|Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Chaos Daemons
GUESS WHAT, FA/TG/UYS? Everyone's favourite codex author has blessed Chaos once again with a new 'dex. Keep your eyes peeled for further updates...
This is the latest Edition's tactics. 5th Edition Tactics are here.
 Why Play Chaos Daemons?
Because you secretly have a pair of loaded dice *BLAM*
Remember how bad Daemons were back in 5th edition? The army at the time was so terrible that it was almost unplayable! Daemons have returned with a new codex written by Phil Kelly and Robin Cruddace. Daemons are now a versatile and powerful, but tricky force on the tabletop. Their strengths may not be as apparent as, say, Tau or Eldar, but make no mistake; they're lethal when used right.
Anyway, these aren't the same Daemons we used to know. Phil and Robin have reinvented how the army plays in 40k, with dirt cheap troops that can be taken as a horde unit, insanely powerful Greater Daemons, Heralds actually worth fielding, and the Warp Storm table to make the results even more random and game-changing (because we wanted more of that). However, our Dark Gods thought adding more random elements would be a good idea and make the codex more interesting, but in practice, it made it more complicated and frustrating at times and can screw your Just As Planned tactics that were carefully put together, meaning you have to think carefully about everything you do. On the plus side, this can make them more FUN*, and if you happen to not like what random gift you rolled for on the table, you can always pick the weapon alternative. The possibilities are HUGE, so there's a lot to explore with the new book.
You can also now field your army just like any others, so Deep-Striking is no longer required! You can still Deep-Strike if you want to, but it's recommended that to bring Cavalry units with Icons so you can do it more safely. There're three to choose from, so you can be a bit tactical on how you set up your army depending on what you take.
You'll do fine against 6th edition books, however 5th edition books (especially Grey Knights) have a better chance against you. Even games against them can still be a lot of FUN* to play against, with the chances of the Warp Storm messing with your opponent's HQ (hilarious to see their face when you turn their Vanilla Librarian into a Herald of Khorne) or vice versa.
Enemies to look out for:
- Grey Knights - All sorts of anti-psyker, anti-daemon, anti-you rules specially designed to make you hate your life.
- Tau - Markerlighted missiles will table you in 2 turns because their drawback is in their AP, which is irrelevant against Daemons. Also they're S7, which means nothing in your codex is resilient against them except maybe a Soul Grinder or Great Unclean One with Iron Arm (if you last long enough to cast it).
- Eldar - With loads of Wraithcannon/Heavy Wraithcannon S10, even some of your Greater Daemons will suffer instant death from their shooting (the Distort rule is LETHAL). Just thank the Gods that they don't block psychic powers anymore now that all the Daemon "abilities" are now Psychic powers.
- Space Wolves - Runic Weapons have a 24" bubble that nullifies any psychic power on a roll of 4+, regardless of the target. Yeah, they can (and will) stop your prescience.
- Deep Striking is no longer required, which means you can now bring large-base models like a Soul Grinder or a Seeker Cavalcade as well as more troops in each squad.
- The whole army causes Fear. Guard and Tau will shit bricks when confronted by Daemons in CC.
- Powerful anti-infantry and close-combat.
- Awesome Greater Daemons and cheap, effective Heralds.
- Cheaper units means they can now act like a Horde army.
- The only army other than Tyranids that can bring a lot of Flying Monstrous Creatures.
- Daemonic Instability: Daemons are almost fearless, except if they lose in an assault. However, if you roll a 2, the entire unit comes back. Nothing like losing a challenge, followed by your Herald of Khorne coming back to life, Necron style, and killing their warlord in the following turn. Also those pesky psychic powers that get rid of fearless don't work on us, because technically we aren't fearless, we just imitate it PLUS we can still go to ground!
- While the random nature of the codex can be considered bad, Fateweaver and having default options offers a method of controlling the madness.
- Our Cavalry units (Plague Drones, for example) can give our troops and other units the mobility they need via Deep Strike to get into assault (Behind cover of course).
- You know how GW charge an arm and a leg for their models? For a Daemons army you can say goodbye to an eye and a testicle too. Nice kidney, GW will be taking that as well. Especially now that you'll be using more than twice as many infantry thanks to the new codex promoting horde tactics.
- Not an army for beginners. You need to know what codex you're up against and play accordingly, so knowledge of other codecies is vital.
- The whole army causes Fear, but the chances this will benefit you are slim.
- Even worse against Grey Knights now without Eternal Warrior and new dependence on psykers. (However, since you can deploy normally they can't use that annoying tactic of covering the board in warp quakes killing you before they fire a shot).
- No Eternal Warrior along with a slew of models vulnerable to instant death (Greater Daemons, Bloodcrushers, Nurglings, etc).
- The abundance of random tables can cause the result of the game to be determined regardless of tactics or strategy.
- Crappy saves and a major lack of ranged weapons except for Psychic powers.
- Daemonic Instability: Daemons are fearless, except if they lose in an assault. If failed, the unit takes wounds equal to the difference of the leadership. If a 12 is rolled, the entire unit is evaporated.
- The Warpstorm can be really annoying, with most of the rolls causing damage to your units. Take Fateweaver to "fix" this due to his guaranteed warlord trait, or take units of an opposing god with an instrument.
- Flyers, especially armour 12 ones, will wreck your face. If faced with multiple Heldrakes, just give up. Your options to destroy them are as follows
- Lash of Slaanesh: A daemon prince of Slaanesh can toss out 2D6 S6 rending shots (up to S9 if he's a psyker with Iron Arm).
- Horrors of Tzeentch: 4D6 shots, rerolling to hit from prescience and at S6 from the locus.
- Soul Grinder: BS3 and S7 means that even with prescience it will almost always take 2-3 rounds of shooting, and you may still accomplish nothing. Warp Gaze could wreck the flyer, but that's a real stretch.
- Burning Chariot: If you get really lucky, the S9 snapshots might just do it. You're firing snap shots after moving anyway so why not?
- Vector Strikes:(?) They're only S6... but hey, you could get lucky...
- Aegis Defense Line: Any models you have with at least BS3 or more can opperate it. Plus, it's cheap!
- One strategy is to put a unit of Plaguebearers with a herald of Nurgle behind this (or on a bastion) so they can camp with Shrouded and Feel No Pain while the herald makes use of his BS5. Be careful of Tau markerlights, Eldar's "reveal" psychic power, noise marines, and anything else that ignores cover.
- Blight Drones: The only flyer Daemons have. Unfortunatly, it's a Forgeworld model and only BS2. Still a decent option though.
- Hellfire Gaze: Both of the flying Greater Daemons can take this, although you must roll a 4 on the Greater Gift table to get it, and its a 50/50 if it will do anything.
 Special Rules, Warp Storms and other FUN* stuff
The new rulebook added a lot of new general stuff to this old codex. Shall we take a look?
- Daemonic Instability: Most Daemons now have this special rule. As stated above it's basically Fearless, but if you lose combat you must pass a Leadership test or take wounds, like the old No Retreat. As an additional twist, a double 6 will completely wipe out the unit, but a double 1 will return the unit to full wounds.
- Daemonic Alignment: As any neckbeard worth his salt knows, Daemons are aligned with one of the Four Big Bads, giving them some nice boons and defining which weapons, psychic powers and daemonic gifts they can take:
- Daemons of Khorne have Furious Charge and hate Slaaneshi daemons. Also their chariots' Hammer of Wrath hits count as Strength 7 (this works for the Skull Cannon too!).
- Daemons of Tzeentch have +3 Leadership on Psychic tests (for now up to a maximum of ten unless they FAQ it) and reroll saving throws of 1. They hate Nurglings.
- Daemons of Nurgle have Slow and Purposeful, Shrouded and defensive grenades. They don't like Tzeentchians.
- Daemons of Slaanesh get Fleet, Rending melee attacks and can Run or Flat-out a farther 3"(6" if Cavalry). The manly servants of Khorne make them feel inadequate.
- Icon of Chaos: It works just like before....but better! (+1 Combat resolution and no Deep Strike Scatter within 6")only works with Daemons of the same alignment, but works immediately upon arriving on the table! So precision Deep Strike away! Servants of the other gods still scatter, albeit only d6", but since you don't need to wait a turn anymore for icons it's WELL worth the trade off. Also, now you can buy god-specific icons with a special effect usable once per game:
- Banner of Blood: Unit charges 6+d6".
- Blasted Standard: Adds 2d6 S4 AP- hits to the unit's shooting or witchfire power this turn.
- Plague Banner: This turn all melee attacks are Poisoned 2+. Works great with Etherblades.
- Rapturous Standard: All enemies engaged in combat with the unit lose -d3 WS until the end of the phase.
- Attention Seeker: A Beast of Nurgle that is within 12" of an enemy that successfully charged in their Assault phase immediately charges that enemy. Pretty funny that your foe must choose to either attack the blob of meatbags or ignore them but suffer poisoned hits from them.
- Aura of Change: The Burning Chariot's HoW attacks haves the Warpflame Special Rule. Scroll to the bottom to read Warpflame.
- Blue Horrors: A funny Special Rule brought to you by Phil Kelly and Robin Cruddace. Basically any Pink Horrors that suffers a wound in close combat inflicts one S2 AP - hit (From each Horror) to the enemy at the I:1 step. In most cases, you'll need 6's to wound them, and you could cause one or two wounds if you're lucky. Nothing special, but it could help, and can cause a laugh if it manages to kill a TH/SS Terminator.
- Daemonic Resilience: Ignores Crew Shaken or Stunned on a 2+. Pretty straightforward.
- Totem of Endless Bloodletting: Khorne units within 6" of the Blood Throne benefit from the Herald's locus. Useful if you don't want to put multiple Khorne Heralds in different units, but keep in mind that the area of effect is VERY small.
- Disruptive Song: -1 Leadership on Psychic tests for the Enemy within 12". Possibly the ONLY counter we have against Grey Knights in terms of preventing them casting their annoying spells.
- Fleshshredder: Add a D6 for each Hull Point your Chariot has when making HoW attacks at S4 AP - with Rending. Makes your Seeker Chariots more threatening when charging in.
- Gorefeast: Roll a D6 when your Khorne Chariot cause an unsaved Wound from his HoW. It regains a Hull Point on a 4+. Basically an equivalent to the It Will Not Die! Special Rule.
- Slime Trail: Enemy units who were retarded enough to charge your Beast(s) will always make a disordered charge. Seriously, why would they do that? In any case, this will make Beasts of Nurgle more difficult to kill in close combat.
- Soporific Musk: Enemy units have -5 to their Initiative in the Assault Phase. This is your other source for the lack of assault grenades your Daemons carry aside from the Skull Cannon. Also helpful on those annoying Necron Canoptek Wraiths that make you I1 in close combat (For only one round though).
- Soulscent: You get one more attack for each unsaved HoW wounds you inflicted. Nice!
- Warpflame: The infamous rule that gave Tzeentch units a bad first impression. Any unit that suffers one or more unsaved Wounds at the end of each phase must pass a Toughness test. If they fail, they suffer d3 more wounds with no armour or cover saves allowed (Until it's FAQ'd, you could make an invulnerable save if you and your opponent want to). If passed however, the entire unit gets a 6+ FnP (Or add +1 to their existing FnP)! This sounds a huge turn off at a first glance, giving most of the game has infantry with a Toughness 4, but thankfully there's a way around this. Simply put, if you want to bring Tzeentch Daemons to shoot down the ranks, you will need to bring at least two BIG squads of Pink Horrors with a Herald, and you must have them shoot at the same squad to kill, if not wipe out, the unit so the benefit won't help them much. Again, choose wisely on who to target first. Firing this at Nurgle units, bikers, and Monstrous Creatures is almost always a bad idea.
