"DESPAAAAAIR, for I am the end of days!"
In Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy Battle, people fall to Chaos for many reasons. Of these, the ones who desire power, sometimes called Chaos Champions, are most ambitious, and thus most likely to catch the attention of the Ruinous Powers.
When the champion earns enough of their patron god's favor, they can be rewarded with Daemon Princedom. They forfeit their souls to their god and are granted a daemonic form and name, given power beyond any mortal, heretical or otherwise, and often placed at the command of an army, or a Daemon World.
Of course, the road to Princedom is a high-stakes game with only two outcomes: succeed or die, there is no middle road. Those who fail their god's expectations, find themselves on the wrong end of a Chaos God on a bad day, or they could not handle the ascension to Princedom, are "rewarded" with Chaos Spawndo- NO WAITFSDASDAGIAJDFASHDSDFd.....
In the Fantasy Flight Games WH40KRPG Black Crusade (RPG), this is what happens to a player character who reaches 100 Corruption with the GM's arbitrarily selected Infamy Threshold for Princedom. Should a PC reach 100 Corruption with less, he will be transformed into a Chaos Spaa... ha caught myself on that one, don't want to end up like my previous writer!
Now, that being said, it would make a lot of fucking sense to believe that Daemon Princes are some OP motherfuckers that can pwn anything that dares to put foot on their lawn. Well...you are pretty wrong. It is usually the Daemon Princes that tend to invade Imperial Worlds and end up getting their can kicked in by mortals whom they see as inferior beings of nothingness (although if only because of the plot armor of their Imperial enemies and GW's need to make sure the status quo remains as it is.). The only perk they have is that if they get their ass chopped up they are banished to the Warp where they will derp around until they are called by the Chaos Gods once more to attempt to be useful to them.
For roughly half an edition, Warhammer Fantasy also had Exalted Daemons, which were a kind of lesser Daemon Prince created by fusing a daemon and a still-mortal human together, sort of like possession, but without necessarily killing the soul of the possessed in the bargain. This idea, like Chaos Undivided being its own power and granting its own mark, was removed with the update from Hordes of Chaos to Warriors of Chaos. Now, if your goal is just to get daemon up there are some other ways to do that...
- 1 Famous Daemon Princes
- 2 Crunch
Famous Daemon Princes
- Lorgar, Primarch of the Word Bearers, really, really dedicated to Chaos Undivided. Doesn't do shit these days, but recently got off of the couch to teach Abby new techniques for summoning daemons and is rumored to be returning to lead his Legion once more.
- Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors, technically dedicated to Chaos Undivided, but mostly to himself. Doesn't do much these days, but manages to royally fuck shit up when he does.
- Mortarion, Primarch of the Death Guard, dedicated to Nurgle. Gets into some antics with Grey Knights once in a while. Has now appeared to have gotten off his ass and is now bringing
death and decayGranddaddy's cuddles to the wider Imperium.
- Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters, dedicated to Khorne. He's the only Daemon Primarch who reliably, actually does shit.
- Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons, dedicated to Tzeentch. Spent most of the last ten millennia hanging out at the top of his wizard's tower, derping out and shouting "JUST AS PLANNED" when something happens and it can be interpreted as beneficial. Occasionally has an actual fight with the Space Puppies. Recently avenged Prospero by wrecking the Fenris system. He got banished by Logan Grimnar, which was JUST AS PLANNED, because the Space Wolves went to Cadia, leaving Fenris undefended, at which point, he brought his daemon planet into the Materium and has been fucking the Imperium up ever since. Just. As. Planned. Also notable for being the first Daemon Primarch with rules since Epic. Before his physical, 30K version got rules.
- Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children, except it's actually just his body possessed by a Daemon. Or maybe not. Shit's weird at this point. Dedicated to Slaanesh. Spends his days on his Pleasure Planet getting bored with mass-daemonette-orgies. TOTALLY has nothing to do with the giant, serpent bodied monster currently fucking 11 different kinds of shit up with Lucius.
