Rise Together: Genestealer Cult Codex Review

Greetings all,

A little later than I thought it would be, nothing new there, but here’s a review of the recent Genestealer Cult Codex.


Right on the armoured heels of Deathwatch we have the insidious Xenos menace of the Genestealer Cult. The Codex is pretty gorgeous it must be said and is filled with some great artwork, as usual the book is well bound and feels sturdy; which is a good thing, as I can see this Codex being damn popular.

For those who are shady on the details, the Genestealer Cult has been in the narrative of the Warhammer 40’000 universe for some time, they’ve just never received this sort of attention before, making them a stand-alone fully playable race with dedicated plastic models. The age we live in. The Cult is an offshoot of the Xenos race known as the Tyranids, which we shall look into a bit further below.


The Narrative

The Tyranids are an alien race in the purest sense; able to traverse the void in huge bio-form ships and bound by a hive mind consciousness.  The Tyranids purpose is to consume all matter in the universe and currently the various hives seem driven toward the Sol System (where Terra and the Carrion God reside).

The vanguard of the Tyranid Hive Fleets are often made up of the Genestealers, they are ferocious predators in their own right but individually they present a small threat, one even an Imperial Guard platoon could take care of, probably with the words ‘first line fire’, thrown in for good measure. However the Genestealer can infect a human (or any biological race technically) with its DNA, this process serves a dual purpose; first to taint the host and second to instil loyalty to the Xenos.  The first Genestealer to perform this vile intrusion on a planet will begin to evolve in to a Patriarch, the alpha of its kind, and will be venerated by those infected with its DNA. When the infected procreate the progeny that follow will be hybrids of the host race and the Tyranids.  At this point I should mention that the Codex has a great two page spread that illustrates the generation cycle from the first of those infected, their mutated offspring to the fourth generation that look almost identical to the host race and how the cycle begins anew with the fifth generation being pure strain Genestealers.

So that’s the rough overview of what the Genestealer Cult is, a hybridised sub race of the Tyranids formed from a parasitic-like bond with a host race. The reason for this is so that a Cult can infiltrate a planet and eventually destabilise it, making it easy prey for the real threat, the Tyranid Hive Fleet. What happens to the Cult once they have achieved their purpose, when the old regime has been toppled, the Imperial Eagle smashed upon the ground and in its place flies the banner of the Wyrm devouring itself. The adulation of the baying hybrid’s roars ascend in to the sky, even as more bio-organic spores descend on to the planet. Well, now the Tyranids turn upon their temporary allies and devour them, their purpose is done and so generations of hybrids that worshipped the Tyranids are consumed, nothing more than biomass for the Xenos creatures. Quite tragic really, what’s worse are the brief tales the Codex gives us of the people that voluntarily venerate the many limbed Star Gods, how could they possibly know that though the Cult preach salvation will be had once the Star Gods arrive, that they in fact know nothing of the Tyranids true purpose to consume all life.


The Rules

Units wise you have the following:


Patriarch – Fast and hard hitting, this thing will tear through Astartes.

Magus – He’ll get torn apart in combat but the Broodmind psychic powers are excellent.

Primus – Half decent in combat and provides Hatred to his unit.

Acolyte Iconward – Similar to the Primus, adds to the FNP of units within 12”.


Acolyte Hybrids – First and second generation hybrids, rending in combat with 4 attacks each on the charge, dirt cheap as well!

Neophyte Hybrids – The mainstay of the army, plenty of small arms weaponry. They can have a nice mixture of short to medium range gear and some interesting heavy weapon choices.


Hybrid Metamorphs – Like the Acolytes but even nastier in combat for barely any extra points.

Purestrain Genestealers – Say hello to a five plus invulnerable save and the army wide rule can be pretty nice for getting these chaps in close to the enemy.

Aberrants – An odd unit, in theory they should dish out some punishment. However they only have a 5+ save; even with 2 wounds and FNP they’re not all that resilient.

Fast Attack

Chimera – One of the most glorious transports, basically identical to the Imperial Guard variant.

Armoured Sentinel – Cheap armoured support, only BS 3 so perhaps go for broke and take Plasma Cannons on them for heavy infantry liquidation.

Scout Sentinel – Cheaper than their armoured cousins but a strong gust of wind can take these lads down, only take these if you’re including a lot of them and even then expect early losses.

Goliath Truck – A gloriously cheap open top transport (so an assault vehicle), however it explicitly states no Genestealer Purestrains or a Patriarch can ride in it (though they could hop in the Chimera, not a lot of point in that but they could).

