Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Battletome Banter: Daughters of Khaine Temples

Hey Everyone!  As you are all aware I am a big fan of the Daughters of Khaine and how they play on the tabletop.  Primarily I have played the Kraith Temple with lots of prayers and Witch Aelves and feel I have really mastered that style of play.  However,  I am aiming to truly master the entire book so over the past few months I have been playing the other Temples and Battalions in the book.  Today I want to run through my thoughts and experiences in playing each temple and hopefully encourage you to try the other styles of play within your preferred Battletome.

Hagg Nar:
Hagg Nar is The Peoples Champion as far as Khainite Temples go.  It can be incredibly durable if you build around that idea while still putting out quite a punch.  Running a Slaughter Queen on Cauldron as your General with Iron circlet, to reroll prayer rolls of 1 will allow you to get Blessing of Khaine of reliably and survive most of what you will see.  Using this in combination with a unit of Witch Aelves with Shields will grant you a solid core to push up the board with and by turn three you will be rerolling both To Hit and To Wound with your Temple Ability and Witch Brew.

You will see plenty of the “Top Lists” running Hagg Nar as it is easy to polite for beginners while still giving experienced players a great deal of control in any given scenario.  I took Hagg Nar to a Two-Day, Five-Game event and walked away with Best Order without much stress.  I did lose a game, but it was due to poor objective play on my part and not due to the list.  However, I found the Temple to be a bit boring to play.  It is very reliable and will put out a hurt without taking much back and in a few games, it truly felt as if I could have walked away from the table as nothing was going to shift my army.  There is no doubting its strength however and if you want a Temple to win it all then this is the one to take.

Draichi Ganeth:
Draichi Ganeth is an odd one for me honestly as I don’t love or hate this Temple.  The ability of this temple shines if you are great at positioning and can make your charge rolls.  You almost need to take the Slaughter Troupe Battalion to get as much power form this Temple as you possibly can.  You also should maximize that battalion with the changes this Temple allows you to make to it by including 2 units of Witch Aelves alongside the SIsters of Slaughter.  Charge in, do your damage and retreat out so you can charge again with the Battalion.  Thankfully if you fail the short charge with your Witch Aelves you should be in position for a unit of Sisters of Slaughter to pile in 6” to keep your other units safe.

As I said I don’t love or hate this Temple and it can perform well on the table if you focus on playing towards its strengths.  However,  I feel you need to build to the Battalion before anything else and the points do add up pretty quick.  It is well worth a try to see if you like the playstyle, but for me, it is one I don’t see myself running that often.

The Kraith:
The Kraith, in my opinion, the best Temple out there, but I will attempt to put aside some of my bais to give you an accurate representation of this Temple and how it runs (and how great it is!).  The first downside of the Temple is the requirement to take its Aretefect which at first seems a bit pointless.  However, there is a strong use for the item, but it is often during the later turns.  Often I put the item on a Slaughter Queen or Hag Queen on Cauldron and get them stuck into a hero or multiple units to get the fullest effect.  The venom can do a lot of damage to a small unit or infantry hero while the avatar on top of the cauldron can handle the other unit on its own.

The one thing that turns people away from this Temple is its ability.  After a unit fights in combat you can roll a die and on a six you can immediately pile in and attack again as long as there is an enemy within three inches.  In all my games playing this Temple (near 100 games in total now) I often attribute this rule to claiming swift victory.  The Kraith rewards players who play this army often and know what matchups to throw their units in to.  The other benefit is how this die roll gets into your opponents head and gives you another way to interact with your opponent.  It is always great to see an opponent pick up some dice for their next combat only for you to hold a single die, reminding them of the one in six chance you have to finish off the unit you just unleashed your fury on.  This is truly my favorite Temple and is well worth using, even at tournaments to do well.  You are betting heavy to win heavy, but it is a bet worth taking in my mind.

Khailebron is a fun Temple without a doubt, but one that feels situational with the overall meta.  The Temple gives you a bit more survivability when being shot at, but there is plenty of armies that don't bring shooting so this ability may not get as much use as you might think.  If shooting is prominent then this Temple will do you well and even if shooting isn't prominent the command ability for the army is still useful.  The ability allows you to pick up a unit, not in combat, near your general and move it anywhere on the board at least nine inches away from an enemy.  This can be very powerful as long as you can keep your general near what you need to move around.  If you are running Temple Nest this is the most likely Temple to pair it with as the Temple allows you to bring a few extra heroes and you can reliably move Melusai around without much support and know they will put out a good deal of damage.

The teleporting ability for this Temple is its strongest feature, but in a meta where everyone can move quickly, it may not get that much use.  Doubly so if you are playing against experienced opponents who can easily zone you out of moving anything to your advantage.  The Temple is well worth a try, especially if you love the Melusai theme, but it is good to know where the meta is at in your area or event to decide if this Temple will serve you well or not.

Khelt Nar:
I do want to mention the fifth Temple before I wrap up even though it doesn't have any rules.  The reason I mention it is due to the fact that you can select to not have any Temple with a Daughters of Khaine Army.  Perhaps one day we will see rules for this Temple, but for now, it is left a mystery with a fun bit or lore.  If you don't want to be locked into any specific Temple Narrative, as they are all very rich and varied, this is the one to go with as it is left open into how the Temple functions and can allow you to craft some great lore for your collection.

I can say I played a few of my early games without a Temple (so I can claim I played playing Khelt Nar) and it does work, especially as you are learning the army, but once you have your feet on the ground the added benefit of choosing a Temple with special rules far outweighs any negatives you might see.

Having played all four Temples I can safely say that there is a use for all of them and you can compete competently no matter which you choose.  I would recommend trying them all for a few games to see which one suits how you wish to play and what might be most effective in your local meta.  I will still dabble in all the Temples, but the majority of the time you will see me running The Kraith without a doubt.  I am most comfortable with this Temple and have really learned a lot by playing one Temple more than any others.  When you do decide on a Temple I recommend playing it the majority of the time to truly become an expert with it and list build with the thought to maximize its potential.

Happy Hobbying!

Chuck Moore