Blades of Khorne Review : Wrathmongers

Hey everyone, Josh here to discuss the units that are available in the Blades of Khorne. This time we’ll be discussing a niche unit, Wrathmongers. For more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

Wrathmongers are niche unit in the Bloodbound army. Wrathmongers are neither daemon nor mortal (despite the keyword on their warscroll). They’ve fully embraced the path to daemonhood and have accepted daemonic gifts that cause even the most noble warrior to slather into a mindless rage.

Wrathmongers are excellent for alpha striking all but the most resilient units in the game. They are great tools for supporting units on defense and keeping larger high damage models such as behemoths, monsters and elite infantry in check. When they attack, they’re usually hurdling toward larger enemy models to take advantage of Bloodfury. 

It seems Blood Warriors and Wrathmongers are a match made in hell. They’re like skulls and a skull throne; they belong together. The units that give Blood Warriors a hard time are often easily slain by Wrathmongers, and the units that would normally slaughter Wrathmongers in an alpha strike are easily warded off by Blood Warriors. 

Unit Characteristics

  • Wounds: 5
  • Save: 5+
  • Move: 5
  • Bravery: 7
  • Points: 180
  • Min Unit Size: 5
  • Max Unit Size: 20

Weapons (Range/Attacks/To Hit/To Wound/Rend/Damage)

  • Wrath-flails (2/4/4/3/1/1)

Unique Models

  • Wrathmaster –  makes 5 attacks rather than 4

Abilities

  • Wrath-flails – if the unit charged this turn, add 1 to hit rolls
  • Crimson Haze – models (friend or foe) within 3″ of a wrathmonger make an additional attack with their melee weapons (this doesn’t stack)
  • Bloodfury – each time a Wrathmonger is slain in the combat phase, choose an enemy model within 2″ of the slain model and make an attack with it (it can even attack itself)

Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Mortal
  • Khorne
  • Bloodbound
  • Wrathmongers

Tactics

Bloodfury is the primary reason to take Wrathmongers. Each time your opponent kills a wrath monger in combat, you get to chose a single enemy model within 2” and force it to attack (but not pile-in) as if you were in control of it. You can even make the model attack itself. This ability alone makes Wrathmongers excellent for killing large models.

The Rules Lawyer : Here’s a question for you. Damage in age of sigmar is applied in sequence after attacks are resolved. If 15 wounds are being applied to a unit of Wrathmongers then do you allocate wounds individually, apply the wounds sequentially and resolve Bloodfury each time a model is slain; or do you allocate all of the wounds being done for the attack and apply them at the same time? In one case, Crimson Haze would still apply to your enemy’s models until the final Wrathmonger is slain, but in the other Crimson Haze would not apply because the Wrathmongers would all be dead. I’ve scowerd the rules regarding damage allocation, but I cannot find any text that allows me to make a detirmination. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

The characteristics on their weapons are awesome as well. A single unit of five Wrathmongers can make 21 attacks before buffs, have built in buffs to hit rolls on a charge and have rending weapons. Additionally, a 2” weapon range means that usually you’ll be able to strike your opponent with the full unit. Alpha striking Wrathmongers usually put a dent a huge dent in whatever they strike.

Crimson Haze makes Wrathmongers an excellent supporting unit. They can easily buff your units and avoid your opponents units while standing behind the frontline. They can also provide additional damage output by making a charge behind your alpha striking unit, but this is much more difficult to accomplish.

Wrathmongers aren’t as dependent on buffing the attacks characteristic as other units are. They already make 4 attacks per model, and can opperate effectively outside the range of a Bloodsecrator’s Rage of Khorne. Instead focus on suring up the attacks they already make and don’t be afraid to send them into the fray if it will help you win the game.

My Top 5 Unit Synergies

  1. Bloodstoker – provides +3″ to run and charge rolls as well as re-rollable wound rolls of 1
  2. Slaughter Priest – provides +1 to hit rolls with the Blood Blessing, Killing Frenzy
  3. Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut – the only unit in  Blades of Khorne that provides +1 to wound rolls
  4. Bloodsecrator – provides attack characteristic bonuses while protecting your Wrathmongers from battleshock tests
  5. Aspiring Deathbringer – provides attack characteristic bonuses

Cons

At 180pts, Wrathmongers are Bloodbound’s most expensive non-hero unit, they only have a 5+ save, and they’re slow. This puts them in a strange position. They’re excellent for taking down lerger models and alpha striking, but die like flies if they’re being shot by ranged units or attacked by light-medium infantry. Keep them behind your defensive line and buff your troops with crimson haze until the time is right to strike.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

secondhandhsop

Tags:

