Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Knights(8E)
Please note that this is the tactics for 8th edition Chaos Knights. Their current tactics can be found here.
- 1 Why Play Chaos Knights
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Keywords
- 4 Warlord Traits
- 5 Stratagems
- 6 Wargear
- 6.1 Relics
- 6.2 Basics
- 6.3 Arm Weapons
- 6.4 Carapace Weapons
- 7 Unit Analysis
- 8 Building your Army
- 9 Tactics
Why Play Chaos Knights
- You like Imperial Knights, but not the Corpse-Emperor they serve.
- You'd like to run a Passable Superheavy-Unit only list for Chaos and don't want to go to Forgeworld.
- You find the prospect of two Avenger Gatling Cannons per knight very appealing.
- Whatever your reasons, you want big robots that punches people with giant fists, sweeps people to death with a chainsaw the size of a Mack-Truck , steps on lowly peasants with huge feet, or is bristling with large guns that delete your opponents units.
- Because your units look like the inside of an emo teenagers bedroom after they’ve heard that Marilyn Manson is in town
- You get to enjoy an enhanced version of the “holy shit it’s a knight! How am I supposed to stop that?!” Effect which is enjoyed by your loyalist counterparts. Do not underestimate this power.
- The most awesome and metal units in existence that isn’t a custodian, a Noise Marine or a Goff Rocka.
- Until the new knights came out you didn’t realise you wanted reverse jointed knee knights. But now they exist you would happily give up your firstborn for one.
- Everything that hurts loyalist knights also hurts you. Concentrated fire, heavy weapons, swarms (although plus 1 attack and ap on the charge helps), high invulnerability save models and specialised melee troops (TH/SS).
- Far less variety in your traits, being stuck with “traditional” or “mechanicium” compared to the score or so of traits loyalists can take, limiting your armies potential loadout.
- Fewer ways of getting rerolls or buffs to your hit rolls compared to loyalists. Probably removed to represent the breakdown in discipline over straight forward brutality.
- Less variety in your allys due to the CHAOS keyword. You’ve got demons, chaos space marines or renegades and heretics, the latter of which is forge world property so their rules are somewhat lacking.
- Enjoy trying to paint your models without getting a spike up your nail. Even in plastic your army causes suffering to all.
- Rule of Three screws you over thanks to having only one datasheet for each knight class. However since melee knights can utilize two different datasheets there is still some room. This would require you to actually spend the points to run Rampagers though.
- Our fancy new Desecrator knight doesn't get the option to bring a carapace weapon unlike its imperial preceptor counterpart. One of the designers confirmed this was because the Desecrator is actually the chaos equivalent of the original knight paladin which also didn't come with a carapace weapon. Meaning future chaos knight kits most likely will have them as we get chaosy versions of the Warden/Crusader/Gallant etc.
- By and large, you're always looking at the same statline, including a 5++ invuln, and they all explode on a 6+, 2d6", 1d6 mortal wounds.
- They also all share some flavor of the Super-heavy Walker rule.
- A Chaos Knight can Fall Back in the Movement phase and still shoot and/or charge during its turn. When a Renegade Knight Falls Back, it can even move over enemy INFANTRY models, though at the end of its move it must be more than 1" from all enemy units. In addition, a Chaos Knight can move and fire Heavy weapons without suffering the penalty to its hit rolls. Finally, a Chaos Knight only gains a bonus to its save in cover if at least half of the model is obscured from the firer.
- Traitoris Lance: Slightly different than the loyalists, If your army is Battle-forged, select one model in each Questor Traitoris Super-heavy Detachment in your army. Each model you selected gains the Character keyword. In addition, you get no CP if your Detachment contains no Knights with the Titanic Keyword or 6 CP if you have at least three Knights with the Titanic keyword.
- Daemonic Ritual: That's right, fuckers. Now that they can pick up the Character keyword, your giant stompy robots can summon up their own escort! You know the drill: roll 3D6 and get that many Power Levels of tiny buddies, 1 MW on double, D3 on triple. Knights actually are very good for this, since their massive wound pool lets them soak any resultant damage; doubly so for Forge World Knights, who regenerate wounds. Best to use with a purely ranged Knight who was just camping an objective and not moving anyways. On a related note, you will never EVER attempt an Arch-Daemonic Ritual with a Knight, EVER. Although, if you're playing with enough points to include both a Knight and Aetaos'rau'keres, you're probably playing Apocalypse and the loss of a single Knight is tolerable (in the sense that the one rich guy's second Warlord Titan already smoked half your teams Knights, so what's one more).
