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Feeling less Flamey
The Flamer of Tzeentch obsession was for about a good six months and was all encompassing, but now not so much. Flamers are really neither terrible nor great, they kinda hover in the space between a Honda Civic and a Honda Accord.
Mostly, Flamers are now role specific and fit certain niches, depending on what an army list is missing.
The biggest problem though is if your opponent isn't dead he might end up more deadly than ever before..
To understand from once the Flamer has come you must first look at the differences between the new and old codex, and please disregard the White Dwarf splooge edition of Flamers.
(Click to Enlarge)
Compare & Contrast
- Breath of Chaos to Flames of Tzeentch
- Increased wounds from 1 to 2
- Cost reduction from 35 pts to 23 pts
- Warpfire exchanged for Warpflame
- Max unit size reduction from 12 to 9
--Good Breath to Bad Breath—
The biggest change for Flamers is the changes to their main weapon. Breath of Chaos was the catch-all power of all time having the ability to destroy any unit, any and everywhere. Rightly so GW changed this, now Flames of TzeentchTemplate S4 AP4 Assault 1 Warpflame is your average flamer with the stupid bonus of giving your opponent Feel No Pain. This means you better make sure your Flamers kill the unit they are about to flame.
--It now takes two—
The additional wound for Flamers is a big deal, especially now only having 5+ save. Coupled with Daemons of TzeentchWhen manifesting psychic powers DoT have a +3 modifier to their Leadership. In addition, Daemons of Tzeentch re-roll all saving throw results of 1 and you have one tough unit to complete eradicate. Having two wounds and being jump infantry means Flamers should easily make it to their targets mostly intact.
--I will take a Dozen–
It gets even better for Flamers as their exorbitant cost in the previous edition is replaced with a much cheaper one. Taken in totality Flamers are costed quite appropriately: Jump Infantry, Two Wounds, Invulnerable save. Toughness Four.
--One less option--
One of the most underused aspects of Flamers was their ability to still do something if unable to flame. Now with Warpfire gone, Flamers are left with very specific roles leaving little for flexibility. Instead, your opponent might be treated to some additional unsaveable wounds or more likely given Feel No Pain courtesy of WarpflameAny suffering an unsaved Wound from an attack with this special rule, must make a Toughness test. If failed, the unit immediately suffers D3 wounds with no saves allowed. If passed all models in that unit game Feel No Pain +6 and is cumulative.
--Fewer models to Buy—
Finally, the dreams of running 12 man units of Flamers is gone. The max number is nine and when you consider that is still 7 more wounds than the old 12 man units it pretty much all balances out. Even if you had 12 Flamers you would will find it hard to actually be able to flame with all of them, because of rules against flaming your own unit.
...and please disregard the White Dwarf splooge edition of Flamers.
Putting it all Together
Flamers of Tzeentch are now a very unique unit within the Chaos Daemons codex. Flamers before were an auto-take having two wounds and destroyer of titans like weapon was often overkill.
Flamers do one thing and one thing well: destroy hordes
Luckily for Flamers, Daemon Elites overall aren't all that impressive, so finding space for this unit shouldn't be too hard.
A full unit of Flamers shouldn't have any problems destroying any large model count units. This is ideal for dealing with pesky IG blobs, who many folks seem to be using. With the speed Jump Infantry Flamers can easily reposition to engage new threats. Since Flamers are also Daemons of TzeentchWhen manifesting psychic powers DoT have a +3 modifier to their Leadership. In addition, Daemons of Tzeentch re-roll all saving throw results of 1 don't be afraid to use hard cover for better saves.
Having a weapon like Flames of TzeentchTemplate S4 AP4 Assault 1 Warpflame also means Flamers are great at playing range games. Range games for the express purpose of avoiding assaults. Played right you can keep your Flamers easily out of charge distances, but at the same still can threaten units back. The best part is Flamers because of Flames of TzeentchTemplate S4 AP4 Assault 1 Warpflame can easily fudge a distance, because taking auto hits from Overwatch will likely kill enough enemy models to cause a failed charge.
