Warhammer/Tactics/8th Edition/Daemons of Chaos
Why Play Daemons of Chaos
There are a number of reasons to play daemons of chaos, so we'll deal with the minor ones first. The Daemons are pure, concentrated evil - destruction incarnate, really. They have some pretty slick models and a lot of options in the army, however, many people have swarmed to Daemons of Chaos because of their broken reputation in 7th edition.
Well, with the release of the 8th edition army book, those days are effectively over. Daemons are one of the trickiest armies to play now simply due to the amount of randomness thrown into the new book. The first big change comes from the Reign of Chaos table which is consulted when you roll for winds of magic. The effects of this table can help you for the turn (giving you an upgrade to your Ward Save, bombing enemy units, or giving you free lesser daemons or heralds) or extremely cripple you (docking your ward save or destroying your own units). The other one is the inclusion of Daemonic Gifts which are all random and disallows the use of core rulebook magic items except banners, though you may swap out your roll for a magic weapon. Daemons haven't been made bad per say, but they have become quite unpredictable for both the player and the opponent; and with the possibility of hindering your own units by random chance, their competitive strength has now become questionable.
Note that a popular choice with this army is magnetizing the models to both the square and round bases (Or simply using the round movement trays of whatever they seek best), so that you can have two armies in one. This gives you an advantage and disadvantage, the first is you have a army that can be used in both games. This seems pointless as we all know GW don't intend to raise prices, for risk of upsetting their loyal fanbase.
Another option is just to use circle bases for anything that moves with a movement tray as they fit in perfectly AND rank up better *cough* Bloodletters *cough*, and for the bigger stuff the WHFB bases are usually smaller than their 40k counter parts so just sticky tack them on.
At first, Daemon units might seem frail with their lack of armour and few available options... until you look at their stat lines and their special rules. The power of the Daemons lies here and access to Daemon gifts only buffs them further. That said, these are not the 40K Chaos Daemons and so you don't get to deep strike your entire army. In fact, you deep strike none of it - you setup just as other armies. Remember that supposed frailty issue we were murmuring about earlier? Turns out Daemons can at least be shot at to keep them at bay, with almost nothing to contribute with in the shooting phase. Although unlike other armies, they all get ward saves against it.
Important Note: Each of the 4 gods (Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh) all grant their respective daemons a unique trait.
Daemons of Khorne: Grants +1S on the charge for the turn and Hatred (Daemons of Slaanesh) Daemons of Nurgle: Enemy models suffer -1 to hit in CC vs Daemons of Nurgle and Hatred (Daemons of Tzeentch) Daemons of Tzeentch: Grants a re-roll of channeling and ward save results of 1 (O.O) and Hatred ( Daemons of Nurgle) Daemons of Slaanesh: Grants Armour Piercing and Hatred (Daemons of Khorne)
Lords & Heroes
- Bloodthirster: You know him, you love him, Khorne's greater daemon retains his throne as one of the most killiest characters in the game. On top of the usual daemon awesomeness, he comes with two hand weapons, heavy armour, can fly, has magic resistance (2), and 10s in WS, BS, with I9, on top of Thunderstomp. Like last edition, this guy is susceptible to shooting, given that he will attract ALL war machine and general ranged attacks from your opponent, because if he doesn't, he has to face a fucking Bloodthirster in close combat and get raped. The Chaos Warriors army that has NO NON-MAGICAL SHOOTING EXCEPT MARAUDER HORSEMEN JAVELINS temporarily wets itself, then remembers the existence of Khorne Chaos Lords and mans up again. This guy is also the only greater daemon that can't use magic, which has the strange ability of making him the potentially cheapest of the lot - you don't even have to buy this guy much, but if you must, you can purchase up to 100 points worth of Daemonic Gifts, keeping him just under the 501 point mark when loaded out.
- Lord of Change: Tzeentch's big bad spellcaster. Not as physically imposing as the other Greater Daemons (having less weapon skill, initiative, or attacks); however, what he lacks in combat prowess he makes up in magic and trickery. He is the cheapest by far to raise to level 4, starting with a base level 2. With the new book he no longer knows all the spells of the Lore of Tzeentch, but now he can use the Lore of Metal instead if he chooses to. Metal is a decent lore because it has the tools to answer high armored units (i.e. Searing Doom) and the Banner of the World Dragon (i.e. Final Transmutation.) He's taken a slight hit thanks to there being only two good Daemonic Gifts that apply to a spell caster. Now, even though he's not as combat-ready as his Daemonic counterparts, he is still a monster that flies. Fly around, cast spells, and charge at the right target and in the right time, just like what Tzeentch would want.
- Keeper of Secrets: Probably one of the best choices here, solid magic ability, excellent close combat skills and have had a significant point drop (down to 375). Again, the change to Gifts has significantly changed how you use this guy, no more crazy gift combos, but still very good for tearing through infantry or kitted out to be a fairly efficient character killer. As is the norm for monsters, expect your opponent to fire everything they have at it so pray for some good rolls on the gift table.One thing to note is that with some fairly jammy rolling you could end up with things like +1W, no armour saves against his/her/its attacks, regen 1W for every unsaved wound you cause, 2+ armour save (that cannot be improved) or +2 attacks thanks to the Daemonic gifts table.
