Raw Dogger Review: Daemonkin

Hello all,

Rawdogger here to discuss the latest 40k codex release, Khorne Daemonkin. Why they didn’t just call it Codex Bloodthirster I’m not quite sure though that may be the reason I don’t work in marketing for Games Workshop. Seriously, the GW marketing department figured out a way to get players of this codex to purchase the new Bloodthirster kit in multiples due to the many ways their characters can turn into them during a game. Hats off, marketing department. From someone with a background in retail and marketing it truly makes me smile reading all of the forum and blog comments that gleefully state the amount of Bloodthirster models the person will need to purchase.


From an aesthetic point of view the 120 page codex is top notch. Though a lot of the artwork is recycled from the Chaos Space Marine and Daemon codices, there does appear to be a good deal of original artwork in the same vein as the new artwork in Codex Harlequins. It’s a bit too cartoony for me personally, but I know a lot of people like it. The codex continues the awful trend of putting the war gear list in front of the units which are then in front of the appendix and detailed war gear pages which makes turning back and forth an annoying experience but I suppose I should just get over it already.  Around 70 pages are fluff and artwork.

Enough on the wimpy aesthetics, let’s get to the good stuff! RULES FOR THE RULE GOD!

Point Costs and Stat Lines- Sorry boys and girls, the point costs for all units taken from Codex Chaos Space Marines and Codex Daemons are exactly the same. The stats are also unaltered, so those hoping Blood Crushers would be T5 in the new codex are SOL. Most depressing for me is that Berzerkers have not been changed at all. This also points to the fact that they will not be altered in any new Chaos Space Marine codices that may come out in the future. Why oh why do they not have base 2 attacks or initiative 5? The only rending attacks that they used to have were so scary! Oh well, quite the missed opportunity for GW but I understand they could not have the same unit in two different codices with different points or stat lines.

Blood Host Detachments – The forces of Khorne get their own Decurion style detachment a la the Blood Host Detachment. For those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, the Decurion detachment is a special Necron detachment that unlocks more formations with their own special rules when taken and currently count as a single source choice in the ITC tournament format. These detachments have a set amount of units comprised of kits that GW needs to sell and are mandatory if you want to take the cool formations it unlocks. In the Blood Host Detachment the players are forced to take a Slaughter Cult formation which includes a mandatory unit of Possessed. Got to sell the kit somehow! You know what I’m sayin’?  HUH DO YOU GET IT?  The benefit of taking the detachment as opposed to just taking the individual formations in the book is that the Slaughter Cult in the detachment gets to generate a Blood Tithe point automatically at the start of each turn.

New Formations! – Khorne Daemonkin comes with a slew of fancy new formations. They are as follows.

SLAUGHTER CULT – Not only is it the name of a kick ass high school metal band, it’s a formation that allows the player to remove cultist units that have failed a morale check in order to add to the Blood Tithe number as well as adding additional Blood Tithe points to all units in the formation whenever a player cashes in their current Blood Tithe points.

BRAZEN ONSLAUGHT – Comprised of 1-4 units of Chaos Terminators and 2-4 units of Blood Crushers. If any of the units in this formation are outnumbered in combat each model gets an additional attack. Not too bad if you plan to run an army of Blood Crushers. You do have to pay a tax of a unit of Chaos Terminators but you can just kit them out to be a suicide melta deep striking squad.

KHORNES BLOODSTORM – Comprised of 2-4 units of Raptors, 1-4 units of Warp Talons and 0-1 Heldrake. Units in this formation add +1 to the strength of their Hammer of Wrath or Vector Strikes. WOW THAT IS AMAZING.

GOREPACK – If I ever have a biker gang made up of other 30 year old white suburban men this will be the name of our gang. Comprised of 2-4 units of Chaos Bikers and 1-4 units of Flesh Hounds. Units in this unit have move through cover as well as preferred enemy Psychers. Flesh Hounds in the unit have Hammer of Wrath and the Chaos Bikers have shred on their Hammer of Wrath attacks. Honestly, I can see this formation getting a lot of play since Khorne Hounds are regularly bad ass. The bikers are still meh though the Move Though Cover definitely helps.

