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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine recently became a roommate and has expressed interest in taking up the 40k banner as a hobby. I haven't played in quite some time (since 5ed) but I agreed to re-enter the grim darkness of the far future in the shiny new 7th edition along with some other friends of mine. I know she loves painting and will likely enjoy the modeling aspect as well, I think that's what will keep her going strong in the game.

The catch is, she picked Daemons. That's what she likes, and that's what she wants to build and paint. I know next to nothing about Daemons and the 19+ HQ choices in their new codex seem fairly daunting. She's new to table top wargames and despite my best efforts to steer her towards less complicated armies she just has her heart set on a Daemon horde.

What's the best way to approach a bare bones, simple list for her? Something that isn't a tactical nightmare to have some success with and isn't so dependent on crazy specialized magic rules and abilities that it runs the risk of burning her out after a few games. Would it be an army list of a specific chaos god? Maybe Khorne, I believe he is all about close combat. Undivided? Not even sure if that's still a thing in the new codex as I've been so busy reading the new rules for 7th edition AND my armies.

What's the most basic, straight forward HQ and 2 troops you guys would recommend for my rookie friend?
 

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A Pantheon list is easily the best way to go as it will allow her to dabble with a little bit of every play style that Daemons offer... Unless of course she has her heart set on a certain play style, such as wanting to just beat the living crap out of things up close and personal for example! (Hello Khorne beasties!)
In general, the various Gods will work around;
1. Khorne = upfront close combat beatstick.
He's got a little bit of support shooting in the form of the Skull Cannon and MoK Soul Grinders, but overall, it's all about bum rushing your opponent with nasty assault units.

2. Tzeentch = ranged combat & psychic shenanigans
A few of Tzeentch's boys, such as the Lord of Change, Screamers & Princes/Grinders can hold their own in combat, but in general, Tzeentch is all about dancing about at range and shooting/magiking things to death.
You get access to massive amounts of Warp Charges to fuel not only a multitude of Witchfire/Beam powers, but also lots of cool augments through Divination access. A great supporter to another God suck as Slaanesh or Khorne.
Tzeentch also brings the most shooters to the table, having access to units such as Flamers, Burning Chariots, Exalted Flamers (see WD Weekly issue 7 for rules) and marked Grinders.

3. Nurgle = resilient grinders.
Nurgle's all about being hard to reliably kill and out grinding their opponents. Without access to plentiful cover ignoring shooting, it's hard to shoot down Nurgle's units from a distance, and their above average toughness makes them a pain to kill off in assaults to boot.
However, Nurgle's damage output is the weakest of the 4 Gods, as with Nurgle it's all about the 'slow & steady wins the race' mentality. His flying Daemon Princes are among the game's hardest FMC's to deal with, and have access to a number of useful Psychic lores as well.

4. Slaanesh = the glass cannon... but what a cannon! :D
They'll die in droves when hit, but boy can Slaanesh hit like a freaking freight train on steroids! Army-wide Rending means nothing is ever really 'safe' from your claws. Access to Telepathy means Slaanesh can really screw with opponents through disruption type abilities. (Invis is heinous with this army.)
Also some solid access to shooters as well by taking the default Greater Reward option of the Slaanesh-only whip. On Monstrous Creatures, this actually hits quite hard, and with wings being an option for all Princes, gives Slaanesh ready access to some solid anti-air firepower.


To start with, the best way to go would be something like:
- Troop of choice + matching Herald. (ie: if she likes say Khorne, then try 15-20 Bloodletters + Herald w/Locus of Hatred)
- Troop of choice + matching Herald.
- a 'fun' option such as Soul Grinder or self-capable unit such as Flesh Hounds/Screamers/Beasts of Nurgle which don't really *need* the Herald boosting it.

If she picks a psyker unit such as Pink Horrors, the best thing to do is to just keep them to using their basic power, Flickering Fire until she gets handle of the basics. Then you can slowly bring in the rolling for spells/choosing alternate psychic lores such as Malefic afterwards.

