BoLS Lounge : Wargames, Warhammer & Miniatures Forum
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 47
  1. #1

    Default Chaos Daemons Tactica

    Hey all, thought I would bump all of my recent Daemons articles into one here - I've kept some of the 'introduction and closing' comments for when/if these are eventually posted up on the front page. I'm working on the Exalted Gifts section right now, though the other two are done. I'm also working on some mono-god specific articles, but I will simply add links to those in either the first or last post. Cheers, and enjoy!

    Chaos Daemons

    Howdy all, Learn2Eel here with my latest Tactica series - this time, I will be highlighting the new and improved Chaos Daemons! Having already been one of the more unique armies in the game, Chaos Daemons have seen a complete overhaul - perhaps the most significant in many years. This means that many old crux units and strategies simply will not work as in their previous incarnation, but there are a lot of stronger and cheaper units to compensate for this, as well as a focus on more balanced army lists. Though I think they are great changes for the most part, the real weight is on you - I am very interested to see the community's reactions to this codex! In any case, without wasting any more of your time, read on - I hope you enjoy this long and arduous work!
    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.


    Army Wide Special Rules and the Warlord Traits

    Chaos Daemons have a host of unique traits and special rules that need to be covered separately - they are absolutely integral to how the army works, rather than being more of a supplementary set of rules to benefit their units. More so than any other army, these rules unique to Daemons can have a staggering effect on the game. It also emphasises the value of looking at a unit in context, rather than judging it on its own merits.

    Daemon - Though this is a special rule that is found in the main rulebook, it is important to note that every individual unit in the codex - from the lowly Pink Horrors to the mighty Soul Grinders - is a Daemon. In this sense, every unit in our codex has a 5+ invulnerable save, in addition to any regular armour save they may have - though these are usually restricted only to Khorne Daemons. This obviously means that against armies whom rely more on small quantities of low AP shooting, such as Thousand Sons or plasma-spam forces, we have the distinct benefit of receiving a meaty save without requiring cover. However, that is the meat of the issue - cover is readily available in 6th Edition Warhammer 40000, and this means that the distinct advantage of having an invulnerable save often relegated only to commanders is minimised significantly. However, unlike other armies, this save applies in combat - our preferred field of battle. Obviously though, against typical armies that have massed quantities of anti-infantry firepower, Chaos Daemons will be left only with weak saves. Another note is that the 'Daemon' special rule means the user causes Fear - meaning that our already strong combat units can become even more devastating against armies such as Imperial Guard or Tau. It is important to note that this rule does not affect any Loyalist Space Marine unit, and as such its effectiveness is limited - as well, many units that it would work against typically would crumble in combat anyway. As such, its best purpose is as a minor defence that can potentially force opponents to hit your units on fives in combat rather than fours or threes - it is unreliable though, and shouldn't be counted on.

    Daemonic Alignment - Every unit in the codex - with the exception of Chaos Furies - is dedicated to one of the four gods of Chaos, meaning that they have their own unique special rules as a result. Daemons that share a different god cannot join each others' unit - a Herald of Tzeentch cannot choose to join a unit of Bloodletters of Khorne. This means that you cannot choose to maximise the effects of two gods, coalescing in the same unit - meaning you need to think about the different benefits of each god when considering what units to field. Despite this, any Daemon unit that can cast psychic powers can use these to benefit units belonging to other Chaos gods - effects and benefits are shared, unless stated otherwise, meaning Endurance cast by a Great Unclean One of Nurgle can affect a unit of Seekers of Slaanesh. In addition, depending on the alignment of any particular Daemon unit, it will have the Hatred special rule against their opposing alignment - Daemons of Slaanesh 'hate' Daemons of Khorne, and vice versa. Though this has no bearing on your own army list, it is important to remember against enemy Chaos Daemons armies, and Chaos Space Marines armies featuring marked Daemons - those re-rolls to hit both ways can make a significant difference to a combat result. It is also important to note that a Daemons' alignment can affect what damage they can potentially receive from the 'Warp Storm' - but that will be covered later. Remember these restrictions and possibilities when formulating an army list, and you will be well on your way to making a more effective fighting force.

    Daemon of Khorne - Daemons of Khorne have the Furious Charge special rule, meaning that, when combined with Rage from Skarbrand or a Herald of Khorne, their units are far more devastating on the charge than they are when receiving one. Typically, Khorne Daemons are at their best in the first round of combat, when benefits such as Hatred also come into play - though they are commonly no less or more durable than Daemons of other gods, the impetus lies on them wiping out as much of the enemy in combat as quickly as possible due to their generally high cost models. Essentially, making sure to plan your movements and charges well, and minimise the risks of a failed charge or being shot to death, are key to successfully playing Daemons of Khorne. In addition, Chariots with this alignment treat their Hammer of Wrath attacks as Strength seven rather than Strength six - meaning that they hit just that little bit harder on the charge, which can make a decent difference depending on what unit you charge into. Daemons of Khorne also 'hate' Daemons of Slaanesh - though Daemons of Khorne are stronger and typically have a higher Weapon Skill, the Daemons of Slaanesh are quicker and thus potentially benefit more from the re-rolls to hit.

    Daemon of Tzeentch - Daemons of Tzeentch re-roll failed saving throws of 1, and it is important to note that despite having no armour saves and generally low invulnerable saves, this can be very tasty when combined with cover, Night Fighting or certain wargear choices for Heralds and Greater Daemons. This does give them an extra bit of survivability, and it is important to remember as its effects become more pronounced in larger units where re-rolling such failed saves in bulk becomes more likely. Daemons of Tzeentch also have the distinct advantage of adding +3 to their Leadership when performing psychic tests; due to the now lowered Leadership of Daemons across the board, this gives Tzeentch Daemons a much higher chance of successfully casting psychic powers. Though the actual Lore of Tzeentch is weak, they do have access to Divination - which is undoubtedly the best psychic discipline in the game - and thus this benefit is quite important. As well, Daemons of Tzeentch 'hate' Daemons of Nurgle - considering that both forces tend to share similar Weapon Skill values, though Tzeentch Daemons tend to have less Strength and a higher Initiative, I think this balances out pretty well.

    Daemons of Nurgle - Daemons of Nurgle gain the Shrouded special rule, which essentially makes them far more durable when positioned in cover or when Night Fighting rules are in effect. Though the general loss of Feel No Pain and reduced Toughness values does make Daemons of Nurgle less durable in close combat, they are now more survivable than ever against most kinds of shooting when placed in area terrain or ruins - benefiting from a +3 or +2 cover save without even having to go to ground, respectively. This means that typical Daemons of Nurgle, such as Plaguebearers, are premier scoring units for holding back-field objectives - +2 cover saves that can be boosted with Feel No Pain from a cheap Nurgle Herald make for one tough bunker unit that, due to the low cost, can be multiplied more than once without compromising on more offensive units. Certain nasty combinations have come out as a result of Daemons of Nurgle possessing the Shrouded rule - notable amongst them being a Soul Grinder dedicated to Nurgle, plonked in a ruin and firing away. Daemons of Nurgle also, unsurprisingly for Daemon veterans, have the Slow and Purposeful special rule - this means that no Daemon of Nurgle can fire Overwatch, Run or perform a Sweeping Advance. Though this is crippling, most Nurgle Daemons do not possess ranged weapons anyway, and their generally high Toughness compared to other Daemons more than makes up for their plodding pace. Daemons of Nurgle also 'hate' Daemons of Tzeentch - as stated earlier, this doesn't usually swing combat either way, though Nurgle Daemons tend to be better suited to close combat anyway.

    Daemons of Slaanesh - Daemons of Slaanesh have a host of special rules, the first and foremost of which is Fleet - this allows Daemons of Slaanesh not only to re-roll the distance for their Run moves, but also allows them to re-roll charge distances. Both are invaluable in terms of getting into combat as fast as possible, but the latter is perhaps the most important aspect to discuss - re-rolling charge distances can effectively guarantee a charge does not fail, or at least significantly reduce the chances of a bad roll leading to the demise of a unit through shooting. When one considers that almost every individual Daemon of Slaanesh unit needs to be in combat to work effectively - and not be torn apart through massed fire - this is absolutely invaluable in an edition that typically punishes assaulting units. In addition to Fleet, when one thinks about the 'speed' of Slaanesh Daemons, one is vindicated to find that standard Slaanesh Daemons add an additional three inches to any Run moves they make, whereas Cavalry units add a whopping additional six inches to their Run moves. Even the Slaaneshi Chariots add three inches to any Flat Out moves they make! Given that every Slaanesh Daemon can re-roll their basic Run distance due to Fleet, this makes all Slaanesh Daemons incredibly swift, despite commonly foot-slogging up the board, allowing them to make combat much quicker than other typical units of their kind. When one considers that Seekers of Slaanesh can potentially move twenty-four inches in a turn, and have access to deep-strike scatter-reduction icons, this creates a lot of interesting possibilities for Slaanesh Daemon armies to exploit - running up the field in hordes, or coming from Reserves with pin-point accuracy right near the enemy?

    On top of their speed-based rules, all Daemons of Slaanesh additionally have the Rending special rule - meaning their close combat attacks can auto-wound any enemy, regardless of their Toughness, in addition to ignoring their armour save. When one considers the high Weapon Skill and Initiative of all Slaanesh Daemons compared to their peers, this is a massive boon that effectively makes even their basic Troops effective against Terminators and even monstrous creatures, often despite being much cheaper even in significant numbers. It also allows all Slaanesh Daemons to have a decent chance of harming enemy vehicles, allowing them to wreck any vehicle that is AV 12 or lower with some measure of reliability - though AV 11 vehicles are probably the highest tier you should charge into. Their speed, number of attacks and Rending despite their low cost and similar fragility to other Daemons make Daemons of Slaanesh very powerful and cost effective units overall. As a note, Daemons of Slaanesh also 'hate' Daemons of Khorne - though both alignments have their own unique approach to combat, this will usually benefit Daemons of Slaanesh more as their higher Initiative should allow them to kill more Khorne Daemons before they can strike back.

    Daemonic Instability - This is arguably the most unique rule regarding Chaos Daemons, and one that governs how one should approach army-list building regarding the codex. Generally speaking, any unit with Daemonic Instability automatically passes Morale, Pinning and Fear tests, and they can never choose to fail those tests. This means that Daemons won't flee under any circumstances - which is quite advantageous as it means they also can never be destroyed by a Sweeping Advance, and allows them to remain on objectives regardless of casualties. Automatically passing Pinning tests is also very useful, as it means that Daemons can't be rendered near-useless for a turn - for an assault based army, this is invaluable, as it means your units won't be slowed or deterred from combat. That they also automatically pass Fear tests is helpful, owing to the low Leadership of the army and the lack of Fearless or And They Shall Know No Fear - though Fear is generally situational, it would make a big difference if it did affect Daemons, due to them being an assault-focused army. Essentially, Daemons are much like Fearless units, save for one important exception - they can legally go to ground, meaning they can receive boosted cover saves that, on a generally low-save horde-based army, can be critical. This particularly benefits Daemons of Nurgle who can thus receive 4+ cover saves even when out in the open - increasing to 2+ in any kind of terrain. This makes Chaos Daemon units particularly good at holding objectives, even if most of their units lack ranged weapons and thus can only contribute to damaging an opponent through combat. Still, it means you cannot lose an expensive unit of Bloodcrushers to a Sweeping Advance, as would be the case for a unit of Chaos Terminators, for example. However, there are some downsides to this rule - the first of which is that any unit without this special rule cannot join a unit with this special rule. Despite being Battle Brothers with Chaos Space Marines, such allied combinations seem unusually restrictive when compared to others, ranging form Dark Angels and Imperial Guard to Tau and Eldar. It is irritating, though it shouldn't hamper any army list you think of too much.

    The real disadvantage to automatically passing those Leadership-based tests is that if a unit with the Daemonic Instability loses an assault, they have to pass a Leadership test - adding in any modifiers for losing the assault - and for how many points they fail by, they lose that many more wounds with no saves of any kind allowed! As such, losing a combat with Chaos Daemons - especially owing to their naturally low Leadership - can be quite crippling, as it can even more seriously weaken a units combat effectiveness and make the chances of a resurgence less likely. Thankfully, as Chaos Daemon units are cheap and generally very effective in combat, this shouldn't have too much of an impact in most assaults that your units participate in - generally speaking, Chaos Daemons will win assaults against units of near or equal points cost, provided the Daemons haven't suffered too many casualties from shooting. Of course, it is a consideration and a very real possibility - bad rolls, some strong shooting, and so on can all contribute to losing a unit in a hail of glory. It is much alike to the old 5th Edition Warhammer 40000 No Retreat! rules, and in that sense, it isn't too different from Daemons' previous incarnation. Unfortunately, there is a twist; if you roll a double six, the entire unit is destroyed - just like that - and if you roll a double one, all wounds and models lost in that round of combat are restored. This random element, however rare it might be, can make a significant difference to the combat result - and both you and your opponent will no doubt be quite nervous about any potential Daemonic Instability test as a result of this. It can be very harsh, though I think Daemonic Instability still gives Chaos Daemons their identity - it gives our army benefits that other players would long to have on even a few units, though there are some very important negatives to remember. This rule, along with the cheaper nature of Daemons, seems to enforce the notion that you should take larger squads - both to minimise the risks of having to take Daemonic Instability tests, and of actually making it into combat with enough models to win the combat reliably.

    The Warp Storm Table - Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the new codex, the Warp Storm Table is a chart comprised of eleven potential results corresponding to a 2D6 roll - and each of them can have a jaw-dropping effect on any given game. Rolled for at the start of each Chaos Daemons' shooting phase, the Warp Storm Table has several random effects which can severely cripple, or strengthen, friendly Daemon units - conversely, it can cause significant and almost unfair damage to an enemy player, or the Daemon player. The best way to describe the Warp Storm Table is to show a few very real, very likely examples. Imagine that it is the first turn of the game - the Daemons player deployed and started first, and their opponent, using Eldar, is confident of their army list featuring Eldrad attaining victory. Come the shooting phase, the Daemons player rolls an eleven on the Warp Storm Table - meaning a random enemy psyker has to take a Leadership test on 3D6 or be removed from play. Fate strikes, and Eldrad is the randomly determined psyker - the Eldar player sweats, picks up three dice, and rolls - the result? A thirteen, a slightly above average roll. Promptly, Eldrad is removed from play, despite being a 200+ point character that is the crux of the Eldar players' army. A Herald of Khorne is also subsequently spawned within 6" of Eldrad's location - placing it near the Pathfinders, forcing them to have to fire at the Herald of Khorne in their oncoming shooting phase or risk being killed outright. Before anything else has even happened, before the Eldar player has had a chance to move or shoot, they have conceded both First Blood and Slay the Warlord, have lost a unit that is pivotal to their strategy, and have given the Daemons player a free, decently powerful model. The Eldar player's frustration is evident - there was absolutely nothing that could be done, and it has already ruined the game for them on turn one, all down to rolling on a very random and punishing chart.

    Another example. Think of how a Khorne Daemon army, headed by Skarbrand, is butchering the enemy Space Marines player - with the Exiled One at their head, the Khorne Daemons have wrought untold bloodshed. It is the last turn. Though the hordes of Bloodletters are butchering Space Marines at will, the game is drawn by a noose - the Relic is contested by Skarbrand, the Daemon Warlord, fighting off a Tactical Squad. Having had few other alternatives, the Daemon player was forced to charge into the Tactical Squad with Skarbrand - thankfully, this is not too risky a move, as Skarbrand is relatively undamaged and should butcher the remnants of the Tactical Squad, and their supporting Terminators, in this assault phase. To win, all the Daemons player needs to do is keep Skarbrand alive - an easy feat, given the Greater Daemon should murder the remaining models locked in combat. Come the shooting phase, after making the final moves of the turn, the worst should happen - a three is rolled on the Warp Storm Table, meaning that the only Daemon character left on the board, Skarbrand, must take a Daemonic Instability test on 3D6. As one would expect, Skarbrand fails and suffers enough wounds to be killed outright. Not only does this grant Slay the Warlord to the Space Marine player, but the Daemons player now cannot contest the Relic without some very lucky assault moves. In the end, the Space Marine player wins - Bloodcrushers did indeed contest the objective, but forfeiting a victory point for Slay the Warlord gave the Space Marine player a tight win.

    These examples seem rather harsh, do they not? Effects that can, at a whim, turn a game on its head - before it has even started, or long after it has been decided. The sheer horror of this random chart, with those extremes - despite how rare they should be - is that this is rolled for in each Chaos Daemons shooting phase. An effect like this will happen at least once in every standard game, providing average rolls. There is no pattern to it either, meaning that neither the Chaos Daemons player not their opponent can ever effectively plan for it - like a whispered doom, it can strike without warning and completely savage either one, or both players. Of course, there is a balance to be struck - the extreme effects are as likely to affect either player, and thus there is no true favouritism. The more common results will typically be at the whim of a particular Chaos God - Khorne's rage can literally reave the battlefield, potentially striking both enemy units and Slaanesh Daemons. In contrast, Nurgle's pestilence can affect both Daemons of Tzeentch and any enemy unit. Following the alignment rules in terms of which gods hate each other, these random attacks will hit any opposing gods' Daemon units on a 6+, as well as any enemy unit on a 6+ - and these attacks can be absolutely devastating. The six result leads to any affected unit suffering D6 Strength four AP three Poisoned (+4) hits with Ignores Cover. Against a heavily foot-slogging enemy Space Marine army with lots of infantry units, you can potentially wipe out well over one hundred points, and it would not be counted as 'lucky' rolling. Similarly, the eight result leads to every affected unit effectively being hit by a blastmaster - you place a small blast marker, scatter it 2D6 inches, and any friendly or enemy model touched suffers a hit at Strength eight AP three using the Barrage rules. Ergo, it can potentially snipe out both the special weapon and heavy weapon-wielders in a squad, and the Sergeant, and reliably kill off a few others. Double this across an army, and it can both neuter and severely damage multiple units.

    Though I feel these effects are 'balanced', in the sense that they will severely affect the enemy as much as the Chaos Daemons player - though the pure damage results should hit enemy units more often - they are so random and indefensible that they can almost unfairly swing a game in any direction without warning. Mitigation is possible for the Chaos Daemons player, both by either taking a mono-god build or by taking Instruments wherever possible - but this same advantage is not carried over to enemy players, unless they too use Chaos Daemons. Most players will justifiably claim that they prefer to have a game within their control - that they might win or lose based more on skill and deployment, rather than pure luck. Though this is certainly true, one must always remember that, being a dice-based table-top game, much of what determines any given result is due heavily to luck at any given moment - the only truth is that one can 'sway' the dice in their favour by being tactically adept and writing stronger army lists that exploit the averages. Perhaps the true flaw with the Warp Storm Table in the eyes of many players will be that it is latent and cannot be predicted, and leaves very little room to be defended against. In fact, it would not surprise me to see prevention-measures commonly employed - whether using Chaos Daemons as an allied force (where the Warp Storm Table no longer applies), taking Instruments throughout the army, or employing Fateweaver to swing such dice rolls in your favour. Though it can be an unforgiving and nasty table that should be given a lot of consideration, I think it is still a fun and fluffy addition to the army - it will definitely serve to add a lot of tension to any game where a Chaos Daemons player is present. Will it add frustration more often than excitement, though? My best guess is yes - though I think you should formulate your own opinion after going through some extensive play-testing. I think it will prove to be an intriguing addition, though I am sure many others - perhaps most - will disagree.

    Daemonic Gifts - Unlike any other army, Chaos Daemons do not actually pick specific wargear options - instead, they purchase a certain tier of 'daemonic gift', and roll on a corresponding chart to see what item or effect they receive. This random nature of determining wargear can take away from the fun of customising your commanders and squad leaders, and can even make modelling such units incredibly irritating. However, it must be noted that for what you pay for, the benefits tend to be exceedingly worthwhile - potentially, twenty points can can give an already unreasonably tough Bloodthirster Feel No Pain (+4), and the same chart also gives a lot of similarly-powerful buffs! Added to this, if you roll a result that you do not like, you can swap it out for a '0' result - this allows you to pick from a certain selection of wargear, based on which tier of chart you rolled on. These are typically weapons; in fact, an almost ludicrous possibility is that any unit champion and character in your codex can take an AP2 melee weapon that is master-crafted and strikes at Initiative order for only ten poppies. Such weapons tend to cost upwards of twenty five or thirty points in other codices - in fact, many don't have access to such weapons at all, and certainly not so easily handed out across the army. Given that taking champions in any given unit only costs a handful of trikes, you can make your army a nightmare for challengers; ironically, this becomes almost comical against Chaos Space Marines. Remembering also that your squad leaders typically have profiles that, in combat, laugh at even Space Marine Sergeants, and those cheap Heralds you have leave Chaos Lords red-faced. Of course, if you do want to go down that road, remember how cheap our Daemons are now, and how taking more of them is probably a better idea, given the circumstances. Of course, though randomly determining your wargear is kind of annoying, I think that all of the benefits are great and thus worth the low price and unforeseen outcome - notably, the Greater Gifts (mid-tier) chart is the most worthwhile, unless you want more of those cheap AP2 weapons that other codices would die for.

    Warlord Traits - Like all of the new 6th Edition codices, Chaos Daemons come with their own unique Warlord Traits table - and one that, in my mind, is the strongest of those unique to an army so far. I make this comment when considering the special rules, deficiencies and strengths of the army - in the context of a Chaos Daemons army, these benefits should prove to be far more consistently useful than those found elsewhere. Literally every result is highly advantageous - barring one that still works well against certain armies - in almost any situation, though each one does favour certain chosen Warlords over others. Three of the results directly - and significantly - affect much of the army, granting either re-rolls on the Warp Storm Table, re-rolls for all friendly units within 12" when taking their Daemonic Instability tests, and having your Warlord act as an Icon of Chaos that prevents scatter for all friendly Daemons, regardless of their alignment. Obviously, due to how integral reserves, Instability and the random effects can be be on a Daemons armies, these traits are always invaluable. One directly benefits a Herald, and provides an immense buff to whatever unit they join - granting both themselves and the attached unit Hatred (Everything!), meaning their combat effectiveness is highly increased. Another is best served on a Greater Daemon or Daemon Prince, granting all of their melee weapons the Instant Death special rule - essentially turning your already amazingly powerful monstrous creatures into even deadlier foes. The last forces all enemy units across the board to take any Fear tests at -1 to their Leadership, though this is highly situational as it only works against half of the armies in the game - still, it is useful against opponents who can suffer its effects. I definitely think Chaos Daemons have a strong set of Warlord Traits, and unless you roll for the Fear trait, you will usually be very happy with the result.

    Overall

    Daemons are very much a unique army, as their extensive roster of unique special rules will no doubt attest. To truly command and enjoy a functional and competitive Chaos Daemons army, a deep understanding of these rules will be required - their presence oozes throughout the codex, and should be extensively studied before determining the effectiveness or usefulness of any particular unit in a given army list. As it stands, Daemonic Instability and the relative fragility of Daemons' rewards larger units - given how cheap all of our units are, this isn't a crippling issue either. The Warp Storm Table will always hang over every battle a Chaos Daemons player participates in, though as much as you may try to prevent some of the effects, there will often be little you will be able to do to mitigate any given result. Between a strong set of Warlord Traits and some powerful Daemonic Gifts though, our units - particularly our characters - can be quite powerful and cheap in comparison to those of other codices, with the balance coming from risk and the necessity of making it into melee.
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-08-2013 at 06:52 PM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  2. #2

    Default

    Hey all, I'm Learn2Eel and I am back to give you my insights on the terrifying Chaos Daemons. This time, I will be delving into the incredibly extensive HQ section, particularly the Greater Daemons; highlighting some powerful builds, the awesome potential, and the ever vigilant supporting cast. I hope you find this article both exciting and helpful in your struggles against the mortal realm!
    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.

    HQ

    Our HQ slot is amongst the most crowded of any codex, and it is rife with quality - monstrous creatures that significantly outperform those of other codices, cheap Heralds that both provide a host of great benefits to friendly units and are quite powerful on their own, and some very quirky choices that can provide a lot of spark to any given game. Whilst most will favour a mixture of Heralds and a Greater Daemon of their choice to maximise on the offensive potential of their standard units whilst providing a powerful leader for the army, forces led by multiple Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes may be viable as well. Similarly, a flock of Heralds can keep your opponent guessing, and seek protection from the very models they enhance. Our HQ slot is home to some very powerful and accessible units, and many of them - particularly the Greater Daemons - can have ridiculous potential for carnage, and all at a very reasonable price. It is hard to go wrong with our HQ choices, as almost all of them work pretty well. Just be aware not to isolate them, as they work better in conjunction with other units - this is especially true of the Heralds, though even the monstrous creatures should be used with precision and care. As a note, any Greater Daemon unlocks Daemon Princes of the same patron god as Heavy Support choices - an important tool for those wishing to run a 'monstrous horde'. This is also true of Skarbrand, Fateweaver and Ku'gath - each unlocks Daemon Princes of Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle as heavy support choices, respectively. In this article, I will be covering Greater Daemons and their equivalent special characters solely.

    A general note on our flying monstrous creatures (all three of them) - they are not too well equipped to deal with other flyers, though they should do just fine against other flying monstrous creatures. Fateweaver, for example, has a very low Strength and as such can only effectively vector strike against AV 10/10/10 vehicles. However, due to being a Mastery Level four psyker that always knows the Change discipline, he can expend three of his warp charge points and fire 4D6 shots through the Change Primaris power at Strength five AP four. This should cream a unit like a Harpy or even a Daemon Prince, and if used against the vulnerable rear armour of a vehicle, it can do a severe amount of damage. Coupled with Fateweaver's high Ballistic Skill and the potential for other buffs from his many known disciplines, and this has a very high chance of wrecking a Heldrake if you can get to its exposed rear armour. A Lord of Change can do something similar if upgraded to Mastery Level three and if it doesn't swap out all of its powers for rolls on Divination (which will be a common tactic) - if flyers are present, keeping the Change Primaris can be a very useful tactic. A Bloodthirster has a decent chance of wrecking lighter flyers, between a Strength six vector strike and a similarly powerful AP two weapon that hits on twos with re-rolls, but mostly if it can get to the rear of the fliers. In general though, our flying monstrous creatures should be handled with care against other flyers - particularly the AV 12/12/12 variants, such as the Storm Raven. Daemon Princes of Slaanesh also have access to the highly useful Lash, giving them a random but powerful anti-flyer ranged weapon.

    Skarbrand - I am going to be brutally honest here; Skarbrand may have just stolen the title of 'challenge king' off of the Swarmlord, at least when one looks at his basic profile. For not much more than standard special characters of any other army, Skarbrand is a tough monstrous creature - rocking five wounds at Toughness six with a 3+ armour save and 5+ invulnerable save, he is almost - and in many cases, more - durable than the very tough Tyranid Trygon, which is no mean feat. With a ridiculous Weapon Skill and Initiative of ten, most enemies will both hit Skarbrand on fives and strike well after him. But that isn't why he is so brutal. Firstly, he carries two axes which grant him a bonus attack, and each one has a unique profile - one has Fleshbane, and the other has Armourbane. Ergo, he will wound anything in the game on a +2 whilst ignoring its armour due to having the Smash special rule, whilst he can assault any vehicle and, with Strength seven on the charge due to Furious Charge in addition to Armourbane, reliably destroy it with little difficulty. Against Land Raiders, using the Smash rule allows him to strike five times, and even if it moved, he is virtually guaranteed to at least wreck it with an average of four Strength ten hits that roll 2D6 for amour penetration that can be re-rolled. But that isn't even the best part - per his Warlord trait, all of his already insane melee attacks inflict Instant Death. As if that wasn't enough, due to generating both Hatred and Rage to all friendly and enemy units within twelve inches - including himself - he has nine attacks on the charge at Weapon Skill ten, Initiative ten that re-roll to hit, wound everything on a +2, ignore armour saves and inflict instant death. You remember Mephiston, who is still one of the more brutal close combat characters in the game? Provided Skarbrand doesn't charge through cover, Skarbrand will rip Mephiston's head off with impunity before Mephiston can even blink - even if Mephiston charged! I have done the numbers - there is almost no unit in the game that can stand up to Skarbrand that isn't akin to a ten-strong thunder hammer and storm shield Terminator squad, a unit which, coincidentally, is almost twice as expensive as Skarbrand.

    The only character that can stand toe to toe with Skarbrand and reliably survive is Draigo, but with the right castings from other characters or a bit of luck, even this would be a non-issue. Draigo can't annihilate entire Paladin squads by himself in one round of combat without reprieve though. If the Swarmlord doesn't have Iron Arm, even that too is an arbitrary engagement - I don't think I have ever seen a character that has such a jaw-dropping melee profile as Skarbrand at first glance. He can wipe out entire squads of Tactical Marines in two turns, guaranteed. He can butcher three Trygons in the same combat without a moment's hesitation. Marneus Calgar or even Asdrubael Vect himself will statistically die before striking a single blow. But you know what the absolute best part about Skarbrand is, the fact that makes him look so valuable against all these special characters? He is cheaper than all of them, and often by quite a margin too. For someone that can rip apart five Paladins in one turn without breaking a sweat and is still pretty tough for a monstrous creature to boot, he is insanely cheap and one with very few disadvantages when considering that. So what are his actual downsides? Well, he isn't a flying monstrous creature, unlike regular Bloodthirsters - this means that despite his insane melee capabilities, he isn't the quickest to actually get into the thick of it. He also lacks for shooting, though he has a funny and fluffy high strength template weapon that has no AP value - good for softening units up with a lot of forced armour saves. As well, one could argue that his ability that grants all nearby units Hatred and Rage can be a thorn in the side of Daemons players, though typically I think these benefits will usually help the Daemon units more - they are, after all, at home in combat, and maximising those strengths will usually outweigh giving assistance to enemy units. Even then, you should be the one charging anyway - many enemy units won't willingly assault sizeable Daemon units unless they truly have the right tools for the job.

    Of course, being so ungodly in combat means that smart enemies will either tag him along or attempt to shoot him to death - though he is hardy compared to most other monstrous creatures, sporting a good armour save, an invulnerable save and five wounds, he can and will still die to massed heavy or poisoned firepower. In that sense, you need to find way to both maximise his time in combat and reduce the amount of shooting directed at him. There are multiple ways to do this; the first is to deploy him smartly and hop from line of sight blocking terrain as quickly as possible, or run him up with a lot of other "shoot me!" units too - such as Bloodthirsters, Bloodcrushers, Bloodletters and the like (I like blood). Another, and one that will probably prove more popular, is to employ fast-moving flanking units, such as Seekers of Slaanesh (heresy!) with standard icons, and have Skarbrand deep strike off of those units. Given that Seekers reliably move about twenty inches each turn, and you still only scatter D6 inches, this is a very viable strategy - it would work with Bloodcrushers and Plague Drones as well, though Seekers are the most effective of those units in my opinion. The best part about this is that it does not compromise the army list to try and make Skarbrand work - those Seeker units are amazing anyway, and work well with other deep-striking forward elements, such as Bloodletters or Daemonettes. Overall, you should always consider Skarbrand - he is so cheap that to use him will not significantly impact on your army list, and his combat effectiveness is pretty much unparalleled. He works well with other highly competitive units, and he is an absolutely gargantuan terror weapon against your opponent - target saturation is key, and Skarbrand provides it in spades. Not to mention the blood, carnage and slaughter. Skarbrand is an excellent unit that, whilst limited by not being particularly quick, has a range of options available to use him effectively - in any case, his cost is so low that you simply cannot be disappointed. That he also buffs your other melee units to ridiculous levels if they charge is the icing on this sweet roll. Blood for the Blood God!

