Old World Legacy Faction Review: Daemons of Chaos

The Daemons of Chaos can be likened to hungry and rabid wolves. The shepherd should not waste time hating the wolf that attacks his flock. He should simply kill it.” – Volkmar the Grim

Daemons? I just think they’re neat.” – Todd the Everchosen

Chaos is a constant in every world of Warhammer. Whether it is lurking in the shadows of forgotten planets in the 41st millenium or crawling through the plains of Ghur, the forces of unfettered thought and emotion crave existence as much as they crave its annihilation and the Old World is no different.

Unfortunately for the Greater Gods of the warp, we are in a bit of a Chaos slump in the timeline selected for this opening foray into the olden days. The Great Catastrophe has long faded into memory, Be’lakor has recently spontaneously combusted, and Asavar Kul has yet to take his war of nihilism to the planet.

While it is a shame that an iconic army like Daemons of Chaos has been relegated to legacy rules, the bonus is that Daemon players have access to a pretty thorough army composition list available for free through PDF on the Warhammer Community page. And, having had the time to play with and examine these sheets (Big thanks to Games Workshop for giving us early access), it is pretty clear that an equivalent amount of care was given to these rules as was applied to the armies found in Ravening Hordes and Forces of Fantasy. So if you’re hankering to play with some old toys, or just want to cross over with some new ones, fear not as these denizens of the darkest parts of our souls can definitely hold their own.

Why Plays Daemons of Chaos

Daemons of Chaos are an army of specialist units meant to highlight a particular fundamental type of gameplay. Do you want to play a host of high impact close combat experts that lean into overpowering the enemy and shooting cannonballs made of literal fuggin skulls? Or do you prefer fast-moving units that play with an opponents initiative by smelling good to deal deadly blows? Maybe you just like hugging things to death? Or shooting fireballs from the top of flying flaming chariots drawn by evil sting rays!?! Maybe you are just bad at kitbashing units but REALLY want to. You can do all those things with this army and more.

The Soul Grinder is a pretty gnarly monster now with some impressive ranged options. Credit: Danny McDonald

5 Things You Need to Know to Play Daemons

  • For the love of the gods, take a battle standard bearer (Daemonic Locus). Mitigating Daemonic Instability is a big deal.
  • Each Greater Daemon is an absolute force on the battlefield, but you are only allowed 1 and it will often define the rest of your list, so choose wisely.
  • Soul Grinders are really really good, but the whole Rare slot is filled with bangers.
  • There are some really great magic items and banners (icons and gifts) available to Daemons. Be careful you don’t overindulge.
  • Don’t sleep on Furies, they’ve had quite the glow up and are a staple unit.

Roiling Rules of the Warp

Daemons have a slew of special rules and gear you will need to familiarize yourself with if you’re going to master their willful ways.

Daemonic: All models with this special rule have a 5+ ward save against non-magical attacks (don’t play against Wood Elves, other Daemons, or Warriors of Chaos ever, just politely decline). In addition they have: Daemonic Instability, Fear, Immune to Psychology, Magical Attacks, Unbreakable, and Warp-Spawned. Also, Daemonic units and characters are only meant for each other. Models with this rule cannot join with models without it.

Cleaving Blow: Found in enough army books that this should have probably been a Universal Special Rule, Cleaving Blow is Killing Blow-lite. When you roll a natural 6 to wound for an attack made in combat with this rule, Light/Heavy Infantry and Light/Heavy Calvary units are not permitted to take Armour or Regeneration saves against the hit.

Daemonic Instability: If a unit with this rule loses a round of combat it must take a leadership test with a +1 modifier to the result for every point by which it lost. If they pass, nothing happens. If they fail, the unit loses a number of wounds equal to the amount by which they failed the test. If a double 6 is rolled on the test, the entire unit is sucked into the warp and is gone forever.

