The Daughters of Khaine are an army of Age of Sigmar of which most models can also be used as an Order warband for Age of Sigmar: Warcry.
They are brutal and thrive in bloodshed. It’s also the warband with most options so if you are in for a blood bath, this is the warband for you.
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Background and Lore of the Daughters of Khaine Warband
The Daughters of Khaine are a mysterious aelves order led by Morathi, an ancient sorceress self-proclaimed Oracle of Khaine. Morathi’s history predates the Mortal Realms when she was eventually ingested by Slaanesh during the end of the Old World. She managed to free herself from Slaanesh’s belly and ended up in the Mortal Realms where she met Sigmar and her son Malerion.
Here she helped the other gods to imprison Slaanesh and retrieve the aelves’ souls still inside him in exchange for a portion. She then moulded those souls in her personal handmaidens and revived the cult of Khaine claiming that Khaine was shattered in fragments and by worshipping him and gathering the fragments he could be revived. All a lie to give Morathi the power she needs for her own agendas.
The cult of Khaine is centred on bloodshed, sacrifices and murder, weeding out the weak and honouring their god at every kill. Only the women have enough strength to participate in the military as the men are used for the most menial jobs and their soul used as a power source for Morathi’s magic. Coming out of the realm of shadow, Ulgu, not everything is as it seems…
But how do they play on the tabletop? Let’s take a look at their fighters and abilities.
Overview and Points for the Fighters in the Daughters of Khaine Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn. If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on. So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
The Daughters warband can be formed by 3 dual kits each with a leader option for an astonishing choice of 14 fighters, the highest in Warcry (right now).
Witch Aelf Hag with Sacrificial Knives: 115 points
The Witch Aelf is the first of the dual kit that can be used in Warcry. The leader of this unit is the Hag, armed with 2 sacrificial knives. She is the cheapest leader and extremely fragile with toughness 3 and 18 wounds. She also has no other ability than the Sacrifice to Khaine, usable by all leaders: if an enemy is killed by the leader, for a Triple you can then add +1 attack to all visible fighters within 6” for the rest of the battle round. But with 4 attacks at strength 3 and damage 1-4 it’s not easy to trigger considering she can’t use 2 abilities in the same activation.
Add more points and you have available better leader options. This is probably not the leader you are looking for.
Witch Aelf with Sacrificial Knives: 65 points
There are 2 Witch Aelves profiles depending on the weapon loadout. The one with only knives has 4 attacks at strength 3 that can become 5 attacks per action at strength 4 if within 3” of an injured enemy (using Bathe in Blood, a Double). This ability will be a recurrent theme of this army as the first time one of your opponent is injured, all Daughters nearby can take advantage for a Double each.
Considering it’s worth only 65 points, can really outperform her value. On the other side she will go down quick with 8 wounds and toughness 3.
Witch Aelf with Sacrificial Knives and Bladed Buckler: 75 points
For 10 points more the witch aelf can equip a buckler giving them +1 toughness (now 4) but lose one attack (3 instead of 4). It’s an interesting trade off because with many models having a strength characteristic of 3, a toughness 4 can make a difference. On the other side, against the stronger opponents 3 or 4 will not make any difference but one attack more with a critical damage of 3, may be more useful.
Considering the low cost, the choice will most likely come to how many points are left after choosing the leader and the elite, and how much “horde” you want the warband to be.
Sister of Slaughter Handmaiden with Barbed Whip and Bladed Buckler: 150 points
Second cheapest leader and like the Hag, she comes from the same kit and she is the leader of the alternative sculpt: the Sisters of Slaughter. Exactly like the hag, she has no special ability, except being a leader, but for 35 points more offers an attack range of 2”, toughness 4 and minimum damage 2.
Considering how many leader options are available, she is probably a pass too, however, she does more damage than the cheapest options and she is slightly more resilient if you are thinking to go full horde excluding the more corrupted aelven souls.
Sister of Slaughter with Barbed Whip and Sacrificial Knife: 75 points
The Sisters of Slaughter also have 2 weapon profiles. Comparing them to the Witch Aelves, they get +1 range and +1 critical damage for 10 points more. An interesting trade-off especially considering the Bathe in Blood ability that would bring the attacks to 5 at strength 4 each action, meaning also more chances to do that 4-damage critical hit.
The 2” range means also that can potentially hit without being engaged for a bit more survivability considering the toughness of 3 and only 8 wounds.
Overall, very solid unit for dealing damage.
Sister of Slaughter with Barbed Whip and Bladed Buckler: 85 points
The Sister with buckler instead of knife loses one attack similarly to the witch aelf but adds 1 to her toughness for a 4.
In summary for 85 points (20 more than the cheapest unit of this warband) this model offers 3 attacks with range 2” at strength 3 for 1-4 damage, toughness 4 and 8 wounds.
She can use the Bathe in Blood if close by an injured enemy and if required, the strength can be increased further with Slaughter’s Strength (for a Triple add the value of this ability to the strength characteristic for a weapon with range 3” or less).
