Best Chaos Space Marine Units by FOC – A Hit List

I wrote a hit-list of this kind for Dark Angels a short while back. Yesterday’s Heldrake post had me pouring over the 6th Edition Chaos Space Marines codex again. So I wanted to give the Traitor Marines a list of this sort too, especially as I never got around to writing a proper review for the 1st Warhammer 40 6th Edition codex released. It might be fun to compare it with Dark Angels later.

Read on and let me know if you agree!

Chaos Space Marines Huron Blackheart

Huron Blackheart

#1 – HQ – Huron Blackheart

For Dark Angels, I called this one the standard Librarian. Not because DA characters like Sammael aren’t awesome, but because the Librarian offers versatility for whatever you want to do.

Chaos Space Marines have a true swiss-army-knife-gem however: Huron Blackheart.

I always had a soft spot for Huron, not least due to the wicked cool ‘The Wolf of Fenris” story in the old 4th Edition book. Yet while Games Workshop decided to scrap that story for the 6th Edition Chaos codex, they made up for it by giving Huron a solid game-play boost.

On the table, at a very affordable point cost, Huron will:

  • Give you guaranteed access to (arguably) the best all-round Warlord trait in the book (Master of Deception, though other Warlord traits can be better in the right situation).
  • Bring his Heavy flamer, Str. 6 Lighting Claw with 2D6 armour penetration, a Power Axe and a random psychic power each turn. Literally a tool for whatever job needs doing.
  • A 4++ save.

Of course, characters like Abaddon will wreak a whole lot more. Indeed, Abaddon is a good contender too. However, choosing Abaddon heavily influences the rest of your list.

With Huron, it is hard to do wrong. Unless you want to unlock Cult Marines as troops for a serious mono-god theme, Huron will certainly do great in almost any Chaos Space Marines list.

#2 – Troops – Cultists

Troops are – I think – the toughest category to call. If I’d include the Cult Marines (normally stuck in Elite, unless you get a Lord with the right mark), it might have been Plaque Marines, though regular Chaos Space Marines have nice options too. Again, a Mark of Nurgle can boost them to T5, which is nice. Fearless, Feel-no-Pain, extra weapons, etc.. are all options for Chaos Space Marines.

I am still going with Cultists, however.

They are an odd unit. Most people say how great they are, and yet relatively few people use them.

  • They are cheap scoring units
  • They are really cheap scoring units
  • They are really, really cheap scoring units

Seriously. 5 out of 6 standard missions in Warhammer 40K are won (or lost) with objectives. Cultists let you do this, and leave you with extra points to spend on the killy stuff. And in a pinch, they make good fodder too. I believe in Cultists!

#3 – Elite – Plague Marines

Even if they are not scoring, Plaque Marines are again a solid entry (as they have been in any Chaos Space Marines Codex I remember).

  • T5 with Feel No Pain
  • Two special weapons with no minimum unit-size
  • Fearless
  • Poisoned close-combat weapons

They are expensive per model, and even with their Nurgle-boons, they are not Terminators. Even with their poisoned weapons, they are not a close-combat unit. Yet small units of Plaque Marines (7 for those truly faithful to Nurgle) two special weapons (melta or plasma) and a Rhino (or better yet, solid cover), you’ll have a solid mid-field unit that will be both a “cannot-ignore” threat to your opponent and will take serious effort to remove from the table.

It’s hard to go wrong with Plague Marines.

#4 – Fast Attack – HelDrake

The HelDrake. Nuff said!

#5 – Heavy Support – Obliterators

In the 4th Edition codex, Obliterators were the undisputed kings of Chaos Heavy Support.

6th Edition certainly boosted the competition. Havocs only got cheaper, both in for each Marine and for many weapons. Vindicator formations are as nasty as ever. The new Maulerfiend and Forgefiend are both excellent addition, though they both require a bit of foresight to use effectively.

Still, I don’t think the Obliterators have been dethroned. They are still the good, solid all-round heavy-weapon addition you may be used to from 4th (and 5th Edition). They actually got cheaper too and can morph Assault Cannons on top. What’s not to love (besides the models)?

There you have it. Does that sound about right?

If not, what is your hit-list by FOC for the 6th Edition Chaos Space Marines Codex?


[wordbay]chaos space marines[/wordbay]



I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at
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  • belverker

    Agree for the most part especially with Huron, the cultists and the helldrake, would have put the Maulerfiend in heavy though because them used in pairs are just scary, very quick…

  • belverker

    Also where did you get that Huron art from? It is awesome

    • Zweischneid

      Art is from Warhammer Wiki (

      Need to scroll down a bit.

      It’s probably not originally from there though

      • ianlogsdon

        Good news, the artwork is from The Gildar Rift by Sarah Cawkwell, which you’ll be pleased to know is a novelization of the Wolf of Fenris story!

      • ianlogsdon

        Or, it may be just after, I actually can’t remember the story from the 4th ed book.

    • ianlogsdon

      Gildar Rift cover art

  • Mercer

    the bog standard CSM aren’t bad for 12 points a pop. Cultists are just fodder and cheap objective scorers and that’s it.

    Rest I agree on, but Oblits are joint with Havocs though.

    • Zweischneid

      Well, Heavy Support was a tough one to call (which in itself is a nice change from 4th). Havocs are no doubt contender, as are possibly Forgefiends.

      I think the all-round versatility gives Oblits an edge, but it could easily be argued otherwise.

      • Mercer

        Yes, the all rounded Oblits do take the leader. You give Havocs a certain weapon and they can only do limited things.
        Subject: [pinsofwar] Re: Best Chaos Space Marine Units by FOC – A Hit List