Mar 30, 2013


So a different group of friends got inspired by the last mini-tournament I suppose, and we're going for another one. :)
This time I think we'll be 6 people playing, with some variety in armies. I'll bring my Chaos Marines this time, and I'll be up against Blood Angels, Dark Eldar, Space Wolves, Orks and Imperial Guard. I did make this list long before I knew who'd be coming though, so hopefully my list is good enough to take on all comers.

On to the list!

Chaos Lord - Mark of Nurgle, Blight Grenades, Power Weapon (Axe), Sigil of Corruption, Melta bombs, Veterans of the Long War
Warpsmith - Mark of Nurgle, Aura of Dark Glory, Veterans of the Long War

10 Cultists
10 Cultists
9 Chaos Space Marines - Meltagun
10 Chaos Space Marines - 2 Plasma guns
9 Plague Marines - 2 Plasma guns

6 Chosen - Mark of Nurgle, 5 Melta guns, Veterans of the Long War, Power Weapon (Axe), Melta bombs
+Rhino - Dirge Caster

Fast Attack
5 Chaos Bikers - Mark of Nurgle, 2 Melta guns, Melta bombs

Heavy Support
5 Havocs - 4 Autocannons
2 Obliterators - Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War
2 Obliterators - Mark of Nurgle, Veterans of the Long War


So a quite shooty list this time. With 5 Scoring units I hope to be fine in any objective based game, with the Cultists being on the backfield (starting in reserve), Plasma CSM in the middle, and the other two squads in Rhinos possibly being aggressive or staying in the midfield, whatever seems best. The Lord will join the melta-CSM squad as well, giving them the option to assault stuff.

The Chosen will be accompanied  by the Warpsmith, adding yet another Meltagun in that squad, as well as flamer for some protection against being charged. He can also help with repairing the Rhino should it get stuck along the way... the plan with them is of course to drive towards the biggest, baddest thing they can find - jump out, blow it up. The turn after they can either charge something (with 2A base, and two Power Axes in the squad they'll probably do well against most stuff) and then be supported by the Dirge Caster on the Rhino, or jump back into the Rhino to go blow something else up.

The same plan for the Bikers basically. Might be that I simply run them up alongside each other to present more threats at once forcing the opponent to be disciplined with his shooting.

That leaves the Havocs and Obliterators, and their role is pretty obvious. The only thing there is I might keep one of the Obliterator squads in reserve to cause trouble behind enemy lines. Really depends on what I'm up against. I don't think Deep Striking behind enemy lines will do terribly much against Orks for example. And Dark Eldar might be a gamble with their fast ships flying around... Might really help against IG and Space Marines though.

My Warlord of the Day!

Mar 27, 2013

Tournament Achivements

When you play a tournament not everyone can win. So, if you're having a friendly one going on why not add some achievements for everyone to go for even if they've lost enough games to be out of the top spots? Or hell, why not add a special price for anyone getting the most of the achievements on the list?
This is just my first draft of such a list, feel free to use it, add to it and what not! Also, I have a 3-game tournament in mind when writing these, so the numbers are made to fit that. And please share if you come up with some good challenges!

  1. For Honour! Defeat the enemy Warlord with your own Warlord in a Challenge.
  2. Oops, sorry guys! Scatter with a Blast weapon, so you destroy one of your own vehicles or an entire unit.
  3. Can't Touch Me! Win a round of melee combat with a lone survivor (Characters except for Unit Champions doesn't count) against many opponents.
    - Bonus point if you also slay them all with your Sweeping Advance.
  4. Outnumbered! Win a combat with one unit against three or more enemy units at once.
  5. Air Superiority! Shoot down every flier you face (including Flying Monstrous Creatures).
  6. Overkill! Charge four units at the same target.
    - Bonus point if you still fail to win combat.
  7. I'll Race You There! Go a full circle around the entire board with a unit or vehicle, ending the game in the same spot that you deployed it in.
    - Bonus point if your opponent tries the same in the same game, but you do it faster.
  8. Champion! Win 10 Challenges with the same Character throughout the entire tournament.
  9. Sunday Drivers! Tank Shock a unit so that it flees off the board.
  10. I Ain't Movin' For No One! Make a successful Death or Glory against an AV14 vehicle. 
  11. Lemmings! Climb up the highest terrain piece you can find on the board and then jump down from it. One point for every model that dies from the fall.
  12. Happy Campers! Move a unit into a piece of terrain with no objective in it, make them sit there the entire game without shooting or fighting any enemies.
    - Bonus point if you make a bonfire for them.
  13. New Guy On The Job... Have 3 Deep Strike Mishaps happen in the same game.
    - Bonus points for every Mishap that destroys the unit.
  14. Invincible! Have one unit that survives shooting from at least five different units in the same turn without taking any causalities.
    - Bonus points for every unit above five that shoots as well.
  15. Tank Hunter! Have the same unit, model or vehicle destroy 6 or more vehicles during the entire tournament.
  16. Psycho You Say? Roll Perils of the Warp twice in a row with the same Psyker.
    - Bonus point if it kills the Psyker.
  17. Godzilla! Wreck every building on every board you play on in the tournament.
    - Bonus point if it's actually a Monstrous Creature doing it.
  18. Tactical Movement Backwards. Flee with 3 or more units the same turn.
  19. Blitzkrieg! Have all of your vehicles (has to be three or more to count) in the opponents Deployment Zone by turn 2.
  20. We Found Us a Witch, May We Burn Her? Make three consecutive Deny the Witch-rolls.
  21. Kamikaze! If your flier gets shot down, and it Crash and Burn on top of an enemy killing it.
    - Bonus point if it's the same enemy that shot down the plane.
  22. Shaken, not Stirred! Tank Shock into an enemy, but explode yourself as a result.
  23. The Hills Have Eyes... Kill 5 Characters with Precision Shots in the whole tournament.
  24. Yatzy! Roll five ones with five dice in the same roll.
    - One point for every time it happens...
  25. It Still Only Counts As One! Kill a Monstrous Creature with a Pistol.

To be continued...

Mar 19, 2013

Experiment: Horrors vs Marines

So... StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm was released and as such I haven't spent much time on 40K... but I thought I'd remedy that by trying an experiment. One thing that really bothers me with the new Daemons codex is the Warpflame rule that grants Feel no Pain for passing a T-test. This seems like a very big deal when the standard opponent is Marines with their T4 running around...

So lets just do a test. Horrors vs Dark Angels Tactical Marines. Now, I'd take Horrors in a squad of 16 to get the extra Warp Charges, and also a Herald at Level 2 with Exalted Locus of Conjuration. This is a set up I'd play with. Total value of 239 points. The Horrors take Flickering Fire, the Herald Flickering Fire as well as Prescience. We'll face this against a Dark Angels Tactical squad, with 10 guys, full plasma (Plasma Gun and Cannon, as well as Pistol on the Vet. Sergeant). That's 180 points. Just to even out the points, lets add a Librarian with no upgrades, he takes Divination and get Prescience. Not a completely fair set up, but one that is somewhat likely to happen on a battlefield. Lets also assume the squad isn't Combat Squaded for simplicity, and they start 24" from each other and the Horrors gets first turn.

Test 1
Turn 1 - Daemons
Prescience - pass
Horrors shoots Flickering Fire - pass, not denied by the Librarian. Number of shots: 13. Hits (after re-rolls): 10. Wounds caused: 9. Saves made: 7. So 2 wounds taken, and because I'm lazy one of them was the Plasma Cannon.
Herald Flickering Fire - pass, denied by Librarian.

Then T-test for the Marines: pass on a 2, so they now have 6+ FnP.

Turn 1 - Dark Angels
Prescience - pass
The unit moves forward 6", then shoots 1 Plasma Gun and 7 Bolters at 18" range. Hits (after re-rolls): 7 Bolters + 1 Plasma. Wounds caused: 6. Saves made: None (despite re-rolling 1's). So 6 wounds taken, brings their number down to 10 plus Herald.

Turn 2 - Daemons
Prescience -  pass, but with perils
Horrors shoots Flickering Fire - pass, not denied. Number of shots: 3 (2D6 is bad sometimes...). Hits: 3. Wounds: 2. Saves: 1. Feel no Pain: none. So 1 Marine dies, leaving 7 standing.
Herald Flickering Fire - double six, perils and he dies...

T-test for the Marines: Failed. D3 more dies: 1. So 6 Marines left.

Turn 2 - Dark Angels
Prescience - pass
Moves up into Rapid Fire range and shoots 5 Bolters, 1 Plasma Gun and 1 Bolt Pistol (Librarian). Hits: 2 Plasma, 1 Bolt Pistol, 9 Bolters. Wounds: 5. Saves: 1. So 4 Horrors die, leaving 6.

Turn 3 - Daemons
No Prescience... so Flickering Fire: pass, not denied. Number of Shots: 7. Hits: 2. Wounds: 1. Saves: 0... Feel no Pain: none. One dies.

T-test: failed. 3 more dies(!). 3 Marines and Librarian left, but Fearless makes them stay.

Turn 3 - Dark Angels
Prescience - pass
Moves up so they're 6" away, shots 1 plasma pistol and 3 bolt pistols. Hits: 4. Wounds: 3. Saves: 1. So 2 Horrors die, leaving 4. Marines charge - 5" and thus fails to reach them.

Turn 4 - Daemons
Flickering Fire - pass, not denied. Number of Shots: 11(!). Hits: 8(!!!). Wounds: 6. Saves: 3. Feel no Pain: none... Which leaves the Librarian left alone... I guess he still needs to take a T-test: pass, so now has FnP on 5+.

Turn 4 - Dark Angels
Prescience - pass
Moves up and shoot, hits and fails to wound. Charges 1". 3 Hits, 2 wounds. Both saved. Horrors hits three times, wounds once which goes through both armour and FnP. Fearless so stays.

Next round: Prescience - pass. Hits twice, wounds twice. No saves made. Horrors hit twice and fails to wound. Fails Ld by 4 and are gone.

So first test is a DA victory, but with only 1W left on the Librarian. The Horrors did really well, especially since I didn't move them back (which could've been easily done since their shooting is Assault). But lets try that test another two times, but with less writing.

