Thursday, September 15, 2011

Army Planning: Plasma on My Berserkers?


Hey guys,

So its been a while since I’ve really done an army list or army question post, but while working on my Chaos Marines, I had an idea.

Running Khorne Berserkers before, I do understand their weaknesses. They’re not Power Weapons, so even if they do hit a ton, your opponent is going to get a ton of saves back. Fearless and lack of ATSKNF really does hurt them in combat too, especially if your luck is like mine and you lose combat a lot.

So my first thought is, of course, a Skull Champion with either a Power Weapon or Fist. Simple enough, I still think CSM should get the Champion regardless, but that’s neither here nor there. I’d probably go with the Fist, just to make sure those Marines or the tank really is dead.


A personal icon is a thought too. Since I want my army to partially rely around the use of Summoned Daemons, I can bring them in to support the Zerkers if necessary.

Alrighty, so we’ve got a Skull Champ and an Icon. Now where I’m really contemplating. For 15 Points each, both the Skull Champion and two regular Zerkers can take a Plasma Pistol.

Plasma has a bad rap right now for the whole overheating thing. In my Guard, I don’t like to take Plasma unless I can take a Medic. But that’s because when I overheat, it’s a 5+ Save. Here, it’s a 3+.

Platoon Command (1)

With Great risk comes great reward too. As I stated, Zerkers have a hard time getting through armor. Sure, WS 5, S5, and I5 is nice on the charge, but when your opponent only loses two or three Marines, you’ve gotta be a little worried. Lets look at my planned squad of Zerkers:

  • 8 Man Squad with a Skull Champion with Power Fist.

If they get the charge, that’s 28 Regular Attacks. If I’m going against Marines, that’s about 17 hits, and 10 Wounds. 3 Marines should be dead (hope I did that math right…) With the fist, we should have 2 more dead or so. 5 Dead Marines isn’t bad. This squad is also about 40 points more than a Tactical Squad, and #s less. For that, I’d really prefer to kill off the Squad. So why not plasma?

If I had the Plasma Pistols on the two Marines and the Skull Champion, I’d be more more likely to wipe most of the squad. Lets assume I overheat once. I still have a 3+ Save, and if I fail it, sure I lose a 36 point Marine. But if the other two hit and wound, I’m killing 32+ points of marines. Still a little low, but the potential of killing 48+ points is still worth it in my book.


So what do my followers think? Does the potential to mess up Marines and Monstrous Creatures pay off more than the potential to kill themselves? Should I be wasting my points somewhere else? Am I a fool for Zerkers in general? I’d love your feedback.



  1. I think that it depends on the army. If you only take a few zerkers and have other things in the army to deal with tough things/give the zerkers fire support, the points could be better spent there. But if you're going full-on Khorne then the plasma pistols can be a welcome addition to the punch.

  2. That was my thought, SonsofTaurus. My army is based around fast moving, close to mid-range fighting, so I figured the Zerkers with Plasma could really add a close range punch.

  3. I like to keep it simple when it comes to Berzerker. They have a ton of attacks when they can get the charge off and this is their biggest strength. Once they start getting charged themselves their effectiveness goes down the drain. With that said most people run them in a Landraider as it ensures that they can dictate close combat. Another alternative is using them in conjunction with other units. This is more difficult to pull off but it can still work. Like I allude to earlier Berzerker's are close combat monster and they should focus in on that. The rest of the army has the tools to provide anti tank so let them focus in on that. With all that hot wind out of my lungs I prefer to go with 8-10 Berzerkers and a Champion with a Power weapon. Nothing else. The power weapon may not be able to smash a tank but it does provide a ton of attack that ignore armour saves at intiative.

  4. Excellent points HOTpanda. I've been playing around more with Power Weapons/Melta Bombs on my Chaos Marines, but I feel like that comes from my IG background more than anything else (S6 Fists are sad...) I do run Zerkers in a Land Raider more than anything else, but planning on such a close to midrange army, I could probably get away with relying on them in Rhinos to work with other units.
    I still think my biggest worry for them is if they hit, say, a Carnifex, or a Talos, something with T6 or 7. Yeah, FC means that they're hitting at S5 with a ton of attacks, but not ignoring armor or having a couple pre-S7 shots means that they'll be wounding on 5s or 6s, which probably won't end well for them.
    Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely be reviewing my plans!

  5. Lets not forget, if you are shooting the plasma before a charge, a smart opponent might remove the guys in front...leaving you out of range and open to a charge in his turn, :(

  6. Very true Narceron, very true. I think, as with most assault style armies though, you'll need support with this unit. Your berserkers will only do so much, so get your daemon prince, or something else, up there with it. My plan is to play this army as a Midfield-controlling force, so I'm expecting a lot of swirling melees and support units.