The new Chaos Daemons books for Fantasy and 40k have been out for a week now and as a Daemon player in 40k I thought I would give my opinions on the book after going through it during the last week. A new book always brings with it a lot of changes in the form of new units, exciting units being nerfed, made cheaper, more expensive or even more powerful. This book is no exception.
I’m not going to go through every single unit in this book in too much detail but I’ll give my first impressions on them.
The unit which stood out the most for me in the HQ section was the Bloodthirster. I’ve always been a fan of this bad boy and he’s even better now. He remains at 250 points but may be given Daemonic Rewards (I’ll talk about them in future post) which can make him even better. He now has WS and BS10 but loses 1 point to his strength and Leadership but now has a 3+ save, Initiative 9 and an extra attack and wound! Lets not forget he’s also a flying monstrous creature. With combat taking a bit of a back foot in 6th Edition it’s nice to have units like this who can take on pretty much anything and win in combat. Just watch out for anything that causes instant death and you should be fine. His axe and shooting attack are also AP2 which is huge in this edition.
In regards to the other greater daemons I see them being used more as tough psyker units. They can all be upgraded to mastery level 3 and each can take powers from different disciplines to each other so it’s a matter of taste which one to take. The great unclean one as expected is tough to kill due to his toughness 7 and 6 wounds which are both an improvement on his last stat line but he now only has a 5+ inv. save like the other daemons and he is the only greater daemon to have a price increase.
As far as the special greater daemon characters go I feel that Skarbrand isn’t worth taking no more. He’s taken a 75 point decrease but IMO he isn’t as good as a regular. bloodthirster. He gains armourbane and fleshbane but has a poor shooting attack, isn’t a FMC and cannot take rewards. Fateweaver loses the ability which allows nearby units to reroll saves and is even worse in combat than before (not that you want him in combat). What he does gain though is The Two Heads of Fate Rule. He is a pysker mastery level 4 on each head! These can generate 4 powers each from 5 tables between them but only one head can be used a turn. Ku’gath has much better stats now, including 7 wounds! He can also throw out a large AP3 blast that’s poisoned 4+ with 24″ range but there’s a power on the nurgle chart that does the same at half the range but is AP2.
If greater daemons are not your thing you could use a daemon prince. Much like in the Chaos Space Marines codex these can become very expensive very fast once you give them upgrades but they are not a great deal worse than a greater daemon when kitted out. Personally I would take a greater daemon if I wish to have a daemon prince also so I can take them as a heavy support choice instead (providing their marks match).
At the other end of the spectrum are the heralds. You can still take 4 of them but they only take up one HQ choice between them (which could be a unit itself if you so wish). These are very cheap models, all being 45 points apart from the Khorne one who is 55 points. They can all take rewards and in addition to them can also take upgrades called Daemonic Loci. These upgrades offer boosts their units. Again I’ll talk about these in more detail in a future post. I’d be surprised if we see many heralds run without these upgrades. Heralds can also take steeds and Tzeentch and Slaanesh heralds can also take a chariot.
The herald special characters remain in the book. Most of them have taken a decrease in points. I’ve only ever used Skulltaker myself in the past and he is now 40 points cheaper but has WS and BS9, S5, I9 and has eternal warrior. In regards to the other characters I’ve not had any experience with them. Epidemius still has the Tally of Pestilence ability but it’s not as good as before and only works for daemons of nurgle now so no more mark of nurgle allies adding to the tally. I really like The Eternal Dance ability which The Masque has. It targets a single unit upto 12″ away and it can lower the units WS or BS or does a str1 AP2 attack which hits every model in the unit. She also rerolls her Inv. save. The Blue Scribes no longer argues with itself and at the start of each turn it can roll on any psychic table and use that power without using any of it’s warp charge points which is nice. It is also classed as a jetbike rather than jump infantry.
The Changeling and Karanak are also now in the HQ section which is a shame. I cannot see them being taken very much. The Changeling also loses the Glamour of Tzeentch ability.
So that’s a rather long review of the HQ. I would love to hear other people’s opinions and experiences. In the next part I’ll look at the Troops and Elites.