View Full Version : A long and detailed codex Chaos Daemons review/analysis

01-06-2008, 21:48
I just bought the new codex Chaos Daemons and read it (well, actually I bought it a week ago, as it took a long time to write this review). Overall, I think it's a decent book, although there are some things that I believe could be better. Anyway, I decided to write a review which analyzes all the units in the codex, as well as the army list in whole. The analysis assumes the rumoured 5th edition version of Rending (ignores saves on a 6 to wound, adds D3 penetration to vehicles on a roll of 6).

I'm probably not going to start a pure daemon army (at least not in the near future), but I do play Emperor's Children and Death Guard CSM and have a fair amount of Nurgle and Slaanesh daemons, and I also have some experience with Khorne. Although allies are not permitted in the current rules of 40k and the CSM and Daemon codexes cant't be combined in a single detachment, there's nothing preventing me from taking two detachments - one CSM and one Daemon - in friendly games (of course, it is common courtesy to decide beforehand how many detachments each player is allowed to take). So I'm planning to field a detachment of Slaanesh Daemons alongside with my Emperor's Children, and Nurgle Daemons alongside my Death Guard. However, since the daemon codex is supposed to be a stand alone list, I will write this review assuming that the daemons are used as an army of their own, and therefore none of their choices are "competing" with CSM. I will be mostly talking about mixed god armies, but I'll write a few words about mono god armies as well.

I have not played any games with Codex Chaos Daemons yet, so the analyses will be pretty theoretical. Although I have pretty strong opinions about some things, just because I think that a certain choice is not useful, doesn't necessarily mean that there couldn't be some cunning way to use it effectively - I have definitely not thought about all the possible strategies that this codex may allow. Because I like to analyze even little details, I believe this review will turn out to be pretty long, but I hope you'll bear with me. One more thing before I'll get on with the actual review: whenever I compare units in the codex to their previous incarnations, I'm of course referring to the "version 3.5" Chaos Space Marine codex, which had rules for most of the daemons in the new book.

I'm going to start by talking about the general special rules for the army. The most important of these army special is Daemonic Assault. The daemon army has unique set up rules. You divide your army into two parts. One of them will deep strike on the first turn, and the others will deploy by deep strike when they become available from reserve. One of the trickiest parts of this rule is that you won't be sure which faction will deploy during turn 1. 1/3 of the time the Chaos Gods will decide that you have to deploy the part that you hadn't intended. This means that you will have to use some serious tactical thinking when splitting your army. You should have some sort of a battle plan regardless of which faction appears on turn 1. One answer that could work is splitting your army into two identical (or almost idenctical) factions. This could be a bit boring though, as you'd need to have an even number of each unit type.

Deep striking is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It gives a clear advantage to slow-moving close combat units, as they can deep strike fairly close to the enemy and don't have to trek accross the entire field. On the other hand, you could scatter into an unfavourable location, and you'll always be in nice formation to be blasted by a template (However, there are 5th edition rumours that say that you could run after deep striking. That would fix that latest problem.). Also, your units could be destroyed if you deep strike on top of an enemy or friendly unit. This means that you'll have to be quite careful with your deployment, and you may be forced to deep strike furher away from the enemies than you have intended to keep them safe from "deep strike mishaps" - this is especially true if the board is smallish and you have an army with large number of models. Having Icons can help you defend against that kind of accindents, but unfortunately their point cost is very high.

All Daemons have invulnerable saves. Some also have an armour save (4+ or 3+), but most of them only have the invulnerable. This creates an interesting metagame aspect in tournaments and could work in the daemon's favour. Since most people load up on low AP and power weapons because of the large amount of MEQ armies around, you could make those expensive weapons redundant by taking only models that don't have armour saves.

Now I'd like to analyze the HQ choices.

The Greater Daemons are all big and nasty. Most people will probably be tempted to include at least one in their army. If you include the special characters, there's a total of 7 different GD's to choose from, so someone with an "undivided" daemon army could have trouble deciding which one to take - and I'm definitely not saying that it's a bad thing. :)

The Bloodthirster is best choice in terms of strength and raw close combat killing power. He's lost one point of base strength, but that can be remedied by taking an upgrade - although I think that the upgrade is slightly too expensive to be a competitive choice. Even without the upgrade, the Thirster can still instant kill T4 models on the turn he charges, and his vehicle penetration is already very good without the upgrade, so I don't think that the upgrade is necessary at all. The Thirster's WS and I have been improved, and he now has Furious Charge. He still has his armour and wings. He is even more expensive than he used to be in the 3.5 CSM codex. However, you should remember that in the CSM codex you had to sacrifice a Champion, which was typically around a 30 point extra cost to the Thirster, so his "effective cost" hasn't been increased that much.

The Thister can take a ranged attack called Death Strike, but it's practically just a plasma pistol that doesn't overheat and can't be rapid fired. Also, it costs more than plasma pistols cost for BS5 CSM and SM characters, although the BT has only BS4. Altough the daemon army has limited amount of ranged firepower and any extra help would therefore be welcome, this attack only has range 12", so it doesn't really help. By the time you're in range to use it, the BT is ready to assault and massacre its target in close combat next turn. I would not spend points on this upgrade. I also wouldn't buy an instrument of Chaos, which lets him win a drawn combat - he should be almost always winning anyway! The only "good" upgrade is Blessing of the Blood God, which is pretty much the same as a Collar of Khorne used to be (slightly weaker, actually) - but even then, it's only useful if you except to face lots of psychic attacks.

The Keeper of Secrets is also very good. Like the BT, his/her point cost has been jacked up, but part of that increase can be accounted by the removed need to sacrifice a Champion. Like the BT, his basic strength is lower than it used to be, but it can be brought back up with an upgrade. I don't think that upgrade is usually necessary, though. His WS, BS and A have improved, and he now has the highest initiative in the game! He also comes with fleet and "assault and defensive grenades" included in his/her base cost. I'm not 100% sure if "assault grenades" work as frags or plasmas in the 5th edition, but the KOS would definitely prefer the plasma grenades effect. He is the least resilient of the Greater Daemons, but he is still just as resilient as he used to be in the old rules. He has more attacks than any GD except for Skarband, who has him tied.

I think that the KOS is good value for points. His upgrades are more useful than the BT's. The best is Soporific Musk, which gives him Hit & Run at a reasonable point cost. Pavane of Slaanesh is okay. It's a weaker and more expensive version of Lash, which doesn't require a psychic test, but requires a roll to hit. Since it's quite expensive, I probably usually wouldn't take it for the KOS, especially as using it will prevent her from fleeting. Transfixing gaze removes one attack from an enemy in close combat and Daemonic Gaze is a nice multiple shot AP3 shooting attack that has a decent range and a fairly cheap point cost - I'd consider taking it. The choice between a BT and a KOS for a close combat monster GD is tough. The KOS is cheaper (even after you buy her soporific musk) in points, has better Initiative, more attacks and is generally more versatile. However, the BT moves faster (jump infantry is better than fleet), is stronger and more resilient (because of his armour). I'd probably go for the KOS most of the time, although the choice is not easy.

The GUO is slow and tough, as you'd expect for Nurgle. He's also the cheapest Greater Daemon, which is a benefit especially in games with lower point limits. He has lost a wound, but gained feel no pain, so in general he's probably more survivable than before. Actually, while we're still in the 4th edition the GUO has almost godlike resilience, as even against lascannons or railguns he'll be able to save 75% of the time. Unfortunately it appears that in the 5th edition FNP will be made weaker, as all AP1 or AP2 weapons will apparently be able to ignore it. The GUO still won't be too easy to kill. FNP will keep him pretty safe from basic weapons, and he still has the 4+ invulnerable against big stuff.

Slow and Purposeful will be a problem for the GUO, as it is for all Nurgle daemons that have it. You'll have to hope for favourable deep strike scatter rolls which will bring him close to the enemy. He is now a bit more effective in close combat than he used to be, as his WS and A have improved and he has gained Noxious Touch, which allows him to always wound on a 2+ in close combat. He no longer has those neat extra Nurgling attacks, though. He has lost a point of strength, but it is pretty irrelevant because of Noxious Touch. He has the option to take a strength upgrade, but it is practically worthless. Who wants to pay the cost of a Marine to gain +1 Strength which will only ever be useful against vehicles? That's one of the most useless options in the codex. The designers should either have left it out or make it cost like 5 points.

The GUO can take Cloud of Flies, which work like assault and defensive grenades, for an attractive point cost. Unlike the KOS, the GUO would prefer assault grenades in 5th edition to work like frag grenades (instead of the plasma grenade effect), as his Initiative still sucks. He can take Breath of Chaos, which is basically Wind of Chaos without a psychic test. It's quite expensive, but probably worth it. Besides, it's fluffy, as it could represent a vomit attack. Finally, he can take an Aura of Decay, which is a bit like Nurgle's Rot, but better. It's now a S2 attack instead of "wounds on a 6", which means that it can now wound T3 models on a 5+. Also, it now affects only enemies and not friendlies. I think it's a good choice if you except to be swarmed by hordes of T3 critters like Gaunts.

The Lord of Change is now as expensive as the Bloodthirster, so he experienced a very high price hike. He has lost a point of Initiative, and his WS has gone down significantly. His BS has been improved, though, and he now has a 3+ invulnerable. I personally don't think that the LoC is good enough for the points. He's basically a mix of close combat and ranged power, but I don't think that he really excels in either when you consider his point cost. He does have two decent shooting attacks: bolt of change which is now AP1 and Daemonic Gaze which shoots several AP3 bolts. Still, he has to fire both weapons at the same target unless he takes an insanely expensive "We are legion" -upgrade. He can take additional "psychic powers" (Wind of Chaos and Gift of Chaos equivalents) and an upgrade which allows him to use a third power per turn, but he gets insanely expensive if you deck him out. He has a "Soul Devourer", which is basically a Diresword - so it's much less powerful than an actual force weapon. Even though he has some resilience, mobility and versatility, I still think that the LOC is a bit overpriced.

