My thoughts (and superstitions) regarding Daemons after a year and a half... - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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    My thoughts (and superstitions) regarding Daemons after a year and a half...

    For the past 18 months or so I've been playing a Daemonzilla-esque list that I refer to as the Hand of Fate (as it revolves around dropping 4 MCs and a Soulgrinder on the first turn one of which is Fateweaver). In general I like to have some fluff or theme behind my armies and so they way this list has functioned is each Power has a Lord or Prince and a mall bodyguard of "troops" additionally the Forge has a representative in the form of the grinder. The premise is the Powers of Chaos send in this elite squad when they actually all agree that something is in their best interest (...and of course this will be followed up with a chaos vs chaos war later to determine who gets to reap the benefits). Anyway the list was:

    Fateweaver
    Bloodthirster /w might and Blessings
    Prince of Slaanesh /w might, iron hide, aura, pavane, breath, and musk
    Prince of Nurgle /w iron hide, cloud, noxious touch, breath
    Soul Grinder /w phlegm
    3 Flamers
    5 Fiends
    5 Fiends
    10 Bloodletters
    8 Horrors /w Changeling
    6 Plaguebearers /w icon

    1999 pts

    So the big plan was to drop the big 5 and either the flamers or a unit of fiends on the first turn. Force your opponent to shoot at the big guys as you trickle in the troops and more "glass cannon" units. Sound plan given that you have a 66% of this working out...here is what I've learned.

    The powers of Chaos are deceiving, you actually have a 33% of this happening (if you are me) ...it is rare that I don't roll that 1 or 2. Yet I never balance the assault? Why? Because when it works it works so well...I've yet to lose more than 2 on that first turn which means second turn I have 3 monsters tearing stuff up. The rewards far outweigh that risk.

    Ignore the scatter dice, drop aggressively or play something else! I always drop close to the enemy where I will do the most damage possible and have never gotten more than 1 mishap in a game. I refer to this as the "Mishap Tax"...if you pay your sacrifice to the chaos gods all further deepstrikes tend to be on target. This tends to be the role of my Soul Grinder.

    Icons are a waste of points, and tend to hurt more than they help. They have a tendancy to force your drops in a predictible way. I find opponents are more confident and play MUCH better when they know that all your units are dropping in the icon right in your handy little fateweaver bubble. I recently just adjusted my list (which I will post at the end of this rambling) and dropped mine. They are a liability. By not relying on them you will allow yourself to really take advantage of our greatest stregnth, which is that we can come from anywhere! It will unerve your opponent and cause them to make mistakes or even cluster up. This makes your opponent easy to surround if he's in the center or trap if he castled in a corner.

    "All Princes or Grinders, mixing doesn't work" is a myth. I find my lone soulgrinder works wonders. It is true that one lucky anti-tank shot will take him out and he often is the one of the first casualties however, even his death is usually worth its points. The soul grinder is a loner, he drops on the opposite side of my other units. Typically on the side with the least anti-tank obviously but what he does is he pulls all the melta units away from the rest of the group. These squads become easy pickings for fiends and bloodletters later.

    Pavane + Breath of Chaos on a Daemon Prince is practically cheating! My Slaaneshi Princess without a doubt is the MVP in the list above...yet of the big 5 she is usually the lowest priority for my opponents (even below the nurgle prince usually)...I think it is because she is pink. She is full of tricks and really dishes out serious pain. In the last game I played with my daemons she was assualted I did some wounds but didn't wipe them. I then bounced out of combat. The next turn she moved forward near that squad and another and proceeded to pavane the squad in front of the other then flamed both (and glanced a rhino) and charged right back in wiping the squad. The other unfortunate squad fell to her fiends.

    My Nurgle Prince is basically just a slow, toned down version of the Slaanesh Prince. Durable and can dishout some pain, along with a flame template of death. Not much else to say about him.

    Fateweaver...his reroll ability is nice. Opponents waste so much time trying to kill him. I swear his drawback of fleeing is more of a boon than a curse (and boon is a boon too but more on that later). Build it up, mention how all they need to do is wound him once and he might leave. Might. So much effort will be wasted on a T5 3++ with reroll save. Turns 1 and 2 they will shoot him out of fear. Turns 3 and 4 he will be shout out frustration. Turns 5 and 6 he will be shot out of anger and your opponents will do dumb things to try and get rid of him.

