Khorne Daemonkin: Trying the Blood Host Detachment

I’m not sure why but I’m always a bit slow to the take when it comes to changes in Warhammer 40K. When allies were introduced years ago I barely touched them despite thinking it was a great idea, when not done all cheesy anyway. The big change-up with 7th edition 40K is detachments and formations and I’ve been slow to adjust to the idea. So, instead of again finding myself literally years behind the curve, I’m going to learn to embrace the change. Sticking to the old ways has not done me any favors, so why cling to them?

The big thing with Khorne Daemonkin is the Blood Host detachment, IE: Decurion style. It’s a detachment composed of formations. Previously the only formation I used was the Helbrute one, which makes the idea of creating a list out of formations a bit foreign to me. This is also where the restrictions come in to play I’ve mentioned. You can just take a unit because you like it, you have to take a formation that has that unit and now you’re spending more points than you wanted to get that unit on the field. What I’ve decided to do is look at this less like a restriction and more as a very focused list with bonuses. What I’ve been doing isn’t working and so it’s hard to see the Blood Host as restrictive when going non-restrictive hasn’t helped me any.

I’m still building up units I need for formations I want, so my choices are limited here. What I’ve decided to try in a 1,500 list is a single Slaughtercult formation with War Engine formations to compose the Blood Host detachment. The Blood Host detachment grants an extra point for the Blood Tithe at the start of each of my turns. The Slaughtercult gets an extra bonus when they spend their points on the Blood Tithe. It can also sacrifice a unit of Cultists if they need to make a morale check: remove the Cultists and gain the point. Basically, I’ll be able to build up points faster and gain more from the points. Like, I could summon something and also get Feel No Pain. I could stack the +1A with Rage and Furious Charge to maximize damage. Lots of really great combinations to play with.

Here’s a list idea I’ve come up with to try out this Wednesday.

Khorne Daemonkin (Blood Host): 1,500pts


  • Soulgore: Chaos Lord – Sigil of Corruption, Juggernaut of Khorne, Melta Bombs, Power Fist, Lightning Claw
  • Possessed (10)
  • Rampage: Berzerkers (10) – Icon of Wrath, Plasma Pistol x 2
    • Skull Champion – Meltabombs, Power Sword
  • Vengeance: Chaos Space Marines (10) – Plasma Gun x 2
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabombs
    • Rhino
  • Redemption: Chaos Space Marines (10) – Meltagun x 2
    • Aspiring Champion – Meltabombs
    • Rhino

War Engine

  • Soulgrinder – Harvester Cannon, Iron Claw, Warp Gaze
  • Maulerfiend – Power Fists x 2, Lasher Tendrils
Blood Host: Khorne Daemonkin
I just love this art from the codex. Probably my favorite.

My idea was to save up to start summoning Bloodletters and/or Hounds (5pts), and then I can still get: +1A, Feel No Pain, Rage & Furious Charge or Adamantium Will as well. The second choice would apply to all but the War Engines. With the +1 point at the start of each of my turns, and knowing how my first turn tends to go, I should be able to start summoning by turn #2. The list lacks any real mobility so the summoning would not only bolster my force but let me get into positions I need to be.

I know Chaos Space Marine squads aren’t the favorite of everyone but it’s really the only place I can get some special weapons in this formation.

I thought about running the minimal sized squad of Possessed for the Blood Host, which is five, to save points to spend elsewhere but I really have nowhere else to spend those points. I could pick up another Helbrute if I did that but I feel having 10 Possessed is the better option considering. The unit has so much potential and after a few games I can get a gauge on an ideal size for the squad.

The real weakness is going to be busting open armor at range but that’s pretty well a given with Khorne. Instead of trying to overcome the weakness I’m just going to embrace it. Once I hit that 12″ range things will go better in that regard and with so many power armored bodies, plus deep striking summoned units, I should get there.

I’m really curious to see how the Blood Host will play out and I’m looking forward to giving it my best shot.

What formations are fellow Khorne players using? Had much luck with the Blood Host?


  • Can’t wait for this bat rep…i think you’ll finally be fully utilizing your blood points, and will really see a surge in performance.

    • I sure hope so. Win, lose or draw I love 40K but I’m getting tired of the lose part lately.

  • Berman

    I’m really surprised you are not using gorepack given past army lists. It gives your chaos bikers move thru cover so no more dangerous terrain checks for moving into or thru terrain. Small formation just 2 bike squads and 1 hound squad.

