Blades of Khorne are one of the OG’s of Age of Sigmar, first hit the tables in the starter set in 1st Ed and have been on a bit of a rollercoaster. In 3rd Ed, they’re back with a vengeance with a plethora of tricks(and skulls) up their sleeve.
Why Play Blades of Khorne?
Inside you there are two wolves. One wants to charge with reckless abandon and cleave assorted cranial masses. The other wants to feel smart as heck and control the ebb and flow of the game, denying your opponents plays while stacking up victory points.
They both hate wizards.
- Extremely diverse – Blades of Khorne is a book with a lot of warscrolls and unusually, a huge number of them are extremely playable. With so much power bound up in the faction abilities, there is a case to be made for almost every warscroll in the book. (Sorry Scylla)
- Tactical Flexibility – With this diversity comes the ability to adapt and counterplay. Tons of high armour saves in your meta? Bloodlords Bloodletters cleave a bloody path through their ranks. Dominant magical nerds in every game? Stack debuff after punisher effect, such that no matter what they roll on the dice, something bad happens. Charge reliant Big Dudes? Drown them in tides of screaming Bloodreavers until you engineer the perfect angle for your own hammer.
- BLOODTITHE – Losing units feels bad, that’s a given in Age of Sigmar. Even when you’ve perfectly planned a trade and pulled it off to a tee, still you lose units. What if the Blood God gave you a li’l something something to buy yourself something pretty to sweeten the deal? Every time a unit (not just yours) dies, you get a little payment back, taking off the sting, and giving you inevitability in the form of summoning EVEN MORE RED DUDES or a neat bag of tricks you can leverage to make your opponent’s life that little bit harder. Even better than this, sometimes those horrible people on the other side of the board have the temerity to cast spells with unpleasant effects at your nice units. What if ⅓ of those spells didn’t do anything? Sound good? Now what if that one time also gives you one of those sweet sweet blood tithe points?
- Surprisingly Fast- As Gimli says, we’re dangerous over short distances. Explosive surgical plays are something Khorne now excels at, with a number of movement tricks that allow you to get places the opponent wasn’t ready for, including messing up all their plans by getting cosy with their frontline in their hero phase.
- Damage Output– Paradoxically in 3rd edition, Khorne is a control army. It can deal a good amount of damage, and when you go in with Skarbrand, it’s going to feel GOOOOOD. But Khorne lacks true S tier hammers like our more armored colleagues dressed in Black and Gold. We have enough to get the job done, but you can’t recklessly charge in and 1 tap a Gargant with a single unit.
- Battle Tactics– With Andtor and the new GHB on the horizon, Khorne looks to be in a touch of a rough spot for the next year. While we can definitely still compete, there will be games where you need to make suboptimal plays to keep scoring max. We have a lot of tools to compensate for that, particularly in the Wizard Killing department, but the primary is a touch more challenging this year.
- The Whims of God– With a significant amount of power coming from prayers, which are on 1d6 and not Primal Dice-able, there’s a little bit of variance involved with some of our more giga-brain plays. Some will lean in and chortle gleefully when the coinflip pays off, and others will play more conservatively and hedge their bets with rerolls from the Skull Altar, but give up the splash play. Neither is wrong, and both have their upsides and downsides.
Competitive Rating – Medium
Khorne released as an extremely strong tome, and I am writing this on the precipice of the new Battlescroll for Andtor dropping. My guess is that we will remain a competitive army and more than able to fight for the top tables, but it’s going to be harder than it was last season. This is a general’s army, and there are few armies that reward master more highly. A dedicated Khorne player can make this army sing, and will be more than capable of winning their games, regardless of opponent. However, there are 2-3 armies at the top that are of concern, so I’ll leave this as a medium for now.
Hatred of Sorcery
We do in fact hate wizards here. Every time an enemy spell affects one of your units, on a 5+ they ignore it. BUT WAIT THERE”S MORE. You also get a Blood Tithe if you ignore it!
This is a punisher effect that makes it extremely painful for area of effect and spell damage focused armies to manage Blades of Khorne. Not only is their spell going to whiff ⅓ times, it also gives power to the Khorne player to leverage. You will find smart opponents choose to not cast any but the most important spells into you. Don’t assume this gives you carte blanche though. It’s still only a 5+, and big debuff spells, especially single target ones are likely to still take effect. Endless spells are big in Andtor, and a lot of those do damage to multiple units, which gives us lots of dice to roll, and lots of tithe to play with.
Murderous to the Last
Khorne Mortals EXPLODE.
When a Bloodbound (Mortals) model is slain by an attack in melee, on a 5+ you do a mortal wound to a unit within 3’’ of that model. This is part of the attrition of playing Khorne, and surprisingly a large amount of damage will come from this, particularly if running multiple layers of screens or big blobs of Blood Warriors (who explode twice!).
An important note is that you pick the unit that takes the mortals, so that wizard sat behind the thing killing your dudes just within 3 is rich pickings.
Locus of Fury
The demon side of the book gets the privilege of a 5+ ward, all the better to get in and mow down those gunlines. As long as you’re outside of 8’’ of an enemy unit, this ward is on. In true Khorne fashion, if you retreat out of combat, you don’t get it anymore as punishment.
In gameplay terms, this makes your big blocks of Bloodletters and your Bloodthirsters extremely resilient to ranged damage, in particular the attentions of spell based damage armies like Seraphon and Tzeentch. Having to get past a 5+ spell ignore, and then having the damage reduced by another 5+ ward really takes their teeth(and beaks) out.
Legions of Chaos
We’re Chaos, so we get to bring in like minded colleagues from respectable Chaos factions who also enjoy chopping folks up.
We get 2 in 4 units as coalition from Slaves to Darkness, and 1 in 4 from Beast of Chaos. Importantly, and somewhat weirdly, we can’t take wizards from coalition. Instead, if we want to get a wizard on board, we get to ally in from Slaves to Darkness who have the Undivided mark, or choose from one of Nurgles offerings. This means that yes, you can run Be’lakor in Khorne.
Allies can fill some gaps, but make sure you’re content with the value you’re getting from them.
Worst case, they always die and get you 1 Blood Tithe, but remember you can’t use the tech from Blades of Khorne on them. Nor do they explode when they die 🙁
As an Andtor specific use case, getting hold of a wizard to reliably cast a spell on turn 1 to score Magical Dominance can really take some of the pressure off. This is heretical however, so consider it a practical concern.
The Main Event- This table makes piloting a Blades of Khorne list so interesting and dynamic, and gives you tools and the ability to outplay and feel like an ultra genius. For saving headspace, you can treat this table as going to 4. In my 40+ games so far in this book, I have never yet used more than the first 4 entries on this table. This doesn’t mean you should never do it, but in most circumstances you’re going to get more mileage out of either multiple uses of the cheap ones or summoning in more board presence.
1- Murderlust- Starting off with a bang. Murderlust is an unbelievably powerful effect. You pick one unit for each Blood Tithe you spend, up to 3 units, and for each of them, you can move them d6. Pretty incongruous, just a hero phase run. Until you spit your drink all over your monitor as you realize that yes, you read it right. You can do it into combat. In your enemies hero phase. Reset screens, move buffs into position, get units into combat to prevent movement in the enemy movement phase. The sky’s the limit. Bonkers. Just don’t rely on it being a big number. If you can set up to make Murderlust good even on a 1, you should probably do that.
