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The Daemonhunters Handbook - Tactica, Guide, and How To!

Submitted By: Guildmage Aech Date: August 15, 2010, 10:30:15 AM Views: 2983
Summary: A guide to the units available in Codex Daemonhunters, including allies, and advice on tactics and equipping units in fifth edition Warhammer 40,000.

The Daemonhunters Handbook - Tactica, Guide and How To!
 For the original codex, fifth Edition Warhammer 40,000

Greetings Inquisitor,

Know that this information contains details on a force that operates in utter secrecy, so much so that the existence of their enemies cannot be common knowledge. Contact with the Xenos is merely a crime, but contact with the daemon is unforgivable corruption.  Those who walk the path to combat the most deadly enemy are those at greatest risk to its temptation, and it is these individuals who must face the greatest peril, and whose resolve must be strongest.

This datafile is designed to brief you on the operations, details, and methodology of the military order of the Ordo Malleus of the most holy Inquisition.  This army is a difficult one to command, your elite troops are few in number, and while armed to face their ancient enemies, they are not as flexible as the regular armies of the Imperium.  With their skill at arms and flawless tactics, they must overcome their foes, but defeat awaits them at every corner.  They do not fight because it is easy, but because it is hard; this is the path of the Daemonhunter...

HQ - Grey Knight Grand Master

Old codex or not, he is still one of the most dangerous combat characters in the game, he turns up tooled for battle, and easily outclasses a Marine Captain with Terminator Armour and a Relic Blade for a similar cost.  I would trade a point of WS for an extra attack any day of the week.  In addition, armed with a Force Weapon which is able to slap down models with Eternal Warrior life isn't all bad!

Furthermore, with a few upgrades, you can turn him into an absolute machine.  Below are a few choice picks from the armoury.  I emphasize 'a few' though, since great as the armoury is, you ought not spend much over 200 points on him, otherwise you will find yourself even shorter on numbers than you would like to be.

  • Combi-melta - A traditional favourite for all Imperial armies, fairly expensive but very useful.
  • Psycannon - A common upgrade for the Grey Knight Grand Master.  It is a great gun, and now it is on a guy with great ballistic skill!
  • Holy Relic - Attacks are good, extra attacks are better, but is it better than an extra Grey Knight? Probably not
  • Icon of the Just - An improved invulnerable save is very useful, but quite expensive.
  • Master Crafted Weapon - As an upgrade for the Nemesis Force Weapon this is absolutely great.
  • Sacred Incense - I would say that it is worth it as insurance.  In a fight against Chaos, it will turn combats of equal initiative into a massacre in your favour, considering how hard Daemonhunters tend to punch.
  • Psychic Hood - Like the kind that Space Marines have but with an infinite range, which is great, and annoying for Eldar players!

As for the psychic powers, I would say that Hammerhand is about the only one worth looking at, and even then it is mainly for pummeling dreadnoughts and tanks to death with.  Costing only five points more than a Melta bomb it is not even a big investment, and the capacity to punch a whole mob of Ork Nobz to instant death remains worth considering.

HQ - Grey Knight Brother Captain

With only one wound, lower initiative, and fewer attacks, the Brother Captain does not compare to the Grand Master when it comes to slugging it out in combat.  His best qualities are that he is much cheaper, being less than half the starting price, and that he retains a high leadership.  His main advantage is being cheap, so I suggest keeping him that way, and the points which you save can be spent on other units, making the Brother Captain a useful option to consider in games of a small points value.  The points difference between a Brother Captain and a Grand Master allows you to purchase two or three GK terminators!

An independent character with one wound is risky in close combat, as even one basic trooper can take a swing at him to try to get lucky.  If you're taking Grey Knight Terminators, it is a good thought to turn them into a retinue for the Brother Captain.  Otherwise, consider hanging back with the Brother Captain, attaching him to units away from the front line, perhaps as an additional special weapon trooper.

