Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Daemons of the Ruinstorm (30k)
Although Word Bearers have been able to take Codex: Daemon as an allied detachment for some time now, ForgeWorld has finally put together an army list for the warp-gribblies
Why play Daemons
Daemons of the Ruinstorm might well be the most customizable list in 30k, while Militia and Cults lets you design your army however you want, Daemons lets you design every unit to do whatever task you need them to. Furthermore, they are explicitly made to support just about every possible model that could be described as "demonic" or "monstrous", so the sky's the limit as far as modeling them is concerned.
- Daemon of the Ruinstorm: Start off pretty basic. Fear (with immunity to Fear), 5++ invulnerable save, ability to auto-pass regroup and pinning checks, but can never fail morale if they're outmatched. If they ever fall back, they instead suffer Perils (which is on a unique table for them. On a 1, they go WS/BS/I 1, take d3 automatic wounds with no saves, and lose all Warp Charges if casting. On a 2-5, just suffer d3 automatic wounds without saves and both sides get d3+1 warp charges if casting. On a 6, add +1 to WS/BS/I and gain you get d3 charges.). If you do decide to flee, don't bring them towards the warp markers, as they'll count as having fled the battle.
- Parting the Veil: All your daemons are in reserve and instead you place 5" circular markers (3 for a main army, 1 for an allied detachment) in a clear space 6" from the edges and 12" from other warp markers and objectives. These things do have a use, though, in that they block all infiltrators within 12", count as impassable terrain and give grant a cover save from shooting as if it was an intervening model. These give your daemons a means to enter from reserves on turn 1 on a 3+, paying absolutely no heed to any reserve modifiers made by your legionaries. All Daemons of the Ruinstorm can re-roll their invulnerable saves if they are within 6" of a warp rift, including your opponents warp rifts.
- Tides of Madness: The strength and toughness of these units are subject to how long the battle's lasted. While they're stronger for the first two turns, after turn four they start getting weaker and weaker, meaning that you need to kill fast.
First things first, you may take a Aetheric Dominion, which basically means which mysterious intelligence your army is representing, there are 6. Each gives you access to specific tools, warlord traits, and a new primary objective you can select instead of the normal ones for the scenario.
- Resplendent Terror: Your generalist dominion, this lets you select anything from any other dominion, but without any further benefit. Your new objective grants 1 VP whenever you destroy an enemy unit or make an enemy unit flee the battlefield.
- Crimson Fury: You give Rage to your infantry, beast, and cavalry units and Rampage to your monstrous and gargantuan creatures. Any models can get the Brass Collar emanation. Your objective gives 1 VP for any unit killed in combat (friend or foe), be it from combat, overwatch, or sweeping.
- Maddening Swarms: Your units can all take an extra emanation. Your new objective gives you 1 VP for every unit you kill with a psychic power, netting a bonus if the power used up 4+ power points.
- Creeping Scourge: Your infantry, beast, and cavalry units get a 5+ FnP while your monstrous and gargantuan units gain IWND instead, while both must roll an extra d6 when charging or running and pick the lowest. Everyone has access to Miasma of Rot. Your new objective only nets you 2 VP at the end of the game for each table quarter that has a warp rift with no enemies within 6" of it, but a friendly daemon is within 6". This includes enemy warp rifts in a daemon mirror match.
- Lurid Onslaught: Your entire army gets Hit and Run, but now the only cover they will ever benefit from is from Jink. All units can buy Stupefying Musk. Your new objectives let you score 1 VP for every failed morale check that isn't a regroup check, but if any unit ever passes by rolling a double 1 you lose d3 VP.
- Mirror of Hate: Your entire army now hates daemons and psykers and will never ally with anyone. Your new objective gives you +1 VP for every daemon or psyker unit you kill, but you lose 1 VP for every daemon or psyker unit you lose. If, at the end of this whole mess, your total score is 0 VP, you're considered the winner. Because Nihilism.
Emanations of Horror
Because of how 'new' and undocumented daemons were in this age, you have the free reign to build whatever weirdass monstrosities you want using a list of mutations familiar to 4E Tyranids players rather than the gifts of 6/7E Daemons.
- Miasma of Rot (Creeping Scourge): Any models in base contact or engaged with a unit with this rule take -1 to their Toughness (or -1 to the AV on all sides if facing a vehicle).