    Fateweaver - Trolololo.....Oh sorry, I got carried away for a bit there. My other half does that sometimes. Anyway, Fateweaver is the most expensive special character in the codex by quite a margin, and the reasons behind his extreme cost are not immediately obvious. Unlike every other Greater Daemon, he has a Strength and Toughness of five - meaning he is vulnerable to instant death from Strength ten weapons. He has a horrific Weapon Skill and Attacks of one, and an Initiative of two, meaning he absolutely needs to be kept out of combat at all costs save to tarpit and save himself from shooting against weak enemy units. So what exactly makes Fateweaver tick? This isn't exactly the easiest question to answer, as it involves a wide range of topics. Firstly, he is the only unit in the codex to have a +4 invulnerable save - the best in the book - that, paired with re-rolls of ones and five wounds, makes him decently durable. When considering that he is a flying monstrous creature, this gives him a degree of survivability and mobility that make up for his relative frailty in regards to instant death. In addition, he uniquely counts as two mastery level four pyskers - though he can only ever use and count the benefits of one at any given time. Each head knows all of the powers from the mediocre Change discipline, as well as one power from two other disciplines unique to each head; one draws from Pyromancy and Divination, whilst the other can use Telepathy and Biomancy. This gives Fateweaver a lot of versatility - though the Tzeentch discipline is mediocre, Fateweaver can reliably put out enough shooting to wipe out small units in any given phase, denying them the potential benefits of Warpflame, whilst buffing himself with the always useful powers from Divination and Biomancy. Potentially, he could get a Divination power that allows him to re-roll failed to hit, to wound and saving throw rolls, and on another turn where it is more appropriate he can switch to Iron Arm or Endurance from the other head. With Psychic Shriek readily available from Telepathy, and his incredible speed, Fateweaver can dish out a lot of damage exceedingly quickly, and take it pretty well too whilst strengthening friendly units and weakening enemies.

    However, Fateweaver has two other unique abilities that serve to justify his exorbitant price. The one you should immediately notice is that his Warlord Trait allows you to re-roll results on the Warp Storm Table. Obviously, this is a fantastic set Warlord Trait to have - it can turn army-wide daemonic instability tests into a free unit of ten or more Bloodletters, or any other permutation. It is essentially a means to mitigate the potential effects of the more disadvantageous results on the chart, and dually increase the pressure you can put on your opponent. In this sense, many players may take Fateweaver simply because of that ability - the Warp Storm Table can make or break a game at any given time, and having a character that is guaranteed to reduce the potential negative effects is a must. But I feel one of Fateweaver's most important abilities is actually the most innocuous of all; every player turn, so long as Fateweaver is alive, you may re-roll any single D6 - it can be one D6 from a 2D6 Leadership test, or one D6 amongst twenty from a shooting attack. To truly understand just how significant this is, you should imagine as many games as you've played or can play where a single D6 roll being changed could have made all the difference. That one game where you needed to hit with a meltagun on a three and up, and would have guaranteed First Blood instead of conceding it and losing for such a reason? Re-roll that. What about that four and up invulnerable save you needed to pass to keep your Warlord alive and win the day? Re-roll that. What about the roll to see if Night Fighting was in effect for the first turn, that you needed to get up close without suffering terrible casualties? Re-roll that. That lightning strike on your unit that wiped them out, all from that devilish Imotekh? Re-roll it so it doesn't hit you.

    Now, let's think about this codex specifically. You roll an eleven on the Warp Storm Table after having re-rolled a bad result due to Fateweaver's Warlord trait. Your opponent's Flying Hive Tyrant is randomly selected. They roll the 3D6, and end up with a one, a four and a five - a pass. Re-roll that one, and watch as your opponents Warlord explodes, replaced by a Herald of your choice. Fateweaver has to take his third grounding test in this turn - and definitely the last - that he will statistically fail; surprise, he falls to the ground. Re-roll that and keep flying, raining death and terror down on your foes and ruining their strategy to charge him with a squad of Terminators that are now left in the open. Your Herald of Tzeentch with the Exalted Gift that fires a Strength eight AP one lance hits, penetrates, but rolls a two on the damage chart against a Land Raider. Re-roll that and turn it into one destroyed Land Raider. You have to take a Daemonic Instability test on your horde of Daemonettes, and you roll a six and a three. Re-roll the six and keep your models alive. Your opponent's Company Master with the Monster Slayer of Caliban rolls a five and could very well instant kill your Lord of Change that assaulted through cover. Re-roll that and make sure his blade fizzles out, leaving the Lord of Change to easily sweep him aside. Your opponent's expensive Chosen unit lost a combat against the Daemonettes, but rolled a three and a one to stay. Re-roll that one and watch the look of horror on your opponents face as they are swept by the lesser daemons. That single Warrior that passed a lucky cover save so that the rest of its unit can try to get back up? Re-roll that and watch as it dies, wiping the grin off your opponents face. A Broodlord rolled a six to wound in combat against your Daemon Prince. Make sure it is anything but. That lucky cover save your opponent's Obliterator passed to not be instant-killed and concede First Blood? Watch as it dies a most painful death. That Khorne Chaos Lord that crashed into your Bloodletters and rolled a six for their daemon weapon? See how much they are laughing with far fewer attacks. The possibilities, and potentially game-changing effects, are endless. Remember again, that this is in every player turn. Now, whilst most players will state - and I do agree - that a game decided by a single D6 roll is often few and far between, placing the impetus on tactics and army list building, I nonetheless feel that - given a six turn game will lead to twelve re-rolls if Fateweaver survives - this ability can still have a huge impact. Knowing when to use it will obviously be key though.

    Though Fateweaver is very expensive and somewhat fragile, he does have a wide range of abilities that I feel somewhat justify his incredible cost. As a flying monstrous creature with a significant amount of wounds and a very good invulnerable save, he should prove very hard to shift against most enemies and, if used carefully, can turn a game on its head in every turn that he is on the board. With his ability to re-roll results on the Warp Storm Table, as well as any single D6 per player turn, he can make the most out of very little and turn fate (I'm so sorry) against your enemy. In addition, he is an immensely powerful psyker that can both dish out the pain with readily available witchfire powers and potentially make himself unreasonably hard to kill. His versatility and usefulness in the codex is unmatched, and as long as you protect him adequately - and the Grimoire of True Names works very well here - he can be a very strong unit. A good, albeit random and risky choice that needs to be kept away from combat, though his cost is probably too exorbitant for smaller games - I would typically avoid using him in games of 1500 points or less, actually. Be aware also of the value of a similarly costed Lord of Change rocking multiple Greater Gifts, the Staff of Change and Mastery Level three with Divination; that amazing unit competes directly with Fateweaver, and though Fatey does have those important re-roll traits, I feel that Lord of Change is the more consistent performer.

    Ku'gath - Compared to the other two special characters, Ku'gath is somewhat more 'relaxed' in terms of his abilities - though he has some very distinct options, he doesn't scream "insane!" like Skarbrand does. However, this is all to Ku'gaths benefit - like a regular Great Unclean One, he has a good Weapon Skill, an extraordinarily high Toughness, and a middling Initiative. By comparison, Ku'gath has some interesting benefits - notably, he has a whopping seven wounds that, when combined with his incredible Toughness, make him almost impossible to kill conventionally, even if he only has a 'weak' 5+ invulnerable save. He also has an extra attack, making him that much better in combat - an area where a Great Unclean One excels due to their natural durability. However, Ku'gath has three abilities that make him truly distinct from a regular Greater Daemon of Nurgle - firstly, he restores a single lost wound to a friendly, nearby Nurglings swarm at the start of each turn. Given that they are cheap four wound units intended for tar-pit purposes, this is a very handy tool. In addition, Ku'gath has a special ranged attack that he can lob up to twenty four inches away, manifesting as a Poisoned (+4) AP three large blast. Very nice! When combined with one of the two powerful Warp Charge one powers from the Plague discipline, Ku'gath can dish out a lot of damage from a decent range - taking either an extra Poisoned AP two large blast, or a poisoned AP three template weapon. As a Mastery Level one psyker, he gets that little bit of extra love from the excellent Plague discipline - the only downside here is that he cannot go for Biomancy, which is a shame as having a potentially Toughness ten Great Unclean One with seven wounds would just be gravy. Unlike a regular Great Unclean One, Ku'gath also has the Slime Trail special rule - meaning enemies that assault Ku'gath count as having made a disordered charge regardless of whether he was already locked in combat, unlike defensive grenades.

    Shrouded and Slow and Purposeful also give Ku'gath some interesting additions - though the latter does prevent him from getting into combat quickly, the former combined with any kind of cover save makes for an impossibly hard to kill monster. When one considers that monstrous creatures can get cover saves from area terrain much like Infantry, as well as obscuration, this means that Ku'gath will usually have a very high save - he is slow anyway, so what is an inch or two here and there going to change, aside from making him even more durable? Perhaps most significant of all though is Ku'gath's Warlord trait - this allows any friendly Chaos Daemons within twelve inches to re-roll Daemonic Instability tests, and given that the special rule in question can prove fatal for any given unit, this is quite a useful ability. When one considers that a bad roll on the Warp Storm chart can force army-wide Daemonic Instability tests, or make a single character - such as Ku'gath himself - have to take such a test on 3D6, the guarantee of having his Warlord trait is almost a safeguard against yet more of the random effects latent through the codex; much like Fateweaver can attempt to stop potentially damaging results on the Warp Storm Table. As such, Ku'gath is a very useful commander, and one that does have a nice ranged attack to compensate for his plodding movement speed. A good choice that whilst offering a decently nasty ranged attack, suffers from his plodding pace and having to compete with a Biomancy and Greater Gift-equipped Great Unclean One; much like the comparison between Fateweaver and a similarly costed Lord of Change, I do feel the distinction is important here and Ku'gath is thus best used mostly for the guaranteed Warlord Trait and his miniature artillery.

    Bloodthirster - Rocking an insane profile that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, the Bloodthirster is aptly named - in close quarters combat, there are few equals in terms of raw destructive power, particularly against other characters. Between Weapon Skill ten, Initiative nine and six attacks base, a Bloodthirster can put out a lot of hurt and will almost always strike first to boot - with Smash, it can reliably inflict Instant Death upon enemies before they can even hope to strike back. Ignoring all armour with an axe that also inflicts instant death on any to wound roll of a six, given the huge number of high strength attacks a Bloodthirster puts out, is pretty ludicrous - being a Daemon of Khorne, it strikes at strength seven if it launches an assault, meaning it can and probably will kill other high toughness monsters with relative ease. And even if you do come up against tougher opponents or hardy vehicles, again, the Smash rules can save you - with the high number of attacks a Bloodthirster has, using Smash should allow you to reliably destroy almost any vehicle. On top of exponential melee capabilities, a Bloodthirster also has a minor ranged weapon - a Strength six AP two attack at twelve inches. Though this may seem minor, when combined with the Bloodthirsters' Ballistic Skill of ten, this allows the Greater Daemon to reliably kill an enemy model or two before charging in - against Terminators of any kind, this can be invaluable, and can also help to reduce the number of turns needed to butcher another squad. Of course, the best attribute of a Bloodthirster happens to be why his combat abilities shine - being a flying monstrous creature, the Bloodthirster is relentlessly quick, and very hard to bring down. Due to its unit type, it is also quite capable of picking its engagements - unless you don't react quickly, you should well be able to avoid any potentially deadly enemy unit your opponent sends after it. This truly is what makes a Bloodthirster tick - it is near impossible to get away from, it can choose what enemies to face, and it is tough as hell to boot. Obviously, certain enemies will give it pause - tarpit units, thunder hammer and storm shield Terminators, massed force weapon wielders and the like should all be avoided if at all possible, though being a flying monstrous creature, this isn't too difficult, excluding extraneous circumstances.

    Unlike other Greater Daemons, a Bloodthirster has a very handy +3 armour save, meaning that it can't be brought down through sheer weight of small arms fire as feasibly as with the other Greater Daemons - such as from Dark Angels employing the Standard of Devastation. Added to five wounds and a +5 invulnerable save, the Bloodthirster is seriously hard to kill, though it pays for both raw killing power, durability and mobility by being the most expensive Greater Daemon before upgrades by a decent margin. As well, it is also the only Greater Daemon with no access to psychic powers - but as a Khorne player, why should you care? Blood! Even before upgrades, a Bloodthirster can be a terrifying threat for almost any opponent to face - much like a Nemesis Dreadknight, an opponents' entire strategy may come down to "kill it, kill it before it gets close!" whilst being an exceptionally quick and hardy unit. Still, if you are using one as your commander of choice, upgrading it with two greater gifts is a very good idea - these will either give the Bloodthirster some significant offensive boosts, or make him even more powerful. And, if you roll a six, you can always swap out the one redundant result and take either a Blade of Blood for D3 bonus attacks whenever outnumbered in combat, or a Greater Aetherblade for +1 Strength and a bonus attack due to having two specialist weapons! Either way, the Bloodthirster will be much better off for it - though mostly you should hope to get benefits such as Feel No Pain (4+) or the extra wound and It Will Not Die. Overall, there's not much that can be said against Bloodthirsters, as they are insanely powerful melee units that have both the speed and durability to get there very reliably. There really isn't much more you could ask for, aside from the fact that you can take a pair of them and not neuter your army - even in a 1500 point game! Bloodthirsters are great units that, unless taken against enemies with heavy anti-aircraft firepower, should shine consistently. Just be very aware that they aren't guaranteed a victory in every melee, as bad rolls or going up against the wrong opponents - large squads of Terminators with +4 or higher invulnerable saves, horde units, force-weapon wielding units - can be a death sentence for what is a very expensive model. Handle with care, and be wary of fliers.

    Lord of Change - The second most expensive Greater Daemon, the Lord of Change is a very interesting option - notably because it has access not only to the fantastic Greater Gifts table, but also because it is a psyker with access to the incredible Divination discipline. Though its native Change discipline is admittedly mediocre, there are no restrictions against taking as many Divination powers as you can - ergo, a standard Lord of Change can have two rolls on that chart, reaping the awesome rewards within. Powers that can grant friendly units +4 invulnerable saves, or give the Lord of Change re-rolls to hit, to wound and on saving throws, serve to make it so much more powerful and useful in any kind of Chaos Daemons army. Based on this alone, they would probably be well worth taking - fortunately, they have a lot more to offer. Like the Bloodthirster, they are a Toughness six flying monstrous creature with five wounds and a +5 invulnerable save - this makes them both incredibly mobile, and able to cast their powers where and as they sit fit, but also makes them frighteningly hard to kill through conventional means. A Lord of Change is also a stock standard mastery level two psyker, meaning that, combined with Divination, it has a pretty serious edge over its competitors in terms of psychic ability. Added to this, Lords of Change are no slouches in combat either - with a Weapon Skill and Initiative of six, they will usually strike before and kill most enemy commanders of an equivalent point cost, especially owing to the Smash rules that allow it to strike at double strength and thus reliably inflict instant death on many enemies, or destroy almost any vehicle with relative ease. Due to having an uneven number of attacks - one less than a Bloodthirster - a Lord of Change also has the benefit of having as many Smash attacks as something like a Bloodthirster would, though the Weapon Skill and Initiative differences obviously make up for this.

    Despite how good they are, especially when considering they are quite cheap for what they do compared to almost any other flying monstrous creature in the game, Lords of Change are not without weakness - they lack an armour save, like the Bloodthirster, and are thus more reliant on staying in the air to mitigate the damage massed small arms fire can cause. In addition, many anti-air weapons usually will wound it and hit it quite easily - and with only a thirty-three percent chance to save any wound, the odds are not in its favour. Its lower Initiative and Weapon Skill than a Bloodthirster also make it more vulnerable to force weapons, such as those wielded by Grey Knights and characters like Mephiston. However, like any Greater Daemon - or any unit for that matter, care must be taken - owing to being a flying monstrous creature, a Lord of Change can and should pick its engagements wisely, and provided enough ground targets are available to keep the enemy guessing, it shouldn't be too worried about being grounded and subsequently assaulted either. As well, a Lord of Change benefits immensely from upgrades - though these don't add up too much considering the base cost of the unit, it is nonetheless a consideration of price when writing an army list. Fortunately, Daemons tend not to be too points-intensive; in this sense, I would always shell out the pennies to grant the Lord of Change both psychic mastery level three, and two greater gifts as well as a lesser gift. The greater gifts are there principally to boost the durability of a Lord of Change which, in conjunction with a few decent rolls on Divination, should reliably make the big bird a far more difficult target to kill. You can semi-reliably expect something along the lines of a 4+ invulnerable save toting Lord of Change that can re-roll its failed invulnerable saves, and that isn't anywhere near the best potential combination you can get. The lesser gift is taken for one reason; the Tzeentch weapon on the '0' result, as it is hilariously powerful when combined with a Lord of Change. It adds +2 to your Strength, makes your melee attacks Concussive, and causes enemy characters and monstrous creatures slain by it to explode - doing some decent damage all around, though the Lord of Change should be fine. In fact, a charging Lord of Change with the help of some Divination powers can somewhat reliably kill even a Trygon in one round of combat when armed with this staff - that kind of close combat ability, without using instant death, is insane, and can be had for less than 250 carrots. Generally speaking, the Lord of Change is another fantastic unit that whilst powerful base, it becomes so much more so with some handy - but expensive - upgrades. An ideal configuration runs your commander a shade over three hundred tacos; however, that commander will more than likely be a death-dealing avian nightmare for any opponent that isn't wearing a hat. Handle with care!

    Great Unclean One - Do you want to watch entire armies unload into a big sac of pus and only get a loving smile in return, following by hearty laughter? Possible exaggeration aside, a Great Unclean One is an immensely tough monstrous creature - with a staggering Toughness of seven and six wounds, a large number of massed weapons in the game simply can't hurt the beast, whilst staples such as plasma and autocannons won't so easily damage it. As a Daemon of Nurgle, it has the Shrouded and Slow and Purposeful special rules - seeing that it can't run and thus won't get anywhere in a hurry, you can move through cover and enjoy either +2 or +3 cover saves; given that it is already unreasonably tough, and has a handy +5 invulnerable save, the Great Unclean One is ridiculously difficult to kill. They aren't slouches in combat either, owing not just to their immense durability, but their good Weapon Skill, ok Initiative and large number of Poisoned (+4) attacks - meaning they should reliably inflict lots of wounds against other monstrous creatures, and maximise their damage potential against weaker enemies. In effect, they are powerful, tough albeit slow monstrous creatures that should do fine even without any upgrades owing to their incredible resilience. However, they also have access to two gems in terms of psychic disciplines - the excellent Plague and Biomancy trees can provide either some very nasty short-range firepower, or improve the Great Unclean One's strength or durability even more. The Plague discipline is mostly comprised of very powerful witchfire powers - lobbing Poisoned (+4) AP two large blasts or similarly contagious AP three templates with relative impunity can make the Great Unclean One a devastating foe at short range. Most handy though may be the blessing that reduces the Weapon Skill and Initiative of all enemy units in combat with the Great Unclean One by D3 - against most enemies, including typical HQs, this should mean that the bloated mess will be hitting on threes and actually going first, or at the same time, for a change.

    Still, what may prove to be most popular is the fact that a Great Unclean One can take up to three Biomancy powers, dependent on its mastery level - it is mastery level one base. I would actually recommend going all out here; take the extra two mastery levels, and try and go for either Iron Arm, Endurance or Warp Speed - given that you generate three powers, you have a 50% chance of nabbing any one of those powers. Iron Arm will make the Great Unclean One nigh impossible to kill - increasing its Toughness to eight on a bare roll and potentially ten, whilst improving its Strength that makes it much more effective when using its Poisoned attacks against enemy monstrous creatures; did I mention it also adds Eternal Warrior, meaning force weapons and the like can't touch you? Endurance is very attractive as well, giving the Great Unclean One a mixture of special rules - including Feel No Pain and It Will Not Die - that combined with its extreme number of wounds should guarantee your opponent breaks down in a fit. Warp Speed serves to make the Great Unclean One insanely powerful in combat, by boosting its Initiative and Attacks by D3, whilst granting it Fleet - re-rollable charge distances! - meaning it will sit at six attacks and Initiative five on a minimum roll. As well, I would encourage taking two greater gifts - much like with the other Greater Daemons, the boosts here are significant regardless of what you roll, though you would prefer the four that boost your durability. Think of it like this; whilst writing this article, I randomly rolled three Biomancy powers and two Greater Gifts, and whilst expensive, I think they are most definitely worth it. Why? Whilst writing on a random roll, I got Iron Arm and two relatively poor Biomancy powers, as well as a +3 armour save and Feel No Pain (+4). To put that into perspective, this makes the Great Unclean One a Toughness eight, nine or ten monster with six wounds, 3+ armour against smalls arms fire, a 4+ Feel No Pain save that works against anything but instant death, and Eternal Warrior to boot. And the best part? This isn't even nearly the best combination - you will likely roll something very similar to this most of the time, and it runs you well under three hundred points! Nasty, obscenely nasty.

    Of course, there are downsides to the Great Unclean One, as you would expect. Firstly, though its base abilities are great and it is pretty cheap for what you get, it is slow and being a combat-oriented monster with access only to short ranged shooting, this means you need to hope it is either attracting fire from your other forces or can guarantee it gets into combat. The latter can be accomplished either by deep-striking it off of friendly icons, such as those carried by Plague Drones or Seekers, though foot-slogging may not be a bad idea so as to provide some valuable target saturation to your army. As well, whilst upgrading it should turn it into an absolute monster to face, and even though that price is very appropriate, it is still very expensive and is reliant somewhat on luck. Like the Lord of Change, it lacks an armour save unless you roll up the appropriate greater gift, meaning that small arms fire can put a dent in it - however, moving through cover and the potential buffs you purchase should mitigate this. In terms of greater gifts, if you do roll up a gift that doesn't suit you (which is unlikely), swap to the Balesword - paying twenty points for instant death might seem excessive, but when one considers it has a boat load of high weapon skill Poisoned attacks, it becomes death incarnate to enemy monstrous creatures, multi-wound units and characters. In closing, a Great Unclean One is a very powerful daemon that works fine base, but is best off being kitted out with two greater gifts and the extra two psychic mastery levels. Though expensive, it is a build that will reliably make the Great Unclean One virtually impossible to kill, and a monster in combat - it is well worth the price of admission to watch an entire army's worth of lascannons, plasma guns and autocannons bounce harmlessly off of a potentially Toughness ten Great Unclean One that your opponent simply cannot ignore. Just be mindful of its plodding pace and try to minimise the time it takes to get into combat.

    Keeper of Secrets - The cheapest and arguably the weakest of the Greater Daemons, the Keeper of Secrets is an intriguing option based on two main elements - its speed in terms of regular monstrous creatures, and the seeming truth that it doesn't need as many upgrades as the other Greater Daemons to be exceedingly effective. Though this can be interpreted as "it has the lowest ceiling", I rather look at it as "very good bang for your buck" - cheaper is often better, and in the case of the Keeper of Secrets, this means you can take doubles and not take up anywhere near as massive a points total as doing something similar with the other Greater Daemons would be. But really, this is conjecture - the meat of the Keeper of Secrets comes down to its ridiculous profile. Weapon Skill nine, Initiative ten, and six attacks base. As a monstrous creature, all of these attacks are AP two, and owing to its stat-line, most enemies will be hitting the Keeper on fives well after it strikes. Obviously, common enemies such as krak grenade-wielding Space Marines will struggle immensely against a Keeper, even if its Toughness and saving throw are average as far as monstrous creatures go. Of course, like all Daemons, it lacks assault grenades and, unlike the Bloodthirster, it does not have the extreme mobility to mitigate this issue by picking where it can launch an assault. This means that you need to be a lot more delicate with a Keeper of Secrets; it is not a flying monstrous creature, nor does it have the immense durability a Great Unclean One possesses. Though it is the most fragile of the Greater Daemons, there are ways around this - notably, it is extremely quick for a 'foot-slogging' monstrous creature, owing to Fleet and adding an additional three inches to any Run moves it makes. As well, like the other Greater Daemons, it has access to the awesome greater gifts - four out of six drastically improve the survivability of a Keeper of Secrets, and as such, I would always recommend taking two of them. The others also serve to give it very useful offensive options - either a very powerful ranged anti-tank weapon that, owing to the Keepers' high Ballistic Skill, is very reliable, or making all of its attacks Fleshbane and Armourbane, essentially making it so much better against other monsters and tanks. The two greater gifts are almost necessary, provided you have the points, though a funny tactic would be to run a bare-bones Keeper of Secrets up the field as a cheap, and highly effective, distraction unit - much like a Trygon or a Dreadknight, just cheaper and without the bells and whistles despite being more effective in other areas.

    Despite being very good in combat, like the non-Khornate Greater Daemons the Keeper of Secrets also doubles as a psyker; with mastery level one base and access to the useful Excess and Telepathy disciplines, the Keeper has some other interesting options to consider. When rolling on the Excess discipline, you will usually be hoping for the first power - reducing an enemy units Initiative by five and preventing them from using both Counter Attack and Overwatch within eighteen inches is fantastic - as the other powers are admittedly mediocre, even the Primaris power. As such, your best bet will likely be taking the extremely powerful Primaris power from the Telepathy discipline; Psychic Shriek can feasibly wipe out scores of models in one salvo, and owing to the Keepers' speed, its short range isn't too much of an issue. If you don't want to spend too many points on a Keeper - aside from the near mandatory greater gifts - then taking the extra psychic mastery levels is not necessary, unlike with the Great Unclean One and Lord of Change. This is mostly due to the Keeper not truly needing the potential benefits, that and a lot of the powers it can get aren't as useful as one would like. However, it must be noted that taking the extra mastery levels to increase the chances of receiving Invisibility or Hallucination are definitely well worth the price, even if it is only a 50% chance - much like with the Great Unclean One, even if the other powers aren't as good in terms of back-up options. Many Slaanesh Daemon armies revolve around massed rolls on the Telepathy discipline to roll up multiple instances of Invisibility - it is such an amazing power, particularly for the speedy, fragile and hard-hitting Slaanesh Daemons that it is simply too good to pass up. Overall, a Keeper of Secrets is a very nifty Greater Daemon - though it is unlikely to be as potentially powerful as the other Greater Daemons, it is a darn sight cheaper, especially considering it doesn't need anywhere near the amount of additional bonuses as the others, and has a lower base cost. Its combat effectiveness is still very high, and it combines natural speed with what is still pretty decent survivability. In short, they work very well for their cost versus abilities, even though the other Greater Daemons probably are better investments, albeit more significant ones.

    Example Builds - There are a lot of viable ways to run our highly customisable Greater Daemons, and here are a few builds that I feel should prove optimal.

    Bloodthirster w/ two greater gifts - 290

    Lord of Change w/ psychic mastery level three, one lesser gift, two greater gifts - 305

    Great Unclean One w/ psychic mastery level three, two greater gifts - 280

    Keeper of Secrets w/ two greater gifts, mastery level three - 260

    Are you a fan of the Greater Daemons? Do you feel they aren't strong enough or too costly for what they do? Sound off in the comments - we appreciate any and all critiques. Thank you!
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-08-2013 at 07:27 PM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  3. #3

    Default

    Howdy all, Learn2Eel here and I am back to offer my thoughts on the awesome Chaos Daemons. This time, I will again be exploring the incredibly extensive HQ section, particularly the Heralds of Chaos; highlighting some powerful builds, the awesome potential, and the ever vigilant supporting cast. I hope you find this article both exciting and helpful in your struggles against the mortal realm!
    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.

    HQ

    Our HQ slot is amongst the most crowded of any codex, and it is rife with quality - monstrous creatures that significantly outperform those of other codices, cheap Heralds that both provide a host of great benefits to friendly units and are quite powerful on their own, and some very quirky choices that can provide a lot of spark to any given game. Whilst most will favour a mixture of Heralds and a Greater Daemon of their choice to maximise on the offensive potential of their standard units whilst providing a powerful leader for the army, forces led by multiple Greater Daemons or Daemon Princes may be viable as well. Similarly, a flock of Heralds can keep your opponent guessing, and seek protection from the very models they enhance. Our HQ slot is home to some very powerful and accessible units, and many of them - particularly the Greater Daemons - can have ridiculous potential for carnage, and all at a very reasonable price. It is hard to go wrong with our HQ choices, as almost all of them work pretty well. Just be aware not to isolate them, as they work better in conjunction with other units - this is especially true of the Heralds, though even the monstrous creatures should be used with precision and care. As a note, any Greater Daemon unlocks Daemon Princes of the same patron god as Heavy Support choices - an important tool for those wishing to run a 'monstrous horde'. This is also true of Skarbrand, Fateweaver and Ku'gath - each unlocks Daemon Princes of Khorne, Tzeentch and Nurgle as heavy support choices, respectively. In this article, I will be covering Heralds, Daemon Princes and their equivalent special characters solely.

    Generally speaking, when one wishes to take a Herald of the Chaos Gods, one should do so with the knowledge that they are best used as 'force multipliers' - with the possible exception of the Heralds of Khorne and Slaanesh, they are not designed to do combat fantastically well, and regardless of which you pick, each is a great force multiplier for a Daemons army. As such, you should take Heralds based on your army list, not on what they themselves do - keep this in mind, and they should consistently do the job you want them to.

    Daemon Prince - Why aren't you getting a Greater Daemon? But seriously, Daemon Princes are a decent option that will usually prove to be cheaper - but far more fragile - than a Greater Daemon, typically with reduced effectiveness in any particular field. This isn't to say that Daemon Princes are bad, it is more so a compliment to how powerful the other monstrous creatures in this codex are. First up, they have a Toughness of five, four wounds and only a +5 invulnerable save - ergo, they are much less durable than other Greater Daemons, and unlike Fateweaver, a Daemon Prince can't reliably save itself from situations involving Strength ten weapons. Despite rocking a crazy Weapon Skill of nine and Initiative of eight with five attacks, a Daemon Prince's considerable combat prowess does pale in comparison to both a Keeper of Secrets and a Bloodthirster - in fact, a Keeper of Secrets costs little more than a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh, yet is far more effective for the price. Of course, a Daemon Prince benefits majorly from its upgrades - two of which are near mandatory, those being warp-forged armour and daemonic flight. The first grants it a +3 armour save, much like a Bloodthirster, that makes it far more resistant to small arms fire, of which it is especially prone due to a meagre Toughness. The second turns it into a flying monstrous creature which dramatically improves its survivability against most targets, whilst giving it a serious edge in terms of mobility - allowing it to pick any potential engagements and charge the best available target. When upgraded like this, a Daemon Prince's cost quickly exceeds that of the two cheaper Greater Daemons, though it is still arguably not as useful an addition. One must also consider that a Daemon Prince needs to be dedicated to one of the four Chaos gods - these provide the same benefits as with all other Daemons. There are some very interesting possibilities to consider here, as certain dedications can make way for very specific and powerful builds - one of which is to venerate Tzeentch and take the Staff of Change, granting the Daemon Prince Strength eight and Concussive melee blows, making it a far deadlier opponent in close quarters combat. This is also at a great price, even though for the same cost one could take a Lord of Change that performs almost as well in combat, is tougher and is a powerful psyker to boot.

