Hello folks, I'm new to the board, but have been a Chaos and Daemon player for a while. I've been looking at this board for a while, and though that it was time I joined. I only join forums where there's no idiots flaming etc, and this Forum looks fine.
Anyway... having got my Codex a few days ago, I started writing and figured this Forum was the perfect place to post it.
40k Chaos Daemon Units
This post is intended to be an initial evaluation of the units in the new Chaos Daemons Codex. It is not intended to be a tactical post.
I’m sure the many of you will have different thoughts on these units, and hopefully as the posts come in, we can build up a really useful document on the Chaos Daemons. So my post is just to get the ball rolling.
I intend to post this on Librarium too, though it seems to be off-line at the moment. I’m sure the guys on there will have plenty to say too.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Chaos Daemons, is the amount of single figure units which count as Scoring units. This means that most of out HQs count as Scoring.
All our Daemons can’t be Instant Killed. It means that our models with more than 1 Wound, have a much better chance of survival.
Normally our T3 models would be Auto-Killed by S6/7, but now the following are Immune to that quick death: The Masque, The Blue Scribes, Heralds of Tzeentch and Slaanesh, and Nurglings.
Similarly our T4 models would be Auto-Killed by S8/9, and the following are Immune to that: Skulltaker, Heralds of Khorne, Chariot mounted Heralds of Slaanesh and Tzeentch, and Fiends of Slaanesh.
An obvious observation here is that it’s the Heralds that benefit most from this rule.
Footprints and Deep Strike
A unit’s Deep Strike Footprint (DSF) is the total area taken up by all the unit’s bases. So a unit with more models in, will have a larger DSF than the small type of unit with less models in. The DSF of single model units, is its base size. The DSF of a unit restricts where we can choose to Deep Strike it. One unit is particular has a very big DSF, which will severely limit where we can Deep Strike it: the Soul Grinder.
Thankfully the Codex includes some units which can have Chaos Icons, and I strongly recommend that you take a few of these. Make sure that you have one in each of your Daemonic Assault and Reserve groups.
Because of the dangers of large DSF and Scatter, I am beginning to think that the WFB idea of MSU (multiple small units) may be a very good idea for Chaos Daemon armies. With small units, we can risk Deep Striking a little closer to the enemy. As all our models are Fearless, even if most of a small unit gets blown away, the remainder can still Assault, potentially ‘Locking’ the enemy and prevent them from shooting.
Unlike Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Daemons in the 40k game have to deal with vehicles.
There are only a few methods we can use to damage vehicles with these Daemons. Monstrous Creatures with high Strength can Assault vehicles, Tzeentchian Daemons can use Bolt of Tzeentch, various Daemons can use Breath of Chaos, Screamers of Tzeentch can also Assault vehicles, and of course, the Soul Grinder can both shoot and Assault them.
We have quite a few units with S5 (or S4 + Furious Charge), which can Assault the rear of vehicles, but this is not a reliable strategy for trying to win games. Bloodcrushers of Khorne can Assault vehicles with up to armour 12, but may not have enough Attacks to be very successful.
Fiends of Slaanesh however do have a lot of Attacks, and with their high Strength, can attack almost any vehicle.
The S3 Rending of Seekers and Daemonettes is also not a strategy to rely on against vehicles, though maybe they could attack 10 and 11 vehicle armour; and if the rumours are true, Rending will lose some of its Anti-vehicle capability in 5th edition.
