I've changed my mind about what army to take to the Mecahnicon.
I've heard that Space Marines, or similar armies, appeared to be the most common army at the Minicon this past weekend. While I'm still new to Space Marines, outside of my old Death Guard army, I realize most other people aren't and I'd rather not be just another guy with a Space Marine army.
This is also helpful as my Daemons of Chaos are fully painted and I've yet to take them to a large tournament. I intended to take them to the Big Waaagh! but personal issues came up and I ended up missing my flight. I've said for a while that Daemons are a terrible army for a 5 game GT styled event as they require a certain amount of luck to win with and it's hard to be that lucky over 5 games. Still, the temptation to play an army I've yet to bring to a big event, them being something different than most other armies, and my being happy with the paint job has made the decision a lot easier.
I've played this army about 20 times in the last 5 months and there's a lot I like about it and a lot I don't. Here's a list of the units I've used a fair amount and my thoughts on them:
Fateweaver: He rocks except for when he dies. He gets killed way too easily sometimes, you'd think a rerollable 3++ would go a lot farther than it does. There are games where he simply won't die, however. There are also games where he'll charge a squad of Guardsmen and die. Even still, he's a huge target and absorbs a ton of fire power. When I can get my army around him, maybe a third of the games I've played, it's unstoppable. Even when I can't do that he has a ton of great shooting attacks and the ability to split up fire means I can use a Bolt of Tzeentch on a vehicle while still Breath of Chaos-ing a unit and unload some extra shooting attacks. Boon of Mutation is hit and miss as well but when it works, such as making Yriel a Spawn, it's game changing. Basically, I couldn't imagine making a Daemon army without him unless I was doing 2 Blood Thirsters and 3 beefy Daemon Princes.
Herald of Khorne: I put him on a Chariot and that's the only experience I have with him. He's incredibly cheap and acts as a mini Daemon Prince. He's done well with me so far but I'm not married to him by any means. I'd be tempted to swap him out for a second Herald of Tzeentch.
Herald of Tzeentch: He goes into a squad of Pink Horrors, he usually makes the 18th model in the unit so I can keep to Tzeentch's number. He provides another Bolt and I've been giving him the Boon of Mutation for when the unit gets caught in combat. I've tried using Breath of Chaos but that makes the unit more aggressive than I'm comfortable with. Unless they're near Fateweaver they end up dying quickly in assault.
Blood Crushers: I've been using a squad of 5 with Icon, Fury of Khorne, and Musician. I'm torn on this unit. I'd say 1 in every 3 games they end up getting misplaced or otherwise slowed down so as to never get into combat. The other 2 out of 3 games they make it into combat and half of the time the game is already won and the other half they really end up devastating my opponent and winning me the game. They're a huge threat, though, and people are scared of them. I like them and will probably use them but they're not a no brainer. Their huge bases makes them coming in a tricky proposition for the first wave but I oftentimes feel they need that extra turn to get into position.
Flamers of Tzeentch: I've only recently started to use these guys but I like them a lot more than I thought I would. They're fairly fragile, being the only 1 Wound Elite choice for roughly the same cost as other 2 Would Elites, I thought they would end up dying before doing anything. Instead it seems most people overlook them as I have a ton of other threats and I'm able to Deep Strike them fairly conservatively before I jump up 12" and use their Breath of Chaos. At this point I don't think I'll ever make a list without at least a small unit of 3.
Fiends of Slaanesh: I like these guys but I think I like them a lot more than I should. They're fast, have a ton of Strength 5 attacks that Rend, and Hit and Run means they don't get stuck anywhere and can get a charge bonus. They're 2 wounds and I can spread the wounds out a little with the Unholy Might model. They're solid and are great against vehicles that don't start with an "L" and end in an "and Raider". They have a huge problem in that they don't have Assault Grenades and most smart opponents hide out in terrain. One round of shooting from a Marine squad with Bolters takes their numbers down considerably and striking last means most opponents will take them out before they get a chance to strike. When they work they're awesome and one of the best units in the game. If they had grenades they would be the best Elites choice for the Daemons book. Without grenades, though, most smart opponents can make them a waste of points. They still might find a place in my army.
Pink Horrors of Tzeentch: I love these guys. I thought they were overpointed and not very effective but after using a squad of 17, Herald of Tzeentch making 18, I've fallen in love with them. They are a terror to face and can make Space Marines and Terminators afraid. They're only Toughness 3 but their 4++ Invulnerable save goes a long way, especially if Fateweaver is nearby. They're good and I'll always fit them into a list that isn't otherwise thematic.