- Doombreed, the first Daemon Prince of Khorne, and some sources say the first Daemon Prince ever.
- Kraxnar, his bro in the original counter-based game "Warmaster" who was later replaced with some asshole called N'kari.
- Azariah Kyras, heretical Chapter Master and Chief Librarian of the Blood Ravens and, apparently, Khornate Sorcerer. He still gets killed in DoW II: Retribution. Since his ascension was only partly finished, he may still have been mortal, meaning he might be back eventually, though odds are that he was permakilled.
- Sindri Myr, though it wasn't long before Gabriel Angelos banished him. Sindri was probably expecting to just come back, since the whole reason you become a Prince is to be immortal, but instead found himself in the belly of a Greater Daemon (he's only technically one of the K-man's princes since he ascended using a Khornate daemon's power, but he himself undivided).
- Valkia the Bloody, a daemonic equivalent of a Valkyrie, she was originally a badass viking shield maiden, killed a lot (and we mean a lot) of people for her patron God, had two children, killed her husband and a bit later defeated a Slaanesh daemon prince in close combat. She then mounted the head of said prince on her shield and went to the Chaos Wastes to present her trophy to Khorne, but tripped at the goal line. Khorne was mad as fuck and brought her back to life, turning her into the entity she is today, coated in armour that constantly bleeds and being quite literally dead sexy.
- Some Slaaneshi asshole called N'Kari... maybe. Nowadays (s)he's apparently a Greater Daemon.
- Ax'Senaea, a power-mad lady who completely subjugated the planet of Laodomida, but wanted to control her mind (note that she is so solipsistic that these are the same to her). She was bonkers, so a sorcerer convinced her to be possessed by a Slaaneshi Keeper of Secrets, hinting that it would give her the power to do so, but in reality, the sorcerer was expecting the daemon to kill her. After all, no one but the most potent of psykers can hope to bind a greater daemon to their will without being completely possessed by the daemon instead. It backfired on him, getting himself killed in the process, as Ax'Senaea managed to subjugate the daemon through sheer arrogance and self-obsession. Yes, she managed to make a greater daemon heel by being a bitch. She eventually used her new-found psychic powers to exert even more control over Laodomida and more nearby planets, in the process, drinking up two more Keepers of Secrets after draining each of them of their power before banishing them back to the warp. When she got to the fourth one, Slaanesh had noticed her talent and turned her into a daemon princess, which was also a jab to his/her servants for being too weak to defend themselves from a human. In true Slaaneshi fashion, however, despite attaining the highest daemonic honor her god(dess), she still desires more power and control over everything, and now seeks to subjugate daemons now instead of just humans.
- Doomrider, bike riding Slaanesh prince on fire. Back in the old days he'd show up, wreck face and disappear back into the warp before the game's end. Now he's apparently a severed head in the White Scars' Fortress-Monastery.
- The Mistress of Spite, a horrifically fat daemon princess who ascended after singlehandedly eating the populations of entire worlds. Used to be one of N'Kari's girlfriends before he dumped her; she started taking over the Daemon World of Contrition to try and woo him back, but now she simply makes life there hell for the resident daemons for the sheer sake of feeding on their despair. Notable features include 6 horns, three arms (the third has a huge pincer for a hand) and horrifically vagina-like orifices on each forearm that are sheathes for razor-sharp extendable bone spurs.
- Azazel, the Prince of Damnation, literally the first Daemon Prince character to ever be playable (way back in Champions of Chaos). Said to have been the leader of the Gerreon Tribe in Warhammer Fantasy, but he betrayed Sigmar and fled to the Northern Wastes to serve Slaanesh. Looks like an incredibly beautiful angel, until one spots the horns that curl from his brow, the chitinous claw of his left hand, and the two-headed scorpion-like tail that sprouts behind him. So beautiful he can hypnotise anyone who looks at him and turn them into his slave.
- The Sapphire King, a metaphysical manifestation of the Iron Hands being really really cross at Fulgrim. He can turn Iron Hands into Chaos You-know-whats just by standing next to them. He got his shit pushed in by Ironfather Kardan Stronos.
