9.03.2010

Tom's Daemons, Part the Third

Finally!

I find myself apologizing a lot lately for failing to post daily; I think I'll avoid doing that again until I can actually start publishing regularly again!  I think I'm okay now, but frankly I've been a bit surprised about how fast time has been slipping through my fingers.

CliffNotes: Brent finally writes Part III of the Tom's Daemons saga.  Finally!

Okay, let's recap...
Tom dropped an idea he had in the comments section of one of my posts, and it was such an interesting idea I had to highlight it.

Basically, if a Heralds isn't in a Chariot it can join a unit with the same mark, so Tom was proposing dropping Heralds of Tzeentch on Disks in with a unit of Screamers.  All the Heralds can join the same unit and, due to We Are Legion, can shoot multiple targets.

Now, my contention was the idea was gimmick in and of itself but was close to something better.

Why do I think it's a gimmick?  Because if Competitive is Consistent...

...and it is, it's our new motto...

...then the idea alone isn't enough.

Consider the following...

  • The Screamers can move 24" but the Heralds can only move 12" - simply put, the unit can be chased down.
  • If the unit doesn't come in on the first wave, a large chunk of the army's anti-mech is sitting out a big portion of the game, up possibly up to a third or more.
  • The configuration doesn't allow Breath of Chaos.
  • Even though the unit is loaded with Bolts, it really doesn't add to the anti-mech of the army - it just puts it in one place.
  • The Screamers are only effective in close assault; in order to utilize this function, the Heralds will have to leave the unit.  Why?  Because they don't want to get that close to the enemy.  Therefore the Heralds will get individually targeted anyway or you've wasted points on what amounts to a screening unit.
So, how big would a Heralds on a Disk have to be?  After all, they're just Jump Infantry.
 
With all those things to consider, why did I like Tom's idea so much?  Because it was thinking outside the box and it was on the cusp of becoming a much better idea.

Here's what we have to do when applying critical thinking to an idea in Warhammer or Warhammer 40K: ask yourself, what's the core of the idea when all the applications are stripped away?

In this case, it's hiding a unit and artificially modifying the number of units in a wave.

This isn't two ideas: it's two ideas in one.  I think that's an important distinction but I won't beat it into the ground.  The point is, having Heralds that can disappear then reappear at will, which can't be targeted by the enemy, makes them deadly.  Further, you can modify your waves depending on the type of army you fight, and that gives you tactical options in your toolbelt! 

And those deployment options turn the Daemons' deployment from a bother to an advantage.  It's huge.

But the army needs to be built around the concept.  Tom posted his army, and it's fine for what it is, but it really doesn't take advantage of his idea.  This does:

Okay, it's a Mono Build, and it plays much differently from my typical Daemons army, but I think it works on a few levels.  Primarily, it's built around Tom's idea.

First and foremost, there are 15 units, so that's a 8/7 or 7/8 split... but you can hide the Heralds in most of the units in the army, making it a 6/6 split... or a 7/6 split, if you want.  Again, it gives you options.

Normally, I recommend fairly even splits, but for an army like this I think you'd actually want to experiment with different types of drops for play against different armies.

Next, the Heralds can hide in units... but they shouldn't stay!  They should jump around, joining and rejoining units, hiding here and hiding there, playing for advantage.  For example, you'll notice I changed up Tom's Herald, dropping We Are Legion and adding Breath.  Quite simply, Breath of Chaos is where this army is going to win.

Consider, the Herald jumps in to a unit of Flamers, then in the next round jumps out - either next to a unit of Horrors or by himself - he still has a 4+ save, after all - and drops Breath.  So do the Flamers.  So do the other two Heralds and the other two units of Flamers...

Again, it's to get you thinking.

The Daemon Princes are built to shore up the close assault weaknesses of this army.  They'll be absolute brutes!

So, that's what I saw when I saw Tom's idea. 

Comments?  Questions?  Disagreements?

5 comments:

CounterFett said...

I like this idea a lot better. I was thinking this whole time that they would fit better with flamers than screamers anyway, but I don't know that codex too well, so I sort of second guessed myself.

Either way, like you said, it's a pretty innovative idea. I have never seen anyone play it that way before.

Warmaster said...

First let me say what works for one person doesn't always work for someone else.

This is just my own personal experience. I could never get the non-chariot herald concept to work out.

Dropping with screamers wasn't good for a couple of reasons, Brett gave a good list of the reasons why. But one of the biggest is that screamers can't run. That means against a template heavy army you have to find someplace out of line of sight or take the lumps. The threat ranges were comparable but the herald would want to leave the unit as soon as they dropped.

Dropping him in flamers? I firmly believe that flamers should always be dropped in suicide fashion unless you have absolutely no targets. Putting a herald in the unit when you play like this is just asking to get him killed.

