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As the Skulls keep rolling...
Heralds of Khorne are pack leaders for the Blood God, bringing retribution on the back of a brass steed, or driving a poor excuse for a Harley cruiser. As it is, the tactics and playability of Heralds of Khorne haven't changed must between the old and new codex.
What has changed is how Heralds of Khorne effect other units. No long is the Herald of Khorne only a beat stick, now they can increase the potency of the units they lead. Understanding this new dynamic starts by looking at the differences between the 2008 and 2013 Heralds of Khorne.
(Click to Enlarge)
Compare & Contrast
- Point Decrease from 70 to 55 points
- Profile Increases
- Gifts replaced by Daemonic Rewards
- Daemonic Loci
- The Blood Throne of Khorne
--Cheaper Blood Donation--
Heralds of Khorne are down a decent amount points, but if you plan on trying to match as close as possible to the prowess of the previous edition it becomes a point wash. Now with more expensive viable upgrades.
--Better Decapitation for everyone--
Heralds of Khorne got generally more killy. The boosts to WS and initiative having the greatest benefits, many powerful characters will be surprised to find themselves hitting 4s and not going first against a Herald. The strange BS7 is nothing to snooze at either, too bad guns are for wimps!
--More Random for the Blood God--
The old Khorne gifts weren't very good, and now with the access to a unified set of rewards things are much better. While most units are subject to the whims of random rolls, the Herald of Khorne can rely on just taking magical weapons to deal the necessary death they always look for.
--Rallying the Bloodlust--
The Heralds of Khorne get some of the most useful Locus in the codex. The point costs are reasonable and fit with any Khorne theme. The biggest problem is the unstackable nature of Locus, with dreams of Rage and Hatred combined are quickly dashed by "unreasonable" restrictions. Depending on the units escorting your Herald will determine exactly what Locus you will you use, there isn't one necessarily better than another.
--Ghost Riders of Khorne--
The biggest oddity for any Herald of Khorne is taking a Blood Throne of Khorne, these dedicated transports are semi-fragile, but provide an interesting ability. The Totem of Endless Bloodletting is the only ability that can spread the a Herald's locus around. It means Khorne Daemon Princes and Bloodthirsters can get bonuses just same as everyone else. If you don't mind giving up First Blood the possibilities are intriguing.
Heralds of Khorne are pack leaders for the Blood God, bringing retribution on the back of a brass steed, or driving a poor excuse for a Harley cruiser.
Putting it all Together...
The Herald of Khorne is one of the cheapest, but deadliest characters in the game. They can lead a unit of Bloodletters or Fleshhounds providing the punch necessary to win a combat. Their cost effectiveness is a tool for risk taking, as reward vs. loss isn't particularly soul crushing. Then there is the Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut of Khorne-- the dream of what Bloodcrushers should be. Moreover, like all Heralds, the Herald of Khorne can be hidden in the bounty of effective Blood God's units.
As a secret decapitating tool Heralds of Khorne can win most challenges or at the very least pose a dangerous pediment to even the most stout of opponents and all for less than 150 points. Then the Blood Throne with the ability to buff all units around, unlike every other Herald.
The best way to understand Heralds of Khorne is by dissecting the forms they can come in: as Infantry, Cavalry, or Vehicle.
As Infantry a Herald of Khorne are at there cheapest, but the least game changing. An infantry Herald of Khorne is often left protecting Bloodletters. His purpose is one of two things; either use the his Locus to extend Bloodletter damage output or sit back and man a Fortification. The first purpose is pretty self-explanatory, as for the second it requires using the amazing BS7 to shoot down flyers when manning say a Icarus Lascannon. In a unit of Bloodletters utilizing a Herald requires large units, as you march across the battlefield. It is imperative to have a Banner of Blood to insure getting a charge off. This is where taking Karanak in tandem isn't a bad idea if you want to keep things cheap. Karanak grants Scout to any unit he joins, so having him either move your unit closer or Outflanking can be clutch.
The second and most played Herald of Khorne is riding a Juggernaut of Khorne, this mobile platform requires paying only a pittance for extreme lethality. The most important facet of a Jugger Herald is having T5 to reduce Instant Death probability. The Juggernaut of Khorne gives speed Heralds need to join Flesh Hounds or Bloodcrushers. A Herald of Khorne is almost a must take for these units, because if for nothing else access to Axe of Khorne. Heralds balance these units and keeps opponents honest when engaging them. The bonuses for riding a Juggernaut of Khorne is undeniable, making it as close to a must buy as anything.
