Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Khorne
This is the general tactics page on how to play Khorne in Total War: WARHAMMER. As the game isn't out yet and we know very little about how the faction will work, this page won't be filled out for a long time. However, we can make some early guesses based on the table top and the trailer.
Why play Khorne?
- Because sometimes you just want to not think too hard and rip the other guys apart limb from limb.
- You play aggressive, and don't want to play any of that "defense" bullshit
- Doom is your favorite game franchise and you always wanted to play from the Demon's point of view.
- You are fond of Mesoamerican cultivars that are not beans or squash.
- You want the best/second best warcry in the game
- Ahem: BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
- Unmatched Melee: If CA does our homeboy justice, don't expect anyone to be able to match you in melee. There should be high charge and high attack across the board in this army roster.
- High Armour: Considering every unit showed off so far has been dressed head to toe in it, it's safe to say armour values for your units are generally going to be very high. Your Daemons aren't so good in the armour department compared to the mortals but they do have plenty of resistances to make up for it.
- Monsters: Bloodthirsters, Bloodcrushers, Skullcrushers, Spawn, Minotaurs and many more means you will have some of the scariest monster units in the entire game. Winning the monstermash shouldn't be an issue and allow your big bois to take over the battle for you.
- Magic Resiliency: Magic is for wimpy nerds and daddy Khorne will make sure you won't die in the most embarrassing way possible. Enemy spells won't hurt you nearly as bad as other faction.
- Strength through Kills: Based on what we know about their faction mechanics, the more you kill the stronger you get. As such, you are rewarded for being aggressive by getting more damage and shredding potential.
- No Magic: What you want to blow shit up with your mind like a god damn pussy? If that's the case Khorne isn't for you. Even the Dwarfs have a substitute in the form of Runes that make up for it to an extent. You will not be able to contribute any magic to the field in the form of wizards, costing you some AOE burst.
- Very Limited Range: Skullcannons will likely be your only ranged option, (You do have the Soul Grinder, but judging by the concept art the Khorne version looks to be pure melee focused). Even with the mortal units you only have one ranged option, meaning you don't really have any option to play defense. Granted if you wanted to play a defensive set up why the hell are you playing Khorne in the first place?
- Slow: With no light cav or light infantry expect to be out run by most factions. You aren't Dwarf bad, but your cav is slow by cav standards so getting to important objectives first might be difficult for you. Your hounds and Furies will likely be the most mobile part of your army, and they likely won't have the hitting power of traditional light cav.
- Lack of Versatility: Sneakiness and subtlety are for little bitches. You may be one of the most hardcore melee rush factions in the game, but that's really all you got going for you. This can make Khorne relatively easier to game plan for compared to a lot of other factions who have an easier time employing numerous tactics.
- Top Heavy: You have zero chaff or cheap infantry units. Warhounds are your cheapest unit and Bloodletters will be your cheapest infantry option costing at at least 700 gold. You will have a very difficult time spreading the field and in multiplayer you should expect to be outnumbered in most match ups.
- DLC: Every core race has joined this club, and you are noticeably missing some big units, especially from the mortals side of things. You may as well apply early.
- Hellblade: Units gain 20% base and AP damage when they get 80 kills. Designed to reward you for being aggressive with your units with more damage. It'll be easier to get this off on squishy swarm factions (you'll get this fighting Skaven in no time) than smaller tank factions (good luck getting this fighting Dwarfs or especially Lizardmen and Woodelves with all their single-entity beatsticks).
- Daemonic: Undead with extra steps, really.
- Skarbrand: SKARBRAND APPRECIATES NOT BEING DLC!!!! Likely going to be the Bloodthirster themed campaign along with being a pure combat beast. He gets stronger with every kill that he gets, meaning unlike most single entities getting tied up by chaff might be beneficial in the long run. He has two special abilities called Wrathful Reaper and Rage Embodied, but neither have been explored much in detail. He can also spit fire now and while he was shown flying in the trailer, it was stated in the comment section that he won't be able to in-game save for a "jump wing flap animation". SKARBRAND HATES FALSE ADVERTISING.
