Khorne Daemonkin Review: Formation: Brazen Onslaught


Today is all about business, folks. Big Papa Khorne is on his way downtown and he’s bringing two scoops of Brazen Onslaught with him. That’s right, today I am going to walk you through one of my favorite formations in the Khorne Daemonkin book, the Brazen Onslaught; I’m going to show you how to use it, what to use it for, and why you should seriously think about taking er’ out for a spin one day. As always, for the love of Khorne, be sure to check out the Tactics Corner! 


Definition – Bold, Without Shame, Made of Brass

As you likely know, this review is not about KDK Terminators or KDK Bloodcrushers, it is about the Brazen Onslaught formation, so… instead of talking about the Terminators or Bloodcrushers, the best way to kit them out, what the downsides are of those units, etc… Instead, I am going to talk about and outline the formation’s restrictions, special rules, and a few key ways that you can use this formation successfully! *Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner if you want to get the details on the specific units inside the formation.*


  • 1-4 Units of Chaos Terminators
  • 2-4 Units of Bloodcrushers


  • None (Best feeling ever…)

Special Rules:

  • Khorne’s Chosen Slaughterers: Units that are outnumbered in combat add one to their Attacks Characteristic. This seems really underwhelming, but it happens FAR MORE than you’d first think. It happens so often because of the units make up this formation. Bloodcrushers can have a maximum of 9 models and the Terminators can have a maximum of 10 (I wouldn’t suggest running them as maxed out units anyways). You can really end up doing some serious damage thanks to these extra attacks, especially when you start factoring in the Rage attacks on the Terminators and the Furious Charge on the Bloodcrushers. All-in-all, this is a great ability to have (sure, it’s no “free upgrades” or something silly like that, but it’s decent), plus they have Blood for the Blood God!, so you can pump them up with extra Attacks or Feel No Pain.

Alright, there are three ways that I have found to be the most effective ways of incorporating this into your army. Each has it’s own daemonic charm and works in a multitude of play-styles. If you know of any other uses for this formation, feel free to comment below and share your personal strategies! The three I’m going to discuss today are: Brazen Pressure, Brazen Maelstrom, and Brazen Allies.

Style One – Brazen Pressure: Alright, this strategy is really simple, as it should be (it’s Khorne for goodness sake). The overall premise is to take your horde of Bloodcrushers and ram them up your opponent’s nose. The Bloodcrushers are all cavalry models, so they aren’t going to be slowed down by that pesky terrain that covers the battlefield, so if you deploy as far forward as you can and then blitz across the battle field; the overall point with this is to give you easy access to a lot of cavalry units and saturate your opponent in threatening targets on the first turn. The Terminators, on the other hand, are nowhere near as fast as the Bloodcrushers… but they can Deep Strike, so I would take them in a minimum squad, load them out with Combi-Weapons, and then Deep Strike them to strike an enemy vehicle or power unit. This is how I would build the formation to align with the Brazen Pressure strategy:

  • One unit of 3x Terminators w/3x Combi-Melta or Combi-Plasma (personal choice), and 1x Power Fist… Total:126 Points
  • Four units of 3x Bloodcrushers… Total: 540
  • Formation Total:666 (too awesome)

Why building the formation like this while using the Brazen Pressure strategy is because you have four units of incredibly fast moving units. Additionally, these units are no slouches in close combat, I would suggest using them like bullies – attack units that you know they can catch and easily dispatch of (Example: Eldar Jetbikes, Tactical Marines, Aspect Warriors – really anything where you can take advantage of their AP 3 Hellblades. Also, the more of those smaller units the can just obliterate, the more blood tithe points you will wrack up. In the thick of the game, you should reliably be killing a unit or two every turn (beyond the first) with four packs of Bloodcrushers. The Terminators are kind of the odd-men-out of this strategy, but their presence still draws a lot of attention from your opponent, especially walking around your opponent’s back field with that power fist of theirs.


Style Two – Brazen Maelstrom: No matter who you are, where you play, or how you play… the missions in 40k are everything. This formation is so flexible in how you use it that you can make it work with any mission that you’re going to have to play. Now, with the Brazen Maelstrom style, I have come up with this style to work well with the ITC mission format; the point of this build is to use the formation to solidify your hold on the Maelstrom Mission. The speed of the Bloodcrushers and the Deep Strike/offensive capabilities of the Terminators, you can be anywhere that you need to be and kill almost anything that you need to kill. The Brazen Onslaught formation is incredibly mobile and has a whole lot of bite to it, if you give it a chance. When adding this style to your army, I would suggest the following:

  • Two units of 3x Terminators w/3x Combi-Melta or Combi-Plasma (personal choice), and 1x Power Fist… Total:252 Points
  • Two units of 3x Bloodcrushers… Total: 270
  • Formation Total: 522

The key here is making sure that you play to the mission, take the Bloodcrushers and go get those crucial objectives instead of charging that unit of dudes not holding an objective. Use the Terminators to Deep Strike and kill units for “Destroy an Enemy Unit” objectives or line breaking objectives. Plus, the strength of their guns can be crucial to claiming “Big Game Hunter” or “Slay the Warlord” should that opportunity present itself. The formation moves fast enough and hits hard enough that it is actually surprising how effective it is at playing the Maelstrom.

Both of these styles of course work perfectly in the Blood Host detachment, the ability to use Blood Tithe points to summon more Daemons AND give this formation Feel No Pain or more Attacks, it starts to get pretty unreal, pretty quickly. Having so many moving pieces in a KDK army is crucial considering it is usually an army with minimal shooting.

