Chaos Daemons Tactica: Updated for 7th Edition!

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Chaos Daemons Tactica: Updated for 7th Edition!

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:28 am

Greetings, fellow Daemons, and welcome to the Chaos Daemons Tactica! Of all the races in Warhammer 40K, Chaos Daemons are one of the most random, violent, surprising and tricky armies there is. The Gods of Chaos may smile upon you one day, and you can wipe your opponents clean off the board, and frown on you the next, resulting in humiliating defeats. Nothing is certain!

The purpose of this guide is to provide an objective look at all the units available in the army, their roles on the battlefield, their strengths and weaknesses, and some strategy and tips to help you on your way to victory.

Contents: Thanks:
This Tactica would not have been possible if not for the efforts of those who supported me as I worked on it, and I would like to thank a few people personally.

WolfsSOL
For bearing with me and reading my insane ramblings on the denizens of the warp, despite the heretical content of my writings. Please don't inform the Dark Angel Interrogators about me!

Dez
For being an all-around great moderator, and helping me figure out exactly how much detail I can go into for the Tactica. Thanks Dez!

Various Forum Members
All those who discussed the various units and uses of Daemons, and helped shape my opinions over the months since the Codex was released. There are too many to name here, but many thanks to all of you!
Last edited by Whitewing on Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:00 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:28 am

Chaos Daemons Special Rules

Chaos Daemons have always had funky special rules unique to their codex, and the latest is no exception. Having a good understanding of these rules, and how they effect Daemons on the battlefield, is important to any aspiring Daemanogue!


Daemon
Where better to start, than with the Daemon special rule! Although no unit has this rule listed for them, do not be fooled, every unit and character in the Chaos Daemons Codex has the Daemon special rule, with a single extra-ordinary exception, which we will get to later. For now, just know that every unit in your army lists will be Daemons.

Daemon gives our units two funky bonuses. For a start, it grants everything a 5++ invulnerable save. Never overlook how amazing this is, as even weapons that would normally be devastating to other armies will only be two thirds as powerful against our units! The second bonus is the Special rule Fear. Fear means that at the start of any Fight phase, our opponents need to take a Leadership test, or fight the entire phase at WS1.

Be sure to remember, though, that ANY Space Marine army will completely ignore our ability to inspire Fear in our enemies. Some might argue that this makes Fear fairly useless, but do not be fooled! There are plenty of Xenos armies that can be severely weakened by Fear. Admittedly, remembering to ask your opponent to take a Fear test when this is the first time in a half dozen games that you are facing a foe other than Space Marines can be difficult (I've forgotten it myself, many times!), but be sure to try!


Daemonic Instability
Daemonic Instability is probably the single most important rule for any Daemon player to understand. It's the biggest difference between us and other armies, and at the same time our strongest power and greatest weakness.

The easy stuff first: A unit with Daemonic Instability cannot be joined by any model without this special rule. This means that if you ally your Daemons with another army (Chaos Space Marines come to mind) your Daemons characters cannot join a unit of CSM, and your CSM characters cannot join units of Daemons.

Most importantly, a unit with Daemonic Instability automatically passes Fear, Pinning and Morale tests. It cannot choose to fail any of these tests. This makes us Fearless, but better! A Fearless unit can never go to ground, for example, while Daemons can choose to do so. This also means that if a Chaos Daemons unit loses combat, they do not flee, as they automatically pass the Morale check for losing combat.

That's the good, but here comes the bad: When a Daemons unit loses combat, they must take a special Daemonic Instability test. This is a leadership test, taking into account any modifiers, including any from the combat result. If you pass this test, all the good, nothing happens, and the combat continues as normal. If you fail, take note of exactly how much you failed by. This is how many additional wounds your unit takes, as punishment from the Gods of Chaos for failing to more effectively murder in close combat.

There are, however, two exceptions to the above rule.

If you roll double 1's, Reality Blinks! All wounds suffered by the unit in this phase are restored, models slain in this phase are immediately brought back into play. Note that this does not restore wounds caused BEFORE this combat phase, only those suffered in THIS phase.

Of course, there is always a flip side of a coin with Chaos Daemons. If you roll a double 6, the entire unit is immediately destroyed, including any Independant Characters attached to the unit. Enemy units that were engaged with the Banished unit consolidate as if they had wiped it out themselves.


Warp Storm
Warp Storm is one of the most fun and occasionally hilarious special rules unique to our Codex, it can turn the tide of any battle! However, Chaos is capricious, the tide may not always turn in your favour!

At the beginning of the Daemon player's Shooting Phase (note that if two Daemon players are playing each other, this will mean two Warp Storms per Game turn!) you roll 2D6 and compare the result to the Warp Storm table. The possible results on the table can be summed up into 4 categories. the Bad, the Good, the Great and the Nothing.

The Bad
Bad results on the table correspond to a roll of 2, 3 or 4. These results are universally bad, and can range from forcing EVERY unit on the board with Daemonic Instability to make a Daemonic Instability test, to weakening the Invulnerable saves of every model with the Daemon Special Rule by 1, normally reducing a 5+ to a 6+. Needless to say, many a curse has been uttered after rolling one of these results in a battle.

The Good
A roll of 5, 6, 8 or 9 results in a god-specific wrath, affecting all enemy units and any friendly unit that are followers whichever Chaos God happens to be the rival of the one rolled. All units affected must roll a D6, on a roll of a 6 that unit is struck by a god-specific shooting attack, ranging from a powerful blast to a series of rending hits. These results can turn the tide of a battle in the favour of the Daemon Player, or do absolutely nothing! Nothing is certain when one is a follower of Chaos!

The Great
A roll of 10, 11 or 12 will have any Daemons player leaping for joy, these results are some of the most powerful and fun on the whole table! They can empower your army, granting +1 to all invulnerable saves for a turn, or spawn a brand new unit of Lesser Daemons from the Warp! A personal favourite of mine is result 11, which causes a random enemy Psyker (that is neither a vehicle or a Daemon) and forces them to take a Leadership check on 3D6. If they fail, the psyker is immediately slain, and replaced by a brand new Herald, the type of which may be chosen by the player. Worried about that great big Tervigon your opponent is using? Well now it's your new Herald of Khorne, ready to kick butt and take names!

The Nothing
The astute of you may have noticed that I never mentioned the number 7, the most common result from rolling 2D6. Well, wonder no longer, when a 7 is rolled on the Warp Storm table, NOTHING HAPPENS! Chaos is fickle, and sometimes the Gods are happy to simply watch a battle and see what happens!


Daemonic Alignment
Every unit and character in the Codex (with one notable exception, kinda) has a Daemonic Alignment with a particular God of Chaos. This is represented on their profile as the Daemon of "X" special rule. X can be any Chaos God, such as Khorne or Slaanesh, and each alignment confers certain special rules onto the unit.

Listing all the rules here would basically be copying the codex word for word, which is a big no-no, so instead the cliff's notes:

All "Daemons of X" have the Daemon special rule.

Khorne Daemons have Furious Charge, Hatred for Slaanesh Daemons, and their chariots have strength 7 Impact hits.

Tzeentch Daemons have Hatred for Nurgle, have +3 Leadership when casting psychic powers, and re-roll failed saves of a 1.

Nurgle Daemons have Shrouded, Hatred for Tzeentch, Slow and Purposeful and defensive grenades.

Slaanesh Daemons have Fleet, Rending, Hatred for Khorne, and Run further than normal..

This gives Daemons of each god unique strengths, and this carries over to their playstyles. Khorne is great when they get the charge, Tzeentch has great Psyker nonsense, Nurgle has great cover saves, and Slaanesh is fast and unpredictable.


Heralds and Loci
Not a Special Rule per se, but it bears mentioning here. If the Chaos Daemons detachment in your army is your Primary detachment, you may take up to four Heralds as a single HQ choice. This means that under normal conditions you may have up to five Heralds in your army (4 as a single choice, and an extra one.)

Heralds may be equipped with a piece of wargear known as a Loci. The cost and effect of each Loci differs from God to God, but they fall into the categories of Lesser, Greater and Exalted. The effect of a Loci is conferred to the Herald it is equipped to, and any unit that Herald joins. In the circumstance that there are two different Loci effects on the same unit (two Heralds joined to the same squad, for example) ONLY the effect of the stronger Loci is applied. In this case Exalted is stronger than Greater, which is in turn stronger than Lesser.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:29 am

Warlord Traits and Psychic Disciplines

Warlord traits

Chaos Daemons have a unique Warlord Traits table, and three Psychic Disciplines, one for each Chaos God that doesn't find the use of magics unsporting (Khorne pities the fool who relies of magic).

Our Warlord Traits are pretty universally helpful, except in a couple of rare cases. It's important to remember that the HQ choice in your list with the highest Leadership stat is always your Warlord, and if there are multiple with the same value you may choose who to use as a Warlord. For Chaos Daemons, this means that any Greater Daemon or Daemon Prince HQ choice will always be your Warlord, Heralds can only lead your army if you have no Monstrous Creatures.

Warlord Traits table:
  • 1. Death Incarnate: Your Warlord has Instant Death.
    • Pretty handy for most Warlords.
    2. Destroyer of Mortals: The Warlord and his unit have Hatred.
    • Useful unless your Warlord is a Herald of Khorne with Hatred already.
    3. Herald of Doom: All enemy units have -1 Leadership when taking Fear tests.
    • Useful, except against opponents immune to Fear... which is a lot.
    4. Immortal Commander: Daemon units withing 12" of the Warlord can re-roll failed Daemonic Instability tests.
    • Very useful, this can literally save you in some cases.
    5. Lord of Unreality: While the Warlord is alive, you can re-roll Warp Storm table results.
    • My favourite result, this Trait can turn the tide of a battle
    6. Warp Beacon: Your Warlord is a Teleport Homer.
    • Situationally useful.
As you can see, most of these Warlord Traits grant a bonus to your army, rather than directly to your Warlord. Generally any result will help you on the tabletop, with the possible exception of Herald of Doom, but Death Incarnate and Lord of Unreality are the real stand-outs.


Psychic Disciplines

Chaos Daemon Psykers can select their powers from the disciplines associated with their patron God, and up to half of those powers may be from the discipline of that God itself. Tzeentch Psykers may choose powers from the Change and Divination disciplines, Nurgle psykers may choose from the Plague and Biomancy powers, and Slaanesh psykers may choose from the Excess and Telepathy disciplines. The only exception is Daemon Princes, who can always choose from Divination, Biomancy or Telepathy, in addition to the discipline of their God. In addition, all Daemon Psykers may take powers from the Malefic Daemonology discipline, and do not suffer the drawback of Perils'ing on any double, we treat it like any other discipline.

Chaos Focus(Important!)
As of 7th Edition, Primaris powers have been changed by the addition of Psychic Focus and Chaos Focus. Psychic Focus is a general rule that gives any Psyker who has taken all their powers from a single discipline the Primaris for that discipline as a bonus. Chaos Focus, on the other hand, is unique to Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Daemons, and grants all Psykers with "Mark of X" or "Daemon of X" the Primaris power of their patron God. Both Chaos Focus and Psychic Focus are taken in addition to the normal powers generated by the Psyker, and you can still choose to swap a power for the Primaris if you wish, and are not taking all powers from a single discipline.

As of this time, it is believed but unconfirmed by GW that Chaos Focus conflicts with Psychic Focus, so Daemons players can never, for example, get Prescience on a Herald of Tzeentch by taking all Divination powers, as they automatically get Flickering Fire from Chaos Focus. This is a subject of great debate, but until it is confirmed one way or the other by an FAQ, it is unlikely to be fully agreed upon one way or the other.

The full Rulebook disciplines can be found elsewhere, but to give a quick recap:
Divination provides some excellent synergy with the Witchfire-heavy Tzeentch units, in particular with the Primaris power, Prescience.
Biomancy grants several powerful Blessings to Nurgle psykers, in particular the triumvirate of Iron Arm, Endurance and Warp Speed can empower Nurgle Monstrous Creatures to truly terrifying levels.
Telepathy has a number of handy Maledictions that work well with the Excess powers and synergises with the fast and high Initiative Slaanesh units.
Malefic Daemonology provides a single, very powerful Blessing in Cursed Earth, a couple of average-at-best Witchfires and several Summoning spells that allow you to conjure new units to the battlefield. Early in 7th Edition it was considered to be a very powerful school, but it's popularity has decreased with time, as it tends to leave you with an army of weak, unsupported units. That said, Cursed Earth is such a powerful spell that it is almost taking several Psykers into Malefic Daemonology just to get a single cast of it.

The Codex powers deserve a little more discussion:

Discipline of Change

The powers available to Tzeentch psykers embody the nature of Tzeentch, powerful and random, every power in the Change discipline is a powerful Witchfire attack. Every spell can be empowered by the incredible Loci of Conjuration, discussed at more length in the Herald of Tzeentch unit entry.
Important to note is that every Change power carries the Warpflame special rule. Any unit that suffers one or more wounds from a Warpflame attack must take a Toughness test at the end of the Shooting phase. If they fail, they immediately take D3 additional wounds with no Armour or Cover saves allowed. If they pass the Toughness test, they gain a 6+ Feel no Pain. If they already have Feel no Pain, either on their base profile or from earlier Warpflame tests, they get a +1 bonus to the Feel no Pain.
At first the Warpflame effect seems dangerous, but I have never seen it get to the frightening levels of 2+ Feel no Pain, though the possibility does exist. In general, simply be sure to wipe out any unit you target with Change powers, do not be happy with with just one or two wounds caused in a single round of shooting.

Flickering Fire of Tzeentch (1-3 Warp Charges) - Primaris
The Primaris, and one of the most powerful spells available to a Tzeentch psyker, Flickering Fire is a Strength 5 AP4 Witchfire that fires 2D6 shots with a range of 24", and has both the Warpflame and Soul Blaze special rules. What truly sets Flickering Fire apart is it's Warp Charge cost. You may choose to use between 1 and 3 Warp Charges in casting it, and for each extra Warp Charge used, you fire an extra 1D6 shots, so you have a maximum of 4D6, or between 4 and 24 shots from a single attack.
A very powerful spell in 6th, it is now automatically available to all Tzeentch Psykers, but it has fallen out of favor, with it being easier to Deny the Witch than before, and needing many more Warp Charges than in 6th to cast, this spell will still see use, but is nowhere near it's former glory.

Tzeentch's Firestorm (1 Warp Charge)
Tzeentch's Firestorm is a random strength, 24", AP- Blast with the Warpflame special rule. Of all the Change powers Tzeentch's Firestorm is the weakest, both in strength (D6+1) and Armour Penetration. When rolling on the table, this is the result you likely do not want, and sadly you cannot swap it for the Primaris anymore.

Bolt of Change (1 Warp Charge)
Bolt of Change is a 24", Strength D6+4, AP2 Beam attack with the Warpflame special rule.
Beam Witchfire powers have changed in 7th Edition, making them even more powerful than they used to be, while taking away a little of their utility. They now target units, not models(each unit takes a number of hits equal to the number of models under the line), but the Beam no longer loses strength for each model and wall it passes through, leaving you with a VERY powerful shooting attack, at high Strength and great AP, capable of doing a lot of damage to enemy units.
Bolt of Change is a fantastic spell, probably the power of choice when rolling on the Change table.

