Last weekend I took the Daemons to an RTT out in Barrie Ontario, hoping to cleave through some Custodes and avoid some of the heavy shooting lists.
Lord of Change with Impossible Robe and Baleful Sword, Exalted
Keeper of Secrets with Whip, Exalted
Keeper of Secrets with Whip, Exalted
Keeper of Secrets with Whip, Exalted
Since the stunning loss to Skari on camera, my Daemons list underwent one tweak. I dropped the Furies and brought in more nurglings. A simple change but one that would be critical in my first game. Having more wounds for obsec units that can also counter deploy to scouts/scout moves really helps my first turn charges and position options.
The furies are certainly good, but after a dozen games with them they are meant for an army that wants to raise banners or perform the other infantry based objectives, something that my army is actually quite bad at.
Heading into the tournament I was quite confident in my list, knowing that my Custodes match up is very good. There were a lot of Custodes there, but I was also worried about mechanicus and their ability to light up my Daemons.
Game 1: Mike Emery on Mechanicus (Mission 11)
Exalted Rolls: I got two -1wnd rolls, and this would be a big difference maker.
Might as well rip the band off right away, the match-up I was worried about. The firepower on the other side of the board is kind of insane.
Thankfully, we got a mission that only has a 24 inch gap between deployment zones, which is a huge help for the Keepers to guarantee turn 1 charges. This specific Mechanicus list uses the Serberys Raiders to pregame scout move and create a screen in the middle of the table. Mike was hoping to aggressively deploy his units to get to the midboard objectives behind his screen.
Unfortunately my nurglings being right up as close as they could to his deployment meant he could only make a few screens just a few inches ahead of his army.
Seeing this I aggressively deployed the Keepers, which was the best choice given how close he was and the fact that I had no good buildings to hide them behind. I did my best to use the big middle buildings so that I could divide up some of his fire and hopefully live through turn one. If you can’t protect your Daemons with obscuring, try to use the terrain to make your opponent split fire, which could potentially keep your daemons alive.
Then I won the roll to go first, and Mike moves up his horses into the only spots he can, about 2-3 inches in front of his army, and the keepers roll up. My entire army is in smite range and whip range. The screen gets obliterated. Magnus is just insane for this.
If you are running keepers, it is the whip 100% all the way for the weapon option. The ability to fire into combat, remove screens, and also being an assault weapon increases the lethality of Keepers by a crazy amount.
The Keepers made their charge into the crunchy centre of Mike’s army, and unleashed hell. Removing a unit of Breachers and consolidating into other units. On Mike’s turn his character allowed his nearby units to fall back and shoot, taking down the Keeper that didn’t have -1wnd. The Mechanicus does not like -1wnd at all on their strength 6/7 weapons (depending on canticles), and the remaining two keepers took minimal damage.
The two keepers living was just about game over. The cluttering in his zone meant he couldn't get far enough away and the keepers could heroic, and then on my turn one fought in the psychic phase, they both shot into combat, and then fought again. Then Magnus hopped in and decapitated Cawl and it was all over turn 2.
Take Aways: While I thought Mechanicus would be quite scary, the -1wnd exalted power gives the Daemons a lot of resiliency. Whether you roll for it or choose it, it really helps this match-up. The whips were all-stars, and Magnus and the LoC can quickly tilt games in your favour with psychic damage.
Final Score: 100-29
Game Two: Mark Wang on Custodes with a Guard Screen (Mission 23)
Exalted Rolls: Got a +2 move this time, which was crucial for preventing any primaries turn 1. The LoC got -1 to hit from ranged, which would really help against the bikes anti fly shots.
Unlike game one, this game would go the full 5 turns, but my army’s strength versus Custodes would shine through. I got the same table as game 1, so once again I didn’t have many hiding places for my keepers, so it was full throttled aggression with Magnus sitting out of range from turn 1 shooting.
Mark won going first and deployed his anti smite screens very well. He took banners and the mission primary, so his troops also became critical kill targets. All his guard squads moved up to get onto objectives, took actions and waited for the daemons. His bikes took some pot shots but did 0 dmg to the Thunder Turkey, and it was my turn.
My keepers were positioned on the flanks. My goal was to swing up and crush his objective holders. And that’s exactly what happened. My +2 move keeper went up the left and surprised mark with just how fast it was. The combination of whips, smites, and combat picked up all the guardsmen turn one. Syl’Sekke took out a Allarus squad and tried to hide amongst some nurglings, while Magnus patiently waited behind a LoC that went right up to the middle objective.
