Blood and Faith – Part 1: Daughters of Khaine Tactica
With Battletome: Daughters of Khaine on shop shelves and bringing the aelves into the Age of Sigmar in a good-bad way, we reached out to aelf superfan Chuck Moore of The Realm Gate Blog for his thoughts on using the new faction in games. As it turns out, he was already planning to take them to AdeptiCon this year, so his mind was buzzing away. Here’s what he had to say.
Chuck: Hey Everyone! I was invited to share my thoughts on the new Daughters of Khaine battletome and hopefully share my excitement about the return of aelves to Warhammer Age of Sigmar.
The Daughters of Khaine are a fanatical cult of she-aelves who shed blood in worship of their god Khaine, and they bring to the table a unique set of Battle Traits in keeping with this theme. Fanatical Faith grants the entire army a 6+ save against wounds and mortal wounds. Considering the majority of the army has a 5+ or 6+ save, this is a fantastic ability that gives the army the staying power needed to survive into later rounds of the game. As with other forces, the Daughters of Khaine have six unique command traits for your general to choose from. One standout is Terrifying Beauty, which causes your opponents to subtract 1 from all hit rolls of attacks targeting your general – which will lend them even more survivability.
As the battle rounds progress, we get to see the strength of the army’s other Battle Trait, Blood Rites. Blood Rites actually consists of five different abilities, with a new one introduced each round, that help increase your army’s prowess. They are also cumulative, giving your remaining units a strong upper hand as the blood shed by your army grants them more of Khaine’s power. For example, by turn 3 of each game, your army will be re-rolling run, charge and hit rolls of 1, as well as seeing all Avatars of Khaine being permanently Animated.
With the Daughters of Khaine having such great Battle Traits, the best way to layer on a unique feel is to choose the Temple that your army represents. There are four Temples of Khaine to choose from: Hagg Nar, Draichi Ganeth, The Kraith, and Khailebron. Each of these will grant your army a unique command trait, artefact of power, and unique ability. While previous battletomes, such as Battletome: Stormcast Eternals, require specific warscroll battalions to gain such benefits, the Daughters of Khaine rules are more fluid, fitting the feel of the army.
Gifts, Relics, and Artefacts
Following the trend of other recent battletomes, the Daughters of Khaine have a plethora of artefacts of power to choose from. The Gifts of Morathi are the universal artefacts that any Daughters of Khaine Hero can choose. If you wish to improve the defences of your Hero, you can use the Thousand and One Dark Blessings, granting a +1 to your save rolls. Alternatively, you could opt for the Cursed Blade to give your hero an offensive punch as they add +1 to hit rolls and cause all hit rolls of a 7+ to inflict a mortal wound instead of the weapon’s normal damage.
If you prefer having Wizards to support your units, then the Artefacts of Shadow will serve you well. Currently, your Wizard Heroes for the Daughters of Khaine are the Bloodwrack Medusa and Bloodwrack Shrine. In order to get the most flexibility out of your Wizard, you could pick the Rune of Ulgu, granting the bearer an additional spell from the Lore of Shadows. My current favourite is the Crystal Heart, which lets the Hero attempt to cast a second spell in your hero phase, but at the risk of suffering D3 mortal wounds. Of course, this is slightly negated by the fact that your Fanatical Faith will give you a 6+ save against those suffered wounds.
If you choose a Slaughter Queen or Hag Queen on foot (or on their respective Cauldrons of Blood) you have the Relics of Khaine to choose from. Being the Priests of the army, some of these relics are suitably focused on improving their prayer abilities. Similar to the Crystal Heart, your Priests can choose the Khainite Pendant allowing them to pray three times in your hero phase, but the first time you roll a 1, they suffer D3 mortal wounds as opposed to the only 1 as normal. I like this – the potential reward is higher than the risk. If you wish to play it a bit safer, you could choose Hagbrew and add +1 to the wound rolls for the bearer’s melee weapons.
Lore of Shadows and Prayers of the Khainite Cult
The Daughters of Khaine are led by Morathi, one of the most powerful sorceresses of all time, and there would be something amiss if there wasn’t some strong magic to bring to the field of battle. The Lore of Shadows is as diverse as it is potent, allowing some for some unexpected movement options as well as ensuring your army has the upper hand when combat begins. A lot of the names of these spells will seem familiar to long-time players: Steed of Shadows, for example. Cast on a 5, this allows the character to fly up to 16″ until their next hero phase.
Another great option you will see often is Mindrazor. Cast on a 7, the spell grants a unit within 18″ of the caster an additional +1 to their Rend – and if that wasn’t enough it will increase the Damage characteristic of the unit’s melee weapons by +1 if the unit with Mindrazor has a higher bravery. Coupling this spell with other abilities and artefacts in the Daughters of Khaine will see you getting the full benefit of this additional damage more often than not.
While spells are a great addition to the army, the Daughters of Khaine are a cult of worship, so we need to explore the unique Khainite prayers that all Priests can use. Keep in mind that a Priest can pray twice in the hero phase, but the same Prayer of the Khainite Cult cannot be used more than once – so it is best to give each Priest their own prayer from the list. When a Priest chooses to use a prayer, you roll a dice. On a 1, they are found unworthy and suffer a mortal wound; on a 2, nothing happens; but a 3+ will see the prayer answered and be successful.
As we have seen before, there’s a lot of diversity in what these prayers can do within your army. Blessing of Khaine, for example, allows you to pick a friendly Daughters of Khaine unit within 14″ of the Priest and, until the start of your next hero phase, that unit can re-roll their Fanatical Faith rolls. Alternatively, if you care not from whence the blood flows, you can use Martyr’s Sacrifice to once again pick a friendly Daughters of Khaine unit within 14″ of the Priest, and each time a model in that unit is slain, roll a dice. On a 5 or 6, the attacking unit suffers a mortal wound.
Hopefully, you can see just how exciting this army can be to play and how terrifying it can be for your opponent to play against. You can easily build the army in multiple play styles and feel secure in the knowledge that, however you wish to play, you will have the tools to support your chosen means of slaughter.
Thanks for reading and until next time, happy hobbying.
Next time won’t be too far off, as Chuck has another article waiting in the wings, this time with his thoughts on how Daughters of Khaine army lists might look – keep an eye out for that soon. In the meantime, you can get your own Battletome: Daughters of Khaine from the Games Workshop and Warhammer Digital websites, and check out all the spells, prayers, artefacts and the rest of the rules for yourself.