Infernal Gateway (2 Warp Charges)
Infernal Gateway is an 18" range, Strength D6+4, AP1 Blast attack with the Warpflame special rule. With its high cost and short range, this is not exactly the most desirable power.
With the changes to Psychic Powers in 7th, Infernal Gateway has really come into it's own, as it is only slightly harder to cast than Flickering Fire or Bolt of Change, and hits like a truck. Deep Striking terminators live in fear of this spell that can wipe them from the board in a single blow! Additionally, Psykers may now take and use powers that use any number of Warp Charges, so this power that was once denied to your Horrors can now be on every unit in your army!


Discipline of Plague

The Discipline of Plague focuses on defeating enemies from within, with a selection of Witchfire powers that have high AP or ignore armour, and plenty of truly Nurgle poisoned attacks. There is also a notable blessing that works more like a malediction, debuffing your opponents, but as a blessing your foe gets no chance to Deny the Witch.

Stream of Corruption (1 Warp Charge) - Primaris
Stream of Corruption is a Poisoned 4+ flamer template attack. There is nothing wrong with this power, but it is only situationally useful. Be sure to remember that, as a psychic power, it cannot be used to Overwatch.

Plague Wind (1 Warp Charge)
Plague WInd is a 12" range, Large Blast, Poisoned 4+, AP2 Witchfire. It's quite powerful, in fact, and a true terminator killer, capable of wiping out whole squads of termies (though you would have to get lucky on the To Wound rolls) or other TEQ units.

Miasma of Pestilence (1 Warp Charge)
Miasma is a blessing that targets the psyker. It debuffs every enemy unit locked in combat with the psyker. At the start of every Fight phase, roll a D3. Every enemy unit in combat with the psyker has their Weapon Skill and Initiative reduced by the result.
Miasma of Pestilence is a nice Blessing to have, especially on a Nugle combat psyker like a Great Unclean One or a Daemon Prince of Nurgle.
That said, it is also excellent on Heralds of Nurgle in squads of Plaguebearers, as this Blessing can reduce enemy combat units to being slower and lower Weapon Skill than the normally lackluster Plaguebearers, which can really turn the tide against the enemy. Seeing your first unit of Assault Marines become WS1 and I1 against Plaguebearers? Priceless.

Rancid Visitations (2 Warp Charges)
Rancid Visitations is a 12 inch Nova that foces units in range to take a Toughness test, if they fail the unit suffers a Wound, if this kills a model, the unit takes another Toughness test and repeats until a model is not slain.
Rancid Visitations can be incredible, but like most Toughness test powers it is best used against armies and units with low Toughness. Tau Fire Warrior squads can be destroyed entirely by this power, and armies like Eldar suffer greatly from it.
A final note: against unit of models with multiple wounds, this power can only cause a single wound, as the additional Toughness tests are only triggered if a model is slain.


Discipline of Excess

The psychic powers of Slaanesh are a fairly balanced mix of witchfires and maledictions, and although some of them pale in comparison to some Telepathy powers, they are still highly useful against certain opponents.

Lash of Slaanesh (1 Warp Charge) - Primaris
Lash of Slaanesh is a Beam attack with a 24" range, Strength 6 AP- with Rending. A pretty basic power, but decent. The upgrade to Beams has made this power much more useful than it used to be, and all your Slaanesh Psykers will have it automatically, so it will see some use on the table(unless you get some great Telepathy powers).

Acquiescence (1 Warp Charge)
Acquiescence is a Malediction that targets a single enemy unit within 18". It lowers the Initiative of that unit by 5, a massive debuff. this power can make it so that almost any enemy hits last, after all your Slaanesh units. This is situationally useful, as most units have a lower Initiative than Slaanesh units anyway, but it can help against fast opponents like Eldar or when charging a unit in cover.

Pavane of SLaanesh (1 Warp Charge)
Pavane is a Focused Witchfire with a 24" range. This power works like rancid Visitations, except it causes models hit to take a Leadership test or be slain, repeating on random models in the unit until the leadership test is passed.
There is a common misconception that a Focused Witchfire is a shooting attack that does not roll to hit, which is untrue. With a Focused WItchfire, you roll to hit normally, but pay attention to the number rolled when first manifesting the power (rolling the 2D6) if the result is a 5 or less, you may choose which model is hit by the power in the enemy unit. If the number rolled is a 6 or more, the witchfire hits a random member of the enemy unit.
Pavane of Slaanesh can be a powerful spell against low leadership opponents, but it is certainly not the greatest spell at your disposal. Notably it is possible to target enemy special weapon bearers and other special non-character units, but you have a less than 50% chance of being able to choose the first target of the spell, so Lash of Slaanesh is better for this purpose.

Cacophonic Choir (2 Warp Charges)
Cacophonic Choir is a 12" Nova that works like Psychic Schriek on 2D6, and causes pinning. Note that the Pinning test is taken regardless of whether or not the unit suffered wounds.
Some argue that Psychic Shriek is better, due to requiring a roll of 3D6 and only costing a single Warp Charge, but Psychic Shriek can only target one unit at a time, and does not cause Pinning. To my mind both opinions have merit, but Cacophonic Choir is still a powerful spell, well worth considering.
Last edited by Whitewing on Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:29 am

Wargear

The wargear available to Chaos Daemons characters can be split into two distinct groups, Weapons and Artifacts, wargear you can plan on having access to 100% of the time, and Random Upgrades, rolled for from a chart. The points cost is the same for both, depending on the level you're after, and both have their advantages, but we will be focusing on the Weapons and Artifacts, as you can build a list around having these upgrades. The random rewards are fun and powerful, particularly the Greater and Exalted Rewards, be sure to read up on them in the codex.


Weapons and Artifacts

Each of the four Chaos Gods grant their champions access to specific weapons unique to that god, each having different effects, be they the mutating influence of Tzeentch or the well crafted Hellsteel of Khorne. Regardless of which God you follow, you can always choose to take the mysterious Ether Blades, weapon of pure warp energy that seem to pass through armour completely.

Lesser Weapons

Khorne
Axe of Khorne: An AP2 weapon with Specialist Weapon and Decapitating Blow (Instant Death on To Wound rolls of a 6). Terrific weapon for Khorne Heralds and champions, this gives them the ability to carve up even Terminator armour, and give them a chance to take down mighty Monstrous Creatures with ease.

Tzeentch
Staff of Change: Grants the bearer 2 additional strength and AP4, with Specialist Weapon and Warpdoom (Characters and Monstrous Creatures killed by this weapon in Close Combat explode, for D6 Strength 5 hits to every unit within D6 inches). This weapon is, more than a little, hilarious. That said, it's not normally a good idea to have your units take so many strong hits after killing a character. This can be useful on Lords of Change and Daemon Princes who are fighting alone, as the Strength 5 hits are less likely to do serious damage while hitting the enemy harder, but I don't advise using this weapon.

Nurgle
Plague Flail: A +1 Strength weapon AP-, Spcialist Weapon and Contagion(Unsaved Wounds inflict a Toughness Test, if failed, the weapon causes an additional Wound with no armour or cover saves). Without the Poisoned special rule that other Nurgle weapons get, or an AP value, I can't recommend this weapon. You Monstrous Creatures have a much better option in the Balesword, and your Heralds and champions will likely do more damage with the simple Plaguesword in the first place.

Slaanesh
Witstealer Sword: An AP5 weapon with Specialist Weapon, Rending and Witsteal(Like Contagion, but a Leadership test instead of Toughness). While this weapon is better than the Plague Flail, granting more AP than a Herald of Slaanesh has access to, and carrying Rending, allowing you to wound armoured enemies, it is still lackluster, especially since you can choose to take an Ether Blade instead.

Etherblade: The Etherblade is an AP2 weapon with Master Crafted and Specialist Weapon. Only inferior to perhaps the Axe of Khorne, the Etherblade is the weapon of choice for most Daemons players, as it is incredibly cheap at the price of 10 points, and is a solid upgrade for many characters. Strongly recommended for Slaanesh Heralds and characters.


Greater Weapons

Khorne
Blade of Blood: An AP2 weapon, with Specialist Weapon, Bloodlust(Grants Rampage to the bearer) and Unwieldy. This weapon is pretty terrible, only for the fact that it has Unwieldy, causing your squishy Herald to always strike at Initiative 1, and not granting bonus Strength for the privelege(note that Monstrous Creatures are immune to the effects of Unwieldy). That said, when equipped with this weapon, you get the benefit of Rampage without actually using it in close combat, so it becomes a great upgrade to Bloodthirsters and Daemon Princes with the Axe of Khorne, as you can use the substantially more useful Axe in close combat, and still get bonus attacks the majority of the time.

Tzeentch
Mutating Warpblade: An AP3 weapon with the Specialist Weapon and Warp Mutation(Whenever the bearer kills a Character or Monstrous Creature, spawn a Chaos Spawn on a 2+) special rules. This is a pretty fun weapon, made stronger by the fact that you don't need to use it. Warp Mutation does not state that the bearer needs to slay a character in close combat, hence the Tzeentch player may use his powerful Witchfire attacks to do the dirty work, and get a free Spawn model every time they kill a character or MC. Chaos Spawn aren't as good as they could be, as theya re not Dameons, and hence have no saves, but this can be a fun weapon to use, so it gets a tentative recommendation from me, purely based on the hilarious things it can do.

Nurgle
Balesword: An AP- weapon with the Instant Death, Poisoned (4+), Specialist Weapon and Touch of Rust special rules. Essentially an Instant Death Plaguesword, this weapon is truly terrifying on a Monstrous Creature, where it benefits from their natural AP2. On Heralds it is less useful, as Heralds of Nurgle aren't as strong in close combat as their taller cousins and are less likely to get an unsaved wound through armour. That said, this weapon gets an enthusiastic recommendation from me for any Great Unclean One and Nurgle Daemon Prince, it is increadibly powerful on those models.

Slaanesh
Lash Of Despair: A ranged weapon, the only one of all the Daemonic Rewards weapons, the lash of Despair has a range of 12 inches, always fires at the strength of it's user, is AP- and fired 2d6 shots. This can be useful on Daemon Princes and Keepers of Secrets with few Warp Charges, who want a backup weapon in case they don't get 2 Witchfire powers, but otherwise it is pretty average. Not recommended except for low-Mastery Slaanesh Monstrous Creatures.

Greater Etherblade: Identical to the Etherblade, but confers +1 Strength. Honestly the +1 Strength isn;t worth double the points of the regular Etherblade, I would suggest taking the cheaper option and putting points in elsewhere.


Hellforged Artifacts

The Hellforged Artifacts are ancient, powerful artifacts spawned from the warp. Each one is Unique, meaning you can only take one of each per army, though you can take all four if you really want to spend the points to do so.

THe Eternal Blade
A +1 Strength weapon with Gloryseeker and Specialist Weapon. This is a very powerful weapon for a Monstrous creature, supplementing their stats in close combat a great deal, but it's lack of AP and the fact that it competes with the other Hellforged Artifacts actually makes this powerful weapon undesirable. Not recommended.

The Portalglyph
This can be fantastic for summoning new units to hold objectives in the Daemon line, as long as the Portalglyph itself is not destroyed. This is a fun upgrade, and very Daemon-y. I would recommend trying this Artifact out at some point, if only for the fun of it.

The Doomstone
On paper this sounds like a great item, providing a permanent debuff to the Leadership of enemy characters, but in reality, it isn't so strong. If you have taken a Hellforged Artifact on a character, it is likely to be a Monstrous Creature in the first place, and will likely kill enemy characters before the Doomstone can kill them. Even if the fight lasts long enough, there is always the chance that the enemy character will simply pass their Leadership test, and not suffer any ill effect at all. This is very much a fluff item, useful in it's own way, just not as useful as other options. Take it if you want, but I do not recommend it.

The Grimoire of True Names
This is a very powerful Artifact, on par or better than the Portalglyph, but it is a double-edged sword, as it can just as easily hurt you as help you. I recommend this upgrade for most Daemon armies, but I also recommend using it at the start of the movement phase if possible, and if you negative result is rolled, having the unit cursed by it move into cover. This can offset the negative aspect of the Grimoire with little effort, and can be a life saver.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:30 am

The Units

In this section we will go over every unit available to Chaos Daemons armies, and discuss the strengths, weaknesses and uses of each unit. I will not be using any kind of point-scoring system or giving numerical values to any unit, as far as I am concerned it is a flawed system. A unit that would be fairly useless in my army may be invaluable to someone else, there are no useless units in this army. Note that the observations in these sections are based on my experiences as a Daemon player over years, and the discussions I have had with players all over the world, but in the end they are simply my opinions on these units.

Rather than going through going through the units type-by-type (HQ, Troops, etc) I will go through them in the same way the Codex does, God by God. If you're looking for a particular entry, please use the sub-list below.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:30 am

Khorne, Lord of Skulls

Khorne is the Lord of War, and his minions excel in all forms of martial combat. Khorne units tend to be devastating assault units, easily capable of dispatching any opponent in close combat. Although melee is their focus, do not take them too lightly at range, their high Ballistic Skill enables them to be very accurate at shooting, though very few Khorne units come with ranged weaponry.

Khorne units tend to be great assault units, while being weak to enemy shooting. They have a base Initiative of 4, so they hit at the same time as Space Marines in close combat, while the vast majority of their units are AP3, making them incredible MEQ destroyers. Every Khorne unit has Furious Charge, and many can get Rage, so getting the charge is incredibly important for Khorne units.

Bloodthirsters
Greater Daemons of Khorne

The pinnacle of Khorne's horde, Bloodthirsters are the grim, deadly champions of his unholy armies. There is nothing quite so terrifying in the world of 40K than the prospect of being charged by a Bloodthirster. They are the single most potent close combat units in the game, and almost nothing can stand up to them in close combat. Don't discount them at range, either, as every Bloodthirster is equipped with a moderately useful short-range weapon in the form of a Lash of Khorne. In addition, Bloodthirsters are equipped with an Axe of Khorne, giving them the ability to cause Instant Death, on top of their already powerful abilities.
That said, the strongest point of a Bloodthirster comes from the simple fact that they are Flying Monstrous Creatures, capable of covering an incredible amount of ground while staying out of reach of many ranged weapons, before landing to assault the biggest, juiciest target they can find.

Strengths:
  • High Stats
    3+ Armour
    Already equipped with wargear
    Flying Monstrous Creature
    Character (watch your opponent's face when you say: "My Bloodthirster challenges your Sergeant!")
Weaknesses:
  • Instant Death, via a special rule or a Force Weapon, will instantly kill a Bloodthirster.
    Low-ish Toughness (for a Monstrous Creature) makes them weak to sustained shooting.
Overview:
Bloodthirsters are tough, strong, and deadly. Easily one of the best units in the Codex, they will tear a bloody swathe through most enemies. That said, without Eternal Warrior they are weak to all forms of Instant Death, so keep them away from anything carrying an Instant Death weapon or a Force Weapon.
Bloodthirsters have been effected by the change to Monstrous Flying Creatures, making it so that they cannot assault on the turn they stop flying. This means that you now need to rely on your Bloodthirster hopping across the field like Jump Infantry, which slows him down a lot, but isn't a terrible change. It means he will need to soak up a lot more shooting though, and this can lead to him dying a lot more than he did in 6th Edition.

