Chaos Knights (sometimes known as Daemon Knights) are the eviler and spikier counterparts of the Imperial Knights. Due to the greatest hangover since the Age of Strife called the Horus Heresy, many Knight Households have fallen to Chaos over the centuries. Their crews have long since died but their souls have fused with Daemons, floating within shells of their war machines. The Knights themselves have mutated, spouting claws, flails, and other chaotic weapons. Unfortunately, when the pilots were still alive inside, the echoes of their ancestors start to scream and shout against them, scolding them for the betrayal of their oaths and their dishonourable path. As you can guess, hearing your grandpa calling you a traitor, scum, beardling and oathbreaker can make your sanity a little twitching and unstable.
Certain members of the Ordo Malleus Inquisition maintain extensive records of the names and deeds of the Chaos Knights, cataloguing their many crimes, recording their blasphemous heraldry and tracing their lines in the same manner a savant-of-arms of the Terran Chambers Pursuivant might meticulously record those of an Imperial Knight Household. Why the Inquisition has a slight obsession cataloguing the history of these traitors is unknown. Though they are few, the very existence of Chaos Knights is a nigh indelible stain on the honour of the Knight Houses and upon the entire Imperium. Therefore most loyalist Knights vow to hunt these turncoats until they surrender and meet their demise through the face of a Autocannon barrel. Most appear to be the fallen scions of the Knight Houses, often Freeblades who have trodden the path of war overlong and heeded the ever-present call of the Ruinous Powers. Others, it is whispered, belong to entire fallen Households, either ones who sided with the Warmaster during the Horus Heresy and exist still, ones which have strayed since, or even Houses never brought into the Imperial fold and hailing from unknown Knight Worlds far beyond the rule of Terra.
They can be broadly classified into three groups:
- Iconoclast Houses, whose monstrous oaths to the Dark Gods have turned them into twisted mockeries of their former selves;
- Infernal Houses, pledged to the Dark Mechanicus in exchange for unnatural power;
- Dreadblades, fallen Freeblades and other individual Knights who turned to Chaos without taking their entire House with them.
- Iconoclast Houses
- House Lucaris - Originally an Imperial Knight house whose homeworld Morda Prime was brought by Horus into compliance. During the Horus Heresy, they fought alongside the Traitors because of their vows to Horus. Even after the Warmaster was killed, House Lucaris kept the oath and continued to fight against the Imperium. They went as far as cutting ties with the Black Legion, whom they thought have betrayed Horus; though in recent centuries they have struck an alliance with Abbadon the Despoiler.
- House Herpetrax - A Knight house which had only been discovered recently by Rogue Trader Cherris Draik (possible relative to the Rogue Trader character in Blackstone Fortress). They refused to submit to the Imperium and waged war to keep their independence. It seemed that members of the House had been worshiping Chaos for a long time before being discovered.
- House Khymere - Just recently being turned to Chaos, House Khymere used to be a loyal Imperial Knight House. When the Great Rift opened, the Knights were seen fighting on behalf of Chaos. To stop their rampaging, the White Scars and Ultramarines attacked them, only to discover that they were still loyal to the Imperium. The nobles, appalled by the accusations, ventured into the Great Rift to prove their loyalty. The nobles all succumbed to the influence of Chaos on their crusade, and traveled back in time to become the very heretics they were accused of.
- Infernal House
- House Vextrix - Once loyal servants of the Legio Mortis, House Vextrix followed their masters and turned Traitors during the Horus Heresy. They still fought alongside the Legio Mortis until today, while launching campaigns by themselves to recover hidden and heretical repositories of knowledge.
- House Khomentis - Before their turn to Chaos, it was a custom for nobles of House Khometix to hunt giant beasts that lived on their homeworld Matarakh, believing that these animals were their spiritual guides for the nobles after being bonded with the Knights. Now they hunt Daemons, whom they deliberately allowed to possess their body. When a noble died after housing a Daemon from too long, a small warp rift was formed to allow even more Daemons to spill out for the nobles to hunt.