The Chaos Knight answer to the Household Traditions. You only have two options, but they're so powerful that the lack of variety is insignificant.
- Iconoclast Household - Conquerors without Mercy: If a model with this rule charged, was charged, or made a Heroic Intervention, it gains 1 extra attack AND improves the AP of all its melee weapons by -1 (e.g. AP0 becomes AP-1). On top of that, enemy units within 12" of a unit with this rule lose one more model in failed Morale tests.
- Angry Marines on steroids, and effectively combines 3 separate faction traits into 1. Obviously set up to encourage you into melee, knights are already better in melee than shooting, so having 15 stomp hits at S8 AP-3 Dd3 on the charge will be very much appreciated. Throw on a bonus to morale casualties to make chaos iconoclasts straight up superior to loyalist ones.
- An addition point of AP also allows a chainsword to strip another knight or baneblade of all its armour, while the gauntlet will be walking around with ap-5 (scary against Land Raiders and Titans). That said, the biggest benefit is absolutely on the feet, although a sword-and-gauntlet Knight will have 18 buffed feet attacks.
- In fact, a conflagration cannon/thundercoil harpoon Tyrant gets some of the biggest benefits from this: generally, anything you shoot with the harpoon will be in range of the morale debuff, and not only is it usually feasible to get the cannon into debuff range, charging you is now an even worse idea, because on top of the cannon's obnoxiously good overwatch, you'll hit back like an even bigger truck.
- Another small point in this ambition's favor is that it gives Wardogs with Autocannons a slightly better chance of kicking their way out of melee should they get trapped. Since all models were FAQ'd to have a "Close Combat Weapon" (Strength: User/AP: 0/Damage: 1) this ambition applies here as well.
- Infernal Household - Daemonic Surge: Remember the Riptide and its Nova Reactor ability? This is basically the same thing but for all your Knights- take one mortal wound to gain one of 3 buffs based on a d3 roll, or take d3 mortal wounds to choose the specific buff you want. Fortunately, Infernal Households have access to a healing Stratagem to keep their wounds at an acceptable number. The buffs themselves are as follows:
- Daemonic Hunger: +2 to Movement and +1 to Advance and Charge rolls. Perfect for one of the forge world knights to give them guaranteed turn 1 charges.
- Daemonic Fortitude: +1T. Your go-to against S8 (PF/TH MEQ) or S9 weapons (lascannons), but against low strength weapons on an already toughness 8 unit you won’t notice anything.
- Daemonic Power: +1 to a chosen ranged weapon's S and D. Superb on most of your guns, but is best suited to high rate of fire weapons with a strength value just below a wounding threshold. Just remember if you're planning on using this with a dual gatling cannon despoiler, it will only buff ONE of the gatlings, not both of them.
Psychic Awakening: Engine War gives rules for specific Chaos Knight households in addition to the household ambitions found in the codex, each with their own Bond, Warlord trait, relic, and Stratagem. House Lucaris, Herpetrax, and Khymere must use the rules for Iconoclast households, while House Vextrix and Khomentis use the rules for Infernal households.
- House Herpetrax - Dauntless: Add 2 to the wound characteristic for Knights that aren't War Dogs, and 1 to the wound characteristic for War dogs.
- House Khomentis - Profane Symbiosis: 5++ for any wounds lost during the psychic phase. When a Knight has lost half its wounds, add 1 to its attack characteristic and add 1 to hit rolls for its melee weapons.
- House Khymere - Rampant Cruelty: Re-roll wound rolls of 1 for all melee weapons except titanic feet. War Dogs with Chain-Cleavers will like this since it has two profiles to deal with both vehicles/monsters and infantry.
- House Lucaris - Virtue Through Strength: Add 1 to hit rolls for melee weapons if a Knight has charged, was charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention.
- House Vextrix - Titankin: When a Knight shoots, fights, or fires Overwatch, you may re-roll a single hit and wound roll.
Custom Household Bonds
In addition to the Household bonds above, you can also choose to build your own custom household using the rules below. Unlike the set household Bonds above, a custom household can choose to be either an Iconoclast or Infernal household. You may select either 1 major bond or 2 minor bonds.
- Endless Torment: When a Knight fires in the shooting phase or Overwatch, you can re-roll a single dice when determining the number of shots.
