Tuesday, October 23, 2012

12 Days of Chaos Part 4: HQ Chaos Lords, Dark Acolytes, Warpsmiths and Daemon Princes

On the fourth day of Chaos, my true God's granted me
Four Chaos Lords,
Three Tyrants, Two Chaos Marks, and Daemonic Immortality

Chaos Lords
Lantz: This guy will be most armies' bread and butter should you not be able to afford a Special Character. He's everything he was before, but given the appropriate Mark of ________, he will unlock either Berzerkers, 1k Sons, Plague Marines, or Noise Marines (have I mentioned you need to wait till the Elites section for these? Okay, good,) as a Troop choice. This HQ also gets a massive list of wargear options that we'll get to in a bit, just note you can keep this HQ cheap or make it insanely expensive. Take caution when decking him out.

HOTpanda: For those of us who are craving something a little more exotic or spicier than what the diner specials offer, then the Chaos Lord is for you.  Whether it's a Son of Anarchy Biker Lord or Terminator strutting Arnold those that are DIY incline will be back for seconds.  I see myself using a Lord as my secondary HQ to fill a specific role in my army or to transform an Elite unit into your standard lunch fair.

Drkmorals: The two most interesting things about the Chaos lords are that there are no points or item limit for his extra gear. You are free to build him in whatever direction to fill gaps for your list or to compliment it with as many points as you like. Feel free to VILLIAN HAMMER away if you have the points or to just give him what he needs to fill a role in your list. Also he allows you to unlock the Cult troops in the Elite section for cheap meaning you can still run those style lists at lower point’s costs.If you are strictly looking for a cheap HQ to save points go with a Sorcerer though.

Dark Apostles
Lantz: Dark Apostles have a bunch of little tricks, but nothing compared to what your other choices can give you. Giving his unit Fearless, Hatred, re-rolls on the Boon table and everyone within 6" of him (not his unit) is cool, but as you'll find, HQs are easily the most important and sought after slot in the FOC. His abilities are nice, but for his points cost, only having two wounds and bringing nothing from the Elites section into Troops is what does this guy in. He's not useless, but there are better options you'll be forced to take.

Drkmorals: This guy gives you high leadership for anyone in 6 inches of him so I would guess he is for themed armies spamming evil IG.

HOTpanda: The Dark Apostle fails to reflect any glisten light off his battle-scarred power armour.  With so many other killer HQ choices the Dark Acolyte fails to capture my attention.  The evil corruption of his voice is lost amongst the warp I am afraid.

Drkmorals: I feel this guy falls short personally, his stats aren’t great so he is designed as a support Character you can build up with gear. However his ability to degrade instead of bolster terrain means you can’t really build this into your strategy and synergise your list.  His ability to curse vehicles seems lack luster to say the least, you need to be within 18", you need to roll to hit, and then they have to roll 1’s when shooting. Not reliably useful for much. The reality is he is a Techmarine and there are plenty of other juicy choices far better than this guy.

HOTpanda: "Phasma ex Machina"; a ghost in the machine is what comes to mind when I hear the whispers of a Warpsmith.  Their stats fail to grab your attention despite their fleshmetal (2+ armour) screaming for you to look at it.  Their Mechantendrils give them an extra two attacks and provide both a flamer and a meltagun.  They also allow the Warpsmith to fire two ranged weapons in the shooting phase.  Overall like the Dark Apostle they fail in comparison to the other choices in the warp.

Lantz: Everything that's been said above is true. The Warpsmith (an amazing model) falls short, like the Apostle. More than anything, it's the two wounds that holds this guy back the most. Everything he has screams melee/short range shooting, but with only two wounds you don't want him anywhere upfield. It's a damn shame this unit is so torn on what he wants to be. At best he'll sit back with Cultists while repairing vehicles, but most will find that other options are better in the oh-so-precious HQ slot. Regardless, we'll all buy the model. Hot damn is that thing sexy!

Daemon Princes
HOTpanda: I am at a loss for word when it comes to Daemon Princes.  The sear size of both them and their stats seems to have me cowering behind a wall on a fence.  On one hand the model can be transformed into a daemonic close combat beast and provide your army with a flyer.  On the other side they are not only going to eat the enemy you place in front of them but they are going to eat your army's points up.  Make no doubt about it but if you want an effective Daemon Prince you are going to be paying anywhere from 250 to 300 points easily.

Drkmorals: The DP has an impressive stat line there is a reason this is the top end of the "Chaos table of random" when you kill things. Base they are toughness 5 with 5 attacks and 4 wounds and a fantastic initiative and WS. Then we can gear them out based on what you need or on fluff, or if you are lazy buy what you already have a model of lol. You need to just go ahead and expect to see flying Nurgle marked DP’s across the table from you. Shrouded flying MC with an amazing stat line plus they have access to the Black Mace which is vastly amusing.

Lantz: Daemon Princes have always been a fan-favorite for a lot of gamers out there, and I don't see this changing. The difficulty here is supporting your Troops with HQs, a theme that is paramount in this codex. Daemon Princes aren't that kind of HQ, though. HOTpanda's mention of their points cost to make them effective is 100% correct. To get what you want, you'll be paying Land Raider costs or more. But...just look at that statline! The Daemon Princes of old would not, could not, compete with the current HQ options. But with an increase in stats like this, they'll make plenty of appearances. It's worth noting that Daemons don't get marks anymore, they'll just be devout to a certain god and won't get the same benefits that Marks would have given them, except Tzeentch which math-wise is the same. So no more T6 Daemon Princes people. All of the god-options have merit, and there's no clear winner. All around, this unit will beat face if used properly. 

