Friday, March 8, 2013

Specific Review of Codex: Chaos Daemons

Picture shamelessly taken from this BoLS post dated 3/3/13.
I suppose I could say "Yes" to to above question.  But the reasons for that might not be what you think.  As any cursory inspection of the blog will reveal, I am primarily a Salamanders Space Marines player.  I probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of 12k points of the flame loving crusaders, and I'm fine with that, or more accurately, my wife is okay with that.  On the other hand, even with that sort of diversity available within that codex, I was tired of playing power armored super-humans, and more importantly, I was tired of painting snot green (or whatever the hell the new color is called...I'm still using up my supplies of the "old" snot green).  I needed a new army that would maintain my interest in the hobby by selecting one that had: a different play style, a different "look", was something that wasn't too popular in my shop, and was something that I could get excited about.

Rather than go into excruciating detail about the specifics, I ended up choosing Tzeentch Daemons.  It is my preference to only play mono-god lists due to the influence of the past background material.  Perhaps in Apoc could I envision the Gods working together to accomplish a task, but never for something as trivial as a 1500-2000 point game sized force.  Yes, this was post White Dwarf update.  No, that was not why I selected them.  I had originally settled on Nurgle Daemons, but there were about a half dozen of the lads at the shop who played them.  A handful had Khorne and Slaanesh, and exactly zero people played Tzeentch.  Still, I think it's worth noting that as powerful as the Screamers and Flamers were in the previous update, I never took more than 9 of each in my three 1500 point games.

So, where did that leave me?  I made plans to attend Adepticon again after getting burned out on the Team Tournament.  I was to participate in the 40k Friendly event and the Combat Patrol.  I would bring my new Daemons, I wouldn't worry about award-quality paint jobs/conversions, and I would focus on fun.  I carefully selected my list, acquired the models, and got to work.

Here is the list I planned on taking:

Herald of Tzeentch w/Bolt, Disc, We Are Legion, & Master of Sorcery
Herald of Tzeentch w/Bolt, Disc, We Are Legion, & Master of Sorcery
(18) Horrors of Tzeentch w/Changeling
(8) Horrors of Tzeentch w/Bolt (Herald would accompany)
(8) Horros of Tzeentch w/Bolt (Herald would accompany)
(4) Screamers of Tzeentch
(5) Screamers of Tzeentch
(3) Flamers of Tzeentch w/Pyrocaster
(3) Flamers of Tzeentch
(3) Flamers of Tzeentch
Daemon Prince w/Flight, Might, Gaze, Bolt, & Mark of Tzeentch

That list was silly with sacred numbers.  I had 9 screamers, 9 flamers, Horror squads in sacred number denominations once the heralds were attached, and 9 total units altogether.  It was glorious.  I had anti-horde, anti-vehicle, anti-elite unit, anti-flier, a unique deployment system, gorgeous models and a solid ruleset  that I was beginning to fall in love with.  Short story long?  I enjoyed the hell out of them.  I was excited about my hobby again.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Enter the new codex.  Can I be nit-picky for a bit?  I hate hardcover codexes.  HATE them.  They should be softcover the way God intended.  There, I'm done with that for now.  There's plenty of press out there discussing the pros and cons of this new codex.  Those folks are likely much more qualified that I am to discuss this book in an objective manner.  That's not what this post is about.  This post is how the army that I carefully selected and built for a specific purpose is no longer playable in the manner it was when I selected it.

Here is my new list that I'll be taking up to the 40k Friendly event.  I haven't come up with my combat patrol list.  I just don't have the heart for it at the moment:

Lord of Change (Lvl 2 -Divination & Change) w/(2) Greater & (1) Lesser Rewards
Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 2 - Divination & Change) w/Exalted Locus of Conjuration
Herald of Tzeentch (Lvl 2 - Divination & Change) w/Exalted Locus of Conjuration
(20) Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
(20) Pink Horrors of Tzeentch
(9) Screamers of Tzeentch
Burning Chariot of Tzeentch
Burning Chariot of Tzeentch
Daemon Prince (Lvl 1 - Biomancy) w/Mark of Tzeentch, Flight, & (1) Lesser Gift

There are some things that I find intriguing with the new book.  The Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes seem like they might be worth taking, but that's about it for me.  I hate that my horrors are so cheap, because now they're shit.  Yes, I can get twin linked S6 shooting from them now, but I lost a whole lot of total shots, any opportunity to overwatch (which has saved them from assault in the past), and a point of invulnerable save (even though I do now get to re-roll 1's).  Additionally, the move away from innate abilities towards psychic powers was a poor one in my opinion.  Now any army with any sort of Psychic defense (Grey Knights, Space Marines, Tyranids, Eldar, etc.), not to mention failing my Perils test or my opponents lucky Deny the Witch rolls, could conceivably shut down my entire army.  Talk about building a narrative.  I think the reason I'm so disappointed with this new codex is the changes to my Pink Horrors.  They were the backbone of my army, and they've changed so dramatically.  I can't even take squads of 9 anymore.  It seems like sacred numbers were an afterthought to the design of this book.

So, in closing, the book wasn't what I wanted it to be.  Not even close, actually, I consider it to be a great disappointment.  But, I had a very narrow definition of what I wanted, and I'm naturally a very unlucky person, so I'm not surprised that the list that I became attached to no longer plays the way I wanted it to.  All that said, I will play the lists at Adepticon since I had to register the army I was playing in the 40k Friendly, so I'm stuck with it.  I may even play a few games with them at the shop, but I doubt it.  I wouldn't play Apoc with this codex unless I absolutely had to.  Turns out the way to refresh my desire for my Salamanders was to sprinkle my Daemons with the salty tears of despair.  :)

My overall rating?  Inconclusive.  I had no desire to play anything but a limited mono-Tzeentch build so I can't speak to it's overall quality.  It does, however, lose points for being unnecessarily a hardcover book.

My specific rating?  1.5 stars out of 5.  This may go up or down as time goes on and I see what I can do with it, but my initial opinion of the units is poor, and my opinion of random charts for gifts and "warp storms" is very low.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year? New Resolution: Blood For the Blood God!!!

While I haven't shifted the focus of my latest army from Tzeentch Daemons to that of Khorne, I did spend a bit of time celebrating the New Year's holiday with my gaming buddies listening to some artists straight from the dawn of metal.  I know very little of their history, but I did rock out to their tunes.  Enjoy!

Lyrics for this madness can be found here.

And Bolt Thrower can be deciphered here.

P.S.  I am 99% done painting my 40 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (only eyes, bases, & touch ups remain).  I am about 20% done with my Daemon Prince, Flamers, & Screamers.  They are primed, based, and washed.  The next steps will include the highlighting and detailing, but I don't expect that to take too much time...