Sunday, June 7, 2015

Homebrew Rules: Daemon Weapons

A recent Bolter & Chainsword discussion on Chaos Space Marines involved coming up with changes for the army that are iconic as well as solutions to the inherent problems in the book.

From my perspective, I feel that our characters are not powerful enough in close combat. They are required to challenge other characters (Champion of Chaos, Skulls for the Skull Throne!) and yet lack the defensive upgrades available to loyalists (Storm Shields, Artificer Armor) without effective means of getting past those defenses. I don't want Chaotic equivalents of this nonsense. I don't want my champions cowering behind a shield. I want, instead, to replace those sturdy defensive options with savage offensive capabilities instead.

My solution? The daemon weapon.

I recently started reading the Liber Chaotica, and one of my favorite sections is the one about daemon weapons. We're talking blades that are themselves daemons, or they are trapped and enslaved within them. Only champions of substantial skill, willpower, and the favor of the dark gods could possibly wield weapons like these. Often times the weapons themselves are far more legendary than the champions who temporarily possess them.\

Hell, think about Drach'nyen. I'm pretty sure Abaddon launched an entire Black Crusade just to get his claws on it. Daemon weapons aren't all quite as powerful as the Despoiler's blade, but they should be capable of chopping through an Astartes sergeant in a challenge like it's nothing.

I am a huge fan of options. Chaos, more than any other faction, supports the ability to craft a unique force filled with characters of our own creation. The powers of the warp are essentially infinitely creative. Therefore, the range of options should lie on a spectrum.

In Codex: Daemons, you have three types of rewards: Lesser, Greater, and Exalted. Using this as inspiration, I have devised lesser, greater, and exalted daemon weapons. These weapons can be represented by any type of weapon; axes, swords, mauls, scythes, etc. But stat-wise, they are the same with a few variations which will be detailed shortly.

Lesser Daemon Weapon

25 Points
Upgrade option for any model who is a character; Cultist Champion may not purchase this upgrade.
Strength: +1 AP: 2 Melee
Champion Effect*

This is a weapon which is the equivalent of a lesser daemon of sorts. Perhaps a Bloodreaper was defeated by the wielder and enslaved to the blade through some dark ritual. Most importantly, this weapon provides a baseline option for increasing strength by 1 and striking with AP2 at initiative. It isn't as powerful as a power fist, as strong as a power axe, but it strikes first which is crucial. 

Greater Daemon Weapon

30 points
Upgrade option for any of the unnamed HQ characters
Strength: +1 AP:2 Melee
Champion Effect*, Bloodthirst
Bloodthirst: At the beginning of combat, roll a d6. The wielder gains this many additional attacks until the end of that combat. If the wielder fails to inflict a wound, he automatically takes a wound. Armor saves may be taken against this wound.

This is a substantial weapon that contains something like a Greater Daemon inside of it. Think of the Axe of Blind Fury as an example. I dislike the current Daemon Weapon rules, so I created my own in the form of Bloodthirsty. This way the wielder will always get a bonus, and there is no weapon skill reduction simply for rolling poorly. At the same time, the daemon WILL have blood, one way or another. If the wielder is too inept to kill something, the daemon will take it as an insult and take his pound of flesh.

Exalted Daemon Weapon

60 points
Uprade option for Chaos Lord and Daemon Prince only
Strength:+2 AP:2 Melee
Champion Effect*, Soulthirst, Instant Death, Unique
Soulthirst: At the beginning of combat, roll a d6. The wielder gains this many additional attacks until the end of that combat. If the wielder fails to inflict a wound, he automatically takes a wound. Only invulnerable saves may be taken against this wound. Feel No Pain, Reanimation Protocols, and other such saves may not be taken by any wounds inflicted by this weapon.

Clearly, we are talking about an object that transcends the term "weapon" and is more accurately a fragment of the warp itself made manifest and imbued with power beyond mortal reckoning. No instead death on 6's like the weakling Axe of Khorne, this thing is the real deal. Wraithknights will tremble. Wielded by a Daemon Prince, the price will be appropriate to take down that ridiculous monstrosity. Wielded by a Chaos Lord, it will deal a few wounds before getting stomped to death.

* Champion Effect: 

Any unit joined by the wielder of the weapon receives the following bonuses depending on their Mark of Chaos:
Unmarked: +1 Leadership (Applies to the wielder and his unit)
Mark of Khorne: The wielder or his unit may re-roll  a single to-wound roll per combat.
Mark of Slaanesh: The wielder or his unit may re-roll  a single to-hit roll per combat.
Mark of Tzeentch: The wielder or his unit may re-roll  a single armor save per combat.
Mark of Nurgle: Haven't come up with one yet

No comments:

Post a Comment