Test 2
Daemons - Turn 1
Prescience - pass
Horrors Flickering Fire - fails Kills: 0
Herald Flickering Fire - fails (...) Kills: 0

T-test: n/a
Fnp granted: none
Marines left: 10+Librarian

Dark Angels - Turn 1
Prescience - pass
Kills: 3
Horrors Left: 13+Herald

Daemons - Turn 2
Prescience - pass
Horrors Flickering Fire - denied Kills: 0
Herald Flickering Fire - pass Kills: 1

T-test: fails, suffers 1 wound
Fnp granted: none
Marines left: 8+Librarian

Dark Angels - Turn 2
Prescience - pass
Horrors Left: 8+Herald

Daemons - Turn 3
Prescience - pass
Horrors Flickering Fire - pass Kills: 1
Herald Flickering Fire - fails Kills: 0

T-test: fails, suffers 2 wounds
Fnp granted: none
Marines left: 5+Librarian

Dark Angels - Turn 3
Prescience - pass
Charge: gets in. Kills:  5 Horrors hits back: 0 kills fails Instability by 5, taking the rest of the squad.
Horrors Left: 0

Test 3
Daemons - Turn 1
Prescience - pass
Horrors Flickering Fire - denied Kills: 0
Herald Flickering Fire - pass Kills: 2

T-test: pass
Fnp granted: 6+
Marines left: 8+Librarian

Dark Angels - Turn1
Prescience - pass
Kills: 2
Horrors Left: 14+Herald 
Daemons - Turn 2
Prescience - pass
Horrors Flickering Fire - denied Kills: 0
Herald Flickering Fire - pass Kills: 3

T-test: pass
Fnp granted: 5+
Marines left: 5+Librarian

Dark Angels - Turn 2
Prescience - pass
Horrors Left: 11+Herald
Daemons - Turn 3
Prescience - pass
Horrors Flickering Fire - pass Kills: 0
Herald Flickering Fire - pass Kills: 0

T-test: n/a
Fnp granted: 5+
Marines left: 5+Librarian

Dark Angels - Turn 3
Prescience - pass
Charge: gets in. Kills: 5. Horrors hit back: 0 kills, fails Instability on double six and are wiped.
Horrors Left: 0

So. After three tests I can conclude that granting the Marines FnP is a non-issue because they never needed it once! It's rather the fact that their entire shooting can be denied by a Psyker that really hurts. Now I rolled some exceptional rolls here, but it just goes to show that the Horrors shooting is very easily stopped. On the other hand however, those times when Marines actually do fail their T-test it really hurts. Look at the round where I only managed to kill one Marine with the attack itself, but then thanks to the failed T-test another 2 died. That actually hurts for a Marine squad.

So what I've learned from this little experiment is that I shouldn't avid shooting something because I'm afraid it'll give them a Feel no Pain, but rather I should avoid stuff that I can't get through the armour of. Seriously, even when I rolled good on the number of shots they were terrible at hitting despite re-rolls. S6 helps, but even so with a 3+ armour they can't really bring enough shots to really hurt. Especially since if you drop below 16 models you very rapidly drop fire power. I actually start to think that minimum squad of 10 is a better way to go, because no matter how few they get they still have 2D6 shots - which can be a lot if you're lucky. Paying those extra points doesn't seem to do much for them, and could probably be better spent elsewhere.

This test was of course very much simplified, but it does give hints at how smaller situations within a game might turn out, and it certainly helped me decide on how to build squads of Horrors. At least when it comes to Flickering Fire... now, about Beaming yourself with Bolt of Change to get Feel no Pain... that's another issue...

Mar 11, 2013

Daemons - Heavy Support

Final section of my first thoughts about the new book then... Keep in mind that the corresponding Greater Daemon makes Daemon Princes into Heavy Support as well... which opens up some nice builds...

Soul Grinders

This is hands down the best unit in this book. I can't believe how it's so cheap, especially compared to the Defiler... So what do you get for 135-150 points (depending on which God you chose)? AV13 13 11, Daemon, 4HP and a Skyfire autocannon with three shots at BS3 plus the effects of your chosen God. Of course you chose Nurgle here, because Shrouded is simply awesome. The others doesn't really make much sense in most cases.

Then you of course want Phlegm. A 36" Battlecannon. And you're still cheaper than a Defiler, with more uses than a Defiler while being more resilient than a Defiler... I don't get it.

But anyhow, this of course lends itself to taking three of them and hiding them behind a Aegis Defence Line for 2+ cover. I'm sure everyone and their grandmother have thought about this by now. And most of those are likely to have thought about adding the Tzeentch Herald(s) for Prescience as well. Very, very potent combo, especially since you can also have the Comms Relay to make sure you get the rest of the army turn 2...

So anyway, the other options are a S6 AP4 Torrent Flamer, and a S10 AP1 24" shot as well as an additional attack (which gives you the option to use Master-Crafted as well, but then you'll become AP3 instead of AP2). The other viable build I see is the extra attack, Khorne and the flamer. You get a very though walker which will deal some damage while coming in and then have 7 attacks on the charge. Only WS3 though. And really, you have so much stuff to assault with anyway, do you actually want another close combat unit?

The S10 AP1 shot is the one I find least useful... because you can only have one of the ranged attacks (along with the standard Harvester cannon). So it's 25 points for ONE shot at BS3. Not really worth it, when you have the S8 Large Blast Ordnance there...

In either case, amazing fire support unit.

Skull Cannon of Khorne

No options for this one, so lets see what it can do. The army is lacking grenades obviously, so instead we get this cannon. It's S8 AP5 Large Blast, but more importantly each unit that is hit makes it so that charging units will not suffer penalties to initiative when charging through terrain. So obviously you want this to support your charge at that defensible position. And obviously your opponent will want to kill it before it can do that. I see two options to stop it from dying before it can shoot; you Deep Strike it turn 2 to support the fast units that have moved up the board and are in charge range gets the support, or you use a Comms Relay and try to keep it off the board until turn 3 when all of your other Deep Striking units are allowed to charge. The first option is more reliable, as it's hard to fail that first reserve roll even with a re-roll. So that means... you use it to support Bloodcrushers, Flesh Hounds, Plague Drones I suppose. Ie, I don't see it being very effective unless you have fast units.

Burning Chariot of Tzeentch

Okay, at the time writing this there is no FAQ out. Which means this unit is totally unusable. But I'm going to assume that it'll be FAQ:d to be able to move and shoot for the sake of discussion.

So, this is a Fast Skimmer Chariot with two different shooting attacks (which you can use one of per turn, as the rider has the attacks and he's Infantry). One is a Torrent Flamer S5 AP3 - so with this one you're basically a more fragile, weaker version of the Heldrake. The other attack is S9 AP2 with D3 shots (at BS4). Both of these also have the Warpflame rule (possible to give Feel no Pain to the target), AND the Hammer of Wrath attacks has it as well. They can also take an upgrade that gives enemies within 6" a -1Ld that doesn't stack.

The Exalted Flamer can also take Rewards, which might be a good idea. Since if you get locked in combat all attacks go against him, and if you lose him you loose your shooting. So a Greater Reward and hope for 3+ armour I'd say (on a Chariot it becomes a 2+). He also have 3 attacks actually, so if you get something bad you can always take the +1S AP2 sword, not a terrible option as a backup at least.

So, the problem with this thing is, like all things Tzeentch in my oppinion, the Warpflame rule. It makes me really reluctant to want to use it against Marines. Here we at least have AP3 and 2 though, so you'll at least do some damage before possibly granting boosts. So it's probably worth it.

If they fix it in the FAQ that is.

Seeker Cavalcade

The last option is the Slaanesh Cavalcade. 1-3 Chariots, either Seeker Chariots or Exalted Seeker Chariots in any combination. They're the same, except one has twice as many HP's for almost twice the price. The Exalted ones do seem tempting, as Seeker Chariots do number of HP left number of D6 impact hits... and 4D6 S4 Rending sounds like a lot... And with 4HP you're more likely to actually make a charge, right? Well... not really. You're still a AV11 Open Topped Vehicle. You're quite likely to explode anyway, no matter how many HP you have...

So I think go cheap. You're not that likely to be able to charge anyway, but if you do draw some fire away from the rest of your army, all the better for you. You didn't spend much on them anyway. And if you DO get to charge... 2D6 S4 Rending is quite decent as well!

So the question is... do you have slots for them in your army? They are competing with Daemon Princes and Soul Grinders after all... both of which works better if you have more than one... But if you for all out speed, you might want to consider these things. They also make excellent moving cover for as long as they don't explode... combine with Nurgle stuff that are Shrouded?

Well, that's my first thoughts of the book at least. Let the play testing commence for real!

Mar 10, 2013

Daemons - Fast Attack

On to the real Fast Attack then!

Flesh Hounds of Khorne

S4 (5 on the charge), Beasts, T4 and 2W and they have Scout. 16 points per model.  These seem to be ideal for placing on the board really. They're dangerous enough to actually threaten the enemy, and they're cheap enough that you can take quite a few of them and with to wounds and T4 they'll survive some incoming fire as well while they move up the board. Very straight forward unit. Take units of 10-15 and protect the flanks, support charges, eat Overwatch. Seems very solid to me, and always useful!

Screamers of Tzeentch

Everyones favourite unit to hate… now for a completely different reason! So, they changed Lamprey's Bite to replace ALL of it's normal attacks for ONE S5 AP2 Armourbane one per model. Meaning you'll be pretty good against AV12 or less. Above 12 it starts to get a bit iffy. Now, having AV12 or higher in Rear Armour isn't very common though… but anyway.

They also are jetbikes with a Slashing attack for turbo-boosting over enemies. So, being really fast, and being able to do some damage while moving… but lacking much punch in assault I see them as a unit with which to quickly locate weak enemies and finnish them off. Or if you're playing stuff like Artillery or Devastators they could slash their way across his army, and then charge. WS3, is a tough one though - because do you chose AP2 and get 4,5 S5 hits for a full unit of 9, or do you chose 18 hits at AP- with S4 for the same unit? Neither choice is that great really… but if you chose your targets wisely at least you'll be able to stop a shooty unit to shoot for a couple of turns. Oh, and for the record - I'd probably go with normal attacks on the charge turn, and then switch to AP2 ones for further turns.

So a tricky unit to use, as they'll get really crippled with a bad match up.

