Descending upon their foes in a howling tide, the barbarous hordes of the Bloodreavers sweep away the enemy. Each of their number is a frothing killer, their body thick with slabs of muscle and their heavy weapons able to dismember foes with every swing. On the surface, these guys are little more than cheap chaff, but with the right buffs, auras and battalions, Bloodreavers can be turned into the killing horde every Khornate army needs.
To start off with, Bloodreavers are a very VERY cheap battleline. With 70 points per unit of 10 and a horde price of 240 for 40 of these mad lads, you can get a ton of these guys without having to make a lot of sacrifices elsewhere in your list. Unfortunately, they’re cheap for a reason. With a bravery of 5, a 6+ save and 1 wound apiece, these guys do not last long, and their offensive output is not that amazing (Don’t worry that can be fixed). Every Bloodreaver can either swing a Meatripper Axe, with a 1/4/4/-1/1 attack profile, or a 1/4/4/ – /1 Reaver Blade that lets your re-roll ones to hit. Don’t be fooled, Meatripper axes are statistically better with the -1 rend, and they’re pretty much cooler than those dinky little Reaver Blades in pretty much every aspect. Reavers move 6″ and they have a banner-bearer that lets them add 1″ to run and charge. They also have a chieftain that gets plus one attack with his Meatripper Axe/Reaver Blades and a Hornblower that adds one to their bravery, taking it from a crappy bravery characteristic of 5 to a slightly less crappy bravery characteristic of 6. With this garbage bravery and a 6+ save, these guys will fold in a hurry, and unbuffed, don’t expect much damage output. With the right buffs however, Bloodreavers are a force to be reckoned with.
Units That Synergise With It
Bloodsecrators and Bloodstokers do the most for Bloodreavers. Bloodreavers have an ability that gives them +1 attack while they’re wholly within a Khorne totem (Read: Bloodsecrator) and combined with the Bloodsecrators Rage of Khorne ability, your lowly Bloodreavers can get up to 3 attacks apiece if they’re wholly within 16″ of a Bloodsecrator. The Bloodstoker is able to whip these guys if they’re wholly within 8″ of him and give them +3″ to run and charge (Very important as you’ll see) as well as re-rolling wound rolls.
Bloodreavers are included in a lot of Khorne battalions, but only one, Dark Feast, directly influences them. To take this battalion, you need 1 Slaughterpriest, 1 Bloodstoker and 3-6 units of Bloodreavers. The ability that this battalion gives is Feeding Frenzy, which adds +1 attack to Bloodreavers wholly within 16″ of that Battalions Slaughterpriest. (Yeah, I guess that’s ok, except for the fact that 10 Bloodreavers can have 41 attacks if you’ve got them wholly within 16″ of a Bloodsecrator as well)
How to Use the Unit in Game
Unbuffed, for reasons other than chaff, there is only one way you can make these guys useful. The Goretide. The Goretide’s command ability allows you to run and charge a unit of Blood Warriors or Bloodreavers, with the run roll being an auto 6. Do the math, and suddenly you can get a block of 40 Bloodreavers across the field in turn 1… provided you whip them as well (6″ movement + 6″ run +1″ to run from Icon Bearer + 3″ from Bloodstoker + 1″ to charge from Icon Bearer + 3″ to charge from Bloodstoker + 2d6 charge = 20 + 2d6″) Of course, with 32mm bases, this will never work the way you want it to, big blobs of ‘reavers aren’t really the way to go, but imagine if you took the Dark Feast battalion, and ran your Bloodsecrator and Slaughterpriest up the table to maximize your buff radius before launching a unit of 40 Bloodreavers that makes 161 attacks straight into enemy lines (assuming you somehow got them all piled in but it’s fun to imagine anyway) Ouch. You can still do this with MSU Bloodreavers, as even 10 of these guys making 41 attacks is still a force to be reckoned with. Even if you don’t buff them, you can still use The Goretide to tie up your enemy long enough for your other painfully slow elite units to finally do some damage. Plus your opponents will be very surprised to see movement shenanigans coming from a Khorne army, of all places.
Pros & Cons
Can be good if buffed
Can be useful with The Goretide
Will fold in battleshock as soon as a few dudes die
Little more than chaff without dedicated support
These guys should not take you long to paint, like 2-3 hours per model, probably less. You can find lots of these guys way cheaper than the price GW sells them at on Ebay. When painting these guys, don’t be afraid to do some War paint or something, usually each miniature has some raised portions on their bare skin forming a symbol or something. You can highlight that with whatever you want, but I think Blood for the Blood God looks AWESOME, especially because some models have whiplash marks all over their backs, which you can highlight as well.