Chaos Space Marines Tactica: The Purge

Don “the Mastadon” Hooson brings us his tips and tricks for playing the Purge renegade chapter of Chaos Space Marines after successfully piloting them to strong finishes at several tournaments. For more great articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

The Purge are one of the more terrifying factions to come across in the 41st millennium. They believe that the galaxy is hopelessly corrupt and feel that the only way to save the galaxy is to destroy every living creature in it. They are known for employing a variety of chemical weapons that are second to none. They are best known for being a genocidal renegade chapter that is willing to kill any force that they come across, whether they be Xenos, Imperial, Chaos, or any other form of life.

Their rules reflect their quest to kill everything in the galaxy. Their trait: Bringers of Oblivion allows a unit to re-roll hit rolls for attacks that a unit makes against enemy units that have lost any wounds during the turn. This is beautifully fluffy as it shows that they are going to keep hammering a unit, and not moving on, until it has been completely destroyed. There are many ways that you can accomplish this in the game. I would suggest high volume of shots for the most effective use of this trigger and to make full use of the ability to re-roll any hit rolls that you desire. Another trick to use is, if you do not want to destroy an enemy unit in the fight phase and have already wounded it, you can keep your “missed” hit rolls and re-roll your “successful” hit rolls to keep them around for a bit longer.

Their stratagem is their war cry: All Life is Worthless. This is a one command point stratagem that allows you to shoot at enemy units that are within one inch of a friendly unit until the end of the phase, however each time you roll an unmodified hit roll of a one you resolve that attack against a friendly unit within one inch of that enemy unit (you choose if you have more that one friendly unit in range). This stratagem has several uses. The most common use it to try to free up a shooting unit, such as a Havoc squad or a Deredeo Dreadnaught from being tangled up with an enemy unit. Ideally, you would want to fire weapons that have the smallest chance of hurting your own unit while maximizing the damage you can inflict on the enemy unit. An example of good priority would be to fire combi-bolters at a unit of infantry who are hugging a vehicle. Sometimes a unit might be too tough to kill off of your unit, though. At this point you may want to fire at that unit in the hopes that you will kill of your own models and pull yourself free from combat that way. This is highly effective vs Imperial Knights, light vehicles, Bullgryn, and the like.

Lastly, there is the warlord trait: Blessed Mission. This warlord trait allows you to re-roll wound rolls of one for your warlord and allows him to re-roll any damage rolls that he makes for his own weapons. This trait is good, especially if you ware going to use a power fist and a combi-melta. There are some more useful traits to make use of though.

For the Purge, I would definitely suggest maximizing your ability to make use of their trait: Bringers of Oblivion. This means that actual marines of several types are quite strong and do not require support. Dreadnoughts, especially Helforged Dreadnoughts can make use of this trait with their exceptional ballistics skill and their decent to high volume of shots. Chaos bikers can do well too, as they will be activating the trait for others with their large amount of dice that they throw out for their combi-bolters.

I have been utilizing The Purge at a couple GT’s recently to great effect. At both of them I ended with a record of 4-1 and placing in 3rd. This was mostly due to the sheer power that the purge bring to the table. Both lists had a core of three Helforged Deredeos, three Hellforged Contemptors, and three Chaos Hell Blades.

The units that were in my first list were a Scorcerer in Terminator Armor, a Thunder Hammer Chaos Lord on bike, eight Chaos Bikers, and two Greater Possessed. These units did well, minus the greater possessed. I am certain that the only reason that the Greater Possessed didn’t do better was because they had so few targets to reach out and touch between the hyper accurate and high volume of shooting that I had in that list. The response I had received from each of my opponents was utter surprise at how hard that my turn one was hitting them. I would utilize a smite, daemon shell, or shooting from my planes to proc the purge trait on whatever I wanted to have killed that turn and it usually worked to great effect. My total points gained vs points given up at this 5 round event was 154 to 55. That means it was an average of 30.8 to 11, including the loss.

The units that were in my second list included the core of the dreadnoughts and the Hell Blades, two Lord Discordants, and two Venom Crawlers. This is where I fell in love with the lord discordant (pre-FAQ). This army proved to be even more pressure to my opponents then the one I had taken to a GT two weeks earlier. The Lord Discordants and the Venom Crawlers would take the middle while the Hell Blades would nuke characters and act as a screen for potential deep strikers. I got to find out, in two of my games, that the Lord Discordant was the nemesis of the Dark Eldar Venom spam. During both of my games against my Dark Eldar opponents I was able to bring down several vehicles to one or two wounds prior to launching a Lord Discordant in to one of them. The Lord Discordant would rip one apart, as he does, and would utilize the spirit thief ability to chain react and kill off the rest of the light vehicles with more spirit thief activations. Spirit thief, for those who are unaware, allows the Lord Discordant to either heal a friendly daemon engine (without the FLY keyword) within three inches of him for d3 wounds or on a 2+ he can do d3 mortal wounds to an enemy vehicle within 12″. The catalyst to generate the spirit thief is that he must kill an enemy vehicle in the fight phase. There is no limit to how many times that this can happen. The Venom Crawlers were excellent at grabbing forward objectives while the rest of the army did its work. At this event the scores were a bit more even with my total hitting 152 to 92 over the 5 games for an average of 30.4 to 18.4 per game.