 Warlord Traits
Just like any other 6th edition Codex, Daemons have their own Warlord Traits Table that must be rolled on a d6 for your selected Warlord. Most of them are quite helpful with only one (Herald of Doom) being kind of useless (and it still can be very helpful depending on who you play!)
- 1 -Death Incarnate: The Warlord's Melee weapons now cause Instant Death. This is really good on any MC and Heralds that aren't Khorne (They can get this by taking an Axe of Khorne). Tzeentch Heralds may not benefit from it much, but a Lord of Change can now kill any generic HQ with ease. Doesn't work on models with Eternal Warrior sadly. Skarbrand has this trait by default.
- 2 -Destroyer of Mortals: Woot, Hatred (Everything!) for the Warlord and his units (If he joins them). Rerolls to hit on the first round of combat is tasty indeed. Heralds with a squad will be more rapetastic in assault, with the exception of Khorne and Slaanesh Heralds, because they can take a locus with this rule (Or at least a form of it), but if they haven't, then you're in luck! Also good on a Bloodthirster or a Keeper of Secrets.
- 3 -Herald of Doom: Your foes are more scared than ever. Enemy units have a -1 penalty to their Leadership on Fear test. Muahahaha! Seriously though, this one is easily the worst trait you can roll for. It's only good on Tau, Guards, Eldar(actually not bad here if you run a Slaanesh army), Orks (In low numbers), Tyranids (Not in Synapse range) and MAYBE Necrons. Against Fearless units and Loyalist Marines, this trait doesn't do jack. Well, at least this is better than the CSM Warlord trait which only gives them Fear.
- 4 -Immortal Commander: Any friendly Daemon within the Warlord's 12" bubble can reroll failed Daemonic Instability tests. Hell yeah! You should really try and make good use of this trait, because it can make a major difference between rerolling 2d6 than losing your entire squad in assault. Best to have the Warlord charge in with multiple friendlies to enjoy the rerolls. Ku'gath has this trait, a gift from Papa Nurgle.
- 5 -Lord of Unreality: Arguably the best, as this will allow you to reroll the results on the Warp Storm table, so long as the Warlord is alive. The Warp Storm can be exasperating, so if you rolled this trait, then considered yourself to be blessed by the Dark Gods! As we all know, Fateweaver comes with this trait. Changing the results from getting a 6++ Invulnerable save to instead getting a free unit on the board? Just as Planned.
- 6 -Warp Beacon: The name is just as what you would expect, all friendly Daemons (And only Daemons) can Deep Strike within 6" of the Warlord without scattering (so long as he was on the table to start the turn). So basically this makes your warlord a 5th edition Icon, not a bad trait by any means, especially on fast moving HQ's like Bloodthirsters and Lord of Change.
 Warp Storm!
At the start of each Daemon player's shooting phase (so if you got a Daemon vs. Daemon game this is going off every turn!!) roll 2D6 and apply the matching result...
- 2 - All units with the Daemonic Instability rule must test for it. Now obviously the idea of losing models for no reason other than the codex you play is a little frustrating but this is still a REGULAR Ld TEST (unlike the next result), so at MOST you lose 4 models in a standard troop unit or 2 Wounds on a DP or Greater Daemon(THIS is pretty painful), or course thats assuming you don't roll double 6's for EVERY unit's instability check (where this to happen I'm sure your opponent would understand you throwing the table, just let them get their army off it first....this isn't their fault) . So in summary while this is pretty depressing I wouldn't consider it QUITE that army breaking (it will leave a mark though!). Note: Until it gets FAQ'd feel free to assume that you get FNP against wounds caused by instability (its not technically a save). Don't be surprised to lose 30-100 points if this result is rolled.
- 3 - One of your characters must test for Daemonic instability on a 3d6. This can be pretty painful depending on who gets hit by it, losing a GUO or a Bloodthirster to this would be a sour feeling indeed! Were this to happen you have our permission to rage. Make sure you take those cheap squad character upgrades to mitigate this.
- 4- All Models with the Daemon rule suffer -1 to their Invulnerable Saves for a round. THIS.....THIS......O This......after rolling this you can take comfort in the fact it can't get any worse. Unfortunately, your Daemons probably won't be around to celebrate the sunnier days. This is by far and away the worst possible result you can get so if the idea of it frightens you, invest in Fateweaver!
- Alternate opinion. While #4 is pretty bad, and some players simply concede upon rolling it, this result will rarely be a game changer as you should already have a 4+ cover save wherever possible. Nurgle Daemons are even less likely to get hammered by it with their Shrouded rule.
- 5 - Tzeentch compels you to roll a bunch of dice. For every six an enemy (or Nurglite) unit wins a cover-ignoring S4 AP5 large pieplate to the face.
- 6 - Every enemy or Tzeentchian unit has a chance in 6 to suffer d6 S4 AP3 hits that wound on a 4+ and ignore cover, courtesy of Papa Nurgle.
- 7 - Nothing. Remember that this the most statistically likely result.
- 8 - As a 6, but Slaanesh likes his/her hits to be S6 AP-, Rending and with a chance to hit Khornate allies.
- 9 - As a 5, but Khorne's mighty pieplates are small, S8 AP3 and have a tendency to hit Slaaneshi pussies.
- 10 - All daemons get a +1 to their Invulnerable Save for a round. Every Daemon in your army now has an Iron Halo.....I don't think I need to explain the awesomeness in that. If you honestly don't see this as a game changer, wait until you roll it than ask your opponent how they feel about it. By far the best result you could hope for.
- 11 - An enemy psyker must pass a leadership test on a 3d6 or become an Herald of your choice at your command. Oh, look-see, your precious and unique snowflake just became my new lieutenant (try a Tzeentch Herald here for free Divination trolling). Totally useless if your opponent doesn't even have a psyker on the board though.
- 12 - You get an entire unit of troops of your choice, 2d6+3 strong, completely free of charge. Lucky you. Hope you're not playing Purge the Alien.
 Random Wargear
Daemons may purchase various types of rewards, as opposed to each reward only doing one specific thing they each have a random effect that you roll for (rerolling any results that the daemon already comes with). In addition to the random effects each reward has a default choice that the player may take if they do no want the result rolled (basically a "primaris" reward), these are usually a standard weapon available to all 4 types types of daemons and a set of god specific weapons that may also be taken.
 Lesser Rewards
- 0 - Magic Weapon - If you don't like what the Dark Gods gave you, you can still fall back on a nifty special weapon. The default is the Etherblade, an AP2, master-crafted melee weapon, but there are also god-aligned alternatives: an Axe of Khorne (AP2, Instant Death on 6s To Wound), a Staff of Change (a power maul with WARPDOOM, which causes victims to explode and inflict d6 S5, AP- hits on nearby units, although this includes yourself), a Plague Flail (+1 Strength, suckers must pass a Toughness test or suffer an additional wound) or a Witstealer Sword (which has Rending and causes an additional wound on a failed Initiative test).
- 1 - Burning Blood - Every wounds suffered in combat causes d3 bolter shots to the offender.
- 2 - Cleaving Strike - A 6 to Hit doubles the attack's Strength. Cute.
- 3 - Corrosive Breath - A Flamer with +1 Strength and Armourbane.
- 4 - Spell Breaker - Adamantium Will. Not as good against Grey Knights as you expect, due to most of their psychic powers being blessings.
- 5 - Warp Breath - Range 18" S8 AP4 Assault 1 with Soulblaze. Meh.
- 6 - Warp Strider +1 to Reserve Rolls for the daemon and his unit.
 Greater Rewards
These are, without a doubt, the best choice of rewards, with a decent price and some pretty big bonuses. If you don't like what you get (and most of them are pretty sweet), you can always exchange it for one of the awesome Greater Magic Weapons.
- 0 - Greater Magic Weapon - Default is a Greater Etherblade, a +1 S, AP2, master-crafted melee weapon. Other options are a Blade of Blood (AP2 and Rampage, but Unwieldy), a Mutating Warpblade (power sword that turns slain Characters and MCs into Chaos Sp... things that never should be named), a Balesword (Poisoned 4+, Instant Death and what is basically Gauss. The ultimate anti-wraithknight when given to a flying Daemon Prince, just remember to tie up the enemy mech with another unit first lest your DP get insta-gibbed by Overwatch) or a Lash of Despair (2d6 rending attacks up to 12" away).
- 1 - Corpulence - +1 Wounds and It Will Not Die!. (funny to picture on anything Slaanesh though)
- 2 - Daemonic Resilience - Feel no Pain 4+. This + Greater Daemons = Your opponent's tears.
- 3 - Dark Blessing - Can reroll ALL Invulnerable saves.
- 4 - Hellfire Gaze - A Tau Fusion Blaster with Lance instead of Melta. Meh. Not bad on a Bloodthirster due to BS10 and lack of psychic powers.
- 5 - Touch of Uncreation - Fleshbane and Armourbane on all melee attacks.
- 6 - Unbreakable Hide - 3+ Armor Save.
 Exalted Rewards
- 0 - Hellforged Artefact - You get a special artefact of your choice.
- 1 - Doubly Blessed - You get a reroll on the table and a Lesser Reward free of charge.
- 2 - Riftbringer - At the end of the combat phase, roll 2d6 and add +1 for every three wounds the daemon caused. On a 9+ you can create a new unit of troops, just like a 12 on the Warp Storm table. Watch the Hive Tyrant flip the table after all his gaunts poof into warpspawn.
- 3 - Souleater - If the daemon causes any wounds in combat you gain a wound up to a maximum of 10.
- 4 - Unholy Frenzy - Rage and Rampage.
- 5 - Warp Tether - The first time the character would die he is instead placed in reserve with one wound left.
- 6 - Wind of Chaos - Strength 2d6 AP4 Blast, Large Blast if you roll an 11 or 12.
 Hellforged Artefacts
There's only four of them this time around, so open up your ears:
- The Eternal Blade:Frankly, with a name like that I expected something a little more impressive. It's a close combat weapon that gives its user +1 Strength and +d3 WS, Initiative and Attacks. On one hand, even a humble Herald can become a rapetastic murder-machine, but having AP- will get you in trouble against anything with a decent save (i.e. just too many things, what with the five and more Marines codices we've got around). On the other, giving it to a Greater Daemon (other than the Bloodthirster and Keeper of Secrets) or Prince can solve this little problem (on average, a Daemon Prince will be WS10 S7 I10 A7-that's even better than a Keeper of Secrets or Bloodthirster in terms of damage output!), but do you REALLY, absolutely need to be WS or I 10 instead of 9? Slap it on a Lord of Change or a Great Unclean One if you REALLY wanna get the most out of the stat buff.
- The Portalglyph: Simply put, it's a Random Daemon Generator: it sits around as an immobile vehicle with 12 Armor all around and 1HP, and every turn there's a 50% chance it will spawn a unit of d6 Daemonic Troops of your choice. If you hope you can just place it behind a building and enjoy an endless tide of free reinforcements though, think again: the blasted thing must be summoned during the game and scatters 4d6" from its owner. At least it can't suffer a mishap...but considering other options and how few troops actually come in (and how many VP they could give away - this is kind of a moot point since you roll for daemonic rewards the same time as warlord traits which is after mission type. Therefore if you're playing purge the alien, do not select this artefact. Simple.) try something else most of the time. The true purpose of the portalglyph is to spawn tarpits to tie up shooty squads for a turn, sure even a 6 man squad will get killed in 1-2 turns but you prevent them from shooting at bigger units and they could serve as late game objective grabbers. But really, the points are better spent to just take more troops the normal way.
