Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Daemons (9E)
- 1 Why Play Chaos Daemons?
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Psychic Powers
- 4 Unit Analysis
- 4.1 Daemons of Khorne
- 4.2 Daemons of Tzeentch
- 4.3 Daemons of Nurgle
- 4.4 Daemons of Slaanesh
- 4.5 Neutral
- 5 Stratagems
- 6 Specialist Detachments
- 7 Armies of Renown
- 8 Tactics
- 8.1 The Bloodletter Bomb
- 8.2 Bloodcrusher Bomb?
- 8.3 The Pink Horror Blob/Bomb
- 8.4 Plaguebearer Infestation/Bomb
- 8.5 The hidden Daemon Prince(s)
- 8.6 Alphabet Chicken Soup
- 8.7 Swiss Army Knife Summoning
- 8.8 CSM prince summoner
- 8.9 Special Note/Tactic against Imperial Knights (and similar Titanic models)
- 8.10 Grindranger Battalion
- 9 Friends and Allies
- 10 Secondaries
Why Play Chaos Daemons?
Chaos Daemons are the ultimate enemy of the Imperium, perhaps more so than the Chaos Space Marines who worship them. Each one of them is an incarnation of the Dark Gods' will made of pure Warp energy, and therefore mortal concepts such as fear, exhaustion, or pity are alien to them. If you always wanted to command an army entirely composed of bizarre and horrifying monstrosities (and who didn't?), then Chaos Daemons are for you.
- Armywide 5++ save so you don't care about AP. Tzeentch and Nurgle make your guys even tougher.
- Wide range of miniatures, so painting never gets boring.
- Daemons and Thousand sons together is one of the best armies in the game right now, with some of the best untargetable characters hiding behind an obscenely tough swarm of troops.
- Lots of different playstyles with 4 different gods, monsters, hordes, magic and so on. Probably even more mixing with CSM (Daemonkin) later on and, therefore, even more different units to use.
- Build your army on the battlefield with summoning (but now in a very fucking crappy limited fashion)
- Possible charge after (now fucked up) summoning. With an instrument, you'll get +1 to charge and therefore need an 8 (42% chance) - doable with CP re-rolls
- A LOT of psykers. Your daemon spells are meh, and buffs are limited to daemons of the same god, but you can spam Smite all over the place. Space Marines and other expensive armored units will hate you for that.
- Many units with FLY wording for disengage engage shenanigans or for charging those annoying DEldar fighters and bombers. (this isnt a thing in 9th ed*)
- Your Daemon Prince murder machines can hide behind other troops.
- Your army is completely compatible with Age of Sigmar, kill team and The Horus Heresy. It's almost like having three armies for the price of one.
- 9th changes make Daemons fantastic at board control, lots of variety in objective holders and takers. When mixing Gods, you can oversaturate target priority, makes them stress about what to shoot.
- 5++ is something but not much, and you have got a lot of T3 units... (unless you're running a lot of Nurgle)
- You need quite a lot of miniatures, and the big ones aren't cheap, but you wanted to sell your firstborn anyways, didn't you?
- Looks like (rumors!) Chaos Undivided won't be a big thing in the future. The fact that Furies (who are supposed to be Chaos Undivided incarnate) have to take marks is a big hint.
- You can play hordes, but your hordes cost quite some points, especially in comparison to other hordes (Orks, Tyranids, Guard,...).
- Daemons have a low leadership value compared to other hordes and only one option to improve it a bit (place a Greater Daemon near your hordes until he gets lascannon sniped).
- Not much shooting capabilities. You really have to get up close as fast as possible, on foot because...
- Lackluster mobility (unless you're running Slaanesh): Your Stratagems make summoning better, but it's still rather annoying. Prepare to spend CP on the deep strike stratagem if you don't want to run the risks of footslogging.
- Not a lot of cheap anti-horde capabilities (besides Slaanesh) compared to enemy horde point costs. Try to deal with Ork-/Nid-/Guard-Blobs. Have fun...
- You will have trouble with fast (Space Elves) and shooty (Guard, Tau) armies - always. Especially ones that can kill your Greater Daemons on turn one with some heavy armed flyers or lascannons.
- Really CP intensive, if you want to do it right (but not many stratagems to spend it on unless you're running mixed daemons detachments) if you are running mono-god detachments you will likely only have 5-6 useful stratagems in the whole book!
- the army's competitively at the moment has greatly increased with the shift of focus in 9th but it still needs an update. (This could change with the eventual release of a new 9th edition Codex).
Changes from 8th and 9th Edition
Game has made a large shift from prioritizing mass slaughter to board control and objective scoring.
A more important change is morale with units not having guaranteed destruction after a certain number of models were killed that turn.
A downside is Blast weapon will ruin your hordes day with guaranteed full shots against an efficient size troop unit.
Alignment this is what Chaos god the unit is affiliated with, Khorne the god of blood, Tzeentch the god of trickery, Nurgle the god of plague, and Slaanesh the god of excess. Most units come pre-aligned to a chaos god, but a number of units can choose. This choice has to be made when making your army and will determine which god's Locus, Stratagems, Relics, and Warlord Traits that unit has access to and which Daemonic Reward the unit gets.
Chaos these are the units that can be in your army, but if they do not have the Daemon FACTION Keyword they cannot be part of your Daemon Detachments.
Daemon these are the units you can put in your Detachments.
- Daemonic Ritual: Any Chaos character can attempt to summon a unit instead of moving. The summoner can only summon daemons of their own alignment. Roll up to 3 d6, you can then summon a unit of equal or less power level than the number rolled. The new unit is treated as reinforcements, can be placed 9" from the enemy and 12" from the summoner. Doubles is a mortal wound on the summoner, Triples is d3MW.
- Note: A unit only needs to actually have this rule to ARRIVE through summoning, not to be the "summoner." That means anyone with both the Chaos faction and the Character keyword can do so. Cypher used to, but cannot anymore.
- Arch-Daemonic Ritual: The special rule that An'Ggrath, Zarakynel, Aetaos'Rau'Keres, and Scabeiathrax get. Roll 9D6 instead of 3, but your Character gets splattered if you roll triples. (It has some serious problem in that a Bloodletter bomb cannot be upgraded using the banner of blood stratagem, and cannot go into a detachment to build you CP, and your warlord can never be summoned this way)
- Ran some mathhammer on this, and the bottom line is it should never be relied upon. There's a 70% it kills your Character, and only rolls high enough to summon Zarakynel 35% of the time. From there, the odds get continually worse, with Scabeiathrax showing up less than 10% of the time, and An'ggrath less than 1% of the time. Rolling Aetaos'rau'keres's PL on nine dice is impossible.
- Daemonic Legions: Objective Secured, 8th Edition Daemons style. Translated: If your army is battleforged, all Troop Choices in range of an objective marker count as controlling it regardless of how many enemy models are close, unless the opponent's troops have a similar rule.
- Locus of _God's name here_: On all The heralds. Grants their respective Faction's daemon units within 6" gain +S1. As a Primarily melee faction, a point of Strength matters. Also, note that because of aura rules that the herald is also affected so that S4 is actually S5.
- Greater Daemon: Greater Daemons are Greater Daemons. Let their respective units within 6" use their Ld of 10. It can Reduce moral casualties.
- Daemonic Icon: A important 15pts upgrade to put on a unit. can take 1 for every 10 models on troops if your need backups. Icons are good because they resurrect a model on a moral test roll of 1, the Dice roll dependent on how expensive they are.
- Instrument of Chaos: 10pt upgrade can be taken in the same amounts as the Icon. Grants +1 to Advance and charge rolls, Necessary in a mostly melee army.
- Quick PSA about Instruments and Banners: One odd quirk about all the Troop choices is that you're given the option to take 1 Instrument and 1 Banner per 10 models in the unit. However, your unit can only benefit from one each of them. What's the point of this, you may ask? Summoning rolls and reinforcement points in matched, that's why. You see, you still have to spend the points on the models, but nothing says you have to decide what models are in each unit. This means you can have a 30 model unit ready just in case you roll that 15 for summoning, but can bring them in one 10-man unit at a time if you only get a few 5+ rolls and they can all still have those extra goodies to help them out. Food for thought.
- Daemonic Rewards: Each unit gains an ability depending on which god the unit is dedicated to.
Khorne models get this. +1 attack and Strength if they charge, get charged, or performed a heroic intervention.
- Now, this helps, but unfortunately Bloodletters and the like may feel it when the enemy kills them before they can strike back. As always, get that charge.
Tzeentch models get this. +1 to your invulnerable saves (I.E. now most of your units have a 4++ instead of a 5++).
- Self-explanatory, really. The only thing this doesn't help against is mortal wounds, but them's the breaks!
Nurgle models get this. It's basically Feel No Pain, roll a die when you get a wound and on a 5+ it doesn't count.
- Now back on bog-standard Plaguebearers! Tzeentch only provides a 33% increase in durability, while this provides a 50% increase in durability. Disgustingly Resilient also works against mortal wounds (take that Chicken McNuggets), the only downside is it's mostly useless against weapons that were going to overkill you (if a Plaguebearer gets hit by a D2 weapon, FNP only gives him a 13% increase in durability). Note that it is only worse against things that were going to overkill you, so unless he's down to less than 6 wounds a Great Unclean One will take 33% less damage from a lascannon, while a Lord of Change takes 25% less damage.
Slaanesh models get this. Models with this confusingly written special rule always attack first in close combat, unless they were charged by something else, or the enemy unit has a similar ability, or a stratagem is used to interrupt combat flow in which case you alternate activation as normal starting with the player whose turn it is.
Only Tzeentch Daemon Psykers may roll powers on this chart.
- Boon of Change: An ok, but not really power. WC7 selects a Tzeentch Daemon unit within 18" and gives it a mutation! d3- 1:(is +1 Attack), 2:( is +1S) , and 3 :(is +1T).
- Good for buffing up Tzeentch HQ's (T8 LoC is nice), Screamers, and CSM allies (notably Daemon Engines), but rather useless on most other Tzeentch Daemon units.
- Bolt of Change: Basically a targeted Smite. WC8 now, a little bit easier to cast. However, auto causes an enemy unit within 18" to take d3 Mortal Wounds! If you kill a character, it becomes a spawn! Also, it says clearly in the codex that you have to pay reinforcement points for the spawn in competitive games, which is fucking stupid.
- Gaze of Fate: WC6. If manifested, you can re-roll a single die roll later that turn. Free re-rolls are always useful and it does not eat a command point.
- Treason of Tzeentch: The cool one. WC8. You can choose an enemy character within 18", except the enemy warlord. It is then yours for the Shooting, Charge and Fight phases! Edit: as well as beating the WC8 you must also then roll HIGHER than the target's leadership on 2 dice (and that's before modifiers by the way), considering that most Characters have a higher than average Leadership value this power becomes vastly unreliable and a very rare sight. Although bear in mind that most imperial knights have the character keyword so if you get this off on one of them you'll see a massive pay off no doubt.
- Flickering Flames: WC5. A friendly Tzeentch unit within 18" gets +1 to wound rolls when shooting. Your Horrors can now hold their own in the shooting phase even without smite spamming with this active. Also useful on a unit of Flamers next to a Herald: S5 flamers with +1 to wound will wound most non-vehicle/monster units in the game on 2+.
- Infernal Gateway: WC 8. If manifested, identify the nearest visible enemy model within 12" of the psyker. Enemy AND friendly units] within 3" of the targeted MODEL take d3 mortal wounds or d6 instead if you manifest this with a 12+. Ideal for punishing enemies that like to huddle close to characters with auras.
Rejoice! The god of magic has blessed his lesser manifestations with a discipline that's actually worth using!
- Overall you should probably run Boon of Change on your heralds, it's the only power they can (somewhat) reliable cast. Never take Bolt of Change, because Smite is a lot easier, has 50% more range, and greater average/potential damage. Treason of Tzeentch is unreliable in extreme, e.g. on a character with LD7, you need to roll 8+ two times in a row and everything with LD10 is basically immune to this power. On a big bird/Kairos taking/casting Bolt of Change is ok, as they will succeed more often and cast it in addition to Smite. Infernal Gateway is also tough to activate, but unlike Smite or Bolt of Change, it can hit multiple units at once. Just make sure it doesn't hit your own units in the process, though. Flickering Flames is cheap to cast and it helps to patch up one of your weaknesses for good measure.
- Gaze of Fate is an absolute must-have no matter what your plan is. It's practically a CP re-roll that doesn't use up the CP- which means you can use them on other Stratagems instead. Always have at least one Psyker that can use it at any given time.
Only Nurgle Daemon Psykers may roll powers on this chart.
- 1 - Stream of Corruption: WC5, and flinging ' d3 mortal wound' poo on the closest enemy unit within 7" or d6 if said unit has 10 or more models.
- 2 - Fleshy Abundance: WC5, you can recover d3 wounds of a friendly Nurgle Daemon unit within 18". Nice to keep a Soul Grinder, DP or GUO alive to actually see the charge. If you're allying with Death Guard, use this on a group of 3 Myphitic Blight Haulers to create a near-immortal, high speed blob of death.
- 3 - Nurgle's Rot: WC7, Roll a d6 for every unit within 7" of the Psyker. on a 4+, the unit suffers d3 mortal wounds. Nurgle units are unaffected. Like the Death Guard Stratagem of the same name, but doesn't use CP and can be used more than once per game.
- 4 - Shriveling Pox: WC6, select an enemy unit within 18" and visible. Until the start of your next psychic phase, they have -1 toughness. Yes, this can affect vehicles. Combo with Virulent Blessing for extra Nurgle-tainted cheese.
- 5 - Virulent Blessing: WC6, a friendly Nurgle Daemon unit within 18" gets +1 to their wound rolls, and if they roll a 7+ to wound the attack does double its normal damage. So any 6s do double damage, essentially.
- 6 - Miasma of Pestilence: Just like it was in the Death Guard Codex, but it targets Nurgle Daemons. WC6, -1 to hit against the said unit. Stops exploding attacks and such.
Great discipline overall: Stream of Corruption is actually a better Smite vs 10+ units, Virulent Blessing makes your Plaguebearers wound Guardsman on a 2+ (with the Heralds Aura even MEQs) and Fleshy Abundance is a heal, so you want that immediately. Highest WC of 7 means the whole discipline is relatively easy to cast too!
Only Slaanesh Daemon Psykers may roll powers on this chart.
- 1 - Cacophonic Choir: WC6. Roll 2d6 (add 2 if WC roll was 10 or higher) targeting closest visible enemy unit within 18". That unit suffers a mortal wound for each point that your 2d6 exceeds their leadership. It's basically a gambler's version of Smite. Harder to make work but potentially more damaging when it does work. Given how widely available LD modifiers are for Chaos, you can potentially make this power do 2d6-1 (or +1, if you roll 10+ for casting) mortal wounds... What a sweet song this Choir sings.
- The benefit this power has over other leadership bombs is that it doesn't rely on the enemy failing a morale test for it to be effective. Armies whose morale loses are capped at one (like Dark Angels) or normally have such low model counts that they never worry about morale (like Custodes) are just as susceptible to Slaaneshi mind-fuckery as everyone else. This also means that single-model units that normally never take morale tests can be affected.
- Tyranids in particular, can go fuck themselves. Synapse only lets units automatically pass morale checks, it doesn't modify their generally terrible leadership. For reference, a mighty Carnifex has a base leadership of six. Bask in your opponent's despair when his bioengineered killing machine shits itself to death.
- 2 - Symphony of Pain: WC6. The nearest enemy unit within 18" suffers -1 To-hit until the start of your next psychic phase. Potentially a great pick against more Elite Armies. By far, the best power of the three, reliable to cast and guaranteed to be useful against anything that ain't a flamer. Cast while using Deamonettes with the Masque for fun and profit.
- 3 - Hysterical Frenzy: WC8. Targets a friendly unit of Slaanesh Daemons that is in combat and lets them pile in and fight as if it were the fight phase. Killy Slaanesh daemons are getting an additional fight phase? It can be useful. But keep in mind that you'll have to survive at least one Fight phase, but with all of that Attack and to hit penalties, that should not be hard, also, as WC8, it's not easy to get off. It is also great for allied Warp Talons, Possessed, or Mutilators of Slaanesh that can survive a round of combat.
- 4 - Delightful Agonies: WC5. select a friendly Slaanesh unit within 18" of the psyker. they get a 6+ FNP save. A nerfed version of the Chaos Space Marine power. WC5 instead of 6, but I'd rather have the 5+ FNP for the higher cost. Even though it shares the same name as the CSM version they swapped the WC and FNP bonus for no reason so for psychic focus purposes, you will never use this over the CSM version.
- 5 - Pavane of Slaanesh: WC6. select an enemy unit within 18" and roll a d6 for each model in it. On a 6+, the unit takes a mortal wound. An excellent horde-buster that gets more powerful with the size of the targeted unit.
- 6 - Phantasmagoria: WC6. Enemies within 18" get -1 Leadership until your next Psychic phase. Greatly stacks with other -LD sources and Cacophonic Choir.
Quite spectacular, but requires some brainpower and some luck. Cacophonic Choir is a great "anti-anything except FNP" power but requires LD modifiers (So, Night Lords are now Slaanesh best friends, hah). But with them and some good rolling you can do 8 MORTAL WOUND ON AVERAGE (min 3, which still pretty great). Symphony of Pain, paired with our new Warlord Trait and stratagem, reducing enemies attacks characteristics, helps our rather squishy daemon almost to become unkillable for our opponents. Hysterical Frenzy is hard to get, but another round of combat is great! Especially if we are talking about Daemons of Slaanesh. Delightful Agonies is... eh, it's the worst one, it had its WC and FNP numbers swapped around for literally no reason so it's a neutered version of the DH power with the same name. But still, it's basically "almost" free FNP for our squishy troops, so it's okay. Pavane of Slaanesh is just Tzeentch stratagem, but a lot better and doesn't require our CP. Phantasmagoria has great potential, since it works with Cacophonic Choir, and being 12"(!) AOE can have a great impact on the battlefield.
Per the Demon Codex, Be'lakor has access to the following three powers from the Dark Hereticus Discipline. Sadly, no warptime or Prescience.
- 1 - Infernal Gaze: WC5. Pick an enemy unit within 18" to have a staring contest with and roll 3 dice; any results of a 4+ cause a mortal wound. While not as spammable and reliable as Smite, it can target specific enemy units rather than just the closest.
