Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Temptation - Host of Slaanesh - Road to Facehammer GT

As I mentioned last week I was at a crossroads of choosing an army for the Facehammer GT at the end of September. I couldn't seem to settle one one thing or another and finally over the weekend after taking on the feedback I had from the article and chatting to friends in the hobby I've finally gone with my heart and settled by the constant temptation of doing a Host of Slaanesh.

Having picked up the General's Handbook this weekend (review incoming), I've pawed through the points for the Slaanesh items and have decided to stick to a rather straight forward Slaanesh Daemon army. The option of adding Mortal Slaanesh to the mix was tempting but it was more using Slaves to Darkness and giving them mark of Slaanesh, the moment I started doing that the army began to swell without having any real substance to it.

The list I've settled on comes in at 1980pts. It seems a lot of lists that I've seen in the past few days are always 20/40 points off the 2,000 mark but there's nothing I can do about that and I'm happy with my list so I'm not going to change it just for the sake of 20pts. I'll be using the Chaos Allegiance abilities and artifacts, though I've not settled on what ones I'll be taking for the event yet.

So what's in my list?

 No Slaanesh list can be complete without the inclusion of a Keeper of Secrets. Unfortunately I'm not a fan of the current GW Keeper of Secrets model as it’s starting to show its age amongst all the current level of kits in the Age of Sigmar range; plus it's also Finecast so I'm always a bit sceptical when it comes to the quality. Instead I took advantage of the 25% off sale at Mierce Miniatures and ordered the Pleasure Daemon. I think this will be a great centre-piece model to have in the middle of the army.

The Keeper of Secrets is going to be my only wizard for the army, I was considering the inclusion of multiple Chaos Wizards but with the rule of one now in effect it limits the effectiveness of using multiple wizards unless they all have unique spells. The Cacophonic Choir spell is situational at best, if I rock up against Grots or another low bravery army then doing D3 mortal wounds to every unit in 6" could be quite effective but I'm sure the Keeper of Secrets will mainly be casting Mystic Shield on either itself or another unit nearby.

This will be my general and I’ll be hoping to be able to really use his command ability of allowing a unit to pile in and attack twice to great effect. If I can get a big blob of Daemonettes in and then attack twice with their two attacks per model then in theory they’re going to shred through whatever they face. The Keeper of Secrets isn’t too shabby in combat either, starting off with an initial six attacks hitting and wounding on threes with minus one rend and two damage each. It also has the grandblade that is an extra two attacks, hitting on threes, wounding on twos if at full wounds and doing minus two rend and D3 Damage. If you can get the Keeper of Secrets into combat without taking any wounds and put it up against a low armoured foe then it’s going to munch through that unit pretty easily. You could even make yourself pile in and attack twice just to make sure that unit is super dead at the end of the combat phase. 

Now onto a late addition to my list in the form of The Masque of Slaanesh. I had a few points left over and it was a toss-up between either this special character or a lone Seeker Chariot of Slaanesh, and to be honest there was really only going to be one winner. At movement ten she can keep up with the rest of the fast army, the best thing is that she halves the movement of units from the opponent’s army within 12 inches. This is a great debuff bubble to really slow down your enemy, I mean Orruk Brutes go down to movement two! It’ll really help my army get the charges rather than the other way round and with the masses of mortal wounds being pushed out via the Exalted Chariots.

The Masque also has two rather quirky combat abilities, one allowing you to re-roll all failed wound rolls if you have a higher movement than your opponent, and with movement ten that should be pretty easy to achieve. The other lets you roll a dice and all hit rolls of your opponent that matches that dice roll is automatically missed. Granted sometimes you’re going to roll a one and the ability will become a null point but there could be that one time you roll a six and a unit that relies on sixes for special abilities (Retributors for example) automatically miss. 

My Host of Slaanesh Daemons wouldn’t be represented correctly without a Daemon Prince with the mark of Slaanesh. I was going to get one of the fantastic Games Workshop plastic kits but as I was putting in my order for Mierce the Sthena, Gorgor of Khthon miniature caught my eye as an ideal Slaanesh Daemon Prince. My plan is to paint the snake part of the body to tie in with my seekers and then obviously the skin the same colour as the Daemonettes.

As long as my opponent agrees, I’ll be using the faster movement rules as if the model had fly but not let the model Fly. I think the quickness of the model will tie in with the Slaanesh ethos. I really like the ability for the Mark of Slaanesh too allowing the Daemon Prince to attack before another unit that piles in within 3” of it. This means I can fight other combats knowing I can activate this ability when needed. I’m still trying to decide which weapon to equip it with but as the model has a sword I’ll probably lean more towards the Hellforged Sword. I can probably see the Daemon Prince and Keeper of Secrets teaming up and staying relatively close to each other. 
 The final hero to join the Host of Slaanesh is a Herald of Slaanesh on an Exalted Seeker Chariot. With movement 12 and nine wounds I’m hoping the Chariot will be able to be ultra-aggressive from the off and cover a lot of the board straight away. The 5+ save that seems to encompass the majority of the army is difficult to ignore, however the fact the chariot doesn’t drop in effectiveness as it gets wounded then it’s not too much of a problem. The +1 to Battleshock tests for enemies within 3” is good especially as units will be losing some of their models from the sheer volume of attacks and the devastating charge.

