Thursday, 26 July 2012

Daemons in 6th Part 1 - HQ and Elites

With the advent of 6th edition most people will certainly agree that the playing field has been levelled to quite some degree. This will no doubt shake down as time progresses and the stronger codexes emerge, but for now the Daemons are loving life. They have some of the best units in the game and their crippling weaknesses have been reduced.

So, first off is the generic rules rules for the Daemons. The Daemon rule has been changed now. Everything that is a daemon gains a 5+ invulnerable save and causes fear. This is great for things like Soul Grinders, who before were giant AV13 sitting ducks, they now get a save! Woooo!! Fear now means that a unit in combat with any Daemon unit must take a leadership test before the fight sub phase and if they fail they are reduced to WS1, quite useful against lower leadership troops, and can sometimes ruin even a high leadership models day. Unfortunately all Space Marines are immune.

Daemonic assault has also changed somewhat. With reserves arriving on a 3+ on turn 2, and then the same on turn 3 before automatically arriving turn 4 there will be very few occasions when you dont get your army on the board. But... and its a BIG but. If you dont have anything on the board... thats it, game over. So still risky...

So without further a do, Ill talk about the big lads at the front and their favoritest killing machines (HQ and Elites).

Ku'Gath - 300 points eh? Well, his stats are pretty good, 6 toughness 6 wounds so reasonably survivable with feel no pain. All in all he comes in at 85points more than a normal Great Smelly for an extra wound and attack. He does have his necrotic missiles,  which if we see a de-mech in this edition will make him pretty useful. Until then id be tempted to leave his fat ass on the shelf.

Fateweaver - Still the big bird in coop. Giving all of the friendly units in 6" the ability to reroll all saves is massive, it dramatically ups the survivability of the army. The biggest change for him in 6th, is that he has become a flying monstrous creature. As such I dont see a reason he will ever not want to be swooping - fateweavers major bane before was that he was easily neutralised when he was engaged in combat, not he cant be, he will just fly around blasting away. Generally he will only need to be around his daemonic mates for a turn before they hit combat and start taking names anyway. With skyfire only at him and a 3+ rerollable invulnerable save, he wont be shifting anytime soon. 333 points well spent.

Skarbrand - 300 points of big, slow and not as good as a bloodthirster. Yes he has one extra attack and wind of chaos, but he is far slower. Also on the turn he arrives he cant swoop like a normal thirster, which means he will be eating all the guns the enemy has to offer - bad times. His ability to make everything within 24 reroll all missed combat attacks is a real twin edged sword - one that just doesnt seem worth taking the risk on.

Keeper of Secrets - Still a pure unadulterated killing machine. 110 means hes going first, and in a challenge he will likely kill whatever hes fighting. But again suffers from being a big threat with just a 4+ save. Im afraid the flying monstrous creatures are going to be tough to edge out in this area of the book.

Great unclean one - Cheap t6 feel no pain wounds. Cant dish it out as well at the other Greater Daemons, but should stick around a bit longer. A 2+ to wound with a reroll on anything T6 and under isnt to be sniffed at though.

Bloodthirster - A thoroughbred killer. If this boy was a racehorse he would be hooked up to a milking machine. He can fly so Snapfire at him only when he arrives, S8 means his vector strikes will reliably kill flyers and tanks. 5 points to give him a 2+ invulnerable save against force weapons and psychic powers? yes please! We will be seeing a lot of those about - this even means he doesnt care about grey knights forcing him to go at I1. He will kick ass, kill things dead and rape their skulls for good measure before giving them to daddy Khorne for his big chair of doom. Life has been breathed back into this classic.

Lord of Change - Pricey, but still a solid flying monstrous creature. Not a complete pushover in combat but still not that great. Plenty of shooting attacks, but for cheaper you can get a bloodthirster, or for a few more points Fateweaver. So im afraid its the shelf for the doom chicken.

The Masque - Still Queen of the Meh brigade. Moving the enemy units d6 isnt reliable enough to warrant her existance, especially as shes 100 points and has to walk about on her T3 todd.

Epidemius - Just as in 5th edition, the all nurgle tally army just doesnt work that well. His real use comes as an ally for Chaos marines who can get the tally up nice and quick. As such I wont go into much detail on him here.

The Blue Scribes - Take them if you are really really high, or even better just dont. T3, have to wonder about on their own, a couple of alright shooting attacks and only 2 wounds? Next.

Skulltaker - Hes not bad. Good stat line, great in challenges and can ride a chariot (annoyingly not an actual chariot as in the rulebook) or a juggernaut. Id only take him if I was running a big unit of Juggers (who doesnt love these guys?*). Otherwise its hard to justify spending nearly the price of a bloodthirster and, you know, not actually buying a bloodthirster...

Heralds - Im going to group all these guys together as they are all pretty much the same. They have stats appropriate to their corresponding troops unit. Essentially they are a champion for the unit. Yes you can take 2 for one HQ slot, but in general they dont do much for you. The exception is that Tzeench heralds are pretty good shots and are reasonably durable on a chariot, so not bad if you take a pair. Another is that now characters confer special rules onto units, the Slaanesh heralds can give daemonettes hit and run, not too shabby. They are quite cheap basic, but once you buy the toys, the costs sky rocket.

Onto the Elites section now, and here we have a single choice for each of the big 4...

Fiends of Slaanesh - Still great. Beasts are still quick and can now go up levels, so no more hiding! For their 30 point price tag they are very cheap, 5 S5 rending attacks on their profile with hit and run is fantastic. If they get to a unit they will generally kill it. As with most daemons however, they are vulnerable to being shot to peices the turn they arrive. T4 with 2 wounds and only a 5+ is not too survivable.

Flamers of Tzeench - Wow did these guys get a bump in the forthcoming daemon update! Down to 23 points a model and they gain an extra wound - bargain! They come with breath of chaos and warpfire, so a flamer that wounds on a 4 with no saves and glances vehicles on a 4, and an assault 4 S4 AP4 gun, pretty handy. With wall of flame you dont want to be charging these guys. They are jump troops too so can get into position to ensure flamey death. Or is that mutagenic death of the very painfull variety?

Bloodcrushers of Khorne - Who doesnt love Juggers**? S5 T5, lots of attacks and AP3. These also have a 3+ standard save as well as the daemon save so pretty survivable, especially with Fateweaver about. They come with furious charge too, so S6 power weapon death abound. So far 3 really solid choices in Elites! Lets see what Papa Nurgle can offer us!

Beasts of Nurgle - Um, well, yeh. Move along..... Nearly the same points as a bloodcrusher at 35 points and worse in every way, in fact they are so bad I may just cut that bit out of my codex. Seriously, fuck these guys***.

So in HQ its pretty much as you were, except that Bloodthirsters just became the big boys of the book. The much needed update to the Flamers has made some serious competition in the Elites slot with 3 very viable and reasonably priced choices. Hopefully Nurgle will get some love further down in the list? Only time will tell...

* Seriously, who?
** Really. Everyone fucking loves these guys.
*** No, seriously you guys, fuck beasts of nurgle and whoever came up with those shitty shtty rules.

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