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New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage
Old 14 May 2008, 14:07   #1 (permalink)
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Default New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

I sold my tyranids because, really, playing big bugs wasn't fun. So I have this money to invest into a new army now.

I think I'm settled on Khorne daemons, partly because they're new, partly because I received a Forgeworld Bloodthirster in thanks for painting a friend's army for him, and mostly because I like the new models, especially the juggernauts.

The goal for the army is to be a GT/Adepticon Championship army. But, I've decided that my real goal is to win the best appearance/player's choice award, rather than trying for max battle points.

I got close with my eldar last year at adepticon, with the second-most player's choice votes and a high painting score, but need to do a bit more next year. I think what I needed to include was more conversions (eldar spaceships don't really convert well), and more impressive basing and display.

Bringing me back to Khorne, and the army design principles.

1) The army has to be playable, but it doesn't need to be super-powerful. And, a few known weaknesses are ok, as long as they're not going to cause me to lose every game.

2) The theme is Khorne. Every unit needs to tie into that. While sacred numbers aren't based in the rules, I'm going to try to make multiples of 8 where I can.

3) Units/models with more conversion potential will be given preference over units with less.

4) The army has to work between 1500 and 2000 points. Specifically, there will be lists for 1500, 1750, 1850, and 2000 points. That covers most of the point ranges at tournaments currently running.

With that in mind, I'm going to try brainstorming list ideas here. When they're pretty much designed, I'll move further discussion over to Project Logs.
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Old 14 May 2008, 14:53   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage


At 1500, is a bloodthirster worth the points? I like him with Unholy Might, as that allows him to inflict instant death on most of those foolish enough to fight him, but even without it, 250 is 1/6th of the army points. And S7 is enough to wound almost everything in the game on a 2+. About the only things he'll struggle with are Wraithlords and CTan.

On the other hand, his wings make him better able to maneuver than anything else Khorne is bringing to the table.


A herald with a chariot is a must just for the conversion potential. I actually want to do one with two juggernauts pulling it.

With Daemonic Might, he's wounding most people on 2+ without saves - that's good. Figure one main Herald Bloodthirster model in the chariot w/ sword + whip (Death Strike), and another holding an icon - Or maybe just have the icon mounted to the chariot. Either way, I'd really want the chariot coming down in wave 2, but if it shows up in wave 1, getting an icon on the table seems like a good idea, and a 4 wound 3+/5+ T5 chariot is as likely to survive as anything else

Herald on Juggernaut?
I dunno, without further upgrades, he's 105, compared to 40 for a regular bloodcrusher. For that, what do you get? WS6 instead of 5 doesn't really help that much. Same S, T. +1 I,W,A. Is 65 points worth one wound, one initiative and one attack? When 40 points would get a second bloodcrusher? I think not. I think that, perhaps, the juggernaut mounted herald is overpriced.

Herald on foot?
Well, he's not going to be a solo-operative, so he'll have to join a unit. That means he doesn't need an Icon, as the unit can take one. Iron Hide seems like a must, especially with the rumours for 5th ed. Unholy Might gives him a little more hittyness. That makes quite a respectable unit-based HQ for only 100 points.

What about the special characters?

He's 30 points more than the Unholy Might Bloodthirster. For those 30 points, what do you get, and what are they worth?

a) Breath of Chaos. So he gets a template shooting attack. On a big fast daemon who gets a ton of attacks at high initiative and has a good inv save, I'm not sure this is worth the points it typically costs to get this. Maybe worth 10 points to a bloodthirster.

b) +1 Attack - Let's say this is worth 15 points

c) Instrument of Chaos. 5 Points by the book, but how often do you expect a bloodthirster at WS10 and 6 attacks, rerolling misses to tie combat? And, even if he does, he's still fearless and not likely to be seriously outnumbered. I'd give this a value of 0 points to this character.

d) Rage Embroiled - This is interesting. I'll break evaluating this off into a little box:
Given that, for the most part, Khorne daemons have higher WS than their opponents, who does this re-roll favour? Say I have a unit of 10 bloodletters attacking a unit of 10 assault marines. Each gets 2 attacks. The bloodletters hit on 3+, so normally, they'd land 13.33 hits, but with the re-roll, that goes up to 17.77 hits, an extra 4.44 hits.

Without the re-roll, the bloodletters will kill about 6.5 marines.
With the re-roll, the bloodletters kill about 9 marines!

