your paying there are just so many better options in the book that can be or already are better troop choices. I can definitely see the problem.

    • Chaos Reigns March 30, 2014 9:07 am #

      No no, this is a bad idea. That means anyone who decides to play the Black Legion codex is screwed.

      • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:42 pm #

        Lol, yeah, actually that is a good point.

  15. michael March 29, 2014 12:57 pm #

    No I totally disagree. This is fandex territory and I hate to go all Fox news but…this will be the first step down a slippery slope.
    I know what you guys are trying to do but..just no! I want to play Night Lords and will use the Chaos Space Marine Codex and when I don’t want my army to suck majorly I will use one of the many loyalist marine books.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:38 pm #

      So it’s better to have them sit on the shelf for who knows how long, years maybe, without getting played and only see Chaos armies of Drakes and Cultists than to actually attempt to fix awful rules that GW has told us directly, numerous times, we as a community are free to change if we do not like?

      • steven morrow March 29, 2014 9:12 pm #

        My feelings exactly

      • michael April 1, 2014 9:49 am #

        I don’t know I think its a tough call! On one hand you re-write missions which is essentially THE GAME and we as players don’t even fluster. Somehow this seems different.But hey maybe you should just try it out and see what happens. I definitely would like to play chaos marines with out hell turkeys.
        The more I think about it I’d really like to be able to just use the Chaos Marine codex and tons of chaos marines.
        I think that you should leave the aspiring champion rule alone.They are Chaos Marines after all and this rule makes them feel different from a marine serg or marine squad. I think buying and they shall know no fear is reasonable.
        Yeah go for it. WTF if GW is gonna spit crap like this out the community might as well try to fix it rather than take it!

    • The Voice March 30, 2014 3:33 am #

      Gw dont write rules for tournament goers. Let tournament goes make the game right for thier purposes. Gw have always said that the rules are the guideline and feel free to change things if your want.

      This is not fandexing, it is house ruling, and house rules have been a part of the hobby since day one. Lighten up.

      • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:43 pm #

        They are a part of the tournament experience now, actually.

  16. z3n1st March 29, 2014 1:15 pm #

    I seriously do not want to see Chaos with ATSKNF, it is stupid good. Chaos can already grab fearless for what 10 pts, they need ATSKNF as well? Chaos warriors aren’t laser awesome but they have other stuff that is hands down better than loyalists (Oblits and Helldrake anyone?). If people want an evil space marine, just play a space marine army and call it ‘Evil’ and be sure to raise your little pinky when you do it.

    Now in regards to the challenge, that I am on the fence about, but as others have said you are just getting into Fandex territory now with rule changes. If you are going to modify it maybe make it closer to what it should have been, they can’t refuse a challenge (but are not required to make one). this keeps with the whole (“hey boss he called you a wimp, are you going to let that slide, because to me that means you ARE a wimp”) VS BLOOD FOR GAAHAA, why have you forsaken me evil gods!

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:36 pm #

      You mean the 25 point fearless Icon that can be sniped out of the unit with incredible ease? The one that you never, ever, ever see in a tournament list? Plus, it makes them cost 15.5 points per model in a 10 man unit, which is more than a loyalist marine AND worse, lol! ATSKNF is better than fearless, plus Chaos has the utter garbage that is Champion of Chaos which further makes them unplayable.

      And yes, Heldrakes and Oblits are good, but that is irrelevant. When was the last time you saw actual Chaos Space Marines, the unit, in a Chaos list? You NEVER see them in tournaments. EVER. They are unbelievably bad, unplayably bad.

      And yes, this is a change, but it is a change to make more units in the Chaos book viable so that we get some variety beyond the same stuff we always see. It means more Chaos armies beyond Zombies/Cultists. And who cares if it is a community driven change? GW writes terrible rules! haha, if we didn’t change their rules, we’d be playing with Lords of War in every game. I don’t think anyone really wants that that has tried it out.

      • ReeciusMakeMeABaby March 29, 2014 4:40 pm #

        To be fair Reecius, Tournaments are not the benchmark of how 40k should be.

        …but I still love you!

        • Reecius March 29, 2014 5:01 pm #

          I totally agree, tournaments are there own thing. What we want is a fun, fair format in which to play. As it stands, the rules for chaos space marines are neither fun nor fair.

  17. masos March 29, 2014 1:19 pm #

    What about veterans of the long war or even an icon to make the the unit fearless. Why do they need shall know no fear, if they give you the tools to make them fearless. Why not just fork out the points for the icon? I’m probably missing something.

    • Novastar March 29, 2014 1:28 pm #

      Icons can be sniped very easily and no way to dodge the bullet

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:37 pm #

      The Icon is 25pts and is so easily sniped out. You would have to make the icon unable to be sniped for it to be a viable choice.

      • dirgepiper March 29, 2014 7:09 pm #

        We’ve been toying around with a way to make so icons can’t be simply sniped out. I hate how they can be in the first place, and a friend and I have been just tacking in a 3pt or 5pt price bump to make them exactly like marks.

      • Chosen of Khorne March 29, 2014 11:05 pm #

        Or give the icon a 2+ look out sir. So fanatical is the unit’s devotion to chaos, that the squad’s members readily sacrifice themselves to protect the symbol of their chosen god….. Or some fluffy reason like that to justify protecting the cost of the icon.

        • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:45 pm #

          Yeah, you would have to do something because as it is, they are crazy expensive for something so vulnerable.

        • nkump March 31, 2014 7:35 am #

          This is a really cool suggestion. Fluffy, simple, and would seem a decent compromise. Something in the icons’ description that says “The bearer gains: Independent Character” could be an interesting thing to try. He could leave a squad and go boost another if they lost their banner…etc

  18. Ryan Murphy March 29, 2014 1:38 pm #

    Or you could just make the I on a unit upgrade. So that it couldn’t get sniped.

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 1:40 pm #

      That is definitely a viable alternative, for sure. But, it makes already expensive Chaos units even more expensive. However, that it is a good idea.

      • Ryan Murphy March 29, 2014 2:00 pm #

        I just think there would be less push back with a minor rules change like that, or have the icon “picked up” by someone else.

        • Reecius March 29, 2014 3:46 pm #

          You may very well be right.

        • Adam March 30, 2014 11:37 am #

          Honestly, playing within the rules is far more appealing to me than adding entirely new ones. Saying that icons cannot be sniped would be a far smaller change, which doesn’t add entirely new rules to an army.

          • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:46 pm

            Then perhaps that is the path of least resistance and the middle ground.

        • Smellofwetdog March 30, 2014 1:26 pm #

          I think this solution is more elegant thank ATSKNF. That and a change to the champion rules should go a long way toward assuaging this issue.

          I disagree on the slippery slope issue however, I think changing this dumb stuff that’s broken for no reason. This makes a more varied, better system to play within.

          • Reecius March 30, 2014 2:07 pm


          • Ryan Murphy March 30, 2014 3:58 pm

            Agreed, also any change that adds more variety to the game is a good thing to at least consider. I doubt even with this change that you will see many more chaos armies pop up. You just might see more diversity in those people who already would bring chaos. I would enjoy playing against something other than cultists and drakes every game!

