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.
Ch ch ch changes...
The Daemon Prince has undergone an extreme makeover like no other. The Daemon Prince was the go to HQ for every Chaos Space Marine list last edition, now all that has changed. The Daemon Prince isn't any better than before, but with all the changes can players make it work?
The Daemon Prince is now another option for generals, not just the only option.
To understand how to use Daemon Princes in 6th edition, let us start by looking at the differences between the 5th edition and 6th edition codex. Here is a side by side comparison.
(Click to Enlarge)
Compare & Contrast
- Cost increase from 110 points to 145 points
- Must take a Mark
- Stat increases and more wargear options
- Removal of Eternal Warrior
- Chaos Mark overhaul
--A Price Tag you can Believe in--
The Daemon Prince got a much need point increase, before it was undercosted now it feels just about right. The point increases comes with better stats and access to more options. Only problem, most options are must haves.
--Making Fluffy Sense--
In a decision that makes the most fluff sense, Daemon Princes must submit to a specific Chaos God. The idea that a follower of Chaos could become a Daemon Prince without the help of a single Chaos God never fitted with fluff, with even Abbadon not attaining such undivided stature. The only problem with choosing a Chaos God means calculating those points into the basic cost of a Deamon Prince.
--In Praise of the Chaos Gods--
Now Daemon Princes are truly mighty creatures of legend. With Weapon Skill nine and Initiative eight leading the charge. Daemon Princes also get access to Daemon Weapons and various equipment; too bad they cannot get a 4+ or better invulnerable save.
--Forcing the Issue--
The biggest hit to Daemon Princes is the removal of Eternal Warrior. Now your Daemon Prince is one lucky Halberd wound or Vindicator shot from dying. It is shame really, especially because Daemon Princes have no way of getting toughness six.
--Marks my Deamon up--
Daemon of Khorne -- 15 pts
A Daemon Prince of Khorne only gets Furious Charge. With a Strength of six the +1 strength bonus really doesn't do much unless faced against other Monstrous Creatures. A silver lining is Daemon Princes of Khorne get access to the Axe of Blind Fury, which is the best Daemon Weapon.
Daemon of Slaanesh -- 10 pts
The cheapest of the Chaos Marks doesn't do much, but when you combine Move Through Cover and Fleet you almost always guaranteed to get a charge off, but then again without Grenades you will swing last. Rending and the Run Bonus are cute if you weren't a Daemon Prince, but as it is you don't need Rending and the Run bonus is only useful for usually one turn. At ten points though this is the Mark everyone will take if they just want to use a Daemon Prince without tricks.
Daemon of Tzeentch -- 15 pts
A Daemon Prince of Tzeentch is the best Deamon Prince. A Tzeentch Daemon Prince get a survivability bonus because of the ability to re-roll 1s on saving throws. Daemon Princes draw a lot of fire and having the ability to re-roll something is money. It is sad though that Tzeentch Daemon Princes don't also get an invulnerable save bonus as well.
Daemon of Nurgle -- 15 pts
At first glance a Nurgle Daemon Prince seems like the best, but notice a few things, and you will think differently. Not getting Toughness 6 hurts a lot making all Daemon Princes susceptible to mass small arms fire. Sure the Nurgle Prince gets Shrouded, but that only protects a Prince for so long and most of the time the Invulnerable save will be better than the cover save. The worst is the Daemon Prince gets Slow and Purposeful. The Daemon Prince cannot use his high Initiative to run down units nor can he Run to gain extra movement.
The Daemon Prince is now another option for generals, not just the only option.
Putting it all Together...
Daemon Princes ain’t cheap, especially when you factor in all the hidden costs and must buys. A Daemon Prince will at least clock in at 235 points. At such a cost, only having Toughness five and 5+ invaluable save is too hard to swallow. Luckily, this expensive beast will almost always be Flying meaning they will harder to hit, but suffer extremely from being grounded. The biggest pain with Daemon Princes has to be their inability to unlock Cult Troops. You would think, a Chaos Lord leading Cult Troops would apply to Daemon Princes the same; this was an obvious case of design over logic. Making matters worse Daemon Princes cannot join Chaos Space Marine units which means no spreading the Fearless.
So what place is there for a Daemon Prince?
Daemon Princes are now the expensive second HQ choice. You take the Chaos Lord to get the units you want and the Daemon Prince for the hammer you need. It means on average you are going to invest upwards of 500 points in just HQs alone. What you get in return is usually a spell casting, flying, four wound monstrosity that strikes fear into most opponents.
