Fig. 1.1: Ceci n'est pas Be'lakor.
This... is not Be'lakor. This is just an archive Daemon Prince mini I happen to use as the fellow, since he's about the same size as the GW mini.
Who is Be'lakor, then?
Fig. 1.2: The real deal.
Ah yes. That guy. Wait, isn't he just in Fantasy? No, right, he got released in a Dataslate for 40k as a Daemon Prince special character for Daemons or Chaos Space Marines. Wasn't he, like, way too expensive to take competitively?
Well... yeah. He was. He does cost as much as a fully-kitted out Daemon Prince with full mastery levels and as much gear as you want to ladle onto him, and still only has the 4 T5 Wounds of a typical Prince. But... notice my emphasis on the past tense, there. He was overpriced--then 7th Edition dropped, changed Jink, and swapped Puppet Master for Shrouding... and he is now the unparalleled golden boy of "keeping a fast assaulty army alive."
So what does Be'lakor have on offer? He's a fairly typical winged Daemon Prince with a few quirks:
- a funky Fear-based Warlord Trait that I basically never use.
- 4+ invuln, Shrouded, and Eternal Warrior, but no armor save. No armor isn't that bad, though, since Jink+Shrouded means he almost always has a 2+ cover save against enemy shooting.
- A respectable +1S, Master-crafted, Fleshbane, Armorbane sword.
- Mastery Level 3... and guaranteed knowledge of all of Telepathy.
He can tear apart a tank like nobody except a Skarbrand or a Knight--and he'll strike before a Knight, so if you assault one that's already lost a few hull points, he'll almost certainly shred it. Just make sure that you've assaulted the narrow end of that Knight's base, so you don't end up underneath the automatically-D-strength portion of the Knight's explosion! If the Knight is still untouched, so the likelihood that you'll kill it outright is low, some survival tactics include:
A) Why is it still untouched. Have you not pincered it with meltas from multiple angles so it can't shield from multiple angles? Ok, perhaps you just rolled poor, so you can also try to...
B) Mob it with everything you got. Maulerfiend, 2 Soul Grinders, Screamers, Fiends so that the Daemon Engines get to strike first even at Initiative 3, and/or Be'lakor in any combination you can gather. Overkill, perhaps, but if you want to make absolutely sure Be'lakor himself isn't at risk of getting D-Weapon plastered...
C) Invisiblity on self (or the thing assaulting the Knight, if you're sending in, say, a Maulerfiend first)
D) Grimoire, so that you have a better chance of saving those multi-wound hits before they shred
E) Pray to the Dark Gods that your opponent doesn't roll a 6 to wound or Stomp. Pray and pray and pray. Then sacrifice something young and tender to them.
Enough about Knights. I probably shouldn't feel like I need to build caveats and considerations about them into any consideration of the meta... in such a Be'lakor-only focused tactica. So, about Be'lakor. He's a great unit to field in combination CSM/Daemons armies, as he can be fielded as an HQ choice for either army, in a Primary or an Allied detachment, however you please. This makes him great for filling in necessary HQ segment of a detachment, or shunting over from one to the other as you want to field an HQ in an already-full detachment. Plus it means you won't have to take any chaff to feel like you're taking full advantage of your army-you can pick and choose the best of each army's available options.
But let's talk about Telepathy for a second. Okay, I'll give it to you that Mental Fortitude, Terrify, and Hallucinate are pretty much junk, as far as powers go. Dominate is pretty good--great against medium-low LD armies like Guard, Daemons, and Dark Eldar, in fact, though, and Psychic Shriek is pretty good as far as Primaris powers go (especially against those same enemies). It's Invisibility that makes a unit great, though, and Shrouding--I'll take Shrouding over Puppet Master happily, since remember what I said about Be'lakor Jinking to gain a 2+ cover save? Shrouding lets anything else that can Jink have incredibly easy access to 2+ cover (or better!) with ease.
