Monday, August 30, 2010

Daemon Week: Friend of a Fiend

This week is gonna be a bit different.  I'm pretty pumped about my recent Daemon purchase, so I though I'd mine that feeling for a whole mess of articles.  So my recent schedule will be interrupted while I deal with my warp-spawned boner.  Its entirely likely that there will not be a Tutorial Tuesday or even a No Pants Friday this week.

The post from last Friday generated quite a few comments.  Most of them on the relative merits of which model to use for Fiends of Slaanesh.   So I think this is the place to start my discussion on my choices for my army.  Or, at least, the choices for models for the army since I am unabashedly copying one of Stelek's lists.

Sylvester Sneekly is also a fiend.  But irrelevant to our discussion.

Before we get into choosing a model, I think it's worth mentioning why its even a factor.  For the benefit of those of you out there who've never looked into the daemon book - simply put, Fiends of Slaanesh are auto-include good.  They are just absolutely nasty - multi-wound, extremely fast (beast+fleet), insane number of attacks, hit and run, rending AND fairly cheap.   These guys are good at killing just about anything on the table save for the odd Land Raider.  And even then, they've got enough attacks to kind of, sort of make it happen anyway.   Its kind of crazy how good they are - especially in the face of how much attention GW pays to the (sadly) inferior Blood Crushers.

So most people in the know want at least two units of these guys often three.  Which is where we run into the problems with the model.  Because its metal and you'll need 18 of them if you decide to max out.  Shit.  At $22 per, it adds up quick.  Now, this situation works for things like Hive Guard because you'll only ever need 9 of them and most people need about 6.  The cost is much easier to absorb and its significantly less mandatory that you max out.

So, the unit is insanely good, but insanely expensive.   This is where most people who want to play daemons run into the big challenge:  where the hell can I get the money?  Followed very quickly by:  what the hell can I use instead? 

Option 1:  Proxy the shit out of the fiends.  In my research, I've found this to to be the most common choice.  The three most prevalent options are either kind of the plastic Cold Ones, the new Seekers or Chaos Spawn.  The dino's  and seekers have the advantage of sheer cheapness going for them (plus the models are pretty cool).  The spawn have the advantage of being about 25% cheaper AND still looking like an actual chaos model (also cool). 

To be honest, these are all fine options that Brent, Stelek and GMort have all taken in one form or another and really gone the distance on making the models look 'fiendy'.  However, I'm not personally a fan of any of those options.  They all look too much like themselves.

Now, on to some caveats and groveling so as not to insult these fine chaps.  In each case, I really do like what's been done as far as paint jobs and modeling go.  Its just not for me.  I'm not really enough of a fan of the models to make the same decision.  I'll certainly look at these models and think "man, that's cool", but I wont repeat their efforts since I don't like the models enough.

Touching on this article on proxies, the dino's just don't sit right with me.  Its a quirk of mine - I have no problem with other people using proxies in this way, but I just can't do it myself.  The spawn, with my love of official models still in effect, just aren't cheap enough.   And the seekers look too much like seekers.  None of those options is far enough away from there own aesthetic to really grab me as fiends. 

I'm relatively sure I fucked up the very rational explanation I had in my head AND insulted people in the process. Sigh.

You and I, dear reader, are much like these bananas.

Option 2:  Convert the shit out of something.  You know what?  I'm not going to bother much with an explanation here.  Converting is almost never an option for me because I kind of hate it.  I don't mind kit bashing and very simple stuff, but really involved projects like making spider-centaurs are really just not my bag.  Its time consuming, its difficult, its not cheap enough and I never feel very rewarded personally when I do it.  Maybe I'm just lazy or maybe it's my inferiority complex surrounding hard-core converting, but I almost never go this route.

Option 3:  Bite the bullet and drop the cash on actual fiends.  This is what I ended up doing. Of course i had the money... after selling off a ton of MTG cards... and my Lizardmen.. and my Khador... and some old Fantasy stuff... and....

There are a number of people out there who don't like them, I actually do like the official models.  There exactly as weird looking and grotesque as I want them.  Plus, they're metal - which I kind of dig.  I can also say that the vast majority of my army is metal - which tickles the elitist and spectacle loving parts of me.  Though all the preparation involved makes me a bit of a hypocrite in light of my feelings on option 2.

In the end, all of the options above are fine choices that all have merit and are worth considering.  I ended up with 18 metal fiends, but that's just me... the metal fiend guy.


  1. I'm glad you wrote this article, Lauby - 'cause you've saved me the trouble of doing it!

    This is pretty much word-for-word what's going on with Fiends the world over.

    I'm like you, I would have preferred the metal models - and almost went that route - if not for the cost.

    I appreciate the nod to my Proxies article. While I get what you're saying, my feeling is the plastic Cold Ones don't exist as models in the 41st Millennium so are a 'counts as' rather than a proxy.

    Truth be told, that's why I have a major issue with folks planning on using the Seekers as Fiends - they can't be Fiends...

    They're Seekers!

  2. Battle for Skull Pass Spiders (from Goblin Spider Riders) but new plastic Daemonettes = Fiends.

    I did one as a test and it looks great... I'll make myself 6 (for fantasy)

  3. @zingbaby- seriously, fuck you dude....

    oh sorry, wrong thread

    I like the idea of using seekers, but they'd need to be doctored up significantly, adding robster craws, spawn bits, and of course a bigger base.

  4. Dayum, 18 metal Fiends. I would do it if I had hundreds of dollars (that's almost a whole new army!) lying around.

  5. My FLGS had 2 boxes of the 'Tide of Spawn' sitting on a shelf in their storeroom which I got relatively cheap.

    That gave me enough bits for all the Fiends and other parts I used to make the Plaguebearers. Cost really was an issue for me at the time so there was no chance of me doing the army with the official models (which I don't like anyway if I'm being honest).

    I'll be interested to see how you progress with the army as mine worked brilliantly against most things but had issues against certain builds like Land Raider Spam and Vulkan/Null Zone lists (them rerolling to wound with Flamers and me Rerolling all my Inv. saves was not much fun).

  6. The Tide of Spawn set is definitely the way to go for Fiends. Cold Ones are just too puny to look like something that can spit out 5 S5 attacks, and Seekers clearly are another unit from the same Codex.

    The Spider-Daemonette conversions are too tiny - fiends are big fuckers and a counts-as model needs to consider this. They also run the problem the Cold Ones have - too weedy.

    Spawn don't really exist in the Chaos Demons book - sure, Boon, but who takes that power. They also take up about the same amount of volume on the table, and look like they can actually dish out the fiend's statline.