Guide to Codex: Khorne Daemonkin
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
Spoiler: Special Rules
Blood For The Blood God: The core rule of the army, killing an enemy unit with a unit from this codex gets you 1 point, the death of a unit from this codex gives you 1 point, a character from this codex dying gives you 1 point, a character killing an enemy character in a challenge gives you 1 point.
The points cap at 8 and are all expended at once. You can save them up and spend them at the start of your turn to benefit from different effects from the Blood Tithe Table but only one effect can be chosen at a time.
The Blood Tithe Table
1 points gets you army wide Adamantium Will for one turn.
2 points gets you army wide Rage and Furious Charge.
3 points gets you army wide Feel No Pain. Possibly the best buff on this table.
4 points gets you army wide +1 A.
5 points gets you 8 Bloodletters or 5 Flesh Hounds deepstriking within 12" of another of your own units.
6 points gets you 3 Bloodcrushers or 1 Skull Cannon, entering as above.
7 lets you turn one non-daemon character into a Daemon Prince with upgrades on a successful ld check, failure makes a Chaos Spawn. The new unit Deep Strikes within 6" of the previous one.
8 Does the same as above, except success summons a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury, failure kills the character. Enters play the samw way as 7 does.
It is important to note that both 8 and 7 do not give your opponent Slay the Warlord if used on your warlord, the new Daemon Prince/Bloodthirster is now your warlord, keeping the old one's trait, and will award the VP when it dies. If it's a Daemon Prince it still has any artefacts your old warlord possessed. If the character was an Independent Character they still give up a VP for being killed in games that award VPs for destroying enemy units.
Also worth noting that the rules that cause FMCs to enter play swooping when they arrive from DS Reserve don't apply to Daemon Princes and Bloodthirsters summoned from the table as they enter by Deep Strike, but not from Deep Strike Reserve. This may get errata'd later as it differs from how Malefic Daemonology summons FMCs. For now enjoy being able to enter play gliding.
Daemon of Khorne: Furious Charge, Daemon, Hatred (Daemons of Slaanesh), chariots have S7 Hammer of Wrath. All your daemons have this. Furious Charge is nice, but your daemons really need more attacks.
Mark of Khorne: Rage and Counter-attack. All your non-daemons have this.
Skulls for the Skull Throne!: All your characters have to issue and accept challenges. This is basically a waste of time, since no enemy likely to lose to your characters will accept the challenge since if they lose they give you a free blood point.
1) 12" charge distance re-roll aura. Not bad, but Banners of Blood and Icons of Wrath do basically the same thing.
2) Zealot. Which gives Hatred and Fearless. You can get the former from a locus and the latter is already on all your HQs. Re-roll this if you can.
3) +1 A. If there's one thing our HQs don't need, it's more attacks. Re-roll.
4) An extra blood point when you slay an enemy in a challenge. Not a bad trait since more points is always good, but who's going to accept a challenge from you when it'll produce 2 blood points?
5) Preferred Enemy. Re-rolling 1s to hit and to wound? Now that's a nice one. Applies to any unit joined by the warlord as well, so this is possibly the best trait.
6) Auto passing the ld check for 7 and 8 on the Blood Tithe Table.
Chaos Lord: Your basic space marine warlord. Same statline as the chaos marine codex, but with a built in MoK and a 10 point price bump to go with it. It can take terminator armour, jump packs, artefacts, and so on. The best upgrade is probably the Juggernaut, makes for a fast moving hard hitting close combat monster if given the Axe of Khorne and/or and artefact. Throw on a Sigil of Corruption to keep AP3/2 from ruining his day.
Daemon Prince: It's a Daemon of Khorne, can take wings and become a flying monstrous creature and can take a 3+ armour save (You should take both.) Can take artefacts and gifts of Khorne. Not a bad choice, but an expensive one, at the points cost you'll end up at with a fully upgraded one it may be better to just skip straight to a Bloodthirster.
Herald: The budget HQ. Daemon of Khorne. Boasts a higher WS, BS, S and I than the Chaos Lord, but has less attacks and less wounds. Costs a whole 20 points less though. Comes stock with an AP3 weapon. Most importantly it can take Loci of Khorne, which bestow special rules like Hatred, Rage of Adamantium Will. If you're going to take one give it a Juggernaut or Blood Throne. Juggernaut mounted ones should be giving a fast moving unit Hatred, a Blood Throne should be sticking near the main body of your force to spread out the loci's buff, a huge block of Hatred toting chaos bikers of Khorne should mess up anyone's day.
