I'll start by saying that it is surprising how few are gravitating towards the Cult of Khorne in the new Codex. Across the internet you will find some disparate pockets of Khorne resistance but on the whole the Eye of Terror would seem to have swallowed the entire Cult. So I will begin with them.
I am assuming for this conversation that we want an ACTUAL Khornate army. No allies will be discussed here.
Interestingly, the Mark of Khorne may never be worn by a Psyker (Page 91). This does limit true Khorne armies in its ability to defend itself psychically. The Forces of Khorne simply would have nothing to do with such foolish modes of cowardice.
The hallmarks of a Khorne army are the Icon of Wrath, the Mark of Khorne, the Juggernaut of Khorne, Kharne the Betrayer and the Axe of Blind Fury.
LESS intrinsic but very much in keeping with the spirit of Khorne are the Vehicle Destroyer Blades, Combat Familiars, and the Chain Axe; so being familiar with those things will help you capture the essence of the Khornate army’s armory.
With those things in mind and history as a guide, let's see what we can do and why we should do it.
One virtue the Khorne army has is that it is simple to run. Newer players will find the simplicity of blindly seeking assault range to be a great relief from the micromanaged tactica of some armies like Dark Eldar or Tau. Your goal is to get as close as fast as you can, take up space a little bit and deny the enemy anywhere to run while not leaving yourself open to diversionary tactics or one trick pony armies.
While list building, there's a few important rules. First is, minimal units are a terrible idea for Khornate Berserkers. They need to be built for shooting attrition (as their range will be inferior and their shooting a relatively inconsequential issue). Maybe more importantly, you want the impact of Kharnes Warlord ability to get a chance to express itself as often as possible as Khorne acts like a Chaplain (Hatred for the entire unit? Oofta!). To this end at least one unit should be larger and preferably the one that Kharne the Betrayer accompanies. Their Grenades will terrify vehicles while their sheer volume of attacks will suffice to strike fear everywhere else. Also, the Khorne army multi-charges well when needed and it should not be afraid to do so. They are fearless but fearsome even without all the extra attacks for charging. So the core of the army would look like this before you get too far into it:
160pts Kharne the Betrayer
160Chaos Lord (Mark of Khorne, Axe of Blind Fury, Juggernaut of Khorne, Combat Familiar)
354pts 16 Berserkers (Icon of Wrath, Champion w/Power weapon + Meltabomb)
202pts 8 Berserkers (Icon of Wrath, Champion w/Power Weapon + Meltabomb)
50pts Chaos Rhino (Destroyer Blades)
50pts Chaos Rhino (Destroyer Blades)
Rage, Counter attack and Hatred all on that large Fearless unit is great. The icon allowing Re-rolling of the charge distance is huge though. The leaders can rush forth from the unit on the turn they are prepared to charge and easily overpower a majority of units they would take on, leaving their escorts to find their own way if it makes sense to do it. The Chaos Lord and Kharne are both 7 attacks on the charge with AP 2 weapons and the Chaos Lord adds the benefits of 2 more mundane attacks through the Combat Familiar!!! No unit can hope to stand against such ferocity. The enemy’s one chance is to kill them all with shooting by end of round 2 right?
The question of course is, how can Khornate armies cope with being outshot in a world most players think is shooting dominated. Flyers need an answer too. In addition they will need someone to hold rear objectives. So we should add the Cultists necessary to do that. Looking at the codex we see that the best answer is Havocs for both exposing the enemy to open air as well as killing aircraft. So it's time to invest there.
