Maelific Daemonology: For Why?


My face for the better part of my test game against Severus

Hello folks, Ralshenik here to discuss one of the most absurd things I’ve ever witnessed in a game of 40k.  This weekend I got a chance to test out Maelific Daemonology and Oh……..god……..

In that game I was able to summon over 1700 pts of extra models in an 1850 pt game, no that wasn’t a typo.  1700 pts.  15+ Plague Drones, 2 monstrous creatures, and about 40 daemonettes.  Leading to a sweeping victory in a game I had no business winning, and when I say no business winning, I REALLY mean it.

The game was long ways deployment, on a table that was sparse when it came to LoS blocking terrain against a very refined Tau list that featured a plethora of deadly shooting units (Buff Commander’d Missilesides, plasma/burst cannon crisis suits, Ion Tide, etc).  The first three turns were literally Severus’s tau shooting fish in a barrel (fish shooting fish in a barrel…..the irony).  Hell, he was even able to beat me in assault more times than I would care to mention (the highlight being Fire Warriors beating up a Plague Drone).  He was out rolling and out shooting me in a game where I had no cover to hide behind and had to take the longest possible route across the table at his army.  Given the fact me and Severus are at an equal skill level our games usually are decided by things like this; who rolls better, who does the mission/deployment favor more, etc.

None of that mattered though as he literally had no answer for my psychic powers, during each psychic phase i constantly had 20+ dice more than him, allowing me to bring in 6 plague drones and 10 daemonettes almost every turn.  As much shooting as Severus dumped in my army he probably should of tabled me almost twice over, but the fact was most of the units he was killing cost me 0 points so strategically it didn’t even matter.

Summoning is the spell everyone is talking about (and it’s stupid good) but Incursion is ridiculous at least the fact it lets you make Plague Drones is.  I was able to generate over 50 wounds worth of T5 jetpack infantry…..50 WOUNDS!!!!!  No army can deal with that much T5 except for Dark Eldar (but if you fight them you just keep making daemonettes and overwhelm them as without Eldar allies they will have NO psychic defense).  Eventually my Plague Drone conga line just overwhelmed the Tau, locked down all of his units, and grinned them down in assault.

By this time I felt like Aladdin in this scene and my Tzeentch heralds/Pink Horrors were the genie.  Fast forward to 2:05 to get the jist of the last few turns.


Daemons absolutely dominate the psychic phase, if you’re not Eldar or Grey Knights and didn’t bring a Rune Priest you don’t have a chance of stopping summons.  If you can’t stop summons you are automatically at a 1000pt disadvantage with models.  Tabling a summoning army without getting a BIG alpha strike on them will be nigh impossible.  Question being, is it too much?

Right now i’m saying yes, it’s too much in a “Necron Flyer Spam back in 6th” kind of way, meaning I see this as a list that is ridiculously overpowered currently but will be brought down to earth, much like ‘Crons where when Tau came out and had skyfire available in mass that allowed them to toast the croissants which had trolled people for so many months.

My gaming group has been discussing house rule nerfs and i’m a little iffy on the subject. House rules tend to be biased (usually unintentionally) and I don’t think it’s fair to limit an armies capability at something when it’s what they’re designed to do.  Capping psychic dice, limiting spell uses, etc is the same principle as telling a Deathwing player they can only bring so many Terminators because you don’t have that many Ap2 weapons, in my opinion.

I predict this list will be brought down to normal soon as Space Wolves are set to be released this year and I envision them being a very potent anti-psyker army (imagine if they keep Rune Priests the same O.O).  Blood Angels will probably follow suit as they are supposed to be an army of talented psykers themselves and who the hell knows what Orks will bring to the table.

The solution here is to just be selective about who you play, if you spammed night scythes at the beginning of 6th edition you eventually ran out of people to play.  No one wants to deal with a headache like that on a consistent basis and after 2-3 games of going “can I beat it?” most people will give up and realize you’re just a douche.  If you do nothing in your daemon lists for the next 3 months except spam Maelific you will run out of opponents (no one wants to fight that BS all the time)

I plan to abuse summoning for a week or two more, just to find out who (if anyone) is a bad matchup for the army and how to beat it.  Nothing would make me happier than to take a loss with it.  After that I will venture back to the flying circus as I feel rumors of it’s demise are greatly exaggerated!

Thanks for reading everyone, be back next time with some more 7th edition info!

18 thoughts on “Maelific Daemonology: For Why?

  1. I read your opponent’s recount of this battle, and it just sounded absolutely comical. I’d try to play someone with a daemonic summoning army, just to see how it pans out on the tabletop. Plus, I might be a bit of a masochist (with my dice rolls, it helps to be).

