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Imperial Fists vs. Daemons Advice?


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This Friday I'll play my third match (yay!) with my Imperial Fists, and I'd like some help. I'm playing 1500 against demons.

Right now my list has Lysander with 7 TH/SS termies deepstriking (which I found is too many points to risk mishaps).
3 Tacs with Heavy Bolter, Flamer and Combi-Flamer in Rhinos.
7 man Dev Squad with 4 Lascannons.
And an Ironclad Dread in Drop Pod.

Any advice?
The less I have to change the list, the better. It's a friendly game so I could proxy some stuff, but there are things I just won't have anything close to them. Don't tell me to take a flyer, as I don't have any yet. But switching the Assault Termies for regular ones is fine (yay for magnetized arms!).

Unless my list has any glaring weakness against chaos demons ("you're dead without a psyker!"--- am I?), I'm looking more for tactical advice than list building. Should I attack or avoid the big demon with my termies? What should I try and kill first and that kind of things. That being said, if there's a unit I should have against them, I'll try and see if I can get it.

Thanks in advance.

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What you will need is highly dependent on what he has. Bolters will carry the day against most daemons, the more the better.


I will say that if you don't have flyers you should find something with skyfire. The nastiest daemon builds have flying monstrous creatures that can be a massive pain. Without skyfire, you won't be able to do much against them.


I would also suggest sternguard for the big uglies. Hellfire rounds are awesome against them.

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I don't know what he'll be fielding. Just that he won't be very spammy with the summoning.


I've been playing around with what I could field and I think I'll use as the "core" my 3 Tacticals and 2 7-man Devastator Squads, one with Lascannons and the other with Rocket Launchers with Flakk.


Do I give the 3 Tacs Rhinos? Or is it better to let them come, hold the line and spend those points on more marines?


Then I have enough points left for Lysander, my Ironclad with Hurricane Bolter, a 5 man Sternguard and a Drop Pod. Or I could take the Terminators instead.


Should I take Lysander if I don't have terminators? I'm not sure who he'll join...

Are 5 Sternguard enough? Should I be using the Drop Pod with them or the Dread, or leave it?

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Stick Lysander with the Sternguard in the drop pod.  This way, if you drop them danger-close to the enemy to achieve rapid fire range and maximize your alpha-strike damage, you have one of the game's best melee bullies standing there to dissuade him from charging the squad.  Or at least, to smash whatever does charge them.

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The vast majority of daemon units will crush you in close combat, so you're probably better off using shooty Terminators instead of assaulty ones.  I'd go for heavy flamers and/or assault cannons on them.


I'd also consider autocannons (or assault cannons if you can take them with Devs, I don't play loyalist Marines) instead of lascannons since daemon units don't have armor saves anyway.  You're better off with multiple S7 shots than a single S9 one.  There's virtually no reason to take any weapons with AP1 or AP2, and honestly very little reason to take AP3 (Daemon Princes can have power armor, but that's about it).  Flamers are your friend against most daemons.  For the big ones, S7 spam is usually the best answer.


The only vehicles daemons can field are Chariots, Skull Cannons, and Soul Grinders.  Of those, only the Soul Grinder has better than AV 11 anywhere on it.  If you think your opponent might bring a Soul Grinder, then a few lascannons might not be a bad plan since it has AV 13 in the front.  Anything else can be quickly handled with massed autocannon fire.


As for the psychic stuff, yes, daemons are capable of completely dominating the psychic phase, even moreso than Eldar.  Odds are good that, if your opponent is building with the intention of stacking mastery levels, having a handful of your own psykers won't be nearly enough to inhibit his casting, and your own psykers will be up against a brick wall of DtW dice.  I think you're better off going psyker-less than trying to win an arms race there.


Oh, also, I have no idea what an Ironclad Dreadnought does, but if it's designed for close combat, you might consider a Rifleman Dread instead since most large assaulty daemons will beat the dreadnought on initiative and smash it to pieces before it gets a chance to swing.

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In response to your inquiry about tactics:


The nasty thing about daemons is that they really don't have many units that you can safely "ignore."  The big daemons will bring their AP2 attacks into close combat, usually act on higher initiative (unless it's a daemon of Nurgle), and turn your Terminators to paste.  All of the big daemons have T6 or better, so you can forget trying to double them out with S10 weapons, and they all have multiple wounds (usually 4 or more).  Once again, S7 spam is your friend.  Target the big ones first, and alpha strike them with all the S7 you can.  Also be aware of the fact that I'm pretty sure there is not a single unit in the codex which cannot use deep strike, so expect him to drop in some friends behind your back lines.  When he does so, he will be a prime target for any template/blasts you can bring to bear (since deep striking units must be in base contact with each other) and you will want to do so before his next turn when he is able to assault.


Daemons win in the assault phase, almost universally.  Lysander might be able to put up a good fight, but the bulk of your army is not going to win close combat even against daemon troops unless you're very lucky or you thin their numbers enough before they arrive.  Be on the lookout for his fast attack units as well, since Flesh Hounds of Khorne and Seekers of Slaanesh are both incredibly fast and devastating in close combat.


If he brings flyers (most Chaos Daemons players will), again, look to your autocannons.  Yeah, they might not be Skyfire, but putting enough bullets into the air is bound to accomplish something even if you only hit on 6s.  S7 means wounding most FMCs on 3+ or 4+ and forcing grounding checks.  Once they're grounded, you can light them up with impunity.  Be warned, however:  If you bring down a flyer on your turn and don't kill it, he can assault with it on his turn.  If he lands on his turn instead, he has to wait for the following round to assault.

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Daemons use the assault phase a lot, so rhinos aren't that bad if you can use them as funnels or to protect yourself from charges.


As for deep strikers, remember run moves and the fact that slaaneshi units add +3 or +6 to their run moves, just because a daemon deep strikes doesn't mean you can pie plate the lot

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If autocannons aren't a viable option, I'd go for missile launchers then.  Frag missiles will clear out the blobs, krak missiles will hurt the big guys, and you should probably consider at least a few flakk upgrades to deal with the possibility of FMCs.  Missile launchers are usually not as cost-effective as autocannons, sadly, but you play the hand you're dealt.

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