Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Lately, I've been seeing army lists that are trying to make use of the lesser Gifts. I've also been seeing quite a few people who have been mixing and matching their Gifts wrong. Because of this, I've decided I'd write up a list of all the Daemonic Gifts, Gifts of the Gods, and Daemon Weapons, and what I think of them. Hopefuly, some people will read over it and either dream up some good combinations, or stop taking the pointless upgrades.
During this thread, I will refer to HQ units and Champions. HQ units are Lords and Leiutenants. By Champions, I only refer to the one off Champion found in most units. Chosen Champions will be addressed in a case by case scenario.
I warn you now - this post is long. I have a lot of time on my hands.
I do not cover Psychic Powers. This includes the two extra powers found in the Book of Tzeentch.
When talking about Daemon Weapons, I usually assume the weapon will be given to a HQ unit. I do realize that some people prefer to give their Daemon Weapon to a Champion, but for the sake of my analysis, I am keeping to HQ units.
These are my thoughts and opinions on the various Daemonic Gifts avaliable. They are not gospel, just my own musings. Take them as such, and feel free to interject your own thoughts and ideas as well.Daemonic GiftsDaemon Armour - I personally dislike Daemon Armour. It's pricey for a Lord, and mixed armour rules make it nearly useless for Champions. Typically, you'll find that if someone is shooting at your HQ, they'll be using weapons that are AP2 or better anyways, essentially making you waste 20 points. However, it does have uses. Paired with a Bike, this nets you a +2 invulnerable save after a Turbo Boost. Perfect for a Daemon Bomb.
Daemonic Aura - Unlike Daemon Armour, I believe every HQ unit that doesn't have another form of invulnerable save take this upgrade. It will save 1/3 of all wounds, period. Outside of being a special character, there are only three ways to get a better save - one we've already covered. Champions, however, should probably pass on this upgrade.
Daemon Chains - A must have for any army that incorporates a Greater Daemon. A bad timing on the possession can ruin any armies chances - this helps greatly in controlling that. Keeping the Daemon goes from a 1/6 chance of bad timing to a 1/36 chance - much better odds. When it's time to summon the daemon, these will change a 50% success rate into a 75% success rate. If you use a Greater Daemon, buy Chains for the Daemonvessel.
Daemonic Essence - I will never use this upgrade. It is only avaliable to HQ units. If you do the math, you'll that buying Essence for a Leiutenant is basically like taking a Lord, except you have tighter wargear limits. So, generally only Lords will take Essence. And frankly, isn't three wounds enough as it is? I find it easier to pick my targets carefully with Lord, and keep him from being shot.
Daemon Fire - A cheap upgrade, but you get what you pay for. Most Lords and Champions aren't interested in shooting in the first place, and the low AP and short range of Daemon Fire makes it almost worthless. You'll generally only get one round of shooting out of it before charging/being charge, and you'll be lucky to kill anything. But, it is cheap - but so is a Bolt Pistol.
Daemonic Flight - Typically only used with HQ units. Possessed can take this as well, but that's a different discussion. It's expensive, but can be worth it. If Flight gets you into combat one round earlier than without it, it has just paid for itself. However, Flight is best used with HQs focused on shooting, rather than CC. Most advanced players will take Daemonic Speed over Daemonic Flight.
Daemonic Mutation - I typically pass on this upgrade. There are cheaper alternatives to gaining extra attacks, and having too many attacks can indeed be a bad thing. A smart opponent will space his units out at 7" or farther away, to avoid having consolidating units moving from one assault to another. If you wipe out a unit in one round of CC, then you're wide open for a hail of shots and a countercharge. For Champions though, this can be a worthwhile upgrade. An extra Powerfist attack can make all the difference.
Daemonic Resilience - A wonderful upgrade for HQs, a poor upgrade for Champions. Due to the majority toughness rules, a single model in a unit with this upgrade is costing you points. For a HQ unit, however, this is golden. For ten points, you literaly suffer half the strength 3 hits that you would have before. Those taking the Mark of Nurgle recieve this upgrade for free.
