Short Daemon Tactica: Slaanesh Characters

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My last look at Slannesshi units comes in the form of the most deadly of all the Prince of Pleasure’s daemonic servants. Able to bring ruin to armies just on their own, in perhaps typical form for the god of excess, there are just so many good options to choose from!

Keeper of Secrets, sculpted and painted by Forgeworld

Keeper of Secrets: Greater Daemon of Slaanesh

Its a real tossup if this or the Bloodthirster is the single most offensive model in the army. Each model has its merits, but at 80 points cheaper to start with, I’m inclined to say the Keeper of Secrets has a slight edge.

Less able to take a knock than his competitor, nevertheless, the starting package is pretty impressive. A Level 1  Psycher with the option to be Level 3, its certain worth cutting out on the extra run move and instead using him to provide boosts to your force with a mixture of Telepathy and Excess psychic powers. In particular, if you manage to roll the number 5  Telepathy power, you will be having a very fun game, as your Keeper of Secrets will have a 4+ cover save, increasing to a 2+ when in cover! I would probably have a mix of powers, with a Level 3 having 1 Telepathy and 2 Excess powers.

If you choose to mostly ignore his psychic ability though, you have a fast moving engine of destruction. With the extra +3 to his run move (re-rolled) and rending to help with opening vehicles (Strength 6+ 2D6*+D3- yes please!) and 6 Attacks striking at Initiative 10, you can run him bare, confident that he can do a lot of damage. Against all Eldar forces, Preferred Enemy will help you dish out the hurt even more, but understandably its pretty situational.

As with all Daemon characters, I like to run them cheap, so if you take any rewards, I would probably choose only one. Why spend lots of points on a single model that is pretty susceptible to bolter fire when you could have two instead? 😉

Daemon Prince of Slaanesh

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The GW Daemon Prince kit painted to be a Daemon Prince of Slannesh by the Rot Forge

Sticking with cheapness over everything again, I’m really tempted to keep this model without wings to cut down on his cost and just run him as a pure combat machine. The extra run move more than makes up for not taking wings and makes running the model with Warp-forged Armour not so expensive and bulking out on Psychic powers not so bad either.

Regardless of if you run him cheap, or so expensive its about a quarter of your armies cost in a 1500 point game, its always best to take the model with either another Monstrous Creature or some Daemonic Vehicles to back them up. It provides several different targets, which will increase everythings survivability overall, and means that if you get it right, you can gang up on one section of the army and try and roll up a flank.

Herald of Slannesh

Mounted Herald of Slannesh by Golden Daemon winner Georg Damm

As I did for the Nurgle Herald, I’ve explained most of the uses of a Herald of Slaanesh in my tactica’s on Daemonettes and Seekers of Slaanesh. Its worth adding though, what makes Heralds so useful in a Slaanesh force is just how versatile they are. Having the option of a cheap mount really enhances what they can do, to the point that in games under 2000 points, I would be tempted to run just Heralds attached to squads.

Of course, over 2000 points and its becomes pretty hard to resist taking a Monstrous Creature or two. But under 2000, and for definite in any games under 1500 points, its a competitive option- even if it does leave you a bit open to frustration at the hands of lists that spam fliers or vehicles.

Herald of Slaanesh Special Character: The Masque of Slaanesh

I’ve never really liked this Special Character. Though some players swore by her use is the previous codex due to the ability to pull multiple units out of cover a turn, she has one obvious drawback- Toughness 3 and that she is unable to join any other unit.

Its that second part thats the killer and will mean game after game of your opponent getting a free killpoint for not much effort. To avoid this, she will have to be sheltered from harm until close enough to the enemy, whilst crossing you fingers and hoping that she survives any firepower that comes her way, or else your opponent forgets about her.

Her three dances are nothing to write home about either…so all in all, for the cost of the model, you are better getting a few heralds or another Daemonette unit (gotta love those cheap units!).

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So thats it everyone. I’m halfway through my exploration of the Chaos Daemons Codex.

Next week  I move onto the Khorne, the Lord of Skulls and very bad hangovers. Before that though, I’ll be giving a few examples of lists you can make for Mono Slaanesh armies.

