Killing Grey Knights with Daemons - Part 3 (a): HQ's and a Useful Summary.

For anybody new to this series of articles then you can find the other parts here, here, here and here.

Now we need to discuss how to get around the gigantic obstacle of playing against a codex specifically tailored towards the destruction of Daemons.

First lets summarise some of the more immediate issues were going to face and look at the Daemon units that can minimise these issues.

Landing Zones.

Marines in one form or another are likely to be your most common opponents. Most Marines optimum threat range for non-support units is 12" either due to it being the range of their rapid-firing Boltguns or alternatively due to it being their move + charge range. Grey Knights on the other hand are an equal or greater shooting threat at up to the 24" range.

Why is this important?

Well it used to be possible to drop at a range (if you landed roughly where you wanted to anyway) where you only had to worry about your enemies long-range fire-power which was usually more geared to anti-tank duties and was therefore usually less about massed shots and more about quality of shots, as few Daemons care about the AP of the incoming fire this worked fine. The other useful thing about this more limited effective range was that a 'standard' Marine can't rapid-fire and then charge. Now this strategy obviously works best if your Daemon unit is classed as 'Beasts' or has 'Fleet' as you should be within charge range with anything of yours that survives the incoming fire.
Now unfortunately that safer landing zone is still likely to result in you getting wiped out by massed bolter fire and a closer drop is going to result in that same volume of fire followed by a nasty charge. I may have mentioned it before but I'll say it again for clarity...


Some maths might be of use to illustrate the point,

We'll use T4 and a 5+ inv. save as our Daemon average for the purposes of a 'control'.

Their are a large number of variables but well presume a unit that hasn't moved and is sitting their waiting to riddle your Daemons with Bolt rounds...

We'll give some 'normal' Marines a go first ;-)

16 Boltgun shots, 10.67 hit, 5.34 wound, 3.56 dead after inv. saves.
1 Meltagun + 1 other heavy weapon,  1.33 hit, 1.11 wound, 0.74 dead after inv. saves.
Leaving a grand total of  4.3 dead Daemons. Hopefully the survivors can put a dent in that unit next turn.

Lets take the same unit and see how effective it is with the Daemon unit 13" away,

8 Boltgun shots, 5.33 hit, 2.67 wound, 1.78 dead after inv. saves.
As you can clearly see the unit has had a minimal effect on our unit and providing it is a 'Beast' or can 'Fleet' it has a good chance of butchering that Marine unit.

Lets look at a 10 man Grey Knight unit in the same circumstances,

16 Storm Bolter shots, 10.67 hit, 5.34 wound, 3.56 dead after inv. saves.
If the unit has paid for Psybolt ammo this becomes 4.74 dead.
8 Psycannon shots, 5.33 hit, 4.44 wound, 2.96 dead after inv. saves.
6.52 dead Daemons without Psybolts and 7.7 with.

Should the enemy be in charge range then presumably the Grey Knight player has fired his Psycannons in Assault mode so that will result in one or two less Daemon casualties.

We'll presume default weapons on the charging Grey Knight unit,

Without Hammerhand - 21 attacks, 10.5 hit, 15.75 with re-rolls, 7.88 wound, 5.25 dead Daemons.
With Hammerhand - 21 attacks, 10.5 hit, 15.75 with re-rolls, 10.5 wound, 7 dead Daemons.

So I hope that illustrated  the neccessity of avoiding being charged by Grey Knights, which should in turn show why dropping outside of charge range is a significant advantage against Marines of all descriptions but is a neccessity against Grey Knights.

There is of course another important reason for doing this and that's 'Warp Quake'. Landing within 12" of a Strike Squad or Interceptor Unit is suicide a 3rd of the time, delayed suicide another 3rd and fucking inconvenient for the final 3rd. This further illustrates the importance of being able to arrive 12" away or further from certain Grey Knight units and still maybe be a threat next turn..

Of course it's a lot more complicated than that.....

You as a Daemon player only have a 'run' move to fine tune your location that first turn wheras your opponent can move with much greater freedom while still having shooting and assault options open to them. If your unit happens to be one that your using as a 'Bolt of Tzeentch' platform then you don't even have access to the 'run' option unless he's landed really far away from where you intended.

What can we do about it then?
Well taking the above problems into account we need units with a large threat range and/or lots of bodies to absorb damage or the toughness to ignore it.

Nurgle units certainly have the toughness but this is somewhat negated by the ease with which Grey Knights can pump out S5 (or higher) shots. Nurgle Daemons have access to 'Feel no Pain' but this obviously only is going to apply to them being shot at as Grey Knights come with Power Weapons built in.
Larger threat ranges can come from units that are classed as 'Beasts' like Fiends of Slaanesh or Fleshhounds of Khorne and to a lesser extent units with 'Fleet' like Daemonettes. Most Daemon units can be taken in large sizes but this has the added problem of making their deep-strike 'footprint' much greater.

