40k List-Tech: To Bee or Not To Bee

The list-tech segment is a series of articles designed to focus on unique, competitive lists crafted by players in the community in order to provide new and experienced players with tactics, tips, and tricks to use in the heat of battle. Today, we have a Chaos drone star.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Keep calm and make a list

Hello guys and welcome to another 40k List-Tech. Today we have a great write up from the best general at the Flying Monkey GT Cyle Thompson. Cyle is primarily a Space Marine player (he says so himself!) who has decided to make the leap to Chaos. Chaos Deamons offer a lot of tactical flexibility to skilled players and are arguably one of the strongest factions in the game at the moment. However, they are not easy to play. Lists can be varied, and complicated and Deamon players need to be acutely aware of deployments and how much one bad dice roll can ruin your game. Anyways, on to the list!


To Bee or Not To Bee

Flying Monkey 2016

Chaos Daemons CAD

  • HQ
    • Fateweaver (Warlord)
    • Heralds
      • Herald of Nurgle
        • ML2
        • Exalted Gift
        • Greater Locus of Fecundity
      • Herald of Nurgle
        • ML2
        • Lesser Gift
  • Troops
    • 10x Pink horrors
    • 10x Pink Horrors
  • Fast
    • 6x Plague Drones of Nurgle
      • Venom Stings
      • Plaguebringer
        • Greater Gift
  • Heavy
    • Daemon Prince
      • Tzeentch
      • Flight
      • ML3
      • The Impossible Robe
      • 2x Greater Gift
      • Lesser Gift
  • Lord of War
    • Chaos Knight Paladin
      • Tzeentch
      • Dirgecaster

1. Tell us a little bit about your army, why did you go with
certain units?

I’m usually a MSU marine player, I played drop pod BA/skyhammer last
season, and won events back in the day with ravenguard rhino rush but
I’ve been getting sick of auto losing Purge the Alien because of all
my cheap rides and 5 man squads. This has been a problem for me for asspending money meme
long as I’ve been playing since I started with chimera spam then GK
razorspam back in 5th. I was going to play warconvo this season but I
felt so pigeonholed into a mono build that honestly felt very robotic
to play, especially after getting 20+ games in and winning an RTT. It
felt like the book was beat my opponents, not me. I was also
considering playing a psychic heavy army this season(maybe demon
summoning GK/libby conclave or centstar or seer council) but then I
played Nick Navati at the LVO team tourney and saw what demons could
do when they weren’t heavy khorne/nurgle (which is what my teammates
play). So after I realized Warconvo wasn’t turning my crank I hit up
ebay and an army of what I wanted fell in my lap.



So about the list: I only got one game in with it before Flying
Monkey! I played a good 15 games with my demons, but the list changed
basically every day. Fatey and the knight were pretty much auto
includes but the drones and prince were in and out of the list for
screamerstar, more princes, tetrad, you name it. I wanted to play a
denial game: make first blood/strike really hard to get, deny kill
points and kill a unit maelstroms. I finalized on drones+prince+knight
because everything was self-sufficient, the grimore only had one
target, and I could start everything on the table against pods.


2. Why did you pick this army list in particular? Is there
anything special about your army that you want to highlight?

I wanted to have a very flexible army that had some simple components
to play. The drones+knight+prince are simple move forward and kill
stuff units, fatey takes to the air and is a mobile gun platform. He
knowing the new Change table really takes him over the edge. I could
easily bubblewrap the knight and MCs against pods by throwing the
drones+horrors up front to make it hard to melta/rapid fire on them. I
chose pink horrors as troops for more dice, 10 wound objective
campers, and for more rolls at possession so I could turn them into
great unclean ones or lords of change. I generally didn’t summon and
just tanked everything with 2++ rerollables or 2+ cover/5+FNP on big
bags of wounds. If the knight and drones got overwhelmed (like in my
last game against my teammates ‘cron deathstar) Fatey and the prince
can take to the sky and start summoning to play for objectives.


3. What expectations did you have for the meta? Were there any
armies you were worried about? What match-ups did you feel most
comfortable with?

I expected Eldar for days, battle company, and Tau. I was really
worried Eldar and BC on an objective game. I didn’t get a variety of
games in before we left. I was super comfortable against drop pods as
that’s what I played against Nick and he wrecked me. I also had a ton
of games against Tau and Crons so I felt good about those matchups. I
also brought the prince just in case I pulled 4 flyrants or something
so I could challenge them in the air with another shooting platform.


4. How did you prepare yourself and your list for “meta” armies
like Eldar varients, Battle company, and Daemon lists? Who did you
beat on the way to victory at the tournament?

