This article will detail the Blades of Khorne army starting from its lore, describing the main units and their roles, how the army plays and finally our personal opinion of the army.
For a complete run-down of the different armies available in Age of Sigmar, consult our Age of Sigmar army overview article.
In this article we will refer often to Matched Play and other technical terms like allegiance abilities, command points, army roles in building a list, core battalions, Endless Spells/Invocations, etc. We assume the reader will be knowledgeable with those terms, otherwise please refer to the relevant guides for more details.
Overview of Blades of Khorne Army
Khorne is one of the 4 Chaos Gods. He is empowered by emotions of violence and aggressiveness, and as such it is often one of the most dangerous of the chaos forces. It does not matter from whence the blood flows, only that it flows. Red is the colour that characterizes his army and daemons.
As the army that introduced Age of Sigmar together with the Stormcast Eternals, they were at the forefront of many lore books, mostly centred about the Stormcast campaign of liberation of Aqshy, the Realm of Fire, from the yoke of Khorne’s followers. At the same time, the range received a big refresh, with most kits being released around 2015. There’s still some older models, legacy from Warhammer Fantasy and even still usable in Warhammer 40K.
In game they are an army with various synergies that would please the fans of list building, but it is much more simplified compared to the previous iterations. They are extremely kill-y, but have few tank options that allow them to survive a bit longer. Overall the third edition book is a great book that brings them much easier at top tables in major tournaments and turned the blood tide in their favour.
Blood for the Blood God and Skulls for the Skull Throne!
Lore of Blades of Khorne Army
Khorne and his brothers, Nurgle, Slaanesh and Tzeentch, represent the 4 main Chaos Gods that have fought for an eternity the Great Game: a bet on which god will be able to prompt mortals to follow their creed the loudest. For Khorne, this means transforming the Mortal Realms in a giant battlefield, completely covered in blood and gore where there will never be peace and where the only thing that counts is to murder the next person.
As violence is the easiest mortal emotion to trigger, and Khorne does not care if people fight on his name or someone else’s as long as they fight, he is often empowered and the other Chaos Gods have to unite to contain him. In the Red Century, a long period of continuous bloodshed, Khorne was preeminent and only the return of Sigmar and the restart of civilizations brought him down.
The Necroquake launched by Nagash, the Great Necromancer, to flood the Mortal Realms with death magic, greatly offended Khorne that despises vile magic in any manifestation. Now, with the dawn of the Age of the Beast and a new surge in violence and fights all over the realms, Khorne is back to its full power, eagerly awaiting what comes next.
There are many mortals that follow Khorne, knowingly or unknowingly, called Bloodbound. Some are warmongering tribes for which fighting is the only lifestyle known, others are proud men that only wanted to protect their city or family. It does not matter how noble were their intentions: once Khorne accepts their request for help, they will live only to follow the path of skulls.
All chaos followers are on a journey to please their god and in the case of the Blood God, this involves murdering as many as possible and collecting the skulls of worthy foes to donate to him. All those that fail, die miserably and that’s the majority of them. The few lucky ones to succeed in pleasing him, can reach daemonhood.
Once the Bloodbound created enough mayhem, soaking the land red with blood and gore, a tear in the fabrics of reality allows the daemons to pour in. Those are all red and maddened by the lust for blood, from the loyal Flesh-hounds that hunt Khorne’s enemies to the greatest Bloodthirster that rival each other to lead the daemonic legions.
All Chaos Gods have their own dominion outside of the Mortal Realms, in the Chaos realm. At the centre of Khorne’s there is the Brass Citadel, an enormous stronghold drenched in blood and adorned with bones. At its centre, Khorne sits on his brass throne on top of an ever-growing mountain of skulls that once belonged to his adversaries. From there, he directs his legions to continuous military campaigns and everlasting feats of violence.
Army rules for the Blades of Khorne
But how does a Blades of Khorne army play on a tabletop? First let’s go through their main rules.
The first battle trait allows to pick a subfaction, that in Khorne are thematically called Slaughterhosts and represent the daemonic Blood Legions and the mortal Bloodbound warhordes:
- Reaper of Vengeance, Khorne’s weapon of revenge against magic-users and traitors. +1 to hit against enemy heroes for Daemons and 1 extra Blood Tithe every enemy hero slain.
