The 8e Warriors of Chaos Handbook

Joined: July 28th, 2011, 7:06 am

February 19th, 2013, 4:31 pm #1

The 8e Warriors of Chaos Handbook

Hello there, and welcome to the 8th edition Warriors of Chaos handbook. The purpose of this thread is to provide a handy reference for anyone new to the Warriors of Chaos army to get a quick primer on conventional wisdom regarding what is known about the army, as well as a hub of discussion for more experienced players to provide feedback and ensure that we are presenting the most up-to-date and accurate thoughts on how to play this army effectively.


Before we begin, I will point out a few assumptions made when making this handbook:

1. No comp is considered when rating units. While I'm aware of certain popular comp systems such as ETC, I believe that the majority of environments actually play uncomped Warhammer, and it's also too much of a chore to tailor the advice for whatever restrictions any local group may or may not have. I'm not going to bother to do so, and I'm also going to give less consideration to any argument for or against a certain unit that begins with "Well, in my playgroup, we use [insert comp restrictions here]...".

2. This handbook assumes you're making a competitive army. If you're making a themed list, maybe you can use some of the stuff that's in here, but know that you're not the target audience. The goal of this handbook is to present an objective view of what a Warriors of Chaos general can and should do to prepare a list that can win games. Themes often make sacrifices in playability in the name of aesthetic cohesion, so I don't think I have to explain how there could be some disagreement between that and what we're doing here.

3. This handbook is made for all-comers lists. If you only play one army over and over again, there are certain choices that go up or down in relative value. In this case, we'll consider all armies when making our choices (including the mirror-match), as tailoring is looked down upon in certain circles and downright illegal in competitive tournaments.

Ratings Scale:

OK, with all that said, it's time to introduce the ratings scale. I prefer to do this in color-coding, as shown below:

Red is dead. This is a choice that's so bad, it actively detracts from your army synergy and makes your list a worse one overall.
Yellow is conditional. It may shine in certain matchup or when used in certain ways, but in general it's a subpar choice.
Green is the average. Not necessarily a great choice, but it's rarely one you'll end up regretting.
Blue is an above-average or exceptional choice. These options frequently increase army synergy and overall list strength.
Purple is the highest rating in this handbook, and it's reserved for choices that should be staples in virtually all competitive lists. Don't leave home without 'em.


Here, we will collect references to threads that may provide useful information and/or mathematical support to the arguments presented in this Handbook.

Attacking the Current Metagame, by various posters
Best Mark for Warriors, by various posters
Hortennse the Discolord Builds, by various posters
How many chariots is too many?, by various posters
Kitting Out a DP?, by various posters
Nurgle Gorebeast Chariots v. White Lion Horde, by me
The Book of War, by Khaas
Warriors Mathhammer Test 2013, by Crom and Phenatix
"The best defense is a good offense." -Gen. George S. Patton

Check out my Warriors of Chaos Handbook!

My philosophy on gaming, courtesy of Herm Edwards.

Joined: July 28th, 2011, 7:06 am

February 19th, 2013, 4:31 pm #2

Warriors of Chaos Overall

Here, we'll discuss some general aspects of the Warriors of Chaos army as a whole. While every army list is different based on playstyle preferences and other factors, most competitive Warriors of Chaos armies share the following characteristics:

1. Warriors of Chaos are an elite army. The main thing that you can tell at a glance about this book is that the stats on most things are eye-poppingly good, and the equipment options are similarly superb. However, all that stuff comes at a price, and the price paid is points cost. Even the most basic of our infantry units is not cheap, and it only goes upward from there. As such, you can expect to be outnumbered in most games you play.

2. Warriors of Chaos have powerful characters. Another hallmark of the way this army is constructed is that the options available to the characters are very good. While you obviously pay a premium for it, you can build characters that are often as dangerous as entire units on their own.

3. Warriors of Chaos are mobile. While there are some exceptions, most of the units in this army figure to be either fleet of foot or very maneuverable, and when combined with their exceptional statistical profiles, that makes for a scary prospect indeed.

Eye of the Gods

While not truly an army-wide special rule, as it only affects most of our champions and characters, it's plentiful enough that I'll discuss it here. I'm of the opinion that the challenge compulsion on unit champions is mostly inconsequential; they can handle most enemy unit champs on their own and getting wailed on by a character means you're not losing more guys to said character. It can be annoying when applied to the context of our characters, and the reasons why are as follows:

1. Puts Sorcerers at unnecessary risk. This boils down to a way to get your Sorcerer's skillet thrown right into the fire, because you can't avoid enemy fighting characters unless you either put him on a fast-moving mount to not combat them altogether, or you have a designated challenge issuer already in the unit.

2. Limits Exalted Heroes' and Chaos Lords' fighting potential. Our fighting characters are more than capable of taking pretty big bites out of units in a single combat phase, but this challenge compulsion means that a lowly unit champ can occupy their wrath for an entire turn (again, provided you don't have a designated challenge issuer) while the rest of their unit gets to fight relatively unmolested.

3. Forces us to take unit champions with characters. While this is usually sound tactics anyway, the fact that the best way to mitigate the circumstances above is to bring a unit champion along with the character imposes a kind of tax on us that's a bit limiting.

All that complaining aside, the benefits on the chart are mostly useful, if a bit random. Something like +1 S, T, or A can go a long way for a character, and while the odds on the big boy benefit (Daemonhood) are rather remote, it's still possible. Furthermore, the presence of a Warshrine will let you tweak your odds a bit. Overall, I think it's OK.

Marks of Chaos

One thing that characterizes most units in this army is their ability to bear a Chaos mark for one of the 4 Chaos gods. Here, we'll discuss the effects of the 4 Marks.

Mark of Khorne - A straightforward beatstick Mark, Frenzy can put already formidable combat troops over the top by making sure you hit so overwhelmingly hard that the opponent won't have a chance to respond. Moreover, being Immune to Psychology means that Panic tests (which are an annoying bugaboo for armies that have lots of units) are markedly less of an issue. That said, Berserk Rage tests and forced pursuit and overrun can be a bit of a pain, and it's the only Mark that can be lost (if you get beat in combat). Overall, though, this figures to be the best offensive Mark of the bunch, and Warriors of Chaos is an army that is all about the offense.

Mark of Nurgle - While limited in scope, a -1 to hit in close combat is a big deal for troops that are already plenty hard to hurt. To boot, that sort of thing is useful no matter if you're gearing your unit for offense or defense. It doesn't do much if you're not in combat and it doesn't protect you from any other sort of thing, but the goal of a Warriors of Chaos army is mostly to win fights, so it's still quite good.

Mark of Slaanesh - While it seems underwhelming at first glance (since it's pretty much just Immune to Psychology), this Mark actually has a few nice things going for it. First and foremost, it's very cheap, so you won't exactly be bending over backwards to include it. Secondly, immunity to Panic in an army that likes to spread its muscle out a bit is a nice boon, as is the ability to still flee if you need to. Third, it gives you access to a potent Lore in the case of spellcasters, and that can't be discounted. A somewhat subtle Mark, but still useful.

Mark of Tzeentch - Probably the most defensive Mark in nature, it is of conditional use on most troopers (since it really needs to stack on to an already-established Ward save in order to have a truly notable impact), but it's pretty great on characters, because high Ward saves are readily available there and they make your guys very tough to kill. Solid.

Unmarked - Of course, you could always opt to leave your units unmarked in an effort to save points. Sadly, that's the only reason I would ever do this sort of thing - an unmarked squad typically doesn't offer an increase in body count appreciable enough to make up for the diminished performance of the unit.

