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15/08/2012

Tactica: Chaos Daemons Daemon Prince tactica



The Daemon Prince is the most configurable unit in the Chaos Daemons codex. With the release of 6th edition, this big brute has got more meaner.

Tough Cookie

For a base cost of 80 points, the Daemon Prince isn't a to bad buy. You get WS7, BS2, S5, T5, W4, I5, A4, LD10 and 5+ invulnerable save. Basically pretty much as the same D.P in the CSM 'dex, except no 3+ armour save and 30 points reduction.

As the Prince is a monstrous creature, it gets the normal monstrous creature bonuses; move through cover, relentless, fear, smash etc. 

Standard Upgrades

Daemonic Flight 

Wings is the most expensive vanilla upgrade you can get, costing 2/3's of the Princes base cost. With wings the D.P becomes a flying monstrous creature, so you get the usual vector strike special rule and of course only snap fire (hit on 6+) can hit it. When swooping the D.P can move a respectful 12" - 24", which can cover some serious ground. While doing this movement it also cannot be assaulted, but cannot also assault. 

Depending on what you're using your Prince for, wings may not be worth it. As a D.P must deep strike for deployment, you can be in range pretty sharpish anyway. I would consider if this upgrade is worth taking or not. 

*Tip - if you're using wings, deep strike and declare you are swooping (rulebook says if coming in reserve declare to opponent if gliding or swooping). The opponent will then need 6+ to hit the Prince. If you're using the normal G.W ruins, deep strike into the ruin (will land on ground floor), this will give you 4+ cover save. Yes, I know that if you deep strike into terrain it is classed as dangerous terrain, but the D.P has move through cover, which ignores dangerous terrain and so does a swooping monstrous creature.

Iron Hide 

Pretty cut and dry this one; gives 3+ armour save. Depending on how you setup your Prince really depends if you want 3+ armour save or not. If you're using the Prince in combat, then a 3+ armour save will be helpful. You also need to consider what will be shooting at the Prince, which is high strength and low AP guns i.e lascannons, missile launchers, plasma guns and meltaguns. All these weapons will not care about the 3+ armour save and it comes down to a better invulnerable save. Of course, if you're in combat you cannot be shot at.

The competition for the iron hide is mark of nurgle; both cost the same points. See it's a catch 22 situation, the above weapons which will be going for the D.P, which all except plasma do not care about T6. So you're back to the requirement of better invulnerable save. But, as the Daemon Prince is only T5, it can be gunned down using small arms fire. 

Mathshammer tells us that a 10 man Tactical Squad firing 10 bolters will hit 13 times and score 4 wounds on a T5 Prince, which will fail a single wound.

When the same Tactical Squad fires at a Prince with mark of nurgle, they will score 2 wounds, which the Prince will fail a single wound.

So I guess it is perhaps not so cut and dry. The iron hide and mark of nurgle both end up with the same results if shot at by small arms fire and high powered weaponry just doesn't give two hoots either way.

Instrument of Chaos

This upgrade probably isn't worth taking, even though cheap. If there's a draw in combat, then the instrument counts as scoring +1 wound. For 5 points I guess it's not too bad, but the Prince really should win combat if thrown at the right target enemy units i.e basic infantry.

Unholy Might

+1 strength, nice upgrade, but costs a bit of points for what it does. The Prince is going to wound most things on a 3+ and is going to strike first. Against other monstrous creatures it's not so 'up there', but just avoid those and use other units, or use another D.P setup. Don't forget the smash rule, so against vehicles the Prince isn't going to need unholy might.

I would probably leave this one, unless you're desperate for it. 20 points is a little too much for what return you get. 

Chaos Marks

Just noting these for the article, really

Mark of Khorne

Probably the least useful upgrade; only gives +1 attack and the D.P has enough of those already.

Mark of Slaanesh

The cheapest mark and offers +1 initiative, which allows the D.P to strike before most basic infantry HQs and before some other monstrous creatures. Specific mark gifts can be very useful.

Mark of Nurgle

Most expensive mark of all; gives +1 toughness. As mentioned above, mathshammer shows that iron hide and mark of nurgle both have the same results against small arms fire and against high strength weaponry. You can get some very nice gifts with this and make a nice killer unit.

Mark of Tzeentch

This mark gives +1 to invulnerable save, so gives the Prince a 4+ invulnerable save. At least from high strength weaponry, this makes the Prince more survivable than MoN and iron hide. 

Mark of Tzeentch Gifts

Master of Sorcery

Allows the Prince to use an additional shooting weapon; so can fire use three ranged attacks. Take bolt of tzeentch, daemonic gaze and breath of chaos, and you've got a killer shooty D.P.

Soul Devourer

Part of this power is useless, as it gives the model a power weapon; the D.P already has AP2 melee attacks thanks to smash rule. More interestingly it can inflict instant death on a model if it fails a leadership test, but seems most models have decent leadership, this probably isn't going to happen. Soul devourer is probably the least useful Tzeentch gift.

Bolt of Tzeentch

What's not to like about S8 AP1 death? Ok it is 24" range, but with the Prince deep striking, that shouldn't be a problem. A Prince setup with a bolt can be one of the few ranged anti tank solutions Daemons have, but it does come at a serious points cost. At least the D.P only needs a 2+ to hit.

Mark of Khorne Gifts

Blessing of the Blood God

This daemonic gift gives 2+ invulnerable against force weapons and psychic powers; what's not to like? Excellent gift and very cheap.

Death Strike

Basically a 20 point assault 1 plasma shot. At BS5 the Prince is more often than not going to hit, but 20 points for a single shot at S7 is just too expensive.

Mark of Slaanesh Gifts

Aura of Acquiescence

Assault and defensive grenades for 5 points? Why the hell not!

