First thoughts with the new Daemons

After spending last week reading both German copies and photos of the real thing, followed by actually getting my iPad copy Friday night and then playing the old codex on Saturday I got to give the codex a whirl today.  First thoughts:

  • Damn, that’s a lot of psykers.  I have to learn a new phase of the game.
  • What, no…  You can’t double me out I have Eternal wa….  Oh, crap, you’re right.
  • Oh yeah, I forgot to roll on the Warp Storm table, hang on a second.
  • I need more and multiple colors of tokens to mark war charges, warp flames and soul blaze.
  • There aren’t enough psychic cards in the deck for me to use that much divination.
  • I need cards for the Daemonic Rewards so that I can put them next to the models.
  • Discs are jet bikes?  Let’s see what I can do with screamers.
  • Wow, 30 minutes of set-up and rolling dice and we’re now just starting the game…
I got to play a 1500 point game against a local Dark Angel player, Hunter.  I’ve never played against him before and we were both doing a little learning.  Here is the list I played; since I had to make it by hand I hope my math held up.

Army List

Tzeentch Herald – ML2, Ex. Locus Conj., Gr. Reward – 110
Tzeentch Herald – ML2, Ex. Locus Conj., Less Reward – 100
Tzeentch Herald on Disc – ML1 – 70
Tzeentch Daemon Prince w/ wings – ML1, Gr. Reward – 250
20 Pink Horrors w/ Blasted Std and Instrument – 210
20 Pink Horrors w/ Blasted Std and Instrument – 210
3 Flamers of Tzeentch + Pyro Caster w/ Gr. Reward – 117
3 Flamers of Tzeentch + Pyro Caster w/ Gr. Reward – 117
3 Flamers of Tzeentch + Pyro Caster w/ Gr. Reward – 117
Fast Attack
9 Screamers – 225
Tzeentch Soul Grinder w/ torrent and plehgm – 190~1500 points

Battle Report

The game went to 6 rounds and was separated by a single VP.  We played Big Guns/Vanguard.  He brought a shooty DA foot list with 2 vindicators, 2 dreadnoughts with missiles and lascannons, a small melt bike squad and a command squad with the banner of devastation.

Objectives – three objectives equally space right down the middle of the no man’s land.  The left objective was adjacent to a Shrine of the Aquila, the center was in the Blasted Landscape (dangerous terrain) and the right was next to a impassable column.  Locations turned out to be key later in the game.

Deployment – he deployed gun line style with his command squad behind LOS blocking terrain, and his librarian joined to a Tac squad manning a quad gun.  Both that squad and another were behind a long wall of Aegis DL.  His dreadnoughts were placed in upper levels of ruins, so they were stationary for the game and the deployed vindicators on each flank.  His third tac squad deployed far left.

I deployed (what the heck is deploying BTW) a horror blob squad center left, daemon price far left (on foot), soul grinder center and screamers far right.  The screamers got a ML Herald in disc and the two foot squads each got ML2 Heralds on foot.

Turn 1
My opponent failed at seizing the initiative.  I walked forward with the blob squad and soul grinder, flew the DP up behind the Shrine of the Aquila and moved the screamer forward; after buffing the DP and the blob squad.  My first warpstorm roll resulted in the Khorne attack which did a little damage to my opponent.  I shot at the squad with the Libby, who denied the witch.  I could see the random daemons going downhill quick.  The screamers slashed at a tac squad taking about half the squad out.  The SG killed a few marines with phlegm.

Then I learned how nasty the banner of devastation was.  Holly crap that was a ton of shots.  My screamer squad was taken down to half strength only do to some lucky rolling.

Turns 2/3
I had a turn of +1 inv followed by a turn of -1 inv saves.  Squads of 4 flamers are still pretty nasty, but will not wipe a tac squad by themselves any longer, but the warpfire will take another 2 models on average one in three times (6+ FNP isn’t too bad, so plan to wipe a squad in 2 turns).  I flamed the DA command squad and killed the banner (and the rest of the squad).   A good turn of Pink Horrors shooting with the blasted standard is devastating to your opponent.

I took some pretty good damage on the Horror squad, down to ML2.  The Soul Grinder didn’t make it past turn 3.  The screamers made an assault and did their job.  I mishapped my other blob squad, which my opponent relegated to the back of my deployment zone.  I got to spend the entire game moving and running to claim an objective.

Turns 4/5
The DP vector struck a vindicator and proceeded to get shot to pieces failing all his saves.  Not worth his points.  But, I cleaned up the rest of his scoring units save one and a vindicator.  The other vindicator tried to claim the far right objective, but I was able to contest with a squad of flamers.  I took mass casualties running through dangerous terrain trying to claim the center objective, but made it.

Turn 6
The game ended on turn 6.  I was able to tie my opponent on objectives and won due to having won first blood.  What a game.  I felt like a newb playing this army.  I’m sure I screwed up plenty of things.

