No doubt everybody has seen the latest campaign book from Games Workshop titled Curse of the Wulfen. As soon as news broke about this campaign book, I waited impatiently to place my pre-order for it. I mean, it's a campaign book.....I love playing campaigns. It has Space Wolves in it....I have a very modest Space Wolves army. It has Daemons in it.....I love my Daemons and this could be the incentive I need to get more work done on my Slaanesh daemon allies. Really, this was a no-brainer for me, it has to be full of win....Surely?
Curse of the Wulfen is comprised of two books.
The first book (re)introduces the Wulfen and sets the scene for Warzone Fenris. The story is entertaining and had me powering through this tale of intrigue and woe to discover what would happen. I'm a Fluffhead at heart, so it was right up my street.
The book is chock full of artwork and while most of it adds to the tale, some of the artwork is a step backwards in my opinion.
|I don't know about you but this reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons|
|Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats....Err wait, not that.|
Personally, I prefer the dark and brooding style for which GW is famous for or the loose and evocative style of John Blanche rather than this bright cartoon style that seems to be becoming more frequent. Art is very subjective, but some of it had my mind screaming "By the power of Greyskull!!"
|I mean, really? This is just bad!|
The book is comprised of three chapters. Missions, Space Wolves & Chaos Daemons.
I'm not going to talk about the Wolves, if that's your thing, then I recommend reading Adam's excellent Space Wolves blog .
The Missions section introduces some Hostile Environments that players can incorporate into their games. Rules for fighting on an Ice World, an Abandoned Defence Network, a Haunted Planet & a Ministorum Shrine World allow players to inject some unusual and novel conditions into their games. Having used similar style rules in the past, I know that these will add some fun to our campaign games in the future.
There are six scenarios to play through. All of them are different enough to give some fun and challenging games. A Campaign Chart allows players to link the scenarios to create a nice little mini-campaign.
Personally, I think GW misses the mark slightly with their campaign rules. All of their scenarios require large, well-established armies to play. I'm of the firm opinion that bigger doesn't always mean better (just ask the ex-wife!). I'd prefer to see some smaller pointed scenarios with a steady escalation in point size. This focus on large scale battles can be very restrictive, especially to new-comers.
With a bit of work, I'm sure I can use these scenarios and the Campaign Chart to create a mini-campaign......and working out a campaign can be a lot of fun! If nothing else it gives me some ideas about creating my own mini-campaigns.
So now we come to the part that interests me the most about Curse of the Wulfen, Daemons....34 pages worth.
All of the daemon additional rules have been added in this section. I'm unfortunate enough to live in an area where White Dwarf isn't easily accessible (I refuse to subscribe as I have no interest in AoS), so the Bloodthirsters and Exalted Flamer rules passed me by. Fortunately these have been included along with Be'lakor and Skarbrand.....Yeah I know, the poster boys get 4 Bloodthirsters...but hey. they're still not as sexy as Slaanesh.
All of the gods' psychic powers have an additional 3 powers, apart from Khorne obviously. The Nurgle powers are reasonable but unfortunately for me, the Slaanesh powers are pretty dire. Tzeentch however, is really good (as it should be). They now have access to an 18", strength D Witchfire power. If you hadn't seen much of Fateweaver before, you'll be seeing a lot more of him now because he knows all of these powers!
I admit I'm new to these 'Special Detachment' rules (or Decurion as everyone seems to call them) as Chaos has never had them before. From my inexperienced eye, the Daemonic Incursion detachment seems pretty restrictive.
A Daemonic Incursion must include 1 Core choice (Muderhorde, Tallyband, Warpflame Host or Flayertroupe) and 1 Auxiliary. It may include up to 3 Command choices and any number of additional Core or Auxiliary choices.
Each god's core choice must include their sacred number of units and a Herald, so Slaanesh must have 6 units, Nurgle 7, Khorne 8 & Tzeentch 9.
I'm sure you can see how quickly the points rack up to meet the minimum requirement.
The minimum requirement for the Slaanesh Flayertroupe would be 585pts. That would give me 6 x 10 Daemonettes and a bare bones Herald. Now every Daemon player worth his salt knows that it's the upgrades that make Daemons function properly. The Herald would want Beguilement, a Steed, gifts and probably some Psychic levels to multiply its influence. Similarly, at least one unit of Daemonettes would need to be increased in size to actually cause some damage and probably a decent sized unit of Fiends to replace a unit of 'Nettes. All this would rack up the points to around 800 to 900pts. By the time Auxiliaries have been added and one or two command units, that would pretty much use up all available points.
Khorne fairs much better, 445pts would get you 8 x 5 Flesh Hound and a bare-bones Herald. Flesh Hounds are one of the stand out units in the Daemon Codex, so units of 5 would be great objective takers. If I ever fall from my sublime grace and succumb to Khorne, I would probably upgrade a unit to full size and add the herald riding a Jugger with some funky artefact.
