Thursday, February 19, 2009

Daemons of Lesser Powers - Part V: Steeds

For those of you not lucky enough to have a copy of the old Lost and the Damned Realms of Chaos book, you might not have picked up on the organization of daemonic minions. Each power tends to have four flavours of daemons: a greater daemon, a lesser daemon, a beast, and a steed. For Khorne, these are the Bloodthirsters, Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, and Juggernauts (respectively). Slaanesh has the Keepers of Secrets, Daemonettes, Fiends, and (the blandly titled) Steeds of Slaanesh that become "seekers" in codex: daemons with daemonette riders. Nurgle is a little bit odd when fitting in with this paradigm in one respect. It has Great Unclean Ones, Plaguebearers, Beasts of Nurgle, and Nurglings. The Nurglings act as the steed since they carry palanquins aloft, but they can also double up as troops. Tzeentch used to fit in with this paradigm with Lords of Change, Horrors, Flamers, and Discs of Tzeentch. The modern screamer seems to be an evolution from the disc of Tzeentch and I've certainly seen folks model lords and heralds atop both discs and screamers interchangeably.

It is therefore entirely fitting to also have daemonic steeds for any lesser power of chaos. Already, we have a daemonic steed altering a herald's profile to:
4 4 4 5 2 4 4 10 -/5+
and changing its unit type from infantry to cavalry. The extra point of toughness is to represent the higher durability of the unit whilst the extra attack denotes a height and speed advantage for the rider.

Following the paradigm of seekers of Slaanesh and Bloodcrushers, here's the new unit: Chargers. They are essentially lesser daemons mounted on some suitably daemonic looking carrier. They're fast, hard-hitting and tough if used well. They're also marginally over-priced in comparison to their Slaaneshi cousins but have more options as befits daemons of lesser powers. However, like Khorne, they're in the elites slot rather than the fast attack slot given their hard hitting and general hardiness.

Chargers of a Lesser Power. (Elites Choice).
Cost: 19 points each.
4 4 4 5 1 4 3 10 -/5+
Unit Type: Cavalry
Number per squad: 2-10

Special Rules: Daemon.
All armed with a single close combat weapon.

Gift one model with: Chaos Icon (+25 pts)
Gift a different model with: Chaos Instrument (+5 pts)
Gift another single model with: Flamer (+10 pts), or Warpfire (+10 pts), or Unholy Might (+5 pts)

(The flamer need not be modelled on the model - it can take the form of a breath attack or similar. However, the model should be at least painted differently from the rest of the pack).

If the force organization chart includes a herald of a lesser power with one of the following options, then all lesser daemon packs may also select it at the following additional costs.
Preferred enemy: mortals (+4 pts per model),
Preferred enemy: daemons and non-mortals (+2 pts per model).
NB: All models within a single pack must be given these upgrades.

There are plenty of options in the standard warhammer and warhammer 40,000 range for chargers. They're suitably generic that even horses with whatever miniature is being used for lesser daemons can be used. Then there's the more exotic options: large lizards and insects make for dynamic and unusual mounted daemons with daemonic steeds.

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