Skarbrand is like a Bloodthister, but has fleet insted of jump infantry (wings cut off). He has +1 S and +1 A compared to a normal BT. He has Breath of Chaos, which means that his ranged capability is more devastating (although even shorter ranged) than what a normal BT could take. He allows all friends and foes within 24" to reroll failed rolls to hit in HtH, which could be a double edged sword. He's only 50 points more expensive than a normal BT. Actually, if a BT could take Breath of Chaos (at the cost that other daemons have to pay), then a BT with the strength upgrade, instrument of chaos (Skarband has an equivalent) and Breath of Chaos would cost 5 points more than Skarband. So basically you'll have to decide if swapping wings for fleet and + 1 attack and the 24" special rule is "for free" is worth it. I think it just might. While I don't think that Skarbrand is necessarily awesome, I don't thint that he's too bad either.

Ku'Gath the Plaguefather is very expensive - almost twice the cost of an unupgraded GUO, in fact. He does have lots of gifts and special rules, though. He also gets +1 W and +1 A compared to a normal GUO. He has 55 points worth of normal GUO upgrades included in his cost (all of whom I think are pretty good value for their points as they are). He has a 24" ordnance attack that wounds on a 4+ and has AP2. He can also create a swarm of Nurglings on a 4+ each turn. You have to decide if the ordnance attack, ability to create Nurglings, + 1 W and + 1 A is worth 85 additional points. I'm not sure if they are, but Ku'Gath sounds like a fun character, so I might try him out. I think that especially in lower point limit games a normal GUO might be the better choice.

Fateweaver is strange. He has a bucketload of psychic powers and can use 3 of them each turn. However, he has lower stats than any other GD and is pretty sucky in HtH, especially for a GD (only 2 S5 attacks at WS4). He's also more expensive than any other GD - in fact, he's almost as expensive as the Nightbringer! (Not that I'm really comparing him to the Nightbringer, I'm just shocked by his point cost.) There's also a risk that he'll run after the first wound suffered if he fails a Ld test. His Ld is 9, so that will happen about 1 in 6 times. I guess the reason for his insane cost is his ability to re-roll all saves, which extends to friendly models within 6". With only a 1/9 chance of failing his re-rollable 3+ invulnerable and 1/6 chance of failing the Ld test, he's not too easy to banish. Apparently, you will want to keep as many friendly models near him as possible, to get the most out of the re-roll. Getting the most out of this character will probably require some cunning tactics. I can't decide whether he'd be worth the points or not - I'd have to test him first.

01-06-2008, 21:50
Now we come to the Heralds. I have to say that I think they all feel quite weak (Here I mean weak in the absolute sense, not necessarily weak for their points) - at least the generic versions . 2 wounds seems a bit too little for Daemon lords, and their other stats arent't awesome either. Still, being able to take two per HQ choice is nice, and their point cost are not too terrifying (although I consider them generally a bit too weak for their costs). Let's look them in more detail.

The Khorne Herald is the most expensive one. I think he's still decent for his points, as he comes with a power weapon built in, has good WS, decent Initiative and Furious charge. Some other armies can get significantly stronger HQ choices for similar point costs (Tyranid Broodlord, for example), but of course you don't have the option to take those instead, so it doesn't tell us how valuable a Khorne Herald is to the Daemon army. I would have made the Khorne Herald slightly less expensive, but I don't think that the point cost makes him unusable. I think that 3 attacks is a bit little for a close combat specialist HQ, though. There's no option to take take two close combat weapons to increase the number of attacks, as most HQs in other armies do. The only way to increase the number of attacks is to mount the Herald on a Jugger or Chariot. Inability to take grenade equivalents is also a minus for a lose combat HQ.

The Khorne Herald has quite many options. Some of them are well worth it, some are not so. He can take Iron Hide, which gives him a 3+ armour save. The cost isn't too terrible. However, as I explain later, this option is a bit redundant. He can take an Icon. Icons are the same cost for everyone, and the cost is pretty high. I'm not sure if they are worth it at that cost. Being able to deep strike without scatter is valuable, but the point cost feels unfairly high. He can take a Collar of Khorne equivalent, which is cheap in points. However, I don't think it's as useful for a Herald as it is for a Bloodthirster. Because the Herald is usually in a unit, he wont't be taking wounds from psychic attacks very often (in the new rules it doesn't nullify any powers, it only gaves the user an invulnerable save of 2+ against wounds caused by psychic attacks). However, if you mount the Herald on a Chariot, which removes his Independent character status, the Blessing might be more useful as he could be direcly targeted.

The Khorne Herald can take a Jugger or a Chariot as a mount. Neither of them increase his movement. I think that the Jugger is a steal for the points. It gives him Iron Hide, +1 S, +1 T, +1 W and +1 A. It only costs 20 points more than Iron Hide alone, and does not remove his IC status. 20 points for those stat bonuses is so cheap that I don't see the point of taking Iron Hide without a Jugger. In fact, I'd consider the Jugger almost a mandatory upgrade for the Khorne Herald. The Chariot is actually cheaper than the Jugger, and gives him all the bonuses of a Jugger, and one additional wound. The only downside is that he loses his IC status. That's a pretty big disadvantage, though, as he can then be freely targeted. Still, a Herald with a Chariot is not too expensive - about one third of the cost of a Bloodthirster. He's not very fast, but can be deep striked (like all daemons). He has 5 WS6 I6 S6 power weapon attacks on the charge! Although he's an open target, he wont' go down too easily with T5, 4 wounds and a 3+/5+(I) save. I don't think that's too bad for a cost of well under 100 points. A Herald on a Khorne is probably not the most competitive choice ever (you could take two Bloodcrushers for the cost), but fun anyway, and it's not like you're really hurting yourself by taking one.

Finally, the Khorne Herald can take Death Strike, Unholy Might or Fury of Khorne. I don't think that any of these are particularly good for the points. Death Strike as basically a plasma pistol that can't be rapid fired and doesn't overheat, but the Herald only has BS3. I wouldn't buy it for the points it costs. Unholy Might gives him +1 S, which is always good. However, with a Jugger he's already S5, with S6 on the charge. I probably wouldn't like to pay the amount it costs to further increase the S, although the choice isn't too terrible. Fury of Khorne gives him rending, but that's quite useless in the 5th edition, as rending works on the wound roll. With a Jugger or Chariot, he can already wound any model in a game (even a Wraithlord or C'Tan), and he already ignores armour saves, so rending gives absolutely zero bonus against infantry. Against vehicles, it gives the extra D3 penetration if you roll a 6. I don't think that bonus alone is worth the points it costs. If you really wanted to go crazy, though, you could take a Jugger (or a Chariot), Unholy Might AND Fury of Khorne. That way he could actually penetrate the armour of a Land Raider if he's lucky. Still, that will cost quite a lot of points, and he still needs to get close enough to hit the LR at footslogger speed. Although there are relatively few anti-tank options in the Daemon list, I think that some of them are way better than this.

So, in general I think that the Khorne Herald can be useful if given the right tools. Here's a summary of my opinions on his upgrades.

Juggernaut: Almost mandatory, excellent value for points.
Chariot: Fun and not too expensive. Probably not very competitive in tournaments, but you won't really hurt yourself by taking a chariot Khorne Herald or two.
Fury of Khorne: Not worth the points.
Death Strike: Not worth the points.
Blessing of the Blood God: Only consider it for a Chariot Herald. Otherwise, not worth the points.
Iron Hide: Not too expensive, but redundant because of the Jugger.
Chaos Icon: Expensive. Not really sure if it's worth it or not. If you decide to take Icons in your army, it would probably be best to give them to a faster unit.
Unholy might: A bit expensive, and in my opinion not necessary if you already have the Jugger's strength bonus.

No, let's look at the Tzeentch Herald. He's less expensive than the Khorne one. He's also quite different, because he's weak in close combat and effective at ranged combat, as you'd except for a Tzeentch character. He comes already with Daemonic Gaze, which has AP3 and is also stronger and longer ranged than the Horror's basic attack. He has also higher BS and I and an extra wound and and extra attack compared to a normal Horror. The extra attack and Initiative are not a great bonuses, though, as he's still only S3 and WS2, and - he's still hopeless in close combat. He costs about 3 times as much as a normal Horror. Without any options, he probably wouldn't be quite worth the points (although not badly overpriced), but let's look at the options.

The Disc of Tzeentch is fairly cheap and makes him able to move like jump infantry. It also gives him +1 Attack, which is not really a great bonus for a WS2 S3 shooting character. Of course, the jump infantry thing won't help you if you keep him attached to a unit of Horrors, as they'll still only move at infantry speed. Making him go on his own just makes him a target. You could, however, make him join a unit of Flamers, which are also jump infantry. You could give him Breath of Chaos and have him join a squad of flamers. But with Breath and a Disc the Herald will be nearly three times the cost of a flamer, so taking just more flamers instead of the herald would probably be a better option. Another option would be to take a min-sized squad of Flamers with Bolt of Tzeentch and attach a Herald with Disc and Bolt to the unit. That could be quite a good anti-tank unit, but it wouldn't be cheap.

The Chariot of Tzeentch is the same cost as a Disc. It makes him a jetbike, removes IC status, gives +1 T, +3 W, +2 A and gives Furious charge. The close combat bonuses aren't very useful, though. Even on the turn he charges, he only has five WS2, S4, I5 attacks that don't ignore armour saves or have any other special close combat effects. After the turn you charge, you only have four WS2, S3 I4 attacks, which is pretty pathetic. Close combat is the last place you want to be in. Taking a sould devourer could change this a litte big, though. With the chariot, he'll be somewhat resilient (with T4, 5 wound and a 4+ invulnerable), but still an easy target. A naked Herald with a Chariot is not too expensive, though, so you shouldn't expect miracles for the points. You'll probably still want to take Bolt of Tzeentch or Breath of Chaos, though, which makes him cost roughly 100 points.

The Herald of Tzeentch can take Master of Sorcery, which allows him to use two "psychic" attacks. The upgrade is very cheap and you'll almost always take an additional "psychic power" in addition to Daemonic Gaze, which makes Master of Sorcery also almost a mandatory upgrade. We are Legion is also good and not too expensive (for some reason, it is reasonably priced for a Herald, but insanely overpriced for a LOC). It allows him to target two different targets with his shooting attacks ("psychic powers").

The Soul Devourer is "a diresword". That means that it is much less powerful than a force weapon, as the opponent needs to fail a leadership test. Considering that most multi-wound opponents have LD9 or LD10, that does not happen too often. You can pretty much think of it as just a power weapon, which is more expensive than power weapons are typically in other codices and whose user has weak close combat stats. I would never take it unless the Herald has a Chariot, in which case it might be worth considering (as then you'll have more attacks and Furious charge). But I still don't think that using a Tzeentch Herald as a close combat "monster" is a particularly good choice, as the codex is filled with good close combat units. The only time it may be reasonable is if you're running a mono Tzeentch army, and therefore "are not allowed" to take any of the really effective close combat choices.