The assault marines, hitting on 4+, normally get 10 hits, but with the re-roll, they're going to land 15 hits, so they get an extra 5 hits.

Without the re-roll, the marines will kill about 3.3 bloodletters
With it, they'll kill about 5.

6.5 kills for 3.3 deaths or 9 kills for 5 deaths. The re-roll gets you an extra 2.5 kills for an extra 1.6 deaths. So, it would seem that this does benefit the Khorne player.

Where would it be bad? Fighting anything that swings before us. Genestealers, harlequins, scorpions, daemonettes, etc. will all get more use of this power than we will.
It's probably a push. Let's say 0 points

e) Fleet of Big Huge Wings. This probably has some real value. Let's call it 10 points.

So, after accounting for all his special goodies, he's probably worth about the points they ask for him. But 300 for one model is a lot, especially when against some opponents he's actually helping your opponent more than he's helping you.

Thanks, but no thanks. I'll use a normal bloodthirster.


On the other hand, he actually seems well worth it.

Skulltaker can also take options!

So, let's compare:
Skulltaker on Foot w/ Herald on Foot

Skulltaker costs 40 points more than the herald mentioned above. For that, you get:

+1 Attack, +1 WS
Rending on a 4+ with instant kills, at I5!!!! Holy crap is that good. Let's see, you have a wraithlord? BAM, not anymore. Instant kill on a 4+, with 4 chances at it, hitting on 3+ against almost everyone. That's pretty impressive for 40 points.

But, wait, it gets better:
Put him on a Chariot of Khorne.
Now he's only 20 points more expensive than the Chariot listed above. You lose out on the icon, but double his wounds, boost his toughness, and get him yet another attack with that magical rending sword.

Yeah, I like Chariots. You give up IC status, but I'm not sure that being an IC is going to be as valuable in 5th ed as it was in 4th.

I think I'm going to have to build a couple of them, and have one for Skulltaker and one for a normal herald.

So, HQ options:

1) For 1500+ games, Herald in Chariot

2) For 1750+ games, add a Bloodthirster (The difference between 1500 and 1750 is conveniently the price of a Bloodthirster)

3) One other Herald on foot, for when needed/wanted

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Old 14 May 2008, 15:27   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

First off, welcome to the Blood God's service. I share your dedication, brother!

Bloodthirster: This guy is fluffy, not good, but from the perspective of making him as points effective as possible I'd say the only upgrade he wants is the 5pt anti-force weapon one, and even that is just an excuse to model a collar of Khorne on him. He's already s7 with furious charge, so you can already charge SM HQ's and squish them, going up to s8, 9 on charge isn't a huge improvement.

Herald: As you mention, Juggernaught Heralds and foot Heralds aren't terribly good, chariot Herald is where it's at. Ordinarily you shouldn't give your icons to a chariot Herald, since its likely DSing right in the foe's face, but in a Khorne list this is as sturdy as it gets. I'd say make your other normal HQ a Herald of Khorne w/Chariot and Icon.

Skulltaker: He beats the Nightbringer in melee combat! My particular theory of list construction says to exclude him, but for modeling he's got a really cool figure. I'd say he gets a chariot for the same reasons as the Herald (likely the closest model anyway, why not have cheap wounds/stat upgrades?).

Skarbrand: I concur, not worth it, sorry Big Red.
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Old 14 May 2008, 20:14   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

So we're set on Chariots, and maybe a bloodthirster, as HQ options.


Well, this is an easy section. There is one choice, and they're awfully cool.

8 Bloodcrushers - Giving one an icon, that's nearly 350 points.

Has to be eight, cause that's Khorne.

No 'Fury of Khorne' model. If it was an upgrade to a Sgt Bloodthirster, complete with extra wound or attack something, I'd give it a little more weight. Unfortunately, I think most of the unit-upgrade options in the new book aren't really worth it. Give one Bloodcrusher rending with a whole 4 attacks, and it probably won't amount to anything.

Likewise, Instrument of Chaos? I have eight Bloodcrushers, and I'm worried about tying combat? How about no. Lots of power weapon attacks at high WS and S tends to make things very dead. Who am I going to tie combat with? I can see losing outright. Besides, in my book, in an army with no shooting, tying combats and being happily immune to shooting is better than winning and watching your opponent flee, leaving you out in the open. So, no Fury and No Instruments, at least not until we see how many points are left later.

And, again, we find ourselves with but one choice. Bloodletters.