- Great Unclean One: He's fat, ugly and slow. He also has
10 motherfucking wounds (not anymore, DAMMIT MATT WARD!)6 wounds. Also throws down with poisoned attacks. The Lore of Nurgle is pretty slick for shredding low T/S units, but no need to really splurge here. He got an extra point of toughness but that really doesn't mean shit with how 8th edition works. His lowered point cost, now 375, does make him more viable for smaller games though for an extra 75 points he could end up with 2 of the daemonic gifts listed in the keeper of secrets analysis.
- Daemon Prince: The other generic lord-level unit. Cheapest by far, clocking in at a basic 250 pts. You HAVE to dedicate them now but Slaanesh is free and the rest are pretty cheap so it isn't a big deal. They can now be pumped to a LvL 4 wizard and take 4+ armour and wings in addition to their Gift allocation. Slap wings on em and go eat some wizards/warmachines, overall a very solid choice.
- Heralds: Your generic hero choices that come in 4 flavors as below. Note, all the heralds have access to abilities called "Loci," which makes them share their special power with a unit of troops of that Chaos god. They can also ride mounts or chariots of their gods.
- Herald of Khorne: Close combat awesome! WS7, S5 and lots of killing blow attacks! His locus powers are either Magic Resist 2 (30 pts), Frenzy (60 pts) or Hatred (75 pts) granted to the Khorne unit he is in. Can also take 50 pts. of gifts. You can also put him on a Juggernaut or chariot. The HoK came out worse than before due to having to buy a Locus and lowered S.
- *Blood Throne of Khorne: The only way you can get this thing in. But is it worth it? It's a chariot, has two Bloodletters on board, and the Blood Throne itself can attack (and heal itself if it causes wounds on impact hits!) However, the model looks like a cover from a Lady Gaga album, and I'm left wondering what happened to Doomrider. Build your kit to make a Skull Cannon instead, and BAM! Free Herald of Khorne in the box! The throne does let all khornate units within 6" benefit from the herald's locus, but if your opponent has any brain cells he'll aim everything he has at it turn 1. Might be useful if you bring something else that is a bigger fire magnet *cough* bloodthirster *cough*. *NOTE* you could take 4 of these in place of a blood thirster but that is a bit of an iffy idea.
- Herald of Tzeentch: Magic awesome! Not much of a stat line, but he comes as a level 1 wizard and can re-roll ward saves and channelling rolls of 1. He has 3 loci: d3+1 blue horror counters (25), random strength each turn (35) (that just sounds like a bad idea), or +1 strength to spells cast by the herald and the unit he joins (50). You could instead put him on a Disc or Chariot of Tzeentch, but you're wasting the locus power. Not much point taking them without some pink horrors to keep him safe.
- Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch: You know that humble Burning Chariot in the rare slot? Well what if I told you there's a way to take it at half the cost, in a less limited selection slot, and you could put it in a unit of skirmishers? Then my friend you are in luck because someone at GW decided to make a Battlescroll that does exactly that for 90 points. Madness I know, but hey when your friends use Banner of the World Dragon you are free to punish them with this not-war machine hero. No guarantee you will have friends left but at least you killed those elves really well that one game.
- Herald of Slaanesh: A very cost effective herald, comes with a pretty kickin' rad stat line with armor piercing. Its three loci are: auto-pass dangerous terrain, Look Out, Sir!, and all stat tests except Ld (5), Always Strikes First (50)<--YOU WANT THIS, or you get to choose who answers your herald's challenges and all enemies in b2b are at -3 initiative (60). Can be mounted on steed, seeker chariot or exalted seeker chariot of Slaanesh. Can also be upgraded to Lv1 wizard with access to lore of Slaanesh or Lore of Shadow. Might be worth it since all the daemon lore attributes let you add models to your units.
- Herald of Nurgle: Still T5, still tougher and stronger than your average Plaguebearer. Can ride a Palanquin, giving him a 50mm base footprint and 4 Wounds! Can get very expensive very fast though, especially if you load him out with the 50 points of Daemonic Gifts and buy casting options for him. Can choose from one of three Loci: Virulence (unit get Poison on a 5+), Fecundity (unit gets Regen), or Contagion (if any model in the unit scores a 6 to Hit for poison, the enemy suffers an additional S4 auto-hit). The curse of the leaper spell allows you to increse a units T by D3 and watch a your opponent cries at your unit of 30 T7, 4+ ward plague bearers thanks to regen save from the second loci.
- Herald of Khorne: Close combat awesome! WS7, S5 and lots of killing blow attacks! His locus powers are either Magic Resist 2 (30 pts), Frenzy (60 pts) or Hatred (75 pts) granted to the Khorne unit he is in. Can also take 50 pts. of gifts. You can also put him on a Juggernaut or chariot. The HoK came out worse than before due to having to buy a Locus and lowered S.
Like the ones from 40K, only better and considerably so. There are three Greater Daemon and four herald characters.
Note: Under the current edition, named characters tend to be overpriced; you can pretty easily emulate most named characters from scratch and save yourself some points. That said, a few named characters do have abilities and wargear or wargear combos unique to them, so if you absolutely need to have them, go ahead. Just make sure you're really getting your points worth.
- Skarbrand, the Exiled One: 610 pts. for the angriest sonnova bitch of a bloodthirster ever! He also has three stats maxed out to 10 (WS, BS and I) whilst bypassing armour and getting +1A with his axes. He also has S5 breath weapon while bestowing friendly and non-friendly units with hatred and is frenzied himself. Keep in mind that unlike other bloodthirsters, Skarbrand does not fly .