Warriors of Chaos Magic Analysis

Here, we will discuss the Lores of magic available to the Warriors of Chaos. First, we will discuss the main rulebook Lores (Death, Fire, Metal, and Shadow, and then we'll delve into the army book Lores (Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch).

Lore of Death

Lore Attribute - Life Leeching: While it isn't exactly reliable, this is one of the few ways Warriors of Chaos can refill their dice pool, and as such it should be prized.

0. Spirit Leech: A low-to-midrange Leadership-based roll-off to cause Wounds on a foe is good, but not great, when you look at it from the context of a Sorcerer (since Ld8 is what most characters have), but it gets significantly better when you look at it from the Daemon Prince lens, because they have both the mobility and the stats to take advantage of it. All in all, a dangerous ranged attack for an army that doesn't have many of them.

1. Aspect of the Dreadknight: Tons of stuff in this army already causes Fear or Terror, and most of the ones that don't have more reliable ways to get it than by casting a spell that might get dispelled. Easily the worst spell in this list, and in the conversation for one of the worst spells for Warriors of Chaos overall.

2. Caress of Laniph: A sniper spell whose hits are based on the foe's Strength, this is a superb spell for hunting down most stripes of mages and other supporting characters without having to actually contact them in combat, giving you the freedom to go after the main fighters. Range is a bit limited, but that's not that big a deal.

3. Soulblight: Most Warriors of Chaos units already have the edge in stats - driving that down further can make you the prohibitive favorite in combat. To boot, the augmented version can swing combats all across the board at once. An amazing spell to have.

4. Doom and Darkness: Given the amount of things that cause Fear or Terror in this army combined with the problems it has with Steadfast, this spell can be fantastic in the proper situation.

5. The Fate of Bjuna: While this sniper spell obviously packs quite a bit more punch than its lower-level counterpart (as well as a rather nasty aftereffect), it costs more to cast, its range is weaker, and it has no options for augmentation, all of which conspire to bring down its stock.

6. The Purple Sun of Xereus: A very potent spell in the hands of most armies, it might be the best spell in the game for the Warriors of Chaos. Not only will a misfire have mostly negligible effects because of the high Initiative in the army, but we also have casters (namely the Daemon Prince, but any flier will do) mobile and durable enough to make its swingy range a virtual non-issue. This spell can win you games mostly on its own.

Overall: I think this is the best of the main rulebook Lores we have access to, and it might be the best overall Lore for the army. I recommend having a high-level caster with it whenever possible - it doesn't shine as brightly on a Level 1 or 2 as it does on a Level 4.

Lore of Fire:

Lore Attribute - Kindleflame: A potentially neat Lore attribute if you keep blasting the same unit over and over again, but in my experience it's rather hard to take advantage of.

0. Fireball: One of the handier signature spells in the game, especially at low points totals. It can be used to clear chaff in its lower-level versions, or you can boost it up to pack enough punch to thin down blocks. To boot, it can have a very long range, though the bigger versions are a bit difficult to cast. A nice and useful spell.

1. Cascading Fire-Cloak: It's cheap to cast, and it's an easy way to get some hits on whatever may be harassing your Wizard's unit. That said, despite the fact that our Wizards are tougher than most, you don't really want him in combat enough to justify using this all the time. Meh.

2. Flaming Sword of Rhuin: A very nice spell, this gives you the ability to deal with Flammable, Regeneration, Ethereal, Forest Spirits, or higher-than-average Toughness values on demand. Just watch out for those characters carrying those cheap anti-Flaming items and you'll be fine.

3. The Burning Head: It usually doesn't deal much damage unless you get a flank shot down the length of a unit, but that's not its purpose - this is a tool to fish for chain-Panic. A bit of a gamble, but it could be potentially useful.

4. Piercing Bolts of Burning: A great spell to help thin down those large Steadfast blocks before you get in there and start slicing. Its range upgrade helps it a lot, as you can easily cast this on Turn 1.

5. Fulminating Flame Cage: Arguably the most useful spell in the Lore for Warriors of Chaos, this gives you a bit of control over those big Hordes and the like by threatening them with quite a bit of damage. Rather useless against non-Infantry, though.

6. Flame Storm: The fact that this spell will usually give you less hits and have less range than a boosted Fireball should tell you all you need to know.

Overall: This Lore has several useful spells, but no real home-run hitter. It's probably at its best on a couple of lower-level casters, since the signature spell is good.

Lore of Metal:

Lore Attribute - Metalshifting: So here, they use the Lore Attribute to define how the damage spells work, but it doesn't actually give you any benefits. That's kind of lame, to be honest with you.

0. Searing Doom: A straightforward, mid-range blasty spell. It is good for smacking cavalry, Monstrous Cavalry, and armored-up characters, which makes it solid, but nothing special.

1. Plague of Rust: Although Warriors of Chaos are generally pretty good at punching through other people's armor, a permanent reduction can sometimes swing fights.

2. Enchanted Blades of Aiban: A very, very good spell, this can combine with your already-superior statlines to make hitting a virtual certainty, and ensure you slice right through most armor. To boot, it can have a long range and it helps against Ethereals.

3. Glittering Robe: Wow. This spell is nothing short of amazing for Warriors of Chaos. Just about everything in this army already has a good armor save, and usually doesn't rely on the Scaly Skin rule to get it - adding +2 armor to that will make your troops virtually impervious to harm, and then there's the fact that the augmented version will affect multiple units. Again, wow.

4. Gehenna's Golden Hounds: Don't think of this as a sniping spell, because Look Out, Sir! will ensure that it almost never ends up wiping out a character. Instead, think of it as a poor man's Searing Doom. I'd only keep it if I really had an armor problem.

5. Transmutation of Lead: Given that against typical (WS3) troops, -1 Weapon Skill is usually the difference between hitting our guys on a 4 or on a 5 (and it will help us hit on a 3 against WS5 elites), this has more value for Warriors of Chaos than most other armies. Still rather conditional, though.

6. Final Transmutation: A pretty scary spell, the "remove models on a flat value" aspect combined with the Stupidity aftereffect and the fact that it doesn't allow for Look Out, Sir! can prove to be a devastating combination. The range on the unaugmented version would be an issue for most Wizards, but not for ours, as flying mounts are easily available to Metal casters.

Overall: This Lore is a bit of a mixed bag - it has some absolute gems mixed in with some conditional spells and a couple of outright duds. I wouldn't use it outside of a high-level caster (preferably a flier), but it's quite good in that context.

Lore of Shadow:

Lore Attribute - Smoke and Mirrors: Warriors of Chaos are better positioned to take advantage of this Lore attribute than most, given the incentive to put your characters on some sort of mount and the fact that they're mostly able to take care of themselves. Still requires a bit of creativity to use appropriately, though.

0. Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma: Arguably the best signature spell in the game, it lets us enforce our statistical superiority over foes in combat even further, and it has great synergy with Mark of Nurgle (getting folks to hit you on 6s = win). Moreover, it's cheap, has great range, and it offers the ability to protect us from Ballistic Skill-based shooting and can contribute in the Movement phase by slowing the foe down. A great spell.

1. Steed of Shadows: A useful repositioning tool for lone characters, which is something we can have plenty of. Not a bad spell.

2. The Enfeebling Foe: An absolute gutpunch of a spell, this combined with our above-average Toughness and armor saves means that most foes will struggle to even put a dent on us, and that's a big deal. Probably the best spell from this Lore for Warriors of Chaos.

3. The Withering: While this spell is always formidable because it helps you take out tough targets, it's usually not as amazing for Warriors of Chaos as it is for other armies, because we hit really hard already.

4. The Penumbral Pendulum: While it provides a ranged dimension that we mostly lack, the random range combined with the Initiative test to avoid it make it a rather unpalatable spell.

