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nick_robinsonchia
14-07-2009, 16:42
TACTICA : DEMON PRINCE

Disclaimer : This is based purely on effectiveness. Please do not take offence if you're favorite character is not in here. Theme has its place as does army list disection. This Tactica is based on the latter. A general outline is in this thread http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209417

CONCLUSIONS

(I will put at the top as it’s a fairly long read)

1. Their role as best determined by the internal mechanics of the list is that of a HIGHLY MOBILE, TERROR BOMBING, HUNTER OF THE WEAK AND ANNOYING. If you do not need this role within you’re army DO NOT include him.
2. Demon Princes are not strong candidates for Tournament play as their uses are nearly redundant against a lot of the more high powered armies.
3. They can be useful in one off games if supported right and if chosen to support the tactics of a List.
4. If you go Magic Heavy in 99% of occasions a sorceror lord will be better at the job. Keep them cheap (relatively and stick to the plan with them if you think you’re tactics even warrant the inclusion of one.
5. HOWEVER if u can fulfill you’re main role as detailed above (and you believe that role is absolutely necessary) – whilst contributing with other spells it could be worth it. This WILL make you’re Prince nearly prohibitively expensive tho. So use with caution.
6. It comes down to preference and style. If you can organize yourself and your army to provide enough threat to lessen the exposure to the Prince maybe you will find him useful. If you are at all nervous about putting such an expensive model in harms way you are better off not opting for the Prince.
7. As always we are not in a vacuum. A Prince can strongly enhance the mage hunting capacities ofa WoC list, possibly impacting choices from the get go. A BSB is a boon to a Prince BUT should only be included on its own merits.

ASSUMPTION: YOU MUST HAVE A STRONG REASON/PURPOSE TO TAKE A DEMON PRINCE THAT FITS IN WITH YOU’RE OVERALL GAMEPLAN.

Demon Princes are supposed to be better than Chaos Lords. According to fluff the pinnacle of destruction available to a Warriors of Chaos Army. Sadly the rules provided do not match this. So a lesson to be learnt is FORGET THE FLUFF AND SEE THE PRINCE FOR WHAT HE ACTUALLY IS. I’m not going to say flat out that he’s useless or inefficient, but for certain tasks he is amazingly inefficient. Perhaps more so than any other entry in the Warriors of Chaos list, Demon Princes MUST be considered as part of an overall strategy and the inclusion of one must suit the tactics of the List. They are not a good cover-all unit like the ubiquitous Mounted Exalted on juggernaut with flail or a unit of chaos knights. You MUST PLAY TO THE PRINCES STRENGTHS. When you look at the point differential between a Chaos Lord and a Demon Prince you might think that its not so bad. You gain Fly, Terror, Stubborn on Ld8, +1 Wound, 5+ ward, US 3 (only useful in a few situations i.e when you are fighting a non ITP character on a steed, or that 3 is combined to a unit of Knights to just autobreak an enemy for example), and the option of generating a precious dispel dice at 40 points. But without access to tools that heighten stronger combat offence or serious magic offence the demon prince is made redundant, efficiency wise, for either specific purpose. It’s probably a good idea to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Prince in relation to the WoC list.

STRENGTHS- A flyer that causes terror with a gift that can give -1 to any checks (The cheapest terror bomber the list can field). This is good vs some armies but useless versus two of the most powerful lists out their – namely VC and Demons. Worth noting.
- A flyer that is stubborn that cannot be autobroken by fear. With toughness 5 and upwards of a 5+ ward and 4 wounds this can make a reasonable, highly mobile, tarpit vs the correct opponent – especially if a BSB is hovering around.
- Within the WoC list internal synergy a Prince is, in tandem with a solid list, is good for hunting down solo mages. With the killing potential of the WoC list opponents might not like the idea of having their precious mages sitting in units ready to be run down. With the prince they have a tough decision.
- A flyer that has decent light infantry/fast cavalry killing capability. With the option for frenzied knights, and beastly combat units canny opponents can make a mockery of you’re carefully laid out plans because there is NO option to increase a Prince’s combat offence you can look at his stat line up as an absolute (ignoring the mark of Khorne and flaming sword at this point – both options I tend to steer away from in general play.) He will likely be able to get the drop on most units so light units without large static CR are fair prey for him.
- A cheapish dispel dice to bolster defense without expending a character slot. I am generally against a magic heavy prince as the points mount up far too quickly, and without access to arcane items etc the overall phase is rather poor. It does not provide a good synergy between his natural strengths. It is my opinion if you are going magic heavy take the sorcerer lord.

