Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Guard vs. Daemons

Have you ever fought Chaos Daemons? I have. Twice. One game I won, and the other I lost. Tremendously! But even in just two games, there are some things that I learned. Follow these and they'll help you beat the All-Deep-Striking army of Chaos!

Tip 1.) Do NOT use Combined Squads:
In the second game, I combined 30 guardsmen into one squad, thinking that it would help me kill the Greater Daemon, the Bloodthirster, in hand to hand. It didn't. All it did was allow him to sweeping advance over 200 points of guardsmen in 3 rounds of Assault (which is more than I expected, but it could have been sooner).

Tip 2.) Use Allied Grey Knight Terminators, NOT normal GK:
I used a squad of normal Grey Knights, and, needless to say, they were overwhelmed pretty quickly. A -1 to Daemon's leadership value does little to help you, and even if the GK deep strike, their incinerator won't be enough to kill enough daemons. I hit 6. Killed 1. then I was overwhelmed by 20 Hellblade attacks before I could retaliate. Grey Knights are NOT skilled in close combat against such units as Daemon Princes, because the Daemon Prince ignores their power armour, and GK get no invulnerable save.

I have used both termies and GK, and I will vouch for the termies every time. They get more attacks, they get a better save, AND an invulnerable save to fend off those hellblade attacks, and they can also deep strike just like fast attack GK.

Drop the termies next to something nasty like a horde of Bloodletters, or a Greater Daemon, then light them up with storm bolters and psycannons. You will be charged, unless of course you face Pink Horrors. When you are charged, you will often still overwhelm your enemy with superior skill and S6 attacks.

Tip 3.) There are Certain vehicles that you DO NOT use:
First off, do not use chimera's. There's no need for them, and they will just get destroyed. I do recommend, however, the Leman Russ Exterminator, as nothing can penetrate Deamon invulnerable saves anyway, so why not pump them full of lead? Give it as many heavy bolters and stubbers as you can. Hydra flak tanks will also work. Take cheap things over expensive things - you want to outnumber the daemons.

Sentinels are also mostly useless. They get destroyed very quickly. A Valkyrie, however, or a hellhound held in reserve until you need it, will work wonders! Put as many wounds on them as possible!

Tip 4.) Wounds! Buckets and Buckets of Wounds!:
As I said above, your goal here is to wound the damn beasts as many times as possible, not to try to beat their armour ( can't!). But to inflict wounds more easily, there are some special tools, and at the top of the list for infantry, is:

The Plasma gun

Believe it or not, this is the best gun available as a special weapon against Daemons, and here's why:
- S7 will wound most of your targets on a 2 or 3 up on a d6, invaluable against such tough targets
- Ap2 will punch through any regualar saves, AND deny any Nurgle daemons their Feel No Pain roll. Tasty!
- Rapid fire. Get close, and just rapid fire the hell out of them! I took down a daemon prince with 2 regular squads of plasma gun armed guardsmen. 4 shots took 2 wounds off in one round.


What are the best orders to use? There are really only four, but three if you're playing Annihilation.

First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire:
Or as I call it - Fire in ranks! - is invaluable as a "bucket of wounds" dealer. This order, as you know, turns 10 lasguns into 20 shots, or at close range, 30 shots. Now I know you have to take into consideration the sergeant's pistol and the special weapon, but that's still a lot of shots. This order is perfect for combating an all invulnerable save army.

Take it Down:
the Daemons army list has several monstrous creatures, and even one very nasty vehicle. Twin linking your weapons, especially heavy weapons like heavy bolters and autocannons, can win you a shooting phase. I'd use it on veteran squads armed with all plasma guns to wipe out Daemon Princes.

Fire on my Target:
Daemons have poor saves, and a Daemon player knows this. This is why a Daemon player will often DS his daemons behind cover, and then move into it in order to close the gap with your guardsmen. Deny him this advantage. Utterly snatch it from him. Issue this order on a line of heavy bolters and laugh as your opponent fails his cover saves, too!

Run! Run! Run!:
This is only useful if you're trying to get to an objective before the enemy has Deep Struck. If you're attempting to take objectives rather than kill your foe, this order can help you get there faster.

Take the first turn!

If you get the first turn, and the Daemon player fails his "Seize the Initiative" test, then take it! Do not let the Daemon player go first! Why? Because if you go first, you get a chance to move your units forward before he is even on the table! Get those objectives, reposition your men into locations you couldn't reach during deployment.

Well, that's all. My friend's daemon army is expanding, and as I fight him more and more, I'll give you tips on what weapons and units to use against certain types of daemons.