Soporific Musk

Hit and run for 20 points. The Prince is I6 thanks to the MoS, so should pass the initiative test to hit and run 5/6 times. But, I feel 20 points is a little steep but this gift. Consider it carefully.

Transfixing Gaze

This is a excellent gift for 10 points; it allows the Daemon player to reduce one enemy model's attack by 1. Combo this power with pavane, and you can lash those power fists so the enemy models are now at the front, charge in and use gaze to reduce the power fist attack; of course the power fist is in base contact, so will be one of the first models to start taking wounds. Extremely handy gift.

Pavane of Slaanesh

Mini lash of submission in daemon form. This allows you to play jiggery pokery with enemy units by moving them D6", remember it is a shooting attack and the Prince needs a 2+ to hit. With some clever shenanigans, you can move models around so you can ensure particular models carrying certain items of wargear can take damage easier. You can pavane models into dangerous terrain too, so it is possible the models can take a wound (though the risk is lower than previous thanks to 6th ed changes). Best one is to pavane a Dreadnought into dangerous terrain i.e vehicle wreck, where it could become immobilised; rotate the Dreadnought before hand so you can blast its rear armour ;) .

The main competition for pavane is wings. Both these gifts are nice for an assaulty D.P.

Lets take pavane first. Prince can move 6" and lets say pavane is average 4", then add your 2D6" assault range, which on average is 7". In total we're talking about a 17" total move to get into assault.

Wings; move 12", assault 7", average is 19".

So, for double the points over pavane you get a extra 2" movement. Of course, with wings you can get a flying monstrous creature, which can do allsorts of goody good gum drop things.

Mark of Nurgle Gifts

Cloud of Flies

Defensive and assault grenades for 5 points, yeeehaaaw!

Noxious Touch

This is one of those upgrades which you need to take a second glance. This upgrade allows the Prince to wound on a 2+. On average the Prince is going to wound on a 3+ against you MEQ. Keep in mind that noxious touch is a poison attack, so you can re-roll to wound, which when you add unholy might means you can re-roll to wound against other monstrous creatures too. So, when you look at the big picture, noxious touch is a worth while gift.

Aura of Decay

A 6" bubble which causes S2 AP- to all any models within range. If you get this gift, you really are pissing 20 points up the wall I am afriad.

Generic Gifts

Daemonic Gaze

A 24" S5 AP3 assault 3 attack. For 20 points I say it is probably a bit too steep.

Breath of Chaos

This is perhaps the coolest generic daemonic gift available. It is a template weapon, any model under the template takes a wound on a 4+ with no armour saves - even Terminators need to worry about this. Vehicles take a glancing hit on a 4+, good bye hull point. For 30 points it is pretty expensive, but it is a very handy gift which is excellent for multi role purposes.

Boon of Mutation

Basically shoot a enemy model, enemy model takes a toughness test and if fails a crappy Spawn appears, who cannot do anything for the rest of the turn. You're best spending 30 points on the breath of chaos.

Sample Builds

Generic Prince

Daemon Prince - daemonic flight, iron hide & breath of chaos - 200 points

Tactics

Deep strike the Prince into terrain and declare you are swooping (opponent needs 6+ to hit the Prince); the Prince doesn't take a dangerous terrain test because a. monstrous creatures get move through cover (ignores dangerous terrain) and b. swooping flying monstrous creatures ignore dangerous terrain - huzzah! You will then get a 4+ cover save from the ruin, of course depending on placement.

The Prince will then focus on basic troop units and rock up, unleash breath of chaos and charge. With a 3+/5+ inv save, the Prince should be tough to take down in combat and smash things to bits. Prince may also do vector strikes on light armour and transport vehicles, and of course flyers.

Tzeentch Prince

Daemon Prince - mark of tzeentch, bolt of tzeentch and daemonic gaze - 160 points

Tactics

Like the generic Prince, deep strike into terrain for cover useage. Keep your distance with the Tzeentch Prince and lay down supporting fire from a distance (use cover!); bolt smashes open transport vehicles while gaze blasts infantry - note that gaze is for weakening enemy units before Daemon units assault. The Tzeentch Prince is a shooting support role mainly, but can get it's hands dirty in combat if needed.

Khorne Prince

Daemon Prince - daemonic flight, iron hide, unholy might, mark of khorne & blessing of the blood god - 215 points

Tactics

Pure assaulty Daemon Prince is coming right at you hard and fast with 6 attacks on the charge. Laugh at those foolish Grey Knights with your 2+ invulnerable save. Still be cautious though, do not throw the Prince into elite c.c units, pick your targets carefully. Vehicle mashing in combat and vector strike is fun; 3 attacks charging at a Land Raider at S10 is pretty cool, do not forget re-roll armour pen thanks to the smash rule.

Slaanesh Prince

Daemon Prince - iron hide, mark of slaanesh, aura of acquiescence, transfixing gaze, pavane of slaanesh & breath of chaos - 195 points

Like the Khorne Prince, the Slaanesh Prince is combat based, but IMO is better; it has assault and defensive grenades, can force a enemy model to lose an attack, pavane enemy models closer or be generally annoying and can incinerate models with breath of chaos - what's not to like? This Prince has it all. Excellent support unit and close combat unit.

Nurgle Prince

Daemon Prince - daemonic flight, unholy might, mark of nurgle, cloud of flies and noxious touch - 205 points

The Nurgle Prince is probably the best all round combat orienated Prince, for 5 points more over the generic Prince, I can see no reason why you just wouldn't take the Nurgle Prince. This guy is going to wound everything on a 2+ and can re-roll to wound - awesome. Add it has assault and defensive grenades too; nasty.

While the Daemon Prince is costly in the Chaos Daemons codex, it can be a handy unit and can either  be setup for a shooting support role, close combat smashy death or dual role. What you guys think?