Skulltaker: Unique Herald. 3+ armour and the Eternal Warrior rule make him more durable than his normal kin, and he has a slightly buffed version of their Hellblade. WS, BS and I 9 make him a beast in combat, but he'll bounce off anything with a 2+ save. Causes Instant Death on to wound rolls of 6.
Bloodthirster: The most expensive of your HQs. Daemon of Khorne, flies, comes in three flavours. Has one of the best statlines in the game and an ungodly WS and BS of 10. Cannot take any upgrades.
-Unfettered Fury is the cheapest and is essentially the 'classic' Bloodthirster, has a Lash of Khorne paired with an Axe of Khorne. Serves as your basic big killy monster.
-Insensate Rage comes at 25 points more than the Unfettered Fury, trades out the whip and axe for a Strength D axe that slows it to initiative 1 for pile in and attack purposes. Gets buffed with Rage compared to the UF Bloodthirster. Serves as your tank hunter, can gut super heavies with ease. Provided they can't hit back. Knights, Stompas, Greater Brass Scorpions ,all Super-Heavy Walkers and Gragantuan Monstrous Creatures really, hit before the IR 'thirster and can kill it in one hit. They hit on 5s, but they can get multiple stomp hits any of which can instantly kill it. Stick to hunting non-walker vehicles, non-gargantuan monstrous creatures and characters.
-Wrath of Khorne: another bump of 25 points gets you to this beast. It has an Axe of Khorne, a Bloodflail (a plasma pistol with assault d3), a heavy flamer, Adamantium Will and Hatred (Characters). This is your warlord hunter.
Chaos Cultists: Minimum unit size of 8, which is actually pretty nice. A minimum size unit comes in at just 8 points more than a minimum unit from the chaos marine codex despite the MoK price bump. These are your mass infantry horde unit, which isn't really something you want to do with this army. These guys are slow, weak in combat and have the morale of a guardsman who's been told to give the regiment's ogryn a sponge-bath. If you do take them then just throw a small unit on an objective and leave them there. If they die it's a cheap blood point, if they don't they're holding an objective.
Chaos Space Marines: Minimum unit size of 8, and with these guys that's not a good thing. Say hi to your only source of infantry based ranged firepower. You want melta and plasma guns? This is your only option. They aren't very good as assault units in this army, so if you do want them they're either melta toting anti-tank or a durable equivalent to cultists.
Berzerkers: Minimum unit of 8, but that's not so bad with these guys. With +1 WS, Fearless and Furious Charge compared to Chaos Marines these guys are your best troops unit for getting up in the enemies face and ripping them to shreds. They can take chainaxes to help them kill enemies with a 4+ or worse save, but that shouldn't be necessary. For 30 points throw an Axe of Khorne on their champion for some WS5 S5 at initiative AP2 and watch terminators fold over. Since they're just infantry they need a transport. Land Raiders have the benefit of Assault Ramps, but you've usually got something better to do with the points and the HS slot, so settle on a rhino or footslog onto an objective and wait for the enemy to come to you.
Bloodletters: Minimum unit of 8 (Notice the theme here?) Daemons of Khorne. Cheaper than chaos marines but more expensive than cultists. They have better WS, BS, S and I than cultists (and better WS and BS than Chaos Marines) and are carrying AP3 weapons. Sounds great doesn't it? It is, but they're only T3 and have a 5++ save and have no assault grenades. Oh, and less attacks than every other troops choice. They are Fearless, which helps, but if assaulting into cover they're going to be killed before they can strike.
PossessedDaemonkin Possessed come in at 5 minimum, cost twice as much as a normal Chaos Marine does and roll on Vessels of Chaos table, which is identical to the one from the normal chaos marine codex.
Vessels of Chaos
1) Re-roll failed to wound rolls.
2)AP3 melee attacks.
3) +1A and +1I.
Doesn't sound too good so far does it? Well in all honesty it's not good, even with Fleet they're another slow unit, with no grenades and no guns, they're as bad here as in the marine codex. But there is one small silver lining in this; they have both the Mark of Khorne and the Daemons of Khorne rule here. Rage and Furious Charge on a S5 marine chassis with 2As isn't that bad. If you add a Chaos Lord they get grenades and can attack at I while assaulting cover.