Besides going after obvious targets like blobs, using Flamers as a counter unit is also viable. With the ability to cause so many wounds, even heavily armored units will have a tough time shrugging off the damage. This creates a deterrent that keeps opponents off-balance as they try to decide on what weaker elements of your army they try to hit.
Flamers have few options when it comes to configurations.
The upgrades available are simply not there, with only Pyrocaster taking rewards as an option. This does though mean Flamers don't have any hidden costs. You will just pay 23 points per model, and the only choice is how big you think the unit needs to be. Since Flamers have a limited role, you are best off taking only one unit of them. While they are inexpensive for what you get, 23 points per model can cut into the points needed to spend filling more pressing roles.
Some players might also become tempted to take Flamers for Herald of Tzeentch escorts. Don't do it. Having Heralds with Flamers will draw way too much attention to a unit that should be relying on a more asymmetric style of play.
The biggest downside to Flamers is that darn WarpflameAny suffering an unsaved Wound from an attack with this special rule, must make a Toughness test. If failed, the unit immediately suffers D3 wounds with no saves allowed. If passed all models in that unit game Feel No Pain +6 and is cumulative. If you are unable to kill a unit (combined with other Tzeentch units) you can end up with a worse problem on your hands. Flamers do also have general weaknesses with taking out high toughness or heavy armored units, so with a bad set of dice rolls you can end up giving the unit you least want more survivability.
Flamers are also useless against most vehicles, this dramatic change severely limits what Flamers can and cannot do. It leaves Flamers relying on other units to take out transport or tanks, and against a heavy mechanized force means they have little to do. Then you start asking yourself, "Wouldn't it just be better taking a unit with a better tool kit"?
--Ways to play Flamers of Tzeentch--
Death Star Configuration: 212 pts 8-man Flamer unit with Pyrocaster
Balanced Configuration: 155 pts 5-man Flamer unit
MSU Configuration: 69 pts 3-man Flamer unit
Horde Configuration: 207 pts 9-man Flamer unit
A Word about Allies
Flamers of Tzeentch often find the most utility in an ally force. Since Flamers are so focused, having a unit along with say a small elite force could prove decisive; if you need to clear out large units of lightly armored blobs across the battlefield. Flamers easily remove entrenched units.
Remember unlike other Battle Brothers Daemons ICs cannot join with Chaos Space Marine units under any circumstance.
Overall, Flamers of Tzeentch strength is also its greats weakness. Having a specific use also means a unit will only be effective in very specific lists. Still, while it may seem obvious having a unit that can ignore cover is often a must and Flamers hit that role beautifully. Between Tau Pathfinders and units hiding behind Aegis Lines means Flamers are a great asset hard to overlook.
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 interpretations of the rules-- edits will be made accordingly.
Also check out other articles in this series...
- Chaos Space Marine Tactica Link Page
- Chaos Daemons Impressions
- Breaking Down Chaos Daemons
- Bloodletters of Khorne Review
- Pink Horrors of Tzeentch Review
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle Review
- Deamonettes of Slaanesh Review
- Bloodcrushers of Khorne Review
- Flamers of Tzeentch Review
- Beasts of Nurgle Review
- Fiends of Slaanesh Review
- Flesh Hounds of Khorne Review
- Screamers of Tzeentch Review
- Plague Drones of Nurgle Review
- Chaos Furies Review
- Seekers of Slannesh Review
- Soul Grinder Review
- Skull Cannon of Khorne Review
- Nurglings Review
- Skarbrand Review
- Kairos Fateweaver Review
- Ku'Gath the Plaguefather Review
- Bloodthirster Review
- Lord of Change Review
- Great Unclean One Review
- Keeper of Secrets Review
- Daemon Prince Review
- Skulltaker Review
- The Changling Review
- The Blue Scribes Review
- Epidemius Review
- The Masque Review
- Herald of Khorne Review
- Herald of Tzeentch Review
- Herald of Nurgle Review
- Herald of Slaanesh Review
- Exalted, Seeker, Hellflayer Chariots of Slaanesh Review
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch Review
- A Look Back and Final Chaos Codex Daemons Breakdown