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Daemon characters guide
, Math hammer and strategic tips.
Lovely Fox Spirit
Member No.: 2,592
Joined: 1-November 10
Hello all daemon friends! This time I am going to write about daemon characters in general. There shall be tactics and tips mostly from my own experiences and while some tips are generic focus is bit more towards competitive gaming. I will talk about each character and special character individually, tell some tactics and common uses, add math hammer and compare them with each other. None of my statements are “the absolute truths” and there are surely many things I have missed especially with expensive special characters, as I rarely use them. Math hammer is commonly tested against Ws3, T3 As6+ model which represents common man, but also gives good estimate on how model would fare against elves, skaven and like. Also I want to hear your ideas too so we can make this guide even better =) But for now, I hope you enjoy the guide and it helps you too.
There are few things that apply for most greater daemons and special characters, so they can be discussed here instead of separately mentioning them with each daemon. Generally all greater daemons are quite trusty point’s denial, meaning that your opponent has hard time killing them while you can pick your fights with them. Every greater daemon also packs quite a punch offensively and can easily take down even toughest of characters and monsters. Against big T6 monsters and machines every greater daemon usually causes at least 3 wounds per round and un-buffed thirster and keeper can even deal 4 wounds per round against most monsters. They are also effective against infantry, causing usually 5-8 wounds per round to even elite fighters while taking minimum amount of damage due to their high durability. Most units need 5’s to hit them and 6’s to wound them in combat and daemon still has its 5+ ward after that. This makes all greater daemons both good offensive units as well as good anvils. So whatever your daemon choice might be it is usually a good idea to get them into combat fast as they are usually most safe in there!
Some armies might have some obvious static combat resolution traps like empires griffon standard so you better learn them all to avoid them. For example if a unit has maxed ranks with command group, BsB and a hero there you should always think twice before charging headlong. With your stomps and all you will likely win in normal situations, but if hero has a 4+ ward you can get stuck with him and lose to the cmobat resolutions. For this it is always good thing to keep BsB atleast 12" from your greater daemon to help against bad combat resolutions. Luckily though many greaters will do fine even against tough characters with 4+ wards, Thirster with immortal fury deals 2,59 wounds without stomps, KoS 2,22 (2,84 with soul hunger), but dice can be tricky sometimes. LoC can be really hurt with a challenge like this as he will likely deal 1,39 wounds per turn and same goes for GuO without balesword as he likely deals only 0,89 on such fights. With everyone but GuO you can also pick your fights and avoid suspicious units (well GuO can do this too, but others have much better manouevrability) but even if you still want to attack you should try to get a flank attack, as with charge and flank bonus you have already countered 2 points from the static resolution.
Many lords and heroes have tons of great gifts they can pick, but do not get too excited. Troops and basic daemons are still the main bulk of the army that does most of the killing and characters are usually the support and provide ways to counter things like big monsters for example. If you spend too many points on characters and gifts your basic structure of army will start crumbling and you will end up with a broken army that is usually easy to defeat. Good amount to invest on characters is usually 20-35% per army. More than that will reduce number of the core troops too much.
War machines can be a big threat to your expensive greater daemons but there are few things you can do to protect them. All greaters are quite fast and most of them will move 20” with march speed. Use this well to move into positions where they can be out of line of sight from machines or where there is some opponent own troops nearby that might get shot accidentally. KoS and Thirster can pretty easily fly straight forward 20” towards the opponent, take the charge and still easily win the combat, so you can build a pressure to your opponent. Deployment is your greatest friend when protecting greaters, by carefully planning out you can avoid the worst. You can also deploy single fiend in front of your greater daemon to protect it from cannonballs. If fiend is hit by it, cannonball has to survive its 5+ ward and deal 3+ wounds to keep bouncing to your greater daemon. This 55pts shield can later be used on war machine hunting, speed bumping, wizard assassination and flank charging, so it’s a good deal =) Against stone throwers however your best bet is to get close to the opponent so that stones might scatter to his own troops instead making Greater daemon a risky target. Many stone throwers have minimum range of 12" too, so Greater daemon can easily slip under that range to avoid get shot.
Lore of beasts and light both provide good protection against war machines too. Lore of beasts can provide easy T9 or even 10 to your greater while both lores have -1 to all shooting spell in there too to help against basic shooting. Nurgling scouts, fiends and furies are good warmachine hunters that you very likely want to include on your army if you have a greater daemon on it. 3 Nurglings will deal 2,08 wounds, single fiend 1,5 and 5 furies 1,25 per turn on a basic war machine (ws4 t4 crew) but most importantly they will hold it down and prevent it from shooting.
Do not underestimate number of small hits. 90-135 Ws/Bs3 S3 are enough to kill un-armoured greater daemon so avoid running next to gun lines or units where you might face numerous poisonous hits. Even though greater daemons are powerful they are not immortal. Lore of life can be used to heal them and lore of light can provide good -1 protection against small hits and 4+ protections against war machines. Your’ main objective is to get greater daemons fight on turn 2 to get most of their fighting potential, so do not loiter too much. Use their high movement to get to opponents flanks where you will get additional combat resolution to buff you up. Always beware poisonous attacks, like scouting skaven and lizardmen. It will take 45 poisoned hits to take down un-armoured greater daemon, so 10 scouts that shoot 2 times in a turn could kill greater in only 3 turns. Scouts can be countered easily in the deployment phase though, by covering your greaters with other troops or deploying so widely that opponent has no chance to get his scouts near you. You can also deploy unit of furies facing backwards to the possible place where scouts would end up so that they would instantly get charged by furies then. If no scouts are deployed they can freely reform and march away.
GREATER DAEMONS VS. HORDES
Many will compare greater daemons directly to horde units as 30 models and a herald costs roughly the same amount than greater daemon. While it is true that horde can deal great amount of damage they both have their own ups and downs. Thirster for example kills 6,81 basic troops in one turn while Bloodletter horde with a herald kills mighty 25 thanks to their hatred. However if the opponent has small bases and deploys in ranks of 5 letters horde will only deal 16 kills and 10 kills after they lose their hatred. Bloodletters will much more likely take some casualties too making greater daemon always the much more durable choice against common rank and file troops. For example Bloodthirster with armour of Khorne takes 405 S3 attacks before dying where Bloodletter horde can sustain only 180 S3 attacks before getting annihilated. Thirster also takes much less space than horde, so fewer models get to attack it per turn. Greater daemon also maintains his attack power to the bitter end where horde will reduce in power per each hit. For example Bloodletter unit hit by a mortar might lose 6 models immediately dropping the kill count by 3,33.
Greater daemon will very likely get a flank charge and can in sometimes when opponent fails his terror test annihilate whole unit without any fight. Manoeuvrability of the greater daemons also mean that they will much likely pick their fights where lesser daemons are more on the mercy of opponent on what they get to fight against. In the end when counting the combat modifiers both, greater daemon and horde, will have quite similar numbers if they face an anvil unit. Against Ws4, T4, Armour save 4+ unit Bloodthirster deals 6,81 kills per round and letters horde 8,17 if 7 models per rank get to attack. Thirster will unlikely receive any wounds while letters take some casualties. Thirster likely gets only flank bonus, but letters usually have ranks and standard which means that both will have quite similar combat resolutions. Greater daemons also fare better against big monsters, endure bow fire, templates and magic better than most normal daemons while normal daemons are usually less vulnerable to cannon fire and sudden good luck boons from your opponent. Horde unit gets bigger benefits from unit buff spells while Greater daemon can be kept alive easier with magic. So they both have some ups and downs, but tactically both can be used really well in right hands.
Almost every daemon character can pick it and many might have pondered if it is of any use. Many pick it to protect their greater daemons from cannonballs and other hazardous multi-wound attacks. I will break usefulness of this item in numbers to view it more neutrally. If a daemon (any daemon) is hit by a cannonball, it will be wounded at 56% chance as your opponent needs to roll 2+ first and then you need to fail at 5+ roll. For daemons inside units this chance is 9% as they get a look out sir roll. If the greater daemon other than GuO gets wounded by cannon it will die on 33% chance. Daemonic robes will drop the wound percent from 56% to 44% so its 12% drop chance. So chance to get hit and die together is pretty slim one and robes really won’t change it much. The thing is that cannon is almost the only thing that robes protect the daemon from since it does not help at all against other attacks like most melee and bow shooting, which actually renders the whole item pretty useless. It is thus more useful at using a single fiend or just to position your daemon better than using daemonic robes as it actually does not do much for protection and only helps against very marginal threats.