These guys don't have nearly the survivability they did last edition. And, if 5th ed rumours are to be believed, I'm going to have to depend on them to handle any objectives. Not the best situation, but this is the price that the Blood God demands.

Like the bloodcrushers, I'm not wasting points on Fury of Khorne, or Instrument of Chaos, and I probably will bring Icons, because they're SO useful.

The big question here is Unit Size.

Eight of them cost me about 150. Sixteen cost about 280. Any other number is either impossible, or unfluffy.

Maybe two units of sixteen at higher point values, and one sixteen and one eight at 1500.

Fast Attack
Again, there's only one Khorne option, but it's a good one. Flesh Hounds provide the fast units that can get into combat early and tie up (or eliminate) enemy shooting while the bloodletters/crushers are still walking across the field.

I'm almost tempted to run two units of these, I have a feeling that they're going to be that crucial to keeping everyone else alive until they hit combat.

What does he bring to the table that a normal flesh hound does not?

He's got the two useless upgrades previously discussed (rending on a single model, instrument of chaos) He's got +1S, and +1A, which are nice. And brings Move Through Cover to the Unit.

For the price of three other Flesh Hounds. What's better, 6 attacks at S4 (9 at S5 on the charge), with three wounds or 3 attacks at S5 (4 at S6 on the charge) with one wound.

Unless you value the Move Through Cover as worth more than the other three hounds, he's probably not worth it.

On the other hand, he is a way to burn a few extra points while keeping a unit at size 8, so he might see use in some lists.

Heavy Support
OMG! Two options! Choices!

Soul Grinder
Choice one is the only shooting that's likely to make it into the army, so it needs to count.

What are the other daemons going to have the most trouble with? My guess is armour. A Soulgrinder w/ Tongue has a nice anti-tank shot. Seems like he has to be at least one of the choices.

Daemon Princes
Try as I might, I cannot see him being more effective for his cost than something else. On the cheap, he's going to be right around 100 points, with just the +1 attack from the Mark of Khorne. And, that's leaving him without a normal armour save. Adding in a basic 3+ save runs him to 125.

Comparatively, that's the same as eight fleshhounds.

One of the few things the prince has going for him is a high BS, which is wasted in a Khorne army. And, if I buy a Monstrous Creature, I like him to have a little more than S5.

Comparing him to a Chariot Herald with just Might and the Chariot, the Herald is cheaper. Neither can join units, and both can always be picked out as targets. Neither moves faster.

The Prince has a higher WS (but at 6 vs 7, does it really matter?), and BS that won't be used. He's also got one more attack, and gets bonus penetration dice against tanks.

The Herald has higher Strength, wounding MEQs on 2+. He's also got Furious Charge.

I guess it really comes down to whether you prefer the +1A or +1S, as the other stuff is largely irrelevant.

I'd like to convert a daemon prince with wings for the army, because, like the Bloodthirster, it's one of the few ways to get any sort of real mobility in the army, but they're so expensive in the army that I doubt he'd see the field.

Soul Grinders it is.
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Old 14 May 2008, 20:30   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

List ideas, based on above discussion


HQ: Skulltaker in Chariot
Troop: 8 Bloodletters w/ Icon
Troop: 16 Bloodletters w/ Icon
Eilte: 8 Bloodcrushers w/ Icon
Fast: 8 Flesh Hounds
Fast: 8 Flesh Hounds
Heavy: Soul Grinder w/ Tongue
Heavy: Soul Grinder w/ Tongue

Total: 1499

Add 8 more Bloodletters
Add 2nd Herald in Chariot w/ Might & Death Strike (no icon - no points)

1850: - This is the hardest point level to get right, at least with this codex, I think.

Take 1500 list, add Chariot Herald w/ Might only and Bloodthirster

Add Might onto Bloodthirster, and add back the 8 additional bloodletters.

Karanak, unfortunately, doesn't make the cut, points-wise. I don't like how few troops there are at 1850, but at that point level, the odds of running into bigger stuff increases, and I really want to get the Bloodthirster in there.

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Old 14 May 2008, 23:24   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

I like the list so far, I look foward to seeing how they perform (the plan for my demon army is to have around 750 pts. of dedicated Khorne demons for smaller games...)

Only thing I might recommend is more bloodletters. If I saw this army on the battlefield, all I would do is drop the bloodletters. Once those squads are wiped out (24 toughness 4 models, 5+ invulnerable save...? Would drop rather quickly to shooting...) you have no scoring units left (at least udner 5th edition rumors) and the game will automatically come in as a draw, at the best.

