Best Warhammer 40k Chaos Starter Set: 6 Essential Sets and Units for New Chaos Players


Best Warhammer 40k Chaos Starter Set: 6 Essential Sets and Units for New Chaos Players

Are you looking to start a Chaos Space Marine army ? Chaos are a fantastic starter army, you can really get very detailed and deep colour schemes within the factions of the armies of Chaos, or even go for your own paint scheme in the grim darkness of the far future. To help you get started, We’ve put together this detailed guide on (some) of the best Warhammer 40k Chaos starter sets, covering some basic models to get you started and what you need to know to build a powerful force of Heretic Astartes.

Here is a short overview of what to expect inside this article:

  1. Explanation of why Chaos Space Marines make a great starter army due to their versatility, customization options, and rich narrative potential.
  2. Detailed showing of various starter sets
  3. Advice on how to get started

Why Collect Chaos Space Marines?

Chaos Space Marines are the ultimate villains of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Once loyal warriors of the Imperium, these Heretic Astartes turned against the Emperor during the Horus Heresy and now seek to overthrow the galaxy in the name of the Chaos Gods. With their twisted and warped armor, daemonic mutations, and devastating wargear, Chaos Space Marines are as visually striking as they are powerful on the tabletop, many of our favourite designs tend to come from the various differences in Chaos factions, Nurgle is our top pick for beginners!

Collecting a Chaos Space Marine army offers many different advantages:

  • Versatility – Chaos Space Marines have access to a wide array of units, from fast-moving bikers and jump troops to durable terminators and daemon engines. This will give you a lot of freedom and allows you to build an army that suits your preferred playstyle.
  • Customization – Chaos Space Marines are known for their elaborate conversions and kitbashes. With a bits box full of spiky bits, chains, and other chaotic emblems, you can really make your army stand out from the bolter-fodder loyalists. Kitbashing and just adding random pieces to miniaturtes is often the best way to keep your creativity going, although I’m still not sure why I wasn’t allowed to glue a super marines jetpack to my Tyranid minis in school.
  • Narrative Potential – Each Chaos Space Marine legion has a rich backstory and unique character. Whether you align with a particular Chaos God or mix elements from different legions, you can paint an army with a pre made story or craft your own!.


Now that we know why Chaos Space Marines are such a fun and rewarding army to collect, buckle up and make your sacrifices to Nurgle or whatever god you follow.

Want to read more about Chaos Space Marines? Read our guide on The Forces Of Chaos

Best Overall: Warhammer 40k Combat Patrol: Chaos Space Marines

Our Rating: 4.8/5

If you’re looking for a well-rounded starter set that gives you a taste of everything Chaos has to offer, look no further than this big ‘ol box of Chaos Space Marines. This set contains a great and big solid core of troops led by a fearsome, warp driven Dark Apostle, along with some heavy support(Dreadnaught!) and specialized units built to destroy the enemy!

What’s in the box:

  • 10 Chaos Space Marine Legionaries – flexible troops with a variety of weapon options
  • 5 Havocs – heavy support marines armed with devastating weaponry
  • 1 Helbrute – a Chaos Dreadnought that can absorb enemy fire and dish out massive damage
  • 1 Dark Apostle with Disciples – a powerful HQ choice that provides buffs to nearby troops
  • 2 Greater Possessed – monstrous fiends of Chaos that excel in melee


On top of being brilliant value (clocking in at over $250 USD if you buy separate kits), this set gives you a good mix of units to form the core of a larger army. The Legionaries are a must-have for any Chaos collection, and the Dark Apostle and Helbrute offer strong HQ and heavy support options. You also get a taste of Chaos’ more mutated speciality units in the form of the Havocs and Greater Possessed.

In terms of painting and customization, this set offers plenty of opportunities to develop your skills at painting and create truly unique models. The Chaos Vehicle upgrade parts in particular gives you a ton of cool bits to Chaos-ify your Helbrute and other vehicles you might add later.

Overall, the Combat Patrol: Chaos Space Marines set is an excellent starting point for any budding Heretic Astartes, and the one I would suggest for most new Chaos players or people getting into Warhammer for the first time.