    • I need to get one more Biker to pull that one off.

  • ming2005

    Hmmm. The problem starts with naming a squad “Redemption”. To be honest and to the point, I think that’s a sign on how you approach the game. Stop it. If you are going to play Khorne, change the squad names to Killers, Torturers, and Destroyers. Your list should be screaming “charging, crazy, frenzied” instead, it’s hide in a box and hope for redemption. Stop that. Play Chaos. Its like I’m saying, if you cannot yell WAAAAAGHH!!!! in public, you should not be playing Orks. Drop the MBs from SoulGore – He has a Fist already – or give him a hammer. Put power axes on the Champions. Screw the Rhinos – you cannot charge out of them – or give them a pintle mounted weapon of doom. Otherwise replace them with drop pods or dreadclaws. Your overall squad tactic would be to destroy the enemy transport and then charge the survivors. Soulgrinder? Who needs to sit in the backfield. Replace it with something that leaves skull piles in its wake. Blood for the Blood God.

    • Well, Redemption is named that way for the fluff. They seek to redeem themselves for having fallen to Chaos. It’s a fluff thing, not a mindset.

      Meltabombs are 5pts and universally useful. I have a hard time finding a good reason to drop them. Power axes put my Champions at I1, not my favorite initiative to be at when you can’t take a hit. Power swords I would consider though. Rhinos are 35pts and offer mobility to go snag an objective quicker than the guys on foot can. The CSM bunker inside them to fire the special weapons; close combat is secondary to them. The Soulgrinder isn’t for back field; that’s why he doesn’t have Phlegm. He’s meant to move, shoot and charge.

      I get what you’re saying though.

      • ming2005

        Chaos play best when designed to be aggressive. And not spread out aggressive either. If you could have some cultists or SMU throw-aways to absorb overwatch would be good too.

        • Agreed. They do best work when going all-in. Learned that the hard way.

  • I love the fact that you use Chaos Space Marines. I always try to get at least one squad in my lists. But I’m not a big fan of melta bombs only for the champ. I get it from a gaming perspective but I like to kit mine more. Ten possessed are a bit much. You drop a lot of points into a kind of frail unit. With ten in the squad they are a big target. Why not split them into two (if possible) or drop a few bodies and buy some cool wargear to other units?

    • With Khorne I’ve really been considering a power sword on Champs. It’s fluffy (kill, main, burn!), and with forced challenges and all it makes sense.

      I can split up the Possessed. At 1,500 points, and with this list, dropping just one Possessed gets me two power swords for the CSM Champs. Beyond that, I can’t think of what other wargear I’m lacking.

      • Combi-weapons on the rhinos could be useful. Too bad you can’t get dirge casters.

        I’d go for one less possessed and power weapons all round.

        • Yeah, I really need to convert some Rhino combi-weapons. It’s really the only reason I don’t use them. With Khorne though, and a distinct lack of fire power, it’s a good idea.

          Agreed on the power weapons.

  • I usually minimize my SlaughterCult (JuggerLord, Possessed, ‘Letters, maybe some Spawn and/or Culties), and then go for a GorePack and as many MaulerFiends as I can fit in. The fast stuff is what I find really makes DK fun.

    I’m still messing around with options for the JuggerLord. There’s no clear choice like the Axe of Blind Fury for CSM. Right now I’m rocking GoreThirster+Axe of Khorne, but I don’t think the I5 AP2 is worth the extra 15 Points over a Power Sword. I’ve also tried Fist/Axe of Khorne and Fist/Lightning Claw, but each feels like it falls a little short somewhere.

    Also, I know it was a typo, but I wish the Fiends did have an option for Laser Tendrils. That would be awesome!

    • Good to hear from another KDK player.

      I also like the fast stuff. It’s usually the best bet we have of getting something into combat. How do you run your Bike squads? You going minimal with double weapons or larger squads?

      I do so miss the Axe of Blind Fury. I’ve tried a handful of combos too and I’m settling on fist and claw. The Axe of Khorne is alright but it’s expensive and only user strength. It’s been invaluable in some games but most of the time it doesn’t do much for me at all. At least fist and claw is reasonable cheap and a good all around setup. It’s not going to mow down a squad on its own though.

      Thanks for catching the typo. Yeah, laser tendrils would be damn awesome.

      • I use my Bikes mostly as suicide Melta. Minimum Units, 2 Meltas and a Combi, sometimes Meltabombs as well.

