The demands of the Blood God have brought me back, so let's take a look at the codex!
I know it's been a while since I've looked at a codex for you guys, but rather than spending a lot of time getting into all that, let's look at this new codex.
Now Khorne Daemonkin is an interesting book as it's the first time in a number of years that the Chaos forces have regrouped into a single book, only this time it's with the theme of a single chaos god. If this a sign to come for the other Chaos Gods (and perhaps Chaos Unbound), or a test book, or perhaps just a cheap cash in to get Khorne some love (and help push the new Bloodthirster) I can't be sure of yet, but we'll see soon enough.
That musing aside, what does this book bring? The short answer is not much new.
To simplify this 120 page codex I'm going to give a very brief summary of the changes of the things that were carried over from the Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marine codexes, as well as the Bloodthirster rules from the White Dwarf. But before we can get into those, let's look at the core rules for the army. And just a small preface to the rules: the Warp Storm table is out, the Chaos Space Marine gifts and challenges rules are gone, and the Daemonic Instability rule is gone.
- Blood for the Blood God!: Every unit in the book has this rule. The Blood Tithe rule that was all over the place before the release. The sort version is if a unit with the Blood for the Blood rule is completely destroyed, or destroys an enemy unit you gain a Blood Tithe point. You also gain Blood Tithe points if a character with this rule kills, or is killed by, another character in a challenge. Blood Tithe points are spent at the start of your turn, and when you spend any of them the rest go away (in other words, you're only getting 1 result option per turn). You can spend them on the following things:
- Infernal Contempt: All friendly models with the Blood for the Blood God! rule have the Adamantium Will until the start of your next turn.
- Insatiable Bloodlust: All friendly models with the Blood for the Blood God! rule have the Furious Charge and Rage special rule until the start of your next turn.
- Unstoppable Ferocity: All friendly models with the Blood for the Blood God! rule have the have the Feel No Pain special rule until the start of your next turn.
- Apocalyptic Fury: All friendly models with the Blood for the Blood God! rule add 1 to their Attack characteristic until the start of your next turn.
- Daemontide: A unit of either 8 Bloodthirsters or 5 Flesh Hounds (controlling player's choice) is summoned within 12" of a friendly unit with the Blood of the Blood God! rule
- Harbingers of Blood and Brass: A unit consisting of 3 Bloodcrushers or a Skull Cannon is summoned within 12" of a friendly unit with the Blood for the Blood God! rule
- Dark Apotheosis: Choose a friendly character with the Blood for the Blood God! rule who doesn't have the Daemon of Khorne rule. That model must take a leadership test, if they fail they turn into a Spawn, if they passed they're a Daemon Prince with all the same Artefacts of Slaughter or Warlord traits the character may have had. This doesn't trigger Slaw the Warlord if it was your Warlord.
- Fury Unbound: Same as above but failure means death and passing turns the character into a Bloodthirster of Unbound Fury.
- Icon of War: Warlord and all friendly units in 12" with Blood for the Blood God! rule re-roll failed charge rolls.
- Disciple of Khorne: Warlord has the Zealot rule
- Arch-slaughterer: Increase the Warlord's attack characteristic by 1
- Favoured by Khorne: Warlord generates an extra Blood Tithe point each time they slay an enemy character in a challenge.
- Butcher King: Your Warlord has the Preferred Enemy special rule.
- Destined for Glory: Warlord automatically passes the Dark Apotheosis or Fury Unbound Leadership tests if chosen as the character.
- Battle Brothers: Chaos Daemons, Chaos Space Marines
- Allies of Convenience: Necrons, Orks
- Desperate Allies: Dark Eldar, Tau Empire
- Come the Apocalypse: Armies of the Imperium, Eldar, Harlequins, Tyranids
UnitsA lot here, but not a lot of rule changes (other than the ones mentioned earlier):
- Chaos Lord
- Daemon Prince
- Blood Throne
- Skulltaker: Can't purchase Juggernaught
- Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
- Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage
- Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster
- Chaos Cultists
- Chaos Space Marines
- Chaos Terminators
- Blood Crushers
- Chaos Spawn
- Chaos Rhino
- Chaos Bikers
- Flesh Hounds
- Warp Talons
- Chaos Land Raider
- Soul Grinder
- Skull Cannon
Lord of War
- Khorne Lord of Skulls
FormationsYes, formations, the lifeblood of many a codex these days. There are 5 in this book, but the options don't end there. This book comes with it's own version of the Necron Decurion called the Blood Host Detachment which comes with it's own bonuses. To cover the Formations we're going to cover them as they're laid out for the Blood Host, along with the rules and requirements for each as well as the other parts of the Blood Host. The Blood Host comes with it's own rules too:
- Blood Frenzy: At the beginning of each of your turns, before deciding if you will expend Blood Tithe points you automatically generate one additional Blood Tithe point.
- Chosen of Khorne: If the detachment is your Primary Detachment you can re-roll on the Warlord Traits table in Codex: Khorne Daemonkin
- 1 Chaos Lord, Herald, Skulltaker, Bloodthrone, Daemon Prince or Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
- 2-8 units of Chaos Space Marines
- 1-4 units of Possessed
- 0-2 units Chaos Spawn
- 0-2 units of Chaos Cultists
- Chosen of Khorne: If this formation is your Primary Detachment you can re-roll on the Warlord Traits table in Codex: Khorne Daemonkin
- Blood Sacrifice: If a unit of Chaos Cultists in this formation fails a Morale test, you can remove the remaining models in the unit as casualties.
- Boon of Khorne: Each time you expend one or more Blood Tithe points, choose a second result from the Blood Tithe that has a lower value than the first (but not a value over 4). You get this second result in addition to the first until the start of your next turn.