    Much like Greater Daemons, a Daemon Prince can take Lesser, Greater and Exalted Gifts, following the same allowance and restrictions. I would typically recommend two greater gifts, simply for the much-needed resilience boosts it should reliably grant to your Daemon Prince - a model which really suffers from a lack of durability. Though it does boost the cost of the Daemon Prince even further, it is well worth the investment. As before, some of the other gifts can make for fantastic combinations - Daemon Princes of Nurgle, for example, can take the Balesword, inflicting instant death whilst striking at an insanely high Initiative, effectively guaranteeing death for enemy monstrous creatures. Daemon Princes also have access to psychic powers, though they do start with a mastery level - they can go all the way up to mastery level three, though the price is exorbitant. With access to Biomancy, Pyromancy and Telepathy, they are quite versatile - however, it is usually worth the price to go for Biomancy, especially considering you do not need to take a mandatory psychic power from your chosen chaos god (unlike Chaos Space Marines), which is very helpful. They can also take the disciplines of their respective deities, meaning you can take the very powerful Plague witchfire powers, or the useful Change Primaris power for anti-flyer duties. As much as I want to stop repeating myself though, a Greater Daemon kitted out fully will actually prove not only to be cheaper, they will also be tougher and far more effective in that role. This is why I think that, as cool as they are and as good as some of the builds are, Daemon Princes are best relegated to supporting members behind Greater Daemons - they aren't too bad, though they are quite over-costed compared to their warp-spawned brethren for fewer returns.

    Possibly the best application for a Daemon Prince is to use them in Heavy Support - in this way, one could reliably run five flying monstrous creatures, or something to that effect. It also frees up the congested HQ slots for more important options, though I believe Soul Grinders and Skull Cannons will likely also be crowding into the Heavy Support slots. As such, even though Daemon Princes aren't too bad in terms of what they bring to the table, I definitely feel that Greater Daemons are a better investment - not to mention that Heralds are far more useful in terms of helping your army. To be entirely fair though, there are some very good combinations that Daemon Princes can take - some of which should definitely be considered. Another one to mention is a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh with the lash of despair; you get this by swapping out a greater gift, and it is a Strength (user) Assault 2D6 weapon at twelve inches. On a flying Daemon Prince, this gives it a very powerful ranged attack that should reliably do significant damage to enemy ground vehicles and flyers alike, provided one fires on their exposed rear armour. This is definitely a good option to consider in terms of mobile anti-tank and anti-flyer firepower. Perhaps the best asset a Daemon Prince has is its versatility - there are a massive array of options available to it, more so than any other monster in the codex. My best advice is to seek out and formulate your own awesome builds for them.

    Skulltaker - This blood-soaked warrior is pretty nifty in combat, and holds a few important distinctions that make him quite a bit better than would be initially obvious. First up, he has an incredible stat-line that should make almost any commander jealous - Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill and Initiative of nine, with four attacks and a Strength of five. In a nutshell, most enemies will both struggle to hit him and strike well after he has done his damage, of which he can dish out a considerable amount. With an AP three sword that inflicts instant death on any to wound roll of a six, whilst also causing Soul Blaze for a few sneaky potential wounds, Skulltaker is designed for one thing - challenging non +2 armoured characters, and proceeding to maul them with relative impunity. This is reflected in his special rule that, like Chaos Space Marine characters, forces him to always issue and accept challenges wherever possible - this can be a harmful trait, especially against characters that he will natively struggle against, though Skulltaker should do well for the most part. In addition, he is also the only in-codex Eternal Warrior, owing to his aptly named cloak of skulls; however, he only has a Toughness of four and two wounds, meaning he can't take too much punishment anyway. Fortunately, he does have a +3 armour save which, in combination with a +5 invulnerable save, makes him a lot more durable than a regular Herald; still, having only two wounds means you need to treat him with care.

    Skulltaker also has a Locus built into his basic profile, which is quite useful - giving Adamantium Will to both himself and his unit - albeit probably not the one you would hope for, given the immense benefits the Rage and Hatred Loci provide. When compared to a regular Herald of Khorne, Skulltaker actually does stack up quite nicely, what with a Weapon Skill and Initiative that means most enemies will hit him on fives and strike several Initiative steps below him, a very good armour save, as well as a weapon with the decapitating blow special rule. However, I do think that a Herald of Khorne with an Axe of Khorne - similar to Skulltaker's weapon, except that it is AP two - and a Locus granting Rage or Hatred may prove to be more useful overall, though Skulltaker is still nonetheless a good option. Khorne's champion can also be mounted on a Juggernaught, granting him a +1 bonus to his Toughness, Wounds and attacks values. Though it is expensive, it does serve to make Skulltaker both twice as mobile and also makes him far more durable - a three wound Eternal Warrior model at Toughness five with the decent saves he possesses makes for a very killy, hardcore and relatively cheap butcher. This also works wonders for Bloodcrushers, who are now prone to instant death from readily available missile launchers and meltaguns - stick Skulltaker up the front, or wherever else is necessary, and soak up said wounds if you can afford to, making sure to abuse cover of course. Look out Sir any other wounds onto your three-wound Bloodcrushers! This should prove to be a nasty tactic, and makes both Skulltaker and Bloodcrushers far more effective. I really think Skulltaker is a good choice, even if many others may point to the fact that he lacks an AP two weapon in melee - despite this, I think he is good value in terms of both surviving and dishing out the damage, as his unnaturally high Weapon Skill and Initiative can make a big difference in a lot of engagements. Just be careful not to send him against the wrong opponent - such as one clad in Terminator armour - and he should do just fine.

    Karanak - Previously a unit upgrade for a unit of Flesh Hounds, Karanak is now a separate character, and the most expensive base of the Herald-level characters. He has a host of reasons for this; namely, he is a Strength and Toughness five, three-wound Beast that, between some high close combat-centric stats and several unique rules, is quite a handy challenge character. With Weapon Skill seven, Initiative six and four attacks base, Karanak should reliably maul squad sergeants and the like in one round of combat, regardless of the fact that he lacks any kind of AP on his melee attacks - though this is an issue, and can prove costly against certain enemies, I think Karanak puts out enough attacks to mitigate this issue. Khorne's favoured hound also has some unique rules that make him a nightmare for certain enemy characters - notably, he may pick a single enemy character before the start of the game and 'mark' him; gaining re-rolls to hit and to wound against that foe. This maximises Karanak's damage output, and helps to make up for his lack of power weapon attacks - against a marked Captain, for example, Karanak should kill them with little difficulty, dependant of course upon their wargear load-out. Similarly, power-armoured Librarians will statistically be killed before they can strike, assuming Karanak charges - which, as a Beast, is very likely. Being a Daemon of Khorne and having Hatred innately, Karanak also strikes at Strength six on the charge, whilst re-rolling to hit in the first round of combat even against non-marked opponents. This makes him a lot more dangerous than a first glance would intimate.

    Karanak also works very well as a force multiplier by being equipped with the Locus of Fury, providing Rage to both himself and any unit he attaches to. Given that he is an Independent Character and is unrestricted in what units he can feasibly join, you can pair him up with Bloodcrushers, Bloodletters or Flesh Hounds alike, though the latter are probably best to run amok. Giving Rage to an entire unit of Khorne Daemons is very nifty indeed, as they already tend to dish out a lot of high Weapon Skill, high Strength attacks - power weapons or not, this makes them even more devastating on the charge. In this way, Karanak can work well with multiple units, though I would usually recommend Flesh Hounds - not just for fluff reasons, but also because Karanak and Flesh Hounds have the Scout special rule, and owing to their fast movement speed and significant durability considering their cost, they are not as obvious a target for an opponent. However, this is also a nasty way to make Bloodcrushers even more deadly - pair Karanak with them, and the entire unit can redeploy within twelve inches of their original position, either going into handy cover to block enemy shooting and get even closer, or simply force your opponent to waste no time in trying to get rid of them, allowing other elements to advance uncontested. This is also possible with a Bloodletter horde, giving them that extra bit of movement needed to get them into glorious combat quicker. Given that the Scout rules allow you to charge on the first game turn provided you go second, this can create some serious issues of target priority for your opponent. For these abilities alone, I think Karanak is well worth the investment - however, it is also important to note that by having a Collar of Khorne, him (and by extension his unit) have a +4 Deny the Witch save, which is quite handy. What is of note here is that any psyker taking a psychic test within twelve inches of Karanak suffers Perils of the Warp on any double, owing to the unique collar he wears. I think he is quite a good unit that you should consider, despite the lack of a power weapon - what he does for any given unit, and how deceivingly good in combat he is, more than make up for that deficiency.

    Herald of Khorne - What is it with Chaos Daemons and having amazing profiles? Seriously, when one looks at a Herald of Khorne, one might be surprised that they aren't looking at a special character - a Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill of seven, an Initiative of six and Strength five on a cheap as chips HQ with two wounds and a +5 invulnerable save? Despite their relative fragility, many characters unique to other codices would give an arm and a leg for such a profile - this is made even more impressive by the fact the Herald of Khorne comes standard with an AP three melee weapon, and can take an AP two close combat weapon that inflicts instant death on to-wound rolls of a six. Did I mention those tools also strike at Initiative order? You guessed it - a Herald of Khorne, for very little, is a character that can stand toe-to-toe with even more expensive characters from other codices and defeat them with little difficulty. Though their Toughness four, two wounds and lack of an armour save does mean they can't take too much damage, they dish it out in spades and will be relatively hard to hit for a lot of enemy units. They have a very decent chance of slaughtering Terminator Space Marine Captains, despite being much cheaper, and work very well against elite units that rely on their high armour save. In effect, they are almost like a glass cannon that will punish unwary enemies - a theme that runs throughout the codex. One of their best uses is to add an AP two weapon to an AP three wielding squad, making them far more of a threat against Terminators - just be careful to hide the Herald appropriately, of course.

    In addition to this, much like Skulltaker and Karanak, Heralds of Khorne also serve to buff their units through 'Loci' - you can select one out of three, and each provides their own unique benefits to both the Herald and whatever unit it attaches to. The first, and cheapest, provides Adamantium Will - this is helpful against highly psychic enemies, such as Eldar and Tyranids, though it is of limited use elsewhere. The second grants Rage, meaning your high Weapon Skill and Strength Khorne units dish out ridiculous amounts of attacks which, in conjunction with Furious Charge, makes them absolutely devastating on the charge. The third gives Hatred (Everything!), and thus serves to maximise the potential hits that any given unit can put out in their first round of combat. Given that it is the most expensive, you need to weigh up its effectiveness against Rage - whilst Rage means you will actually average a lot more hits, it also only applies if the Khorne Daemons charged, which, if any smart opponent knows, it can be a good idea to deny them the charge and instead launch an assault themselves. Personally, I think that once you are in charge range, most enemies will either want to move away from your or rapid fire anyway - providing you are heading for a unit you should be able to deal with, of course. In that sense, I think the Locus providing Rage would be the most useful. Be mindful that even though the Loci provide amazing benefits for the Herald and a unit, they aren't necessary to achieve victory - our units tend to do well anyway, though the extra buffs do certainly help to sway things in our favour, which can be quite critical in an assault-focussed army.

    Heralds of Khorne also have access to two 'mount' options - they can either take a Juggernaught and become more difficult to kill, and mobile, or a Blood Throne that gives them some good protection and increases the potential units affected by their chosen Locus. Both are expensive, though I would say they are somewhat reasonable - the Juggernaught makes the Herald a Toughness five, three wound Cavalry model that dishes out even more pain through an additional attack. Given that a Herald of Khorne is already quite nasty, especially when given a cheap weapon such as an Aetherblade, this can serve to make him a cheaper, and arguably more dangerous equivalent to some of the more powerful 'mounted' commanders in other armies. His speed, improved resilience - despite the lack of an armour save, Toughness five, three wounds and a +5 invulnerable save does make for a decently hardy model - and high damage output at such a good price is quite good. However, again, the lack of an armour save is crippling - the Juggernaught is very expensive, and one would say over-costed - which I am hard-pressed not to agree with. The trick is finding the best unit to roll with - Bloodcrushers are a good and visually striking option, though you need to be aware that they will likely be targeted by massed Strength eight or higher shooting.

    Flesh Hounds are yet another option, being a very fast unit with a lot of wounds and good damage output, all for very little points-wise. The choice is yours - remember that adding Rage or Hatred to any of these units can make them far deadlier! As for the Blood Throne, I think this is best used in a primarily foot-slogging army, or at least one where hordes of Bloodletters and the Herald himself deep-strike down near enemy formations through the help of Seekers (heresy!) or Bloodcrushers. Providing your chosen Locus to every friendly Khorne daemon unit within six inches is quite good, though the range is arguably too limited considering the chaotic nature of assaults in 6th Edition Warhammer 40000. When one also considers the relevance of blast markers to such a congested army, and the fragility of Khorne Daemons, this is one that you might want to avoid. Ultimately, I think Heralds of Khorne are great value that work very well not just as strong combat characters, but as unit buffers that make the already nasty Khorne Daemons even more destructive. Just keep in mind that like all other Heralds, you need to be careful which engagement you throw them in - they aren't the toughest unit, though they do offset this by hitting hard and being quite cheap. Oh yes. Blood shall be spilled!

    The Changeling - One of the more quirky characters in the codex, the Changeling is an interesting option that suffers in terms of versatility and customisation compared to a regular Herald of Tzeentch. Its unique ability is to assume the 'identity' of enemy models - the Changeling can choose a single enemy model in base contact with itself at the start of the Fight sub-phase in an assault, and take all or some of its Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Initiative and Attacks for the remainder of that player turn. Obviously, this has a lot of hilarious applications - something that is tougher than it is strong and has few attacks, such as a Tervigon, can be mimicked for laughs and kept in combat for a while. Characters that rely on their high Initiative, despite being fragile, may not have such a fun time when they find themselves duplicated. There are a lot of ways to use this rule effectively, though it is important to note that special rules and wargear do not carry over - a monstrous creature can still Smash, whereas the Changeling can't, whilst a Chaplain would receive their armour save, and the Changeling would have to rely on its invulnerable save. In this sense, though it is cool and can dissuade quite a few enemies from charging the Changeling's unit - this is invaluable when attached to Pink Horrors and the like - it isn't really worth the price that you pay. It is also important to note that the Changeling comes standard with the cheapest Locus - for every 'Blue Horror' marker you would place, you instead place D3 - this can lead to some extra potential wounds, but the difference is mostly negligible.

    A regular Herald of Tzeentch is almost half the Changeling's cost, and has a lot of options that more than make up for the loss of such an ability - for one, the Changeling's inability to use Divination powers critically limits its effectiveness in terms of support, a key role for a Herald. Though the Change discipline's Witchfire powers aren't terrible, they are particularly unimpressive on a lone mastery level one psyker. Because it is capped at mastery level one, and because Divination works wonders with Pink Horrors and the like, the Changeling isn't as versatile and useful a unit as a Herald of Tzeentch - particularly because a Herald can also take some very helpful daemonic gifts, including an AP three sword that creates Chaos Spawn when it is used to slay a monstrous creature or character. As such, I think you are better served taking a standard Tzeentch Herald for the purposes of supporting your units - a mastery level three Herald of Tzeentch with three Divination powers is a decent chunk more expensive than the Changeling, but should prove to be far more beneficial for your force, as an example. However, it is important to note in a game that can sometimes be about 'hold up', the Changeling can perform this task reliably to an extent - just be aware of its weak save, and it should do just fine.

    The Blue Scribes - One of the more comical models in both background, appearance and gameplay, the Blue Scribes are an odd choice to take for a wide number of reasons. First and foremost, they are not an Independent Character - this means that, due to their Toughness four and lack of Eternal Warrior, they will statistically die if at most two krak missiles, hades autocannon shots or the like hit them. Though they have a +5 invulnerable save, their meagre Toughness and only two wounds means that they are very easily killed. In addition, their abilities are random and thus you can never be quite sure whether they will do anything useful in any given turn - they roll on a psychic discipline from the main rulebook of their choice, roll a D6 and see which power they get to use; they cannot swap out for the Primaris power, sadly. However, this is offset by the interesting fact that they neither need to take a psychic test or expend any warp charge points to use the psychic power - if you roll that power, you can use it, without any restrictions whatsoever. Your opponent can Deny the Witch as normal, but seeing as the best means of preventing the use of psychic powers revolves around psychic tests themselves, this means they can sneak in a few cheaky powers. Imagine this - you roll on Telepathy, and roll up Hallucination. Aside from what will be an unlikely Deny the Witch roll, you can essentially render a unit useless for a turn, just like that. This means they can, at a whim, have a significant effect on the game - rolling on Divination or Biomancy will usually reap some big rewards, for example. However, obviously the very thing that makes it work is what undermines their effectiveness - it is inherently random, and is as likely to give you a near-useless power as one that can change the game.

    The Blue Scribes do have the advantage of being exceedingly quick - they are treated as a Jetbike, and as such can turbo boost each turn into great positions to not only give them great cover saves, but reduce the amount of units that can potentially fire on them. They also have a unique ability that allows you to place a token for every successful enemy psychic test taken; in their turn, for every token, on a D6 roll of a six they can give an extra warp charge point to any friendly psyker within twelve inches. This is useful, albeit the number of enemy psykers needed for this to truly make a difference is significant - it will work best against armies such as Grey Knights, Eldar and Tyranids, though it isn't something to bet on even in such circumstances. It can be useful to grant extra shots for a Pink Horrors unit - what I imagine to be its primary purpose. Still, given that the Blue Scribes are so easily killed and provide such random abilities, this means they are a risky unit to use - one that should probably be reserved for more 'fun' games, though they are by no means a bad option to use in an Allied contingent if the ruling that Heralds can't be taken for Allies stays.

    Herald of Tzeentch - Dissimilar to the Herald of Khorne, Tzeentch Heralds typically do not want any daemonic gifts, as their greatest advantage is their ability not only to fire out an impressive amount of witchfire from the Change Primaris power, but to take a wide array of abilities from the Divination discipline - and they do this at a cheaper price than can be found anywhere else. His basic profile is the most unimpressive of the Heralds, with low stats across the board, albeit a decent Ballistic Skill of four. Much like Pink Horrors and most other Tzeentch Daemons, they are not at home in close combat and as such you should make the effort wherever possible to keep them out of it. Unlike the other Heralds though, Tzeentch's plaything comes stock with psychic mastery level one, and is the only Herald that can take up to psychic mastery level three - given that you typically don't want the daemonic gifts on a Herald of Tzeentch anyway, this means they should still clock out at about the same price or cheaper than other Heralds. And trust me, you want those extra mastery levels - as stated before, Divination is amazing, giving the Herald the ability to grant a +4 invulnerable save to a horde of Pink Horrors, or give re-rolls to hit to a unit of Screamers, or give Ignores Cover to an attached Horror' units ranged attacks. There is a wide range of permutations and combinations available, many of them more discrete than you might initially think - when taken either in an allied contingent or a primary detachment with allied Chaos Space Marines, a Herald of Tzeentch can provide some amazing buffs to units in the codex that need them. Promptly, you can give Prescience - re-rolls to hit in combat and shooting - to units of Havocs or Obliterators, significantly increasing their damage output. You can grant a unit of Khorne Berzerkers a +4 invulnerable save, making them so much scarier against power-weapon wielding enemies. You can force an enemy unit to re-roll successful cover saves against Thousand Sons.

    As you can see, Heralds of Tzeentch really aren't about what offensive powers they can bring to the table - even if they can use the mediocre Change witchfire powers - but more the support abilities, all of which comes for little cost. Dark Angels Librarians and the like are so popular for this very reason, and Heralds of Tzeentch are no different - especially given Chaos Space Marines are such a popular army and can benefit from Divination immensely. Their supporting effects, especially when combined with Pink Horrors, are doubled when one considers the various Loci that are available to them. The first treats 'Blue Horror' tokens as D3 per one, rather than just one, and can thus inflict some additional casualties on enemy units in an assault. However, these are of such a low Strength that they are unlikely to change the combat result, and for them to be in such numbers as to truly make a difference, that would usually mean many Pink Horrors have died anyway and the remainder will thus be highly susceptible to a Daemonic Instability test. As such, given it only provides very slight melee defence against a ranged-centric unit, I would avoid it, despite its low cost. The second Locus is interesting - you roll a D6 at the start of each turn, and the result replaces your Strength value for the remainder of that turn. As it is player turn, this means that a bad result can be quickly mitigated - it would be funny to see a unit of Horrors suddenly have Strength six or five. Though it is very random, it has a 50% chance of making them a lot more damaging in combat, and for that reason, I would say it has its place. However, seeing as a bad roll can severely cripple the squad, and that they should stay away from melee anyway, this isn't the best option either.

    The third Locus is definitely the most useful - the Herald and its unit add one to the Strength of any psychic powers they manifest. Obviously, considering Horrors can put out absurd numbers of shots when using the Change Primaris for a low cost that are already Strength five, this is quite a deadly tool that can increase the damage done to certain units. As an example, twenty Horrors using the Primaris power with the help of Prescience from a Herald will average about two unsaved wounds against typical Space Marines. With the added benefits of this Locus, the same unit will average three unsaved wounds. The difference is more pronounced against units with weaker armour saves and a lower Toughness - as such, against your common foe, the extra casualty or two is decent and one would say it pays for the Locus. I do agree, as it can be especially devastating to have 4D6 shots at Strength six - it also obviously makes the unit far more threatening to monstrous creatures. Though the third Locus is the best, it isn't entirely necessary - it is good to have, but if you need the points elsewhere, feel free to drop it. Realistically, a Herald of Tzeentch will do perfectly fine with or without a Locus - they can provide such amazing and consistent buffs to a wide range of units even when discounting Loci, a unique distinction amongst the Heralds. The Herald of Tzeentch also has access to a Disc of Tzeentch - making it a Jetbike - that allows it to roll with faster units such as Screamers and Flamers, which is very handy, as well as making him tougher. It is also reasonably expensive, and allows the Herald to have a greater range of units it can affect with its handy Divination powers, as well as allowing it to get closer to employ and powers from the Change discipline it has. The most common tactic here would be to give Prescience to Screamers, making an already effective melee unit even more deadly. You can also take a Burning Chariot of Tzeentch, which unfortunately is a very fragile platform - albeit a mobile one - that is probably best left alone when one considers you can take a Disc of Tzeentch and still be hidden in units for less. It works mostly to get him where he needs to be to cast his powers, but again, I think the Disc is better for that. However, it is important to note that taking an Aetherblade and using the Chariot for sweep attacks is a viable strategy, though it does make your fragile platform quite exposed at short range. All up, whether you run him on foot or on a Disc will largely depend on what units you want to buff, and how many points you are willing to invest. As always, he is a great unit regardless of the path you choose.

    Epidemius - Looking at Epidemius can be very frustrating for Nurgle-loving Chaos players, at least in his new incarnation anyway. It is no secret - a lot of army lists, particularly allied forces composed of Nurgle Daemons and Plague Marines, were centred around the inclusion of Epidemius. Whilst I don't think he is a terrible unit, the Tallyman is definitely not as beneficial for such an army as he was previously. Well first off, he is essentially a souped up Herald of Nurgle - his stat line is almost exactly the same, albeit having two extra wounds and an extra attack makes him a lot harder to kill against anything that isn't Strength ten, which is a very useful bonus. He also comes stock with the Lesser Nurgle Locus, meaning that every to hit roll of a six made by his unit and himself is treated as Poisoned (+2) - not bad, but you would generally prefer one of the other two Loci. However, the main reason you would take him is for his namesake ability - the Tally of Pestilence. For every unsaved wound caused - even those negated by Feel No Pain and the like - by Daemons of Nurgle, you add one to a 'tally'. The number of unsaved wounds provides many different cumulative bonuses to any friendly Nurgle Daemon unit within six inches of Epidemius - these can range from adding one to their Toughness, giving them Poisoned (+2) melee attacks, or granting Feel No Pain (+4) to entire units! Obviously though, the more powerful results require a massive number of unsaved wounds to come into effect, meaning that you need to maximise the kills as quickly as possible to reap the benefits when it counts. This rule has two fundamental flaws that you need to be aware of - the first is its limited range, forcing any unit you want to buff to stay packed around Epidemius. Though the requirement is only for one model to be within six inches for the entire unit to get the effects, you obviously need to be aware of blast weapons shot at Epidemius, sniper wounds and the like that will likely force you to huddle closer. This makes a Nurgle Daemon army even more vulnerable to blast weapons, meaning that you will need to abuse cover as much as possible - given that they are already slow and mostly a melee army, this means you are likely to take severe casualties before you can even really start the killing. Thunderfire Cannons, Whirlwinds and the like will have a field day with you regardless - though Shrouded will make a big difference against other common blast weapons. As well, Manticores and the like will have a field day against Epidemius - instant death, barrage rules that snipe him out, and so on. You need to treat him, and your army, with care, and it is very difficult with such limitations.

    The other issue is actually getting the kills needed to boost your units - in an army that wants to exploit Epidemius' ability to its furthest extent, you will need lots of infantry, both to protect and benefit from Epidemius, and a lot of either fast-moving, dangerous units or others with strong firepower. In a Nurgle themed army, this can be difficult - your only real options here are to take Nurgle Soul Grinders and Plague Drones; though both of these units are either fantastic or very good, relying on them to get the kills quickly means a smart opponent will know to focus fire on them early on, as they are hardly infallible. In addition, wracking the Tally up to where it truly makes your units as tough as Epidemius' price tag demands is very challenging, even with a large quantity of those aforementioned units. You need the added durability immensely on the early and mid-game turns, and I am not sure a typical game will feature enough units for you to get what you need at such a time. And even then, the effects aren't strictly amazing - though they are pretty good, you need to ask yourself whether it is worth the price of two decently upgraded Heralds of Nurgle. My guess? I would say that you should take the pair of Heralds - they are better value in every sense of the word, they can take a wide range of potential gifts, and have access to the very useful Biomancy and Plague psychic disciplines if they choose to be a psyker. As such, I wouldn't recommend Epidemius mostly because of the fact that Heralds of Nurgle can and will serve your army much better in most cases. Whilst an Epidemius army can work pretty decently, I think you are better off looking either at a Great Unclean One or those ever adaptable Nurgle Heralds. An ok choice, but outweighed by compatriot options.

    Herald of Nurgle - A Plaguebearer that wants to hug you a bit less than usual - they are busy bodies after all - Heralds of Nurgle are very useful models that are quite tough and can pack a punch with the right upgrades. First and foremost, he is Toughness five, and has two wounds and a +5 invulnerable save much alike to other Heralds - he is decently more durable than other Heralds, though is generally less dangerous in combat to compensate. As with Plaguebearers though, he comes standard with a Plaguesword, meaning he can do decently well against both monstrous creatures and most characters - re rolls to wound on threes against most characters is quite advantageous - as well as glance well armoured vehicles in a pinch, if unreliably. However, the two best reasons to take a Herald of Nurgle - aside from being a cheap as chips commander and potential Warlord - are that it can be a decently powerful psyker, and it can take an awesome Locus. With access to the Plague and Biomancy psychic disciplines, a Herald of Nurgle has quite a bit of room to move - it can take some powerful witchfire powers from Plague, or hope for the blessing that can dramatically reduce the combat effectiveness of enemy units, or reap the benefits of more random rolls on Biomancy through insane durability boosts to both units and itself. Unlike a Herald of Tzeentch though, Heralds of Nurgle do not start off with a psychic mastery level - they need to purchase the first level, and are capped at a maximum of mastery level two. As such, they can't provide cheap benefits like Prescience right off the bat, but that isn't to say the investment is not worth it - Leadership eight means that you will fail the odd psychic test more often than you would hope, though the Plague discipline gives you some very nasty witchfire powers, notably including an AP three Poisoned (+4) template weapon and a large blast AP two Poisoned (+4) attack that can each do significant amounts of damage at short range. Biomancy works mostly to get Endurance or Enfeeble - either a significant support ability or a strong de-buff power - as the witchfires are inferior to those found in the Plague discipline, and the abilities that buff the Herald itself aren't as useful as they would be elsewhere due to their lack of wounds and good saving throw.

    As for Loci, the Herald of Nurgle has some interesting options, though one shines above the rest. The first Locus treats any to hit roll of a six made in combat by the Herald and its unit as Poisoned (+2) which can be a useful - and cheap - way of doing a few extra wounds here and there. However, considering such wounds do not ignore armour saves, and seeing as typical enemies will be wounded on a +4 with re-rolls by Plaguebearers, this isn't too great, especially considering it is only on to hit rolls of a six which, given the few attacks generated by most Nurgle units, means it isn't that useful. The second, and easily most attractive option is to give the Herald and its unit the Feel No Pain special rule; obviously, this significantly increases the durability of any given unit, particularly for a unit such as a horde of Plaguebearers. Given that Nurgle Daemons, particularly Plaguebearers, already work very well as objective-sitters in cover due to Shrouded, adding Feel No Pain into the mix makes them nearly impossible to shift against typical ranged attacks. Just be mindful of weapons that ignore cover and/or inflict instant death, which are more common place than you might think - still, this is great value and should be your first choice if considering a Locus for the Herald. The third, which is unusually the same cost as the second Locus, is quite similar to the first Locus - namely, every to hit roll of a six made in close combat by the Herald and its unit automatically cause an additional Strength four AP nothing Poisoned (+4) hit on an enemy unit. This is, again, very unreliable and unlike the first Locus, it does not have the benefit of being very cheap, even if its output is similar.

    As such, though the first and third Loci are middling, the second is fantastic and is a great addition to a Herald of Nurgle provided you intend to make full use of its benefits. Overall, Heralds of Nurgle are quite good - much like Heralds of Tzeentch, they are there primarily to buff your units, though they do have access to Gifts that can make for interesting offensive combinations. You could, for example, take an AP two at Initiative weapon for cheap, but generally speaking, the Herald of Nurgle is best used for providing great defensive boosts to a unit, rather than strictly being a good combat character. Much like the Herald of Khorne though, that cheap AP two weapon can be very handy against units such as Terminators - units that would usually bog your Herald and its unit down for a while, but would now be killed much quicker due to the decent combat abilities of the Herald being combined with a very good weapon. Weapon Skill five, Initiative four and his naturally high Strength and Toughness mean a Herald can quite easily over-come squad sergeants and the like, though he will probably need to rely on his Toughness to combat someone like a Captain. Again though, the Herald isn't there just for challenges - support your units, and they will make their points back every time.

    The Masque - Do you like the idea of having a lone, easily killed model that dances people either to death or to not know how to fight? Then good news - the Masque is here! As you may have guessed, the Masque is essentially a Herald of Slaanesh with two key attributes that distinguish here from a regular Herald, excluding the obvious disadvantages of being a special character - firstly, she cannot join units. This is a crippling distinction that, when combined with the fact she is only Toughness three, has two wounds and only a +5 invulnerable save, she is quite easily killed - a squad of ten Guardsmen can reliably do it in one round of shooting, or even two or three plasma guns. Given that all of her abilities revolve around a twelve inch or less range, this means any savvy opponent will simply kill her before she even has a chance to work her magic. On that note, she's quite a seductress - her unique trait is that her dancing is so alluring, so enchanting, that it disarms, or even harms, those (un)lucky enough to witness it. The three potential dances she can use are quite nasty - one reduces an enemy units' Weapon Skill by five and cripples them so badly that they can only move, run, assault or flee D3 inches. Seriously. This one works very well to help units such as Daemonettes who lack assault grenades - there are no penalties to Initiative, but generally speaking, reducing an enemy units' Weapon Skill by five means they will be hitting your Daemonettes, Seekers and the like on fives; this makes them far harder to kill in that first round and should, importantly, reduce the amount of casualties they suffer before getting to strike.

