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New Warhammer Age of Sigmar Daughters of Khaine Battletome 2022 Review

The Daughters of Khaine are back and are ready to reap a heavy toll on a tabletop near you.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Games Workshop for sending us a copy free of charge to review and you can support the show by pre ordering your copy from Element Games

Introduction

So Daughters of Khaine are the latest Order battletome to be released for Age of Sigmar and wow what a battletome, for those who do not know the Daughters of Khaine are zealots who worship the dead god Khaine who is the god of murder (except they do not know that he is dead) and while they are technically an Order faction they are defiantly not “good”, lead by their leader Morathi they set out across the mortal realms to further their devotion to Khaine while also fulfilling Morathi’s own agendas.

On the tabletop they are a glass cannon, meaning they hit hard but will die quickly when attacked back. Whether you run hordes of Witch Elves or a double reinforced unit of Blood Stalkers there will likely not be a lot of models left standing at the end of most of your games. I have never played Daughters of Khaine myself but I have played against them a lot !!! and they are an army that will most certainly reward good player skill.

The Lore

The lore section in the Daughters of Khaine battletome was really enjoyable to read, I don’t want to go to far into spoiler territory but it is well worth a read.

The section starts of with an introduction into who the Daughters of Khaine are, in short they are bloodthirsty zealots who worship a god called Khaine, the god of murder, who is dead but that fact is not known to all. Morathi assumes leadership of the varies temples dedicated to Khaine and is the only one who can talk directly to Khaine.

We then get a small section dedicated to the imprisonment of Slaanesh and the roll that Morathi played in Slaanesh’s capture, we also get a look at what happened to Morathi that made her into a giant snake monster.

If you haven’t read Broken Realms – Morathi then do not worry there is a couple of pages that recap the events which leads up to modern day time specifically Har Kuron, the former City of Sigmar which has now been taken over by the Daughters of Khaine.

There is a small glimpse into the realm of shadow, Ulgu which depicts the realm as being mysterious and untrustworthy which seems quite fitting for the Daughters of Khaine.

The rest of the lore section is divided into explaining the different temples like Hagg Nar and Khelt Nar, a timeline thats ends with the Shadow Queen leaving Hagg Nar to find Kragnos in order to finish their previous duel and finally there is a section explaining all the different units you can find in the battletome and their rolls in the army.

Allegiance Abilities

Battle Traits

When this battletome was announced soo soon after the previous version I wondered why. The battle traits in this book sum up why, they are streamlined and I feel that they will be more enjoyable for players.

With that said lets jump in.

Temples of Khaine

  • Hagg Nar – Units in a Hagg Nar army count the battle round as being one higher for the blood rites battle trait (more on that later) and they can also include one additional Cauldron of Blood more than they can usually take.
  • Draichi Ganeth – Witch Elves and Sisters of Slaughter units improve their rend by one when they charge, you also get to reinforce or double reinforce a single unit of witch elves in addition to the normal reinforcement limit, the days of ninety witch elves running at you are back.
  • Khelt Nar – Friendly Khelt Nar units can retreat and still charge.
  • Khailebron – Gives a unique command ability that allows you to remove a unit form the table and set it up anywhere on the board more than nine inches away from the enemy, you also unlock Khanite Shadowstalkers as battleline who can teleport as well.
  • The Kraith – This temple allows Sisters of Slaughter to fight a second time on a four plus but the second time you have the always strike last rule.
  • Zainthar Kai – Each time a Melusai (Snake) model dies it can fight before it is removed from play, you also unlock Blood Sisters and Blood Stalkers as battleline, which you can do by taking a Melusai general.

Of all the temples I really like Khelt Nar but all six of the temples are good and I think they will see play depending on what units you want to use and your play style.

Battle Fury

This is a unique heroic action that gives the hero plus two attacks to all melee weapons the bearer has (not including mounts and models with the Monster keyword).

All – Out Slaughter

This is a command ability that makes any unmodified hit roll of a six (in combat) count as two hits instead one one, which is crazy good in an army with lots of attacks already.

Fanatical Faith

All Daughters of Khaine units get a six plus ward save.