5. Pit of Shades: Another great nuke spell, this helps us threaten foes at range as well as deal with problematic targets, like Hydras. The fact that you can't cast it into combat and that it scatters hold it back a bit, but it's still a strong spell.

6. Okkam's Mindrazor: Similar to The Withering, but with a higher casting cost and the ability to help us punch through armor, which makes it about as good overall.

Overall: This Lore has lots of useful spells, so it's a good grab on any sort of caster. I would most likely opt for it on a couple of Heroes to get multiple castings of Miasma per phase, but I could see it on a Level 4 as well.

Lore of Nurgle:

Lore Attribute - Bloated with Disease: At first glance, it seems like something that will rarely come up, and if you have a Hero-level caster, you're probably right. But a Lord will be able to cast enough spells to have this come up, and +1T and +1W for the rest of the game is a big deal.

0. Stream of Corruption: Provided your caster is mobile, this spell can net you quite a few kills, because flame templates are pretty big (the issue being that if he's not mobile, this spell is kind of lame). This is especially nasty on heavy cavalry, since you'll hit the whole unit if you set it up right and it ignores their armor.

1. Miasma of Pestilence: Not really that scary unless you cast the augmented version, and it's at its best if multiple units are in combat with one of yours, whereas the rest of the army strategy dictates the opposite should be the case. A bit unimpressive, but still cheap and useful.

2. Blades of Putrefaction: Poison is a nice enhancement to Warriors' already formidable close combat ability, and this has some nice synergy with Festus (5+ Poison is some pretty scary stuff). The range is rather bad, though.

3. Curse of the Leper: This is an absolutely amazing spell. A Toughness buff is great for our already solid troops, and it can give you an emergency Toughness debuff against tougher targets, should you need it. I can't really think of many situations where this would not be useful.

4. Rancid Visitations: Although rather short in the range department and it's a magic missile, the hits are high-quality, and you get a shot at an encore. Passable.

5. Fleshy Abundance: Regeneration in a bubble that stacks with existing Regeneration is pretty good stuff. To boot, the bubble is pretty large, so you don't really have to cluster that tightly around the caster.

6. Plague Wind: Essentially, this is Stream of Corruption: Magical Vortex Edition. While it is significantly more expensive than its signature spell counterpart, it's easier to hit a lot more targets with it, and it can be cast into combat, which makes it a lot more convenient.

Overall: This is a pretty strong Lore overall, but I think it suffers a bit from comparison, as a Nurgle-marked caster can choose between it and Death (which may be the best Lore in the game for Warriors of Chaos). Moreover, this Lore really, really likes to have mobile casters, and those are not always part of the plan. Bring one of those, though, and you will be well off with this Lore.

Lore of Slaanesh:

Lore Attribute - Bliss in Torment: A buff to your stats when you cast a damage spell is kind of an oxymoron, especially considering there's only one spell in the Lore that does damage and can be cast in combat (you can use it as a disincentive for people to enter combat with you, I guess). Moreover, it has rather low odds of occurring, given that most spells in this Lore don't cause that many hits. Meh.

0. Lash of Slaanesh: Unless you catch the flank of a Horde or a big bus of guys, this spell doesn't have much to target effectively, and it doesn't hit very hard in any case. Uninspiring.

1. Acquiescence: This spell, on the other hand, is AMAZING. You can either cripple a unit's movement, make sure your guys get a shot at hitting their guys first, or both, all for a dirt-cheap casting cost. Wow.

2. Pavane of Slaanesh: Sure, it lets you pick characters out from units and the like, but it's capped at 1 Wound. That's pretty lousy, to be honest.

3. Hysterical Frenzy: A pretty versatile spell, you can either use it for emergency extra attacks, or as a nasty trick to ensure some redirection goes as planned, and it's cheap. Pretty useful overall, especially if you think outside the box.

4. Slicing Shards: If it targets units outside of the Leadership bubble, it has some good odds of dealing solid damage (or outright wiping them if they're chaff), but a mainline unit will shrug this off without much fuss.

5. Phantasmagoria: A nice synergy spell, this combines with both other spells in this Lore as well as any Fear or Terror-causing units in your army to good effect (not to mention it makes Steadfast units have a harder time holding on after you've beaten them in combat). To boot, it can be bubbled, though that spell is very pricey.

6. Cacophonic Choir: Acquiescence with some damage attached that can be cast on a bubble? An excellent spell to have.

Overall: This Lore is pretty up-and-down - some of the spells are great, others are terrible. I don't recommend it on a low-level caster at all, and even on a higher-level guy I'd want the Chaos Familiar to make sure I got all of the good ones. Still, there's good stuff in here.

Lore of Tzeentch:

Lore Attribute - Boon of Magic: Getting a few dice back after a cast spell can be pretty nice, especially considering that if you're getting 2 or more you just cast on Irresistible Force, and may have depleted your pool. I kind of like this Lore Attribute, though it's obviously swingy.

0. Blue Fire of Tzeentch: The casting cost is cheap, but that's about all the positives I have for this spell. Variable Strength means you can't rely on it to do its job, D6 hits may not be enough, and the Warpflame special rule is absolutely awful (even against T3 troops). Yuck.

1. Treason of Tzeentch: This spell, on the other hand, is amazing. Turning off the Leadership bubble and forcing the unit to use the lowest Ld value in it is a quick and dirty way to send things like monstrous cavalry and Hordes of troops running after you've beaten them in combat, and that's a big deal.

2. Pink Fire of Tzeentch: A short-ranged, jumping flame template with Warpflame. The amount of hits you'll get make it a bit better than Blue Fire, but it's still not all that good.

3. Bolt of Change: A Warpflame Bolt Thrower shot that can potentially have some pretty high Strength. This spell is actually somewhat usable, especially if you can nail a cavalry unit or the like in the flank.

4. Glean Magic: This spell is rather unreliable (and again, has that cursed Warpflame rule) but it will usually draw out dispel dice in a hurry, since no caster wants to stand a chance of losing their spells. Being able to actually use their spell is more of a side benefit than anything else.

5. Tzeentch's Firestorm: The range is nice, but the amount of hits you'll get are probably lower that what Pink Fire with some good positioning would net you, and then there's that Warpflame business to consider.

6. Infernal Gateway: As this spell has the punch to wipe units outright before Warpflame comes into play, I rate it highly, though the casting cost is a bit rough.

Overall: This Lore has a couple of interesting spells, but a lot of its potential is capped because of having to watch out for Warpflame. I'm not a fan of the Lore, but a flying caster that can take a punch will get something out of it.
"The best defense is a good offense." -Gen. George S. Patton

Check out my Warriors of Chaos Handbook!

My philosophy on gaming, courtesy of Herm Edwards.

Joined: July 28th, 2011, 7:06 am

February 19th, 2013, 4:32 pm #3

Warriors of Chaos Units


Archaon the Everchosen - Does a bunch of cool things (not the least of which is a formidable buff for Chaos Knights), but his points cost is so exorbitant that you won't see him at full power in many a game.

Chaos Lord - While he's not a high-level caster and his presence likely means you can't afford one (and that's always a strike against you in a game where magic is very important), he offers one thing that his counterparts do not, and that is reliability. With the right build, you know what you're getting out of this guy, and that can range from a absurdly hard-to-kill flying nuisance (colloquially referred to as "Hortennse the Discolord"), to an offensively centric killing machine. I think pretty much any Mark can work here, but if pressed to choose one, I'd definitely favor Tzeentch.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord - Your basic high-level caster, with some Aspiring Champion stats for spice. While at first blush that sounds nice, his formidable points cost combined with the need to purchase expensive protection for him increasingly make me feel that he's overshadowed by some of the other choices here, though still usable. As above, pretty much any Mark can work, but I'm going to go ahead and say that Slaanesh edges the others if he's going in a unit (I favor Tzeentch otherwise).