    Boon of Mutation will further add to your opponents hatred of the super-chicken. Most people dismiss this ability as worthless and it is rare that it works but making people roll a die to not just kill your favorite character instantly with no save but to turn him into a unit under you control (even a really crappy one) really frustrates people and further paints a bullseye on Fateweaver's head. Uber-Special Characters aside, this ability is great for taking out powerfists and painboys. Typically I will use this ability instead of demonic gaze. If you are close enough to boon, you damn well better be using breath too!

    Bloodthirsters are scary and draw a lot of firepower as well. I tend to start him near fateweaver and run him into the bubble. He is even a bigger target than Fateweaver against anyplayer that has had the misfortune of playing a list with landraiders against my Daemons. With str 9 on the charge and 2d6 armor pen he averages around a 16. He does well in most combat situations too. He can not take a lot of punishment though and eventually he usually dies. Unless its an overwhelming game where I manage to table my opponent, he almost never lives. Dropping Blessings as in 30 games I've needed it once and that game they just directed the ability against fateweaver instead.

    Fiends...oh how I <3 fiends. I use spidernettes for my fiends (as I do not <3 the model)
    and these girls really can race across the field. First game against someone their jaw always drops when they realize how many S5 rending attacks they get. A lot of people say that they are the best unit in our codex...on a point for point basis, I would definitely agree. 30 points is a steal. I typically use them for transport hunting 30 S5 rending attacks is usually enough to shred a rhino or chimera. They are also surprisingly durable thanks to 2 wounds each so they tend to survive until your next turn where they can gobble up the now foot slogging troops. Don't forget about hit and run...always use it on opponents assault phase.

    Flamers are amazing as well...on paper. Maybe I am just not using them right but I run a 3 man squad agressively and it seems that about 1/3 of the time they earn back double their points but the majority of the time they just die...horribly. I love their weapon, but since 3 of my 4 monsterous creatures have it I've decided to drop them for a 3 man squad of Bloodcrushers. I think they will prove to be a great bullet magnet to compliment my first turn drop. I do not expect them to kill much (unless my opponent is dumb) as they are slow with a big foot print but I think they will be great for controling my opponents movement and for taking some heat off my other units. In theory Pavane would help but that would mean that my Princess would also have to assault that unit and thats just overkill.

    Plaguebears...tough as nails but worthless in a fight. Obviously great objective campers, however they are also great for tying up shooty units in close combat like devastors. As far as my list is concerned, they are my only scoring unit as I can not rely on my other troops living to the end of the game. This means that my strategy in seize ground is hold 1, contest the rest. Most games with daemons seem to result in a tabling though, one way or the other.

    Bloodletters die super easy but they are extremely dangerous. I feel my list somewhat mitigates this by having other scarier units. Inevitably, by the time bloodletters reach their targets I tend to be at half stregnth...they will then wipe out one squad before dying in a storm of return fire. They seem to make back their points almost exactly.

    Horrors. I hate them. They don't do anything even remotely useful for me most games. Changeling is nice but almost never works. If I didn't have my Lord and his bodyguard fluff for my army I would drop these in a second for more plaguebearers or bloodletters. I'd say on average they kill like 2 or 3 marines a game. Never live long enough to score objectives.

    Lastly, Daemons are by far the funnest army in 40k, at least that I've played (I play 7 other armies...keep coming back to my daemons though). The risk vs reward of in your face deepstriking makes for an intense and fast paced game. Daemon games tend to be over quickly and I find turns tend to go by much, much faster.

    My new list:

    Fateweaver
    Bloodthirster /w might
    Prince of Slaanesh /w might, iron hide, aura, pavane, breath, and musk
    Prince of Nurgle /w iron hide, cloud, noxious touch, breath
    Soul Grinder /w phlegm
    3 Bloodcrushers
    5 Fiends
    5 Fiends
    10 Bloodletters
    7 Horrors /w Changeling
    8 Plaguebearers

    1997 pts


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  3. #2
    Son of LO andrewbeater's Avatar
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    I find that Daemons are all in the way you play them. For example I love Flamers and they almost always pull their weight and much more in my games. You can hardly beat the Breath of Chaos wounding on a 4+ no armor or cover. Plus they are jump infantry so they are highly mobile. I also like Pink Horrors, especially the Changling against armies with lower Leadership values such as the Guard. If you don't stack a few units somewhere in your army with the Bolt of Tzeentch, I find it difficult dealing with Vehicles. I think what you will find is that the Daemons have so many different builds, you will have many different opinions on what you just wrote. It's just like I don't like Plaguebearers, but I see a lot of Nurgle army builds. Someone out there must like them! I also love the Prince in a Tzeentch build, but you don't seem to. I really think there a too many views and opinions on Daemons to list just one!