The Black Mace
Drkmorals: Uses the bearers Strength so a DP is a fantastic option for this thing, people are also saying if you are a MC you can Smash (or without depending on your group) raise your attacks to AP 2 getting around the higher AP value of this item.  Plus everyone in 3 inches takes a Toughness test and vanishes.. YES PLEASE… this weapon is all kinds of fun, but its points cost isn’t a couple coins and on top of the other upgrades you are most likely giving a Demon Prince this adds to the tax making this beast of a unit a hefty investment. I repeat though really amusing item to give your guys, not that you already won't be eating people in combat.

Lantz: The Black Mace is an interesting subject for the Daemon Prince. Does the AP change because a MC is wielding it? There is no answer to this, only time will tell. As Drkmorals said, Smash can solve this problem to a point, but knowing whether normal attack's AP is changed for the better will make or break this option. If it remains AP4, I don't see the 45pt cost as worth it by any stretch of the imagination. As any Necron player who tried out the Monolith for shits and giggles will tell you, Strength Tests aren't reliable against most units you'll come up against, but it's a nice little add-on. Anything a Daemon Prince was going to kill in melee with this weapon, it would have without it and without its Strength tests. My problem is you're essentially paying 45pts for AP4 and Fleshbane. No thanks.

HOTpanda: And with that the sands of time have expired from these Dark Lords of Chaos.  Each and everyone of them competing amongst each other for a chance that the Gods will smile down upon them.  The Standard Template Construct hopes that by devoting twelve straight days of chaotic posting that you the readers will smile upon us.  Till next time, see you in the warp.


  1. I don't think there's actually an argument against the black mace being AP2 when wielded by a Monstrous Creature, the Smash rule specifically states all attacks from the MC count as AP2...this is an attack from the MC, its AP 2!

    I think the Dark Apostle's reroll ability is one of the most overlooked powers in the book. Put him with a squad that has a kitted out champion to take challenges and throw them at units they can beat down. reroll any result that isn't a daemon prince. Suddenly every time that champion kills an enemy leader, you get a 20% chance of turning a zerker champ or plague champ into the greatest monster this side of the eye of terror!

    1. I agree, the only exeption the rulebook gives is that it says the MC's attacks are AP1 if using an AP1 weapon.

    2. When a new set of rules comes out there is usually a bit of difference in how different groups or area's play some of the new rules at least at first. I have heard people argue the mace might not be AP2 and I didn't want to use this article for that type of discussion. As far as I can tell though all major events do agree that a Prince with the Mace is AP2.

  2. I would like to mess around with a Dark Apostle List that takes full advantage of this. Perhaps a couple of 1kson aspiring sorcerers as well to help roll for additional buffs as well. Could be fun.

  3. I'm going to try a tactic Stelek suggested the other day. Running him with chaff cultists, then hopping from the cultist unit to a cc squad, probably zerkers. Considering running a zerker champ with a power maul, I'm curious how S6 does, it sucks to lose AP3 but depending on matchup, its either a huge boon (instant death against eldar and pens most of their vehicles and ignores armor) or you have a 2+ to wound.

    1. I would be interested to hear how this works in actual game play after you have tested it. It seems ok in theory but theory doesn't always seem to pan out when dice hit the table. So actual testing is always nice to hear about.

  4. So how rare are HQ slots when you get 4 at 2000 points? You can take a cheap lord, a versatile sorcerer and still have room left over for the apostle or warpsmith. You are reviewing 6th ed rules guys, stop thinking like its 5th!

    1. Panda is right on the money while it is a new rule that at 2000 points you can take 2 force orgs, I have seen very very few events local that allow this. I have spoken to very few play groups that allow this as well. However even if so I don't know if take 3 or more HQ's is as valuable as it would seem at first. The Chaos codex isn't cheap, I think is most cases taking beyond 2 HQ's is going to really eat into your army list in a codex that is chasing points depending on build.

  5. We have 6th edition in mind 100%. Not all tournaments are 2000 points plus. In fact most would be under 2000 points. On top of that many tournament organizers are not going with multiple force org charts for those tournaments that are above 2000 points. All this adds up to having the option for 4 HQs being the exception to the rule. As such we geared our assessments around the norm.

  6. I think the Dark Apostle's Zealot rule is often overlooked. He grants Hatred (all) and Fearless to his unit

  7. I think the dark Apostle makes a great secondary hQ if you have the points and the non fearless unit to pair him with. His drawbacks is that he does not convert elites to troops and is not a psyker. For me the cons just out wieght the pros.

  8. The lack of Eternal Warrior really kills the Daemon Prince for me. Even with the Mark of Nurgle keeping him from being doubled out, there are way too many Force Weapons and other sources of Instant Death around for my comfort.

    Chaos Lords and Sorcerers look to be the "go-to"s as I see it.

    1. I'll do you one worse, the Daemon Prince doesn't get +1T for Dedication to Nurgle, it gets shrouded, slow and purposeful and that's it! Its really only useful as a buff to your jink save when flying, which, a 3++ is nothing to sneeze at. Hard to justify taking such a beast, he must swoop in, stay alive, make his charge, and hopefully not eat the squad so he can avoid getting shot to pieces next turn. I'm still using the Codex: Daemons version because I can't find a setup I like in the CSM one. Having 2+ Poison and T6, plus assault/defense grenades for a lower price is pretty nice, plus he can take breath for that template that ignores armor saves and glances armor.