Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Khorne

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This is the general tactics page on how to play Khorne in Total War: WARHAMMER.

Why play Khorne?[edit]

  • 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


  • 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. Note that Khorne cares not if you're killing phoenix guard or skavenslaves, your units power up even faster if your opponent is dumb enough to throw a bunch of shitty chaff units at you


  • 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 and Soul Grinders will be your only ranged option. Even with the mortal units you only have two ranged options, 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 or Nurgle 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 Chaos Warriors with shields make up your cheapest infantry at 750 gold. Even High Elves can get infantry at a cheaper price point. You will have a very difficult time spreading the field and in multiplayer you should expect to be outnumbered in most match ups.
  • Friends? What are those?: Well... what do you expect? Not only are you playing a game called Total WAR, you're playing for the Chaos God of Blood. The only mortal "allies" you can make are with the Warriors of Chaos, Beastmen, Norsca and potentially Skaven and ogres, if they're not feeling duplicitous. Even as far as Daemons go, Slaanesh isn't keen on working with your forces and even other Khornate factions tend to rub each other the wrong way. Everyone else you're automatically at war with.
  • 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.

Faction traits[edit]

  • Hellblade: Units gain 20% base and AP damage when they get 60 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 Wood Elves with all their single-entity beatsticks), although it might be reworked to relate to damage instead of raw kills, anything else would make fighting especially against Ogres a nightmare.
  • Daemonic: Undead with extra steps, really. Once your daemonic units lose enough leadership, they'll begin to lose health and fade back into the Warp in the same vein that undead units crumble away. The good news is that even if your daemons are doomed to evaporate, they'll at least stick in and fight to the last model.
  • Blood for the Blood God: As you kill off individual enemy models over the course of a battle a meter on the right hand of the screen slowly fills, unlocking three abilities at three different tiers. As you use these abilities the meter goes back down, but you can refill it by killing more enemy models. This, plus the Hellblade ability for your daemons, is going to make you a terror in the night for swarming factions like Skaven, Beastmen, or the undead, but is going to be a lot less useful against low-model count factions like the High Elves or Ogres.
    • Horn of Khorne: The first ability is an area of effect buff that can be cast anywhere on the map, granting 24 melee attack to any of your units in the radius. Lasts for 31 seconds and has a cooldown of 90 seconds.
    • Relentless Rage: The second ability is another area of effect buff, granting any of your units in the radius Unbreakable but also making them unkillable for the duration of the effect, similar to the Cohort of Sotek RoR's special ability. Lasts for 20 seconds and has a cooldown of 90 seconds.
    • Blade of Khorne: The final ability is a massive explosion spell that can be cast anywhere on the map and deals magical and armor piercing damage. Has a cooldown of 120 seconds.


Legendary Lords[edit]

  • 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. Supposedly Rage Embodied allows him to cause Rampage in enemy units with less than half leadership, which if true is going to make him a true nightmare on the battlefield.He can also spit fire now. Despite being stuck on the ground unlike other Bloodthirsters, Skarbrand has 80 speed so escaping him will be a challenge. This also applies to his campaign, as his faction bonuses provide bonus campaign movement after razing settlements and Skarbrand himself gets even more speed by winning battles in general, making him extra speedy post-siege.

Generic Lords[edit]

  • 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. It also has an ability called Deathblow that buffs its already spooky weapon strength by 50% (both AP and Non 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.
  • 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 can be mounted on both a Juggernaut and a Blood Throne, so while the Bloodthirster is more of a general melee beast the Heralds will be more of an anti infantry specialist. The loci abilities 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. In campaign, upgrading a herald lord is the only way to get an exalted greater daemon lord. So you're gonna use these guys alot.