The Tzeentch Herald can take up to three additional "psychic powers". All of them are good, but Bolt of Tzeentch is probably the most useful, as the army lacks anti-tank choices. I think that the most useful way to use a Herald of Tzeentch is probably with We are Legion, Master of Sorcery and Bolt of Tzeentch, and have him join a squad of Horrors, but there are other options as well. He's quite a versatile character, but a bit expensive for his abilities, especially if you tool him up.

The Nurgle Herald is probably the least useful of the Heralds. He can't take any movement upgrades, so he'll always be footslogging with slow and purposeful. In practice, he should always be attached to a unit of Plaguebearers. He's over three times as expensive as a basic Plaguebearer, with +1 WS, W, A and I. The Initiative bonus is not worth much, as he'll still be striking after most opponents. So basically you have a Plaguebearer who is twice as resilient as a basic Plaguebearer (2 wounds) and has twice as many attacks (except when charging, when he has only 1.5 times as many attacks as a basic plaguebearer), for over three times the cost. So why wouldn't you just take three Plaguebearers instead, and even save a few points as you do? It is clear that without considering the upgrades, he is just not worth it. So the upgrades had better be good. Are they?

He can take Noxious Touch, which allows him to wound on a 2+ instead of 4+. This upgrade may be great for Nurgle Daemon Princes, but for Heralds it is not (interestingly, the cost is same for a Herald as it is for a Prince, even though their fighting abilities are from different planets). He only has 2 attacks, and can't ignore armour saves. His WS and I aren't great either. It is too expensive for what you get. You can buy an Icon, which is expensive as always. However, you don't need a Herald to buy an Icon, as a normal unit of Plaguebearers can take one anyway. Cloud of Flies works as assault and defensive grenades. It is quite cheap in points. You're not really interested of the assault part, but defensive grenades could be handful. If the effect carries over to the unit, then they are wonderful, but otherwise not so.

The Nurgle Herald can buy unholy might, which gives him +1 S. This is the most useless of upgrades, as you can just take Noxious touch for the same points, which allows you to wound on a 2+ always. The extra strenght only is only better than Noxious against vehicles. But seriously, you're not going to use a slow and purposeful model with 2 attacks and S5 as a tank assaulter, are you? The Nurgle Herald has only one mount option: the palanquin. It gives +1 W and +1 A and doesn't change movement. It's not too bad of a choice - it's the cost of an additional Plaguebearer, which would also give your unit effectively +1 W and +1 A (yes, Plaguebearers only have one Attack), but by taking a palanquin you'll at least get that extra attack at improved WS and Initiative (the Palanquin doesn't improve those stats, but the Herald has better WS and I than a normal Plaguebearer).

The Nurgle Herald can take Aura of Decay, which I explained earlier. It's a better Nurgle's Rot. If, for some reason, you decided to take a Nurgle Herald, then taking this option would be a good choice. It's fairly cheap for what it can do in my opinion. Of course, it's main use is against hordes of T3 critters. It's much less effective against MEQs. Breath of Chaos is also good, although quite expensive. Still, if you wasted points on a Nurgle Herald already, you might as well take it, as it is the only way a Nurgle Herald can seriously damage MEQs. But if you're running a mixed god army and want to have some Breath of Chaos in your list, just buy more Flamers - they'll get in range to use it much, much faster. My conclusion on Nurgle Heralds is this: never take a generic one in a competitive list. If you want a Nurgle Herald, take Epidemus.

The Herald of Slaanesh costs about three and a half times as much as a generic Daemonette. She gets +1 WS, A, W and I. The Initiative bonus is not often necessary, as I6 is already enough in most cases. So we have the same problem as Nurgle Heralds: why take a Slaanesh Herald instead of "three and a half" daemonettes? Naturally, her advantages have to come from her upgrades, because without them it's better just to take more troops instead. It's not like Heralds give their units any Ld bonuses, as IC's do in many other armies.

You can take the Mount of Slaanesh, which gives her +1 A and Cavalry movement. It's not too expensive. If you take it, then naturally you'll want to join a unit of Seekers. But then we have the same problem as we have above. A Herald with Mount is roughly four times the cost of a Seeker - why not just take more Seekers instead?

Another option is to mount her on a Chariot. It gives +3 W, +2 A, +1 T and a 4+ armour save. It takes away her IC status, but gives her Furious Charge. Since she no longer counts as an IC, it's best to compare her to a unit of Seekers or Fiends. For the cost of a Chariot Herald, you can take roughly four seekers or two Fiends. Actually, if you add Soporific Musk (which Fiends have), you could have almost three Fiends for the cost. The Chariot Herald has 6 attacks, but 4 Seekers have 16, and 3 Fiends have 15 (assuming that their profile is right). The Herald has better WS, though, which means a better chance to hit and thus a better chance to rend (in the 4th). She also has a better Initiative, especially on the charge, but is it needed? The chariot Herald can take more punishment than four seekers, though, and roughly the same as three fiends. Conclusion: the Chariot Slaanesh Herald is fun, just like a Khorne Chariot Herald, but there are probably better ways to spend the points if you want to be competitive.

How about the other options? You can take transfixing gaze, which takes away one attack from one opponent. It's fairly cheap, so it wouldn't hurt to take it. You can take the Daemonic Gaze. It's a nice shooting attack and not too expensive, but the Herald has only BS3, and you'll want to fleet most of the time. Might be worth taking sometimes, but not especially a great option. You can increase her strength if you want to. If you take a Chariot herald and this upgrade, then you might actually be a half decent tank hunter in close combat. But against MEQ infantry, your kills will mostly come from rends, and extra strenth doesn't help in this department. The upgrade might still be worth it, though. Soporific Musk gives Hit and Tun. It's only useful for a Chariot Herald, as other Slaanesh Heralds want to join a unit, and you can't hit and run if the unit can't. Of course, it might be an option to take musk and a mount and join a unit of FIENDS instead of seekers. For Chariot heralds musk is probably a fairly good choice.

Lastly there's Pavane of Slaanesh, which is a weaker Lash. Unfortunately, it requires a roll to hit, and the Herald only has BS3. It's also quite expensive in points, and using it naturally prevents the Herald from fleeting. It's not necessarily a bad choice, but it's definitely not as uber as a Lash is in CSM armies.

01-06-2008, 21:51
Let's look at the special character heralds. I'll begin with Skulltaker. He's twice as expensive as a generic Herald. However, he has +1 WS and +1 A, and comes with 30 points of Khorne gifts included in his cost. Of those, Fury of Khorne is fairly useless, though. He actually has a better version of rending in his special rules (only against infantry). Also, Iron hide is a bit redundant if you're going to buy a Jugger or a chariot. Skulltaker can buy a Jugger or a chariot. A Jugger costs the same as it costs for a normal Herald, which is a bit unfair, as Skulltaker already has Iron Hide. The Jugger might still be worth it, though. You do get +1 S, +1 W, +1 T and +1 A, which is quite good for the points you pay. More attacks - better chances of getting his super rend! I woudn't take a chariot for him, though. It's actually more expesive than it is for a normal Herald, even though Skulltaker comes with Iron Hide included in his cost. With his super rending rule he'll attract so much firepower that removal of the IC rules is just asking for him to get killed.

I'm going to compare Skulltaker on a Jugger to a Khorne Herald with a Jugger and Blessing of the Blood god. That's quite a fair comparison. In this case, the Skulltakers advantages are +1 WS, +1 A and his super rend. He cost 65 points more. So, are +1 WS, +1 A and his super rend worth 65 points? I'm not sure. His super rend instant death rule is very good. In fact, it's almost overpowered in the 4th edition, as rend works on the roll to hit. In the 5th, it will be more balanced. The problem with this rule, however, is that many of the models that you'd like to use it against are immune to instant death - namely big bugs and daemons. It can really punish Eldar Avatars and Wraithlords, though, and also good for killing SM and other characters. It's worth remembering that even though he can't instant kill big bugs and daemons, the abilitity to wound them always on a 4+ is still a bonus. This guy is quite a specialist, however, and you'll need to be playing against very specific opponents to get the most out of his special rules. I probably wouldn't take Skulltaker in a tournament.

The first time I read the rules for the Masque, I thought that she was a steal. Why take a normal Slaanesh Herald with Pavane, when you can take this gal for only 30 points models and be able to use Pavane THREE TIMES per turn, at a better BS, and also gain a 3+ invulnerable. The I finally realized that she's not an independent character. Right. Now I don't think that she's a very good choice. At T3 and 2 wounds, she wont't take very much punishment, even with a 3+ invulnerable. A good volley with shootas, avenger catapults, pulse rifles, bolters or any other basic weapons and she's gone. She can't hide in a squad, and can't move fast enough to evade enemy shooting. She has to get within 18" to use her Pavane, and that means that she's going to get shot to death. Even if she manages to move the opposing unit the maximun 6" back with Pavane (assuming that's what she wants to do), someone with 18" assault weapons can still move in range and blast her to death. To get the most out of this girl you really have to use some cunning tactics. One option might be taking Fateweaver and staying close to him. That way you could re-roll the 3+ invulnerable and take much more punishment. Of course, Fateweaver is insanely expensive.

Epidemus is probably the most interesting of the special character Heralds. He's a Nurgle Herald with a Palanquin, Cloud of Flies and Aura of decay. He has no stat improvements over a generic Nurgle Herald, except for those conferred by the palanquin. He costs 25 points more than a generic Nurgle Herald with the same equipment. However, for those 25 extra points you get a very interesting ability: Tally of Pestilence. You keep count of the number of models killed by followers of Nurgle. Based on that number, you get cumulative bonuses that affect all Nurgle followers. The bonuses are quite powerful. After 20 kills you'll have all the bonuses: all Nurgle models have thein FNP save increased to 3+, wound on a 2+ and ignore armour saves. Even with the pathetic amount of attacks that Nurgle daemons tend to have, that's got to cause some serious damage! Of course, Epidemus needs to be alive for these bonuses to take effect. He should always be escorted by a large number of Plaguebearers.

