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Made in gb
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot





The new Bloodbound book for Age of Sigmar plopped itself on my desk yesterday, and I spent the evening going through it. So, we come to that eternal question – is it any good?

(More piccies here - https://ttgamingdiary.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/review-battletome-khorne-bloodbound/)

My overall feeling is that GW are steadily improving their Age of Sigmar books, and I would say this is the best one yet. There is a caveat to that – I do have rather a large Bloodbound army myself, so a vested interest is present…



It is a nice big book, equivalent to the Stormcasts Battletome or Codex: Eldar, so there is a nice heft to it.



And as with all Age of Sigmar books, the artwork is second to none. In this one, the Hallowed Knights (another force of mine) are about to get smacked in the face by some really angry people.

The Dreadhold pops up as well – this one within some nightmarish underground cavern doing a good impression of Hell.

The first part of the book, as with the other two Battletomes, is dedicated to background or ‘fluff’ as it is sometimes called. I would be of the opinion that the background text in Age of Sigmar is at least as important as any of its other components. We all know the 40k (or Fantasy Battle) player who collects and army and plays the game, but does not really read the background section of his own army book, much less anything else. I don’t think Age of Sigmar is going to work too well for that kind of player. To me, the whole point of Age of Sigmar is the background, and how it becomes reflected on the tabletop.

So, we get a page on the Bloodbound, explaining who they are (and the fact that they are quite up for a fight against the Stormcasts!), and another on Khorne himself, going into why he is so angry all the time. Then we get into the meat of it.

There are sections on the history of the Bloodbound as they appeared in the Age of Chaos, what it means to be Bloodbound (it is not all blood and gore, you know!), how Lord Khul rose to power, and what the Goretide are planning to do (aside from giving Vandus Hammerhand a right shoeing at some point in the future).

IMG_2095

There are two double page spreads that, as with the Stormcasts’ Battletome and every 40k Codex, show what battles the Bloodbound have been involved in. There are lots of snippets here that are just begging for GW writers or players to expand upon in their own games, and I have a feeling we will be revisiting some of the things mentioned here; they will become part of the Age of Sigmar lore, much as the Horus Heresy or Badab War are for 40k.

Here’s an example;

‘Beneath the Luminary Spires of Daedendrill, the Crimson Fury charged headlong into the legendary Cannonade of Korsh. Thousands fell gladly in bloody tribute to Khorne, eventually choking the guns with their mangled bodies.’

A fight against the Duardin (Dwarfs)? Does the name Korsh indicate a naming convention that will be followed for something later? Absolutely no idea, but I have a feeling it will come to make sense in the future!

Also mentioned is something called the Blood Times, when Khorne and his minions turned against the other Chaos Gods. That had to be a fun time for any worshipper of Khorne…

Every unit within the Bloodbound gets a page or two, describing what it does and how it functions. What is of particular interest here (and was impossible with the Stormcasts’ book for obvious reasons) is that it goes into detail on some familiar faces from the World That Was. Basically, we get to see what some favoured characters are up to now in the Mortal Realms. Valkia the Bloody (now known in some parts as the Gorequeen, she seems to be acquiring titles) now rules a volcanic stronghold called Mount Ashenfel (within the Realm of Chaos) and leads a combined Bloodbound and daemonic force on regular slaughters when not engaging in ‘phantom battles’ within the tunnels and chambers below Ashenfel. She has been seriously elevated in Khorne’s eyes and now pretty much rules her domain in his name.

More depth is also given to the new units that have recently appeared – for example, just reading White Dwarf, you don’t get too much of a feeling for the Slaughterpriest and Skullgrinder. Here, you will learn about their function within the Bloodbound horde as a whole, and why they do what they do on the battlefield. In fact, all through this section, there is an emphasis that while these guys do follow the Blood God, they need not be purely mindless killers (something reinforced by some of the recent Age of Sigmar fiction from the Black Library).



Quite liked this picture too, a Lord of Khorne steering his massive Juggernaut towards the enemy with everyone around crying out ‘Blood for the Blood God!’

A painting guide is included, with a focus on Lord Khul’s Goretide and a new force, the Skullfiend Tribe. However, ‘lesser’ Bloodbound forces are also covered to show variant paint schemes – the Flayed are an interesting choice, with an unusual ivory colour to their armour. Not what you typically expect for Khorne, but the variation is nice. Each of these new forces gets a snippet of background for you to build upon should you choose to do them (remember, the old Space Marine chapters used to be just a single picture in the Rogue Trader rulebook, and look at them today – from a single picture an entire book or three may grow in the future…).

There are three Battleplans in this book, and the forces they portray are showing Age of Sigmar becoming a little more diverse. All Battleplans can be used with all forces, of course, but there is always a background history behind them to form part of an ongoing narrative – if you have any of the other books, you know what I am talking about. What is interesting about these is whom the Bloodbound are being set up to fight. There is one against the Stormcasts, which has to be fair enough at this point in the Age of Sigmar schedule, but the first is against Mannfred’s Undead and the next against a force of Ogors. It is nice to see some of the other forces getting a look in (even if it will be a good long while before I get round to collecting models for them – then again, it is not as if I don’t have enough to be getting on with!).

Relentless Assault sees the Bloodbound (or any other force, remember) face an endless horde, comprising three waves of attacks. Clash of Heroes is a general vs. general type of battle, where a Khorne Hero is trying to prove he has the right to lead the Bloodbound. Finally, Reclaim the Fallen sees the Bloodbound trying to recover the limp form of Lord Khul after his little ‘incident’ with Vandus Hammerhand. This one uses objectives and, if I get the time, I might model some Khorne Heroes lying dead on top of a pile of dead enemies…

The last third-odd of the book is dedicated to hard rules – which means Warscrolls! In terms of units and characters, there is nothing here that you have not seen in past books, White Dwarf, or downloaded for free from GW’s web site when the pre-orders go up. However, with the number of characters the Bloodbound have accumulated over the past weeks, having them all in one place is a definite plus.

There are a selection of Battalion Warscrolls as well, including the multi-Battalion Warscroll idea that first appeared in the Stormcasts book. This time round, it is for the Bloodbound Horde, a complete army for Khorne (seriously, you deploy this and you don’t need anything else in your army). And I think it will be popular.

As well as combining a lot of the Battalions that appear before, all of which have their own nice rules, this one adds the +1 Attacks that the Goreblade Warband from the starter set enjoys when things start dying – except this time it is army-wide. However, it also adds a rule that means every unit in the force can unbind spells (and a couple of models get a +2 bonus to do so). Khorne players now have all the tools they need to seriously shut down the spellcasting of even a Tzeentch or Undead force.

The other Battalions include:

Bloodstorm: 3 units of Wrathmongers who bugger up enemy shooting.
The Gorechosen: All the characters of the Bloodbound in one handy package, with more Attacks and better chances to hit their opponents in the face.
Brass Stampede: A Lord of Khorne on a Juggernaut leading 3 (!) units of Mighty Skullcrushers. Together, these guys charge further and automatically inflict mortal wounds when they go in.
Dark Feast: The little guys have not been forgotten, as this Battalion gives you a Bloodstoker, Slaughterpriest and 3 units of Bloodreavers, who together gain more Attacks and are immune to Battleshock.
Skulltake: A mixture of Bloodstoker, Khorgoraths and Skullreapers, gaining more Attacks and doing more Damage.
Red Headsmen: An Aspiring Deathbringer leading a Skullgrinder and 3 units of Blood Warriors into battle. These guys target specific Heroes and Monsters and gain bonuses for bringing them down.
Bloodbound Warband: A mix of Blood Warriors, Skullreapers, Bloodsecrator and Aspiring Deathbringer who cause blood to rain down from the sky!
Goreblade Warband: As in the starter set and core hardbacks.
Bloodbound Warhorde: Take the Gorechosen, a Bloodbound Warband, and then 3-7 of whatever else you like from the list above, for the benefits already described…

As with the Stormcasts’ Battletome, the four page rules sheets are included right at the back so you can now carry around everything you need for your mortal Khorne force in one handy book.



Overall, I like this book a lot. All the Khornate units are now collated into one place, and the Battalions are nice and meaty – they will certainly get used by Khorne players, and though the mega-Warhorde does require a lot of models, it is flexible enough that most dedicated Khorne players are going to get there quite easily.

The background sections are nicely written and give some depth to characters and units that would otherwise just be bloodthirsty maniacs, and it is good to see what some old faces are getting up to in the Mortal Realms. The Battleplans are nicely evocative, and are certainly going to get some use in our gaming group.

So, overall, if you are a Khorne player, this is a must-buy. If you are not, it does not add a great deal to the ongoing narrative beyond the Realmsgate Wars books, so I would file it under ‘interesting’. If you are the sort of person who collects Codexes for armies that are not your own and actually reads them (as opposed to just memorising the rules just in case you face the army) then, again, it is worth picking up. If not, I might instead recommend the Call of Archaon short story series currently being published by the Black Library, which gives some behind-the-scenes looks at a variety of Chaos forces.

40k and Age of Sigmar Blog - A Tabletop Gamer's Diary: https://ttgamingdiary.wordpress.com/

Mongoose Publishing: http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/ 
   
Made in ie
Been Around the Block




One thing I found very interesting was that very few of the old warrior of chaos units were present in this book, I expected Chaos Warriors to be featured, but they don't.

I suppose their function is taken over by the Blood Warriors, but I wonder is it a sign that they'll disappear.
   
Made in ie
Norn Queen






Dublin, Ireland

Thats a very nice review, thanks for sharing

Dman137 wrote:
goobs is all you guys will ever be

By 1-irt: Still as long as Hissy keeps showing up this is one of the most entertaining threads ever.

"Feelin' goods, good enough". 
   
Made in us
Evasive Eshin Assassin






Another great review, thanks MM.