Compared to Bloodthirster this guy costs 205pts more, has 1 higher initiative and 2 more attacks due to additional hand weapon and frenzy but no armour and he cannot fly. This makes Skarbrand less manoeuvrable compared to Bloodthirster that has extra +2M and D6 in charge due to the swift stride. His biggest downside is definitely his lack of armour and for that reason you need all ways of protecting him from the harm. You will likely want to use “fiend cannonball walls” , magical protection and healing to keep him in good health. In the worst case he can be shot down in a single shooting phase with some crossbows and that’s bad for a model that costs 655pts.
On the offensive side, opponents do not get armour saves against his attacks and he also has powerful S5 breath attack. Overall his offensive capabilities are very impressive and with stomps, breath and his normal attacks he can deal average of 6,67 (normal kills) + 2,92 (crushing) + 6,25 (breath) kills. That is quite hardcore 16 kills in one single turn and on top of that he even works well against elite and highly armoured units as nobody gets any armour saves against him.
Skarbrands main benefit is not his fighting skills, even though mighty he might be, but his hatred aura. Aura works great with almost any close combat units in the army, as most daemons hit hard already. For Bloodletters it is "free herald" (6 more kills per horde it affects) and models like fiends benefit it too (+3,85 kills for 5fiends) thanks to their large number of attacks. Nurglings (+2,50 more kills for 5 nurglings) and plague bearers (6,89 more kills on a horde) also gain a good buff and get rerolls to their poisoned attacks to make them more dangerous against high T monsters (combine it with Epidemius for some madness).
If you consider his aura as a free herald for Bloodletters and a great boost for others, the price tag does not seem so horrible anymore. 2 Heralds of Khorne will bring roughly the same offensive buff as Skarbrand brings just being nearby of 2 hordes. His aura boost to enemies is not half as bad as it sounds. Many opponents either have similar skill (helfs delfs) or you do not really need to care about it that much (humans, skaven, brets after charge), since they have much lower fighting skills than you got. This is because hit first against most targets or can endure their beating with ease.
Overall Skarbrand is like a glass cannon, a real gamble. While he brings very good bonus to daemons nearby and his offensive abilities are superior, he is still very vulnerable because he has no armour and is not near as manoeuvrable as Bloodthirster. Against Empire and dwarf he will be the number 1 target for all the cannons and against Skaven and lizard men you really need to watch out for those poisonous scouts. He is expensive and dies easily, but if you manage to keep him alive, it definitely is worth picking him.
This bird is one of the most overused and feared special characters and for the reason. Compared to LoC his physical skills are plain horrible, but since he is a caster it does not matter that much. On a casters side his gifts and spells are superior and he has more spells than any other caster in the game. With +6 to cast and single reroll each turn that can save him from irresistible force “lost control”, characteristic tests and cannons are golden. Combine 3+ his wards with the rerolls and you realise why he is so hard to kill (he is actually more durable than GuO!). It is also worth noting that he can make more dice if the winds of magic are bad from the Tzeentch lore and cast same spell twice in the best situation if opponents wizard (glean magic) and you know it (2 dwellers in one turn is quite nice). His flying ability also makes it very difficult for your opponent to catch him.
I will not go too much for the details on spells as you can just check that analysis on my magic guide. But for choosing spells it is usually good to think what purpose you want him to fulfil and pick spells accordingly. Kairos can choose spells at the beginning of each battle, making him even better on tournaments where you can tailor him accordingly for each battle. Lore of Tzeentch is usually enough for killing small skirmishers and flying heroes that might try to catch him and lock into combat. Lore of Tzeentch also provides good spells to kill big monsters, like Bolt of Tzeentch. One or two spells from life lore is usually picked to heal Kairos and units around him and mass destruction spells are common choices too as he can throw several of them in one turn. Transformation or savage beasts are usually picked to boost his melee powers if he gets stuck in combat.
Overall there is not much to say about Kairos if we skip the magic spells, as he is all about which spells you choose for him. He is very good points denial thanks to his huge resilience and perhaps one of the greatest wizards in the whole game thanks to his huge magical bonuses, ability to bring more dice and way to avoid miscasts. In melee he relies heavily on thunder stomps (2,92 wounds per round) as he has only one attack and his melee abilities are plain awful. You need to be extra careful against all Initiative tests opponent might force him to do as he will surely fail them at I1.
Ku’gath is very similar on the fighting capabilities than Great unclean one and only reason to pick him on your list is his Necrotic missiles ability. Hatred is a nice bonus but not game breaking and rarely makes difference anyway. So the big question is how effective that necrotic missiles is and what is it worth. If you strip Ku’gath from the gifts that GuO or heralds could get his price drops to 540, making his missile upgrade cost roughly 90pts, almost same amount that normal stone thrower usually costs. So basically this special character is GuO with gifts and powered up stone thrower.
Stone throwers template usually gets 21 human sized models under it when it hits big units and on 2+ to wound it will likely deal 17,5 wounds per shot. This makes it extremely dangerous especially against highly armoured and high toughness models (knights, chaos warriors, empire great swords). This “catapult” gains its points back very fast as 17 kills even against empire state troops nets you 85pts and against chaos warriors you could get the whole price of the model back in 3 well aimed shots. If combined with Epidemius he will become insanely powerful as even one of his shots can trigger the 4+ poison on all Nurgle troops and after that his own 10 poisoned attacks become very potent too. Greatest thing about the necrotic missiles is that opponent has no way of countering it unlike with plague wind that he can counter with big dispel pool and dispel scrolls. Stone thrower is quite reliable after all since it has 1/3 chance on scoring a hit and while scattering, it has 1/3 chance of scattering only a small amount that does not affect a hit area too much.
Ku’gath is always a level 1 wizard meaning that he could even get a plague wind with some luck but for him it might be better to get signature spell as it would pit his opponents against 10 poisoned attacks that hit on 3+ and wound on 2+ each turn. Ku’gath can be used as a point’s denial in a very similar way as GuO by constantly buffing number of nearby nurglings and making the unit nearly indestructible. Again combined with Epidemius and Kul’gaths necrotic missiles even the little nurglings would get dangerous. In melee Ku’gath will usually deal 2,33(basic attacks)+2,92(crushing attacks)+2(Palanquin)= 7,25 kills against common T3 Ws3 foes per round.
Biggest downsides of Ku’gath is his low movement of 4” which is compensated bit by his shooting ability but many opponents can ignore him and avoid him through whole battle if you are not careful on your movements and deployment. He has also the same troubles with poisonous attacks and cannons as every other greater daemon has, but overall Ku’gath can be really powerful character without too many bad sides. Just be sure to pick fiend or two to kill those scouts that might deploy behind him and throw poisoned attacks at him. Ku’gath also needs to beware all initiative tests for he has 1/3 chance on dying on stuff like pit of shades if he gets hit by one.
Lovely Fox Spirit
Member No.: 2,592
Joined: 1-November 10
This lord is the least used in competitive play and for a reason; it costs way too much for what it can do. That is UNLESS it gets a proper gifts after which it becomes fearsome killing machine. Of all lord choices he is surprisingly the best pick for anything that has Ws7> T3> and armour save maximum of 5+ (5,69 kills per round). With foes like this it can actually get points effectiveness of 0,019 which is 0,003 more than Keeper of Secrets (who is best greater against infantry). Unfortunately when opponents stats raise even slightly to T4 or Armour save 4+ or higher, the unbuffed princes’ kill power will dramatically drop down.
The most common gift for Prince is the Unnatural swiftness to give rerolls and Ether blade to compensate with his low strength. Prince with Ether blade and swiftness becomes good heavy cavalry hunter, easily killing 3,7 models in one turn. Against knights with 2+ save and equipped with Ether blade he is again the most cost effective choice when comparing to other greater daemons making prince kind of ok pick against Bretonnia and Chaos warriors for example. Another good gift for the prince is Enrapturing gaze that can be used to break steadfast blocks. It works well especially when combined with -2Ld banner.
It is advised to keep prince cheap even though many gifts might be tempting. His price rises easily if you start picking marks and gifts from the other gods. For example Khorne prince with Armour of Khorne, unnatural swiftness and Spellbreaker costs whopping 400pts, so you could get actual Bloodthirster with only 50 more pts, and he would have added M, S,T,W,I,A,Ld, terror, bigger Ld bubble and MR to start with. So consider thoroughly if it is necessary to get all gifts and marks from various gods to your prince. Wings might be tempting, but they will only add 2” to the normal movement and swift stride to the charge and pursuit which does not help much for 25pts.
