Space Marines Review: Elites: Chapter Champion

Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the third of the trio of former Command Squad members, the Chapter Champion. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Chapter Champion is primarily a combat character to add to your army for quite a reasonable cost. He comes armed to take on heavily armoured foes and has some decent durability thanks to an increased save. However, it is a struggle to find which role he should be fulfilling in your army and does not provide buffs to nearby units that other characters can in a Space Marine force. The Chapter Champion costs 64 pts, including wargear.

Wargear:

  • Champion’s Blade- Strength User, AP -2, 1 damage. Each time the bearer fights, he can make one additional attack with this weapon.
  • Power Sword
  • Frag and Krak Grenades
  • 2+ armour save

Abilities:

  • And They Shall Know No Fear
  • Honour or Death- This model must make a Heroic Intervention if he is able to do so. You can also re-roll failed To Hit rolls in the Fight phase when targeting Characters.
  • Keywords- Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, <Chapter>, Character, Infantry, Chapter Champion.

Tactics:

The Chapter Champion is a mid-level Elites choice Character with a few bonuses over a standard Marine. He has WS 2+, four wounds, four attacks, Ld 9 and a 2+ armour save.

The Champion has reasonable durability, with a 2+ armour save and four wounds, as well as being a character (and the benefits that provides). He also has some decent combat ability. He has up to 5 attacks in combat, all of which hit on a 2+. His attacks are either AP -2 or AP -3. I would recommend using at least one of his four attacks to strike with the Champion’s Blade in order to access the bonus attack. Doing this, you will have three attacks at AP-3 and two attacks at AP-2. He also gets re-rolls to hit when attacking characters in the Fight phase.

The problem that I have with the Chapter Champion is the role he is supposed to take in your army. From his armament and special rules, he is supposed to go after enemy characters in combat. However, most offensive enemy characters will be able to go through him with ease due to the lack of an invulnerable save.  He is a cheap combat character to add to help support a unit, but if you want a proper combat character, why not go for a Chaplain or Captain tooled up for combat. He can provide support to a nearby unit in combat, however, there are a range of cheap characters that provide more support in the form of buffing bubbles, such as the Lieutenant, Ancients, or even an Apothecary. You can always arm many of these support characters with a Power Weapon or other combat weapon to provide assault support, as well as their inherent buffs to nearby units.

I think the best role for the Chapter Champion is to go after standard infantry. He will make a mess of most infantry, ignoring armour saves of 4+ or worse with most of his attacks, and will severely reduce the effectiveness of Power Armour and equivalent saves. If you find yourself with 54 points to spare and room in a transport to put him in, he can be a useful support character for adding a bit of combat punch to a unit. He could also have a role going after other mid-level or weak enemy characters. He is also a reasonably cheap way to fill out an Elites slot in the army if you are looking to fill out a Brigade or Vanguard Detachment.

There are a number of Chapter Tactics that would be of benefit to the Chapter Champion.

Black Templars is a useful one, giving him a greater shot of getting into combat on the charge. The White Scars Chapter Tactic would also be useful, allowing him to bounce between combats, perhaps getting into position to fall back and then assault a buffing enemy character hiding behind a screening unit. Salamanders is also of use, allowing him to maximise the number of hits and wounds in combat, and Iron Hands Chapter Tactics will be great for helping him to stay alive for longer.

Overall

The Chapter Champion is a remnant of previous editions of the game. While he may have had a role in a Command Squad, not that he is his own separate entity, I don’t think there is much use for him in a Space Marine army in most instances. There are other characters that do his job better than he does, or characters that provide powerful buffs to nearby units. I don’t think you would see much use for him in a competitive list, but he could be a fun addition to the army in a more relaxed gaming environment.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

secondhandhsop

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

7 Responses to “Space Marines Review: Elites: Chapter Champion”

  1. Nicholas Morgan December 14, 2017 9:31 am
    #

    It looks like you confused the chapter champion with the company champion. You start off talking about the company champion but then all of things you listed are all the chapter champion which is 64pts.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr December 14, 2017 10:03 am
      #

      I’ve made the changes. It was just the points values and a few times I used the wrong name, but the rest of the info is correct, I think. Thanks for picking up the error.

      • Reecius
        Reecius December 14, 2017 10:05 am
        #

        Yeah, I just saw that, too. It was just the points.

        You know what’s funny with the Company Champion? Giving him the Shield Eternal as you can swap it for the Combat Shield, lol! Turns him into a little monster!

        • Nicholas Morgan December 14, 2017 12:48 pm
          #

          No problem. I personally prefer the the company over the Chapter as he is cheaper and he comes with a mastercrafted sword and an invulnerable save which I think is better than a 2+ save and 2 extra attacks as he will be more survivable and and the 2 damage per attack is better than just extra attacks. Plus the reason Reecius mentioned.

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr December 15, 2017 2:11 am
            #

            Yeah, I actually prefer the Company Champion. He has a potential damage output higher than the Chapter Champion and has access to an invulnerable save as you have mentioned.

  2. WestRider December 14, 2017 11:56 am
    #

    Let’s be real: He wasn’t even all that great in an Honour Guard. Typically, because he was forced to accept Challenges, he would end up getting massively overkilled and let a bunch of Wounds spill over onto the rest of the Squad. If possible, it was almost universally better to try to keep him out of the fight and have the Character they were supposed to be guarding take the hits.

    I think these Champions are another case of GW trying to translate over something that worked well in WHFB, where Chaos Warrior Unit Champions and low-tier Characters had at least a decent chance against regular (Human/Elf) statline Combat Characters, AND not only were those characters were actually fielded, but those Armies were substantially more common than other Chaos Warrior forces. In 40K, the difference between a Space Marine Champion and a Farseer or IG Company Commander is about the same, but there’s no reason to ever set those guys up for Combat, and fighting other MEq forces is far more common than fighting Chaos Warriors was in WHFB. So instead of going up against the equivalent of Empire Counts, he’s basically trying to fight Chaos Lord equivalents all the time, which he is not equipped to do.

    Also, you don’t have to dedicate an Attack to the Champion’s Blade. Every time he fights, he gets to make one “free” Attack with that, in addition to his regular ones with whatever. Same thing as an Assault Squad Sgt with Thunder Hammer/Chainsword, or Tyranid Tail Weapons.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr December 15, 2017 2:12 am
      #

      I keep doing that! I always read it as an extra attack when you attack with the weapon. You are right, you don’t need to assign an attack to the Champion’s Blade, it just gives you an extra one.