          • Reecius March 30, 2014 4:13 pm

            My thoughts exactly, Ryan. All this would do is open the dex up. GW isn’t going to fix it, so why should we suffer as a result?

  19. Reggie Sanchez March 29, 2014 1:42 pm #

    I would work with the rules in the codex. Let the Aspiring Champion select the boon instead of rolling minus the Daemon Prince and 3 additonal boons options.

  20. Chuckles March 29, 2014 3:00 pm #

    Bringing back the mark/icon of chaos undivided/undecided/glory wouldn’t be a bad thing. Heck the Fantasy Chaos mortals get it for free, or at least they did. I could also see the Champion of Chaos granting Preferred Enemy in challenges as being something that does a little to bring them up to strength.

    I think you’re underselling the humble chaos marine a little, kept barebones you can pack a lot of them into a list and they’re still marines, in fact cheap ones. Marine spam has always been a tough nut to crack, and provided you don’t skimp on the supporting stuff it can be effective.

    I think the CSM codex as a whole falls down a lot unless you ally in daemons to cover its weaknesses, it compares poorly to Codex: Space Marines and deserved a similar level of effort put into it.

    • Novastar March 29, 2014 8:16 pm #

      I rennet back in the day when chaos had one book for marines and daemons, it was the best and boy was it a complete cash grab to split them off in 4th Ed and 5th Ed

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:47 pm #

      They are cheap, but their vulnerability to challenges and morale make them a total point sink, which is why you never see them on the table top.

  21. BBF March 29, 2014 3:06 pm #

    If they were stubborn that would be perfect .

    • Eldarain March 29, 2014 4:40 pm #

      Yeah, I could agree with all Chaos Marines starting with the Mark of Chaos Undivided granting Stubborn.

      What if you changed the Champion of Chaos rule to “A model with this rule may not decline a challenge from a model with the same or fewer starting wounds”

      This way you could actually buy Champions some upgrades without having to throw all those points away getting auto stomped by the first HQ who walks by.

      • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:47 pm #

        That might be a good middle ground. That way your Champion doesn’t go into a challenge with someone he can’t hope to beat and commit suicide.

  22. ansacs March 29, 2014 3:19 pm #

    I would say you need to be careful as I don’t want BAO, LVO, and frontlinegaming to end up loosing attendance and not have you guys around. You all are a major resource to the community. I assume that is why you are asking about this though.

    I for one am all for it. Honestly GW has been very hit and miss since forever. If they have no intention of writing balanced rules then I would rather have a group of people that plays hundreds of games at various levels of competitive brackets balance the rules than have poorly balanced rules. I think the icon is an easier change and easier to accept. I get why ATSKNF is wanted, it is the best of the morale rules, but that is also why it would be harder for most to accept as it works better against melee units than shooting units.

    • masos March 29, 2014 4:10 pm #

      I agree you guys are very important to the community of competitive/fun events. You guys have done awesome thus far and Im not saying that I’m apposed to the change I think that that CSM could use a boost. (One of my good friends that I play with often said he was thinking of quitting chaos because of the upstream battle. I would hate to see people like him quit their beautiful chaos army’s just because of unbalanced over looks by GW part.)

      • Reecius March 29, 2014 5:03 pm #

        I sold my fully painted forge world, world eaters army because chaos was so unenjoyable to play. I’d rather make a change than see more player’s give up on the army or the game.

        • Vidar March 31, 2014 9:05 pm #

          My massively expensive commissioned Alpha Legion sits in boxes in storage. This sucks!

          In warmachine, a unit leader can immediately be replaced by any other model when they die. Could do that with the icon… maybe even the champion to represent the power-grabbing nature of the CSM

    • Reecius March 29, 2014 5:15 pm #

      Don’t worry about that. In the end, tournament gamers will go to tournaments. We know this to be true. Even of they don’t love the format, they’ll go because they love tournaments. That said, we’re not trying to force anytbing on anyone, we want to make the event gamers want to go to. Finding the middle road isn’t always easy though, and this we have these conversations.

  23. Mike Bass March 29, 2014 3:52 pm #

    I’m all for it.

  24. S Smith March 29, 2014 4:06 pm #

    I think that you could make the champions only have to challenge things with the same number of starting wounds. A squad champ should know not to challenge the swarmlord but he might be considered a wimp if he doesn’t challenge a DA sarge. Makes it a little less terrible while still retaining some flavor.

  25. omnilicious March 29, 2014 4:17 pm #

    These are the kinds of rule changes that should be avoided. This is more suited for friendly play as a house rule than a tournament change.

    Though, I have to add that I’m torn. Changing rules for the big tournaments is really the only way to get GW to make changes, They won’t do anything unless it looks like they’ll make money off of it.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:49 pm #

      GW it appears to me at this point, is simply pumping out content with no regard for the quality. I just don’t think we can take the rules seriously under those conditions.

  26. Orthon March 29, 2014 4:59 pm #

    Reecius, don’t let the people saying you can’t change the rules deter you. I have read your articles, including this one, and you have already put more play testing and thought into this unit than GW has. In no way will giving Chaos Space Marines ATSKNF break the game or make the unbalanced.

    I support this change and I think it is a step in the right direction. With no real FAQ or rebalancing of the game since last year, we will have to take these kinds of common sense steps to make the game more playable. Blind faith and obedience to GW, when they have shown they do not care about supporting this game is garbage.

    Also the to counter the rants about fandexes, what do you people think those garbage data slates and supplements are? Some moron at GWs fandex you have to pay for.

    • bogalubov March 29, 2014 5:45 pm #

      I’ll agree with this. The designers at GW don’t seem to communicate with each other to balance things between codices. They don’t even seem to balance things within a codex most of the time.

      The new IG book is having a decrease in commissar costs by 10 points and that gets a 1 wound commissar that passes look-outs on 4+ to be the same cost as an inquisitor that has 3 wounds and passes look-outs on a 2+. How does that make any sense?

      The legion of the damned book had someone work on it for 1 afternoon. Maybe not even that long. I think I put more effort into college essays that I wrote the night before they were due. We can go on and on about these examples.

      We cannot rely on GW to put out descent rules and thus we should not be afraid to make our “fandexes”.

      • The Voice March 30, 2014 3:22 am #

        I agree, but their not even “fandexes”.

        i see nothing wrong in a little balancing. If done correctly then all youve done it make something viable with a tweek. A fandex is literally making things up from scratch.

        Whats wrong with:

        Atsknf Chaos marines
        Flash Gitz that dont pay for thier first upgrade
        180 firing arc hell drakes.
        Genestealers with a 4+ save
        Pyravores with torrent

        nothing!! they will still do the job that was intended, but in a much more reasonable way.

        The only exception id say is the sisters of battle. Now THAT needs a fandex. Complete re write.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:53 pm #

      Yeah, it may come to this. GW certainly isn’t play-testing their stuff at this point. Why do we take rules seriously that are not created seriously?

  27. z3n1st March 29, 2014 6:00 pm #

    Changing the fearless banner to a mark (or banner that simply isn’t lost if the guy is sniped) I can get behind

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:50 pm #

      Yeah, maybe that is the middle ground.