Daemonic Locus: Also known as your Battle Standard Bearer. Friendly units that share a Daemonic Alignment with your Locus reduce the number of wounds suffered due to Daemonic Instability by 1 while within 12 inches of this model. In addition, those same units are not pulled into the aether on a roll of 2 6s and instead treat the roll normally, losing as many wounds equal to the amount by which they failed the test.

Infernal Favour (X): Units with this special rule reduce the amount of wounds suffered due to Daemonic Instability by the number shown in brackets.

Daemonic Alignment: Broken down into Daemon(s) of Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch; this rule indicates the Ruinous Power that each Daemon is beholden too. Models cannot have more than one daemonic alignment, though they can be unaligned. All models within a unit must have the same daemonic alignment. Characters with a daemonic alignment may only join units of the same alignment or unaligned units. Unaligned characters may join any unit.

Daemons of Khorne: Have the Hatred (Daemons of Slaanesh) special rule. During a turn in which they charge, these units gain a +1 modifier to their Strength characteristic

Daemons of Nurgle: Have the Hatred(Daemons of Tzeentch) special rule. Attacks directed at Daemons of Nurgle during the combat phase must re-roll natural hit rolls of 6.

Daemons of Slaanesh: Have the Hatred (Daemons of Khorne) special rule. These units gain +1 to their maximum possible charge range and a +1 modifier to their Charge and Pursuit rolls.

Daemons of Tzeentch: Have the Hatred (Daemons of Nurgle) special rule. Tzeentch Wizards may apply a +1 modifier to any Casting rolls they make. This does not negate rolls of double 1.

Greater Daemons are now 1 per army, so choose wisely. Credit: Danny McDonald

Units and Composition

The Daemons of Chaos army composition list is completely dependent on the Daemonic Alignment of your general. If your army’s leader is a Daemon of Khorne, then Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds move from Special to Core, and your Bloodcrushers move from Rare to Special. For Nurgle, your Nurglings and Plaguebearers become core, while Beasts and Plague Drones move to Special. For Slaanesh, Daemonettes and Seekers move to the Core slot, while Fiends, Hellflayers, and Seeker Chariots move to special. If you decide on Tzeentch, your Pink Horrors, Blue Horrors and Brimstones become Core and your Flamers and Screamers move to Special.

Finally, if you choose to take an Unaligned Daemon Prince as your General (and one of you will), you may only take Chaos Furies as Core. Please don’t do this. I beg you. I know I said Furies are great but stop it, it is only funny for 5 seconds. You are saving 10 points at the cost of someone’s sanity…

Because of the unique army composition rules, we’ll be breaking the army down by Daemonic Alignment rather than by role as we’d normally do, with the exception of Greater Daemons which we’ll cover first.

Greater Daemons

The Greater Daemons in the PDF are all absolute stats monsters, and giant point sinks ranging in cost from 310 at the low end for a naked Lord of Change to over 500 for a fully kitted out avatar of dissolution. All Greater Daemons come stock with Leadership 9, the Terror and Infernal Favour(2) special rules and may take up to 100 points in Gifts of Chaos. As previously mentioned, you are only allowed 1 Greater Daemon in your list.

First up, for the blood bros, is the Mac Daddy himself the Bloodthirster. Big Mac comes out SWINGING with a base weapon skill of 10, Str 6, To 6, Initiative 7, 6 base attacks and 6 wounds. Just about anything short of a hero is going to be hitting this fella on 5s at best making him a terrifying proposition to deal with. If you elect to sling skulls for the skull throne you are obligated to purchase 1 of 3 weapon options for the brute, choosing between the Bloodflail, the Great Axe or the Lash of Khorne. All 3 options are great, with the Axe being the most expensive. The Bloodflail gives your Thirster +2 str on the charge and permanent AP-2, Armourbane(1), and the Multiple Wounds(d3) rules. The Axe is +2 Strength, AP-3 AND Armourbane(2) with the Monster Slayer and Strikes Last rules and the Lash is AP -2 (Armourbane(1) with the Strikes First special rule. I don’t think there is necessarily a wrong choice here though I would personally lean towards either the Flail or the Axe based on what you’re most scared of. All Bloodthirsters come with the Daemonic Charge special rule which makes their D3 Impact Hits strike at AP -2, Furious Charge, Fly(10), Impetuous, and Magic Resistance (-2).

