A Guide to Using Chaos:
Updated: 3/14: New section on Rhino and updated predator section.
For build orders to get you going I recommend using one of the two variations on a general build order. Both of these have slight advantages and disadvantages over the other one but overall both are great starts for any way you want to take the game.
I strongly recommend against build orders with other than 2 cultists, Fewer chokes your early game capping rate causing you to fall behind your oppenent in resources. More than 2 cultists on the other hand will leave you either sacrificing a cultists squad or with only 1 CSM squad pre-upgrade. This wouldn't be an issue except that having only 1 squad of CSM limits your strategies in battle.
For Bigger Maps/More Economic Build:
- Queue 2 Cultists
- Queue 1 Heretic
- Force Labor a Barracks
- Cap closest points with cultists
- When barracks is done either queue up a CSM and Chaos Lord or a Chaos Lord and CSM play with both and see which fits your playstyle better.
- If the initial points are far apart send 1 heretic to each point (the full hp one to the point you started capturing first) otherwise send both to the first point you started capping.
- Build listening posts, use force labor on the first one with your full health heretic.
- Start to apply pressure and continue capping points and putting LPs on them. Don't be overzealous but at the same time don't be afraid to push an advantage.
For Smaller Maps:
- Queue up Heretic, Cultist, Cultist
- Force labor barracks with both heretics
- Capture closest points with cultists
- Queue up Chaos Lord, and CSM or CSM and Chaos lord
- After getting the CL (if he's first or second) start adventuring into enemy territory. It's still early so he isn't likely to have a hero if you made yours first and if you can disrupt his units and cause some damage now it's worth it. If you go CSM first still adventure into his area of the map but use some caution. Either way bring a cultist along once he finishes capping either their first or second point and use them to decap their points.
General RTS Tips:
Here are some tips that really apply to almost every RTS in general and DoW is no different.
- Tech what you have: Never EVER get a tech for a unit you don't have. Don't research Demonic Speed before you make your first PSM squad, it's just a waste of time and resources. Having the unit it affects will boost your battlefield strength immediately and they can fight while the technology is researching.
- Know when you are going to want a power gen ahead of time. Making a Sacrificial pit and then having no power to create a squad is a waste of resources and having a power gen but nothing to spend the power on is also a waste. Planning ahead (as you play) will let you manage your resources better.
- Don't have Unspent Resources: Unspent resources are the same as ungathered resources. If you have resources stockpiling for something not in immediate use (1 unit or 1 upgrade) then it's like you never got those resources. If you want a PSM squad of full size don't save up for it as they are training. Spend the resources in other areas and then fill up the PSM squad one at a time. Otherwise you'd be sitting there with a weaker force for a long period of time for no reason.
- Use hotkeys: Find a tutorial on how to map your hotkeys if you don't like the defaults but use them no matter one. Being able to quickly use an ability or select a squad/building through a keystroke is very handy to have.
- Choose your battles: Don't fight battles you can't win and retreat from ones you are in that you can't win. Sitting it out in a battle you can't win just because your units are already in there isn't going to do any good. Try your best to pull your units back into reinforcements if you think the battle isn't going in your favor. Also if you know your enemy will beat whatever unit you have heading towards them stop that unit. Sending a unit to die is NEVER a good idea, every unit has a worth and you can almost always get more value out of them for at the very least charing into battle first to get gunned down. There is one exception I make for this rule though, occasionally it can be profitable to delete a worker as chaos to free up a population slot for a unit (PSM can apply well to this given their 3 pop cost). However you should always plan to upgrade your cap and replace the heretic. This works out ok for chaos because not only do you get the strength of PSM earlier but you get a fresh heretic who can make up for lost resources and time by using forced labor again (I don't advocate deleting heretics just to get a new one for Forced Labor though).
