Whilst a Space Marine Master (or Commander) may seek a fairer way to hone his combat skills, the same cannot be said for that of their Fallen Brethren - the Chaos Lords. For within the Chaos Legions, did these former Masters become consumed with Human Greed - seeking only to rise in Power, through whatever means necessary ... For them, it was the Chaos Gods that answered. Betrothed with the Gifts of Chaos, these Lords became more than the Emperor had envisaged. With their feet planted firmly in the Greeds of Power, a Daemon Prince - ascended:
When it comes to customising your armies for 40k, it is not only, the models themselves, that can be customised. Whilst this may be a standard model (as far as construction is concerned), it is certainly not a standard model when it comes to a game of 40k! When I first glanced upon my Chaos Codex, I'd proceeded to equip my Daemon Prince with (pretty much) every Daemonic Gift available! Only then, did I foresee the limits imposed on Daemonic Gifts (i.e. no more than 100 points). With some re-working, I ended up with (what I thought) would be an unstoppable model on the battlefield! A must have was Daemonic Stature (as required by the size of this model). I then went further down the Paths of Harder to Kill: Daemon Armour (2 plus armour save), Daemonic Aura (5 plus invulnerable save), Daemonic Essence (plus 1 wound) and Daemonic Resilience (plus 1 toughness). I then chose to go down the Paths of Better to Fight: Daemonic Strength (plus 1 strength) and a Dark Blade (plus 2 strength in hand-to-hand combat). I then chose to go down the Paths of Chaos Paint: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, I under-coated in white, then burnished gold on-top (as was befitting for my Iron Warriors - Chaos Lord). It was only then, that I observed the Iron Warriors restriction on Daemons! Fortunately, the Warp had Blessed my Daemon Prince - as it turned out that Iron Warriors can have both Daemon Princes and Possessed Chaos Space Marines. Then did I choose to go down the Paths of Combat, where I have learned a lesson or two. First: my Daemon Prince is extremely vulnerable to heavy gun fire. For example: take two Predator Annihilators armed with six Lascannons. That's six shots, and if they all hit plus wound, that's six invulnerable saves your Daemon Prince is going to have to make! Second: my Daemon Prince is best in hand-to-hand combat. A good example: my Daemon Prince engages ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed just with Bolters). This combat was extremely one sided (to the Daemon Prince). Daemon Prince strength 8 (in hand-to-hand). Space Marines toughness 4 (in hand-to-hand). Straight away, any rolls to wound were really rolls to kill (owing to no armour saves from Dark Blade and Daemonic Stature - in effect, double Instant Death!). A more realistic encounter: my Daemon Prince engages Logan Grimnar (supreme Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves). At first glance, this appeared to be a much fairer encounter ... Both had normal armour saves that were negated (Logan's by Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature and Dark Blade, Daemon Princes by Logan's Axe Morkai - aka power weapon). Both had invulnerable saves (Logan's 4 plus owing to his Belt of Russ - aka Iron Halo, Daemon Princes 5 plus - owing to his Daemonic Aura). Unfortunately, for Logan Grimnar, it is my Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature, that confers the advantage to the Daemon Prince! Daemonic Stature grants my Daemon Prince a (base) toughness of 5 - which is unaffected by the Instant Death rule (the only exception, as is noted in the Chaos Codex). Thus, when Logan attacks with his Power Fist (strength 8), he is unable to cause Instant Death (against a toughness of 5). Where as, when my Daemon Prince attacks at strength 8, he is able to cause the Instant Death of Logan Grimnar (whose toughness is only 4). The Wizened Commander, would have equipped Logan with an Adamantine Mantle (which counts Instant Death as a single wound instead) - but Logan is prevented from having extra wargear (according to the Space Wolves Codex). Thus, I am most impressed by my Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature - with his toughness of 5, being the Bane, of many a Space Marine Commander! I have also been impressed by my Daemon Princes combat ability, in hand-to-hand against vehicles - especially when it comes to the Dark Blade cutting through the armoured hull of a Land Raider! At strength 8 plus 2d6 (armour penetration for Daemonic Stature - aka Monstrous Creature), it means that 14 (armour value) is within easy reach for a maximum dice roll of 20! Overall: I would not be a Chaos Commander if I did not wield a Daemon Prince (what better model is there for you to imagine yourself as !?!). Yet, I have learned (from experience) that they can be shot to bits before you get a chance to get into hand-to-hand. I once gave him Daemon Flight (to help rectify this weakness), but a fellow 40k player pointed out that the Daemonic Wings (or Jump Pack) should have been on the model! What about the model itself? Whilst it took a while to properly clean the model (e.g. filing the ends of all those Spiky Bits), I found the assembly much easier (owing to the bigger parts - when compared to a standard Space Marine model). This also made the painting simpler (although not for the burnished gold raised armour edges). It's a decent model to paint, and I especially like the way that the burnished gold contrasts with the magenta ink fuelled blood and gore! All of this leaves no doubt in my mind, as to what my Daemon Prince shall be doing tonight - haunting the nightmares of standard Space Marines, or perhaps just my next 40k opponent! Of course, this does depend upon one other point - actually remembering the various special rules for my Chaos Daemon Prince, when upon the field of battle!