BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!!!
Khorne is by far the least subtle of the Chaos Gods. The God of Carnage, war, and martial combat, Khorne is also the most honest of the Chaos Gods. While many may see his followers as bloodthirsty, mindless brawlers; they also have a noble savagery. Instead of relying on dirty tricks, a champion of Khorne is far more likely to offer an honorable duel. They will then very honorably chop off your head as an offering to their god. Sadly, they are the weakest on the table top of the four Chaos Gods due to still playing from an 8th edition codex in a 9th edition world. Khorne despises psykers in the lore, so this is reflected in game by barring players from having psykers in a Khorne army. And while Khorne does not forbid ranged combat, almost every army trait is based on melee combat. This leaves you with an army that can feel very one dimensional. While the army is somewhat one-note and there are other 9th edition armies that are better in melee combat, none can match their devilish style!
1 - Blood Thristers
I love big awesome centerpiece models. Khorne Daemons have four different options. There are three variations of Bloodthristers that can be built. Though they all have different weapons, they all sport massive wings and snarling faces. They also are one of the most impressive models, as they are attached to the base by a gout of fire. In addition to the three Bloodthirsters, there is also a named Bloodthrister. Skarbrand is the only named greater daemon that has his own kit, instead of being a variation of the normal greater daemon. With wings tattered by being flung across the galaxy (helpful tip, do not make Khorne mad), this model has two massive axes named Slaughter and Carnage. Skarbrand is as heavy metal as it gets. At time of writing, these models have mostly been looking great on people’s shelves instead of shining on the tabletop. However, my fingers are crossed that when Daemons finally get their 9th edition codex, these massive monsters will become the terrifying killing machines they deserve to be.
2 - Blood Letter Bomb
If you have played very many games of 8th or 9th edition 40k, there is a solid chance you have been on the receiving end of a Blood Letter Bomb. Bloodletters are the troop choice for Khorne Daemons. They can be taken in units from 10 to 30 models. They hit on 3s in melee, but get a bonus to hit if there are more than 20 models in the unit. Khorne Daemons also get an additional strength and attack when they charge. With their massive swords having -3 ap and going to damage 2 on a wound roll of 6, they put out a frankly insane amount of damage. However, the weakness is that blood letters are very easy to kill, being only toughness 3 and a five plus invulnerable save. Luckily, they have one of the most consistent delivery methods in the game. Taking an instrument they get a plus 1 to their charge. Then, a 1 cp upgrade to their banner allows you to roll 3 dice instead of 2 for their charge once per game. Daemons have a stratagem to put any unit into reserve, allowing them to deep strike 9 inches away. The blood letter bomb typically consists of 20 to 30 bloodletters that come out of deep strike and completely delete whatever they hit. Rolling an 8 or better on 3 dice added together is 83.79%, which is increased further by having a Khorne Daemon character nearby, as they allow charge rolls to be rerolled. Extra shoutout to Bel’akor’s army of renown, as it has a teleport spell that can basically sling Bloodletter Bombs at your opponent any turn of the game.
3 - Berzerkers!
Khorne Berzerkers are hands down, the most killy unit in melee in warhammer 40k. Currently, a unit of 5 armed with chainaxes and chainswords, makes 16 str 6, -1 ap, 1 dmg attacks and then an additional 5 attacks at str 5, -1 ap, 1 dmg with the chainswords. Then, they attack again. No stratagem, just, attack again. Then, if you need to, you can use a stratagem to fight a third time! Sadly though, that is not needed. The true downside of the Khorne Berzerker is that few things need the second fight. Because of the charge rules in ninth edition, you can only fight units that you declared a charge against and were able to charge into. This means you can no longer declare units behind the first as you would be unable to charge them and would therefore fail your charge. Fingers crossed this will be fixed when they are updated for 9th edition.
4 - Lord of Skulls
The Khorne Lord of Skulls. If you have not seen the model, please go look it up. It is the most Warhammer model that comes in plastic. The bottom is a tank fronted by a giant skull studded dozer blade. The upper half is a giant robot with a chest cannon, cannon arm, and giant skull studded axe. Not only is the model stupidly hype, it also makes for a fun to play skew list. Two or three of these big bois can really do some damage on the table top.
5 - Forgeworld
So, I was very specific in my last point that Lord of Skulls is the most Warhammer 40k model in ‘plastic’. Forgeworld gives us the amazing Kytan Ravager. Using the top plastic half of the Lord of Skulls, this ups the ante by giving it giant resin legs. Also, this came out before the Chaos Knights, so this is totally where they got the cool reverse bending knees idea. There is also the interesting Blood Slaughterer of Khorne. Super cool model, it feels like what the defiler was meant to be. A whirling dervish of mechanical legs, blades, and a freaking harpoon. And last but certainly not least, is the Brass Scorpion. This thing has everything, giant pincers, a massive tail cannon, and a mouth that shoots fire. Sadly, balancing giant forgeworld models is something that GW struggles with, so at the moment, it is hilariously overcosted points wise. But dang do I want one to paint up and put on my shelf.
6 - Evil Allies
Once again, we are talking about a faction within a super faction. However, since both Khorne Daemons and Khorne aligned Chaos Space Marines are still using 8th edition rules. For that reason, I do feel bad for having their allies be a plus, as most likely, that will go away somewhat once they get their updated codex. However, I personally hope that we will get a combination force, similar to the Bel’akor army of renown. That being said, there are some very sweet Daemon/CSM crossover combos. All of the CSM units that have the Daemon keyword can pick up some great buffs. The aforementioned aura to reroll charges will affect things that definitely want to get stuck in, like Lord Discordants, Maulerfiends, Lord of Skulls, and Kytans. There is a very cool Daemon relic called the Crimson Crown which causes 6s to wound to spawn an additional attack. That is very strong when your 56 point Herald of Khorne is surrounded by 3 Lord of Skulls laying out a billion shots.
7 - Blood For The Blood God!
There is a Citadel technical paint called Blood For the Blood God. It is used to make some very nice and very easy blood effects on models. Now, you can use that on any models, but using it on models dedicated to Khorne gives you plus 20 for style. Khorne models typically look cool. Red and black are always cool and those are the colors of at least 75% of Khorne worshipping models.
8 - Things to Come
Being completely honest, Khorne is definitely in the worst spot of the four Chaos Gods. Other than a few very niche rules and units, there are not a lot of reasons to run pure Khorne. Most likely you will see Khorne models splashed into other lists. However, as I have hopefully shown in this article, Khorne is a super cool faction. So far, every book in 9th edition has been super awesome and incredibly flavorful (I really need to update my Thousand Sons article since they have their new codex). I firmly believe that Khorne will not be let down and will be the true melee blenders they are meant to be. I can’t wait to watch Khorne Berzerkers mulch models and just refuse to die as they are just too angry for that.