Daemon Prince - This guy can be made into an absolute beast in combat, he never runs, and while he can't be quite as invulnerable as the other two Lord choices, he's also more capable of taking hits in the first place (plus he can fight and cast). I would consider Nurgle and Slaanesh the premier mark choices here.

Galrauch - A big cannon target with no cannon protection, uses the Lore of Tzeentch, and has a chance of wailing on himself. Too much unreliability for your big bad Lord choice if you ask me.

Kholek Suneater - A big monstrous Lord, he clocks in at a kitted-out-Daemon Prince-level price tag, but doesn't have nearly as much impact on the game. At least he's rather tough to kill, with those 8 Wounds...

Sigvald the Magnificent - The fixed Eye of the Gods result is cute, as is the +1 Leadership and Initiative over a normal Chaos Lord, but you can probably make a generic guy that does what he does for cheaper than he does it, and can do other stuff too. Not a fan.

Valkia the Bloody - Serving as a pseudo-BSB while providing a hefty dose of flying beatstick makes her a fairly worthy alternative to a standard Chaos Lord, though the lack of a Ward save is (as usual) a problem.

Vilitch the Curseling - Hooray, a Loremaster! ...of the worst Lore you have access to. He has a couple of nice side perks, but the fact that you are stuck with Lore of Tzeentch is a real bummer.


Chaos Sorcerer - While pricey, he has quite the Lore selection, and plenty of nice upgrades to make himself useful, not the least of which is the ability to lug Arcane Items around. I could live with this guy being unmarked, personally, but if you want to Mark him, I'd say Slaanesh or Nurgle.

Exalted Hero - Beyond the mandatory Battle Standard-Bearer, it's very unlikely that you have the points lying around to kit another Hero out for extra muscle, and that's all he contributes in most armies. That said, a Khorne Hero on a Juggernaut can be very interesting when combined with Skullcrushers.

Exalted Hero Battle Standard-Bearer - As a mortal army, you really need to have this guy along, particularly if you have a lot of Stupidity, Frenzy, and/or units without Immune to Psychology in your list. I like Tzeentch and a Daemonic Mount here, to make him as hard to kill as possible. That said, if you bring Skullcrushers, a Khorne Jugger-rider can also be strong, as can be a Nurgle bodyguard for Festus.

Festus the Leechlord - While individually a bit fragile, the buff he provides the unit that he's in is really good, and his Pestilent Potions can help you pick off mages and other support characters. Not bad.

Scyla Anfingrimm - Pretty tough and cheap for a Hero, and while the saves are rather lacking, this is probably the cheapest way to get Ld10 in your army with a decent troop-muncher for spice.

Throgg - Probably the most efficient buy for the points in the entire book. He's a tough character that hits VERY hard, has a Breath Weapon with no armor saves, gives you Core Monstrous Infantry, and helps you keep your gribblies pointed in the right direction. Wow.

Wulfrik the Wanderer - His ability to deliver a unit (not the best unit, but still a unit) behind enemy lines combined with the fact that he can single out and take out most Heroes and mages makes him worth thinking about, if nothing else.


Chaos Chariot - It's tough as nails, is solid offensively, and it has a good save. The Mark options I like the most for these guys are Nurgle and Slaanesh, since they mostly fill the role of chaff and chaff hunters. That said, keeping them cheap and unmarked is not a bad idea, either.

Chaos Marauders - As far as their base price goes, this looks like a solidly costed light infantry trooper, with lots of options for upgrades. And therein lies the rub - they won't do much if you don't upgrade them, and most of the good upgrade options are terribly expensive. They'll get awful close in price to Chaos Warriors, while being nowhere near as potent. Definitely the weak link in this section.

Chaos Warhounds - They're cheap, they're quick, they can hold their own against most other chaff (particuarly if they have Poison), and they can have Vanguard to threaten war machines and the like. I'd make room for a few of these guys in most armies.

Chaos Warriors - The quintessential infantry unit in the army, these guys have a ton of options and can be kitted out to either pack a wallop or be a sturdy anvil. If you're going offense, I like Khorne and Halberds the most. Defense favors Tzeentch and Shields, though Nurgle is a good option there as well. A more well-rounded unit is proably looking at Nurgle with Halberds.

Forsaken - While the short list of upgrade options and unpredictable mutation chart hold them back somewhat, they do have speed and ranks, and that's a nice combination. I think that Khorne and Slaanesh (mostly the latter) are the Marks I'd opt for.

Marauder Horsemen - The resident Core Fast Cavalry unit (and one of the few units that can have shooting in the army), but you have to be a bit careful with them because they are pretty fragile for their price. Slaanesh is definitely the mark of choice here.


Chaos Knights - They have speed, a great armor save, and make for a very mobile character bunker that can contribute in combat. That said, these guys do not offer much more than a bog standard Chaos Warrior offensively, and they don't scale as well with further investment as some other units in this section. Not a very flashy choice, but a solid one.

Chaos Ogres - Very similar to the Ogre Kingdoms' Ironguts (since Great Weapons are THE way to go for their gear), but with some Chaos flair on the side. While they are a solid choice, they are somewhat overshadowed by other things available in this section. I prefer Nurgle here, but I could also see Khorne.

Chaos Trolls - While they need baby-sitting, they are very cheap, fairly durable provided you keep them away from fire, and they hit hard. A very strong choice.

Chaos Warshrine - A slow (but very durable) unit that gives you a bit more discernment on your Eye of the Gods rolls, and a Bound Spell to get buffs during the Magic phase. I think it's too vulnerable to static CR to be used in combat, and I don't think their benefits are good enough to justify its inclusion in such a crowded allowance. Tzeentch is a natural fit given their existing Ward save.

Chimera - Absolutely amazing. This monster can do a ton of things for a Warriors of Chaos army, be it hunting war machines or mages, supporting mainline units, smashing weak infantry, or even giving you something to threaten people with in the Shooting phase. I feel that every list that has a mobile Lord (which is to say, most of them) should strongly consider it.

Chosen - This is way too many points to pay for +1 WS and a benefit to be named later over a Chaos Warrior, particularly considering they don't come out of Core. The same Mark preferences that apply to Warriors apply to them.

Dragon Ogres - Not necessarily a bad choice, as they are pretty fast and have a ton of Wounds, but their stats and save don't really match up to the price tag.

Gorebeast Chariot - I'm a bit leery of its slow Movement value, but everything else about this thing is fantastic. It's tough as nails, affordably priced, and puts out a lot of pain. I like Nurgle and Khorne for these Chariots.

Hellstriders of Slaanesh - Far too expensive for how fragile they are, and while they can become somewhat formidable if they manage to kill a few enemy units, it's unlikely they'll survive long enough to do so.


Chaos Giant - The quintessential monster, it's a bit too unreliable to be truly considered a competitive choice. The Nurgle and Slaanesh marks strike me as the most interesting.

Chaos Spawn - Mostly awful because of its slow movement and marginal offense, but at least a couple of Tzeentch Breath Weapon blasters could be of some use. They can help thin down blocks or finish off any chaff they engage in close combat using it.

Dragon Ogre Shaggoth - Fairly cheap for a beatstick monster-type, and it's fast on both the M and I fronts. You could do worse than this.

Hellcannon - This thing puts down a mean template, is basically immune to conventional artillery hunters by virtue of being a giant Thunderstomping monstrosity, and can provide you with an Unbreakable roadblock in a pinch. It is a bit slow on the M and I fronts, but it can complement certain choices of units and magic Lores (particularly Death) very well.