    Another dance similarly weakens the unit by lowering their Ballistic Skill by five - a note that this and the prior dance reduce such stats to a minimum of one - and prevents that unit from firing Overwatch. Obviously, this can be pretty amazing if used correctly - against a unit such as Flamers of Tzeentch or Burna Boyz, charging Daemonettes would be absolutely reaved by Overwatch fire. This both makes them more likely to get into combat, but generally harder hitting once they get there too. In addition, it is also insurance against a failed charge - a squad of Tactical Marines won't look so nasty when their bolters and plasma guns hit on sixes. Her third and final dance is also amusing, as it literally forces the enemy unit to kill themselves - every model in the unit suffers a Strength one hit at AP two that has the Ignores Cover special rule. Though it can reliably kill one or two Space Marines - or even a Terminator - here and there, it is best used against units in bigger numbers, such as larger Chaos Space Marine squads and the like. It is useful, albeit reliant on a bit of a lucky roll to do any real significant damage. Her dances work against a single enemy unit within twelve inches - ergo, you need to be very close to use them, and given how fragile the Masque is, that is a good way to get her killed. So how does one mitigate this problem? The short answer is to deep strike her by using fast-moving 'homing' units, such as Seekers, to guide her in safely and allow her to provide - probably - one turn to do her work. She can turn a potentially disastrous assault into a guaranteed victory, and for that reason alone she is an option to consider.

    Unlike a regular Herald, she also has Hit and Run, which combined with her very high Initiative of seven means she can reliably get out of a sticky situation - i.e. a joint assault that hasn't worked as hoped. She can re-roll failed invulnerable saves, much like one of the greater gifts available to Heralds and the like, though it is still only a +5 save. As much as she does have abilities that make more survivable than she would initially appear, the fact is that even a standard, readily available Tactical Squad rapid-firing at her will kill her without a fight. That she is only Toughness three means that massed strength six and higher shooting - i.e. massed autocannons - means she can die on turn one of the game if you don't hide her or deep strike her. As such, I would always deploy the Masque in reserves, and have her help out a particular potential assault you really need to win. Aside from that, you are far better off with a regular Herald of Slaanesh, which is a shame because the background and theme behind the Masque - stop dancing yourself to death! - are quite awesome. She is over-costed for what she does, and having her around is a risky investment - especially if she is your armies Warlord (don't ever do it)! She simply doesn't provide for your units as much as Herald with a Locus would, who is cheaper to boot. Much like the Blue Scribes, whilst she isn't terrible, she's far outperformed by her counter-part Heralds in terms of what those particular units need to perform at their highest efficiency. Again though, she can work very well with certain units - just be aware that Fiends of Slaanesh can perform a similar role - in terms of mitigating the lack of assault grenades anyway - and are far harder to kill as well.

    Herald of Slaanesh - Being yet another generic character that can make special characters blush, the Herald of Slaanesh is a less 'overt' unit in combat compared to a Herald of Khorne, but arguably provides larger benefits to her units due to the Loci she has available. In addition, like a Herald of Nurgle, she can be a psyker too, and owing to her and other Slaanesh Daemons' great speed, this has a lot of useful applications. In terms of raw combat ability, a Herald of Slaanesh is quite decent - rocking a Weapon Skill and Initiative of seven, with four Rending attacks at Strength four. She should butcher squad sergeants - who often cost almost as much as she does before upgrades - and even stands a very decent chance against less suitably equipped commanders owing to her speed and weight of attacks. That she has Rending melee attacks is quite useful, as it means you don't need to take an AP two weapon that strikes at Initiative, much like a Herald of Khorne works well with - however, unlike other Slaanesh Daemons, a Herald does have Strength four, and as such a standard Aetherblade or even a Greater Aetherblade can make her extremely dangerous in combat owing to having four attacks base at such a high Initiative. Given that she, like the Heralds of Nurgle and Tzeentch, is also cheaper than a Herald of Khorne, she can made to be as good, if not better, in combat against certain enemies for less. Rending also allows her to engage high Toughness enemies, albeit a bit unreliably - however, again, combat ability isn't strictly what you should be taking a Herald for, even if a Herald of Slaanesh is quite good at it. Just the fact that a cheap weapon does make her very nasty, especially when engaging Terminators, on top of the already highly cost-effective melee-oriented Daemonettes, is quite a good trait to have.

    Like other Heralds, the main reason you probably want the Herald of Slaanesh is for what strong advantages she can give to a unit, whether through psychic abilities or Loci. Like the Herald of Nurgle, she does not start off as a psyker, but she can be upgraded up to mastery level two - it adds to her cost quite significantly though, more than doubling her standard price in points. She has access to the Excess and Telepathy disciplines, which means her available powers are generally more focussed on maledictions and the like. Excess suffers by being used primarily to attack enemies based on Leadership tests, and owing to the high Leadership of most armies nowadays, this makes such powers unreliable at best. However, the first and most useful power is a malediction that essentially does what you would take the Masque or Fiends of Slaanesh for - it reduces the Initiative of an enemy unit by five, and prevents them from Overwatching or using Counter-Attack. Obviously, this is a fantastic power that given its range of eighteen inches can be used to help out other units that are launching assaults this turn, not just the Heralds. Overwatch can inflict quite a few casualties on Slaanesh Daemons, and denying the enemy bonus attacks can help to shape the combat result, and as such the power is worthwhile for that alone. However, the penalty to Initiative is its best - and perhaps broken - aspect, as the power does not reduce their Initiative 'to a minimum of one'. This means that, against a unit such as Tactical Marines, Paladins without Nemesis Halberds, Wraithguard, Orks and the like - i.e. almost any unit you can think of - you can prevent them from attacking completely as there is no 'Initiative 0' step in an assault! If you can get this power - and I would recommend taking only mastery level one for that purpose so that you can re-roll the five-six result - you can effectively guarantee a won combat against any enemy unit, and even against those that would be able to strike, it will likely be at Initiative one and thus put your Slaaneshi Daemons charging through cover on an equal playing field with their opponents! The Telepathy discipline is also useful, if only for the warp charge two powers - the rest are ok, but the Primaris power is what you would typically want otherwise. Remember that, like the Herald of Nurgle, there is quite a decent chance of failing your psychic tests and as such you need to be careful.

    As for Loci, the Herald of Slaanesh predictably has three to choose from - and these are home to the most expensive available to any Herald. The first, and cheapest, grants her and her unit the Move Through Cover special rule. Given that all Slaanesh Daemons have Fleet and add three inches to their Run moves, this isn't really going to affect them as much as you might think - however, it is important to note that this will make Seekers of Slaanesh immune to dangerous terrain checks if your Herald joins such a unit, making them able to go through terrain without reprimand. In that sense, it is useful for one or two units only, and not really necessary elsewhere. The second Locus grants the Herald and her unit a staggering bonus of five points of Initiative on top of their basic profile - though this means they will usually strike at Initiative ten, it is very important to note that they will still strike at Initiative one when charging through cover. Given that Slaanesh Daemons will usually strike first against most opponents anyway, this isn't the best option - your units should be more worried about charging through cover, rather than striking at the same time as Howling Banshees; however, it is important to note that this does have its uses. The third, and perhaps best Locus overall is also the most costly any of the Heralds can purchase; the Herald and her attached unit can re-roll all failed to-hit rolls in melee, and the chosen Handmaiden forces opponents to accept her challenges, with the unique distinction that she can also choose who accepts those challenges. Obviously, these benefits are pretty significant - though Slaanesh Daemons tend to have high Weapon Skill, the re-rolls to hit do serve to maximise their damage potential and can lead to an incredible amount of extra unsaved wounds inflicted, particularly when using larger squads of Daemonettes or Seekers. Effectively, it makes them even more deadly in combat than they already were for the cost.

    The second ability of the Locus is also quite hilarious - there is no rule saying the Herald must accept or issue challenges, yet she can force enemy characters to accept hers and pick which one does it at that! Remembering that the Herald of Slaanesh will mulch through many characters almost twice her cost, and this is a great ability to have. Spiritseer in a Wraithguard unit trying to hide so that they don't suffer from Wraithsight? Laugh at the poor Eldar player and kill their Spiritseer in a blink. Two Necron Lords in the unit, one with Mindshackle Scarabs? Force the other one to accept and butcher him. A Dark Apostle trying to hide in a blob of Cultists, being the only thing keeping the squad from running and granting you an objective? Make him accept and wipe him out - just be careful not to fluff your rolls, of course, as he stands a decent chance of killing you. Or you can make the Dark Apostle challenge your unit champion, allow him to waste his Hatred on her and potentially suffer a wound or two, and then mop up with the Herald who still gets her re-rolls to hit. In short - it is fantastic, and as long as you can get into combat and not suffer too many casualties as well as strike at your base Initiative, it should pay for itself doubly. It is interesting to note that a Herald of Slaanesh has access to three mount options - the first and most obvious being a Steed of Slaanesh that not only makes her insanely quick, but boosts her attacks and allows her to join up with the incredibly efficient Seeker units, making them even more deadly provided she takes a Locus. This is a great option that is also hilariously cheap - just remember that, unlike a Juggernaught of Khorne, it does not boost her survivability and as such you need to be as careful with her as you usually would. The second is to mount her on a Seeker chariot, which is an interesting option - it can get her into combat quicker, but it leaves her out in the open as she cannot join a Seeker Cavalcade and, owing to the fragility of the chariot, is likely to be blown up quickly. It is cool, but you are probably better off with a Steed or simply running with Daemonettes. My opinions of the Exalted Seeker Chariot are similar, and though it can do a lot more damage, you are paying quite a bit more for something that was already of questionable value for a Herald of Slaanesh. In short, whilst the chariots aren't bad, I think the Steed of Slaanesh would be the best mounted option, especially since Seekers of Slaanesh are amazing now. All in all, the Herald of Slaanesh is a great unit that will serve to make whatever unit she joins - provided you take one of the awesome Loci or certain psychic powers - that much better.


    Example Builds - For your viewing pleasure, I have compiled some example builds that I think you will find most interesting.

    Herald of Khorne w/ aetherblade (lesser reward), greater locus of fury - 85

    Herald of Khorne w/ aetherblade (lesser reward), greater locus of fury, juggernaught of Khorne - 130

    Herald of Tzeentch w/ psychic mastery level three - 95

    Herald of Tzeentch w/ psychic mastery level two, exalted locus of conjuration - 95

    Herald of Nurgle w/ aetherblade (lesser reward), greater locus of fecundity - 80

    Herald of Nurgle w/ psychic mastery level two, greater locus of fecundity - 120

    Herald of Slaanesh w/ mighty aetherblade (greater reward), exalted locus of beguilement - 95

    Herald of Slaanesh w/ mighty aetherblade (greater reward), steed of slaanesh, exalted locus of beguilement - 110

    What do you think of Daemon Princes and the Heralds of Chaos? Do you think I have judged each unit accurately? Sound off in the comments below - we are eager to hear any critiques you may have! Thanks for any and all feedback, as well as taking the time to digest this long-winded article
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-08-2013 at 07:28 PM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  4. #4

    Default

    Howdy all, Learn2Eel here, and I am back to discuss the new and exciting Chaos Daemons. This time around I will be talking about our very cheap Troops choices, units that may not have the most obvious applications, but work extremely well when used in specific strategies. Enjoy!
    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.

    Troops

    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.
    Our Troops section is home mostly to melee-oriented units that tend to be very cheap, and also quite fragile - much like the Heralds of their respective deities. All but one are incapable of ranged attacks, and most can - and should - be taken in large numbers both to satisfy their odds of survival, and maintain high effectiveness once they are able to commit to battle. Mostly, each unit has their own specific role - one that they perform far better than the other units of their kind, but with their unique and innate drawbacks to consider. However, again, they are all quite cheap for what they do - unlike other armies, our units lack armour saves, but they all have an invulnerable save, meaning a plasma gun is no more threatening to our Troops than an autocannon. They are as such quite susceptible to massed anti-infantry firepower, and seeing as most of these units need to get into combat to make a difference, this can pose a problem. We lack transports for our Troops, but all Chaos Daemons can deep strike; to really make the most out of our Troops, you will need to consider more than just how they perform when running up the field and getting shot down, or what their strict combat effectiveness is like against certain units. Whilst arguably the hardest section of the codex to make do with - and also one of two mandatory ones - our Troops are quite brutal in the right hands, and a calm, tactical mind is required to use them to their fullest capacity. As far as the comparison between Bloodletters and Daemonettes goes, my general opinion is that Bloodletters are better against power armoured Space Marines, whilst Daemonettes are the more reliable and useful overall. However, this can come down to preference, and your dice may disagree. My advice - try them out for yourself!

    Bloodletters of Khorne - Perhaps the most iconic of all Chaos Daemons, and one of whom graces the cover of the new codex, Bloodletters symbolise all that is thematic and stylish of both Khorne, and Daemons overall - humanoid, a carnal fusion of primitive imagery, roaring in rage and wielding a blade bound by terror itself. This is indicative of their rules as well, as they are strong and fearless combatants, yet brittle and perhaps too easily banished unless they have greater numbers. Most players know and fear Bloodletters for their capabilities in close combat, and as such, they will often be the target of many ranged attacks - in essence, they are a terror weapon that functions simply because it exists, because it is both visually frightening and deadly. They will be an obvious focus for enemy shooting, and as such you will need to protect them. But enough of that for now, what exactly makes them so darn imposing aside from being perfect caricatures of modern interpretations for daemons? Firstly, and significantly, each member of the squad carries a 'hellblade' - an AP three melee weapon with no other rules. Obviously, this would usually paint such a unit as elite infantry, considering power weapons are often at a rare premium in other armies. However, of course, this is not the case; Bloodletters, despite being the most costly of the Daemonic Troops choices, are each cheaper than what taking a power weapon would cost in any other army. When one considers they are each Weapon Skill five and Initiative four, they are quite obviously intended to slaughter Space Marines and their equivalents - in fact, almost any unit that isn't in +2 armour will likely be cut to pieces by a Bloodletter charge of any significance. Combined with Furious Charge from being a Daemon of Khorne, and even a minimum sized squad will butcher a ten-strong Tactical Squad with impunity in one round of combat. Monstrous creatures such as Tervigons and the like aren't safe either, despite their whopping Toughness and amount of wounds - statistically, sixteen Bloodletters will kill a Tervigon outright on the charge, making their points back in one go, which is obviously advantage as many other power-weapon wielders wouldn't stand a remote chance due to their lack of both numbers and Furious Charge. When one considers such abilities can be boosted further due to the inclusion of Heralds and the like, Bloodletters are quite a devastating unit once they get into combat.

    Of course, getting into combat is the major concern you will have when fielding any kind of deadly melee unit - your opponent simply isn't going to sit around and let them charge without first inflicting immense casualties. The first and most prominent feature to note is the fragility of Bloodletters - a Toughness of three and only a +5 invulnerable save means that even lasguns can cause significant damage, whilst bolters and the like will shred them with impunity. Of course, the trade-off here is that a +5 invulnerable save works against any wound, even those that other armies wouldn't get a save against without the immediacy of cover - in melee, where the Bloodletters are at their finest, this becomes quite important, and even allows them to move up the field without worrying about cover against enemies such as Thousand Sons or Psycannons. Bloodletters fear any gun that is strength five or higher as much as they would all others - the only difference comes down to how many wounds they can put on the unit at any given time. Elite armies that focus on such weaponry may thus find they are incredibly lacking in the numbers of small arms fire needed to actually cripple Bloodletter hordes. Still, they are quite fragile and there is no way around that. The other area they find themselves lacking in is by being an assault unit that lacks any form of dedicated transport - the codex has no means of transporting any unit that is not a Herald or Exalted minion, and the Allies rules preclude one from embarking upon any friendly transports. As an assault unit, that is a middling disadvantage that means Bloodletters have no truly reliable way of getting into combat without first being shot at, of which they thus die in droves. When one also considers they lack assault grenades - the means to charge through cover without penalty to Initiative - in conjunction with their fragility makes them very much an unreliable glass cannon, one that has to be treated with care. It doesn't help that they lack anti-vehicle weaponry, though it must be noted that a decent-sized squad should still reliably destroy an AV 11 vehicle or lower when assaulting - just don't expect miracles against walkers, even though wielders of krak grenades tend to struggle against such enemies anyway. Given that, per the Daemonic Instability rules, Bloodletters can't break from an assault in which they cannot harm the opponent, you need to be very selective and considerate of how you use them.

    So how can these issues be mitigated? Well, much like most of this codex, you need to consider the potential combinations involving them, not the strict advantages they provide as a unit over others of their kind. Firstly, you need to get them into combat without taking too much damage by foot-slogging. What special rule do all Daemons have that comes into play here? You guessed it - as any Chaos Daemons unit can deep-strike, this gives Bloodletters a much quicker and safer, if slightly unreliable method of getting up close. This works best when combined with certain units, ones that carry icons - in this role, you need mobile cavalry or beasts that can get an icon where to at least the halfway point of the board in their first movement phase, and have the numbers, durability or placement to survive. Such units need to be used carefully, as even such quick and large Daemons are deceptively fragile - abuse cover and move smartly to minimise enemy fire, and thus casualties, with these units. The obvious choices are Bloodcrushers, Seekers and Plague Drones - each unit can be taken in significant numbers at an affordable price, or have a lot of wounds to compensate. Importantly, each unit can carry an icon - this means reliable deep-strike scatter reduction for any friendly Daemon unit clawing into reality within six inches of the bearer. For Daemons of the same alignment, they do not scatter at all, allowing for perfect precision; conversely, those unaligned to the same god as the icon wielders instead scatter only D6 inches, which means they shouldn't risk a mishap most of the time. Obviously, you need to pick such place carefully; a horde of twenty Bloodletters deep-striking near enemy lines is sure to draw significant attention, which means you need to look to prevention and tie-up strategies. What were those fast-moving units doing again? Strictly speaking, to use Bloodletters (or Daemonettes) in this way, you should combine them with several mobile and hard-hitting units that can at least survive a round of combat and reliably tarpit a potentially nasty ranged unit - even Tactical Marines are wise choices for a unit such as Bloodcrushers to engage (even if the Bloodcrushers will win overwhelmingly here anyway). As those units launch their assault, run your Bloodletters into cover or, at the very least, closer to enemy units so as to guarantee a next-turn charge. This strategy is proving to be the most effective when using assault-based Chaos Daemons units, as it aims for a brutal two-turn assault over the second and third game turns; firstly by cavalry and beasts, and then by the masses of infantry. Taking instruments on your Bloodletter units is also wise, as it allows a second unit to deep-strike in without rolling - useful if you want to guarantee most of your units come down, given you still need to roll for reserves.

    There may be other ways to get Bloodletters into combat, but this is proving to be the most popular of all due to its reliability and reduced risk compared to any other known strategy. Of course, that still doesn't solve their lack of assault grenades and fragility - even in big units, striking last can very much mean the difference between victorious slaughter or banishment, especially when Overwatch is in play. A failed charge can lead to a lost unit in short time, as can the availability of cover. Being Daemons, there are, however, ways to mitigate these issues. In keeping with the theme of Khorne, the aptly-placed new Skull Cannon solves the issue of assault grenades quite reliably - firing a Ballistic Skill five large blast that, as long as it even hits a model from any given unit, all Chaos Daemons units launching an assault against the affected target do not count the usual penalties to Initiative for charging through cover! Given that the gun has a thirty-six inch range, and its unusually high Ballistic Skill for a blast weapon, it is incredibly unlikely to miss, meaning your Daemons can charge through those forests and ruins with impunity, laughing at your opponents reliance on them.

    Fiends of Slaanesh (heresy!) also make for a great addition here in more ways than one - their speed and number of wounds make them excellent candidates to soak up Overwatch fire from an enemy unit, meaning your horde of Bloodletters does not need to run the risk of flamers and massed bolters ruining their day. The other is that any enemy unit charged by Fiends has their Initiative reduced by five - meaning that your Bloodletters will not only get to strike at the same time as your opponent (or before, if they do not charge through cover!) but perhaps, pending an FAQ from Games Workshop, be unable to fight the combat at all in the first round, allowing your Bloodletters to cleave and maim without reprisal. This is an amazing tool that makes Fiends such a great unit to use for any assault-based army, even a Khorne army (heresy!). Other units, such as the Masque of Slaanesh, can prevent enemy Overwatch fire or make them near-useless in a combat by reducing their Weapon Skill, meaning your Bloodletters will be struck on fives in any combat. As far as actually successfully charging an enemy unit, Bloodletters also have access to the Banner of Blood - once per game, it can be activated guarantees that six inches is rolled for one of their two dice for resolving charge distance, which can be critical in guaranteeing that ever-important turn three charge, and thus preventing their deaths from shooting. In that sense, a Chaos Daemons player has a lot of options available to them to maximise the potential of getting into combat, and not being completely destroyed by the availability of both Overwatch and cover.

    In terms of maximising their combat potential, Heralds of Khorne are excellent additions that make for great offensive tools to a unit in terms of both combat ability and improving the units' chances of winning any given combat. Typically speaking, a Herald of Khorne is an efficient carrier of an AP two at-Initiative weapon, as even one such model with that kind of weapon can make Bloodletters far, far more dangerous against units such as Terminators - the sheer weight of attacks from the regular Bloodletters would likely clean up the rest of any given squad after the Herald has done their work. As well, their Loci can make Bloodletters even more ferocious in the first turn of assault - the best of which is Rage, making each Bloodletter unit strike with three attacks on the charge at Weapon Skill five, Initiative four and Strength five owing to Furious Charge, coupled with AP three melee weapons. To boil it down - blood flows like an ocean if you do this. Karanak makes for a particularly brutal combination with Bloodletters, owing to its Scout special rule; by conferring it on the unit, you thus allow your Bloodletters to effectively start at the half-way point of the board before any other unit can even move, meaning you don't need to worry about deep-striking them - take an icon with them and they become an excellent anchor for your other Bloodletter units and the like to deep-strike off! Make sure to move into cover or line-of-sight blocking terrain so as to minimise the damage they may take, and be sure to be aggressive if you go second - remember, unless you have the first player turn, your Bloodletters and Karanak will be able to launch an assault after the Scout move and their regular movement! Combined with other units like Bloodcrushers and Flesh Hounds, this can mean your second turn - or even the first - is absolutely devastating. Heralds of Khorne - particularly Karanak but even Skulltaker, make for an excellent addition as they boost the squad and have an accurate wall of bodies between them and death.

    As far as actual upgrades that the unit itself has access to, all of them are quite useful - the most obvious of which is the Bloodreaper, essentially the squad leader that can be bought for less than ten pistachios. Aside from having an extra attack and being a character, there is no real difference - however, what may really strike your fancy is that you can take Daemonic Gifts worth up to twenty bacon strips. Though I wouldn't usually recommend splurging on squad leaders, there is a notable exception here - the fact that you can take an AP two at Initiative weapon for much less than you would ever pay for in any other codex, regardless of already having a hellblade. There are three available, but to keep the Bloodreaper as efficient as possible, I would recommend only two - the Axe of Khorne, with a chance to inflict instant death on a to-wound roll of a six, or an Etherblade that has master-crafted and thus grants a single re-roll to hit. Given that you can pick this weapon before a game starts as opposed to when writing your army list, it gives you a degree of flexibility - the Axe of Khorne would be quite useful against Tyranids, for example, whilst the Etherblade is probably more useful in most other cases. It is also useful to take the cheap character additions for the purposes of a specific Warp Storm roll, namely to keep your Greater Daemons and Heralds safe - it is also useful to tie up enemy characters, and even though they will likely die, Bloodreapers will often strike their opponent down, especially if the Bloodletters charged that turn. The icon and instrument are both used for specific reasons - the icon to allow friendly units to deep strike with reduced or no scatter, depending on their daemonic alignment, and the instrument to allow friendly Daemons of Khorne to deep strike immediately after the Bloodletters wielding one to maximise the units arriving on any given turn. Having both an icon and instrument is a great idea if you are deep-striking the Bloodletters amongst other units, though they are unnecessary otherwise. The Banner of Blood is an interesting option to maximise the charge distance of the unit when you need it most, but you need to weigh up whether those points are better spent elsewhere - especially given an Etherblade could be given to any character for the same cost. As far as unit size goes, you should take a minimum of fifteen Bloodletters in any given unit - you need the numbers to both make and win an assault, and any less is setting them up for failure. Taking twenty may be expensive, but it will likely be worthwhile, especially in bigger games - even in small games, taking Bloodletters in large numbers is a very good idea. As for actually capturing objectives, you should use Bloodletters to clear out the enemies' objectives - Bloodletters can and should wipe out most enemy Troops units, and can then proceed to wreak havoc elsewhere or sit on those taken points.

    Overall, Bloodletters are a strong and efficient melee unit that is crippled severely by its lack of assault grenades, fragility and lack of means to make an assault reliably. However, when used in conjunction with the appropriate units and tactics, they make for a devastating part of a synergy-based force - one you would be remiss not to consider. Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne! Let the Galaxy burn!

    Pink Horrors of Tzeentch - The twisting pranksters and comedians of the Daemonic force, Pink Horrors are as crazy in their rules as they are in their background - the essence of Chaos itself made real, Horrors are strange creatures that shift and attack without rhyme or reason. Tossing fireballs and bolts of energy at their foes almost carelessly, with clamoring laughter regardless of whether their power harms or heals their opponents, Horrors are quite a strange unit to employ - and one that should give you as much unexpected mirth as mind-numbing frustration. First and foremost, they are the only unit in the Troops section with access to ranged weapons, making them ostensibly unique - they are also the most quantitative source of shooting in the entire codex, making them a crutch for certain players for those reasons alone. They are a really strange unit to consider though, when one studies all of their special rules and options - there is a sense that they don't work as well as one would hope, though they have some very nifty rules and potential combinations that make them more viable than they might be at first glance. To say the least, they are a divisive unit that I would recommend testing and working up any decent strategy with before using them en masse, as they are also strangely a unit that works both in a horde and as minimum sized unit, even if the extra numbers are near-mandatory - if that doesn't make sense to you, then don't worry, as I don't think even Pink Horrors know what they are up to half of the time! Chaos indeed.

    First up, let us cover the basics and allow me to explain why their standard profile is almost meaningless. Unlike the other Troops units - excluding Nurglings - they do not innately have or wield a special kind of close combat weapon, nor do they actually have a ranged weapon listed on their profile. Their stat line is unimpressive, though for their very low cost, it isn't surprising - almost all of their stats, barring obvious exclusions such as Wounds, Attacks (both of which are one) and Leadership, are three, meaning they are middling in almost every sense of the word. So why isn't this important, really? Whilst it isn't a bad profile for what essentially amounts to a light infantry unit, you don't want them in combat, nor do you need to really worry about losing combat or anything like that - they are a ranged unit, and the sheer number of shots they put out is more than enough to balance out their mediocre Ballistic Skill. They should always be kept out of combat unless absolutely necessary, as even Guardsmen stand a good chance of beating them off - though it must be noted that the +5 invulnerable save of the Horrors, coupled with the commonality of counter-charge units in the codex such as Beasts of Nurgle, means an assault isn't a death-trap for them. The gravy for Pink Horrors that distinguishes them from their peers is in the special rules - first of which, as Daemons of Tzeentch, they can re-roll all saving throws of 'one' and add three to their Leadership for the purposes of psychic tests. This actually makes them more survivable in most cases than Bloodletters and Daemonettes, at least outside of combat, where they lack the killing power of either of those units to win their weight in wounds back. A nasty tactic that has arisen is to stick them in a ruin or behind an Aegis Defence Line, go to ground, and enjoy +2 cover saves that re-roll ones, making them much like cheaper, less offensive-minded Pathfinders that can be plonked on a home objective without fear of anything excluding flamers - and unlike Pathfinders, you have an invulnerable save to....well, save you! (I am so sorry.) So as far as soaking up shooting - which most Daemons do badly - they aren't all that bad, at least in comparison to other units in their slot. However, it must be noted that what you really want from the Daemons of Tzeentch rule is the bonus to Leadership for psychic test purposes, as Pink Horrors are just that - psykers.

    Much akin to Grey Knights, a unit of Pink Horrors counts as a single psyker - and they are the first unit to use the new Brotherhood of Psykers/Sorcerers special rule from the 6th Edition rulebook. As a unit of psykers, they are only ever counted as one psyker for all intents and purposes - if they suffer Perils of the Warp, it is only ever resolved against one model, and the entire unit takes one psychic test. This has some big disadvantages - notable amongst them that your powers can be denied by enemy psychic defences or even mere Deny the Witch saves. Given that their witchfire powers are their only means of shooting, this means that on average at least one enemy unit will Deny the Witch against them in any given game, essentially making them useless for an entire shooting phase due to one dice roll. If enemy psykers are present, particularly Rune Priests and Farseers, the odds of being denied or otherwise stopped in your attempt increase dramatically. However, as psykers, they do have some very interesting rules that justify my earlier statement about the potential employment of minimum sized squads. Counting as Leadership 10 for psychic tests, Pink Horrors should rarely fail and due to most Deny the Witch saves being only a +6, they should get their psychic attacks off more often than not. What is important to note here is that, considering they count as only a single unit of psykers, a unit of ten maintains maximum fire efficiency even if it has sustained casualties amounting to ninety-percent of the unit - one model fires as effectively as a unit of ten! This is why Pink Horrors will be a thorn in your opponents' side no matter how many casualties they have sustained - leaving even a token few alive is a mistake, and given that Chaos Daemons do not run away from shooting and cannot be Pinned, this means enemies have to deliberately focus fire on even the smallest gatherings of Horrors to remove them and the damage they deal. What is interesting to note here is that per their 'Magic Made Manifest' special rule, the unit generates additional Warp Charge points - not Mastery Levels - depending on the squad size; a unit of ten or less generates one, whilst a unit of eleven to fifteen generates two, and subsequently a unit of sixteen or more generates three. It is important to specify that they do indeed lose warp charge points if any are lost - a unit of sixteen that loses two Pink Horrors instead generates two warp charge points, rather than three, until they are subsequently reduced to ten or less models.

    What this means is that you need to weigh up whether the extra numbers are worth it, especially given only two potential powers out of four available actually make use of the extra warp charge points, one of which is the Primaris power. Pink Horrors, unlike Heralds of Tzeentch or their deities' Greater Daemons, are restricted to the Change discipline - an unimpressive psychic pool that is exclusively comprised of witchfire powers, meaning Pink Horrors can never be used to cast psychic blessings, maledictions and the like, which is quite a drawback. Of the powers available to them, I would say that should you roll up Tzeentch's Firestorm, I recommend swapping it out for the Primaris - aside from that, you can feel contented with the other powers, though it should be based on what you think your Pink Horrors are best targeting in any given game (though of course the random nature of rolling for psychic powers means you need to adapt these tactics on the fly). Bolt of Change should only really be used if you are expecting Terminators and vehicles, whilst Infernal Gateway is quite nasty against most targets - much like Bolt of Change though, if you are expecting vehicles, you need to hope your random D6 roll for the Strength of the power (in addition to a basic four) is high, thus making it unreliable. For the most part though, the Primaris is where it is at - it is typically used for anti-infantry, though it can be used reliably against both light vehicles and monstrous creatures and do some nasty damage in the right hands. The Primaris benefits from the increased numbers of Horrors in the unit by adding an extra D6 shots for every warp charge point you expend after the first one - given that Horrors only ever have one power, you would be wise to do this, and it adds a layer of depth to the unit that makes you truly question what size works best. My personal recommendation, if you are going all out on the Horrors, is to take between sixteen and eighteen - sixteen for the cost, eighteen for fluff reasons, and go from there. That unit then spouts out 4D6 Strength five AP four shots that hit on a four and up, which for the cost isn't too bad at all, though it is definitely random - the average is around fourteen I believe, but that can vary greatly. For the most part though, they should be reliable, if uninspiring shooters - to really make them buzz, you need to consider 'additions' to the unit.