See you soon!

Firestorm games have most of the Slaanesh range for sale on their site- all at a minimum of 10% off.

*For being a Monstrous Creature.

Short Daemon Tactica: Fiends of Slaanesh

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Whilst hardly the toughest of units, for a mono Slaanesh army, this is now your linebreaker, capable of delivering a knockout blow to your opponents forces if played right. All wrapped up in one, at least to me, ugly package.

Games Workshops ‘fiendishly’ ugly model. I’m so funny.

Swift and deadly

Coming in at 105 points basic for 3  Fiends, the unit does seem like a big initial investment. But when the unit has 9 wounds between them, its not too bad of a thing. What’s better is the Strength 4 the unit comes with, meaning that any non rending wounds will have a better effect on enemy units than the average  Strength 3 of most Slanneshi models.

The key part of this though is the delivery system. Being Beasts, Fiends can move 12″ and aren’t slowed by terrain in the slightest. Add a D6+ 3 run move and a 3D6 charge range (which can be re-rolled thanks to Fleet)  and they will be competing with Seekers of Slannesh as the fastest models in your army.

Its something I’m tempted to use as a one two punch, letting the main army advance up the board, whilst Seekers and Fiends  go up the flanks, confident they can keep up. That, or send them ahead as advance scouts, to wreak havoc on the enemy lines, confident they can keep them busy whilst the rest of your army (which won’t be far behind) catches up.

Fiends of Slannesh conversion by DrunkenBoxer on Dakka Dakka

Dazed and Confused

I haven’t even gotten to the best part of them yet either. Though a little reliant on the right circumstances, unless your opponent is Initiative 6 or better, even if charging a unit in cover you will be striking, at the very least, simultaneously, thanks to  Soporific Musk.

A unique special rule that means that any unit charged by Fiends will strike at -5 Initiative in combat. Its perfect for ganging up on one unit, as this will affect the entire combat, meaning that friendly units will also get its benefit.

I’ve even seen a somewhat sneaky interpretation of their rule too. As any unit reduced to Initiative 0 cannot attack that turn, most units will be unable to strike back in the first turn you charge them, which is a great is a great way to demolish a large number of the games best assault units. I wouldn’t use the tactic myself, but its something you can perhaps exercise when playing a very competitive person.

Slannesshi artwork from the Daemons Codex

So there you have it- a unit with a trick in its tail, Fiends of Slannesh are a great way of adding versatility to a force. Though a little squishy compared to the other gods’ elite units, they do enough to justify their inclusion in any Slannesshi force. The only problem for me is finding an alternative model!

Fiends of Slannesh are available exclusively from Games Workshop for £15.50

Short Deamon Tactica: Seekers of Slaanesh

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My lord, what a stunning unit. Lithe, fast and very, very deadly. If you wanted a killer unit, you could go a lot worse. A canny opponent knows it too.

I’m taking a ride, with my best friends…

Do you like Daemonettes, but just get annoyed that they don’t move fast enough? Say hello to the Seekers of Slannesh. Daemonettes with an 18″ move, they WILL be assaulting your opponents units turn two, something really bad happens. Now admittedly terrain is still a bugbear, as you have no grenades and treat all difficult terrain as dangerous.But considering you are getting Actue Senses, Outflank, Cavalry movement and an extra attack for only 3 points more (on top of the very respectable Daemonette stats and abilities), its something that can be overlooked.

For the points, its mighty tempting to take a unit of 20, which will cost you just over 200 point and net you 120 attacks with Rending a turn. Thats painful for anything in the game and even units with 2+ saves are statistically likely to lose a large number of their squads. Throwing in a Rapturous Standard and Heartseeker almost seems like overkill.

A Pain That I’m Used To

After all the advertising of how good they are, it may come as no suprise that as soon as you plonk them down on the table, a smart opponent will make them priority number one. Even in a unit of 5-10 models, they can cause carnage, so the last thing they will want is a unit of two getting their uninjured. This is why you need to start getting tricksy.