2- Spell Eater Curse– This is a no frills, utility play. Automatically unbind a spell. No range, no counter play, Khorne says No to Nerds. Obviously great if there’s one key spell you simply cannot allow. Think Protection of Teclis, Drain Vitality, Teleports and other splashy effects.
3- Brass Skull Meteor- Pick one unit, and roll 8 dice (Khorne Number) For each 5+, that unit takes a mortal wound. If they’re MEATY, 10+ wounds or a monster, they take those wounds on a 3+. Safe to consider this as 2 mortal wounds to small things, and 4 to big things. Really good for putting the last bit of damage onto a hero, or pushing through that little bit extra to really bracket a scary monster. Being after the Heroic Actions step is nice here as you’re always calling it with full information.
4- Apoplectic Fury– Fight in the hero phase. Really great for getting extra activations out of units that are stuck in there, particularly giving your really punchy stuff like Skarbrand extra fights at his good bracket. Can fight your way out of tar-pits, deny battle tactics by piling awkwardly, and just generally a nice thing to push more damage through.
5- Rising Hatred– +1 to your Hatred of Sorcery rolls. Basically turn your spell ignore from a 5+ to a 4+. Pretty niche, as spell casting armies already don’t want to target you, and this will pretty strongly dissuade them doing it any more. There’s no cap to the number of times you can do this, so if you’re rich you can get to a 2+ and pretend you’re Ossiarch Bonereapers?
6- Heads Must Roll– +1 rend until the end of the turn. If you’re committing everything in a knockout punch and want to be sure you’re going to get the job done, this can help.
7- Let the Blood Flow– Every unit within 3 of a Blades of Khorne unit takes d3 mortal wounds on a 2+. You are legally allowed to use this ability and noone will stop you.
8- Slaughter Triumphant– +1 attack to every Blades of Khorne unit. Very powerful, and it does stack if you somehow have 16 blood tithe and still need to kill stuff. Still, you know what also gets you lots of attacks for 8 Blood Tithe? 20 Bloodletters.
The other side of the tithe, Blades of Khorne can summon. Summoning is an extremely powerful mechanic in Age of Sigmar, and really lets you grind down your opponent with waves of bodies. It does have the downside that you have to buy more models, and also more red paint, but bargains with demons are rarely painless.
You have a lot of options when summoning, but generally you can narrow your options down to a few to save decision fatigue mid game.
Units can be summoned wholly within 8 inches of a Blades of Khorne Hero, and wholly within 16 inches of a Skull Altar (That’s massive. A good trick is making sure your Skull Altar is within 15.9in of a couple of objectives for sneaky late game points grabs.)
8 points- 20 Bloodletters. This is a win condition and a crescendo of the game. Summoning in 40 wounds of screaming death is often enough to put the final nail in the coffin. There are matchups that are awful for Blades of Khorne, but playing to this as a plan will give you a shot even when it seems all hope is lost.
5 points- 10 Bloodletters. Imagine 20 Bloodletters, but half as many. This is a good little tempo play where just keeping up pressure or putting a threat somewhere awkward can really force a lot of decisions on your opponent and keep them off balance.
3 points- 5 Flesh Hounds. Flesh Hounds come in, charge with +2 so you just need a 7 on the dice. Fast objective grabbing, extra screens, occasionally kill an injured hero on the charge, and get an extra unbind. Not bad to have in the back pocket. I take 10 to most games just in case.
3 points- Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne. This was better in the old GHB, as summoning another Galletian champion was super powerful. It’s lost a bit of value now, but you’re still summoning a relatively punchy hero who also happens to be a priest. You can select his prayer when he hits the table, so there’s room for a bit of adaptation.He also gets 2 if you’ve bought a spell enhancement which is cool.
Honorable Mention- Bloodthirsters. Sometimes you get 10 points and want to T-Pose on your opponent. This is how you do that in the most efficient manner. It’s not the best thing you can do pretty much ever, but it is a very big flex.
Khorne gets 6 subfactions, 3 focused around mortals, and the other 3 around demons. There’s no restrictions for models taken in these, but they do tend to push you in a certain direction.
Goretide– The prototypical angry lads in red armour. This is where Khorgus Kul comes from, and in a thematic throwback the Goretide wants you to drive your foes before you etc. If your Bloodbound units are on an objective you don’t control, or are fighting an enemy unit that’s wholly within enemy territory they get +1 to wound. This is a nice buff, as a lot of the mortals wound on 4’s, and improving that by 1 is big game. The awkwardness comes from the requirement. A lot of the time this buff just isn’t active, and that’s sad pandas for the red gang.
Skullfiend Tribe– If your Bloodbound unit charges on an 8+ on the dice, it gets strikes first. This is great, lets you do an Idoneth Deepkin impersonation, except your units aren’t made of paper and you can do it whenever you’re charging. Just a single unit making it in on an 8 results in you striking with 2 before the opponent gets a go, and often you’ll find that you only really care about a couple of units you’ve charged anyway. There’s a few ways of cooking the books to get access to more reliable 8’s, from 3d6 charges and a banner which lets you reroll charges. This is probably the best mortal subfaction in a vacuum, while also being reasonably non-committal and not forcing you into any direction of unit choices. Battleline Skullreapers is also convenient for listbuilding.
The Flayed– In the combat phase, your Bloodbound get a 5+ ward after they’ve fought. This is a good ability on big blocks of Blood Warriors and Mighty Skullcrushers, really juicing up their durability, and forcing an interesting subgame of activation order. It’s also a lot more powerful on the charge if you’re able to engineer that. A nice niche benefit of The Flayed is that it adds a bit of power to the Trial of Skulls battle tactic we’ll talk about later. This tactic can force you to over-extend a little bit on early turns, so having a 5+ ward for the crackback can make the difference between a winning trade and a losing one.
Reapers of Vengeance– The most generically powerful and always on buff from the subfactions, RoV is the first of the Demon centric subfactions. It gives your demons a static +1 to hit against enemy heroes, while also rewarding you for taking their skulls with an extra Blood tithe. This is the reason it’s the best generic. It’s already good to kill heroes, and you get extra dopamine/money for doing so. Opening up a secondary strategy where you really lean into taking out all the heroes is powerful and can give you multiple avenues to success. If you get a bit behind early game but delete all their heroes and have a thousand Blood Tithe you’re going to jump way ahead on your timeline for summoning and really bury the game. It can also be tricky to keep the blood flowing against elite durable armies with lots of heroes, and this offsets that somewhat. There’s also cool tech, like Skullcannons mowing down heroes at +1 to hit, and finishing off a hero with a Brass Skull Meteor for effectively 1 Blood Tithe. Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage also loves this, as any source of +1 to hit for a dude that hits on 4’s base is good times.
Bloodlords– So I heard you like Bloodletters? If you want to field endless legions of Bloodletters and really play aggressive ABC Khorne look no further. Bloodletters get mortals on 5’s as well as 6’s on the charge. Makes them great bunker busters, and on average adds about 5-10 damage on the charge.
