rvd1ofakind’s Daemon Troops Review

The highly opinionated rvd1ofakind is throwing his hat in the ring with a Daemons Troops review.

I use 4 things to review these units:

  1. Tournament results
  2. Mathhammer
  3. Top player opinion
  4. Personal experience

Mathhammer(everything is by pts value, so when I say something is durable and you see it is T3 6++, remember – without points cost, the stats mean nothing)

The best units to start with are troops: you need them for most lists, most of them are in the top of the tournament result chart and HQs usually rely on buffing the troops.

The best melee damage unit daemons have. They can‘t footslog as they have 6‘‘ movement with no way to increase it. They have to deep strike and they have a 3D6 charge if they take the banner and use 1cp to buff it. That‘s the very well-known „bloodletter bomb“. It‘s usually with 20(1CP to deep strike but they lose their 2+ WS on first model death) or 30(2CP to deep strike) models. Buffs: DP (great, makes them 2+, re-roll 1s), Herald (str 6 is usually not required as you should have something else to kill T3 units), Skulltaker (good with units of 20 letters)
Tournament results and top player opinion:
10th most successful chaos unit, 5th most successful daemon unit. Some top players have said that the bloodletter bomb is easy to screen out, which is why you have to have something to kill the screen or surround.

Damage: best melee damage in the codex against almost every target, especially against T4 high save, no invul save things.

Durability: average-below average. Against no AP weapons they are just guardsmen that cost 3pts more (that’s almost twice!).

Personal opinion:

I love Bloodletters. They’re my favourite unit in the book. The most important thing to learn is how to prevent them from getting shot. You usually do this in the charge phase by not declaring a unit that’s weak in melee as a charge target – you charge something else and you send 3 models into the unit you didn’t charge. During pile in and consolidate you surround a model from the unit you didn’t charge and since you can’t attack it – you’ve successfully prevented Bloodletters from getting shot off the table.
RATING: Competitive


The only scouts in the Chaos faction. Annoying to kill. Can’t really kill much. Buffs: Herald(going from str 2 to str 3 is a big deal), Bilepiper (+1 attack but that’s not as meaningful as the herald buff)
Tournament results and top player opinion:
4th most successful chaos unit, THE most successful daemon unit.

Damage: bad

Durability: above average

Personal opinion:

Scout units are always amazing. These will often be the things that win you the game by camping on an objective from turn 0, by getting you Recon, by screening out deep strikes(With the FAQ nerfing infiltration abilities this might not be as useful). However you have to be careful to not give away easy kills. They are also great at filling out Nurgle battalions.
RATING: Competitive

The best screening unit in the game. Can easily be -2 to hit, T4, 4++(stratagem) with regenerating models when you roll 1 on morale tests (where you use Bilepiper to roll 2 dice). Usually used in units of 30 to maintain the 20+ buff longer. Buffs: Herald(+1 str is not as important because they re-roll wounds anyway. However the -1 to hit the herald casts is a must), DP(not as important because their role is usually to die), Scrivener(+2’’ movement is why you take him, +1 to hit rolls is the icing on the cake), Bilepiper(rolling 2 dice for morale is great, however there are definitely times where you want to just auto-pass morale)

Tournament results and top player opinion:
6th most successful chaos unit, 2nd most successful daemon unit.

Damage: average when fighting infantry, below average against vehicles

Durability: the best in the game

Personal opinion:

Perfect unit for screening your Thousand Sons smite battery. They’re actually fast(7’’ move, +1 on advance and charge). If you can make them the only unit your opponent can shoot(hide nurglings out of LoS, characters inside plaguebearers, other stuff in deepstrike) – you’re golden. They are really good at getting you “kill more” and preventing “kill one” from your opponent.

RATING: Competitive

Pink Horrors:


The best screen clearing unit daemons have. Somewhat durable with their 4++ (sadly you can’t buff them to 3++ anymore). Usually used in units of 30 to maintain the 20+ buff longer. They can also smite, however it’s only a 1/3 chance and it make all your other smites harder to cast. After you’ve cast 2 smites – Horror smite is uncastable. Buffs: Herald(going from S3 to S4 is great because that’s the same as +1 to wound on most targets you want to shoot with pink horrors, the herald also usually buffs them with Flickering Flames(+1 to wound) meaning you’ll be wounding most things you want to shoot on a 2), DP(re-roll 1s is great and a DP is always nice to have)

Tournament results and top player opinion:

11th most successful chaos unit, 6th most successful daemon unit.


Damage: amazing against screen units, Pinks really rely on buffs so be sure to have that herald around them.

Durability: Average-Above average, weak to lasguns, bolters and especially S6 mass shooting.

Personal opinion:

This is the unit you use to clear screens for your bloodletter bombs. The have 18’’ range, they’re hard to get rid of so they can soak overwatch for your letters. If you take these, you have to take a Tzeentch Herald to buff them. To maintain their 20+ buff, you can spend 160 points to add a buffer of Blue and Brimstone horrors, which you can kill during the morale phase instead of the pink horrors. The main knock against these guys is that cultists sometimes do their job better.