  • Combi-melta - A traditional favourite for all Imperial armies, fairly expensive but very useful.
  • Incinerator - Replacing the average Marine ballistic skill is not that painful, so it is a maybe.
  • Sacred Incense - As per the big chief, it can be worth it as insurance if you fear Chaos.
  • Psychic Hood - If you buy this and nothing else, then it is a good build.  An excellent unlimited range anti-psychic defense at a sound price.

Psychic powers are very risky on a one wound character.  One Perils of the Warp and he is gone.  Even Hammerhand isn't going to be that helpful when you cannot beat a dreadnought on initiative.  I would not take any.

HQ - Inquisitor Lord

Inquisitor Lords are slightly more difficult units to use, since he cannot really fight that well in combat, and if you try to tool him up he still cannot really fight well, and ends up just costing lots of points.  Also, he is a relatively inflexible with his compulsory bodyguard, but he can be made into an excellent support unit; for example, a heavy weapons squad works well, and when set up in cover, it has the durability to engage in firefights.

One of his other useful strengths is the 'Iron Will' rule, because choosing to pass or fail tests is very useful.  As a fire support unit you can fearlessly hug the table edge without fear of failing a morale check and leaving the table, or when deployed with room to fall back, you can use this rule to automatically flee, which is very handy if it takes the unit out of assault range!

In summary, he can cost fewer points, which is worth remembering if you are counting the points, and if you have got an army that is good at close combat elsewhere, you can probably get by without a combat HQ; plenty of armies do that nowadays!  Here are a few thoughts for equipping him and his squad:

  • Psycannon, with 3 Heavy Bolter equipped Warriors -  You get a good fire support unit for your money, and one advantage of this build is that as an HQ, you can set up your unit in position during Dawn of War games, which is nice.  Adding a Sage helps the accuracy of the Psycannon.  The Plasma Cannon equipped Servitor is a decent investment too.
  • Combi-melta and Melta Gun Warriors - They will need a transport, but there is no way of getting more melta fire into a unit.
  • Familiars/Servo Skulls - Even if you don't want to take psychic powers these are very useful, mostly because they are cheap, and can take wounds before anyone important has to get hit.  Given that the unit lacks toughness, adding durability with ablative wounds is well worth it.
  • Acolyte - Useful for a bit of wound shuffling, but remember the opportunity to buy wargear does not mean that you have to.  They are pretty much unskilled plebs and are probably not going to achieve much with whatever you give them.  Consider minimal wargear to make them unique models for the purpose of wound allocation.
  • Mystics - Quite useful for warding off deep strike units.  Having two and nominating a nearby unit to take the shot on your behalf is handy if the retinue does not have decent guns, and you have a nearby unit that does.  This ability works inside a transport remember.
  • Psychic Hood - Like the kind that Space Marines have, but with an infinite range, which is great and annoying for Eldar players!  At the end of the day, if this is all you add, and have the minimum possible retinue, you will have still spent fewer points than the cost of a Space Marine Librarian, and he can hide in the corner all game.
  • The Emperor's Tarot - It helps you go first ... a little bit, but it does not cost that much, and if it works it will be worth its weight in gold.
  • Null Rod - Yes it automatically stops psychic powers from affecting him, but is he really going to get that much psychic attention?

As for actually taking psychic powers for him, I probably would not bother, although Word of the Emperor has the advantage of being cheap, and might work, while Hammerhand helps his combat ability while holding a two handed gun, and is arguably better than a strength three Power Weapon, but spending points on combat in this unit is not going to get you far.

Transport is essential if you do not go for the 'as cheap as possible' or heavy weapons build, and it is not unreasonable to think about buying him just to put a Land Raider on the table.  The Lascannon model is a surprisingly competent battletank when it is not dumping stuff into combat, and its ability to move and fire both lascannons will keep it dishing out damage, while its bullet magnet tendencies can keep a lot of attention away from other more fragile parts of the army!