The following units all capable of damaging vehicles
• Fateweaver, Oracle of Tzeentch: Bolt of Tzeentch
• Ku-Gath the Plaguefather: high Strength and Breath of Chaos
• Skarbrand, the Exiled One: high Strength and Breath of Chaos
• Keeper of Secrets: with Unholy Might
• Great Unclean One: with Unholy Might
• Bloodthirster: even better with Unholy Might
• Lord of Change: high Strength and Bolt of Tzeentch
• The Blue Scribes, Librarians of Tzeentch: Bolt of Tzeentch and Breath of Chaos
• Heralds of Tzeentch: Bolt of Tzeentch
• Heralds of Nurgle: Breath of Chaos
• Flamers of Tzeentch: Bolt of Tzeentch and Breath of Chaos
• Fiends of Slaanesh: Strength with Rending
• Screamers of Tzeentch: Melta Bombs
• Soul Grinder of Chaos
• Daemon Prince: Unholy Might, Breath of Chaos, and Bolt of Tzeentch
With the exception of ‘Fateweaver’, all the Greater Daemons have very good Toughness. They also have good Invulnerable saves. What lets them down, is when they take many hits, resulting in a number of wounds which they need to save against. For example, 10 Troops (BS3) Rapid firing with S3 guns, would result in 10 hits, 1.66 wounds, and the Daemon would take 0.833 of a wound after its save. So even massed Guardians or IG can damage Greater Daemons. 10 Marines/Necron Warriors would result in 13.33 hits, 2.2 wounds and therefore 1.1 unsaved wounds. Greater Daemons of Nurgle have Feel No Pain, and are therefore able to take twice as many hits, before suffering the same damage. Tzeentch and Khorne Greater Daemons have a better save, so can need a few more hits before suffering unsaved Wounds.
The reason that this is important, is that enemy units can often shoot at a specific Monstrous Creatures (MC) without making Leaderships tests, i.e. if the MC is the closest ‘Large’ target. This means that if you want to use an MC in a supporting role, you can not shield behind most of your other units, forcing the enemy to make Leadership tests. This brings up the bizarre situation that Greater Daemons can often be safer when they are in close combat (Assaults).
Greater Daemons all have expensive points costs, so we need to get the most from them during battles.
Lord of Change (Greater Daemon of Tzeentch)
These Daemons have very good Invulnerable saves, and are as Tough as all the other Greater Daemons. Their based cost includes two Daemonic Gifts used in the Shooting phase, and a great BS. As Monstrous Creatures can shoot with two different weapons, this makes Lords of Change very good at shooting. As both their shooting Gifts penetrate MEQ armour, they are very well suited to destroying Marines, Necrons etc. Their firepower is similar to that of a main battle tank, and as they can fly, a Skimmer main battle tank.
So they have very good staying and shooting, but they’re 100 points more expensive than an average Skimmer main battle tank. Combine this with the fact that they may have to enter from Reserve (round 2 or later), I’m not sure that if we only use them as shooters, they are worth their points.
Using them to shoot then Assault can be a winner, as long as they will not be ‘Locked’ in your next Shooting Phase. Although they are by far the worst of the Greater Daemons in close combat , they are still MCs with multiple Attacks, decent Strength and the Soul Devourer Gift. With this in mind, their Instrument of Chaos upgrade is well worth considering, due to its small points cost.
By giving a Lord of Change the Mastery of Sorcery and Breath of Chaos upgrades, it can shoot with three different shooting weapons in the same Shooting Phase. A Lord of Change with these upgrades could destroy whole enemy units on its own, and shoot at all vehicles, even Assaulting them afterwards. I think these upgrades could be worth taking in games over 1,500 points.
A similar option is to give a Lord of Change the Mastery of Sorcery and Boon of Mutation upgrades, though this is really only useful against enemies with T3 or less. I do see a real problem with using Boon of Mutation along with the Lord’s Daemonic Gaze and Bolt of Tzeentch. As all the Lord’s shooting occurs simultaneously, your opponent may argue that the model you are trying to turn into a Spawn could also take hits from your shooting. If anyone has any clarity on this, please post it.
The Gift ‘We are Legion’ would be useful for a Lord of Change, but is so expensive, that I don’t think it’s worth considering.
Lords of Change can fly. This is a major boost to their value and capabilities. As I mentioned, we need to get the most from our Greater Daemons, and wings allows Lords of Change to get involved in the battle more quickly than those on foot.
Overall I think Lords of Change can be a reasonable Daemon for us to choose.
Fateweaver, Oracle of Tzeentch is a special Character version of a Lord of Change. Most of the above (Lords of Change) applies to him.