- The Doomstone:The doomy stone of doom is actually a pretty nifty assassination tool. At the start of each fight sub-phase, all non-daemon characters in the same combat as the bringer of doom must pass a Leadership test or permanently lose d6 Leadership for the rest of the game, and if they reach 0 they're DOOMED, no ifs and no buts. Could be hilarious against characters who rely on psychic powers (Hello Mrs. Farseer! Hello again, Mr. Vampire Emo Faggot!). The problem with this is that it will usually be on a big Greater Daemon, where the Eternal Blade would allow you to just kill the enemy instead of waiting for the doomy stone of doom to do its work. The other problem is that most characters you care about killing aren't going to fail leadership tests very often.
- The Grimoire of True Names: Funny, this used to be an anti-daemon tool in the Daemonhunters army, Phil Kelly and Robin Cruddace must love the irony. A powerful defensive tool with a catch. On a 3+ the user can improve the Invulnerable save of a single friendly unit by +2 (so to a 3++ in most cases), but on a 1 or 2 it's instead worsened by -1. Alternatively, in a mirror match you can use it to debuff the save of enemy daemon units. It can be especially useful with Kairos Fateweaver who allows a single dice to be re-rolled. Also, seeing as Tzeentchian daemons reroll Invulnerable save rolls of 1, this can bring Fateweaver to a 2++ rerollable.
The problem here is that Fateweaver is rarely a priority target due to the Change powers being less-than-good (What is up with the master of magic being so terrible at it?) and the remaining powers being random They'll still target Fateweaver regardless. Sure, while the Change powers are mediocre, Biomancy and Telepathy primaris powers are pretty good, the former being a TEQ killer, and the latter OMNOMNOMs horde squads with low LD. Combining the those two and the primaris Change power can still do a good amount of damage.
 Daemonic Loci
Now Heralds may take a special upgrade called a Locus, giving a special bonus to themselves and any unit they join. Unlike most things in the book you can actually choose which one you want, although there are limitations based on the herald's allegiance. A cookie if you guess which belong to which god.
- Lesser Locus of Abjuration: Gives Adamantium Will to the unit for a 5+ Deny the Witch! save. This one really depends on what army you're going up against. Eldar or Tyranids? This one's probably a good bet. For a take-all-comers list, however, the bonus is simply too slight to justify taking this over Khorne's Greater or Exalted Loci. Also, remember that it's not all that useful against Grey Knights either way.
- Lesser Locus of Transmogrification: When a Pink Horror is slain, the unit gains d3 Blue Horror tokens instead of one. It's a cheap, melee gimmick. Since your Horrors shouldn't be in close combat anyway, it's probably rarely a good choice, but if you have a few more points to spare, it could be useful.
- Lesser Locus of Virulence: 6s to Hit always wound on a 2+. Adds a bit more punch to your plagues, alright for 10 points.
- Lesser Locus of Grace: Move Through Cover. Good on Slaanesh cavalry and chariots.
- Greater Locus of Fury: RAGEEEE!!! This little Locus is essential on Bloodletters, being the cost of a Bloodletter and a half but boosting their melee punch far more than that. It's not as good on other units, since they generally have plenty of attacks to begin with, considering it's the same price as the Exalted Locus.
- Greater Locus of Change: The whole unit's Strength is randomized at the start of each turn. This cannot end well.
- Greater Locus of Fecundity: Feel no Pain. Makes Plaguebearers who are in cover harder to crack than terminators.
- Greater Locus of Swiftness: +5 Initiative (WHAAAAAA...?)
- Exalted Locus of Wrath: HATRED (against EVERYTHING)!!! It's the same price as the Greater Locus, but this one is far more useful to Khornate units that aren't Bloodletters, since they have more attacks anyway. That being said, this shouldn't be considered absolutely necessary; it's a neat boost, but it also requires a (comparatively expensive) Herald to run with the unit.
- Exalted Locus of Conjuration: +1 Strength to all Psychic Powers. Pretty straightforward.
- Exalted Locus of Contagion: 6's to Hit generate an additional hit that always wounds on a 4+. Go kill some MCs.
- Exalted Locus of Beguilement: Reroll all failed to Hit rolls, the opponent must always accept your challenges and YOU decide who accepts.
 Unit Analysis
- Bloodthirster: This guy is your basic "big stabby HQ". He is an unholy rape train, with WS10, I9, 6A, and he comes with an Axe of Khorne (AP 2 and rolls To Wound of 6 cause ID), a Lash of Khorne (S6 AP2 shooting attack, albeit with only a 12" range), and Warp-Forged Armour (a 3+ save a la power armour). He comes standard as a Flying Monstrous Creature, which lets you swoop around the field assaulting whatever you want. Remember that you can Vector Strike (to troll people) and use Smash Attacks (to crush tanks to death). Although he can technically be seen as an anti-air choice, don't rely on him, since you can't assault flyers and the Lash of Khorne (your only shooting attack) is a.) short-ranged and b.) only S6 (which will have trouble penetrating most flyers). He gets the three levels of Gifts, most of which make him even better, but also make him cost a fair bit more and unlike the other Greater Daemons, he doesn't really need upgrades to make him a total badass. He is worth every point of his cost. Just keep the force weapons as far away as possible!
- Skarbrand, the Exiled One - Skarbrand is now a beast! Cheaper than a normal Bloodthirster, he balances the loss of wings and Fleet with +1I and +1A from the two close combat weapons (on top of a Bloodthirster's already ludicrous statline), and his aura gives him and all units within 12" Rage and Hatred (though that does include enemy units as well,
so this can backfire horribly you should only worry about it benefiting Grey Knights, other than that, the buffs will benefit you more than your enemies unit, since you are a melee-oriented army after all!). Oh, I almost forgot: now ALL HIS ATTACKS HAVE INSTANT DEATH AND FLESHBANE OR ARMOURBANE! I'm not kidding when I say that anything he gets a charge on is already dead. HE HAS NO BRAKES! He can defeat any CC character in the game on the charge, aside from Kaldor Draigo (whose Daemon-killing shenanigans will still mess him up). Even the Swarmlord will be annihilated. The problem is that like the Black Mace Daemon Prince he lacks defensive power and while some might say T6 is enough, most CC beasts have S8+ weapons that are AP3 or lower and let's be honest - a 5++ save isn't going to stop him from taking 2-3 wounds. Be sure to grab the Grimoire of True Names to fix this problem, and Deep Strike this beast so he can get to the thick of it!
- Angron (Forge World/Apocalypse) - Hell yes! At first glance Angron looks like a slightly buffed (+1 W,I,A) Bloodthirster at literally twice cost. His master-crafted instant-death sword is pretty nice to take out other monstrous creatures, and big 12" bubble of -1 Ld is good too, but the main reason you take him is his retinue of 2-12 Bloodthirsters.
Just think of it - 13 Bloodthirsters IN ONE SQUAD. All of them are characters. Do you remember magical wound tricks of nob biker squads before they were stripped out of character status? Well, Angron's death squad can do it (Where do people get this idea? Nowhere does it say that they form a squad - they're an Apocalypse Formation, and like all Formations, they remain separate units at all times. And they're not Independent Characters, so none of them can choose to join each other, or anything else. They couldn't do this in 4th or 5th edition, and they still can't do it in 6th edition, either before or after the Codex and Apocalypse updates). And everything they charge would die - even Aetaos, Scabeiathrax and An'ggrath (though, this would never happen, cause Angron and An'ggrath are good fellows). On Armageddon this squad wiped out ONE HUNDRED Grey Knights, and they totally could do it on the board.
- An'ggrath (Forge World/Apocalypse) - Costs thrice as much as a normal Bloodthirster pointswise at a whopping 888 points (you don't want to know how many pounds his model costs) but is an unholy monster in close combat - anything within range of his axe is pretty much dead but is just too stupid to realize it. And when I say "anything", I really mean anything - not even a Imperator titan or Hierophant would survive close combat with this thing. His melee capability is pretty much unmatched; if it's in base contact with him, it's going to be dead within the turn. He costs A LOT and is a massive firemagnet, but as a flying monstrous creature he is now insanely durable (as in T8 2+/3++ save with FnP that you can only hit on 6's durable), and can rip apart enemy fliers. On the plus side, he eats titans and superheavies like Abaddon eats people; hell he could eat Abaddon for breakfast. He gets +D6 attacks on the charge and has a lovely 2+ Deny the Witch. Thanks to the new Gargantuan Creature rules he can now be locked in close combat so be wary of tarpits should anything survive your charge. On the brighter side you now no longer have to trade all of your attacks to Stomp attack, so once you have launched all of your strength 10 AP 2 Instant Death on 6's hits, throw down some Stomp attacks on anyone that managed to survive. He's still overpriced though - Zarakynel does it almost as well for 222 points less, regenerates wounds and Dat Ass....
- Great Unclean One - Sixth edition reworked how these guys roll. Tough as mutated nails and scary in close combat with a variety of decent upgrades you don't need (but might want). Only problem is, he's slower than a snail and can't run in the shooting phase or after he deep strikes. The big guy now can actually Feel Pain, but he's been bumped up to Toughness 7 and 6 Wounds with Shrouded. In close combat, beware of tarpits, you "only" get 5 attacks, and may be stuck in a fight for the rest of your game. To become an unstoppable force AND an immovable object, take the Eternal Blade and a greater gift, and take 3 Biomancy powers for Iron Arm goodness. Just As Planned. Always take mastery level 3 whenever possible, this makes the great unclean one so much more worthwhile. Seriously, there is a ton of good shit you can roll up, and with three levels you're bound to at least get something good.
- Ku'gath, The Plaguefather - A Great Unclean One that's a bit more expensive than a regular Great Unclean One. Don't be fooled by the shiny AP3 Large Blast. Only Psyker Level 1 and no rewards mean this guy is a great deal weaker than a pimped out GUO. But he gets stuff that regular GUO's can't even buy, for example he is even BETTER in melee than a regular Great Unclean One and he gets to throw AP3 Poisoned 4+ Large blasts with BS3 at the enemy every turn! Oh, and one last thing. He has no model, and apparently he travels around on a pontoon-like palanquin filled with laboratory instruments carried by an entire battalion of Nurglings. So before you go spending hundreds of dollars (and hours! Jesus!) on converting this model, just use a regular Great Unclean One model (or a Forge World Daemon of Nurgle) and say that he decided to walk today. Nobody will mind. (Also he can have nearby Nurglings gain a wound back every turn.)
- Scabeiathrax (Forge World/Apocalypse) - Will never, ever, ever, ever die. He is to Great Unclean Ones as An'ggrath is to Bloodthirsters. Though he costs 777 points, with 6 wounds, Feel no Pain (4+), Invulnerable saves (3++), Daemon of Nurgle (Shrouded), and toughness 9 (which means that heavy bolters and down can't hurt him and he has a pretty good chance of just laughing off lascannons on toughness alone) there is practically nothing in the game that will kill him. He has a bunch of Nurgling attacks, though not that many of his own - but any wounds he inflicts become 2 wounds to the model he strikes should they fail a toughness test. Additionally should anything that doesn't have Mark of Nurgle or is not a Daemon be within 6" of him they must take a toughness test or suffer a wound with no armor or cover saves allowed. This helps considerably should some asshat try to keep him locked in close combat thanks to the new Gargantuan Creature rules. He's kind of like Typhus if Typhus were mutated by nuclear waste that had Papa Nurgle had spilled his latest concoction on. He's a big firemagnet, but given the amount of effort it takes to kill him; that won't do shit to him and in fact will be very good for the rest of your army.
