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.

In Review: Officio Assassinorum, using Assassins in 40K Tactica.

Officio Assassinorum

The Basics (skip to the next section if you are familiar with the stat line and generic special rules the Assassins have).

This review will look at each of the Assassins highlighting some of their key strengths and weaknesses. This will be based on the assumption that they will be placed into a balanced list. Key elements of their stats are that they are as strong and tough as a space marine but with 3 wounds, they all have WS and BS 8 and they rock 4 base attacks at I 7. All of them have Fearless, Infiltrate and Move through Cover. They can never be joined by other characters or join units; they come with a 4++ and don’t suffer from the initiative penalty for charging through terrain. Plus, characters have a -2 penalty to their Lookout Sir from wounds allocated by an assassin.


He’s a rather odd psycho as he’s not really built to assassinate. Like at all. What you do have is a model that excels at disembowelling weak to medium infantry.

Why He Kicks Off…

+ Comes with FNP 5+.

+ 8 attacks on the charge (which he should get as he has a 3d6 charge move).

+ Power Sword for AP3 (at S5 on the charge) or AP- with Fleshbane and Shred.

+ Brought a Melta Bomb with him for cracking open armour.

Where He Falls Down

– Lacks an AP2 weapon, he will seriously struggle against heavy infantry or well armoured characters.

– This is compounded by no access to Instant Death or ignores invulnerable saves. This is kind of a big deal as he is now relegated to killing the fodder of your opponent’s army.

– I put FNP in pro’s however he is still arguably the least survivable of the bunch. He is the cheapest but only by 5 points at best. He does explode when he bites the dust, however it’s only S5 AP- with d6” range.

– His ranged firepower is poor, he has four shots always at full BS (even when overwatching, which is nice) at either 12” S1 AP- Poisoned 4+ or  12” S4 AP5.

Tactical Asset or Characterful Liability

The new plastic model is immense, dynamically sculpted and seriously menacing. However, his rules let him down. He fulfils a role that a lot of units can do better for less points and probably more reliably. Trouble is, one S8 hit and he’s got a 50/50 chance of exploding in a cloud of red mist. I’d only include him in games against casual opponents, he’s just a bit lack lustre compared to the others. Realistically despite his nice stat line he should have been 90 points and here’s why: You can buy an Inquisitor with a Nemesis Daemon Hammer, Terminator Armour and a Psycannon for 80 points. That gives you a chap with a 2+/5++, a 24” range S7 4 shot rending gun and 3 S6 concussive attacks at I1 but at AP2. Yes he’s only toughness 3, but that 80 points has bought you a more well-rounded character; that can deal damage at range, hold his own in combat and even tank some wounds if needs be.


Another great model, though I’d probably shave some of the rock she’s standing on down a bit. Role wise, she fulfils a mix of light infantry killing and medium infantry killing. She can also take on mid-range character as long as they’re S7 or lower without access to ID. Further to that she provides a small buff to your army and a debuff to your enemy which rounds her off nicely.

Why She’s a Sly Devil

+ Can infiltrate within 1” of an enemy unit, which is great because…

+ She packs an AP2 flamer which always wounds on 4+. Nice.

+ You get to reroll the dice to Seize the Initiative to grab first turn.

+ She can arrive from the enemy’s table edge if she comes in from reserves.

+ Your opponent is at -3 to their first reserves roll.

+ First turn she’s on the board enemies can only snapshot at her. This is a massive help in keeping her alive so that she can get a decent charge in.

+ Poisoned 3+ AP- rending blades provide a solid go to anti infantry killer, which is pretty decent….

+ However she also packs an AP2 phasing sword. If she uses this weapon, rolls of 6 to wound ignore invulnerable saves as well as armour. Damned useful close combat loadout, and neither weapon is specialist (bumping her up to 5 attacks 6 on the charge).

+ Hit and Run means you can pick your battles (as long as you survive). Disengage at the end of your opponents close combat phase. Then in your turn shred some neurons with your flamer, and then charge back in to the fray.

Is She a Glass Cannon?

– Arguably tied with the Eversor for least survivable Assassin. She’s got a good chance of surviving the first turn she’s on the board, as your opponent has to snap shot at her but after that you’re relying on a 4++ at T4 with 3 wounds.

