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7th Edition Thoughts: Daemonfarm ain’t all that …

mei 29, 14 7th Edition Thoughts: Daemonfarm ain’t all that …

So 7th edition hit, and there’s a lot of ruckus and fuss how the game is broken because of the Malefic Psychic Discipline and the Chaos Of Daemons being able to capitalise on that with cheap mastery levels across the board. Talks about capping warp charges, the amount of dice able to be thrown when wanting to cast one single spell, or even banning Malefic powers altogether, are flooding boards across the globe. I simply don’t get it.

There’s quite a few fundamental changes to the rules that upset the whole balance and listbuilding aspect of the game. These changes actually stop the daemonfarm (as it has been dubbed) in its tracks. it will take a small while for people to adjust to that, and the daemonfarm will simply go away or people will stop being annoyed with the prospect of facing an army that works like this. But before we discuss that, let us get some things out of the way first. There’s quite some misconceptions out there at the moment, and people need to be aware of the facts.

Tzeentch_Horror1. Horrors can’t get the Malefic Primaris Summoning

The argument here is that the Psychic Focus rule (page 22) seems to imply Horros any any Daemon of a particular God or Mark Of Chaos, cannot get the Primaris Power of Malefic because they auto have the Primaris of their own Chaos God. The reverse is actually true. Since these models do not GENERATE their powers from those disciplines, they can still generate powers from the Malefic tree and get the primaris power for free as they only generated powers from that discipline. Effectively, Horrors will know Flickering Fire, whatever they roll on Malefic, and the Summoning Primaris Power.

2. We’re back to MSU car-park Spam from the end of 5th edition
I’ve been arguing that daemons took a nosedive in 7th since the rules hit, and have had some heated debates with some players about the daemonfarm and it’s strength. Things is, first time you play the daemonfarm, or go over the statistics of what they CAN do, the numbers are overwhelming. But in-game, agaTzeentch_Heraldinst a list tailored for 7th edition, they have little options to actually shift the game their way. There’s this video from Reecius and his palls from Frontline Games showing how the daemonfarm and the new psychic phase broke the game, but imo it was a cheap shot and showed things from a very wrong perspective. The opponent’s list wasn’t even remotely tailored for dealing with an army like that, it was actually totally sub-par to anything a decent competitive player would dish out, and the board was totally in favor of the daemon player. They also played for 5-6 hours, which in tournament conditions would mean the daemon army would have only been able to play 2-3 rounds before time was called. Not exactly conditions that make for having a rational view on what the army can actually do. And yet the internet rages, and I grow a bit tired of reading all the out-of-hand comments. Things are not quite that bad. Here’s why:

In 6th edition I played the screamerstar with three heralds and a unit of hounds with a juggerherald. That army is now obsolete in 7th. It cannot compete in an environment where cheap scoring units in transport will dominate the objective game. Because that is what the game boils down to now. Scoring Troops in Scoring Transports. Astra Militarum can pull this off with Tauroxes and Chimeras, The Grey Knights with Coteaz and his Henchies. The Eldar have the Wave Serpent. Marines can take 10 tacticals in rhinos to have 18 scoring troops that can only be denied by other troops. That is nothing to scoff at. These armies all have a big advantage over other armies just because of this. My 6th edition army build just cannot deal with that many units over the course of 5 turns. Because let’s be realistic here: the psychic phase is going to slow down this game even more, which means in tournaments getting to 5 turns will be as big of a problem as it was in 6th if not more. Tournament Organisers should take this into account and have longer playtime for their tournaments or it will be a very frustrating aspect of going to tournaments once again.

Tzeentech_Icon3So I’ve been breaking my head over what the daemons can take that would allow them to deal with that. The answer is very dissapointing, and the options are limited. Daemons don’t have transports so cannot take advantage of the objective secured rule as much as other armies, which sets them a while back on the power-ladder. The Troop section of the daemon army is kind of light, meaning that most armies don’t have many problems dealing with 10 bloodletters, horrors, plaguebearers or daemonettes. It was always the bane of the daemon army, and even moreso now. Their troops are easy to kill, and very difficult to protect. The ONLY thing that can somewhat shift the tides is the Malefic Tree. If tournament organisers are intent on changing this in any form, I fear we won’t see any daemon players at Tournaments. It would be a shame because I think they offer a viable build to at least contend somewhat vs the top three dogs in 7th, which are arguably Eldar, Grey Knights, and Marines.