They still aren't great, but 4 WS4 S6 attacks per model isn't too shabby, and you need at least one unit for the Slaughtercult formation, which gives 1 free blood point a turn, which is important for keeping your army alive on the approach and deadly when it reaches the enemy. So try and learn to love them... Or dump a minimum unit in a rhino and move it to anywhere it may do some damage.
Terminators: Minimum unit of 3. These are your heavy armoured marines. You take a normal marine, bump his save to 2+, upgrade his bolter to a combi-bolter and hand him a power weapon and you get these guys. They have the MoK and 2A base for 4 on the charge. They have no grenades, they cost more than possessed, they need a Land Raider to get them close unless you want to risk deep striking them. If you must use them keep them cheap. A trio with powerfists and combi-meltas deep striking to try and kill a few tanks before they die is probably the best use for them.
Bloodcrushers: Daemons of Khorne, minimum unit of 3. Bloodletters riding mechanical daemon rhinos basically. +1T, +1S and +2A compared to normal Bloodletters as well as +2 wounds. They still have the same poor save and cost a lot more though. They're cavalry, so they move very fast, but anything S8 or higher will remove them on a failed save. Lack grenades like all daemons, so assaulting into cover is a problem for them. They're probably one of the better Elite choices, if only because the competition is so poor and they at least have speed on their side. A Chaos Lord on a juggernaut can give them the benefit of assault grenades.
Spoiler: Fast Attack
Here's where the real competition for slots is. Everything in this section is either good or great.
Chaos Spawn: Minimum of 1 per unit, can go up to 5. They're beasts so they move fast and ignore cover. They have Rage and D6A, so you can get a good number of attacks every turn. At S5 T5 with 3 wounds these guys are tough and hit hard. Fearless makes them a good brick. They randomly acquire a 4+ save, 2D6 pick the highest attacks or Poisoned 4+ every turn while in assault. They're very cheap for what they do and make good bunkers for Chaos Lords and Heralds of juggernauts.
Chaos Rhino: Your basic troop transport. Sadly we can't take Dirge Casters like codex chaos marines can, so throw a combi-melta on it and leave it at that. Can be taken as a dedicated transport by all the chaos marine infantry units.
Chaos Bikers: Minimum unit of 3. Chaos Marines on bikes. T5 a combi-bolter, grenades, a pistol and a close combat weapon makes these guys one of the best assault units you'll find in this codex. They're fast, they're tough, and you can give them furious charge and the champion can take an axe for at initiative AP2. They're even modestly priced. Give them meltas for tank hunting and fling them into enemy units and watch the blood points rack up.
Flesh Hounds: Daemons of Khorne. Minimum unit is 5. S4, T4 Beasts with the Scout rule and 2 wounds, these are the fragile little brothers to the Spawn. They have 2+ Deny the Witch and are another good unit for escorting a juggernaut riding HQ.
Raptors: Jump Infantry marines. Minimum is 5, they come stock with a sword and pistol. They can take special guns. Stick with meltaguns for tank hunting and an axe of khorne to hack up 2+ save units. Throw on the Icon of Wrath to give them Furious Charge. They cost slightly less than bikes but are more than slightly inferior, they can jump over terrain which sometimes proves useful, but bikes are more or less better.
Warp Talons: Jump Infantry. Just like the Possessed these guys are Daemons of Khorne now in addition to having the MoK. This does compensate for their main problem, low strength, in the normal chaos marines codex. They come in minimum groups of 5, all of them have dual lightning claws. They force Blind tests on enemies within 6" when they deepstrike and can dish out a lot of S5 AP3 attacks with Shred. Like Possessed and Terminators they lack grenades and cost a lot of points, but at least these guys can reach the enemy without much support. Might make a good bodyguard for a jumplord, but still not really worth their points.
Heldrake: Daemon Engine of Khorne Flier. Has an 5++ and heals itself on a 5+ each of your turns. Other than Bloodthirsters and Daemon Princes this is your only real AA defence. Take 1 or 2 with hades autocannons and let them watch the skies and bust open light tanks for you.
Spoiler: Heavy Support
Oh look, this army does have some guns in it.
Land Raider: It's a big, very expensive brick. All this really has to offer you is Assault Ramps, and you shouldn't be building your army such that you need them. Pass.
Forgefiend: Daemon Engine of Khorne gun platform. Comes stock with two hades autocannons which can be swapped for ectoplasma cannons. It can also take a third ectoplasma. Like the Heldrake it has a 5++ and heals. Use it for busting tanks with autocannons or breaking heavy infantry with plasma cannons. You may want to take one or two just to take out enemy vehicles that pose a threat to your assault units.