Heavy Support

Goliath Rockgrinder  – A sturdier version of the truck, this one’s a tank with some fairly good ramming capability. Lower transport capacity (6 as opposed to 10) with fairly ‘meh’ ranged weaponry (though mildly better than the truck).

Leman Russ Squadron – The armour of choice, although less variants in this list: no Demolisher, Punisher or Plasma spewing variant. Still, a solid choice for firepower in a very close ranged army.


The army wide rule is what really sets this force apart; these are Cult Ambush and Return to the Shadows. These rules apply to all of your infantry, including the characters. Cult Ambush allows your unit to arrive from reserve (or if they have infiltrate) using the Ambush table. To do this you roll a D6 and consult the chart for each unit arriving in this way:

1 – Enjoy coming on from your own table edge (not so bad thanks to Return to the Shadows and could be useful anyway).

2 – Basically Outlank, which is a good thing.

3 – Set up the unit anywhere up to 9” away from an enemy unit, or up to 6” if no enemy unit can see them.

4 – Set up the unit anywhere up to 6” away, regardless of if the enemy can see them.

5 – Same as 4 except you get to make a bonus shooting attack with the unit, as if it were the shooting phase and you can still shoot in the shooting phase!

6 – Set up anywhere up to 3” away from an enemy unit and you can charge that turn!

As you can see this table is pretty phenomenal for allowing you to dominate the table strategically. It should be noted that these units will need to dish out the hurt because this is an army of 5+ saves, even Ork firepower could see them off in swift order.

This brings me on to Return to the Shadows, in the movement phase, as long as said infantry unit did not arrive from reserve that turn and is not within 6” of an enemy they can be taken off the board and placed in to Ongoing Reserve. They could then arrive next turn using the Cult Ambush table if you wished (which let’s face it, is probably a solid option).

I have to say I really like how this army can play and the first thing that my best mate said was ‘wow, they’d be perfect for an Alpha Legion counts as’, which I definitely agree with. Stick an Astartes with cut down power armour in as your Patriarch, have your Hybrids as mutants and your Neophytes as cultists, job done. This army really works for general rebellious themes as well, not to detract from the awesomeness of the Genestealer Cult, but you could have a Fallen leading them or an Imperial uprising led by a Primus (modelled as a disgruntled General, Governor, etc). A Tzeentchian Cult would be an interesting take as well, grab those Tzangors from Silver Tower as your Hybrids, the Ogroid would make a cracking Patriarch, with the Gaunt Summoner as your Magus. Such possibilities…

However, back to the true Cult, this is not an army for beginners. The flexibility of the Cult Ambush rule is counter balanced by poor armour saves across the board and moderate armoured support. This list would definitely function better if taken as hordes of infantry with some armour; otherwise it may as well be an Imperial Guard list. That said, Tyranids are not your only Allies of Convenience, you can ally with Imperial Guard as AofC as well; this opens up your list building options a lot if you like to take allies.

The relics are alright, there are some fun ones but from a competitive stance I would always opt for the Crouchling, a unique familiar that gives you the two additional S4 rending attacks in combat but more importantly allows you to generate one additional psychic power.


Speaking of, the Broodmind psychic powers are pretty ace, some highlights are: the Primaris Mass Hypnosis a malediction that reduces a units WS, BS, I and A by 1; Psychic Stimulus WC 1 unit gains Relentless, Fleet and can charge even if it ran; Might from Beyond unit gains +1 S in combat and gains Rage; Mind Control WC 2 where you can target an enemy non-vehicle unit (Focussed Witchfire, so only one model) and have them/it shoot at a different target of your choosing. Oh and there’s one where you can summon more units on to the board, so pretty nasty really. I know the summoning of units is a pretty controversial topic but in casual games you’re unlike to summon more than one or two units successfully.

The Codex contains a few Imperial mining tools that have been repurposed as weaponry which is a really ace touch and I like how the mining gear of the Imperium has been designed to blend in with the Tyranids ridged carapace armour.

There are some good formations however I shan’t go in to detail as I’m almost at the 2000 word mark. There are two of particular note though: Subterranean Uprising, which consists of infantry and a Primus (compulsory Metamorphs and Acolytes, the first and second generation cultists). The benefit is that you may roll two dice and pick the result on the Cult Ambush table and the unit with the Primus may roll three dice and pick the result! Then there’s the Doting Throng, basically a Magus with a bunch of Neophytes and/or Acolytes. Units within 12” of the Magus gain Frenzy and the unit with the Magus in can re-roll to hits in combat every round. Also, Blessing powers from the Magus that target units from this formation can be re-rolled if the test was failed.

