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Warhammer 40K – Chaos Daemon Battleline Are a Hot Mess

4 Minute Read
Jul 9 2024

Chaos Daemons got a very powerful update in the new 40K Balance Dataslate, but their Battleline Units are still a hot mess. What gives?

Goatboy here and while the Chaos Daemons got a very powerful update in the new Dataslate what they didn’t get is a reason to take some of their Battleline options.  The unit choices feel too expensive, too restrictive, and just not worth investing your hard-earned “points” on – when they don’t do enough.  This leaves me wondering if there is any way to make them good.  Let’s figure it out.

First, I think the GW Design Studio just doesn’t know what to do with the Chaos Daemons Battleline options.  They are units that are not too good at their roles – whether it is an assault option, a shooting option, or just a make-an-objective-sticky option.  All of these unit choices just feel a bit off. But with their loadout you can’t make them too cheap or you will end up flooding the table with bodies.  So what do you do?

Attached Characters Could Help

I think the solution to most of this and a way to make them good is to figure out how you can “activate” things with attached heroes.  Right now the Chaos Daemons are defined by the Greater Daemons, how many you can fit in, and what you can do to be a pain for your opponent.  A giant wave of wounds that are sitting on a 4+ and with a Feel No Pain is an issue.  While it won’t always get you undefeated (sometimes a 4+ is never above a 4) it will usually do well enough for you to wreck opponents.

There is a reason why you see most armies just using Nurglings as a speed bump and any troops they have pushed towards survivability versus actually doing anything. I want to make these units do something. While they don’t need to be individually awesome – I do think you could tailor them with other HQ choices.  These abilities to “customize” your troops a bit could be really unique, interesting, and let the army not just only be a wave of beefy big bootie beatdown machines.

Let HQs Buff Battleine Offense OR Defense

The first thing is we need to look at each of the other HQs and figure out ways to make each one a cool add-on to a unit.  It is pretty simple to look at each of them as most armies have two of them to help fill things out.  Each of these can be easily built into the following – making them more offensively capable, or making them be a lot more survivable.  Just the simple setup can easily make these kinda meh 10-man units into something decent, especially with their Greater Daemons and portable shadow abilities.


A Sumptuous Slaaneshi Example

Let’s look at Slaanesh.  We have the regular Herald, the Combo Daemon Prince/Herald, and the Harp lady.  Each of these could be set up to do something unique to help them out.  The Combo Prince/Herald could buff melee power with things like adding Sustained Hits on top of the Devastating wounds combo to create a very rough little unit.  I would remove the whole Critical Hits on a 5+ and instead just combo it with a bit of Herald love like lethal hits, more attacks, or even just a plus one to the strength of the unit.

On the Infernal Enrapturess side just make her buff defenses with things like  -1 to hit with a Feel No Pain style option to allow for a much more tanky unit.  A simple setup like that on a low toughness, 5+ invulnerable saves, and 10-man unit isn’t going to break the game.  The issue we had with that style of setup was due to having a large 20+ sized unit with abilities to regrow.

Khorne, Nurgle & Tzeentch Examples

On the Khorne side, I would look at Feel No Pain on one side with a more offensive combo as a simple way to let you build out some units, give a feeling of otherworldly might, and let these 10-man options do something other than die at a slight sneeze on the tabletop.  Nurgle would be the same too as they all just feel lackluster.

The only one I wouldn’t change too much would be Tzeentch, and really I would just look at methods to make them more offensive.  Pink Horrors have the chance to be very annoying and while I never seem to roll a 4+ to spawn things others do.  It is always the dance right now to cost regrowth of things and while I don’t think they do as much as other armies regrowing options  –  it is still something to always think about.


What do you think?  Do you think going towards the leaders as a method to increase power on units is a good way to build these?  Do we want to go back to the old ways of Heralds helping out the army?  Would it work to grant these mini0-leaders a nice boost and increase the cost and usability of Chaos Daemons Battleline?

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