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Chaos Space Marines remake 6.5


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Howdy all,


So as you've no doubt noticed from the 40k General discussion over the past ~5 years, many players are unhappy with the current design ethos of the CSM Codex. Many feel that they have lost what made earlier versions of the army great, while others have said that to return to the previous design is to invite madness and impossible balance.

What follows is the foundations for a CSM reboot, entirely revamping the army in a similar way that it was between 3.5 and 4. It is designed to be an entirely new structure, built on the same concepts but entirely different execution. I have not written the entire Codex but rather the core ideals, upon which the costs would be established but to provide an idea of how I would like to see the army remade.


For the purposes of this document, assume the current Codex does not exist in any rules medium at all. All current models will be supported but the Mark system, Icons, Daemon Weapons etc will be redone in whatever way felt appropriate. With that in mind....



Codex: Chaos Space Marines pt2- Slaves to Darkness



Hatred (Space Marines): All Marine-elements of the army benefit from Hatred when attacking any unit including a Loyalist Space Marine. This includes any unit taken from the following Codices: Space Marines, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Grey Knights.


Treachery: If a unit with this special rule fails a Morale check in close combat, you may declare Treachery before determining the Sweeping Advance. In this case, you may randomly allocate any number of wounds to each unit involved, with no saves of any kind allowed. Each unit that is betrayed in such a way recieves a bonus to its Initiative when determining if the Sweeping Advance is successful, such that each betrayal grants +1 Initiative. Cultists may be Betrayed but require 3 kills for each bonus.


Champion of Chaos: Any model with this rule may request the attention of the Gods when declaring or accepting a Challenge. If they make this bargain and win the Challenge against an Independant Character or Monstrous Creature, they may roll on the Greater Gift table. Against other targets, they recieve a roll on the Lesser Gifts table. If they offer a Challenge and subsequently flee, they are immediately killed and removed from play with no saves of any kind. You are not obligated to declare an Offering.


Veteran Skills: Many units have access to Veteran Skills. When purchased, these must be bought by all members of the squad for the listed price. Units may only select a single Veteran skill.

Marks of Chaos: Many units may purchase a Mark. These will grant various special rules and change the unit's Alignment. A unit cannot bear more than a single Mark of Chaos.



Alignment: Various rules change depending on the alignment of the unit in question. A unit cannot carry more than one alignment. Independent characters cannot join a unit of an opposing Alignment, unless it is Unaligned,

Khorne- Mark of Khorne or Daemon of Khorne

Slaanesh- Mark of Slaanesh or Daemon of Slaanesh

Nurgle- Mark of Nurgle or Daemon of Nurgle

Tzeentch- Mark of Tzeentch or Daemon of Tzeentch

Everything else is considered to be Unaligned.



Mark of Khorne- Grants Preferred Enemy

Mark of Slaanesh- Grants Crusader. In addition, all shooting attacks gain the Pinning special rule.

Mark of Nurgle- Grants Feel no Pain

Mark of Tzeentch- Units gain Brotherhood of Psykers and may choose from Biomancy, Pyromancy or Telekinesis.


Veterans of the Long War: This upgrade is available to many units within the Codex and is used to denote those warriors who have been in service for millenia, perhaps even tracing back to the Heresy itself. Any unit upgraded in such a way becomes Fearless. In addition, it grants a secondary rule depending on the models Alignment:

Khorne- The model is implanted with Butchers Nails to allow a Berzerker-state. This grants both Rage and Counter Attack. Any melee weapon may be swapped for a Chainaxe at no cost.

Nurgle- The model is surrounded by a swarm of flies. This grants both Defensive Grenades and Stealth. Any melee weapon may be swapped for a Plague Knife at no cost.

Tzeentch- The unit is sealed by the Rubric of Ahriman. When applied to a Character, they are considered to be 1 Mastery level higher but must take The Sorcerer Commands as their extra Power (See the Psychic section later). Any non-Character model instead becomes Slow & Purposeful and gains the Unwieldy property to all weapons in melee.

Slaanesh- The model is being pumped a supply of combat drugs, granting both +1 Weapon Skill and access to the Sonic Weapon element of the Armoury.

Unaligned- The model may take a single Veteran Skill for free, which does not count against the limit for number of Skills per model.




Armoury: In any case where a weapon has 2 prices listed, the first applied to any model taken from the HQ section of the army list. All other models pay the second price listed. If a price is listed as '-' then it is not available.


