My Tactical article pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor am I seal pup, I will endeavor to speak from my experience and always be honest about what is theory and what is play tested. Never will I assume I to know better than anyone else, unless ego or pretension gets in their way.
It looks like Games Workshop is up to something new (well old, remember chapter approved) with White Dwarf by adding official rules updates and new models. This month we saw an update to Daemon Codex along with a few new units.
Let us take a look at those changes and how they will affect playing Daemons going forward.
Starting with the updates.
–Flamers of Tzeentch–
Flamers have always been a second tier Elite choice in the Daemon Codex, behind Fiends and Bloodcrushers.
Does that change with the update?
The initial impression is yes. With Bloodcrushers taking a hit in the new edition, Flamers should be on the rise.
So what changed?
Flamers are now much, much cheaper! Going from 35 points down to 23 is a significant drop– about 35%. Flamers get an extra wound, but lose access to Bolt of Tzeentch, but gain a cheap Character upgrade. They still are Jump Infantry have Breath of Chaos and Warpfire.
So why should Flamers of Tzeentch be your second choice behind Fiends?
To repeat the cost makes a substantial difference, but now Flamers only have 5+ save (4+ before). In the end the save drop is nothing compared to that second wound– one random shot will not drop a Flamer now. With Bloodcrushers out of the picture for Terminator killing, Flamers might end up being your best bet. Breath of Chaos is one of the few ways Daemons can get AP1, and as Jump Infantry they are extremely mobile. Before, people would use Flamers for suicide missions (dropping in flaming then dying) with the extra wounds you can play them a little more reactionary. With their threat range, you have about a 22″ kill zone. You do still have to rely on 4+ wounding, but now you can afford the extra Flamers to increase the odds.
I can see 5 (115pts) man squads being the norm. Five Flamers is 10 wounds and enough Templates for quality stacking, even if you lose a few guys. Before Flamers were used as anti tank units, but now with the rise of 2+ armor, they will fill in nicely for Terminator clearing. Leaving the Assault units (Fiends) for the tanks, especially when relying on hot dice to get enough glances.
The Pyrocaster character upgrade is only useful for random look out sir‘s for assigning wounds to unwounded Flamers, other than that they are probably a waste of points. Flamers genuinely do fit the niche left by the Bloodcrusher/Hellblade Nerf, they give Daemons a 2+ armor answer and anti horde answer if you have enough templates.
–Screamers of Tzeentch–
Where Flamers got cheaper Screamers got more expensive, going from 16 to 25 point cost, about a 63% increase.
The result though was the same. Screamers are now more viable.
Before Screamers were used (poorly I might add) for Anti-Tank, Death or Glory, Contesting, and as screening units. Now Screamers are firmly placed as pretty bad ass. Like Flamers, Screamers only have 5+ save, but gained a wound. They also got a +1 boost to str, initiative but most importantly get two more attacks. Gone are melta bombs, but it is replaced with a Str 5 AP2 double armor penetrating melee attack. They also receive an ineffectual Slashing Attack, similar to caltrops on Dark Eldar Jet Bikes– Str 4 AP – D3 hits for Turbo-Boosting over units.
So is a 63% increase worth all the extra stuff Screamers now get?
I am still going to take Seekers ahead of these guys, but Screamers do offer an intriguing alternative. The extra wound is once again enormous and still being Jetbikes is a big help. Getting 4 attacks at str 5 and ap2 on the charge (don’t forget Hammer of Wrath as well) make these guys a dangerous foe not only to vehicles, but also 2+ armor like Terminators– with striking at I4 making all the difference. The 25 points a pop with an initial investment of 75 points can prove problematic, when you think of all the other units that do the same job. Seekers, Fiends, and Flamers provide ways to deal with both 2+ armor and vehicles.
The solution for Screamers is go big or go home.
A full unit of 9 is 225pts and provides the resilience and a devastating strike making most units quake in fear. That is 18 wounds, and 36 attacks on the charge, while that is not close to the number attacks (65) for a similar Seeker unit it does provide assurances that you won’t need 6s to Ap2 certain units to death. Screamers still have a with the 4+ save when boosting and the extra wound combined, makes Screamers more survivable than Seekers– something not easily reflected in a list hammer comparison. If Screamers had grenades, they would be in the upper echelon an equal match to Seekers for the kings of the Daemon Fast Attack slot. For now Screamers are a good alternative if you have the points to spend, and think all the extras are worth while.
In Part 2, will talk about the new Slaanesh chariot units and how do those new beautiful models stack up on the Battlefield.
In the meantime.
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It’s Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.
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