Prince has some funny builds that can be used to surprise your opponent. Nurgle prince for example is very potent, but relies heavily on casting the Nurgles’ signature spell, miasma of pestilence. Build is as follows:
This build is what makes prince such a dangerous foe. Prince will get rerolls in not only for to hit and to wound but for iridescent corona too. With all the rerolls and buffs the prince will deal massive 5,99 (basic attacks) + 2,92 (thunderstomp) + 2 (iridescent corona) = 10,9 kills against any Ws6> T3 no armour save models. This is more than any greater daemon could do with any set up. Even Bloodthirster with 10 attacks (which is above avarage) from dark insanity and soul hunger, deals less damage than prince. Prince will deal more kills than greaters with any set even against As5+ and T4 with this set up effectively making prince the most destructive lord choice of them all. Even against T4 and 3+ armour Prince will remain very cost effective winning thirsters too and losing to KoS only by 0,001 pts in cost effectiveness.
Biggest problems with Prince comes with the survivability, as he has only T5 and 4W. Still this build costs 75pts less than any naked prince and can deal more damage than any greater daemon could, so it is definately worthy lord to lead your army.
Nurgle Build 435pts:
Mark of Nurgle
Lvl 1 Wizard
Stream of Bile
Optional: Unnatural Swiftness / Enrapturing gaze
This build drops all stats from the models in base contact to 1 and after that you start getting powerful. You get 5 attacks that wound on 2+, 2D6 breath that wounds on 2+, 4 automatic hits that wound on 2+ and D6 stomps that wound on 2+ while you are almost immune to all incoming attacks thanks to miasma. At the best this build can dish out 2,78(basic attacks)+ 2,92(thunderstomps)+ 5,83(breath)+3,33(iridescent corona)=14,86 in one turn when miasma is in effect! That’s more than many greater daemons could pull off in one round of combat. Miasma can be cast with only one die, so you can pressure your opponent using his scrolls and dice to some potent buffs and then with your last die cast the miasma.
Mark of Slaanesh
This build only works with proper Ld bombing where you got Ld banner and Masque with you. With those it will be nasty character killer/staller that straight forward challenges characters in big blocks and wins thanks to controlling the opponent and then makes opponent take ld tests with big negative modifiers on it. Against anything else it is not very powerful though.
So to sum it up, daemon prince can be definitely fun to play, but is usually chosen only for fluffy and friendly games. In competitive environment it dies fast because of its low T5 and no armour saves. It does not provide bigger Ld bubble to your units like greater daemons and has same ld than common heralds. In combat it does not fare well unless you’re facing T3 non-armoured foes, and if that’s the case you might as well ask why your 300-400pts model is killing 50-100pts units when you could have taken something more useful. Sadly the prince is not very good choice in competitive environment due to his high price and low offensive and defensive skills.
Thirster is one of the most classic and symbolic greater daemons of all time. From the very beginning it has been one of the most powerful things in the whole warhammer and still keeps its ground fairly well. With its thunder stomps and normal attacks it will usually kill 6,81 models of Ws9>, T4> and As 4+ or lower in one round. Since it can fly, it can easily flank units and pick monsters or war machines from the crowd. Picking fights is one of its dangerous abilities as it can choose where it wants to fight and when and avoid unwanted combats. Thanks to his high defensive stats Bloodthirster can usually charge without any worries even against tough elite blocks and still win the fight by 2-4 resolution though charging the flank is usually much better idea. Bloodthirster is also almost immune to magic with his 3+ ward save against it, so it is unlikely to get hit by many magic missiles.
The most common gifts that you usually find on Bloodthirster are Obsidian armour, Firestorm Blade, Immortal fury, Spell breaker and Armour of Khorne. Obsidian armour is usually chosen for character slayers as most characters gain their fighting power from magical weapons. Obsidian armour can be considered as an insurance against tough characters that it might face. Axe of Khorne is sometimes used with obsidian armour for even more character oriented fights and cracking heavily armoured foes and some people prefer it instead of firestorm blade because of common 2+ flame wards. Axe of Khorne brings overall good buff against high armours and characters after all. While both items can be useful on protecting thirster, many prefer armour of Khorne as it is 35pts cheaper and gives same armour protection as Obsidian. After all there is many armies where characters usually do not have powerful weapons or use some other tricks to change the battle outcome (speculum, heroic killing blow or simply high strength like dragons and 2h weapons).
Firestorm blade is also very common gift to boost Thirsters strength. It makes him better monster at killing as it chops through high T, armour and regeneration. In game terms Thirster without a firestorm blade will deal 1,17 wounds per round on a regenerating T6 monster while with firestorm blade number goes up to 3,11 per round. Downside with the firestorm would be 2+ flame ward items that can hit your Thirster pretty badly but with some thinking you can usually avoid obvious flame wards and concentrate on killing monsters and infantry instead. Spell breaker is good pick too, as you do not need to pick heralds with one then and you usually get better points denial with your Thirster holding it.
Awesome strength is not very commonly used due to its high points cost and there isn’t many places where it would actually do you any good. It can be ok for killing monsters, but usually firestorm blade (3,11W vs 3,89W against T6 monsters) and immortal fury (4,15W against T6 monster) will do just the same thing better and cheaper. Dark insanity is another debatable item. Most common result with 2D6 is 7, so it usually provides you only +2 more attacks but can also drop your original attack score to 4 (2,22 basic attack kills) or raise it to whopping 14 (7,78 basic attack kills)! It is gambling item that makes some fights more fun, but is not usually used in competitive game due to its unpredictable nature. Collar is almost never used as 3+ ward against magic missiles is usually more than enough and magic really isn’t what usually kills the thirster.
Thirster can be used well even without any gifts and thus can be a worthy choice even on 2000pts game without any items or minimum armour of Khorne and spell breaker. Remember that Thirster is carrying heavy armour too. It has few common builds however:
All around fighter:
Armour of Khorne
Optional: Spell breaker
Optional: Firestorm blade
Immortal fury will raise Thirsters cost effectiveness from 0,15 to 0,17 with only 25pts so it is a good deal. Armour of Khorne is solid protection gift that will make him able to take lot more damage before going down from 203 Ws3 S3 attacks to 405 attacks. You can upgrade this build optionally by picking anti magic with spell breakers and adding offensive against big monsters with firestorm blade. Firestorm really makes a difference against T6 models with reg, as without it you will deal 1,56 wounds per round but with it 3,89 wounds per round. It raises your attack potential with 0,88 kills per round against T6 models and models with armour of 3+ or higher.
Axe of Khorne
Obsidian armour/Armour of Khorne
Axe of Khorne is sometimes used on character assassination and it can work pretty darn well with immortal fury. Odds are that you get 6,22 hits with the rerolls, and with one 6 needed for the killing blow, you are quite likely going to get one on each turn with axe and fury. Obsidian armour stops all the nasty magic weapons that characters might have. Only downside of this build is that your Thirster has 60pts worth of gifts that do not help him much against other than characters.
LORD OF CHANGE
Old bird is usually considered the least powerful when comparing the 4 greater daemons, but people tend to underestimate him harshly. Admitted he is not as strong in melee, but he will still deal 5,69 kills per round against Ws5> T4> and Armour save 4+ or lower units and deals 3,43 against T6 monsters in one round which is not far from other greater daemons. One of his great strengths is his flaming attacks that will easily kill all flammable and regenerating monsters. People also often forget that he is level 2 wizard that knows WHOLE lore of Tzeentch automatically.
Lore of Tzeentch is another topic itself and you can find my guide about magic lore’s here on these forums too but as a short reminder there is few devastating spells there. Boon can save you from bad winds of magic and gain you upper hand. Glean magic can give you superior spells like dwellers with casting value of 7+. Bolt of change is the most potent magic missile in the whole game and cheap too as is its minor version flicker fire. You can also use gift of chaos in the magic phase to deal even more damage. Gift of chaos will likely deal 1,5 to 2,67 kills per unit it hits so by hitting 3 units which is not uncommon at melee range can net you 4,5 to 8,01 add 2,78 basic attacks and 2,92 stomps per round and you will get roughly 11 kills in each round. So considering that LoC is a caster with really powerful spells, knowledge of full lore and still capable of killing tough monsters and staying safe in close combat, he really is not as bad as many people make it. I would actually rank him quite highly just next to his brothers.
