Saturday, June 24, 2017

Back to it in 8th - First Impressions of 'nids, Templar and Guard

So I'm a minute behind folks, but I had to open up some time and dig the old guard out. Well, except for the celebratory Tyrannofex and Tervigon models.  My old buddy and I got together and threw down.  Lists were below -

Tyranids - Battalion Detachment
Tyranid Prime (whip/sword, devourer)
3 Hive Guard (impaler cannons)
3 Venomthropes
20 Termagants (10 devourer, 10 fleshborer)
20 Termagants (10 devourer, 9 fleshborder)
7 Genestealers
Tyrannofex (fleshborer hive)
2x Carnifexes (each w/ 2x Deathspitters, mace tail)

Imperial Forces - Battalion, Superheavy Detachments
Chaplain Grimaldus
IG Commander
2 Commissars
Infantry Squad (Grenade launcher, heavy bolter)
50 Conscripts
Crusader Squad (10 Initiates, 10 neophytes, flamer, powerfist, power sword)
Leman Russ (battle cannon, lascannon, 2 heavy bolters)
Baneblade (additional 4x lascannon, 4x twin heavy bolter)

Scenario - Retrieval

Short Version -
I should've brought more big guns, maybe skipped an HQ choice - turns out that Baneblades HURT.  The Venomthropes bought me a couple turns of defense versus shooting, but I didn't bring enough long-range shooting to cripple it.  By the end of turn 3, I was sitting on one objective, and he handily had two, between the Baneblade and the tattered remains of the Crusader squad.

Impressions on 8th
Overall, I'm a fan.  The rules got streamlined, but thanks to the myriad org charts in the main book (and the faction keywords) you still have some solid freedom in how you build your forces.  Command Points are pretty useful - we both burned through the bulk of ours in three turns, but part of that is getting used to them.

Scenarios with the alternating deployment are going to take some getting used to - horde armies will generally NOT have first turn unelss they can seize.

Tyranid Impressions
Tervigon - it pretty much needs to go along with a couple blobs of termagants.  Replenishing a heap of 'em is nice, and re-rolls to 1's on shooting mean that you end up with about a 60% hit rate, which is great alongside devourers.  That, and The Horror is HILARIOUS, especially alongisde venomthropes.

Tyranid Prime - cheapest synapse HQ choice.  It's the buff HQ for warriors, which I didn't take.

Broodlord - he's disgusting in combat, he gives 'stealers a +1 in melee (effectively bumping them to WS 2+) and is a psyker.

Hive Guard - bring impaler cannons.  S8, AP-2, and 1D3 damage without needing LOS?  Give 'em synapse support, sit back, and start knocking wounds off vehicles.

Venomthropes - MVPs.  -1 to hit at range is huge.  Expect them to draw fire, but a minimum-sized brood WILL absorb some fire.  I think these are going to be in most 'nid lists.  I suppose they'd be ok in melee, assuming they lived long enough to get there.

Termagants - They're cheap, and need to be brought in bulk.  Devourers are a solid upgrade if you're gonna bring a large group; otherwise they're basically chumps with pistols.  I'd go for either a large group with some guns hidden in it.  I'd think about taking them as a tiny MSU for a troops tax, but rippers are cheaper.

Genestealers - they're still nasty, and they're cheap.  However, I didn't bring enough of them to make a difference this time out.

Tyrannofex - fleshborer hives are hilarious, and would be even more hilarious if I ever had a good chance to stand still and fire it twice.

Carnifexes - These guys aren't super-durable - but they have some options.  I think you're either going pure melee (and deciding whether crushing claws are worth the penalty to hit), volume of fire (grab devourers or deathspitters; the big difference is AP and a point of strength), or big gun + little guns.

Black Templar Impressions
Grimaldus - this guy (and chaplains in general) are pretty nasty with re-rolls to hit; Grim gives Black Templars extra attacks on 6s.  Also, gives 'em LD9, which is pretty useful for guys that are running across the field.

