A new edition of Warhammer 40,000 is here and it’s a great time to get into the game or start a new collection. However, building up an entire army in 40k can be a bit of a daunting prospect – especially considering the cost in both money and time. Fortunately, the new 9th Edition has put some new emphasis into playing smaller-scale games. Combat Patrol is a specific size of game requiring a force of no more than 25 Power (or 500 points) worth of models. This translates into a compact collection of around a couple squads, a character or two and maybe a vehicle.
Better yet, most factions in the game have a ready-made starting point in the form of Start Collecting boxes. But which offer you the best bang for your buck? In this series, we’re taking a look at all 25 Start Collecting boxes available for 40k, and evaluating just how useful they are when building a Combat Patrol. We’re using Power here to compare the different boxes (just to keep things simple) but building your list with points instead will still come out quite similar. The values used here are also from the recently published Power level updates, so these should all be up to date with the latest info.
This time around, we’re examining the options for everyone’s favorite spiky boys, the Chaos factions!
Chaos Space Marines
Even among the deals offered by the Start Collecting range, this one is a true heavyweight. Like Start Collecting Vanguard Space Marines, this set contains easy-build models first featured in the Shadowspear boxed set, but unlike its loyalist counterpart this one loses nothing in the transition. A great variety of interesting and evocative units make it easy to customize your patrol, and you’re spoiled for choice with a whopping 38 total Power. One of the best deals you’ll find and a fantastic choice for starting a Combat Patrol (or larger army, for that matter!)
Daemons of Khorne
Sadly, it’s not all good news for Chaos. The biggest issue for this box (and the other Start Collecting options for Chaos Daemons) is that their value per model is quite a bit lower, so you’ll need numbers in order to fill out your force. While the Daemons of Khorne set includes a record usage of the word “blood”, it comes out to a mere 17 Power – not nearly enough on its own. As you might expect for Khorne, it’s also entirely focused on melee (while you can build the Bloodthrone as a Skull Cannon instead, it drops down by 1 Power and also becomes a Heavy Support choice, leaving you still in need of an HQ).
Daemons of Nurgle
Bad news for Grandfather Nurgle – his Start Collecting slouches in at a measly 15 Power. It does include a bit more variety of units, thanks to the Nurglings – they can be quite handy just for camping objectives or running around as a distraction. The Plague Drones are also quite fast and relatively versatile with at least some ranged attacks. However, the small amount of Power these models afford remain the biggest limiting factor to the value of this set.
Daemons of Slaanesh
The Daemons of Slaanesh box is a particularly weird one, mostly because of the availability of their rules. A bunch of their datasheets (including ones you’ll probably want to use with the contents of this box) are stashed away in Chapter Approved 2019, which is very helpfully out of print. Doubly odd is the included Exalted Seeker Chariot, which is actually two copies of the regular Seeker Chariot. The Power level listed here assumes you’re building it out of the box as a Herald of Slaanesh on Exalted Seeker Chariot, but if you can scrounge up the proper bases, the most efficient option would be to built two Hellflayers instead, one of which would still carry a Herald – bringing the total Power up to 19. One of the better deals out of the options for Chaos Daemons, but still not enough to complete your patrol.
Daemons of Tzeentch
Daemons of Tzeentch is probably the best value Start Collecting set available for Chaos Daemons. It features a decent variety of units and reasonable (relatively speaking) ranged firepower, and clocks in at a bit more respectable 19 Power. With the smaller forces seen in Combat Patrol, it’s a bit less likely that there will be enemy Pyskers running around to disrupt your madcap shenanigans, as well. The obvious downside is, of course, that this still isn’t a one-stop shop for your patrol. If you have your black little heart set on Chaos Daemons, picking up two different Start Collecting boxes and combining them is going to be the best way to go.
That’s a bit more like it! The toughness of the Rubric Marines and especially the powers of Ahriman boost this box up to a nice, convenient 25 Power. Ahriman can lend you control of the Psychic phase and you have enough basic troops to spread out and claim objectives. The value of the Tzaangor upgrade packs is perhaps a bit questionable, but I appreciate that they can make your Tzaangors look a bit more like they belong in the 41st millennium. A solid runner-up behind the crazy value that is Start Collecting Chaos Space Marines, and a fine choice for a Combat Patrol.
That about does it for the forces of Chaos. Next time, we’ll complete our series with all the alien goodness of the Xenos factions. Don’t miss it!