Just like Thirster it can quite easily pick the combats that it prefers but has to be more careful with them, as he is the weakest of all greaters defensively. He does not have 10W like GuO and most units hit him on 4+ rather than 5+ which makes a great deal especially when fighting horde formations. 90 Ws4 S3 hits are usually enough to take Lord of Change down. Lord of Change is on the other hand really versatile model with many set ups and can work well “naked” in games of 2000pts or fully equipped in big 3k games.
Almost all of the Lord of Changes gifts are useful and can be used well. He can be anything from level 2 to level 4 wizard. Twin heads and Tzeentch will are great gifts for big games where you can make him a level 4 wizard. With massive +6 to cast bonus with twin heads you can use him to drain opponents dispel dice very quickly and cast easily with only 1-2 dice, especially if you are using your own lore or lore of light. +6 to cast also makes casting lvl2 spells much easier. Teentch’s Will can help you avoid bad Irresistible force results and save you from cannonballs with extra try on a ward save, it can boost your powers by rerolling a stomp attack or save you from a bad Ld roll.
Dark magister can be useful insurance for your expensive 500-600pts model that will save his life from unfortunate irresistible force. Master of sorcery is used usually to get lore of death, life or light (or any other Brb lore) for your LoC. Flames of Tzeentch is not a bad choice if you want to keep your distance and have extra points, as its basically flamer at 10pts less cost. Iridescent corona sounds bad at first, but is actually quite cheap buff for its price. It will add roughly 1-2 more kills in each round of combat for mere 25pts thanks to LoCs big base size, but is useless against heavily armoured troops.
Staff of change is totally useless item and has hardly any use as chances are that normal characters die before they fail a T test and monsters will pass the test due to their high stats. Spell destroyer is not bad, but it’s too expensive and is not guaranteed to destroy the spell and many high level spells are cast at 6 dice and IF. When it works it can really give you a upper hand as opponent loses his strongest spell. Power vortex can be ok gift too, but usually you have much more interesting options to pick for your lock and one more dice isn’t going to help much.
Without any gifts Loc will be a good caster for your army and you can save points by not taking a herald of Tzeentch. It can fit even in smaller games and still deal good amount of damage with magic even though it is not level 4 wizard. After all, you cast with level 2 wizard heralds and get your spells done, why not use LoC too =)
Twin heads/Tzeentch’s Will
Dark magister/Master of sorcery
Perhaps the most common build for the LoC is to boost his magical capabilities to the maximum. Will and MoS(death) will work well on LoC as he can fly to the opposing army’s flank and cast IR purple sun from there and avoid bad lost control results with TW gaining tons of more power dice from lore attribute and proceed on killing the characters, de-buffing opponent etc.
You could also pick Twin heads and MoS(light) and use LoC as a superb buffer and fighter at the same time. All lore of light buffs can be thrown to units around the model, so you could boldly charge in combat and start casting level2 spells with your +6 to cast value buffing not only yourself but units around you as well countering LoCs bad melee stats at the same time.
Twin heads and dark magister with Lore of Tzeentch works too, as you can effectively cast all spells at maximum of 7 needed for the dice roll (for most spells you need minimum roll of 3 to succeed), add more dice to your pool and copy any of your opponents spells. At best you’ll be healing or buffing yourself with lore of life while battering mercilessly opponents units from afar. And do not underestimate gift of chaos, it can really do lots of damage if you deploy your LoC well.
For the smaller games this makes a good flanker. You fly to the flank and start blasting Gift of chaos with maximum dice. This build will deal estimately 10-15 kills per turn against T3 low armour foes like Empire, Skaven and elves which makes it the most cost effective way of killing of all greater daemons. He can also use his bolt spells to kill or weaken tough enemies from afar.
GREAT UNCLEAN ONE
In my opinion the most versatile and strongest choice of the 8th ed greater daemons. On a first turn thanks to his Flail he will cause average of 5,25 wounds on units with Ws3>, T6>, As 2+ or lower and 2,33 wounds even against tough monsters making him good character/monster /cavalry killer. Unclean one can be made a good wizard, assassin or unit sweeper and do well in all areas and regardless on what you pick he is tough as nails to kill and can usually take even 2 cannonballs to his face without dying. It takes 180 Ws4 S4 hits to kill GuO.
His greatest threats are usually numerous poisoned attacks (like with all greaters) and static combat resolution but they can all be countered with ease. He is definitely one a great point’s denial with his guaranteed signature spell Miasma of pestilence and 10 wounds. GuO will not do much on small games where he cannot get many gifts or spells to help him, but will likely very hold his points. At bigger he starts to shine thanks to his great gifts.
Usually GuO will do fine with just one wizard level, but if you want to make him your main caster you should pick level 4 time to guarantee Plague wind. Bale sword is deadly character and big monster killer and will easily finish steam tanks, giant spiders, lords and dragons in a single round of combat and with so many big monsters coming around in the 8th edition it is definitely a good item to pick.
Nurgling infestation is good for point’s denial with big 12 blocks of nurglings and buffing up small nurgling packs that you summon with plague wind. In average Nurgling infestation summons 10 nurglings per game so you can end up having even massive blocks of 20 nurglings. Trappings can help a lot against many poisoned attacks that you might face against skaven and lizardmen and pretty much guarantees your points denial by keeping GuO alive even against insane odds. It will raise GuOs durability from 180 hits to kill to 480 hits to kill thanks to two 4+ saves.
Noxious vapours are commonly used in assassination builds to ensure first hit with your bale sword and prevent nasty things like heroic killing blows, but almost same effect can be done with miasma spell. Vapours also add a small twist against high elves removing their ASF bonuses. Pestilent mucus is marvellous pick for unit sweeper as you need some added combat resolution there and it will likely deal 2 wounds per wound suffered against each T3 model in base contact. It is great especially against knights. Same goes for Stream of Bile that can give you a nice 2D6 S4 bonus for one round of combat to help you force break tests on opponent. Stream can be used for even better effect with miasma by dropping opponents stats to 1 and then causing him 2D6 hits that wound on 2+.
Staff or Nurgle can be a good item on magic based GuOs that will rather sit back and cast. With it you can effectively cast 2 rancid visitations on enemy if you manage to get the spell by a roll too. Epidemius boosts rod spamming even further.
Nurgles rot is one of those bad items too, as it only kills 0.67 models when facing 4 in base contact but does not add anything in CR making it pretty much useless as it won’t cause any Ld tests and most units wont even care small casualties like this.
Soul hunger is useless gift for GuO, as he has only 4 attacks, they are poisoned and can skip the wounding process anyway and also he has whopping S8 on the first round so usually you do not need to reroll wounds. Slime trail helps a little against flanking and static combat resolutions so if you have extra points you can pick it up, but usually you can do well without this gift.
While naked GuO *shivers at the image* is not a good choice for most of the time he is definitely good at bigger games where you can pick whatever gifts you want for him. Do not forget that he is carrying a flail, so he will be bashing S8 attacks on the first round of combat! He is also level one wizard always, so you can try to get plague wind for some good times or keep the signature spell. Any ways he adds some more magic to you through the channelling. There is many builds on him so pick whatever you want him to deal with in your army:
Optional: Rod of Nurgle
Your main objective is to get Plague wind here. It is marvellous spell against horde units and easily sweeps half of the horde giving you 5-8 nurgling bases in the process. 8 Nurglings at the rear of your opponent is quite nice tactical advantage as it gains you 15-24 poisoned attacks. If you get shrivelling pox you can use your GuO as an assassin in melee by first lowering all stats from the opponent to 1 and then casting shrivelling pox at him. Wizard GuO can be both anti-horde and anti-character with good point’s denial in the same pack. Rod of Nurgle can be added for more direct damage. It will deal avarage of 2,92 wounds to T3 models every time opponent fails his T test so with magic level 4 you might be able to cast same spell twice on the opponents unit.
Noxious Vapours/ Stream of Bile
Notorious assassin GuO will deal usually deal 2-3 D6 wounds on your opponent before it has even chance to strike. It will laugh at the puny steam tanks as it crushes through them and even the biggest monsters are a mere nuisance to him. With Miasma you can do roughly the same effect as with vapours, so you might want to skip it sometimes. Stream of bile offers more offense against basic troops that you might otherwise struggle with. This build is absolutely brutal against Ogres as it will usually kill 2-3 ogres in one turn.
Level 3-4 wizard
Stream of Bile
Wizard levels are for trying to get Plague wind for long range anti-horde magic while stream and mucus will give you more power in melee. Let some knights charge you or charge yourself to models with 2h weapons and see how mucus will deal insane amounts of wounds on your opponents. Finish up with stream of bile and your stomps and see how surprised your opponent looks as GuO just killed his whole elite unit. By picking up lore of life you can keep GuO in good health and ensure his mucus to continue killing more and more.