- Keeper of Secrets - Similar to the Bloodthirster except fleet and tricksy instead of flying and beefy. He lost his big bag of tricks and now must rely on random Rewards like anyone else, but again they pumped his stats like crazy (WS9 I10 anyone?). Not to mention at 170 pts base he is a STEAL for a T6 monstrous creature, and with Fleet and an extra 3" Run move he's quite mobile for a footslogging MC. Pair him up with a Bloodthirster and go crazy. That said, he's not a CC killer in the same way that the 'thirster is. Despite an awesome statline, he's more geared towards mowing down the rank and file than taking on anything terribly strong - without the Flyer-related defences of a 'thirster or KoS, or the durability of a GUO, T6, 5 wounds and only a 5++ will not last long against most challenge-geared HQs or heavy shooting, but his high WS and Init will ensure most troops will be hitting him on 5s long after he's torn through them. Greater Rewards will mitigate your survivability issues somewhat, as 4 out of 6 will increase your defenses in some way. As a situational bonus, the Keeper of Secrets now has Preferred Enemy against Eldar and Dark Eldar. Given the prevalence of the former due to the new codex, this may come up more than you'd think.
- Zarakynel (Forge World/Apocalypse) - Essentially the An'ggrath of Keeper of Secrets. While she is the weakest of the Uber Greater Daemons at 666 points, she is no slouch and will bring massive levels of oh so literal assrape to everything in her long reach. She has an incredibly high initiative (though oddly lower than a normal Keeper of Secrets) allowing her to attack first pretty much all the time, and her enormous weapon skill stat will pretty much guarantee a hit, ignoring invuln saves (currently the only thing that does in close combat) AND inflicting instant death. Add that to a very high speed and she will pretty much always get where she's needed to bring about pincer clawed butt rape. So essentially, like Lucius the eternal turned up to eleven.
- Lord of Change - What Bloodthirsters are to stabbing LoCs are to shooting. If you're going down the shooty path, be sure to bring Pink Horrors with Heralds, just so your opponent doesn't get Feel no Pain (Even if you do grant them FnP, in most cases the unit will only have a few models left by the time they get it, unless you're shooting at MCs or Nurgle bikers, in which case you were stupid for trying anyway). For a melee LoC, take the Psyker (Master Level 3) upgrade with full Divination, The Eternal Blade & a Staff of Change and you have a LoC that's hitting like a Bloodthirster! Do not sleep on these guys! They are the most versatile Greater Daemon in the book; buff, combat, or shooting, take your pick 'cause he does it all.
- Fateweaver, Oracle of Tzeench - THE Psyker of 40k (Level 4) with a points decrease and two heads that are always better than one. Each head knowing all the Change powers (but they're not all that great anyway) as well as randomly generating a power from all the standard disciplines except for Telekinesis. No longer flees when things don't go just as planned. Overall a very deadly flying psyker. Use the Grimoire of True Names on him and watch him become harder to kill than before! Do not take him into CC, he doesn't belong there, doesn't like it there and will turn you into something that shan't be named if you bring him there. Use his staff to reroll WHATEVER THE HECK YOU WANT!!! A fun little trick with it is manipulating the warpstorm table; say you roll a 6 and a 1? Using Kyros's warlord trait is risky cause one of your die are high already, instead, use his one die ability and reroll the 1, now at worst your result is a 7-12! So yea, be creative, you have an army wide chronometron so enjoy it!
- Aetaos'Rau'Keres (Forge World/Apocalypse) - 999 points of pain. Ironically, for the oldest LoC in existence his shooting attacks aren't that great. On the other hand he gets lots of them along with the ability to call down apocalyptic barrages and bounce psychic abilities. What's really going to have you rocking a permanent troll face though is that he gets a flamer template boon of mutation, a 20" move and flying monstrous creature rules, allowing you to reduce entire squads, ICs and all, to piles of spawn allowing you to increase the size of your army at the cost of theirs, giving you an excuse to have lots of chao... things at very long last, all while laughing at incoming ground fire with his high toughness, large number of wounds, 3++ invulnerable save, and flyer rules. Pretty much, he's like Ahriman on steroids, lots and lots of steroids. When he shows up, stuff will blow up in copious quantities and you will lay down so much firepower you'll make touhou look conservative by comparison. Any army that's tightly packed will pretty much cease to exist the moment he's in range, leaving only spawn and ashes in his wake. To add to that, he's pretty damned durable too and can whack enemy fliers with his magic stick/shoot them with mind bullets, and despite not looking very intimidating, he still can take out titans, or at least lock them in close combat. If you see this guy leading a tetragon of darkness you're getting screwed. The only winning move is to find the tournament organizer and punch them in the throat.
- Daemon Prince - Your customizable killing machine, and with WS 9, S6, I8,and 5 attacks it's not to be sneezed at - and that's before the God-specific benefits of Marks. Most of the time these guys won't be your HQ if you like your Greater Daemons, because when you buy a Greater Daemon of your choice God, a Daemon Prince of that God moves to a Heavy Support choice (Similar to the Tyranid Tervigon, except they're taken as Troops). Its strength is that it can be tailored to your liking. CC monster? Spellcaster? Vector-Striking flyer? He can do it all if you're willing to shell out the points - which brings us to the main flaw; it will become more and more costly as you upgrade it (see Alternative Opinion below). Still, a good choice nonetheless, but in most cases you should consider investing your points to the more powerful Daemons and take this Build-a-Daemon as your Heavy support choice. Must be upgraded to a Daemon of a Chaos God (one of them had to promote the lucky mortal after all). Be warned that you will need to roll a d6 on those upgrade tables to find out what gift it'll take, so pray that you get what you're hoping for. Try Greater and Exalted gifts here to bring him up to Greater Daemon standards.
- Alternative Opinion - Yes, the Daemon Prince is still powerful, even though it's more fragile, and yes, it does have access to more psychic powers than the Greater Daemons, but the major problem is not only can it get killed more easily than, say, a Keeper of Secrets, but they're overpriced if you kit them out more. In other words, it would cost more for making a Tzeentch Daemon Prince do the same as what the Lord of Change can do and making him better in close combat (which will cost about 345 pts with two Greater Gifts, Wings and Armour, and making it Psyker Master Level 3). As such, when building a Daemon Prince, it would be wise to make it different to any of the Greater Daemons, which is again expensive. This is one of the reason why I would recommend taking either a Keeper of Secrets or a Great Unclean One. Not only are they cheaper and more durable, but they allow you to take a Daemon Prince (The same god as them of course) as a Heavy Support choice. This isn't saying that the Prince is bad, it just becomes overpriced faster than you can say "HERESY"! To be fair, there are good builds that can still make it both cheap and effective, but more fragile.
- A flying nurgle prince with a balesword can run as low as 220pts, and will wreck most other monstrous creatures. Take one (or more) against riptides, wraithknights, every tyranid player, and other daemon armies.
- Uraka the Warfiend (Forge World) - One of two named Daemon Princes from Forgeworld. His stat line remains unchanged except for Ld 9 and he costs 200 points now. His axe lost Instant Death but gained Fleshbane and Decapicating Blow to compensate. Uraka's added goodies include a nice shiny Collar of Khorne, Warp Forged Armor, and Unholy Frenzy. This is cool and all but he is still likely to get shot to death before he does anything productive. Still not enough of a badass to make us believe he beat a Bloodthirster before gaining daemonhood.
- Mamon, Daemon Prince of Nurgle (Forge World) - The other FW named Daemon Prince. His stats are similar to a Great Unclean One, putting him at WS7, S6, T7, 5 wounds, I4, 4 attacks and Ld 9. Throw in Feel no pain, Poisoned 2+, Daemon of Nurgle and a poisoned 2+ AP3 template weapon. Not bad at all.
- Be'lakor The Dark Master- A returning character from Fantasy, Be'lakor gets the EW rule that regular Daemon Princes lack and is a Level 3 Psyker with all Telepathy Discipline by default. He comes with the unique rules Shadow Form (4+ invulnerable save and Shrouded and automatically passes Dangerous Terrain tests) and Lord of Torment (gains a bonus D3 Warp Charge points by making enemy units fail morale checks). He also has wings and possesses a unique weapon called the Blade of Shadows (S+1, AP2, Fleshbane, Armorbane, and Master-Crafted). He also doesn't need to be devoted to a chaos god, as he serves all of them. At 350 points, he's a flat upgrade to the basic Daemon Prince and cost-effective to boot.
The following HQ selections are Heralds and differ from the Greater Daemons and Princes because up to four Heralds may be taken in a single HQ slot in a primary detachment, meaning you could have lots of them if you wanted to (but not as an allied detachment). The following count as Heralds: Skulltaker, Karnak, Epidemius, and the Changeling as well as the four generic Heralds. The Masque and the Blue Scribes don't however.
- Herald of Khorne - WS7, BS7, and initiative 6 - the Herald of Khorne is a 55 point character/TEQ killer. Just watch out for the strike back, because you're only 6+ 5++... As for what to equip him with, either the Etherblade or Axe of Khorne, really depends on what you want to throw him in. If you plan on butchering units with your unit of choice, the Etherblade is a better choice. The Axe is ment for challenges and chopping the heads off of Monstrous Creatures, so take that instead if wish to spill blood in a badass way.
- Blood Throne of Khorne - Your personal Khornate Pimpmobile. It's the slowest but toughest of the chariots (Armor 12 with 3 HP, with a 50% chance to regain one every-time it wounds something), and its Hammer of Wrath attacks are at Strength 7. It offers your Herald good protection and mobility, but more than anything else it broadcasts his Locus to all Bloodletters within 6". Just imagine this massive blob of power weapons with either 3 attacks each on the charge or Hatred for everything...
- Skulltaker - The new book changes how he rolls. WS9 I9 4A, 3+ Armor, Eternal Warrior, Adamantium Will for the whole unit and a power sword with Soul Blaze that has Instant Death when you roll a 6 To Wound. All this at the bargain price of 100 points. Yeah, he must always issue and accept challenges, but if he's not actively hunting the opponent's most dangerous character you're doing it wrong. Put him on a Juggernaut with at least three Bloodcrushers to Look Out Sir, and watch as he gets into combat much faster than last edition (He still keeps his 3+ Armor save with this option). Unfortunately he lost his 4+ rending so The Taker of Skulls will be decapitated by models with a 2+ and is rarely more useful than a standard Khorne herald with an
Etherblade Axe of Khorne. I think the main use of Skulltaker is in 500-1000 point games as he is only 100 points or 145 points with his upgrade and can beat anyother non 2+ save HQ into the pavement.
- Does anyone know why the hell the only model that kept eternal warrior is one with 2 wounds? (Yeah, because he's ment to take on challenges against psykers and MEQs, so Eternal Warrior prevents him from getting insta-killed from Force Weapons. Even better, if he decides to ride on a Juggernaut, he can join Bloodcrushers and soak up those pesky krak missiles, while the Bloodcrushers can handle small arms fire, making the unit better in terms of survival.)
- Karanak - This big ol' doggy is made for hunting down special snowflakes. You can nominate one at the start of the game: Karanak will get to re-roll ALL To-Hit and To-Wound rolls against him/her/it, and at that point it's only a matter of getting him in melee. Don't think that daemon-Cujo here is a one-trick pony though. He's got a better statline than a vanilla Herald, Hates everyone and everything, gives his whole unit Rage and as a frosting all psykers within 12" suffer Perils of the Warp on a double (problem, Grey Knights?). All this for a only 120 points. Alternatively, putting him in a squad of Bloodletters isn't a bad idea, because his Loci grants Rage, and MEQs will be slaughtered by them, especially with Karanak's marked Hatred! Not the best way to use Karanak, but an interesting combo none the less.
- Herald of Nurgle - These guys actually got a buff this time around. They have got high WS, BS, S and T but MAINLY provide your Plague units with FNP. These guys can be Psykers and can take from Plague and Biomancy. Keep them lv 1 and take Plague for either some very nasty witchfires or an amazing blessing that turns your Plaguebearers into scary CC killers (and because it's a blessing no Deny the Witch!). They also hit at Initiative 4 with AP 2 (if you give them the Etherblade) which is awesome as you can actually kill something relatively tough without being killed first! Can't recommend these guys enough!
