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CSM Review: Everything You Wanted to Know About Daemon Princes

10 Minute Read
Jan 16 2018
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…but were afraid to ask.  Take a close look at the Chaos Space Marines Chaos Daemon Prince, everyone’s favorite utility bad guy.

For many Chaos Space Marines warlords, the ultimate goal is ascension into immortality.  A blessing granted by the Chaos Gods at their whim granting immortality in the form of a Chaos Daemon Prince.  Capable of striking from the aether of the warp and bringing death and destruction onto the forces of humankind and the Imperium, these immortal warriors strike fear into the hearts of men.

The Chaos Space Marines version of the Chaos Daemon Prince is a true force to be reckoned with on the table.  The winged version is capable of hopping all over the board with the Fly keyword, and picking off a variety of targets in melee. Rare is it to find a Chaos Space Marines force that does not include at least one of these flying beasts, and very often you might find yourself facing off against two or three of them! And for good reason, as the Daemon Prince is one of the best units in the codex.


The Chaos Space Marines, or Heretic Astartes as they are now known, Chaos Daemon Prince is one of the go-to units in the codex. Filling a HQ slot with a fairly cheap price point of 180 points, they have a potent statline with a 12″ movement when equipped with wings (and you’ll always want to use them), a WS and BS of 2+, Strength 7, Toughness 6, with 8 Wounds, 4 Attacks and a 3+/5++ save, they are capable, if not fragile at times, killers. Important to note that the Daemon Prince has the Character keyword, meaning as long as he is not the closest enemy unit, he cannot be targeted by shooting attacks, which really helps this bad boy move up the board and cause a lot of havoc to the opponent.  Additionally, they have the <Legion> keyword meaning you can devote them to various legions in the codex to unlock some of the cool Legion benefits, relics and stratagems to help make the most of this monster on the tabletop.


The Daemon Prince comes stock equipped with a Hellforged Sword and a set of Malefic Talons.  You can replace the sword with a Daemonic Axe or another set of Malefic Talons all for the same point cost.  Additionally you can give the Daemon Prince a Warp Bolter to give him some shooting attacks, but you’ll rarely need to use them. And finally you can equip the Daemon Prince with Wings, which as stated before, you will always want to take as it increases his movement to 12″ and allows you to hop over units and move freely around the board.

While there is value with every wargear item, the most commonly used, and best loadout is the double set of Malefic Talons.  When equipped with two sets of them the Daemon Prince is swinging 7 attacks, re-rolling to hit rolls and at Strength 7 is wounding most things on 3s and 4s.  At AP-2 and 2 Damage each they are capable of dropping vehicles, infantry units, and characters alike. The Hellforged Sword is another good option, although you are forfeiting 2 extra attacks in favor of increased damage as the sword does 3 Damage.  I find the Axe to be usually unnecessary as it imposes a -1 to hit while only giving a +1 Strength bonus, however the -3 AP on the Axe is nothing to scoff at.

Special Rules:

Daemon Princes from Chaos Space Marines all come with the Death to the False Emperor special rule, which against Imperium units can be quite devastating as it allows him to make extra attacks when he rolls a 6+ to hit in close combat. With the number of attacks these bad boys are capable of dishing out, it can make short work of a lot of Imperium units in the game.  Additionally they come with the Daemonic rule giving them a 5++ invulnerable save.


Daemonic Allegiance requires you to pick a Chaos God to devote allegiance.  Nurgle, Tzeentch and Slaanesh all offer the ability for the Daemon Prince to gain the Psyker keyword with the ability to know Smite and one other power from the Dark Hereticus tree. Meanwhile devoting allegiance to Khorne unlocks the Might over Magic special rule allowing your Daemon Prince to increase his attacks by 1.

Finally the Prince of Chaos special rule means that any <Legion> unit or Daemon unit with the same Chaos allegiance can re-roll to hit rolls of 1 within 6″.  Obviously, the rule works on the Daemon Prince himself meaning that his close combat attacks and shooting attacks, when equipped with the warp bolter, always hit on 2s re-rolling 1s. This makes him quite potent, especially in combat as we will get into later.


They key to fielding an effective Daemon Prince for your army is to decide how it will combo with the rest of the units in your force. The first step in that is deciding which Legion to choose.  While effective in any Chaos Space Marines list, the Legions that can make the most out of the Daemon Prince are Alpha Legion, Night Lords, Emperor’s Children and World Eaters.  Renegade Chapters is also worth considering if your army isn’t going to be devoted to one of the primary legions.

The Legions:

The Alpha Legion is a popular choice for obvious reasons.  The ability to forward deploy units like cultist bombs and Khorne Berzerkers is very strong. The Daemon Prince in an Alpha Legion army can make a great follow up for these units as he can hide behind them and buff them with rerolling to hit rolls of 1. And anytime you can gain a -1 to hit buff on your Daemon Prince it can make him a formidable force.


The Night Lords are capable of reducing enemy leadership by 1, which is nice because of the amount of casualties a Daemon Prince can inflict in combat against Infantry units. While not the most optimal Legion for the Daemon Prince, he is certainly handy to use in a Night Lords Legion as he can dish out major damage on those infantry units.

Emperor’s Children is another great Legion for the Daemon Prince as he can fight first in the Fight phase, which can be huge with such a nasty close combat unit. The capability to essentially perform a free interrupt in combat can be crucial in your opponent’s tactical decision making. A Daemon Prince in an Emperor’s Children Detachment must always have the Slaanesh allegiance, which is actually quite good as we will get to in a moment.

World Eaters is another great choice for a Daemon Prince. A Khorne Daemon Prince can make an excellent support unit for Khorne Berzerkers in a World Eaters force and gains an extra attack on the charge!

