Monday, 31 March 2014

Reviewing the Daemons Codex, Part 5: Elites


The Daemons codex is actually fantastic. Aside from the Troops and HQ slots, you almost can't go wrong with the choices in this book. While some are clearly stronger than others, almost everything has its competitive place in games. With that in mind, it's important to note that every .2 points here counts - scores should end up tight. In place of standard loadouts, I'm including simple notes on the unit. If there's anything that really needs to be said about how to run them, I'll mention it.

The Elites

Flamers of Tzeentch
S4AP4 flamer on every model
2 wounds
Not awful fast, meaning they should deepstrike
Doesn't really take advantage of their powers, don't have a good way to get close to their enemy. 
Don't really hit very hard at all.
They'll perform against hordes and swarms, 9 S4AP4 flamers will usually annihilate any squad you put in front of them. The flipside is that more than half of the armies you'll play don't really feel AP4 too badly, and if they do they'll be able to beat it up fairly easily.

One note is that the pyrocaster is BS5, which means that he might make a fairly resilient quadgunner.

Price 4/10 They don't perform well enough to justify their price.
Survivability 6/10 They're dead quickly if they're a threat, they don't matter if they aren't.
Damage Output 5/10 50:50, they perform.
Rules 5/10 Nothing of Note
God's boon bonus 5/10 I guess they make use of their re-rolls ones on saves?
Overall: 5/10 They're not awful, but they don't perform It's a coin flip as to whether or not they're worthwhile, and unfortunately usually that will not work in their favour.


Phenominal on the charge with the right set up.
S6AP3 OTC, 4 attacks each + hammer of Wrath
Even with AP3, they can still drown most 2+ saves in enough attacks that they have to start taking wounds.
3 wounds
Banner of Blood is fantastic in ensuring that charges go off.
T4 really hurts against some armies.
They really, really, really REALLY need a 3+ armour save. Otherwise, losing grimoire on them just hurts too much.
I could write a thesis on what makes bloodcrushers viable in this edition, but I don't think I have your attention for that length of time. I'll keep it simple, to be brought up at a later date (or in the comments when you call me a retard/something else grossly inappropriate) Bloodcrushers are missing something to make them viable. If they were Toughness 5, OR had a 3+ save, OR had AP2, OR had a points reduction (to about 35 points), they would become extremely viable. As it stands now, they're still fantastic, they're just outshone by the other fantastic units in the army, which don't require such complex handling.

Price 5/10 They're just overpriced, but it's not that they're price isn't correct, they just lack something to make their price reasonable.
Survivability 6/10 T4 is shucks if they're bringing a lot of S8, but that just means you have a first turn priority to protect them from it. They're fucked against dark eldar packing too much S8, but they can usually stand up to armies that pack anything but it. It takes 9 wounds to bring one down with a 3++, which is pretty useful for soaking wounds.
Damage Output 10/10 Simply Fantastic, truly. 6 of them puts out 6 S5AP- attacks, 24 S6AP3 attacks on the charge. IF you throw in karanak, and a pair of heralds along with a bloodhunter, you're looking at 8S5AP- 20 S6AP3 attacks, 5 S6AP- attacks, 15 S6AP2 attacks with instant death. Against armies that aren't packing much Sv2+, you can get a massive amount of other benefits on your heralds which can be fantastic for pushing the game in your favour.
Rules 7/10 They make good use of the banner of blood. They also make excellent use of rage or hatred, along with furious charge and the cavalry rules. It's a damn shame they can't have hatred and rage.
God's Boons Bonus 6/10 They make good use of their Furious charge. Why can't khorne give us something else? Shame khorne only gives the one thing.
Overall 7/10 I'm biased and I'm not going to pretend I'm not. I simply love these units, I just wish they were better.

Beasts of Nurgle

Fantastic Damage output
Fantastic Resilience
Wonderful rules for pissing off your opponents
Very tough even without grimoire
Access to Locusi is annoying, if possible.
Weak Vs. Vehicles.
Beasts of nurgle are actually fantastic. They're brilliant as a concept, as fluff, as units and as damage soakers. They even do damage dealing relatively well. Let's leave it at this: BONs are wonderful and every one is unique and puppylike and if you don't like them, you're not playing the right army.

Price 8/10 Pricey, but definitely worth it.
Survivability 10/10 Technically beaten out by the great unclean one, but 45 T5 wounds with a 5++, Shrouded, IWND and possibly FNP are not going to be removed from the table. Just watch out for S10.
Damage Output 8/10 Very respectable.
Rules 7/10 Slow and purposeful doesn't hurt them too much, and Attentionseeker can absolutely swing the game in your favour. Slime Trail also means that beasts of nurgle are almost impossible to remove from the table by any means.
God's Boons Bonus 8/10 They like Shrouded, but slow and purposeful hurts a bit.
Overall 8.2/10 Easily the best in the elites slot. They're a awesome frustration unit. Even units of 3 of them will perform.

Fiends of Slaanesh

I6 and Soporific Musk means they almost always go first in close combat.
4 S4 Rending attacks at WS4 each
can usually be left to their own devices, they don't specifically need a Herald.
Siren Song can be annoying
More wounds per point than seekers (marginally)
Take more hits that aren't S8 than seekers.
Less points per attack than seekers (by a landslide)
Fiends don't compare to seekers, which makes it counter-intuitive to compare the two. While seekers hit harder against more things, it can be argued that fiends are more reliable against their targets by always hitting first, but this is where their strengths end. They need the charge set up better and need to be protected on their way to their assault. They make for a half-decent fire-soak if the game doesn't suit them.

Price 6/10 Pricey for what they're intended for, if not unreasonable.
Survivability 7/10 Their only real strength. They hit fast and don't die that easily before they get there.
Damage Output 7/10 Reasonable.
Rules 7/10 Pretty good, really. They hit hard and fast because of them.
God's Boons Bonus 7/10 They make use of that rending very well.
Overall 6.8/10 They aren't definitive, but they aren't awful.