- Sire of Doom - The Knights of House Daitan were captured by the Dark Mechanicum and then subjected to inhuman torture. The Knights died one by one until they came to the last of them, Kiro. The Dark Mechanicum then sealed all the pain and despair Kiro's kinsmans have experienced inside his machine, the Sire of Doom, turning both pilot and machine into a mindless engine of destruction.
- Slaughter Incarnate - House Merridon was wiped out by Hive Fleet Hydra, saved for the Knight Incarnate Valour and its pilot Decima. Just as the Knight was deep in Tyranids' corpse, it was spirited away though a Warp Rift. Now the Knight Rampager appeared on wherever battlefields had a pools of blood big enough. It regularly fought against Tyranids, but would also attack Imperials alike.
- The Gilded King - House Lyngor had a custom of adorning their Knights with escucheons made out of gold. When the High Mornachs of House Lyngor fell to Chaos, the Knight Desecrator The Gilden King began killing every other Knights, stripping them of the golden escucheons, then put them on themselves. The Gilded King continued its quest of exterminating every lifeforms on its homeworld until today.
- Hope's Shroud - The Freeblade known as Hope's Shroud pledged allegiance to Goge Vandire during the Age of Apostasy and given the task of killing Sebastian Thor. When Goge Vandire was killed and Sebastian Thor took over, Hope's Shroud swore to kill every last Sororitas. He succeeded in killing the Canoness Superior of all six main Orders. Nowadays Hope's Shroud regularly fought alongside the Word Bearers, and might have drawn its pilots from the Traitor Legion.
- Hatred of Krastellan - House Hawkshroud, following the Heresy, gave whoever was the pilot of the Hatred of Krastellan the most inglorious and harrowing duties such as killing allies suspected of betrayal, or punishing planets which could not fufill their Imperial Tithes. At one point the spirits inhabiting Hatred of Krastellan went mad. It declared itself the true High Mornach of Krastellan and then began its long descent into Chaos.
- Litany of Destruction - Once a pious if somewhat unhinged Freeblade called The Living Litany, by unknown means the Knight turned to Chaos and became the Dreadblade Litany of Destruction, fighting alongside the Traitor Legions.
There was originally two known types of Chaos Knights, however in 2019 the Questoris Traitoris received some love from GW and got some new entirely unique Chaos Knight variants. They differ from the Imperial Knights in that they are allowed to get daemonic marks from the four Chaos Gods. If they choose Khorne they get the Daemon and Hatred (Daemons of Slaanesh) special rules. In addition, the Knight may re-roll the dice to determine the number of Stomps it makes as part of a Stomp attack, and it also gains +D3 attacks on any turn in which it successfully charges an enemy unit instead of +1 attack. A Daemon Knight of Khorne counts as a literal shredding machine of CQC rape and tear. If it is Nurgle they get the Daemon, Hatred (Daemons of Tzeentch) and It Will Not Die special rules. In addition, it counts as being a Daemon aligned with Nurgle, turning this thing into a gigantic bullet sponge and creating a fine distraction. If they pick Tzeentch they get the Daemon and Hatred (Daemons of Nurgle) special rules. In addition, the Daemon Knight may re-roll all To Hit rolls of 1 and its heavy stubbers have the Soul Blaze special rule. This will then turn the Knight into a giant wall of guns and overwhelming firepower. Lastly if it choose Slaanesh they get the Daemon and Hatred (Daemons of Khorne) special rules. In addition, all models with a Leadership value in combat with this Daemon Knight at the start of the Fight sub-phase must pass a Leadership test with a -2 modifier or reduce their Initiative value to 1 for the duration of that Fight sub-phase. Or to put this shortly it makes your Knight so smexy and hawt that your enemies struggle to even gain a hit.
Chaos Knight War Dog
The chaos version of the Imperial Armiger Knights. Unlike the Armigers, the War Dogs are more like lone wolves, usually coming with one model rather than a pair of two. To compensate for the lower model count, the War Dogs could carry all of the weapons from both the Warglaive and Helverin Armigers, giving the War Dogs more choice, flexibility and adaptability than their loyalist counterparts. This of course, is only applicable to the Apocalypse rule set.
