You want to have 3 big ass rage daemons charging your opponents and generally causing carnage? Fuck yeah you do. Now you do it in their turn too.
The lynchpin of this list is the Insensate Rage with the Halo of Blood, which allows it to always fight first at the beginning of the combat phase. When ANY Bloodthirster from the Tyrants battalion fights, the others can immediately pile in and fight if eligible to do so. You effectively get 3 fights first Bloodthirsters every round, if they’re in combat.
You already know what this does, I won’t bore you with the details, you kill stuff, or get killed, you get some juicy goodness.
I feel like I shouldn’t have glossed over this in my initial rundown, my previous assumptions were that people were looking at Blood Tithe in the same way as me, and it turns out I was quite wrong.
Most people I spoke to using similar lists were constantly mentioning their summoning, and which units they brought up where, and at what times. Don’t get me wrong, summoning is fantastic, and it did win me some of my games, however the actual Blood Tithe abilities table did far more work over the weekend than the few units I pulled out my ass.
Honourable mentions being Murderlust, Apoplectic Frenzy, and Crimson Rain. Each one of these won me an entire game, by having access to using them at the perfect moments. Being able to move, charge, and fight during your opponents hero phase is a catastrophically powerful tool and should be abused as much as possible.
Murderlust for only 3 points, allows for out of sequence mobility, which has saved my Bloodthirsters from certain death, caught my opponents off guard by quickly grabbing an objective they presumed was safe, and shutting down key offensive units from the opponents army by charging my fights-first general into them. In combination with the Halo of Blood, a Murderlust charge can force your opponent to waste a turn retreating a high threat unit they thought was safe, or resign it to being smashed by a Bloodthirster before it can act later in the combat phase.
The army-wide bonus for Bloodlords is reroll wound rolls of 1 for Daemon units when fighting a monster or hero. It’s a decent bonus, especially in a meta still largely dominated by high threat single models. Plus, your 2 big damage thirsters wound on 2s, so they now reroll 1s also.
This is still really good, anyone that’s used Durthu or a similar monster knows just how many 1s you roll on a 2+ when you need it. There’s not too much to say other than it makes your guys just a bit more killy, and that’s never a bad thing.
Command ability returns 1 wound to all Daemon heroes on the field. This is basically worthless, but maybe in a bind it’ll knock you up a profile. I wouldn’t imagine this will be worth using more than once a lifetime.
Turns out I was wrong here too, using this list the way I described, I was quickly racking up stacks of command points I had little use for. Bloodletters, Flesh Hounds, and my General all had reroll charges out the gate, I was getting reroll hits for free from my Crimson Crown in 50% of the combat phases, and Bravery 10 on Daemon units means I rarely need Inspiring Presence. As such, I often found myself just spamming this a few times at the start of a turn in which I thought my general might be at risk of dying. In fact, if I’d bitten the bullet and used this 2-3x in my 2nd game, I’d have won Places of Arcane power in turn 3, rather than on a dice roll in turn 5.
Command Trait: Slaughterer’s Thirst. Add +4 to the movement of the general, and it can reroll charges. This is great, one of the biggest weaknesses of Thirsters is how slow they are, compared to things like VLoZDs, GKoTs, etc. 10″ base and quickly degrading with wounds can be crippling, now you compete with the big lads. Reroll charges potentially saves you a command point down the line, it’s not the best command trait ever, but it’s certainly a bonus.
This is absolutely fantastic, again I underestimated just how useful mobility really is, it allowed my general to zoom around the board dictating a lot of my areas of engagement, when combined with Murderlust, it makes for an incredibly powerful unit that’s able to rapidly manoeuvre the board when it needs to.
Artefact: The Halo of Blood. The reason we’re here, the Big Kahuna Burger, always fights first. It’s the entire reason I’m taking Bloodlords, it’s a game breaking rule, especially at the time of writing when almost no one has access to it. (This will change, it’s GWs new favourite thing.)
Not only does this allow your general to fight first, because of the effects of Tyrants of Blood, it allows up to 3 Bloodthirsters to fight first, before your first activation, even in your opponent’s turn. It’s nuts. It’s not fair. But hey, we’re all gamey c***s, so anything goes.