- Bloodlords, they spent centuries hunting the mightiest beasts and warlords in Ghur. Bloodletters do mortal wounds on a 5+ to hit instead of 6 when they charge.
- Baleful Lords, veterans of the never-ending bloodshed in the Realm of Chaos. Bloodthirsters other than Skarbrand within 8″ of each other use the top row of the damage table.
- Goretide, once Korghos Khul tribe in Aqshy, now the most infamous of the Bloodbound. +1 to wound for Bloodbound units against enemies contesting objectives you don’t control or within their territory.
- Skullfiend Tribe, great riders of Juggernauts devastating Ghur. Apply strike-first units to Bloodbound units rolling unmodified 8+ on a charge. Unlocks Skullreapers as battleline.
- The Flayed, home of ritualists and slaughterpriests etching blood runes to enhance their comrades. Grants a ward of 5+ when a unit is picked to fight.
Units will be distinguished by either the Daemon or the Bloodbound (mortals) keyword that affects not only which battle traits they have access to but also which other synergies they share.
Locus of Fury provides daemons a 5+ ward while 8″ away from the enemies but it is lost for the rest of the battle if that unit retreats (useful against shooting armies).
Each time a Bloodbound model is slain, make a murder roll against a unit within 3″ and for each 5+ allocate 1 mortal wound to them. Roll 3 dice for Bloodbound heroes.
Each time a Blades of Khorne unit is affected by an enemy spell or endless spell, make a Hatred of sorcery roll and on a 5+ ignore that effect and obtain a Blood Tithe point.
The Blood Tithe is a mechanism that allows to obtain rewards based on your performance on the battlefield. The easiest way to obtain a point is for each unit destroyed (yours or enemy’s), but there are many other ways to achieve it, for example Reaper of Vengeance sub-faction gives an extra 1 for each enemy hero slain, and Hatred of Sorcery gives one each time you successfully ignore an enemy spell. Attention that this works for each unit, so if an enemy uses an area of effect spell, you roll for each unit individually multiplying chances to get points.
The reward list contains 8 prizes with cost from 1 to 8 points, that can be collected at the end of each hero phase 1 at a time. The list includes great picks like Murderlust that gives a unit a D6″ move that can end within 3″ of an enemy unit (see FAQ, can now be used up to 3 times but costs 1 point each time), Spelleater Course for an automatic unbind of an enemy spell, all the way to Slaughter Triumphant that for 8 Blood Tithe points gives +1 attack to all Blades of Khorne units for the rest of the battle and is cumulative!
But that’s not all, at the end of your movement phase you can even summon Khorne daemons, starting from 3 points for a Bloodmaster all the way to 10 points for a Bloodthirster.
Khorne’s list of enhancements is exceptionally good, artefacts of power in particular. It’s hard to choose a favourite with Mark of the Bloodreaper giving a 4+ ward against mortal wounds or Ar’gath the King of Blades preventing ward rolls from enemy units engaged, both being great options for a Daemon Hero.
While Bloodbound heroes have access to the Banner of Blood that allows re-roll of charge rolls within 16″ and The Crimson Plate giving a straight 5+ ward, between the others.
There are great options also in the list of command traits, once again divided between Daemons with options like Firebrand transforming your Bloodthirster (works with all daemon heroes) in a Priest, and Bloodbound with Barbarian Lord giving +1 to run and charge rolls for the general and Blood Reavers, Claws of Karanak and Flesh Hounds within 16″.
Khorne’s prayer scriptures are discussed in the Priest section below.
Khorne has access to coalition units, in particular:
- 2 units every 4 can be Slaves to Darkness units with Mark of Chaos or Khorne keyword that are not wizards.
- 1 unit every 4 can be Beasts of Chaos units without the Tzeentch, Slaanesh or Wizard keyword.
Coalition units will obtain the Khorne keyword (if they don’t already have it) but would not be able to use anything restricted to Daemons, Bloodbound or Blades of Khorne.
Units and their roles in the Blades of Khorne Army
Heroes in Blades of Khorne
Heroes can perform Heroic Actions, in addition to the other abilities they can perform. You do it in the hero phase and you can only do one heroic action. Here is the list:
- Heroic Leadership: on a 4+ (or 2+ if your general has been slain) get a command point only that hero can use.
- Heroic Willpower: one non-Wizard hero can attempt to dispel or unbind a spell for that phase like he was a wizard.
- Their Finest Hour: can be used only once by each hero to improve save and wound rolls by 1 for that turn.
- Heroic Recovery: a disengaged hero can heal D3 wounds if he rolls less or equal to his bravery with 2D6.
The Bloodthirster kit is extremely versatile allowing up to 4 different configurations. Skarbrand is the named character, with a long story behind him including betraying Khorne and being cast out of the Realm of Chaos with his wings charred. For this reason, he is the only Bloodthirster that cannot fly.
He is a monster with a damage table, but that works the other way around with the values getting better the more wounded he is. Indeed, if he does not fight both combat phase in the previous battle round, starting from the second, he uses the bottom row of the damage table instead of the top one.
The bottom row is deadly, with a shooting attack that does straight up mortal wounds, to 2 melee profiles extremely deadly including his Carnage axe that on a 2-5 does 8 mortal wounds and on a 6 does 16 mortal wounds!
Add to all of this that he can charge from 18″ distance with 3D6 and you have an all-round hammer unit. The only drawback is that despite 4+ save and the conditional 5+ ward, he is an easy target to enemy shooting attacks or other ways to single him out as soon as possible.
The Wrath of Khorne is a Bloodthirster with 2 shooting attacks, one that depends from the amount of models in the target unit and the other that is more dangerous the least wounds are allocated to him.
He has decent attacks and can chain react with another Bloodthirster of a different type. And if you have a third one equipped with Halo of Blood that gives strike-first, on your turn you can activate 3 Bloodthirsters before the opponent can react. He can issue one command per turn for free.
The Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage is melee focussed and is extremely strong with D3+3 damage for each attack and on an unmodified 6 to hit a splash of mortal wound to any enemy unit within 8″. Starting at 4 at maximum health, can be devastating, better reflecting how scary Bloodthirsters can be.
The Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury is a compromise between the two, with a missile weapon and a melee profile less damaging than previous Bloodthirsters, but he gives -1 to hit to all enemy units within 8″ of him and on a 4+ can allocate D3 mortal wounds at the end of each combat phase.
He is our favourite because he is a utility piece and this army does not lack hammer units, but all 3 profiles are pretty good. Bloodthirsters can fly and if you need to increase their efficiency, the subfaction Baleful Lords allows them to use the top row as long as two are within 8″ of each other.
Another neat trick is to make your Bloodthirster general a Priest through Firebrand to increase even further their versatility.
Skulltaker is a Bloodletter herald, a foot assassin specialised in taking out enemy heroes. Indeed, while his ability of allocating mortal wounds on an unmodified 6 to hit cannot be improved by Bloodlords subfaction, it does 3 mortal wounds against heroes (instead of 2 against all other units), can get strike-first if he directs all his attacks against a hero and can provide an extra Blood Tithe point when killing an hero. In a Reapers of Vengeance subfaction, that is 3 Blood Tithe each hero killed by Skulltaker.
Karanak is one of the many named Flesh Hound and he represents Khorne’s hunter, the one enacting his revenge. He is a hero and unique, but not a Leader, meaning that it does not occupy one of those slots but can still use heroic actions.
His main use is to allow summoned Flesh Hounds to be placed directly in combat with enemy units bypassing the 9″ limit (you still need to pay the 3 Blood Tithe points for each unit) and to get an unbind roll each enemy hero phase. There’s not many options in the army to prevent defensive spells so every little helps. If you are pointing on Flesh Hounds as early stage summons, he is a good option to consider.
Skullmaster, Herald of Khorne is the leader of the Bloodletters on top of Juggernauts. As Bloodletters, is Decapitating Blow can be enhanced by the specific subfaction, but his role is to allow Bloodcrushers to re-roll charge rolls once per battle. Complements this with the classic damage after charge.
Korghos Khul was the protagonist of many stories in the Realmgate Wars series at the beginning of Age of Sigmar. His model is contained in the Goreblade Warband Start Collecting and is used also to present a generic Mighty Lord of Khorne.
He is locked in the Goretide subfaction, so if you are interested into that, he is a good option as he allows once per battle, each Goretide Bloodbound to roll an extra murder roll when slain. He is accompanied by Grizzlemaw, his loyal Flesh Hound, that allows him to unbind one spell per enemy hero phase.
His axe, that attacks after Grizzlemaw, has a 5+ chance to outright kill any enemy that was wounded but not slain in the same phase. And to complete the profile, he can pile-in up to 8″.
The Mighty Lord of Khorne has similar attacks, the Flesh Hound unbind and a strike-first command ability that inexplicably works only on Gorechosen units rather than Bloodbound restricting its use to few heroes. Better Korghos Khul if you are into Goretide.
The Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut is the Bloodbound equivalent of the Skullmaster with damage on charge and once per game re-roll charges this time affecting Mighty Skullcrushers.
However, he has a much better protection granting him at a 2+ save and a 5+ ward against mortal wounds caused by spells or endless spells (on top of the 5+ ignore them). He is a great defensive piece but can still suffer from mortal wounds and be bogged down by screening units as his attacks are not devastating.
Skarr Bloodwrath is a Wrathmonger leader, granting them an extra murder roll if they are within 8″. But the most interesting thing in his profile is his attack profile that starts from 5 and has sky as the limit (as many models are within 3″ of him with no cap).
He can also return back from the dead with no wounds on an 8+ on 2D6 at the end of any movement phase and as many times as required, ready to charge once again!
Valkya the Bloody is the only ambush tactic available to Khorne, able to be set up in reserve and appear outside the 9″ while doing mortal wounds to an enemy unit. She has a great melee profile and a 3+ save and 5+ ward that does justice to a model with a complicated backstory: despite being a Mortal she actually already died and was resurrected by Khorne because of her prowess.
She prevents Bloodborne within 16″ from retreating, but why any Khorne unit would want to do that? In exchange they obtain +3 bravery.
The Bloodsecrator is a Totem and a support unit that can use Rally (a command ability that brings back slain units) triggering it on a 4+ instead of 6 when used on Bloodbound units. In addition he can also, once per battle, give +1 attack to all Khorne units on the battlefield for a massive turn of carnage!
Skullgrinder is another Gorechosen that does extra damage to Monsters. The only thing going on with him is the ability to increase the rend of 1 Bloodbound hero for all game at the end of deployment.
The Aspiring Deathbringer and the Exalted Deathbringer (there are 2 different sculpts for the latter), are Gorechosen heroes with standard hero-type attacks, but nothing worth mentioning. The Exalted has a 5+ ward but also a 5+ save that will not guarantee survivability.
The Bloodstoker main use is to allow D3 Bloodbound units starting within 3″ of him to run and charge in that turn. Pity for the 3″ range, but otherwise it’s an interesting profile.
Scyla Anfingrimm is another Bloodbound named hero that can unbind as if he was a wizard. Nothing much to see here, but if you like him and the 8″ pile-in, a newer model is available from Blood Bowl.
Wizards and Priests in Blades of Khorne
Obviously there’s no such thing as magic in a Khorne army, but there’s a long list of priests that can invoke the Blood God to obtain the Blood Blessings of Khorne.
This impressive list of prayers include options like Bloodbind that forces an opponent unit to move 8″ towards the chanter and Bronzed Flesh that gives +1 to save to a unit replacing the Mystic Shield spell they don’t have access to.
If you want to take full advantage of these great prayers, a Daemon general can receive Firebrand command trait to become a priest or, if already a priest, know an additional prayer from these scriptures, while a Bloodbound priest can chant 2 prayers per turn with the command trait High-priest of Khorne.
Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne is our first Priest. He is a cheap summonable daemon and can benefit from Bloodletters mortal wounds on a 5+ after charge from the Bloodlords subfaction. His main use, aside from attacking at the same time as another Bloodletter unit (keyword, so also a Skulltaker, etc,), is his prayer that targets an enemy unit and gives +1 to wound to any Khorne daemon attacking it, that is a great buff.
If you take a Bloodmaster and put it on a chariot you have an Herald of Khorne on Blood Throne. Not only is a Bloodletter for all purposes, he is a Priest and a Totem (18″ range for command abilities with no set range).
His role is to heal your Bloodletters (D6 slain models to a Host and 1 to a Bloodcrusher unit), while himself heals back each time he kills a model. Having a good melee profile, is not a problem to keep him alive and reliably resurrect his comrades.
The Realmgore Ritualist is one of the most recent additions to the range. She is the first of our Bloodbound priests and a good one at it with a prayer that reduces by 1 the melee Attack characteristic of an enemy unit.
Once per battle she can select an objective or terrain feature close to her and all Bloodbound units within 8″ get +1 to hit.
The Slaughterpriest was the staple of any list. While he is still a good priest able to unbind like a wizard and with a prayer that does D6 mortal wounds to the target enemy, he is not an auto-include anymore. However, you should consider him in your lists, if for nothing for the unbind if you don’t have Flesh Hounds.
Dromm, Wounder of Worlds is a named Slaughterpriest from a Warhammer Underworlds warband with a prayer that can do damage to all enemy units touched by an ideal line drawn straight from Dromm’s base to 16″ away. The Gorechosen of Dromm are his followers that obtain a 4+ ward when close-by the leader and a chance of few mortal wounds.
Monsters in Blades of Khorne
Monsters can perform special abilities called Monstrous Rampages at the end of the Charge phase. Each action can be performed only once per phase therefore only up to 4 monsters can perform one at a time. Here is the current list:
- Roar: on a 3+ an engaged enemy unit cannot issue or receive orders in the following combat phase.
- Stomp: on a 2+ do D3 mortal wounds to an engaged unit that is not a monster.
- Titanic Duel: + 1 to hit rolls against another engaged Monster.
- Smash to Rubble: on a 3+ demolish a close-by terrain feature, disabling its scenery rules.
Khorne monsters are all available from the same kit and are all Leaders and Behemoths: Skarbrand and the three variations of Bloodthirsters.
Battlelines in Blades of Khorne
The Flesh Hounds can also be summoned for 3 Blood Tithe points. They have +2 to charge, Karanak can summon them within 9″ from an enemy, they can unbind as if they were a wizard and are a decent unit to pick up the stragglers or delay more dangerous enemy units.
The Bloodletters are the next demonic battleline, that can also be summoned. With 2 wounds each and decent attacks they are now a great option as a battleline. And if you are interested in them, their mortal wounds on an unmodified 6 to hit can become 5+ when they charge in the Bloodlords subfaction.
They have a great stat-line that can see them useful even in other armies like Legion of the First Prince from Slaves to Darkness.
The Bloodreavers are the baseline of Bloodbound armies. They are an excellent screening units with good attacks that can even get +1 to wound if within 16″ of a Bloodsecrator or Blood Throne. The Bloodsecrator can allow them to Rally on a 4+ too, should they have survived long enough to be disengaged. And if they don’t survive, they still guarantee murder rolls.
The axe has rend and is slightly better because it’s not that hard to get +1 to hit and they already have a way to improve their to wound.
The Blood Warriors improve even further the battleline concept with a warscroll excellent for an attrition war. If you want to reinforce that even further, the Gorefist weapon option provides mortal wounds when they save, but the extra attack on their Paired Goreaxes is also extremely compelling for additional immediate damage. And when they will eventually die, they roll two murder rolls each.
The Claws of Karanak started their career as a Warcry warband and are not a bad unit, with a pre-game move, a +1 to hit when within 8″ of a Flesh Hound unit, and overall more attacks than a unit of Bloodreavers with a better save and similar wounds for a slightly increased price.
Conditional Battlelines in Blades of Khorne
The Bloodcrushers become battleline if the general is a Skullmaster. They are Bloodletters for all purposes, with damage after charge and more importantly the 5 wounds apiece that makes them count two models when contesting objectives other than the 3+ save that makes them more resistant.
The Mighty Skullcrushers are battleline if a Lorde of Khorne on Juggernaut is selected as general. They are the Bloodbound version riding the Juggernaut and share with their leader the damage after charge, the 2+ save that makes them a great mobile anvil, and the 5+ save against magical wounds.
They count double when contesting objectives (because of the 5 wounds) and are great in running towards an objective and just survive. If you use them in big units, the 2″ Bloodglaive would be the best option, otherwise the Axe is equally good.
The Skulllreapers become battleline in a Skullfiend Tribe army. With mortal wounds on unmodified 6 to hit (in addition) and +1 to hit against units with 5 models or more, they are your hidden hammers. And if you manage to give them +1 attack (with a Wrathmonger or Bloodsecrator or the ultimate Blood Tithe reward, or +3 using all of them!) with the easy to achieve +1 to hit, they become murder machines.
Other units in Blades of Khorne
The Skull Cannon is the other assembly option of the Blood Throne, but this one is an Artillery piece. Despite the Decapitating Blow ability, it is missing the Bloodletter keyword (as of September 2023) meaning it can’t benefit from the Bloodlords enhancement.
Despite this, it has still a scary profile with the ability to shoot twice in your turn and once in the enemy phase: the extra shooting happens after he fought in a combat phase in which it slew any model. Khorne has never been famous for shooting abilities, but this introduces an interesting option.
The Wrathmongers are a compelling unit that pumps up other Khorne units giving them +1 attack as long as they are within 8″. They also allocate mortal wounds on a 1 to hit so that you feel less bad for missing an attack. Pity their 5+ save that means they will go down fast. But they could be compelling in a Flayed army if you start fighting with them to give an extra 5+ ward.
If you went them just to die, Skarr gives them an extra murder roll, so you can send them to do as much damage as possible and die. Skarr can eventually come back.
The Khorgorath is available only from the Goreblade box and is a big guy with a 6″ shooting attack and an ok melee profile whose main use is to shut off the Inspiring Presence command ability around him.
Warhammer Underworlds brings 3 warbands to Khorne, the first, Gromm, was already discussed in the priest section, the other two are leaderless. Magore’s Fiends represent a band of Blood Warriors with the same double murder rolls when they die but most importantly they have to summon a single unit of Flesh Hounds with the third named dog in the army: Riptooth. They can still do some damage, but if they fall, they are 2 Blood Tithe points at a moderate point cost.
The Garrek’s Reavers instead are formed by Bloodreavers and if they kill any enemy model, they generate a Blood Tithe at the end of that combat phase. They are good when sent towards enemy screens.
Endless Spells, Terrain and Start Collecting in a Blades of Khorne Army
Khorne’s equivalent of the Endless Spells are called Invocations and are chanted to existence by priests. As such, only other priests can banish them. The Hexgorger Skulls can move and create an 8″ -2 debuff to enemy wizard casting rolls. On top of that, if a wizard makes an unmodified casting roll of 8, the spell is unsuccessful, the wizard forgets that spell for the rest of the game and suffers D6 mortal wounds.
The Bleeding Icon is better than a Khorgorath in blocking the Inspiring Presence command as it has 8″ range and increases the amount of units that flee under its range. It’s quite situational as it would not affect many armies or units, but it can be deadly on Destruction armies or low-bravery units in general.
The Wrath-axe instead is a damage-dealer. It affects all units it flied over and can do double damage to a single one of them before being removed. Or repeat the movement the turn after.
Khorne faction terrain is the Skull Altar. It is a useful piece for Priests garrisoning it (up to 1) as it doubles their chanting range and allows to re-roll prayer chants to all Priests within 8″ of it, a buff that is extremely rare in the entire game. Apart from that, it increases the damage any wizard would take miscasting and is one of the focal points from which summoned daemons can pour on the battlefield.
Blades of Khorne are one of the few armies to still have available a Start Collecting box, that is none other than their half of the very first Age of Sigmar starter set. It is called Start Collecting! Khorne Bloodbound Goreblade Warband and contains a Mighty Lord of Khorne, a Bloodsecrator, a Bloodstoker, a Khorgorath, 5 Blood Warriors and 10 Bloodreavers. The 3 heroes and the Khorgorath can only be found in this box, meaning for Khorne players specialising on Bloodbound, this is a must purchase (or you scour the second-hand market). The two units are less useful as they are mono-pose and mono-weapons so if you don’t like that loadout, you will have to buy another set separately. The Blood Warriors are also only half of the current valid minimum size unit (10).
Khorne has also its own Vanguard box containing 1 Slaughterpriest (the one armed with Hackblade and Wrath-hammer), a unit of 3 Mighty Skullcrushers, a unit of 10 Blood Warriors and a unit of 10 Bloodreavers. This is much better value for a Bloodbound army with a bit of everything that makes a solid foundation.
If you are interested in daemons instead, if you look at Warhammer 40K you can find a box that contains all valid kits usable in both game systems: Combat Patrol: Chaos Daemons. This box contains 1 Bloodmaster, 3 Bloodcrushers, 10 Flesh Hounds and 20 Bloodletters and is perfect both for summoning purposes or to complement your starting roster.
