Sunday, 3 March 2013

A Lesson (for) Chaos! 6th Edition Chaos Daemons Battle Report

Today marked the last week of gaming in my local store's 'Crusade of Fire' campaign, and with the Chaos Daemons win ratio at 9:1 we were all keen to see the effect the new 6th Edition Chaos Daemon Codex would have on the final few games. Previously our local Daemon player had run the usual 'White Dwarf' rules Special Forces comprising of Flamers, The Masque, three Soul Grinders and Nurgle Daemons of 'Lesser' and 'Greater' variety, all in 1250pts! I was actually tied with him on points and the two teams quite even, due to having held on to most of the Hive Cities for a number of campaign turns as the Imperial Defenders.

This did not end well, and in fairness I should have seen it coming...

Last week he made quite the point of his dominance by using the 'Sewer Rats' Stratagem (see the photo above) combined with an additional Elites slot full of Flamers (due to campaign rules), to remove nearly half my army in his first turn during a 'Cities of Death' match in which he took control of the last Hive City on one of the planets. Definitely not a fun game, as I pretty much unpacked everything, then packed it all back up again with minimal chance for retaliation. Luckily Games Workshop have seen fit to correct some of the glaring unbalanced elements, and have just released a new Chaos Daemons Codex for 6th Edition. I won't bother to repeat or analyse the new rules too much, except to say a lot more finesse required, and a lot more random elements affect the game.

Chaos Daemons 6th Edition Codex Battle Report:

This week we rolled up 'The Scouring', an objective based mission which I have talked about previously, but basically the relative value of objectives is not known until forces are deployed. This turned out to mostly benefit the Daemon player, as the highest value objective ended up in hard cover in his deployment zone, and only one of the small value objectives ended up behind my AEGIS Defence Line.

Soul Grinders/Plaguebearers deploy 1st turn, everything else comes on via Deep Strike

I sighed once more with the loss of my Stormraven Gunship, this time to the new Soul Grinder 'Skyfire' Autocannons, and down went my Death Company with it. Even with the distraction of two Leman Russ Battle Tanks, the target choice was obvious with no other flyers or medium armour to divert his attention. Things were looking like repeating themselves until he made the choice of assaulting with his lesser Deamons of Slaneesh (Daemonettes) and Khorne (Bloodletters). Through Cover. With no Grenades.

First to go were the remaining Daemonettes, with The Masque losing combat and dying due to "Daemonic Instability"

Next was the drawn combat between Platoon Command and the Bloodletters!

Cue the tiny Daemon violins. My Guardsmen made short work of both squads who had to fight at Initiative 1 for the first round of combat. Combined with the firepower of my new Leman Russ Battle Tanks, the rest of the army crumbled and the game ended at turn 6 with only a single Lesser Daemon of Nurgle (Plaguebearer) holding the highest value objective. Having scored First Blood against a Soul Grinder (who had to start on the table, rather than Deep Strike in), and with the Outflanking Penal Troops taking an objective and the 'Linebreaker' Victory Point, I won the game 8-4.

So what were some key points from my first game against the new Codex Chaos Daemons?

  • The "Warp Storm" table can be deadly/chaotic for both sides. I lost hull points and guardsmen, while Skulltaker himself was banished back to the warp on the turn he came in!
  • "Skyfire" on the Soul Grinders levels the playing field a lot, even if they're 'only' S7
  • Daemonic Instability is a real problem for small units which may lose combat
  • Loss of "Eternal Warrior" makes Heralds/The Masque very fragile!
  • Toughness 4 on Plaguebearers is wholly made up for by having "Shrouded" in cover.
  • Larger squad sizes for Daemons is paramount.
  • Flexibility/mobility are the key with Daemons, you can't just drop them in and cross your fingers!
  • The new 'meta' toward large numbers of autocannons/equivalent weapons will hurt the Greater Daemons a lot. Previously it was a larger precentage of 'melta' in fewer numbers with the same chance to hit, now you can use the same weapons for glancing vehicles until 'Wrecked' as for killing Greater Daemons with their mostly reduced armour and invulnerable saves.
  • Knight Commander Pask is deadly against Monstrous Creatures (re-rolls wounds)!
I for one am looking forward to seeing some competitive builds using the new codex, especially given the new deployment options, flexibility in Heralds, Banners and Psychic Powers. Definitely the best "6th Edition Codex" to date. It will be very powerful in the right hands!

Update: You can see the Chaos Daemons smash face in their second outing here.

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