- Enlightened Idolators: AP-1 attacks are treated as AP-0 against your Knights. You no longer need to make one of your Knights a Dreadblade for access to Galvanized Hull. Combine with Vow of Dominance and the Veil of Medrengard on an Iconoclast Knight Tyrant for maximum lulz.
- Gheists of Ruin: Your knights are treated as being in cover when shot at from more than 24" away.
- Hellforged Construction: Exactly the same as the household Bond for House Herpetrax, only now you can run them as either an Iconoclast or Infernal household at the cost of their other goodies.
- Heretical System-bond: Add 1 to all hit rolls for a Knight if it's under any negative hit roll modifiers. Suck it Alaitoc!
- Vengeful Outcasts: Re-roll wound rolls of 1 against Imperium units.
- Warp Vision: Enemy units ignore cover bonuses when shot at by your Knights.
- Abominable Constitution: Add 1" to a Knight's movement speed and always use the top bracket of the Knight's damage table when determining movement speed.
- Bold Tyrants: Add 1 to a ranged weapon's armor penetration if firing within 12" of an enemy unit.
- Dark Forging: Add 6" to a weapon's range if it has an unmodified range of 24+", otherwise add 2".
- Frenzied Attackers: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 with all melee weapons except for titanic feet gets an extra hit through.
- Harrying Packs: War Dogs may shoot with a -1 to hit penalty or charge the same turn they fell back.
- Hate-driven Charge: Add 1 to the AP of all melee weapons except for titanic feet when a Knight has charged, was charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention.
- Infamous Heredity: When a Knight shoots, fights, or fires Overwatch, you may re-roll a single hit roll. Half the Bond of House Vextrix.
- Loathing for the Masses: Add 1 to a Knight's attack characteristic when within 1" of an enemy unit with 11+ models.
- Pinpoint Cruelty: Like Infamous Heredity, only you instead get the option of re-rolling a single die when determining damage.
- Pride-fuelled Fury: When a Knight has lost half its wounds, add 1 to its attack characteristic and add 1 to hit rolls for its melee weapons. Half the Bond of House Khomentis.
- Rapid Offense: Ignore the penalty for advancing and firing with assault weapons.
- Slayer of Kings: Add 1 to hit rolls for melee weapons against Monster or Vehicle units.
- Unhallowed Inscriptions: 5++ during the enemy's psychic phase. The other half of House Khomentis's Bond.
Like the Freeblades, Dreadblades get a set of Pacts and Damnations that help or hinder them (respectively), and can either be selected or rolled for. Ordinarily, only one Dreadblade model in a detachment can have any Pacts/Damnations, but since you can have multiple Dreadblades in a detachment, and the Tyrannical Court strat permanently renders a chosen knight a character, and the Rune of Nak’T’Graa relic grants a Pact and a Damnation, it's possible to get 2 Pacted Dreadblades into the same detachment.
Like the Freeblades' Burdens, Damnations only take effect upon failing a Ld check at the start of each turn. Failure happens when a 2d6 roll meets or exceeds the Knight's Ld. Ordinarily, this means War Dogs fail 5/12 of the time, and everyone else fails 5/18 of the time - i.e. in a 6 turn game, even the latter Knights expect to fail roughly twice. There is a Pact that modifies this, as well as a Damnation, and you can take a relic for +1Ld.
Unlike Freeblades, Dreadblades still benefit from Household Ambitions, because the Dreadblade keyword is in addition to the <Questor Traitoris> Keyword, rather than in place of it, and having rogues among a faction of rogues is fun, and gives you a way to mitigate some of the variety gap in comparison to their Loyalist counterparts.
Choose any 1, or roll twice, with duplicates having no effect. This means even when you roll, 1/6 of the time you won't get a second Pact, so you should always choose. Most of the time, your best options are Knower of Profane Secrets, which amounts to gaining a CP in exchange for your Damnations, and Galvanized Hull, which makes you somewhat harder to kill.
- Path to Glory- Re-roll hits (yes, all of them!) against Character or Titanic targets.
- Useful when it comes up, but remember, you usually can't shoot characters, and very few targets will ever be Titanic.
- Pretty dang crazy on a Knight Tyrant armed with a volcano lance and plasma decimator. The lance will have re-roll everything against Titanic at that point and remember, it has 3D3 Damage... See that Baneblade? Now you don't.
