Goatboy’s AoS: Blood Tithes & Blessings

Goatboy here and we are headed into the Blades of Khorne battletome with two key mechanics that make the army tick.

Instead of waxing on about an edition that is going to die in a few months – lets instead look at a new release in the Age of Sigmar realm.  The new Khorne Battletome – The Blades of Khorne.  I am just happy there isn’t something like the Blood Blades of Khorne or the Murder Blood Rage Head Splitter of Khorne.  Overall it is a pretty bad a$$ book that from top to bottom is a definite must for someone even remotely interested in throwing their worship towards the Skull Demanding Bull God known as Khorne. Today I want to talk a bit about the new Blood Tithe table as well as the add-on of prayers for the priests of the blood mad murder God.

Khorne cares not from where the blood flows.

Blood Tithe

I always thought the Blood Tithe table from the KDK book in 40k was a pretty brilliant bit of rule creation from the GW writers.  It fit the Khorne Fluff, fit in the aspects of the game, and was actually a pretty good set of rules.  Its great to have it show up in Age of Sigmar as in a lot of ways it is a much more co bloody affair then the current sit and shoot/unkillable world that is 40k right now.  Just like the 40k version the Blood Tithe is generated either by killing something of your opponents or having something you have die as well.  The big change over is that instead of only getting used in the beginning of your own turn it instead is allowed to be “used” during each Hero Phase.  This is pretty dang huge as you have a whole lot of “power” by getting a chance to use it at any time during the Hero Phase.  All that “hero” phase shooting, spells, and other damage causing effects are wonderful when you can quickly “respond” with a Blood Tithe usage.  The Blood Tithe is even used in the same way – whatever “level” you decide to use will burn all the stored Blood Tithe you have.  But again, AoS is extremely bloody so I suspect your Tithe pool to go up and down all game.

The Blood Tithe is split into 8 different effects with varying degree of power. Lucky for us some utility is left at the lower level of power which helps cover some “holes” an all Khorne army can have.

The first level is called “Bloody Exemplar” and it involves allowing a Khorne Hero to use their “command” ability.  If the model happens to be your general you can use another Command Ability as normal.  This is pretty dang impressive as you can set up some interesting turns where your guys get to use the +1 to hit power from the normal Chaos Allegiance and then tack on whatever other power you could use – such as ignore Battle Shock or something else from their own War Scroll.  It makes me think using Archaon with this could be neat as well as he activates everyone else’s command ability too.

Next up is the 2nd Blood Tithe power called Spelleater Curse.  This power lets you automatically unbound a spell anywhere on the field.  This is pretty huge and would be huge if in the 40k universe.  I like how low the power is as while in some match ups it could be amazing in a lot of them it won’t be used nearly as often.  With the way Blood Tithe works you could see some units die to help facilitate turning off a power later on.  This is a nice little piece of design from GW to give an all Khorne army some chance to stop magic missiles of doom hitting them.

Next up reward 3 is the Murderlust power.  You get to select a Khorne unit in your army and it gets to either move as if it were the movement phase or charge as if it were the charge phase.  I see this one being pretty nutty too as any extra movement for an assault army is a game changer as you get into place to kick some butt for the Murder Lord.’

The 4th reward is the Crimson Rain ability.  Roll a D3 and all Khorne units on the table top get to heal that many wounds.  This could be useful if you have a ton of Bloodbound characters running around, boosting your army, and just being a pain in the butt.   A very useful power in some situations and being at level 4 is a good thing as it is low enough to be useful.

Reward 5 is the Apopletic Frenzy.  Beyond having a weird name to type out and have WordPress freak out when trying to spell check it is a pretty interesting ability. You get to pick a Khorne unit and they get to immediately make a pile in and attack in the Hero Phase.  A later game power and probably something that could be a game changer based on giving an opponent a double turn and throwing the pain down before they get to hit.  I could imagine a 30 man unit of Blood Letters getting in and dumping out a crap ton of Mortal wounds to your line.