The metal Julian Diaz Seekers of Slannesh, painted by LadyCassandra

For a start, unless you are over 2000pts, have several smaller units. If you are going to be running a mono Slaanesh force, its not as if you have anything else to fill Fast Attack with anyway. Outflank at least one unit with a Herald- it will allow for a multi wave approach and keep your opponent guessing what table edge you will be attacking from. With Acute Senses, whatever hole in their defences your opponent reveals, you should be able to exploit it.

Now talking of Heralds, like Daemonettes, they can have an important role to play in making the unit just so much better. Mounted on a Steel with the Locus of Beguilement probably enhances the units potential most, with a Herald and Heartseeker probably being able to rip the heart out of a combat focused squad whilst the Seekers (probably hitting on 3+’s re-rolled) mop up the rest.

Due to the squads speed, I’m even tempted to give them Pyschic Powers, as there are powers from both the Excess and Telepathy disciplines that rock. You are more likely to get something usable out of the Excess powers, but Telepathy makes up for it with some really powerful powers (Invisibility to name one) that synergise with a Seeker and Herald squad, should you be lucky enough to roll them.

Whatever you do, use terrain to your advantage and try to lock down an opponents movement before they can get into some and use it to negate your advantages. Seekers are still squishy and S3, so you need to use your speed to channel enemy units and more importantly, attack where you can do the most damage.

Daemonettes on Seekers by slaanesh-goddess

My next article will focus on the few models that break the S3/T3 barrier for Slaaneshii models- Fiends of Slannesh.

Seekers of Slannesh are available from Firestorm Games for only £15.75 . 

Short Daemons Tactica: Plague Drones

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Buboes, phlegm, blood and guts! Boils, bogeys, rot and pus! Blisters, fevers, weeping sores! From your wounds the fester pours.

My look at units from the Daemons codex continues with Nurgle Plague drones. A hefty price tag comes with these flying carriers of death, but its worth it due to the speed and flexibility they can bring to an otherwise pretty slow force.

The big surprise starts with the stats. Though they come with the standard low Initiative, Weapon and Ballistic Skill of most Nurgle Daemons, Toughness 5 with multiple wounds and attacks more than makes up for it. Along with this, they are Jetpack Cavalry, which means that nothing will be slowing them down and if they choose to Deepstrike in, they can avoid being pie plated to death by using their free assault move.

Plague Drones painted by DeathShadowSun from DeviantArt.

Having a few attacks each and actual delivery system means their plagueswords can be used to target units that they can be used effectively against, rather than hoping for the best and taking it as it comes like you would with Plaguebearers. Take a Plaguebringer with a cheap Etherblade and equip one of the unit with a Plague Banner and watch your opponent do a double take as you cause 4, AP2 attacks wounding on a 2+ along with a bunch more poisoned attacks to follow! It’s perfect for an assassination run on an Independent Character or Monstrous Creature, as the wounds and toughness of the unit champion should allow you to shrug off most attacks.

Alternatively, you can take Death’s Heads, which give them a nice ranged poisoned attack that you can use to weaken more powerful units before moving in for the kill.

One word of caution though. Despite their seemingly impressive toughness and wound characteristic, with only a daemonic invulnerable save and Shrouded to protect them, don’t expect them to last long against really tough or numerous units. They are the definition of a glass hammer, being able to dish out the hurt for a turn or two before losses make them pretty ineffective. Advance carefully up the battlefield (or if you can, deep strike them behind cover then can jump over the following turn) and pick your target well.

Larger games you can afford to have massive units of them, but in a smaller game of 1,000-1,500 points, a unit of 6 is going to be well into the 250 points range, so its a big investment and you will have to think long and hard about how to use them effectively. 

All in all, Plague Drones provide a Nurgle force with something it really needs, which is speed, flexibility and a nasty combat bite against heavy infantry and power armoured opponents in a pinch. For that, they are sure to be your opponents top priority. With good reason too – once your opponent experiences what Plague Drones can do, it won’t be an experience they will be happy to repeat.

Artwork by Les Edwards

Plague Drones are available from Firestore Games for £31.50