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    Slaanesh 2k, tactics included.

    Chaos Tactics- Slaanesh

    Ok, this is my first shake at any of this so please don’t judge too harshly. But I’ve read a lot of tactics articles and I’d thought I’d try and apply some of what I learned there, and my own battle experience with Chaos to come up with tactics and an army list I can build from that just might be competitive.
    I don’t want to be a credit hog. Maybe this specific list hasn’t been put together before, maybe it has. Inspiration for this article/army list comes from many other tactics forum posts from many different sites regarding many different armies, various articles, my own experience playing with Hordes of Chaos, and at least what seems to me like a good deal of common sense. If you’ve built a list around, played with, or even wrote about a similarly styled Chaos army then to you I say congratulations, and your work bears repeating for future generations of Chaos players.

    Here’s an army list I whipped up. I included a tactical description with each unit
    Overall I built the list to be flexible, and get the very most out of the points plunked down for each unit. Most of the units are small, allowing for a greater number of them on the battlefield than what might normally be expected from a list based mostly around a core of Chaos Warriors. Characters are NOT there to bolster the fighting power of units: with the level of power chaos characters are given and especially with the way I kitted them out, they should function like units in their own right. I don’t believe combat should be entered without support, and I don’t believe in setting aside only 1 unit to accomplish a given task on the battlefield (like war-machine hunting, screening, or flanking). I built the list around those main principles.

    Read the above principles again. Got them in your head? Good. The way I've selected this army makes for a more spread out force and more units with which to pursue more goals. Unlike some chaos lists you cannot just charge in and hope that superior skill, strength, toughness, and armor of your troops will compensate for errors in tactical judgment. There are more units than a typical chaos army but there's also almost no static combat resolution (standards, ranks, certainly not outnumbering) to fall back on so protracted combats are a bad thing. Instead, try and focus on isolating portions of the enemy army. Isolating can work three ways. 1, you can slow other portions of the army down by sending in the fast units to march block. 2, you can use bait-and-flee tactics with warhounds to set up a favorable position (seriously, you'd be surprised how many opponents will just charge into enemies right in front of them without thinking of the position they might put themselves in or considering that the unit in front of them wouldn't simply sit there with their pants down). 3, Use magic to manipulate the movement of enemy units. Once portions of the other force are in a position where they cant get immediate support, gang up on them. There are a fair amount of units in this army list, use them to your advantage and combine a frontal charge with a flank charge, or even sandwich them and go for the rear. Battles are won with this army through picking apart an enemy piece by piece using finesse, rather than the swinging the all-out sledgehammer I normally see chaos being played as.

    2000 Pts
    Exalted Sorcerer of Chaos
    Level 4, Mark of Slaanesh, Chaos Daemon Sword
    380 pts

    We've seen this character before. It works. Why? It's a level 4 spellcaster sporting some of the most devastating spells in the game: the Lore of Slaanesh has 3 spells that control the enemy’s movement (making them frenzied and forcing them to charge, making them move toward a point on the field, or stopping them from moving all together), and any one of these can set you up with a juicy target for ganging up on. More than that, he hits as hard and fast as a Keeper of Secrets in close combat, without being a large target. Normally wizards are vulnerable to skirmishers, flyers, fast cavalry, etc. The Chaos Daemon Sword provides superb protection should the sorcerer get jumped. Its drawback is a concern, but melee should be avoided with the wizard unless you need some extra kills in a supported combat or a can opener. I'd keep him on foot in close enough proximity to another infantry unit so that he isn’t vulnerable to small-arms fire. Cannon sniping poses a problem but there are ways to deal with that.

    Exalted Champion of Chaos
    Mark of Slaanesh, Great Weapon, Steed of Slaanesh
    164 pts

    This list encourages characters to act like independent units; this is a good example. Since the Hordes of Chaos army has cost issues already, putting characters in a unit risks sinking points. Enter the Slaanesh-steed hero. This guy has a number of good uses. Supporting a unit with a flank charge from a great-weapon hero on a monster is a good way to rack up kills for CR. Additionally, the M10 of the steed lets you speed up a flank to go war machine hunting if necessary. With 4 S7 attacks, and a 20” charge range, using him to suicide charge units, take out a character, and flee 3d6” when he loses combat due to static CR is acceptable. This is especially helpful against undead. A couple things to keep in mind: HE MUST CHARGE. At T4, a 4+ save, and a T4 mount, he’s vulnerable if an opponent gets the jump on him. Those same stats also make him vulnerable to shooting. If you’re using him for supporting charges, keep him behind the lines so he can’t be targeted easily. If you use him for war machine hunting, try and keep him in cover as you move up. The daemonic mount causes fear. Use it to your advantage- a flank charge from him against a unit that’s already engaged in the front means a panic test AND a fear test. Since he’s immune to psychology he can’t flee from a charge. He’s got many uses but bait isn’t one of them.

