Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Chaos Formations? Chaos Formations!!!!

Today is a glorious day for Chaos.  Formations have been spotted for the Black Legion supplement.


Right now this information that looks incomplete.  There doesn't seem to be any 'decurion' style connection between these formations.  Hopefully more information will be revealed soon.

As I go through these formations I will be working from the bottom up (according to the link).

Black Legion Warband:
1 Chaos Warlord
0-1 Sorcerer
2-6 Units of Marines or Chosen (in any combination)
1-3 Units of Terminators or Possessed (in any combination)
1-3 Units of Warp Talons, Raptors, or Bikes (in any combination)
1-3 Units of Havocs or Helbrutes (in any combination)

Any time a model in this formation rolls on the chaos boon table, roll twice and pick your result.  When a unit from this formation kills an enemy unit all of your other units from this formation may re-roll to hit and to wound rolls of 1.

I would suspect that this will end up being the main formation as it has a bit of everything.  The best part though, there isn't a 'you must take at least one squad of unit X'.  You aren't forced to buy any one unit here.  I could bring possessed if I wanted to, but I do have the option of taking terminators instead.  The 'roll twice and pick' is nice, but even with the best options I don't think this is going to make much difference.  At the worst, it will mean that my plague marine sergeant isn't going to end up rolling feel no pain.  On a personal note, I am excited because I can field this formation with my Fallen Angels (Black Legion) army, without having to buy any new units.

The Chosen of Abbadon:
1-4 Chaos Warlords or Sorcerers
1 unit of Chosen or Terminators for each Warlord or Sorcerer

Each Warlord or Sorcerer is attached to the unit and may not leave.  The Warlord and Sorcerer get a free roll on the Chaos Boon Table (re-rolling spawn and daemon prince results)  Each unit is fearless.

This is a cool formation.   It seems very reminiscent of old school chaos armies.  I would take a couple of sorcerers attached to terminators, and deep strike in my units for some back field summoning.  You could also make an army of terminators; if your black heard desires.

The Hounds of Abbadon:
1 Chaos Lord
1-3 Units of Berzerkers
1-3 Units of Marines
1-3 Units of Raptors, Warp Talons, or Bikers (in any combination)

Once per game, any turn after turn one you may run and charge in the same turn.  Where I come from, we call that a WAAAAGH!!!  If a unit rolls 8" or more for it's charge distance, then it gets +1 str until the end of the turn.  All units must have a mark of Khorne, and get it for FREE.

Slightly faster units, with free marks of Khorne, and +1 STR 42% of the time?  Yes, please!  This is a solid formation, nothing ground breaking, but solid.  Berzerkers are going to be hitting at strength 6 on the charge when they get the bonus.  Giving your Berzerker champion a power maul is going to give him a decent chance of munching vehicles.

Daemon Engine Pack:
1 Warpsmith
2 Forgefiends or Maulerfiends (in any combination)

One of the daemon engines within 12" of the Warpsmith may use the Warpsmith's WS and BS until the end of the turn.  All of the daemon engines get preferred enemy against one of your opponents characters (one character for the whole formation).  If the character is slain by one of the daemon engines, then the daemon engine regains a lost hull point.

This is the clear winner here.  The thought of 8 strength 8 shots, at BS 5, with daemonforge is making me drool.  Running some quick numbers, a forgefiend with two hades autocannons would have a 91% chance of downing an AV 12 vehicles with 3 hull points and no cover.  This is now a serious contender for an allied formation.

Cyclopia Cabal:
3-5 Sorcerers

Shroud of Deceit is a new warp charge 3 psychic power that lets you choose a non-vehicle enemy unit and shoot with it during your shooting phase.  Only one model in the formation can use the power per turn, but for each sorcerer within 12" of the caster you get an additional warp charge that can only be used on this power.

Old school 'Puppet Master'.  This should be fun.  As far as I can tell, the sorcerers aren't a unit, so you get a bit more protection by attaching them to other units.  Keep a few in rhinos and one on a bike, and you are set to cause some trouble.

The Tormented:
1 Daemon Prince
2-5 Units of Possessed

Possessed gain +1 Initiative, +1 WS, and Rending.  If they are not within 18" of the Daemon Prince then they must pass a leadership check or be forced to only move D6 inches in the movement phase.

Possessed got a bit better, but this doesn't take care of any of the issues that possessed have.  I am going to pass here.

There isn't anything here that is going to bring chaos up to a top tier army, but a few of the formations are going to be a solid addition to the chaos arsenal.  I would expect to see several of these formations start showing up in daemonkin and renegade armies.

When the daemon formations came out, I complained that the formations were bloated and uninteresting.  I have no such complaints here.  These formations are trim enough to use in smaller armies.  My Black Legion force barely scrapes 1500 points and I have no issues using the main formation.  These formations also have quite a bit of flavor, and can add quite a bit of variety to a standard Chaos Space Marine list.  I am hoping that more information is revealed soon, but even with these options there are some good choices.