RATING: Competitive

Brimstone Horrors:


The cheapest troops option in the game. Camp objectives in the backfield, screen out deep strikes.

Tournament results and top player opinion:

Seen sometimes to fill out battalions


Damage: bad

Durability: above average

Personal opinion:

These are very good if you need to fill out that cheap battalion for CP and if you need some guys to camp the backfield while you charge forward.

RATING: Competitive

Blue horrors


Sadly stuck in the middle of Pinks and Brimstones, during neither job well

Tournament results and top player opinion:

Never seen


Damage: bad

Durability: Average-Above average, weak to lasguns and especially mass bolters.

Personal opinion:

The only time you’ll see these guys is when people split Pink Horrors (which doesn’t happen very often) and only for a few seconds because they’ll die.

RATING: Suboptimal. They need to have a niche to fill, being in the middle of 2 great units is bad. Maybe if they could smite just like pinks do and cost only 4 points, they’d see some use.



A unit that’s really sad that Bloodletters exist. Buffs: Herald(must have, it’s basically +1 to wound rolls), DP(it’s OK, slaanesh DPs aren’t amazing though), Masque(really good, gives a -1 to hit buff in close combat and +1 to hit if you’re risky with her placement).

Tournament results and top player opinion:

Never seen


Damage: average

Durability: average-below average.

Personal opinion:

The reason this unit isn’t ever seen on top tables is because what they do well – Bloodletters do better. Letters hit a lot harder and can hit any unit well, they don’t require a herald to babysit their str 3 attacks and most importantly – they will always get into combat and will strike first, while daemonettes will usually die on their way there. The only thing daemonettes have is “fight first”. However that very rarely matters and hardly makes up for all their weaknesses.

RATING: Suboptimal. They really need a way to get into combat better. Footslogging with 7’’ movement just doesn’t do it. If they can somehow get that – they’d be competitive at 5pts per model (then they’d do more damage than Bloodletters for their points against low armor/high invul targets). If they just have to footslog – I’d say they need to be 4pts per model. Then they’d be about on par with cultists.

So that wraps it up for the troops. Next time it’ll be character HQs.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

33 Responses to “rvd1ofakind’s Daemon Troops Review”

  1. Adam November 3, 2018 8:09 am #

    You can still buff horrors’ saves to effectively 3++. The Tzeentch ability gives you +1 to the roll. So you have a 5++ improved to 4++ with +1 to the roll.

    The purpose of the errata was to prevent shenanigans with the Impossible Robe.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 3, 2018 8:12 am #

      You can’t do it to Horrors actually, they don’t have the same rule as other Tzeentch Daemons. You can do it with other Tzeentch units, though.

      • rvd1ofakind November 3, 2018 8:28 am #

        Yeah, Daemons that were nerfed by that are the ones that have natural 4++:
        Pinks and Khorne/Tzeentch Daemons Characters with the 4++/3++ relics.

        • Paul Winters November 5, 2018 7:36 am #

          It also affected the Forge World Greater Daemons who all have at least a 4++. Which stinks because they really needed that 3++ to get into combat.

          • rvd1ofakind November 5, 2018 7:55 am

            My bad. Forgot they existed 😉

    • Stompyspath November 3, 2018 8:26 am #

      I thought the same thing, and learned different after SoCal. Horrors have the “Ephemeral Daemons” rule not the “Ephemeral Form” so they don’t have a +1 just a 4++. Personally I think it’s an oversight on GWs part but we’ll have to wait for a correction if it is.

  2. rvd1ofakind November 3, 2018 8:31 am #

    To add something about Bloodletters: Nick Nanavati dislikes them because he thinks Tzangors are just better due to their T4. Bloodletters even when surrounding stuff die really fast to countercharge.
    I however think they both have their place. Letters charge a lot more reliably but cost CP. They do better damage against non-chaff. Tzangors are more survivable and do better damage against chaff and don’t cost as much CP.

    • Chandler November 3, 2018 9:07 am #

      Agreed. Bloodletters are more versatile than tzaangors because they can significantly damage both chaff and heavier units alike. The issue with them is most of the time the target they will hit will be a chaff target. So in that regard tzaangors are the better option.

      • Reecius
        Reecius November 3, 2018 9:12 am #

        Yeah, I am a Bloodletter man, myself. The buffs available to them and their extremely reliable charge from reserves makes them just awesome. They do die for sure, but that still pleases Khorne =)

        And, I use them as shock troopers anyway, I expect them to die. I have a second wave that comes in and cleans up after them in my armies.

        • rvd1ofakind November 3, 2018 9:18 am #

          If I’m using letters I always take pink blobs to clear the screen. So letters and the Skullreaver DP can hit the juicy targets.

          • Reecius
            Reecius November 3, 2018 9:33 am

            Yeah, good tactic. I usually play to theme in addition to playing for power so i tend to stick to all Khorne but in a mixed Daemon army that is a very good tactic.

  3. Chandler November 3, 2018 9:13 am #

    Yes having multiple waves of them helps. 2-3 squads of 15 is pretty brutal as they can drop in and get the reliable charge as you said and eventually hit the target you want them to engage.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 3, 2018 9:34 am #

      For sure. I play 3 x 20 and it works great! Plus the look onf your opponent’s face when 60 letters drop down is pretty solid, haha!

