With the release of Psychic Awakening: Faith and Fury, the forces of Chaos received an update to some of their most renowned and reviled Legions. The most notable winners of the Traitor Legions include the Night Lords, Alpha Legion, and Iron Warriors. Let’s review some of their best Warlord Traits, Stratagems, and Relics to see why they came out “winners”.
To mirror the updates granted to loyalist Space Marines, Chaos Marines were given their own rules of Malicious Volleys (see Bolter Discipline) and Hateful Assault (see Shock Assault) to upgrade the standard bolter effectiveness and increase melee output. Pair these perks with a few of the new daemon weapons and you’ll have a character that is a big threat on the tabletop.
The Rapacious Talons (Slaanesh): Rapacious Talons replaces two lightning claws or two sets of malific talons on a Slaanesh marked model. Though the stats are slightly better than regular lightning claws (Str User, -2 AP, D2), its ability makes the owner a winner. Basically as long as you pass the daemon weapon test on a 2+, you add the number rolled to the models attack characteristic while also being able to reroll wound rolls with the standard lightning claw rules. This would make a Chaos Lord have 4+1+ (2-6) attacks for potentially a max of 11 attacks in conjunction with the Hateful Assault rule before any other buffs come into play. For a unit that costs a little over 100 points, it is a horde killer and more importantly Primaris kryptonite with its Damage 2 value.
Fist of Decay (Nurgle): The Nurgle relic replaces a powerfist and has quite a more potent profile to the standard fisticuff. Delivering a flat Damage of 3, it also has the ability to always wound on an unmodified wound roll of 2+, making it especially powerful versus monsters and vehicles. Though it does have the usual -1 to hit for powerfists, a Chaos Lord’s has the ability to reroll 1’s to hit. Thus, it improves their chance to land with all 5 attacks by hitting on 3+ (rerolling 1’s) and then wounding on 2+.
The Sons of the Night Haunter have a great combination of Warlord Traits, Stratagems, and Artefacts that can build some terrifying combinations in collaboration with their Legion trait. Night Lord stratagems come at a reasonable cost, with many of their Legion specific Stratagems costing only 1 Command Point, allowing you to use them over multiple rounds. These Stratagems focus on buffing Night Lord units while the enemy is weak and denying the enemy certain abilities i.e. falling back or surviving morale tests. It helps that an Outrider Detachment of a single Chaos Lord and 3 minimal units of Warp Talons costs less than 400 points, allowing a Night Lords player to take multiple Battalion Detachments to farm Command Points while still having a hard hitting detachment that will enact and maximize their Terror Tactics ability once they arrive from reserves or close the gap to the enemy.
If you’re interested in building a Warlord that is a whirling dervish of a death; take the Killing Fury Trait (+D3 attacks) and pair it with the Talons of the Night Terror (Model that can Fly only, +D3 attacks or +D6 attacks on the Charge/Heroic Intervention) for all the attack bonuses. The Jump Lord will have 4+1+D3+D6 attacks on the charge for a maximum of 14 attacks at Str 5, -1 AP and D1. He will wipe hordes with ease and overwhelm tougher targets through sheer volume of attacks. As a backup, arm him with a powerfist in the event he gets into melee with a vehicle or character for a maximum of 8 attacks with the powerfist profile.
As the ultimate masters of the shell game, the Alpha Legion have traits and abilities that make them super shifty, sabotage-centric, and tenacious thorugh misdirection. A few of their Warlord Traits are practical applications of their playstyle. The Master of Diversion trait allows the player to redeploy 3 units on the battlefield at the start of the First Battle Round. By redeploying 3 units, an Alpha Legion player is able to adapt to their enemies deployment, prevent or fix their own flawed deployment, and dictate an aggressive first turn or posture defensively. Faceless Commander is a once per battle Stratagem that allows you to remove your Warlord from the battlefield and set them up again with 3” of a friendly infantry unit and more than 9” away from the enemy. It guarantees that your Warlord gets into melee in no time, continuing to earn their points with kills.
The majority of the Alpha Legion specific Stratagems are modestly priced and prove that the Sons of the Hydra are playing with a loaded deck. Sabotaged Armoury costs 1 Command Point and can be used in any phase, but before an opponent’s roll to add 3 to a roll when testing if a vehicle explodes (on a 6+ it does). Remascent Infiltration allows an infantry unit to be placed back in reserves and brought back in via the standard reserves rules for only 1 point, allowing units to fight and fade in the early stages of the game.
The best of the Artefacts (Mindveil and Hydra’s Wail) don’t even take the form of weapons. Mindveil allows a model to roll 3d6 as their movement value, grants them the ability to move through units and terrain as if they weren’t there, and charge on a turn in which they fell back. An Alpha Legion Character would have no trouble getting into combat with this enhanced “jump pack” and perform hit and runs to prevent becoming a target in the enemy’s Shooting phase. Hydra’s Wail is a once per battle Relic, but forces an opponent to spend an extra command point on a 4+ (for the remainder of the battle round) in order to use their intended Stratagems. This is a great ability to use, especially in the later battle rounds, to ensure an opponent isn’t able to shift the momentum to their advantage and forces an opponent to budget additional command points with the knowledge that the Hydra’s Wail is on the playlist.
The Iron Warriors are renowned as siege specialists dedicated to heavy weaponry and the daemon engines that ravage their foes. With their new rules, the Iron Warriors are nearly impervious to low AP weapons, excellent vehicle killers, and brutes in melee. Of all the Warlord Traits, Stoic Advance is the most practical as it allows Iron Warriors within 6” of the Warlord to ignore the penalty for moving and firing a heavy weapon. Units will always have a target in sight and the proper angle on their victims without suffering penalties to hit. If you’re looking to add iron within, the Bastion trait pairs with the Dour Duty Stratagem to allow a targeted Iron Warrior unit within 6” of their Warlord to negate AP -2 weapons to AP 0, making them missile proof (or Riptide proof).
Iron Warrior Stratagems are some of the best in the book, with only one being situational due to applying only when playing against Imperial Fists (Bitter Enmity). A solid combination is to use Tank Hunters (1 CP) and Methodical Annihilation (1 CP) in the shooting phase to kill vehicles by re-rolling the wounds and rerolling the damage. Now a unit of Iron Warrior Havocs with lascannons can make short work of a Knight with those buffs without worrying about 1’s or spending command points to guarantee a fatal attack lands.
Artifacts of the Iron Warriors come as a mixed bag, but two stand out above the rest. The Cranium Malevolus is used in the Shooting phase instead of the bearer shooting. Instead, roll a D6 for every enemy vehicle within 9” of the model, on a 4-5 the unit takes D3 mortal wounds and on a 6 the unit suffers 3 mortal wounds. Find the ideal opportunity via prime reserve entry to deep strike a character in to affect multiple enemy vehicles and get your credits worth. An alternative relic choice would be to arm a Daemon Prince with the Axe of the Forgemaster to have a powerful melee character able to wreck vehicles with a Str 10 weapon that does D3 mortal wounds on a wound roll of 5+ in addition to its normal 2 damage.
If you are interested in adding some heretical Warlords and corrupt Daemon Engines to your forces, check out our webstore to see which Chaos models we have game-ready and available or checkout our Rental program to test some new reinforcements during your next game!
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