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500 points Chaos Space Marine Army: I am Alpharius...

I had a request from a newly made reader on Facebook last night, asking about their Start Collecting! Chaos Space Marines kit. The wanted to know what options they could put on their miniatures, with the intention of getting some games in.


First of all, let me say it again; Welcome to the Grim Dark future, Shi! You'll forgive me for not using your full name, but I try to keep this site as PG-13 as possible for any potential student neophytes who might be reading.


As I mentioned last night, you will need to get a codex so you can start building your own lists, and in addition to that, the Traitor Legions codex supplement is near mandatory for Chaos Space Marines. However, to get you in the Long War as soon as possible, this is an army list that should get you someway towards winning games without you needing to buy any more miniatures.


Image taken from the Games Workshop webstore


The army is going to be an Alpha Legion Combined Arms Detachment. This is because Alpha Legion tactics will give you a decent amount of board mobility and tactical options without you needing to buy a Rhino or other transport.


Alpha Legion tactics allows you to take Chosen as Troops choices, which is going to be very handy in terms of getting some heavy weapons to the field, and letting you hit the minimum requirement of the CAD whilst still getting in some semi-elite troops. The Alpha Legion also give the Veterans of the Long War upgrade for free to anyone who can take it. In return for not being able to us any Marks of Chaos, all your Chosen, standard Chaos Space Marines and Cultists and Infiltrate.


I've tried looking at other Legion tactics, but none of the others quite give you the same amount of flexibility at this low points cost. Don't feel like you need to paint them as Alpha Legion though... just use their rules for now!


Here's the army:


Alpha Legion Insurgent Training Group (CAD)

HQ

Chaos Lord [140pts]: Combat familiar, Combi-bolter, Hydra's Teeth, Lightning claw, Terminator Armour, Veterans of the Long War

Elites

Helbrute [110pts]: Reaper autocannon, Thunder hammer

Troops

Chaos Space Marines [118pts]: 4x Chaos Marine with Boltgun, Meltagun, 4x Take CCW, Veterans of the Long War. Aspiring Champion: Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Power Fist

Chosen [130pts]: 4x Chosen with Boltgun, CCW and Boltpistol, Heavy bolter, Replace boltgun w/ Plasma gun, Veterans of the Long War. Chosen Champion: Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, Power Sword

Total: [498pts]


Starting with the troops, these are kitted out due to some of the weird rules attached to building CSM squads. The regular Marines have the Meltagun and Powerfist in the unit, and are actually your assaulting half of the troops choice. Everyone has a bolt pistol and close combat weapon in addition to their bolter, meaning they are flexible for shooting or assault. The meltagun and powerfist also make this your default anti-heavy armour unit, to be thrown at the occasional surprise Land Raider!


The Chosen are the shooting half of the army... partly to give you a taste of Infiltrating plasma guns, but also because normal CSM units need to have 10 men to get a heavy weapon (in this case the heavy bolter). Chosen can pretty much take whatever they want, and giving them the H. Bolter and Plasma gun turn them into a fairly good Objective camping unit. Infiltrate means that objective can even be in the middle of the battlefield, and since the Chosen are Troops, they get Objective Secured. Traditional methods of clearing such troops off the battlefield include getting an assaulting unit to overrun them... which would be an interesting thing to try against the Chosen's 15 attacks back, with 3 of them being done with the Champions Power Sword!

In terms of modelling these, I would give them all a bolt pistol and close combat weapon, and then strap the bolter and special weapons to their backpacks. If you're careful with using small amounts of glue, you can reclaim those special weapons back for other projects if you waned in the future.


The Hellbrute is somewhat of an oddity in this list. Due to the Crazed special rule, it's not as reliable a firebase as it could be. That said, with the Reaper Autocanon threatening light vehicles and the Thunder Hammer threatening... well everybody, all it needs to do is Rambo up from your back lines. If the enemy choose to ignore it, they will end up with a crazed robot/demon hybrid rampaging up the battlefield. If they focus fire on it, well good. Your other units can get some good work done!


The Chaos Lord gives you something that not many armies can claim. It gives you an actually scary hero unit, that can rip apart entire units if not dealt with. Terminator armour is an upgrade you need to take to use the model in the Start Collecting box. It also gives you a good deal of survivability, and the ability to Deep Strike. We will exploit this...


The Combi-bolter comes free with the Terminator armour. It's a twin-linked bolter, which we've paired up with a unique piece of Alpha Legion wargear; the Hydra's Teeth. This turns your humble bolter into a small blast, Ignores Cover, Poisoned 2+ mini-canon of Imperial Guard death. You Deep Strike in, preferably within 12-inches, and drop two blasts of poison onto a soft and squishy troops choice. For guard equivalent troops, this is about the same as getting hit by plasma canons, and even other Marines will have to take quite a few saves.


Your next turn will be delicious, provided your Lord survives. As the terminator armour gives you Relentless, you can do your poisoned blast trick again before charging in a ripping up your target with the Lighting Claw.


Here's the best bit about Alpha Legion. If your Chaos Lord dies, you do not give the enemy a victory point for Slay the Warlord. Your next Aspiring Champion will simply become your Warlord, due to the I am Alpharius special rule. Only Alpha Legion can do this, which makes the suicidal Deep Striking unsupported Chaos Lord less risky.


So there you have it. In the first turn, you've already Infiltrated up to the enemies door-step. In the second turn, your Chaos Lord has a chance of dropping and hammering them from behind. If the enemy manages to chew through all that, they'll then have to deal with the Hellbrute crashing onto their lines!


A surprisingly competitive list for 500 points, with a lot of fun tactical options to be made. You could even opt for a very risky null-deployed army, with the Hellbrute acting as an anchor for Deep Striking and Outflanking infantry. What's even more surprising is how easy it was to get this list out of the Start Collecting! kit, making Chaos Space Marines one of the best starter armies to buy.

For a faction that still somewhat ranks quite low in the power tiers, that is an awesome achievement!

I hope that helps you plan your build Shi. As I said, don't consider yourself tied to the Alpha Legion. This is just a good way for you to start and have a chance of winning some of your early games.

Until next time!


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