Ranged Weapons


Melee Weapons

Chainaxe- A Chainaxe can be wielded as a standard Close Combat weapon, or be used to make heavier strikes. If used in this way, it applies a bonus of +1 Strength at the expense of gaining the Unwieldy property.


Terminator Weapons


Sonic Weaponry- These are available to any Slaaneshii-aligned model that has purchased Veterans of the Long War, or any Slaanesh-aligned vehicle.

Sonic Blaster

Doom Siren




Veteran Skills:

Counter Attack

Furious Charge

Tank Hunter


Heritage of Nostramo- Grants both Night Vision and Fear.

Siege Specialist- The model may reroll any attempts to Penetrate a building. In addition they reduce the effectiveness of cover granted by Battlefield Debris or purchased Fortifications by 1 when making a shooting attack.

Serpent- Grants Move through Cover, Outflank and Acute Senses.

Demagogue- Grants Hatred, Fearless and the ability to reroll Gifts or Rewards. All models are considered to bear a Personal Icon. However, a Character bearing this rule must make an Offering of every Challenge they enter.

Point of the Spear- The model gains Preferred Enemy when involved in a Challenge. In addition, the model may reroll the dice to determine scatter when arriving from Deep Strike.





Gifts of the Gods: A model can never gain the effect of a Daemonic upgrade twice, regardless of it's source. Gifts of Flesh, Aspect and Favour may be purchased multiple times on the same model but as mentioned, duplicate rolls are wasted.


Daemonic Strength- The model gains +1 Strength

Daemonic Resilience- The model gains +1 Toughness

Daemonic Essence- The model gains +1 Wound

Daemonic Mutation- The model gains +1 Attack

Daemonic Speed- The model gains +1 Initiative, Fleet and the Jink special rule

Daemonic Rune- The model gains the Eternal Warrior special rule

Daemonic Armour- The model gains a 2+ Armour Save

Daemonic Aura- The model gains the Daemon special rule

Daemonic Sigil- The model gains a 4+ Invulnerable save

Daemonic Steed- The model changes it's unit type to Cavalry

Daemonic Flight- The model changes it's unit type to Jump Pack


Gift of Aspect- Roll a D3: 1-2 grants Daemonic Speed, 3-4 grants Daemonic Aura and 5-6 grants Daemonic Mutation

Gift of Flesh- Roll a D3: 1-2 grants Daemonic Strength, 3-4 grants Daemonic Essence and 5-6 grants Daemonic Resilience

Gift of Favour- Roll a D3: 1-2 grants Daemonic Armour, 3-4 grants Daemonic Sigil and 5-6 grants Daemonic Rune


Lesser Reward- The model is entitled to a single roll on the Lesser Reward table.

Greater Reward- The model is entitled to a single roll on the Greater Reward table.



Chaos Artefacts


Slaanesh's Trinkets


Khorne's Wargear

Collar of Khorne- Grants a bonus of +2 to any Deny the Witch roles.


Nurgle's Blessings

Plague Knife- Melee weapon. S:User, AP-, Poisoned (4+)


Tzeentch's Curios

Brand of the Corvidae- May only be purchased by a Psyker. The bearer gains access to the Divination psychic Discipline.

Shephard to the Dead- May only be purchased by a Psyker. The bearer may cast The Sorcerer Commands twice per turn but must select different Blessings each time.





Daemonology- Chaos Space Marine psykers gain access to Daemonology as a unique psychic discipline. This functions similarly to the standard Disciplines found in the rulebook except that Aligned models may choose from either the Unaligned Primaris power, or whichever Primaris matches their own Alignment.


Flickering Fire (Tzeentch Primaris)- Witchfire, Range 24". S5, AP4, Assault 2D6. You may increase the number of shots by D6 by expending additional Warp Charges.

Pestilence (Nurgle Primaris)- Nova, Range 6". Affected enemy units suffer D6 Poisoned (4+) hits at AP3 that Ignore Cover. Friendly units charging affected enemies may always claim the benefit of Assault Grenades.

Submission (Slaanesh Primaris)- Malediction. Affected enemy units suffer -1 to both WS and BS, and may not fire Overwatch.

Warp Rift (Unaligned Primaris)- Conjuration, Warp Charge 2. Place 2 markers on the table the size of small Blast Templates. One must be placed within 6" of the Psyker while the other has unlimited range but must be placed within Line of Sight. Units may enter a portal as if it were a transport and are placed in Reserve. On your following turn, any Portal-bound units must disembark from any Portal on the table. Any number of units may be embarked in Portals at the same time. Enemy units may also embark, so place them carefully!