Plague Drones of Nurgle

So, now Nurgle have their own version of Bloodcrushers. The big difference being that Bloodcrushers hit a lot harder, while Plague Drones are T5 and Shrouded as well as slightly faster (Bloodcrushers run 1D6", Plague Drones jump 2D6 in the Assault phase). Shrouded is a bit iffy on this unit, because they're both Cavalry and Jet Packs… and both of those think that area terrain is scary…

In either case, they're the fastest, toughest Icon bearer that you'll find in this book. You'll be pretty sure to have your Icon where you need it if you put it on these guys. Imagine this unit running (or well, jumping) up the board… and then in turn 2 a Great Unclean One and some fully buffed units of Plaguebearers with Heralds materialise right in front of the enemy lines with no scatter…

So anyway, their upgrades are mostly focused on making them hit a bit harder since they obviously all ready have survivability. You can give them a 12" poisoned range attack, as well as chose between Poison (3+) or one Instant Death per model in combat. So you need to chose your prime target here obviously, as you can't take both. It feels like Poison (3+) and the shooting attack is usable in more situations and go better together… but that's also an additional +10 points per model. Which is a lot. But if you have the points… otherwise I'd stick with one of the three options only.

So, if you don't buff the whole unit you can take Rewards for the Champion instead… and the unit obviously all ready have good defence - so might as well go for some offence here. I think one roll on Lesser Rewards is my option of choice here. Poisoned AP2 attacks sounds very tempting…

Chaos Furies

Well… here's the oddball unit of this codex for sure. Their statline looks pretty fine… until you reach their Ld of 2. Yes, you read that right. 2. This combined with Daemonic Instability means that you never, ever want to fight a unit that will hit you back. Because even if you lose combat by only 1 you'll have to make a Ld test, which on average will be a roll of 7… which means you'll lose an additional 5 models. Ouch. If they were super-cheap that might not be so bad… but they're 6 points each. Which is simply too much to just give away like that. Or maybe, if you could take a HUGE unit it'd be okay… but you're capped at 20. Would you really like a unit that when it loses combat will on average lose a quarter of it's numbers? No, didn't think so…

You can however upgrade them to follow a specific God, but that makes them more expensive (7-8 points per model). I can't think of a single reason to make them Daemons of Tzeentch or Nurgle. Khorne however gives them Furious Charge and thus S5. Now they could go Transport-hunting and have decent chances against back armour 10. Slaanesh grants Rending - and as such a similar role there as well - and maybe, just maybe you could throw them at a unit of Terminators and hope to thin them out a bit before your real unit is ready to deal with them.

So… there could be use for them. If there were no other choices in the Fast Attack slot… but now we have several great choices so it's a bit hard to motivate why to take them…

Seekers of Slaanesh

For three points more than a Daemonette you get a Daemonette that moves twice as fast with one more attack. So basically you can do everything you can do with Daemonettes (except grab objectives) with this unit, just you'll be mobile. More mobile is a good quality for a unit carrying a Icon… This Icon could also be the Rapturous standard, if you should want to support another unit in assault once per game. Not a bad idea I reckon, as you can't score with them anyway (unless it's The Scouring).

The other thing they can do that Daemonettes can't is Outflank with Acute Senses. That is very much situational however. But if you join a Herald with them, or roll a Reward for the Champion like the Hellfire Gaze or Corrosive Breath you might want to get that side-armour shot I suppose.

Hellflayer of Slaanesh

No options for this one. I don't see the point of it either, because it's the same thing as a normal Seeker Chariot except it's 20 points more expensive, can't be a squadron but have a special rule granting the Alluress some extra attacks if the Hammer of Wrath kills something. If you go with Slaanesh Chariots, I'd rather have a Cavalcade so skip this one...

Daemons - Elites

First off I have to say that the Elite section of this book is very interesting… because every single unit would fit equally well in the Fast Attack. Which is a bit odd, but I'll take it! It certainly helps with speed when you're a assault heavy army.

Bloodcrushers of Khorne

Bloodletter cavalry basically, but with a offensive boost as well. Each Bloodcrusher has 3A base at S5 plus Furious Charge. That's a lot of AP3 attacks that are likely to wound. Speaking of wounds, each model has 3W and T4. Which is certainly a lot more durable than many other things in this book, but they are lacking a decent save… but you can fix that with the Grimoire of True Names. So then of course you need a Herald to take the Grimoire, and a Herald of Khorne on a Juggernaut is a great addition to Bloodcrushers… especially as he can give the entire unit Rage (or Hatred, but I feel Rage would be better here) as well.

But if we go back to the unit itself and their options. They can take a Bloodhunter that can take rewards for 20 points. I'd take a Greater Reward for that, hoping for some armour so he can sit in front and take some small arms fire for the unit. If you get the armour save you might want to consider deploying the unit instead of Deep Striking it, as with T4 and 3W they're one of the more durable units in a mono-Khorne army… not that it says much though. Anyhow, they are pretty fast - but being such a dangerous unit if they reach combat they'll be a high priority target. So just because of that it's probably safer to Deep Strike them in and make sure the opponent doesn't get more than one turn of shooting against them.

They also have quite large bases, which means if you use a Icon you can create a quite long "chain" of safe Deep Striking off Icons with some clever placement of the Icons. Because like all assault units they do need support, and if you can call down stuff at the same time that can deal with an entire flank or so at once you should do so every time.

For this unit I would also consider the banner of blood… because they are Cavalry. Meaning they're Fleet. So you have a 6+1D6" charge with a re-roll… meaning you can pretty safely make a very long charge which can catch your opponent very much off guard.

As for unit size… they can be 3-9 strong, but they are expensive. I don't think I'd ever want to run with less than 6, but would prefer more if I have the points… I mean, they are quite fragile, but if even one Bloodcrusher reaches combat a unit of MEQ will suffer pretty badly. Ideally you want them for more than one charge though, costing what they do they need to do more to justify taking them…

Flamers of Tzeentch

Jump Infantry with flamers, with slightly better AP than normal flamers. I can not really think of many reasons to take these guys unless I know beforehand that I'll play Xenos or IG. Especially since they like pretty much all Tzeentch-units grants Feel no Pain if you pass a T-test. That one alone makes me wonder why I'd ever want to shoot these guys at Marines? Against T3 that gets no save, then yeah I'd risk it because they'll probably kill enough for it to be worth it.

Now, since the FAQ changing how wounds are allocated with "kill zones" it's probably not worth it to Deep Strike these guys close to the enemy to be able to flame on the turn they arrive… Them being Jump Infantry you're fast enough so that you can Deep Strike a bit more safe and then jump in instead.

You can take a Pyrocaster… but I have a hard time to motivate it. For some reason he has one better BS (very helpful when you're shooting a Template weapon!), so I guess you could take a Reward and hope for either Hellfire Gaze or Warp Breath… either is a one in six… and the rest of the Rewards doesn't look optimal on this unit to me at least.

Squad size three to nine… With the changes to wound allocation I mentioned above I doubt you'll ever have use for a full squad of nine. I reckon about six is probably pretty decent. Might even consider going for a minimal squad to just use as a disruption unit. It's just that they seem so terrible against Marine armies so it feels very hard to justify taking them…

Beast of Nurgle

This unit has some really odd special rules! They're allowed (actually, they MUST if possible) to charge in the opponents turn! Combine this with a special rule that makes the opponent always make a Disordered Charge against them and you're not likely to get charged by units that benefit the most from charging usually… (everything with Furious Charge or Rage for example). So their role is clear, counter-charge! They're there to protect units that are themselves not very good in combat… except for the fact that they're not that good at killing stuff themselves. S4 and AP- but with Poison (4+) is not very spectacular. Especially since you get D6+1A… But they will add wounds to the combat, being T5 and 4W as well as having It Will Not Die they'll definitely help surviving the combat.

Or for that matter to soak up some fire while moving across the board. They are one of the toughest units in the book so they seem made to start on the board, and then run up to protect your Deep Striking units with their counter-charging. Being Daemons of Nurgle they also have Shrouded - and being Beasts they'll gladly sit inside of Area Terrain anyway - they're still super fast.

You could however Deep Strike them in… and that way create some kind of Tarpit-trap. If you present a very tasty target for your opponents strongest Assault unit… and then you Deep Strike the Beast of Nurgle in close by, you might end up in a combat where those assault specialists will get nowhere for a while.

Now, their problem though is that they're really expensive. At 52 points each and one to nine in a unit… How much are you willing to spend on a unit that isn't that likely to kill much? They're helpful for sure, but…

Fiends of Slaanesh

More Beasts! So, they're basically tougher and stronger Daemonettes but with worse WS for more than three times as many points. Granted, they have 3W as well, but they don't have three times as many attacks.

They do have some nice supporting abilities however. Most important is probably that if they successfully charges a unit they'll get -5I. So if you use a small unit in combination with something killy you'll probably crush most units in the game before they can even strike back. Pretty nifty. The other ability is anti-psyker, which is a bit unexpected. Psykers within 12" suffer a -1Ld for Psychic tests… not super great, but it can certainly help. Also, the wording is a bit unclear on this thing… "within a fiend"… but no mention of wether it's cumulative or not - so if a unit of 9 are all within 12" does the Psyker suffer -9? Or if it's per unit, can you cause -3 with three units? Hopefully they'll FAQ that soon though.

Anyhow, I wouldn't take large units of these. A small unit of perhaps 5 at most to support another assault element. But that's quite expensive, so taking the minimum unit might be more effective. Them being Beasts they can probably do well to start on the board instead of Deep Striking as well… with Daemon of Slaanesh they run extremely fast so no chance of them being left behind!

Mar 8, 2013

1500p: Imperial Guard vs Daemons

So, in the middle of my codex reading and first thoughts about it I was suddenly challenged to a game. As I had my nose well into the Daemons book I obviously had to play Daemons.

Now, my Daemon collection is a bit lacking which means this army list basically came on by me staring at what models I have available. And even so I'll have to proxy some stuff... So I fully expect to lose this game - because I'm lacking the units to create the cool synergies that exist in this book. But at least it'll give me a feel of how these units in particular will be able to perform, and how the new mechanics of Daemons are working. That in itself should be enlightening!

