Chaos Daemons codex review

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Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by Warzone40k » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:22 pm

The rules for Daemons have always been a challenge for GW game designers. In general, since the separation from the CSM codex, this army was very rarely balanced. Either too powerful or vice versa, completely incapable. So, by the end of the 7th edition, it was one of the top-ranking armies, even though the codex itself was not reissued for this edition. Mainly, the superiority was achieved due to magic, summoning, and the ability to charge the units up to a practically untouchable state. At the same time, there was no balance within the code itself - the most obvious solution was Tzintch daemons, while, for example, the demons of Khorne were totally useless. Thus, in the 8th edition, the authors faced a very important task - to write a complex and diverse codex into the framework of the new rules, making it balanced with respect to other codices, and within itself. Did this work?

At the time the index was released, the answer was unambiguous - no. And this is not an empty whine - the reasons are quite objective. Deepstrike, which used to be the key to the whole army, disappeared. Now we have an army without transport, protected with only 5 ++ (less often 4 ++), and aimed mainly at close combat.

In fact, the new mechanics of summoning is not so bad. It still leaves your army variability, allows you to adjust to the situation, and still delivers units closer to the enemy with kind of deepstrike. However, the fact that summoned units require points... Well, magic. As you know, the 8th edition is not about magic at all. And if it's about magic, it's only about smites. Instead of complex combinations with warp-charge pool, buffs and debuffs, now the most effective mechanics is snowing the opponent under smites. Very interesting. Also, most of the unique and unusual rules are now left behind, giving way to a standardized set of characteristics. The warp storm table, which made the game for demons especially interesting and fun, is now also in the past. In the end, the measures that were supposed to balance this codex with the rest dropped it almost to the very bottom.

Why did we talk so long about the index? Because all this is still relevant for the codex. All these drawbacks are not corrected in any way. Well, they are partly compensated by the strategists, which are really good in this codex - almost all are useful, and they force you to think and create various combinations. But do not forget that their use is limited. Left without command points by the third turn, you have the risk of losing all the advantage gained with their help. So, what is on the list?

There is a stratagem giving a deepstrike, a stratagem returning a unit, killed by the Grey Knights for free (!). The first you will use constantly, but the second one is situative. The current Grey Knights are too well prepared against daemons, and it is unlikely that the return of one unit will stop them. There is a stratagem that adds an extra dice for the summoning, and the other, allowing one character to call two units in a row. SO, they tell you that it is necessary to use summoning - otherwise, you have no chance to compensate the total lack of transport and a single deepstrike. However, there is a significant risk of losing the summoner before he gets close enough to the enemy.

This codex greatly encourages the armies of one god - only in this case you get the appropriate loci that really increases your potential. Stratagems also include three special for each god – for example, Khorne can re-roll to hit, strike twice, and generally, charge on 3d6. Coupled with a locus which gives you charge re-roll, this makes the demons of Khorne a very competitive choice. By the way, it is very important that most of these abilities work not for a unit, as in the other codes, but like an aura. It is a significant advantage.

However, the khornites fade in comparison with what Nurgle is capable of. In fact, this codex should be called "Daemons of Nurgle and their friends". Updated lineup, completely new units, and even a special terrain. And just an incredible number of combinations that can, for example, make usual Plaguebearers ultimate assassins by giving their weapon's damage 6(!!!) on the roll of 6+, and making them almost impossible to kill. Sure, you have to do your best to achieve it, but it’s quite possible.

And what about Tzeentch, who used to frighten all his opponents with just one name? And Tzeentch is over. You could already see kilograms of Brimstones at your second-hand miniature markets. The Changeling, the most popular Chaos character of this edition, now gives your units only doubtful 6+ FNP rather than majestic -1 to hit. It is doubtful that now it will be needed at least for someone. Stratagems are also completely uninteresting. Do you want to shoot another smite? To reroll its result? It is better to take Khorne, summon some Bloodcrushers and properly fight the enemy in close combat with re-roll of everything.

It may seem that we have forgotten Slaanesh. But no, it was not we who forgot it, but the game designers. They remembered, obviously, at the last moment, and they gave her maximally pointless strategems and abilities. You can reroll to hit only once per game, which for demons Khorne, for example, is unlimited. Given the smallest model range and the only one greater daemon that is still not updated, you are unlikely to go to the store for the demons of Slaanesh. After all, even in AoS, they are also in the same position.

Warlord traits, artifacts and magic work in the same way as the entire profile army, and, for the most part, are well combined with what we have already discussed. I am glad that there are many of them - a complete set for each god. There is even a separate discipline for Belakor, but you have already seen it in the CSM index.

