Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Daemons(7E)
GUESS WHAT, FA/TG/UYS? Everyone's favourite codex author has blessed Chaos once again with a new 'dex, and our Dark Gods thought adding more random elements would be a good idea to 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.
This is the latest Edition's tactics. 6th Edition Tactics are here.
- 1 Why play Chaos Daemons
- 2 Special Rules, Warp Storms and other FUN* stuff
- 2.1 Undivided
- 2.2 Khorne
- 2.3 Tzeentch
- 2.4 Nurgle
- 2.5 Slaanesh
- 2.6 Warp Storm!
- 2.7 Random Wargear
- 2.8 Daemonic Loci
- 2.9 Psychic Powers
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Allies
- 5 Building your Army
- 6 Formations
- 7 Strategy
Why play Chaos Daemons
The two biggest problems with the Ork codex this edition are 1) How horribly points-inefficient it is, especially for a horde army and 2) How the randomness of the orks has been so hilariously mishandled. Well, my friends, you'll find neither such problem with Chaos Daemons; while orks are now a horde army that are written like a quality army, Daemons are a quality army written like a horde army. Not only is pretty much every special rule, gift, or psychic power good, but for what you get, most daemon units are bargains of the most epic degree. AP2 and 3 weapons are handed out like candy, and seriously, you're just as likely to have something insanely good happen to you as you are to have something insanely bad happen, although most of the time almost nothing will happen. In fact, it's this very randomness that makes Daemon armies so hard to counter, because often not even the guy playing them will know what's about to happen. Hell, look at Demonic Instability, which has the potential to either revive an entire unit of daemons as they're about to be wiped out or save your opponent the trouble of finishing off the last units left. The Chaos gods cover each other pretty well (Khorne: Anti-special character and anti-psyker. Nurgle: Bodyguard and anti-heavy weapon. Tzeentch: Magic dakka. Slaanesh: Rapetastic melee), even though they decide sometimes to take pot shots at one another in the midst of battle. All in all, if you like rolling the dice and having the ability to make even the OP Eldar and Necrons shit their high-and-mighty pants, this is the army for you.
- Army wide 5++ saves
- Unless you actively shy away from it, no other army, except maybe the Grey Knights, can rock the Psychic phase as hard as you can. It's very easy to rake in easily over ten charges a turn without being really spammy plus you're the only army that can use Malefic Daemonology without the fear of vaporizing into the warp. Plus your the only army that can Synergize with Daemonology. Any Space Marine can summon Bloodletters, but only you can then give those letters Rage with a loci or compensate for their lack of frag grenades with a skull cannon.
- The whole army causes Fear. Guard, Tau, and Orks will tremble when confronted by Daemons in CC.
- Powerful anti-infantry and close-combat, Daemonettes and Bloodletters being some of the best assault infantry in the game. Also Bloodthirsters.
- Plentiful amounts of AP3/2, no one can give their sergeants AP2 swords as easily as you can. Plus Daemons of Slaanesh get Rending by default.
- Awesome Greater Daemons and cheap, effective Heralds. In addition, you can take multiple Heralds in one HQ slot.
- You'll tie with Tyranids with sheer amount of bodies and Monstrous Creatures you'll put on the field. Rarely will you find yourself outnumbered.
- Daemonic Instability: Daemons are basically Fearless, except if they lose in an assault. And 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, this army rewards those who are skilled and patient enough to work around them and it does give some perks. The random nature of the codex means your never quite out of the game. You could be put into situation where other army's would have to give up, but a few lucky rolls could flip it around. The dex can be wildly swingy which means you can lose out of nowhere (but if your ahead you should be able to stay ahead unless the gods totally screw with you), but also that you can come from behind much better then other armys. In addition, with the random weapons and Warpstorm table no two games will be the same, making this army one of the most entertaining to play with if you don't mind losing a few games.
- 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), for that matter Chaos Daemons are the only army other than Death Korps and Space Wolves who can run large masses of Cavalry .
- In fact Chaos daemons have the most 'atypical' unit types of any other faction. No other faction has as many different types of Beasts, Cavalry, or Chariots as the Daemons have. Most army books don't even have these types of units or only have one, Chaos Demons are the only army to have not only all three types but more then one choice of each. Of course you're going to need to remember more movement rules, but so does you opponent.
- You rarely feel like you're playing fair as the book can pull off some serious cheese. The army also approaches the game from a completely different angle to most other lists and can be for people to whom the standard shooty game is a bit stale. Consequently, a Daemon army won't be completely locked out of a game in a position where a straightforward army would be.
- From a modeling perspective, Daemons have, by far, the most variety. Unless you're making a mono-god horde list, you'll rarely grow bored of painting. Kitbashing and homebrew models are accepted and highly encouraged.
- With Malefic Daemonolgy and a lucky roll on the Warpstorm table, you can potentially turn around an otherwise lost game. Summon a unit of Plaguebearers to land on an objective, increase your entire army's invulnerable save by +1, melt some Monstrous Creatures with "Rot, Glorious Rot" or pop your opponents Libarian or Farseer into a Herald. All of these and more are within the realm of possibility.
- Chaos Daemons shine as an ally of Chaos Marines so you can use them to bolster a Choas Space Marine collection when you're just starting out and don't have enough for a full army by themselves. Additionally: even beyond Chaos Marines allies because all armies have excuses for Daemon summoning; you can find uses for even just one unit if that is all you can afford or have.
- You have THE best statlines in the game, bar none. Seriously, fucking Primarchs lack the sheer mano-e-mano power of your characters. Nothing in the game can beat greater daemons at their own games, and even Daemon Princes are stupidly well statted for cheaper HQs.
- Extreme lack of dakka outside of psychic. If you want an army that can shoot its way out of a paper bag, this is not it.
- You know how GW charges 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.
- Not an army for beginners. You need to know what codex you're up against and play accordingly, so knowledge of other codices is vital.
- The abundance of random tables can cause the result of the game to be determined regardless of tactics or strategy. The army can lose out of nowhere to unlikely random chance. A roll of 12 for Instability and a key, durable unit completely disappears. Unlikely, but it's possible.
- Because of the random rolls you need a lot more book keeping compared to other armies since you need to write down your Warlord Trait, gifts and psychic powers. Your opponent will hate you if you have shitty hand writing or don't have a good set of tokens.
- 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 and killing you before they fire a shot).
- Lack of Eternal Warrior means you have to roll on Biomancy if shit hits the fan
- Everything goes squish. Most of your units are Toughness 3 or 4, and with a basic 5++ you'll have models die in droves. Even on your Greater Daemons the best save you'll get is a 3+ armor save and possibly a Feel No Pain (4+) in the form of a Greater Reward. Anti-infantry will be the literal death of you.
- 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. No Instant Death or whatever, your models simply cease to exist and you have to go buy new ones.
- 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.
- While it is an entirely viable army on its own, it's sadly best as an allied force alongside Chaos Space Marines. Daemons provide the bodies, Psychic powers, and Monstrous Creatures that they lack.
- As of the time of this writing Warzone Fenris gave the Chaos Daemons lots of new toys like god-specific artfacts, warlord traits, and expanded psychic powers...
which means to play Chaos Deamons optimally you need effectively two full price codices., then Game Workshop released Wrath of Magnus which has some Tzeentch aligned toys such as mobius strip horrors, meaning you need another 200 Dollar book to play demons optimally. The first two can be aquired easily enough, Head to Black Library and look up Codex Chaos Daemons: Daemonic Incursion Edition. It may be iBook only, but it wraps up both the main Codex plus the Warzone Fenris goodies into one fairly cheap package (Better than the FUCKING Chaos Space Marines- now sitting at one codex, four supplements and a basic requirement to have forge world to be competitive at a higher level) but it's getting close. As for the Wrath of Magnus, unless you want to pay 200 dollars or like the other goodies maybe skip out on the 'once pink new two blue' rule.
- Wargear is very limited- you really have to rely on the stupid statlines of daemons to win rather than careful army composition, entertainingly forcing each unit to be fairly generalist
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 an assault 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 bring back all daemons that died that phase.
Side note: Daemons who take wounds from this Special Rule do not get saves of any kind, but models with Feel No Pain may still take their Feel No Pain roll against this.
- 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!). Daemonettes make them feel inadequate, so Hatred is a given.
- Daemons of Tzeentch have +3 Leadership on Psychic tests (for now up to a maximum of ten unless they FAQ it, but who cares? Psychic tests aren't on Ld anymore) 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). They hate Khorne.
- Icon of Chaos: It works just like before....but better! (+1 Combat resolution and no Deep Strike Scatter within 6") it 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" (does it work for CSM daemons with no mark?), 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 you targeted with witchfire power or with shooting this turn.Seems kind of meh, but can actually cause a couple more casualties.
- 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.
- Slime Trail: Enemy units who were "Smart" 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.
- Attention Seeker: oh ya, that why. 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 (through the slime trail) 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.
- 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. It's also worth pointing out that having a feel no pain roll does not mean there any more or less likely to pass the test, only live though the wounds it dishes out. For best results combine with some way to lower toughness.
Curse of the Wulfen did something unique with the Daemon Warlord traits: you now have Warlord trait tables entirely based around which god you're aligned to. The best Warlord Traits are the Tzeentch ones by and large, only 1 (Trait 6) isn't useful. Most of Nurgle's Warlord table ensures that your GUO will never. Ever. Ever. Fucking die. And make the best Distraction Carnifex ever. Khorne's table on the other hand contains some redundancies, with 1 being useless as fuck against 90% of all armies, while Slaanesh's table makes you more choppy, but that means shit in a meta focused on all shooting. To make things a bit clear, new traits do not replace the old ones, your Warlord just may roll on yet another traits table depending on his daemonic alliance. So if you wondered about unique daemons, they didn't lose their traits. You are still taking Kairos for re-rolling awful Warp Storm rolls and Skarbrand insta-kills everything that is not Gargantuan Creature or Mary Sue with EW.
In a big step up from the old selection, each Chaos God also has its own unique set of Hellforged Artifacts. All can only be used by specific unit types, which are mentioned for each artifact. Keep in mind that regardless of which list it comes from, a given unit can only have one hellforged artifact. Also god-specific artifacts do not count to total amount of Daemonic Rewards taken.
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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, this trait doesn't do jack. Well, at least this is better than the CSM Warlord trait which only gives them Fear. Be'lakor has this by default.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. If you want to kill stuff, then go with a Herald of Slaanesh, Rending with enough attacks can hew though terminators (which says nothing of the WS and Initiative buff putting it on par with a KoS).
- 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. The true purpose of the Portalglyph is to spawn tarpits to tie up shooty squads for a turn saving your bigger units from being gunned down and they could serve as late game objective grabbers. Alright, here's why this thing sucks: first, if you hope you can just place it behind a building and enjoy an endless tide of free reinforcements, think again - it has to be summoned during the game and scatters 4d6" from its owner (side note: no idea whether this thing can claim benefit from Icons as it technically doesn't deepstrike, RAW) although at least it can't suffer a mishap. Second, this thing is incredibly fragile and you're basically giving your opponent free VPs. The final nail in the coffin is that as of 7th Ed, your psykers can do its job better with Daemonology. What's really sad is that this thing could've been cool - if it was actually a fortification instead of equipment, had more HP and didn't have such retarded deployment rules, it would've been so much more useful!
- 'Aternate Take: If you run the Portalglyph out turn one it will get blown up and you won't have much to show for it but that's not what it should be doing. The Portalglyph whould never be used for tarpitting, you get very few models out of it at a time and they can't charge when they emerge. However,it still has fantastic use for late game shenanigans even through all of the negative points listed above. Throw it on an objective to take it turn 5 as a pretty good way to turn a losing game into a surprise win. Yes it scatters but if you summon Daemonettes with their fleet and bonus to their run the scatter starts to look pretty small (14" scatter average: 6" move + 3" bonus run + 3" from objective to contest means you need a 2" run with a fleet reroll to score the objective not counting the width of the glyph token which could add another 1-2"). Or you can summon Pink Horrors to Flicker Fire into an enemy who thought himself safe. While it does summon on a 4+ if it really counts Fateweaver can be there with the saving reroll. If you think of it as a free Summoning once per game you're not that far off.
- 'True Purpose: The Portal Glyph can essentially generate 1 warp charge each turn with a chance of 50%. At the start of the game surround a spot for the glyph with units and out of line of sight, for protection. The glyph cannot scatter far if you control the range with units or the game edge, since it stops scattering when it reaches the edge or a unit. Once the glyph is placed it spits out pink horrors on a 4+ each movement phase. Each time the glyph summons pink horrors it will net 1 warp charge. Considering the cost of 30 points the glyph remains very useful if you plan to dominate the psychic phase. You can always use the charges for more powerful psychics and keep the horrors as batteries. In a game with 5 turns the glyph could net anywhere between 0 to 15 charges depending how often you succeed summoning horrors.
- 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. Dead - as in "removed as casualty," as opposed to "suffers instant death." It's fucking hardcore, no ifs and no buts! 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 pulled a Ward. 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. This is probably the most powerful artifact in the game and is the keystone for nearly all competitive Daemon lists as it is the engine which turns any reasonably fragile unit into an unkillable machine (screamers with cursed earth) or gives a massive boost to a squad in need of help (literally any Daemon unit). Generally, you want to roll grimoire as soon as possible in the turn order as whether you pass or fail dictates how the rest of your turn goes. 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. If your opponent has an unstoppable deathstar (without hit and run) that will run you over simply grim Fateweaver and assault in as there is no unit that can kill him while he has his 2++ rerollable up. 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. Don't forget, if grim fails on a Flying Monstrous Creature they can simply fly off the board instead of simply dieing like most other units would.
Don't forget, you can use this on your Lord of Skulls or assorted CSM Daemon Engines.
For 7th Edition, the Daemons get access to another set of powers: the Malefic Daemonology powers are at your disposal and unlike other psykers, yours won't Perils on any double (just 6's).
In Skies of Death, you now have a bonus rule allowing you to pay 35 points for one of 3 special traits for any Flyer or FMC (FGC is still debatable). Unique characters aren't allowed to buy any upgrades unless specifically mentioned in their codex entry.
- Guided by the Gods - Re-rolls on to-wound and pen on Vector Strikes. Nice on flying Psykers with lots of Wytchfire powers.
- Unholy Fortitude - +1 Wound. Very. Nice.
- Blessed by the Gods - +1 to an Invul save. Think flying Daemon of Tzeetnch with this trait and the Impossible Robes getting a 2+ re-rollable invul. save!!!
Khorne Warlord Traits
- Aspect of Death: Enemy units suffer 1 unsaveable wound per point when they fail a fear test. (Space Marines do not Ignore Fear. But, they just pass Fear Test automatically)
- Glory of Battle: Rampage. Epic on a Bloodthirster, who most likely will be outnumbered.
- Oblivious to Pain: Feel No Pain, and all Daemons of Khorne units get 6+ FNP within 8". T3 on what would be most of the surrounding units and FnP means jack since all it takes is S6+ and it removes the slight FnP bonus. However, basic Feel No Pain is amazing on the Bloodthirsters. Still giving FNP against small arms fire to blood letters is still a benefit and blood crushers need strength 8 to ID so don't underestimate what this can do.
- Immense Power: +1 Strength. Stacks with Furious Charge to bump the big guy to S8 on the charge so you will be instant-deathing most characters by default, but not enough of a difference to warrant a Warlord trait rule. Skip.
- Devastating Blow: A crazier version of Smash: sacrifice all but 1 attacks to make a single SD AP2 hit. No limit on how many times you can do this in one game, and has the potential to make a seemingly nonthreatening Herald much more dangerous than it would be otherwise.
- Rage Incarnate: Warlord and all Khorne Daemons in 8" have the Rage USR. Not so useful on the Bloodthirster of Incessant RAGE (hinthint), but Rage on Bloodletters and Hounds is a godsend.
- A'rgath, the King of Blades: 15 points gives you what's basically a S+1 power sword with Specialist Weapon and Blade King (always hit on a 2+ in challenges) that replaces the model's standard melee weapon. Given that only Daemon Princes and Heralds can use it, it's best suited for a budget Herald when you want to save points while still having an edge in challenges.
- Deathdealer: 15 points again, and also replaces the standard melee weapon. Useable only by Bloodthirsters and DPs. S User, AP2, Decapitating Blow (Instant Death on a To Wound of 6), and Searing Gore (Whenever a model is removed by this weapon's attacks, its unit takes d3 S3 AP4 hits starting on the models closest to the user). What's not to like about AP2 and free hits? (Just free hits since monstrous creatures have AP2 from smash)
- The Crimson Crown: DPs, Bloodthirsters and Heralds of Khorne only. Grants +1 to the Attacks characteristic of all Daemons of Khorne within 8"! Just remember to keep the Herald wearing it back for the second-wave assaults - charging into mass melees to counter the loss of attacks the already engaged units suffer after charge/Rage bonuses have ended, or precision Deep Striking (through the use of Icons/Banners) directly into the middle of multiple engaged units. Though, in the second example, you're really praying to Khorne that at least one unit wins and can consolidate around the Herald so he doesn't get shot to shit.
- Skullreaver: 30 points, replaces your melee weapon, and only usable by Bloodthirsters and DPs. S User, AP2, and Anathema- which makes a roll of 6 to hit Strength D! Not as reliable as the Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage's Great Axe of Khorne for dealing out the almighty D, but it's a flat upgrade over the Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury's weapon.
- Khartoth the Hungerer: 25 points, Heralds and DPs only, and replaces your melee weapon. At first it looks just like a S+1 power sword, but its special rule Sunderer of Time makes it much more. See, when a model takes an unsaved wound from it they're removed from play. Not ID'd, just removed- which means EW won't do dick. However, the model's owner can bring it back via a Deep Strike within 12" of where it was removed if they roll a 4+ at the start of their turn. (It's considered slain if it doesn't come back by the game's end.) So while it could remove a particularly troublesome multi-wound model that's in your way, there's no guarantee that it'll stay gone. Risky, but rewarding. Gargantuan creatures instead of being removed take D3 wounds so it makes for a niche usage.