- Thunderous Charge- After this unit finishes a charge move, roll 1d6 for each enemy unit within 1". On a 4+, the enemy unit takes 1d3 mortal wounds.
- Daemonic Vigor- roll 1d6 when this pact is chosen. On 1-3, add +2 to the unit's move. On 4-5, improve the Dreadblade's WS by 1. On a 6, improve its BS by 1.
- Even when you choose this Pact instead of rolling for it, you then have to roll for its effect, making it practically one of the worst ones, because you can't plan for what it will do. Plus, when rolling for pacts, rolling this one twice still does nothing, even if it would result in 2 distinct effects.
- It's an edge case, but this isn't such a bad idea on a Despoiler armed with a chainsword, gauntlet and a stormspear rocket or ironstorm missile pod. More movement just means earlier charges, WS1+ makes the gauntlet a no-brainer when faced with heavy tanks and BS2+ rockets aren't half bad either.
- Knower of Profane Secrets- +1 leadership; at the start of the first battle round, gain 1 command point if any models with this Pact are on the battlefield. One of the best options, both for the additional CP and the leadership bonus, which makes Damnations less likely to kick in.
- Because the CP gain does not stack, using this Pact on multiple Dreadblades is a bit wasteful - without the CP, all you're practically doing is giving your model a Damnation and then making it less likely.
- Damnations go off 15/36 (5/12, slightly less than half) of the time for Ld8 (War Dogs), 10/36 (5/18, slightly less than one third) for Ld9 (War Dogs with this Pact, all other Knights base), and 6/36 (1/6) of the time for Ld10 (non-War Dogs with this Pact). Plan accordingly.
- Galvanized Hull- Attacks that target this Knight which would normally be AP-1 are downgraded to AP0.
- Your only way to “improve” your armour save in the codex, but only against AP-1. Still, one of the better Pacts.
- Arch-fiend- The Dreadblade can perform heroic interventions when an enemy is within 6" and can move 6" when doing so.
- Combine with the Infernal Quest Warlord Trait to make a great objective camping Despoiler. You now have Objective Secured and count as 10 models for it and if anyone comes within 6" you get to jump into combat with them. Due to your base size, you can also stand on the objective in such a way that it's impossible to contest it without being in Heroic Intervention range.
Choose any 2, or roll once.
- Forsaken- While this Damnation applies, the Dreadblade cannot be the target of any stratagems used by the controlling player, including Command Point Re-roll. Furthermore, this Damnation makes the Damned Knight less likely to have its Damnations trigger, as it gets -1 to the roll, which is equivalent to +1 Ld for the roll.
- Damnations go off 15/36 (5/12, slightly less than half) of the time for Ld8, 10/36 (5/18, slightly less than one third) for Ld9, 6/36 (1/6) of the time for Ld10, and 3/36 (1/12) of the time for Ld11 - you can simulate Ld11 by combining this Damnation with the Knower of Profane Secrets Pact. 1/12 is low enough that fully half of your games will see your Damnations never go off.
- Warp Rage- While this Damnation applies, the Dreadblade cannot fall back and has a BS of 6+. A Rampager won't give a shit about this.
- Iconoclast Rampagers give a mild shit, as they can't fall back 1" and re-charge a unit for +1A if combat drags out more than one turn.
- Volatile Reactor- While this Damnation applies, roll a d6 at the end of any phase that the model lost a wound. On a 4+, the Dreadblade loses one additional wound.
- We talked a lot about letting your knights taking more wounds above... but come on, having your knight get bruised and scratched to get buffed or summon daemons is one thing, but letting your opponent do more damage to on purpose with no benefit is inexcusable. DO NOT TAKE THIS!
- Warp Fugue- While this Damnation applies, the Dreadblade always fights last regardless of if it charged or has any abilities/relics that make it fight first.
- Not a huge issue unless you're up against something that can actually hurt you (such as another knight) and you charged it - anything charging you would fight first anyway, and if you charged a tarpit on purpose, it'll just bounce off harmlessly most of the time. On a ranged Knight, you often have no reason to care about this at all.
- Single-minded Hatred While this Damnation applies, the Dreadblade can only shoot at the nearest visible enemy and charge the nearest visible enemy.
- Defiant Machine Spirit- While this Damnation applies, subtract 1 from charge and advance rolls and 1 from hit rolls.
- Combine this with the Helm of Warp-Sight on a ranged Knight and stop caring - you were never going to charge or advance anyway, and now you ignore hit roll penalties.
