Skargit and the 9th 8

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    Around a month ago I noticed something fairly surprising.

    In fact, something downright unfathomable.

    ... I had a paycheck placed into a bank account (from two years ago) that I hadn't touched. This, clearly, could not stand.

    Of course, this found-money was to be used on wargaming. And thus came the options, fast and furious, into my impulsive mind. Should I finally put together a Warhammer 40,000 army? Perhaps, it was time to try out Wrath of Kings? Did I really need ANOTHER 9th Age Army. The answer to the latter, unsurprisingly, became a resounding "yes". But, this time, I wanted to try something new... I wanted to try out the miniatures from one of our 9th Age partners.

    After scrolling through the miniatures catalogs on the site, for what felt like a whole day (at work...it was...oops), I landed on the MoM miniaturas page.

    Then I saw their Dwarfs. I was sold.

    The order was placed within minutes... and included:
    • 20 Dwarf Infantry with Hand Weapons
    • The Command Group for the above
    • 20 Dwarf Infantry with Great Weapons (will convert my own command)
    • 2 Cannons
    • 20 Dwarf Crossbowmen
    • 1 Dwarf King on a big Daemon Head (amazing)
    • 1 Dwarf Engineer
    Seemed like a good start. Order placed...now...we wait.


    Now, in fairness, it did take roughly a month to come in... but I'm in Nova Scotia, Canada... so the fact it even found its way here from Spain is impressive ;).

    So after tearing open the order...what did I see?





    First off, I love this new packaging standard that I'm seeing lately (Norba does the bagged-minis as well). Very simple bot more than effective when packed well (and they were).

    Now, what really blew my mind on this one...


    Now, my Spanish isn't very strong. But I'm pretty sure the word "FREE" was intended to mean exactly what I know it as. That's right... MoM sent me over:
    -Free command group for my X-bows
    -Free Seeker Character
    -Free Thane

    I suspect this isn't going to be in every order (maybe bigger ones?) but what a cool surprise. Thanks, guys!

    Alright, lets pop open some bags, and see what we can see...




    Alright, some quick thoughts on the casted resin minis themselves:
    • EXCELLENT detail
    • Very little in the way of mold lines
    • Very "chunky" flash - mean, super easy and quick to remove
    • Exactly the scale I was hoping for:


    I spent the next few hours cleaning and assembling what I could get done (which, as it turned out, was everything except for the X-bows...not a bad night's work!) And here's what we're looking at:





    I am extremely impressed with MoM Miniatures. The minis are great (albeit, a little fiddly to glue together... I brought out the big guns- blue-cap Gorilla Glue, and all solved itself in time). The price was beyond reasonable (seriously, are you guys making a dime off of this?) and the overall vibe of the sculpts is exactly what I wanted.

    All-in, one of the most pleasant and satisfying miniature ordering experiences I've ever had- if not the very best.

    I recommend you all give money to MoM Miniaturas right now.


    DO IT! [Read More]
  • It’s been near 2 years since the start of my 9thAge journey. All-in-all, this has been the most enjoyable Ranked-Unit Fantasy Battles game I’ve played. The balance is there, the tactics are there … and, hell, objectives have completely changed the way I play (thankfully).

    Like many of you, I love list building. No, not that I’ll ever play with even one quarter of these lists, it’s just one of the more entertaining of distractions associated with the game. What I’ve found rather entertaining re: my current Daemon Legions (4500) list is how it came to life.
    For those of you who have not faced it yet, I’ll include it here for reference:

    Harbinger of Lust (General) – Steed of Lust, Lash of Lust, Token of Lust, Dance of Death, Barbed Claws, Wizard with +1 Learned Spell (Evocation)
    Harbinger of LustBSB, Dance of Death, Barbed Claws, Rending Banner, Weaver’s Eye, Wizard (Evocation)
    Harbinger of PestilencePestilent Palanquin, Bloated Putrefaction, Token of Pestilence, Dissolving Touch, Wizard (Divination)
    31 Sirens – Full Command, Clawed Caress
    26 Tallymen – Full Command, Banner of Speed
    8 Igniters
    9 Siren Cavalry – Full Command, Barbed Claws
    6 HellhoundsAmbush
    2x5 FuriesMark of Lust

    When I look at that list now… I can’t say that I would ever have come up with that horror show without a load of trial and error.
    I’ve played a glass-cannon Mono-Change list, numerous Polytheist Lists, I’ve tried a few Greater Daemon lists and tried pretty much every unit in the book, multiple times. When I look at some of my most successful lists, they usually included a unit of Crusher Cavalry with a Harbinger of Wrath working in tandem with the Altar of Slaughter.
    The Crushers, the Harbinger and the Altar are all absent in the list I now run, pretty much religiously, at this point.
    So, how did this come about?