Tactics and Final Verdict on the Blades of Khorne Army
Blades of Khorne third edition battletome is a great book with plenty of potential for list building fans. There are many synergies that will make coupling your heroes with the right units essential, but at the same time is greatly simplified from previous iterations of this army.
This creates a strong foundation with improved rules, especially the Blood Tithe mechanism that is now more reliable and you can accrue points from turn to turn. Accumulating points is also straightforward and there are few mechanisms here and there that help to collect them faster, especially if you are pointing to summon daemons in the early game.
Summoning can still be blocked if your opponent manages to kill all heroes and destroy the Skull Altar, so be careful to leave yourself a way out as late game summons can still be useful to grab deserted objectives.
One of the most successful subfaction is definitely the Flayed that allows a couple of units per turn to receive a 5+ ward in the combat phase. It works only on Bloodbound units, but if you can manage to receive some strike-first effects, can greatly improve their chances of survival. The best thing in Khorne, is that you don’t really care if your units die as you get rewarded anyway with a Blood Tithe point.
For example, Magore’s Fiends, for a small amount of points gives you 2 units, hence 2 points, and you can still use them to delay enemies, snatch abandoned objectives, or even unbind!
If you are looking at the daemonic side, then the Bloodlords focussing on Bloodletters units and their improved mortal wounds the turn they charge, and Reapers of Vengeance, with the focus on killing heroes, are definitely some of the crowd favourites.
Khorne armies have access to some really strong hammer units, starting from the Bloodthirsters that have quite an arsenal at their disposal but with Skarbrand as the epitome of the group. Some other hammers include the Skullreapers, especially if you can give them extra attacks, the Mighty Skullcrushers (with the added bonus of the mortal wounds after charge), Bloodletters in a Bloodbound army, and of course Blood Warriors armed with paired Goreaxes.
Skullcrushers and their 2+ save are also great mobile anvils, especially paired with a Lord on Juggernaut and in a Flayed army with a 5+ ward in combat after fighting and a 5+ ward against wounds from spells after the 5+ (or better) protection from magic from the Hatred of Sorcery battle trait. They are not immortal, but they are not that easy to take down either.
Flesh Hounds and Bloodreavers are also great battlelines to provide screening potential, with the Flesh Hounds adding unbind rolls and Bloodreaver still dangerous if left unchecked.
From the hero side, of course having a Bloodthirster priest with the command trait Fireband is extremely tempting, as they are great units and Khorne scriptures have some interesting choices. However, the list of priests is actually quite long and rightly so as there are no wizards and you will struggle to include any.
The Blood Throne for example is a great example of a unit that can join the core of the fight and still support its comrades, in this case through healing. The Skullmaster, the Ritualist and the Slaughterpriest are all priests with a determined role in the army, so you can really expand your horizons with different types of zealous commitment.
There’s only few units that could be a pass, but even something as initially overlooked like the Wrathmongers, in the right list can be extremely deadly, so don’t discard a unit immediately.
Another example is the Skull Cannon that is able to shoot every turn (twice on yours) as long as it kills models in combat. With 5 attacks at rend -1, it is not unlikely they are going to kill at least 1 model, and 4 shooting attacks each combat phase can be pretty annoying to your opponent. Without considering the use of Unleash Hell in your adversary turn to shoot twice even in that turn. As one of the very few missile options in the army, it is worth considering. Surely is not a Lumineth Sentinels or an Ogor Ironblaster, but Khorne can go behind this.
A final note goes on the quality of the range and its age. Khorne was at the forefront of the first edition of Age of Sigmar and received quite few sculpts. As the daemonic side is almost entirely usable in 40K Chaos Daemons faction, it is possible to see few more kits even through that venue.
Since 2019 Khorne is the Chaos army (of the 4 Chaos gods) that received less love (1 hero, a Warhammer Underworld and a Warcry warband), so there’s high chances that we can get something for them in the not so distant future.
For the rest, if you like an army that is not afraid to get straight in melee, if you prefer being rewarded even for losing and if you can juggle the synergies between Daemon and Bloodbound units, this is most likely the army for you.
If you are interested in the competitive standpoint, when we talk about statistics, a tremendous effort is done by Rob from the Honest Wargamer, Ziggy and Tsports Network! in the AoS Stat Centre with precious information, constantly kept up to date.
Really good informative material is also collected by Dan from AoS Shorts.