Daemonic Rune - This is an expensive, poor upgrade. Only applicable to HQ units, and even Leiutenants will never take this upgrade. Statured Lords only suffer instant death from Strength 10 attacks, which are quite rare (unless you have a plethora of Tau players). Non-statured lords shouldn't be the target of shooting attacks in the first place, and can generally avoid Hidden Powerfists with some skill. If you are suffering from many Instant Death attacks, then perhaps this could be useful, but you should probably be working on keeping your Lord safer than relying on this upgrade.
Daemonic Speed - The counterpart to Daemonic Flight. I truly believe that all CC geared HQ units should have either Daemonic Flight or Speed. I lean towards Speed, as it will statistically grant you quicker charges, and if you're CC geared anyways, you don't need to worry about sacrificing your shooting phase for a bit of movement. Combined with Infiltration, this will all but guarantee you a first turn charge no matter where you deploy, something that Flight cannot boast. This upgrade should never be taken on a Champion, as they cannot leave their unit.
Daemonic Strength - One of the best generic upgrades avaliable. Being able to wound your enemies one one higher pip per roll is amazing. It's well priced for HQ units, and a steal for Champions. This upgrade is often paired with a Power Sword on Champions as an alternative to the Hidden Powerfist, but some people like to take it with the Powerfist as well. For instance, without Daemonic Strength, your Powerfist Champion will wound a Wraithlord on rolls of four or higher. With this cheap upgrade, you're now wounding on threes or better. I recommend this upgrade for all units, points providing.
Daemonic Stature - Damonic Stature is a double edged sword. While the bonuses are nice, the negatives are harsh. It is the only way to not suffer from Instant Death from Strength eight and nine weapons, but in the process, Stature will make your Lord an Instant Target. Meanwhile, the Lord loses quite a few benefits; the most important three being able to hide amongst his cohorts, being able to take Terminator armour, and being able to infiltrate. I personally recommend only taking Stature if you plan on weilding a DreadAxe, or have something else that makes you a high priority target, such as the Beserker's Glaive (More on this later).
Daemonic Steed - This ability gives you two abilities in one package; Daemonic Speed, and Daemonic Resilience. Game play wise, never take this upgrade. Never. For your HQs, buying the two confered abilities costs you exactly the same amount of points as the Steed does, and doesn't cost you a movement upgrade and the loss of infiltration. For your Champions, they'll never want to have Daemonic Speed. However, the modeling aspect of this upgrade is quite numerous, and makes for some wonderful conversions.
Daemon Spawn (Also known as Chaos Spawn) - If you plan on footslogging your HQ across the board, and have extra Daemonic Gift points to spare, this can be a worth upgrade. However, as being a follower, the Spawn will cost you the ability to take movement mode upgrades (Including transports), infiltration, and the ability to Deep Strike. However, for the cost of the upgrade, the Spawn is an amazing unit, and once it gets into a battle, it's quite effective. Spawns work best with Champions - they add another D6 Strength five attacks to the unit, and move just as fast as the unit would've anyways. This is especially useful with Khornate Beserkers, as the Spawn will move along with the unit when it sufferes Blood Rage.
Daemonic Talons - On a HQ unit, this upgrade doesn't do enough to keep the unit alive, as it doesn't count as a power weapon, and you may not use any other weapons. It might be useful on a Statured Lord, as he'll inherently ignore armour saves, but then you're practically wasting the rending ability given by the Talons on both infantry and vehicles alike. On Champions, you simply do not have enough attacks to make it worthwhile, and you're giving up an important Powerfist/Powersword upgrade. However, fielding an entire unit with Talons (such as Possessed) is extremely powerful, as the sheer amount of dice ensure a number of Rending hits, making the unit much more effective than the odd ball rending attack.
Daemonic Venom - Pass on this upgrade. While it is cheap, and give you +1 attack for multiple weapons like Talons do, the fact you cannot wield any other weapons makes this upgrade not worth taking. The high strength of Chaos Marines means you'll rarely need higher than a 4+ to wound anyways, unless you play against a plethora of Wraithlords and C'tan, in which case, you're better off with a Powerfist.
Daemonic Visage - If you have extra points after building your army, this is a good points dump. Even on a Champion where the effect has only half effectiveness is worth the few points it takes to buy this upgrade. Even a one points leadership drop to your opponents is that much better of a chance of breaking them and performing a massacre. Just don't rely upon it.Daemon WeaponsDark Blade - One of the best Daemon Weapons avaliable. Wonderful for standard HQ units, as it boosts their strength high enough to wound practically anything. Essentially, by taking the Dark Blade, you're paying ten points for a two point bonus to strength.