  1. I’m sorry, you’ve played daemons twice and are writing a tactica? That’s almost like losing your virginity and writing a book on how to pick up supermodels.

    Let me correct some things I’ve encountered when fighting Chaos Daemons many more times than two.

    1.) Combined squads are not bad. Combined squads are still fairly good – your problem is that you were assaulted by greater daemon. Hitting on 4s or 5s, wounding on 6s with 3+/4+ is fairly tough to do, even on the charge, though you can certainly tarpit him down if you've got a commissar or two (which is requisite for the combined squads).

    Shoot the bugger to death. There are better things to be assaulting in this army.

    2.) Yes, Grey Knight Terminators are better than Grey Knights at being assaulted by bloodletters. However, you don’t want to have any infantry in assault range of the bloodletters, because at full strength they will walk through most things that are not storm shield assault terminators on the charge. They have furious charge, which means they go before you and wound you on 3s.

    The suggestion you should make from Codex: Daemonhunters is not a grey knight at all. It is an inquisitor with a retinue of 3 mystics, placed into a transport, and flank by Leman Russes. If a unit deep strikes within 4d6 inches of the mystics (whose effective size is measured from the hull), you can nominate another unit within 12” to shoot at it.

    Dropping battle cannon shots on most of those units ruin their day, as well as carve out a safe deployment zone for your mushier troops.

    3.) Vehicles: believe it or not, Chimeras are good. They allow you to react, as well as providing a bunker for the squad inside. Two things shoot in this army – Tzeentch models and the Bloodthirster. Most things are going to need to assault the Chimera to pop the Chimera, which will give your squad a turn of shooting before another assault.

    The Exterminator is a good choice. The LRBT and Demolisher are good choices. High rate of fire / template weaponry is clutch. Make this army take saves, because they will fail saves.

    Sentinels are still quality units. Multilasers, the cheapest weapon with the highest rate of fire, is going to do well. Scouts outflanking improve survivability as well as counteracts their infinite mobility, while the front armor of 12 on the armored sentinels means that you are going to tie up everything in the army who is not strength 6. This is clutch.

  2. Your weaponry description varies with your goal for your army.
    Special weapons – inexpensive, and make them take wounds. Okay, so why are you recommending the plasma gun? It costs 15 points, and 1/6 the time you’re killing your 20+ point model. To compound this, you’re doing two wounds – max. It’s great for an Epidemius list or for hunting monstrous creatures, but your output isn’t going to be as good for the rest of the list.

    What would I recommend? Grenade launchers and flamers. Why?

    Flamer is 5 points. It is a template weapon (more on this later), and does not rely on ballistic skill. Furthermore, it does not permit for cover saves, which are many daemons preference over their invulnerable saves (I have an opponent who deep strikes into terrain because of this fact).

    Grenade launcher is 5 points. It is both a higher strength weapon (S6) that doesn’t get hot, and is also a template weapon against other targets. You can use to go MC hunting, as well as put wounds on larger mobs of daemons.
    Why are template weapons especially handy? Because of Nurglings. These tarpit units require template weapons that double up on the unsaved wounds from your template weapons, and Nurglings will run your guard down in close combat if used correctly.

    Your Company Command Squad: Strictly IG codex, your company command squad is going to have the single best item of wargear in it to win the game – Officer of the Fleet. Company command squad + Chimera + Him --- wait for things to deep strike and drive away from them.

    The daemons are going to get half their stuff in the first turn anyways, but a third of the stuff will show up turn 2, half remaining will show up on 3 and etc. Always put the last wound on him – he’s slowing down the Warp!

    Orders – you’re pretty much spot on here. Reduce the cover save, twin link your weapons, shoot the every living crap of them – you’re good.

    Lastly, I prefer to go second - I like my first round of shooting. Unless you're trying to hasten turns 5-6-7, it's probably better to go second.

  3. As an IG player with allied DH, you are the direct counter to a daemon army.

    1) Master of the Fleet - Already mentioned by Grimm

    2) Psycannons - These chop up daemonettes and bloodletters just fine. Can be handy against the likes of GD with no armour saves (fateweaver lol)

    3) Mystic - Screws up a daemon army real bad. With one of these badass guys, you could have your Inquisitor shoot his psycannon along with 3 heavy bolter servitors blast the crap out of any lesser daemon. With two, serve a squad of Leman Russ on a silver platter.

    4) Lasguns - Believe it or not, lasguns murder lesser daemons. With an average T4 5+ sv and costing 2-3 times of a guardsman, you can easily flood them with massive amounts of laser beam.

    Oh, one more thing. Only slaneshi daemons have frags. Put everyone in cover and watch guardsmen kill bloodletters. Or at least try really hard.