Chaos Daemons – 40K Tournament Debriefing

I mentioned the other day about running Chaos Daemons for the first time on their own, and taking them to a tournament. Being that it was a whole new experience, I thought it might be worth blogging about.

First things first, the list.

Chaos Daemons: 1,750


  • Keeper of Secrets: Pysker (M3), Greater Reward x 2, Soulstealer
  • Herald of Tzeentch: Pysker (M3), Disc of Tzeentch, Exalted Reward, Paradox
  • Herald of Khorne: Juggernaut of Khorne, Greater Locus of Fury


  • Daemonettes (10)
  • Bloodletters (10)

Fast Attack

  • Screamers (6)
  • Flesh Hounds (10)

Heavy Support

  • Daemon Prince: Daemon of Slaanesh, Greater Reward x 2, Psyker (M3), The Mark of Excess
  • Daemon Prince: Daemon of Slaanesh, Greater Reward x 2, Psyker (M3)

First up, I’ll state the obvious with using a list like this. All of the pre-game rolling was a huge pain. There are 7 rewards I had to roll, and then 12 psychic powers. Oh, and of course the Warlord trait. I was smart enough to put places on my physical list to write stuff in, but still it’s a chore to deal with. I couldn’t help but feel bad for my opponents having to wait on me each game.

The Games

My first game was against a Space Marines player with Salamanders and – I think it was, a Battle Company…or was it Demi-Companies? Anyway, he had a lot of Drop Pods w/Marines, Vulkan, two Dreadnoughts, Stormraven, two Stormtalons, Landspeeder, Attack Bike…think that covers it. Basically, he had a lot of armored stuff, the thing Daemons are so well equipped to deal with. That’s sarcasm.

I got smoked that game, 20-0. I kept forgetting who had what gifts in my list, despite having written it down. I’m not used to having to reference my list for anything, so it became an exercise just to remember to look at my list to then in turn remember who had what. Also, wading your way through 16 psychic powers is a chore. I quickly realized what powers were needed every turn, so that helped speed it up, but you still have to bear in mind the more situational ones for when those situations arise.

I fumbled around quite a bit with my list on the table. As for the game, I just couldn’t get anything to go right. My cards were terrible, I was using an army for the first time, and I just got overwhelmed. I was picked apart unit by unit until all I had left at the end was Flesh Hounds I had summoned in a turn prior. My opponent was great, but the game was harsh. Oh, I also never remember to do the Warp Storm once!

Next game was against Dark Angels. His list was pretty Terminator heavy, and included a Land Raider. I was feeling more confident in how to use my list, and with only one vehicle in his list, I felt like I could actually do something too.

I got into combat on turn #2 this game, and I just kept it going. The Terminator retinue with Ezekiel proved a tougher nut to crack, and they dragged down a Daemon Prince, but eventually everything was ground down in close combat except for a Bike squad that evaded me all game long, and the Land Raider. The final score was 16-4, my win. I remembered to do the Warp Storm for around half of the turns, so progress!

The last game was against Ultramarines and a bike heavy list. This game did not go well for my opponent. Ultimately, he was a bit too aggressive. First turn a Drop Pod landed behind me with 5 Marines. The Bike Command Squad advanced up my left. Everything else hung back, so I went at the Marines behind me, and sent the Hounds + Herald into the Command Squad. He got too close, too fast, with too little support and I killed off his advance while summoning Bloodletters for his backfield. I had numbers and field superiority. The game ended 14-4, my win.


I was surprised to have gone 2-1 for the day, but I’m certainly not complaining. My points for the day had me in the middle of 12 players. I can live with that for a first outing with Daemons.

An interesting day of gaming for sure. I was seriously overwhelmed in that first game trying to remember everything, and to do things in the right order. For example, casting Cursed Earth before you summon so the summoned unit doesn’t scatter. I did get the sequence of events down by the end, but I routinely forgot Warp Storm. When you ally Daemons you don’t have to do it, so it will take a bit to get used to it.

The thing I really liked with Daemons is all the synergy. Between gifts and psychic powers there’s a lot of great combos to work with. Plus, the units in general work well together by covering the weaknesses of another unit with its strengths.

The way I did powers was mostly Maelific on the Herald, aiming for Cursed Earth and to get Summoning. The Keeper pretty well stuck to Telepathy to aim for Invisbility. Both Princes went for Biomancy to get Iron Arm, Endurance, and even Warp Speed. The power setup worked well.