"Or better?" I hear you ask? Well, don't you dare forget that Daemons of Tzeentch reroll failed saving rolls of 1. Incredibly easy access to rerollable 2+ cover, oh joy! Screamers, Fateweaver, Lord of Change, Daemon Princes of Tzeentch (either CSM or Daemon)... even a Burning Chariot, if you don't mind losing a turn of shooting.
So how to use the fellow, then? Well, here's an example:
Fig. 2: The 2+ Doom-bomb.
That represents a melee-nasty Lord in a squad of Bikes (sadly unpainted as of yet, I know), who would just love to Jink and soak up ineffectual enemy fire--but equally wouldn't mind not jinking and being able to fire their meltas. These guys are a favorite target for Be'lakor's Invisiblity, especially if he himself is still Swooping (or is hidden behind LoS-blocking terrain), so less of a target to an enemy gunline.
Screamers and Fateweaver (a home-built kitbash of Kairos there, yes) are Daemons of Tzeentch, so benefit from a rerollable 2+ when Shrouded is around, though bear in mind that Fateweaver should always be swooping--and that if you do Jink, you won't be too effective with any Witchfire powers he'd want to cast next turn.
Screamers add a bundle more Armorbane to tag along with Be'lakor (albeit at S5 rather than S7), making a serious threat for any armor. These guys, if not Invisible, will be the prime targets for, say, Wave Serpents, Wyverns or the like (being the threatened targets thereof), so are primary targets of a Grimoire buff, if you have that particular book in your army list.
Bear in mind that you can easily switch up what I recommend where: you can throw Invisibility on your Seekers instead, because you feel those are more vulnerable than the bikes, and the bikers' 3+ armor will tide them over against those enemy Wave Serpents better than the Seekers in the first place. Or perhaps you want to shield those Screamers from the enemy since they'll be perfectly placed to assault some enemy tanks, next turn.
The nice thing about these guys is they aren't altogether too expensive, once you get over the steep costs of Be'lakor and Fateweaver--I fit all of these (including a heavily artifact-stacked Black Legion Lord, plus 2 Nurgling squads, Cultists, and a Forgefiend) into a 1500 point list.
Fateweaver might seem a bit odd, and I see where you're coming from, definitely: between Fatey and Be'la, as I like to call the two of them, you're running up a 650 point cost. The thing is... the two of them justify their points costs as the two most superlative buff-throwing units in the game, and are only made stronger by working in tandem. Fatey can stick close to Be'la for a rerollable 2+ cover save (on top of most units snapping fire to even hit him while he's Swooping); Fatey can help Be'la reroll vital psychic tests, Perils results, his first failed 2+ save, can help reliably get Grimoire on him for a + invuln if he's in a vulnerable combat situation (or exposed to serious Ignores Cover shooting), they can pool their Warp Charge to generate a hefty 7 per turn and throw them at the important powers... and so on. The two of them work excellently together, down to Fatey's stellar Warlord Trait supplanting Be'la's mediocre one.
The two of them cost a lot of points for 9 T5 Wounds, I'll admit it freely. But the sheer survivability the two of them have and, more importantly, can give to the rest of your army, I have found to absolutely be worth the steep price.
Fig. 3.1: Jinkies! Integrating non-Jinkers!
Of course, not everything you want to bring will be able to Jink for that lovely 2+ cover. And, I mean, you have a lot of good Anti-Tank in that first image, but how much Anti-Horde? Here's a nice pleasant counter-balance: enemies will have to shoot through your units to get to the Seekers in the rear, and the Seekers have Shrouded--3+ cover ain't half bad! Practically power armor, even.
Fig. 3.2: Works for your fast shredders, too.
Pull that maneuver with vehicles, too: Objective Secured Rhinos with dirge casters depositing meltas and combi-meltas on 5 CSM to the front lines and helping save your troops on the Assault. Maulerfiends doubling their typical invuln save without having to resort to Grimoire's fickle blessing.
Fig. 4: ...Okay, just pretend I had a Rhino handy, all right?