Recommended Wargear:
The Blade of Blood grants the Bloodthirster +1 attack for having two specialist weapons, and the Rampage rule. Fantastic for the Bloodthirster, since you will be outnumbered in most fights. Well worth the points.


Heralds of Khorne
Warmongers of Khorne

Heralds are the strongest of the Bloodletters, and they lead their lesser kin into battle. I say lead, but in Khorne's army no creature needs leading to spill blood, and thus his heralds spend most of their time seeking the strongest of mortal champions to pit themselves against, in the hopes of taking a worthy skull to present to the Lord of War.
Heralds of Khorne have one of the best base stat lines in the game, for their points. They are very cheap, and are a great benefit to any unit they join. In addition, a Herald of Khorne can be mounted on a Juggernought (to join fast units like Bloodcrushers and Flesh Hounds) or a Skull Throne. Both options grant bonuses to the Herald, but it is more the tactical advantage they give that makes them useful.
Loci available to Heralds of Khorne:
  • Lesser Loci: Grants Adamantium Will, for +1 to Deny the Witch. Very situational, kinda mediocre.
    Greater Loci: Grants Rage, fantastic for any Khorne unit, but be sure to get the charge!
    Exalted Loci: Grants Hatred, one of the best Loci in the Codex, extremely powerful ability.
Strengths:
  • High Base Stats
    Good selection of Wargear
    Very cheap for what they can do
Weaknesses:
  • No ranged attack without Wargear
    Only 2 wounds
    No armour
Overview:
Khorne Heralds are beasts in close combat, but they are ordinary infantry otherwise. If you can get them into combat, they will go toe to toe with characters worth more than double their points, but getting them there can be a trial in and of itself. With Toughness 4 and 2 WOunds with no armour save, they are very fragile, and should always be fielded with a unit of vehicle to protect them.

Recommended Wargear:
The Axe of Khorne is a fantastic upgrade for Heralds of Khorne, very cheap and highly effective, it is the only upgrade I would consider for them, as points are usually better spent elsewhere. The AP2 and chance of Instant Death it provides makes it a remarkably good weapon, and one of a very few AP2 weapons that strikes at Initiative.


Bloodletters
Footsoldiers of Khorne

Bloodletters make up the core of Khorne's armies, and for good reason. With high strength and the armour penetrating Hellswords, they are one of the most dangerous assault units in the 40K universe.
Large units of Bloodletters are great shock units, either menacingly advancing up the field turn by turn, or surprising the enemy by Deep Striking into their lines, they tend to draw the attention of most players who know what they can do. That said, they also attract a lot of firepower for the same reason, and with low Toughness and only a 5++ save, actually reaching Assault range can be a challenge.
Bloodletters get a lot of benefit from a Herald with a Loci, and where possible every Bloodletter unit should have a Herald to lead it. Of the three Loci available, my personal preference for Bloodletter squads is to give them Rage, though for only 5 points more, Hatred is a more powerful alternative.

Bloodreapers are an excellent upgrade for Bloodletter units, as you can give them an Axe of Khorne, making them a budget Herald that you can use to soak up challenges or simply to add some additional "killy" to your squads.

Strengths:
  • Decent Strength, with extra from Furious CHarge
    Low cost for what they can do
Weaknesses:
  • Low Toughness
    Low Speed
Overview:
Large units of Bloodletters are very strong, and well worth it considering their low points cost. The Blood Banner upgrade (see the Wargear section) gives them a more guaranteed assault chance, and should be considered whenever possible. They work well arriving by Deep Strike, and landing near enemy units, as this exposes them to only a single turn of enemy shooting.


Bloodcrushers
Brass Knights of the Blood God

The armoured cavalry of Khorne is rightly one of the most powerful and feared sights on the battlefield, their enormous bulk creating a thunderous pounding of hooves as they charge forward into glorious combat.
Bloodcrushers are an expensive and fragile fast assault unit. Once they reach combat their incredible strength and AP3 weapons make them a force to be feared, but their low Toughness and lack or an Armour save makes them an easy target for enemy firepower, though the fact that they have three wounds each helps them considerably, but beware Strength 6 and above weapons, as they will cause Instant Death to Bloodcrushers. With the Unit Type Cavalry Bloodcrushers are FAST, and that speed is the key to keeping them alive, ducking from line-of-sight blocking cover to cover until your enemy is within their expansive charge range.
Like Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers benefit greatly from a Herald with a Loci, though their generally low squad size and high number of base Attacks makes the Hatred Loci considerably more effective than Rage. Just like Bloodletters, the Bloodhunter upgrade unlocks the ability to get an additional AP2 weapon with a chance of Instant Death, and should be taken if you have the points.

Strengths:
  • Very fast
    Not slowed by terrain
    Very powerful in assault
Weaknesses:
  • Expensive
    Easily killed by high strength weapons
Overview:
Being an expensive Elite choice, the decision whether or not to include Bloodcrushers in your army must be made early when drawing up an army list. They are so expensive in decent numbers that you won't be able to just "fit them in" somewhere, you will need to build an army around them. That said, they are an incredible unit well capable of slaughtering entire enemy armies if you give them the chance, though getting them into melee before they are wiped out can be a challenge. I would advise taking a large unit of 5-6 Bloodcrushers if you want to field them, preferably with a Herald on Juggernaut supporting them. Unlike Bloodletters, I do not advise keeping Bloodcrushers in Deep Strike, as they will likely only need to survive a single turn of shooting anyway due to their speed, and as their bases are so large deploying them from Deep Strike can be tricky.


Flesh Hounds
Implacable Hunters of Souls

Flesh Hounds are the great hunting dogs of Khorne, and they embody his insatiable bloodlust and desire to hunt down all those who incur his wrath.
Flesh Hounds have two Wounds, have higher Toughness than Bloodletters, and are cheaper than 2 Bloodletters. In addition they are Beasts, which means that they ignore Difficult and Dangerous Terrain, and can move up to 12" like Bikes or Cavalry. What's the catch, you ask? Their weapons have no AP value. That said, they are an incredible unit, great for locking down enemy units or picking off units with low Armour.
One benefit of Flesh Hounds is their Collars of Khorne, a special piece of wargear only used by Flesh Hounds. The Collar of Khorne grants +2 to any Deny the Witch roll made by the Flesh Hounds, meaning they have a 4+ Deny the Witch.

Strengths:
  • High speed and maneuverability
    Tough
    Collar of Khorne
Weaknesses:
  • Weak to high damage shooting
    No AP
Overview:
I seldom run a Khorne army without at least one unit of Flesh Hounds, they are cheap and incredibly effective, even if only as a distraction. They close on the enemy incredibly fast, and are capable of assaulting on Turn One. That said, against enemies with decent Armour (MEQ and TEQ) they get tarpitted easily, and have difficulty finishing a fight. In which case, your Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers should give them a helping hand! If you have the points and need a fast assault unit, they are well worth it.


Blood Thrones
Nexuses of Sacred Slaughter

Blood Thrones are a Dedicated Transport purchased for Heralds of Khorne, and are capable of carrying a single model, the Herald himself. It is entirely possible for the Herald to disembark from the Blood Throne (unlike all other Chaos Daemons chariots) and it is possible for another Herald of Khorne to embark in it once it has been vacated, but ONLY a Herald of Khorne may embark.
Blood Thrones grant a number of tasty bonuses to a Herald, not the least of which is a certain immunity to shooting attacks, as shooting attacks can only be directed at the Chariot, which is a fairly tough vehicle with a 12, 12, 10 Armour rating and three hull points. Being a Khorne Chariot, it resolves its Impact Hits at Strength 7, meaning the chariot itself is no slouch in close combat, and the Special Rule Gorefeast gives it a chance to recover lost hull points whenever it kills an enemy with Impact Hits.
In addition, a Herald atop a Blood Throne applies his Loci effect to every Khorne unit within 6" of the Chariot, making it a great platform to apply Rage or Hatred to several units at once, effectively doubling or even tripling the effectiveness of a Loci.
Since the Blood Throne has no ranged weapons to shoot, it can effectively move at Cruising Speed every turn without worry, increasing the movement speed of the Herald riding it substantially.

Strengths:
  • Speed
    Great at protecting a Herald
    Applies a Loci Aura
    Tough
    Chance of regeneration
Weaknesses:
  • As a vehicle, it can be destroyed in a single lucky shot
    Can be immobilised by Terrain
    Expensive Upgrade for a Herald
Overview:
The Blood Throne is a fantastic model, and a fantastic unit on the battlefield. In 6th Edition there many many flaws with mounting a combat unit on a Chariot, but the changes made in 7th mean that it only makes the rider tougher and stronger. For a start, any shooting attacks made against the Chariot can be directed against either the vehicle or the Rider, by choice of the owner of the Chariot. This means that all the Strength 5 and less shooting aimed at your Herald can simply be directed at the Chariot itself, while Strength 6 and 7 weapons can be directed against the Herald if you wish. I would not advise targeting the rider with Strength 8 and above weapons, though, as these can Instant Death the Khorne Herald.
The rider can still accept and declare Challenges, though this does not prevent the enemy unit from targeting him with their attacks, unless another friendly unit is a part of the combat. Like Walkers, close comabt attacks directed at the chariot itself strike its front armour, and are made against the Weapon Skill of the rider, so WS7 in this case.
Lastly, Chariots cannot be Immobilised, and treat all Immobilised results as Crew Stunned results instead. This means that an unlucky armour penetration roll cannot leave your chariot permanently stranded, it only slows it down for a single turn.
As a side-note, Chariots give their Rider Fearless and Relentless, but that doesn't affect our Herald of Khorne much, as Fearless is literally useless for him (Daemonic Instability checks are NOT Morale tests, and are not effected by Fearless) and he is unlikely to have a shooting attack.


Skull Cannons
Hellforged Skull-Hurlers

Skull Cannons are a dedicated Khorne Heavy Support choice, and are pretty darned good, too. They have all the basic stats of a Blood Throne, same Armour and hull points, same Gorefeast special rule, same Strength 7 Impact Hits. Where they differ is in their weaponry, a 36" Strength 8, AP 5, Heavy 1, Large Blast that ignores cover, and carries the Dredskulls effect.
Dreadskulls marks any unit hit by the Skull Cannon (note: Hit, not Wounded.) with a Dreadskull marker. That turn, any Khorne unit charging the unit with the Dreadskull marker do not suffer the Initiative penalty for charging through cover. The effect lasts until the end of the Daemon player's Assault Phase.
So not only is the Skull Cannon a powerful ranged weapon that Ignores Cover, but it makes any unit hit more susceptible to being assaulted by Khorne units for that turn. This is a wonderful synergistic effect, and a Dreadskull marker can mean the difference between wiping out an enemy unit on the first turn of combat, or being wiped out instead.

Strengths:
  • Powerful ranged attack
    Just as tough as the Blood Throne
    Synergistic Dreadskulls
Weaknesses:
  • Easily destroyed by heavy firepower
    Low AP
Overview:
Skull Cannons are a great long-ranged unit, but their main weapon has a very low AP value, making it weak against MEQ armies, and the Dreadskulls effect only provides a benefit to Khorne units. If you are planning a mono-Khorne army, I would strongly advise taking one, but otherwise you have better ranged options.


Skulltaker
Champion of Khorne

Skulltaker, first amongst the Horde of Khorne, executioner of Khorne. He stalks the fields of battle, eternally seeking the strongest of foes to cut down, so he can bring their skulls to his master.
Skulltaker is essentially a souped up Herald of Khorne, he even counts as part of the four Herald allowance. He comes with his own wargear, and has the option of riding a Juggernaut. Being a Herald, Skulltaker comes with a Loci, though it is the Loci of Abjuration, granting Adamantium Will. He comes with the special rule Skulls for the Skull Throne, forcing him to ALWAYS accept challenges if they are given, and also forcing him to ALWAYS declare a challenge in every combat. Taking this into account, it is safe to say that he will most often be fighting a single opponent, in the form of an Independant Character or Sergeant.
Skulltaker's wargear is incredible, so much so I can only wish I could give them to other characters! His Cloak of Skulls grants him a 3+ save, and gives him the Eternal Warrior special rule, making the ONLY model in the entire Codex with Eternal Warrior. The Slayer Sword is basically a powered up Hellblade, and comes with the Decapitating Blow rule and Soulfire, for extra setting-things-on-fire goodness.

Strengths:
  • Basically a Herald with even better stats and INSANE Initiative
Weaknesses:
  • Loci of Abjuration kinda sucks, necessitating a second Herald to grant a decent Loci effect.
    The requirement to accept and declare challenges can trap him.
Overview:
Skulltaker is a solid choice, not overly expensive, and a powerful Character killer. Again, his Loci is pretty undesirable, but this can be resolved by putting him under the effect of a stronger Loci, either by pairing him up with another Herald or keeping him near a Blood Throne.


Skarbrand
The Exiled One

Skarbrand was first among Khorne's Bloodthirsters, until he was driven mad by his own righteuos rage, and in a fit of madness attacked his master Khorne. While Khorne is generally approving of ANY form of bloodletting, an attack upon his person filled Khorne with a terrible fury, and Skarbrand was seized by the Lord of War, and exposed to the pure, undiluted wrath of the Lord of War. Khorne's great roar of fury was so powerful it tore Skarbrand's wings off, and destroyed every ounce of personality and intelligence within him, leaving Skarbrand a mindless killing machine filled with the great anger of Khorne himself.
Skarbrand is, almost by definition, a stronger Bloodthirster. How do you make the most powerful killing machine in the game stronger? Well, start by giving him weapons granting either Armourbane or Fleshbane, depending on the situation. Then buff his stats even more, giving him Inititative 10. Then give him the special ability to radiate an aura of Rage and Hatred, granting these rules to EVERY unit within 12" of him, friend and enemy. Finally, give him the Death Incarnate Warlord Trait, meaning any and all of his close combat attakcs cause Instant Death.

All of this for fewer points than a basic Bloodthirster before wargear.

BUT! Skarbrand is not a Flying Monstrous Creature, just a Monstrous Creature. So he is even more vulneralbe to shooting attacks than a normal Bloodthirster, takes a lot longer to reach close combat, and he does NOT have Eternal Warrior, so he is still vulnerable to Instant Death.

Strengths:
  • Are you kidding? He's a BEAST!
Weaknesses:
  • He can die, I guess.
Overview:
In all seriousness, Skarbrand may be an excellent special character, and well worth the points, but the lack of Flying actually is a serious blow, making him less powerful than a normal Bloodthirster. I can't tell you if he is right for your army, but he sure is for me!


Karanak
The Endless Hunter

For those who incur the personal wrath of Khorne, there is only one fate. To be hunted down by his faithful hound, Karanak, and have his soul dragged back to the Lord of Skulls in agony.
Karanak is, despite the appearance of a Flesh Hound, another Herald of Khorne special character. Like Skulltaker, he counts as one of the four Heralds a normal force is allowed. Karanak is a Beast, like Flesh Hounds, and gains the benefits of this Unit type, he also comes with the Loci of Fury, granting Rage to any unit he joins, and his Brass Collar of Bloody Vengeance grants the benefit of a Collar of Khorne, while also causing ANY psyker within 12" of Karanak to suffer a Perils of the Warp of any roll of a double.
In addition, Karanak has the special rule Prey of the Blood God, allowing you to nominate at the start of the game a single character in the enemy army. Karanak rerolls every failed To Hit and To Wound roll against that character and his unit while the model is alive.