Dread Axe - I reserve this Daemon Weapon for Statured Lords only. Even then, I dislike it. The Dread Axe, while ignoring Invulnerable saves, leaves normal Armour saves intact. How often do you face an opponent who's invulnerable save is better than his normal save? Outside of the Necrons, I really can't think of anything. However, mounted on a Statured Lord, no model recieves any save of any kind against his wounds. The downside is that the secondary effect of the Axe is nearly wasted on a Statured Lord; he'll generally always wound on a score greater than 4+ anyways. The Dread Axe is the weapon of choice against Necrons, as it gives you a fighting chance against the C'tan and tears Wraiths apart.
Ether Lance - The most expensive generic Daemon Weapon avaliable, but for good cause. Best used on non-statured HQs with either a Bike or Flight. Being a template weapon, being able to get into a good firing position is key, which is hard without some form of movement modification. It is one of the best Marine killer weapons you can find, but if you plan on spending a considerable amount of time in CC, stick with either a Dark Blade, or a normal Power Weapon.
Kai Gun - Not intended for CC lords, this weapon is designed for HQ units that want to hang back and support their units with some fire power. On a non-statured Lord, it will almost gaurantee you atleast 30 points a round against Marines. This weapon is also quite often given to a fire support unit Champion, typically consisting of a Heavy weapon such as a Lascannon to create a super fire support base. It also pairs up very well with Sonic Blasters in an EC army, or with Thousand Sons. While it is a two-handed weapon, Statured Lords can wield the Kai Gun one handed. I don't recommend that this be done, as Statured Lords have poor shooting skills compared to their counterparts, and spend most of their time in Close Combat anyways.
Accursed Crozius - Tied for most expensive Daemon Weapon, but it does alot for the bearer. It essentially breaks down to paying 15 points for a 4+ Invulnerable save, one of the only ways for Chaos to achieve a high invlunerable save. Other Lords have to pay the same amount to achieve only a 5+ save. Unfortunately, it's avaliable for only one select Legion. The other downside is that it cuts into your Daemonic Gifts total. Normally, a Power Weapon and Personal Icon wouldn't count against your limits, but by being incorporated into a Daemon Weapon, you're out 25 points of Gifts you could've taken. But, if you're taking a fully tooled up Lord in the first place, you might want to re-evaluate your list.
Lash of Torment - This weapon is generally considered to be a very bad weapon. But that's only at first glance - in reality, it can make your HQ units invincible, for atleast one round of CC. Normally, a HQ unit must have an enemy in base contact in order to give and recieve attacks. This weapon allows one to stay out of base contact and still give attacks with your Lord, but not recieve any in exchange, so long as his unit still has base contact with the enemy. This means you can safely keep your Lord in a unit, a few rows back, but within range to support your troops, safely away from the Hidden Powerfist. The downside is that after the first round of assault, after the pile in, this weapon is usually pointless. All in all though, it's a much better idea to pass on this weapon, and use your one Daemon Weapon slot for something a bit more intimidating.
Needle of Desire - Pass on this weapon. It's a poor, poor weapon. It's greatest strength is practically negated by the harshest penalty - always allowing Armour Saves makes this weapon a poor choice to take into combat.
Bedlam Staff - I would pass on this weapon as well. While it sounds good in theory, typically your Lord will strike before most models in the first place, or will just kill them. While the Vehicle Shaken effect is nice, you should have dedicated units to removing vehicles from the board, and using your HQ unit to keep a single tank from firing every round seems wasteful to me.
Warp Blade - This is a situational weapon; I would only use it against high psyker armies, namely Eldar and Tyranids. Even against Tyranids, I would probably think twice, since it doesn't effect the main powers such as Synapse. It also requires you to get within Charge range of the enemy, which isn't always a good thing.
Manreaper - One of the best Daemon Weapons. But, deceptively dangerous. I talk about not wanting to wipe out units in the first round of combat - this weapon will do just that. Striking with ten attacks on the charge will break almost any unit that's not fearless, leaving your Lord standing like a schmuk out in the open. Also, your Lord will be weaker when facing other single model units, such as rival Chaos Lords, MCs, and the like. The Manreaper is best used to destroy infantry units in droves. Overall, this weapon is a good investment for Nurgle Lords, and is a favorite amongst veteran players.
