This weekend, I managed to get a 1500 point three way game in, using some of the new rules from the new Blades of Khorne Battletome. I’ve not got the right combination of models to field any Battalions yet so was simply using Blood Blessing Prayers, new Artefacts and Command Traits, and the new Blood Tithe system.
Firstly to say we only got in two turns. Three way games are brutal, you get 50% more combat, but the mechanic of moving and manoeuvring three armies means that games take twice as long. We did about three hours in total… One of my opponents is also fairly new to the Age of Sigmar scene, so it took a little longer than against somebody who had more experience.
From the bits I managed to use, I’ll be honest and say that I’m actually quite impressed. I gave my Mighty Lord of Khorne armour that allowed him to ignore rend of -1 and a Command Trait that healed a wound if he slays a model in the combat phase. The armour is fantastic combined with his 3+ save, the trait was less impressive as he didn’t actually kill anything, however he did find himself sat on the outskirts of the battle because of the battleplan we played.
Although I forgot my prayers the first turn, the second turn they really helped. Adding +1 to hit is a massive bonus. One thing that also becomes clear is that you ideally need to get Slaughterpriests stuck into combat to kill something to gain the +1 to their prayer rolls. This means that they’re actually succeeding prayers on a 3+!
The Blood Tithe I’m going to have to reserve judgement on. Although I’d amassed 4 points by the end of the second turn, I didn’t get a chance to expend any (most came on the very last players turn). Personally I’m not sure that Blood Tithe can be relied on during a game unless you build your army in a particular manner (there’s a few ways of gaining bonus points). I think there will be certain builds that are really good when used alongside Blood Tithe points.
Initial Impression on Blades of Khorne
I’ll admit it, I’m fairly happy. Battletome Blades of Khorne increases the ways of fielding a pure Khorne army quite significantly. The battalions are all pretty solid and I can’t imagine anybody not using one if they’re wanting to field a block of Khorne units in their army. The new Blood Blessing prayers are going to make Slaughterpriests and Warshrines much more common and I can see battalions such as Gore Pilgrims being used very regularly in games. With the exception of the new banners, the additional artefacts are very in keeping with Khorne and useful too. I need to get some more games in before I determine if Blood Tithe is worth the loss of Unpredictable Destruction, my gut feeling is it will have less impact in a game but when it does it’ll have a big impact.
Certain combinations of battalions will allow an army to catapult itself across the battlefield, though the general feeling is that Sayl is still more reliable for some builds. I’m certainly going to aim to build up a small Goretide battalion which grants a D6″ movement in each of my hero phases – importantly this will allow me to move the Bloodsecrator between banner plants.
Frustratingly I feel that Blades of Khorne hasn’t addressed a couple of the main gripes about the army, namely it’s vulnerability to having characters sniped off with shooting and a couple of the under-performing units such as Skullcrushers. Under-performing units is pretty easy to resolve, you simply don’t take those units or field them in a battalion that improves them. However there’s so much synergy based on characters, to have them simply shot off one at a time with no come back isn’t ideal. That said I did manage to one shot a Lord Celestant with Blood Boil and one shot a Necromancer with my Skull Cannon during the game.
I also question the thought behind the new banners. The only unit they can be put on is a Bloodsecrator, however if you’re playing things right, he should be placed somewhere safe. All of the new banners have an 8″ range, so likely to get very little in the way of use. Ideally the requirement should have been Khorne Totem which would have allowed them to be used on a Warshrine.
I’m expecting an FAQ at some point because (unsurprisingly) there’s some debate over the interpretation of some abilities. Largely it’s down to people simplifying rules in their head, but there are some oddities where mega-battalions state “Khorne Bloodbound” or “Khorne Daemon” battalion and all of the battalions in the book are simply “Khorne”. In theory this means to use the battalions that exist in an old book but not this one, however to me that sounds odd!