- Brass Collars (Crimson Fury): Adamantium Will and a 3+ Save. By the Gods, they've done it...they brought back the 3E Bloodletters...sorta. Objectively better than Warp-Scaled Hide and frequently cheaper.
- Stupefying Musk (Lurid Onslaught): Any model charged by or engaged with a unit using this rule must test Morale each fight phase or have their Initiative reduced by 1, which is not devastating, but can be useful.
- Warp Scions (Maddening Swarms): Only available to your lower units, but it gives them Brotherhood of Psykers at PL1 and access to either Smite, Flame Breath, Assail, or Psychic Shriek.
- Crushing Claws: Give your models the Rending in close combat
- Flensing Talons: Your models can buy Shred for cheaper than they can buy the more prevalent Rending.
- Horned Crown: Grants Hammer of Wrath, and ups it to d3 hits if the unit already has it.
- Sundering Fangs: Any model in this unit can give up their attacks to make one big blow at double their strength (max 10) with Sunder.
- Bone Shard Harpoons: Cheap ranged attacks. S:User and AP4 with Pinning.
- Corrosive Vomit: Every one per three models can make an S:User AP5 template attack with Soul Blaze. One per three models means you can now have an entire mob of daemons just laying down the mother of all overwatches against biker gangs. Sadly, against lone praetors you can only fire one shot since each shot has to be targeted towards someone else.
- Flaming Ichor: Another shooting attack for every one in five models, now in diet phosphex flavor. 12" S:User AP5 assault 1 small blast with Soul Blaze and Crawling Fire. It's hardly going to wipe out any number of legionaries in an instant, but it's a dogged persistent thing.
- Rift Barb: Gives you a 12" S+2 AP3 shot with Armourbane in case you don't like contending with tanks or dreads up close.
- Spine Volley: The cheap shooting attack. At S-1 AP5 and Assault 2, you're essentially rapid firing warp bolters for first few turns.
- Daemonic Wings: Your infantry models are now jump infantry models. Be aware that your monstrous creatures become Jump MC, not Flying MC.
- Ephemeral Terror: Super cheap. Your unit now suffers no penalties to Initiative when charging through terrain, but returns to base initiative afterwards.
- Lord of Sorcery: Only available to Daemon Lords, Greater Daemons, and Chosen. Two levels can be purchased for Greater Daemon and Chosen and access to any discipline that isn't Daemonology. A Daemon Lord can than buy as many level as it wants. Your models select powers, not generate, so customize your power list as you like.
- Molten Blood: We've seen similar rules here: unsaved wounds deal an S:User AP- hit upon those who inflict it.
- Shroud of Darkness: Anyone charging your unit can't get an extra attack. While the big leagues won't be too broken up by this, the smaller ones will hurt hard.
- Quicksilver Speed: Units gain Fleet and Move through cover. Can be useful on basic troops, but full use is wasted on over half the army list.
- Warp-Scaled Hide: A 3+ save for the other daemons, but considerably more expensive for the non-mook daemons.
- Resplendent Terror: May generate Warlord Trait from any of the other Aetheric Dominion tables.
- Crimson Fury
- Skull Keeper: Your warlord gains a 6" bubble that increases fight resolutions by D3 for friendly daemons within. Ka'bandha has this.
- Aegis of Rage: Your warlord gains the ability to Deny the Witch any power that targets your warlord or any friendly unit within 12", as if they were a psyker of a higher mastery level than the caster.
- Path of Blood: When your warlord charges, they roll a number of dice equal to their Attack value and choose the two highest.
- Creeping Scourge
- Blight Walker: Your warlord and any friendly ruinstorm units within 6" always roll a 6 on Dangerous and Difficult terrain tests.
- Monolith of Rot: May re-roll all failed FNP and IWND.
- Pestilent Cloud: 3" bubble that deals D6 S2 AP- hits to all non-ruinstorm units at the end of the Fight sub-phase. Easily the weakest of this bunch.
- Lurid Onslaught:
- Inhuman Grace: Warlord's initiative increases to be equal to the a faster opponent's in a challenge.
- Flicker Gait: Warlord and any friendly ruinstorm units within 6" always max their run roll.
- Looping Charge Warlord and any friendly ruinstorm units within 6" add +1 to their charge rolls. Makes charge range 13" for these units.