So, with that in mind I basically grabbed what Troops I had and looked at what I could make. Large unit of Bloodletters led by Herald giving them Hatred. Large unit of Horrors led by Herald with Portalglyph. And two smaller units of Daemonettes with one Herald. Basically my thinking about how to upgrade them can be found here. I also took an abundance of Instruments, really - more than I needed. It does have an additional effect of protecting me somewhat from the wrath of the Chaos Gods in the Warp Storm table...

I also added Seekers - even though I only have five... I expect them to die too quickly to do anything. But they're there to be one of my Icons on the board turn 1, and perhaps they can draw some attention away from other important stuff.

Keeper of Secrets. He really is a mix of everything. I don't really know how to play him in this game, I'd liked to have more MC's to cover him with but couldn't afford it at this point level with the other stuff I wanted to try. Ahwell, we'll see what happens.

Soul Grinder seems like an obvious choice every time. So cheap... Phlegm of course, what else? Nurgle seems by far the strongest choice as well, despite all ready having a demonic save. I worry that he'll die first turn to Drop Pod melta though (edit: Turns out I didn't even play against Space Marines :D ), as I literary have no other targets for such a thing. Perhaps I should Deep Strike him in just because of that... I think it depends on if I get first turn or not really - because I want to shoot with him as much as possible obviously.

And that's it pretty much. Lots of Heralds, quite some Troops and some fun stuff. I'm planning to deploy the Horrors, Seekers and either one squad of Daemonettes (without the Icon) or the Soul Grinder depending on if I get first turn or not. The Daemonettes with the Instrument are pulling the Keeper, and he'll drop safely from their Icon, and the Bloodletters are pulling whatever is left. That's basically my strategy. Not very thought through, just an experiment... let's see what we can learn.


Keeper of Secrets - Exalted Reward, Greater Reward
Herald of Khorne - Greater Reward, Lesser Reward, Exalted Locus of Wrath
Herald of Tzeentch - Exalted Reward (for Portalglyph), Exalted Locus of Conjuration, Level 2
Herald of Slaanesh - Greater Reward, Lesser Reward, Exalted Locus of Beguilement, Level 1

18 Bloodletters - Bloodreaper, Greater Reward, Instrument, Icon
10 Daemonettes - Alluress, Lesser Reward, Instrument, Icon
10 Daemonettes
20 Horrors - Blasted Icon

Fast Attack
5 Seekers - Alluress, Lesser Reward, Icon

Heavy Support
Soul Grinder - Nurgle, Phlegm

Imperial Guard
Primaris Psyker
Company Command Squad - 2 Plasma Guns, RS, Medic
Lord Commissar - Carapace Armour, Power Weapon

Platoon Command Squad - Platoon Standard, Vox, Meltabombs
10 Infantry Squad
10 Infantry Squad
10 Infantry Squad 
6 Special Weapon Team - 3 Flamers
6 Special Weapon Team - 2 Flamers, 1 Plasma gun
6 Special Weapon Team - 3 Melta gun
10 Veterans - Vox, Melta, Flamer

Fast Attack
Vendetta - Heavy bolters

Heavy Support
Leman Russ - Heavy Bolter sponsons
Demolisher - 3 Heavy Bolters


So, lots of pre-game stuff to do with Daemons! First the normal stuff, we rolled The Scouring and Vanguard Strike, I won chose sides, he won roll to go first but gave me first turn, there was Night fighting. So I kept to what I wrote above and deployed Horrors, Soul Grinder and Seekers.

For Traits he got redployment, I got re-roll Daemonic Instability. He rolled on Biomancy and got Enfeeble and Warp Speed. I rolled on Divination and Change for my Herald of Tzeentch, got Prescience and Infernal Gateway. I took Flickering Fire with Horrors. Keeper rolled on Telepathy, but I went with Psychic Shriek and my Slaanesh Herald rolled on Telepathy and got Invisibility.
Gifts then. Keeper: Unholy Frenzy (Rage+Rampage) and Touch of Uncreation (Armourbane+Fleshbane). Herald of Khorne: Hellfire (melta basically) and Etherblade. Herald of Slaanesh: Greater Etherblade and Warp Breath. Bloodreaper: Re-roll failed saves. Daemonettes Alluress: Warp Breath, Seekers: Warp Strider (+1 to reserve). Oh, and the Herald of Tzeentch took the Portalglyph of course.

He did not steal initiative.

Turn 1 - Daemons

So the first thing that happens is that I reveal the Horrors objective... And it's a Skyfire Nexus! Couldn't have been better! The Seekers moved up behind the cliff, and the Soul Grinder moved a bit closer as well. I use the Portalglyph back in my corner, but it fails to spawn anything.
Then time to roll on the Warp Storm table for the first time ever... And it seems Papa Nurgle is angry at Tzeentch, and good thing for me the majority of stuff on the board I have is Tzeentch then! But it's okay, it only hits on a 6... of course it hits, but only kills one Horror. It also hits the IG flamer squad and kills 1 model.
I cast Prescience on the Horrors.... and then realize they're out of range of everything anyway. The Seekers run (11" thanks to being Slaanesh!) and then the Soul Grinder shoots at the IG blob and kills 6 of them.

Turn 1 - Imperial Guard

Everything moves forward, the Blob gets ordered to Move! Move! Move! and runs 6" in total. The non-command squad Chimera moves into the River and reveals it to be Hyperslime (need to pass Ld to move out or shoot while in it, but gets Feel no Pain while in it). He also reveals three objectives: His Psyker stand on nothing of note, Platoon Command stays on one that gives improved cover save and the one in the forest is sabotaged. The forest gives improved cover against grenades.
The Demolisher shoots at the Soul Grinder, but it's saved. The Basilisk does manage a pen that goes through cover but rolls a three which is ignored, suffers a HP though. The Leman Russ can see Horrors on top of the hill, and with the help of Heavy Bolters kill 9 Horrors and take a wound off the Tzeentch Herald.

Turn 2 - Daemons

Both Daemonette squads fail to come in, but the Bloodletters do come in and they bring the Keeper of Secrets with them. The Bloodletters Deep Strike off the Seekers icon, scattering only 1D6 but actually hits anyway. Then the Keeper scatters off the Bloodletter Icon, and scatters 4" off target but not so bad.
The Seekers then run into the forest, loses one to Dangerous Terrain... the forest then turns out to be Carnivorous. The objective is nothing of note. The Portalglyph spawns two Plaguebearers.
Warp Storm phase! And this time it's Slaanesh that's angry. Probably because the Bloodletters have now arrived... and of course they're hit and loose one. The SAME IG squad from last turn is also hit and loses three models this time. The Chaos Gods truly do not like the Psyker and his squad. The Chimera in the river is also hit and get immobilized!
Both the Soulgrinder and Horrors (with Prescience) shoot at the IG-blob and kill enough to cause a moral check - which they fail. Despite re-roll. The flee 7" and stand right on the edge of the board. The Keeper also used Psychic Shriek on them, but was denied.

Turn 2 - Imperial Guard

The Vendetta does not come in. The Blob does not rally, despite re-roll and flees off the board. First Blood for me!
The Various Large Blasts shoot at Soul Grinder (with no effect) and Horrors (killing 2). The Command Chimera kills 6 Bloodletters though. And the Guardsmen in the Immobilized Chimera disembarked and then got stuck in the river. Not a very lucky turn for the Guard...

Turn 3 - Daemons

The Daemonettes with the Instrument came in and pulled the other squad with them. Now with the huge IG blob gone, they had a nice clear field to Deep Strike in, the first squad scattered off target a bit but not too bad and the other squad landed safely 6" away from the Icon.
The Portalglyph spawns one Daemonette. The Seekers decide that they want to sit in the jungle after all. Bad move, as it eats one of them.
Warp Storm... and it's Papa Nurgle again. My unit was NOT hit this time, woo! And neither was the Primaris' unit either. The Russ, Demolisher and Platoon Command Squads were all hit though, and one in the Platoon Command died.
The Soul Grinder shoots at the squad trying to cross the river, but only kills three of them. Which makes them run back across the river though. The Herald decides to try his luck and uses Infernal Gateway on the Demolisher - hits and causes a Glance at least... but I was hoping for more with a AP1 spell...
The rest of the army just ran to spread out or get closer to the enemy, except the Keeper who moved towards the other side of the board and the Demolisher.

Turn 3 - Imperial Guard

The Vendetta finally comes in. The Basilisk snipes the Khorne Herald and a couple of Bloodletters. The Soul Grinder resists Vendetta + Demolisher + Leman Russ... one or two Daemonettes died as well.

Turn 4 - Daemons

Some movement to reposition stuff, but all shooting missed or failed to penetrate. All of it. Despite Skyfire and re-rolls to hit... The Portalglyph spawned one Daemonette. In the Warp Storm I rolled 3... but luckily for me the Alluress was still alive and the random dice chose her to die. Ah well!
Then I failed every single charge. Even my Daemonettes with Fleet rolled double 1 twice! Keeper, also with Fleet failed. Bloodletters failed. The two Plaguebearers managed to reach the Demolisher though, but caused no damage. Fail fail fail!
And one Seeker was eaten by the jungle.

Turn 4 - Imperial Guard

The special weapon team managed to rally, and with their run reached the objective on the hill revealing it to be another Skyfire Nexus.
The Command Chimera, Basilisk, Russ and Demolisher killed all but three Bloodletters, caused a wound on the Keeper and killed one Horror. The Vendetta killed the Soul Grinder. Not a bad turn at all, especially following my horrible turn.

Turn 5 - Daemons

For the Warp Storm I rolled a 3 again! This time I randomed it on my Herald of Tzeentch... but passed my Ld-test! Awyeah!
The Slaanesh Herald cast Invisibility on her unit, and then left it to use Warp Breath on the 3 IG on the Objective on the other side of the river. Killing two of them, and then Soul Blaze killed the last one. Phew. The Daemonette squad ran up to contest the objective. The other Daemonettes charged and wiped out the Platoon Command Squad claiming their objective.
The Keeper charged and absolutely slaughtered the Demolisher (Armourbane with all those attacks... ouch!). The explosion killed one of the Plaguebearers though.
Portalglyph spawned 1 Horror, and he started running to try and get Rear Armour on the Vendetta, but was far off. The Horrors managed a glance on the Vendetta at least.
And of course one Seeker was eaten by the jungle, leaving only one standing.