I made sure to play really tanky units that couldn’t get cut down by
bikes/spiders/pods without some major commitment. Demons I figure I
would toss my knight into whatever 2++ garbage they had and hope for
stomps while I cleaned up the rest. Having two fliers makes going
after fatey/LoCs/avoiding the ground game a lot easier. Battle company
I really kind of walk though and as long as I keep the objectives
clean I can get them.

I played Harlies (a loss that turned into a draw after the fact), Pod
BC (on relic!), rhino rush BC (on purge!), ’crons with a
monolith/destroyer cult/wraiths, triptide/cron destroyer cult/2fliers,
and a nasty ‘cron superfriends attached to wraiths deathstar.


5. Hindsight is 20-20 and looking back on the tournament was
there anything you would have changed about your list to better
accommodate the meta you experienced?

I’m considering dropping the knight for a screemerstar. I’d get more
dice as I felt my psychic phase felt a little constrained. It would
also help against D shots/swings and I could still use them to tank
some other deathstar with the 2++. The prince feels like a maybe piece
but he was money in every game and being a guaranteed extra
flier/summoning/shriek platform is nice. Also he doesn’t cost me more
troop taxes by being a LoC or Bel’akor.


6. What are some tips or tricks you have for people who might
want to start using your army?

This list doesn’t look like a lot but it is super tanky, very
aggressive and flexible. Be careful in deployment and make sure you
are thinking about what you are doing next in your opponents turn.
Because you are only moving around so many models time generally isn’t
an issue. Don’t summon just to put more “free points” on the table.
Every spell should have a purpose. I found myself blasting things a
lot more than I expected.

got a list
Did you just win an ITC event? Is your list dominating everyone it crosses? Did you just recently do well with a unique list at a large event? I want to hear about it! Just send it to
Please do not send your army list in a format such as Army Builder, send them in an easy to read, typed format. Thanks!


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

25 Responses to “40k List-Tech: To Bee or Not To Bee”

  1. Dakkath June 12, 2016 3:05 am #

    Tzeentch and Nurgle working together?! HERESY!

    • Dakkath June 12, 2016 3:06 am #

      Oh, and doesn’t he need a tzeentch herald to exchange an exalted for the grimoire?

      • Beau June 12, 2016 6:07 am #

        Any herald can take grimoire. My recommendation especially since he mentioned being constrained in psychic dice is drop 1 greater gift for an additional pink horror in each unit for 2 more warp charges. Also tzeentch DPS cannot get shriek, I assume you meant fatey flew around shrieking?

      • IngenuityGap June 12, 2016 6:13 am #

        Not at all, the grimoire is a relic. Anyone that is allowed to take a relic can be armed with it.

      • Threllen June 13, 2016 8:32 am #

        Any HQ period can take the grimoire actually (other than unique HQs). Just costs 30pts of rewards. And you have to make sure you’re not taking an exalted gift as well as a relic from the CoW book. You cannot exchange your ER for one of those relics if you took a relic from the CoW tables.

  2. C-Stock June 12, 2016 5:48 am #

    Is it just me or are 90% of demon lists 90% the same?

    • Beau June 12, 2016 6:08 am #

      Is it just me or are 90% of spear and tau lists the same?

      • Beau June 12, 2016 6:10 am #

        And eldar. Spear was gladius auto correct lol

        • Heldericht June 12, 2016 5:03 pm #

          They aren’t.

    • Blight1 June 12, 2016 1:08 pm #

      First time I’ve seen this one. Plague drones are new to me.
      Khorne spam is currently in season. So is screamer star.

  3. Forrest June 12, 2016 8:26 am #

    Where do the heralds go?

    • Dakkath June 12, 2016 8:57 am #

      My guess is probably with the plague drones

  4. astro_nomicon June 12, 2016 11:40 am #

    Good to see the Plague Star doing work still! Ive played around with pretty much all of the Daemon Stars and Plague Star is my favorite. It might not be objectively the best Star any more (possibly outclassed by the new Cabal Houndstar) but I think you proved it is still viable. My favorite part about it (which you noted) is its relative autonomy to other Daemon deathstars as it as still very durable even without the Grimoire with built in shrouded T5 3W and FNP. I think the new artefacts really subtly but significantly improve Daemons. Impossible Robe basically being a second pseudo Grimoire is awesone as well as Paradox. Speaking of, I wonder if you might consider switching out one unit of horrors with nurglings in order to squeeze in the Doomsday bell on the non Grim Herald. Havent used it yet myself but the army wide ld debuff seems like it could be clutch.

    As to your proposed changes, Ive played the Screamer/Plague star before and my gut says your current one is better. The Screamer Star’s damage output is just rather lackluster these days. Although that could probably be mititgated with Paradox on a Herald to pump out guaranteed summons on 5 dice and win by being generally unkillable and swamping objectives.

    Good luck and may the winds of Chaos forever blow in your favor!