If Nurgle is more your thing, the Great Unclean One comes in at a lowly WS of 6 but with a Toughness of 7, 7 wounds and 5 base attacks. They are Level 1 wizards base but can be upgraded as high as level 4 and may take either a Plagueflail (Str+2 in first round of combat, Ap -3, Multiple Wounds(d3)) or Bilesword (AP -2, Armourbane(1), Strikes Last, No Regen Saves allowed). They have Poisoned Attacks, Regeneration(5+) and D3+1 Stomps.

The Keeper of Secrets is next, at movement 8, WS 7, St 6, To 6, 6 wounds and 6 attacks at AP-2 with the Strikes first rule, they are a whirling melee unit that makes up for the slight shortfalls they have when compared to the Bloodthirster by being able to purchase up to 4 levels of wizardry. I highly recommend diving into Illusionism as it perfectly aligns with the whole Slaanesh vibe and Spectral Doppleganger ups this model’s ferocity to 11. The Keeper also has D3 Stomps and the Swiftstride special rule as befits their leggy nature.

Last in this tale of the tape is the Lord of Change. With 6s for every stat but Attacks (4), and being a base lvl 2 wizard, even just a plain bird is no joke. Our feathered friends may elect to upgrade to be level 4 wizards (do this) and may purchase a Tzeentchian Wand to give them a ranged attack with D3+1 shots, and an 18 inch range at Str 4 ap -1 (meh). Tzeentch has blessed their beaky buds with Flaming Attacks, D3 Stomps, Fly(9), and Swiftstride for extra special rules.

Furies are absolute must-haves in a Daemons of Chaos army. Credit: Liebot – https://instagram.com/liebot_pics

Unaligned(ish) Units

If none of the Greater Daemon options wet your whistle for an army general, or you simply wish to take one without locking the rest of your army composition to their patron, then look no further than the tried and true Daemon Prince. At 0-1 per 1000 points, Daemon Princes are your fully customizable, one stop shop for generalship in the old world. They can purchase wings (Fly 9), armour, up to 4 levels of wizardry, and most importantly, they may pay 10 points to take on any one of the Daemonic Alignments, or stay unaligned. Daemon Princes come stock with a 4+ ward save that is not effected by the Daemonic special rule, unlike the rest of their kin which gives them a level of survivability the rest of the army simply does not have.

Chaos Furies are an incredible Core option in the Daemons army. At 12 points per model they come with a very healthy stat line and the Fly (8), Furious Charge and Vanguard special rules. You can elect to pay 2 points per model to align them to one of the gods (Khorne and Slaanesh are excellent options here) or just run them naked. All of my Daemon lists currently start with at least 3 units of 5 to act as screening units and backline harrassers, but I honestly feel you could and should be investing way more heavily than that.

Soul Grinders are VERY impressive on paper. At an expensive base cost of 255 in the Rare slot you will rarely see more than one on the table in standard sized games but they definitely back up that cost with some raw power. At Strength 6, Toughness 6, 6 wounds with Heavy Armour and Daemonic saves, the Grinder is a chonky monster that slides into combat with 4-5 attacks at AP-3 (Furious Charge) and D6+1 Stomp Attacks. Not only that, but this thing has the Reserve Move special rule(!) to ensure you always get full use out of your sick ranged weapon options. Every Soul Grinder comes with a Harvester Cannon that has a Range of 12, Str 4, AP -1 and acts as a cannon firing grape shot, and may purchase either a Range 12, Str 5, AP -1 Fire Thrower or a Range 48, Str 6, Ap -3 Multiple Wounds (2) Bolt Thrower. All of these guns have the cumbersome special rule and thus cannot be fired in overwatch (thank god) but can be used in conjunction with reserve move to allow the Grinder some impressive action efficiency. Take one for a spin, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Daemons of Khorne