Crusader Blobs - These guys can crank out some attacks, what with chainswords/combat blades and pistols.  They can take a heavy weapon or power weapon, but with 1 base attack (and the fact they're probably moving) I'm not sure if I'd use this option.  Not sure what special I'd choose, they're all nasty.  They do need some good leadership, though - and Grimaldus provides that.  You can always go for the smaller squads and take a heavy and special, too.

Imperial Guard Impressions
IG Commander - command squads got a re-work; now if you want orders (and a cheap HQ) it's just one dude running around yelling at guardsmen and telling them to be a little more useful.  See also: sniper bait.

Commissars - their big trick is making sure that your guys don't run - mostly by shooting one of them in the morale phase.  You get one per elite slot.

Infantry Squads - so, now you're stuck with 10 guys with a special and heavy.  It simplifies things from the army-building side, but you're less durable.  They're cheap, and probably exist to sit on an objective with heavy weapons.

Conscripts - oh, they're gonna die by the fistful.  And a commissar is going to shoot one of 'em a turn.  Then again, these guys exist to fire off great heaps of lasgun shots.  The larger squads are also unlikely to ever grab cover.  Also, seriously? GET A COMMISSAR.  Because otherwise you're gonna remove fistfuls of these guys every turn if they're between the enemy and an objective.

Leman Russ - big guns, hard to kill - harder if it stays at long range.  Battle cannons are one of the many former blast weapons that now fire a random number of shots that hurt.  It makes them nasty against larger targets...

Baneblade - OUCH.  So, the main gun is a 3-damage gun that fires 2d3 shots a turn.  What used to be a pie plate of doom is now a humongous anti-tank weapon.  The demolisher cannon is its little brother - and you can still buy sponsons.  The tank puts out a TON of shits, especially since what used to be twin-linked is now just more shots.  That being said, note that the tank does NOT have a rule that lets it move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty.  BUT, if you get it into melee, it can disengage with penalty, shoot at things in melee, or just hit them with tank treads at like S9 or so.

As a former super-heavy, note that it has a heap of wounds, but after you've done a little more than a dozen wounds to it, it drops from BS4+ to BS5+, at which point it's kinda sad.

Next Steps for 'nids
1) Get more venomthropes
2) test Trygons - choosing when to arrive from reserves is awesome
3) test warriors - synapse is extra important for shooters, since instinctive behavior cuts down your options for shooting/charging
4) Exocrines are gonna be fun

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Reflections - Dealing with Genestealer Cult, KDK Experiences

I've gotten a couple more games with the Khorne Daemonkin under my belt - once more against the Genestealer Cult, and against some of the forces out of Gathering Storm 01's book.  I believe I'm getting a better handle on the various forces at this point.

Dealing With a Genestealer Cult
Some stuff has become a little more apparent over time against these fellows - I believe the following apply to any army fighting against the cult.

Short Version - deploy and plan on playing reactive early on.  Hope you brought screening units, and if you survive the initial hit plan on hitting back hard and eliminating units. They're much more mobile than you'd expect from a bunch of dudes on foot, too.

1) Deployment Zones - what are those?
The cult's big schtick that impacts your play is the Cult Ambush.  Some of their stuff starts on the table in their deployment zone.  The rest consults a table, so their guys are going to do one of the following -

a) Walk on from reserves
b) outflank
c) show up 6-9" away with guns, quite possibly shooting
d) show up 3" away ready to assault the turn they arrive

This chicanery is generally limited to infantry and the odd Scout Sentinel.  Note that 'infantry' here ranges from stuff that looks suspiciously like Imperial Guardsmen, to chumps with industrial cutting gear, to straight-up Genestealers.  Also, Sentinels are probably going to have their choice of firing angles.

2) Bring Screening Units / Bubblewrap
It's never a bad idea to have some screening elements for your army.  If you're not out-and-out fast enough to dictate an engagement (Read - can't teleport, can't turbo-boost, that kind of thing) then you want some poor chump in front of you to die and buy time.

