Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chaos Daemon Codex

I actually picked up both versions last week when they came out. One of the local games stores (link) was offering to stay open a few minutes after midnight to sell a few to loyal fans who showed up, and I was right down the road listening to a little blues. Being more of a 40k player, I have literally only gone over that version of the rules bit by bit at this point. My army is based on sqaure bases, so for WFB I do have a significant army. I have to admit at first I wasn't too upset with the new rules for 40k.

That being said as time as gone I am more and more concerned. The random elements are structurally hard to plan for. In one turn, you can lose a powerful model, create one by destroying an enemy psyker, hit every single opponents unit with a powerful attack, or lose your saving throws. That is just at the start of the turn. There are some many crazy effects in the Warp Storm table it is staggering.

Other things are popping up too. The idea that Pink Horrors of Tzeentch lost their basic attacks to become Brotherhood of Sorcery psykers is a bit daunting. Now it is only really scary against some specific armies, but even in general the idea they lost the ability to function effectively without psychic tests is pretty tough. It now begs the question, do I upgrade the unit champion to an Incandescent Horror? Sure he is only a 5pt upgrade, but the reason I want to do it is gift him with a 20pt Greater Reward. The fact that those are completely random as well is annoying, but guess what the first time you hit double sixes on a psychic manifesting test- you lost him. Not to mention a lot of the other bad things that just are out there which affect pyskers in general.

Another big unit change was the downgrade to the Flamers of Tzeentch. Don't get me wrong, they were way overpowered in the last White Dwarf rules update. But now they are simply AP4 templates which quite honestly bugs the shit out of me. I never rushed out and bought thirty flamers, so I will be okay. It just hurts that I don't feel as comfortable fielding them to burn the life out of things with their magical attacks. The loss of the standard ranged attack they had which wasn't a template is frustrating as well. Now they literally have no choice other than move within template distance. Against MEQ/TEQ armies this is going to be useless. They Flames of Tzeentch attack lost its ability to wound anything on a 4+ and cause hits against vehicles as well. We are pretty much forced to use Screamers of Tzeentch and Daemonic Gifts to have a hope of attacking vehicles now. Not a lot in the Troop/Elite section which is reliable at giving you a standard I will blow something up attack.

Don't get me wrong either. They are still in there. They just don't have the traditional spend 'x' points for Crack Missile or Las-Cannon other armies are granted. Instead there is this chart which is loaded with cool things. You are literally forced to take unit champions and lesser HQ choices to get special abilities. No other army operates like this. It is just chaotic. While we saw a big decline in point costs for Troops- you are literally forced to upgrade units to combat things that other people have.

I was invited to participate in a 500pt campaign at my local Games Workshop store. I was pretty excited about it until I started making up my lists. I recently played in a Kill Team event there the day after the Chaos Daemon Codex was released. It was so frustrating to come up with a well rounded 200pt list. The campaign they are running is basically the same thing. I literally poured over the book this weekend trying to build a 500pt list I wanted to run. Part of my dilemna is the units I own as well. I honestly think I want to stay focused on Tzeentch and Khorne because that is what I have. I'd love the 9pts for a model with Rending and Fleet you get with Slaanesh, but the latest models haven't caught my eye. Please, please, please go back to the sexy and lithe daemonettes a few years ago. I wish I wouldn't have sold the ones I owned now. I had an entire box of them. Who knows I'd probably still be bitching about needing unit champions. I mean the Bloodletters own MEQ armies.

The Kill Team I ran was a unit of 10 Bloodletters (Champion w/Lesser Reward) and 5 Flesh Hounds. They did really well. The only battle my Bloodletters didn't get into combat was against the Grey Nights. The board was covered in terrain. After the Flesh Hounds bounced off the Terminators, I just decide to crowd the objective for the win. I had a great match hunting down Dark Eldar bikes- man the 12" move and is great for closing the gaps. The biggest problem I have with the Flesh Hounds is eventhough they have a high strength, lots of wounds, and make saves fairly reliably they just can't break armor. Even against the Tau I fought they just weren't good at smashing up that armor. I did fairly well against a Dark Angel force at the end of the day, but I think we made a few mistakes. Five man bike squad, assault bike, and scout seemed a little heavy for a 200pt match. I wonder if his list was right. Goofy scouts for the marines do have lots of free unit upgrades. That is the thing with the Space Marine list in general now that bothers me. Afford ten marines w/ 3+ save for 170 pts (comes out to 17pts a model) and we will give you free special weapons. Why aren't other armies like that? I don't know I am off-topic.

There are some really cool things in the daemon list. I have an Icon of Chaos (read standard bearer) with my Bloodcrushers. These guys are calvary now, so they are pretty nifty with their 12" move. I have the idea of running them forward. That puts them anywhere from 13"-18" from their initial deployment. At the start of turn two I can check for my reserve rolls. Ten Bloodletters w/ Icon and Instrument are only 120pts. I will roll for them first on turn two. With a 3+, I can pop my Bloodletters another 6" ahead of my unit. The Instument of Chaos lets them drag another unit from the Warp. I am not sure if this unit allows you to benefit from a standard during this same movement phase. Apparently the Chaos Space Marine book specifically prevents chaining standards in the way it is written. This book came out right after it, and avoids including that line. For now we will assume it doesn't. That means when my flamer unit for 69 points enters the board (because they are a seperate power) it only scatters 1d6" if it doesn't land on target. So by turn two my Bloodcrushers are way across the board at the start of the phase. They still get 12" move and potential a charge in the Assault phase. The Bloodcrushers will be at minimum up to 24" away from my deployment zone. They can run in the shooting phase. But my flamers should arrive on target up to 30" away from my deployment zone to let fly their slightly less powerful shooting attacks.

Mind you all this time my Flesh Hounds of Khorne and Screamers of Tzeentch have been crossing the board at a 12" clip. The Pink Horrors of Tzeentch have moved up at their pitfully slow pace (at least compared to the others) to get within 24" for their witchfire power. I still have some groovy flying circus models to take the field- Daemon Princes of Tzeentch are Heavy Support if I field my Lord of Change. And really why wouldn't I? He is down to 230pts, but lost his Eternal Warrior. He may be slighty less powerful without that, but flying monstrous creatures are really awesome this go around.

I am not really sure what else I want to add to my army to round it out. I already have a ton of points. Enough to field four huge troop choices. Maybe modeling some Heralds of Tzeentch on foot is a good idea. I saw comparison online about Pink Horrors with the Exalted Locus of Conjuration and the Prescience power from the Divination psychic disciplne. That gives the Flickering Fires of Tzeentch a S6 and reroll misses. To me though boosting him another 50pts in psyker levels is a solid choice too. Having the unit spend three charges to hit 4d6 shots with their attack, and letting the herald ignore their rerolls to do the same. 8d6 shots for 239 points isn't bad. My units will probably round out around 280pts. There are 18 models in each one.

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