The Herald of Khorne is a great beatstick with Str 5, To 4, I 6 and a WS of 7. Like his big brother, the herald comes stock with Furious Charge and a bit of Magic Resistance (-1) as well as the Impetuous special rule. Most importantly, you can run these guys on either Juggernauts of Khorne or the Blood Throne. A Herald on Juggernaut ends up with a 5+ Armour, First Charge, 2 Impact Hits and 2 extra attacks at Str 5 AP -2 absolutely brutal when run alongside some Bloodcrushers. It should be noted that Heralds and all Bloodletter-esque models are equipped with Hellblades that are Str User, AP -1, and have cleaving blow.

The Blood Throne is a special mount just for your Herald of Khorne that bumps their toughness to 5 and adding 4 wounds to their profile for a hefty 160 extra points that I’m not sure are worth it unless you’re fully devoting your list to the Blood God. The Throne is a Heavy Chariot with 1d6+1 impact hits at Str 5 with the Gorefeast and the Totem of Endless Bloodletting special. Gorefeast causes each successful wound caused by these impact hits to recover a lost wound for the model on a roll of a 6 whilst Totem grants To Hit Re-rolls of 1 to friendly Khorne units in command range the turn they charge.

As always Khorne devotees have the reliable Bloodletters at core. With their WS 5, Str 4, T 3 and I 4 stats they rank up decently into other Heavy Infantry in the game for a fair price, especially with their inbuilt Cleaving Blow attacks. Like all Khorne models they are Impetuous and come with Magic Resistance (-1).

Flesh Hounds also slip down to core if you align with Khorne and they’re an interesting unit. At 32 points they’re costed roughly the same as standard Heavy Cavalry (which is their new Troop Type) and are much less protected, but they do come with both 2 attacks and 2 wounds. With a healthy movement of 8, counter charge, and the ability to pay for either Vanguard or Ambushers, they’re a pretty decent flank protector if you find yourself going up against a lot of light cavalry. I do not believe I’d run them outside of a mono-khorne build but in that list they fill a particular role.

Bloodcrushers are next and take up a special slot for Khorne and rare for everyone else. These brutes are very expensive but do hit like semi-trucks and have a pretty respectable 4+ armour on top of their daemonic save. Each Crusher comes with 2 flat Impact Hits and 2 additional attacks at Str 5, Ap -2 in close combat. At 65 points it is hard not to compare them to Mournfang which pay just a few more points for greater speed, more attacks and a better armour save, but the Crushers do have the benefit of being able to have a herald join them.

The last item in the Khornate list is the Skull Cannon of Khorne and it is an attractive rare choice in any Daemons army. At 185 points, you get a Str 5, To 5 heavy chariot with D3+1 impact hits, D3 Stomps, 5 quality attacks in close combat, the First Charge special rule AND a standard cannon (Str 8, -2, D3 wounds) that can fire even when it moves and only loses a single wound if it misfires. If you’ve got the points in your rare slot, you should take at least 1 and no one would hate you if you ran 2.

A Herald on Bloodcrusher is a brutal threat on the charge.

Daemons of Nurgle

The Herald of Nurgle has 5s across the board for WS, BS, Str, and Toughness and may pay to be a lvl 1 or 2 wizard and/or to be equipped with Death’s Heads. He has 3 attacks with the Poisoned Attacks special rule that is common to all of Nurgles followers and is equipped with a Plaguesword (Str User, Armourbane(1), no Regeneration saves allowed) like a standard Plaguebearer. The Death’s Heads are great little slings with a range of 12, Str +1, AP -1 and the Move and Shoot and Multiple Wounds (d3) special rules. If you’ve got a handful of points to spare, I’d recommend one as they’re great for sniping pesky Great Eagles. The Palanquin of Nurgle is back as well, giving the rider an additional 4! wounds and 1d6+1 extra attacks for only 40 points. This is a pretty fantastic rate but the downside here being that he can no longer join a unit in the army due to the keyword restrictions in the rest of the PDF. That said, Nurgle has some of the better gifts to be had so it’s hard not to run at least 1 of these guys in your list.