Beserker's Glaive - I saved the most controversial one for last. The Glaive has some amazing bonuses - a wonderful invulnerable save, double attacks, and power weapon, all rolled into one neat package. But, it comes with some serious drawbacks; no movement modifications, not being able to control your Lord, and making him one huge target. I promise you that practically every gun will aim at that Lord with the Glaive.
The way I see it, there are two effective ways to use the Glaive. First, is with Stature. Since you can't hide the Lord near a unit anyways, might as well give him Stature to allow him to soak up those Strength 8 and 9 hits. Feel No Pain is also a must. Some players like to run a pair of Rhinos in front of the Lord to block Line of Sight as the Lord slogs up the board; this isn't a bad idea, but remember that the enemy formations dictate the direction you'll be moving. Sometimes you won't want your Rhinos moving in that direction, or they just plain can't.
The second way is with Terminator Armour, and Deep Strike. I prefer this method, for a couple of reason. One, it saves me needed points for Daemonic Gifts. Two, with the Deep Strike, I can influence where my Lord is going to go, and what unit he's going to crash into; I couldn't do this before when he was foot slogging. Three, I limit his exposure to fire to, hopefully, only one turn, instead of multiple turns trying to shield him with Rhinos.Gifts of the GodsAxe of Khorne - At first glance, this may not seem to be a great investment. But if you'll notice, it's only five more points than a standard Power Weapon, and has the opportunity to increase your attacks. It's especially useful for HQ units, as the more base attacks you have, the better chance you have at rolling a six and scoring another attack. On the charge, a Khornate Lord typically has six attacks. That's an average of one extra attack, with the chance of more if you roll well. Is that worth five points to you?
Banner of Rage - I don't consider this a good investment. You need to take a unit of Chosen, which if used in large groups, means you generally can't afford many Champions, at which point they're just overpriced Chaos Space Marines. Also, Khornate units typically level enough attacks to wipe out or break a unit on the charge anyways, so adding even more attacks generally doesn't help at all. And then, as I mentioned earlier, you stand a good chance at breaking your enemy too early, which leaves you open to shooting.
Collar of Khorne - A cheap investment of five points to protect me and any unit I'm with from most Psyhic abilities? Prevent Force weapons from instant killing my Lord? Yes please! Khornate units should always try to take this upgrade, if possible. One of the best Khorne has to offer.
Feel No Pain - Every Khorne HQ unit should attempt to buy this upgrade. Especially Statured Lords. Being able to effectively shrug off half of all unsaved wounds is a remarkable boon. A statured Lord can shrug off a Lascannon hit with this! I'm not sold on it for Champions though - while being cheap for them, the chances of them taking wounds in the first place should be low. It could keep him in the fight an extra round or two, but most often, the Champion will be removed due to overwhelming firepower that wiped out the whole unit.
Juggernaut of Khorne - Package deal; confers Strength, Mutation, and Essence for your Lord at a discount of five points. If you were planning on buying those abiliies for him and planned on footslogging across the board, then this might be for you. Most often though, pass on it. However, this can be a great, if expensive, upgrade for Champions. As it doesn't confer any speed enhancements (being the only Steed that doesnt), it doesn't matter to Champions that they have to footslog - they were going to anyways. Also, it's the only way for any Champion to ever recieve an extra wound. Having a two wound Powerfisted champion with five attacks at Strength 9 is insane. That, and the models are killer.
Khornate Chainaxe - A cheap upgrade to the basic Close Combat Weapon. Don't bother with it for Lords, but try to outfit every non-champion Khornate unit with one of these. They'll be lifesavers vs. power armour save armies.
Rage of Khorne - I consider this upgrade to be worthless. On average, you'll recieve one bonus attack for charging on top of your normal charge bonus. So, for 15 points, you get an average of one extra attack, if you charge, with the possibility of no bonus attacks. For the same price, and cheaper for Champions, I can buy Daemonic Mutation, and just have an extra attack that works 100% the time, not just when I charge.
