Chaos Space Marine Elites Review: Chosen

Hello fans of Frontline Gaming, SaltyJohn, and TFGRadio today I’m bringing you the a unit that’s benefiting greatly from the Renaissance of Chaos in 40k, Chosen! For more reviews, bat reps, tactics discussions, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner!


The Space Marines of the ruinous powers are organized differently than those descended from the Loyalist Legions to the False, cadaverous, Emperor on his prison throne. The gods of Chaos play a major role in their day to day operations and lives including the organization of their armies. In the hierarchy of the Traitorous Space Marines the Chosen are some of the best warriors, beloved by both their lords and gods. As shock troops of the Legions they have access to the most powerful, and wide ranging, variety of weapons at the disposal of the Chaos Space Marines. warhammer-40k-chaos-chosen

Chosen are an odd unit in Codex: Chaos Space Marines. What they can do for a mobile shooting force a Havoc squad can many times do cheaper. What Chosen can do loaded out for assault numerous squads can do cheaper and/or much more efficiently. Like many units in the Chaos Space Marine codex Chosen have entered into a Renaissance period with the release of Traitors Hate and Traitor Legions.


Oh, wait. Wrong game system…


  • Power Armor
  • Boltgun/Bolt Pistol/CCW
  • Frag/Krak Grenades
  • May take 5 additional Chosen
  • Up to 4 may swap CCW for Power Weapon, Lightning Claw, Power Fist, or Dual Claws with no pistol.
  • Up to 4 may replace the boltgun with Combo-bolter, Flamer, Combi, Meltagun, Plasma gun
  • One may take a Heavy Bolter, Autocannon, Lascannon, Missile Launcher
  • May take a Mark of Chaos, may take corresponding Icons, may take Veterans of the Long War.
  • May take a Rhino

There’s a lot of options in there. It gets expensive fast.


Choice in picture, not coincidental.

Special Rules:

  • Champion of Chaos (Champ Only)
  • May gain rules via Marks, Formations, Detachment etc.



Chaos Chosen were another great example of a maligned unit given the problems with the Chaos Space Marine codex, only just 4 months ago. Prior to Traitors Hate and Traitor Legions Chaos players had little reason to consider using Chosen. The most common role for them would be to get 4 special weapons into a Rhino and drive it down the enemies throats. That role was better filled by Havocs for 15 points cheaper and usually not going to work because unlike their Vanilla Marine counterparts it was difficult to get those Rhinos to infiltrate, scout, or outflank. Getting Chosen into position to be useful, like Khorne Berzerkers prior to Traitor Legions, was a chore and usually a fruitless one at that.

You can load out a squad of Chosen for really 1 of 2 tasks and that’s it. Shooting, or Assault. As far as shooting goes the best option is to take 4 of the same special weapon and throw them into a Rhino. 4 flamers, 4 metlaguns, or 4 plasma guns. Of these combinations the best option is 4 Meltaguns. The meltagun is superior to both the Plasma gun and Flamer for effectiveness across a broad spectrum of potential enemy units and, in the case of the Plasma gun, much less likely to kill off your own guys. As in 0% chance.

99120102044_csmrhinorepack01Going the assault route though is even harder than shooting. Yes they have all sorts of options for becoming killing machines but they don’t have any special rules natively that help them be more than just regular Space Marines with fancy weapons. The other problem is no infiltrate, scout, Outflank, extra resiliency, or assault vehicle that is decent. So this very expensive unit of assault mediocrity is going to die easily before ever getting to do what you want it to do. It’s easy to see why Chosen would be looked over fairly quickly in a Chaos Space Marine CAD, or any CSM army really, prior to the current era. In the new era of Chaos Warbands and Traitor Legion rules Chosen have some new life breathed into them, a bit by force, and a bit by new potential.

The Chaos Warband, discussed here,  has a requirement that you take 1-3 units of either Terminators, Possessed (I know, right?), or Chosen. Besides a termicide squad the only real option here that has potential is the Chosen squad. This is automatically better than using them in a CAD because in this formation they are Objective Secured. Also, they’re going to benefit from your Legion rules. Death Guard will have Relentless, T5, and Feel No Pain; perhaps you take Plasma guns on this squad or an Autocannon because you’re Relentless. Even if you’re not using Death Guard; World Eaters Chosen, outside a Rhino, would benefit from a lot of extra movement. Emperor’s Children could take an Icon of Excess for a 4+ FNP (that’s pretty pricey though). The best option though for Chosen, if you want to run a lot of Special Weapons in Rhinos, is going to be the Alpha Legion.