Elites - Grey Knight Terminators

With a high weapon skill, strength, and initiative, as well as a take no shit attitude means that it is a short list of units that is going to be keen to fight these guys.  While they will struggle to stand up to the meanest super units that fifth edition has to offer, they will still slice their way though pretty much anything else.  The best feature has to be the way they take apart MEQs, so make sure that you ask if you want them returned sliced, or diced like a pineapple.

Available individually as an elites slot, or as a bodyguard for the Grey Knight Grand Master, they are a good option in either role.  They make a good bodyguard, trading you the flexibility of an independent character for the advantage of hiding him from being picked out, although you do lose out on having a Brother Captain as a unit leader, and while, frankly, he is no Grand Master, he is still a very dangerous addition to the unit.

Let’s take a look at the options:

  • Combi-melta - A traditional favourite for all Imperial armies, it is fairly expensive, but very useful.
  • Psycannon/Incinerator - I would probably go with Psycannons, as the army is desperate for long range fire, so taking the kind that can move and fire at range is well worth it.  You can buy one with the unit, but do not forget that you can pick up a second one from the armoury.
  • Thunder Hammer - Probably worth having a token one around for the sake of being able to smack stuff in the face with it.  If you take the free trade on the Brother Captain, you can then buy a gun from the armoury to get rid of the crappy old version Stormshield.  You are not getting an extra attack anyway so you might as well put something useful on his other arm!
  • Master-crafting - Worth a go for the squad leader, but the unit already has plenty of combat power, so it will not be missed.

I would not touch the Holocaust option on this unit with an eleven foot pole, since it is not very good, and the risk of losing the whole unit to a Perils of the Warp attack is frankly far too catastrophic to even think about!  No thanks.

Elites - Inquisitor

Very similar to the HQ version, the only real difference is his lower leadership that makes him much less suitable as a Psychic Hood caddy.  He is also mildly worse in combat, but his combat skills were not anything to write home about in the first place.

The optional retinue means that he can attach to other units.  Equipped with a Combi-Weapon, he can join Stormtrooper units in lieu of a Veteran for equal cost, but better stats.  In this role, a power like Hammerhand is moderately useful for punching tanks with.  Also, he is almost as good for making a heavy weapon squad, although I would go with the Lord for this if possible, as the higher retinue size means a few more munkins to absorb bullets before the important models.

Elites - Daemonhosts

Unless you lose a bet, I do not think you can honestly field them in anger, as they are expensive, fragile, unreliable, and not that good.  Immensely cool as a fluff unit, but if that is why you are fielding them, tactical considerations are not at the forefront of your mind.

Elites - Death Cult Assassins

Quite good in terms of points cost, I think that the main (and crippling) disadvantage is that they each count for a killpoint.  The old tactic of having a few of them and letting a desperate enemy unit have to pick one as a target to gun down before being swarmed by the rest is not really viable.

There are no options, but if you feel like giving them a try, aim for about six, and an Eversor to go running around stabbing people in the face!

Elites - Officio Assassinorium Operatives

The Assassins are classic models, but sadly tend to struggle somewhat in fifth edition, mostly because of the creep in power.  Most army HQs are tougher than they used to be, so given that a Callidus used to be on an equal footing with a Space Marine Captain of the past, it is now somewhat galling to be hit on threes... 

The main issue with the combat Assassins is the changes for fifth edition's counter attack move and casualty removal.  No longer can an Eversor or Callidus try to kill people before they strike, meaning that they are open to many more enemy attacks in the first round of combat than they ever used to be.  At the end of the day they are actually pretty fragile.