  1. I'm doing everything I can to not get overzealous with excitement and hurt myself and/or possibly others....

    1. Possibly the least chaotic comment ever...

    2. I just want to let you know I did in fact fail my leadership test and yelled at my children to go to their rooms for 10 minutes while I basked in these formations glory.

  2. Thanks for this summary Andrew! The daemon engine pack sounds great! I also like the chosen one..might be fun!

    1. Any idea what are the chances of killing a wraithknight with this formation? What if I bring 2x of this formation?

    2. I haven't ran the numbers for multiple formations, but I doubt it has a high chance for a single turn of shooting. Sustained fire over a few turns could easily drop a knight, especially if you spread out and can be in different firing arcs to avoid the shield.

    3. Maybe if you brought the plasma cannons and they all hit, you could do a few wounds to a wraithknight, but Hades Autocannons aren't going to cut it. Even with BS5, a Hades Autocannon forgefiend does an expected 0.74 wounds per turn (1.11 with daemonforge). Not exactly a gamebreaker.

    4. I think the autocannons are going to be better at popping vehicles, but yes the plasma cannons are going to be better against most everything else.

    5. No matter what you put on them, this formation is not what you want to go after Wraithknights. Forgefiends excel at taking out vehicles or causing ID on T4 multi-wound models (as long as their armor save isn't 2+) so the BS5 should help that even more. Like you said, great at popping vehicles with daemonforge.

      It's a shame the formation really does nothing for Maulerfiends. Maulerfiends can actually take out Wraithknights and Imp Knights pretty easily but this formation really doesn't give them anything useful other than against one character.

  3. I used to use puppet master on Belakor every turn back in 6th. Should get me access to grav/riptide/stormsurge/Knight/wraithknight shooting. I will probably be running 5 Tzeentch Sorcerers on disks attached to 5 Spawn with a Belakor flying beside them for invisibility. Assuming that is that my opponent acknowledges my CSM Belakor dataslate.

    Hopefully we get some good relics, hopefully we get updated Chaos God powers. I have friends who let me use the Tzeentch Daemon table on my Tzeentch Sorcs in casual games but would be nice to be legit.

    1. Sadly doesn't work on knights... leh sigh.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. These formations are addons to the Black Legion supplement. That supplement has really bad warlord traits/relics and they did not get updated with the new formations.

      Also, the book forces you to take VotLW on every unit. Big points sink.

    4. True VotLW is lame if you are not fighting Space Marines, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, or Grey Knights. Luckily someone is always playing one of those. So far I don't think I would main army Black Legion but instead cherry pick 1 formation (theres really like only 2-3 ok ones?)

      The Relics are godawful garbage except for crucible of lies I think. Luckily you can take regular CSM relics too now. Hide a Sorcerer or Lord in a blob of cultists and he has 3 toughness anyways. The traits are pretty terribad, but I would take preferred enemy space marines I guess. The gifts one could be cool if you load your warlord up maybe with that formation benefit?? Probably not worth it. Ally in a different warlord or use the BRB.

    5. The ability to take relics from the original book is rather intriguing. With the basic formation you could put a jump pack lord with some raptors and give him the burning brand. Easy roasting with deep strike or just moving up the old fashioned way. And a Biomancy sorc on a bike (with more bikes) and the Black Mace can be a lolzy horde killer sometimes.

      But yeah, it's definitely still not worth making an actual Black Legion army because of the VotLW tax on so many units that don't need it (yay hatred for my havocs!). Just cherry pick a few formations and ally them in with some CSM or Daemonkin.

  4. The Forgefiend formation is the only one I might consider. Everyone is drooling over the ability to take the sorcerer enclave but I'm not convinced. There are just too many variables. Sorcerers are weak and you'll need to put them in squads in order to protect them. They all need to stay relatively close to get the extra warp dice (which is pretty necessary if you don't want to spend all of your charges ensuring it goes off). An opponent wiping out one squad or stranding them after destroying a transport is going to severely weaken the formation. Once your opponent catches on to the formation he can skirt around the threat range or isolate his stronger units. He won't be leaving his wraithguard within 12" of a Wraithknight once he knows the formation. Anyone with psykers will probably just deny the power if it goes off. Playing around this formation is probably going to take ~300 points or more of models and all you'll ever get to do is take over an opponent's 300 point model/unit for one turn.

    As far as the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend unit goes, it's alright but I don't know if it is too game-breaking. The Preferred Enemy against a character will be pretty meh in some scenarios. The BS increase is fine but nothing great. I don't normally take Warpsmiths in my list so its pretty much a 115 point tax that increases your BS by 2 for one of the engines and maybe get some repairs off. If you could take Warpsmiths on bikes like you can for techmarines they would be awesome...

    On a side note... because these formations reside in the Black Legion supplement that means you have to follow the BL rules which state every unit that has the ability must take VotLW which can add up quickly if you take some of the bigger formations. A lot of wasted points.

