Warhammer 10th edition Space Marines
Image: Games Workshop

Games Workshop has recently revealed their latest Warhammer 40,000 Faction Focus, dedicated to one of my personal favorite factions – the Chaos Space Marines. Anything Chaos-related brings a sparkle of joy to my eye, and now with this Faction Focus’ reveals – there is also exciting ecstasy in the air. Let’s dive in a little deeper and see what excellent rules and additions Warhammer 40,000’s 10th Edition will bring and see what terrible boons and powers will the Chaos Gods bestow upon their servants this time around.

Chaos Space Marines, like all Chaos armies, look to topple down the Imperium of Man as fast as possible, as violently as possible. What’s especially scary about them is the fact they are Space Marines themselves – not only are they superhuman soldiers that can absolutely decimate lesser foes, they are backed up by the Chaos Gods, which grants them terrible power in addition to their superhuman strength, agility, intellect, and tactical precision. But all power comes with a price, and should the Chaos Gods find them unworthy, well… what can be freely given can also be taken away in the most gruesome fashion.

You Can Call Upon the Dark Gods for a Favor, Anytime – For a Price

Warhammer Dark Pact Chaos Marines Army Rule
Image: Games Workshop

This is perfectly represented in the new Chaos Space Marines Army Rule – Dark Pacts. As we can see, this offers Heretic Astartes units insane buffs when they fight. As a reminder, Lethal Hits is a new core ability that makes Critical Hits (an unmodified 6 on Hit rolls) – automatically wound their target; and Sustained Hits X adds the listed number represented with the X (in this case: 1) of extra hits when a Critical Hit is scored (an unmodified 6 on Hit rolls). These new rules are beautifully streamlined and easy to remember and can lead to some insane amounts of damage via explosive 6 rolls, making Heretic Astartes especially lethal on the battlefield.

To compensate for these great boons of power, the Dark Gods will want something in return. This is mechanically represented by the fact that after a unit makes a Dark Pact it must perform a Leadership Check after its attack is resolved. Should the Dark Gods feel that particular unit was unworthy, the roll will fail and the unit will suffer D3 Mortal Wounds. This does sound like a big drawback, as it means some models will be lost, but looks can be deceiving. In practice, even the standard Legionaries have 6+ Leadership, which is not that difficult to pass, and even if you fail, you are likely to only lose one model. With Tzeentch’s blessing, the statistics are in your favor.

Dark Obscuration new Chaos Marines 10th edition rules.
Image: Games Workshop

The Chaos Space Marines can also take advantage of special effects to their Stratagems when dedicated to a specific Chaos God or Chaos Undivided. One such example is the Dark Obscuration, which is a Stratagem that can provide a Heretic Astartes unit with the Stealth ability but can also provide the “can only be selected as a target of a ranged attack if the attacking model is within 12 inches” if the unit is dedicated to Nurgle. This adds an extra level of excitement to Stratagems, and 5 out of 6 of the ones available to the Slaves to Darkness have these extra optional effects for extra chaos.

Abaddon the Despoiler and Legionaries Are Stronger Than Ever!

Legionaires Chaos Marines 10th edition
Image: Games Workshop

The bulk of any Chaos Space Marine army (or Black Crusade), the Legionaries have never been stronger. The recent events in the Warhammer 40,000 universe brought them ever close to their goal of utterly destroying the Imperium of Man, and the Chaos Gods themselves. Being in service of the Ruinous Powers, they have long since abandoned any notions of following the Codex Astartes, and have expanded their arsenal to include a wider, more chaotic variety of weapons. This makes them extremely unpredictable and versatile, able to take out any target at any range. The Legionaries have a solid option for ranged combat and can be equipped with a reaper chaincannon, flamer, and boltguns. And if they choose to take the fight up close and personal, they can do so with chainswords or a pair of heavy melee weapons. The right Dark Pact can make them

Abaddon the Despoiler, Chaos Space Marines
Image: Games Workshop

Leading them will be none other than Abaddon the Despoiler himself. He’s back and better than ever! As we can see, he has access to three distinct aura effects that apply to every unit within 6” around him, even when leading a specific unit. The aura effects themselves are quite powerful indeed and can be swapped each turn for extra versatility and combat adaptability. Here is a short list of them and what they do:

  • Paragon of Hatred (Aura): While a friendly Heretic Astartes unit is within 6″ of this model, each time a model in that unit makes an attack, you can re-roll the Hit roll.
  • Mark of Chaos Ascendant (Aura): While a friendly Heretic Astartes Infantry or Heretic Astartes Mounted unit is within 6″ of this model, models in that unit have a 4+ invulnerability save.
  • Lord of the Traitor Legions (Aura): While a friendly Heretic Astartes unit is within 6″ of this model, you can re-roll Leadership and Battle-shock tests taken for that unit.

As you can see, Abaddon even has the ability to save a unit from the negative effect of Dark Pact, should the Chaos Gods not be in its favor – how powerful is that! And as you might also be aware, Abaddon himself is not that much of a fan of the Chaos Gods, using them as a mere tool for his ambitions of galactic rule. This is perfectly reflected in one of his abilities – Dark Destiny, which generates a Command Point every time he makes a successful Dark Pact (does not fail the Leadership check).

Chaos Space Marines Receive New Hellish Weapons to Topple the Imperium

Baleflamer10th Edition Warhammer Chaos Space Marines
Image: Games Workshop

Baleflamers are essentially daemonically empowered flamer weapons that are absolutely devastating on the battlefield. They always ignore cover and are now classified as a Torrent weapon. As explained on the data sheet – weapons with Torrent automatically hit their target. While the Obliterators themselves are not weapons per se, they are pretty close to it – horrid amalgams of Chaos Space Marine, Daemon, and Armor, they are fused together by the obliterator virus, which also grants them the ability to sprout different fleshmetal guns directly from their mutated bodies.

Fleshmetal Guns 10th Edition Warhammer Chaos Space Marines
Image: Games Workshop

In the 10th Edition, they will receive special tweaks and updates, in order for them to have more distinct roles. Warhammer 40,000 players can now make their Obliterators shred either vehicles using Focused Malice, or heaps of units with Ruinous Salvo or Warp Hail.

There are a lot of changes coming along, it’s easy to get excited for Warhammer 40,000. And what better way to start the hobby than Combat Patrols, where you can also find some of the forces of Chaos!

Krasen Gechev

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.