Daemonic Incursion or CAD

Daemons : Daemonic Incursion : Daemonic Incursion or CAD


Hey everyone!  Deejay here, back to talk about the Daemonic Incursion detachment in the book “Curse of the Wulfen”    There are more great articles in the Tactics Corner!

Have you been looking at the new Daemonic Incursion detachment and sitting on the fence about its competitive ability?   Abusepuppy has a great writeup of the various formations and tools of this detachment here.  This post will discuss the Damonic Incursion to determine if this is a valid approach to building armies.   The various advantages and drawbacks of the detachment will be discussed in detail.


The Daemonic Incursion is the new Decurion Detachment for daemons released in early 2016.   This detachment provides a number of strong advantages, but has not been embraced by the community as of yet.    This detachment required you to field large numbers of daemons, and encourages an aggressive playstyle.   To determine if this is the way you wish to build your daemon army, let us look at what rules the Daemonic Incursion provides.

Special Rules

Daemonic Corruption

Objective markers controlled by units from this Detachment count as controlled for the rest of the game, even if the controlling player has no units within 3″ of them.   This effect lasts until an enemy scoring unit cleanses the objective by controlling it.

Unearthly Power

When rolling on the Warp Storm table, you can choose to add or subtract 1 from the result

The Warp Unleashed

You can choose to re-roll any Daemonic Instability tests for units within this detachment

Multiple Detachments

While units cannot normally belong to more than one detachment, units from a Formation that is part of the Daemonic Incursion are an exception.  They count as being both from their Formation and the Detachment, and have all associated Command Benefits and special rules.


Daemonic Corruption

This effect is really powerful, but requires a change of playstyle to get the most out of it.   For years, we have played with the concept of ‘deckchair units’ whose job was just to sit down on an objective the entire game.    

This rule, the daemons can advance forward passing over any objectives.   If you opponent has no units that can jump deep into your zone to remove those objectives, you can count on having them for the rest of the game.     This playstyle leads for a daemon host that is advancing forward instead of sitting back, making for a much more aggressive playstyle.     

This also encourages daemon players to assault, rather than try to sit back and shoot or camp objectives.   This is a big change for nurgle and tzeentch, which have just hid in the background with their troops for most games.

It’s not just the troops that have this command benefit.   If you are running a Tetrad, then all four princes not swooping can take corrupt objectives while closing on the enemy.    Tzeentch flamers can corrupt objectives on their way to the local marine BBQ!

The Rules Behind Corruption

Objective markers controlled by units from this Detachment count as controlled for the rest of the game, even if the controlling player has no units within 3″ of them.   This effect lasts until an enemy scoring unit cleanses the objective by controlling it.   -Curse of Wulfen p58

You control an Objective Marker if there is at least one model from one of your scoring units and no models from enemy scoring units with 3″ -BRB p134

A unit with this special rule (Obsec) controls objectives even if an enemy scoring unit is within range, unless the enemy unit also has Objective Secured. -BRB p122
Looking at these three rules, you can determine the following about objectives.    The concept of ‘controlling’ objectives is binary.   You either control an objective or you do not.   When the Daemonic Incursion player has met the criteria of ‘controlling’ an objective, then the effects of ‘Daemonic Corruption’ take place.      This effects lasts until an enemy scoring unit ‘controls’ the objective.
This means that if you have a squad of plaguebearers on an objective, and a scoring unit of Sternguard in a pod next to them, the Daemonic Incursion list will still control the objective, as the criteria for ‘controlling’ has not been made by the marine player — therefore the ‘Daemonic Corruption’ rule still holds, giving control to the Daemonic Incursion list.
However, if the marines in the above example have Objective Secured, they will meet the criteria for controlling the objective, as the Daemonic Incursion list does not have the Objective Secured special rule.   At this point, the objective will no longer have rule ‘Daemonic Corruption’ applying to it.
If the plaguebearers would leave within 3″ of the objective, the objective would continue to count as ‘controlled’ by the daemon player until any enemy scoring unit got with in 3″ of it
This means that the Daemonic Corruption is really good, but can be bested by Obsec units in specific situations.   Last turn objective grabs by scat bikes could be a real problem for Daemonic Incursion lists.
Drive By Corruption

Nowhere in the rules is it stated when you measure/check whether a unit is in range to control an objective. Before the corruption rule came out it was obviously at the end of the turn but not having to remain in range after having corrupted it has changed this. While moving past the objective, the daemon units are technically within 3″ of them.