- 2 - Death Hex: WC8. Target an enemy unit within 12" - they cannot take invulnerable saves. There is a very crucial difference between Death Hex and Null Zone; Null Zone is a 6" bubble around the psyker, whereas Death Hex has a longer 12" range and can choose a specific target, which arguably makes it much more flexible. Since you're only unable to target characters in the Shooting phase, you can strip Girlyman or Cawl or Celestine of their invuln save and then rip them to pieces in close combat.
- 3 - Gift of Chaos: WC6. Targets an enemy model within 6 inches. Roll a die. If you roll higher than the model's toughness, it suffers d3+3 mortal wounds. If a Character is slain, add a Chaos Spa.... err, an unnameable beast to your army. RAW this states it targets an enemy model, but also RAW mortal wounds roll over, so it can and will hurt multi-model units if you roll well.
A special snowflake Discipline for Be'lakor alone.
Common keywords are Chaos, Daemon, and any of the four Chaos Gods.
Important note: Per the current FAQ, once the game begins, both MarkofChaos and Allegiance are treated the same for auras, psychic powers and other abilities, but not all rules such as Stratagems, which are still locked to Daemon faction keyword.
Daemonic Loci were an attempt made by GeeDubbs to incentivize daemon players to lean more toward mono-god armies despite the complete and total lack of diversity in units (unless you play Nurgle, apparently). If your army is Battle-Forged all the Characters in your mono-god Chaos Daemons detachments gain one of these based on the god they serve. The Loci are not must-haves so building armies using Detachments with Daemons serving several gods is valid. Note that units can benefit from the Loci of a Character even if they are part of a Detachment that includes units serving other gods than their own, as long as that Character is in a mono-god Detachment.
Daemons of Khorne
The Daemons of Khorne perceive everything through a red mist of undiluted rage. They cannot wait to spill blood, and so surge across the battlefield to get to grips with their foes as quickly as possible so that the slaughter can begin in earnest.
Horny Khornys are a reliable source of High Strength, AP, and Damage weaponry other god's minions often don't have and even some elite choices have a decent armour save. But like Slaanesh, most Khorne daemons lack defenses and their 5++ won't keep them alive for long.
Daemonic Loci: Locus of Rage: You can re-roll charge rolls for KHORNE DAEMON units that are within 6" of a friendly model with the Locus of Rage in the Charge phase.
- Aspect of Death: Whenever an enemy unit fails a leadership test within 8" of the warlord, an additional model flees. Because of fuck conscript and cultist blobs. Karanak gets this.
- It also works well with Khornate Furies with a Winged DP for a 50% chance of 2 extra models fleeing and a 50% chance of only 1 extra model fleeing.
- Glory of Battle: +1 attack when outnumbered, not the best on a herald that want to be near a squad to take hit, but combined with the +1 from Unstoppable Ferocity makes it more ideal on a Bloodthirster.
- Oblivious to Pain: A Feel No Pain that works only on a 6 roll, but when it works not only don't lose any wound but can also reroll all failed to hit and wound rolls until the end of your next turn.
- Immense power: +1 Strength. On the charge in a Khorne detachment, this gives heralds S8 which can be huge in a low anti-vehicle army, or particularly an Str9 DP with 9 attacks, great against high wound T8 models, with a Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage wounding them on +2.
- Devastating Blow: The Warlord can give up all its attacks for a single roll. If you hit, the target takes d3 mortal wounds. Skulltaker gets this.
- useful in smaller games for a herald getting past hard rolls usually found on MEU characters and Lords of War.
- Rage Incarnate: 8" aura. Khorne demons reroll 1s to hit if they charged this turn. The best thing for a Khorn goon squad. Skarbrand gets this.
- Banner of Blood (1CP): Khorne model with an icon gets it upgraded to a Banner of Blood. You get all the same bonuses and the unit can, once per game, roll 3d6 when making a charge. Remember that you can only declare a charge if you are within 12" so this only makes charges more likely to happen, not longer.
- Locus of Wrath (2CP): Use before a fight phase of a Khorne character. re-roll all to hits for Khorne units within 6" of that character. Not bad, but being near a Daemon Prince already does half of this and for free. Still good when not near a Prince, but don't use on overkill.
- Frenetic Bloodlust (3CP): use at the end of any fight phase. A Khorne Daemon unit can fight again. Great for your Bloodletter Bomb or giant Flesh Hound unit that wants the extra pile in + consolidate move on top of the extra attacks.
- Exalted Bloodthirster Engine War(1CP): Makes Greater daemons worth playing and Adaptable. Before battle A Bloodthirster becomes Exalted and can pick one of 6 additional abilities or randomly gain 2. Unfortunately, multiple Exalted daemons can only gain the same ability if rolled for.
- Hellfire-wrought Armour: Gain a 2+SV. Makes it hard for weapons that are not Lascannons to hurt you. Still needs Blood-blessed if you have a prayer you live past turn 1.
- Blood-blessed: can't lose more than 8 wounds in a phase. Bloodthirster weakness was getting shoot down the first turn, now you have 2 whole turns to work with (assuming they can inflict 8 wounds a phase and you don't regen).
- Arch-murderer: +1 damage on its weapons. charging a tank in 9th doesn't guarantee killing it before shooting the next turn, so make every successful wound roll count.
- Slaughterborn: when Charging, is charged or perform a heroic intervention, gain +1 Strength and attacks until the end of next fight phase. Stacks with Unstoppable Ferocity for +2 Strength and attack.
- Rage Unchained: Double your wounds for the damage table. Degrading stats were always a bane to monsters.
- Unrivaled Battle-lust: +2" to charge rolls and 6" Heroic Intervention. Getting to a fight is ways important to a melee lord.
- Rage Eternal Engine War(3CP): for each Bloodletter Infantry model in a unit that is destroyed in the fight phase, on 4+ roll, they are not removed until after the attacker unit is done, the slain can attack them back regardless of range.
- Brass Stampede Engine War(1CP): when Bloodletter Cavalry finishers a charge move, one enemy takes a MW on a 2+ or D3 on 6s for each charging model, and if the MW kill the unit, then charge a new unit.
- The Scent of Blood Engine War(1CP): a Flesh Hounds unit can Advance & Charge plus +2 to charge roll if non-Vehicles enemy models were destroyed this turn (Presumably from a Skull Cannon, mind bullets, or CSM bolsters).
- Bound in Brass and Bone Engine War(1CP): When attacked, a Bloodletter Chariot unit takes half the damage.
- Armour of Scorn: Khorne Monster only. Bearer gets a 4+ invulnerable save and can deny a single psychic power in each enemy phase.
- Skullreaver: Khorne models only, replaces an Axe of Khorne, Great Axe of Khorne or Daemonic Axe. S +3 AP -4 D D6, deals additional D3 mortal wounds on any wound roll of 6+ and also can reroll all failed wound rolls against Titanic units. A bit sketchy replacing a Great Axe, but a good replacement for an Axe of Khorne or especially a Daemonic Axe. A daemon prince with this axe and the Blood blessed warlord trait from the formation can make short work of an imperial knight (or two if you use frenetic bloodlust). (If the other player at your table will allow you to add a daemon prince to a unit including bloodmasters and bloodletters only.)
- Crimson Crown: Khorne models only. when a Khorne Daemon model within 6" makes a to wound roll of 6+, they can immediately make an additional attack (standard no chaining clause in effect). Combine with Bloodletter Bomb and watch Blood Angels' jaws drop with the amount of blood and fury unleashed! - This Crown is also for shooting, so 1 lord, some skull cannons, when they wound on a 6's they can make an additional 1 shot (note that it is only one shot rather than D6 due to the Music of the Apocalypse FAQ for Codex Chaos Space Marines). This also works with Lord of Skulls since he is a demon, so who said Khorne cant be shooty?
- King of Blades: Khorne models only. replaces a hellforged sword or Blade of Blood. Strength +1, ap -4, d3 damage, Reroll all to wound rolls when targeting a character, 3 damage if given to a monster. Obviously, it can be taken only by Heralds or DPs and it's just nasty on a DPoK. Definitely interesting on a Juggernaut Herald though: with all the strength bonuses you’d get, the Herald would be hitting at Strength EIGHT on the charge, making for decent anti-tank if you can’t spring the points for a Daemon Prince/‘Thirster.
Arfifact of Blood if Warlord is Khorne Daemon, can give the following to a Exalted Bloodthirster.
- G'rmakht The Destroyer: Replace Axe of Khorne, can't roll less then 3 for Damage and if he dies, a different trapped Exalted Bloodthirster breaks out to replace him with d6 wounds and has Rage Unchained Exalted ability.
- Blood-Drinker Talisman: Heal a wound on a 5+ for each enemy model killed in melee. Can't heal more then 8 wounds a turn.
- Rune of Brass: More anti-magic. Enemy Psykers within 16" suffer Perils on doubles and take 3 MW without rolling.
- Bloodthirster: Still come in the three flavors from earlier, you'll have to pick the correct one for the job you need to be done. Like all Greater Daemons, they have a 6" aura that grants allied Khornate Daemons their Ld of 10. Forget about summoning them with their PL of 17 unless you want to cough up CP for it. FLY alleviates that problem somewhat, but anti-tank weapons (and to a lesser extent anti-air) will fuck a Bloodthirster's shit up real fast. Don't let the 16 wounds lull you into a false sense of security. Although Khorne favors getting stuck in and fucking things up in melee, remember that giving the rest of your army Ld10 does come in handy. All Bloodthirsters got a new rule where unmodified hit rolls of 6’s count as two hits to make them even more deadly in combat. Got even more killy with the codex, but their main problem remains. They are very very very attractive for enemy lascannons (often the only targets in the whole army), cannot hide from it (the models are massive), their 3+ armor save is useless against AP-3 and a 5++ is no stellar defense for something that can be hit anywhere on the table, all the time. They are melee fighters with degrading WS to make their problems even more severe... One could deepstrike one with the new stratagems, but doing so with 30 Bloodletters instead is probably better... or both for the lols. There is an argument to be made for giving your Bloodthirster the Armor of Scorn so it can zoom up the board without getting shot off the table. Make him your warlord and take the 6+ FNP for added defensive power. Next, you'll want enough other threats on the board that your opponent will be left with only bad options: Flesh Hound blob screening a Daemon Prince with Skullreaver and a JuggerHerald with King of Blades make for an unavoidable distraction. Skull Cannons in your backfield, now cheaper and stronger, splits your enemy's anti-tank while allowing you to clear away screens for your harder hitting units. You'll be annoyed by units on upper floors of buildings, but your Skull Cannons should make enough room for your deep striking Bloodletter units (or Furies moving up the board) to stream up the floors. A Bloodthirster is a commitment: rush into the enemy as fast and hard as you can with everything you have. They may kill the Bloodthirster, but they leave the rest of your offensive power untouched.
The 'go-rounder' amongst the three choices. Can lash out with his flail at 8" range (1d3 S7 AP-3 D1d3 attacks) and has an axe hitting at S10 AP-4 D1d6 in melee. Good at dealing with elite multi-wounds infantry. Arguably the most reliable of the three thirsters, because - A) his weapon skill does not degrade as he takes wounds, and B) his big fuckoff axe deals 1d6 damage.
A character hunter, that can re-roll all failed attacks roll when targeting a character. Has a flamer attack (D6 auto-hits at S5 AP-1) and can lash out with his flail (one S8 AP-3 D3 attack), both at 8" range. Has an axe hitting at S10 AP-4 D1d6 in melee.
- Note the only benefit over the Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster is that the BS only goes down to 4+ when at its lowest damage bracket.
The tank-buster and horde-slayer. Start with 6 melee attacks that hit on 2+, with S14, AP-4. D1d6 damage, but you can roll 2 dice and pick the best one for damage. Ouch! He can instead put out twice as many attacks at S7 -2 AP D1. Unlike his two 'brothers', has no ranged attack whatsoever (but that's not why you take this guy). The downside? Degrading chance to hit AND number of attacks, as well as movement speed. Let's face it, as soon as you put this on the field EVERY lascannon, rocket launcher, autocannon, etc. will be trained on this magnificent beast. By the time he reaches the enemy, he may have only four, or even two attacks - which have a horrible miss chance, considering they're all he brings to the table. Alas, as badass as he looks, this guy will be pressed to make his points back.
- Herald of Khorne: His only buff is +1 strength to all Khorne Daemon units within 6". Needless to say, it will be extremely painful...for your enemies. This applies to the Herald too, so they grant themselves +1 Strength at all times. Heralds are super useful to summon during combat if you have space since you aren't moving in combat anyway and they have low power levels (which makes them easier to summon). Is armed with a Blade of Blood that will be S6 Ap-3 and D3 damage or 3 on a 6’s to wound.
The baseline Foot slogger Herald. Less mobility, weapons, and defense but significantly cheaper.
Juggernaut Herald. Fastest Herald of Khorne option. Adds T+1, wounds+1, move +2" and modifies the save into a 4+ (which is the best save available to any Herald of Khorne since they can't use the Armor of Scorn).
T+3 Herald with +3 wounds for about double the price of a normal Herald. Has the Skull Cannon's ability to inflict mortal wounds on charged units, then heal for slain models. Painfully slow with no ranged attacks. A good unit to summon or deep strike, but a bad one to start on the table unless the enemy is coming to you.
- Skulltaker: They took his Khorne damned Juggernaut option away, but Skulltaker is still pretty beastly. He moves 1 inch faster than other infantry, has a 3+/5++, and rerolls everything when fighting a character. His aura lets nearby Keyword Bloodletters within 8" add 1 to hit (that includes him and other Heralds), and his weapon is Strength User, AP -3, D3, on 6+ to wound boosted to D3+3 damage. Get him into combat and he'll lop heads off with ease. A pretty nice support character with a very specific focus that is overshadowed by more generalist Princes with Skullreaver and Skullmasters.
- Karanak: Used to be just a mediocre character which can deny 2 psychic powers per turn. Now in addition to being a good target for Daemonic Ritual because (PL4), he got a fun little buff to his special rule. You call out an enemy character at the start of the game and for the rest of the game, when Karanak is fighting against that character, add +1 to both your hit and wound rolls. BUT WAIT - THERE'S MORE! If you're within 8" of the quarry, Oh hey, he also gets to re-roll charge rolls like other fleshhounds, but his attacks have been buffed to AP-2 and D2. Chase down a motherfucker with angry dogs!
- Skarbrand: He is actually worth taking now since he can gain an extra hit on each of his attacks on a 6 to hit and forces enemy units to remain in combat with him by denying fall back. RIP Tau. He also has the Daemonic Ritual Special rule, but is nearly impossible to summon with his power level at 18 if you don't use Stratagems - but that's not what's really remarkable about him. Note that as his wounds reach certain thresholds, his attacks actually INCREASE - so what he loses inaccuracy, he compensates for with sheer undiluted RAGE. This partially solves the main problem that you'd have with an IR thirster. Still - you're going to have to play him very cleverly, otherwise, you can expect him to get wrecked by anti-tank weapons before he reaches the enemy's front lines. He does have a ranged attack that acts like the Wrath of Khorne BT's Hellfire, however, so he can surprise a foe cocky enough to charge him with an Overwatch shot.
- Daemon Codex Update: Enemy units attempting to fall back roll 3D6. If higher than their leadership, they do not fall back. Skarbrand also has an additional new attack profile: make 2 hit rolls for every 1 attack at User Strength, -2 AP, 1D. Perfect for clearing away the chaff. Additionally, he makes all units, friend or foe, within 8" immune to morale and grants them a bonus attack. This can be either very good or very bad, depending on who you allow into melee range.
- Uraka the Warfiend (FW): Uraka the Warfiend now gives a reroll hits of 1 for Khorne Deamon with 6", but also he buffs HIMSELF when he kills things. He defiantly likes to make a synergy bubble with a herald. He's certainly not a pushover with a 3+/5++ and 6 attacks, a decent short-range attack, and may attempt to deny 1 enemy psychic power a turn. He does get to killing after slaying 8 models for +1 to movement, Strength, and Attack. with a herald nearby he is making 7 S10 Ap-3 D3 that becomes D5 on a 6 to wound.
- Samus:(legends) Samus, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm is as Khorne as it gets. A decent number of attacks that wound more often on infantry. Psykers nearby get minus 1 from their power rolls. Friendly units summoning near him get to reroll the summon. Anything not Khorne near him subtracts 1 from their LD. He's a big red rat and he's ANGRY.
- Bloodletters: (8ppm) Still the same glass cannons they've always been at S4 (S5 whenever they charge/get charged, S6 if near a herald) T3, but if you field a big block of 20 they get +1 to their hit rolls. Their Hellblades are now better, being Power Swords that do 2 damage when you roll a 6 to wound. This means that their role has shifted from squishy MEQ killers to a glass cannon-type assault infantry unit that is very good at butchering multi-wound thickies like the Marines. 2 attacks each on the charge, at AP -3, hitting on 3+, wounding on 3+ (against MEQ) and potentially dealing 2 damage with one swing? These guys are brutal.
- Bloodcrushers: By Khorne, these are brutal. Charging produces MW from Brass Stampede, 13 str 6, -3 AP sword attacks, and 9 str 8, at -1 AP is enough to pummel most non-superheavy units, or severely maim them. And that's what a MINIMUM squad of these does. The fact that they have 4 wounds, 4+ regular save and a 5++ daemon save. Position them well for an early charge before they are spotted and promptly shot to bits, or summon them with an appropriate hero and let them loose on the enemy and they would be hard-pressed to NOT win their points back. Seriously, this anon bought a bunch to use in Sigmar, but they are way more brutal in newhammer 40k.
- Bloodcrusher Bomb?: While not as board control as the Bloodletter Bomb, Deep Striking Bloodcrushers gets them into position out the gate as full strength. And hey, it's not like you can't also give them a Banner of Blood alongside your other Bomb. 1CP for 3 Crushers, 1CP for the banner, and Deep Strike in Skulltaker nearby (8" aura) for the +1 hit rolls. Food for thought...
- Alternate Opinion: Bloodcrushers are largely (if not totally) outclassed by Bloodletters. It's less than Bloodcrushers are bad, but it's simply a case that Bloodletters are some of the best infantry in the game at the moment. As well as being far cheaper (at 8pts), they'll produce an even greater number of attacks than the Bloodcrushers. The Bloodcrushers larger base size might also make deep striking them an issue. Since Bloodletters can charge 3d6+1 (re-rolling charges in pure Khorne detachment), just 20 of them deliver 41 hits at 2+ str 5 and ap-3. At a cost of only 230 points (with 2 icons and 2 instruments), on the other hand, a minimum squad of Juggernauts (at 135 points) produces 19 attacks (with 10 at 2+ str 5 and a-3/ and 9 at str 5 -ap3).
- Alternate Opinion: as of 9th, Durability matters more, so paying for a balance of defenses, speed and damage while a group Bloodletters will die quickly to blast weapons.