Talisman of Burning Blood - Every single Beserker unit should have one of these in their unit. They're cheap enough, and will help speed up your army. HQ units should pass, and invest into something more concrete, such as Flight or Speed.NurgleBlight Grenades - I don't recommend Blight Grenades. They're expensive, and while they confer the ability upon the entire unit, they're dependant upon the charge, which Plague Marines aren't known for. Plague Marines work best recieving charges, and unloading Rapid Fire into their enemies just before. For Lords, it's a quarter of their Daemonic Gifts limit invested into something that works for only one round.
Nurgle's Rot - I recommend this ability for every single Nurgle Marked unit capable of taking it. It's cheap, and even should it kill a single model, it has made it's points back, no matter what that model is. Just be wary about how close your units are to each other, and you should be fine.
Nurgling Infestation - Pass on this upgrade. It's expensive, and can often be a waste of points. The low strength means the attacks won't wound very often, and the enemy can still take armour saves as normal. Also, on HQ units, the attacks occur later in the iniative step, meaning that your opponent may have no models in base contact with your unit, so the attacks won't happen.
Plague Banner - While expensive, this special Icon can either earn you well beyond it's own cost of Victory Points, or can fail horribly. The ability to cause an instant six wounds to any one model/unit is extremely powerful; get the Chosen unit next to a Hive Tyrant, and watch it rake in the Victory Points. The banner has a 50/50 chance to instantly kill a Carnifex - even should it not kill it, it'll definitely wound it, and quite possibly leaving it hurt enough for an easy kill. Not quite so effective against dedicated Horde armies though, such as IG or Orks.
Plague Sword - Similar to an Axe of Khorne, but better, it's a mere five point upgrade from a standard Power Weapon, with the potential to cause instant death, no matter how many wounds remain. Makes for a wonderful MC killer, or versus special characters that have a nasty tendency to just not die. Combine it with Daemonic Strength, and you have a potential answer for any toughness eight problems you might have - such as Wraithlords, or C'Tan.SlaaneshAllure of Slaanesh - Expensive, and situational. Most HQ units have no problem with charging their enemies units in the first place, and as most armies in the 40K universe have decent Leadership ratings, this power will often fail to produce a result. This ability is far too expensive to consider putting on a Champion, especially since the effect is prone to failure.
Aura of Acquiescence - This is an iffy power. It can be both a bane and a boon. Against horde armies, such as Orks and IG, it's definitely a bane, as you stand a better chance at breaking them than wiping out each model. Against Fearless enemies, you've just wasted your points, as they'll never break anyways. I personally would pass on this upgrade.
Combat Drugs - A wonderful upgrade for HQ units and Champions alike. This upgrade allows Slaaneshi Lords to reach Strength 10 without using a Powerfist, the only type of Lord able to. It also confers other wonderful abilities, and you can tailor the effects every single assault phase. Just be wary of overdosing. I suggest taking this upgrade for every CC oriented HQ unit, and possibly for every CC geared Slaaneshi unit Champion, points permitting.
Doom Siren - A flamer on crack. Against shooty armies that cheese the cover saves, this will be a life saver. Unload a flamer attack on the unit, then charge them, ensuring that you will (usually) strike first. This is another of Slaaneshi's better gifts, and grossly underestimated. It's not quite so great for Champions, however, as charging into cover isn't so harsh for them, or they are equipped with a Powerfist, negating the important aspect of the Siren.
Rapturous Standard - I don't care for this standard. Typically, Chosen units don't number very high, and taking this standard is equivelant of the cost of buying ten Feel No Pains, except you only recieve the effect for one player turn. The other downside is when you use it - at the start of either player's shooting phase. It could be useful during your own shooting phase, as the effects would carry over to the Assault phase, but since most assault phases are decided by Power weapons of some sort, Feel No Pain doesn't protect so well. You can use it during your opponent's shooting phase, but then your opponent can just elect to not shoot at that unit, or to use weapons that inflict instant death instead. All in all, I don't feel that the cost justifies the effect.