Reward 6 is a pretty heavy metal named ability called Brass Skull Meteor.  This one picks a unit and causes d3 mortal wounds and then every unit within 8″ takes a mortal wound on a 4+.  This isn’t too bad and while decent is a bit annoying at a level 6 ability.  It would be interesting to throw it down during your opponents hero phase to cause some issues to a weakened hero.

Relentless Fury is the name of the 7th Reward. This one is pretty fun as it works until your next Hero phase and it lets your Khorne units make a pile in move and attack after dying.  You have to use the lowest damage line on their Warscroll if they have more then one when resolving the this attack.  This helps you from just doing a crazy amount of attacks with some kind of crazy mounted warrior of death.

Finally the last reward is called Blood Pact and it lets you set up a new Khorne unit on the table.  It has to be 9″ from an enemy model but it is a true summon spell.  This one probably won’t be used as much as most competitive games make you pay some points to “summon” stuff to the battlefield.  Still it could be neat as you can pull from your sideboard.  I don’t see this one getting used nearly as much.

Overall these powers are pretty dang neat.  They feel strong, Khorne like, and will be a big benefit to the player as they learn to utilize another pool of damage potential.  The big winners I feel are the Spelleater Curse, Murderlust, Bloody Exemplar, and Apopletic Fury.  Anything that allows extra movement is going to be strong for Khorne and attacks outside of the combat phase is huge as you can punch the enemy and not worry about getting hit back until later in the turn.

A couple of the Blood Blessing as examples.

Blood Blessings

Beyond the Blood Tithe the other big new set of rules is the return of Blood Blessings of Khorne.  Just like the Sigmarites who have prayers to their golden weeny of a “god leader” the Khorne Priests get to pray to the Blood God for some awesome abilities.  The basic gist is during the hero phase the priest rolls a dice and on a 4+ they activate a prayer.  They get a +1 to the roll if they killed something the turn before and if you roll a 1 the priest takes d3 Mortal wounds due to Khorne not being happy with their words/dance/sacrifice.  There are 6 prayers and you can have each Priest know the same or a different one if you so desire.  This lets you stack as well as try to cast it multiple times as it isn’t a spell and limited to the rule of 1.

Bronzed Flesh lets the Priest select a Khorne unit within 16″ (yay for not being 8″) that is visible to him and give them a +1 to their save rolls until the start of your next hero phase.  This is decent but not nearly as flashy as you probably need it to be.  Still as a basic power it isn’t bad.

Blood Sacrifice is up next and it will be a decent one as it lets you generate a Blood Tithe.  You pick a Khorne unit within 3″ of the priest and it suffers d3 mortal wounds.  It could be interesting to have some sacrifice Spawns or other single unit things and try to kill it with the d3 and gain 2 Blood Tithe points.  I am sure there is a combo here too as you kill something in the turn and next turn get a 3+ to pray as you try to get more Blood Tithe.

Resanguination lets you heal d3 wounds to a unit within 16″.  This one seems ok but I just wonder how much healing you will need to do in this game.  I have seen most games get really bloody quickly so having the time frame to heal guys up seems not worth it.  But hey I am a newb at AoS right now so I could be very very wrong.

Brazen Fury lets you pick a unit with 16″ and they don’t have to take Battle Shock tests.  I don’t see this one used as much as you can just take the Bloodsecrator and utilize his portal to the blood soaked realm of Khorne and how it lets all units within 16″ not have to take Battle Shock tests.  No praying needed other then having some wicked skull ponytail action.

Killing Frenzy is where its at as it gives a unit within 16″ a +1 to hit.  I don’t know if you have been hit by a 3 bumped up set of Khorne Bloodletters.  Having them cause Mortal Wounds on a 3-4+ would be pretty bonkers.  They just delete things right now and if a priest ends up showing up in that army I suspect this prayer to be in his bloody book of Khorne hymns.

Finally we have Magebane Hex and it is ok as it gives your Priest another “unbinding” spell action.  I think the Blood Tithe power is just better so really this one will be left on the wayside.

I’ve got some prayers for you!

Overall the prayers are ok and they do add some neat flavor to the army.  I wish the Priests were just better to try and remove usage of Bloodsecrators and Bloodstokers you see in most Khorne based lists.  Still it is neat and might have you throw in one to help boost up some big units of Khorne specialized murderers.

