Monday, September 17, 2012


Hey Chumbalaya,

I got some Deamons in a trade and want your advice on direction for 6th. I have done some research and see that being are fielding Flying Deamons a lot with Flamers and Screamers. How are my favorite unit, the Bloodcrushers in this edition? Fate-Crusher was a strong build in 5th, but has it survived the edition change? 

What about the more obscure units like Seekers and Demonettes?

Bloodletters having power weapons> did they get better, worse, the same?

Nobody can deny the awesome-ness that is Breath of Chaos and Flamers when you split your waves do you tend to divide evenly or something else? Like having two units of 6 flamers, and 6 Screamers so you have support no matter what wave you get.

Thank you,

Well, Jim, I'm glad you asked.  First off, thanks for the e-mail.  Any reason to put off writing battle reports is a good one.  Then it'll be liked I never actually lost a game and we can continue in the wonderful dreamworld full of magic and happiness.

Daemons got a big boost in 6th.  Reserves come in more reliably (3+ on Turn 2 as opposed to 4+), Deep Strike is safer (you only asplode on a 1 instead of 1-2 on a Mishap) and vehicles are a lot easier to drag down with assault and glancing hits, both of which Daemons can do very well.  Add in Allies, Flying Monstrous Creatures and new rules for Flamers, Screamers and chariots and life gets much easier.

However, Daemons do still suffer from the same critical design flaws that ultimately leave them heavily reliant on a handful of dice rolls.  Your primary wave is still not guaranteed, your army is still stuck deep striking every game and you still do almost all of your damage in combat.  With cover saves generally worse, Daemons are relying upon their relatively poor invulnerable saves and/or low toughness.  6th edition is very friendly to medium strength, high rate of fire weaponry and large, durable scoring units.  Daemons have neither of these and medium S, high RoF weaponry excels at tearing them apart.

More good than bad came from 6th, I believe, as evidenced by Nick pulling 2nd place at Nova with Daemons.  I wouldn't recommend Daemons to somebody looking to compete, but a good player can really make any army work just by knowing the game, knowing their army and knowing how to win (missions).  I'd consider them more of a "fun" army, better suited to casual play and forging narratives, but that doesn't mean one can't be successful with them.

This is turning into an update for my Daemon Discourse, so let's get back to the task at hand.

Jimbo, I'd say that Khorne units end up the worst in 6th.  Getting slapped with AP3 power weapons and no option to swap for axes or mauls really hurts here.  Combine that with fragile Bloodletters, no fleet or enhanced movement and no grenades and I wouldn't field Bloodletters unless you just love the models.  Bloodcrushers have similar problems, but they are obviously more durable with multiple wounds and 3+ armor.  Their main problem is that they compete with Fiends and Flamers.  Flesh Hounds are still fairly decent with changes to beasts and unit-wide 2++ against psychic attacks, but they are overshadowed by Screamers.

Slaanesh still has Fiends as his/her go-to unit.  Cheap, fast and lethally efficient, Fiends are still one of your best Elite choices.  Daemonettes and Seekers enjoy fleet, grenades and rending with a high initiative but they drop like flies with T3 and 5++.  The new Heavy Support chariots are quite good for the price, the 40 point basic chariot are fragile, but they mulch infantry, particularly those guard blobs everybody is so fond of.

Nurgle is about the same, providing Plaguebearers as your only decent scoring unit.  T5 and FNP is pretty tough, but focused fire will still drop them.  Beasts suck, Nurglings are cute and life is pretty much the same for Papa Nurgle.

Tzeentch got a big buff with new Screamers and Flamers.  Screamers are the new Fiends: cheap, mobile and deadly in assault.  The best part is that they don't compete with anything good being all alone in that Fast Attack slot.  Flamers got cheaper and tougher too, plus Breath and flamer weapons in general are quite good now.  They offer serious competition for Fiends in your Elite slots.

Flying Monstrous Creatures are an interesting mechanic, but they are still expensive and nowhere near as durable as your typical Flyer.  Giving them Skyfire was a welcome change, but dropping out of the sky to get glomped on or hosed down with bullets is crippling.  If you field FMCs, make sure to keep them cheap and focused on a particular job.  A Tzeentch FMC with bolt is a fairly effective flyer hunter, and its 4++ definitely helps against bumping its head on ground.  With a glorious 3++, a Lord of Change makes for a solid FMC candidate, Fatey too.

As for wave splits, I'd still recommend front-loading your preferred wave with offensive units to put pressure on early.  Your second wave can have some threats, but I'd focus more on the second wave supporting the first with hiding units, icons and the like.

Ultimately, 6th is still relatively new and we haven't figured it out yet.  I'd take whatever you've got and just play a lot with it.  See what works and adjust as needed.  Knowing your army is more important that taking "approved" units.  And now I've got a lot to put into my Daemon Discourse, so everybody wins.

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