- Epidemius - As of the new codex, Epidemius got nerfed hard. He's only just usable in a Nurgle based army. He could possibly pump up your units to absurd levels, so long as they are Daemons of Nurgle within 6". Now as he only has a 6" bubble that he gives buffs to (+1T, +1S, +1FNP, etc) and he only buffs Daemons of Nurgle, not Mark of Nurgle, he will be rarely used. The Buffs got better but the area of effect makes him far less useful than before, especially as he doesn't even give FNP to his unit to start with like a cheaper Herald could.
- Herald of Slaanesh - A decently balanced faster unit. Give her an Etherblade, Greater Loci of Swiftness and a Steed of Slaanesh or Exalted Chariot. Stick her in a squad of Seekers so that you have yourself an angry mob of initiative 10 Daemons being lead by an even bigger Daemon with AP2, or a squad of angry fast Rending machines on Speed.
- The Masque - The Masque is only 75 points. She is now 5++ with re-roll and three dances to choose from that debuff -5 to WS another to BS with no overwatch and one that causes them to literally dance themselves to death. Debuffing BS -5 and preventing overwatch sounds particularly delicious. She can't join units so be extra careful with her.
- Herald of Tzeentch - A lot of dakka in a small package. Upgrade to Mastery 2/3 and if you roll on Change, hope for the third power or take the primaris and roll all others on divination. A lot of dakka with great div buffs zipping around on a disk is very effective. A solid choice. The chariot he can take has weaker armor than a rhino (10 on all sides) meaning that bolters can glance it to death with sixes. Better off on a disk. This guy is amazing if you roll an 11 on your warpstorm, since the new Herald has to be BASIC and Tzeentch Heralds happen to be Psykers as basic, so you gain a nice Divination bonus for free, whereas the other Heralds are only really usable with upgrades.
- The Changeling - Now works similarly to the fantasy Changeling, with the caveat that you only alter your own profile. You can replace any or all of your WS, Strength, Initiative, toughness, and/or attacks with that of a single model in base contact. Might be useful to tie up a generic close combat character, but will quickly get outclassed by anything with special snowflake gear. Statistics will never be in the Changeling's favour. The best you can hope for is 50%, given the target has no wargear at all. One fun trick is against characters that have an 'X' or '*' for their characteristic like Crowe's attacks. Since this means the longhand description counts as his characteristic, you copy that as well. The question is: do you use the same stance as Crowe, choose your own, or just copy the number of attacks and forgo the rest of the benefits? Discuss this with your group before playing while we wait for an FAQ, but you may have to wait a while as GW doesn't seem to care much about FAQing rule discrepancies in the Daemons codex. It's been months and all we have are some corrected typos.
- The Blue Scribes - Cheap multi-purpose character who should be kept out of melee at all costs. They lost "Watch this!" and now have a Hellforged Artefact "Scrolls of Sorcery" for which each turn you choose a discipline, roll d6(no primaris swap) and auto-manifest the power with no tests needed and no charges expended(as they aren't actually psykers) and a spell siphon ability that recycles used charge points by enemy psykers on a 6.
- Bloodletters of Khorne - Now only 10 pts. Bloodletters are overall okay. MEQ armies will piss themselves with fear when they hear that Bloodletters' close combat weapons are power swords. Then they'll realize Bloodletters don't have any grenades, have a poor invulnerable save, have no armour saves and their swords are AP3, so TEQ will eat them for breakfast. On the plus side, they're now a lot cheaper, so horde tactics are a good call. Deepstriking a unit of 'letters with an instrument allows you to call down another Khornate daemon unit. Bloodletters' main problem is their low number of attacks (1 base). While Bloodletters will decimate MSU units, they will get mowed down by hordes due to their low number of attacks. Also marine squads of 15+ (CSM) will beat them in close combat through sheer volume of attacks if outfitted with close combat weapons; or the 'letters will mostly be dead by the time they get into combat and will be taken down by sheer weight of numbers. There are ways round this though. If you give them a Herald with a Locus give them Greater Locus of Fury (Rage) - it helps remedy their low number of attacks. The Exalted Locus (Hatred) is a bit worse and more expensive, as they'll already hit most stuff on 3's. Another problem is that they will always endure at least 1 turn of shooting (if not 2) so unless your opponent ignores them they will have lower numbers when they get into combat. The Blood Banner is essential here, greatly improving their chances of getting a successful charge in; and the Character upgrade can be effective especially with access to that Axe of Khorne.
- Daemonettes of Slaanesh - Clocking in at 9pts each, they have Fleet and Rending as standard. Like every other force organization slot, the Slaanesh unit is faster and more fragile than the Khorne unit just as the Nurgle unit is slower but more durable. They're designed to tie up the enemy before they have a chance to use their ranged weapons, and now that they're not forced to deep strike their whole strategy is actually possible. They still have to foot-slog it though, so we're still back at square 1 (unless you Deep Strike them). Now that they're only 9 pts. a model, you can take a lot of them, which might even out your odds... maybe... However, they are better than Bloodletters in CC because they have more attacks, are faster, and don't fold to TEQs. Speaking of which, they will rape TEQs. Example: 9 Daemonettes and 1 Alluress cost 95 points, same as 3 Chaos Terminators and are putting out 21 attacks, hitting on 3s, wounding on 4s. With Rending they'll kill a 3 man squad in 1 turn most of the time. If you take a Herald go ahead and spring for the Exalted Locus (reroll all To Hit rolls); it gives them more teeth (something they lack) and ups their likelihood of getting a rend.
- The Great Promenade of Exquisite Excess (Apocalypse only) - If you play Apocalypse, you may want to look into this. The new Apocalypse book has this nasty Slaanesh Formation consisting of the Masque and six squads of Daemonettes and/or Seekers. They must be kept in reserve and deep strike when they come in, but can assault when they come in and Rend on a 4+. This will be guaranteed to throw your opposing team off guard, so if you're feeling horny and have the models this is highly recommended.
- Pink Horrors of Tzeentch - 9 Pts per model again and the only troops choice with ANY ranged fire - but they shoot SPELLS! Remember how the WFB horrors could use daemon magic? Yup, same deal here. Now you can pack together a huge group and start blasting stuff! They generate Change powers only though, potentially dealing your enemy FnP, but large squads backed by Heralds will mitigate this through sheer volume of fire. When one of them is slain in combat, it becomes a Blue Horror Token, which turns into a S2 hit against the enemy. Due to Flickering fire (unless you went with another psychic power, which is going full retard) being a Witchfire power, they can't Overwatch and with WS3 and Str3, you are royally screwed in close combat (Actually with WS3 they are a decent and cheap tarpit unit now - see below). Another problem is that while you can end up with 24 strength 6 re-rolling shots, you could also end up with just 4. Always bring a Herald. Upping Flickering Fire to S6 and Divination letting them re-roll to hit means that units of Horrors can pour down tremendous amounts of dakka.
- Alternative Opinion - While Pink Horrors are no longer the best troops for Daemons, they have one trick up their sleeves: Go to Ground. Since Daemons now have a watered down version of Fearless, you can go to ground behind ruins and get a
2+ 3+ cover save(You get +1 to cover saves so Ruins 4+ to 3+ when GtG which makes this entire tactic less desirable...However, put them behind an Aegis and GtG and you will get the +2 bonus to cover saves which the Aegis grants, giving them all a re-rollable 2+ cover save!). The catch here is that all Tzeentch units reroll failed saves on a 1, so you can reroll it and take very little to no casualties! Of course this doesn't work when they get charged or they get hit by cover ignoring weapons. Still, Pink Horrors are now arguably better than Plaguebearers at tarpitting. Bringing them as allies to your CSM camping on an objective is a solid choice.
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle - The creme of the troop crop. Plaguebearers may have lost FnP and got their toughness docked by 1, but they got a dramatic points reduction in exchange. They get Shrouding as part of their new deal, so as before they're still great at holding objectives. Since they are no longer Fearless and have Shrouded they can go to ground for 2+ in any cover. Also now their attacks always glance on a 6, which means that these are your anti tank. A massive unit of these with a Herald could march across the board and kill a hell of a lot of stuff that your other units might struggle with (see Wraithlords and AV13 Walkers). If you take a Herald, take the Greater Locus of Fecundity (Feel No Pain) to make camping Plaguebearers unkillable or to survive the march to your enemies' vehicles. Or you could bring Plague Drones/Seekers/Bloodcrushers with Icons to get them where you need to go, which is a better idea because they have Slow and Purposeful. These guys definitely need a Herald to give them their FNP back to truly shine at backfield objective camping. Otherwise they're a few markerlights away from oblivion.
- Nurglings - A four wound tarpit, Nurglings have lost their amazing Eternal Warrior and are now incredibly vulnerable to instant death. Also they cannot capture objectives like other troops, due to the swarm rule. The good news is they have the Infiltrate Special Rule, and they're decent at distracting units with a lot of dakka and missile launchers, allowing your assaulting units to move up and chop them to pieces. Taking about 6 should do the job, but taking more isn't a bad idea. Just don't expect them to do much.
- If playing apocalypse, you can usually find a place behind the enemy to infiltrate to. Take a bunch of 3-base units and DISTRACTION CARNIFEX.
- Beasts of Nurgle - Toughness 5, 4 Wounds, Shrouded and It Will Not Die? Beasts are amazing tarpitters, and can even charge in the enemy's assault phase. Yes you read that right. One of the best countermeasures to your weaker units being charged in the book. They last forever and will hang around long enough for hopefully some one else to come and help. Pairs well with Plague Drones, BUT remember to keep them in cover! They are Beasts, and as such they ignore difficult terrain, so take advantage of the free saves. Great as road bumps for Death Stars and also good at distracting assaulting units in a shooty Daemons army. As long if you're willing to invest in Tzeentch units and focus on one target at a time, Beasts can really help as a meatshield for your shooty units. Also, in the fluff in the new codex, these creatures are attention-seeking puppy-like beings who love making new friends and jump at the chance to show their affection. They never fully catch on to the fact that, in their quest to give and receive affection, their size/strength/natural abilities always result in the gruesome deaths of their intended playmates.
- Bloodcrushers of Khorne - With 6+ (Why does it even have this?) 5++ and T4, Bloodcrushers are possibly the worst hit by the new codex. They still hit very hard, and now they have 3 wounds, but the whole loss of the 3+ save means that Bloodcrushers will die quickly when in the open. On the other hand, now they're a proper Cavalry unit, so what they lost in survivability they gained in mobility, but that won't save them. Plus they cost 5pts MORE than their 5th edition counterpart. Trading their 3+ armour save, T, and their Eternal Warrior in exchange for 1W and counting as Cavalry for 45 pts? Pass. On the other other hand, if you manage to cast the Grimore of True names on them, they'll be nigh-unkillable with 3 wounds and a 3++ save. Their main use in this book is to attach Karanak with five Bloodcrushers with an Icon so you can deep strike your Khorne/Slaanesh (HERESY!) units safely (within cover of course) so they can launch an assault next turn after the Bloodcrushers do. Again, if you're worried about their their survival, grant them the True names and they'll do fine for the most part. Using these in range of a Leman Russ, Krak missile long fang squad, or Hive guard tends to end hilariously. For the enemy anyway. For you it'll probably just make you cry.
- Fiends of Slaanesh - These guys look *weird* and they're adequately killy. They're pretty fast (Beasts) with an OK 3 S4 rending attacks at a good initiative (6). Their MAIN use is that any unit they charge has -5 I. Hell yes! Oh and enemy psykers have -1 Ld when taking psychic tests within 12" of them. The downside? T4 and 5++ (Although 3 wounds sorta helps out). They are even more of a glass hammer than last time around but have some nice tricks to help them out.
- For extra lulz, have a Keeper of Secrets with a Witstealer Sword charge in a unit with the Fiends, laugh when your opponent tries to pass his Initiative test but fails thanks to these Beasts!