Overall this is a great Codex; the art is ace, the narrative very enjoyable and the rules offer a refreshing take that should be fun to play with and an absolute mindbender to fight against!

Have an ace one all.


Quick disclaimer, the photo’s are from the Games Workshop website and are used solely for illustrative purposes to provide a bit of colour to an otherwise word ridden review!

The Watch Has Just Begun: Deathwatch Codex Review

Greetings all,

Well, it’s been a while. You can thank life for that. I still have that short story to share with you all, however I have done almost nought in the way of hobbying since my last post, so no story until it has some pictures to go with it (for those that have no interest in amateur fiction).

Enough! On to the review…


Codex Deathwatch is the latest in cut down army books that give you access to fewer options but just enough that it could be used as a force in its own right, unlike say Militarum Tempestus, which is fine as the Imperium of Mankind functions at its best when disparate elements work together (at least, if you’re willing to carry several Codex’s around to field all of the detachments you could use in a single force).


As always the high standards of GW’s printing press means you have a solid book on your hands, filled with some pretty cool pictures of post humans slaughtering vile aliens in their droves. The artwork does vary in style but overall its top notch, however the section beginning’ Knights of the Long Vigil’ I could happily do without. The basic 2D style of the marines and bland colours seems out of place in an otherwise excellent book. I feel like this section could have been done using the ‘Eavy Metal shots that appear a few pages later. Filler is what I would call the Vigil section. However, let’s not be unkind, some of us may well like this style, as it does present the Astartes in a clean uncluttered way for those that wish to look at the iconography on the Marines in detail.

The Narrative

In brief, the Deathwatch are made up of Space Marines from hundreds of Chapters to specifically fight the threat of aliens (or Xenos as they’re known), within and without the domain of mankind.  These marines are seconded to the Deathwatch for a variable length of time, until they return to their Chapter or more likely die in battle. They are not led by the Inquisition of the Ordo Xenos, though they do have such close goals that they fight/work together and bear the seal of the Inquisition where normally their Chapter symbol would be.

The book covers the lore well and from reading it you gain a good handle on who this force is and why they fight the way they do against the specific threat presented by Xenos races. There is a timeline (esque) section of battles fought, a map showing some of the main Deathwatch fortresses located within the various Segmentums, a breakdown of some of the different Chapters that make up the Deathwatch along with the narrative about the various positions within this faction (like Librarian).

One of my favourite pieces was about the Black Shields, Space Marines who have forsaken any past allegiance to permanently join the Death Watch. This is not a new thing, there are Black Shields in the Heresy that are similar, but this is a specific twist that could definitely be greeted with mixed reactions, here goes:

“Some may be the last of a Chapter all but destroyed in the line of duty. Others may be the last loyal warriors of a Chapter who have turned renegade, or even those legendary few lost in time – those who would be instantly executed were their former allegiance known.”

Now, I believe this is more in direct reference to the Fallen, the traitorous element of the Dark Angels. However, I prefer to think that some cacophonous Emperor’s Children could roll up to a Deathwatch fortress and the Watch Master would be like ‘well… you’re a loose cannon but you get results, switch out that armour with the writhing faces for this sleek black number and you’re in.’


The Rules

Brass tacks now, units wise you have the following:


Watch Master

Watch Captain (no Captain Artemis, he’s in the Death Masque specific rules)







Dreadnought (regular and venerable)

Vanguard Veterans (not a mistake, they are elites)

Fast Attack




Drop Pod

Corvus Blackstar (the new flyer)

Heavy Support

Land Raider (regular, Redeemer and Crusader variants)

One of the main oddities of this force is that as the Deathwatch do not follow the Codex Astartes, the unit size of Vanguard Vets, Terminators and Bikers is one to five. That and the upgrades in the squad state ‘any model may choose one of the following’ for some of their options. So you could have a squad of Terminators consisting of just one Terminator and he could have an Assault Cannon, or feel free to have five Terminators in a squad, all with Cyclone Missile Launchers! Likewise with the Vanguard Veterans any of the squad can switch their weapons out for special weapons as well, including the devastating new Heavy Thunder Hammer.

Of quick note; Captain Artemis can be used in place of a Watch Captain however his rules are not in the Codex, they are in the Death Masque rules for what’s in the box. Shame but it’s done now. He is a fairly standard Watch Captain, however one of his best rules is that he carries a one use Stasis Bomb, if you hit it’s strength D. Bonus points if you have a stasis fight with Lukas the Trickster from the feral marines.