Steed of Slaanesh - Package deal; confers Mutation and Speed, saving you 5 points on HQ units. If you didn't plan on Infiltrating, this could be a good way to save five points. Never buy it for Champions.TzeentchBlasted Standard - Against certain armies, this icon is wonderful. Against, others, it's not so great. Against any army with a 3+ or better save, leave this at home. It's expensive, and the chances of it making back it's points are slim. Against other armies, however, it can be useful. The worst thing about the standard is getting your unit of Chosen within 6 inches of the target without engaging in Close Combat. While the Standard can fire into Close Combat, it cannot be fired from it, as it is used in leiu of the normal shooting attack. However, on an average roll, you'll score seven hits with the standard. Against a unit, say, like Genestealers, that nets you an average of 46 points over what the standard cost. However, with the plethora of Power armour armies out there, you'll rarely net the points back that the Icon costs.
Disc of Tzeentch - Package deal; confers Flight and Mutation. On HQ units, saves you five points. The same comments from the Steed of Slaanesh apply to the Disc of Tzeentch.
Eye of Tzeentch - While being marginally expensive, this can actually quickly pay for itself. Being able to reroll armour saves isn't so great, as the only time this will happen is during the assault phase on your turn, and typically, you'll need to fear the Power weapons more. Rerolling the to hit roll isn't that great either, since Chaos Marines have a inherently high BS already, with HQ units hitting on a 2+. However, being able to reroll wounds is a great boon. Even by scoring on extra wound per round on a marine is 15 points per assault phase, which can quickly add up. While I don't suggest taking this for every unit able, I would highly suggest this for HQ units with extra points to spare.
Inferno Bolts - I consider this a bad upgrade. Usually, HQ units are CC oriented, and as such don't usually bother with shooting. If they are shooty based, then they typically have a Kai Gun or Ether Lance, neither which work with this upgrade. As for Champions, they're almost always given Doombolt or Bolt of Change, which can not be fired in the same round as Inferno Bolts.
Talisman of Tzeentch - I'm mixed about this upgrade. It's cheap, so doesn't cost much to take, but the effect is marginal. Most psykers have high Leadership in the first place, so a paltry one point deduction won't do too much. However, since the talisman works at all times, it may be worth taking just for the "Just in case" factor.
Thrall Wizard - Cheap, and expendable. Every Champion packing a nasty psychic power should have one or two thralls with him, at the least. If the allow another Bolt of Change, resulting in another dead gaunt, then they paid for themselves. If they soak up a single wound, keeping your Lord one wound safer, then they paid for themselves.
Good stuff man, this is a good summary of what is good.
"Iron within, iron without."
Great post, thanks for all the info.
You are like the Mother Theresa from hell
Dedicating all this time to help the poor evil-doers overthrow the reign of man.
All honor to you.
The Ether Lance does ignore cover saves as this ability is granted to all Template weapons by the BGB. How dare you belittle my favourite Daemon Weapon! :mad:Originally Posted by Caluin
Great stuff as usual Caluin, you should turn it into an Article.
There is a lot of pertinent info in this thread. Especially clearing up some of the more common mistakes. Thumbs up!
That's a good tactica you made there, it should be pinned.
Whoo, thanks for pointing that out. I had thought about writing it as an article, but I knew I was bound to make atleast one mistake, and hoped someone could point them out while I still had a chance to edit it. I'll remove the erroneous information. Thanks Lleu!Originally Posted by Lleu
Everyone else, thanks for the praise.
This is the point at which I don my white tabard with the red cross and announce myself as a crusader - in this case, against samey armies.
Contrary to what people have said before on this post, I would like to strike a note of caution in advertising all this. The tactica itself is pretty spot on. My beef is that I can just see every man and his dog with a Chaos army all coming in with Daemonic Strength and dark blade, etc.
Daemonic Fire - if you want a Tzeentch army, then this has to be a ringer from a themed point of view.
Nurgle - why use any of the Nurgle options when you can have some generic stuff? Because it is a Nurgle army! Yes, Nurgling Infestation is one of the poorer options, but it is identfiably Nurgle, the same as the plague sword, the boils and pus, etc.
I won't go on.
Chaos is about variety. Chaos is about the background, with each god vying with its peers for dominance in its own particular way.
For me at least, Chaos is NOT about kitting out EVERY army with the best wargear available to anyone and just painting them differently. We can all do that with the avowed intention of taking on and massacring all comers.
What about the theme and style of your force?
(Can anyone tell I do not play tournaments?)