About Josh Keal

Hi, I'm Josh. I'm the owner of Masterpiece Miniatures, a wargaming channel on youtube. I primarily play Age of Sigmar and own over 10000 points in Khorne units. You can check our our channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/MasterpieceMiniatures/

20 Responses to “Blades of Khorne Review : Wrathmongers”

  1. Requizen
    Requizen May 18, 2017 7:11 am #

    These guys are scary, definitely had my Paladins taken over and Starsoul Mace themselves to death! But yeah, the price is rough and they can be taken down at a range pretty easily.

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal May 18, 2017 7:25 am #

      Exactly, I’m trying to find a place for them. With all the new shooty armies (overlords, tzeench, stormcast…) the meta has changed drastically. They’re better in a meta with less ranged units. As new battletomes get released, I’m sure they’ll see a rise in popularity.

      • Ytook May 18, 2017 7:51 am #

        I’m hoping GH2 does something to add a bit more inherent counter play against shooting, some negatives to hit for shooting through units or into combat for example.

        Watching Warhammer Live the GW guys are well aware shooting is extremely good and the tournament guys must know so I’m hoping something will happen.

        • Josh Keal
          Josh Keal May 18, 2017 9:48 am #

          Ytook, shooting is only over-powering in tornements where stacking abilities are completely eliminated like the SCGT. I don’t think shooting is over-powered if you play the rules as written. If you’re facing a shooting army, the best thing you can do is engage it as fast as possible

          • Reecius
            Reecius May 18, 2017 10:28 am
            #

            Welllllll…..lol, I have to strongly disagree with you, here. Kharadron Overlords with stacking the same buff is straight up ridiculously, insanely OP. A unit of 20 Thunderers Getting +6 shots per model with stacking Aetherkemists is objectively ridiculous. That’s what, 140 shots? At 36″ range, each doing D3 damage? That are easily twin linked? Lol, please justify that one for me. That unit will destroy most armies in a single round of shooting and is quite clearly RAW right now.

            Stacking like buffs isn’t always bad, but it very frequently is. Plus, the SCGT guys play test AoS so I would be willing to bet as they go so goes the official rules very often.

          • Josh Keal
            Josh Keal May 18, 2017 2:12 pm
            #

            That’s a fun looking list, but you’re investing all your heros into a single unit unit type to provide +6 attacks per model. This is going also to cost you 1000 points minimum, additionally your opponent is probably going to deploy before you. Yeah, you’d defeat a couple armies but you’d quickly lose to many of the most well developed armies in the game. I don’t think this thing you’ve mentioned is game breaking.

            Gameworkshop needs to be more careful with it’s wording in the warscrolls as well as the rules. There are probably buffs that shouldn’t stack. I don’t think banning the use of these buffs the way they are written to be used is the answer. Showing GW that they’ve made a terrible mistake that’s unhealthy for the game is probably a better one.

          • Ytook May 19, 2017 8:28 am
            #

            I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s the case, shooting weapons are often the same if not more powerful than combat attacks and aren’t in any way hindered as easily as combat attacks, a shooting unit will get more hits in on average than a combat unit though they don’t get to activate in both players phases they have a much greater range, no need to charge and no way to stop them other than blocking line of site.

            Shooting units are better units, hence they cost more points, the Warhammer Live guys themselves have said shooting heavy armies are better. If you’re playing a friendly game and agree to not spam shooting then yeah fair enough, but that’s not what matched play is about.

          • Josh Keal
            Josh Keal May 19, 2017 10:42 am
            #

            Ytook, you don’t have to appologize. I don’t mind disagreement. I have yet to experience issues with shooting armies that other players are referencing. That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem with the game. A large portion of my time while building armies is spent making sure I can counter shooting armies. Usually this involves making sure that I can engage and cripple them as quickly as possible.

            If you think that this game shouldn’t have to be played in such a way that you’re forced to take units fast enough to do that then I can see why it’s a percieved problem. I’ve just come to accept this as part of the game.

  2. Reecius
    Reecius May 18, 2017 2:16 pm #

    Are you being serious or no? Hard to tell. You can also put them all in an Ironclad to have 1 drop for all of them if you like, plus you’ve got your 3 units of Arkanauts for screens to absorb t1 charges. And how does that mean your opponent will deploy before you, haha? That is only 7 drops, many armies that don’t have an uber battalion average around 10. If you’re playing Blades of Khorne you won’t, but most armies don’t have that option.