Now in heroic 28mm scale for your 40K Xenos killing pleasure!

The Deathwatch also have a unique way of forming the army, this is by the way of Kill Teams (be the formations or part of the detachment to gain further army wide rules), interestingly you can have mixed squads working as one unit and you are pretty much covered however you want that unit to be made up. A perfect for instance:

Aquila Kill Team

  • 1 unit of Veterans
  • One or more choices in any combination from the following list:
  • Librarian
  • Terminators
  • Vanguard Veterans
  • Bikers

The above would form one unit (of no more than ten models excluding transports), they must stay as one unit (Librarian cannot leave, cannot combat squad) but they also benefit from the Aquilla doctrine ‘Non-vehicle models from this formation can re-roll any to wound rolls and armour penetration rolls of 1’. This is your base Kill Team that you can really customise to form specific battlefield functions.

You could…

Take one unit of vets with four Deathwatch Frag Canons, two terminators with Cyclone Missile Launchers and one Librarian with Divination (so that you get Prescience, re-roll to hit in combat and shooting). Then load said squad up in a Drop Pod, watch as first turn you can land next to a target and potentially dish out 8 strength 9 armour piercing 2 shots (if within 12”) from the Frag Canons and four strength 8 AP 3 missiles from the Cyclones; probably with a bucket load of re-rolls thanks to the Librarian and Aquilla Kill Team tactics. Keep the Terminators and Librarian in the middle of the squad so that the marines are the first to fall and you might even make combat with a couple of Power Fists and a Force Weapon. Sure it’s a few points but the damage output and flexibility of this squad is obscene, if used correctly with a bit of luck, and that’s just one squad!

The formation rules rack up pretty quickly, every type of Kill Team has their own variation and focus for what they are better at. The Malleus team has to have a couple of Thunder Hammers but you flat out get to re-roll to wound or armour penetration against your enemies’ heavy support (note that is still in combat or with your shooting as well).

Every Kill Team, barring the HQ and vehicle choices, must have a unit of Veterans as its minimum compulsory element. So if you are planning on playing the force using the detachment tree you would not be able to take a separate unit of Terminators on its own. However, you could take a regular army and still take most of the Kill Teams as their rules are included as standalone formations. It’s a minor point but it’s worth keeping in mind as effectively the detachment way of assembling a force means you will be taking a lot more Veteran Marines than you otherwise might.

I highly recommend having clear ways of telling your squads apart as it could be pretty easy to forget which team is which and this is an army where all your special rules can make a massive difference.

The army wide rule is Mission Tactics, which is basically more re-rolls in combat and shooting for your army. You pick it at the start of your first turn and can change it once in the battle (this can be increased), so really you should always be getting some kind of re-rolls for your units, making them damned accurate and devastating  at times.

Better get this out there quick though, no smash monster HQ for you, unless you get Endurance from Biomancy. There are no items of wargear or relics that give you Eternal Warrior, which I think is a good thing, for all this army has to offer it is not over powered. You pay the points and you get a highly flexible army were composition really matters. Every unit needs to over achieve and to do so you need to hit hard early on. Drop Pods and transports should be your go too.

Speaking of, the new flyer, the Corvus Blackstar:

Standard marine BS.

Armour value Front and Side 12, with 11 on the back (small arms mean squat to this bad boy), plus it has armoured ceramite. On top of that there’s an upgrade that lets you re-roll jink cover saves!

I don’t use Death from the skies but it has Pursuit 3, Agility 2 and is an Attack Flyer.

Armed with a Twin-Linked Assault Canon, Blackstar Cluster Launcher (Bomb 1 with either S4 AP6 Large Blast or Bomb 1 S5 AP 4 Blast, Ignores Cover) which you can switch for a Black star Rocket Launcher for 15 points (S6 AP4 Heavy D6 with Skyfire or S4 AP5 Heavy 1, Large Blast, Ignores Cover) and four Storm Strike Missiles.

Lastly, the Corvus has a transport capacity of twelve, can carry bikes and jump infantry is an assault vehicle and has multiple access points.

This flyer is obscene, base cost is 180 but it’s a solid all-rounder that should not go down quickly and it could be a really great way of getting your Vanguard Veterans in to combat if you play an assault heavy list. Alternatively the Corvus Blackstar is 70 points cheaper than a Land Raider Crusader, a Terminator squad with attached character/s could fit in it; or perhaps a Kill Team consisting of a Veteran squad, a couple Terminators and a character or two.

