Blades of Khorne Review : Skullreapers

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

Blood reavers die like flies in both the storyline and the game, but those who survive are blessed with Khorne’s daemon power. They aspire for daemonhood, and one such path is the Trial of Skulls. Khorne blesses warriors who undertake the Trial with brutal strength and daemonic power, but the cost is high. Those who become Skullreapers must offer the blood god at least 8 worhty skulls per day. Those who don’t are tortured to death by Khorne’s insatiable wrath.

Skull Reapers are elite infantry. They aren’t as cost effective at defending as Blood Warriors or as cost effective at attacking as Bloodletters, but they are able to do both very well. This gives them a unique niche in the armies of Khorne by providing you with strategic choices.

Unit Characteristics

  • Wounds: 3
  • Save: 4+
  • Move: 5
  • Bravery: 7
  • Points: 140
  • Min Unit Size: 5
  • Max Unit Size: 20

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

  • Gore-slick Blades (1/3/3/3/-/1)
  • Daemonblades (1/3/4/3/-/1)
  • Spinecleaver (1/2/3/3/1/2)
  • Soultearer (1/2/4/3/1/2)
  • Vicious Mutation (1/1/3/4/1/D3)

Unique Models

  • Skullseeker – attacks with a Vicious Mutation in addition to other weapons
  • Icon Bearer – adds 1 to Bravery

Abilities

  • Trial of Skulls* – if the total models slain by the unit is greater than the number of models in the unit, re-roll failed hits.
  • Trial of Skills** – if the total models slain by the unit is at least double the number of models, re-roll both failed hits and wounds
  • Daemonforged Weapons – Daemonblade or Soultearer hit rolls of 6 or more deal mortal wounds in addition to regular damage, if the wound roll for the attack is a 1 then the unit suffers a mortal wound instead
  • Frenzied Attacks – re-roll hit rolls of 1 for Gore-slick Blades and Daemonblades
  • Muderous to the Last – when a Skullreaper dies in the combat phase, roll a die, on a 4 or 5 the attacking unit suffers a mortal wound and on a 6 the attacking unit suffers D3 mortal wounds

Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Mortal
  • Khorne
  • Bloodbound
  • Skullreapers

Tactics

Skull Reapers have some of the most aggressively priced defensive stats of any unit in the Bloodbound army. At 9.3 points per wound and a 4+ save, they out-value every multi-model unit in the Khorne army when it comes to resiliancy. These guys have some serious staying power, and when they do go down they have a 50% chance to deal one or more mortal wounds.

On top of resiliancy, Skullreapers a more agressive attack statline for the price than any other Khorne unit aside from Bloodletters. You can choose to run them with Gore-slick blades or Daemonblades, but my weapon of choice has to be the Daemonblades. The Daemonblades might have some minor drawbacks, but they can be mitigated with the Bloodstoker and having a way to inclict mortal wounds on high-save units is an extremely important part of this game.

Daemonforged Weapons is biggest reason these guys are so good. There are lots of high-save models in the realm. These guys are here to take them out. Khorne syergies are typically good at modifying the hit roll, and this only serves to make Daemonforged Weapons even better. Triple pumping a unit of 10 Skullreapers with Killing frenzy so that they can activate their Daemonforged weapons on a 3+ while rerolling 1’s is going to deal some serious damage to anything that comes into contact with it.\

The Rules Lawyer: I’ve noticed a lot of players don’t understand how to apply the mortal wounds from Skullreapers correctly because they deal mortal wounds in addition to regular damage. So, I’m here to help you. First off, it’s important to understand the rules behind mortal wounds: 

MORTAL WOUNDS Some attacks in flict mortal wounds. Do not make hit, wound or save rolls for a mortal wound – just allocate the wounds to models from the target unit as described above. 

This means you can fail a wound roll for an attack and yet that attack could still inflict a mortal wound.  If you roll a 6 for a hit roll followed by a 2 for the wound roll, the replacement effect for allocating the mortal wound to your own unit does not take effect. Instead, you deal 1 mortal wound to the defending unit but fail to deal any savable wounds to that unit. When making attacks your with your Skullreapers that have Daemonforged Weapons, do the following to save both you and your opponent from head trauma:

  1. roll for hits for the Daemonblades (don’t forget to re-roll those 1’s)
  2. separate your hits into piles for 6+’s and  4-5’s… discard failed hits.
  3. roll wound rolls for all 6+’s, allocate a mortal wound to your opponents unit for each 2+, allocate a mortal wound to your models for each 1 and set asside any successful wound rolls
  4. roll wound rolls for all 4-5’s  and combine successful wound rolls with the successful wound rolls from step 3
  5. your opponent makes their save rolls

That’s it! Replacement effects are always a real pain in the butt.

Don’t stress if your opponent is sitting outside the range of your Bloodsecrator’s Rage of Khorne. Skullreapers have a high attack volume and decent bravery for mortal units. They aren’t as dependant on attack characteristic buffs. Unlike Blood Warriors and Blood Reavers, they can opperate outside the range of a Bloodsecrator and still have an impact on enemy units.

My Top 5 Unit Synergies

  1. Slaughter Priest – provides +1 to hit rolls with the Blood Blessing, Killing Frenzy
  2. Bloodstoker – provides +3″ to run and charge rolls as well as re-rollable wound rolls of 1
  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 Skullreapers from battleshock tests
  5. Aspiring Deathbringer – provides mobile attack characteristic bonuses

Cons

Skullreapers have large bases compared to other infantry in Khorne, but only 1″ range. This occasionally makes it difficult to pile all of your models into combat. You’ll have to be more concious of your positioning on a charge so you can pile-in effectively and collect those skulls.

Like Wrathmongers and Blood Warriors, these guys are pretty slow. Consider running 2 units of 10 in the Gore Tide battalion to take advantage of the D6 movement on each of your hero phases. You can also mitigate some of these problems with proper screening or by whipping them with your Bloodstoaker.

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

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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/

4 Responses to “Blades of Khorne Review : Skullreapers”

  1. WestRider May 24, 2017 4:44 pm
    #

    Every time I see this sort of over the top Khorne fluff, I can’t help but think that all you’d have to do to wipe them out fast is get them penned in or stranded somewhere with no one else to kill. For instance, at 8 worthy skulls per day, a force of ~6500 of these guys would end up wiping themselves out after only four days without managing to find another worthy force to battle. At foot speed, it seems like it shouldn’t be that hard to get them so isolated, at least occasionally 😉

    • Kastorex May 24, 2017 11:44 pm
      #

      Perhaps they can bank extra skulls for the future, say sacrifice 112 one day and be okay with Khorne for the next two weeks?

      • Josh Keal
        Josh Keal May 25, 2017 7:28 am
        #

        I would hope. LOL

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal May 25, 2017 4:24 am
      #

      I think exactly the same thing man. They’d just kill themselves if they had to.