– Literally useless against vehicles, one dreadnought could wreck her but if she does survive at least she can Hit and Run out of the combat.

– Hordes in combat could drag you down; however having precision strike could let you deal with characters and/or specialist weapons.

– She’s a jack of all trades (accept vehicles) in that she can deal with a surprising amount of targets. Admittedly you’ll always be hoping to roll hot dice with her, as 6’s are your best friend. This is in the negative column in reference to the jack, as she is a master of none and weighing in at 145 points she needs to be used pretty wisely to validate her presence.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

She’s a fairly solid choice but survivability is a key issue. This is the epitome of high risk versus potentially decent rewards as she has the ability to decimate heavy infantry and mid-range characters. Question is, do you feel lucky? If you can pull off those phasing hits, her points will pay for themselves. You can also create some serious disruption by having her infiltrate within 1” of an enemy unit, so that she’s uncomfortably close to your opponent. If she can survive one turn she can then potentially wade in to a unit and decimate them. A lot of ifs, ultimately one S8+ hit could end her. Overall, she’s a decent choice for the devilishly tactical thinkers out there. Combine with Lias Issodon of the Raptors for hilarious infiltration combos so that your opponent is saturated with targets.


My personal favourite, he rocks at 140 points of pure awesome. He has some ridiculous abilities to debuff (read cripple) enemy psykers. Grey Knights, Daemons and Eldar players will weep tears of blood when this guy is placed on the board. I like to Drop Pod him in for a truly awesome entrance. Plus the new model is insanely slick; it really captures the menacing presence of a Pariah given military form. He is the perfect complement to any dark alley.

Psyk-o Killer

+ Ignores armour saves in combat. It gets better…

+ Rolls of 6 to wound in combat inflict Instant Death. Better yet…

+ Against Psykers in combat, you have preferred enemy and all of your attacks inflict death! He has the potential to threaten any infantry, monstrous creature or character on the board (unless they have Eternal Warrior).

+ So the above shows that most opposition are going down, hard, but how survivable is he? Surprisingly, very. Any enemy targeting you is resolved at WS and BS 1, so that’s 6’s to hit in shooting (and shots that scatter could go way off target) and 5’s to hit in combat.

+ Next up is the insane debuff. Psykers (friend and foe) within 12” have -3 LD, do not generate Warp Charge and only harness WC on a 6. The Culexus can never be targeted or affected by Psychic Powers. The 12” bubble ceases any blessings or maledictions in play (goodbye invisibility, mwa ha). Holy Throne that’s immense, he is the bane of the Psychic phase.

+ Also, all those Warp Charge that you absorb can be used in the Psychic phase as a shooting attack, range 18” S5 AP1 with X number of shots were X is the total absorbed warp charge that phase, plus up to 3 WC from your pool of dice. Icing on the cake really, and you can even run in the shooting phase if you need to get behind cover, as it’s shot in the Psychic phase (though let’s face it, this beast is at his best when charging down Daemon Princes and the like).

Animus Speculation

– Vehicle walkers are his ruination, just stay away, seriously he’s only S4 and has no way of bailing from combat (as he’s fearless).

– Like the others he can still be pasted by S8+ or Instant Death, however being hit on 6’s or 5’s in combat seriously ups his survival rate.

– Aside from vehicles, tarpits of light infantry are his anathema; it’s just a waste of the Culexus’ points to be bogged down in masses of low point infantry.

Abomination or Just Plain Abominable

I am biased on this; however that’s due to the Culexus never having let me down. Quite the contrary, he has been bloody amazing, he is the king of overachievers. I’ve fought Grey Knights with him a few times and by the Throne he has annihilated Strike Squads, Termainator Paladins, Characters and even a Dreadknight. He’s hard to kill, kicks out an ungodly amount of punishment and if used correctly he can shut down your enemies’ psychic phase with ease. I have regularly tripled his points worth. I do play pretty bold and I’ll admit lady luck has been on my side more than a few times. His survivability is fairly pseudo but he can reap a fearsome toll. Also, as a side note, I have slung him into combat and had Inquisitor Karamazov (the chap on the dreadnought throne of judgement) orbital bombard the Culexus with a lance strike at least twice (as it does not scatter when placed on friendly models). Both times, not only has the Culexus survived, but the opponents he had been facing were left as stains in the dirt. This left the abomination free to charge at a fresh enemy unit. I have found that even if your opponent is not taking any psykers, the Culexus is a solid choice for any army of the Imperium.


