Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Chaos Daemons are still very good (above army competitively) but the 8th edition rules have altered the army quite a bit. I currently play chaos daemons. Because they are daemons they are immune to fear, terror, and panic tests and don't break from losing combat. They also get a 5+ ward save. However, when they lose combat they suffer wounds to each unit in combat based on the extent to which each unit fails the break test. Daemons have their own unit magic items and standards (icons) which are distinct to the army and not access to the common magic items in the main rule book. Also, each daemonic item is limited to specific models/units and tied generally to a chaos god. The lords, heroes, core, special, and rare unit slots each have a one dedicated model/unit for each of the four chaos gods. The primary heroes, heralds, can only join units of the same chaos god, which limits their flexibility. Thus, the heralds are typically tied to core units with the same chaos god.
The lords are all greater daemons and monsters, which means that they cannot join other units and are also very expensive. Because 8th edition allows even weak attacks to wound on a roll of a 6 and with poison and war machine shooting and magic is particularly effective, the use of greater daemons and lords is avoided in most competitive armies. The primary exceptions are Kairos when special characters are allowed and Keeper of Secrets with spirit swallower. That forces one to build the army around the heralds and to have heralds of tzeentch with master of sorcery (abilty to choose any magic lore in the rule book and know all spells) that are the primary wzards.
Bloodletters are the best core infantry and best run in a large horde formation with a herlad of khorne leading them. They survive by relying on either a ward save or getting off augment spells from wizards with access to lore of life or beasts that boost their toughness.
All four core units are playable but each has a specialized purpose/focus.
Only the fleshhounds are competitive amoung the special units.
While Bloodcrushers of khorne are viable, the best rare units are fiends of slaanesh (extremely fast moving monstrous infantry) and flamers of tzeentch (skirmishers with extremely good ability to shoot flaming shots).
A lot of units in the chaos daemons book are not optimal right now. Also, the need for flexbility means competitive builds use a mix of untis from the different chaos gods. This means most competitive army builds are constructed around a mix of core units led by heralds with flamers, fiends, and fleshhounds used for their special purposes. If special characters are allowed, then a few of the special characters (Kairos, epidemus, skulltaker, changeling, masque) are excellent and when mxied into the army can make the army top tier.