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How many daemons to use per unit?
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Old 29 May 2008, 13:26   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default How many daemons to use per unit?

Hoping 40kEnthusiast will weigh in on this one as I know he's been using multiple-small-units lately.

Given that daemons are fearless, they're going to fight to the last model. So it doesn't really matter if your 20 bloodletters are in 2 units of 10, or 4 units of 5.

Or does it? Some concerns:

1) Icons. Icons cost points, and if you put an icon in a smaller squad, it's more likely to die before you use it. This matters if you're using your Troop choices as icon bearers.

2) Minimum combat-effective size. Three bloodletters can probably take 10 marines in assault. Three plaguebearers may not be able to. I doubt three daemonettes could pull it off, especially if the 5th ed rending change happens as rumoured.

If given the opportunity, a smart opponent can reduce squads to a point where they're largely irrelevant and then move on to the next squad. If they do this well, the remnants will be too far apart to assault the same target to combine their hitting power.

Bloodletters can get away with squad sizes of 6 by the looks of things. What size units should daemonettes or plaguebearers be in, in order to maximize their survival.
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Old 29 May 2008, 15:17   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Well to a point use the sacread numbers of each of the gods for some reason i did this with the new deamonettes vs a squad of 5 marine terminators and won i got the charge the new deamons work best back up with 2 squads of each i own a 3000Pt's new deamon army and it rock's so 2 units of 7 plaguebears with each a icon and 2 units in reserves bloodletters or deamonettes will wreak havoc in your opponent's lines

Warning Issued for appalling grammar and spelling. - Anton.
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Old 29 May 2008, 16:12   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Wow.

Seriously, punctuation really helps with clarity. I think I followed what you're saying, but I'm not sure.

I looked all over the new codex and I can't find anything about sacred numbers. Assuming that you're refering to the numbers from the old chaos codex, there's even a question there, because numbers are sacred in multiples too. So, back to the question, is it better to have 6, 12 or 18 daemonettes in a squad, and why.

Can a squad of six daemonettes survive a round of bolter fire and remain effective the next turn?
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Old 29 May 2008, 17:10   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abaddon the despoiler
Well to a point use the sacread numbers of each of the gods for some reason i did this with the new deamonettes vs a squad of 5 marine terminators and won i got the charge the new deamons work best back up with 2 squads of each i own a 3000Pt's new deamon army and it rock's so 2 units of 7 plaguebears with each a icon and 2 units in reserves bloodletters or deamonettes will wreak havoc in your opponent's lines
That is atrocious! :-X Please rectify your post by using correct grammar and spelling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard
I looked all over the new codex and I can't find anything about sacred numbers. Assuming that you're refering to the numbers from the old chaos codex, there's even a question there, because numbers are sacred in multiples too. So, back to the question, is it better to have 6, 12 or 18 daemonettes in a squad, and why.
Only use "sacred numbers" if you wish to abide by the old Chaos background, otherwise I see absolutely no qualms about taking big or small squad sizes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeard
Hoping 40kEnthusiast will weigh in on this one as I know he's been using multiple-small-units lately.

Given that daemons are fearless, they're going to fight to the last model. So it doesn't really matter if your 20 bloodletters are in 2 units of 10, or 4 units of 5.

Or does it? Some concerns:

1) Icons. Icons cost points, and if you put an icon in a smaller squad, it's more likely to die before you use it. This matters if you're using your Troop choices as icon bearers.

2) Minimum combat-effective size. Three bloodletters can probably take 10 marines in assault. Three plaguebearers may not be able to. I doubt three daemonettes could pull it off, especially if the 5th ed rending change happens as rumoured.

If given the opportunity, a smart opponent can reduce squads to a point where they're largely irrelevant and then move on to the next squad. If they do this well, the remnants will be too far apart to assault the same target to combine their hitting power.