  28. RyanL March 29, 2014 6:13 pm #

    As a general principal, I don’t like the idea of changing the rules – the slippery slope and all that.

    On the other hand, I do like the idea of CSMs getting a boost and (as contradictory as it sounds) I do agree with all your arguments.

    However, I don’t want CSMs to get ATSKNF. I don’t believe this fits Chaos Marine fluff or how they should feel – they abandoned the Imperium, I don’t believe they should have the discipline and tactical control that the Loyalists have. If I wanted to play boring marines with ATSKNF I’d play Space Marines. 😛

    Make them Fearless, by all means. It’s not as good but it fits the way CSMs should be /so/ much better.

    As for Champion of Chaos, have them turn into a Chaos Spawn if they /lose/ the combat – that is the punishment for displeasing the gods, not merely death! If they win, give them a roll on the Boon table as normal… Admittedly, this may be too good for Cultist Champions, gaining a Spawn from a 14 point model….

    • ansacs March 29, 2014 6:43 pm #

      Okay that turning to spawn if you loose would just be awesome. Perhaps he eats d3 of his squad mates to balance it or something. Either way GW needs to get on the spawnhood train.

      Oh and I agree completely with the chaos champs rework. The must always challenge is just a terrible rule in every way. It hits the perfect trifecta of taking away player control, not matching fluff, and working to actively sabotage CSM units.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:54 pm #

      Yeah, I understand the slippery slope argument very well. But we want the game we want to play, not the insanely convoluted game we’re getting right now.

  29. Brakhal March 29, 2014 6:54 pm #

    I don’t agree that CSM being the worst troop in the game (pyrovores, genestealers, mandrakes exists), but I like this change and I think it deserves some playtesting.

    The CSM option needs a boost, and also this can open the door for some fanmade rules designed to improve the game, rules writted by people who actually knows what they’re playing, tests the rules they’re making and care about the gaming experience.

    • Hugz4Genestealers March 29, 2014 11:01 pm #

      To be fair, he did say worst *troop* in the game, so the pyrovore and mandrake don’t qualify, but I’d probably argue stealers and ripper swarms are still worse, being just as/more expensive, and only having tissue paper for armor, no guns, and in the case of the rippers, not scoring and actively kills itself when outside synapse range.

  30. Lackluster Batreps March 29, 2014 7:06 pm #

    Does anyone else see the 2 up rerollable sorcerer you can take for crimson slaughter? T5 On a bike? Mannon and Daemonheart? Sigil of corruption…

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:55 pm #

      Yeah, the Div Sorcerer is the best thing to happen to Chaos since the Heldrake.

  31. Slaede March 29, 2014 7:46 pm #

    Reword of Champion of Chaos, sure. I’d appreciate my Lord and Sorcerer not having to commit suicide. ATSKNF is unnecessary. CSM still won’t be played because they contribute little offensively. Cultists allow you to spend more points on things that get the job done.

    Unless you want to make a rule that says CSM Rhinos are open-topped, they won’t see any play.

    • Droozy March 30, 2014 12:12 pm #

      Open topped rhinos would be sweet

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:56 pm #

      If you made Icons an upgrade, not a physical item that can be sniped out, it would make them playable, IMO.

  32. nimrod451 March 29, 2014 8:56 pm #

    This is a pretty bloated thread already but I thought I’d through my 2 cents in and I’m sure at this point I’m mimicking something someone else said…but still… for what its worth.

    I feel modifying core rules like how an army “works” is a very slippery slope. Its hard to tell when to stop – one of the guys that I play with frequently has a similar attitude. He feels if its For example – if you start adding things to units, that changes the character of the unit (and as crappy and as sad as it often is) you change how they play. Like for example – if we’re stupid we should do it. I’m more feeling that.. if we need to change the rules to much, when do we stop playing 40k – not just in essence, but in reality..

    going to make that change.. maybe all tactical squads should get a close combat weapon like grey hunters.. or maybe space wolves should be allowed to have storm talons.. or maybe everyone should be able to ally with imperial knights to balance it out..

    To be honest its probably me being naïve – and remember I’m not a real tournament player.. I mostly make terrain and do fluffy things.. but that’s my impression. It also doesn’t mean I wouldn’t try a tournament if it implemented the rule either though.. I’d just feel weird, heh..

    -montana brent guy-

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 12:58 pm #

      Your arguments are valid and I have made them myself.

      But the landscape around us is changing rapidly. The game could be a lot more enjoyable, IMO, if we took some ownership in it and fixed some of the crappy things GW has been feeding us. They certainly won’t fix it.

      So the question is, is it more important to stick to the printed rules or to make the game we want to play? If you agree it is the latter, then you need rules for how you go about changing things so that you can only touch on things that need to be improved or nerfed, not just anything for any reason.

      • nimrod451 March 30, 2014 8:23 pm #

        I think at some point some of us struggle with it because – in the end- we also want to believe that someone has a grand plan other than just taking money.. or that someone will realize something and.. make a more intelligent decision.

        It wouldn’t stop me from coming to the LVO again though.. rules just have to be clear and it wouldn’t be a problem..

        In the limited meta we plan in though its a weird thing – one of my friends tried to break down the game and stat it all out himself – we were trying to answer the question why do we play 40k.. We couldn’t pin-point a real answer.. I think sometimes we like the game because of its shitty faults..

        .. if we didn’t.. we wouldn’t talk about it so much heh..

        One other thing i saw somewhere in this big discussion – again maybe this is misplaced faith- you said its obviously “design flaws” and “not what they intended.” (I’m paraphrasing no insult at all intended) but.. what if it is intended and that weird “internal balance” actually matters, how hard would it be to get people to change it back – as I’m writing this though, I know you guys will test everything to the nines to see if its broken or not prior.. So I trust you and the others you work with to make such decisions I suppose, but whenever i think of gaming i think this.. “Gamers will always find a way to break the system to their advantage” especially competitive ones!

  33. Smurfalypse March 29, 2014 9:43 pm #

    Touchy topic it seems and I am a bit late to respond but I felt I needed to say something.

    I have played 40k for about 18 years and have played nothing but Chaos Space Marines the entire time, I dabble in Daemons every so often now but almost always CSM as my primary. I say this because I want people to know where my “love” stands when it comes to which faction.

    With that said, I would very much dislike something like this in a tournament setting. I really do get where you are coming from and I appreciate the idea of making them better, but the issue that it creates of “where do we stop?” is very very valid and worrying. Why not fix Genestealers? They are in pretty poor shape as well (not as bad admittedly, but pretty darned close). Why not help out Terminators, Dreadnoughts, DA Flyers? I mean, you go down this road and it becomes a favoritism issue, you love CSM and you want them to work and in their current setup they do not. They do not work in any scenario that you place them in, they are in fact the worst troop choice in the game hands down. But nerfing and buffing units on our own really makes playing in tournaments a bit more difficult, having to memorize the changes to individual units in each individual tournament is really tough.

    Just my two cents.
    I would play in a tournament that did this, but I would not agree with the change 😛

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:00 pm #

      Thanks for your input and yes, totally understand this argument: where do you stop?

