This week the world's eyes - well the Warhammer 40k world's eyes - was on Adepticon. It was great to see a few Daemons among the top finishers for the tournament. It was sad to see that none of the lists were particularly inspired. For the most part they took minimum troops, maximum flying monstrous creatures. Before discussing army lists, a quick observation.
The most interesting 'innovation' of the tournament for a Daemon player was the inclusion of 9x Fiends by Bill Kim. Kim is a veteran Daemon player, and it makes sense that he would bring them to both quash psychic powers with -1 ld within 12" of each Fiend and eliminate the Hit and Run shenanigans that so many armies seem to rely on. I started taking a similar load out for Fiends in December - I had experimented with 2 smaller units, but the truth is you need the whole grouping of 9 to be effective. I have also started running a Slaanesh herald on Seeker mount to get them into those backfield psykers through outflanking. Grabbing a lesser gift also enable the Witstealer sword - which pairs well with the Fiends initiative reduction.
I do not think most people have seen the Witstealer, but it is a S: User, AP 5, Rending weapon with Witsteal. If an enemy takes a wound from the sword, they must take an initiative test or take another wound with no armor/cover saves allowed. With -5 I from the Fiends, this can strip wounds off of Wraithknights or Tyranids with relative ease - and can knock out other multiwound models as well. Overall it offers some nice flexibility.
Now a competitive list that I plan to take to the Millennium tournament on April 12. The rules are no fortifications, no allies, 1500 points. I have decided to go with a variant of my 'normal' Daemons list for this event - primarily because I do not have time to paint anything else.
Herald of Khorne on Juggurnaut w/ Lesser Gift, Exalted Locus of Wrath (Warlord)
Herald of Slaanesh of Seeker w/ Lesser Gift, Exalted Locus of Beguilement
9x Fiends of Slaanesh
3x Beasts of Nurgle
10x Pink Horrors
16x Flesh Hounds
16x Flesh Hounds
Another assault oriented list - plus it has the chance to put a lot of pressure on opponents. I know I have virtually no way to deal with flyers or AV 14 - but the only good solutions for Daemons in the front is a FMC - which I did not want to bring. At this point level I am hoping to avoid those two - or if I have to deal with them to avoid them and use reserves to protect my troops while going after my opponents. This list has a lot of durability. The Beasts are a new edition because they just seem cool. 4 Wounds, IWND, Shrouded, Defensive Grenades and T5 is nice to absorb firepower, overwatch and with d6 poisoned 4+ attacks and S4 they have some CC ability. This presents a nice painting challenge for me this week as well - as my resolution not to field an unpainted model may interfere with fielding the beasts - who will be gluttons in this Slaanesh army.
Notably missing: Grimoire and Fateweaver. I have trouble dropping 300 points on Fate at this point level - he is probably still worth it, but it really blunts the massed ground assault.
From a casual perspective, I have decided on a list that will be fun to play, has a theme I have wanted to build and will prompt me to paint some models I have needing motivation to finish. I set this list at 1850 - since adjusting up/down from there is straightforward.
Masque of Slaanesh - love the model, rules can be interesting and the whole concept of my Daemons are a grand stage performance!
Herald of Slaanesh on a disc w/ Exalted Locus of Conjuration, Mastery 3
Warpsmith - Someone has to fix the machines..wait for it...
Mayhem Pack 2x Helbrute w/ Heavy Flamer/MM, 1x Helbrute with TLLC
12x Chaos Cultists - cannon fodder for the Warpsmith
6x Screamers - Fast, fun unit that can go with the Herald if needed. More fun w/o a Grimoire imo.
Chariot Calvalcade - 1x Exalted, 2x Seeker Chariot - I have had this kit for over 6 months unopened
Skull Cannon of Khorne - Have a cool conversion I started, but tabled for other items
Soul Grinder of Slaanesh w/ Baleful Torrent - I have a pair that are so close to done, but need a few details
Maulerfiend - Leaving the Magnacutters on it!
I wanted to showcase a wide array of models, avoid replication where possible and really get those evil Chaos machines out there. for now the Screamers are there as an interesting fast option, but when I get a Heldrake I would like to round out the set of Daemon Engines. I plan to bring it with the Hades Autocannon to knock down flyers and be an annoyance. More than anything, I think this list will be a ton of fun to play with shooting, assault and fast movement/deep strike options. Even rolling each turn on the Warp Storm AND for the Helbrutes will definitely lead to some Epic (fail?) moments.
It may also make me a better player and it will be a ton of fun to paint. Most of these models have been languishing to some extent as I focused on the T4 wound saturation list of tournaments and GT's.