Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tactica: High Elves vs. Daemons of Chaos

I will most likely do one of these a month depending on what the monthly poll turns into here.  It will be more competitive focused and will be a LIVING Tactica encompass the current meta.  This will continue as long as High Elves are using the same army book.

I've also gathered all the articles I have here and re-posted most of them on  You can find the thread here:  HERO's Guide to High Elf Glory [8th Edition]

Without further ado, let's get into the nitty gritty.  The format of these tacticas will also be more straight forward and gets to the point quicker.  My reasoning is that people just want to know 2 things:  What the hell does that unit do and how do I kill it?

So with that in mind, I'll list out a bunch of units, characters or something and then provide an answer.

High Elves vs. Daemons of Chaos
Match-up Analysis

Daemon Special Rules
The first thing you have to know is that the entire army causes Fear, has a 5+ ward and have magical attacks.  They are also Immune to Psychology so they do not care if they get owned, they just take Unstable tests and move on with life.

Deal with it.

Greater Daemons
There are 4 Greater Daemons of Chaos and they're all equally ridiculous one way or another.  I'll note what they commonly do here:

Bloodthirster - WS10, 7 attacks, I9, Immortal Fury gives re-rolls to hit, Obsidian Armor (3+ save) makes it so magical weapons count as mundane and Firestorm Blade makes him S7 with flaming attacks.  He can also take a scroll if he just takes Armor of Khorne (3+ save).

Keeper of Secrets - WS9, 6 Armor Piercing attacks with ASF I10, moves 10 and can take Siren Song.  Can cast spells and murder things in close combat for a pretty affordable price.

Great Unclean One - T6 with 10 wounds, WS4 but carries a Flail, Balesword and Noxious Vapours.  S8 on the charge and he wounds automatically.  Each wound translates to D6 wounds and Noxious Vapours robs you of ASF and makes you ASL.  He might also carry a S4 breath that he can do in combat to generate combat res.

Lords of Change - Flying bird with T6 and 5 wounds.  I6 so you can't really sink him with PoS or anything.  Capable of Lore Master + Tzeentch's Will which allows him to re-roll 1 die during each player phase.  This can be used to cause an IF, turn a crappy roll into a great roll, so on and so forth.

There's no real answer to Greater Daemons because they're just really powerful.  Mindrazor something and hope you roll a good number of hits.  Reducing their toughness, WS and I can also help even the playing field, but no mere mortal can hope to triumph against a Greater Daemon with positive results.  The BT and KoS especially murder units in combat.  If the BT take a Firestorm Blade, you can answer it with Dragon Armor.  As for the KoS, you're pretty much shit out of luck.  The GUO just stays around forever and can't be challenged unless you want to die horribly.  I haven't seen GUO in a while, but I have seen the rest of the 3 a lot of the time.  Keep in mind that if they take a Greater Daemon, that's a lot of points they're directing into one character.  Use this to your advantage.

SC: Kairos Fateweaver
This guy is the most flexible spellcaster in all of Warhammer.  He basically has 2 heads that knows any 8 spells of his choosing from the BRB.  Kairos also knows the entire Lore of Tzeentch, which gives him 14 spells total.  He can also cast with +2 to any casting roll and re-roll any die per player phase.  Daemonic Robes also means he can never be wounded on a 2+ and he sports a 3+ ward save.

What I would do personally is Pit of Shades the bastard.  He if goes Kairos, you bring Teclis and you PoS IF on top of his face.  He has I1 so anything short of bad luck will end him flat out.  At 625 points, if he dies, you basically roll over the rest of his army.

SC: Skulltaker
WS9, I9, 4 attacks with S6 Hatreds towards everybody.  All his attacks count as flaming and he can get a 1+ AS when mounted on a Juggernaught and have MR2.  The best part of it is that he HKBs everything in the game on 5+.

Dragon Armor all day long.  He has to issue and accept challenges so you can tank him all day with a random Dragon Helm on a unit champ.

SC: Changeling
He swaps the target's WS, S, T, I, and A values and uses them against him!  A built-in Arch-lector that works in base to base, nice.

Not much you can do about it but kill him because he doesn't have ASF like you do.  He's actually pretty mediocre if you do not have amazing fighty characters.

SC: The Masque
Basically a Herald that can't join units and has a 3+ ward save.  The worst part of this stupid daemon is that she chooses a target within 12" and reduces its leadership by D3.  She can also reduce its movement values by D3 and neither of those require LoS.

