BLOOD & SKULLS: A Khorne Daemonkin Review, Part 3


Okay, onto covering the last of the brass tacks in the book, the Formations and Detachments. Khorne Daemonkin, like Necrons, brings with it a special Detachment made of of several formations, but with a powerful bonus for building your army within those restrictions. Today I'm going to go over the individual formations, then how they perform in a Blood Host Detachment (their version of the Necron Decurion).




The Slaughtercult is kind of a large core formation, it requires an HQ (can't use the non-standard Blood Thirsters), 2-8 units of troops (no cultists), 1-4 units of possessed, 0-2 cultists, 0-2 spawn. The minimum investment of a unit of possessed is a 150 point tax, but granted, if they make it into combat, they murder faces. The bonuses are that the HQ can re-roll his warlord trait if rolled on the Daemonkin table, pretty standard, you can choose to remove cultists as a casualty if they fail a morale test, which is handy if you need a Blood Point, and finally, when you use the Blood Tithe, you can choose a second result, lower than the first, and only from 1-4, and that applies to all models in this formation.

The Slaughtercult's bonus Blood Tithe is the big part of the formation for sure, effectively meaning that whenever you summon something, you can also give your core units FNP, or some other bonus (I almost always go for FNP). Since this formation is the primary formation required in a Blood Host, you'll have plenty of Blood Tithe points to go around, but outside of a Blood Host, I probably wouldn't take it, as it has a lot of tax and no hard-hitting units to back them up without taking another formation or allied detachment of some sort.

Brazen Onslaught


Taking some of the hardest hitting units in the codex and mashing them up together, the Brazen Onslaught contains 1-4 units of Terminators and 2-4 units of Bloodcrushers. Bloodcrushers hit like a ton of bricks, but lack survivability as I talked about before, and Terminators have survivability,  but aren't particularly fast nor that hard hitting. The formation bonus however amplifies both units damage output, giving them each an extra attack when outnumbered in combat (which is damn near always), meaning that even if 3 Bloodcrushers make it into combat, you're talking 5 WS5 S6 Ap3 attacks per model on the charge! This formation really does pack a solid punch, and I'm really considering trying it out for a while at least to see how much damage I can really do with it. My biggest issue with it is that it's really just a bunch of Elites slots, which aren't hotly contested normally in a Daemonkin army, so while it does make the choices better, it's not really giving you more choices that you'd use when combined with a Combined Arms or other detachment.

Khorne's Bloodstorm


Raptors and Warp Talons, oh my! Sadly, while I like Raptors, having a tax of Warp Talons isn't really making me that excited... It is nice that you're freeing up Fast Attack choices, but overall, I'd rather have a Gorepack any day of the week. Yes, you're getting S5 hammer of wrath and S8 vector strikes on the drake, but I'm not sure if that's enough. It is probably worth noting though that, if you want a Heldrake in a Blood Host, this is the only way to get it. Overall, I really don't care for this formation, though I'll consider giving it a shot just to validate my assumptions, who knows though, maybe S5 A4 Warp Talons will surprise me!



Probably the most important formation in the book, the Gorepack contains 1-4 units of Flesh Hounds and 2-4 units of Chaos Bikes, i.e. the best of both books. In a regular Chaos Marine army, taking this formation effectively means you have 3 more fast attack choices to fill with Spawn or Heldrakes, fantastic! As if just taking them as they were isn't enough, the whole formation gets Move Through Cover, Preferred Enemy (Psykers), and the Hounds get Hammer of Wrath while the bikes get Shred for their Hammer of Wrath attacks. Holy crap, just take this formation already!

Charnel Cohort


The Charnel Cohort is kind of like the Slaughtercult, except with an emphasis on Daemons. You have a mandatory HQ (prince, herald, throne, or Skulltaker), 2-8 units of Bloodletters, 1-4 units of Flesh Hounds, 1-4 units of Blood Crushers, and 0-4 Skull Cannons. The bonus for taking all these daemons is pretty big though... First of all, they all get counter-attack, because who doesn't love more attacks! If this is your primary detachment, your HQ will get to re-roll their warlord trait on the Daemonkin table, just like the Slaughtercult. Because all Daemons cause Fear, and Fear seems to so rarely take effect, fear checks caused by the detachment are at -2 LD, so that might actually happen from time to time! So with those little bonuses aside, lets talk about the big deal. If the formation's HQ is in Deep Strike Reserve, you can re-roll reserve rolls for him, additionally, any unit from this formation that arrives from Deep Strike Reserves will not scatter if placed within 6" of the HQ, even on the SAME turn that he arrived. Holy cow, a homing beacon that works the turn it shows up! If you want to make a nasty threat overload list, taking a Charnel Cohort might actually do the trick, bringing in the HQ and his buddies right away, relatively safely as long as the HQ doesn't mishap, then turn 3, charge!

It might be very troop heavy to take the Charnel Cohort in the Blood Host, but I'd consider it at the very least, and even on it's own with another detachment really wouldn't be that bad.

Blood Host Detachment


So what happens when we put it all together?!