- Maddening Swarms:
- Font of Madness: Warlord creates +1 Warp Charge. If they aren't a psyker than they produce D3 warp charges, but you wouldn't have a non-psyker Warlord, would you?
- Aetheric Lightning Rod: Your Warlord gains +1 Attack for each unit within 6" that has the Psyker special rule in the Assault phase. At minimum this is +1 Attack.
- Oracle of Chaos: If your Warlord is alive and on the battlefield, friendly units can re-roll Reserve rolls, as well as table edge rolls for Outflank.
- Mirror of Hate
- The All is One: Your Warlord can gain the WS and/or Initiative of any Psyker or Daemon they are in a challenge with.
- Avatar of Hatred: Warlord has perma-Hatred for daemons and psykers.
- Inimitable Recursion: Your Warlord is given another shot to live upon death. On a roll of a 6 on a D6, they are fully healed and shunted back to Ongoing reserves; this ability can trigger multiple times in a game, causing you to give up Slay the Warlord each time.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Lord: Hardcapped at 0-1, the Daemon Lord is the equivalent of a Praetor for your forces who is always the Warlord when chosen. These guys are the equivalents to your greater daemons as an MC with Strength 8 and WS 6/BS 5 for a good all-rounder. Of course, his vital importance allows him to drop in guaranteed on the first turn. You must roll normally if you wait until Turn 2+. The Daemon Lord can bring a group of special Daemon Brutes who can take shots for the Daemon Lord like the true bodyguard they are. Your lord can forgo his retinue for the ability to soar among the clouds. Flying Monstrous Creatures are one of your few ways to deal with Flyers. A Daemon Lord can select from up to three emanations and has NO hardcap on Lord of Sorcery levels. Select Biomancy powers and you can easily have a S10 T9 A8 whirlwind of carnage for starters.
- Ruinstorm Greater Daemon: These represent your normal greater daemons, we all know and love. Can select up to three emanations.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Chosen: These are your Heralds. At the start of the game, can select what is it's Preferred Enemy of choice. Your only character than can join the troops and with certain powers can make a unit that is very hard to remove. The Chosen has a choice of three emanations and is one of few units that can be a full blow psyker.
- Do note that thanks to the wording, they can choose to have Terminal Lucidity Injectors, or Empath Bonds for some cheeky Eternal Warrior (highly recommended). They are also the only models in your army who can take either of these, or any Psyarkana for that matter.
- Ka'bandha, Daemon General of Signus: Ka'bandha costs over twice as much as a generic Daemon Lord, but for that you get WS9, T7, 8W, I6, 7 Attacks, and a 3+ save, as well as Sunder and It Will Not Die. His Emanations are preset as Horned Crown, Brass Collar, and Molten Blood. He adds +1 to the number of attacks he and allied models within 12" make from Rampage and also gets 4++ when in a challenge, and just in case something survived combat with him in a previous assault he can place a Hellstorm template that hits anything that it covers with S6 AP- attacks equal to the number of wounds he scored in that last fight sub-phase.
- If an enemy army includes Sanguinius, Ka'bandha gains Preferred Enemy and Hatred against him and gains a new Secondary Objective; if Ka'bandha defeats Sanguinius in a challenge he gains 2 VP, but loses 1 VP if Sanguinius defeats him. More thematic than anything else, but it's something to take note of.
- Samus Unbound, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm:
- Cor'Bax Utterblight Unbound, Daemon Prince of the Ruinstorm:
- Ruinstorm Daemon Brutes: While not quite as strong as a Greater Daemon, these guys are still plenty strong for Infantry and possess three wounds each. In addition, you can buy up to three of these guys to act as a bodyguard for your footslogging Daemon Lord, giving a massive wall of bodies. Can guarantee to materialize in the mortal realm on the first turn. Up to two Emanation options.
The auto arrive turn one cannot be overstated enough. In an army where you will pretty much be deploying nothing on the board, these guys stop you losing turn one right off the bat due to bad dice rolls or oppression from afar. Give them the 3+ right away, just do it. These guys are basically Castellax when they arrive just without the guns, so taking a couple of units of these with a 3+ and rending gives you some really durable units turn one that can crump mortals pretty reliably. Other emanations are good, but you really want that armour save if you can, otherwise you're at the mercy of autocannons and heavy bolters which are a lot more common than you think.