This is extra important against GSC for a couple of reasons - units WILL pop up in random spots and you have to assume that they will be a threat the turn they arrive, either by shooting or lucking out and rolling a 6 on the cult ambush table.  You at least want to make them work to get at your important units.

The follow-on is that during deployment, it pays to be able to deny them a place to deploy.  When the initial ambush sets up, they'll have all be 3/6/9" away - and if the whole unit can't fit, well.

3) Beware the First Curse
What is this 'first curse', you ask?  It's a Patriarch (think Genestealer with psychic powers and 'roid rage) and 20 of his closest friends.  Every GSC player that looks at this dreams of going first and rolling the 'assault the turn you arrive' perk - because seriously, that's painful.  (See #1 - BUBBLE WRAP - would you rather lose chumps or something important?)

That's a lot of rending attacks - if they can assault something with the bulk of the unit, they can probably kill it.

I honestly worry about this moreso if it DOESN'T start on the table - it's one thing to bubble wrap this on the table.

Just be ready to run from it, or smash it with lots of guns - and if it shows up ready to assault the turn you arrive?  You're going to lose something - simple as that.

4) Kill Them In One Go or Shadow Them
The Cult's also very, very good at slinking off in the shadows.  At the beginning of their turn, if the unit is more than 6" away from the enemy they can return to the shadows - they go into ongoing reserves, pick up a few more dudes (up to max size) and roll on the ambush table again next turn.

...granted, if they're all dead they can't do that.

5) They play a hell of an objective game
Between the cult ambush table and their ability to re-enter ongoing reserves, these guys are pretty nasty at playing objectives.

Stuff To Bring To Kill These Fellows
1) Volume of Fire
The bulk of these models have 5+ saves - but they'll have a LOT of bodies, and with their support HQs you can end up with a lot of fearless guys with Feel No Pain.  Hell, just bring plain FIRE for that matter; they're gonna be close to you.

2) Melee - sometimes
Genestealers, patriarchs, and their HQs in general are nasty in close quarters. Outside of them (and a couple other units, like aberrants and folks with mining tools) most guys are average at best, and their strength is in the buffs from HQ and the sheer number of bodies.  You're just going to have to be selective about melee matchups if you can be.

3) Psychic Defenses
Buffs and summoning are annoying - the latter even moreso when combined with cult ambush.

4) Swift units
They're all on foot - but can cult ambush.  It wouldn't hurt to be able to rapidly re-deploy your own stuff, because this guy can.

5) Cover-busting
Remember how this whole army's got like a 4+ or 5+ at best?  Deny them cover - they'll cry.

Thoughts on Khorne Daemonkin
1) Possessed -
I love the models.  What I'm not loving is that they're required.  Don't get me wrong - if they can get into assault they are pretty nasty.

The problem is that 'if'.  Here's a short list of things I COULD have gotten instead of Possessed in a Rhino (or extra body)
-A BUNCH more bodies for hounds/bikes
-2/3 of another Bloodthirster

And I'm pretty sure all of those would've had more of an impact than the Possessed in most of my games.

I really like the free Blood Tithe from the slaughtercult, but I've yet to feel like the Possessed are anything other than a tax on my army at this point.

2) D-Thirsters are hilarious
I'm still enjoying this fellow - though he doesn't always have a ready target.  Anyone with super-heavies (outside of Knights / anything with Strength D in melee) should worry about this guy, because eight WS10 D-axe swings on the charge will pretty much wreck anything with hull points.

Outside of big, valuable targets he really needs to go after so-so melee troops - WS10 is a hell of a defense against WS4 and lower troops.  If there aren't any big juicy targets for this guy, then it's time to go find squads with WS4 or lower and thrash them.

Also he's pretty much not my first warlord choice - people tend to shoot the big ones.

3) Maulerfiends - not so bad.
I like them for a couple of reasons - they're fast, they can break vehicles, and lasher tendrils are actually pretty hilarious.  It's also kind of important to have more than one big nasty target - and maulerfiends are reasonably likely to grab a turn 2 charge with their speed.