NOOOPE! Tests are taken against the base characteristic, not current characteristic. The only reason Necrons get away with it is because whip coils actually change the base characteristic and are not considered a modifier. I don't know what you're talking about my friend, nothing in the rule book stats it must base tests. To stengthen this argument, it seems that Dark Angels Dark Talon's bombs that reduce the units initiative can be used against Space Wolves Psycic Power that forces that test on the model, or it suffers instant death. Good try tho.
- Flamers of Tzeentch - At one point, fielding Flamers would have caused your opponent to leap over the table and strangle you. Now he will thank you for giving his Space Marines Feel no Pain - if he doesn't mind losing half his squad first (or none of it if you shot it into bikers of nurgle, god damn it). 23 points for a Strength 4 AP4 flame template, which forces the unit to take a toughness test. If he fails, the unit takes D3 cover and armour ignoring hits, if he passes, the unit gains 6+ Feel no Pain for the rest of the game or a bonus to his existing Feel no Pain, and ATM until an FAQ comes out this STACKS. However, they have one saving grace: they still kill models with 4+ saves and higher in droves and since most of these models are T3 half of the time you get D3 extra auto hits. Remember, it's at THE END of the Shooting Phase when the unit must take a toughness test, so take six in one squad and have some Pink Horrors to help them out! By the way, I don't recommend you putting nine in a squad, because this unit is meant to harass and distract your opponent's squad while your troops gets within charge range to finish them off. Six flame templates are plenty to do that job.
- Decimator Daemon Engine (Forge World) - A healthy alternative to the Soul Grinder. Costs a LOT more, not as well armoured (13/12/11) but potentially more durable. Like other daemon vehicles it's immune to shaken/stunned because of possession and gets a 5+ invulnerable save, but unlike other vehicles it has "Unholy Vigour" which means it can regrow weapons and legs on 5+ AND can revive itself from a Wrecked result on a 6+ ON ANY TURN! This thing also gets access to smoke launchers for 3 pts., so buy them! The Decimator can additionally mount the following weapons:
- Decimator Siege Claws: Your decimator comes stock with two of these, providing a total of 4 S8 AP2 lightning-claw attacks plus they have built-in heavy flamers. These claws can also perform a smash attack that if it penetrates a transport or building, you get to make D6 heavy flamer attacks against anyone inside - Falcon PUNCH!
- Butcher Cannon: The butcher cannon will help against things like dreadnoughts, medium armour and when bought as a pair, can lay down an eye-watering 8 S8 AP4 shots at 36". Prepare to glance vehicles to death and pop those non-MEQ/TEQ infantry out of existence!
- Storm Laser: 36" S6 AP3 Heavy D3+2. Like the butcher cannon, the laser is best bought as a pair and is a cost effective alternative to them. Storm Lasers are best at chewing up MEQ infantry: Necron Lynchguard/Destroyers/Praetorians/Tomb Spyders, Blood Angels in power armour, PAGK's, the occasional Tyranid monstrous creature, etc. Tau battlesuits used to be a particular favourite of the laser decimator, but now that they don't deepstrike, they're more likely to become the hunted rather than the hunter.
- Soul Burner Petard: Yes, that's... really it's name. Petard. A French/British word that basically means "bomb". Anyway, it gives you S5, AP5, Rending, Large Blasts for smashing Orks, 'Nids, or Guard (or any other blobs you may need to remove). You only need to buy one of these (as it's an Ordnance weapon), allowing you to retain a Siege Claw for the fighty bastards that get too close.
- Heavy Conversion Beamer: 6th edition gave this thing a purpose, for now you can hide one of these in a building while taking another gun for more dakka and dedicating this vehicle to Slaanesh for the defensive grenades.
- The Decimator can be marked by the Gods (requires an Independent Character in the army with the same dedication) for +15 pts. as follows:
- Khorne: Gains Rampage. Great for tearing apart lots of things in hand to hand and goes well with the double claw or claw plus petard.
- Nurgle: Gains It Will Not Die. Arguably the best, making an already hard to kill unit even harder to kill!
- Slaanesh: Counts as armed with assault and defensive grenades. Assault grenades are marginally useful, but defensive grenades are good for a camping decimator with a heavy conversion beamer.
- Tzeentch: Re-roll to-hits of 1's for shooting attacks, and heavy flamers (if any) get Soul Blaze. A good gun/claw mark which will do terrible things to light mech armies.
 Fast Attack
- Plague Drones of Nurgle - Plaguebearers riding on giant jetpack cavalry flies. And you thought you were badass. Can be upgraded with Poison (3+) or turn one of their attacks into Instant Death (Stinger tail to the face). The whole unit can also get an upgrade for Str user assault 2 poisoned 4+ 12" ranged attacks. There is also the champion upgrade that gives you +1 attack and gives you access to that AP2 Etherblade (this makes them hit very hard). Don't forget that because they are jetpack cavalry they can move 12" in the movement phase (kinda like a jumppack with their dangerous terrain test if they start or end turn in terrain), then shoot you with Death heads and then they have Fleet and Hammer of wrath for their charge (again ignoring any terrain they have to charge through (bar a dangerous terrain test). Oh, and they have 3 wounds each at T5 so they ain't going anywhere quickly! And if you don't fancy charging don't worry, you can move 2D6" in the assault phase for free like Tau Battlesuits, making their move average at 19" per turn and with shooting. NOTE: They also make great ICON bearers so you can Deep Strikes your other units more effectively and pretty far across the board turn 2 since they are so fast and tough.
- Flesh Hounds of Khorne - Good points: they're fast, have multiple wounds, can effectively deal with any non-melee unit that isn't wearing power-armor. That and they have +2 to Deny the Witch rolls as standard. Bad points: their attacks don't ignore armor saves so anything that's as tough as a Space Marine will laugh them off. As a counter to this, Karanak or a Herald on a Juggernaut can give the squad he is in RAGE which makes them really scary on the charge and since they are so fast and ignore difficult terrain ALL THE TIME, being beasts, they should be charging. Along with Karanak's perils causing collar, him and the Hounds make great psyker hunters. These guys also now have Scout and just generally better stats. A cheap group of ten is well worth their points if your opponent has at least one annoying psyker pissing off the Blood God. Using a large blob of them buffed by the Grimoire with Karnak is typically considered a most excellent dick move.
- Models note: If you want to add Flesh Hounds to your force but don't have the money to buy them (They cost $50 in America for five Hounds), you can get either the Beastmen/WoC Hounds or the Vampire Counts Dire Wolves for "Count as" models for half the price AND twice the amount you get. Did I mention they're plastic rather than Finecast? Hmm, Me gusta!
- Furies of Chaos - These got a total change this time around, but still suck. They have jump packs but only one attack each and rubbish stats make them un-usable. Even for 6 points a pop they have leadership 2. Yes, you read that right, Grots and Conscripts have more balls than they do - these are undoubtedly the biggest pussies in all of 40k. That means if they EVER lose combat they are gone, no ifs or buts about it; if they ever have to take a morale check they are unbelievably fucked. You can make them dedicated if you want but seriously don't bother wasting a precious fast attack slot and points on these guys. For extra Fluff-Heresy you can Mark Furies. Even though they were scorned by each god to be mark-less abominations of despair and eternal punishment for the fickle mortal they once were. Other than the Slaanesh Mark, we aren't to sure why you would want to do that.
- Screamers of Tzeentch - They will get mowed down if properly targeted/assaulted, so be sure you're using them tactically to herd enemies or as a small suicide squad against tanks, although they have 2 wounds now which helps. They have three attacks each (plus Hammer of Wrath) which means their chances in combat are OK. They have a "Slashing Attack" Special Rule, allowing D3 S4 AP- auto-hits on unengaged enemy models by turbo boosting over them (don't forget this gives you a 4+ cover too). The update brought them to heel where now you can substitute your normal CC attacks for one Strength 5 Armourbane attack at AP2 (REMEMBER you still get your S4 Hammer of wrath attacks too!). Use this against big vehicles and Terminators only and watch light vehicles get ripped to little shreds by your 25pt models. These guys are still usable, but no longer the cheese they used to be.
It can be argued that Screamers do get their second attack from charging while using Lamprey's Bite as it only states normal attacks, not ALL attacks (same wording as Smash). Until a FAQ comes out regarding that make sure you talk it over with your opponent. If you wanna be a rule lawyer sure; "they may trade in all their normal close combat attacks for one attack with the following profile..." is pretty self explanatory. Just take the extra Hammer of Wrath attacks and be happy folks!
- Seekers of Slaanesh - Got changed this time around, Seekers are now a solid unit that one should consider when making their lists, even in a fluffy Khorne army (HERESY!). These cavalry units are cheap-as-chips (12 pts), they may just seem like daemonettes on mounts, but when you take a closer look, you see that they have Acute Senses and Outflank. They also have an extra attack, which gives them 4 on the charge, and if that's not enough, they run an extra 6' in the shooting phase, so Seekers are both fast AND deadly! Seriously, for only three points more just for all of that makes me think their point costs is a print error. Whether you use them for a fast offence unit, an Icon carrying squad, or to simply distract your opponent from your other units, you can't go wrong with Seekers. Even if you were to maximize the unit to 20 seekers, it won't take up your points and still leaves you room for other units, unlike the other unit that requires the Grimore to be effective and are an expensive investment *CoughBloodcrushersCough*.
- Hellflayer of Slaanesh - The Hellflayer was overlooked when it was first launched on account of it sucking during that brief update from White Dwarf. Let's not kid ourselves, this thing is still fragile and will succumb to most gunfire with ease. Granted, should it survive, you will quite literally drink the tears of your enemies troops as the chariot deals out D6 S4 Rending HoW hits per hull point remaining, granted it only starts with two. However, the Exalted Alluress riding the thing gets an additional attack per unsaved wound inflicted on top of the four with which she starts! Like we said, there's an incentive to kill this thing before it drives into the soft, moist folds of the rank and file. There's just one critical problem: 'flayers are 60 pts each whereas seeker chariots cost 20 points less, have the exact same profile and can be taken in 1-3 vehicle squads. If you can't take those or Exalted chariots (likely because you don't have any free Heavy Support slots left), only then shall you consider this unit. They aren't very good if you got the memo as they pay 20 points for a gimmick.
- Blight Drone (Forge World) - A fast flyer with a reaper autocannon and a mawcannon (Phlegm and Vomit only). At 150 pts., it's a nifty fast attack vehicle. With the increased points, it is now closer to a soul grinder. The downside? It's BS2. Still, probably your best bet for a fast attack choice since it's a good load of dakka on a flyer, which many armies lack effective counters to. Beware that these explode when destroyed (wrecked/explode) so keep them away from squishy friendlies. These can also be taken as a 1-3 squadron. Never hurts to double tap, and opens slots up for other fast attack awesome.
 Heavy Support
- Skull Cannon of Khorne - Basically auto-include if you're bringing Daemonettes or Bloodletters. Not because S8 cover-ignoring blast (which is still nice at popping-out vehicles), but because your guys can charge anything hit with this blast without initiative penalty for not having assault grenades. If the enemy gets too close, it's a chariot, so charge them with your D6 S7 Hammer of Wrath hits! Then die horribly as they shove a power fist up your armour-10 rear.
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch - Fragile but very killy. 10AV all around but is in fact a Daemon of Tzeentch and 3HP make it more durable than most fast skimmer... chariot... things(Should have just been a T6 W3 jump MC). The Exalted Flamer will be shooting AP3 torrents and 18" heavy d3 lascannon shots, which unfortunately have Warpflame. Even its Hammer of Wrath attacks have Warpflame. Here have FnP while I burn you alive. Just as Planned. Alternatively you can give a Herald of Tzeentch one of these to pimp around in, casting Divination and Change powers all over the place. Or you could use a Warpblade to spawn the shit put of your opponent using sweep attacks, then 'accidentally' flamer the t5 spawn, as well as the enemy squad, and let the nomming commence.
