Tactica: Khorne Daemonkin – Fist of Khorne


Get punched in the face by Khorne! Today is all about the Fist of Khorne Formation! Get ready for another installment of Tactica Khorne Daemonkin.

Hey guys! In this installment of Tactica Khorne Daemonkin I will be discussing the one of the Formations available to the Khorne Daemonkin and ways in which I feel it can be used to its utmost potential! I will do a separate article for each Formation so I can go into detail on army composition and tactics execution.

Fist of Khorne


This formation is a ton of fun if nothing else, 20 Berzerkers in a Kharybdis assault claw, dropping literally right on top of your opponent, destroying the vehicle they land on and then charging straight out of the claw turn 1!

This formation is particularly interesting for a few reasons. First, its one of the few GW released formations to include Forge World models. Second its one of the few formations to include units from two different factions, it states the Khorne Berzerkers must have the Khorne Daemonkin faction and the formation itself is listed as a Khorne Daemonkin formation, but the rules for the Kharybdis specifically state it is for armies with the Chaos Space Marine faction… very interesting…

Special Rules

  • Meteoric descent, basically when the Kharybdis arrives from reserves you can place it on top of enemy vehicles and buildings, you then scatter and any Vehicle or Building hit by the Karybdis takes a Strength D Ap1 hit! For those who have never seen a kharybdis in person they are huge! Easily 6″ across! So it is quite possible to hit multiple enemy vehicles the turn you arrive! Fun times 🙂  then, just like drop pods you reduce the distance by the minimum needed to avoid the obstacle.
  • Hungry for blood, forces the berzerkers to begin embarked in the Kharybdis but allows themnto charge the turn that they deploy… so yes 20 Berzerkers all with the ability to charge turn 1!

Khorne Berzerkers

In this formation you do not get a great deal of options for how to field your berzerkers. They Must be in a unit 20 strong too so there are no opportunities for adding a beat stick HQ to the unit. Some may claim the wording is a little vague as technically a unit of 18 berzerkers with a Lord and Herald attached does contain 20 models but in my opinion if you have to say “technically” when explaining what you are doing, you probably shouldn’t do it.

My advice is to kit out your berzerker champion with a combi melta, just incase you want to pop a transport and then assault the occupants, also I recommend a powerfist or Melta bombs incase someone decides to throw a walker into combat with the unit… which is definitely the last thing you want.

The big thing for this formation is declaring multiple combats to tie up your opponents shooting, thus allowing Bloodthirsters, Maulerfiends, hounds etc safe passage into combat. Multiple combats can be very tricky to follow as they are a somewhat complex set of rules.

Kharybdis Assault Claw


This is a really big model, measuring over 6″ wide! So when dropping in make sure you use its bulk to get as many enemy vehicles under the hull as possible. Remember each vehicle under its hull suffers a single Strength D hit so do not waste the opportunity!

Just like all drop pods you can get the Kharybdis turn 1, and thanks to the special rules of the formation your berzerkers can charge the turn they disembark! Meaning Turn 1 close combat with a 20 man strong unit of berzerkers!

The Kharybdis also comes with formidable firepower with 5 Kharybdis Storm Launchers, each one puts out 2 twin linked strength 6 Ap5 pinning shots at 24″range and the best part is each Storm Launcher can target a different unit thanks to the Kharybdis independent gun spirits!



I told you it was BIG!

Using its Storm Launchers you can pin enemy units that you do not plan to charge with the berzerkers, this greatly increases the number of units that you can prevent from firing at the rest of your army. Alternatively you can use it to destroy light vehicles and then charge the occupants with your berzerkers or you can try to pin enemy infantry thst light be a threat to your berzerkers.

So there you have it, a brutal (if somewhat expensive) formation that allows you to get a huge hlob of berzerkers into combat turn 1 while smashing anything in its path! Probably not the most compeditive formation in the game due to how expensive it is but most certainly a very fun way to play with Berzerkers!

What are your thoughts on the Fist of Khorne? Can you think of any uses or tactics I might have missed? I would love to hear what you have to say 

Thanks again for tuning in! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of Tactica: Khorne Daemonkin! and while you are at it head over to Blog for the Blood God give me a like, and join in on the other great content! Everything from Battle Reports to Hobby Tutorials, Rules discussions and tactics to Animated movies and 40k based comedy.

  • Agent OfBolas

    Khorne is so damn unplayable… I can’t name worse CC dedicated unit in whole game.

    Maybe that’s why BOLS articles are trying to convince us for about 6 months that Khorne is nice? To low sales on GW?