    The most important of such options to make them more effective is the Herald of Tzeentch packed with Prescience, granting re-rolls to hit to the unit even if he isn't joined up with them. For a unit that is all about the shooting, this is really important as it allows you to maximise their damage output and wrack up some good numbers - and believe me, you want to be wiping out as much of a unit as you can in each round of shooting. The reason for this is the brow-raising Warpflame rule that all of the Change discipline powers have; essentially, a unit that suffers an unsaved wound from a weapon or attack with this special rule takes a Toughness test at the end of that phase - fail, and they suffer D3 wounds with no armour or cover saves allowed, but pass, and the unit immediately gains either +6 Feel No Pain or a +1 bonus to their usual Feel No Pain save. Yep, you guessed it, this means you really need to focus fire units down with Horrors - most enemies will pass the Toughness test two thirds of the time, and even infantry from codices such as Eldar and Tau have a fifty percent chance of passing. It adds an unwelcome effect to their witchfire powers that is quite unnecessary, however it must be said that it is not guaranteed that enemies will pass this test, and failing it can lead to a severely crippled unit being wiped out - take Terminators for example, those extra armour-ignoring wounds can make a massive difference.

    Still, it is unwise to allow units to potentially benefit from this rule more than once in a game, and as such focus fire really is a key tactic you need to employ, even though I would usually recommend it anyway - it just happens to be that not using it in this case will be more harmful than it might be typically. So, aside from Prescience and adding extra shots to the unit, how else would I recommend increasing their damage output to hopefully wipe out squads in two turns or so - with added support from other units of course - without expending too many units? Again, the answer falls to the Herald of Tzeentch, specifically the third Locus it can take - the one that boosts the strength of its unit and its own psychic powers by one. If you take more than one mastery level on the Herald of Tzeentch, it can also be used to add an extra 2D6 or 3D6 shots to the unit, and combined with the Locus, this can dramatically increase any given units' damage output. Though it is costly, that is a potential 7D6 Strength six AP four shots, re-rolling to hit that can literally tear almost any infantry or monstrous creature unit apart provided decent or above average rolls. Given their high leadership for psychic tests and the unlikelihood their powers will be denied too often, Horrors can dish out the damage in an extreme way very quickly - and the range of their attack, twenty four inches, is good enough to keep it coming for a while.

    In general, Horrors aren't a bad unit at all - unlike almost any other unit in the game, they can maintain maximum fire efficiency (depending on initial squad size) despite suffering intense casualties, meaning they can lay down the hurt even with a sole survivor. They are the only Troops choice in the codex that can put the pressure on at range, and for what they cost their damage output is decent - just be aware that they aren't the most ideal tank-hunters, though they can make mince meat of anything with a Toughness value given enough luck and dice. Their survivability is also ok, especially seeing as you can keep them in cover and hang back, meaning they are less likely to die than Bloodletters or Daemonettes for the most part - just remember not to allow them to be charged, or at least not without friendly support. However, it must be noted that to make them truly work, you need to invest a lot into them - as in, you should probably take sixteen-strong or more squads with an attached mastery level three Herald rocking Prescience and the Primaris (alongside the Horrors) with the psychic-boosting Locus. The cost of this unit is a shade over two hundred and fifty tacos, and for what it does, it actually isn't bad at all - it stands a decent chance of wiping out an entire ten-strong Space Marine squad in one round, and Prescience gives some leeway to make up for bad rolling. I would recommend that, if you do attempt this approach, taking at least two units of Horrors in this way - you need to ensure your units can fire optimally for most of the game, and doubling up on them increases such chances. Each of those units puts out a whopping 7D6 Strength six AP four shots re-rolling to hit each turn, which is more than capable of annihilating any infantry or monstrous creature unit in a single volley, and at a price that would make any other Troops unit in the game blush. Some nasty tricks that have arisen about Horrors revolve around their Brotherhood of Psykers special rule; that one shoots as well as ten is simply sublime, and makes them the perfect choice for spawned units from a Portalglyph. Also, if you hide all but one model of a unit, that one allows you to shoot at full effectiveness, and only that one model can be killed from shooting - just move another single model out if that one dies! Horrors are best used when exploiting these little tricks - every advantage counts, here.

    There are a few considerations though - against enemies with lots of psykers or psychic defence, you may find your Horrors do not pull their weight as they are consistently shut down, effectively ruining their usefulness. Fast assault units can ruin your day, and unless your army has other ways of dealing with medium to high armoured vehicles, you will struggle - though it should be noted you put enough shots to worry even Dreadnoughts and the like. However, I think it must be said that the sheer weight of high-strength AP four shots will absolutely obliterate any light infantry army in the game in the blink of an eye - Dark Eldar, Tau and the like would do well to stay right away from Horrors. Though making them work optimally does make them the most costly Troops choice, I think it is well worth it based on their role in the army - play smart with them, and they will do just fine. Eighteen is my recommend number, or seventeen with an attached Herald. You know why. Oh, right, before I forget, I wanted to keep this to its own little segment, as it is just pure awesome. Remember how Pink Horrors used to split into Blue Horrors? Well, Phil Kelly and Robin Cruddace remember, and they have brought them back in a nice and touching way. Basically, whenever a Pink Horror dies in melee, you put a token next to an enemy unit in the same combat. At the end of the Initiative one step in combat, for each token placed in this way, a single Strength two AP nothing hit is inflicted on the enemy unit, and any unsaved wounds caused count towards the combat result. Though this won't usually do too much unless the Pink Horrors are being slaughtered, it is a nice touch that I think gives them a tiny bit of melee reinforcement - the aim here is not so much for the benefit it gives to the unit, but more the little touch that makes me like the more fluff-based approach to the codex. Kudos to you, fine authors! And yes, I would recommend Horrors - but only if you are willing to invest in them!

    Plaguebearers of Nurgle - There's something to be said about rotting, bloated walking carcasses clouded by flies, persistently keeping tally of the toxins and diseases present on the battlefield; their occasional bouts usually resolved at a plodding and frustrated pace. Nurgle is nothing short of humorous, and the sight of Plaguebearers will no doubt illicit such a response from you - at least, between the vomit and allergic reactions. As you might have guessed, the Plaguebearers are the most durable of the Daemons Troop choices - firstly, they are the only choice with a Toughness of four, meaning they aren't simply bolter bait and can laugh off lasguns reasonably well. This makes them far less vulnerable to a lot of anti-infantry firepower, at least in comparison to their peers, and as such this makes them quite an interesting unit. Their drawback, as you may have guessed, is their offensive power - though they are better in combat than Pink Horrors, they too cannot shoot and they do melee much worse than either Bloodletters or Daemonettes. This isn't to say they can't be used in an offensive-minded role, as their Poisoned (+4) melee attacks do make them somewhat useful against monstrous creatures and the like, albeit their low Initiative and Weapon Skill make them ineffective against a lot of enemies. However, much like all the other Daemons, they are very cheap, and their combat abilities probably aren't the real reason you should take them anyway. Though their natural Toughness does make them quite durable, what really makes them tick is that, as Daemons of Nurgle, they have the Shrouded special rule - they count any cover save they have as two higher than normal, or they otherwise receive a +5 cover save out in the open. Though their +5 invulnerable save is present and still a decent deterrent in combat, it is obvious what Plaguebearers are designed for; take them in a block, chuck them in a ruin, and they can enjoy +2 cover saves without even having to go to ground!

    This simplistic view of Plaguebearers is actually the most accurate summation one can give about them - compared to other armies, they are cheap and hardy scoring units designed to sit on objectives, preferably in cover, and act as a 'bunker' that is very hard to shift save in a protracted melee or with a massed quantity of Ignores Cover weapons. Against most armies, you should find yourself in luck; melee may not be 'dead' in 6th Edition Warhammer 40000, but it is by no means a big component of most competitive armies nowadays. On the other hand, a significant amount of Ignores Cover weapons are typically found only in certain armies, such as Sisters of Battle and Space Marines - the latter usually when a Salamanders army is present, or a mass of Thunderfire Cannons and/or Whirlwinds. The likelihood anyway is that, if you are playing a common kind of Daemons army, most of your forces will be up in your opponents' face and thus taking the pressure off of your Plaguebearers anyway. Either way, Shrouded gives Plaguebearers a clear purpose that makes them very effective defensive units for holding back-field objectives and taking midfield objectives, allowing your Bloodletters, Daemonettes and the like to move up and focus on your opponents' forces. Of course, that is most definitely not all there is to the unit - though they are perfect scoring units (seemingly designed specifically for that role), you can think about what ways to make them work as a shambling horde. First off, Plaguebearers are very cheap, and with a squad limit of twenty, they can be taken in massive numbers without compromising your ability to take more damaging units elsewhere in your army list. Though I don't think running them up the field in such a way is a good idea, due to being Slow and Purposeful, it is nonetheless an option that you should supplement with Plague Drones, Beasts of Nurgle and the like. On that note, Slow and Purposeful also means they are incapable of Run moves, sweeping advances and the like, though their low Initiative and objective-focused nature means this is rather rudimentary.

    If you are using Plaguebearers as your main core and as a supplement to your other forces, they work best in larger units that can either move up the field and soak up some damage by moving through cover, or deep strike up close off of faster units such as Plague Drones and the like. Again though, I would recommend keeping them as the counter-point to units such as Daemonettes, simply because they are outperformed quite significantly by such units in terms of raw offensive capabilities. Plaguebearers really do work best as objective campers, and I simply can't stress that point enough. They are also uniquely the only unit that really doesn't need any reinforcements, particularly if you have cover and objectives available in your deployment zone for them to sit on lazily. A cheap, basic ten-strong unit can be used for that purpose and do it very well - it leaves you a significant amount of points to spend elsewhere, and you are getting some very tough infantry that can simply be left alone, or be supported by the nearby presence of a Nurgle Soul Grinder to dissuade close assaults. Even though they do have Poisoned melee attacks, a good Toughness and an invulnerable save, their low Weapon Skill and Initiative make them mince even for units such as Tactical Marines in combat, though surprisingly decent against enemies such as Wraithlords if taken in decent numbers. As such, you don't really need chunky units, though taking fifteen or more is certainly a good idea, making them much tougher to remove from any given point and also more stoic in combat. Again, their low cost means this is both viable and possible within the context of any given army list. It is important to note the options available to the unit, ranging from the champion, icon and instrument - whilst the latter two are most useful if you are starting them from reserves (albeit an icon is quite good in general), the champion is a good, inexpensive way to add a decently nasty weapon to the unit. A few extra attacks with an Etherblade for only a small investment can scare off some enemies, though if you are using Plaguebearers as 'baby-sitters', this is unnecessary and the points are better spent elsewhere.

    The meat to improving the durability or offensive performance of the unit is through Heralds of Nurgle, particularly by way of their available Loci. In terms of actually adding to the damage output of the unit, a Herald of Nurgle upgraded with the psychic lore of Plague is a very good, and relatively inexpensive option; the witchfires are deadly and should activate somewhat reliably. A simple Poisoned AP three template as a Primaris power is very nasty, and can really soften a unit up before a Plaguebearer unit charges, turning the odds in their favour. The large blast witchfire, whilst devastating, is probably a bit riskier to use due to its diminutive range and, if you are intending to charge the targeted unit, it will likely mean a failed charge or a few dead Plaguebearers depending on their initial proximity. The 'blessing' that is really a malediction can make a big difference to the combat effectiveness of the Plaguebearers, typically allowing them to at least either hit on threes or strike at the same time. The Nurgle Herald is good in this way, but perhaps the best part is the Greater Locus - granting Feel No Pain to both the Herald and the unit. This is a fantastic, and cheap, method of adding to the units already considerable durability, making them far more difficult to shift against any army that doesn't involve blastmasters and the like. For its cost, you really can't go wrong here. It is also important to note that per their Plagueswords, Plaguebearers can glance vehicles on a +6 much like Necrons can with their funky gauss weaponry, allowing them to stand a good chance against vehicles, which makes them the only Troops choice that can reliably destroy vehicles - including Land Raiders and Monoliths - which makes them quite a bit more versatile than they initially appear. Given their cost, durability and mediocre combat abilities, I think Plaguebearers are a pretty good unit that should work in almost any configuration depending on their role in your army - again though, they are best suited as your defenders, your holding 'players'. Oh, and their smell will probably annoy the Daemonettes. That's not nice.

    Daemonettes of Slaanesh - The comparisons will likely come thick and fast between the lithe and graceful handmaidens of Slaanesh and Khorne's brash minions, and it is actually quite relevant seeing as each unit fulfills the same purpose in the army with few exceptions. Daemonettes are, first and foremost, a melee unit that works best in large blocks due to their cost and fragility, however, where they are lacking in raw power weapon, high strength carnage compared to Bloodletters, they make up for that with speed, more reliable assaults and weaponry that can puncture Terminator armour. Much like Bloodletters, Daemonettes have their highs in combat against a wide range of opponents, and their obvious lows against shooting, especially when attempting to foot-slog across the board. But oh yes, they do indeed excel in combat, and for the most part, they outperform their bloody-handed brethren with style and substance (cough). Notably, each Daemonette has a Weapon Skill of five and two attacks base at Strength three, resolved at Initiative five; they strike before most opponents, they will hit on threes, though they tend to have a tough time in terms of wounding. However, it must be noted that Daemonettes, as patrons to Slaanesh, have Rending melee attacks - for every to wound roll of a six, their attack is resolved at AP two as opposed to AP nothing which, in comparison to Bloodletters, makes them far deadlier against Terminators and their ilk. Even against monstrous creatures, and Rending attack automatically wounds provided a six is rolled, meaning even Wraithlords are not safe from their attacks. Their sheer volume of high Initiative attacks makes them decent opponents for horde units as well, though the best application of Rending is probably more against heavy infantry. It must be noted as well that Rending has an altogether different effect against vehicles, instead adding D3 to the armour penetration roll on top of the six rolled, meaning Daemonettes in numbers can reliably take on armour eleven vehicles and lower, and even stand a decent chance against units such as Dreadnoughts.

    In terms of raw combat ability compared to Bloodletters, they are outperformed mostly against Space Marines and their ilk, but Daemonettes have a wider effective threat range and are more deadly to units such as Terminators. It is also very important to note that due to having Initiative five, Daemonettes, whilst less likely to wipe out a unit of Space Marines on the charge than Bloodletters, should actually kill quite a few before they get a chance to strike and thus reduce the casualties they will in turn suffer, whereas Bloodletters tend not to have such an advantage over common enemies. Daemonettes are better than most other Troops choices in the game when strictly concerning melee combat, though of course there are many other factors to consider - Daemonettes, whilst good against many differing opponents, are nowhere near as versatile as units such as Tactical Marines and Devastators. You need to keep them focused on engaging enemy units that they should defeat - even despite their cost and probable squad sizes, there are definitely some targets they should avoid; Paladins and actual death-star units will give them a run for their money, though it must be noted that Daemonettes laugh at thunder-hammer and storm-shield Terminators. On the charge, a very decently sized unit generates an incredible weight of attacks that, given their high Weapon Skill and Rending, allows them to bog down most units even through taking a sheer amount of armour saves. The simple truth is that you can take twenty Daemonettes with an added champion and reliably defeat a more expensive, five-strong Terminator unit kitted out in the afore-mentioned fashion.

    So, aside from performing very well in combat given their low cost, Daemonettes have the general edge over Bloodletters in terms of actually making it into combat - not only do they add three inches to any Run move they make, giving them some serious mobility, but they also have the Fleet special rule, meaning they can re-roll both their Run moves and charge distances. Obviously, this means they can far more reliably make it into combat, reducing the turns they should have to endure enemy shooting. Minimising the risks of a bad roll is always significant, and given that combat is where Daemonettes make their home, this is highly imperative to their functionality. Given that they are equally fragile in comparison to Bloodletters, with a paltry Toughness of three and only a +5 invulnerable save, Daemonettes compare very favourably to the red goat people since they are also cheaper per model. In this sense, I think they share most of the same strengths and issues, with their own little added touches that make them unique - they are a melee shock trooper that needs to get into combat as quickly as possible to both survive and make their points back, and you should expect them to be targeted and thus die in droves.

    What is noteworthy here is that Daemonettes are neither as physically or mentally imposing for your opponent, which is a great boon - the reason for this is that most opponents will typically fear the damage an entire unit wielding power swords with Strength five attacks can deal out, though the reality is Daemonettes are equally, if not more, dangerous against most enemies. This can be both an advantage or disadvantage based on what other units are in your force, though for the most part you will be happy to have higher numbers of Daemonettes left to fight an assault and thus reduce their chances for a secession of failed daemonic instability tests. There are multiple ways to deploy and use them, and unlike Bloodletters speed really is not an issue, though it must be noted that I feel the same tactical approach is as necessary here as it is with Bloodletters - deep-striking off of handily effective and available units such as Seekers and Bloodcrushers. They also do share the same weakness of assault grenades, negating their very handy Initiative value, meaning you need to really understand how these units will work with others to really maximise their effectiveness. You really need numbers when it comes to Daemonettes, and I would recommend fifteen as the bare minimum. A note, given that much of these points are exactly the same as those discussed for Bloodletters, I have chosen to retain the same paragraphs and structure, albeit with minor adjustments. In reality, I would be making the same points anyway, and the only even remotely noticeable difference would be the wording. Given that I have already made you all wait too long for this article (for the uninitiated, this article was a week late at the time), forgive me.

    So how can these issues be mitigated? Well, much like most of this codex, you need to consider the potential combinations involving them, not the strict advantages they provide as a unit over others of their kind. Firstly, you need to get them into combat without taking too much damage by foot-slogging. What special rule do all Daemons have that comes into play here? You guessed it - as any Chaos Daemons unit can deep-strike, this gives Daemonettes a much quicker and safer, if slightly unreliable method of getting up close. This works best when combined with certain units, ones that carry icons - in this role, you need mobile cavalry or beasts that can get an icon where to at least the halfway point of the board in their first movement phase, and have the numbers, durability or placement to survive. Such units need to be used carefully, as even such quick and large Daemons are deceptively fragile - abuse cover and move smartly to minimise enemy fire, and thus casualties, with these units. The obvious choices are Bloodcrushers, Seekers and Plague Drones - each unit can be taken in significant numbers at an affordable price, or have a lot of wounds to compensate. Importantly, each unit can carry an icon - this means reliable deep-strike scatter reduction for any friendly Daemon unit clawing into reality within six inches of the bearer. For Daemons of the same alignment, they do not scatter at all, allowing for perfect precision; conversely, those unaligned to the same god as the icon wielders instead scatter only D6 inches, which means they shouldn't risk a mishap most of the time. Obviously, you need to pick such place carefully; a horde of twenty Daemonettes deep-striking near enemy lines is sure to draw significant attention, which means you need to look to prevention and tie-up strategies. What were those fast-moving units doing again? Strictly speaking, to use Daemonettes (or Bloodletters) in this way, you should combine them with several mobile and hard-hitting units that can at least survive a round of combat and reliably tarpit a potentially nasty ranged unit - even Tactical Marines are wise choices for a unit such as Seekers to engage (even if the Seekers will win overwhelmingly here anyway). As those units launch their assault, run your Daemonettes into cover or, at the very least, closer to enemy units so as to guarantee a next-turn charge, which is helped immensely by Fleet. This strategy is proving to be the most effective when using assault-based Chaos Daemons units, as it aims for a brutal two-turn assault over the second and third game turns; firstly by cavalry and beasts, and then by the masses of infantry. Taking instruments on your Daemonette units is also wise, as it allows a second unit to deep-strike in without rolling - useful if you want to guarantee most of your units come down, given you still need to roll for reserves.

    There may be other ways to get Daemonettes into combat, but this is proving to be the most popular of all due to its reliability and reduced risk compared to any other known strategy. Of course, that still doesn't solve their lack of assault grenades and fragility - even in big units, striking last can very much mean the difference between victorious slaughter or banishment, especially when Overwatch is in play. A failed charge can lead to a lost unit in short time, as can the availability of cover - however, again, Fleet mitigates this and means your charge distances should be a lot more reliable. Being Daemons, there are, however, ways to mitigate these issues. Though it breaks with the Slaanesh theme, the aptly-named new Skull Cannon solves the issue of assault grenades quite reliably - firing a Ballistic Skill five large blast that, as long as it even hits a model from any given unit, all Chaos Daemons units launching an assault against the affected target do not count the usual penalties to Initiative for charging through cover! Given that the gun has a thirty-six inch range, and its unusually high Ballistic Skill for a blast weapon, it is incredibly unlikely to miss, meaning your Daemons can charge through those forests and ruins with impunity, laughing at your opponents reliance on them.

    Fiends of Slaanesh also make for a great addition here in more ways than one - their speed and number of wounds make them excellent candidates to soak up Overwatch fire from an enemy unit, meaning your horde of Daemonettes does not need to run the risk of flamers and massed bolters ruining their day. The other is that any enemy unit charged by Fiends has their Initiative reduced by five - meaning that your Daemonettes will not only get to strike at the same time as your opponent (or before, if they do not charge through cover!) but perhaps, pending an FAQ from Games Workshop, be unable to fight the combat at all in the first round, allowing your Daemonettes to rend and tear flesh with impunity. This is an amazing tool that makes Fiends such a great unit to use for any assault-based army, particularly one featuring lots of Daemonettes and Seekers owing to their natural speed. Other units, such as the Masque of Slaanesh, can prevent enemy Overwatch fire or make them near-useless in a combat by reducing their Weapon Skill, meaning your Daemonettes will be struck on fives in any combat. In that sense, a Chaos Daemons player has a lot of options available to them to maximise the potential of getting into combat, and not being completely destroyed by the availability of both Overwatch and cover.

    Heralds of Slaanesh make for incredible additions to units of Daemonettes, though the benefits they provide are almost strictly based on either their combat potential or improving their speed. Though I wouldn't recommend them for their psychic potential, much like a Herald of Nurgle, I would definitely recommend them for their available melee weapons and Loci - an Etherblade or Greater Etherblade on a Herald of Slaanesh makes for a very dangerous character against Terminators and the like, though unlike Bloodletters, Daemonettes tend to deal with Terminators quite well. No, the real reason you take them are definitely the Loci; whilst the first is of limited use to Daemonettes, as Move Through Cover doesn't really help them when they are already much faster than most other Infantry, the other two can be quite beneficial. The second boosts the entire units Initiative by five, and whilst this means they will most definitely strike first most of the time, the reality is against most enemies they have a higher Initiative base anyway - it is also important to note that they are still reduced to Initiative one for charging through cover anyway, and given how hard it is to avoid such situations, this means you are probably best off with the third Locus. Well, you are in luck - it grants the entire unit re-rolls to hit, and allows the Herald to pick and force enemy characters to accept challenges against her. Given how dangerous Heralds of Slaanesh typically are, this can be quite a boon - however, for the actual Daemonettes, the re-rolls to hit are well worth the significant investment. Between Weapon Skill five and three rending attacks each on the charge that re-roll to hit, this can severely improve their damage output and allow them to really get the rending wounds churning. Excusing the bad pun, it is always a good idea to add such a Herald with the appropriate Locus to a horde of Daemonettes; it likely isn't worth it on small units, as the larger number of models is both more likely to make combat, but also win it regardless of the benefits.

    Daemonettes don't really need upgrades to work a treat, though if you are deploying them in reserves, I would recommend both the icon and the instrument to really guarantee the arrival of multiple units with reliable deep strike scatter (or lack thereof). The minimal expense is well worth the increased chances of a guaranteed turn two/three combined assault that can devastate a lot of armies, though these tactics do require both precision and flexibility to adapt to the possible loss of certain units pivotal to the overall strategy. As far as the unit champion goes, it isn't perhaps as obvious an inclusion as with Bloodletters, seeing as adding an Etherblade to the unit won't really make much of a difference given their basic access to Rending attacks. However, I would say that the minimalist cost is worth it here as well not only for the bonus attack and ability to tie up enemy characters, but to also reduce the risk of losing a far more costly, and important, daemon character to the myriad effects of the warp-storm table. Daemonettes also have access to a somewhat costly Rapturuous Standard which grants a once-per-game reduction to enemy units' Weapon Skill by D3 until the end of the assault phase in which it is used. Generally speaking, Daemonettes already have a higher-than-average Weapon Skill and as such this isn't all that great, however it can be funny against certain enemies - such as Terminators and the like - by forcing them to likely strike your Daemonettes on fives, largely reducing the damage that should be dealt back to them. Generally speaking though, it isn't a fantastic addition and one you can live without, albeit it does have its uses and can make quite a difference in any given assault. However, Daemonettes work best as they are cheap, and as such you should endeavour to keep it that way aside from worthwhile or necessary upgrades based on how you want to run the unit. In terms of unit size, I would definitely recommend twenty as Daemonettes really rely on their numbers, in terms of both attacks and speed, to survive and destroy in glorious tandem. If you are strapped for points or trying to fit Heralds and the like in, fifteen is definitely acceptable and probably the bare minimum I would take in a unit, even in smaller games; those numbers are essential to our melee Daemon units, as they simply die too easily otherwise.

    Overall, Daemonettes are a very efficient melee unit that is quite versatile due to their speed, high Initiative and Rending attacks - this allows them to engage a multitude of enemy units and reliably defeat them provided they are in numbers. They are a great choice and my pick for the best value Troops in the codex, though it is important to note that as a dedicated melee unit lacking in available dedicated transports, you need to think their deployment and movement through quite clearly. Whilst they can engage elite enemy units from other codices, I would also make sure to think through the average combat results if you can against such units - some may be deceptively good against your Daemonettes, and as such you should pick your engagements wisely.

    Nurglings - Nurgle's analogy to gremlins, Nurglings are adorable fat little gnomes bursting with virulent disease that want nothing but to spread their masters' love. Their long grins and humorous manner are quite deceiving, as they are very nasty. No, really! As Daemons of Nurgle, they are both Slow and Purposeful and have Shrouded, meaning they get some excellent cover saves when moving through cover - the former really won't bother you. Interestingly, they actually are quite a bit better in combat than regular Plaguebearers despite the lack of Poisoned (+4) melee attacks, as they have a significant amount of attacks at a mediocre Initiative. It goes without saying that, as swarms, they also have a chunk of wounds as well, clocking out with four that, at Toughness three, makes them quite vulnerable to a lot of instant-death weapons, though it is worth mentioning that most combats shouldn't end too badly for Nurglings. As it is, they are quite cheap swarm units that, whilst neither as quick or devastating as Scarab Swarms, work very well in an army where tying up enemy shooting can really give your other Troops, such as Bloodletters and Plaguebearers, a better chance of making combat without sustaining heavy casualties.

    What really gives Nurglings a kick aside from their decent stats and low cost is their ability to Infiltrate, allowing them to be deployed extremely close to the enemy after all other unit deployment has been completed. Given that they have Shrouded and a significant amount of wounds, deploying them in tight proximity to the enemy and in cover is a very smart idea. Though you risk forfeiting First Blood by doing this, your opponent will be forced either to ignore the Nurglings or risk units that are actually vulnerable to them being charged or otherwise tar-pitted - given how cheap they are, taking large 'squads' is certainly a viable tactic, and such units can reliably beat down generic Space Marine squads with relative ease through sheer weight of attacks. That they have so many wounds means they don't lose models as quickly as other units, though weapons such as force staves and power fists need to be kept in consideration. Given that the little beasties can charge in the first game turn provided the owning player has the second player turn, Nurglings pose a very serious early threat to enemies, and for how cheap they are, this really isn't a bad thing. Are those Autocannon-wielding Havocs going to focus fire down the Nurgling bases with 3+ or higher cover saves and ignore the advancing Lord of Change, or risk being charged immediately afterwards and lose their all-important subsequent rounds of shooting?

    Even without Infiltrate, I would say Nurglings are quite a decent addition to an army list for tar-pit purposes, which is very important when you consider that you really need to protect your valuable units such as Greater Daemons, Daemon Princes and even your basic Troops. That they actually do possess Infiltrate means that they combine very well with other fast-moving elements, such as Seekers and Bloodcrushers, for what is a very saturated palate of targets for your opponent to deal with, forcing them to make some very tough decisions at the onset of the game. The little critters are quite a valuable addition to your army, and as for unit size, feel free to go with the basic three, six or even nine (or seven, if you are feeling pragmatic). Six bases should survive a torrent of fire early on, and provide enough of an immediate threat that your minimal points investment can make the difference between a living or dead Keeper of Secrets, for example. That and charging your opponents objective-holders and contest the objective for the rest of the game is sure to make them choke - though that could just be the gas.

    Example Builds - Because I love you, and Tzeentch compels me not to vomit, here are some example builds for your potentially delightful emotional response;

    Bloodletters of Khorne (16) w/ bloodreaper, etherblade - 165
    Herald of Khorne w/ greater gift (greater etherblade), greater locus of fury - 95

    Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (18) - 162
    Herald of Tzeentch w/ mastery level three, exalted locus of conjuration - 120

    Plaguebearers of Nurgle (15) - 135
    Herald of Nurgle w/ lesser gift (etherblade), greater locus of fecundity - 70

    Daemonettes of Slaanesh (20) w/ alluress - 185
    Herald of Slaanesh w/ greater gift (greater etherblade), exalted locus of beguilement - 95

    Nurglings (6) - 90

    Conclusion

    I tried writing too much, and I came to this stunning conclusion; I wrote too much. What did you think of this over-long wall of text inter-sparsed with various images that I may or may not have found in a friendly neighbourhood network near you? Comment and all that stuff - we enjoy your critiques as much as we enjoy eating cake. Wait, what?
    "Where is the cake? I was told there would be cake! The cake is a lie...."
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-18-2013 at 08:46 AM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  5. #5

    Default

    Hey all, Learn2Eel here and I want to talk about our quirky and quick Elites slot this time around. Though they are more reliant on smaller multi-wound units than large numbers, their speed and capabilities make them more useful than at first glance. I hope you like them!


    Elites

    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release fortnight for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.
    Our Elites are typically designed for a specific purpose, whether it is harassment or stacking with other assault units, and they lack any real upgrades to improve their versatilty. It should be noted that each of these units is a squad comprised of multi-wound models, and each is quite susceptible to instant death from commonly found weapons such as missile launchers, battle cannons and demolisher cannons. Though their offensive capabilities tend to be quite strong, most of them work best in conjunction with others in a supporting role.