Blood Rites

This is the main battle trait which gives your units gain a bonus depending on which battle round it is, these bonuses are cumulative and there are a lot of ways to manipulate the chart for your units.

  • Round 1 = Add one to run rolls.
  • Round 2 = Add one to charge rolls.
  • Round 3 = Add one to hit rolls.
  • Round 4 = Add one to wound rolls.
  • Round 5 = Friendly Daughters of Khaine units get a five plus ward save.

All of these bonuses are useful especially the plus one to hit and wound, a unit of ten witch elves can get thirty attacks hitting on two’s and wounding on two’s with very little effort. Hagg Nar becomes very tempting if you want to get your units the better bonuses, there are also command traits that do the same and the witch brew now makes it count as one round higher for a unit.

Enhancements

Command Traits

  • Arcane MasteryWizard only. The general knows all the spells from the Lore of Shadows.
  • Bathed in Blood – Every time your general kills a model in combat you can heal a wound to the general.
  • Fuelled by RevengeMelusai Ironscale only, once per game friendly Melusai units within twelve inches get plus one attack.
  • Zealous Orator – When this general issues the Rally command you get models back on a four plus instead of a six.
  • Master of Poisons – At the end of the combat phase pick a model that suffered wounds from your general in that phase they suffer an additional D6 mortal wounds.
  • Sacrificial Overseer – This gives the general the ability to fight for a second time (with the always strike last rule) if it kills a model in the combat phase.
  • True Believer – Add one to the general’s battle round for the blood rites table.

There are some tough choices in the command traits, I could see players using the Zealous Orator trait if you want to run big block of units but then the True Believer trait is also good to get those bonuses early on, again all are good choices depending on who your general is and your army build.

Artefacts of Power

Gifts of Morathi

  • Bloodline venom – Pick a melee weapon the bearer has, if the bearer caused a wound to a model that was not slain roll a dice if that roll is greater than the targets wound characteristic it is slain.
  • Crone Blade – Pick a melee weapon the bearer has, if you roll an unmodified six to hit to can heal a wound after all its attacks have been resolved.
  • Crown of Woe – Enemy units within nine inches cannot receive the Rally or Inspiring Presence commands and if this model kills an enemy model increase the range to fifth teen inches for the rest of the battle.
  • Rune of Khaine – When the bearer is slain it can fight before being removed from play.

Artefacts of Shadow – Wizard only

  • Crystal Heart – Double the range when casting an endless spell.
  • Sevenfold Shadow – Once per battle instead of making a normal move the bearer can be removed the table and set up again anywhere more then nine inches away from enemy units.
  • Shadow Stone – Add one to casting rolls when casting a spell from the Lore of Shadows.

Relics of Khaine – Priest only

  • Blood Sigil – The bearer knows one extra prayer from the Khanite Cult prayers.
  • Khanite Pendant – Once per game before making a prayer roll you can use the pendant and the prayer is automatically successful.

Spell Lore – Lore of Shadows

  • Steed of Shadows – Cast on a six and gives the caster a sixteen inch move and fly.
  • Pit of Shades – Cast on a six with a range of eighteen inches, pick an enemy unit and roll two D6 if the roll is higher than the movement characteristic they suffer a number of mortal wounds equal to the difference.
  • Mirror Dance – Cast on a six, pick two friendly heroes with eighteen and visible and more than three inches from enemy units and those heroes swap places.
  • The Withering – Cast on a seven, pick an enemy unit within eighteen inches and all attacks that target that unit get plus one to wound until your next hero phase.
  • Mindrazor – Cast on an eight, pick a friendly Daughter of Khaine unit within eighteen inches and add one to that units rend (until your next hero phase) and add one to the damage of that units attacks if that unit charged.
  • Shroud of despair – Cast on a four pick an enemy unit within eighteen inches and subtract one form their bravery, if you roll a eight plus subtract D3 instead.

