Friday, July 27, 2012

Daemons and You!

Now I could go on, and on, ad nauseam on the changes to the Daemons of Chaos/Chaos Daemons update, and how it will change this, or tweak that, but we both have better things to do on the Internet, so I'll keep this as succinct and readable as I can.

This 16-page booklet came free in the August issue of White Dwarf. With the introduction of new plastics for old Daemon favorites, the design studio felt it appropriate to update the Chaos Daemons codex for Warhammer 40,000, and the Daemons of Chaos army book for Warhammer. This booklet does not touch on every unit in the army/armies, but it only gives us a few units that were in the direst need of change. It also introduced new Slaanesh units, much to my excitement, as that damnable prince of pleasure is my favorite of the Chaos Gods.

New plastic Plaguebearers

Let's begin with the Warhammer portion of the Daemon changes. The most noticeable change for Daemons of Chaos is the introduction of the Soul Grinder. Though many of you may scratch your heads at the idea of a mechanical construct coming down from the Realm of Chaos into the Empire, need I point out the 4th edition Warhammer Chaos Army Book with the titan in the background?

There's always been a weird mix of the technological with the Warhammer World, so let's get over it. The Soul Grinder is about the cost of a Slaaneshi Giant, but is way more reliable. Though I wonder why I would pay 55pts for a bolt thrower upgrade for the damned thing (pun intended), it does get access to a stone thrower, a fire thrower, and what amounts to a power fist (S10) that does d6 wounds. I don't know if I'd take all three upgrades, as they're ~50pts each, but I can see taking a couple just to give it some versatility. Six Wounds and a Toughness of 7 means that it's going to be around for a bit, but the WS and BS of 3 isn't anything to write home about. Overall, I like it.


Flamers and Screamers of Tzeentch got a much-needed change. Flamers went up by 5pts and no longer destroy any unit they look at. They now count as shooting with Multiple Shots, which gives them a -1 to hit penalty. Their attacks are still flaming, but now they have a Warpflame ability which pretty much means there's a chance the unit targeted will suffer additional hits for being covered with daemonic fire. Their Strength got dropped to 4 (which makes sense). I hate to toss around the phrase "broken" the way so many gamers on the Internet do, but now they're not broken.

New plastic Flamers of Tzeentch

Screamers have an additional Wound, 2 additional Attacks, and an additional Strength and Toughness all for a measly 10pt upgrade. Their slashing attacks got better, wherein they now cause d3 S4 hits on a 4+ to one unengaged unit they move over (note that I didn't mention that the unit has to be in the open like in the old entry. Not even forests can protect you from creepy daemon fish). They also have this thing called Lamprey's Bite, which means they cause Multiple Wounds (d3) to Large Targets.

New plastic Screamers of Tzeentch

Now onto the good stuff: Slaanesh. He/She/It's got some good stuff in this update in the form of chariot-thingys. One is a Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh which is a T4/W4 chariot that does Impact Hits with Armor Piercing. If you're sick of the phrase "Glass Cannon," then I'm sorry to use it again, but this is it. It's only got a 6+ save, so don't expect this thing to take a hit. But it's 20pts cheaper than a Chaos Warrior chariot so I'm alright with that. I wouldn't say it's an amazing buy, but it's nice to see Slaanesh get a heavier hitter. It also comes in Exalted form, which doubles its Attacks and Wounds, and  gives it 2d6+1 Impact Hits with Armor Piercing! But for double the points, and a Rare space. For the last two points, I'm not sure if I'm necessarily down with the Exalted version, but I'm willing to see it in play and judge for myself. I think I'd take one, just for the sake of having more Slaaneshi stuff, but I'm not making any judgement calls either way. Ooh, but 2d6+1 Armor Piercing Impact Hits is tempting... Much like the allure of Slaanesh...

Plastic Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh

Now there's this thing called the Hellflayer of Slaanesh which looks like a Chaos version of farm equipment. It seems like a version of the regular chariot but, like the Exalted chariot, has an Exalted Alluress on it. It still has only W4, but it has an ability called Soulscent which gives the Exalted Alluress extra attacks based on the number of unsaved Wounds caused by its Impact Hits. For 130pts I think this one's a good buy. It still takes up a Rare space, which you might want for a Soul Grinder, but choice is a part of army construction.