Trappings of Nurgle
Get 12 Nurglings and trappings and you got almost 1000pts well secured. Add Tzeentch herald with lore of life to it and your opponent starts squirming in agony. It can be taken in a 2k game without trappings and still hold over 50% with Nurglings and himself.
KEEPER OF SECRETS
“Slaanesh is youngest of the Chaos Gods, and as yet his power is much overshadowed by his brothers”. It is a good thing that GW does not read their own fluff too much, as Keeper is actually strongest melee fighter of all the daemons and surpasses even Bloodthirster himself. Thanks to his ASF he will usually deal 7,36 wound per round to all Ws8>, T4> and Armour save 3+ or lower characters, making him deal roughly 0,5 more kills per round than Bloodthirster and making him better against armoured foes. Against T6 monsters he will usually deal 2,67 wounds per round. ASF gives Keeper pretty much static rerolls to hits for free and his Armour piercing helps with killing characters and knights.
Keeper can be tailored into many roles and work well without any gifts too. Thanks to his ASF and superb combat skills he can just run next to any unit the first turn, take the charge and still win the combat easily. Thanks to siren song Keeper is one of the easiest greaters to protect from war machines. Keeper can really take all out of the Ld modifiers and base his whole tactics around them. Keeper can take 135 Ws4 S4 attacks before dying.
If you decide to pick wizard levels for Keeper it’s either level 4 or nothing, since high level caster is commonly used to get Phantasmagoria and then bomb the opponents with combined Ld penalties and ld based spells. Spirit swallower makes him nearly indestructible as he keeps recovering the wounds and thus works as a great point’s denial.
Temptator is commonly used with Allure of Slaanesh and Torment blade which makes hitting Keeper really hard, especially with -2Ld banner and Masque. Enrapturing gaze is surprisingly good on breaking the steadfast units, as rank and file soldiers usually have at least 2 less Ld than the general. Siren song is one of the deadliest gifts in the book and can be used to pull out strong units and characters for Keeper to beat or to reveal flanks from the tough elite units and anvils. It can for example pull opponents general riding a monster to a keeper on first turn and then kill it. Soul hunger is a good choice too if you plan to kill big monsters or war machines with your Keeper as he will deal 4,88 wounds (up from 2,67) in average to T6 monsters thanks to his 2 rerolls.
Ether blade is very poor choice for Keeper as he already has massive -4 Armour modifier, meaning that you would pay 50pts to affect few models that have 1+ or 2+ save and no other models. Daemonic robes are also very uncommon choice for keeper as it usually has either siren song or spirit swallower to help survival. Soporific musk can be used if you plan to use Keeper as a flanker or supporter that will attack along with big deep ranks to break steadfast. Single fiend can be used for this purpose, so it is rarely used.
1-4 Wizard levels
Main idea behind this is very simple, Keeper of Secrets deals tons of damage all the time and holds pretty reliably 550+ pts. Wizard levels are usually added only for bigger games and to store more points on the Keeper. KoS will likely deal 4,44 wounds each round with its basic attacks even against elite units like chaos warriors, so with this set it can easily just rush where it wants and hold the unit down as long as you need without worrying about static resolution or wounds that he might get. Just beware war machines when you are not in combat and multiple poisoned attacks and you should be fine.
Enrapturing gaze / soul hunger
This set can easily fit into 2k game and can greatly disrupt opponents’ plans. You can run next to opponents general in the first turn and force him to attack you or pick elite unit and force it to reveal its flank to your Bloodletter horde for example. KoS is very likely going to kill general or survive elite units all by himself and with better fighting skills than Bloodthirster KoS can actually bring much more tactical edge than thirster. With siren song you can also force elite unit to attack you and manoeuvre so that its flank gets in range of banner of despair. This will result together with enrapturing gaze total of -4 ld modifier in most cases (if general is not in the unit) which is enough to make opponent fail first on fear test and then easily on his break test.
4 wizard levels
Main spells you want here are Succour and Phantasmagoria, even though other spells can be helpful too. Lore of Slaanesh works best when accompanied by -2Ld banner and Masque (if SCs are allowed). Without them it does not reach its full potential so easily thanks to BSB rules of 8th edition. Signature spell is mainly for bothering enemy wizards, as stupid wizards don’t cast spells. Cacophonic caress deals avarage of 3,5 kills on all T3 models around and 2,33 wounds to T4 regardless of the armour thus it can greatly increase number of models Keeper kills per turn. Succour boosts letters (1,90 more kills per 10 models), Plaguebearers (1,67 more kills per 10 models) and fiends nicely and Phantasmagoria makes opponent fail fear and break tests more easily.
Allure of Slaanesh
Optional: Siren Song / Tormentor
Optional: 2-4Wizard levels
This set relies heavily on Ld modifiers to work, but when it works it creates almost untouchable greater daemon. Wizard levels can be picked for trying to get Phantasmagoria but usually KoS is quite safe with Allure of Slaanesh and Torment blade alone, as 2Ld tests at -2Ld keeps most characters at bay and enrapturing gaze helps if the general is still alive. Tormentor is optional due to its high price, but it can force 3Ld tests per turn. Siren song is optional for pulling the general out to kill.
Lovely Fox Spirit
Member No.: 2,592
Joined: 1-November 10
Saying that Skulltaker is death incarnate to enemy characters is very much true. On his first round when hatred is in effect he will very likely deal at least one killing blow attack (0,89 killing blow wounds and 0,30 kb wounds from hatred). Due to his high stats he will also be striking first and hits on 3+ for most of the time. Killing characters is his main job and using him for anything else makes waste of him as the points cost of the model is high. He will likely deal 2,22 wounds (2,96 hatred) on most common troops giving him cost effectiveness of 0, 15. He is not very good against big T6 monsters either as he will likely cause only 1,33 wounds per round since his killing blow only works on challenges. Compared to normal Herald of Khorne who deals 1,67 wounds (2,22 hatred) per round Skulltaker loses in cost effectiveness by 0,017 to 0,015 making herald more ideal choice against anything else than characters.
The real question is if it is actually good idea to pick Skulltaker and if he can bring his points back. Normal Khorne herald will be better choice against troops because of his price and against monsters thanks to his item upgrades. Herald of Khorne can also raise kill count of the horde by 7,96 while Skulltakers only purpose is to kill characters. Daemons are very troop oriented army where even a champion from Bloodletters can pose a serious threat to enemy characters potentially chopping them to half in turn 1 with killing blow and heralds that usually accompany them can beat tough characters too. So for most of the time Skulltaker really does not bring much to the daemons list. Skulltaker has also one huge disadvantage with his flaming attacks as many characters have a 2+ flame ward in the 8th edition and unlike Bloodthirster he cannot pick his fight as well due to slower speed.
Skulltakers killing blow bonus works only on challenges so any skillfull player usually justs ignores him and refuses the challenge if somehow Skulltaker and his unit catches them offguard. Character killing being his main job this makes him very unreliable and most of the time useless model.
He can be used to give boost to the army in surprising ways though. Skulltaker has MR2 and he is not a herald, which means that he could join even Tzeentch horrors or Slaanesh daemonettes and provide them very solid protection against magic. By joining Daemonettes he can also team up with Slaanesh herald and make a deadly combo where herald lures character to the unit with a siren song and Skulltaker chops the character down with his killing blow. Joining a unit of horrors will make them almost immune to magic if herald of Tzeentch is there as they will get 2+ wards against magic missiles. Skulltaker also brings much needed attack power to the horror unit and definitely scares opponent more than a Changeling.
Mounting Skulltaker on a juggernaut will give him 1+ armour save and makes him much more mobile which helps at character hunting. This however requires a proper retinue of Blood crushers to protect him against shooting as otherwise he can be quickly shot down with cannons. For the same reason it is not wise to give him chariot, as you would get character worth 300pts that is very easy to shoot down. For further math hammer about chariots see Khorne heralds section.
Overall Skulltaker is good on what he does, character killing, but that is rarely needed on a daemon army since other characters are already tough on their own. Also not many experienced generals are running their characters to the Skulltaker just to get them killed but will tie him down with normal troops for example. It is usually much better idea to pick Khorne herald and boost Bloodletters attack than to pick Skulltaker and hunt individual characters.