    It all started playing against Pete’s Empire of Sonnstahl about a month and a half ago. I took a list with pretty much anything I rarely used. The Siren cav were there, as were the Sirens, in general. Multiple Fury units… and some old stand-bys; the Daemon Engine, Altar and Slaughterers were there.

    Siren Cavalry are the real lynchpin to the list above. They’re fast, can hit like a truck, have loads of options for use and will be able to pick their battles due to maneuverability superior to just about anything else in the game. Anytime I had played them prior, I used them as more of an annoyance than as a real threat. After racking up a daunting amount of kills, I changed my mind on how to use them- I LIKE them in combat… but it has to be a combat of my choosing.

    The Tallymen, well… for anyone who has ever faced me… they know what they do. For those who haven’t, they’re a fairly blunt-instrument; Tallymen are, plain and simple, an immovable object with Harbinger support. Excellent for holding objectives, can take a punch better than most units in the game and have wonderful synergy with the level 0 spell in Divination (Scrying- Hard Target and Distracting).

    Igniters were a late addition to this list. They have suffered massive amounts of nerfs from previous iterations (they used to be 2W and 1D6 shots…each). That said, for their points, they do a fine job of harassment and psychological panic through the sheer number of dice they throw down in the shooting phase. While their overall effectiveness vis a vis kills is extremely erratic, the potential to swing to the terrifying side of “erratic” can have a serious effect on an opponent’s priorities.

    The Sirens are what they are- loads of fast, accurate, S3 attacks rolled up in a very fast infantry unit. Where they get a bit scary is the amount of armour they knock off per attack. Mark of lust (1), Clawed Caress (2) and Rending Standard (3)… even Wasteland Knights will think twice about throwing themselves into combat against a unit with an incredible weight of attacks and a -3 to armour save.
    Hellhounds… I had never really used before. They were a late swap-in for a small unit of Crushers. I was, initially, worried about losing my 3rd scoring unit for them, but took a risk- and it has paid off. They are quite tough, hard to shift (for such a unit) and, while they aren’t exactly world-beaters on their own, work extremely well in tandem/combo charges with the Siren Cavalry. They have really raised some eyebrows.

    And, finally, the Furies… well, they do what they do. Chaff, redirection and harassment… and they do it very well. They are quite cheap for the pair of units (with Fly 10) and have never really let me down. Hell, even when I play them poorly they still seem to have a positive impact.

    This was not an army I had envisioned playing one year ago, let alone two. It has some serious weak spots. Other than the Tallymen, I have lots and lots of expensive, T3 troops. There are only two scoring units. Grinding, again outside the Tallymen, is pretty much not an option. Armour is non-existent (outside the hellhounds). Massed shooting has the potential to really,… [Read More]
  • Daemon Legions 1.2 Preview


    Well, fellow 9th Agers, it’s here- version 1.2.

    This is a version not for the faint of heart, but certainly offers a tremendous amount of updated content, overall. In a way, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for the Daemon Legions book, before a full-out redesign. Version 1.0, and 1.1, were not kind to the denizens of the deplorable domiciles; let’s call it as it is- the last iteration of the Daemon Legions book was deeply flawed due to internal and external factors.


    Now, I’m not going to say this new iteration fixes everything but, when combined with the changes in other books, the rulebook and the massive overhaul of the magic paths- I’d say we’re well on the way.


    So, what’s new?