Prayer Scriptures – Prayers of the Khanite Cult

  • Catechism of Murder – Has an answer value of three and a range of fourteen, any unmodified hit roll of a six in combat counts as two hits instead of one.
  • Blessing of Khaine – Answer value of three and a fourteen inch range, pick a friendly unit and you can re-roll fanatical faith rolls.
  • Martyr’s Sacrifice – Answer value of three and a fourteen inch range, pick a friendly unit, when a model in that unit is slain in combat pick a unit within three inches and on a five plus you do a mortal wound to that unit.
  • Crimson Rejuvenation – Answer value of three and a fourteen inch range, pick a Daughter of Khaine unit and heal D3 wounds to that unit.
  • Covenant of the Iron Heart – Answer value of 3 and a range of fourteen, pick a friendly unit and until your next hero phase do not take battleshock tests for that unit.
  • Sacrament of Blood – Answer value of 3 and a range of fourteen, pick a daughters of Khaine unit within range and they count the battleground as being one higher for the blood rites table.

Matched Play

Grand Strategies

  • Bloodbath – Score this is all enemy heroes and monsters have either been slain or have wounds allocated to them, and if all other enemy units on the battlefield have had models slain from their units.
  • Conquered in the name of Khaine – At the end of the game have a friendly Avatar of Khaine or Cauldron of Blood wholly in enemy territory.
  • Bloodthirsty Zealots – At the end of the game you get this grand strategy if all of your units have fought or been destroyed during the game.
  • Naught but Destruction – After deployment pick a defensible terrain feature in your opponents territory if at the end of the game that terrain feature is demolished you get this strategy.

Battle Tactics

  • Clash of Arms – If three or more units made a charge move this turn, if two or more of those units were Witch Aleves or Sisters of Slaughter you get an extra victory point for doing this battle tactic.
  • Cruel Delight – If at least two units of Khinerai use their fire and flight or fight and flight ability this turn.
  • Tides of Blades – If two or more units from your starting army are wholly within your opponents territory you complete this tactic, if at least two of those units are Witch Aleves you get and extra victory point.
  • Executioner’s Cult – You get this battle tactic if you have a High Gladiatrix in your army and she kills an enemy hero wither killing stroke ability.
  • Hatred of Chaos – You have to destroy two or more Chaos units in a turn but you can only select this battle tactic if you are a Hagg Nar or Khelt Nar army.
  • Unexpected Attack – You complete this battle tactic if you have a Khanite Shadowstalker unit in your army who uses their shadow leap ability and then makes a charge in the same turn.

Core Battalions

Vyperic Guard – So in this battalion you have to take the following =

  • Morathi
  • 1-3 Bloodwrack Medusa or Melusai Ironscale
  • 2-6 units of Blood Stalkers or Blood Sisters

By taking this battalion you get the Magnificent bonus giving you a second enhancement. I think you will see this battalion quite a bit as you will most likely take the units required which still gives you a lot of flexibility in list design as you can either make a full army out of this battalion or leave yourself some points for other units.

Shadow Patrol – So in this battalion you have to take the following =

  • 2 Units of Doomfire Warlocks
  • 4 Units of Khinerai Lifetakers or Khinerai Heartrenders

This battalion gives you either a Unified (one drop deployment) or a Swift (one free at the double or forward to victory) both of which are good choices but I like the Unified bonus more as this battalion is six drops, I am not a big fan of this battalion for the simple fact that it is not very realistic in my opinion. Doomfire warlocks are good but its the four units of Khinerai that really hamper this battalion, if it were 2-4 on Khinerai units then I would like this a lot more but I wouldn’t want to take four units in an army.

Warscrolls

Morathi – Khaine and The Shadow Queen – Morathi is split into two models both of which are polar opposite’s to each other, Morathi Khaine is wizard who while being quite good in combat pales in comparison to The Shadow Queen. The big difference between this new battletome and the previous edition is pretty small, the only difference is Morathi Khaine has lost her bonus of +1 to cast, I was hoping that her command ability that allowed a unit to shoot in the hero phase would be changed but unfortunately it has not.

Bloodwrack Shrine and Bloodwrack Medusa – These two heroes are the only other wizards in the battletome other than Morathi, they both have an anti horde shooting attack that rolls a dice for every model in an enemy unit and does a mortal wound on a 5+ and a unique spell called Enfeebling Foe that targets an enemy unit and makes that unit minus one to wound with their melee weapons which is pretty huge, the only big change form the previous book is they have a new rule called Melusai Kin which does the same as witch brew (adds one to the current battle round for the blood rites ability) but only for Melusai units; which is really good if you want to run an all Melusai army.

