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Boiling my Blood…

Before we begin, let me start off by saying this is article is less a tactical discussion than just a good old fashion rant. Bloodcrushers of Khorne are now the worst unit in the Daemons Codex.

The list is long, but Bloodcrushers must have beaten Phil Kelly too many times, and now he is making sure that never happens again!

To get a clear idea on just how bad Bloodcrushers have become look no further than this comparison between the old and new codex.

(Click to Enlarge)

Bloodcrushers of Khorne Rules 2013

bloodcrushers Rules 2013 



Bloodcrushers of Khorne Rules 2008

Bloodcrushers Rules 2008 



 Compare & Contrast

  • Toughness Reduced 5 to 4
  • Removal of 3+ Armor
  • Attacks Reduced from 4 to 3
  • Now Cavalry & 3 Wounds
  • Increased Cost 40pts to 45pts

--Tough to Swallow—

Everything could be forgiven if this one change never happened, but the lovely new T4 Bloodcrushers are now one Missile Launcher shot away from being dead. You could make them 10 wounds and it wouldn’t matter. Without Eternal Warrior this change doesn’t make any sense.

--Just when you thought—

After you get over the gut punch of T4 you will quickly blackout by the removal of Warp-forged ArmorThis Grants an armor save of 3+. Now a hail of Lasguns can easily take out a Bloodcrusher. Taken together the combination of no Eternal Warrior, T4, and only a 5+ invulnerable save (sorry forgot +6 armor) that makes Bloodcrushers pretty pathetic.

--More like Bloodtrickle –

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Bloodcrushers also have one less attack. I suppose we shouldn’t care that much, because isn’t like Bloodcrushers have a chance of even making an assault in the first place. I suppose the plan might have actually been to make them so nonthreatening your opponent will just ignore them.

--Tokens for your trouble--

In exchange for everything, Bloodcrushers are now Cavalry which makes sense being on Juggernaut of KhorneThe model reviceives +1 Toughness, +1 Wounds, +1 Attack and his unit becomes Cavalry. This must be the main reason for all the nerfs because Bloodcrushers shouldn’t have much of a problem being in range to charge by turn 2. Then Phil tacked on the extra wound, like some consolation prize, but forgetting all the other codex and 6th edition changes!

--Now it isn’t just for new models—

Finally, for all these fantastic changes you get to pay five more points! That is without considering the upgrades you might be tempted to get for your Bloodcrushers! In their current condition Bloodcrushers shouldn’t be more than 30 points, but that would be implying some sort of balanced and we don’t want any of that.

The list is long, but Bloodcrushers must have beaten Phil Kelly too many times, and now he is making sure that never happens again!

Putting it all Together

Frankly, we should’ve seen the writing on the wall. Bloodcrushers of Khorne weren’t long for the tabletop.

It all started with the changes in 6th edition; when HellbladesMelee AP3 became AP3 and Furious Change didn’t include an initiative bonus.

Those changes alone had Bloodcrushers starting to bleed, but they still could play a significant role.

If nothing had changed, (stat wise) Bloodcrushers in the new codex one could stomach a point increase, but as it is the dismantling of this once great unit is mind-boggling. Besides basic troop units Bloodcrushers (pardon the pun) are easily crushed, by almost everything else. Relying on just a 5+ invulnerable save and T4 isn’t good enough. especially, if you compare them to Fiends of Slaanesh which are cheaper and get a few extra tricks.

Bloodcrushers can also suffer mightily in assault, where before it wasn’t the case. In almost all situations units will at least go at the sometime as Bloodcrushers, which means at the very least Bloodcrushers cannot rely on wiping a unit out before taking wounds back. And what happens when you assault a unit through terrain? Let us not forget about random Overwatch wounds as well.

Even with the worst of units you can always find a way to play them, but in the case of Bloodcrushers you're hard pressed to find one. Need a Herald escort why not take Flesh Hounds of Khorne at 1/3 the cost? Need AP3 weapons why not just use Bloodletters?

The only thing which makes Bloodcrushers standout is their hybrid nature of having both AP3 weapons and being fast. They also have access to the Bloodhunter for an Axe of KhorneAxe of Khorne is Melee AP 2 with Decapitation Blow and Specialist Weapon. Decapitation Blow makes all Wound rolls of 6 have the Instant Death special Rule . Bloodcrushers can take full advantage of the Banner of BloodA banner of blood is an Icon of Chaos. Once per game the unit bearing the banner of blood can charge 6+D6. Declare you are using the banner of blood before the distance is rolled., all these bonus increase your Bloodcrusher investment, but doesn’t do anything to make them harder to kill.

The best way to use Bloodcurshers is to combo them with Khorne Cannons and Heralds of Khorne on Juggernauts of KhorneThe model receives +1 Toughness, +1 Wounds, +1 Attack and his unit becomes Cavalry. This way you can deliver the most AP2 strikes along with either a Greater Locus of FuryThis model, and all models in its unit, have the Rage special rule. Models with Rage gain +2 attacks for charging. or Exalted Locus of WrathThis model, and all models in its, have Hatred special rule. A model with Hatred re-rolls all misses during the first round of each combat.

If your local meta is still MEQ heavy having WS5 AP3 monsters isn’t a bad thing. You just have to hope for Nightfight and some good cover because those 5+ saves aren't enough.

I am sure many of you were hoping to find some nugget, some mysterious trick to make Bloodcrushers of Khorne effective, but unless I am completely missing something you're better off avoiding them. Of course, if you have deep fluffy feelings the best advice is to use them exclusively for mono-Khorne builds.

--Ways to play Bloodcrushers of Khorne--

Death Star Configuration: 395 pts 8-man Bloodcrusher unit with Bloodhunter, Banner of Blood, Axe of Khorne

Balanced Configuration: 290 pts 6-man Bloodcrusher unit with Banner of Blood

MSU Configuration: 155 pts 3-man Bloodcrusher unit with Banner of Blood (Tactical Note: Hearld of Khorne escort unit)

Horde Configuration: 430 pts 9-man Bloodcrusher unit with Bloodhunter, Banner of Blood, Axe of Khorne

A Word about Allies

With so many ways for an Ally force to deal with 3+ armor you will find yourself without a compelling reason to to fit Bloodcrushers into a list. The point sink of this unit is better left only for mono-god builds or you think the models are just too damn cool to let collect dust.

Remember unlike other Battle Brothers Daemons ICs cannot join with Chaos Space Marine units under any situation.

Final Thoughts...

Overall, Bloodcrushers of Khorne are a disgrace and sadly many players have these models in their collections. That is perhaps the worst feeling; when GW takes a unit you enjoyed playing and then suddenly makes them pathetic. The best use for Bloodcrusher models it make them into Heralds of Khorne because at least they are worthy of the legacy of a unit once known as the Bloodcrusher.


It's Like Tactics is rated theory hammer because these are general observations and assumptions based on only few tested games.