Plaguebearers are back as the core unit of choice for the Father of Plagues and they are perfectly adequate if you’re leaning into a more Nurgle heavy army but I would be less inclined to look at them in a Chaos Undivided list. They are Str 4 and To 4 with low initiative and 1 attack each but make up for some of their shortcomings with Regeneration (6+) and Poisoned Attacks. Do keep in mind that all Daemons have the Warp-Spawned special rule so magical attacks will not only shut down a Daemon of Nurgle’s ward save, they will also lose their Regeneration save. Where Plaguebearers become much more useful is if you’re running the Spoilpox Scrivener gift and the banner of Seeping Decay to gain rerolls of 1 to hit and to wound.

Nurgling Swarms are also here and just as annoying as ever. With 7 wounds a piece and d3+1 Poisoned Attacks, these little guys can be a frustrating unit to deal with though they do suffer from a low movement speed and no way to start them outside of your deployment zone, unlike some of the other swarm options in the game.

Beast of Nurgle are a very interesting choice in the game. They are a hefty 62 points per model which is expensive even for Monstrous Infantry, but they have a pretty impressive high end for damage potential with their D6+1 poisoned attacks apiece. Toughness 5 and 4 wounds a piece means that some of the more basic units with magical attacks are going to have to do work to chop these units down to size, a 5+ Regeneration Save goes a long way in the non-magical side of things and the Attention Seeker special rule allows any of the models in the unit to issue and accept challenges allowing you to lock up particularly scary combat characters if you need to. I would not quite consider them an auto-take by any means but they have some good potential.

Plague Drones are the final option for Nurgle and they’re also quite expensive but you’re paying for speed. Flying Toughness 5 cavalry with a solid number of Strength 5 poisoned attacks and a handful of Multiple Wound (D3) ranged weapons are very very good things to have. Drones have the option to pay for +1 initiative (bumping the Rot Flies to 3) or a Venom Sting attack that replaces one of its existing attacks with 1 at AP -1 instead. If you have the points to spare, the initiative is worth it to give you an advantage into some of the scarier elven units in the game but I don’t believe the Venom Sting is necessary. 1 unit of 3-4 drones is an amazing piece to have in your list, 2 if you’re going all in on Nurgle.

Plague Drones are one of the best monstrous cavalry units in the game.

Daemons of Slaanesh

The Herald of Slaanesh has a less impressive stat line than their peers at Str 4 and To 3 but they do sit at WS 6 and I 6. They come equipped with Piercing Claws like all Daemonettes so they will have 4 attacks at AP -1, Armourbane (2). Slaaneshi heralds may pay to be lvl 1 or 2 wizards with access to Daemonology, Dark, or Illusion magics and may ride to battle on Steeds of Slaanesh, a Seeker Chariot, or Exalted Seeker Chariot. Honestly, if you are taking a Herald of Slaanesh, it is for their Gifts and Icons or sheer dedication in my opinion. The Banner of Acquiescence is quite powerful, reducing an enemy units WS and Initiative by D3, and the Infernal Enrapturess gift is a solid way to ensure your Daemons are winning their magic battles. Soporific Musk is a very powerful common gift too if you plan on running multiple Slaaneshi heralds. The Exalted Seeker Chariot has a steep 185 point price tag, but it does give the Herald an additional 6 wounds to play with and a 4+ armour save on top of all of the extra speed and impact hits.