War Dogs are used much in the same way by Chaos Knights as the Imperial Warglaives and Helverins - they flush the enemy out of cover and lay down covering fire for their bigger cousins. While Armiger pilots receive orders from their lords (via the helm mechanicum) as powerful and basically irresistible suggestions that are infused with notions of heroism and nobility, War Dog pilots are given brutal orders using the same mental link. These pilots are treated like garbage and used as fodder and their superiors constantly remind them that they are weak and expandable. This makes War Dog pilots bitter and angry, always scheming behind the backs of their lords but never being able to do anything about it. In battle, their pent-up frustration is let loose and they revel in killing anything weaker than them - which means most infantry and tanks, as War Dogs tower over even the Dreadnoughts of the Space Marines.
Crunch-wise, they're fast but fragile (when compared to the larger Knights, anyway) units that can dish out some punishment. War Dogs with reaper chain cleavers and thermal spears benefit more from the Iconoclast ambition as it gives them extra attacks and makes them more of a threat to tarpits and horde units due to the Morale debuff. This is not to say Infernal War Dogs are bad per se - all of the Daemonic Surge effects are great for them. +2" Move and +1 to Advance and Charges allows them to get in melta range faster and get stuck in, while +1 Toughness makes them as tough as the bigger Despoilers. Finally making the Thermal Spear S9 AP-4 Damage D6+1 (2D6 pick the highest +1 in half range) is quite crazy as well - it's a friggin' melta lascannon at that point. Iconoclast War Dogs with autocannons will have a slightly easier time fighting off their assaulters, while one of the two Infernal autocannons can become a respectable S8 AP-1 D4 death machine when you need it to be. Don't forget to grab a Knight Desecrator if you want to make the most of these puppies!
Chaos Knight Paladin (7E)
Similar to their more loyal counterparts in terms of looks and armory, Chaos Paladins are the vanilla of Traitorous Knights and come automatically with a Knight chainsword, a two-shot battle cannon and an extra heavy stubber. Meant to be used at longer ranges, Chaos Paladins help cover firing support towards the traitor legions by specifically targeting infantry and light armor. Chaos Paladins are super-heavy walkers that have a special Ion Shield that gives them a 4+ invulnerable save. The Chaos Paladin can take an additional Dirge Caster and is allowed to take a daemonic mark from any of the four Chaos Gods.
For all intents and purposes, Chaos Paladins function almost entirely the same as their loyalist counterparts. Of course, they differ greatly from the aforementioned favors of the Chaos Gods. For the Paladin specifically, it is preferable if you have a daemonic pact with Tzeentch as it compliments the long range DAKKA of the Knight Paladin specifically. Having your autocannon be able to re-roll all hit rolls of 1 is a significant boon against light armor and turning your mediocre heavy stubber into the more useful soul blaze is quite nifty in scoring a few more kills. Of course, if you are more inclined to preserve your DISTRACTION CARNIFEX as much as possible, you could have a pact with Nurgle. If you want to always attack first and fuck with the enemy moral if they ambush you with CQC, choose Slaanesh. However, Khorne maybe the least effective of the Chaos Gods as his buffs clash with the more well-rounded and balanced playstyle of the Paladin; you use the Paladins' autocannon and heavy stubber to provide fire support, only going in close with your chainsword to protect more vulnerable units from ambushes.
Chaos Knight Errant (7E)
Another copy-pasta of the loyalist equivalents. Chaos Errants come with the standard issue Knight chainsword, a S9 Thermal Cannon with a large blast marker and an extra heavy stubber. They act as close combat dedicated tank destroyers as their heavier weaponry allows the Errant to breach enemy armor with relative ease. Chaos Errants like the Paladins are super-heavy walkers that have a special Ion Shield that gives them a 4+ invulnerable save. The Chaos Errants can take an additional Dirge Caster as well as take a daemonic mark from any of the four Chaos Gods.