Bloodletters can get away with squad sizes of 6 by the looks of things. What size units should daemonettes or plaguebearers be in, in order to maximize their survival.
This is a very good question, and I'm sure that resident Daemon Trafficker 40kEnthsiast will give you a better answer than I can. I've always preferred to go with even numbered squads, usually 10, no more and occasionally less. I like to have decently sized squads, and if packing an icon, the more bodies the better, especially with Plague Bearers. Ideally both Plague Bearer squads and Daemonette squads should be 10 strong minimum, any less and they become an easy, vulnerable target. Whilst they will in essence provide much less of a visible threat for your opponent, if and when he engages these small squads he'll be able to remove them with ease. Don't take my advice as law because I'm the board Moderator, whilst I have a copy of Codex: Chaos Daemons I haven't actually played the army yet. :P
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Old 29 May 2008, 17:26   #5 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

I think that you should keep with units of about 12, becuase if all the 5th ed. rumours come true, then you might have some issues on your hands regarding kills points.

You could have different sized squads just depending on what it is: 3 man Bloodletters, 6 Daemonettes or whatever.

I would recommend taking larger squads of Plaguebearers so they last longer, whereas three squads of 3 Daemonettes would be good against armies like IG and Tau for taking out heavy weapons.

Another possibility that's been mentioned for 5th ed. is that the amount of wounds you can recieve for being outnumbered will becme unlimited, so a 3 man squad could quite easily take 4 or 5 wounds, or more, if it lost a combat. I would recommend that the smallest squad you should take should be about 6 men, unless it's for a specific role (like the daemonettes above).

Having smaller (and thus more) squads, is that you're less likely to suffer one major loss from deepstriking, but are more likely to have damage from misslandings in the first place.

It's possible that having the units attacking in coalition might give your an bonus in numbers, and they could then split up, but it's still risking kill points a lot.

Hope this helped you,

Songblade
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Old 29 May 2008, 18:20   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Yeah, my initial thought was to run 2 or 3 bigger units, but seeing 40k's reports where he runs 6 units of 6 bloodletters, 3 units of 2 bloodcrushers, and so on makes me wonder.

With all the daemons being fearless, and mostly the same, the advantages are really tied into how you arrive.

Six units of daemons that trickle in between turns 2 and 5 might be easy enough for a shooty army to handle piecemeal (assuming the survive the initial drop). Whereas, with smaller, but fewer units, you're going to get more of your force at any given time, but risk having a larger portion of the force not show up when needed.

Bloodletters are very different than daemonettes in this regard too. Three bloodletters have a roughly 50/50 chance to rip through a unit of 10 marines. Daemonettes have a much harder time, they're weaker overall, and fewer of their attacks ignore armour, especially if the rumoured rending change is true. And they take more damage because their toughness is lower. So dropping 6 bloodletters and hoping three make it into combat might work, but 6 daemonettes might only get you 2 into assault, and they're not going to do nearly enough damage.
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Old 29 May 2008, 19:36   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Interesting concept. As Songblade has kinda alluded to, it depends on the demon unit. A unit of Demonettes can't get away with being too small, as a round of bolter fire will clean them straight off the board. Also, I think Plaguebearer units benefit from being large just to soak up shots. However, Bloodletters are powerful enough to cause harm regardless of squad strength. Horrors as well, they would be a good unit to keep smaller so you have more squads to split your [limited] firepower around with.

Again, you slightly touched on this, but with the deepstrike rules unit sizes are big. While a bunch of isolated units dropping in alone is generally bad, you can try and thin this problem by using multiple small squads. They might not be as powerful, but you receive more reserve rolls at the same time. Another key thing is the unit footprint: It is VERY hard to effectively deepstrike a large squad in. However, a smaller squad takes up less room and is much easier to manage. You have a nice big 15 man unit of bloodletters. You deepstrike and the unit scatters off the table. Goodbye significant portion of your army. You split up the bloodletters? Well, maybe only one unit scatters off the board and now instead of having NO bloodletters, you have 10 still.

Icons are the total exception to the rule. Icon squads should ALWAYS be big so that they can take more shots without falling. A 5-man demonette squad with an icon is worthless if it gets bolter-ed first turn.

In regards to minimum combat effectiveness, that depends. Our 15-strong bloodletter unit will certainly be able to take on a 10 man marine squad. One of our 5 man squads would have more difficulties. However, regardless of the number of units the models is the same. The three separate units of bloodletters could charge the same Marine unit and wipe it out regardless. There really is no point where a unit becomes "useless", as long as there are stronger units to back it up they will still help the battle.