Key Units: Chaos Space Marines Legionaries

Our Rating: 4.7/5

The backbone of any Chaos Space Marine army, the very flashy Legionaries kit is a must have purchase for any new Chaos players to bulk out the army further. This super customizable set allows you to build a 10-man squad of Chaos Space Marines armed with a quite a few big and deadly weapons.

What’s in the box:

  • 10 multi-part plastic Chaos Space Marine Legionaries
  • Extensive weapon options, including bolters, bolt pistols, chainswords, plasma guns, meltaguns, and heavy weapons like heavy bolters and reaper chain cannons
  • Alternate heads, shoulder pads, and daemonic bits for adding Chaos flair


One of the great things about the Legionaries kit is how versatile it is. You can build your squad for many multiple battlefield roles, from close-quarters melee to long-range fire support. The kit also includes plenty of Chaos iconography(Symbols etc) and mutation options for making your Legionaries look like they fit the role of Chaos!

In terms of in-game performance, Legionaries are a super solid troop choice that can hold objectives, screen for your more valuable units, and even threaten enemy units in melee with the right upgrades(Unlike your team mates in League who don’t do these things!). You’ll want at least one or two squads of Legionaries in your army, if not more, we personally recommend at least 2 sets if you have been building for awhile.

On the lookout for more brushes? No dramas, we got you! Check our guide for the Best Brushes for Painting Miniatures 

Best Warhammer 40k Chaos Starter Set

Powerful Support: Chaos Terminator Squad

Our Rating: 4.6/5

Chaos Terminators are the ultimate infantry unit for Chaos Space Marine armies, a simple must have for any Chaos player to dominate the battlefield or to dominate the shelf after painting. These heavily armored warriors are equipped with powerful weapons and daemonic resilience, allowing them to wade through enemy fire and crush the Emperor’s lapdogs with ease.

What’s in the box:

  • 5 multi-part plastic Chaos Terminators
  • Combi-bolters, combi-weapons, power fists, chainfists, and power weapons
  • Chainaxe and power maul options for the Terminator Champion
  • Chaos iconography and mutation options


The Chaos Terminator Squad kit is great for adding some elite muscle to your army. With the ability to teleport into battle and unleash devastating firepower or rip apart enemies in melee, Chaos Terminators can threaten even the toughest of enemy units, Power claws, autocannons, flamethrowers, these boys pack a punch.

The kit offers plenty of customization options, from the weapons each Terminator wields to the cosmetic details that make them stand out as true servants of the Dark Gods. You can even build one Terminator as a Champion with upgraded wargear, this means you’ll have even more of a tactical and visual aid when playing tabletop!

While Chaos Terminators are a more expensive choice when compared to regular Legionaries, both in terms of points and real-world cost, they are a massive commanding presence on the tabletop that can anchor your battle line or they can lead the charge in a devastating assault.

Airbrushing Terminators is a much more effective way of painting them, read our full guide on the Best Airbrushes for Miniatures

Fast Attack: Chaos Knights War Dog

Our Rating: 4.4/5

Okay, now we are at the big boys! For Chaos players looking to add some speed and firepower to their army, the Chaos Knights War Dog kit is an excellent choice. These daemonic walkers are smaller and faster than their titanic brethren, but still pack a serious punch with their hellish weaponry.

What’s in the box:

  • 1 multi-part plastic Chaos Knights War Dog
  • Choice of armament, including Autocannons, Daemonic jaws, Melta rifles, Reaper chainswords, and Thermal spears
  • Various Chaos bits and cosmetic options for customization


The War Dog kit offers a lot of value and flexibility for Chaos players. You can build your War Dog with a variety of ranged and melee weapons to suit your more preferred playstyle, and the kit includes plenty of cool Chaos design elements to make it fit in with the rest of your army, take your time when experimenting with these things to really try and make your War Dogs Unique!

Rules-wise, War Dogs are fast and relatively durable, able to flank enemy units or hunt down high-value targets. Their daemonic saves and wounds also make them surprisingly resilient for their size.

Whether you’re looking to add some mobile fire support or a distraction carnifex to your army, the Chaos Knights War Dog kit is a solid pick-up for any Chaos Space Marine collection.

Want to get started but not sure what paints to get? Read our full guide for the Best Starter Paint Kits for Miniatures

Essential Transport: Chaos Rhino

Our Rating: 4.3/5

No Chaos Space Marine army is complete without some sort of dedicated transport, a sort of giant metal box, if you will – and the Chaos Rhino is a classic choice that has been faithfully enslaved to the Ruinous Powers for millennia. This kit allows you to build the amazing metal box on wheels, the Chaos Rhino transport, as well as several other vehicle variants.