That takes us to our last choice. Horror's. Horror's are more survivable than people give them credit, however, a lot of the time your opponent has other things to worry about than horror's, putting the heralds with them makes them a a higher priority target. If your opponent has a lot of templates you will usually want to give up shooting to spread out, that's much tougher to stomach when you have a herald in the unit.

The chariot gives you durability, and a second target that your opponent needs to shoot at thus keeping your troops alive longer.

I will now counter Brent's mono-tzeentch list with my tzeentch list.

HQ
1 Herald of Tzeentch, we are legion, master of sorcery, bolt of tzeentch
1 Herald of Tzeentch, we are legion, master of sorcery, bolt of tzeentch
1 Herald of Tzeentch, we are legion, master of sorcery, bolt of tzeentch
1 The Blue Scribes

Elite
3 Flamers
3 Flamers
3 Flamers

Troops
5 Horror's, bolt of tzeentch
5 Horror's, bolt of tzeentch
5 Horror's, bolt of tzeentch
5 Horror's, bolt of tzeentch
5 Horror's, bolt of tzeentch

Fast Attack
5 Screamers
5 Screamers
5 Screamers

Heavy Support
1 Daemon Prince w/ mark of tzeetnch, bolt of tzeentch, daemonic gaze, soul devourer
1 Daemon Prince w/ mark of tzeetnch, bolt of tzeentch, daemonic gaze, soul devourer
1 Daemon Prince w/ mark of tzeetnch, bolt of tzeentch, daemonic gaze, soul devourer

Everything in the list is meant to sit at range except for screamers and flamers. The princes are there shooting away until the enemy get's close (which hopefully takes them longer to do with screamers and flamers in your opponents face).

The list has a somewhat less favorable match up against horde ork, and some horde nid lists.

Tom said...

Awesome post; this will really get my creative ideas flowing.

Firstly, the reason I went for screamers instead of flamers was two fold; they're cheap, and they can perform (pretty poor) anti-mech. I used to use them at 1500pts, and when playing armies with landraiders in, or players unfamiliar with daemons, I really hammer home pregame the melta bomb rule. Screamers can take the same punishment as flamers, yet are half the cost.

With regards to your build. I think it's missing something. Assuming we're not really going for a theme, I think the DP's can be built better - MoN, Flight, Flies, Hide, Touch is the same price, but is (imo) better in close combat. I'd also want to add breath, but obviously that'd involve dropping things.

3xFlamers are a greath suicide unit, but 3xFlamers with Bolt are a little confused. They don't lend themselves to danger close drops, due to the extra bolt which you'll want to get some use out of, and they don't have the wounds to last a shooting round. I use 4-5 w/ Bolt, so maybe two units of four would free up enough points to buy a couple of breaths for your dp.

Horrors. I am in a love/hate relationship with horrors. I love changeling, but horrors themselves are pretty poor. I'd drop a couple of units for PB's.

But by doing all this, the army is down three bolts, and is now lacking anti tank. So now I don't know what to think.

Brent said...

Great comments, gents!

I'm in full agreement with the Warmaster - one size most definitely doesn't fit all.

I'm glad he took the time to add a counterpoint; I'll probably repost these comments as tomorrow's article, since it makes for a good discussion.

A few points:

I prefer Heralds on Chariots. After thinking about this the last week though, I do think Disks are a viable way to play.

I also prefer Plaguebearers over Horrors, but in my opinion Horrors only work if you take enough to even out the bumps in the statistical shooting model. Removing Horrors to add Plaguebearers defeats the point. If I was going to do it, I'd only do it once, and I'd make the 'Bearers a bit beefier.

Tom, I don't dislike your army, by the way... I think you took the basic idea and applied it to Khorne as well. I like the idea of the Skulltaker on a Jugger hiding in a unit of Bloodletters.

I just used your idea to illustrate the way I think. I've really enjoyed doing so and appreciate you giving me the opportunity to do so! :)

Lastly, I decided to stick with the Mono theme for fun, but I do still prefer the Tzeentch DP over the Nurgle variety. I think 3+/4+ beats Toughness 6 3+/5+. If the Nurgle DP had Feel No Pain, that would be different!

I use shooting DP's myself, but I reasoned since CC was the weakness everything had to be about getting the DP into CC... meaning running in the shooting phase if the DP was short.

Still, I'm a big believer in different strokes for different folks - largely due to play styles and regionalism, so you'll never hear me say I'm right.

Right is wrong... or something!

You guys are always welcome to comment here!

The_King_Elessar said...

A neat conclusion to the series. I would still run Chariots myself, for blocking as much as anything, but nice to read regardless.

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