40K Tactics: 5 Reasons To Be Afraid of Khorne Daemonkin

Khorne Daemonkin have been recently unleashed onto the 40k scene! Amidst the rapid release schedule GW has been pushing, you might have overlooked this codex!

Most players were still busy reading about Harlequins, and then suddenly excited about the pending Eldar Release. Well, you should take notice of this codex. It is fluffy, it is fun, and is very competitive. It will be striking fear into the hearts of its opponents for years to come. Here are the top five reasons you should fear the Daemonkin:

Number 5: Blood for the Blood God

This is the Special rule that really makes this codex work. The ability or your units to generate blood tithe points when they destroy something, and when they are destroyed, really breaths life into units that you would have overlooked before. It encourages you to go never hold back when playing this army. The more death and destruction, the more blood tithe rises and boosts your army. Whether it is summoning a new unit or army wide buffs, Blood for the Blood God! is a very powerful and fun rule that can make mediocre units into All-Stars.

Number 4: The Bloodhost Detachment

Khorne Daemonkin’s unique detachment is a powerful one. Not only do you get the detachment bonus, which is Plus 1 blood point every turn, but you also get all the formation bonuses as well, which really add up to make a powerful force. The main thing about the bloodhost is that with +1 blood point every turn, it is not unreasonable to have 3 or more bloodpoints at the beginning of every turn, starting on turn 2. This can be used to give your army incredible buffs, and if you have lots of models from the slaughtercult, then you get a 2 for 1 deal!

The other great thing about the slaughtercult is that you can use it and a CAD together to basically make any kind of list you want. Really. Go try it out. The options available to you are incredible, which lets you customize your force just the way you want it.

Number 3: Fearless Daemons

Khorne Daemonkin Daemons do not have instability, but instead have fearless. This is such a big deal that it is hard to describe. This totally changes these units and makes them all much much more powerful. Now, Daemon characters can join non-daemon units, and non-daemon characters can join daemon units. This is huge, and allows for some really good combos. An easy standout is the Chaos Lord on Juggernaut with either Bloodcrushers or Flesh Hounds. I expect that to be everywhere. But there are power gems as well, such as the Herald of Khorne with Locus of Wrath. He can join any unit now and give them fearless and hatred, which is an awesome deal for the same cost as 8 Bloodletters.

Number 2: The Red Wave!

Khorne Daemonkin have access to a unique bunch of units that we have all seen before. However, when looked at together in this codex, they create something unique. Khorne Daemonkin can make armies in which literally everything in the list is a serious threat. Nothing can be ignored, and nothing is wasted on units that don’t do anything. This is another example of how this army does not hold back. All of its units can get the job done, and you will need all of them working together to do so. This is an army that will probably lose 90% of its models in every game, but can totally overwhelm and opponent with threatening units and bring them down.

Number 1: The Bloodthirster!

That’s right. The number one reason you should be afraid of the Khorne Daemonkin is the Bloodthirster. When used in conjunction with this codex, the Bloodthirster is a terrifying sight to behold. Being Fearless, generating blood tithe points, and being a total combat monster all come together to make room for the Bloodthirster in every Daemonkin list. All variants have their place, but the real standout is the Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage. This guys wields the Great Axe of Khorne, which makes him Initiative 1, but lets him have 8 Strength D attacks on the charge. This makes him the biggest one-hit-wonder in all of 40k. What I mean is, that you can spend the entire game setting up just one charge with this guy, and that charge can win you the game. Enemy Knight titian? This guys can take it. Stompa? He can chop the thing in half. Chapter Master giving you trouble? The D Thirster can wipe him out. The ability to simply annihilate anything in 40k on the charge means you should think about this guy in every list you make. That is just too big of a tool not to want to have in the toolbox.

As powerful as these guys are though, they do need support. If you just throw them blindly at the enemy, expect to be disappointed. Being an FMC is what really gives these guys options, and lets them pick and choose exactly where they want to fight. If you take your time, and work toward the late-game glory assault, then the Bloodthirster will shine.

Khorne Daemonkin are an incredibly well done army with a perfect combo of fluff and power that is a terror on the tabletop. Be wary of these 5 facts and never underestimate them! –By Horton D on Spikey Bits Blog.