Fights first is broken, we know that. I know it even more now. Having access to this rule completely changes the way an opponent has to look at dealing with your army, it forces genuine and massive risk to anything that would normally roll over a Bloodthirster with little chance of failing. This rule alone confirmed my game 5 win vs massed Fanatics, and allowed me to instantly one shot Allarielle after being on the recieving end of her charge. Although I managed to dodge the match up during BOBO, this also gives an answer to the Gristlegore Terrorgheist, although you will likely be forced to trade units as it fights when killed.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
So we’ve covered the Halo of Blood already, it’s bent, and it’s there to stay. I see a lot of people taking Reapers as the go-to Slaughterhost for a Tyrants list, I disagree. While fighting twice with a Thirster is amazing on your turn, you’re massively vulnerable to being counter charged, and everyone knows that when a thirster gets hit, it goes down. They lack the speed and durability to dictate the game like the VLoZD did previously.
The Crimson Crown was taken as my other artefact, to combat the worst thing about the Insensate Rage(s). They hit on 4s. With a battalion that benefits greatly from being nearby to each other anyway, having a free use of the WoK thirsters reroll hits aura makes these previously swingy beatsticks much more reliable.
The Wrath of Khorne’s command ability proved to be pivotal to many of my successful combats, however, I don’t think I need the Crimson Crown. I was stacking up a LOT of command points over the course of my games, even with liberal use of charge rerolls and auto running 6″, I never ran out of points during my games. As I said, not only do I save points by not having to spend to reroll many charges, and not using Inspiring Presence too often, I also regularly generate extra CP from the spare Blood Tithe points I have when I need to use a certain activation. For my next few games with this list, I’m going to change my artefact and see what else can be effective. At the moment I’m looking at either the Amberglaive on my other Insensate, or maybe Ignax’s Scales on a Thirster.
While the bonus itself is nice, the secondary benefit of taking this artefact is that I’ll have more command points spare to save for things like Battleshock immunity, auto running 6″, rerolling charges, etc. This is especially useful when you remember that Khorne relies fairly heavily on capping objectives late game with summoned units, I need those 9″ charges.
Bloodthirster(s) of Insensate Rage also have a command ability to reroll failed charges for Daemon units wholly within 16″ of the user. This is entirely equivalent to the bog-standard reroll charge ability that everyone has, however considering a large portion of my army are Daemons, and they generally want to be in a deathstar, this can potentially save me multiple command point rerolls for charges in the same phase.
The beatsticks, they’re there to do damage and hopefully act as secondary nukes onto support characters if they roll well. They’re very Khorne-y, they do damage.
Their base 5 attacks are as follows 4/2/-2/d6, their number of attacks, movement, and mortal wound output drops when damaged.
Aside from a generally high base damage output, they have 2 special rules, the first allows them to spend a command point to grant a 16″ aura of reroll charges for all Khorne Daemons, potentially saving you points for rerolling multiple charges.
The second, Outrageous Carnage, is one of my favourite things about this entire faction. If the unmodified wound roll for an attack made by this unit is a 6, each enemy unit within 8″ suffers a number of mortal wounds, in addition to any normal damage. At it’s base profile, this is a flat 4 mortal wounds, degrading to 3, then 2, then 1.
Now, when you’re throwing out 5 attack base, buffed to 6 with a Bloodsecrator, you might only average 0-1, but even just 1 is enough to nearly kill the vast majority of support heroes that might be screened inside the unit you engage. Having secondary damage is nice on any unit, having secondary damage that splashes onto multiple units is fantastic.
Jesus H Christ, these boys do some serious work. They also have an uncanny ability to whiff attacks and roll 3 damage on 3d6. I’ve had one of them one shot Allarielle, and the very next turn fail to 1v1 a Kurnoth Hunter, overall, they’re more reliable than I thought, but any hit penalties cripple them very quickly.
Their mortal wound splash is, for lack of a better word, hilarious. It won’t happen every round, but when it rains, it pours. 8″ range is more than it sounds like on paper, especially when you’re getting into the thick of a multiple unit melee.
The “support” of the Bloodthirsters in the list, still a monstrous threat in melee, he’s also got a super useful command ability, a small mortal wound output, and a fantastic shooting attack. He does less damage in melee than the Insensate Rages, but can still hold his own vs most units. In addition, he’s got a d3 mortal wound shooting attack, good for picking off wounded characters/units for Blood Tithe, and a FLAT 6 DAMAGE whip attack at a 12″ range, the perfect amount of damage to quickly remove a support hero from inside the infantry blob you’re about to charge.
