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Can you be Alpharius? How would you start in Alpha Legion?

I received a comment on a now defunct 7th Edition Chaos Space Marine Starter list, asking what I'd do if I were to go nuts with creating a Chaos Space Marine starter army. This means no restrictions on using Starter kits, and just picking what I thought would be the most broken combinations.

Here's the full comment from reader Grimtoof:

Hello, I was looking for a 500 point escalation league list and came across your amazing post!
So, two questions for you:
1. I'm not not limited to the box set or models owned (I own a bunch of stuff from playing in past editions).
What other brutal 500 point list would you conceive without any limitations?
2. I'm also starting a escalation league this Friday and was wondering what other increasing point value lists would look like? (500 to 1500 points).
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and more Alpha legion posts!
Thanks for commenting! The questions you raise uncovered a very big gap in my knowledge, and a considerable problem for new Chaos Space Marine players. It's a problem that is shared by Ork players, and one surprisingly less felt by even veteran Loyalist Marine players.

Chaos is tremendously diverse.

Given free reign to whatever you like with the codex is like putting someone down in front of a huge buffet, and saying they're only allowed to pick 5 things to eat. It's not a question of picking the best things from the buffet, but picking the best things to suit your specific taste at that point.

This is why the restriction of using a Starter kit is actually a little more helpful than you might think for budding warmasters. You're restricting your troops choice from the wildly different options available to you, giving you a more constrained box to think in before you go dive deep into the crazy paths a Chaos army can take.

Loyalists don't have this problem, as their 3 Troops choices are really just variations of the same stat line. Scouts are basically Tactical Marines with better cover and worse armour, and Intercessors are basically bolter Tactical Marines but slightly tougher.

Chaos, on the other hand, can run the gamut from t-shirt wearing cultists, through power armoured space marines, right up into tough as nails or gore-crazy specialists. And all of these options can be readily tooled for assault or shooting, or even both in some cases.

So it's tricky.

With that said, the question posed is centred on Alpha Legion, which does narrow our creative box a bit. I replied with the following:

Hi, thanks for commenting! Sadly the above list is now out of date with the new edition, but Alpha Legion can certainly be fun at 500 points!
I will do a proper analysis of how to use them later on, but to get you to your tournament, I strongly recommend plenty of cultists. Let these guys fill out your battle line, whilst your Marines take on specialist roles (Raptors, Havocs, Chosen... your choice really). The cultists die fast, but you can bring them back again with the Tide of Traitors stratagem, right on the enemy door step!
What the Alpha Legion can do better than nearly any other army is alpha strike (pun fully intended). By using cheap cultists to have the required half number of units on the field at deployment, everything else can Deep Strike in.
And that alpha strike can be melee or shooting based. For shooting, use the Alpha Legion stratagem to Deep Strike plasma or melta Havocs next to the enemy. For close combat, you could just Deep Strike Raptors with Icons of Wrath... or a huge blob of Khorne Beserkers.
And that would be the order of your escalation. For every specialist unit you want, bring along a 40 point unit of cultists. They're actually fairly good through sheer weight of fire, and can get you into those larger formations cheaply and easily for loads of Command Points.
I wish I had the codex to give you a proper guide, but that's going to be a little further down the line. Hope this helps!

I stand by all I've said there, but I won't be able to get out and buy that Codex for a while. As a newly made assistant house-master, I'm basically tied to the school boarding house I work in until a holiday hits.

So I'm opening the question out to other readers (yes all five of you). How would you start? What dirty tricks could you come up with? And just how do you get that cool blue paint scheme done anyway?

Hope you can help me out.

Until next time!

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