    First off, you’ll have to get your head around a few things:

    • The point level has, basically, doubled. 4500 is the new 2250; don’t let this stress you- it works out quite well.
    • Armies now have semi-unique force organization charts. Ours now relies on Characters, Core, Special, Favoured and a section dedicated to Minions of the Gods. In fact, this has created a very meaningful split; Mono and Poly armies have different build structures.
    • All of your spellslingers now pick from Divination, Evocation, Thaumaturgy and Witchcraft. I’m a little bummed we didn’t get Occultism (for the name alone) but, looking over the 4 paths we get, I’m pretty confident we have a solid magic selection.
    • While there are no real nerfs in the book, there aren’t any wild buffs, either. Though, you will find some very nice “quality of life” upgrades.
    • Buying Wizard Levels is a two-parter, now. First you buy your type (Master or Apprentice) then you purchase the extra spell slots, in many cases. In some instances, you may be happy to leave your Courtesan as an Apprentice and simply purchase an additional two spells; certainly saves on points!

    The Good

    • Slaughterers and Crushers come with 5+ Innate Defense standard. Hell Axes (formerly Hell Blades) are a purchasable upgrade.
    • Pestilent Beasts now count as scoring.
    • All 4 paths we have access to are spectacular.
    • All Harbingers now start with 3 wounds. Praise the Dark Gods!
    • Daemonic items cost has come down quite a bit (relatively)

    The Bad

    • We could still stand to get some more scoring into our army.
    • Still missing some basic “little” magic item upgrades… but some of those have been removed from the main book, anyways, so we aren’t alone.
    • Hellfire still stinks
    • Monster mash is still night impossible with 0-1 Daemon Engines and a new 0-2 limit on Daemon Princes (and yes, I was one of the few running 3 on occasion, lately).

    The Ugly

    • Getting your head around a Daemon Prince costing 710 points (Wrath, Eternal Sword, Iron Hide and Plate Armour)…. In old terms, that’s like 355 points. So, yeah…. Get your head around doubling old point values in your mind fast.
    • That one “other” unit in a dual-god list to adhere to force org. Trying to create a force with only two Gods is really finicky because of the minion limits.
    • Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes count as Characters and Favoured… not as minions of a specific God. So, you will not be forced to take 3 Gods if you do not wish to. Furies can easily fill in the extra points.
    • Favoured units are, in essence, a combined Lord and Rare limit. Really, they just consist of “big stuff”.
    • Harbinger-Spam is still alive and well, if you prefer. Though, they count as Characters and Minions.
    • Core is pretty much the same as before.



    Monotheism Vs. Polytheism; Commitment Vs. Options

    Part of the issue with some past iterations of 9th Age was the attempt to place all of the armies into one singular style of force organization. This, often times, became messy and required a great deal of shoehorning and “live with it”.



    Perhaps my favourite (well… 2nd favourite) part of the 1.2 update are the force orgs. Here’s a peak at ours for Polytheism:




    Now, before anyone goes nuts… a few things need explaining:

    • Greater Daemons and Daemon Princes count as Characters and Favoured… not as minions of a specific God. So, you will not be forced to take 3 Gods if you do not wish to. Furies can easily fill in the extra points.
    • Favoured units are, in essence, a combined Lord and Rare limit. Really, they just consist of “big stuff”.
    • Harbinger-Spam is still alive and well, if you prefer. Though, they count as Characters and Minions.
    • Core is pretty much the same as before.





    Monotheist lists, however, bring in the following changes to the Force Organization Chart:

    • Ignore the 40% max for minions of a single God
    • Some units can take additional upgrades (aspects)
    • CORE DROPS FROM 25% to 15%. <- This. Right here.



    Unit Changes

    Not a lot here, to be honest. Overall points have dropped a tad in the book (once you do the math on a standard game), but stats and upgrades have stayed mostly the same. Of course, there are a few exceptions:

    • As said before, Crushers and Slaughterers get their Innate Defense naturally, now.
    • Siren Cavalry get both Elusive and Barbed Claws standard.
    • Clawed
    [Read More]
  • I remember it so clearly.


    A massive block of Saurian Warriors, complete with a full complement of fighting characters, was hurtling towards my lines. They failed a charge (albeit, a long shot charge) against my largest block of Horrors. Then, it happened.


    I am become death, destroyer of worlds.


    Two Daemon Engines and Two units of Igniters ran out to threaten the flanks of the Saurians; staggered in such a way that the billowing warpflame breath of the titanic monstrosities would not clip any of my own grabbling minions, as the Igniters aligned themselves to strike the coldblooded ones.

