Hello again my fur lacking mammal friends! I’m back to give you a general review of what troop choice you should have in your Khorne Bloodbound army.
As an AoS player, I understand that the troop organization chart is a bit unorthodox compared to other game systems. To illiterate, the Bloodbound have four major core choices: Bloodreavers, Blood Warriors, Skullreapers, and Wrathmongers. From my experience the Skullreapers and Wrathmongers are more of an elite choice to compensate for the more common but still strong Bloodreavers and Blood Warriors. Where the Bloodreavers and Blood Warriors are the hammer, the Wrathmongers and Skullreapers are the scalpel that supports and performs specific tasks.
Does that mean that you should not take only Skullreapers and Wrathmongers? I would say no; do whatever works for you. A Skullreaper battle line with supporting hero abilities is theoretically a scary thing to behold, but it’s also really expensive and has a very low model count. Any shooting will tear you apart. But do what you feel is best, as the most important rule is to have fun.
Let’s Break it Down.
Minimum of 5 in a unit; 100 points each.
5 inch move; 2 wounds; bravery 6; 2 attacks range 1 inch with +3 to hit and +4 to wound at 1 damage; 1 out of 10 can be equipped with a Goreglave that is 2 attacks range 1 inch with +3 to hit and +3 to wound at 2 damage.
Models may be Icon Bears; add 1 to bravery.
One model is a champion that does an additional attack.
No Respite: If the model is destroyed in the combat phase, it can pile in and attack before being removed.
Duel Goreaxes: can reroll one to hit rolls
Gorefist: if a successful save is made, roll a dice; on a 6 a model within 1 inch takes a moral wound
From the start, they look underwhelming. Only having two attacks each with bravery 6 is crap. With no rend and damage 1, it doesn’t seem like the blood warriors are worth considering. But don’t let their underwhelming stats fool you. Chaos, and specifically the Khorne Bloodbound, are all about recieving giant buffs from heroes and command abilities.
It’s hard to do a review of this units because in truth, like the rest of the Khorne Bloodbound, they are extremely dependent on other unit buffs in order to do well. By themselves they are low par compared to the other troop choices in the game, but with boosts they become nigh unstoppable killing machines.
To be more specific on what boosts these guys can get, let’s give some examples. Two Bloodsecrator’s planted will give them an additional two attacks and make them immune to battleshock, removing the weakness of having low leadership. A Bloodstoker can whip and give the unit +3 to their run and charges, and allow them to reroll 1 to wound. Finally, a Mighty Lord of Khorne can increase their charge range by having them roll three dice instead of two, and choosing the two highest; the command ability (based on what you are versing) can also give them +1 to hit.
This makes your average Blood Warrior have 4 attacks at +2 to hit, +4 to wound with rerolling 1’s, all with being immune to battleshock and having very high charge potential. In a 10 model unit, you would have 41 attacks hitting on +2! And this does not include the Goreglave that you will certainly give to your champion for the extra attack, allowing him to have 5 attacks hitting on +2, with +3 rerolling 1’s to wound that do -1 rend with 2 damage.
Suddenly that seemingly below average unit just wiped the floor with that shiny paladin squad in a single round of combat.
Believe it or not, in an average 1000 point game of AoS, these combo buffs can be easily fit into the point restrictions. If playing matched play, you may want to substitute a Mighty Lord of Khorne for an Aspiring Deathbringer and may also want to remove a single bloodsecrator. But will talk about this in another blog discussing hero’s to bring to the table.
Blood warriors can become scary very, very fast with the right buffs. But what makes them unique? What makes them a prime driving force in the Bloodbound?
Weapon ranges are a big deal in AoS; a lot of units with a higher number of models are often unable to deal the maximum number of attacks because some of the models in the units are not in range. Blood Warriors, for the most part, ignore this: their smaller sized units allow for most of the models to get into range and deal the maximum number of attacks the unit can dish out.
This, mixed with the No Respite special rule, really adds a lot of tactical flavor to the unit. With the way the combat phase works in AoS, it allows you to “sacrifice” this unit to the enemy, giving other heroes or units the chance to attack before suffering losses and decreasing your maximum damage output. Being able to attack before being removed is huge; it gives the blood warriors the opportunity to fully release all of their attacks on a single unit even with casualties, allowing them to maximize their insane buffed damage potential. They are a great synergy unit that works well with other models in your army; use them tactically and well.
For weapon choices, I like to go with the Gorefist. +4 armor save is above average, and I’m one to capitalize on it. The increased save will increase the potential to deal the dreaded mortal wounds, making them a prickly cactus in combat. Sure it won’t go off every time, but it’s a nice to deal mortal wounds from an already killy unit. The extra axe is nice with rerolling 1’s to hit, but if you’re hitting on +2 with buffs, chances are you’ll get a lot of hits to begin with. And if you’re hitting on +3 because either your hero is dead or you didn’t capitalize on hero buffs, things have probably already gone wrong. Unless you decide not to buff them to +2 to hit and allow them to run more independently, then by all means choose the axes.