Baleful Lords– Your Bloodthirsters always fight on top bracket. But not Skarbrand because that would be terrible for Skarbrand. This is good if you’re packing 3+ thirsters, and particularly the Boomthirster benefits from this as he brackets most severely of the 3. The other two actually have very friendly brackets, so Reapers will often be more valuable for them. This overall doesn’t do quite enough for a subfaction choice, unless you’re running 2 Boomthirsters.
It’s not magic if a god did it.
The prayer lore of Khorne is fantastic, and is another reason this book has such brilliant flexibility. A popular choice for enhancements is the prayer lore enhancement, and if that’s the first time you heard that existed, I don’t blame you, it was a shock to me too.
All Priests of Khorne get to choose one of these, and the enhancement lets you double dip. There’s also some interesting prayers on warscrolls, which gives real depth and nuance to list building. You can gain a real edge on certain matchups just by choosing the right loadouts for your priests.
Blood Sacrifice– 4+. A way of generating extra blood tithe. If you’re running 3 priests (you probably should be), this should be the first prayer you add. It gives you access to early murderlust if you have to go first, and gets the timer ticking early. You can also take Magore’s Fiends, and sacrifice Riptooth on turn 1 (electing to not take his wards) so if you roll a 3+ on the d3 for the mortals, you get 2 Blood tithe, unlocking an auto unbind on turn 1. Powerful. Sacrifice your friends.
Bloodbind– 3+. Point at a unit within 16 of the caster and scream GET OVER HERE. They have to move 8inches directly towards the caster and can enter combat. You can pull screens out of position, line up charges that were hard otherwise, pull stuff right into combat and then activate Apoplectic Fury, the possibilities end where your imagination does. This is one of the prayers that gives you a real edge in certain matchups. What if those Immortis Guard protecting that lil bone wizard were suddenly 8 inches away from him? Hmmmm. What if that Mega Gargant was suddenly not on that objective this turn? Hmmmm.
Bronzed Flesh- 3+. Mystic Shield is great, this is great. Really good on our beefier units like Blood Warriors and Skullcrushers to send their saves into the stratosphere, and really good on Bloodthirsters when paired with All Out Defence and Finest Hour to take a lickin’ and keep on kickin’.
Killer Instinct- 3+. Red really does go faster. This lets a unit wholly within 16 of the caster make a normal move in the Hero Phase. This is crazy, and part of our EXTREME SPEED package. This gives Bloodthirsters a minimum threat range of 26 inches, and you can still Murderlust afterwards, letting you really get up close and personal on turn one. You can also combine this with the other prayers to get wonky angles for Bloodbind, or just move your priests into range for their key prayers. This prayer makes Khorne the best army to enable Curse. Food for thought.
Unholy Flames– 4+ MORE REND. Add a rend to your melee weapons. Bloodthirsters love moving into that 3 rend sweet spot, and even the unassuming Bloodreaver can put out some serious hurt with this extra little bit of juice.
Witchbane Curse– 4+. The most niche prayer in the book, this one picks a wizard VISIBLE (no range) to the chanter, and gives it a debuff of -1 to casting. On top of this, if the wizard has the silly idea of failing to cast a spell, well. Then they take d3 mortal wounds. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. This stacks really nicely with Hexgorger Skulls to make casting very unappealing, but as with skulls, it’s not good into every army. The new GHB does make it much better, so maybe if you play into a lot of wizards, give this a try and see how it treats you.
Judgements of Khorne
Our endless prayers!
We have access to 3, and each is eminently playable. Importantly, the Skull Altar doubles the range of the chant, and then they all move immediately after being placed, so consider the threat range from the Skull Altar as 24 inches, or 16 from a priest who’s not currently residing in a pile of bones.
The big hidden power of Invocations is the size of the base. A Invocation perched on the front face of an objective makes it super tricky for units to get a toe on, with correct placement they can totally jam up chokepoints in terrain, and if deployed in front of a unit you don’t want charged they can seriously limit enemy models getting in effectively. Good placement of Invocations and knowing when to do which is part of the mastery of Khorne.
Hexgorger Skulls– The two menacing skulls of doom. Our anti wizard tech piece, this makes wizards within 8 of either of the skulls -2 to cast, and if they are lucky enough to roll an unmodified 8 on the dice, the skulls explode and deal d6 mortals to all wizards in range. This is serious damage, and can dissuade casters from having a go at unnecessary spells. With Chronomantic Cogs no longer giving rerolls to casting, and a lot more wizards in the meta, the stocks for Hexgorgers are at their peak.
Wrath Axe- My personal crutch and favorite warscroll in the book, this menacing apparition floats around the battlefield chasing targets and generally being annoying. Each unit it passes over takes d3 mortals on a 2+, and then at the end of all that, you pick a unit and on a 2-5 that unit takes another d3. If you roll the BIG 6, they take d6 and the Axe is sated. This is a really annoying thing for a lot of armies to deal with. Invocations cannot be interacted with if you don’t have priests, and over the course of a couple turns the axe will kill most foot heros and seriously chip down big monsters. In a recent game against Gargants I got 20 mortal wounds out of it, and thats probably one of its least useful matchups.
Bleeding Icon- This denies Inspiring Presence within 8, and also makes extra flee if they do fail the battleshock. There’s certain matchups this is fantastic into, and if you’re running Skull Cannons, it really gains a lot of value. A lot of armies pay this little heed, with Death running rampant at the top tables, but if battleshock is a relevant factor in your meta, Bleeding Icon really swings it in our favor.
Embodiment of Wrath- On a 2+, resurrect d3 Bloodletters to EACH unit wholly within 16in of this general. This is a lot of potential wounds back per turn. Obviously good, but only if you’re leaning into Bloodletters.
Favored of Khorne- Start the game with a Blood Tithe. This is a bit of a medium option, as it’s not as impactful as the others available. However, if you’re in a meta where you ABSOLUTELY must have access to an auto unbind on turn 1, this and Blood Sacrifice is the way to do it. Maybe better now we’re in Wizard Land.
Firebrand- The creme de la creme so far. Making a demon (Bloodthirster) a priest unlocks an absolute smorgasbord of options for your army. Extremely powerful, generically good in all situations, this is the benchmark for the others to compete with.
Unrelenting Hunter– An interesting trait, if you fought in the combat phase and stayed within 3 you get to pile in again(not attack). If you killed everything nearby, you get to make a normal move or attempt to charge. This gives you serious movement tech, allowing your smashy unit to swan off and threaten someone else, or even just wiggle round and tag another unit that stayed just out of range, locking down their movement.
Diabolical Purpose– +1 damage for your general as long as they’re targetting a hero. This is a difficult one to bring to bear, as our heroes are not the killiest. They’re decent, but can be outclassed, particularly as we have none riding monsters. Mostly the problem with this is going to be getting it on target. +1 damage is serious though.
Barbarian Lord– Dogs, Dog cosplayers and naked folks get +1 to run and charge while wholly within 16 of the general. Not great, most of the heroes that can hold this are going to get left behind, and the units this empowers are chaff rather than something to build a strategy round. This does give dogs a serious charge bonus however, getting them up to a mighty +3.
Lord of the Gorechosen- +1 attack to all melee weapons of friendly Gorechosen. You can build a little deathball of Skullgrinders and Deathbringers and roll around pretending you’re Fyreslayers and you can get some serious damage out of them. If that’s what you want to do, then this is probably great. The problem is really that the leader slot is so taxed in Khorne. If we had access to a non-hero Gorechosen, this would be seriously worth thinking about.
