At first glance, Chaos Space Marines can appear to be somewhat similar to their Imperial Brothers - especially in terms of their weapon options. Yet, as we shall see, this is not always so ... For within the Eye of Terror, dwell those for which no equivalent exists (within the arsenals of the Emperors Space Marines). Having lived for Endless years, these former Space Marine Terminators have become Twisted by the Warp - being both man and Daemon, these Chaos Terminators mutated ... Whilst stopping short of Daemonhost, these Terminators preferred instead, to retain some sense of their former selves. For within a Torrent of Fire, did their Lust for Heavy Weapons take hold - an unmovable mountain, a Chaos Obliterator:
Who can say where their allegiance once laid? Perhaps it was within the confined spaces of the alien-infested Space Hulks? Perhaps it was within the massed Naval Guns of the Imperial Fleet? Only the Emperor would know for sure ... Yet it was Chaos that took this fascination for Heavy Weapons, and turned it into something else - as a Chaos Obliterator is almost-unconstrained in it's choice of fire-power, being able to fire with: Lascannon, Autocannon, Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter, twin-linked Plasma Gun, twin-linked Meltagun or Flamer. Indeed, this was the main deciding factor for my dilemma over which Chaos Army to collect - as Iron Warriors are able to field an unlimited amount of Obliterators (with grins), and hence an unlimited amount of Lascannons (or other appropriate weapons!). This decision was first vindicated when my Iron Warriors fought against a Black Legion army, that featured a Chaos Warhound Titan. I still remember the battle well - as the dice were on my side (at least in the beginning). With my Obliterators, I fired nine Lascannons at the Titans left leg - and almost blew it off during the first round of combat! Whilst I was somewhat surprised, it was nothing as compared to the Titans Commander (Princeps), who spent the next couple of turns recharging his Void Shields. Unfortunately, the roll-to-hit dice then seemed to desert my Chaos Lord, and my Obliterators spent the rest of the battle being shot at - by the Titans Vulcan Mega Bolter (which had a hard time dealing with my Obliterators toughness of 5, and 2 wounds each). Mind you, in Iron Sight, did my Chaos Lord learn an important lesson: field more Obliterators! What about assembly? As I have now built several, I have devised a technique for assembling these (metal) models: glue the body into the base, glue the head into the body, assemble the left plus right arms, then paint. This allows me to paint every part of the model (only glueing the arms on towards the end). I have found this approach to work well, especially when having fun with the various weapon options (as they can be awkward to glue on - unless you use a pair of magic claws). I then follow a standard approach to the Paths of Painting: under-coat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry-brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges (a white under-coat, with either shining gold or burnished gold over the top). It's then onto the Daemon skin, for which I: under-coat in white, paint in warlock purple, then dry-brush in magenta ink. When it comes to the Paths of Battle, just how powerful are these Chaos Obliterators? Well ... Sometimes I have to pinch myself! I shall consider three recent encounters. First: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed only with Boltguns). The Obliterators won easily! Their toughness 5 ability to shrug off Rapid Fire Boltguns (over thirty shots in two turns) was simply amazing. This meant that they could advance whilst firing their guns in increasing orders of power (e.g. Autocannons followed by Lascannons), whilst finishing off in hand-to-hand (with Power Fists). Second: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines and a Devastator Squad (with the Obliterators Deep Striking). Once the Space Marines had recovered from their initial shock, they all turned to fire at the Obliterators. The Boltguns caused one wound (from twenty shots!). The Devastators had more luck - causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators (one to a Multi-Melta, the other to a Lascannon). My Chaos Lord baulked at this, and ordered the two remaining Obliterators to advance (firing Plasma Guns) and engage the remaining Boltgun armed Space Marines in hand-to-hand (where again their Power Fists reigned supreme). Being unable to fire into hand-to-hand combat, the Devastators elected to hang-back (especially as they were ill-equipped to charge the Obliterators). Once the Boltgun armed Space Marines had been destroyed, the Devastators fired again - less successfully this time (all missed or failed to wound), and it turned to the Obliterators, who managed to devastate them (with two Meltagun shots, followed by two Power Fists in hand-to-hand). An eye-brow did my Chaos Lord raise! Third: Four Obliterators verses a Legion of the Damned Dreadnought and Land Raider (my Chaos Lord does enjoy a challenge!). The Land Raider opened fire with it's twin-linked Lascannons and twin-linked Heavy Bolter (causing one Instant Death among my Obliterators). The Dreadnought opened fire with it's Assault Cannon (causing three wounds - resulting in three armour saves of 2 plus), then charged into hand-to-hand: with three Dreadnought Power Fist attacks (causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators), and six Obliterator Power Fist attacks (causing the destruction of the Dreadnought). It was then down to the one remaining Obliterator - to defeat the Land Raider. Fortunately, it was the Chaos Lords turn (next), so he ordered the Obliterator to fire a Lascannon (causing a glancing hit - crew shaken result), then to attack in hand-to-hand using his Power Fist (causing one glancing hit and one penetrating hit). It then seemed that the dice were on my Chaos Lords side - as I rolled a 6 on the glancing damage table (meaning that the Land Raider was utterly destroyed). My Chaos Lord chose not to grin too much - although my 40k opponent, would probably have disagreed! Overall: Chaos Obliterators have to be one of my most favourite models to collect (from the point of view of game play), yet they are not amongst my favourites for assembly (owing to lots of fun when glueing their weapons on). In 40k terms, I have found their weapon flexibility to be unsurpassed (e.g. I can shoot tanks with massed Lascannons, whilst in my next (or same) turn, shoot infantry with massed Plasma Guns). The toughness of 5 makes a considerable difference (especially when their being shot at - by non Instant Death weapons), and their strength 5 means that their Power Fist attacks are at strength 10 (being akin to a Dreadnoughts). Such exploits seem to be truly befitting, for my Iron Warriors Chaos Lord, and his army!