Fritz here with some thoughts for my fellow traitor marines- are you including the unsung heroes of the CSM codex – Lesser Daemons in your warband? Here are a few ideas to consider…
In most of the Chaos Space Marine lists that I’ve seen lesser daemons seem to be an afterthought as a unit choice. I can partially understand this as the CSM codex is starting to suffer from codex creep with the points of its vehicles and core troop choices starting to show their age. Packing in enough models to deal with the lackeys of Russ and Sanguinius really doesn’t leave much left over. That said, a few groups of lesser daemons can really fill in the gaps and with an overlapping icon network they can really provide a nasty surprise in your warband.
First, why consider a lesser daemon when it is almost on par with a generic chaos marine in terms of cost? Both are T4, the CSM has a 3+ save, while the daemon has a 5+ save. One can shoot, the other can’t. The big difference is the Lesser Daemon’s ability to deepstrike in and the fact that it is fearless- which is huge when using them. How a regular chaos marine is NOT fearless after thousands of years of fighting, training, and service to the dark gods I don’t know…
So now the why and how of the lesser daemons…
First things first- is where you are going to have to build or change your warband to take advantage of their deepstrike rules. Thankfully icons are cheap and even come standard on some models- the first step is building an icon network on the table so as your units move and deploy they can be in a position to bring the daemons down to any point on the table. This ability to suddenly appear provides a tremendous amount of much needed flexibility in two areas.
The first is using the Lesser Daemons as a reactionary unit, taking advantage of their ability to assault directly after arriving. Is there a place on the table that needs to be reinforced? A new front (distraction) that you want to open up, a speedbump that you need to put down- bring in the daemons!
Their second use is as objective holders since they they troops and thus scoring. I often find that I have to advance my Chaos Marines forward to really engage opponent’s playing 5th edition ‘dexes- this leaves things a little thin for holding objectives on my side of the table. Enter the lesser deamons who deepstrike down off an icon, and then run onto the objective. Placing objective ahead of time in cover means the daemons have a 3+ save of they go to ground, plus the 5+ invul, and being fearless my opponent has to kill them to the last.
Finally consider some of the modeling options that lesser daemons open up in your chaos army. Playing Death guard? Model up some Imperial Guard zombies. Emperor’s Children? How about some heavy metal groupies. Vanilla Chaos Marines, some cultists.
So who’s running the LD packs and how do you get the most bang for the buck on thetabletop? Now get out there and let the galaxy burn!