Beasts of nurgle, 3.2 from the worst contender and 1.2 from their closest contender and 1.45 above the average for this section. These guys are fantastic, and should be viewed as such. They're extremely hard to rub out without the right tools, and take a bunch of hits before they die. They need very little handling and that makes them even more reliable. While they come down a little against MC and really feel daemonic instability, Beasts of nurgle can hold out for the whole game and while you shouldn't always expect them to win combat, they will always perform, every game.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Painting Exhibitions: Declates Crusade Tactical Marines


These units are actually from an abandoned Crimson fists project. I'll say Abandoned because I'm probably unlikely to complete the army as I just hate producing marine models. I plan to show off a few of the photos I took of the models, simply because I can. They're named after the Companion Cavalry of the Macedonians. The Crimson fists and the Black Templars are combined squads from a campaign called the Declates crusade. 

Tell me what you think!

The Models

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Reviewing the Daemons Codex, Part 4: Troops


The Daemon's codex doesn't really have four troops plus the Swarm unit, it actually only has 2 - the Camper and the Aggressor. What's interesting, is the two rivalries, Slaanesh and Khorne, and Nurgle and Tzeentch actually resemble these roles. Being as all these troops share some rules, they will have some strengths that are always the same. Otherwise, Note that every loadout I've given is a multiple of the army's God's Number. (9 for Tzeentch, 8 for Khorne, 7 for Nurgle and 6 Slaanesh.)

The Troops 

Common Strengths
All have a 5++
All have Fear 
All have Daemonic Instability
All are affected by the warp storm table

Common Weaknesses
All have Daemonic Instability
All are affected by the warpstorm table

Tzeentch Pink Horrors 

Only Infantry unit capable of shooting from Codex: Daemons
16 horrors and a herald can put out 8D6 S6AP4 shots with re-rolls to hit. 
Awful in close combat, though prescience can make them okay
Ranged is arguably mediocre, and can be completely neutered by a single dice roll
Standard Loadout:
16 Horrors with a blasted Standard (because why not), pyrocaster with lesser reward. Taken with a Tzeentch Herald with Exalted Locus, Lesser/greater reward and ML3. 

Price: 6/10 Nothing Fantastic, probably a little high, but 8.5 points is an unreasonable price to put models at. 
Survivability: 6/10 You can't honestly give any daemon unit an awful rating because they all have a 5++. But these guys aren't the best. Being able to hide on cover makes them relatively survivable, also re-rolling saves of 1 is very decent. 
Damage Output: 8/10 Only unit with any ranged damage output that isn't a vehicle or a monster, it's nice that that damage is also relatively good. 
Rules: 7/10 The Warp Charge rule is nice, the blue horror rule is give or take. IT could be useful for ending a combat soon? 
God's Boon: 8/10 Make excellent use of the bonuses of being a Tzeentch daemon. 
Overall: 7/10 They're pretty good. I don't like them, but they're nice enough.

Khorne Bloodletters

S5AP3 attacks on the charge, S4AP3 off the charge.
Access to the Banner of Blood means they can get charges off reliably.
Can man a quad gun effectively.
Not fast enough to be worthwhile, AP3 isn't definitive enough to make them excellent.
Given the oversaturation of S6AP3 shooting weapons, their AP3 isn't as valuable because there isn't enough targets.
Standard Loadout
16 with a blood reaper with a lesser reward and banner of blood. - 195 points

Price: 4/10 AP3 doesn't make their price fair.
Survivability: 5/10 You better be bringing some dangerous things to the table if you want these things not to die. Fortunately, this is the codex for that.
Damage Output: 7/10 Decent, but not definitive. If they simply had a power weapon, they'd be able to be the same price and could have a range of effective combat tools in their arsenal. I'd pay eleven points for that.
Rules: 7/10 The weakest rules of the daemons codex, but acceptable nonetheless.
God's boon: 6/10 They're hard to get into the charge, but S5AP3 is nice. Shame being khorne doesn't offer more.
Overall: 5.8/10 They're mediocre. Decidingly.

Nurgle Plaguebearers

S/T4 with Shrouded, Defensive grenades, a 5++ and poisoned 4+ attacks.
decent in combat against most things
A pain to beat at any range, even combat
Can't move faster than a relative crawl.
Bad at charges
Standard Loadout
14 bearers with Plaguebringer, lesser reward. Throw in FNP locus for, y'know, FNP if you want.


20 Bearers with Plaguebringer, lesser reward, Virulence banner, Herald with ML3, FNP Locus and palanquin, behind an ADL with a quad gun. Never lose an objective again.

Price: 8/10 Tough as nails for 126 points? Awesome.
Survivability: 10/10 As far as troops are concerned, they're fantastic.
Damage Output: 6/10 Respectable, but not great. They are BS 3 so not awesome for holding a quad gun.
Rules: 8/10 Perfect for their intended role.
God's boon: 9/10 They make awesome use of their powers.
Overall: 8.2/10 Best cappers in daemons, probably the best cappers in the game.

Slaanesh Daemonettes 

Rending, a buttload of attacks on the charge
Fantastically speedy
Cheap, probably should be 10 points.
Shoot a gun at them and they'll die. 10 guardsmen (19 shots) kill 3 of them average.
Standard Loadout
18, maybe rapturous standard? Alluress with Lesser Reward

Price: 7/10 Just behind seeker cav in terms of output per point.
Survivability: 6/10 Just a bit harder than ork boys, their speed is their best friend.
Damage Output: 8/10 Unrivalled as a troop choice. Put them in against 2+ saves.
Rules: 8/10 They do work with their run moves.
God's boon: 9/10 The Boons maketh the daemons, as one would say.
Overall: 7.6/10 Fantastic as an offensive unit. Not the best cappers.


Lots of wounds
Still a Daemon of nurgle
Infiltrate them in a building or close to your enemy for turn two charge soaking.
They're meh. They don't score. If they could score, they'd be fantastic.
Standard Loadout
7 bases

Price: 4/10 Meh.
Survivability: 4/10 Lots of wounds, bad toughness.
Damage Output: 3/10 Move Along.
Rules: 4/10 Can't score.
God's boon: 5/10 Shrouded is their best friend
Overall: 4/10 pretty bad. 