Strengths:
  • Beast - Fast, ignores Terrain, etc.
    Loci fo Fury
    Anti-Psyker goodness
Weaknesses:
  • No AP
Overview:
Karanak is a great Herald for Flesh Hounds and Bloodcrusher units, as he comes with a free Loci and doesn't need to be upgraded with a Juggernaut. That said, he's not great at killing enemies himself, the lack on an AP on his attacks makes him weak to decent armour, so avoid challenges with him against tough opponents, he still grants Rage to the unit even when he's not fighting after all. As Heralds of Khorne go, he's the most expensive option before upgrades, but he is the exact same price as a Herald on Juggernaut with the Loci of Rage, while being a tougher option with more wounds.
Karanak's aura that causes all Psykers within 12 inches of him to perils on any double is now incredibly powerful with the change to how powers are cast, making him well worth considering against opponents who like to use Psykers. Scout him 12 inches onto the field in a squad of Flesh hounds, then move him another 12 inches in your turn, and he should be in range of almost any Psyker that starts on the board, ready to disrupt their casting.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:30 am

Tzeentch, Lord of Change

Tzeentch, the Great Schemer, the Changer of Ways, sits perched at the hear of his ever-warping domain, withing the Great labyrinth, where he has plotted and schemed since before the beginning of time. The minions of Tzeentch are as diverse and tricksy as the Lord himself, and they prefer distraction to confrontation, redirection to all out war. But, when the situation arises that battle must be met, the armies of Tzeentch march in the changing, coruscating glow of their warpfire, and woe betide any that are touched by that mutating flame.

Tzeentch units are almost the exact opposite of Khorne, preferring ranged combat to melee, and this is reflected in their stat lines.

The Tzeentch abilities to keep in mind is that all Tzeentch units add 3 to their Leadership when manifesting Psychic powers, and all Tzeentch units reroll unsuccesful saving throws of a 1. The additional Leadership is fairly meaningless, unless you Perils and have a chance to take a Leadership test at Ld10, even when under the effects of a special ability that lowers Leadership (I'm looking at you, Shadow in the Warp), as the two modifiers are applied at the same time. This means that yes, Horrors will go down to Ld9, but your Heralds and Daemon Princes/Lords of Change will still be Ld10.


Lords of Change
Greater Daemons of Tzeentch

Where Bloodthirsters are flying death-machines that ply their bloody trade in melee, Lods of Change are flying death-machines that can safely remain in the air, raining fire and lightning down upon the enemy below.
Lords of Change have a fantastic stat line, though not as extreme as the other Greater Daemons, 6's across the board (excepting Wounds and Attacks, both at 5) is nothing to poke fun at.

Strengths:
  • I can fly!
    Character (Precision Shots all day)
    Psyker
Weaknesses:
  • Instant Death (get used to reading this)
    Skyfire (I guess?)
Overview:
Lords of Change make excellent mobile firing platforms, they are Mastery level 2 by default and should always be upgraded to Level 3 if you have the points. One of the main reasons they are so strong as shooting units is their Ballistic Skill. With BS6 they hit on 2's, and reroll 1's, hitting on 6's the second time around. This means that you hit with the vast majority of your shots, so you get the full effect of your firepower.
While the Lord of Change can make for an effective assault unit (you have Smash, so they are AP2, and can be Str10 if you want) but since this requires you to be on the ground, and hence more vulnerable to shooting attacks, you need to choose your targets carefully. Isolated units, lone tanks, these kinds of targets are worth assaulting, if you can't get a decent target for your shooting attacks this turn.

Recommended Wargear:
Nothing. Well... I say nothing. I would avoid the Lesser and Greater Rewards for Lords of Change, as they do not modify you well enough to justify the points. An Exalted Reward or Hellforged Artifact are worth considering, if they suit the playstyle of your army (look to the Wargear section for a discussion on Hellforged Artifacts).
Psychic Powers:
For Psychic Powers for a Lord of Change, I would strongly recommend getting 2 Change Discipline powers, aiming for Bolt of Change and Infernal Gateway. If you take a Level 3 Lord of Change (and I hope you do) I would advise taking the third skill from Divination. Almost any Divination power will be useful, with the exception of Foreboding (you can't Overwatch anyway). Notable mentions include Perfect Timing, giving Ignores Cover to the Lord, Misfortune applying Rending to a target, and Scrier's Gaze making your Reserve rolls a virtual guarantee.

A Note on Vector Strike:
Yes, as a Flying Monstrous Creature the Lord of Change may elect to Vector Strike. In 7th Edition, there really is no reason not to, if there is a target to hit, preferably another Flyer to get the most out of it, but even a ground target if for no other reason than you can, with no drawbacks.


Heralds of Tzeentch
Tricksters of the Lord of Change

Heralds of Tzeentch are an incredibly powerful HQ choice for any army that includes Pink Horrors. They enhance the abilities of the squad they join to more than double their normal damage potential, if you give them the right upgrades.
The Heralds themselves are pretty poor, when taken at face value. At only Toughness 3 and with only 2 Wounds, they are incredibly fragile, and every effort should be taken to protect them from fire. They are a shooting unit, even though their Ballistic Skill of 4 leaves something to be desired, their real strength comes from their Loci.
  • Lesser Loci: D3 Blue Horror counters per dead Horror rather than 1. We'll get to Horrors in a minute, but this is a bad upgrade. Not worth the points.

    Greater Loci: Replaces the Strength statistic of the entire unit to a random value each turn. Terrible upgrade, has a 1/2 chance of improving your Horrors, yes, but Horrors are terrible in Close Combat.

    Exalted Loci: Increases the Strength of all Psychic Powers cast by the Herald and unit by 1. Amazing upgrade! This turns Horrors and heralds into Psychic powerhouses! Literally every Herald of Tzeentch should have this Loci.
Strengths:
  • Great synergy with Horror units
    Strong shooty Psyker
    Access to powerful Blessings
Weaknesses:
  • Fragile
    Terrible in Close Combat
    A little pricey after upgrades
Overview:
With the Locus of Conjuration, Heralds of Tzeentch become incredibly dangerous, on par with some of the Greater Daemons in this list (at shooting anyway). They have access to strong Psychic Witchfire powers from the Change Discipline, and strong Blessings from Divination. Never even consider sending them into melee if you have a choice, as they will simply disappear back into the warp before you can say "Surely Guardsmen aren't strong enough to take out my HQ!"

Recommended Wargear:
Buff their Mastery level as far as your points will allow, and take the Exalted Locus of Conjuration. Ignore Rewards on Heralds of Tzeentch, they don't provide enough benefit and the Heralds are too weak to make good use of them.
Psychic Powers:
Bolt of Change and Infernal Gateway. I cannot stress enough how powerful these two powers are, they're amazing! As for your obligatory non-Change power, it's a toss up between Divination for the chance at something good (to be fair there are a lot of good powers to be had) or a roll on Malefic Daemonology. The most useful power there is Cursed Earth, and if you get it, congratulations! Personally I would roll of Divination, just for the guarantee of being able to take Prescience if I don't like what I roll and still have a useful power.

Exalted Flamer
Because footslogging is fun!

Exalted Flamers (from Burning Chariots) received a slight upgrade in 2014, in the form of a White Dwarf update, allowing them to be taken on foot. They take up a Herald slot, and are Independant Characters.

Strengths:
  • All the power of an Exalted Flamer, none of the TNT chariot weakness
    Those brilliant Flames!
Weaknesses:
  • Still can't move and shoot.
Overview:
Frankly I love these guys on foot, at the very least they are ten times more likely to get a chance to shoot than their Chariot-riding counterparts. Their main issue is that they take up a Herald slot, which means they take up a Loci of Conjuration slot in your force organisation, but I would still recommend taking one if you feel like it.
And lest we forget, the weapons of an Exalted Flamer are not Psychic Powers, amking them both more reliable and more situationally useful, allowing things like Overwatch. This can be used in conjunction with the Blasted Banned to activate a firestorm of shooting when being assaulted.


Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
Coruscating Spellbinders

Misshapen creatures of pure Warp energy, the Pink Horrors of Tzeentch embody the Changer of Ways' distaste for everything natural and unchanging. The Horrors warp and mutate constantly as they stride across the battlefield, their forms ever changing, and when unleash the fires of Tzeentch upon their enemies the results are as varied and unpredictable as the Horrors themselves. Troops in the field have reported everything from blasts of fire, to freezing blasts of ice, to clouds of caustic acid that eat away at all inorganic matter, leaving their victims naked and unarmed on the battlefield.

Pink Horrors are the basic troops of Tzeentch armies, and set the tone for the whole army. They are a Brotherhood of Psykers unit, with a single Psychic power. They do, however, generate an extra Warp Charge per turn for having more than 10 Horrors, and an additional one if their unit contains more than 15 Horrors. Always remember that when a Brotherhood of Psyker manifests a Witchfire attack, only a single member of the squad needs to have line of sight, as it is that member of the squad that manifests the power, using the collected energies of his fellows. That lone model also takes on the risks, and if you roll Perils of the Warp, that model must pay the price.

Strengths:
  • Cheap
    Powerful ranged unit
Weaknesses:
  • Generally weak to everything
    Models lost equate to a loss of damage potential
    Die almost instantly in Close Combat
Overview:
Pink Horrors have the potential to be the single most irritatingly powerful unit in your army. They also have the potential to be completely useless. This is the dice you are dealt when you play Tzeentch, I suppose. They are surprisingly resilient with their re-rolling saving throws of a 1, and their shooting attacks can do an awful lot of damage.

Recommended Wargear:
The Blasted Banner is decent if you have extra points to spend. It is low strength and has no AP value but sometimes every little bit counts, if that dangerous enemy unit simply MUST die this turn, it's a good option. Note that despite many opinions to the contrary, the Blasted Banner may NOT be used in overwatch, as the Banner can only be activated when the unit makes a shooting attack. Horrors cannot overwatch with their Psychic power, and so the Banner cannot activate.
A good upgrade for the unit, amazingly good for it's price, is the Iridescent Horror upgrade. If you use the Iridescent Horror to make the shooting attack of the squad, the shots benefit from Precision Shot, as the Iridescent Horror is a Character.
Psychic Powers:
Definitely roll on Change for these guys, unless you're taking a themed Summoner army. The chance to get another cast of Bolt of Change or Infernal Gateway is too good to pass up. Take not that if you do roll one of these powers, you cannot manifest the same power from a single unit twice in a turn, so distribute your Heralds among your Horror squads according to what powers each rolled, making sure the Herald and the unit do not share a power (besides Flickering Fire, of course).


Flamers of Tzeentch
Bearers of the True Fire of Change

The flames spewed by Flamers of Tzeentch aren't true fire. Instead, the flames that wash over the enemies of Tzeentch are the true embodiment of the mutating powers of the Warp. Victims of the Flamers mutate hundreds or thousands of times as the flames burn away their essence, and what is left once the flame dies out is best left undescribed.

The Elite units of Tzeentch, Flamers are a situational unit, but one that fits into many armies. They are Jump Infantry, capable of moving across the battlefield extremely quickly, and they are one of the most resilient tzeentch units, with Toughness 4 and 2 Wounds making them the equal of a Herald of Tzeentch in that regard. Their primary weapon is the Flames of Tzeentch, a Strength 4, AP 4, Assault 1 weapon, that carries the Warpflame effect. Large units of Flamers can cause an incredible number of wounds with this attack, but even small units can be devastating in the right place at the right time.

Strengths:
  • Flamer attack means no rolling to hit.
    High speed due to Jump
    Multiple wounds makes them resilient to enemy firepower
Weaknesses:
  • Short range
    WS2 means they are still terrible in melee
    Large units cannot fire all flamers on the turn they Deep Strike
Overview:
Flamers are great units, when used in one of two ways. Large units, 6-9 in number, can be devastating when they get close enough to use their Flame weapons, often wiping out the enemy unit they target. When used this way, try your best to protect them either with other units tying up enemy units that could potentially charge the Flamers, or simply with good positioning.
Another way of using them is to take a minimum strength unit of 3, and placing them in Deep Strike Reserve. When 3 Flamers Deep Strike they can be positioned in such a way that all 3 may fire immediately, something all but impossible for a squad with more than 3. When used this way, they are almost a throwaway unit, intended to Deep Strike as close as possible to an enemy unit that is susceptible to their attack or isolated, and immediately Flaming that unit. Often your Flamers will scatter, or Mishap, or will be destroyed after their first turn, but since you are only spending 69 points for this unit, it is not so great a sacrifice to lose them quickly.

Recommended Warger:
Nothing. The Pyrocaster upgrade grants them nothing at all beyond the chance to spend even more points on the Pyrocaster. Basic units are as good as Flamers get.


Screamers of Tzeentch
Tzeentch's Soaring Predators

As Khorne has his Hounds, Tzeentch has his Screamers. Soaring through the insubstantial pathways of the Warp, on tides of pure energy, the Screamers of Tzeentch hunt the realms of real-space and the insane pathways of the Warp, ever hunting for those souls they may devour.

Screamers of Tzeentch are an oddball Tzeentch unit, being as they are the only dedicated assault unit dedicated to the Changer of Ways. With Strength and Toughness 4, 2 Wounds and a surprisingly decent Weapon Skill of 3, Screamers are in fact a decent close combat unit, though I would not advise pitting them against the likes of true dedicated melee specialists.
The Screamer's main claim to fame is their choice of weapons in Close Combat. Each Screamer may either use their full complement of attacks (at a base of 3 Attacks each) OR substitute all of their normal attacks for a single Lamprey's Bite attack, inflicted at Strength 5, AP 2 and with the Armourbane special rule.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Screamers are Jetbikes. This grants them a number of advantages, including not being slowed by terrain, increased base movement speed, the ability to Turbo-Boost up to 24" in addition to normal movement, as well as handy special rules like Jink and Hammer of Wrath. In fact, with the combination of Jink, Turbo-Boost and quite literally any form of cover, Screamers can achieve a 2+ Cover Save quite easily.
In addition, they have the Slashing Attack special rule. This enables the Screamers to make a special attack at any unengaged enemy unit the Screamers Turbo-Boost over, hitting that unit D3 times per Screamer at Strength 4 and AP-. Wounds from this attack are always allocated using the final position of the Screamers after their Turbo-Boost.