- Note that due to funky rules, the weapons are both heavy, and mounted on the rider rather than the (pointlessly fast) chariot. This essentially renders the flamer useless the turn that it moves, as the flame template can't be fired as a snap shot, and the other will be a BS1 lascannon. Being forced to sit still with an AV10 vehicle isn't fun. Expect an FAQ soon....or not...well at least the kit comes with a herald model!! Lord Kelly why!?!?!?!?! It wasn't his fault, blame that on the Crudman! in either case, if you are going to use this thing your going to need to find a way to make it more survivable. Cover is your friend! that or use it like a powerful suicide unit and draw fire from your other units as you take out one of your enemy units in a plume of warp fire.
- Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh - These guys are cheap. A squad of three of these used to be unusable due to their massive bases and deepstriking, but now they can deploy safely. Rules for these girls are simple: Charge the enemy. Your d6 per hull point Hammer of Wrath Attacks with RENDING due to its Fleshshredder rule owns everything. And since chariots can't be locked in combat when it's your turn again just back up an inch and repeat! These things are very delicate but at only 40 pts a chariot they are worth it. Be careful with the rules in cc as it gets very confusing with the exalted Alluress in combat.
- Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh - Same as above only 4 HP instead of 2. you could put a Herald here and take the locus that means all your chariots ignore difficult terrain all the time.
- Soul Grinder - Let's start over with this guy, shall we? For this dex, the Grinder is very similar to what it once was in terms of stats and cost. He still comes with a harvester, has one DCCW and still has that same, rather solid statline. So what's new? Well, he can Skyfire if he wants with his new str7 3 shot harvester and MUST be upgraded to a Daemon of a god in which it gets Daemon USR (5++ and Fear) as well as the special god-related bonuses. Fortunately the Khorne one is free as a DCCW already doubles strength (making furious charge useless unless someone shoots off your claw), so you get basically the Daemon rule for free. Best by far is Nurgle for Shrouded Soul Grinders (2+ cover behind ruin anyone?) Be careful with ADL as it might be to small to obscure him properly, always double check that this massive model is obscured before assuming he is. As a bad point he has to buy his Mawcannon from scratch, though there have been some good tweaks to it, namely that the vomit profile is now torrent! We shall be very eager to see how this guy plays out, but atm he seems a must have in every army. Just remember to take him in pairs for safety and that you can't be killed by krak grenades in CC (AV 13) so don't be afraid to charge in and kill those Gay Knights shooting you with Psycannons that aren't allowed to run away in CC and have to stand there while you kill them. NOTE: A point for those taking Phlegm; if you fire with phlegm you are snap firing with your Harvester so choose wisely.
Another decent option is taking a CC soul grinder to run up the field and smash some faces. Give it mark of slaanesh for the +3 run and FLEET!, baleful torrent. Speed up the field, and soften a unit up with the torrent and the harvester cannon, then assault it with 5 S10 attacks.
- Alternate Take: While the Soul Grinder is usually worth taking, it is annoyingly counter-intuitive. It offers Skyfire, but only has BS3 and if used, prevents the use of Phlegm or the torrent. This is where Divination comes in handy. They won't be the End-All counter flyer but offer good support as even with divination they will usually take at least 3 turns to destroy a flyer. Just as planned.
- Plague Hulk (Forgeworld) - Essentially a Soul Grinder of Nurgle with a poisoned 3+ S5 AP3 flamer and a rending, half-range battle cannon with 2 fewer strength. It also gets a 5+ cover save, but it does cost 205 pts. and has huge guts like the regular 'Grinder, but also cannot deep strike. Not exactly the best usage of your points, especially since it has a plain old template, not a torrent which is like the bottom line of making stuff good.
- Blood Slaughterer (Forgeworld) - FUN* name notwithstanding, these jacked-up chaos dreadnoughts are bad fucking news! Front armour 13, WS5, a pair of dread close combat weapons, and +D3 attacks on the charge spell death for anything they touch. They can stride across the table taking most gunfire happily and if you took a full squad of three, swapping single DCCWs for impalers (a Blood Angels magna grapple with shittier AP and longer range) might be an option. Even though they only have BS1, it always hits on a 4+ . FAQ is out, and the Slaughterer can no longer snap shot the impaler, so dragging flyers and FMCs is no longer possible unless in hover/glide mode.
- Spined Chaos Beast (Forgeworld) - Just like the one available to the CSM, a daemonic construct made from flesh instead of metal. It's a monstrous creature with WS5, S7, T6, 4 wounds and a 5+ invulnerable save. Can be aligned with one of the dark gods for even more goodies!
- Khorne: +15 pts., rage and furious charge. It's alright, but for 15 points, there are better. Thanks to the rage buff, this is a better option than it used to be and it's initiative is good enough so that the furious charge nerf isn't *that* horrible.*
- Slaanesh: +10 pts., +1 initiative (for a total of 5). The cheapest and worst of them all; man the fuck up and get the Mark of Khorne already. There's not terribly much point to taking this.
- Nurgle: +20 pts., feel no pain! One of the two better choices for this guy. Both buffed and nerfed, while no longer negated by power weapons and other monstrous creatures, it's now only at a 5+, still a good option that is great for pissing off people who hoped to rely on weight of fire.
- Tzeentch: +15 pts, 5++ gets buffed to 4++. The other better choice. Might actually serve you better than the Nurglite option in some cases.
Before the new book, these were a pretty silly idea, but now that you can choose to deploy regularly, these might actually be worth it.
- Aegis Defense Lines: More of the more reliable Skyfire/Interceptor choices, although, being a very choppy army, you probably won't benefit much from the cover saves. A Herald with a minimum unit for meat shields can use it's higher BS to fire the emplacement and hold a backfield objective.
- Skyshield Landing Pad: Your Deep Strikers don't have to scatter and you can get improved Invulnerable Saves, given you already get 5++.
- Imperial Bastion: Put your bloodletters in this guy and put your trollface on as you fire a quad gun at BS5 at their precious aircraft.
- Fortress of Redemption: Ew, no. It's incredibly expensive and really made for a shooty army, which you aren't. Unless of course you put a squad of Bloodletters on it in which case you can have 4 BS5 Heavy Bolters, a BS5 Krakstorm, and a BS5 Lascannon with Interceptor and Skyfire.
Luckily, all hope isn't lost. The ally system can help Daemons out if you choose the right kind of units in your allies list. Even still with the update and the buff from 6th edition, Daemons can STILL lose games, either from bad Deep Strikes, terrible dice rolls, end up going first, etc. Thankfully, allies can help fill in the gaps making the army more competitive. You should take in mind, that allies of convenience and desperate allies would suffer from warp storm. Have fun.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your Warpstorm table will target EVERYONE on the table except Chaos Marine Allies. Take non CSM allies at your own risk.
 Battle Brothers
- Chaos Space Marines: Chaos Space Marines are probably the way to go; however, due to the FAQ, Daemon ICs cannot join non-Daemon units and non-Daemon ICs cannot join Daemon units, leaving you with few units that will hang out together. CSM is also the best choice fluff-wise, so you can't go wrong either way. Very useful as ranged support if you feel hesitant about flamers and their silly warpflame rule handing FNP to enemy marines. Even though Epidemius lost his fridge full of tally-cheese, plague marines still work great together with Nurgle daemons. Outside of shooty marines and armour, bringing in Heldrakes to seize the skies is another solid choice.
- Psychic Powers One potentially major benefit is the ability to bring Divination to a CSM army. Rerolling to-hit on your Obliterators, Thousand Sons, etc.
- Prescience combined with Forgefiends can be quite devastating, especially when they activate demonforge.
 Allies of Convenience
- Imperial Guard: Imperial Guard is a good alternative to CSM; they're fluffy and they can help shoot down Space Marines/Necrons/Tau/Tyranids/etc. Honestly, there's no loss in taking Guards over Chaos Marines, since you can't join their units anyway, and Guards do make up for the poor quality of their Troops and Possessed Vehicles with the HUGE amount of meat and anti-tank/anti-personnel firepower. If you don't want CSM, IG is an acceptable substitute. Take a Vendetta to fix the lack of anti-air.
 Desperate Allies
- Dark Eldar: Dark Eldar is a mixed bag. DE is more of a specialist type, and can brutally help Daemons when played right. They have a fast moving play style the One Eye Open won't effect them badly. It depends on what you're taking in both lists. If you know what you're taking on the battlefield, then Dark Eldar can arguably do better than Orks and IG, but if you're a newbie to begin with, you should look elsewhere.
- Orks: Orks is more Beefy and Choppy, while IG is Shooty and Skinny. We know how bad Orks are at shooting, however since all their weapons are assault, they can soften troops of whomever and charge in after the shooting phase. They also make good meatshields for your Monstrous Creatures without wings, so having 30 boyz per unit is a good idea, since they can both tarpit on objectives and cover your Flamers that just deep striked while being Fearless. A warning note is that Flamers, Screamers, etc- CAN kill Orks if they get in the way, so be careful if you take them.
- Tau Empire: Ah yes, Tau. These guys are pretty much the exact opposite to us, as they're a shooting based force. They do lack the amount of troops they can bring when compared to Guards, however they make this up with sheer quality. Unless you have Slaanesh units (Or a few Soul Grinders), anti air can be a problem for the Daemons, which Tau can bring in the form of the Broadside, albeit a bit weaker in this edition. As far as what else to bring, a full squad of Fire Warriors is pretty much mandatory to get the best use out of them. The rest is up to your taste, since it really depends on what's in your primary detachment. While Guards are a more competitive choice outside of taking CSM, Tau has a couple of tricks up their sleeves to troll your opponent to oblivion.
 Building your Army
Step one is usually the same for building any army: Start with an HQ and two Troops.
However, this is a bit more complicated in a Daemons of Chaos army! If are anything like I was when I started playing, you read the fluff on the chaos gods and you think "No fucking way would these miserable sacks of shit ever work together!" And you know what? You're right. But if there's one thing you should learn about Warhammer 40k RIGHT FUCKING NOW, it's that both the fluff and the crunch are best enjoyed separately. I know that winning isn't everything, but if you build a mono-Slaanesh army you're just going to lose all of your games (If you don't know how to use them right that is), and that's not fun either. So here's the real step 1 of building a Chaos Daemons army (For the newbies and the non-intelligent players that is):
- Step One: Are you sure you don't actually want to play Daemon Marines?
- You can, however, run a mono-god list if you take daemons as allies to a primary detachment of Chaos Space Marines. I won't talk about that here since this is the Chaos Daemons tactics article, but suffice it to say that Death Guard with Ku'Gath and a Soul Grinder is not just fun and lore-friendly but highly competitive, and Noise Marines with a Lord of Change is one of the strongest unit combinations in the game right now, hands down. (Not lore-friendly per se, but at least it's not two rival gods.) You also don't have to deal with Warp Storm. Remember, Daemons aren't a forgiving force when you run them as your Primary detachment, so if you aren't so good playing as Dark Eldar, you will do much worse. All I'm saying is don't buy 1500 points of Daemons only to realize you wanted to play Chaos Marines with a Daemon twist all along.
- Step 1.5: How about Daemons in Fantasy?
- Don't forget that Warhammer Fantasy has Daemons of Chaos, which are essentially the exact same army. They used to be one of the most ridiculously overpowered armies, to the extent that many changes in 8th edition were introduced solely to tone them down. However, they got an update the same month as Chaos Daemons did, and it was... well, it was weird. They still have a lot of good things (Skull Cannons are one of the biggest pieces of cheese in the game currently), but it's terribly balanced internally and many options are absolutely terrible. The recent High Elves release also further screwed them over with the Banner of the World Dragon, which allows a unit to more or less ignore all attacks by Daemons. That being said, you're still (essentially) getting two armies in one, especially if you can magnetize the bases. In short, if you want to get your moneys worth for building a Daemon army, get some magnets for your collection and get an Army Book. This is optional tho, so if you don't like Fantasy or have no desire in using them there for any reason, then that's fine.