As I mentioned if army composition is an element of the game you enjoy, then this Codex really caters for you. It’s at its best when allied with regular Inquisiton (cheap versatile acolytes and access to the Chimera for medium strength ranged weapons) or the Imperial Guard, again for cheap infantry and more varied tanks. Of course you could use the Deathwatch on their own and there is plenty of scope for some mean lists.

A few last bits, as mentioned Vets can have several special or heavy weapons in one squad, this includes the new combi Heavy Bolter/Heavy Flamer (not one shot) and the awesome new Shotgun with three firing modes, crowd control at its finest! The Shotgun can be S4 AP- Assault 2 Shred, S4 AP 4 Assault 2, both ranged 16” or it can be S3 AP6 Assault 1… Template!

The Stalker Pattern Boltgun is a Heavy 2 AP5 SX Sniper weapon and you have special ammunition for almost all Bolt weaponry (excluding the Infernus Heavy Bolter) used by infantry.  I shan’t write them all down but you have your regular with some ignores cover, your poisoned 2+, an AP4 variant and even an AP3 variant that can get hot.

Ace new Xenophase Power Sword that’s AP3 and successful invulnerable saves against it must be re-rolled. Heavy Thunder Hammer that is strength 10! And to wound rolls of 6 have Instant Death!! They’re two handed and only Veterans and Vanguard Veterans can use them.

There are some cool relics, one stand out being the Beacon Angelis, basically at the start of the movement phase you may remove one friendly Deathwatch unit, then deep strike them next to the bearer once per game (bearing in mind you won’t scatter as you place the unit within 6” of the bearer).  This is an ace way of bringing a slow moving unit close to the enemy or providing fire support in overwhelming force. Probably best used on a character that has a decent bodyguard, Biomancy Librarian in a Terminator or Vanguard unit with Storm Shields, I am most definitely looking at you.

Right, that should do it for now. As you can tell I think this Codex is great, could there have been more in it, well yes but what it does it does nicely. We have ace new models (though bizarrely they are scaled up ever so slightly but noticeably when compared to regular Marines or Heresy Marines). The story of the Deathwatch is pretty cool and it is great to be able to field them as a viable force or ally on the table top. I know I will definitely have a force and this might spur me on to finish a few more of my true-scale Deathwatch as well; what with the Codex and ally system being so versatile I could easily have one of the Kill Teams in an Inquisition themed army. Decisions, decisions…

Have an ace one all.



Genestealer Cult! Complete with multi-part Neophyte Cultists bedecked in Imperial mining gear, oh ho yes, I have plans for you my friends.


I’ll more than likely be picking a copy up, so expect a review soon.


I have some -erherm- radical plans for these chaps. It’ll be great to see the community have at ’em.

Review: Codex Khorne Daemonkin

Morning all,

I picked up my Codex Khorne Daemonkin (CDK in this article for short) as it was about bloody time that I got to leaf through this gore covered tome! This is my first Codex review so I’m testing out the format a bit, here goes….

Codex pure f*%888#ng RAGE! (in a good way)

Codex pure f*%888#ng RAGE! (in a good way)

First Impressions

Like most Codices of late the cover art is awesome and it’s a sturdy hardback, ideal for slinging in a backpack or slid into the ol’ carry case. The fluff (fiction) for the army is a tad on the dull side for me. A large part of the first half of the book is given over to descriptions of the units. For instance you have a description of the possessed along with a pretty cool colour picture (there is some nice artwork throughout); for me the descriptions are largely pointless as I know what the units are, so they add nothing new to my understanding of Chaos. On top of this in the crunch section (rules) of the book in the unit entries, they have a further small description of what the unit is. Just my opinion, but it does feel a bit like filler at times. However, like I mentioned there are some cool pictures, a few nice fluffly bits about the Daemonkin and how they operate. Best of all though, is that it’s a stand alone Codex, complete with all the unit entries that you’ll need to play the army.

So all in all, it’s looking good not great. Time to take a closer look.

The Crunch: Overview

This is a full Codex so the army may follow the standard force organisation chart or be used as an allied detachment. You have a nice selection of units that have been pulled from the Chaos Space Marine (CSM) and Chaos Daemons (CD) Codex. However, the vast majority of CSM units have the Mark of Khorne and their points have been hiked up accordingly. Most infantry units start at Khorne’s sacred number of eight (the points are built into the unit cost) and interestingly the Possessed and Warp Talons have both Mark of Khorne and Daemon of Khorne, this means they can benefit from any special rules that affect Daemon of Khorne units. Like Deep striking without scattering next to a Bloodletter with the Banner of Blood.