Plaguebearers of Nurgle: I also love these guys. I thought they were underpointed and I think I'm still right. They're surprisingly aggressive in close combat, the 4+ Poisoned Attacks mean they wound Toughness 4 75% of the time, and they can take a ton of wounds and shrug them off. With Fateweaver nearby they are unkillable. I think in 20 games I've only lost the entire unit in one of them. They're ace!
Daemonettes of Slaanesh: I've tired these girls twice in 12 model units. I like them a lot. They're fragile. Toughness 3 and a 5++ Invulnerable means they die to Bolter fire, but they're fast and can hide in cover for a 4+ Cover Save. They also hit like a ton of bricks. Unlike the Fiends which can do a lot of regular wounds, Strength 5 is solid like that, they really rely on getting those Rends. If you were to break them down to Attacks per Points spent they do better than Fiends and they have grenades, although they aren't quite as fast. They're good and I'd consider using them if I could free up the points. I'd feel tempted to throw in a Herald to give them a little bit more punch. They're good, though, and really cheap. I'm tempted to do a Skarbrand / Daemonette army as I've seen how good Genestealers can be when they reroll their hits.
Daemon Princes: I like these guys for a lot of reasons. I've thus far only given them Marks of Tzeentch but I think that's essential as the army needs as many Bolts of Tzeentch as you can find and them being BS 5 only makes them even sweeter. They're a little easy to kill, Toughness 5 with a 4++ Invulnerable Save only goes so far, but they're a huge threat. They can take on most Marine units in close combat and if they're near Fateweaver they're unstoppable. They can also assault vehicles and wipe them out and Daemons really need all the help with vehicles they can get. I like them more than Soul Grinders as they're usually cheaper and more durable as most armies are packing a lot of Meltas these days. If I thought Soul Grinders could get stuck in combat quickly I'd go with them. I've only played against Soul Grinders but I've never had a problem taking them out and making them a waste, at least a Daemon Prince can take a beating and any shots fired at them aren't fired at something else worthwhile.
On the whole I think Daemons have a lot of really good units. The army is also undercosted as a whole due to their deployment rules. It's a peculiar army in that it is really hard to beat if the Daemon player gets a decent first wave and deep strikes well but that they can also lose due to misfortune here as well. It takes a bit of the "game" out of the game but it adds a new element to 40k and I appreciate that.
With all those thoughts, here's the list I'm thinking of taking. I've yet to use this list as is but I've used variations on it recently. The closest variation, and the one I've used the most, replaces the Daemonettes with Fiends. I think the Daemonettes are going to work out better in most cases, but I have 4 weeks to test it out.
Also, the name of the army "Fiends of Fate" came from Doug McNaron as he's running a Pyramid I'm in and I never named my army so he named it for me (without telling me). I like the name, though, so I'll keep it. Thanks Doug!
1850 Daemons of Chaos - Fiends of Fate
Herald of Khorne, Chariot, Unholy Might, Blessings of the Blood God
Herald of Tzeentch, We Are Legion, Bolt of Tzeentch
5 Bloodcrushers of Khorne, Chaos Icon, Fury of Khorne, Instrument of Chaos
4 Flamers of Tzeentch
17 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch, Bolt of Tzeentch
14 Plaguebearers of Nurgle, Chaos Icon, Instrument of Chaos
18 Daemonettes of Slaanesh, Transfixing Gaze
Daemon Prince of Chaos, Mark of Tzeentch, Instrument of Chaos, Bolt of Tzeentch
I hope to have Fateweaver, Bloodcrushers, Pink Horrors + Herald, and either the Daemon Prince or Daemonettes (depends on many factors) come in on the first wave. This still leaves my second wave with a bit of bite in case they come in first.
I need to finish painting up the Daemonettes but everything else is ready to go. I'll make sure to bring my camera to the next game I play so I can take some pictures of the army and do a battle report.
I also finished up painting the Temple of Skulls from GW and it's a wonderful kit. It's also HUGE! I'm not sure how well it'll play in Warhammer Fantasy but I think it'll be awesome in 40k, doubly so as it'll be a great point to attract my Daemons to! I'll be bringing this out with me on Saturday as well so I'll definitely get some pictures.
Thanks for reading this long post!
Be seeing you!