Give yourself, uh, POINTS if you guessed QUESTOR TRAITORIS and CHAOS faction keywords! Additionally, you get the VEHICLE and CHAOS KNIGHTS keywords, and all but the Armigers get TITANIC.
Forge World knights get some bonus keywords, starting with the DARK MECHANICUS faction keyword and RENEGADE KNIGHT [TYPE] keyword.
- NOTE because of the keywords given to the renegade knight and the wording on a warpsmiths master of mechanisms ability. You cannot heal your big evil robots with your small evil techpriest because the warpsmiths ability specifies LEGION vehicles, and renegade knights lack the legion keyword. However, Hellwrights have the ability to heal your index stomp-bots (but not your Codex Knights since they lack the Questor Traitoris keyword. Hopefully to-be-FAQ'd.)
The Chaos knight traits can be used regardless of being Iconoclast or Infernal. They do not get Traits dedicated to specific houses like the Imperials.
- Infernal Quest: Your unique trait functionally gives your Knight Objective Secured. Can be used on a shooty Knight like a Porphyrion or a Double Avenger to protect your backline objective from enterprising deep strikers, or on a fast, aggressive Knight like a Acheron to rip one away from your opponent after stomping the unit they had guarding it flat. As an added bonus, when contesting an objective against someone else with ObSec, the Knight counts as ten models instead of one.
- Harbinger of Scrapcode: At the end of the movement phase roll a D6 for each enemy vehicle within 6" on a 4+ that vehicle takes a mortal wound.
- Although a very fluffy trait it’s only of real use against vehicle spam armies or against very tough but low wound units. Unfortunately this doesn’t work against bikers.
- Knight Diabolus: Your Warlord has +1 attack. Simple, effective, but a little meh considering your other traits.
- Counter opinion: one of the better traits in the book. It's just +1 Attack, but that's actually +3 stomps in most cases. Iconoclasts love this trait and Infernals don't hate it either - you're most likely getting into combat at some point in the game either because you'll play aggressive or because the opponent is throwing a squad at you. Extra stomps will always be useful.
- Warp-Haunted Hull: This warlord can attempt to deny one psychic power in your opponents psychic phase in the same manner as a psyker. In addition if this warlord would lose a wound as a result of a mortal wound in the psychic phase, Roll a D6 on a 5+ the wound is not lost.
- When combined with the Tzeentchian Pyrothrone this trait allows you to Deny 2 Psychic Powers instead of 1. In addition, due to the wording of the ignore damage ability, if you happen to suffer Perils of the Warp you can shrug its Mortal Wounds on 5s and 6s. Neat!
- Eager for the Kill: Add 1 to this warlords advance and charge rolls and add 1 attack while they are wholly within your opponents deployment zone. Very similar to the Landstrider trait from the loyalist knights, but worse all around.
- Aura of Terror: When a charge roll is made for an enemy unit within 12" of this warlord subtract 1 from the result. In addition when an enemy unit within 12" makes a morale test your opponent rolls 2D6 and discards the lowest result.
- Combine this trait with some Night Lord Raptors and the Iconoclast Household Ambition for maximum leadership shenanigans.
- Since you may be bringing along a Disloyal 32, swap out a Renegade Commander for a Malefic Lord with Creeping Terror, and that's an additional -d3 to the leadership of the effected unit.
- House Herpetrax - Bound to None: If your Warlord didn't blow up when killed, roll a D6 at the end of the current phase. On a 4+, return the Warlord to life with D3 wounds and place it as close as possible to its previous position and more than an 1" away from enemy models.
- House Khomentis - Dread Hunter: Once per game, at the start of your shooting phase, you may add 1 damage and re-roll hit and wound rolls for 1 weapon the Warlord is equipped with.
- House Khymere - Maddened Cries: Enemy units within 12" of your Warlord must roll an extra die when making a morale test and discard the lowest result.
- House Lucaris - Strike First, Strike Often': Your Warlord always fights first even if they didn't charge. If an enemy unit has a similar ability, then alternate choosing units to fight with starting with the player who's turn is taking place.
- House Vextrix - Favour of the Dark Mechanicum: Regain 1 wound at the start of your movement phase.
The majority of your stratagems are carbon-copies of ones from the Imperial Knight Codex, with the occasional name change thrown in.