4) Juggernaut Lord is Probably the way to go
The stat buffs on that mount are just too solid - throw in a melee weapon and the 4++ save and you're good, then stick him with a Gorepack's Flesh Hound accompaniment and go.

5) Knight Loadouts - Still Experimenting
I've tried the Slaughtercult a couple of times, so my Knight ally has come via the Renegade Knight versus a Forge World rule set or Kytan.

One mistake I've made - not going with a carapace weapon.  The Knight is pretty much the sum total of my army's shooting at this point; might as well maximize it.  I'm not super-enthralled by the performance of the Thermal Cannon or the Rapid-fire battle cannon.  The Thermal Cannon can at least bring some AP2 to the table, and if it gets lucky vs. a vehicle squadron I can possibly nuke two things with one shot.

My next experiment is going to be a Knight w/ the Avenger cannon (S6, AP3, 12 yeah) and the Heavy 3 Krak missile carapace gun.  It'll play the game of 'reach out and touch someone before wandering into melee.'

Coming Next Up
-more hobby pictures, because I hit the painting table hard
-possibly more batreps
-reflecting on CAD vs. Slaughtercult again
-reflecting on Kytan vs. Forge World Knight rules vs. Renegade Knight after experimenting.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Battle Report - 1850 - Khorne Daemonkin versus Genestealer Cult

I managed to get models back on the table again - this time, I wanted to try out my growing Daemonkin army.  I figure it can't get much further from Tau than Khorne - this army really isn't that sure what these 'gun' things are, though a few of them have figured it out.  It's how you kill people BEFORE you start beating them to death.  My buddy wanted to test his Genestealer Cult again, so without further ado here are the lists - we'd agreed on 1850, he was a few points over so instead of making him re-point it and test different stuff I just added a puppy.

Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
5x Possessed in Rhino
8x Bloodletters
8x Bloodletters

Lord of Slaughter - Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage

3x Bikers w/ 2 Meltaguns
3x Bikers w/ 2 Meltaguns
9x Flesh Hounds
9x Flesh Hounds

War Engine - Maulerfiend w/ Lasher Tendrils

Allied Detachment - Renegade Knight w/ Thermal Cannon, chainsword

My Warlord was the Possessed champion, who had the 'I turn into a daemon prince / bloodthirster for free' trait

Genestealer Cult w/ Imperial Guard friends
Cult Insurrection Detachment
Magus w/ Crouchling
Patriarch w/ 20x Purestrain Stealers
10x Neophyte Hybrids (2x Grenade Launchers, 2x Mining Lasers)
-dedicated Chimera
8x Neophyte Hybrids (2x grenade launchers) w/ autocannon heavy weapon team
-deadicated Chimera
Leman Russ w/ heavy bolter sponsons, Eradicator Nova Cannon
1x Sentinel w/ Heavy Flamer
3x Sentinels w/ Autocannon
7x Purestrain Stealers
Primus & 4 Aberrants
5x Acolyte Hybrids
5x Acolyte Hybrids
5x Hybrid Metamorphs

Allied IG Attachment
Company Command Squad w/ 2x Sniper Rifles, Lascannon team, Master of Ordnance, Camo Gear
Veteran Squad - 3x Grenade Launchers, Autocannon Team, camo gear
Squadron of 2 Hydra batteries

His warlord was the Patriarch, which translated to "20 Genestealers deploying where they want with a turn one assault."  His psykers end up with a mix of abilities, and naturally one of the jokers ends up with summoning.

The Scenario - we roll up Deadlock, which means there's a diminishing number of tactical objectives per turn.  He gets first turn, and I seize the initiative.