I have a feeling chaos warriors will either remain generic chaos or be replaced in the long run as more god specific warriors are released. As much as I love the warriors they don't hold up do well to the new models simply because of their static poses. They're meant to be ranked up and it shows.
   
Made in se
Executing Exarch






Looks like a well put together book, sadly Khorne just bores me to tears for some reason!
   
Made in gb
Raging Rat Ogre





England, UK

Good review. The quality of the book looks amazing... but come on, why is it always Khorne, Khorne, Khorne? If the GW don't feel the other gods are interesting, maybe they should, I don't know, actually work on giving them some kind of presence?

Make Nurgle more terrifying, like it used to be, with armies fleeing rather than face them because they'll die of infection long before they get a Plaguesword in the face.

Make Slaanesh confuse, confound and stupefy its enemies, maybe making enemies switch sides or reluctant to attack Slaaneshi heroes and Greater Daemons - use a model's own statistics against it?

Make Tzeentch the undisputed master of magic instead of a bunch of boring point and shoot spells that can make the enemy harder to kill, and are nowhere near as interesting or characterful as the spells of Nurgle and Slaanesh? Make all Tzeentch sorcerers, especially daemons, the equal or superior or any other spellcasters? And make Tzeentch better at misdirecting the foe, maybe messing with their deployment or making them mistrust their own troops (not being able to claim Ld bonuses for their own generals, assuming AoS still uses this kind of system).

Link to my fiction

“I smell Tyranid,” he said.
“It's probably just Dick's aftershave,” Calgar said, beginning to climb down. The cliff face was treacherous, ready to collapse at any minute.
“I'm not joking, fool,” Mender growled with customary lack of respect. “The Tyranids are highly adaptive. There's no telling how they've evolved to survive on a Space Marine homeworld.”
“Well unless they've evolved an immunity to bullets, I think we're all right,” said Calgar. The ground collapsed beneath his feet. In an instant, the Lord of the Ultramarines was riding a stone avalanche on his arse, straight into the Bug-Monster's lagoon.


If the Emperor wants a totally secular Imperium and religions of all kinds are banned, why would he name his first legion the Dark Angels? Isn't that a bit like a women's group calling themselves the Dark Chauvinists?
 
   
Made in gb
Arch Magos w/ 4 Meg of RAM





Great review. The Cannonade of the Duardin is the most interesting. So the stunties still get their gun lines. I hope the future warmachines are much less conventional and even more steampunkish.

It seems GW have done a good job for both these battletomes and have made them worthwhile even in an era of free rules.

Bye bye Dakkadakka, happy hobbying! I really enjoyed my time on here. Opinions were always my own :-) 
   
Made in gb
Jinking Ravenwing Land Speeder Pilot





 NoPoet wrote:
why is it always Khorne, Khorne, Khorne? If the GW don't feel the other gods are interesting, maybe they should, I don't know, actually work on giving them some kind of presence?

Make Nurgle more terrifying, like it used to be, with armies fleeing rather than face them because they'll die of infection long before they get a Plaguesword in the face.

Make Slaanesh confuse, confound and stupefy its enemies, maybe making enemies switch sides or reluctant to attack Slaaneshi heroes and Greater Daemons - use a model's own statistics against it?

Make Tzeentch the undisputed master of magic instead of a bunch of boring point and shoot spells that can make the enemy harder to kill, and are nowhere near as interesting or characterful as the spells of Nurgle and Slaanesh? Make all Tzeentch sorcerers, especially daemons, the equal or superior or any other spellcasters? And make Tzeentch better at misdirecting the foe, maybe messing with their deployment or making them mistrust their own troops (not being able to claim Ld bonuses for their own generals, assuming AoS still uses this kind of system).


You are absolutely right, although to be fair...

AoS has been out for, what, two, three months? In that time, they have released a completely new force plus (if you are into Khorne), seriously pumped up another. Honestly, if you like Khorne, you are having a field day right now - loads of new characters and the ability to field a whole force without using any generic (Chaos Warriors/Marauders) models. They are now all very much Khorne specific. And you are just about to get Skarbrand at long last (who is mentioned in this book, leading a bunch of Bloodbound who worship him specifically).

It takes time to get this kind of stuff out, and we couldn't expect everyone to get the full treatment straight away - it just would not have been as good. That said, when the other gods get their Battletomes, their players are going to be going dippy if the books are anything like this one. It really is nicely done.

Also worth pointing out that if Nurgle is your thing, despite them only getting re-releases thus far, the End Times range means they already have almost as much diversity as Khorne and they are very well represented in the background (the whole Realm of Life war is kinda their thing).

Give it a few more months and see what comes out in the New Year - I cannot imagine the other powers are going to be left fallow, and the all new Slaanesh could be very interesting. If, on the other hand, you need some god-specific material to get your teeth into, I would very humbly submit the following for your consideration; https://ttgamingdiary.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/time-of-war-slaves-to-darkness/

40k and Age of Sigmar Blog - A Tabletop Gamer's Diary: https://ttgamingdiary.wordpress.com/

Mongoose Publishing: http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/ 
   
 
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