So, Chaos in the last patch have not gotten as much shiny toys-buffs as Navy and Admech have, but its fleets definitely needs much more to be truly diverse and competitive. If the main game mode wasn't about points, but about eliminations, you would have seen how any non rush Chaos fleet suffers because it's so hard for it to kill the enemy. Chaos should be about long range kiting, carriers and sometimes rush, but right now it's only rush that is semi competitive. And that needs to change.
Chaos macro is pretty good - long range, a lot of missiles, good accuracy with Daemonic Sigh upgrade, which is basically +10% more accuracy beyond 9000 range, but no more than 50% without Lock On. It could be better at very long range(like +20% more accuracy from Daemonic Sigh, but no more than 50%), but it's okay if it is not.
Lances though... well, look no further than this forum to see why Chaos Lances are very meh. Admech lances are good after buff, Navy lances are meh, but usually are at least on cheaper ships with torpedoes and rams(still, some of those ships could use a buff though), Space Marine Lances are actually pretty decent in my eyes(especially considering that SM just want to board everything).
And Chaos Lances come in pair with good Macro DPS supplement, but are very expensive in comparison to how much actual damage they do in battle. Sure they got great range, but it takes too long for lance boats to kill even the most optimal targets, and kiting at long range is not easy nowadays, as Navy can now mass execute chase you well, Orks can flood the map, Necrons just tank lances and catch you, etc, ect... Recent lance change was good, because it made their performance much more consistent. But Chaos lances NEED to deal much more damage considering their cost. I would start with at least 30% DPS increase. I'm quite tempted to say 50%, but I'm not sure. Their range is great after all.
Chaos carriers are quite expensive, but those with 4 launch bays and good secondary armaments are pretty solid. Their Fighters are quite powerful, Assault craft is good if used right, but their Bombers... they deal not that much damage, while dying pretty easily even if you send 2 waves with 4 squadrons at the same time from the same angle. They have much less units in squadron compared to fighters(4 to 6), much worse dodge(40% vs 70%) and much slower speed(400 vs 600), which is especially bad for bombers. Assault craft has much worse tankiness, but they are fast and just get shot less while on the way to the target. Many fleets even without any carriers can easily nulify 8 chaos launch bays by staying close, using Brace for extra turret accuracy and even kiting bombers with All ahead Full and shooting them with whole fleet to pieces. Only good targets for them are those that are isolated and have low amount of turrets. And considering that it's not BGA1 and you want bombers to return back to you alive, I propose either:
Increasing Chaos bombers speed from 400 to 500/550
Increasing Chaos bombers dodge from 40% to 50/55%.
And to be fair, bombers of some other factions(Navy at least) could use some buffs as well...
Chaos Ships small buffs:
Desolator: basically an Acheron with much better tankiness, 3 torpedo charges and much worse maneuverability. Which is all would be fine if his maneuverability wasn't THAT bad. I'm not asking for High energy maneuvers, but please increase his rotation speed from 4 to 6, so it would be much easier to use Desolator for kiting and aiming his torpedoes. It's a much needed change for this ship.
Despoiler: please fix his hangars. I've tested it a few times(Fleets of 3 Styxes and 3 Despoilers for consistency) and it definitely feels like it's bugged and 3 Despoilers deal as much damage as 3 Styxes(both fleets dealing ~1000 damage per run on a ship with almost no turrets in the way). Then may be this ship would be worth picking. 6 Hangars + 7 lance DPS from the prow is nice after all.
Murded And Hades - may be make Prow lance shoot in 180 degree radios(not 270) and increase their price a bit as well?
The most competitive Chaos build right now is also the most boring and stupid one - 6 Slaughers plus 3 Idolators with Slaanesh stun(which have already been well nerfed). They have 240 speed and the most cost effective DPS in all of a Chaos fleet(14 Macro + 2 Lance on a main target plus 8 macro and 2 lance on the other side). So you just rush in and start shooting everything, and if you have more DPS, you just win. And there is simply no countering it if you do not have MUCH more close range DPS(like being Navy). Granted, after AP nerf it's less potent, but it's still very strong. And my nerf proposition to this rush strategy would be to
- Decrease Slaugher speed to 200
- Increase its range to 13500.
- (May be) Slightly increase price
This would make Slaughers into a much more balanced and universal ship, while still leaving good room for rush builds. Although, to be fair, I would have preferred much more if balanced compositions would be the most viable ones.