Defensive Demons Part 1

Evil Homer’s Defensive Demons


Some of you know we are running a little army building project at our local store. The premise was to randomly roll which army you had to build and play for basically the next 6-8 months beginning in December.

Brent rolled Demons and this little idea spawns from the project, my own experience with Demons and my Nurgle CSM army.


So typically everyone wants to play Demons in your face, assault, assault, assault. You look at the statline for demons, see how easy it is to kill shit with them and then figure how to go to town. The only problem you generally run into is mech, and if you can get the other guy out of his trusty pillbox you win.

So what happens in a heavy mech environment, or when you run up against fast skimmers? You can’t get all the other guys trucks, you can’t catch the fast guy and their mobility ends up dragging you round by nose with you trying to get him with all your assaulty goodness and him shooting the shit out of and laughing the whole time. Funny how that works out.

Enter a new strategy or method for running the demon list capitalizing on the things it does really well while controlling the table.

Whoah! Demons control the table? That’s right, were going to try.

A few more thoughts before we get started:

(1) This methodology is designed for objective games more than Annihilation type missions. It’s not bad at VP denial though so it should be OK for those types of games.

(2) This method of playing demons will probably be pretty boring to play.

(3) This is pure thoughthammer, I am currently testing and building my Imperial Guard for the aforementioned project so I don’t have the time to test it. I’ve offered to let Brent use my demons to get started before he buys a bunch more metals. Hopefully he takes me up on it.

(4) Much of the material here is elementary, more observations and common things people do actually written down, especially the Table Control section. The rest is common sense fitting the units of the Demon codex to the strategy of playing defensively.

So How Do Demons Control the Table?

Table control begins prior to deployment. In any given scenario based game there are a minimum of 2 and maximum of 5 objectives. The 2 scenario game can be insta-draw but I’ll address that in the scenarios section.

You get to place objectives so does your opponent but you alternate placement. This gives you the opportunity to being controlling the table by dictating where play will happen.

In most multiple objective placement games play centers around a rough triangle with 12” sides. Careful placement on your part will include placing objectives in terrain. Because objective placement alternates you get a chance to make sure the triangle happens.

That triangle is the key to making this work. Basically you drop onto the triangle and hold your ground. The triangle limits the scope of your play, lets you concentrate your forces, and forces the opponent to play at you rather than you at him.

Let’s talk about objectives for a minute. If there are five objectives on a table how many do you to control to win?

Answer: 1 more than your opponent. How that does matter?

When you look at objectives on the table you need to identify straight away which ones you are playing for. Sanctjud over at 40k online had an interesting tactica a year or two ago that addresses this. When looking at objectives you need to decide how many to control, how many to contest and how many to cede to your opponent. If you try to play for all 5 objective in a 5 objective game you will get strung out an be unable to concentrate forces so, all due credit to Sanctjud when put a matrix together, I don’t remember if this one is the same as his but this is how I make that decision:
















So in a 5 objective mission I pick 3 objectives I will control. I will cede 1 to my opponent straight away, and work to contest the other if I need to.

In a four objective mission I will pick 2 to control and look to contest 1 more. I will cede 1 to my opponent.

You get the idea. This idea of playing the game in a limited scope is the genesis of this defensive idea.

....edited for grammar, spelling, and clarity.


Herr Fernseher said...

This sounds a lot like my strategy for an 11-pod SM army. But then I dropped out. I don't think defense is boring.

Brent said...

I see exactly where he is coming from. Most people like the attack, the idea of crawling over someone's space and kicking them around. Defending that space isn't as attractive.

In many ways, it's much like chess. Great attacks sell books, brilliant defenses... not so much.

I have a good idea where Shannon is going with this series of articles and I think it's pretty exciting. It's a valid approach I've not seen discussed elsewhere.


Big Jim said...

Sounds like this will be an interesting read, I look forward to the updates.

Screw thinking outside of the box, I'm all for throwing the box away!


Herr Fernseher said...

What box?

Bruce said...

Good article Shannon I like the concept of the 12" triangle.

Brent said...

Good formatting - we'll get this thing learned one way or another.

Green Blow Fly said...

I have always been a proponent of placing objectives as close together as possible. It obviously makes it easier to control more. In fact I've discussed this indepth over on my blog, greenblowfly.blogspot.com. Daemons are great at taking objectives since you can drop on top of them or right beside them. This is one of the inherent advantages of daemons. If you are seriously considering building a daemon army it just be composed of resilient units and low in terms of units. It's better to field two to three large squads of troops rather than four to five small squads. Plaguebearers can be an exception but then again even five of them are easy to eliminate in close combat with units such as terminators. So if you do it right your army can quickly reach objectives, has plenty of units that are hard as nails plus you give out a low number of killpoints.


Herr Fernseher said...

With 3 or 5 objectives, is there a point trying to contest? Is that like insurance in case your "controls" don't pan out?

Green Blow Fly said...

Yes it's like an insurance policy.

I don't see how the article actually explains how to control objectives with daemons specifically. It's all very general.


Brent said...

GBF - You gotta wait for Part II!

In general, this is just foundational stuff, but I do think illustrating how veteran players approach capturing objectives is exceedingly useful.

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