    • Dyemor

      The Daemonkine are far from un-playable. Bezerkers are one of the hardest units to use I find, but you should check out the Blog for the Blood God that Dean (writer of this article) writes on facebook. He’s been playing Khorne for years and has a huge army and does well with it.

    • kaptinscuzgob

      dark eldar mandrakes?

    • OolonColluphid

      It’s not their that GW prefers bikers over proper Assault Armies.

    • Charon

      Wyches, Hellions

      That was easy.

      • Dyemor


      • Kevin Maloney

        (Casts a long, sad glance at the Wyches who have been sitting unused on his shelf since 6th ed)

      • J Mad

        Hellions are by far the worst.

    • Morollan

      Just because you can’t play them doesn’t mean others can’t

      • Agent OfBolas

        ok ‘boss’

        So Berzerkers price is OK? Nope, their points price is just a joke. Their customization options? (CCWs) None outside “scary” AP4 weapon for bilion of points per model. Can they take any kind of anti-armor weapon to make sure they will destroy enemy transport to get a chance to charge unit inside… Nope. They have reliable and cheap way of delivering them to combat? Nope. Is their save good? Nope, it’s terrible when compared to other specialized CC units. Are they fast? Nope, they go 6 Inches and nothing above it. It’s terrible for such expensive unit. Are they ultra easy to ecade ? Yes they are.

        Yes, for sure it’s L2P issue.

        CSM codex is one of the weakest available.

        Khorne Berzerker and few other ‘champions’ are the worse option in the codex.

        • Ron Farber

          i dont think viewing the cost for every berzerker in a vacuum is the right way to look at the formation.

          what value do you put on charging turn 1? what value do you put on being able to tie up 3-5 units? what value do you put on blocking a TON of LOS with the transport itself? what about the value of that strength D hit on any vehicle it touches?

          • Agent OfBolas

            yes, I got your point, but still – this unit is useless when it come to points/efficiency.

        • Craig Leddicoat

          Beserkers’ strength has to come from being fearless.

          The value in this formation, and you really have to squeeze it out, is from performing a huge disordered charge, turn 1 from a relatively safe deepstrike in order to tie up multiple units while your other units move up.

          The cost is just about all of the combat effectiveness the ‘zerks have left though. But a hefty turn 1 tarpit can be enough to pull the game.

        • Malisteen

          Zerks are garbage, normally, but their biggest problem is delivery. Turn one assault is a big deal for them, and yeah, i’d say it makes them playable.

    • eehaze

      Possessed are the worst dedicated CC unit in the game. That’s exactly why they’re mandatory in Daemonkin formations.

      • J Mad

        Hellions are worst IMO.

        • Mr.Gold

          pyrovores and Mutilators…

          • J Mad

            3+/4+ saves vs 5+ t4/t5 vs t3, S4 vs S3 …..

          • Mr.Gold

            yes but points per wound (Mutilators are 55pts each), etc. along with max number in squads plus slow movement speeds.

          • dubhgilla

            lol Mutilators GW even forgot to put them in the Daemonkin codex.

  • Lost on nocturne

    Just a thought but can you use the claw to target flyers?

    • Orodruin

      Good question! It does say vehicles, but unless they start on a Southfield… Skyshield, autocorrect… I doubt they’d be on the table turn 1. I guess if you took another pod you could choose which arrives turn 1/later.

    • Ron Farber

      RAW, yes. RAI, probably not

    • Alexandros Kompatsiaris

      Flyers cannot be hit by attacks that do not require a “to-hit” roll

  • Captyn Bob

    A T1 assault is brutal in its own self. Shame its so many points. Probably worth combo-ing with a dreadclaw, so you can hold the fist back if tactically viable.

    I think it should be possible to use this formation to slingshot a juggerlord/herald into combat T1. It has never occurred to me that a bezerker champion could take a combi melta- good shout.

    A slight mismatch in that the strength here is multiassaulting, but you lose out on furious charge (and rage, if you had it). ah well. Perhaps hitting it with invisibility would cause an enemy a real headache.

    • Ron Farber

      > A T1 assault is brutal in its own self.

      yeah but bruh, have you seen the new tau formations? something tells me i won’t feel guilty when i tie up 5 units on turn 1

  • denzark

    If you look at the pure RAW of the special rules
    of this formation, I can see nothing that allows you to overlook the BRB
    restriction of placing models within 1” of enemies unless you are
    charging. I think you have to place as
    per normal restrictions and hope to scatter onto the enemy.

    • Captyn Bob

      That rule applies to movement. The deep strike placement rules have no such restriction.