A few mistakes I made:

  • Phlegm is now ordinance, which means if the Soul Grinder fires it all other weapons are fired as snap shots.
  • Remember how many warp charges you have and what you want to do.

Playing for the draw

I joke with my wife, who does not play with plastic army men, that I always play for the draw with my Daemons.  The reality is that my goal playing 40K, even when I play in competitions, is to have fun and enjoy the game and my opponent first with the added bonus of a potential win.  In a previous post I mentioned that I chose to play Daemons due in part to their randomness and chaotic (pun intended) play style.  This play style can lead to either a major victory or a resounding defeat.  When things go just my way, it is possible to do some serious damage, but let’s face it, 40K is a game of dice and when a single die roll can effect the outcome of a game, things don’t tend to go my way all that often.

Case in point, my game last night against a local gamer and all around good competitor, let’s call him Joel.  Joel normally plays vanilla marines and is very adept at using them to defeat his opponents.  When he asked for a game yesterday, I assumed I’d be facing his marines (not that it mattered, because I don’t tailor my list).  To my surprise, he brought a (new to him) Tau army to the table.  He used the double force organization at 2000 points:

Force 1-

Commander – (Cyclonic Blaster, Misslepod, Targeting Array, HW-MultiTracker, HWDrone Contorller) – Warlord
2x Gun Drones

4x Stealth Team

6 Firewarriors
DevilFish – (Flechette launcher, Target Array, Multitracker, SMS)
12 Fire Warriors – (Shas’la, Drone Contoller, Markerlight drone, HW-Blacksunfilter)

HammerHead (Railgun, SMS, Multitracker, Target Lock)
3xBroadsides – (3x multitracker)

5 Pathfinders
DevilFish – (2 Seeker Missiles, Flechette launcher)
Force 2-

Commander – (Misslepod, Plasma, Targeting Array, HW-MultiTracker, HWDrone Controller)
2x Gun Drones

4x Stealth Team

6 Firewarriors
DevilFish (Flechette launcher)
12 Fire Warrior (Shas’la, HWDrone Controller, Marker Drone, HW-Blacksunfilter)

HammerHead – (Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multitracker, Target Lock

5 Pathfinders
DevilFish (2 Seeker Missiles, Flechette launcher)

I essentially brought my bog standard Tzeentch list, but I threw in a Seeker Cavalcade to try out the new rules since I have some older Chariots of Slaanesh.  My list at 2000 points:
2x Tzeentch Herald (Master of Sorc., Legion, Bolt) – Warlord

3x 4 Flamers (Pyrocaster)

20 Pink Horrors (Changeling, Bolt)
8 Pink Horrors (Icon, Bolt)
7 Pink Horrors (Bolt)

4 Screamers

Tzeentch Daemon Prince (Wings, Master of Sorc., Bolt, Breath, Gaze)
Seeker Cavalcade – 2 Exalted Chariots

We played The Scouring (Fast scores) on the long table.  Sparse terrain, mysterious objectives, mysterious forest, objectives were generally centrally located.  I won the toss and took second turn.  “Joel” deployed about half his force and moved and then I got my preferred wave (Fateweaver, Herald, 20 Horrors, 2 Flamer squads, Screamers).  Then is all went wrong…

My first unit to deepstrike is generally the PH blob squad + Herald.  However it scattered 11 inches, I couldn’t get the 3rd ring of models to stay over an inch away and rolled a 1 on the mishap table.  There went 450 points.  My opponent was a gentleman and let me try to deploy my blob squad for about 5 minutes to see if I could make it work, but to no avail.

He scores 2 VP (warlord and first blood). I have 3 (2 + fast) scoring units left to his 8 (6 + 2 fast).  Winning likely went off the table with the 450 points so now I’m playing for the tie!  I’ll skip the gorey details of the six turns of the game.  When the game is over I have 3 PH on an objective, but he’s contesting and I have Fateweaver locked in close combat with his other Commander too far away from his remaining scoring unit (a single firewarrior), and a lone spawn on the other side of the table.  I made some stupid mistakes at the end…

I forgot that Fateweaver had changed to gliding and didn’t assualt his last firewarrior.  This might have had an impact (or so I thought).  I forgot to shoot at his contesting tank (I later rolled to see what would have happened – no change).  So “Joel” won the game!

Or so I thought.  We had been keeping track of VP on dice, and just out of habit I re-tallied the results (running totals).

1 Warlord
2 First Blood
3 Screamers (fast unit)
4 Controlling 1VP objective

1 Fast Attack
2 Fast Attack
3 Fast Attack
4 Warlord

So, a tie after all.  The game ended on Turn 6.  Had it gone to turn 7 I would have tried to Boon the remaining Firewarrior and shoot his denial unit with a Bolt.  The mysterious forest would have killed another PH.  His suits would have killed the rest of my PH.  So, I would have had about a 20% chance of winning as killing his Firewarrior would have netted my another KP and reduced him by one.  Most likely it would have been a quick last round with no change to the outcome.