    I can’t for the life of me believe that something this powerful slipped by the play testers unintentionally. There must be an effective counter against it, and if there isn’t, I feel it’s safe to say there will be.

    I personally don’t care what sorts of armies people create, and I LOVE the unbound rules. Bottom line, if you create your army in a douchey manner, only fellow douchebags will play you. And let’s be honest, most d-bags who create OP armies don’t want to play people who are an actual challenge to them, so they will get bored very fast, and join the ranks of the sane with armies designed around a little fun and fluff. Or so we can hope.

    Thanks to both of you for testing this out and giving us your thoughts!

    • I think that either psychic armies or those with strong alpha strikes (drop pods) might have a chance. I have both of those armies, so I’d definitely be willing to give it a try…for science!

      • I think either one of your armies would have a good shot as well, drop pods will hurt a summoning list BAD if they get first turn. We shall playtest it one day!

    • Yeah, Severus is a good guy, he was just as curious about the discipline as I and it was hilarious!

      I think it will get brought down to earth with the future releases (Imperial Knights already seem to be a bad matchup for it) we just need time thats all!

  2. Ok, let me ask you a question: did you have those summoned miniatures to put on the table? Simple as that. It is GW tricky way to urge ppl to buy more models. Personally I see no evil in this. Issue solved playing with me: no models, no psychic power in use.

    • No, he did proxy them. To be fair though, Ralshenik and I did that game to see how bad that army was. Ralshenik has no intentions of make ng that his standard daemon army

    • I proxy’d for the most part, as Severus said this isn’t going to be my standard Daemon army so no point in buying $500 worth of models for a handful of playtest games =)

  3. I said it on BoLS, I said it on the Independent Characters forums, and I’ll say it here – we still don’t know who has Daemonology and who doesn’t. If only your lord of change had it, rather than giving it to your pink horrors, it would have significantly changed the dynamic of the game. GW flubbed this one by not having a FAQ available Day One, but let’s see what appears in the next couple of days.

    As it stands now, however, the brokenness of this power is directly related to how many units can have it.

    • The rulebook very clearly states that every psyker that is not from the Tyranid faction can use daemonology. Because of the perils on any double mechanic, and the reality that most armies cannot have masses if cheap Psykers, malefic is actually really balanced. Also, most armies are “come the apocalypse” with daemons, meaning that many tests will be taken (which I believe would mean instability checks for the summoned units).

      The real problems appear to arise when none of those restriction apply. One solution would be to bring back level requirements for powers, so that only a lvl 3 caster can manifest a 3WC power, etc…

  4. The good thing to take away from this article and my first impressions article is besides the crazy daemon summoning, 7th ed seems to be pretty good so far.

    • I do admit I like a lot of the changes, the Maelstrom missions are fun and force you to have a dynamic game plan through each turn. Not just “Do a little dmg, contest, win”. I also think summoning will even out eventually much like Flyers did in 6th.

      I’d like to point out I think it’s interesting the trend here; first skyblight and a bunch of other dataslates come out that let ‘nids recycle troops. “Summoning” for all intents and purpose when you look at it from a mechanical aspect, now we have Daemon summoning. On the other hand of the spectrum, you have the Imperial Knight, whom (as the FLG batrep showed) can be a very effective counter against a “flood the table” daemon army, it at the very least kept the SM player in the game. Now there is news of Orks getting a new SH type model.

      Could this be the future of 40k? Either one gets to summon a bunch of extra units/have their units come back or they get a very powerful SH that can tank that large mass of troops. We shall see!

  5. What was your starting list? Bound or unbound?

    I’m not sold that Maelific Daemonology is totally OP just yet. Even with 20 dice statistically you should only be getting 2-3 WC 3 casts off a turn and be periling left & right. Were your dice just hot that game?

    Keep the batreps coming! I’d love to see how you do over the next few games.

    • Battle Forged lists.

      I’m starting to come over to the “maelific isn’t that bad” side. High AV vehicles are a really hard counter for them as killing AV 13+ is a chore and taking out flyers is impossible.

      I was getting 3 spells off per turn pretty consistently (had 1 or 2 turns where I got 2) usually it was Incursion twice (for 6 Plague Drones) and Posession/Summoning whichever one I needed more at the time. I’ll be playing with Maelific more this weekend hopefully, i’ll post my findings!

        • Screamers struggle with killing Av 13/14, like we were talking about at Crit last weekend. FMC has to sit there a turn and watch the flyer zoom away, not to mention that requires me sacrificing a TzHerald

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