Strengths:
  • High AP
    Decently High Strength
    Highly Mobile
    Enhanced Cover Save via Jink
Weaknesses:
  • Cannot Shoot
    Low Leadership
Overview:
I really like Screamers. They're a fun, interesting unit that can really change the way your army plays on the battlefield. Highly mobile, surprisingly tough due to their Cover Saves, and an effective fast assault unit, Screamers excel at taking out groups of lightly armoured, weak enemies and tanks. The AP2 on the Lamprey's Bite may trick you into thinking they can go toe-to-toe with Terminators or other well armoured infantry, but you are incorrect, the limitation on attacks and low Weapon Skill of the Screamers makes these kinds of assaults a poor choice. Still, under certain situations, they can save you if, say, a single terminator has made it into your Horror unit and is about to tear through them.
One thing to keep in mind with regards to Lamprey's Bite is that, although the codex says it replaces your attacks for a single attack, this does not apply to bonus attacks, such as for charging. On the turn they assault, Screamers can choose to use 2 Lamprey's Bite attacks due to the bonus attack for charging. This helps make the Bite more feasible in melee, but I still advise against relying on it against things that can hit back. Tanks, on the other hand, can be easily destroyed by this wave of Armourbane hits.

Recommended Upgrades:
The only upgrade a Screamer squad can take it more Screamers. And I would advise you to take them if you can, a squad of 5 or more would be preferable to make sure they destroy whatever they hit.


Burning Chariots of Tzeentch
Searing Sky-Skimmers

Dear lord THANK YOU FOR 7TH EDITION!
Burning Chariots of Tzeentch can now not only live up to their potential, but are even better than we ever dared hope! The changes in 7th Edition regarding Chariots and even a few small changes to Vehicles have made this unit not only viable, but extremely potent!

Strengths:
  • Fast
    Powerful Weaponry
    Very Cool model
    Can Deep Strike and fire effectively
    Can't be Immobilised
    Jink to Survive
Weaknesses:
  • Weak to enemy fire
Overview:
This amazing vehicle comes with some crazy stats. As a Fast Skimmer, it can move 12 inches at combat speed, allowing the rider to still fire his Torrent Flamer as if he were standing still, massacring anything without a 2+ save. In addition, vehicles that Deep Strike now count as having moved at combat speed, and as such may fire normally, allowing you to Deep Strike this baby into your opponent's lines, and unleash flame upon them. When being shot at, you can choose to take hits either on the Rider or the Chariot (all shots from a given weapon type must be allocated to the same target) allowing the Flamer to take one for the team before the Chariot starts taking damage, extending its life a little. you CAN Jink with the Chariot, but I would advise against it unless you are using the Chariot to secure an objective, or Linebreaker, and cannot afford to lose it. The Rider, despite having Relentless, must still fire Snap Shots if you Jink.
All the above aside, it's still a fairly fragile but powerful speedy unit, and I recommend it in any Daemons army that needs more AP3 or Anti-Tank firepower.

Recommended Upgrades:
The only upgrade is the Blue Horror crew, who debuff nearby enemies Leadership by 1. A decent upgrade if you have spare points, but I would avoid it otherwise.


Kairos Fateweaver
Oracle of Tzeentch

Kairos fateweaver is an ancient and withered Lord of Change. How does an ageless Daemon creature comprised of pure energy become ancient and withered, you ask? Tzeentch threw his trusted advisor, Kairos, into the Well of Eternity, to see what would happen. Within the Well Kairos was exposed to all of time itself, all at once. Of all the Lords of Change, Kairos possesses the strongest power of foresight, or prescience, because he has borne witness to all of reality.

Rules-wise, Kairos Fateweaver is a Lord of Change with a drop in stats, a better invulnerable save, more Psychic Powers (though he is still limited in how many he may use per turn) and the Staff of Tomorrow, a Hellforged Artifact unique to Kairos that allows the controlling player to re-roll a single dice per turn. The dice you choose can be any dice from any roll, and it can even be one of many dice in that roll, though only the one selected may be re-rolled.

Strengths:
  • Level 4 Psyker
    4++ Invulnerable Save
    1-Dice re-roll
    Lord of Unreality Warlord trait
    Lots of Psychic Powers
Weaknesses:
  • Significant drop in stats
    Less tactical flexibility
    More expensive than an equivalent Lord of Change
Overview:
I'll be frank, I don't like Kairos Fateweaver on the battlefield. He is a Lord of Change with severely reduced stats, notably his Toughness lowered to 5 making him vulnerable to Instant Death from Strength 10 weapons, and his Weapon Skill, Attacks and Initiative lowered to the point of making him entirely useless in Close Combat. His Lord of Unreality Warlord Trait is pretty good, allowing you to re-roll the Warp Storm result, but the question is if this benefit outweighs his cost and lack of flexibility.
You could make the argument that a Lord of Change is also not intended to be a Close Combat unit, but my counter is that it CAN be. If you need a Flying Monstrous Creature to take out that lone Basilisk in the back line of your enemy's forces, a Lord of Change can shoot it full of holes with Psychic Powers and still assault it and guarantee it is destroyed. This tactical flexibility is completely lost when taking Fateweaver, for an additional cost in points.
If you like Kairos and want to take him in your army, you should feel free to do so, he is far from a bad HQ.

Recommended Wargear:
Psychic Powers:
Kairos is an oddball when it comes to Psychic Powers. While he is a Level 4 Psyker, and generates 4 Warp Charges per turn, each of Fateweaver's heads generate their own Psychic Powers. Both know all the Change powers, and one head gains a single power each from Divination and Pyromancy, while the other head gains a power from Telepathy and Biomancy. At the start of each of your turns, you must declare which of Kairos' heads will be manifesting Psychic Powers that turn.
In 7th Edition now Kairos can suddenly burst into a true hailstorm of shooting attacks in the Psychic phase, and this indirect buff has made him a far more effective unit in my eyes. Want to cast all 4 Change powers this turn? I hope you have enough Warp Charges, but go right ahead! The other powers he generates can be hit and miss, but at his core Kairos will always have his 4 Witchfires to fall back on.


The Blue Scribes
Wandering Wizardkin
The Blue Scribes are a pair of Blue Horros that Tzeentch has tasked with tracking down and recording every single Spell, Psychic Power and Magick in the entire universe.

First and foremost: The Blue Scribes are NOT a Herald of Tzeentch. They are one of a pair of "Oddball HQ's" that do not fit into the pattern of the rest of the Daemon HQ choices. This means that in a Primary Detachment of Daemons, the Blue Scribes take up an entire HQ slot, that could be filled by a Greater Daemon or 4 Heralds. From a force organisation point of view, this makes the Blue Scribes somewhat undesirable, but this limitation applies only to Primary Detachments of Daemons. As an Allied force, the Blue Scribes can be considered a simple Herald replacement, a much more palatable option.
Technically the Blue Scribes are not a Psyker. Every turn, the Blue Scribes roll a random power from a Rulebook discipline of your choosing, and that spell is cast automatically (during the appropriate phase). There is no Leadership test required when the Blue Scribes manifest a power, though your opponent may attempt to Deny the Witch as normal.
The other special ability the Scribes provide is Spell Syphon. Every time an enemy Psyker manifests a psychic power, the Scribes gain a Syphon token. At the start of your turn, you roll a D6 for every token the Scribes accumulated last turn. If you roll a 6, you may allocate 1 additional Warp Charge to a friendly Psyker within 12" of the Scribes. Then you immediately discard all tokens.

Strengths:
  • Comes with a free Jetbike
    Not targeted by abilities that only effect Psykers
Weaknesses:
  • Poor stats
    Terrible Leadership
    Takes up a full HQ slot
    Random abilities unreliable
Overview:
I would advise not taking the Blue Scribes, unless you particularly like the model/fluff or are making a themed army requiring them. At their core, they are a Herald of Tzeentch with lower Ballistic Skill, less leadership, and less reliability. Yes their Spell Syphon might allow you to apply an extra Warp Charge to an under-strength unit of Horrors every now and then, but that same unit would be far greater benefitted by simply having a Herald with the Loci of Conjuration.


The Changeling
Trickster of Tzeentch

The Changeling is Tzeentch's most effective minion for deception and manipulation, whole empires have been struck low by the ministrations of this most cunning deceiver.

The Changeling is a slightly more expensive Herald of Tzeentch, locked at Mastery level 1 and comes with a Loci of Transmogrification. The Changeling's main claim to fame is his ability Formless Horror, which allows the Changeling to take on the Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Initiative and/or Attacks (you may choose freely which of those stats you wish) of any non-vehicle enemy model he is in base contact with.
Fighting a Wraithlord? Well, Now you have a Wraithlord-level Changeling hitting back at him, just as strong and tough as the Wraithlord himself, though with only 2 Wounds.

Strengths:
  • Pure crazy hilarity of some situations
    Can save your Horror squad in Close Combat... maybe. Sometimes.
Weaknesses:
  • Limited to Mastery Level 1
    Limited to Loci of Transmogrification
Overview:
The Changeling is a pretty fun Special Character, his Formless Horror rule will almost always result in some good laughs. But the question remains, is it a good choice for your army? Once again I return to my "Heralds are better" argument, the level of synergy and raw damage a Herald of Tzeentch can do in your Horror squads is just too good to overlook, even for someone as fun as the Changeling.
Last edited by Whitewing on Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:15 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Whitewing
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:31 am

Nurgle, Father of Plagues

Nurgle is master of corruption in all its forms, and relishes his task of unleashing disease and decay upon the mortal universe. It is not in the death and misery his creations sow among the mortal worlds that pleases Grandfather Nurgle, however. It is the incredible profusion of life that springs up with every death caused, thousands of tiny lives springing into being within every corpse.

Nurgle units exemplify toughness over strength, favoring high toughness and an immunity to pain over outright power.

All Nurgle units have the Shrouded and Slow and Purposeful special rules, and are equipped with defensive grenades. For those unaware, defensive grenades have two effects. Firstly, when a unit with defensive grenades is in cover, and is successfully assaulted by an enemy unit, the assaulting unit gains no bonus attacks for charging. Secondly, a unit with Defensive Grenades can opt to throw a single grenade in their shooting phase, a Str1 Blast with the Blind special rule.
These abilities give a good impression of the Nurgle units in general. They cannot Run, meaning they have difficulty closing on enemy units, and have improved cover saves when in or behind terrain, making them fantastic defensive units.


Great Unclean Ones
Lords of Bounteous Filth

Of all the Greater Daemons, Great Unclean Ones are the most revolting, their horrific form made all the mose disgusting by their incredibly human nature. They are by far the kindest and most loving of the Greater Daemons, joyfully cheering on their fellow Daemons when they encroach upon the mortal realm, taking delight in all the small achievements of their minions, whom they treat warmly, as a kindly father figure. It is only unfortunate for the living that Great Unclean Ones seek only to further Grandfather Nurgle's cause, to sow new life among the stars, leaving in their wake a miasma of death and decay.

Strengths:
  • Incredibly hard to kill
    Strong in close combat
    Has access to fantastic Blessings
Weaknesses:
  • Slower than the average Monstrous Creature due to Slow and Purposeful
    Weak to Instant Death (told you this would crop up a lot)
Overview:
Bloodthirsters are masters of close combat, Lords of Change are masters of shooting. Great Unclean Ones are masters of being extremely annoying! With an incredible Toughness 7 and 6 Wounds, these fearsome Greater Daemons are some of the most difficult to kill monsters in 40K, and at Strength and Weapon Skill 6 they're no slouch in melee themselves. With a low Ballistic Skill of 3 you would be forgiven for thinking them less effective at shooting, but almost all the ranged attacks available to these bastions of decay are Large Blast weapons, and his low BS is hardly an issue.
Great Unclean Ones are effectively a non-Flying Monstrous Creature, with a focus on assault. With their incredible resilience, they are fairly effective at this, either by waiting for an opponent to cross the field and come to them, or waddling across the battlefield themselves.

Recommended Wargear:
Of the Nurgle weapons, I would strongly advise the Balesword 100% of the time. The Great Unclean One's natural AP2 overcomes the low AP, and it grants Instant Death to all the Great Unclean One's attacks. An excellent upgrade in all circumstances.
Psychic Powers:
Great Unclean Ones are Mastery Level 1 Psykers by default, though you can upgrade them to a maximum of Level 3. They have access to the Biomancy and Plague psychic disciplines, and I strongly advise Biomancy for the incredible Blessings the Great Unclean One gets access to. Iron Arm, my friends. Iron Arm. Imagine a Toughness 10, Strength 9 HQ for a moment. On an Unclean One with greater than Mastery Level 1, I would advise taking at least one power from Plague, as the Witchfire powers give them something to do until they reach close combat, but not at the expense of a useful Blessing from Biomancy.


Heralds of Nurgle
Rotten Paladins of the Plague God

Of all of Nurgle's followers, the Heralds of Nurgle embody his endless devotion to the creation of new and interesting diseases and ailments, constantly testing and recording the exact effects of each new toxin as it is tested on the battlefields.

Heralds of Nurgle, like many of the Heralds, grant powerful bonuses to the unit they join. On their own, Heralds of Nurgle are quite strong for their points, with a stat line many weaker races would love to have. Oddly enough, Heralds of Nurgle are better at shooting than their mighty Great Unclean One cousins, and have access to the same Plague and Biomancy powers.
  • Lesser Loci: To hit rolls of a 6 in close combat by the Herald and his unit become Poisoned(2+)
    Greater Loci: Herald and his unit gain Feel No Pain.
    Exalted Loci: To hit rolls of a 6 made by the Herald and his unit cause an additional Strength 4 AP- hit with Poisoned(4+).
Of the Loci, the standout winner of the bunch is the Greater Locus of Fecundity. Feel No Pain is a fantastic upgrade to Plaguebearers, basically giving them an additional Daemon save against things that don't cause Instant Death to them, and only gets better when you consider that Plaguebearers will often spend their time in cover enjoying their 3+ or better Cover Saves. Not just recommended, but STRONGLY recommended for every Herald of Nurgle you plan on running with a unit.

Strengths:
  • Good stat line
    Access to powerful Psychic Powers
    Loci of Feel No Pain
    Poisoned(4+)
    Touch of Rust
Weaknesses
  • Slow.
Overview:
Well worth their points at a base level, once you consider the Locus of Fecundity and Mastery Level upgrades, Heralds of Nurgle can become pretty pricey. The good news is that they will almost always make back their points cost, either through direct damage to the enemy (all those Plague AP2 powers!) or through making your other units tough enough to survive damage that would have destroyed an unsupported unit. The main problem you will face with Heralds of Nurgle is the same problem faced by most of a Nurgle army: they are simply too slow to walk across the field and assault the enemy.

Recommended Wargear:
The Palanquin of Nurgle grants the Herald +2 Wounds and an additional Attack. It almost doubles his points, but for that cost it literally doubles his Wounds, making him a much more survivable character. I would advise the Palanquin to those who either happen to have the points spare, or will be using the Herald as their Warlord, as it gives him significant protection. The Nurgle Lesser and Greater Reward weapons are somewhat lackluster for a Herald, mostly due to their lack of an AP value, and for this reason I would advise an Ether Blade if you plan on getting into close combat with the Herald. On the other hand, if you plan on using the Herald in a completely defensive or supporting role, I would strongly suggest an Exalted Reward in the form of a Grimoire of True Names. The Grimoire has an element of chance to it, which can work against you a third of the time, but with Nurgle armies it has almost no effect at all, since your natural Shrouded cover save can take the place of your Invulnerable Save. As such, I would suggest using the Grimoire on any Nurgle unit in range that is out of cover, for the chance of giving them that 3++ Invulnerable to protect them (this works wonders on Great Unclean Ones rushing forward to reach close combat)
Psychic Powers:
If you decide to upgrade your Heralds into Psykers, the decision of which discipline to use is entirely up to you. The different schools of powers all have their good and bad points. Plague has Miasma of Pestilence, an excellent power that can make your Plaguebearers incredibly effective, but it's only one power out of three, the other two of which are short-ranged shooting attacks. Biomancy has some great Blessings, but they only effect the caster. Malefic Daemonology can be useful, but most Conjuration powers require a significant Warp Charge investment you might not have.