As mentioned in the rumour round-up beneath this article the units from CSM and CD have been cherry picked, the list is incredibly combat heavy and long range fire power is poor at best. Effectively you’re relying on Helbrutes, Defilers, Land Raiders and Forgefiends for dakka dakka. However if you’re going in to this list for fire power… well you’re twisted. Though that’s not to say it can’t work, and here’s why.

The Blood Tithe

I’m giving this army rule it’s own section as I cannot overstate the massive affect it has on your list building. The rule broken down is as follows.

The main rule of the codex is “Blood for the Blood God” (the unit must have this special rule to benefit) :
You get “blood points for every unit you destroy and for every unit of yours that is destroyed (with BftBG). Characters slain (yours or your opponents) in challenges generate blood points as well.
At the beginning of your turn you can spend those blood points, effects lasts till the beginning of your next turn. (Summoning’s are permanent)

1. Adamantium will
2. Rage + Furious Charge
3. Feel no pain (huge huge huge benefit to your whole army and for only 3 points an absolute bargain, take some high strength shooting just to try and nab this in the early game before you hit combat)
4. +1A
5. Summon 8 Bloodletters of 5 Flesh hounds (arguably more useful than no.5, certainly a useful unit that is pretty survivable and can harass light to medium infantry. If you have the models you can have a free champion, musician and banner)
6. Summon 3 Bloodcrushers or one Skull cannon
7. One character becomes a Demon Prince, LD test, if failed becomes a Spawn instead (the main thing here is that you don’t give up Slay the Warlord, you retain your Warlord trait and an Artefact of Slaughter if you had one! Also if you have a Daemon Prince model with wings you can use that one, reegardless it comes with Warp Forged Armour for a 3+)
8. One character becomes a Bloodthirster, if failed becomes a Spawn instead (this is the basic Thirster, so no funky weapons for you and you don’t give up Slay the Warlord, plus you retain your Warlord trait. It’s a monstrous flyer with an abominable statline, seems pretty damn worth it to me. Plus it totally reminds me of the old days when you’d possess a character Dawn of War style and the poor chump would explode in a volcano of blood)

Once you spend a blood points you lose them all. For example if you have 5 and spend 4 for Feel No Pain, the leftover point is lost.

Plenty of access to these angry chaps, the board will be rife with 'em

Plenty of access to these angry chaps, the board will be rife with ’em (this is my favourite build and colour scheme from the ‘Eavy Metal team)

The implications are huge, this is because you have access to a vast array of cheap expendable units. Cultists, Spawns, Rhinos, even Flesh Hounds and Bloodletters; throw them at the enemy and laugh as you rack up points to summon more powerful units. This is an army that can get stronger the longer the game goes on. Also your Daemon characters can join CSM units and vice versa. It gets better when you ally with Battle Brothers, as I believe your Heralds can join BB units as well (I couldn’t find a rule that stated otherwise in the Daemonkin Codex, however if I’m mistaken feel free to comment below with the rule in question). So in theory you could have a BB CSM Havoc unit with, I don’t know, four missile launchers. Then you join a CDK Herald (who is only 55 points) he confers Fearless, which is a massive boon to Chaos. Not only that but the Blood Tithe rule specifically states that a unit that contains a model with the BftBG rules gains a point if they destroy an enemy unit, So now whenever your Havocs blow shit up the attached Herald will mumble some Daemonic litany that roughly translates to “good stuff chaps, let us count that as a skull for Khorne” and you get a Blood Point!

When designing a list you need to keep how the Blood Tithe table is going to work within the army. How are units going to generate you points? Will it be by thrashing units, or by getting blown away? Can they do both?

Battlefield Example

I played a game with Daemonkin as soon as I bought the Codex. Sadly due to time restraints we had to end it after we’d completed turn 3, because of this I lost 5 points to 1 against Grey Knights (with Draigo, good Dark Gods he’s a monster). However, my army was getting stronger and had only lost some chaff units. My Lord had ascended to the lofty ranks of Daemonhood and due to being a Prince he kept his Artefact (the armour of 3+, Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain, a best buy if ever there was one). In fairness he’d earned his ascension, as the turn before he killed a Dreadknight… on his own. Axe of Khorne baby (inflicts Instant Death on the role of a 6 and he failed his sanctified invuln), for the win! I’d also accrued four more Blood Points, one more (which I would have got at the start of turn 4 for being a Slaughter Cult) would have secured me a unit of Bloodletters to deep strike onto my enemies backfield. Which would have netted me a couple of Tactical Objectives and Linebreaker if they survived (which they likely would have, as my opponent had nothing in his deployment). What I’m getting at, is the army was building up steam while the losses I’d suffered were for the most part redundant. This was because I had literally built redundancy into the list; the army was designed to take losses in the early game to fuel the Blood Tithe to make it stronger in the end game. However I had no choice but to admit defeat at the end of turn 3 due to the store closing and it being poor sportsmanship to do otherwise!