Oh, and apparently, the Officio Assassinorium teaches its personnel combat with everything except Frag Grenades, which is helpful.  Let us take a look at the options:

  • Eversor - My favourite, and a general purpose combat machine.  His high speed makes him able to find targets, and stab them in the face.  Providing that you do not ask him to hack his way through a whole squad of Marines, he will probably make a decent dent.  Use him by either outflanking for surprise attacks, or moving up with the army by hiding behind vehicles, and he becomes one of the most usable Assassins.  It is easy to set up for a turn one charge with infiltrate, so look out for opportunities to automatically hit a vehicle with a Melta Bomb on turn one.
  • Callidus - Another good choice.  Reasonable in close combat, with a good selection of handy rules.  Ignoring all saves can make her surprisingly nasty against models thinking that they were safe behind their Storm Shields but you will find challenging those sorts of models rapidly becomes a suicide mission.  Redeploying enemies is also handy to annoy heavy weapon squads, push jump pack or bike units into terrain, or to clump enemies together for a blast template to the face.  The rule to jump out of combat is not that usable, unfortunately, due to its timing.  Basically, the Swiss army knife of the Assassins, ever so useful, but not always the best weapon.
  • Vindicare - As much as the background of the sniper is tempting, at the end of the day you are going to get about five shots a game (maybe less if it is Dawn of War), so for all the talk about the tactical advantage of picking off specific models, he struggles to kill more than three or four people a game.  You have to make sure that they are three very important models.
  • Culexus - Slow, short range weapons, not good at combat; actually he has no combat weapons to speak of, and even against psyker heavy armies he is lacking.  I genuinely doubt that, despite the theory to the contrary, anyone seriously fielded a Culexus Assassin in anger.

I would say it’s a choice between the Callidus or the Eversor if you are looking at an Assassin for your army, since they both add the ability to fight units that could otherwise be out of reach for your other units.  Infiltrate and outflank is also largely unavailable to the regular units.

Troops - Grey Knights

So very expensive that it makes your eyes water, but you get a massive pile of upgrades over a Tactical Marine for the cost.  It is going to take some careful play to get your money's worth though, as for all their skills, they are still as easy to kill as a Tactical Marine.

Strong in combat, but probably better playing at range as long as possible, Power Armour Grey Knights (PAGK) put out a huge amount of anti-personnel fire at long range while on the move, thanks to their Storm Bolters.  They suffer from a degree of tactical inflexibility, due to the fact that you cannot alter the weapons on the Justicar.  Avoid dreadnoughts like the plague.

  • Psycannon - Yes it is good, but you pay a lot of points for it, and you lose your NFW in the bargain.  Some swear by them, while others will not touch them with a barge pole.  It does not match the range of the Storm Bolter very well either.  It is potentially useful for a small unit instructed to sit at range and claim objectives, but could you not pay for some Stormtroopers to do that for you?
  • Incinerator - Dangerous, both to the enemy you burn, and to the Grey Knights that have to get close to use it on them.  Without a transport option to get template weapons into a good position, opportunities are limited, but you could appropriate a transport from another unit.  In its favour, it is much much cheaper than a Psycannon.
  • Holy Relic - Attacks are good, extra attacks are better, but is it better than an extra Grey Knight?  Probably not, but imagine if someone assaults you and you get to lay the smack down?  Hmmm...
  • Melta bombs - Cheap, so why not?
  • Targetter - Cheap, and gives you the peace of mind to hug max weapon range.
  • Frag Grenades - Only available for the Justicar, but allows the Power Weapon to strike at initiative when assaulting into cover, and every little helps.

Troops - Inquisitional Stormtroopers

The Inquisitional Stormtroopers are very different from the version found in the Imperial Guard codex.  In some ways this is good because they are a lot cheaper here, which helps counteract the expensive nature of many of the other units in the Daemonhunters codex, however, there are a lot of options missing, as well as basic guns that are actually effective.

The best role for these guys is as a mechanized special weapons teams.  With access to the resilient Rhino, they are able to advance to get melta weapons within range of tanks and Dreadnoughts, in order to deal with these highly dangerous targets that otherwise are rather prickly for Grey Knights to handle.  Additionally, as a troops unit, they are able to hold objectives, and with ranged weapons like Grenade Launchers or Plasma Guns, and a Chimera transport, they can still provide some handy fire support; and by holding back, make good use of the Chimera's heavier armour, with less risk of being outflanked.