While we're considering that that, lets look at another issue,

De-Meching the Enemy.
As I mentioned in a previous post we have three primary methods of destroying vehicles,

1) Bolt of Tzeentch
2) Tongue
3) Assault

Bolt and Tongue are both 24" range which unfortunately puts any unit that uses them well within the Grey Knights optimum effective threat range. This means that they'll most likely die to return fire either from the chosen target should you fail to destroy it or from their friends if you do destroy it.
The upshot of this is that your chosen anti-vehicle platform needs to be either highly survivable or completely expendable.....

Heralds of Tzeentch can be configured for 'Bolt' duties fairly cheaply and Daemon Princes though more accurate and potentially more survivable require a greater investment in points to make them that way. A single model in a unit of Horrors can also be gifted with Bolt but that's only an option if we haven't used our troop slots up with other things.

The Story So Far...
We need to be able to demech our enemy with either sacrificial or survivable units and then charge what's inside without getting charged ourselves.

Lets go through our options section by section on the Force Organisation Chart and see what fits our requirements then,



So it has Wings which effectively gives it a threat range of 18" and is fairly resistant to small arms fire with it's 3+/4+ save combined with being Toughness 6. Having Furious Charge would up it's Initiative to 6 so It's going at the same time as Halberd armed Squads and before pretty much everything else as well as being S8 on the charge (or S9 with the 'Unholy Might' upgrade). Also quite importantly it can be given the 'Blessing of the Blood God' Gift of Khorne which has the wonderful effect of giving the recipient a 2+ invulnerable save  Vs. psychic powers and Force Weapons.....Aren't all Grey Knights Nemesis weapons Force Weapons?

Why yes they are ;-)

Keep away from Librarians and Dreadknights with Dark Excommunication and you should be fine. The downside is that he comes in at a hefty 250 points, with Blessing of the Blood God being an essential anti Grey Knight upgrade for a measly 5 points which makes him 255. He can probably do without Unholy Might as S7+2D6 armour pen deals with most vehicles and on the charge this becomes S8+2D6 but that will set you back another 20 points if you want it to become S9+2D6. Another downside is that he robs you of two HQ slots that could be spent on cheap Heralds with Bolt of Tzeentch and you really could do with some of those...

If we use him though he'll look like this,

HQ: Bloodthirster (1#, 255 pts)
   1 Bloodthirster @ 255 pts ((C:CD, pp.28 & 79); Unit Type: Monstrous Creature; DG: Daemonic Flight; DG: Iron Hide; DGK: Blessings of The Blood God; S: Furious Charge; S: Daemon; S: Fearless; S: Invulnerable!; S: Eternal Warriors)

The Blue Scribes.
Are Jump Infantry so fit our movement requirements as well as having Bolt of Tzeentch amongst other things. Unfortunately even with their 4+ inv. they'll fall apart if anything shoots at them and we can get the 2 useful aspects of them (Jump + Bolt) cheaper with a standard Herald.

Tough but slow, needs to assault to do any real damage and will be dead long before he gets a chance to do that.

Daemonic Flight and Bolt are what we would take him for and there's cheaper ways of doing that. His 're-roll saves' power is okay but you need to build an army around him and the average Grey Knight force can take that build apart quite easily. Plus he uses up two of our valuable 'Herald' slots.

Great Unclean One.
Tough yes, but not mobile enough. Grey Knights will torrent him to death from a safe distance.

We can take 2 Heralds for each HQ slot which means we can have up to 4 of these guys which may come in useful.

Herald of Khorne.

Adding a Chariot for 15 points and Blessings of the Blood God for 5 points gives us a 90 point unit that's T5, has 4 wounds and a 3+/5+ save that goes up to a 2+ inv Vs.psychic powers and Force Weapons. Unfortunately it's classed as standard infantry so only has a 12" threat range and isn't an Independent character once we give him a chariot so can't be hidden in units.

HQ: Herald of Khorne (1#, 90 pts)
   1 Herald of Khorne @ 90 pts ((C:CD, pp.32 & 81); Unit Type: Infantry; DG: Iron Hide; DGK: Hellblade; sW: Power Weapon; DGK: Blessings of The Blood God; DS: Chariot of Khorne; S: Furious Charge; S: Daemon; S: Fearless; S: Invulnerable!; S: Eternal Warriors)H

Herald of Nurgle.
No tougher than the Khorne one even with his palanquin as well as being slow and having no long range attacks. It's worth pointing out again at this point that if the unit is unable to reach combat quickly it had better be survivable or an expendable Bolt of Tzeentch platform. This unit isn't any of those things I'm afraid.