Turn 5 - Imperial Guard

The Vendetta decided it was more important to kill those Seekers than to drop off the Veterans sitting inside of it and so killed it easily for a Victory Point. The Command Chimera killed the last 3 Bloodletters, the Leman Russ shot and hit the last Plaguebearer killing him (overkill!)...
Then the Primaris used Enfeeble on the Daemonettes in front of him and succeeded making them T2, and the two remaining flamers killed 5 Daemonettes, enough so that they weren't contesting anymore... And that was that, does the game end? It does.

So I had First Blood, Linebreaker and 2 Objectives (turned out to be worth 2 and 3 VP) and he had one objective (worth 1 VP) and killed one Fast attack. So 7-2 for the Daemons!

Lessons Learnt

Ah, victory in the first game! I did not expect that. But then again, I did not expect IG either. I was really scared by his large blob in the middle, and no less than three battle tanks as well as two Chimeras... not an ideal match up for my list! But I rolled pretty useful stuff for the Rewards, especially Armourbane on the Keeper was perfect. Too bad I didn't use him as well as I could have though, he was kind of on the opposite of the board from all the Tanks!
Anyhow, what did I learn? Horrors are not good. Really. It's so easy to kill them off quickly which really lessens their shooting a lot. Even with the buff to strength and re-rolls to hit they underperformed. Granted, their ideal target ran off the board in turn 2 and then they were forced to shoot the Vendetta. I saw someone suggest that this would be a good thing. No, no it's isn't. Even with Skyfire I only managed one glance in two turns. I rolled rather average on number of shots as well... so no, not reliable anti-air in the slightest. But even the one turn I did get to shoot at a target that were good for them they weren't amazing... and I was mostly worried that I'd just grant Feel no Pain to my target anyway... Now I didn't though, but still. One weird thing though... they're using a psychic power. Not every model is shooting... so I guess only one model need to see the target? Also, I should've replaced Infernal Gateway with the Primaris on the Herald... an additional 3D6 (Level 2...) would probably have helped A LOT more than that spell. But the AP1 hit was appealing against so many Tanks... but I should've considered where my Herald would be located all game. So a mistake from me there.
I did not realize that the Herald of Slaanesh has a BS of 6. And I rolled Warp Breath on her, which probably secured the game for me (the squad she shot off the objective was worth 4VP it turned out). BS6! So that was indeed a lucky reward, which I will definitely keep in mind in the future. As it's only AP4 it'll probably not help much vs Marines, but against other stuff it can be really helpful!
The Soul Grinder. How can it be so cheap compared to the Defiler? Champ of the game for sure. The amount of fire he draws, and what he can kill, and all his different options... so good. Nurgle him up every time!
Oh, and don't sit inside a Carnivorous Jungle. The cover isn't worth it for a 5 man strong unit at least... I guess I got scared with them and wanted to hide them since they were worth a VP as well... and perhaps I should've switched out my deployed units to make use of their 2+ on reserves... but it was early in the morning and I wasn't really awake so couldn't be bothered to think that far. :P
Oh, and another unlucky game for the Bloodletters. New codex didn't change that apparently! I rolled really bad runs for them, so they basically just stood there to take it. But it doesn't hurt so much in this codex since they're dirt cheap anyway. They'll definitely come again!
But it was a weird game. The Warp Storm really makes stuff unpredictable. This game I rolled horribly. Hurting myself in 3 out of 5 turns (and it should've been 4 because passing that Ld in Turn 5 isn't likely statistically). But I had some luck with it as well. I guess this is how it is to play Daemons now! It certainly made for a very interesting game, which was closer that the final scored showed. Now, of course it helps that we play this scenario with hidden values on the objectives... you just don't know until the very end what you've been fighting for. And then all the random stuff on top of that. This army is fun! I can't wait to have the models to bring the cooler stuff...

Mar 7, 2013

Daemons - Troops

So on to the Troops and their corresponding Heralds! Also, I have found nothing that prevents Daemons from Going to Ground... which is worth keeping in mind...

Bloodletters of Khorne

They are now a glasshammer unit. I mean, they were fragile before but now even more so. The way I see it they're too fragile to be deployed normally, so you should Deep Strike them to give them some protection. And that makes them an excellent unit to use Instruments with, as they'll be able to pull more units with them.  This is of course a dual purpose, because Bloodletters on their own will die very quickly so if you give the opponent something else to worry about the Bloodletters might actually reach combat... Once in combat they're actually not bad at all with 2 S5 AP3 attacks each on WS5. They of course suffer from no grenades, but if you have the big Cannon of Khorne you can get around that (which is true for everything in the army so won't write this again).

Because they're pretty fragile I don't feel like they're the ultimate unit to carry a Icon. If the Icon works right out of Deep Strike (like it seems, before FAQ) then yeah, it could be worth it to make sure that extra support lands close by without scatter. But if you have to have the Icon on the board before using it, then... probably not worth it. Because even 20 T3 models are quite easy to pick off in a turn. And the special banner doesn't quite seem worth it either. Yeah, it's nice with a guaranteed 7" charge - but it only works once per game. However, if you combine it with the Cannon and charge through terrain you might be able to catch someone off guard...

What would be a good squad size then? 10 models are cheap - but really, if you expect them to do some fighting you'll need more. But again, they can't be alone. Because a unit of 20 Bloodletters is actually scary to be charged by - so they'll probably get a pretty high priority to be killed as an easy target. However - if you DO have something else that's scary to support them then it's totally worth it to take those wounds to make sure the other thing reaches combat. Or if not, you'll have plenty of Bloodletters reaching combat. Even 5 Bloodletters will do quite well against MEQ, but T3 means Bolters will absolutely slaughter them. I'd not go below 15 per unit if I want them to fight as well.

The last option you have to consider is the Bloodreaper, and what Rewards to give him. He can take 1-2 Lesser Rewards or 1 Greater Reward. Depending on what you want him to do I see all three options as quite viable. First, 1 Lesser Reward. Here you're Hoping for Warp Strider to get that +1 to Reserves making sure you come in Turn 2 with your Instrument. Corrosive Breath might be okay as well if you'll be facing a lot of Transports - giving the unit to de-mech something in the Shooting Phase at least (but even if they manage they can no longer charge the insides due to sixth edition as far as I can tell). If you fail to get that you might as well exchange it for the Etherblade (I prefer it over the Blood Axe, thanks to Master-Crafted). That's a unit champion with AP2 - something to actually threaten enemy HQ's. If you go for two rolls you'd like Cleaving Strike and an Etherblade. AP2 and S9 on the charge at normal I. That's pretty nice for 25 points extra. Corrosive Breath and Warp Strider might of course still be useful. And maybe Spell Breaker if you know you'll face a lot of psykers. Or if you instead go for the Greater Reward you'll end up with an defensive option. You'll be looking for the armour, re-roll invuls or Feel no Pain first hand here - so you can put this guy up in front and try to soak up some wounds with his better save. I don't feel like the Touch of Uncreation is very useful on this model, and the Hellfire Gaze is situational - so might as well replace those with a Greater Etherblade (The Blade of Blood is Unwieldy! Yuck!).

Herald of Khorne

So, the Herald is basically a better version of the Bloodreaper and thus what I wrote above applies to him as well. He has the additional option of taking one Greater Reward (for defence) and one Lesser (for an Etherblade) as a combination of the two. I don't see much reason to take three Lesser Rewards. He could also instead take one Exalted Reward - but all of those are better suited for Monsters basically - so the only reason I see them doing that is to take one of the Artefacts. I cover those in this post. The Eternal Blade is non-sensical for the Herald of Khorne, being AP- when his Hellblade is AP3... might be used by an MC but not a Herald. The Portalglyph I feel is not ideal for the Herald of Khorne as he'll probably be upfield. The Grimoire might sit here, as you're likely to be close to units that needs the boost. And the Bloodstone might be okay here as well, all though the Herald is somewhat fragile.

So, that brings me to the options that made me put this in the Troop-review. The Locus. Being able to boost his entire unit makes it so that of course you want to put him in a unit. Not only does he grant extra Ld for stability but Locus to boost... Abjuration doesn't seem much worth it, Fury however might be very useful as it gives the unit Rage. However, you have to chose between Rage and Hatred... it's a tough choice really. More attacks, or more hits? I'd consider the size of the unit here - small unit, Rage and large unit Hatred. It really comes down to how many points you spend, and I think both options are very much valid.

Khorne also has this odd option off putting the Herald on a Blood Throne giving the effects to an aura of units isntead of just one unit... tempting - but also more risky. The Chariot isn't super durable, so is quite likely to be brought down in one round of shooting anyway. Putting the Herald in a unit seems safer.

All of the above can also be used when putting the Herald on a Juggernaut and attaching him to Bloodcrushers instead.

Pink Horrors of Tzeentch

Okay, this is a very strange and unusual unit. It's the first unit around with Brotherhood of Psykers - and that's where all their attacks are. They roll one power from the Change lore, and their warp charges are determined by their unit strength. So you probably want to take at least 16 Horrors. As that's the minimum for Level 3. Taking any more just give additional wounds before you lose one D6 shooting attacks for the Change Primaris power. I can't really see any reason why you'd take Tzeentch's Firestorm over the Primaris really, especially not with Horrors. The Bolt of Change and Infernal Gateway however have some good potential - but on average are just decent anti-tank. The problem with those I feel is that you're dedicating a full 16+ squad to one single attack with one single purpose. Seems a bit like a waste to me.

Anyhow, all the ranges are 18-24" so a midrange unit that doesn't want to get charged. Means they'll probably feel good sitting on top an objective inside terrain in the middle somewhere. Oh, and despite being shooty they can't fire Overwatch as their only attack is Psychic Powers. I guess they got the Blue Horror special rule to compensate for that (extra attacks that auto-hits for each Horror that dies). Which makes them quite different from other Shooty units to say the least.

Icon or no Icon? They're not super resilient - but thanks to re-rolling failed saves on 1 they do have better save than others. And they do want to sit midfield so might be a good place to sit with an Icon. And their special Icon gives them the chance to fire extra shots once per game. I wouldn't say ideal, but could work. And Deep Strike or deploy? I'd say either works here as well - kind of depends on the board.

