Alright, I thought I would toss out a quick little look at an HQ choice that I have come to love in the Chaos Space Marine (CSM) codex. So to start, it isn’t a cheap option, but it seems that 200 points or so is about the norm for a lot of HQ choices. This particular choice I have been enjoying and thought I would share. So first I will state that this is a Nurgle Sorcerer, as I play Death Guard and have for a few renditions of the CSM. I wouldn’t have thought about the unit too much but I purchased the Forge World Necrosis Model (featured in the picture to the left) and I love it too much not to put out. That being said, let me detail out how I have been running mine.
My biggest problem with the Librarian/Sorcerer options for the Marine Codices (of which CSM essentially is) is the 2 wounds, meaning they are something you worry about getting knocked out too quickly to justify putting points into. This brings about one of my favorite finds for the Sorcerer entry in the CSM Codex, and that is the fact that the Sorcerer can take Chaos rewards. More specifically for this issue is that a Sorcerer can take a Palanquin, granting it +2 wounds and +1 attack and making it very bulky. So now we are looking at a model with four wounds and four attacks base (2 base+1 for palanquin+1 for bolt pistol/Force weapon). This is not only a survivable model, it is a somewhat formidable close combat model. Add in that it has the Very Bulky rule, meaning it takes up 3 slots in a transport, but can still ride in that Rhino fitted out with your sacred number of 7 Death Guard. This allows for a versatility for a Sorcerer as to where you put him. Personally I have been adding him in with Typhus and 6 other Terminators, though recently I have been debating splitting him off and sticking him in a fearless Death Guard Squad to add in another threat.
So, we have added in the Palanquin to give it wounds and attacks, now toss in a Sigil of Corruption to give it a 4++ invul save. You are planning on spending some points on this guy to start with, especially when you have dropped for the palanquin, you might as well jump in a bit more to make him 3+/4++. I think for any HQ choice in this codex you will spend the points to give him the 4++ save unless you are planning on keeping him back in a more defensive role, something I think is a waste of a choice that you have given the palanquin.
Alright, we have a durable unit, now you must look at function. Two things come up here for me, first is how cheap it is to make the sorcerer a mastery level 3 psyker. For the same cost as making a regular Space Marine Librarian an Epistolary (master level 2) you get your character a full level higher (I say this with full expectations of this changing as Space Marine Codices released). Since I am focusing on this guy being more Close Combat already, I think you focus mostly on Biomancy after your first Nurgle power. The other piece of wargear that is too good not to take for a sorcerer is the Spell Familiar. In a world where there are Runes of Warding and Shadows in the Warp, the ability to re-roll your failed psyker tests is a must have!
That is essentially the way I take it. I realize I didn’t mention the Mark of Nurgle, making him T5 and thus meaning there is little that will double him out and meaning he isn’t the easiest model to wound for a normal character, but I did mention that he was a Nurgle Sorcerer from the start. The last little bit that is a take it or leave it is the Gift of Mutation. I like the ability to roll on the chart. This is a 50/50 thing as only about half of the boons will really help you, so I would say only take this bonus if you have the extra points.
I am not saying this is the top choice, or that you want to spend a little over 200 points for this model, but if you play Chaos, and in particular Nurgle based armies, then I would say give this bad boy a try. Psykers are fun in 6th ed, the versatility of rolling on the different charts can add to a game. Besides, a 5 wound mastery level 3 model with life leach to regain wounds is just fun to play around with (as I got in one game rolling the boon to give me a bonus wound off the start). I would also suggest using the force weapon as a force ax, that bonus strength and AP2 is worth the reduction in the initiative as this makes him even formidable against other HQ choices.