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LO Zealot
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With a blast of light, the daemonic figures began to materialize before Lieutenant Coleman’s eyes. Coleman, of the Death world of Krieg, didn’t mind the combat or the danger, not since the battle of Cenker’s Folly. Wave after wave of rampaging Orks, almost unlimited in number, were more than enough to harden the seasoned lieutenant’s resolve.

Regardless, Coleman flinched at the twisting, blinding light of the warp, and shuddered with horrified anticipation. It wasn’t the danger itself, but not knowing what enemy he would face that unnerved the lieutenant, and the rest of the combined platoon surrounding him.

Would they die covered in dripping boils and rotting flesh? Would the woman of their dreams suddenly appear, pulling them in close for a final, agonizing embrace? Or would chaos itself spew from two mouths, guided by four pink arms, until it shattered their front line like glass?

Or worse yet, would Coleman’s nerve break, rendering him useless to his men, forcing the commissar standing alongside him to execute the final option?

Coleman was not afraid of death. He only wished to know which version of it was arriving.

He didn’t have to wait long.

The energy spun and weaved its way through the air, as if drawing the Daemons out of nothingness. The figures were humanoid, with reddish-brown flesh, black fins, and an oversized blade clutched within each set of their powerful, clawed hands.

With an ear shattering roar, the Bloodletters spun towards the platoon, and charged.

In response, Coleman gave a slightly relieved sigh, and called out,

“First rank fire! Second rank fire!”

As one, the combined platoon rained fire down upon the Daemons, slaughtering most of their number.

Daemonettes would have slunk towards the platoon, hidden in terrain, glided through their defenses, and quickly struck before the guardsmen were ready. Plaguebearers would have easily stood up to the fire, and oozed their way through their ranks. Pink Horrors would have fired first, whittling the guardsmen down, and possibly causing them to panic. Hell, even Nurglings would’ve at least been tougher.

The Bloodletters had none of these advantages. The few that survived to reach close combat had trouble climbing over the platoon’s barricade, allowing the guardsmen to dispatch them with bayonets before any damage was done.

Coleman was almost disappointed. Or at least he was until he noticed that the Commissar looked equally disappointed, only for a completely different reason.

With a slight cough, the lieutenant lifted up his gas mask, and bellowed to the men,

“Alright, stay sharp. The battle’s not over, so we have to keep looking for any serious threats…”



Bloodletters don’t work.

There, I said it.

They’re a great unit in theory, and if you look at their stat line alone, they seem quite impressive. After all, they have the same basic statistics of a MEQ, only with power weapons, a better WS, furious charge, and a 5+ invulnerable save instead of an armor save.

So how could this possibly go wrong?

Easily: they deepstrike close to the enemy, get shot to pieces, and then die.

Wait, what if you hide them in cover, or keep them behind other units?

In that case they deepstrike in, spend 2-3 turns doing nothing but marching, and then either get shot to pieces, or arrive a little too late to be useful.

I’ve heard the argument that they’re meant to join ongoing close combats, rather than starting new ones, after the faster and/or tougher units have already tied the enemy down.

I have to admit, that’s possible…but how many Chaos Daemon units really need help in close combat? Chaos Daemons are literally packed with units that easily win close combats in the first round. The only units that don’t aren’t really meant to be kept that close to the enemy.

Okay, for argument’s sake, let’s say I’m wrong and you do need a unit to help finish off a close combat that has already started. In that case, the Bloodletters could help a lot in close combat, but so could Daemonettes, Fiends, Bloodcrushers, Daemon Princes, and any greater Daemon.

The big difference between these units and the Bloodletters is that these alternate units are all either very fast, very resilient, and/or have assault grenades. Bloodletters are/have none of these, making them an inferior choice.

So why do so many players love Bloodletters? Because everyone’s impressed when 1-3 Bloodletters survive long enough to reach close combat, and wind up destroying their opponent’s 10-20 man unit by themselves.