- Armor of Scorn: 30 points, usable by Bloodthirsters and DPs. Grants a 3+ armor save and Adamantium Will- and more importantly, it reduces the Strength of all attacks that target the bearer by 1! Even on Bloodthirsters which already have a 3+ save, this is a huge deal since it'll make all attacks much less likely to wound in general. The usefulness on a Daemon prince cannot be overstated; This only costs a few points more than Warpforged Armor, which is a manditory upgrade on Khorne Princes already. Reducing the strength by 1 also means that the Daemon Prince is no longer afraid of generic instant death; only weapons with the actual rule now can ID him (the highest strength a weapon can go without going into D is 10). That's on top of making the DP harder to wound in general.
A NOTE ON WARPFLAME & SOULBLAZE
There is a lot of misplaced hate out there for Soulblaze - which is odd, because who would turn down FREE ADDITIONAL HITS?! In a Daemon Host of Tzeentch there's just no way to avoid the Warpflame rule, which experience will teach any Tzeentchian acolyte can be the rule that saves you on a good day (dishing out un-savable wounds), or be the last nail in your coffin on a bad day (providing all your opponent's units with/improving their Feel No Pain). Like Warpflame on its own, the Soulblaze/Warpflame combo can result in absolutely nothing (or - at worse - make your opponents even harder to kill next turn). However, it can be terrifyingly devastating on days when it works in your favor - the two generating up to 6 more wounds on an enemy unit just for hitting it!
- Born of Sorcery: Warlord harnesses Warp Charges on 3+. Personally, the best trait, this means you can one dice a lot of easy powers like the bolt or the nova power
- Incorporeal Form: All enemy units suffer -1 to their BS and WS when attacking Warlord, although inferior to the next trait it definitely does help against shooty armies like Tau or Guard.
- Warp Tether: Warlord and all Daemons of Tzeentch in 9" get +1 to their Invulnerable, one of the most powerful traits in the game, since daemons have many ways to buff invulnerable saves, useful on mono Tzeentch armies
- Lorekeeper of Tzeentch: Warlord gets +1ML. If not a Psyker, become ML1 and must roll on the Change discipline, this is more cheesy than useful--UNLESS you have the Infernal Tetrad as your warlord(s), netting you 3 more warp charges and spells (Daemon Prince of Khorne can never be a psyker). Wreak havoc with three psyker level FOUR daemon princes!
- Tyrant of the Warp: Ignore your first Perils in a Psychic phase. If you generate 21 warp charge points per turn, you're prone to perils, and if you really want to get a Warp Charge three Flickering fire without dying then just rock this trait, and it sounds pretty badass.
- Daemonspark: Warlord and all Tzeentch Daemons in 9" gain Soulblaze on their close combat attacks... by far the worst trait, but a wise opponent might think twice before charging into a battle of attrition with 20 Soulblazing Pink Horrors. But still you better reroll this one.
- Paradox: 25 points, Heralds and LoCs only. Now this is a relic i m expecting to see on every LoC to hit the field. You're not taking this because it's a Concussive AP4 melee weapon, you're taking it for the Warp Contradiction rule. With it, once per turn you can turn all the dice you rolled for Psychic test to the opposite of their displayed value. In other words, you can turn a 1 into a 6 this way and turn a shitty roll into an amazing one instead (and then you get perils, lol), keep in mind that means that you can guarantee a successful power by expending x+x-1 charges (1 for a cost 1, 3 for a cost 2 and 5 for a cost 3). Now you shall feel safe to roll just 5 dice instead of 7 to successfully manifest WC3 powers. Note that Warp Contradiction affects the bearer only and can only be used once every phase. Combined with the Tyrant of the Warp ability means you can get the power you need without risk of perils
- The Endless Grimoire: 35 points, Heralds only. If the Warlord only generates powers from the Change discipline, he gets to use all of them. No, you didn't misread, it says "the Warlord", not "the bearer" although nothing prevents you to make the Grimoire's bearer your Warlord. That awesome tome of wisdom looks pricey but instead of rolling shit you have a guaranteed access to powers you need. The issue is that, in the Pre-Warzone Fenris Codex where the codex specific god powers come into play they have the requirement that you can only roll up to half on the chosen god's table which would mean you'd have to keep the Warlord at ML 1 for the purposes of this upgrade which sucks. In Warzone Fenris' FAQ, an important Errata was released, you can now roll all powers from a god specific discipline. Take a Herald of Tzeentch as Warlord and have all the powers without any risk of nullifying this. With all these toys you can get a LoC that is almost exactly like Fateweaver. With the +1 Mastery level trait and the endless grimoire as well s the impossible robe you have a fateweaver with a better invul(knows all powers, 3++, ML4) with the large benefit of being able to fight in combat effectively.
- Soul Bane: 15 points, DPs and Heralds only. Its just in the relics cause they need a fluff related reason for having one. An unusual melee weapon with S User, AP equal to your target's initiative (with AP1 against vehicles and AP- with anyone who's I7 or higher), and Fleshbane. It can be interesting on a Herald, if you like spending 15pts for interesting... But well worth it on a Daemon Prince - the AP1 vs vehicles means he's more likely to EXPLODES! them, and Fleshbane combined with his high initiative, invul. save, flight & psychic powers makes the Prince of Tzeentch a perfect Riptide/Wraithlord/Wraithknight hunter!
- The Oracular Dais: 35 points, Heralds only. A Disc of Tzeentch that allows you to auto-pass a reserve roll for any friendly Chaos Daemon unit once per turn. This works with instruments to drop a second unit. For an instrument to work you have to pass the reserve-roll and it's actually only 10 points since a normal disc is 25 points.
- The Impossible Robe: 25 points, LoC, DPs and Heralds of Tzeentch only. On the one hand, its a 3+ invulnerable save. On the other hand, if you take an unsaved wound you need to pass a Ld test or be removed from play. While it sounds really risky, on a LoC it's frankly amazing; with T6, 5 wounds, Ld 9, your opponent hitting you on 6s in the air, AND rerolling saves of 1, this makes your LoC a nigh unkillable fuck laying down psychic dakka or summoning unit after unit of daemons. Hopefully for the sake of your opponent this doesn't stack with the Warp Tether Warlord Trait, but it does stack with the cursed earth psychic power. It might be as usefull using the grimoire as your wasting the bonus +2 to you invulnerable as you only need one and the risk of failing the 3+(unless you have fateweaver)aka reroll. If you want to avoid the risk of the Grimoire just buy the Flyer ace. Fun fact: Fatewaver used to have almost this exactly.
- The Everstave: 20 points, Herald or LoC only. In melee, it's S User AP4 with Soulblaze and Warpflame. As a ranged weapon, it's a Heavy 1 flamer with S5 AP3 along with Soulblaze and Warpflame. Soulblaze is semi decent, the template may not be a baleflamer but it's far from bad. Take it for the Template or not at all. Would this work with the Warpflame Host formation, Storm of Daemonis Fire rule? Combine with flamers to make sure that if you have to burn some space marines that a lot less of them will be upright to minimize the risk of warp flame. Honestly, its not that bad and it can roast some stuff if put on a flying monster.
Psychic Powers of Change
- Primaris: Flickering Fire - WC1, WC2, or WC3. This power right here? It's what is supposed to act in the place guns for your army. Flickering fire is a variable yield spell, normally it's a warp charge one spell that throws out 2d6 heavy bolter shots with soulblaze and warpflame. But by casting it as either a warp change two or three spell, you add an extra d6 worth of shots for each additional charge your spending. Remember that while Heavy Bolters are generally not that good, yours are generally strapped onto much more mobile shooting platforms who can maneuver to the rear arc on enemy vehicles and glance them out before they knew what hit them. Oh those Pink Horrors, no they're S3 they can't possibly hurt your Wave Serpent, why don't you maneuver it closerDAKKADAKKADAKKA Dead Serpent. NOTE: it's capped as a level three spell, so NO you can't throw 12 warp charges behind this spell to throw out 13D6 worth of shots, and Warzone Fenris imposes the "Choose WC# before casting" limit Eldritch Storm and some other Daemon Powers have.
- Tzeentch's Firestorm - WC1. strength D6+1, AP- small blast with warpflame; the worst spell in the game.
- Bolt of Change - WC1. Str D6+4, AP 2, 24" beam, warp flame. As one of three anti tank powers, it's arguably the weaker of the spells, but at warp charge 1, it is easier one to get off.
- Alternate Opinion: As a beam weapon with the same range as a bolter there is potential for some pretty good vehicle wrecking capability. Combined with Tzeentchs Exalted Locus, a D6+5 strength AP2 beam starts to look pretty tasty. Also with a minimum of S7 with the formation in the decurion it start to be pretty scary (if you could ever afford the 9 horrors squad formation of course)(Do note however that the formation only require 9 units from a list of 3, with the points being 50, 69 and 90 as such a reasonably balanced formation runs to about 700 for the 9 units AND the herald with the Ex Locus of +1 Str)
- Tzeentch's Warpflame - WC1 Nova with 9" range, S D6 (Yep, you roll for that Strength value fucker), AP4, Assault 2D6, Ignores Cover, with Warpflame Rule. Too random in strength to be reliable, potentially a real fucker if you roll a 6 in the middle of an enemy formation with lots of cover, potentially just a waste of your Warp Charges when you roll S1 and wound not just MEQs on a 6, but those dirt cheap GEQs as well.
- Boon of Flame - WC2, or WC3. Decide before casting. WC2 nabs you 1 Exalted Flamer, WC3 gives you either 3 flamers or 1 Chariot. Just take 1 roll and Malefic and swap for Primaris. However, while inferior to Malefic it's not bad just limited, and even Malefic can't summon Flaming Chariots, and since the psychic phase is juuuust before the shooting phase you can use this to summon some powerful shooting attacks and distractions.
- Infernal Gateway - WC2. Bolt of Change's big brother. Str d6+4, AP1, blast, Warpflame. The blast does mean you have the chance to get multiple targets, but it's a small blast so not ideal.
- Prismatic Gaze - WC3. 18" AP1 Destroyer hit. This is what you want to demolish vehicles, Wraithknights, and Dreadknights with.
In all, the boost to Warpflame when using the Tzeentch infantry formation works wonders with this discipline, but outside of it? The God of Disease has greater magick than the god of Magic himself, except for Power 6, which is 100% luck-based. Curse of the Wulfen actually made that discipline a bit worse: now you have a 50 % chance to roll bad power instead of 33.3% and a single Destroyer hit is useless against horde armies and any units with multiple models. No guarantees unless using Fateweaver or a ML1 Herald with Endless Grimoire. The Exalted Locus is good for this as well, but it's only one squad. Unless, again, you run the Tzeentch infantry based formation. Which leads to silliness such as 9 squads of Horrors shooting 2d6 Autocannon rounds each with a WC1 power. Are we starting to see a pattern here? Taking Horrors and/or Flamers? Take the Warpflame Host. It improves them and their herald ridiculously well. Just fucking do it.
- Blessed with Corpulence: Gain +1 wound. Hilarious since it can stack with the Corpulence Greater Reward for a 9-wound GUO.
- Acidic Ichor: Enemy units in close combat with Warlord take a S1 AP2 Poisoned (4+) auto-hit every time the warlord loses a wound. Nice protection in challenges.
- Plaguefly Hive: Enemy units can only snap fire at Warlord and his unit, if they are within 7". Makes a great distraction as enemy hits so much less, has a tough time even denting T7 (T10 with Iron Arm or Nurgle Discipline). Brokenly good on a herald in a drone bus.
- Virulent Touch: If a model takes an unsaved wound from Warlord in the Assault phase, must pass a toughness test or lose a wound with no armor saves allowed.
- Impenetrable Hide: Feel No Pain, or +1 to FNP if they have it already. If you got Endurance, or rolled the 4+ FNP greater reward, your opponent will bitterly weep.
- Miasma of Pestilence: Any units within 7" of warlord that suffer unsaved wounds take additional D6 Poisoned (5+) Ignores Cover wounds.
- Grotti the Nurgling: A little pet for Nurgle HQs, 40 points. All non-Daemon of Nurgle units within 6" of the bearer (friend or foe) have their toughness reduced by 1. Combine with Plague Flail and Epidemia and Biomancy's weakness for awesome pew pew.
- Corruption: 25 points, only for Nurgle HQs as well. Unusually, this melee weapon has no Strength rating of its own. Instead, it always wounds on a successful To Hit and uses the user's strength for ID and armor penetration purposes. While its AP- may seem like an issue against vehicles, it always glances on a 6 so you may still get lucky with it. So on a MC, it's auto wounding with AP 2?
Alternate Take this is not worthless but not good at all, for 20points you can have a Balesword instead, Instant Death and poison 4+, this becomes even better when you realise that a DP Insta kills T4 models on 2's with rerolls and T5 models on 3's with rerolls, after that never worse than a 4.
- Horn of Nurgle's Rot: 35 points, DPs and Heralds only. After resolving close combat attacks, all Plaguebearer units within 12" of the bearer gain another model for every model that was slain. The new models must be in coherency and follow the normal positioning rules.
- Epidemia: 20 points, GUOs only. A S+1 AP- melee weapon that forces the units of models removed by its attacks to pass a toughness test or suffer an additional wound.
- The Doomsday Bell: 30 points, Heralds only. Counts as an Instrument of Chaos and inflicts a -1 Ld penalty as long as the bearer is on the field. Combine with Slaanesh psychic powers for best results.
- Death's Head of Duke Olaks: 15 points, Heralds only. S1 AP4 with Large Blast, Assault 1, Poison (2+), and One Use Only. Basically a blight grenade on steroids.
Psychic Powers of Plague
- Primaris: Stream of Corruption - WC1. An AP 3 template with poison 4+, it's a pretty nifty power. Anything shy of a terminator is going to at least take a dent from this.
- Debilitating Distention - WC1 Malediction which stops a target unit within 24" from Running, performing Sweeping Advances, or firing Overwatch. Neuter an enemy unit with a temporary Slow and Purposeful? Yes, please!
- Plague Wind - WC1. 12" AP2 poison 4+ large blast, this WILL dent anything, including terminators. The poison 4+ does mean there's only a 50/50 chance of wounding, but the AP2 makes it better than trying to hit them with your swords.
- Miasma of Pestilence- WC1. A BLESSING, important note, that targets the caster. Any enemy models in close combat with him or his unit suffer a D3 penalty to weapon skill and initiative. Cast this just before your herald and ONLY your herald gets stuck in, (A greater daemon/prince will usually do without this buff unless he's facing something equally tough) and you have better things to spend your warp charges on.
- Rancid Visitation - WC2. A 12" nova, all units have to pass a toughness test or suffer a wound with no armor or cover allowed, then it has to pass ANOTHER test if it suffered a wound or suffer more wounds until it passes. This one is warp charge 2, and for a good reason. This thing is nasty if used right, combine with something to nerf toughness to make this a true monster.
- Final Decomposition - WC2, 12" Focused Witchfire. Instead of rolling to wound, opponent must roll the dice, if result is higher than number of Wounds remained, the model takes an AP2 Instant Death auto-wound.
- Putrescent Vitality - WC1, WC2, or WC3. Blessing which gives +1 toughness to a Daemon of Nurgle Unit within 24" for each warp charge level you picked when you cast it. No getting lucky and then upping it to +2T or +3T, you have to decide the level beforehand. Iron Arm is better as a personal power for Daemon Princes or GUO, but this can target anything other than the Psyker. So T7 Plaguebearers, or allow Nurglings to overcome stupid T3 Instant Death shenanigans.
In all, got an even more awesome boost with Curse of the Wulfen. Without a doubt the best discipline to roll on. 1 massively OP buff (Putrescent Vitality), and several powers to neuter/cripple enemy units to make them easy pickings in close combat. Also the witchfires laugh at anything in Power Armor or Terminator Armor.
- Celerity of Slaanesh: Warlord and unit can Run and Charge in the same turn. A unit of Slaanesh Seekers with a Herald on Steed move 12", can run a rerollable D6+6", and an additional 6s with the Grand Cavalcade formation, and then Assault 2D6 with Fleet. That's a 42" threat range. In short, expect first turn charges with this warlord trait.
- Quicksilver Duelist: Re-roll all failed hits in a Challenge. That feel when the God of Excess is more choppy than the God of Choppy.
- The Murderdance: Warlord plus any Daemons of Slaanesh re-roll 1s to hit in Assault. Given the wording, your entire army benefits from it.
- Fatal Caress: 6s to wound are Instant-Death. Stealing abilities from Khorne now, are we? Remember Slaanesh has rending so even for non monstrous creatures this is going to be an instant-death AP2 hit.
- Savage Hedonist: +1 Attack. Moving on.
- Bewitching Aura: Enemy units locked in combat with Warlord must take a leadership test or suffer -5 to their Weapon Skill.
- Soulstealer: 20 points, DPs and KoS only. A power sword that lets you regain a wound when you use it to remove a model. Almost brokenly good on either unit. Just march down the field and if the enemy doesn't slay your daemon before it can assault a chump squad, or even an elite unit, you might suddenly find yourself healed back to full.
- Silvershard: 30 points, DPs and KoS only. Also a power sword, but grants 2 extra attacks.
- The Slothful Claw: 10 points, KoS and Heralds only. One melee attack becomes a S+2 AP2 Specialist Weapon Rending àttack.
- The Forbidden Gem: 15 points, Heralds only. At start of the fight sub-phase, after challenges issued but before blows are struck, any model in a challenge with the bearer must roll 3D6 and subtract their Ld. That model suffers penalty to WS and Initiative equal to the result for the rest of the phase. This combined with the Exalted Locus of Beguilement makes you a challenge rape machine.
