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Tutorial Daemons of Chaos Tactica (detailed)

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Part One: Daemons of Chaos versus Lizardmen

    Daemonic Instability: Daemons can’t break, but they take break tests. They lose a number of models or wounds equal to the number they fail their break test by. If they roll snake eyes, they do more than automatically pass. They regenerate all the wounds they lost that last combat round (this does not affect CR so they can’t reverse losing this way but that’s little consolation to us if with just “beat” them). On a double six, the whole unit is removed as a casualty automatically (assuming there were any models left to remove).

    Daemonic Aura: All daemons have a Ward Save of 5+ (occasionally this rises to 4+ or falls to 6+ based on their funky chart). Daemons all have Fear (unless they have Terror).

    Daemonic Attacks: All attacks are magical. This applies to ranged attacks, Breath Weapons, Stomps, everything. If the source of damage comes from a daemon in anyway, it’s a magical attack. For us this means being ethereal will not help your Slann one iota against Daemons, only give you Unstable.

    Daemonic Alignment: The new book is somewhat biased towards mono-god armies. Characters can’t join units aligned with a different god and units cannot use the general’s inspiring presence or the BSB reroll ability from a character affiliated with a different god. Each alignment comes with a basic power (or two basic powers) and some broad trends in statlines. Each god has one Core unit, two Special units, and one Rare, a greater daemon Lord, a Herald to serve as a hero choice and at least two special character options. Slaanesh has an extra Rare and one fewer special character. There are a couple of generic daemons that can be customized towards a Daemon God. All daemon alignments Hate another particular god’s minions not that that is likely to come up in a LM vs. Daemons game.

    Reign of Chaos Chart: Every daemonic magic phase, the Winds of Magic rolls is compared against a chart. Basically it breaks down like this:

    1 in 36 chance: all daemon units must take an Ld test to avoid taking Instability casualties
    1 in 18 chance: Random daemonic character has to take an Ld test and suffers a wound with no saves for every point the test is failed by.
    1 in 36 chance: player gets a free unit of any 2d6+3 models of basic Core worth 0 victory points
    1 in 12 Chance: Ward Saves of all daemons improve to 4+
    1 in 12 Chance: Ward Saves of all Daemons weakens to 6+
    1 in 18 chance: random enemy wizard (Slann or Skink Priest) must pass an Ld test or die with no saves, daemonic player gets a free Herald of his choice with no upgrades near the dead wizard.
    1 in 6 chance: nothing happens
    50% chance: Something bad happens to Daemons of a particularly alignment (Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeentch). This applies to friendly and enemy units (so a daemon versus daemon fight would have lots of nasty stuff happening to them). One of the options uses a scattering template rather than auto hits, so there is a small chance of LM units getting hit with S4 flaming hits along when the Tzeentch daemons do.

    The higher the roll is, the better it tends to be for the daemons. In a normal game this chart is a net negative for Daemons. In a Storm of Magic game, the player can choose whichever two dice they want turning this into a net positive (and possibly making Daemonic Pacts more appealing).

    Heralds and Loci: Heralds are moderately statted about the basic Core of their alignment. Heralds can take a locus to buff a unit they lead. Each Herald can only take one Locus and if a unit has multiple Heralds, only one Locus applies. Heralds also serve as BSBs. Heralds aren’t very nasty by themselves, so you should concentrate attacks on them to remove the buffs they provide.

    Daemonic Lores: The Lores of Tzeentch, Nurgle, and Slaanesh all have very similar lore attributes. Each time a spell causes an unsaved wound the player can specify a unit of Daemons affiliated with the dark god of the specific Lore and roll a d6 to try to add additional models to it (whether they took casualties earlier or not). Weak units only need a 4+ to get a model, stronger units need a 6 and mid level units naturally are restored on a 5+. Eligible units are limited to Core or Special and never include cavalry or chariots. Fun Fact: Daemon lores are suspiciously similar to WoC lores.

    Generic Daemons

    Daemon Princes: A good value for the points. Only slightly less potent than a greater daemon and noticeably cheaper. They are also extremely customizable. They can fall anywhere between 0 and 4 for wizard levels. They can buy Flight as upgrade (with Movement 8, Flight seems overpriced at 40 points). They can also buy Chaos Armor for 20 points. A Bargain since this provides a good armor save to a list that generally has poor armor saves. While all Daemon Princes have the same stat line, they can’t be taken without a specific Chaos affiliation. They have to choose a Daemonic alignment.

    Chaos Furies: Once they were a non-25% counting Core. Now they are Special. Ouch. They are all about mobility, they have one attack at S4 WS3 and only have Toughness 3. They have Ld 2 so if you give them a good hard slap in close combat they should crumple. They are the only daemon that doesn’t have to be affiliated with one of the dark gods. They can be for an extra two points. I figure if someone decides to use these guys they’ll give their Furies a daemonic alignment, it’s to match the general to counteract their ueber-crappy Ld. I don’t see these as being a popular choice since they eat Special points now and cost at LEAST twelve points a model. Kind of steep for chaff.

    Soul Grinder: This is a 40K critter that got sneaked into the Warhammer Fantasy book. A Soul Grinder is a basically a cybernetically rebuilt highly wounded daemon (think of Protoss Dragoons). They are required to select a daemonic alignment. They are very good at killing Saurus characters and unit champions. Before a CC phase begins, they can nominate an enemy model who model must pass an Initiative test or be hit automatically by any of the Soul Crushers attacks directed towards it. They hit at S6 and have T7 paired with an armor save of 4+ (that’s like having a 2+ in an army other than Daemons). If they take the Daemonbone Claw upgrade, they can exchange their base attacks for a single S10 d6 wounds. Good for taking down our big dinosaurs but overkill at most other targets.

    They have automatically have one ranged weapon called the Harvester Cannon which is like a cannon that only fires grape shot (BS 3). They can buy a second weapon which may be BRB style Flame Thrower, Bolt Thrower or Stone Thrower. Any misfires ignore the appropriate misfire chart and only cause a single auto-wound on the Soul Grinder. Soul Grinders can fire both weapons in a single shooting phase as long as they don’t march.

    Khorne Daemons

    Basic Package: All Khorne Daemons get +1 Strength on the charge. Khorne Daemons generally have the best all around stats of all daemons, especially WS. Khorne characters are never spell casters. All Khorne units have MR 1, 2, or 3. They also usually have armor saves. Weak armor saves true, but that’s better than most other daemons get.

    Bloodthirsters: Like all Greater Daemons, they are big, have great stats and cause Terror. Bloodthirsters have MR 2 and Fly. Bloodthirsters are one trick ponies, but they are very good at their one trick, and that trick is mauling things. They have 7 attacks, hit on S7 on the charge and have a move of 10 (when you consider that they fly). They have a 5+ armor save.

    The magic resistance and the extra save mean they are hard to shoot down with poison shooting and magic before they get into close combat (the usual LM response to greater daemons). They are also fast so you won’t get many rounds to use ranged attacks. If you are facing a Bloodthirster in a multi-daemon army, you should probably focused your ranged attacks on weaker units. If you are facing a Bloodthirster in a Khorne army, EVERYTHING will be resistant to your shooting as well as fast so you might as well concentrate fire on the Bloodthirster since your odds of hurting the big guy are only slightly worse than your odds of killing a Bloodletter.