Try to snipe her if you can.  She's only T3 with 2W so you can use your Magic Missiles to end her obnoxious life.  Since she can't join units and the game is TLoS now, she can be neutralized with a well-placed 2d6 S4.

Each herald is capable of doing awesome things once they join a unit matching its Chaos God.  The Herald of Khorne gives Bloodletters Hatred to all enemies, Tzeentch gives the Horror unit 4+ ward, Nurgle Heralds give regen, and Slaanesh gives the entire unit ASF.  The most painful ones for us is Bloodletters and Daemoenttes because one hits like a ton of bricks with ASF and the other just denies us of our key benefits. All of these heralds can be found in horde-sized units of the above mentioned daemons.  The most common ones I see these days is the Daemonette horde with Siren Song and Siren Standard and Bloodletters with Icon of Endless War.  Tz Heralds are kind of different because they can take Loremaster of any Lore and Spell Breakers (scroll).  Sometimes they fly around and sometimes they baby sit a Horror unit.  This gives them flexibility in what they want to do.

A lot of these Heralds can be sniped out by stuff like Dwellers or any ability that hits the entire unit. Death Lore is great at picking out characters and Shadow offsets their benefits by reducing their stats to garbage.  Who cares about ASF or Hatred if you're WS1 or striking with shit strength.  Just use your magic to counterbalance the bonuses the Heralds offer.

Daemon Magic
There are 3 key lores from the Daemon book and all of them are dirt cheap to cast.  The reason being is that it's a 7th Ed. book going into 8th so the prices of spells haven't changed.  Damnit.. the spells are really good too.

Daemon Lore of Tzeentch
The big ones here is Flickering Fire, Glean Magic, Bolt of Change and Tzeentch's Firestorm.  Flickering Fire is a 18" D6+1 SD6+1 missile that's cheap as hell to cast.  Bolt of Change does it even better with 2D6 SD6+4 hits for a mere 12+!  Glean Magic allows the daemon to cast an enemy Wizard's spell as if it was one of their own and Tzeentch's Firestorm is just downright dirty funny.  It's a magical missile with 24" that does 2D6 S5 hits.  For every 3 wounds, it creatures a Pink Horror within 3" of the new target unit.  The new unit can now re-direct and hamper charges next turn because they're cool like that.

Daemon Lore of Nurgle
Nurgle is just really frustrating to play against for High Elves.  All of the spells are really useful and they're dirt cheap to cast.  Miasma reduces WS, S, T, I and A to 1 to all enemy models in base contact and it casts on a 3+.  Stream of Corruption is a 6+ breath weapon (cannot be used in combat) that causes a toughness test or take a wound with no armor save.  Pit of Slime forces a S-test or it can't move or shoot from 24".  Rancid Visitation cases D6 S5 hits to a unit and then it must pass a T-test or it continues on and on until the unit is destroyed or passes the T test.  Shrivelling Pox is a character sniper that forces a T-test or suffer D6 wounds with no armor saves.  Plague Wind forces an entire unit to take a T-test or suffer a wound with no armor saves.  For every 3 unsaved wounds, place Nurglings near the unit so you can use it to re-direct and block charge lanes as well.

Daemon Lore of Slaanesh
Acquiescence is weak because Stupidity is no longer an issue with BSB.  Cacophonic Caress is still a problem because it effects all units within 2D6" of the caster to take D6 S3 no armor saves.  Succor of Chaos is amazing at 7+ because all the models in the unit gains ASF and re-rolls to hit.  Slicing Shards and Pavane of Slaanesh are both useful once Phantasmagoria hits the battlefield.  All enemy units on the table must roll an extra D6 hen taking Leadership tests and discard the lowest.  Can you imagine all the Fear and Terror tests in addition to all the crazy leadership nerfs Slaanesh can put on the table?  Not to mention it casts on a 10+!

Personally, I would try to counter with Shadow, Life and Death, in that order.  Shadow's hexes counters a lot of Herald buffs and makes your units deadlier in combat.  Life offers Dwellers and increased Toughness so your Elves and survive combat with the enemy and out attrition them.  Death gives you the ability to snipe enemy Heralds and allows you to debuff the entire army with Soulblight.

Nasty Combos
Daemonette Horde + Herald, Full Command, Siren Standard, Siren Song/Soporific Musk on Herald
A ton of ASF S3 Armor Piercing attacks at I5 WS5 and 2 attacks a piece.  Siren Song makes it so you have to charge them or flee, and Siren Standard makes it so you have no choice but to hold if they charge you.  If you lose combat to them and run, you roll an extra dice when fleeing and then discard the highest result.