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    I agree completely that there are a ton of different ways to play the army which is actually why I wrote this in the first place. It's just my personal take on Daemons.

    I'm curious, how many flamers do you run and how are you using them? Wave 1 or 2? Dropping aggressively or hidden behind terrain? I think they are still a great unit (when they do work for me it is spectacular...they wipe an expensive squad out completely before dying) I just have bad luck with them and really want to try out blood crushers now that they cost a bit less. Originally I was going to remove a squad of fiends instead to squeeze in the crushers but I do so well with my fiends. Each squad usually takes out a transport and 1-2 units before dying.

    In terms of armor I really haven't had a big problem with it, it's another example where our styles differ. Bloodthirster...fiends...grinder...two princes has things covered...plus Fateweaver usually bolts a transport each turn in addition to his boon/flamer schenanigans. I also agree with you that Tzeentch Princes are awesome...mine are Marked the way they are primarily due to my list's fluff...otherwise the Nurgle prince would probably be a Tzeentch Prince. First and foremost the list really was an excuse to make an army that used all four greater daemon models (I use a keeper and GUO as my princes). Using all 4 of GDs plus the soul grinder, and now the crushers too (which as of yesterday are now built) and deep striking all of them right in your opponents face is very intimidating. I find it makes target priority much more difficult for them as well.

    Plaguebearers are great, but boring...very boring. They won't kill much of anything but they will stubbornly stick around an objective in cover napping on the ground all game.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Mad Cat's Avatar
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    I often run 3x3 units of flamers and they work wonders for me. I take 2x10 horrors as troops with an icon in one unit. Generally the enemy try to approach the horrors to rappid fire at them or charge them on a later turn. All three flamer units go in reserve. As they arrive they use icons to get the perfect shot. If the enemy don't immediatly kill them then they can use the jump infantry movement and kill another unit.

    As for horrors they are excellent against anything in less than power armour. Geensteelers, dire avengers, Tau etc all die easily if they are in the open. Their ability to engage at 12-18" range and move backwards and keep firing is great against close combat units. In a recent game against CSMs 20 horrors and three daemonic gaze (from Tzeentch chariots and nurgle princes) killed a Lash prince and a warptime/wind of chaos tzeentch prince on arrival. On average that should be 6 wounds but I had a little luck and scorred 8. It immediatly removed a lot of combat power and manouverability from the enemy list and ment I had to deal with the rhinos without the uncertanty of being lashed towards berserkers.
    Quorn! - Protein for the Protein God.

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    Son of LO andrewbeater's Avatar
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    I run a unit of 5 flamers and aggressively deep strike them in front of heavily armoured units on wave two always. I almost always trick one out with the Bolt of Tzeentch. If they scatter and don't mishap, they a) sometimes scatter in close to other units anyway or b) you scatter far enough away that you can run them behind cover only to move them into position on the next round. Now understand that 5 Flamers with the Bolt is 205 points; you need to take out over that to make them worth their points, so drop them in front of heavily armoured units such as big tanks or Terminators etc. Remember that Breath of Chaos glance on 4+. I like to pick a tank with units around it and target the tank, killing incidental units in the process. I've had a quite a few times that the Flamers live and are not assaulted in the enemies turn, only to Jump 12" and destroy another unit or so. You can do this by trying to run support units nearby. I know there is a lot of talk about the best Daemon Elite, but when I ask my opponents, which unit in my army they hated the most after the game ends, they almost always swear at the Flamers.

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    I guess I just have bad luck with them, though on occasion they've taken out whole squads in one shooting phase...they still out perform my troops, but they seem to be overshadowed by the fiends, MCs and grinder (when he lives past turn 1). I will need to see how my unit of 3 crushers performs. They seem amazing...I'm not sure that I see them earning back more points than the fiends though. I think their slower speed will keep them from getting in more than 2 assaults per game. I do see them completely wiping out anything short of a dreadnaught in a single assault phase if they get the charge though.

    While I don't think there will ever be agreement on the best Daemon Elite...I think we can all agree that the Beasts of Nurgle are the worst of the bunch.

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    Son of LO ericismyname's Avatar
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    I have tried a daemon-zilla list with no luck. So I turned to the gods for help, where I was blessed with 15 blood crushers and fateweaver. Now very few stand in my way. (even at ard boyz).
    Eldar -APOC- 6500 Points
    Chaos Daemons -Fate Crusher- 3500 Points
    Grey knights - 1000 Points

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