    A couple of well rolled 3” templates and 12D6 firestorm shots later (after being buffed by Flaming Swords and, as I recall, enchanted blades, as well)… there wasn’t much left of the scaled warriors. The heroes stood resolute with a few remaining underlings.


    And then it hit me… dammit… I am so getting nerfed.




    In the weeks and months that followed, I saw my pair of Daemon Engines become a single, and my Igniters from fiery gatling guns on mobile platforms, to a guerilla warfare unit with a hugely reduced weight of fire. The reverse/non-proliferation was not kind to my Changelings; we had climbed too high, too fast.


    When the dust had settled, I was left with an army book that looked far different, complete with some alterations to the main rulebook that changed the complexion of my favourite unit (hellfire made Igniters not-Great again). My twin terrors, the Daemon Engines, would now only see one of the brothers see the field at a time. In fact, I treat them like NHL goaltenders- win, and you’re in! So far, the heavily converted-from-a-Maggoth-Lord Engine is starting far more games than the GW-standard model. And, of course, my rank-empowered firebolts and bluefire spam had been crippled.



    It was back to the drawing board. After much trial and error, the one massive positive that came out of this set of tribulations was that it gave me the chance to branch out and try some different builds. I started including a large block of Tallymen (complete with dual-harbingers, now), a large block of Crusher Cavalry (again, harbinger) and tried out pretty much every unit in the entire book. Many times. With different configurations.



    By the time Bluenose Beatdown came around, I had refined my list to become a fast, mean and synergistic nightmare. The Tallystar, the Crusherstar, Igniters (who get a “star” for always being my surprise star of every game, it seems) and as much chaff, distraction and harassers as I could fit in. The list did incredibly well. I even won Best General! But… how do I feel about this, really?


    In a word: bummed.


    When I see other tournie results pouring in, those Daemon players that seem to be doing well on the competitive side, well… they seem to be using lists with a lot of similarities to my own. Also, Bluenose Beatdown is not ETC in any way shape or form… so while I did quite well in a regional, looking at the bigger picture, I would have been crushed at a higher level. So how do I feel about this?


    In a word: psyched.


    If some of the best players in the world are having a rough time coming up with unique, effective and competitive lists, then we might be okay. From everything I’ve seen since the start of The 9th Age, everyone involved with the rules and, specifically, the army books, seem very responsive to hard data. Well, guess what? We have hard data now, and people who work on these books conceding the point: this particular army is badly flawed.


    Some may see this as a show of something that “slipped by the censors”. I see it as a responsive and thoughtful rules committee that take time and make decisions based on fact-based discussions, hard data and communal suggestions.



    Will this be the last time that happens to an army?
    Of course not. But, for what it’s worth, here’s my coping process:

    1. Try to get your list as close to your old one with the new edition
    2. Curse the changes and burn your army list
    3. Rum
    4. Try out some new units and new configurations
    5. Rum
    6. Repeat Step 4-5 until satisfied
    7. Combine the parts you liked from steps 3-5 (repeating 3 and 5, as necessary) with some of your favourite parts of step 1.
    8. Figure out if nostalgia is worth it and list accordingly
    9. Stick to the new list for at least 10 games
    10. Return to step 2 and carry on in unsatisfied for at least one more cycle.
    11. If, after 15-20 games in total (and 5 bottles of Captain Morgan) you are still disheartened, start painting up one of your alternate armies for the time being.
    12. Return to your original army in all of its nerfed glory after a couple of games with the new hotness because, let’s face it, better be underpowered than a band wagoner.

    Now, 12 is a bit of a joke (sort of- if that step also leads directly to netlisting, then SHAME). I think the important thing during this phase is to keep track of everything that happens with your own army during this period. It gives you a greater vision of what’s going on, overall, with… [Read More]
  • Throughout my wargaming history, I’ve witness brutal combinations pop up. The 9th Age is no different. I’ve faced some seriously nasty Sylvan Elf and Empire of Sonnstahl lists. Hell, we even have a player around these parts that, despite being new the fantasy wargaming, has been racking up a reputation as a solid player using Warriors of the Dark Gods.