Annoying he has a lower Toughness score than all the other Greater Daemons, apparently making him much easier to kill. However, his special ability relating to Saves makes him one of the toughest models in the whole game, including the Forgeworld models. As Fateweaver’s special ability also helps friendly units close by, he will be of use anywhere on the battlefield, and in any role. For example:
a). Fateweaver + 1-2 units of Flamers of Tzeentch or Heralds of Tzeentch with Discs or Chariots: this group could quickly move round the battlefield. The firepower they could bring to bear could smash enemy units to pieces, especially when they close to Template range. With their additional saves, the whole group could Assault units that they have just shot at. A unit of Furies could also join this group.
B). Fateweaver can support your close combat units by moving close enough to these units, so during Assault, they are in range of his special ability. Friendly units which Consolidate after combat, can even move back into his special ability’s range. As Fateweaver can fly, he can also keep up with Daemon Beasts and Daemon Cavalry
For the additional points, if you want to field an upgraded Lord of Change, use Fateweaver instead. I think he can be well worth his high points cost.
Keeper of Secrets, (Greater Daemon of Slaanesh)
With their very high WS, good Strength and large number of Attacks, Keepers of Secrets are close combat specialists. Although they can not fly (Jump), they do have Fleet, which helps them to get involved in the battle as soon as possible.
Instrument of Chaos: As Keepers of Secrets are likely to be involved in Assaults as often as possible, if you have a few points spare, this upgrade is worth taking.
Pavane of Slaanesh: Although Pavane is a very useful Gift, it is likely that Keepers of Secrets will be Locked in close combat, or Fleeting to get into close combat. Therefore, I don’t think Pavane is useful as an upgrade for Keepers.
Soporific Musk: As Keepers of Secrets can’t fly, this upgrade could be useful, allowing your Keeper to get close to the next enemy unit they wish to Assault.
Transfixing Gaze: If you have enough points, this upgrade can be very useful. Use it against enemy models which have high Strength, Power Fists being the obvious example.
Unholy Might: This upgrade gives Keepers of Secrets a chance to wound models like Wraithlords, C’tan and Carnifex. It also greatly improves their chances to glance and penetrate vehicle armour.
Daemonic Gaze: Same as Pavane.
Great Unclean One (Greater Daemon of Nurgle)
Great Unclean Ones have a very important negative Special Rule: Slow & Purposeful. As they have neither Jump nor Fleet, this rule is a real problem. If your Great Unclean One gets a poor Scatter roll when it Deep Strikes, it might never even get involved in the battle. Even its ‘shooting’ attacks require 6” range or less.
From the enemy’s point of view, killing a Great Unclean One is very difficult. This is balanced by its very low Initiative, which means that most opponents will strike first during Assaults. It doesn’t even get an extra Attack when charging.
Instrument of Chaos: As Great Unclean Ones are likely to be involved in Assaults as often as possible, if you have a few points spare, this upgrade is worth taking.
Unholy Might: This upgrade gives Great Unclean Ones a chance to wound models like Wraithlords, C’tan and Carnifex. It also greatly improves their chances to glance and penetrate vehicle armour.
Aura of Decay: Against low Toughness enemies, this could be worth taking, but my opinion would be to ignore it.
Cloud of Flies: Until 5th edition comes out, I can’t comment on this.
Breath of Chaos: This Gift is very powerful, but again, I’m don’t think Great Unclean Ones merit spending additional points on. There are more mobile units with Breath of Chaos.
Even though they cost far less points than all the other Greater Daemons, I still think that they have too many negatives to be worth fielding. Having said this, Tyranid players using ‘Nidzilla’ armies (i.e. with plenty Monstrous Creatures) use slow moving close combat armed Carnifex, who seem to be very popular.
Ku-Gath the Plaguefather is a special Character version of a Great Unclean One. Most of the above (Great Unclean One) applies to him. His characteristics are very similar to a Great Unclean One’s, and he has three options to use in the Shooting phase. One of these, Necrotic Missiles, has a decent range and is very dangerous to non-vehicle units.
However, at nearly twice the price of a Great Unclean One, and with all the same negatives, I don’t think he is worth fielding. For 33 more points you could choose Fateweaver, who is ten times as useful.
Bloodthirster (Greater Daemon of Khorne)
Bloodthirsters are close combat specialists, and are able to glance or penetrate vehicles in Assaults. They have wings (Jump), and so are able to get quickly involved in the battle. Unlike most other Daemons, they also have a good Armour save, which helps a lot.
