Chaos Space Marine Formation Review: The Lost and the Damned

Hello fans of Frontline Gaming, SaltyJohn, and TFGRadio today I bring you the somewhat new and upcoming Chaos Space Marine formation, the Lost and the Damned! For more reviews, bat reps, tactics discussions, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner!

The forces of Chaos have a multitude of forces at their disposal to carry out their deeds. From daemons of the warp both Great and Lesser to the mighty warriors of the Chaos Space Marines the forces of Chaos have great tools for their war on order and the cadaverous “Emperor” of the crumbling Imperium. So great are the powers of Chaos that they can even use their Dark Apostles to recruit entire Hive Worlds, Planetary Garrisons, and even Regiments of the Imperial Guard to their cause as Chaos Cultists. These cultists can be used as cannon fodder, sacrifice to great rituals to summon the most powerful beings of the warp, they can harass planetary populations, act as insurgencies in a prelude to invasion, and a multitude of other uses for the scheming Chaos gods.

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In terms of game play in Warhammer 40k the Chaos Cultists unit in codex CSM represent the insurgency and hive gang descended forces most accurately. Renegades from Forge World more accurately represents a Guard, or Planetary Defense, regiment that’s fallen to Chaos. These units are cheap, and somewhat reliable when used properly in basic CSM CADs but with the new Lost and the Damned formation, coupled with the new Traitor Legions rules, we begin to get a unit that can really play an integral role in game other than just sitting in reserve as long as possible to hopefully hold an objective on the last turn. So what is it about this formation that makes Cultists better? Look first at the formation specifics.

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Formation:

  • 1 Dark Apostle
  • 4-9 Units of Cultists
  • Base Cost 305 Points, 41 models.

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Special Rules:

  • A Tide of Traitors: Each time a unit of Cultists from this formation is completely destroyed roll a d6. On a 4+ you can immediately place an identical unit into ongoing reserves. This new unit can Outflank, these count as part of the original formation and may also return on a 4+ if destroyed.
  • Prophet of the Gods: The Dark Apostle’s Zealot USR applies to all Lost and the Damned units within 6″ of him.

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Tactics:

The best part of the formation is easily the ability to recycle units of cultists on a 4+ and have units recycled off the first outflank. This means that if you take the base formation with 4 squads of Cultists and all 4 die you should get 2 of them to come back, and when they do you can outflank onto an objective or into your opponents back field to tie up a long range unit, harass objective camping units, get Line Breaker or deny a Maelstrom objective etc. Cultist units generally aren’t the strongest units in 40k, often they will get rolled up in a turn or two by most other troops choices. Gaining Zealot when within 6″ of the Dark Apostle from the formation can make them a bit more effective in Close Combat and gives them that little extra edge they need against units like Guard and even basic MSU Space Marines.

The formation in and of itself is fairly lack luster outside the rule to bring back units on a 4+, where it shines is when it is taken as part of one of the new Detachments from Traitor Legions. Specifically three Legions come to mind as being able to benefit from this formation. Death Guard, Word Bearers, and Alpha Legion.

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Death Guard:

A Death Guard, Vectorium (DGV), Detachment may take the Lost and the Damned as an Auxiliary formation. At first glance through the Traitor Legions book the Lost and the Damned formation doesn’t jump out as a clear good choice for a Death Guard Vectorium. How this ends up being a good take requires more than a cursory read through. First they must take Mark of Nurgle, giving them +1 Toughness, which isn’t great but any little bit of improved resilience will help, as you’ll see this will grow quickly. Cloud of Flies means they will have the Stealth USR against shooting that is coming in at 18″ or more away. If you give a model, probably the Dark Apostle from the formation as he will be going around with the units anyway, the Poxwalker Hive artifact for a mere 20 points you can now choose a friendly cultist unit within 7″ a turn to permanently gain Fearless and Feel No Pain but they can’t run or shoot. They also return d3 slain models to every friendly infected unit within 7″ of the bearer at the start of each turn. So for 400 points you now have 40 cultists that are T4, with the potential of being Fearless and have a 5+ FNP that re-rolls 1s, has Stealth a lot of the time, and can recycle wiped out units. It is not a bad way to go, and due to it’s cheaper price tag can be useful as the 2 core choices for Death Guard can become expensive really fast. I personally find this method of using Cultists to be one of the more intriguing.