 I promptly bubble-wrap my army and attempt to deny him flanking placements.  His best-case deployment is 3" away with assaults permitted.  Otherwise he's got to be 6-9 inches away from my guys.  Also, the cult army penalizes my reserve rolls - I'd rather spend my 'letters as Bubble Wrap than deal with crappy reserve rolls.  As it is I've got his Patriarch + 20 stealers at my front door.  There's also the unit of Aberrants nearby.
DEPLOYMENT - Genestealer POV
 He's got his other squads positioned to grab objectives.
KDK Turn 01 Assault Results
 As you can see from the deployment pictures, I've got options - and I also should charge the giant genestealer blob, because I don't feel like letting them have Furious Charge.  The Blob is the only thing that can assault me on his first turn.  So, I charge in with a unit of Khorne Dogs, the Knight, the Maulerfiend, and D-Thirster.  ALL OF MY D ATTACKS FAIL TO WOUND.  Things are looking a little bleak - the Knight promptly lost four hull points, but then rolls up 3 stomps and does a Khornate jig through the stealer blob.

Also, comically, I got the Lasher Tendrils on the Patriarch - who's in a challenge with my D-Thirster - and my D-thirster.  Suddenly the Patriarch isn't as scary with only two attacks a turn.
 ...I also assault his aberrants with my regular 'thirster.  I forget that I have no grenades and that unit's full of guys with S7 and S8 attacks that blow through my 3+.  So, I kinda hand over first blood because sometimes I'm dumb.  Also, the other unit of dogs assaulted something nearby.  Honestly, I'm fighting a LOT of units here - I can barely keep track of it, but there's a lot of blood for the blood god.

His turn one (which I generally forgot to photograph) involves his Chimera dropping his psyker and squad into cover, some gunfire (which does little) and some summoning.  It also resolves the assault - D-thirster crushes the patriarch into a paste, and my units consolidate.
KDK Turn 02 - BLOOD!
 So, on turn 01 I have 1 Tithe because of the Slaughtercult.  On turn 2 I have 8 to start the turn, so I summon a Bloodthirster.  My Warlord explodes and scatters back.  Bikers sweep forward to grab objectives, and one squad murders a handful of 'stealer cultists off of their objective.  Hounds sweep towards his psyker's squad, and D-thirster wanders up to the Leman Russ.  I would've assaulted the Chimera with the Maulerfiend, but it doesn't get the 11 it needs to make it.
I'ma boop it on the snout!
 The D-thirster promptly does 2d3 + 1d6 + 6 hull points of damage to the Russ.  Sometimes you don't want to drive close enough to hit it with your sword.
Cultists Turn 2
 His reserves show up - the three autocannon sentinels wander in and grab a firing solution on my Knight, and the flamer sentinel draws a bead on my bikes.  They survive the burnination from the Chimera and the sentinel.  He also gets a squad in my backfield, so that means the bloodletters are going to get to do some work.  My D-thirster absorbs a LOT of gunfire - pretty much all the heavy weapons on the board go into him, and he manages to lose three wounds.  His psyker and squad lose to the Khorne Dogs in assault and get away.
KDK Turn 03
 My D-thirster claims his IG veterans in assault.  The Maulerfiend bounds over to the flamer sentinel and decides to play with it.  The fiend is a bit too enthusiastic and breaks his toy.  One biker squad finally gets to use its meltaguns in combat, and manages to beat up the chimera - but not kill it.  The Khorne Dogs run down his psyker, murder it, and consolidate back into the woods.

In the backfield, my warlord-bloothirster decides to have words with the sentinels while my bloodletters go have words with the 'stealers that showed up in my backfield.

The other squad of Khorne Dogs continues their melee with the aberrants.  The Knight uses its Thermal Cannon to nuke the other Chimera - woo, impressive, it blew up a transport! But no tithe, because it's not got Blood for the Blood God.  As I had only 3 blood tithes this turn, I used Feel No Pain.
 On his turn 3, his neophyte cavalcade decides to bail the sentinels out.  They've got heavy mining equipment that would be painful in an assault.
...oh, crap, he's I9 and we rolled a 3
 He rolls a 3 for the assault, and the 'thirster murders all the heavy weapons before they can swing.
 His army continues to unload into my D-thirster...
 ...and then some schmuck with a lasgun lands the final wound.
End of Turn 4 and Game
Turn 4 - I summon a Skull Cannon and nuke his command squad off the board with it.  Maulerfiend mops up stuff, and we call it between the hour and the fact he's got under ten infantry left on the board.

