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Subject: Greater Daemons? Are they worth the cost?!?! rss

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Nathan Sharpe
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I play my greater daemon maybe once per game. I bet my average is once every other game, and I think I've summoned my greater daemon twice in one game only once. I play as Tzeentch mostly.

My friends and I have a construct in our minds where we simply view daemons as cultist-killers, and greater daemons as daemon-killers. I think that with this mindset, just sending them in after someone summoned a bunch of cultists or a few daemons to an area, they were too expensive. However, after a few sessions I have come to believe that planning around the summoning of your greater daemon can enhance its impact on the game and make it worth its cost.

I can think of a few different uses for them. First is to slaughter enemy cultists. Especially if Khorne is absent from the game, something needs to keep enemy cultists in check and the greater daemons are pretty efficient at it. They can also take on lesser deamons interfering with your cultists' plans for corruption.

Second, because they are tough, greater daemons are also good at helping you dominate an area for a long time. They'll add +1 to your domination value this turn, and probably until the region is ruined unless someone makes a concerted effort to kill it. In the case of Slaanesh, the Keeper of Secrets will probably hang around even after another player decides she wants to destroy it. If Khorne is in the game, then greater daemons are pretty tough to kill so I can plan around their presence in a region without worrying about it suddenly being slain like a daemon or cultist. It is expensive to summon them, but, if it dies, it could be worth it in the extra power your opponents will have to spend in summoning in order to destroy it. That is, leading into my third point, if they bother to try and destroy it.

Third, greater daemons can help you deter an area from other players. As dial ticks go, few players will infest an area with cultists if they can expect to be slaughtered to two or less. Depending on how willing my opponents are to spend power in order to travel, controlling a region with a greater daemon has a chance of shutting off several regions to a player, not just the region you summon the daemon too. An example would be putting a Lord of Change in Bretonnia when Nurgle started in Kislev or the Empire and has only two power left. In this case, Nurgle would probably not send two cultists to Bretonnia, where they would die, would not have enough power to place two cultists in Estalia, and might not bother to only send one. If all this is true, then the Lord of Change could be said to have blocked Nurgle from spreading corruption to half of the populous areas for a turn.

Besides blocking corruption and dial ticks, getting to an area quickly with a greater daemon will help deter opponents from sending in their hard-to-kill-monsters with plans for dominating a region. Another empty region is probably a better target for their plans now that your deamon has marked the territory most advantageous to you (or to them ninja ) as your own. So, greater deamons have value as a preemptive move into an area to block and deter other players, as a late move in order to surprise and destroy them, and as a long-term plan in order to dominate a region.

As Tzeentch I have used my Lord of Change in two recent games. Khorne was absent from both of these games. Once was during the first turn to Bretonnia as I described above. In this case however, there were already three cultists there, two belonging to Slaanesh and another one to Nurgle. They did not have enough points to assemble two attack dice against me in the area, so they abandoned the region with their few remaining points. Luckily, I slaughtered all the cultists! I then held Bretonnia for the rest of the game. I dominated it for two turns, and ended up ruining it as well.

In another game, I used my Lord of Change to lead the attack on Slaanesh's stronghold in Tilea on either the second or third turn. He had a few cultists there, was getting dial ticks, and he had the majority of corruption there and I decided I wanted that for myself. Slaanesh does not have very efficient offense, so he eventually had to flee the area as I killed all his cultists there. I eventually became the #1 ruiner of that region. By stealing a region, I didn't have to do all the corrupting legwork myself.

In both games, I never re-summoned my Lord of Change. I was too busy using cultists to ruin regions. I wonder if that will continue to be the case though.
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MikeDowd wrote:
It seems to me that Greater Daemons hardly ever come out, with the number of takethat cards, it seems like the effect of the Daemons rarely justifies their cost.

How often do you play the greater daemon and in what situations?


I haven't played enough to really say that I've got a good grip on the strategies, but it seems to me that the Greater Daemons are extremely valuable once you've upgraded them.