Melusai Ironscale – The Melusai Ironscale has had some minor changes but still works pretty much the same way, it has a command ability that now allows a unit of Mulusai to charge in the same turn that the unit either shot or ran which is useful especially on your Blood Sisters.

Morgwaeth the Bloodied and The Blade – Coven – These models make up the Warhammer Underworlds war band and are really nice models, they come with a lot of attacks, twelve plus the three from Morgwaeth. Morgwaeth is basically just a Hag Queen but The Blade Coven act as bodyguards and are able to take wound for Morgwaeth which is very useful.

Hag Queen on Cauldron of Blood and Hag Queen – In short take at least one of these in your army, they are a priest which gives you access to some awesome prayers but they both have access to witch brew which adds one to the current battle round on the blood rites table, if you want a unit of thirty witch elves hitting on two’s and wounding on three’s on turn two this is how (combined with Hagg Nar), the Hag Queen on cauldron also provides a bonus of +1 to friendly priest’s chanting rolls which means you are getting those prayers of on a two.

Slaughter Queen on Cauldron of Blood and Slaughter Queen – These queens are the combat……….queens of the book, they have a command ability that allows a unit within three inches of an enemy unit in the hero phase to fight which can be pivotal to winning combats, they’re unique prayer has changed quite a bit and for the better in my opinion, it now gives the Slaughter Queen the always strikes first rule which really helps if it gets charged or charges those heavy hitters like a Megaboss on Mawcrusha. The Slaughter Queen on Cauldron also gets to unbind a spell in your opponents turn which is always good to have.

High Gladiatrix – Introduced in the Arena of Shades box this new hero is really designed to buff your Sisters of Slaughter and Witch Alves with it’s ability Paragon of Slaughter, which changes the to wound characteristic to a three plus rather than a four and changes the rend to minus one if either of those units are within twelves inches of the Gladiatrix.

Sisters of Slaughter – Sisters of Slaughter are a super solid battleline unit, they only have two attacks each if you arm them with bucklers but with a two inch reach and the ability to pile in six inches means that you will most likely get the majority of the unit in combat, while their bucklers bounce mortal wounds back to the attacking unit in melee on an unmodified save of a six.

Witch Alves – I like to think of Witch Alves as the blender of battleline units, with three attacks and ability to add one to wound rolls when near a Totem they will literally blend through anything with a 5+ save or worse and thats even before you factor in any bonuses from the blood rites ability.

Khanite Shadowstalkers – These assassins are now super useful, their main gimmick is their ability to teleport anywhere on the board more than nine inches away form enemy units instead of making a normal move or retreat which is super useful, they also massively benefit from the blood rites bonus as they get to add one to their charge rolls when they teleport.

Doomfire Warlocks – These guys are a unit of wizards whose unique spell is a super powered arcane bolt as it can do six mortal wounds depending on the unit size you have, they also have a bonus of +1 to cast however as they are not a Hero they can’t take a spell from the lore of shadows which is a shame.

Avatar of Khaine – The Avatar has had quite a big change, in the previous book you had to use one of your priests to animate the Avatar before you could do anything with it now that rule is gone and it operates just like any other unit which is a great change, it’s not a monster but can stomp and use the smash to rubble action in the same manor as a monster which is a nice bonus but it is a shame that It cannot roar as that is the most useful monstrous rampage to have. It also has a five plus ward save, adds one to chanting rolls for priests and because it is a Totem it gives that bonus to wound for Witch Alves nearby.

Blood Stalkers – In short this unit has not changed at all from the previous book, they still have two attacks with their bows and still do mortal wounds on a hit roll of a six, I really like the fact that you can have a shooting unit in a combat army that is worth taking as it allows player to take a more mixed arms army which I find more enjoyable but I do wish they had done something to stop the Morathi and the fifth teen Blood Stalker list that you always saw Daughters players taking.

Blood Sisters – These are the combat version of the Blood Stalkers and my personal favourite of the two as I love their masks, they are the elite combat unit in the book with three attacks hitting and wounding on threes they require less bonuses to make them solid and with a two inch reach melee weapon a large unit of these is pretty scary.