Plaguebearers of Nurgle
Warrior Monks of the Lord of Decay

Plaguebearers have the sacred duty of recording and analysing every single disease, infection and scion of corruption Grandfather Nurgle creates. They are fighting a constant war against the Chaos of their realm and nature, trying to bring some semblance of order to Nurgle's experiments. The impossibility of their task troubles them not at all, content in their place beside the Lord of Disease.

Strengths
  • Decent Strength and Toughness
    Poisoned(4+) weapons
    Touch of Rust
    Shrouded
Weaknesses
  • Slow
    No AP
Overview:
Plaguebearers are the toughest Daemon troops choice, naturally so with their Toughness 4, and their increased Cover Saves due to Shrouded. Their weapons lack an AP value, but make up for it by being Poisoned(4+) and have the Touch of Rust special rule. Touch of Rust means that all their rolls to penetrate armour of a 6 in close combat cause a glancing hit, unless that roll would otherwise have penetrated. This means that even Land Raiders aren't safe from assault by a unit of Plaguebearers, they can glance almost any vehicle to death in a single turn, if the unit is large enough.
If you want a unit to take and hold an objective that is in terrain or behind cover, Plaguebearers are the best option. They will shrug off shots that would lay low other Daemons, and hamper your opponent's efforts to assault them due to Defensive Grenades.

Recommended Wargear:
The Plague Banner can be used once per game at the start of any Fight sub-phase (yours or your opponents), and gives your unit Poisoned(2+) until the end of that phase. Charging a Monstrous Creature? Use the Plague Banner to deal a bajillion Wounds. Assaulted by Assault Terminators with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields while defending an objective? Activate the Banner and cause so many wounds your opponent is guaranteed to fail some saves.
For the reasons above (and more) I consider the Plague Banner to be a good upgrade for a squad of Plaguebearers. It is by no means a necessity, your Plaguebearers will perform perfectly well without it, but it can give you that little boost that makes all the difference.
As far as other upgrades are concerned, they are fairly lackluster. With no decent weapon options besides Ether Blades, a Plagueridden is really only worth it if you have points to burn. Instruments of Chaos are perfectly fine, but their most powerful ability is the ability to automatically bring an additional unit in from reserves, and Plaguebearers are most likely best deployed on the ground.


Beasts of Nurgle

Least Adorable Puppies Ever

The Beasts of Nurgle are the embodiment of playful delight, their disgusting forms bound across the battlefields, seeking new friends to play with. As their new friends expire from the force of their "play", the Beasts mourn the loss of their friend, before a loud noise or sign of movement distract them and attract their attention to a new group of "friends".

Strengths:
  • Incredible defensive unit
    Beast rule makes them fast and ignore terrain completely
    Very Tough
    Poisoned 4+
    Random Attacks
    It Will Not Die recovers lost wounds (sometimes)
    Shrouded
Weaknesses:
  • No AP
    Random Attacks
    Expensive
Overview:
You will note I put "Random Attacks" in both the strengths and weaknesses of the Beasts of Nurgle, and that is for a very good reason. Beasts can be incredibly potent in melee, with up to 7 attacks a turn, but the opposite is also true. A dedicated assault unit that only attacks twice is a sad thing for 50 points each.
If you can get past that, Beasts are a unit I would advise for every Mono-Nurgle army, and suggest consideration in multi-God lists. They make for incredible defensive units, their special ability Attention Seeker causing them to automatically counter-charge any enemy unit that has charged within 12 inches of the Beasts, literally coming to the rescue of your other units. They're useful when they get charged themselves, as well, Slime Trail causing enemy units that charge the Beasts to always make a Disordered Charge, meaning they do not get bonus attacks for charging (Special mention: Death Company and Khorne units wiht Rage HATE it when this happens).
The Beasts are decent as an offensive unit as well, with the Beast unit type enabling them to move 12 inches a turn and ignore Difficult Terrain completely, even when charging(your Initiative is still reduced, but you are not slowed). That said, with the (probable) high number of base attacks and already low Initiative of the Beasts, coupled with their resistance to damage, they can usually assault through cover and be reasonably confident of it not effecting their abilities in combat too much.

Recommended Wargear:
One can only assume that any wargear Daemons try to give to Beasts is simply eaten or played with until it falls apart, as they cannot be given wargear of any kind. A special mention should be given to the idea of joining a Herald to a unit of Beasts: It's not a good idea. The Herald literally only slows them down, and this removes what is arguably their greatest strength, their speed.


Plague Drones of Nurgle
The Rotting Riders

When a Beast of Nurgle suffers the greatest betrayal, being horribly murdered by one of their friends in real-space, a seed of pure resentment begins to grow within them. As the resentment grows, the Beast curls itself into a ball, and a chrysallis takes place, as themalice within slowly grows into a new creature, until eventually a fully formed Plague Drone bursts from the remains of the creature it had once been, seeking revenge on those who had wronged it.

Strengths:
  • Incredible Speed
    Useful wargear options
    Speed
    Tough as nails
    SPEEEEEEEEED
    Touch of Rust
    Speed?
    Shrouded
    Speed.
Weaknesses:
  • Heralds shouldn't join them, so no Loci
Overview:
Good god these things are fast. With both the Jet Pack and Cavalry rules, they can move up to 12 inches in the movement phase, then shoot or make rude gestures in the Shooting Phase (as Daemons of Nurgle, they cannot Run due to Slow and Purposeful) then use their Jet Pack rule in the assault phase to make a jump move for 2d6 inches. This means that at a maximum, these guy can move 24 inches in a turn, though half of that is semi-random. On average, expect to see about 18-20 inches of movement a turn, if you choose not to assault with them.
That said, that speed does have it's drawbacks. Heralds can't ride Plague Drones, so you should NEVER have a Herald join a unit of Plague Drones, as it will slow them down to an absolute crawl of 6 inches a turn.
Some people are arguing that Plague Drones can Jink, granting them a 2+ Cover Save, but let me be clear: Plague Drones are NOT Jetbikes. They cannot Jink.

Recommended Wargear:
Plague Drones actually have access to a fair variety of wargear, more than normal for a Daemon unit. With their speed an ability to relocate rapidly, a Chaos Icon/Plague Banner works well with them, as they can easily become a forward landing point for Turn 2 Deep Strikes. Without access to Heralds, upgrading a Plague Drone to a Plaguebringer is a decent option, as it gives you the ability to a couple of Lesser Rewards or a Greater Reward. I would advise taking a single Lesser Reward, and giving the Plaguebringer an Ether Blade, as it will give him the option of using his Plaguesword (normally for Touch of Rust, to destroy vehicles) or the AP2 Ether Blade in combat.
The entire unit of Plague Drones can be given Death's Heads, essentially short-range Assault 2 shooting attacks that have the Poisoned 4+ rule. Handy for dealing extra damage, or for harassing enemy units by shooting from 12 inches away and then assault moving away, out of assault range. The unit may also be upgraded with either Rot Proboscis or Venom Stings. Rot Proboscis grants the melee attacks of the entire unit the Poisoned 3+ rule, making them hit a bit harder. In combination with an Ether Blade, which normally does not have the Poisoned rule, the Plaguebringer can become a truly frightening beast in close combat. Venom Stings, on the other hand, grants one attack from each Plague Drone the Instant Death special rule. You nominate which attack before rolling to hit. Both Rot Proboscis and Venom Stings are the bane of multi-wound models, Monstrous Creatures in particular, and both have their strong points. In the end it comes down to personal choice, and for myself I tend to swap between the two almost at random, both have performed spectacularly, so I cannot choose one above the other.


Nurglings
Bundles of Fun

Nurglings are the infinite children of Nurgle, and he holds them high in his esteem, their antics and endless bickering amuse him greatly. The rest of his minions treat the Nurglings with the gentle exasperation that is their due, and watch over them on the fields of war, where they scramble and fight over one another for a chance to attack the enemies of Greatfather Nurgle.

Strengths:
  • There's a lot of them?
    Infiltrate
    Cheap
Weaknesses:
  • Swarm
Overview:
Nurglings are the second Troops choice devoted to Nurgle, and they are... amazing! The cheapest Troops choice in the army, they are now Scoring units, with a high number of wounds and Shrouded. They are the perfect objective sitters, excelling at sitting in your deployment zone from Turn 1 to Turn 7. They ARE susceptible to Instant Death from Strength 6 weapons, but in 7th Edition they do not take doubled wounds from Blast weapons anymore.
Well worth it if you need more units to secure objectives, just don't expect them to do much else.


Ku'Gath Plaguefather
Foetid Brewmaster

Once a lowly Nurgling, Ku'Gath fell into a vat of noxious disease as Father Nurgle was stirring it, and finding it to be delicious, he began to eat and eat away at the delightful brew. As he ate, he grew, and when the vast cauldron of Nurgle was emptied, Ku'Gath stood as a fully formed Great Unclean One. It was only then that Ku'Gath realised he had deprived his Father of his most virulent plague ever, and althrough Greatfather Nurgle did not mind at all, took it upon himself to recreate the brew he had consumed. TO this day, he stalks the fields of war, testing new and ever more dangerous concoctions in his eternal quest.

Strengths:
  • Even tougher than a Great Unclean One
    Heals Nurgling bases (if you're into that sort of thing :D)
    Necrotic Missiles
    Immortal Commander
Weaknesses:
  • Just as slow as a Great Unclean One
    No access to Biomancy
Overview:
Ku'Gath is an even fatter Great Unclean One, as evidenced by him having a masssive 7 Wounds! He costs a good 70 points more than a basic Great Unclean One, but comes with a host of benefits for that cost. His Hellforged Artifact, Necrotic Missiles, is a strong AP3 Large Blast with a range of 24 inches and the Poisoned 4+ rule. Groups of Space marines should quickly learn to spread out or fear the onslaught of this weapon, as it kills them in droves. He also generates a single spell from the Plague Discipline, which can be incredibly useful or extremely lackluster. Sadly he has no access to the powerful Blessings of Biomancy, but he makes up for this by simply being tough enough to not need them overmuch.
Ku'Gath always has the Immortal Commander warlord trait if he is your warlord, allowing nearby Daemon units to re-roll Daemonic Instability tests, which can be a real lifesaver.
That said, Ku'Gath suffers from the same problem as ordinary Great Unclean Ones, of being very slow at moving across the battlefield. Happily, his shooting attacks can make up for this shortcoming, and I consider Ku'Gath to be an excellent choice as a Warlord of a Nurgle army. Multi-God lists have arguably better options.


Epidemius
Lord and Master of the Nerf-Bat

The Tallyman of Nurgle, Epidemius is tasked with taking meticulous notes of every plague, boil, infection and disease that his Master unleashes. So great is his task, even the Nurglings that bear him aloft maintain a quiet reverence in his presence, their naturally boistrous natures curbed by the enormity o his quest. As his Tally grows, the power of the servants of Nurgle near him swells and grows within them.

Strengths:
  • Buffs all nearby Nurgle units once they start killing things
Weaknesses:
  • Only buffs nearby units
    The Tally takes time to get rolling
Overview:
Epidemius is the Special Character of note for Nurgle, and was the source of some controversy when the 6th Edition update of the Chaos Daemons Codex was released. Previously, his Tally of Pestilence buffed all Nurgle units in an army, and was incredibly powerful. In the update, this was changed to only effect only units within 6 inches of Epidemius (and Epidemius himself) and his points cost was reduced. Many Nurgle players were outraged at the change, but personally I feel it was a good one.
Epidemius himself is essentially a Herald of Nurgle of a Palanquin (exactly the same stats) with the Tally of Nurgle, and for this powerful upgrade he only costs and additional 15 points. He is not a psyker, and as such cannot access either powerful shooting attacks or Blessings, but his Tally more than makes up for this fact.
While Epidemius is alive (even if he is still in Reserve), every unsaved wound caused by shooting attacks, psychic powers or close combat attacks made by Daemons of Nurgle, even ones saved by not-saves (like Feel no Pain) add 1 point to the Tally. At the start of each of your turns, you consult the Tally table and every Daemons of Nurgle units withing 6 inches of Epidemius recieves the bonus effect of the Tally. The bonuses are:
  • +1 Strength
    +1 Toughness
    Poisoned(2+)
    Feel No Pain )4+)
These effects are all cumulative, meaning when you unlock +1 Toughness nearby units gain +1 Toughness and +1 Strength while they remain near Epidemius.
Epidemius is a fantastic Herald option, even without ranged options, simply because of the incredible power he can grant to nearby units, far and away beyond what any ordinary herald can offer.

Special Mention:
Soul Grinders of Nurgle with Phlegm can bump up the Tally very quickly against almost all opponents :D
Last edited by Whitewing on Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:35 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:31 am

Slaanesh, the Dark Prince

Slaanesh is the Lord of Pleasure, dedicated to the pursuit of all sensation, from pleasure to pain, joy to sorrow, and his servants are masters of the art of delivering those sensations. He prefers guile to brute force, seduction to agression, but when force is needed, Slaanesh's minions prove themselves incredibly capable of wreaking havoc on the battlefields of the Warp and real-space.

Slaanesh units tend towards being fast assault units, easily capable of crossing the board with speed and assaulting with a flurry of attacks.

All Daemons of Slaanesh have the Fleet and Rending special rules. In addition, they add an additional 3 inches to their Run moves, unless they are Cavalry in which case they add an additional 6 inches. Chariots instead move an additional 3 inches when they move Flat Out.
Slaanesh units tend to have a high number of attacks per-model, and relatively high Weapon Skill and Initiative, allowing them to strike first in close combat and shower enemy units with Rending attacks. Neither high Toughness or high armour saves can protect agains the onslaught of Rending and non-Rending wounds an assault from a Slaanesh unit can generate.


Keepers of Secrets
Brigners of Temptations

It is said that to gaze upon a Keeper of Secrets is to know temptation. These avatars of the Lord of Excess have been described a thosand times in a thousand different forms, appearing always to tempt the mind and corrupt the soul.

Strengths:
  • Fantastic stat-lines
    Access to powerful Psychic powers
    Faster than the average Monstrous Creature
    Rending (as if they needed it)
    Preferred Enemy Eldar and Dark Eldar
Weaknesses:
  • Instant Death
    Sadly cannot Fly
Overview:
Just like the other Greater Daemons, Keepers of Secrets are immensely powerful on the battlefield, between amazing stat lines, access to powerful wargear and strong Psychic powers, many consider them to be the strongest Greater Daemon.
Fantastic for any Daemon army, Keepers of Secrets are well worth considering if you have the points.