Important points in being aggresive:
Firstly don't be afraid to take some losses, however stick to the rule above of not fighting losing battles. Don't overestimate (or underestimate) your oppenent, if you think he has more troops elsewhere make him show you those troops rather than holding off on attacking. Also just try and kill as many units of his as you can, that's your biggest priority in being aggresive. Pay special attention to picking off workers you can see but only if convient. Next on the target list is going to be listening posts. You'll want to make sure to take any LPs out to deny him resources and to ensure that he can't upgrade one mid battle. Along with that make sure to target any structure that can post a serious problem. If you see him with a building that could allow him to create a unit that would be highly destructive to your forces (such as a sacrificial circle when you only have CSM squads) then you'd want to either target the building itself or better yet power gens to deny him the power to reinforce their squad. Targetting the right building when an oppenent is trying to create something to trump you is key.
This is one of the areas I see most newer players (and even some higher ranked ones) falter the most. Hero management often makes or breaks a game in the initial battle.
As a general rule early game you won't want to attach your chaos lord to any units. However there are many exceptions to this as well. It is best if you use hotkeys to attach and detach your hero so you can maximize effectiveness. For example if your chaos lord is in melee combat vs regular units (no commander) and your cultists or CSM are as well then it's in your best interest to attach the Chaos lord to the squad for a damage boost.
Now for situations and what I like to do with my commander:
Experience is the best way to tell when to attach/detach your commander and how to keep him alive. Keeping him alive early in the game is VERY IMPORTANT. At WORST you want to be in the situation where both heroes die one after the other.
- My commander + CSM vs enemy commander: Try to dance your commander away from his commander for a bit to cause damage to him with your CSM. The second he tries to run away you want to melee him with your chaos lord to slow him down. If he turns around then it's time to engage him in melee while your CSM beat on him (preferably also in melee against them to do more damage). Your CL shouldn't be attached in this situation. You won't see this a lot...
- Equal Forces: This really depends on the force you have and your oppenent. As a general rule when initiating this combat it'd be a good idea to have your hero attached to a squad. Once in a battle attaching a hero to a squad will leave the hero still taking fire so best to do it before and and remove him if you need to. In combat you still want your commander attacking his commander in close combat. Additionally your goal is to prevent his units from firing on your commander while keeping as many units that you can firing on his. Try to use weaker (cultist) units to tie up the enemy in melee while keeping your stronger units firing on the hero. If you are short squads in tieing up the commander and his commander is not attached it may be a good idea to detach your commander.
- If your commander is alone vs commander and squads: run away, do not dance around his units, do no engage his units, do not let his units hit you in melee, just run away and regroup to take him out.
A Warning about engaging an enemy Chaos lord or Force commander:
Also remember that for all purposes engaging a chaos lord or force commander in melee is FINAL you do not really have the option of retreating your commander once you engage either of these units in melee. So be prepared to see it to the end once you allow your chaos lord to go into melee with either unit. Running away will only give the oppenent more of an advantage, or in the case of the Force Commander your chaos lord will be stunned and unable to move at all.
Proper Use of your hero:
Learn to properly dance your commander around. Try to minimize the time he spends walking after units as well as keeping him from chasing units off into the distance. Make sure that he's fighting the units that pose the most serious threat to you on the battle field (usually the enemy commander).
Remember to always melee with your commander when you can.
Taking out Enemy Commanders:
First a little note about engaging regular units in melee with an enemy hero. As many of you may already know all commander units have special attack that do great damage to many units as well as knock them around. If you engage a commander with regular units attached the hero is free to use these special attacks. They won't seriously affect your own commander but they do have an adverse effect on your own units.
However if a commander is engaged directly with an enemy commander and other units are meleeing the enemy commander your non-commander units will not be subjected to melee attacks. You may wonder why this is important and it's quite simple. I'm sure many of you who have played before seen the situation of 2 squads shooting onto two commanders engaged in melee. Well your units (especially as chaos) do more damage in melee rather than shooting it out. Not only that but units in melee take less damage. So running up and meleeing the hero rather than focusing ranged fire on him will allow your commander to have a better chance of winning as well as minimizing losses.
This is a very important gameplay tatic that can easily swing an early game in your favor. By meleeing the enemy commander with your Marines rather than shooting on him you stand a much better chance of winning over his commander. However do watch how many units can fit around the commander, if he's surrounded by units then don't try to melee him with a 2nd squad as they wouldn't be able to get there to attack.
Keeping your Commander Alive:
It's always a good idea to keep a damaged commander alive and try to let him recharge. However you should by no means leave a commander standing around to let him recover. When your commander is hurt and almost dead you have a couple of options depending on the situation.
