The release of Total War: Warhammer III saw a wealth of new armies, monsters, and factions added to the game. However, with some of the daemon factions, it can be hard to get a grasp on which is best for what role on the battlefield; Sure, you might know that Bloodletters are melee units but what do they excel at killing? What are they weakest against? Well in this Total War: Warhammer III Khorne Unit Guide I’ll be running through all the units currently in the Khorne faction and giving you my thoughts on which are the best and how to get the most out of them with a few jokes thrown in along the way.
To start off with we’ll look at the overall strengths and weaknesses of the army. This will help give you a good idea of how they handle in battle as well as save time as I won’t have to repeat these points for almost every listing! Woo!
ARMY STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
As powerful as the Daemons of Khorne can be they aren’t short of a few weaknesses. At a glance this what you are dealing with when you choose to devote a play through to the big angry red one.
- Army has great melee strength.
- Basic Infantry does magical damage.
- Devastatingly powerful Lord options.
- One of the best (if not the best) melee armies in the game.
- Many units have little to no armour.
- Weak to range attacks.
- What units have armour are slow.
- No magic.
One of the most common weakness across the army is their low armour and lack of any real missile protection. What squads that do have that are far slower than their demonic counterparts. As such if you run a mix of both demonic and mortal units it isn’t uncommon to find most of your army getting walloped by ranged attacks and heavier infantry before your more durable troops are even halfway there. They aren’t as fragile as Slannesh’s armies, but they can crumble to focused attacks and magic if you aren’t careful.
The Macdaddy big boss of the Khorne roster. The always angry and oh so very handy dandy in a fight the one, the only Skarbrand! At the time of writing this guide, Skarbrand is the only Legendary Lord that you have available on the Khorne roster. And woe betides whomever they select as the next one as Skarbrand is a tough act to follow. With all the killing potential of an Exalted Bloodthirster knocked up to even higher levels, so much so that he can almost one-shot most lords and heroes on the opening blow and a range of buffs and powers to deal even more damage Skarbrand is almost an army all himself.
He also has a power called Rage Embodied which will send foes in rage into a rampage. Causing them to lose control of themselves and lock the in combat for a time. And can throw out a rather powerful magic missile attack when out of combat. However, he is limited by the fact he can’t fly which does limit his manoeuvrability quite a lot.
EXALTED HERALD OF KHORNE
The Exalted Herald of Khorne is the standard Lord option and outside the Skarbrand the only one you’ll have access to at the start of a campaign. He is a fairly versatile leader being able to hand out a great buff to nearby allies which increases their melee strength for a short period of time as well as boosts their leadership just by being close to them.
And naturally being a Khorne lord they are more than capable hold their own in combat and being a decent hero/lord killer if needed. I wouldn’t just leave them to their own devices, however, as they are lacking in armour and can easily be sniped if you aren’t careful. But as far as leaders go they are a fine option and are arguably better than the alternatives in some regards.
The Exalted Bloodthirster is your pure damage dealing lord choice. They trade out army buffs in favour of self-targeting buffs and area of effect damage. They are a step above the standard Bloodthirster but a step below Skarbrand stat-wise. But to treat them as just being a generic lord would be a horrible mischaracterisation.
However, unlike Skarbrand this Lord can fly. Which grants it a level of manoeuvrability that vastly improves its killing potential. Be warned, being a monster makes it weak to anti-large damage, and missile troops when it is in flight. If they don’t kill their target there is a good chance they could send them running all the same given they cause terror.
The Khorne Cultist is the hero equivalent of the Exalted Bloodthirster; they are a pure damage dealer. But in that role they are competent; they can take on entire squads of low to mid-tire units handily. And they are one of the few options in the Khorne roster that is armed with a shield. As an added bonus they can summon a squad of Bloodletters into battle for a limited time which can help give you reinforcements if needed and help flank foes they are currently tied up with.
HERALD OF KHORNE
The Herald of Khorne is the hero equivalent of the Exalted Herald of Khorne. And whilst they are weaker than the Lord version they are still almost as versatile in their own right. They are still decent in combat and still have a handful of buffs that they can use on your army. Some are passive and some needing activation.
However unlike the Exalted version the buff ability they have grants magic resistance rather than melee strength. Which can be useful against other daemon based armies. They are a good defensive unit with that in mind. And given the passive leadership buffs they give off they aren’t a bad unit to include if you have room for them.
The Bloodletters are a basic infantry option that is anything but basic. These are your standard rank and file fighters and they are some of the best infantry units in the entire game. They are quick on their feet and carry some mighty weapons which can easily help them see off most foes. Even some of the high tier units that you’ll see later in the campaign.
Additionally, they deal magic damage when they fight and like most daemon units on this list have a morale debuffing aura to them. Be warned, they are lightly armoured which makes them vulnerable to anti-infantry and ranged units. And being daemons if their morale drops too low they will start to take damage and can crumble quickly.
