I have an entire Forgeworld Death Guard army sitting at home doing nothing this edition. Part of me wants to go out there and play them and the other part of me actually wants to win a game. Keep in mind that I'm not saying it's impossible for CSM to win a game, but I don't think they can win in the manner that people want them to. Why? Because just like the Tyranid codex in 5th, the CSM codex was the worst codex to be released in 4th.
It's bad in a way that confuses players in terms of unit choices and leaves them with limited no-brainer options. This severely limits a player's ability to make war with the units that he wants. It's either because the units pale in comparison to others so much that it's stupid not to take them or they just plain out suck. To me, there's nothing more frustrating than playing with an army book with a limited unit selection. I want to be able to take whatever I want and make things work. Just look at Space Wolves, you can take almost anything in the codex and make it work. That's what I want for my Chaos Space Marines.
So what am I looking for next edition?
- Marks over Icons. You gotta be kidding me with Chaos Icons. I mean, shit, there's no way in hell that Chaos Marines who share an allegiance with their godly patron suddenly lose their blessing for losing a god damn standard. Ridiculous.
- Overall stat boosts across all Chaos HQs. This means WS7 Chaos Lords with at least 4 attacks. He may either get some kind of 4++ equiv or be able to take Terminator armor.
- Chaos Markings will be pretty similar methinks. This means Khorne gets +1A, Nurgle gets +1T, Tz gets +1 sv. to their Invul and Slaanesh with +1I. I don't mind this at all, and I think it works quite nice with 40K. Who knows, if we're lucky, we'll see a lot of minor upgrades unique to the gods in the same manner as the Space Wolf trinkets.
- Some form of psychic protection, definitely. I'm confident we'll see the Sorcerer take some kind of protection that'll cause the enemy psyker to take perils. It's fluffy and it makes sense in that respect. Chaos needs some kind of psychic protection and it will be offensive in nature.
- This also means that Chaos Sorcerers will also gain access to a good amount of psychic powers. SM had an good amount, SW too, BA had even more and GK lol. I'm expecting to see all kinds of psychic powers in there for Tz, Nurgle and Slaanesh. Keep in mind that I'm expecting 1 page dedicated to powers from all the gods. I highly doubt they'll break them up like they did in Fantasy.
- Chaos Space Marines will probably be the most "cost effective" unit choice in the book. If I was the next designer, I would bring back Veteran Skills. Why? The answer is simple and effective: Because no one will take CSM over Plague Marines unless they do something unique. Maybe they won't bring back Veteran Skills, but you bet your ass that the basic CSM trooper will be worth taking in their own rights. Whether its by price, or the fact they can carry 2 specials or 2 heavies or 1 of each, or something else, they're going to be worth it.
- You will still be able to take iconic units like Plague Marines, Rubric Marines, Khorne Berserkers and Noise Marines. Don't worry, I don't think these guys will get moved to elite or anything. If they do, they'll risk removing a huge chunk of the army and suffer the same catastrophic FOC problem that Tyranids do.
- By the latest trend in book design, I don't think the next CSM book will see the return of Legions. I think it will be focused on the four main god-legions: World Eaters (Khorne), Thousand Sons (Tzeentch), Emperor's Children (Slaanesh) and Death Guard (Nurgle).
- This also means that Abaddon is going to be a complete beast, Typhus, Kharn and Lucius will be pretty good, and fill in the rest here. There's always one badass SC in every new codex we see, so I'm definitely betting on Abaddon being that.
- Overall, I foresee a huge points drop for everything and many things getting boosted. I can see Obliterators get their stats boosted (T5 maybe? or 3W?), CSM being able to take LRCs and possessed vehicle upgrades as plentiful/cheap as Extra Armor. Havocs will probably see better days as well. Depending on what happens to the Chaos Terminators, we might see the return of Chosen Terminators (or Chosen with the option to take TDA like Wolf Guard).
- Lastly, I predict that the book will be written by Mat Ward. He seems to have an affinity to all Space Marines. Him or Phil Kelly, but I think Kelly's doing SoB.