If his Commander is dead:
If you have a good push on your oppenent and are in and around his base sending your hero off to another section away from the action can let him take out structures while your other units keep his units busy. If you don't quite have that advantage yet then I recommend attaching him to your largest squad. This will give that squad a damage boost as well as morale boost plus give your chaos lord the chance to recover.
When his commander comes back:
A replaced commander vs a new commander can be a tricky situation. If the odds aren't even all you need to do is keep your commander out of it and run your units around and away from his to avoid damage. However if the odds are even in the battle then you have to play it a little tougher. Again keep your hero away from his hero to avoid taking large amounts of damage while his commander has the HP advantage. Using your remaining units you want to try to both tie up his units in melee and shoot at his commander. You probably can't tie up all of his units in melee but the ones that pose the most serious threat to your commander will likely do. If his commander stops chasing yours then you are free to run in and engage his units with your commander until he rethinks that. Otherwise just keep trying to avoid damage from his commander while damaging him so you can even the odds.
In all likelyhood you will lose your commander. At the start of situations like this it can pay to have a little power in reserve so you can replace your commander. Of course follow the rule of 'not hoarding resources' but don't decide to get a bionics upgrade when you know your hero is almost certain to die in a moment.
A look at some of the choas units:
- Heretics: A great builder. Overall appears slightly slower than the SM counterpart but that is due to the fact that Chaos buildings have more hitpoints (and thusly take longer to build). Forced labor is one of the defining abilities of chaos so make use of it as much as possible. Generally that's once a game right at the start to rush a barracks and/or another building. If you replace any heretics during the game due to dieing remember to use the ability again. One thing to watch out for with forced labor is it has a delay of turning off. Once your unit has taking a few hits of damage in the 'red bar' catagory is the latest you can deactive it. If you try to deactivate it when the heretic has almost 0 hitpoints you are likely to lose him. Practice force laboring your heretics to almost no hp before playing a game. Be careful with your heretics they aren't especially expensive but losing them will slow down your expansion rate and can snowball into an issue. Since they generally will have 1-16 hitpoints when you are done with forced labor don't rush them into a battlefield until you have your oppenent busy enough retreating or dieing to not be able to worry about a heretic. Also beware of players rushing with initial squads to attack your workers. Good movement micro and positioning of your heretics can keep them alive and ahead of the game. It's highly recommended to hotkey forced labor and use that to activate/stop it. This will prevent you from being too slow to stop the forced labor.
- Chaos Lord: Already talked about a lot but let me just re-emphisize: this unit more than ANY other unit in the game will make or break your game. Rather than focus on how to use him (see hero management) I'll talk a little more about his abilities. Like all heroes the Chaos Lord has special attacks. These occur every 4 seconds against normal units but can hit commanders that are in the range. The Chaos lord is equipped with one special attack dealing massive damage to a unit (possibly more than one not sure) directly in front of the Chaos Lord. The other special attacks deal damage to units in +/- 90% of the chaos lord. All special attacks knock units away. Additionally the chaos lord has a very important ability on his weapon. Any unit the chaos lord attacks (I've only seen it against commanders but other people say it affects all units) will be slowed down 50% for 4 seconds and take damage over time for 8 seconds (not a ton but an amount greater than the natural regen of most units). Additionally a very important fact is that the Chaos Lord is the strongest hero in 1v1 combat. He just beats out the Force Commander and is much better than other heroes in direct combat. This doesn't mean you can just send him at enemy commanders and expect to always win but in an early confrontation you are just that little extra bit likely to bet left with your hero standing. Also be careful of the chaos lord's cost. At 270 requisition and 90 power he doesn't come cheap.
- Chaos Sorcerer: Do NOT underestimate the chaos Sorcerer. He is a very powerful and CHEAP hero. He's not a melee hero but his melee attack is still stronger than his ranged and he can stand up in combat. The chaos has several abilities he brings to combat as well.
- Teleport: When unattached to any squad the chaos sorcerer is capable of an 'emergancy' teleport. This teleport has a long recharge timer so he can't jump around often and you aren't allowed to use it when he's attached to a squad but it does allow you to move your chaos sorcerer around. Great if he starts taking a lot of fire or if you need to move him somewhere fast.