    So if taking him down at range is impractical what should we do? Close combat is these daemon’s meat and drink. You can try to stall or redirect them with chaff. You can try to use static CR to force Instability rolls (very hard to do since they are so nasty). The MR stacked with the Ward Save makes hitting them with magic directly is very dicey, but the MR won’t mean anything if you attack them indirectly with hexes or buffs. I would advise you make their WS10 pointless by keeping all your fighting characters away from Bloodthirsters. I think Skroxigor are probably the best tool we have for taking down Bloodthirsters (and two out of three of the other greater daemons). The mighty attacks are either wasted on Skinks or the Skinks provide Static CR if the Bloodthirster targets the Kroxigor.

    Skarbrand is a Bloodthirster special character. He has seven attacks that all ignore armor saves (though at S6 Skarbrand ignores most armor saves anyway). He also has a S5 Breath Weapon. He has Hatred and Frenzy and his Frenzy can never be lost. He bestows Hatred to ALL units on the table, friend and foe alike as long as he is alive. Since LM are a low WS army, the latter ability probably helps us more than it hurts us, but you should still probably take Skarbrand down ASAP to prevent him from personally butchering your battle line (and he’s worth A LOT of victory points).

    Bloodletters of Khorne: I’d say they are a match for Saurus Warriors. They are faster, more skilled, and have Killing Blow. They inflict a lot of damage, but they aren’t very resilient with T3 and Scaly Skin 6+, so Saurus ought to be able to kill them back at least as quickly as the Bloodletters kill them. Most of the other Khorne units are based on Bloodletters (so that means Killing Blow will be on most Khorne units).

    Bloodcrushers of Khorne: Bloodletters on Juggarnauts (monstrous cavalry). This means they are faster, hit harder, have AS 4+. They are tough, but unlike pretty much all the other monstrous cavalry, they don’t have a nigh-invulnerable armor save and they are only T4. A block of Saurus should be able to take Bloodcrushers down if they can survive the initial charge (or better yet, get the charge themselves). Kroxigor will help chop up these high Toughness targets but you risk losing Kroxigor before they can attack.

    Flesh Hounds of Khorne: Fast moving Warbeasts that fight like high WS Saurus. They have MR 3, but with only a Scaly Skin save of 6+, so they are pretty vulnerable to Skink shooting (at least as much as daemons can be poisoned with their Ward saves). Their primary danger to us is flank attacks on our main blocks or running roughshod over our skirmishing units. Fortunately, unlike most hound units in other armies, these puppies don’t have Vanguard. Razordons will work nicely too. If you can keep them at long range, the Flesh Hounds will probably fail their charge and take a lot of spikes to the face if they try it.

    Karanak is a special character version of the Flesh Hounds. He bestows Ambushers and the Locus of Fury on a unit of Flesh Hounds that he leads. Any enemy Wizard who miscasts within 12 inches of Karanak takes a S10 hit before the miscast is resolved. Karanak can declare an enemy character as his Quarry at the start of a game. Karanak can re-roll To Hit and To Wound rolls against his Quarry.

    Herald of Khorne: Their stats and lack of equipment makes them weaker than Scar Veterans until you factor in Killing Blow which makes a one on one match an even fight. The weakest locus boosts the units MR from 1 to 2. The intermediate one bestows a unit with Frenzy, and the strongest one bestows Hatred. They can ride Juggarnauts. They can also ride Blood Thrones of Khorne.

    Blood Thrones of Khorne are self-propelled chariots without beasts pulling them (quick, to the Khornemoble!). Movement rate of 7 which means it’s hard hitting (the light chariots in Warhammer are all 8 or 9). With Toughness 5 and AS 3+, it’s pretty durable. Heralds on a Bloodthrone project their locus to all Khorne units within a 6 inch radius. They have a power called Gorebeast which gives them a chance to recover lost wounds whenever they inflict casualties with impact hits.

    Skulltaker is a highly souped up Herald special character. He’s stronger, tougher, and has WS9. He has the locus that bestows MR 2. He has a 3+ armor save. His attacks are Flaming with Killing Blow, Heroic Killing Blow in a challenge. He must always issue or accept challenges.

    Skull Cannons of Khorne: This is a cannon on self-propelled chariot. It operates like a vanilla cannon except for the magical Flaming Attacks thing and the fact that it can move. They have Gorefeast just like the Blood Thrones. Skull Cannons are basically standard issue for competitive Daemon lists.

    Tzeentch Daemons

    Basic Package: All Tzeentch daemons can re-roll Ward save rolls of 1. Spellcasters can also re-roll channeling results of 1. Compared to other daemons Tzeentch daemons have fairly unimpressive base stats, but they have no shortage of unusual special abilities. Their spellcasters can take the Lore of Tzeentch or Metal. Tzeentch has the lion’s share of the Daemon’s light shooting.

    Warpflame: A fair number of Tzeentch attacks have this special rule. Any unit taking wounds from a Warpflame attack has to take Toughness test. If they fail they take d3 additional wounds with no armor save. If they pass they get Regeneration 6+ or a boost to existing Regeneration. That means the utility of Warpflame attacks goes down when fighting high toughness targets and goes up when fighting low toughness targets. Lizardmen are oddities in that we have lots of both kinds of targets.

    Lore of Tzeentch

    Mostly direct damage, and mostly random strength direct damage. All the damage spells have warpflame.

    Blue Fire of Tzeentch: The signature spell is a magic missile that inflicts d6 Strength d6 hits at a 24 inch or 48 inch range.

    Treason of Tzeentch: The only Hex on the list. The target is not allowed to use the general’s inspiring presence or the BSB’s re-roll. Situational, but highly useful in some situations. We aren’t the Orcs and Goblins. Most of our units have similar Ld scores so this won’t hurt LM as much as some armies.

    Pink Fire of Tzeentch: Shoots the flame template with an artillery die similar to a Salamander (though a misfire is treated as a 0). Models hit by the template take a Strength d6 hit.

    Bolt of Change: Magic missile hits targets like a bolt thrower at 24 inches inflicting Strength +4 damage as the base.

    Glean Magic: An unorthodox direct damage spell. In the old book this let a Tzeentch daemon borrow an enemy spell. This steals it removing it from the target’s ability to cast but the daemon has to win a contested roll against the target, d6 + level for both parties. If the defender wins nothing happens. If they lose, they lose a randomly chosen spell for the rest of the game and the daemon can cast it from then on for the rest of the game using the Tzeentch attribute in place of the normal attribute. To add injury to insult, the wizard takes a S3 hit in the process if they lose.

    Tzeentch’s Firestorm: A scattering template is placed up to 30 inches from the caster inflicting Strength d6 hits to targets touched by the template. As usual for templates there is a double scattering large template option. Surprisingly the augmented version is only slightly more difficult to cast.

    Infernal Gateway: Direct damage spell inflicts 2d6 Strength 2d6 hits on a target. If an 11 or 12 is rolled, the damage is capped at 10 strength, but the number of hits is boosted to 3d6 hits

    Lords of Change: They have a minimum wizard level of two. They have 5 attacks instead of the usual 6 greater daemons get. They have 6s in pretty much all the other stats making them the weakest of all greater Daemons in a straight up fight (in relative terms of course). Not only do they die easier than other greater Daemons, but the Lore of Tzeentch is very focused on direct damage spells. That means most of his spells will be unusable if you force a Lord of Change into close combat. They Fly so they are somewhat hard to catch. If they refuse to fight you in close combat, hit it with Heavens spells or poisoned shooting. In fact, even if a Lord of Change is seeking close combat you should hit him with Heavens spells and poisoned shooting, it’s simply a good idea. It’s T6 like most other greater daemons so you should try engage a Lord of Change with hard hitting units like Temple Guard, Kroxigor, or Skroxigor. The other stuff we have won’t inflict many wounds.