  4. Ideasweasel November 3, 2018 10:46 am #

    Hey, nice to see an article of yours chief. Hope this is the first one of many.

    And the back and forth between you and Reecius is good banter

    Jolly good chaps


    • Reecius
      Reecius November 3, 2018 11:37 am #

      Yeah and you know what? I think it is a pretty solid article with good ideas and analysis, so credit where it’s due…even though RVD drives me crazy sometimes, lol.

      • Pyrothem November 4, 2018 7:25 am #

        Yup I know we all kind of wish people would think and act the way we do but the world would be an a extremely boring place to live. So even though we have people that drive us crazy with their thoughts, ideas and the way they express them, I would not have it changed.

        Also as Ideasweasle said it is very entertaining. Just think of the headaches that RVD gives you as growing pains of your site and store. :p

  5. Ujayim November 3, 2018 10:47 am #

    Persistence pays off in the end, lol

  6. Jace November 3, 2018 3:05 pm #

    What a great article! Appreciated honesty without negativity

  7. WestRider November 3, 2018 4:57 pm #

    I spent a lot of time running Daemonettes over the summer because of the theme team I was on for OFCC. They really are tragically awful right now.

  8. Paul Winters November 4, 2018 10:47 am #

    Daemonettes: “Herald(must have, it’s basically +1 to wound rolls),”

    I wish that the Herald gave a +1 to wound rolls. That would let Daemonettes rend on a 5+ instead of a 6+.

    Slaanesh Daemons, in general, are just sad in the ITC this year (https://www.bestcoastpairings.com/bcpplayers?league=EDE6GOXNvc&faction=bCsj6AHmnz&embed=true) I am the only person who has played more than 1 event with them.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 4, 2018 1:07 pm #

      We applaud your determination though, my good man!

    • Ujayim November 4, 2018 1:58 pm #

      I shelved my Tzeentch post codex as I don’t want to be running literally only Pinks, so, I feel your pain friend. Our mediocre codex will hopefully get a rerelease at some point.

      • Paul Winters November 4, 2018 4:58 pm #

        Is Tzeetch Daemons problem the troops are good but everything else is overpriced? It seems like that is the same issue with Khorne Daemons.

        31ppm for a Screamer seems kind of outrageous when a Plague Drone is 34ppm.

        • abusepuppy November 4, 2018 7:06 pm #

          Flamers are… okay? Exalted Flamers are good. Screamers and the chariot are pretty trashy.

          Really, the problem with most of the Daemons is that the individual gods lack much unit variety, but the codex strongly pushes you to play mono-god or give up most of your bonuses. When your options are “basic troop, basic troop but moves faster, basic troop but +1 stats, and big guy” you’re not exactly looking at an exciting and flexible army.

          • Paul Winters November 5, 2018 7:32 am

            Other than Nurgle Plague Drones, struggling to think of seeing non-Troop daemons being played in ITC events. I had to give up on my Seekers after Ravager spam and Knights became a thing this summer.

          • abusepuppy November 5, 2018 11:13 am

            I’ve seen people use Flamers to decent effect in the past; those d6 autohits are no joke and with +1 to wound they can do some work. Probably not worth the cost in a truly competitive list, but they at least aren’t awful.

            Flesh Hounds and Fiends will make appearances every once in a blue moon, usually via summoning, as they both can fill a niche.

            I’ve seen people try the Skull Cannon, though usually to middling effect. It’s… a shooting unit, at least?

            But yeah, Seekers are a complete mess, even more so than most of the two-wound models out there. Not cheap enough to field en masse, not fast enough or resilient enough to get where they need to be.

        • Ujayim November 5, 2018 4:25 am #

          That and the Tzeentch boon as actual garbage.

          Khorne, the melee army, rerolls charges.

          Nurgle, the low damage but resilient army, gets extra damage.

          Slaanesh, the fast army, gets quicker.

          Tzeentch, the magic army… Sometimes… Doesn’t… Get hit in melee?

          • Paul Winters November 5, 2018 7:34 am

            It is also a magic army that doesn’t get a “Brotherhood of Sorcerer” kind of rule for smites which is weird.

            Pink Horrors are screaming “not the face!” with Locus of Trickery? It works for Blue Horrors but no one players Blue Horrors.

  9. Lord Toranaga November 4, 2018 2:27 pm #

    Excellent analysis and article. Keep it up please, and restore Chaos to glory.

  10. Stucker November 7, 2018 4:35 am #

    The lesson of the day is if you spend half your waking hours insulting the FLG staff and talking crap non-stop, you will eventually be given a platform to tell people how daemons have worked since the indexes and codex.

    If i tell Reece he sounds like badger from breaking bad can I do an article about how IG infantry can move twice thanks to an order and therefore rate them competitive? :^)

  11. Aposo November 7, 2018 6:09 am #

    Why did you not include all troop choices? Are plague bearers not stronger than other choices?

    • rvd1ofakind November 7, 2018 7:15 am #

      I specifically included every troop choice in the Chaos Daemons codex.

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