Blades of Khorne Review : General’s Handbook 2017

Josh here, General’s Handbook 2017 has been out for quite some time. There is a ton of new content and a boatload of changes to pre-existing content that change the game in a big way. In this article I’m going to discuss General’s Handbook 2017 and it’s impact on Blades of Khorne in matched play. For more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

I’m going try hard to stay away from reviewing GH 2017 as a whole. I really want to focus on how it’s impacted Khorne armies specifically.  I’ll review each change and expand on changes that I think will have a significant impact on list building for Khorne armies.


Unit Changes

There are tons of unit changes that come along with GH 2017. These changes range anywhere from simple point adjustments to changes in wording. Here is a list of all the unit changes along with my thoughts on each change:

  • Aspiring Deathbringer with Goreaxe and Skullhammer : Unit costs 100 rather than 80. It has better weapons than it’s other variation, but it’s not worth the extra 20 points. Don’t bother with this guy in matched play. Use his other variation and spend the 20 points elsewhere.
  • Bloodletters : Taking 10 costs 110 rather than 100, and taking 30 only costs 270. I think that this change is fair. It makes it harder to take bloodletters in balanced lists and better if you commit to them. Committing to an all-in strategy seems to be a theme in GH 2017. Other than that, they’re still the same.
  • Bloodreavers : Taking 40 costs 240 rather than 280. These guys are still the same. If you’re looking for battleline units with a rending weapon, these guys are excellent. Outside of this niche and filling battalion requirements, I see players rolling with Marauders instead.
  • Bloodsecrator : Recent update in the FAQ stops his banner from stacking additional attacks. I still recommend taking him. I don’t think redundancy is good reason to take more than one.
  • Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage : Unit costs 260 rather than 280. This is perhaps the swingiest model in the game. He has so much damage potential it’s ridiculous. There are times when you can literally wipe half your opponent’s units off the map with a single attack. It’s really too bad there are no ways to buff his wound rolls. The mental games you can play with your opponent are so much fun.
  • Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury : Unit costs 260 rather than 300. Has more consistent damage than the Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage but far less damage potential.
  • Blood Warriors : Taking 30 costs 520 rather than 600. I’ve been playtesting this. Blood Warriors are powerful when you stack bronze flesh and use Gore Fists. It’s a heavy commitment, but I think that defensive front lines are going to be a thing in the new meta.
  • Khorgorath : Unit costs 80 rather than 100. Extremely point efficient unit. You will see players running these competitively if they can acquire enough of them. C’mon GW give us some more variations!!
  • Mighty Skullcrushers : Unit costs 140 rather than 160. I think they’re one of the efficient models in the game. They have speed, resiliency, mortal wounds, rend and a solid battalion to back them up. These guys are going to be amazing. I cannot wait to see someone run 21-30 of them in a single list.
  • Skull Cannons : Taking 1 costs 160 rather than 180. They’re much better now, but they don’t play to the strengths of the allegiance. I have yet to write an article about these guys, but let’s just say they’re very “swingy” and would be a lot better if they fired 6 rounds for 1 damage each rather than D6 damage.
  • Slaughterbrute of Khorne : Unit costs 180 rather than 200. He’s pretty efficient for a miscellaneous monster and his abilities pair well with khorne support heros. Ultimately I think 2 Khorgorath are better in most cases, but if you need a monster to draw some attention this guy can deal some decent damage.
  • Skarr Bloodwrath : Unit costs 80 rather than 120. He’s reasonably costed now. I’d consider him if he was part of a worthwhile battalion, but as it stands there are other heroes that are more useful. He might be pretty strong if the meta favors massive regiments. Play test this guy.
  • Valkia the Bloody : Unit costs 140 rather than 120. This change hurts my brain. The unit is not cost efficient at all. Avoid this unit unless you’re hellbent on taking it for epic lore reasons.
  • Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster : Unit costs 330 rather than 360. Excellent model for the points. He does excellent damage while providing mobility for daemons in your army. There so many buffs to both run and charge rolls in the Blades of Khorne allegiance and this guy doubles their effectiveness. You will definitely see players with this guy on the table.

