The Chosen are a flexible unit that has a lot of options, and it can perform many roles well. It can be a retinue, a
super-squad, extra fire support, a close combat group, almost anything. This article examines the options available to Chosen and helps you get the most out of this tough unit.
So Why Would I Want Chosen Anyway?
Flexibility is your best reason for taking a unit of Chosen. In practically any army, this unit can fulfill a wide variety of roles. It is also the only way to get a retinue for a Chaos Lord and/or Lieutenant. In larger games, the Chosen's ability to take all manner of options and even be made up entirely of Aspiring Champions will allow you to craft a unit that will be able to take on many enemy units at once, and break the back of an army.
How Many Chosen Should I Take?
The best way to decide how many Chosen you should take is to decide what role(s) you want them to perform. Basically, take enough so you can have an able squad no matter what you choose to do with them, sticking with six to eight if possible. This is a good size both for a retinue and a basic elite unit, as it is neither too unwieldy nor too small.
What Should I Equip My Chosen With For a Shooting Unit?
This is easy. Go for bolters with a few heavy weapons mixed in. Don't take too many heavy weapons, and try to keep them in the same category, i.e. anti-infantry, anti-tank, etc.
What About an Assault Unit?
There aren't many options for beefing up your assault capabilities as far as weapons options go. Meltaguns, plasma pistols, and flamers are your best bet.
Should I Take an Aspiring Champion?
Absolutely! He will help the unit's assault capabilities immensely, and this is good whether you have a shooty or assault unit. The Aspiring Champion is your pathway to having power weapons and the like, and will also give you the ability to have a tough model leading the unit.
What If I Want to Have More Than One Aspiring Champion?
Don't go down this route unless you're sure you have the points to do it, which means at least 1500 points in the army. I suggest waiting until you hit 2000 points, as Aspiring Champions and their gear will quickly cut into the army's overall number of models rather quickly.
Should I Take Terminator Armour?
Chosen are your only source of Terminators, and if you want a tough, strong unit that can lay down serious firepower and assault, go for the Terminators. Don't upgrade a few models and leave the rest in power armour, this will just cause problems when your power armoured Marines hold back your Terminators and vice versa. If you wish to have a Terminator Aspiring Champion, go for it.
In a unit of Terminators, you have a few options. I strongly suggest seizing the opportunity to have some firepower in the form of a reaper autocannon, which will support your unit's firepower and weaken any enemy units you wish to assault. Lightning claws are good for some tougher opponents, and for really tough opponents and cracking tanks, power fists and chainfists fit the bill nicely.
What Mark Should I Choose?
That depends really on what you want to do with the unit. Khorne will give you an excellent close combat unit with bonus attack and Blood Frenzy. Nurgle gives you bonus Toughness and True Grit, making your unit better for a defensive role (great for a tough firepower base). Undivided will certainly ensure your units don't run away! Tzeentch makes your Chosen Sorcerors, granting them all the ability to buy psychic powers and equipment. And Slaanesh will allow you to build a mobile fire unit that gets an edge in close combat. You should take the Mark associated with your army's leader, but as Chosen are Elites anyway, it doesn't matter except in the case of a retinue.
Should I Take Veteran Skills?
That depends on whether you want to boost the unit's abilities. Also, if you take a Mark, you're limited to just one skill. Furious Charge is a good skill for assault units, giving you bonuses on the turn you assault. Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, and Skilled Riders are skills that get you close to the enemy faster, which means they are also better suited to an assault unit. Counter-attack is great for a defensive unit, and Tank Hunters and Siege Specialists will let you take care of tanks and fortifications easier. Night Visions is best for firepower units.
Should I Take a Special Icon?
If you want to beef up the unit's abilities even more, and/or give the unit a shot as summoning daemons, go for it.
What Kind of Transport Should I Choose?
The Rhino should be your foremost choice for transport, since it is cheap and can be easily upgraded to make it more survivable, with mutated hull, extra armour, smoke launchers, etc. It can also be given extra firepower with another combi-bolter (or combi-flamer) and a havoc missile launcher.
The Land Raider is an interesting choice, especially as you're not using a Heavy Support slot for it. It is very protective, can put out decent firepower while moving and keep on moving even if the crew is stunned, and is generally a pain for opposing forces to try to knock out. It's a great transport for a heavy assault unit, especially if that unit's Terminators.
Say I Want to Make a Super-Unit. What Could I Do?
This is bordering on your opponent jumping to cry cheese. The worst I've seen so far is a unit of eight Khorne Chosen who are all Aspiring Champions, have Axe of Khorne, Furious Charge, Daemonic Strength, Daemonic Resilience, Daemonic Aura, Feel No Pain, Rage of Khorne, and Frag Grenades. That's a unit of Berzerkers that are Fearless, have a base three Attacks (+1 additional close combat weapon), Strength 5, Toughness 5, Strike at Strength 6 and Initiative 5 on the charge, have power weapons, can roll extra attacks for every 6 rolled to hit, get +d3 attacks instead of +1 when charging, have a 5+ invulnerable save, and will shrug off any blow that gets through save those with S9 or better or a power weapon. When this unit charges, it has an average of 48 attacks (A3 +1 add. CCW +2 Rage), and will on average roll an extra nine attacks (1/6 of 48 = 8, 1/6 of 8 = 1). That adds up to a whopping 57 attacks. Against basic Space Marines, half will hit (57/2 = 28, rounding down), 5/6 will wound (24, rounding down), and of those none can save. That's the casualties in one turn! However, this unit costs 768 points, before giving them a transport even! Its bane would be a Dark Eldar Lord with Incubi, who would likely strike first, and having power weapons could kill a good number of Chosen before the Chosen could strike back.
Another tempting thought is to use a unit of Tzeentch Chosen with Doombolts or Bolt of Change. Nine models (the favored number of Tzeentch) would cost 378 or 513 points, but would give you 27 range 18", S5, AP4 shots on the move or 9 range 24", S8, AP1 shots on the move. That's enough to wipe out a unit of Orks or a unit of Terminators in one turn!
For Slaanesh, you could create a unit that is equipped with combat drugs, making a whole unit of frothing loonies gaining extra Strength, attacks, WS, or ignoring the first unsaved wound in an assault phase. A unit of six would cost 342 points.
A unit with Nurgle's Rot and Plague Swords would be no better. Killing models within 6" on a 6, and killing outright on a roll of 4+ regardless of wounds is nasty. However, seven of these guys cost 364 points.
There's even more combinations you can create, almost limitless. But remember, it doesn't take too much to bring one of these super-units crashing down, and with them a large chunk of your army's points.
Chosen are flexible and can be given killer combos, but I've found the best use for them is to key them to a specific role and use them for that role, either leading an assault or holding the defensive line with their firepower. All attempts to make a super-unit have met with disastrous failure, but use of the Chosen as an elite specialized unit has helped many times. Choose the role you want for your Chosen, and stick with it, both in the army selection and during the game. If you do this, your Chosen will not let you down.
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