- Flesh Hounds: Remained mostly the same stat-wise and rule-wise, however, the rules around them have changed. Compared to the previous codex they only move 10" max and are now susceptible to being slowed by terrain. To compound these new issues Daemonic Instability is gone, and with LD7 morale tests are going to hurt. Positives: They're 15 points each for relatively speedy, two wound, two attack models, they now always hit on a 3+ in combat, and they get +1 S and A on the charge from Unstoppable Ferocity (20 of these is 300 points. Let that sink in a minute...). Combine this with always striking first on the charge, and their fangs being AP-1 CCWs, and you will tear light infantry to pieces. This leaves them in a similar niche as before, a light infantry killer and your front line bubblewrap unit to tank light weapons fire for harder-hitting characters (JuggerHerald, Karanak, etc.) However, the loss of Herald locus upgrades and the attachment of characters leaves the Hounds as mostly an expensive tarpit unit, unable to effectively deal with anything higher than a 4+ save, and unable to hold units in assaults for longer than one turn. Screamers do a better job of being zippy harassment units, and Bloodcrushers are more durable and hit so much harder.
- A quick note on Flesh Hounds: If you are taking a fluffy Khorne-dedicated list (and if you're not, Khorne will send these fuckers after you anyway) these puppies are (as of time of writing this) Khorne's only source of denying the witch outside of Karanak excluding forgeworld. So for this reason alone, a few MSU squads of these should be auto-includes unless you want your face melted with mind bullets
- In case you forgot that Wrath and Rapture are giving Khorne some new stuff too, Flesh Hounds are finally getting a plastic kit! One of them can now be upgraded to a Gore Hound, which lets their bark does damage - D6 autohits at 8", S4 AP0 D1 (as per the most recent faq). So, basically a flamer. Not a big boost but now they can do something before they charge.
- Skull Cannon A mixed bag like the Soul Grinder but cheaper at 80 pts. It's gun is 48" Heavy D6 (S8 Ap-2 D3 Blast, that ignores cover bonus), more to take out MEU and light vehicles. On the plus side, it hits with 3+ and can do some good damage on the charge with some possible mortal wounds that can heal the cannon. But even melee is only a last-ditch surprise option. Overall not that great, especially when compared to 7th big cover ignoring blast template. But hey, it's one of the rare long-range options we have and ok to get a few wounds off some light tanks and marines.
Lord of War
- Anggrath the Unbound - Oh boy, THIS guy. When you absolutely need to have the angriest, smashiest guy on the board, accept no substitutes! He will always hit things on a 2+ and starts off dealing 10 S 15 attacks that have -4 AP and deal d6 damage. That doesn't even cover the fact that he gets his extra attack and strength for Unstoppable Ferocity and when he charges you get to roll for every unit that comes within 1 inch of his base, and for every 2+ the unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. He shrugs off attacks like nothing too, thanks to his T8, 24 wounds, 2+/4++ and 2 uses of Deny the Witch with a +3 bonus. If anyone manages to bring him down by some chance he gets a chance to wound everyone around him. Don't expect much to come from his whip, even though it got a slight boost by being able to be used while in close combat. Also, note that he can be your warlord now. Why yes, I did want 6+ FNP on him to thank you very much!
- Chapter Approved Alternate Take: They've arbitrarily smacked the "numbers of the beast" for each Chaos God on 3/4 Daemon Lords (except for Big Bird who's even more expensive) and now Anggrath's 888 points. This is almost too expensive for what he brings to the table. He cost as much in 7th but that's when he was actually worth the price tag.
- Note: Though he's now very expensive, as a Khorne character he re-rolls his charge distances while having access to all the smexy stratagems his kin get. Warp Surge, Locus of Wrath, and Frenetic Bloodlust completely ruin anyone's day and more than make up for his increased cost. With those stratagems, he will literally kill anything in the game - if you put him with support characters (Bloodmaster with Crimson Crown, Masque of Slaanesh) he can kill a Warlord Titan in one charge. Or a Porphyrion twice over. Mortarion’s close combat abilities are laughable compared to this
- Chapter Approved Alternate Take: They've arbitrarily smacked the "numbers of the beast" for each Chaos God on 3/4 Daemon Lords (except for Big Bird who's even more expensive) and now Anggrath's 888 points. This is almost too expensive for what he brings to the table. He cost as much in 7th but that's when he was actually worth the price tag.
- Skull Altar - First Khorne approved building ladies and gentlemen! First, off all just like Nurgle tree, it cannot be targeted and affected by enemy attacks and cannot move. Secondly, this altar has a bunch of good abilities, especially when playing defender with Khorn. It can be summoned like normal units ( which is easy because it's power level is 5 ) and if it is summoned by a KHORNE DAEMON INFANTRY CHARACTER and his base is touching an altar , you can put him on top of it which makes altar occupied , that grants him a +1 to his Invulnerable saves ( to a max of 3++ but sadly only Bloodmasters and Skulltaker will fit there so don't even think about making 3++ Bloodthirsters ) and while it's occupied, every KHORNE DAEMON unit which is wholly within 16" of it gets a +1A characteristics to all models in unit ( Bloodletters doing 91 attacks on charge or Flesh Hounds doing 40 attacks in a unit of 10 ). It also allows us to re-roll any dice for CHAOS CHARACTERS while attempting to summon Khorne Daemons. The last 2 abilities are also nice, it increases Locus of Rage ability ( 6" Aura to re-roll charges ) from 6" to 12" while a character is within 8" of the altar and it gives -1 to psychic tests if the enemy is within 8" of the altar. All of this for 100 points
The best way to run mono-Khorne daemons appears to be simply picking 1 unit and spamming it as much as physically possible. So a list with a mixture of Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, and Bloodcrushers, would not be anywhere near as effective as a list including only 1 of those units in vast numbers.
Daemons of Tzeentch
The Daemons of Tzeentch surround themselves in layer upon layer of mind-traps and illusions, each mirage shifting into the next. The result utterly confounds those nearby that would do the Daemons harm, and means their attacks are often ineffective.
Tzeentch is the shooting department in the codex while the other gods often footslog to the enemy to kill him in melee. They also specialize in the Psychic phase, with many casting attempts, Dispells, and abilities to get them. That doesn't mean that the bird nutters don't have a few ok melee units or tricks and with a widespread 4++ save they can be hard to kill as well.
Daemonic Loci: Locus of Trickery: Tzeentch At the beginning of each Fight phase, roll 2D6 and discard the higher: every time a friendly Tzeentch unit within 6" is attacked, any hit roll matching the remaining dice's result (after rerolls but before any modifier is applied) fails. Basically amounts to a -1 to hit mod that (versus most units hitting on a 4+) only goes off 25% of the time and only affects melee attacks. And since you roll once at the beginning of the phase, it's an all-or-nothing effect.
- Born of Sorcery: +1 to the first psychic test you take in each psychic phase. This will stack with other modifiers, so it's great for making the psychic phase better and your Smite hit harder.
- Incorporeal form: -1 to all damage taken (minimum 1). The Changeling must take this. Prevents your Lord of Change from dying on the first turn from Lascannons.
- Warp Tethers: Reroll failed leadership tests of Tzeentch demons within 9".
- Lorekeeper of Tzeentch: +6" to the first psychic power manifested.
- Tyrant of the Warp: Ignore the first Perils you roll each phase on a 2+. Your main Psykers already have quite a few wounds, so this is not really needed. Kairos Fateweaver must take this.
- Demonspark: friendly Tzeentch demons within 9" re-roll to wound rolls of 1 in the shooting phase. The Blue Scribes must take this.
- Locus of Conjuration (2CP): Pick a Tzeentch character at the beginning of any Psychic phase; all friendly Tzeentch units within 6" can reroll failed Psychic tests.
- Blasted Standard (1CP): Upgrade to a single Daemonic Icon carried by a Tzeentch model. Once per battle, you can use it during the psychic phase. roll 9 dice, and for each 6, the closest visible enemy unit within 18" takes a mortal wound. (likely to Deal 3 to 5 MW)
- NOTE: the upgrade happens before the game starts so remember to keep your banner bearer safe since your opponent will know its coming.
- Magical Boon(1 CP): Use at the end of the psychic phase. Pick a Tzeentch Psyker. They can attempt to manifest another psychic power.
- Exalted Lord of Change Engine War(1CP): Makes Greater daemons worth playing and Adaptable. Before battle A Lord of Change becomes Exalted and can pick one of 6 additional abilities or randomly gain 2. Unfortunately, multiple Exalted daemons can only gain the same ability if rolled for.
- Mastery of Magic: Knows one more Power and cast one more.
- Spell-thief: if you unbind a spell, that Psyker can't manifest it again. Forces meta-savy enemies to take duplicates, but you're still taking away linchpins.
- Lord of Flux: Enemies take +1 more MW for your Spells.
- Nexus of Fate: while on the battlefield at the start of your turn, gain a CP on a roll of 1 or 6.
- Aura of Mutability: don't lose a wound from an attack on a roll of 6, and then heals 1 for each 6 rolled after resolution.
- Architect of Deception: -1 to hit from ranged weapons
- Minions of Magic Engine War(1 CP): Horrors Infantry gets a 9 on the first Psychic power manifested. A bit of a waste on a normal Horror unit, as they only know Smite. Use it on a herald instead to make sure a must cast power goes through.
- Warp Jaws Engine War(1 CP): In the Fight phase, Screamers add +1 to wound when targeting Monsters or Vehicles.
- Flames of Mutation Engine War(1 CP): Use in the Shooting Phase. Select a Flamers unit. Unmodified wound rolls of 6 inflicts a MW in addition to any other damage.
- Warp Portal Engine War(1 CP): Use in your Movement phase. Select one Fluxmaster, FateSkimmer, or Burning Chariot and remove them from the battlefield. Then, set it back up anywhere that is more than 9" from any enemy models. This counts as its movement. Nothing in rules as written prevents you from using this on a model within 1" of an enemy, and it doesn't count as falling back...
- The Impossible Robe: Tzeentch models only. Bearer gets a 4++ (technically 3++ because of Ephemeral Form) invulnerable save and a one-use save reroll, but if the reroll gives you a 1 the bearer instantly dies. Combine with warp surge to get a 3++ (2++ with EF) for one phase, only downside is you lose your rerolls (although on the other hand this also means no risk of killing yourself by accident). Even though technically warp surge can only increase the invuln to 3++ this still works since Ephemeral form gives +1 to the roll, not the save itself. Very nice to keep a lord of change alive against long-range heavy weapons. Even more, if combined with the incorporeal form warlord trait. The 2++ trick is no longer possible since the recent September 2018 Errata, which limited Warp Surge to a 4++
- Soulbane: Tzeentch Herald only. replaces ritual dagger. Strength User, Ap -5, 1 damage. Invulnerable saves cannot be taken against this weapon. Wounding with this may be an issue but if it does wound, only FnP equivalents can stop it. (not quite, Bullgryns with Slabshields and the Psychic Barrier spell cast on them will still get a 6+ armor save RAW)
- Endless Grimoir: Tzeentch Psyker only. Knows one additional power.
- Everstave: Tzeentch Model only. replaces rod of sorcery or staff of change. +1 to manifest smite. Who are we kidding, of course, you'll be Smite spamming with Tzeentch!
Artifact of Change If your Warlord is Tzeentch Daemon, you can give one the following to a Exalted Lord of change.
- Warpfire Blade: Replace Baleful Sword. S+2 Ap-3 D6d, and unmodified wound rolls of 6 deal an additional D3 MW. Combine with the Aura of Mutability Exalted ability to have a regenerating combat chicken. Casting Chicken is usually better.
- Soul-eater Stave: Heals a wound on a 4+ each time you kill a model with a spell, to a max of 9 each turn. Combines naturally with the Lord of Flux Exalted ability. More Mortal Wounds gives you more chances to heal.
- The Crystal Tome: at start of enemy's turn, make a contest Ld+d6 roll between the bearer and an enemy character within 12", his Auras are turned off if you roll equal or better.
- Lord of Change: You big spell caster lord. A slightly cheaper, less powerful Kairos, though the Rod of Sorcery can boost its Smite range up to 30" and is WS2+ compared to Fateweaver. Only able to cast 2 powers compared to fate-weavers casting 3. Can deny twice. Super durable with the Impossible Robe granting a 3++, and -1 to all damage received (to a minimum of 1) from the warlord trait. It also got a bit cheaper from the index. With the new relic (3++) and the new WL trait (-1D taken), a single chicken will be very hard to kill.
- If you can don't have the points, he can also be ok in melee as an Exalted Greater daemon. Can handle infantry and Staff of Tzeentch can create Spawn when it kills characters (if you have the point reserves). Improve casting variant is preferred but don't forget that any Greater daemon can easily wipe the floor with a guardsman squad.
- Changecaster: New dumb name for regular Herald. S3(4) T3 W4 means he is rather unimpressive. Grants a +1S aura for Tzeentch Daemons which with the codex means all your shooting attacks benefit from this too, making him ideal for escorting Flamers and pink horror hordes. He can heal himself in melee if you mess up and get tar-pitted by guardsmen. He can be quite pricey at 83pts with a Staff of change, but you get a Wizard with Sv4++, Knows a 24" Smite, two Tzeentch powers, and Can cast & deny once.
- Fluxmaster: Disc Herald. Same as the normal one, but with Fly, 12" movement, and an additional (weak) attack for 21 more points. An interesting use for this guy and his +1S aura is keeping him near Flamers, whose flame attacks are Str: User. You can also have him escort screamers so their attacks are S7, allowing them to wound most vehicles on a 4 instead of 5s.
- Fateskimmer: Chariot Herald. A Herald again BUT now with two times the wounds AND +2T while still being a character? Check! And 9 Attacks? Check! And 14" movement? Check! Also Fly? Check! He can take three Blues with him (on the chariot himself so no changes to his statline and he is still a single model unit, but they only cost 5 points), for FUN anti-psyker rule (enemy psykers take -1 to cast within 9" of him, and if he happens to be around the scribes, enemy psykers within 12" would be ill-advised to try to cast anything, really). A very solid HQ, durable and killy (if he manages to hit something), while being quite the bargain at 135(140) points (says 150/155 with Chanting Horrors in the codex though).
- The Changeling: Went from a nice fluffy idea with no real purpose to fuckawesome. Now he can copy the stats (not wounds!) of an infantry model within 1" near him, even the attacks, but most importantly he can copy one weapon profile too, but only from enemy Infantry, so no stealing from Dreadknights. It now can take on a lot of characters, beat them with their own weapons and can actually come out on top of them with its 4++ save. Also, it grants a 6+ FnP for Tzeentch daemons in 9". Oh and he is a psyker and can cast one spell as a cherry on top. No longer the auto-include the index made him, but still useful.
- With Formless Horror timing is critical. The ability activates "when the changeling fights" so be careful about getting preemptively struck while in your original vulnerable form before you get the opportunity to.. you know? fight. This means to look out for opponents who charge you with a good chance of taking you outright. The 1" limit is also something to be careful of as well because unless you can pile in and move across to that big bad dude on the other side of the melee, you might end up being surrounded by opponents who cannot grant you huge buffs. Leaving you just as vulnerable as when you started, then when he gets the opportunity to pile back, you could be in trouble. To avoid this he can sit behind a unit of something (like horrors) and perform a heroic intervention when they get charged. He will be safe from the charging unit as they can only attack their charge target and he can fall back on your turn so they cannot melee him back.
- The Blue Scribes: S3 T3 W4 FUN anti-psyker, They gift enemy psyker -1 to cast and permanently remove (opponents) failed psychic powers within 12" (Ouch!). They also autocast a random Tzeentch power every turn, and if they successfully removed an opponent's power in the last psychic phase they also autocast Smite. As they are not actually psykers themselves, they cannot deny opponent powers- but at the same time, their own powers can't be denied or trigger Perils, as no psychic test is made for them. Just remember to have them cast first, so they don't randomly roll something you've already used. Actually, the FAQ says that's not an issue. This makes them a viable choice, but you need to play them precisely to always position yourself to be able to use all of the powers (preferred range - within 12-18" of the enemy and within 18" of a unit you would want to buff with flickering flames or boon of change (i.e. flamers or pink horrors, alternatively even obliterators, daemon engines or tzaangor enlightened).
- Fateweaver: He knows Smite and all Tzeentch powers, has a +2 casting bonus which he loses as he takes wounds, and gives you D3 extra command points for including him. Expensive but good in melee but more importantly he can cast 3 powers and knows EVERY TZEENTCH POWER. It also has 36" range on his Smite. Like the rest of the "We were really powerful psykers once. No, REALLY!" characters, the chicken king can deny three times. Any character he kills in melee turns into a you-know-what. Got a bit cheaper from the index, but probably still over costed, as he attracts lascannon fire from all over the field and only has a coinflip to defend against it.
- a few things to keep in mind when comparing Kairos to a regular LoC. Kairos will hit with higher strength in close combat, hitting at S8 compared to the LoC's S6/7 making him better in fights against VEQ's, However his attacks degrade faster after taking wounds. He doesn't have access to a relic that gives him a 3++ but can use his free command points given from being your warlord to use Warp Surge to give him that 3++. When he's your warlord he will also ignore perils on a 2+ and give you D3 command points which at worst is a free reroll/ unit to deep strike and at best will you can deep strike the big bird wherever you want and still have a spare CP for an important reroll.
- Horrors of Tzeentch Greatly changed from their previous incarnations, when a Horror is killed it splits into smaller horrors and also stays part of the same unit. Unfortunately for matched play, the "new" horrors come out of your "reserved for summoning" points allotment. Fully utilizing this increases the relative cost of Pink horrors by 120%, although it's an automatic success with summoning. Thankfully, those points are not reserved just for Horrors, can be used for summoning other items. While this does reduce the overall size of your force, you could easily use this to keep bodies in the unit on objectives or in high-threat positions. Similarly, the threat of having whatever your opponent kills in a charge splitting off into more units might be enough to make them think twice about it. They have 2(3) 18" ranged attacks and can cast smite and dispel but only with a D6 roll. Horrors shouldn't attempt Smites because when Horrors fail their smites two out of three times, and after only two attempts smite difficulty will be 7! (so impossible for Horrors).
