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I started out as a Daemon player about a year ago when I started to play Warhammer 40k for the very first time. About a month or so ago, I started my first Chaos Space Marines army by buying the Battleforce, a Predator and 5 terminators. Here's the thing; I'm finding it a lot easier to win using CSM then I do with Daemons and I'll repeat myself, a lot easier! If you are a player who plays both Chaos factions, I'd love to hear your opinion on which army is easier to win with and why. I'm not sure I know why for sure, but I think the CSM have better unit builds and firepower than the Daemons. I find with Daemons, in order to have a good army build, you must consider the 4 Chaos gods and what they have to offer. In the CSM army, the 4 Gods can be easily blended in. For example: With Daemons, if you want a great assault army, you should pick Bloodletters as a troop choice, but they can't fire. So if you want ranged weapons, you need Pink Horrors, which are useless in close combat. If you want a balance of ranged and CC, you need both Bloodletters and Pink Horrors. In a CSM army for both ranged and CC, take a regular Marine. If you want to dress his unit up, give them an icon, simple. I mean with Daemons, it nice to have Invulnerable all a round, fearless and immunity to instant death, but the deployment options are somewhat hard to get your head around especially if Daemons is the first army you ever play.
PS: since this is a uni-army question, I will double post this in the CSM section to get a broader range of answers.
'Easier to win with' doesn't necessarily mean 'better'. Chaos Marines are often easier to win with simply because they're easier to use in a normal game.
The main advantage of Chaos Daemons armies, that has allowed them to win the Ard Boyz tournament twice, and allowed me to win the local competitive tournament (which I haven't won before or since), is the fact that they're difficult to play against. It's sort of a double edged sword. Their somewhat random deployment, deep striking, their complete immunity to both instant death and fear, and their 5+ or better ward saves for every unit can throw a wrench into many army's plans. Of course, trucking with Chaos has a cost. Their random nature also makes them difficult to play.
Chaos Marines, who have also won the Ard Boyz tournament twice, is a lot less random, and all their units are very powerful, all capable of doing a lot of damage in both the shooting phase and the assault. The drawback is that with less units on the table, and each unit suited mainly for a specific task, they're also a very predictable army, and since there are so many Chaos Marine players out there, most experienced players will have a prepared strategy for any Chaos army you can present them.
I'm not saying that either army is better or worse than the other, but I just wanted to warn you that while Chaos Marines can do very well against most players, the most skillful/competitive opponents will have a much harder time dealing with your daemons.
I believe that I have more trouble with Daemons because I'm not a great tactician and I think you really have to be a least a half decent tactician to win with them. I don't play competitively and I'm not sure there is a tournament within 80 miles of here at any given time. Around here, there are only two Chaos Space Marine players (I'm one) and I'm the only Daemon player. I simply need more Daemon units and a better idea of what to do with them. I wish I had an experienced Daemon player around here to converse with about tactics.
You could look for or PM Madcat or Crownaxe. They know more about Daemons than anyone else I know.
I usually post threads designed to help me find my Daemonic way. I've always been about asking lots of questions and I find that most people on the forum are really helpful. Some are more surly than others (no names mentioned). I need better units though and I know it.
When I think of tactics in 40K, two things come to mind: positioning and unit jobs.
You have to unit what your units are capable of to get the most out of them. It's important to know what each units' job is. If you send a bunch of bolter SMurfs against a Russ you're doing it wrong, just like sending a unit of Stormtroopers against a mob of Ork Boyz isn't worth it. Since most units can't move from one side of the table to the other more then once if any, it's very important to position your units effectively so that they can do their job. Position also takes into account using cover and keeping objectives controlled.
This is why CSMs are real easy. Most of there units are great multi-taskers. Units of CSM and Plaguemarines with Meltas are cappable of killing both troops and tanks and transports make them mobile, Obliderators can literally kill anything and Daemon Princes with Lash can set you up for anything. Plus there high durability means they withstand tons of damage before going down. CSM are easy because they have so many fail-safes. Most of their units have enough mobility, durabilty and capability they you could pile them all in the middle of no where with out cover and still be perfectly capable of winning
Daemons are exact opposite of this. They are fragile uni-taskers that only get the initially deep strike and have to hoof it from there. You have to know precisely what job each unit is suppose to do and position them in a place where they can execute that job. Because of this they have no securities or fail-safes. But what makes them good is how well they can do this. With everything deep striking you can get the best positions possible like behind enemy lines or on top of objectives, and just about every daemon is crazy effective at their one job. I usually don't need my whole army because my first wave is killing multiple units per unit. High skill but even higher rewards.
CrownAxe, you are spot on with everything you said. But in a game, what do you do when readying your Daemons against your opponent? Do you politely ask him what army he is playing and then tailor your army to face him or have you found a list that seems to be good against everything?
I don't tailor. I have a basic skeleton for list writing. I'll take that skeleton and add on what ever fancies me for the day and look for people to play with that list in mind.
The skeleton I have:
2 Tzerald w/ Chariot + Bolt, MoS, WAL
5 Fiends w/ Unholy
9 Pink Horrors w/ Bolt, Changeling
2 Soul Grinders w/ Phlegm
These units are pretty much in every list I play unless my fancy wants me to play a more thematic like Demonzilla or mono-god.
No Nurgle Princes? =O
Meh, that's a fantastic skeloton to work off of though I personally like Crushers over Fiends. Their about equal though, but IIRC Fiends come out better in lower points games where Crushers win higher up.
40k: Silver Angels of Our Martyred Lady 7/2/3 - Daemons of the Great Squiggle! 3/1/0
Fantasy: Windhost of Athel'Loren 2/0/0 - Daemons of Another Great Squiggle! 0/0/0
Warmahordes: Legion of Everblight (Absylonia)
Nurgle princes are great but they aren't in my skeleton because I find that Soul Grinders are better until your at about 2000 pts when heavy upgrading on DPs required isn't such a detriment and the amount of anti-tank in that game size makes Grinders less efficient.
Plus the utility fiends bring is is madated in my opinion.
Thank you for the compliment by the way.