As I said, the Daemon's troop section is split into two groups: Scorers and attackers. The winner is the nurgle plaguebearer, but the agressive winner is the slaanesh daemons. I don't think there should be much contest here.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Reviewing the Chaos Daemons Codex, Part 3: The Heralds of Chaos


Heralds represent the most customisable unit in the entirety of the Chaos Daemons Codex. Generally ranging from about 100 points to 200 but not much more, All Heralds are extremely capable challenge caddies and fantastic combat units. However, there are clearly heralds that are far more effective at their charges. In this section, I will review every unique and generic herald and suggest the best roles for them. 


Heralds are the most synergistic unit in the codex. While everyone of them is essentially a Troop Choice on steroids (Warp dust?), each can lend their fantastic skills to any range of their like-aligned Troop, Fast attack or elites slot. 

In this section, I will also specifically review the Locusi available to each herald, and which is the clear best. Unsurprisingly, usually the more expensive locus tends to be better, though this is not the case in every situation. 

I will review the Blue Scribes and the Masque of slaanesh in this section (separately) despite neither specifically being heralds. 

The heralds 


Lesser Locus
Place D3 Blue Horrors instead of 1. 
So useful. I mean, I guess if you wanna run suicide pink horror squads. Which you shouldn't.

Greater Locus
SD6 each turn
This could be very useful (cough) on a Pink horror. Shame 50% of the time, it won't do anything/make his strength even worse.

Exalted Locus
+1 S for psychic powers
If I understand tis correctly, this gives you S6 AP4 FFOT, SD6+2 TF, SD6+5 BOC, SD6+5 IG etc... Could be quite useful in the right situation, I won't lie. I would consider it, because it actually means FFOT can hurt flyers and armour. 

Herald of Tzeentch
Access to Div, 4+ invulns, Prescience.
Most reliable Psyker herald. 
Can keep up with his charge
Can give you a cheap Multi-shot heavy bolters.
Re-rolls 1's to save.
can get 2+ re-rollable invulnerable saves. 
2 Wounds, 2 attacks
Basically needs a jetbike to be good. 
Basically needs ML3 to be good. 
BS4, just to piss you off
Things to Watch
Put 4 of them in a screamer star, get 4++, give Prescience, get 4 FFOT, Cast 14D6 (14~84) S6AP4 attacks
Standard Loadout
Herald of tzeentch with Exalted Reward OR Greater/Lesser Reward, Disk of Tzeentch, ML3. One could take the Exalted Locus because it's just so damn nice. 

Price 8/10 Very reasonably priced, being no more than 175 points with an exalted reward and Exalted Locus. Still, it's one of the more expensive Heralds. 
Survivability 7/10 Touch and go. If it gets its 2++, it's untouchable. If it doesn't it'll die to a stiff breeze.
Damage Output 7/10 Best Shooting potential outside of the Soul Grinder and Daemons. Decent in combat considering. 
Rules 9/10 Access to Divination is fucking huge. FFOT is also respectable.
Army Bonuses 9/10 The second best herald for squad bonuses.
Overall: 8/10 

The Changeling
Can gain the WS/S/T/I/A of a fighter in base contact.
Forced ML1 
Force to be on foot
Forced to take Lesser Locus 
A combat unit forced into units not build for combat.
A combat unit with no AP2, or rending, or something.
Things to Watch
Watch your opponent remove him to the first S6 weapon shot at it. 
Standard Loadout
On the Shelf - a waste of a herald slot.

Price 6/10 A waste of time, not even worth the 15 point combat bonuses.
Survivability 4/10 Has to get into combat to become survivable, has to take a pink horror squad as his caddy. 
Damage Output 5/10 As good as any ML1 Herald of Tzeentch
Rules 6/10 That rule could help if you get stuck in combat, but generally... no.
Army Bonuses 3/10 He adds nothing to your army. Comp, maybe?
Overall: 4.8/10 Not the absolute worst unit in the codex, but nowhere near acceptably good. 


Lesser Locus
Adamantium Will USR
Wouldn't pay for it. 

Greater Locus
Rage USR.
Could be very useful on dogs, basically doubling their damage output if they charge one unit. Usually you want to charge more than one unit with dogs though, so unreliably effective. Doesn't compare to the Exalted Locus

Exalted Locus
Hatred USR.
Reliably useful in multi-assaults, when you get counter-charged etc. Worth the 5 extra points over the Greater Locus. 

Herald Of Khorne
Best user of the Lesser Rewards
S6 OTC, 4 - 6 attacks
Access to hatred
T5 if on juggernaught
Hit like a Truck
No Psychic Powers
Absolutely needs combat to be effective.
Unlike Slaanesh Heralds, they don't tend to outspeed the more dangerous enemies - DE beasts.
Things to Watch
Watch one of these guys with an AOK and greater reward tear through your enemies HQ or his MC units. A herald of Khorne can cut a riptide down to size quicksmart. 
These units can also one man army most enemy units of troops. 
Standard Loadout
Herald of Khorne with Exalted OR Greater/lesser reward, Exalted Locus and Juggernaught (Exalted locus not necessary on subsequent heralds of khorne.)

Price 8/10 One of the Cheaper heralds
Survivability 7/10 T5 with 3 wounds and access to greater rewards is very nice. 
Damage Output 8/10 Slaanesh beats him, but khorne's heralds kick ass.
Rules 7/10 Furious charge doesn't compare to the bonuses Slaanesh gets. 
Army Bonuses 8/10 Can make one unit excellent.
Overall: 7.6/10 I'm probably a little biased, but these guys are clearly powerfighters in this codex.