- Phokulozortis, a Daemon Prince residing in the Screaming Vortex. A shapeshifter who loves to answer botched summonings and bungled invocations whilst pretending to be the intended daemon, in which guise he feigns being the sorcerer's loyal minion, but secretly screws them over. In his true form, he has the many-mouthed tentacled mass of a lower body like a giant Flamer of Tzeentch, four arms, and three heads like those of a Lord of Change. Artwork vs. descriptive text contradicts each other if he has wings like a Lord of Change as well, though.
- Ghargatuloth, one of the most powerful Daemon Princes in existence, requiring over 300 Grey Knights invading a planet to kill it (there's obviously not better alternatives). His body is, in essence, a thousand-mile high erect penis with mouths and eyes all over it. Despite massive amounts of Just As Planned with a scheme taking a thousand years to fulfill, and allegedly being one of the most intelligent daemons that Tzeentch has ever created, he fails again and again because of the Grey Knights - armed with plot twists so contrived and plot armor so thick that not even the Shaper Of Ways' right hand had a chance.
- Thunderfist, originally a Tzeentch-worshipping alchemist whose cult fled after his mutation (psychadelic skin and dimensional instability) became discovered, but somehow survived long enough to lead an army of misfits and monsters. Tzeentch elevated him to daemonhood after he singlehandedly slew the Nurgle champion Festus with only his spells. One of two Chaos Champions created by Games Workshop back when they first wrote Realms of Chaos, used to highlight how the Path to Glory rules worked.
- Bubonicus, originally the sole member of his village to survive a plague thanks to his prayers to Nurgle, who led a horde of beastmen and cultists out of the forests of the Old World and into the Chaos Wastes, where after many years of hardship and struggle they reached the Glades of Nurgle, where Nurgle rewarded Lothar's faith with daemonic ascension. One of two Chaos Champions created by Games Workshop back when they first wrote Realms of Chaos, used to highlight how the Path to Glory rules worked.
- Mamon, or the "Arch-Corruptor of Vraks," a deacon who fell to Chaos and brought down most of Vraks and Cardinal Xaphan with him.
- Cor’bax Utterblight, a Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm brought into the Horus Heresy by the Word Bearers. More or less a mountain of filth, Nurglings and plague.
- Ignatius Grulgor, a former Captain of the Pre-Heresy Death Guard 2nd Great Company. Famous for getting killed by Nathaniel Garro, only to be raised a Plague Marine, killed again, and eventually raised a Daemon Prince. Like a lot of Nurgle Daemon Princes, Grulgor doesn't do a lot lately, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
Dedicated to Chaos Undivided
- Samus, a weird warp entity with no relation to the vidya character (he'd probably bite the gravel if he tried to fight her for the right to be called the one true Samus), who is basically just summoned by arbitrary death when the plot of the Horus Heresy calls for it. According to Forge World, he's basically a daemon prince of the Ruinstorm and fucked with the Smurfs a lot, and was also one of the first daemons encountered by Horus before he fell to Chaos (though at the time, it was assumed to be "only an unusual xenos"). Still active in M41, though less powerful without his Ruinstorm bonuses.
- Nemeroth, who got it even worse than Sindri: he was killed DURING his ascension rather than immediately afterward, which means he might not be back.
- M'kar, some loser from the Word Bearers whose only purpose for appearing in any fluff is get to his ass handed to him by the Space Marines. Ironically, he's taken more seriously in Grey Knights. (Mostly because he managed to troll Kaldor "He makes it happen" Draigo. And then it sort of backfired....*)
- Eliphas the Inheritor as of the Dawn of War series, but not really. In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, he can take it as his ultimate upgrade; since the Blood Ravens were the canon victors in that story, he instead gets mulched by an unnamed daemon prince for failure. In Dawn of War II: Retribution, the outro for the Chaos campaign gives a glimpse of a newly-daemoned-up Eliphas. Of course, with Dawn of War 3 out to verify what we already know, the Blood Ravens are the canonical winners again. That leaves Eliphas either dead again or serving penance as the bottom for Abaddon's pet Chaos SpaAARRGH. It's largely moot in the end of course, since Eliphas is so badass that becoming a Daemon Prince is a demotion for him.
