My Tactics pledge: I am not the greatest player, nor a 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 to know better than anyone else... unless I must call out ego or pretension.

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Come Closer...

Fiends of Slaanesh are an odd little slice of Slaanesh's essence with a look which combines elements from rest of Slaanesh model range. As for how Fiends play, they were one of the best units in 5th edition, able to take out tanks and infantry with ease.

Currently, they still have pretty much the same job, but they go about it in a different way. With some tweaks to there stat-line and additional tricks Fiends require more finesse than ever before.

If you look at the stat-line alone you would think Fiends got a major nurf, but lets take a closer look. Here is side by side rules comparison to illustrate.

(Click to Enlarge)

Fiends of Slaanesh Rules 2013

Fiends of Slaanesh Rules 2013

 

 

 

Fiends of Slaanesh Rules 2008

Fiends of Slaanesh Rules 2008
 

 

 

 Compare & Contrast

  • Increased number of wounds from 2 to 3
  • Reduced Stats 5 to 3 Attacks & 5 to 4 Strength
  • Changes to Soporific Musk
  • Disruptive Song
  • Increased in cost from 30 to 35 pts

--A Tougher Love--

Fiends now have 3 wounds, while this is a boon against small arms fire it makes them a serious target for 8+ strength weapons and once in combat susceptible to the same. With their speed Fiends will be on an opponent in two turns so having this added bonus almost guarantees they make it into assault and assault with the right units.

--Not the good kind Masochism--

Here are the appalling changes to Fiends. The first of which is having there damage output reduced by almost half. This hurts additionally because they didn’t get a WS boost like the other Slaanesh units. Then you couple the loss of attacks with a reduced strength and you have some severe nurfing. Fiends really cannot be counted on for killing transports as now the absolutely need 6s to do any damage.

--A Song of Sweetness--

Disruptive SongEnemy Psykers with in 12 inches of a Fiend of Slaanesh have a -1 penalty to their Leadership when taking Psychic Tests as currently constituted is one of the most useful powers in the game. By getting Fiends into enemy lines you are almost guaranteed to neutralize enemy psykers. Disruptive SongEnemy Psykers with in 12 inches of a Fiend of Slaanesh have a -1 penalty to their Leadership when taking Psychic Tests stackableness makes one of the few abilities that can stop even blessings in their tracks.

--A Change of Perfumes--

The best hypothesis I can come up for the change to Soporific MuskAll models in a unit that is successfully charged by Fiends suffer a -5 penalty to their Initiative until the end of the that Assault phase was to deny Fiends the ability to get around Daemonic Instability easily. At least the new Soporific MuskAll models in a unit that is successfully charged by Fiends suffer a -5 penalty to their Initiative until the end of the that Assault phase fixed another problem: a lack of grenades. Now Fiends will always go at the same time as an opponent and when combo changing with other units is really devastating. Still, I would rather have Hit & Run as it gave Fiends more options to engage other threats as they appeared.

--Paying for Pleasure--

Inexplicably Fiends now cost more, without any good reason. They were obviously balanced by having a weaker stat-line in exchanged for a higher Initiative and more Wounds. At 35 points it makes it harder to consider Fiends unless you have a specific plan, but that is typically the way of Kelly as he is trying to make players think of the synergy possible with a unit.

With some tweaks to there stat-line and additional tricks Fiends require more finesse than ever before.

Putting it all Together

As someone who always took at least two units Fiends of Slaanesh I find it harder to wrap myself around the new 6th edition Fiends.

Before you could run Fiends off on their own causing blissful destruction everywhere.

Now, in theory they are sturdier, but against good players they will quickly focus units like Terminators or Long Fangs on them.

Ode to Slaanesh

Luckily for Fiends, the current 6th edition meta hovers around strength 6-7 weapons, making Fiends a great unit to cause havoc against shooting armies.

Before Fiends were the primary threat for many Daemon armies, now they can be a secondary threat. As a secondary threat there isn’t much reason to take more than one unit. Fiends work best with a screening unit. This is where Seekers and Hounds come in; using those units as the primary threat allows Fiends to really shine.

