Now is a great time to play Chaos Space Marines in Warhammer 40K…
…the allure of the Dark Gods has never been so powerful…
…immortality is yours, take it!
Two things in 8th edition have situated Chaos Space Marines in a solid place, making things different this time vs. previous editions.
Games Workshop HAS made it a priority to keep updating, FAQ’ing, and releasing stuff for every faction- even if Space Marines get most of the love, like with Deathwatch, other armies certainly have not been neglected. The days of waiting 15 years for a new codex- like Dark Eldar in the past are over.
This means CSM will be fresh-ish and able to at least have options on the tabletop.
GW has also made Chaos the main focus of this edition- the end times, and while Plague Marines are getting most of that love in terms of kits, models, and rules, this still keeps options open for those who follow the other Gods.
So where do Khorne Berzerkers stand in this mix?
As always I feel they are related to a single, decisive role on the table- can you position them in this role and win, or will you be stopped? There is a certain tension to the game in playing Khornate units- can you pull off the charge and put your opponent to the bolt pistol and chain sword in the name of Khorne and martial honor?
In my Berzerkers of Skallathrax CSM army Khorne Berzerkers are my second wave to hit my opponent with. My Lord, Terminators, Vindicator, Maulerfiends hit first, and the ‘zerkers are the mop of crew.
With this in mind my goal is to get as many attacks as possible to take advantage of S5 on the charge. This gives them an advantage on the dice flow even against regular marines and against T3 stuff like space elves and smaller space bugs they are beast. (Side note: video below explains dice flow mechanics with regard to wargaming and 40K, as it is an important foundation.
I also keep them stock- chain sword is fine, and given the dice mechanics of 40K right now having an extra attack is more important- generate more dice when trying to attack so you get the biggest dice pool to give out wounds.
Chain axe boosting the strength to 6 is not as big a bump since one is already S5, and while the AP is a potential big deal- marines saving at a 4+ vs. 3+ I still would like to have the extra attack and dice up front to roll.
Dropping the pistol for more CC weapons and more attacks I find isn’t necessary and the points do add up if you are playing 30-40 ‘zerkers.
As a second wave, most of (in theory if I pull it off with the rest of my units) my opponent’s units are all ready reduced in dice and numbers so the hitting ‘zerkers are just strong enough for the task.
IF I was playing them similar to Blood Angels Death Company as a hard hitting alpha unit- their role would be different and I would axe and chain sword them up.