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Word Bearers:

The Word Bearers are an interesting choice from the Traitor Legions book, as you can read by clicking the above link, in that they can summon daemons more easily than other Legions and their Grand Hosts detachment, can take The Lost and the Damned formation as a Core choice. Meaning they have access to the cheapest Core choice at only 305 points. If you’re going to run Word Bearers you probably want to summon daemons. This means you’ll need a lot of psykers and psychic dice. The best way to get a ton of Psychic dice and is through Daemons. A Cultist Core, plus Heldrake Auxiliary, and 4 level 3 Sorcerers comes out to only 1085 points. That leaves you with plenty of points to add in a Daemon CAD for additional psychic dice and farming. It also means you can add in more Auxiliary choices to your Word Bearers Grand Host detachment if you’d prefer to go that. A Terminator Annihilation Force would add an additional Sorcerer and 3 units of Terminators. Access to a cheap core choice that recycles units on a 4+ also means you can afford to stock up on Cultist units where other lists like Death Guard or Alpha Legion find themselves running out of points quickly. It is a very points efficient way of forming a Grand Host and Daemon Summoning Farm.

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Alpha Legion:

Now here is the Cultist totting Legion everyone is talking about. The Alpha Legion special detachment is called an Insurgency Force. These forces are some of the most powerful in the game in terms of ability to take objectives and get into your opponents backfield. The Alpha Legion have the Forward Operatives rule meaning all units of Chosen, Chaos Space Marines, and Cultists have the Infiltrate Special Rule. So taking an Insurgency Force can get you Infiltrating and Outflanking units galore. When you combine that with the three rules below you can get a very annoying force quickly. Having 7+ units that can Infiltrate or Outflank is bad, with the additional option to take a Alpha Legion CAD filled with 5 man outflanking Chosen units armed to the teeth with Special Weapons it gets even worse for your opponent quickly.

Icon of Insurrection: Friendly units of Cultists within 12″ of the bearer have the Zealot Special Rule. Using this in concert with the Dark Apostle from the Lost and the Damned formation gives you quite a bit of Zealot running around your opponents back field. Cultists aren’t amazing in Close Combat by any stretch of the imagination but being able to charge in with Zealot on the first turn against certain units is, as covered before, not a bad strategy. Especially if all you need to do is swamp an opponents unit for a turn or two.

Tide of Traitors and Cult Uprising: This is the controversial part of this detachment. GW has yet to rule on this as of me writing. It does however look like you could get 2 new units for every cultist unit killed off in an Insurgency Force. If that is true this detachment is going to be an even more popular choice than it already will be.

Many Heads of the Hydra: This rule was covered in the article linked above but the basics of this are if your Warlord is slain you just pick a new Character model to become the Warlord. This way you are almost guaranteed not to give up Slay the Warlord to your opponent unless you’re tabled. When you combine this special rule with the ability to recycle units of cultists you get a nice constant supply of Characters to use as your Warlord.

7980727232_d0f0ee5592_bThe Lost and the Damned formation took an already commonly used unit in Chaos Space Marine forces and made them an auto-include in many detachments for a completely different reason. Instead of just being the cheapest Troops Choice available to a CSM CAD we now have a formation with good rules and interactions in the wider concept of the Detachment.

As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.

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About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

17 Responses to “Chaos Space Marine Formation Review: The Lost and the Damned”

  1. Cephalobeard January 5, 2017 12:07 pm #

    GW is, reportedly, responding to inquiry about Alpha Legion/LOTD Stacking via facebook and are claiming it doesn’t stack, and will be addressed in a later FAQ.

    Messages carry zero weight and should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s upsetting.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn January 5, 2017 12:18 pm #

      Yeah I am assuming it will be taken care of soon. If/when it happens I will change the article to reflect the FAQ.

      I’m still hoping it stacks 😉

    • Threllen January 5, 2017 12:39 pm #

      If that’s true, then there’s basically no point in the Alpha legion rule. The only way you can get Cultists in the Alpha Legion detachment is to take that formation…

    • CJ January 5, 2017 12:42 pm #

      Ruling the rule does nothing would be ridiculous. Hopefully they’ll change it to a re-roll,

      • SaltyJohn
        SaltyJohn January 5, 2017 2:37 pm #

        No need for it to stack. Even without both rules the Alpha Legion Cultists still get to Outflank as they have that rule. From Reece’s article on Games Workshops site itself “The obvious auxiliary choice for this list would be the Lost and the Damned formation featuring a Dark Apostle and 4-9 units of Cultists. These little heretics come back after being destroyed on a 4+, and as they have Infiltrate (thanks to the Forward Observers special rule), you can Outflank them after they are destroyed to increase the odds of them joining the fray in a good position.” I would be surprised if they let Reece write that for them and then have it not be true.