- By which we mean the playable Daemon Prince upgrade from Dark Crusade sucks (trading campaign exclusive upgrades for a daemon prince unit designed for multiplayer balance, and not a separate unit for the campaign upgrade), so you should never take it.
- Be'lakor, the very first Daemon Prince who was such a badass in life that Princehood was a demot-- wait, we just made that joke, didn't we? Shit. Well, anyway, in WFB he led the hordes of Chaos at the dawn of time, but then he became an arrogant bitch, so Tzeentch cursed him to Princehood and made him the Harbinger, who would crown the Everchosen of Chaos. In 40k, he was also the first Daemon Prince, as well as the first, last, and only Daemon Prince elevated by the joint action of all four Chaos Gods (with the exception of Lorgar and Perturabo, apparently). He was greatly involved in Abaddon's rise to power (according to him), although it's likely he plans to betray the Warmaster at some point in time (something Abaddon is fully prepared for). Quite notably, Be'lakor has shown a strong tendency to undermine the plans and ambitions of other Chaos Champions; although he himself believes this to be a product of his own free will and the desire to prove his own superiority over his potential rivals, it is in fact the result of all four Chaos Gods using him as a pawn to strike at one another. Apparently unknown to them is the fact that Be'lakor's ultimate goal is to find a way to become a Chaos God himself. Also has a pretty sick metal band named after him so maybe it not all that bad.
- Cherubael, a daemon who is unfortunate enough to wound up bound in the mortal realm as a daemon host and controlled against his will, multiple times. Whether or not he is actually a daemon prince is up for debate as that's just what Gregor Eisenhorn called him and he never bothered to correct him. He seems to be old school as he revers a long dead daemon king that died millennia ago when he lost a war against the Four as they came to power. Whether daemon prince or greater daemon, Cherubael is unbelievably powerful, being able to obliterate other more loosely controlled daemon hosts who have greater access to their powers as a result. Currently serving as Eisenhorn's attack dog.
Since Games Workshop made its "brilliant" decision to break up the Hordes of Chaos into Warriors of Chaos and Daemons of Chaos, the Daemon Prince has been duplicated, each in a subtly different method. As a result, they need to be looked at differently depending on which army you're looking to play out.
Warriors of Chaos
In a mortal army, Daemon Princes use up Lord slots, competing with Chaos Lords and Sorcerer Lords, plus the various special characters. A Daemon Prince costs 25 points more than a Chaos Lord, but has higher Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, Strength, Wounds and Initiatives (+1 for all save BS, which is +2) - cheap, until you consider they have to also take their special equivalent of a Chaos Mark (+10 points for Khorne or Nurgle, +15 for Tzeentch, +5 for Slaanesh). Non-Khorne Daemon Princes can be Wizards (+35 points per level, max level 4), can take Chaos Armor for +20 points, can Fly for +40 points, can take 25 points of magical items, and up to 100 points of Chaos Mutations/Powers. All in all, these characters can be real point-sinks.
The big problem with Daemon Princes is that they're so expensive, but so fragile; all they get is a lousy 5+ Ward Save, and a 4+ armor save if they spend 20 points on it. Their ability to spend 25 points of a suit of magic armor can make them a little more survivable, but all in all, they're glass cannons.
Daemons of Chaos
Daemon Princes in a Daemons army get pretty unfairly gimped; they cost more than in a Warriors of Chaos army (250 vs. 235), only get 75 points of Daemonic Gifts vs their 100 Chaos Powers + 25 Magic Items, and they have to roll randomly on their Gifts instead of choosing. The only plus side is that their Marks are much cheaper (-5 points compared to their Warriors versions - yes, that means Daemon Princes of Slaanesh only cost their default 250 points).