High Priest of Khorne- Give this to a priest, and make them a double chant priest. That’s pretty good, and much better if you take the spell enhancement, or any invocations. Only problem is that Firebrand kind of outclasses this. Getting an extra priest is generally better than getting a single higher quality priest, mainly because our mortal priests are on 5+ saves and die quite fast.
Mark of the Bloodreaper– 4+ mortal wound ward. Really good against some armies, kinda bad against others. A little too specific to be great value, especially when weighed against the other options. In metas where there’s lots of Kruleboyz, Seraphon and Tzeentch or other mortal wound spam, this is going to make your Bloodthirster functionally untargetable.
Ar’Gath- the King of Blades– On the face of it, fairly unassuming. Turning off wards in a 3’’ bubble around a Bloodthirster base however is a gigantic area. Then you consider that against certain armies this is a 33% damage increase for all of your units, it starts to look good. Then you remember that units relying on wards like Gotrek go down like a sack of potatoes once you turn their ward off, and Ar’gath starts to look like an auto include. There is just such an enormous representation of wards in the competitive meta right now that what might have been a fairly niche artefact this time last year becomes close to an auto pick.
Halo of Blood- Strikes first on a demon. Fantastic. Really interesting on Bloodthirsters and Bloodmaster for different reasons. On a Bloodthirster you get a unit that can be much more aggressive, charging into the side of the enemy army and being assured you’re going to get minimum 2 activations out of it, even if they charge something powerful in. On a Bloodmaster you get a really cool little bundle. Set up your Bloodmaster in the middle of a block of Bloodletters, and use his chain activate so that if an enemy unit gets stuck in, you strike first with both the Bloodmaster and the Bloodletters before the charger gets a go.
Skullshard Mantle– 3+ Spell Ignore rather than a 5+. Not bad if you’re all in on the Bloodthirster plan and there’s a lot of debuffs in your meta. Otherwise, it’s a little bit too niche to be taken generically.
Blood Rune– If your hero did wounds to another hero or monster, and is still on the board, you get an extra Blood Tithe. This is good, but realistically is going to trigger at most once a game. If your foot hero didn’t get pasted by the thing it’s fighting. Quite niche, not great.
Banner of Blood– Bloodsecrator banner now gives rerolls to charges wholly within 16inches. This is great, and is almost an auto-include in Skullfiend Tribe to give you more bites at the 8+. If you’re charging, being better at charging is always going to be good. The effect is a little outclassed by the Unfettered Fury’s 3d6 charge, but why not both?
Crimson Plate– 5+ ward on a mortal hero. Definitely not bad, and you can build a couple of the heroes into serious combat threats. The Mighty Lord of Khorne and The Mighty Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut both like this quite a lot.
Gorecleaver– +1 rend and 6’s are mortals in addition. Another way you can really turn a hero into a serious melee damage threat. As always, delivery is the problem for melee heroes, but this makes them really pack a punch when they get there. There’s a Gorechosen build in the book somewhere and this is surely part of it.
Overall, the Demon artefacts are a bit more out and out powerful, partly due to the effects, but also just having artefacts on a Bloodthirster is better power multiplication and lets you play with them for longer. Halo and Ar’gath are the two that are easiest to slot into any given build, but you can make a good argument for a fair number of them, including the Mortal ones. With a prayer enhancement also being such high value to Khorne, Warlord battalions are very interesting choices.
Battalions- The Blades of Khorne book comes with a single, weirdly niche battalion for your viewing pleasure. Accepting a minimum of 5 Gorechosen heroes, (max of 8 but that’s not legal in matched play), and giving you both Unified and Magnificent, this is a peculiar one. Gorechosen units are our leaders, and I do suspect there’s a fairly decent build where you spend lots of enhancements and buffs on making one of them into a superhero, but generally you’re going to want to ignore this in favor of either getting low drops, or squeezing in 6 heroes to rep the double warlord for ALL THE SHINIES.
The Blood Legions March– Summon a Demon unit every turn after the first. Basically you need to generate 12 Blood Tithe over the course of the game minimum, and spend it specifically on summoning, telegraphing your plan in advance and limiting your budget to take it into account. It’s good, in that you have total control over whether you do it, but it does warp your gameplay slightly- C
Bring Me a Worthy Skull- Very thematic, extremely cool. Ask your opponent to pick a Hero, then kill the hero while stopping your general from dying. Obviously spooky to pick at a comp setting, due to the enemy getting quite a lot of ways to interact with it, it’s probably not for tournaments. Sometimes they’re just gonna have an Archaon. D
Reap the Blood Tithe– Similar to the first one, this time you have to spend your Blood Tithe on a reward in every battle round. The hang up here is that you cannot do the same one twice. That’s very awkward, particularly with Murderlust being so important to our plans. F
Disciples of Carnage– The one everyone hates to see in their battletome, “Do only our Battle Tactics. You can only fail one”. This is pretty tough to do, being that you basically need to be killing units every turn to realistically score this. F
As with all other books, we won’t rate these individually since their value relies on if the situation comes up, and you can make that judgment call when the time comes. The big weakness of a lot of these is how aggressive you need to be. This is thematic and on brand, but fundamentally, most Khorne lists will be quite control oriented.
Blood for the Altar– Pick 1 unit within 8 of your Skull Altar and kill it. Maybe gives your opponent a bit of pause before they go for the Turn 1 YOLO, but maybe not. If not, kill something and remember Eye for an Eye fondly.
Slay the Sorcerer– Pick a Wizard and get ‘em ded. Generally quite simple, if you can do it, do it- killing wizards is good. Skull Cannons, Wrath Axe and Brass Skull Meteor all get the job done. If you’re in Reapers of Vengeance this one is particularly enticing- Skull Cannons hitting on 2’s are an absolute menace, and all your demons getting juiced up to kill the little nerd makes it a lot more reliable.
The Trial of Skulls– Weirdly, this has been a tricky one to score. Some opponents you will be totally incapable of scoring this against, and others you won’t be able to help yourself. Skarbrand does this deterministically against 1 wound units, which is nice. Otherwise, you probably need to commit something pretty punchy.
No Cowards Among Us– Hehe ‘mogus. Get all Blades of Khorne units within 8 of enemy units. Generally a tough one to call until late game. Your priests at the back can be a limiting factor, and if you’re summoning, you’re praying for the dice to come up right. Still, once a lot of stuff has died this is often a freebie, think turn 4 or 5. Not that sus really.
Leave None Standing– Pick a unit that’s within 3 of an enemy, have it fight in combat, and be outside of 3 at the end of the turn. Actually somewhat challenging, and you probably need to engineer this one. A lot of our units don’t like being in protracted combats, and the ones that do often can’t punch their way out alone. Teamwork makes the dream work.
The Battlefield Runs Red– 4 or more units get destroyed in a turn. This sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. Charging in scraps of Bloodreaver units, killing a couple of screens and job’s a goodun. This isn’t the kind of Battle Tactic you build into your gameplan at the start of the tournament, but when you see the opening, grab it with both hands. 4 Blood Tithe and 2 VP is rarely bad, and if you don’t want to lose your precious units, you could even consider how Skullfiend Tribe lets you fight in multiple spots on the map while taking a minimum amount of punching back.