Instrument of Chaos: As Bloodthirsters are likely to be involved in Assaults as often as possible, if you have a few points spare, this upgrade is worth taking.
Unholy Might: This upgrade gives Bloodthirsters a better chance to wound models like Wraithlords, C’tan and Carnifex. It also greatly improves their chances to glance and penetrate vehicle armour.
Blessing of the Blood God: This gives Bloodthirsters better saves against psychic based powers. It is a very good upgrade for its cheap points cost.
Death Strike: This gives Bloodthirsters a shooting attack, which is similar to a Plasma Pistol (without Get’s Hot). As Bloodthirsters really should be in close combat as much as possible, I think this upgrade is too expensive to be worth taking, as the Bloodthirster is only likely to shoot once or twice during a game.
Skarbrand, the Exiled One is a special Character version of a Bloodthirster. He has Fleet instead of Wings, so can still into close combat fairly quickly. However, his special ability really helps enemy units in close combat. As Chaos Daemon armies are likely to win most games by winning close combats, I think he is a very risky unit to choose, as there are far too many good enemy close combat units out there. I don’t think I will ever field him.
Daemon Princes are smaller versions of Greater Daemons, and are likely to fill the same roles in our lists. Similar to Greater Daemons, Daemon Princes will die quickly if shot at by massed Rapid Fire, or Heavy Bolters and Scatter Lasers etc.
Thankfully, unlike the Chaos Space Marine Codex, the Daemon Princes in Codex Daemons have plenty of choices and variants. Although they have great BS, it is likely that you will want your Princes to get into close combat much of the time, so think carefully before buying Shooting attacks for them.
Daemon Princes are not a tough as Greater Daemons, and are likely to die sooner. With that in mind, don’t be tempted to give them upgrades they really don’t need. DPs don’t need to be able to do every job, and cover every base. They should be able to do one or two things well.
Daemonic Flight: unfortunately even though Daemonic armies really need fast moving units, the cost of Flight is so high, that I think it’s probably a waste of point. For 20 more points you can buy another Daemon Prince!
Iron Hide: I think that all Daemon Princes need this upgrade, as their Invulnerable save is just not good enough to protect them.
Unholy Might: As Daemon Princes have relatively low Strength, this could be a good upgrade to take, especially if you need your Daemon Prince to Assault vehicles.
Instrument of Chaos: If you have a few points spare, and your DP will spend most of the game in close combat, this is worth taking.
Daemon Princes of Khorne
These Daemons are built for close combat, and should be used to Assault as quickly as possible. With this in mind, I don’t think the Death Strike upgrade is worth considering. If you have the points to spare, and will be fighting armies which have Psykers, then
Blessing of the Blood God is worth choosing.
Daemon Princes of Nurgle
Unlike all the other Daemon Princes, I think that DPs of Nurgle, if used in an all Nurgle list, should be given Daemonic Flight. This is because almost everything else in the list will move very slowly. Don’t bother with Unholy Might unless you need your Nurgle Prince to crack open vehicles, choose Noxious Touch instead.
If you don’t bother with wings, Daemonic Gaze would be a good choice, so your DP can shoot until it gets into Assaults. Nurgle DPs with Flight could choose Boon of Mutation or Breath of Chaos. Only choose Boon if you intend the DP to get into close combat as quickly as possible.
Once again, we don’t know what Cloud of Flies does yet, so I won’t comment. Finally, the Aura of Decay upgrade could be very useful against T3 (with low armour saves), but don’t bother against MEQs.
Daemon Princes of Slaanesh
These Daemons have very good Initiative, so it seems logical to use them for close combat. If you choose this approach then give them Unholy Might and Transfixing Gaze; and Boon of Mutation if you have the points spare. It’s likely that Aura of Acquiescence will be useful for close combat DPs, but again I can’t comment at the moment. In larger point games Soporific Musk could be very useful too: see Keepers of Secrets.
Another option would be to give DPs of Slaanesh, Pavane of Slaanesh and Daemonic Gaze. Similar to the Tzeentch Greater Daemons, Daemon Princes of Slaanesh with shooting attacks will still need to join in Assaults some times.