CHARNEL COHORT – Units comprised of Khorne Daemons. All units in the formation get Counter Attack. The HQ unit can re-roll the die to come in from deep strike reserve and any other unit in the formation coming in from deep strike reserve do not scatter if they come in within 6” of the HQ unit. Also, enemy units take Fear tests at -2 to their leadership. FINALLY fear can be the game changer GW clearly wants it to be.

Blood Tithe Table – Khorne Deamonkin has a unique army table called the Blood Tithe. Any time a unit from the codex either destroys an enemy unit or is destroyed themselves the Khorne player generates a Blood Tithe point. The points accumulate (cap of 8) and can be spent at the start of the Khorne player’s turn. The table is as follows.

1) All units from Daemonkin get Adamantium Will until the start of your next turn. Could be good if going against a lot of psychic powers I suppose.

2) All units from Daemonkin get Furious Charge and Rage until the start of your next turn. This would be an excellent one to use right before some crucial charges. RAARGHH

3) All units from Daemonkin have Feel No Pain until the start of your next turn. Always a useful trait to have.

4) +1A for all units from Daemonkin. Again, not to shabby right before a charge. Set that up with number 2 and baby, you’ve got a stew!

5) 8 Blood Letters or 5 Flesh Hounds are summoned within 12”any friendly unit from Daemonkin. Can you ever have enough Flesh Hounds?

6) 3 Blood Crushers or a Skull Cannon are summoned within 12” of a friendly unit from Daemonkin. Blood Crusher armies with an endless supply of Blood Crushers are awesome!

7) A friendly character takes a leadership test. If passed they become a Daemon Prince with lots of cool stuff. If failed they become a Spawn.

8) A friendly character takes a leadership test. If passed they become a Blood Thirster of Unfettered Fury. If failed the character is removed as a casualty. Sorry, no characters with Daemon of Khorne special rules allowed.

Artifacts of Slaughter – Some cool unique artefacts are available to players of the Daemonkin codex. A quasi Daemon ax weapon that gives benefits for how many wounds it causes. A piece of armor that gives a 3+ armor save with Eternal Warrior. And of course, an ax that can turn a character into a Blood Thirster, because BLOOD THIRSTERS ROCK AND JUNK.

Blood Thirsters – The daemon of the hour! No one can deny the absolutely GORGEOUS model that GW has put out for the Blood Thirster. Sometimes we see things like the Logan Grimnar Santa Sled and we forget that GW can actually hit the ball out of the park now and then with their sculpts. Rules wise, the Blood Thirster is a real beast and properly reflects the brutality of the model. There are three versions of the Blood Thirster that players of Daemonkin can take. All three have the same respectable stat lines of WS10 BS10 S6 T6 W5 I9 A6 LD9 Sv 3+ and come with the Deep Strike, Fearless, Daemon of Khorne, Blood for the Blood God (Blood Tithe Tally), and Skulls for the Skull Throne(always challenge or accept challenges) special rules.. The Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury is lowest costing of the three. He comes with an Ax of Khone which on the charge with Furious Charge gives it 7 S7 attacks which instant kill on a roll of 6 to wound. Not too shabby! Next up we have the Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage, which comes with the Great Ax of Khorne, a D weapon that strikes at I1 and has Rage. Certainly something that will remove units with ease. Lastly we have the Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster with an Axe of Khorne, Blood Flail (AP 2 Specialist Weapon and d3 S7 AP2 Assault D3 weapon) and Hellfire (heavy flamer with Soul Blaze). This dude comes stock with Adamantium Will, and Hatred (Characters) and puts out 8 S7 attacks on the charge. YOUCH! Overall I like the Blood Thirsters but still feel they will be shot to pieces before getting to do anything. Hive Tyrants will still be hitting these guys with 10-12 strength 6 shots a turn with a likelihood of wounding twice per Tyrant. Not to mention Sky Firing Tau plasma weaponry, Twin Linked Grav Cannons, etc. If they get into combat they will straight up murder homies but the problem with assault in 7th remains an issue for them.

No Daemonic Instability – REJOICE! Chaos Space Marine characters can finally join Daemon units, and vice versa. This is big news and really adds to the flavor of the codex. Chaos Lord on Juggernaut leading Blood Crushers? OH FUCK YEAH.