The Champion has no real need for Lesser Rewards (as those are killy in close combat mostly, and you certainly don't want to be in combat) and as such one Greater Reward to help protect the unit is the only choice I see if you actually want him. I think I prefer to keep the unit cheap though.

Herald of Tzeentch

Lets start with the Locus here. Both the Lesser and Greater Locus are kind of "in case we get charged". Not really super-useful in my opinion. To compensate however, the Exalted Locus is awesome indeed. +1S to all psychic powers manifested by this unit? Making the Primaris S6? I'll take it!

On to Rewards then. This is different than for the Horror-champion - because you can put the Herald on a Disc of Tzeentch making him a Jetbike. Now you have the possibility to go and snipe characters with your newly found AP2 weapon. It's quite cheap, and as he's on a jetbike he'll be hard to avoid. You might also catch your opponent off guard. I mean, this is a puny spellcaster isn't it? Wouldn't expect it to go character hunting!

Talking of spellcasting. This guy is a Level 1 psyker and can be upgraded to Level 3. And you have access to Divination. If you just want a cheap buff character for your Horrors simply add the Locus of Conjuration and take Prescience for your psychic power. 70 points and your Horrors are now a lot more lethal. If you want to complement the Horrors with the primaris you could go Level 2 and roll once for Change as well to get one of the higher strength shots. With the Horrors shooting at S6 you'll be able to share a lot of targets anyway. At the moment I'm not sure I can think of a good reason to go Level 3 with this guy however. Maybe if you put him in a Chariot (for protection) and zoom around to cast buffs on your army. That'd complement the Grimoire as well I suppose.

Plaguebearers of Nurgle

I believe the Plaguebearers are still the most effective objective holders in the army. They've just changed a lot, so now you have to think some more before placing objectives. You're now very much relying on terrain or a defence line to get some staying power. The defence line is now a very much possibly choice for a pure Daemon-army - especially with Plaguebearers and their Shrouding. Combine with an objective and a Comms Relay and you know where your opponent will want to concentrate his fire in turn 1...

Anyhow, you don't want to Deep Strike these guys as they're Slow and Purposeful and thus can't run to spread out when they arrive. So not much need to consider an instrument. The special Icon gives them extra offensive power, which I feel is not their role so I wouldn't bother with that either... a generic Icon to help with Deep Striking might be in order though.

Like I wrote above, I don't feel like these guys are meant to be offensive - but that doesn't mean they're easy to kill in combat. They're actually quite good at killing stuff themselves with their S4 and Poison (4+). The poison makes them surprisingly good at killing monsters obviously. Another surprising addition to the Plagueswords are that they're always glancing on 6's (unless they'd penetrate normally). Which means a full unit of 20 is going to glance a Land Raider to death on average in one turn. Odd! It is still defensive to me though, because that'll help them defend against Ironclads or other Walkers that are coming to your backfield and trying to clear out your objectives. So yes, they can hit - but it's more like a response to being threatened rather than attacking.

So with that in mind I wound only consider the Champion for a Greater Reward and thus a Defensive gift to help shield the unit.

Herald of Nurgle

The Nurgle Herald I think, is the one that feels like it's even more made to go with Plaguebearers than the other Heralds. Why? The Greater Locus gives them Feel no Pain. The other two Locus are offensive, and as such I wouldn't really consider them (unless you're going pure Nurgle perhaps).

You could basically take that and be done in my opinion, but there are some other options as well. Again, Greater Reward and/or a Palanquin to help with shielding... but if you're giving your unit Feel no Pain you probably shouldn't stand in the front where you'll die first so... chose one or the other. Being slow makes it hard to be offensive, and so most of the other Rewards aren't that amazing for this guy I think. I mean, you could kit him out and hope that the enemy comes to you and that'll certainly work against some armies but it's also potentially spending points that'll never be used... And sadly you can't make the Herald faster so he could join Plague Drones (and not slow them down). I do feel that the Nurgle Herald would be excellent for the Portalglyph though, he's all ready sitting on the backfield so you'll get the portal back there as well which should suit you just fine.

Another cheap option with the Nurgle Herald is to give his unit Feel no Pain, and then nothing else on him. And you also buy a Defence Line with a Quad Gun or Icarus Lascannon - because the Herald is BS5. Pretty neat if you're very worried by fliers, and you get an excellent scoring unit as well! And you should be scared of fliers for this unit, especially Heldrakes. Their flamer will reach you, and it does ignore your fancy 2+ cover... If you can Intercept it with the Lascannon however...

Another option is to make him a psyker. You can go up to Level 2, and have access to Biomancy and Plague. If you go Level 2 and roll both on Biomancy and combine that with some offensive Rewards you can actually make a quite beastly combat character. Especially if you also have the Palanquin. But as above, your problem is reaching combat so not to sure about how good of an option that is. The other option is more interesting I think, because it changes the way a unit of Plaguebearers could be used. Because the Plague powers are very offensive and short range - so suddenly it could be viable to Deep Strike them close to the enemy and just unleash some powerful spells. If you also roll Miasma of Pestilence you have suddenly created an awesome unit for tying up dangerous units. When those Assault Terminators need fives to hit they'll start to struggle a bit to get away from all these Plaguebearers in their way... The problem is just that you need to roll a 3 on the D3 for it to really help you against most combat units as Plaguebearers are only WS3 themselves.


And while on the subject of tying things up... Enter Nurglings. 15 points per base for 4 wounds and 4 attacks that most importantly can Infiltrate. As they suffer from the same speed problems like Plaguebearers do, and they're not Scoring due to being Swarms... at least they can Infiltrate to make them useful. As long as you stay away from S6 which will Instant Death whole bases you have a cheap unit that can start to tie up much more important units than themselves. Chug them into that Devastator squad to stop them shooting for a round or two. A scoring unit getting close to an objective? Nope, denied! They're not strong enough so that they'll not eventually die... they will die pretty quickly. But the thing is, they're so cheap so you don't care. If your opponent has to waste time to deal with them, you gain from it. If they don't shoot at them, you'll stop him from using a unit next turn and you gain from that too. Yes, they're Swarms and die horribly to Blasts and Templates... but if your opponent shoots his Blast and Template weapons at your cheap little Nurglings the rest of your army doesn't have to deal with it!

The one thing that I don't like about them is that they're Troops, and thus take up precious space in your Force Organisation. I don't think the most effective way of building Daemon armies will be to spam out Troops however, so you'll probably be able to fit one unit of Nurglings in anyway (two units might be too many). But I still wish there'd be a way to get them outside of the Force org - like you could take one unit for every Plaguebearer unit or something. That'd make them truly awesome.

Daemonettes of Slaanesh

And finally the last Troop choice. I think these one play much like Bloodletters these days. As you have to take ten minimum there's no more of hiding them to camp objectives. And as such I feel like you might as well take a full squad of 20 most of the time. Because they're still fragile. Now, the difference between Bloodletters and Daemonettes is that Bloodletters hit hard with AP3, Daemonettes hit A LOT. 3 attacks each on the charge with Rending is enough to deal with both Hordes and thanks to Rending pretty decent against Terminators as well. Where the Bloodletters go for quality strikes, Daemonettes simply overwhelm with hits. But that's not a major difference really, so that means that pretty much everything I wrote for the Bloodletters applies to Daemonettes as well - down to deployment and Rewards for the Champion as well as Instruments. One thing to note though is that they're Fleet, and being Slaanesh they run an extra 3" meaning they can relocate super-fast.

So the major difference in options compared to Bloodletters is should you take their special Icon or not? It lowers the WS of the opponent for a turn once per game. Not amazing. Worth 10 points? Probably not. The normal Icon for Deep Striking I have the same reasoning as with Bloodletters though.

Herald of Slaanesh

Again, many options are similar to Khorne - for Rewards I'd consider the exact same loadouts but keeping in mind that the Slaanesh Herald is only T3 so using it for shielding might be a bit more risky.

On to Locus then, you can give your unit Move Through Cover, +5I or re-roll hits (and some special stuff for Challenges) in combat. All of them are quite good options. Move Through Cover obviously because you're all ready fast and now not even Terrain will slow you  down much. Re-roll hits in Close Combat with all those attacks? That'll increase their effectiveness a lot. The +5I is the worst one I reckon, Daemonettes are all ready I5 and the Herald I7 so you'll strike first in most cases anyway - the only use I see for it is if you're facing non-Space Marines and wants to make sure you catch enemies that run away. So a bit situational indeed... The Exalted Locus also have this thing where opponents can't refuse Challenges and you chose who you challenge... Devastating for Orks and other units that depend on their Champion to do damage as you can pretty easily snipe them. High WS and re-rolls to hit... and the possibility for some good weapons with Rewards. Speaking of weapons, I once again prefer the Etherblade over the Slaanesh-sword - and for the Greater Reward you can chose a Lash that is Assault 2D6 and 12" range but Heralds are only S4 and AP-... so not amazing either. But perhaps nice to be able to wither down some of the enemies before charging in, guess it depends on your style.

Talking of withering down enemies before closing in, you can also become a Psyker up to Level 2 with access to Telepathy and Excess. Oddly they almost share powers with each other... I'm not too impressed with the new Pavane or Cacaphonic Choir - I feel like there are too many rolls for them to be really effective most of the time. They do have some good potential however. The Primaris isn't all that great either, a S6 beam with Rending? Nah... The last power lowers enemies I by 5, which is a nice support for sure but you'll only have a 1/3 chance to get it. Telepathy however have some great powers. For example Invisibility. Suddenly you can make a squad of Daemonettes as resilient as Plaguebearers! I feel like if I make a Herald of Slaanesh a Psyker then a Level 2 and rolling both on Telepathy is the way to go. I mean, just look at what Eldar are doing with Telepathy and Seer Councils for ideas...

You also have several options for mounting the Herald of Slaanesh. Either you go for the Steed which makes you super fast and Outflanking with Acute Senses. Always a nice option to have, and this way you could Outflank Daemonettes as well for whatever reason you'd want that... probably you put the Herald on a Steed to join Seekers though.
Then you have two different Chariots that are basically both the same, one just have 2 more HP than the other. I see this as an option if you want to run Cavalcades and want to give the other Chariots some extra hitting power. Pretty unique for the army really. But I wouldn't bother with a Herald in a Chariot unless I was planning to use A LOT of Chariots - you basically need to form your army around this I think for it to be worth it.