The biggest drawback to the unit is its fragility.  With fairly low toughness, medium armour save, and next to no combat ability, the Stormtroopers struggle to last long against enemy attention, and increasing the unit size is not worth the cost because of how little it adds to the offensive or defensive capability of the unit.

My recommendation is to keep the unit size down, and take only one kind of special weapon, so that the chances of dealing high damage to their ideal targets is much higher.

  • Melta Guns - The king of anti-tank weapons in fifth edition, able to take down just about any armoured vehicle.
  • Flamers - I would not bother, while cheap there are plenty of ways to get anti-infantry firepower into the army, so I would make the most of the other options while you have them!
  • Plasma Guns - Useful for tackling monstrous creatures and heavy infantry.  Shooting at short range can deal a lot of damage, while at long range, they are able to chip away at things.  They are also able to threaten lighter vehicles.
  • Grenade Launchers - Quite expensive considering they are arguably the least offensive weapon.  Their only advantage is the ability to move and fire at full range, with the multiple fire modes being only of limited use, as the frag template is so weak that it is rarely worth using.
  • Veteran - The main reason to take this upgrade is to access armoury wargear, mainly for access to Teleport Homers, or a Combi-Weapon.  I would say that taking more than that is far too extravagant for an already overpriced model.  Consider attaching an Elite Inquisitor, who has a wider wargear selection, and the ability to run off from the unit if the opportunity is needed.

For transports, paying the old prices for Extra Armour makes it too cheap to ignore, and Smoke Launchers are as always too good to skip for what they offer.  Prices are expensive for the basic vehicle though, so if you are taking allies, consider stealing vehicles instead!  Unfortunately, due to a codex specific listing in the dedicated transports section, Inquisitional Authority denies other units permission to ride in a transport bought for the Stormtroopers; so be aware that you cannot load it up with Grey Knights should it take your fancy.

Fast Attack - Grey Knights Teleport Attack

Something of a misnomer really, since this is the troops squad altered enough to manufacture something for an otherwise pretty much devoid section of the codex.   This unit struggles somewhat with being non-scoring in this edition of the game.

Much of the same thoughts which apply to the troops also apply here, although this unit is arguably able to make more use of Incinerators via teleport attack flaming, but it is a brave move with expensive units that are very painful to send on a suicide mission.

Heavy Support - Grey Knights Purgation Squad

Like the Grey Knights in the troops section, but they cost more to upgrade.  Great. Furthermore, you have to buy the same expensive combat equipped unit leader for your weapons team.  This unit suffers somewhat from being too much of a Grey Knight version of a Devastator Squad, meaning it has to use the same format to do a very different job with different components, which is not ideal.

There could be some mileage in giving them all Incinerators, and stealing an allied Imperial Guard Chimera, but I wouldn't advise it, as, frankly, the same job gets done about as well by a cheaper, scoring, troops squad of Grey Knights.

Heavy Support - Grey Knights Dreadnought

More or less like a Space Marine Dreadnought but with better weapon skill.  As they are one of the few units in the codex that can carry heavy anti-tank weapons, they often end up with this job, but it is not a great job for them, because they do not really like fighting with other tanks at range, due to their armour not being that good, and their guns not being that hot either to be honest.

Let us take a look at the weapons and upgrades options:

  • Twin Lascannon - Accurate, long ranged, and dangerous.  It has a limited effect against heavy armour, but is good for dealing with transports, and lighter vehicles, against which you can deal consistent damage.
  • Assault Cannon - Cheap, multi-purpose, and good anti-armour if it is in range.
  • Missile Launcher - At the cost of your combat arm, it is a good addition to anti-tank fire, matching reasonably well with the Lascannon when targeting medium armour vehicles.
  • Hunter-Killer - Actually a reasonable upgrade here if you do not have the Missile Launcher fitted.  Fire it off as early as possible in accordance with the theory that it will help to reduce the chances of return fire.
  • Extra Armour - At this price, how can you not?
  • Smoke Launchers - At this price, how can you not?
  • Heavy Flamer/Incinerator - Dreadnoughts have issues dealing with crowds, and starting a fire is good at dealing with these issues...