    Bloodcrushers of Khorne - Fast, hard-hitting, fragile. Those four words describe Bloodcrushers in a nutshell, though I think "expensive" is also highly appropriate. As cavalry, they are highly mobile and should easily get into combat by turn two, meaning they will spend less time out in the open - terrain is a good idea, at least to block line of sight. When they do make combat, they hit harder than any unit has a right to - on the charge, each model puts out a whopping four Weapon Skill five, Strength six, Initiative four AP three attacks. It just rolls off of your tongue - ideally, they can obliterate entire squads in just two rounds, if not one, though it is preferable to win combat in the opponent's turn so as to not endure a round of shooting. Just be mindful that they lack assault grenades and thus you should be wary of charging units' sporting strength eight or higher attacks. Speaking of ranged weapons - which Bloodcrushers lack - they will ruin your day in short order; though each Bloodcrusher has three wounds, their only saving throw of note is a +5 invulnerable save which, when coupled with a Toughness of four, makes them quite vulnerable to both small arms fire and instant death. Due to the wound allocation rules in 6th Edition, you can mitigate the former kind of opposition through switching the positions of each model in a given unit as required - the real bonus to having multiple-wound models is that you can suffer unsaved wounds without actually losing models, and thus, their effectiveness. Of course, instant death makes using Bloodcrushers difficult - commonly found Strength eight ranged weapons can make for a torrid time to these Daemons, and as such, using them is not without inherent risk. Their cost is also a concern, as I am not convinced their offensive potential outweighs their fragility as much as their high cost per-model would indicate.

    So, how would I recommend running Bloodcrushers? Well, it really depends on what you need them for - they will either be your hard-hitting 'monster' unit(s), or the icon-bearers to allow your other slower moving melee units to get into the fray quicker. If the former is more to your tastes, I would recommend taking five or to spread the wounds around and not make them too much of a point sink. From there, attach a Juggernaught-mounted Herald of Khorne, such as Skulltaker (or even Karanak - discussed later) and give the former a Locus as appropriate, preferably the Greater Locus of Fury so the unit dishes out a ridiculous number of powerful attacks. Add a champion with an Etherblade and they are set - the Herald and champion can deal with +2 armoured opponents, whilst the others butcher anything else. This is an expensive unit that needs to be managed carefully, particularly if your opponent does have access to Strength eight shooting at a decent range; it must be noted though that it will do very well in most combats. The latter unit need only be taken in the minimum squad size of three, with the added icon all that is necessary - run them up the field, preferably in a hidden spot, and await your reserved forces - allowing Bloodletter hordes and the like to deep-strike near enemy lines without risk is highly useful for you, and problematic for your opponent. In either role, Bloodcrushers work just fine, but I would definitely argue that Seekers of Slaanesh perform much better as a loose analogy to Bloodcrushers. Whether you agree is entirely based on preference - Bloodcrushers are fine, if uninspiring given their ease of removal. As for Karanak, adding the three headed lap-dog of Khorne to the unit of Bloodcrushers is a fantastic idea for two reasons; the first being that Bloodcrushers make a nice escort for Karanak, and the second being that it has the Scout special rule. This allows Karanak's unit to start much closer to their opponent which, if used with the appropriate amount of both precision and care, can put Bloodcrushers into a fantastic position early on. This is extremely useful regardless of how you choose to run the unit, as it gets them where they need to be much quicker - in fact, provided you go second, you can still launch a first-turn assault and have a very high chance of doing so. This is a very nasty tactic that forces your opponents hand immediately, either making them focus on the Bloodcrushers or risk losing a valuable unit.

    Flamers of Tzeentch - Much like Pink Horrors of Tzeentch are the only unit that puts out firepower at range available in the Troops slot, Flamers bear the distinction of having ranged weapons whilst their peers do not. Unlike Horrors, Flamers are very much intended for harassment, where they perform this role quite well against light infantry, if a bit less impressively against medium to heavy infantry. Their use against monstrous creatures and vehicles is very limited, as they provide neither the strength nor weight of attacks to worry either from shooting or combat. Their combat abilities are better than Pink Horrors - though their Weapon Skill is lower, their stats are higher elsewhere - but it is still advisable to keep them out of it. With a Strength and Toughness of four and two wounds, they are in essence as durable as a Space Marine when one considers their +5 invulnerable save, though they are more prone to instant death from readily found Strength eight weapons such as Hades Autocannons and Battle Cannons; each of which can mean a dead squad in one round of shooting. In that sense, you need to be very careful with them - they very much emphasise the 'hit hard, die hard' aspect of Chaos Daemons, and though a decently-sized unit isn't too expensive, you still need to minimise the risks of being wiped out by weight of fire.

    As to what they actually shoot, each Flamer of Tzeentch has a Strength four AP four template weapon with the Warpflame special rule - given that each model in a unit has the template, they are murder incarnate to light infantry. They can also vomit out a significant amount of wounds against medium infantry and the like with careful placement; otherwise, they won't do too well against typical enemies such as Space Marines. The Warpflame special rule is also a deterrent, as it has an even chance of giving either a light infantry squad +6 Feel No Pain or causing D3 wounds with no armour or cover saves allowed - against tougher units, it is most likely you will end up giving them +5 Feel No Pain after three rounds of shooting and killing an additional one or two, provided the Flamers survive that long. Still, Flamers are quite nasty on Overwatch as well - a welcome bonus is that their ranged attacks are not treated as psychic powers - as a cheap six-strong squad averages about twelve hits at Strength four which, against typical Space Marines, would kill two on average, and butcher other light infantry. Remember those poor Howling Banshees who seem to get worse with every passing edition, or Wyches? Those six Flamers of Tzeentch kill about eight of them from Overwatch on average, meaning you can reave entire units before they even get a chance to get close to you. What is most alluring about Flamers is that they are also Jump Infantry, meaning they can get to where you need them much quicker; they can also Deep Strike, being Chaos Daemons, and this is a risky albeit potentially highly rewarding tactic. Adding a Pyrocaster is good and cheap, just like elsewhere in the codex, and helps to minimise the effects of one particular result on the Warp Storm Table that targets your characters. It can also take gifts, though I wouldn't recommend them as you don't really want most of the benefits; rewards which are better spent on your actual commanders and the like. Overall, Flamers are a decent and cheap harassment unit that I recommend running in units of six, and though they aren't too great against Space Marines and not all that durable, their speed and devastating performance against light infantry makes them somewhat worthwhile in a balanced army - placement is key with Flamers to maximise the hits, and thus wounds, they score.

    Beasts of Nurgle - A problematic pile of pus for your poor opposing player, Beasts of Nurgle are strangely fast considering their daemonic alignment - as actual 'beasts', they move twelve inches each turn and, aside from having Move Through Cover - meaning they ignore dangerous terrain - they also benefit from Fleet. Due to being Slow and Purposeful, they cannot Run, however Fleet is pretty pivotal here as it allows the unit to re-roll their charge distances which, given they are an assault unit, is highly useful. Their speed and reliable random charge distances alone paint them as a naturally aggressive unit that works very well as a harasser and flank charger in the early turns in conjunction with other mobile units such as Plague Drones of Nurgle and Seekers of Slaanesh. However, Beasts of Nurgle are unique compared to units such as Bloodcrushers and the like in a lot of ways - particularly in terms of their durability. Their profile is staggering, to say the least; each model has four wounds with a Toughness of five, and given that they have both It Will Not Die and Shrouded, the only real way to get rid of them viably is to shoot them with Strength ten weapons or use force weapons against them in close combat - against anything else, they will just laugh it off and abuse the wound allocation mechanics and place different models at the front each turn. Given that they effectively ignore terrain, aside from benefiting from any applicable cover saves, you can use them to roll through ruins and the like and, with Shrouded, benefit from +2 or +3 cover saves whilst they advance into assault range. Essentially, they are a very difficult headache for your opponent to deal with, one that just wants a hug and some reassurance.

    As to how they actually perform in combat, against most enemies their Toughness and number of wounds alone will see them through; however, with Daemonic Instability, it is of course important that they be able to cause the wounds in return. Thankfully, they do not disappoint in this category, even if their Initiative and Weapon Skill are mediocre at best - each is only Strength four, but between Poisoned (+4) attacks where the number of attacks is the value of a D6 roll with one bonus attack (and any charge bonuses), unless you roll badly for their number of attacks they should put out a decent amount of wounds on most enemies. Though the temptation is there to use them against monstrous creatures due to their Poisoned melee attacks, I would only risk it against a low Initiative monster such as a Carnifex - the random number of attacks each turn means you are very much reliant on luck to win the day there, and unless the Carnifex has been previously wounded, it is unlikely the Beasts will be able to kill it before it strikes back and smashes (literally) through the unit.

    What really makes Beasts unique is that they can 'counter-charge' in the enemy turn; if one of your opponents' units successfully charges a friendly Daemon unit, any Beasts of Nurgle unit within twelve inches must immediately declare a charge against that enemy unit, even though it is the opponents' turn. Given that they have Fleet, unless the unit is at the edge of their charge range the Beasts should pretty reliably make it into combat - this can really ruin that charging units' day, as they would have to contend not just with their initial prey but the very tough and decently hard-hitting Beasts as well. Given that Beasts also have the equivalent of defensive grenades, they are actually very good back and mid-field supporting units that work in tandem with fragile units that perform quite disastrously in combat - Pink Horrors can really benefit from the inclusion of Beasts, though they work well with nearly any unit. And, in a pinch, their speed and durability allow you to force your opponent to target them and probably waste their firepower trying to remove them, or leave them unattended and free to charge other valuable enemy units. As before, they are a headache for your enemies and their only real hindrance is an excessive cost per model; whilst I think they are worth it, they are a mighty investment, especially when I would recommend running them in at least a three-strong formation. Any more is too much of a points-sink, but you need those ablative wounds to keep the unit running tight. A good unit for a number of reasons, but as costly as they come.

    Fiends of Slaanesh - If you thought Tzeentch Daemons won the prize for 'strangest appearance', you thought wrong; Fiends of Slaanesh have you covered there, and they will pretty aggressively demand your Elites slots as well. As Slaanesh Daemons, you can reasonably expect them to be fast - they are 'beasts' and thus move twelve inches each turn and are not slowed by terrain, though they do get the benefits of cover and the like. As Daemons of Slaanesh, they also add three inches to any Run moves they can make, and with the benefits of Fleet, they can get across the table in record time and roll reliably well for their random charge lengths due to the re-rolls granted by Fleet. Much like Beasts, they are a very quick harassment or flank charging unit that relies on their speed to get them to where it counts - unlike Beasts though, their greater speed comes at the cost of durability. With three wounds each at Toughness three, they are reasonably hardy when it comes to small arms fire - and even special weapons - though they run the very tangible risk of instant death from weapons such as power fists, missile launchers and battle cannons; most of which are quite common in the current edition of the game. A unit that provides a lot of attacks in combat can also worry them, such as Assault Marines, though massed bolter fire - particularly from Dark Angels wielding the Standard of Devastation - can put them down in short order. To get into combat, you are going to have to rely on their sheer speed, as well as the fact that most enemies won't perceive them as a major threat in comparison to something truly frightening like a unit of Bloodcrushers. Their combat abilities are, however, pretty decent; each Fiend strikes at Initiative six with three attacks each at Weapon Skill four that, when coupled with Rending, means they can do quite a bit of damage to several kinds of units - though Terminators and their ilk should be avoided at all costs provided they have power fists or chainfists.

    Where Fiends really shine are in their two unique special rules which, combined with other units, can make for a hellish time for any opponent. The first and most controversial of which is their Disruptive Song; if a unit is charged by Fiends of Slaanesh, their Initiative is reduced by five in the first round of combat. Given that this does not have a "minimum of one" stipulation, you will be forcing most enemies in the game to give up that assault phase entirely - per the Fight sub-phase rules, there is no 'Initiative 0' step, meaning that any unit that was Initiative five or lower is reduced to 'Initiative 0' and thus cannot attack at all. Obviously, this makes up for the lack of assault grenades on Fiends, though its real uses are more pronounced when combined with other units - Bloodletters and Daemonettes afraid of striking last, or in fact, being struck at all? Pair them up with Fiends who soak up the Overwatch fire and proceed to prevent enemies from striking blows in combat at all, and watch as your assault troops wipe those forces out without suffering any casualties! Even if they don't obliterate the squad in that first round of combat, the good Initiative of most Daemon units means they will likely finish the rest of the enemy forces off either before they get to strike, or simultaneously and suffer few casualties due to the earlier butchering. Editor's Note: This tactic does not apply, per the BRB FAQ specifying that combat is resolved from the 'highest Initiative step' to the 'lowest Initiative step', meaning enemies reduced to Initiative '0' would simply strike after Initiative one. Still, not bad at all!

    This alone makes Fiends very worthwhile, and you will find your opponent isn't laughing whatsoever when their large unit of Grey Knight Terminators is bogged down and wiped out in one game turn by a horde of Daemonettes and a block of Fiends dishing out a crazy number of Rending attacks without initial reprisal. Their other unique special rule is of less importance, though certainly still useful - enemy psykers within twelve inches of at least one Fiend of Slaanesh count their Leadership as -1 for the purposes of psychic tests. In essence, it means Fiends provide a little bit of psyker defence, though it isn't something to be counted on - what might really boil the flesh of your opponent is if nearby Fiends reduce their important psykers' Leadership when they are inevitably forced to take a 3D6 Leadership test or be removed from play due to one of the Warp Storm Table results. Rolling a ten or lower on 3D6 gives your average psyker pretty even odds of survival, but reducing that particular characteristic means they are quite likely to fail the test. Again, it isn't something to be relied upon, but it is handy nonetheless. Fiends are pretty reasonably costed for what they bring to the table, and though their speed and Rending attacks make them decent flanking and distraction units, their best use is in conjunction with other assaulting units - their penalties to enemy Initiative are staggering, to say the least, and can really allow Daemons to flow through combat with ease. As far as unit size goes, I would say six is the maximum in terms of both cost and for fluff reasons, though I think three should do just fine - they are cheap, they probably won't be perceived as much of an immediate threat by your opponent, and thus they are more likely to get into combat where they really shine.

    Example Builds - Though most of our Elites don't really have varying builds outside of unit sizes, I think you can still put these examples to good use;

    Bloodcrushers of Khorne (4) w/ bloodhunter, etherblade, icon of chaos, attached Karanak - 325

    Bloodcrushers of Khorne (3) w/ icon of chaos - 155

    Flamers of Tzeentch (6) - 138

    Beasts of Nurgle (3) - 156

    Fiends of Slaanesh (4) - 140


    Did you find this article entertaining or insightful? Or was it not up to your standards? Please let us know in the comments below - we appreciate any and all feedback. Until next time - thanks again!
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-18-2013 at 08:46 AM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  6. #6

    Default

    Howdy everyone, I am Learn2Eel and I am here to talk about the exciting Fast Attack selection from the new Chaos Daemons codex! With some very cheap and effective units available, a lot of tough decisions will likely be made by hobbyists everywhere as they decide which units to purchase. I hope you find this article both entertaining and intriguing.


    Fast Attack

    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.
    Our Fast Attack slot is filled with cheap and effective units that are a lot more dangerous than an initial impression would give them credit for. They are all quite capable of laying down the pain to a multitude of enemy units, though they tend to be somewhat fragile - given, again, how inexpensive even large units of them are, this shouldn't trouble you too much. The only real worry is which one you want to take multiples of for redundancy purposes, as several of these units simply demand your attention.

    Flesh Hounds of Khorne - The baying blood-soaked dogs of war endemic to almost every Chaos army, Flesh Hounds are a nasty unit that get their groove from raw speed, good durability and an intimidating charge. As beasts, they have a twelve inch movement that is unimpeded by terrain, and when considers they also have the Fleet special rule, they can reliably make it into combat within the first two turns, depending on which player goes first - given that they can only do damage in combat, this is very handy. The startling realisation that they have the Scout special rule actually means they become even more of an immediate threat for your opponent, as they can redeploy up to twelve inches away from their original position after both players have deployed their forces. A unit that expected to have at least two turns to fire at the Flesh Hounds and have space to move back may suddenly find itself in no mans' land; as long as the Flesh Hounds' owning player goes second, the little monsters can launch an assault in the first game turn! Obviously, you still need to be careful with what units you charge, and making sure that there are at least a few other units nearby so that the Flesh Hounds don't get overwhelmed without doing some good damage. Still, the possibility that you can potentially tie up a nasty ranged unit and massacre it after it gets only one round of shooting means your Flesh Hounds are performing their job quite well - drawing firepower, and attention, away from the main force. On these capabilities alone, Flesh Hounds are a very good and useful unit that demands your attention; Daemons traditionally suffer when targeted by massed shooting, and any unit that can mitigate this is well worth your time.

    However, the good stuff about Flesh Hounds doesn't end there. Though they lack any kind of armour-ignoring melee attacks, each Flesh Hound strikes with three Strength five attacks on the charge, using their high Weapon Skill of five and resolved at Initiative four! Given their sheer mobility, it is also incredibly likely that they will get the charge off - re-rolling charge distances is another great feature of Fleet - and even then, they still have two Strength four attacks in subsequent rounds. Against typical units that you would want your Flesh Hounds to tie up, such as Tactical Marines and Devastators, a decently-sized unit of Khorne's dogs should reliably tear through them after a few rounds and suffer relatively minimal casualties in return. Their combat capabilities also mean they can reliably take on low Toughness, low Initiative monstrous creatures as well - still, it must be noted that you should pick your targets very carefully at all times, as quite a few combat-oriented units will towel them up. That you can reliably soak up Overwatch fire and the like with Flesh Hounds is quite beneficial, given as each model has two wounds at Toughness four; though they are prone to instant-death like any multiple-wound creature, they are so cheap and fast that enemies probably won't consider them a prime target for such weapons. Against small arms fire, they are about as tough as a Space Marine statistically, whilst wound-allocation and mobility allows them to really share the wounds around across multiple shooting phases without losing any models. Perhaps their best attribute is that they are very cheap for how they will typically perform on the battlefield - you can fit almost three Flesh Hounds into an army for each Bloodcrusher you would otherwise take. Their strength is in numbers, and a unit of ten is so cheap that you would be foolish not to consider them as a viable counterpart to other fast moving units - or even simply as a distraction that your enemy needs to be very aware of depending on their army list composition. Another note about their Scout rule - if an Independent Character joins them, they too gain the benefits. Given that Karanak makes such a good addition to Bloodcrushers for this very reason, a very nasty tactic is to take either Skulltaker or a Herald on a Juggernaught, armed with an Etherblade of some kind and the Locus that provides Rage, and throw both units up on one or both flanks. To put it simply - it is brutal, and unless your opponent can kill those units quickly, they will be in a lot of trouble. Flesh Hounds are a great unit that you should really have a look at!

    Screamers of Tzeentch - Gliding mantas (no, really!) that tear apart the souls of those passing through the Warp, Screamers are visually distinct models that make up for a pretty decent melee unit that is exceptionally quick. As Jetbikes, Screamers can cover incredible distances very quickly, what with a standard twelve inch movement that can be followed by a 'turbo-boost' maneuvre of twenty four inches with the only drawback being that you cannot charge. Still, you can effectively reach your opponent's deployment zone on the first turn - this amazing mobility coupled with either powerful or quantitative melee attacks makes them a very strong threat that opponents can't afford to ignore. They are also quite durable, due to having two wounds each at Toughness four; though missile launchers and the like do put them down without a fight, turbo-boosting Screamers benefit from a +4 cover save that, due to being Daemons of Tzeentch, can re-roll their failed saving throws of one. Due to having the Jink rule, they can also do just fine - so long as they keep moving - if the fateful penalty to army-wide invulnerable saves occurs. Small arms fire works somewhat well against them, though whilst they are turbo-boosting - which they should be doing at the very least on the first turn - they are quite difficult to put down and can become a 'fire-sink' if your opponent doesn't target them with the appropriate weaponry and models. The really cool benefit to turbo-boosting with Screamers is that any one unit they 'fly' over suffers D3 Strength four AP - automatic hits per Screamer with their final position used for wound allocation purposes with any wounds caused! A unit of six, for example, averages about twelve hits and six wounds on a unit such as Tactical Marines, averaging two dead; not bad at all for what is essentially free hits simply for moving into position! There are a lot of ways that smart players can abuse their fly-by attacks, doing damage constantly whilst going out of assault and rapid-fire range and so on. This makes Screamers an excellent harassment unit that can be used to draw certain units out of position or be forced to keep suffering casualties that add up each turn.

    Once they are in melee, Screamers perform decently well; each model puts out four Strength four attacks at Initiative four, Weapon Skill three on the charge. They do pretty well against most infantry-standard units, though Screamers work best in numbers and as such you should always be aware not to be heavily outnumbered against enemy units; standard Space Marines will probably be beaten in a hard-fought combat by a decently-sized unit of Screamers, but dedicated melee units may be a different story. But, this is where their special rule 'Lamprey's Bite' comes into play and allows them to strike against a range of other enemies - each model can trade all of its normal attacks for a single strike at Strength five, AP two with the Armourbane rule. Essentially, this allows Screamers to engage elite infantry units, certain lower-Toughness monstrous creatures - such as Daemon Princes - and, importantly, vehicles. Though the few number of attacks from a unit using the Lamprey's Bite does mean you can't engage hardier vehicles or large units of elite enemies reliably, when one considers that they are Jetbikes with their slashing attacks, they can dish out quite a bit of damage very quickly and can force an opponent to move their vehicles or small units away or risk being destroyed. If they actually focus fire on the Screamers, even if the mantas die they will have done their job, as your more important units such as Daemonettes and Lords of Change will face that much less firepower and be able to get up close without suffering as much damage, which can prove pivotal in any engagement.

    Screamers aren't really an elite melee unit, and they should never be considered as such for any reason; they are a versatile unit that is meant for heavy harassment and to flood the target priority of your opponent. As a point of note, unless you are backed by Prescience and have a large unit, don't even think about charging into a Terminator squad wielding power fists. The only hindrance to Screamers is that they are somewhat costly per model, as they are almost ten pistachios more expensive than Flesh Hounds of Khorne, but for what they bring to the table, I think they are worth it. As far as unit size goes, it really depends on the points limit and how many units you want to field - I feel six is a great number for cost-effectiveness, and it also means they aren't too big a target for opponents to focus fire on and destroy, meaning their potential loss is less harmful to your overall efforts. I should also point out that Screamers make a great unit for a Herald of Tzeentch on a Disc to join - give him Prescience and watch the Screamers rip and tear!

    Plague Drones of Nurgle -Tougher than any unit of their speed has a right to be, Plague Drones are a new kind of unit with some interesting unique abilities; they are the first of their kind as 'Jetpack Cavalry'. What this basically means is that they move twelve inches and take dangerous terrain tests, similar to regular Cavalry, but as Jetpack units they instead take dangerous terrain tests only when they begin or finish their move in a piece of terrain. They also have Fleet and Hammer of Wrath, which means they are pretty fast and reliable at getting into an assault, but their special Jetpack rule allows them to move 2D6 inches in the assault phase rather than launching an assault; given that Daemons of Nurgle cannot Run due to being Slow and Purposeful, this is invaluable as it allows them to get to their enemies quicker in the early stages of the game or otherwise move into position. The real benefit of having the Jetpack unit type in addition to being Cavalry is that they can actually move into the higher levels of buildings and ruins, which I am pretty sure regular Cavalry cannot do - this means that units can't hide from your Plague Drones by abusing this usual limitation. To boil it down for simplicity's sake; they are fast, they are reliable, they will get into an assault. However, that isn't even their best attribute - with a Toughness of five and three wounds each, Plague Drones are relentlessly hard to remove conventionally, with only massed Strength ten firepower from Vindicators and Railguns really able to put them down reliably. Given the wound allocation rules, you can and should abuse their positioning so that enemies can't kill models off without having to either attack from multiple fronts or really put the hammer down; the firepower it takes to kill even three of these in a regular game is more than enough to justify their cost. Though the +5 invulnerable save is a weak save, they are still statistically harder to kill than a Terminator and, given they are so speedy, they can jack up the target saturation in your army perfectly; they are very difficult to deal with!

    There are a few trade-offs for those two major advantages they have, of course, most noticeably being that their offensive abilities are reduced in comparison to a unit such as Bloodcrushers and the like - though the units have a separate role and organisation slot, of course. Still, that isn't to say their combat abilities aren't great; on top of Hammer of Wrath at Strength four, each model puts out four Poisoned (+4) attacks at Weapon Skill three, Initiative two on the charge with re-rolls to wound against Toughness four or lower models. This means they can really put the pain on a lot of units, especially medium infantry, and their durability means they make for excellent 'tarpit' units that get into combat very quickly, tie up a nasty ranged unit and keep the other elements of your army safe from their escapades. They aren't too bad against higher toughness enemies, and though they do have a mass of Poisoned attacks, I must stress that you need to be very selective of what monstrous creatures you charge, and when; due to Smash, a Daemon Prince is likely to kill two or three before they can even strike, regardless of whether it charged or not. Nemesis Dreadknights will wipe out entire units before they can attack. There are remedies to this, though, through upgrades; one allows one of each models' attacks to inflict instant death which, in a decently sized unit, stands a good chance of outright killing a slow monster such as a Tervigon or Carnifex - it must be noted that this is very risky though. Thankfully, Plague Drones are a unit where you don't really need to worry about a lack of assault grenades - they are regularly Initiative two, and thus will usually strike last regardless. Their other upgrades are interesting; each costs the same, including the afore-mentioned instant death upgrade, though the other two are quite different, where one makes their attacks Poisoned (+3) and the other gives them a decent shooting attack. I think all of the upgrades are useful in particular circumstances, though I think the Poisoned (+3) upgrade is my recommendation for general play.

    I also can't go past the icon which gives players another option to deep-strike their other units off of the very fast Plague Drones who, it must be said, are a lot tougher than the other units that can be used in this role. This is an important key to many builds available to a Chaos Daemons' player, and works well either with Plaguebearers or with Daemonettes, Bloodletters and the like. Though the instrument is an option if they deep-strike, generally speaking I think Plague Drones are quick and durable enough that they are probably best used starting on the board and working as a direct and reliable homer for those other units that desperately need it. The Plaguebringer upgrade is, like any other 'chips-cheap' character upgrade in the army, a good option simply for reducing the effects of the Warp Storm Table in relation to your more important HQ characters. However, on a dedicated melee unit, the Plaguebringer works well with an Etherblade or Greater Etherblade for hunting Terminators and power-armoured enemies alike; just be careful not to spend points that are better used elsewhere. Given that they are very expensive for a base model - albeit justified in cost - you need to be careful with how many you put in one unit, especially considering hard-counters such as Vindicators and Leman Russ Demolishers are not all that uncommon nowadays. Three is a good number, though a few more probably won't hurt too much - I would avoid going anywhere near three hundred points though, as two units of four would probably work better at that level and give you more flexibility with both the army list and strategic deployment options. They are a pretty hard-as-nails unit that hits hard through high numbers of Poisoned attacks, and has the speed to match. A very good unit!

    Chaos Furies - What flies, has a Leadership of two, and suffers wounds if it fails a Leadership test? You guessed it - Chaos Furies are a funny unit that work decently due to how erratically cheap they are, even if they are quite abysmal if you can't guarantee a good combat result. Their basic profile is both promising and damning, as they have a mediocre Weapon Skill and only attack each, but with a Strength and Initiative of four they are aren't too bad. Their Toughness of three and one wound means they are as durable as a Daemonette or Bloodletter against shooting, though they are more susceptible to suffering damage in combat than either unit, but not just for having a worse profile; per the Daemonic Instability rules, if the Furies ever lose combat, you can reliably expect to lose another five or so without any kind of saving throw. Well, not everything can be good, can it? What should grab your attention is that they are Jump Infantry, as well as their astonishingly low cost; each model does Hammer of Wrath at Strength four, which isn't too shabby, though only if they get into base contact of course. They move twelve inches, or six inches and grant a re-rollable charge distance. Given their absurd cost and stats, I think it necessary to point out that, as a dedicated melee unit, they are not meant to go up against other units of their kind; they are essentially your fast-moving, decently hard-hitting chaff that die in droves. Placement and which units to charge are of course key to using Furies successfully - that and being able to stand their awful models.

    What really spices up Furies are the marks; you can dedicate them to one of the four Chaos gods and receive the same benefits as other Daemons of the chosen patron. However, one mark stands quite largely above the rest; Slaanesh, for two main reasons. The first is that it gives Furies the Rending special rule on their melee attacks, meaning that they generate quite a few armour-ignoring wounds provided they are taken in numbers and haven't suffered too many casualties once they reach combat. This makes them pretty nasty against Terminators, as they also force a high number of armour saves. The second benefit is the addition of Fleet, and the bonus three inches to Run moves; Furies that move twelve inches and either re-roll their Run moves, adding three inches to it or re-rolling charge distance with Rending attacks is pretty nasty! The best part is that they are also still very cheap for what they bring, with their fragility the only real worry you would otherwise have; the lack of assault grenades probably won't matter to you too much, as Furies really are there to tarpit and draw firepower off of other units. The other marks aren't bad, it is just that Slaanesh adds the most to Furies and makes them more than a decent unit; competitively, I likely wouldn't take Furies in any other configuration over dedication to Slaanesh. They effectively become somewhat less cost-effective, cheaper and faster Daemonettes that aren't scoring. If you look at them as chaff, they really aren't bad at all, but otherwise, they shouldn't be taken if you actually do plan either on their survival or actually walloping enemy units of note - unless they are Slaaneshi Furies, of course.

    Seekers of Slaanesh - I have a quiz for you. Take a Daemonette; look at her abilities and points cost. Change her unit type to 'Cavalry', making her move twice as fast. Give her the special rules 'Outflank' and 'Acute Senses', allowing her to come on from a random table edge and reliably get the one she wants. Give her an extra attack. Now tell me how much you think that is worth; sound off in the comments below, listing out why you think they should cost that much. Let me tell you something; no matter how much you want to make them as cheap as possible, no matter how badly you need to make everyone want them, you haven't costed them like our wonderful authors have. Three poptarts more than a regular Daemonette gets you a Seeker, and that alone is just ridiculous; Daemonettes were already highly cost effective melee units that suffered only from fragility and having to either run across the table or deep-strike in. Seekers, whilst still rather easy to kill, don't suffer the latter disadvantage; they move twelve inches a turn, unimpeded by terrain - though they take dangerous terrain tests - and, as Daemons of Slaanesh, they run an incredible D6 inches plus six inches. They get across the table faster than any other unit of their kind, and they hit so hard too with four Weapon Skill five, Strength three Rending attacks per model at Initiative five on the charge! When one considers they have Fleet on top of their incredible mobility, they aren't likely to fail a charge either, and Hammer of Wrath allows them to sneak in a few cheeky extra wounds before the real combat starts too. The sheer number of attacks they have, on top of Rending and high Weapon Skill and Initiative values means they can tear through entire units - Terminators, Havocs, Carnifexes, you name it - both reliably and amazingly quickly. To put this into perspective, a crazily inexpensive unit of ten on the charge averages five Rending wounds, meaning they can reliably put a Carnifex or even a Dreadknight down in one round of combat! Against a unit of ten Tactical Marines, those ten Seekers average around nine wounds, four or five of which are Rending, and leading to one or two additional deaths from armour saves, meaning the unit averages about six dead Marines on the charge, all before they can strike back and thus giving the Seekers a lot of breathing room!