Breath of Chaos- Witchfire, Template. S5, AP2.

Doombolt- Witchfire, Beam. S8, AP1. Any vehicle that suffers an Explodes! result must roll 2D6 to determine the explosion distance.

Eye of the Gods- Blessing. The targetted unit gains +1 to it's Invulnerable saves until your next turn. If it does not have an Invulnerable save, it instead gains one of 5++.


The Sorcerer Commands: This psychic power is only known by Tzeentch-Aligned psykers that have been upgraded to Veterans of the Long War. It is a Blessing that confers one of the following benefits to any Rubricae that the Psyker has joined:

Inferno Bolts- All Bolters and Bolt Pistols in the unit gain AP3 and the Soulblaze special rule

Warding Seals- The unit gains a 4+ Invulnerable save

Ghost in the shell- The unit gains Feel No Pain (4+)

Dead Men Walking- The unit swaps Slow & Purposeful for Relentless

The Twisting Path- The unit is immediately removed from the table and placed into Reserve. It must return by Deep Strike in your following turn.




Lesser Gift Table: Roll a D6 to determine your Reward. If the model has previously generated a Lesser or Greater Gift, add 1 to the roll.

1- The model becomes Bulky

2- No reward.

3- The model causes Fear

4- The model gains Adamantium Will

5 - The model Ignores Cover with all ranged weaponry

6 - The model gains Monster Hunter

7+ - Spawndom! The model immediately dies and is replaced with a Chaos Spawn at full Wounds and without any Wargear.



Greater Gift Table: Roll a D6 to determine your Reward. If the model has previously generated a Lesser or Greater Gift, add 1 to the roll.

1- No reward. 

2- The model gains It Will Not Die

3- The model gains a Gift of Aspect

4- The model gains a Gift of Flesh

5- The model gains a Gift of Favour

6- The model gains Daemonic Flight

7+ - Apotheosis! The model is immediately replaced with a Daemon Prince of the same Alignment at full Wounds. It retains any perks granted by previous Challenge Offerings as well as any Daemon Weapons carried. It may choose to inherit either the Armour previously worn, or shed it and gain Daemonic Flight.







Well, that was a long one.


Treachery and Hatred (Marines) serve as the army-wide rules and are given as freebies, in much the same way as Supporting Fire, Mob Rule or Battle Focus. They are intended to be both fluffy and to recreate the most desired aspect of ATSKNF, though involving both cost and risk.

The Challenge mechanic is still there but both simplified and made optional. I think this is a good thing for those who prefer the Renegade side of things.


The changes to Marks are to make all of them appropriate to both ranged and melee units. I prefer the idea of them applying special rules rather than flat stat upgrades. Nurgle has been changed because I don't like the idea of Nurgle having a higher ID-threshold since it becomes blatantly superior on anything with multiple wounds. Tzeentch's thing is now psychic powers an in-game adaptability through psychic powers. Marks will likely cost at least 2-3pts each and vary with the unit in question.


VotLW has become a much more significant upgrade and will be increased in cost appropriately. This is intended to be your Cult upgrade and hence Plague Marines would have FNP, Stealth, Blight Grenades and Plague Knives over their newbie cousins. The 'free' skill for Unaligned units is to represent those of the Undivided Legions that were involved in the Heresy, without removing the option to represent them if you don't fancy paying for VotLW. It also means that a Heresy Veteran is head-and-shoulders above a newly converted Corsair, with costs and abilities to rival a Grey Knight. I think that 5-6pts as a base cost is reasonable considering that it includes both Fearless and a secondary set of abilities.


Gifts make a welcome return and were my favourite part of the 3.5 book. The intention here is that you can take safety and guaranteed Gifts, and model them appropriately, but this safety is expensive. Alternatively the Gifts of Flesh/Aspect/Favour are much less reliable, but also much cheaper. It therefore becomes a case of being rewarded for risk, or taking safe but expensive guarantees. For example the Gifts of Strength, Essence and Resilience might be 15, 20 and 25pts respectively. Alternatively you could take a Gift of Flesh for 20pts and trade reliability for what is still likely to be a very good benefit.


Daemonology is there because I believe that each God can be represented with similar powers and only really needs a 'kick' to differentiate it. It doesn't matter if your template attack is flame, vomit or a brain-altering haze, it can have the same rules. Warp Rift also provides the mobility that Chaos players have been craving for so long. It might be that Drop Pods end up in the list as well but if not, I hope this will scratch that particular itch.