Can one-man army any lightly armoured enemy target.
Rage Caddy if you don't wanna buy hatred (waste of points if you do)
Bonuses against one character in the enemy army. 
Gives your squad anti-psychic defence, makes Perils of the Warp a real threat.
Gives a squad scouts.
Personal hatred means he can one-man a squad much easier than another herald could.
T5, 3 wounds
No AP2, a Character hunter with no way of removing armour.
Things to Watch
Karanak can push a unit of Bloodcrushers up field with dogs on the flanks. 40 dogs + a crusher star makes for a very scary rush list, although Crushers may not be as effective as seekers, he ensures they keep up with the pace of the army.
Standard Loadout
As is.

Price 8/10 IF he didn't have the Greater Locus, and either had a 20 point price reduction, or cost 5 points more for the exalted locus, he'd be a ten.
Survivability 6/10 T5 with 3 wounds
Damage Output 6/10 AP values are what makes Heralds so Definitive. Karanak Lacks this, but still hits hard.
Rules 9/10 You're taking him for scouts.
Army Bonuses 9/10 Makes Bloodcrushers almost viable.
Overall: 7.6/10 About the same value as a herald of Khorne.

Instant Death
WS, BS and I9, A3
Eternal warrior
3+ save
Forced Challenge caddy, AP3. 
Things to Watch
He can one-man almost any squad without a 2+ save. He can one-man any monster without a 2+ save. He beats out a skin-bones DP.
Standard Loadout
Skulltaker on juggernaught He needs the jugger to be any good.

Price 6/10 145 is frustrating because he's almost hte price of a normal herald, without adding much to your squad.
Survivability 9/10 Eternal warrior makes him a hard kill for any monster.
Damage Output 6/10 If it has a 2+ save, go home.
Rules 4/10 If it has a 2+ save, he can't go home because he has to challenge it.
Army Bonuses 4/10 Adds nothing to your army - in fact, he takes from it because he takes up a herald slot
Overall: 5.8/10 Decent, but not exceptional. 


Lesser Locus
To hit rolls of 6 are Poisoned 2+. 

Greater Locus
Huge, But not good because the Nurgle Herald lacks speed.

Exalted Locus
To hit rolls of 6 garner extra S4AP- Poisoned 4+ hit
This one's pretty good, but it's completely overshadowed by fecundity.

Nurgle Herald
T5 with 4 wounds (Palanquin)
4 attacks Off the charge at S5 (poisoned, too!).
Gives his squad FNP.
Can't keep up with plague drones or beasts. 
Can't get poisoned and AP2. 
Things to Watch
Eh. 20 Plague Marines and one of these guys will never die.
Standard Loadout
Herald of Nurgle, with ML2, Exalted Reward (or Greater/lesser), Locus of Fecundity, Palanquin. 

Price 7/10 I'd pay 100 points to get FNP on BONbons or on Plague Drones
Survivability 9/10 Unrivalled in the heralds slot.
Damage Output 5/10 Mediocre. I guess a few S5 attacks could be very nice. 
Rules 4/10 Not being able to be cavalry ruins this herald so badly.
Army Bonuses 5/10 Read: rules.
Overall: 6/10 It's okay, but it's nowhere near good enough. 

Tough as any herald of nurgle
Tally of Pestilence can make your scoring squad impervious. 
No access to Fecundity or ML2 Biomancy.
He needs to be near the action to be useful.
Things to Watch
In the right situation, he can make a squad of 20 Plaguebearers with T5 and FNP4+.  
Standard Loadout
As is. Put him in a squad of 20 nurgle daemons with an extra herald. Try to kill lots of stuff while holding objectives.

Price 7/10 Reasonable, but not justifiable.
Survivability 9/10 Same as any herald of Nurgle.
Damage Output 5/10 The same as any herald of nurgle. Can make your squad very hard hitters as he gains momentum.
Rules 6/10 Tally of Pestilence doesn't make up for the lack of psychic powers
Army Bonuses 6/10 Tally of Pestilence could be awesome, but it's so contextual it isn't even funny.
Overall: 6.6/10 He's better than a normal herald, I guess, but that's not hard.


Lesser Locus
Could be nice if you don't need a squad with a dedicated character killer.

Greater Locus
+5 Init
Makes sure your unit that already goes first... goes first? Meh. Contextual. 

Exalted Locus
Fuck Challenge rules
Kill that important character, your opponents Hit and Run Caddy, or remove their hardest hitter from play and hopefully kill him before he can strike. 

Herald of Slaanesh
Hits like a laiden truck going down a hill: Fast, and hard. 
Even if it doesn't get an ether blade, it has rending and enough attacks to make it work. 
Goes first.
Enough attacks to hit anything for pain.
Extremely fast
Can't definitively kill a character with more than two wounds in a challenge reliably (unless they don't have an invuln, of course) 
Low Toughness, No wounds. 
Things to Watch
Your horrified opponent remove his support suit/tigurius because you could choose who stepped up to the plate.
Standard Loadout
Herald Greater/lesser with Exalted Locus, Steed.
Herald with Exalted, Steed.

Price 8/10 Can get very expensive very quickly. Usually worth every point.
Survivability 3/10 It relies on hitting first, which doesn't work at range. Still, it's usually got 20 seekers surrounding, amping its toughness.
Damage Output 10/10 Unrivalled in low strength, high quality attacks. 
Rules 9/10 Beguilement is unreasonably good.
Army Bonuses 8/10 I don't think they add that much outside of a good amount of attacks and challenge soakers.
Overall: 7.8/10 Unrivalled for this slot. 

Non-herald class Minor Daemon HQs

Masque of Slaanesh
The Eternal Dance could be really cool. If it could be done within a squad. And from horseback. 
Re-rolls invulnerable saves
No IC, T3 with 2 wounds
Things to Watch
You remove this 2 wound lady turn 1, giving up first blood.
Standard Loadout
On the shelf.

Price 3/10 Unreasonable, given how fragile she is.
Survivability 0/10 Absolutely unredeemably fragile
Damage Output 1/10 She'll never get there. Could be good if she got there, I guess.
Rules 3/10 Would be a great unit leader, but she isn't an IC. 
Army Bonuses 0/10 Move along. 
Overall: 1.4/10 Awful. Literally the worst unit in a pretty amazing codex. Possibly a contender for the worst unit in the entire game.