Overall, I really do like this codex. It’s not going to be able to hang with the big boys at the top tournament tables but has a good mix of fluffy and powerful special rules and combos. I’m disappointed that Berzerkers are still shit and that Kharne is not included in the codex. I really think it was a missed opportunity for GW to really beef them up and sell more kits.

So what are you thoughts on Codex Khorne Daemonkin? Wet Noodle or Powerful Cucumber?





About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

27 Responses to “Raw Dogger Review: Daemonkin”

  1. Karvala April 2, 2015 1:58 pm

    The big problem with the Blood Tithe is that by the time you have got the points for summoning a Bloodthirster, it’s almost certainly too late for it to have much impact on the game. (FMC deepstriking in, unless GW FAQ’s that they can come in gliding/change to gliding the turn they arrive). Bringing in a wingless Daemon Prince is probably more practical unless the game has a real bloodbath turn 1.

    • Adam
      Adam (Thediceabide.com) April 2, 2015 3:00 pm

      Doesn’t need an FAQ, they don’t enter from Deep Strike Reserves, just deep striking, just like Veil of Darkness and Gate of Infinity.

      You obviously still can’t charge the turn you’re summoned due to the Deep Strike rules, but you can charge the next turn just fine.

      • Hotsauceman1 April 2, 2015 3:48 pm

        Actually, if you follow raw, even if he does come in swooping, it is before the movement phase. So it can immediately change to gliding. So it can assault next turn

  2. Black Blow Fly April 2, 2015 2:39 pm

    It’s very strong.

  3. Neckutter April 2, 2015 3:27 pm

    This army seems really fun, and could have been super competitive if they just gave everything Mark of Khorne for free points wise, and made Berserkers -3 ppm

    As it is, youre best bet is taking min squads of blood letters, a rhino for your possessed, and 2 singular chaos spawn because you want to bait the opponent into killing them for first blood. also take the gorepack with a max unit of flesh hounds, and a khorne lord with the AP3 blood tithe sword and stack those points.

    and finally to GW: WHY DOES THE TACTICAL OBJECTIVE DECK STILL HAVE HARNESS THE WARP IN IT??????? This is a khorne army, with zero access to psykers.

    • Adam
      Adam (Thediceabide.com) April 2, 2015 4:54 pm

      Lol I drew that card last night and wondered the same thing… Fortunately we play where if it’s impossible to accomplish, we discard and redraw. No commander is going to radio a force facing no air resistance telling them to take down their flyers…

    • Richard April 3, 2015 7:20 am

      Yeah I agree, the way to build a list for this army is to take as many small expendable units as possible, and hope it’s not a kill points mission. Another idea I had was to take as many biker units as possible and kit out the Champions for challenges and hope you get lucky. Of course this will absolutely fail against Necrons, but they don’t have skulls or blood anyways, so Khorne has no interest in them.

  4. droozy April 2, 2015 3:43 pm

    I like it. Sort of. Good fun but doesn’t seem to really bring too much to the table. Like you said, missed opportunities to change up some units to make them more playable. Having to take raptors and talons to get a heldrake in that detachment is just a straight up dick move. But it’s a fun little book, I’m not mad at it.

    • Adam
      Adam (Thediceabide.com) April 2, 2015 4:55 pm

      Only to take them in the Decurion mind you. You can still take them as an allied detachment or CAD.

      • Richard April 3, 2015 7:22 am

        You kinda lose too much in terms of potential blood points if you take allies with this codex for it to be worthwhile. I can’t see it being worth it to take a Daemonkin army with any additional allies.

        • bigpig April 3, 2015 2:53 pm

          You can self ally a Deamonkin allied detachment (or CAD) to the book detachment. As the allied detachments still have the Blood for the Blood God rule they will generate blood tithe points as well.

  5. TinBane April 2, 2015 4:00 pm

    Hmm, not as powerful as the other “Decurions”. Why is that? The core units aren’t super-strong.

    Codex: Battle brothers that can actually join each other, and also here’s some free units as consolation for having the same shit-house stats?

    It’s pretty frustrating that bezerkers are road-blocked where they are. They are so expensive, especially when you consider how they perform on later assault phases. The worst thing about the axe rules, is that it means you technically aren’t WYSIWYG if you use any on your models, although I guess it’s easy to say “everything that looks like a chain-axe isn’t”.