And that's it for Troops! Next up is Elites.

Mar 6, 2013

Daemons - HQ

So lets start with the HQ choices then. There are a lot of them, so I'll actually separate the generic Heralds and write about them in the Troop-section instead because they're more about boosting troops anyway. With one exception, and I'll start with that one.

The Herald Deathstar

So you can now take 4 Heralds for 1 HQ-choice. And you can actually create a separate unit of them as long as they worship the same God. So in a normal force org-chart this means 8 Heralds. Now, why would you ever want 8 Heralds in a single unit? Consider the fact that you can easily get AP2-weapons with them for just 10 points (or 20 points if you want +1S as well). This unit will rip apart anything in the assault. Granted, they only have 2W each - but this is also easily remedied by simply joining all 8 of them to a Troops-unit for extra wounds. I feel like this is even more deadly for Khorne than others (as it should be). S6 on the charge (7 if you went for Greater Etherblades), 4A each (5 if you add a Locus for one of them to get Rage) at I6. With WS7 you'll hit on 3+ against almost anything as well, and Etherblades are Master-Crafted so you get an additional re-roll to use. You'll land around 700 points (more if you take that extra body guard as well), but nothing will stand up to this unit in the assault, not even Assault Terminators or Wraiths.
The problem is of course that they'll simply die to shooting like the rest of the army, and as such is a very expensive unit for what you'll get back from them. Especially if you consider you'll use all of your HQ-choices for this, you sacrifice a lot of good options for the army. But in a really large scale game (2500 points +) it might be worth considering...
And of course, a smaller version of this might really help you out as well. Boosting a unit of Bloodletters with 4 Heralds of Khorne might be enough...


Ah, the Fallen Bloodthirster. 8 S7 AP2 attacks with Hatred and re-rolls to wound with instant death on the charge. This guy is obviously excellent against those 2W-units that are around like Paladins and Nobs. Those tend to be quite elite as well, so he'll probably just wipe out such a unit in one round. Unless he gets challenged of course. But! The thing with him is that he also gives Rage and Hatred to everyone within 12", so you'll want to surround him with other stuff anyway - and that way you should be able to charge another character in with him just to take care of challenges to make sure you get all the devastation you deserve. His big problem though is that he's walking which makes him quite slow. Normally you'd consider a big guy like him to deploy on the board as he'd be one of your more resilient units - but then you risk not getting him into combat for quite some time. So a better idea is probably to Deep Strike him off an Icon to make sure you get him where you need him. He's actually quite cheap for the amount of pain he can dish out as well, but he also feels like a trap. If you miss-use him you'll be punished for it.

Kairos Fateweaver

The once obligatory Fateweaver! But no more, he changed quite a lot. If you take him now it's because he's one of the most devastating Psykers around. However he takes some trickery to make work as well - as you don't have access to all of your powers all the time - but you have to chose which ones will be active for every turn. Unfortunately this means you'll have to chose between Divination and Biomancy as you can't have both active the same turn - so do you go for offence or defence?  And as you only generate one power each from Divination, Biomancy, Telepathy and Pyromancy you must have some luck as well. Sometimes you'll get really nice combinations - sometimes not so much. The only thing that's for certain is that you'll have access to a lot of witchfire (Lore of Change) which you can fire two each turn (since he's a Monstrous Creature).
And for everything you hold dear, don't get him in close combat. Really. He should be flying around at all times, casting spells. WS1 and A1... just don't. Even if you get something like Warpspeed in Biomancy it's not worth it.
He also gives you re-rolls for the Warpstorm table as well as an additional dice to re-roll per turn. Quite useful skills to have of course, and if you use that re-roll smartly it'll keep you on top of things. Like for instance when you really need this one thing to die.
However I feel like he is very expensive for what he does. So many things are very situational. What powers do you roll? Because the Change-lore isn't all that exciting really. But I also feel I need to playtest this guy before judging. But on paper he doesn't look that appealing to me at least.

Ku'Gath Plaguefather

A Great Unclean One that heals Nurglings. For 260 points. Yeah sure, you get a poisoned (4+) Large Blast with AP3, but it only has 24" range. And he's a psyker, but has to take his one power from the Plague lore (which is not bad, but a normal Great Unclean One can take Biomancy...). I really don't think he's worth it, I'd much rather go with a generic Great Unlean One which is a lot more adaptive.


Ah, the Bloodthirster. Basically the same thing that I wrote for Skarbrand. Except that this guy has wings, which is a huge advantage. He used to be S8 base, which was awesome for Vector Striking flyers, now he's only S6 sadly. But to compensate he has gotten a S6 AP2 lash as well, with a 12" range. At BS10 with Skyfire. It's not amazing, but if you combine it with Vector Striking, and flying past the Flyer so you get Rear Armour you actually have a decent chance of doing some damage to it. You could also buy a Greater Reward and hope for Hellfire Gaze, which is a S8 AP1 Lance-weapon. With BS10. However there's no sure way to get that, so sometimes you'll have it and sometimes not.
Now, the Exalted Reward are all amazing for this guy. I'd buy that every single time. And if I somehow got something that was bad for this match up... I'd simply pick the Portalglyph instead. Or the Grimoire, depending on my other characters. But even so, all options on the Exalted Rewards helps a lot. So, I'd say take one Exalted and one Greater Rewards for him. You'll get a multi-purpose model for 300 points, that'll be able to do almost anything. Totally worth it.

Lord of Change

The second flier. As you'd expect this guy is more shooty than the Bloodthirster though. For anti-flier he can do pretty much the same thing as the Bloodthirster - but in his case the Exalted Gifts aren't amazing (because you don't necessarily want to be in combat with this guy). So instead I'd probably take two Greater Rewards here, as for those you have a 2/3 chance of getting something defensive (thank you very much) and 1/6 chance to get better anti-flier and 1/6 to get Fleshbane+Armourbane (which you don't care one bit for with this guy). If you have the points, then a Lesser Reward might be worth it as well, but I'd not consider it necessary. So the only option left is to Level 3 or not to Level 3? You have access to Divination and Change, and in Divination you want Prescience, and in Change there are just a lot of shooting attacks. You can only shoot two per turn, and if you get the Shooting Attack for your Greater Reward then you only have one Power left to cast, so I'd say 25 points for Level 3 isn't needed most of the time. Even though it could be helpful from time to time.

Great Unclean One

T7 6W with access to Biomancy. He is slow though, so you will need to Deep Strike this guy, much like Skarbrand. Even more important for him as he can't even run.
Rewards? I'm going to say that you don't need them at all. Of course you'll not cry if you'll roll Feel No Pain or a 3+ armour save for this thing, but you don't need it. You have Biomancy instead. And he should spend lots of time in combat so the Exalted Rewards will help as well, but that's 30 points. I'd rather spend the points making him Level 2, maybe even Level 3. The Plague lore is quite nice, so I'd consider Level 3 just to take one of those powers. Yeah, two rolls on Biomancy and one on Plague sounds like how I'd go with this beast. Just the chance to make him T10...
So obviously he'll be able to take a lot of hits, but he's quite decent at giving out as well. What makes him really special is of course that if you get the good powers with Biomancy he's suddenly very resistant to the stuff that is usually very good at monster hunting. So if you have more big guys than one, he'll be able to keep the others safe by tying up the dangerous stuff  (and possibly eventually killing them).

Keeper of Secrets

And the last of the Greater Daemons then. It's also the cheapest Greater Daemon base, but as you should give it some Rewards and possibly Psychic Powers he'll get as costly as the others. He has a pretty scary stat-line actually, with a lot of high strength attacks on the charge. But even so he can also have a bit more supporting role with his psychic abilities. The Excess lore is quite supportive in nature, and can be combined with Telepathy. Oddly those two have very much in common so... I don't think I'd usually make him Level 3, but Level 2 is probably enough. Rolling one on Excess and one on Telepathy hoping to get two powers that complement each other. Or just skip that and roll once on Telepathy. Because the thing is, the power I like the most in Excess is giving the enemy -5I and can't use Counter-charge, which is a great support power - but the Keeper himself doesn't need it (he's I10!) and as he's on foot he might not be where it's needed. So instead going for Telepathy where I know I can always get Psychic Screech at least feels safer.
And for Rewards, he's quite assaulty so I'd go for the same set up as for the Bloodthirster - 1 Exalted and one Greater. But for a different reason (well the Exalted is the same), as he's not flying those defensive Greater Rewards would really benefit him.

Daemon Prince

So, this guy has now moved to the HQ-section. And you can customize him a lot. Basically you can make him emulate any of the Greater Daemons (or even a combination of two) to suit your needs. So just take everything I wrote for the Greater Daemon and pick what you like and start applying to this guy.
What is more important however, is that each Greater Daemon of a specific God makes Daemon Princes of the same God into Heavy Support instead of HQ. So if you want to build a Monster-army, this is your chance... and as you can combine skills with the Daemon Prince you can probably make them support each other pretty well. I think I'll just leave it at that.

So a few words about the Named Heralds then!


The only character in the book with Eternal Warrior. And it's on a 2W character... At least you can take a Juggernaut  and make him 3W. But still.
He's basically just a Herald of Khorne that you can't customize as much, with one more attack and better WS as well as I. Doing Instant Death on 6's. 145 points with a Juggernaut. Not sure he's really worth it.


The hound of Khorne! Quite though actually, now that he is an HQ. Really fast (Beast) and T5, which is designed to kill the enemy Warlord pretty much. He gets re-rolls to hit and wound against a chosen enemy character, so that's obviously where you want to use him. All though he has Hatred as well, so will do fine against everything else as well. As a bonus he also causes nearby Psykers to get Perils more often (every roll of a double within 12" of Karanak).
He also has Scout, which might be useful if you join him with some Bloodcrushers and deploy them instead of Deep Striking. They'll also have the same movement so they'll be able to move together easily.

The Changeling

Perhaps my favourite unit from the old codex... now an HQ! Basically just a Herald of Tzeentch which is forced to take his one power from the Change lore and can borrow an opponents stats for a turn. For 75 points. A bit meh.