Yeah, that is very impressive…but have you ever noticed that there only ever seems to be 1-3 bloodletters alive by the time you reach close combat? How many were in the unit to begin with? 10-15? So you spent 160-240 points in order to get 1-3 models into close combat?

For 80-90 points you could’ve fielded 2 bloodcrushers, 3 fiends, or a Daemon Prince, and easily matched the Bloodletter unit’s performance, at less than half the cost in points, and with much less risk when deepstriking.

But who am I to judge. Go ahead and use the Bloodletters if you like them. I’m sure your Imperial Guard opponents will thank you for it. ^_^
 

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Look at it from the perspective of an army that DOESN'T have tons of guns to throw coming from a single squad, and/or relies more heavily on having a good armor save. Lets say you DS a squad of them at approximately, 10" from an equal 10 man squad of Troop SM. Double tapped, amounting to about 2 dead Letters'. Your next turn you charge, and kill about 5, before they can strike back if across open terrain (which is possible when your opponent spent their first turn boltering you). They then kill about 1. Not bad for equivalent point cost units. (yes I left out special weapons in this example as I don't know what Marines have at their disposal without increasing the squads point cost.)

Not too bad in my opinion. Also bear in mind, that this will be very close to what happens when you fight against most MEQ armies. Not to mention those 'Letters CAN serve a very important role: Bait and/or distraction. If you look at the statline and think "these guys are wicked" you can bet your opponent will too. With the sheer scariness of most of our units, I see my opponents usually hesitating over what to shoot at, and 'Letters certainly contribute to that, especially after they see what they can do in CC.
 

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Look at it from the perspective of an army that DOESN'T have tons of guns to throw coming from a single squad, and/or relies more heavily on having a good armor save. Lets say you DS a squad of them at approximately, 10" from an equal 10 man squad of Troop SM. Double tapped, amounting to about 2 dead Letters'. Your next turn you charge, and kill about 5, before they can strike back if across open terrain (which is possible when your opponent spent their first turn boltering you). They then kill about 1. Not bad for equivalent point cost units. (yes I left out special weapons in this example as I don't know what Marines have at their disposal without increasing the squads point cost.)

Man, I wish it was only 2 Bloodletters dying to 20 boltgun shots. That number is closer to 4-5, and since they are such a soft targets they typically draw concentrated fire. In playing Daemons weekly since the codex was released, I do not have a single experience with Bloodletters performing well.

I am 100% in agreement with mynameisgrax
 

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LO Zealot
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
10 boltguns 'double tapping' = 20 shots = 12-13 hits = 6-7 wounds = 4-5 dead bloodletters. That's half the unit, for a 10 strong unit of bloodletters...of course, most marines have a flamer in the unit, which would probably hit about 6-8 bloodletters in the squad, resulting in 3-4 wounds, which would bring the total tally up to 6-7 dead bloodletters.

For the same points you could take 4 bloodcrushers instead. Against them, 12-13 hits = 4-5 wounds = 1-2 failed armor saves. The flamer will probably only get 2-3 hits, resulting in 1 wound, most likely finishing off 1 of the 4 bloodcrushers.

The bloodletters lost 6-7, which is 96-112 points, and the bloodcrushers lost 1, which is 40 points. That's also assuming that only one enemy unit fires at them during your opponent's turn. Unless everything's already tied up in close combat, those bloodletters are gone, where the bloodcrushers would either tough it out, or at least distract your opponent away from everything else on the board.
 

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Look at it from the perspective of an army that DOESN'T have tons of guns to throw coming from a single squad, and/or relies more heavily on having a good armor save. Lets say you DS a squad of them at approximately, 10" from an equal 10 man squad of Troop SM. Double tapped, amounting to about 2 dead Letters'. Your next turn you charge, and kill about 5, before they can strike back if across open terrain (which is possible when your opponent spent their first turn boltering you). They then kill about 1. Not bad for equivalent point cost units. (yes I left out special weapons in this example as I don't know what Marines have at their disposal without increasing the squads point cost.)

