Monday, August 22, 2011
Demons some thoughts pt 2
So in part one we laid out the basic idea behind the first two major problems the Demon Codex has and the best way to deal with them by giving yourself as many options and eliminating the roll for your primary wave as much as possible. If you missed it you can check it out here. Today lets start off by talking about troops.
The Demon codex is a odd beast when it comes to troops.
We have Nurglings which I don't think I have ever seen someone actually bring to a battle. Plus they are a troop choice that is unable to actually hold a objective which really is failure I think. Plus they just aren't overly useful. Again though I am not saying anything that everyone doesn't already know.
The point is the "go to" troop choices for a long time have been Letters and Plague Bearers for a majority of demon players.
The letters have a ton going for them. They are a great combat troop, good WS, good str, furious charge, fearless, oh and power weapons for the entire squad. Things don't like being charged by Letters. on the down side they aren't overly cheap, they only have a 5++. and they are slow. They do have some duality since they can threaten vehicles on the charge, and they present a nice threat bubble since they kill things pretty quickly when they do get into combat. Letters are really good at two things. Creating panic fire, this is what I call it when you drop them in charge range of something next turn that isn't in a metal box of safety and they then move way up on the target priority list. They are also good at creating a great threat bubble to control movement a bit or to keep certain things off of objectives. They add a large element of killy to your troops choice that is really nice to have. When you make it into combat with them for whatever the reason usually the squad they smash into are sad panda's. Sad ripped apart removed from the table panda's.
The Plague bearers are cheap, slow, hard to kill with shooting. They hold objectives pretty well, and depending on the squad size can be a tar pit or a good icon unit. That however is about it. They suck at combat and are as slow as hungover teenager on Saturday morning. Most people have been running a few min squads to hold objectives then spending the saved points to add more useful things to the army. Sometimes you see larger squads that are harder to move and can be used as a tar pit or better mobile terrain.
These as I said have been the two units that you go to right away. However with the latest Meta shifts these units have fallen a notch I feel. There are several units now that will show up and choppy choppy away your zombie's sitting on a objective pretty handily. With so much speed and power weapons floating around that min squad isn't as impossible to kill when they want as it was before. The letters have speed issues now unless you are going to run letter spam they may not ever see combat with GK or with DE. The DE will dance around your slow unit and plaster them with poison shots, they are almost useless in that match up most games. Against GK either they will never be close enough to actually do anything or they will be killed the first turn they arrive. The amount of shooting plus things that are better than them in assault in the GK army makes them again at a loss as a solid choice now.
So that leaves us with
I am sad to say this is the most solid choice for demons now, with plague bearers a second I feel. They haven't been a bad choice in the past but while they have a ton going for them they just aren't overly reliable or killy. They have a 4++ save so you pretty much can ignore the need for cover and use them as mobile cover. They have a toughness 3 but mixed with that save they are still pretty survivable. They bring Bolt which is always a plus in a army that needs more anti tank and any shooting it can get. However at BS 3 it isn't something you can rely on doing anything. They don't create a threat bubble at all IMHO. While you can put letters down and people pay them some respect and keep a distance, no one cares if they are close to your horror unit. Its shooting is meh, and its not going to do much in assault. Actually several things will be assaulting them when given the chance. The unit is very meh to me so why do I say this is now our best option going forward until things shift again.
First off they don't lose much in a GK match up. They are the same regardless so your not paying for combat ability or killy death that has now been neutered just because of the army match up. They have a decent save regardless of terrain and can even provide cover for some of your softer units if need be. This is important, and I can't stress this enough, they are a support unit. They are not going to go out alone and wreck face, they are there to support your army. Most demon games don't expect the troops to carry the heavy lifting of killing things. We use the other slots for that, look at how many lists already just run a few PB squads and call it a day. PB squads aren't killing things. If you are running some letters then some games they will wipe out a squad or two but there will be several games where they don't assault or make it to assault. The Horrors will always be able to contribute to every match up you have. They won't be amazing but they will always be helpful since they can add another bolt shot and some shooting. So they aren't a waste of points they actually will contribute to the fight. Its more shooting and more chances for models to be removed than you would get with the other choices.
It presents another choice to your opponent as well. If you play PB squads some opponents will just ignore them and focus on the rest of your army. If you play letters sometimes they do that as well, let them sit in cover and hold something and ignore them and letters are pricey to be just objective sitters. With the Horrors they can ignore them but in most cases it means they will have to live with the shooting from that squad, again adding to the game for you when the other two troops wouldn't be. They are a threat to vehicles within 24 inches of them, where the other two are not. The letters being able to be a threat even if just minor one, knowing that they will eat most things on foot if the opportunity presents itself with the ability to grab a objective if need be made them a better choice to me in the past. Wiping out a long fangs squad or an entire marine unit was again a nice boost in killy and a great plus for the army. However with them now being a waste of points in two match ups they aren't balanced enough for me to recommend playing anymore.
So again with the meta shift I now feel that Horrors are prob our best choice going forward since they are the most reliable for points.
So HQ's and Heavy thoughts coming up next, stay tuned