The third way you can play your Herald of Khorne is by taking the a Throne of Blood. These terrible looking models ain't helped by the fragility of Chariots. Having an AV12 vehicle in any edition, but 6th wouldn't be a problem, but with mass Strenght 6 and 7 you are looking at a dead throne in one turn. That is why if you go this route, better take multiple thrones to get the best chance one will survive. The Totem of Endless Bloodletting used along side flying monstrous creatures cannot be denied, not to mention the speed the Chariots moves makes it easy to get into position. Even with the Chariot destroy your opponent still has to deal with an angry Herald who just lost his ride. Don't forget Soulgrinders along with the Throne as a cheaper alternative to Deamon Princes.
Final note, Heralds of Khorne work well mixing and matching. Taking a few along with Karanak or Skulltaker makes for cheap Deathstars. You can challenge in and out characters as need be, while staying inexpensive, since you won't need to buy a Locus for the Heralds themselves.
All three ways require one auto purchase, a Lesser Reward to get a Magical Weapon known as the Axe of Khorne this minor investment makes you feel like a Bloodcrusher of old without breaking the bank. As for a Locus it depends on what combinations you are looking to perform. The Lesser Locus of Abjuration is fantastic alongside Flesh Hounds for a 3+ Deny the Witch. Greater Locus of Rage gets the most use out of Bloodcrushers by increasing their damage output. Exalted Locus of Wrath on the other hand is a good buy for Bloodletters because often you will be on the receiving end of an assault and being able to re-roll hits is clutch.
All in all the Khorne Locus have a place, they only increase what Khorne does well. Unlike other Gods where it just seemed the design team ran out of ideas, the Khorne Locus recreate what we always imagined a bloodthirsty God would want from his champions.
-- Herald of Khorne Sample Lists--
A Word about Allies
If your force is lacking an assault punch, taking a Herald of Khorne along with some Flesh Hounds or Bloodcrushers is really all you need. You will be giving up on having a Flying Monstrous Creatures, but the cost and effectivness of a Herald of Khorne cannot be denied.
Remember unlike other Battle Brothers Daemons ICs cannot join with Chaos Space Marine units under any circumstance.
Overall, Heralds of Khorne are as straightforward a unit as it gets. If you need an extra punch without relying on Psychic powers Heralds of Khorne are where it is at. Heralds of Khorne also have a lot of flexibility, as long as you goal is get into assault and walk all over your opponents corpses.
It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.
For tactical articles feel free to email me to continue the discussion or if you discover an inaccurate interpretations of the rules-- edits will be made accordingly.
Also check out other articles in this series...
- Chaos Space Marine Tactica Link Page
- Chaos Daemons Impressions
- Breaking Down Chaos Daemons
- Bloodletters of Khorne Review
- Pink Horrors of Tzeentch Review
- Plaguebearers of Nurgle Review
- Deamonettes of Slaanesh Review
- Bloodcrushers of Khorne Review
- Flamers of Tzeentch Review
- Beasts of Nurgle Review
- Fiends of Slaanesh Review
- Flesh Hounds of Khorne Review
- Screamers of Tzeentch Review
- Plague Drones of Nurgle Review
- Chaos Furies Review
- Seekers of Slannesh Review
- Soul Grinder Review
- Skull Cannon of Khorne Review
- Nurglings Review
- Skarbrand Review
- Kairos Fateweaver Review
- Ku'Gath the Plaguefather Review
- Bloodthirster Review
- Lord of Change Review
- Great Unclean One Review
- Keeper of Secrets Review
- Daemon Prince Review
- Skulltaker Review
- The Changling Review
- The Blue Scribes Review
- Epidemius Review
- The Masque Review
- Herald of Khorne Review
- Herald of Tzeentch Review
- Herald of Nurgle Review
- Herald of Slaanesh Review
- Exalted, Seeker, Hellflayer Chariots of Slaanesh Review
- Burning Chariot of Tzeentch Review
- A Look Back and Final Chaos Codex Daemons Breakdown