  5. punchymango June 12, 2016 6:10 pm #

    Aww, that’s cool. Plague drones are awesome looking, good to see them doing work.

  6. Requizen June 13, 2016 5:50 am #

    I do have a question, not about this list but about the event. I see two Necron lists in the top 8. Baxter’s Night Scythe/Destroyer/Riptide list is pretty neat and I can see how it does well (even though it has serious issues against Grav spam and can’t do much about Deathstars other than run around), and I may very well steal it if I can lay my hands on some Riptides for reasonable rates.

    However, I’m having trouble wrapping my head around how Cody Boe’s list got 8th. I’ve played Necron Deathstars, of both the Lychguard and Wraith variety, and they really seem to have their problems. Mobility is an issue (characters slow down Wraiths, and Lychguard are slow, plus Veil is super unreliable), Warscythes are not nearly as killy as something like Thunderhammers, and while Wraiths have a good amount of attacks and Rending, that’s not nearly the same as having AP2 weaponry. Not to mention that the 2+ characters can’t really tank once they fall behind with their lower speed, and there’s no support like most Deathstars have with Psychic powers.

    Did anyone play against him or watch his games? Did he just get good matchups? I can’t honestly see his list beating something like Battle Company or do much of anything against a well played Eldar army.

  7. Cyle June 13, 2016 7:36 am #

    Tzeentch Princes do not have restrictions on what table they can roll on.

    Cody pulled at least one BC on the way up. I beat him but it was a nail biter of a game. He picked up my Tzeentch knight though Grim and Invis in 2 rounds of combat.

  8. TheLich June 13, 2016 5:17 pm #

    @Requizen, Cody here! Let me give you the tactical/matchups Rundown.

    Round 1 was vs Chimera Span Imp Guard. i seized and proceeded to Gauss down two transports turn 1, and turn 2 the Death Star did work and killed 2 chimeras and a 3 tank squadron of leman russ’s, pinning two units and ghost arks Gauss-ed down the last 2 transports. Opponent conceded at bottom of turn 2.

    Round 2 was vs Dearth’s Harlequins. Lost, but was changed to a draw because of some issues i wont get into here.

    round 3 was versus a White Scars Gladius Strike Force with Grav Dev Squads and a few droppods. Standard marine stuff. Game was fairly easy to get my opp to go where I wanted him to. WraithStar Teleported forward into the Heart of his battle line and wreaked havoc killing 2-3 units a turn with multi-assaults. ghost arks controlled the middle finishing off squads retreating from the deathstar. Voltron-ed the charaters and grabbed objectives. Win.

    Round 4 was against a Grey Knights/Libby conclave that summoned demons and nova’ed. Game was fairly close til his dreadknights were taken out turns 4 and 5 and objectives were grabbed.

    Round 5 was vs Ravenguard battle company. Game was kinda tight til the DeathStar got into his deployed zone and wreaked havoc, killing multiple units the last 3 turns. His Marines were completely overwhelmed with no way to counter what the Star dished out.

    Round 6 was vs Cyle’s Daemons. And if it wasnt for a misplaced Unit on an objective turn 5, we’d be reading my List tech article instead lol.

    Breaking down my list:

    The most important, the characters

    Orikan, the diviner, with his granting of re-rolling saving throws of 1s makes the Wraith squad essentially a 2++. them being in Harvest Formation giving them re-animations, basically makes them all but invulnerable.

    Nemesor Zandrekh grants them Zealot with his built in Warlord Trait. Makes your intial charge stupidly potent, as evidenced by my ability to take out 2+ units in multi-assualts. Also, he is the overlord in the Reclamation Legion, so he gives his unit re-rolls of 1s with Re-animations.

    Vargard obyron Brings his ghostwalk Mantle to give you an essentially turn 2 super strike against literally every army i played.

    Cryptek with Solar staff guarantees that your Star isnt shot off the board, making them be hit only on Snapshots, this does include psychic phase shenanigans as well.

    Overlords and Lords hang on to Scythes and Res Orbs, granting vehicle shredding and Re-animation rerolls.

    Next up: The Warriors in 2x Ghost Arks

    The Arks, capable of laying down withering waves of gauss fire go after the “soft” targets, aka units broke out of transports, problem assault units to weaken them for the DeathStar. also dropping off warriors on objectives and turboboosting for maelstroms/linebreaker

    Immortals and Tomb Blades just try not to die and generally just be annoying.

    Harvest Spyder and Scarabs pick off weak targets and support the Star in assaults.

    And thats the basic strategy for my List. There was not a game i felt overwhelmed and most i put my opponent off his battle plan just by dropping into his deployment zone right away.

    Hope that clears up any questions/concerns you had with my top 8 list. fyi, i’ve been playing Necrons for my whole competitive tourny career of 2 years.

