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Goatboy’s 40K: Engine War – Chaos Daemons First Thoughts

5 Minute Read
Jun 3 2020

Goatboy here again with another quick review of the new Chaos Daemon rules from the imminent Engine Wars book.

Engine War is mere days away, and as usual we’ll go into the good, the bad, and the meh from the book.  I am happy we got more rules but instead of an overall reimagining of the Daemon codex like the Grey Knight update – we instead get a bunch of new rules that seem ok but not nearly as game breaking as we wanted them to be.  Is it completely bad?  No but it was not exactly what I wanted.

To start off I really wanted a shifting of the book into setting up forced “mono” god style lists.  I think going into that direction could have made for some really unique options that would have done a number in the 40k meta.  Things like massed wide new Loci’s, army wide rules, and other fun options.  Instead we get some rules to amp up the Greater Daemons (not always in ways I wanted), some very focused Stratagems, and a bunch of relics only the “Exalted” can possess.

Chaos Daemons – the Good


On the good side of things – I think the Exalted 1CP upgrade is a cool idea for greater daemons.  It gives them some extra powers that seem interesting.  You cannot double up on choices unless rolled randomly in matched play – but you could help pump up some of your Greater Daemons.  Sadly there is only one locked damage per phase option for Bloodthirsters so it wasn’t nearly as amazing as I wanted.  The standouts I see are some Tzeentch options that make the flying bird tougher with gaining wounds back and FNP, the Keeper of Secrets better Invulnerable phase and faster movement, and finally the Bloodthirsters Damage potential plus better armor options.  Overall they do help the Greater Daemons – but just not enough really beyond some clear protection options to keep them moving.


Thankfully Chaos Daemons did get some relics even though they are only for Exalted greater daemons.  It is too bad as some of them would be amazing on a Daemon Prince.  The Tzeentch super blade seems good as you can throw out some Mortal wounds on a wound roll of a 6.  The weapon also has a d6 damage potential so this guy could get mixed in with big stuff and be a threat.  The Stave is good too as you can heal yourself as you kill with Magic spells.  The Slaanesh has a neat sword that gives more attacks and can protect her a bit if things survived the attack.  The whip is weird but auto hits are pretty strong especially if you can do them in close combat.  The Jewel they also have seems good too with a +1 to cast and deny on top of the friend carrying the Mirror.  Slaanesh might be one of the most annoying deny armies out there.  There is a weird Khorne axe that lets the user come back – super pissed.  The regain wound option relic seems good to for Khorne too.  The Nurgle Flail seems good – again if it could go on a Daemon Prince.  I just always like the power of damage not going away as you throw out wounds.



The Strats are a weird bag as they are all very specific for units.  I love how most of them are 1CP bar one Khorne one that should be 2CP instead of 3.  If Leadership is changed to truly matter than the fiend Strat will be annoying to deal with.  An additional -2 just seems pretty strong if we have other options like Night Lords and other parts of the army. I really like the Plague Bearers Auto wound with rolling a 6 to hit option.  That seems pretty decent and wish it wasn’t Unmodified 6’s  but we know that is where the game is going.  I wish Blood Crushers were better as the idea of killing a small unit within an 1″ and then charging again once you killed them seems good.  Flesh Hounds are one of those interesting units that almost feel like they are there – so their strat to charge seems ok.  I wish it wasn’t just one unit and all Flesh Hound units on the table. On the Tzeentch side the Warp Portal to move a Fluxmaster, Fateskimmer, or Burning chariot around the table seems ok.  You could go get an objective or whatever else the missions will be when 9th comes out.

Daemons – The Bad

Let’s move onto the bad.  I think this update is more Enh than bad as while having more rules is good – I just wish we had some better ones.  On the bad side of things the real stinkers is the Great Unclean ones Exalted options still don’t make him a good choice to take.  Heck the joke we have is that you could give him all the exalted rule and he still wouldn’t see play.  That is a sad thing as he needed more stuff to either – move faster, can’t be shot, or just – be tougher.  This is the model that needed a limited amount of damage done to him ability.  His flail is cool but he just needs more stuff.

Daemons – the Meh

On the Meh side of things I want to know where the army wide rules are?  Where are the new Warlord Traits?  How about some updated Psychic spells?  I didn’t see if there were updated Datasheets yet for the missing Daemon parts but will see as the full book hits the shelves.  They might have updated some points too.  I also don’t like you can’t double up on Exalted powers as we could have had some unique Keeper of Secrets builds pop up as they get really fast and deadly.  Still you could run some Lords of Change as some of the other big boys of the game with Morty and friends.  I guess it really depends on how this CP thing rolls out and the whole army building options we have.  It also depends on how good the Death Guard update ends up being.

Skulls for the Skull Throne!

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