Khinerai Heartrenders – These are your extremely mobile objective takers that have a shooting attack, they no longer get the impressive minus two rend on the turn they come down but now automatically get to move six inches after they shoot, unfortunately they are not very good at shooting with only one attack so I don’t think you will see many of these anymore especially compared to ….

Khinerai Lifetakers – These are the combat version of the Hearthrenders and they are bizarrely pretty good at combat, they now have two attacks that hit on three’s and wound on three’s with a minus one rend which is pretty good and on a four plus after they fight they can retreat, these have had a massive boost over their previous version as they now sit somewhere between a Witch Alve and Blood Sister.

Bloodwrack Viper – This model is by far one of the best endless spells models in Age of Sigmar which is saying a lot, the model is unchanged from the previous book, you roll three dice and if you roll higher than the wound characteristic of the enemy model it is slain which is probably better then D3 mortal wounds so not terrible just not scary like the model is.

Bladewind – A very simple endless spell that now does a mortal wound on a 2+ to units it moves across or ends near and units within twelve inches do not get the bonus to their armour saves for being in cover, not a great spell sadly as the model is again really nice.

Heart of Fury – This invocation is pretty good, in short it reduces the damage of attacks that target Daughters of Khaine units within twelves inches at the start of combat and on a roll of a six can add one attack to all nearby Daughters of Khaine units at the same time so I think you will see this pretty often as that really helps your fragile army.

Path to Glory

This is one of my minor gripes with the battletome as it feels a bit lack lustre but then again i’m comparing it to the Fyreslayer path to glory which was amazing, in step three of the aftermath sequence you can have a hero or a battleline unit roll on a Gladiatorial table to get some renown with some slight risk of losing your models which is very narratively fitting for a Daughters army but I feel this could have been a bit more and had some bonuses depending on what happened during the game you would have just played.

There are two quests, one that gives you a discount on buying a Cauldron of Blood for one of your heroes which is cool and the other unlocks a unique battleplan you can play which is actually a Triumph and Treachery game.

There is a list of seven veteran abilities which apart form one are all keyword locked to a specific unit so there will be duplicates in your roster depending on what units you take which again is a shame as I like variety and this feels very restrictive.

There are some cool territories that include a Gladiatorial Arena, a Khainite Temple and a Free City Shrine which add everything form more allies in to giving you bonuses to the Gladiatorial chart. Overall the path to glory section feels a bit small and undeveloped to me its still good I just would have liked something a bit more engaging in your actual games.

Conclusion

So there it is the new Daughters of Khaine review and wow what a book, when the Daughters of Khaine battletome was announced I wondered why they were getting a book before the likes of Gloomspite Gitz but this book will in my opinion reinvigorate the Daughters of Khaine armies.

There is a decent number of changes to warscrolls that make almost every unit in the book a solid choice, the change to the witch brew is big and I now feel that it has found a good balance, anything in the book that can manipulate the blood rites ability is worth taking in this army. The allegiance abilities have been streamlined and now feel more impactful to the army, having ten Witch Alves that can hit on a two’s with thirty attacks without spending a command point frees up those command points for the All out Slaughter command to generate extra hits.

I have only two issues with the book, first while the book does improve pretty much every unit in the book I still there is a little bit of internal imbalance in the book, when you consider that most Daughters of Khaine armies were taking Morathi and a double reinforced unit of Blood Stalkers I would have liked to have seen something in the book that made this build slightly less of an auto build list. Changing Morathi’s command ability, taking the mortal wound ability away from the Blood Stalkers or even not making Blood Stalkers a battleline unit would have fixed this problem but none of these have been done so I can’t help but wonder if Daughters lists will change that much.

The second issue I have with the book is the Path to Glory section as it feels incomplete and not as interesting as the Fyreslayer’s path to glory section which is simply amazing, I feel more quests and some goals to complete in a game would have added a lot to the path to glory section, don’t get me wrong its not bad just could have been a bit more flushed out in my opinion.

Anyways thats all from me but I would love to know what you think about the new Daughters of Khaine battletome.

Our thanks again to Games Workshop for sending us a free copy to review.

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