An Aside on Allies

Also just briefly, I would argue that you can in fact ally as Battle Brothers with the Imperial Armour 13 Renegades and Heretics (R&H) army list. Here’s why:

Allies and the Renegades and Heretics List

When selecting an allied contingent for an army using the Allies Matrix, a Renegades and Heretics army is considered identical to a standard Chaos Space Marine army”

This is verbatim from Imperial Armour 13. There is a semi colon with a further independent clause however the above contains all the info we need for the purposes of allying Daemonkin with Renegades and Heretics. The above clause means Daemonkin count R&H as Battle Brothers as they above clause means we count R&H as being identical in the Allies Matrix as CSM who are BB with Daemonkin. Job’s a good’un. This also allows for the hilarity of a support squad of six Lascannon (or any heavy weapon of your choosing, just don’t be insane and stick with the Heavy Stubbers they come with, please just don’t) toting heavy weapons with an attached Herald making them fearless and gaining a Blood Point whenever the Lascannons destroy a unit.

I think R&H make an excellent ally to Daemonkin as they can fill the gap of cheap armour with long range fire support. I’d go as far as to say pay the extra troops tax and take a full on Combined Arms Detachment if they’re your only ally. You could have a large unit of mutants with a Lord on Buggernaught (misspelled on purpose) attached so as to make them Fearless and give you Blood Points for when the unit rolls through your opponent (or at the very least, tarpits the heck out of em). I still think they’re worth it even if you take them as as Allied Detachment. Or CSM for a cheap Vindicator and nab a Malefic Sorcerer for extra summoning ability; I’d probably recommend Crimson Slaughter for your Sorcerer as if you take the Artefact Prophet of the Voices you become a Daemon so you will only Perils on a double 6, then take the Crimson Possessed as your compulsory troop choice, as they’re the only unit you can join due to PoftheVoices. As long as they’re unmarked you can stick a Daemonkin Lord or Herald in the unit for extra killy power and the ability to Blood Point it up. Make sure to give them a Buggernaught so that if the Crimson Possessed roll move as Beasts on they’re table the Lord and/or Herald can keep up.


As we thought, just one per model and no duplicates in the army.

– One Axe that you have to count the wounds inflicted with it:
1-2 +1S
3-4 Rampage
5-7 Sx2
8+ Instant Death
Effects are cumulative

– One armour that gives you 3+, Feel no Pain and Eternal warrior (no invuln but most of the time you’ll buy a Sigil for a 4++ or rely on Daemon for a 5++, this makes your Lord, Prince or ascended Lord to Prince vastly more survivable and I recommend this as an auto include. Combine with Axe of Khorne, Sigil and a Juggernaught for a well rounded killtacular character. Then if he ascends, boss.)

– One Rune that gives bearer adamantium will, and you can explode it. If so, till your next turn, in a 24″ bubble, all psychic test get perils with any double (it’s good but too situational for my liking especially as you can only take one Artefact)

– One Sword that gives you a blood point for every wound (meh)

– One helmet that gives you fear and any 6 to hit generates an additional attack (however your additional attacks can’t generate further additional attacks, it’s O.K. when combined with an Axe of Khorne but the above armour is superior for keeping your Lord around so that he can reap a fearsome toll)

– One Axe of Khorne (with all the benefits of AP2 at initiative order though S is as user) that when bearer dies becomes a Bloodthirster but and the end your player turn loses D3 wounds (Only inv saves allowed and FNP if you have it as that’s not a save). I really like this one, only the Lord and Prince can take it but the ramifications are fantastic. As you could have a Lord armed with it, then they ascend to Daemonhood as a Prince through the Tithe so they get to keep the Artefact, then they get killed and become a Bloodthirter. Mwahahahaha! I’m thinking of running a Lord with this axe in a unit of 8 Bloodletters with a Banner (as when you ascend you deep strike with 6″, the banner means you won’t scatter) in a Rhino. Send them headlong at the enemy, get out first turn and run them as far forwards as possible; the important part is this, have the Lord at the front of the unit so that he gets shot first. Then when he dies you can place the Bloodthirster within 6″ of the banner without scattering. As you’ll be ‘deep striking’ in your enemies turn, you can charge in your player turn (assuming the Thirster survives one round of shooting). It’s pretty much a win win, either you get shot and ascend or you don’t so you can merrily try and charge the next turn; hopefully with the Bloodletter unit fairly intact.