      • denzark

        interesting – I thought it was model placement as a whole.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Really don’t think the ROI for Meteoric Descent was to be able to do it at will, but rather to encourage deploying closer. Of course, a 2 in 3 chance of scattering makes that rule far more likely than not to go off, especially if you position it right.

  • Jay Wallace

    Rules conundrum: No unit can assault the turn it arrives from reserves. Including from assault vehicles.

    But things like Skyhammer and certain Blood Angel formations can because…. reasons? What rule trumps what? This is all such a headache…

    I’m guessing because the BRB says any codex/formation rule says otherwise, it can?

    • Orodruin

      You have a point, but the line stating the zerkers can charge the turn they disembark supersedes the BRB.

      • Jay Wallace

        But that line seems more like a reiteration of the definition of “assault vehicle” than a formation rule that would trump BRB. This is something I’d have to discuss with opponents before hand.

        • Nathaniel Wright

          Core book is superseded by special rules designed for formations. If it says you can assault after disembarking, you can assault after disembarking.

        • It’s listed under “special rules” on the formation datasheet. You can discuss house rules with your opponent if you want, but it’s pretty clearly a formation rule.

        • Orodruin

          Well that’s of course your call, but it seems pretty cut and dry to me since it’s a distinct rule not called “Assault Vehicle.”

  • JP

    The chance to put a huge unit into combat on turn 1 is a blitz krieg tactic that is very difficult to counter. In the current environment of being stuck crossing the board while getting shot to pieces, the opportunity to immediately drop into combat like that is worth it’s weight in gold. Let’s not forget that the Kharybdis itself is a rather potent machine with some pretty nasty weapons on board. It is a Flyer with AV12 all around and 5HP, making it more resilient than a Stormraven when in flight. It can strike infantry units with Flamer type attacks of S6 on deep strike landing and sweep them with S5 flamer type attacks while moving in hover mode. These weapons are actually a good reason to NOT strike a vehicle when it deep strikes, as the flame attacks can soften up enemy units for the berzerkers to assault, and can flat out annihilate units with bad armor saves.
    A lot of people point out that the unit is too expensive, but I think they forget that the Kharybdis is more than a drop pod- it’s actually a very dangerous vehicle in it’s own right.

    • denzark

      I wouldn’t want to soften a unit for the berzerkers – ideally you want them locked until the opponents turn so they can charge again in theirs.

      • JP

        Fair enough. The point is that people fail to see the Kharybdis as a usable unit itself, which it is. It can also be used to support the berserkers by pinning their assault targets with it’s Storm Launchers. And it can just be a general support unit for other parts of your army and a general pain in the @ss for your opponent since it’s armor and HP make it fairly hard to dispatch.

        • denzark

          that said it suffers an immobilised result as a trade off for D-smash…

          • JP

            Which you totally don’t have to do. Just keep it away from vehicles when it deep strikes.

          • OolonColluphid

            The effectiveness of that strategy depends on how many fliers with anti tank the other guy has. Also stay away from Bikers/Deathstars and Deathwing.

          • JP

            There are always exceptions. No strategy is suitable to all situations. This formation is particularly good for mowing down infantry units with up to 4+ saves, of which there are plenty, and tying up shooting units so the rest of your army can cross the board with a lot less firepower aimed at them.

    • Ron Farber

      one thing that a lot of people forget is that if you position the kharybdis properly, you can block a lot of LOS to stuff that might have poor cover. its almost as big as a friggin bastion.

  • LordKrungharr

    The Formation rule doesn’t negate not being able to charge out of Reserves, the Berzerkers cannot charge the turn they drop in. The Skyhammer Formation specifically spells it out that the assault marines can do that, so RAW I don’t think it’s as punchy, though RAI I think it’s quite clearly what they wanted it to do.

    • Formation and codex rules over-ride standard rules.
      You think that they can charge but not assault? That they can’t disembark first turn? Why not?

  • Wa Bell

    Has anyone tried or thought about the viability of using it to bring down a building and assault or not assault the units inside? Does the D-hit have enough punch to bring down a building?

  • If you combine Close Combat Khorne Daemonkin along with other allies, like Necrons (remember the 3 Drakes along with a NightScythes circus in previous codices), it is a very strong combination. I dont think that cant stand on his own, Daemonkin, but it is a nice codex to play with. You can have

  • Shiwan8

    You can not target anything with the pods landing. You can not place it on top of other models.

    • Wa Bell

      How so?

      • Shiwan8

        Legal DS is still mandatory.

  • BrotherCaptain

    I wish I could afford the assault claw….