Recommended Wargear:
The Greater Reward weapon of Slaanesh (the Lash of Despair) is quite useful for Keepers, as their higher base Strength makes the weapon a true force to be reckoned with. I don't particularly recommend the Witstealer Sword, as it doesn't really give much value, and it's effect will only really occur against multi-wound models unlucky enough to fail an Initiative test, which is sadly rare(Except for you, Mr. Riptide!). The Exalted Rewards and Hellforged Artifacts are always nice to have if you can spare the points, but sadly do not get a recommendation as they are somewhat situational.
Psychic Powers:
Psychic Powers can be incredibly useful for a Keeper of Secrets, whether they be from the Excess or Telepathy discipline, it doesn't particularly matter, both are very strong. I would advise upgrading a Keeper of Secrets to Mastery Level 3 wherever possible, and taking 2 Telepathy Powers and 1 Excess power. Notable powers are Invisibility and Shrouding.


Heralds of Slaanesh
Handmaidens of the Dark Prince

The graceful Dancers of Slaanesh, the Heralds of Slaanesh are all inhumanly beautiful, hauntingly so, and many is the mortal who has succumbed to their charms, only to learn that the Lord of Pleasure is also the Lord of Pain.
  • Lesser Loci: Move Through Cover
    Greater Loci: +5 Initiative
    Exalted Loci: Re-roll to Hit. In addition, challenges made by this Herald must always be accepted, and accepted by the enemy character of your choice.
Strengths:
  • Great stat line
    Access to great Psychic Powers
    Rending
    Powerful Locus effects
Weaknesses:
  • Fragile
Overview:
Heralds of Slaanesh are incredible characters, especially with their Loci effects. All three of the Loci have their uses, but special mention must go to the Exalted Loci of Beguilement, granting the Herald and its unit re-rolls to Hit in close combat, and forcing your opponent to always accept the Herald's challenges, and accept with a character of your choosing. This gives you an incredible array of tactical options, and makes your Daemonettes or Seeker units even more deadly in close combat.

Recommended Wargear:
The Ether Blade is a fine choice, making the Herald AP2 even when you fail to Rend, which works well in conjunction with the Exalted Loci, allowing you to easily character snipe in melee. The Lash of Despair is a little lackluster for heralds of Slaanesh, as their low base Strength makes the weapon a little weaker than you might like.
Psychic Powers:
Much like the Keeper of Secrets, I would advise always making your Slaaneshi Heralds Psykers, giving them access to a very powerful pool of spells, including the much loved Psychic Shriek from the Telepathy Discipline. This is a powerful shooting attack, and as it is the Primaris, it should always be taken on your Heralds, unless you roll something more useful.


Daemonettes of Slaanesh
Maidens of Ecstasy (Ladies of The Claw)

Slaanesh's Daemonettes are, like all his creations, beautiful, but their beauty is marred by their inhuman features and their enormous, rending claws.

Strengths:
  • Decent Stats
    Faster than the average Infantry
    Rending
Weaknesses:
  • Low Toughness
Overview:
Daemonettes are a decently fast (due to their +3 inch Run moves) assault unit, with a high Inititative and high number of attacks per model. This, coupled with their Rending special rule, and preferably a Herald with the Exalted Loci of Beguilement, makes them incredibly deadly in close combat. Their low Toughness can make them fragile to enemy fire, but adequate use of cover and Deep Strike can reduce this limitation. Daemonettes are an amazing Troops choice, and I would strongly recommend them for Mixed-God army lists, in addition to Slaanesh-themed lists that obviously have to take them. Large units are better than small ones, full squads of 20 if you have the points and models to do so.

Recommended Wargear:
You have the option of upgrading a Daemonette to an Alluress, and giving her some Daemonic Rewards, and if you have an extra 15 points an Alluress with an Ether Blade can be an exceptionally useful addition to the squad.
The Rapturous Standard has the effect of reducing the Weapon Skill of an enemy unit by D3 for a single round of combat. This can neuter a unit for a turn, giving you an opportunity to slaughter them before they can hit back. That said, you should be hitting them first and hitting hard in the first place, so the Rapturous Standard should probably be avoided, as you are unlikely to get much value from it.
If the squad is Deep Striking, an Instrument can be a quality upgrade, unless the Daemonette unit is the only unit you keep in Reserve.


Seekers of Slaanesh
Swift Riders of Slaanesh

Seekers are the front-line troops of Slaanesh's host, riding ahead on their disgustingly graceful Daemon mounts.
Seekers of Slaanesh are a fast moving cavalry assault unit. They can easily cross the board and engage the enemy from surprising distances, and can move straight through Difficult Terrain, though they must take Dangerous Terrain tests when they do so.

Strengths:
  • Fast
    High number of Attacks
    Rending
    High Inititative
Weaknesses:
  • Fragile
Overview:
Seekers have both the Acute Senses and Outflank rules, allowing you to accurately bring them onto the board from reserves on whichever table edge you wish. This is pretty advantageous for a Daemons Player, as it is less inherently risky than Deep Striking, but with the Seeker's high speed it has effectively the same result. That said, Seekers are much like faster Daemonettes, and should be used in a similar way. They are particularly good at picking off Monstrous Creatures that are out of position, as what they lack in numbers is easily made up for in base stats.

Recommended Wargear:
Just as for Daemonettes, Seeker champions (Heartseekers) benefit greatly from having an Ether Blade, though many players prefer to give them a Lash of Despair. They can use the ranged weapon more effectively than Daemonette units, as their great speed gives them more opportunities to be in range.


Seeker Chariots of Slaanesh
Machineries of Blissful Pain

Great war engines of pleasure and pain, the chariots of Slaanesh rove ahead of his armies, great steeds dragging complex mechanisms of whirling razor sharp blades that streak across the battlefield in riots of light and sound, crashing through the ranks of Slaanesh's enemies in a glorious explosion of blood and pain.

Strengths:
  • Fast vehicles
    Lots of Impact Hits
    Rending Impact Hits
    Cool Model
Weaknesses:
  • Fragile (like all Slaanesh)
    Lackluster compared to other Heavy Support options
Overview:
Seeker Chariots are a Heavy Support option, and are taken in squadrons called Seeker Cavalcades. In one squadron you can take up to three chariots, chosen from Seeker Chariots (2 hull Points) and Exalted Seeker Chariots (4 Hull Points).
Seeker Chariots of all types benefit from the same updates the Blood Throne received, including an immunity to Immobilisation, the ability to direct shooting attacks at the Rider or the Chariot, and more.
The true strength of the Seeker Cavalcade lies in the special rule Fleshshredder. Fleshshredder causes the Chariot to replace it's ordinary impact hits with d6 hits per Hull Point remaining on the chariot, hitting at Strength 4 and Rending. At a maximum, a Cavalcade can have 12 Hull points, making for a truly devastating charge that annihilates entire units. In addition, the Exalted Alluresses who ride the chariots are no slouch in close combat themselves, easily capable of cleaning up any survivors.

Recommended Wargear:
Exalted Alluresses can take Daemonic Rewards, and the decision whether or not to take them is entirely up to you, but a word of caution regarding the Lash of Despair. Since the Alluress is technically occupying a Transport, if the Chariot moves more than 6 inches she may only fire Snap Shots with the Lash, weakening it significantly unless you choose not to make use of the Chariot's speed. Because of this, I can't recommend the Lash, though Ether Blades are still very good, if anything survives the incredible impact of the Cavalcade.


Hellflayers of Slaanesh
Soul-Slashing Blade Engines

Originally used as a means of keeping the battlefields of Slaanesh's realm clean of misplaced body parts and gore, the Hellflayer has since proven to be equally good at turning living flesh into a fine pink mist.

Strengths:
  • Fast vehicles
    Lots of Impact Hits
    Rending Impact Hits
    Cool Model
Weaknesses:
  • Fragile (like all Slaanesh)
Overview:
If you were surprised that the fast Seeker chariots were a Heavy Support choice, be surprised no more, because Hellflayers took up the Fast Attack role.
Essentially a slightly stronger version of the Exalted Seeker Chariot, the Hellflayer is identical except for 3 important differences:
It is taken as a single unit, not in squadrons.
The Exalted Alluress riding it may not take Daemonic Rewards.
Soulscent, a special rule unique to the Hellflayer, grants a bonus Attack to the Exalted Alluress for every unsaved Wound caused by the Hellflayer's Impact Hits.
Where a Seeker Cavalcade is fighting for a Heavy Support spot, the Hellflayer is much easier to take in Fast Attack where it has less competition, and it's a very attractive option there. A fast, powerful assault unit, it can cause a lot of damage if you can keep it from losing too many Hull points before it has a chance to assault.


Fiends of Slaanesh
Harbringers of Deadly Fragrance

Fiends are a hideous amalgamation of creatures, their forms should be incredibly disgusting to observe, except that they exhude a soporific musk that dulls the senses and gives them the illusion of beauty.

Strengths:
  • Beasts
    Hits first, ALMOST always
    Lots of Attacks
    Disrupts Psychic Powers
Weaknesses:
  • Don't do well if locked in combat
Overview:
Fiends are one of the best assault units in the game, to a point. They lack an AP value, though their Rending makes up for it, but their real benefit comes from their Soporific Musk. It reduces the Initiative on any unit they successfully charge by a whopping 5 points for that Assault Phase, allowing the Fiends to hit first in almost all situations should they get the charge. Successfully charging is made easy by the Fiends being Beasts, capable of moving quickly and not being slowed by terrain, and the Fleet that is inherent to all creatures of Slaanesh.
A unit of Fiends can be joined by a Herald of Slaanesh on a Seeker without being slowed by their presence, and together they can be an even stronger assault unit, with the strength and Loci effect of the Herald assisting the already powerful Fiends.
Finally, Fiends have the special rule Disruptive Song, which causes enemy Psykers within 12 inches to suffer -1 Leadership when taking Psychic Powers.

Recommended Wargear:
I recommend furnishing your Fiends with a Herald of Slaanesh on a Seeker with the Exalted Loci of Beguilement, for maximum benefit.


The Masque
The Eternal Dancer

The Masque was the greatest, most beloved handmaiden of Slaanesh. Her dances always entranced the Dark Prince, who took great pride in his creation, until one day when the Masque attempted ot cheer up her master after a bitter defeat against the other Gods of Chaos. Slaanesh saw her graceful dancing as mockery of his defeat, and cursed the Masque to dance forever, unable to ever stop for a single moment.

Strengths:
  • Powerful Malediction-like dances, with no Deny the Witch
    Re-roll failed Invulnerable Saves
    Even better stats than a Herald of Slaanesh
Weaknesses:
  • NOT a Herald, takes a whole HQ slot
    Unit of One, cannot join units
    Easily killed by enemy shooting
Overview:
The Masque can bring some powerful abilities to the table, her dance capable of neutering enemy shooting, preventing an enemy unit from fighting effectively in melee or moving, or even hitting an enemy unit with a low-Strength AP2 shooting attack. Regardless of how objectively good these abilities may be, none of them make up for the fact that the Masque takes up an entire HQ slot, and with only 2 Wounds at Toughness 3, is easily killed by enemy shooting.
The only situation in which I would advise taking the Masque is if you are making a Daemonette-themed list, and are not taking a Keeper of Secrets. In all other lists she is among the worst choices for a HQ slot.
Last edited by Whitewing on Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:31 am

Other, Lord of Stuff

The Daemons in this category have no standard patron deity, instead flocking to whatever God they prefer. The same variety of Daemon can vary greatly, depending on which of the Four they choose, and these differences can have a real impact on the battlefield. Of all the units available to a Chaos Daemons player, these are the most adaptable, allowing to you adjust them to your preferences or playstyle. It's also a great opportunity for some fun conversions!

All three of the units in this category *MUST* choose to become a "Daemon of X" for a particular god. When they do, they gain the special rules of all Daemons of that type. To recap, leaving off the Hatred rules:
  • Khorne: Furious Charge
    Tzeentch: Re-roll saving throws of 1, +3 to Leadership when making Psychic tests
    Nurgle: Shrouded, Slow and Purposeful, defensive grenades
    Slaanesh: Rending, Fleet, increased Run movement

Daemon Princes
Immortal Champions

Daemon Princes were once human, mortal champions of Chaos that grew in their patron god's favor until the ultimate blessing was bestowed upon them: Daemonhood. Unlike the other Daemons, raised mortals retain much of their personality, as they are more than simply fragments of the will of their master.

Daemon Princes fulfil two roles in a Daemon army, either as a decent HQ choice that is ultimately inferior to the Greater Daemons they emulate (Bloodthirsters are better at being Bloodthirsters, Lords of Change are better at being Lords of Change, and so on) or as a very powerful Heavy Support choice in their own right. In order to field them as a Heavy Support choice, you must take a Greater Daemon of one of the four gods, which then allows you to take Daemon Princes of that type as a Heavy Support choice.

Strengths:
  • Monstrous Creatures
    Lots of options available for customisation
    Can Fly
    Can be a Psyker
    Great statline, if not as good as a Greater Daemon
    Can take any of the secondary Psychic Disciplines (Divination, Biomancy, Telepathy) in addition to the Daemons discipline of their God.
Weaknesses:
  • Toughness 5 can be doubled out for Instant Death
    Can be very expensive
Overview:
Daemons Princes are a strong Heavy Support option if you are taking a Greater Daemon in your army, and a powerful HQ choice if you aren't. They tend to be quite expensive if you attempt to build them to emulate a Greater Daemon, but part of their strength is that you have the choice not to do this.

Because Daemon Princes vary so much depending on their daemonic alignment, I've split the recommended wargear section into four parts, one for each god.

Khorne Princes:
Ah, the bloodied champions of Khorne. By taking the Daemon of Khorne upgrade you lock off the ability to upgrade the Daemon Prince into a Psyker, so you had better make sure he can hold his own in close combat, because that is all he is really good for now. I strongly recommend Warp-forged armour to give him protection from weaker attacks, and both the Axe of Khorne and the Blade of Blood. With both of these weapons he gets the benefit of additional attacks when outnumbered, which will be often, as well as the incredibly useful Instant Death chance. A second Greater Reward can be beneficial, making the Daemon Prince tougher to kill, giving him a decent ranged weapon or making him even more dangerous in close combat with Armourbane and Fleshbane. Just make sure to roll each of your Rewards properly, taking the first upgrade if it is even remotely helpful (and most of the Greater Rewards are) and swapping the Blade of Blood if you roll Unbreakable Hide, as you already have a 3+ armour (if you took my advice).
On the subject of Daemonic Flight for Khorne Daemon Princes, in my opinion it is a helpful upgrade, but not essential. If you are tight on points, do not give your Khorne Prince wings, and instead drop him onto the field via Deep Strike, leaving him vulnerable to enemy fire for a single turn before he can assault. Obviously flying around the field is safer, to a point, but the two options are not so far apart that Daemonic Flight becomes a must-have. Take it if you like, but know it is not a necessity.

Tzeentch Princes:
Tzeentch Princes benefit from the fact that they can take Biomancy powers, which can improve them in close combat or help them survive enemy fire. That said, in my experience Tzeentch Princes excel in the same way as Lords of Change, flying over the battlefield raining down Blessings and Witchfire, rather than depending on their close combat abilities. With that in mind, my recommended upgrades are Daemonic Flight and Psyker Mastery Level 2, upgrading to Level 3 if you have the points. With Mastery 2, I would advise taking a power from Change and Psychic Shriek from Telepathy, leaving you with a powerful shooting unit capable of destroying units effectively with ranged attacks. At Mastery 3, I would suggest taking a second power from Change, as this gives you a guarantee to get either Bolt or Gateway, and a chance to have both. Considering Tzeentch Daemon Princes are best used as ranged units, I don't advise taking any of the Daemonic Weapons, though I do advise taking a Hellforged Artifact, either the Grimoire of True Names or the Portalglyph, if you have the points, as these items can truly change your games, for better or worse (we're talking about Chaos here, remember!)