Khorne: This upgrade is the most contingent of the upgrades. However, if the other players are good at playing keep-away and denying you advance tokens, you can plop down a Bloodthirster and some other units in a high-scoring region and make a run for a VP win.

Slaanesh: This upgrade is purely defensive, but very effective in protecting an advance factory from attack.

Tzeentch: This allows you to create an advance factory, which can be harder for Tzeentch than for Slaanesh

Nurgle: Two guaranteed corruption tokens per turn is very useful even despite the 3 power per turn cost, especially with all Nurgle's cards that play on his corruption tokens. You can use the Great Unclean One as a mobile advance factory, use it to speed the ruination of a valuable province or to get some points out of one some other player has been corrupting, etc.

I would agree that the Greater Daemons rarely justify their cost before upgrading, but their upgrades are powerful enough to consider building your strategy around them.
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Eric Delgado
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I generally don't see Greater Daemons dropped until late in the game by most of the gods except for Khorne.

For one more powerpoint than his basic warrior Khorne's greater daemon offers him twice the attacks and three times the amount of wounds. Khorne's greater daemon is a great way to scare people out of areas they were using for advancement or were trying to ruin. Also, once Khorne has a greater daemon and one regular daemon on the table he can use his summoning card to bring six attacks into a region for two power points.

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Nate Merchant
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From my two games, it seems that the Powers that have won (Khorne and Slaanesh), placed their Greater demons not only in the first turn but in the first round to create a defensive bulwark. Since no one wanted to spend the points to fight them, they remained there with Cultists and a Warrior or two, Dominating that region for 2-3 turns and eventually Ruining it.

Not a bad play. You really have to spend the points to foil that kind of land grab.
 
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Ben Hodgson
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I have a suspicion that all powers might have an interesting chance at their 'less conventional' victory.

e.g. Nurgle with a an upgraded Great Unclean One can get one auto tick for 3 power, and two for 6, before the corruption phase even begins.

Khorne has some interesting capacity for military do,mination through chaos cards and some of the best combat in the game. By camping on 2 significant regions with 2 cultists and 1 or 2 bloodletters each, playing cards to bolster domination (or upgraded BT), I expect Khorne can get a lot of vp, using stalling cards like battle cry to slow other factions dial advancement too. Depends how good you are at playing Cat and Mouse! If you can draw other factions INTO your areas rather than chasing them around, I wonder how things would work.

Slaanesh can really go either way (pun intended) by turtling with noble dial advancement, or parasiting off other ruinations (the 0 cost card that places 1 corruption can stall and get 3-5 vp without even commiting units to a region). I wonder if camping in the empire with all the nobles and very few cultists would permit a suitable number of domination vp by just playing cards to bolster scores? In the empire, with all 4 nobles, Slaanesh could rack up 9 vp and a tick a turn from just one region.

Tzeentch I don't know about - Any ideas?
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Jess Boling
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Without upgrades, greater daemons are just cultist killers, but they are good at it. In the first round, if I am Nurgle, and Slaanesh's first move is to place a cultist in a noble region right next to the cultist I just placed, my next move is to drop a Great Unclean One onto him. Over time the Unclean One will kill enough cultists to pay for itself and it forces the Slaanesh player to try for something other than a dial advancement there.

The same can go for Tzeentch; you can't use Teleport on greater daemons.

With upgrades the greater daemons are fantastic. Nurgle can drop 6 corruption in a region before the corruption step, Khorne can easily dominate the Empire.

Remember that the Keeper of Secrets controls the figures till the end of the round so it is a free Soporific Musk each turn.

I would rank the Lord of Change's upgrade as the least useful if Khorne is in the game. It is much better to just upgrade Acolytes and bring two warpstone around for less power.
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Redking wrote:
Slaanesh can really go either way (pun intended) by turtling with noble dial advancement, or parasiting off other ruinations (the 0 cost card that places 1 corruption can stall and get 3-5 vp without even commiting units to a region).