  • Galaxy S40,000

    rob baer: the john madden of codex reviews

    • Secundum

      Is that good or bad? (Not an American)

      • Malthrak

        it’s lots of saying plainly obvious stuff just to fill airtime.

      • BT

        It is also stating the obvious. This is a hoard army, in it’s own special way. You need to have enough units to survive the shooting to get into combat. But when you do (to many guys in the backfield), you hurt your opponent bad.

        • Galaxy S40,000

          “If you see a defense team with dirt and mud on their backs they’ve had a bad day.”

          ^ real quote

        • JP

          Sounds Orky to me.

        • Ferenc Szőke

          Like Nids long ago… a shame.

      • Locomotive breath

        It just a pretty funny joke. John Madden was a very famous Football coach and later Football commentator who lent his names to American Football video game series. When he commented on games he was very animated and liked to draw all all over the screen doing post play analysis

        • bloodbath & beyond

          “flesh hounds, now there’s a unit that moves its legs and goes faster”

    • Damien Coté

      “That’s what it’s all about!”

  • Malthrak

    So, aside from D wielding bloodthirsters, we’ve got a CC army reliant primarily on footslogging unit (and some mechanized options with their associated 7E transport pitfalls).

    Not seeing much to be terrified about here.

    • BT

      It is a foot slogging CC combat that gets benefits when your own units get killed, so in a way, your just picking up momentum. If you take fast units, you can be in combat turn 2, so maybe 1-2 rounds of shooting?

    • Swarms of khorne dogs, spawn, Melta bike squads, 4+ maulerfiends, plus some guys in rhinos that, if you blow them up as expected, will lead to your opponent getting FNP or summoning new models, there are definitely a few things in this codex that are brutal, mostly via threat saturation and speed.

    • BlackSly

      The better lists are not exactly footslogging. They will likely depend on units that move 12″ a turn (Maulerfiends, Hounds, Spawn, Bikers), and the units that move only 6″ will either Deep Strike in (Bloodletters) or advance in Rhinos. The only true footsloggers are the Cultists, and I doubt that they will be very popular.

      So it is an assault army, true, but it’s one where most everything will be in your deployment zone on Turn 2, and the non-vehicle units will probably have FNP.

      • grumzimus

        Yeah and even the vehicles get FnP (I think). but this is the 1st chaos dex I’ve had where I can purchase a Fast Attack Rhino and put any unit in it. So cultists or Bloodletters sitting in a rhino in the backfield with a havoc launcher holding objectives. While everything else Zergs forward. Sooo much fun.

        Fastest Chaos Army I’ve ever played. Lovin it.

        • vonevilstein

          Vehicles can have Feel no Pain but it won’t do them any good since the wording specifically states that a model can take a FnP test whenever it suffers an “unsaved wound” and doesn’t mention anything about hull points.

          Agreed though, the years of waiting for this codex has had a happy ending…;)

          • grumzimus

            Awwww dreams crushed 🙁

          • vonevilstein

            Sorry dude. Still the codex is a 40k dream come true…;)

  • rfinkle

    “but you also get all the formation bonuses as well”

    How the hell do formations work? Does the khorne dog formation give everyone in the bloodhost move through cover?

    • BT

      No, the formations work for those units in the formation.

      • rfinkle

        Thanks for that, coming back to 40k after a bit of a hiatus and had no clue how all this stuff came together.

        • dubhgilla

          Its ok, its Rob Baer’s first time playing 40k as well.
          In fairness I’ve been playing for years and its a rare game where I don’t get something wrong.

          • vonevilstein

            I think what Rob meant is that in KDK it specifically states that formation bonuses work in addition to the blood host detachment bonuses. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be the case.

    • Mossy

      Nope. But the Bikers gain it (even though the Hounds already had it). Plus the Hounds and Bikers taken with it get HoW and buffed HoW, respectively. And they get Preferred Enemy: Psyker.

  • Andrew Buyan

    Question – why does the Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage strike at Initiative 1? The Great Axe of Khorne is Unwieldy, but Monstrous Creatures ignore Unwieldy, no?

    • iguana1981

      The colossal rule makes a model using a weapon with this rule pile in and fight at initiative step 1

      • Andrew Buyan

        Ok. I don’t have the KD Codex, but I play against it regularly. I assume that the GAoK has the colossal rule in its description?

        • Mossy

          Yep.