To continue the theme here, I underestimated the big lad. He’s doing d3, rather than d6 damage in melee, but with -2 rend it’s still a nasty profile. Aside from the general, he’s the MVP of the list, he flies under the radar as a main threat piece when compared to the Insensates, and as a result of that he put in solid results every game. His shooting is fantastic, despite failing quite often, and his reroll hits aura makes the rest of the army go from average to mental in the combat phase.
The B.B.B (Big Banner Boi), he’s there to sit in the middle of your army and cheer them on, he’s a good little cheerleader and always a benefit to have around. Surprisingly tanky with his innate 3+ save and Look Out Sir! benefits, and not too much of a slouch in melee, he holds his own vs chaff, but will die when your opponent wants him to.
16″ banner range gives every Khorne unit +1 attacks to all melee weapons (+2 to Reavers, due to their special Totem rule), he’s a huge force multiplier. Everything becomes a bit more killy, wether that be d6 more damage for an Insensate, or double the mortal wound output of a Bloodletter bomb. The ace up the sleeve of this interaction is the 10 man Reaver blobs, a unit typically ignored until the late stages of the combat phase, if able to strike first, you’re throwing out 31 attacks with rend -1, into a unit that likely can’t deal with/isn’t expecting a significant punch to come their way.
In addition, any wizards within 16″ must reroll successful spellcasting rolls, no questions asked, try again son. When combined with my surprisingly high number of unbind attempts, and the potentially -2 to casting debuff from Hexgorger skulls, this army becomes exceptionally capable at shutting down magic.
Surprisingly tanky, considering his 5 wound profile, people rarely commit expensive units into what they see as a bog standard foot hero, so his 3+ armour keeps him going through minor skirmishes. His banner is obviously very powerful, if a little janky to use alongside much faster units with the new wholly within rules. His anti-magic aura literally didn’t matter once in 5 games, but that’s likely due to me being very conservative with his positioning. It still acts as a deterrent to them bringing their mages into an ideal position, so not totally wasted.
Originally, I had 1 priest in this list, and then Andy Hughes took a look at the specific wording of how Fyreslayers Prayers interact, and realised he could effectively make his Runesmiters(Runemasters? The naked ginger guys…) cast 3 times per turn. We then took another look at Khorne, and technically it works the same, although who knows how long this’ll last before an errata.
Currently, RAW, Slaughterpriests are able to attempt 1 Warscroll prayer, 1 Blood Blessing of Khorne, AND 1 Judgement of Khorne, all with rerollable casts when nearby the Altar of Skulls. Suddenly your 100pt buff piece is arguably superior to a tier 3 wizard. They also get to unbind & dispel once per turn.
Blood Boil/Bind allows you either a reliable access to mortal wound output, eat your heart out Arcane Bolt, or a way to dictate movement and bring your preferred target closer into charge range.
Blood Bind is one of the most overpowered abilities in the entire game, change my mind.
Dictating your opponents movement is huge, going back again to reference Murderlust/Apoplectic Frenzy, being able to pull units into combat with me, then hit them in the hero phase, wipe them out, move & charge in my turn, and fight again? It’s bonkers.
Also shout out to my hackblade priest in game 2, for killing his own Bloodsecrator for a BT point, so he could afford to move into Bind range in the hero phase, to pull a Vampire Lord off an objective in the 5th turn to deny progressive scoring. That dude’s getting a little present added to his base.
Killing Frenzy is fairly self explanatory, you give a Khorne unit +1 to hit, makes anything more killy. Always a solid option.
Blood Sacrifice I chose over Gaz’s suggestion of Bronzed Flesh for 2 reasons, first, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve either been in the position, or played against someone who’s been just 1 Blood Tithe point short of a game changing ability/summon. Second, a Thirster being charged by something with a good chance of killing it, is going to die with a 3+ save or a 4+, these are not tanky monsters. Bloodletters on a 4+ are fantastic, but it’s a loss I’m willing to take to ensure I get to use my fancy tricks.
For a change, I was right about this one, Blood Sacrifice is the tits. Blood Tithe is incredibly powerful with the new book, and there were a bunch of times I found myself 1 point short of a game changing affect. It’s a good thing that prayers & Blood Tithe activations both happen at the start of the phase, you can mix & match the order to suit your needs.
Priests are squishy enough, but like the Bloodsecrator, opponents are often reluctant to commit an expensive unit for an entire turn to deal with 1 little dude. They fly under the radar compared to the big threat of Tyrants, my most common piece of post-game advice to my opponents, was “kill these dudes ASAP”.