Closing Thoughts
KDK absolutely LOVES opponents that bring lots of small units.  I think I went through ~20 blood tithes this game, and actually lost some.  My comrade and I discussed it - this is a rough matchup for GSC because they like to have lots of threat vectors.

KDK also has a tactical objective that involves manifesting a psychic power, which is a head-scratcher.

D-Thirster is NASTY if he can get into assault - though low-initiative high-strength weapons are probably unhealthy.

Bloodthirsters in general really need to think about what they're assaulting if it has cover - throwing away I9 is silly if the other guy has low-initiative high-strength weapons.

I still have no real idea what to do with the possessed - maybe skip the rhino, buy a couple more bodies?  Otherwise they drive around and look to grab objectives.

I like having the Knight's fire support - not sure if I want to make room for the points to upgrade it via FW rules to have Blood for the Blood God, or just go whole hog and try to fit a Kytan in there.  The problem is that the latter two require a CAD for the Lord of War slot.

I like the big gribblies - though part of me wondered if having a cheaper Lord instead of the Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury would be good - though a Lord with mobility is still going to like 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of the 'thirster, and he needs a unit to hide in.

Genestealer cults are a pain to deploy against - and diagonal deployment means that unless you saturate your backfield (with units that might not contribute much to the fight) you may get to deal with a fight on two fronts.

After discussion, we're not sure that the 20-strong stealer blob + patriarch is the way to go - it's begging to have every last resource dropped on it ASAP, and if it's going to be deployed forward to assault early then there's a fair chance you're handing over Slay The Warlord and/or First Blood.

Bloodthirsters don't like Hydras.  Even if I do make an inordinate number of 3+ saves.

Knights should worry about genestealers in melee - though good stomps go a ways towards getting them out of a jam.

Overall, it was educational - I like KDK, but think this list may not be my final form.

Friday, February 3, 2017

KDK - Hobby Post

No tactics this time out - just getting back into the wonderful world of painting. Ok, I mean, I got back into it already, but I've seriously enjoyed painting the bigger stuff for Daemonkin.  The Bloodthirster kit is prettty sweet.
Here's Johnny!
...and there goes Johnny

Shot from above.  Which is safer than looking up from below, amiright?

Cannon - AKA 'thing that gets summoned and fires a pie plate'

I'm pretty thrilled with the base on this big 'un.


Blast from the past - the weapon conversion is cuz one broke and I'm not pinning it.

New sculpts - plastic is nice.

These won't be the only Khorne Dogs I paint.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Khorne Daemonkin Brainstorming - Slaughtercult Vs. CAD, and Does Khorne Really Need Friends Anyway?

So after last time's first impressions, time for me to actually sit down and think through this.  I'd recommend this approach to anyone - first impressions count, and so does the more thorough read-through.

For this run-through, we're going to assume that KDK is going to be my primary (if not only) detachment, and I'm going to build around a Warlord in there.

So, we've got a couple of choices here, really - do I want to run a Bloodhost, or do I want to run a CAD? Or, do I want to run both?

Detachment Perks - Efficiency in Blood Tithes vs. Obsec and freedom in builds

Option 01 - Bloodhost
Note that we're going to look at the Slaughtercult first - because it's your core choice for this.  Then, we're going to look at the limitations of the Blood Host when it comes to building out from there, as you must take at least one auxiliary choice.

Slaughtercult perks
The Slaughtercult gives you four perks - Blood Frenzy, Boon of Khorne, Blood Sacrifice, and obligatory warlord trait re-rolls.  The Blood Frenzy and Boon of Khorne are your moneymakers off the bat - you get a free blood tithe point in a turn, AND when you spend blood tithes you can buy twice if you have the points.  So, you're generating more points (in addition to MURDER and offering your own skulls, that is) AND you're potentially more efficient.