Mutalith Vortex Beast - Kind of weedy offensively for a monster of its price (essentially just a big Spawn), and while the bound spell can be pretty nasty, it's nothing to rely on. Meh.

Skullcrushers of Khorne - These guys are fast, have a great armor save, and hit like a ton of bricks. While Frenzy is a bit of a pain in the neck and they are pricey, you do get what you pay for. I think this is the premier unit choice in Rare.

Slaughterbrute - For something that the fluff bills as basically death incarnate, this guy is very disappointing. His attack output is too low to make use of his massive Strength (and the Extra Claws come in at a meager S5), his protection is nothing special (but at least he HAS protection), and he has to be shepherded by a character or he's an outright risk to your guys! No. Just no.
"The best defense is a good offense." -Gen. George S. Patton

Check out my Warriors of Chaos Handbook!

My philosophy on gaming, courtesy of Herm Edwards.

Joined: July 28th, 2011, 7:06 am

February 19th, 2013, 4:32 pm #4

Magic Items

In this section, we'll break down magic item choices from both the main rulebook and the Warriors of Chaos armybook. One thing to point out is that we'll take this opportunity to review the Gifts of Chaos, even though they're not always magic items themselves.

Warriors of Chaos Armybook

Gifts of Chaos

Acid Ichor - Requiring a failed Initiative test in addition to being a rather "meh" attack in the Strength department and one of your guys taking a Wound (with our saves? Good luck) makes this gift a bit sub-par.

Allure of Slaanesh - Making people have to roll a Leadership test to hit you is nice, though you'll likely need some other pieces to make sure people actually fail it every once in a while.

Burning Body - Flaming can be nice for countering certain matchups, though remember that it doesn't play nice with magic weapons.

Chaos Familiar - A nice and useful gift, an extra spell always comes in handy, especially for something like a Daemon Prince who doesn't have that great an access to Arcane Items to begin with.

Collar of Khorne - This is basically an option to have a type of magic item come out of a separate allowance for a Lord or Daemon Prince of Khorne. It's pretty decent if you put your Lord in a unit of Skullcrushers or have the Daemon Prince flying around solo.

Daemonblade - The only sort of unit I feel this is worth taking on is a Sorcerer Lord who expects to do more than the typical share of fighting, as this is effectively +D6 Attacks on them. Moreover, you can probably kit him out such that the hits against himself don't sting very much.

Flaming Breath - A S4 Flaming Breath Weapon in addition to a character's already-impressive array of abilities? I would take this gift every single game.

Hideous Visage - Causing Fear is pretty common in this army, but this is super cheap and most of your troops won't bat an eyelash if your Exalted Hero or Sorcerer isn't providing them with an Ld8 they already had. Solid.

Nurgle's Rot - While the Strength is mostly inconsequential, free hits are free, and you're bound to roll some 6s sometime.

Poisonous Slime - Given that poison and magic weapons don't fix, this is a good, but not great gift.

Scaled Skin - A 5+ save that stacks with armor and shield? Don't mind if I do.

Soul Feeder - While the odds for it happening are low, a lot of Chaos characters can kill enough troops in one round to give themselves a good shot at a heal, and it's not like you can get this benefit anywhere else.

Third Eye of Tzeentch - This can combine with a high Ward save to make a character virtually invulnerable, and it's pretty cheap to have, too.

Unholy Strike - Again, the only real application I see for this gift is on a Sorcerer Lord, who wasn't giving up that much juice to begin with.

Magic Weapons

Filth Mace - I want to like this weapon more than I do, but the fact that you have to wait for a turn in order to get the real juice from it is kind of annoying, and having the D3 Wounds only take effect on Poisoned Attacks is rather needless if you ask me.

Hellfire Sword - This weapon is pricey points-wise, but man, does it pack a wallop. It will rip right through cavalry, monstrous cavalry, monstrous infantry, and Regenerators, and the explosion aftereffect makes it pretty nice against ranked infantry as well. The disadvantage is rather minor if you ask me, especially considering it lets you take Ward saves against it.

Sword of Change - It doesn't do anything for your offense, and spitting out Chaos Spawns when you kill characters or monsters isn't really anything to write home about. Meh.

Magic Armor

Helm of Many Eyes - Stupidity in exchange for Always Strikes First and +1 armor is a good trade if you ask me.

Arcane Items

Skull of Katam - Cheap, and has the potential to help out a lot in the Magic phase if you get lucky. Conversely, if you get unlucky, you might lose your mage. Be careful on how you use this, and always do it on a Hero-level Sorcerer (just to be safe).

Enchanted Items

Chalice of Chaos - Most of these results are nice one-time bumps, though the extremes on the die are a bit risky. Still, it's cheap.

Pendant of Slaanesh - This item is effectively a watered-down version of Stubborn with an additional aftereffect when you take a Wound. It's OK, I guess.

Magic Standards

Banner of Rage - Not losing Frenzy is nice, but nothing all that special. Still, a good buy for the price.

Blasted Standard - I mostly like this item, and the reason why is that while it will usually make you a bit weaker against small arms fire (which is something that frankly doesn't scare us much to begin with), it will help out a lot against the sort of shooting that truly threatens our units, such as cannons, stone thrower central templates, Organ Guns, et al. I think it helps more than it hurts, and since it's a Tzeentch unit you always have Ward saves backing you up for the hits that sneak through.

Warhammer Rulebook

Magic Weapons

Berserker Sword - It offers a souped-up version of the Mark of Khorne, but it takes up your Magic Weapon slot. Decent, I guess.

Biting Blade - Armor Piercing is an OK property to have if points are tight, but nothing to write home about.

Fencer's Blades - Because our characters have such high default Weapon Skill values and can combine magic armor and shields for a formidable armor save, this item doesn't rate nearly as well as it does for other armies.

Giant Blade - A large Strength bonus. I'm of the opinion it's a bit on the overkill side, though.

Gold Sigil Sword - Once again, this is an item that would rate higher on other armies, but doesn't here because our characters' stats are so strong already.

Obsidian Blade - Chances are you'll get better overall performance from a Strength bump than this weapon, and for less points too.

Ogre Blade - A nice Strength bump at a reasonable price.

Relic Sword - Chances are you're doing better than what this sword would on just about anything by default.

Shrieking Blade - Not a bad price to pay for Fear (and its attendant immunity to Fear).

Spellthieving Sword - I'd rather focus on killing the mage than on stripping his spells.

Sword of Anti-Heroes - Sure, it's conditional, but it's already a bargain if you get the effect once. One of my favorite magic weapons.

Sword of Battle - +1 Attack is OK, but nothing to write home about at this price.

Sword of Bloodshed - Lots of extra attacks, but the price tag gives me pause.

Sword of Might - The Strength bump is nice, but everything apart from the magical attacks can be replicated with a Halberd. Just OK.

Sword of Strife - Extra attacks are nice, but the math favors quality over quantity.

Sword of Striking - With our characters' Weapon Skill values being so high, this item makes hitting a virtual certainty.

Sword of Swift Slaying - A great way to get one of your fighting characters re-rolls to hit against just about anybody, provided you're willing to live with his factory-default Strength.

Tormentor Sword - An interesting ability, though only relevant if the enemy manages to disengage somehow.

Warrior Bane - Pretty neat for the price.

Magic Armor

Armor of Destiny - While not the powerhouse choice it is for other armies, it can be put to good use when supplemented with other armor save boosts.

Armor of Fortune - A weaker armor save, but combining this with a mount and the Mark of Tzeentch can result in a formidable save nonetheless.

Armor of Silvered Steel - You can get this save for a fraction of what this costs. No.

Charmed Shield - Any character who sees cannonballs heading his way in the near future should consider this item.

Dragonhelm - It's cheap, it improves your armor save, and protects you against flaming attacks. What's not to like?