Hexgorger Skulls & Wrath Axe I’ll cover at the appropriate point below.
Everyone knows what these guys do, they run in, they do pretty good damage if you get caught off guard, and then they die in droves. They’re a big chunk of bodies on objectives, and they’re a good screen for my heroes. Mortal wounds are nice too, but after the Wrath & Rapture changes, don’t strike terror into tanks like they used to.
One fantastic change I’ve seen almost no conversation about, is that since those changes, Bloodletter banners allows reroll charges. Suddenly those 9″ summons aren’t costing me a command point, and are becoming steadily more reliable.
Underwhelming. 1″ reach on a 32mm base means I’m getting 10-15 in combat off a good charge roll. They’ll put some serious hurt on chaff, but they’re vastly outclassed by many other factions battleline infantry. Cannot take a punch whatsoever, only having 1 blob of 30 meant I was suddenly very low on models if they got taken off the board early.
Like Bloodletters, they’re a decent screen, they’ve got a high weight of dice, but are ultimately very meh in combat. They may clear a weak unit off an objective, but since they’ve only got 5 models per unit themselves, they’re not too reliable. After playing Legion of Blood for a long time, I can’t help but compare them against Dire Wolves, they’re better, but they do cost almost twice as much, for two good reasons;
First, they innately reroll charges, yet another cheaply summoned unit that can be more reliably chucked on the board to contest an objective in the late game.
Second, they have a natural unbind, that doesn’t rely on a specific model and/or unit size, as long as 1 hound survives, they may unbind a spell.
These guys did spectacularly average in 4/5 games. They ran out to cap a side objective, held up some chaff for a while, or just acted as Blood Tithe bait, exactly what you’d expect. They do their job but there’s no bells & whistles on them, they’re just a solid unit I will keep in my list.
Game 3, they were my absolute MVPs, it turns out, spaced to coherency with cavalry bases, they’re almost exactly the right size to completely deny teleports into a 3 tile Wildwood, this little 100pt unit threw the most enormous wrench in my opponents plan for Total Commitment.
“Oh but Declan, what about the shooting attack? What a great buff they got in W&R” … F**k off, it’s useless.
It really, really is.
Some of the few mortals I included in this list, my other option was 5 more Flesh Hounds and the Bleeding Icon. I chose these for a few reasons, I was seriously lacking bodies, I already have 4 unbinds on the field, in addition to that I have multiple other sources to ruin magic heavy lists, and… I only own 10 hounds and I didn’t want to buy more to summon.
What do they do? Alone, next to nothing, it’s 10 wounds on a 6+ save, if something sniffs them they either die or battleshock off. However, they’re 10 bodies for grabbing/holding a point, they’re not terribly slow with their base 6″ move and +1 to run/charge horn, and if in Bloodsecrator range, suddenly you’re taking 31 attacks 4/4/-1/1, from a unit that cost me only 70 points. Oh, and when they inevitably die, I get a Blood Tithe point, they’re sacrificial lambs that can do a surprisingly high amount of damage to chaff if they’re ignored.
These guys are hot shit. Even with 3 attacks each you’re lucky to do more than 5 damage. They die to a stiff breeze and they’re not even particularly fast.
This does however work to their favour, as they’re 20 bodies that are utterly forgettable in the eyes of your opponent, for the firsts 2-3 turns they just get in the way, occasionally scoring a point or two before inevitably dying.
Also one squad has to pull the short straw and line up by my Priest to be the Blood Tithe farm, so that’s useful.
Tyrants of Blood
The core of the list, as a battalion goes it’s a damn good one. 3-8 Bloodthirsters, with a single effect;
“Fierce Rivals: When a model from this battalion has fought in the combat phase for the first time, you can pick another model from the same battalion that has not yet fought in that combat phase and is within 3″ of any enemy units. That model fights immediately, before the opposing player picks a unit to fight in that combat phase.”
Assuming all 3 Thirsters are in combat (anywhere on the board, there’s no distance limitation), they all immediately fight when the first one does. And that first one always strikes first.
It sets you back 140 points, which honestly I think is far too cheap. Once you’ve knocked 50pts off the cost for the Command Point you get, and another maybe 50 points (assuming only 1 use) for the Crimson Crown artefact I gain, I’ve spent less on this battalion than I have on a single unit of 10 Bloodreavers.