    Seekers are so darn good for their cost, it is hard to really discuss the flaws they do suffer from; notably, their fragility and lack of assault grenades. The former isn't as much of an issue as you might think, given that you can take so many Seekers for so little that you probably will actually smile if your opponent shoots them and not your Keeper of Secrets and/or Daemon Princes. Still, to keep them alive, you should abuse their speed as much as possible and make sure to run behind line-of-sight blocking terrain at your convenience; to minimise the risks of dangerous terrain killing your Seekers, an attached Herald of Slaanesh with the first Locus granting the unit Move Through Cover works well enough. Still, the main issue you will probably have is Overwatch; flamers and even bolters can do a number on Seekers pretty easily, and as such you should work the Seekers in tandem with good damage-soaking units such as Fiends or even Plague Drones. Given the speed of the unit, charging through cover isn't too much of an issue as they are fast enough that they should be able to pick their targets pretty capably; however, it must be noted that Skull Cannons or Fiends, again, work very well to either grant assault grenades or give dramatic (i.e. broken) Initiative penalties to enemy units. In that sense, you do need other units to make up for their faults, but Seekers work well enough that this shouldn't be too much of an issue - that, and those other units are always welcome in an assault-based army, which happens to be where Seekers have their place. Seekers also work as 'homing-beacon' units carrying icons into enemy territory on the first turn that, due to their extreme mobility and chunky unit sizes due to a low cost, makes them probably the best in this role that you can take. They hit as hard, if not harder, than those other units, and they are a far less significant investment to make the tactic tick. Seekers paired with deep-striking Daemonettes is both fluffy and fun - though probably not for your opponent - as your Seekers take the mandatory icon to help the Daemonettes into position, then the Seekers run off into a viable target and hack away, reducing the amount of shots heading at the deadly handmaidens of Slaanesh.

    Like with Plague Drones and their ilk, the instrument is only there if you have a specific strategy in place; Seekers are so fast and not much of an obvious threat to your opponent as others of their kind might be that they probably are best off just running up the field in record time. Really, a D6 inches re-rollable run move followed by a guaranteed six inches is crazy good, especially given they also move twelve inches in the movement phase. The Heartseeker is, again, a good cheap upgrade to take for mitigating the effects of the Warp Storm Table, and makes for a very cheap bonus attack for the unit, as well as a sponge to tie-up an enemy character for a turn. I don't think the Heartseeker really benefits from an Etherblade, due to her low Strength and Rending attacks, though in general I think she doesn't need upgrades whatsoever; the unit is best kept cheap, and they are very good regardless of any upgrades. As far as attaching a Herald mounted on a Steed of Slaanesh, I would recommend either the first Locus to make them immune to dangerous terrain, or the third Locus so that their already fantastic combat abilities for the cost are further amplified to ridiculous levels. The Herald can do well with any kind of weapon upgrade, though her Rending attacks should see her through for the most part. Really though, Seekers are so phenomenally good because they are ridiculously cheap; you could not have asked for a unit that is so cheap, so effective and so fast. They are fantastic, and units of ten are about the minimum I would take simply because they are that darn inexpensive!

    Hellflayer of Slaanesh - Unique amongst the Slaaneshi chariots both for its inability to be taken in squadrons and being the only one outside of the Heavy Support section - at least, if you don't count the option for Heralds anyway - the Hellflayer is a cheap and fragile option. Taken on its own merits, the Hellflayer does some very decent damage on the charge and serves as a blocker for enemy units; with armour eleven all-round and only two hull points, it is pretty easy to destroy, and it isn't exactly quick either as it moves like any other vehicle. Still, being a vehicle dedicated to Slaanesh, it adds three inches to its Flat Out movements, and combined with Fleet, it can launch an assault pretty reliably too - deep striking is a good option with Hellflayers so as to get them to the midfield quicker and reduce the amount of turns they have to suffer from shooting. With a +5 invulnerable save, it also gets some joy during both the shooting and assault phases, though again, having only two hull points mean it isn't too difficult for a common opponent to be rid of. When it actually gets into combat, as a Chariot of Slaanesh, it deals D6 Hammer of Wrath hits per hull point it has resolved at Strength four AP nothing, but what is really of note here is the fact that they are Rending attacks! Provided it hasn't suffered any damage, it averages about one Rending wound when it launches an assault, which can be nifty to kill an expensive model here or there; the Hellflayer is so cheap that this actually isn't that bad, and it makes for a pretty good distraction unit. What makes the Hellflayer functionally different from the other chariots is that any unsaved wound caused by its Hammer of Wrath attacks grants a bonus attack to the rider, which means you are likely to get one or two bonus attacks. As far as the actual rider goes, the Alluress is essentially a Daemonette with two bonus attacks; she puts out the hurt decently, though obviously not as much as an actual unit of Slaanesh's handmaidens would, meaning you need to be careful who you charge into. Given that the Alluress only has one wound and a +5 invulnerable save, she is pretty easily killed too - especially with a Toughness of three. It works best because it is cheap; also, the model is awesome!

    Still, it really needs to be compared to both the other Slaaneshi chariots and even the other units in its slot, and I must say that I would probably take the majority of those over the Hellflayer any time. As far as the chariots go, the standard Seeker Chariot is the most cost-effective of the bunch, whilst the Exalted Seeker Chariot hits the hardest at the highest cost; both outshine the Hellflayer in my opinion, especially given that they can be taken in squadrons and thus free up more room for other units in the slot. As far as other Fast Attack choices go, I think actual blocks of units are more valuable in this sense, especially given the Hellflayer can be quite easily taken out in one-shot from afar; as an open-topped vehicle, a simple lascannon penetrates it on a three and up and subsequently destroys it on a four and up. Compare this to Furies, Screamers and the like who don't suffer from the same disadvantage; even if they are obviously vulnerable to small arms fire, they don't die as quickly and as spectacularly as any vehicle would, especially in the 6th Edition environment. Whilst the Hellflayer isn't a bad choice and it is probably unfair to compare it to the other units in this way, I would say that if you want your chariot-fix, take the Seeker or Exalted Seeker Chariots and free up your Fast Attack slots for more valuable units such as Seekers of Slaanesh who actually work pretty well in tandem with the other chariots. Again though, they aren't at all bad, and if you do take them, consider running a pair with supporting Seekers of Slaanesh and Seeker Chariots to have a mobile, hard-hitting and fragile force of fantastically-evil models.

    Example Builds - Our Fast Attack units have a lot of viable combinations, but here are a few that I have found to work quite well;

    Flesh Hounds of Khorne (10) - 160
    Flesh Hounds of Khorne (10) w/ attached Herald of Khorne w/ etherblade, juggernaught -270

    Screamers of Tzeentch (6) - 150
    Screamers of Tzeentch (6) w/ attached Herald of Tzeentch w/ disc of Tzeentch - 220

    Plague Drones (3) w/ plaguebringer, icon, rot proboscis - 156
    Plague Drones (5) w/ plaguebringer, icon, rot proboscis - 250

    Chaos Furies of Slaanesh (20) - 160

    Seekers of Slaanesh (10) w/ heartseeker, icon - 135
    Seekers of Slaanesh (15) w/ heartseeker, icon - 195


    Did you enjoy this article, or was it not up to your standards? Please let us know in the comments below - we appreciate any and all feedback!
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-18-2013 at 08:49 AM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  7. #7

    Default

    Hey all, I'm Learn2Eel and I love the new Chaos Daemons. Today, I want to talk about our Heavy Support choices, how they fit into the army, and whether or not they are worth your time. Enjoy!



    Heavy Support

    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.
    Our Heavy Support choices are quite decent, though some of them are not as useful as they should be due to unusual rules; one unit in particular is in dire need of an FAQ update, as an example. Mostly, they provide the only real long-range firepower in the army, though it is typically unreliable or used for purposes other than straight slaughter. There are some very nasty combinations, and two of the units stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of overall effectiveness and synergy with the rest of a Daemons force.

    Soul Grinder - Previously the only vehicle available to Chaos Daemons, the Soul Grinder has some very unique distinctions; first among them that it is the only non-flying unit that can natively skyfire, thus adding additional anti-air firepower to an army list. For that alone a Soul Grinder is quite useful, even if the actual weapon used isn't fantastic; three Strength seven shots is nothing to sneeze at, and with a Ballistic Skill of three, you should be getting one or two hits every turn. Thankfully, the weapon has an alternate firing mode that allows it to shoot at ground targets without penalty, meaning it can also be used for light anti-infantry suppression or a decent armour destroyer. What is tasty is how damned difficult it is to kill it as far as typical walkers go; an AV 13/13/11 walker that sports a standard +5 invulnerable save, causes Fear and comes stock with four Strength ten AP two attacks is pretty hardcore, even if they are at Weapon Skill three and Initiative three. Much like a Defiler, it also has four hull points, meaning the already difficult job of glancing it becomes that much harder - the invulnerable save really does make a difference, as it is a 33% chance to effectively ignore a potential damage result on something that can take four of them before bowing out. Where it really starts to differ from its 'cousin' is that it does not come stock with a lot of those weapon options, and it lacks a host of special rules the Defiler possesses; Soul Grinders don't benefit from Fleet, the Daemonforge, or It Will Not Die, nor does it come with a battle cannon and a heavy flamer. However, the Soul Grinder holds the cards compared to the Defiler, as it is both significantly cheaper and can pay a decent amount for upgrades that make it far more efficient and dangerous. As a stock standard choice, the Soul Grinder isn't bad at all, given how cheap it is; AV13 front and side also makes a huge difference against enemies toting krak grenades, autocannons, plasma guns and the like - the latter two of which are very much staking their claim in the meta currently. Most enemies will be forced to automatically fail a morale check per 'Our Weapons are Useless' if they engage a Soul Grinder in close quarters combat, though actually charging into enemies that are either Fearless or have the Grim Resolve special rule - basically, any Dark Angels unit - will be forced to stay and be steadily butchered lest they have meltabombs, power fists and all that jazz. To boil it down, Soul Grinders are quite cheap for what they do, and very durable as far as walkers go; of course, actually hiding the thing is no small task, though the invulnerable save helps immensely.

    Where the Soul Grinder's value really starts to emerge as an all-purpose and cost-effective walker is through its potential upgrades; much like Chaos Furies and Daemon Princes, Soul Grinders can be dedicated to a god of Chaos! This gives them the same benefits as with other Daemons, and the costs vary for each dedication. Khorne is free, considering that the usual benefit it grants - Furious Charge - doesn't mean much on a model that always has the equivalent of a power fist and strikes at Strength ten; though it does give Hatred of Slaanesh Daemons, and given their expected resurgence in popularity, this isn't bad at all. Tzeentch is the least costly (in terms of marks that actually cost something) and provides arguably the weakest benefit, allowing the Soul Grinder to re-roll saving throws of one; though it is unreliable, it does have its uses given how tough the beast is. Nurgle is the equal most expensive, and gives by far the best benefit if you exploit it; though Slow and Purposeful prevents the Soul Grinder from using Overwatch, Running or performing a Sweeping Advance, being a Daemon of Nurgle grants it Shrouded, or a +2 bonus to any cover save it would have. Out in the open, this advantage means little, given the Soul Grinder already has the +5 invulnerable save; however, obscure the Soul Grinder by 25% percent - which is pretty easy given how 'wide' the model is - by, for example, sticking half of its body in a ruin, and enjoy a jaw-dropping +2 cover save on an AV 13/13/11 four hull-point walker. I kid you not. Given this costs less than twenty tacos, that benefit is absolutely ludicrous; it turns an already pretty hardy vehicle into an almost indestructible mass of flesh and steel that hits hard both at range and up close. Denying its cover saves isn't easy either, given how big it is and how easily you can hide the legs and what-not; charging it isn't the best idea either unless you have a monstrous creature or at-Initiative high strength weapon handy, as they do dish out in the pain in combat better than most other walkers. Provided you have cover to move into or deploy in near or inside your deployment zone, plonk the nasty abomination there and laugh as enemies simply can't destroy something that lobs a half-range battle cannon each turn. The last and easily second most beneficial dedication is of Slaanesh, granting Rending to the Soul Grinder's attacks (I am unclear if this applies to its ranged attacks; by rules-as-written it doesn't, as far as I can tell) as well as Fleet and an additional three inches to any re-rollable Run move it makes. It works to make the Soul Grinder much quicker, and far less likely to fail a charge and reduce the chances of being a fish out of water on the enemy turn.

    The Soul Grinder has three weapon options to choose from in addition to the Harvester Cannon, and each of them fits a different purpose; one is a decently-ranged anti-infantry weapon, the second is an unreliable but very strong anti-tank weapon, and the last is for all-purpose long-range suppression against infantry and vehicles. The Baleful Torrent is a Strength six AP four Torrent template weapon that, for the cost, is very decent; it has a great range of about twenty inches, and can be placed for maximum effect to hit the most models. Though it doesn't ignore Space Marine armour, it piles the wound count on them, and will obliterate almost any other infantry unit - Tau, Eldar, Dark Eldar and the like will be scared to death of it - with relative ease. This works best with a Soul Grinder of Slaanesh, due to both the speed boosts and the fact that it potentially (awaiting FAQ) grants Rending to the flamer template as well; also, it is pretty decent for Overwatch. Definitely a good weapon. The Warp Gaze, the second most expensive, is pretty unreliable; a single shot at Ballistic Skill three that isn't twin-linked is sure to turn most away, though the trade-off is that it hits with an awesome Strength of ten at AP one. Provided that it hits, it has a very good chance of outright-obliterating any AV13 or lower vehicle you can find, given that the AP one provides a +2 modifier to any rolls on the damage chart. Against Land Raiders and the like though, it has a 33% chance of penetrating it, followed by a 50% chance to cause the vehicle to explode; given that it already has an even-chance of hitting, I think it isn't bad at all, especially given the Soul Grinder also comes with a Harvester Cannon. If you want dedicated anti-tank weaponry on your Soul Grinder, this isn't a terrible option, though I think it is outweighed by the only slightly more expensive third weapon choice. The costliest of the three is the Phlegm Bombardment, but it is also my pick for competitive play; it is essentially a half-range battle cannon, meaning it fires a single Strength eight AP three large blast resolved with the Ordnance rules. It can reliably go straight through tough armoured units, or wipe out a major chunk of most infantry squads; it inflicts instant death on most enemies, and is particularly harrowing for enemies such as Tyranid Warriors and their ilk. As a large blast weapon fired with Ballistic Skill three, it obviously isn't all that reliable either; still, the chances of actually hitting something are pretty high, and it can devastate most targets. Given its superior range to the other weapon options, as well as its general effectiveness, I would say this is my go-to option for a Soul Grinder; particularly one with Nurgle as its patron god. The reason for this is simple; bombard enemies from afar, lounge about in terrain for a +2 cover save, and scare potential threats off with your powerful melee capabilities.

    The last option to discuss is one that still makes me scratch my head in utter confusion. For a similar cost to one of the very strong ranged upgrades, you can, in addition to your iron claw, take a 'Warpsword'; a master-crafted AP three melee specialist weapon with Strength as user. Wait up. A melee weapon that is very costly and is far worse than the weapon I come stock standard with? What? What am I paying those points for exactly? One re-roll to hit, and only if I use the weapon? A bonus attack? Yes, as the Iron Claw is also a specialist weapon, the Soul Grinder would then get a single extra attack in combat. For something that is only marginally less than the Phlegm Bombardment. I've got four words for this; what were they thinking!? Don't bother with it, unless you assembled your Soul Grinder(s) with the awesome-looking sword option and either you or your opponent feels it should be forced to use it. If Walkers didn't ignore Unwieldy, it wouldn't be such an issue, as there would actually be some kind of validation for taking the Warpsword then. Still....just no. In any case, the Soul Grinder is a nicely utilitarian model that is surprisingly unique - and welcome - in an army that tends to lack multi-purpose units, sporting a stock anti-air and anti-vehicle weapon with strong melee capabilities, all on a very tough armoured platform. The meat is in the upgrades, and even kitted out with an extra gun and the favour of one the four Chaos Gods, the Soul Grinder will be cheaper than a Chaos Space Marine Defiler; given that the former is both more durable, more versatile in the sense that it also attacks aircraft, and as good in combat, you really can't go past it. There are some very brutal combinations to be found, the most obvious of which is to take the Phlegm Bombardment and dedicate the Soul Grinder to Nurgle; it dishes out the hurt very quickly, and is unreasonably difficult to remove by conventional means. Still, I think as long as you don't take the superfluous upgrades and otherwise think of the combination of weapon and dedication, Soul Grinders should be well worth the points in every game; they are arguably now one of the best land vehicles in the game and should be coveted accordingly. Just be very aware not to go all-out on them, as luck can still sway their fate and they aren't exactly cheap, even if they are probably under-costed for their potential performance.
    The Defiler wishes it could be the Soul Grinder. And, so do I.

    Skull Cannon of Khorne - As the old adage goes, Khorne cares not how the blood is spilled; only that he may suckle and drink for an eternity. The Skull Cannon is thus an interesting addition to what has universally been perceived as a close-combat oriented army - Khorne Daemons specifically - that adds both some decent firepower, and a very hefty bonus for assaulting units. First off, it is an open-topped chariot, meaning that penetrating hits resolved against it gain a +1 modifier on top of any others, such as those provided by AP two and AP one weapons; to put this into perspective, a penetrating hit from a multi-melta would cause a Skull Cannon to explode on a whopping +3. As you can tell, you need to be careful with the model; getting up close and personal may not be your thing, but it also may not be your choice. As a chariot without a rider, it is a bit odd; its main attribute being that it can launch an assault into an enemy unit and, as a Daemon of Khorne, it inflicts D6 Strength seven automatic hits. Not bad at all, though again, perhaps getting close is not the best option with the Skull Cannon due to how easily it can be destroyed with a lucky shot; still, if an enemy transport or ill-equipped unit draws near, charge them and potentially do quite a bit of damage. Per the Gorefeast special rule, if it inflicts any unsaved wounds with its Hammer of Wrath attacks, it can regain a lost hull point on a +4, meaning it keeps on trucking while dishing out the pain; it isn't to be relied upon though. Actually getting through its armour is moderately tough, given that it is an AV 12/12/10 vehicle that, due to being a Daemon, has a tasty +5 invulnerable save; with three hull points that it can potentially regrow, it is pretty survivable for its points. What really sets the Skull Cannon apart though - as well as being the real reason you would consider taking one - is the actual weapon that is the chariot's namesake; firing a Strength eight AP five large blast with Ignores Cover, it is death incarnate to light infantry of any kind and, with a good shot, can reliably kill a handful of Space Marine-equivalents as well. Tyranid Warriors and the like will learn to fear it, even if they get their +4 armour save; it is also pretty devastating against units that rely on cover, such as Eldar Pathfinders or even Plaguebearers of Nurgle. So, the cannon itself is pretty damaging, though one must ask whether it is appropriately priced next to a vehicle such as a Vindicator that fires a stronger weapon.

    The Skull Cannon has its own set of advantages to compensate, given its superior range of thirty-six inches, meaning it can fire and pretty reliably stay out of range of the more common anti-tank weapons found in today's meta. The invulnerable save also helps out a lot for the most part, even if cover is pretty readily available, it can make a big difference against deep-striking or outflanking enemies that would usually gobble up the side armour of such vehicles. What really defines the Skull Cannon though is the unique special rule for its gun - aptly named 'Dreadskulls' - as any unit that is hit by the Skull Cannon (the weapon) allows assaulting Daemon units to ignore the Initiative penalties for charging through cover against that unit(s). Given that the entire army lacks assault grenades, and seeing as how charging through cover is often the only life-line opponents depend on against a daemonic assault, this benefit really cannot be under-stated; an opponent that thinks their Tactical Marines will be safe and able to inflict some serious casualties on those charging Bloodletters before they strike should think again, instead being butchered in one round by the ravening horde. Afraid the casualties suffered from being Overwatched by a unit of Immortals in cover will be too much for your Daemonettes to win the combat? Soften the Immortals up with the Skull Cannon, and watch as your high Initiative lovelies rip and tear through the entire unit, forcing a failed Leadership test and subsequently a sweeping advance. Worried your Bloodthirster will have to strike last against a Grey Knight Grand Master in a challenge (or his unit) or risk being charged and go last anyway? Watch the grin rapidly fade from your opponents' face as your mutilated cross-breed of Juggernaught and daemon engine causes their leader to bite the dust in a truly inglorious fashion.

    This is the real reason that you would want to take a Skull Cannon, even if its firepower is pretty useful in an assault-based army, but mostly because of the mitigation of a serious disadvantage any assaulting Daemon unit suffers from. The best part about all of this is that, even though it relies on an always unpredictable large blast weapon, Khorne's 'martial prowess' carries over here as well, as the Skull Cannon has an excellent Ballistic Skill of five; accurate large blasts for everyone! In short, the Skull Cannon is a decently durable support unit that should be used to soften up enemies and provide the benefit of assault grenades to your charging Daemons, whatever their daemonic alignment. Though they have little other uses and are out-performed by the excellent Soul Grinder in terms of raw damage potential and versatility, the benefits of the Skull Cannon are pretty far-reaching, meaning you should consider at least one in any army list that features lots of assault units. It is nice and cheap too!
    Blood! Skulls! Maim! Blood!

    Burning Chariot of Tzeentch - My initial impressions of this unit is that it was the far superior Chaos Daemon equivalent of the Dark Angels Land Speeder Vengeance - a glass cannon that hits hard but is pretty easily destroyed. Compared to the Vengeance, it not only has better firepower and is just as mobile, but it is also a darn sight more durable too. Though all of that may still be true, there is a gross limitation that really sets the unit back and means that, for competitive play, it requires an FAQ update to be viable. But enough of that just for now, I will discuss firstly the reasons why this would be such a good unit if it weren't for that major issue. It is a fast skimmer chariot mounted with a three wound - extraordinarily tough for a Daemon chariot rider - 'Exalted Flamer' that can hold its own in combat, as well as shooting pretty well too. It moves exceptionally quickly, and would typically be allowed to fire two weapons at full Ballistic Skill even if it moved twelve inches; it can also move flat out up to eighteen inches, and benefits from a meaty +4 cover save whilst doing so. Given that its weapons are mostly of medium range, this gives the Burning Chariot significant mobility that allows it either to shoot early on, or at the very least get into a good position to do so later whilst making it more difficult to destroy. Compared to other fast skimmers of its kind, it is quite a bit more durable; a permanent +5 invulnerable save is very useful, given that it also re-rolls failed saving throws of one, for the odd chance it gets stuck into combat or becomes immobilised. With three hull points at AV 10/10/10 though on an open-topped platform, it is quite easily destroyed if shot at by any decently strong anti-tank weapon, meaning you are likely to get only one or two rounds of shooting at it before it is promptly targeted by significant weaponry and subsequently destroyed. Given how cheap the thing is though, that isn't really a bad thing; it is there as a distraction unit that does a lot of damage very quickly if an opponent allows it to.

    What should really catch your eye - and subsequently turn it away - is the firepower the Burning Chariot offers; the Exalted Flamer mounted upon it can fire either a D3 Strength nine AP two weapon at eighteen inches, offering a nasty medium-ranged anti-tank weapon that hits pretty reliably with a Ballistic Skill of four. In an army that traditionally lacks the means to destroy enemy vehicles early on, the Burning Chariot can be a life-saver as it stands a decent chance of wrecking medium to light armoured vehicles even on the second turn of the game. It also sports a very powerful anti-infantry weapon, with a Strength five AP three Torrent template weapon; though not as strong as the Baleflamer carried by the Heldrake, nor as mobile, it is still an exceptionally strong weapon that can burn through the majority of Space Marine units, and convincingly wipe out entire squads such as Pathfinders and Fire Warriors. Given the Torrent special rule and the twelve inch movement of the Burning Chariot, it would stand a very good chance of attacking and doing severe damage to enemy formations in the first game turn. Unfortunately, this is where the real issue of the Burning Chariot is exposed - as both of the weapons carried by the Exalted Flamer are of the 'Heavy' type, and the Exalted Flamer lacks the Relentless special rule, it is forced to snap-fire its weapons (precluding it from firing the template weapon altogether) if it even moves an inch! This means that the mobility of the unit simply does not work at all well with the firepower it possesses; given the short range of its weapons and fragility, this means the Burning Chariot is a very easy target for enemies to deal with in the first or second turn of the game, and suffer no damage from it as a result. This is a crippling over-sight that is strangely contradicted in every way by the recent White Dwarf battle report and the other rules it possesses; what is it meant for if not for early harassment that, whilst cheap, is suitably balanced by being easily removed? Given that you need to spend a turn setting up in a good position, and a smart opponent will merely move out of its range or just shoot at it and destroy it with ease, there is little competitive use for the Burning Chariot at this point; it is such a shame, given that the model is superb.

    It does have some options you can make use of; the most notable being the humorous 'Blue Horrors' upgrade, where a team of the miniature rascals (my apologies) shouts curses and slander at enemies, reducing their Leadership by one within six inches of the Burning Chariot. Not bad, especially when combined with all Daemons causing Fear and the like, but you always need to be careful when maneuvering the Burning Chariot that close to enemies. It also has access to twenty points worth of gifts, much like unit champions, and given its combat profile is actually decent an etherblade is not a bad idea at all. Still, until it is FAQed to actually be allowed to fire normally on the move - it is what is expected, though if it turns out the current rulings were intentional, this unit will sadly sit and gather dust - I wouldn't recommend it. However, if it is FAQed after the time of writing this article, I would heartily recommend its inclusion; its mobile firepower is strong, versatile and effective for the cost, though it is very much a glass cannon that should be handled somewhat carefully. I should also make a note of the fact that the Exalted Flamer can never disembark from the Burning Chariot, and if the Burning Chariot is destroyed, so too is the Exalted Flamer. Though perhaps a bit disappointing, it is hardly unsurprising and should inform you not to take too many upgrades on the Exalted Flamer for fear of losing the fragile Chariot in a single salvo.

    Seeker Cavalcade - Given that this entry consists of two separate units, I will first discuss the strengths and weaknesses of both the Seeker and Exalted Seeker Chariots, and then I will specifically talk about the overall Cavalcade and their uses in a Chaos Daemons army.

    Seeker Chariot - How absurdly cheap Seeker Chariots are is almost mind-boggling. What kind of an introduction to a unit is that, you might say? Well, for only five popsickles more than a stock-standard Rhino, a Seeker Chariot has one less hull point, identical armour values, is a fast open-topped chariot, and does some nasty damage when it charges into units. Don't worry though, I am not actually comparing it to the Rhino; I am merely illustrating how inexpensive this unit is. First up, Seeker Chariots are pretty fragile; AV 11/11/10 is pretty standard for a light vehicle, though with only two hull points and due to adding an additional +1 modifier to any rolls on the damage chart against it, is pretty easily destroyed. Thankfully, it is mostly immune to small arms fire, meaning you needn't worry yourself against stock standard enemies lacking special or heavy weapons as you would the Burning Chariot. It is pretty quick for a vehicle that trundles along the ground, though. As a Daemon of Slaanesh, it adds three inches to its flat out moves and, owing to having the 'Fast' vehicle-type, it can move up to fifteen inches with its flat out moves! Given that it also has Fleet, it can move up twelve inches and launch an assault that re-rolls the charge distance. This is where the Seeker Chariot's value really starts to expose itself, as for each remaining hull point on the chariot, it deals D6 Strength four AP nothing Hammer of Wrath attacks on the charge that have the Rending special rule! A standard Seeker Chariot thus averages about seven automatic hits at Initiative ten on any given unit, provided it hasn't suffered any damage as yet, and should average at least one Rending wound amongst those and probably another two or three armour saves against typical Toughness four enemies; against Space Marines, it averages about two kills on the charge, almost automatically paying for the model. Given that it is also ridden by an Exalted Alluress that deals five Weapon Skill five Strength three Rending attacks at Initiative five on the charge, it is a good bet it will make its points back if it charges into a standard enemy unit.

    What is apparent is that they have a high threat range, with an effective charge distance of between fourteen and twenty four inches, and thus can force enemies to target them or face a pretty nasty charge. Given that you can and should take Seeker Chariots in squadrons, their numbers can be quite hard to deal with for opponents, particularly given the new squadron rules are far more lenient than before. They are pretty cost-effective models that typically pay for themselves if they can get into combat, though the sheer distraction value they provide is also significant; three of them without upgrades is exceedingly cheap, but can mow through entire squads on their own if left to their own devices. As such, enemies really need to get their priorities in line if they want to deal with the sheer number of threats an army sporting these chariots can throw down; taking three squadrons of three may leave many opponents scratching their heads, particularly given you can combine them with multiple units of Seekers, Fiends, Daemonettes and even Keepers of Secrets in a 1500 point game! I think that, though they are fragile, they make for great re-directors and bait units that prove to either be cheap and effective distraction units, or deal out quite a bit more damage than their cost would indicate should be probable. I think they are pretty worthwhile, especially if you want to spend points elsewhere but still want a Cavalcade. It should be noted that you can give the Exalted Alluress' mounted on the chariots up to twenty points of daemonic gifts, though I think they are largely unnecessary here; some use could be made of a greater etherblade, but it is probably a bit too expensive to be throwing around on one or more models in a vehicle squadron. Much like the Burning Chariot as well, the Exalted Alluress' cannot disembark under any circumstances, and die automatically if the Seeker Chariot is destroyed. Unlike the Exalted Flamer though, the Exalted Alluress' only have a single wound at Toughness three each, meaning they are quite easily killed if you don't pick your combats well. Seeker Chariots are pretty good, though their durability and combat effectiveness are definitely outshone by their Cavalcade counter-part; however, they work well as supporting members to protect the more costly Exalted Chariot, or to save points.


    Exalted Seeker Chariot - A far larger and more deadly alternative to the regular Seeker Chariot, the Exalted Seeker Chariot combines increased durability with an improved damage potential on the charge all for nearly twice the cost of its kit-sister. For that cost though, they have double the actual combat efficiency and and, against glancing hits and in terms of general survival, they should stand up much longer than standard Seeker Chariots. Like a Seeker Chariot, an Exalted Seeker Chariot deals D6 Strength four AP nothing Hammer of Wrath hits on an enemy unit when it charges per remaining hull point it has, resolved with the Rending special rule, but the meat-grinder holds the advantage of having four hull points as opposed to the Seeker Chariot's two. When one looks at the averages resolved against a Space Marine Tactical Squad, assuming full hull points, the Seeker Chariot averages about two kills, whereas the Exalted Seeker Chariot averages about four kills. So for a tiny bit less than the basic Seeker Chariot, the Exalted Seeker Chariot outputs at double capacity; when taken in numbers, the averages soar well in the Exalted Seeker Chariots' favour. However, what is really important to note is that, as they are still open-topped AV 11/11/10 vehicles, they are just as easily destroyed in 'one-shot' by a weapon such as a lascannon, multi-melta or railgun; against a lot of weapons, they pay double for twice as much damage, but over-pay in terms of durability. That, and they are larger models that are harder to hide and more likely to draw attention from a wily opponent.