THE BLUE SCRIBES
These fellows went from 7th edition overused to never used in 8th edition because of the way that bound spells and magic changed. Not many armies spam low level spells or bound spells anymore so syphon ability isn’t as much use as it was. Many spells in the basic rulebook are potent and you usually want to dispel them anyway so syphon ability gets even less use. Due to the random spell that Scribes cast it is hard to predict on how many dice you will need for the casting and if the spell is going to be needed at all. Because of this his spells cannot be saved to the end of the magic phase but must be cast at the very beginning. His spells are also always level 1 as bound spells cannot be buffed and he does not have any wizard levels to buff the casting value either. Scribes also lack ability to channel more dice and cannot fight in combat. These facts make scribes really useless character that only visits some Tzeentch themed armies sometimes.
With many magic lores that you can master Scribes can sometimes however be used as a psychological threat to your opponent. He will unlikely want to cast any useless spells to you as you would get more dice and better buffs on your next turn meaning that your opponent will likely cast less spells in fear of buffing your army. Roughly for every 2 spells you let your opponent cast you can yourself get an extra spell cast on your own phase or update your spells to next levels. Just make sure to keep your Scribes far away from fights, as even one units (20 models) of shooting can easily kill them.
This character can really buff up your Nurgle daemons with his tally of pestilence skill. To give an example of it’s power 10 Plaguebearers usually deal 3,89 wounds per round giving them cost effectiveness of 0,029 and 5 Nurglins deal 5 wounds giving them cost effectiveness of 0,029 against non armoured T3 foes. With first tally of pestilence 10 Plaguebearers will inflict 5 wounds giving them cost effectiveness of 0,038 and 5 nurglings will inflict 7,5 wounds giving them cost effectiveness of 0,043. On comparison, 10 bloodletters usually deal 4,89 kills per round and have cost effectiveness of 0,034. So Plaguebearers become better fighters than Bloodletters thanks to the tally buff while still being more resilient than letters are. In a horde of plaguebearers the rise would be up from 12,06 kills to 15 kills. The bonus gets bigger in comparison if opponents toughness raises as for example Plaguebearer horde deals 10,33 wounds to T4 but with the poisons the amount of damage caused still remains on 15 (13,48 on letters). This means that where Skulltaker brings “buff” against characters, Epidemius brings buff against big monsters and high toughness opponents in addition on buffing all Nurgle models fighting skills.
Tally of pestilence is really easy to add as you can have mass destruction like plague wind hitting opponent’s horde and immediately raise your count to 20. Special characters like Ku’gath can help great deal on adding the tally. Tally also makes wizard levels a good pick on heralds of Nurgle as they can get even +3 to cast spells making them just as good casters as level 4 ones!
Tally buff will actually make Nurgles rod spam ok choice too as you can easily cast several of these spells with only a one dice and drain opponent from the power dice. Your army could for example have GuO with level 4 magic and rod followed by 2 heralds with rod and wizard levels. It does not work as well as in 7th edition but will surely surprise your opponent by hitting him with several S5 hits per turn that can keep dealing damage on failed T tests. Still the best synergies are with Plague wind that not only does hefty amount of damage but also summons nurglings that now have great fighting potential thanks to the tally’s poison buff.
Epidemius will also make icon of eternal virulence powerful, as with it and your Epidemius your Plaguebearer horde will deal likely deal massive 30 in combat resolution by kills only (imagine this against undead that have the unstable rule). Tally will also make otherwise poor units, beast of Nurgle, bit more playable choice as it raises attack power of 2 beasts from 4 kills (cost effectiveness of 0,020) to 5,5 (cost effectiveness of 0,028).
Thanks to big buffs Epidemius brings it is usually good idea to keep him far from harms way as even with T6 and 3+ regeneration, he only has 2 wounds and can be quickly killed by a killing blow for example. Even with his 3+ regeneration he only needs to take 72 S3 hits to get killed. Luckily he is infantry and thus can hide easily in or behind the Plaguebearer units. In combat Epidemius will deal 3,5 wounds per round without his tally buff and 4,5 wounds with it. Toughness does not matter so with the poison buff Epidemius is actually quite nice monster killer.
The downside of Epidemius is that he will also give the poison buff to your opponent. While this might sound bad first you can take some time to think of all the models in the game that use poisoned attacks. Many are small units scouts like lizard men and skaven or have low toughness and armour like witch elves. This means that you can either snap them down quite easily with spells like Plague wind and rancid visitation or hunt them down on fast units like fiends.
If you want to bring biggest cheese pick Masque. Reduction of leadership is a huge thing on an army that inflicts constant Ld checks with break, fear, terror, demonic gifts and magic and has access to another ld reducing item. Due to the nature of how leadership and psychology works in warhammer these bonuses stack on each other making Ld penalties really good. For example a unit fighting daemons that have masque and Ld banner first needs to test against fear at -4 penalty (or terror against greater daemons). On a Ld of 6 it is easy to fail resulting on Ws drop to 1 which means less hits against the daemon unit while daemons hit opponent easier and that results to bigger combat resolution to daemons which results a break test that is again taken at -4 modifier and breaking results on more panic tests to those around of the combat. So in a way Masque affects result of the combat massively while opponent has close to no chances on preventing it from happening. So if you exaggerate by generalising, Masque can choose one unit per turn to be annihilated.
Masque will also make Lore of Slaanesh viable option where it normally is not doing much thanks to generals and Bsbs around. With -4 (or more) penalties to Ld with Masque and the flag in one unit one can easily first snipe down the character from there with pavane and then wreck serious damage with slicing shards. Slaanesh gifts also get really powerful with the Ld bombing especially if you stack them up. Having allure and torment blade for example usually results on 2 tests on a reduced Ld or opponent cannot even attack the daemon. Movement reducing ability isn’t near as good since for most opponents you actually want to get into combat with. It can however do great deals when avoiding death starts like chaos chosen hordes making their movement so slow that they can hardly move anywhere.
Masque isn’t actually that hard to kill even though she has ward save of 3+. It will only take 24 (on 4+ to hit) S3 hits to kill her in one turn. Luckily she can run behind greater daemons safely and/or take cover behind other units and terrain with her march movement of 20”. In combat Masque will deal 2,22 kills against T3 enemies, so she can be used on little war machine hunting too, but for most of the time it is good to keep her away from combat and rather treat her as a fragile wizard.
Lovely Fox Spirit
Member No.: 2,592
Joined: 1-November 10
As noted before at the lords section, Heralds do boost the units they fight in and this in fact is their main purpose rather than just being “killy” model. Good examples are Bloodletters and Daemonettes. Bloodletter horde without a herald will deal 17,22 kills but with hatred 22,96, so hatred buff herald brings is worth 5,74 kills each time hatred is used + 2,22 kills from the herald itself. With Slaanesh numbers are 13,67 and 18,22 netting 4,56 more kills + 2,37 from the herald itself. So in conclusion it can be said that if you got full horde and can attack with full power with your herald alive, the kills you get from heralds presence is usually enough to pay back their points cost almost immediately. For this reason it is sometimes very good idea to refuse challenge on your characters and withdraw them to safety to ensure buffs to the unit itself.
HERALDS OF KHORNE
Bloodletter horde without a herald will deal 17,22 kills but with hatred 22,96, so hatred buff herald brings is worth 5,74 kills each time hatred is used + 2,22 kills from the herald itself. So in total Herald of Khorne will bring 7,96 more kills to the unit on its first turn which is a considerable buff indeed! Not only the buff is great, but Heralds of Khornes stats are in par with many generals of other armies. Ws7 and S6 with 3 killing blow attacks mean that they are have good chance on beating even the toughest of generals in a single round of combat (0,33 killing blow wounds + 0,11 more from hatred). They can also mount on a juggernaut and lead Bloodcrushers to battle or go solo. They can also pick a chariot to boost their attack powers. Bonus with the juggernauts is not nearly as good as with Bloodletters though, as herald will provide only 1,85 more kills on 5 juggernaut riders + 3,11 himself. This is why role of the herald if accompanied by Juggernauts is usually to bring firestorm blade with him to deal with regenerators instead of hatred boost.
Chariot herald is actually pretty destructive compared to its price. With 350pts you will get two chariots that deal 6S6 attacks and 4S5 attacks all with killing blow + 2D6 S5 impact hits from charge. That is more attack power than any greater daemon could dish and for 100pts less points! Big downside in here is that they do not bring the unit buff then and your hero percents are already pretty limited as your wizards are usually heroes and you will likely want heroes to buff units too. Hero in a chariot will likely deal 5,44 kills with the impact hits giving him cost effectiveness of 0,031. In comparison herald with the unit of 30 has cost effectiveness of 0,034 which is only slightly less. So chariot is indeed a worthy choice to pick and reminds of greater daemons in way it operates; it is more durable to mass destruction, packs a good punch but can be broken easily with a cannon ball.