    Sometimes I feel that this is in response to the starting lists of Snorri and myself. We were the two people to begin playing 9th Age in our local scene, and since, it has really taken on a life of its own. The reason why Snorri and I share the blame and derision to the competitive (read: brutal) meta that we are currently in is that we spent a great deal of time with one army and shifted our lists game-to-game accordingly.


    In the end, my ever-infamous Mono-Change Flying Circus became a thing of nightmares to most new opponents. What they never seemed to realize, initially, is that Snorri usually beat me. Add that in with some new players giving him a run for his money, and many have started to “get it”.


    What the hell do I mean by “get it”?


    The beauty of the 9th Age project is the, overall, toning down of many combos and auto-includes from previous fantasy wargames. I feel there are very few completely useless options anymore; everything has a role to play.


    Whether that role fits into your list, and specifically, against your opponent, is something that is entirely situational. I have a predilection for playing a fast, maneuverable, shooty, magic-y MSU list; something that, for instance, our local Vermin player absolutely detested. In similar fashion, one of our Saurian Ancients players has had a hell of a time taking down anything more than horrors in my list.


    That changed. Their lists changed.


    Despite some worries from our community about power levels, many have adapted through trial and error. Net-listing is something that is heavily discouraged around these parts, not because of any stigma, but due to the nature of what net-listing is, in and of itself: taking someone else’s square peg and trying to jam it into your own cylindrical slot….(Omarcomin’ is going to have a field day with that one).


    One of the real joys is the post-game breakdown (usually with beer). Many new players in our scene have had to ask themselves the following questions:

    1. Why did I lose/win?
    2. How much was luck involved?
    3. Was this just a bad match-up for my list?
    4. If so, how can I shift to a more “take on all” approach?
    5. Am I too reliant on one or two particular aspects of my army?
    6. Is this, sadly, the wrong army for my preferred playstyle?
    7. If I answer “maybe” to #6… am I just not using the units that would be optimized for how I like to play?

    This has, pretty much, become a survey for a lot of new players after their first few games of 9th. Incredibly, no one has given an unequivocal “YES” to question #6. That said, we’ve seen a lot of #7. The vast alterations in lists we see from the “learning phase” to the “competent” way of being is quite something to behold. It seems to take about 5-10 games to go from one to the other, but once its reach, you can always tell. Because they show up the next weekend with an entirely different build. And, usually, something no one had expected to see.


    Some examples of this:

    • Wrath/Lust List turning into a Mono-Change Flying Circus *raises hand*, that’s actually gotten away from MSU, a bit!
    • Standard combined Arms Empire eliminating heavy cav. and becoming a skirmish-heavy, pistol heavy, dance partner backed up by some cheap scoring blocks.
    • “Grab-bag” style WotDG army turned into an MSU, ambushing, vanguarding nightmare.
    • Infantry-centric UD becoming a really threatening Monster Mash list.
    • All Cav. Empire…well… actually, that one stayed about the same… and is still quite good.
    • Another Daemon player shifting from standard Poly to a crazy-fast Lust/Change flanking list. This one honestly worries the heck out of me.
    • My own KoE going from classic multi-Lance formation, double-treb etc list… and becoming an army filled with Skirmishers, Vanguarding, Fast Cav and a couple of massive Peasant Levy blocks for scoring.

    I actually have about another half dozen examples… but I think the point, overall, is as follows:

    No army book is perfect. There will always be balancing issues for as long as there are players to find ways to break books. But, overall, adapting to your meta and the tools you’ve been given is possible with, in my opinion, any of the books.


    Some will be easier than others to work with, some will be frustrating as all hell. That’s fine. In fact, that’s half the fun.


    And remember, Net-Lists are like knickers; they may feel and look good on one person, but they certainly shouldn’t be worn by all. [Read More]

  • Oh, what's that? A new fun character build I found playing around with Battlescribe for a faction I don't own? Better do this^ to my wallet again!