Onto the next.
Minimum 10 per squad; 80 points per 10.
6 inch move; 1 wounds; bravery 5; 1 attack range 1 inch with +4 to hit and +4 to wound at 1 damage. Choice between Reaver Blades (reroll hit rolls of 1) or Meatripper axes (-1 to rend).
Models may be icon bearers; add one 1 to their bravery.
Models may be horn blowers; add one to their run and charge rolls
1 model is a chieftain; add 1 to his attack characteristic.
Frenzied Devotion: If the unit is within 12 inches of a model with the Chaos and Totem keywords, they make one extra attack.
I’ve typically seen these guys favored over the Blood Warriors simply for the unbelievable number of attacks these guys can dish out if buffed properly. While each Bloodreaver is even weaker then the standard blood warrior without buffs, when you have a large squad of 20 or 30 clogging up your battleline, the numbers outweigh the quality.
Speaking of numbers, it’s generally considered a good idea when fielding these guys to take very large numbers. They have no armor save. None. Meaning that by the time these guys reach combat and enter the combat phase, chances are that they have already taken heavy casualties. Even the average skaven clanrat has a better chance of reaching combat alive then these shirtless lunatics.
Fortunately, they are faster then blood warriors by a single inch. Despite their high morality rate, no matter how many your opponent inevitably kills, there will be enough to swing back with an ungodly number of attacks.
This is assuming you have a Totem near you. Like the Blood Warriors (and most of the Bloodbound units), they require support from heroes to really maximize your effectiveness. Plopping down two Bloodsecrators, in addition to the Mighty Lord of Khorne’s charge boosts and +1 to hit command ability with the added benefit of being whipped by a bloodstoker, can make these guys turn into a literal meat grinder.
With high movement and charge potential, a Bloodreaver unit can easily get into combat and theoretically deal 151 attacks! (assuming the two bloodsecrators stack with the Frenzied Devotion special rule; there’s been no conformation that it doesn’t, at least that I’m aware of).
The chances of you pulling this off is very slim though; there’s still the high possibility that by the time you reach combat chances are that you’ve already taken a number of casualties. This, and unlike the Blood Warriors that have a smaller squad size that’s able to fully pile in all it’s models, the large Bloodreaver squads will most likely not have the chance to fully pile every model into range to attack.
Unless you are going against a very large hero/monster/cavalry unit with a wide base, in which you’re bloodreavers will happily surround and tear apart from all angels.
But even if you only have 10 in range of combat, you would still be doing roughly 50 attacks that hit on +3 and wound on +4. Even if you roll horribly, chances are that you will still do damage. Especially with the Meatripper axes. Unless you purchased the AoS starter box, you should never run reaverblades; the -1 rend on the Meatripper’s is amazing. With the number of attacks you’ll be dishing out, the reroll 1 to hit is pointless compared to the awesome killing potential of the Meatrippers.
As a side note, if you plan on taking Khorne Bloodbound as as an allied choice to another chaos force, the Bloodreavers are oddly the best choice for this. Do to the strange wording of Frenzied Devotion, they benefit from being within distance of any Chaos Totem, not just Khorne devoted ones. So, if you have a Bloodsecrator and a Skaven Totem within vicinity of the Bloodreavers, they would both stack additional attacks. It’s odd, but can potentially bring about interesting combinations.
Overall, the Bloodreavers are a far more straight forward choice: run up the field, take casualties, charge, and kill whatever you hit. Due to their low survivability from having no armor saves, it’s best to have them attack asap in the combat phase. Because they lack the No Respite special rule that the Blood Warriors own, it makes them a far less engaging and tactically rewarding unit to use in the Khorne Bloodbound. They are tailored to a more simple, but still killy and fun approach to playing this faction.
Blood Warriors are probably the better choice when playing a Bloodbound force. Their high number of attacks mixed with their special rules, high armor saves, low model count, and high number of wounds per model makes them an excellent front line unit for taking damage and dishing out the pain. They can take a hit, be killed and still attack back, and deal mortal wounds on lucky rolls.
Bloodreavers are by no means bad, but the lack of armor saves really hurts them. the -1 rend is excellent, but only if you have the chance to use it before being killed. They are better as an allied force to another Chaos faction, or taken as a single large squad to support your Bloodwarriors as either a flanking or distraction unit.
That’s not to say that either are not a good choice; both will give you strong results depending on your play style. This is just my opinion and general experience from fielding these guys; do what you think is best. Do what you enjoy most and works for you.
As always, leave a comment or question to tell me what you think! Stay black and white 😉