Slaanesh Vs Vampire Counts – Expose

As part of the Uncharted Seas trial day (still gutted that I lost both of those games) I am now reporting on the events that transpired during the evening of that same day. We had 3 people there (myself included) during the day and then that went down to 2 of us in the evening when we had a 2000pt Warhammer game planned.

My friend and I have been battling back and forth over the past couple of months with our Chaos and Vampire Counts armies. Tweaking each one after the game and trying out new things along the way. Due to some luck on my part my all Cavalry Warriors of Chaos are 2-0 up in this rivalry. I knew that Mr. Vampire had gone and picked up a Varghulf and I had mentioned looking into a Shaggoth and dropping both my units of Chaos Hounds as they really are quite useless against Undead due to their poor leadership and the fact they are to secure my flanks and sit way outside of General Leadership range. I’d like to think I went one better! I still stuck with my Chaos but swapped things around to the Daemonic variety with an all Slaanesh army based on a strong core of Daemonettes.

I had picked up the Daemons book a while ago and have many models for this army, I never played it and was amazed by the uproar when the book first came out about how no-one would ever beat Daemons as the whole book was full of cheese and in general was overpowered. I had been thinking long and hard because rumours abounded about the Warriors of Chaos release and I knew that they’d zoom up my “must buy now” list as soon as they hit the shelves. So when they did I bought up some and my Daemons languished around and ended up on round bases for a couple games of 40k. With the Vampire threat around I wanted to try them out, not least because it would negate the Psychology part of the game. I can consistently roll LD+1 for every unit I own and any re-rolls always end up higher than the first set. In an effort to keep things exciting I went for mono God rather than stick with the expected Khorne/Tzeentch combination that people hate to come up against.

Now, I won’t give a full battle report, these are going to just be my observations about how the army worked. I’ll leave a proper battle report for when I take photos and notes. My list was as follows;

Keeper of Secrets – Lvl 3 Wizard with Torment Blade

Herald of Slaanesh – Battle Standard with Banner of -2 Leadership and Siren Song gift

The Masque

19 Daemonettes with Full Command and Banner of Ecstasy

20 Daemonettes with Full Command and Banner of Ecstasy

20 Daemonetters with Full Command

5 Seekers of Slaanesh with Musician

2 Fiends of Slaanesh

More models than my Warriors army and not a lot slower really considering how much stuff has a 20″ threat range. I’ll give a run down of how each unit performed, I already have an all Nurgle list planned for my next game to try that out. The Herald got slapped in with the 19 stron unit of Daemonettes.

Keeper – This guy is amazing, I love him to bits. Ok, I’ll admit his save is rubbish and is the only caster I have but he eats through stuff and being so fast makes him difficult to deal with, normally he wasn’t close enough to the Masque and Herald to benefit from Ld bombing for his Torment Blade but still, he took 2 wounds the whole game and ripped up some stuff. Expensive but worth it.

Herald – Worth the points and then some. Sitting in the middle of your opponents army with Always Strikes First on a unit with a load of attacks kept me around a lot longer than I had any right to be. This one unit survived four turns of being in combat before finally dropping to a horribly failed Instability test on the last turn… they will be making a comeback as I am very much thinking of sticking with mono -Slaanesh in the long run.The Sire song pulled in the Vargulf who got Combat Ressed to death leaving an entire flank of the Undead army without a Vampire to allow them to march. I’ll keep that in for sure but not sure how much more mileage I’ll get out of it now the trick has been displayed.

Masque – 90 points well spent. She killed a Vampire and Necromancer in close combat as well as stopping a Wraith unit and Banshee from going anywhere with her minus D3″ movement. That Wraith unit then got charged by a Daemonette unit and the rest is history. The rest of the time she was reducing the Vampire Lord and his unit with -2 Leadership. Although, I never did manage to kill the Lord to force crumbling…

Daemonette unit 2 & 3 – No ASF but still deadly on the charge and the Banner of Ecstasy means that I lost less wounds than I would normally do on my horrible Instability rolls (when I remembered that the unit had the banner that is). Unit 3 took a while to get back into the fight after seeing off the Wraiths but I know how much damage they can do if you leave them unchecked in your flank.

Seekers – These guys acted as a speed bump to the Black Knights who were a lot more expensive. Not the ideal target for them to go against but it meant that the flank of my army stayed safe while the Keeper got around the rear and caused problems. If I can get a flank or rear charge I am sure they will be awesome but the one round of combat they were in I rolled horribly and did my usual 10+ for their leadership test after it.

Fiends – I am going to split them up in my next game. They didn’t do a whole lot as I missed with most of their attacks for the one turn they made it into combat. I need more mileage with them to be able to come up with a valid conclusion.

The biggest weakness of this army is the toughness 3 dominance. You have Elves that at best have a 5+ save, even if it is a Ward save, you won’t be making many of those in a game. However, the army did prove surprisingly resilient and I liked how it played. It’s quick and gives your opponent multiple threats to have to look after, no-one likes a Greater Daemon roaming around the place.

The game ended up in a draw, mainly due to mistakes on my part playing with a new army, I believe that with a few of those mistakes undone (missing declaring charges for 2 units in a turn for instance) I’d have probably eeked out a minor Victory. Our games have always been bloody so far and this one was no exception, the combat Vampire Lord is solely responsible for wiping out my CR advantage over the last 2 turns by just how many he would kill in his return attacks and I had nothing that could declare a challenge, not that I would with anything other than the Greater Daemon and even that would be a risky prospect.

I have yet to try any Tzeentch or Khorne units and I have the feeling that when I do I’ll experience the “cheese” factor so many people have complained about the Daemons possessing.