The Blue idi- I mean, scribes.
Spell syphon's pretty cool, I guess. 
Very fragile
Unreliable psychic powers
Spell Syphon is cool, but useless.
Annoying pricing number, too.
Things to Watch 
Your 81 point investment go down the drain. 
Standard Loadout
In the store. The model isn't even worth the time.

Price 1/10 9 points would be more reasonable. 
Survivability 2/10 2 Wounds, T4 re-rolling 1's. It'll die, but not as quick as the masque.
Damage Output 0/10 Lol.
Rules 4/10 Spell Syphon could be useful in some situations, I guess.
Army Bonuses 1/10 Spell Syphon again.
Overall: 1.6/10 Awful, once again. Neither of these characters are hard enough to make them worthwhile, given their lack of the independent character special rule. Add to that, they take up a full HQ slot. You'd be better taking a plain herald than one of these jokes. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Reviewing the Chaos Demons Codex, Part 2: The Greater Daemons HQ choices.


Daemons is a very, very linear codex in terms of actual options. Most codexes will allow the player's HQ to take exactly the weapons and wargear they want him to have. Not so with the Chaos Demons Codex - While you get access to good weapons in the rewards '0' options, you can't give a model a specific weapon, the way you want to. As an example, you can't pay 10 points and give your herald of khorne an Axe of Khorne. You have to buy a lesser reward, which takes up rewards points. This is an interesting technique, as it is unique to the Daemons codex and limits army-list level character variations. 

Keeping this in mind, I can no longer truly offer loadout suggestions for your army. Instead, I can only suggest which rewards best suit this particular character. My "Standard Loadouts" are a suggestion of how I will usually run that unit. Also note, I won't be reviewing Daemon Princes in this section, as they're usually taken in the Heavy Support Slot. 

Finally, if you feel I've undervalued something, or if I've forgotten to include something, feel free to tell me. If I agree with the statement you present me, I will change the entry accordingly. 

Note: Metacharacteristic value is a completely useless stat. To find the Metacharacteristic value of a unit, add up their statline (that is, WS/BS/S/T/W/I/A/LD), then divide by 80. This is the percentage of a 'perfect statline' they meet.

9. Tzeentch 

Lord of Change: 
T6 with 5 Wounds, 5++ rerolling 1's. 
Reliable (albeit Psychic) shooting
Doesn't compare to the control that Kairos Fateweaver gives you.
Things to Watch:
Aim for precognition and perfect timing. If you get both, or if you just get one, go with FFoT. You'll have a very accurate 2D6 Heavy Bolter on a unit that re-rolls basically everything
Failing in that, this guy makes a very safe grimoire. Try to get the 4+ invulnerable save and your unit will get a 2+. This is the backbone of the screamerstar, as I'm sure you already knew. 
Standard Loadout:
Maxed out. Always ML3, usually either 2 Greaters 1 Lesser, or Greater/lesser reward. Run him with a Staff of Change to get 6-7 S8AP2 attacks at I6 in close combat, and make your enemies explode when you kill them. Usually 305 points.

Price 8/10 For the 1/6 of your army price tag, you get a lot to play with.
Survivability 7/10 5 wounds at T6 with anywhere from a 2++ to a 5++ that also re-rolls 1's? very scary.
Damage Output 8/10 Mostly dedicated anti-FMC shooting, but a decent combatant.
Rules 6/10 Tzeentch daemons have lots of benefits, but the Psychic powers have really noticable drawbacks. Usually, the LOC is good enough that he'll annihilate your target outright rather than giving them FNP6+. 
Army Bonuses 8/10 Want to make your grimoire tank? This is your dude to make it happen. 
Overall 7.4/10

Metacharacteristic Value: .61

Kairos Fateweaver:
Decent Shooting, T5 with 5 wounds and a 4++, re-rolling 1's. 
One Re-roll per player turn*
Lord of Unreality Warlord Trait secured.
Warlord that adds a huge amount of boons to your army. Always going to be number-one target on your enemy's shit list. 
The King of Choices has not choice when it comes to his psychic powers. 
He can't make use of all 8 of his psychic powers, Baaw!
Things To Watch
Kairos has access to two very interesting powers. the first is Forewarning in the Divination Discipline. We all know why this is good. the other useful one is Fire Shield - a 4+ cover save is as good as a 4++ against anyone but tau or eldar. 
Standard Loadout
He's perfect as he is.

* There's Contention about Kairos Fateweaver's re-roll. This could possibly be the most broken thing in the codex because, RAW, you can re-roll any dice during your turn and your opponents, including those rolled by your opponent. Furthermore, Kairos doesn't even need to be alive for it to take effect. Of course, neither of these sound correct RAI. 

Price 10/10 I might go as far as to say he's underpriced.
Survivability 6/10 So Important to some army's strategy, that his T5 becomes a real problem for him. Still, he is a T5 FMC with 5 wounds and a 4++.
Damage Output 7/10 He has it, but that's not his job. Can be useful as a flyer grounder if you need it, but avoid it. 
Rules 10/10 Two Heads of Fate can either be your best friend or your worst enemy, but it's his other rules that make him great.
Army Bonuses 10/10 Daemons are all about going with the flow and taking what comes your way. Kairos Fateweaver is all about taking all that control you surrendered back.
Overall 8.6/10 Definitely the most powerful character in the codex. 

Metacharacteristic Value: .43

8. Khorne 

Combat beast
Annihilate almost anything in close combat
Can get massive amounts of attacks
One of the only reliable ways of killing AV14 in the Daemons Codex
Flyer Killer Extraordinaire (Mediocre against AV12 or better)
For all his strengths, he falters in the face of the Lord Of Change, that can do almost everything he can do better.
Things To Watch
Throw him at a squad with rage/rampage and a greater etherblade and watch him slaughter.
Standard Loadout
Contention over Greater/exalted for souleater/+1W/IWND combo and 2 Greater rewards for better survivability. Sucks if you get a 6 on greater though. 

