Hey guys, its’ Adam from TheDiceAbide again, here to talk about my favorite army in 40k, the Khorne Daemonkin! Today we’re going to go over a monstrous amalgam of daemon and machine, the dreaded Soul Grinder.
A capable monster in combat, but also brings some devastating fire support, much needed in the KDK army. Due to their flexible equipment, they can be built to serve a variety of roles, though perhaps unsurprisingly, they will always excel in combat.
Another of the Heavy Support choices for the Khorne Daemonkin, the Soul Grinder is a heavily armoured behemoth of steel and sinew. Boasting a robust AV 13/13/11 with HP4, the Soul Grinder is the KDK army’s most resilient vehicle, outside of a Land Raider, it’s incredibly difficult to kill, and immune to S6 in melee (so no Krak grenades). Due to their long-ranged weapons, they can be fantastic back-field pieces, or when geared for combat, can run up with the rest of the army as a clean up unit. Overall the Soul Grinder has great utility at a very reasonable cost. They’re cheap enough to spam, especially if you’re playing a Blood Host, where competing for Heavy Support slots isn’t a problem, but I would be careful that taking too many of them doesn’t slow down your army too much.
- Harvester Cannon – All Soul Grinders come with this as their standard ranged weapon, essentially, a 3-shot autocannon with a skyfire mode, great for putting an HP or two on a tank, but also handy for taking some pot shots at an enemy flyer.
- Iron Claw – Fancy name for a power fist, gives the Soul Grinder much needed S10 AP2.
- Warpsword (optional) – While a fairly expensive upgrade, taking a Warp Sword will give you an extra attack in melee for having two specialist melee weapons, and it is also master crafted, which is essentially yet another attack. If you plan on getting your ‘Grinder into melee, this is a fantastic choice to increase it’s damage output, you will be able to choose between the extra re-roll from Master Crafted, or the S10 AP2 from the fist, or stick with S6 AP3, but get that extra swing.
- One of 3 ranged weapons (optional):
- Baleful Torrent – My personal favorite, this weapon gives the Soul Grinder a S6 Ap4 torrent template weapon, great for flushing enemies out of cover. It’s the least point expensive of the 3 choices, and never misses, I love the thing.
- Warp Gaze – A single shot at 24″ but at a brutal S10 Ap1, no subtlety here, but being on a BS3 mount means you’re going to miss as often as you hit. As much as I like the idea of lazer eyes blasting open tanks, it’s just not reliable enough for my taste.
- Phlegm Bombardment – The final weapon choice, this gives the army one of it’s only sources of a large blast, high strength + low AP attack. This weapon is essentially a 36″ range battle cannon, so it’s great for blasting apart infantry, and of the 3 ranged choices is the most likely to score you any Blood Tithe in the shooting phase.
- Blood for the Blood God – ever present in the KDK book, this rule allows the Soul Grinder to be buffed through Blood Tithe, and it also allows for the generating of it.
- Daemon of Khorne – Granting an already hard to kill model a 5++ save is never a bad thing, and Furious Charge means it can strike at S7 with a Warpsword, pretty sexy.
- Deep Strike – The Soul Grinder is easy to think of as a slow unit, only moving 6″ a turn and lacking Fleet that it’s Deflier cousin has, to make up for it however, the Soul Grinder can simply Deep Strike if you’re thinking you’ll need it up the board.
- Daemonic Resilience – Just like Daemonic Possession, this model ignores Crew Shaken and Crew stunned on a 2+, making it nearly impossible to stop outside of killing the (literally) damned thing.
Personally, I’m often times using the Soul Grinder as a back-field objective holder. When armed with a Phlegm Cannon, it can give some much needed fire support, and if anyone is foolish enough to get close, it will deliver a devastating counter charge. With AV13, a 5++, and 4 HP, it takes quite a bit of firepower, which if your enemy is putting that into it, they’re not firing at your faster units that are going to be in combat the next turn. Since it’s so far back, it’s often an after thought for the enemy, and they’ll just continue to accept the ranged pounding that it will deliver.
If you want to be a bit more aggressive, there’s always the Deep Strike option. Being a Daemon of Khorne, you can land it within 6″ of any of your other Khorne Daemon units that are toting banners without scattering, which is a great way to mitigate it’s large size and tendency to mishap. When you play it like this, you don’t even need to give it any upgrades, it will just land and scare the snot out of the enemy, though if you want to cause a bit of extra chaos, the Baleful Torrent will do the trick, and if you think it’ll survive the first turn to get into combat, go for the Warpsword.
As a mid-field support unit, the Soul Grinder also excels. It’s hard to shift, and can deliver some ranged attacks, while it sits protecting any objectives towards the middle of the board. While it’s alive and kicking the enemy cannot risk getting near, and since it can get a decent ranged gun, it will just become a really obnoxious threat in the middle of the board.
It’s slow. No Move through Cover, no Fleet, and a huge foot print, the Soul Grinder is likely the slowest unit in the Khorne Daemonkin unit. You can mitigate this slightly through Deep Strike, but then you’re relying on the reserves rolls, and without any banners, you’ll have a high chance of mishapping should you scatter.
In combat, while it has a decent number of attacks, it is only WS3 and I3, so if the enemy is armed for melee against AV13, they’ll probably be hitting you on 3’s, and quite possibly before you get to swing, plus if you charge through cover, which is easy to do with it’s wide stance, you’ll be at I1.
Finally, it’s Harvester Cannon is a bit wonky… While it does bring some anti-air to the mix, you still have to charge the target you shoot at, so firing the Harvester Cannon at a flyer means you probably wont be charging, and it will also keep you from firing the Phlegm Bombardment or the Baleful Torrent.
As I mentioned, when it comes to armoured vehicles, the Soul Grinder is one of the toughest you get in the army, and definitely the toughest that you’ll use on a regular basis. They are very flexible in how you can use them on the table top, so adding one to any army isn’t a bad idea. I don’t recommend taking them without a ranged weapon upgrade, though I suppose there might be a use for a stock one, perhaps if you’re spamming them in a Blood Host list where you could fit 8 in if you really wanted to go crazy. Overall, they may not be a must have, but I would have a hard time imagining an army that wouldn’t benefit from taking one.
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