AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Daughters of Khaine

Morathi (!!!) and the Daughters of Khaine are back!  The Daughters of Khaine battletome and all the amazing new  kits are out.  This page was originally compiled in the lead up to the release.  I now need to go back and update it with what we know, a review of the release, some background on Morathi and more.  I’ve just been a bit caught up with things at the moment, but will get back to it soon.

Here will be all you need to know about the Daughters of Khaine.  I’ll keep it updated through the week as we learn more, and post links to reviews and community coverage.  I’m aware that large parts of the Daughters of Khaine battletome have now leaked and leaks are out there.  However, I won’t be covering those here.  Don’t worry, I’ll have a full review show up for the official release day.

I’m also running a competition over on my Twitter feed for a brand new set of Realmgates to run with the new release.  Simply follow me, and quote retweet this tweet with #aosshorts and your best tactics advice, lore snippet or epic battlefield tale that will fit in a tweet.  The competition runs to 3 March.  All the details are in the tweet.

Daughters of Khaine

Daughters of Khaine battletome

As previewed earlier this year at LVO, the Daughters of Khaine are getting their own battletome.  The cover art is fantastic and I love the tone!

Daughters of Khaine

The battletome covers the history of the aelves in the Mortal Realms following Slaanesh’s capture, the story of Morathi’s escape and rise to power in Ulgu, the Realm of Shadow, and a study of how the cult of Khaine operates.  The Daughters of Khaine hunt across the Mortal Realms for blood.

The Daughters are organised according to the strongholds of the cult, so expect similar specific rules to Stormcast chambers or Kharadron Overlord skyports.  There are also allegiance abilities, spell lores and more.

You can expect new units – the Melusai, the Khinerai, an iron Avatar of Khaine – and changes to the rules for existing units.

Daughters of Khaine lore and background

The Daughters of Khaine are a sadistic cult worshiping the aelven god Khaine.  Khaine, the Bloody-Handed god and Lord of Murder was the aelven god of violence, war and cruelty.  In their worship of Khaine, the Daughters slaughter innocents and enemies alike in order to bathe in their blood and pursue the shards of their shattered god.  Through this blood sacrifice, the Daughters gain the power of their enemies.  This theme has really been brought alive by the art in the battletome.

Despite these bloodthirsty ways, the Daughters fight for Order, having no kin with the mindless forces of Destruction, bare nature of Death and an absolute hatred for Chaos, especially Slaanesh.  The Daughters have established temples across the Mortal Realms, as well as populating the Shrouded Districts of Azyrheim.

Unsurprisingly, they are viewed with great unease by the other inhabitants of the Mortal Realms and the free cities, especially when innocent people start disappearing.  However, even the lords of the Free Peoples will not refuse the cult’s aid in battle, given how fearsome they are as warriors.

For more, check out the excellent video from writer and designer, Jeremy Vetock.

And this great video from the background writers and design team!

Morathi – the Shadow Queen

Morathi, one of the foremost characters of the Warhammer world, has returned to the tabletop and the Mortal Realms as the High Oracle of Khaine.  For those unaware, Khaine (the Bloody-Handed god and Lord of Murder) was the aelven god of violence, war and cruelty.  A master schemer she has been high priestess for the aelven gods of old, served Slaanesh, and conspired to put her son Malekith on the Phoenix throne.

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Last seen in the End Times, when she was imprisoned by Slaanesh, she has now escaped, although not without being transformed by her tormentor.   Once free, Morathi helped weave the enchantment that caught Slaanesh, with Malerion (her son), Teclis and Tyrion – ancient aelven warriors reborn as gods.  Morathi has survived through pure force of will and has made her base in Ulgu, the realm of shadows, lies and illusions (a perfect fit!).

Morathi has now been spurned even by Malerion, who claimed the Shadowlands of Ulgu and the capital of Druchiroth for himself.  Her ultimate aim is revenge and apotheosis.

Morathi is vain, so maintains her aelven form as High Oracle, but is also mad for power.  She professes devotion to Khaine while subverting the cult’s worship in order to power her own ascension to godhood.  Unknown to the cult, Khaine is not simply shattered, or missing, but is dead – Morathi is actively preventing Khaine’s return.  To build her power base and the strength of the cult, Morathi has used aelven souls recovered from Slaanesh to create new worshippers in her own image – the Melusai and the Khinerai.

In game, Mortahi’s transformation is represented by a new dual kit and in-game mechanic which can see her transform from a master mage into a deadly combatant.

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Daughters of Khaine

This model is simply a stunning example of the mastery of modern plastics achieved by Games Workshop.

Morathi’s rules

You start each game with Morathi in her aelven form.  As the High Oracle, Morathi is an excellent commander and spellcaster with rules benefiting casting and unbinding.

In this form, she has 6 wounds, but is also -1 to hit (Enchanting Beauty) and can only be allocated 3 wounds in any one turn (the Iron Heart).  These abilities increase her survivability, without making her unkillable.   While Curse of Years and Black Axe won’t work alone against her, abilities such as reality splitting axes, the cursed nail, the slayer of kings, Skarbrand and Hand of Dust will still work around the Iron Heart.  Given that she has 6 wounds, she will still be susceptible to an early double turn.

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Morathi’s command ability is Worship Through Bloodshed.  This allows you to maximise the output of nearby Daughters of Khaine units by having two units shoot or pile in and attack in the hero phase.

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Morathi’s transformation

You can choose to transform Morathi from her High Oracle form to the Shadow Queen in any of your turns.  Also, if she has taken wounds as the High Oracle, there is a risk that she will lose control and transform regardless of whether you want her too.