Maulerfiend: Daemon Engine of Khorne assault walker. Moves like beasts, comes stock with two powerfists and a pair of magma cutters (meltaguns) that get bonus hits on things in melee with the fiend. Can swap them out for lasher tendrils that reduce the enemies attacks by 2. Stick with the magma cutters. This thing should be eating tanks and buildings not trying to fight infantry or other assault units Has a 5++ and heals like the Forgfiend and Hledrake. Very cheap and fast, always worth considering.
Defiler: Daemon Engine of Khorne artillery/assault walker. 5++ and heals. Costly and rather fragile. It's got far too many weapons too use them all and you're paying for each one. Pass.
Soul Grinder: Daemon of Khorne. Not a Daemon Engine, so it doesn't heal, but it is a vehicle. This is the Defiler's better brother. Much cheaper, lacks the medley of weapons but can be customised to do what you need it to do. It's even got better armour than the Defiler. Comes with Skyfire, but on an inferior gun to the Heldrake's hades autocannon. Still worth bringing in a bare bones one for AA defence, or an upgraded one for anti-tank/anti-infantry.
Helbrute: Cheap, but slow, fragile, unreliable and ultimately not that good at it's job. If you're going to take them pick up the Helbrute dataslate and field them as part of one of the formations from that.
Skull Cannon: Daemon of Khorne. You know how I've been complaining about the lack of grenades in this entire thing? This guy removes that problem. It has a S8 AP5 large blast that causes any units struck by it to treat any daemonkin unit that assaults them in the ensuing assault phase as if they have assault grenades. This is fantastic of course, and it's a good choice for any army. It's cheap, it covers up a weak spot and it can heal itself by ramming people.
Spoiler: Lord of War
Lord of Skulls: I'll just sum it up as overcosted and leave it at that. Take some extra Bloodthirsters instead.
These are all one per model, so no stacking up effects on one guy.
: It's a +1S AP2 weapon with Unwieldy and Blood Feast. Blood Feast gives stacking benefits as you inflict more wounds with the weapon.
5-7) Double the wielders's strength
8+) Instant Death
This isn't a bad weapon for a Daemon Prince but Unwieldy hurts Chaos Lords too much.
The Blood-Forged Armour
: 3+ armour, Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain. Not bad. Stick it on a juggerlord and give them an Axe of Khorne. Alternatively put it on a Daemon Prince, it's 30 points more than Warp Forged Armour is making it proportionally cheaper for a prince than a lord by 20 points.
The Brazen Rune
: Bestows Adamantium Will. Once per game you can give it up for the rest of the game to cause enemy psykers to perils on any roll of a double while manifesting psychic powers for one psychic phase.
The Blade of Endless Bloodshed
: It's a powersword that gives you 1 bonus blood point if it's bearer killed one or more models during the assault phase. This seems to work even if the bearer doesn't use the sword, but it's still best given to Daemon Prince for AP2 attacks. More blood points are always nice, so consider this when equipping your HQs.
The Skull-Helm of Khorne
: 6s to hit generate a bonus attack. These bonus attacks cannot generate more attacks. Not too bad for a lord and no one else can take it.
Kor'Lath, the Axe of Ruin
: It's an Axe of Khorne that turns your model into a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury upon death. At the end of each of your turns the Bloodthirster takes D3 wounds, without cover or armour saves allowed. Not a bad weapon, but trying to DS a Bloodthirster right next to a fight is a big risk because of scatter. The axe isn't too expensive though, and it might be worth it just for the look on your opponent's face when they kill your juggerlord only to create a Bloodthirster.
You're battle brothers with Daemon and Chaos Marines. You may want to take them as allies for psykers. While it's unfluffy as hell there's no actual rule stopping you from benefiting from psychic powers and Biomancy/Telepathy are helpful for surviving to reach assault. In general though allies should be avoided. They don't contribute to the Bloodtithe rule and if you're playing this army it's so you can summon Bloodthirsters and avoid shooting stuff, allies can't help much with the former and can't help you at all with the latter.
Daemonkin can make a decent ally for other armies, since the Bloodtithe table still works when they aren't the primary detachment. It only affects Daemonkin units, but that doesn't stop you from using it to summon extra daemon units onto the battlefield.