carparkWith the nerf of the Helldrake and the way vehicles and objective secured work, car-park 40k like it was popular in 5th edition is back, with a vengeance. The most common way of wrecking a vehicle will still be to glance it to death, which means troops can simply get out behind the wreck and still secure an objective without fear of much retaliation. Daemons have little in the way to shift models from objectives. Spawned units cannot charge on the turn they arrive, vector strikes are nerfed, you don’t have means to tankshock anyone off the objectives, and your shooting prowess lies in the hands of your warpcharges, which will be denied easily when playing top-tier builds and players. The daemons also are very light on anti-tank options. The screamers are very hard to efficiently use like in 6th, as getting their 2+ rerollable is a lot harder and makes your build weaker across the board. FMC’s cannot charge that easily anymore, and vectorstriking things to death will be tricky at best. There are some other options like rolling on Tzeentch and hoping you get the lance, but then you loose out on Malefic, and counting on touch of rust if you go Nurgle or rending if you go Slaanesh doesn’t seem to be all that reliable either. So you see, even though the army can summon a lot of units per turn, there are a lot of inherent flaws to this kind of armybuild that will make it very difficult to compete at the upper echelons. I wish people would start seeing that, which is the entire point of this article.

For the daemonfarm to work, your whole army needs to be designed to ensure a bit of durability, a lot of mobility as footsy models aren’t going to get you anywhere, and a lot of mastery levels because armies like GK’s can simply shut you down completely if you travel light on Warpcharges. That doesn’t leave you a whole lot to work with unfortunately, which is why I think daemons took a nosedive in 7th where it concerns the powerlevel of the book. Comping warpcharges or malefic powers will only compromise that problem even further.

Times, they are a-changing, but I fear the Daemons will have a hard time adapting!



  1. John /

    Hi Tom, John here from TNI. You are incorrect mate in number 1 as Psychic Focus clearly states “If during the course of the game, that Psyker gains a psychic power from a different psychic discipline, he immediately loses Psychic Focus (and the associated power)”.

    Since you gain the Tzeentch Primaris from the Tzeentch discipline right at the outset (even if you don’t want it lol) you can never have Psychic Focus in Malefic. So, slightly toned down in that you must surrender a Malefic to get the Malefic Primaris if that’s what you want.

    Minor speed bump but a sped bump nonetheless.

  2. Tom Adriany /

    Hey John. All depends how you interpret ‘gain’. Could be interpreted as ‘rolling for it’ or getting it in-game through some ability like Huron’s. I see your point though, but imo it can swing either way.

    Netto is the same though, they can still summon even if they have to swap a power.

  3. Steven /

    Great read Tom. – TNI

  4. Maarten /

    Hi Tom, after close thinking about darmontsteking i agree with you. For daemons to compete with 18 OS units you need the extra summoning. I’m unpacking all my daemons and the prospect of bringing so much models to games, sigh ;-). But luckily i can summon everything i want in great magnitude.

    Good article btw.

  5. James /

    “All depends how you interpret ‘gain’. Could be interpreted as ‘rolling for it’ or getting it in-game through some ability like Huron’s. I see your point though, but imo it can swing either way.”

    Nope, gain means gain. If you gain a spell from a different discipline then you dont auto get the primaris.
    If they meant that you needed to roll on a different discipline then GW would have said “roll”.

    But yes daemon farm is very mediocre. The thing is, is you need an average of 10 dice to get of the summoning power. Yes i know that 5 dice gives you a 50% chance of rolling 3 4+, but that will only happen half the time, the other half you will still fail.
    So to summon 3 units of blood letters you will need (on average) 30 Warp Charges, which is even hard for daemons to get, and then if you get them you wont have much dice to cast other spells if you just go for summoning.

    I still dont get why people are saying screamer star is not that good. With the +1 Invun to all daemon units within 12″ it looks pretty easy to get a 2++.

    I also think blue scribes will be pretty good with demonology as you have a 50% chance to summon a unit (blood crusher or equivalent, herald or greater daemon), and the other spells are pretty usefull too. And will be hilarious when your 80 point unit turns into a blood thirster.

  6. Albert /

    “If during the course of the game, that Psyker gains a psychic power from a different psychic discipline, he immediately loses Psychic Focus (and the associated power)”.

    There it is right there. It says ‘..during the course of the game’, but you roll for powers before the game starts. There is no gaining during the course of the game.

    It’s an issue that needs to be FAQ’ed obviously, but for now, as I read it, Daemons get the Daemon Focus and the Psychic Focus of the table they are rolling on.

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