- Whips of Agony: 15 points, Exalted Alluress only. S User AP5, allows bearer to reroll all to wound rolls and unsaved wounds prevent the target from performing any attacks for the rest of the Fight sub-phase. Cheap, yet effective. You pretty much need to score 1 wound to disable your enemy having a low S and Rending with to Wound re-roll will maximize the amount of 6s rolls you can get. If your enemy has a target with I above 4 bring a Fiend to allow your Exalted Allure to attack first.
- Mark of Excess: KoS, DPs and Heralds of Slaanesh may take this for 15 points. If the bearer kills a MC or Character at Fight sub-phase, he gains an extra attack for the rest of the game. It does stack as its applied at the end of each phase, so if you're planning on going on a spree it might be worth the 15 points.
Psychic Powers of Excess
- Primaris: Lash of Slaanesh - WC1. A bolter ranged beam with strength 6, AP- and rending. While not as generally strong as the Tzeentch stuff, (Tzeentch is greater in strength on a 3+) this is your other anti tank option. On, say, a flying daemon prince, this is actually pretty good because you can line up multiple targets, potentially in their rear arcs.
- Acquiescence - WC1. A malediction with 18" range that makes a target enemy suffer a -5 penalty to initiative, and more importantly can't fire overwatch or counter attack. Use it just before you charge, and drink their tears as you spill their blood.
- Pavane of Slaanesh - WC2 a focused witch fire that makes a target enemy within a bolter shot take a leadership test, if failed a model within said unit loses a wound, if it is slain, the unit keeps suffering wounds until it passes one. A more mental version of Rancid Visitation, and a much weaker version as well. Never target at multi wound models. Note that because demons have comparably low leaderships to work with Demon instability this power can be FUN* in mirror matches, cast it on a unit of fury's and watch them pop like balloons.
- Maniacal Fervor - WC1. Unit within 12" gains Rage, Furious Charge, and Zealot, but takes D6 S3 AP- hits. Yeah, a spell which while buffs, can actually hurt a target. Um... maybe? While this can be effective enough on to slaaneshi units, since granting more attacks to the already Rending demons can be enough to make even terminator reach for the safe word, casting this on something like plague drones or noise marines (who can both have toughness to likely ignore s3's or armor save them away) suddenly makes them much, much more scary with virtually no risk whatsoever. Ever want to see a GUO do an impression of a Bloodthirster?
- Phantasmagoria - GIVE YOUR TARGET A CONTINUOUS ORGASM BABY! besides being worth 22 points in scrabble, this is a WC1, Malediction which forces an enemy unit to make an Ld test in order to do ANYTHING at all. Like an improved version of Telepathy's Dominate Power.
- Slicing Shards - WC2. Witchfire with 24", S4 AP4 Large Blast, Assault 1 which inflicts D6 additional S4 AP4 hits on anything hit if they fail a leadership test afterwards. Fuck that horde.
- Cacophonic choir - WC2. A 12" nova that makes you roll 2d6, all hit units subtract their leadership from the result and take the difference in wounds with no cover or armor save allowed, then all units hit by the power take a pinning test. At warp charge two, you're better off getting psychic shriek from telepathy, though this power does get around Invisibility bullshit since it's a nova.
- The fact that this causes Pinning Tests even if the targets don't suffer wounds makes it useful against Tau, Orks, and certain types of IG armies. Note that you cannot pin Riptides (though thanks this is still a decent power to use against them thanks to ignoring armor) because MCs can't go to ground... but Pathfinders are only Ld 7 (8 with leader).
In all, not bad but not great either. Acquiescence has been superseded by Debilitating Distention, Maniacal Fervor and Phantasmagoria are excellent blessings and maledictions respectively, but everything else is done better by Change or Plague, however in mirror matches due to demons low leaderships (all basic troop demons are leadership 7), or armies who have low Ld values anyway (Tau, Imperial Guard, Orks), this discipline could do good work.
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), of course that's assuming you don't roll double 6's for EVERY unit's instability check (were 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!
- NOTE: The new Daemonic Incursion detachment allows you to add 1 or subtract 1 from your Warp Storm rolls after you make them. Never worry about getting this result ever again.
- 5 - Tzeentch compels you to roll a bunch of dice. For every six an enemy (or Nurglic) 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 then 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). Bonus points if you roll this on your first turn. Totally useless if your opponent doesn't even have a psyker on the board though.
- Big problem with this now, the herald is 'born' at the start of the shooting phase, so if it's your turn it won't be able to move or use powers until your next turn, and in your enemy's turn he'll have a full turn to deal with it. Snag a Nurgle herald so it can be as big a thorn to kill as possible.
- In addition, if you are playing against Daemons, you can't transform Daemon Psykers into your Herald through this roll.
- 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 or already running a Lord of Change with Summoning.
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.
All in all, not much to recommend here. May be nice on a Unit Champion or Herald to swap for an Etherblade or potentially end up with 2+ reserves, but most won't benefit Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes unless you're a psyker and rolled #4, in which case good fucking luck to anyone trying to curse you with maledictions or target you with witchfires.
- 0 - Magic Weapon - If you don't like what the Dark Gods gave you, you can still fall back on a nifty special weapon.
- Etherblade - default is this AP2, master-crafted melee weapon. At 10 pts., you will scarcely find a bargain like this in any other codex.
- Axe of Khorne - Available to Daemons of Khorne, AP2, Instant Death on 6s to-wound. The preferred armament for the Blood God's servants and just like the Etherblade, you are very hard pressed to find a better bargain.
- Staff of Change - Available to Daemons of Tzeentch, a power maul with WARPDOOM, which causes victims to explode and inflict d6 S5, AP- hits on nearby units, although this includes yourself. Kinda risky, plus the Mutating Warp Blade is better.
- Alternate Take: Giving a Staff of Change to a Lord of Change or Tzeentch Daemon Prince provides a cheap, effective way of insta-gibbing multi-wound anything T4 or lower...which pops up more often than you'd expect.
- Plague Flail - Available to Daemons of Nurgle, +1 Strength, suckers must pass a Toughness test or suffer an additional wound. Not bad, but falls a bit short in an all-Space Marine metagame, that and the Balesword is way better.
- Witstealer Sword - Available to Daemons of Slaanesh, it has Rending for some superfluous reason (sidenote: does this mean that Rending bestowed by Slaaneshi Daemonhood does not stack with close combat weapon profiles?)but causes an additional wound on a failed Initiative test. Kinda meh: would've been better priced at 5pts. instead of 10.
- 1 - Burning Blood - Every wound suffered in combat causes d3 bolter shots to the offender. It's... not bad but not good, largely because (once again) that all-Space Marine metagame makes this of marginal benefit, and non space marines tend to come in such numbers that taking out 3 of them is just a drop in the bucket.
- 2 - Cleaving Strike - A 6 to Hit doubles the attack's Strength. Cute; pairs nicely with an Axe of Khorne on Daemons of Khorne if you have the Blood God's favour.
- 3 - Corrosive Breath - A Flamer with +1 Strength and Armourbane. Very useful for defense and offense against hordes and (mainly lightly armoured) vehicles.
- 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. It's also okay - the high-strength is nice for high-BS Daemons but it's let down by the low AP. Great for sniping METAL BOXES.
- 6 - Warp Strider - +1 to Reserve Rolls for the daemon and his unit. Hell yes - bring your motherfuckers in on a 2+!
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 - as per lesser rewards, you can opt out of whatever you rolled for one of these.
- Greater Etherblade - a +1 S, AP2, master-crafted melee weapon. A damn good bargain at 20 pts.!
- Blade of Blood - for Daemons of Khorne, AP2 and, technically Rampage (the rule it self is worded such as that it gives the wielder rampage but the weapon does not have it itself), but Unwieldy. It combines well with the axe of Khorne or an Eitherblade granting +1 attack since there both specialist weapons and the axe strikes at initiative while the Blade grants rampage even if you do not use it! It's great for Thirsters and DPs but also swell on Heralds or Bloodreapers looking to pick up horde-mulching duty. Grab an Etherblade, Greater Etherblade or Axe of Khorne with itfor either Master Crafted or character hunting and that bonus attack.
- Mutating Warpblade - for Daemons of Tzeentch, power sword that turns slain Characters and MCs into Chaos Sp... things that never should be named. It's very good, but the hard part is slaying the enemy character or Monstrous Creature. Works for some characters, but monstrous creatures may a bit tough.
- Balesword - for Daemons of Nurgle, poisoned 4+, Instant Death and what is basically Gauss. The ultimate anti-MC weapon when given to a Daemon Prince or GUO; just remember to tie up the enemy whatsit with another unit first lest your DP get gibbed by Overwatch.
- Lash of Despair - for Daemons of Slaanesh, 2d6 attacks at the user's base strength up to 12" away. Were this weapon rending, you could have had yourself a rather brutal long range weapon. As it stands, it's just an unreliable form of anti-air when loaded onto a flying DP. If you want it to be a bit more of a Reliable Anti-air weapon, you can use psychic powers that buff strength to increase the power of this weapon.
- 1 - Corpulence - +1 Wounds and It Will Not Die. Very useful although funny to picture on anything Slaaneshi.
- 2 - Daemonic Resilience - Feel no Pain 4+. This + Greater Daemons = Your opponent's tears.
- 3 - Dark Blessing - Can reroll ALL Invulnerable saves. Fuckin' A - you just improved your invulnerable save by about 1.5. Marginal improvement for Daemons of Tzeentch, though.
- 4 - Hellfire Gaze - A Tau Fusion Blaster with Lance instead of Melta. This one is excellent for anything with a BS of 6 or more - Bloodthirsters, Keepers of Secrets, Lords of Change and Heralds of Khorne/Slaanesh, specifically.
- 5 - Touch of Uncreation - Fleshbane and Armourbane on all melee attacks. This is the one you hope and pray to roll for your close combat Heralds. Greater Daemons and DP's also benefit from not having to Smash to pop vehicles.
- 6 - Unbreakable Hide - 3+ Armor Save. What's that? You're a DP with Warp-Forged Armour or a Bloodthirster? Well that's what the greater magic weapon is for! If you're any other Greater Daemon or a Herald, this is awesome because free-ish power armour!
Ostensibly, you only ever want to buy Exalted Rewards for your GDs and DPs - they're just too expensive and don't do enough, plus the MC Daemons can afford to purchase more rewards than Heralds, just in case. Exalted Rewards can still be swapped out for Hellforged Artefacts from the Chaos Daemons codex. This means Heralds can take the Grimoire/Portalgryph which is the only time Exalted Rewards are not a waste for Heralds.
- 0 - Hellforged Artefact - You get a special artefact of your choice, selected from one of four lists dependent on which Chaos God the model is associated with.[This is incorrect. Curse of the Wulfen DOES NOT replace the old Hellforged Artefact table. Any exalted reward roll may be swapped out for a 0 which allows user to select one item from the Hellforged Artefact able. The new artefact tables can be taken by any unit which can take Daemonic Rewards. The artefacts, however, do not count toward the maximum allowable reward points. Each Daemon can only take ONE artefact from ANY hellforged artefact table so you cannot take one from the new book and one from the table in the old book on the same model.]
- 1 - Doubly Blessed - You get a reroll on the table and a Lesser Reward free of charge. In a word, AWESOME. This is the sort of thing you want to get as a DP.
- 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. Nice!
- 4 - Unholy Frenzy - Rage and Rampage. If you're a Daemon of Khorne and you're planning on rocking a Blade of Blood, this can be moot, so make sure you roll Exalted rewards before the greater ones since if you get Rampage here you can roll for something different from the Greater rewards. If you roll this and you haven't taken the Eternal Blade yet, you probably want to exchange it for that.
- 5 - Warp Tether - The first time the character would die he is instead placed in reserve with one wound left. Trolliest, by far.
- 6 - Wind of Chaos - Strength 2d6 AP4 Blast, Large Blast if you roll an 11 or 12.
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.
- Lesser Locus of Abjuration: Gives Adamantium Will to the unit for a 5+ Deny the Witch! save. Honestly, it's probably not worth it, if just because the most powerful psychic powers are almost all buffs, which aren't affected by DtW anyway, plus the Greater and Exalted Loci of Khorne are generally more useful for your purposes (which is killing things). Still, it's cheap and, if you think you'll go up against an army (like Chaos Daemons ja ja) that could spam offensive psychic powers, it might just be worth it.
- Greater Locus of Fury: RAGEEEE!!! This little Locus is essential on Bloodletters, being the cost of two Bloodletters 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 only five points less than the Exalted Locus.
- Exalted Locus of Wrath: HATRED (against EVERYTHING)!!! It's 5 points more than 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. This is especially good with the new formations which allow units to be affected by more than one Locus. A unit of flesh hounds from the Murderhoarde formation combined with a Herald (exalted locus) and Karanak (greater locus) would have both rage and hatred.
- Lesser Locus of Virulence: 6s to Hit always wound on a 2+. Adds a bit more punch to your plagues, alright for 10 points.
- Greater Locus of Fecundity: Feel no Pain. Makes Plaguebearers who are in cover harder to crack than terminators, or better yet, there is nothing against a herald with this joining up with the Beasts of Nurgle, Toughness 5, 4 Wounds, Shrouded, It Will Not Die, and Feel no pain? that's a nightmare to try and kill!
- Exalted Locus of Contagion: 6's to Hit generate an additional hit that always wounds on a 4+. Go kill some MCs.
- Lesser Locus of Grace: Move Through Cover. Good on Slaanesh cavalry and chariots.
- Greater Locus of Swiftness: +5 Initiative (WHAAAAAA...?)
- Exalted Locus of Beguilement: Reroll all failed to Hit rolls, the opponent must always accept your challenges and YOU decide who accepts.
- 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.
- Greater Locus of Change: The whole unit's Strength is randomized at the start of each turn. This cannot end well.
- on the other hand, Tzeentch stuff only has a strength of 3 anyway, so on a 4+ you're getting better, on a 3 your normal, and on a 1 and 2 you're screwed, So the odds are in your favor. If you think you might need to assault with Horrors,`1- (you silly silly man) consider this one.
- Exalted Locus of Conjuration: +1 Strength to all Psychic Powers. Pretty straightforward.
Chaos Daemons have a nifty bonus in that they all start with their respective God's Primaris power. The powers are mostly full of mind bullets but each power set specializes into a different kind of mind bullet. Tzeetch is random, but has anti infantry and anti tank powers. Nurgle laughs at everything with a power armor save, Slaaanesh has s̶t̶r̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶b̶u̶f̶f̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶n̶e̶r̶s̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶d̶e̶c̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶s̶h̶o̶o̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶s̶t̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶i̶n̶f̶e̶r̶i̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶T̶z̶e̶e̶n̶t̶c̶h̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶s̶. less random psychic abilities at the cost of being slightly less powerful than Tzeentch powers.
Something to keep in mind given how spell heavy you are is that spells have there own phase so you can still run in the shooting phase, this is very important and gives you army a unexpected degree of slipperiness.
The God-specific discipline tables got a massive overhaul with the Warzone: Fenris book. Now it gives a full table with 7 powers (Primaris+6 others), each is EXTREMELY useful when used with the intended God, and can have ways of benefiting rival gods too! Stick with Malefic, summoning varied cheese is too powerful.
HQ units are broken down into Greater Daemons and Heralds. Greater Daemons (including Daemon Princes) bring a lot of hurt but cost a lot, especially the named Daemons; conversely, Heralds are cheap, disposable HQ and you can take a shitload of them as they bend the rules a bit for HQ selections.
Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes
- Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury: 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 - While he lacks the FMC abilities of other Bloodthirsters, Skarbrand more than makes up for it by combining Fleshbane/Armourbane and Instant Death on a single model. Throw in a better statline than a regular Bloodthirster's already-awesome one (+1 I and A), Rage and Hatred and he's all but guaranteed to curbstomp any non-Apoc HQ or MC in the game on the charge - and all for cheaper than a regular 'Thirster. The problem is that like the Black Mace Daemon Prince he lacks defensive power. 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. Skarbrand's best-use is as the ultimate Distraction Carnifex - he'll straight-up demolish even heavy-hitters like Big Papa Smurf or The Swarmload if he gets the charge on them, and as such will attract a shitload of heavy firepower/your opponent's best assault unit to stop that happening. 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. 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 while they'd have trouble pulling it off on the board, it's still a unit that would give even veteran Grey Knight players serious pause to be facing on the table.
- Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster: Has an Axe of Khorne, Hatred (Characters) and Adamantium will with 2 new items: Hellfury, a Template Weapon which is basically a Soulblaze Heavy Flamer (good for taking out Hordes). The next is the Bloodflail which acts as a shooting weapon with 12", S7 AP2 and Assault D3 (Think of it as a Plasma Pistol, that doesn't get hot and can potentially fire 3 shots) while in melee it's S: User, AP2 and Specialist weapon. Use this one exactly like a Dakka Flyrant. Also 50 points more than the classic one
- Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage: 25 more points than the classic BT gets you RAGE and a Great Axe of Khorne which is S:D AP2 but is so massive it had to get new rules because Monstrous creatures ignore Unwieldy. For the record, it has the Colossal rule which literally is unwieldy, but for Monstrous Creatures. So, yeah. 8 D strength attacks on the charge. If what ever attacks it doesn't kill it before it piles in, it's fucking dead. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. If there was ever a reason to abuse grimoire/cursed earth/invisibility, it's staring you in the face right here! This guy will draw ALL the fire your enemy has and will not survive a turn on the ground without at least 2 of those tricks cast on him. This guy wrecks Super heavies for fun but won't get close without buffs to his survivability.