      The thing is, GW is writing crap rules that don’t function. For example you literally can’t play an Imperial Knight with the rules GW gives us without making some stuff up.

      If the rules are not written professionally, we can’t take them that way, IMO.

      • Smurfalypse March 31, 2014 5:44 am #

        Not an argument, promise. I 100% would love something like this, I would just not like changes to a codex in a tournament environment.

        Knights is a bit different. These are grey areas that just need to be explained better, what you are proposing is actually adding on rules to a unit and that is where my worry stems from.

        You are right, the rules are not written to a high standard, especially considering the price of these books. How about using your popularity within the community to get 2-5 thousand people write letters to GW and explain the situation is not acceptable? Not just the issue with CSM but there are tons of issues, no FAQs, poorely written rules, balance issues, est est.

        If they got literally thousands of customers all wrote in with a list of the same issues they would listen. I loved your article about GW not just being a model company as they claim, follow up with that and lead people in a writting campaign.

  34. scousematt March 30, 2014 3:27 am #

    I think its a shame its come to this, changing core units. But I agree 100% that it is necessary, and as a non-Chaos player with lots of Chaos playing friends I would have no objections.

    For the fluff bunny inside me though can we call it something different from ATSKNF lol? Maybe make VOTLW a point more and add the ATSKNF rules to it?

  35. eldritchstormer March 30, 2014 5:05 am #

    Have to agree with smurfalypse. This goes towards playing favourites. And also only addresses one side of the coin. What about stuff that’s too strong who gets to decide balance and what is fluffy? I for example hate the chaos heldrake. Far too cheap, survivable and killy. I would Move that flamer to AP 4 and drop torrent. … But that is a nerf right? Not fair? The logic is the same though.
    Not for this type and of non codex ruling for units at all.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:02 pm #

      You make a good point. It is very, very hard to find a middle road that doesn’t delve into playing favorites.

  36. DCannon4Life March 30, 2014 5:27 am #

    ATSKNF is, in itself, too powerful. I last played SM in 4th (when you got to pick your advantages/disadvantages). The way this rule interacts with going to ground, with being pinned, with regrouping, with being ‘swept’ in a lost combat is remarkable. Fearless units cannot go to ground. Fearless units cannot ‘break’ from combat and, if not caught, regroup, shoot and charge the unit they just ran from.

    Stubborn CSM seems a reasonable compromise (and for no cost). ATSKNF is too big a change.

    As for the Champion of Chaos rule: That rule is straight crap. As an adjustment–if you want to be able to roll on the boon table, you must challenge or accept a challenge. Otherwise, keep calm and chaos on.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:04 pm #

      ATSKNF is one of the best rules in the game, hands down. And yes, Champion of Chaos is a incredibly terrible rule.

  37. Hotsauceman1 March 30, 2014 8:04 am #

    Where is the Dark angel Troop Buffs? Or the Tau or eldar Buffs? Just because Chaos is your favorite Army reece, does not mean you can go around buffing them

    • Chaos Reigns March 30, 2014 9:21 am #

      I am confused how DA troops need a buff, or Tau and Eldar. You can make fire warriors have more staying power than CSMs by having an Ethereal stand NEAR them, not even in the squad. And you’re right, Eldar troops are bad off.

      Well it appears I may be one of the crazy ones because I’m the Chaos player that still plays only chaos when all the others shelf their army because they don’t like the book. Played em in 5th, play em now. I agree it’s complete nonsense how CSMs are in the rules, and I always love how people defend them sucking (because they don’t play CSMs and normal SM players need all the little advantages they can get). It amuses me, truly, that someone can talk about the book is still strong because of oblits (which are still a very balanced unit due to high cost) and drakes (specifically useful) when CSM doesn’t place. Really, ever, in significant tournaments. While SMs go up against stupid deathstar lists and cut it top tier. No, Chaos got fucked and there is no reason, ESPECIALLY from the fluff stand point, that we should have. I’d settle for free stubborn, honestly. Just that and I’d get by.

      To address the “slippery slope” argument, I say fuck it, let’s go down that slope. 6th ed sucks. Straight up. It’s cool for the feel it creates, but it’s a bad game system. Personally I would love it if someone had the time, initiative, and willingness to go through everything and fix it all. Balance out all the codices, fix ambiguous wording, change stupid rules, etc. At this point, surely no one can think that GW is more qualified to make rules than the people who play the game all the time. I must be a crazy person, but I’d like to go to a tournament and see more than five codices.

      inb4 complaints from Tau/Eldar/SM players about “breaking” CSMs by making them relevant.
      tl;dr: let’s fix everything

      • Hotsauceman1 March 30, 2014 11:28 am #

        Well, DA dont place that well either, so they need a buff, Tau troops fold like wet noodles, and so forth. Everyone has weaknesses in their codexes, try to make up for it in other way.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:03 pm #

      Lol, Hatsauce, this is just an idea, a conversation, nothing that is actually happening. Chaos isn’t my favorite army, either, just one of my favorites and how badly they were treated in this book is shameful.

    • Droozy March 30, 2014 1:28 pm #

      I think bladestorm and the accessibility of jetbike troops gives Eldar a pretty damn good selection for their troops. What buff would you say Eldar needs? They are still the top of the top tier armies.

      • Droozy March 30, 2014 1:30 pm #

        And wave serpent dedicated transports? Eldar are beastly in the troop department.

      • Reecius March 30, 2014 2:06 pm #

        Eldar doesn’t need anything. They are the single most powerful book in the game, right now.

  38. gt March 30, 2014 8:24 am #

    ATSKNF? No. Making the fearless banner unable to be picked out by a sniper, okay. Does this apply to the DA more dakka banner then also? What about other specialists like the guy with the plasma gun?

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:04 pm #

      I understand what you are getting at: where do you stop once you open this door, but the counter argument is: is it better to continue on with shit rules?

  39. Clover362 March 30, 2014 9:09 am #

    Reece i’m a CSM player so I feel your pain regrading chaos marines. The problem is I just don’t think we can get into game redesign for tournament play. GT’s attract players from around the country with the idea that we can all show up and play 40k. What your proposing is essential Reece’s 40k which I’m sure would be enjoyable but not the game that we all share as a community. And once you start doing that it’s a slippery slope. Why not buff gene stealers? why not buff blood angle assault marines? my not make deathwing cheaper? why not give SW the storm talon?

    From a competitive stand point, I think you would agree that CSM has some very good builds for it especially with the supplements. They are not top tier and you don’t get to see CSM on the table but you can bring a CSm army to a GT and not feel completely outclassed like a BA or an ORK player might feel.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:10 pm #

      All good points. And, totally understandable.

      “Reece 40K” or whatever people want to call it, “tournemant 40K”, who cares. But, if we as a community can come together to fix codexes on a unit by unit basis, with a set of strict criteria and make it readily available on the net, it is actually more accessible than GW’s rules.

      • nkump March 31, 2014 7:54 am #

        I know its not to the same scale really (so take the comparison with a grain of salt)…but a slightly similar thing happened with Blood Bowl. The community went through an incredibly thorough process of re-writing the rules to suit a competitive ‘scene’

        The games arent 100% analogous (especially since BB was a specialist game), but even GW hosts the Blood Bowl “Competition Rules” on their site now. It would definitely take an incredible amount of collaboration on the part of TOs, but its a pretty worthwhile endeavor if you want to create a more varied (army-wise) tournament landscape.