My highlight of the week was having a single Lord Discordant charge in to a pair of Venoms, killing both of them, activating spirit thief, and killing off four other Venoms. Of those Venoms three exploded, dealing approximately twenty mortal wounds to the tightly packed Kabalites, characters, and Wyches that were unfortunate enough to get caught in the area.

The Purge is a powerful renegade chapter. There are many ways to utilize them to great effect and I would suggest that you give them a try. Just remember that they must be Nurgle and that they can not make use of the Veterans of the Long War stratagem.

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14 Responses to “Chaos Space Marines Tactica: The Purge”

  1. rivercitygaming May 2, 2019 11:55 am #


    Would you see any value in the C Beams for the Contemptor dreads? With the re roll making them a bit more consistent and then the potential to lay a heavy hit to hordes or light vehicles, seems good to me. But I’d be interested to hear your thoughts

    • Donthemagnificent May 2, 2019 12:25 pm #

      While I do see the benefit behind the c-beam dreads, I have a really hard time with any unit that is disallowed from moving to function correctly. There is value in it, but as soon as you play against an opponent with an invulnerable save, you can have a run of turns that the c-beams do nothing. Also, in order to really benefit from the purge trait, that unit should have already been hurt. Odds are that whatever this guy is shooting at is outside the range band of the rest of your army. I guess, I have always been of the mindset that every 1 shot weapon will fail when you need it not to. That being said, it is probably the most reliable way to run the C-beam dread, offensively.

  2. Lex May 2, 2019 4:23 pm #

    Venoms only do 1 mortal wound per unit per explosion. Would seem to be a very unusual circumstance to get 20 mortal wounds out of 3 explosions.

    • Donthemagnificent May 2, 2019 4:46 pm #

      7 characters (including mine), the other transports, and several kabalite/wych units say otherwise

      • Lex May 2, 2019 5:06 pm #

        Not saying it didn’t happen. Just saying that it seems like it would be a singular event unlikely to be repeated. Not sure how it aids in helping someone with learning how to use The Purge.

        • Donthemagnificent May 2, 2019 7:19 pm #

          A similar event happened in the first game I had at that very same event (game 1 and 5). I am not saying that you should plan on explosions. I am saying that a lord discordant will make enemy vehicles hate life as much as the Purge does.

        • Donthemagnificent May 2, 2019 7:24 pm #

          It was just a fun thing that happened a couple times at the tournament. That event had zero to do with the actual purge as it was pre-FAQ and the lord discordant didn’t benefit from the trait. This of this as being more of a purge/tournament report with a purge primary army.

  3. BK May 3, 2019 12:11 am #

    Cheers for article. What do you think about the relic orb?

    • Donthemagnificent May 3, 2019 5:14 am #

      Every time I used it, it did a huge work load. Love that thing.

  4. Robert May 3, 2019 11:56 am #

    how was the ruling of the Purge re-roll ability? could you roll one dice at the time (or model in a unit of more than one) to trigger it after a wound or was it per unit?

    • Donthemagnificent May 3, 2019 4:17 pm #

      For both events they went with step 4.1 of the shooting phase as the point where you check.

      NOVA has ruled step 2 of the shooting phase is where you check.

      I would definitely suggest that you ask your TO how they will rule it so you can be prepared to play it correctly, per that tournament. I was definitely hoping that there would be a classification in the FAQ.

      • abusepuppy May 3, 2019 10:19 pm #

        I’m honestly a bit surprised they didn’t clarify it as well. Seemed like a fairly obvious case of “we know how this ability works but we forgot to tell anyone else.”

    • Venkarel May 4, 2019 7:09 am #

      Models in a unit shoot one at a time, which is slow, which is why we fast dice all the time. I know for Cadia strat. and for cover (when a unit is partial in cover and partial out of cover) the effect happens immediately once a wound is dealt by a model or once the models not affected by cover are removed which then gives you cover for the remaining saves.

      • abusepuppy May 4, 2019 8:56 am #

        Overlapping Fields of Fire (which what I assume you mean by “Cadia strat”) explicitly only works on _other_ units in your army, not the one that inflicted the wound. The Tau Sept strat Focus Fire has a similar wording; fast dice are irrelevant in both cases.

        You are correct on the matter of cover, though, as GW has been very explicit about that matter.

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