- Great Unclean One - Being a Greater Daemon of Nurgle, it's no surprise that this little guy can take tons of punishment, being one of the toughest units in the entire game with the ablity to reach T10(!) by having access to Biomancy. Despite his fat and bloated appearance, The Great Unclean One can also bring the pain in close combat by having five S6 attacks with no upgrades. However, the Great Unclean One is terribly slow, being only able to move 6" a turn due to Slow and Purposeful. As a result, Deep Strike is an absolute necessity for him to ever reach any sort of combat. Now here's where it gets tricky. Any 40k player worth a damn is going to ignore shooting this unit because of its sheer bulk and target your other more squishy units instead. You need to invest in plenty of upgrades for this guy, or he's going to be the world's fattest statue. A good loadout for The Great Unclean One involves two Greater Rewards (the Exalted Rewards table is pretty meh for this kind of unit). As for psychic powers two points in Biomancy for ridiculous buffs, and one point in Plague to gain access to a shooting attack might seem like the obvious route, but what tends to be more practical is all three powers on Biomancy for maximum chance at Iron Arm; besides the Great Unclean One doesn't really need a shooting attack (and Psychic Focus means you'll get one anyway). Deep Strike him on an objective or behind your opponent's delicious gunline, and you just made the Great Unclean One something that cannot be ignored by your opponent. Then giggle manically as they struggle to put down a T7-T10 Monstrous Creature with 6 wounds, all while the rest of your forces come in to help clean up. However, you will always need to watch out for tarpit units, Fleshbane, poison or sniper weapons (Nurgle weak to poison?! HERESY! But seriously they hurt).
- 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.)
- 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 LoC, 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 that both have had new codices that pump their CC ability in a lot of places, this can be very useful.
- Lord of Change - What Bloodthirsters are to stabbing LoCs are to magic. 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 - One of the strongest units in the 'dex and a lynchpin to nearly every list. 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 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! Remember, you can still use your reroll even if Fateweaver has flown off the board as he simply needs to be alive and you get a reroll on both yours and your opponent's turn so don't think you have to save it to use on their turn.
- 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 mandatory upgrade to a Daemon of a Chaos God (one of them had to promote the lucky mortal after all). 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 and in most cases you should consider investing your points to the more powerful Greater Daemons as they are damningly more cost effective (and sometimes cheaper as with the GUO and KoS) than the Daemon prince, which both says something and is pretty fucking sad. It's better to take this Build-a-Daemon as your Heavy support choice. Just do not, I repeat, DO NOT go overboard on the gifts and upgrades! Keep in mind that Wings and Armour are damn near mandatory.
They do however have a few roles for you to consider, such as the Slaanesh Lash Prince. Consisting of a DP with wings, Lash of Despair and a biomancy psyker, pray to Slaanesh that you roll Iron Arm and fly around all game throwing 2d6 S9 shots (which is absolutely insane!) at enemy flyers. It's unreliable as fuck but if you wanted reliability, you picked the wrong codex. Alternatively, you can build a monstrous creature hunter by taking a Nurgle Prince, give it the Balesword and three points into Biomancy. Buff yourself up with the fantastic Biomancy buffs to make yourself a very tough cookie to take down (watch out for Tau, however. They love their Skyfire and Ignore Cover). Get him into assault with a MC, prepare to drink your opponent's tears: stab 'em with your Balesword for an AP2 Instant Death attack. The big drawback with the Balesword is its lack of AP but because DPs are monstrous creatures they can bypass this drawback.
- 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 proper but gained Fleshbane and Decapicating Blow (ID on a to-wound of a 6) 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+ attacks, 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 Eternal Warrior that regular Daemon Princes lack and is a Level 3 Psyker with all spells from Telepathy Discipline by default. He comes with the unique rules Shadow Form (4+ invulnerable save and Shrouded) 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 an OP steal with access to ALL telepathy powers. Hitting on 6's in shooting and assault phase? Also no blast and templates? Emprah have mercy for those he gets close to. Also his model is arguably the coolest GW has ever made, too. The only mediocre thing about the awesome Be'lakor is that in a battleforged list he takes up an HQ/Daemonlord slot all on his own due to lack of devotion.
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 FAQed so any detachments may take 'em). The following count as Heralds: Skulltaker, Karanak, Epidemius, and the Changeling as well as the four five generic Heralds, (The FAQ added an Exalted Flamer.) The Masque and the Blue Scribes don't however.
- Herald of Khorne - With 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 one of the Etherblades, Blade of Blood or Axe of Khorne, really depends on what you want to throw him in. If you plan on butchering hordes with your unit of choice, an Etherblade is a better choice (hordes with higher toughness values should be dealt with via Greater Etherblade); units with higher initiative or model count are better served with the Blade of Blood. The Axe is meant for challenges and chopping the heads off of Monstrous Creatures, so take that instead if wish to spill blood in a badass way. Additionally, you could take two of these weapons and get the benefits of both.
- 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
BloodlettersDaemons of Khorne within 6". Just imagine this massive blob of power weapons with either 3 attacks each on the charge or Hatred for everything... Uniquely this can give loci to demons that could not normally befit from them like the few demon vehicles or monstrous creatures.
- Skulltaker - The new book changes how he rolls. WS9 I9 A4, 3+ Armor, Eternal Warrior, Adamantium Will for the whole unit and a Power Sword with Soul Blaze that has Instant Death on 6s to-wound. All this at the bargain price of 100 points. Like other Khorne heralds and Bloodletters, he can turn MEQs and under into bloody stains on the pavement. 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. Unfortunately he lost his 4+ Rending (having no Rending at all now) and he has only 2 wounds, so The Taker of Skulls will himself get decapitated by enemy models with 2+ armor. A standard Khorne herald with an Axe of Khorne can probably do his job just as well if not better. However, his saving grace is that he can take a Juggernaut for 45 points; making him far more mobile, giving him another attack, and adding another wound (bumping him up to 3) for him to make use of his 3+ armor and Eternal Warrior.
- 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. Also this guy has Scout like other Fleshhounds, so it is fun to run him with crushers and have them scout that much closer to brain bashing distance. If your deathstar character hunting unit is not Juggernaut Skulltaker with 6 Bloodcrushers, then it's Karanak with 10 other Fleshhounds.
- 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
- 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. 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! You can actually give them the stats of a daemon prince for way cheaper, minus the weapon skill and initiative. A Herlad on a Palanquin with a greater Etherblade costs 105 points and has 4 wounds at T5 and 5 S6 attacks in cc at AP2. They lack the ID ability nurgle DP's get but if you want one of the cheapest most durable beatsticks in the game consider a Herald.
- 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. Can actually be very effective if you build a list around him. There are many FW units that can count as Daemons of nurgle and have exceptional ranged weapons allowing you to build up pretty high tally stacks from turn 1.
- 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, but her nerfs are the last word in countering death stars so consider her carefully if you opponents use them often. Dancing starts at the start of the shooting phase, she still free to run after the dancing begins so she can jump out in move, nerf something, then run into cover.
- A very important note, though she's in the herald part of the book, she's not actually listed as a herald so she takes up a full HQ slot by her self not the 1/4 a normal herald takes up, a MAJOR detriment.
- 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, but her nerfs are the last word in countering death stars so consider her carefully if you opponents use them often. Dancing starts at the start of the shooting phase, she still free to run after the dancing begins so she can jump out in move, nerf something, then run into cover.
- Herald of Tzeentch - A lot of dakka in a small package. Upgrade to Mastery 2/3 and if you roll on Change, hope for Infernal Gateway 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. Alternatively, go ALL Malefic and you got yourself a cutrate Daemon generator. 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, but hang on - your Herald counts as stationary while inside it AND he can move 12" ahead, cast spells and then flat-out in the shooting phase. This guy is the linchpin of the "screamer-star" unit. put him on a disk with the grimoire of true names and have him zip around the battlefield with your screamers. 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.
- Exalted Flamer - The new 7E Errata now allows single units of Exalted Flamers to be taken outside of their chariot for half the points cost. Though it gained independent character, it is now jump infantry thanks to the FAQ!. Join a unit of flamers and jump around with S5 Ap3 Torrents!. Counts toward your Herald allowance.
- 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.
- 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. Makes decent support with horrors around as you can cycle those warp charges onto them and then use there flicker fires to dump that extra spell charge into even more mind bullets. Or you can be that Tzeentch guy, and keep rolling on demonology to summon a greater demon of anything you want right in the middle of them, and laugh as they focus on an 81 points greater demon as the rest of your army wails on them.
- Note that the Scribes are **NOT** an Independent Character, so they cannot hide in a unit and are fragile if your opponent can target them. If you do take them, you need to abuse their Jetbike profile to the max. Move 12, Manifest a power, Turbo back to safety. Rinse and repeat, and beware of Deep Strike/Outflank. That said, his cheapness is one of his major advantages.
- The Blue Scribes are the only one of two options, the other being the Demon Prince, to get Telekinesis and the are the only way to get Pyromancy and most interestingly, Sanctic Daemonology since it is a Rulebook discipline. While at first glance self defeating Sanctic could be interesting since only one of it's powers directly harms demons out side of the Primius though the self buffs are questionable on a squishy unit like the Blue Scribes.
- Bloodletters of Khorne - These guys are one heck of a mixed bag. On the one hand, their base weapons are AP3, and they hit at S5 on the charge (thanks to Furious Charge), which will cause any MEQ army to give them respect. And they're now only 10pts a model - perfect for horde tactics. On the other hand, you will need said horde numbers to have any hope of doing much damage. They've got a pisspoor armour save, a weak invulnerable save and no grenades, which greatly mitigate their longterm effectiveness. With just one base attack, you need all the bodies you can get. If you give them a Herald with a Locus give them Greater Locus of Fury (Rage) - it helps remedy their low number of attacks. 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. Deep Strike is another useful card to play, especially if the unit has an instrument, allowing another Khorne unit to come down on top of it.
- Daemonettes of Slaanesh - 9pts each, with Fleet and Rending. Like every other force organization slot, the Slaanesh unit is faster but less reliably killy than the Khorne unit, just as the Nurgle unit is slower but more durable. With 'letters reduced to AP3, Rending gives Daemonettes a new niche in the army, as they're a lot more capable of dealing with TEQs on their own. They are also arguably better vs some MEQ's than the 'letters as I5 means any damage you deal will reduce damage you take, rather than 'letters striking at the same time and taking the full amount of attacks. However Daemonettes have notably less armor ignoring attacks (even as they have more base) as compared to the guaranteed AP3 swords the 'letters all have. If you have enough Daemonettes the difference between rending and AP 3 will diminish, but in small units the difference will be more notable. With their speed and Deep Strike, they're good at tying up enemy units before they can really blast your more fragile units. And being relatively cheap, you can take big units to mitigate your rather crappy Toughness and Inv save. 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 - With 6th edition rules, Pink Horrors were arguably the best choice in the Troops section. As of 7th, they easily are the best. They're a ranged unit, but they shoot psychic powers instead of regular shooting attacks, namely the fact that you can run after shooting witchfire powers. This means you can move up, squeeze off a volley of Flickering Fire, then run in the shooting phase back into cover. The big kicker though with these things in the psychic phase is that not only are they psykers themselves for the purpose of generating Warp Charge points, but their unique Magic Made Manifest rule lets these things generate 2 Warp Charges instead of one if they number 11 to 15 or 3 Charges if they number 16 to 20. Small groups of these guys are useful as a shooting unit, but multiple squads of 20 will assure you complete dominance of the psychic phase. With Wrath of Magnus' Tzeentch update, say hello to Tzeentch's Matryoshka dolls.
- Blue Horrors of Tzeentch - Every time a Horror dies, even if they roll a 12 on Daemonic Instability, they split into 2 of these guys. S2/T2 Horrors. A group of 11-20 of them generates 2 WC instead of 1.
- Brimstone Horrors of Tzeentch - S1 T1 W2 models that each dead blue horror turns into. Note that T1 and W2 may seem silly as even S2 Gretchin in CC instant-death them, but note that anything with the poisoned rules is often S1, so Dark Eldar in particular are screwed when enough of these things pop up as they will need twice the power to obliterate these cheaper than Nurglings guys.
- Note: Wrath of Magnus' rules update come with a price: Malefic Daemonology has been omitted from the datasheets, and it was on purpose. It's a fair trade off since Horrors now split into 2 units which become new bases themselves as they die. It doesn't really stop the Summoning Cheese armies since Horrors will just become batteries for that LoC/Herald.
- Note: GW has Stated PINK HORRORS Cannot use Daemonology (Malefic), They didnt say Anything About Blue Horrors...
- Except it does, in their unit entry, where it states they generate their powers from the change discipline only...
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle - Plaguebearers may have lost FnP and got their toughness docked by 1, but they got a dramatic points reduction in exchange - and, more importantly, Shrouded. Since they are no longer Fearless and have Shrouded they can go to ground for 2+ in any cover. With this, they're not far off being as durable as they were before. However, objective camping isn't their sole use - now their attacks always glance on a 6, which means that these are actually decent at 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 or flamer blasts (beware the sisters of battle) away from oblivion.
- Nurglings - A four wound tarpit, Nurglings have lost their amazing Eternal Warrior and are now incredibly vulnerable to instant death. In 7th edition, the rule disallowing Swarms to be scoring units has disappeared which means these things score and have Objective Secured! Plus 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. Alternately, they can grab a vital objective early in the game. Taking about 6 should do the job, but taking more isn't a bad idea. Just don't expect them to do much. Be careful, however, using these guys against Tau. Infiltrating units with four wounds seems like a perfect solution to keep some of that shooting off your army as they run up the board, but sadly any S6 shooting or templates will absolutely destroy the unit in no time at all, and Tau unfortunately have tons of that.
- 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.
- 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, Exorcist, 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.
- Alternate opinion: Conversely: Leman Russ, Exorcist, Krak missile long fang squad, or Hive guard may be all that can take them out. According to math hammer 20 bolters can drop a Crusher in one fusillade, 20 lasguns and other strength 3 shooting, can not, and with three attacks per model even small units can do a lot of damage on a charge, lastly as Demons they will not route from shooting and must be shoot off the board to be fully dealt with. If you do want to use Bloodcrushers you could use small units of them as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX to draw a lot of fire, safe in the knowledge that they can't be ignored as they will just run out and eat you opponents face if they do due to there cavalry speed.
- Fatecrusher Revised- Around the end of 6th, one tournament player attempted to revive the old Fatecrusher army from 5th as a means to counter gunline armies, with some minor degree of success. To some degree Fatecrusher can work if you're OK with the fact it's an expensive bully and will most likely be out-attritioned by other deathstars or Knights. The idea is to take a Herald of Khorne in Juggernaut and make him the Grimoire bearer; with a Hellblade, he can afford to go without a weapon swap. You then attach him to the Bloodcrushers, adding a Bloodhunter for an Axe, and an Instrument. Then you add Fateweaver and a Tzeentch Herald with the Oracular Dais. Come turn 2, you use the Dais to auto-pass the reserve roll for the Crushers/Grimoire Herald, then use the Instrument to have Fateweaver automatically follow-up. You activate the Grimoire and Fateweaver's reroll, and preferably support them as with Cursed Earth.
- Fiends of Slaanesh - These guys look *weird* and they're adequately killy. They're pretty fast (Beasts) with 3 S4 rending attacks at a good initiative (6). Don't go full Marbo because with WS4, S4, T4 and A3, they're basically unarmoured and unarmed Assault Marines, although 5++ and 3 wounds sorta helps them survive a little longer. Their MAIN use is that any unit they charge has -5 I. Hell yes! The downside? Enemy psykers have -1 Ld when within 12" of them, but considering that LD is no longer used in any way for psychic tests the entire Disruptive Song ability is about as useful as a third dick. If you're going Psyker hunting, just bring Flesh Hounds. Overall they're less dangerous but more hardy than in previous editions, with less tricks up their sleeve.
- 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!
- Easily made out of Seekers by adding some scything arms and a little greenstuff. or if you want to get realy creative, whats left over from the rest of the kit.
- 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. 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, unfortunately actual shooting attacks as compared to the mind bullets Pink Horrors have is rare in this dex with one other unit (the burning Chariot which thankfully is useable now) with a built in weapon, Soul Grinders and Lashes for Slaanesh unit commander that can take rewards. In generally though I would not worry too much about the feel no pain you can give, assuming you hit only 4+ targets you should do enough damage that even if they get the feel no pain they won't have the numbers to really use it. By the way, I don't recommend you putting nine in a squad, because with that many models it's unlikely all of them will be able to get all there flame templates on a target. This is a unit meant to harass and distract your opponent's squads 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) - Compared to the Soul Grinder, it costs a LOT more, is not as well armoured (13/12/11) but potentially more durable. Like other daemon vehicles it has daemonic resilience and gets a 5+ invulnerable save, but unlike other daemon engines it has an ace up its sleeve: "Unholy Vigour." This nifty special rule allows a Decimator to regrow destroyed weapons and unimmobilize itself on 5+. Additionally, it 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. Sadly, this isn't totally necessary against buildings as you can just heavy flamer them, but most transports aren't open topped, so Falcon Punch them when you get the chance.
- 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". Potentially more useful than an allied CSM Forgefiend as you can deepstrike this bad boy within gun range as opposed to setting him up to be las-sniped. Trouble is that it's way more expensive and a Forgefiend has better guns.
- 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, but especially Tau Battlesuits! Watch out for that early-warning override because it'll wreck your shit.
- Soul Burner Petard: Named after the Petard mortar, itself named for the middle French word for what was essentially a medieval breaching charge (from the Latin for "breaking wind"), it gives you a S5 AP5 Rending Large Blast 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. You can also, rather hilariously, "throw" a grenade in your shooting phase prior to an assault. Yes, that's as silly as it sounds. Still, best to use the defensive grenade to blind your target and oh look! You're striking first now.
- Tzeentch: Re-roll to-hits of 1's for shooting attacks, and heavy flamers (if any) get Soul Blaze. Arguably better for gun Decimators as soul blaze sucks ass, but re-rolling 1's ups your hit chances nicely.