Actually, I'm pretty suprised that GW decided to write a rule like that. Somehow it feels like keeping count of the number of models killed is against GW's recent streamlining policy. Still, it's very nice to have an ability like that - if nothing else, it's extremely fun. Naturally, Epidemus is most useful in an army where most (if not all) models are followers of Nurgle. He's not worth it (IMO) if you only have two or three Nurgle units in addition to Epidemus. Even though an extra 25 points (over a generic Nurgle Herald with the same equipment) might seem like a bargain for Tally of Pestilence, you should keep in mind that generic Nurgle Heralds are pretty clearly overpriced, so Epidemus may not be THAT good for the points. However, in fully Nurgle armies he is an absolute must. Naturally, the more Nurgle units you have, the better. His ability's worth also depends on the size of the game - obviously, it's worth a lot more in bigger games where each side has lots of models and therefore lots of kills will happen and you also have more daemons to benefit from the bonuses. Since basic Plaguebearers are pretty bad in terms of actually inflicting damage, I'd suggest taking a coupe of Nurgle Daemon Princes in an Epidemus army, to build up the death toll fast.

The Blue Scribes are a Tzeentch Herald with all of the Tzeentch "psychic powers", plus Pavane of Slaanesh and Aura of Decay. They have We are Legion and Master of Sorcery, so they can use two powers per turn and use them at different targets. They have the same stats as a normal Tzeentch Herald. They have a rule called "Watch this!", which is mostly a disadvantage. After using one power, they have a 50% chance of using the same power a second time instead of allowing you to choose another. I believe that if you are forced to use the same power, you can still pick a different target (ie you don't have to attack the same target twice). In some cases this rule could be an advantage, as it may allow you to use Bolt of Tzeentch twice per turn - something that you can't normally do. Still, it's mostly a disadvantage, as it dramatically reduces the reliability of this model.

The Blue Scribes actually cost 25 point less than a Herald of Tzeentch with We are Legion, Master of Sorcery, Bolt of Tzeentch, Breath of Chaos and Boon of Mutation. In addition, you get Pavane of Slaanesh and Aura of Decay. Still, I don't think that they are such a bargain as they migh initially seem to be. First of all, almost nobody takes all three of those extra powers (Bolt of Tzeentch, Breath of Chaos and Boon of Mutation) for the same model. You can only use two powers per turn, and I don't think that the added versatility of having all those powers is worth the extra cost. Secondly, the "Watch this!" rule is mostly a disadvantage and cuts down their reliability. You can take a generic Herald with We are Legion, Master of Sorcery and two additional powers (chosen from Bolt of Tzeentch, Breath of Chaos and Boon of Mutation) on top of Daemonic Gaze which the Herald always has, for 5 points less than the Blue Scribes. Sure, you'll have much less powers to choose from than Blue Scribes, but at least you'll always be able to choose which two you want to use. Personally, I probably wouldn't take the Blue Scribes in a competitive game, although they might be fun to use in non-competitive ones.

01-06-2008, 21:53
Now we've got the HQ choices covered - now that was long! The Daemons codex sure has many interesting HQ choices to choose from. Let's move on to Troops now.

Bloodletters are one of the most powerful close combat TROOPS units in the game. Only Genestealers can really compete with them for that title. They lost a point of Strength and their armour save, but gained a point of WS and Furious charge - they are as deadly as ever! They are also much cheaper in points than their previous incarnation. Of course, they do have one major disadvantage over the old Bloodletters - they can't move or assault on the turn they are "summoned". But the daemon bomb tactics were overpowered anyway, and we're talking about a different army now, so let's forget the past.

Bloodletters can make a mess out of Space Marines in close combat. They are more powerful than many Elite or Fast attack close combat specialist units in other armies. If a half decent sized Bloodletter unit manages to assault an infantry unit that isn't in cover and doesn't have I6, they'll always cause some MAJOR damage. One of their weaknessess is the inability to take assault grenade equivalents. If they assault units that are in cover and have decent close combat stats, you'll usually take some casualties before the Bloodletters can swing. After all, T4 with a 5+ save is far from immortal. They are also vulnerable to basic rapid fire weapons. As you'll always want to get close to the enemy (and can't charge on the turn the Bloodletters arrive), the opponents often get the chance to shoot those bolters (or those 100 lasguns) at close range. Again, T4 with a 5+ save (even though invulnerable) is not hard to kill with massed rapid fire. These guys cost more than Space Marines, so you can't afford too heavy casualties - even though even a few surviving Bloodletters can still cause some carnage.

Bloodletters can upgrade one model to have Fury of Khorne. I wouldn't take it. Against infantry, the only benefit is that you can wound a Wraithlord or a C'Tan even on those turns you're not charging (on the charge, you can wound those models even without Fury of Khorne, as you have Furious Charge and therefore get S5 on the charge). Against vehicles, you get that extra D3 penetration (I'm of course assuming the rumoured 5th edition rules for Rending), but I don't think that it is worth the points. You can also take an Icon, but I've talked about those before. The Instrument is cheap, but the ability to win a combat on a tie isn't worth much IMO, as Bloodletters will win most of the time anyway. Conclusion about Bloodletters: awesome close combat unit, but you need to be careful, as they are not very cheap and they are vulnerable to massed rapid fire.

Daemonettes are also pretty good, though they are more expensive in points than some (fairly early) rumours suggested. They are still a bit less expensive than they used to be in the old Chaos codex, but that doesn't necessarily tell that they are now cheap for their abilities, as in the old Chaos dex they could move and assault on the turn they were "summoned", and 5th edition has weaker rending. That (along with the fact that the armies are different) makes the direct comparison of stats and costs between the old and new version pretty useless. They now have 3 attacks, great Initiative, rending, fleet and the equivalent of assault and defensive grenades. Sadly, their strength has dropped. They're still only T3 and 5+ (I), so they really suffer when they get rapid fired. And with their quite high point cost, they are not exactly what you'd call expendable.

The weakened rending hurts Daemonettes pretty badly. 6 old Daemonettes (in the 4th edition) could get 3 rends on the charge on average and 2 rends on average when not charging. 6 new Daemonettes (in the 5th edition) get 2 rends on the charge on average, and 1.5 rends on average when not charging, assuming that the enemy has WS4-WS8. Against WS3-, 6 new Daemonettes (in the 5th edition) get 2.67 rends on average on the charge, and 2 rends when not charging. Most common opponents have WS4, so the new Daemonettes in 5th are considerably weaker MEQ killers than the old Daemonettes were in 4th, even though the new Daemonettes have more attacks.

Which are more effective at killing MEQs: Daemonettes or Bloodletters? For fairness, let's take equal point costs. 7 Bloodletters will kill 9.33 {21*2/3*2/3} WS4 MEQs on the charge (wow!) on average. 8 Daemonettes will kill 3.56 {32*1/2*(1/6+1/6*1/3)} WS 4 MEQs on the charge on average. When not charging, those same 7 Bloodletters will kill 4.67 (14*2/3*1/2) MEQs on average, while 8 Daemonettes kill 2.67 {24*1/2*(1/6+1/6*1/3)} MEQs on average.

The calculation above shows that in terms of raw killing power, Bloodletters are much better point for point at killing MEQs. How about non-MEQ opponents, then? 7 charging Bloodletters kill 9.33 Ork Boyz on the charge on average, and 4.67 when not charging. 8 Daemonettes will kill 4.89 {32*1/2*(1/6+1/6*5/6)} Ork boyz when charging, and 3.67 {24*1/2*(1/6+1/6*5/6)} when not charging. Against GEQs (WS3, T3, 5+ armour save), 7 charging bloodletters will kill (21*2/3*5/6)=11,67 GEQs and 7 non-charging bloodletters will kill 6.22 (14*2/3*2/3) GEQs. 8 charging Daemonettes will kill 5.92 {32*2/3*(1/6+1/3*1/3)} GEQs and 8 non-charging Daemonettes will kill 4.44 {24*2/3*(1/6+1/3*1/3)} GEQs.

As we can see, Bloodletters are, point for point, more effective at killing most infantry models in the game than Daemonettes. They are also more resilient point for point - 7 T4 Bloodletters takes more punishment to kill on average than 8 T3 Daemonettes. So, if Bloodletters are more effective killers, then why should you ever take Daemonettes in a competitive mixed god list? Well, there are a few reasons. Daemonettes are slightly better tank hunters than Bloodletters. They can get a maximum armour penetration of 12, while Bloodletters can only get 11 (I did not include the effect of possible gifts in either case). They are also faster, because they have fleet. In the 5th edition, everyone can run, though, but Daemonettes still have an advantage, as they can charge after running. They also have a better Initiative - even when the Bloodletters charge, their Initiative still isn't as good as Daemonettes'. Daemonettes also get assault and defensive grenades. The assault grenades guarantee that they'll get to deliver their hits before dying, and defensive grenades help on the turn they are charged by an enemy. It still seems to me that Bloodletters are a bit better choice overall.

One Daemonette may take Transfixing Gaze, which takes one attack away from an enemy in base contact. It's not very expensive, so you might as well take it. Then there is the option for an Icon and an Instrument. Like Bloodletters, Daemonettes should win their combats most of the time, which makes the Instrument less desireable. But since Daemonettes are a little less effective in combat than Bloodletters, they are more likely to lose, which makes the Instrument a bit more useful. The ability to turn a draw into a victory may also be worth a bit more, as Daemonettes have a better chance of sweeping their beaten opponent due to higher Initiative.

01-06-2008, 21:54
The Horrors are purely a shooting unit, as they are pathetic in close combat - only slightly better than Tau Fire Warriors. They can put up a good amount of mobile Firepower at 18". I'll forget the option to take Bolt of Tzeentch, and compare them to some other shooty Troop choices in other armies. I know that some people object comparisons between codices. They should be treated carefully, but I still think that they do have some value - I'll explain later why I think so.

Horrors vs. Shoota Boyz. Let's take 6 Horrors vs. 17 Shootas. These are easy to compare, as both have 18" assault weapons. The Horrors kill 4.5 Boyz per turn on average, or 27 points worth of models. The Shootas kill 2,83 Horrors on average per turn, or 48 points worth of models. Clear victory to Shootas.