    Kairos Fateweaver is a special character Lord of Change with his strengths and weaknesses heightened from the garden variety version of a Lord. Kairos is only WS 1 and has 5s in his base stats instead of 6s but his spellcasting powers are phenomenal. Each turn Kairos can choose to use the left head or right head to cast spells. The left head knows four spells chosen from Life, Metal, Light, and/or Heavens. The right head knows four spells chosen from Death, Beasts, Shadow or Fire. Kairos doesn’t roll for spells, the player handpicks eight spells for maximum effect against the army they are fighting. For security reasons I will not list the eight spells I’d choose if I were fighting LM with Kairos. Because Kairos is weak at combat and potent at magic, you really want to take him down with physical force ASAP if you see him. He’s got a 4+ Ward save instead of the usual 5+ Daemons get. He also can reroll any single d6 roll once per turn. I remember Second Sign of Amul from Sixth Edition. Given how many times people have been screwed by a single die, omni-re-rolls are a very potent if often overlooked power. He is naturally a Level 4 caster too as if it needed to be said.

    Pink Horrors of Tzeentch:


    Pink Horrors are a block infantry unit AND a level one Wizard with the Lore of Tzeentch or Metal. In the old book they had a very complicated system to determine what spell they had based on how many models were in the unit. Now they generate a spell like any other level one Wizard. I deemed the above picture as appropriate because they have the human statline (mostly 3s) so they can’t fight very well. The Lore of Tzeentch is mostly direct damage so Pink Horrors won’t likely be able to cast their one spell once engaged in combat. Miscasts inflict auto-wounds on the unit instead of rolling on the table.

    Besides the 5+ Ward save, Pink Horrors can do one thing in combat that humans can’t. They create two blue Horror tokens when they die. At the end of a combat round, roll a die per each token and inflict an automatic Strength 2 hit for every 4+ rolled to the enemy fighting the Pink Horrors (even if the Pink Horrors are killed). Fairly significant for Skinks, insignificant hits for everything else we have. I still think Skink Cohorts are a good unit to send against Pink Horrors since giving up 5 point Skinks is far nicer than losing 13 point Pink Horrors. If the price of Pink Horrors seems steep? Consult the picture above.

    Flamers of Tzeentch: Any LM player should be familiar with how much damage BS4 skirmishers can do. Flamers are expensive on a model per model basis but they get d6 multiple shots that inflict S4 Warpflame hits at an 18 inch range. They have a 12 inch march just like our Skirmishers. They fight on roughly the same level of a Saurus Warriors in close combat which is not very good considering you will rarely see more than six of these guys in a single unit.

    Screamers of Tzeentch: Screamers fly. They have three attacks apiece at S4 inflicting d3 wounds on Large Targets (like a Carnosaur). They can fly through a unit to inflict d3 S4 hits with this off-phase shooting casualties per Screamer during the movement phase (like a Hexwraith).

    A Disc of Tzeentch is a mutated version of the Screamers for character mounts. Basically, take a Screamer and remove the cool special abilities. Why anyone would take a Disc is beyond me. I guess a flying spell caster is useful for the Lore of Metal or Tzeentch but I figure most people wanting a flying caster would spring for a Lord.

    Burning Chariot of Tzeentch: Every Chaos God gets a chariot or chariot-like unit. The Burning Chariots can shoot Pink or Blue Fire (the player chooses each phase). Pink Fire is a Slow to Fire fire thrower out of the BRB inflicting a Strength d6 hit. Blue Fire works like grapeshot inflicting a d6+3 Strength hit. Both shooting attacks have Warpflame. Burning Chariots can be upgraded to have Blue Horrors which inflict a -1 Ld penalty on enemies within six inches. Charge the chariots if you can. They are good at shooting and providing a flying mount for a wizard, but they fight pretty poorly by chariot standards: no armor save at all. Give it a nice hard slap or two and it will not trouble you any more.

    Herald of Tzeentch: Most Heralds can pay to be level one Wizards. Tzeentch’s Heralds start out as level one Wizards and may be upgraded to level two (making them the only non-Lord way to get level twos). No Herald is extremely potent in combat, but these guys are so weak, they can get bullied by Skink Chiefs (I’m vaguely envisioning a Spawning of Bob cartoon here).

    The real power of a Herald is in the buffs it provides to Pink Horror units. The lesser locus boosts the number of Blue Horror tokens per Pink Horror death from 2 to d3+1 making Pink Horrors literally worth more dead than alive. The mid-level power swaps the units strength for a d6 roll each turn. While this can make their strength go down, there is little mechanical difference between Strength 1 and Strength 3 and a big difference between Strength 3 and Strength 4 (to say nothing of 5 and 6). The most expensive locus boosts the strength of the Herald’s spells (and the other wizards in his unit) by +1. Seems like a weak buff on the surface but six out of seven of lore of Tzeentch spells inflict damage. There are two Special Character versions of Heralds. Both are quite inexpensive for special characters.

    The Blue Scribes are two beings that act as one model on a Disc of Tzeentch. As you would expect from a Tzeentch character, they can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag but have some weird abilities. Surprisingly the Scribes are not a wizard. They get a token for every spell cast during the enemy magic phase. During their own magic phase they lose the tokens and roll one channeling die per token discarded. Potentially handy against Slann who like to spam their enemies with a high volume of spells. During their own magic phase the player can choose a Lore and the Scribes can cast a randomly rolled spell from that lore as a bound spell at regular difficulty (never the signature spell).

    The Changeling is a Tzeentch model that can fight halfway decent. The Changeling can boost its WS, Strength, or Toughness, Initiative, and Attacks scores to the same level of any enemy target in base to base contact if it’s higher than his own. This includes monstrous mounts so keep your Carnosaurs away from this thing unless you are counting a lucky double wound. The Changeling provides the Blue Horror boosting Locus to a Pink Horror unit it joins. It’s also a level one lore of Tzeentch wizard.

    Nurgle Daemons

    Note that competitive lists tend to lean heavily on Nurgle troops relative to the other three daemon gods.

    Basic Package: Nurgle daemons have the best power versus Lizardmen if not the best power versus everyone. All close combat attempts to hit them take a -1 penalty. Since we are a low WS army that means we are often hitting Nurgle creatures on 5 and 6. Nurgle units tend to have high strength and toughness and low movement rates and Initiative scores relative to other daemons. Many have Poisoned Attacks. Nurgle spellcasters use the Lore of Death or Nurgle. WS affecting buffs or hexes should be your MVP spells.

    Great Unclean Ones: Great Unclean Ones have 6 wounds instead of 5 and 7 Toughness instead of 6. They have fewer attacks and less Initiative than other greater daemons. They inflict Poison like most Nurgle Daemons. They are level 1 Wizards unmodified but can be upgraded all the way up to level 4.

    Against greater daemons, Skink shooting is a good idea. Against Unclean Ones, it’s nigh-mandatory. Their WS6 combined with the Nurgle penalty to hit them means that most of our units will hit Unclean Ones at 5 or 6. The higher Toughness combined with being hit less often means the standard anti-greater daemon CC protocol of using Skroxigor will be less effective than usual. They also are the only greater daemon without M10. This means they are both harder to kill in close combat than other greater daemons and easier to shoot at than other daemons. These dots are not hard to connect. If you have to fight an Unclean One in close combat, I would suggest Sauri (because of the extra attacks), but the crazy high Toughness means it’s more about volume than penetration.

    An Oldblood or a Scar Veteran with a strength boosting weapon (magical or mundane) could put some decent wounds on an Unclean One, but that’s a chancy endeavor given that an Unclean One is just as capable of bashing the Saurus character back and has more wounds to boot.