This shit’s good, really really good. You don’t really have to worry about activation order when you’re fighting first with 3 smashy monsters every combat round. Map wide rules also means you have the flexibility to split your army without the usual disadvantage of choosing a flank to hit first on the charge. They also make the most obnoxious death star imaginable, and chew through practically anything if allowed to charge the same area.
It’s hard to make friends when you’re trying to immediately murder everything you see.
Can’t think of anything specific I’d need from another faction to make this better. There might be something I’ve missed, but for now Khorne have enough internal options.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Judgements of Khorne
There’s a few important distinctions between Endless Spells and Judgements, and not just that it ruins muh immersion.
First, you can’t unbind or dispel them, they’re prayers. Tough luck Nagash.
Secondly, they DON’T act in between the battlerounds, unlike Endless Spells they move at the beginning of the Khorne player’s hero phase. This makes taking priority less of a threat for you, and more of an incentive for me.
Third, they disappear from the field at the end of each battleround, unless the Khorne player sustains them with the roll of a 5+. This can be reduced to a 4+ with a nearby priest.
People haven’t realised how crippling this is yet, if you get the second turn in a round, chances are your Judgements are leaving again instantly. Yet people don’t seem to plan for that, they’re still used to classic Endless Spell mechanics.
These are, in my opinion, the most broken Endless Spell/Prayer in the game. They cost a paltry 40pts, and their ability to catastrophically affect your opponents magic output is well worth that price, especially in a meta where many armies are fairly reliant on either single important spells, or stacking multi cast wizards to throw out buffs & debuffs.
So how do they work?
- They summon on a 3+ prayer roll, rerollable when nearby the Skull Altar
- They set up wholly within 8″ of the casting priest
- They immediately move 12″, ending wholly within 6″ of each other
- Any Wizards within 12″ of a single Hexgorger Skull casts with a -2 penalty to all spells
- When any Wizards within 12″ of BOTH Hexgorger Skulls casts a spell on an unmodified 8, the spell immediately fails, the wizard forgets this spell for the rest of the battle, and then every wizard within 12″ of the skulls takes d6 mortal wounds.
With an effective 32″ range, they’re able to cripple enemy magic in an enormous area, and if you get a little lucky, force those Wizards to risk killing themselves on what would have been a successful cast.
When combined with the Aura of Loathsome Sorcery from the Bloodsecrator, suddenly your opponent is casting at -2, rerolling all successful casts, failing immediately and taking damage on an 8, and then being potentially unbound by 3 regular unbinds, and 1 at +2 thanks to the Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster.
Yet another small benefit, worth mentioning, is that each skull occupies a 60mm round base, and given their previous restriction of remaining wholly within 6″ of each other, are often in a position in which they’re blocking around a 5-6″ distance in which infantry are unable to move/charge through.
How many mortal wounds did they deal? How many spells were forgotten? How many wizards killed themselves?
I affected a reasonable number of casting rolls, but never got the unmodified 8 when in range of both. At a first glance, you might think it’s underwhelming, far from the truth. What these lack in actual output, they more than make up for in psychological warfare. People are absolutely terrified to go near these things, they’ll have their wizards hiding in corners to avoid the wrath of the spell eater noggins.
Also I was wrong about the range, it’s 28″ effective range from the priest, so they can be outranged, which people do, a lot.
To be honest, this wasn’t originally planned to be in the list. I looked at this on paper and though, ah that’s cool, it does so much damage. Then I realised it casts on a 5+ and disappears at the end of the turn, and I ignored it for a few weeks.
It’s 60 points, which is expensive for an Endless Spell (that’s what they are, you can shove your narrative elsewhere), it’s got a massive base, and it’s not particularly quick. However, it’s a meme machine of unprecedented scale, due to just how much it throws a wrench in the works if it sticks around for a turn. And to me, that’s priceless.
How does it work? It’s got a couple things worth noting;
- Casts on a 5+, even with the reroll when near an altar, this is unlikely to go off. However, with no rule preventing your Priests attempting it after everything else, might as well give it a go, eh?
- Summons wholly within 8″ of the casting Priest. This is tricky, for a few reasons. First of all, the base is enormous, Dragon Ogor size, you get very little room to play with here. Second, your Slaughterpriest is normally being screened by something, so you’ve got even less room than you thought.
- It immediately makes an 8″ move, so it’s pretty slow, you’ve got at best a 16″ threat range from your priest, which is the exact same as Blood Boil/Bind, so you’re not outranging your previous options, but you can potentially stack them.
