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Chaos Space Marine Codex 2022 Quick overview - already out of date

Codex Chaos Space Marines is released on July 2nd in the UK (and pretty much the rest of the world) and while the book has some nice upcoming rules for Marks of Chaos being added to squads, I do feel like this book needed releasing well before the Dataslate updates.

The book is one of the heftier ones, coming in at 189 pages, and is packed full of rules for the budding Chaos commander, sadly ALOT of things that seem to make up the fabric of Chaos seem to be missing.

Some of the new rules include changes to the Legion Traits, with the Iron Warriors Trait being Out Of Date straight out of the gate.

I will be going into detail regarding the Legion Traits in another article, but I had to mention this as it really irked me when I saw it, please bear in mind this is supposed to be the LATEST codex, and it really doesn't feel like it.

The Iron Warriors Legion Trait is called Iron Within, Iron Without, Pretty fitting, but the rules are as follows

  • Each time a unit makes an attack the target unit does not receive the benefits of cover

  • Each time an attack is allocated to a unit with this trait, if that attack has an AP of -1 or -2, the AP is worsened by 1.

The new Armour of Contempt rule that is present in the Dataslate actually makes this second rule redundant, thankfully the Dataslate already has the errata on it, but come on GW. Do you not have playtesters anymore? Time to stop just using/abusing your community.

When going through the legion traits there is a large section that also appears to be missing, the ability to create your own Chaos Legion.

Now the only other codex I can think of that didn't have a 'create your own' section previous was Orks, this shouldn't have been hard to do, let's be fair most Chaos tend to be copied from their Imperial counterpart, so I'm unsure as to why no time and effort was put into this.

One thing to praise though in the legion section is the number of special items each legion is getting, Not only are you getting a Legio rule, but each legion has its own Warlord CHART, not a single entry, a CHART. So they have 6 different options to choose from. They also come with their own collection of Stratagems and Relics. Again, not just a single one, but on average about 7 options.

This does go to balancing some of the game mechanics when comparing them to Imperial Space Marines, each of which has its own books with strats and relics. But its nice not to have to buy a supplement for additional Legion rules. (Although more on that later).

The main bulk of the Stratagems are what you would normaly expect from an army currently coming out in 9th. Some old ones are updated with the addition of some quite unique new ones added in.

Contempt over Caution is one of my new favs, not because it's game-breaking or anything, it's just so.....FLUFFY. It allows a squad that is not involved in a close combat, to Shoot into the close combat, with a risk of hitting their own men. I love it, as I can just imagine Chaos Marines not giving a damm about each other. Now this costs 2cp, but (and I also love this bit) it only costs 1cp if the friendly unit in combat is a Cultists Squad.

Relics have also had a bit of a nice overhaul. You still get the usual collection of general relics, but you also get a large details page on Deamon Weapons.

Deamon Weapons don't replace certain weapons types, they are added to any Melee Weapon and buff its stats with an ability of your choice depending on the Mark of Chaos you have. For Example the Mark of Khorne weapon is called Zaall, The Wrathful and it adds an additional D3 damage to whatever Melee weapon you have attached it to (D3+3 damage Thunder Hammer anybody?)

Speaking of Marks of Chaos, they are finally back!! Having a Mark of Chaos on a squad doesn't just give you the Keyword, but also a special rule buff, and if your unit has an Icon it gets an additional buff as well. All the marks are 15pts or 1 power each so far (this might get changed) but can only be applied to Characters, Daemon Princes and Core units. So no more upgrading Obliterator units. Some are a little naughty, the Tzeentch mark means that the first failed saving throw for the unit, turns the Damage to 0. Don't get me wrong, folks will pepper you with small arms first to try and get rid of that ability, but when it's crunch time you know it will come in handy.

They also give you access to more psychic powers and Relics, as well as different stratagems that you can use depending on your keyword. This is a good start and is what Chaos needed for its Marks, it's a shame you can only apply it to Core units.

So I'm not going to go into the generic Warlord traits and will be talking about crusade in another article, what I do want to mention is the lack of units Chaos now have access to.

Several of the following units have been completely removed from the codex

  • Kharn the Betrayer

  • Dark Disciples

  • Bloodletters

  • Horrors

  • Plaguebearers

  • Daemonettes

  • Greater Possessed

  • Khorne Berzerkers

  • Rubric Marines

  • Plague Marines

  • Mutilators

  • Fallen

  • Chaos Marine squads of over 10 models.

This is a large number of units omitted from the book. Im guessing they are folding the Greater Possessed into the standard Possessed with the new models coming out, i'm just hoping that the new model range is as big as the previous Greater Possessed as they are a bit model.

The removal of the Daemon Elements is a little heartbreaking, units like this gave the Chaos force some fluff and made them different instead of them being a 'Nega : insert marine chapter here' It also means you only have 1 troop option.

The dedicated marines squads (Berzerkers, Plague Marines) being missing is explained earlier in the book, basically stating that 'you can find these units in codex X and here is how to add them to your force', so if you want a unit of Rubic Marines adding you have to go out and purchase a £30 book to be able to use them. Think alot of folks will simply not bother and look for pirated unit listings instead, the biggest erk is that the Khorne stuff isnt even a book yet and you have to purchase white dwarf issue 477 to get the rules.

This is a big failing for a chaotic army. You'll have to look into separate detachments to add Daemons to your force, and if you do you'll lose the Let the Galaxy Burn special rule, which is Chao's version of 'Combat Doctrines'.

In all the book is disappointing. Some elements add in fluff, while many others take it away. And having no Chaos Daemon units and Cult Marines in the book just diminishes its overall Chaos feeling. My advice, try and get a cheap second-hand copy because this isn't really worth the price tag.


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