        Kind of the same way that people have no problem with a “kill team” ruleset, I would think a “Tourney Pack” set could make sense…its just a matter of trust in the arbiters (and who they are)

  40. Smellofwetdog March 30, 2014 10:35 am #

    I support this.

    quick story: I got into 40k with a bunch of friends when we were like 15 in the mid 90’s using the models and playing our own rules. After we realized one guy was basically changing 40k rules to benefit himself (This is the kind of stuff 15 y/o will do) we just played 40k but found lots of balance as bad or worse. After that we house-ruled stuff all the time and lots of other people do the same.
    The point of all this is we’re not 15 y/os trying to screw over our friends on weekends for the lulz, I mean some of us might be but we know Reece isn’t and I suspect a fair portion of the community isn’t either.
    GW isn’t play testing or balancing the rules to this game. It’s clear if you play strictly with their rules you get a broken sloppy mess that requires hours of re-interpretation to function. I don’t see a reason a community of intelligent people can’t make some changes to the system that results in a more balanced and robust game. Frankly lots of us have much more responsibility in our daily lives than modifying the rules to a game. I think we can get together and discuss ways to reasonably accommodate the most broken rules among us.

    This is a good thing.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:12 pm #

      Thanks for the support, sir!

  41. lordalchemy March 30, 2014 10:35 am #

    As a long time chaos player who still runs CSM troops I would love the idea of a change but giving CSM aysknf is a little over the top. If we are going to change something, i would say make the icon unsnipable by saying that once an icon bearer is killed, someone in the unit picks it up. Basically the unit keeps the boon from the icon until the unit dies. Simple fix and something that most players can get behind. Having VOTLW offer stubborn would be cool as well.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:12 pm #

      Those are both good suggestions, actually.

  42. Tenebris March 30, 2014 11:11 am #

    I say do it, really, just do it. The more of this rules and changes to rules are made by the players the more it will be clear that somewhere, someone from GW did a bad job. In WFB we have Euro formats, No Limits, Swe… all those are changes devised by the players for the players, to offer a better and more balanced gameplay.

    Do CSM need ATSKNF? Yes they do, that or discipline 10, but they need a reliable way to return to combat when they suffer morale checks. Is this too much to ask? No, because even so we speak of an unit, the standard chaos space marine, which will still be relegated to shelf duty since the unit as it stands it is ill devised (if for that the entire CSM codex).

    So yes, ATSKNF for 1 pts. per models is understandable. Easy to implement and easy to use in the army lists without to much of a hassle.

    As for Champion of Chaos… leave it as it is, it is a core mechanic of the CSM codex and it would require a better approach to the whole ruling. Too much trouble for too little of a gain.

    In short, the more changes are made and enforced by the players the more it will be clear that some of those changes should be implemented in the next books GW publishes. As it is now, between formations, escalation, knights and so on, I think the player community in general will have to devise a clear set of rules to make the armies competitive, balanced and fluffy, we cannot expect from GW to ever do that, hence it is on our shoulders.

  43. Droozy March 30, 2014 11:39 am #

    Such a touchy subject. I think everybody who plays this game understands the imbalance inherent in 40k and the lack of comprehensive playtesting done by GW before releasing new rules, units or codices. I’m pretty sure Reecius, Frankie and the boys play more 40k than the guys who are writing these rules and are more acutely aware of the issues within the gameplay. I think changes like this are positive but for people to accept it there needs to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. I would suggest looking seriously at the different armies and determine a hierarchy of strongest to weakest. Leave the top tier armies alone but give boons to the rest with the boons being given based on the perceived needs. None of these changes should alter the competitive edge of any army too much, just enough to give players of lower tier armies a half-chub. I understand that people don’t want to start changing things too much and how slippery that slope can be but what exactly are we protecting? The Seer Councils domination of every game it plays in? I don’t really see protecting gross game imbalance as a noble endeavor. GW makes this game but it belongs to us and we should strive to make it more enjoyable for everyone.

    • Droozy March 30, 2014 11:55 am #

      Also I think the changes should be focused on fixing the dumb. CSM being pussies is dumb. Space Wolves not having fliers is dumb. Dark Angels and Space Wolves not having access to Grav Guns is dumb. There’s tons of dumb stuff that can and should be changed by the community if GW is unwilling to address the problems

      • Reecius March 30, 2014 1:15 pm #

        Good points and I agree. We would have to have a strict hierarchy for altering rules if something like this were to happen. Fix only the idiotic stuff first. That makes it more palatable to the community.

  44. ansacs March 30, 2014 2:50 pm #

    I find a lot of the arguments against this based on the rules shouldn’t be changed or we want to play 40K not “reece” 40K are actually very strange. I have not seen a tournament playing GW 40K in years. There are no FW rules, different mission formats, FAQs which directly contradict RAW, etc. No tournament player at these GT’s has been playing GW’s 40K for years now, GW’s 40K is literally not playable without house rules and a copious amount of tweaks. I already mostly use the BAO tweaks for my gaming making a few extra changes would be fine with me. The question is there would have to be a “do no harm” policy at the core of it. The CSM buffs would largely not make a difference to the game except see a few more CSM squads around. Any buff to firewarriors or eldar troops would likely see them become extremely powerful.

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 3:32 pm #

      Exactly. It’s not about changing the game to be our version of it, it is about fixing obvious errors in the rule set. It makes the game more fun and gives us more variety.

  45. TinBane March 30, 2014 2:57 pm #

    Sorry Reece,
    You know I love you like a brother, a brother that lives in the US and only talks to me twice a week, via a podcast. But I think you are wrong:

    You are wrong because you didn’t add it as a bolt-on $24 supplement.

    People will be much more receptive, if you release it at:
    “Codex Space Marines that happen to live in the Eye of Terror – A Chaos Codex Supplement”.
    The Supplement can be used as a primary, and allies as per the chaos codex.
    It has the same units, and has one page of rules which is just the option to add ATSKNF to things for +1 pt. The rest of the 64 pages, are artwork and text from the Horus Heresy novels, including the dozens of pages where Space Marines admit that they basically don’t feel fear, because it’s been excised from their brains.

    I think it’s not a slippery slope, but a slip and slide to funville. There’s probably a unit for most factions that needs a fix. I’m pretty sure that you and Franky play more 40k than the design team (they probably only play 30k and 7th ed).

    • Reecius March 30, 2014 3:32 pm #

      Lol, yes, it needs to be a supplement, and then it would be well received! hahaha

  46. Orthon March 30, 2014 4:45 pm #

    Reecius, make terminators and dreadnoughts competitive next!

    • TinBane March 30, 2014 7:17 pm #

      Terminator’s armour is only negated if they are doubled out (wow, just fixed deathwing knights shield formation as well) in addition to AP 2 or better.

      Dreadnoughts are 10pts less, deep strikers and drop pods don’t scatter when placed near them, and this works even if they’ve just entered play in this turn.