    Warriors of Chaos (10) Additional hand weapons, Champion, Mark of Slaanesh.
    3 units- 606 pts

    I mentioned earlier the principle of getting the most for your points. Adding ranks to chaos warrior units to get the combat bonus is a huge waste of points in a list designed to be flexible and spread out. A rank bonus is pretty poor compensation for points spent on an extra 10-15 heavily armored, elite troops that are otherwise never going to see combat. With stat-lines like they have, combat is the natural place for a chaos warrior, not sitting in the back of the unit providing moral support. Also, less deep of a unit means smaller flanks to keep track of. That’s why I’ve gone with the unit size minimum. The mark of Slaanesh helps a lot; since the troops are immune to psychology they won’t panic like other small units subjected to heavy shooting. I’ve taken out standards to deny giving the opponent victory points if they get the jump on one of these small units, and as a way of trimming costs. So without ranks and a standard, how do you win combat? Killing and combined charges. Making sure your chaos warriors don’t go into combat unsupported is the key, especially if by doing so you can deny your opponents rank bonuses (flank charge!) and even the field.
    A NOTE ABOUT WEAPON SELECTION: When it comes to chaos warriors, weapon selection should reflect what you want the unit to do. Want a tar pit? Warriors with the extra armor save from a hand weapon and shield make it comfy to get good and stuck in. Need can openers? Great weapons all the way, here’s hoping you get to charge with them. I know a lot of chaos players swear by halberds since they’re the most reliable killing tools and I agree. However, due to my preference for minimum unit size and the likelihood of squaring off against more numerous foes, I opted for the additional hand weapons in order to get the most number of attacks from the least number of models. (I always add a champion for the same reasons- that extra attack is worth it) Is it a bit of a risk? Yes. But against most armies it’ll pay off handsomely.

    Knights of Chaos (5) Chosen, Mark of Slaanesh, Champion, Standard, Musician
    1 Unit- 295 Pts

    These guys I don’t mind giving full command to since between their 1+ save, two S5 attacks, and 14” charge range, chosen knights can handle combat against a ranked up unit unsupported. The operative word is “can”- because as with the rest of the army ideally you shouldn’t. 295 Points may seem like a huge point sink considering the rest of the army’s composition but chosen knights are one of the most well known sledgehammer units in the game, and can get their points back easily in the amount of carnage they can wreck in close combat, or the giant imaginary bullseye their reputation paints on them; they’ll be the target of every war machine your opponent has. The results may be painful sometimes but if your opponents’ attention is focused on the knights, the warriors and daemons get less heat. Even if 25% or more of the knights are blasted off they won’t panic because of the Mark of Slaanesh. Likewise, screening with warhounds is helpful, since if the screen panics, flees, or is destroyed, the knights won’t care. Their mobility makes them a good unit for ganging up with, so combine a charge to get the most out of these brutes.

    Warhounds of Chaos (5)
    4 Units-

    The warhounds make great screens under most conditions, and if they survive in sufficient numbers can even get in a flank charge and negate a rank bonus; both great uses for a 30 point throw-away unit. On a more serious note, they’re the only unit in the army list that can voluntarily flee from a charge. This is important if you plan on setting traps for your opponent. Assuming you do, their 3d6” flee distance should keep them safe. They won’t rally though, unless they’re near the general, but at XX points per unit it’s not so bad if you managed to get an advantageous board position out of the deal. Also, the rest of your troops, being immune to psychology, won’t panic and flee if the warhounds get destroyed or run past. Since at T3 and no armor they’re very vulnerable to shooting, against missile heavy armies I would combine them and make 2 units of 10.

    Daemonettes (10)
    1 Unit-

    Daemonettes require care to use; they’re cheaper than the chaos warriors but because of their demonic instability and low T it’s even more imperative that they get support in close combat, and are properly screened from heavy shooting. This may not seem worth it but the Daemonettes have a few potent advantages. First of all, like all daemons they cause fear and are immune to psychology. Fear can make combat a lot easier if a charged unit fails their test and requires 6’s to hit. The 5+ ward save against non-magical attacks is nice too. Best though, is the Aura of Slaanesh. It makes breaking your opponent easier if you win combat, and can also make for a harder panic test if you get another of your units in for a flank charge. Also its worthy to note there’s a pretty big difference between an 8” charge and a 10” charge. Move them at the same speed as the rest of your battle line to lull opponents into a false sense of security

    Mounted Daemonettes (6)
    1 Unit-
    XX points each for fast cavalry seems like outright extortion. With mounted Daemonettes though, you get what you pay for and then some. They march and charge 20”. That’s as fast as flyers. Like all fast cavalry they get that handy free reform. They cause fear, letting them autobreak war machine crews with a few good hits, can head for enemy territory and march-block, and they negate rank bonuses on a flank charge. A flank charge from a rank-bonus negating, leadership-reducing, fear-causing unit can be devastating. The fact that they get 3 attacks per model (one of them poisoned) is great. They won’t survive much shooting, however, and they can’t put up much of a fight against well-armored elites. So use cover to your advantage when you speed up flanks, and pick reasonable targets. Combine charges (am I repeating myself too much?) to get the most out of their supporting capabilities against bigger regiments. Also, like all daemons, keep in mind they can’t flee, so they can’t be used for baiting tactics.

