Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daemon Armies Without Icons

As I make tweaks to various army lists, I try to note whether it has made a dramatic difference to the army (a big change) or very little difference (minor change). I try to do this over the course of many games and often space them out over several months(!).

One recent tweak that I've been toying about with is making daemon armies without any icons. I have multiple motives for doing this which include:
(i) Icons in the daemon army are very expensive (points-wise that is);
(ii) I don't have the time to model too many icons on to pink horror squads (there are no dedicated miniatures manufactured for pink horror icon bearers);
(iii) The first wave of the daemon's army deep strike is always going to be without icons to help;
(iv) Daemon armies are kind of random anyway... ;) I guess if you're playing daemons, you know what I mean by that statement. They're fun like that!

What I want to report is that in the games that I've played with and without icons, there can be either a very dramatic difference (meaning the those armies with icons do significantly better than those without), or it makes only a very minor difference / none at all to the game. There is rarely little in between.

If I try to draw a general conclusion, it is that the typical army that I needed the icons against were usually very well constructed and / or very well played by their owner. Icons have certainly helped to mop up space marine equivalent units in the late game for me from time to time.

I'm going to play more games without icons from now on (saving myself at least 50 points in my average 1500 point daemon army) and see how they go.


Anton said...

I'll be intrested to see how your going to get on without icons, I've started on a deamon list as I managed to pick up some cheap bits and bobs,

Looking at icons they do look like a "required" part of the codex, but we tend to play 2ooo points so I can afford to spend a little on those things,

converting horrors to be icon bearers would be a paint but thats the catch 22 of the hobby ;) maybe just maybe we'll see plastic deamons when the redo the chaos chodex?

jabberjabber said...

I think that a points value of 2000 is a very different thing to 1500 or 1000 (i.e. the percentage cost and number of icons in your army can vary strongly, as will the composition). As I play at 1500 points, this is an issue for me, but I can totally see why you say they look like a required part of the codex: they often are very useful indeed!

Roll on plastic plaguebearera, pink horrors and the daemon prince! :)

Raptor1313 said...

I never bothered with icons. I mean, fact is, you're dealing with a random army by nature, and while I'm usulaly into trying to account for randomness, I think there are better ways to deal with it.

My preference is just tobring fast units. I rolled with Flesh Hounds and Fieds; chances are good I could drop them somewhere and make it to the enemy by the second turn I hit, anyway.

Plaguebareres didn't care where they landed, so long as it wasn't a mishap; they'd shuffle towards objecties anyway. Slaaneshi chariots for HQ (glass cannons though they kind of are) they can also get there in a hurry.

It's just the slower stuff tha really tends to benefit from it, or the stuff that requires precise placement.

Plus, for the icon to be worth something, it ALSO has to be in the right spot at the right time. As Jabberjabber pointed out, icons are useless for the first wave, since there's not one on the table at the time.

Neil Kerr aka Skcuzzlebumm said...

Agreed that on the whole Icons are not that much of a biggie.

Been playing Daemons for over a year now with some really good success at major tourneys. At first I was running an Icon in both waves, as people do.

Then I came to realise that they are only really necessary in the 2nd wave, if like me you stack your better units into the 1st wave, and your resilient units in the 2nd. This way when you do get the 2nd Wave, the reserves, which are your better units, can come in to support them better.

But for the past 4 or so months I have been running Daemons without any Icons whatsoever in 1500pts or less. The difference is negligible. I'm probably taking them to the GT Final and the only reason there will be an Icon is for wound allocation on some Bloodcrushers.

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