The up and coming kill points rules do punish people for taking multiple small squads, but I think it's a very useful tactic for any demon army to use. You get more scoring units, more units to charge with, more targets for your opponent, more chances for reserves to arrive, and less chances of tons of models dying on account of bad deepstriking rolls. 5 demonettes may get wiped out by a round of bolter fire, but any excess wounds are therefore wasted. Gives you a reason to take small squads for even weak units. Again, the only basic demon unit that I think benefits from large squad sizes is obnoxious units of plague bearers. Particularly with an icon.
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Old 29 May 2008, 21:23   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Hmm, well, this is a very interesting question.

First off, in a vacuum, small squad sizes are absolutely better for Fearless units. The ability to score in different areas, charge multiple targets, split their fire (Horrors), take overkill without passing it on, more chances on Deep Strike decisions, multiple opportunities to purchase individually effective unit upgrades, etc. In an ordinary army there is no earthly reason to take squad sizes beyond the minimum (or nearest even # to minimum) with the exception of troop slot conservation.

The Daemon 'Dex, however, introduces 2 concepts that potentially change this equation. The first of these concepts is the Icon. Icons fall into the rare classification of unit upgrades that are no more effective in multiples than in one. They complicate the issue of squad size as follows.

Imagine 2 5 man Marine squads with Lascannons. If the enemy causes 6 casualties to one squad you've still got one lascannon. If you paid the same amount for a double size squad with one lascannon the enemy killing 6 would still not strip your cannon. The difference is that A: You can't take 2 Icons in a squad, and B, one Icon in any area is more than enough.

Thus, if you drop 2 5 man Letter squads and one has an Icon they'll simply elect to blast that one down first, the other 5 bodies can't screen the Icon. This augurs for a larger size squad, in order to protect your Icon. If Icons could only come in Troop squads this would quash my "all mins" theory.

The next distinction in the Daemon codex from an ordinary codex is one of DMA. DMA indicates that the more evenly you spread your army, the more of a 1k vs. 2k game you are making it. So lots of minimum sized units encourage a game where your troops are outnumbered every step of the way, while going with lopsided squads ought to let you take steps towards counterbalancing this point discrepancy. (So instead of 2 squads with 2 Bloodcrushers you might have one squad with 8 and an Icon, and another squad that consists of one Fiend).

I like to think of this as the Big Inning style of DMA, (as opposed to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang theory of millions of small squads), and I've yet to really test it. My best idea at it has 6 strong squads and 5 weak, bringing in about 1600 points on turn one. If you lose the DMA roll you are only bringing in ~400 points, but you just land those far away/in cover/whatever, and then next round you are still coming in at ~800, which isn't much worse than the CCBB school's 1k in the first round. (In other words, a 600 point advantage in 2/3 of the games is worth the 200 point disadvantage in 1/3 of the games).

My theory of Icon bearing is that it be done by the units furthest down the enemy's threat list. If you think about 5 Bloodletters, 2 Bloodcrushers, and 1 Herald of Khorne on chariot, they are all roughly the same point value, they all move the same and it costs the same to put an Icon on them.

The Letters kill 8 Marines on the charge, but are the weakest in terms of durability, with 5 t4 5+ save wounds that each erode the kill ratio.

The Crushers kill the second most Marines on the charge (~5), and are the second most durable (4 t5 3+ save wounds that degrade the kill ratio with every 2 lost)

The Herald kills the least (roughly 3), but is the most durable (takes all 4 wounds to degrade his killing ratio at all).

Consequently, I give the Icon to the Herald of Khorne (note that a 5 man Plaguebearer unit would kill less than him, but would also be only slightly more durable durable, as 5+ followed by FNP = 3+, and they would be vulnerable to TOF and template weapons)

In general, I think you need to put your Icon on the most survivable/least killy close range unit you've got. I think long range guys can get by without Icons, and if they must have them then it doesn't matter who carries them, as the enemy's fire will be occupied by close range threats vs. most any Daemon army.

Sorry for the sort of rambling nature of this reply, I just sort of added to it between meetings all day.
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Old 29 May 2008, 23:27   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Could you please elaborate on the "DMA"...? I'm not sure what that is but it definitely tweaked my interest...
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Old 30 May 2008, 03:38   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How many daemons to use per unit?

Ah, just an abbreviation for Daemonic Assault. Not sure where I saw it, but it was faster than typing it out.
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