Legendary Heroes[edit]

Generic Heroes[edit]

  • Cultist of Khorne: Based on what we heard, this guy will be your dedicated combat character/duelist. His known stats make him similar to the Warriors of Chaos' Exalted One. Further, he has the ability to summon a unit of Bloodletters once per match. He only comes with a Chaos Steed, allowing him to get across the field quickly. Outside of battle he may have something to do with setting up the various Blood Cult buildings in enemy settlements. What other abilities he has are currently unknown.
  • 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. Has an ability that gives 66% magic resistance to nearby allies, so a must-have against magic heavy armies like Tzeentch or the Vampire Counts.



  • Bloodletters: Your mid tier Daemon unit, meaning that unlike Furies these guy might actually kill what they're fighting. They wield great swords with fire, 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.

War Beasts[edit]

  • 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. They also have 50% magic resistance. 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: They share the same speed as normal Warhounds (95) but have a much smaller model count per unit but are much stronger and tougher. They also have magic resistance of 50% like Furies do. They seem to inhabit that space of smaller war hound units from Drycha and the Norscans, and act as light cavalry.


  • 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. It also comes with a scattergun that does 800 damage with 120 range. The Khorne soul grinder can chop up the Tzeentch + Nurgle variants in melee, but gets it's ass handed to it by the Slaanesh version who traded the cannon away for anti-large choppy power.
  • 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.

Multiplayer Strategies[edit]

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 two ranged options (neither of which are exactly Sisters of Avelorn or Waywatchers), 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. The lack of magic and missiles means this is one of the few factions were elite infantry might be a decent option to take against you (though that means they are trying to out melee you, which is usually never a smart idea). 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!

