Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chumby's Definitive Daemon Discourse: Troops

2 down, 3 to go.  Today we're talking about Troops.  Daemon Troops.

Troops are obviously essential in 5th ed, but not always important to a good army.  You need them to hold objectives and not die.  That's about it.  The sad truth is, Troops tend to be underpowered compared to units in other slots and, as a result, you'll often end up trying to figure out how to minimize the cost of your necessary scoring burdens while maximizing their survivability.  There are exceptions, of course, Troops that are durable and/or very killy.  Just remember that in 2 out of 3 missions your Troops need to live, anything else they do is gravy.  Even in Annihilation their main job is staying alive. 

Daemons have 5 Troops picks, and of course they range from totally awesome to totally awful.  Seems to be a theme in the Codex.

Remember that exception?  These guys are it.  With an awesome statline, power weapons and furious charge they will pretty much murder anything they touch.  On the flip side, they are only T4 with a 5++ and move like infantry.  Damn, so much for that.  While Bloodletters are extremely potent in assault, as scoring Troops go they really aren't that good.  Bloodletters will have a hard time getting into combat on anything but the enemy's terms and, as a result, furious charge may rarely come into play.  Additionally, they are very fragile, which is compounded by a lack of grenades and are not all that good for holding objectives like they're supposed to.  That said, they are relatively cheap and even a decimated squad can send most units packing.  They would make for a good second wave attack, finishing off units that your faster units (Fiends) have tied down or weakened.  Good for clearing enemies off of objectives, not so much for holding them or getting there on their own.

Tzeentch's foot soldiers can put the hurt on infantry with a surprising volume of firepower, but they are simply too frail, expensive, and specialized to make for good Troops.  Horrors kill infantry and kill it well, but not much else.  Bolters, AP4 or no, really don't threaten much beyond basic infantry.  If you hadn't noticed, Daemons don't exactly lack anti-infantry power, so Horrors fill a role that is already hotly contested by much more cost effective and versatile units.  They can get 1 Bolt in there, but at BS3 it is none too reliable.  The 4++ is attractive, but T3 hurts a lot.  Anti-infantry, high RoF weaponry will shred Horrors.  The knucklehead shooting lascannons at them needs to go soak his head.  They also cost a lot, more than any other Troops choice.  These factors all combine to make Horrors really unnecessary.  Unless you want a mono-Tzeentch list or want to drop a bunch of cheap Bolts and have maxed on Flamers, Tzeralds and DPs, I'd leave the Horrors for Fantasy.

The Changeling
This is a unit upgrade for your Horrors, but I like him enough that he gets his own entry.  He's a cheap upgrade and I'd say it's a no brainer if you ever field Horrors and have 5 points to spare.  His effect may not be reliable with Ld so high across the board, but it can be enough to make your opponent think twice about his target selection and when it does work, it's hilarious.  If you must field Horrors, field a unit with him and use them to grab an objective on the open or as obvious bait for your opponent.  That brief hesitation can be well worth the points.

I6, grenades, fleet and lots of rending is very good.  I did a double take when I first read their entry.  3 attacks apiece?  Wow!  Unfortunately, they are severely crippled by their less than stellar S and T 3.  While Daemonettes have the potential to be a decent offensive unit, perfect for flushing enemies out of cover, they are just too weak and too soft to make the most of it.  This is the last unit you want holding an objective.  Lots of potential, but their low S and T doom them to fail town, population suck.

Oh look, another Nurgle unit that's tough as nails but slow and totally inept in combat.  Awesome!  What makes the GUO and Beasts so bad is what makes Plaguebearers awesome.  They will never win combat or move very far from their initial drop zone, but their low cost, base T5 and FNP makes them ideal for camping on objectives and not dying.  These are my preferred Troops, simply because I can spend 300 points on 20 of them, and not have to worry about them ever again.  That's more points for Fiends, GDs, Heralds, and all the other good stuff.  5 PBs can last forever against basic weaponry, to the point where any fire headed their way ends up ineffectual and leaves my killy units unharmed.  The perfect supporting Troops, right here.

Cheap Eternal Warrior Swarms with a good number of attacks, Nurglings make the perfect tarpit.  The only reason I don't field these exclusively is because they don't score.  Nurglings aren't burdened by S&P or worrying about holding objectives, so feel free to expend them in whatever amusing ways you can think of.  These are the Grots of the Codex, underappreciated and totally expendable with a lot of uses.  They also get surprisingly killy with Epidemius's tally up, if you can stomach the rest of the army being terrible :P

So that's the Troops selections.  If y'all play your cards right I might just knock out Fast Attack too.  I accept cash, money orders, paypal donations, and gold nuggets.


The_King_Elessar said...

Do you takes joowells? Me has a bucket of joowells...

Lord Rao said...

You say the Horrors' 4++ is good, but it's actually not that great. One word: COVER. Nothing with a 4+ (or 4++) Save has much merit in the cover spam that is 5th.

Sure, you can leave your Horros in the open and pretend they're in cover, but that will rarely happen if you're objective camping, as most objectives are in cover.

It's the flip-side of the argument of why the AP3 guns of 1K Sons suck: everything has cover.

Chumbalaya said...

It's hard thinking of positives for Horrors, but you are correct on all counts.