Closing Thoughts

I think it’s time to sum up as this seems fairly lengthy. However if you have any questions or comments please pop them below and I’ll answer them as swift as Doomrider on cocaine.

Overall this Codex is solid. The fluff is O.K. the rules are decent (Axe of Khorne is ubiquitous but somewhat overpriced at 30 points). It is a fairly cut and past Codex but that would be skirting over the usefulness of it. Khorne players can now use one Codex for their CSM and Khorne Daemons, which is great. One ally pretty much sorts out the shortfall in fire power and there are some great combos to be found (a few of which I hope this review has highlighted). It’s easy to make a highly themed army which remains surprising competitive thanks to the Blood Tithe table. The Tithe allows for a fair risk versus reward addition of Daemons into the army whereas the Malefic Psychic table is open to a lot of abuse at the moment.

It would have been nice to see some other special characters aside from Skulltaker however it is easy enough to ally them in. Plus, as mentioned if Kharn is allied in and attached to a Daemonkin Berserker unit and that unit wipes out, let’s say, a tactical squad; you still get the Blood Point as at least one model in the unit had the BftBG special rule. It doesn’t matter if Kharn does all the hard work and bags every kill, ’cause he’s just a stand up guy of excellent fineness. So for me on a personal level the special characters element is O.K.

I think my main gripe is that the CSM or Berserkers can’t be mounted on Juggernaughts. It would have been great if say a Biker unit could pay extra points to replace they’re bike for a Juggernaught. However as GW don’t do models for it, it’s not surprising, just a shame as that could have been pretty cool. The lack of Chosen is an odd choice as well, seeing as this is a dedicated Khorne Cult, one might have thought that there would be an elite cadre of Khorne’s selected few who have access to more specialist combat weaponry as a unit.

The Possessed are sadly still pretty naff. The unit champion can’t take any upgrades which is awful. They benefit from MofK and DofK but the drawback is that the Champion cannot ascend nor is they’re the boon table, so he will always remain mediocre. The unit needs a character to be effective but they’re very points heavy and the must challenge rule can be a horrendous disadvantage for the whole army. However cleverly used there is a place for the unit and even if they die you generate a Blood Point. Probably two with a character as useless as the Possessed Champion, let’s face it in most challenges he’s going down faster than a sack of bricks dropped from one foot above the ground; I’m betting that’s pretty bloody fast.

Warp Talons are weird. They’re a lot of points but the ability to Deep Strike without scattering next to a Banner of Blood held by a Bloodletter unit is pretty useful. Especially what with their Blind special rule on the turn they arrive. My force is a true scale one, as such I don’t think I’ll risk building a unit of them but it would be interesting to hear how they perform in the Daemonkin army.

I haven’t really gone over the Daemons themselves as the rules are basically the same accept that they lost instability across the board and gained Fearless, which is bloody amazing. Plus like I mentioned their characters can join CSM units and vice versa for the Lords with the Daemonkin Daemons. Which again is a really great change for this army. Though if you’re unfamiliar with Daemons, feel free to ask me any questions below.

Right so I think that’ll do it. Formations are alright but limited in the sense that there are some tight restrictions as a fair few of them require multiple units as the prerequisite for taking them. For instance the Slaughter Cult though good forces you to take one unit of possessed, which isn’t great as that immediately affects the rest of your list build because they’re an expensive under performing unit that really need some sort of transport as they’re also foot slogging otherwise.

Overall, a pretty good addition to the Chaos Codices. Great that it is stand alone from the other books and is pretty balanced for what it does. I’d say use allies if you want to round it out nicely or go full on combat to try and overwhelm your opponents. Fast Attack Rhino choices and Heavy Support Land Raiders mean that it is laughably easy to have a mechanised transport list to rush your enemy with cheap Bloodletters and more elite units like Berserkers. Load out your HQ’s carefully and you can deal (or at least match) most dedicated combat units.

Let’s keep our collective talons crossed for more Daemonkin Codices as I thin GW are heading in the right direction with these, room for improvement, but vastly superior to oh I dunno… the Dark God awful Black Legion supplement. I hate that book, so so much. Thankfully Khorne feeds of my RAGE and lets me summon ALL THE THINGS in fountains of bloody gore soaked madness, can’t help it… must end… with… MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, EVEN IF THAT BLOOD IS MINE!!! Ahhh, much better.

Take care all, hope you’ve enjoyed.