Khorne is the Chaos God of War, master of slaughter and Taker of Skulls.
Many mortals praise Khorne in a form or another and the path to achieve daemonhood is gory. This is a guide for the Bloodbound warband in Warcry.
Ready to get bloody?
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Background and Lore of the Khorne Bloodbound Warband
Khorne is one of the four Chaos Gods, representing violence in its purest form. He does not care from whence the blood flows, only that it flows. Skulls of worthy enemies are taken as a tribute to the Blood God, the Taker of Skulls.
Every war, every single life taken empowers Khorne and his followers do not gather in temples to offer prayers: they fight in the battlefield to honour their dark god.
Every civilization prone to warfare in a way or another supports Khorne and is liable to succumb to the call of the Blood God.
The more they kill, the more they please the dark God and the more attention they attract until slaughter is the only thing that counts.
The Trial of Skulls is the path every warrior must perform to achieve the final target: daemonhood.
Every act of savagery brings new boons from Khorne, in form of greater strength, claws or any other horrific mutations that provides an advantage on the battlefield. To pass the eight archaic Trials of Khorne means to become a chosen, a Bloodbound.
But that is not the end of the path.
More brutality, slaughter, worthy skulls for the Skull Throne are required to become a Daemon Prince. And for the majority the path ends in death, but that does not matter to Khorne as he does not care from where the blood flows, only that it flows.
A Bloodbound warhorde is led by a Mighty Lord of Khorne aided by eight Gorechosen, his most powerful and bloody warriors but also the next in line to succeed him by murdering him.
A warhorde may assume various formations but they all have hordes of Bloodreavers, the most numerous of Khorne’s warriors. Eventually when completely covered in gore the Bloodreavers obtain Khorne armour and weapons and can be called Blood Warriors.
But before then, they need to be proven worthy and every participant of the Trial of Skulls is known as Skullreaper for they hunger for skulls that they need to gather every day otherwise terrible punishments befalls them.
Some warriors are called to the rite of Brass, of which really few survive, but in the end, they are invigorated with daemonic powers and a mist that would throw anyone around them in a blood frenzy. These warriors are known as Wrathmongers and will incite to war their comrades.
Finally, the Khorogoraths are mutated beasts captured by Bloodletters and trained through pain and horrors to become the ferocious creatures that prowl the battlefield side by side with Khorne’s armies.
But how do the Khrone BLoodbound warband play on the tabletop in warcry?
Before starting the Trial of skulls, we need to have a look at the warband in detail.
Overview and Points for the fighters in the Khorne Bloodbound Warband
The Khorne Bloodbound warband is made from 3 kits with 12 options of which 4 are leaders, however one model cannot be bought outside of an extra box.
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
- Skullseeker: 195 points
- Skullreaper: 165 points
Skullreapers are slightly cheaper than Wrathmongers but share a similar profile: 25 wounds (30 for the leader), Movement and Toughness 4, 4 attacks at Strength 4 for 2-4 damage.
Here the damage output is higher although with slightly less attacks meaning that their trademark ability, Daemon-forged Weapons, that for a Triple increases the damage on critical hits, although really thematic costs a Triple and works only if any of those attacks score a 6.
Combined with Lord of Skulls available to all leaders, including the Skullseeker, you now have potentially 10 dice to score as many 6 as you can, but without that and failing to have a high Triple, there’s better use for those dice unless you feel blessed by the Blood God himself.
- Blood Warrior Champion: 185 points
- Blood Warrior with Goreglaive: 120 points
- Blood Warrior with pair of Goreaxes: 115 points
- Blood Warrior with Goreaxe and Gorefist: 110 points
The Blood Warriors have different weapon profiles, but they all share Movement 4”, Toughness 4 and 15 Wounds (25 for the Champion).
The base weapon is Goreaxe and Gorefist: 3 attacks at Strength 3 for 2-4 damage, shared also by the Champion (although with 4 attacks at Strength 4).
Both models also have access to Gorefist, an ability that for a Double can damage an enemy within 1”.
A good Double and some luck with the dice can bring the free damage to 6 (on a 5 or 6 on a dice you can damage the enemy for as much as the value of the ability, on a 3 or 4 only for 1 damage, nothing otherwise). On top of that the Champion has access to Lord of Skulls
The Goreglaive adds more damage on a critical (2-5) while the pair of Goreaxes increases the number of attacks (4 instead of 3) making them efficient in melee especially if combined with a Lord of Skulls that increases their attacks.
Both of these models do not have special abilities outside of Blood for the Blood God and cost more than a simpler Blood Warrior with Goreaxe and Gorefist.
- Bloodreaver Chieftain: 140 points
- Bloodreaver with Meatripper Axe: 65 points
- Bloodreaver with Reaver Blades: 65 points
The Bloodreavers are the cheapest of the warband, including the leader and it shows in a weaker profile with 10 wounds (20 for the Chieftain) and Toughness 3.
They compensate with greater mobility (5”) and a decent number of attacks for the point cost: 4 attacks at Strength 3 for the Reaver Blades or 3 attacks at Strength 4 for the Meatripper Axe.
Both do 1-3 damage, so statistically the Blades are better against tough opponents (5+) while the Axe performs better with lower Toughness (4 or 3). The Chieftain is on 5 attacks at Strength 3 for damage 2-4.
