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.

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