I’ve always liked the Vindicare, he personifies the ruthless nature of an uncaring assassin. He waits patiently in hiding for hours, days, even months for his prey to come into view. When he finally does, the assassin takes aim and squeezes the trigger. Target eliminated. However, in 40K he is easily the toughest assassin to use, but potentially the most devastating.

Target Acquired

+ He has stealth which gives you +1 to your cover save, if your board has ruins make sure you place him in them so that you can grab a 3+ cover save.

+ Counts as having precision shot on successful to hit rolls (excluding snap shot).

+ Ignores cover saves (excluding snap shot).

+ He’s packing the Exitus rifle, range 72” AP 2 Sniper (always wounds on 4+). Make use of his insane range whenever you can, ideally hug cover by your board edge as long as he has a good field of vision.

+ The Exitus rifle uses special ammo, you choose each shooting phase. They are: Shield-breaker, ignores invulnerable saves. Turbo-penetrator, counts as S10 against vehicles or inflicts D3 wounds rather than just 1. Hellfire, always wounds on 2+ (this is not a poisoned shot, it’s just wounds on 2+).

+ As the above shows, there’s very little that you can’t blow apart, however on average you’ll get 6 turns in a game. If he’s never in combat and doesn’t get killed; you’re 150 point assassin gets 6 chances to make/exceed his points worth.

Target Acquired?

– Like the other assassins S8+ and instant death will deal with you quickly. Make sure he gets a 3+ cover and is out of range of your opponents guns.

– Vehicle walkers and most monstrous creatures will end the Vindicare, as he is S4 with only a combat weapon and a pistol. So he’s relying on his decent stat line in combat which will pretty much only help him against weak medium infantry at best.

– The main con is his biggest strength, the Exitus rifle. Target priority is an absolute necessity with the Vindicare, as he has a low number of chances to make his points back.

Terminator or Terminated

Oddly he might be best served as a medium tank killer… he hits on 2’s followed by 4’s and would glance armour 12 on a 2+. Then he gains +1 on the vehicle damage chart as the Exitus is AP2. Extrapolate against anything open topped and keep in mind he ignores cover. He’s risky against high end characters as most marine players will protect their characters with a storm shield for a 3++. However, he could be an asset at picking off high value specialist/heavy weapon infantry. For instance, a devastator with a Lascannon would make a fairly easy target if you use hellfire rounds (wounds on 2+). Next up are unit characters, Dark Reaper Exarch bothering you? Why not greet him with a round to the face.


The new Assassin models are fantastic sculpts. They can easily fit in to most armies and generally will add a new tactical element to your strategies. They all require a bit of trial and error as they are all glass cannons in one way or another. Are they worth the 135+ points price tag, debateable. However, hopefully this tactica has illustrated a few of their strengths and weaknesses. I recommend a Drop Pod for the Culexus to get him whre he will cause the most disruption. An army that has a few infiltrators to support the Callidus, Sicarian Infiltrators could be a good combo with their disruptive debuff (-1 WS and BS within 6”). The Eversor could do with an assault vehicle really, as he absolutely needs to pick his battles. As such, stick him in a Land Raider in casual games: it’s an oddly effective way to launch him at the enemy (Land Raider 6” move, disembark 6” then charge 3d6, on average this will give him a 22” threat range in the first turn). The Vindicare is an easy include but requires careful thought, pick your targets wisely and he could devastate your enemy. He would work well in a gun line or as ranged support for a combat army. Park him on an objective to make the most of his static nature.

Hope this was useful, have an ace one all.


Super Swift Assassinorum Update

Afternoon all,

My gaming group did not seem at all fussed about trying out Assassinorum: Execution Force last weekend (instead we delved into Inq28mm and cleaned up New Nicehole; a backwater town in desperate need of some fresh faced lawmen and we were the law, just). Thus, no review of the game-play mechanics of Assassinorum. I think it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be playing it any time soon, so I’m going to have to leave my summary of it at the preview stage. I will still put together a brief review of each of the Assassins for 40k. I have already tried them all out in my Inquisition army, so I’ll comment on their rules with examples from the games I’ve played.

That’s all for now, take care all.


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.