Fiends of Slaanesh
What, you thought Slaanesh was only into bipeds? Fiends of Slaanesh, also called "Rams of Slaanesh", "Chimeral Leapers", and "Fiends of Exalted Excess", are Daemons from the shared Warhammer settings. They look like the result of a Seeker knocking up a Daemonette, then that baby having sex with a scorpion. This means they combine tits and ass with aardvarks and arthropods.
The lore describes it as "reptilian" and "insectoid", and "anthropomorphic". Which neatly describes most of the art of Tony Ackland, one of the chief original designers of Warhammer Daemons.
Unlike Daemonettes which are passively created by the thoughts of Slaanesh, or Seekers which are created by his feelings, or Keepers which are made intentionally from desires even Slaanesh thinks twice about doing (not that he doesn't eventually), Fiends are created by the dreaming mind of Slaanesh. Considering that everything Daemonic, especially Slaaneshi, is described as radically different in appearance based on all number of factors like the viewer and how Slaanesh felt when he made them, one would expect creatures born from the dreams of such a fickle being to look like just about anything, but... Fiends are fairly consistent in depiction with basically no deviation. Even the lore is without comment on uniqueness. The first generation models had a lot of variety but their appearance was pretty much standardized after that.
They have four human-like legs that end in hooves (so, four horse legs?), a segmented body covered in scales that ends in a scorpion tail full of an unbelievably strong venom that induces a relaxed state that can completely nullify any amount of adrenaline, a cow-like head with black eyes, a huge amount of extremely sharp teeth, a long and muscular tongue, horns, sparkling compound eyes (although most artists just make them black or gemlike colors), and two humanoid arms ending in the typical Slaaneshi crab claws. Unlike Daemonettes, the Fiend is not intelligent enough to use these claws with any degree of precision and instead just uses them to walk on six limbs or to tear things to pieces. Oh, and its entire front is saggy breasts.
Fiends are described as having white bodies and green or blue legs with patterns and tattoos like henna. Of course, most people just paint them pink and purple.
They swing wildly as they run, which is nightmarishly fast, sort of crabwalking at diagonal angles. This produces a drum beat noise, which they sing to in a pitch few can hear. This song is basically Slaanesh's theme song, which turns the Winds of Magic turbulent and causes madness to strike anyone not in Slaanesh's good graces, hitting long before any other effects from a Daemonic army and causing amnesia and/or insanity in magic users and priests.
Fiends are fairly stupid and squishier than even a tiny Daemonette; they blanket battlefields and Slaaneshi sites with their pheromones that numb the body of anyone who smells it like a Slaaneshi hedonist's and shut down any parts of the brain that deal with inhibition or reason, then stalk and attack anything unable to put up a fight like a spider pouncing on an exhausted and tangled fly.
So if Slaanesh dreams of these fuckers every time he sleeps, they must symbolically mean something then, right?
According to basic dream interpretations, chimeras of various kinds of animals (not just the classic goat/Snek/lion/dragon Chimera) mean confusion, feelings of anxiety about the future with its uncertainty, and feeling like the dreamer is sexually repressed or inhibited. Scorpions (that do not sting the dreamer) represent a desire for rebirth, a desire for something radically new, and a pervading sense of boredom in the life of the dreamer. Insects or insectoid traits represent feelings of alertness, sensitivity, and feelings of being under attack or being repressed. Anteaters and aardvarks represent a fear of danger and preventable failure, that small and unnoticed things are working against you in a big way, and that the solution to the dreamer's problems is escaping the situation and finding happiness. Cows represent a lot of things depending on context, usually either relating to a feeling of happiness and comfort or a a sense that bad times are ahead and far too much work with far too little payoff is the dreamer's lot in life. Breasts represent a desire for an easier life, feelings of parental affection or the desire for family, and just plain sexual gratification. The sound of drums means a desire for emotional balance and a more efficient and productive life, singing represents happiness, and complex music made up of multiple sources not only represents the sum of its symbolic parts but planning, or enjoying when a good plan comes together. Horns represent sexuality, and feelings of superiority. So what does this all mean? Depending on your view, either exactly what you imagine it to be as Slaanesh is a comfortable but still unfulfilled lusty and ambitious being that is constantly under threat from all sides, or...fucking nothing because interpreting dreams is hippy bullshit that only a fucker like Tzeentch would be into, because Slaanesh would be too busy creating a Tulpa.
On The Tabletop
Sadly, few companies have ever produced good proxies for such a niche creature. Kitbashing may be the best way to have Fiends without giving Games Workshop your money. A popular way is using Driders, or kitbashing insect monsters with humanoid females.
Raging Heroes created a unique alternative which is a horned woman's upper body, and the lower body bing a quadruped with the torsos of screaming men as legs.
So, you want to play a Daemon army? You're not playing full Nurgle? Good. Take 6-12 Fiends and make an appointment with a proctologist for your opponent (and one for you too, treat yourself, you deserve it).
Fiends in 40k are... underwhelming at best. While rather fragile they can potentially be useful in 8th. Their main appeal is that they keep units without the fly keyword from falling back, meaning a single one can tar-pit a vehicle, potentially very annoying.
Fiends are all around nice, with good (if unreliable) abilities and all around good stats. They are less killy and more tanky for the Host standards, which is a nice change of pace (they are still very fast and fragile, just not as the other units), and, more than other units in the Host of Slaanesh, can act alone and hold important objectives and enemy units in place. If followed by Hellstriders with their Icon, they can be straight up annoying, giving the enemy a -2 malus to hit them. However, they suffer from a crippling defect; they are the only overpriced unit in an all-around very balanced army. A single Fiends cost as a Herald, and 2 Fiends cost as a single unit of Daemonettes or Seekers, which is insane. It's expected for them to drop in price in the next update, but until then use them only in friendly games.
Since T9A rewards playing a monotheist army far more and has generally great internal balance, you'll be seeing a lot less Fiends from now on. In a mixed god army you may still want them, they are no longer mandatory however.
In a full-Lust (Slaanesh) army you'll still want 6-12. But with internal balance improved, feel free to replace them with Seeker Chariots of Slaanesh if that's more your style.
|Forces of the Emperor's Children|
|Leaders:||Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Sorcerer - Chaos Champion |
|Troops:||Noise Marine - Chaos Spawn - Possessed|
|Vehicles:||Chaos Land Raider - Helbrute - Chaos Predator - Chaos Rhino |
|Flyers:||Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Thunderhawk|
|Spacecraft:||Dreadclaw Assault Pod - Kharybdis|
|Defiler - Chaos Dreadnought - Sonic Dreadnought |
Hell-Scourge - Hell-Knight - Hell-Strider Questor Scout Titan
Slaanesh Subjugator - Heldrake - Forgefiend - Maulerfiend
|Daemons:||Daemonette - Fiends of Slaanesh |
Steeds of Slaanesh - Seekers of Slaanesh
|Auxiliaries:||Cultists - Slaangors|
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|