This is it for a quick little look into the new Khorne book.  I think the art is amazing in the book and the overall design is pretty cool.  I do like how much new “art” shows up in these books and makes me have high hopes for the new 40k stuff as these rules and abilities would do wonders if they showed up in the new edition of 40k.

~Until next time keep your skull warm for Khorne. What do you think of the concept of priests and blessings for Khorne?

  • Or a TO or event organizer could just say that you don’t pay points for the Pact since you are paying for it in Blood Tithe points and are “earning it” as opposed to getting it for free.

    • Karru

      Personally I would make it so you can bring a minimal unit of certain Khorne Daemons, like Bloodletters, Crushers and Flesh Hounds, for “free”. You spent the Blood Tithe points and you get them. The problem is that the requirements are “Khorne Daemons”. Archaon has both Keywords. Guess who can be summoned “for free” if there is no limitations on what can be brought?

    • Ryan C

      I think effects like that need to be more or less looked at as a whole in terms of summoning, I get the limitation for just straight up summoning as it can get out of control quickly but these sorts of effects you have to earn or even abilities like Neferata transforming enemy heroes into vampires is kinda silly to pay out of your summoning pool. Why would you ever hold points back on the off chance Neferata makes a vampire lord? Why not just buy him straight up and get him guaranteed where you want him?

      There are a ton of abilities like that currently in the game that use reinforcement pts but really don’t seem to offer any advantage over just taking the given model in your list at the start of the gaming rather hoping some effect works out.

      Was thinking maybe a 50% reinforcement discount for non “summoning” effects that bring in new models. That way you are getting a “perk” for earning it, but it isn’t unlimited in a sense that non matched play lists can summon infinitely.

      • Anggul

        Yeah, while ‘standard’ summoning should be paid for (you’re getting the units you want at that moment in time *and* placing them where you want), things like blood tithe, bolt of change, and the other spells and effects that have a chance of giving you a couple of extra models should probably just be free because you’re paying for the models in the ‘cost’ of the spell or ability.

        • Ryan C

          Exactly, and its especially punishing for abilities that do things like create a unit of D3 models where you are expected to pay the full cost of 10 out of your summoning pool.

      • My lesson after writing Azyr Comp and having this conversation about summoning about a dozen times and a bunch of changes is that there really is no good answer for adding in points to your roster during the game that are really “fair” in the context of tournament play, which is what the matched-play restrictions are really all about.

        • Ryan C

          Ya, its a tough one, personally I feel it should be tied to the pts cost of the summoner.

          For example take 2 situations:

          Caster 1 casts a spell that kills 120pts in models

          Caster 2 casts a spell that spawns 120pts in models.

          Both cause an identical swing in power (in theory). So are balanced with one another.

          Where summoning becomes a problem is that summoning tends to bring in FAR more pts in models than your average opponent can kill (at least in AoS)

          Back in Fantasy summoning wasn’t a big deal because summoning 10 skeletons when you had other casters who could kill 1000pts in one lucky cast meant summoning wasn’t the biggest threat out there but in AoS magic is MUCH less potent relative to the game as a whole, but summoning is more powerful in relation to what it was in fantasy due to a lack of a finite power dice system that curbs summoning potential.

          I think the current matched play situation is too far swung against summoning though.

          Say a situation like Nagash where you are paying 900pts for a super summoner you kinda expect his pts value to sorta reflect some of the value of what he is summoning. As it stands, he is not worth his pts in matched play.

          Or another example is the ring for undead. Having to pay full pts for a 15 or 16 wound model that is being revived with D3 wounds just makes the ring an automatic do not ever take.

          • There are two issues with summoning that I see:

            #1) they made it SO easy to do. Cast on a 5+ stuff. I mean really?

            #2) chain summoning. I can summon in a caster. That caster can summon in a caster. That caster can summon in a caster. That caster can summon in a unit. Next turn. Those casters can all summon in units (or another caster)>

            We had a guy that literally tripled his army size in two turns.