Heavy Support - Grey Knights Land Raider/Land Raider Crusader

It is a Landraider, so it is tougher than a brick shithouse, and slightly faster.  They are hard to kill, and pack guns, but, unfortunately, they are expensive, and tend to explode in the presence of melta weapons, which are sadly quite common.

Both versions benefit from the FAQ providing them with the modern version of the Machine Spirit, and the assault ramps, to prevent quibbles about assaulting.

Undoubtedly, the star of the two is the Crusader, its old version Bolters firing at full speed makes it a force to be reckoned with, as you will rarely have a need to travel less than full speed, making it very difficult to stop its assault.  Lastly, its Frag Launchers are fabulous, seeing as none of the Grey Knights are willing to dirty their shiny silver hands with 'common' weapons like Frag Grenades.

The Lascannon model is worth mentioning though, and is still a very strong contender.  It brings some heavy weapons to the table and is able to engage multiple targets at range, and have a good chance of winning a firefight.  Its twin Lascannons also add a lot to the army when it is hard to find anti-tank guns elsewhere.  While it is less suited to charging in and running amok than its Bolter armed twin it is still great at carrying a unit for counter assaulting, and making progress towards the enemy.  Additionally, as it often hangs back at distance, this version tends to last a lot longer, due to being in less proximity to melta weapons, and other weapons fire is usually kept out by its excellent armour.

Here are my thoughts on the options:

  • Dozer Blade - Being immobilised is a pain in the arse, so it is worth a thought, although it is tricky to convert convincingly.  Alternatively, you could just drive around stuff.
  • Hunter-Killer - I probably would not bother.
  • Extra Armour - At this price, it is a near automatic buy
  • Smoke Launchers - Cheap as chips, and you are going to need them.

Another point worth mentioning is that if the Land Raider is not busy transporting Grey Knights into combat, it is worth consider putting a cheap troops unit aboard to upgrade the vehicle to being scoring.  A minimum sized unit of Stormtroopers can do this, although a small unit of Grey Knights can also be handy as they provide a decent counter assault ability too, and if they are equipped with Incinerators, these weapons become very nasty when using a transport to position the templates for best effect.

Heavy Support - Orbital Strike

Ordinance strikes are not an effective weapon to kill your enemies with, but they have good deterrent value, and are useful for denying areas to the enemy.  Experienced players may brave it out by using cover, and hoping it doesn't hit, often finding that it is not actually that dangerous.

It can also be useful also for targeting areas you think the enemy might move through, in order to approach you.  Orks with hordes of Boyz, or lots of light vehicles, for example, often use the most predictable route to attempt to rush elite armies, and while dropping shells there is unlikely to turn them back, it is at least quite likely to get some kills to make it easier for the rest of your army.

  • Lance Strike - An excellent AP value makes this a good option against vehicles, but the downside is that with scatter you will be lucky to get a full strength hit.
  • Melta Torpedo - Bonus armour penetration makes this able to damage most vehicles, even without the hole in the blast template being over the hull.  It also has good enough AP to make MEQs think twice about hanging around in the open near its target area.
  • Barrage Bomb - This does not really have the strength or AP to harm most targets, so for only a few points more I would definitely go for one of the other two to get something that lets the target know it has been touched.

Troop/Fast Attack/Heavy Support - Allied Marines and Inducted Guard

By the authority of the Immortal Emperor of Mankind...  Having a badge is great, but the best bit is getting to wave it at people and order them around! Bearing that in mind, let us look at where this gets us.  Broadly speaking, you have the option of referring to the two main Imperial codices, and grabbing units to add to the army.  As there is already much material on tactics for both, this is a short summary focusing on the use of their units to the Inquisition.

The most likely allies to be taken are Imperial Guard, purely because if you want to include any Grey Knights in your army, you are not allowed to have Marines (unless you make a Marine army, and add Grey Knights to it of course).