    Chaos Furies (7)
    1 Unit-

    I added these furies on principle that I should not setting aside one unit for a certain battlefield task. The furies add extra support for march-blocking, war machine hunting or isolated wizard-killing (provided said wizards aren’t holding a daemon sword). A unit of 7 should, even after shooting, be strong enough to autobreak war machine crews, isolated wizards, and small units of skirmishers. They can even combine with other units for a charge on light regiments. You need to be extra careful though about how you pick your targets. Sending them into a combat they can’t win spells disaster. With their low leadership and daemonic instability a lost combat could kill off the whole unit at once. At XX points per flying daemon that’s a pretty expensive “whoopsie”. Again, like other units immune to psychology, they can’t voluntarily flee.

    So there’s the list and why I chose each unit. Any suggestions? Praises? Hate messages? I want to make a working army so I’m open to feedback. Let me know what you think of this list and the ideas behind it.

    Please do not post individual points costs in future, or the costs of units without upgrades - GN

    Last edited by gingerninja; December 17th, 2007 at 10:43. Reason: Points

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    King of Librarium's Tombs Phoenix's Avatar
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    Well, for a first post... WOW! very impressive. And you have done your research, thats good. Welcome to Slannesh

    The Chaos Deamon Sword, although thorough your tactics seem to have overluuked one HUGE drawback. It points cost. Though i can see your points behind it, and he may come in handy for getting into combat at that point, i dont think a Sorceror should be planning for combat, not at that kind of cost.

    Being mounted, im afraid that your Exhalted Champ will only gain +1S from the GW, so he will have 4 S6 attacks.

    One Lv4 caster alone will not be enough to get you through, if you want a decent a magic assault, and defense, and to justify spending all thouse ponts on a Lv 4 in the first place, you are going to need one more Lv2 atleast.

    The Warriors look like a good base. Id say add 2 more to each unit (or 1 + a position for a character). Also maybe add Music if you can find the points, and possibly give them shields too for better ranged protection.

    Loose the Standard from the Knights, and Chosen is a thing id recommend for them. If you could add one Knight too that would be awesome.

    Warhounds, fine, as are the rest of he units i think. The only one i would question is the foot Deamonette unit, as hey are the only ones i have limited experiance with. Possibly too easily defeated at range to be worthwhile.

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    *moved to the army list forum*


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    Member Galakhad's Avatar
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    First, I guess it belongs to armylists section.

    Second. Some of your assumptions make me believe that you are unaware of some of the changes in the 7th edition. I suggest you re-read the rulebook
    As an example:
    "I'd keep him on foot in close enough proximity to another infantry unit so that he isn’t vulnerable to small-arms fire."
    He still gets to be shot at under 7th edition rules.
    What you should actually do to protect the guy properly - is to put him in the unit.
    "...and can also make for a harder panic test if you get another of your units in for a flank charge..."
    Units in close combat never test for panic.

    "Normally wizards are vulnerable to skirmishers, flyers, fast cavalry, etc. The Chaos Daemon Sword provides superb protection should the sorcerer get jumped. Its drawback is a concern, but melee should be avoided"
    Sword provides no protection. In fact it makes it worse. First you will get hit by whoever attacks your sorc. And then he is likely to kill himself on any rolls of '1', thanks to his strength 6 attacks and 4+ armor save.

    What Chaos Daemon sword actually does - it gives the sorc all the offensive qualities of the battle-oriented hero.
    Though having 2+ armor save is a necessity to keep him alive.
    Thus - if you go for a sword - then mount is a must.

    As for the rest of the list:
    I really wouldn't recommend you using warriors. They will always be outnumbered and outranked. Not to mention they are slow.
    From my experience the only real way to use them is as flankers with marauder blocks.

    If you wish to use infantry - drop all but one warrior units and get a block, or two of marauders with shields and light armor. Otherwise - drop them and get knights instead. They hit harder are better armored and are much faster. Aaand... cost about as much.

    Unfortunately foot-daemonettes are not worth their points. Mounted version is so much better whilst having the same cost.

    Due to your very low model count, opponents magic will become real problem.
    You could've used a 2nd level sorc with dispell scrolls to counter it and reinforce your magic phase.
    Last edited by Galakhad; December 17th, 2007 at 14:01.
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