- Pink Horrors Expensive at full bore - base 8pt, but are actually 22 if you want to afford its two blues, and 32 to afford the blues splitting into Brimstone, so it's just about never worth saving the full 24pts per model for splitting, but if you want an Instrument for speed, taking 1 (without paying for split) to upgrade to Iridescent for free to carry it can be justified; never take an Icon unless you bring at least 7 Pinks, as the Icon can't bring back any other color, even though its shitty Morale immunity on a 1 will still work. In a 20+ Pink unit, their gun gets upgraded to Assault 3 and they are one pint cheaper than before. Another interesting note, their guns are Strength "User" so if you park them next to a Herald their shooting jumps from up from 3 to 4. Given the way wounding works in 8th this can make a huge difference, more if you can find a way to bump it further to 5. (either cast Boon of change and hope for the best or bring a Mutalith that can buff the strength of any Tzeentch unit for a turn or bring multiple, as their effects are cumulative!) If you fully go crazy with them and have a 30-man squad that can all split into both blue horrors and pink horrors, it will cost approxmiately 1260 points. ((8ppm x 30) + (7ppm x 60) + (5ppm x 120)) Considering you get ten pink horrors in the regular kit, 10 blue horrors and 10 brimstone horrors, it would take you approximately three kits for the max squad of Pink Horrors, and 12 kits in order to get all the brimstone horrors and blue horrors you'll need. At current retail price, that would cost approximately $114 and $456 for the brimstones/blue horrors, making the total about $570 + tax. Whilst very fluffy, for all purposes it is impractical for anything outside of an apocalypse game as they will definitely not perform up to their point costs, and losing a single pink horror in the morale phase would be devastating.
- Blue Horrors Like a Pink Horror without the 'gun' and worse BS/WS, but also does not really cost anything either, at 7 points (12 if you want to be able to afford to split them). Only a 5++ now and no gun, If you wanted a Tzeentch tarpit they are now slightly better then Brimstones, and they can still cast spells (ie Minions of Magic).
- Brimstone Horrors Used to be one of the best units in the game because they were 5 points for a model with a 4++ reduced to 6++ in the codex and they die immediately after using a power. Now finally weaker than conscripts (as at least the conscripts can still shoot things)...yay? Still, the cheapest troop choice chaos (or anyone?) has access to.
- Flamers: While a tad expensive these guys are surprisingly good; with a 12" movement and shooting D6 str4 -1AP torrent of magical fire (which have improved from 8 inches to 12 inch range) they become great at harassing enemy melee units as they would not dare to charge them due to the strong overwatch and the very durable 4++ save. Their 12" range and PL3 for three make them excellent summoning material with devastating effect on infantry.
- Note: their weapon strength is S:user, which means a nearby herald will make them a heavy flamer profile. 3 squads of 3 gives 9D6 S5 auto hits. These are going to eat most infantry for breakfast.
- Exalted Flamer : A flamer with a brighter flame for slightly less than the cost of a unit of flamers. However, you don't take these guys for the d6 s5 ap-2 attacks, you take them for the 3 S9 Ap-4 D3 Damage mini lascannon shots at 18" range hitting on a 3+. Also, the single model is a character. Take these guys behind those units of brimstones to prevent them from being shot.
- Note: their weapon strengths are S:user and S:user+4, which means a nearby herald will make their pink flame S6 and blue flame S10!
- Screamers of Tzeentch: They're still fast Flyers, and are monster/tank hunters. When flying over a unit, Roll a D6 for each passing Screamer and on a 6 the unit suffers a mortal wound. On top of each making 3 Lamprey bites that are S+2 (S6 or 7) AP-3 and do 2 Damage. They have little defense (T4, W2, InvSv 4++). They are pretty good once again. A unit of 6 (158 pts.) Could easily rip apart most infantry and hunt tanks with their Warp Jaws Stratagem.
- They are one of the few Tzeentch units that want to be in melee. This makes them natural targets for Boon of Change.
- Burning Chariot Same as an Exalted Flamer but has double the wounds, a 14 inch move, worse Weapon Skill, is toughness 5, has a 5+ save (though its pretty useless thanks to Ephemeral Form), and is driven by a pair of Screamers which get to make an additional six hits in combat (at S6 AP-3 D2), all for 110 points. The big trade-off is that it loses the Character Keyword which is one of the best things about the Exalted Flamer which could be hidden behind a wall of horrors and kill tanks. The extra resilience helps to combat the loss, but a couple of lucky lascannon shots will bring it down quickly. Note, it will take on average 10.3 lascannon shots with BS3+ and 13.7 w/BS4+ to bring it down. So it's not as good as the Exalted flamer with the loss of Character status, but it is a lot tougher than it first appears and makes a half-decent distraction carnifex rushing up the boarding shooting stuff.
Lord of War
- Aetaos'Rau'Keres the Slayer of Souls: Good luck trying to pronounce that name! Like Fateweaver, he has an innate +2 to his casting rolls (that gets reduced the more wounds he loses) and knows all 3 of the Tzeentch powers and Smite and can deny 3 powers too. Unlike Fateweaver, he has a 4++ (which becomes a 3++ for the Ephemeral form rule), is WS/BS 2+, and 27 wounds at T8. Shooting-wise his Staff of Cataclysm is an Assault 2d6 S9 AP-4 weapon that does a straight 3 damage. Did I mention it can be fired within 1" of enemy models and into close combat? Also, if you slay the final model of a unit with 10 or more models (highly likely), you immediately get 3 Flamers of Tzeentch (but do you have to pay for them out of reinforcement points? YEP). To further contrast his might with Fateweaver, his smite has 48 inches instead of 36, and if anyone dares to shoot him with a psychic power and succeed on it, roll a d6, and on a 5+ he ignores the power that was cast on him and the caster suffers a mortal wound. Just wait for your opponent to think that they would rather try their luck in close combat with him instead of shooting, he's a monster there too. Be careful though, if a Lord of Change or Daemon Prince comes within 12" of him, roll a dice and on a 4+ he must attack that unit with his Staff, ignoring the rules for targeting models (so he can shoot them if they're a character and not the closest unit, or if he can't see them). Hilariously, he has the lord of change keyword so he will always hit himself on a 4+, and the staff is actually pretty dangerous against him.
- Chapter Approved Alternate Take: This guy's 1500 points in Chapter Approved. This guy's simply too expensive for what he brings to the table now. Hard pass.
Daemons of Nurgle
The Daemons of Nurgle are surrounded by an aura of pestilence and disease that infects all nearby, and their talons and blades drip with thrice-ripened plagues. The merest touch of such a weapon in the presence of such a creature can cause a mortal to wither and die in seconds.The big synergy winners this edition. They lack widespread weapons with good AP but high toughness and Disgustingly Resilient will make these units your tanks and tarpits. They are not particularly accurate but can dish out multi-damage attacks with fitting buffs and some hot rolling. However, they will have trouble with armored targets and when facing off against multi-damage attacks (Remember that Disgustingly Resilient triggers per wound lost, not per save failed). Finally, they will struggle to catch fast-moving enemies unless you build to counter that.
Daemonic Loci: Locus of Virulence: Nurgle All friendly Nurgle units within 6" deal 1 additional damage on a wound roll of 6+.
- Won't help against GEQ, but against Marines, TEQ, monsters, and vehicles, the extra damage is helpful.
- Blessed with Corpulence: +1 Wound. Simple adding additional rolls before your enemy can snipe your leader.
- Acid Ichor: If your warlord takes a wound in melee, the unit that inflicted the wound takes a mortal wound on a 4+ at the end of the Fight phase. Horticulous Slimux gets this.
- Plaguefly Hive: -1 to hit your warlord if the attacking unit is within 7".
- Virulent Touch: +1 to all to wound rolls in the fight phase unless targeting a vehicle. Epidemius gets this.
- Impenetrable Hide: 4+ armor save. This means that your warlord can now really reap the benefit from cover. Remember that Great Unclean Ones can't get cover from Feculent Gnarlmaws.
- Pestilent Miasma: Roll a dice for each enemy unit within 1" at the start of your turn. on a 4+, they suffer a mortal wound. Rotigus gets this.
- Plague Banner (1CP): Upgrade to a single Daemonic Icon carried by a Nurgle model. Once per battle, all the Plagueswords in the unit with the Plague Banner become D2 instead of D1.
- NOTE: the upgrade happens before the game starts so remember to keep your banner bearer safe since your opponent will know its coming.
- combo with Locus of Virulence and Virulent Blessing for a Plaguebearer to deal
6(5 - multiplication comes before addition) damage on unmodified 6s to wound. Still need ways to circumvent Armour saves but can quickly kill monsters.
- Revolting Regeneration (2CP): use at the end of your movement phase. A Nurgle Daemon unit regains d3 wounds or regains 1 slain model if none are wounded. regained models are at 1 wound but can be healed by powers and other effects.
- Locus of Fecundity (2CP): Pick a Nurgle character at the beginning of any phase; reroll all Disgustingly Resilient rolls of 1 for daemons within 6". This increases your 33.33% chance of shrugging off a wound to 38%. For 2 CP, it's not much effect for a big cost.
- Exalted Great Unclean One Engine War(1CP): Makes Greater daemons worth playing and Adaptable. Before battle A Greater Unclean One becomes Exalted and can pick one of 6 additional abilities or randomly gain 2. Unfortunately multiple Exalted daemons can only gain the same ability if rolled for.
- Bloated with Corruption: become T8. The common Bolters now only wound on 6+.
- Revoltingly Resilient: +1 to Disgustingly Resilient rolls. Going to FNP 4++. Extra resilient.
- Avalanche of Rotten Flesh: +1 to charge rolls and Crushing Bulk inflicts D3 MW on a 2+. Get blob to move faster, combos with a feculent gnarlmaw.
- Living Plague: when attacking with a melee weapon while your Strength is least double targets toughness, you score double the hits. Going melee? You're going to kill most infantry.
- Gift of Bountiful Vomit: has a 12" shooting phase ability to inflict an MW for each roll of 3+ for each model (max of 7) in one unit.
- Hideous Visage: -1 LD for enemies within 12", and -2 if within 6". If you can speed in, chase away those terminators.
- Rust And Decay Engine War(1 CP): Use in the fight phase. Select a Plaguebearer Infantry unit. They auto hit and wound on an unmodified hit of 6.
- Putrid Demise Engine War(1 CP): When a Plaguebearer Cavalry model dies, roll for each unit (except Nurgle) within 6". On 2+, they suffer 1 MW.
- Acidic Slobber Engine War(1 CP): Until the end of the fight phase, a Beast of Nurgle unit inflicts an additional MW on a wound roll of 6.
- Nurgling Infestation Engine War(1 CP): Use this Stratagem at the end of any phase except the Morale phase. Select one NURGLING unit from your army. Roll one D6 for each model in that unit that was destroyed that phase. For each roll of 5+, return one destroyed model to that unit with all of its wounds remaining, placing them in unit coherency. If they cannot be placed, they are not returned.
- Horn of Nurgle's Rot: Nurgle models only. Every time the bearer kills an enemy model in melee, roll a D6: on a 4+ you can add a model to a friendly Plaguebearer unit within 7". Pairs well with an offensive unit like a daemon prince (hiding in a plaguebearers unit).
- Entropic Knell: Nurgle models only. enemies within 7" get -1 to their leadership.
- Corruption: Nurgle models only. replaces a Plaguesword, Bilesword, Balesword, or Hellforged Sword. melee, str +2, AP -3, d3 damage, reroll all failed to wound rolls.
Artifact of Decay if your Warlord is Nurgle Daemon, can give the following to a Exalted Great Unclean one.
- Effluvior: Upgrade a Plague Flail to Assault 6 and S+1. Now able to route infantry with his assault pistol whip.
- The endless Gift: Heal a lost wound at end of each phase he lost one.
- Tome of a Thousand Poxes: Know another power from the Nurgle Discipline.
- Great Unclean One: This fat bastard's an incredibly resilient model, with 18 wounds and the Disgustingly Resilient special rule but somehow still only T7 (On average can take 25 las cannon shots at BS3 without using stratagems or psychic buff). For melee builds He gets a plagueflail (which he can shoot into close combat with) which is S:User AP-3 and does 2 damage that carries over should an enemy model be slain, and a Bilesword which is an S+1 Power Sword that does D6 damage. the Bileblade and the Doomsday Bell. You have to choose one between the Bilesword and the Doomsday bell and one between the Plagueflail and the Bileblade; pick whichever will best fit that GUO's role (e.g. the Bilesword and Plagueflail for a melee monster, or the Bileblade and Doomsday Bell for summoning and psychic support). He can cast 2 powers and deny 1 power and knows Smite plus two Nurgle discipline powers. However, he only gives Nurgle Daemons the ability to use his (fairly high) leadership for Morale tests. Disgustingly strong in melee for his points, especially since he inflicts a mortal wound on a 4+ when charging. Getting him there can be a problem, so consider splurging on the Deep Strike stratagem to minimize the risks of footslogging. Not bad but best to deepstrike because his mobility is painful at a reduced profile.
- Hilariously the Doomsday Bell's ability to revive friendly Nurgle Daemons work with the Myphitic Blight-Haulers from the Deathguard Codex as they are both Nurgle Daemons (as per page 175 of the Main Rule Book) and come in units of up to 3. This means you can revive what is essentially a dreadnought with a multi-melta and a missile launcher on a 4+
- Poxbringer: The classic Herald of Nurgle, now with a new name to distinguish it from the other two Heralds. They took away his steed, but his balesword is AP-3 and can re-roll all failed wound rolls. He is a psyker and can cast Smite or Stream of Corruption once he reaches melee. His bonus gives +1S, which is actually a big deal. Your plaguebearers wound Space Marines on 4+ with reroll and with the buff on 3+, even bikers on 4+. S5 is the sweet spot to wound T8 vehicles on 5+ instead of 6+ too so your plaguebearers become much more versatile.
- Sloppity Bilepiper New kind of Herald, gives +1 attack to GUOs and Nurglings within 6" and also allows them to run and charge in the same turn. Also, every Nurgle Daemon within 6" have to do Morale tests on 2D6 discarding the higher value, and the enemy within 6" failing a Morale test loses one model more than it should. Even if you don't plan on taking lots of Nurglings, the morale benefits alone are worth bringing this freakish jester along. Keep him protected, though. He doesn't have much in the way of direct combat ability.
- Spoilpox Scrivener: Other new Herald that allows Plaguebearers within 6" of him to add +2" to their movement and +1 to their hit rolls. If the boost brings their roll result up to 7 (read: the buffed unit rolls a 6), they can attack again with the same weapon they used before. More attacks hitting and the chance for extra attacks mean more possibilities of an unsaved wound making it through, and the movement bonus doesn't hurt either while increasing your Plaguebearers hits by over 33%. In addition to the basic Herald plaguesword, he can also attack with his grotesque mouth (AP-1, but can only reroll wound rolls of 1) and disgusting sneezes (6", Pistol D3, S3 AP0 1 D, rerolls wound rolls of 1). Yes, he can kill things by sneezing on them.
- Rotigus the Rainfather: To make up for the absence of Ku'gath Plaguefather, we now have a new named Great Unclean One. His main melee weapon, the Gnarlrod, is essentially a Bilesword with worse AP but more reliable damage (3 damage instead of d6), but he has d6 extra Fanged Maw attacks that mean he's still better in melee than the standard GUO. His real best weapon is the Streams of Brackish Filth, essentially a 2d6 S7 AP-3 flamer that rerolls wounds, which he can now shoot in melee thanks to 9th edition rules. Every time you roll a 7+ on a psychic test, the closest enemy unit suffers a mortal wound after using whatever power you were casting. Unlike the Death Guard's Malignant Plaguecaster, this doesn't have any range specified, so you could technically do it from the other side of the board. At only five points more than a Bilesword Great Unclean One, knowing one more power than a basic GUO, and being able to deny one more power as well, you might as well take him.
- Epidemius Costs a bit more than a normal Herald and isn't a psyker (Smite!) but has quite a bit more punch and can take some more. But you want him for his army-wide buff (as always). Note that this time you have to destroy units, not models (because fielding 4x30 Boyz shouldn't have a downside)! Starting at 2 destroyed units by NURGLE DAEMONs, and it pumps up your offensive capabilities - defensive buffs start at 5 destroyed units. Sadly he misses the other +1S bonus of the normal Herald hence you should get both of them in a Nurgle themed army. If you don't like the old metal mini you can grab a disc of Tzeentch, spit on it, scratch it like a DJ, paint it green and glue a few nurglings and bells (from the plaguebearer kit) on it and then put a Herald of Nurgle on top.
- Cor'bax Utterblight(FW): The Forgeworld Character series Daemon Prince. He's significantly tougher than a Daemon Prince of Nurgle at 12 wounds, T8, and a disgustingly resilient roll of 4+ against dmg 1 weapons, but he can't get look out sir. His base speed of 7" makes him slower. He's a mixed bag in CC. Having 5 base attacks is good, and the gaping maw weapon is -3AP with 3dmg, and can instant-kill a model by beating their wound count in a D6. If you take the Virulent touch warlord trait for +1 to wound and cast Virulent blessing for another +1 to wound. Furthermore, any roll of 5+ will cause 6 dmg, 7dmg if you have the Nurgle Loci. Unfortunately, with the only S7, he's only good at taking on infantry, which means his high damage will largely be wasted unless you dedicate other units to buff him. His profile degrades movement, S, and attacks, so he quickly becomes useless. He also gives out no aura buffs whatsoever (unless you're going for summoning, for which he grants rerolls to all friendly summoning units within 9"). Clocking in at 180pts, he's not going to be able to get enough done on his own to justify the investment.
- Horticulous Slimux: Ported over from Age of Sigmar, Nurgle's Grand Cultivator retains his ability to make Beasts of Nurgle actually pretty decent, by way of giving to Beasts within 12" +1 to hit rolls, as well as allowing Beasts within 6" to reroll failed charges. Units that fall back within 1" of him take d3 mortal wounds on a 4+, and he's no slouch in melee either— he has a 4+ save that lets him rely less on the invulnerable save and Disgustingly Resilient, his lopping shears are a souped-up Balesword, and Mulch can add an extra S7 AP-4 3 D sucker punch to surprise more heavily armored opponents.
- He can also create new Feculent Gnarlmaws within 3" of him at the end of his movement phase (if he didn't use Daemonic Ritual in the same turn), and a single Nurgle Daemon within 7" can heal a wound at the beginning of each your turn if any model died the turn before. A blob of allied Cultists will ensure that healing effect will trigger, even if your opponent doesn't use horde armies.
- If you have the models (and spare 85 points per model), there's really no reason why Horticulous shouldn't keep planting a Feculent Gnarlmaw each turn. They're damned useful, and it means that he'll constantly enjoy a 2+ cover save.
- Mamon Transfigured(FW): Named Daemon Prince and the bastard responsible for the entire mess at Vraks. Can't cast spells but allows re-rolling misses of 1 in the Fight Phase for Nurgle Deamons. Has two melee weapons, a kick that really excels at murdering high-wound infantry, 5 S7 Ap3 D3 melee attack, and a 12" Assult 2D3 S5 AP-2 D2 Flammer.