      • dubhgilla

        Its designed so it can’t kill the precious Wraith Knight.

  • crevab

    My friend usually runs pretty casual lists, but even he laments the Possessed tax that the detachment includes

    • Erik Setzer

      Aside from being a bit costly, Possessed aren’t that bad. They should be able to get into combat quickly, and have a lot of attacks at a pretty good Strength, and can get even more of a bonus with their random roll. Sure, they might not be the hottest unit around, but if you can get them stuck in, they can do some damage, and have some resilience. As Daemons with Mark of Khorne, they have Fearless, 3+/5++ save, +2 Attacks and +1 Strength on the charge.

    • Mossy

      Honestly, I’ve found the Possessed make their money back, with both the MoK and DoK. As long as a lot of other threats are out in front soaking up enemy shooting, and they’re hidden from enemy shooting on T1 (moving forward and disembarking, probably), I’ve found they pack a sizeable punch. The key, for me, has been making enemies think them a low priority, overwhelming them with enough MSU other units, so the Possessed sneak in for a painful sucker punch.

      • Chaosrex

        Plus don’t forget that the way the Vessel of Chaos rule is writen in the KDK codex, literraly gives you 2 mutations per turn.

        • Sandwich Berserker

          Whoa wait what? Would you mind explaining that?

          • UberTek

            Vessels of Chaos: At the beginning of each Fight sub-phase, roll a D3 on the table below for each friendly Possessed unit that is locked in combat. The mutation affects every Possessed model in the unit and lasts for the rest of the game turn.

            So you roll each players fight phase and they both last until the end of the game turn.

          • Sandwich Berserker

            Oh holy crap that’s quite cool, thank you.

        • vonevilstein

          Out of interest does anyone do know if it’s written like that in CSM? Haven’t got it to hand.

          • UberTek

            same wording up to “turn” which is changed to “game turn”

          • vonevilstein

            Ah right thanks.

      • grumzimus

        I always find them useful. Their high strength and deamon rules buf them enough to make them worthwhile. But usually have them in a LR zerging forward. They’ve done me proud in many a game against tough opponents. Bikers especially (SM & Orks) or Grotesques. They are hard enough to soak up damage and strong enough to do AP 3 hits occasionally.

        Situational though. Get em forward and let em die.

        True enough though, if they weren’t enforced I’d probably not be taking them. Still not buying the proper figures for them 😛

    • Majere613

      My last game with my Daemonkin saw 4 Possessed kill an entire squad of Assault Terminators, after losing one of their number killing a Death Company Dreadnought. The critical point with the Slaughtercult is that as well as getting the bonus Blood Tithe point from the Blood Host, you get that extra ‘free’ 4 point or less ability when you spend it. As well as the obvious benefit of getting a buff as well as a summon, it lets you take two buffs at once. So, my Possessed had 5 Attacks on the charge whilst I was also handing out Rage and FC to the rest of the army. Even Cultists are no joke double-buffed in this manner, and units like Possessed go off the chart.

    • vonevilstein

      As other have remarked, it turns out that Possessed in KDK are pretty nasty. 5 possessed can potentially put out 30 strength 6 attacks.

    • crevab

      Hmm, thanks guys. I’ll poke him next time I see him. He must be missing something

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  • dakota5X5

    how about reason 6 – the bloodied horde! the new formation from blood oath warhammer world book. a thousand or so points of MSU that have a 50% chance of respawning if they die. charge, die, generate tithe, make more daemons, respawn – repeat until board if flooded with daemons and everything is bogged down in fearless assaults, and all objectives are smothered. plus it should stack with the bloodhost detachment as all models will have the blood for the bloodgod rule. so 80 or so troops a hearld, 6 blood crushers and two skull cannon in 18 units for 1850. can’t deal with flyers or massed heavy armour (until the bloodthirsters turn up), but will be an absolute pain for anything else.

  • Jake Nolan

    Wonderful, now, about that Slaanesh Daemonkin…

  • Mossy

    The bloodthirster doesn’t really impress me, to be honest. I’d rather go war engine-spam or take 2 maxed out Gorepacks. MSU all the way, for the super rapid scouting mobility, board control, and plenty of sacrificial units to throw into the melee for Blood Points. The armywide statline buffs on offer, to say nothing of DSing reinforcements wherever they’re needed… is great.