        • abusepuppy January 5, 2017 4:51 pm #

          If GW were clean and careful about their rules writing, the issue never would have come up in the first place. I somehow doubt they would be _more_ cautious about what they publish in random blog posts than what they put into supplements.

        • winterman January 5, 2017 4:58 pm #

          First, units using ongoing reserves are not typically allowed to use outflank per the BRB. The only wiggle room for allowing outflank is for the LatD benefit (and IA13 renegades) because those rules specifically grants outflank to the newly created units that are being placed ongoing reserves – which is a fairly clear exception to the standard rules.

          Same cannot be said for the alpha legion reroll, it does not mention outflank as part of its rules. So the BRB rules disallowing outflank would seem to apply.

          As far as the article, it seems to contradicts the RAW. I seriously doubt the guys who run the community site review and edit content for rules accuracy. So either it was written with an oft rumored FAQ in mind or was an oversight on Reece’s part.

  2. Tomguycot January 5, 2017 12:40 pm #

    If the Alpha Legion cultist rule doesn’t stack with the Lost and the Damned formation I don’t see what would be the point of even having it since it’s just a slightly worse version of what the formation has and I’m not aware of any other way to get cultists into an Insurgency Force. Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t say that it doesn’t stack anyhow…

  3. Threllen January 5, 2017 12:59 pm #

    I would like the LatD a lot better if it was a core choice in some more legions (I think it’s only core for Word Bearers). It’s a great way to supplement a lot of the low-body-count formations but since it’s an auxiliary you have to do warband + LatD to make a decurion which leaves you with not many points for other models in a standard game.

    Still, it’s a solid choice and it would definitely be interesting to put it in a Death Guard decurion with a big warband. Would be a lot of relatively resilient bodies for your opponent to remove. Not so great for kill point missions because it wouldn’t have great offense but great for objective-based missions.

  4. Beau January 5, 2017 1:53 pm #

    Does anyone know if I take this as aux to pox hive and make them zombies do they need mark of nurgles or not?

    • Cj January 5, 2017 2:12 pm #

      They need to take the mark of nurgle if in a death guard detachment, but you can use the pox hive on non-nurgle cultists just fine.

      Having T4 does make that fnp a lot better tho.

    • Threllen January 5, 2017 2:19 pm #

      You can use the poxwalker hive on any friendly Cultists. So if you have Cultists from a different legion’s LatD or if you just have some Cultists from a CAD (or anywhere else) you can still use the hive on them.

      But, as CJ says, the MoN is really going to help you out. Prevents armies like Eldar from bypassing the FnP by having S6. Also makes them better tarpits in assault against S6 attacks.

      • Beau January 5, 2017 5:53 pm #

        Sorry I meant to specify if I make them zombies via Typhus where they cannot take any upgrades

        • Threllen January 6, 2017 8:40 am #

          That is an interesting situation. My interpretation would be to let my opponent choose one or the other. If they nominate the Cultists as zombies (via Typhus’ rule) they can no longer take a Mark of Nurgle. They no longer have the option to take the mark so the detachment forcing you to take the mark when possible no longer applies. But you wouldn’t be able to do both.

          For this reason, I think the hive is a better choice since your Cultists will have the MoN, they can take gun upgrades, and they aren’t reduced to a single close combat weapon. Stinks that you can only turn one per turn into ‘pseudo-zombies’ but they are so much more powerful than the ones that Typhus creates.

          • Beau January 6, 2017 6:30 pm
            #

            Thanks for the advice. Originally I figured that every 2 marks spent is 1 more cultist body to throw a punch/eat a bullet. However, since LatD and pox hive are both returning cultist units to the board it is an investment that hopefully pays off.

            I suppose to counter the 1 unit per turn rule of the hive you just have full 35 man units of cultists…. but then you would run the risk of that big unit not returning on a 3-

  5. Bryan January 6, 2017 8:21 am #

    How about the LATD as an auxiliary to the World Eaters detachment? Gets fairly pricey per cultist with mark of khorne.

    • Beau January 6, 2017 6:24 pm #

      I have done that against Orks and it worked great. I don’t think I would want to against shooty lists though.

      Sometimes I have dreams about one day facing a gaunt spammed tyranid army with all of my cultists… one day…

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