Consider the common tactic of an enemy unit spaced in a line, blocking movement by preventing a unit moving through the gaps. This is based on the rule of not being able to move within 1″ of an enemy model. If you only measure ranges at the end of movement, it would be perfectly legal to pass through the blocking line as long as all the models ended up at least 1″ clear.

This is why I think as the game is commonly played that the drive-by corruption is legal. If someone disagreed then I’d expect to also be able to move through enemy lines as described above, as long as a consistent approach is taken.


Unearthly Power

This is another power that has obvious benefits.     Most players I’ve spoken with always prefer to have their primary detachment be something other than Chaos Daemons to avoid the Warp Storm table.    While the Warp Storm table is usually advantageous to the daemon player, sometimes it’s disadvantageous, and those negative memories resonate far more deeply than the positive ones.   It’s the same reason we remember the few bad experiences we had while eating out at a restaurant instead of the hundreds of positive ones.

Previously to mitigate the Warp Storm table, people would use Fateweaver for the guaranteed reroll of the result.   The command benefit “Unearthly Power” is actually a lot better than Fateweaver’s reroll.   The reason is simple, you are not forced to pick the second roll if it’s worse.   

You need to roll a 2 or 3 in order to have no negative effects you cannot mitigate, or a 8.33% per game turn.    You could also view it as 91.66% of a good result every game turn.     The chances of you rolling a 9 or greater are 27.77%, which are all extremely good effects for the daemon player.   This means the chances from getting an extremely good result are 333% more likely than a bad result!    Even if you get one of those bad results, it’s mitigated by “The Warp Unleashed” command benefit.

You can also shift the most common roll — a 7, to something that will have an effect on the game.   This means that you are not getting ‘null’ results unless you desire it.   If you are going mono-daemon, which is something easy to do in this detachment, it’s easy to ensure you don’t hit your own units by shifting the result one pip.   If you want to go with multiple gods and want to ensure you never hurt your own army, go with Tzeentch and Slaanesh, Tzeench and Khorne, Nurgle and Slaanesh, Nurgle and Khorne, or Slaanesh and Khorne.   Given that Nurgle gets hurt on the roll of a 5 – it cannot join with Tzeentch without having a negative effect when a 4 or 5 is rolled.   Even mono-Nurgle is hurt when a 4 is rolled, as it cannot be shifted off the -1 save without having impacting your own units.

Also, remember that sometimes negative results can work to your advantage.   I was playing my warpflame host, and my friends seeker squad came in from the edge of the board.   When I rolled on the warp storm table, I got a result of a 5, which I shifted down to a 4 to make the seekers -1 invuln, and then shot them off the board with my STR 7 flickering fire.     If you have the command benefit of the “The Warp Unleashed” and your opponent does not, then take the result of a 2, as it means your units will likely take half the damage that his will!

You can also dive deeply for the ‘really good results’ by taking Fateweaver and using a Daemonic Incursion detachment.    Given that you have a 27.77% of getting a ‘very good’ result, you could reroll any results that are less than 9, giving you a 47.77% of getting a 10 or greater on the Warp Storm table!    This can be a unpleasant surprise for someone bringing a seer council to the party!

Given the ratio of good to bad results, the warp storm table suddenly becomes a very nice perk of the army, and should encourage you to make the daemons your primary detachment.   You will still occasionally roll that 3 on the table.   If your luck is like mine, that roll will seem to come up every game — but over the course of enough games it will average out.   


The Warp Unleashed

Humans naturally have something called the Optimism bias’ – a cognitive bias that causes a person to believe that they are less at risk of experiencing a negative event compared to others.    It’s our natural reaction to look at something like this and say to ourselves “Oh, I’m playing an assault army, I’ll never need to make instability tests”

In actuality, it happens — even with assault oriented lists.   A few bad dice rolls, and you can easily lose combat by just 1.   This has caused me to lose multiple wounds off my Infernal Tetrad before, or caused squads of plague bearers to just evaporate.     Lets say that your unit has a Leadership of 7 and loses combat by one, then you will pass the instability test 41.66% of the time.   This is pretty bad.   However, if you can re-roll this value, then you have about a 65.85% of passing the test!

Furthermore, if you failed by a large percentage resulting in the loss of many wounds, you can re-roll the result.  If you failed the test with just one wound lost, you might want to keep the result as a ‘marginal failure’.   The overall result is that your units take less wounds taken by your daemons!



