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.
- 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)
- Skullhunter – makes 3 attacks with weapon rather than 2
- Standard Bearer – adds 1 to Bravery
- Hornblower – adds 1 to run and charge rolls
- 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
- Mighty Skullcrushers
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
- 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.
- 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
- Aspiring Deathbringer – provides attack characteristic bonuses to both the juggernaut’s attacks and rider’s attacks
- Slaughter Priest – provides +1 to hit rolls with the Blood Blessing, Killing Frenzy
- Bloodstoker – provides +3″ to run and charge rolls as well as re-rollable wound rolls of 1
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!