    Preamble
    In my experience, there are two kinds of Wargamers:
    1. Wargamers that commit to their projects, think them out, plan them and purchase/accordingly.
    2. The rest of us.
    The first kind seem to commit; they have no issue playing an army for 100 games in a row with minor (sometimes major) tweaks, and really getting to know their force(s). The second, like myself, are pretty much the gaming version of this:


    That isn't to say we don't love the armies we play, or even that we don't aim to learn said armies to a high level of play. It's just... there's so much to try and play around with in The 9th age. Here's a list of my army swapping through the last year:
    1. 9th Age Begins. Started a Beastmen of Change army.
    2. Beast Herds, as it is now dubbed, seems to be getting away from the Dark Gods. Nah, not what I'm really after.
    3. Well, may as well try out the old Goblin hordes.
    4. Hey, look at that... Daemons don't have that stupid Reign of Random table anymore... seems legit. I've always liked the idea of a Lust army.
    5. Did I say Lust Daemons? Nah brah- totally meant to say, Mono-change... ignore the cabinet full of unpainted Sirens.
    6. Dwarfs seem like an interesting counter-army to my Daemons... and there is a tournie coming up... could be fun to try something new!
    7. Ogres on kijiji? Wait...how much?! Done!
    8. Oh, those bearded fellas? Yeah, they're in the closet. Been painting up my Kingdoms of Equataine lately.
    9. Can't believe how great those five Blazing Chariots look on the table! ... Oh...right... Knights...
    10. Russian Alternative is having a sales? Evil Dwarves- done!
    11. That is a mighty sweet deal on Highborn Elves on eBay... I'll place a bid after my Daemons kill some rats, today.
    12. Oh... I forgot I ordered Elves. Well, into the closet with the Dwarves...evil and good? When the hell did I get these?
    13. And on...and on... and on....
    Now, this isn't to brag. If I told you what I spent on all of this, you'd probably say "that's pretty reasonable"- I'm a big fan of eBay and Kijiji and basically refuse to pay retail for CERTAIN COMPANY'S products (due to said company's prices being somewhere between the cost of a new car or the cost of bail for stealing that new car).


    "I'm the product of all that online bits and kits buying... kill me.... killllll meee... it hurts to exist!"



    So... what's the point?
    The point? Well... have never done this with another Game System. Warhammer Fantasy, Mordheim, Warhammer 40,000, Kings of War, Frostgrave... I'm really not a miniature hoarder. In fact, until the beginning of The 9th Age I was perfectly happy running my goblin horde off to their merry doom every single game I'd play. Ditto for my Marienburg warbands and my Tyranid swarm. But... dammit... The Ninth Age did something to me. And, after a lot of thinking, pondering and drinking behaving like a completely rational adult, I think I've finally figured out what happened...

    ... the game, by in large, has so, so few bad choices... and the power level has been on a trend downwards (or upwards, depending), with almost all armies meeting in the middle (to a degree).

    That's it.

    That's really it, for me.

    Buying that Tyranid Swarm, once upon a time, was a hassle- most of it would die, turn 2, because of a few mega-powered blast weapons. It was super fun setting up 200 models and taking half of them off the table before I even got to move them. Well, that's a bit hyperbolic...they moved from my case onto the field and then back into the case. So there was some travel for the little guys, just not the kind I was hoping for.

    It was kind of the same with old Warhammer Fantasy- seeing the old Unkillable Chaos Lord of Skill, Skillcannons galore, The Broklock Bus... the ridiculous amount of broken combos just made me ambivalent towards paying more money (a lot more) for an army I wanted to play, and didn't try to counter cheese with cheese.


    Note: This guy loves 6-dicing Dwellers.

    And, really... that was it.

    I've always wanted to play at a competitive level- or, rather, get to the point where I was good enough to do so. But, I really didn't want to essentially try to cheese my opponent into submission at the sight of 2 STank, lvl 4 Life + Light Council lists of "WHY ****ING BOTHER?".

    And that, my friends, is solidly why I have become an Alternate Army Addict. Because, now... I feel like can, and have a fighting chance. The opportunity to learn new playstyles, new list building techniques and, hell, this has all made me a better modeler, painter and overall player.

    So, all in all, the strive for balance in The 9th Age has completely destroyed any moderation I used to have with model purchases.

    YAY!

    ....yay? [Read More]


  • Skargit’s V1.0 Daemon Legions Review

    Well folks, it’s here… it’s really here.


