Friday, June 26, 2015

Meat for the Meat Grinder: A Khorne Daemonkin Battle Report

Yesterday I played a game against one of my good friends, Phil, who has recently gotten back into 40k.  He was trying out a Dark Eldar list and I decided to play around with Khorne Daemonkin.
His list:

Haemonculi: (special item that prevents the first instant death)

3 Grotesques
Raider: dark lance
3 Grotesques
Raider: dark lance
3 Grotesques
Raider: dark lance
3 Grotesques
Raider: dark lance
3 Grotesques
Raider: dark lance
3 Grotesques
Raider: dark lance

Corpse Thief Formation
Talos x5: haywire blasters, fleshbane and instant death on 6's x2

My list:
Chaos Lord: terminator armor, axe of Khorne

Chaos Space Marines x10: 2 melta guns




Terminators: Chainfist


Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage

Soul Grinder: baleful torrent

Helbrute: reaper autocannon, missile launcher

Chaos Spawn x5

We rolled Capture and Control for our mission with dawn of war deployment.  My warlord trait let any unit within 12" of my warlord re-roll failed charges.  Phil won the roll to deploy and go first.

We both deployed in a line with each of us deployed on the others flank.

There is an objective hiding behind that house.

Little did I realize that the rhino/helbrute deployment was OP.

Turn 1: 

Phil moves his corpse thief right up the center and all his transports hide behind terrain or the talos.  He shoots dark lances at my landraider and only manages to take off a single hull point.  The haywire blasters score 4 glances on my helbrute and I manage to make 3 saves!

I know that turn 1 is going to be avoidance since I don't have any buffs from blood tithe points, so my bloodthirster, Marines, and one squad of bloodcrushers hide behind a building.   The spawn go hang out in some trees.
Nothing to see here.

I shoot at some raiders, force a couple of jinks, but I can only get one glance through his jink saves.

Turn 2:

Phil moves two of his raiders towards my chaos spawn also capturing an objective in the process. 

Up in my business, stealin' my objectives.

The corpse thief attempts to move up, but only moves 2" due to the, very, difficult terrain.  The talos make up for this by wrecking my landraider with their haywire blasters.  Four of the dark lances shoot at my helbrute, but since I roll my saves like a boss only a single glance gets through.

With three blood points I give myself feel no pain and rage/furious charge.  My bloodletters land on his back objective (the one hidden behind the house), because I figure most everything else is going to be tied up in combat.  The posessed decide to jump out of their transport because I expect that the spawn are going to need some help dealing with the hurt headed their direction.  With my bonuses I decide to try and eliminate the corpse thief early in the game, so the bloodthirster, bloodcrushers, and terminators line up to charge.  I did not realize that the models with fleshbane also caused instant death on 6's  Once again my shooting forces some jinks, but doesn't manage to blow up any of the raiders.  I manage to wreck one of the two raiders by my spawn and the grotesques pop out.  My terminators charge at the corpse thief soaking up the overwatch, but don't make it into combat.  The bloodthirster and bloodcrushers make the charge easily and since the bloodcrushers went in first the bloodthirster can only be hit by one model with fleshbane.

The screamers were one of many proxies used in this game.

Two of the talos attack my bloodthirster, one attack manages to wound, but it is instant death, and I fail my save.  Goodbye bloodthirster....  The bloodcrushers are clearly angry, they make all of their saves, and kill one of the talos in return.

Turn 3:

All of the grotesques jump out of their transports.  Two squads hang out by my spawn, one eyes down the possessed, two more prepare to charge the terminators, and the last one moves in to support the talos.  Phil's shooting finally manages to kill my helbrute, and it explodes after absorbing an insane amount of shots.  The spawn get wiped down to one model, and the possessed are removed from the board.  Both squads do some damage in return, but not enough to claim victory.  Phil rolls terribly with his Talos and fails to cause any wounds to the Bloodcrushers.  The Chaos Lord and Terminators do much better though.  One of the grotesque squads fails its 4" charge through the river letting the terminators deal with one squad at a time.  The terminators kill one of the grotesques and I put a wound on the haemonculi; all while taking no wounds in return.  

With four blood tithe points at my disposal I give everyone +1 attack and feel no pain.  Most everything is locked in combat, but the second squad of bloodcrushers goes after an objective and my soul grinder moves up to try and join the melee in the center of the board.  

That is how we party!

Since the haemonculi and grotesques *coughscourgescough* failed their charge my soul grinder ends up with a hilarious shooting opportunity; I could insta-kill his warlord.  I shoot the flamer template, get one wound to the haemonculi, and eat up the special wargear with the wound.  The autocannon follows up and manages to finish the job, while the additional wounds from the two weapons manage to kill one of the grotesques!  In combat the spawn are finished off and my bloodcrushers drop down to a single model.  My chaos lord decides that he has had enough of this challenge and promptly removes the head of the haemonculi.

Turn 4:

Phil moves his transports out of the center to try and block my bloodcrushers and marines from supporting the center, but he manages to wreck one of his own transports when he fails his dangerous terrain check.  One of the squads of Grotesques jumps back in a raider and flies over towards his back objective controlled by my bloodcrushers.  Shooting does nothing.  The remaining two grotesques in the river charge my terminators.  I manage to take out the two that had been in combat previously, but I lose two of my terminators in the process.  The talos also manage to finish off the last bloodcrusher.