- Ruinstorm Lesser Daemons: Your basic foot infantry, starting with five daemons with two wounds and two attacks with fours in the rest for 12 points each, while this seems cheap for a pretty good stat line buying emanations can rack up the points really quickly.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Beasts: Base unit of 3 beasts and room to grow for up to 10. Beasts are stronger, faster, and tougher than Lesser Daemons. May only take two emanations. The Quicksilver Speed emanation is completely wasted on this unit.
These guys are better than lesser daemons for only a little bit more cost, and move faster on top of that. Giving your beasts rending and 3+ saves is a good shout if you don't have anything more specific planned for them, as heavy bolter fire will delete these guys without a decent save.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Swarms: Four wound models for twenty points each. They can only take a single emanation.
Adorable little balls of demonic goodness, these guys are great for tarpits and holding backfield objectives if you are crazy enough to play the objectives like a real astartes! Beware when it gets to the later turns of the game as these guys getting ID'd by bolter fire is funny for approximately 0.12seconds then it becomes soul draining. Rending is good on these guys to threaten the bads that will inevitably be sent after them.
- Ruinstorm Possessed: Your choice of auxilia or legionaries hosting neverborn with no mixing between the choices. They have a rather nice variety of options, including being your only venue for melta, plasma, and power weapons (for legionaries). You can also throw them in as disposable chaff, since they're only Support Units and while they never score and are barred from joining Independent Characters, but your enemy scores nothing from killing them and allow you to have a presence on the board until your daemonic legions enter the field.
- Deploying normally also makes them useful for defending Warp rifts if you decided to set them up in your own deployment zone.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Calvary: Calvary are fast and killy, coupled with a certain Emanations and Dominions. Can only take two emanations but already has Hammer of Wrath, so a good candidate for Horned Crown. Contends with a Flying Monstrous Creature in the limited FA slots. Do not take Quicksilver Speed.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Shrike: Very similar to Daemon Princes of old, minus psychic shenanigans, the Shrike is a flying monstrous creature that will be in your opponents backfield in no time. Vector Strikes coupled with Rift Barbs is one of the few sources of anti-air you can muster. Can select from two of the emanations.
- Greater Ruinstorm Daemon Beast: A cheap MC that be taken in a squad of up to three. S8 means Rift Barbs are S10 if you feel you need some anti-tank. Great Beasts get three emanations.
- Ruinstorm Daemon Behemoth: A monstrosity that is between a monstrous creature and a gargantuan one. Stealing a rule that normally belongs to Gargantuan creatures, the Behemoth is the only non-character MC that won't get gibbed by Instant Death. T7 and W10 this bad boy won't be leaving the game for a while.
Lord of War
- Ruinstorm Arch Daemon: And here they are. The real motherfuckers. The Exalted Greater Daemons. 10 wounds, S9/T8, and 6 attacks on a gargantuan creature with an innate 4+/5++ save for prices beyond most Primarchs at 600 points. Unlike the other daemons, these monstrosities get their own list of emanations to buy up to three of. Your Arch Daemon can also change it's type from Gargantuan Creature to the even more impressive Flying Gargantuan Creature for only a
modesta lot amount of points. No more do you have to worry about being the focus of your enemies armies, while you move towards their line.
- Lord of Chaos: Increasing this daemons invulnerable save to 4++ to shooting and 3++ in combat. More reason for primarchs to run away from you.
- Always take this, seriously this is your go-to upgrade.
- Reaper of Souls: Trade your attacks for a number of attacks equal to any one enemy unit you are in combat at half strength. Coupled with your stomps you aren't getting tarpitted.
- Breaker of Titans: The gargantuan equivalent of a titan-stomp. Halve the number of attacks they have to slap the targets with Destroyer hits. Do save this to crush titans (of course) and annoying primarchs.
- Font of the Warp: Gain Psyker ML4 and adding your current remaining wounds to your warp pool instead of your psyker level. Still can't use Daemonolgy powers though. This is the single most expensive upgrade available at 100 points.
- Wound in Reality: Self-Destruct mode activate! If Beyond Death prevents your daemon from dying, this is how they die in the most spectacular way possible. Like Catastrophic Damage bad.
- Beyond Death: You get a security policy for your big bad daemon dying like a bitch. Upon dying, you have a 50% chance of recovering d6 wounds. This is plenty expensive, but it means that this thing can hand around for a little longer to kill.
