Friday, March 18, 2011

The Sumoned Greater Daemon Debated by DFG

Alright, so the Daemon Prince article from yesterday (March 18, 2011) stirred up some comments on Summoned Greater Daemons from the Chaos Space Marine Codex. Nothing too big time, but Lord Solar Steve did have this to say:
Summoned greater deamon = waste of points.
I am sorry but i have proven it time and time again. If i know as a player its in your list i will pop your transport that has your champion in it. And dont tell me you are fielding 5-6 champions... its not point cost effective out of regular squads. I have seen it work as part of a bike squad, but in general, i am going to target those champs so hard that you wont be able to summon him in time and then you not only wasted points on the champion, you wasted it on the Greater daemon

Just my opinion and one i expressed to OST last night as well.

I am sorry, but I have to disagree (would have last night, but we moved on to other ideas). You know I love you LSS, but this one is off base. When I picked up the CSM codex when it first was released, I thought about the Greater Daemon the same way you did - it wastes a champion and can be countered, but then I tried it and realized something: The greater daemon is more than just a really tough statline and a free HQ slot, it is opportunity.

What do I mean? Well, I can provide some examples based on actual play.

1) I have three champions, one in a zerker squad with a Lord in a Land Raider and two in plague Marine Squads in rhinos. (three champs, not too unrealistic). I push up the board under fire support from my oblits, but get tarpitted in an assault just off the enemy's objective by a seer council with Eldrad. I am in trouble now, as they will lock me down or just kill me outright pretty quickly. On the objective, a unit of guardians is sitting down eating popcorn and laughing at my zerks. The beginning of the next turn comes and the Greater Daemon comes in. Now, I can use any champion to come in. In this case, I want to clear the guardians off their objective, so the eldar player is forced to try to remove the rest of my list from my objective.

Now, let's take a page from a real game: The champ already died and the Lord is holding onto life with one wound - opportunity wasted right? No, the greater daemon possesses the lord (we can do this to Sorcs as well), pops out an 1" away from combat as close to the lord as possible, due to his base size is within 6" of the guardians, he charges in the assault phase and lands 5 attacks at I5. His toughness and 4++ made sure he stuck around to see the Guardians off before Eldrad killed him, but the objective isn't held anymore and there will be hell to pay to win mine.

Now, what if this was multiple objectives? What if it was kill points? Multiple Objective gives you more opportunities. I can pop the GD out of any of my champs, which includes my objective campers - meaning the enemy will really have to focus on them in the early game (creating opportunity for my other units) or bring enough force to clear the plague Marines AND a greater daemon (while still dealing with the combat power of my Prince(s) and other assault elements - not likely. Kill Points? Use the GD to create opportunities to plow unsuspecting units ... I think we area all starting to get the point.

Point? What about points? The first example had me kill a 140 point lord to summon the Daemon. If you look at that through forum-tinted glasses, it look like the GD cost 240 points, but if you look at it through strategy, you won the game and that is all that matters and you won it due to opportunity created by the GD being in the list. Had I of been able to use the champ, I would have only made a 151 point investment, but those are the breaks and it doesn't always work out, but it creates an element of uncertainty that can be exploited.

Now, LSS, you have only fought my GD once, but I would love to test it on you again. I am sorry the other CSM players you fought didn't use the GD to proper effect, it just proves you are a better player, not that the Greater Daemon is a waste of points.

The GD isn't all great, if you don't have any elements that can get forward in a worst case scenario, like a line of Guard Tanks shooting you from their board edge in a KP mission, then it likely won't help you win, but in a three dimensional game with objectives, opponents that have to close with you or in multi-layered tourney missions, you will be better off with the GD than without it. My last word on the matter is for CSM players not to go overboard adding champs everywhere, but to just make it possible for a greater daemon to come in and build a list that would work without it as well as with it and you will be fine.

That's my two cents, I now open the floor to everyone else.


  1. Yeah I don't think GDs are huge and must-haves or anything (we're talking about CSM here, not Guard or Space Wolves) but they are pretty cool. I'd challenge anybody to play me and expect to never have my GD come out, especially with all plague marines.

