Shadowspear Focus: Daemonkin Rules

If you are eagerly awaiting the pre-order of Warhammer 40,000: Shadowspear this weekend, we have a look at some of the rules for the new Daemonkin units in the battlebox, including a look at a few Warlord Traits and psychic powers from the new Malefic discipline. Let’s kick things off with some familiar faces…

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.

Chaos Space Marines


Other than an incredible overhaul of the miniatures, these guys remain largely as you remember them. Chaos Space Marines are the reliable backbone of the Traitor Legions and Daemonkin alike – after all, the Daemonkin units are themselves Chaos Space Marines first and foremost, so can freely join their Detachments.


These guys must have been working out hard in the Eye of Terror, as they’re now utterly monstrous in scale, standing almost as tall as a Helbrute! This new bulk comes with an extra Wound and an additional point of Toughness, and they can now be deployed on their own and in pairs instead of only in threes, giving them some additional tactical flexibility. That’s not even all, as their formidable fleshmetal guns are now Assault 6, and they are now armed with a nasty melee weapon in their crushing fists.

Greater Possessed

These champions of the Dark Gods have become one with a daemonic Herald, lending them a power that surpasses that of other Possessed. Not only does this warp-born strength lend them a profile that eclipses even that of a Chaos Lord, but they emanate an aura of unholy energy that empowers those born of the empyrean – a fantastic bonus for melee-focussed units such as Possessed and Daemon Engines.


One such Daemon Engine is the Venomcrawler – a hideous amalgam fresh from the corrupted forges of Nemendghast. This brand-new vehicle scuttles forward blasting apart its prey with a pair of deeply unpleasant excruciator cannons.

In addition to a ferocious hitting power in combat, Venomcrawlers offer a neat bonus to Daemonic Rituals in their proximity.

Master of Possession

Not only is a Master of Possession a capable Psyker, able to manifest two powers a turn, but they can wreak havoc in the enemy’s Psychic phase too.

In addition to having a 5+ invulnerable save from their daemonic patronage, these sorcerers can wield psychic powers from the Malefic discipline. Possession not only increases his hitting power but enables him to bind a daemon to his victims! A free Greater Possessed, anyone?

If you feel that your Venomcrawler (or if you really want to bring the pain, your Khorne Lord of Skulls) could use a handy boost, simply unleash Infernal Power.

As a Psyker, a Master of Possession can generate a Daemonkin Warlord Trait, further enhancing his psychic potential. For example, Warp Lord will help to up your average roll when making a Psychic test, all the while reducing the likelihood of suffering Perils of the Warp from a double 1.

By contrast, should you be looking to enhance your psychic defence, Devourer of Magic will give your Master of Possession a second attempt to deny enemy powers, as well as the opportunity to heal your Warlord in the process!

There’s certainly a lot to look forward to in the Shadowspear battlebox if you serve the Dark Gods (or are ready to throw in your lot with the Warmaster), but if your loyalty to the Emperor remains firm, we’ll be back tomorrow with some rules reveals for the Vanguard Space Marines. Whom do you serve? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.


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12 Responses to “Shadowspear Focus: Daemonkin Rules”

  1. Avatar
    Paul Winters March 6, 2019 10:02 am #

    Is there anything of competitive value in the Chaos side of Shadowspear? I wasn’t expecting everything to be a rock star unit, but the Chaos side seems subpar especially compared to what Space Marines gained.

    Possessed Chaos Marines and Daemon Engines, are not powerhouse units. Adding points in the form of Greater Possessed or Master of Summons, to make them better seems like a losing proposition.

    Obliterators nearly doubled in PL going from 10->18. They got a few buffs, but the unit has fallen out of competitive play due to the randomness of their shooting. If their points have drastically increased I don’t know what use them will have?

    The Venomcrawler could be useful if it were W9. All of its attacks, even shooting tied to its current Strength value which degrades. The gun isn’t anything special even at top profile. Why would I want a BS:4 assault 2d3 battle cannon that deteriorates in strength? You could throw a daemon herald or a Greater Possessed, to get it up to S9 or S10 but do you want to do that when you could take a Defiler as a complete package?

    • Avatar
      Trasvi March 6, 2019 10:17 am #

      Obliterators may have gone up 80% in points, but despite that it may still be worth taking a unit because of the extra 50% firepower and the number of buffs you can stack.

      A Slaanesh Obliterator squad, cast Prescience, Infernal Power (+ the other Malefic pwoer to let them reroll a fleshmetal die), VotLW, Cacophony… the unit will put out 36 shots hitting and wounding on 2’s with rerolls. If they roll 2/2/2 for damage, thats enough to one-round a Castellan at 4++ and any other knight on 3++.

      So on their own it might be a little lackluster, but being able to one-shot some of the biggest threats *may* make them viable.

      • Avatar
        Paul Winters March 6, 2019 10:31 am #

        That is a lot of independent events succeeding to pull off that combo? Looking at 500-600pts depending on how much Obliterators cost now. I don’t think 1 PL = 20pts, is true anymore after CA2018.

        You need both a Sorcerer and a Master of Summons in cast range, and at least 3 CP (probably need a re-roll in there for flesh metal). Assuming it all goes off 36 shots shoulds would do…

        3++ Castellan = 14.259 damage
        4++ Castellan = 21.398 damage
        5++ Castellan = 28.519 damage

        The second volley from EC should finish it off

        Just doing VotLW

        3++ Castellan = 10.667 damage
        4++ Castellan = 13.333 damage
        5++ Castellan = 16.0 damage

        The second volley from EC probably won’t finish it off

  2. Avatar
    Dakkath March 6, 2019 10:13 am #

    Posession loses a lot of utility if you have to pay reinforcement points for the created spawn

    • Avatar
      CWDub March 6, 2019 11:11 am #

      Man I hope they’re smart enough NOT to FAQ that.
      Same with Magnus’ weapon. If you lose a character in CC to Magnus, you deserve to drop a spawn down.

    • Avatar
      Sad Rubric Spammer March 6, 2019 3:08 pm #

      I’m hoping there is some combo with it and some relics to turn it into a vehicle cracker and auto explode stuff.

      Not sure if you would see it at Tournaments but it night be fun for casual if it’s consistent enough.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy March 7, 2019 2:56 am #

        I’m guessing he’ll have similar weapon options to other CSM characters, which would let him access the various relic weapons.

  3. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo March 6, 2019 2:07 pm #

    The psychic powers for the Master of Possession are amazing. Like, cool factor and fluffiness-wise. Easily the best discipline in that regard.

  4. Avatar
    James March 6, 2019 2:17 pm #

    Will Worldeaters be able to take the Master of Possession?

    • Avatar
      Sad Rubric Spammer March 6, 2019 3:05 pm #

      No, WE can not take Psykers and Psykers can not be Khorne.

  5. Avatar
    Victor March 7, 2019 6:29 am #

    Surprise, surprise. In Starter sets,loyalist Spesh Marines always win

    If they keep their current point cost, new Oblits may be decent (not competitive or broken but not garbage). I agree with you that the sheer randomness in Oblts is utter crap.

    The new daemon engine is crap.

    And Malefic lore it would be more helpful if it supported all Chaos Daemon units, not only [Legion] ones

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