- Exalted Bloodthirster: Budget Skarbrand. One of two possible Bloodthirster units available in the army, this one being the Lord equivalent. As you'd expect, it's really fucking scary. The stat line on this thing is absolutely absurd, giving it flaming and magical attacks along with a plentiful amount of AP. The ability to fly also allows it to pick and choose its targets and stay on the move. Combine all of this with it being unbreakable due to it's Daemonic trait and it will be extremely hard to get rid of. There will likely be some kind of limit to them in campaign because otherwise there is really no other reason to pick any other generic lord that Khorne may have.
- Herald of Khorne: A Bloodletter lord focused more on buffing and support rather than the pure killing power of a Bloodthister. He gives offensive buffs to your units, making him the closest thing to a caster lord you get. He cant be mounted on both a Juggernaut and a Blood Throne, so while the Bloodthirster is more of a general melee beast the Herals will be more of an anti infantry specialist. The locuses he will likely bring will make him an aggressive buffing lord meant to ride in with your troops and give them powerful buffs to keep them in the fight.
- Cultist of Khorne: Based on what we heard, this guy will be your dedicated combat character/duelist. He only comes with a Chaos Steed, allowing him to get across the field quickly. Unknown what else he will bring to the table.
- Bloodreaper: He appears to be a combat/support character for going around murdering groups of infantry while also giving offensive buffs to your units. he can ride both a Juggernaut and a Blood Throne, making him a strong mobile threat. With AP and anti infantry he's a scary melee character that can also give other units a helping hand.
- Bloodletters: Your mid tier Daemon unit, meaning that unlike Furies these guy might actually kill what they're fighting. They wield great swords with magical AP damage and anti infantry, so they're really good at busting through armored infantry. As Daemons they're also unbreakable and contain nice defensive buffs, which is good because 30 armour isn't great. They will likely be your cheapest source of AP in the infantry fight, which will make them highly desirable when fighting heavy armor.
- Chaos Warriors of Khorne: Your only Mortal infantry unit. Compared to normal Warriors of Chaos they have Frenzy and higher attack and charge in exchange for less melee defense. They are way more designed for going on the offensive, which is what you should expect from Khorne. They aren't exactly glass cannons either, as they also have very good armor to block missiles. They come in three variants; sword and shield for a holding force, halberd for anti large and dual axes for anti infantry. Their biggest drawback compared to daemonic infantry is that they will run away, so they may not be your best choice against factions with fear and terror aplenty like the undead.
- Exalted Bloodletters: Bloodletters plus. They're a very similar unit only just much better at the job but also much more expensive. These guys will let you carve through more elite options than your standard Bloodletters can.
- Skullcrusher: Not to be confused with Bloodcrushers which is a Bloodletter riding a Juggernaut, because Khorne is not very creative at naming things. They will be your Monstrous Cav similar to Demigryphs, and oh can they lay the whooping. With AP, Frenzy and 77 CHARGE these things will turn whatever they charge at into paste. They're decently slow by cavalry standards, but with 130 armor they won't care that much if most standard cav get their hands on them. Their biggest weakness seems to be that unlike their Daemon counterparts they actually will run away, but if that's their biggest problem I don't think they have much to worry about.
- Bloodcrusher: Very similar to the Skullcrusher, though instead of an angry man riding the Robo-Rhino, it's an angry Daemon riding the Robo-Rhino. The big difference between these guys and Skullcrushers is that they're Daemonic, so they won't run away and will crumble instead. They also have an Anti Infantry bonus, making them a bit more specialized than their mortal counterparts. The big trade off for both of these is a noticeable decrease in stats, so they will likely not be as effective against other cavalry. Still, potentially a good unit, especially against heavy infantry factions.
