Chaos Renegades after 3 games: What I learnt and new army list

I have had 3 games with my Chaos Renegades so far, one of which I wrote a battle report about on this site. I won that game and a game against a Tau army, which was the trial by fire for the army as Tau excel in anti-infantry fire with their plethora of S5 shots at high ranges. I lost one game against Space Marines at 1750 points as I was unable to score objective points fast enough and eventually fell behind 9-11 on points. During those games, I have learnt a lot about the army, including the following:

This is genuinely a fun army

At the beginning, I was not sure how my opponents would feel about facing a human wave of chaff charging towards them. It is a clear example of a skew list, so a list that focuses on one quality and hopes that the opponent cannot deal with that quality. In this case, the quality is quantity and it is clear that many armies simply do not have the necessary number of shots per round to deal with the number of models this army presents. The issue with that is that some people might feel bad about losing to a skew list, as they might not have a great chance to win to begin with if they are not prepared to deal with the skew. As this is definitely a casual project, it should be an army that is not only fun to play with, but also fun to play against.

It is indubitably fun to play with, as it is strangely liberating to charge towards the opponent and remove your own models in spades. There is still a definite element of tactics and strategy involved, as you still need to select targets and make sure you concentrate on the right targets to make sure at least some of your howling fanatics get to the other side. Moreover, as most of the models in the army only move 6 inches a turn without access to transports or other mobility enhancers like jump packs or drop pods, it is vital to ensure the correct deployment of your units as a unit that is misdeployed might spend most of the game trekking towards combat without ever seeing it.

What I have underestimated though is the fun opponents get from killing models and this is where the army is fun for them too. As a matter of fact, each of my opponents so far has marvelled at the amount of models they managed to kill, regardless of whether they lost or won. The average in the first three games is over a hundred miniatures per game, with over 140 killed models being the record. Most games at 2000 points don’t even feature so many models, let alone see so many killed from both armies together. Gunning down this mass of infantry makes games feel epic and just like GW’s fluff department has always described 40k battles, especially those featuring Marines: a small pocket of the Emperor’s Finest surrounded by a mass of enemies, mercilessly cutting them down.

The most common thing I have heard from my opponents or just passers-by is: ‘How many points is that army?’ In essence, this army plays like ‘Apocalypse in a box’, bringing a huge number of models to a small game size. It thus creates that Apocalypse feeling without the need to paint up superheavies or dozens of vehicles and games can be wrapped up in less than three hours, two if you don’t count the time it takes to unpack and pack the army.

250 models take up more real estate than one would think

It turns out that 200+ models fill all of the normal 72 by 12-inch deployment zone, and when I say fill, I don’t mean ‘Make sure models are spaced out wide enough to avoid blast templates hitting multiple models’ full, but rather in the sense of ‘every single square inch is filled with models’ full. That has caused me some issues as I have to deploy either multiple units behind each other or deploy some units in a deep and narrow frontage instead of a wide frontage. I also had issues unpacking my army in the game I lost, as I entangled multiple units and thus had them get into each other’s way. I will have to take more care to make sure each unit can advance without getting into another unit’s path. Another solution I have found is to get some models that can deploy on the first and second floors of buildings where they don’t take up real estate so to say as other models can be deployed below them. Furthermore, I need to deploy my Aegis Line a bit further back so that melee units can deploy in front of it.

I need more suppressing fire to handle medium tanks, especially Dreadnoughts

This ties in nicely with the topic just mentioned. In two of my games, I ran into Walkers or Monstrous Creatures that I could not deal with. Especially now that Dreadnoughts rock 4 attacks a piece, they seem to have become a lot more popular in the local area and they do have the means to ruin my army’s day by virtue of being difficult to damage when moving from cover to cover and immune to S5 or less attacks in melee, which means all of my army. I have a large number of autocannons in my units and each time they actually got a Dreadnought in the open, it promptly died, but I want a weapon that can one-shot a Dreadnought, meaning that I can just throw a few shots at one in cover and know that the one shot that is not saved will actually do some permanent damage or even take one out. Likewise, in the game against the Tau, I tabled his entire army by turn 4 except for a single Riptide. I had enough shots to force some armour saves, but 2+’s are not that difficult to make and I would have needed 24 wounds to make him fail enough saves on average, which is rather a lot. The first measure was to give each melee unit Krak grenades to at least give them a fighting chance versus Walkers and monsters.