    Also, they did update the page to say you could take artefacts from either the BL supplement OR the regular book which is a nice boon. BL artefacts are pretty terrible but you could take these formations and still grab the black mace or the burning brand.

    1. I am excited to play the Cabal but you are absolutely right it could whiff pretty bad. It's one of those where if you have hot dice and turn 1 (or seize) you could do some damage. Spell Familiars are cool, but it would have really been nice to be able to manifest on a 2+ or even a 3+ like Dark Angels Conclave.

      With the forgefiend/mauler one you get to boost a stat in both shooting and combat phase right? Take one of each and stick warpsmith in a chosen of abaddon formation in a land raider and roll out?

      I think the hounds of Abaddon is the best one so far if it works the way I think it does. It says run move I think so I could turbo boost the full bike squad then charge? 36" inch threat range with reroll charge banner at a probable +1 str. Lets put Axe of Blind fury on that biker lord in the formation. Now lets take a CAD of KDK 2 Lords on bikes with cool daemon weapons and 2 cheap troops. You Could put a KDK Knight or Thirster in there if you want too. I really just want to see who wins a first turn combat a Khorne Biker star or thunderwolf star, Superfriends SM bikers, or DA ravenwing before they have a chance to get their buffs up?

      I agree though I think Black Legion supplement should have given all units in formations VotLW for free.

    2. Sigh just reread and saw no first turn charges. Why do Space Wolves get super dash T1 charges but Chaos does not... haven't they read the books... Chaos always strikes first!

    3. While the Warpsmith *can* help the Maulerfiend it's not a huge help (unlike BS5). He is only WS4 so he only boosts the Maulerfiend by one. Since it seems most of the game is WS4, that doesn't actually improve its chance to hit against most opponents although it will give it a slight buff to survivability when hit back. It also has a fairly short range so you need a dedicated way to keep up with the fiend. Slight buff, but not much.

      I would say no on the bikes. If it specifically says run, that's different than a turbo boost. It's overall a pretty decent formation if you dont mind putting a bunch of points into berzerkers. If only they got a points reduction or some sort of secondary buff since everything else in the formation gets khorne for free. But oh well, still a pretty decent formation.

      I would consider the main formation. Field a Lord, two squads of marines, 2 squads of Havoc, some bikes, and some termies (probably 1 of each). All it takes is the Havocs killing a transport and suddenly everything gets Preferred Enemy (essentially). That's not a bad gig. The only issue I have is the fact you have to take VotLW on everything. With the army I just mentioned that's like a 50+ pt tax for the chance to get re-roll 1s. Again, decent but nothing too broken.

    4. Yeah it says run move. Sigh, how is it Space Wolves and wulfen get crazy turn 1 charges but we are not allowed. Don't they know Chaos always strikes first? Looks like only the formation gets the Waagh too, so no outside joined IC's getting a boost (unless they can be slingshotted somehow). How disappointing.

      I guess I could run this formation for a semi-fluffy Nightlords Raptor Force with a AoBF for a 750 point quick game.

  5. I'm kind of surprised we aren't seeing Crimson Slaughter leaks yet. Doesn't anyone own digital copies of that one?

    1. From what I've been told, the only reason people could see the Black Legion leaks was because they accidentally released the iPad update early (or the update for one system at least). So I'm guessing we aren't seeing Crimson Slaughter because they didn't get a leak like that. Unlike with physical copies, it's pretty easy for GW to keep online-only updates from leaking out early unless they make dumb mistakes like they did with BL.

      Unlike BL, I actually own the CS supplement (physical version unfortunately) so I would be a little curious as to what is in there. However, I'm not sure what the heck they are going to do with it. There will be another Possessed formation (or five) but the fluff for CS was rather boring so I'm not sure what else would fit them. Maybe something with Raptors and Warp Talons but beyond that I'm not sure. I'm not too hopeful there will be anything good.

    2. I am hoping for some goodies from the CS update. They were a pretty solid upgrade to the general codex.

      I think a formation that simply let you pick your mutation, rather than the d3, would more or less fix possessed. Need survivability? 3++ Need speed? Beasts Need to kill something? Rending.

    3. Even if they made it "pick one at start of turn but can't do it twice in a row" just like the Obliterator table is, that would be a marked improvement. As it is, the 3 rolls from the CS table serve completely different purposes like you said: survivability, mobility, killiness. Not knowing what you are going to get makes it impossible to plan for and 2/3 of the time it's going to be useless for what you want to do that turn. If I could make my Possessed beasts whenever I need that would make it so much easier to get them across the battlefield (which has always been my biggest problem with them apart from the cost-to-toughness ratio).

    4. A problem is how kdk possessed and warp talons are just straight up better for having daemon of x and marks. I'd use them if they had a formation of possessed, warps, and mutilators where marks also granted daemon of x rule too. Tzeentch tzeentch tzeentch!