Firestorm blade and armour of Khorne are the most commonly used gifts and it is not hard to see why. Armour combined with the ward save makes Khorne heralds even more durable than Nurgle heralds against many foes and with only 15pts it definitely is a good pick to increase survivability, especially for BSBs. Firestorm blade is another good item for its added strength bonus that helps beating enemy characters and monsters that you might face. It is also good addition to counter regenerating monsters and knights that might otherwise wall your unit badly.
Soul hunger is not a bad gift, but as it affects only 3 attacks maximum the gain is usually limited for some increased killing blow chances against enemy characters and monster killing if combined with firestorm blade. Ether blade is uncommon choice because of its high points cost and low benefits it bring. Even against highly armoured opponents like Bretonnia it only gives minimal gain in cost effectiveness (0,01), which is same amount as with firestorm blade. So Firestorm outclasses ether blade in pretty much every way. Obsidian armour is sometimes used when riding a juggernaut and hunting other enemy characters as model equipped this way can be very hard to kill without any magic weapons. It rapidly increases cost of the model though (especially with the juggernaut) and you would soon be better off with 2 naked heralds in terms of survivability and kill power.
HERALDS OF TZEENTCH
This is the only herald that is commonly picked just for its skills rather than locus ability it brings and is usually seen without any pink horrors accompanying it. His ward bonus really does not benefit too much in the end as it approximately saves 0,4-0,6 horrors more per each 10 attacks depending on the strength and weapon skill of the attackers. As horrors themselves have poor fighting abilities and want to avoid combat, locus rarely changes the combat resolution much and horrors will suffer badly if they get caught. This is why Tzeentch herald can be most commonly seen alone lurking behind the battle lines boosting units from afar or flying around with a disc or wings. 4+ Look out sir rule and 4+ ward is usually enough to keep him alive. Having herald on a Horror unit means that it can be sometimes used as an emergency anvil to gain tactical upper hand. Herald increases horrors survival chances a bit and sometimes that one round of combat can be the thing that decides whole combat.
Burning chariot is not a preferred choice for Tzeentch herald, as the herald itself is a poor fighter and chariot pulled with 2 screamers really does not raise its attack capacity much other than average of 2,33 impact wounds once it charges against normal T3 models with no more than 6+ armour. Even against orc with a shield the chariot, mounts and herald will only inflict 1,92 wounds on charge and 0,46 kills per round after that. That is way too low kill count for a model that costs 175pts. On top of that burning chariot cannot march and only gives 6+ save which usually does nothing.
Herald of Tzeentch comes with 2 magic levels and Tzeentch lore but is often upgraded with Master of sorcery gift. Tzeentch lore is a good choice for a LoC but can be pretty useless for heralds as in worst case you get boon of Tzeentch, firestorm or flicker fire which does not work nearly as good on lvl2 herald as they do on powerful LoC. Of course there is 3 good spells in there too, but risking a 115pts is bit absurd as you could pick any full lore from the brb.
Thus the Heralds usually pick Lore of Light, Metal, life or shadow as those have perhaps the greatest synergies with daemon armies. Lore of light is common pick for a Bloodletter and plaguebearer oriented armies as it boosts their attack powers greatly and removes Plaguebearers worst weaknesses. Light also provides protection against war machines and shooting which can be extremely helpful on protecting greater daemons and big expensive hordes.
Lore of shadows is perhaps the second most used lore and is commonly used in armies with lots of daemonettes, nurglings and other daemons that hit many times with low S as shadows have good spells for raising strength and lowering opponent’s toughness as well as powerful destruction spells.
Metal and life lore are not that common. Metal provides good solid buffs, one of the greatest mass destructions and a reliable way of big monsters etc. Life is usually picked solely for protecting greater daemons and expensive units. Army build with life lore usually has many juggernauts, greater daemon, hounds and other multi-wound monsters that are easily healed and buffed with life lore. Deeper lore analysis can be read on my magic lore guide.
Master of sorcery is almost always used as detailed above. Another very common gift is spell breaker as Herald of Tzeentch is the only character that can have it unless you pick a Bloodthirster to your army. Master of sorcery and spell breaker are so common actually that it’s rare to see heralds go without them. Winged horror is sometimes picked when skipping spell breaker, especially if your herald is a BsB as wings help him move easily around the battlefield avoiding combat and moving the BsB bubble where it’s needed the most. Disc is sometimes used instead of wings as you can pick both MoS and SB with it, but downside is that your model becomes a cavalry then and does not get Look out sir cover anymore which makes it very vulnerable to archers and spells.
Staff of change is lousy on a LoC and it is even worse on a herald. Nothing can be done to improve its usefulness. Power vortex is sometimes used on a magic heavy army (usually Kairos is there), but as it costs 30pts you cannot pick MoS with it ending your herald to be worh extra power dice worth 145pts but cannot do much else. Flames of Tzeentch can be a handy gift you have room for it as it is basically a flamer of Tzeentch that costs 10pts less. Herald has such a small base that Iridescent corona rarely gets to do any real damage (it only affects 2-3 models most of the time) so even at best it will likely do 1,5 wounds against un-armoured T3 models which is not much especially as your herald and horrors are likely trying to avoid combat at all cost.
HERALD OF NURGLE
Nurgle heralds bring about same protective effect than Tzeentch ones do which is roughly 0,4-0,6 kills less against every 10 attacks they are facing. Unlike Tzeentch herald, these guys actually have lot more important role on buffing the combat resolution of their unit as they can do it well with both magic and gifts and of course with their good stat line. Toughness 5 and regeneration is quite solid defence and Nurgle heralds can withstand 48 S3 hits thanks to that. Even though they are tough it is still wise to move them to the corner of the unit to avoid unnecessary hits.
With 50pts Nurgle herald can pick a magic level and this can be a real boon to your whole unit. You can try to get Plague wind which is always a nice spell, but Miasma of pestilence is the spell you are commonly looking for. It will drop most stats of an enemy in base contact to 1 which can make even greater daemons an easy kill (I have done it once in a tournament) making unit deadly against characters and monsters. Miasma buff means that supporting attacks can be directed to the weakened models increasing whole units fighting power a lot, as suddenly they hit on 3+ and wound on 2+ even against toughest foes. This can be abused even further by picking a Palanquin (6 attacks) that has very wide base so that your miasma will surely affect many opponents in base contact. Palanquin has its downside too which is that many opponents have chance on beating you back which can be especially dangerous when facing killing blow attacks. On top of that Palanquin and magic level costs hefty 100pts in total but sometimes it can be a great payoff.
Stream of bile is absolutely the most common pick for Nurgle herald as it can easily boost the combat resolution by 4-6 against most foes. As Plaguebearers are quite resilient and do not take much casualties (even less with a herald) offensive boost can be used to force break tests on opponent. This works even better if you deploy your bearers in deep ranks. Slime trail is used sometimes if you plan on deploying the unit alone away from the mainline or if it is at the flank guarding duty so those opponents won’t gain any bonus for attacking units flank or rear.
Staff of Nurgle can be really powerful item too though it got nerfed badly at the 8th edition. You can cast the spell on your last power dice on a 66% chance and with some good luck wipe out tons of enemies. Staff also gets rerolls from banner of seeping decay making 3 heralds with rod dangerous spam. Staff is good against lizard men and elves and gets better with Epidemius buffs. With many rod of nurgle spammers you can make "gunlinish" nurgle army that forces enemy to you and by spreading heralds to many Plaguebearer units you get good anvils at the same time. Big downside for rod spam is weakness to the magic resistance.
Noxious vapours are not used as much in 8th edition as they were in 7th as hit order does not mean much. Herald is resilient to take most hits so this item rarely changes the combat in any way. It can be used to some extent in challenges if opponent picks up your challenges with his Champion trusting his higher initiative and it works ok with Palanquin, but overall it is very situational gift.
Nurgles rot is bad for the very same reasons that it is bad with GuO. On heralds smaller base it only gets worse. Soul hunger is not bad gift, but usually Plaguebearers carry banner of seeping decay which makes whole unit reroll failed to wound rolls making this gift useless. Pestilent mucus is a good gift but against many foes it can get situational and might not even work as many have hard time cracking that T5 and regeneration up. It can be awesome gift against bretonnia though and good if you are on a Palanquin too as palanquin increases your base size.