Price 6/10 He'd be nicely priced if the LOC wasn't only 5 points more, and fateweaver the same price.
Survivability 7/10 3+ save can be the difference between life and death, and since most FMC get AP4 or worse thrown at them to ground them, he's pretty safe with a 3+.
Damage Output 10/10 The Bloodthirster will maul anything you want him to maul. Just watch him. 
Rules 4/10 He has nothing to make him better than a LOC, except maybe guaranteed rampage. Too bad he usually wants to stay in the sky.
Army Bonuses 3/10 What's an army bonus?
Overall 6/10 He struggles to compare to the LOC, but he'd still be useful in a khorne monotheme. 

Metacharacteristic Value: .76

Force Multiplier for your side.
7 attacks base.
Reliable Anti-tank
Force Multiplier for your enemy
No Wings, No Whip. 
Needs to be Warlord to get instant death. 
No Rewards.
Things To Watch
Deepstrike him using an icon and watch your units and your enemies units roll and re-roll dice until everyone's dead!
Standard Loadout
On the Shelf. No Wings? No Way. 

Price 3/10 The Price Drop wasn't sufficient to make him worthwhile.
Survivability 6/10 Helps your enemy so much he won't be shooting at you ever.
Damage Output 6/10 Arguably a more flexible close combatant than your average thirster. 
Rules 5/10 If we pretend not having wings is not one of his rules, we could say he has nice rules.
Army Bonuses 5/10 They're great! they just help your enemy a little too much. 
Overall 5/10 A reasonable full step below the already underwhelming bloodthirster. 

Metacharacteristic Value: .78

7. Nurgle 

Great Unclean One
Your enemy is never getting warlord, if he is warlord. 
Instant death if he ever closes in for combat. 
5 attacks at 2+/2+ means he's usually winning combat, along with his T7.
Biomancy is a bitch.
Very slow. Laughably so. 
Things To Watch
Watch him get Iron arm and S9T10. Nothing will remove him while he slowly plods over to your enemy. 
Standard Loadout
ML3 with Exalted Reward and Greater to make a reliable grimoire, ML3 with greater/greater/lesser to ensure your enemy never gets warlord.

Price 7/10 He's reasonable, he's just to slow to be useable.
Survivability 10/10 Wanna talk tanks?
Damage Output 6/10 Good When he gets there, AP3/2 shooting attacks can be fun.
Rules 5/10 Slow and Purposeful hurts a lot, but biomancy makes up for it. Also, unlocks Nurgle DPs.
Army Bonuses 6/10 Not having to worry about warlord is pretty nice. Good in a flying circus, if you want reserves.
Overall 6.8/10 He's like a laiden truck. He's slow, but if you're in his way he'll hit you like, well, a truck. 

Metacharacteristic Value: .58

Ku'gath Plague Father
+1 W over a GUO
Makes Nurglings better, Can't be charged reliably. 
Immortal Commander is a very apt warlord trait. Shame he won't get iron arm 5/6 games. 
Everything bad about a GUO, but not ML3. 
Things To Watch
Necrotic Missiles can sweep the floor for you against the right targets. 

Price 5/10 Cheaper than a GUO, but not to make him reliable. 
Survivability 9/10 Poor Access to Iron Arm, no greater rewards.
Damage Output 6/10 Read: GUO, then add one attack. 
Rules 6/10 Force Multiplier for... Nurglings. 
Army Bonuses 7/10 Read: GUO, then add one wound.
Overall 6.6/10 He's arguably just a GUO with less options and a name. 

Metacharacteristic Value: .60


Keeper of Secrets
Speedy for a normal Monster. 
Can dent AV14. 
Rolls on Telepathy, Excess can actually be pretty cool. Acquiesence can set up awesome charges and keep your side alive. 
Second only to the Thirster in Close Combat.
Fleet, D6+3" runs.
Not FMC. 
Things To Watch
Your Walking monster sprinting across the board at pace with your FMCs.
Standard Loadout
ML 3 with Greater/Greater/Lesser Reward. 
Lash of Despair/witstealer sword can be a very potent combination. Also makes excellent use of the Gloryseeker blade, if you decide to go exalted. Lash is equivalent to charge range, so usually softens his target with it before charging. 

Price 7/10 His Pricelessness is mitigated by his lack of wings.
Survivability 5/10 thirsters have a 3+. GUOs have their Toughness. LOC have re-rolls of 1. Slaanesh just has speed. Speed doesn't keep you alive if you're not a tank.
Damage Output 7/10 Pretty gory in close combat. Can have a decent amount of anti-infantry/light vehicle shooting. 
Rules 6/10 the D6+3" is pretty nice, as is fleet.
Army Bonuses 5/10 He doesn't add to the army, unless you want Slaaneshi DP.
Overall 6/10 About the same as a thirster, the speed makes up for the lack of wings. 

Metacharacteristic Value: .72


Our winner is, and always will be fateweaver. Are you surprised? Didn't think so. 

The Wooden Spoon
While all the Greater Daemons are killy and generally pretty good in the right place, our loser is Skarbrand. Skarbrand would be awesome in a marine army, and would be perfect for a Blood Angels army. Unfortunately, he supports Khorne. Khorne is already killy without him. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Reviewing the Chaos Demons Codex, Part 1B: Rewards, Psychic Powers and warlord traits.


Hi guys, I'm returning to do part 1B of my review of the Daemons Codex. In this section I will cover the rewards that you roll for each game, as well as the psychic powers your daemons can roll on. After this, I'll be reviewing the HQ section of the codex, starting with the Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes, and then another section for the heralds. 


I think most players have to admit that rewards are the most fun of the Daemons Codex. You get 6 or seven surprises every time you play, and they make sure no game is the same in a way that your lord of unreality warlord trait would never allow. I'll give you some perspective in admitting I've never run a Greater Daemon besides Fateweaver and the bloodthirster, so I don't know a great deal of the rules and how they will affect other units in the codex. I'll endeavour to do this as effectively as I can nonetheless. 


Lesser Rewards themselves tend to be underwhelming. While all of them can be useful in the right situation, none of them are expressly brilliant. 

