The Warriors of Chaos army is known for having the fiercest of core troops. The Chaos Warriors will shred most enemies they meet in hand-to-hand combat, but one often-overlooked option is the Marauder. Representing the rampaging tribesmen of the North, the Marauders bring rank upon rank of flesh and steel to bolster your elite Warriors. With steadfast and rank bonuses being as important as they are in 8th Edition, Warriors of Chaos will need all the help they can get in the numbers game. Let’s take a look at your options for kitting out these versatile troops:
The Bunker: 6 points/model
Six points gets you a T3 model with a 5+ save and a parry. That’s pretty decent, especially when you start looking around other units. Now consider what happens if you take the Mark of Tzeentch, which will amortize to under a point per model, assuming you take at least 20 Marauders (which you should!) Now you’re looking at 7 points for a 5+/5++ T3 model. Stick a Sorcerer in there or march a large block up the middle of the battlefield as an anvil.
The Blender: 5 points/model
If you don’t need an anvil, consider a hammer. At 5 points a model, you can give your boys Flails or Great Weapons. If you go with a minimum frontage of 5, you’re looking at 10 S5 attacks with your front two ranks. Mark of Khorne gives you 15 S5 attacks. If you switch between Flails/Great Weapons based on your opponents, you can make good use of the Marauders’ I4 when it’s useful.
Huge Blocks: 200-250 points
Just to put the point costs above in perspective, you can bring 40 Blender Marauders for 200 points. Or 40 Bunker Marauders for 240 points. That’s 8 ranks, if you’re only playing 5-wide, to ensure steadfast with your Bunker Marauders. If you’re able to deploy in horde formation (10-wide) your Blender Marauders will get 20 S5 attacks normally, 30 with Mark of Khorne, and 33 if you add a Champion. Not bad for under 240 points!
Mark of Nurgle
The Mark of Nurgle’s caught a lot of flak because of the FAQ that weakened it. Namely, units only receive -1 WS when striking against you, so units like Marauders only benefit against WS2 and WS5 units. They don’t get any other CC-related bonus from Mark of Nurgle, i.e. rolling to hit against other units. There is a benefit, however, to wearing the Mark of Nurgle if you know you’ll be facing an army with an impressive shooting phase. Units suffering a -1 BS penalty is big, but remember that it only applies to tests based on ballistic skill. Elves with Longbows will already likely be shooting at a long distance, another -1 can really thin the number of saves you have to take. Magic missiles and war machines could be a separate issue. The Mark of Nurgle can work on your Marauders, if you know who you’re facing. It can also be handy in shrugging off certain spells from the Lore of Nurgle!
Marauders are a versatile unit that shouldn’t be overlooked. They can’t replace Warriors in terms of sheer killing power, but getting 3 Marauders for the price of 1 Warrior should really make you think hard about how you use either in a game. With so many elite troops, Warriors of Chaos have to leverage the numbers game any way they can, and Marauders give them a way to do that.