20 attacks, 12 chances of doing another attack on a roll of a six, this chariot has a bucketload of damage potential. Only six of the attacks have rend at minus one but anyone who has ever played a wargame know if you make your opponent roll too many dice for saves they’re slowly whittle down their effectiveness. Add the fact the chariot does mortal wounds on the charge (more on this below) then the plus one to the battleshock test could be the difference between the unit being fine or running away.
Much like the Herald version these are going to be brutal on the charge, I’m going to be running two in my list making a grand total of three Exalted Chariots of Slaanesh in my army. With the increase of Battleline units meaning more troops on the table these Chariots have the potential of murdering units with their charge ability. Roll a dice for every model within 1” after the charge and on a 4+ the unit suffers D3 Mortal Wounds…yes D3 so throw it into a unit of 10-20 Battleline troops and you could very easily take half the unit off just from the initial charge. Another tactic which someone on the TGA Community suggested was after the charge and combat phase you could then retreat out of combat and then hope for the double turn to charge into the unit again.

I’m hoping the speed and the volume of attacks these chariots can provide will be a thorn in the side of my opponent and having two (three if you include the Herald of Slaanesh version too) in the list will allow me to either put them on each flank to cause a pincer or I can run them next to each other to maximise the amount of mortal wounds I can inflict at once on a unit. 
Now the bread and butter of my army, The Daemonettes of Slaanesh. These are my only Battleline unit in the army and I’ll be running 40 of these little beauties. I’m still deciding on one big blob of 40, four units of 10 or two units of 20. I need to check with the tournament organisers whether the unit sizes can be changed each game. They’ve got a six inch move and can run and charge in the same turn meaning they’ve got a potential 6”+3D6 threat range. Granted their not as fast as the rest of the army but for foot slogging troops they’re going to out manoeuvre the majority of armies on the table.

Combat wise they can dish out a fair amount of damage, two attacks per a model, hitting and wounding on fours with minus one rend and one damage. Any rolls of a six will make one extra attack, changing to fives or move if there is 20 models in the unit. As mentioned couple this with the Keeper of Secrets command ability to pile in and attack twice and these Battleline troops can prove rather useful. I love the fact that enemies have to re-roll hits of a six when within six inches of a Slaanesh Daemon Hero, again much like the Keeper of Secrets this can negate a lot of the abilities that pop when you roll a six, Blightkings, Retributors, etc.

Of course like most Daemonic troops you always have the option of rolling a one for your Battleshock and getting D6 models back to the unit thanks to the Icon Bearers. This is rather useful when you’ve got one wound models with a 5+ save. 

 Now we all know Slaanesh is a rather quick force, well how does a 14” + 4D6 threat range sound? Yes Seekers are that quick. A standard 14inch move, plus a 2D6” run and then the ability to charge the same turn they run. Oh did I mention they also get +1” to their charge and run rolls when within 12 inches of a Slaanesh Daemon Hero? These guys are fast, sure they’re not the most survivable or that effective in combat; but they’ve still got two wounds each, can bring back D6 models on a Battleshock roll of a 1 and have four attacks per model with the chance of getting two extra attacks on sixes to hit.

I’ve got 15 in my list again I’m not sure whether they’ll be in a unit of 15, three units of five or a ten and a five. They’re going to be harassment pieces more than anything, make an opponent panic when they’ve instantly got these in their face and hopefully that’ll allow me to react and hit with the rest of the army. 

Finally last but not least is the Chaos Gargant. I love Giants. They’re big. They’re imposing. And by god they look great on the table. As mentioned on previous episodes of the podcast by long term plan is a Destruction monster-mash army with gargants and the likes but for this army I had the spare points to choose one and when I saw the Mierce Talos, Kolossos of Bronze miniature I knew it was going to be finding its way into the Host of Slaanesh. I think I’ll probably try and paint him how Mierce has, obviously nowhere near the level of standard they can paint at though, and have him as a statue that has been conjured to life by a Chaos Wizard. I think the plume fits quite well in with the Daemonettes and I’m thinking painting the eyes a glowing pink will tie in against the pinks that I plan on using on the rest of the army.

The Gargant is just going to do whatever it pleases, I’ve not got a plan for it as I know it can be a little unpredictable with the chance of falling over if you roll a double for the charge. I’m hoping while not as fast as the rest of the army the Gargant might take some of the focus away from the other pieces of the force and if it reaches combat then hopefully it can combine with the likes of the Daemon Prince and Keeper of Secrets to really put down some damage.

So there’s the army. It’s 62 models and I’ve got about nine weeks to get it built and painted. I cannot wait to get it on the table, I think it has the potential of being ridiculously fast and rather devastating on the charge. I just hope I’ve not missed a trick or forgotten about something that makes it less synergised as I think it is. Most of all though I can’t wait to see what it looks like on the table, with the combination of the mass quantities of Daemonettes, the large exalted chariots and colossal centre pieces from Mierce Miniatures I think it’ll look great on the table, but here’s hoping I can do the paint-job justice!

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