0. I lied a little. This is why the others suck, especially for Khorne Daemons. The Etherblade is this awesome AP2 weapon that you can get for less than a power sword. Who wouldn't want this?

The Axe of Khorne is Identical to the Etherblade (the generic AP2 weapon all rewards give access to.) except that any roll of a 6 - a precision shot - also causes instant death. Very useful against razorwing flock and such. 

For Nurgle, they gain the Plagueflail. As it has no AP it's not very useful against the majority of targets, especially considering that it also lacks the poisoned special rule. If you get lucky and cause a wound, you have a toughness tests chance of causing two. Could be useful on a great unclean one?

For Slaanesh we get the witstealer sword. Like the nurgle sword in terms of its special rule (initiative instead of toughness.) the weapon also gives rending and AP5, meaning it can be useful against gribbleys and against multi-wounds without an invulnerable save. Still, you'll probably do more to your enemy with an etherblade. This could be very useful on a Keeper of Secrets, who doesn't benefit from the etherblade.

For Tzeench, we have the boomstick. every unit within D6" takes D6 S5 hits. This could be very useful on a lord of change, giving him S8AP2 (monster) attacks that then cause a few more hits on the target's friends. 

1. D3 S4AP5 hits when a wound is taken. These could be useful if you charge your one herald of khorne into a unit of orks or nids, as the extra wounds could swing the combat in your favour. I'd go with the etherblade or one of the special weapons instead - if your opponent has nothing that an AP2 weapon would benefit you for, then it might be worth keeping it.
Diamond Armour Won't protect you against a cleaving strike.
Sorry Steve.

2. Rolls of 6's are S10. If you're going up against an army that lacks T6 or better, this is basically the Axe of Khorne +. You still need to find a way to get AP2 though. If you're going up against a monster-heavy army, try to get the Axe of Khorne instead.

3. S5AP5 flamer with armourbane could be useful against certain armies, but only if those armies don't have good enough armour to make the etherblade worthwhile (Guard).

4. Adamantium Will: Useless to khorne most of the time, take an axe of khorne instead. I'm not sure how useful it is to the other armies.

5. S8AP4 shot with soul blaze Useful if your army lacks any meaningful shooting. Dangerous against AV10/11 tanks.

6. +1 to Reserve Rolls It will be useful if your army relies on reserves, so you can make that call yourself.

Verdict: Unless your army really needs one of these rolls, you usually just get the CCW. 


Greater Rewards tend to come in two varieties: Survivable and Offensive traits, with the two offensive traits being generally useful and only one of the survivable traits being annoying, and even then only if your unit will be the grimoire unit, or if you already bought what it offers. 

0. The Standard Greater Etherblade is a 20-point power axe without the Unwieldly special rule. Reasonable on a herald of khorne, gives you S6 attacks, where it gives you a steady ability to instant death the majority of your targets. Of course, AP2 can be useful anywhere in your army, so this one is always a good take.

The Khorne Blade of Blood is tricksy. Khorne specialises in definitively powerful attacks, and this one isn't up this alley. It slows your user down to I1 for D3 attack ASSUMING your target is larger in terms of model count than your own. where this tool could be used is on the Bloodthirster - He's always a smaller unit than his target, meaning he always gets the D3 attacks, and he isn't affected by Unwieldly (Note: I might be confusing this with walkers who definitely aren't affected by unwieldly. if I'm wrong, point it out to me please.) having 12 attacks at WS10, S7 and I9 on the charge (Rampage, Rage, 2 CCW - he already has an axe of khorne.) basically ensures you kill 7 of your target most of the time.

Nurgle Gives the Balesword, which is literally a plaguesword (6's glance any vehicle, 4+ poison) with instant death. Frustrating and not very useful, given that nothing worth instant-killing has a bad enough armour save to make its rule worthwhile. Might be useful on a great unclean one, who would get a re-rollable 2+ to wound and would cause instant death at AP2.

Slaanesh is interesting. Of the two reward groups that give a weapon as the reward default, the lash of despair is the only shooting weapon. Lash of despair is user's Strength with 2D6 shots. This is extremely useful on a daemon prince as the daemon prince can suddenly shoot enemy flyers. He should do 7 attacks at S6 and BS5, meaning he should get 6 hits and thus, one HP against AV12, 2 HP against AV11 and 3 against AV10 (so, two against a heldrake.) couple this with vector strike and you have an anti-flyer monster.

The Tzeench Mutating warpblade suffers from AP3 syndrome. On a herald, it might be worth taking if your army is not sporting any 2+ saves. If he isn't, or you're taking this beauty on a lord of change, enjoy turning your enemies into spawn. A fun weapon, much like the boomstick.

1. +1 W and IWND. This one's nice if your target is either eternal or T5/6. IT basically ensures that he can come back from two wounds per game, and that he shouldn't be first blood if he's an FMC.

2. 4+ FNP. This one's nice on any character with T4, 5 or 6. It basically increases the number of wounds they can ignore by 50%, making them a good tank. Couple this with either +1W/IWND or re-roll invulnerable saves on a bloodthirster and you have a unit that simply will not die.

3. Re-roll Invulnerable saves. I'm not going to sing the praises of increasing a wound-ignore chance from 33% to 55%.

4. 18" S8AP1 lance. Nice extra bit of shooting. Useful in armies that can't touch flyers or FMC, as well as armour heavy armies.

5. Armourbane/Fleshbane. Not useful on most greater daemons, unless there's a lot of armour on the field. Put this on an Axe of Khorne Herald and watch him OHKO any monster or character without the eternal warrior special rule.

6. 3+ armour save. Seems weird, and it's annoyingly useless on DP or blood thirsters, but this one is excellent on tanking heralds. Having a 100% increase in damage reduction over their 5+ against small arms fire is excellent.

 Verdict: Whether or not you default to the greater etherblade depends on your opponent. if they lack the saves to make AP2 worthwhile, don't bother - most of these powers are quite useful


Exalted rewards are usually just paid for to get the grimoire of true names. (the 3++ thing.), but the rules they can give are actually pretty useful on greater demons, or on your heralds.