    Ku’Gath Plaguefather is a fluffy special character for players who like Nurglings. He has one more wound and attack than a vanilla Unclean One (yerch did I just say vanilla Unclean One?). At the start of every turn he can heal a wound on a wounded Nurgling base within six inches. He provides no CR bonuses to enemies attacking his Flank or rear. He is only a level one caster. His primary special ability is the ability to toss a plague ridden Nurgling at his foes functioning as a Slow to Fire Stone Thrower with 12-36 inch range that inflicts S5 hits that ignore armor saves. It inflicts no extra damage or wounds for the center hole so it’s not a major threat to our larger dinosaurs, but it’s nasty against Saurus blocks.

    Plaguebearers of Nurgle: Strength, Toughness, and WS on par with Sauri. Add Poison and a -1 penalty to hit them to the mix and they can easily hold their own against their Lustrian Core counterparts. They only have move 4 which means like most Nurgle units you can get more opportunities to shoot them while they are marching at you.

    Beasts of Nurgle: Similar to a Salamander if you flipped their Strength and Toughness cores and took away the ranged attack. Beasts have d6+1 Poisoned Attacks. They also have Regeneration 4+. Not exactly that big a deal since they also have a Ward Save 5+. At M6 with Swiftstride they add some mobility to an otherwise slow moving Daemon god’s troops. They can also issue and receive challenges. They can be fielded singly but they have no maximum unit size. I see small size units being the norm though.

    Nurglings: Swarms that aren’t worthless. They don’t strike me as great, but they should at least do what Swarms are intended to do: stall things. They only have 4 wounds but they have T3 and WS3 which is good compared to other armies’ swarms. The -1 penalty to hit them makes them harder to kill quickly than a conventional stat boost would do. They have Scout which makes them unique among Swarms. That can be highly annoying if you are planning an anti-Nurgle strategy of making the enemies come to you and shooting them. If you have enemies, even weak enemies, near your initial deployment, standing still becomes more risky. Fortunately for us, they are one of the few things on the Nurgle roster that doesn’t have poison so their Strength 3 hits won’t seriously threaten most things north of a Skink.

    A Palanquin of Nurgle is a bunch of Nurglings holding up a chair for a Herald to sit on. It adds six weakling attacks to a character, but at only move 4, they add no mobility. They Palanquins of Nurgle do not have Scout, part of the GW pattern of removing all the cool special abilities when adapting their creatures into a mount.

    Plague Drones of Nurgle: Truly the red-headed step child of Nurgle’s brood. Flying cavalry, even hovering cavalry is more mobility than you’d expect the gross piles of mucus to throw at you. The riders are just the basic Plaguebearers (retaining their poison). Their mounts are Rot Flys, hovering creatures with Strength and Toughness 5 and 3 attacks. They only have armor saves of 6+ so you should try to shoot them out of the sky if you see them. I’d say Skroxigor will handle these ugly flyers nicely. Step one throw javelins. Step two, step two pummel them with Kroxigors. Problem is the Kroxigors will hit on 5s and Saurus will end up hitting on 5s and wounding on 4s. Mobile or not, you should try shooting them down if you can.

    The riders can be upgraded to have something called Death’s Heads. It’s a shooting weapon with a twelve inch range and Poison (sound familiar?). The basic hits are Strength 4 and inflict d3 wounds making them somewhat dangerous to our midlevel dinosaurs like Salamanders and Razordons. The flies can either be upgraded to have Poisoned attacks or be able to nominate one of their three attacks as not having to roll to wound on a successful hit. Either way the net effect from either upgrade will be more wounding of the enemy.

    Heralds of Nurgle: Basically a Plaguebearer with Strength and Toughness 5 and three attacks. In my humble opinion, Nurgle Heralds have the best loci options of any Herald point for point. The lesser upgrade makes all hits for the unit count as poisonous hits The middle upgrade gives them Regeneration 4+ (when you have a 5+ Ward save this isn’t that big of a deal) and the most expensive upgrade lets poisoned hits of 6 cause an additional automatic S4 hit, very nasty.

    Epidemus the Tallyman of Nurgle is the Herald SC option. He has no additional fighting ability beyond a normal Herald on a Palanquin but he provides buffs to ALL Nurgle units on the board regardless of distance or which side the Nurgle units are on depending on how many unsaved wounds were caused by Nurgle daemons and Lore of Nurgle spells (on bonus for every 7 models killed rounded down, capping at 28). First all Nurgle daemons get +1 Strength, then +1 Toughness, then Killing Blow, then they re-roll failed Ward Saves. If you see Epidemus you are probably facing a pure or nearly pure Nurgle army and should take him out as quickly as lizardly possible before the army wide bonuses really wrack up.

    Lore of Nurgle

    This is probably the nastiest Daemonic Lore available. Since there is a mix of damage spells and battlefield control you can’t stop a well versed caster by simply tying it up, you have to kill it outright.

    Stream of Corruption: Signature spell functions like the wizard having a breath weapon that he can’t use in close combat. Targets hit by the flame template must pass a Toughness test or suffer a wound with no armor save.

    Miasma of Pestilence: A brutal spell when paired with the Nurgle lore attribute (and considering it’s very low casting cost). The augment lowers the WS and I of enemy units in base contact by 1 or d3, minimum 1 in either case. Nasty cause this stacks with the basic Nurgle ability.

    Blades of Putrefaction: Bestows Poison attacks on a friendly unit within 12 inches or augments an existing Poisonous attack to count as Poison when rolling 5s.

    Curse of the Leper: It can be cast as an Augment or Hex that either boosts the target’s Toughness by d3 or lowers it by d3 (minimum 1).

    Rancid Visitations: 18 inch magic missile that inflicts d6 Strength 5 hits then requires the target to pass a Toughness test or take d6 more hits repeated until they pass or die. A nasty spell when combined with the Curse of the Leper or when launched at large units of Skinks.

    Fleshy Abundance: Lifted straight from the Warriors of Chaos book, this is the one crappy spell on the Nurgle list (unless there is a Nurgle SOM pact then it’s quite good). It’s an augment that bestows Regeneration 5+ on unit or boosts an existing Regeneration save by one point till the caster’s next magic phase). Since Daemons have a Ward Save of 5+ the vast majority of the time and Ward Saves are better than Regeneration saves, this spell is nigh useless even though it’s very useful for Warriors of Chaos.

    Plague Wind: Small Template wandering template causes models hit by the template to take a Toughness test or suffer a wound with no armor save. Like usual with vortex spells there is a 25+ casting option to use a large template.

    Slaanesh Daemons

    Basic Package: All Slaanesh daemons have armor piercing. They generally have high WS and Initiative scores. Slaanesh spellcasters use the Lore of Slaanesh or Shadow. All of their non-Core have Move 10. EDITORIAL: If these creatures are supposed to be sexy GW’s sculptors should be barred from online dating services.

    Keepers of Secrets: I’d say Keepers are more threatening to us than Bloodthirsters. They may only WS9 instead of 10, but 9 is plenty for wailing on LM. Most Slaanesh units suffer from low Strength scores but Keepers have Strength 6 like all Greater Daemons do. Six Strength 6 attacks that hit on 2+ or 3+ are nasty. They don’t fly so Heavens spells won’t effect them more than other units and yet they still have Movement 10 so you will probably have at best one round to shoot a Keeper with Skinks before it’s savaging your main line. If it’s part of an all Slaanesh army, the chariots and Seekers will probably not let your Poisoned Shooters near the Keepers. A nice big infantry block should be able to handle a Keeper in a battle of attrition in a frontal assault (but the Seeker is probably going to choose who fights it, not you). The real power of the Lore of Slaanesh is in its hexes not its direct damage spells so you won’t block most of its nasty spells when the Seeker is engaged. Some of the nastier spells have wide radius area of effects so Keepers with a decent Wizard Level are likely to make a b-line for your army center.