Horrors vs. Dire Avengers. 12 Horrors vs 17 Avengers (not realistic unit sizes, but I wanted to get even point values). Horrors kill 12 Avengers on average per turn (144 points). Avengers will kill 5,66 Horrors on average, or 96 points. The Horrors win this one easily.

Comparison to other troop choices is hard, because most of them have rapid fire weapons. A rough very estimate could be got if we count range 12" rapid fire weapons as "1.5 shot" 18" assault weapons. I make this reduction to somehow take into account the fact that due to their deep strike ability and longer range (compared to rapid fire weapons taking multiple shots), Horrors will usually get to shoot first against these units most of the time and therefore cause some casualties before their enemy can do anything. Naturally, these results are not necessarily very accurate, but they might give some clue when determining which factor would have the advantage in a shooting contest with no terrain.

Horrors vs. Marines. 15 Horrors vs. 17 Marines. Horrors will kill 3.75 Marines on average, or 56 points. Marines will kill 5,66 Horrors on average, or 96 points. Although this is very rough, it appears that Marines might have the advantage in a firefight.

Horrors vs. Guardsmen. 6 Horrors vs. 17 Guardsmen. Horrors kill 6 Guardsmen on average, or 36 points. Guardsmen kill 3,19 Horrors on average, or 54 points. Again, it's a rough estimate, but the Guardsmen probably have the advantage (and the advantage will probably be bigger after a new Guard book arrives, as I'm pretty sure that the cost of Guardsmen will be eventually lowered). But of course, there's also the chance that Guard loses morale and breaks, so their advantage may not be that big (or they may not even have any) after all.

Please note that those analyses only covered shooting, and in a very theoritical way (assuming no cover etc). Actually, factoring in cover would usually help the Horrors' opponents, as Horrors already have a 4+ invulnerable and therefore don't benefit much from cover saves. Also, remember that in close combat any of the choices above could easily beat, point for point, the Horrors.

What is the point of these calculations? Well, the point is, that unless Horrors are fighting against Sv4+ opponents, they usually are at a disadvantage against most other shooty troop choices. Now this is not nenessarily mean that they're useless - far from it. It just means that an army composed mostly of Horrors is probably not one of the most competitive ones. Since Daemons lack firepower, Horrors will probably be very decent as a support unit, though. Now that I think about it more, Horrors will probably do better than the math above suggests. Since they can deep strike, they can USUALLY get to shoot first against most opponents, which is quite a big advantage indeed. I still don't think they could reliably beat an equal points value of Tactical Marines or Shootas, though. I'm just pointing that out - I'm not saying that because of that, Horrors would be useless.

Well, it looks like I'm not even sure what I think about Horrors. Maybe I should proxy and try them out - theoryhammer can only get you so far, and this unit is quite hard to analyze. One of the things that bothers about them is that AP4. The problem is that MEQs are the most common opponent. They have 3+ saves. An AP4 weapon is not any better against 3+ saves than an AP- weapon. The Horrors are paying some points for their AP4 - they would probably be cheaper if they had AP- instead. So basically, they are paying points for nothing when fighting against MEQs, the most common opponent. The early rumours that suggested S3 AP3 were interesting, but would have made Horrors pretty one-sided MEQ killers.

How about their options? Well, they have one very good option, and that is Bolt of Tzeentch. It's a lot cheaper than it is for other choices that can take it. I'm not sure why it's so. They're only BS3, so that may partially explain it. Also, the Bolt user cant't take "We are Legion", so he'll have to shoot at the same target as the rest of the squad. If it's a vehicle with AV11+, you'll waste the rest of the squad's shooting for that turn. Anyway, the Bolt is a no brainer to take. Note that the model that takes the Bolt doesn't lose Warpfire, so it can still use it against medium and light infantry. You can also take an Icon or an instrument. I think that the Horrors are so hopeless in close combat that the instrument doesn't help much.

One squad of Horrors can include a special character called Changeling. He is just a normal Horror in terms of equipment and stats, but has an ability which can make an enemy unit shoot at another enemy unit. However, it requires the enemy unit to fail a Ld check, so the ability is not as strong as it may sound. Still, the Changeling is very cheap, so it is probably a good idea to include him.

Are Horrors good or bad? Well, currently I think that they are an okay support unit in an army that has a variety of different choices. However, an army that takes only Horrors (several squads of them) as its Troops is probably not awesome (although it is still possible to win).

I've had a series of disappointments with Plaguebearers. I read some fairly early rumours in these forums. They stated that Plaguebearers were still natural T5 and had Feel No Pain and Slow and Purposeful. It also stated that they only cost 12 points. Awesome, I thought! These guys can really take some punishment, and with 2 poisoned attacks each they can also inflict a fair amount of damage. Even though they are slow, they are still great value for the points. I excepted that their WS and Attacks had remained the same as they were in the 3.5 Chaos codex, but was expecting their Initiative to drop by one point. The early rumour that I read did not mention anything about WS, A or I. Then later I read a rumour that said that they had only WS3 and 1 Attack. I was quite disappointed. 1 WS3 S4 attack, even if poisoned, is not exactly amazing close combat ability. And what's worse, they can't shoot, so that's the only way they can damage opponents, and with their pathetic speed, it takes forever to even reach close combat. But even then, I thought that their incredible resilience still made up for the slow speed and pathetic ability to actually kill anything. After all, with T5, FNP and 5+ invulnerable, these guys can even shrug off lascannon wound 2/3 of the time! That is still worth 12 points, I thought.

Then, before I bought the Daemon book, I read a rumour about 5th edition. It stated that in the 5th edition FNP can't be used against weapons with AP1 or AP2. So, the Plaguebearers can no longer shrug off lascannon, melta and plasma hits with ease. The Plaguebearers started looking less and less attractive. But, I thought. Even with that nerf, these guys are still tough - tougher than Space Marines against most weapons, and a good competition for Necrons (the Necrons are more resilient against some weapons, Plaguebearers against others). Yes, they are slow and have trouble hurting anything, but 12 points is still a reasonable cost for a unit that is that tough. THEN, I bought the actual book and read their rules. I noticed that their Initiative had not dropped by only one point, but two. Well, that's bad, but not horrible - after all, I was expecting to hit after MEQs anyway. I began reading the army list. I noticed the rules and cost for a Beast of Nurgle, and thought that there's not much reason to take it since point for point, 12 point Plaguebearers should be better. Then I turned to the Troops page in the army list, and looked at the Plaguebearers' point cost. It wasn't 12 points, but considerably more. I was quite disappointed inteed. The 12 point WS4, I3, 2 poisoned attack, T5, FNP (and SAP, I was excepting that all along) Plaguebearers that can shrug off lascannon and melta wounds 2/3 of the time had turned into WS3, I2, A1 Plaguebearers, that still have poisoned attacks, T5 and FNP, but cost several points more and can't use FNP agains AP1 or AP2. Well, I didn't quite get what I originally dreamed of.

One important thing that could affect the power of Plaguebearers considerably, is whether Poisoned attacks in the 5th edition get the re-roll to wound when users's strength >= opponent's toughness or when the user's strength > opponent's toughness. I SERIOUSLY hope that it's the former. Plaguebearers really NEED that re-roll against T4 to be any kind of threat at all to MEQs.

So, are Plaguebearers still worth their points after all. I'm not sure. I really have to try them out to find out what they can do, but I can give you some thoughts. They are probably very good for capturing objectives, as even with the 5th edition FNP nerf they're still one of the most resilient Troop choices in the game (Necron Warriors are the only serious competitor). They could also tie up dangerous enemy units in HtH. Even if the Plaguebearers won't do them much damage, at least they'll keep them occupied for a long time. As a part of a balanced mixed god Daemon list (that also includes daemons with less resilience, but better offensive capabilities) they might be pretty good.

However, an army that is composed mainly from Plaguebearers (a Nurgle themed list) will be very hard to play successfully. You really need to take Epidemus, and you really need to keep him alive to keep getting those bonuses. Without them, a Plaguebearer army will probably suck big time. If they don't get the re-roll to wound against T4 (that depends on the 5th edition wording for poisoned weapons), then they have a hard time even beating the same amount of points of bolter-armed Tactical Marines in close combat. Actually, when you consider the Marines' higher Initiative, the Marines will probably have the upper hand in close combat statistically (I did the math in my head, and this seems to be the case). IF they do get the re-roll, then they at least win statistically against Tactical Marines in close combat, but not by a huge margin. And even if they eventually win, the battle will last a long time (as both sides are resilient). If you compare Plaguebearers to Chaos Marines, things get uglier - CSM easily beat Plaguebearers in HtH point for point, and have good shooting abilities.

Notice that Plaguebearers are a pure close combat unit, as they have no shooting attacks. They have a hard time beating an equal amount of Marines in close combat, even thought close combat is the only way Plaguebearers can fight. Tactical Marines, on the other hand, are a versatile unit, that can also shoot well (in fact, they are more of a shooty unit than close combat). They are also faster than Plaguebearers, as they are not hindered by the Slow and Purposeful rule. So what would it be to fight with a Plaguebearer army (by that I mean an army that's core is composed from Plaguebearers - it could also have some other units in it) against Marines? Well, the Plaguebearer army would have limited shooting power. The Marines could blast away at them and reduce their numbers as the Plaguebearers try to reach close combat. When they finally reach it, the Marines would easily beat the remaining Plaguebearers in close combat. How could the Nurgle army win? By capturing objectives and holding them with your resilience? Well, Marines are not easy to kill either, and they are also mobile. At best you could hope to get a draw. So the conclusion is that a Plaguebearer army probably isn't a strong winning one - without Epidemus, at least.

Now let's take a look at the Plaguebearer's options. One model can take Noxious Touch, but the price is way too high for a single-attack model that doesn't ignore armour saves. I'd never take that upgrade. You can take an Icon, but I've already talked about those. The third option is Instrument of Chaos. For Plaguebearers, I think that this choice is actually good. Since Plaguebearers are weak at damaging opponents but good at taking damage, close combats between Plaguebearers and an enemy unit could often end up in draws. Winning those draws is an advantage, although your chances of wiping out the enemy unit with the Plaguebearers' poor Initiative isn't good.

There's only one Troop choice remaining, and that's Nurglings. They are the cheapest Troop choice. I think that they are okay. They are quite resilient and good for tying up enemy units. Eternal Warrior is a great advantage for them, as they can't be instant killed. Even though they have poor WS and S, they have lots of Attacks, so a big squad of Nurglings might actually kill a few enemies as well as tying them up. They are also faster than other Nurgle Daemons (no SAP), which makes them valuable in pure Nurgle armies. Their biggest weakness is that they can't capture objectives.