Daemonettes are 11 points for WS 4 models that have 2 Str 3 AP -1 (Armourbane 2) attacks each at initiative 6. While they’re the most vanilla unit in the book, they excel at dealing in opposing hordes of chaff and dealing with equivalent naked combat units, though the high initiative, access to a suite of initiative modifying abilities, and armourbane means that they can at least threaten opposing elite units in a pinch.

Seekers of Slaanesh are an extremely potent flanking unit and are all-stars for their 21 points per model. Whether you take them as Core in your Slaanesh armies or Special otherwise, you should be a big fan. With the Fast Cavalry special rule and a movement of 9 inches they are capable of marching 18 inches and turning up to 90 degrees allowing them to easily shift out of harms way and threaten flank and rear charges with ease. Running a couple of smaller units are awesome ways to disrupt ranks, get in extra damage, or just beeline towards unprotected backfield shooting units and artillery.

Fiends of Slaanesh are 66 point Monstrous Cavalry that aren’t generally impressive on their own but really shine when you’re able to get off some combined charges due to their Soporific Musk special rule that gives opposing enemy units they are in combat with the Strikes Last special rule. They have 4 Str 4 attacks each, 3 of which at AP -1 and Armourbane(2) which isn’t awful but is also generally below rate for similar units, and they have an Initiative of 6, but they generally won’t last long against many elite units by themselves. If you really want to make use of their abilities, you probably only want a minimum unit of 3 that you hold back for a killing stroke.

The Hellflayer of Slaanesh feels like a must-have in a Slaanesh-based list where you can take them as a Special option and a little less appealing at Rare. At 145 points, this light chariot only has a strength and toughness of 4 and a 5+ armour to go with it’s daemonic save, but makes up for that with 2d6+1 impact hits, 7 Daemonette attacks, and the First Charge and Counter Charge rules. It’s a pretty potent tool and especially useful at taking out small elite squads of dumb elves with big swords which is pretty on brand for the Prince of Pleasure.

Slaanesh in general can make a pretty impressive Chariot list. The Seeker Chariot is the last option on this list for She Who Thirsts. At 100 points per model and the ability to be taken in units of 3, Seeker Chariots sacrifice a lot of damage potential (dropping down to d3+1 impact hits) for Open Order allowing them to pivot more freely as they race around the table.

When you slap them on square bases, Seekers of Slaanesh are incredible flanking units. Credit: Liebot – https://instagram.com/liebot_pics

Daemons of Tzeentch

Heralds of Tzeentch are level 1 wizards that can be upgraded as far as level 3 unlike most ‘hero-level’ casters in the game. At 3s across their stat line with the exception of BS and Attacks, and a weak Str 3 dual-shot ranged weapon, I promise, you’re only here for the wizarding. Luckily, not only do Heralds of Tzeentch have great casting potential, they have some the coolest rides available to protect their vulnerable selves. Most notable here is the Burning Chariot of Tzeentch, which already comes with a Wizard on top of it, and now will have 2! It is an expensive but potentially potent proposition (and also just amazing visually), as upgrading both wizards on the mount to level 3 will set you back a cool 430 points before looking at upgrades but it flies so suck it non-believers. The Blue Scribes have upgraded their wheels baby!

Pink Horrors are 12 points per model, they boast 3s for all of the stats but Move (4) and Attacks (1) and come with Flames of Tzeentch which is an 18 inch, Multiple Shot (2), Str 3 ranged attack at AP -. But you’re not paying for stats. You’re paying for Scintillating Sorcery. This Special Rule allows units of Pink Horrors to select 1 of the 2 Tzeentch signature spells to cast as a bound spell with a power level equal to their rank bonus. These bound spells are the kind of lacklustre but easy to cast Pink Fire Magic Missile and the extremely powerful hex Gift of Mutation. Pink Horrors also have access to their own common Chaos Icon, the Icon of Sorcery, which lets them double their rank bonus when they cast a bound spell. This means that between the Daemon of Tzeentch special rule and the Icon, units of 15 pink horrors will be at a +5 to cast! Slotting 1 or 2 of these guys in your armies feel’s really good as Gift of Mutation can really neuter even the most impressive units in the game.