Blood Sacrifice is nice if you brought cultists - when those guys flub a leadership check (...assuming they aren't murdered outright) you can just sacrifice them and get that Blood Tithe.  You're making these guys as cheap as possible because they're either going to provide a screen, or you're going to try to snag objectives with them and don't want to devote points to that when you could be KILLING.

Slaughtercult Requirements
First off, you're committing to taking a unit of Possessed.  If you want them and a Rhino, they're 185 on the dot for 5 guys and a ride.  Possessed aren't bad, but I'm going to assume that you're going to buy them a rhino.  If we go with a naked Herald and minimal Bloodletters (absolute minimum required in the slaughtercult) then you're looking at 430.  Not bad, but a Herald is kinda 'meh' and seems like he's in there to keep it cheap.  Plus, he's a character that can't explode into a Daemon Prince or Bloodletter through tithes, which is sad.

You CAN grab a lightweight Bloodthirster as your HQ, but that's a couple hundred points above your herald.  You can, if you want, grab Cultists or Spawn, but Cultists are screens that turn into Tithes, and Spawn are bullet sponges either on their own or for a Lord taking a speedy choice.

Note that your core choices are gonna be power-armored bobs, deep-striking demons, and some choices for HQ that range from 'cheap herald' to 'lord with crap-ton of options' up to 'daemon prince' and 'Bloodthirster.'

Slaughtercult Limitations
Now, the Auxiliary choices are where we really start to see the price of taking a Slaughtercult.  You're taking tradeoffs now.

I see two immediate perks - you can grab the Gorepack (swift disruption) and you can grab your nominal heavy support choices as an aux choice.  These mean you're thinking about a faster army - the Gorepack involves scouting Khorne Dogs and bikers, and the bikers are either thinking about melee (and possibly escorting a lord) or they're small and packing meltaguns (I'm a Blood Tithe OR a messed-up vehicle, your opponent's pick).  I feel like those would mesh well with your Maulerfiends (who also move 12" and care not for terrain) and anything you're bringing that has wings.

Now, there are drawbacks - if you want Raptors or Terminators, you're going to have to grab some extras - your Terminators only come out to play if you've got Bloodcrushers, which are. Um.  Either jogging across the field with a laughable save, OR deep-striking assault troops with a laughable save and no shooting.  Raptors aren't bad, but have to be taken en mass (read: 2 units of raptors and a unit of Warp Talons).

I'm not saying Talons/Raptors are bad, but I am pointing out the opportunity cost - if you want to bring 'em, you'll be looking at more than 400 just to field the minimal units - but at least the Helldrake isn't mandatory with Khorne's Bloodstorm.

My gut feel is that the Slaughtercult wants you to take a decent number of fast, assaulty units.  Guns are what you use to make noise while running at the other guy and screaming.  Or it's what Soul Grinders have and the rest of your army doesn't.

Option 02 - Combined Arms Detachment
You can always skip the Blood Host, and start out with a CAD and formations.  You are losing out on the aforementioned perks of the Blood Host - which is the efficiency of the tithes, and the ability to take a crap-ton of heavy support choices.

Combined Arms Detachment Perks
So, first off, obviously there's Objective Secure.  That's one thing.  Considering you like to hit things, and your troops are punchy, well - if you don't absolutely crush something in assault, your troops can be all "Hey, we're Obsec and you're not!  Also, please let us kill you in your assault phase so we don't get shot at."

Now, here's the other thing - you've got some flexibility in your build.

You're still stuck bringing an HQ and two troops.  Now, if you want to keep it cheap, you can take cultists and/or Bloodletters.  If you wanted to grab two Bloodthirsters (and wanted more than one of them to be the D Thirster), go for it.

Now, there are some actual options this opens up - you're not stuck taking units in gobs.  If you want to grab some Terminators (...and probably Deep Strike them with combi-weapons) then you can, because you're not stuck grabbing a handful of Bloodcrushers as well.  If you want a lone Raptor unit, go for it - but note that you can still take the Gorepack if you really, REALLY wanted to throw in a ton of Fast Attack options.