Enchanted Shield - A big boost to your save, for next to nothing points-wise. Nice.

Gambler's Armor - Losing a point of armor is not worth a Ward save this weak. Avoid like the plague.

Glittering Scales - There are better ways to get penalties to hit you in this army.

Helm of Discord - Can potentially turn a challenge on its head, but it relies on characters failing Leadership tests, which doesn't happen much by default.

Shield of Ptolos - You can get a 1+ save without a magic shield anyway.

Spellshield - A bit of magic resistance isn't really that impressive a benefit.

Trickster's Helm - A good potential deterrent, if you face attacks that are unlikely to wound you the second time around.


Dawnstone - An item that has great synergy with all of the armor that virtually all characters in this army feature.

Dragonbane Gem - Virtual immunity to flaming attacks, for next to nothing. Pretty nice hedge bet.

Luckstone - A one-time do-over on an armor save can come in handy, especially when it's this cheap.

Obsidian Amulet - A decent bit of magic resistance, and it's not terribly expensive.

Obsidian Lodestone - Magic resistance isn't much to write home about in most cases, but this is a sizable value and it affects an entire unit. Could be worse.

Obsidian Trinket - Chances are this save is too weak to matter.

Opal Amulet - One good shot at making a save is usually better than multiple bad shots at it, especially if you don't have that many Wounds to start with.

Pidgeon Plucker Pendant - Conditional, but the save it grants is pretty good.

Seed of Rebirth - While the chance of actually making the save isn't good, it is pretty cheap.

Talisman of Endurance - The gap from 4+ to 5+ is significant, so this item only comes into play when the big boy saves are taken.

Talisman of Preservation - Another excellent defensive item that should make its way into most, if not all, lists.

Talisman of Protection - A puncher's chance at making a save is a bit too low for me.

Arcane Items

Book of Ashur - Very expensive, but that bonus could add up.

Channeling Staff - If you really want to channel dice, take the Skull of Katam or the Chaos Familiar.

Dispel Scroll - The most important component of many a magic defense. Take this whenever possible.

Earthing Rod - If your caster is the lynchpin of your strategy, a little insurance never hurts.

Feedback Scroll - Looks appealing at first glance, but you'll rarely have a good chance to use it.

Forbidden Rod - We have safer ways of making power dice than risking what is likely a 150+ point character.

Power Scroll - If you're aiming for a huge casting value on a few dice, this is a huge boon.

Power Stone - Extra dice on demand is nice to have.

Scepter of Stability - A pretty solid item to try and make sure a key spell doesn't get through.

Scroll of Leeching - This is a bit of a gamble that can be seen coming and thwarted by your opponent, and that's before irresistible force rears its head. And it's not cheap.

Scroll of Shielding - The synergy with Tzeentch alone makes this at least worth a shot.

Sivejir's Hex Scroll - Not always useful, but it can be potentially devastating with a little luck and timing.

Staff of Sorcery - A bump to dispel attempts is probably worth the price of admission.

Trickster's Shard - Simply won't come up enough to be useful.

Wand of Jet - Pricier than the Power Stone, and for less juice. That's not quite worth the fact that you can decide when you use it if you ask me.

Enchanted Items

Arabyan Carpet - If you want to fly, just get on a Disc.

Crown of Command - Stubborn is a great ability to have, though I consider it a bit of a luxury pick. It is pretty awesome if you have it on a tough lone flying character, because you can hold up entire units with that guy.

Featherfoe Torc - A bit expensive, given how conditional it is.

Fozzrik's Folding Fortress - Outside of gimmick points-denial lists, a close combat army like the Warriors of Chaos doesn't stand to gain all that much by cooping themselves up in a giant building.

Healing Potion - The characters in this army don't have the points allowance or the Wounds to truly use this thing.

Ironcurse Icon - Dirt cheap, and it protects against shooting that hits enough people for a 6+ save to actually matter.

Potion of Foolhardiness - Very cheap, and +1 Attacks is nothing to sneeze at.

Potion of Speed - Initiative between otherwise evenly matched characters can decide who lives and who dies, and it's dirt cheap.

Potion of Strength - This gives you one turn of awesome combat potential when you need it the most.

Potion of Toughness - If you need a character to hold out for one crucial turn, this wll help you do it.

Ruby Ring of Ruin - This will usually draw out a couple of dispel dice, but don't count on it to do much more than that.

The Other Trickster's Shard - If Ward saves on enemy characters concern you, this provides a quick and easy solution.

The Terrifying Mask of EEE! - Funny name aside, this item can be solid on a character that was never expected to provide Leadership in the first place.

Wizarding Hat - If you want a fighting character that can cast spells, just play a Daemon Prince.

Magic Banners

Banner of Eternal Flame - Probably overkill, given all the access to Flaming you have as a Warriors of Chaos player. Could be useful if you opt for less fire than most, though.

Banner of Swiftness - Extra movement is certainly interesting, though its utility is pretty much restricted to Warriors and other comparatively slow units.

Gleaming Pennant - An emergency do-over on a Leadership test can be useful for a unit that's striking out on its own.

Lichebone Pennant - I can think of better things to do with my magic banner slot than take a weak and conditional save, though sometimes that's what you may need.

Rampager's Standard - A bit too pricey to truly be useful.

Ranger's Standard - Taking this item on a unit of Knights or Skullcrushers can be a nice and nasty curveball to throw people in early-game movement.

Razor Standard - A unit looking to grind through armor on a turn-by-turn basis might make good use of this.

Scarecrow Banner - Conditional, but that's not all bad, given how cheap it is.

Standard of Discipline - Provided you put your General in this unit, this item can help you solidify your Leadership base even further.

Wailing Banner - Causing Terror could potentially be useful against armies with weak Leadership values, though plenty of stuff in the army does that already. Meh.

War Banner - +1 CR is useful. Not a world-beater, though.
"The best defense is a good offense." -Gen. George S. Patton

Check out my Warriors of Chaos Handbook!

My philosophy on gaming, courtesy of Herm Edwards.

Joined: July 28th, 2011, 7:06 am

February 19th, 2013, 4:41 pm #5

Recommended Unit Formations and Tactics

Given that units in this army are best suited for different tasks, we'll discuss ideas on how to field them in this section.


Archaon the Everchosen - Given his exorbitant points cost, most normal games will only feature him on foot in a unit of Warriors or Chosen. He should rarely lose combat with his fearsome attack output (unless you have a bad habit of rolling strings of 1s to hit), so you can go ahead and run him front and center. Lore of Death is probably the best use of his talents (go go Ld10 Spirit Leech!), but Shadow is a close second, especially if you roll The Withering or Mindrazor.

Chaos Lord - I'm of the opinion that this guy is at his best as a Stubborn, Tzeentch-marked, Disc-riding, pseudo-unkillable pest that runs about the board, jamming what you need jammed in order to generate combo-charges and other favorable situations (this is the "Hortennse the Discolord" build referred to above). That said, I'm sure there's a Khorne build out there that does enough sheer damage to be worth considering, and that a Nurgle challenge-monkey that simply can't be hit is worth a look too.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord - Given that you can make this guy very slippery by putting him on a Disc of Tzeentch or a Steed of Slaanesh, I would definitely go that route, and use his mobility and saves to keep his nose clean (just make sure to keep a unit of Hellstriders or Marauder Horsemen to bunker the Slaanesh caster in). He can fight enough to scare off chaff, but you still don't want to run him headfirst into combat if you can avoid it.