I want to take a different approach with unit choices, instead of listing off every unit, many which don’t have a ton to talk about, I’ve broken up the units into sections based roughly into what role they’ll play in a list. It’s generally good to get a solid mix of these to be able to adapt to multiple situations, but your local meta may require leaning more on one than another.
Most armies will require a way of getting enemy models dead, whether that’s through violence, spell nonsense or shooty. We are firmly in the camp of option one for our true hammers.
Skarbrand– The premium, S tier, A list father of bloodshed. This guy is who you call when you simply, absolutely, positively must kill something. As long as it’s not turn 1. With a deceptively small base, explosive movement with Killer Instinct and a 3d6 charge, Skarbrand isn’t like most monsters. He is simple to screen, easy to get on target, and once he’s there he’s ripping and tearing. 8 mortal wounds guaranteed, and 8 more attacks at a truly elite profile will kill all but the absolute tankiest units in the game. Load him up with an extra rend, maybe a cheeky couple extra attacks, and sit back and watch the fireworks. If he has a weakness, it’s that he can be screened out, and if they do manage to bog him down such that he fights both rounds of turn 2, you can lose out a bit of damage on turn 3. Careful shepherding can mitigate this just fine though.
Bloodletters– These guys only really attain the title “hammer” once you plug them into Bloodlords in my eyes. Mortal wounds on 6s(improving to 5’s on the charge in Bloodlords), a little bit of rend and a decent profile, with 2 attacks each, along with some serious durability to chip damage makes for a great battleline unit. They’re well supported in the book, and you can choose to build around them, or just have them as a 360pt unit to act independently. Once you start adding extra attacks they really start to sing- with their 2in range, 80 attacks with help from Wrathmongers and Bloodsecrator will put most units in the dirt, and they’re wound dense enough to hang around to get another bite at the apple.
Skullreapers– Point for point, these guys are extremely similar to Bloodletters. A bit more damage in the comparison with their mortal wounds in addition rather than ending the sequence, and they’re a bit more durable per model. Access to a 4 + rally is a nice upside, and listbuilding is convenient if you plug them into Skullfiend Tribe to get them to strike first on the charge. A solid unit, they’ve seen some competitive success but at 380points they’re really competing with Skarbrand. If you need to kill stuff with volume damage, like Nighthaunt or Coalesced Seraphon these are worth considering.
Honorable mentions- Ogroid Theridons, Splintered Fang and Varanguard from Slaves to Darkness are all quite nice as disposable hammers that you can use to trade pieces. Ogroids and Splintered Fang are great to perch on an objective behind a screen and ask your opponent exactly how badly they want that objective, while being cheap enough you can throw them in and not worry too much about them dying in return. Varanguard are a nice addition to Khorne due to our relative lack of durable units that also have a good return punch. Being able to win a fight on a flank and threaten the opponent’s side has good value. Just remember that Allies don’t benefit from any of the goodies Khorne gives us, which can be a little awkward.
While Hammers do the heavy lifting, a scalpel is a precision tool. Applied to the right point and in the correct manner, these can cut the heart out of an army.
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage- This might be a little bit of a contentious placement, but the Boomthirster is much better suited to hero hunting and going after high priority targets, rather than getting stuck into the battlelines and duking it out. Boomthirster LOVES Reapers of Vengeance for the +1 to hit against heroes. The speed of a 12in fly paired with his truly meaty d3+3 damage dice makes him perfect for seeking out a cluster of innocent wizards or support heroes and absolutely pasting them. The boom is the icing on the top, and probably shouldn’t be counted on. You will find that often enemies will play a bit weirdly to account for the boom though, which is another hidden benefit to this guy. 4’s to hit basic means that unless he’s fighting against a monster, and ideally a hero at the same time, his damage is wildly swingy. Once you get over that, and maybe juice him up with some extra attacks, he can really earn his money back. Stick the Halo of Blood on him, and Boomthirster becomes a real thorn in the opponent’s side.
Skullcannons- 140 points for 4 shots, hitting on 3’s base, wounding on 3’s base, with 2 rend and d3 damage. That is a great deal. They can access 2’s to hit against heroes from Reapers of Vengeance, 2’s to wound from the Bloodmaster prayer, and if they kill a model in melee they get to shoot again. If you’re familiar with how Kruleboyz Bolt Boyz operate, you’ve got a decent idea of the Skullcannon. Putting damage in awkward places with a 24in threat range, pairing with Wrath Axe and Brass Skull Meteor to finish off heroes, maiming screens to open up charge opportunities, the Skullcannon is a versatile tool to have access to.
Absorbing charges, holding objectives, bogging down enemy units, anvils are just as much a threat as hammers.
Blood Warriors- The mortal half of the army is definitively the tanky half, and the premium anvil is the Blood Warrior. They do a little bit of damage back in combat, but that 3+ save with access to +1 from Bronzed Flesh, along with 2 wounds per is just a mountain of meat to chew through. Not much can take off a unit of Blood Warriors in one turn, and if they do, there’s a lot of hurt coming back at them. Gorefists make 6’s to save reflect mortal wounds, and each Warrior chopped down in melee get to make 2 murder rolls. Important to note, now the rules say that the unit leader can take the Gore Glaive, which is where basically all of the unit’s damage comes from, so he should definitely hold that.
Mighty Skullcrushers- When this book was released, everyone did a spit take and gasped at the natural 2+ save of the Mighty Skullcrusher. Fast for a Khorne unit, and extremely resilient to non-mortal wound based damage, these guys are great at exploding off the start line and getting in your opponents face, forcing them to fight their way through 15 or 30 wounds of 2+ save that’s also very resilient to magical damage. If mortal wounds aren’t a big deal in your meta, perhaps a lot of Slaanesh and Slaves to Darkness, these guys enable a powerful turn one pinning strategy that buys you time to get established on the objectives and follow up with a second wave. They do fold quite quickly to mortal wounds, so if there’s a lot of that, you may want to test it and see what you think.
Successful lists run screens. Why spend hundreds and hundreds of points on a dedicated anvil, when you could spend half as much on naked idiots who stand in the way, eat a charge and then die? You know Khorne loves it when things die. Screens have extra extra value when Murderlust enters the equation. Having lots of units to get all over the place and clog up enemy units without forcing our big squishy stuff to be locked in there with them is a lot of value.
Blood Reavers– The prototypical, naked, screaming, Khorne worshipping salt of the earth. 80 points for 10 models that explode on death. Battleline, cheap as chips, fairly fast with a 6in move, what’s not to love. They do a little bit of damage back, and having a pip of rend makes it so it’s at least worth rolling the dice, but these guys have 2 jobs in Khorne. Their first job is to stand at the front, and the second job is to stand on circles if nothing charges into them. Good, solid, this is what you should start every list with 3 of, then tweak to taste once you know how much your interesting units cost. They can also do some solid damage. Pop Unholy Flames and an extra attack on them for a cheap disposable unit that will often trade up. Fear the Reaver.
Claws of Karanak– Imagine Blood Reavers, except they get a 6in pre-game move. That’s pretty good, and they’re Battleline too! Really interesting inclusion for building space against armies that want to hit you on turn one and keep you off objectives, and can also make extra space to protect the goodies in your list from short ranged shooting armies, like Kharadron Overlords and Slaanesh.