Of all the heralds Slaanesh one is most needed in the unit to give its locust boost as the boost and Heralds presence will raise kills in roughly 7 per round against basic men. Without their herald daemonettes get heavily outclassed by Bloodletters and can hardly compete even against Plaguebearers. Herald has very low T3 and no other saves than her ward so positioning her to the corner of your unit is suggested. Herald can also pick a steed and join a seekers unit making it a worthy flanking unit or a siren lure to wizards.
She also has a chariot option that on charge increases her kills by 3,42 and after it by 0,5 kills against T3 foes. Chariot herald can be used to kill skirmishers and fast cavalry but usually fiends are better for that part. Chariot herald with ether blade is a worthy option to hunt heavy cavalry though. Wizard level is quite useless as there is only few spells that would be useful on the herald and signature spell can be only used for some nuisance at best. Slaanesh herald is not very reliable BsB due to her low survivability.
Siren song siren song siren song, what else can I say? It is the perhaps the most common reason to pick Slaanesh characters. Siren song can be used effectively to pull elite units and monsters so that they reveal their flank to powerful units and combined with Slaanesh stubborn banner it is very reliable strategy. Slaanesh herald can also use siren song well on a steed when he can make her free vanguard move to get closer to the opponent and pull wizards and the wizards unit to her (and the possible seeker unit accompanying her). It is a suicide mission but killing opponent’s high level character can really give you an upper hand on magic phases later on. Ether blade is another common item used to boost heralds and daemonettes ability to fight against highly armoured units that they struggle against. Enrapturing gaze can also be used against big steadfast blocks effectively. Torment blade can be a minor buff against characters and monsters attacking you. Daemonic robes are not usually worth much but they can be a life saver for a Herald of Slaanesh that only has T3. It makes her survive much better against great weapons and other hard hitters.
Many armed monstrosity is not bad, but much more often Slaanesh heralds and daemonettes struggle with high armour rather than fodder units, making ether blade more desirable choice. Allure of Slaanesh can be useful if you have proper Ld bombing with the banner and Phantasmagoria going on as it can make your herald untouchable but without them there is small chance that it will ever have any use. Soporific musk has some use if accompanied by a seeker unit with a siren standard but commonly it is not used as fiends could do the same effect.
Lovely Fox Spirit
Member No.: 2,592
Joined: 1-November 10
| BATTLE STANDARDS
BsB is very important model on a daemon army, even more important than a general actually. Generals Ld bonus is good thing, but BsB is what usually helps best against melting to bad combat resolutions and in combat it also brings some static resolution by itself. For 25pts only it is must upgrade for any daemon army as by saving 2 daemons from melting it has gained its points back.STANDARD OF CHAOS GLORY
In 8th edition many small units fighting style is uncommon but with this standard one can still manage some tactics around it. Making all units stubborn is not a huge buff as daemons tend to hit quite hard already and usually win the combats against most foes. Banner can be used for stall tactics though by taking small units of Nurglings, furies and fiends for example and flank charging enemy and holding them down for several turns thanks to stubborn while your main hammer unit fights combats elsewhere. Due to the flags high points and unreliability of small units this tactic is not used much though. Another way of using the banner is in Slaanesh heavy army where there are many small units with siren herald that pull opponents to reveal their flanks for destructive units.BANNER OF HELLFIRE
This banner will deal average of 2,92 wounds to each T4 and Armour save 4+ (or lower) units within 12” making it powerful sweeper with cost effectiveness of 0,029. It is easy to get more units in range when in close combat and with 3 units at the range the cost effectiveness rises to 0,096 (over double than bloodletters against T3 foes) with 9,58 kills per magic phase. This banner can really hurt armies with many small units, highly armoured units (1,94 wounds against 2+ saves) and big monsters (1,75wounds to T6 monsters per round) and quickly gains its points back against such foes. For example against Bretonnia the banner will easily deal 6 wounds (roughly 144pts) per turn as knights are usually packed close to each other. Big downside for the banner is that it is considered as a magic item and thus IF roll can break it and waste your 100pts. It will also make your herald very expensive (at least 215pts) model for only 2 wounds.GrEAT ICON OF DESPAIR
Perhaps the most used BsB banner of daemons army. -2Ld helps big time against breaking steadfast units and also helps for triggering fear effect that will then work for both your protection and offensive buff. Since daemons are usually outnumbered and can get stuck in combat this banner can help big time but it is suggested to have at least 2-3 proper hammer units to get all of the banners worth out since if you can only force one break test per turn, banner really does not provide that much compared to its high cost. This icon is also good for buffing Slaanesh lore and almost a must if you play mono Slaanesh army.BANNER OF UNHOLY VICTORY
Since daemons will do well in combat against almost any foe they rarely need more combat resolution. For that reason this banner does not provide much to daemons as most opponents tend to be steadfast and ignore massive modifiers anyway.GREAT STANDARD OF SUNDERING
Another commonly used banner on daemos. Light lore is very common choice on many armies and it works well against daemons, so making miscasts happen more often on that lore is a good thing. It is also commonly used to even scales between enemy level sorcerers and your level 2 heralds when dispelling. Many enemies use plenty of dice and try to get IF for casting, so banners effect against other than light lore is not that dramatic.CHAMPIONSCHANGELING
With a total points cost of 72pts Changeling really accomplishes little. Pink horrors mainly try to stay away from the combat by all means so offensive bonus to them is pretty insignificant especially as against many armies it’s stats do not raise much (empire, skaven, o&g, elves). In worst case you will end up having only one more attack from unit champion and nothing else. Greatest power of the changeling comes when facing big monsters like dragons when it can actually get good offensive abilities. The big downside is though, that changeling is not hidden character like assassin and your opponent is truly foolish if he charges your changeling with a big monster even though he sees it. Most of the time whole horror block can be easily taken down with almost any basic fighting unit even though changeling is there. There is not much you can tactic with Changeling other than give minor protection for horrors against big single monsters but even they can kill him easily as he only has one wound. On a bright side changeling can be resurrected with re-growth whenever he dies. But since horrors gain magic levels and abilities according their numbers it is usually better to have 6 horrors instead of one changeling.KARANAK
Just as with Changeling, Karanak suffers from a high total points cost of 110 (damn errata). He is introduced as a character killer in the same way as Skulltaker, but for costing only 40pts less it is suggested to get Skulltaker at any day over Karanak. In terms of combat you can get total of 3 flesh hounds 5pts cheaper than Karanak and still have more fighting power than him. Karanaks main thing is character hunting but it will only gain bonuses against one character. On top of that his Ws and I are usually under the average of common heroes meaning that even those characters it hunts will usually beat him and his S5 will unlikely pierce higher armours that most characters have. There really isn’t anything good that would justify taking Karanak as he is totally worthless and expensive as hell. At least he can be resurrected with lore of life.MAGIC
Most daemon characters have ability to cast spells and I did not detail every spell on this guide. For a more detailed tips and descriptions on every basic rulebook lore and daemon lores check out the Magic guide
There you go. I hope you found some useful tips from the article and be sure to post your own comments and tips too so we can make the guide even better =) And do notify me if there is some things to be corrected there.
The Eternal Bloodletter
Member No.: 2,658
Joined: 24-January 11
| "Nurgle Build 435pts:
Mark of Nurgle
Lvl 1 Wizard
Stream of Bile
Optional: Unnatural Swiftness / Enrapturing gaze"
This is assuming you treat Miasma as Signature Spell, right?
I don't in the games I play (I simply accept that Daemons have no '8th Ed Lore' yet) so that part about this Build dropping the Stats of the opponant to could perhaps be a bit more nuanced.
* Hm.. or am just blabbering (don't have book Here) as per usual. (?)
But if treated as having a Signature Spell this DP-build would go excellent with a Level 3-4 GUO taking the rest of the good spells. It's cool though because it means I never thought of this particular combo before, me thinks..
* there's a lot of other cool ideas here too, I'll just keep reading!
Funny thing about Swiftstride.. We have had this house-rule that everything with Movement 7 or higher had Swift-Stride. After a while we went back to play by the BrB though..
I think there's alot of stuff here that corelates to that enourmous DoC re-write.. I think we have tried to adress pretty much all the problems of inernal balance that your above essaying describes (Staff of Change vs MoS ... )
Stuff like Siren Song pointhiked, Despair-icon halved range, MoS doubled in cost, DP seriously buffed. GDs have 6 wounds but slightly degraded Stats otherwise.. Oh well I digress, it's just reading this **** you posted made me think in these loops again *haha* - been busy trying to finnish these damn orcs I'm painting you see..
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