            The problem with baking in points to the summoner is simply… where do you even start? With the game as it is now, you can do the chain summoning crap, so caster #1 can triple his army size but he only summons a couple of casters.

            So does a wizard that can summon cost 800 points? People would flip out over that too. GW’s pricing scheme would likely be +100 points, which is far too little.

            Correct summoning being so easy and put in some mechanism to stop chain summoning and its not that bad.

  • ZeeLobby

    How great would it be if WHFB -> AoS pushed out the competitive players, and now the state of 40K is pushing the 40K competitive players into AoS, and now 40K 8th edition will be the happy-go-lucky fun game :D.

    • No. Just please no. I would be sad.

      • ZeeLobby

        Goatboy is leading the charge! He’s def not the first WAAC player I’ve heard jumping ship to AoS as well. I think you’re fine. I think many real competitive players have been leaving GW products anyway. Of course who knows what those scummy competitive players are who are left behind… dun dun DUN!.=

        • EnTyme

          He’ll be disappointed in the lack of ways to take an Imperial Knight with his Bretonians.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’ve heard there’s a broken Chaos Sorcerer he can dabble with!

        • Most of our competitive guys don’t care about AOS right now because there aren’t mega tournaments catering to it. Yet.

          • Frank Krifka

            Does Adepticon not count?

          • Its a start but until its featured pretty much at every large tournament they won’t budge on it. I expect in a year or two that to change and for our AOS community to be full blown competitive list-only so am going to enjoy it not being that way while I can!

          • Frank Krifka

            Goodness, if LVO and Adepticon aren’t enough they must really be holding out. But fair enough. It certainly gives those of us that can read the writing on the wall plenty of time to hone our hold-out list crushing skills.

            Or play a game we enjoy that not fully infiltrated by neckbeards quite yet.

  • Jason

    “It makes me think using Archaon with this could be neat as well as he activates everyone else’s command ability too.”

    Archaon isn’t part of the allegiance, so if you bring him you can’t use these allegiance abilities.

    • Frank Krifka

      Archaon has the Khorne keyword, and if this book is anything like the Disciples of Tzneetch book, that’s the only requirement for Allegiance abilities.

    • Anggul

      He is, they made the sensible decision with the Tzeentch and Khorne books and made it so the allegiance keyword is just ‘Tzeentch’ or ‘Khorne’.

  • MechBattler
  • Bakvrad

    Just in case: command traits ain’t command ability
    Because the +1 to hit against order is a trait and inspiring presence an ability.
    But I love how archaon gets so many good combinations with all those god allegiances. Nurgle will surely make him unkillable 😀

  • ledha

    the last blood tithe ability can be very useful. Summoning skarbrand at the end of the ennemy hero phase and charging right away during your turn is very funny

    • EnTyme

      You’d be better served summoning him in your hero phase. That way you can ensure he didn’t attack in the previous combat phase and starts the fight Incandescent.

  • Cristhian Mario Landa Rivera

    BTW, did Bloodsecrators got anything for them? They are totems, just like SE Vexillors, and they got 3 artifacts.

    Also, Blood Sacrifice could have a really nice synergy with Skarbrand.

    “The first level is called “Bloody Exemplar” and it involves allowing a Hero to use their “command” ability. If the model happens to be your general you can use another Command Ability as normal. This is pretty dang impressive as you can set up some interesting turns where your guys get to use the +1 to hit power from the normal Chaos Allegiance and then tack on whatever other power you could use – such as ignore Battle Shock or something else from their own War Scroll”.

    I’m sure GW don’t want you to use both regular Chaos and BoK allegiance at the same time. I mean that’s the whole point of this book. Even when the wording is a bit odd, the allegiance rules should override what you are saying.

    Also, Blood Pact only summons Daemons, unless there is another table for mortal Khornate armies not showed here.

    • Scott Adams

      Agreed. I believe you forfeit the chaos allegiance traits and items to gain the khorne allegiance traits/tithes/blessing/whatnots.

      Also, the +1 to hit (assuming he means Lord of War) is a “trait” not a “command ability”. Thus rendering that scenario not necessary.