I definitely enjoyed myself, but I can pretty safely say that going pure Daemons isn’t something I’ll probably do often. It was a great break from CSM, and I always love learning new stuff, but CSM are still my preferred army. It’s more a fluffy thing than a gaming thing. Daemons just aren’t full of personality. Barring the big guys, like Greater Daemons, Princes, and even Heralds, they are pretty mindless Warp spawn. I see Daemons as a great tool used by the Disciples of Twilight; something they unleash on their victims. It’s like why I could never play Tyranids. They are just mindless minions of the Hive Mind and nothing more. However, if I find myself needing to do something more competitive at an event, I can see busting these guys out for sure.

Playing Daemons did get me thinking about Khorne Daemonkin again. I haven’t played them in many months. I was struggling with them as well, trying to make an assault army work in 7th isn’t easy. However, after using an army with good synergy, I couldn’t help but consider giving them some table time again. CSM, despite my love for them, are a very bland army right now. It may be that KDK bridges that gap a bit between something more competitive, and something that still has personality (fluff-wise).


  • Glad the day recovered after that first battle chief. I personally will try ally in some demons rather than use a full army.

    • After that first game, I figured they’d all be that way. Apparently I’m a faster learning than I realized.

      Daemons are so much more manageable as an ally.

      • Tirelion

        Bah speak for yourself 😉. All daemons, all the time….usually.

        • We’re opposites then. You occasionally bust out CSM, and I’ll occasionally bust out Daemons ;)

      • So will you include more in your regular army now?

        • I’ll continue to use them here and there as an ally. I don’t know if it will be more often, but at least it should be to better effect.

  • thebiggoldfish

    I saw 40k then read your first opponent had Vulkan? I’m properly confused now I know the fluff suggests Vulkan is off wandering the universe as are most of the loyalist primarchs except Ferrus poor poor ferrus but how can you have a primarch in a 40k army?
    Knowing what I do about Vulkan he could quite easily take an army out on his own let alone with all the help he had you really did get a beating dude but not a fair one in my mind.
    I feel your pain when taking a new army out even when you know what you’re doing sometimes you doubt yourself and constantly have to check on silly stuff I know I always do. Nice that you turned it around by the end of it all a satisfying reward for your persistence indeedy.

    • Vulkan He’stan, not the Primarch Vulkan, the special character they have. God, yeah, the Primarch would have gone to town for sure.

      I do the checking thing more than I should. I’d just hate to be the guy who won the day, but completely boned everyone because I was wrong on how something functioned. I check stuff I know I know. It’s bad some times.

      • thebiggoldfish

        Ahhhhhh that’s not as bad then lol My trouble is I don’t game very often and I have the memory of.. Well a fish ha ha ha ha so I always forget

        • Yeah, not nearly as bad ;)

          If I weren’t playing every week then I have no doubts I would forget a ton.

  • Going 2-1 on your first outing is really good. Your daemons looking really fun to play. Keeper of Secrets is so cool (not the ancient model but the daemon). Big ups for using it!

    • The Keeper is my favorite Greater Daemon. The model I have is one of the first I got when I started collecting CSM. Still a solid paint job considering how long ago I painted the sucker too.

  • I dont think I could cope playing demons. All that rolling and remebering what does which and what way etc would drive me bonkers. I am also not a fan of the psychic phase either, which is where the demons excel, but I do find it makes a game slightly unpleasant. Glad you enjoyed it overall though. Your second & third games definately sounded like you had got to grips with them a bit more, and it is always nice to try something different once in a while :)

    • As an ally it’s really not bad. You’ll have a model, maybe two, that you’re rolling gifts and powers for. I, however, went all-in for the sake of the experience. Plus, as you said, it’s the psychic phase where Daemons really do their thing the best. It’s not exactly my cup of tea, but it was interesting, and I learned a lot.

    • I am a bit mixed when it comes to playing against Daemons. The psychic phase is certainly demoralising when they have 17 dice to your 4!

      • Definitely. We have someone who loves Tzeentch, so I’ve gone up against lists packing 24+ warp charges.

  • Well done! I’ve only run Daemons as Primary a couple of times, and it definitely takes some practice to remember everything and not take a ludicrous amount of time with the pre-Game rolling. Just making it through all your Games on time is an accomplishment for your first time with pure Daemons, let alone going 2-1!

    • Thanks!

      I was pretty pleased with how I did. Hell, winning at all is more than my CSM are doing these days.

  • iapedus

    Great stuff, glad to see your experiment went well overall. I sometimes run Slaanesh daemons too, and find it much easier just to plum for the ‘0 option’ on the rewards table (lash of despair FTW!), as it is quicker and helps to define what your units can and cannot do in the list building phase. Sure you might miss out on some cool stuff, but then you don’t end up with a hole in your strategy because of a D6 roll. And besides, the psychic power determination coupled with warpstorm is enough random enough effect already!

    • I used Lash quite a bit, and it’s a great default if you aren’t getting good rewards. Still, I rolled anyway in hopes of getting those great pairings like +1W, IWND and Re-roll invulns.

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