Lord of Slaughter (0-1 per Slaughtercult) (not a Formation)
- 1 Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury, Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage, Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster OR Khorne Lord of Skulls
1-8 of the following:
- 1-4 units of Chaos Terminators
- 2-4 units of Blood Crushers
- Khorne's Chosen Slaughterers: At the start of each fight sub-phase check to see if any units from this formation are outnumbered in combat (the combat has more enemy models than friendly ones). Any models in a unit that is outnumbered in combat adds 1 to their Attacks characteristics until the end of the phase.
- 2-4 units of Raptors
- 1-4 units of Warp Talons
- 0-1 Heldrake
- Fury of Khorne: Units from this formation add +1 to the Strength of any Hammer of Wrath or Vector Strike attacks they make.
- 2-4 units of Chaos Bikers
- 1-4 units of Flesh Hounds
- Move through Cover
- Preferred Enemy (Psykers)
- Run them to Ground!: Flesh Hounds in the formation have Hammer of Wrath, Chaos Bikers have Shred when resolving their Hammer of Wrath attacks
- 1 HQ choice from the following: Herald, Skulltaker, Blood Throne or Daemon Prince
- 2-8 units of Blood Letters
- 1-4 units of Flesh Hounds
- 1-4 units of Bloodcrushers
- 0-4 units of Skull Cannons
- Chosen of Khorne:
- Lord of the Blood Host: If the formation's HQ choice is in Deep Strike reserve, re-roll Reserve Rolls for that unit. Other units from the Formation arriving from Deep Strike Reserve don't scatter if they're placed within 6" of the Formation's HQ, even if they arrived from Deep Strike Reserve during the same turn.
- The Blood Host Unleashed: Enemy units have a -2 Ld penalty when taking Fear tests caused by units from this Formation.
War Engine (not a Formation)
- 1 Helbrute, Defiler, Soul Grinder, Forgefiend, Maulerfiend, or Lord of Skulls
WargearJust one last thing to cover before I give my thoughts and wrap this up, and that's the wargear. I'm not going to cover it all because most of it is the same you've seen before, but there are a few standouts:
- Axe of Khorne: On the Melee Weapons list, and not available to Heralds, Daemon Princes or the new Bloodletters.
- Collar of Khorne: Now a Gift of Khorne (available to Chaos Lords, Daemon Princes, Heralds and Blood Thrones), so yes, your Chaos Lord can take one.
- Loci: With no rule preventing you from putting Heralds in a unit of Daemons these got a bit more useful.
- Banners/Icon: Limited to the Banner of Blood and Icon of Wrath. No generic options for these anymore.
Artefacts:A model may take one of the following:
- The Brazen Rune: Gives Adamantium Will, may be activated 1x per game on your opponent's Psychic phase causing any Psykers in 24" to perils if they try to manifest a psychic power and roll a double. If it's activated, you lose Adamantium Will
- The Skull-helm of Khorne: Chaos Lord only. Bearer has Fear, and everytime the bearers rolls a 6 To Hit they can make an additional attack at the same initiative step (these bonus attacks do not generate extra attacks)
- The Blood-forged Armour: Not available if wearing Terminator Armour. Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince of Khorne. Bearer has a 3+ armour save, Eternal Warrior and Feel no Pain
- Goredrinker: Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince of Khorne only. S+1, AP2, Melee, Unwieldy, Blood Feast. Blood Feast is a rule that has you track the number of unsaved wounds caused by the bearer's Melee attacks (this can include Hammer of Wrath attacks too). For each unsaved Wound caused you look at the chart and apply the appropriate affect (the effects cumulative):
- 0 - No effect.
- 1-2 Add 1 to the bearer's Strength characteristic
- 3-4 The bearer gains Ramapage
- 5-7 Double the bearer's Strength characteristic
- 8+ Melee attacks gain Instant Death
- The Blade of Endless Bloodshed: S: User, AP3, Melee, Deluge of Gore (at the end of any assault the bearer inflicts at least one or more casualties the controlling player generates one Blood Tithe point in addition to any others they generate)
- Kor'lath, the Axe of Ruin: Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince of Khorne only. S: User, AP2, Melee, Specialist Weapon, Caged Fury (the bearer is reduced to 0 wounds, or removed as a casualty place a Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury within 6" of the character. At the end of the controlling player's remaining turns the Bloodthirster loses D3 Wounds, but can take Invulnerable saves against these wounds), Decapitating Blow (To-Wound rolls of a 6 have Instant Death)
Final ThoughtsThe biggest bonuses to these units comes from the formations. Without them they're the same units people have been complaining about for a long time now. The loss of some of the Gifts for Daemons is pretty bad for the Daemons too. The artefacts aren't bad, but they are really limited with models only being allowed access to one period, and Bloodthirsters not allowed to take any of them. To make it worse for the Bloodthirsters, they have no upgrade options at all (not even the Daemonic Gifts that the Daemon codex has).
I do like the lore bits, and the paint schemes aren't bad (the art for showing off the colors is similar in style to the flat colors Necron codex) and I liked the idea of the squad markings being based on different styles of tally marks, stylistic axes, and Khorne symbols because honestly squad markings are something Chaos needed just to make it easier to separate models out.
That said, my personal feelings are mixed but I have some thoughts if you should buy it or not.
- If you play a mono Khorne army and need a way to get some buffs in. Even if you only use a couple of formations on the side this can definitely help put some punch back into your army.
- If the Blood Tithe rule excites you and is a mechanic you really want to use.
- If you're an avid collector.
- If you don't play Chaos Marines, Daemons, or Khorne.
- If you play Crimson Slaughter or Black Legion (as they don't mix with this book)
- If you don't find the Blood Tithe a decent rule to use, or find the loss of options for Daemons a deal breaker.