Battalion Changes

Battalions have increased by about a 100 points across the board. Do you take a cool ability that you can commit your list to? Do you take a balanced list that deploys more slowly than others? GH 2017 has a running theme of commitment. This is just one more example. Blades of Khorne takes this commitment theme a step further by providing a bonus ability if a player commits to a maxed out battalion.

Battalions have to be MUCH better to be considered for competitive play. Currently, I think there are only four battalions that will see regular competitive play post GH 2017:

  1. Murder Host (120 Pts): This battalion was always good. Prior to GH 2017 running this along with the Gore Pilgrims was awesome, but now that running them together costs 300 points players will just max this battalion out to gain additional 2D6 movement during each hero phase. If you don’t win early on, you will probably lose spectacularly.
  2. Gore Pilgrims (180 Pts): This is a versatile support battalion that has an impact on your entire army rather than just the battalion itself. The Battalion extends the range of Bloodsecrator’s buffs up to 36” as well as re-rolls all failed Prayer and Blood Blessing attempts made by your Slaughter Priests. Players are likely going to run this battalion along with a mix of units designed to be supported by a mix of buffs to hit or save rolls.
  3. Brass Stampede (180 Pts): Imagine a 170+ wound army with a 4+ save, speed and tons of mortal wound potential. By default this battalion lets Skullcrushers automatically deal D3-D6 mortal wounds on a charge and if any unit dies they gain +3 to charge rolls. If you max it out, on a 2+ they deal D3 mortal wounds to units within 3” at the beginning of your hero phase. Skullcrushers are excellent after the point decrease they received. They’re incredibly resilient and relatively quick. They’re also good without the need for support units. All of the abilities provided by the battalion are relevant.
  4. Bloodmarked Warband (100 pts): An inexpensive and flexible battalion that will allow you to drop your army sooner than later. One of the coolest abilities this battalion has is the ability to designate models from any unit as a hero. Furthermore, you gain bonus attacks any time a hero kills an enemy model. This battalion really gives you an incentive to hurl your heros into combat.

Generic / Allegiance FAQs

There are tons of new FAQ’s that GW has answered. Most of them have little to no impact, but a couple of them can have a pretty big impact on how we play the game. Here are the FAQ changes that I think are the most important:

Generic FAQ Changes

  1. Models are allowed to climb up and down any type of scenery. This means that you can end movement on the side of an scenery. It also means that your opponent can no longer hide their ranged models from your legions of blood hungry daemons and mortals by packing them tightly atop a castle tower.
  2. ‘A roll of 6’ is treated as being synonymous with ‘a roll of 6 or more’. This means there will be no more arguing over using Gore Cleaver (Khorne Mortal Artifact) with the Lord of Khorne on a Juggernaut or the Crimson Crown (Khorne Daemon Artifact)! Get ready to deal some damage!
  3. Multipliers are applied before modifiers. Mark of the Destroyer has officially been ruled! You must double the attacks characteristic and then and any additional attacks afterward.
  4. “Any” is treated as being synonymous with “‘one or more” in AoS. We now know what stacks and what does not, thank you for defining this! Good bye multiple Bloodsecrators.
  5. Re-rolls happen before modifiers. This means that those pesky abilities that force you your successful hit rolls like Slaanesh Daemonettes don’t effect modified die rolls that turn into sixes. They only have an impact on the dice before modification.

Chaos FAQ Changes

  1. Unless otherwise stated, Blood Tithe points can only be expended at the start of a hero phase. This is a huge bummer. At least your opponent has to use their start of turn abilities before you use yours during their hero phase. Blood Tithe points are already weaker due the incentive for larger units. You can no longer toy with your opponent, and you can no longer use them after you’ve determined other abilities will succeed (Prayers, Blessings, Spells, Mystic Terrain). This new rule takes a lot of functionality away from Blood Tithes. They’re still good, but not as good.
  2. Bloodsecrator’s ability no longer stacks. It was fun while it lasted, let’s just be happy that GW finally wrote some great rules.