For all intents and purposes, Chaos Errants function almost entirely the same as their loyalist counterparts. Of course, they differ greatly from the aforementioned favors of the Chaos Gods. For the Errant specifically, its more assault and close range/anti-tank nature means that it benefits more towards the pact of Khorne to deal with those pesky infantry. The ability to be able to re-roll the number of stomp attacks and the +D3 attacks on a successful charge (Which you will be using a lot off) would make this close range anti-tank walker SCARY. Of course, if you are more inclined to turn your DISTRACTION CARNIFEX into a giant Khornate Berserker that cannot die, you could have a pact with Nurgle. If you want to always attack first and fuck with the enemy moral if they ambush you when your busy dealing with tanks, choose Slaanesh. However, Tzeentch maybe the least effective of the Chaos Gods as his buffs to the heavy stubber is pointless and whilst his re-rolls of all hit rolls of 1 to the Thermal Cannon is nice and all, once that enemy tank is within range of your gigantic chainsword, the re-roll to hit rolls becomes almost window dressing.
Chaos Knight Rampager
The Chaos Knight Rampager is the eviler counterpart to the Knight Gallant (Seriously, that chainsword and power fist/claw is not that subtle). This is an entirely CQC orientated Chaos Knight, more so than the Chaos Knight Errant. The fact that its 'helmet' looks like those of an NFL Footballer may or may not be intentional (Seriously it looks more at home in Blood Bowl than it does 40k).
Knight Rampagers fluff wise, are -true to their name- basically Khorne Berserkers in Knight-form. Oh yes, Khornate players rejoice because this monster is going to tear several unfortunate vehicles a new asshole. In this regard, they act more like giant beasts or Daemon Engines rather than the actual 'Noble Demon' characterization of the Knight Desecrator; storming into battle howling rather than speaking in Middle English. They charge full tilt toward the foe with no thought for their own defense.
Due to their (lack of) character, these Knights are often dropped from a low-flying hauler directly into the fighting of a war zone. Other times they are teleported from within Adamantium cages aboard orbiting war ships, or even transported to the front lines chained into transporters that bind them like armored straight jackets until it is time for them to be unleashed. Sometimes the raving war engine has broken free of its restraints en route to the front, and wrought mayhem among its allies. As damaging and scary as a regular Khornate Berserker is, imagine one the size of a two-story building. Bricks will be shat.
Crunchwise, these are your classic brawlers, they are extremely damaging in close combat and, unlike the Desecrator which is a more balanced duelist, the Rampagers are just there to Leeroy Jenkins their way through the soft and juicy parts of any army play list and let it rip. Suffice to say, short of another CQC supheavy walker or a Primarch and some Assault Terminators, Rampagers are going to make for an excellent and pants-shitisfying DISTRACTION CARNIFEX.
Chaos Knight Desecrator
In contrast to the Rampager, Knights Desecrator possess potent mid- to close-range armaments that lend themselves toward duelling enemy war engines or monstrous beasts, or tearing down the foe's Fortifications. Armed with a laser destructor, it packs a considerable punch at considerable range. There was some confusion between the Desecrator and the Despoiler due to the fact that GW used the same knight image for both the Desecrator and Despoiler. Thankfully, the Codex: Chaos Knights dispelled this confusion and confirmed that, yes, they are indeed two different patterns.
In terms of the fluff, Desecrators are all cruel despots, well disposed to imposing their tyrannical will upon others and no different than a normal Chaos Lord for that matter. For all intents and purposes, these guys are the ones that treat their War Dog underlings like utter shit the same way a Chaos Lord view his Cultist underlings with the same affection as one views a Snotling. Essentially, they are Dicks. Contrast this to the Despoiler who couldn't give two flying fucks stepping on the little ones and go their own merry way unless someone challenges them for rightful heir in their households. They are also exceptionally trigger happy if you want to know.
On tabletop, these are one of your vanilla Chaos Knights. The longer ranged version of the Knight Errant - both loyalist and traitor - the Knight Desecrator is your short-to-long ranged anti-tank option despite what fluff dictates it being short-to-mid ranged. Trust us, laser destructors are anything but short ranged. As such, these Knights offer an excellent and extremely flexible unit for any Chaos army. The only thing it is vulnerable against is being tarpitted, but then again, that's where the Rampager comes in.