The Daemon Prince is considered to be an HQ in both of the Chaos Codices (Although they can also be a Heavy Support choice instead if a Greater Daemon with the same alignment is an HQ in the Daemon codex. More on that later). They both also cost the same at 145 points without upgrades, and when one looks at their stats, they will be amazed and wonder why are they so cheap? Well, here's the catch: they MUST choose a Mark (or a Daemon) of a Dark God, which will increase the point cost (with the exception of Be'lakor, who is the only Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided). Then you see it has a crappy save, albeit an invulnerable one - so you also have to spend 20pts to give it a 3+ armour. Wings aren't needed unless you're facing foes that ignore cover and/or can instant gib the Prince (again, will explain that later on), or don't want to deep strike the Prince and want to get into combat fast. To top it off, you don't have any weapons to start with. Again, not required, but you'll be missing out on the awesome toys it can take (The Black Mace, Staff of Change, Blade of Blood, etc.). Now that cheap Monstrous Creature became expensive, and sometimes close to the same cost of a Land Raider.
There's something else one must consider when taking a Daemon Prince, which is that they no longer have Eternal Warrior. This can be fixed by taking powers from the Biomancy table, but again, it increases the already expensive price tag, and the powers are random, so even if you go all out, you may end up wasting 75 points and still not get Iron Arm. A Khorne Prince can't even take psychic powers, not that you want to anyway if you worship the Blood God. This means the Toughness value is docked to 5, and there's no other way to increase it (except by buying Greater Gifts and trying to roll a one on the table, but obviously you should know the drawback to this). Some even argue that the Daemon Prince is overpriced for this reason, not just because of the needed upgrades, but the fact the damn thing can still be instant killed by Force Weapons, Railguns, and things of that nature. And given that you can take a Greater Daemon in the Chaos Daemons codex that are either equal cost or are much cheaper, why would you bother taking the Prince over their stronger counterpart?
But they do have some saving graces, and they move to Heavy Support (in the Daemon Codex) when a Greater Daemon of the same god is taken as an HQ, so this means you can take a Keeper of Secrets (cheapest MC out of the four), and then take the Daemon Prince with Wings, Warp Forged Armour, Lash of Despair, and one or two Biomancy powers. The Prince suddenly becomes an awesome anti-air MC, albeit an expensive one, that can fight against Flyers, Transports, and even horde units if you roll well. You can also run an army list around these if you want to run multiple Daemon Princes just for shits and giggles.
As for Chaos Space Marines, their Prince can wield the Black Mace. The weapon is AP4, but when a Daemon Prince takes it with him, he can dish out armour-ignoring wounds that can fuck up almost anything it comes across (thank you Monstrous Creature USR), so it makes their points cost worth it in the long run. It also comes with the extra Curse rule, which can completely remove ANYTHING that fails a toughness test in a 3" radius of the Prince (chances are low for more juicy targets, but somewhere in the grimdark future, the dice gods are laughing at your next victim)!
Plus the fact that you can get lucky and turn one of your HQs/Champions into a Daemon Prince if they roll for it when they take Gift of Mutation. Gift of Mutation re-rolls both Daemonhood and Spawnhood results although a Champion of Chaos has a chance to become one when they kill a character in combat.
So in short, the Daemon Prince is considered to be an expensive (sometimes overpriced) rape train. Despite how it can get instant killed in a bad situation, and the bitching about the points cost when taking them to battle, the Daemon Prince is overall still a good choice, IF you can protect it and use them wisely.
Warhammer 40k 8th edition
He no longer has access to the Black Mace or pretty much any of the weapon relics. Sorry, everyone who modeled one with cool weapons. He CAN take the non-relic weapons. He also MUST swear allegiance to a god; for Khorne this gives him +1 attack for a deadly and fluffy 8 attacks, while the other three make him a psyker. Yay for Smite spam! Lastly he gains the trademark 8th edition 6-inch aura of reroll 1's to hit - while initially this only affected models sworn to the same god, it was later FAQ'd to apply to any models with the same legion and any daemon models sworn to the same god, giving him much greater utility.
