Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Undivided sux...

I've settled on my army list for Adepticon and it's not good.  I've been playing a bunch of games in my game group and it hasn't gone well.  I've tried to stick to a theme, but that theme is wholly undivided.  I don't have Plague Marines (always a win), nor do I use Tzeentch-marked Terminators or Nurgle-marked Spawn.  Every time I talk army lists with one of my 'cheezier' gamer buddies, he tells me the same thing-

Undivided Chaos is terrible!

I've tried to argue his point, citing such things as lower points-cost and background-laden precedent.  But my experience on the battlefield has shown my arguments to be wrong and this basic truth to be, well, a basic truth.

Everyone who knows me will tell you that I love my Word Bearers.  I don't like Khorne, I hate Slaanesh and Tzeentch, and I wholly ignore Nurgle.  I think that Iron Warriors and Night Lords are too limited, the Black Legion is too basic, and the Alpha Legion are a bunch of morons.  So that leaves me with Word Bearers.  And that leaves me with 'undivided' troops.  I can have Marines, Marines with jump packs, Marines with heavy weapons, and Marines with daemonic bitz coming out of them.  I can even add some Cultists and ally the ever-present Daemons.  But there's no such thing as non-Tzeentch Thousand Sons or Word Bearer Berserkers.  So what do I do?

Well, that's a great question.  I have come at this from two angles so far:

On the one hand- I can simply play the 'book-version' of the Word Bearers, including little more than Marines and Possessed with no marks, and just take the losses like a man.  I don't mind losing (I have been known to be a poor sport, buuuut...), but I have to feel like my army isn't what's failing me to have a good time.  The dice have always hated me and my luck has never worked to my favour, but my tactics and list design aren't supposed to be that bad.  With my Chaos armies right now, it feels that bad.  

On the other hand- I can take marks and play 'counts-as' units to take advantage of some of the fun stuff in the book.  I've recently built a unit of robed Chaos Marines and attached them to an old metal Sorcerer to count them as 'Thousand Sons'.  I even have a unit of Berserkers built and plan on, someday, converting a plague-ridden squad to count as 'Plague Marines'.  I have entertained the idea of tossing Marks on my regular troopers to indicate a special 'blessing' that the gods have given my extra-faithful warband.  But I feel dirty every time I do.  I feel like I'm spitting in the fluff-bible's eye.

Oh how I would love to have some T5 Marines and Spawn running around.  Oh how I would enjoy Terminators with a 4+ invulnerable save or a Lord rocking the Axe of Blind Fury.  A unit of Raptors sporting the mark of Slaanesh and some lightning claws wouldn't be horrible.  But I'm too much of a fluff-bunny.

And for that, I lose.  Hmmm...

Let me hear y'all's thoughts!  And, as always, Happy Gaming!


  1. This is why I mentioned enjoying smaller games. It seems that the higher points we use the more difficult it becomes to hold ground as undivided. But I still feel like there's a got to be a way and we just haven't found it yet...

    1. Truth to that. I like the smaller-sized games more myself, but the bigger games allows me to test out my 'performance hypothesis' of multiple units at the same time. And now that I have almost every model I plan on owning built and primed, it's time to give them a run and see if there's ANYTHING undivided that works well enough...

  2. Jay don't forget that you are going to have help each game from one of us. I just played me first game with my Necrons and for not have my rules down pat they are a total beast to play against. My Wraiths tied up an entire mob of 30 boyz for two thirds of the game. Woof! No worriea we will be alright.

  3. Go for counts-as, but you don't even need to tie it to specific powers of chaos - use other rationales, like special gear, training, or even just mindset. Blood Angels Death Company get FNP just by being crazy mothers, why can't chaos marines be crazy mothers too?

    Thousand Sons - "The Vengeful" - Disciples of the Insight of Hate, eliminator squads sent into battle to seek out and slay enemy captains, librarians and the like. Extra wards and field generators incorporated into their gear (those GK backpacks with extra thingies could work well) and bolters loaded with unstable warp-shells for breaching power armored targets.

    Plague Marines - "The Fated" - Disciples of the Insight of Perseverance, they know they will prevail if they endure. This surety enables them to carry on through grievous injury, but their confidence in the ultimate outcome slows their reactions as their movements become less hurried and more deliberate.

    Berzerkers - "The Vanguard" - Disciples of the Insight of Struggle, they are the first among the foe, spreading death and the Word in equal measure.

    Noise Marines - "The Flame" - Disciples of the Insight of Catharsis, the warp-flames of their weapons find unbelievers wherever they may try to hide.

    For something like a Spawn with MoN, just make it a little bigger, or add some armor plates to represent it being tougher. Work from the effect of the mark, don't get too caught up in the normal rationale that doesn't suit you.

    1. Brilliant! These are all great ideas. Methinks you've thought about this a bit? :-)
      Thank you. Knowing that this idea isn't unique to my crazy-brain makes me really want to do it now. And I really like rationalizing crazy decisions. Plus, I really like to at least look like I know what I'm doing on the tabletop...

  4. I think using Marks of Chaos is justified for Word bearers, as there is a precedent for Khorne-marked/berzerker Word Bearers in the fluff. In the Anthony Reynolds trilogy, there is a character called Khalaxis (leader of the 17th Coterie), who is every bit the chainaxe wielding maniac you would expect a devotee of the Blood God to be. He and his squad undertook Khornate rituals before battle, and were deployed as close assault shock troops. The Dark Apostles he served under were willing to overlook this deviation from the path of Chaos undivided, simply because of the undeniable effectiveness of the squad in battle. They are even described as berzerkers at one point, but from the descriptions I think they stop short of 'doing a full World Eater'.

    Anyhow, seeing as it's there in the background, I use Marks in my Word Bearer force to represent this kind of specialisation... so long as I can justify it in the way I use the squad on the table. If its good enough for Jarulek/Marduk, who am I to argue? ;-)