      • TinBane March 30, 2014 7:18 pm #

        Sorry, that should be:
        Terminators still get an armour save against AP 2, if it doesn’t double them out. AP1 etc works as per normal.

  47. TutorialBoss March 31, 2014 6:03 am #

    I think this would be the wrong way to begin changing. It’s arbitrary because there are so many other units in the game which deserve a buff and it’s represents a piecemeal approach that would take far longer than necessary both to devise and then for players to remember.

    Why not tackle the issues at the core? E.g. in this case, you might change sweeping advances to be less devastating (lose however many models you lost the initiative test by) and change the challenge mechanics so that only independent characters can participate in them.

    And those are just a couple of low-ranking ones as far as current rules annoyances go (cough battle brothers)

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 4:47 pm #

      Sweeping advance is usually pretty fair, it is just when you have a really expensive unit that not only can’t stop it but actually goes out of its way to make it happen is when you get problems.

  48. Oadius March 31, 2014 1:19 pm #

    Ummm, no. This is stupid. A million other units need help before Chaos Space Marines. Cultist and Zombies are awesome, there are plenty of ways to beef them(chaos marines) up…they can be T5, rage or FEEL NO PAIN with a 3+ armor and you think they are the worst troop in the game? Wrong. Everything should be thought of in the context of the rest of the codex, i.e. heldrakes.

    What the fuck is going on in this community where we just add or subtract from the GW rules, just because some dude with a computer learned to type and wanted to read his own bullshit.

    Fluff does not dictate rules and neither should Reece or Frankie. We’ve all watched the bat reps where they get all types of basic shit wrong(lances vs super heavies, stomp, list goes on and on). Yet they still insist on their expert hats being extensively worn and tested, when in reality they are too busy selling gaming mats to read all the rules. Everything I’ve said here is “with respect” but I’m right. Stop wanting to change the game and just play it.

    Now Im supposed to believe that the same marines that betrayed their father and the entire. Imperium are so steadfast in their resolve that ATSKNF. They did know fear, they subscribed to the pantheon of the warp and FEAR is Malificarum’s primary power. Jesus Christ, read a book. I for one have nearly read them all and I know better. Chaos space Marines ARE PUSSIES! Only a pussy forsakes everything good and right in the universe for the promise of more power.

    What about Orks and Blood Angels? Why should the blood angel Dex be any weaker than Chaos? And yet, it is…by a long shot.

    There are so many flaws in the article’s logic, no to mention a complete lack of anything empirical to support it. Please stop with the superfluous riling up of the community, it’s not smart, even if it does drive a few more rants to your website. Stick with someone who bitches in style and not someone who just bitches because his favorite models don’t stack up in his eyes.

    • Eldarain March 31, 2014 1:45 pm #

      “Well, with all due respect, Mr. Dennit, I had no idea you’d gotten experimental surgery to have your balls removed.”… “Well, what? I said ‘With all due respect.'”
      -Ricky Bobby.

    • TinBane March 31, 2014 2:37 pm #

      Wow, someone woke up on the grumpy side of the bed! 🙂

      If you are arguing that GW have a good handle on balance, then you must be playing a different version of 6th ed from the rest of us.

      It’s very easy to nitpick on rules mistakes on videos, when you’ve never had any experience making your own. Also, from your ranty post, It appears you don’t really understand the “economics” of 40k. Sure, you can make a unit of chaos marines “really tough”. You can make them T5 and FNP (but not both), but the result is that it’s just a unit of tough chaos space marines, that end up costing a similar amount to terminators.

      If you’ve read any of the Horus Heresy books, then you’ll know that marines don’t get “ATSKNF” Because they are super brave. They get it because they’ve been changed to remove/reduce their ability to feel fear.

      The argument that other untis/lists should be changed, and therefore chaos shouldn’t, is simply false circular logic to reinforce your overwhelming luddite urge to change not one word of the holy text. By that logic, even if changes were suggested for BA or Orks, you would no doubt call for their rejection on the basis that CSMs or any other of the “millions” of units that need a tweak, should have one.

      Nobody plays 40k as a whole ruleset. There’s not one tournament, that I’m aware of, that is “all in”. It’s certainly not the norm. People have been fine with excluding forgeworld for years, and I haven’t seen a tournament that doesn’t have a tournament pack that explains non-core missions, non-core rules changes and non-core selection limitations.

      People vote with their wallets, and they obviously like that Reece and Frankie are doing, because their tournaments are well attended. Meanwhile, the school of the holy, “as the designers intended” revenant tournament hasn’t been doing so well.

      Get yourself a glass of water, take some ibuprofen for that splitting rage-headache, and maybe give the rules a test before you put on those cranky pants.

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 2:40 pm #

      Not really much of what you said here was with respect, actually Mike. It was all pretty offensive, actually.

      If you disagree with this, that is fine, but do so in less of a combative way. This is an open forum for debate of an idea. We listen to what the community wants and propose new ideas for feedback, if you can’t handle that type of an argument, perhaps you should choose not to participate.

    • The Voice April 4, 2014 3:58 am #

      “What the fuck is going on in this community where we just add or subtract from the GW rules ”

      erm,, gw activley encourages this in face. they have always been on the view that the rules are a basis for everyones hobby. Jervis is fact did a possitive article on house rules.

      All that is happening here is that, as community, trying to get some house rules together that 100’s of people can agree to, rather than a basement of 2+ friends.

      There is no problem here. There is no need for vitriol/

  49. Oadius March 31, 2014 1:30 pm #

    And by the way it’s completely contrary to say that a champion of Chaos is entitled to “and they shall know no fear” and in the same article make an argument for why they Shouldn’t challenge EVERY single Character/hero they face. Regular space marines don’t challenge everytime because they are inhibited by little concepts known as: discipline, loyalty, respect and tactical understanding. Chaos marines, not so much. It’s hard to be sane when there are horns sprouting from your head and gaping maws of razor sharp teeth protruding from your armor(or maybe none of you have seen a chaos model before).

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 2:33 pm #

      Well, your opinion on the fluff reasons for Chaos being suicidal may make sense to you but it isn’t a reason we can use to make decision, you know? Same goes for our own fluff justifications in our minds.

  50. Oadius March 31, 2014 1:32 pm #

    You people are mistaking rage for battle discipline. The two are not the same….

  51. Oadius March 31, 2014 1:52 pm #

    Everyone should just change a few of the rules to their liking. We’ll all submit our revisions and Frankie and Reece will just write an entirely new gaming system. Everyone can be happy and no one will get their feelings hurt(in a war game tournament). We shouldl all win the tournament and we can all go home and tell our mommy how we are the champion.

  52. Oadius March 31, 2014 2:08 pm #

    Eldarain – lol, exactly.

    Sorry, but if they were as committed to tournament 40k as they were to the Tablewar/frontline gaming mats then we would have a date and location for the BAOGT. They are busy doing other things, and that is certainly their right. They aren’t in the position to be making, or even suggesting that nuisanced changes to this game are within their providence. The 2+/4+ was reasonable and we decided on it as a community, but these types of articles do nothing but cause unrest and misplaced concern.