Herald of Slaanesh.

Well as a 'Beast' this ones certainly fast (once we give it a chariot that is) but requires Unholy Might and Soporific Musk to make it useful which brings it to 90 points. It's high Initiative (7) combined with it's Furious Charge means it's going first against everything the Grey Knights have and Hit and Run (from Soporific Musk) enables it to bounce out of fights if necessary. Like many Slaanesh units it relies heavily on rending to do the damage but definitely has a place in appropriate Daemon lists.

HQ: Herald of Slaanesh (1#, 90 pts)
   1 Herald of Slaanesh @ 90 pts ((C:CD, pp.33 & 81); Unit Type: Cavalry; Unit Type: Infantry; DGS: Aura of Acquiescence; DGS: Rending Claws; sW: Rending; DGS: Soporific Musk; DG: Unholy Might; DS: Chariot of Slaanesh; S: Fleet; S: Furious Charge; S: Hit & Run; S: Daemon; S: Fearless; S: Invulnerable!; S: Eternal Warriors)

Herald of Tzeentch.

Can be turned into Jump Infantry or a Jet Bike depending on whether you give it a Disc or a Chariot and with the obligatory 'Bolt' comes in at 95 points. This is a cheap and fairly accurate (BS4) unit for de-meching the enemy with the mobility to hopefully use it more than once should he be allowed to survive.

HQ: Herald of Tzeentch (1#, 95 pts)
   1 Herald of Tzeentch @ 95 pts ((C:CD, pp.35 & 81); Unit Type: Infantry; Unit Type: Jetbikes; rDG: Daemonic Gaze; rDGT: Bolt of Tzeentch; DS: Chariot of Tzeentch; S: Furious Charge; S: Daemon; S: Fearless; S: Invulnerable!; S: Eternal Warriors)

Keeper Of Secrets.
Has 'Fleet' so has some speed and is T6, has 4 wounds and a 4+ inv. save. However at 200 points without upgrades he's a bit pricey for what he does. We can get a more survivable unit that can cause equivalent damage for the same points in other slots.

Ku'gath the Plaguefather.
Tough?.....well yes but that's about all he has going for him and unlike the Great Unclean One doesn't even have a reasonable price tag.

Lord of Change.
Quick due to Daemonic Flight and has Bolt of Tzeentch. Is the 2nd most survivable of the Greater Daemons due to his 3+ invulnerable but with the basic model weighing in at 250 points not exactly cost effective.

The Masque.
An expensive Herald of Slaanesh without any abilities that are of particular use to us and will die as soon as an enemy unit decides to throw any kind of fire-power in her direction. No wonder Slaanesh kicked her out.....

I wonder what she's doing now to make ends meet?

Lady Gaga and The Masque. Well have you ever seen them both at the same time?

Skarbrand, The Exiled One.
A Bloodthirster whose lost his wings but gained Fleet and costs an extra 50 points, he also has an extra attack and an extra point of strength. Unfortunately he doesn't come with (nor can he be given) Blessing of the Blood God, presumably due to the fact that him and Khorne had a bit of a falling out.....
His primary ability is called 'Rage Embodied' which gives everything within 24" rerolls to hit in close combat. Depending on who your facing this can be a good or bad thing. Somewhat ironically the best way to use him is to combine him with high initiative Slaanesh units so hopefully they've wiped out their opponents before the opponents get to use the same ability in retaliation. As Grey Knights already get preferred enemy vs. Daemons this isn't an advantage for them, it could help some of the non Grey Knight forces that hang around with them though.

An expensive Herald of Khorne...

In Conclusion.
Though there are a number of big scary units that we can take in the HQ slot that are very good at carving through most units (should they survive being shot at long enough to reach assault) the HQ slot is also one of our best ways of accessing multiple Bolts of Tzeentch for the purposes of de-meching the enemy.

So for our standard build were probably best taking 3 or 4 Heralds of Tzeentch with Bolt and a Chariot whose purpose is to land outside of the Warp Quake zone and hopefully pop a vehicle. Occasionally his 5, T4 wounds and his 4+ inv. save will enable him to survive long enough to do it again later but this should be considered a bonus rather than a likely-hood. This is obviously a set-up which can be used against other armies than Grey Knights with similar levels of effectiveness. After all only a complete twat tailors their army list against one specific opponent.....

Editors Note : I contemplated putting a picture of Matt Ward after that last comment but decided to keep the tone of the article at least semi-professional , lol.

After we've gone through the other Force Organisation Chart slots we'll look at some lists that utilise other units but for now I'd start looking for ways of converting Horrors into Heralds ;-)

Right with HQ slots covered I'll move onto Elites and Troops.....

.....A bit later.

Thoughts and Comments are (as usual) most welcome.
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