The Exalted Bloodletters of Khorne are, as you could expect, the higher tier and more elite version of the aforementioned Bloodletters. And they are better in just about every way! Better weapon strength, better attack, better leadership. They are more or less on par as far as their defensive capabilities are concerned but when you can see off most threats in a matter of seconds that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
They are a great alternative to their lower tier kin and can easily stand toe to toe with most mid to late game units and threats. In addition to magic damage, they also deal flame damage on the attack making them all the more lethal. If you are looking for something to build a Doomstack out of they are a great choice. But as good as they are they do share many of the same weaknesses as the Bloodletters.
CHAOS WARRIORS OF KHORNE
If ol’ Chris’s Total War: Warhammer III Khorne Unit Guide has seemed a little too daemon heavy for some of you out there in reader land then fear not! As next on our list is the Chaos Warriors Of Khorne. Heavily armoured and heavy-hitting these guys are some of the most durable you can get.
Plus they are the cheapest infantry choice on the roster! Their high armour can help them stay in the fight for quite a long time. Plus they have shields to protect them from most ranged attacks. However they terribly slow. This can leave them vulnerable to countercharges and to ranged units with armour-piercing attacks.
CHAOS WARRIORS OF KHORNE (HALBERDS)
If you are looking for a potent anti-large option then the Halberds are a fine and reliable option. Though to be fair they are pretty much your only option. They have almost all the durability of the standard option minus the missile protection. And given just how many monstrous units you’ll face on your campaigns it pays to have a few of these knocking about just in case.
Sacrificing their shield the Halberdiers gain bonuses against large and monstrous foes and gain the charge deflection attribute. This means that some of the damage dealt to them on the charge will be reflected back into the enemy that charged it. Which is great when going against cavalry lists and Ogre armies. But remember, the lack of a shield makes them more susceptible to ranged attacks.
CHAOS WARRIORS OF KHORNE (DUAL WEAPONS)
The final variation of the Chaos Warriors is the dual weapon type which, as the name suggests, swaps out their shield for an extra hand weapon. Dual weapons make them more effective at killing infantry than their other counterparts.
However unlike the standard variety, they are more vulnerable to missiles, and unlike the halberd equipped version they have bonuses against getting charged. They are a pure offence option. But if you can get them into combat they’ll happily smash the daylights out of anything they come across.
MONSTERS & BEASTS
Fast and able to close the gap on cavalry enemies and be a halfway decent war machine hunter Chaos Warhounds are a cheaper alternative to Flesh Hounds. These guys alone aren’t going to win you a battle. And as your campaign progress, they will serve as little else aside from just cannon fodder. And even then, there are better options for that.
But in the early to mid-game, they are swift and manoeuvrable and can kill off most lightly armoured targets adequately. Personally, I feel if you are going for chaff to slow the enemy down they will do the job fine enough. But if you want something with killing power then go for the Flesh Hounds.
They are Chaos Furies! But they are red and Khorne flavoured! Being flyers they can be great at hunting down war machines and distracting heroes and beasts. Think of them as a flying speed bump. They are unlikely to win many fights on their own but they can buy time for the rest of your army. Regrettably, they might be the worst unit in this Total War: Warhammer III Khorne Unit Guide. At least stats-wise, as a canny general can get some good use out of them.
FLESH HOUNDS OF KHORNE
Given their cost, the Flesh Hounds of Khorne are probably one of the best options in the entire Khorne roster. They are fast, powerful, and able to deal a ton of damage in no time at all. And with a higher leadership, they can hold the line longer than their lesser Warhound kin. Whilst I’d never recommend using these as an alternative to cavalry they can work well as a hammer in a ‘hammer and anvil’ movement. As they can quite easily tear through most light infantry and ranged units in no time at all.
The Chaos Spawn is probably the best chaff unit that the army can field. Though I use the word ‘chaff’ very loosely. Unlike the Warhounds, Furies, and Flesh Hounds these things have great killing potential and being unbreakable gives them shocking amounts of staying power. But they are far more expensive.
However given their decent speed they can charge headlong into your foes and hold the line till your heavier hitting troops arrive A word of warning though, they have next to no armour. And if they take too much damage then they’ll frenzy and you’ll lose control of them. It is easy to lose the unit if you aren’t careful, so try not to get too attached to them.
MINOTAURS OF KHORNE
The Minotaurs of Khorne are a monstrous infantry unit that, whilst lacking an armour, can easily stand toe to toe with most other similar types. Which can be helpful when facing off against Ogres and similar creatures in the campaign. They are great on the charge and can tear through most squads of infantry in no time at all. Which is good given their low armour and lack of missile protection.
They are a useful troop to have to be sure. But I don’t think I’d ever use them over Bloodletters. But if you are looking for a heavy-hitting infantry unit but don’t want to have to deal with how slow the Chaos Warriors are they are a fine alternative.