Daemon Prince - This guy is your Swiss army knife. Need to hold up a mean unit so that your monsters can crash the flanks? He can do that. Need to run spells down the enemy battleline to soften them up? He can do that. Need to take on a fighty enemy character? He can do that. Need to munch up a block of troops? He can do that. Want to threaten things at range? He can do that. Just make sure to keep other monstrous things around him, in order to protect him from artillery (his only real weakness if you kitted him out properly). I consider Death and Slaanesh to be the premium Lore choices for him.

Galrauch - Target saturation is key here - you don't want him getting picked on by cannons and the like, so bring stuff for him to hide behind. Once you do get him into a fight of your choosing, let loose with the double breath weapon + Thunderstomp autohit bonanza. Alternatively, using him as a mobile pseudo-artillery platform between his 2 Breath Weapons and his spells is an option too.

Kholek Suneater - Against any army with cannons or Stone Throwers, you should run him into a fight ASAP. Chances are he can take the first cannonball to the gut, but don't push your luck twice. Against armies that don't have those, you can afford to be a bit more discerning with your targets. Either way, you should complement his charge with a ranked unit, to send the foe running once you win combat.

Sigvald the Magnificent - Stubborn is a nice ability to have for a block of troops, so stuff this guy in a sizable block and use it to hold people up and generate mismatches elsewhere. He's also a pretty good troop muncher, since he attacks at least 7 times and gets re-rolls to hit.

Valkia the Bloody - In order to take advantage of what she offers, you kind of have to run her as a flying menace as opposed to in a unit, but that doesn't mean you should start the game that way. Put her in (or near) a block to get Look Out, Sir! rolls against shooty armies, and then fly her into a fight afterward - once she's in combat, she's mostly able to take care of herself (provided you avoid Hordes of Great Weapons and the like).

Vilitch the Curseling - He's nothing to write home about defensively and he's on foot, so I would consider setting him up with a dedicated bunker unit in order to keep him safe from other characters and shooting.


Chaos Sorcerer - These guys are best brought along as Arcane Item caddies that give you multiple chances to cast the signature spell of your choice (Fireball, Miasma, Stream of Corruption, etc.). I would bunker them in a unit of Knights, as the Chaos Steeds will give them a solid save and the ability to avoid big nasty units.

Exalted Hero - If you're bringing a non-BSB Exalted Hero, chances are you're making more of a deathstar unit or using him as the designated challenge-taker for a Sorcerer. In either case, kit him out to fight as well as he possibly can.

Exalted Hero Battle Standard-Bearer - I love the Daemonic Mount and Mark of Tzeentch for this guy - it makes for a mobile BSB that is absurdly hard to kill (given the T5, W3, 1+ armor, 3+ Ward save combination that is within the realm of attainment). Run him near the center of your line and have him help out in combat, as he's almost guaranteed to be a net positive.

Festus the Leechlord - Fairly straightforward in his use - plop him down in a block of Nurgle Warriors or Marauders and run them right at people. Try to position Festus such that he's in base contact with targets where his Pestilent Potions can come into play.

Scyla Anfingrimm - If he's in your army, chances are his Ld10 made him the General. As such, you have to be a bit careful with the guy - while he has T5 and 4 Wounds, he only has a 6+ Ward save. Run him into weaker infantry or use him to pick off chaff, but if Leadership is not an issue in your army you can run him into a tough fight (remember that he's not very expensive).

Throgg - I think that if you're bringing him, you take full advantage of it by putting him in the biggest unit of Chaos Trolls you can afford and running it down your enemy's throat. Not many things stand up to a Horde of Regenerating Monstrous Infantry.

Wulfrik the Wanderer - Be judicious when using Seafang - you want to be able to bring a unit sizable enough to be scary, but not so big that you're at a handicap until it shows up. Also, don't get too greedy when designating his chosen target - remember that he doesn't have much in the way of protection.


Chaos Chariot - I like these guys on the flanks as chaff hunters and complementary combatants. They're deceptively fast thanks to their large charge range, and will frequently create a "threat area" that you can use to your advantage. I like having the ability to flee with them if needed, so Khorne is not something I favor.

Chaos Marauders - I think you have 2 options with these guys - you either field a big Horde of them as your mainline infantry unit (trusting in their body count to absorb casualties), or you use them as complementary units to provide relatively cheap high-Strength hits in a unit's flank, not to mention disruption bonuses.

Chaos Warhounds - I think that minimum-sized units (with Vanguard whenever the points allow) is probably the best way to use these guys.

Chaos Warriors - They're far too expensive to be fielded as a Horde (particularly with the canonical Halberd + Shield kit), so I recommend a 6-wide formation for aggressive units (Khorne Halberds, Nurgle Halberds) and a 5-wide formation for defensive ones (Nurgle Shields, Tzeentch Shields). Typical unit size range from 12 (bare minimum) to 18-20, though I've seen them go up as far as 24.

Forsaken - I think you can go in two directions with these guys - either use them as faster, slightly more expensive Chaos Warriors in a speed-oriented list, or have them run about the flanks if the ranked infantry role is already covered. I like these guys in a similar formation to Chaos Warriors, though chances are you're be closer to the low end than the high one.

Marauder Horsemen - Given how pricey they are, I think they should take options that take advantage of their speed, their ability to attack at range and their high Initiative (so Flails and Javelins, or Shield + Spear + Javelins for gear). If you Mark them with Slaanesh and give them a Musician, you will be able to take full advantage of Feigned Flight, as well as their march-and-shoot ability.


Chaos Knights - They get pretty unwieldy price-wise when they're in large units, so blocks of 5-6 guys hitting the flanks and mostly running around work well. I like having the option to flee if need be on these guys as well, since they can be overwhelmed by numbers.

Chaos Ogres - In general, I'd say a block of 8-9 of them can do some good damage while not being overwhelmingly expensive. They make a solid substitute for ranked infantry if you decided to take your Core in a different direction, and they can help out other infantry units if they're present.

Chaos Trolls - These guys are either Throgg's bodyguard (in which case you run as many as possible), or a ranked bruiser to tackle things head-on (so you'd want around 8-9 of them). Unlike Chaos Ogres, these guys have little choice but to run front and center, thanks to Stupidity.

Chaos Warshrine - You want this hovering around near your flanks, ready to take on anything that would try to sneak around you. As long as you keep them away from ranked infantry or anything that would shut their offense out, they should be fine.

Chimera - A very versatile unit, I think the best way to use these guys is to rush war machines and other vulnerable targets early, then have them circle back and help you fight blocks when your infantry has marched into fighting range. If there are no vulnerable targets along these lines, you can use them to clear the way by picking off chaff and flankers.

Chosen - Same as Warriors, though your gear influences the sort of reward you're looking for. Shield Chosen benefit greatly from a Strength or Attacks bump to round out their offense, whereas Halberd Chosen probably want a little more protection in the form of a Toughness, Ward, or armor boost.

Dragon Ogres - Given their speed and durability, I think you use these guys best as monster hunters - they can't be Thunderstomped, and they strike at a high Strength (even by Warriors of Chaos standards) if you give them Halberds or Great Weapons. If there are no monsters for them to hunt, crashing them into cavalry is a good alternative.

Gorebeast Chariot - Don't think of these guys in the same fashion as you do the Core Chariots - they're too slow to fill some of those functions. Instead, use their incredible durability and fearsome damage output by running 2 or 3 of them straight at a unit. Together, they will generate enough damage to put even some of the most powerful units down, while weathering most of the return punishment.

Hellstriders of Slaanesh - You would use these pretty much the same way Marauder Horsemen are used, except they have to get into close combat to affect the game offensively. That said, they also make good bunkers for any Slaaneshi Sorcerers you may be bringing. Hellscourges are not really worth it.


Chaos Giant - I think this guy is best when running up a flank, as few flankers can deal with his offensive output (or put out enough Wounds to take him down before he swings). He's also relatively independent Leadership-wise, which enables this strategy further.