01-06-2008, 21:55
Let's move on to Elites.

There's been some confusion about the Fiends' stats. In the English book, the stats are consistent - they are the same in the unit desctription, army list and summary. But the German site said that there's a misprint and that they should actually only have WS3 and A3. For the analysis that I'm going to make here, I'll assume that the profile in the English codex is correct.

Fiends appear to be a great unit. They cost slightly more than 2 Daemonettes. However, a fiend is MORE resilient than a two Daemonettes - it has twice as many wounds as a daemonette (and can't be instant killed) and a higher toughness. Against infantry, the offensive power of a Fiend is roughly at the same level as two Daemonettes. Two Daemonettes will get 6 WS4, S3, I6 rending attacks, while a Fiend will get 5 WS4, S5, I5 rending attacks. However, against vehicles the Fiends will be clearly better, as they can get an armour penetration of 14. The Fiends also have a bigger assault range than Daemonettes. They also have Soporific Musk, which gives them Hit&Run - this is great. They don't get "grenades" like Daemonettes do. It's pretty clear that when compared to Daemonettes, Fiends are great value for points. And they appear to be a great value for points in general as well. Their biggest competitor, however, is probably not Daemonettes on foot, but Seekers of Slaanesh. I'll talk more about them later. One Fiend can take a strength upgrade. I think that it is a fairly good option to take, as they have lots of attacks and this gives the Fiend a chance to get an armour penetration of 15. Their speed allows them to get in range to assault vehicles fast.

Bloodcrushers are a nice units. Personally, I really love the models. They are also pretty good on the tabletop. They have awesome offensive and defensive power. They only have normal movement, though, and are expensive in points. A competitive player is naturally interested in knowing if he should include some Bloodcrushers or simply add more Bloodletters. You can get 2.5 Bloodletters for each Bloodcrusher (If you think that it's silly to compare "2.5" Bloodletters to a Bloodcrusher, think about comparing 5 Bloodletters to 2 Bloodcrushers instead - statistically it's the same thing). The 2.5 Bloodletters are generally signifigantly better offensively. Even though the Bloodcrusheer has better strength, 2.5 Bloodletters have much more attacks, which makes them cause more damage on average against the majority of opponents. On the defensive side, on the other hand, the Bloodcrusher is clearly better. So both units have their merits, and both are good. Naturally, Bloodletters have the clear advantage that they'll be able to score in the 5th.

Bloodcrushers can take Icons and Instruments. The comments that I've said about them for other units (mainly Bloodletters) apply here too. One model can take Fury of Khorne. I don't think it's a very good choice, as it doesn't give any bonus against infantry - only against vehicles. But 6" moving units that can only attack in close combat are not exactly great tank hunters.

Flamers of Tzeentch are an _awesome_ unit. They are probably the best unit in the army list. Each model has the equivalent of Wind of Chaos (called Breath of Chaos in the Daemons codex) that doesn't require a psychic test. Sounds good? Now listen to this: they are jump infantry and have T4, a 4+ invulnerable save! They also have Warpfire, so they can use it if they are not in range to use Breath of Chaos. They have BS4, so they hit better with Warpfire than Horrors. Unlike some other Tzeentch daemons, these things are not entirely hopeless in close combat either - they have S4 and 2 attacks. And all this awesomeness costs well under 40 points per model! Well, I'm not going to go through any detailed analyses about these units, because anyone can easily see how awesome they are. Even a small unit can destroy entire MEQ units in one round of shooting, if they can get in range. And they have good chances of getting in range, as they are jump infantry, and are also fairly resilient. They have Bolt of Tzeentch as an option. It's quite expensive, though, so I don't think it's a "must have". But it's not a bad option either.

Beasts of Nurgle are the least impressive of the Elite choices. They are very boring as far as the rules are concerned, as they are basically Plaguebearers with 2 Wounds and D6 attacks. All of their other stats and special rules are identical to Plaguebearers. Their unit size and options are a bit different though. So, are these worth taking instead of Plaguebearers? Well, 7 Plaguebearers costs the same as 3 Beasts. The Beast have one less Wound, 6 versus 7. But they get 3D6 attacks instead of 7. 3d6 averages 10.5 attacks, so those 3 Beasts are better offensively. Of couse, Plaguebearers are troops, which is an advantage in the 5th edition. There's also one little thing that favours the Plaguebearers over beasts. Even though both have poisoned attacks that wound on a 4+, the Plaguebearers get that due to having "Plagueswords", while Beasts just have "poisoned attacks". In an Epidemus army, you can gain a perk that allows Plagueswords to wound on a 3+, but naturally this does not extend to the Beasts. Overall, I think that the Beasts are a bit redundant unit. In an all Nurgle army it's hard to decide whether you should take them or an equal point cost of Plaguebearers, but in mixed god armies you can easily skip this unit - the other Elite choices are much better.

Now it's time for Fast Attack.

Flesh Hounds appear to be decent for the points. Their statline is not too impressive (Marine statline with 2 Attacks and 5+(I) instead of an armour save), but they are Beasts, have Furious charge and are not too expensive. They also have a 2+ invulnerable against wounds from psychic powers, which is good against some armies, but worthless against others. They lack the raw killing power of Bloodletters, but are faster (and also slightly cheaper). One model can take rending, but as usual, the upgrade is overpriced. This time, however, you get a bit more use out of it, as Hounds don't ignore armour saves. You can also take a special character, Karanak to lead the squad. He has +1 S, WS and A compared to a normal Hound, but still has only one wound, which is quite disappointing for such a scary-looking three headed daemon. He also gives the squad move through cover and has rending and instrument of Chaos. I think he's okay for the points, but definitely not a no brainer. He's over three times the cost of a normal Hound, so taking just more models might be equally good or better option. I think that Hounds should do fine without Move Through Cover, although it does help sometimes.

Seekers of Slaanesh are Daemonettes mounted on Steeds of Slaanesh. They are like Daemonettes, but with +1 A and cavalry movement. They only cost 3 points more than Daemonettes on foot, which is a cheap cost for an extra attack and a 12" assault move. They do have two drawbacks compared to Daemonettes on foot, though. As a non-Troop unit, they won't be able to hold objectives in the 5th edition. They also have big bases and are high models, which makes them easier to target, especially with true LOS. Seekers are still good value for points, and I consider them a better Fast Attack choice than Flesh Hounds. They are 2 points more expensive and are less strong and tough, but have much more attacks, better Initiative (even when the hounds charge), rending and assault and defensive grenades. One model can take transfixing gaze. You might just as well take it, since it's cheap.

Screamers of Tzeentch are a weird unit. Unlike other Tzeentch daemons, they have no ranged attacks. So they must be good at close combat, then? Well, not exactly. They do have S and T of 4, but only 1 attack at WS3 and I3. That's quite crappy, so they are not a real close combat unit. So what are they good for? They are jetbikes, so they can be used for objective capturing in the 4th edition, but it will no longer work in 5th, since only Troops are scoring. This unit has really only one purpose: tank hunting. They have melta bombs. With their good mobility and reasonable resilience (T4, 5+I), they have a good chance of getting in range to use those bombs.

I don't really like the Screamers, because the unit is way too specialized in my opinion. They're not a really useless unit, though. A small squad of 3 will not cost much, and is a decent anti-tank unit. But I'd really like them to have some other purpose of well. The designers could have given them better close combat stats, or some kind of ranged attacks. Currently they are practically worthless against infantry. If you happen to run into a Tyranid army (or another army with no vehicles), you've practically just wasted points for these things.

Furies are possibly the most useless unit in the codex. They were nice in the old Chaos codex, but now their WS, I and S have all come down. Now they just suck. They're not great in close combat, and have no special rules or equipment, or even options. What makes them really useless is the fact that Flesh Hounds cost the same as these things, but have better stats and Furious Charge. The Hounds are Beasts and Furies are jump infantry, but these movement modes are pretty equally good in my opinion. If these things were dirt cheap in points, they would have been useful, but at the same cost as Flesh Hounds they're just not worth it. It's funny - in the old Chaos codex Furies were good, but Flesh Hounds were practically useless (they were pretty much the same as Furies, but much more expensive in points), but now they have switched their roles.

Now let's take a look at the Heavy Support choices. There are only two, but they are pretty good.

The Soulgrinder is the only vehicle in the army. It's much like a Defiler, but has better armour all around and more Attacks. It's also cheaper in points. However, its firepower is a lot worse than a Defiler's, unless you upgrade its guns. With gun upgrades, it's a bit more expensive than a naked Defiler. I think that the Soulgrinder is pretty good for the points. It can take a decent amount of punishment because of its good armour value and the ability to ignore shaken and stunned results, and is fairly cheap in points. One problem with the Soulgrinder might be the fact that it's the only vehicle in the army (although you can, of course, take several of them). This will probably mean that they'll attract lots of anti-tank firepower. Their huge size makes them an easy target.

If you don't take the gun upgrades, then the Soulgrinder doesn't have much firepower. He has a vomit attack, which is a bit improved heavy flamer, and a harvester, which is an assault 6 storm bolter. I think that you should almost always take at least one weapon upgrade. If you want versatility, you could take both, although this makes the cost of the vehicle quite high. One of the upgrades is basically a battle cannon with half the range and which is not ordnance (but still has a large blast). The other is a 24" railgun. It's the only ranged attack in the army with a strength of more than 8, so it's quite valuable for anti-tank duties - even though you'll miss half the time. All in all, I think that the Soulgrinder is pretty good and a versatile unit.

The Daemon Prince has quite a lot of options. Its basic stats are weaker than its CSM counterpart's, but you can take upgrades to get him to the same level. This will make him about 20 points more expensive, though. It only comes with a 5+ invulnerable, but can buy a 3+ armour save, which is insanely expensive, but might still be worth it, as the Prince is quite vulnerable to small arms without it. The strength upgrade that makes him as strong as the CSM Prince is also quite expensive. I wouldn't necessarily always take the Strength upgrade (it depends on the equipment you give him and the role you want him to play), although Khorne Princes will definitely want to take it. Daemonic Flight is _much_ more expensive than it is in the CSM codex. It's underpriced in the CSM codex, but this is overcompensation IMO. For the CSM DP, wings are a total no brainer. For the DP in the Daemons codex, it's far from no brainer. Not only are wings much more expensive, they are also less essential, because having Deep Strike allows you to start closer to the enemy. For some reason, Marks are more expensive than in the CSM codex. The cost for Mark of Nurgle in particular is sick. However, it gives you access to some rather good options.