MINOTAURS OF KHORNE (GREAT WEAPONS)
As with the Chaos Warriors of Khorne, the Minotaurs get their own alternatively equipped option. But don’t worry, the rest of the Total War: Warhammer III Khorne Unit Guide isn’t going to be filled with a dozen other variations as this is the only other one. Being armed with Great Weapons makes the Minotaurs even more potent when it comes to killing infantry units. This is good, as like the standard version they have low armour and can struggle in prolonged engagements.
If you know you are facing off against armies with massive ranks of infantry that you want to eradicate then these guys are a fine choice over their standard kin. It all really depends on what you are facing off against. Because as good as they are I’m not sure I’d count them as an Auto-include.
The Soul Grinder is a hybrid melee/ranged monster which is rather formidable in close combat and causes terror to the poor souls who end up fighting it. In melee, they can tear through most foes like a hot knife through butter. Sadly it is kind of a mediocre ranged choice due to one fatal flaw; You cannot manually select what it shoots at.
Goodness, it doesn’t even have a range finder on the model! The Soul Grinder only fires its ranged weapon when it is on the charge. You cannot force it to shoot at your enemies. And it will not shoot up at flying foes even if they should be in range to do so. The ranged attack they do make is powerful and can be a fantastic opening blow that can tear apart enemy lines when they get it off. Or rather if they get it off.
The generic version of the generic Lord version. The Bloodthirster is a winged nightmare that can smash to ribbons just about any enemy you throw in its path. Whilst they aren’t as powerful as their bigger Lord brothers they are nothing to be sniffed at. And are still as versatile.
In combat, they can smash through most things with little issue and are good at taking down heroes, wizards, and just about anything else that tends to stick behind the front line. But be careful as they are vulnerable to anti-large and missile damage and aren’t as durable as their leader variants.
CAVALRY & CHARIOTS
GOREBEAST CHARIOT OF KHORNE
It’s a Khornite version of the Gorebeast Chariot from the Warriors Of Chaos line. So if you are familiar with them from there you know what you are getting. As for those who aren’t, the Gorebeast Chariot is a heavy chariot that excels in anti-infantry engagements. And they can smash apart enemy lines with a powerful charge.
However, unlike the over cavalry options on the list, they aren’t as manoeuvrable and aren’t quite as impressive on the charge as the others available. Plus their squad size is rather small meaning they don’t really do quite as much damage overall as the others. Sure they are cheaper than the others but they aren’t that much cheaper than the Bloodcrushers.
Bloodchrushers are essentially just Bloodletters riding monstrous beasts. This takes an already quick-footed unit and then makes them even faster. Bringing all that astounding killing power to the frontlines of your enemy with a morale crippling charge. They are the closest to light cavalry you can get but with a lethality that is anything but light.
However, they do share some weaknesses with the standard Bloodletters though some of them are mitigated given their speed; they can be hard to hit with their speed but lack armour and missile protection. Plus with them being cavalry they take extra damage from the appropriate sources. Despite these issues, they can make for a fantastic addition to your army that can help tear apart almost anything you throw in their path.
SKULLCHRUSHERS OF KHORNE
The Skullcrushers of Khorne is the mortal equivalent of the Bloodcrushers. But don’t go thinking that this makes them weaker as quite frankly it is shocking just how good these guys are. Adorned in heavy armour, carrying shields and with a devastating charge, these guys can shatter even some of the highest tier units in the game in no time and destroy scores of infantry within seconds of engaging them.
However, this power comes at a cost; they are terribly expensive and aren’t the fastest of cavalry around. And a canny foe will throw a few trash and/or anti-cavalry units in their way to trip them up. But if you can get them to flank an enemy squad you can almost get them to route in one go. The perfect hammer for your anvil!
ARTILLERY & WARMACHINES
BLOODSHRINE OF KHORNE
The Bloodshrine of Khorne is a modestly powerful unit that hands out passive buffs to allies within range. The buffs themselves are decent enough, granting morale boosts and regeneration to those within the aura. They are a fine way to try and squeak a little extra power out of your dudes as they fight.
Which can help you in the event you are facing off against similar army lists. Or armies with heavier infantry or natural counters to your army. They are a fine addition to an army, but I’d never say they are a “must-have”. This is due to their buffs not being quite as powerful as they should be; they are better than a kick in the teeth but given the cost, you could just take more infantry. And whilst they can hold their own in combat I wouldn’t go sticking them on the front line if I were you dear reader.
Behold! The only real range unit in your entire roster! The Skullcannon is a wholly adequate piece of siege equipment that launches a decent amount of armour piercing damage at foes. Is it the best piece of artillery in the game? Goodness no! But a few well-placed shots with it can knock the wind out of most infantry squads in the game. Plus they are quick to move and are decent enough in melee that they don’t need to be babysat by some of your troops.
Their cannon shots get bonuses against infantry which can prove powerful against some of the low to mid-tier units that you will face. And whilst they aren’t as strong against single entities as most conventional cannons they aren’t weak against them. Priorities shots against squads and watch the routing begin.
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