Finally in Renegade Chapters, units are allowed to advance and charge in the same turn, which is quite good for a Daemon Prince with Fly as he can hide behind units that are racing across the field and key in on moments to move and advance 12+d6” and still charge.

The Gods:

While it is important to understand which Legion you want to pick to make the most out of your Daemon Prince it is equally important to choose your Daemonic Allegiance. There are several great combos which make the Daemon Prince a force to be reckoned with. Obviously if you are playing Emperor’s Children or World Eaters, your options are Slaanesh and Khorne respectively, however there is no such restriction on allegiance with the other Legions or Renegade Chapters, giving you a lot of flexibility.  The choice on which of the four Gods to devote your Daemon Prince to is largely reliant on which other units you have in your army specifically those who also possess the Daemon keyword as those units, even when taken from a Chaos Daemons detachment, can benefit from the Daemon Prince’s Prince of Chaos special rule allowing them to re-roll to hit rolls of 1 within 6″.

Typically these units will also act as screens for your Daemon Prince and you want to choose units that have enough speed to stay out in front of the Daemon Prince as he moves upfield, or units like Nurglings which can infiltrate in the neutral zone to prevent your opponent from targeting the Daemon Prince in shooting before he can make a charge.  Screamers, for example, make a good escort for a Demon Prince of Tzeentch as they move very fast and within 6″ of the Daemon Prince can re-roll 1s to hit in combat.

Artefacts of Chaos:

There are various relics within the codex which can increase the potency of these beastly killing machines. The following 3 relics are some of the better options for the Daemon Prince:

  • The Talisman of Burning Blood is great on a Khorne Daemon Prince as it allows him to advance and charge in the same turn with the ability to re-roll charges. Suddenly that Daemon Prince has 12″+d6 movement, and a rerollable charge roll!
  • Intoxicating Elixir is probably one of the best relics you can put on a Daemon Prince as it allows him to increase his Strength and Attacks by 1. This makes a Slaanesh Daemon Prince a deadly opponent with Strength 8 and 8 Attacks with his double talons!
  • Fleshmetal Exoskeleton Can give your Daemon Prince a 2+ save and the ability to heal 1 wound every turn which can really increase his ability to survive.  This relic is exclusive to Iron Warriors however, which don’t really provide great benefits for a Daemon Prince. Still, the ability to take this relic makes an Iron Warriors Daemon Prince deadly!

Psychic Powers:

The Chaos Space Marines version of the Daemon Prince is capable of choosing one power off the Dark Hereticus tree.  There are plenty of good options to choose from as the Dark Hereticus powers are some of the best in the game! Of all of the options we will cover what I find to be the most effective on this beast.

  • Death Hex: A Daemon Prince with the Death Hex power is an elite hero killer.  Death Hex is a 12″ psychic power capable of dropping an invulnerable save off of a unit. This particularly combos well with the Slaanesh Daemon Prince who can stack on extra attacks and strength with the Intoxicating Elixer relic.  A Daemon Prince with double talons is then swinging 8 attacks at Strength 8, re-rolling to hit rolls. At AP -2 and 2 Damage each, most elite units will fall quickly without their invulnerable save to boost them.
  • Diabolic Strength: Again, this combos quite well with the Slaanesh Daemon prince with the Intoxicating Elixir.  When cast you are rocking 9 attacks at Strength 10 with double talons! That is capable of knocking down even the hardest of targets!
  • Warptime: Another favorite choice for a Daemon Prince as it allows you to move essentially 24″ and still charge.  This power is especially great on a Daemon Prince as it allows you to control where he is going and which targets you want to pick out for him.
  • Weaver of Fates: Tzeentch only. This power boosts your Daemon Prince’s invulnerable save up to 4++ which is quite handy in keeping him alive and crushing your opponent.
  • Miasma of Pestilence: Nurgle only. Anytime you can enforce a -1 to hit for your opponent that is fantastic. Especially useful on an Alpha Legion Nurgle prince as now he is -2 to hit at 12” away!
  • Delightful Agonies: Slaanesh only. This power gives your Daemon Prince a 5+++ to ignore any wound.  Again, great for keeping your Daemon Prince alive and killing things.

General Tactics:

The Chaos Daemon Prince can be a devastating force on the table, especially in multiples.  For the 180 point price tag you are getting a combat unit that is capable of tackling just about any enemy on the table.  The key to running them successfully is keeping them alive.  We have covered some of the Legion traits and powers available to help increase the survivability of this powerhouse, but the most important thing you can do is screen this bad boy properly.  As mentioned above, you often want faster units moving in front of him so he can get up field and into combat while taking minimal incoming fire from your opponent.  These units can come in the form of Chaos Bikes, Chaos Spawn, Warp Talons, or even Chaos Daemons choices like Flesh Hounds and Screamers.  As stated above, Nurglings also make a fantastic blocking unit as you can infiltrate them mid-field and out of line of sight, giving you much more flexibility in how you move the Daemon Prince up the battle field.

It’s often best to have them kitted out for a specific task as well. A Daemon Prince with a Hellforged Sword with Diabolic Strength cast on him is now a deadly vehicle hunter as he is Strength 9 with -2 AP and 3 Damage each. Meanwhile a Slaanesh Prince with double talons and the Elixir is cranking out a ton of attacks capable of knocking down Infantry and Characters alike.

Overall, the Chaos Space Marines Daemon Prince is one of the best units in the Chaos Space Marines codex and for his price tag, adds a lot for your army of Heretics.  Regardless of which Legion you prefer, the Daemon Prince will be a great inclusion to your force.


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Author: Pablo Martinez
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