That's assuming nobody else has more than 1 corruption token in that region.

"Then, each player who placed at least one corruption token in that region during this corruption step immediately scores the number of victory points indicated for ruiners on that ruination card." (p. 19-20)
(emphasis added)

Corruption from the card is placed in the Summoning Phase, so SOL for any VPs from Ruination, at least the "all Ruiners get X" I believe you're referring to. You can get the 2nd place ruination bonus if nobody else has corruption token(s) on the region.
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Ben Hodgson
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Dam the Man wrote:
Redking wrote:
Slaanesh can really go either way (pun intended) by turtling with noble dial advancement, or parasiting off other ruinations (the 0 cost card that places 1 corruption can stall and get 3-5 vp without even commiting units to a region).


That's assuming nobody else has more than 1 corruption token in that region.

"Then, each player who placed at least one corruption token in that region during this corruption step immediately scores the number of victory points indicated for ruiners on that ruination card." (p. 19-20)
(emphasis added)

Corruption from the card is placed in the Summoning Phase, so SOL for any VPs from Ruination, at least the "all Ruiners get X" I believe you're referring to. You can get the 2nd place ruination bonus if nobody else has corruption token(s) on the region.


Oops! Well spotted. So much for that bright idea...shake
 
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Kilian Wolf
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Dam the Man wrote:
Corruption from the card is placed in the Summoning Phase, so SOL for any VPs from Ruination, at least the "all Ruiners get X" I believe you're referring to. You can get the 2nd place ruination bonus if nobody else has corruption token(s) on the region.


True, you don't get any "Ruiner's points" (I believe this has been explicitly addressed in the FAQ). But the second place ruination bonus can make a huge difference. I find it especially viable to drop a single corruption marker in the remote regions (Norsca and the Badlands) which in my games so far have a tendency to be teleporting Tzeentch`s country. Khorne and Nurgle usually do not commit there, at least not with cultists, so it is an easy three or four victory points apiece for no cost plus stalling, once the regions get ruined.
 
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Kilian Wolf
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Redking wrote:
I have a suspicion that all powers might have an interesting chance at their 'less conventional' victory.


I share that suspicion and I hope we are right!

I especially believe that Khorne at this point of the discussion is too easily characterized as "dial victory only". He has arguably the best potential for domination. If Khorne decides to set camp in Bretonia and Estalia with huge forces and the occasional chaos card to help domination, it would require a great possibly combined effort of the other players to stop him from getting 7 victory points a turn. Plus he could still send a couple of figures hunting for dial ticks. And even if the other players went in on him, they would just fuel his dial advancement. Still, I think in order to win via victory points he would have to be part of the ruination game which is tough since he only has four cultists. I'm thinking of trying two different approaches to this problem: 1. Concentrating the cultists in one region that you also dominate (to shield them) and thus trying to get the "first on ruination" score plus the ruiners score. And 2: Spreading them out (best with the bloodsworn upgrade) and trying to leech the "second on ruination" points perhaps in Nurgle's regions.

As far as Tzeentch is concerned, I think he has a fair shot at both victroy path. One of his best assets are his 8! cultists which go a long way in gathering ticks and placing corruption. The acolyte upgrade actually helps on both issues since warpstones in addition to the tick requirement also speed up ruination.

Kudos, Redking, on your thoughts for Nurgle. He is going to have a hard time with the dial victory but your suggestions make it seem worthwhile given the right circumstances.
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Ramsey Salisbury
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As a Tzeentch player I've found that the upgrade for Lord Of Change isn't extremely useful, the Acolyte upgrade lets me move warpstones, (and is usually the first upgrade I get) so I don't need to worry about a guaranteed two magic symbols with the Lord Of Change.

However, there are times where during the first couple of rounds I have lots of points left over while everyone is at 0. If I've placed everything accordingly I would summon him just to get him in there (usually to get rid of other cultists, especially Slaneesh).

I've found it useful to prevent Slaneesh and Nurgle from getting dial ticks, assuring me a double tick.

