Thursday, January 19, 2017

AoS: Diving deep into Tz Daemons

I'm going to buy as many moonfaces as possible.

So now that I have the rules in my greedy little hands, I can really dive deeper into the Tzeentch Daemons army I'm trying to make to see if it's even viable.  This might seem like a lot of junk being spilled out of a frantic mind, but hear me out here.  I think just from looking at the book that Tz Daemons might be middle of the road in terms of power level but max awesome for fluffiness and versatility.  From what the book looks like so far, there's just a ton of cool things in there that I think players will be happy for a long time.  Now, this doesn't mean that every option is competitive, it's just me saying that the options to have fun is there.

Moving on, let's talk about this crazy Tz Daemons build I want to run:

Big birds & Co.

Kairos Fateweaver = 340
+Tzeentch's Firestorm

Lord of Change = 300
+Bolt of Change
+General - Incorporeal Form (-1 to hit in CC)
+Phantasmal Weapons (+1 Rend to all weapons)

Ogroid Thaumaturge = 160
+Treacherous Bond

Chaos Sorcerer Lord = 140
+Glimpse the Future

Blue Scribes = 120
+Fold Reality

3x Burning Chariots of Tz = 480

10x Horrors = 140
+Arcane Transformation

10x Horrors = 140
+Unchecked Mutation

10x Horrors = 140
+Fold Reality

The first thing you'll notice right away is the fact that all my wizards can pick and choose another spell from either Lore of Change (daemons) or Lore of Fate (mortals).  After extensive study into the two trees, I decided to go with this for my current layout of magic diversity.  Before I go any further, let me first tell you what these spells do:
  • Tzeentch's Firestorm - 9+ to cast, pick a visible enemy unit within 18", roll 9 dice:  For each 6 that you roll the unit picked suffers d3 mortal wounds.
  • Bolt of Change - 8+ to cast, pick a visible enemy unit within 18", unit suffers d6 mortal wounds.
  • Treacherous Bond - 6+ to cast, pick a friendly unit within 18", until your next hero phase, as long as the bonded unit is within 9" of the caster, whenever the caster suffers an unsaved wound or mortal wound, on a 2+ the chosen unit suffers it instead.
  • Glimpse the Future - 7+ to cast, only wizard can attempt to cast this spell per turn, if successful, roll a dice and add it to your Destiny Dice pool.
  • Fold Reality - 7+ to cast, pick a visible friendly unit of Tz Daemons within 18" and roll a dice.  On a 2 or more, you can return that many slain models to the unit.  On a 1, the unit is wiped out!
  • Arcane Transformation - 7+ to cast, pick a friendly hero within 18" of the caster.  You can permanently increase that model's Move, Bravery or Attacks characteristics of one of its weapons by 1 once per battle.
  • Unchecked Mutation - 7+ to cast, pick a visible enemy unit within 18":  The unit suffers d3 mortal wounds, then roll a dice; on a roll of 5 or 6, the unit suffers another mortal wound and you roll another dice as above.

Some of these sound pretty tame, but most of these are actually pretty insane.  As you can see, I have Fold Reality twice in here because I think it has amazing synergy with Burning Chariots of Tz.  You probably noticed that I underlined models.  I did this because on a 2+, I can bring back 2 chariots from the dead, so I technically rez 12 wounds worth.  It gets slightly sillier:  I can put Treacherous Bond on someone like Kairos who knows all the spells from every wizard within 18", and I can basically have my chariots turn into 17 extra wounds for him just before Fold Reality brings more back.  In case I roll a 1, I always have Kairos there to bring turn the die if I'm really that unlucky.

Bolt of Change and Tz's Firestorm is just there for bigger mortal damage.  The same can be said about Unchecked Mutation, but the d3 + extra rolls are a little too inconsistent.  Regardless, it's still a better Arcane Bolt.  Glimpse the Future is a luxury spell, but one of the only ways in the book that I can choose to generate a free Destiny Dice.  I'm still debating this one as I also have Shield of Fate to test, but for now I think I'm alright with this.  Lastly, Arcane Transformation is also one of those luxury spells that I can cast just to buff up my bigger beaters like the Lord of Change, Kairos or the Ogroid.  I mean, if I'm just sitting back and I'm not in real range to do anything, why not you know?

The scary part of this list is not just the little cute tricks that it can do, but it's the crazy amount of magical offense that I can deliver within 18".  For example, in one single round of magical dominance:
  • Bolt of Change - D6 mortal wounds. (LoC)
  • Infernal Gateway - Roll 9 dice, on a 3+, deal a mortal wound. (LoC)
  • Gift of Change - D6 mortal wounds. (Kairos)
  • Tzeentch's Firestorm - Roll 9 dice, for each 6, deal D3 mortal wounds. (Kairos)
  • Fireblast - D6 mortal wounds. (Ogroid)
  • Arcane Bolt - D3 mortal wounds. (Horror)
  • Unchecked Mutation - D3 mortal wounds + possible more. (Horror)

What do I mean when I say magical dominance?  Well, if casting from the big birds, with Mastery of Magic, Beacon of Sorcery and Boon of Tzeentch up, I have a 99% chance to cast 7+ spells and 94% chance to cast 8/9+ spells.  Of course, dispels are a problem, but if my math is correct, you have a 52% chance to roll either a 5 or a 6 on 2 dice.  With Beacon of Sorcery from the Lord of Change, your opponent needs box cars to dispel you (so a 3% chance) if you have a 5, and if you roll a 6, you can't be stopped, period.  Even your little Pink Horrors can cast really reliably because of Locus of Conjuration giving them +1 to casting rolls on top of Beacon of Sorcery and Blue Scribes' re-rolls.  This army is literally the strongest magic force in the game right now in terms of reliability and arcane firepower.

There's a pretty big debate going on on the forums right now about whether or not Destiny Dice affects mortal wound results from spells like Bolt of Change.  Even though Destiny Dice says that it can directly affect both damage and wound rolls, this is still rather nebulous from a RAW perspective.  However, several sources have already stated that the designer of the rule himself have played with the DD changing mortal wounds on WarhammerTV, and that shows me that by RAI, this is how it's intended to be played.  This is definitely one of those things that I did not miss about GW games.  Regardless of the ruling, I'm fine with it either way as I always like to play with what's least troublesome for the purposes of gaming.

OK!  That pretty much sums it up for me.  We got some heroes, some chariots, and a lot of wizards and casting that can end up doing pretty nasty things or dying horribly.  Whatever it is, it's going to be fun building these models.

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