One more thing about decimators that is easily overlooked and/or misinterpreted. In a Codex Daemons army if given a mark they also count as daemons of the specific god they are marked by for the purposes of Daemonic Hatred and the Warp Storm table. They do NOT get the special rules for Daemon of X so if That Guy tries to tell you his Nurgle Decimator(or Knight Titan for that matter) has Shrouded as well as IWND feel free to call him out for being a powergaming D-bag.
- Spined Chaos Beast (Forgeworld) - Basically, it's a daemonic construct made from flesh instead of metal. It's a deep-striking monstrous creature with WS5, S7, T6, 4 wounds with It Will Not Die. It makes an excellent beatstick and bonus hardpoint; think of it as an extra greater daemon or DP. Must be a Daemon of a Chaos god:
- Khorne: free furious charge! +1S on the charge is nice for Instant Death attacks on the charge. Although it isn't an earth-shattering bonus, it's hard to beat a price of 0.
- Tzeentch: +5 points, does nothing for psychic powers but re-rolling 1's for saves is nice and quite a bargain at only 5 points, granting an almost 4++.
- Nurgle: Oh how the mighty have fallen - 15 points for shrouded and slow and purposeful. Alright, so you already get a 5+ save from being a Daemon and slogging through difficult terrain to buff that cover save makes you even slower - which paired with Slow and Purposeless makes this thing a 155 point sink that has a chance to do FUCK ALL during a battle when foot-slogged. In case you forgot, this thing is exclusively an assault unit, so being a Daemon of Nurgle gives it all the failings of CSM Mutilators. Deep-striking it into cover may get you closer but you still have to waddle over to your targets (which will be agonizing) or you can scatter onto bad stuff for a mishap, again giving you the opportunity to have a 155-point sink. Topping it all off, you won't get your cover saves in close combat, which hangs a massive question mark over the whole goddamn thing! What's really sad is that the bonus it replaced (FNP) was way better; just skip it.
- Slaanesh: Got bumped up by +5 pts. but is no longer the cheapest or worst of them all - actually, this is arguably the best. Fleet, rending and an extra 3" of movement are pretty sweet. Great for running up the field, dashing through cover or deep-striking and running out of LoS. You also don't have to smash to pop lighter vehicles with rending, which is nice. All in all, like Khornate Daemonhood, there are no drawbacks or wasted abilities here. A Slaaneshi Chaos Best combines the good parts of a Daemon Prince (high WS, easier to Deepstrike) with a Soul Grinder (strong and remarkably tough), although you lose access to ranged weapons, gifts and psychic powers. Still, it undercuts both those competitors by a fairly significant margin.
- 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. These guys are also borderline mandatory when playing against very shooty armies, such as Tau, IG, or Eldar. Use a squad of ten to sponge up most of your oppenent's firepower on turn one, and roll your other fast units up the board. 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, mi casa hay muchas cucarachas, 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 (well sort of, daemons don't fall back like Grots and Conscripts do). 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.
- Alternate opinion: Something to keep in mind for Furies, they're demons, meaning they follow Daemonic Instability and won't take moral tests unless they lose a combat, and every turn spent shooting at Furies is a turn not spent shooting at some other target and at less then 150 for 20 that's both look like, and may even be against some armys (Cough*tau*cough), a credible threat that the enemy will have to deal with it, and if they don't you can hit them with 20 strong flock of demons. Even if you roll an 11 (the worst you can get with out banishing) your just lose 9 models with 5 being more average, meaning unless your opponent kills at least 11 models in the first turn of combat, at full strength you're guaranteed to keep a unit tied up for a shooting phase, unless you roll double six but that's true of all daemons so can't hold that too hard against the furies. I would not recommend marking them though, but if you did want to do that I recommend either Khorne or Slaanesh, both add only 20 points to total cost and make the squad look more dangerous and therefore make them more likely to get shot at instead of something else. Also as jump infantry they do have the ability to hammer of wrath, and popping off 60 attacks (two on charge+20 hammers) is nothing to sneeze at. To summarize, don't expect much from them, but as something that can draw fire they are both cheap, fast and expendable and if ignored in lieu of other more dangerous targets they can be a thorn in your enemy's side.
- With the new Daemonic Incursion Detachment, Furies gained a much-needed niche use; forming the full Daemonic Incursion from any normal Core Choice. At just 35 points for a basic squad, this is the cheapest option to upgrade any of the core choices into a full Daemonic Incursion. This is a godsend for any of those armies as the other options (unless they're needed) are prohibitively expensive on top of the core choice, moreso if you want to run any Daemon Lords. For the Infernal Tetrad, this is probably the only way to upgrade them to a full Daemonic Incursion without going into apocalypse-level of points, as that one formation alone can cost an upwards of 1200 points
- 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. Don't forget to jink against any incoming fire as these guys won't want to be shooting any time soon. 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. 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. Speaking of cheese, a standard tactic is to take a unit of these bad boys with 3-4 Mastery Level 3 Tzeentch Heralds on disks rolling for Cursed Earth and carrying the Grimoire turning the unit into a super fast completely unkillable deathstar. The tactic is brutally effective and is a mainstay of competitive Daemon lists. The unit does require a fine bit of finesse to use properly as getting the proper amount of offensive impact from them can be difficult (though don't underestimate the power of a unit that simply never dies). The difference between a decent screamer player and a good one is pretty large (just watch out for Wraithknights and 3++ed up Riptides w/ an Ethereal nearby for Stubborn LD10 as a canny player will attempt to hold up your screamer unit for a very long time if he manages to get into combat with them, I recommend a rescue assault unit that kills Monstrous Creatures effectively like plague drones with heralds and venom stings or seekers with their rending to scare away or kill the roadblock and let the screamerstar continue to rain havoc down on the enemy).
- Note: It can (NOT) be argued that Screamers do get their second attack from charging while using Lamprey's Bite as it only states (ALL) normal attacks (and not base 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;USE SOME FUCKING COMMON SENSE, "they may substitute ALL of their normal close combat attacks for A SINGLE special attack with the following profile..." is pretty self explanatory. Just take the extra Hammer of Wrath attacks and be happy folks!
- Note: It can (NOT) be argued that Screamers do get their second attack from charging while using Lamprey's Bite as it only states (ALL) normal attacks (and not base attacks).
- 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*.
- Note:Seekers have 1 attack more than Daemonettes, but the increased cost is less than half of the Daemonette's points. This means for the same points of Seekers and Daemonettes, you get the same amount of attacks on the charge, but more attacks in subsequent phases. The tradeoff for this is obviously for the same amount of points Seekers only have 3/4ths of the wounds Daemonettes bring. For that tradeoff, you get all of the extra rules listed above at no additional cost. If it ever comes down to a choice between Daemonettes or Seekers, always take Seekers as their mobility will compensate for the loss of 1/4th of the wounds (and at this cheap, you can afford a little less durability since you will be outnumbering marines and even Necron Warriors).
- 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, an old-style Mawcannon (Phlegm and Vomit only) and now Deep Strike and the Daemon of Nurgle rule. 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. The upside? It has Shrouded so evading for a jink is 2+. One the contenders for best fast attack choice since it's a good load of dakka on a flyer with Shrouded 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.
- 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 with 2A S4 WS5 from bloodletter crew (4A S5 on charge) as of 7th FAQ! Then die horribly as they shove a power fist up your armour-12 front. (Chariots always use front facing)
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch -Cheap and fragile but very killy. Only 100 points with 10AV all around but is in fact a Daemon of Tzeentch and 3HP make it more durable than most fast skimmer... chariot... things. 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, Change, and/or Malefic Daemonology 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.
- Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition update. Now in 7th Edition chariot riders count as not moving. It means exactly what you think it means - our beloved av 10/10/10 skimmer can now move 12", torrent another 12" and because it's open topped it can be from anywhere on the vehicle. While the durability is low, 3 HP, chariots can now never be immobilized only, explode on 7 for damage roll (remember it's open topped though, so can be blasted with tau pulse rifle) and they can pass off hits/wounds to the rider. And if you do choose to run the Herald on this instead, remember that you can spew psychic powers in the psychic phase and then flat-out into safety in the following shooting phase.
- 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. After countless hours of rules cross-referencing, one thing to be constantly aware of is that units in close combat with a chariot can choose to direct their attacks at either the Chariot body OR the rider - and if your Alluress with her pathetic T3 takes even one single unsaved wound, the entire model (chariot and all) is wiped completely off of the table.
- Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh - Same as above only 4 HP instead of 2. These units are the definition of Risk vs Reward. Bring a 3 Chariot strong Exalted Cavalcade and buy all of the riders Lash of Despair to make sure that NOTHING survives your 6D6 shooting hits followed by your unholy 12D6 S4 automatic Rending Hammer of Wrath hits per charge BEFORE YOU EVEN ATTACK AT I5. Guzzle the tears of your fleshy enemies as ANYTHING that isn't a vehicle is churned to a pulpy milkshake consistency beneath your wheels. You could even put a Herald on there and take the Locus of Grace to give all your chariots ignore difficult terrain all the time (HOWEVER, as per the new May 2014 errata, Heralds that buy a Chariot to ride lose the independent character rule.
As it stands I'm not sure if there is any way to get a locus in to a Cavalcade now.)The Grand Cavalcade formation may restore this, but I'm not sure. Be doubly wary when using these though, because a Herald with a Locus and a Lash of Despair on an Exalted Chariot will run you 150 points each, and they can still only take 2 wounds at T3 in close combat before being completely destroyed. You read that right. an entire cavalcade of Exalted Chariots can be utterly decimated by 2 charging Hormagaunt models. BE SURE YOU CHARGE FIRST.
- Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh - Same as above only 4 HP instead of 2. These units are the definition of Risk vs Reward. Bring a 3 Chariot strong Exalted Cavalcade and buy all of the riders Lash of Despair to make sure that NOTHING survives your 6D6 shooting hits followed by your unholy 12D6 S4 automatic Rending Hammer of Wrath hits per charge BEFORE YOU EVEN ATTACK AT I5. Guzzle the tears of your fleshy enemies as ANYTHING that isn't a vehicle is churned to a pulpy milkshake consistency beneath your wheels. You could even put a Herald on there and take the Locus of Grace to give all your chariots ignore difficult terrain all the time (HOWEVER, as per the new May 2014 errata, Heralds that buy a Chariot to ride lose the independent character rule.
- Soul Grinder - In 4th edition, Games Workshop decided to expand its repertoire of things stolen from intellectual properties and so knicked something a bit more recent (from Doom, specifically). It was a shitty waste of points back then because its HUGE GUTS made deep-striking it an exercise in annoyance and failure, but we don't talk about that much no more. For this codex, the
Spider Mastermind CyberdemonSoul Grinder is very similar to what it once was in terms of stats and cost. He still comes with a harvester, has one Iron Claw (it's a power fist, actually) and still has that same, rather solid stat-line. So what's new? Well, he can Skyfire if he wants with his new S7 AP4 3-shot harvester but has to buy all his other weapons from scratch. However, losing a Mawcannon won't remove all the the profiles you upgraded it with so that's a plus, right? Speaking of weapons and profiles:
- Baleful Torrent - just like the last one, S6 AP4 but now with torrent!
- Phlegm Bombardment - very similar to the phlegm profile it replaces, your half-range battle cannon doth return. Note, you have to snap-fire all other weapons when shooting it now because it's Ordnance and this is post-6th Ed.
- Warp Gaze - why? Oh sure, S10 AP1 seems terrifying, but its range is pathetic and you can expect to miss as often as you can to hit with it; could be worth it on camping Nurgle/Tzeentch Grinders just to add more dakka. This would've been awesome if you could give it to a Daemon Prince!
- Warp Sword - your back-up if you lose your Iron Claw and a pricey one at that, but it will also give you a bonus attack, being that both your claw and this sword are specialist weapons. Warp Swords are also master crafted, which is totally a plus for close-combat grinders.
Soul Grinders must now be upgraded to a Daemon of a god in which it gets special god-related bonuses:
- Khorne - This one is free as the Iron Claw already doubles strength (making furious charge useless unless someone shoots off your claw) but also means you'll almost always be loading up with a Warp Sword just in case. However the real strength of Khorne is that if paired with a Blood Throne you can take advantage of Loci: Rage or Hatred on this thing? yes please!
- Tzeentch - The next cheapest, giving you jack shit in terms of psychic powers but 5 pts for a re-rollable save 1's is fantastic!
- Nurgle - Best by far for Shrouded Soul Grinders (2+ cover behind ruin anyone?) but be careful with an ADL as it might be too small to obscure him properly. Always double check that this massive model is obscured before assuming he is. Otherwise, you're gonna be shooting so take phlegm, maybe Torrent and maybe Warp Gaze. Keep in mind that this thing will be in the backfield, which is a weird position for daemons that are more used to taking the fight to the enemy.
- Slaanesh - the +3 run, Fleet and Rending. This is the close-combat Grinder Daemon, although it's radically different from how you would think to use it and rending doesn't do jack shit for your S10 attacks (unless you're coming across something with Armour 15, but you are arguably way more fucked than this thing can help you). Regardless, grab yourself a Warp Sword and Baleful Torrent. Use your speed to dart around cover and soften up whatever you can with torrents and Harvester volleys.
- 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 (requires some Divination trickery); they have access to powerful guns, but have criminally short ranges; they come with strong close combat options, but also great ranged options. The trick is to figure out what you need it to do in your army and use it to fill in the gaps. Most importantly, play to its strengths: it's a walking tank! It's way more durable against things that threaten other walkers, like autocannons or krak grenades so don't be afraid to leave yourself a little vulnerable at times. Just be aware that it does have certain weaknesses like melta, haywire and lance weaponry. If you're really concerned, take them in pairs for safety.
- Generally speaking, you'll want to go with Nurgle if you plan to stand back and shoot, Slaanesh if you plan to move up and assault and Tzeentch if you plan to be able to do either depending on the opponent's forces. Aligning with Khorne is a cheapskate's bet for the most part unless you got a blood throne to give it something with kick!
- Plague Hulk (Forgeworld) - Essentially a Soul Grinder of Nurgle with a poisoned 3+ S5 AP3 flamer instead of the Harvestor and a rending phlegm bombardment with 2 fewer strength but at 150 instead of the 180 for the codex version with Phlegm. Replacing the Iron Claw with a Warp Sword for +25 points is a hilariously bad idea which you should not do. Definitely worth the points but wants you to get close to take advantage of the poison template (which is counter intuitive of Nurgle Grinders siting back abusing Shrouded). Since you can take it in CSMs too its a good way to get a 4th Grinder via allies if you really like them. You are losing the versatility that the Harvester gun has but for being the most budget Grinder it's always worth consideration.
- Blood Slaughterer (Forgeworld) - FUN* name notwithstanding, these jacked-up chaos dreadnoughts are bad fucking news! Front armour 13, WS5, two dreadnought close combat weapons, Rampage, Daemon of Khorne, Deepstrike, Fleet, Daemonic Resilience and +D3 attacks on the charge spell death for anything they touch. You can either stride them across the table but they will likely get kited because they have to run towards the nearest enemy unit in sight. Fortunately, you can instead choose to deep-strike them close to that thing you want to die; this is a marginally better proposition as individual Slaughterers are roughly dreadnought sized and it's fairly easy to place one (and in most situations, the other two). If you take a full squad of three, give them all Impalers (a Blood Angels magna grapple with one worse AP and a scant 12" range; it can never be snap-fired): they always hit on a 4+ and drag penetrated vehicles or wounded and unsaved monstrous creatures 2D6" closer to them. Oh, if you happen to drag anything into base contact it's blender time as the model is now in a close combat with the Bloodslaughterers which count as having charged. Did we mention that multiple Impaler hits are cumulative? Or that these are one of the few things that can assault and sweep on the turn they deepstrike? RIP AND TEAR!
Here are the general tactics for fortifications http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000/Tactics/Fortifications
Before the new book, these were a pretty silly idea, but now that you can choose to deploy regularly, some of these are worth it; Stronghold Assault added a lot of new stuff, too. If you're going to take any of the buildings selections with emplaced guns, it's best to hole-up a small squad of Bloodletters into them; it might seem counter-intuitive to place close-combat troops in a building to engage in ranged shenanigans, but their BS5 makes them hilariously dangerous with any weapon they get their evil little claws on. Otherwise, Plaguebearers are the other troops choice for holding a fort as their toughness and shrouding make them more durable. Basically, if you're gonna take fortifications in your army, you'll have to commit to it.
- Imperial Strongpoint: Basically combines the selections below into one fortification selection, with 1-3 bastions, 1-5 aegis defense lines and a skyshield (you could also take an Honoured Imperium, but that's dumb). Individually, these selections have their own merit; this however is possibly overkill unless you really, REALLY need the dakka. Be sure to have enough squads of Bloodletters to occupy it.
- Aegis Defense Lines: One 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 of Nurgle 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 Bloodletters in this guy and put your trollface on as you fire a quad gun or Icarus lascannon at BS5 at their precious aircraft. Oh what's that? They're getting too close? Better loose those 4 heavy bolters on them, then! Few things are as trolly-polly as an Imperial Bastion in Daemon hands garrisoned by Bloodletters.
- Honoured Imperium: You are NOT playing an Army of the Imperium - don't even think about this one!
- Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defense Network: These are a colossal waste of points and money for Daemon players! A huge section of building and terrain that will plug up your guys' movements with guns that your Bloodletters can't shoot. There may be a slim case for using Vengeance Weapon Batteries, but everything else is fucking useless.
- Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defense Line/Emplacement/Bunker: They're only going to get in your way and are nowhere near large enough to hold, much less obscure a Nurgle Grinder.
- Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubt: It's a Fortress of Redemption, but you can't use your Bloodletters to shoot any of the guns! Spend the extra 20pts. base and get the goddamn Fortress already.
- Wall of Martyrs Vengeance Weapon Battery: A nice, cheap source of dakka let down by the fact that you can't hole-up Bloodletters inside them - just imagine how sweet it would've been to shoot a Punisher Gatling Cannon at BS5! If you're taking them, upgrade the guns to either battle cannon or quad-Icarus lascannon because punishers at BS3 are meh.
- Void Relay Network: Together, these aren't special but taken separately with other sections they can be interesting (except the Honoured Imperium, of course).
- Promethium Relay Pipes: Could be hilarious to take in order to give your Flamers torrent... assuming you took flamers.
- Void Shield Generator: Projects a little AV12 bubble within 12" (can project 2 more at 25 pts. each). A glancing/penetrating/D-strength hit will collapse the shield, but it can be revived on a 5+ next turn if the generator is still up. Makes a nice little hidey hole for a Nurgle Grinder or two!
- Fortress of Redemption: Everything you like about Imperial defense lines and bastions, with more dakka. Put a squad of Bloodletters on it and troll with 4 BS5 Heavy Bolters, a BS5 Krak/Fragstorm, and a BS5 Lascannon with Interceptor and Skyfire. Add a Herald of Khorne for that nearly non-scattering missile silo for extra lulz!
- Aquila Strongpoints: Taking one of these fortifications is on the high-side of insanely destructive and expensive. Both cost a smidgen over 500 pts. but feature absurdly dangerous weapons and AV15 all around!
- Macro-Cannon: The Macro-Cannon gives you either a 6-foot long D-strength AP1 double tap or a 15-foot long apocalyptic mega-blast that can crash and burn nearby flyers or do D3 wounds to FMC's and FGC's. Totally worth it if you have the points and a squad of 'letters (maybe a Herald, too) to emplace.
- Vortex Missile: As above but you get vortex missiles instead. Specifically, that's 7 shots with an infinite range D-strength AP1 large blast that hops around the board after being fired. It is every bit as insane as the Macro-Cannon.
Lord of War
Note: According to the new Imperial Armor 13, all the "Daemon Lord" Lords of War can only be 25% of your army cost, which renders the first four basically unplayable in anything short of Apocalypse. No An'ggrath in your normal games, sorry.
- An'ggrath, the Unbound - "Ill kill you so hard that you will die to death" Costs thrice as much as a normal Bloodthirster pointswise at a whopping 888 (sacred numbers are fun) points 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 an 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 gargantuan 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.... On the other hand, because superheavy vehicle rules regarding D-strength hits are much better than gargantuan creature rules, he can get ganked with horrible ease by D-Strength weapons , keep him flying and away from anything that can smack him with an SD hit like your life depends on it (this is now only a secondary priority now strength D only ignores invun on a 6, although it will still ignore your armour and FNP no matter what). Because going down to two turbo-laser shots is not fun. If you see a Tau Manta or Tigersharks; prepare to cry because they're going to sodomize you and there's nothing you can do about it.
- Scabeiathrax, the Bloated - 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 something 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 anything to him and in fact will be very good for the rest of your army.
All the same, watch out for Strength D shooting weaponsFAQ is out on destroyer weapons and they no longer ignore invulnerable saves, making them a minimal threat to Ol' Scabies. Unless they roll a 6. Then he's just dead.
- Zarakynel, the Bringer of Torments - 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 both Init and WS 10, gains D3 attacks on the charge, counts as armed with assault grenades when charging and re-rolls all failed to-hit and to-wound rolls - pretty much guaranteeing that she will go first and hit rather regularly with her AP1 instant death sword that replenishes her wounds on a 2+. For extra lulz, non-fearless units have to pass a leadership test before they can try and hit her back. The latest edition gives her a 36" S6 AP3 shooting attack with D6 shots and pinning albeit at BS3. So essentially, like Lucius the eternal turned up to eleven. Plus DISTRACTION BOOBS!
- Aetaos'Rau'Keres - 999 points of titleless pain. He's been changed up recently but still grows your army at the expense of your opponents' with Riftbringer or heals himself with Soul Eater. For the shooting phase, he comes with Wind of Chaos, a shooting attack which summons horrors with 48" of him AND his staff can exchange his shooting attacks to drop an INFINITE RANGE (AP3) poisoned, haywire, apocalyptic barrage that can hit up to 9 times. In addition to his high toughness, large number of wounds, 3++ invulnerable save, and flyer rules, this Daemon Lord is a Mastery Level 4 psyker that can rebound psychic powers back onto their caster with after a successful DtW and a 4+ on a D6. The only catch is that he MUST roll at least 2 powers on the Tzeentch table and can only generate from one additional table (Divination is recommended). 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. Aetaos'Rau'Keres does have a set of drawbacks however: if he gets within 18" of a Greater Daemon, Daemon Prince or another Daemon lord, he'll direct all his shooting attacks upon the poor sod. Second, he has to pass a leadership test to call down his apocalyptic barrage and if he fails, your opponent gets to place the blasts.
- Samus, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm - At last! A Lord of War that won't rape your wallet AND points allowance! Samus is one of the few units you got that get the fun Daemonkin immunity to Daemonic Instability, and thus get both Daemon of Khorne and Fearless without any downsides. He also gets IWND, S/T 7, 6 Wounds, Hatred (Infantry), Adamantium Will, and Fleet. He's only armed with an AP2 CCW with Murderous Strike (ID on a 6 to wound) and Armourbane, but his fun isn't in combat. See, he can (but not must) elect to enter from reserves wherever a character is killed (yours or theirs) and can deep strike without scattering within 3" of that dead character, making buying those sergeants finally worth something. In addition, Samus also triggers other sorts of fuckery just by being in your army: Your enemy takes -1 from all reserves (With rolls of 1 being auto-fails), any blessings used by either side cost an additional Warp Charge (Which means that they'll have to think even harder about casting Hammerhand or Prescience or something lest you deny them and waste those points) and he forces anyone charging him (and testing Fear) or in combat with him to halve their Leadership unless they're Stubborn or Fearless.
- IF you plan on using him in HH's "Age of Darkness" FOC (And Daemons can use this), then he gets to become an HQ choice instead of a LoW and must become Warlord. This lets your entire army re-roll a d6 when rolling Instability and if you roll doubles on the Warp Storm table, you get to replace it with Warp Surge.
- Cor'Bax Utterblight, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm: Ruinstorm LoW Number 2, meaning he lacks Instability. This guy's a frightening one because despite being Nurgle, he gets INITIATIVE 9. I repeat, this guy can bear FUCKING ELDAR to the punch. Oh, and he also has the Slime Trail Beasts use to protect themselves. Aside from that, he's the same as a normal GUO statwise except for exchanging an Attack for Toughness 8. He's also ML2 and can use Biomancy and Nurgle's Plague powers, which could (at least temporarily) grant him EW, unlike Samus. In melee, he's got some vicious tricks with 3+ Poison and the ability to inflict Instant Death on a 5+ TO HIT against infantry. Add that to his standard AP2, and things are bound to die (But not enough to rely on it). He also gets d3 HoW hits on the charge, which ignores all terrain and comes with Assault Grenades, meaning he will reach his enemy that much quicker. If he dies (Which is going to happen, especially against GK or Eldar), he drops a Massive Blast that inflicts Poisoned (3+) AP4 hits on anyone inside that's non-Nurgle Daemon (Meaning fellow Plague Marines can still be hurt), making him a pricy kamikaze.
- IF you plan on using him in HH's "Age of Darkness" FOC , then he gets to become an HQ choice instead of a LoW and must become Warlord. This lets your entire army re-roll a d6 when rolling Instability and if you roll doubles on the Warp Storm table, you get to replace it with Warp Surge.
- Kytan Daemon Engine of Khorne (Forge World) - The Khornate answer to Imperial Knights. At 525 points, it comes with Daemon, Daemonforge, Fleet, Crusader, IWND, Rage, Unstoppable Slaughter (If its Kytan Gatling Gun, 48" S8 AP3 Heavy 8 and Pinning, destroys something in the Shooting Phase, it may charge something else), and all the Super-Heavy Walker rules. It also has a Great Cleaver of Khorne like the Lord of Skulls for the unholy AP1 Destroyer attacks. Also something that is awesome about this little fucker is that he's Initive 5!! Now we have an answer to Imperial Knights besides throwing Monsterous Creatures at them!
- Chaos Knight (Forge World) - Rules here. The Chaotic answer to the Imperial Knight. Comes in Paladin and Errant forms. Click and paste of the normal Knight rules and weapons, but with fun Daemon upgrades and the ability to take Dirge Casters. As well as getting the Daemon Special Rule (which is ungodly since it now has an invuln save in close combat) each Deity dedication grants the Knight a special ability as follows:
- Khorne: D3 extra attacks on the charge instead of 1, can re-roll the amount of stomp attacks it gets, and has Hatred (Slaanesh). A nice buy. Think of it as Rampage that is always active.
- Slaanesh: Opponents must make a Leadership test at -2 or become I1 for the fight sub-phase. Has Hatred (Khorne). Mediocre since it relys purely on your opponent's luck, but if so, you can kill them with the D-chainsword and then stomp them when they make their attacks.
- Tzeentch: Heavy Stubbers gain the Soulblaze Special Rule, re-rolls 1 to-hit, and has Hatred (Nurgle). Utterly shit. The most effective weaponry on the Knight is blast weaponry, and the Stubber is shit. It would've been better if the main weapon got Soulblaze.
- Nurgle: Gain IWND and Hatred (Tzeentch). Incredibly powerful, and incredibly expensive.
- Fun thing to try out: take Fateweaver and a nearby Herald of Tzeentch with the Grimoire. Have Fateweaver cast Forewarning on the Chaos Knight and then Grimoire it for a 2+ Invulnerable save! Your opponent will hate your guts for it.
- His foe-reaper chainsword should not be underestimated: Against MC's and GMC's it gets +1 to all D-strength rolls. This means extra-ultra kill on 5+ rather than only 6's. Wraithknight? SPLAT.
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 Battle Brother Allies. Take non Battle Brother allies at your own risk.
- Renagade Knight Household: If you want the dakka and heavy armor that Daemons lack without investing in Chaos Space Marines, then grab a Renegade Knight. The Renegade Knight Household from the renegade knight boardgame counts as a chaos space marine ally. you can now take 1-3 chaos knights. The best benefit this has is that the knight household can dual wield ranged weapons. So enjoy your 24 str 6 AP 3 Rending Bolt cannons! Also, Thermal Cannons can utterly annihilate vehicles while the Twin Icarus Autocannon provides the only reliable Skyfire outside of Soulgrinders.
- 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. Another 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.
- Black Legion: Interesting, to say the least. Chosens are Troop choices with the Black Legion, although you must take Veterans of the Long War for every unit that can take it. Some of the cool items that their Daemon Princes can take is the Skull of Ker'ngar (Eternal Warrior and Adamantium Will) and Hand of Darkness ( Single attack with Fleshbane, Armourbane, and Instant Death), which can help if you plan on running a Flying Circus. Otherwise, same as Chaos Space Marines, but with different toys for their Champions.
- Crimson Slaughters: Now this seems like the better Supplement than the Black Legion. Possessed are Troops in this force, however they are different than their normal counterpart, with a different mutation table that's way better (Although they cost a little more, as their trade off for a better table). They're the opposite of the Black Legion as they can't take VotLW, with the exception of Cult Marines, -And the whole army causes Fear, which is meh, but a nice bonus. If you're planning on taking Supplement allies, this is the better choice.
- Renegades and Heretics: A Forgeworld allied army recently updated in Imperial Armour 13. They bring even meatier, more expendable meatshields backed up with tanks - lots of tanks. They are basically Imperial Guard with terrible Ld and Battle Brothers for Daemons and CSM.
- Khorne Daemonkin: A meshing of CSM and your own units, but the shining point of this is that their daemons are utterly immune to instability and instead get Fearless! The issue is that your Heralds can't join their Bloodletters or vice versa because of this and they can still be targeted by Warp Storms. That said, let them take the big guns, if the Daemonkin run a Blood Host, you can grab 8 Dinobots/Helbrutes/Grinders. That leaves your Daemons army to instead focus on taking psykers and mobs.
Allies of Convenience
As of 7th Edition, you get no Allies of Convenience. Doesn't really make a difference considering how many Battle Brothers you have, though.
- Orks: Orks, along with Daemons, are great at hitting hard and fast, but they really shine as allies in a defensive role. While you can run Ork allies more offensively, you have access to better units that can do the same job. For example, a Warboss/Nob biker unit can seem appealing, but a well-rounded squad can run you up to around 400(!) points. Instead, you can pick up a flying Daemon Prince for less than that cost and it's still just as scary and about as hard to kill as the bikers. Focus on improving weaknesses that your army may have. Shoota Boyz are dirt cheap and arguably the best troop choice in the game, with T4 (same as your Plaguebearers), Mob Rule, and the ability to pack a punch in both shooting and close combat. Take tons of Boyz in groups of 30 to hold objectives and to use as both tarpits and meat shields for your other more offensive Daemon units. Another great unit that's worth taking a look at are Lootas, which bring in some fantastic long range firepower that Daemons lack.
- Dark Eldar: Wait WTF. 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.
Come the Apocalypse
- Imperium: Yep. Any and all Imperial Armies (Imperial Guard, Space Marines, Dark Angels, even GREY KNIGHTS) can ally at Come the Apocalypse levels. Just make sure you deepstrike as far away as possible from them otherwise you fucking have to roll off to see if your armies don't stand still the entire turn.
- Eldar: Figures because the Eldar would despise having to work alongside the Ancient Doom of Slaanesh.
- Tau Empire: Ah yes, the blue ones. 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 Gorgonzola 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, these boys has a couple of tricks up their sleeves to troll your opponent to oblivion.
- Necrons: I'm sorry, but for a shooting army, just take Eldar or Tau.
- Tyranids: Dont; your units are too similar (cheap hordes that like assaulting) and cant cover the weaknesses of your own codex. Plus, shadow in the warp affects ALL psykers, and guess who is the most psyker happy army in the game? Pass.
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 or Khorne Daemonkin?
- 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. As well as the fact that Daemon allies bring sorely needed Divination powers to units like Thousand Sons squads. 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. The good news is though, if you do want to do Chaos Marines and happened to started with collecting Khorne Daemons, there's an army unto itself which mixes both together.
- Step 1.5: How about Daemons in Age of Sigmar?
- Don't forget that Age of Sigmar has Daemons of Chaos, which are essentially the exact same army. You're essentially getting 2 armies in one, especially since AoS did away with square bases/shape of bases that mattered, so no need for magnets. In short, if you want to get your moneys worth for building a Daemon army, get that digital AoS compendium. This is optional tho, so if you don't like Age of Sigmar (you won't be the only one, trust us) or have no desire in using them there for any reason, then that's fine.
- Step 1.6: OK you got to play mono deamons in 40k, so are you any good with a hobby knife?
- Some players get around the limits of a mono god army by creating a mono god theme army that uses conversions and proxys of one god to represent the forces of another. Say Bloodletters with thick armor standing in for plague bearers, Bloodletters with two swords to stand in for Daemonettes and Bloodletters with crossbows for Horrors. These army's can be tough to put together but rewarding since they can look very good, distinctive and a bit more cohesive, in theory, then mixed god army's.
- 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 Psychic 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 operating 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 Cavalry 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 missiles!). 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. Harvester Cannons are fuckawesome and they're your only reliable form of Skyfire. But don't actually Skyfire with them, you're better off Phlegm-ing or Torrent-ing all over their infantry. Or vehicles. Or anything.
- 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, and Renegade Knights can toss buckets of AA without sacrificing much against ground targets, if you go double Gatling Cannon and Icarus Cannon. (The author also forgot to mention a Winged Daemon Prince of Slaanesh with Lash of Despair and Iron Arm is another good way to deal flyers that is about as unreliable as it is effective.)
- Step Five: Now just keep adding on units that look cool!
- Mono-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 from rolling a 2 for warpstorm, so the most important thing is buy cool models that are fun to paint.
- Daemons CAN be competitive if you use them right. The competitive lists unfortunately aren't very varied and all of them feature Fateweaver for his re-rolls. Popular choice 1 is Flying Circus lists of Fateweaver, a Lord of Change, 3 Daemon Princes, and the bare minimum Troops tax of Pink Horrors or Plaguebearers. The latter troop choice is tough but slow while the former is flimsier but can get up the field faster and has a psychic shooting attack which guarantees they'll actually be doing something most of the time. Popular choice 2 involves building a list around the Screamerstar (see below) which involves said deathstar sitting in the middle of the field with the frustrating 2++ re-rollable and tanking everything short of a D weapon they charge while at the same time throwing around Flickering Fire to whatever strays closest before splitting off on the last turn to contest the objectives.
- Mono-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 from rolling a 2 for warpstorm, so the most important thing is buy cool models that are fun to paint.
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/flying circus of some sort.
Oh hell yeah. This is the Daemon-style detachment which is made up of multiple formations (Nicknamed Decurions after the Necron codex which began the trend (Daecurion?)), which give OP as fuck benefits.
You MUST include at least 1 Core and Auxiliary choice, with 3 optional Command choices. The main benefit is re-rolls to Daemonic Instability tests, +1/-1 to Warp Storm table rolls (decided after you roll. No longer worry about getting Result 4, ever), and more importantly, as soon as a Daemon squad controls an objective, it counts as theirs for the rest of the game until an enemy unit fully regains control over it (Daemonic Corruption), even if the unit gets wiped off the objective/contested. Fuck Objective Secured, this is what Daemons want. Finally, the new FAQ included an official Errata which means any Psyker Daemon in the detachment can draw all of their powers from their God's discipline instead of only half, and they instead trade Chaotic Focus for Psychic Focus.