    • Requizen June 13, 2016 7:23 pm #

      Hm, the list they had on the site didn’t have Orikan or Obyron, which makes it a bit stronger. A couple notes, though.

      Nemesor Zahndrekh won’t really give rerolls of RP to anything if he’s in the unit. The reroll bonus only extends to the Reclamation Legion formation, not the rest of the Decurion. Unless you were peeling him off into the Immortals unit, which I doubt.

      Orikan’s reroll only exists on the Wraiths while they have Reanimation Protocols. If you’re teleporting forward, how are they getting the bonus? Per ITC rules, they only get the reroll if they’re 12″ away from the Spyder at the time, so no activating it and then running out of the range. Additionally, how do you prioritize keeping the Spyder alive when you’re playing against things like the Drop Pods?

      Speaking of Pods, against the Battle Company games, how does your Decurion hold up? Obviously ITC missions are a bit better for non-ObSec armies like Decurions, but it’s still hard to get either end game points or maelstrom points.

      How would this have done against an army that actually brought a legit deathstar, or Eldar/Tau shooting? This is a great list against MSU and small arms fire, as you saw (though I think most Necron lists can walk through IG and Harlequins), but against the power builds (which it seems you didn’t really hit until the last game) I find Necron Deathstars struggle.

  9. TheLich June 14, 2016 6:59 am #

    Well, your questions are all ones I asked myself while building my list. Orikans reroll is on armor cover n invulns, not re-animations? Thats the way ive played it, and how i’ve had it ruled by to’s. The wraiths having re-ans is more a bonus than a requirement this way. Even the spider staying alive isn’t necessary, and was more like a trap for my opponent than anything else. I do agree that a well piloted eldar would have gave me problems. The warp spider spams especially. And brett perkins renegades would have been very tough. Against other deathstars, its basically a dice-off. If they fail to powerup even once, I wreck them immediately. As for tau, they get one good round of shooting before I am all over their battle lines. The solar staff is money vs them. Ive been playing hardmode for a year against the guys in my group, War Hogs, who have won like 4 gt level events in the last year and a half. It has really made a better player thsn I was a year ago. So I outplayed my opponent more than my list beat them.

    • Requizen June 14, 2016 7:08 am #

      Orikan’s reroll is Armor and Invulns (and Cover, for that matter), but only if the unit has Reanimation Protocols. Wraiths lose that rule once they’re away from the Spyder, or once the Spyder dies. Once they lose it, they no longer get to reroll 1s of saves, which limits it somewhat. In the past, I’ve taken Lychguard for this very reason – even though they have a lesser statline, they’re reliably getting the reroll all the time, and because they’re part of the Reclamation Legion, they get the reroll 1s of RP from Zahndrekh (though none of the other Characters do).

      Sounds like you have some good practice partners though! What do you do if your teleport goes badly? I had my Star scatter, mishap, and roll a 1 to die on turn 1. Obviously something like that is a bit of a bummer, but in general how conservative are you with the Veil/Ghostmantle? Do you place it really safely and then utilize the Wraith’s speed to make up the difference the next turn, or do you just go big and hope you don’t scatter to your death?

  10. TheLich June 14, 2016 9:45 am #

    I always did very conservative deep strikes. Like placed so that there was almost zero chance of mishap. And I wasnt aware of that little tidbit about orikan’s ability!! Really changes my outlook on that…

  11. TheLich June 14, 2016 9:48 am #

    Good thing im looking hard at running the judicator battalion next!

    • Requizen June 14, 2016 10:00 am #

      Let me know how it goes! I’ve been interested in this one as well – Praetorians have a lot going for them but are often overlooked in lieu of Wraiths. They’re a bit squishier with 1 Wound and no Invuln, but RP baseline helps. Not to mention they have Fearless as well, pretty good guns, AP2 at I2 if you go Rods, and you can give them a 5++ against shooting if you bring a Cryptek for the Chronometron (which is a steal at 25 points).

      I wonder how that will work in comparison. You can get about 2 Praets for the price of a Wraith, so your Star will be a bit bigger, you retain most of the mobility (actually, better charges since Jump keeps their reroll charge distances while Wraiths will lose Fleet once the ICs join), and you gain a bit of shooting on top.

  12. Dan June 15, 2016 12:47 pm #

    so if he put the nurgle heralds in with the plaguedrones, would they be slowed down since the hearlds can only move 6 compared to the drones 12? or am i missing something

    • Requizen June 15, 2016 1:07 pm #

      You can mix units as long as they remain in coherency (2″ away from one another). So they Drones can move 12″ and the Heralds 6″, as long as some of them don’t move a full 12″ in order to stay near the Heralds. It’s an effective way to get them into Assault quickly.

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