    Plus if you take terminators and upgrade them to champions (something I do occasionally) now you have 3,4,5 spots for the GD to come in if you really need it. Obviously you don't want your terminator dying, but now you have a WS8 monster (some dudes hitting him on 5+) with 6 attacks on the charge, power weapons, 4+ invuln for pretty cheap.

  2. Yeah, there are a lot of ways to get him in there through sneaky chumps, like termimators. I really like the GD partnered with a couple of DPs or a DP and Abby. It's usually enough to overwhelm most hard assault armies out there.

  3. Ok so, I have not said that there are not -some- benefits and some lists that will make him "worthwhile" I am stating that you sacrifice other things to make him available.

    Muggins, how many champions do you have in those plague marines, or how many PM squads i should say? Because a STR 8 AP 3 blast template wipes an enitre squad out quite easily, or perhaps a flame template that wound on a 2+ with AP3, you are going to lose half there, and ill figure out some other way to take care of the rest.

    I am not saying its impossible, and a Land Raideer makes it work -really- well because of the extra protection to your champs, but relying on an armor 11 vehicle to get you there, when i have enough STR 6 weaponry in my list to just tear your vehicles apart, well... it makes it rough and I think the points can be better spent elsewhere.

    I have seen them used well against some players, but a player who is concious of the battlefield usually can have a hard counter to your ability to get him where he needs to go to be effective

  4. Wow, I just typed up a great response and blogger ate it. When I get the time, I will hit you up on it and why you have some good points but are again off base.

  5. I usually have 3 plague marine squads, 1 champ in each, 7 or 8 other marines.

    STR 8 AP 3 blasts are nice, but I'm likely going to get cover, and AP3 doesn't deny FNP. And I don't recall any STR7 flamers, but I don't know the guard codex that well. (And again... you'd get FNP).

  6. Whoops, STR8 denies the FNP, so pretend I didn't say that :)

  7. LOL muggins i was about to say.

    As for the flamer is a STR1 flamer that is poison from the Banewolf variant of the hellhound.

    I personally just dont think 3 champs in rhinos is enough, it is too easy to stun or blow up your vehicles on your table edge and not have to worry about them for a few turns, giving me plenty of time to kill your champ/or the summoned daemon as they trudge.

    Now if you have them in LR or have 5 champs, it makes it -much- harder to deal with, but i havent seen many lists with that many champs

  8. Yeah I have only used the GD a couple times. If I started using him all the time, I'd consider going to 4 squads.

  9. "it is too easy to stun or blow up your vehicles on your table edge and not have to worry about them for a few turns"

    This is, of course, assuming you get to go first. When they go first, that Rhino is 24-36" up the field and smoked. Not so easy to pin then.

    And I think Banewolves get fielded less often than Greater Demons :)

  10. Absolutely correct Vogrin, also, I tend to have other delivery methods available to my army. The key is that it can come in when needed and if you really try to kill all of my champs and all of my vehicles, you are talking about multiple turns. At which point my Oblitz and Princes would like to shake your hand for not making them a priority.

    Anyone who watched Austin in this last tourney probably saw the Prince + GD combo used correctly, he sure did in our game.

    Once again, I make him a nice to have choice rather than a critical one. Wherever he comes in will generally work for me and if my opponent make it his mission to shut it down, then he has likely made a mistake that will cost him the win.

  11. I haven't played the new codex, but on the old one I always liked to have a GD. Mostly for the Chaos flavor--the more ugly monsters the better the Chaos theme to me. As yes, it kinda sucks to kill off your more expensive models to bring him in, or if you get down to just one and have to kill your HQ that really sucks, but it's always been worth while for me. Who else could have dismantled that Land Raider by hand? Or eaten half a squad and chased the rest home to mama, just to move on to the next little snack? And I really like the example of having a Lord near death and then finishing him off yourself to gain a true monster than just letting him get picked off by a lucky pistol shot next turn. I say trust in the dark gods and take the biggest, ugliest brute you can find!

    1. Hmmm... well, look at that. This conversation is OLD. I'm a little behind I guess... IS there a GD summoning in the 6th ed??

    2. Yeah J.D. this is super old! There is no summoned Greater Daemon anymore, but he will be missed (though I have gained Daemon allies).