- Torrent of Unreality: Your first shooting power grants an S6 AP4 Hellstorm attack with Soul Blaze. It'll cook hordes of auxilia, and it's still able to safely harm legionaries.
- Warp Burst: Your second shooting attack gives an S8 AP4 assault 1 massive blast. While legionaries can save on this, it's pretty much overkill on them.
- Rend Time and Space: You can place another rift marker within 6" of the table edges and 2" from the model, giving you a possible means to deploy from the middle or from enemy territory. Be wary though, you can't be engaged when doing this and it only happens at the end of your turn. This can be used to gain an additional VP for Creeping Scourge objective.
- Warp-forged Plate: Gain equivalent to artificer armor.
- Lord of Chaos: Increasing this daemons invulnerable save to 4++ to shooting and 3++ in combat. More reason for primarchs to run away from you.
At the time of release of Book 8 Malevolence, many models from the classic Citadel and Forge World ranges were variously compatible or incompatible with the base size chart given for Daemons of the Ruinstorm. The base size chart helps to encourage but also standardize custom modeling to keep things reasonable while still allowing plenty of (if not complete) freedom. However, it also makes things tricky for people with existing Citadel and Forge World Daemons-range models who want to get representations of their choice of units on the table as quickly and easily as possible.
So here is an (incomplete) table of compatible models. Expect this to be a controversial list and subject to a lot of revision; but remember that these are almost entirely opinions, and not authoritative. Many players will create all kinds of interesting conversions, and many opponents will not very strictly care about exact base sizes. Conversely, some players may find, for example, Beastmen/Lizardmen/Skaven/Ghoul models to better represent Militia and Cults forces, and not be appropriate models for representing Daemons lists (unmodified); similarly, Chaos Space Marine Daemon Engines may not be appreciated without extensive conversion work.
|Unit||Appropriate Daemons-range models on the correct base||Appropriate Daemons-range models needing a different base to the one they come with|| Potentially appropriate models from other ranges
(that may or may not need rebasing and/or conversion)
|Ruinstorm Daemon Lord||
|Ruinstorm Greater Daemon||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Chosen||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Brute||
|Ruinstorm Lesser Daemons||
|Ruinstorm Possessed (Auxiliary)||
|Ruinstorm Possessed (Legionary)||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Beasts||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Swarms||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Cavalry||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Shrikes||
|Ruinstorm Greater Daemon Beasts||
|Ruinstorm Daemon Behemoth||
Other Citadel/Forge World Daemons-range models with no obvious category:
- Flesh Hounds of Khorne
- Bloodcrushers of Khorne
- Blood Slaughterer of Khorne
- Plague Toad of Nurgle
- Blood Throne of Khorne
- Skull Cannon of Khorne
- Could possibly be a Greater Daemon Beast with Rift Barb
- Brass Scorpion of Khorne
- Cannon of Khorne (Armorcast)
- Blood Cauldron of Khorne (Armorcast)
- Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh
- Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh
- Hellflayer of Slaanesh
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch
- Feculent Gnarlmaw - Warp Rift
- The Blue Scribes
Threats and Counters
It should be noted that the Daemons of the Ruinstorm list was designed with several weaknesses in mind, and it's your job to find ways of working around them. For starters let's go over the single biggest threat:
WATCH THE FUCK OUT FOR INSTANT DEATH WEAPONRY.
This needs to be stated, then restated, then carved into your skin next to the Hexagrammic Wards. Why is this so much of an issue for you, even moreso than armies like Talons of the Emperor? Simple, it's because the Custodes do not have their stats degrade over the course of the battle, and it's much harder to stack these effects on them. Starting off with cheap troops that are S5, T5 and 2 Wounds sounds awesome, but when they're going to start getting hit by power fists or similar weaponry in turn 3, or instantly killed by quad-mortars spamming out shatter shells it's going to be significantly less so. Daemon Swarms have this same problem but in a much worse way, that being as soon as turn 5 hits you can lose the entire unit because bolter fire will instantly kill them (this can also happen turn 3 if they're anywhere near Sisters of Silence, or if you're up against Solar Auxilia using Blast-chargers). Most importantly, any kind of Dreadnought with a fist will fuck your day up royally.
