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16/07/2013

Tactica: Daemon Prince


The Daemon Prince is a staple unit in any Chaos Daemon army. The flexibility it offers means it can be suited for all players. To get more out of your Daemon Prince check this tactica guide out!

Prince of Daemons

The Daemon Prince costs an expensive 145 points and for that you get WS9 BS5 S6 T5 W4 I8 A5 LD9 SV-

The Daemon Prince sits in the HQ section of the Chaos Daemon codex, though if you take a greater daemon of aligned with the same god then that Daemon Prince becomes heavy support.

You must upgrade the Prince to be a daemon of a chaos god, this gives the daemon special rule (5+ invulnerable save and fear) along with various other rules which I will move onto shortly.

You can also make the Prince a psyker (up to mastery level 3) and take biomancy, telepathy or telekinesis from the rulebook or powers from the Chaos Daemons codex corresponding to the chaos god your daemon follows.

At first glance the Prince has limited options; warp forged armour (3+ armour save), daemonic flight, mastery levels 1-3 and 50 points worth of lesser, greater and exalted rewards.

Warp forged armour is pretty much always worth it unless you go Nurgle.

Daemonic flight is expensive but you gain a flying monster with the ability to vector strike and shoot at flyers, this is extremely handy as the Prince is BS5 and isn't going to miss all that often.

The rewards are randomly rolled for, though you can always take a magic weapon for the lesser and greater rewards or a hellforged artefact is using exalted reward.

Personally I wouldn't bother with the lesser rewards unless you have points to burn and then the magic weapons are only useful such as the mutating warpblade, plague fail and witstealer sword - remember these will be AP2 attacks as all monstrous creatures have the smash rule.

The greater and exalted rewards are where it is at. All of the greater rewards will be useful for a big monstrous creature like the Daemon Prince as majority of them offer survival benefits while a few offer offensive out put. Personally I like to take the lash of slaanesh on my Slaanesh Princes.

Exalted rewards are really used to get a hellforged artefact such as the portalglyph (spawns extra troops) and the grimnoire of true names (gives +2 to invulnerable saves), though I do like the eternal blade which can give a D3 bonus to weapon skill, initiative, and attacks. As the eternal blade is a specialist weapon you could get +1 attack if paired with another specialist weapon i.e etherblade or witstealer sword etc.

Daemonic Followers

Here is a run down of the abilities and rules a Prince gains when becomes a follower of a chaos god:

Daemon of Khorne - furious charge and hatred: Daemons of Slaanesh.

Daemon of Tzeentch - +3 modifier when generating psychic powers, re-roll all failed saving throws of 1 and hatred: Daemons of Nurgle

Daemon of Nurgle - shrouded, slow and purposeful and hatred: Daemons of Tzeentch. In addition treated as having defensive grenades.

Daemon of Slaanesh - rending, fleet,  3" additional run and hatred: Daemons of Khorne

Daemonic Builds

Here are some example builds of a Daemon Prince for each chaos god:

Khorne Prince - daemonic flight, warp forged armour, lesser reward & 2 x greater rewards.

Roll on the greater rewards and see what you get, switch one you're unlikely to use and take the blade of blood. Use the lesser reward to take the axe of khorne. As both of these are specialist weapons the Daemon Prince will get +1 attack, this will give the Prince a total of 7 attacks on the charge! The blade of blood gives the rampage special rule, very useful if charging into basic troop units i.e Tactical Marines, Veteran Guardsmen, Dire Avengers etc as will gain D3 bonus attacks - could be 10 x S7 attacks!

Tzeentch Prince - daemonic flight, warp forged armour, 2 x greater rewards & mastery level 3 psyker.

The Tzeentch Prince is the most expensive Prince build you can get and weighs in at 345 points! Use the greater rewards to get survival boosting gifts, though switching for the staff of change can provide some very fun results! Use the psychic powers to on the biomancy chart and hopefully get iron arm and other cool powers, though use one power to take flickering fires of tzeentch from the change discipline - if you use all warp charge points for flickering fire then the Prince could shoot up to 24 x S5 shots!

Nurgle Prince - warp forged armour, 2 x greater rewards & mastery level 2 psyker.