        I’m liking GoreThirster so far, because all your Attacks add to its tally, not just those made with it, and similarly, the buffs from it apply to your Profile, not just your Attacks with GoreThirster itself. Also, if you transcend into a Daemon Prince, you get to keep your Relics, so you can end up with a S10 Daemon Prince, which is pretty awesome. Just have to pick on a weak Unit somewhere before you get really stuck in, to build up the tally.

        • Noticed that with Gore Thirster. I’ll have to try it out some time on a Lord. On a Prince it’s a no-brainer since he’s not slowed with it.

  • I agree with you on that artwork, it looks ace and I’ve never seen it before.

    Sadly I don’t know much about KDK to give any advice. Looking forward to seeing how a couple of battles with this list play out. Amused you have a single Maulerfiend as you advised me against that idea.

    • KDK got some cool new art in the codex. A few other really good ones I’m sure I’ll use in the future too.

      A single Maulerfiend rarely does what you want. However, I do also have the Soulgrinder so at least it’s not the only threatening walker on the table. I often use the lone Maulerfiend to draw fire, absorb overwatch for other units or just tar pit down something. Having a second one would mean at least one of them could get into something to wreck it but a single one, while not ideal, does have its uses.

      My suggestion to you was based on what I knew you had for an army at the time. As you’re growing big nasty threats, like the Prince and the Helbrutes, a lone Maulerfiend could fit in.

      • Don’t worry I was only ribbing you man :)

  • St3v3

    Hey Thor, another new(ish) KDK player here. I’ve played a few games with the army now and I definitely recommend using the Blood Host. The extra blood point is too good to pass up on. ;) Here is the list I’m currently using at 1500 points:

    Bloodhost detachment


    Terminator Lord, fist, Axe of khorne, combat familiar, Skullhelm- (the familiar’s attacks can proc the helm too as the wording on the familiar is that you just get two extra attacks). I see some people do not like the Axe of Khorne, but one-shotting a monster or a character at I5 before they even get to act is a big deal for me. Sure it doesn’t happen every time but people get nervous knowing that you can do it.

    10x CSM, 2 meltas, rhino – to try an crack open some tanks. Also – Paladins really hate melta for some reason ;)

    10x Bloodletters, Champion, Instrument of chaos – the lord goes here – these guys give him 10 extra wounds with 5++ and a possible feel no pain. If the unit is destroyed you get 2 bloodpoints (1 for the unit and one for the champion)

    5 possessed – minimum as required by the formation

    Brazen onslaught formation

    3x Bloodcrushers, Champion
    3x Bloodcrushers, Champion – one unit can be taken along with the Bloodletters’ instrument. The other starts on the table. Champions are a no-brainer for me – for 5 pts you either get an extra bloodpoint or an extra attack in combat – or both :)

    4x Chaos Terminators, 4 combi-meltas, Chaos Landraider – tank bustin’ suicide squad. Also, surprisingly good at applying pressure as they will mulch any non-CC dedicated squad if they make it in. Kept in reserve and arrive via deepstrike. The land raider starts empty on the table. Turn one – the possessed embark and use it as an assault transport afterwards. I figured – if I am forced to use the unit, might as well make use of it!

    Aux choice:

    Soulgrinder, Phlegm – used for some fire support and assaults

    With this list I’m basically playing CSM++ but I like how it plays so far. I’m still not 100% sure the bloodcrushers are worth it (T4 and 5++) does not last long but I need them to get the terminators and landraider in. What I might do instead is use only the Slaughtercult and then simply take a second normal CAD with whatever I need.

    • I’ve used the Brazen Onslaught before and liked it. The bonus attacks works out really well with those units. Crushers aren’t really worth the points with how easy they die, one S8 shot, but they can be a useful distraction and aren’t totally worthless.

      I like the Skullhelm as well. I think it’s an undervalued piece of wargear.

      There’s so many ways to make a list, which I enjoy. The only thing I’ve been sticking to is keeping it all KDK to maximize blood points. Allying in CSM to get at Oblits is great in theory but then you lose out on those precious blood points. You can stick a KDK HQ with CSM units to get the points but then I fee like I’d be thinning out my threats too much.

      In my test list I ran I did find maximizing the Slaughtercult worked really well. Having all my infantry running around with FNP while I summoned units was great. That’s was always the gamble I had with a CAD, get FNP or summon to reinforce and this way it’s not a question.

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