Chaos Knight Despoiler
Not to be confused with another Despoiler.
A unique variant, the Knight Despoiler is very adaptable ranged and/or close-combat anti-tank walker in contrast to the specialized CQC Knight Rampager. While it comes stock standard with close combat weapons such as the Reaper Chainsword and Thunderstrike Gauntlet, the Knight Despoiler can gain access to a wide and we mean WIDE range of anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons, from an Avenger Gatling Cannon, Rapid-fire Battle Cannon all the way to a Thermal Cannon. This makes the Knight Despoiler exceptionally customizable and adaptable superheavy weapons platform. In addition to gaining access to ALL the Questoris-class weapons of the different Imperial variants, Knights Despoilers can double up on the same gun too! Being free from the shackles of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Sacristan Orders allows Knights Despoiler to wreak havoc and GET SHIT DONE! In the fluff, the choice of weaponry reflects the noble pilots preferance and his condition too. Without the help of their sacristans, some nobles find that weapons more complex than rapid-fire battle cannons are almost impossible to maintain and so stick to to these. Other nobles just really like the sound of gatling good and strap two Avenger gatling cannons to their knight. Whatever the case, most of the knights in any Iconoclast or Infernal household will be Despoilers armed to the teeth and ready to leave a trail of destruction behind them.
Before the brand-spanking-new Chaos Knights codex, the most popular loadout was 2 Avenger gatling cannons with either an Ironstorm Missile Pod or Stormspear Rocket Pod. Due to some point changes, there's some competition for the Dakka knight of Doom now. Doubling up on guns is still a good idea, but the new, cheaper Thermal Cannons are a lot more enticing and double RFBCs are not bad by any means either (dat range doe). There's also something to be said about hybrid loadouts - Infernals for example can only boost one of their ranged weapons with Daemonic Power, so if you want 'supercharged' Avenger shots on the cheap, you could grab a melee weapon instead of a second gun and be slightly better against heavy tanks and the like.
Chaos Knight Tyrant
The more evil versions of the baby-Warlord Titans known as the Dominus Knights. The Chaos Knight Tyrants either bring the weapons of the Imperial Knight Castellan (volcano lance and plasma decimator) or those of the Valiant (thundercoil harpoon and conflagration cannon). Unlike the Knights Despoiler, you can't double up on the same weapon or mix the two loadouts. This is very fortunate or unfortunate, depending on which side of the Tyrant you are. Regardless of their arm weapons, they also carry at least one twin siegebreaker cannon and a pair of shieldbreaker missiles and have two twin meltaguns for point defense.
In the fluff, it is mentioned that most Tyrant pilots fuse bodily with their steeds to become the apex predators of the battlefield and often get drunk with delusions of grandeur due to being the biggest and baddest, kind of like a mecha Tim Curry all things considered. In many Infernal households, the souls of the pilots are consumed by their daemon-infested throne mechanicum, leaving their mutated body writhing on it. These bodies are cut open and carved by the Dark Mechanicum to allow a new pilot to take his or her place on the throne. They too will be consumed in time and the cycle begins anew. Grimdark.
Rules-wise, these guys are very similar to their Imperial counterparts at first glance. What really sets them apart are the Chaos Knight stratagems. Trail of Destruction will make a 'Castellan' less likely to damage itself and more likely to hit its mark, regardless of the enemies' To Hit modifiers. When it comes to ambitions, Infernal might be the way to go - higher Movement will help the 'Valiant' get in range quicker, T9 will make these guys straight up ridiculous and buffing their almost Titan-grade weaponry is just insane.
Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
For some reason, Slaanesh has a fetish for knights/titans of his/her/its own. You would think that these massive engines of destruction would be more suitable for Khorne or Nurgle right? Instead Slaanesh must glory hog all of these in order to compensate for his/her/its lack of Daemon Engines (or maybe since he/she/it is already the lady/lord of hentai, it may as well govern over all things weeaboo, including giant robots). Similar to the Slaanesh Subjugator, these daemonically altered knights look more like glorified flamingos than an actual threat. Than again Slaanesh strives for beauty and elegance rather than coolness and awesomeness so its all in character.
