Friday, April 3, 2009

Daemonic Possession on Vindicators

One way in which chaos players can make up for the deficiencies of Death Guard (see here, or more generally these other posts: 1, 2, 3, 4) is to take vehicles, tanks and all things with armour values. Tanks are the way forward in 5th edition, until someone figures out a (land-)speedy anti-tank list that can also be a generalist army at the same time and everyone adopts such lists (i.e. until the meta-game changes to the Way of Saim Hann!).

Today, I want to talk about an upgrade that Death Guard (and chaos space marines in general) are able to have, that other armies generally are not. Or more specifically: a competitive edge or advantage that chaos marines have.

Daemonic Possession.
At 20 odd points, it is not a cheap option and is not for every tank. BUT! it gives the chaos player the ability to ignore shaken and stunned results altogether. The hidden cost is that it also reduced the ballistic skill (BS) of you marines from 4 down to 3. Is this worth it?

Let's have a look firstly at how tanks are destroyed. After getting hit with a suitably high strength weapon, your opponent (or never-to-be-again doubles team mate!) rolls on the vehicle damage chart. In the case of an unmodified glancing hit, that means your tank is going to ignore the result two thirds of the time!

That is awesome - especially when combined with cover saves or smoke launchers. It is also part of the reason I don't mind equipping a potentially crazy dreadnought to go alongside daemonically possessed AV=13 armour. Even in the case of an unmodified penetrating hit, the vehicle is going to ingore one third of the hits! That's just amazing.

On the negative side, the BS of 3 (instead of 4) is going to harm shooty tanks like predators. However, for one type of tank, daemonic possession is perfect. That tank is the vindicator. Frankly, so what if it has a BS of 3?! It's going to scatter 1 inch more than it used to? That doesn't make me too bothered. The benefits of daemonic possession far out-weigh the drawbacks here. Moreover, 20 extra points doesn't add terrifically to the overall cost of the vindicator. As for a rhino - 20 points is simply too much to pay considering what a rhino is worth in the first place.

So, if you're a chaos player looking to take a vindicator, you should also be thinking about taking daemonic possession.


Charles said...

Another viable option is a Land Raider. All it's weapons are twin-linked. Also for only 5 points more then extra armor it straight ignores the results and allows for shooting still.

jabberjabber said...

Absolutely - those twin-linked weapons can mesh well with daemonic possession. :)

Chris said...

It's especially worth it if you consider extra armour is 15 points on a vindicator which isn't as good but has a similar purpose.

Mathhammer did a good post on scatter probabilities (
but to summarize a BS3 blast would scatter 2" or less 52% of the time, where a BS4 blast would be 61% of the time. Not much difference and well worth the points to keep the vindicator firing.

jabberjabber said...

Hi Chris - I agree, 9% less probability to scatter 2" or less is a low price to pay.

As you rightly said, if you're purchasing extra armour, then why not go 5 pts more to get daemonic possession!

eriochrome said...

Daemonic Possession might also be a good buy for a Rhino in which you plan on putting a Lash Sorcerer. It keeps it both mobile and allows the Sorcerer inside to still use the power which is not the case if it gets shaken. Since these armies run on abusing Lash the extra 40 total points for the 2 rhinos is not a deal breaker.

oni said...

Nice post. I'm going to forward this onto my friend that plays Death Guard. Coincidentally he was just talking to me last night about getting a Vindicator.

erfunk said...

@eriochrome - I believe daemonic possession explicitly states passengers are effected normally. So it's useful for delivering a lash prince, but not for giving him a mobile firing platform.

eriochrome said...


Thanks for the info. If only I had a copy of every codex so I could know most of the rules but that 250 dollars is more fun to spend on models for the codexes I do have.

erfunk said...

np. While my new project is CSM, I also play against a lash player occasionally and we discovered it when he was scheming what to try for the next game.

Having friends with interests in diverse armies, thus diverse codices to borrow, seems to work well for me. At the least it cuts down on codex impulse buys, keeping the $/£-to-model ratio more favorable.

ryanstactictalk said...

DP on a Rhino is good for delivering Berzerkers. They just GOT to get to the party!


This is a very well written battlereport. Congrats. I especially was interested in the Dark Eldar, having never opposed them before. I thought Sean's decision to go second initially worked out in the end and helped him contest/secure some objectives at games end. An appropriate decision for such a mobile army. I also love that the Long Fangs can split their attacks, such a powerful ability in 40K.


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