Be aware that more than a few units referenced do not exist anymore, (e.g., Imperial Guard Armoured Fist Squads), so you have to work around that.

Space Marines - Troops

The options are fairly straightforward, the ever reliable Tactical squad and the Space Marine Scouts.  Both are quite useful in the context of having only Inquisition Stormtroopers as your 'core' troops.  Tactical marines are well equipped to deal with most situations, even if they rarely get to shine at anything in particular, while Scouts are not only comparatively cheap, but also have access to infiltrate and scout, allowing alternative deployments, including outflanking with scoring units.

You will generally find that you do not need more than two allied troops, which, with two of your own, takes you up to four, which is quite enough for most situations; save large games, or building the army to spam smaller units, in which case consider sticking with Stormtroopers, as they bring more special weapons for the cost.

Space Marines - Fast Attack & Heavy Support

The biggest advantage of the Space Marines is that it is much easier to access the support units with them than the Imperial Guard, given the lack of expensive Grey Knights; hence there are more points generally available, as well as fewer points being needed to be spent to unlock them.  The most useful asset is having access to real fast attack units, instead of troops with minor twist.

  • Assault Squad - Good against lighter infantry, but struggles against heavier stuff. Without the Marine character often found leading them in their own armies they have a much harder time, but they are a useful support unit.
  • Landspeeder - As there is no such thing as a Tornado unit anymore you are only getting one squadron maximum, but they are great so that is alright.  Multi-Melta and Heavy Flamer, or Typhoon Missiles, are both good options, as you need the fire support either way.
  • Bike Squadron - Has the advantage of toughness and firepower.  It is a good unit, but can have a difficult time meshing well with a heavily mechanized force, due to attracting anti-infantry fire straight off the bat.  I would say that they are difficult to use well here.
  • Devastator Squad - Has a lot of firepower, but it costs a lot of points, suffers from being virtually immobile, and may be denied targets.  Rarely points effective in any codex.
  • Predator - Good fire support at a reasonable price, but like the Devastators tends to lose most of its firepower if called upon to move to get a target.  Autocannon and Lascannons makes for a cheap, but effective, vehicle/monstrous creature hunter, and is probably my choice.
  • The Land Raider and Dreadnought - differ little in their application to the Grey Knight versions available, so what is true for them is also true for these

The Poor Bloody Infantry -  Troops

The Imperial Guard get something of a bum deal in the codex, because, unlike the Marines, they are not asked to participate in a battle nicely, and even if they survive, they are often shot to maintain the secrecy of what they have been fighting against.  They are the most commonly used ally, since taking them does not deny access to half your own codex, which is nice.  They make for ideal fire support and objective holders, all the sort of jobs that a Grey Knight is far too important to bother doing himself.  Anyone who suggests a Grey Knight ought to have a lascannon is wrong; shooting tanks is not their job.

Your one and only choice for troops is the Imperial Guard Platoon, but within that one choice there’s plenty to pick from, and many ways to do things.  I've listed a few suggestions, but within these there are many more variants and even more ways to mix them up.  Be sure to ask what it is you want the allies to be doing for your army when you include them, because there are a lot of options to pick from, and it is important to keep focused on how they are helping the rest of your army to do what it needs to.  If you have many Grey Knights around, you are likely have plenty of anti-infantry firepower, so keeping the Guardsmen fairly limited, and focused on anti-tank is likely to be a better choice.