- Doombol: On a 120 second timer this spell does pretty good damage (approx 100 to most infantry). The trick to it is proper timing. It takes a while to actually cast so you need to lead units (difficult) or use it on stationary units. The great thing about the ability is the massive morale damage it does which makes it useful for targetting heavy weapon squads to reduce their accuracy.
- Chains of Torment: If you are going to use a chaos Sorcerer then you should research this skill. It's a must. Now beyond that this ability will stop movement on MULTIPLE squads if you catch them in the area. Will do about another 90 damage to squads caught in its effect. Also only on a 60 timer so it recharges pretty quickly. Great for preventing other units from moving (duh) so it's good on melee units that can't warp or fly or anytime your oppenent is retreating or trying to prevent from being meleed. In an even battle don't wait to use it though and just try to get it going for the extra damage to turn the tide in your favor. If the battle is clearly in your favor you can wait until your oppenent tries to retreat if you wish.
This ability is perfect for combination with any other chaos Sorcerer skill. It will help your doombolt hit for full damage as well as corruption. Additionally the combined damage from chains + any other chaos sorcerer ability will usually be enough to nearly kill a squad or at least break morale.
- Corruption: In 1.01 you had to target ground for this spell to take effect. In 1.1 I am not sure if this is the case. Either way this spell is roughly the same damage as doombolt except that it has a slightly larger range and duration but will hurt any unit in it's area (yours included). The damage is over time so units really need to stay in the effect to take full damage. Best if your oppenent can't move away from the corruption effect (chains of torment). Not an ability you'll get to use often but not useless either.
Tier 1 Units:
- Cultists: Great for meatshields. Without heavy weapons should always be in melee and reinforcing. Units take a long time to actually 'kill' (kill animation) cultists in melee so keeping them in melee will cause them to last a long time. Usually bring them in after you start the engagement so they aren't targetted by ranged fire. These units are highly important to early game survival vs other players. Good use of Cultists will make or break an otherwise even battle so get in the hang of getting these into good melee situations where they won't be taking ranged fire.
- Cultists + Grenade Launchers: Great for taking out infantry such as Orks, Banshees, Dark Reapers, and Scouts. Also effective against heavier infantry types like Space Marines and CSM. Try your best to keep them out of harms way as now that they aren't in melee they will drop like flies to enemy fire. After getting armory if you have the extra res it's almost always worth it to put GLs on your cultists. Just remember to put their stance to ranged. These also can fire on buildings without taking return damage if they are provided with a spotting unit.
- Chaos Space Marines (CSM): General purpose unit, Stronger than Space Marines in Melee so use that when you can against SM. You just want these out almost all the time. Keep them away from melee heavy units like banshees and Orks. Also watch out for dark reapers (melee them and use grenade launchers). Also make sure to melee any unit with flame throwers or sniper rifles (though not nessecarily with these units) Chaos and CSM in particular cannot stand up to morale damage so you have to keep your oppenent from using it.
- CSM + Heavy Bolters: Heavy Bolters great vs Orks or buildings, otherwise it's usually not in Chaos' best interest to get them. Rather than equip a lot of Heavy bolters try grabbing some grenade launchers, more units, or a tech/new unit. HBs are good against buildings that shoot. They can outrange the building preventing you from taking needless damage. If you are having trouble positioning your units right to attack the building without taking damage try moving your chaos lord in a bit given his bigger line of sight. Once you can see the building a little bit it will be easier to target the building while keeping your units out of range.
- CSM + Flamers: A better choice in my opinion than bolters in most generic situations. Still don't go overboard with them. However 2 flamers are a great way to cause some extra morale damage to get an edge and no setup time leaves you with better movement options. Overall heavy weapons aren't really chaos' thing in tier 1 but they are moderately useful. Don't grab an armory just to get flamers but if you have the armory it may be worth your while to grab a flamer or 2.