    After months of testing, list building, min-maxing and double-daemon engine, D6 Igniter shot lists… we’ve finally arrived. Our Official 1.0 army book is complete.


    It’s been an interesting journey. I was never a Daemon player in other systems, but was always intrigued by the modelling and painting opportunities the army presented. As of 9th Age, I’ve gone full-bore into the Daemon Legions and couldn’t be happier. The army, since its onset in 9th, has been one of careful decisions and maddening (but fair) restrictions; something we’ve gotten used to. This is an army that doesn’t quite build like the others, doesn’t quite get the panacea’s offered to literally everyone else- but, somehow-someway, is probably better for it.


    One thing to keep in mind; every unit of ours is Otherworldly and has Daemonic Instability. This means a 5+ ward save for the entire army (!), immune to psychology and our break tests don’t make us flee, but cause extra wounds. That is a huge, huge mechanic change for our army compared to just about everyone else.


    Keep that in mind regarding balance; our Army Book Committee had to create a balanced army that breaks multiple key rules of the game by just existing- which is perfect for the aberrations that are the Daemonic Legions.

    So let’s have a look at the book itself, shall we?


    Marks and Aspects of the Dark Gods

    Being little balls of concentrated evil, most of our units can (and will) be marked by their patron deity of perversions/pestilence/pugilism/p’xtuasnjf. These are a great little flavor builder; daemons of one god don’t like daemons of another god… and won’t even pay heed to their force’s commander/battle standard bearer unless they are marked the same (or unbound). Daemons are a prejudicial lot… who knew?


    Each mark gives a benefit to the bearer. For example, Wrath turns a Daemon into a furious combatant in the first round of combat (+1 Strength), while Pestilence creates opportunities for further longevity via Regeneration (with proper support) and slightly scary in the close combat phase with Poisoned Attacks.


    The Aspects are divided into minor and supreme. These augment the trademark abilities and skills of the unit or character they are given to; that said, not all aspects are created equal. One of the minor quibbles I have with the army book are the Aspects- they seem a bit stilted. Change, for example, has an interesting (though, not Core-friendly) minor aspect and an all-but useless (and expensive) supreme aspect. Wrath’s minor aspect also brings great value… while the supreme aspect (hatred) is very, very expensive for its worth.

    There are some interesting combos you can make- so I encourage you to play around.


    A Word on Mono v. Poly Lists

    For the Daemon-neophytes, a Poly list will include multiple marks while a Mono list will include daemons from only one Dark Lord. Poly lists take a few hits regarding army composition. For example, you are only allowed ONE choice each in rare if the unit is not marked the same as your general. There are obvious ways to game this to your desires- though, no double blazing chariot, double wrath chariot builds for you- and that is a good thing.


    Mono lists throw the restrictions right out the window and offer the ability to buy minor aspects for every unit in the army, absent a Harbinger. That’s the big advantage of the Mono list and one not to be taken lightly- an entire Pestilence army with 5+ poisoned attacks? Yikes.


    Daemonic Gifts

    Some very interesting gifts have been bestowed upon our Infernal legions. The Army Book Committee have done a pretty good job in offering us utility and intrigue with our items. Scrolls of the Eighth Pact (admittedly, one of my favourites) gives the bearer a choice from all of the basic paths of magic (except for Light) while the trio of tokens have some very synergy-specific (all based on mark) bound spells with a low casting value.


    The one real knock against us is, except for magical banners, we have literally no access to basic magic items. That means we are the only army in the entire game without access to a proper 4+ ward save. Ouch. We can still have pestilence units with 4+ regenerations, with the right Aspect, but with the abundance and ease of access of flaming attacks


    Characters



    Daemons have three main flavours of character: Daemon Princes (lords), Greater Daemons (lords) and Harbingers (heroes). As we’ve gone through the testing phase of 9th age, it has become apparent that the Daemon Prince and Greater Daemons are a bit…well… easy to pick out and kill, giving a 500+ point swing quite easily. That said, Daemon Princes can be geared up to fit pretty much any role you want (Close Combat Support, Tank, Support Magic, Blasting Magic, Hybrid, etc.), but it really, really costs you.


    Greater Daemons are usually a little more specific in their roles. The Scourge of Wrath, for instance, is an… [Read More]