Blue Horrors are just cheaper Pink Horrors that lose Scintillating Sorcery but gain Open Order and Move Through Cover. They’re nothing to write home about but could have some value if you consistently play into highly maneuverable, low toughness skirmishers.

Brimstone Horrors are the God of Secret’s swarm option. 38 points for 6 wound skirmishers with 4 attacks a piece at str 2 aren’t particularly fascinating but if you’re looking to run a more immobile Tzeentch bunker-style list they are fine charge redirects.

Screamers of Tzeentch are excellent skirmishing war beasts for board control but can feel a bit pricey given they only have 2 wounds a piece. Screamers Fly 9, and have the Slashing Attack that they have been known for across multiple game systems that causes an unengaged enemy unit to suffer d3 str 4 hits per Screamer in the unit that passes over them in the Remaining Moves sub phase. In a Tzeentch army a unit of 4-5 are really solid at clearing lines of fire for you wizards and shooting units and quickly making their way behind enemy lines.

Flamers are an elite skirmishing ranged unit that come in at 40 points per model and can be upgraded to contain an Exalted Flamer (a level 2 or 3 wizard). Flamers shoot at BS 4, Ranged 18, Str 4, AP -1, with the Move and Shoot, Quick Shot and Multiple Shots (D3) rules. At 2 wounds a piece and unit sizes of 2-6 , they’re a pretty good pick for clearing out small chaff units as they hide well and can shoot on the march.

We have already briefly talked about the Burning Chariot of Tzeentch as a character mount but it should be iterated here that it can simply be taken on its own and it is a very impressive tool in the Daemon arsenal. It is a chariot with Fly 9 that comes with a level 2-3 caster, and 2 screamers that can perform the above-mentioned Slashing Attack on top of 6 shots from the blue horrors on board and an additional D3 Str 4 shots that the Exalted Flamer can make even if you elected to march. It is a VERY solid package for 190 points that pays for its disruption potential by only being Str 4 and Toughness 4 making it a bit soft for a chariot.

Pink Horrors can cast bound spells at a +5! Credit: Danny McDonald

Gifts and Icons

As Daemons of Chaos do not have access to the Magic Items and Standards available to the other armies in the Old World, the Rules Team has been very gracious in giving us access to 7 universal gifts and icons of Chaos, as well as an additional 8 for each individual God. We’ve already touched on a number of these items in the unit overview above, but there are many more very useful gifts across the board.

Like the Great Standard of Sundering for Khorne that causes all enemy wizards with line of sight to the banner bearer to suffer a -1 to cast. On its own this is a great standard  when combined with all of the innate Magic Resistance an army of Khorne has, but you can choose to combine it with the Infernal Rapturess of Slaanesh for an additional -1, or the Power Vortex gift from Tzeentch (or all 3 if you REALLY don’t want you opponent casting spells) which seems like an interesting combo.

As we mentioned before, Nurgle has some amazing gifts too, like the Spoilpox Scrivener’s reroll hit rolls of 1 aura and the Sloppity Bilepiper gift that improves the movement of all Nurgle units in its aura by 1.

The Unaligned Icons are mostly build around either assisting with combat resolution or mitigating Daemonic Instability. Like the Totem of Eternal War that improves the wound mitigation of the Daemonic Locus to 2d3 models when checking Daemonic Instability. While their gifts are generally more ‘bland’ but potent upgrades like giving a herald the Fly special rule, or extra attacks to a Greater Daemon.

The Daemonic Lores

Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch all have their own signature spells that their wizards may use instead of those provided by their chosen lores of magic, and to emphasize their power over the ethereum, Tzeentch was given 2.