One Detachment

There are some options available to you in this detachment not normally allowed in a CaD, such as the ability to grab three daemon lords.   To achieve this, normally you would need to grab multiple CaDs.    Given that you can take another Chaos Daemon CAD with your ITC list, you can grab up to 5 greater daemons.

Furthermore, the detachment also throws away the concepts of ‘Heavy’, ‘Elite’, ‘Fast Attack’, etc.     Bringing six soulgrinders becomes very easy to do with this detachment.

All models in the detachment count as being part of the detachment and the formation, meaning that all units grab the three command benefits above.

Excellent Units

Almost every formation that in this detachment is really good with very little ‘tax’ that has to be paid.    The only ‘tax’ are a unit of Chaos Furies, but even those can be useful to jump around and corrupt objectives.  

A Perfect Fit

The Daemonic Incursion gives significant advantages for Khorne themed lists.  Karanak satisfies the Auxiliary requirement and easily allows the Khorne player to add in all the  Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers, Flesh Hounds and Bloodthirsters they desire and benefit from the detachment’s benefits and playstyle.   Rushing forward, corrupting objectives, and getting extra attacks in assault are all things that benefit a Khorne list.    

Tzeentch also benefits greatly from the incursion, as Tzeentch lists usually like to bring horrors and flamers.   Exalted flamers can be extremely good when used properly, but that’s another article.   Bringing 27 screamers in a Burning Skyhost formation is insanely good for 675 points, as they will be hitting 81 times with their STR 4 AP – slashing attack, in addition to putting a soul blade and Warpflame token on up to 9 units a turn.   If you run the numbers, that will kill about 19 scat bikes in one round!    The Burning Skyhost could also use the Lamprey Bite to have 27 STR 5, AP2 Armorbane attacks — not exactly what a Gladius Strike Force wants to face.

Nurgle lists also benefit from the incursion rules.    Being able to hand out FNP to most of your PlagueBearers or Nurglings improves their “Time to Live”  by 50% making them much harder to shift.   Unlike the Nurgle units in the past, these guys will be walking up to enemy units, having already corrupted the objectives behind them.   Removing 70 PlagueBearers would be hard to do — but not impossible for Eldar and Tau.    The Rotswarm is extremely expensive, but allows you to being an extremely nasty unit of Plague Drones that can deliver 7 attacks each, plus a HoW 4+ poisoned attack on the charge.     This means that a unit of 9 drones charging would have 63 poisoned 3+ attacks, in addition to letting the herald get 6 attacks and whatever Hammer of Wrath hits are inflicted!

Slaanesh also gets some nice perks by going with the incursion rules.   Having fiends go from hitting MEQ on a 4+ to a 3+ is a nice advantage.   The grand cavalcade helps even damaged chariots do damage to their targets, providing a strong reason to take them.

You are also not limited to just one flavor of chaos, as you can mix and match them — though to less of a degree than you can in a CAD.   Take a WarpFlame host and a Rotswarm, or a Murderhorde and a Burning Skyhost.    



Lack of Herald Spam

You can only bring one Herald per formation, and not in even then in every formation.    If you normally like bringing 4 Heralds, this can be a downer.

No Lord of War or Fortifications

The daemonic incursion detachment does not allow for us to grab either of those two slots.    If you want to run a Chaos Knight or bring a Void Shield Generator, you will not be able to include it in a pure incursion list.

Expensive Formations

This is the biggest kick in the pants for this detachment.    While the formations are good, they are expensive point-wise due to the sheer size.   The cheapest you are going to get will be a bare bones Tallyband with 7 units of Nurglings and a Herald for 360 points.    

A warpflame host will run you ~800 points, depending on the load out you go with.   Five squads of 11 horrors each will run you 495 points, and then you can add flamers or exalted flamers to fill out the other 4 required slots, along with a herald.

A rotswarm costs between 800-1000 points.    With this formation you can either go with MSU squads of Plague Drones or build a deathstar of Plague Drones with 5-6 beasts of nurgle to assist them.    

A forgehost costs between 420 and 500 points, depending on the loadout and marks.        A Murderhost will cost you at least 695 if you are taking 8 squad of Flesh Hounds and a Herald. A flayertroupe will be at least 585 with just Damonettes and a Herald.      By this point, I am sure you see the how expensive these detachments are!