    Unlike the other greater daemon types, there is no Keeper of Secrets SC, Slaanesh gave up that option in order to get extra chariots.

    Lore of Slaanesh

    Lash of Slaanesh: The signature spell is highly situational and depends on the skill of the player in lining up the perfect shot. It inflicts S3 armor piercing hits in a 24 inch line. It doesn’t hit very hard but it can hit MANY targets. Try not to let a Herald line up a perfect shot on you. If a greater Daemon is lining up for this spell, I wouldn’t worry about. I'd rather a Keeper of Secrets be lining up said perfect shot on me because I’d prefer it using this spell over having the daemon charging me.

    Acquiesce: Hexed target gets Always Strikes Last and Random movement d6 for one turn. ASL is no biggie to LM but d6 movement is pretty debilitating, especially for our faster units.

    Pavane of Slaanesh: It’s like a Death sniping spell only it can actually be cast at long range (and hits much softer). If a LM model is hit by this spell it has to pass and Ld test 4d6 dice and remove the highest. Failure to pass means the target takes one wound with no armor save. Not exactly a Slann killer so I’m not worried.

    Hysterical Frenzy: Remains in Play. An augment or hex with identical effects regardless of how it’s cast. The target gains Frenzy and takes d6 Strength 3 hits every magic phase. Units with Frenzy already gain +2 attacks instead of +1. Mainly this is for boosting Slaanesh units but it can help goad a unit of Skinks into an ill advised frenzied charge AND inflict some serious wounds on them.

    Slicing Shards: Target takes d6 S4 armor piercing hits and must pass a leadership test or take d6 more hits, repeating until they pass or die. We are Cold Blooded so this isn’t that scary though it does mean your Chameleon Skinks and flyers are in serious danger when facing Slaanesh casters since they are usually far away from the general and BSB.

    Phantasmagoria: Hex spell forces a single target unit to have impaired Ld tests. With LM we roll all tests with 4d6 and remove the highest and lowest (so it basically knocks us down to the level of everyone else). There is a high casting cost version of this that targets all enemy units within a 24 inch radius.

    Cacophonic Choir: Only twelve inch range but brutal on our larger dinosaurs. Target takes 2d6 hits that wound on 4+ regardless of the target’s Toughness and with no armor saves. Also bestows ASL and Random Movement d6 on the target.

    Daemonettes of Slannesh: You are basically fighting Dark Elves here. They have lots of attacks that hit fairly often but they are only Strength and Toughness 3. Unbuffed Sauri should be able to handle unbuffed Daemonettes without a lot of fuss. A Skroxigor will fare poorly against them because the Skinks will die in droves and relatively few Kroxigor will hit (and most of their prodigious Strength will go to waste).

    Seekers of Slaanesh: Daemonette Fast Cavalry. The Steeds only have one attack at S3 and WS3, but they are poisonous. It’s not the hitting power that makes these things scary. They are Fast Cavalry: Movement 10. They can catch and kill our Skirmishers pretty easily, they can’t be downed with the Heavens lore attribute and you will get few opportunities to shoot them. Razordons will be more than a match for these glass pistols (they don’t hit hard enough to be glass cannons) but Razordons aren’t very useful against, well, most other Daemon units.

    Fiends of Slaanesh: Fielded in groups of 3 or more. They penalize the WS and Initiative of enemies in base contact with them. Not nearly as bad as a straight to hit penalty unless they take your Initiative to 0 because they outclass most LM units in both those categories by a fair bit already. They only have Strength and Toughness 4 and they only have 3 attacks each so if these guys aren’t flanking you, they shouldn’t be a problem because they will tend to feel each hit you do manage on them.

    Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh: Slaanesh gets two chariots, this is the weaker Special one. LOTS of attacks. 1d6+1 Impact hits, six basic attacks (two Poisoned). All the hits are Strength 3 or 4. If you can maneuver a Saurus block to fight these as opposed to a Skink unit, your opponent will get to roll enough dice to simulate thunder on the table, but you will see no proverbial lightning. Toughness 4 with paired an unimpressive armor save of 6+ makes this a glass tommy gun. If you weather the impact hits (or avoid them somehow) the chariot will crumple quickly when fighting anything we have north of a Skink.

    Hellflayers of Slaanesh: This Rare Chariot is basically the same as the Seeker Chariot with an extra model riding it (an Exalted Alluress) with four more attacks. Any unsaved wounds caused by the Impact Hits translates into even more attacks for the Exalted Alluress. The sheer volume of attacks is enough to make even a big Saurus block cringe. It’s no mean feat denying a charge to a M10 Swiftstride unit, but if you can, the payoff is great.

    Exalted Seeker of Chariot of Slaanesh: At the GW pitch meeting someone said. “He we have TWO virtually identical Slaanesh chariots, shouldn’t we address this?” “Yes,” said the boss. “We need THREE”

    The Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh is just like the vanilla Seeker Chariot only it has double the steeds, double the crew, and double the impact hits, and double the Wounds. It also has to use a chariot base lengthwise making it a little cumbersome to field. Like the Hellflayer, if you can deny (or survive) the Impact Hit round, this will go down pretty easily to Sauri or Kroxigor.

    Herald of Slaanesh: They fight like Dark Elf characters with no armor saves, so they get a lot of attacks but react poorly to rank and file Sauri ganging up on them. The lesser Locus is very Cheap and lets the unit ignore dangerous terrain tests. Useful for Seekers of Slaanesh. Extremely useful for the chariots. The mid-level Locus bestows Always Strike First (basically it converts a unit of Slaanesh daemons from fighting like Dark Elves to fighting like High Elves. The greater locus reduces Intiative of units in base contact by 3 (minimum 1). That does next to nothing against Lizardmen since we are practically at or near Initiative 1 for most things anyway. The fanciest Locus has a secondary power. The Herald’s challenges cannot be refused and the Herald can choose which models accepts the challenge. That means they can basically kill Skink Priests at will and will beat an unbuffed Slann in two or three combat rounds and there is very little you can do about it except avoid the Herald entirely.

    The Masque of Slaanesh is a Herald that can’t join units. The Masque has a 3+ Ward save instead of the usual 5+ so the fact that it is isolated does not mean it’s easy to shoot down. Each close combat phase the Masque can temporary dock an enemy unit with a -1 penalty to Leadership, Strength, or Initiative. In close combat, the Masque herself is a regular Herald with extra WS, I, and one more attack. Nothing to sneeze at but not that scary.

    Daemonic Gifts

    Daemons have very little access to BRB magic items, except for magic standards. Every unit that can take a standard can take a 25 point standard at least. A few can take 50 point magic standards. BSBs can choose any magic standard but doing so precludes them from taking Daemonic Gifts (they can still take Loci though).

    Daemon characters can buy Gifts. Each Gift costs 25, 50, or 75 points depending on if it’s a Lesser, Greater, or Exalted Gift. Greater Daemons can take 100 points of Gifts, Princes 75, and Heralds 50.

    Each Gift lets them roll on a d6 chart to get a special ability. If the player doesn’t like what the roll was, they can swap it for a magic item (like taking the signature spell). All of the possible army book magical items for the Lesser or Greater Gifts are weapons (they can also take BRB magic weapons up to 25 or 50 points respectively). The magic weapons in the book for Lesser Gifts and Greater Gifts are restricted to specific daemonic alignments. The artifact options for Exalted Gifts are omni-alignment magic items.

