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.
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.
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?