This limits the flexibility of your detachment — especially at lower point values.    AT 1850 you can bring a warpflame host, burning skyhost and daemon lord — but you won’t have the flexibility of a unit with 3 heavy slots, 3 elite slots, etc….      The degree of this disadvantage is debatable.   It encourages more ‘spam’, but we already see a lot of spam in today’s lists.


Why Not Both?

Grabbing a cheap Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) to run alongside your demonic incursion solves most of the drawbacks you have by taking the incursion.     

Lord of War

If you want to grab a chaos knight with a legacy, take a Chaos Space Marine CAD with your incursion list — something that works insanely well with the daemon incursion.   If you are bringing a warpflame host, then bring along a knight with Death of Kasyr Lutien, a 40 point upgrade that allows friendly psykers within 12″ of the vehicle to reroll failed Malefic Daemonology psychic dice!    Suddenly your 5 horror units are cranking out multiple summons per turn spamming the board with summoned units.     With a 75% chance of success per dice, you can throw 5 dice at a summons with a good chance of success.  

Another great option is to bring a Khorne Knight with the 1st War of Armageddon for 40 points.   This legacy allows Daemons of Khorne within 6″ of the vehicle gain +1 to their invul save to a maximum of 2+.    Imagine putting this guy in the middle of a MurderHorde, surrounded by Bloodcrushers with a grimoire on them, giving a 2++ save.    Even without a grimoire, jumping from a 5++ to 4++ increases the units “Time to Live” by 33%.  Durability wise — it’s nearly the same as adding another wound per model!

Daemon CAD

Adding a CAD of Chaos Daemons lets you mix up your army so it’s not so mono-god oriented.  If you want to bring two Objective Secured units of Plaguebearers, you can have some good ‘deck chair’ units to hold an objective.    

The real benefit of this approach is that you can still take advantage of Unearthly Power, since your main detachment is the Daemonic Incursion.    When building your Daemon CAD, remember that if you can fit the unit into your Daemonic Incursion, it’s the better solution for any non-troop due to the extra benefits the incursion provides.

Renegades CAD

Another option is to take Chaos Renegades and add them to your CAD.     There are some extremely good units in this list that can greatly benefit any army.  

Buying the Army

One of the best thing about this detachment is that, considering the large number of models  you need, you can actually get it started for a fairly low dollar value compared to other armies.   Take advantage of the “Collecting Daemons of Nurgle” and “Collecting Daemons of Khorne”!   Hopefully GW will release similar Tzeentch and Slaanesh boxes soon too! 

To make this dollar investment even less, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day.


19 Responses to “Daemonic Incursion or CAD”

  1. Avatar
    Sama April 14, 2016 11:56 am #

    Great Article.
    I ran a Slaanesh Flayertroupe with 3 squads of fiends and the Vraks Purge detachment as it lets you combine CSM and Renegades. I take a few squads of Spawn, a couple Wyverns and a Nurgle Knight.

    Only played one game with it so far but it worked great.

  2. Avatar
    Horton April 14, 2016 12:14 pm #

    Good article. The incursion detachment is really good. It lets you have a reliable daemon list without fateweaver.

  3. Avatar
    Dbiesto April 14, 2016 1:56 pm #

    The new formations are very cool. Nurgle Rotswarm would be perfect combined with a few Screamer Stars/ LOC, Epidemius, and the Forgehost. Only CAD needed would be for some horrors, screamer, and heralds. Also everyone in Rotswarm are poisoned wrath hammers. Definitely going to be my next army.

  4. Avatar
    BBF April 14, 2016 2:00 pm #

    Good tactical article !

    • Avatar
      DeeJay April 14, 2016 6:44 pm #

      Thanks man. I appreciate it.

  5. Avatar
    Lord Krungharr April 14, 2016 3:54 pm #

    I seriously miss my Daemons army. Soooooo many Asartes in my meta and I’m getting a little bored.

    • Avatar
      DeeJay April 14, 2016 6:45 pm #

      Check out the ‘collecting nurgle’ boxes. You get 10 plague bearers, 3 plauge drones, 3 nurglings and a herald. Add in a few beasts of nurgle, and you can have a tallybrand/rotswarm for pretty reasonable (compared to most armies)

  6. Avatar
    Luke April 14, 2016 4:20 pm #

    Definitely has a lot of potential. Daemons just have so many ways to play. I think I prefer the flexibility of the CAD, but you basically get pseudo-obsec for your backfield lawn chair units. And units that just want to rush forward are not punished for doing so. Very thematic.