alpha_legion_liveryAlpha Legion do two things to Chosen right off the bat that makes them a great choice for using Chosen. They get the Infiltrate rule, so they can Outflank as well, and in an Alpha Legion CAD they can be taken as troops. If you want to outflank/infiltrate a ton of Special Weapons in Rhinos then this is the Legion and unit for you. You can take 3 Chosen in the Warband alone, but taking a CAD can net you 6 outflanking, objective secured (they’re troops, remember) units in Rhinos. The true beauty of Chosen in an Alpha Legion list is their rules all pair so well with another great Formation. The Lost and the Damned. While outflanking/infiltrating 40 cultists is great for harassment purposes, having those Cultists backed up by a bevy of Objective Secured units totting some real fire power and you have a really great army that plays well to the objectives.

The best part about Chosen in the new era of 40k isn’t that they became some sort of must include unit like, say, Eldar Jetbikes; what’s great about them now is they have a use and flexibility that they lacked before in the very stagnant meta of the previous CSM codex. The addition of Traitors Hate and Traitor Legions means we have a plethora of new, viable, options for Chaos Space Marines and Chosen are definitely one of the beneficiaries of this new meta.


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



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.

19 Responses to “Chaos Space Marine Elites Review: Chosen”

  1. Beau March 9, 2017 7:44 am #

    Good write up which I agree with. I just had a 3k points game with my deathguard, against warpspiders, scatbikes, and harlies. The FnP rolls while often being failed kept my men on the table for 7 turns though it did finally end with me being tabled as of the very final gunshot on 7! Noooo. It was a hammer and anvil deployment and boy that made me wish I had some Alpha legion for the infiltration shooting. The harlequins always won combat against my DG, which had me wishing for some special melee weapons or a higher volume of attacks that chosen get but that would also come at the price of as many bodies. I think I would continue taking terminators over chosen in my warband because of cost, durability, and abiility to deepstrike.

    • Threllen March 9, 2017 7:50 am #

      Termicide squads are still definitely a decent option in a warband. 110 points for 3 combi-meltas that can deep strike in (with a 2+ save). 5 Chosen w/ 4 melta guns are going to run you 165 in a rhino and, chances are, you’re still only going to get to shoot them once so the fact their weapon isn’t a combi is not as important. I would probably lean toward taking a barebones termi squad with combi-meltas over taking chosen for any legion without hydras on their shoulders.

  2. Threllen March 9, 2017 7:46 am #

    Chosen, IMO, still suffer from the “do too many things” tax. They’re 5 points more expensive per model than basic CSM/Havocs because they all have the statline of a champion (LD9 and 2 attacks).

    Problem is, close combat Chosen are awful. 30+ points for a MEQ with power weapon is garbage. Even with 1 extra base attack. So you’re paying those extra points even though all you’re going to want to do is throw 4 meltaguns on them. And, in that case, 5 Chosen with meltaguns do the same thing 5 havocs do except for 15 points more.

    They definitely got a huge boon for Alpha Legion thanks to infiltrate, but I wish they could have got a bit more help for any other legion. Sure they’ll be included in Warbands simply for the fact they aren’t Possessed/Terminators but I think that reflects less on them and more on the other units.

  3. Shas'Itsa Mari'o March 9, 2017 8:45 am #

    Really like these guys. Started an Alpha Legion force and try to include at least two units of them whenever possible. You hit the nail on the head at the end, they really pair well with the rest of the Alpha Legion infiltrators

  4. David Alastair Hayden March 9, 2017 11:36 am #

    Great breakdown. I’m building Alpha Legion and Death Guard.

    I went with Chosen for the Alpha Legion, because it’s the clear choice. 3 infiltrating Rhinos, 2 with 4 meltas, 1 with 4 flamers. A power axe on the champions, which I wouldn’t normally do except for Favoured Scions. I converted mine from the hilariously equipped Chosen from the Dark Vengeance set.

    For the Death Guard, I went with Terminators, squad of three. That seems the clear choice for them. I went with combi-plasma because they can handle it. I normally avoid plasma. I’m going to sometimes run Terminator Annihilation with Death Guard, too. Because their rules make terminators decent. Again, though, squads of three.

    I don’t know what I’d pick if I played one of the other legions. Becomes a tough choice then. Well, not Possessed.

    • SaltyJohn March 9, 2017 12:27 pm #

      My thoughts almost exactly on all those points. Except for the power axes, I just can’t bring myself to spend the 45 points on them. Termicide squads are a legitimate choice for Death Guard, although I go with all combi-melta as I have a lot of vehicles in the local meta.