- Gorebeast Chariot of Khorne: Probably going to be more or less the same as the WOC version, only coming with frenzy and even bigger bonuses to melee stats. Very solid unit for heavy infantry faction and will be very rewarding with good cycle charging.
- Blood Shrine of Khorne: Your support oriented platform. it will likely be the weakest of the motorcycle Khorne units in combat but will provide big leadership buffs to the entire army. Plus, it heals while it's in melee so the poorer melee stats won't be the worst thing in the world for it as it'll be hard to bring down.
- Chaos Furies (Khorne): They're Chaos harpies, only they lean even more into the glass cannon playstyle. They have surprisingly high melee attack and weapon strength. Combine that with having vanguard and high speed, and they will feast upon any artillery or archers you can get on them. Unlike the presumed furies of the other gods, these guys come with the Khorne traits of Frenzy and Hellblade. Their melee defense is pitiful and they have low model count, so keeping them alive may be some work. Potentially good skirmisher harassers.
- Chaos Hounds: Appeared in the trailer. Will likely serve the same purpose they have in the WoC roster as skirmisher and artillery hunters and a cheap way to chase routing units off of the map.
- Flesh Hounds: Appeared in a screenshot. They have roughly the same model count of War Lions so expect a large doggo with AP damage but relatively slow compared to normal war hounds. They also will have magic resistance like they do in the lore and specialize as mage hunters. There is another trailer out, confirming these suspisons. They seem to inhabit that space of smaller war hound units from Drycha and the Norscans.
- Spawn of Khorne: Chaos Spawn for Khorne. Yeah that's pretty much it. They have significantly higher weapon strength so they will lawn mower light troops even faster than normal spawn do already. They trade this for some slightly reduced melee defense, as you'd expect from the all out offense Khorne style.
- Minotaurs of Khorne: Or "Khornatuars" as stated in the blog reveal (Khornbulls sound better, don't at me). Compared to normal minotaurs these guys will have way heavier armor and will get stronger as they gain more kills, meaning they are designed more for sustained combat than the hit and run style of the Beastmen version. They come in a dual axe version for anti infantry and a great weapon version for anti large.
- Soul Grinder of Khorne: Did anyone think we were getting this thing? Based on what has been revealed it is a tanky cannon platform that can fire while moving. The Khorne version will likely be the strongest of the Grinders in melee, but in exchange it will have the weakest ranged weapon.
- Bloodthirster: The smaller, more accessible version of its Exalted cousin. It trades a lot of the scary combat stats in return for Anti Large, making it more of a dedicated monster fighter. Aside from that, it functions as a cheaper version of the Exalted lord version.
- Skull Cannon: CANNON ON WHEELS! khorne's only reliable ranged unit (for now, anyway) and it seems to be trying to really make up for being the Blood God's only ranged piece. It has good range and damage, and it's mobility allows it to keep itself safe from enemy ranged and cavalry that try to take it out. Plus, if something does get its hands on it, it'll be hard to kill with its high armor and ability to regenerate in melee. With good micro this thing has to potential to be frustrating as hell to play against. Of course, it has only 18 melee defense so if something does catch it it might take some hits, but they'll have to actually catch the damn thing first. If it runs out of ammo, it also functions well as a chariot.
Khorne is geared up to be the hyper offense faction. You have aggressive heavy infantry and a plentiful number of monsters, so you are going to absolutely dominate any melee grind that you find yourself in. Your biggest problem is going to be getting there in the first place. You're relatively slow, have one ranged option, and no disposable infantry chaff to soak up enemy fire. This means that if the enemy has sufficient fire they will be able to blast you to pieces before you even get to melee, and if half your army is already dead the battle may already be lost. You do have hounds and furies to deal with that, but most factions have ways to deal with them. The lack of magic means you also don't have any big burst abilities or big buff and debuffs outside of heralds and heroes. Getting to the lines will be a bit of a chore but once you do, no one will be able to stop you. BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
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