    • Avatar
      DeeJay April 14, 2016 6:43 pm #

      What really makes this nice, is that if you have a CAD with your incursion, you can drop some nurglings on the objectives and they cannot be grabbed in that last turn by fast moving targets.

      In a NOVA style mission where your eldar opponent has decided to pass on progressive scoring but instead score at the end — he will be a bit surprised when he finds out that he cannot even contest an corrupted objective that you have a obsec nurgling squad sitting next to.

  7. Avatar
    Beau April 14, 2016 7:45 pm #

    You can actually take the rotswarm for a minimum of 409 points as 7 msu beasts and a herald. I wouldn’t do this against most of the newer armies but I have tried it against horde armies like Orks and blobguard AM and the beasts will do work for cheap. I just wish the herald had a cavalry mount upgrade option (beast or rotfly would be so great) to keep up with everything.

    • Avatar
      Dbiesto April 15, 2016 12:13 am #

      @Beau It slows down the plague drones and leaves the flank open, but 6-9 plague drones with a few heralds is a decent star. The consolidation move in assault is the best bet for moving heralds up if you don’t DS him.

      • Avatar
        Beau April 15, 2016 5:30 am #

        I have heard about this but have not tried it, I suppose it could definitely make for a good turn 2 slingshot.

        I think it’s interesting that the jet pack move transfers to an IC but I have seen that posted elsewhere too. He simply gets to assault move the same distance as the flies? What if its through difficult terrain?

        • Avatar
          Lord Krungharr April 15, 2016 6:04 am #

          If the Herald is in the unit they would suffer the -2 to charge ranges and take difficult terrain tests as normal. A drone Mount for a herald would have been just too amazing💩

          • Avatar
            DeeJay April 15, 2016 6:09 am

            Yea, the nurgle heralds got the shaft with the Palanquin. That should have become a nurgle ‘chariot’ and the drone given to them as a mount.

          • Avatar
            Luke April 16, 2016 7:47 am

            Will probably work like that in the new codex since there is no current palanquin model

        • Avatar
          Dbiesto April 15, 2016 8:03 am #

          He doesn’t get to make an assault 2d6″ move because he does not have that ability. The rest of the unit can, and he won’t leave the unit as long as you stay in coherency. I think the player that made the star famous had his heralds as close to his opponent as possible with a few drones to soak up wounds before they had to look out sir! Turn 2/3 they charge, and then the heralds get a consolidation move in close combat, not a 2d6 free move in the assault phase. Sorry if I confused you. Also keep in mind they are penalized in the charge also as Krungharr said.

          • Avatar
            Beau April 15, 2016 7:00 pm

            Thanks for the info guys.

          • Avatar
            Luke April 16, 2016 7:46 am

            Yep that’s pretty much exactly what he did, except you don’t want the heralda soaking wounds. They will sometims cast endurance if you got it or some other buff power, or want to be able to accept a challenger with the AP 2 weapon or instant death poison weapon. If they took a wound from perils/taking shots to the face, that is a more risky proposition. The drones have more than enough wounds to go around

  8. Avatar
    Huy April 20, 2016 6:29 am #

    Just a couple of things.

    The whole corruption only being lost when an obsec unit contests it is very controversial. I’ve been to tournaments where they say anything can cleanse the objective. To me, it seems like that’s more of RAI argument but I’m not a TO and I abide by the TO’s decision. Anyways, it’s something to consider when weighing the benefits of corruption.

    The other thing is that you really glossed over the main drawback of the Incursion (which I do love and use) and that is the lack of obsec. Obsec as we have seen is huge and depending on the tournament, such as Adepticon, obsec can really be a big difference maker. Now of course if you decide on a CAD of demons with obsec then that’s fine but really we are then just saying do both and then the discussion is useless.

    The Command slot is pretty flexible, in my current list, I’m running 2 D-thirsters and Belakor (this is a stupid number of points). But if I wanted I could have: D-Thirster, Belakor and Fateweaver all in the Incursion detachment, not bad at all.

    Last thing, but correct me if I’m wrong but when you say 27 Screamers having 81 hits in the skyhost with their slash attack do you mean if they roll 3? My understanding is that the slash attack is a D3 and the formation bonus is +1 to that. So, I thought it was 27 Screamers having a minimum of 54 hits up to 108 hits at St 4 AP – but I could be wrong since I only play Khorne.

Leave a Reply