Monday, June 17, 2013

Daemon Codex - Fast Attack: Slaanesh, Unaligned

Last week I set a goal for myself to get back into painting - that goal was to finish at least a single miniature a week.  I realized this week that I did not set an end date for my painting goal - and when there is not an end date you can never achieve the goal, only take longer to fail at it.  As such, I am going to attempt the at least one miniature a week mark until the Da Boyz tournament.  For last week, success took the form of a Dark Vengeance CSM, pictured below.


The scenery the CSM unit is currently occupying is part of my next project - or the completion of an ongoing project.  I have had various pieces of Fantasy/40k terrain for over a year now but the process of painting them with a brush has been a bit ponderous and I have made limited progress.  I finally acquired an Airbrush - and terrain pieces seemed like the natural place to start.  The following represents my first attempt at airbrushing - more on the process of selecting an airbrush, lessons learned thus far and some general thoughts in a future post.

Before that a review of the last three units in the Daemons Fast Attack - Seekers, Hellflayers and Furies.

Seekers of Slaanesh

I liked Seekers in the previous codex - they are fast with a bucket of attacks and their cavalry bases mean they can spread out to threaten a huge portion of the board at once and rending lets them assault any target.  It also makes getting them cover savesa  bit easier.  For a reduced cost, Seekers gained +1 WS, lost an attack and Initiative and cost only 3 more points than a Daemonette.  They also gained Acute Senses and Outflank to go with their Deep Striking and provide more deployment options.  This makes fielding a large unit of them inexpensive - other than the financial hit to actually acquire the models and the time it takes to paint the models.

I would never run a unit smaller than 12 Seekers - they need the added attacks to make up for their low strength and expected casualties.  Anything more than 18 becomes difficult to maneuver and to get the models into base contact during an assault.  I have toyed with the idea of adding a Heartseeker, but I am not sure what it really brings to the unit.   A S3 model wielding an AP 2 weapon is not worth the 15 points.  The same goes for the Rapturous Standard - I would take it on a unit of Daemonettes  but the added cost on Seekers is too much.  Speaking of Daemonettes, taking a Slaanesh herald on a Seeker with a Locus of Beguilement can put an extra set of bodies on the field with the Seekers and let the Slaanesh herald hop into the Seeker unit for the charge.


The concept of two Daemonettes riding a combine into battle is interesting, but the Hellflayer suffers from the same problem as all chariots.  It is an assault unit that cannot get locked safely in assault.  As such it is going to take a lot of short range fire after it hits and probably get taken down after one charge.  It is a fast unit and has a place in a Slaanesh list using multiple Seeker Chariot Calvalcades - but in a typical list an AV 11 open topped vehicle is just asking to get fragged.  If I did take one though, I think an Etherblade for the herald is necessary.  It makes the bonus attacks from Soulscent - 1 for each unsaved wound caused by the chariot - strike down a lot more enemies and at a meager price cost.Thanks for the catch, I conflated the Seeker Chariots with the Hellflayer, which really ought to be able to take upgrades.


Sometimes models are more than 'not pretty'
Although Furies are not officially aligned with a single god, there is seldom a time when it is not worth dropping a mark on them.  As dirt cheap Jump Pack Infantry, furies are a great disruption unit to generate cover saves and put on early pressure.  They are not going to win many combats and their LD 2 means they evaporate quickly when they do, but against a gunline they can eat overwatch or tie up units for a turn or two until something with more muscle arrives.  They have the option to be marked by any god - although the Tzeentch mark is useless on them - so there are really 3 viable choices.  Nurgle provides additional Daemon Codex - Fast Attack: Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle, but does nothing to help them in assault from simply disappearing.  A Nurgle Herald with them would be interesting if the Nurgle herald could get a Plague Drone - I still do not understand why that is not an option.

The Khorne and Slaanesh marks both provide CC buffs.  I like the Slaanesh mark for the additional speed - 3" is a huge difference on Jump Infantry as it gets them 26"-33" up the board by Turn 2. Rending also makes them deadlier and a Slaanesh Herald on a Seeker can keep up with their movement, add a Locus and a boost to leadership for instability.  The same goes for a Khorne Herald in a Khorne marked unit - except a Khorne Herald on a Juggurnaut is a beast in CC and the Furies can act as ablative wounds to deliver it up the board.  The extra strength from furious charge and the Locus of Wrath lets an inexpensive unit of Furies deliver a surprising number of wounds.

On aggregate, all of the Fast Attack options available to Daemons are strong.  The major limiting factor is probably models - with nothing great available for Furies or Flesh Hounds.  I think over the life of the new codex, there will be a shift away from the Elites slot by most Daemon players into Fast Attack as their primary damage dealers with a single Elite unit coming along to provide buffs (Fiends), finishing power (crushers) or some very inexpensive shooting (Flamers).

Next up is a discussion of the Heavy choices and then on to the named characters.  I want to get into some of the synergies that I touched on during these posts next to show how the Daemon Codex can amplify unit strength through some synergistic buffs.


  1. You can't give the Alluress in the Hellflayer any upgrades - contrary to the Alluresses in the Seeker Chariots. Otherwise the Etherblade would have been a great idea.
    Sad but true :)

    1. Thank you, that is a good catch - and an oversight in my opinion on the unit to not allow it to take any upgrades.

    2. Perhaps they're not allowed to take upgrades to prevent exactly the scenario you described. Though you won't get that many additional wounds so it doesn't matter in my opinion.
      Perhaps someone should point this out to GW ;)

  2. Furies can still benefit from the Tzeentch upgrade for the slight invuln buff. True they'll evaporate in close combat with or without it but it might help the unit against shooting and end up with an extra body or two for the next-turn charge.

    1. They can benefit from the Tzeentch mark but it takes a lot to make it really work - and if you want to get really fancy the Grimoire and Forewarning on them can make them into more of a tarpit unit too. That is a significant investment though from the buffing resources available.

      An invisibility could accomplish the same thing as well in shooting with slightly less drag on the available buffs.

      Otherwise, the Tzeentch mark saves (1/6)*1/3 = 1 model per 18 wounds without a supplement. Given the cost of Furies, I think grabbing more bodies rather than marking them up provides a better guarantee of sticking around.