The Sorcerer Commands deserves special mention I believe and is your reward for playing Rubrics. In this case, the Rubrics are awful: Being basic Marines, except I1 and more expensive. The point here is that while the Sorcerer is alive the unit is extremely adaptable and can be charged with different powers on the fly. Also remember that in the new book, these would apply to Terminators, Havocs etc. Also there is a Tzeentch upgrade to unlock Divination, so Tzeentch will reign as the Psychic God once again.




Any comments welcome.

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I still feel that Tzeentch is once again getting the short end of the stick when it comes to VoTLW. BH of Psykers is good for alignment. I'm sure non-1kson Tzeentch players will like this. Although some of them who aren't into sorcers may be upset (boohoo). VoTL War for Tzeentch marines doesn't make them better (a marginal boost to sorcerers, but this pretty much gives them the ability to cast the bonuses you have taken away from Rubrics). It the Aspiring Champion a level 2 sorcerer? If so... Does the squad still have Brotherhood of Sorcerers? Tzeentch is a weird one that could benefit with some squads getting individual rules. Rubrics and their Aspiring sorcerers should be different from Tzeentch aligned marines (Which might represent a squad of minor sorcerers (hence the Brotherhood of sorcerers). Tzeentch Chosen shoudl also be dealt with in another way. They could all count as characters (and be lvl2 (?) sorcerers) which might be either a) expensive (points wise) or cool.png broken, or you might give them a rule that is similar to Horrors (I think) where each 2 or 3 chosen add an additional mastery evel to the squad (while they are still alive).

I would be happy to keep the sorcerer commands as it is now, but consider giving rubrics two wounds. This will help cover one of their weaknesses. Being out gunned by everything that isn't a marine in the open. They will now stick around longer. With their 4+ save being based on a psychic power, I do not think this is over powered. Other suggestions might be to get rid of the feel no pain power (leave that to nurgle), and possibly dead men walking; while giving the sorcerer more options when it comes to ammo type. Consider one that gives the ignores cover special rule (and soul blaze), and possibly another that is designed for shooting armour. This might need its own profile... Unless you think armour bane (or haywire) on a S4 weapon wouldn't be too powerful.

This would address the major issues.

1) Rubrics would be able to stick around in a small arms fight. They might be outnumbered by tactical squads (and the like) who would have the advantage at the start of a firefight (AP5 bolters) but it would move in favour of the rubrics as the marines would take less to kill.

2) Giving them ammo options (like sternguard) and the 4++ from the sorcerer commands would make them a lot more flexible and allow them to do better against armies with large model counts and those with lots of armour. The 4++ being based on a psychic power would also make them vulnerable and make the player choose between defense and offense.

3) It would mean the sorcerer is the lynchpin of the squad, and very important, but the rubrics would also be better (at least while he is alive).

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A post full of good ideas, I will try to toss one thing a top of this if you dont mind:

Lasher tendrils become costier and:


These mechanic tendrils entrap their prey in iron grip. However, many Chaos Space Marines were observed latching on the tendrils for using it as fast, yet risky mean of transport.


In addition to reducing enemy attacks, the Maulerfiend with lasher tendrils counts as open-topped transport with capacity of ten models. It can transport only models without Bulky, Very Bulky and Extremely Bulky rules. However, travelling on lasher tendrils is dangerous. Every time the Maulerfied moves, every model boarded unit must pass dangerous terrain test.

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A post full of good ideas, I will try to toss one thing a top of this if you dont mind:

Lasher tendrils become costier and:


These mechanic tendrils entrap their prey in iron grip. However, many Chaos Space Marines were observed latching on the tendrils for using it as fast, yet risky mean of transport.


In addition to reducing enemy attacks, the Maulerfiend with lasher tendrils counts as open-topped transport with capacity of ten models. It can transport only models without Bulky, Very Bulky and Extremely Bulky rules. However, travelling on lasher tendrils is dangerous. Every time the Maulerfied moves, every model boarded unit must pass dangerous terrain test.


Mmmmm.  Maybe have the vehicle have to do the possessed transport embarkation roll each turn they're hanging on?  That could represent the beast getting grumpy at the hangers on and eating someone.  Quicker than having to roll for dangerous terrain for every model and it still represents the dangerous nature of the transportation.

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