At the end of turn one Mark killed the fast keeper, but the keeper on the right would become the bane of his existence, refusing to die until the final turn of the game. Mark was now off of all but one objective, which meant 0 primary for turn 2 and no secondary action points. With the guard dead and my monsters on every objective Mark would not score a single primary or secondary except assassinate for the rest of the game.
This is perhaps where the Greater Daemon list shines the most - you can quickly and effectively ruin your opponent's ability to score primary. And you have to, because your secondary choices are not great.
Mark did put up a good fight, as he killed two keepers with ease, but the keeper on the right refused to die - taking down 2 characters, the Terminator bomb, and almost a shield captain before dying.
Meanwhile, Magnus and the LoC were decimating the bike squads, and the LoC and Trajan had a slap fight until a few good smites happened.
Overall, the list did what it does against Custodes: lots of -3, 3 dmg, or -2, 2mg hits. Buckets of them, and of course a pretty solid death hex caster and lots of smites, which the Custodes cannot withstand.
Final Score: 86-19
Final Match: Devin Swann on Custodes (Mission 33)
Exalted: I rolled the 4++ for all my keepers. Yahtzee! Sadly the best rolls for my keepers all game.
Devin has experience versus the list and knows how quickly the keepers can rip through his army, and he has the super tough Shield Captain of never dying. He has the tools to take down the keepers and take a bit of punishment.
We both take the mission primary, an easy 15 points.
Devin uses his shield captain to take smites for his team, and positions his deployment quite well. This table has some better buildings so I can hide 2 GDs, and put 2 on the line. Magnus sits comfortably outside of bike shooting range and we roll - I win and go first.
The keepers both roll high advance rolls and are right on top of that shield captain. The LoC rolls an advance of 1 and is 1 inch away from smite (I didn’t notice but should have rerolled it), and Magnus and the other keeper get into range from their hiding position.
I pour all the smites and the whips into the captain. The captain is pretty wounded from the smites and just cannot make 3 ups and dies to the whips. This would set the tone, as we both fail buckets of saves throughout this game. The first keeper gets tanglefooted, and the other keeper rolls a 12 and gets in. However, the custodes overwatch tears it apart, hitting it for 5 damage. The keeper gets in, and proceeds to whiff, only killing on bike. The keeper dies in the crack back and Devin picks up the other two keepers with shooting and a charge turn 1… and they all had 4++ saves but sometimes the dice go that way.
Down 3 big characters my turn two comes. It’s looking pretty glum, and Devin is way ahead on secondaries. But this is where the secret Syl’Sekke sauce saves the day. The LoC, Magnus, and Syl move up and decimate Devin’s army.
The LoC lines up an infernal gateway taking out two bikes, a guard, and wounding trajan. Magnus pumps in the smite, Syl puts in a smite, and then shoots his whip. Then it’s charge time with everyone in.
Syl’Sekke puts his whip into trajan attacking a billion times and Trajan goes down. The Axe goes into the bikes/guard and takes out a bunch. The LoC picks up the rest of the bike squad and Magnus obliterates the other bike squad.
Devin is now down to 1 banner dude hanging out on an objective and 1 Allarus Guard. The game swung so hard so fast, even when it looked really good for the Custodes. That just shows off the sheer power of the list.
Devin’s terminators do what they can, taking out Syl’’Sekke for secondary points, but it's all over but the crying. Death hex makes quick work of the terminator bomb and magnus scoops them up.
Final Score: 95-44
We did it! We took down the RTT, and one with a lot of great players. Proud of the daemon list and what it can do.
This list plays the primary deny game very well. To win in 9th I feel like you have to either deny secondaries or primaries to win, and be active on the board to dictate the flow of the game. It’s just how the new missions are built. Whether it’s charging, fighting, or long range shooting, everyone needs tools to peel units off of objectives, stop actions, and make their opponents not score 45 on the primary.
It also feels like the lethality of a lot of lists went down, so Greater Daemons are not dying as fast. This is especially true for Magnus, who I never deep strike anymore.
Syl’Sekke still has a place in the list as a 4th keeper/horde counter, who also helps with rerolls and +1 strength versus harder targets. He did amazing in my games, he just needs a lot of babysitting in this edition.
Ultimately, the MVP is Magnus. He crushed my final two games and helped a lot in the first game. Played with a bit of care, he can dominate the board.
I hope that helps anyone playing the list, or thinking about it. I am enjoying the heck out of them - great models and super fun to play.