The Tzeentch Prince can take a Soul Devourer, which is bad value for points, because you already ignore armour, and it's much weaker than a force weapon (enemy has to fail a Ld test to suffer Instant Death). It can also take Master of Sorcery, which allows it to use a third ranged power per turn, but I don't think it's very good for the DP, because it has no access to We are Legion, which means that all three powers will have to attack the same target. It can take Bolt of Tzeentch at BS5, which is great, altough it's expensive. Unlike other Princes, it can take two powers from Breath of Chaos, Boon of Mutation and Daemonic Gaze, instead of one. I'd usually take only one, though, because you have to target the same unit with all of your powers, but often the optimal targets for each power are different. If you don't take the Bolt of Change, then Breath + Gaze could be a decent combo, though. A Tzeentch Prince probably won't want to spend points on Iron Hide, because it already has a 4+ invulnerable.

The Khorne Prince has the least impressive options. It has the "plasma pistol", thing as one option. Although it has BS5, I think it's a bit too expensive for what you get. You can also take Blessing of the Blood God, but for some reason it's more expensive than it is for other units. I wouldn't take it unless you're sure that your opponent has lots of psychic powers. The best way to use a Khorne Prince is to take just the Mark, Iron Hide and the strength upgrade.

The Slaanesh DP has decent options. You can take "offensive and defensive grenades" for a cheap cost. I'd take them most of the time. Soporific Musk, that gives Hit & Run, is also good value, although it is not too cheap in points. It prevents the DP from getting stuck in fights where his skills are not in the best use. Transfixing Gaze is okay as well. You can take the Pavane of Slaanesh, which is not cheap. However, I think that the DP is possibly the best unit to give the Pavane. That's because it has a high BS, and does NOT have fleet, which means that you won't lose it if you use Pavane.

The Nurgle DP should ALWAYS take Noxious touch. It should also never take the Strength upgrade. The Noxious touch makes him always wound of a 2+ and therefore makes the S upgrade pretty useless (except against vehicles and instant killing T3 multiwound models), and only costs half as much. Cloud of Flies gives him offensive and defensive grenades and is cheap. It's a good option. Aura of Decay is also good, especially against T3 armies, although it does cost quite a bit. If you take a Nurgle army, then you shuld take at least one Nurgle DP, and preferably more. Breath of Chaos (or Daemonic Gaze) is also a good option for a Nurgle DP, to increase the Tally in an Epidemus list.

01-06-2008, 21:56
Now I've covered every unit. Next I'll take a look at the different mono-god armies. I've already discussed some of them during the analysis of certain units (Horrors and Plaguebearers, for example), but here's some more.

As you'd expect, full Khorne armies lack firepower and anti-tank in general. That's why I think that taking two or even three Soul Grinders with the Tongue wouldn't be a bad idea. The Bloodthirster is also a rather good tank hunter. I think that including at least one BT would be almost essential in a Khorne list. I'd never depend on Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers or Heralds with Fury of Khorne for anti-tank - they only move at infantry speed, and generally have a hard time penetrating high armour values. You don't have many fast units, as only the BT and Flesh hounds are faster than standard infantry. Although all "one god" lists are more for fun than competitive play, I believe that a Khorne list with a BT or two, 2+ Soul Grinders, maybe one or two squads of Hounds and a horde of Bloodletters for the rest of the points might do reasonably well.

I already discussed mono-Nurgle briefly. Taking Epidemus is absolutely essential. Without him, you don't have a chance. A Plaguebearer-heavy army without Epidemus simply doesn't have enough killing power to be a serious threat to anyone. The problem with Nurgle armies is that everyone is so slow. Even standard infantry movement feels "fast" by Nurgle standards. For this reason, Nurglings may be quite appealing. Note that a mono-Nurgle army has no fast attack at all.

Even with an Epidemus list, you have a problem. You really need some anti-tank, and for this purpose, taking Soul Grinders with the Tongue is pretty much the only reasonable choice. But then again, a Soul Grinder is not technically a Nurgle model. You want something that is killy (and which isn't SAP) to build up the tally fast. That means that you pretty much have to take Nurgle Daemon Princes. So you'll have trouble with only 3 HS slots. Nurgle DP's can kill tanks in close combat, though, but having ranged AT power would also be preferable. Should you take one Tongue Grinder and two Noxious Touch Princes, or two Grinders and one Prince? That's the question. I think that mono-Nurgle will be quite hard to play even with Epidemus.

For a mono-Nurgle list, I'd probably take Epidemus and a GUO with Breath of Chaos as HQ choices. The HS choices I already talked about. After that, you just have to choose how to divide the remaining points between Plaguebearers and Beasts of Nurgle. They are both roughly equally good for the points (see the analysis I presented before). Personally I'd prefer taking mostly Plaguebearers, as they can benefit from the "Plagueswords wound on a 3+" perk and because only troops can capture objectives in the 5th.

I already talked a bit about mono-Tzeentch. I concluded that Horrors will probably not win point for point against most other shooty troops (although the analysis is far from perfect). But they're still not really bad - even if you're at a disadvantage, it's probably not huge. Being able to deep strike is a great bonus. You'll just have to avoid close combat at all costs, as almost every unit in the game can kick the crap out of Horrors in HtH.

Tzeentch has less problems with anti-tank than other mono-god lists, because many units have access to Bolt of Tzeentch. It still has a hard time beating AV14, though. Taking a small squad of Screamers or two might help with that problem (still wont't kill Monoliths, though). The main problem with Tzeentch lists is the lack of effective close combat units. Although you probably wouldn't take a Tzeentch Herald with chariot and Soul Devourer in a mixed god army, it migh be worth it in a Tzeentch list, as the need for close combat power is quite desperate. LOC and DP can, of course, do something in close combat, but that's not usually the place you want to be in, as you'll want to keep using their powerful ranged attacks.

I don't know what is the "best" way to use a mono Tzeentch list. But one thing is certain: you want to take Flamers, as they are possibly the best unit in the list. Several squads of Horrors, each with Bolt of Tzeentch, are also in order. I'd probably take one or two 3-strong units of Screamers. For HQ, there are several possible choices, even though that I think that many of them are a bit overpriced. If the point limit is large, you might want to take Fateweaver. He can make squads of Horrors as tough as the old Seer Councils. As for HS, the choice is tough, but Daemon Prince could add some much needed close combat punch, so taking at least one might be a good idea.

For mono-Slaanesh, I'd prefer two Keepers of Secrets with Musk as my HQ choices. I don't think that the Slaanesh Heralds are particularly good value for points, and the Masque is hard to use, because she can be targeted and killed so easily. I'd probably take 2+ squads of Seekers, as they're excellent value for points. But I'd also take Fiends, and take the strength upgrade. They can be used for tank hunting if necessary, and are a great unit anyway, although I think that Seekers are a bit better point for point. However, a mix is probably the best choice. Naturally, you also want Daemonette units of foot, because you need Troops to control objectives. Since you don't have ranged firepower in your other choices (other than the random power you may want to give to Keepers), Grinders with Tongue are almost a must. Two Tongue Grinders and one Prince with Pavane of Slaanesh migh be the best HS configuration.

Now I think it's time for some sort of a conclusion. Even though I have critisized several things and think there a problems with the codex (as there are in every codex), I still think that the codex is pretty good. I certainly like it better than codex CSM. In my opinion, it does better justice to Daemons than the current CSM dex does for Chaos Marines. I'm positively suprised by the amount of upgrades that you can take for your Daemons, even though many of them are not effective use of points in competitive play. The codex seems reasonably competitive, but doensn't seem to have any clear cheese units, so external balance is pretty good. There are some problems with internal balance, though. Some units and options are very bad value for points and/or are made obsolete by other units or choices. A good example would be Furies, which are simply inferior to Flesh Hounds. I think that a few tweaks could make a good codex into a great codex. Here's a list of changes I'd make (without changing the list dramatically).

-Reduce the point cost of the Lord of Change a bit, and also the cost of the "We are Legion" upgrade.
-Reduce the cost of the Death Strike ability for Khorne models
-Reduce the cost of the "Fury of Khorne" ability for Khorne models.
-Make the Strength upgrade for the GUO dirt cheap or remove it altogether
-Something should be done about the Masque, but I'm not sure what it might be
-The cost of the Jugger for the Khorne Herald should be slightly more expensive, as it's pretty much a no brainer. However, Skulltaker should get a small discount for the Jugger and Chariot, because his base cost includes Iron Hide.
-The base cost of the Khorne Herald should be slightly cheaper (a reduction of 5-10 points)
-The base cost of the Tzeentch Herald should be slightly cheaper (a reduction of 5-10 points). The Soul Devourer upgrade should also be cheaper.
-The base cost of the Nurgle Herald should be significantly cheaper (a reduction of 15-20 points, or a smaller reduction if his Attacks get bumped to 3). Some sort of a chariot option would also be a nice addition, and the cost of Noxious Touch should be cheaper, unless his attacks get bumped to 3, in which case it might be worth it at the current cost.
-The base cost of the Slaanesh Herald should be significantly cheaper (a reduction of 15-20 points).
-The cost of Flamers should possibly be _increased_ a bit, although I'd have to see if they perform as well on the battlefield as they do on paper
-I'd give Beasts of Nurgle Noxious Touch as standard, with possibly a slight increase in points.
-I'd drop the cost of Daemonettes by a point or two, to make them more of a viable alternative to Bloodletters
-I'm not sure if the Horrors should be changed. Maybe a slight reduction in the base cost (-1 point per model) and a slight increase (+5 or +10 points) in the cost of Bolt of Tzeentch.
-Plaguebearers should have 2 Attacks. If you think this makes them too powerful when combined with all the Epidemus perks, then maybe the "ignores armour saves" perk in the Epidemus table should be changed to rending. The noxious touch upgrade should probably be cheaper, even with 2 base attacks.
-Screamers should have improved WS and A, and/or ability to take ranged attacks.
-Furies should either have improved stats or be significantly cheaper (at the current stats, a cost of 11-12 points might be fair).
-Daemonic Flight for Daemon Princes should be cheaper, but not as cheap as it is in the CSM codex. A cost of 40 points would probably be just fine.