Khorne uses its Bloodthirster to scare other people (I would never place any cultists in an area with it). And get more dice rolls, which is more than worth it.

Nurgle's Great Unclean One is really only good with the upgrade, for instant dial ticks.

For the times that I've played Slaneesh, the Keeper Of Secrets is a great defensive figure to secure domination, and with it's upgrade it's deadly (though there are better Slaneesh upgrades).

Everything in the game is situational, you may think that some things are bad. I for one always thought Dazzle (Tzeentch 2 Power card that prevents one of every other cultist from placing corruption) was a useless card and not worth the two power points, but actually have found one or two situations where it prevented Slaneesh from getting dial ticks. When you think of it this way, the Greater Daemon's aren't completely useless, you just need to find the right situation to play them, even if it isn't every game.

Edit: needs to go back to grammar schools.
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Ramsey Salisbury
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MikeDowd wrote:
Dr Schlotter wrote:

I especially believe that Khorne at this point of the discussion is too easily characterized as "dial victory only". He has arguably the best potential for domination. If Khorne decides to set camp in Bretonia and Estalia with huge forces and the occasional chaos card to help domination, it would require a great possibly combined effort of the other players to stop him from getting 7 victory points a turn. Plus he could still send a couple of figures hunting for dial ticks. And even if the other players went in on him, they would just fuel his dial advancement. Still, I think in order to win via victory points he would have to be part of the ruination game which is tough since he only has four cultists. I'm thinking of trying two different approaches to this problem: 1. Concentrating the cultists in one region that you also dominate (to shield them) and thus trying to get the "first on ruination" score plus the ruiners score. And 2: Spreading them out (best with the bloodsworn upgrade) and trying to leech the "second on ruination" points perhaps in Nurgle's regions.


This is exactly what Khorne tried my last game and he came in last. First time I've ever seen Khorne last. So what if he gets 7 domination points per turn....there's 23 available + the fact that everyone else is gonna be dropping corruption way faster. Yes....you will get 1st place ruination on one of those two areas, but you won't get anything else. Also, by having all your stuff concentrated on those two areas you can get severely hosed by old world cards which often target those big populous regions.

Khorne's cultists aren't for dropping corruption. That's a nice bonus and a few 2nd place ruinations can break a dial tie. The purpose of bloodsworn is that you can expand the area where you can summon warriors.

Yes, Khorne CAN play the VP game, but he just can't play it as well as Nurgle.


Not to mention with the Bloodsworn upgrade Khorne gets some cheap warriors.
 
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Ben Hodgson
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MikeDowd wrote:

Yes, Khorne CAN play the VP game, but he just can't play it as well as Nurgle.


Ah, but Khorne does military disruption so well! Can Nurgle throw a miltary spanner in the works for Khorne? Khorne could head for domination (not ruination) vp and keep throwing the odd bloodletter/thirster at the other players for fun. Once a domination group is established, Khorne does not need to spend much power maintaining it. The rest can be spent sending nasty presents to the others.devil
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Kilian Wolf
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MikeDowd wrote:
Yes, Khorne CAN play the VP game, but he just can't play it as well as Nurgle.


Agreed. You're also right about the Old World cards. They can really mess with those valuable center regions. Anyway, given the right circumstances (nobles and/or warpstones in those areas) you might be able to dominate/ruin while at the same time keeping Tzeentch and Slaanesh from getting their dial advancements. Also, you can easily dominate two regions and still send a couple of figures hunting. My point is, who is going to want to mess with you if you occupy say Bretonia with your Bloodthirster and four cultists, upgraded or not? That region will be ruined in three rounds. You will still have enough Bloodletters to harrass the other players, and don't forget that card (Blind Fury?) that stops players from corrupting a region. It is strong in preventing dial advancement but it can also severly impede Nurgle's ruination game.

In essence, I agree with you, but I think we are going to see some Khorn VP victories in the future (albeit not as many as dial advancement ones), given the right setup.

Cheers
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