    That’s hardly the point though, lolol. 140, 36″ range shots that do d3 damage from a single unit is absurd, haha. That creates neither a fun nor tactically challenging game. Each model can shoot at a different target, you will carpet bomb the other guy’s army off of the table. I guarantee that that is not intent, lol. It creates terribly unenjoyable games and will cause folks to stop playing. I’ve seen this type of thing over and over.

    And anyway, shooting is overpowering even without limitations on the same buffs stacking. I say this as someone that plays a shooting army. I’m not saying shooting armies always win, just that they usually do, lol. Skyfires, artillery, Kunnin Ruck, Balewind Vortex+Wizard, etc. etc.

    Anyway, you are free to hold whatever opinion you choose but I will bet money that limitations are coming on stacking the same buff on the same unit. It simply is not fun and to me, not good for the game, either. YMMV.

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal May 18, 2017 9:50 pm #

      I’m not Trolling, I genuinely believe the shooting armies aren’t as bad as the player base believes they are. I respect your opinion, and think that opinions of descent are good. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw limitations on stacking Abilities in the near future, but I’m not holding my breath. Until I see a book from GW stating that abilities with the same name do not stack, I’ll continue to play the rules as written. I’d be up for a friendly bet on a blanket matched play rule (like the rule of one) that prohibits you from stacking abilities with the same name on the same unit. What are your terms? 🙂

      In response to your comments on a lack of fun; I understand that frustration. I believe there are two different meta-games, in one setting (a tournament setting) the meta-game is to detirmine whose the best within the framework of defined rules by co-operating with your opponents to make sure they are followed. In another setting (a non-tourney or friendly setting ), the meta-game goal is simply to be able to play the game in such a way that both enjoy it and your opponent is willing to play with you on another occasion.

      In the tournament setting, the army you’ve mentioned has a very serious lynch-pin (your 20 man unit of mortars). It has a shot at victory, but I think that at some point you’ll loose on a double turn to an army that engages you quickly, an army with high saves or an army that just shoots your boys down. I think it wins many of it’s games but not the event.

      In a friendly setting, I think you often lose while playing that list because most players don’t have what they need to oppose it. I’d personally love to play against a list like that. I’d want to figure out how to beat it. If my opponent wanted to play friendly games with me and had a difficult list like the one you’ve mentioned, I’d just hope that they would respect me by giving me a heads-up so I can return the favor. 😉

      • Quinn May 19, 2017 10:12 am #

        I’m going to agree with Reece here, the stacking of the same buff on units multiple times is getting ridiculous. Whether it is this Kharadon build or the Bloodletter Bomb (and others) it is being abused. You say that certain armies can beat this Kharadon build and my guess is you are correct, BUT it will only be specific builds. Armies that can null deploy and get a double turn would have a reasonable chance. Most armies cannot do that however. That includes most tournament armies. Lot of fun just picking up your army first turn.

        The big problem is shooting in general imo. Too easy to buff it, shooting into and out of combat, every model picking a target, sniping out characters first turn..it makes the game lack interactive play in many cases. People say if you change the rules you need to repoint shooting units..fine..repoint them. I would like to see some of this change at the GW level before we end up with every tournament using its own ‘houserules’.

        • Josh Keal
          Josh Keal May 19, 2017 10:28 am #

          Certain builds are always going to be the pain point of any army. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s especially the case when you min-max to build a bloodletter bomb or kalderon combo.

          When you enter a tournement setting, you should always be examining the meta. Figure out what people are playing and build your army to beat that. Most armies have a difficult time with the bloodletter bomb, however there are very popular armies (like Beast Claw) that keep it from winning.

          I think you’re right about the rules, if you remove stacking then you need to change shooting. As it stands, stacking abilities are the only thing that give pure melee armies a fighting chance. I’m hoping they are going to provide some serious re-balancing with the release of GH2.

          Great Comment!

          • WestRider May 19, 2017 11:51 am
            #

            Even if there are counters, that doesn’t mean that those builds aren’t damaging to the Game. Hard Counters/RPS make for terrible game balance. They take away much of the on-table skill, and largely reduce Tournaments to contests of list-building and whether or not you manage to dodge your hard counter.