Flesh Hounds– A really good option as a screen, particularly as we’re off to the land of the wizards for this GHB. The extra unbind is sneaky powerful, especially with their speed and access to primal dice. If they manage to not die to a charge, then they can get out on a flank and harass backline threats quite nicely, or zip between objectives. Also a really nice target for Murderlust pinning on turn 1, with a maximum threat range of 22in + whatever you roll on Murderlust!
In most Blades of Khorne lists, 3-4 priests are a necessity. The prayer lore is extremely powerful and flexible, and once you have a few games under your belt you will identify what prayers you simply can’t live without, and adjust your prayer loadout to compensate. For me, it’s Killer Instinct, Blood Bind and Blood Sacrifce, so I want a minimum of 3 priests. In other lists, Unholy Flames and Curse are indispensable.
Slaughterpriest– An unbind, a cloth shirt and a d6 mortal wound prayer. A nice default option to go with, the unbind is valuable in this season, while the d6 mortal wounds can do a great job of dealing with impertinent threats that approach your backline.
Realmgore Ritualist- Previously our cheapest option in the priestly category, now Realmgore Ritualist is the same price as our other priests, and for good reason. A great warscroll ability to buff up your Bloodbound scrapping over the midboard, paired with a powerful warscroll prayer to take the teeth out of enemy threats makes Realmgore an easy 1 of inclusion for most lists that want Bloodbound units.
Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne– In the same way you’re normally going to take Realmgore in Bloodbound lists, Bloodmaster is an easy include for demon focused lists. The prayer to grant the rare +1 to wound buff against a single target is great for focus fire, and his chain activations with Bloodletters is enough to propel him to almost spam tier in Bloodlords lists. 3 Bloodmasters is not an uncommon sight, and the fact that he’s nicely fighty makes him a perfect inclusion for delivering the prayers that need to be up close and personal.
Herald of Khorne on Bloodthrone- Keep this one short and sweet. He fights, he has a lot of wounds, and he supports Bloodletters. If you are running lots of Bloodletters, he’s great. Otherwise, steer clear.
Dromm, Wounder of Worlds(and Gang)- Dromm is a lot more viable now that Galletian Veterans aren’t crowding him out. Coming along with an extra unit for the Tithe, Dromm is our most durable priest(until you give a Bloodthirster Firebrand). That is a virtue on its own, and his warscroll spell can help with chipping away at hard targets. If you want a priest that doesn’t fall over the moment an enemy looks at them funny, this is worth giving a try.
Sort of an Everything Else bucket, Khorne doesn’t rely on synergies and combos as much as other armies, but there’s some nice little value pieces that can plug into lists to great effect. Often fill out the last 300ish points of your armies with some combination of these.
Valkia the Bloody- Well, no new model for Valkia yet, but she’s still a solid hero hunter. With a threat range of 24+ charge on turn one, a decently fighty profile and fairly tanky, she can go out and be a nuisance in the backlines with Finest Hour and her 5+ ward. Her deployment from the sky also has a lot of value on those spread out battle plans, where she can appear in the absolute most awkward place possible, forcing your opponent to devote a lot of headspace to figuring out exactly where she’s going to end up.
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury- If there’s an auto include unit in the Blades of Khorne army, this is it. While he’s probably not quite at auto-include status, the UF thirster is an insanely high value tech piece. Decent damage, a durable body, fast, can be a priest, debuffs enemy attacks and makes charges infinitely more reliable. A hell of a package. This is also a key reason that Blades of Khorne summons are so impactful on the turn they appear. You can chant Killer Instinct, move this badass 12in, then go another 12in for movement, deploy the summons 8in away from that AND THEN 3d6 CHARGE THEM IN for extremely reliable delivery. That is functionally boardwide summons. Fantastic. S++++
Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster- The Bloodthirster that makes other Bloodthirsters better. A bit more of a niche pick, as you only really want him if you’re heavily investing in the Bloodthirster plan. Stick a Halo of Blood on him, take 2 Wrath of Khornes and 2 other thirsters and laugh as you get to activate 4(!) Bloodthirsters before your opponent gets a go. He also has great damage with a much less swingy profile, and the extra Command point every round is always nice to have. Solid.
Bloodsecrator- This guy is a great value include. +1 attacks on all units board wide is a really brilliant activated ability and then stapling on the 4+ rally to support a unit of Blood Warriors or Skullreapers is chef’s kiss. Very easy to slot into lists, and a lot will want him for the go turn to make sure they kill what they hit. He also is respectably fighty, with a 3+ save and 5 damage 2 attacks.
Bloodstoker– Unfortunately not brave enough to whip a Bloodthirster, Bloodstoker is great for getting your mortal units up and in your opponents grill early. The mortal wound is so rare as to be ignorable, and a unit of Blood Warriors or Mighty Skullcrushers surging up the board can be a real disincentive for battle regiment armies to give us first.
Wrathmongers- A big circle of +1 attack. Really good if you can fit them in, they are great for juicing up multiple units to get things dead. +1 attack is extremely impactful on our big bricks of units, and having such a huge footprint helps get it on target. Don’t be afraid to Murderlust or use the 3d6 charge from Unfettered to get them to where you need to be. They also double as a screen in a pinch.
A couple of random little units that don’t really fit in anywhere else but can add interesting elements to your list.
Skulltaker- A super juiced up Bloodmaster with a bounty on every hero’s head, Skulltaker is an interesting inclusion. He’s super durable with a 4+ ward, and his combat profile is especially scary against heroes. He has a cool little defensive utility, as his ability to challenge a hero and gain strike first even in the enemy combat phase should give pause to enemies charging in recklessly. Particularly against hero hammer armies like Ogors, Skulltaker has a chance to really maim whatever comes for him before they get to hit. A durable hero to operate on their own is also just a nice tool to play with.
Skarr Bloodwrath- Mr BloodTithe himself, Skarr has one job in life, and that is to die. Repeatedly. If you’ve played with Skarr, drop in the comments what the most Blood Tithe you’ve gotten off him in one game is. My personal best is 4. He’s really nice to fill out a Warlord battalion, and just generally is a great way to fill up that last awkward 110 points when you’ve got enough priests. Fringe side benefit is he makes Wrathmongers explode twice. One day I’m going to run a Goretide list with Korghos Khul and Skarr and have 3 Murder Rolls per Wrathmonger. It’ll be glorious.
Korghus Khul– The Lord of the Goretide. Korgus is basically a nuclear deterrent. You come over here with a unit you need? Best believe it’s going in the Axe. If he does damage to a model and it survives, on a 5+, that model is slain. Manifest the 5+. Now that he can walk around with units and not be shot off, he’s a lot more resilient and can get where he needs to be.
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut- A pretty anemic combat profile, but with a 2+ save and a mortal wound ward, the main reason you run this guy is because you want to play Mighty Skullcrushers as Battleline. Call Forth the Brass Stampede!
Wizards as Allies
So as much as it pains me, this season battle tactics might force some shrewd Khorne players into playing a wizard to unlock a free battle tactic on turn 1. Read this as though I’m whispering while wearing a greatcoat and we’re talking in a back alley somewhere downtown.
