Hello, Veterans and Rookies of the table-top. Scuba Steve here to talk about the fastest Crushers this side of Blood River. That’s right! Today’s tactics discussion is going to be on the KDK Bloodcrushers! They’re fast, they’re ruthless, and they’re all you’ll need to take your game to the next level with Khorne Daemonkin! As always, for more great articles, be sure to check out the Tactics Corner!
Here Comes the BOOM!
I would classify the KDK Bloodcrushers as being one of those “stealth” units in a codex. At first glance, sure, they seem underwhelming for their cost. However, when you start to think around their perceived purpose and identify ways to play to the strengths of the unit, then there are some really awesome “up-sides” to using a few units of these bad boys in your army. Like I do with all of my articles, let’s break down the unit’s special abilities and rate them on a scale of “Just okay” to “Good”, it will help if we can all acknowledge what, exactly, makes a unit good and why.
- Hellblade (Good): It should be no secret that any weapon that can reliably kill a Space Marine is a good weapon. The fact that all of the attacks carried out by a unit of Bloodcrushers can just rip a Tactical Squad or Aspect Warrior to shreds means that Bloodcrushers were built to take on those kinds of targets. Never again will a Tactical Squad give you attitude.
- Blood for the Blood God!/Skulls for the Skull Throne! (Good): These special rules are fantastic, if you target the right units, Bloodcrushers can be a fantastic way to generate Blood Tithe points and benefit from them greatly. In particular, the +1 attack characteristic can really help turn the tides of combat if done at the right time.
- Deep Strike/Fearless (Good): THANK KHORNE! They have Fearless! If you ever do lose combat, there will be no running away! Considering they have a leadership value of 7, the bump of Fearless was really needed and incredibly useful! Never will they flee! NEVER! The Deep Strike special rule can be a bit of a trap, I wouldn’t recomend Deep Striking units like this, with no shooting weapons and Dreadnought sized bases, they can be a real pain in the ass to Deep Strike safely, I would always recommend hiding them on the first round of the game and using them to charge forward and apply pressure instead. Remember that Cavalry are not slowed down by Terrain, they can just move on through!
- Daemon of Khorne (Good): Who says “no” to Furious Charge? They become Strength 6 on the charge?! Not only can they reliably pop the rear armor of most vehicles, but they can also Instant Death most Eldar (without Jet Bikes). Additionally, they will VERY likely, be wounding on 2’s with all of those sweet, sweet AP 3 attacks. I get all revved up just saying it out loud… I love the smell of AP 3 in the morning… mmm…
- Additional Bloodcrushers (Just okay): This is also a trap. It may seem good to pile on the dudes, but you don’t need them. The crushers never have to check moral and with 4-5 attacks on the charge per model, you won’t really need more of them. Plus, the more you tack on, the bigger a target they become. Play these guys MSU style and you’ll do just fine.
- Bloodhunter (Just okay): Again, not necessary, you’re paying 5 points for one additional attack and the downfall of having to challenge ALL OF THE TIME! Not always the best choice. Keep them cheap, don’t buy the Bloodhunter.
- Instrument of Chaos/Banner (Good): Of these two options, the Banner of Blood is actually a decent upgrade. To use the banner properly, you really need to plan out your moves and really make sure you really reap the Banner’s benefits. First of all, it is awesome if you have a great deal of Deep Striking/Summoned units – No scatter is definitely desirable. Additionally, the ability to turn ties in the Assault Phase into a Win can never be a bad thing. Lastly, once per game, you can effectively guarantee yourself a crucial charge and charge d6+6 instead of 2d6.
Alright… all-in-all, pretty good. Let’s move on to HOW you can use them on the table top!
The Whites of Their Eyes!
There are so many ways to use Bloodcrushers! I have come up with two different strategies you can take from this article and feel free to leave a few more in the comments section!
- Up Close: As you can probably deduce, the core of this tactic is being close to your opponent – you’re not wrong. The basic premise of this strategy is to charge your opponent with multiple units of Bloodcrushers, applying incredible pressure to your opponent. With this kind of Blitz attack, placement during deployment and movement is really important, you need to move towards particular targets that your opponent is trying to protect, the application of pressure only matters if your opponent cares about the targets you are charging towards. Additionally, saturation of threats with this strategy is key! I would suggest using this strategy with an army format that allows you to use formations to adjust the allotment of Elites you can reasonably take. I would suggest either of the KDK formations: Brazn Onslaught (a personal favorite) or the Chanel Cohort. Once you’ve closed on those prime targets with three/four units of Bloodcrushers, you will likely be able to charge them in the following turn, the best way to ensure that you have your Bloodcrushers alive and well in this initial charge, is to use the terrain to your advantage; Cavalry units are never slowed down by terrain and can really use those cover saves to their advantage. Once they have made contact with the enemy lines, just let them do what they do best.
- Personal: This strategy has a slightly more nuanced approach… Instead of barreling forward with your Bloodcrushers, use their speed to contest objectives and chase down “problem units”. What I mean by the “problem units” is those pesky units that every opponent has, sitting on back line objectives, infiltrating onto key objectives, or holding Line Breaker, these kind of units are the PERFECT target for Bloodcrushers because they are usually a little on the weaker side (Scouts, Rangers, etc…), they won’t have the power to fend off the close combat might of a unit of crushers. Additionally, it is also a great use of the Banner of Blood, using the unit’s speed to effectively get a locator beacon to a point on the board where you need it most; making summoning in reinforcements, or securing safe Deep Strikes from reserves.
Sometimes… Dreams Need to be Crushed…
This unit is not the be-all-end-all… unfortunately, they have a really, really BIG downside… Toughness 4… They are a multi-wound model with Toughness 4… Instant Death here we come. Missile Launchers do them in… seems bad. Well, it is bad… You can’t have your super awesome cavalry unit dying to a bunch of Krak Missiles, very underwhelming and super unimpressive. Well, that’s the way it is, unfortunately. These bad boys are by no means Thunderwolf Cavalry. Additionally, having a 6+ armor save and a 5++ don’t make them any more survivable. So, that means you have to be EXTRA careful about where and how you position the Bloodcrushers, use their speed to keep them out of LOS or in some awesome cover.
Out For Blood… and Crush Soda
Well, there it is, not the most fantastic unit in the codex, but definitely a sharp tool in the shed. By using the banner and the Bloodcrusher’s speed to optimize how you use them, I think that everyone will find that they do have spot in most KDK lists, no one can argue with Speed and Power, and the Bloodcrusher has both. I challenge you all to give them a try and find a few different ways to get them off the shelf and onto the tabletop. If you’re interesting in giving them a shot, I hear that Frontline Gaming sells GW products for up to 25% off! A stellar deal! Until next time…
Scuba Steve, Signing Out