You could also grab a Land Raider without grabbing a Terminator squad - but seriously, it's still a Chaos Land Raider with long-range guns and an assault ramp, which still seems confused.

To me, seems like the biggest perk of taking a CAD is double-tapping on Bloodthirsters with D-strength axes, since you just can't do that with a Slaughtercult.  That, and Terminators.

Also, as discussed in the Allies part, you can grab a Lord of War - the Kytan and the Chaos Knight forge world rules are Lords of War, and those need a CAD.

CAD Limitations
Honestly, I see a couple of limitations - if you really, really wanted to bring a lot of heavy support, well, you can't.  AV12 and AV13 walkers really kind of like numbers.  The other is that, obviously, you lose the fun perks of the Slaughtercult with respect to Blood Tithes.

Nothing says you can't take a CAD and throw formations on top though.

A Thought on Allies 
So, there's one thing your allies won't have - the ability to produce Blood Tithes.  You want your guys to either kill things or die trying - you're playing KDK for the fluff and for the Blood Tithe mechanics.  This is the first thing you want to keep in mind.

The second thing you want to keep in mind - GUNS.  You just don't have a lot of them.  You're an assault army.  There's kind of a second thing to keep in mind, and that's AP2 - you don't have a ton of that outside of Bloodthirsters or a Lord hitting things with an Axe of Khorne.

Lords of War
Honestly, there's a couple of things that aren't in the book that are worth looking at - the Kytan Daemon Engine and the Renegade Knight.  The Knight can either come in Renegade flavor (1-3 per detachment, lots of options).  If you want to go Forgeworld Experimental rules, you get the Kytan or a different flavor of Knight.

So, here's the comparison you need to do - Renegade Knight versus CAD with Kytan or Chaos Knight.

The Renegade Knight (out of Traitor's hate) will NOT have Blood for the Blood God.  However, it will be cheaper than the Kytan, and potentially more shooty than the Chaos Knight.  You have more options than the Forge World rules - which means more guns.  The Forge World option is also slightly more durable since it gets the Daemon of Khorne rule and gets a nice 5++ in melee (and when the Ion Shield isn't helping it).  But you're stuck with a CAD.

The Kytan is a little tougher (better side armor and worse rear armor; you have no Ion Shield but you get Daemon of Khorne.  You get an 8-shot Krak missile launcher that somehow has pinning as well, and if you murder your shooting target, you can charge something else.

Honestly, the Chaos Knight is kind of in between the Renegade Knight and the Kytan.  The Renegade can take two guns, and the Kytan is a bit more killy.  The Kytan is about 100pts more than the Chaos Knight, but AV13 on the sides is pretty nice, along with It Will Not Die.

I'd recommend picking one or the other - grab the shooty of a Renegade Knight (along with the part where you don't have to go Forge World) or go big with a Kytan and enjoy the Forge World experimental rules and go axe to mouth on something.  Plus it looks better than, y'know, the Lord of Skulls.

Other Friends
Seriously, you're taking other friends for shooting, including potentially aircraft, as your anti-air is the Soul Grinder and maybe Helldrakes. (...because that flamer is gonna do stuff, really.)  Look for guns somewhere - if you're willing to either grab the formation OR pay the HQ/troops for it.  and remember that any non-KDK guys ARE cutting into your blood tithes.

Why not CAD and Slaughtercult?
There are two reasons to take two - you're willing to take four troops, and you want the flexibility in HQs - which, really, honestly, the only 'flexibility' you get is taking a Bloodthirster with D-strength and you get the Lord of War slot (...which you'd fill with a Kytan, realistically)

Closing Thoughts
If you're going to tack a CAD onto a Slaughtercult, you're doing it to get the freedom to take troops that are otherwise taxed - like Raptors or Terminators, and you want a Lord of War that isn't from an Allied Detachment.  Otherwise, pick one or the other.  You're looking at freedom in your build (and freedom from Possessed and other taxes) OR you get the fluffy fun of Blood Tithes for free.