    Three Seeker Chariots is a very cheap and effective distraction unit that ties up enemy units within the first two turns and does some significant damage, forcing them to shoot them afterwards when the combat is disengaged or move out of position. Three Exalted Seeker Chariots is effectively a vehicle 'death-star', though comparatively cheaper and more fragile when put up against such styled units, as three will - amazingly - inflict an average of forty-two hits (assuming full hull points) on a unit they charge. Against regular Terminators, the averages are about twenty one wounds, seven of which are Rending, leading to four or five failed invulnerable saves and two failed armour saves. Ergo, assuming average rolls, they can wipe out six or seven Terminators on the charge, and be decently less costly too! That doesn't even include the fifteen Weapon Skill five, Initiative five, Strength three Rending attacks from the Exalted Alluresses either, leading to another casualty or so. Not bad at all! Even a five-strong of thunder-hammer/storm-shield Terminators, one of the deadliest melee units in the game, will statistically be wiped out by a full-on Exalted Seeker Chariot charge consisting of three meat-grinders. Still, given their cost and (in reality) minimal improvements to durability, it is important to note that you could feasibly take six regular Seeker Chariots for only slightly more than three Exalted Seeker Chariots, and have two units that do half the damage each, but are less of an obvious target for your opponent and do the necessary damage to most opponents anyway. That, and they are far more likely to survive to get where they need to be - spreading the firepower amongst your units. In that sense, I think an Exalted Seeker Chariot should be used mostly as the 'head' of a three-model strong Seeker Cavalcade; two regular Seeker Chariots and one Exalted Seeker Chariot, with the lesser two covering the major one from the front and soaking up any fire (or the other way around) is a good and viable tactic. Taking entire units of them probably only works in bigger games, but if they get the charge, they are absolutely devastating.

    Seeker Cavalcade - Seeker Cavalcades are very cheap, pretty damaging units that sacrifice durability for raw speed and hitting power; they should be getting into combat by turn two at the latest - if at all - and if taken in numbers, can wipe out all or most of Space Marine squads, which is no mean feat. They shouldn't be taken in configurations that run their cost over one hundred and sixty points in my opinion, as going any higher in a regular sized game means you are probably investing too many points into a single unit that can quite easily be wiped out with some decent ranged anti-tank weaponry that is readily available in today's meta. With Seeker Cavalcades, they work much better if there is more than one Cavalcade; given their low cost and fragility, multiplying their numbers increases both their chances of survival as well as the overall target saturation for your army, meaning your opponent will have to make some tough decisions; especially if you have greater daemons and their like in the army. Seeker Cavalcades probably work best composed mainly of the more cost-effective variant, the standard Seeker Chariot, though one or maybe two Exalted Seeker Chariots isn't a bad idea. Taking the maximum squadron size of three should be encouraged only if two or more of the chariots are of the regular variety, as two or more Exalted Seeker Chariots with a third one simply becomes too points-intensive in any environment below 2000 points. Even then, the regular Seeker Chariots filling up the core and keeping the costs minimal allows the Seeker Cavalcade to be most effectively used for what it was designed for; flanking, charging units in isolation or in combination with other fast-moving units, and using their superior assault range to force enemies to either engage them or be tied up and suffer some significant casualties. If used in this way, Seeker Cavalcades are very good additions to an assault-based Chaos Daemons army; they probably won't work too well in a mostly ranged army, and it must be noted that Soul Grinders and Skull Cannons may provide more overall utility for your army. Still, I think they are a pretty neat option that will surprise your opponent as much as they surprise you; they hit quite a bit harder than a first glance would intimate, and provided you support them well and have multiple adequate targets for opponents to focus on, they should get into combat pretty reliably. You can upgrade the Exalted Alluresses, but I would avoid it in a fully-fledged Seeker Cavalcade; they don't need them.


    Example Builds - There are a range of viable combinations available to our Heavy Support choices, and here are a few examples of them;

    Soul Grinder of Nurgle w/ phlegm bombardment - 180

    Soul Grinder of Slaanesh w/ baleful torrent - 170

    Seeker Cavalcade (three Seeker Chariots) - 120

    Seeker Cavalcade (two Seeker Chariots, one Exalted Seeker Chariot) - 155

    Seeker Cavalcade (two Exalted Seeker Chariots) - 150


    Do you think my summations were fair and accurate? Or do you think I am more than a bit off with my thoughts on these units? Sound off in the comments below, or join the discussion on +Bell of Lost Souls - we appreciate any and all feedback and critiques! Thank you again!
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-18-2013 at 08:53 AM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  8. #8

    Default

    EDIT: Ignore this post. I do not consider my Gift reviews as part of the Tactica.
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-18-2013 at 08:50 AM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  9. #9

    Default

    Howdy there fellow war-gamers, I'm Learn2Eel and I am one happy Daemons player! This has been a long and arduous series, easily the most in-depth that I have done so far, and I hope that it has not disappointed throughout. Chaos Daemons are a challenging and fun army, one that needs a loose and adaptable mind to really make the most out of it. With throwbacks to the classic Lost and the Damned books, this codex has a special place in my hobbyist heart; it isn't perfect, but I've yet to write a Tactica that I have found as enjoyable - learning all the tricks of the trade hidden deep in the layers of this unholy tome has been both interesting and difficult. With units and synergies that reward a more tactically-apt mind, I think this is a codex designed not so much for newer gamers - as unfortunate as that might be - but it is very much a gift to those who ardently play Eldar, Dark Eldar and many other of the 'challenging' armies in Warhammer 40000. My final thoughts await on this codex, and I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have both dually writing it and reading your responses. Thanks again!


    Final Thoughts on the Codex

    A quick note; this Tactica was written during the release week for Chaos Daemons. Thus, the Tactica does not account for the new Tau release.
    Chaos Daemons have always been a tactically rewarding, albeit very random, army that has long been unsuitable for all but the most dedicated of players, or those willing to invest the time to adapt strategies in a constant flux. Though the army is more inherently 'controlled' than its previous incarnation, there is still much that makes them an often bewildering force to employ - both for their owner, and any opponent willing to face them. The introduction of the Warp Storm Table is the most notable amongst such traits, with its ability to both strike and aid allies and enemies with impunity; there is very little natural defence against it either, meaning the players involved often have little say in what effects will take hold on any given turn. Though most of the results are quite tame, a certain few at either end of the randomly rolled spectrum can be quite devastating for either player, with far-reaching implications on any given game a very real possibility. However, happily, the Warp Storm Table is more the exception than the rule when it comes to random charts and the like with Chaos Daemons; though certain tables too have extreme, skewed results, for the most part the distribution is very even. And even then, to mitigate the very negative results attributed to the Chaos Daemons player, one can take unit champions, instruments of chaos and other such equipment on their units that minimises the damage potential of such rolls. Certain commanders, such as Fateweaver and Ku'gath Plaguefather, come stock with warlord traits that really aid in such an effort - taking them mostly because of their ability to mitigate the harmful effects of the Warp Storm Table is not a bad idea. Though it may not be ideal, the chances of severe damage being dealt to your army is minimal if you take the right precautions; of course, the same cannot be said for your opponent!

    A unique trait of Chaos Daemons is that, unlike virtually every other codex in the game, they do not 'select' their wargear; rather, they choose a certain level of upgrade, and roll on a corresponding chart consisting of six unique results. Though this means 'What You See Is What You Get' is impossible to clearly represent on Chaos Daemons miniatures, and strategies dependent on certain wargear combinations are luck-based at best, there is less of a theme of "risk versus reward" than one might initially perceive. The charts typically have results that, whilst fundamentally different, tend to provide very similar benefits (almost universally good) that all improve the effectiveness of any given unit; much like psychic powers, if you are unhappy with your result, you can also swap the gifts out for a powerful weapon that few other codices could hope to match. The best benefit here is that you can go for different 'wargear' combinations between games; something unheard of at a tournament event, allowing your to have some fluidity in your army list between matches. The reality is that whilst there is a reward for those willing to risk rolling on a chart, it has in-built redundancies in place to allow you to get what is most likely to be a very useful result regardless. Squad champions that pay a measly ten points to take an AP two at-Initiative weapon that is master-crafted? No other codex can hope to match that, and this is one of the best parts about Chaos Daemons; they can reliably take weapons that are both much cheaper and more effective than their counter-parts in other codices. As much as 'random' may irritate those wishing to model their champions, commanders and the like in specific ways, or often not grant the result one would hope for, I think that owing to the potential of mitigation, they aren't nearly as crippling as one would fear. The Warp Storm Table can be given more leeway by taking unit champions, instrument bearers and the like, giving the players' units more breathing room.

    As far as how to actually design an army list for them, Chaos Daemons have a lot of potentially viable combinations available involving completely unique army list archetypes; you can go for a Tyranid-esque horde supported by a band of monstrous creatures, or a monster-mash where most of your army is invested in a handful of incredibly powerful miniatures, and even a fast moving army where everything gets into combat by turn three at the absolute latest. Chaos Daemons are an army that tends to function best when you throw an avalanche of targets at your opponent, leaving them too many units to deal with in the early game; once you get into combat, any previous issues are soon forgotten. Per model, Chaos Daemons would rank heavily in terms of sheer combat effectiveness - Daemonettes, Seekers and the like are amongst the most cost-effective melee units in the entire game. The major hurdle to over-come is actually making it into combat - heavily ranged armies will often grin devilishly at your low Toughness and weak saves, but not if you have plans in place to mitigate any potential damage. This is where a smartly designed army list will likely incorporate multiple fast moving units that force the enemy to switch targets; units carrying icons, such as Seekers or Bloodcrushers, can allow your more fragile Troops to deep-strike in near the enemy and thus get into combat much quicker and suffer relatively fewer casualties. This is an important trick that permeates throughout the codex, and gives rise to the belief that the old 'Daemonic Assault' rules have merely been altered rather than removed entirely - with instruments and icons held by deep-striking units, it can lead to 'chained' units and a 'bomb' of targets flooding the board in the space of a single movement phase. Then, tying up enemy units on that second turn is easily done by some of the fastest and most points-efficient melee units you can find - with Flesh Hounds, Fiends and Seekers all combining for a devastating turn two charge followed by the flood of Troops, ranging from Bloodletters to Daemonettes, compounding your opponent's misery. Running up the board with Chaos Daemons is a risky move, given their lack of means to protect their fragile Troops, and understanding this notion is key to playing competitively with them. You are not a Tyranid or Ork force that can win through sheer brute force, regardless of the losses - you need to find ways to minimise both the damage suffered by your units and the time it takes for them to get into combat. Though such principles are also important for those other codices, they are nowhere near as intrinsic as it is to Daemons - running across the board, horde style is anathema, not deliverance of sins.

    What must be noted is that Chaos Daemons do tend to have some of the best units you can find in their class, though the efficiency of much of the army is outweighed by their special rules - Daemonic Instability, for example - and a lack of transports, meaning their units are definitely strong in combat, but need a reliable way to reach their target. The codex is not lacking here, owing to those combinations of fast "homing" units and deep-striking forces mentioned above, but that merely scratches the surface of what is possible with them - certain strategies revolve around specific items, such as the Grimoire of True Names, and how it can affect any given unit, or the benefits a particular Locus or psychic power has with certain components of the force. What is apparent to me is that Chaos Daemons are an army based heavily on risk versus reward - deep-striking, Scouting, Outflanking, random rewards, Daemonic Instability tests, the Warp Storm Table, and so on - but one that can be designed around mitigating the risks whilst losing out somewhat on potential rewards. The theme is very much "go big or go home", and that may be very unappealing to many players. However, I think there is a massive amount of potential, given some of the wild or down-right cheesy combos players are discovering - Nurgle Soul Grinders, a tricked out Lord of Change, a Slaanesh Herald or Keeper of Secrets with the Witstealer Sword pairing up with Fiends of Slaanesh, the Grimoire of True Names combined with any number of units, the Biomancy-heavy Great Unclean One, Tzeentch Heralds giving everyone (including Chaos Space Marines) Prescience - the list just goes on, and on, as new ones are discovered every day, making Daemons a strong synergistic force. It is in this way that I think, as far as the other 6th Edition codices go (Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels), Chaos Daemons are definitely the most difficult to play for a wide number of reasons, but I feel they have the largest selection of competitive options compared to those two if you take the time to make them work and scrounge out the details. The internal balance is a bit off, with some selections being obviously stronger than others - the Greater Daemons, Soul Grinders, Seekers, Flesh Hounds and the like - and as a Daemons army, it always has the off-set of random charts potentially spoiling an otherwise even game. They are a decently strong codex that sits nicely alongside Chaos Space Marines, Dark Angels and the other mid-tier codices, but I think it definitely has the most potential for competitive builds out of the three 6th Edition codices (again, this article does not account for the new Tau). Unlike Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels, the army doesn't rely on a single unit or gimmick (Heldrakes and the Standard of Devastation) to be competitive - of course, that isn't to say that either of those two codices can't put out strong builds without the inclusion of those units, but they are definitely a crux. Most importantly though, they are a fun army that rewards experimentation - something I think every Chaos Daemon player has long awaited. If you are willing to take risks in an army that can be quite challenging, few will be as rewarding as Chaos Daemons.

    Mono-God Armies - This is an area that has long been a sore spot for Chaos Daemons players - the previous codex encouraged mixed armies, and whilst that isn't bad, it showed through the design of the army. Unless you were a Tzeentch Daemons player (and even then, that was mostly due to the infamous White Dwarf update), mono-god builds simply were not competitive in any real sense of the word, aside from maybe relying on taking objectives through a Nurgle army. In short; it wasn't really a codex that rewarded players that themed their army around a single deity. Fortunately, I think this codex updates most of the units and provides some helpful new additions that make mono-god builds much more than just a mere possibility - they are very much a rewarding theme to adapt, if you wish. Whilst mono-god armies still aren't the most competitive you can make from the codex, that isn't to say they are bad - with multiple units performing different roles that each 'cult' previously lacked, mono-god armies are both more flexible and efficient overall.

    Khorne armies sport the strongest 'basic' (non-upgraded) Greater Daemon - the Bloodthirster - and arguably the most terrifying given their reputation; they are massive targets for any opponent with even the slightest survival instincts. They sport the most devastating character killer in the game in the form of Skarbrand, and their Heralds are the strongest in combat. Karanak and its baying Flesh Hounds are phenomenal additions to any force, given their speed and granting Scout to nasty units such as Heralds and Bloodcrushers. Their Soul Grinders are the cheapest and least effective - not that it makes a difference, as the mark is free - but their basic Troops are power-armoured killers unmatched. Their combination of fast, deadly units that are very hard to kill, and flying monsters that are both tough and insanely powerful, make them a pretty nasty force to come up against. Aside from the Skull Cannon and dedicated Soul Grinders though, they lack for meaningful shooting, and not all of their units are quick enough to compensate for this. Most of their Daemons are very fragile for the cost, and as such, they are one of the harder mono-god armies to pull off successfully. I think the way to make them tick is to combine Flesh Hounds with Heralds of Khorne, and Karanak with Bloodcrushers, for a potential game turn one assault across multiple areas, as well as providing icons for deep-striking Bloodletters to get into the thick of it on turn three. Bloodthirsters move towards the toughest targets and force your opponent to fire on them or the other fast moving units; the speed of this army in getting into combat is its biggest asset. Combined with Skull Cannons and Soul Grinders to soften the enemy up and provide some hefty bonuses for assaults, and you can have a fast, hard-hitting army that is somewhat fragile but very rewarding.

    Tzeentch Daemons work off a comic balance of shooting - the only dedicated ranged Daemons in the Troops slot follow the Changer of Ways - and powerful assault units, though they are probably the weakest in combat overall. Their Troops are ineffective unless taken in large numbers with support from cheap but effective Heralds - I would go so far to say that Tzeentch armies benefit from the best Heralds due to their amazing support abilities, mostly because of their access to Divination. They work very well as force multipliers, and are essential in making Horrors - the mainstay of a Tzeentch Daemon force - an effective ranged threat. They also have access to what is considered by most to be the best Greater Daemon build - and one of the best flying monstrous creatures overall - in the form of a fully upgraded Divination-sporting Lord of Change. They have some nasty melee units in the form of Screamers, though I feel they are best suited as a mixed army; Horrors hold ground and provide a firebase, whilst units such as Screamers and the Lord of Change provide support and tear apart enemy flanks. When they are inevitably FAQed, Burning Chariots will also fit into this strategy quite well. Overall, they have some of the fastest units you can find, and some of the hardest hitting; at that, they are also the only Daemons army that can effectively be called a 'shooting army', though they rely on force multipliers to really become a decent one at that. The Soul Grinder doesn't need a mark to be effective and works pretty well either as a melee support unit or a ranged platform, though most Tzeentch players may prefer the latter for obvious reasons. I think a mixed force of Screamers backed by Heralds, Pink Horrors backed by Heralds, a slew of Soul Grinders and Burning Chariots as well as an obligatory Lord of Change make for a strong army at range that has a lot of support abilities thrown in the mix to make each unit significantly more effective.

    Nurgle armies are the toughest by quite a margin, and also the slowest overall. An army-wide inability to Run means their assault units can't get into combat nearly as quickly as Khorne or Slaanesh Daemons can, and given quite a few of their units move normally as Infantry, this can be a problem. Much like those other armies though, you have options available to mitigate this problem - notably Plague Drones, that can carry icons and act as 'deep-strike homers'. Nurgle isn't exactly lacking for a selection of fast moving units, another welcome by-product of the new codex, with Beasts of Nurgle and Plague Drones adding some much needed mobility, counter-charge and tarpit potential to the army. Nurgle Daemons work best hugging cover, and given most of them are immune to dangerous terrain or otherwise care little for it, this works well in your favour - they also have access to by far the best variation of the Soul Grinder (and arguably the best unit in the codex). Their Troops are the best suited for objective-camping, though they make decent objective-takers if taken in strong numbers. Their Greater Daemon is very powerful in its standard form, though, like the Lord of Change, it is far better when kitted out as much as possible - a Great Unclean One with three Biomancy powers and two Greater Gifts is almost certain to be by far the hardest monstrous creature to kill in any standard codex. In that sense, I would say Nurgle has the second best Greater Daemon - the Great Unclean is powerful and durable as they come, but slow and doesn't really lend itself well to supporting other elements, or at least not to the extent a Lord of Change does. Nurgle Heralds are the toughest available, but aside from granting Feel No pain to their units, they are arguably the least useful. Much like Khorne and Slaanesh Daemons, I think a competitive Nurgle-centric army will work off deep-striking their core units down off of the roving Plague Drones, who are in turn supported by Beasts of Nurgle and the like. Meanwhile, token units of Plaguebearers hold the fort alongside mighty Soul Grinders, scaring off any would-be attackers whilst providing heavy fire support. Great Unclean Ones and the like can either deep strike or move up the field, drawing fire away from other targets and generally laughing at the puny attempts to harm them. Nurgle armies offer the best out-and-out objective-holding Troops choice, and for that alone they are very strong. Infiltrating Nurglings, counter-charging Beasts and the like add some spice to the army.

    Slaanesh armies are my pick for the most competitive mono-god build for a number of reasons, notably that they have the fastest and most dangerous combat units for the cost. Daemonettes are the most cost-effective of the Troops choices in combat by quite a margin, and are superior against any enemy unit in combat over Bloodletters with the exception of standard Space Marines and their equivalents. That each of their units has Rending, combined with a large number of high Weapon Skill and Inititiative attacks is sure to scare the pants off of Terminator-heavy armies, or elite enemy units in general. Their speed and reliable charge distances, owing to Fleet, mean they are less reliant on getting into a great position off of their deep strike, allowing a Slaanesh player to take fewer risks with their exceptional fast-moving units - Seekers and Fiends. Seekers are by far the most efficient cavalry unit in the codex - and arguably the game - with four Rending attacks each on the charge at a high Weapon Skill and Initiative all at a ridiculously low cost. With Fiends combining with other units to mitigate the lack of assault grenades, and in general making a nuisance of themselves, this can lead to a lot of headaches for your opponent. Keepers of Secrets are easily the fastest of the wingless Greater Daemons, and can - surprisingly - somewhat reliably expect to make combat by turn two, meaning they aren't paying for very expensive wings that would usually get them into combat at about the same time. Of course, they are the least durable of the Greater Daemons, but they still hit very hard - they are only marginally less proficient in combat than a Bloodthirster, as an example. Given they only really need two greater gifts to function effectively, they end up being by far the cheapest and arguably most cost-effective one in combat, considering their end price ends up being below two hundred and fifty tacos. Not bad. Aside from that, Slaanesh also has access to a great Herald that works really well either with Seekers or Daemonettes - providing necessary movement or combat buffs to either unit that make them incredibly difficult to best against evenly-costed units. The Seeker Cavalcades are also very effective and hilariously cheap chariots that can be very damaging and work as exceptional flanking units. When one combines Keepers of Secrets with Fiends, Seekers and Seeker Cavalcades all running up the field, backed by deep-striking Daemonettes and Heralds split throughout, you have yourself a very hard-hitting, very fast high-model count army, which is awesome given their raw combat prowess. Though most of them are fragile, they tend to be no easier to kill than Khorne or Tzeentch Daemons, and in that sense I think you needn't worry too much about them; when almost your entire army should launch an assault on turn two, and you can fit a large number of Slaanesh Daemons in across many units, you are the one laughing.

    Allies - As one would hope, Chaos Space Marines are probably the obvious choice in terms of Allies (whether as a Primary or Allied detachment) to Chaos Daemons; both armies complement each other very well. Nurgle Daemons provide cheap, tough scoring units to sit on home objectives in conjunction with Havocs and Soul Grinders. Meanwhile, Chaos Space Marines in Rhinos work together with Daemonettes, Bloodletters and the like to rush the enemy objectives. Moving ahead of the main force, Seekers and Flesh Hounds combine with Bikers, Maulerfiends and their kind to make for a devastating early assault. On top of all of this, powerful flying monstrous creatures and fliers - with the dream-team of Heldrakes, Lords of Change and Bloodthirsters much more than just a mere possibility now - dominate the skies and rain terror on all enemies. As far as more specific combinations go, Tzeentch Heralds packing Divination will likely be the most popular use of Chaos Daemons when allied with Chaos Space Marines, owing to the Primaris power Prescience being so handy for Havocs, Obliterators and the other long-range units in the army. Well, at least all of the above covers the 'face' of things - as far as actually making up for one another's weakness, Chaos Daemons provide handy support bonuses through their psychic powers that their mortal allies an make great use of, as well as strong melee units that are quite cheap. Chaos Daemons benefit from getting power-armoured bodies that provide nice and versatile firepower, making up for any deficiencies in their Troops selection; as well, they get a lot of long range anti-tank from Chaos Space Marines in the form of Havocs and Obliterators. Mostly though, I think the real reason most would ally the two armies is for fluff reasons - given that both armies have been updated, even if they lack true cross-codex synergies, they still mesh well together and the sight of Bloodthirsters and Bloodletters backing Khorne Berzerkers is surely one to make Khorne fans squeal in delight. The same can be said of any other potential army build, and it is this idea of a fun and themed army that really hearkens back to the good old days of Lost and the Damned.

    For other Allies, Chaos Daemons can team up with a few; they are Desperate Allies with Dark Eldar, Orks and Tau, though they are - thankfully - Allies of Convenience with Imperial Guard. Though they aren't battle brothers, the potential for an awesome 'Cult conniving with the warp' led by a rogue psyker or 'Dark Apostle' (use a Lord Commisar) is welcome. Of course, Imperial Guard are the most competitive Allies choice for nearly any army that can take them; you name it, and they can bring it, meaning they can make up for any deficiencies and weaknesses in another army with a small investment. For Chaos Daemons specifically, anti-air may be a bit of an issue unless you are running a mono-Slaanesh army, and in that sense a few allied Vendettas or Hydras would be a cheap and effective addition to the army. For bunker Troops or long-range firepower, you can't go past a Guardsmen Platoon or two loading multiple Heavy Weapons Teams, and Leman Russ battle tanks are always fantastic options to add into a force. Given that Daemons are primarily an army based around mobility - at least in their more competitive lists - some fast elements such as Rough Riders or Chimera-mounted Veterans would also be quite suitable. Still, the thought of Nurgle Soul Grinders teaming up with a squadron of Leman Russes is sure to make many enemies tear at their skulls in frustration. Dark Eldar work very well alongside a fast moving Daemons army, though they otherwise suffer similar issues of fragility. Orks and Tau are interesting additions - the latter especially given their access to railguns - though I think the competitive Allied choice would likely be Imperial Guard.

    Other Codices and the Meta - Perhaps unsurprisingly, I rate Chaos Daemons to be about on par with Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels - however, I must note that they are the most difficult to play by quite a margin. What balances this deficiency out, however, is the raw truth that they have some strong themed army lists available - mono-Slaanesh, mono-Nurgle, mixed Slaanesh and Nurgle and the variations in between are all likely to be considered pretty competitive armies, and that doesn't even include the different types of play-style available to those armies. Khorne and Tzeentch armies aren't exactly gathering dust either, it is just that their overall selection is a bit weaker than the other two deities - however, it must be noted they do share some of the strongest units found anywhere in the codex (and perhaps the game in terms of raw cost versus effectiveness) including Flesh Hounds and the Lord of Change. The long-winded and whacky nature of many of the options available, as well as their latent rules, combine to make for an army that can dish out some incredibly powerful combinations, all for a lot cheaper than you could find anywhere else. About half of their Troops choices are incredibly cost-efficient in terms of their role on the battlefield - notably Daemonettes, Nurglings and Plaguebearers - and they have access to some of the fast, deadliest and cheapest units that can be fielded in massive numbers, notably Seekers and Flesh Hounds. They can also field arguably the most powerful monstrous creatures that can be found in any codex, with the stock standard Greater Daemons coming in at an affordable price that puts almost any other creature of their class to shame. However, the beauty is in the options for those units - a Lord of Change or Great Unclean One tricked out fully is absolutely disgusting, albeit pricy, but nowhere near as expensive as their consistent performance would indicate. Still, as much as they appear to have a large number of great units, the army is balanced by the restrictions of transports and the like, as well as the looming threat of casualties suffered from a bad combat result - in short, being rash with them is not an option. This is what keeps the codex in line and prevents it from being a top-tier codex, as well as their overall fragility; their mostly melee-centric units lack the most reliable of means of making it into combat, and they are very vulnerable to nearly every form of shooting. In an edition that favours raw firepower above all else, this means playing Chaos Daemons can be quite tricky; hence why most armies will be built around target saturation and playing off of the handy reserves bonuses Daemons employ. If one just uses them as a blunt hammer, they will likely fail - unless of course it is an army designed around monstrous creatures and other beasts. That Daemons themselves lack shooting comparable to almost any other codex is a serious hindrance, and one that needs to be addressed by having a mostly mobile force.

    What is interesting to note though is how Chaos Daemons have introduced several top tier units into the game, though Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marines together managed to produce only one of note (the infamous Heldrake) before certain combinations are taken into account (such as the Standard of Devastation). The most obvious of these is the Soul Grinder - particularly one dedicated to Nurgle - as its cost, firepower, melee prowess and durability combine to make it one of the most efficient land vehicles that can be found, with few real weaknesses to speak of. I would argue that the Soul Grinder, or at the very least its Nurgle variation, is amongst the best land vehicles in the game - no mean feat, even in an edition dominated by flyers. Then you stumble onto Skarbrand, who when one considers the base profile of any unit, has effectively sky-rocketed into the first amongst the 'challenge-kings and queens'; he will tear the Swarmlord's head off before it can strike, almost guaranteed, and will laugh at Mephiston whilst throwing his freshly sliced limbs to a roving pack of Death Company. Almost nothing in the game can reliably stand toe-to-toe with Skarbrand in melee, and he is also one of the most mind-bogglingly cheap monstrous creatures you can find given his durability (for a ground-based monstrous creature) and unmatched killing prowess. I've yet to see a single model be able to tear through a five-strong or more Paladin unit in one round on an average roll - Skarbrand does it with impunity! Then you have the Lord of Change and Great Unclean One, who, when tricked out, are arguably the best monstrous creatures of their type (the former is flying, the latter isn't) that can be found in the game for cost. The former is a whirlwind of death that also offers fantastic support abilities whilst being very hard to shift and incredibly mobile, and the latter shrugs off any kind of attack and simply dares your opponent to target it or die horribly in combat - the term 'unkillable' is very much an accurate description of a loaded out Great Unclean One. Of course, equipping these units to achieve such heights is very expensive. Then you have Seekers and Flesh Hounds, units that still make me think their pricing is a print error - they are far, far too cheap for what they do, given both will reliably make a turn two charge (or game turn one, in the case of the Flesh Hounds) and hit harder than any unit of their speed has the right to. And as mentioned earlier, there are some truly nasty unit combinations coming out that really enforce the notion of an army built around synergies and making all of these individually powerful - yet fragile - elements work together. Though these units may not be "over-powered" in the grand scheme of things, they definitely outshine their contemporaries both externally and internally - especially if the Daemons player knows how to use them effectively in conjunction with others. The balance here is that these elements work best together - even if they are strong alone - and the inherent fragility of most Daemons units is what keeps them in line. Don't take this the wrong way; I think those particular units are strong, but I'm not trying to imply they are 'broken' or 'the best in the game', it is more so that certain units in the army are incredibly strong in their role, and quite cheap too with a lot of random variation but a high potential for "power".

    I am not implying Chaos Daemons are a top-tier army though; they have enough in built weaknesses and redundancies that this is simply not the case. However, they are typically a very cost-effective melee army that, with precision and care, can be put to great use if you can deal with their deficiencies. Working around their inability to make combat without suffering casualties along the way is key to success with them, as is working out a focus for the army - adapting tactics on the fly is necessary, given the Warp Storm Table and other effects that can change the game in a heart-beat. Though a decently good army overall that has a nice range of solid builds, I think many will indeed point to some of the more powerful units they possess - some of which, whilst not as over the top as a Heldrake or a Vendetta, are still at or near the top of the league in terms of their competitors. But that is what really pleases me about this codex - though there are a lot of powerful units, most aren't "I am here, click me" options that are easy to use. Chaos Daemons are very much a finesse army that requires a deft touch to make the most out of, but as they have a strong selection of top-tier units and a lot of viable builds, I would place them ever so slightly above their 6th Edition contemporaries found in Dark Angels and Chaos Space Marines, but only if you are a smart general that can work out their deficiencies and work around them - and that is no easy feat, indeed. They have a lot of potential, so to speak, though an inexperienced player will suffer far more than if they used either of the other two 6th Edition codices.

    In Closing

    I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for all the feedback and support I have received since the beginning of this Tactica series - it has been a long and arduous task, but one that I definitely feel was well worth the patience and time. I hope it has been as been as helpful and fun to you as it has been a learning experience for me, as this lovely codex has really re-invigorated the idea of playing for 'fun' whilst mixing a competitive army of my own design. It is a balanced army that sits nicely alongside its 6th Edition counter-parts, but I feel it will outweigh them both in the long run both competitively and in terms of sheer entertainment value - with access to some of the best units that can be found in their respective roles across the game, I think they are an army that, despite sporting some very obvious weaknesses, is designed to reward experienced players that are willing to invest their time into making them work. Though a challenging army that is not suited for beginners, I think they will still prove to be a popular force that adds a lot of unusual and often unknowable spice to any given game they participate in. That it allows mono-god builds without punishing the player heavily is a boon, though of course the best designed forces will still be composed of mixed elements. I think it is a well written codex that, despite some questionable design choices, is very much one of the more unique and interesting armies available to hobbyists in Warhammer 40000. Whether or not my prediction stands in a few months, well; all we can do is wait and see and hope that the early trend of balanced armies stands the test of time. Thank you again!
    Glory to Chaos!

    Did this Tactica series provide some helpful tips and tricks to designing and running a successful Chaos Daemons army? Or did you find that the information presented here was inaccurate or mis-informed? Please, let us know in the comments below - your critiques and feedback are, as always, much appreciated.
    Last edited by Learn2Eel; 04-18-2013 at 09:11 AM.
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

  10. #10

    Default

    There will be a bit of a delay on the Exalted Gifts article - and thus the placeholder post being updated fully. Sorry for the inconvenience!
    Check out my blog!
    http://imperatorguides.blogspot.com.au/

 

 
Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •