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 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.


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?

  • Glad you are enjoying the codex Thor. It looks like an absolute winner, and has had me thinking about bringing daemons to my orks for all the fun!

    • It’s a blast. The problem you’ll run into is you’ll get so hooked that you’ll want to run a pure Khorne force, exclude the Orks, and then you need to start a new army ;)

      • Shhh….damn blood crushers look so cool…why you no T5 anymore!!

        • I could see them losing the 3+ save with what they gained but T4 just makes them virtually unusable. I’m sure I’ll be stubborn and give them a shot though. The potential is there if you can get them into some basic dudes. It’s just the getting there part and not getting intercepted by a bunch of Termies or some other S8 saturated unit.

          • I just love the of the coolest models by far. Why wraiths got T5, but these guys didn’t, I’ll never know…and I fully expected them to when I heard the codex was comin out!

            • If they do it and give them T5 then I’d expect it in the Daemons codex and then see an errata for Daemonkin. I don’t think GW wanted people to jump onto Daemonkin because of improved stats for existing units.

              • Aye. I guess we might still see a new daemon codex this year. Here is hopin.

                • Willy Whistler

                  Seeing as they are pumping out codexes at a very fast pace, u might be right

  • Codexes like these gave me faith that GW knew what they were doing, fluffy, characterful and balanced. Then BAM have some necron cheese, throw in some ridiculous rumours about eldar and the game is back to 5th ed grey knight stupidness. (Prob an over-reaction on my part, but I have really enjoyed the balanced nature of 7th, and the more narrative play it has encouraged and enforced. I am bitterly disappointed in the necron codex as it is really about three steps above the other 7th ed codexes released before it, and now the eldar seem to be going the same route???)

    I am really pleased you like this one. I was so looking forward to my harlequin codex, and wish it was something like this, instead of a very restrictive formation based army. I thnk the other gods will have some really flavourful books released as well, which will be fantastic , amd gives me hope for other things like a 13th company space wolves book, or genestealer cults.

    • I hear ya. I was looking so forward to the Ork codex and when I got through it I was disappointed. Then you have Necrons on the other end of the spectrum and maybe Eldar too. If they could get their shit together with balance….

      You’re right though. They’ve proven they can make a fun army that’s balanced and it really does open the doors to so many possibilities.

  • Willy Whistler

    Like u said, this dex has a very good internal balance. U want lot’s of ap3 ? Here’s some glass canon units. U want durable ? Here’s some termies, spawn or hounds. U want big and scary ? Here’s some big Daemons. U want to go balanced ? Here’s some MEQ for ya. The blood tithe still feels weird, as you are hoping that the opponent kills your units to get to the sweet rewards, but again, like u said, is flexible and u always have good options. This codex has revamped my interest in 40k, and brought fun back to the game for me.

    • I don’t see it as hoping your units die. I see it as getting a reward when they do. I’m not trying to get my units destroyed, and would rather they didn’t, but Blood for the Blood God!

      That’s awesome it reinvigorated your interest.

      • Willy Whistler

        Hoping is indeed wrongly phrased of me (English is not my native language

        • I need some more Bikers so I can do the same.

          The Lord with Hounds does work well and I’m glad we can finally do it. I’ve also run a Herald on Juggernaut with Spawn to give them a little more power and that worked well.

          • Willy Whistler

            Agreed on the herald with spawn. I tried this at my first local highlander event with Daemonkin. The spawn are kinda hit or miss, one battle they just died to shooting, next battle they destroyed a unit of nurgle bikers while the herald took a nurgle sorc on bike’s head in the challenge, that’s why i’m gonna try a lord on jugger with Khorne axe and fist and the bloodforged armour in a unit of 7 or 8 hounds.

            • Why the Axe of Khorne and a Power Fist? Both make you initiative one, both are AP2. That’s a lot of points to pay just to get Decapitating Blow.

              • Willy Whistler

                Axe of khorne is not unwieldy, but it is a specialist weapon, so is the the fist. So i get +1 att and get to choose to strike at I5 and str4 or at I1 and str8.

                • You’re right. I was thinking of Goredeinker. Oops.

  • Tempted. Sorely tempted by this. Or should we wait for the Nurgle book? I love that they’re trying to recapture some of the old Chaos flavour.

    • If you like Khorne and have a enough to build a Khorne force with already, I say go for it. It really does capture the feel of Khorne and is a really fun army to play. I mean, it’s pure Khorne, so VERY limited shooting options and it’s all about close combat. If you can live with that, knowing you will never have a balanced list, it’s a blast.

      • True that. I’ve definitely got enough spare bits (who doesn’t? ). I’ve even got a lord and one Helbrute converted up. And that Maulerfiend has been collecting dust for AGES …
        You’re a bad man Thor.

        • Well then, you have an army. You’ll thank me later :)

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