In summary, on paper the bonuses look great, allowing for much greater risk management by re-rolling that 12 on an Instability roll into something hopefully much less damaging, and always adding 1 to rolls of 4 on the warpstorm, even if some units get whacked by Tzeentch's pie plates (Roll a 2 or 3? Sorry pal. Be glad you can at least re-roll Instability cus that's still gonna hurt). In practice, these formations are incredibly expensive despite the buffs they give, and just 2 options in Core and Auxiliary can completely comprise a 1500 point army. That's before taking into account how maddeningly expensive the Infernal Tetrad formation can be. Not a lot of flexibility unless you just add Karanak or Furies to make a cheap Daemonic Incursion.
- Daemon Lord: Essentially your HQ slot. Any one of the 3 Bloodthirsters, a Great Unclean One, a Keeper of Secrets, a Lord of Change, Fateweaver, Skarbrand, Ku'gath, Be'lakor, or a Daemon Prince.
- Infernal Tetrad: AKA a build your own Flying Circus. 4 Daemon Princes, all with different Chaos God allegiances. If one of the Daemon Princes is declared Warlord, all DPs get the same Warlord trait (but the selected Daemon Prince is still the Warlord for Slay the Warlord purposes)...GW FAQ'd the entry so if you roll +1ML or become a ML1 Psyker, the warlord trait doesn't apply to the Khorne Daemon Prince at all. All get stacking benefits, which makes this formation an EXTREMELY expensive beatstick:
- 4 Princes Alive: +1T
- 3 Princes Alive: +1S
- 2 Princes Alive: Re-roll 1s to hit.
- 1 Prince Alive: No benefit.
- Murderhost: 1 Herald of Khorne (Can be swapped for Skulltaker), and 8 units of either Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers, or Fleshhounds in any combo. All units gain +1 attack when 6" from each other, and all units within 12" benefit from Herald's Loci. 8 units of fleshounds with juggernauted herald both with rage/hatred and +1 attack is a pretty brutal visage.
- Warpflame Host: 1 Herald of Tzeentch (Can be swapped with the Changeling), and 9 units of Pink Horrors, Flamers, or Exalted Flamers in any combo. Warpflame gets +1 strength along with any other powers from the Discipline of Change. Just like the Murderhost all units benefit from Herald's Loci within 12". Psychic rape, baby! This with loci is autocannons on horrors lol.
- Tallyband: 1 Herald of Nurgle or Epidemius, and 7 units of Plaguebearers or Nurglings in any combination. All units when charging cannot be overwatched against, while benefitting from Herald's Loci within 12". Fuck those closeted Heretics in Green with BS2-4 Overwatch and Tau Support Fire bullshit. Also, at the start of every assualt phase all enemy units locked in combat with any unit from the Tallyband must pass a leadership test or have their strength and toughness reduced by one for the remainder of the phase. A good strategy would be to send Plaguebearers in first when facing these opponents so you can tie them up in combat and then send in the troops (Bloodletters, Demonettes, etc) who don't appreciate overwatch much in next.
- Flayertroupe: 1 Herald of Slaanesh or Masque, and 6 units of Fiends or Daemonettes in any combination. Enemy units in combat suffer -1WS and I. Can be effective against other high initiative (Eldar) or high weapon skill (Space Wolves) opponents with potential for synergy with other units. THE heavier hitters in your army that are locked in combat can benefit from Demonettes joining the fight to weaken your opponent, lower initative (Bloodletters) and lower weapon skill (Plaguebearers) troops can benefit greatly from this. In addition Daemonettes can now become the bane of WS 3 or lower enemies who will now have to hit them on 5s instead of 4s.
- Gorethunder Battery: 1 Khorne herald on Blood Throne and 3 Skull Cannons. Can elect to sacrifice firing all 3 to fire one Apocalyptic Blast, Ignores Cover, AP3 shot. A Daemon version of that bullshit Vindicator formation, which is very nice. Remember those Dark Angel bike formations that everyone hates? Take a Gorethunder Battery and a Nurgle Prince with wings and Grotti the Nurgling and watch any Space marine bike formation die. S8, 10 Inch Apocalyptic Blast, AP3, Ignore Cover and Instant Death thanks to Grotti so no FnP, just go ahead and drink their tears.
- Burning Skyhost: 1 Herald of Tzeentch on Disc or Burning Chariot (can be swapped for The Blue Scribes), 9 units of either Screamers of Tzeentch or Burning Chariots. Chariots can do Slash attacks, inflicting D6 str 5 ap 4 hits on a unit they move over with the Soulblaze and Warpflame special rules. Screamers get +1 hit when making Slash attacks and also gain the Soulblaze and Warpflame rules when on their attacks. Still benefit from Herald's Loci within 12".
- Rotswarm: Herald of Nurgle with 7 units of Plaguedrones or Beasts. All gain Poisoned Hammer of Wraith. Pick 1 unit within 12" of Herald. Herald makes a leadership test for that unit to re-roll failed charges and gain +3 attacks. If they fail the test, they must charge the closest target. Poisoned HoW for always 4+ to wound is nice and even if the test is failed, you were gonna charge the closest unit anyway if you positioned you unit correctly.
- Grand Cavalcade: 1 Herald of Slaanesh which must take a Steed of Slaanesh with 6 units of Seekers, hellflayers, or Seeker Cavalades. All chariots in this formation inflict an additonal d6 strength 4 hammer of wrath hits. All units add 6" when running or flat-out. This, plus the +6" to run moves for being Slaanesh cavalry (only +3" on the chariots, though) means this makes an already fast unit frighteningly speedy.
- The Hunter of Khorne: Just Karanak.
- Daemonflock: 1 unit of Furies. Essentially used as bait to draw enemy fire, or to sneak up and kill Imperial Guard or Tau who still get terrified of these things.
- Forgehost: 3 Soulgrinders. Every time one Soulgrinder from this formation inflicts an enemy causalty during a shooting or assualt phase all other Soulgrinders in the formation can reroll all their to hit and to wound rolls until the end of the phase. This formation is actually better taken as allies for Chaos Space Marines, as it effectively replaces the Defiler with a superior unit.
- Cohort of Blood (Apocalypse) - Skulltaker leads 1+ additional Heralds of Khorne and 8 squads of 8 Bloodletters to murder and skulls.
- While they can ID any non-vehicle unit when they roll 6 to-wound and have +1 S and Fleet, this doesn't do much to abate their glaring weakness or utter crapness in Combat. It'll still help clean clocks though, don't mistake that.
- Flaming Host of Tzeentch (Apocalypse) - A Herald of Tzeentch/Changeling can pick a total of 9 units from either Pink Horrors, Flamers, or Burning Chariots.
- Being the god of random, this Tzeentch formation gives them a special roll each turn: on 1, they all take d6 S4 AP5 hits. On 2, they get Soulblaze on all their shots. On 3-4 they get +2 on their Invuls, which is sweet. On 5-6. they gain an additional shot as a group. This attack is a 24" Sd6+4 AP3 Soulblaze assault attack with a number of shots equal to the number of formation models within 24" of the enemy that has LoS. It's got risks, but the results tend to be pretty neat.
- The Great Cavalcade of Exquisite Excess (Apocalypse) - The Masque leads 6 units of either Daemonettes or Seekers for smut, coke, and class.
- Since this unit is pretty small, it must begin in reserves and Deep Strike. However, they get the ability to charge from reserves and get to Rend on a 4+. Don't be surprised if they clean through their enemies a lot quicker than you expect, because that bonus to Rend is a salvation.
- The Tallymen of Nurgle (Apocalypse) - Epidemus leads 7 units of either Plague Drones or Plaguebearers to disease and rotting people.
- This unit isn't meant to fight, and it's just as well for them. Being within 18" of them forces re-rolls on Leadership, making them tricky to approach. They also got a strange rule where if they inflict 70 unsaved wounds/hull points, they get a VP. Weird thing that.
- Tetragon of Darkness (Apocalypse) - The Greater Daemons and Lesser Daemons of the four gods combine forces and kill things.
- Using this formation is incredibly tricky. First off, the big guys all have to be split apart in such a way that they'll always form some sort of quadrilateral shape from their bases, meaning that they'll never get to use their goons for cover. However, this gives daemons within this zone a re-roll on their Invul save and grants absolutely anyone within it Shrouded. Control that space, and protect your big guys at all costs to make the best of this thing.
- Daemonic Forgehost (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Soul Grinders are here.
- The only real pull for this is their ability to Deep Strike here, with the Grinders dropping within 6" of the lead one. With this, they also get the ability to charge after deploying.
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.
Demons more then any other army are beholden to dice. You can't remove this element of chance, but you can direct it and take steps to minimize it. Demons are a army of risk management, as much as tactics.
- Warp-storm table: the table has 11 results, only three of which WILL screw you over, (2,3 and 4), one that does nothing (7) and three that WILL only help you (10,11,12). The other four,(5,6,8,9) which we will call the 'blast results' swing both ways and can hurt both players since they target all your opponent units and one type of your own on a dice roll of six. To minimize the effect of a blast result you have two major options. First restricting your self to one or two types of demon. A mono build army would only be effected by one result, while all other results would fall on only your enemy. Additionally if you stuffed it with instruments of chaos if your result came up you can use the instruments to make your opponent reroll any 'failed' results on the table give you a higher chance of hitting him with the warp storm. However, if you did roll your opposite god you whole army would get hit insuring that at least one unit would get wracked. option two is for every one type of demon you take, take one of the opposite god units. For every Khorne unit take a Slaanesh for example. IF you roll either of those two results on the table, it's true you run the risk of getting your self hit, but the instruments of one god can influence the warpstorm table that would hurt one of your units. If you roll a 8 on the warpstormt able, your Khorne units might be hit, but your Slaanesh units can blow there horns to make Slaanesh change his/her/its mind, and if your Khorne unit is unharmed (remember, only on a six) then you can make your enemy re-roll there results if they don't get hit. Thus you can get the most of the table and make it work for you.
- Rewards of Chaos: you have to roll for wargear and upgrades, but what powers do you want each demon to get? and how to you make sure you get something good. Consider what each reward level gets you and consider what demons benefit from those bonus the most. To summerize, Khorne loves all the reward levels, Nurgle and Slaanesh are a bit more meh, while Tzeetch only really loves greater rewards. Note I'm leaving out the weapons you can swap for, you can plan for those and if you want one, you can just snag one.
- Lesser Rewards - we see that two of them grant benefits for being in melee, two are shooting powers, one grants psyker defense, and one grants better reserves rolls for the demon alone. All Khorne demons benefit the most from this table as they lack psychic powers, (which the two shooting attacks compensate for), want to be in melee and psychic defense is always nice, only one power does not help too much for them and even then it can be useful. Next, Slaanesh and Nurgle heralds find this table useful as ,again, they want to be in melee, but both have access to psyche shooting attacks so the shooting buffs are less useful to them. However since you roll gifts before psyice powers if you get a shooting gift you can focus on buffs for powers. The deep striking options works well for these hearlds as well. Greater Demons of Slaanesh and Nurgle Also benefit form this table, given there higher psyker levels they don't need the shooting powers as much as the Heralds do. Tzeentch Demons have nothing here. They already have plenty of shooting from spells, and Don't want to be in close quarters at all. While you can hope to get Admantium will or a+1 reserve rolls thats a 2/6 chance of something good and is too risky to throw points at.
- Greater Rewards - have four gifts that grant increased survivable to varying degrees, one shooting power and one close combat gift. All demons find this table useful to dagrees. There is nothing here a Khorne demon would not want, one thing a Tzeentch demon would grimace at (the C.Q.C gift) and a Nurgle greater demon rolling twice here can almost promise to become neigh high unkillable. A good bang for you buck.
- Exalted Rewards - one gives you a free lesser gift just consider this an added bonus and don't worry as much if get a power you don't want there, three grant you bonus for being in melee, one grants you a free shooting attack, and one lets you COME BACK FROM THE DEAD!!! once, with one wound. Again, Khorne demons love this table as it gives then bonuses, while also compensating for there lack of shooting options. Slaanesh and Nurgle like this table next followed by Tzeentch who gets almost nothing since the majority of the gifts go against his role.
- Order matters: If you have to roll for multiple things at the same time, like Gifts try to roll them in a way that can prevent you from being gimped. For example you roll gifts at the same time of warlord traits, but there is no other rules for what order you have to roll them. If for example your Blood Thruster has both a Greater reward and an Exalted reward, you could first roll on the exalted table so that if you get Unholy Frenzy rampage you can skip on getting a Blade of Blood since you will have it anyway and can take any of the other greater rewards. Doing it the other way, Greater then Exalted means if you want rampage you can take the blade, but if you roll the Exalted rampage you have to choose between redundant rule or take a hell forged artifact which may not be in your interest based on your plan. 1d4 chan can't hold your hand here, keep an eye open for little places like this where you can sneak a bit more control from this codex.
Enemies of Concern
Try thinking of Daemons as an evil old-edition Eldar with tons of glass cannon shit. Because of that, they have a few weaknesses especially against certain armies that are very capable at dealing with glass cannons.
- Grey Knights - What can we say about the Grey Knights that hasn't already been said? They are an army specifically designed to defeat Chaos Daemons. In a perfect world this would be fine as Daemons would be both great and terrible (read - "cheesy," like 7th Ed Fantasy Daemons); trouble is that Daemons, now just like all the other 40K "bad guy" armies are less terrifying credible threat than they are Space Marine fodder, more or less. Grey Knights have taken a substantial down-grade in 7th Ed, forcing most of their units to roll for their psychic powers and removing some of their cheesiest powers (Dark Excommunication is GONE - hurray)! Unfortunately, even the weakest PAGK unit can fuck up your toughest guys because of their Daemonbane Force Weapons will re-roll to wound on everything you have with Force on top of that. Then there's their special weapons which will tear through your army like rancid cardboard, the one flyer they get is damn near impervious to everything you have, there are baby carriers that can one-hit your monstrous creatures AND everything has access to Sanctic powers, with most units getting Banishment and Hammerhand for free.
- How To - Now that the new Grey Knights Codex has repealed the vast majority of Matt Ward's greatest flaw, dealing with Grey Knights has become easier. This does not mean that they are easy army to fight, but rather the challenge has become more rewarding for Daemon and GK player. For one, Daemonettes led by Heralds with either a greater or exalted locus are terrifying to both PAGKs, but especially TAGKs. Be warned though, because they will likely bring incinerators against you and your troops will not survive them very well; instead, try supplementing with tougher things like beasts of Nurgle and Soul Grinders. If your opponent likes to field Dreadknights, a DP of Nurgle with the Balesword will very quickly make short work of them - Sanctuary be damned they will be going down to many instant death poisoned attacks! Stormravens do present a problem but there are tactics to deal with flyers below. Basically, dealing with GK is all about hitting them hard and fast before they can get a chance to react to you.
- 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). Just say goodbye to your Nurgle Daemon's awesome cover saves. Also, your vehicles and monstrous creatures (even your flying monstrous creatures) will not hold up against Tau firepower - just don't!
- How To - Try and find ways to make target priority difficult for them by throwing a lot of fast and scary units at them. Tau are always a tough fight, but make it into combat and they fall like wet noodles. Quantity is more important than quality here, because pricey elite units are going to get ripped to pieces in very short order, no two ways about it. Lots and lots of Daemonettes, Seekers, Flesh Hounds, screamers, and (most hilariously of all) motherfucking furies are positively terrifying to Tau players. You read that right - furies scare Tau, especially furies of Slaanesh with their fast movement and S4 rending attacks. If you need more oomph, consider Beasts of Nurgle or Fiends of Slaanesh; don't take Bloodcrushers as they will die too easy against Tau guns. For anti-air, consider a fortification as anti-air broadsides will likely be sniping your MCs and weedy flyers out of the sky.
- Eldar - With loads of Wraithcannon/Heavy Wraithcannon, even some of your Greater Daemons will suffer instant death from their fucking bullshit D-strength shooting. Additionally, shuriken catapults are nasty and easily available on their shittiest units. Just thank the Gods that they don't block psychic powers anymore now that all the Daemon "abilities" are Psychic powers.
- How To - Let's start with the good news: many of those D-strength weapons have a laughably short range, so don't let them line your guys up for a shot. From there, dealing with Eldar becomes somewhat varied, making it tricky in general, but there are three general things that they will field that can mess you up. If your opponent wants to guardian spam you (not just guardians, but anything piloted by them), use vehicles and use many of them. Even warwalkers will shit bricks when you put a soulgrinder behind them; even more amusing with bloodslaughterers. From there, it's all a matter of cracking open transports, which is easy enough with your vehicles. If they're wraith heavy, use hordes and FMCs; plaguebearers and Daemonettes (and other Slaaneshi Daemons) will be useful at dealing with wraithlords and wraithknights while the flyers shave off wounds with near impunity. If they prefer aspect warriors, with their high WS, initiative and attacks, that's where you use elite daemons (but not bloodcrushers because they suck). Fiends, Plague Drones, Beasts and goddamn Flamers are absolutely cruel to aspect warriors; one that could prove problematic are the Crimson Hunters, but deal with them like any flyer. Lastly, if they try for a combination of approaches, rest assured that that particular strategic path faces a budgetary constraint, meaning they won't have too many trouble spots for you to eliminate. The Wraithknight is terrifying with it's D-Cannons but a Daemon Prince of Nurgle can down one before it can hit back (due to Balesword and D3 wounds from ID), and Daemonettes can shave off 3-4 wounds each round due to rending.
- Tyranids - Shadow of the Warp subtracts Psykers Ld by -3 period (which is a big deal when it comes to Daemonic Instability, as you'll see below), and they can bring a lot of anti-infantry guns. Also they can spawn more troops to gun you down. Thank our Dark God who wrote their book again they can't take Rulebook powers anymore.