Not too bad in my opinion. Also bear in mind, that this will be very close to what happens when you fight against most MEQ armies. Not to mention those 'Letters CAN serve a very important role: Bait and/or distraction. If you look at the statline and think "these guys are wicked" you can bet your opponent will too. With the sheer scariness of most of our units, I see my opponents usually hesitating over what to shoot at, and 'Letters certainly contribute to that, especially after they see what they can do in CC.

Agreed. When I play daemons (which is fairly rare) Bloodletters take TONS of fire away from other units .

And when my opponent KNOWS I want them to take the fire from other units, and says, "hey, lets shoot the people they were not expecting me to shoot..." I usually get a full unit of letters for the next turn. WOOPS!

I use letters the same as I use zerkers in an undivided CSM list. If they take fire like I am expecting, fine, my other units didn't. If they don't take fire like I was expecting, fine, they get in close combat.


Its generally a pretty equal trade off. Don't get me wrong, I love crushers, and can completely see where you guys are coming from, I simply use there stat-line to my advantage, one way or another.

The only times I have ever had much problems is with IG and Tau, simply because they have a lot more guns than most lists, with some Orc lists aside, but they generally seem to want to charge me anyways...
 

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Torn ACL FTL
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Nurglings? Should've been Pink Horrors!

Yes, I'm back. Work's new filter has blocked LO so I have to find ways around it. Bummer.

Bloodletters are crazy fragile, pretty pricey, slow, and, I dunno, don't like the same music as everyone else. It screams bad on its own, that's for sure.

Here's the rub, when you've filled up on Fiends, Flesh Hounds, Heralds, and Plaguebearers, you may have some points lying around. While those speed Daemons running around gutting things, you drop in those Bletters nice and quiet like. They shoot them, no skin off ==My== back, enjoy some Fiends in your face; they ignore them (or can't cuz they're tied up with Fiends), enjoy Fiends in your face, watch them bounce away with H&R, and the Bletters murder you.

Beyond Plaguebearers, Bletters are the only Troops I consistently field (==My== pure Slaaneshis don't count since I have to endure Daemonettes). They either make for a good distraction or can help wrap things up while the Fiends are running down stragglers.
 

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LO Zealot
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm...interesting point, but if I'm in that situation (where I need troops, have points to spare, but already have two units of plaguebearers), I'd much rather have pink horrors or daemonettes.

Daemonettes have kind of a bad rep, as they are quite fragile, but they're fast, and can put out more than enough rending attacks to deal with virtually any opponent. Their speed puts them significantly above bloodletters, in my opinion. I like using units of 15-20.

In general, I've found that if you have 15 daemonettes and 15 bloodletters running towards the enemy, by the time the daemonettes reach close combat, they're down to 9-10. By the time the bloodletter reach close combat, they're down to 2-3.
 

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Sounds to me like you more just have horrible luck with Bletters. I don't entirely see how you can lose the equivalent of about two rounds of shooting in Bletters, over Daemonettes, even factoring in Daemonettes being able to fleet. Unless of course you're Bletters are getting shot at by more than just 1 squad, in which case they would appear to be serving their distraction purpose admirably.

P.S. Rechecked my math from my first post. The two is how many save of the six, not how many die. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you can make them work, then by all means use the bloodletters, but for me I've just found that there's nothing they can do that another unit in the army can't do better and/or for less points.

If you want something that will draw away fire and survive, then bloodcrushers or plaguebearers are better. If you want something that can cause a lot of damage, then daemonettes (with fleet, rending and assault grenades), fiends, bloodcrushers, and daemon princes are better.

For me, they just don't have a niche. If a unit in the daemon army isn't fast, then they have to be able to survive concentrated fire, and the bloodletters can't do that.
 

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Scourge Lord
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Daemonettes are far more versatile and survive longer than Bloodletters.

1. Aura lets the Daemonettes deep strike into cover, because they will not be forced to attack at initiative 1 when they do. This also applies to the barricades example mynameisgrax presented in post #1, where the Bloodletters are screwed no matter where they arrive on the board.