    This dice rolling system is nice for Daemon players in that they have some customization options with all-comers list, but bad for daemon players in that they have trouble picking EXACTLY what they want since these abilities are dependent on a d6 roll.

    Lesser Gifts:
    -Gain a trait boost after killing an enemy character
    -CC attacks have multiple wounds 2
    -d3 impact hits
    -2+ Ward save versus first hit
    -S2 Breath Weapon that ignores armor saves
    -Always Strike Force
    -Khorne weapon gives +1 Strength and Killing Blow
    -Tzeentch Weapon boosts the Strength and Attack scores incrementally the more spells the bearer casts or dispels
    -Nurgle weapon counts as a Flail, characters and monsters hit have to pass a Toughness test or suffer an additional wound
    -Slaanesh weapon, characters and monsters have to pass an Initiative test or suffer an additional wound.

    Greater Gifts:
    -Willingly take d3 auto-wounds any magic round to add d3+1 power dice during the magic phase
    -Extra wound
    -Ignore armor saves
    -unsaved wounds inflicted heal the daemon
    -2+ armor save
    -+2 attacks
    -Khorne weapon gives +3 Attacks when in base contact with at least three enemy models
    -Tzeentch Weapon, characters and monsters hit have to pass a Toughness test or suffer d6 additional wounds with no saves. If the model is killed this way the staff explodes hitting all units (friend and foe) within a short radius with S5 hits.
    -Nurgle weapon inflicts Poisoned Attacks that inflict d3 wounds
    -Slaanesh weapon works as a ranged weapon with a 12 inch range and 2d6 multiple shots at the strength of the user.

    Exalted Gifts
    -Get a free dispel die on every dispel attempt (like a Slann with power dice in our seventh edition book)
    -Daemon has a chance to heal when a spell is cast (either side), sometimes wounded when wizards miscast.
    -Unsaved wounds inflicted in close combat give the daemon player free Chaos Furies.
    -+2 Toughness
    -+3 Strength
    -Roll on this chart again, and roll on the lesser chart too for free.
    -The Portal Glyph lets the Daemon player set aside one unit in his army as a reserve to deploy later from a scattering point from the Glyphs bearer as loosely aimed reinforcements. Cool but probably not worth 75 points.
    -Rock of Inevitability lets the player put down a Cursed Bulwark. There is small chance the player can place two Bulwarks or a Bulkwark and a watchtower.
    -The Eternal Blade boosts the bearer’s WS, Strength, and Initiative by d3 for every close combat phase.
    -The Daemon player can re-roll Winds of Magic rolls. Each turn they do this, they give the opponent the right to re-roll their next Winds rolls (remember Daemons have more at stake for Winds of Magic than everyone else does).
  2. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Part Two: Lizardmen Versus Daemons of Chaos

    Core Units

    Saurus Warriors: Saurus warriors should dominate Slaanesh and Tzeentch Core and hold their own against the other two. Spears aren’t a bad idea if you are facing Khorne or Slaanesh themed armies because you are relatively unlikely to get the charge on them. If they are not flanked they should be able to dominate Tzeentch and Slaanesh non-Core in CC and hold their own against the other two (except perhaps for Bloodcrushers). You should generally try to keep your Sauri away from Lord level characters except Great Unclean Ones where you need every attack you get.

    Skink Cohorts: Pure Skinks should be limited to roll of small redirectors or large tarpits to tie up greater daemons and Soul Grinders. Skroxigor should work fairly well at taking down larger daemons of all kinds (except larger Nurgle monsters where the -1 to hit will stymy your Kroxigor). They shouldn’t embarrass themselves against Daemon Core Infantry, but most of the Daemon Core only needs S5 to wound them on 2s so Kroxigor are overkill. Also Daemonic Instability is the fastest way to kill non-elite Daemons and it’s difficult to win CR when you are feeding the enemy lots of sacrificial Skinks. Add to the mix the fact that Kroxigor are no longer inviolate when surrounded by Skinks and you should probably cut back your use of Skroxigor when fighting daemons.

    Skink Skirmishers: There are lots of units with low or nonexistent armor saves, so Skink shooting is a good anti-Daemon tool, especially against the comparatively slow moving Nurgle troops. The Ward Saves are an obstacle but that applies to EVERYONE, not just Skinks so don’t let that stop you from shooting things. If you find yourself facing Daemonic shooters, try to goad them into getting into shooting matches with your Skirmishers. Their shooters tend to be stronger than ours true, but our shooters are magnitudes cheaper. The real danger to our Skirmishers is fast things, predominant in Slaanesh and Khorne lists. Unless it’s a Bloodthirster or Deamon Prince with Chaos Armor, Skirmishers are one of our most effective ways to soften up greater daemons.

    Special Units

    Jungle Swarms: Swarms will work well against the fast moving Slaanesh and Khorne units as stalling units. Against a Nurgle units adding poison to big melees will pay big dividends. Swarms aren’t that necessary against Tzeentch units

    Chameleon Skinks: They hit more often and generally get to shoot a turn earlier than Skink Skirmishers so all the things about Skink shooting apply to them only more so. They also are very hard to shoot at if a Daemon player is foolish enough to get in a shooting match for you. Chameleon Skinks are expensive and all three Daemon book lores have decent direct damage and magic missiles. That’s their main Achilles heel. The second one is that they need to be very careful to avoid being charged by….well anything.

    Terradons: Basically you take a Skirmisher unit and give up some shooting power for the ability to easily get away from enemy mobile units. I don’t view this as a good trade-off. Unless you are fighting a Tzeentch list, I don’t think the Terradons close combat advantage over other Skirmishing units on our list will matter. If you know for a fact you are facing a Tzeentch seem list, go nuts. I don’t see Pink Horrors surviving long if Terradons flank them. If you can get the charge on Flamers or Screamers, I’d put my money on the Terradons if the points levels are roughly the same. Just like with Chameleon Skinks you have to watch out for direct damage. The Lore of Tzeentch has lots of it and all Daemonic lores have some ranged spells.

    Ripperdactyls: Rippers have a lot to do against daemon armies. First off they are great chariot killers. Flyers can deny a chariot the charge and Rippers hit hard enough to beat chariots down, assuming Frenzy doesn’t stop you from getting to the target you are seeking. They can also see use as troubleshooters to most of the Daemon special choices that are fielded alone or in small groups though. Point for point, Rippers are the equals of most Daemon Specials, not their superiors so you want to make sure you have magical support and/or strength in numbers.

    Temple Guard: They are tough enough to handle anything you’d normally throw Saurus Warriors at and they hit hard enough to take down the tougher daemon units like greater daemons and Nurgle’s whole brood. The one thing they can’t handle is being horribly outnumbered so don’t let your Slann bunker get flanked.

    Temple Guard are versatile enough against daemons to MAYBE consider taking Temple Guard without a Slann. I would definitely consider Slann-less Temple Guard if I were expecting a Nurgle army. Why? Well most Nurgle’s minions tend to be WS 3 and all have that annoying -1 penalty to hit. Against Nurgle troops, the Temple Guard’s WS 4 will actually matter letting them hit on 4s instead of 5s like the rest of their armies and their S5 hits will put consistent wounds on the high Toughness Nurgle creatures.

    Stegadons: Stegadons ought to do well against most Daemon armies. A good flank charge with impact hits will get you nice CR to make the Daemons take Instability casualties. They should be able to withstand a beating from Daemonic Core troops and most Special options. The real threat to them (besides magic) is Daemonic Rare. Skull Cannons and Soul Grinders will make short work of your Steggies if you let them. Plague Drones and Blood Crushers will probably beat Stegadons if they get the charge. I also would figure most greater daemons would walk away from a fight with a Stegadon relatively unscathed.

