Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Shows the Desire of the Warp to Take Over the Battlefield

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Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Shows the Desire of the Warp to Take Over the Battlefield

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons are looking more menacing than ever, with some interesting rules for Be’lakor and some ally rules with Chaos Space Marines.

Another day, another set of rules revealed by Games Workshop for the upcoming 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k! After factions such as the Space Marines, the Necrons and the Astra Militarum, Chaos Daemons get the spotlight – but they immediately flooded the whole Faction Focus with Darkness. The new rules for Daemons are scary, to say the least, so let’s get right into it!

Faction Rules revealed in the Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus

Buckle up, because Games Workshop revealed not one, not two, but three Army Rules for the Chaos Daemons Faction:

The first one is called the Shadow of Chaos, which represents the encroaching dread of the Warp which takes over a battlefield if one of the participants are the servants of the Great Four. This Army Rule makes segments of the battlefield come under the Shadow of Chaos if your army is Legiones Daemonica, which provides buffs to your units while dealing damage to opponents:

  • At the start of the game, only your deployment zone is under the Shadow of Chaos,
  • If you control at least half of the No Man’s Land objective markers at the start of ANY phase, the Shadow encroaches forward, spanning through No Man’s Land until the end of the phase,
  • If you can control at least half of the objective markers in your opponent’s deployment zone, the Shadow of Chaos will take up the whole battlefield until the end of the phase.

The Shadow of Chaos gives your Daemon units Daemonic Manifestation, which gives them +1 to their Battle-shock test, and if they pass such a test, they regain D3 lost wounds – or return D3 dead models in it’s a rank and file unit with the Battleline keyword.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Army Rule Shadow of Chaos

Your opponents have to fight the Shadow if they don’t want to be influenced by the Warp, as enemy units get -1 to their Battle-shock test, and if they fail one, they suffer D3 Mortal Wounds, which can decimate any army very quickly.

The second Faction Rule revealed for the Chaos Daemons was the Detachment Rule for the Daemonic Incursion called Warp Rifts. Warp Rifts let’s you Deep Strike units anywhere that’s 6” from enemy models instead of the usual 9”, if you set your models up wholly within your army’s Shadow of Chaos area. This is an incredibly strong ability to take the midfield, as Daemons were already good at pushing forward and clinging to objectives, so growing the sphere of Chaos’ influence should be no problem.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Army Rule Warp Rifts

Last but not least we had a glimpse at the Daemonic Pact Army Rule, which let’s Chaos armies take a number of Legiones Daemonica units even if they are not the Faction which you’re playing. In Incursion, you can have up to 250 points, which goes up to 500 in Strike Force and 750 in Onslaught matches. But there are some restrictions, as different Chaos Armies can only take “right” demons, meaning that World Eaters can only have Khorne Daemon allies, Lucius the Eternal can work with Slaanesh Daemons, while Thousand Sons get Tzeentch and Death Guard gets Nurgle monstrosities. This is still a powerful ability, which let’s Chaos players build flexible and very different armies from one another.

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Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Army Rule Daemonic Pact
You can still mix and match Chaos armies!

Unit Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus

The first unit that Games Workshop showed us form the Army of Daemons was the Keeper of Secret, one of the most iconic Slaanesh servants in the universe of Warhammer 40k. While the Keeper lost 2 pips of it’s Wounds, it gained an extra 3 Toughness, which will help it survive some of the heavier shots. It’s Ritual Knife wargear is now a proper melee weapon instead of one that gives them an extra ability, but it still has all it’s other profiles. The Keeper of Secrets also has a new ranged weapon called Phantasmagoria, which is one of the current Soulstain Discipline Psychic Powers, but in accordance with the 10th Edition rules, it is now used in the shooting phase, but it can still deal Mortal Wounds thanks to the Devastating Wounds ability.