  • Beastmen: You're both rush armies with limited range options. The big differences are that the Beastmen are faster than you are but have worse leadership and armor. If you can drag this out into a war of attrition you'll probably win, as the Beastmen rely so heavily on their charge bonuses. Negate that and they will quickly break before you. A clever Beastmen player will probably try to kite you with Throwing Axe Centigors and Ungor Raiders, while using his greater speed to cycle charge you and avoid prolonged engagements. To counter this bring some Flesh Hounds, who hit hard but are still fast. Also consider bringing Skarbrand, who can cause the low-leadership Beastmen troops to Rampage into bad matchups.
  • Bretonnia: Your faction abilities make your army stronger the more skulls you collect, and Bretonnia's peasants have an awful lot of skulls. You'll roll over their front line like it's not even there and get more powerful as you do it. Their knights might be a bit more problematic, as may their powerful heroes, but your knights are nothing to scoff at either. The biggest risk to you might be trebuchets and archers, as they can soften you up before you can get into melee and do your butchering. Be sure to bring some hounds or Furies to give them something else to worry about. Bretonnia also sometimes struggles against big single entity monsters so maybe bring a Bloodthirster or two.
  • Warriors of Chaos: Between giant monsters and hardy infantry you and the WoC are well matched, but Hellcannons are probably going to beat your Skull Cannons. Send fliers or hounds after it if you can. Otherwise hope you can make it into melee where you might be able to rack up some kills for your army abilities, especially Relentless Rage.
  • Dark Elves: What's that? You don't like the idea of fighting a super AP heavy faction with a ton of mobility you can't keep up with? Well do I have bad news for you! Dark Elves tend to do well against slower armored races and sadly that includes you. If you want some edge elf skulls for Khorne, you should probably grab war hounds to chase down Dark Riders and Scourgerunners to keep them away from all your armor. You could choose to go for Bloodletters if you want a cheap (well, by Khorne standards) frontline, or Chaos Warriors with shields to try and soak up as much missile fire as possible. Once you do get into melee, the Druchii are fucked but they will still have a ton of AP fire to worry about, so that should be your priority. Avoid big monsters, they will get shot to hell.
  • Dwarfs: Good news: the Dwarfs are even slower than you and have very limited crowd control! Bad news: they have high morale, high melee defense, great artillery and great range. Getting in melee will be a slog, and once you do get in melee it will be a grind. Take a couple of hounds and furies to try to disrupt their artillery/ranged while your main army gets into melee.
  • Khorne:
  • Lizardmen: This is a faction that is actually decently similar to you, only they trade a lot of the melee bullshit in exchange for actual skirmishers and magic. First of all, if he's dumb enough to bring Skink Cohorts, you got nothing to worry about. They'll die stupid fast and make your units stronger. It's Saurus and Dinos you got to watch out for because not only are they tough but they make getting your buffs harder due to lower model counts. A front line of Bloodletters can trade pretty cost effectively into Saurus, but they are vulnerable to Chameleon Skink fire. Grabbing a few Furies or Hounds to make sure the blowpipes are busy should let you tear up the Saurus with your daemons. To handle Dinos, grab a Bloodthirster or two and watch them go to town. They should be able to outbox most dinos the Lizards can throw at you, and if they can't your monsters can fly and their can't so just cycle charge until it dies. If he has a brain he's bringing a Slaan, so have some cav or mobile units ready to hunt him down. This is going to be a bloody fight either way, but hey that just make Khorne happier.
  • Ogre Kingdoms: This might end up being one of your worst matchups. The Ogres have plenty of powerful ranged units that can shell you as you try to reach them. Once you do most of their units are monsters or monstrous infantry, so unless he's stupid and brings Gnoblars your Blood for the Blood God ability might as well not exist. You can't even counter their cannons with your few cheap fast units because the ogres will step on them without even noticing. Bring lots of anti-large and hope for the best.
  • Skaven: The Skaven front line will evaporate the moment you touch it and all those rat skulls will juice your army up nice and good. That's the good news. The bad news is you're going to get blasted to hell and back as you approach them. Your best bet is probably to go as wide and cheap as you can. Hounds, Furies, the cheapest infantry you can get away with, anything that lets you keep the pressure up from all fronts. It's not like you actually need the really tough stuff to stomp clanrats.
  • Slaanesh: Your main rival in the warp, Khorne will be slightly less pissed if you show the Lord of Excess who the real boss of the warp is. First of all, Chaos Warriors might be a bad idea, since Daemonettes have AP they'll cut through them and the abundance of fear and terror Slaanesh has means they have a good chance of running. Bloodletters and Exalted Bloodletters might be the better option, as while the AP is largely useless against Slaanesh, the fact they're unbreakable and have Anti Infantry means they should be able to handle the front line. Yes, they have low armor but it's not like the other guys have missiles to take advantage of that anyway. Also, Minotaurs might end up being great here. While slower than the Beastmen version they are still speedy enough to potentially check some of the horny guys on the other side. The lack of missiles means Slaanesh will have to deal with them in melee, and not only do you have both an anti infantry and anti large variant, they act as great mass for if a KOS or cavalry engage and try to pull out. With that in mind, a Bloodthirster will beat a KOS in extended melee, so keeping it tied up with heavy mass will help them stomp on the four armed goat things. Their cavalry will run circles around you, but it's not like you have much of a backline to dive anyway.
  • Tomb Kings: Mostly the Tomb Kings are falling to their bony knees weeping tears of sand in joy that despite all appearances you can't use the Lore of Fire. Their ranged units will punish you on the approach but once you're there the skulls will be plentiful. The downside is hounds and Furies aren't going to cut it against Ushabti Greatbows.
  • Vampire Counts: Let's see here, their armies are mostly chaff, which only helps you get buffs for your units and your army abilities. They also have a large reliance on magic in order to do a lot of their damage, which you are resistant to. Your Daemons are unbreakable, so you don't give a crap about their Fear and Terror, and their lack of missiles mean they can't really hurt you before melee is reached. Oh, and your Daemons do fire damage which stiffles healing, their biggest advantage. Yeah, this match up is probably going to be very one sided for you. The biggest thing you will likely have to worry about are their air force and cavalry. Blood Knights may also be troublesome, though getting some halberds and support from Skull Crushers should deal with that. Bloodletters will have a field day here, as they will shred most Vampire infantry, get their Hellblade buff up pretty fast and don't have to worry too much about missiles. Skarbrand or an Exalted Bloodthirster + a normal Bloodthirster should deal with any monsers they bring to the table.

Campaign Strategies[edit]

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