2. Fleet allows the Daemonettes to deep strike farther away, which means they are less likely to get charged first (along with the fact that Aura acts like defensive grenades and that the enemy will need a difficult terrain test). So the majority of units are more likely to move away from the Daemonettes. This is good even though you may not still be able to charge them without a couple good rolls, because you are now in control of the position and they are on the defensive.

3. High initiative means Daemonettes get to kill stuff in close combat before it gets a chance to kill them, even against most Eldar and units that make use of furious charge. Bloodletters rely on furious charge, so they only get a good initiative for one round, and that's if they get to charge at all. This means they will often be taking damage first or simultaneously in close combat, being of a lower survival rate even once they get into assault.
 

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Thing is Daemonettes may or may not fair better outside of combat. Which happens here is going to be due to many factors, such as opponents army, opponents generalship strategy, familiarity of opponent with Daemons, and what guns happen to be close by. Thing is they serve different purposes once you get into combat.

Daemonettes are excellent against horde units, with the hordes low armor save, Damonettes high number of attacks, and the (usually) lower T of a horde model. Bletters on the other hand serve better against MEQ in combat, due to Bletters ignoring all armor saves, having equal or greater S versus T on average, and having that extra point of T over Damonettes.
 

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Scourge Lord
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Then the Daemonettes have to try and kill something and the wheels go flying off :p
LOL. If we're talking literally about wheels flying off, I agree! Daemonettes aren't a bad choice against vehicles. Rending gives 10 Daemonettes 3-to-4 glancing or penetrating hits if the vehicle moved at combat speed. Because of the D3 rule, two or three of those hits are likely to be penetrating. If the vehicle was stationary, you can double those numbers.

And against other units, Daemonettes pump out enough attacks to do serious damage, and it's usually before they take any in return. Rending is only a nice bonus when you can drown your opponent in armor saves. If you don't average 5 MEQ kills with 10 Daemonettes on the charge, the dice gods have forsaken you. That, imo, is better than wiping out the unit right away and getting shot up next turn.

Thing is Daemonettes may or may not fair better outside of combat. Which happens here is going to be due to many factors, such as opponents army, opponents generalship strategy, familiarity of opponent with Daemons, and what guns happen to be close by. Thing is they serve different purposes once you get into combat.

Daemonettes are excellent against horde units, with the hordes low armor save, Damonettes high number of attacks, and the (usually) lower T of a horde model. Bletters on the other hand serve better against MEQ in combat, due to Bletters ignoring all armor saves, having equal or greater S versus T on average, and having that extra point of T over Damonettes.
Very true, but Bloodletters can't protect themselves with speed and cover like Daemonettes. And the Changeling even allows them to protect another unit on occasion. Assuming generalship is even for both units, the Daemonettes are the better choice. If you need hell blades to take out some Space Marines, it's time for some Bloodcrushers.
 

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But BC's are so much more expensive than Bletters are, and get unwieldy in lower points games quite often. And who says Bletters can't hide in cover? They can do so just fine. Might not take a charge as well as Daemonettes do, but moving them from cover to cover, is one of the ways of dealing with their "low" save. Or just dropping and moving another unit with them would work too. Have them provide cover to each other. In tandem the two will be able to take out most units in the game, in 1 or 2 rounds of combat.

Also the changeling is a Pink Horror upgrade, not a Daemonette one.
 

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Scourge Lord
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Whoops, thanks for correcting me on that. :) Got my Daemons mixed up there.

But if you're going to be hiding your Bloodletters in cover, they are not going to be getting into assault at all most likely. Then they are only good as a fire magnet, which may or may not be ignored depending on the situation. You can use them in tandem with Daemonettes, but they aren't really necessary at that point because the 'nettes can hold their own in CC. I would rather have two Daemonettes squads that could fleet into different targets than having to charge Daemonettes and Bloodletters into the same target (that is, unless you are lucky enough to still have multiple enemy units in charge range on turn 2).
 