Okay, I'm finally going to quit now. This review/analysis took me quite a while to write - roughly speaking, almost the evenings of one week. Hope it has been useful to someone.

02-06-2008, 00:04
Wow, so this is what people in Finland do while they wait for the ice to melt. Just kidding. nice write up.

My friend is starting an all Khorne list and we have fought three battles so far. We used the 5th edition rules...or most of them. Had the store copy with us today so it was very accurate. his army:

4 Bloodcrushers
4x10 Bloodletters
Daemon prince
2 Soul Grinders

This list beat a standard 1750 SM army today.
It beat my chaos list.
It lost to Orks. But everyone will loose to Orks in 5th.
Next up, Tyranids.

02-06-2008, 00:55
Hmm, well thanks for the analysis. I haven't looked at the book myself but your post/s provides some good insight into each of the units.

I've been thinking of making a Nurgle-aligned army myself, although I was intending to do it without Epidemus. I suppose unless I figure out some nurgle-type proxies for some of the non-nurgle units it looks like I'd have a challenge on my hands. :rolleyes:

02-06-2008, 00:57
I've played an all Nurgle army with Epidemius and let me tell you, he is near broken. Epidemius can make nurglings killers of everything. He has two upgrades that say "all followers of Nurgle" and they allow Nurglings, 13 point models, to wound on 2+ and allow no armor saves. Theres is nothing more annoying than watching 5 nurgling bases take down a bloodthirster.

matt schuur

killa kan kaus
02-06-2008, 01:37
That was am excellent analysis and I definitely agree with your applications of Math-hammer. I have not seen the codex and didnt have the chance to learn about chaos daemons until now. Poor, pook GK.

02-06-2008, 03:10
An excellent review, I'm impressed at the detailed analysis, and most grateful :) Very well written too, it goes into sufficient detail to show understanding of the game and solid awareness of tactical options, but doesn't get bogged down in it. A hell of a lot better than most of the things in White Dwarf leading up to the time I stopped getting it :p

Thanks muchly for it all. I have to say, I like the sound of it all. In particular I like the options and upgrades available all over, and the way the units have been varied in their roles while not dramatically changing them. I was worried we'd end up with units too similar, but I think they've been flavoured just fine. While I would've liked some more new daemon units from GW, at least it seems they've done a good enough job with what they have got.

02-06-2008, 06:16
A good theoretical analysis, you hit everything and I came to similar conclusions ==Myself==.

After using the daemons a couple times, a mixed army heavier on Tzeentch, I have some thoughts to add.

When putting together your army, you need to have a plan in mind. The daemon army is very synergy based, so your assault groups need to be put together in support of each unit and the next wave. Having an icon in each half is useful for giving the units arriving a safe place to drop in. ==My== list ran half shooty and half choppy, each half dropping seperately. The shooters (mostly Tzeentch) aimed to cripple certain enemies and clear a path for the others. The assaulters got into good positions to assault while minimizung return fire, waiting for the shooty daemons to come in and create an opening.

The LoC is great at his base cost, he really doesn't need any other upgrades. BoT and Gaze work against infantry or tanks (light in the case of Gaze), his BS5 makes hitting almost a guarantee, wings let him go where you need him, and his stats make him solid in a fight if pressed. I ran a LoC and a Tzeentch DP with Iron Hide, Bolt, and Gaze. They managed to blow apart a Carnifex in 1 shooting phase and proceeded to blow huge holes in TMCs before beating down a Hive Tyrant in combat. But that T5 is a killer for the DP, who was brought down by gaunts in combat (they wounded 3 times and I rolled 3 1's for saves:cries:).

Daemonettes/Seekers are very, very, very, very, very fragile. T3 and 5++ is bolter bait. Hide them anywhere you can and use their speed to get into combat. They straight up destroy MCs, rending nerf or not, due to sheer number of attacks. Bloodletters are better against MEQs, Daemonettes destroy MCs. As the cheapest lesser daemon, you can take more purely for tying enemies down, so the slower stuff can get in and finish the job.

Horrors are very fragile, but they produce obscene firepower. They are death to any non-MEQ and since they DS they fire first, usually crippling the enemy.

Plaguebearers don't die, ever. I always give them an Icon and drop them on an objective. That way ==My== weaker daemons have a safe place to come in, I have an objective, and the PBs can tie just about anything down, aparto from enemies who can negate their high T and FNP (one or the other is still go). Though it should be mentioned, a single squad of DW termies managed to rip apart 2 units of 10 in 3 turns of combat.

Bloodcrushers are tough and killy, but T5 is deceptive. Bolters can cause problems, and their lack of speed really hurts (don't count on getting the charge, unless the enemy is tied down with fast stuff).

Seekers are awesome, but die just as easily as daemonettes, so use their exceptional speed by hiding.

That's what I gathered from a couple games I played, and overall I'm quite pleased with the Daemon book. It's a unique army, fun to play, and fairly well balanced. Probably not made for the tourney player due to its innate randomness, but very entertaining.

02-06-2008, 21:34
That was a superb review, and I congratulate you for it. The detail you've put in to analysing each unit is quite remarkable, and the whole review was a very insightful read.

I'm hoping to start a daemon army at some stage, and your comments have been of great interest as a result.

02-06-2008, 23:43
I recommend people take a second glance at the tzeentch heralds on chariots. Throwing out (at bs 4) 1 str 8 ap1 shot and 3 str 5 ap3 shots at 24 inch's with a jetbike movement is very nice and he's allowed to split fire. Points wise he is equivalent to 6 horrors with the bolt upgrade. You get 1 less wound, higher toughness and longer range shots and he'll be a bit better at meq killing.

Also remember that since he's no longer an ic he can hold objectives in 4th and contest them in 5th so it's a unit your opponent has to kill. It should be able to take a full round of rapid fire from marines and still live (although you should never get that close).

They also make good speed bumps to tie up your opponent until your assaulty elements can make it in (if you are going with a mixed list).

03-06-2008, 19:57
Quick question, why don't you think Nurglings are scoring?

03-06-2008, 19:59
They are swarms, they don't count as scoring.
btw, nice to see another HAAWGS member out here.

03-06-2008, 20:03
You mean is a nurgling able to capture objectives? It is in the mission part of the new rule book. Where it talks about troops being the only thing that can capture objectives. It says swarms do not count as troops that can capture objectives.

03-06-2008, 20:11
You mean is a nurgling able to capture objectives? It is in the mission part of the new rule book. Where it talks about troops being the only thing that can capture objectives. It says swarms do not count as troops that can capture objectives.

I though it said "units that have a special rule stating they do not count as scoring" I didnt see anything about swarms not being scoring.

I think there is some confusion in the fact that Scarbs have a rule stating they are not scoring (in the necron book), Rippers have a rule stating they are not scoring (in the tyranid book), BUT in niether the core book or the new demon codex do I see any rule to say that swarms are not scoring or cannot capture objectives.

04-06-2008, 12:20
In 5th it is established in the USR for swarms that they will not be able to capture objectives.

04-06-2008, 15:50
Imma have to get ahold of an "official" copy of fifth because from what I am seeing in my "unofficial" copy is that swarms benifit from stealth and are vunerable to blasts, nothing about not being scoring.

Its kind of important to me since I will be playing 4 x squads of 9 in my nurgling list. I will still be able to wipe armies completely off the board but I wanna know what my limitations are going to be.

BTW in test games with my new nurgle list I have completely decimated: Nydzilla, Lysander Wing, and GK ... the highlight of all those games being the 3 nurgling basses killing 3 carnifexes in 2 assualt phases.

04-06-2008, 19:44

thx spispopd, this is a realy good codex analysis !!!
(GW should send you an Deamon armybox and print it somewhere...)

some points i would like to add,
imo you underestimated the ingamepower of khorne heralds on chariots, the loss of independentrule is not that big in 5th, because every charakter can be shot without restrictions, and he doesn´t give much to a unit of bloodletters...
they are just like khorne deamonprinzes(without wings) switched from heavy to hq(2for1).

nurglings are more powerfull ingame then on paper...

and then there is the tankhunting aspect in 5th edition:
in close combat you always strike vs rear armour!
mono khorne armys shouldn´t have a problem vs tanks because even a lone bloodletter can penetrate a falcon or leman russ!!!
and if those skimmers dont move over 6" to shoot with all weapons, then you even hit them on 4+. landraiders are still a problem, but thats where your princes, grinder and thirster come into play. the monolit can only be scared by a soulgrinder, but there is always the outphase option :)

greetings Badger

04-06-2008, 19:50
and then there is the tankhunting aspect in 5th edition:
in close combat you always strike vs rear armour!

Lets not forget an equally important aspect neither. All those cover saves for tanks and skimmers people are raving about... last I checked, cover saves can't be taken against close combat attacks :)


04-06-2008, 21:28
Thank you, for this awesome review!!!!
May the chaos be with you :D

P.s: And in 5th edition, assaulted vehicles without WS stat, is ALWAYS hit on the REAR!


04-06-2008, 22:30
Nice review, but heres my observations on Daemons, from playing my Slannesh/Tzeentch mix.

1-Slannesh GD looks awesome on paper. Unfortunatly, DP's work MUCH better in actual play. Always take Pavane and Musk. Pavane helps everyone get into CC, rather than Fleet only helping the GD.
2-Wings are a must on DP's. Even at the outrageous cost.
3-Breath of Chaos is great, easily the best weapon in the Codex. Always take it on DP's, and a unit of Flamers are great.
4-You seriously undervalue Daemonettes. S3 and Rending isn't the best, but Fleet puts them above BL's. As is, BL's won't assault too easily, and come 5th, will just be Run'd from. They can't Fleet, and will usually assault into cover, meaning they're going to likely dwindle by the time they strike back.
5-Horrors are pure awesome. 4++ means they'll live through almost everything, and they put out so much firepower, you'll easily wipe or at least cripple, most units the turn they drop.

04-06-2008, 22:57
Damn, thats nice man, now I'm buying some flamers lol!

05-06-2008, 11:18
Thank you very much for this insightful review of the new Daemon dex. I have borrowed the hardcopy of a friend of mine and pretty much have to agree with your analysis.