    The extra strength of an Ancient Stegadon is handy for fighting Nurgle units. Against the other three dark gods, Strength 5 is usually plenty, so I’d advise you to save points run with vanilla Stegadons against generic Daemon lists. Stampede is nice, but the sharpened horns are iffy because they will tempt you to ram Steggies into greater daemons, that’s a bad idea. Hitting the other multi-wound models like most of the Daemon Special choices with sharpened horns is a good idea but most Daemon Special units are fast moving and hard to get the charge on consistently.

    Cold One Cavalry: If I was fighting a Tzeentch list, I’d take these guys for sure. Tzeentch units tend do poorly in close combat so I’d want to close the distance as soon as possible. The other daemon types, I would not want to use Saurus Cavalry by themselves and instead try to use them to make supporting charges for the infantry. By themselves I see a typical Nurgle unit weathering the charge and beating the Cold Ones by attrition. I see a Slaanesh unit flanking the Cold Ones. I see a Khorne unit doing either or both.

    Kroxigors: I’d field them in 2 x 2 squares and buddy them up with Saurus Warriors. Saurus Warriors fight the Whatever and then Kroxigors make a supporting charge against the Whatever. This will get you the best of both worlds of Saurus and Skroxigor. A larger unit should be good at putting the hurting on greater daemons and the stronger Rare choices but the hard part is catching your quarry. Kroxigor is wasted points if you send them at enemy Core.

    Bastilodons: Unless you are facing a lot of Nurgle troops, the Solar Engine’s passive boost is likely to do little so you are generally better off with the Ark of Sotek if you aren’t planning on making heavy use of the Beam of Chotec spell. They can shrug off most attacks from everything except greater daemons and the woefully under costed Skull Cannons of Khorne.

    Rare Units

    Ancient Stegadons: Stegadons are generally for smooshing enemy infantry not their heavy hitters. If you aren’t planning on taking the Engine of the Gods, regular Stegadons are probably a more valuable use of your points. If you are taking the Engine, the Ancient Stegadons role goes much better. The Burning Alignment doesn’t do extra damage against daemons anymore but you can still potentially burn a lot of daemons with this, given that most daemons don’t have spectacular toughness scores and many are deployed in small sized units.

    Salamanders: Ward Saves notwithstanding, all four of the Daemonic Core troops will highly dislike Salamander fire. So burn things while the rest of your units are waiting to get into close combat and then flank things with the Salamander. Beware Slaanesh armies. They are very fast. They will not give you many opportunities to burninate them and they have many mobile units to catch your Sallies. Flesh Hounds and Blood Crushers are similarly dangerous. Even Furies can ruin a Salamander’s day.

    Razordons: Razordons are useful as a stand and shoot defense against mobile units like Fleshounds and pretty much every Slaanesh daemon. A stand shoot followed up by S5 CC attacks to discourage mobile units from attacking your Salamanders. With the improved range in the new book, they aren’t worthless. They can dance at long range and throw spikes at infantry blocks while staying out of easy charge range but you won’t be wracking up as many wounds as you’d like with the Ward Save.

    Troglodon: Our least valuable dinosaur will not be able to handle a fight with the daemon heavy hitters but they should do okay double teaming a unit of daemon Core with a block of Saurus or Skroxigor. If your Slann is packing a lot of direct damage spells, Troglodons wouldn’t be a terrible choice. Their acid spit would be a nice weapon for the slower monsters like Beasts of Nurgle.


    Scar Veterans and Oldbloods: I’d use your Saurus characters to build up CR for your Saurus blocks against regular troops. They should be able to handle most Heralds in a challenge but if you send Saurus characters won’t last long against most greater daemons. If you do want your Saurus characters to take on greater Daemons I’d advise you equip a great weapon or the most strength boosting weapon you can afford. Also, favor ward saves over armor saves since greater daemons hit at S6 or better. If your Saurus character is not packing his own Ward Save, then the Other Trickster’s Shard is a great item to take against Daemons given that everyone has a Ward save.

    A Carnosaur changes the equation. An Oldblood on a Carnosaur should be able to be able to beat greater daemons in close combat more than half the time. A Scarnosaurs should be a rough match for greater daemons. The problem is catching them. Except for Unclean Ones, greater daemons all have Move 10. If the Carnosaur gets killed (or just softened up) by a Soulcrusher or Skull Cannon before reaching its target (a Dragon Helm or Dragon Bane Gem will at least keep the Saurus character alive), the odds swing back in the greater daemon’s favor. You could also find your Carnosaur stuck in a tar pit of enemy Core.

    Skink Chiefs: If I knew for a fact I was facing an all Tzeentch army I’d take some Skink Chiefs just for the novelty of it. I think a unit of Terradons with a Skink Chief could have a lot of fun against the forces of Tzeentch. Against any other daemonic alignment, I’d say Skink Chiefs aren’t strong enough to matter save maybe a Ripper Flyboy with the Egg of Quango.

    Skink Priest: There are a lot of things on the Daemonic list that fly, so a dash of Heavens will not go amiss. A dash of Beasts is never amiss either but there is nothing particular anti-daemon about it. Other than that the standard Skink roles apply (caddy, dying for the greater good, back up caster, etc).

    Slann: Being Ethereal means nothing against the Daemons. I’d be very reluctant to go lone Slann against a Khorne or Slaanesh army (they’d isolate and catch the Slann) or a Tzeentch army (they’d blast him with spells and magical ranged attacks). A Nurgle based army doesn’t have much that can directly threaten a lone Slann, but Temple Guard are such a good anti-Nurgle tool that I still wouldn’t take a loang Slann against them.

    High Magic: High magic is probably our best general option. There is nothing in the lore that immediately stands out as being unique for daemons except that Arcane Forging is probably a good spell to dump quickly since Daemons don’t have a lot of magic items.

    Lore of Light: The Daemons don’t have a magic item that specifically counters the Lore of Light anymore so you can Exorcise the crap out of Daemons with impunity. Speed of Light will help you counteract the superior WS of Slaanesh and Khorne Daemons and the penalty to hit from Nurgle. Banishment re-rolls Ward saves making it a very kick ass spell. You can’t go wrong with Light either as a primary lore or a High Slann dabbling in it.

    Jack of All Trades: Eight signature spells will give you a lot of nasty tools to paste daemon Core troops as well as Nurglings, Screamers, Seekers, and Fiends, Furies, and Chariots. A WD Slann lacks spells that seriously threaten Daemonic heavy hitters though. If you take a WD Slann you should build the rest of your army around your heavy hitters. Kroxigor, Temple Guard, and as many larger dinosaurs as you can fit in your points size.

    Lore of Shadows: If I were expecting a Khorne army, I’d go Shadow. Their MR won’t mean anything against a hex or a bunch of Sauri with Okkam’s Mind Razor. Shadow should do pretty well against well against Nurgle’s minions too since it has spells to hex their WS to negate the penalty on you and hexes to soften up their mighty Toughness scores (or Mind Razor to do so indirectly). Nurgle troops has low Initiative scores to boot. Slaanesh troops aren’t that phased by Shadow.

    Lore of Life: If I was facing a mixed Daemon army and decided not to use Light or High Magic, I’d go to Life. It’s limiting to only be able to buff one unit at a time, but if you are facing a mixed army, chances are you only need the buffs against the heavy hitters (probably Khorne or a greater Daemon). The rest of your troops can probably survive going buffless and you can zap the softer daemon units with Life based direct damage.

