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Thomus Darkblade
12-10-2008, 02:35
Alright, well there has been much bemoaning on this forum about the power of the demon lists and it has been frequently suggested that someone start a “How to beat daemons” thread. I like many of you have struggled to defeat the demon players in my area. Nonetheless, I think it’s worthwhile to start a dialog.

Part one: Know thy Enemy.
Demons have a lot of tricks they can pull. Be sure you familiarize yourself with said tricks, as well as the cost of said tricks. For example it’s important to note that a herald with the staff of nurgle cannot also have slime trail. Points are limited in a demonic army, and occasionally the things you would assume will be there will actually have failed to make the cut.

Part two: Things to do.
1: SCR.
Many units that take a charge from a demonic unit aren’t going to have anyone left to strike back. To minimize the amount you lose by, maximize the static CR of units that will be facing demons. Fully ranked units should be used in conjunction with a BSB to maximize the chances of holding, and minimize the risk of being outnumbered by a fear causing enemy. Banners that grant +1CR to nearby units like the banner of Naggaryth are potentially good buys as well.

2: Shoot them
Demons are often extremely fast, and this cannot be counted on to defeat demonic armies, but it’s a must for softening up scary units like flamers, bloodthirsters and flesh hounds. Invest in some archers or crossbowmen, grab a bolt thrower or a cannon or 2.

3: Magic them
I hate magic, I think it’s the worst phase in the game. The demons however, are very good at it. They also have limited access to scrolls and therefore are rather susceptible to being magiced themselves. Magic is a Good way to enhance shooting, and is particularly good at dealing with obnoxious skirmishing units like flamers and screamers.

Also Beast cowers. Take the lore of beasts if there is a greater demon, this is a must dispel spell for a demon player, and is potentially game winning.

4: Outmaneuver them.
Easier said than done I hear you saying, and indeed it is. the demons have incredible access to skirmishers, fliers and movement 8-10 troops. This is however making up for their lack of units. A typical demon army at 2000 point s has maybe 7 or 8 units. Most other armies have 10-13. Use this to your advantage, put the demons in double jeopardy when you can. Also flee flee flee! Demons can’t and you (probably) can think of it like siren song for your army!

5: Plan for the grind-
If you’re going to take things like chariots and heavy cavalry make them as inexpensive as possible. The hammer heavy cavalry unit is asking for trouble ( I would also include things like griffons and manticores in this category, especially if they’re ridden my lance wielding characters. Plan on your units getting stuck in, even against units you would normally expect to steamroll.

Part 2! What not to do

Superhammerunit!

Ten knights with a warbanner is not going to cut it. Don’t even bother. They will be siren songed and then flanked. The possibility of siren song really means that you should avoid any “eggs in one basket” unit unless it’s very capable of taking care of itself (Black guard or grave guard come to mind. )

Part 3: The future.
Share your anti demon tactics here!

Makarion
12-10-2008, 17:24
Addition to #3:

Lore of Light is great against Demons. The castinbg values are low, so you can spam the spells (which means that their DD and on average 1 "scroll" won't cut it), plus the attacks spells do viable damage to demons. And let's not forget the ItP, to counteract the Fear and Terror.

Von Wibble
12-10-2008, 17:53
Just remember the banner of sundering if you do plan on using magic.

I personally think one difficulty weith daemons is teh fact that armies based around different gods have different approaches to being beaten.

Khorne - surprisingly fragile. Bloodcrushers die to shooting, bloodletters die to anything that can strike with a bucketload of attacks. Even dark elf spearmen give a fair account of themselves in combat if there are no heralds to help, and witch elves make a mockery of them! For other armies there are equivalents - 4 ogre bulls for example do pretty well. Flesh Hounds although really nasty are still a support unit, and if whittled down to 3-4 models become much less of a threat.

Summary - shoot them, and make sure you charge, or have lots of return attacks. And watch out for the +d6 charge banner!

Slaanesh - Lack of S means armour is great! Either have small units of heavy cav (should cost no more than 200pts!) or units of infantry with good T and at least 4+ save - in either case that bucketload of attacks doesn't mean so much. Shootnig is also nice as they have similar resilience to khorne (ironically fiends have more resilience than bloodcrushers?!) Ld is a pain but there are killable sources of this problem. Masque is very vulnerable to shooting for example even with that ward.

Nurgle - Static CR on 4+ save Ws 4 troops who are large in number means that even that nasty herald plaguebearer unit will rarely win combats by more than 2. Against Ld 7 with reroll you can tarpit them, with a considerably cheaper unit. Fire is an alternative, and simple avoidance a final option. Against beasts, heavy cav do well - 2 beasts attacks on average do 1 wound to T3 2+ save cav. If they outnumber and have a banner they win the combat!

Tzeentch - Think of a lot of spells as a shooting phase. Let flickering fire through - the average isn't spectacular. Once you are capable of doing that, prioritise flamers - they are actually rather good in combat but won't win combats due to static cr. Once this is allowed for their magic is about on a par with VC and elves- use a similar defense.

Greater Daemons - some spells such as beast cowers are very useful. A lot of armies have dragon riders that can handle all but the blooodthirster in combat - at the least this restricts his freedom.

Conclusion - A well picked balanced army that does not focus too much on the power of 1-2 units will, if played correctly, give daemons a close game. Ensure you have elements tro deal with each god, in short.

Thomus Darkblade
12-10-2008, 19:55
magic is about on a par with VC and elves- use a similar defense.

Well back up a minute. Elven mages are quite easy to kill, vamps are harder of course. I've found that the Tzeench mages are quite nasty. They're often on their flying chariots, which are among the most survivable in the game thanks to their built in 4+ ward. Not to mention the potential iridescent corona and the fact that it can fly.

Normally the way to beat chariots are to hit them with a s7 hit or to hit them in the flank or rear with a light but fast unit.

Iridescent corona will ruin most light units before they can strike, and the 4+ ward means that one s7 hit won't cut it nearly enough.

The solution is to take a very fast character that can take a s3 hit no problem and that can throw out many s7 attacks. JSOD, Talisman of the Lynchi, and eagle or pegasus mounted characters with starlance/caledor's bane are ideal for this.