Thursday, May 16, 2013
Let's talk about the new daemons...
So the new daemon codex has been out awhile now and I've watched or read quite a few batreps including some from tournaments. Here are my most current thoughts:
Pure Daemon Armies
Daemons are more random than before. I don't see them winning any major events any time soon that involves five or more rounds. Some of the really good options such as Grimoire of True Names (GoTN) and Portaglyph are unreliable and can easily end up losing you a game. Sixth edition is quite random in general - adding more randomness to your army is not a good thing when intending to play competitively. Pure daemon armies are also subject to the Warp Storm which is also random and tends to punish armies that are composed of several units from the different Chaos powers (i.e., Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzeentch).
I'll list the main units from the codex that I see frequently and tend to perform the best.
A lot of players say Fateweaver is a MUST TAKE unit. Note that I disagree. The main reason why players like him is because of the reroll - Fateweaver can help dispel some of the inherent randomness for a pure daemon army. I think that other than the one reroll per turn that's his main strength and that's not good enough for his high cost. Fateweaver is definitely not as powerful overall as his previous incarnation... A lot of us knew he was due for a big whack from the nerf bat. To me The Lord of Change is the better choice and can be built to be quite the melee beset now which is a huge change.
There are lots of great options for the Heralds with the exception of Nurgle and I base this statement solely on what I've seen so far online in regard to Heralds of Nurgle - they just don't seem all that powerful compared to the other three. Still though a Herald of Nurgle is a good choice for attaching to Plague Bearers if that's your kind of thing.
Heralds are force multipliers buffing your basic troop choices and unlock valuable options. For example it's quite possible to get a 2++ rerollable save by attaching a Herald of Tzeentch to a squad of Horrors and casting the GoTN on it from another daemonic unit. While it's not a sure thing it's going to be tough for most enemies to counter when it happens and it's a great foil to the new Tau. The drawback to such a combined unit (minor in my opinion) is when you face off against an opponent with strong psychic defense... The Horrors' offense is solely based upon witch fire so if an opponent can shut down their shooting then they won't be inflicting much damage (obviously). Heralds of Khorne and Slaanesh are also strong as well and can do lots of good things for a wide number of units such as Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, Daemonettes and Seekers.
In my mind this is one of the strongest slots in the Force Organization Chart (FOC). Blight Drones, Flesh Hounds and Seekers are all very potent... These are the units you'll need to handle the new breed of uber shooty armies such as the new Tau. I really like both the Flesh Hounds (super fast) and Blight Drones. One thing about the Blight Drones - if you want to field this unit then invest the points necessary to make them all they can be. Blight Drones can do a lot more than simply tarpit... Versus certain armies they can roll right through an entire enemy flank (remember what I've said before - many armies you see now have no dedicated melee units). My favorite unit from Fast Attack are the Flesh Hounds... You can field a large multi wound unit that can dish out lots and lots of melee attacks. A Herald of Khorne mounted on a Juggernaught and armed with an AP2 melee weapon is a fantastic addition to a big unit of Flesh Hounds.
Even better than before these are almost a MUST TAKE unit in my opinion. I would field two of them. AV13 is really good in sixth edition so Soul Grinders can suck up lots and lots of enemy shooting while still dishing out the pain. They are another unit that will be a thorn in the side to the new Tau.
There are plenty of other solid choices as well and I'll discuss them in my next daemonic article. One of the main things to focus on when building a pure daemon army is to minimize the amount of overall randomness so keep that in mind.
Daemons as Part of an Allied Army
Now we are starting to enter the area where daemons can really shine. Funny enough I would rather field daemons as the primary detachment and take Chaos Space Marines as the ally. I have no desire to run an army with lots and lots of cultists or zombies as I find them both quite boring. On the other hand I'm probably one of the few that think Chaos Space Marine units are really really good. I only need a few though and I want more options for my daemons so for me this is the perfect combination. I still have to deal with the Warp Storm but a big chunk of my army is totally immune to it. I'm a big fan of Abbadon whom unlocks Chosen as a troop choice so I could in theory take one squad of Chosen for my mandatory troop and stick them in a land raider or Storm Eagle with Abbadon - fun times. I can still lots of the other really good CSM units such as the Heldrake and Obliterators. I think these types of Chaos armies will be by far the strongest yet.
So there you have it from soup to nuts. You can expect a lot more daemonic articles in the future here at Terminus Est.