The Chaplains are the spiritual leaders and the warrior priests of the Space Marine Legions. I have always loved the imagery of Raven Guard Chaplains. They are decorated in the bones of large birds and feathers and have a distinct, dark shamanistic feel about them.
On the table, I generally don't see that many Chaplains fielded. They are often overlooked for consuls that have special rules that are easier to translate to the battle field. But Raven Guard Chaplains in particular have sneaky ways to add all sorts of force multipliers to a unit.
They are relatively inexpensive coming in at only 85 pts. They come with a power weapon of your choice. I also always opt for the cameleoline as it give Chaplain and his entire squad stealth for only 5 points. I also think a melta bomb is a no brainer as he can re roll to hit with it, and get +1 strength if you give him a jump pack. And finally, I usually go with artificer armor and a refractor field or a boarding shield. Refractor obviously let's you keep the extra attack, but....
Why the boarding shield? Beyond looking bad ass, boarding shields give you defensive grenades, which makes charges against you disordered, but more importantly, they have the blind rule if you throw them. Combo them with Rapier grav cannon platforms that have the concussive rule and you are now force your target to make blind tests at Initiative 1. If they fail, they are now BS1 and WS1 until the end of their next turn. So now you are hitting them on a 2+ and they are hitting you on a 6+.
Oh and if you are allowed to use relics, take the Void Field Generator!!!
The Chaplain also comes with the Zealot rule, which truly makes them a terror.
Chaplain and his unit with Zealot:
- Automatically pass all Pinning, Fear, Regroup tests and Morale checks
- Re-roll all failed To Hit rolls during the first round of combat
- Cannot go to Ground
Units I Run
- Legion Tactical Squad: Add a CCW, and they are the cheapest source of S4 attacks in the codex, and you can take them in units of 20. I usually go 20 guys, extra close combat weapon, and a sgt. with a power axe, artificer armor and a melta bomb. This unit is amazing. It's the core of almost all my lists. It infiltrates in. It can Fury of the Legion. But what really makes it strong is the fearless and the re roll to hit. 20 Re-Rolling to hit crack grenades will eliminate most tanks in the game. Plus if you are running the concussive and blind combo, you are murdering other infantry with 60 re-roll to hit on a 2+ attacks. AND, if you are clever and pick out a squad with a IC in it, you can often make him the closest guy so you get to re roll your to-wound rolls too. Finally, it should be mentioned, that this unit is basically fearless. Which helps you investment stick around, but more importantly it makes them a tar pit. With such a large foot print, you can easily charge in and tie up several infantry squads for the rest of the game. This reduces their shooting potential and lets your glass hammers like Dark Furies massacre big units with a lot less risk.
- Dark Fury: These guys are the cheapest way to get mass S4 AP3 attacks int he game. They are so under priced, it feels like a mistake.I feel you really get more out of this unit when you go towards the bigger side of what you can field. You have the option to make them all have rending attacks as well although this reduces the need for a chaplain because they get 2 re rolls from the master crafted weapons. The Chaplain, ratchets the killy potential of this unit through the roof with the re-roll to hit, and more importantly he can take the Void field generator. With the right placement, this wargear makes you immune to small arms fire. They also have great synergy with Maun, as he helps them land safely and come in quicker. Altogether the combo is devastating and cheap for how destructive it can be.
- Terminators: Terminators are more for the Asiatic dust plain pre Corax feel Raven Guard, but I still really dig them. You basically have the choice of drop pods, storm eagles, cestus ram, spartan, landraider, or darkwing as a delivery device. This makes them a considerably larger investment than the other options mentioned. But the ability to take combi weapons and power axes or just straight lightning claws can make them a terror. In any case, I usually go with a 7 termies all with combi meltas, 5 axes and 2 chain fists in a storm eagle.
- Veterans: Vets are basically slightly more expensive tacs. They come with more attacks base and with ccw and pistol, and can take as many power weapons as you want. So Chaplains basically turbo charge these guys. That said they get crazy pricey quick, but they are the cheapest way to get 10 melta bombs in the game and can take tank hunter. Combo that with the re roll to hit and you have a very interesting unit, and with decapitating strike you can put them in drop pods, which they can charge out of at tanks. Honestly, you don;t really need the chaplain with them, but I mention them because I do hop my Chaplain into other squads occasionally. A unit like this against an army with a spartan is a prime example or why I often take 9 vets with meltas in a drop pod. Being able to pick your tactics at the beginning of the game lets you be flexible against your different opponents.
Beyond that, the Chaplain makes all unit better in hth. I'm sure there are other combos, especially with allies, but the one above are the ones I use to great success. That said, they obviously make Destroyers and assault marines a lot better too, so if you are going to run those units, a Chaplain is worth the look.
Any other combos you guys use?