Not very competitive if you ask me. I would drop the flesh hounds, or at least one unit, as they aren't anything fantastic. They move faster than the bloodletters, but the bloodletters can ignore armor saves and are scoring. 2 Soul grinders seems rather reptitive, but hey. That would be something I would want to see play tested before messed with. Some more Heralds may be nice, even one 70 pointer/squad.

Bloodcrusher unit looks like a blast to use. I want pictures

Have you any conerns about swarm armies? The power weapons provided by the bloodletters are wasted on a 32 man gaunt squad. You might have a problem with an army like that... Just something to consider.

Project looks interesting, I'm staying tuned in.
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Old 15 May 2008, 02:50   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

Originally Posted by sionnach19
Only thing I might recommend is more bloodletters. If I saw this army on the battlefield, all I would do is drop the bloodletters.
That is a concern. The question, though, is what would you cut to fit them in?

8 blooodletters are (very marginally) more expensive than 8 fleshhounds. The fleshhounds can land 24" away from the opponent and still charge them on turn 2. Bloodletters have not got the resilience to drop down close enough to ensure a turn 2 charge, and cannot reliably take 2 turns of being shot at.

So, the fleshhounds seem vital to me. Something needs to get in there fast and tie things up in combat, both preventing that unit from shooting, and maybe, depending how 5e works out, making a combat that blocks LOS.

8 Fleshhounds charging still get 24 S5 attacks at I5. Maybe they don't ignore armour, but that's a lot of pain. Against MEQs, that's good for about 3 kills.

They don't have to win the game, they have to hold up enemy shooting long enough for the bloodletters and big daemons to get there.

2 Soul grinders seems rather reptitive, but hey. That would be something I would want to see play tested before messed with.
Yeah, I'm a bit concerned about this too. But, At BS3, having two should get me about one S10 hit/turn, and given that it's my only hope against big tanks, they really do need to be there.

Against a horde = I'm playing khorne, do what seems appropriate; hit them in the nose and hope I win. Yeah, the power weapons are probably wasted, but what can you do?
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Old 15 May 2008, 22:14   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

Well, the flesh hounds do seem to fulfill an important role... maybe dropping a soul grinder..? More on this later. It's a tough problem, but still a problem. You can split your hounds into smaller units (3 units of 5, or maybe 2 units of 5...) you still get the speed and ferocity of the hounds, but some more points to beef up your bloodletter squads. Last possibility is to kinda branch away from the fluff but get some min/max units. 6 units of 5 models each in them (maybe one bigger one with an icon or something) Is much more powerful than 2 units of 16. Regardless of the shooty potential of your enemy, he will hopefully not have enough individual shots to deal with all your bloodletters. Plus, if models block line of sight you have some interesting possibilities with that.

As for the soul grinders, I would only take 1 in a 1500 point game and throw the other one in later. Doesn't totally fix your problem but gives you more basic bloodletters at your base 1500. I know they provide some of the only anti-tank you can provide, but it might be better to toally forsake tanks. For instance, if you use no Greater Demons or Soul grinders or Demon Princes, your opponent's 200+ unit of broadsides is basically a waste... The vehicle thing may be a problem, but I think a bloodthirster has the same tank killing ability as a soulgrinder but is more useful over all.

Horde armies shall remain interesting. I think most of your basic bloodletters will die off early on, but your big tough guys (skulltaker, soulgrinders, and bloodthirster) would totally rip them to pieces. Another reason to go with a bloodthirster: More effective against hordes than a soulgrinder might be.

It's all up to you. I recommend playtesting before any significant changes are made.
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Old 15 May 2008, 23:20   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

As well, so far the 5th ed rules are still nothing but rumours. For all we know, the 'troops are only scoring units' was a playtest rule that will be dropped like the really bad idea it is.

Daemons, of any sort, will have problems with objectives otherwise. I supose the nurgle daemons will do ok, but bloodthirsters, horrors and daemonettes are all as expensive as a marine, without nearly the resilience. You need the heavy hitters in order to deal damage, especially against enemy armour/big creatures. I'm not sure there's a really good build in the codex, with the possible exception of an epidimus + 50 nurgling horde. And even that suffers against armour.
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Old 15 May 2008, 23:48   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New army project - Khorne Daemons, design stage

Sounds like a pretty strong list to me

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