Now with that in mind, maybe you're thinking you're going to go for the tougher models then, the ones who are T6 base, so even when turn 5 rolls around they'll still be T5, sounds good right? Well hold on a second, because something a lot of armies can take is Melta Bombs. They don't seem too bad at first because they're going to only cause one wound and the models with them can only make one attack after you've made yours, what if your opponent is taking Rad Grenades or has either allied in or is playing Mechanicum? All of a sudden that 160+ point T5 model is going to become T4, and they'll go up instantly to a single successful Melta bomb or Power Fist (naturally this also gets a lot worse if your opponent is using Custodes). This can even happen as early as turn 3 if you're playing against an army that has at least two of the following: Sisters of Silence, Rad Grenades, Rad Furnaces, a Psyker who rolled up Enfeeble.
As a whole Melta Bombs and Krak Grenades are going to be a great threat because of the sheer number of them the enemy can use against you in melee, especially since even the Krak Grenades are going to outright ignore your native save, forcing you to rely on that 5++. Because of this, don't write off options like Daemon Brutes just because you can take Greater Daemons, Daemon Shrikes or Greater Ruinstorm Daemon Beasts. A unit of Daemon Brutes might just be infantry (and therefore won't ignore saves unless you want to try using Crushing Claws), but they're going to be so much harder to kill compared to the others as your opponent cannot choose to use Krak Grenades/Melta Bombs against them.
As a rule, anything that can ID you from afar needs to go immediately. Adrathic Weapons? Get those involved in combat as soon as possible, preferably by charging them with one of your troops and then a monster so that the monster doesn't die to lucky overwatch fire. Vindicators? Throw Rift Barbs at them immediately. Even shit that carries anything with the Psi-shock rule needs to go if you've bought mastery levels for your Daemons, because you're going to find those 6-10 wounds evaporating really fucking quickly. If you're up against Sisters of Silence or those new Destroyer Squads who can spam this shit then taking Font of the Warp for your Arch-Daemon is the equivalent of pissing 700+ points away (on top of losing your Lord of War).
So what else can you do about it? Fortunately for you, there are options. The first is to consider whether or not you really want your Daemon Lords to be flying solo. On the one hand, flying Monstrous Creatures are great and have a lot of additional survivability thanks to everything without Skyfire being forced to snap shot them. On the other hand, Skyfire's a thing, as are grounding tests, as is the fact that you have to use up an entire turn to change your flight mode and the fact that your stats are only going to get worse. Because of this, if you want a mobile but survivable Daemon Lord who you plan to get into combat, consider getting a few Daemonic Brutes to go with him and giving them all Daemonic Wings (yes you're just a jump unit).
Another thing you can do, if you're not against somebody ready to spam out Psi-shock, is buy several mastery levels for your Daemon Lord and pick Endurance. Giving your Daemons Eternal Warrior takes away the biggest downside of using them and the Feel No Pain's going to help a lot with the saves the Krak Grenades are going to force on your monsters. You can also buy Warp-scaled Hide or Brass Collars (even if you're not up against any Psykers, because it's cheaper than Warp-scaled Hide) purely because saving a wound on a 3+ is much more likely than it is on a 5+.
Another option is to invest in Possessed. They're your only real choice for ranged AP2 (discounting allies and psychic powers like Smite), they're cheap, and you can put a ton of models in the unit which translates to a shitload of bodies on the table. Try to go up to Legionairies if you can or get them some sort of cover, just so that the whole squad doesn't evaporate when a Volkite weapon looks at them funny. The fact that they don't have their stats degrade over time is also a plus.
Finally your last option for dealing with ID weaponry, is to ally in something else that can take care of them for you. Enemy Vindicator? Get Laser Destroyers or squads with Tempest Grenades. Sagittarum Guard? Get your own Vindicator. Worried that your decreased stats will take away from your ability to hold objectives? Get Troops from somewhere else and charge on ahead. Failing this you can also try to mitigate how much your troops get shot by adding in something much more immediately threatening, like a Thanatar or a unit of Castellax. Hell, if you're playing a large points game your could even go in with the big boy. Also make sure to never forget that you're technically Sworn Brothers with all Traitors, which means that you can buff them with Warlord Traits and Daemon Chosen. Plasma Support squads are going to be much more deadly for your opponent if you can re-roll Get's Hot and failed wound rolls, while also providing the ranged AP2 your list lacks. Word Bearers in particular are a good choice since they have access to Malefic Daemonology.