Khorne Daemonkin: My Thoughts on the Codex

Now that I have some games under my belt with Khorne Daemonkin, and have had some more time with the codex, I just thought I’d share my thoughts on the codex; something more than a first impression.

The Feel of the Khorne Daemonkin Codex

KhorneMost importantly for me is this codex feels like a Khorne codex. Between the units you can use, the rules for the army and the wargear options, this is a Khorne book. I also really enjoyed the fluff for it. It’s something new, Daemonkin, so I wasn’t sure how they were going to write it up but they did well with it and tied it into “current” events as well.

Blood Tithe

Part of that Khorne feel, as noted, are the rules and wargear. Everyone is familiar with the Blood Tithe by now so no big explanation needed. I love this rule. Even when I’m sacrificing a unit for the sake of a larger strategy I’m still being rewarded for its destruction. I don’t throw away units but something I like with a codex is a reward system. It’s the same reason I enjoy the Chaos Boon table for Chaos Space Marines, there’s a reward. Reward systems are great at creating a certain feel for an army and keeping the games interesting and dynamic.

Artefacts

Artefacts all fit the bill for Khorne. They are fluffy, none of them are bad, and all feel like Khorne artefacts. The change to one artefact a model has become a mainstay of 7th edition. While I’d love to stack some artefacts on one model, the fact I can’t is fine as well. If that means I won’t see the usual jacked up HQs that do everything well in the future then I’ll gladly abide by this change.

Something I found pleasantly surprising was the fact you can get the Collar of Khorne on HQs. The Collar gives you +2 for your Deny the Witch rolls, which of course is very fitting. It’s an item I need to look at using when points are available. It’s not a go-to item for me but a great bonus when the points are there for it. If you then combine this with Adamantium Will from the Blood Tithe you can get yourself a 3+ for Deny the Witch. Situational for sure but not bad at all.

Khorne Daemonkin Berzerker
The psyker didn’t realize the Berzerker had a 3+ Deny the Witch.

Units

The units you have are ones you’d expect out of Khorne. There’s some choices missing, like Kharn or a Juggernaut for Skulltaker, but I don’t feel they hurt the codex any.

Some units were thrown in to help Khorne with its glaring weakness, fire support, but the ones chosen make sense and still keep Khorne firmly in the realm of close combat. You aren’t going to see an effective shooting Khorne list, at least a pure one. While some may see this as a problem, I enjoy it. I play Khorne to get into close combat and decapitate my enemy. When you have an army capable of creating a balanced list then there’s the constant struggle to do just that. With Khorne Daemonkin it’s close combat all the time all day long. My choice isn’t to incorporate some balance into my lists, it’s which units do I feel like killing people with today.

Khorne Daemonkin On the Table

From a gaming perspective, so many small things, and some not so small, make a big impact with Khorne Daemonkin. It’s huge having all Daemons be fearless. My absolute least favorite rule with Daemons is Daemonic Instability. I rarely allied them with my Chaos Space Marines for this reason.

Having HQs finally be able to join their daemonic or human counter-part had to happen with Khorne Daemonkin. Of course things change when you can mix these all together and the potential for abuse isn’t an issue that I can see. They did well to keep that balanced.

Of course there’s the Blood Tithe. The great thing about it, other than being very flavorful, is it allows Khorne Daemonkin to utilize it as needed against a given opponent and/or situation. Using the Adamantium Will ability isn’t something you’re going to do every game, or probably often at all, yet there will be some games where it could make all the difference. Summoning, a very talked about element of the Blood Tithe, is fun and cool but not every game will you find you need to summon. I usually summon when I need to get a unit somewhere, like to snag an objective, but can’t give up ground to do it. Everything in the Blood Tithe has a use and in the right circumstances can completely change the game.

Khorne Daemonkin - Bob
Bob stops a moment to contemplate the meaning of life between removing heads from necks.

The Khorne Daemonkin codex is very well balanced. The obvious strength of the army is with close combat but even that’s balanced. You have Bloodletters and Bloodcrushers all packing AP3 weapons like usual but they are fragile. There’s no Lesser Gifts to be bought in the Daemon units now so you won’t see the Axe of Khorne for AP2 goodness in those units. Toss Terminators at these guys and they’ll flail and die.

The entire Khorne Daemonkin codex is setup that way. There are a lot of good units, even great units, but there’s a counter to it, beyond the obvious shooting it dead first. There are some favorite units but I really can’t say there are must-have units and to me that’s a great sign of balance.

Khorne Daemonkin Conclusion

I could probably ramble endlessly about this codex but that hits my high points. I think it’s a great codex and is easily my favorite codex to date. It’s just a fun army to play and the mechanics fit the theme perfectly. Games Workshop has set the bar really high with this codex and it’s going to be great to see how the other Chaos God codices shape up.

What’s your favorite part of the Khorne Daemonkin codex? What’s your least favorite part?

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