      • David Alastair Hayden March 9, 2017 1:29 pm #

        I know how you feel about the 45 points, and a time may come after enough games with them where I ditch the power axes and spend those points on some upgrades somewhere else. More mastery levels. Two more bikers. Hmm. Now that I think about it. 45 points for two more bikers is a much better spend.

        My meta is a mix, though we do have one tank heavy list around. Mostly transports here, which plasma can handle. Since I’m going to use the Terminator Annihilation, I’m going to have one unit with meltas, though. So depending on what I’m facing I can switch.

  5. Fagerlund March 9, 2017 2:57 pm #

    I’ve been experimenting with Chosen strike squads since the Black Legion supplement first came out. I think four special weapons in the same squad is overkill and rarely needed. I tend to use squads of 6-7 with 1-2 meltas and a power axe one a normal dude, and melta bombs on the champ riding in a Rhino. Found them to be very versatile and now with Traitor Legions giving Black Legion hatred they’ll make quick work of any non-specialised assault units (like objective holders). The trick is backing them up with something more scary, and they’ll come out as a nasty surprise.

    • Fagerlund March 9, 2017 3:01 pm #

      And the reason for putting the axe on a normal dude is of course to make sure that axe hits something that’s not the challenge you don’t want to take but is forced to…

      • WestRider March 9, 2017 10:50 pm #

        I do something similar, but I toss a Flamer in at least one Unit. Points-wise, it’s cheap, you don’t give up the extra CCW, and they’re handy to have around reasonably often, but not often enough that I’d go for it when Special Weapon slots are at a premium, as they are for most Armies. With multiple Squads of Chosen around, tho, that’s really not a problem.

  6. Wraith2121 March 9, 2017 3:49 pm #

    Actually 4 chosen and the champion can all be equipped with a special weapon. The special weapon option states 4 models can be equipped with x then later 1 chosen can be equipped with x.

    • Threllen March 10, 2017 6:36 am #

      Those only apply to the Chosen themselves since they specifically say “One Chosen may take” and not “any model may take.”

      The Chosen Champion can take upgrades from melee/ranged weaapons wargear list. He doesn’t have access to the other options.

      • SaltyJohn March 10, 2017 9:46 am #

        That’s correct.

      • WestRider March 10, 2017 2:06 pm #

        The last one (with the Heavy Weapon options) specifies Chosen, but the first lot is “up to 4 Models may…”, so the Champion can take a Special from that list.

        • Threllen March 10, 2017 2:33 pm #

          Oh you’re right, I swear when I looked at them earlier I saw the word Chosen.

          My dyslexia must have kicked in with the number of times the words “choose” and “Chosen” were inter-mingled in one dataslate…

        • SaltyJohn March 11, 2017 7:16 am #

          Are you looking at a hard copy or digital? My digital says “chosen” not “model”…

          • abusepuppy March 14, 2017 3:56 am

            I know the hardcopy says “model,” as this came up when the codex was first released. Can’t speak for the digital version.

  7. Ian March 13, 2017 9:26 pm #

    I’m surprised no one mentioned that they can take Dreadclaw drop pods as dedicated transports? Before traitor legions I used to run a squad in a dreadclaw with Abbadon. Powerfist, 3 melta guns, plus combi melta on the champ with MoK. Used to do work with sheer volume of attacks and abbadon to munch at i6.

  8. MagicJuggler March 18, 2017 6:40 am #

    Chosen are slightly cheaper than they appear at first for several reasons though. Unlike Vanilla Marines, they don’t have to pay a Champ Tax, and they get the full Pistol/Bolter/Chainsword loadout by default. They’re 7 points more than an identically-equipped Marine squad in exchange for 4 extra attacks total, better base Leadership that isn’t focused on a single model, and more flexibility in selecting Specials. If you’re running a Warband or an Alpha Legion CAD, there’s relatively little reason not to run them over base CSM.

    World Eaters also get a good deal out of them, especially if you’re running a Butcherhorde. The main bonus of the Maelstrom of Gore (Fleet) is mostly negated due to the Butcherhorde letting you reroll charge distance, and the main advantage of Berserkers is similarly nullified when you get Fearless and Furious Charge as Legion Tactics anyway. 100 points for 25 S5 attacks on the charge is not a bad deal by most means, provided you get the charge off in the first place; granted you lack the durability and speed of Flesh Hounds but it’s still a rather nasty deal for mopping up most things.

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