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle (9ppm) Slow but tough and ok in melee with their re-rolls to wound. If you want to hold the line, they are the right choice. In packs of 20 (so get 30 to keep the bonus for a while), enemies have to subtract 1 from their attack rolls. Unfortunately, they lost the rusty sword abilities to auto-glance vehicles or poison monsters, and for that old shrouded rule, they need to be 20 or more but still cost defacto the same - somewhat a downgrade, but we got the FNP for that. Two or three blobs of 30 can flood the field and can be surprisingly (disgustingly) resilient and soak up a lot of fire and damage. When combined with a Poxbringer and a Spoilpox Scrivener, they can get a fair punch against tougher Infantry units in melee, hold objectives pretty well with numbers, or bind some annoying ranged units.
- Here's where some of that sweet, sweet synergy comes in. Combine the Locus of Virulence (+1 damage if your wound roll is 6+), the Plague Banner (one-time pop to make plagueswords do 2 damage for one turn), the Virulent Blessing power (+1 to wound rolls, and if you roll 7+ to wound, you do double damage), and the Scrivener (Plaguebearers get +1 to hit, and a hit roll of 7+ lets them make an extra attack). What do you get? A combat phase in which plagueswords are 2 damage base, on a wound roll of 5 each plaguesword does 3 damage, on a wound roll of 6 each plaguesword does 5 damage, and if the hit roll is 6, each Plaguebearer makes another attack! And remember, plagueswords let you re-roll failed wound rolls automatically. This isn't even considering Epidemius' Tally shenanigans or the hit buff from a nearby Daemon Prince. Fucking drown your opponent in wounds! Add a Poxbringer and they will wound MEQ's on 2+.
- Realistically you want to target big multi-wound stuff like vehicles, Knights, etc. with this, since the bonus damage is wasted on single-wound opponents (and larger-based targets let you get more Plaguebearers in close to swing). If you're targeting a vehicle with this one-turn damage extravaganza, coordinate the fight phase with a Plague Hulk. The Rusting Curse will effectively give your Plaguebearers AP-1.
- Take 20+ Plaguebearers, buff them with Miasma of Pestilence and park them completely within 7" of a Feculent Gnarlmaw or two. They'll have a 4+ cover save, and your opponent is at -2 to hit them. These guys become some of the best objective-campers in the game, because they'll never, ever die. Maybe keep a GUO with the doomsday bell nearby, so on the off-chance some do kick, you can bring one back each turn.
- Here's where some of that sweet, sweet synergy comes in. Combine the Locus of Virulence (+1 damage if your wound roll is 6+), the Plague Banner (one-time pop to make plagueswords do 2 damage for one turn), the Virulent Blessing power (+1 to wound rolls, and if you roll 7+ to wound, you do double damage), and the Scrivener (Plaguebearers get +1 to hit, and a hit roll of 7+ lets them make an extra attack). What do you get? A combat phase in which plagueswords are 2 damage base, on a wound roll of 5 each plaguesword does 3 damage, on a wound roll of 6 each plaguesword does 5 damage, and if the hit roll is 6, each Plaguebearer makes another attack! And remember, plagueswords let you re-roll failed wound rolls automatically. This isn't even considering Epidemius' Tally shenanigans or the hit buff from a nearby Daemon Prince. Fucking drown your opponent in wounds! Add a Poxbringer and they will wound MEQ's on 2+.
- Nurglings: (18ppm) Now, who forgot these buggers? These little shits get to deploy 9" away from the enemy DEPLOYMENT ZONE, and then act normally. Yes, that's right. They can move and then charge after doing this. Combined with the Disgustingly resilient rule (which they only get against weapons with damage 1 and they are multi-wound models...), they can easily tie down a shooty unit, or force them to fall back and waste a turn, granting your footsloggers valuable time. Sloppity Bilepipers will give them more attacks for better tarpit functionality. In addition, these very cheap tarpits make a decent objective holder, a screen to protect your units from deep-strikers, and a sneaky way to prevent knights from falling back (they are neither infantry nor bike).
- Beasts of Nurgle - Those gross attention whores may look underwhelming at first but their abilities may make them worthwhile. They are pretty cheap at 35 points, making them the most durable unit per point in the entire game and can be taken in units of 9. They make D6 S4 AP0 D2 attacks each and reroll all wound rolls. They can also make Heroic Interventions like characters and if the enemy retreats from them they take a mortal wound on a 4+. With 5 wounds each and a 5++ combined with Disgustingly Resilient, they will stick around quite a while. However, the poor guy got its movement cut in half. Best used alongside Horticulous Slimux as a bodyguard, since they can intercept foes who might tie the Grand Cultivator up while gaining greater accuracy and rerollable charges in the process.
- Plague Drones: Excellent. 4 Wounds at T5 with all the defensive trappings Nurgle Daemons enjoy anyway makes these insanely tough. Add to that the decent movement speed and the 4 damage 2 attacks each Fly dishes out and they become a force to be reckoned with. Can take a beating and nothing wants to be in melee with them. Their shooting sucks, but bad shooting is still better than no shooting whatsoever, right?
- Plague Toads of Nurgle (Legends FW): Fly has been FAQ'd out of their profile. Their melee attacks are still brutal although their maw has been downgraded, dealing S5 Ap-1 D2 and hits of 6 generate more hits - nice considering they only get 3 attacks that hit on a 4+. Their grasping tongue got an upgrade too, although it's an assault d3 instead of pistol hitting at S5 and re-rolling to-wounds. Also T5, W4 and get the 5+++.
- Pox Riders of Nurgle (Legends FW): Still tanky as hell with T/W5, fast-ish movement, banners, instrument, and the ability to get to a -2 to hit above six models. Gone are the degenerating profiles so a full unit will tank 22 lascannon shots, 135 bolter shots and/or 67 assault cannon shots without degenerating stats - awesome! Combine that with the weapons above and exactly 2 plaguesword attacks at S4. Now think about the locus bonuses, character re-rolls, stratagems, and psychic powers you can add on top of this. They also come with 60mm bases, which makes them a huge board control unit. You can make a huge bubble to hide daemon princes. The drawback? $$$$$$ These cost a firstborn to purchase from Forgeworld (£65 for 3).
- Plague Hulk of Nurgle: (Legends FW) Went down in price to 190 pts, so it's closer to the cost of a Soul Grinder. S/T8, 14W, 3+, 5++ and 5+++ Disgusting Resilience; it's slow, unfortunately, with a 7" move that degnerates. You could summon it and its PL did go down but it's still 10 and that's not very reliable. Rusting Curse got buffed to affecting Vehicles within engagement range, and now it improves the AP of attacks against said vehicles by 1 rather than reducing vehicle saves. Rot Cannon got buffed: 36" Heavy D6, S7 AP-3 D2 and you can re-roll to-wound against anything you shoot, rather than just infantry. Its vomit got a range buff to 12" while retaining its profile: Pistol D6, S5 AP-2 D1 where all shots auto-hit. The Iron Claw remains largely unchanged, Sx2 AP-3 D6 with the Warpsword being potentially good now with User S, AP-3 and a flat 3 damage which also allows you re-rolls to hit (much better than last edition for sure!)... Most people will probably continue taking the claw. All around, the Plague Hulk is a better 9E choice but still suffers from mobility problems. If you can get it close to vehicles, it will straight up ruin tank and artillery formations, but you have to get it there first and although it's tough, it likely won't survive the battering it receives on the way in.
Lord of War
- Scabeiathrax the Bloated (FW): My oh-my is this guy one tough son of a bitch. At T8 with 21 wounds (which can be healed with the Nurgle Discipline), a 4+ Invulnerable save for being a Daemon Lord, and the Disgustingly Resilient special rule, you will need a crap ton of heavy firepower to put him down. And if he dies, on a 4+ a unit within D6" suffers D6 mortal wounds. His close combat abilities are not to be sneezed at either. He has Horrific Vomit, which is a 2d6 flamer at S6 AP-2 D2 which can be fired in close combat. Then, he has the Blade of Decay, an S+2 AP-4 sword that does a flat D3+d3 damage and reroll wounds. To round it all out, he gets 2D6 additional nurgling attacks at S2 AP0. He can cast 2 powers and deny three powers and knows Smite plus two Nurgle powers. Finally, he lets Nurgle Daemons use his leadership within 6" of him. Oh, did I forget to mention he forces a -1 to melee hit modifier on all friendly Nurgle Daemon units within 6"? Yeah, you want this guy. The only thing stopping you from taking him in every game is he's 475 points, and he's a LoW.
- Feculent Gnarlmaw: New Nurgle-themed scenery thing, which is treated as a terrain feature after it's set up. Nurgle Daemons within 7" can fall back or run and still be able to shoot and/or charge in the same turn, any Nurgle Daemon unit completely within 7" that is not a Vehicle or a Monster gets a +2 cover, Chaos Characters within 7" can reroll any dice when summoning Nurgle Daemons and at the beginning of each turn you have to roll a dice for each non-Nurgle unit within 3", dealing to each unit a mortal wound on a 4+ and D3 mortal wounds on a 6.
- Obliterators are Nurgle Daemons. Deploy them next to a Gnarlmaw to get a unit with a 2+ armor save that ignores the first two points of AP. They may not have Disgustingly Resilient, but they're still tough bastards that can spew out a lot of much-needed dakka.
- If you intend to summon Nurgle Daemons, take a Fortification Network with one of these. It'll help you summon said Daemons and will also give the summoned Daemons the standard Nurgle Detachment buffs once they're on the table.
Daemons of Slaanesh
The Daemons of Slaanesh dance across the battlefield with a grace and speed that belies belief. They can close the distance on the killing fields of a battlefield in a heartbeat, falling upon their surprised and panic-stricken prey with psychotic delight.Fast and fragile and lots of attacks. So if you need to kill large blobs of weaker and/or faster enemies the pretty god's minions will do it for you. They also have a good chance of rending through armour but Khorne is more consistent at it and rips-up tanks.
Daemonic Loci: Locus of Swiftness: Slaanesh All friendly Slaanesh units within 6" can advance and charge in the same turn. With your high movement values you add an additional 3d6" to that to make it into melee.
- Celerity of Slaanesh: +3" move. Probably the best trait, as making it into combat is what the squishy Slaanesh daemons struggle with the most.
- Quicksilver Duelist: Can reroll any failed hit and wound roll when in melee against a Character. Shalaxi has this.
- The Murder Dance: +d3 attacks if your warlord charges. The Masque gets this.
- Fatal Caress: Each time you make a to wound roll of 6+, the target takes a mortal wound in addition to any other. Super-rending claws.
- Savage Hedonist: +1 attack. Just get The Murder Dance instead, it can be far more useful than this.
- Bewitching Aura: Enemies within 6" get -1 attacks (to a minimum of 1). Vehicles are immune. Syll’Esske has this.
- Aura of Acquiescence (1CP): Pick a Slaanesh Daemon unit at the beginning of any Fight phase; enemy units within 6" get -1 attack(to a minimum of 1, sadly). As with most of Slaanesh's new things - this thing is an AOE, so it can affect multiple units.
- Locus of Grace (1CP): Pick a Slaanesh Daemon character in the fight phase. Any Slaanesh units within 6" get a bonus attack at the same unit, using the same weapon, on a wound roll of 6+. A bit "meh" at first, since Slaanesh doesn't have any +1 to wound (except possessed and warp talons). But if you read your codex, you will spot a couple of funny things: 1) It's an AOE effect, that's pretty neat by itself. The second thing is - Steeds of Slaanesh. The number of attacks they made is stated in the "ability" part of their weapon (lashing tongue). So, unlike with daemonette claws, where you just make 1 more attack, you make a whole new set of 2/4/8 additional attacks (depends on a unit). Also, this proc on Hellflayer's Bladed axle too!
- Rapturous Standard (1CP): Upgrade to a single Daemonic Icon carried by a Slaanesh model. Once per battle, you can unleash the banner and the bearer's unit can reroll all to hit rolls for the rest of the phase. Take this on a unit of 20 Seekers and wreak havoc!
- NOTE: the upgrade happens before the game starts so remember to keep your banner bearer safe since your opponent will know it's coming.
- Exalted Keeper of Secrets Engine War (1CP): Makes Greater daemons worth playing and Adaptable. Before battle A Keeper of Secrets becomes Exalted and can pick one of 6 additional abilities or randomly gain 2. Unfortunately, multiple Exalted daemons can only gain the same ability if rolled for.
- Realm-racer: +2" to move and +1 to charge and Advance.
- Quicksilver Reflexes: SV4++
- Blessing of the Dark Prince: -1 to wound from Ranged weapons.
- Lightning Flayer: Unmodified 6s to hit on Melee weapons generate an additional hit.
- Fear-seeker: Regain wounds for each model that leaves an enemy unit within 6", and once per Moral phase move closer to an enemy before models flee the unit.
- Battle Rapture: 6" heroic Intervention and Consolidates D3+3".
- Razor-sharp Caress Engine War (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase. Select a Daemonette Infantry unit, and improve the AP of their attacks by 1.
- Sinuous Undulation Engine War (1 CP): Use in your opponent's shooting phase. When an opponent picks a Daemonette Cavalry unit to be the target of an attack, they suffer a -1 penalty to hit until the end of the phase. Useful for keeping a big unit of seekers or a Contorted Epitome alive.
- Song of Discrdent Despair Engine War (1 CP): Use at the start of the Morale phase. Select an enemy within 6" of Fiends unit in your army. They take a -2 penalty to thier LD characteristic.
- Flensing impact Engine War (1 CP): Use in the fight phase on a Daemonette Chariot unit that charged this turn. Unmodified hit rolls of 6 score an additional hit.
- The Mark of Excess: Slaanesh models only. Bearer gets +1 attack by default, and gets another +1 every time he kills a Character or a Monster.
- The Forbidden Gem: Slaanesh models only. Once per game, you can hypnotize an enemy character. At the beginning of any enemy phase, select one character within 12". roll 3d6 and if you exceed the target's leadership, it cannot act during this phase (IE fight, shoot, manifest psychic powers, etc). In addition, any aura affects the character might have been turned off. The range is a bit of a problem, but if it works, you are guaranteed a full turn in which your opponent's special snowflake character won't be able to do anything at all. More importantly, any supporting effects that character might have been generating passively are shut down for the turn- because screw Guilliman, that's why. (Works well with the Phantasmagoria psychic power for shutting down pesky characters)
- Soulstealer: Slaanesh models only. Replaces a Witstealer sword or Hellforged sword. Melee, user str user+1, ap -3, 3 damage. Each time a model is slain by this weapon, the bearer regains one lost wound. In addition, you can reroll all to wound rolls if targeting Eldar. Useful for keeping a melee character alive, and helps to make the Ancient Doom rule the Eldar have work in your favor. Give this to your Keeper of Secrets or DPoS for an infantry killing machine that just won't die!
- Slothful Claws: Slaanesh Herald models only. Replaces Ravaging Claws. Melee, strength +1, ap -2, 2 damage, each time you make a to wound roll of 4+, this attack is resolved at ap -4 instead of ap -2. Kinda meh, different from stock Herald claws by a bonus point of AP and strength.
Artifact of Excess if Warlord is Slaanesh Daemon, can give the following to a Exalted Keeper of Secrets.
- Silverstrike: Upgrade a Witstealer to make 2 more attacks.
- Jewel of Excess: +1 to cast a Slaanesh power and to Deny the Witch.
- Whip of Agony: Upgrade Living Whip, AP-3 and auto-wound if the target is not Vehicle or Titanic.
Note: the most recent codex only includes an entry for the existing plastic herald kits, so hold onto your indexes.
- Keeper of Secrets: With the release of the new plastic model the Keeper has gotten a new revised datasheet and 210 pts base cost. The new price includes one of three options: the living whip, ritual knife, or sinistrous hand. Or you can take the shining aegis for 220 pts. An already frightfully speedy unit (who gets slower the more wounds it takes) its movement has increased to 14", and now has 16 wounds. Its combat ability's been changed up a bit, it now does a straight 3 damage with its Snapping claws (AP-3 default and becomes AP-4 with a 6 to wound), and Witstealer sword (S+2 AP-3 and if a model takes a wound from this they subtract 1 from their hit rolls). The best part is you don't have to choose between the two; you get to make bonus attacks with the claw for a total of 10 (!) attacks at full wounds. These bonus attacks mean that even at the lowest bracket, your KoS gets to swing her feminine penis around with 6 attacks at full strength and WS2+. Mesmerizing Aura penalizes enemy attacks in melee with -1 to hit. Cast Symphony of Pain on the target of your charge for an additional -1 to hit. In combat wound them with Witstealer for an additional -1 to hit. Now characters are hitting on a 5+. If you make it your Warlord and take Bewitching Aura and enemies with 6” are -1 attack. That’s a brutal stack of bonuses in combat: -3 to hit, and -1 attack. Or alternately, take the free Soulstealer relic sword which is +1S/AP-3/D3; and recover previously lost wounds by killing enemy models. Take the Celerity of Slaanesh warlord trait for +3" to movement for Move 17", Advance and Charge D6+2D6" for a charge distance of 18-33" with an average of 28". Watch the look of horror on your opponents face when they realize just how fast these guys are with the locus of Slannesh - "yes I do want to move 14", advance and charge in the same turn". If you make the charge into a chaff unit she'll kill 6 and recover 6 wounds. If she still needs to heal more wounds on your turn cast Hysterical Frenzy; to fight again potentially wiping out the unit and allowing you to charge something else in the combat phase. Soulstealer also allows her to re-roll to wound versus Aeldari units. The Keeper of Secrets can now cast 2 powers, while it can attempt to deny 1 power, knowing Smite and 2 powers from the Slaanesh discipline. For psychic powers, Symphony of Pain and Delightful Agonies are your best options. As forcing the enemy to hit back on -1 is always good. Delightful Agonies grants a 6+ to ignore wounds. So, you can skip the Shining Aegis which it can't stack with anyway and take the far more useful living Whip or Sinustrous Hand. 230-240 points depending on kit. Unfortunately, Daemon princes are still better costing 30-40 pts less fully kitted out, and with 9 wounds has character protection. Being able to hide behind allies and having a 3+ save makes them a far more reliable source of high strength attacks and with wings they will move almost as quickly.
