Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So....Daemons.....Yeah, They're Awesome

Now this goes the other way!

Well I picked up the Daemon codex this weekend while I was at the Indy Open but didn't get to much of a chance to really dig into it. But we had quite a bit of discussion on the way home last night about it and I've spent a fair amount of today reading and playing with it in my mind so I figured I'd share my initial thoughts.
First, this codex has lots of options and combo's for both primary and allied detachments. Let's look at a few things that have jumped out at me.

-Seekers look solid. Fast and cheap.
-Seeker Heralds w/Exalted Loci and a Greater Reward weapon mean the ability to drive a blob off in short order (i.e. one turn) or kill those pesky Warlord psykers hiding inside.
-Soul Grinder's with dual weapon profiles for his 3 shot autocannon and the ability to add a 24" railgun or torrent flamer is very nice.
-Plaguebearers going to ground for a 2++ cover
-Possible T8-10 Great Unclean One
-St6 Assault 2D6 12" weapon for the Keeper of Secrets/Slaanesh Princes
-The negative 5 initiative from Fiends pretty much eliminating return attacks (or entirely depending on the eventual FAQ)
-Slaanesh Psychic power that reduces Initiative by 5 and also prevents overwatch & counter attack (Note that unlike the Fiends it can’t reduce initiative to 0 per the rulebook under maledictions.
-Divination Battery Tzeentch Heralds
-Plaguebearers being able to glance even Landraiders to death.
-Dirt Cheap Rending Furies
-All Greater Daemons looking like genuinely attractive options and being able to still take 4 Heralds and a Greater Daemon.
-Biomancy Battery Nurgle Heralds
-Slaanesh Chariots are still 1-3

And finally we start on the damn table!

Now it’s not all 100% rosy days. There were changes made that will naturally effect people who brought certain armies in 5th. Though in my opinion only the Screamer/Flamer spam people really got burned. Most others might or might not have to add units to modify the army competitively. I also personally find very little in the elite slot that I like for the third codex in a row. Seems that Elite is the 3rd Edition Fast Attack.

Let’s get into how I see Daemons. Some people are claiming Daemons are a horde army and with the cost of basic troops that’s an easy mistake to make. Mike Brandt touched on it but in all honesty Daemons are a hammer. Or better, a cannon fired hammer. But they are also a hammer that will shatter if you land it wrong. Ok, enough analogies. Essentially they feel like the Nids I used in early 5th edition.

Basically Daemons are only going to give your opponent 1-2 rounds of shooting. It’s dependent on if you go first naturally but a properly built list is going to see Daemons in combat on turn 2. There is no way around it so start building your armies to handle it folks. Between hounds, seekers, regular daemonettes, chariots, flys, dp’s, furies, and even screamers you’re looking at a large number of swift moving options that can hammer infantry armies into dogmeat.

2x20 Seekers
3x3 Chariots
1xSlaanesh Heralds on Steeds w/Loci & Magic Weapons, Lvl 2.

The above runs you at most 1000.  It’s one of my current starting points but is by no means definitive yet. But what I see is 5 units that will rampage thru anything not in a transport on turn 2 with plenty of points left for support options from allies or other portions of the codex. Throw in some Fiends and you don’t even need grenades J

Something that’s interesting is Soulgrinders. I’m heavily leaning toward running mine with a torrent flamer since I’m in love with throwing fire and I’ll be marking him Tzeentch. Why? Because it’s the cheapest power that the doesn’t get you punched in the face on a bad warpstorm roll (Khorne marked could be kill by the warpstorm). Another option is the tongue when you have some Tzeentch Heralds to toss divination on it. That helps with Skyfire for flyers and heavier tanks that again the Daemon army doesn’t have much to combat outside of combat.

I know that Soulgrinders are a bit slow in relation but to me that’s actually helpful. I intend to play my Daemons similar to Nids. I want to use waves of models so the first wave would be your chariots/calvary. Your second wave would be jump infantry or daemonettes. Your final wave would generally be basic infantry and soul grinders.

This isn’t the only way to play. You’ve got variable deployment methods, cool artifacts and abilities that generate new models, and a ton of other options. Overall my initial impression is extremely favorable. And it says something for an army in 6th when I’m not initially finding a way to fit IG into it J

What are you guys seeing? What are your thoughts?