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 2:46 pm #

      Mike, for crying out loud, you do not know what we are doing with our time so don’t presume to. Are we somehow obligated to run the BAO on anyone else’s schedule? Would you like me to call you with daily updates as I am beholden to appease you with our progress? I have been working on this every day, the LVO 2015 contract is signed and the date is set. The BAO is nearing completion. These are really complex contracts that involve a LOT of money and can’t be rushed into.

      The change to the 2+ save came about form a conversation like this one where we discussed it as a community and debated it, as we are doing here, and came to a decision. And actually, we ARE in a position to suggest changes as we play the game more than 99% of the community and through the hard work, time, energy and money we’ve invested into building these tournaments we have earned that right. If you don’t like that, fine. Debate without insulting, or, run your own tournament the way you want to run and it grow it.

    • white925 April 1, 2014 11:30 am #

      Hahaha Mike if you think you can do better than us then by all means show us how to manage our time. Especially on events that we make little to nothing on the amount of time we put in. We throw events because we love the hobby and enjoy people having fun. If you would like to run a tournament with the rules as are go for it. I guarantee you less than 10% of the people that come will have fun. We make changes to rules that we think would make the game more fun and we always put it to a vote with our community. If we were so wrapped up in the gaming mats like you think we are would Reece be on here every single day commenting and asking the community questions? Would we be wasting our time arguing about a game that we love and play quite often and of course get rules wrong there are hundreds of them plus I cant read so I get more wrong than most people. But the answer to those questions is no we would sit back and drive around in our Lamborghini’s and fly our private jets to our private island where we play Frankie and Reece 40k!

  53. TinBane March 31, 2014 2:59 pm #

    I think part of this hostility, is the result of copying someone’s “special” rule.
    Many players see ATSKNF as the special preserve of Imperial Marines.
    Now rightly or wrongly, it provokes a strong reaction when you feel that the uniqueness of this ability might be compromised (even though half the 40k armies, have it :P).

    It seems like many comments are “yes, chaos marines aren’t useable, but they need some OTHER fix”.

    As you’ve said before, stubborn instead might be a good option, or alternatively changing the icons so they don’t apply to one model, but to the whole unit. Unfortunately, I think you are right, and neither of those changes will “fix” chaos marines so they can be fielded.

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 3:06 pm #

      I totally get the reaction, for sure. I have had it many times myself in the past. And we are totally open to other points of views or ideas, but, there is a right and a wrong way to have a debate. There is no call for insulting someone when you are trying to discuss the flaws or merits of an idea, it is a fundamental rule of debate.

      • TinBane March 31, 2014 3:53 pm #

        No arguments there 🙂

        Although I’m sure he’s right that if you stopped wasting your time running tournaments and a successful business, and focus more on being right, you could be 100% right with the rules in your videos ALL THE TIME. I mean, seriously, what does running tournaments or a games store teach you about balance?

        • Reecius March 31, 2014 4:43 pm #

          It means not much, apparently, unless you never make a mistake with the rules, haha. I can barely keep up with what rules are in the game at this point, let alone master them to the point where we make no mistakes.

          • The Voice April 1, 2014 12:56 am

            Incidentally, if people are getting shirty – A/- ignore em. B/ if they are getting funny about the fact atsknf is the domain of marines only..then they are wrong 🙂 – They did variant imperial guard abhuman doctrines once and there was a guard one with ATSKNF.

  54. Oadius March 31, 2014 4:05 pm #

    Roflmao. If you think what I have said here is an insult you’ve never been on my wrong side. I have stated facts here. You do make mistakes(we all do) all the time, it’s on video and you often make a comment to that effect. We’ve been spammed with gaming mat posts for the last week and plugged elsewhere, but there was a tiny after thought of a post about the BAOGT. You have been busy, it’s not a presumption it’s per your own remarks made several times in several different ways(or you lied). NONE OF THAT IS AN INSULT. IT’S BUSINESS, thats super cool.

    You are however not in any capacity to be suggesting garbage like this. That’s all it is, is garbage. You have got to get over this idea of you know more than GW. To accuse one of presumption when you take so much license with what GW does or doesn’t do, and why, is hilarious.

    You’d open this to “discussion” amidst the VERY recent releases of Chaos mini-dex and data sheet formations, is ludicrous and reckless. I suppose you’ve tested those comprehensively too, already. You’ve considered this change in the face of all those new forces and information? I think not.

    Go ahead and shit on the BAOGT. That’s the tournament that got you started, sport. How quickly you’ve forgotten…..

    I’m not one to mix words and under state the obvious. If you can’t take honesty then don’t open Pandora’s box by justifying garbage as “previously used”.

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 4:57 pm #

      Again, you are making assumptions about what we are doing and what our motivations are and then passing judgement while remaining ignorant of the actual facts. You call it “just being honest” but you are really just stating your own opinions as if they were facts in a rude way.

      You are free to hold whichever opinion you like. Our goal is to hold fun events that make the game as enjoyable as possible for the largest number of people possible. If you don’t like the direction we go, don’t come. It’s your choice. It you would like to add something constructive to this debate, then do so civilly or kindly keep your opinions to yourself.

      Even if you don’t feel that you are coming across as rude, that is definitely the impression you give. You may feel fine saying it but people reading it go on the defensive and are less likely to listen to what you have to say.

    • droozy April 1, 2014 7:37 am #

      I have no words… what this guys problem?

  55. Oadius March 31, 2014 4:16 pm #

    I’ll tell you what qualifies you to “balance” and/or “fix” a game…it’s designing one from the ground up and revising it for 30 years….. That’s not an insult either. Try not to take your pseudo-celebrity too seriously.

    • TinBane March 31, 2014 5:19 pm #

      You are right. The staff at GW know best, I mean, they’ve been working on it for 30 years, right?

      Or… they were until they left. Do you think Matt Ward was lead designer in the late 80s?

      And obviously whatever GW says is right?

      I mean, mutilators are a well balanced unit that sees a lot of play. I haven’t even seen it in friendly games! Meanwhile the revenant is ready for 40k duty at the next tournament!

      The LVO was a good example of whether people like Reece “messing with things he isn’t qualified to mess with”. And I haven’t talked to anyone who had a bad time there!

    • white925 April 1, 2014 11:40 am #

      Actually correction we are Celebrities. We have shirts!

  56. Oadius March 31, 2014 4:56 pm #

    Changing point costs? Did you bang your head?

  57. Oadius March 31, 2014 5:06 pm #

    “It means not much, apparently, unless you never make a mistake with the rules, haha. I can barely keep up with what rules are in the game at this point, let alone master them to the point where we make no mistakes.

    But you know enough about them to add MORE rules and change point costs?

  58. Oadius March 31, 2014 5:17 pm #

    I didn’t even think you capable of writing this article. I had to go back later to actually verify this wasn’t the submission of some random guy you were friends with. I made all these statements merely because I thought you ALLOWED it to be posted. The fact that you yourself wrote it makes me really really sad.

  59. Oadius March 31, 2014 5:20 pm #

    Now I know why all those people bitch about their favorite band selling out.

  60. Oadius March 31, 2014 5:21 pm #

    You guys are so close to Crockett(home of Green Day). Perhaps it’s a geo-locational affliction.