    The I1 on the D-thirster really kills it for me, when added to the general relative fragility of the Thirster statline, by comparison to the 2+ save and T8 MCs out there. It’s a hefty investment and can’t even take Greater Rewards for better survivability. Not to mention the whole “has to swoop when Summoned” aspect of things (and no, don’t argue with me that Blood Tithe is resolved before the movement phase starts)

    • Majere613

      The I1 is a bit of a non-issue in most cases. We’re talking about a WS10 model here, so all but the very most skilled opponents hit it on 5+, and it can’t be doubled out.

      Bloodthirsters don’t Swoop when summoned. FMCs have to Swoop when arriving from Reserve, and models summoned by the Blood Tithe don’t do that. The Conjuration powers specifically state that models they create are treated as arriving from Reserve, but the Blood Tithe does not. This also means, for example, that Bloodletters with an Instrument summoned by the Blood Tithe don’t bring another unit in with them, since they don’t arrive from Reserve.

      And no, Deep Striking does not automatically mean you are arriving from Reserve. There are plenty of units that Deep Strike without doing so, such as models using Grav Chutes to deploy from Valkyries, models jumping out of Stormravens, and models teleporting using Gate of Infinity, Veil of Darkness or ‘Ere we go.

      • Mossy

        It doesn’t help in the trump cases, though: the Imperial Knight and the sword & board Wraithknight, the other big melee D units out there (who are especially prevalent in my area, too). Yes, he’ll kill a unit another Bloodthirster would have been able to kill… that unit getting to strike first, rather than after. There are a few edge cases of strong invuln characters (Lysander, Draigo, Shield Eternal Chapter Master) who he’ll probably be able to tank a turn of damage from, then probably be able to roll a 6 on the D table to splatter, and those are where he has a real edge, but… still. The vast majority of the time he’s letting enemies get free hits on him where another Bloodthirster would have mopped them up before their Initiative step.

        I’d argue that models disembarking from a transport by special rules that count as if they were DSing is pushing the envelope a bit, given that the rules for Deep Strike specifically say it’s a form Reserves: most rules that grant modified versions that I’ve seen say “as if they were Deep Striking,” or in the case of Veil of Darkness, you remove the unit from play (arguably putting it in Reserve) before immediately DSing back with it.

        I am still of a mind that arriving from Deep Strike means your unit comes from Deep Strike Reserve, as per pg 162 of the rulebook… but hey, we can agree to disagree and civilly go our own way about it. We’re not blood-crazed berzerkers killing each other in the name of our maddened god, or something.

        • Majere613

          WS10 means an Imperial Knight hits a Bloodthirster on 5+ unless it’s getting a WS buff from one of their Formations, so it does help there. The bigger problem is Stomps, which really could use a bit of attention since not only are they a bit too powerful, we now have things ‘stomping’ things that are almost as tall as they are.

          P.162 is the basic version of Deep Strike and includes the Reserve Roll as an implicit step in the procedure. It’s then modified by other rules, so if you use ‘Summoning’, for example, you don’t roll for Reserves (directly contradicting p.162) but you still ‘count as arriving from Reserve’ because p. 26 specifically says so. Similarly, ‘Gate of Infinity’ says the model ‘arrives using the rules for Deep Strike’- these models do not come from Reserve because there was no Reserve roll. Again, the power directly contradicts p.162, since the models didn’t start in Reserve and didn’t roll to arrive.

          In saying Bloodthirsters summoned by the Blood Tithe aren’t coming from reserve and aren’t Swooping, we not only follow RAW, but also RAI, since losing a character to hopefully summon a model that could then do nothing but crack his little whip at something for two more turns would clearly be nuts.

        • vonevilstein

          Both have their places but the standard BT has a much narrower target range. S7 isn’t much use against high AV vehicles (neither is a single S10 attack) or high T F/MC’s.

          To be honest I find it relatively weak and rarely include one – although having the option to summon it later helps.

          Where as there is literally nothing that is isn’t threatened by the Insensate BT.

    • vonevilstein

      With FnP, which is easily acquired from Blood Tithe Table, it’s actually pretty resilient. Well at least, resilient enough, because it only needs 1 wound remaining to retaliate. And when it does, there’s pretty nothing in game that will survive it.