Chaos Daemon Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Ed

Warhammer Chaos Lord with Wings

point The Chaos Daemon army is not quite like other armies in the Warhammer 40k universe. This is because the Chaos Daemon army was designed for the Warhammer Fantasy game ( now replaced by Age of Sigmar  ) and ported across to 40k.

The Chaos Daemon army plays quite differently to other 40k armies. This is mainly due to the numerous special rules. The addition of these rules also make the army difficult to play. I would suggest that the Daemon army is not a good one for beginners, but a great one for advanced payers that fancy a challenge!

This page has been written for the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rules and Index: Chaos army list.

General Chaos Daemon Tactics

The symbol of ChaosOften the best was to use the Chaos Daemon army is to use it as an attachment to a Warhammer Chaos Marine army. What the Chaos Daemon units bring to the Chaos Marine is psychic powers, monstrous creatures and close combat units. The number of deep striking units are useful for snatching objectives or take out key enemy units.

Chaos Daemons come in four flavours one for each of the chaos gods; Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slannesh. So what do you get if you use them all together? Utter Chaos!

If you are keeping with a pure Daemon army, but include faction from all the Chaos Gods then you will not be short of Characters or close combat units. Where you will need to apply some thought is to the heavy support and fast attack sections.

You need Fast Attack units to spearhead assaults and grab objectives. Look to the Tzeentch units that can fly, and the Slannesh units that are quick on their feet.

Chaos Daemon Special Rules

The Chaos Daemon army come with a number of special rules. These rules are quite different from other Warhammer 40k armies.

Daemonic Ritual

As I mentioned above, one of the joys of running a Daemon army alongside a Chaos Space Marine one is that your characters can summon daemons on to the battle field. Now be warned, this is not without it’s difficulties and risks. Also if you are playing a points matched game the points cost for the summoned daemons comes out of your reserve points. However it is great fun to do and highly recommended.

You can only summon units that have the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability. The Chaos Space Marine has four units listed, in the Index: Chaos you can find many more units (most of them).

All Chaos Characters can perform rhw Daemonic. Ritual. This includes both Chaos Space Marine characters and Chaos Daemon characters.

Daemonic

All units with this ability (most of them) get a 5+ invulnerable save. This is very useful because their regular save is usually awful!

The Four Gods of Chaos

The symbol of ChaosIf you are familiar with the Chaos Space Marines you will have come across the four chaos gods; Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, and Tzeentch. With the Chaos Marine army the use the chaos god’s traits is optional. There are enough unaligned choices available to create a undivided army. With the Chaos Daemon army you will need to be totally conversant with the chaos gods traits.

Each of these four gods have their own characteristics. These characteristic are passed on to the gods followers.

Chaos Undivided

If you are a Chaos Space Marine player you will be use to units that are aligned to no single Chaos God. This does not happen in the Chaos Daemon army. That is except for the Daemon Prince Be’lakor, the first Daemon. Word has it that some time after Be’lakor was created he used his un-aligned nature to play one chaos god against another. Learning from their mistake, all future Daemons where aligned to a single Chaos God.

Daemon Prince Be’lakor Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsBe’lakor is a HQ character.

Games Workshop do not do a model for Be’lakor but as he is a Daemon Prince with a daemon blade and Malefic Talons. This means that you can take a generic Daemon Prince and state that you are using it as Be’lakor.

Daemons of Tzeentch Tactics

Herald of Tzeench for the Chaos Daemon Age of Sigmar GameThe daemons of Tzeentch give up brute force for magic and trickery. In Warhammer 40k magic is represented by psychic powers. Tzeentch units use these psychic powers as ranged weapons. Unlike the daemons that follow other chaos gods, many of the Tzeentch troop units can use magic to manifest psychic powers too. The downside though is that Tzeentch units are generally poor at close combat.

Tzeentch units work well with Khorne units that can act as body guards to the more vulnerable Tzeentch units.

Ephemeral Form

Tzeentch daemons are even less grounded in the real world than other daemons. To show this is the game they get +1 to their invulnerable saves. As most daemons get +5 save this means that you only need +4 to shrug off most hits. This is a save though so it does not work against mortal wounds.

Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch

Games Workshop Age of Sigmar Chaos Exalted flamer of TzeentchThe Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch is a cheap elite choice for a daemon army. This means that can fill you required elite slots and you do get points to spend on the rest of the army. This specially important in low point games.

Exalted Flamers have 3 options during the shooting phase.

Games Workshop do not do an Exalted Flamer model on it’s own. You can find an Exalted Flamer in the ‘Herald of Tzeentch on Flaming Chariot’ box that if you do not place on the flaming chariot, can be placed on a regular base.

Daemons of Nurgle Tactics

Nurgle units are the second most popular chaos units. Nurgle specialises in diseases and poisons. The Nurgle units tend to be tough but a bit slower than  other units.

Nurgle units work well with Slaanesh units that have the speed that the Nurgle units don’t have.

Disgustingly Resilient

The creatures of Nurgle are disgustingly resilient. Their slimy hides cause many blows and shots to slip off where the would have bitten less viscus targets. To show this in the game Nurgle units with this rule get to roll a D6 for each wound not saved and on a roll of a 5 or 6 that 1 wound is ignored. As this is not a save it works for mortal wounds too.

Nurgle Psychic Powers

Nurgle psychic powers are all about disease. The ‘stream of corruption’ has a short 7″ range but can dish out D6 mortal wounds to larger (10+ models).

Daemons of Slaanesh Tactics

Slaanesh units are focused of speed and the excess of pleasure. This means that they are fast but fragile. Slaanesh units also have access to a number of psychoactive drugs and narcotics.

Slaanesh units work well with Nurgle units that have the toughness that the Slaanesh units don’t have.

Quicksilver Swiftness

Slaanesh daemons hunger for speed and excitement. Units with this ability always fight first in the fight phase. If there are other units in this fight phase with the same special rule, or have charged that turn, then you take turns fighting with those units before fighting with all the others.

This ability tends to mean that you get to get your strikes in first. If you out number your opponent it is reasonable to expect to wipe out the enemy unit before they can react. So with this in mind you want to hit first and hit hard. Focus your assaults and choose targets that cannot call on support.

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Great 4 Handed game highlights armies strengths and weaknesess

On Saturday we had a great game of Warhammer with 2 Chaos forces ( Chaos Space Marine and Daemons of Tzeentch) face 2 forces of Order (Using AoS) armies of Space Marines and Tau.

Richard and I had a quick pre-game match to get use to our new armies. Ghks was the first time I have played Chaos Daemons in 40k so I was flipping back and forth through the Codex getting use to the Daemon Special Rules. Richard also got to grips with the raft of new weapons availible to the Tau since the last Codex.

In the afternoon Lee and Mark arrived for the main battle royal. Lee brought Space Marines with him and Mark had Chaos Space Marines. This is what Richard had suggested would be the case so no big surprises there.

As Richard and Lee where long time 40k comrades and because it made a better match to the background fluff Richard and Lee teamed up as the forces of order against Mark and I who where the new comers championing  the forces of Chaos.

My first surprise was when I saw the army that Mark brought. As we where playing 1000 points per player I was surprised my how HQ heavy and troop unit light his force was. It did not bode well as my force was fast and light but a bit short of solid troop and heavy support units. This brought up the first learning point, where possible, in a two handed game, check with your team mates what they are bringing to the battle or you could end up with a mismatched force.

 

It was great fun testing out my Chaos Tzeentch Daemons in a WH40k game, even though it was not a winning outcome! Many thanks to Richard, Lee and Mark for the battle.

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