Daemon Princes of Tzeentch
These Daemons have very good Invulnerable saves, making it slightly less important to buy Iron Hide, though if you have the points, its definitely a good idea to take this. Although their Bolt of Tzeentch is expensive, their very high BS makes them one of the best vehicle killers in the Codex. A DP of Tzeentch with Bolt of Tzeentch is like a powerful Obliterator. Give them Daemonic Gaze as well, and they become very efficient MEQ killers.
Like Lords of Change, DPs of Tzeentch will need to get involved in Assaults too.
Mastery of Sorcery seems pointless for DPs of Tzeentch, as MCs can already shoot with two different weapons. Soul Devourer also seems a waste of points, as MCs already ignore armour saves.
Daemon Princes with no Mark
For their points cost, the basic Daemon Prince with no Mark is very good. Even when you add Iron Hide, they’re still reasonable value. By adding Daemonic Gaze, you have a 130 point Monstrous Creature with comparable saves to other HQs of the same cost, who has a great shooting attack, meaning it still has value while it walks into close combat.
I have to say I rather like this version of the Daemon Prince, and am going to try it out for a few games. If you don’t need Soul Grinders for your anti-vehicle strategy, then fielding three of these DPs could be very powerful.
Some of these Heralds, are some of the most impressive units I’ve ever seen in 40k, and I don’t mean only the special character Heralds.
Apart from some Troops choices, some of the Heralds are the only units which can take Chaos Icons, and are therefore immediately worth considering as part of our army lists.
The non-Special Heralds, i.e. the Heralds of Nurgle, Tzeentch etc, are all Independent Characters (IC). Usually ICs are very important, but in this army, I don’t think we really need ICs to lead units, as they’re all Fearless already. Of course, being an IC means you can hide in unit, so it still does have its uses.
The Chariots upgrade removes the IC rule from Heralds. I think that the Chariots are so unbelievably good, that I’m not worried by losing this.
Heralds of Khorne
As usual with Khorne, their Heralds are designed for close combat. With the same BS as a Guardsman, and their close combat skills, there’s no point giving them Death Strike. Both the Juggernaut and Chariot upgrades are a must for these guys, and my preference is definitely the Chariot, despite the loss of IC status. The increased Toughness, Armour save, and extra Attack makes these Heralds very nasty in Assaults, especially on the round they charge.
Like Khorne DPs, If you have the points to spare, and will be fighting armies which have Psykers, then Blessing of the Blood God is worth choosing.
I can’t see the point in having a Herald on foot, which gets the Iron Hide upgrade, when the Juggernaut and Chariot gives it them as part of the package. Just don’t use Khorne Heralds on foot.
Unholy Might gives these Heralds a chance against some vehicle armour, and overall makes them very powerful in Assaults. It is a very good upgrade to choose. I think it’s likely to be more use than Fury of Khorne, which I wouldn’t bother with, as the Herald already has a Power weapon.
Skulltaker is a special Character version of a Herald of Khorne. Like the standard Khorne Heralds, he is so much better on a Juggernaut or a Chariot. He is very good in close combat, and with the additional characteristics gained from the Juggernaut or Chariot, even better. Both also make him much harder to destroy. The only negatives I can say about him, is that he is slow moving, and does the same job that many other units do. So for me, he is not a must have unit.
Heralds of Tzeentch
Tzeentchian Heralds come with a good shooting attack, which is great against MEQs. They have a good BS, and by taking Mastery of Sorcery and Bolt of Tzeentch, can be part of our anti-vehicle strategy. With this in mind, We are Legion may be worth taking if you have the points.
An alternative to Bolt of Tzeentch would be to take Breath of Chaos, but this means that would have to operate very close to the enemy forward edge of battle, i.e. in Template range of enemy troops. If a Herald will work with a unit of Flamers, then Breath of Chaos makes sense. I think Breath of Chaos can be a real winner if used in quantity. The effect of shooting at an enemy unit with multiple Breath of Chaos should be devastating.
Although they can take Soul Devourer, they have a very poor WS, poor Strength and relatively few Attacks. They are one of the few Daemons who can’t fight so well. Don’t take Soul Devourer. As Herald of Tzeentch shouldn’t really be in close combat, I don’t think that Boon of Mutation is worth them taking.