- Step Two: Now you can get an HQ and two troops.
- Just because you're going to playing low-point games doesn't mean you have to use heralds. (See if anyone is willing to play 750 points, you can fit a lot of variation even in such small lists. 500 points is too restricting for this writer's taste.) The Greater Daemons or a Daemon Prince are rewarding as hell to use and you can totally pull it off, even at 500 points, although it's a squeeze. I'd recommend a Daemon Prince for starting, they're cheaper after all (So long if you don't go overboard on the gifts and Psykic powers), and you can always transition him to heavy support later when you've expanded your collection. Probably the best troops to start with are Plaguebearers, as they are tough, forgiving, hold objectives well, and aren't bad when opperating a quad gun behind a Aegis Defense Line, although all of the troop choices are okay. Daemonettes are probably the other best choice because they can work in small games without the Heralds help, but in larger games any amount of firepower will eat them for breakfast, so take some Calvary units with Icons so they can deep strike closer to the enemies. Plague Drones are tough as nails while being the slowest out of the three, Seekers are the fastest and cheapest, but die very quickly when not used right, and Bloodcrushers are a balance of the two and are great against Space Marines(Watch out for Krak missles!). Although you can't assault after they arrive, the extra mobility and safety from it is worth it. The same goes for bloodletters, but they do need a Herald to perform better, and they should only be used when you're going against Space Marines that aren't TEQ. Don't instantly discount the "bloodletters behind an Aegis Defense Line with a quad gun" strategy, it's surprisingly effective and only a 200 point investment.
- Step Three: Now pick up a Soul Grinder.
- These are borderline mandatory in a Daemons army. Phlegm Cannons are fuckawesome and they're your only reliable form of Skyfire.
- Step Four: Once you hit 1000 points, you have to deal with Flyers.
- Anyone fielding flyers at under 1000 points is enough of a douche that you can just say "I'm not playing against that cheese," but once you get to 1000 points it's more forgivable. The obvious solution, Soul Grinders, is not always the best, because if you shoot at their flyers you're wasting a potential phlegm cannon shot or vomit torrent. This is not to say that soul grinders are a bad option, just not necessarily the best. Bloodletters behind an ADL is cheesy but effective, however you can't count on this to take out more than one flyer. A Heldrake doesn't care about your cover, and you are T3. Another option is a Bloodthirster or a Winged Daemon Prince, vector striking their flyers out of the sky King Kong style. This is fun and hilarious and if they don't bring too many flyers you can transition your bloodthirster back to killing everything else. The final option is to take allies. Heldrakes are meh at Anti-Air, but Vendettas are sexy. (The author also forgot to mention a Winged Daemon Prince of Slaanesh with Lash of Dispair and Iron Arm is another good way to deal flyers)
- Step Five: Now just keep adding on units that look cool!
- Mono-daemons (
or even primarily daemons) isn't a particularly competitive army. You will have games where you roll 10 on every warp storm and just win hilariously and you will have games where you're tabled on turn 2, so the most important thing is buy cool models that are fun to paint.
- We always say Daemons aren't competitive, and then tournament results come in and there's a whole bunch of them in the top 20 (not top 10, top 20). Evidently there's some way of making them competitive, but who knows. (Actually, they CAN be competitive if you use them right. People who uses Daemons usually will prefer a Nurgle/Slaanesh force, for many good reasons. Nurgle Daemons has units for defensive roles such as Plaguebearers and Beasts, while Slaanesh goes all out with Daemonettes, Seekers, Daemon Princes, and haves Fiends to mitigate the lack of assault grenades and soak up overwatch fire. Did I mention both of their Soul Grinders are the best variant you can get?)
If you want a competitive army that is still very much a daemon army, you should either build a 500 point allied detachment of daemons and fill the rest in with Chaos Space Marines, or learn that the Warp Storm is there to make the game FUN*, and adapt to the Dark Eldar knowledge when putting your list together. I'm starting to get the feeling that Phil Kelly had the allies table in mind when he wrote this codex in the first place, because daemons are actually fucking fantastic as a supporting force to a CSM primary army. Running daemonettes alongside a rhino as mobile cover? Prescience on noise marines? Typhus and Ku'gath bro-ing it up in the same army? Yes please! Daemons can be pretty competitive, but thus far just about every "top tier" list is a deathstar of some sort.
Pray that chaos doesn't abandon you. Realize that this is a FUN* army, and just have a laugh with it.
Want to troll your local daemon-bashing GK players? Here's what you do: Field a Nurgle based List. Hide your troops on your side in ruins or behind a barricade and open up with as many poisoned and decent ap weapons as you can and watch their psycannons just bounce off the ruin. And you know what? When they come to get you in cc with that dreadknight? BAM poisoned weapons and easy ap2 swords available to all (all being heralds and squad leaders)! Along with your flying MC being able to tie up their precious heavy weapons and kill those psyrifleman dreads with easy cc and shooting, just watch out for being grounded and mobbed.
- Bubble of Hate: Mostly a Khorne-only tactic. Given how fast Flesh Hounds are, get them, get two squads. Grab a Khorne-marked Soul Grinder too. Also grab a Herald of Khorne and give him the Hate-fuelled Locus and the Grimoire of True names then stick him in a Blood Throne. Grab some Bloodcrushers as well just in case and make sure they have an Icon and an Instrument. Grab 2 squads of Bloodletters and also give them Instruments. Grab a Skull Cannon to help with grenades. Now have something in the backfield with a Comms Relay and backfield scoring, anything will do. Maybe 2 squads of Plaguebearers if you really want to. Maybe a backfield Soul Grinder as well. Got all that? Reserve the Bloodletters, the Cannon, one Grinder, the Crushers and the Throne. On the first turn, Hounds will be going up and hug cover, getting ready to enter your intended drop point. Deepstrike the Crushers and use its Instrument to bring in the Throne (Details are blurry on whether Icons work immediately but that's why you have run). The Herald should cast the Grimoire of True Names on the Crushers and hope you roll well. Deepstrike in a Bloodletter Squad and use their Instrument to bring in the Cannon. Ditto the second Bloodletter squad bringing in the Grinder. Try to get everyone within the bubble of hate that the Blood Throne has and force your opponent to pick their poison before everything mass charges. They should only have one turn to react and all those threats are out for blood. Enjoy. My dick is so fucking hard right now.
- Wound shenanigans, Daemon edition: Mounted Khornate and Slaaneshi heralds, Karanak included, make great escorts for their multi-wound beasts/cavalry. Not only do they add the extra killing power of herald and the bonuses of the loci, 2+ Look out sirs let you spread wounds around, keeping your speedy pets going and keeping icons alive for all your deep strikers. Mounted khornates work best at this as their mount not only gives you another wound, but gives him toughness 5, letting him take str 8 shots for his t4 bloodcrusher and hound squadies. Tzeentch heralds can do this as well with screamers,and technically flamers but they suck, but aren't as effective. You can't shoot the herald and sweeping attack and the herald doesn't really want to be in melee, but it's not a bad squad for some speedy divination buffs while the screamers sweeping attack things and then retreat. Sadly this doesn't work for nurglites, as their 'mount' doesn't make them any faster so they they can't keep up with beasts and drones. This is probably because a plague drone mount would make all the other heralds jealous and wound shenanigans on beasts, who would just it will not die the wounds back, would be a little too broken.
- The super-standard daemons list: Fateweaver, 20 Bloodletters with herald, 20 Daemonettes with herald, 20 Horrors with Herald (using prescience and flickering fire), Skull Cannon, Soul Grinder. It all fits in 1500 pts and can deal with most things. For light vehicles you have the Skull Cannon and S6 psychic volleys from the Horrors. For heavy vehicles you have the Soul Grinder and Fateweaver. If they have a Heldrake just concede.
- Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war: (Note that this tactics follows "The more the merrier" rule) 20-40 Flesh hounds, Karanak attached to a unit of around 5 'Crushers with Icon and Jugger-herald, Soul Grinder and/or Cannons of Khorne in reserve. Deploy as close as possible while stretching unit coherency horizontally to the max. Scout move the 'hounds and the 'crushers(through Karanak) 12". You are already halfway across the board if not more(depending on deployment.) If you go second that's a possible turn 1 charge. If you go first then on turn 2 you can charge almost everything after you move 12" again (Remember that beast and cav aren't slowed by terrain.). If not, run, their fleet helps. By turn three you should be able to charge or have charged anything on the table. Once reserves start to come in on turn 2+ your icon will be in the center of the table allowing you to Deepstrike flawlessly. The hounds can run through cover, have 2 wounds and always a 5++. They can kill a lot of things and survive. Skulls for the Skull Throne!
- Meaty Balls of Rage: Run 5 monstrous creatures (1 Greater Daemon,3 Daemon Princes of same god,1 Daemon Prince of your choice), all of which rolling on Biomancy. You havent seen unkillable until you've seen the rage in your opponent's eyes as his vendetta's lascannons wound your T10 Great Unclean One of 5's thanks to Iron Arm. Its beautiful. Throw in Greater Rewards for more awesome things, such as Feel No Pain (4+), It Will Not Die/+1 Wound, Rerollable Invulns, etc. Daemon Princes of Slaanesh with the Greater Reward Whip + Iron Arm = Dead Fliers. Seriously, 2D6 Str 7-9 shots at BS 5 is amazing. Beware the new Eldar. S10 will instant death daemon princes and some greater daemons.
- Screamer Star: This can be really fun to play and is quite liberating as you don't have to worry about anything but killing (not recommended for tournament play however), so here is what you do. Take 4 heralds of Tzeentch on discs, give one of them the grimoire of true names and give the other 3 a lesser reward (for an ether blade) and a greater reward (for a greater ether blade), make all of them mastery lvl 3 with divination. Now use the rest of your points on Fateweaver (to reroll the grimoire check if need be), a 9 man unit of screamers, and as many mastery lvl 3 or 2 Daemon Princes of Tzeench as you can fit (take telepathy so you can fish for invisibility), finally use nurglings for troops. Cast forewarning on the herald and screamer unit and use the grimoire for a 2++ rerollable cause you're a daemon of tzeentch, couple this with invis so you have a 2+ cover that is rerollable in case the grimoire doesn't work a turn. In combat your opponent will need 5's to hit you (cause of invis) while you will be rerolling to hit and in some cases wound (as 1 or 2 herald should get precognition) with over 20 Ap 2 attacks, did I mention your opponent will probably be misfortuned too? Let the rofl ensue. Note: Just be careful, the grimoire doesn't work on its bearer so enough precision shots will be your downfall!! Stay in combat as often as possible.
- Operation Touhou: Heralds of Tzeentch can use flickering fires of to fire 4d worth of bolter shots. This is madness level of dakka from one model even if you roll all ones your still ahead of the curve as far as most shooting HQ's go. Take eight heralds of Tzeentch, upgrade them to level three for mind bullets, for all of them roll two of your three powers on the Tzeentch psychic powers and the third where you like in the main book. Tzeentch has two anti infantry powers, (flicking fire and firestorm) and two anti tank powers (bolt and infernal gate. you want one anti tank power, and you want to swap the other power for flickering fires. this alone nets you the ablity to fire between 32(all ones) to 192 (all sixes) worth of bolter shots, from your HQ section alone!
*The Chaos Gods do not guarantee fun. Fun is subject to early termination at Tzeentch's discretion. Fun is to be taken in context of Dwarf Fortress.