Style Three – Brazen Allies: The great thing about formations is that you’re able to include them in your army as one of your detachments, so instead of having to take an Allied Detachment, you can simply include a formation for your allies! The KDK codex grants Chaos Space Marines and Daemons as battle brothers (which is good and all), but I’m proposing you use this formation to fill a gap that is present in a few other armies – particularly Necrons and Orks (both of which are Allies of Convenience with KDK). Both of the styles presented above work really well in tandem with either of these armies and I’m going to outline why:

  • Great Allies for Necrons?: Surprisingly, yes! There are many that believe Necrons don’t need any help.. ever… however, there are a few places that the Necron codex does lack and primarily it is in speed. Aside from the one unit of Wraiths that every Necron player runs, the rest of the army is pretty darn slow. Using the Brazen Pressure style listed above, you can add a whole lot of urgency to your regularly slow-moving Necrons. Imagine your first turn consisting of four advancing groups of Bloodcrushers AND that unit of Wraiths… Your opponent will likely not see it coming and it saturates their side of the board with targets that cannot be ignored… leaving the rest of your army to casually march up the table – additionally, as the Bloodcrushers and Terminators kill targets and get killed themselves, they will fill your Blood Tithe pool and allow you to summon more Daemons, something Necrons could never do before.
  • Great Allies for Orks?: You better believe it! Orks are fast, but the issue is that many of their weapons (Power Klaws aside) don’t have a low enough AP to be a major threat to targets need killing fast. Additionally, they don’t have high AP shooting attacks (or reliable shooting attacks for that matter), so the Combi-Weapons on the Terminators are perfect for popping open vehicles that Orks would regularly have issues with. Additionally, if your opponent is presented with an interesting choice when Ork Trukks filled with Boyz and Daemon cavalry blitz up the table turn one: which one do they shoot?


Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the formation is nothing special… you don’t get a bunch of free stuff, you don’t get more Ballistic Skill or re-rollable craziness, but what it does give you is all access to some of the fastest moving and more powerful units in the codex with essentially no “tax” unit. Some people view the Terminators as a “tax” unit, but I disagree – they can be useful when you prioritize your targets and build them conservatively. Like I do with all of my articles, I issue a challenge… take this in your next game, give it a try! Don’t believe that all KDK lists have to be built a certain way, table top effectiveness can be found in any formation and any army, but you’ve got to try! As always, Frontline Gaming offers all GW product for up to 25% off, it’s a crazy good deal!

Scuba Steve, Signing Out



12 Responses to “Khorne Daemonkin Review: Formation: Brazen Onslaught”

  1. Reecius April 20, 2016 10:18 am #

    I really want to love this formation as I really want to love Chaos Terminators. They look so cool!!

    Thanks for the article!

    • Vercingatorix April 20, 2016 12:31 pm #

      That’s how many bad and surprisingly good lists started out. “They look so cool! I want to try that!”

    • AbusePuppy April 21, 2016 7:00 pm #

      Chaos Termies are arguably the second-best Terminators after Grey Knights, I would say- but in a world of Grav, AP2 pie plates, and Scatter Lasers, no Terminator is really priced well enough to be all that functional in any kind of competitive sense.

      Still, if you’re not butting heads with the big boys they can be pretty decent and the formation’s bonuses at least interact well with what they do- four attacks on the first turn of a fight is no joke with power weapons.

      I think the article missteps in not discussing their potential as the classic Termicide; three guys with Combi-Meltas and Power Axes/Mauls will give you a lot of bang for your buck, and when they inevitably die that’s some easy Tithe points.

      • Reecius April 22, 2016 8:09 am #

        Yeah, I think Space marine Tactical Termies are actually quite a good buy now, too, particularly Cataphracti Teminators. But, the ability to take units of 3 in Termicide formation is really solid, I agree. For the points, they’re a great disruption unit.

        If Terminators were the same points but had 2 wounds, I think they’d be money.

  2. Horton April 21, 2016 2:03 pm #

    This formation is a good one! I love how it fits into a bloodhost detachment.

    • Reecius April 21, 2016 6:30 pm #

      You’re a regular KDK player, right Horton? How do you use this bad boy?

      • Horton April 22, 2016 1:53 am #

        WHen I saw the KDK codex it was like GW make a codex just for me! I have not been able to pull myself away to play much else since it came out. I like 2 units of 3-4 blood crushers and 2 units of terminators with combi meltas. I think it works well in the Bloodhost because you can run it alongside bikes, spawn, and flesh hounds. So, it gives you a pretty balanced rush of assault units. We all know bloodcrushers have their issues, but there is way less ranged S8 in the game than there was a few years ago. They will surprise you!

        • Reecius April 22, 2016 8:10 am #

          That’s awesome you found an army that speaks to you!

          I actually like Bloodcrushers a lot. Like you said, they do well in a meta that doesn’t insta-gib them.

  3. westrider April 21, 2016 8:00 pm #

    I might have to borrow some Blood Crushers and give this one a try. I may not have any of them, but lord knows I have enough Chaos Terminators, even if a lot of them have sub-optimal loadouts.

    • Reecius April 22, 2016 8:10 am #

      Bloodcrushers are great for summoning in I find.

      • westrider April 24, 2016 10:55 pm #

        Yeah, it’s basically a combination of dollar cost and I don’t like the Bloodletters on them. I may do some conversions from Skullcrushers or something at some point.

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