The Blood Host Detachment
Having played KD as a CAD and as a Blood Host I believe that the Blood Host is the only way to go but not one that is without cost. I can only comment on those units I was able to play so have no experience of Bloodcrushers, Skull Cannons, Maulerfiends etc as I don't have the models. However, after a couple of months using the army and these games I do have some thoughts about their relative Pro's and Con's...
Blood Host Pro's
- +1 Tithe every turn. This for me is why its such an effective formation. KD are strong where they can buff themselves with Tithe bonuses. That extra +1 gives you an amazing boost to Tithe generation. This commonly results in decent Tithe totals occurring by Turn 2 rather than much later in any game.
- Slaughter Cult Bonus Tithe - I interpret the rule to mean that this free bonus only applies to the Slaughtercult. But even so its a strong ability meaning you don't have to wait as long to build up points.
- Summoning - I think I summoned an average of 1-2 units per game over the weekend. One game in particular I brought on 4 units. They were great for taking objectives, forcing opponents to divert units to deal with them and wracking up Tithe points.
- Flexibility - the choice of Auxillary formations is quite good the Gorepack in particular being very strong. If I had the models I would run the Charnel Cohort as well.
- Cultists - love these guys. Each unit is basically worth 2 Tithe points minimum if you get them into combat - 1 for the Champion when he dies in the challenge and 1 for the unit. Plus with Mark of Khorne that get 4 attacks on the charge. Take them in a blob of 20+ and go nuts.
Blood Host Con's
- Mark of Khorne - Its not universal Flesh Hounds don't get it for example and neither do Blood Thirsters who only get Rage. It also increases the base cost of all of your units. What this means is fewer bodies.
- Fewer Bodies - The MoK tax means that unless you want to spam Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds you tend to run out of bodies really quickly.
- Summoning - I summoned a lot of units over the weekend mainly Flesh Hounds & Bloodletters. But these lack heavy firepower so they rely on key units in your original list remaining alive they also do not benefit from the Slaughtercult bonus as they are not part of it. Plus if your summoning it means your either killing a lot of stuff or your units are dying like flies.
- Summoning #2 - You need the models to do this, I didn't have them, so to make KD work you need to have a reasonably extensive collection.
- Lack of Heavy Weapons - you get access to Melta's on the Bikes and CSM there's also the odd warmachine but its difficult to get more than a few of these into your army. Those units become priority targets for your opponent e.g. the Blood Thirster and get picked off early.
- No objective secured- Nothing is objective secured in this formation and importantly this includes Summoned units.
- Cultists - you can only take 2 units in a Slaughtercult I'd love more.
Blood Host Umm's
- Possessed - Some reviewers argue that these guys are the main problem with the Slaughtercult not seeing them as a good unit. I actually think they're really good S5 base with Furious Charge and a 3+/5++ is pretty good. I look at them as slightly more survivable Cultists (as they don't have the firepower CSM have). Give them Apocalyptic Fury for +1 A and they have a minimum of 5 attacks each on the charge @ S6 and possibly +1 A more if they roll right on the table. In combat they just decimated people but the lack of consistent AP3 attacks means they are not a complete Pro
- KD Warlord Traits - 4 of them are a bit naff IMO but I always used the table as I was hoping to roll either a 1 or a 6 each game. The 1 gives your Warlord and all units within 12" re-rolls on their charges and the 6 means they pass the test to become DP or BT. If I didn't get #1 I always re-rolled to go for it as this is, for a combat army, an amazingly strong power.
- I love the model I really do its a great piece of kit and I'll probably buy another one at some point. But... to me a Bloodthirster's role is to soak up shooting and Psychic powers from your opponent that would otherwise be used against the rest of your army. Over the weekend there were games where he died within 2 turns, one where it never got into combat and in the rest he was there mainly as a bullet magnet. At 250-300pts thats a rather expensive bullet magnet but an effective one.
- In terms of what he killed vs. other units my Cultists did more damage on the table in most games. However, the Thirster's threat range did have a big impact on how my opponents deployed and used their armies.
- Overall, I can't offer much here as I simply don't think I used him properly - I forgot he had Vector Strike until Game 5 for example. I think you best off putting him into Swooping mode in Turn 1 and just buzzing him around threatening to land him, rushing him up behind some scouting Flesh Hounds or just buzzing around being annoying.
- The D Weapon was nice but again in most games it didn't do much as he was the key target of most of opponents firepower in nearly every game. Maybe having 2 would make a difference?