Fantasy Fisticuffs #20: Over and Under (Daughters of Khaine)

Finally available again, the Daughters of Khaine are still a power-house army… that is, as long as you focus on the right units.

For the longest time, starting a Daughters of Khaine army proved almost impossible. At the absolute height of their meta power, the army still never saturated the tournament scene, mostly because no one could find them. Now, the much desired kits are all again available, and curiously, few have noticed that this army never saw real nerfs. Still a top-tier army, lets look at what keeps them high in the rankings, and which units are best tucked away for your Path to Glory campaign.

Luckily, compared to last week, we find ourselves reviewing an army largely devoid of actual turds. That said, you’re probably reading this to wring the last 5% of optimizations out of competitive lists, so let’s talk relative efficiency.

Over-Performer: Witch Aelves

And thus this armies strength becomes apparent. There are two sure-file ways a unit can climb the power-rankings. One is that far-too-good battle-line are available, and two is that there are the presence of unhealthy force-multipliers. This is a case of “a bit of both”, but the ladies themselves edge out other top units to earn this honor.

At 120pts per ten bodies, with a healthy savings of 300pts for thirty, you are rewarded with an incredibly high value unit, with a side of flexibility. Taken with a pair of daggers, and within 8” (notably NOT wholly within) of any of their heroes (and you ALWAYS will be), each humble Daughter has four attacks a piece. Their support staff, namely their hornblower also means they can always run and charge.

I hate to say it, but 60-90 of these really is the start of every winning DoK list

In many cases the volume of attacks is excessive enough that you will opt to drop one per model and take the buckler, improving your save, and granting mortal-wounds back on saves of natural 6’s. Combined with the Hagg-Nar ability of buffed after-saves, and choice prayers, you find yourself with curiously durable models for supposed glass cannons, who potentially do wounds on saving AND on dying. Considering how many of these you will likely field, this adds up over the course of a game.

Finally worth saying is that a unit already this good simply gets far too much use out of support abilities. Cauldrons of Blood add so much durability, and a well timed Orgy of Slaughter goes from “excellent” to game-winning at times.

Entirely unsupported this unit is strong… token support makes them amazing… and full support well, makes them broken. Point this blender at most things, and even after having received a sole points increase, they are still winning games for every single DoK player.

Under-Performer: Blood Sisters

Mercifully not terrible, this unit wins the award for worst-in-book, simple because they are a worse choice over other units in essentially every case. Priced worse than Witch Aelves, and with less table presence, this unit isn’t even Battleline without a Bloodwrack General. This means they will literally have to be on the table with required Witch Aelves, making the comparison unavoidable.

To squeeze value from these units you are functionally forced to take what will resemble a fluff/themed list. If the snake-lady theme is your intent, good on you, but know that the Temple Nest formation is basically required, and even so only mathematically provides the value of base bucklers on Witch Aelves.

There isn’t really even more to say about these, as it is a case of being damned by mediocrity. It isn’t that they are bad, but they are somehow oppressively not-good at the same time. While not dramatically better, at least their dual-kit siblings the Blood Stalkers fulfill a unique role (decent ranged unit), justifying a couple of boxes in your collection.

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

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About Mark Gottlieb

Writer, Game Designer, and owner of Fortunate Sun Studios, I have always tried to lead a life in some way built around paying back to gaming, and the gaming community. This hobby, and everyone in it, saved my life on more than a few occasions, and now I get to put my heart into helping it thrive for everyone!

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