So as I was going through the list to see how I could change it to fit a normal table better and to deal with Dreads and monsters, I came across the Disciple squad, which resides in the Elites section. I hadn’t really looked at them beforehand because they have one of the weird point cost schemes Forgeworld is so fond of. Usually with Forgeworld, a unit has a high starting cost, but then drops sharply the bigger the unit gets. For instance, 30k Marine squads start at 150 points for 10, but then only charge 10 points per extra Marine, so a 20-strong unit is a mere 250 points. Disciples are the opposite for some reason, costing 35 points for 5, but then costing 10 per additional model. The Veterans are the same, but at least they get to buy an upgrade at a flat rate per unit, so you can assume that their higher individual cost is compensated by the lower cost of the upgrade per model for a larger unit. The Disciples on the other hand pay the higher cost, but have no flat rate upgrade to justify it, which is why I never really looked at them before. But then I noticed that they are the only BS4 unit in the game and had access to all heavy weapons at the usual Imperial Guard cost. As I wanted to get rid of my allied detachment and also reconsidered the idea of the 50-strong Mutant unit, both because it relied on the allied Dark Apostle and because I had no way of fitting another 50 models into my deployment zone, I decided to include 3 units of 5 Disciples, each with a single lascannon weapon team. They should be able to deploy on the higher floors of buildings where available or behind my other units if no such buildings are on the table (which never happens where I play), then take potshots at enemy tanks or monsters. At 165 point for 3 units, they will be annoying and difficult to remove, as they require far more firepower being dedicated to killing them than a 55-point unit warrants, which is also known as the Rhino conundrum.

So, this is my current 2.000 points list:

Renegade Command Squad: Grenade Launcher, Arch-Demagogue with Covenant of Tzeentch and Master of the Hordes

Renegade Enforcers (2): Each with Power Axe and Combat Drugs Injectors (one joins the 30-strong unit of Renegades, the other one the Mutant Rabble)

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

5 Disciples: Lascannon weapon team

3 Chaos Spawn

3 Chaos Spawn

Mutant Rabble (30): Champion with Power Axe, Meltabombs and Covenant of Khorne

Platoon Command Squad (30): Demagogue with Covenant of Tzeentch, Chaos Sigil, 3 Autocannons, Militia Training, Autoguns

Renegade Squad (20): Chaos Sigil, 2 Autocannons, Autoguns, Militia Training

Renegade Squad (20): Chaos Sigil, 2 Autocannons, 2 Grenade Launchers, Autoguns, Militia Training

Platoon Command Squad (30): Demagogue with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, 5 Flamers, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades Pistols and Melee Weapons

Renegade Squad (20): Champion with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, 3 Flamers, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades, Pistols and Melee Weapons

Renegade Squad (20): Champion with Covenant of Khorne and Power Axe, Chaos Sigil, Krak Grenades, Pistols and Melee Weapons

3 Sentinels: Multiple Rocket Pods

6 Sentinels: Autocannons, Militia Training

3 Rapier Laser Destroyer Arrays: Extra Crew, Militia Training

3 Rapier Laser Destroyer Arrays: Extra Crew, Militia Training

4 Thudd Guns

Aegis Defense Line: Quad Gun

As you can see, this version of the list is slightly leaner, trading some bodies for more guns, but retaining the basic concept of swarming forward with a mass of bodies to overwhelm the opponent.

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