Blades of Khorne Review : Mighty Skullcrushers

Hey everyone, Josh here to discuss the units that are available in the Blades of Khorne. This time we’ll be discussing the only calvary unit in the Bloodbound army, Mighty Skullcrushers. For more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

Juggernauts are the sort of abomination that might be the result of a rhinocerous, wolf and a bull having a baby with an… anvil? Juggernauts are ruthless biomechanical monsters of wrath and hatred. When a Juggernaught wafts the scent of a worthy blood spilling warrior, it rushes from through the viel and into the mortal realm to seek out it’s rider. When confronted by this metal beast, the warrior must then choose to ride or be torn to shreads by this hulking daemon.

 

Unfortunately, they just don’t live up to the hype. I realize they’re fastest multi-model unit in the bloodbound ranks. I realize they have 5 wounds per model. I realize Bras Stampede is awesome (I’ll be talking about it in another review). Sadly, I just don’t see see them as a viable unit in a competitive environment. These are too many options to make these guys amazing.

That said, Mighty Skullcrushers are my favorite looking models in the Bloodbound army. They look awsome on the table, and they’re fun to play. If you love them as much as I do then the only way to run them is in the full Brass Stampede battalion. This is a serious commitment. Painting a minimum of 21 Skull Crushers along with a Lord of Khorne on a Juggernaut is no easy task, but it functions properly under 2000 points and looks amazing on the field. I’ll dive deeper into the Brass Stampede in my Blades of Khorne Review : Battallions.

Unit Characteristics

  • Wounds: 5
  • Save: 4+
  • Move: 8
  • Bravery: 6
  • Points: 160
  • Min Unit Size: 3
  • Max Unit Size: 12

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

  • Ensorcelled Axe (1/2/3/3/-/1)
  • Bloodglaive (1/2/4/3/1/1)
  • Juggernaut’s Brazen Hooves (1/3/3/3/-/1)

Unique Models

  • Skullhunter –  makes 3 attacks with weapon rather than 2
  • Standard Bearer – adds 1 to Bravery
  • Hornblower – adds 1 to run and charge rolls

Abilities

  • Brass-clad Shield – if you suffer wounds or mortal wounds from a spell, on a 4+ those wounds are ignored
  • Murderous Charge – after a successful charge roll a die for each enemy unit within 1″, on a 4+ they suffer D3 mortal wounds

Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Mortal
  • Khorne
  • Bloodbound
  • Mighty Skullcrushers

Tactics

The Skullcrushers greatest strength is there speed combined with durability. Even the minimum unit size is enough to stop most battle line in their tracks. Punching through 15 wounds on a 4+ save is no laughing matter. Intercepting enemy forces and forcing them into a multi-round slog fest is where this unit excells. Skullcrushers are a nasty tarpit.

Murderous Charge is awesome. It’s even better when you have a unit of six or more, and even better than that when used with the Brass Stampede battalion. I tend to roll several units of Bloodcrushers down one side of the field. Usually they murder everything in their path… with their charge.

Skull crushers can weild two different types of weapons. Bloodglaives are lower accuracy rending weapons and Ensorcelled Axes are more consistent but lack the ability to rend. I recommend the Bloodglaives though. The Ensocelled Axes deal considerably less damage to any unit with a reasonable save.  You can always rely on your Juggernaut’s hooves to stomp the skulls off low save units.

My Top 5 Unit Synergies

  1. Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut – the only unit in  Blades of Khorne that provides +1 to wound rolls, he’s also a big part of the brass stampede batallion and allows you to take Mighty Skullcrushers as battleline if he’s the General and all of your units are Bloodbound.
  2. Bloodsecrator – provides attack characteristic bonuses to both the juggernaut’s attacks and rider’s attacks; protection against battleshock is more or less irrelevant for these guys
  3. Aspiring Deathbringer – provides attack characteristic bonuses to both the juggernaut’s attacks and rider’s attacks
  4. Slaughter Priest – provides +1 to hit rolls with the Blood Blessing, Killing Frenzy
  5. Bloodstoker – provides +3″ to run and charge rolls as well as re-rollable wound rolls of 1

Cons

This unit has a job and does it well, but Khorgoraths offer a very similar roll at a close price point. I think this unit might be overshadowed by Khorgoraths if you’re not using the Brass Stampede. Let’s compare 6 Skullcrushers armed with Bloodglaive to a unit of 3 Khorgoraths. Assuming you somehow manage to get all 6 Skullcrushers to pile-in and attack (that’s a pretty big assumption), the two charts below show a comparison of projected damage for a charge and alpha strike against an enemy unit with a 4+ save:

 

3 Khorgoraths (Claws and Fangs)

6 Skullcrushers (Bloodglaive + Hooves)

Khorgoraths already the advantage and they cost 20 points less. Let’s take a look at how different types of buffs have an impact on the two units. The first type of buff we’re going to look at is an attack characteristic bonus. Here are the same two units imacted one time with the Bloodsecrator’s Rage of Khorne:

3 Khorgoraths (Claws and Fangs) + Rage of Khorne

6 Skullcrushers (Bloodglaive + Hooves)  + Rage of Khorne

This is a great example because you’re usually in range of a Bloodsecrator while playing with these units. We can immidately see the impact a Bloodsecrator has on units with two melee weapons. You can see that Skullcrushers get more value from attack characteristic buffs. They even pull ahead just slightly. Now lets take a look at the bonuses gained from common die roll modifiers like Slaughter Priest’s Killing Frenzy and Bloodstoker’s Whipped to Fury.