For the Daemonic Rewards, our version of wargear, again, when starting out for the first few games, ignore the rolling process and just equip a character with a default weapon. For example, a Tzherald can take the Mutating Warpblade and she can have fun trying to turn enemy Sergeants into Chaos Spawn! Or give a Khorne/Slaany Herald/unit champ a simple Etherblade for adding some close combat punch.
Once she's comfortable with the game basics, then you can go on with the process of rolling on the Rewards tables and playing around with many possible outcomes & combos. (such as a Lord of Change taking the default Staff of Change + 2 rolls on the Greater Rewards table for a resilient combat monster!)


Basically, just keep things simple to start off with, and gradually let her work into a lot of added random charts & additional gimmicks such as Icons/Musicians and all the psychic madness/summoning once she's comfortable with the basics.

Hope this helps!
Cheers!
 

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One small tidbit to add: it's very easy as a beginning Daemons player to want to max out Rewards and upgrades. Typically it is better to start with one upgrade per reward type and then use the leftover points elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank a lot for the feedback and insight. I'm sure Ill be learning quite a bit about chaos, learning and teaching as I go. I'll relay all of the options, but I think Im going to recommend a Khorne army for simplicity.

Likely starting with a Khorne Daemon Prince HQ, which can conveniently be fielded as a Heavy Support choice down the road if she decided to go with Skarbrand.

As for Troops it looks like Bloodletters are the only game in town for ol' Khorne, but I don't have a problem with that at all.
 

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Just remember that for both Bloodletters and Daemonettes, unit size matters. Both will have to endure 1-2 turns of enemy shooting (at least), so you need a unit of 15-20 at the beginning of the game so that you can weather casualties as you charge in. Khorne also has some faster units that can be useful in engaging enemy units quickly, which in turn will draw fire away from Bloodletters. Bring a couple large units of Flesh Hounds or Juggernauts, if you're more interested in dirt-cheap chaff, some Khorne Furies. Flying Princes are also a must if you go Khorne, because they can't be psykers and don't have much access to ranged weapons. Also, they will be of your major anti-tank weapons if you don't bring Soul Grinders.
 

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Thank a lot for the feedback and insight. I'm sure Ill be learning quite a bit about chaos, learning and teaching as I go. I'll relay all of the options, but I think Im going to recommend a Khorne army for simplicity.

Likely starting with a Khorne Daemon Prince HQ, which can conveniently be fielded as a Heavy Support choice down the road if she decided to go with Skarbrand.

As for Troops it looks like Bloodletters are the only game in town for ol' Khorne, but I don't have a problem with that at all.
I'd recommend getting at least 1 box of Pink Horrors as a secondary Troops choice, as they will not only allow your friend to learn the basics of the Psychic phase, but also provide some ranged ability.

Eventually you'll find that the Psychic phase is a huge part of the Daemon army, as it will essentially make-up for the relative lack of a Shooting phase, in a game dominated by shooting.

Mono-Khorne is fun at first, but over the long run it's the most limiting as it only competes in 2 phases of the game. (Movement & Assault with a bare minimum of shooting)


A beginning force such as:
Daemon Prince w/Daemon of Khorne, Armour, Wings, Axe of Khorne (default Lesser reward)

16-20 Bloodletters including Champion w/Axe of Khorne (note: build both a muso + banner as they will come in *very* handy down the road!)

10-15 Pink Horrors (again, build the standard bearer + muso to have for future use)

10 Flesh Hounds (a good bargain buy to 'count as' is either the Vampire Counts Dire Wolves, or Chaos Hounds from the Fantasy range)

That gives the ability to learn the basic mechanics with 3 different units types, including a heavy hitter in the Prince, a fast unit in the Hounds, and has a little ranged fun through the Pinkies.

Actually, if you can find the old Battleforce box which contains 20 Bloodletters, 10 Horrors, 10 Daemonettes & 5 Seekers - GET IT!
It's a great buy as everything is useful and/or easy to add onto. Much better than the pile of gak the current Battleforce box is...
 