- Possessed Space Marines (PSM): A great unit but don't over rely on them. They have Terrible morale when alone. Always attach your hero to a squad of these when you can as it makes their morale almost never break and provides a great way to protect your hero and boost these guy's damage. Expensive to reinforce so make good use of them. Also be wary that going for a sacrificial circle in tier 1 can really slow down the rate at which you tech up. An armory opens more possibilities at the expense of some raw power so the choice is tough at times.
- Horrors: Great for taking out heavy infantry, and really any infantry. Simple to use really, deepstrike them into battle, keep them from getting attacked, and make sure they are always using ranged fire. Focus them on key units to take them out quickly. Be careful that they can't take damage well and are incapable of being reinforced. You likely won't have the oppertunity to use these often in 1v1 battles but don't neglect them as useless they are handy to have around when the oppertunity to make them arises. These units are largely phased out in mid-tier 2 due to their weakness to plasma and they can be outdone in usefulness by CSM squads with plasma weapons.
- Raptors: A great unit to harrass the enemy as well as be a meatshield. When you need the flexibility and tech advancement of the armory and a unit that can take on melee oriented units then this is what you want. These guys make a great early meatshield against things like banshees and orks. Also they have the option of jumping over units to strike at key units like dark reapers. These can also be used to harrass your enemy's lps (destroy them and decapture the point) and can still get back to a battle quickly if your oppenent attacks.
Tier 2 Units:
- Cultists: Cultists lose some of their effectiveness in tier 2 on account of being so prone to fire. They aren't completely useless though. Grenade launchers are still ok in tier 2 and tieing up enemy squads can be very useful especially enemy missle launchers. Don't invest too much in cultists in tier 2 but don't be afraid to make a squad or two to round out an army or cap some lost points.
- Cultists + plasma gun: Not at all as good as grenade launchers. There's really nothing else to say these guns are just like the laspistol (default weapon) but slightly stronger. They are very cheap but that's not going to make them any better really. There's not really a need to invest in these at all. Don't be fooled into thinking they are anywhere as strong as the Chaos Space Marine counterparts.
- Chaos Space Marines: Still the same as tier 1 but in tier 2 the CSM are going to require some extra attention to avoid plasma weapons, artillery, or large amounts of fire that can quickly break their morale. The weapons of tier 1 still fullfill the same roles.
With more choices in weapons in tier 2 it is important to notice that it is best if you do not mix weapon types for a squad. A squad with 2 plasma guns and 2 missile launchers will not be as good at countering anything. By keeping heavy weapon types the same within a squad you make the squad fullfill a specific role. This means in a heated battle it you can have every missile launcher you buy hitting vehicles and every plasma gun hitting heavy infantry. With a mixed squad you have to have some weapons not hitting what they are best against. Some exceptions can be made such as if you have 2 weapons on a squad and you desperately need a different weapon. There's no sense losing a battle to adhere to this one rule.
- Chaos Space Marines + Plasma guns: Plasma guns tear through heavy infantry such as Space Marine squads. It's really important to get this in an infantry heavy game and use them well to mow down enemy infantry. Not as useful vs vehicles or light infantry like orks but against heavy infantry they will always be a good investment.
- Chaos Space Marines + Missile Launchers: These take out vehicles and buildings. Keep them shooting at vehicles and out of melee. These weapons are no brainers once vehicles come into the game. Make sure to always have a few squads of them by that point. If there are no vehicles missile launchers are still good against infantry. It's best to keep them firing at squads using heavy weapons or stronger ranged weapons. This way the units will spend more time knocked down and less time firing. It's important to note (again probably) that being knocked down by weapon fire does not require a unit to set up their weapons again.
One squad of missile launchers is almost never enough. 2 is really needed. One squad of missile launchers is far more likely to be gunned down or meleed quickly and against other units with knock down weapons such as artillery or rockets the squad will rarely get to fire on account of being knocked down so much.
Tier 2 Vehicles:
- Rhino: This is an easy section to write... these things are essentially useless in ladder play. Smoke takes too long to research for not enough boost and rarely in a 1v1 you'll need to build a transport, especially when you could build a predator or defiler instead. The only potential use for this vehicle would be a quick deployment of troops or to hide an important unit. Since the former isn't really useful on 1v1 maps given their size it comes down to the second. If you MUST use the rhino then bring them behind the lines and when an important unit gets hurt or broken load them into the rhino so they can't be fired on. Will it win you a battle? no. Will it make the res spent on the rhino worthwhile? probably not. So in short it's something you can safely skip for more punch in your army.
