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How large do people typically make their daemon packs and why? Obviously there is an advantage to keeping them as big as possible because of instability. However, since combat resolution is calculated based on sides this can be worked around somewhat. Advantages to breaking them into multiple smaller units are greater flexibility, a slightly decreased risk of being destroyed during summoning, and more predictable arrival.
You've answered your own question, but I'll add this :
Large units of daemons are best used in combination with the favoured multiples. For examples, since 6 is the favoured number of slaanesh, then you shoul use 12 daemonettes in a pack to increase their survivability and this will also provide the will be easier to summon (+1 on the roll).
If your playing an undivided army, smaller pack are best used ad this increase your chance of summoning (smaller units cost less, you can have more smaller units and then more summon roll).
These are my thoughts.
CHAOS Undiv.: won 14/22 games EC: 4/7 WE: 6/9 DG: 10/15, TS: 3/7 Orks : 13/20 SM NL : 1/6 TAU: 14 of 24 IG: 3/7
Most people make daemon packs the size of their "mark" (see Codex: CSM) so that they can get summoned faster.
agreed but if your playing undivided the size of your packs will depend on your style of play
Right, unless you play a strict book of chaos army like Emperor's Children, World Eaters, 1,000 Sons, or Death Guard you don't get any bonuses for having favored units.
Karnov let all of us fulfil our repressed dreams of being a fat Russian man running around in the great outdoors and getting shot at by weird stone heads and crap. You didn't have a repressed fantasy about doing such marvelous things? Well, I don't believe you . . . [djpretzel]
The size of the pack is equal to the size of the job. Assuming you're not taking into account favoured units, then something like the following -
Daemonettes that are tank busting can probably get away with only six in the squad. If they're attacking a full sized squad, then they'll need atleast eight.
Bloodletters are best at about eight or nine, but can get away with smaller if attacking crunchy targets like Terminators.
Flamer/Horror packs should be around 7 to 9, to maximise the amount of Heavy Bolter shots you can level. The idea is to wipe out entire units with one round of shooting, or at the very least cripple them.
Pure Horror packs and Plaguebearer packs are best taken in groups of zero. (I kid! I kid!)
I wouldn't do any pack above 12 though, and then only with Cult Daemonettes. Fitting that many models onto the summoning template becomes a real chore. Remember also that large squads tend to wipe out enemy units in a single round of combat, which is bad. Two rounds is much better, as it prevents them from recieving counter fire during the opponents time. Daemons are wonderful in Close Combat, but tend to be very fragile to shooting.