Age of Sigmar
Daemon princes in Age of Sigmar are hard-hitting hero/monsters, though not so much as their greater daemon counterparts. Each daemon prince can choose between Daemonic Axe (average hit/wound with 2 rend) and Hellforged Sword (slightly better to-hit with 1 less rend), in addition to Malefic Talons, with all attacks potentially doing multiple wounds each. Their other stats are 12" move (default 8" with 12" if it can fly, and there's no reason to not give it flight as of yet), 8 wounds, 4+ save, and 10 bravery. Good but not great, until your alignment choices are taken into account.
The daemon prince's alignment changes its abilities. Unlike 40k, daemon princes in AoS can be unaligned.
- Unaligned DPs heal wounds each combat phase after it kills models.
- Khorne DPs get +1 to-hit, making up for the axe's average stats, or making the sword even killier than it already is.
- Nurgle DPs get their save boosted to 3+, making them a bit more survivable.
- Tzeentch DPs are wizards who can cast and unbind one spell per turn, but only knows the two generic spells unless he is from TZEENTCH allegiance army that gives him an extra spell from the Lore of Change.
- Slaanesh DPs can be chosen to interrupt an opponent's combat activation, immediately piling in and attacking themselves, if they have not attacked already. Great for causing additional casualties to minimize your opponent's damage output.
Finally, as with all daemons, all Chaos wizards know the Summon Daemon Prince spell, casting value 8.
|Daemonic Forces of Chaos|
|Gods||Greater Daemons||Lesser Daemons||Daemonic Beasts||Daemonic Steeds||Cavalry of Chaos||Chariots of Chaos|
|Bloodthirster||Bloodletter|| Flesh Hound
|Juggernaut||Bloodcrushers|| Blood Throne |
|Great Unclean One|| Plaguebearer
| Beast of Nurgle
| Battle Fly
| Plague Drones
|Palanquin of Nurgle|
|Keeper of Secrets||Daemonette||Fiends of Slaanesh||Steeds of Slaanesh||Seekers of Slaanesh|| Hellflayer Chariots |
|Lord of Change|| Flamers of Tzeentch
Mutalith Vortex Beast
|Disc of Tzeentch||Burning Chariots|
|Daemon Prince||Fury|| Chaos Beast |
|Forces of the Death Guard|
|Leaders:|| Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Sorcerer - Chaos Champion |
Malignant Plaguecaster - Plague Surgeon - Tallymen
|Troops:|| Biologus Putrifier - Blightlord Terminator - Chaos Spawn - Deathshroud |
Foul Blightspawn - Noxious Blightbringer - Plague Marines - Possessed
|Vehicles:||Chaos Land Raider - Helbrute - Plaguereaper - Predator - Rhino|
|Flyers:||Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Thunderhawk|
| Blight Drone - Defiler - Foetid Bloat-Drone |
Myphitic Blight-Hauler - Plague Hulk - Plagueburst Crawler
|Daemons:||Beast of Nurgle - Nurgling - Plaguebearer|
|Auxiliaries:||Cultists - Pestigors - Plague Zombie - Poxwalkers|
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|
|Forces of the Thousand Sons|
|Leaders:|| Chaos Champion - Chaos Lord - Chaos Sorcerer |
Daemon Prince - Exalted Sorcerers
|Troops:||Chaos Spawn - Rubric Marines - Rubric Terminators|
|Castellax-Achea Class Battle-Automata|
|Vehicles:|| Chaos Dreadnought - Chaos Land Raider |
Helbrute - Predator - Rhino - Vindicator
| Silver Tower of Tzeentch - Forgefiend |
Heldrake - Maulerfiend - Defiler
Fire Lord - Doom Wing
|Daemons:|| Flamers of Tzeentch - Horror - Screamers of Tzeentch |
Mutalith Vortex Beast
|Auxiliaries:|| Cultists - Prospero Spireguard - Thrall Wizards |
Tzaangors - Tzaangor Enlightened - Tzaangor Shaman
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|