- Defiler: A lot of info provided graciously by WC_Sleign Defilers are the more anti-vehicle oriented of the vehicles. A bit weak for their cost and build time they are best used in a must-have vehicle situation. While they have strong melee power it is offset by their lower HP and they are best left for ranged fire unless your oppenent lacks vehicle counters. Otherwise they will quickly be brought down by focused fire. The autocannon overall is the Defiler's strongest weapon dealing decent/good damage to all unit types. The artillery provides what all artillery does with inaccurate long range attacks that deal more knockdown and morale damage to infantry than anything else. However artillery isn't the best use of vehicles and you'll likely need to bring them into any battle with more in mind than that.
- Predator: Info provided by WC_Sleign Predators tend to be more flexible than the other chaos vehicles offering very strong anti-infantry support at this stage of the game. While more expensive, predators offer more hp and can soak up more damage than a defiler will be able to. Their focus should mainly be killing the weaker aspect of an enemies army composition, while using heavy weapon CSM as a hard counter to their main force. For example, if an enemy is light on vehicles and heavy on infantry, CSM would be equippd with anti infantry weaponry, while the predators would handle the vehicles. They should also be sent into any engagement first to absorb some initial punishment, sparing your infantry and allowing time to focus targets. The main strength of the predator comes in the versitility and the ability to soak up dmg. These are a staple tier 2 unit for chaos providing them with a quick punch and staying power when supported by the other units and heros. A very important vehicle for tier 2 chaos and should be built rather than defilers unless there is a specific reason to build a defiler.
A look at some of the choas upgrades:
Tier 1 Upgrades:
- Heavy Weapon Upgrades: Given that CSM's initial heavy weapons are not in great demand this upgrade can be pushed back. If you find yourself making a lot of heavy weapons in tier one then it's best to grab it then but otherwise save it for the tech to tier 2. In Tier 2 you cannot survive without this tech as you will need the extra missile launchers or plasma on your CSM squads.
- Target Finders 1: Does not boost accuracy of weapons but rather the damage the weapons do. This first boost adds +15% to min/max damage. A good upgrade to get if you are doing a lot of ranged attacks. The effects are most noticable on missile launchers over standard ranged attacks so when you need missile launchers you may want to also pick up this upgrade.
- Bionics Level 1: This upgrade tends to be pretty effective with chaos who have a lot of units out. Boosts the Hp of all chaos infantry by 20%. This upgrade is very effective on Possessed Marine Squads who already have a lot of hitpoints and the boost makes them excellent at soaking up damage.
- Furious Charge: Enables charging for chaos units. Units will have a boost of speed if they are commanded to engage a unit of a certain distance away in melee. Additionally provides a +15% melee damage boost to CSM and cultist squads. A very cheap upgrade and if you are using a lot of CSMs and cultists in melee at all probably worth it to grab it.
- Frag Grenades: Currently grenades are largely bugged and do not have piercing values against most infantry. Because of this they do no damage vs almost every type of infantry. The only thing grenades will do for chaos is knockdown and stun enemy infantry and damage scouts, cultists, and guardians like they should. They still have some worth but overall not really since they do no damage =/. Heavy on the power cost so can be tricky to pick up but since it's only 25 req it won't slow down your CSM production. Frag grenades not only do good damage but will knock units down and scatter them. This is effective at preventing enemy units from engaging in melee or providing cover for your units to charge into a melee battle without taking damage. The knock down effect will NOT cause units to have to reset their weapon setup. Grab this tech if you can and make sure to use it as much as possible once you have it. Try to target larger groups of weaker units or units that pose the greatest threat to you at the time being.
- Jetpack Boosters: Not a bad upgrade if you have several raptor squads out. Nothing especially great here but when raiding with raptor squads or trying to melee weaker but faster units this ability is helpful. Grab it if you feel like you can make use of it by running raptors around or raiding lps more often. Otherwise just leave it be.