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LO Zealot
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Sigh...we're not going to get very far if every discussion turns into 'Fiends are better'.

Yes, Fiends are better, but Fiends aren't troops, and if you want bloodcrushers and/or flamers of Tzeentch, there's a fairly restrictive limit to how many fiends you can have in the list.

Daemonettes are the BEST troop choice the Chaos Daemons have for storming the enemy defenses and stealing away objectives. Plaguebearers are too slow, Pink Horrors don't fight in close combat well, and Nurglings can't claim objectives. With bloodletters, it's a combination of them being relatively vulnerable, no movement bonuses, no assault grenades, and no shooting attacks.

Fiends would be best of all at storming the enemy lines, if they were a troop choice, but they're not. That's where the daemonettes come in. Daemonettes win combats. It's true, they take a lot of casualties in the process, but they almost always seem to be the ones eventually left standing.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: but Grax, you said Bloodcrushers are better than Bloodletters. How can you say that and say that both Fiends and Daemonettes are equally good?

Bloodcrushers, Fiends, and Daemonettes all have a niche. Bloodletters aren't only a downgraded version of the Bloodcrusher (in the same way the Daemonettes are a downgraded version of the Fiends), but they're also far more fragile. With their 3+ armor save, Bloodcrushers can soak up fire on the front lines, something that the bloodletters can't do.
 

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I have to admit I'm still kind of curious as to why you seem to think Damonettes don't suck shooting at least as hard as Bletters do, simply because of maybe taking one less round of it. But theres not point in fighting over something we can't see eye to eye on.

My point with running the Bletters alongside another group of "something" was more, that it gives them both cover saves on their way to the enemy, and unless your opponent has placed their units more than 4" or so apart, you CAN charge two different units with them, when you get there.
 

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Torn ACL FTL
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Right, when you have an army to work with them, Bloodletters will get more mileage, either by absorbing more fire or actually killing more.

If we want to dredge up the whole cover argument, Bloodletters still win. Even if they charge 10 marines in cover, they lose 2 and the remaining 8 murder them (something like 13 or so kills). Daemonettes kill 6 and lose 2 of their own, ergo less efficient.

Pretty much anything Daemonettes do, Fiends and Seekers do better. They aren't even good for scoring thanks to T3. Bloodletters are significantly cheaper than Bloodcrushers, easier to deploy and maneuver, hit just as hard minus 1 attack and can actually hold objectives with cover+GtG and T4. The best way to drag units out of cover is to hit them with Fiends, drag them out, bring in Bloodletters or something killier, then H&R away to do it again. Throwing a bunch of T3 girly girls might net you a few lucky rends, then they get torn apart, if they haven't been blown away first.

Daemonettes and Bloodletters are fairly equal in terms of their sucktitude against shooting, but Bloodletters are the ones that can actually get the job done in assault, even if they've been depleted by shooting. Hell, 3 charging are enough to brutalize a unit of marines (5 kills).

Daemonettes aren't the worst Troops choice (Horrors are), but they're pretty close. Bloodletters aren't terribly useful themselves, but when used in conjunction with other units they can do nasty things to people.
 

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Scourge Lord
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There won't be 10 Bloodletters assaulting 10 Marines (EVER), because 6-7 Bloodletters will have already fallen to rapid fire and a flamer/melta... and that's at the very least. I think we should also mention the likelihood of other support units that lend firepower to the Marines squad. The ability to deploy 4-6" further away and still have a chance of assaulting next turn is huge when you're talking about the short ranged stuff, and being able to deploy into area cover can really protect them from the long ranged support fire much better than the 5+ save.

Those SM units could of course be softened up by Pink Horrors, but those suck according to ==someone==. ;)

The argument that Bloodletters are good for mop up duty doesn't hold much water for me because [A] Daemons have a lot of units that are great at destroying non-vehicle units, and any unit can provide cover or hide behind another unit, but at such close ranges, there's a high probability that the opponent is going to find an angle for an unobstructed shot.
 
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