WEAKNESSES
- No allowance for magical/mundane items. This limits the role capability of the Prince severely. Yes they can take gifts but few are worth it for a role specific prince. So basically looking at the stat line up and options for a magic offence you would think they would be absolute beasts in either or both options. Sadly this is not the case. They are very light hitters, and weaker spellcasting wise than a sorcerer lord because of a higher base cost and no acces to the WoC magic items.
- Demon princes suffer the same weaknesses as Chaos Lords within the internal workings of a WoC army. There are a plethora of high strength attacks available from troops so the points spent on fighty characters are internally redundant a lot of the time.
- Expensive. And with a lot of upgrades these guys hit 550ish points and it is hard to argue even underfavorable circumstances that they are worth that much. Keep em cheap with a specific purpose and you might find a use for them
- Cannot join units.
- Reasonably susceptible to S4 small arms fire and obviously cannonballs etc.

ADD IT ALL UP AND YOU HAVE ONE SPECIFIC ROLE…

That of a HIGHLY MOBILE, TERROR BOMBING HUNTER OF THE WEAK AND ANNOYING. The role I would see a demon prince playing in a WoC army is a specific niche role and equipped properly they actually perform it well despite the points cost. Consider my favorite and one of the few efficient setups for a Prince.

Demon Prince : Mark of Tzeentch – Fury of the Blood God, Diabolic Splendour, 1 magic lvl, steam of corruption (optional). @410/430

THE GOOD
Flying Terror/Fear with a -1 leadership modifier, MR 2, Toughness 5 with a 4+ Ward Save, 3+ ward save vs Spells, 1 Dispel Dice, 1d6 Flickering Fire on a 3+, a one shot breath weapon with a -1 to any resultant panic tests, 5 S5A and stubborn on leadership 8. This guy excels at killing the ‘soft’ parts of an enemy army. Warmachines, fast cav, missile troops, small units of elite infantry. Many of which can be a problem for heavy cav, frenzied armies. Done properly he can descend on an area of the battlefield, flickering fire one unit (if combined with a reasonable magic phase) with a -1 to panic, breathe on another unit and set up terror tests (at -1 again) for anything that hasn’t fled with follow up charges to other weakpoints. Expensive yes?? Absolutely. But actually good at what he does and rather difficult to kill if you use him properly.

THE BAD
This guy is obviously fantastic against certain armies but very inefficient versus others. For example against demons and undead his terror bombing and panic capacities are severely reduced. So he is reduced to small unit hunting, redirecting etc. Expensive for a role that can be easily fulfilled by other units. It’s the combination of ALL of his abilities that makes him viable in certain games.

AUGMENTING THIS ROLE.

4 levels of magic on a demon prince is not the best way to spend your lord choice if u want to go magic heavy in most circumstances. Take the following for example.

Option #1 - Demon Prince – MoT – Fury of the Blood God, Diabolic splendour, steam of corruption, conjoined Homonculous. 4 magic levels @ 575p
Option #2 Sorceror Lord – Mot – Skull of Katam, Eye of Tzeentch, Book of secrets, Diabolic splendor, Disk @ 445p

There is no basic synergy between the Princes stat line, corresponding point cost and the ability to cast. The sorcerer Lord is 130p cheaper and is a much better caster with better survival capabilities. HOWEVER if u can fulfill you’re main role as detailed above (and you believe that role is absolutely necessary) – whilst contributing with other spells sometimes it could be worth it. The lore of Tzeentch for example only has one magic missile, leaving 4 spells (3 spell vs ITP enemies – Remove Treason.) that could potentially be useful in the overall scheme of things. Gateway, Baleful Transmogrification and Pandemonium – all awesome spells under the right circumstances.I consider call to glory next to useless as I run mainly cavalry lists and honestly, its uses are very limited.