    Chaos and Dark Angels were the last 5th ed codexes. They need to be reworked. Hopefully when they release the rumoured “more dark angels, and more chaos marines from a faction nobody cares about” they’ll change some core stats.

    I’m not sure that the two-handed blood thirster will work. He’s T6, and has a 3+ save. In many cases, he’s dead before we hit init 1. In most cases, dead before he gets into combat. He would have been scary in 6th, when you could assault from flying.

    • Hotsauceman1 April 2, 2015 4:14 pm

      True, which is why people are investing in demons with grimore to use on him. And hoping he get the recollection reward

  6. Fagerlund April 2, 2015 9:56 pm

    I’m disappointed with the formations in this book. The tax is simply too high… because unlike the Decurion detatchment you not only have to take unita you don’t want (and even this is no problem for Necron because they have no bad units anyway so) you even have to take multiples of them… sigh. So yeah you have a chance to get a ‘free’ Bloodthirster, but the tax you pay to get it is more points than the Bloodthirster costs anyway…

    So I think I will play it as a normal CAD and hope for some extra buffs late game.

    Oh and a question on interpretation. The rule for Blood Tithe says it generates points for a Khorne Daemonkin army. Where is -army- defined? What happens if you take allies? Can it still be considered a Daemonkin army? I guess I’ll simply play it as detatchment instead of army but still… such a rushed book. Wish they’d taken some more time with it.

    • bonesaww666 April 3, 2015 5:43 am

      It’s units from the codex: Daemonkin, they must have the Blood for the Blood God Special rule to count towards the Tithe.

      I don’t really see where the issue is, I think this book will stand up well considering it’s a one dimensional army, I don’t think anyone seems to take this into consideration.

      I have a massive Khorne army and while I wish if they were going to keep ‘zerkers at their current cost that they would have given them rending… Seriously.

      I would recommend always playing this army with the “Decurion” formation, the extra ability from the table and the free blood point make up for any of it’s shortcomings hands down.

      I ususally ran a wall of Rhino’s before my Bezerkers anyhow, so the enemy would have to shoot them before my troops, now my 4-5 Rhinos have a dual purpose!

      The problem with my Khorne army was the gradual power bleed, I could often decimate my opponents when I hit their lines, even after being ravaged by shooting, but would lack the strength to throw that final knock out punch. With the new codex this will mitigate that marginally by being able to summon in new units or by beefing up my ragged horde.

      I wish they would have brought the Deepstriking Slaughterbrutes into the new dex, I know you can ally them in, I was just hoping for the ability to get the points for’em.

      I just need to make me some new Bloodletters.

  7. Thomas April 3, 2015 12:51 am

    I miss dirge casters on rhinos and GW should have fixed daemonic possession on the tanks. A possessed tank shouldn’t eat your lord. But I love the fact that everything serves a purpose, if only in death. And getting 8 blood tithe points should not take too long, turn three tops.

    • Andrew
      Andrew April 3, 2015 3:10 am

      Depending on the points level, the best rewards are not always the most expensive. The lower level buffs act as a force multiplier, so when you have several units that are going to benefit from an additional attack it can easily be better than an additional unit. Basically it breaks down like this.

      Low point games: summoning is better
      High point games: Army wide buffs are (probably) better

      I feel like Khorne Daemonkin are going to be much better at high point games simply because there is going to be more units killed. This way they can maintain a steady stream of bonuses.

      • Thomas April 3, 2015 10:37 am

        Yeah, you pretty much nailed it really. One free point and one extra reward will be great.

  8. WestRider April 3, 2015 3:27 am

    The Gorepack is the main thing I can see myself using from this Flesh Hounds are awesome, even more so when they get HoW and can be Joined by CSM ICs, and Chaos Bikes, while not great, and overshadowed by Spawn and Helldrakes in a regular CSM list, aren’t exactly bad, either. Nice source of fast Melta to crack Transports, which a list like this wants, and MtC lets them both hide better on the way in and get more aggressive in dense terrain.

  9. Fagerlund April 3, 2015 3:27 am

    Oh and I forgot to mention my favourite part of the book: Where they show off different warbands to give you painting inspiration. Hell yeah! Here’s six different exciting warbands you can paint! …and they’re all red.