0. Grimoire of True names. +2 to invulnerable saves, a must take on a death star, not so useful if your army doesn't revolve around one smash-face unit. 

Useful for getting small scoring troops onto the field. Only deploy/use once you've secured first blood, but after that it's very useful in scoring missions. As an obvious note, don't take this one in kill points. 

Gloryseeker Blade: 
If you already have a Grimoire and Portaglyph, or are playing KP, you can consider the Gloryseeker blade. It's useless on heralds, but on a Greater demon, it gives +D3 WS, I and A. This is basically rampage without the limitations for a bloodthirster, on any of the other FMC it can increase their combat ability considerably. 

-D6 LD to all characters involved in your combat. Very useful at removing the LD bonuses of squad leaders/captains, and it can remove those models from combat by being reduced to 0 LD - excellent for tough kills, but only if you manage to roll winds of chaos 4 times on the exalted reward table. 

1. Re-roll, roll on lesser reward. Free 10 point upgrade. Can you complain? Could get you a free axe of khorne/etherblade on your grimoire dude, so always roll for it. 

2. Roll 2D6 and add 1 for every 3 models your bearer removed as a casualty that turn in close combat, if the total is above 9 you get 2D6+3 daemons of your choice. (a free 12 on the warpstorm table, or a free portaglyph. Very cool in objectives missions.)

3. Kill a model, roll a D6. anything but a 1 gives you a free wound. Put this bad boy on a blood thirster of khorne with FNP and watch your opponent cry. 

4. Rage/Rampage. Nice on a non-khorne character, like a keeper of secrets. I'd probably swap out for a gloryseeker blade on an MC, but keep it on a herald. 

5. IF your model is removed as a casualty, returns as if in ongoing reserves with 1 wound. Put this on your warlord, or any dude with +1 W and IWND. 

6. Something about a blast. Move along.

Psychic Powers 


Change is given to this rule called Warp flame. While it can potentially do some harm, more often than not it helps your opponent by giving them a 6+ FNP. For this reason, it is important to choose your targets wisely: shooting at your enemy's infantry can backfire if you don't commit fully to the action. 

24" Heavy bolter with D6+WD6 shots, where W is the number of warp charge you use to cast this psychic power. 

Very deadly on a lord of change against the right targets. Don't put up prescience with this - you're more likely to hit more times with an extra D6 shots than with re-rolls to hit. Very annoying when used in conjunction with a vector strike, can decimate an entire squad of saves worse than 3+. 

D3:1 24" SD6+1 AP- small blast
Basically a S4AP- small blast that gives your opponent a bonus to saving against damage. Pass.

D3:2 24" D6+4AP2 beam 
Can be a very powerful anti-medium infantry weapon. Can be turned against tanks, albeit unreliably. Usually kills outright if your enemy is in blast formations. 

D3:3 18" D6+4 AP1 small blast
A free plasma cannon with AP1 that might give your opponent FNP6+ instead of hurting the user.


Flamer with AP3 and poisoned 4+. 

Would be an excellent power if great unclean ones had wings and could get close enough to actually use it. Still, it could be useful soon if you ru- nevermind.

D3:1 12" AP2 blast with poison 4+. 

Nice little weapon against marines. Basically smite but a blast. 

D3:2 Reduces enemy WS and initiative, but is cast as a blessing, which is cool.

Very contextual, but if it comes up it may just save your unit's life. 

D3:3 Haemorrhage on steroids.

It's still haemorrhage. 


24" S6AP- beam with rending

Assail with rending. Pass. 

Maledicton, target has -5 initiative and can't use counterattack or overwatch. Could be very useful for making sure slaaneshi daemons don't die as quickly as they might otherwise.

D3:2 Haemorrhage using leadership, focussed witchfire.

Basically haemorrhage but against leadership. Still kinda useless against LD7 or better, but could be very powerful for taking down units of conscripts or of gants/the like. 

D3:3 The above on steroids, Also causes pinning

In reality, this is basically daemonic instability on your opponent, and then you pin them. 

Warlord Traits

Daemons will always roll on daemonic warlord traits, for the hope of getting a '5'. The good news is, pretty much every one of them is decent anyway, so even if you don't get lord of unreality you should be sitting pretty.


Death Incarnate
Warlord's melee weapons now cause instant death. This ones' interesting, really. Firstly, the rules conundrum. If my warlord is a herald of slaanesh, who does not have a weapon (she doesn't need one) or indeed any greater daemon besides the khorne or nurgle variety, actually benefit from this trait? If it were just melee attacks, it'd be fine. From a game point of view, very useful on everything that doesn't want an axe of khorne anyway. can be great if you need an easy point-click dead monster hunter.

Destroyer of Mortals 
Would really suck to get this as khorne if your warlord already has the loci that gives hatred. Could make it worthwhile sticking your herald in a different squad to the one with the hatred loci, it could also be useful if said loci were to perish.

Herald of Doom.
This one's nice against the great majority of armies that don't have fearless or ATSKNF. So, Eldar, Guard and tau, none of whom are stellar in close combat anyway. Pass.

And though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for I am evil incarnate - C.S. Goto extends his works to other
Immortal Commander
re-roll daemonic instability tests, could be useful in the right situation, could be throwaway in the wrong ones. Might save you if you rolled a 2 on the warp storm table.

Lord of unreality 
this is the big kahuna. Re-roll your warp storm table. This is huge as it reduces your chance of rolling any bad warp storm to nearly 1/36 - your equivalent chance of rolling a '2' on 2D6. this also means that there is a minute chance of rolling a 2 now - less than 1%, which could save you in a lot of situations. You might even re-roll well!

It's important not to get greedy with this one. Don't play tricks, re-rolling mediocre results in the hope of rolling high - if you then roll a 2, 3, 4 or the 5/6/8/9 result that hurts you, don't complain to me.

Warp Beacon 
Your warlord lets people deepstrike within 6" without scattering. Kinda useful in the right situation, I guess?