- Important Note: Summoning is based on 3D6, which is most likely to roll 10-11. The Keeper of Secrets is Power 14 (the other three are 17.) That means the Keeper is the only Greater Daemon you are mathematically more likely to successfully summon than not. It's not over yet, with the Soul Sacrifice stratagem, you can roll up to 4d6 for the summoning roll, which will most likely guarantee the summoning of your Keepers of Secrets. Wait! Did I just say Keepers of Secrets? Yes, definitely, use the Daemonic Pact stratagem, roll another 4D6 and rejoice while your opponent struggles to come up with a way to deal with 2 Keepers of Secrets charging at him. Each of the new Infernal Enrapturess's you take gains +3 to their own summoning rolls.
- The Keeper received a gorgeous plastic model, at long last! And as an added bonus, it comes with new wargear options:
6"/S6/AP-2/Damage 2/Assault 6/attacks from this weapon can target enemy units within 1".
roll D6 whenever the model takes a wound on a 6+ the wound is ignored; mortal wounds are ignored on a 5+.
each time the model finishes a consolidation move select an enemy unit within 1" and roll D6: one a 1, nothing happens. On a 2-5, that enemy units suffer 1 mortal wound. On a 6 the unit suffers D3 MW.
If the user kills any non-vehicle in the Fight phase, it heals D3 wounds. What, was the Soulstealer sword not enough healing for you?
- Infernal Enrapturess: The new generic Herald being released in the new Wrath & Rapture box set. She's primarily a support unit the Infernal Enrapturess provides powerful sonic fire support with her Heartstring lyre! The Heartstring Lyre has two profiles two choose from in the shooting phase. Cacophonous Melody: Range 18”/S4/AP-1/Dam 1/ Assault 6; and Euphonic Blast: Range 24”/S8/AP-3/Dam 3/Assault 1. So Her Harp is basically Noise Marine Blastmaster but with half the range. Cacophonous Melody can wound a Marine on a 4+ and reduces their armor save to a 4+ save. While Euphonic Blast can take the last few wounds off-tank armor or a monster. Her stat line is: Movement 7", WS 2+, BS 2+, S4, T3, W4, A2, LD8, and SV 6+. So her Heartstring lyre will be hitting on a 2+ while she moves up the board at Daemonette speeds. But wait there's more! Her Discordant Disruption ability causes enemy psykers within 24” to suffer Perils of the Warp on any doubles. This 24" aura is incredibly powerful especially in conjunction with the Daemonic Possession stratagem; effectively letting you shut down the psychic phase over a huge area for 1CP. Causing enemy Psykers to suffer 2D3 mortal wounds on a perils. Meanwhile, Fiends with move 14" along with Advance and Charge can quickly reach and disrupt Psykers outside of the 24” aura. Or if their within 12” of a Psyker whose within the 24” aura; they completely shut down the psychic phase. A Vanguard consisting of Infernal Enrapturess, and 3 Fiends can effectively boost any chaos army. Effectively neutering Psyker heavy armies and those dependent on Psyker support. The only issue is she doesn’t do much if the opponent doesn't use Psykers. Finally, she has the Harmonic Alignment special rule. If an Infernal Enrapturess attempts to summon a SLAANESH DAEMON unit to the battlefield you can add +3 to the resulting summoning roll. Adding 3 to any summoning rolls enables her to safely summon a unit of 10 Daemonettes, Masque, a Herald, or two Fiends of Slaanesh on a single dice. Without the risk of suffering MW. Also at the start of each of your turns, you can roll D6 for each SLAANESH DAEMON unit within 6”; on a result of 6 a single slain model is returned to that unit. So she can reinforce existing units that have suffered losses; even multi-Wound models such as Fiends, Seekers, or Obliterators! Position an Infernal Rapturess with a unit of Obliterators as her Euphonic Blast has a similar range and damage potential; and she can also resurrect a dead Obliterator on a 6. Deep strike her into the mid-field together with 1-2 units of Obliterators to position her anti-psyker bubble for maximum impact. Take her in a Slaaneshi Daemon detachment and those Obliterators can now advance and charge in the same turn. All for a mere 75 pts!
- Herald of Slaanesh on Seeker Chariot: Tired of having very fragile Heralds? Have this fairly fragile one. With Steed of Slaanesh going Legends, They are now your mounted herald, and you can find its most recent data sheet in Engine War. The regular Seeker Chariot variant is now 95 pts, and like all Slaanesh units, it is a bit of a glass hammer. 12" move, Toughness 5, a 4+ Save, and 7 wounds to let it hide behind screens gives you a mobile, but it will crumble if it gets focused down. There is some potential for some play if you give the Herald the Slothful Claw relic. Otherwise, you are looking at six strength 5 attacks and four bonus attacks at strength 4 with no AP. If you manage to charge, you can cause mortal wounds to enemy models within 1" on a roll of a 6, which just reinforces the units roll as a chafe cleaner. Charge into a screening unit, clear it out, and hopefully, your Keeper of Secrets will have a clear path to something important. All in all, you are paying some extra points for extra toughness and wounds, a few extra attacks, a small chance of mortal wounds when charging, and, most importantly, a bigger base, which means his aura of +1S is bigger. It's probably the best Herald, but it's hard to maneuver, so be careful.
- Herald of Slaanesh on Exalted Seeker Chariot: Sadly inferior to the smaller chariot. On paper, it starts off nice. With 16 attacks in melee (8 from the Herald's ravaging claws and 8 from the mounts) it would seem to be a strong melee threat. Furthermore, its scything impact rule triggers on a 5+ instead of 6, making it more deadly on a charge. Then you run into the problem of getting it to your opponents battle line. 12 wound looks nice but that means you can't hide behind a blob, and if you lose half your wounds (and it will be soon enough, trust me) it becomes slower and worthless in melee because of Damage table. To seal the deal, it costs 1/3 more than a normal Herald on Seeker Chariot. Avoid this.
- Herald of Slaanesh on Hellflayer: A brand new option added to the Daemon Codex with datasheet included in Chapter Approved 2019 and Engine War. For a 10 pts more than a Herald on a Seeker Chariot, you get a unit with all the Seeker Chariot's strength while being slightly better at tackling mid-toughness targets. The Hellflayer replace the Scything impact with a unique wargear; Bladed Axle. This is is 2X strength melee weapon, so with the Heralds +1S aura, it does D6 extra attacks at S10/AP-1/Dmg 2.
- Herald of Slaanesh on Steed of Slaanesh (Legends): Updated with Chaos Daemons - Legends. A basic Herald mounted on a Steed which grants 14" movement, re-rolling charges, and +1 wound for 85 pts. Taken in a Slaanesh Daemon detachment she has a 6" aura which allows units to advance and charge in the same turn. The Legends update finally gives her Ravaging Claws with S: user/AP-1/Dmg 2/Counts a AP-4 on a wound roll of 6. Which can now be swapped out for the Slothful Claw relic.
- Contorted Epitome: "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, whose ass is going to be fucked up worst of all?" 2 heralds riding on a magic mirror. This magic mirror acts as a psychic turret, casting and denying two powers per turn with a +1 bonus to do so. Taken along with an Infernal Enrapturess and Fiends it can provide excellent Psychic Defense. It also has a 2+ save against mortal wounds that protect it further from enemy psykers, and enemy units including fliers that get within 6" of it have their ability to fall back restricted. Needing to test the highest LD of the unit on 3D6 before they can fallback. Be sure to take Phantasmagoria for its 12" penalty aura of -1 LD as one of its powers. There is only ~37.5% chance to roll lower than LD10 on 3D6 and pass the test. Debuffing LD even by -1 reduces the chance of an LD7-8 unit escaping to ~26%, Brutal, but it only gets worse as you stack on LD penalties like Zarakynel -2 LD penalty that would make units -3LD. Now an LD10 model only has a ~9.26% chance of escaping. Anything LD7 would effectively be stuck as they only have a ~0.46% chance to escape. Best of all any flier without a hover style rule that cannot fallback automatically dies. It has the herald aura of +1 Strength, moves as fast as a prince with wings, gets 2 attacks using a prince's sword profile and 8 herald attacks all at strength 6. Add in the princes WS and the character protection and we got a beast. But the Contorted Epitomes isn't just an extra killy Daemon Prince its also an amazing Psyker. What really makes the Mirror powerful is its synergy with the Infernal Enrapturess and Fiends. It will be very hard for enemy Psykers to stay out of range on all those de-buffs given the mobility of those units. It also synergies well with Fiends providing an additional means of holding units including flyers in combat. The Epitome is an auto-include. Not only is it good on its own it can follow the initial engagement forces no matter their speed. If you spam chariots, take an Epitome with them for their loci and herald aura following at the same speed. Because of its speed, the Epitome is best taken alongside chariots, fiends or seekers. If you're running swarms of Daemonettes take Syll'Esske if you have the extra points. As clarified in the new Slaanesh Daemon specific FAQ released on 05-29-2019 the Mirror Heralds can be upgraded with the Slothful Claw relic but loose all +8 attacks if they do so. Derp. The FAQ also states that it a model with a minimum Move characteristic wishes to Fall Back whilst within 6" of a Contorted Epitome fails its LD roll its destroyed. The Flyer must also declare it will hover before it makes the LD roll. Strangely, the datasheet for this model doesn't include the PSYKER keyword.
- Shalaxi Helbane: TACTICAL WHORE, INCOMING! Slaanesh is at long last getting a named Greater Daemon! Her Soulpiercer spear is a ridiculous Sx2 AP-4 D6 D, and if it scores a 6 to wound against a character it always does the full 6 damage. She also wears the Cloak of Constriction, which imposes a -1 to wound against enemy melee attacks, which nicely complements the hit penalty she shares with the standard Keeper of Secrets. Delicate Precision allows her to re-roll wound rolls of 1. While Monarch of the Hunt allows her to move 6" during a pile in or heroic intervention as long as it is towards the nearest enemy character. If you make her your warlord she must take Quicksilver Duelist which allows her to re-roll to hit and wound enemy characters. Finally, she can take either a Living Whip: 6"/S6/AP-2/Damage 2/Assault 6/attacks from this weapon can target enemy units within 1"; for 240 pts. Or a shining Aegis: roll D6 whenever the model takes a wound on a 6+ the wound is ignored; mortal wounds are ignored on a 5+; for 250 pts. Since she has Delightful Agonies as a psychic power skip the shield and take the living whip instead. Counterpoint - the shield is viable as there are a lot of other excellent Slaanesh powers that make you a beast in cc (looking at you hysterical / symphony). Plus the shield looks dope as hell.
- The Masque of Slaanesh: Due to the changes in how characters work, the Masque is finally granted the protection of hiding behind a blob of Daemonettes. As well as gains a stunning new plastic model. She can advance or fall back and charge in the same turn, and she forces a -1 to-hit penalty against enemy attacks that target a Daemonette unit within 6" of her in the fight phase (and she has the DAEMONETTE keyword, so that applies to her too). Also, if she's locked in combat with something, you add 1 to hit against the target unit. Her Ravaging Claws are now S: user and AP-2, with DMG 2. Her cost increased in MFM21 going from 78 pts to 85 pts. If your running Mono-Slaanesh, you should always be taking her. She combo very well with Syll'Esske in a massive swarm of Daemonettes.
- Syll’Esske: The new winner of the "Most Ridiculous Topknot in 40k Award" is apparently the fusion of a Herald and a Daemon Prince, and subsequently gets the benefits of both their auras at once. Their 8 attacks would be dangerous enough, but it's effectively doubled due to their Deadly Symbiosis rule; the first time they fight, they have to attack with only their Axe of Dominion (S+3 AP-3 3 D) or their Scourging Whip (S User AP-1 1 D, each hit counts as D3, also works as a shooting weapon with stats 6" Assault d6 S User AP-2 1 D, can shoot into melee)...but after their consolidation move they get to select a new target and fight again using the weapon they didn't use the first time around. Its worth noting that with Syll’Esske you effectively get 3 aura abilities: re-roll 1's to hit, +1 S, and Advance and Charge. Which can be very effective taken alongside as CSM Daemonkin detachment. Double trouble indeed. 230 points. They have a fixed warlord trait - Bewitching Aura (enemies within 6" suffer -1 attack to a minimum of 1). But the reason Syll’Esske exists is their Regal Authority ability allows SLAANESH DAEMONS within 6" to re-roll morale tests. Which is perfect for finally making hordes of Daemonettes viable. So that Daemonettes can finally make use of their Graceful Killers rule for +1 attack. Syll’Esske's 9" move pair best with Daemonettes 7" move and instrument bonus. They have 4 auras that benefit Daemonettes 5 if taken as your warlord. It's truly amazing what Syll'Esske does for Daemonette blobs. Providing 4 different auras: +1 strength, re-rolling 1's to hit, re-rolling morale, and providing Advance and Charge. Or 5 auras if taken as a warlord for: forcing -1 attack on enemies within 6". All for 35 pts more than a winged Daemon Prince and breaking even with a Keeper of Secrets. they combo very well with Masque in a massive swarm of Daemonettes.
- Important Note: A new Slaanesh Daemon specific FAQ was released on 05-29-2019 which clarifies that Syll'Esske can attack twice even if unable to move in consolidation. They can also attack the SAME target you target twice or they can target a different that they attacks that phase.
- Also Note: A good idea for Syll'Esske is to have them team up with some Fiends, yes they don't really benefit from the leadership buff, but they make the ungodly 14" movement even better and, if they're all together, those puppies are making S5 attacks, not 4
- Daemonettes: The Daemonettes were the best daemon at ripping up armor until 8th came along and made Bloodletters more reliable at it. Their Piercing claws are AP-1 normally, but if you roll a 6 to-wound it becomes AP-4, compared to the Bloodletters and their Hellblades which have a higher strength, a more reliable AP-3 all day and deal additional damage on a 6. This isn't to say these girls aren't good at the job but they have been overshadowed, especially now that TEQs tend to have multiple wounds. They still have more attacks (and if you have a unit of 20 or more, you add 1 to their attack characteristic), higher speed and strike before anyone, which would make them great as an MSU... if only they weren't so frail! Instead, use them like you would Genestealers - throw your Bloodletters at TEQs while you use these girls to overwhelm some camping shits in cover. Daemonettes rely on getting into combat fast so be sure you buy an instrument and use your loci to get them into it. Now 7 pts each thanks to MFM21, just 1 point more than Cultists at 6 pts.
- Fiends of Slaanesh: Finally, with Chapter Approved 2019 they return to their former glory. Gaining +1 wound, a unit leader the Blissgiver with +1 attack, and a 5 pt price drop. So their S4/T4/W4 with 4X Damage 2 attacks from their dissecting claws; that resolve at AP-4 on a wound roll of 6+. Their tail can make a single attack with AP-3 and Damage D3. With 4 attacks a turn, they are good at fighting multi-wounds units... but that's not their main role. Their first ability make so that every PSYKERS in 12" have -1 to Psychic tests, which is nice. The second ability is so annoying they will give you tears of joy when you manage to pull it off; enemy units engaged by them can't Fall Back unless they can FLY. A single Fiend can easily tar pit a Land Raider for an entire game. So delicious! Since they are fragile (and most likely will get shot out of the table on the first turn if you deploy them) but are only 37 points each, this is a perfect unit to summon. You can even do it on one dice and avoid any risk. Ironically, their abilities make this unit a perfect addition to Khorne Daemons' armies, making their Deny the Witch easier and blocking the enemies so your slow army can get them.
- Seekers of Slaanesh: They've lost their innate Advance and Charge rules in the new codex but they still have access to the rules with the new loci ability. Instead, their Unholy Speed rule now allows them to re-roll charges. Holy smokes, that's an impressive threat range of 32" (33" with an instrument of chaos, since you still can't declare charges outside 12"), and an average of 26,5". With 2 wounds each, their role is clear; you can reliably charge turn one and engage stuff you don't want to shoot, and have just the right stuff not to get completely demolished by overwatch and resist a turn or two. They have the same attacks of the Daemonettes plus 2 attacks from the mount, but don't expect them to kill too much, especially without a Herald to back them (you can have one, but since Seekers will run as close as the enemy as possible, it's risky. If the Seekers get destroyed, you will most probably lose the expensive Herald too). In general, if you play mono-Slaanesh you want a big unit of those girls.
- Hellflayer: It's nice to see that the Hellflayer finally has a role on its own, instead of being "just a Seeker Chariot with an extra gimmick". Hellflayers don't have the Scything Impact of the chariot, but instead, have D6 extra attacks at Sx2 AP-1 D2. High strength attacks are rare in this army, so having another source such as this is welcome. Laugh at the image of an Hellflayer destroying tanks with their blades. They gained +1 attack in the new codex but nothing else.
- Seeker Chariot: Cheap and flexible. Seeker Chariots have both the piercing claws and the lashes of torment (which can hit in and out of combats), and their Scything Impact ability gives you a slim chance of dealing mortal wounds. They don't really have a role on their own but are always a nice addition. They gained +1 attack in the new codex but nothing else.
- Exalted Seeker Chariot: Just like the Hellflayers got some different stuff, now even this is not "just a Seeker Chariot but bigger" anymore. Unlike the Seeker Chariot, this thing have scalable wounds and start with a respectable WS 2+ and 8 attacks, only to lose them when it gets wounded. It no longer caused mortal wounds on 5+ like in the Index, but rather a 6+ like the regular chariot. So it's more expensive than the Seeker Chariot and potentially far stronger. On full and half wounds, it's better in every situation. Causing more wounds than a regular chariot. Once it gets to it's final wound bracket, the regular chariot is better; but by this point, it's already taken 1.5x the wounds of a regular chariot and is still on the table. Sitting at 80 pts with MFM21; basically take this one if you can spare the 20 points more.
Lord of War
- Zarakynel, the Bringer of Torments: With our great and glorious overlords at GW writing the imperial armour books Zarakynel has seen a rework, and will still violate all your orifices with joyous abandon. They lost their 3++ in combat for a simple 4++, but instead gained a -1 to hit from all sources, which is better as the move has been towards giving all units lower ballistic skills unless they're the bees knees. At 18 wounds they're still exposed to ranged firepower, but at movement 14" and having extra wounds means that you can run from cover to and not care, although being a Monster will make cover a bit harder to find.
Melee is much the same (Zarakynel falls into the category of units that still get to hit on a 2+), just with the... Delicious? improvements. Firstly, the claw attack which you never had a reason to use before, that gets 4 extra attacks with it each fight phase, and at S7 ap-3 D3 its going to do something to those unfortunate enough to be hit. Then there's the famous soulstealer blade. S9 (so with the reworks to units toughness you will wound everything on at least a 4+) ap-3 (so a cut cut to armour saves, but there's better) and D3. But that is not why you choose the blade. You choose it because on a 4+ to wound you deal 3 mortal wounds instead of normal damage.