There are some synergies that can occur, when considering other lores, but I believe the point cost again is not efficient. The flaming sword of rhuin combined with a Princes statline results in a killing machine. But you can bet your opponent, if canny, won’t let it off. Further to this to make use of it you need to be in combat so the tasty magic missiles in the list are made redundant because the prince will be engaged. The synergy is weak. The lore of Death and heavens presents some interesting options, allowing rerolls and spells that arn’t magic missiles. The thing is… apart from the sword of rhuine and steal soul, both in mutually exclusive lists, the spells can be better employed on different elements in you’re army. Like portent of far on knights/DO etc. The problem is without the skull of Katam your averages are not good for many lists. With Access to 7 maximum Power Dice on you’re Prince (PF from another sorceror) and no bonuses to cast (excluding Tzeentch) the lores available don’t present very appealing averages for getting off a lot of spells – the trick to a good magic phase.

A Sorceror Lord with the skull of Katam is a better bet all around if magic heavy is you’re main goal.

Death probably provides the best synergy for a magic Heavy prince. Doom and darkness provides nice synergy with his terror bombing and steal soul will make your prince likely to stay alive longer, whilst Drain life will be quite brutal with you’re fly move, terror bombing positioning etc, especially with any resultant panic checks being at -1. Consider the Terror Bombing Prince with 4 levels in death magic.

Demon Prince – Fury of the Blood God, Diabolic Splendour, conjoined Homonculous, Steam of Corruption, 4 lvls of Magic @ 555p

Dark Hand 5+
Steal Soul 8+
Wind of Death 8+
Walking death 9+
Doom and Darkness 9+
Drain life 10+

On AVERAGE (and im a firm believer of playing the averages) you need 3 to cast drain life, which leaves a possible 4 that he could use… so then say he casts wind of death – and to keep efficient lets say he uses two dice and pops off the conjoined homonc to make certain of it. (personally im not a big fan of conj homonc on lord options – much prefer to have it on a level 2). With 2 dice remaining available to him the only spell he can successfully cast on average is Dark hand. So essentially we are looking at getting off 3 spells
A lot of his usefulness would depend on what spells he rolls. For example Doom and darkness is useless against our major culprits of demons and undead (vs them you may as well take fire…) and he is not as well protected against small arms fire as the Tzeentch lord etc but he tends to emanate a radius of effect around him with terror possibly combined with doom and darkness. Then drain life can cause havoc in a tightly packed line. Steal soul will help him stay alive as he will be exposed a lot using this approach. This guy is very hit or miss tho… For a few more points you could get a Dragonlord… Against certain armies (I.e anything not majorly consisting of IT) he could well be devastating especially if supported by the rest of the army. He can choose his lores if unmarked though which is quite useful.
At the end of the day though you are looking at one very expensive model. And to make proper use of him you need to put him in harms way to generate those panic/terror checks, destroy those annoyance enemies etc. It comes down to preference and style. If you can organize yourself and your army to provide enough threat to lessen the exposure to the Prince maybe you will find him useful. If you are at all nervous about putting such an expensive model in harms way you are better off not opting for the Prince.

NOT IN A VACUUM!!!

As always when considering a unit/character we must recognize that we are not in a vacuum and that decisions must be made on the tactics of the list. Lets consider a few things.

1.A Prince greatly benefits from a BSB. It allows him not only to tackle light units but larger ones if a tarpit is necessary. A rerolleable stubborn on ld 8 is fairly reliable for holding up an enemy. HOWEVER that BSB must be useful and worth inclusion in the army on his own merits. The prince is exoensive as it is. Having a BSB following him around for no particular point is a terrible idea. But for example if you field the fantastic Exalted on juggernaut BSB with flail and warbanner regularly and it just so happens that he is within 12” of the Prince so much the better, as it allows you to take more risks and essentially gives you more options.
2.Mage Hunting – A Warriors of chaos list offers a strong mage hunting capability. You have very fast hard hitting units that can shatter ranked bunkers from the front (CK and to a lesser extend DO), as well as maneuverable fast cav that can charge and snipe at caddies etc (MH particularly with the MoS). Combine that with the Demon princes ability to fly and destroy lone wizards easily you have a strong mage hunting force. This could influence you’re overall tactics substantially. You could go with maybe one dispel caddy saving points that way. Or you could make a middle of the road magic phase a lot more powerful in the latter stages of the game.

Regards

Nick.

Witchblade
14-07-2009, 17:12
DP, MoT, Tendrils of Tzeentch, Third eye of Tzeentch, L4

4+ ward, Gateway spammer. Third eye gives alternative options for the turns when your opponent still has scrolls or when you don't roll Gateway (a real bummer).