Khorne is the raging musclehead of Warhammer's Chaos gods

You can’t think of Warhammer without thinking about Chaos. And you can’t think about Chaos without thinking of The Blood God. Khorne is the poster-boy for endless conflict. He’s rage incarnate; The Axefather; the bellowing avatar of slaughter who sits atop a throne of skulls in a fortress of brass surrounded by a moat of boiling blood. I really can’t stress this enough: Khorne is angry. Angrier than a British person signing off an email with 'regards'.

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Khorne and his fellow Dark Gods reside in the infernal Realm of Chaos: a vast, formless limbo, conjured from the dreams and ambitions of mortal creatures. Here, the Ruinous Powers are locked in eternal conflict and their supremacy is in constant flux, but Khorne is considered the most powerful, free as he is from the caprice, indulgence, or torpor of his brothers. Rivalries exist between them all, but Khorne has a special hatred for Slaanesh, the god of excess, pleasure, and pain. Whereas Khorne demands self-sacrifice, Slaneesh celebrates self-indulgence. And while the followers of Slaneesh seek to explore the most perverse and extreme aspects of experience, Khorne has no time for any emotion other than rage. 

Khorne and Slaanesh share a special enmity, then, but he’s no fan of the other gods. He hates Nurgle because his schtick is sitting around and waiting for things to decay, and Tzeentch because scheming is overcomplicated and magic is for weaklings. Although the Chaos Gods squabble among themselves, they are united in their ultimate goal: the damnation of the physical world. To this end, they call forth daemonic hosts to wage war on their behalf. These are nightmares given form: beings of pure psychic energy, often representing warped embodiments of emotion, who are only able to enter the Warhammer world where the influence of Chaos is at its strongest. 

Like all Chaos Gods, Khorne has mortal followers, but he has no temples. His place of worship is the battlefield, and building an edifice in his honour would be like trying to cheer up a nile crocodile with interpretive dance. To follow Khorne is to dedicate yourself entirely and selflessly to violence and destruction. Every act of killing gives him power and he has no time for the tangled machinations of the other Chaos Gods. That singular purpose is reflected in the way he wages battle. You won’t find spellcasters among his ranks and his units are unusually resistant to the effects of magic. Khorne also prefers the flesh-rending intimacy of melee combat to the cowardice of ranged attacks. In short, Khorne is about as subtle as assassinating someone with an anvil. A red tide of frenzied melee specialists who can cut through enemy infantry like wet bread.


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There’s little artistry to Khorne’s slaughter—I’ll leave that to the performative Slaanesh—but there is variety. Alongside his human followers, ranks of Bloodletters sprint from one enemy to the next, accumulating strength as they kill. Slavering flesh hounds chase down enemy units. Terrifying shock cavalry, mounted upon daemonic juggernauts, pulverises enemy lines. And then there are Bloodthirsters, the Greater Daemons of Khorne: terrifying harbingers of destruction that can take to the skies on massive wings, batter down gates, and roast enemies inside their armour. 

There are also some more esoteric options, such as the Blood Shrine, although 'shrine' probably conjures the wrong image: of goblets, altars, and quiet ritual. This is more like a furious motorbike that drinks people: a relentless, screaming daemon engine that heals itself by grinding lesser creatures beneath its wheels. The Skullcannon is Khorne’s only concession to ranged combat - essentially the Blood God’s way of saying, ‘yes, you can shoot people, just so long as it involves skulls.’ It’s perhaps the only piece of artillery that can hold its own in melee combat, and it can replenish its ammo by killing people. That’s right: a cannon that could literally beat you in a fight then fire your skull back at your still-grieving friends. 

Khorne’s attachment to senseless violence might lead you to think that strategy is unimportant. But the limitations to Khorne’s roster actually require you to think more tactically. You’re often outnumbered. You have no magic. And your ranged attacks are severely limited. This means you need to use precise planning if you plan to spill enough blood to keep the God of War sated. The good news is that when you finally reach your enemies, there are few forces, if any, that can withstand the ferocity of Khorne’s attacks. If you hate magic, sneer at sniping, and only feel alive when you’re killing, Khorne is the Chaos God for you.