Machines of Legion
One of the most important inclusions of this book is that it allows the chaos space marines to use the tanks that were present during the heresy. This includes relic predators, which have some rather exotic weapons such as conversion beamers, plasma destroyers, flamestorm cannons and more. It may also take something called malefic ammunition, which gives heavy bolters rending, not a massive boost but it helps.
Other rare tanks include the Sicaran battle tank, Land raider proteus, and infernal relic achilles. These are just like the legion tanks used by the loyalists with the exception of the proteus, which has been mutilated by chaos. While the loyalist proteus can have a explorator augury web, the chaos version has been corrupted, possessed and defiled so it no longer does that. Now its an unnamable horror, and when I unit attempts to fire at it, they must take a pinning test, and if it fails it may not fire. Personally I don't rate it, but its nice to have options and differences like that available. A larger tank is also available, the spartan assault tank. For not too much more than a land raider, you can have an extra hull point and over double the transport capacity.
Like in the heresy, the traitor legions had access to super heavy tanks, once again the marines do. Unfortunately only two are available are the Fellbalde and Typhon. The fellblade, has 12 hull points and a accelerator cannon allowing it to fire either an ap 3 7 inch blade or a small ap 2 armourbane shot. Throw in a demolisher cannon and you get a rather fancy tank which is a slight upgrade on a baneblade. My personal favourite is the Typhon however, only 6 hull points (I feel 6 hp super heavies are much more sporting) and it has the beautiful dreadhammer siege cannon. This gun is strength 10, ap 1 7 inch blade with ignores cover... no where to hide from that beauty.
These vehicles are all a welcome addition to the chaos space marine codex, and especially allows the legions of old to still use some of those vehicles that they fled into the eye of terror with.
Chaos in the sky
Based purely on the chaos codex, the marines only have the heldrake as a flier, but this book adds in a fair few. A lot of rules have been added to some of the old models that forgeworld have had for a long time. The classic old hell blade became a rather skilful anti-air unit being able to take an upgrade to have 6 twin-linked strength 7 rending shots, its not going to blow up a flier but it damn well will wreck one. It also has a 5+ invulnerable save and can move D6 + 2 inches in any direction before it moves. And if thats not enough it can pick a single flier or flying monster at the start of the game and re-roll 1's to wound or penetrate against it. All that just for 100 points.
The Hell talon, the other old chaos flier which never really had much love has been boosted as well.
It gains strafing run, a nice addition, but also has 4 different bombs to choose from, ranging from the odd strength 2 ap 2 large blade haywire warp-pulse bomb, to the heavy 3 shatter charge which can only snap shot but is strength 8. A nice bit of variety.
In addition to the old fliers we get all of the legion ones as well that they have release for the horus heresy, the storm eagle, the fire raptor, and even the thunderhawk gunship. These are more or less like their marine counter parts accept for the additional use of malefic ammunition which can turn the normally boring heavy bolters which they all have into something of a nasty surprise.
From the legions chaos also get to use the dreadclaw once more with not much really changing from its previous rules, just the model is now the legion one instead of the cool old chaos version which they discontinued many moons ago. As well as the kharybdis assault claw, if you need an even bigger version. The only thing with these is they still suffer from the age old problem they used to, they just don't do anything very well. Yes they drop in, can hold a unit in place they drop them off next turn for the assault, but its a lot of points for an AV 12 transport. Once it has dropped them off you can move it around, but its not great at anything. The kharybdis has more fire power so can make more of an effect on the battlefield but again is more points so it really should. I'm just not a massive fan of these odd mobile pods.
As a surprise to me, rules for actual chaos dreadnoughts have been added to the book, not helbrutes, but actual dreadnoughts. The back ground for this is that they have resisted mutation and changing by not seeing their internment as a curse, being driven mad, but as a blessing, being able to kill and slaughter with greater effect. They take on this role with glee and as such are devastating on the battlefield, and there prowess is represented in their stats, with ws and bs 5, and fear. They may take You can also dedicate the dreadnought to a chaos god if you so wish, gaining a slight boost.
They have also gone over the rules for the chaos contemptor dreadnought which isn't much different from its previous incarnations so not much to say. We also have the emperors children sonic dreadnought which is an odd choice, the model has been around for ages so its fair they have rules again which personally I don't find useful but you can make a very shooty walker out of it if you so desire.
We have the usual suspects when it comes to daemon engins, the greater brass scorpion, blood slaughterers, decimator, blight drone and plague hulk. Just the models that were released first time round for the siege of vraks. And nothing has changed for them as far as I can see, even though the plague hulk REALLY needed a slight change. They all have their own place in a force, except for the plague hulk. I don't get it, yer its a nice model and is practically just a soul grinder, but if you want you can pay a whole 25 points to lose strength 10 ap 2, for strength 6 ap 3 with master crafted... what is the point. Either make it free to chance (no idea why you would) or make the warpsword useful, such as poison 2+ or instant death! It really does confuse me.
A bit of an odd addition to the daemon engine section is the Rapier weapons carrier. It has no rules to suggest its daemonic in nature, nor does the background? Its just a heavy weapon platform for chaos space marines, its nice, but should be in a different part of the book, not with the beauties of the warp.
A rather interesting addition to the book is the ability to give vehicles chosen from codex: chaos space marines legacies. Legacies are additional rules which you can buy for vehicles to represent something about the vehicle of its glorious past. Now for most of these you can buy it for regular tanks but also for super heavies which can lead to some rather cool additions.
These legacies represent many different things, such as it being possessed by a certain daemon such as Auloth the primordial iterator who gains a few bonuses to the tank but also gives units in 12 with the icon of wrath fear and feel no pain. Its not all possession though, some show what can happen to a vehicle that has been though different war zones, such as the 1st war of armageddon or the badad war. 1st war of armageddon allows daemons of khorne within 6 of it to increase their invulnerable save by 1, to represent the amount of blood that the vehicle has shed and been washed in. The badab war upgrade gives regular tanks preferred enemy (space marines) which is another nice little bit of fluff, however it does have a bit of a misprint as it gives walkers hatred (chaos space marines) which doesn't make sense, its probably meant to be space marines.
I can see these upgrades really helping people make a thematic list, such as a world eater force which has seen many bloody battlefields, even its tanks so blood soaked.
Over all if you are a chaos space marines player I think this book is going to make you happy. While it doesn't fix any issues with the chaos codex, such as over costings, it does allow you to really make your force unique and your own. While some of the additions are probably not 'competitive' and maybe a little pricey some of them will no doubt let the competitive players scream in joy, as they finally have drop pods and a real super heavy which won't just get shot to bits before it can make combat.
It kind of makes me want to create a chaos force of my own now, which I can't afford as I can barely afford the cost of the renegades and heretics... but I guess that's why they release these haha.
Hope you enjoyed my little review.