GH2017 has introduced Allies. Effectively, you can still maintain your allegiance while running a few units outside your allegiance. The number of allied re-enforcements you can use depends on the size of the of the game. Just keep in mind, allies don’t gain any benefits from specific allegiance abilities. Fortunately for us this isn’t really a big deal. We benefit from anything that dies. Here is a list of the allies that can be used with Khorne along with some of the more notable units they contain:

  1. Brayherds : In terms of efficiency these guys don’t have much to offer us outside of what we can already get our hands on. Brayherds are mostly a hoarding army. I think khorne has the hoarding thing covered.
  2. Chaos Gargants : the only model in the Chaos Gargants is the Chaos Gargant. It’s a pretty solid model for 170 points. I’d run it for fun. It’s neither competitive or uncompetitive. It’s a well costed model, but he’s hard to justify when the Slaughterbrute of Khorne does so much more for only 10 more points and synergizes with your army.
  3. Everchosen : The only models that could not be taken with Blades of Khorne prior to GH2017 were the Varanguard. Not many models are fast, deal good damage and have rock solid defense. Be warned, they are expensive (300 pts). Also, the Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch is a pretty good wizard.
  4. Monsters of Chaos : A lot of these guys have been updated and they’re pretty points efficient. Units like the warpfire dragon look especially fun and chaotic. I think we’ll be seeing some Jabberslythe in the future. There are tons of monsters to choose from. I’ll definitely be picking some up in the near future. I wish the Daemons of Chaos were allies as well. 🙁
  5. Slaves to Darkness: I don’t see reason to run these guys outside the khorne allegiance other than the Chaos Sorcerer Lord. That said, the Chaos Sorcerer Lord ties perfectly into the hoarding and buffing strategies of khorne. This guy is a beast, and I’m sure we’ll see him on the battlefield. Sayl is while not as powerful as he once was, is still a very strong wizard. Khorne has a lot of powerful bonuses to charge rolls and repeatedly charging a unit of chaos knights into your opponent’s battle line sounds pretty cool.
  6. Nurgle: Let’s face it, there isn’t a lot going on here for us at the moment, but GW has been hinting that nurgle will be getting a huge update in the near future. Maybe we’ll see something, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the Khorne related changes we’ve received since GH2017. I’m sure there are things that I haven’t noticed yet. If you can think of anything, please feel free to share in the comments section. I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to perfect my game. Thanks for reading.

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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:

5 Responses to “Blades of Khorne Review : General’s Handbook 2017”

  1. Requizen
    Requizen November 7, 2017 11:02 am #

    Nice writeup! Khorne can be super scary when they start stacking buffs, even the smallest units can go from a speed bump to an absolute blender when the Heroes get their abilities off.

    • Reecius
      Reecius November 7, 2017 4:12 pm #

      Yeah, Blades of Khorne are mean!

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal November 11, 2017 5:18 pm #

      Yes they can, but one thing we aren’t very good at is attacking with multiple units at the same time. Targeted buffs work well on large units. They’re a high-risk-reward army, for sure! Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Avatar
    Dunmer November 7, 2017 4:22 pm #

    So I have a tournament coming up and I wanted to run khorne aswell as archaon so I made this list. Basically you use archaons command ability to activate everyone elses and then blood tithe point so you can do it twice and with the artifact. You have a +3 to run and charge and you can do both for archaon. Plus 2 to wound for him aswell for his tasty sword. The rest speaks for itself I feel with the gaunt summoner with a balewind and lots of guys for objectives. Plus bronzed flesh and mystic shield for a 1 up save on archaon so he is tough as nails.

    Wrath Of Khorne Bloodthirster (330)
    Archaon (700)
    – General
    Gaunt Summoner and Chaos Familiars (120)
    – Allies
    Lord Of Khorne On Juggernaut (140)
    – Artefact: Talisman of Burning Blood
    Slaughterpriest (100)
    – Blood Blessing: Blood Sacrifice
    Slaughterpriest with Hackblade and Wrathhammer (100)
    – Blood Blessing: Bronzed Flesh
    30 x Bloodletters (270)
    10 x Bloodreavers (70)
    – Meatripper Axes
    10 x Bloodreavers (70)
    – Meatripper Axes

    Reinforcement Points (0)

    Total: 1900 / 2000
    Allies: 120 / 400

    I would love some feedback on this one

    • Josh Keal
      Josh Keal November 11, 2017 5:17 pm #

      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner than later. You can aobsolutely do this. This is completely legal. I love this list. Very creative! Maybe you should consider running the bloodmarked warband with it so that you can decide to go first or second.

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