- Kairos Fateweaver: 565 pts. for the greatest magic user in the game - seriously, even compared to Slann! Nagash has rules now! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!' He's a level 4 wizard that knows no less than 15 spells that you may CHOOSE, not roll for, you CHOOSE which spells you want before the game begins. You get 4 from Life, Metal, Light and Heavens; 4 from Death, Beasts, Shadow and fire; and all spells from Lore of Tzeentch. Only problem is you have to choose each turn which set you're using, though you always have Tzeentch. His stat line is god-awful for his cost, apart from a 4+ ward save (coupled with a spell or two from the Lore of Life, this can make him extremely hard to kill), but you're taking this guy for the magic phase rape.
- Ku'gath, the Plaguefather: 625 pts. for a nigh-indestructible monstrous, stone-thrower with S5, ignores armour and a misfire just means no shots that turn. He also rides a Palanquin of nurglings, but the real cool feature is, again, the fact that he hurls nurglings fit to burst from sucking his fatass off! Can effectively neutralize war machines that would otherwise be shooting at him.
- Uzhul Skulltaker: RAPE INCARNATE! Essentially a herald of Khorne with a Lesser Locus, a WS and I of 9, flaming attacks, magic resistance, a 3+ armour save and heroic killing blow in duels! Great for hiding in a unit of bloodletters or bloodcrushers - just watch out for those always strikes first characters and dragonhelm/dragon armour, they can still fuck him up.
- The Masque of Slaanesh: Although better than her 40K incarnation, still not really worth it as she cannot join units. Pretty good in close combat with her unnatural reflexes and awesome at disrupting units with her eternal dance.
- Epidemius: The Nurgle version of Skulltaker, with T5, virulence locus, and gives continuous buffs to Nurgle units in your army. Pretty sweet if you have the points to spare and essential if playing an all Nurgle army. You may want to think about buying the Kazyk the Befouled model to use instead of the Epidemius one. It looks better and, even though it's forgeworld, is actually cheaper than the GW Epi model!
- The Blue Scribes: A tougher herald that randomly generates bound spells. Not really worth it.
- The Changeling: special character that can shore up the lack of close combat ability in a squad of horrors. Basically a herald with -1A and Van Horstman's Speculum, he swaps stats (WS,S,T,I and A but not wounds so be careful) with an enemy in base contact/a challenge.(Unfortunatly... nope, this guy goot a huge nerf bat as he doesn't switch stats... he only copies them... so most of the time he will be destroyed by geared up characters as he doesnt copy items... only stats...)
- Karanak, Hound of Vengeance: Born & bred to rape wizards. Can nominate one character before battle to re-roll to hit and to wound against with his 4 S5 I6 attacks at WS7. His special toy is a brass collar (see Flesh Hounds) that causes a S10 hit against any wizard within 12" before they get bent over by their miscast roll. He also gives his unit frenzy. You're going to pay for all of this, however, since Karanak costs twice what you would pay for a bare bones generic herald. Is he worth it? Ask yourself two questions: is your opponent undead or does he have pointed ears? If you answered yes to either laugh as Karanak takes a chunk out of Teclis'/vampire general's/hierophant's crotch.
- Bloodletters of Khorne: Still have that Magic Resistance, Killing Blow, but 2 points more now too (and come with a modest Scaly Skin save). However, they also dropped a point in Strength, and have to charge to get that point back. They're also toughness 3 and will take a lot of wounds in return. They also only posses 1 attack which does no service to them. They need a Herald to help them.
- Pink Horrors of Tzeentch: A unit of Pink Horrors is a level 1 wizard that takes its one spell from the Daemon Lore of Tzeentch. Best taken in minimum 10-man units, because while they do get a bonus to cast based on their rank bonus, they will know only one spell, and even then you still have to roll for it. You could take one or two minimum-sized units to fill your core requirement, all the while benefiting from their ability to channel dice. One other thing to note is that Horrors do not roll on the miscast table when they miscast, meaning six-dicing that Infernal Gateway does not lead to a chance of power dice being taken away from the pool.
- Daemonettes of Slaanesh: 11 pts. for M of 6, WS and I of 5 and 2 attacks base with Armour Piercing make for some good fun in small units. You can put the flaming banner on a unit of Daemonettes to give them flaming attacks as they are not equipped with magical weapons like Bloodletters or Plaguebearers. Kitted them out this way, they are not bad at hunting Regenerating units (i.e. Trolls).
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle: They have poisoned attacks and a crippling initiative of 2 but can be a very daunting prospect when marched in a horde with a Strength and Toughness of 4.( Remember, they cause the enemy models to get a -1 modifier to hit them, they can tie something up for a good while in a horde, then smack them around with poison.)
- Plague Toads (Forge World): For 24 points you get a Monstrous Beast of Nurgle. They have a 5++ ward save and Poisoned Attacks. They move further then Plaguebearers, but they lose Regeneration. Like their cousins, they have low initiative, this time of 1. They have two attacks base, but don't forget that they also have a stomp. They also count as a horde at only 6 wide and the third rank can make its full attacks. All in all, they work out to about the same value as Plaguebearers, but you need to play them slightly differently to take advantage of them properly.