Nurgle works well, 360pts would give you, 7 x 3 Nurglings and a bare-bones Herald. 7 Units of Nurglings might feel a bit meh, but their Infiltrate ability could see them racking up mission objectives really quickly. I have a feeling Rob might be trying these out in the not too distant future.
Tzeentch is reasonable too. One of their options allows an Exalted Flamer to be taken for 50pts. So 9 Exalted Flamers and a bare-bones Herald is a respectable 495pts, that's a lot of AP2 shots! Of course where Tzeentch really excels is in the Psychic phase. I dread to think how many power dice a Tzeentch Incursion list will generate.
The benefits of using a Daemonic Incursion Detachment (DID?) are definitely worth taking.
- Daemonic Corruption - Objective Markers controlled by units from this detachment count as controlled for the rest of the game, even if the controlling player has no units within 3". This effect lasts until an enemy scoring unit cleanses the objective by controlling it.
- Unearthly Power - When rolling on the Warp Storm table, you can choose to add or subtract one from the roll.
- The Warp Unleashed - You can choose to re-roll any instability tests for this detachment.
So the number of units needed to meet the Incursion's requirements pretty much rules out using Chaos Marines as allies from a Slaanesh point of view. It isn't impossible, but in a competitive environment it will be an uphill struggle. I have four criteria that need to be met when I design my lists, these are:
- Can it withstand Scatterbikes?
- Can it deal with a Knight?
- Can it deal with Thunder Wolves?
- Can it deal with flyers?
5 Scatterbikes will wipe out 10 Daemonettes or 3 Fiends in one round of shooting.
There is very little in a Slaanesh army that can deal with a Knight. Maybe a Keeper of Secrets that has Invisibility, but that isn't something one can rely on getting. The rank and file Slaanesh Daemons can't even touch them.
A fully tricked out Thundercav unit is virtually impossible for Slaanesh to deal with. My usual tactic of dealing with these is to avoid them.
Slaanesh has nothing that can deal with flyers.
Unfortunately, Chaos Marines can also struggle in this area as well.
My Castigators can get around these issues by adding Flyers such as the Fire Raptor, Dreadclaw & Heldrake. This helps me deal with enemy flyers, avoid the Thundercav and severely limits the Scatterbikes effectiveness. For dealing with Knights, I add a Knight of my own. Unfortunately that little lot weighs in at 1050pts. So in a 1500pt game that rules out a Flayertroupe.
Fortunately, all is not lost. While Chaos Marines don't make great allies for a Slaanesh Incursion. The Slaanesh Incursion does make a great ally to Chaos Marines thanks to the formations contained within the Incursion detachment.
There are 10 formations available in the book. Two for each god and two others. I've briefly covered one set of the gods' formations, The other gods' formations are:
Gorethunder Battery (3 Skull Cannons and a Herald on a Blood Throne). It must be fielded as a vehicle squadron, so I can't see much use for this formation.
Burning Skyhost (9 units of Burning Chariots or Screamers and a Herald on a Disc or Burning Chariot). Ouch, that's a lot of points. I like screamers, but 9 units of them? I think not.
Rotswarm (7 units of Plague Drones or Beasts of Nurgle and a Herald). I had to look up what Beasts of Nurgle do, which tells a story really. 7 Beasts is 364pts and while they aren't fantastic, I can imagine these making a nuisance of themselves.
Grande Cavalcade (6 units of Seekers or Hellflayer or Seeker Cavalcade and a Herald on Steed or Chariot or Exalted Chariot). Now we're talking. 18 Seeker Cavalcades for 720pts each with 3d6 hammer of wrath rending attacks! Okay maybe not 18 then, but at 40pts for a Seeker Cavalcade, it's certainly worth taking a few of them. I think I'd put the Herald on a Steed and add her to a unit of Seekers just to keep her safe. This could very well be the best of the four additional formations.
|Notice the bases that the Seekers are mounted on? Apparently these are from AoS.|
The Forge Host is what really tickles my fancy. 3 Soul Grinders of Slaanesh can really add a bit of bite to my Castigators. The fact that I can use them without having to take a Herald and a unit of Daemonettes is very tempting if a tournament doesn't allow or restricts Forge World....and many do unfortunately.
So overall, do I think it's worth it?
As someone who likes the background, likes campaigns, likes Wolves and loves Daemons....yes I do. But if Daemons and campaigns aren't your thing, I'd give it a miss, because there is nothing that is a must take.
I know I'll get plenty of entertainment out of this, so it's a good buy for me.
Until next time....may Our Lady Grant you her number ;-)