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Slave to Darkness – Codex Daemons Review

3 Minute Read
Mar 9 2013

The wait is over, the new Daemon books are here!  I had chance to really break down the new Chaos Daemon books this week, and below is my initial review on book.

First off, the 40k Codex itself is 104 pages long, and written by veteran game designer Phil Kelly.  It’s the third hard-cover codex for 40k once again with a $50 MSRP.

Controversial rules changes aside, this book introduces a ton of new game play elements that have once again made playing this army, just a little bit different than playing any other faction in 40k.

I’m not going to get into all the changes and how things work in the this article, because that has been beaten to death already on forums even before the release of the book.  Instead we’ll just focus on the book itself, form it’s overall quality to it’s features.

Once again just like all the hard cover books previous, it’s a very well illustrated book, full of page after page of full color art.  While I know opinions are divided on John Blanche’s art style, it was nice to see his work in color throughout the book. After all he was a major player in defining the “image” so to speak of Chaos. During the Rogue Trader era of the late 1980’s he helped illustrate the venerable tomes Lost and the Damned and Slaves to Darkness (along with Ian Miller, Adrian Smith, Tony Ackland and Tony Hough).


I think if I had to pick graphically between the 40k Codex, and the Fantasy Army book, the ladder seemed to better illustrated. However the new 40k cover is probably one of my new favorite pieces of art.

The book itself is divided into four sections; “The Nature of the Daemon” (fluff section), the Unit Entries in the “The Legions Infernal”, followed by the “Daemonic Gifts” where the book goes down the rabbit hole, “The Eternal Hordes” the obligatory painted model showcase to inspire us, and finally “The Hell-Spawned Host” list section (with summary) itself.

Overall the fluff accounts for about 25 pages before sliding into the “Legions Infernal” section that doles out all the specifics on the unit entries, and fluff.  It’s worth a glance at first, if not for the new models that were just released.

Keep in mind however that the “Daemonic Gifts” section should be your first thorough read as it contains the majority rules that relate to how the army actually works.

Next up of course is  a full color spread of painted minis to inspire us all, in the “Eternal Hordes” section.


The army list itself, (with fold out reference page) takes up the last fifteen or so pages.  This is where you’ll find all the points and options that “Hell Spawned Host” can take.

Rules wise the codex seems to favor heavily certain units while others received the heaviest of all Nerf bats I have even seen.  The book, while quirky, seems overall to be well in balance and in fact quite playable in a number of different configurations

One weakness that seemed to be carried over from the old book is Daemons will still have a hard time with flyers for the most part.  They may also have an issue with anything that has a high armor value in both the front and rear arcs, such as Land Raiders, if they are fielded en masse.

We are one week into the new Daemon codex.  I want to hear about your lists and initial games.  What’s working and what’s not?

Author: Robert B
  • 40K RUMORS: Eldar