Friday, 26 April 2013

Dark Mechanicus (Chaos Marines HQ review)

So as I start to rebuild my Dark Mechanicus as a more fitting Chaos Marine list, I will try to take you through my thought process looking at units in the chaos codex and how I can use them to build a competitive/ themed army for the UK tournament scene in 6th Ed.

Chaos HQ's

The Champion of Chaos Rule:
This is something to bear in mind to start with if you are going for a combat lord. Anyone with this rule must challenge if in combat. This can be bad as your opponent can use this in some situations.

Chaos Lord

A solid choice, as he is cheap and has fearless as standard. He can be useful without any Mark of Chaos, if you want as he is able to join units of any god. The other big thing about the Chaos Lord is that he unlocks Cult troops as a troop choice. The main use of this seems to be either Nurgle to unlock Plague Marines, or a Slaanesh lord to unlock Noise Marines.

How would I Equip Him...?

The Khorne Beat stick.
Chaos lord, Mark of Khorne, Juggernaut, Axe of Blind Fury, 4++.

Is still relatively cheap, but is absolutely devastating on the charge. This will be one of the most common chaos lords on the Tornie scene. With between 7 and 13 attacks at i5, ws5, s6 and ap2 on the charge he can really ruin your day. He also fast with the possibility of a turn 2 charge with the juggernaut making him cavalry.

Footnote: Downside is that he will often give away warlord unless you bring along another character making him more expensive.

The Nurgle Biker
Chaos Lord, Mark of Nurgle, bike, 4++ save and choice of weapons.

This chap is T6, 3+, 4++ making him a bitch to kill a very good option for your warlord. He works at his best in a unit of Nurgle Spawn or Nurgle bikes to keep that average toughness at 6, becoming a solid rock unit.

Footnote: A lot of people equip him with the Black Mace in spawn for combat punch, or the Burning Brand if in bikes to hassle people.


Another really cheap option. He can be upgraded all the way to a Level 3 psyker for only 50pts. A lot of people will run him without a Mark of Chaos so that he can select all his powers from the rulebook powers. I think I would be looking at using Telepathy as all of the powers are useful for chaos, but Biomancy is also a decent choice. If upgraded to a level 2 or 3 I would probably be taking a spell familiar to get the most out of him allowing all psychic tests to be rerolled.

How would I Equip Him...?

Sorcerer, no Mark, Level 3, terminator armour and spell familiar.

Cheap, effective and able to sit in a deck chair unit influencing the game for around 150 pts.

Daemon Prince

A very much more expensive and niche option. The official beat stick of the codex if given the correct gear. Resilient and manoeuvrable due to access to wings and power armour. He is also the only character in the codex without the champions of chaos rule. They can also be made up to a level 3 psyker but for the cost is probably not worth it.

How would I Equip Him...?

Mini Drake
Daemon Prince, Daemon of Nurgle, Wings, Power Armour, Burning Brand.

This build give you the equivalent of a mini Heldrake as an HQ choice (sounds good but costs around the 230pts mark). Quite a popular option as with the resilience and not needing to go into combat he can work well as your Warlord.

Mace Prince
Daemon Prince, Daemon of Nurgle/ Daemon of Tzeentch, Wings, Power Armour, Black Mace.

For near 260pts you get one of the best horde killers in the game, and he being a monstrous creature makes the mace ap2 to boot.

Footnote: There resilience is greatly reduced in Forgeworld allowed tornies due to more access to skyfire.


In a Tank and shooty army this bloke is useful, with his ability to repair tanks and the shatter defences rule. He comes with a 2+ save, but is a chunk more points than a lord with worse stats. Don’t expect to see many of these at a tornie near you any time soon.

How would I Equip Him...?

As standard or with the burning brand for mopping up backfield in a shooty heavy list.

Footnote: awesome for the theme of my Mechanicus army.

Dark Apostle

The chaos version of a chaplain (how many of them do you see around). He is fearless and has hatred and a 4++ as standard and all units in 12 of him must use his LD 10. He as well as the Warpsmith has no access to steeds or bikes. Again don’t expect to see a lot of these guys around.

How would I Equip Him...?

Either with nothing extra, or possibly with the mark of Khorne and Axe of Blind Fury to take advantage of the rerolls to hit in the first round at s6 ap 2.

Footnote: This guy hates psyker battle squads as if they reduce his LD down to say 3 any unit within 12 also has to use this LD value sucks to be his friend.


If you can deliver your Chaos HQ to combat he will Hulk Smash shit up. However that can be the hard part and will limit what you can take. The Prince can’t join a unit, and only the Lord and Sorcerer have access to steed’s bikes and jump packs. From a fluff point of view I think for my Dark Mechanicus I would be looking at a Warpsmith or Daemon Prince, and competitively I will be looking between the Chaos Lord, Daemon Prince and Sorcerer.

This isn’t the full list of chaos HQ’s being run, and I am not saying that there isn’t a better option out there. As with all things opinion is subjective and there may be somebody running a very effective list with a Warpsmith at the heat of it that I haven’t thought of yet (if this is so please share).

That’s it for now, next time I will be showing my Heldrake conversion, and maybe another painted Landraider, aswell as looking at the special HQ’s...


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