    Lore of Metal: About half the daemons have no armor saves at all. Very few have good armor saves. Fine. Well only two of the seven spells directly use armor saves, the others aren’t limited in any way against Daemons. The Daemons that do have good armor saves are exactly the sorts of units you want to hit with Lore of Metal direct damage. High points costing nasty single models with high toughness scores. Metal isn’t the best anti-Daemon lore in the world, but don’t write it off as worthless. Of the few daemon units that are vulnerable to Metal’s lore attribute, one of them is the Skull Cannon of Khorne.

    Lore of Fire: Hardly anything Regenerates. If you are facing an all Nurgle army, you don’t set back a unit much making them ditch their Regeneration in favor or their only slightly less powerful Ward save. I would steer clear of Fire unless I were facing a primary Slaanesh army (in which case I’d burn the crap out of all the glassy chariots and Seekers).

    Lore of Death: If you can assassinate enemy greater daemons you just got a lot of points. Good luck though. They move very fast as a rule and have great stats so you will probably only get one round to snipe them before they are on you. What you should do instead is target the Heralds. Heralds have far weaker stats and removing Heralds removes potent buffs from the units they are joined. Also, a conservative Daemon player will often put most of their wizard levels in Heralds in lieu of greater daemons (so said daemons can focus on close combat.) so zapping Heralds will usually cripple your opponent’s magic phase.

    Lore of Heavens: If you want to take down greater daemons with magic, go with Heavens. Half of them fly so the lore attribute applies. Also the two lightning spells hit at Strength 6 which is good for zapping Toughness 6 targets. Most Daemons are pretty fast moving so Comet is risky. There is no reason why the rest of the spells would better or worse against Daemons.

    Lore of Beasts: If you take this Lore you are saying “I want my Saurus characters to take on greater daemons and win.” If you succeed at this strategy poems and songs will be sung about your greatness in temple cities all through Lustria. If you lose rude limericks about the uppity Saurus will be sung around the warpflame campfires all throughout the Chaos Realm. Do you feel lucky? I rarely do.

    Special Characters: The Toughness scores of most rank and file daemons aren’t that great so Kroak’s signature spell will do some damage. Daemons have cannons now, but they haven’t become a staple on their lists as far as I can tell so Mazdamundi should do okay most of the time (with Lore Master of Light of course). Kroq-Gar should have plenty of big targets to chew on and Tet is good against pretty much anyone. Even the fighty characters on foot should do okay. With the right buff spells they can theoretically take on greater daemons and win.

    Broad Strategy?

    Tailored Strategy for Khorne Armies

    You’ll probably want a mix of Saurus and Skroxigor for your Core. You probably want to go low on shooting. The armor saves will make shooting less effective than against other daemonic armies and Khorne units move pretty fast so they should be able to either run down your skirmishers or close the distance and start close combat quickly. Your magic should either be centered around buffs and hexes or you should go without a Slann. It doesn’t matter what units you use so much as how you use them. Khorne troops outclass ours, but they tend to cost a bit more. Make sure you pick your battles in order to “locally” outnumber the daemons and take the enemy units out one at a time.

    Tailored Strategy for Tzeentch Armies

    Any of our basic Core troops will get the job done. Elsewhere, want to take as many high movement troops as you can. Tzeentch troops can do a lot neat things, but fighting in close combat is generally not one of them. Close the gap between your troops and the enemies will be denied their shooting attacks and direct damage spells. Buffs are generally unnecessary, focus your magic on direct damage to take out whatever units are avoiding your charging units.

    Tailored Strategy for Nurgle Armies

    Double up on shooty troops. Nurgle troops are tough but slow moving, so they are positively screaming out to be shot at (Salamanders aren’t terrible either). Then use your superior (or equal) mobility to pick your battles and locally outnumber units. The -1 penalty to hit should be on your mind at all times. High WS troops are a good idea (what few options we have) as are magic lores that mitigate the to-hit penalty by either buffing your troops or hexing the opposition. A Bastilodon with the Solar Engine can help as Nurgle daemons are the only daemons with Initiative scores in the general vicinity of Sauri.

    Tailored Strategy for Slaanesh Armies

    Double up on high toughness troops like Sauri and Stegadons. Sauri can weather through a lot of Slaanesh attacks that would obliterate Skink units and your Skinks won’t get many opportunities to shoot your opponents so you should go light on them. Prioritize your dispel dice to keep the armor ignoring spells at bay. Slaanesh troops are fast. The key against them is to deploy your forces tight. Don’t give them any outlying targets or exposed flanks to take advantage of.

    Fighting a mixed Daemon army

    The Daemon army is diverse so your list should be diverse too. Take Saurus and Kroxigor. Take a few shooters. Take some big dinos. Take a Light or High Magic Slann with a few Skink Priests backing him up (something will be flying). I gave you a good overview over what counters what. The hard part is matching your units to the right enemy units. Consider taking some dummy units for your few drops so you can matchup your units with the enemies they best can counter.
  3. Rhodium

    Rhodium New Member

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    Great lovely review Scalenex,

    Very thorough and beautifully written and thought out.

    Everyone should read this in depth before facing daemons

    The only thing I think you should clarify:

    "50% chance: Something bad happens to Daemons of a particularly alignment (Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, or Tzeentch). This applies to friendly and enemy units (so a daemon versus daemon fight would have lots of nasty stuff happening to them). One of the options uses a scattering template rather than auto hits, so there is a small chance of LM units getting hit with S4 flaming hits along when the Tzeentch demons do."

    This suggests the effect only effects certain daemon of each side

    There is a second way of reading the rule, that it effects daemons of a certain god AND all units of the enemy regardless of what race they are from.

    This second understanding is how it has been ruled in the UK at tournaments most notably SCGT
    Not sure how ETC have commented on it nor do I know about it in the USA.
    But it is worth checking pre tournament or if it is just a one off game, with your opponent pre game to see how they intend to rule this rule
  4. Caprasauridae

    Caprasauridae Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for yet another great Tactica, Scalenex! A very nice read, indeed.

    The advantage of having that random table of magic items is that they can roll it at the start of battle. This means they can prioritize some magic items vs. some armies (Obsidian Blade vs. Bretonnias, ASF Sword against HE etc.). I think especially tournament players will love this opportunity. Also, the whip that gives 2D6 shooting attacks with the wielder's Strength can be devastating in the hands of Greater Demons (S6 or more), especially taking into account how fast they are.

    I, too, have seen a lot of talk about the ruling of the Reign of Chaos table (the Wind of Magic gimmicks). Personally, I think the ruling says that in addition to any daemons mentioned, it affects ALL enemy units. In 40k, there is an equivalent table, where the ruling is apparently much more clear, and says it affects all enemy units (I know that you cannot compare these two game systems like that, but it might indicate what the author meant). In my opinion, it is a weird rule and causes a lot more dice throwing, even if the effects are nil. With bad luck, it can be devastating, especially if you play with multiple small units, like Skink Skirmishers and Chameleons.

    One thing that I think you are underestimating, is the role of Skull Cannons. They are as powerful as any cannon, can Move and Shoot, are hard to take down with conventional War Machine hunters and are ridiculously cheap, costing about the half of an Ancient Stegadon. Them being one of the ugliest models GW has ever made doesn't stop the talks of about every Daemon player wielding two of them. This also makes using Carnosaurus against Khorne themed army (or any army, as I think most mono-armies will still wield these) a short-lived dream.

    All in all, I think it's hard to say for now, whether the army has gone down in strength or not. Butt-ugly new models aside, they have some really interesting gimmicks ready for any who dares to oppose the Gods of Chaos. Are the servants of the Old Ones up for the task?
  5. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I have revised this for the new book and have taken Skull Cannons a bit more seriously. I think the First Children of the Old Ones are indeed up to the task.

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