Be’lakor, The Dark Master- The best model in Warhammer history, and entirely possibly the daddy of Andtor. This guy is an extremely powerful include on his warscroll ability alone. Add into the fact that you get a fast flyer that can help with Surround and Destroy, and also can deploy back out of 30in to be proof against unbinds to score Magical Dominance. Putting Mystic Shield and Bronzed Flesh on a unit of Blood Warriors is just saucy too.
Theddra and the Godsworn Hunt– A cheap wizard who brings her own little Blood Tithe dispenser, the goal here is to score a battle tactic on turn 1. Weirdly enough, her spell is basically the same as Be’lakor’s warscroll spell, so if you want that, this is a cheaper way of getting it. She will also randomly cast on a 10+ sometimes and be a double caster/unbinder, which is pretty cool. (Primal dice don’t count for this)
Zarshia Bittersoul and Khagra’s Reavers– Kinda the same as Theddra, this time you get a teleport and a unit of Chosen-lite to teleport 24in away. Pretty good if you just need to snag an objective, but can’t be relied on for battle tactics against a fair number of opponents. Primal dice favor the unbinder and Zarshia gets no inbuilt bonuses. 3 models that count as 3 with a 3+ save and 9 wounds is definitely not terrible if you can put them somewhere awkard.
Festus the Leechlord– Same general principle for inclusion as the above, we’re interested mainly in Festus for his warscroll spell. Strolling along next to a unit and stripping down armour saves is great, if you can get the spell off. Patching up a Bloodthirster or a wounded hero is also quite nice.
Khorne, at least going off competitive results for the last couple of months, has 3 major archetypes of build. That’s not to say there is a locked build, nor is it to say that you can only play within these 3. However, these archetypes are what have been successful so far, so I’ll talk about what goes into them and their rough game plan, along with some of the choices made.
The Bloodthirster List
Gareth Thomas over on AoS Coach’s preview video called this shot right as the book came out, and while it has probably the least number of results, it still exists as a competitive entity and has some serious teeth (it’s also the list I have the most games on). Basically you load up with a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury, and then your choice of 2 or maybe 3 other Bloodthirsters. While the BT’s aren’t out and out the god’s of battle that you might expect, they are plenty punchy, and can combine to do some serious damage. Often you’ll see Skarbrand alongside a Boomthirster, for a couple of precision tools that can cut the heart out of an army. The Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster is also a great choice in that slot. Stick the Halo of Blood on him and chuckle as you activate 4 Bloodthirsters on the charge before your opponent gets to activate 1 unit.
This army plays as a bit of a switch hitter. Against very aggressive armies you can castle up behind screens and let them exhaust themselves against your naked dudes and dogs, then counterpunch with a devastating turn of activations. Skarbrand especially wants to be counterpunching, partly due to his speed, and partly due to the fact he needs a little time to really get going. Against armies that want to play slow and defensive, you have the tools to spread the battle and get in their face. Castle armies need to think long and hard about whether they want to hold hands against a Boomthirster.
The Bones- about 900 points of assorted Bloodthirsters. If you go above 2, you can’t get double Warlord anymore, but if you go less are you really Bloodthirstering?
200-300 points of priests- Unholy Flames, Blood Sacrifice, Bloodbind and Killer Instinct are all really powerful options to have available. Extra rend pushes a Bloodthirster into the Serious Damage Zone, and Killer Instinct empowers extremely explosive play.
Minimum 240 points of screens, maybe 300 if you like the extra speed and unbinds the dogs get you.
Season to taste- you will often have about 500-600 points somewhat unassigned, perhaps a little bit less if you’re into 4 Bloodthirsters. As a general principle, more bodies is more good. Units like Magore’s Fiends, Garrek’s Reavers, potentially some Mighty Skullcrushers and honestly a lot of others can all find their way in, depending on what you’re expecting to need to deal with.
The Bloodletter List
Perhaps the most “builds itself” list. You’re going to go Bloodlords (or maybe Reapers of Vengeance, but probably not).
2-3 Bloodmasters are an extremely strong include, when you’re running multiple blocks of Bloodletters, this allows you to play around with activation order, while also getting access to more prayers.
40+ Bloodletters, in some configuration. Either 1×20 and 2×10 to round out battleline on their own, or 2×20. These are the meat and potatoes of this list archetype. Durable, big footprint, good fighty blocks of Red that do serious damage on the charge. It is important to orchestrate that charge, so a few screens also don’t go amiss. 5+ saves still die relatively quickly if mishandled.
Herald of Khorne on Bloodthrone- We don’t always see this guy in every Bloodlords list, but it’s a relatively durable and fighty priest, with a warscroll prayer that keeps your Bloodletter blocks topped up.
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury with Firebrand- This guy has been a competitive staple and the closest thing to an auto include that exists in the book as it currently stands. 3d6 charge makes your Bloodletter block extremely reliable while also empowering your summons to reliably make the 9in charge. Access to prayers is great and helps pad out the inventory. A little sprinkle on the top next to the cherry, is the big bubble of -1 to hit and a bit of incidental chip damage at the end of combat.
Again, depending on your choices you’re likely to have around 400 points floating, and can decide on some screens, invocations, extra heroes or whatever else takes your fancy or fits your meta.
The Mortal Control List
The most diverse and successful of the 3 archetypes, the Mortal Control list is hard to define. Paintforthepaintgod(Konstantinos Koilos) took this to a 5-0 on the first weekend of our book being legal, and many have followed suit.
This list is a control list in the sense that a lot of them lean into the durability, body saturation and objective control that Khorne’s allegiance ability enables so well. Have lots of units, use Murderlust effectively, play to keep control of objectives and deny battle tactics when the opportunity arises. Buff stacking allows even slightly pillow fisted units like Blood Warriors to grind enemy units down, and the tempo you can get from getting in the opponents face with Murderlusted Bloodreavers and Mighty Skullcrushers can overwhelm their ability to get back on in time.
3-4 Priests- The core of the list, Killer Instinct enables otherwise slow units to take space and buy time for the rest of the list to catch up. The other buffs and Invocations force your opponent to make a lot of difficult decisions with positioning and planning.
A brick or two of 380 ish points. 2×20 Blood Warriors, 10 Skullreapers, MSU Blood Warriors, 2×3 Mighty Skull Crushers. All have seen success, though the Blood Warriors have been most successful overall. 40 Wounds on a 3+ save, often with Bronzed Flesh and All Out Defence is a tricky damage check to overcome, and once you do, well they explode and you take an average of 13 damage in mortal wounds, not to mention Gorefists reflecting mortals. A brick of Blood Warriors is a prickly problem to deal with in a reasonable timeframe.
Subfaction wise, you can play Skullfiend Tribe and lean into charging and messing around with combat timings, The Flayed and do the same thing just more defensively, and Reapers of Vengeance to just get more mileage out of your Blood Tithe. As the book has worn on, Reapers seems to be growing in popularity, but both of the others are plenty playable.