This, is a big deal. In 9th edition mortal wounds are much harder to come by, and on the whole all units have gained more wounds. So having a weapon which will deal, on average, 7.5 Mortal Wounds each time it fights, against all targets, is a big deal. Then there's the earlier reference to delicious. If Zarakynel kills ANY non-vehicle MODEL in the fight phase they regain D6 previously lost wounds. Against pretty much anything short of demon primarchs, it is simply impossible to kill this unit.
For further context, Zarakynel costs 450 points. Guilliman costs around 400 points, and is much slower, doesn't hit as hard, and comes wrapped with a delicious snack of meatshields. Overall, Zarakynel costs roughly the same as before, but is now balanced for their cost, and will make a joyous edition to any army of debauchery.
Here Is the Daemons any god can take.
- Daemon Prince of Chaos: Your classic murder-machine, now buffed to S7 T6 with 8 wounds and a natural 3+ Armor save. They must choose allegiance to a Chaos god and gains their respective special rule. They can become psykers except for Khorne-aligned princes, which gain +1 attack to compensate for their lack of psychic potential. They can also buy wings and a slew of equipment to make them even deadlier. Double talons are superior over the sword in all ways, for a nominal cost increase, and help a lot to kill units with lots of models but the axe is better against high toughness armoured (single) units like tanks or monsters. DPs are a very good all-round unit in a codex with otherwise specialized units and can compensate the respective gods weakness.
- Give your Khorne daemon prince the skullreaver axe and the warlord trait from the khorne formation for 7 attacks at strength 9 AP -4 and d6 damage on the charge and d3 additional mortal wounds rolls of 6 and re-rolling wounds against titanics, oh and with +1 attack near an enemy character, and then there's the fight again stratagem...
- Note: Now that they've been "buffed" to only have 8 wound, they now serve a very important role in your army--forcing your opponents to choose between shooting your big scary Greater Daemon who is scary by itself but has a useful but slightly meh aura, or trying to shoot down your hordes of Lesser Daemons that are protecting a monster that is almost as scary and giving large units one of the scariest buffs they can receive. Bonus points if you can also have a Herald in there too.
- Important: though the above is true, DPs lack degenerating stats which make them more reliable than your other monsters and monstrous vehicles.
- Note: As of the new FAQ, these now have an identical statline to the CSM version, which means they only have three differences. Unlike the CSM one, they only apply their reroll-1s aura to Daemons of their alignment (although that does apply to Possessed, Warp Talons, mounted HQs and the various Daemon Engines) but they take their psychic powers from the Daemons list instead of Dark Hereticus. So, now it's just a matter of how much you're relying on CSM allies. They also get the special rule for whatever god alignment they have. This means that this version is generally better at being a threat in and of itself, while the CSM one is better at playing a support role for CSM. Figure out what you want to do with your Prince and choose accordingly.
- Important Note: Thanks to the 2019 FAQ ALL Daemon Princes: Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Daemons, Deathguard, and Thousand Sons are all now count as the same datasheet for purposes of Matched Play. So, now despite the number and type of detachments you take you're now limited to a max of 3. So, Daemon Prince spam has been nerfed. Summoning does get around this and only this version can be summoned.
- Important Note: Fly again allows models to move across enemy models while charging. However, flyers can no longer block movement, and a demon prince that flies into ruins in the movement phase can still be stuck there in the charge phase.
- Be'lakor: The Dark Master has taken a price hike, but he still has his good points. He is 2" faster than a Flying Daemon Prince. However, Be'lakor's utility lies in his special rules. He grants all Daemon units within 6" of him re-rolls of 1 to-hit, and enemy units within 6" subtract 1 from their leadership and take a -1 penalty to attrition tests. All attacks against him take a -1 to hit penalty (and a further -1 to wound for ranged attacks) and cannot reroll failed hits. Finally, any ranged attacks that actually wound him have their damage reduced by 1. He knows 2 psychic powers from his own super-special discipline, and can cast 2 powers compared to the DP's one. He lost access to the whole of Malefic which is really sad, but he's an excellent psychic nuker that can buff Daemons of any allegiance.
- Note about detachments: The new Charadon book has granted him all four gods' keywords, allowing him to nominally be usable in any mono daemons detachment and keep the rest of the detachment buffs. That said, he's not likely to benefit from any of it and he forbids using any other daemon princes. In fact, he hates other daemon princes so much that he can re-roll to hit and wound another daemon prince he fights.
- As of the new Charadon book, he now has his own unique WT, which is only useful if he's in his special detachment, which would otherwise render it irrelevant.
- Be'lakor's Blade of Shadows has been tweaked to have two different attack modes. Sweeping Strikes is the horde-buster, acting like a Power Sword which makes two hit rolls per attack. Piercing Strike is what you take when you need something dead RIGHT NOW, with S+4 AP-4 D3+3 and the ability to outright negate invulnerable saves.
- Chaos Furies These buggers are fast(12"), can fly, and have 2 attacks with S4 each. They have to take a mark and that can somewhat mitigate that shitty T3 and make them summonable by every god. They have a nifty little 50/50 chance to kill additional model in a unit that failed a morale test near them. Super good against small elite units, sucky on that conscript but can be paired with Belakor's ability. That makes them surprisingly good and flexible and can make for a far reaching distraction. But of course there has to be a snag: 10 points per model. You can get around the crappy metal mini buy using some leftover heads and arms of the respective god and some green stuff as wings and pin it on a toothpick. Or use the Gargoyle minis from Kings of War. THEY HAVE NEW PLASTIC MODELS as of Warcry release!
- 15 Furies are only 8PL, letting you deep strike them for 1CP. Harass the edge of your opponents army but don't expect them to do much else alone.
- Making them dedicated to Khorne gives them 3 attacks each at strength 5, which is hilarious on a 12" movement. RIP and tear.
- Soul Grinder Your heavy fire support platypus. Heavy because it comes with 14 wounds and a 3+ save plus it can take a mark of X for free (e.g. Nurgle for that defacto FNP or Tzeentch for 4++ Invu against all those nasty heavy weapons out there). Fire Support because it gets you two 36+” high strength okay-AP weapons. an iron claw for guys who need some heavy pounding and a sword you should switch to the warp claw for more attacks against guys who need a lot of pounding. With a move of 8" it can keep up with other more vulnerable stuff and draw some fire while returning some. While previously, just too pricey for any daemon army at 235 points, it's now just 190!! Moving into 9th may have given the Soul Grinder a small boon, all for being a vehicle. As it stands, it ignores the heavy rule, so the SG may have become a viable battering ram at range and melee for Daemon armies, especially given its propensity not really caring about a degrading BS. It still doesn't shoot good, but now it's not as bad as it was.
- Giant Chaos Spawn: (Legends FW) Got some buffs from Warhammer Legends: S/T6, degenerating BS, an 8+D6 move to start and churning claws and fangs hitting with AP-2 and dealing 2 damage apiece. The GCS retains its 6+d6 attacks to start, 4+ and 5++ saves from the last time. The big reworking is the special rules now that most of the stats are no longer randomized. You get a similar mutated beyond reason rule to regular gribbly beasts getting either AP-4 attacks, +6 attacks (as opposed to +D6) or re-rolling to-wound rolls at the whim of a d3 at the start of the fight phase. Additionally, the GCS causes -1 Ld to all models in engagement, not just enemies... eep! At 150 pts. a model, the changes to stats are nice but they no longer regain wounds, which makes them a bit more frail. You can summon them to save them from being shot to ribbons, though their PL went up from 5 to 7 - still doable, but the next one is arguably a bit better and costs 10 pts. less.
- Spined Chaos Beast: (Legends FW) The other generic Forgeworld HS beasty kindly buffed by Warhammer Legends: Forgeworld. Retains its S/T of 7 and 6 respectively from previous editions along with its 5++ while gaining 12 wounds in the process and a 4+ save. The beast starts with M10, WS3+ and a whopping 8 attacks. Mercifully, WS no longer degenerates and the volume of attacks paired with the damage output of a beast is rather staggering. If the degenerating stats still irks you, you can summon it even more reliably at PL8. It also has to be aligned with one of the gods, gaining that god's deamon rule, so this time, the Nurgle beast isn't terminally useless and can absorb mortal wounds. And then it gets three new weapons:
- Jagged Claws - your standard attack, for ripping apart things, dealing 2 damage apiece at with an improved -2 AP and you get two bonus attacks for using this one. Warhammer Legends upgraded the attacks to make them scarier for Primaris Marines, Tau Battlesuits and now dedicated CC squads.
- Tusked Maw - changed to dealing a flat 3 wounds at Sx2 and -3 AP. You can't regain a wound from biting people anymore but you're not limited to only one attack either - that's right, you can chomp to your attacks characteristic. Given the strength and damage of this attack coupled with the attacks leveled by a beast, this is the preferred attack against vehicles.
- Warp Spines - MASSIVELY reworked. Whenever it finishes a charge move, pick an enemy unit in engagement range and roll a D6: on a 3+, deal D3 mortal wounds and deal 3 mortal wounds on a 6. Far more deadly and less janky than it was before, you can soften up an enemy before you even start attacking - which is nice.
- Daemon Codex Update: Thanks to having ALLEGIANCE these things (and the Giant Spawn) now benefit from Daemonic Loci: pair one up with a Daemon Prince as a master and a hound and your Beastie will not only re-roll 1s To Hit but also charge more reliably/be protected a bit better/do more damage/move 10+D6" and then charge 2D6". Given the naturally random element to the Giant Spawn the Locus will be more beneficial to a Spined Beast if you're one of those meticulous types. Deploying this thing on your line and storming forwards a potential 28" into combat is something that most Slaaneshi players may well be caressing their myriad and custom genitalia over. I know I am, but only with my most bejewelled pincer.
Note: Games Workshop has released an FAQ restricting stratagems that target daemons to targeting units with the Daemons faction keyword. Sorry Brass Scorpion/Mortarion, no deep strike for you!
Your Universal Stratagems mostly deal with manipulating the Daemonic Ritual rules for your benefit (and for making life hell for Grey Knights and Psykers) as well as a few quality of life stratagems for helping keep your daemons alive and stuck in.
- Denizens of the Warp (1-2CP): Pick a Daemon unit. they can Deep Strike following all the normal rules and limitations you would expect. If the unit has a power rating of 8 or less, it costs 1 command point. Otherwise, it costs 2. Whoopee, now we don't need to footslog everything! You can even deep strike the FW Lords of War. Have fun with that.
- Daemonic Incursion (2CP): Use when a Daemon unit (no named characters) is destroyed by a Grey Knight unit. The destroyed unit is returned to the battlefield at full strength and can deep strike anywhere. Also, it DOES NOT cost reinforcement points in matched play games. Situational, but amazing when you can use it.
- Soul Sacrifice (2CP): Use before a Character tries to summon a Daemon unit to the battlefield via Daemonic ritual. The character suffers d3 mortal wounds but you can roll up to 4 dice for the summoning roll. In addition, reroll to-hit rolls of 1 for the summoned unit while within 3" of the character that did the ritual. The good news is you can summon Bloodthirsters and Lords of Change reliably, and if you're lucky enough you can even summon the named Characters too.
- Rewards of Chaos (1-3CP): Your extra artifact stratagem.
- Daemonic Pact (1CP): Use after a character performs a Daemonic ritual to summon a unit. They can attempt to summon again.
- Daemonic Possession (1CP): Use when an enemy psyker perils. they take 2d3 mortal wounds instead of d3.
- Warp Surge (2CP): Use at the start of any phase. select a unit of Daemons. +1 invul (max 4++ as of the most recent big FAQ) but they cannot re-roll their saves.
Legion of Skulls
This particular detachment from Vigilus Ablaze is only available to a mono-Khorne detachment. Bloodletter units gain Legion of Skulls. (This includes Skulltaker and Heralds, of course.) Note that you get the Relic in addition to any other Relics you might bring.
- Warlord Trait - Bloodblessed: Your warlord gets +1 attack by default, and then gains another when within 6" of an opposed character. If you're going headhunting, you'll need this to guarantee dead leaders.
- Brazen Skull (1 CP): At last, you have a means to provide some non-artillery shooting for your bloodletters. It's just that it's a stratagem. One that makes one model test BS (which Bloodletters tend to have set at pretty poor, although Skulltaker's is a respectable 3+) to get an immediate d3 mortal wounds. Hey, at least they have something to do before they reach charging range now.
- Red Tide (2 CP): Simple +2 to charge rolls for friendly <LEGION OF SKULLS> daemons if they charge a unit that was charged earlier that turn by other <LEGION OF SKULLS> unit but it only gives you +2 if you declare a charge againts one enemy unit so keep that in mind
- Relic - Goreplate : Roll a d6 after the bearer has slain an enemy model , on 4+ ( adding 2 to the result if the model was a character ) the bearer heals d3 wounds. Bloodthrone might find a use for it with the probability of healing d3+1 wounds whenever he charges and kills something.
Armies of Renown
The new version of the specialist detachment, introduced in the Book of Rust.
Disciples of Be'lakor
Introduced in the Tome of Fire, this is essentially your answer as to how you can run a combination daemon-CSM army. This isn't the wet dream you're thinking about, however. The big drawback is that this army is a very undivided-heavy one, to the point of potentially being obstructive while not allowing those that are aligned to operate at full capacity but providing some defensive perks. It also focuses heavily upon the big guy himself, as he is the uncontestable warlord here.
- Restrictions: Sit down, there are a lot of them.
- Be'lakor is your warlord. NO QUESTIONS. NO EXCUSES.
- You cannot bring ANY greater daemons, special god-aligned marines, chaos knights or chaos titans. NONE. Heralds and marking CSM HQs are still fair game though. All units that aren't Unaligned or Buildings gain the Disciples of Be'lakor keyword.
- When taking daemons, you NEED to have a unit of daemons from each god before you can opt to select a second unit from any god, barring Big B himself and any aligned CSM. This also applies to summoning, and is likely the biggest pain for any armies that plan on bringing daemons along.
- Any Demon units you do bring gain Daemonic Disciples keyword. They can use any stratagems, relics, and WTs as if they were in a mono-daemons army.
- Heralds are locked to the Locus of Shadows rather than any taking any from their respective god. Daemonic Disciples within 6" force enemies attacking them to take a -1 to hit if firing from over 12" away and they can't re-roll to hit.
- Any CSM units gain the Legion Disciples keyword and can take any generic CSM stratagems, WTs, and relics.
- Note that we said generic. You cannot join any legions for this and this rule is essentially replaced with Disciples of Shadows. Any enemies shooting from beyond 12" away take a -1 to hit and your units add +1 to their combat attrition checks.
- So as to block cultist spam any further, you can't take more cultist units than you can Heretic Astartes Infantry units in your army.
- Be'lakor is your warlord. NO QUESTIONS. NO EXCUSES.
- Warlord Trait - Shadow Lord: Be'lakor's only WT, made specifically for this detachment. During the command phase, you can pick any non-vehicle Disciples of Be'lakor unit within 9" and let them re-roll any failed to hit roll until the next command phase. Yes, the first prince is effectively being a chapter master and nothing less.
- Noctic Discipline: Why yes, any psykers with the Disciples of Be'lakor keyword can pick up this discipline, with the big guy taking this by default, even outside of his detachment.
- Shrouded Step - Warp Charge 6. One friendly Disciples of Be'lakor infantry unit within 18" can immediately re-deploy wherever you wish. You'll be wanting this too, as you'll be managing the various daemons and mortals for synergy in stratagems.
- Wreathed in Shades - Warp Charge 7. One Disciples of Be'lakor within 12" that isn't a monster or vehicle can't be shot at unless they're the closest target or if they're within 12" of the enemy.
- Pall of Despair - Warp Charge 7. Pick an enemy unit within 18" and roll 3d6; if the result of this roll beats the enemy's leadership characteristic, you can force them to either lose an aura, bar them from performing actions, or force them to fight last - and all of these are in effect until your next psychic phase.
- Voidslivers - Warp Charge 5. Draw a line between the caster and an enemy unit within 12". Any units in between the two as well as the target itself take 1 MW (d3 if the unit has 11+ models). Yeah, it's a cheaper but more collateral-focused Smite.
- 'Penumbral Curse - Warp Charge 7. Pick one enemy unit within 18". Any time they attack in melee, they will suffer a -1 to hit and their weapon's AP worsens by 1. This is pretty much going to force enemies to shoot if they have the choice, and can protect your marines in any other case.
- Betraying Shades - Warp Charge 6. Pick an enemy unit within 18" and select 6 models from that unit. You roll a number of d6s equal to the number of attacks each model would make, dealing a MW on a roll of 6 (5+ if you cast this with a roll of 11). This is a useful way in popping marines and other MSU armies and might see uses in harming more mob-based units.
- Shadow Pact (1 CP): Select one Legion Disciples Infantry unit that isn't marked during the command phase. This unit can gain either +1 attack, a 5++ save, +1 toughness, or +1 to movement and advance/charge rolls. That's right, you're making washable tattoos outta those marks!
- Daemonic Boon (2 CP): Select one Legion Disciples unit that isn't a vehicle and is within 6" of a Daemonic Disciples during the fight phase. The mortals all add +1 to their Strength and automatically wound on a natural 6 to hit.
- Legions of Shade (1 CP): At the start of the movement or charge phase, you can make one Disciples of Be'lakor essentially invisible, capable of running through other models without a care in the world.
- Mortal Boon (2 CP): Pick one Daemonic Disciples unit within 6" of a Legion Disciples unit during the morale phase. This unit of daemons will automatically pass all morale checks with a natural 1, making them hold on at all costs.
- Draught of Terror (1 CP): Pick one Daemonic Disciples unit during the morale phase. They gain a 6" aura that affects enemy units. If any enemy models flee, your unit regains a wound, potentially resurrecting a model at one wound if you're missing any models but everyone's topped off. Since summoning is now more of a hassle, you'll be relying on this to maintain your daemonic hordes.
- Blessing of Be'lakor (2 CP): Pick one Disciples of Be'lakor unit during any phase while the big guy's on the field. If they fail a saving through, this negates the attack. Since this works on only one attack, this is best used to cancel out any crits or if you want to laugh at lascannons.
The Bloodletter Bomb
Let's get this bad boy out of the way: 20-30 Bloodletters with the Banner of Blood tearing out of the warp 9 inches away from your opponent's line and charging 3D6 (don't forget the nearby character to re-roll that charge). Really, that's it. Plug a Patrol Detachment of a Herald and Bloodletters (Icon + Instrument) into any army and clear away those pesky chaff units, or fold in the side of your opponent's line. Regardless of what you throw this at, your opponent will spend their next turn trying to clear it away, which leaves the rest of your army free to run wild. It costs you 2-3 Command Points to pull this off with one unit depending on the size of it.