          • Josh Keal
            Josh Keal May 19, 2017 1:12 pm
            #

            WestRider, I agree with you in the sense that the existance of counters does not excuse something from being bad for the game. I disagree with your assessment on Hard Counters and RPS style balance. There are numerous examples of RPS style balancing systems found in successful and well balanced games. An “all-in” strategy like the overlords list described above is going to have hard counters because it is quite literally “all in” on one aspect of the game. If players that gravitate toward this one aspect of the game, the natural reaction is going to be either to join in because you cannot beat it (which means that it is likely unhealthy) or build with it in mind. This is the natural balance in competitive gaming.

            It doesn’t take a hard counter to beat that list. There are commonly played lists today that I think would beat this list on a regular basis. Those lists include but are not limited to tzeench, khorne, beastclaw, balanced death armies (with de-buffs to hit) and Tom Lyons’ nurgle warriors list. These aren’t hard counters either. I would argue that list building is just as much a skill as playing the game, and if one army type is controlling the meta then list building will naturally be weighted on a greater scale. Speaking of which, I love how hard this counters Kunnin Rukk.

            I think one of the reasons lists like this one do so well is that this game requires so much commitment to purchase, build and paint an army. When you’re playing in a tournement, it’s rare that you’re playing the most optimal list your opponent dreamed up. I’ve found it’s more likely they’re doing the best they can with what they have painted.

            I love the thoughts. This is a great discussion. 🙂

      • Reecius
        Reecius May 19, 2017 2:44 pm #

        I didn’t mean to insinuate you were trolling, sorry if it came across that way.

        I agree that the army I proposed is not unbeatable, simply that it shouldn’t be in the game at all.

        In a tournament, philosophically yes, the objective is to win games. However, in reality, that is not why everyone goes to a tournament. People go to compete and have fun, others go to socialize.

        If you have a true no holds barred tournament wherein anything legal in the game is allowed and you advertise it that way, then by all means, go for it and use every tool to your advantage. That can be very fun.

        In the reality of what we do though, that does not reflect the desires of most tournament attendees. If our pool of players was a LOT bigger, sure, we’d have enough of a sub-niche of players in it for hardcore competition to sustain that type of play on a regular basis. But, we don’t. What happens with unrestricted play is a shrinking player base, in my experience. With some reasonable restrictions, more players enjoy themselves and you have a growing community instead of restricting. Things like what I describe, or many of the stacking buffs, simply don’t rub people the right way, legal or not.

        The question then remains: do you want a purist format that adheres to the rules strictly with probably a smaller player base or a slightly looser application of RAW but with a larger, often happier player base? That I suppose depends on the individual perspective but that has been our experience with large scale experimentation.

        • Josh Keal
          Josh Keal May 19, 2017 7:32 pm #

          Not a problem, and you don’t have to appologize. 🙂

          Why shouldn’t this combination exist? It’s clearly beatable. Is there some kind of preconcieved notion as to what the game should be that I’m not aware of? To me, the game is what it is. I’m missing something here.

          You certainly have a lot more experience than me with the unrestricted-shrinking player base than I do. However, I’m not sure that multiple unstandardized rule sets are the best way to grow the community either. I think that blanket alterations such as “no abilities stack”, “units cannot shoot if they are engaged”, “you cannot use the same ability more than once per turn” are just as harmful to the game as they are beneficial. You’d be pleasing some players and completely alienating the armies of others.

          I’m not sure if you’re familiar with youtube blogger Mc1Gamer, but he recorded an excellent interview with Tom Lyons where they walked through the entire battletome of overlords and ultimately discussed ways of making sure that taking “all-in” lists like the one you’ve described had inherent risks. He talked about random events that could occur each round and might have an impact on things like missile attack range or movement.

          The intent here is to encourage players to take a well rounded army. When you faced a situation where one aspect of your army was weaker, you could rely on your other strengths. I thought that it was an interesting approach.

          Examples:
          1. A thick fog covers the battlefield, durring this battle all missile weapon ranges are reduced to 12″ or less.
          2. A magical miasma has blown over the battlefield and it’s having an impact your heros ability to cast magic, durring this battle subtract 2 from all casting rolls.
          3. A torrential downpour has caused the ground to become thick with mud, non-flying units subtract 2 from their movement characteristic.

          Anyway, there are players that run the gamut between ultra competitive and ultra casual. Purist formats certainly don’t cater to every form of play, but neither do casual formats. You can’t please all players in any single event, but you can set the expectations ahead of time.

          What’s interesting here is that this conversation has gone from a discussing balance to discussing the differences between players that want to compete and a players that just wants to play for fun. Personally, I’d love to see an event where all the ultra competitive lists come together and slog it out. I’d love to see GW’s game in it’s purist form. I’d love to see what sort of lists come out of the woodwork.