  10. Ghostwolfalpha April 3, 2015 9:48 am

    I see a lot of small squads early game with deepstrike and other shinanagins late game to bring in the heavy hitters now buffed or supported by the bloodtithe.

    This book seems very flavorful despite the obvious “You must buy this kit” mentality. I forsee some crazy combo becoming the next big net army list everyone will hate. Fleshhounds running forward to soak fire, feeding the bloodgod by killing or dying. Then making all other units that have been moving into position better.

    The bloodstorm formation seems amazing. Raptors are so good.

  11. bigpig April 3, 2015 10:29 am

    Khorne Daemonkin: Got my first game in two nights ago with this army. I had a blast!!! Fun army to play with. I really like the blood tithe system. It means you always have options available, though not overwhelming. I summoned two bloodthirsters during the game and they did nothing lol. One died to deep strike mishap when it was summoned and the second came in on turn 5 when the game ended. I got much more use out of the other abilities that clock in around 4 points.

    I played the book detachment using a Slaughtercult and Charnal Cohort. Army was roughly

    Chaos lord, Juggernaut, fist and claw, 5++
    8 CSM Rhino Combimelta
    8 CSM Rhino Combimelta
    5 Possessed Rhino
    2x 10 Cultists
    3 Spawn
    3 Spawn
    8 Bloodletters
    8 Bloodletters
    3 Bloodcrushers
    8 Flesh hounds

    I deep struck the cohort in the backfield and ran the CSM contingent upfield behind the sacrificial rhino wall. Lord joined up with the Spawn for speedy goodness.

    In summary, I found that this army as I played lacked the ability to deal with some issues like my opponents land raider. I could see some holes being filled by an allied detachment. I liked the Cohort, but would maybe replace it down the road with something else. I like the idea of maulerfields running upfield to tear shit up too :).

    Overall, a fun army to play. I will probably use by World Eaters to play this a lot, but likely won’t take it anyplace competitive as it doesn’t have the nuts to compete top scale.

  12. Jagged April 3, 2015 10:31 pm

    “Oh well, quite the missed opportunity for GW but I understand they could not have the same unit in two different codices with different points or stat lines” I would like to direct you to the Harlequins in my Codex: Eldar, and the ones in my shiny new Codex: Harlequins. Very different story. The Berserkers in a Daemonkin host could perhaps be more specialized than their cam counterparts. If you wanted a fluffy reason why (although as chaos sms were my first army I’d like to think they shouldn’t be so &/!$ bad in a chaos warband…)

  13. Hollismason April 4, 2015 12:33 pm

    Actually it’s rather strong codex, when you are running mostly Troops and T value units you’re going to be picking that FNP every single turn. An example of this is Chaos Spawn.

    They receive the Blood Tithe rule. At first it’s like that’s alright they get rage, however the Slaughter Cult gives a bonus of having FNP and RAGE. So now you got

    d6+2 ST6 attack and they finally get a save.

    It’s a glass cannon but that added benefit of gaining FNP through the formation makes them rather good.

  14. Malkov April 7, 2015 7:59 am

    Kinda glossed over that Tithe is kind of a big deal inside Slaughtcult.

    Ignore the high summons and spam +1A, FNP, and/or FC Rage every turn. All of a sudden hounds/bike can swing 5 times each, Grinders swing 7 times, etc etc.

    It essentially buffs the crap out of everything for free all game long.

    Also there was a ninja buff to Warp Talons and Possessed. Went from plain Daemons to DoK for free. (pt increase from MoK, gained FC for free)

  15. chris bellamy April 28, 2015 8:43 pm

    No Predators, no Kharn, no Skarbrand, no Devastators, no Karanak… Obviously the Blood God despises shooting, named characters and most of the models in my World Eaters army. Oh well, time to go buy some Possessed, I guess.

  16. Erasmus the Ur Priest May 27, 2015 12:58 pm

    I want to combo the “Khornecurion” detchment with a CSM ally force with a land raider with the First War for Armageddon legacy to give deamons of khorne within 6″ +1 it invulns, because Possessed, Maulerfiends etc are Daemons of Khorne in The Daemonkin list.