- Bloodcrushers of Khorne: These guys got moved from the Rare units to Special, probably because GW noticed they weren't selling and they adjusted them in the book updates. They dropped in price and in strength: Bloodletters will only be hitting at S4 along with the usual Khorne swag in Magic Resistance and Scaly Skin and stuff. However, they did gain a wound in the trade off and as long as they charge (which they should be doing anyways) they get that lost S back. 65 points a model for 1 less point in Strength and 1 more toughness and wound. There are a few rather large downsides however include the fact that their rather pricey, at £33 for 3, and as good as they are at combat they only pump out a max of 10 attacks (7 with killing blow) so you might want think about spending that £33 on something a bit more productive.
- Seekers of Slaanesh: Daemonettes on Steeds of Slaanesh with a bit of a buff. Fast Cav, and the Steeds have Poison. But Fiends of Slaanesh still get the job done better. Still, not bad if you're playing on a budget, as they're roughly a third the cost of a Fiend. 9 of them and a herald can be rather fun.
- Flesh Hounds of Khorne: A cheap little way to wizard snipe your enemy. Magic Resistance (3), M8 and a fistful of high initiative/strength attacks. Not a bad choice.
- Furies: These birds from hell finally found a home in the Special Unit selection, and you have the option of dedicating the unit to a particular god for 2 points a model. Now we have a fast warmachine-hunting unit that even Dwarfs fear (if taking the Mark of Khorne).
- Flamers of Tzeentch: Flamers are an oddity in the case that they fulfill a similar role to outriders in the empire book, namely maneuvering to a position on a units flank and pestering that unit until it devotes time and effort into chasing your flamers. Why do I come to this conclusion? Well, it is clearly obvious that you will be paying a premium for flamers, 40 pts. each, and while there are a number of special rules tied to them(I will address them later) they are still only T4 with a 5+ ward save, making them comparable to a slightly singed marshmallow. In addition, their main form of attack has a moderately short range of 18" and the "multiple shots(D6)" special rule, these two factors combine to result in a hefty "Roll to hit" penalty if the flamer unit is doing it's utmost best to stay out of combat. However, with a movement value of 6" it is fairly easy to get into a unit's flank, and from their you can get as close as possible without fear of receiving a charge. If on the odd chance your opponent ignores them you can remain stationary next turn, allowing you to deliver quite a formidable broadside. Luckily, Flamers come with one key special rule that allows them to achieve this, "Skirmishers". This special rule allows the unit to twist a wriggle it's way through small gaps, reform to face a new direction and still move to reduce the number of hits from ranged attacks that will inevitably come it's way. Their major down side, courtesy of Smurf lover , is the rule Warp Flame, it means that if the unit being shot by the flamers takes an unsaved wound it must take a T test, if it fails the test it takes D3 wound with no armour saves and if it passes the unit gets a +1 increase to their FUCKING REGEN saves, that's a stackable 6+ WWWWWAAAAARRRRDDDD save, for the rest of the game.
- Screamers of Tzeentch: Screamers are a unit designed to pester and harass, with the ability to fly and a formidable amount of attacks and S/T 4, you can easily wipe flak away, but the beauty of this unit is it's ability to inflict reliable damage without a chance of any returning to it. you may elect a single unit the screamers have moved over, and for every screamer in the unit, you will inflict D3 S4 attacks that hit on a 4+. Granted it might not seem great but they sure soften up special units between 10 and 20. When is CC with a large target the have D3 mulitple wounds, bare in mind the get 3 CC attacks each so say bye to that rare monster your enemy invested 200+ points in.
- Nurglings: They still scout and skirmish, but lost Poison. Best to tie up things in the backfield or screen and hope a bad Instability roll doesn't kill them all. Fun pitting them against 20-30 zombies.
- Fiends of Slaanesh: Wanna run down your opponents army on a flank charge? Bring some Fiends! S/T4 with 3 armour piercing attacks at I6 and a move of 10. Oh and they come stock with Soporific Musk. Use these creepy fuckers to flank and break basic and armoured infantry regiments with ease.
- Beasts of Nurgle: WE 60 POINTS NOW. Welcome to the new masters of never dying ever. Still get their d6+1 random attacks, still have 4 wounds, but also have Regen, Slime trail, Poison, and with Attention Seeker, they can take challenges and give them, meaning your solo Greater Daemon rape machine won't get stuck by that chump Skeleton champion over there. Take em home in boxes, take em home in cases. IF YOUR TZEENTCH OVERLORDS TRY TO STOP YOU, JUST THROW IT IN THEIR FACES
- Seeker Chariots: Scythed chariot with a rather skimpy armour save that does get bolstered by the standard daemon ward save. Crewed by Daemonettes and pulled by Steeds of Slaanesh. For more info look at the Daemonettes and Seekers entries above.
- Pox Riders (Forge World): See the above about Plague Toads? Well, make them Monstrous Cavalry being ridden by Plaguebearers, and you got Pox Riders in a nutshell. Three attacks per rider (4 for the "Plagueleaper", or unit champion) and Poisoned Attacks, but lose Regeneration and cost 35 points per model with a minimum of 3 to make a unit.
- Soul Grinder: This is the only place in the entire book where you'll have artillery support outside of the Skull Cannon, and stone throwers aren't bad to have if you're trying to clear out specific targets in the backfield or just looking to get a couple shots off before combat (remember you can move and shoot). It does compete with all of the other cool choices in the Rare Units, though... though it could find a home in a Warp Forge-oriented list or theme army. T7 makes pointy ears shit thems'elfs'.
