Whispers from Khorne

Mark of Khorne!The Daemons of Chaos book is out, and the local store proudly presented the book on its shelves. After a few games on a nearby table, I couldn’t stop glancing at the book. It almost glowed to me. The daemonic whispers echoed in my ears “buy the book! buy the book!”. How can one resist such adorable little voices?

When Dimetrius (it’s his fault really) twittered some thoughts for a small Tzeentch list, I couldn’t stop getting ideas for small lists of my own. With a quick glance at the “one-click” deals from Games-Workshop, I too mused the idea of making small, monotheistic lists, designed for a quick game. After a good read of the Lore, I decided to handle one deity at a time, starting with Khorne.

The core set

Though initially I wanted to use the one-click deal from Games-Workshop, I didn’t like the herald on juggernaut (or its price-tag) idea. On his own, he seemed a bit of a hit or miss depending on my opponent. I could stick him in the unit of Bloodcrushers, but that felt like a waste. The Bloodcrushers are a very able hammer unit in their own right. The Bloodletters felt like the weak point in this setup. Their recent nerf made them less powerful while being more expensive. They retain two dangerous weaknesses:

  • They have good initiative, but not enough against some elite armies… who could very well kill them before they strike back.
  • They lack in numbers of attacks

My own experience against them showed that a bloodletter horde is best handled by lowering the numbers a bit, before smashing it with a unit that has higher initiative, like Corsairs. This will rank up the kills and deal a serious blow to their counter attack. Without counter attack, combat resolution does the rest! And that’s when the unit breaks. A herald will even out the odds, striking first, adding numbers in the attacks which Bloodletters alone can’t give. The killing blow on the blood letters offer some form of protection against enemy characters, trying the same death star tactic.

I waved the one-click deal goodbye but retained the Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers. Having a solid infantry block, a heavy hammer unit, I needed something fast that could offer support or hunting options. I choose to include either Flesh Hounds or Furies.. Or both if the points and wallet would permit me.

The iconic centerpiece.

To make the list stylish, it needs an impressive centerpiece. This could be either a soulgrinder, a daemon prince, or a pair of skull cannons. Each would offer a real tough nut to break for the opposing player, but the lack of upgrades and support would make it quite feasable to keep a level of control for the opposing player. That is quite fine, considering the nature and intent of the lists.

The 600 point lists

To build-up to 1200 points, I’d start with half the size. At this size, though, I find it hard to work with both bloodletters and bloodcurshers… they drain points quite fast!

  • Herald, Lesser Gift, Greater Locus of Fury
  • 13 Bloodletters, Full Command, 7×2 formation, hosting the Herald.
  • 3 Bloodcrushers, musician

This seems like a solid choice, considering the unit choices. The downside is that the Herald needs to be deployed on his own to make the list legal. It seemed the best way to include the bloodcrushers, but it really lacks a unit. I thus mused another list without the bloodcrushers:

  • Herald, Lesser Gift, Greater Locus of Fury
  • 13 Bloodletters, Full Command, 7×2 formation, hosting the Herald.
  • 5 Flesh Hounds
  • 5 Furies

The total cost would boil down to about 110 Euros and offer a small playable list. The list lacks some of the power you’d expect from Khorne, but it has mobility and enough hitting power to have some fun.
Both lists would offer a good build-up to the size I’m really aiming for: 1200 points.

The 1200 point lists

The 1200 point mark permits a solid core block, the support hammer and mobile units… and leave just about enough points for an iconic centerpiece. The core set becomes:

  • Herald, Lesser Gift, Greater Locus of Fury
  • 20 Bloodletters, Full Command, 7×3 formation, hosting the Herald.
  • 3 Bloodcrushers, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 5 Flesh Hounds of Khorne
  • 5 Furies

I can then add, either by preference, or perhaps even randomly if I can permit the cost of it, an icon of Khorne!

Option 1 – The Dark Prince

  • Daemon Prince, Daemon of Khorne, Chaos Amor, Lesser Gift
  • BSB for the Herald

Option 2 – The Soul Grinder

  • Soul Grinder, Daemon of Khorne, Daemonbone Claw
  • Second lesser gift for the Herald
  • War banner for the bloodcrushers. The banner of swiftness moves to the bloodletters.

Option 3 – Chariots of fire

  • Skull Cannon
  • Skull Cannon
  • Second lesser gift for the Herald

I asked the Daemonic Legion for advice and they recommended the final list with the skull cannons. Considering their point cost for the utility, it’s no surprise they gain so much support, but I can’t help having a preference for lists 1 and 2 merely for the iconic centerpiece!

I figured gathering the list would take me roughly two months. That’s enough for a side project, should I want a break from my Dark Elves. But before I venture this way, I will explore other deities first… And work some more on my dark elves.

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