Chaos vs Chaos:
Handling a mirror match can be tricky. You have no natural advantage against your enemy but instead have to outplay him completely to take the win (or a little luck can go a long way sometimes).
Against a Possessed Rush:
A possessed rush isn't that difficult to face as chaos. Just keep calm and focused and you should come out ahead. There are 2 varieties of the rush, one that involved deleting your HQ and barracks to create an early horror squad as well. They are countered a little differently so I'll make some distinctions.
- Pick up on this strategy through early aggressive play. It's something you should be doing anyways but you need to know what to watch for. Hints such as a lack of early chaos space marines, an early generator, or not many listening posts will tell you that he's probably making a possessed rush. Obviously if you see the possessed space marines or the sacrifical circle that's what he's done...
- Queue up a second chaos space marine squad right away. You'll want more smaller squads in this situation so you can avoid taking damage.
- Take out his hero while you can. If he doesn't have any supporting troops yet now is the time to take out his commander. When he has the possessed space marines you'll be hard pressed to pop off his commander safely early game. If you kill him now then it'll make your job easier. If he has his hero plus possessed squad then keep your hero away from melee. Use your two chaos space marine squads to dance the hero around as much as possible. If he splits his forces up then you can engage the enemy chaos lord with yours and usually pull away with the win. Either way without ranged damage the important thing is to keep his units busy running and not dealing damage.
- Take out the generator. Just as important popping off his generator now will make the game fairly trivial. Without a generator he can't reinforce his possessed squads. This makes it very easy to whittle them down to nothing.
- Keep capturing points. Try to keep securing points with your cultists. They have no use in the battles unless he has cultists or chaos space marines fighting. If he doesn't then make sure to keep capturing his points. Taking an economy advantage will almost assure you the win.
- Dance your units. Possessed space marines are terribly slow. Keep the units he's chasing after running away while other units shoot on them. As long as you can do this safely, meaning he has no chaos space marines or chaos lord, then you can keep his possessed marine squad at a small size and eventually kill them off.
- If he builds a chaos space marine squad things can be a little more difficult but not much so. Just keep your units running from his possessed squad while at the same time the squad standing still should be firing on his chaos space marines. Again you have the advantage in resources so you should have no problem beating his squad like this given you can reinforce more chaos space marines than he can.
- Build your own sacrificial circle and possessed squad. Once you've gotten several listening posts up it's time to make your own generator and sacrifical circle + Possessed squad. I don't recommend it but if the need is urgent feel free to delete one of your heretics to free up population for the possessed. Once you get your possessed squad out (if you even need it, which you really probably don't) then you are free to engage him directly in combat. However he's been reinforcing his Possessed marines to keep them around while your chaos space marines are barely scratched. If he's rushed a horror squad through deleting his headquarters then doing this isn't likely as much of an option but that's ok it's not really needed in that case. It's also possibly to safely do this because you know he cannot be teching up since you've been harassing him early and have really crippled his options for advancement.
- (For Deleting Head Quarters only). Make sure to always engage those horrors in melee and just take them out. Without the horrors you'll have crippled his range damage options. However leaving the horrors alive can cause some problems with being able to face his units. Don't worry too much about it either way. Keep building as much as possibly and expanding in any area he builds in. As soon as possibly pick off his cultist squads and builders. This will limit him to his current army. Eventually just by rebuilding and falling back you should have no problem knocking out all of his LPs and eventually his generator. Just overtime you should be able to win through growing your economy. Just do your best to avoid taking damage when possible which is why it is best if you can take out that horror squad early. Remember there is a building destruction victory so make sure to always have a barracks or other unit producing building still standing.
Against a strategy like this your game should never reach tier 2. If it does then you've really mucked things up. The key is just to keep his resources tied up in his expensive early units while they can't do any damage due to being dragged around. He's really locked into his strategy so as long as you can manage it the game shouldn't be a problem.
- Make the most out of every unit, ever throw them away.
- Do not throw away your hero, make sure he kills or almost kills the enemy hero
- Gain speed in hotkeys and build order to be able to advance on your oppenent early without feeling weak
- Keep playing and notice what works well against what as well was what doesn't work so well. This applies to the game overall as well as your personal tastes in gameplay.