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Actually, if you can find the old Battleforce box which contains 20 Bloodletters, 10 Horrors, 10 Daemonettes & 5 Seekers - GET IT!
It's a great buy as everything is useful and/or easy to add onto. Much better than the pile of gak the current Battleforce box is...
THIS.

That's how I got started, that box has great value. Although, i did massacre the bloodletter kits to be my furies... :)

I'll throw in my $0.02! If Khorne has been decided as the way to go to start, then have a blast! collect skulls for the skull throne, spill blood for the blood god!

However, Khorne is probably the most linear and straightforward sledghammer in the daemon arsenal, and its really quite good once it gets into combat, but getting there can be tricky.

As a mono khorne list, at 1500 (semi-standard points around here at least), I'd do something like this:

HQ: Bloodthirster, Greater Reward x 2, Lesser Reward x1 - 300
HQ: Karanak
HQ: Herald of Khorne, Lesser Reward, Greater Reward, Juggernought - 155
HQ: Herald of Khorne, Lesser Reward, Greater Reward, Juggernought - 155

Troop: 20 Bloodletters, Bloodreaper with lesser reward, Musician, Icon of Blood - 235
Troop: 10 Bloodletters, Bloodreaper with lesser reward - 115

Elite: 5 Bloodcrushers, Bloodreaper with Lesser Reward, Musician, Icon - 260

Fast: 10 Flesh hounds - 160

1500

Using this list, your thirster would be your warlord, and he'd start on the board hidden behind a building or somehting, but he doesn't have much to worry about... because there's a lot of threatening stuff out there! before the game starts, Karanak and his unit (either bloodletters (meh), or Bloodcrushers (yah!)) get to scout. the unit of flesh hounds gets to scout too, and you can add both jugger heralds to that blob if you like. I'd probably put one herald in the 20 man letter squad, and the other in the dogs. then you're halfway across the board already, and rampaging towards your opponnent. the 20 letters aren't very resilient, but there's a lot of them so they should make it in one day...

the major problem khorne faces is that the hellblades are AP3, so you'll need something a little stronger to punch through terminators. This is why I've taken so many lesser rewards, as they get swapped down to the khorne weapon, an AP2 Axe that causes instant death on to-wound rolls of 6! take that wraithknight!

it could be a lot of fun, not super duper competitive though.

if you're looking for more variety, put the second herald on a blood throne, and keep him in the middle of things, allowing him to share his locus with everyone!

if, however, you're open to building a multi-god list, It opens up a whole new world! Look over the forums, look over the armylists, get a feel for what is working, and ask questions.

I run the following at 1500:

Belakor
Herald of Tzeentch, ML3, Exalted reward
Herald of Tzeentch, ML3, Exalted reward

Beast of Nurgle
Beast of Nurgle

11 horrors
11 horrors
11 horrors

10 Flesh hounds
14 Chaos Furies with Mark of Slaanesh

Soul Grinder, Mark of Tzeentch, Baleful torrent

It plays a nasty psychic game, summoning greater demons and more horrors all day long with 15 warp charge to start. I always drop down to grimoire and portalglyph on the exalted rewards.

Lots of fun, and can really catch people off guard when i start spawning horrors, that then become lords of change or bloodthirsters!

This kind of army, summoning, requires quite an expansive collection... but with demons, it means that you can always use your models, no matter what your base list!

Welcome to Daemons!
 

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THIS.

That's how I got started, that box has great value. Although, i did massacre the bloodletter kits to be my furies... :)
Hey, if you've still got the rest of those Bloodletter bits hanging around, grab a couple boxes of Beastmen Bestigors. You'll have to cut the front pelvis off the 'Letter torso and file the waist flat, then cut the Bestigor torso away leaving the armoured waistband.

Slap the 'Letter torso on, a little green stuff to fill out the join area, and BOOM! Beefy, armoured, cloven hooved Bloodletters who stand taller than a Space Marine!
Also gets you a lifetime supply of Axe of Khorne conversion bits to boot, plus some of those heads would look good for Herald conversions. (oh, and there's a couple of hands holding a severed head - a must for Khorne's minions!;))
 
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