    • Droozy April 1, 2014 10:05 am #

      You are a hard person to be civil to. The ways that you present your ideas come off as childish and offensive. I really like this forum, people are civil to each other here, not snarky and dickish like on other forums like bols. Please be more thoughtful and less abrasive, we are all nerds here and there’s nothing sadder than nerd on nerd hatred.

  61. Oadius March 31, 2014 5:34 pm #

    Hahaha, a company / corporation like GW is not just one man. It’s an entity with 30 years of game making experience manifest through much more than the creative suggestions of one
    Designer. I suppose we should either nerf Tau and Eldar down or power up everyone else and by the way we are going to do it one arbitrary rule by one arbitrary rule…. Once your done balancing game mechanics you can start limiting IQ and experience level too. That way everyone who competes will have a chance and feel caudled in their mommy’s warm embrace..


    • TinBane March 31, 2014 5:52 pm #

      Sooo, is the CEO doing the game design? Perhaps his PA, or the shareholders?
      Any company, is made up of it’s staff. There’s no repository of shared wisdom, that permeates the buildings, or the documents of incorporation.

      GW has lost/failed to retain the staff that developed 40k. As such, your assertion that anyone who is designing it, has 30 years experience doing so is faulty.

      The mere suggestion that the “entity” as you put it, is itself designing games at all, shows some kind of vague rose-tinted myopia.

      I notice you didn’t bother to address the things I raised.

      Chill out, maybe collect your thoughts rather than posting a dribble of tiny posts, and relax. The blood angels will get their codex soon.

      You seem both very entitled, and very angry. Maybe you are right, and we should just leave 40k the way it is. Or maybe frontlinegaming should continue to talk to it’s customers, gauge their reactions, offer them options to express this through voting, and continue to run events.

      It seems like from the get go, you were interested in venting your spleen, over the difference of opinion you have over the direction Reece is taking. That’s fine, I’m sure Reece will give it the consideration it deserves, but from the sound of it you really just want to be angry.

    • droozy April 1, 2014 7:31 am #

      I think you need a snickers bro. No one should be this worked up over a conversation about potential changes in a game. It’s just a conversation homie. I don’t know you but seeing how much you are hating on Reece and the gaming mats makes me glad for that. Be happy that fellow gamers are making a good product, support small business. If you have an argument present it in an intelligent respectful way and your concerns will be addressed. Rampant hatred and disrespect solves nothing, you are on the frontline forum insulting Reece and Frankie. Learn respect, it’s the least you can do for people who bring so much to the community, even if you disagree with them.

  62. Oadius March 31, 2014 5:44 pm #

    I mean.. How did you decide? Did you throw a dart at a rack of Codexes and then throw the stricken dex into the air to see which page and orientation in landed on?

    • Reecius March 31, 2014 7:10 pm #

      Mike, your point is made, why don’t you just let this one go?

    • The Voice April 1, 2014 1:44 am #

      Are you on drugs?

      I really dont get the vitriol. Maybe if someone had changed your houses locks while you were away, but not a rule, in a book, about toy soldiers. Grow up, shut up or man up. Pick one. This is man barbies it not worth ulcer dude.

    • white925 April 1, 2014 11:48 am #

      Nope we piss excellence in the mornings and then have some breakfast. Go for a jog on our gaming mat streets. Then we swim in our profits from our events which let me tell you we have swimming pools full of. We then take a shit on our community and finally make the dumbest untested changes to rules of our choosing to all game systems. The goal is to have all rules for all games just be called Frankie and Reeces gaming!

      • Reecius April 1, 2014 11:49 am #

        F&RG! Best game EVA!!!

      • The Voice April 1, 2014 10:55 pm #

        I was talking to oadius – just to clarify 🙂

  63. Painjunky March 31, 2014 9:24 pm #

    Good on you Reece!

    Just give CSM ATSKNF for free and ditch the auto challenge garbage.

    They will still suck compared to regular marines who have Tactics, Combat squads, don’t have to buy a sarge, have superior weapons and transports….

    • Reecius April 1, 2014 11:48 am #

      Exactly, that is the thing, they still suck compared to regular Marines, but they’re better!

  64. Painjunky March 31, 2014 9:39 pm #

    They might actually see some game time this way… it’s worth a shot!

  65. Hunam0001 April 1, 2014 11:25 am #

    Why not just bring back Mark of Chaos Undivided, that lets you re-roll moral tests (successful or unsuccessful)?
    I’m pretty sure that was in their 3rd ed codex (donno if it was in the 4th ed one)

    • Reecius April 1, 2014 11:47 am #

      That worked really well mostly because you didn’t stack modifiers to morale. If you get owned in combat and have a -5 to your leadership, even with a reroll, hitting snake yes in very unlikely.

  66. Angelofblades April 2, 2014 11:41 am #

    I don’t think giving CSM’s ATSKNF for a price is the answer. They’re already over priced in comparison to their Imperial Counter parts as it is. Insteand I would give them a bastardized version of ATSKNF for free. I was thinking something like this:

    Roll Morale check as normal
    Fails = business as usual
    Pass = Unit can choose to Fail – if they do so, will automatically rally in their turn. If they choose to fail in Combat, opponent canno’t perform Sweeping Advance – CSM unit will auto rally next turn.
    Immune to Fear.

  67. Mr E April 3, 2014 10:30 pm #

    How about just lend the poor chaos space marines anolderrule from a bygone era of 3rd ed, the old dark Angels intractable rule, I don’t have the book handy for the wording but if I remember correctly it gives you a boost on the old rapid fire rules,which would be totally in line with games workshop because makes no flucking sense at all, easy on it general odeous

  68. Mr E April 3, 2014 10:31 pm #

    Take a chill pill with your morning coffee.

  69. Schadenfreude April 7, 2014 11:31 am #

    We can all agree chaos space marine codex is a stinking turd of a codex with overpriced marines and the only reason it is played in a competitive environment is for the cultists and helldrakes.

    Giving ATSKNF to CSM is not the answer. That will just offend both loyalist and CSM players. All of the weaknesses of the CSM codex like Icons and challenges should be kept. If you want to do something cool make legion specific rules to improve the different legions in different ways.

    • Reecius April 7, 2014 11:34 am #

      We are ALL hoping for Legion rules, but that is a more complex answer to this question, I think.

  70. Schadenfreude April 7, 2014 11:50 am #

    If you’re going to make rules go big or go home. Legion rules is what everyone wants so make experimental legion rules and allow the community to experiment with them, but leave them purely as experimental until you get community feedback.

    • Reecius April 7, 2014 12:41 pm #

      Go big or go home is an attitude i often share but with something like this I think it would turn people off more than just saying, CSM’s have stubborn, or what have you.

      If it works and the community likes it, you can grow from there. I fear that if you just rewrite everything you end up with too much shock value.

  71. Schadenfreude April 7, 2014 11:54 am #

    Some legions I think would be simple. Alpha legion for example. Anything with VoTLW gain infiltrate and move though cover unless they have a mark, have bulky, or have the deamon special rule. May not duplicate any units with the deamon special rule. Allies of convenience with chaos daemons, but battle brothers with IG.

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