Take the charge with your Spears and nerf the crap out of the unit with hexes.  You should be able to out attrition them as long as you kill the herald first.  Once she dies, the unit no longer has ASF so you'll be able to drastically thin the horde's ranks.  Know what Siren Song and Siren Standard can do and use your Eagles to re-direct and prevent forced charges.

Bloodletter Horde + Herald, Full Command, Icon of Endless War, Armor of Khorne/Firestorm Blade on Herald
A ton of WS5 S5 Killing Blow attacks with Hatred.  On the turn they charge, they add D6" to their charge distance because of Icon and the Herald has a 3+ armor save with S7 flaming attacks.  Not much to say here man.. they hit like a truck.

This unit might hit like a truck, but it's easily re-directed with Eagles and doesn't fare too well in combat with your buffed-up Elves.  If you take Shadow, you can nerf this unit into the ground and then kill them in combat with your ASF and higher I.  S5 doesn't mean much when its nerfed and WS means less if they're not hitting all the time.  If you can kill his herald with one of your champions you can eliminate their Hatred all together.  You can even buy a Standard of Balance if you so wish.

Great Icon of Despair + Masque + Daemon Lore of Slaanesh
The Great Icon makes all enemy units within 12" suffer -2 to their leadership.  Masque makes a unit lose D3 leadership.  This in turn makes the Daemon Lore of Slaanesh stronger and Phantasmagoria ridiculous.  Fear Tests and Terror all over the place will just make you hate life.

Try to kill Masque and the wielder of the Great Icon of Despair.  Once these units are neutralized, you should be in a good place.  The sad part is that Masque will almost always be hiding somewhere in the back, but the Great Icon of Despair will be somewhere in the front lines.  Since it's a 75-point banner, you know that only a BSB can wield it.  This paints a nice little target over their head.  What's really annoying is when they put it on a Slaanesh Herald on a Seeker and have it join a decent unit of Seekers.  Lion Standard and Standard of Balance is a nice way to nullify fear tests, the same applies to having Caradryan in a unit or having a Champion carry the Mask of Eee!

**Things to watch out for!**

Flesh Hounds - M8, Hatred, WS5 S5 2 attacks a piece with MR3
Seekers of Slaanesh - M10 Fast Cav with Siren Standard.  WS5 S3 AP and can harbor a herald for ASF.
Bloodcrushers - A crapton of WS5 S6, 5 attacks with KB and 2W each.  Sports a nice +3 to the rider's armor save too.
Flamers of Tzeentch - One of the most hated units in the game.  D6 S4 flaming shots each with no multiple shot penalty and for very good points.  Also Skirmishing.
Fiends of Slaanesh - M10 S4 AP with 4 attacks a piece, 3 wounds T4 with Soporific Musk.

Sword Master the Flesh Hounds because they'll run into a flurry of blades and die horribly.  Normal Spears should take care of them just fine.  Seekers are fast and will wait until you're vulnerable before they hit.  Once they do, that's a lot of attacks and at ASF with herald that you might not like. Bloodcrushers get mauled once they get nerfed in combat and you force enough wounds.  Mindrazor gives you good results against them.  The same applies to Fiends of Slaanesh because they don't have ASF.  Flamers are murderous against everything in your army because of your T3 and 5+ save.  However, I would charge a unit of Dragon Princes right up their ally any day of the week.

Siren Song - One use, nominate a enemy unit within 20" and you must charge or flee.  One of the dirtiest items in the game because you can literally force a unit to fail charge, get into charge range of your own unit, or expose its flank for your units to rampage through them.  That, or you force it to flee.  Basically the best trapping item in the entire game.

Great Standard of Sundering - Choose a Lore of Magic.  All Wizards suffer a -2 penalty to cast from that Lore.  If you're using Lore of Light, you miscast on any doubles of 1, 2 and 3.  The only reason why I didn't recommend Lore of Light is because of this item.  Good thing it's either this or Great Icon of Despair, so once you know he has one he can't have the other.

The best defense with Siren Song is to analyze the position of his KoS and Heralds.  Position your units so you don't fall into any traps and use your Eagles to block possible flankers/chargers.  Re-direct the best you can and really think about your movement and positioning.  Standard of Balance also works for Siren Song because it makes the unit ITP.  As for the Great Standard of Sundering, you just gotta kill that thing.  Lore of Light would be great against Daemons if not for that banner and even so, it's -2 to your casting value is brutal.  Death Lore is a powerful sniping tool but I'd still take Shadow for the most part.

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