No special abilities for the Bloodreavers outside of the Blood for the Blood God and Lord of Skulls for the Chieftain.
In case would you ever consider a Chieftain as your warband leader…
Khorgorath: 235 points
The Khorgorath is the most expensive unit in the warband, with 35 wounds, Toughness 4 and Movement 4” he does not excel in defence, but rather in attack: 3 attacks at Strength 5 for 4-8 damage, and don’t forget those attacks could become 4 if the Lord of Skulls is activated near him.
Blood for the Blood God gives him a bonus attack or move for a Double and considering he will not struggle to get rid of an opponent, it could be his trademark move.
Instead for a Double he can lash his tentacles to an enemy 6” away for the chance of as much damage as the value of the ability (on a 6, 1 damage on a 4 or 5).
Abilities for the Khorne Bloodbound Warcry Warband
- Blood for the Blood God (Double, Everyone): If a fighter takes down an enemy in the same activation, it can make a bonus move or bonus attack.
- Gorefist (Double, Blood Warrior Champion or armed with Gorefist): Pick an enemy unit within 1” and roll a dice: on a 3-4 do 1 damage, on 5-6 as much damage as the value of the ability.
- Lashing Bone Tentacles (Double, Khorgorath): Pick an enemy unit within 6” and roll a dice: on a 4-5 do 1 damage, on 6 as much damage as the value of the ability.
- Lord of Skulls (Triple, all Leaders): If a leader takes down an enemy this activation, add 1 to the Attacks of all friendly visible fighters within 6” of the leader and with range 3” or less.
- Daemon-forged Weapons (Triple, all Skullreapers): Until the end of the battle round, add half the value of this ability to the damage characteristic on critical hits for weapons with range 3” or less.
- Blood-fuelled Assault (Quad, all Wrathmongers): This fighter does a bonus move and then they can make a bonus attack. In addition, add half the value of this ability to the Strength of weapons with range 3” or less.
Strategy and Tactics for the Khorne Bloodbound Warband
The Khorne Bloodbound warband is a melee focussed warband with lots of attacks and abilities to perform even more. The Khorgorath really makes the difference with high Strength and impressive damage output making him an essential component of any warband, although difficult to retrieve (his box costs £50 but contains other models as well).
Wrathmongers and Skullreapers represent the elite of the warband with a decent amount of damage but they have expensive abilities.
Wrathmongers can have a devastating Quad and with 15 attacks at Strength 5 or more, they can really cause havoc around them.
The Skullreapers Triple instead increases only the damage on a critical hit but having less attacks than a Wrathmonger means also less chances to be as effective.
All these abilities greatly benefit from Lord of Skulls, the leaders’ special ability that provides 1 attack per action to every friendly fighter within a 6” bubble as long as the leader kills an opponent in the same turn.
And of all leaders the Wrathmaster is the one with more chances to kill an enemy with more attacks and high damage.
The Bloodreaver Chieftain is second by number of attacks, but Strength 3 means many he may fail to go through even with the average opponents.
Skullseeker and Blood Warrior Champion have the same weapon profile, so the difference is made by their special abilities: where the Skullseeker can increase his damage on critical hits, the Champion can do 1 damage almost guaranteed (3+ on a dice) and as much as 6 damage (on a 5+) for just a Double.
For the same reason above Blood Warriors, while having less attacks and Strength than the Skullreapers, represent an interesting option for a much cheaper price.
And when they hit, they perform similar damage output, with Goreglaive going on a 5 damage on critical.
In summary what to use will greatly depend on personal preference, but a balanced warband will have a little bit of everything without forgetting the Bloodreavers that allow you to field a horde to swarm and grab the objectives from the dead corpses of your opponents.
A 5” movement is not impressive but is the maximum this warband can afford and will be essential in the race to the farthest corners. In melee Bloodreavers do not excel but for their cost they can throw a punch or two.
On the other side, the absence of ranged units, Wrathmongers with their 2” range representing the top, and average mobility, with the fastest unit being also the squishiest, represent the weakest spot of this warband.
Pros and Cons of the Khorne Bloodbound
+ Many attacks
+ Balanced units
– Average movement
How to buy a Khorne Bloodbounds Warcry Warband
The Khorne Bloodbound warband can be purchased from 3 boxes, however the Khorgorath is currently available only in the old Starter Set for Age of Sigmar: Start Collecting! Khorne Bloodbound Goreblade (£50).
In the same set you can also find 5 Blood Warriors, but armed only with Goreaxe and Gorefist, and 10 Blood Reavers armed only with Blades, both with a leader option.
Next step would be a box of Wrathmongers that allows you to assemble them either as Wrathmongers or Skullreapers. The box contains 5 models for £35, but only one option for a leader so you would need a second box to get both leaders.
If you need the other weapon options, 10 Blood Warriors for £37.5 provides you enough options for all weapon profiles and considering the unit size in Age of Sigmar is 5, you can have 2 valid units.
Same logic applies to the Bloodreavers: 20 models for £35 with valid unit size of 10.
Tips on painting a Khorne Bloodbound Warband for Warcry
More recently Magore’s Fiends warband gave an occasion for a new tutorial on Blood Warriors.