Monday, May 30, 2011

3 Units in Review: Daemon Princes

"Hypocrisy, arrogance, pride, anger, harshness, and ignorance; these are the marks of those who are born with demonic qualities..." Bhagavad Gita

Daemon Princes, once men who were born with these demonic qualities sacrifice enemies and allies alike for their ambitions. Through these actions they attracted the attention of their patron god.  In the world of 40k they are one of the truly unique units in the Chaos Space Marine Codex.  The stand above the other choices available due to the sheer power that they bring to the table while adding tremendous fluff to your army.  The addition of a Marked Daemon Prince for your HQ really sets the table for the story behind your army. Lets have a look at what each of the Marks have to offer you and your Daemon Prince.

Khorne - One of the cheapest Daemon Princes going. Reason being is that they cannot take any psychic powers thus restricting what they can buy to just wings (a must have). The Benefits of the Mark of Khorne is the bonus of +1 Attack. Nothing huge by any means but an extra attack from a strength 6 monstrous creature is always nice.

Slaanesh - The sole purpose of taking this mark is have access to the Lash of Submission, a Slaanesh only power. This power as we all know allows you to manipulate your opponents units which is a rare and powerful ability. The other advantage is the +1 to initiative. With the Prince already being Initiative 5 it should be striking first against most enemies if not at the same time.  Rarely will it strike last.

Nurgle - Durability is the name of the game with this beast. The increase in toughness from 5 to 6 is bigger than most people think. It will cause strength 4 weapons and units to go from hitting on 5's to 6's which is just nasty.  The other door that opens up is the psychic power Nurgle's Rot. This psychic power is an area of effect spell that is great for using against hordes or when surrounded by numerous enemy models.  Not the strongest power but it has the chance at taking quite a few models plus this power can be used in close combat.

Tzneetch - Improved immunity to weapons that ignore a Daemon Princes 3+ armour save is the biggest advantage that this mark brings to the table. It improves your invulnerable save from 5+ to 4+. It may not come in handy all that often like the extra toughness that a Nurgle mark will but it makes up for it when your opponent brings down the hurt with AP 3 (or lower) weapons and with power weapons. The other advantage is that Tzneetch marked Daemon Princes can take a second Psychic power and on top of this they can use two powers each turn. This means it becomes an expensive build but there are some nasty combos like Warp Time and Winds of Chaos. Lastly this mark opens the door to the Tzneetch only power of Bolt of Change which is great for tank hunting.

As I have mentioned before my Chaos Space Marine Army, Betrayer's of Pain is dedicated to Nurgle which left me with only one choice, two Nurgle marked Daemon Princes. One was simply not enough for me as the other HQ choices failed in comparison to that of a Daemon Prince. The conversion opporunity is wide open when it comes to Daemon Princes so let your imagination run wild. Games Workshop's Fantasy model line is full of models that are awaiting to be ascended into the world of 40k. Vargulfs, Ogres, Minotaurs,Lord Kroak and the list goes on. I settled on using the Nurgle Daemon Prince model for one and a Necron Night Bringer for the other.

1/ Always give them a set of wings. Without wings a Daemon Prince is a slow moving monstrous creature that will be lucky if it makes it into close combat.  The mobility gain by having a set of wings is two fold. First off it doubles the Daemon Princes movement range from 6 to 12 inches. The second benefit is that it allows the Daemon Prince to act as a Jump Infantry, meaning it can jump over terrain and or other units.  These two combined will allow your Daemon Prince to fly in out of LOS or into positions that provide cover saves.

2/ Running them in pairs is twice as effective.  Having one Daemon Prince racing towards the enemy paints a large target on it and in reality focus fire will bring it down. Adding a second Daemon Prince to your army will force your opponent to make a choice on which one to target thus increasing the chance of one of them making it into close combat with the enemy. The most effective weapons at killing a Daemon Prince are high strength weapons that are generally used for popping open armoured vehicles. Multiple monstrous creatures and a mechanized army overloads your opponents anti tank weapons thus forcing them to make some very tough decisions.

3/ Do not be afraid to sit back or create false ploys with your Winged Daemon Princes. They have the mobility to pull or push the enemy. Hide for a turn and attempt to set up a trap. Be a patient hunter with them and you will be rewarded.

4/ When your army is involved in a battle that uses table quarters for deployment try holding both winged Daemon Princes in reserve. Your main force has to deploy in the designated quarter but all reserves that are walking on can use the whole table edge to deploy when they become available. If your opponent is not keen on this he may end up pushing his forces towards towards the empty table quarter where the rest of your table edge is. This may will allow the Daemon Princes to catch your opponents units in close combat due to their 18" assault range.

Now go forth and sow the enemy with hatred and fear.


  1. Nice overview. One thing I would definitely add though is Warp Time. That psychic power turns your monstrous creature into a REAL combat monster re-rolling both rolls to hit and to wound. I regularly hit and wound with 4-5 attacks per round.

    Another counts-as model from the WHFB line is the River Trolls. They make great stand ins for nurgle princes and are $45 for a box of 3. I used 2 for princes with wings borrowed from MageKnight figures and used the third in a greater daemon conversion. That's $33 for each prince and almost $60 for the greater daemon of nurgle for only $45, a couple spare bits, and a little converting. This is before the upcoming price increases of course but still a great savings.

  2. Awesome idea on the River Trolls. I personally would love to use a Slaan model from the Lizard men. No need for wings with that model as it is hover already.

    In terms of psychic powers I had planned on writing up an article solely on them. So much to say on each of the powers and this post was already long enough. I agree that Warp Time is an awesome power however it is a double edge sword at times. Reason being is that it can cause you to kill too many models thus you winning close combat. When this happens that big bad DP is now stuck in the open on your opponents turn. Like I said though I touch base on psychic powers in another post.

    Thanks for the comments and glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. Aye, very good point on the double edged sword, and something I have run into myself. Just means you have to plan in advance whether you want to use it or not since it's cast at the beginning of the turn. Great to use during your opponent's turn so your prince is free to act during your turn, but during your turn it's a tougher decision. Do you want to kill more stuff and risk being stuck in the open or kill less stuff for a better chance of being stuck in combat so you can't be shot at?

    Daemon princes are one of the few units in the CSM codex that I love because they are both effective and flavorful. With most units in the book being overpriced or simply boring SM clones with terrible options, the princes are one of the few units that really stand out.