Competitive Lists(points correct at time of event)
Gareth Thomas – 2nd Place at LoonShine Noches, May 21st 2023 (5-0)
Gareth's List - Click to Expand Allegiance: Khorne Leaders Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster (330)* Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (330)** Skarbrand (380) Slaughterpriest (110)* Ritualist (100)* Skarr Bloodwrath (100) ** Battleline 5 x Flesh Hounds (100)** 5 x Flesh Hounds (100)** 5 x Flesh Hounds (100)** Units 3 x Mighty Skullcrushers (200) * Endless Spells & Invocations Wrath-Axe (70) Bleeding Icon (40) Core Battalions *Warlord **Battle Reg Additional Enhancements Prayer Total: 1960 / 2000 Reinforced Units: 0 / 4 Allies: 0 / 400 Drops: 6
– Slaughterhost: Reapers of Vengeance (+1 to hit against Heroes. Hero kills give +1 tithe)
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Charge
– Artefact: Strike First
– Command Trait: Priest
– Prayer: Move in hero phase (3+)
– Prayer: +1 rend (4+)
– Prayer: Blood Sacrifice (4+)
– Prayer: Bloodbind (3+)
– Tunnel Master
– Prayer: +1 save (3+)
– Prayer: Heal (3+)
Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster (330)*
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (330)**
Skarr Bloodwrath (100) **
5 x Flesh Hounds (100)**
5 x Flesh Hounds (100)**
5 x Flesh Hounds (100)**
3 x Mighty Skullcrushers (200) *
Endless Spells & Invocations
Bleeding Icon (40)
Total: 1960 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
This list is a triple Bloodthirster, looking to take advantage of the Halo of Blood + Wrath of Khorne ability to chain activate with the Unfettered Fury. The Unfettered Fury lends a little tankyness to the somewhat squishy Bloodthirsters. Skarbrand is a threatening counter punch and is something the opponent has to track and play around religiously. Killer Instinct is a force multiplier, allowing the Bloodthirsters to make splash plays and threaten backline targets, and the Invocations add that little bit of extra damage against infantry based armies to push the Bloodthirsters over the line. In a meta where BoC and Gitz were well represented, the Icon in particular shines.
Rory Carter- 2nd place at Quest of Champions Heat 3 (4-1)
Rory's List - Click to Expand – Army Subfaction: Bloodlords – Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs – Triumphs: Indomitable LEADER 1 x Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (330) 1 1 x Bloodmaster (110) 1 1 x Bloodsecrator (110) 1 1 x Bloodmaster (110) 2 1 x Bloodmaster (110) 2 1 x Herald of Khorne on Blood Throne (160) 2 BATTLELINE 10 x Bloodreavers (80) 1 10 x Bloodreavers (80) 2 20 x Bloodletters (360) 3 10 x Bloodletters (180) 3 10 x Bloodletters (180) 3 INVOCATION 1 x Bleeding Icon (40) OTHER 5 x Wrathmongers (140) 3 CORE BATTALIONS: 1 Warlord 2 Warlord 3 Galletian Veterans Faction Terrain – Skull Altar TOTAL POINTS: (1990/2000)
– Command Traits: Firebrand
– Artefacts: Ar’gath, the King of Blades
– Prayers: Heal, Bloodbind
– Artefacts: Halo of Blood
– Prayers: Unholy Flames, Killer Instinct
– Aspects of the Champion: Tunnel Master
– Prayers: Bronzed Flesh, Killer Instinct
– Prayers: Bronzed Flesh, Killer Instinct
– Prayers: Killer Instinct, Blood Sacrifice
– Army Subfaction: Bloodlords
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Indomitable
1 x Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (330) 1
1 x Bloodmaster (110) 1
1 x Bloodsecrator (110) 1
1 x Bloodmaster (110) 2
1 x Bloodmaster (110) 2
1 x Herald of Khorne on Blood Throne (160) 2
10 x Bloodreavers (80) 1
10 x Bloodreavers (80) 2
20 x Bloodletters (360) 3
10 x Bloodletters (180) 3
10 x Bloodletters (180) 3
1 x Bleeding Icon (40)
5 x Wrathmongers (140) 3
3 Galletian Veterans
Faction Terrain – Skull Altar
TOTAL POINTS: (1990/2000)
Rory took 2nd at Quest of Champions Heat 3 with this Bloodlords Bloodletter build. Funnily enough, Khorne took 1, 2 and 3 at this event, but I highlight this build as it’s a great example of a strong Bloodlords loadout. Unsurprisingly, we see the Unfetterd Fury make a comeback, with it’s suite of brilliant tools to help make the game smoother.
40 Bloodletters make up the core of the army, in 1×20, 2×10, adding in some screens to engineer profitable charges. 2×10 Bloodletters are nice little low investment threats that can really punch up and make activations awkward while also threatening damage in more than one place on the board.
5 priests serve up as much buffing and utility as you can handle, while the Bloodmasters cover the entire board in potential double activations.
What I really like about Rory’s list that distinguishes it from others, is the easy access to multiple sources of +1 attack. The Bloodsecrator gives it out boardwide to all units, while the Wrathmongers follow the big block of Bloodletters. 80 attacks is an awful lot more than 40, and really makes sure that you can get through what you need to. A nice trick is to use the 3d6 charge on the Wrathmongers to catch them up with units that might be charging off and using Killer Instinct, making sure your buffs stay where you need them.
Vladislav Tursov, 2nd place at Alpine Major GT (5-0)
Vladislav's List - Click to Expand – Slaughterhost: Reapers of Vengeance LEADERS UNITS ENDLESS SPELLS & INVOCATIONS CORE BATTALIONS ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS
– Grand Strategy: The Day is Ours!
– Triumphs: Indomitable
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (330)**
– Command Trait: Firebrand
– Artefact: A’rgath the King of Blades
– Prayer: Bloodbind
– Prayer: Killer Instinct
– Prayer: Killer Instinct
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Realmgore Ritualist (100)**
– Prayer: Blood Sacrifice
– Prayer: Witchbane Curse
Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne (110)*
– Prayer: Bronzed Flesh
– Prayer: Unholy Flames
– Aspect of the Champion: Tunnel Master
Be Lakor, the Dark Master (355)*
30 × Blood Warriors (570)**
– Goreaxe & Gorefist
– 3 × Goreglaives
10 x Bloodreavers (80)**
– Reaver Blades
8 x Claws of Karanak (100)**
Hexgorger Skulls (50)
Bleeding Icon (40)
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
– Slaughterhost: Reapers of Vengeance
ENDLESS SPELLS & INVOCATIONS
Fresh off a great performance at the AoS Worlds Singles event, Vladislav brought a Be’lakor variant of the Mortal Control archetype. Illustrating the generic power of Reapers of Vengeance even with only 2 units in the list that can take advantage of the +1 to hit, Vladislav’s goal with this list is to sit on objectives and force the opponent to move him. 30 Blood Warriors with defensive buffs is the core of the army.
Be’lakor takes the teeth out of a hammer or to deny a battle tactic while also being a fast moving unit to react to situation, and really meshes well with Blades of Khornes ability to just mess up your opponents plans at every juncture.
Witchbane Orb and Hexgorger Skulls are silver bullets to deal with magical armies, and Bleeding Icon both lets you cover avenues with the base, limiting charge coverage, but also breaks the symmetry of grinding fights, lending the Blood Warriors some effective damage.
The Blades of Khorne are amongst the highest skill armies, while also having the tools to make mistakes less painful and smooth out the whole game experience. The model line is holding up extremely well, and red is a really nice colour to paint.(Other colours are available)
There are few armies that will reward time investment and practice like Blades of Khorne, and the satisfaction of outplaying your opponent with a band of screaming naked hooligans will never grow old. Skulls for the Skull Throne, Mr Bond.