Both the Disc and the Chariot upgrades are well worth taking, as they give the Herald much needed speed. Again I believe that the Chariot is a far superior upgrade, especially in regard to the Heralds survivability.
The Blue Scribes, Librarians of Tzeentch are a special Character version of a Herald of Tzeentch. They are shooting specialists and should not be used in close combat. They are an Independent character, and therefore can be embedded in another unit, to prevent them from being shot to pieces. By having them join a unit of Horrors with ‘The Changeling’, you will have a powerful shooting unit, with anti-tank capability, which Deep Strikes as one unit, and has a chance of spoiling enemy shooting. Because the Scribes have ‘We are Legion’ they don’t have to shoot at the same unit they have joined.
I think the Blue Scribes could be a useful unit, but will need careful thought to use well.
Heralds of Slaanesh
Heralds of Slaanesh are Daemonettes with a better characteristics. On Mounts or Chariots, they are better Seekers. Annoyingly their BS is poor, but their shooting upgrades (Daemonic Gaze, Pavane of Slaanesh) are both excellent. Equally although they have a good WS and plenty of Attacks, they have poor Toughness and saves. The Chariot upgrade greatly increases the Heralds combat capabilities, and all round survival.
Although it could be tempting to given Slaanesh Heralds Pavane, ‘The Masque’ is so much better with Pavane, that I wouldn’t bother.
With a few of the upgrades, Heralds of Slaanesh can become reasonably good in close combat, and very fast moving. As I’ve said, Chariot is a must have upgrade, as is Unholy Might. Both Soporific Musk and Transfixing Gaze are good close combat upgrades, but if you choose a Chaos Icon, you could only choose one. Soporific Musk can be used to penetrate deeply into enemy lines, or equally to keep the Herald alive.
The Masque is a special Character version of a Slaaneshi Herald. Because she is so good at using Pavane of Slaanesh, she is likely to be useful in almost all Daemonic army lists. Remember though, that she is not an Independent character; so keeping her alive might not be so easy. Thankfully she has a fantastic Invulnerable save. She is quite good in close combat, but should only be committed where there is little chance of her being killed. Also her Soporific Musk can only be used if there are enemies left standing and still Locked.
Heralds of Nurgle
Like their Greater Daemons, Heralds of Nurgle are very slow moving. Similarly, their shooting attacks require very close range, but their BS is poor too. So they aren’t really useful as shooters. In close combat they have few Attacks, and don’t get their extra Attack for charging.
The only time I would ever consider using these Heralds is in an all Nurgle list. Then I would give them Noxious Touch, Breath of Chaos (or Aura of Decay vs S3 opponents) and possibly a Chaos Icon or if not, Cloud of Flies (presuming it turns out to be useful, when the 5th Edition rules are finally released). Unholy Might is pointless, as Noxious Touch is much more useful to the Heralds.
Epidemius, the Tallyman of Nurgle is a special Character version of a Herald of Nurgle. Looking at his profile, he’s only a slightly better Plaguebearer, so in most Daemonic armies, he is of little use. However, if your army is composed of 50%+ Nurgle models, his special rule ‘Tally of Pestilence’ makes him well worth taking. In Apocalypse games, using him in combination with a Death Guard army would be very powerful indeed.
All of our Elite choices are very simple, and direct. They have clear, unambiguous uses on the battlefield.
Fiends of Slaanesh
For their points cost, the Fiends of Slaanesh are some of the best close combat troops in the game. High Initiative and Strength, with plenty of Attacks and Rending make them very dangerous in Assaults. So much so, that I don’t think the Unholy Might upgrade is probably worth it, unless you are fielding units of 3+ Fiends. Being Beasts they are fast moving, and with Soporific Musk, can penetrate to the heart of you enemy’s forces.
Beasts of Nurgle
In truth, these Daemons are just better versions of Plaguebearers, and bring nothing new for us. I can only imagine using them in all Nurgle lists. You should only take Noxious Touch, which is very useful, in units of 3+ Beasts.