- Plague Drones of Nurgle: These guys are even bigger bastards than the Beasts of Nurgle. 55 points gives you Monstrous Cavalry at 4, T5, poison, at least 4 attacks from each model, a Stomp, and they Hover. That's right, FLYING MONSTROUS CAVALRY. I've seen people divided over whether or not the model looks good, but what more do you want from a Rare unit? It's Plaguebearers riding flies from your sister's worst nightmares.
- Skull Cannon of Khorne: YES PLEASE. Daemons now get a cannon mounted on a chariot, and Ogres wish they had something this cool. T5, Flaming Cannonball, and the chariot itself can attack and heal itself (like the Blood Throne), and IT CAN MOVE AND FIRE. Take two, and wonder what that Hell Pit was over there before it exploded. If you do take a Skull cannon rather than a Blood throne then be careful beacuse the herald of khorne modle dosnt actually fit on to a standard daemon base. (Fits perfectly on juggernaut...)
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch: Like the Skull Cannon, the Burning Chariot is another form of war-machine mounted upon "wheels" and permitted to move freely, in this case the wheels are circling air currents as the burning chariot is capable of flying. Of immediate note is it's maneuverability, whilst it does have the fly special rule, it is a chariot, which prevents it from marching the full 20", and as it is a flyer with screamers as steeds, when fleeing or pursuing you must use their movement value of 1". However, it is still capable of moving over units and objects, and it's primary form of attack makes up for its weaknesses. The Burning Chariot has 2 flavours, it can either elect to fire as a fire thrower with a S of D6(pink fire/raspberry ripple), or fire as a cannon grapeshot with a range of 12" BS4 and a S of D6+3(blue fire/Rum and raisin), these two options allow the chariot to tackle any form of unit in the game, and the ability to fly allows the Burning Chariot to get into a suitable range to maximize the damage inflicted, thus eliminating the primary weakness of all fire throwers and grape shots. In addition, when combat is joined, the chariot is perfectly capable of charging into a units rear and causing considerable damage, as not only is the chariot Scythed at S4, but the crew and steeds have 9 S4 I4 attacks between them with the screamers at WS3 and the flamer at WS4, thus allowing the chariot to easily contribute to any combat. However the Burning Chariot is incredibly fragile, especially considering that it costs 150 Pts. at T4 and 4 wounds, any concentrated fire is a serious concern, thus positioning is crucial when using one.
- Exalted Seeker Chariot: A bigger, badder seeker chariot. Watch as it turns any small block of infantry (less than 30) into little more than a speed bump with 2d6+1 impact hits, 10 armour piercing attacks from the crew and 4 poisoned attacks from those ugly fuckers in the front, all striking before anything slower than those pointy-eared bastards.
- Hellflayer of Slaanesh: Another Slaaneshi chariot. Same stats as a seeker chariot but the queen/king bitch gets bonus attacks equal to the amount of roadkill made by the impact hits.
Building Your Army
The Daemons battle force is a good place to start, otherwise start with a Herald and a block or two core. Bloodletters and Plaguebearers are good starts, expand with a Prince or a greater daemon and some supporting units like Daemonettes, Horrors or special/rare choices.
Your core can vary, with bloodletters being 14 points each you want to put them in fights that they will win, so like every other army don't have them try to toe off with warriors because their OP units of characters. daemonettes are pretty good when used as redirecting units so a few small units may not be a bad idea. nurgle plague bearers are hit and miss, like bloodletters their really hard hitting, and like to stay around, its a good unit to hold flanks. finally for core theres pink horrors, which are OK, but get worse if you don't have many magic dice, it is, however possible to run say a 10 man unit or 2, with 2 lv 2 heralds of tzeentch nearby, because the daemon magic lore attributes add daemons to nearby units of the god that the lore is for, but you get a extra horror on a 4+ instead of a 5+ like the other 2 core that can be bolstered like that, so you can have a ever growing unit if you keep magic pressure on your opponent. You also want to sneak Heralds into these units plus a special standard, though that last one is superfluous.
Flamers Beasts and Khannons or you're doing it wrong and either a Daemon Prince or a Greater Daemon (a KOS or LOC is recommended).
A good goal is to build towards one or two gods at first, and add to your collection over time, because every god by itself is fairly reliable (nurgle is arguably the best) when you mix two or more your army will quickly become a honed daemon death machine.
Daemons do not get access to magic items, which in 8th edition can be a bit of setback. However, they may purchase rolls on the Daemonic Gifts table, available to them in their army book and just like magic items, it's easy to go overboard with them. Your Greater Daemons get 100 pts. worth, Daemon Princes 75 and Heralds 50.
Remember that you can swap your gift for a points-equivalent magic weapon from the BRB. What this means is that you can actually tailor your setup based on who you are up against. For example, if you're playing against an army with high armor, you could swap your Greater Gift result for an Obsidian Blade or Ogre Blade.
- Exalted Daemonic Gifts: These bad boys come in at 75 points per gift,(unlike greater and lesser you may not chose to swap these out for generic magic item of the same value)
so only your Greater Daemons might be running these. As such, a bad roll on here will make you feel like you wasted points. After the roll is made, you may choose to keep the roll or opt for the 0 option, just like with deciding magic spells. You cannot have multiples of the same roll, and you cannot buy more than two rolls on a table.
- 0: Hellforged Artifact. Choose from a series of four magic items that may make the game even more fun:
- 1: Aura of Disruption. You get a free dispel dice each time the model is on the board and a dispel attempt is made, like some weird anti-Slann.