Chaos Spawn - These guys are at the best of their meager value when protecting the flanks of your units from side charges, as well as dealing with redirectors by making charges the enemy can't flee from.

Dragon Ogre Shaggoth - Another monster at home when hitting light units and rolling up flanks, it also has the offensive output and reliability to double back and help the blocks grind the foe down.

Hellcannon - I think these guys are best placed as close to the frontline as you can, in order to at least give you a change to use them as a tough monster in addition to an artillery piece.

Mutalith Vortex Beast - Given its inconsistent offense, you're probably best off using it (and its Bound Spell) to remove redirectors and other such units from the table, and then rushing into the flank or rear of an infantry unit to generate a bit of extra damage.

Skullcrushers of Khorne - Frenzy makes these guys a bit too susceptible to baiting to stray from the BSB, so I like them running front and center (plus, they have the toe-to-toe fighting ability to thrive in such a role, thanks to their attack output and saves).

Slaughterbrute - I wouldn't field him at all, but if you insist, I guess he's OK as an elite smasher, thanks to his S7 base and the fact that if you bind him to a fighting character, his Weapon Skill will be very high.

Sample Army Lists

In this section, I have a few lists that I've come up with that I think could work well. Feel free to use them as a basis for lists of your own.

Bloodlust - 2500 points

Core - 627 points
2 x Chaos Chariot, Mark of Nurgle
18 Chaos Warriors, Halberds, Mark of Khorne, Musician, Standard-Bearer (Banner of Swiftness)

Special - 550 points
2 x Chimera, Flaming Breath, Regenerating Flesh

Rare - 508 points
2 x 3 Skullcrushers, Musician, Standard-Bearer

Heroes - 250 points
Exalted Hero, BSB, Burning Body, Daemonic Mount, Enchanted Shield, Mark of Tzeentch, Talisman of Preservation, Third Eye of Tzeentch

Lords - 565 points
Daemon Prince, Chaos Armor, Chaos Familiar, Charmed Shield, Daemon of Nurgle, Daemonic Flight, Dragonbane Gem, Flaming Breath, L4 Wizard, Nurgle's Rot, Scaled Skin, Soul Feeder, Sword of Striking [Lore of Death]

Grand Total: 2500 points

Doombringers - 2500 points

Core - 725 points
2 x Chaos Chariot, Mark of Nurgle
2 x 5 Chaos Warhounds, Vanguard
18 Chaos Warriors, Halberds, Mark of Khorne, Musician, Shields, Standard-Bearer (Banner of Swiftness)

Special - 550 points
2 x Chimera, Flaming Breath, Regenerating Flesh

Rare - 420 points
2 x Hellcannon

Heroes - 250 points
Exalted Hero, BSB, Burning Body, Daemonic Mount, Enchanted Shield, Mark of Tzeentch, Talisman of Preservation, Third Eye of Tzeentch

Lords - 555 points
Daemon Prince, Chaos Armor, Chaos Familiar, Charmed Shield, Daemon of Nurgle, Daemonic Flight, Dragonbane Gem, Flaming Breath, L4 Wizard, Scaled Skin, Soul Feeder, Sword of Striking [Lore of Death]

Grand Total: 2500 points

Fast & Furious - 2500 points

Core - 625 points
4 x Chaos Chariot, Mark of Nurgle
2 x 5 Chaos Warhounds, Vanguard
5 Chaos Warhounds, Mutant Poisons, Vanguard

Special - 550 points
2 x Chimera, Flaming Breath, Regenerating Flesh

Rare - 508 points
2 x 3 Skullcrushers, Musician, Standard-Bearer

Heroes - 266 points
Exalted Hero, BSB, Burning Body, Daemonic Mount (Barding), Halberd, Mark of Tzeentch, Talisman of Preservation, Third Eye of Tzeentch

Lords - 550 points
Daemon Prince, Chaos Armor, Chaos Familiar, Charmed Shield, Daemon of Slaanesh, Daemonic Flight, Dragonbane Gem, Flaming Breath, L4 Wizard, Scaled Skin, Soul Feeder, Sword of Striking [Lore of Slaanesh]

Grand Total: 2499 points

Invaders - 2500 points

Core - 717 points
2 x Chaos Chariot, Mark of Nurgle
18 Chaos Warriors, Halberds, Mark of Khorne, Musician, Standard-Bearer (Banner of Swiftness)
5 Marauder Horsemen, Mark of Slaanesh, Javelins, Shields, Spears [Sorcerers go here]

Special - 760 points
6 Chaos Trolls
2 x Chimera, Flaming Breath, Regenerating Flesh

Heroes - 625 points
Chaos Sorcerer, Dispel Scroll, L2 Wizard, Mark of Slaanesh, Steed of Slaanesh [Lore of Slaanesh]
Chaos Sorcerer, L2 Wizard, Mark of Slaanesh, Steed of Slaanesh [Lore of Slaanesh]
Exalted Hero, Armor of Destiny, BSB, Daemonic Mount, Mark of Tzeentch, Scaled Skin

Lords - 398 points
Chaos Lord, Crown of Command, Disc of Tzeentch, Dragonhelm, Flaming Breath, Halberd, Mark of Tzeentch, Soul Feeder, Sword of Striking, Talisman of Preservation, Third Eye of Tzeentch

Grand Total: 2500 points

The Monstrous Horde - 2500 points

Core - 775 points
17 Chaos Trolls [Throgg goes here]
2 x 5 Marauder Horsemen, Mark of Slaanesh, Spears, Standard-Bearer

Special - 550 points
2 x Chimera, Flaming Breath, Regenerating Flesh

Rare - 508 points
2 x 3 Skullcrushers, Musician, Standard-Bearer

Heroes - 620 points
Chaos Sorcerer, Daemonic Mount, Dispel Scroll, Opal Amulet [Lore of Metal]
Exalted Hero, BSB, Daemonic Mount, Enchanted Shield, Mark of Tzeentch, Talisman of Preservation, Third Eye of Tzeentch

Lords - 555 points
Daemon Prince, Chaos Armor, Chaos Familiar, Charmed Shield, Daemon of Nurgle, Daemonic Flight, Dragonbane Gem, Flaming Breath, L4 Wizard, Nurgle's Rot, Scaled Skin, Soul Feeder, Sword of Striking [Lore of Death]

Grand Total: 2500 points
"The best defense is a good offense." -Gen. George S. Patton

Check out my Warriors of Chaos Handbook!

My philosophy on gaming, courtesy of Herm Edwards.

Warrior of the Chamber
Warrior of the Chamber
Warrior of the Chamber
Warrior of the Chamber
Joined: February 12th, 2013, 8:10 am

February 19th, 2013, 6:43 pm #6

I can't wait for this to be completed. Thanks a tons!

Deleted User
Deleted User

February 19th, 2013, 7:25 pm #7

I'm going to link to this from the Compendium Chaotica thread, keep up the good work Rothgar!

Joined: August 31st, 2007, 10:07 pm

February 19th, 2013, 8:03 pm #8

Colour coded ratings renders the article practically unreadable. pm sent with alternative suggestions.

Joined: July 28th, 2011, 7:06 am

February 19th, 2013, 8:14 pm #9

Yeah, the color-coding can take a little getting used to, but given this forum's 10-emoticon limit on posts (stupid, by the way), I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to go about that, short of a numerical rating.
"The best defense is a good offense." -Gen. George S. Patton

Check out my Warriors of Chaos Handbook!

My philosophy on gaming, courtesy of Herm Edwards.

Fecal Litch
Joined: February 13th, 2013, 2:40 am

February 19th, 2013, 9:31 pm #10

That was a great read! Keep it coming!