An overview of the blood god’s best boys, Khorne! These Chaos Daemons give offerings to Khorne wherever they go, piling skulls upon the skull throne for their master. Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles.
The final battle for Helmanus IV raged on and Scout Telmarious and his squad skirted the edges of the fray. Below him the Daemonic Incursion was in full force. Telmarious and his men, armed with the latest sniper technology, stalked in their high position and scoped out the leaders of the enemy forces to bring down at will.
He looked through the scope and spied a wounded Fluxmaster, arms waving around, about to cast some sort of spell upon a large neighboring squad of horrors. He breathed, held it, lining up the head of the beast in his crosshairs and pulled the trigger, his squad sequenced with him and the Tzeentchian beast fell to the ground, his head exploded.
It was then that the air opened up above him, like the slit in the belly of a large beast, and what poured out was the worst imaginable thing possible. Bloodletters poured from the cut in reality, and the red creatures fell upon Telmarious and his men, fiery glowing swords swinging in great arcs and lighting the sky with their fury. Behind them was a formidable creature, taller than the other Bloodletters, howling to the all around that would hear it.
Three swords flew into Telmarious, each at different angles, and he was rended into multiple pieces as the crackling energy from the Hellblades fwooshed through him as if nothing was there. His blood poured out in great arcs, bathing the Bloodletters in the process, only making them howl louder and with more fury.
The last thing Telmarious saw was the largest of them, the Bloodmaster, lifted his decapitated head and peered into his eyes. It grinned and then he was twirling, somersaulting, end over end, into blackness.
The Bloodmaster howled, this pack howled in return and they set their gaze upon another prey further down the way. They advanced.
Who is Khorne
Sitting in his brass throne, high atop a mountain of skulls, Khorne ever thirsts for blood and conquest. The oldest of the four gods, Khorne taps into creatures anger, hate, killing, and desire for war. While mostly known for his slaughter, he is also partial to those that show intense martial discipline and seek to destroy through strength and cunning. Where there is war there is Khorne, delighting in the sacrifices we all make when we shed blood.
High AP, high strength attacks and lots of them are what makes Khorne tick. Combined with some impressive speed in their fast attack units, 3d6 charge range for their bloodletters, and flying beasties and you can be in your opponents face right quick. You will cut through most armored enemies and put a good amount of wounds on otherwise. Be careful though as your mighty charging units can be left hanging in the wind to shooting if they do too much damage.
With their universal rule Unstoppable Ferocity, they also don’t care whether they charge or get charged is it activates in either situation. Many units will certainly think twice about charging units like Bloodletters with their -3 AP weapons.
They also have one of the better Loci in their Locus of Rage, allowing them to reroll charge ranges.
One of the big weaknesses of Khorne is their overall toughness value. They will whither to weight of fire if left out in the open and your charges can easily make that happen. You’ll need to use terrain, cover, and good charge selection tactics to keep them safe. While the greater deamons have a better toughness, Bloodthirsters only have T7 and this leaves them very vulnerable to any army that can put out many high strength, high damage shots. Most armies have access to seomthing like this, so Khorne can be very vulnerable to the shooting armies that are in 8th edition.
Combine their toughness with their overall low save and you can have a problem. Nurgle gets a feel no pain, tzeentch has a better invul save, and Slaanesh are faster than Khorne, giving them some defensive edges there so be sure not to be left out in the open.
- Bloodletters – This troop choice is pretty rock solid. For 7 points you get a basic troop that has a 5++ invul, a great melee weapon with -3 AP and doing 2 damage on 6’s to wound. Combined with the banner that gives them a 3d6 charge range and you have a tool that many will fear.
- Khorne Hounds – These doggos are a very solid choice with a 10 inch move, 2 wounds, and an AP 1 melee weapon make this unit a great pick. What takes it even further is that each one gets a deny the witch chance which is excellent.
- Karanak – at 70 points this model is a steal of an HQ. Great attack profile and very survivable with 6 wounds and toughness 5. Karanak also gets to deny 2 powers a turn. He can also be a great character killer with his ability to choose a character and get rerolls to hit and wound against that model.
- Bloodmaster – The basic Khorne Herald is a nice unit that gives +1 strength to Khorne models within 6”. Not bad, but may be unnecessary with how most Bloodletters will be strength 5 when they charge. You’ll probably use this more for the loci of re rolling charges.
- Skull Cannon – Yes there are better platforms in the game, but the Skull Cannon will have a place in a Khorne list as it is the main source of firepower to crack transports and bring down the big baddies that are out there.
- Daemon Prince – The Daemon Prince is a great unit that is able to hide and strike at will with its character bonus. A prince with duel talons will pump out 8 attacks at strength 8, which is no joke.
- Banner of Blood – This is one stratagem you will see in most Daemon armies, Khorne based or not. This gives a unit of Bloodletters a 3d6 charge once per battle. Most players are bringing 19 or 30 Bloodletters with this stratagem and deep striking to surgically strike at the enemy. Very strong, especially combined with their Khorne abilities and weapons.
- Locus of Wrath – Pick a Khorne character and any unit within 6” can re-roll failed hit rolls. Very powerful in the right moment.