The Blue Scribes

A super random character this time around. Each turn you chose a lore from the rulebook and randomly generate a power. Then you use it without rolling for it. Depending on what you roll it can be really powerful, or really useless... They also have the ability to steal Warp Charges from enemy Psykers to give to your own Psykers. I don't see them as terribly useful, but more a fun unit.


Well, the Tallyman of Nurgle has lost a lot of usefulness. He is a (very) expensive Herald of Nurgle that will eventually start boosting his bodyguard with various benefits. The funny thing is of course that once you reach the max-tally a unit of Plaguebearers are basically back to what they used to be in fifth edition before the Tally was applied. Heh. No, I'd rather take three Heralds of Nurgle for just slightly more points.

The Masque

This character has changed a lot as well. What hasn't changed is that she's still not an Independent Character - making her extra fragile. She's a T3 model standing by itself! Easy kill! But, she has got something to improve her survivability at least, as now she re-rolls failed invulsaves and have Hit&Run, making it so that you can probably control when you're in combat and can't be shot at. So that's something at least.
But the major change is of course her dances. Each Shooting Phase you chose a dance. This dance will cripple a unit of your choice within 12" of the Masque. They will either suffer -5WS and reduced mobility, or -5BS (to a minimum of BS1) and can't fire Overwatch or the unit take it's own numbers in S1 AP2 ignores cover automatic hits. In other words, she's an excellent supporting unit. That's some really, really good abilities. There's a downside though. She's not listed among the Heralds, and as such might not be part of the 4 Heralds for 1 HQ choice... Hopefully we'll get that FAQ'd soon though, and hopefully she'll be included in the list. Because all though powerful, you are sacrificing other strong choices if you take her. But if she really is an HQ of her own, then I suppose she'll work alongside 4 other Heralds with no big guys in the army.

Well that's it for HQ (except Heralds that I'll include in Troops). Very many interesting choices. I feel like this is one of the most important decisions you make when making a Daemon army with this books, as the different choices really change the way you'll have to build the rest of the army and how to play it. And that's a great thing indeed. I really love the fact that you can get away with a single HQ choice for 45 points as well. Now, this opens up even more variety as you'll have access to more Troops in lower point games which is awesome. It gets even better for taking Daemons as allies as well.

Daemons - Intro

So, I finally got a hold on the book. I thought to write down my first impressions of the book, much like I did with Chaos Space Marines, because well... why not? Note that these are first impressions, I have not playtested anything and these are just my ideas while reading. I find it helps me think to write down my thoughts, so here goes.

First post will be a bit general though, about all the stuff except for the units. Because Daemons are quite special that way, they have some very special mechanics that can change how you play the army. So lets start with those.

So, Daemonic Assault is gone the internet writes. The way I see it, it's here and stronger than ever. It's true that there's no longer any special rule which forces you to divide your army before deployment and having no idea which part of your army you'll get for first turn. But. Instead every unit in the army has Deep Strike, and as you're only allowed to put half of your units (rounding up) in reserve - that means you'll still be able to start with as many units in actual reserve. The difference here is that it's a lot more reliable. You know for sure which half you'll deploy, and you know for sure exactly where they will be standing because instead of scattering all over the place they're deployed like normal units. This is a good thing in my opinion - but it also forces you to really think about your choices. Because you actually want to start in reserve with everything more than ever, since Daemons are weak. With T3 being standard and a 5+ save your troops are extremely fragile. But if you ever played Daemonettes you probably know how to handle this anyway.

Now, what is really interesting is this second wave. Because now there are ways to almost guarantee that you'll get a full wave on turn 2. Instruments of Chaos. Oh wow, have they become powerful? With the instrument you can pull one more unit than normal from your one reserve roll. So if you make your reserve rolls in the right order you'll get a lot more on the table more securely. If this isn't certain enough, you can now also actually use a Aegis Defence Line with a Comms Relay effectively (you'll have troops on the board in turn 1!) granting you a re-roll. And not only that, but Icons have made their return to glory. Not having to scatter is a quite big deal - as this way you have a secure way to get those fragile units of yours up in the enemies face unharmed. Especially as it seems that Icons work even if they've just come out of Deep Strike themselves the same turn (but we'll see if that'll get FAQ, I sure hope it doesn't as the way it is now really compensates for the lack of transports and such - but even if it does get FAQ'd there are ways around it, you just need to plan what you deploy even more carefully). Suddenly you can actually start to consider using all of your army to kill stuff, instead of reserving some stuff for objectives only!

Next up is wargear. Now, this is a odd one. Unlike other armies you don't chose your wargear... you pay to roll a dice on a table. I'm not super-fond of this idea because it feels like randomness just for the sake of random. But in this case I still think it's okay, since you always get an option "0" with which you can replace your roll with - and all of those are really nice. As the different "rewards" are mostly pretty situational it can give an edge in certain match ups - but you can't count on it. The Exalted Rewards however, you can count on and build your strategy around - because those are the way to get Hellforged Relics and those are powerful enough to change how you play the game!

The Eternal Blade is by far the weakest of them. It's nothing special really, a way to boost a Herald in combat and not all that useful. The other three however...

Lets start with the Portalglyph. This thing is awesome. It'll start spawning small units of Lesser Daemons in every Movement phase. Only D6 each time, so obviously they'll be easily wiped out. But your opponent has to waste one units shooting at them - because they are Scoring and they won't run away. I was a bit bummed when I saw that the minimum squad sizes has been capped to 10 for all the Troops, as I like relying on sneakyness sometimes and hide those small units - out of sight out of mind, and then grab an objective just by the end. But now, with the Portalglyph it's still valid to do so which is awesome. One more reason to actually use your Troops in the killing, because you'll still be able to get backfield scoring units with this thing.

The Doomstone. Now, this thing is actually scary for characters. This item alone might be a good anti-deathstar weapon... if you can just keep the bearer alive for long enough to make the enemy fail a couple of Ld-tests. This is also boosted by the fact that there are some ways to lower enemies Ld with the rest of the army, and in combination you might get results quickly. On average it'll require three failed Ld-tests before a character is outright killed by the Doomstone though, so it might not be the most effective way to get rid of those characters, but it's quite reliable...

Grimoire of True Names. This and the Portalglyph I feel will be almost obligatory in many armies. You can potentially boost one units invulsave by 2. With a glass army like this, that is incredibly useful. Like most things in this book it's not without risks however, as you could also lower the save by one instead... and if you happen to do this just when the Warpstorm decides to lower your entire armies save by one you're suddenly left with a unit with no save. That hurts a lot. And that's also why you probably should use the Grimoire on your tougher units, T4 or higher at least - and probably prefer Khorne-units as well as they'll at least have their 6+ Armour if the Warpstorm decides to screw you over at the same time... Of course, the Warpstorm can also decide to increase your invulsave, and if you then use the Grimoire on a Tzeentch-unit you suddenly get a 2++ with a re-roll... Now sadly, you use the Grimoire in the Movement Phase and the Warpstorm doesn't happen until the Shooting Phase so it gets a bit harder to plan stuff.
So, the obvious use of it is in a defensive role where you want to protect one of your hard hitting units or draw some extra fire away from the rest of your army at least. But what if you don't have such a unit? Either because you designed your army without one or because it's been killed all ready? The Grimoire can be used offensively as well - and then it always takes away one from the invulsave of any enemy Daemon. Yes, anything with the special rule 'Daemon' can be affected. Maybe it's time for that Avatar to die? Or have that Heldrake annoyed you enough? Lowering the invulsave might cause it to at least dive (which in case of the Baleflamer, makes it useless) if you have something else to shoot at it as well. Obviously that's very situational since the enemy needs to have something that is a Daemon - but don't forget about it as it can be very useful indeed!

So I all ready mentioned the Warpstorm table, lets talk some more about that. Every Daemon Shooting Phase stuff happens. Most common is that you and your enemy will probably lose a couple of models to the wrath of the Chaos Gods hurling death around them. This is a good thing for you, because Daemons are quite lacking in the Shooting department, so here we get some free shooting that has the possibility to hit every unengaged unit. Awesome! So it's a small price to pay that some of your units might get hit as well I feel... Everything that weakens the enemy before your assault is a good thing indeed.

However, that won't have any major impact of the game I feel. What WILL impact the game immensely are the very lowest results and the very highest results. Every model with the Daemon special rule on the board may have their invulsave either lowered by one or improved by one. Every model. So you're playing CSM and he has three Heldrakes and you just rolled 10 on the Warpstorm table. Congratulations! You won't kill those Heldrakes this turn. On the good side you'll be less of a glass army yourself this turn as well of course. Then there's those two results that punish a single character on the board. Either one of your characters or one of the enemy Psykers will most likely simply die with nothing you can do about it. And then there's of course the possibility of your entire army disappearing or new units being created. These four last ones have the potential to be game changing - and you'll probably win and lose some games just because of this roll. But it'll be quite rare. What it does do however, is making it hard to plan when playing Daemons. But more importantly, it's even more hard to plan when playing against Daemons. Because as a Daemon player you know about this stuff, and you're used with it and thus you build your army in such a way as to be ready for all this randomness because you know it will happen. The enemy however, is more likely to be unprepared. Especially those armies that relies on a strong character like Eldrad or Mephiston... what will they do when by random chance their character simply became a Herald in turn 1? I've seen many people raging about the Warpstorm table and how it makes Daemons "unplayable"... but really, it helps you more than it helps your opponent even though it creates chaos in the meanwhile so... use it to your advantage.

This also leads into the Daemonic Instability. Another thing that has been really exaggerated I feel. So you're basically Fearless until you reach combat, where if you lose you'll lose extra models. Your average Ld is 7, which is coincidentally the average roll on 2D6. Against most opponents you'll probably not lose combat by very much, because you take most of your causalities moving into combat - once in combat pretty much every unit is decent in the army. So if you do lose it'll probably be by a small margin, causing you to lose a few extra models. Remember also that Icons give +1 to Combat Resolution, thus causing one less model to die. And then you have Heralds of course, boosting your Ld. Because that's what they're there for, they're basically unit Champions anyway - just slightly more powerful. So yeah, not a big deal really. Some games it'll hurt - but no more than Sweeping Advances does anyway. Just make sure to pick combats that you'll win instead! Two units against one is totally justified if you need to kill something.

Ah, that's my initial thoughts about the army wide special rules and such things I believe. Next post will be about the HQ's... All 18 of them...