- 2: Sorcerous Lodestone. When anyone casts a spell, on a 5+, your Daemon regains a wound. If someone miscasts, on a 4+, your Daemon loses a wound. Why? BECAUSE CHAOS
- 3: Bringer of the Swarm. For each unsaved wound you do to a unit (and there should be many), a unit of Chaos Furies is made next to you with a number of dudes equal to how many guys wounds you did. If you can't put the unit down, you get NOTHING.
These guys count as victory pointslol no they don't.
- 4: Impenetrable Hide. +2 Toughness. Could be awesome, but everything wounds on a 6 anyway.
- 5: Massive Might. +3 Strength. Aren't you already at S6 or higher anyway?
- 6: Doubly Blessed. Roll once on this table and the Lesser table and take both, re-rolling results of 6.
- Greater Daemonic Gifts: These are worth 50 points apiece, and since you can take multiples, you have a better shot at getting what you want. Overall though this table is more or less a trap, because they are either inefficient or downright detrimental to your character's well-being. Only the armor result is really worth it.
- 0: Greater Weapon. Choose this and get either a magic weapon from the core rulebook worth up to 50 points, or get a god-specific weapon from the following page.
- 1: Unholy Sacrifice. Lose d3 wounds with no possible save to get d3+1 Power dice in your magic phase that turn. In other news,
emo Daemons are back, and that 5th Chaos God we don't speak of is trying to get out.Absolutely disgusting as d3 wounds is not worth d3+1 power dice.
- 2: Corpulence. +1 Wound. This is not worth it. 50 points for 1 wound is not that efficient. Consider getting a magic weapon instead.
- 3: Incorporeal Strike. No armor saves can be taken against this beast. Look at who you're up against. Lotsa armor? Take it. Not so much armor? Exchange it for more attacks or more strength.
- 4: Souleater. Remember Soul Stealer from the old book? It's back, but this time you only get one Wound back per combat phase.
- 5: Unbreakable Skin. +2 Armor Save that cannot be improved EVAR. Probably the best one on this table. You want your characters to stay alive, and armor certainly helps in being resilient.
- 6: Unholy Flurry. +2 Attacks. Honestly a little underwhelming. Could be worth it on a Bloodthirster because this stacks with his additional hand weapon, giving him 9 attacks in total.
- Lesser Daemonic Gifts: These are 25 points apiece, and cheap enough to make enemy characters think twice about challenging when a Herald is around. This is the table that you want multiples of, because it has more useful and effective results compared to the Greater one.
- 0: Magic Weapon. Same as the Greater Gift, but your max is at 25 points...or you could pick something your god wants you to have. If you have terrible luck, consider getting the ASF sword on your Greater Daemons since they have good strength already, the rerolls would be more beneficial.
- 1: Skill Swallower. If you slay a character in combat, increase one of your stats by 1. Your choice! This one unfortunately is not that great on account of the fact that you have to kill a character to get the benefit.
- 2: Cleaving Blow. Your guy gets Multiple Wounds (2). Consider what your opponent has. If you're up against Ogres or a monster-heavy army, then this will absolutely wreak havoc.
- 3: Crushing Mass. When you charge, your daemon pretends he's an Ogre and gets d3 Impact Hits.
- 4: Dark Blessing. You get a Luckstone! Very useful in a cannon-saturated meta. Probably almost always a must-keep. Take note that you get the 2+ ward save on your first WOUND, not your first hit.
- 5: Noxious Breath. You get a Wood Elf Dragon Breath Weapon. Not too bad.
- 6: Unnatural Swiftness. Always Strikes First, because fuck High Elves. What this also means is that you can swap your other Gift results for a weapon and still get the benefits of ASF.
Reign of Chaos
When you roll for Winds of Magic now, you take your roll and consult the table below. Some of these can help you, others can hinder and some can swing either way. Results 5, 6, 8, and 9 don't affect units locked in combat.
- 2- Everything with Daemonic Instability immediately tests for it. Okay, so not only are you going to have a useless magic phase, but now everything in your army is at risk of vanishing.
- 3- As above, but only hits one random character, so not as bad. Losing a Greater Daemon to this would really suck though.
- 4- Your Daemons' Ward Save gets gimped by 1 until your next turn. Watch the fuck out because as soon as your opponent sees this happen they will drop the hammer.
- 5- Tzeentch hurls fire throughout the battlefield. On the roll of a 6, enemy units will take a small pie plate of S4 Flaming Magical hits. Your own Nurgle dudes are at risk of getting hit too though. Just as planned.
- 6- Nurgle spreads his love. Those who embrace his love take D6+3 S3 hits with no armor saves allowed with your own Tzeentch units at risk of being hit as well.
- 7- Jack shit. Nothing happens.
- 8- Slaanesh rubs his nipples and things start dying. Lucky targets including Khornate daemons take a leadership test on 3D6 and take wounds based on the number failed by with no armor saves allowed.
- 9- Khorne makes skulls rain from the sky. More pie plates but these ones scatter 3D6 and are treated as stone thrower shots with the center template being S9 with Multiple wounds D6 and everything else being S3. Oh and Slaanesh might "accidentally" be targeted with these as well.
- 10- Your Daemons' Ward Save is improved by 1 until your next turn. Essentially the opposite of result 4. Your whole army now has Talismans of Preservation for even just a turn. Think on that for a while.
- 11- You see some of those enemy wizards? Well one of them (random choice) has to pass a leadership check or get killed. If he dies, you get a free Herald of your chosen alignment for free. Best as a Tzeentch one because you immediately generate a spell and you gain an extra channeling chance for the turn (if you need it, you did roll 11 after all). Because otherwise these Heralds have no upgrades.
- 12- A free unit of 2D6 +3 Lesser Daemons shows up anywhere one inch away from other shit. Despite this being a rare happening, you'll want to have a few extra models in case this happens because if you don't have enough models the unit doesn't enter play at all. But hey, do you see that unit of Skullcrushers about to hit your Pink Horrors' flank? Boom: block of Plaguebearers standing in their way.
There are 3 Daemon Lores, one each for Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzeentch. The lore attributes for all three are incredibly similar, as they all grant a token to one lesser daemon unit of the corresponding faction(daemonettes for the lore of Slaanesh, horrors for the lore of Tzeentch etc.) for every wound caused, each token will generate a new lesser daemon on a 5+ with the exception of horrors, which is a 4+. This also effects certain specified daemonic beasts but only on a 6+.
- Daemon Lore of Nurgle: An odd lore, clearly written for the warriors of chaos and full of garbage spells with a few fantastic gems.
- 0. Stream of Corruption: While on paper this spell is quite powerful, the problem lies in the pitiful range of the template and the inability to cast the spell on a unit the caster is currently engaged in combat with, these two factors will result in the spell seeing very little use in game unless you deem it necassery to take a flying daemon prince of Nurgle.
- 1. Miasma Of Pestilence: A basic, easy to cast buff that applies a debuff of -1 WS and I to any enemy unit in base contact with the target, by doing so you can potentially decrease the number of hits received and increase the number of hits dealt out, making this spell moderately useful, but certainly not powerful.
- 2. Blades of Putrefaction: Applies the "poisoned attacks" special rule to a friendly unit within 18" or upgrades an existing "poisoned attacks" special rule to activate on a 5+. Oddly enough, this spell is best applied to units like daemonettes, as their high number of attacks and low S will make the most of the special rule, while units like plague bearers will actually rarely make use of it, as the locus of virulence offers the exact same effect in a passive package.
- 3. Curse of the Leper: This is a fantastic spell that can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes at a handy casting value of 10+. It has a range of 18" and acts like a augment to friendly units, giving them +D3 toughness, or as a hex to your opponents units, decreasing their toughness by D3. This spell allows you to apply some much needed protection to your rather squishy units or guarantee a victory in almost any close combat.
- 4. Rancid Visitations: Another very powerful spell with a range of 18", rancid visitations inflicts D6 S5 hits on a single target unit, and unless they pass a toughness test, it will inflict another D6 S5 hits with a additional toughness test, and so it goes, on and on until the unit passes a toughness test, or it is wiped out. Now, it must be made clear that this is not a universal killer, nor is it something that you can rely upon to deliver a consistent amount of damage, it is however, very effective at thinning large units of weak infantry, and can be combed with curse of the leper to tackle even heavy infantry and monsters.
- 5. Fleshy Abundance: THE garbage spell of the lore, as it applies a 5+ regeneration save on a targeted friendly unit or increase a existing regeneration save by +1. The problem lies in all daemon units possessing a 5+ invulnerable save as basic with beasts of Nurgle being the only unit in the book possessing a natural regeneration save and Plague bearers being upgradeable with a herald with a specific(and expensive)locus. With this in mind, you could gear up a Plague bearer unit to become very powerful tank, of course, nobody wants to fight a unit of S/T 4 infantry with a 3+ regeneration save, but there is no reliable way to ensure you possesses the spell that can be done for cheap, the cheapest level 4 wizard is a 395 Pts. Nurgle Daemon prince, and a herald of Nurgle is 125 points at level 1.
- 6. Plague Wind: If Daemons had cheap access to level 4 wizards, this spell might not be too bad, but as you can see from the bullet point above, you do not have access to cheap level 4 wizards, meaning that this spell will suffer from being mainly restricted to a level 1 herald. Plague wind is a magical vortex that inflicts a number of hits on a unit equal to the number of models it passes over, for each hit, the unit must pass a toughness test or suffer a wound with no armor saves. The vortex will move a distance equal to the roll on the artillery dice multiplied by the casters wizard level. Unfortunetly the spell is far too similar to "stream of Corruption" to be of any significant use aside from charge blocking, you can however, cast this spell into combat, making it quite a reasonable threat, if at a weighty cost.
- Daemon Lore of Slaanesh: personally my favourite lore. It includes 3 hexes and other hex that can be cast as a augment and 2 direct damage and 1 magical missile, good all round really.
- Daemon Lore of Tzeentch: Still pretty much a 'shooty' lore, slinging warmachine-like spells and magic missiles left and right. Think of the lore as a less reliable, less consistent shooting phase.
- There are a few things to note about spells from this lore. All the damaging spells (i.e. magic missile and direct damage) have the Warpflame special rule. This rule causes a toughness test to be made on the unit a spell has wounded - if the unit fails, they take d3 wounds with no armor save; if they pass, they get a Regeneration save of 6+ or +1 to their existing Regeneration save. Keep in mind however, that you take a characteristic on the highest value within the unit, so be mindful of where you are aiming your Tzeentchian fires. Also, you take the Warpflame test at the end of the phase and not for each cast.
- 0. Blue Fire of Tzeentch: Most useful on your Pink Horror units, which can always take this spell if they roll poorly (i.e. did not get Infernal Gateway.) You can use this to secure your flanks from low toughness, low armor fast cavalry.
- 1. Treason of Tzeentch: One of the better spells from this lore. You can set up devastating Terror charges with this spell. This spell obviously has great synergy with the Lore of Slaanesh
- 2. Pink Fire of Tzeentch: A teardrop template that has d6 strength and goes a distance equal to a roll on the artillery dice. Arguably better on a highly mobile caster, such as a Lord of Change or a Sorcerer on a Disc, than a footslogger, because you really need a flank to maximize the damage on this spell.
- 3. Bolt of Change: A direct damage spell that acts much like a bolt thrower, but imagine it shooting energy that causes spontaneous mutations on the enemy. Like a bolt thrower, it penetrates ranks, ignores armor, and does d3 multiple wounds. It however has a strength value of d6+4, so it is strictly more reliable than the other spells from this lore. This is a valued spell as it answers the question of highly armored units.
- 4. Glean Magic: You and an enemy wizard roll off, adding your wizard levels to the result. If you lose, aside from being disappointed, nothing really happens. If you win, you get to punch the wizard with a strength 3 Warpflame hit, he loses a wizard level (along with a random spell that wizard knows), and your caster gets to steal that spell. Tactically speaking, target your opponent's lower level wizards to ensure you win the roll-off.
- 5. Tzeentch Firestorm: Rain fabulous fire on your enemies. Uses the blast template and scatters d6". Could be upgraded to the larger template, in which case it scatters 2d6". Be very wary of casting this on large high toughness units. You really don't want to cast this more than once on the same unit, as you run the risk of giving them resilience in the form of 5+ or lower Regeneration saves.
- 6. Infernal Gateway: The wizard opens a portal to the Realm of Chaos, exposing the target to the very face of magic itself. It is a direct damage spell that deals 2d6 strength 2d6 hits. If you roll an 11 or 12 on the strength, the hits become 3d6. This is a very powerful spell that ruins large units and utterly destroys small ones. It is also a very potent monster killer. Do not be discouraged by its variable nature as rolling average means that you're still doing 7 strength 7 hits. Keep in mind that it is a direct damage spell, so you only need your target to be in the caster's front arc and do not need line of sight. Aim at warmachines hiding behind units and watch those stone throwers and cannons melt.
COME AT ME, BRO!
Whether you plan on fielding a mono-god army will severely affect how you build your army. Mono-god armies can work very well. Mixed armies will take some time to find your way of using them. In my experience, an all Nurgle army can be almost indestructible, especially with Epidemius giving the whole army continuous buffs. Taking a horde of about 30-50 plague bearers (390-650pts) with a herald with the 5+ poison locus can make this a very daunting prospect. In addition, fielding a unit of 6 Beasts of Nurgle (easily possible in 1000pts) can make for a beastly 3d6+12 attacks unit; 2 of these can get your opponent to instantly give up (even before the game has begun in my case).
If you take a greater daemon then you should, if you can, make them at least level 2. I personally wouldn't bother fielding a greater daemon in any thing under 2000 points, daemon princes however act as a fairly kickass replacement in 1600 battles. The named greater daemons are good but like mention before they tend to be a bit pricy. You should really always be taking a herald and more then often give them some loci or another, just for the added kick.
Take a core unit 10 wide and 4-5 deep (40-50 models for 480-600 pts.!) and load with one herald. Tactics differ depending on the core choice:
- Bloodletters: Insert Herald with gifts, an icon, and standard and/or Skulltaker. March out into the middle of the board and be sure to get the charge for the extra S p. Be sure to support the flanks (preferably with BoNs) or your shit will get fucked up. Watch the fuck out for Chariots and Monstrous anything.
- Plaguebearers: 30 of these bad asses, a level 1 herald hopefully with curse of the leper and the greater locus and *BAM* your unit is though as nails. Poisoned makes them cause a hole lot of pain for anything tougher than them.
- Horrors: Insert a Herald with Master of Sorcery and/or standard. I usually start with a unit of ten w/ herald and as they cause unsaved wounds (made easy because of the exulted locus giving +1 S to their spells) they gain more daemons at the expense of the enemies dead.
- Daemonettes: can work well with a unit of 10-20 running 12" ahead and tying up or Even killing any enemy vanguard, however if you do this it's properly not worth adding the herald if you do that.
As a Daemon player myself, I have played many a game. I started off using mixed God lists which fell on their face- no no no, they didn't fall, they were testing gravity. After this I decided to try a mono-god list centred around Nurgle. I have not lost a game since. I have found that if you just get the minimum requirement or so of core, say a horde of 30-50 plaguebearers (390-650pts), then beef out the rest of your army with special and rare choices, you're pretty much set (that being said - don't skimp on core...a big enough unit with a herald with a locus can still make it a munchy munchy unit). As for a general, a Great Unclean One with Lv4 Wiz is a solid choice. Epidemius is a must for this army as his constant buffs can make a Nurgle oriented list almost invincible (Remember - you only need to cause 28 unsaved wounds to be able to get all the buffs ((7=+1S)(14=+1T)(21=killing blow)(28=re-roll failed ward saves)). Stick him in a big horde of plaguebearers, giving them 5+ poison and you'll do fine. Taking a couple of units of 5 or six Beasts of Nurgle can cripple almost any unit your opponent sends your way - they work especially well on the extreme flanks of your army; plant a skull cannon next to them and the field should be yours.