Perhaps, this is the hardest codex to make a verdict for. It definitely raises the demons of Nurgle and Khorne from the bottom, making them playable and interesting. But, at the same time, it does not solve the problems outlined in the index and lowers the Tzeentch daemons to the bottom, where they have been long awaited by Slaanesh. Very pleased with plenty of stratagems, traits, magic. You definitely will not get tired of experimenting with this codex for a while. It is also interesting that, in fact, there are four codices in one. Although no one forbids you to combine daemons of different gods, mono-army will be much more effective. Therefore, it will be better if everyone put a mark for this codex themselves. After all, it will vary greatly, depending on your beloved god and how long you've been playing the Daemons.


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Re: Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by Cecil824 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:21 pm

Nice review.
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Re: Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by Koonitz » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:57 pm

Just to throw it out there, for those that like 'em, Tzeentch Screamers got a couple of pretty good buffs.

1) No longer need to advance to get the slashing fins roll. You just need to move, now. Frankly, having to advance to do it was almost useless. In almost all cases, if you're flying over an enemy unit, you are putting the Screamers in a position where they will want to charge, or die as they'll be out of position. By advancing, they can't charge, so they'll almost certainly be shot to ribbons. That and if you can advance over a unit, you can simply move to charge the unit, instead, which is almost always more beneficial.

Now you can charge after slashing, just like in AoS.

2) No more "only one of the models attacks can be lamprey bites". ALL attacks are lamprey bites. That's 3 attacks each model at +2 Str, -2 AP, 2 damage. This change affects chariots, as well.
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Re: Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by Zmyeevich » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:38 pm

Having played my first game with the new codex today, I can agree to many of the points in the OP. Tzeentch are not as good as before, Khorne works fine a a glass cannon, Slaanesh is as flimsy as Khorne, but not as deadly. I didn't field Nurgle, but from reading the codex I would judge it to be the most powerful of the four now.

I also found that my daemons have a very hard time dealing with medium-heavy tanks. With the previous dex (and edition), a Greater Daemon (LoC for the most part), a Daemon Prince, Screamers (and sometimes a grinder) provided some relieable anti-tank. Sure, you had to get into melee, but the units were much faster, and once there, you only had to get a few wounds through and the tank was gone. 1 unit of 6 screamers would reliably kill 3 Leman Russ tanks alone.

Today I played against Guard, who had plenty of infantry, as well as 4 Leman Russ Tanks, 2 Wywerns, and 3 armoured sentinels. My monsters never made it to melee and my screamers got 6 wounds of 1 Leman Russ. Sentinels died to some horrorshooting and some melee, but all 6 tank were still standing at the end of the game, most of them at full wounds. The tanks were boblewrapped in two layers of infantry each. Got 12 point to his 4, but I got tabled turn 4

How do daemons deal with tanks (and high T units in general) now)?

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Re: Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by Jeffers » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:16 am

I have never played daemons, but i have to admit that leman russ at T8 is a hard nut to crack for what they can do (a land raider is T8!). I suspect you need to be clever and summon or get a bloodthirster up the table to do it.

What other big hitters are avaiable?

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Re: Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by SweetSorrow » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:23 pm

What im reading from this review is that now would be a bad time to actually try and use my Slaaneesh or Tzeentch demons.....
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Well then, this is rather entertaining
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Re: Chaos Daemons codex review

Post by Cecil824 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:13 pm

So I've been combing through this a few days and I feel like Khorne is now a pretty solid choice overall. Bloodletters with their banner strategm, and instrument at 30 bodies with denizens of the warp deep strike makes for 60 str5, ap-3 hitting on 2's after making a charge of 8 inches on 3d6. Drop a bloodthrone (which is very cheap for a 7 wound 7 toughness model) and add an extra str for 60 str6 attacks ON TURN 1. While this sizeable unit would take some doing to place in the backfields of a strategically placed army, even taking out the front line screens is something you can accomplish fairly easily. True enough, after their damage is dealt its likely they'll be shot to death, but in the end, thats only 235 pts for a unit of death with 3 cps used to alpha strike.

Bloodthrones should be the herald of choice in my opinion, because it lends much greater survivability than the other heralds. T7 is a nut to crack and its still a character so it can hide behind the troops while buffing and being overall menacing.

Nurgle got a lot of new toys to play with, of course, but they did get some lackluster artifacts. Soul grinders are fairly priced and varied enough that any chaos daemons army could use them. Beasts of Nurgle are pretty inferior to Chaos spawn, though they're similarly priced.

Tzeentch and Slaanesh didn't get as much love, but there's still toys to play with. I'm fairly happy with the codex overall..and the general consensus is this is a Nurgle book, but I'd say its a gem for the other 3, particularly Khorne.
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