All Witch Aelves and Sisters have movement 5” making them extremely quick and able to swarm to their sacrificial victim… er, to their objective as quickly as possible.
Is the higher toughness worth it for losing one attack? Depends on your build. But for most Khaine players a good defence probably just means a really good offence.
Blood Sister Gorgai: 245 points
The Melusai have the lower body of a snake that makes them quicker than their simple human counterpart (movement 7) and more tanky. All Blood Sisters can use the Turned to Crystal ability that for a Double allows them to roll 2 dice and for each 4 or 5 do 1 damage, for each 6 do as much damage as the value of the ability. An incredibly lucky shot could do as much as 12 damage before you do any action with your model.
The Gorgai is the leader of the Blood Sisters, the Melusai armed with spear. She is quite resilient with 30 wounds and toughness 4 but as all Daughters what she excels in is the ability to do damage: 6 attacks at strength 4, 2” range and damage 2-4. With her in the mix, it’s now more likely you can activate the Sacrifice to Khaine ability for that extra attack to all other Daughters in range.
Not a bad leader option.
Blood Stalker Krone: 235 points
The Blood Stalkers are the ranged version of the Melusai (medusa). Their trademark ability is the Heartseekers: for a Triple you can add the value of this ability to the damage if you score at least a critical in the next action. With only 3 attacks on the Krone, the leader, it becomes a gamble if the ability will do something or not.
Independently from this ability, she has a range of 3-20” with damage 2-5 perfect for striking the enemies from afar. But remember that keeping your leader further from the front line means that the Sacrifice for Khaine ability may be more difficult to trigger as the 6” bubble is from the leader and does not affect ranged attacks. If she is too close or engaged, she has to use the melee profile with 2 attacks at strength 3 with damage 1-2.
Bathe to Blood ability requires an injured opponent within 3”, but not to attack him, therefore as long as an injured enemy is nearby but not engaging her, the Krone can benefit from it, becoming 4 attacks at strength 4. On the other hand, Slaughter’s Strength (and Onslaught since the FAQ came out) cannot be used with the ranged attack.
This leader is okay, but you are putting a lot of points into a strong ranged attack. Think about whether or not that is where you want your leader to be.
Blood Stalker: 165 points
The Stalker, as the Sister, is an interesting fighter with 7” movement and 20 wounds. With toughness 4 she will resist few hits but her best trait is the ranged attack, similar to the Krone: 2 attacks at strength 3, damage 1-5. She can use the Heartseekers ability as well and Bathe to Blood, assuming she is not engaged and there is an injured fighter nearby, but not the other Daughters trademarks like Slaughter’s Strength and Sacrifice to Khaine.
Despite so, the 5 damage on critical and the 20” range make it an interesting model to add more flexibility in a warband otherwise more melee focused.
Khinerai Heartrender Shryke: 245 points
The Khinerai are the half harpies’ souls extracted by Morathi. The Heartrender is the version armed with Javelins, allowing to hit at 8” range. Khinerai are extremely mobile with 12” flying movement, able to reach any corner required in little time.
They are more fragile than the Melusai, the Shryke being only 20 wounds but with toughness 4. For a Quad they can charge the enemy with the Death on the Wind ability: first do a bonus move, then a bonus attack. If the bonus move was more than 6”, then the bonus attack adds +1 strength reaching 3 attacks at strength 5 with damage 2-4.
Her range 8” weapon disqualifies her from Slaughter’s Strength and Sacrifice to Khaine bonus but her high movement allows her to get into position, kill the wounded enemy and buff all other daughters nearby. Careful in retreating her when she starts getting surrounded or she will fall fast.
Khinerai Heartrender: 175 points
The non-leader version has the same bonus and limits of the Shrike, especially regarding the abilities. The 12” flying movement makes her a perfect scout and if you manage to get a Quad, Death on the Wind is better than Rampage bringing the strength of her attacks to 5.
10 wounds and toughness 4 however will make her slightly more durable than a Witch Aelf while costing the double so better keep her at distance and use the 8” range of the javelin.
Khinerai Lifetaker Harridynn: 210 points
The Lifetaker is the melee focused version of the Khinerai armed with a sickle. They keep the same special ability, Death on the Wind for a Quad, a flying movement of 12” and toughness of 4, while increasing the number of attacks.
The Harridynn gets 5 attacks at strength 3 for 2-4 damage but being at short range, she can increase both with the different Daughters abilities. As the Shryke, she can cover quite some distance, picking the injured opponent to finish off in order to activate the Sacrifice to Khaine ability and buff her sisters.
Toughness 4 and 20 wounds make her not the most resilient of leaders, but her output damage can be impressive used in the right moment.
Khinerai Lifetaker: 165 points
The non-leader version has only 4 attacks for a damage of 1-4, 10 wounds but same movement, toughness, strength and abilities of the Harridynn. In melee she will probably melt like butter if she does not attack first, but she is perfect to pick up the isolated weaker fighters and murder them in the name of Khaine.