The Keeper of Secrets also increases the AP of other Daemons’ melee weapons around him by 1, worsens the Hit Rolls of incoming attacks against him, and even if enemy units manages to hit this Daemon of Slaanesh, it’s optional wargear, Shining Aegis gives it a 5+ Feel No Pain – on top of it’s 4+ Invulnerable Save.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Keeper of Secrets Datasheet

While the Keeper of Secrets truly seems terrifying, it’s nothing compared to the Dark Master himself, Be’lakor. The First Demon received 3 extra Tougness in exchange of 2 Wounds, which should help him be more durable in the next Edition of Warhammer 40k. He also gained 2 ranged weapons in the form of the Betraying Shades Witchfire Psychic power, which will let him deal Motral Wounds at 18” inches if he rolls well enough. Be’lakor also kept both of the Blade of Shadows profiles, with it’s Strike Profile gaining Lethal hits but a bit less damage, while the Sweep received more attack than before.

But the most interesting thing is the new Dark Master aura, and the reworked Shadow Form. The Dark Master expands your Shadow of Chaos, as the area 6” around Be’lakor gets the Army Rules’ bonuses, instead of giving Chapter Master rerolls to everyone around him. Shadow Form is in line with the new abilities given to Roboute Guilliman and Abaddon the Despoiler, which let’s Be’lakor choose 1 out of 3 Auras in each battle round, which is active until the next Command Phase:

  • Wreathed in Shadows gives protection to friendly Daemons within 6” of Be’lakor, as they cannot be shot at unless the shooting enemy is within 18”,
  • Pall of Despair forces enemy units within 6” of the Dark Master take a Battle-shock test, which lets him take control of objectives more effectively,
  • While Shadow Lord helps his Daemons keep in line, as they can reroll Battle-shock and Leadership tests in case they fail one.
  • Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Be'lakor Datasheet
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With these new abilities, Be’lakor is truly on par with the other Epic Heroes of different Factions, meaning that the hordes of Daemons will be even scarier if they are led by this Black Monstrosity.

Weapon Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus

Two weapons were showcased in the blogpost: the Bileblade of the Great Unclean Ones (and other Daemons) and Slaughter and Carnage, the twin axes of Skarbrand, the Bloodthirster.

The Bileblade is the perfect weapon to showcase the new Extra Attacks ability: in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k, only one melee weapon can be used in each Fight Phase, even if the model has more than one – it has to choose. But if they possess a tool such as the Bileblade, they can make attack with those Extra Attacks weapons alongside with the chosen weapon – which makes them especially deadly in close quarters combat. While the Bileblade lost a pip of AP, with this ability, the Great Unclean Ones should be as deadly as before up close.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Bileblade parameters
Extra Attacks seem like a really strong ability

Skarbrand’s mighty axes also got a huge buff, as they are more consistent than ever. While the Sweep Profile lost AP, the Strike profile now has a guaranteed 6 damage instead of D3+3, while the Strength of the attacks remained the same. If you let this Bloodthirster get close to you, prepare for a world of pain.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Slaughter and Carnage parameters

Stratagem Spotlight of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus

One new Stratagem has also been released in the Faction Focus called Corrupt Realspace. This Stratagem costs only 1 CP, and can be used at the start of each player’s Command Phase on a Daemon unit you control within the range of an objective marker. The Stratagem makes it so that the objective marker becomes sticky, meaning that you can leave it and it still remains under your control. It also expands the Shadow of Chaos, as a 6” radius area around said marker will be considered to be within the Shadow. This makes it harder for enemies to take the objective back, as they might have to take some unfavourable Battle-shock test – or even suffer Mortal Wounds.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Corrupt Realspace Stratagem

The new rules showcased for the Chaos Daemons seem really strong, with a chance to become oppressive if there are other ways to expand the Shadow of Chaos, forcing opponents to take damaging Battle-shock tests. Daemons are a very versatile army in 9th Edition, and it seems like Games Workshop wants to keep that aspect of the, but maybe it will be beneficial to take a force which serves only one Chaos God in the future. That remains to be seen, but in the meanwhile, feel free to check out ESTNN’s other Warhammer themed articles and Faction Focuses!

Warhammer 40k Chaos Daemons Faction Focus Shows the Desire of the Warp to Take Over the Battlefield
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.