- Why Bloodletters?: Because they have better offensive power than any other Daemon troop choice, are cheap as dirt, and get a 3D6 charge with potential re-rolls. Bloodletters get +1S and +1A on the charge and with 20+ of them, they hit on 2+ and wounds on 6+ double damage. This means 50 hits on S5 on AP-3! 33 wounds on most enemy units and 17 wounds on most vehicles - it's dead, Jim. Oh, and if it's not, spend the Khorne stratagem to fight again (at the end of the fight phase) and warp surge to make your enemy having to invest heavily into removing this unit in the heart of his lines.
- If you want to spend less CP, consider adding some token CSM support so you can access the Termite Drill, which RAW can carry the Bloodletters and let them deepstrike with it.
I feel that is an auto-include.
- This tactic is possibly the killiest in the game. On average a 30 man unit of Bloodletters and a Blood Throne w/ the Crimson Crown will kill 80 GEQs, 53 MEQs, 26 TEQs or 3 Leman Russ Battle Tanks. Plus an average of 0.33 Mortal Wounds for each nearby model. All for only 390 points and 4-6 CP.
While not as board control as the Bloodletter Bomb, Deep Striking Bloodcrushers gets them into position out the gate as full strength. And hey, it's not like you can't also give them a Banner of Blood alongside your other Bomb. 1CP for 3 Crushers, 1CP for the banner, 1CP to inflict MW on a charge, and then you Deep Strike in Skulltaker nearby (8" aura) for the +1 hit rolls. Food for thought...
- Alternate Opinion: Bloodletters are better bombs. It's less than Bloodcrushers are bad, but it's simply a case that Bloodletters are better. As well as being far cheaper (at 7pts), they'll produce an even greater number of attacks than the Bloodcrushers. The Bloodcrushers larger base size might also make deep striking them an issue. Since Bloodletters can charge 3d6+1 (re-rolling charges in pure Khorne detachment), just 20 of them deliver 41 hits at 2+ str 5 and ap-3. At a cost of only 197 points (with 2 icons and 2 instruments), on the other hand, a minimum squad of Juggernauts (at 120 points) produces 19 attacks (with 13 at str 6 and a-3/ and 9 at str 7 -ap1).
The Pink Horror Blob/Bomb
A shooty way to clear any chaff that might stand in the way of your other deep striking units. 20-30 Pink horrors supported by a daemon prince with the Demonspark warlord trait and a tzeentch herald. This gives you 90 shots at S4 18" range, re-rolling 1s to hit and to wound with +1 to wound from flickering flames (Optional: Boon of change to have a chance of being S5 on the horrors or a Mutalith Vortex Beast can give you a further +1S). There are two options of running them: starting on the table and forcing the opponent to deal with them and activating warp surge to absorb A LOT of damage with that 3++ on 7 pts models. Alternatively they can deep strike and shoot stuff off the table. Since their shooting attack is 18" assault you don't have to deepstrike them right next to a unit. Also, if you have second turn and your opponent isn't just sitting back in their deployment zone, you could even deepstrike them turn 1 in your deployment zone and hit a unit. They won't be expecting that.
Take a unit of Plaguebearers w/ Plague Banner, a Poxbringer w/ Virulent Blessing and a Spoilpox Scrivener. The Scrivener gives +1 to hit with 7+ allowing for more attacks, while the Poxbringer gives + 1 Strength and +1 to wound, with 7+ allowing for double damage. Finally, Locus of Virulence gives another +1 damage on a 6+ and the Plague Banner makes their swords D2 for one round, resulting in a maximum of 6 Damage on a roll of 7+. This results in a unit that hits of 3s, wounds elite models like Russes on 4s and does an average of 3.67 Damage per wound with the Banner (2.33 Damage without). As such, a blob of 30 Plaguebearers will makes 31 attacks, 20.67 hits, 10.33 wounds and deal 37.89 Damage total, enough to kill 3 Russes in one round.
- If you don't want to spend 3-4 CP to drop the Plaguebearers, consider taking a squad of 10 + the Heralds in a Termite. This is still enough to alpha-strike one Russ equivalent, along with whatever the Termite manages.
Daemon Princes are one of your rare options to take on vehicles and similar stuff. They are mobile, customizeable and can do some warp stuff too and they are only 8 wounds and therefore can hide behind other units. Most armies will have a few of them. Take 30 plaguebearers with a scrivener and advance over the table and bubble wrap your 3 or more daemon princes so that your enemy has to waste his precious las cannons on your cheap plaguebearers and then jump out of hiding with 12" movement and kill his elite stuff. If you form a wide oval formation in the center of the table your flying DPs can run around and still hide while your buubble wrap charges and binds stuff here and there. Don't forget your pile in moves to bubble wrap a DP even in combat. Last thing you want is to kill an elite unit shout out in victory and then see your 200 points DP get shot of the next turn. The oval formation is especially nice with khorne or slaanesh DPs that have better chances to reach enemies with their loci. Combine that formation with some deep striking bombs and the enemy will have multiple big threats in his face.
Alphabet Chicken Soup
Note that this is not a pure Daemons list, but most of the models/units in it are - you'll need the Chaos Index, the CSM Codex, and the Imperial Armour Chaos Index to field it, and, if you want to fully explore your options, the Imperial Armour Astra Militarum Index.
With the release of Chapter Approved, the points cost of several of these models have been vastly increased and the strategy described below doesn't really work anymore.
Two of the most powerful units in the game are Tzeentch Daemons, so..... why not take both? Use Chaos as your army-wide Faction binder, then take Magnus and Aetaos'Rau'Keres (the Alphabet Chicken). The Chicken's powers are picked for you, since the Tzeentch Discipline hasn't been expanded to 3 powers yet. Magnus should take Warptime, so you can get him into melee anywhere on the table, Weaver of Fates, because 3++/re-rolling 1s will keep Magnus alive beyond all reason, and then Death Hex, Prescience, or Diabolic Strength, depending on your local meta - Prescience is useful for Magnus to hit something dodgy, like a Culexus Assassin if he needs to, in melee, while Diabolic Strength will help him delete enemy heavies in melee faster, which is one of his jobs in this list; Death Hex is relatively difficult to cast, but on anything with problematic invuln saves, like Space Marines with Storm Shields, it can be critical to letting your Knight do some proper work. Without any foreknowledge of your local meta or what your opponents might bring, Death Hex is the safest choice, since it's the only power Magnus can bring which will help the rest of the army (unless you go for a variant; see below), not counting any Chaos Spawns you make with his Blade.
Since you're now only 1 Lord of War short of getting 3 CP from a Super-Heavy Detachment, take a Renegade Knight with two Avenger Gatlings, a Heavy Stubber, and an Ironstorm Missile Pod, so you have some anti-hordes dakka.
Then take the Changeling and the Blue Scribes, and 3 minimum units of Brimstone Horrors to screen the Knight, in a Battalion; each unit takes 1 Iridescent Horror with an Instrument, because going from an average Advance of 10.5 to 11.5 is so significant when screening an M12 model. The Changeling can also be used to protect both Magnus and the Chicken, of course, if they need to take cover.
The net result is
2000 many, many points for a 9 CP army that will almost always get the +1 to rolling to go first and punches way above its weight, since it requires incredibly specific counters but is a very general counter to anything it might face - the two big Daemons delete enemy heavies, while the Knight and its small Daemons delete enemy hordes.
There are basically two ways to modify this list: the Blue Scribes, which are only present because they're a cheap Chaos HQ, and the Knight, who's there for Dakka.
The Blue Scribes can be dropped for a Malefic Lord, a Smite source and an HQ tax so cheap you can afford a fourth Brimstone Horrors with spare change left over for another 3 Horrors models somewhere, but that will make your Horrors lose Objective Secured, assuming you're playing with the announced Chapter Approved rules.
The Knight can be dropped for a Renegades and Heretics Baneblade (you'll need to perform the Scribe to Lord swap to pay for it), or you can pay 3 CP to take the two big demons in their own detachments, and use the Battalion's Heavy slots for Hellforged Deredeos. If you do that, you can also swap the Scribes for buffers for the Deredeos: it's easy to fit a Sorcerer of some stripe in (including Ahriman), and if you commit to not having them be THOUSAND SONS, a Chaos Lord or Hellwright. Note that if you avoid the Thousand Sons, you can use the swapped-in HQ to carry a CSM Warlord Trait and/or Relic; none of them are particularly compelling, but it's worth noting. If you just want pure Deredeos, the Malefic Lord is cheap enough to let you take 3 of them, although that's also enough for 5 Basilisks.
Swiss Army Knife Summoning
Summonings sucks now? Yeah sure it does for daemons but not for CSM. ANY CSM character can now summon daemons and they can summon daemons of every god if they are not aligned to one. Get some fire support daemons lack of and start summoning what you need with your (ranged/psychic) characters while they keep firing. You need anti-horde? Summon some Crushers, Plague Drones or Slaanesh bitches! The enemy has a lot of good armor saves? Get some Khornys in! You need to hold the line? Splitting Horrors or Plaguebearers en masse will do it for you! You want to shoot back at the enemy? Well, try it with Burning Chariots, Soul Grinders or Flamers. Just do it!
- 1 or 2 characters (maybe Sorcerers for utility), some Havocs and some meatshield cultists or marines (Corsairs, for the CP) will do in a 1000 point list to leave some leftover points to customize the rest of your army on the fly.
- Take at least 1 Master of Possession, ideally with the Word Bearers Legion Trait. He has better summoning odds, via the Incursion power, essentially 2 summoning rolls per turn or summoning after moving, and access to the Dark Pact Stratagem, which is fully compatible with Incursion. Adding in a Venomcrawler instead of one of the Havocs lets you add 1 to the summoning rolls of the Master if they're within 6" of it. Greater Possessed are also helpful, albeit in a more limited fashion, but with the Mark of Khorne, can engage in some shenanigans via the Skull Altar.
- Belakor as an unaligned daemon can serve as a summoning source too after he will have reached melee and won't move a lot. You can hide him behind other units too.
- Keeping points in reserve means flexibility but on the other hand it means a lot of unused points until summoning and the charge after summoning is not guaranteed and might cost another round.
- When fielding Pink Horrors, one should try to benefit from splitting, so here will be some unallocated points in your list. If your opponent is unwilling/unable to kill your Pinkys, summon the "reserved" Blues & Brimeys where they can tarpit/smite something. A Horror unit is 5 Power ,so on three dice... You do the math.
CSM prince summoner
This works best with a prince of nurgle,slaanesh, or tzeentch with wings. Choose warptime as your power. The turn that you want to summon your daemon units dont move the prince at the end of the movement phase summon your unit 12 inches away and 9 inchs away from the enemy in a U shaped formation. In the psychic phase cast warptime to move your prince near the front of the U formation , the front models will screen your 8 wound character from enemy fire. Now in that assault phase you can now charge with your prince and the infantry deamon unit taking full affect of that reroll 1's ability of the prince ... pure nasty combo. Personally i think 20 demonettes and a winged prince of slaanesh is the perfect choice for this combo. Keep in mind if you have an instrument of chaos your charge target number is only 8! Doable with command rerolls (More than 9 inchs away, within 1 inch to charge normaly 9, 8 with the instrument thanks to +1 to charge rolls)
Special Note/Tactic against Imperial Knights (and similar Titanic models)
Imperial Knights have a special rule that allows them to fall back "over" some types of models, allowing them to exit melee in the movement phase. They then can shoot at said models, despite having just fallen back. This only works against Infantry and Swarms, so Imperial Knights (and similar Titanic models) can be surrounded and trapped by units of Beasts or Cavalry. Multi-wound models will give them more trouble, as their typical solution to being trapped by multiple models is Stomp, which only does d3 damage per wound (so it won't kill entire multi-wound models, every time). So Flesh hounds, in example, can be used to "pin" an Imperial Knight in place, allowing a Bloodthirster to kill it, without having to be concerned about the cowardly Imperial Knight fleeing combat.
During the Fate of Konor campaign it was brought up by a guy from /m/ that Chaos players should deploy nothing but Soul Grinders, maybe have Chaos Titans, Renegade Knights, and/or Daemon Engines as ally units. The idea boils down to having at least one grinder from every Chaos God and unload artillery from a distance. The problem with this tactic is that it requires A) The game set at least 1000 points due to one being 235 in 8th edition and B) Not go up against range favoring armies like Necrons and Tau because Soul Grinders aren't as fast as they once were. Cheesy, but expensive. The name comes from various tokusatsu (special effects) squadron shows since the idea was brought up by a guy from /m/. A non-god specific traitor legion like the Iron Warriors or Night Lords is recommended if using Titans, Knights, or Daemon Engines, preferably for more speed to spread out on the battlefield. This tactic is ideal for bigger matches and for those that prefer wipe out strategies over securing objectives.
Friends and Allies
Renegades and Heretics
There are a few things your heretical mudfoots can offer their masters, and all on a budget! The most obvious thing is a CP battery brigade, perhaps the cheapest in the game. If you're going bare minimum, you can drop ~600 points on a big pile of GEQs and a few Chaos griblies and still have plenty of points left over for your big boys/girls. Second is summoning fodder. Renegade Commanders and Enforcers are some of the cheapest Chaos CHARACTERS in the game, and are mostly likely going to be undivided to boot, letting you use Daemonic Ritual without risking a much more valuable and expensive CSM or Daemon CHARACTER. Finally, R&Hs bring what Chaos Daemons painfully lack: long range fire support. Leman Russes, Basilisks, Malcadors and even the mighty Baneblade, there will certainly be something you can use. And if your opponent doesn't seem concerned about a Daemon horde advancing under the cover of an Earthshaker barrage, check their pulse because they're likely dead.
The obvious choice for both fluff and functionality. Several CSM units have the daemon keyword, which allows buffs from your heralds, greater daemons, psychic powers
and stratagems. Aside from the synergies there CSM also have a lot of the heavy shooting Daemons don't have, with Havocs providing cheap fire support, Predators for dealing with infantry and tanks depending on loadout, Fiends having either big scary guns or big meaty claws to spook heavy infantry and armor, Obliterators for a crippling mass of fire from out of nowhere, and lastly Defilers for being better than Soul Grinders in every conceivable way. Cultists also give you a cheap fodder unit to camp objectives and hold angles while your blocks of daemon troops are busy getting shit done. Rhinos are also a nice thing to grab since they can block enemy LOS and allow your squishier daemons like Bloodletters or Daemonettes to run from cover to cover and set up charges unmolested.
- Seriously, the buffs Defilers have had through the edition change and FAQ put Soul Grinders to shame, since they're so much cheaper base, can take heavier or punchier weapons, AND have a (albeit CP-intensive) method of ignoring heavy weapon penalties on the move. The only thing that sets the Grinders apart is their daemon allegiance, but even then the amount of overpay for a unit that's permanently stuck between trying to shoot things and trying to punch things makes it not all that worthwhile by comparison.
- As mentioned above CSM are also the masters of Daemonic Ritual, since unmarked characters can summon any god's daemons, and both death guard and thousand sons have stratagems that make summoning even greater daemons a trivial task, rolling 4 dice for the test and ignoring the mortal wounds in the process! This is not even mentioning the Daemons' own stratagems that make summoning better, like Soul Sacrifice and Daemonic Pact! While holding lots of points back can leave you vulnerable to getting alpha-striked, you essentially have maphacks since you get to see your opponent's entire army deployed and moving with the ability to drop the appropriate counter unit right when you need it, and in the cases of some characters like biker/jump pack Sorcerers and Daemon Princes you have the mobility to drop hard counters right in front of them. Throw Flamers/Burning Chariots next to gunlines, Bloodcrushers next to terminators, Plaguebearers and splitting Horrors into cover and objectives, 30 Bloodletters with banner of blood into charge range. Summoning may no longer by a powerful attrition tactic, but it does give a crazy amount of flexibility when properly built around. With the Big FAQ's new Tactical Reserves rule you're now much less likely to get your ass blasted off the board on the first turn now, so this strategy has become less fragile. DO keep in mind that this does mean you won't be able to summon on the first turn, but you should be using that time to run your summoners up the board anyway.
- You can summon on the first turn. The Tactical Reserves rule only applies to units that are listed in your army, and not deployed to the battlefield already. This means there are two exceptions to it: The first one is if the unit was already on the battlefield and then redeployed via some deep strike, and the second, more relevant, is if the unit was never included in your army. Summoned units aren't listed in your army.
- In particular Epidemius' tally will be increased by, and subsequently affect nurgle Possessed, Warp Talons, daemon engine and cult of destruction units. Since it is also possible to take detachments based around a god keyword, if you don't mind losing out on legion traits and daemon loci, you can take a nurgle detachment with Epidemius and a couple Poxbringers at the helm and fill out the rest with some Forge/Maulerfiends, Obliterators, and Defilers. Add in some of the new death guard engines like the Plagueburst Crawler, Myphitic Blight-Hauler and Foetid Bloat-Drone for added synergy and hilarity. Take small patrols of CSM and Daemons afterwards to turn stratagems back on and enjoy the possibility of T8 Daemon Engines rerolling hits and wounds. Papa Bless.
- Obliterators + feculent gnarlmaws. No more needs to be said.
With the release of the Renegade Knights codex via a Games Workshop FAQ, bringing a Knight to assist your daemons became a lot easier; points for the typical Renegade Knights were lowered slightly, and Renegade Knights Dominus and Renegade Armigers were added as well. As the best Daemon codex unit for long-range fire support was the Soul Grinder and its 4+ BS, replacing it with a single Knight as a Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment lets you have that long-range fire support (give the knight two of whatever ranged weapon you want, which loyalist Knights aren't allowed to take and is its main advantage over them and their Knight Houses) and don't forget the Renegade Knight strategem letting you reroll all failed hit rolls for a knight in a single phase for 2 CP. Or, run it as a close-combat knight and make your opponent choose which group of foes he wants to get killed by. Alternatively, Knights Dominus give some anti-Lord of War capabilities with the Volcano Lance and its 3d3 damage per hit, and if points are more restricted, Armigers aren't too shabby either. Though take more than one or two super-heavies and you'll be Knights supported by Daemons more than Daemons supported by Knights.
A description goes here.
- Purge the Enemy
- Bring it Down
- Titan Slayers
- Slay the Warlord
-Abhor the Witch
- No Mercy, No Respite
- Thin their Ranks
- While We Stand, We Fight
- First Strike
- Battlefield Supremacy
- Engage on All Fronts
- Shadow Operations
- Raise the Banners High
- Repair Teleportation Homer
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