Plague Wind (Nurgle): A Magical Vortex with a casting value of 7+ and a range of 12, Plague Wind is a Remains in Play spell that creates a 3 inch bubble of Dangerous Terrain. Every turn, the template moves D6 inches in a random direction and any units touched that are not Daemons of Nurgle suffer -1 Toughness until end of turn.

Cacophonic Hymn (Slaanesh): Is a Remains in Play Hex with a range of 12 and casting value of 10+ that immediately removes all enchantment effects from the enemy unit and then gives them the Stupidity special rule.

Pink Fire (Tzeentch): An 18 inch Magic Missile with an 8+ casting value that does D3+3 Strength 3 Flaming hits at AP -.

The Forces of Tzeentch arrayed for war. Credit: Danny McDonald

Gift of Mutation (Tzeentch): A 12 inch Hex with a minimum casting value of 8+. If this spell is cast a a value of 8-11, the target enemy unit suffers a -D3 modifier to either Strength, Weapon Skill, or Toughness. If the spell is cast at a 12 or higher, you may select 2 of these characteristics to reduce instead (to a minimum of 1).

Putting it All Together

Daemons of Chaos is a really solid book that has some really good synergies regardless of your favourite vice, and often even the weakest looking units on paper fill vital roles when you’re looking at filling out a mono-god list. Here’s a couple list ideas to get the juices flowing as you dive back in time.

Hugs and Kisses
Army Composition: Daemons of Chaos
Points: 2000
Drops: 8

Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Heavy Armour, Fly, General 256
Herald of Nurgle, Daemonic Locus, Spoilpox Scrivener 150
Keeper of Secrets, lvl 4 Illusionism, Soporific Musk, Enrapturing Gaze 470

5 Chaos Furies of Khorne 70
5 Chaos Furies of Khorne 70
24 Plaguebearers, Full Command, Banner of Eternal Virulence 380

6 Seekers of Slaanesh, Full Command 144
6 Seekers of Slaanesh, Full Command 144
4 Plague Drones, Full Command, Plague Proboscis, Standard of Seeping Decay 316

This list is a bit of a unique take on combining the specialties of Nurgle and Slaanesh to create some fun combos in combat. Ideally your Furies can vanguard forward to screen or threaten artillery early while your Seekers rush up the sides and create flanking opportunities on the units your Plaguebearers and Plague Drones get locked into combat with. The Furies really can do quite the number on enemy units the turn they charge as they’ll have 2 attacks each at Strength 5 and a decent initiative. The Plaguebearers want to stick near your Keeper if at all possible so they can force enemy units to Strike last and allow the poison tally to spike and your Daemon Prince can Fly wherever they are most needed.

Tzeentch’s Flying Circus
Army Composition: 
Daemons of Chaos
Points: 1996

Lord of Change, Lvl 4, Twin Heads, Staff of Change, Illusion 455
Herald of Tzeentch, Lvl 3 Daemonology , Burning Chariot of Tzeentch, Lvl 3 Daemonology, Locus 425

15 Pink Horrors, Full Command, Icon of Sorcery 233
15 Pink Horrors, Full Command, Icon of Sorcery 233
5 Chaos Furies 60
5 Chaos Furies 60
5 Chaos Furies 60

5 Screamers of Tzeentch 220

Burning Chariot of Tzeentch, Lvl 3 Daemonology, 250

While probably not the ideal Tzeentch list, it has the greatest potential for fun! 7 of the 9 units in this list have the Fly special rule and you have the potential to be casting 16 spells a turn! Zip over and around your opponents while you set them on fire and remind them of the glory of the Changer of Ways! You could consider Dark magic on one of your casters to get access to Infernal Gateway but it’s a coinflip if you’ll get it, so I’d prefer Daemonology or Elementalism for the damage potential (The Summoning is a very decent Signature spell to be spamming and Plague of Rust is amazing always). Take it for a swing and just live in the moment.