Bloodcrushers of Khorne
These Daemons are also just better versions of Bloodletters. Whether each Bloodcrusher is worth 2.5 Bloodletters remains to be proved. They only move at Infantry speed, and have no shooting capability. I have the feeling that some Daemonic players may be disappointed by their Bloodcrushers. I’m using the Juggernaut I got from the Spearhead, for Skulltaker’s Chariot. I must say though, that they look absolutely fantastic.
Flamers of Tzeentch
Good Toughness and Invulnerable saves, Jump packs, Assault shooting weapons and Breath of Chaos, wow! Flamers will provide very powerful shooting for our armies, and as I’ve already mentioned, multiple Breath of Chaos shots will annihilate enemy units, and cause a lot of problems for vehicles too. These Daemons will be useful in any list. Whether you give them Bolt of Change depends on your overall anti-vehicle strategy. Don’t buy this unless you need it.
Don’t forget Chaos Icons when you choose this units.
Bloodletters of Khorne
With characteristics better than a Space Marine, Fearless, Power weapons and Furious Charge, these Daemons are absolute monsters in close combat, like ultra-Banshees (same points too!).
I don’t think Fury of Khorne is worth bothering with, as Bloodletters don’t get enough Attacks to merit its cost.
Instrument of Chaos
Daemonettes of Slaanesh
Daemonettes are well known as close combat specialists, and are rightly feared. Their problem is having a poor Toughness, which leaves them very vulnerable to all forms of shooting. At least they have finally been given Fleet, enabling them to Assault more quickly. Even if they are Assaulted, with so many Attacks per Daemonette and their very high Initiative, they will cause plenty of casualties to the enemy, and their Rending allows them to take on all kinds of units. They could even Assault vehicles with up to 11 armour.
With their high Initiative, Instrument of Chaos seems like a very logical upgrade to take. Transfixing Gaze can help the Daemonettes to win Assaults, but is not critical.
Plaguebearers of Nurgle
One Attack with no extra Attack for charging, plus Slow & Purposeful. Although Plaguebearers are incredibly difficult to kill, they are very poor at everything. The only use I can see for them, is to Deep Strike small Plaguebearers units with Chaos Icons, enabling you to Deep Strike accurately later in the game. Don’t bother with the other upgrades. Spending more points on these guys is not worth it. Even in all Nurgle armies, I would only use a few units of these guys, preferring to use bigger units of Beasts of Nurgle.
Horrors of Tzeentch
Despite their good Invulnerable save, Horrors are still very fragile, and easily killed by massed fire or close combat hits. They can provide simple shooting attacks, but are slow. Therefore they are individually nowhere near as good as the Flamers at shooting. However, big units of Horrors can pour fire into your enemy. My only concern in this regard is that Warpfire is a close range shooting attack, and Horrors are not close combat capable. Again, whether you give them Bolt of Change depends on your overall anti-vehicle strategy. Don’t buy this unless you need it.
Instrument of Chaos seems a completely pointless upgrade for them. If you field at least one unit of Horrors, give them the ‘Changeling’. There is no reason not to field this guy if you want Horrors, as his special rule is very useful.
Nurglings are Eternal Warriors of Nurgle, meaning that they can’t be Instant Killed. This is really useful as they are Vulnerable to Blasts, and many Blast attacks are S6+. It’s quite appealing to think that the same type of Blast might wipe away Marine squads, but leave the Nurglings damaged but not destroyed.
I think that Nurglings could prove useful for us. Units of 3-4 Nurglings can risk Deep Striking reasonably close to the enemy, forcing them to take Leadership tests if they want to shoot any of our other units, and preventing the enemy from being able to Assault our other units as well. Any surviving Nurglings would Assault the enemy as quickly as possible, to ‘Lock’ them. In close combat their Invulnerable save should prove some use.
So imagine the scene: out of the Warp drop some Nurglings. The Space Marine Vindicator opens up with its Demolisher Cannon (I can’t give its stats) which Wounds the Nurglings on 2s and should have auto-killed them. 16.66% of the Nurglings don’t get wounded, the rest take 2 wounds each, with a 33.3% of saving against those wounds. Then some SMurfs (Space Marines) Assault them. The Sergeant has a Power Fist, and even he only has a 36.9% per hit of causing a wound on the Nurgling.