- For every unit this model passes over, on a 2+ it takes d3 mortal wounds. A notable point is that this doesn’t specify enemy units, I’ve used it to kill my own Reaver/Hound stragglers before to generate a Blood Tithe point. Since prayer casts and Blood Tithe uses all happen at the start of the phase, you can juggle them around any way you like.
- When this unit completes its move, pick 1 enemy unit within 3″ (this can be one it already passed over), and on a 2+, it takes d6 mortal wounds. You’re now putting some serious hurt on the units you touch, not only can you knock a decent chunk of wounds away with the move, you’ve now got a solid chance to also kill the important thing that survived. With the two parts combined, you’re likely to kill a 5 wound support hero outright.
- But wait, there’s more. Subtract 1 from hit rolls made by units within 3″ of this model. This has no effect on Khorne units.
For 60 points, or as I like to view it, 1 command point/almost 10 Reavers, you get access to what’s effectively a pimped out Pendulum, with half a geminid tacked onto the side. It’s not reliable, it’s not going to dictate turn priority, but it’s a big wrench into your opponents plans should you get lucky. This is after all, a dice game, making that hail mary roll can often change the course of a game.
This big boy is somehow even more so my favourite model in the game after this weekend. Casting on a 5+ with a reroll isn’t that bad, it goes off more often than you’d expect. Sure, it’s not reliable, but when your priests have janky rules that allow you to cast 3 times, you might as well try.
It does a shit tonne of damage. That’s good enough as is, the extra -1 to hit is just icing on the cake.
Notable mentions for non-obvious uses;
- throw it into a unit, kill a bunch of them, make it -1 to hit, and then charge directly next to it and use the enormous base to protect yourself from an extra 5-10 models piling in.
- Use it to generate Blood Tithe in the hero phase to bump up your total for an unexpected Apoplectic Frenzy, or if you already have enough, soften up a target so you guarantee the kill.
- Use it to kill your own units, no one really cares about that single Bloodreaver, he’s going to die this turn anyway. He might as well die in the hero phase and give you access to that sweet sweet Blood Tithe table.
Alright so, I don’t think Khorne should play as Khorne is intended to play. They can’t reliably make turn 1 charges on most maps, and their individual movement differences make the new auras a nightmare to manage if you’re running as fast as you can up the field. I had far more success by setting up a series of tight screens in front of my important units, taking a very conservative 1st, and occasionally 2nd turn, and then applying overwhelming force when you can guarantee a majority of your army charging into a good position.
Blood Tithe use, in the mid game I focus almost entirely on having reliable access to Murderlust and Apoplectic Frenzy, preferably in my opponents hero phase. Only in the later turns did I then spend points to drop small units of summons onto objectives. In the entire tournament I summoned 5 Flesh Hounds, 1 Bloodmaster, and 25 Bloodletters (1 unit of 10, 1 unit of 15). The activation table is vastly more powerful than a mediocre unit summon.
The list has weaknesses, most notably being shooting, no protection vs mortal wounds, fairly high drops, and a lack of bodies in the mid-late game.
If armies are able to ping off support characters, or drop the general before he can pull his weight, things can go downhill fast. I’m going to include spell damage under the blanket heading of ‘shooting’ as it’s really any form of damage at range that can counter this list. It’s melee through and through, and this can be exploited. Only having a 4+ save, a Bloodthirster is not a tanky unit, the ability to fight before their opponent is really what makes them threatening in this list.
A lack of bodies is an issue for many armies in a game largely dictated by models within 6″ for holding objectives. If someone smashes my Bloodletter horde early, I lose a lot of board presence, this is what prompts my very conservative play style in the first stages of the game.
High drops (8) means I often don’t get choice of turn vs competitive lists, which in turn leads me to adopt fairly defensive deployment screens. Not being able to choose who takes the first turn leaves me at a disadvantage for obvious reasons, however it’s not all doom & gloom.
Khorne is generally fast enough that if given the first turn, I can at least begin to put some scoring on the board, and with Blood Sacrifice I can get a head start on my Blood Tithe generation before combat begins, additionally if I get matched into a list with multiple wizards, my deployment allows me to dictate danger zones for them to occupy, under the assumption I’ll get the skulls off with a reroll.
If my opponent takes the turn, I run the risk of being alpha struck, which generally speaking isn’t hugely prevalent in the current meta, and more often than not it results in my opponent moving closer to my very melee-centric army. I do run the risk of not having my skulls & axe stick around after the battleround ends, but this is offset by my chance to take a double turn.