Sunday, May 15, 2011

4 Units in Review: Lesser Daemons

Lesser Daemons are probably the most under rated unit in the Chaos Space Marine Codex.  Many players of old scoff and shrug them off.  Embrace them however cause they will provide your army with a thank-less work horse.  Lesser Daemons radiate the warp for the following reasons:

1/ They are Cheap. Roughly half the Cost of a Cult Dedicated Troop Choice.

2/ Invulnerable save only. The 5+ is just golden especially when matched up against power weapons. They just do not care what is hitting them unlike the Cult Troops.

3/ They can assault the turn they deep strike into play and they do not scatter (via Icon).

Now that we know what makes them an effective units lets look at how many to take. The number should aim for is 7 as this allows for one in the centre and a complete ring of 6 around it.  Remember they have to Deep Strike so the more you have the harder it will be to fit them into small tight areas.  The minor difference or 1 or 2 either way will be fine as you will have some play on where they go since they will not be be numerous enough to complete a second ring around the center model. I would never suggest anything more than 10 though.

In terms of roles look to their strengths and you can find some various uses for them. Here are a few of mine:
Objective Grabbers = Deep Strike in behind your assault elements and run back to claim the objectives.

Tar Pits = A squad of 6-10 Lesser Daemons with having their Fearless status and an invulnerable. save can stand up to small elite unit for quite some time. This is especially true against models with lower initiative than the Lesser Daemons as this allows them to strike first. I have killed many terminators,and terminators lords/Independent Characters with my Lesser Daemons.

Speed Bumps = Just a thrown them in front of the enemy and let them charge thus thus buying another one of your units time to get out of dodge/redeploy to a safer location.

Meat Shield = Use them like a grot screen whey your opponent has weapons that can punch through the armour of other units in your army. If the Lesser Daemons get shot they get an invulnerable. save or if the squad behind them gets hit they get a 4+ cover.

Shock Troops = With the ability to Deep Strike and assault the same turn Lesser Daemons make for excellent shock troops.  You can take your opponent by surprise thanks to their enter method.  They must deep strike within 6"of an icon.  By being a coy play you can actually place the model so just the back of the base is at the 6" range gaining .999" in the process.  Add one outer ring of models and now you have another 1".  This means that Lesser Daemons have 13.999" assault range.  With 3 attacks on the charge a unit of 7 gets 21 attacks.  Nothing to scoff at.

Last thing to remember about Lesser Daemons is that they offer you an unique opportunity in terms of modeling. With no actually model to represent them GW has given you the choice and freedom to model however you want to. Roll with this and apply theme through them to your army thus letting your army stand above the rest.


  1. Excellent review! The Lesser Daemon is the underrated workhorse of the CSM codex. I think however that the greatest benefit they have is they count as troops and thus can capture objectives! I run two squads of 10 in my army at 1500 pts, and with them I came 5th at a premier tournament just recently!

    Just a thought however re: squad size. As the daemons will never scatter, a squad of 10 will maximise the benefits you spoke of earlier. With a 6" drop on the initial you can now gain an extra 2" to your assault range as opposed to 1", or you can set the extra 3 back to ensure your out of counter assault range. At 10 models thats 30 attacks first turn with an average of 15 hits and 7.5 wounds against MEQ.

    and lastly, love your tree daemons!

  2. First off thanks for the reply and visiting the Chaos Manifesto. I wrote this article after I saw one on them over 3++ is the New Black that was overly critical of them.

    WIth reference to what you said I think I should of said that the minimum squad size should be 7 with 10 being the max due to sheer cost.

    My favourite use of them is for bogging down and killing Terminators. The last thing I want is my Plague Marines getting a power fist/sword smack down from some Vanilla frosted Marines. The Lesser Daemons offer a way to deal with them. Sure the Lesser Daemons may die in the process but losing 91pts of Lesser Daemons (7 of them) is a whole lot better than 271pts of Plague Marines.


  3. nice article! i got a newbie question about Lesser Daemons. can independent characters join a unit of LDs? i'm getting tired of Kharn killing a bunch of his Zerker buddies every time i use him. i was thinking of trying to have a unit of Lesser Daemons deep strike to the icon in his unit and then having him join the LDs. i would rather have him killing 13pt Lesser Daemons then 21pt Zerkers

  4. @Anon - Glad you enjoyed the article. I had a quick glance over the CSM codex and I could not find any rules that stated that they could not be joined by an independent character. I never thought of doing it as I run two Daemon Princes for my HQ slots. SOunds like an interesting plan that would dish out a high number of attacks. Give it a try and let me know how it works.