Nurgle Princes:
SanityJames wrote:Just noticed something concerning your post for Daemon Princes of Nurgle. In 7th edition flying monstrous creatures now have the Jink special rule, regardless of their flight mode. This combined with shrouded provides a 2+ cover save out in the open as long as you aren't planning on shooting. Its something I stumbled onto in a recent game.
Thanks James! I'd completely overlooked this, Nurgle Daemon Princes with Wings can easily reach melee now, thanks to having a natural 2+ cover save if you choose to Jink.

With this in mind, Nurgle Daemon Princes make amazing bruisers, built for close combat with a handful of Biomancy powers to buff the already powerful creature to crazy levels, and the ability to take a Balesword for the Poisoned 4! Instant Death goodness, these guys will go toe-to-toe with almost anything in the game and come out on top.

Slaanesh Princes:
Slaanesh Princes are like a mix of the other three varieties, they can excel at close combat, buffing friendly units, or ranged attacks, and if you invest enough into them, they can even do all three! I consider Daemonic Flight to be a must for this unit, allowing them to cross the field of battle quickly(jumping forward and then running), repositioning for the most benefit and attacking the weakest element of your opponent. If you plan for them to spend much time in close combat, Warp-forged Armour is helpful, for reasons I have already stated. The Lash of Despair is useful if you plan on the Prince using it's psychic powers for Blessings rather than Witchfire attacks, it lacks AP but hits at Strength 6 from a Daemon Prince, easily capable of dealing with the rear armour of most vehicles. Regarding Psychic Powers, it's quite simple. Divination for buffing friendlies, Telepathy for debuffing and Psychic Shriek, and Biomancy for making the Prince even stronger. The Discipline of Excess is available to you, but I would advise with sticking to the rulebook disciplines, as they carry the most benefit. Once again, the Portalglyph and Grimoire of True Names are excellent Hellforged Artifacts for Slaanesh Princes, and I recommend them if you have the points.


Chaos Furies
Thralls of the Winds of Chaos

These barely sentient Daemons are made of the raw stuff of chaos, forming together from the random bits of detritus that flow on the winds of Chaos. They are easily subjugated by the four gods, and their appearance reflects those to whom they owe their allegiance.

Chaos Furies are a Jump assault unit, and with some of the Daemonic Alignment upgrades can be a decent cheap fast assault unit. With other Alignments, they can be quite lackluster.

Strengths:
  • Very Cheap
    Decent Strength and Initiative
    Jump Packs (wings)
Weaknesses:
  • Low Weapon Skill and Toughness
    Insanely low Leadership
    Only 1 Attack per model
Overview:
To start, the Nurgle and Tzeentch upgrades for Chaos Furies can be entirely discounted. Neither provides a tangible benefit in close combat, and without an edge in close combat this unit will lose a combat, forcing a Daemonic Instability check on Leadership 2, which essentially means the entire unit will disappear. With Khorne providing Furious Charge the unit has a better chance of wounding, and can even hurt lightly armoured vehicles, both of which are useful, but that pales in comparison to Slaanesh. The Rending Slaanesh provides the Furies allows them to tear through armour saves, meaning more dead enemies and less chance of an Instability check, allowing the Furies to go on living. With a Khorne or Slaanesh upgrade I can see units of almost any size of Furies working, with some careful positioning and target selection, but without those upgrades I can't advise them at all. They're not as bad as they were in out last Codex, but they're not improved enough that I think we will be seeing many of them in wide usage. If any unit in the codex comes close to being bad or useless, it is the Chaos Furies.


Soul Grinders
Doomstriders of Chaos

The true origins of the Soul Grinders are mired in legend, but if the stories are to be believed they are Daemons who have fallen on the battlefield, banished to the realm between the Warp and Realspace, known as the Soul Forge. They can languish there for time immemorial, but some lucky few are offered the chance to escape from their prison, by serving as a Soul Grinder, and dedicate themselves to the protection of the Forge.

Soul Grinders are great, great, great, fantastic units for any Daemon army. They are Walkers with 4 Hull points, high armour on their front and sides, powerful weapons and are our only reliable source of Skyfire. They can lay down devastating Large Blasts or wade into melee with the toughest units in the game, and win.

Strengths:
  • High Armour and Hull points
    Harvestor Cannon for free (Skyfire, hells yeah)
    Powerful Weapon upgrades (Ordinance, Torrent, or just stupidly strong)
    Daemonic Resilience (Ignore Crew Stunned and Shaken on a roll of a 2+)
Weaknesses:
  • Slow moving
    Standard Vehicle weaknesses (can be blown up quickly, if you are unlucky)
Overview:
I love Soul Grinders. They are a simply amazing Heavy Support unit, and I strongly recommend taking one in any Daemon army over 500 points. They give us dependable shooting, semi-capable anti-air, and a powerful close combat unit most opponents can't even damage. The Tzeentch, Slaanesh and Khorne upgrades for Soul Grinders are rather lackluster, but the Nurgle upgrade is incredible, especially if you give the Grinder the Phlegm Cannon and sit back behind cover shooting downfield, basking in your 3+ Cover save. Speaking of weapons, the three ranged weapons are all excellent, though Warp Gaze suffers from the Grinder's Ballistic Skill. Baleful Torrent is especially useful on a Deep Striking Soul Grinder, as you can easily flame out units that love to hide in cover, and Phlegm Bombardment is the weapon of choice for most commanders, for the long-range devastation it brings(note that the Phlegm Cannon is Ordnance, and if you choose to fire it your Harvestor cannon can only fire Snap Shots that turn. Also, you roll 2D6 for armour penetration, choosing the highest). The Warp Sword is a debatable upgrade, useful against units of Space Marines, as it has all the Ap you need, gives you +1 attack, and Master Crafted to allow you to re-roll a missed attack, and with a Weapon Skill of 3 you will likely miss a few attacks.
Last edited by Whitewing on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:06 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:32 am

Mono-God vs. Mixed-God

The Mono-God vs. Mixed-God debate is an endless one, because it comes down to personal preference, really. Arguments can be made by both sides that their preference is more powerful, in the case of Mono-God it is more focused, better at doing what it does, in the case of Mixed-God it is more varied, with fewer weaknesses.

In the end, it boils down to this: Do you want to play Mono-God? Then do so, it is just as viable as any other army type, though you will need to learn your units well, and be strategic in using them. Of course, the same is true of Mixed-God, but Mixed-God has so many more options available to them that tailoring an army to do a particular thing is easier, there is no need to learn the precise uses of, say, Nurglings in a competitive list of Multi-God.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:32 am

Prayer and the Art of Deep Strike

For this section to make sense to newer Daemons players, a little history of our army is necessary.

In 5th Edition, Chaos Daemons had the most unique method of deployment in the game. Before the game, we split our armies into two roughly equal forces, designating one as Primary and the other as Secondary. Both forces would begin the game in Deep Strike reserve, but on the Daemons Turn One, we would roll a D6. On a 3+, our entire Primary detachment would Deep Strike in, on a 1 or 2, the Secondary detachment would take its place. This meant that Daemons could start the game, Turn One, in their opponent's deployment zone, and the Art of Deep Strike was highly important to success as a Daemons player. With only half an army on the board, and not necessarily the half you were expecting, having every single unit arrive and be where you needed it to be was incredibly important.

When 6th Edition came around, and Daemons got their codex update, many Daemons players were excited to see that the old deployment rules had been done away with, and instead we deployed exactly like any other army. "No more Deep Strike!" was all over the forums, "I'll never use Deep Strike again!". Personally, I miss our old Turn One shenanigans, but more importantly, this attitude highlights a growing problem I've been seeing with Chaos Daemons strategy: Nobody uses Deep Strike effectively anymore.

Daemons NEED Deep Strike to be as effective on the battlefield as they can be. Sure, now you don't need to deploy your shooting elements by Deep Strike, and can shoot effectively from behind cover all game long, and that is a good thing, but so many of our units become incredibly weakened when they begin the game on the board.

Look at the humble Bloodletter. He has low Toughness, a 5++ save and nothing else to protect him from enemy shooting. He can't Move Through Cover, he has no Jump Pack, no Juggernought, and it takes a squad of Bloodletters up to three turns to get close enough to the enemy to assault them. Three turns of shooting from any shooty army worth it's chops, and the Bloodletters aren't just going to be weakened, they will be gone.

But if we, for example, have that same Bloodletter unit arrive by Deep Strike, he arrives on Turn Two (if you're moderately lucky, or have taken precautions, more on that later) but the squad arrives already in close proximity to an enemy unit, perhaps 6-15 inches away, depending on the Deep Strike scatter. The squad immediately Runs, moving an additional 3-4 inches closer to the enemy, and spreading out to prevent heavy losses from Blast weapons. A single turn of shooting later, they move up closer to their target and attempt to assault, having suffered only a third of the casualties their footslogging counterparts did to do so.

Obviously, Deep Strike has it's risks, but these are nowhere near as bad as they were in 5th Edition, with only a one in six chance now of losing the squad. These risks can be further moderated by following some basic rules of Deep Strike
  • Rule #1: The Golden Rule
    Be bold. You have a 1/3 chance of not scattering at all, and if your opponent has given you a weak spot to target and you're feeling lucky, whisper a prayer to the dice gods and go for it, Rules 2-5 be darned!

    Rule #2: Avoid The Edges
    Table edges are the natural enemy of Deep Striking units, they seem to shift and move in reaction to your scatter, magically becoming JUST close enough to prevent you from deploying. Avoid the edges of the table at all costs, maintaining at 12 inch gap between you and the edge. This Rule has a corollary, that being Corners are Traps. Table Corners are like table edges strapped with knives, they're even worse. Try not to Deep Strike into the table corner!

    Rule #3: Area Terrain Is Just Open Ground That Slows You
    You're playing Daemons, remember? Every unit has a 5++ save, so Deep Striking into cover simply gives you a 5+ cover save you won't use, and slows your unit down, preventing you from assaulting sooner. This isn't so much dangerous as it is a delaying trap, try to Deep Strike into open ground.

    Rule #4: Nobody Likes the New Guy
    When Deep Striking, it doesn't matter if the unit you accidentally land on is friendly or not, you still Mishap. Unless you are landing on a Chaos Icon, stay away from units, try to leave a good 9 inches between you and the next unit. This won't completely protect you from landing on them in a bad scatter, but it will limit the risk.

    Rule #5: Why Can't You Hold All These Gadgets?!?
    As a Chaos Daemon player, you have access to a couple of toys that other armies simply do not get to take. The Chaos Instrument allows you to easily guarantee that, if not ALL your Deep Striking units will arrive at once, at least MOST of them will. When rolling for reserves, be sure to roll the Instrument units first, and declare that the Instrument is bringing in an important unit, like Flamers or the Daemon Prince you're waiting to field. Next is Chaos Icons. These things are amazing, because they work like Teleport Homers, but better. yes, when trying to land on another God's unit, you can still scatter, but not by a lot, and on the same God's Icon you don't scatter at all. More importantly, the Chaos Icon can be used even when it did not start the turn on the board, allowing you to have a unit with an Instrument and and Icon in Deep Strike reserve, it will guarantee that a second unit will arrive this turn AND bring with it the perfect landing platform, meaning you can Deep Strike two or more units at once without worrying about scatter after the first "Landing Party" unit.

So those are the rules for how to go about Deep Striking, but how about deciding which units to Deep Strike? Well it comes down to personal choice, but I have included four guidelines that you might find useful. Feel free to follow them or not at your own discretion, they are simply suggestions.
  • 1: Slow assault units. This can be Bloodletters, Daemon Princes without Wings, or any other unit that can't close with the enemy quickly, but wants to assault as quick as they can.

    2: Suprise shooting! Units such as Horrors and Flamers excel at dropping into enemy lines and tying them up for a turn with devastating shooting, allowing other elements of your force to close without as much firepower being sent their way. Another option for this is Soul Grinders with the Torrent flamer, for added distraction.

    3: Skarbrand. I seriously advise Deep Striking Skarbrand, you can manipulate his buff to only effect friendly units that are assaulting on the turn he arrives, and it protects the universe's biggest CC nightmare from being shot to pieces quite as quickly, though it will still happen.

    4: Landing Party! If you find you have elite units in Deep Strike reserve, a small squad of Lesser Daemons with an Instrument and an Icon can help get those elite units onto the field in good order, and never underestimate the little Daemons! They can hold their own too!
In the end, Deep Strike is the kind of thing players need to get a feel for, and I strongly recommend that you go out and just try Deep Striking a little in casual matches. It's a skill like any other, you get better as you practice.
Last edited by Whitewing on Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica

Post by Whitewing » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:35 am

Conclusion

Thanks for reading my Chaos Daemons Tactica! Sorry it took so long to finish >.<

I'll be updating the Tactica as new FAQ's come out for Daemons, any changes I make will be tracked here in the Conclusion section, for those interested.

If you have any questions or problems with the Tactica, please leave a post and I'll answer promptly.

*15/01/2014* Edited a few sections, clearing up spelling errors and fixing a few grammatical flubs.
*29/01/2014* Altered the Nurgling entry to remove the reference to double Instant Death from high strength template weapons. Thanks to Marit Lage for pointing this out!
*29/01/2014* Altered the Fateweaver entry to more specifically address his Warlord Trait. Thanks again, Marit Lage!
*01/02/2014* Removed references to Monstrous Creatures being affected by Unwieldy. Thanks WolfsSOL!
*28/02/2014* Added a note regarding the Soul Grinder Phlegm Cannon being Ordnance, and altered the Lord of Change entry to reinforce that he cannot take 3 Change powers. Thanks Elster-Daemon!
*15/05/2014* Added the Exalted Flamer entry, far later than I should have. Sorry about the wait, guys!
*26/8/2014* Updated to take into account the 7th Edition rules, most notably the changes to Psychic powers, Flying monstrous Creatures and Chariots.
*27/8/14* Made a few changes to the Psychic Powers section to make Chaos Focus easier to find, also fixed a couple of spelling errors. Thanks Marit!
*28/8/14* Corrected a misapprehension in the Nurgle Daemon Prince section, thanks SanityJames!
Last edited by Whitewing on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:08 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica: 2014 Edition

Post by FrostFox72 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:44 pm

So would you say it's worth it to give a Great Unclean One the Eternal Blade or is it just best to take the Balesword? Doesn't seem clear to me, considering the GUO's Monstrous size would give AP2 and make it better. Seemed like a pretty good option considering, and I've used it to great effect before.
Otherwise great Tactica!

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Re: Chaos Daemons Tactica: 2014 Edition

Post by Marit Lage » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:53 pm

Strength six template weapons don't kill two bases of swarms anymore.
Chaos Space Marine Tactica (old)
Models painted in 2018:
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