- How To - dealing with Tyranids is arguably the easiest of the troublesome armies for Daemons. Yes, Shadow of the Warp is a pain in the arse, but this isn't as big of problem now that psychic tests are not done with leadership and it requires you to lose in close combat (not bloody likely in most cases with your guys). Plus, it isn't too bad if you come rolling with the Blood God's finest; Heralds and Bloodthirsters will normally wreck elite Tyrranid units and Winged DP's come in handy against bugs because they only have access to FMCs just like you. You should however watch out for Genestealers and their high-volume of rending attacks although most of your MCs can actually strike before them and your lack of armour isn't as big a deal for getting hit by rending attacks as it is for other armies. If you're really concerned about blobs of Genestealers or just blob-nids in general in CC, consider Flamers - Warp Flame is less of a stupid rule against things that can't armour save against it! Seeker Chariots and Hellflayers are also excellent choices for mowing down hordes of units and eventually smashing into Tyranid MCs.
- Imperial Knights - What did you expect? They're giant robots damn near impervious to everything you have to throw at them. Your flyers are largely powerless against them, heavy weapons are fickle and nearly everything you could pitch at it in CC is a fucking speed bump at best - Soul Grinders, Blood Thirsters, whatever!
- How to - Yeah, that's a good one. Okay, there are two ways to deal with Imperial Knights and this largely depends upon how a Knight is fielded against you. If you're fighting a single Knight taken as a detachment or as a single LoW, then one of the easier ways to deal with it is throw another super-heavy at it in a straight counter. If you're facing more than one, then a) your opponent is an asshole and b) you're gonna use a bunch of Nurgle and Slaanesh units to autoglance and rend by attrition. Your losses will be heavy; you've been warned... (Throw Skarbrand at an Imperial Knight, especially if he has been buffed by the Grimore. He will take it out in one turn easily, before it can think about fighting back).Or you could always fight fire with Warp Flames considering that Renegade knights are technically Chaos so when they point a big gun at you, maybe you could ally a Renegade and point an equally big gun back.
- Sisters of Battle: - Yes, believe it or not, one of the weaker armies in the game can actually pose a problem for you, depending on what allies they took and how they're set up (If they took an Imperial Knight, you might be in real trouble). They're a close range army for the most part, which means they won't be overly put out when you get your close combat troops get in close, and their massive abundance of Flamers and Heavy Flamers can rip straight through your troops cutting right though the shrouding on Plaguebearers. And, not to pile on, but Exorcists are god tier Monstrous Creature killers.
- How to - Focus on your strengths. They may have a ton of flamers, but they don't have any Warp Charges, which means you should focus on Summoning and Buffs, since their Adamantium Will won't help them against those. Careful what you summon and where though; Nothing is more frustrating than summoning a unit of Plaguebearers and watching them all get killed when the girls blast a Heavy Flamer across the whole unit, unless you wanted to use the Plaguebearers as a distract to absorb that heavy flamer blast. Over all however, don't worry too much; Sisters are so rarely played that you won't have to face them often.
Dealing with Flyers
Daemons and Sisters of Battle are so far the last remaining armies in 40K that have difficulty dealing with flyers on their own. However, the situation is less dire for Daemons as they get access to FMCs and have a skyfiring heavy support choice - the Adepta Sorritas get none of that! In spite of this, the fact that nearly all FMCs available in Codex Daemons are capped at S6 can seriously hurt their chances at dealing with Flyers with SA12 or more. So barring your opponent flyer spamming you, here are a few ways to deal with flyers:
- Fateweaver: Arguably your most reliable way to deal with fliers, as automatically has flickering fire and the Tzeentch D-power. Bonus points if you get perfect timing to ignore jink (doesn't work under GW's Rules FAQ).
- Lash of Despair: A daemon prince of Slaanesh can toss out 2D6 S6 shots (up to S9 if he's a psyker with Iron Arm). That's a lot of shots but there are two problems: first, it's still base strength 6 which means you need all 7 of those expected shots to hit for a decent chance at a glance. Second, it's very unreliable especially hoping for Iron Arm on what will be an incredibly expensive DP, although Biomancy as a whole is not a bad discipline so why unreliable it's not like a Biomancy psyker can't be useful even if you don't get iron arm.
- Horrors of Tzeentch: 4D6 shots, rerolling to hit from prescience and at S6 from the locus. A bit better but has many of the problems above
- Burning Chariot: If you get really lucky, the S9 snapshots might just do it. Even less reliable than the above two.
- 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.
- MC Spam: Yes, they are only S6 but you do get D3 hits per Vector Strike. Take at least 3 MCs mixed between Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes. Be warned, this will be expensive.
- 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.
- Imperial Bastion/Fortress of Redemption: Similar to ADLs, but are actual buildings instead of obstacles, what with that sweet, sweet AV14 all around. You could put Plaguebearers in these, but it's a much better idea to use Bloodletters and their obscene BS5 to man quad-cannons, Icarus lascannons, heavy bolters and, in the case of the FoR, that missile silo. Putting a Herald of Khorne on the missile silo all but prevents the large blast from scattering, what with their BS7 equaling the expected value of your average scatter's 2d6.
- Blight Drones: The only flyer Daemons have. Unfortunately, it's a Forgeworld model and only BS2 but its weapons are either template, blast or twin-linked - specifically that Reaper Autocannon; lemme explain, it has a similar profile to a Harvester, but re-rollable 5+ to-hit is statistically superior to a 4+. Additionally, the weapons load-out of these things effectively make it a flying Nurgle Grinder. A blight drone squadron is amazingly expensive but it is still a damn good option!
- Hellfire Gaze: Both of the flying Greater Daemons or DPs 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.
- Allied Flyers: Go to Chaos Space Marines tactics to read about what havoc they wreck. Combines very nicely with MC spam. (Note: 7th ed hit these hard. Specifically, you can no longer shoot an opposing flier's rear armor after vector striking because the auto cannons are no longer turrets.) If you're not averse FW models, the Hellblade and Helltalon are also available in an allied CSM list, plus chaos'd versions of imperial flyers in a Renegades and Heretics list.
- Renegade Knights: With the forthcoming release of Freeblade: Renegade, filthy heretics like us get a knew set of toys for our arsenal: Knights. They're strictly better then the Imps, because they can dual-wield their main guns (at a cost), and can take all the carapace weapons the Imps can. You can ally in up to 3 (don't, unless your meta is light on Imp Knights) in exchange for slanting your strategy toward favoring hot, Knight on Knight action in the form of PE for your Knights and theirs, if they're Imps. As dedicated AA, 1-2 Galant-class Knights with Twin Icarus Autocannon would set you back about 360 points a piece, and force a few Grounding tests, but if you want a real AA threat, take a Crusader with double Avenger Gatling Cannon. 24 Strength 6 AP 3 Rending shots at turn should be more than capable of downing a few jets. Combined with Icarus Cannons, this 470 point beast will wreck planes easily, then mow down everything else.
- Too many attacks: Daemonic Incursion, take murderhorde with herald on jug with hatred loci and crimson crown (rewards as you will but weapons recommended), 8 units flesh hounds of which one unit of 20. As auxiliary take Karanak and join the big dog unit. On the charge 6 attacks per doggy / 7 for karanak / 9 for herald (if taken 2 specialist weapons). This with hatred is awesome. Though they need psychic help and/or GoTN to keep on going.
- Cavalry Rush: Take some Bloodcrushers, Seekers or Plague drones with a icon and have all your daemons deep-strike reliably.
- The Mighty Invulnerable Magicshitter: While not exactly a tactic I've found that this is a costly (if effective) setup for a Lord of Change/DP of Tzeentch. For LoC and DP:lvl 3 psyker, 50 points of rewards (your choice), Impossible Robes, Blessed by the Gods Fighter Ace, make the target (now called Magicshitter) the warlord and a herald (preferably budget to save points given this bastard burns through a lot) with the endless grimoire. Give the DP wings and daemon of Tzeentch (obviously) no need for the warp-forged armour Magicshitter now has a +2 invun. Keep the herald hidden away somewhere and roll on Tzeentch, have fun blasting out psychic powers from every orifice.
- Princes Tactics: And by hate i mean your opponent will hate you, Run a prince of nurgle only with wings and biomancy and glide around dishing out 6 S9 attacks with a 2+ jink save.
Or you could run a Slaanesh prince with wings and armor with 2 greater rewards and ML3 and Swoop around with biomancy, Exchange your greater rewards for 2 whips and potentially dish out 4d6 s9 lashes. (This doesn't work as each reward can only be taken once per model) Or as well take a prince of Tzeench with a greater and lesser reward and take staff and greater ether blade and get 7 S9 hits on the charge, roll on biomancy for eternal warrior and 4+ fnp. Princes are expensive but versatile. Make sure to bring some other scary units so they dont get focused, like a soulgrinder or any greater daemon.
- 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. Works also with Skarbrand.
- The tally-man can: Take Epidemius. Now take 3 Nurgle Soul Grinders with Phlegm Bombardment. Now take a Decimator Daemon engines devoted to nurgle with conversion beamers. Now take a Chaos Knight Paladin devoted to Nurgle. All these units are very durable, count as Daemons of Nurgle (For ALL purposes) and have awesome long ranged weaponry. Park all your walkers in cover for that sweet 3+ and commence the siege of nurgle!!! You will start building up the tally of pestilence quite quickly from the beginning of the game with 5 Battle-cannon templates and 1 S10 AP2 Large blast with 72" range. Remember that hull points don't count towards the tally so if you're up against a mechanized list priorities popping those transports and squishing the the supple mortal flesh inside. Spend your remaining points on whatever Daemons of nurgle you like. Plague drones make good escorts for Epidemius as you will get majaority toughness 6 and with it, immunity to S10 instant death. Spamming Plaguebearers is also viable as they will become S & T5 pretty quickly and you only need a single model from the unit to be within 6" of Epidermis to benefit from the tally. The idea of this list is to spend the Majority of your points on long-ranged firepower that would be decent without the synergy this list gives it, and then spend the remaining points on fairly cheap units who have the potential to become incredibly cost-effective with the buffs Epidemius can give them. A normal Epidermis list would likely only start to build up the Tally once the nurgle daemons start to get into combat and when many of them have already died on the way in, whereas with this list, depending on your match up, it's likely that your dudes will be T5 by the 2nd turn, or even before you opponent gets to do anything if you have first turn. The main concern with this list is that you're opponent will have superior firepower and will happily weather your barrages and dish out far more hurt in return. Against most lists, shrouded walkers should help you out here as you can get 3+ cover fairly easily, but against Tau or other ignores cover shenanigans, your shit out of luck.
- 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. (Nope, majority toughness means the unit is T4) 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.) On turn 2 you can charge almost everything after you move 12" for the second time excluding the scout move. (Remember that beast and cav aren't slowed by terrain.) 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. Two major problems with this though; this tactic will be expensive in both real money and points, around $225 and 800 points (without any upgrades), respectively.
- Flying Circus of Nurgle: A more specific variation on the above list. Take Fateweaver and a ML3 Great Unclean One with Grimoire. 2 Fully maxed out Daemon Princes of Nurgle and Be'lakor allied in with CSM. Daemon Princes and Be'lakor have a 2+ Jink save, not to mention you can enhance them with Grimoire and Invisibility. Watch your Wraithknight spamming friend rage as your ID baleswords deal D3 wounds, kaputting it before he can even strike back. This list hits hard but can suffer from focused fire, so watch out for Tau.
- Screamer Star: This can be really fun to play (though infuriating on the receiving end) and is quite liberating as you don't have to worry about anything but killing and staying alive (
not recommendedHIGHLY recommended for tournament play), so here is what you do. Take 2-4 heralds of Tzeentch on discs, give one of them the grimoire of true names and give one of them prescience. Now use the rest of your points on Fateweaver (to reroll the grimoire check if need be), a 6 to9 man unit of screamers. Use the rest of the points on Daemon Prince heavy support and troops. Cast forewarningCursed earth on the herald and screamer unit and use the grimoire for a 2++ rerollable cause you're a daemon of tzeentch. You now have a giant deathstar that will not fucking die; much rage will ensue from the other end of the table. Though not truly the best for close combat, 52 attacks on the charge (if taking 4 heralds), with re-rolls to hit a la prescience, is nothing to sneeze at. it is good for vehicle hunting (with the Screamers' Armorbane attacks) and can easily tarpit forever; besides you have Daemon Princes for hitting hard. As a bonus, if you got second turn, keep these guys in the middle of the table then split off the heralds on the last turn to contest all the objectives. Note: Just be careful, the grimoire doesn't work on its bearer but that's what Look Out Sir! is for.
- Doublestar: A combination of Screamerstar and Dogs of War. Fateweaver, 2 ML3 Heralds of Tzeentch, Herald of Khorne with Exalted Locus on Juggernaut (with weapon upgrades mind you), 9 Screamers of Tzeentch, 20 Flesh hounds, Be'lakor allied in with CSM. Use Grimore+Cursed Earth on the Screamers and Be'lakor's Invisibility on the Flesh Hounds. Watch your opponent flip out as now he has not one, but TWO very strong deathstars that he has to deal with. There is very little that this army is weak to, especially if you get the first turn (meaning your opponent can't shoot before you throw your protection on) but watch out for GK paladins. Wraithknights won't give you a very hard time (although they will be a pain to kill) but summoned Daemonettes can help with that.
- Daemon King: This requires a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch (perhaps several), Fateweaver, and a whole lot of points dumped into said prince. First you need the Grimoire, secondly you need your princes to be ML3 and roll up Forewarning for a 4++, giving you a 2++ rerollable, then you need either a greater etherblade or an eternal blade and you must roll up Iron Arm, if you get warp speed or endurance too, that's just gravy. Now you have a model that can beat Horus in a one on one dust up without a scratch on it. Not as reliable as the Screamer Star, but still deliciously rage inducing. Keep away from D-strength units unless you want to see all your hard work go up in smoke.
- Operation Touhou: Heralds of Tzeentch can use flickering fire to fire 4d6 worth of heavy bolter shots. This is madness level of dakka from one model even if you roll all ones you're still ahead of the curve as far as most shooting HQ's go. Take eight (you can only have four Herolds for each Force Org Chart) heralds of Tzeentch, upgrade them to level three for mind bullets(That's telekinesis, Kyle.), 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 *cough*Divination*cough*. 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 ability to fire between 32(all ones) to 192 (all sixes) worth of heavy bolter shots, from your HQ section alone!
- Molon Labe: One (or more) unit(s) of Bloodletters with (at least) one attached Herald hunkering down in a Fortress of Redemption with heavy bolters and Krakstorm Missiles. Man the TL-Icarus and Heavy Bolters with Bloodletters while the Herald mans the missile silo. The Herald's BS7 will more often than not prevent the blast marker for the missile silo from scattering. This setup will do 3 things: first, it gives you a very good AA option (a twin-linked, double-ranged lascannon that skyfires and intercepts can down most aircraft with a single shot. TL-BS5 is also effectively BS10); second, it'll provide artillery support that obviates the need for a Nurgle Grinder and even outdoes an allied Defiler's battle cannon. Lastly, it's gonna be a very hard thing to deal with: between the building's AV14 and 4 HP per section and the cover save granted to occupants, it's a very tough cookie shooting-wise; anything brave enough to assault it will get a thorough gunning from its occupants and then has to fight Bloodletters in cover in close-combat. To that end, tool up your Herald and/or Bloodreaper for challenge duty or just give them a Blade of Blood if they're gonna be facing down numerous foes (or both if you have the points); this might also be one of the few times where the Exalted Locus of Wrath is useful on foot-slogging Bloodletters.
- King D-Thirster: Take Fateweaver, a D-thirster with two greater rewards, a DP of Tzeentch with Grimoire, and Ally in Belakor. Cast Invisibility and the Grimoire on the D-Thirster and have the other guys fly around doing shenanigans. Summon some Daemonettes. King D-thirster will kill anything he comes into base contact with, and will be impossible to kill for your opponent. Watch out for stomps.
- Tzeench Cheese to infity and beyond: Pink horrors with a ageis defence line going to ground around your objectives or juts to be a bullet sponge. You win either way. They shoot at your or you shoot at them. Anyways lets get to the fun parts shal we? When you go to ground behind a defence line you get +2 to your cover saves. Tzeench daemons can reroll all saving throws of 1. 2+ rerollable cover save. I cant belive we arnt funding this.
- Cheesy cheese (Soo much cheese): (Please note the following: You should probably never play this if you still want friends. This is only possible with the mighty unbound rules. This requires an insane amount of (same) model spam which only rich people can afford). Fill up all your points with level 2 heralds of Tzeentch. Roll on malefic table only, you are aiming for sacrifice, possession and summoning with cursed earth being a bonus. Then the formula is easy. Deploy as much out of sight as possible. Everyone that knows sacrifice should use it to lose a wound and double up on the amount of level 2 heralds of Tzeentch. Everyone that doesn't know it should use possession to turn into greater daemons (your choice at this point). The rest should use summoning to bring in fresh sacrificing bodies in the form of pink horrors. REPEAT. This game will take forever to play and require an entire notepad to keep up with the new models and their powers but FUN*...
- 11 - Delight In Despair
- Score 1 Victory Point if at least one enemy failed a Fear or Morale check in assault during your turn. Score 2 Victory Points if a Daemon of Slaanesh caused it.
- 12 - The Cycle Of Life
- Score 1 Victory Point if at least one enemy was completely destroyed in assault during your turn. Score 2 if a Daemon of Nurgle caused it.
- 13 - Touched By The Warp
- Score 1 Victory Point if at least one friendly model maifested a psychic power during your turn. Score 2 if a Daemon of Tzeentch caused it.
- 14 - The Glory Of Khorne
- Score 1 Victory Point if at least one character killed an enemy in a challenge. Score 2 if a Daemon of Khorne caused it.
- 15 - The Dominion of Chaos
- Score D3 Victory Points at the end of your turn if you control more objective markers than your opponent.
- 16 - The Great Game
- Roll a dice at the end of your turns after generating this card. Score that number of Victory points if you control that many objectives.