This guy can go on foot as the shrouding benefit from nurgle will keep this fella safe. Though on foot will be slow so will need supporting units. You could take wings if you fancy and when you jink you get a 3+ cover save, though as the Prince wants to get into close combat you will still need the warp forged armour, really.

I'll be honest the Nurgle Prince is my least favourite as it can be more costly or just as costly as a Great Unclean One, who is a mastery level 1 psyker, T7 and 4+ poison attacks for only 45 points more. In addition the Prince cannot sweeping advance thanks to slow and purposeful, when you are initiative 8 you will auto win sweeping advances and destroy units, well not with a Nurgle Prince and those units are now free to shoot you next turn providing they regroup.

Slaanesh Prince - daemonic flight, warp forged armour, 2 x greater rewards & mastery level 2 psyker.

The Slaanesh Prince will switch one greater reward for the lash of slaanesh, this fires 2D6 S: U 12" shots - if you are lucky and generate iron arm on the biomancy table then you could be firing up to 12 x S9 shots! Sure the range is short, but remember that monstrous creatures can run 2D6" and because the Slaanesh Prince has fleet can re-roll this. In addition can run an extra 3" - that's a super fast flying monster who can be on your doorstep turn 1.

Tactics

The Daemon Prince has two roles on the battlefield; anti air support and close combat.

Anti air can be done in the form of a Slaanesh Prince with lash of slaanesh or a Tzeentch Prince with flickering fire or any other Tzeentch shooting attacks. Of course the Slaanesh Prince is slightly better against higher av units as the S6 can deal with up to av12 and that's not counting iron arm. However, the Tzeentch Prince will probably be ultimately better as most flyers are av11 and 4D6 S5 shots hitting on a 2+ is really going to ruin a flyer's day.

Keep in mind that flying monstrous creatures have to turn 90 degrees at the start of their turn though shoot all the way around. So try and position yourself in an position to get in rear armour while using cover at the same time to block LOS etc.

Ground base targets, the Prince is going to target basic infantry choices which it can easily mash up i.e Tactical Squads, Veteran Guardsman, Fire Warriors etc. These units do not stand much chance against a Daemon Prince plus their numbers means the Prince will not hack through them in a single turn, which you do not want  anyway as the Prince will be left standing ready to be shot at in the opponent's turn. If the enemy unit remains then the opponent's turn the Daemon Prince will mash up the last remaining numbers. Now, this is the good bit; as the Prince has a very high initiative the Prince will 'auto' sweep most units at I4 or under -good by thanks for coming. If against Space Marines then the Prince will stay locked in combat and means the Prince is protected from fire again, providing you do not win combat in your turn. This is the reason why I do not like Nurgle Princes as no sweeping advance with them :(

If you do not want to mash up a squad one turn and want to survive longer, then as a character the Prince can issue challenges. The opponent has a choice of accepting and be one on one or losing more models. This tactic is brilliant if against small units as the Prince will more than likely wipe them out in a single turn. When in a challenge only one model will die, the Prince will only take wounds from the enemy model locked in a challenge and combat losses will be minimal for the opponent. Then next turn unleash hell! Of course the opponent can wise onto this and take the loss of a squad and then gun the Prince down in their turn providing the Prince destroys the enemy unit.

Speaking of Nurgle, slow foot Princes will be better deep striking in your opponent's deployment zone and deal with camping units i.e Devastators, Long Fangs, objective holders etc. If you are using a Nurgle Prince drop his monkey ass into terrain to make use of shrouding and as monstrous creatures have move through cover they ignore dangerous terrain. Having a multi wound T5 monster with shrouding running around in your deployment zone smashing your back field units isn't cool. Doing this trick will also net you linebreaker, or at least attempt to get linebreaker.

This goes without saying but as a monstrous creature the Daemon Prince can smash vehicles by halving the attacks and going to S10. Of course if you roll roll on greater rewards you could get touch of uncreation (armour and fleshbane), which means 2D6 armour pen for you. The Prince can also double out T5 models such as Thunderwolf Cavalry etc.

Daemon Princes, how do you run yours and how to you prefer to use them?