The Daemon Knights of Slaanesh are surrounded by a glittering wall of energy. This is a result of the Warp-interface which keeps the daemonic spirit within them in the material universe. This shifting, swirling aura is called the Glamour of Slaanesh and makes the Daemon Knights very hard to accurately target. In a nutshell, they are Slaaneshi/Chaos Holo-Fields, not surprising given what Slaanesh was born in.
There are three main types of Slaanesh Daemon Knights.
Each more pompous than the next. Well well well! Excuse me Princess! Who do you think I am? A Barbarian like Khorne? I am more cultured than that! >:(
Hell-Knights are one of the most specialized of the Slaaneshi knights and by far the least painful looking. Aside from Bolters, their main weapon is a Thermal Cannon which, albeit short-ranged, has enough power to pierce almost any armour plate with relative ease. Hell-Knights are often used to hunt down enemy Knights and even Titans, exploiting their speed to attack from the sides and overwhelm opponents. Moreover, they are excellent at infiltrating enemy positions, setting ambushes, and attacking support detachments and artillery. Their combat role is ironically similar to that of the Eldar's Revenant Titan, further mirroring the dark symbolism and relationship between Slaanesh and the Eldar.
In addition to this, they are perfectly suited to perform ambushes, and are often used in this respect. In packs, they can even destroy Imperator Titans, as was the case with the Praeco Deictus during the Battle of Kado. How a 100+foot tall Titan with weapons that can bathe entire armies in plasma can fall to these chicken walkers, no matter how daemonically possessed is a source of embarrassment to the Imperium.
Hell-Scourges are slightly larger than the Hell-Knights.
While they look similar to the Hell-Knights, Hell-Scourges wield a massive Castigator Cannons. Hell-Scourges possess a certain pack instinct and are in constant telepathic communication with each other. As such, they make exceptionally well-coordinated assaults, outflanking their enemies with ease. This telepathic contact seems to encompass all Hell-Scourges present on the battlefield, or perhaps even further.
The Castigator Cannons mind your, ain't related to the Castigator Bolt Cannon. If it was, than this Knight would have been ten times cooler, but alas it is some kind of Slaaneshi weapon with little to no information. Most likely that the Castigator Cannon could be similiar in affect to the Tormentor Cannons from the Slaaneshi Questor Scout Titan and Subjugator. But than again, how the hell does one kill a Titan with pain weapons?
Overall they function similar to that of Hell-Knights, requiring large numbers to overwhelm larger machines.
Hell-Striders are the smallest of the Slaaneshi knights.
They are also the most painful to the eyes and look completely stupid. Looking more akin to a walking
penisHOHOHO! But that is the entire point of my ingenious machines! Why else to design them in such a phallic appearance then to make my lovely Eldar wet themselves in delight!
Anyway being the smallest of the bunch, these vehicles are extremely mobile, able to flush enemy out of defenses with their powerful short-ranged weaponry. Like their older
brothers sisters, in sufficient numbers, Hell-Striders can even hunt enemy Titans, picking off their prey's shields with their Lascannons, before closing in for the kill with their melta-beams.....How the hell are they supposed to get near the Titan without getting blown up? You could see that pink from the cockpit 100 feet in the air. Seriously, you might as well give them a sign that say "shoot me". See, this is why you can't take out 1 incompetent empire, this shit, right here.
|Forces of the Emperor's Children|
|Leaders:||Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Sorcerer - Chaos Champion |
|Troops:||Noise Marine - Chaos Spawn - Possessed|
|Vehicles:||Chaos Land Raider - Helbrute - Chaos Predator - Chaos Rhino |
|Flyers:||Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Thunderhawk|
|Defiler - Chaos Dreadnought - Sonic Dreadnought |
Hell-Scourge - Hell-Knight - Hell-Strider Questor Scout Titan
Slaanesh Subjugator - Heldrake - Forgefiend - Maulerfiend
|Daemons:||Daemonette - Fiends of Slaanesh |
Steeds of Slaanesh - Seekers of Slaanesh
|Auxiliaries:||Cultists - Slaangors|
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|