Plastic Exalted Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh
(Can be built with two Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh boxes)

Warhammer 40,000
For 40k they pretty much just updated the same units. Flamers of Tzeentch are 12pts cheaper and are now limited to 9 models per squad (Tzeentch's number). They have an extra Wound, and an extra point of Initiative. It's important to note that all the Daemons in this update don't have Save values, but instead have the Daemon special rule (which states that they cause Fear and have a 5+ Invulnerable save).

Screamers have an extra Wound, and extra point of Initiative, and two extra Attacks for 9 more points. Again, their squad size is limited to nine models, and they get Lamprey's Bite just like their Warhammer cousins. In 40k, however, this attack does a S5, AP2, Melee attack with Armorbane. They lose Warp Jaws because of this attack. Now, just like their Warhammer cousins, they get a Slashing Attack which works similarly to the Warhammer version (d3 S4, AP-, hits (no rolling to hit) to one unit you fly over), with the exception that takes advantage of 40k's new wound allocation rules: "Use the final position of the Screamers for Wound allocation..." This means that if your opponents are hiding their choice targets at the back of their units for fear of them dying to incoming (usually 12 o' clock) fire, these puppies (er - fish) can take 'em out with a back strike. 

New plastic Nurglings

So far, I think these two units are still worth it. Flamers have always been pretty nasty, but now their Save is lower. I think Flamers are now a total no-brainer (if they weren't before), but from what I understand from people who understand the "meta-game" more than I, Chaos Daemons needed a bit of a boost.

The new Slaaneshi units take advantage of the new Chariot designation in the 40k, 6th edition, rulebook. I can't remember any specific details about Chariots (and to be perfectly honest, it's 2:38 and I'm kinda tired), but they're pretty much 11/11/10 vehicles for 40pts (for a Seeker Chariot), to 60pts (for a Hellflayer), to 90pts (for an Exalted Seeker Chariot).

Plastic Hellflayer of Slaanesh

I've noticed a couple interesting typos in regards to the Slaaneshi Chariots: For one, in the army list entry for the Hellflayer, the Alluress has I5 instead of I6 like in the Bestiary, or the other Chariot entries. Also, the Hellflayer entry doesn't have Fleshshredder like it does in the Bestiary or like the other Chariots have. 

Fleshshredder gives you a Hammer of Wrath attack (pretty much Impact Hits like in Warhammer) at S4, AP-, with Rending. It also gives you d6 of these Hammer of Wrath attacks for each Hull Point it has remaining (they all start with 2 except for the Exalted Chariot which has 4!). This makes the Exalted Chariot a total no-brainer, unlike it's more ambiguous Warhammer counterpart (it's not like the Chaos Daemon codex was brimming with other Heavy Support choices, either).

The Hellflayer is a Fast Attack choice that has the exact same rule from Warhammer: Soulscent. Except replace Impact Hits with Hammer of Wrath attacks. 

I imagine Games Workshop will release this as a PDF for free (or they may charge... They do have a digital library these days) a month or so after release like they've done with many White Dwarf army lists (Blood Angels 4-5, Sisters of Battle, etc.). Overall the toning-down of the Flamers in Warhammer, and the beefing up of all the Daemons in 40k were much needed. I hated Flamers in Warhammer, and I always felt that Daemons in 40k needed more punch. I don't know if these changes will fix the balance with 40k Daemons, but I'm looking forward to find out. At the very least it can't hurt. The changes in Warhammer were less dramatic, but now I really want a Soul Grinder (they finally stuck the damn thing on a base too! I'm gonna get the big oval base for my Chaos Marine Defiler), so I can use it for Warhammer and 40k.

I hope this was readable and informative. If not, then I apologize. I've gotten progressively more and more tired as this thing went on. I have a Warhammer game scheduled for 11:00 today, so I really should be up in ~5 hours to do some errands and get ready. Any more Daemonic questions, or to berate my naïveté, just leave 'em in the comments section and I'll respond in kind. I'm pretty good about allowing even the most critical comments (as you might be able to tell if you go back and see some previous comments). I just keep the filters on to weed out spam, and racist/sexist/homophobic stuff.



Carmin Carotenuto said...

Again, I apologize for the crazy crap that Blogger does sometimes with the background of some text. I don't know why it decided that only some text should have a different colored background than the rest, but then again I'm just some dumb human and not some almighty computer... Beep-borp!

Muskie said...

Should have gone with WordPress... They better release a PDF, some of us are far from a gaming store...

Carmin Carotenuto said...

Should have... But at the time Wordpress looked way too confusing, and now I can have everything integrated into my Google profile. I have my personal (read: non-gaming) blog on Wordpress, though.