Taking a Daemon Prince means no Chaos Terminators or Chaos Bikers, and pinning your hopes on four Wounds is enough to get into assault. Flightless Daemon Princes are not an option, they're too easy to get picked off by low AP weapons. The best way to protect your Daemon Prince is too keep flying and hoping for good Psychic powers. Namely, you are hoping for Iron Arm. The Iron Arm Biomancy power is amazing for Deamon Princes because they give them everything they need (Eternal Warrior & Toughness) to survive. Really, almost everything in Biomancy is the way to go. Iron Arm, Endurance, and Life Leech all increase a Daemon Prince's survivability.
What this all means is you cannot half ass a Deamon Prince. If you are going to use one better be ready to spend the points. Here is general breakdown of what you are really spending on a Daemon Prince.
Daemon Prince Base + 145 pts
Power Armor + 20 pts
Wings + 40 pts
Mark of Tzeentch + 15 pts
Mastery Level 3 +75 pts
Spell Familiar + 15 pts
= 310 pts!
What other single model costs this much? The closest answer is Hive Tyrant. You still can make Daemon Princes even more expensive by adding a Daemon Weapon.
I have just gone on and on about how expensive Daemon Princes are, and all you get is a (more than you imagined) fragile unit. The new Daemon Princes are too expensive. Without Grenades, a better invulnerable save, Eternal Warrior, a 2+ armor option; means Daemon Princes cannot be trusted Flying or not.
What I am getting at is Daemon Princes are just not a justifiable HQ choice anymore. They cost too much and you get too little! It is really a sad state, because at first glance they seemed so impressive, but if your best hopes are pinned on random Psychic powers you have problems.
Still, if you want to make the most out of your Daemon Prince models here are some limited options.
Memory Lane: Daemon Prince
--Ways to play Deamon Prince--
The following configurations are by no means meant strictly for competitive play, they represent a cross-section of the Chaos Space Marine codex allowing for flexibility and variety.
Death Star Configuration: They're all Death Stars!
Balanced Configuration: 245 pts Deamon Prince with Daemon of Slaanesh, Wings, Power Armor, , Burning Brand of Salalathrax
Shooting Configuration: Unless you love Witchfire spells avoid thinking about shooting with a Daemon Prince
Khorne Configuration: 255 pts Daemon Prince with Daemon of Khorne, Wings, Power Armor, Axe of Blind Fury
Slannesh Configuration: 260 pts Daemon Prince with Daemon of Slaanesh, Wings, Power Armor, The Black Mace
Nurgle Configuration: 285 pts Daemon Prince with Deamon of Nurgle, Wings, Power Armor, Mastery Level 2, Spell Familiar
Tzeentch Configuration: 310 pts Daemon Prince with Deamon of Tzeentch, Wings, Power Armor, Mastery Level 3, Spell Familiar
If you have any questions feel free to email me using the contact information below.
Overall, Deamon Princes are a real disappointment. They were the best unit in the past edition, but the changes that were made for this edition was overkill. Now, all we can hope for is the new Deamon codex and see if any combos come to light so the Chaos Space Marine Deamon Prince has something to do.
It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.
For tactical articles feel free to email me to continue the discussion or if you discover an inaccurate interpretation of the rules-- edits will be made accordingly.
Also check out other articles in this series...
- Getting Restarted
- Breaking Down the Codex
- Chaos Space Marine Unit Review
- Cultist Review
- Khorne Berzerkers Review
- Thousand Sons Review
- Noise Marine Review
- Plague Marine Review
- Chosen Review
- Mutilator Review
- Helbrute Review
- Possessed Review
- Chaos Terminator Review
- Chaos Bikes Review
- Chaos Spawn Review
- Raptors Review
- Warp Talons Review
- Heldrake Review
- Havocs Review
- Obliterator Review
- Defiler Review
- Forgefiend Review
- Maulerfiend Review
- Rhino, Vindicator, Predator, Land Raider Review
- Abbadon the Despiler Review
- Huron Blackheart Review
- Kharn the Betrayer Review
- Ahriman Review
- Typhus Review
- Lucius the Eternal Review
- Fabius Bile Review
- Chaos Lord Review
- Chaos Sorcerer Review
- Daemon Prince Review
- Warpsmith Review
- Dark Apostle Review
- Final Breakdown