3 Khorgoraths (Claws and Fangs) + Rage of Khorne + Killing Frenzy + Whipped to Fury

6 Skullcrushers (Bloodglaive + Hooves)  + Rage of Khorne + Killing Frenzy + Whipped to Fury

You can see here that both Khorgorath and Skullcrusher average damage output increases by almost 50%! The Skullcrushers edge out the Khorgoraths by less than half a damage on a charge, but with the Khorgorath’s ability to shoot into combat and the skullcrushers lack of mortal wound damage on subsequent turns there is a huge difference in over-all damage output in favor of Khorgoraths. Ultimately, you spend 20 points less, gain more damage over time but lose two inches of movement. With all the bonuses you can gain to running and charging in the Blades of Khorne I think it’s a solid compromise.

A Side Note: I love these diagrams because they help illustrate the diminishing return on attack characteristic modifiers. A lot of wargamers complain about players who stack Bloodsecrator’s Rage of Khorne (Yes, I believe it still stacks and I will explain why in a later review, but I only run one in my competitive list anyway.). In most cases you’re much better off having a well balanced army that accomodates for buffs across the entire stat line.

Large bases make it difficult for units larger than 3 to pile in and make attacks with the entire unit. Use caution when moving your models. Don’t block yourself from making an effcient attack.

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

secondhandhsop

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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/

12 Responses to “Blades of Khorne Review : Mighty Skullcrushers”

  1. WestRider May 23, 2017 3:20 pm #

    I lean more toward Slaanesh in AoS, but I really wish these guys had a 40K counterpart. Berzerker cavalry would be frickin awesome

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal May 23, 2017 3:56 pm #

      I think the closest thing you have in Slaanesh is Chaos Knights. You could dress them up pretty. 😀

  2. Quinn May 23, 2017 3:56 pm #

    Well, I have 27 of these dudes getting painted up as we speak. I will totally agree that running them without the Brass Stampede is probably worthless. I don’t think you have to run a full one to get benefits though, just 3 units will buff that murderous charge roll a lot. You no longer have to run the Juggerlord as part of it either.

    Synergies with characters is something I am still evaluating. The JuggerLord is pretty obvious go to, but the Mighty Lord of Khorne is a possibility also with his 3 units charge roll bonus.

    Good article. I love these models and can’t wait to see them in full effect on the table. I’m also hedging my bets that Heavy Cav will get some type of adjustment down the road in GHB2.

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal May 23, 2017 3:58 pm #

      I own 9 of them. I love them so much. You can see them in action in the last two videos on of our youtube channel. Just click on my name. I was hoping these guys would get a big buff in BoK, but they didn’t. 🙁 *crosses fingers for GHB2*

  3. Ytook May 23, 2017 5:30 pm #

    Good run down again, only got one unit of three of these and they do good at getting round to the backfield and messing things up, but that isn’t in a very competitive scene.

    GW have confirmed that Bloodsecrators do not stack on Facebook, twitter and WH Live, no FAQ yet obviously (if it’ll be necessary with rumoured GH2 changes) but still. Basically you can get multiple instances of Rage of Khorne but it doesn’t matter as having Rage of Khorne provides +1 attack regardless of how many times you have it.

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal May 23, 2017 6:37 pm #

      Ytook, can you please point me to a reference. The guys on WH Live said it did stack. I actually asked the question live during an event. GW hasn’t used their twitter account since 12 Sep 2016. The only time I remember them mentioning them not stacking was during the SCGT. The TO’s at the SCGT made that detirmination on their own, not GW.

      Let me ask you something, if it is an affect applied to units. When do they stop being affected by it there is no termination to the Rage of Khorne? They’re permanantly impacted as long as they were within range during a combat phase, right?

      • Ytook May 24, 2017 3:21 am #

        Not the GW account on twitter, the designers on twitter. And having said that I can’t find the info and can’t be bothered to argue it so you may be right.

        • Josh Keal
          Josh Keal May 24, 2017 5:10 am #

          Ytook, the intention isn’t really to argue. I need to write the article about the Bloodsecrator. The wording on this warscroll is a total nightmare. If I had some references to reliable sources, it would make this so much easier.

          • Ytook May 24, 2017 5:24 am
            #

            Sorry wasn’t meaning that to be confrontational or mean, just meant I didn’t have the time to look stuff up 🙂

  4. Age of Chaos May 31, 2017 11:11 pm #

    Hi. First, I would like to thank you for great articles! I love the Khorne army and the Mighty Skullcrushers are one of the best looking formation of Khorne on a tabletop but unfortunately they are not as effective as they look. Anyway I love them :).
    Have you try to compare a min of Brass Stampede (3 units of M. S. without Lord = 560 pts) with 6 Khorgoraths (600 pkt)? Could you make your beatuifull diagram for this comparison?
    BR

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal June 1, 2017 9:41 am #

      Age of Chaos, thanks for the kind words. I feel the same as you about the Bloodcrushers. The tools I use are from the following website. You can feel free to make as many comparisons as you need:
      http://tools.druchii.net/AoS-Combat-Calculator.php

      • Age of Chaos June 1, 2017 10:21 pm #

        Great! I didn’t know that page, thank you!
        PS. Waiting impatiently for more articles about Blades of Khorne 🙂

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