133pts 16 Khorne Cultists (Pistol+CCW, Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, 2 x Flamers)
214pts 8 Havocs (Flakk Missile Launchers)
A Havoc squad still only kills one target at a time and sadly they won't scare a Land Raider. So where can we get some low cost, high reliability anti-Land Raider firepower? Well Predators can pump out more of it for the price than any other unit in the codex. The Triple LasCannon Predators can do the really heavy lifting on Land Raiders, as well as other vehicles, Terminators and the like. For essentially the same price, the Obliterators can do the same thing. To me, this is a tossup. It really is. BECAUSE it is, I say why choose? By getting both, we solve two problems at once. We give ourselves the Raider killing power we need, we get more shots than we would if we went with just Obliterators and perhaps lost in the shuffle is the fact that we don't want the enemy bogging us down with throw away Fearless units which Obliterators can be used to intercept. The Rhinos will help (briefly) with that problem but ultimately, we need more blockers anyways.
140pts Predator (Triple LasCannons)
148Pts 2 Obliterators (Mark of Khorne)
That puts us up to 1611 points. The screws are starting to tighten on us as far as what we can do from here but most of the major areas of concern are covered at least to an adequate level. I think it becomes far more debatable what to do next.
For my part I recognize that Imperial Guard can be very plasma heavy which could be a serious problem for a Khornate army. Grey Knights are well known for their copious Power Weapons and short range brutal fire power. What the army lacks is an anvil to keep the enemy honest. In addition we have done nothing to affect enemy deployment at all, and I am never a fan of letting the other guy play his own game. I want him to play mine. So how can we both affect his deployment and also give ourselves some answer to the mech'd up VetSpam of IG or the Disintegrator/Splinter Cannon spamming? Certainly more boots on the ground would be a great answer, but which boots? More berserkers won’t keep the enemy honest in how they deploy. So then what? Unfortunately there is no good answer. Chosen no longer are able to outflank and the Mark of Khorne won't let you take a Steed of Slaanesh nor do you have Huron BlackHeart you can use for a Khorne army.
The only answer would seem to be Deep Strikers, flyers or both. You have points enough for TWO Heldrakes (who also serve admirable as anti-aircraft if you desire). Experience has already shown that such a threat is legitimate and brutally effective. If you aren't disposed to adding so much cost to your army (yet) you could consider the Raptors/Warp Talons. As a Khornate army, death from the sky is as good as death from the ground so long as it festoons the Blood Gods throne with the appropriate adornments. En masse. 2+ armor is king in 6E however, and a Terminator unit may well serve best of all as a Deep Striker, as it is hearty and no less scary when given the Mark of Khorne.
340pts 8 Chaos Terminators (Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, Champion with Pair of Lightning Claws, 2x Power Fist+Combi-Bolter, 1x PowerSword+Combi-Flamer, 1x Power Sword+Reaper Auto Cannon, 3x Power Sword+Combi-Bolter)
340pts 2 x HelDrakes
Either solution will affect the enemy deployment and movement, and be a legitimate and impressive threat to almost any unit type. I chose the load out on the unit because you want the unit to be able to bust a rhino and charge the innards. You also want the unit to be able to crush vehicles in melee as well as kill people. And you want to whittle the unit down as much as possible, possibly killing the leader with your Lightning claws in a challenge.
So having explained the why part, here is the summary of my thoughts on what the Khorne army might look like in its full glory:
Predator (Triple LasCannons)
2 Obliterators (Mark of Khorne)
8 Havocs (Flakk Missile Launchers)
16 Berserkers (Icon of Wrath, Champion w/Power Weapon, Meltabomb)
Chaos Rhino (Destroyer Blades)
8 Berserkers (Icon of Wrath, Champion w/Power Weapon, Meltabomb)
Chaos Rhino (Destroyer Blades)
16 Khorne Cultists (Pistol+CCW, Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, 2 x Flamers)
8 Chaos Terminators (Mark of Khorne, Icon of Wrath, Champion with Pair of Lightning Claws, 2x Power Fist+Combi-Bolter, 1x PowerSword+Combi-Flamer, 1x Power Sword+Reaper Auto Cannon, 3x Power Sword+Combi-Bolter)... OR... 2 Heldrakes
Kharne the Betrayer
Chaos Lord (Mark of Khorne, Axe of Blind Fury, Juggernaut of Khorne, Combat Familiar)
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