As the Shadow Queen, Morathi has 12 wounds (although she apparently carries over wounds taken as the High Oracle).  Her short range shooting attack allows her to pick out individual models easily, such as Standard Bearers, Starsoul Maces etc.

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When Morathi transforms, she loses her command ability and the benefits to casting, but retains the Iron Heart.  I can definitely see her being a powerful force in Duality of Death.  It will take four turns to kill her with normal damage.

I am interested to see how the transformation works in terms of model movement – do models in base contact or within a certain distance get a free push away?  what happens in combat?  We’ll find out hopefully when the book comes out.

Daughters of Khaine allegiance abilities

The Daughters of Khaine are a warrior order and fanatical cult.  To represent the fanaticism, Daughters of Khaine ignore wounds or mortal wounds on a 6+.

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The Daughters also have the Blood Rites battle trait which means the army become stronger after each battle round – as the fight lengthens, and the blood lust rises, so does the power of the army.   By round 5 you’ll have units re-rolling 1s to run, charge, hit, wound AND save – and they’ll ignore battleshock.  The key will be keeping your lightly armoured units alive long enough to benefit!

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Daughters of Khaine spells and prayers

The Daughters of Khaine have brought with them the two ancient traditions of the Khainite cults and the dark magics of Ulgu, the Realm of Shadows.

The Lore of Shadows

A subtle, yet powerful form of magic – The Lore of Shadows has many familiar names for old Warhammer fans – Mindrazor, Pit of Shades, the Withering… The Lore of Shadows can be cast by the Bloodwrack Medusa.

Bloodwrack Medusae are high-ranking members of the Daughters of Khaine who once doubted the will of Morathi – to secure their loyalty, Morathi has infected them with her own vital essence, causing them to assume a similar form to her and granting them mastery of shadow magic – as well as binding them to the Shadow Queen’s will utterly.

Mindrazor improves the rend and damage output of the target Daughters of Khaine unit.

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The Withering improves your ability to wound a target unit.

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And Pit of Shades dishes out mortal wounds against slow moving enemy units.

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Khainite Prayers

Khainite prayers can be used by Death Queens and Slaughter Queens.

The Martyr’s Sacrifice dishes mortal wounds back to units which attack your units.

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Blessing of Khaine improves the resilience of one of your units.

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Daughters of Khaine units

  • Death Hag
  • Witch Aelves
  • Sisters of Slaughter
  • Bloodwrack Medusae
  • Melusai (new)
  • Khinerai (new)
  • Doomfire Warlocks
  • Avatar of Khaine (new)
  • Bloodwrack Shrine
  • Cauldron of Blood

The Melusai

The Melusai are a new addition to the aelven race – formed by Morathi from aelven souls drawn from Slaanesh.  They are not reincarnations of the old aelves, but instead new creatures driven by hatred of Slaanesh and a desire for revenge.

Melusai come in two forms: Blood Sisters and Blood Stalkers.

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The Blood Sisters

The Blood Sisters are the close combat version.  Elite and fast-moving with the ability to dish out mortal wounds at close range with their Crystal Touch.  It will be interesting to see what their to-hit stat is.

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The Blood Stalkers

The Blood Stalkers add some much needed ranged support to a Daughters of Khaine force.  Allowing you to pick off units behind the enemies chaff lines.  Carrying Heartseeker bows, the Blood Stalkers can dish out mortal wounds on a 6+ to hit.

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Initial thoughts on the Melusai

There are a number of things I’ll be looking for in the battletome when it drops.  In particular, the move, range, hit and wounds rolls, number of wounds and saves for the Melusai.

From the pictures, it looks like the models will be coming in sets of 5, so I’d expect them to have 2, maybe 3, wounds a model.

While Morathi will combo well with these units allowing them to shoot twice, or pile in and attack twice, it will be interesting to see if there are anyways to buff the hit rolls.  I think its highly likely that they won’t have Collegiate Arcane as an ally, so don’t expect any Hurricanums, unless you run an Order Grand Alliance list.

The Khinerai

The Khinerai are winged aelves, tained by Slaanesh such that they have been twisted into a form similar to Slaanesh daemons.   They come in two forms: Heartrenders and Lifetakers.

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Khinerai Heartrenders

Another ranged unit for the Daughters of Khaine specialising in hit-and-run warfare.  You can set the unit up in reserve before bringing them in on in one of your movement phases (9″ away I bet).  In the turn that they are placed on the table, they will have -2 rend.

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Not only do they have high rend for a turn, but they also have a 50% chance of being able to shoot and then move again each turn.  The hit and run nature of these units definitely suit the aelven play-style.

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Khinerai Lifetakers

The Lifetakers are the combat variants of the Khinerai.  Again they can set-up off the table, but they get a bonus to their damage output on any charge they make.   It will be interesting to see if there are ways to buff the charge, or if because they are a flying unit they can charge on a 3D6 or have some similar mechanic.

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Daughters of Khaine videos

The Warhammer TV team have done a stellar job again with all the Daughters of Khaine videos.  Including a rather tongue-in-cheek number for Valentine’s Day.

Check out all the great videos over at Warhammer Live and crank up the sound!

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Daughters of Khaine painting and hobby

In this section, I’ll gather tutorials and great examples of Daughters of Khaine painting and hobby.  To start, check out Tyler Mengel’s great “Witch Aelves Made Easy” tutorial.

Other Daughters of Khaine pre-orders

Warhammer Community have also announced the usual warscroll cards and faction specific dice.

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Further Daughters of Khaine reading

To get in the mood, read Chuck Moore’s great background on Morathi.  I’ll add more coverage as it comes out.

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