The Blood Host is an army much like the Decurion from Codex: Necrons, it is built around one or more Core Detachments (in this case the Slaughtercult), and allowed 1 additional Command choice (Any of the Bloodthirsters, or a Lord of Skulls), then 1-8 Auxiliary choices (Brazen Onslaught, Khorne's Bloodstorm, Gorepack, Charnel Cohort, War Engine). The War Engine choices consist of a single model from the following: Helbrute, Defiler, Soul Grinder, Forgefiend, Maulerfiend or Lord of Skulls. So, if you build your army within those strict confines, what do you get? Aside from the ubiquitous re-rolling warlord trait, you automatically generate 1 Blood Tithe point every turn, before you spend them, so if you finish with 7 Blood Tithe, you'll have 8 to spend, LOVELY!

So working from a core Slaughtercult means that your army will have some sort of HQ, probably your warlord, usually I prefer a Chaos Lord, though I could see the argument for a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury, but I'm still not sold on Daemon Princes in this army, and a Herald is just too easy to kill for my taste. You'll have at least (and rarely more than) two troops, probably Chaos Marines or Bloodletters, maybe Berserkers if you're feeling fluffy. Finally, at minimum you'll have your mandatory Possessed, which while are expensive and relatively easy to kill, I've actually been impressed with them so far in every game I've played with them... Not enough to buy another unit, or even add more to the existing one, but impressed enough to not feel entirely disappointed by taking them. After these minimum requirements, you're allowed to take up to 2 units of Cultists and/or Spawn. Taking units of single chaos spawn isn't bad as a scoring unit that also hemorrhages Blood Points for your army. Chaos Cultists were so standard with Chaos Marines, it's easy to jump up and take them in this army, but for only 22 points you can upgrade the unit from Cultists to Bloodletters, which feel far more useful to me. The one thing you will absolutely notice missing in most Blood Host armies are Heldrakes, as they are only available through the Khorne's Bloodstorm formation in this army.

After building your core unit, you'll probably end up picking a second formation. 3 Formations is a bit much unless you go totally cheap on your Slaughtercult (might be worth trying a Herald, 2 units of Bloodletters and the requisite Possessed), skip war engines or a Bloodthirster, so I'm not going to get into that just yet. Assuming you want a solid core of Chaos Marines, and a fighty lord of some sort, you'll need want some friends to back you up. The Gorepack is probably the easiest one to just take and assume it'll kick ass, because it will, giving you a ton of fast assault units, I've found that the combination of scouting Flesh Hounds and turbo-boosting bikes, leads to your opponent being quickly overwhelmed, and these units will soak up a majority of your opponents firepower in the first turn. Toss in a Bloodthrister of Insatiate Rage for dealing with super-heavies, and a fist full of Maulerfiends or Soul Grinders, and you're well on your way to shoving models down your opponents throat at an impressive rate.

Sample 1850 List: Fast and Furious 8

Slaughtercult: Chaos Lord: lightning claw, power fist, Juggernaut of Khorne, sigil of corruption 8 Chaos Space Marines: bolt pistols, close combat weapons, in Rhino 8 Chaos Space Marines: bolt pistols, close combat weapons, in Rhino 5 Possessed

Lord of Slaughter: Bloodthirster of Insatiate Rage

Gorepack: 5 Chaos Bikes: 1 meltagun 5 Chaos Bikes: 1 meltagun 5 Flesh Hounds 5 Flesh Hounds 5 Flesh Hounds

War Engines: Maulerfiend: lasher tendrils Maulerfiend: lasher tendrils Maulerfiend

I've made this list to be as fast as possible, the Chaos Marines provide some resilient scoring units, while the rest of the army is so fast that the enemy is forced to not deal with my scoring and instead deal with the models right in their face. Now obviously this isn't the end-all-be-all to playing Khorne Daemonkin, but it's been working well for me so far. Another list I've been wanting to try is this:

Sample 1850 List:

Slaughtercult: Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury 8 Bloodletters 8 Bloodletters 5 Possessed 1 Chaos Spawn

Lord of Slaughter: Bloodthirster of Insatiate Rage

Gorepack: 5 Chaos Bikes: 1 meltagun 5 Chaos Bikes: 1 meltagun 5 Flesh Hounds 5 Flesh Hounds 5 Flesh Hounds

Brazen Onslaught: 5 Chaos Terminators: 4 combi-meltas, 1 chainfist, 3 chain-axes, Aspiring Champion with pair lightning claws 3 Bloodcrushers 3 Bloodcrushers

Similar in vain to the previous list, though potentially harder hitting, giving up the Chaos Marines and Maulerfiends to double down on even more fast, hard-hitting units like the Bloodcrushers. Hopefully the threat of Flesh Hounds on the enemy right away will steal some firepower away from the Bloodcrushers so that they survive to make it into combat.



There seems to be a multitude of ways to run a Blood Host army, aside from my obsession with fast units, you can build an army with multiple Bloodthirsters, up to 8 Soul Grinders, and a host of other, more creative uses of the formations, I'm looking forward to how other people proceed with the Blood Host. Outside the Blood Host, the Gorepack formation is going to get a lot of play with Chaos Marine players, as it gives them the fast assault units they desire, while leaving the Fast Attack slots wide open for Heldrakes, Hell Blades, and even more Spawn or Bikes.