Daemons have a ridiculous number of choices for HQ’s: 7 Greater Daemons, 8 Heralds, for 15 total. mixed in there is special character versions of all the heralds except the Keeper of Secrets. I’ll do the Greater Daemons first, then special Greater Daemons, then heralds, then Special Heralds.
Greater Daemons: these guys are, for the most part, expensive. Somebody thought that a 4++ was worth ~50 pts or so, and flying or fleet was another 50.
Keeper of Secrets: Solid.
First off, 200 pts, this thing better be worth it, and turns out, it mostly is. Let’s look at the stats: Offensively, it has six attacks at WS8, S6, I10, and ignores armor thanks to MC status. This means it WILL go first, it will most likely hit on 3’s, it will wound anything on 2’s except other MC’s, ignore armor, and 2d6 pen means it chews through tanks, especially with 6 attacks. Defensively, it has WS8, T6, a 4++, and 4 wounds. Looking at it, it will be fairly easy to torrent down if caught in the open and the opponent wants it dead, so deepstrike out of sight if possible, or fairly close to the enemy. Fortunately, the KoS is FAST. With Move through Cover and Fleet, and offensive and defensive grenades, there is nowhere to hide from a Keeper of Secrets. When you charge, rest assured you will go first and you will kill 4-5 things, sans invuls.
Let’s look at upgrades: transfixing gaze isn’t worth it, 1 less powerfist isn’t going to matter. Soporific Musk is a pretty good buy: being able to bounce in and out of CC is pretty useful, and you can avoid getting bogged down. Pavane isn’t useful, you can just rush and kill whatever you would try to move. Daemonic gaze... meh. Just run in and kill it. Unholy might is worth considering, to help put the hurt on MC’s and T5 stuff. Instrument... if you tie, you’re already in trouble. leave it.
Tactics: Have it bouncing around, digging units out of CC that you don’t want to be there. It won’t win combats by itself, but it can be a great tool to help out other units. Just be careful about leaving it in the open for any period of time, or in a losing melee: concentrated firepower or solid close combat units will see it dead.
Great Unclean One: Great.
For 160pts, our most durable GD is looking pretty good. T6, 4++, Feel No Pain, and 5 wounds is pret-ty hard to take down. However, watch out not for lascannons, missile launchers or the like, but the 20-man guardsmen squad with frF!srF!, and any other high-volume attacks.
Offensively, he actually does more damage than a bloodthirster, with 4 attacks at WS6, S6, AND poisoned on a 2+! 3’s to hit, and re-rolling 2’s to wound means that he has insurance against 1’s, and don’t forget MC’s have power weapons! He is I2, so he’ll go before thunderhammers and powerfists, but after everthing else. It’s cool, thunderhammers are the only thing he fears in CC anyways. The problem is getting there. The GUO is SLOOOWWW. He is S&P, and thanks to MC status, he rolls 3d6 and picks the highest, but still, he’s slow.
Upgrades: Cloud of flies is a great buy at 5pts, it prevents your opponents from getting +1 attack when charging: I always bring it. Aura of decay, however, is worthless. Yay, I smell so bad it kills people... on 6’s. And they still get armor. Breath of chaos might be worth it, but you probably have a better place to spend 30pts. Like another fiend. Unholy might is pointless, you’re wounding on 2’s: if you really, really want to re-roll to wound against T7, be my guest. Instrument might be worth it, as the GUO might tie pretty often. Play a few games, see how often you go “DANGIT, I sure wish he had an instrument!”
Tactics: Lumber forward, attracting absurd amounts of firepower, allowing the rest of your army to advance unhindered. Now, 1 can be shot down, eventually: bring 2, and watch them stick around the entire game. Use them to screen, block, tarpit, soak up firepower, murder tanks, destroy elite infantry- anything. They’re surprisingly versatile. For 165 pts? very, very good.
Now, the bloodthirster is 250 pts, base. Warning lights going off already. Let’s see what he does, offensively. 5 attacks at WS10, S7, and I5. You go first against marines, unless they have halberds. Eldar go at the same time. It’s an OK initative. WS10, you hit on 3’s, against everything. S7, he wounds everything on 2’s, and MC’s on 3’s. Power weapons. Bottom line, he’ll kill 2-3 of anything each round of CC, unless it has an invul, then it kills less.
Defensively, he has WS10, so WS4 needs 5’s to hit, T6, 3+/4++, and 4 wounds. ehhh... he looks too easy to shoot down, and anyone will the turn he drops. Thundershields beat his face in.
Ok, he does fly, so after the first turn he’s hard to avoid.
Upgrades: Death strike... it’s a plasma pistol, and besides me having a personal vendetta against plasma pistols, it’s a waste of points. Blessing of the Blood god is actually a pretty good choice, with the proliferation of grey knights these days, a 2++ against Force weapons (activated or not) and damaging psychic powers is pretty good. Unholy might: ID’ing T4 is completely worth 20 pts. If you’re bringing a bloodthirster, get it. Instrument of Chaos: this guy doesn’t tie combats. He dies horribly or does more damage than the foe.
Tactics: ok, so if we have to bring him... drop him far away, then fly him in and assault. Unfortunately, he’ll get tarpitted really easily, and unlike the KoS, he can’t bounce out. If you’re going to use him, he’s a tank hunter, not a beatstick, but screamers do tank hunting better... *shrug* waste of 275 pts, IMO.
Lord of Change: Awful.
Oh, Lord of Change... I wanted him to be good, so badly... but nope.
Look, just don’t bring him. Fateweaver is far more durable, has all the goodies standard, and is actually cheaper than a Lord of Change with the same upgrades, to say nothing of his re-roll bubble.
S and T 6 isn’t worth it.
Well, that’s it for normal Greater Daemons. Special ones are next!