With all the death and destruction I have ended up with 6 blood tithe points, so I summon another squad of bloodcrushers right next to the Talos and give everyone feel no pain.  My old bloodcrushers go after one of his transports as do my bloodletters, and the rhino full of marines goes to capture an objective.  Shooting kills a grotesque, but there isn't much left that can shoot.  In combat I kill one of his transports with my bloodcrushers, put a hull point on another with the bloodletters, and kill a few grotuesques with my terminators.  

Turn 5:

One of the grotesque squads moves towards my cultists, another jumps out of its transport to attack the bloodletters, and the corpse thief heads towards the soul grinder.  Shooting from the corpse thief takes the soul grinder down to a single wound, and it gets finished off in close combat.  The bloodletters get wiped out, but the cultists remain safe when the grotesques fail their charge.

No more soul grinder.

I am running out of units, so I use my blood tithe points to summon more bloodletters; however, they scatter wide and mishap, destroying the entire unit.  Combat has me take out some grotesques, and lose the remaining terminators.

Turn 6:

While there was a turn 6 we mostly just went after objectives.  I don't think there were any kills on either side. We roll and the game ends.

When we count up our tactical objectives we actually have the same amount (12 each); however each unit that was killed by the corpse thief awarded him an extra victory point, so victory for the Dark Eldar.

Post game thoughts:

I knew that the bloodthirster was a risk, and I might have played it differently if I had known about the instant death, but I always knew that losing it was a possibility.  The corpse thief was a brutal formation, and I should have done a better job of trying to avoid it.

On the plus side I was completely blown away by the performance of my terminators.  I have never had terminators with feel no pain and they took a massive beating.  Most of the squad's killing power came from the chaos lord, but the other models did an amazing job of absorbing wounds.  I am definitely planning on running more terminators.

As with previous games I have managed to maintain feel no pain for every turn past turn 1.  This has been paramount to the survival of my units, and I don't think I would have been nearly as successful if I would have tried to save up for bigger rewards.


  1. Tough break on the BT, sounds like a bloody game. Personally I like putting Kor'lath on my Chaos lord so I get a free BT when he dies rather than having to pay for one. Plus the AP2 axe is pretty nice by itself.

    1. I think that may be the plan for next time. It saves me a lot of points and could be a bit of a deterrent for attacking my chaos lord.

    2. You could take it one step further and make him turn into a Daemon Prince before he gets killed. He gets to turn into a Bloodthirster twice that way. Once because the Chaos Lord model is removed 'as a casualty' and once again when the Daemon Prince eventually dies too. Of course, always decide that the Daemon Prince doesn't have any wings...

    3. You could take it one step further and make him turn into a Daemon Prince before he gets killed. He gets to turn into a Bloodthirster twice that way. Once because the Chaos Lord model is removed 'as a casualty' and once again when the Daemon Prince eventually dies too. Of course, always decide that the Daemon Prince doesn't have any wings...

  2. Nice report, the Daemonkin seem like a really fun and flavoursome force to play with :-)

    1. It is one of the most fun armies I have played for a while. I can't wait for Nurgle Daemonkin.

  3. Semi-unrelated note: I hope GW decides to release a new base CSM codex before they release the next daemonkin books. As much as Khorne Daemonkin has done wonders for Khorne-based armies, I can't help but think it's more of a bandage fix. The underlying units need to be brought in line with what other books have and I'd rather they fix the units first before putting them in another Daemonkin book.

    The Chaos Daemons book I'm less worried about because they are still very potent when played correctly.

    1. The CSM book is fairly terrible. The lack of formations and limited 'good' units means that there are only a couple of builds that work on anything above a friendly level.

      Up until recently I might even have argued that GW was pushing for everyone to include allies simply because every army seemed to have obvious weaknesses that others could easily fill. The the Eldar and Space Marine codexes came out....

      Daemons have a great book. There is some lacking flavor because of no formations, and the book keeping can really suck, but there are multiple builds that are viable on a competitive level.

    2. Warhammer has always been like that, it just wasn’t as apparent before “Allies” became a legal thing. Each army has its own niche - ex: Nids, Chaos, and Orks are assault-based armies whereas Guard, Tau, and Necrons are inherently focused on shoting. Even before allies were allowed I used to play group games with my friends where it would be something like Tau + Chaos vs Imperium and it was easy to tell that combining strong assault units from Chaos with strong shooting units from Tau was an incredibly powerful way to cover weaknesses.

      Naturally, GW wanted to add Allies because a) it would sell more models and b) players wanted to be able to play all their armies if they had more than one. The problem is, it throws a huge loop in the tournament/WAAC scene because there are a lot of exploits that go along with it which we kind of just have to live with unfortunately if we want the freedom of allies (which I think is a great addition).

      But then we got to Eldar and Space Marines who can both shoot better and assault better point for point than armies that are supposed to specialize in one or the other...

  4. Wonderful game! Two melee-oriented army that punch faces each others it's fantastic.
    I really like Phil's Haemunculus Covens list, I recently have bought my 5 talos for the corpsethief formation, that is awesome! I have only tried it with the splinter cannons instead of the haywire because I can't say no to 30 twin-linked bs4 poisoned shots( who dares to charge them?) but I have to admit that also the haywire solution has his reason (destroy a vehicle and then charge his occupant in the same turn)... I can't decide!
    If I did not understand wrong, Phil made a little mistake forgetting to reallocate wounds on his grotesques to avoid the death of his haemy during the ID (for him, but not for the grotesques, that could still try to use their 5+ fnp) shooting.

    PS: Beautiful painted armies!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here...
    Chef Vivaraa

  7. Meat for the Meat Grinder: A Khorne Daemonkin Battle Report. Yesterday I played a game against one of my good friends, Phil, who has ...