Now, Fiends don’t have to do the heavy lifting, and with Disruptive SongEnemy Psykers with in 12 inches of a Fiend of Slaanesh have a -1 penalty to their Leadership when taking Psychic Tests and Soporific MuskAll models in a unit that is successfully charged by Fiends suffer a -5 penalty to their Initiative until the end of the that Assault phase they only multiply their usefulness. A power like Soporific MuskAll models in a unit that is successfully charged by Fiends suffer a -5 penalty to their Initiative until the end of the that Assault phase clearly illustrates the synergy necessary when playing Deamons. You start to see, when fiends coupled with say a Skull Cannon of Khorne providing Fiends with grenades. Likewise, group charging magnifies the prowess of Fiends as well.

Fiends unit size limit has increased from 6 to 9, having such a flexible wound heavy unit is appealing, but with an increase in their cost you have to think twice about going full-bore. As it is Fiends shouldn’t really try to draw attention to themselves; so make sure bigger threats are around forcing your opponent from targeting the Fiends.

Fiends still have Rending and this makes them deadly with hot dice. To help with getting some hot dice consider Fiends for Herald Locus escort. As Beasts Fiends have no need to take Lesser Locus of Grace  This model. and all models in its unit, have the Move through Cover special rule to speed across the board. With a Herald of Slannesh and, but instead really require Exalted Locus of BeguilementTHis model, and all models in its unit, re-roll failed To Hit rolls in close combat. In addition, challegnes issued cannot be refused, and the challenge must be accepted by model of the Herald's choosing.. Since Fiends only have WS4 and fewer attacks, it is imperative to maximize their damage output. Having a Herald on a Steed of Slaanesh also opens up Outflank; bringing an ability like Disruptive SongEnemy Psykers with in 12 inches of a Fiend of Slaanesh have a -1 penalty to their Leadership when taking Psychic Tests to exactly where it is needed.

Fiends are an interesting flanking option, Soporific MuskAll models in a unit that is successfully charged by Fiends suffer a -5 penalty to their Initiative until the end of the that Assault phase once again provides the details. Against large units Soporific MuskAll models in a unit that is successfully charged by Fiends suffer a -5 penalty to their Initiative until the end of the that Assault phase used properly can deny attacks as the charged unit will move only 6" at most. This can create situations where large swaths of units are killed and the ensuing moves deny attacks or completely disengage the units for assault. Keeping your Heralds far enough back can also deny Challenges. This does require a lot of finesse, but unlike 5th edition it is a possible strategy.

Even with this rosy picture, Fiends are still more expensive and without Hit & Run and Fearless they can get chewed up pretty easily. A few specific units really wreak Fiends and a good general will easily leverage those units against them. Striking the right balance and enabling your Fiends to support your army while not becoming the linchpin is imperative.

Fiends easily provide the best anti-psyker defense with Disruptive SongEnemy Psykers with in 12 inches of a Fiend of Slaanesh have a -1 penalty to their Leadership when taking Psychic Tests in the Daemon Codex and that ability alone might mean they're a must have. Considering, along with Flesh Hounds you have a main assault element impervious to psychic powers.

If you leave Fiends to themselves you will find psychic based armies making them priority number one as they can quickly lock down their entire force once close.

Remember, screening and cover it is all about creating an illusion for Fiends and providing dangers much more serious so your opponent cannot, but prioritize away from the Fiends.

--Ways to play Fiends of Slaanesh--

Death Star Configuration: 245 pts 7-man Fiend unit

Balanced Configuration: 175 pts 5-man Fiend unit

MSU Configuration: 105 pts 3-man Fiend unit

Horde Configuration: 315 pts 9-man Fiend unit

A Word about Allies

Fiends of Slaanesh are great allies because of their abilities. They can make even the slowest Zombie horde swing first and running along Chaos Spawn is even better. Holding Fiends back with an ally force is also an option as they can hide in terrain and surprise any unit that gets too close to the backfield of your forces.

Remember unlike other Battle Brothers Daemons ICs cannot join with Chaos Space Marine units under any circumstance.

Final Thoughts...

Overall, Fiends of Slaanesh are really different. The changes make a big difference, but being able to deploy without Deep Striking means forces cannot just target the Fiend drop, which makes them much survivable. Still Fiends are way more of a support unit now, but with force multiplying pskers everywhere, Fiends have a place in most Daemon forces.

Warning

It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.