What’s in the box:

  • 1 multi-part plastic Chaos Rhino kit
  • Options to build Rhino, Chaos Predator, Chaos Vindicator laser destroyer, or Chaos Whirlwind scorpius
  • Various Chaos vehicle upgrades and cosmetic options


The Chaos Rhino kit is a versatile and valuable addition to any Chaos collection. The standard Chaos Rhino is an excellent choice for getting your infantry into battle quickly and safely, with options to equip combi-bolters, havoc launchers, and daemonic icons for added firepower and protection.

But the kit’s real value lies in its alternate build options that will allow you to change the overall function of the actual rhino. With the right weapons and upgrades, you can turn your Rhino into a fire support Predator, a tank-busting Vindicator, or an anti-infantry Whirlwind. These modding bits mean that a single kit can fill multiple roles in your army.

The Chaos Rhino also features some amazing details and surface textures that really show off the corrupted, daemonic nature of Chaos vehicles. It’s a joy to paint and weather, and looks great alongside your Legionaries and Terminators.

If you’re planning to run any significant number of infantry in your Chaos army, a Chaos Rhino (or two, or three!) is an invaluable addition to your collection.

Looking to get a metallic colour on your Rhino? Read our full guide for How To Airbrush Metallics on Miniatures

Nurgle Starting Army: Combat Patrol: Death Guard

Our Rating: 4.5/5

Papa Nurgle loves his putrid children, and if you want to spread his blessings of rot and decay, the Combat Patrol: Death Guard set is the perfect starting point. This box is packed with some of the Death Guard’s most iconic units and characters.

What’s in the box:

  • 7 Plague Marines – disgustingly resilient warriors armed with disease-ridden weapons
  • 30 Poxwalkers – shambling hordes of zombies that soak up enemy fire
  • 1 Biologus Putrifier – support character that enhances your plague weapons
  • 1 Typhus – a legendary Death Guard commander armed with a man-reaper and blight grenades


Like most Combat Patrol boxes, this set offers a considerable discount compared to buying everything individually. You get a great mix of elite infantry in the form of the Plague Marines, some expendable screens with the Poxwalkers, and a couple potent HQ choices in Typhus and the Biologus Putrifier.

Painting Death Guard is a treat for any hobbyist who enjoys grimy, diseased-looking models. The Death Guard upgrade pack (sold separately) is an awesome way to add some final grotesque details to really make Papa Nurgle proud.

Whether you want to go all-in on Death Guard or mix in some Nurgle daemons for a soup list, the Combat Patrol: Death Guard box is an excellent way to start spreading contagion in the name of Nurgle!

Want to read more about Nurgle? we recommend the Warhammer Wiki!

Other Great Chaos Units & Upgrades

  • Chaos Space Marine Aspiring Champions – Use these characterful leaders to buff your Legionary Squads.
  • Khorne Berzerkers – Dedicated close combat troops for Khorne-themed armies.
  • Chaos Spawn – Hideous mutated beasts that can tie up enemy units.
  • Forgefiend/Maulerfiend – Daemon Engines that provide fire support or tar pit enemy units in melee.
  • Chaos Heldrake – A daemonic assault flyer that can tear apart enemy armor.
  • Chaos Vehicle Conversion Kits – Give your tanks and transports the properly spiky Chaos look.

Getting Started in Warhammer 40k

Collecting a Chaos Space Marine army in Warhammer 40k can be an incredibly fun and rewarding hobby. With the right starter set, you’ll have a great foundation to build and expand your collection over time.

Remember, there’s no wrong way to collect Chaos! Whether you go for a pure legion force or mix in daemons and renegades, the dark powers of Chaos will reward your dedication.

If you’re new to Warhammer 40k, don’t forget to pick up the Core Rules, as well as the Chaos Space Marines Codex, which will give you all the rules and lore you need to start playing games with your new army.

And of course, make sure to check out the rest of the guides and tutorials here at, including our YouTube channel, where we have all sorts of great videos for building, painting, and playing with your Chaos forces.

Now go forth and claim glory in the name of the Chaos Gods!

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