Even so, small units of Plaguebearers with Chaos Icons may be more use than the Nurglings.
Flesh Hounds of Khorne
Fast, with high Strength and high Initiative when charging, Flesh Hounds are simple, effective close combat troops. The Fury of Khorne upgrade is nice but not essential, but certainly useful against MEQs.
Karanak is a special Character version of a Flesh Hound. There’s nothing fancy or unusual about him, he’s just a good close combat character (His Rending is useful). Even though his special rule is very useful for the unit he belongs to, I’m not sure that he’s worth the additional points cost. I would be happier with his cost, if he had a better save, or more Wounds.
If you do field him, give one of the Hounds Fury of Khorne too. At least then you can consider attacking units where Rending could be important, for example: Terminators.
Seekers of Slaanesh
Seekers are Daemonettes who can charge 12” and with an extra Attack. They cost only 3 points more than regular Daemonettes, which makes them incredibly good value to use in our armies. With this in mind, Instrument of Chaos seems like a very logical upgrade to take. However, as Seekers are slightly better than Daemonettes, I think that Transfixing Gaze is worth using for the Seekers. Also, they could be given a Chaos Icon, though my preference would be to give Icons to units likely to survive longer.
Page 41 of the Codex describes the Seekers as “Daemonettes riding Mounts of Slaanesh”, i.e. the Mounted Daemonette model. In the text it uses the terms Mount of Slaanesh and Steed of Slaanesh, so I think it is perfectly reasonably for us to use any converted ‘Pleasureseekers’, that where originally made for the old Daemonic Legion WFB list.
Screamers of Tzeentch
Although the are fast moving, Screamers are in poor close combat. Armed with Melta Bombs, they are good at one thing, vehicle hunting. Even then, against vehicles moving more than 6”, Skimmers or Walkers in close combat, they’re really not much use. I would think carefully about the army your opponent will use, before choosing Screamers of Tzeentch. For example: If your opponent is likely to use non-Skimmer main battle tanks (Leman Rus, Predators, Land Raiders etc), then Screamers can be worth fielding.
Although one Screamer can be given Unholy Might, I think this a waste of points.
Furies of Chaos
Like Flesh Hounds, Furies of Chaos are simple close combat units. Unfortunately their poor WS means that Flesh Hounds are now a much better choice. Flesh Hounds have Furious Charge and higher Initiative too.
Soul Grinder of Chaos
As I mentioned previously, Soul Grinders have a very large Deep Strike Footprint. Because of this, it may not be a good idea to take all three Heavy Support choices as Soul Grinders. Of course, if your local game uses very little terrain, and therefore has very open gaming tables, Deep Strike for Soul Grinders should not be so much of an issue.
The shooting weapons of the basic Soul Grinder are not designed to take out vehicles. As anti-vehicle is something of a problem for Chaos Daemon lists, I would strongly recommend taking the Phlegm or Tongue upgrade. Phlegm is also extremely good at destroying non-vehicle units, and the perfect MEQ killer. Remember though that Soul Grinders do not have a high BS, so don’t rely on them as your only anti-tank models.
If your list does not need Soul Grinders to be long ranged anti-vehicle weapons, their two Dreadnought close combat weapons and Fleet allow Soul Grinders to move quickly at your enemies. This could allow them to Assault vehicles, and as they have a good number of Attacks, could be very successful.
Annoyingly as with Defilers (Chaos Space Marine Codex), Soul Grinders have great shooting weapons, so can’t Fleet when they shoot them; and poor BS but great close combat capability. At least we have the choice to Fleet or shoot, so maybe I shouldn’t complain. With shooting upgrades they are expensive, without they must use close combat as quickly as possible. Thankfully their vehicle armour is quite good, though they are likely to attract a lot of enemy Heavy Weapons.
Finally I have to say the Soul Grinder is a great looking model, and even though I have mentioned some issues with it, I will be fielding one in my Daemonic armies. I don’t like the original Defiler model, but will now use my Soul Grinder as one in my Chaos Space Marine lists. I like the model so much that I am also considering buying a second one to convert. I would use the Deamon’s body, head and weapons to make a Bloodthirster, adding wings, legs etc, and use the vehicle parts to make a new Defiler.