Abilities for the Daughters of Khaine Warband
- Bathe in Blood (Double, Everyone): If within 3” of a visible injured fighter, add 1 to Attack and Strength characteristic of this fighter.
- Turned to Crystal (Double, Blood Sister and Gorgai): Pick an enemy fighter within 6” and roll 2 dice, for each 4 and 5 allocate 1 damage. On a 6 allocate as much damage as the value of the ability.
- Heartseekers (Triple, Blood Stalker and Krone): Add the value of this ability to the damage inflicted to an enemy more than 3” away in the next attack sequence if at least one critical hit was scored.
- Slaughter’s Strength (Triple, Everyone): Add the value of this ability to strength of attacks with range characteristic of 3” or less.
- Sacrifice to Khaine (Triple, all Leaders): if a leader takes down an enemy in that round, add +1 to attacks to all visible friendly fighters within 6” of the leader for attacks with range of 3” or less for the rest of the turn.
- Death on the Wind (Quad, all Khinerai): The fighter can make a bonus move and a bonus attack action. If the fighter moved 6” or more in that bonus move, then the bonus attack has +1 strength.
Strategy and Tactics for the Daughters of Khaine
This warband has so many options that can be difficult to choose your fighters. The main theme of this warband is: they strike first, hit hard and take advantage of the weaker and injured fighters.
The Witch Alves will be instrumental to give you numbers and firepower where less is expected. Even a simple witch with a Double can become dangerous. Use the weakened and injured opponents at your advantage: if you can, and have plenty of Doubles, try to keep one that already activated within 3” from your fighters and Bathe in Blood the rest of your army.
Keep also a weakened opponent in a strategic position if you have a Triple and a leader at striking distance. It can be a gamble if the dice don’t smile at you, but if you succeed in finishing off that enemy at your first activation, use the Triple for the Sacrifice to Khaine. Then any close-by Khinerai Lifetaker or Witch Aelf with an extra Double (Bathe in Blood, assuming they are within 6” of the leader and 3” of an injured enemy) will obtain 6 attacks at strength 4 for each action.
Warcry is a bloody game and you can create combos this way quite easily, just remember to pick first the weakest opponents and then the strongest because with an average strength of 3 you may struggle with the toughest guys like the Ogor Breacher. In that case, you can always use Slaughter’s Strength to add some more firepower to your melee weapons.
Use your mobility, especially the Khinerai, to pick the farthest opponents and the ranged ones that can greatly damage your army. Use the Melusai as your tanks but be careful as they can quickly be surrounded.
The choice of leader is tough with 6 options available. Personally, I would recommend higher wounds count for more survivability and a melee option to be closer to the centre of your army and provide more bonus. This would make the Blood Sister Gorgai a perfect choice, but also the ability of the Khinerai to fly over and pick an enemy within 12” and slaughter him is a good option.
Whichever models you’ll choose it’s going to be bloody and messy, all in the name of Khaine!
Pros and Cons of the Daughters of Khaine
+ Extremely fast
+ Many attacks
+ Gets stronger the more damage is dealt
– Too reliant on critical damage and many attacks
– Can be expensive to collect
Tips on painting a Daughters of Khaine Warband
If you have a Daughters warband chances are you already have an Age of Sigmar army and in the battletome there are described different war covens each with their own colour schemes. These can be a nice place to start.
The contrast paints from Games Workshop will help you speed up the process and there are different skin tones available. For a more classic skin tone you can base coat with Rakart Flesh, wash with Reikland Fleshshade and highlight with Pallid Wych Flesh.
For the make-up and the eyes there is an interesting video from Warhammer Community I recommend watching. In the same channel there are plenty of other tutorials, from painting the wings of the Khinerai to the scales of the Melusai.
How to buy a Daughters of Khaine Warband
The Daughters of Khaine is one of the most expensive armies in Age of Sigmar and their Warcry warband is not the less. Without converting units you will need to buy multiple boxes of the same kit, but to start with, you will need 3 boxes and choose a leader.
The first box is the Witch Aelves box. This allows you to prepare either a hag or a handmaiden and then you have 9 more models to assemble either weapon profile of the Witch Aelves (pair of knives or knife and buckler) or of the sisters of slaughter (whip and buckler or whip and knife). For 35£ (Games Workshop retail price) you get the core of your army and a potential leader.
The second box is the Melusai. You will need to choose the leader between the 2 options: sisters with the spear or stalkers with the bow. The other 4 models can be assembled as a mixture of the two variants. This box is sold for 30£.
Finally, the last box is the Khinerai one. As the other boxes, you will choose one leader (either a heartrender with a javelin or a lifetaker with the sickle) and can assemble the other 4 models however you prefer. This box is sold for 27.5£.
The Daughters of Khaine suffer from the lack of a start collecting box and, while it is possible to magnetize the different weapon options and heads, the models are relatively small and it’s a hard task almost forcing to buy multiple boxes. If you are not interested in expanding to an Age of Sigmar army then 3 boxes will give you 3 leaders and 17 other models, more than enough for a long campaign of Warcry!