  • Cheap and Cheerful - Keeping it cheap is a great practice with Imperial Guard units, since you maximize what you get for the minimum outlay.  In this form you are likely to pick up a command section, and only a couple of units of infantry.  If the infantry are carrying Plasma Guns and a suitable heavy weapon (an Autocannon or stronger), they can take pot shots at enemy vehicles, and when in cover, they are reasonably resistant under fire.  A key tactic here is to keep the squads apart, giving opponents the opportunity for a multiple assault can see you losing many units at once in close combat.
  • SAFH doctrine - 'Shooty Army From Hell' is something of a bygone theory, but one that still holds true.  It functions more or less as above, but you keep buying Guardsmen squads with guns, big ones, and you can even consider taking the heavy weapons squads, but beware, as they are easily instant killed, and are actually quite fragile compared to an infantry unit.  If you want to push the boat out, mounting them in Chimera adds a massive amount of anti-infantry firepower.  In this case, you will probably be using Grey Knight units as counter assault to respond to threats.
  • Heavy Weapon Teams - While they are fragile, they do have decent firepower for the cost.  Consider deploying them away from objectives, but with a good field of fire, and leaving infantry units on an objective.  Your opponent is forced to choose between prioritizing the mission objective, or trying to reduce your return fire.
  • Special Weapons Support - The command section can have four special weapons, and while they cannot shoot that well, with the number of shots the unit can pump out, it is hardly a big deal.  You can even give them Flamers, which is ideal if they are mounted inside a Chimera transport.
  • Transports - It is worth looking at the Chimera itself.  It is cheaper than the version in the Daemonhunter codex, has access to Stubbers, has a far better firepoint, and, most importantly, no codex specific restriction as to who can ride in it, which means that after deployment, it is fair game for hijacking!  Wrapping a protective metal box around expensive and fragile Grey Knights is great, either for Terminators or their power armoured brethren.  Mobility is also just as useful, so remember that a Chimera is surprisingly tough to both shooting and combat when using smoke launchers, and moving at full speed.

Imperial Guard - Fast Attack & Heavy Support

It is very difficult to unlock the Imperial Guard support units simply because of the cost of first buying two infantry platoons, and then finding something useful to do for at least fifty models!  Remember that even two minimalist infantry platoons will struggle to clock in under 400 points.  The Imperial Guard FAQ made some useful clarifications about some of the units available though, which does make them more tempting, if you are prepared to go for them that is.

To be honest I rarely consider these, as a single infantry platoon can pretty much do the work of two minimum ones just as efficiently.

  • Sentinels - Either the sneaky scouting kind, or the heavy, more heavily armoured model, are available to you, and both can be useful.  They have access to a full range of anti-tank weapons, which is worth considering.  Remember that, defensively, armoured Sentinels are about as tough as a Dreadnought, a fact which keeps many Krak grenades from causing harm, and allowing them to tie up more than a few ill-equipped units for a long time in close combat.
  • Rough Riders - Fast assault units are something of a rarity for Daemonhunters, but on the other hand, you will rarely be lacking in assault power if you are fielding Grey Knights.  If you are not fielding Grey Knights, then the Rough Riders are a useful option, even if they are only used once!
  • Leman Russ - It is tough, mean, and actually quite mobile.  It is a marvelous thing, really it is!  One of the positive points of the FAQ was that you now pick any Leman Russ you like, but which one is best is a debate that Imperial Guard players have not yet resolved.  I would shortlist the following: The regular Battlecannon version, which is cheap, and has dual purpose role; the Demolisher, which has the strength to blast many foes into a crater (if it hits); and the Executioner, which can not only move and put out four Plasma Cannon templates while it does so, but also, if hanging around the Inquisitor's mystics, can make anyone who deep strikes nearby regret their mistake!  Last, but not least, is the Vanquisher, which can have the Pask upgrade, and a Lascannon in the hull, making it a fearsome anti-tank machine, but consider carefully if you can justify the points first though.

This concludes my guide.  I hope it has been an informative and entertaining read, and proves helpful to you with your games.  The Daemonhunters are not one of the easiest armies to use, nor the cheapest to collect, but they have a lot of character, and can still fight with the best of them.  You will have to work for your victories, but perhaps that makes them taste just a little bit sweeter!

If you have any suggestions, additions, or comments, please feel free to add them on.  Lastly, for their help with early comments, feedback and invaluable additions, I would like to take the opportunity to give thanks to: Grand Master Rex Nihilo, maturin, Khemri, Venator101 and f.desrochers.

Thanks for reading!  Regards, Hymirl.

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