  3. theIrishMane May 19, 2017 2:51 pm #

    Reece, you have a compelling argument. Stacking thunderers to maximize their firepower is impressive, and certainly something to be considered when list building. However, it has clear weaknesses to fast, close combat oriented lists. Especially ones that fly or move ‘out of phase’*. Here is an example of an army that will win handily against your Squats without relying on duplicate stacks**.

    First a Slaanesh PleasureBound warband.

    Leaders:
    Archeon, The Everchosen (general)
    Lord of Chaos (Crown of Command, Mark of Slaanesh)
    Chaos Lord of Slaanesh
    Lord of Slaanesh on Daemonic Mount (Crown of Command)
    Sayl the Faithless

    Battlelines:
    Chaos Marauders (10 dudes, Mark of Slaanesh)
    Chaos Marauders (10 dudes, Mark of Slaanesh)
    Warriors of Chaos (20 dudes, Swords and Shields, Mark of Slaanesh)

    Warscroll:
    Pleasurebound warband

    Chaos Chosen (20 dudes, Mark of Slaanesh)

    This army deploys in three drops, generates mortal wounds, and ignores most bravery tests. The chosen have a threat range of 23 1/2″ to 38 1/2″. Given that the Ironclad is on a 170mm*** round base, I am confident I will – with a little luck – make a first turn charge. Sure, you will put the arkanauts in front of your Ironclad to protect it from my assault, and it will stop the chosen from killing it outright. It will mean your arkanauts die within the first combat phase because my chosen are attacking twice, and piling in twice.

    You will shoot the chosen because you do not have a choice. If you do not, they will charge in during their next combat phase, kill the ironclad and thereby kill the contents outright. In all likelihood you will delete the chosen with a blizzard of lead. That is fine. I will repeat the process with my warriors, and work to surround the Ironclad. They will take wounds from the Ironclads bombs. Approximately 2 – 9 wounds, 1.7 – 6 after the Runeshield saves. This will work in my favor because it will activate the Pleasurebound warband’s pile in effect. Which, alongside the Chaos Lord of Slaanesh on Daemonic Mount’s command ability, means every model in the unit is piling in 12″.

    It will be bloody, it will be exciting, and it will be brutally quick. You will face the same challenge all other shooting armies in Age of Sigmar face: maneuvering. Your list is on the backfoot from turn 1, and at that point needs double turns to save it. In my opinion that makes this more fun. The outcome is stacked in my favor, but it isn’t absolutely certain. Which brings us to the point: the game is won by well built armies used by skilled players. List building, deployment, unit activation, maneuvering, and a host of other factors each play a part in the game’s outcome.

    Stacking abilities is not broken. There are other lists fully capable of winning without being given two, three, even four more attacks. To assume otherwise is oversimplifying a young and complex wargame. Effectively a knee jerk reaction. It leads to a shortsighted reaction which punishes players for using their armies as they were built to be used. I suggest avoiding the temptation of viewing Age of Sigmar in the same way that 7th edition is seen. Throwing everything an army has towards one function is a poor strategy, and limits your tactical options. It seems effective at first, but it really fails to qualify when put to the test.

    cheers

    *during any phase other than their movement phase
    **the act of placing more than one spell, ability, or unit effect on a single target unit
    ***maybe a little less if you deploy sideways.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 19, 2017 5:14 pm #

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Again though, I am not saying the army is unbeatable or anything, that wasn’t the point. Simply that it really shouldn’t even be in the game. I doubt–extremely–that the intent was for a unit to get 140 D3 damage shots, haha. That is bananas, and not fun for 99% of the people that play the game.

      • Josh Keal
        Josh Keal May 19, 2017 7:35 pm #

        Really?! It doesn’t put a grin on your face when you think about 20 dwarves banding together to form this super mortar squad and firing 140 explosive rounds into the air. You’d have to be crazy not to play this in a competitive environment at least once (even if you’d probably lose). I know so many people that would both love and loath the fact that someone actually did this.

  4. theIrishMane May 19, 2017 9:28 pm #

    It also needs to be considered that in seventh addition the rules were (at this point still are) broken. It was clear what worked and what did not with very little room in between. I do not think that that is the case now with Age of Sigmar. I ask that you reread the last paragraph in my first post. The rules are not the primary issue, but rather the participants perspectives that are.

Leave a Reply