If I did have a Rhino, I would put it in the place of that Maulerfiend, there, and would have popped smoke with it. See, since Smoke Launchers are just a 5+ cover save rather than Shrouded, they stack with Be'lakor's Shrouding bubble! Still got that 3+, while granting the Daemonettes behind their 3+ cover as well while they fleet-run to stay caught up.
Fig. 5: How not fail at LoS-blocking cover 101.
...and all of that is without considering how cover works to your advantage. If you're half behind a ruin, your minis who would be getting a 3+ are upgraded to a 2+. If Be'lakor can hide out of sight behind a silo or rock pile, then he can safely only Glide, rather than Swoop, meaning he'll be joining your assault wave in the next turn--if he was forced to Swoop for his own safety, due to number of targets still on the board, your "punch" hitting home will be rather less effective.
So these units I've been showing--Maulerfiends, Seekers, Bikes, Fateweaver, Screamers--have mostly been units who benefit from Be'lakor. With the exception of Fatey's mutual symbiosis, though, what do they have to offer Be'lakor?
Well, there are definitely units that can help old Be'la out. Anything with decent AP and Ignores Cover is great at removing enemy units that'll prove a thorn in the side of your cover-save-reliant 2+/3+ bomb, there: Pathfinders and Company Command Squads, for instance. Sternguard, Noise Marines, and Thunderfire Cannons. On the vehicle side of things, Hellhounds, Wyverns, and the dreaded Wave Serpent. Enemy Anti-Air quad-guns and the like. Remove these enemy units ASAP. You're probably going to need some of the most potent and effective shooting units available to Chaos in order to neuter these threats before they can, say, put a bunch of wounds on Be'lakor.
How? Noise Marines of your own. The Burning Chariot of Tzeentch (preferably with Grimoire for durability, since even though it can Jink near Be'lakor, that means you aren't using your potent firepower next turn). A Soul Grinder with—well, Baleful Torrent for Pathfinders/CCS, Phlegm for Noise Marines/Thunderfire Cannons, or Warp Gaze for Wyverns/Wave Serpents (which have already blown off their Serpent Shields, at least). A HAC Forgefiend with Fateweaver or a Tzherald casting Prescience on it while it Daemonforges will put a dent in just about anybody's day, T1.
Note that I'm not going to recommend a Heldrake, here, necessarily—a Heldrake won't come in until Turn 2, by which time you hope to have zipped into assault range and be ready to tear your opponent apart in hand to hand. Sure, a Baleflamer will be great at roasting that squad of Noise Marines—but would you rather spend roughly the same points on a Forgefiend who will be able to shoot on Turn 1, potentially before your opponent gets to, thus allowing you a chance at taking out an Ignores Cover opponent before it can do anything?
Other units that can support Be'lakor: I've made quite a bit of mention of the utility of Grimoire (especially when paired with Fateweaver) as a survivability multiplier to make your guys even more tough. This also ties into how you're going to bring the Grimoire: on a Prince who'll be Jinking up next to Be'lakor, hoping to roll Cursed Earth on 3 Mastery Levels of Malefic Daemonology for even tougher Daemons? On a Herald of Tzeentch in a squad of Horrors, who's bringing Prescience for the sake of slapping it onto that Forgefiend? In both of these cases, you're bringing several more levels of Warp Charge for your caster's power pool to guarantee you get off the powers that you need.
Or how about just plain Nurglings? Objective Secured, Shrouded, dirt cheap--hide them on a home objective and forget about them. Their inexpensiveness and durability combine to allow you to reliably focus the rest of your army on joining the 2+ save bomb without worrying about your back line.
So now you have it. Your bikers will go out and be ready to soak up a turn of shooting from 6 Wave Serpents, 4 squads of Dire Avengers, and 2 squads of Fire Dragons while Invisible with a 2+ cover save and take only one unsaved wound. Ah, good times. Goood tiiimes.
Go forth, my little Be'lakorites! Convert others to the way of the Lord of Shadows! Kneel before the Dark Master! Yield to the First of Princes!
(I would apologize for the crappy lighting on these photos... but hey, he IS the Lord of Shadows...)