- Frenetic Bloodlust – Select a Khorne unit at the end of the fight phase and fight again. This can put the nail in the coffin for your opponent in the right situation.
- Aspect of Death – When a unit failes morale within 8” of this model, they lose one more model.
- Glory of Battle – Adds 1 attack when there are more enemy models than friendly models. Not one to count on. Could be decent for that lone Bloodthirster you are using to seek out and destroy.
- Oblivious to Pain – FNP 6+ and if you roll a 6 you get to re-roll hits and wounds next turn. While not something to count on, having a doubly blessed 6+ FNP isn’t bad.
- Immense Power – Adds 1 to your strength characteristic. Great you can count on it and one I like quite well. Makes your Daemon Princes and Bloodthister base strength 8. This also makes your Heralds base 6 strength so 7 on that first turn in combat which could really help them out a lot.
- Devastating Blow – Replaces its attacks with one that does d3 Mortal wounds. Not great for large model warlords, but for units like Bloodmasters, this can be pretty good.
- Rage Incarnate – Reroll hits of 1 when units within 8” are charged. Very situational and an odd one for Khorne as we want to be charging.
- Armor of Scorn – Gives a 4++ and allows one deny per turn. Excellent relic.
- The Crimson Crown – One of my favorites. Whenever you roll a 6+ to wound you get an extra attack. Great for that large Bloodletter bomb to do even more damage.
- A’Rgath the King of Blades – Solid weapon that allows rerolls on characters. Probably best on a Daemon Prince. You get 5 attacks vs the 8 from 2 talons and go to -4 ap and 3 damage stock. Very solid platform. On the charge your DP will be S9 and with the warlord trait you could be S10 on the charge. Having something with that stock 3 damage is a great as most of the stock larger units went to 3 wounds.
- Skullreaver – Titan killer. Gives +3 strength at -4 ap and D6 damage. Rerolls wounds against titanic and on a 6 does an additional d3 mortal wounds. You’ll want this on a high attack creature such as a DP or Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury. Probably not the Insensate Rage version as the Greater Axe is already pretty good at taking on titanic things.
Khorne laughs at your psychic powers! Since Khorne lacks psychic powers, lets talk about the psychic defenses available to the Khorne general. First that come to mind are the great Khorne Hounsd and Karanak. Hounds each get a chance to deny a power just like a psyker. Karanak gets TWO chances. Both great options. You also have a deny chance in the Armour of Scorn. These can easily give your army many chances to send those psychic bullies packing!
What does Khorne love? Slaughter! The problem is that Khorne loves to slaughter too much and can get left hanging in the breeze if not done right. You can certainly go for a hard turn 2 blitz, but a savvy general will have screens up to take your hard hitting bombs and allow them to get shot up the next turn. You might consider a turn 2 wave of lighter deep strikers to plow the field, then a push from on foot with Hounds and following up turn 3 with your larger bombs to get to the meat. Remember you can take multiple 3d6 banners so make use of them! This style of list will also be pretty CP heavy so look for ways to maximize with a brigade or double battalions.
While your greater Daemons are pretty, they are very susceptible to the kinds of mass shooting available to armies nowadays. I’d work more with Daemon Princes and Heralds to buff your units and get into key areas of the army. A Khorne Daemon Prince with Talons has 8 attacks at AP2 doing 2 damage each! Not bad.
The bloodletter bomb is a great tool, but too often is wasted on a unit and then gets shot up to death. Find a way to hit a chink in their armor and then hide them if need be. Come in on a corner of the battlefield or find a building that is empty and get in it. Remember you don’t have to charge the turn they come in. Probably what you are still going to do, but if you can set up something more devastating, go for it.
I ran this against a pretty standard tournament Necron list recently and had some fun with it.
- Bloodmaster – Warlord/Crimson Crown/Oblivious to Pain
- 30 Bloodletters
- 3 x 19 Bloodletters
- 2 x 9 Khorne Hounds
- 8 Khorne Hounds
- Daemon Prince with Wings – Armour of Scorn
- 5 Skull Cannons
The Skull Cannons were the stars of this list. We were Spearhead deployment (fat black widow modified hammer and anvil) and I tried to rush in my bloodletter bombs, only to get shellacked a bit by Deathmarks. The Skullcannons put out a lot of damage, taking out most of a unit of Wraiths, Destroyers, and whittled down a couple of other units as well. They combed with the Daemon Prince for rerolls as there isn’t a lot of ways to impact your shooting. Putting out 5d6 S8 AP -2 D3 damage shots each turn really helped put the pressure on. I think with some practice it could surprise some people.
Granted this was tested pre FAQ, so you’d certainly drop 2 skull cannons and add in 200 more points of Khorney goodness. Probably another large bloodletter bomb.
While not the bottom of the Daemon barrel, they are probably not the top either, and will take some good practice to nail down. You will need to plan your assaults well and not just throw them in first turn willy nilly. Your bloodletter bombs can wreck a unit, but if you don’t place them well will be left out in the open.
In the world of the shooting meta that is 40k right now, you will certainly want to challenge your TO’s for better terrain, especially line of sight blocking terrain, to give your red boys and girls a better chance of wreaking havoc and giving up offerings of blood to the blood god.
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