- Trail of Destruction (2 CP): Use during a Shooting or Fight phase or when firing Overwatch; until the end of phase, the chosen Knight rerolls ANY to hit rolls, failed or otherwise. This allows you to reroll a "successful" hit roll which would then fail due to a hit modifier. Absolute murder and fantastic for outright deleting the linchpins of your opponent's army.
- Titanic Duel (1 CP): Use during the fight phase. Select one Chaos Knight Unit within 1" of an enemy Titanic Unit. Each player secretly chooses 1, 2 or 3. If the numbers match, nothing happens. If they don't, you add the number you choose to your Chaos Knight's attacks, but they can only target the enemy titanic.
- Rotate Ion Shields (1 CP/ 3 CP): Same as your loyalist counterparts and just as solid: Grants +1 to your Invuln save (to a maximum of 4++ as of the Spring 2019 FAQ) until the end of phase. 3 CP for Tyrants, 1 CP for the rest.
- Ion Aegis (2 CP): At the start of your opponent's movement phase, choose a Knight Tyrant in your army. It can't move until the end of your next turn, but until then all friendly CHAOS units wholly within 6" of that Knight get a 5++.
- Like its Loyalist counterpart, this works best with a Knight set up for ranged combat.
- Obliterators, daemon-engines, and chaos daemons gain no benefit from this stratagem, so stick close to heavier armor that lacks an invul save, such as predators, havocs, or helbrutes.
- Death Grip (1 CP): Same as the loyalist version. Models with Gauntlet-type weapons only. Make an extra attack on a single-model enemy within 1" and if it hits, you deal D3 mortal wounds instead of normal damage, then the two roll-off their Strength. If the enemy rolls equal, higher, or if they roll a 6, it breaks lose, otherwise you deal another D3 mortal wounds, then you roll-off again repeating the same steps.
- Remember that the wording is "an enemy unit [...] that consists of a single model", so you can’t use the mortal wounds to squish blobs of infantry. Instead, use this to bypass HQs with high invulns like Shield Captains or Archons, who will struggle to escape your Str8 (you use your model's strength for the roll, not your weapon's). While tempting, vehicles like S8 Land Raiders and even S7 Rhinos actually have an easier time to escape your death grip.
- Corrupted Heirlooms (1 CP/3 CP): Not quite the same Extra Relics Stratagem everyone else gets, for you see while it does allow one or two Despoilers, Tyrant, or Abhorrent class Knights to gain Relics, they also gain the Character Keyword so they can take those Relics, meaning you don't have to spend CP on the Tyrannical Court Stratagem to do so. Speaking of, mixing this with the Tyranical Court Stratagem is the fastest way to burn though all your CP before the game begins, so it's not recommended, even if you have a wide variety of good Relics available. Pick whichever one suits you better.
- Doubling down with both Corrupted Heirlooms and Tyrannical Court might not be a bad idea in a mostly Tyrant-class knight army. There are only a few stratagems which can be used by these big boys, so if you're bringing 3 (you monster) you might as well give them all warlord traits and relics.
- Tyrannical Court (1CP/3CP): After choosing your Warlord, spend 1 CP to turn another Despoiler, Tyrant, or Abhorrent class knight from your detachment into a Character, or spend 3 to turn two of them. Does not work on Cerastus, Acastus or Armiger class. Knight Characters may pick a warlord trait (For the purposes of traits that specify a warlord the Knight using it is considered the warlord).
- Probably one of the best stratagems simply because a) the Warlord Traits in the codex are absolutely fantastic, b) allows your Knights to perform Heroic Intervention, which is fantastic for melee-Knights, and c) allows you to get WTs for your Knights even if your Warlord is from a different faction. If you want to give them Relics however, you must also buy the Heirlooms of the Household Stratagem, which is the only real downside of this superb Stratagem.
- Thunderstomp (1 CP): After fighting with a Titanic Chaos Knight, choose an Infantry or Swarm unit within 1"; it takes d3 mortal wounds on a 4+...which means an average of ONE mortal wound. MEH. Paying CP to kill a single guardsman, are we?
- Don't use this against Guardsman. Use it to deal the final few points of damage to Slamguinius that charged you! While this stratagem isn't the best, you have to remember that anything other than a war dog class can use it to finish off characters, so don't discount it!
- Skyreaper Protocols (1 CP): In the shooting phase, choose a War Dog that is about to attack a unit with FLY. Its Autocannons re-roll failed hits against that unit.
- Spiteful Demise (2 CP): Spend 2 CP to make your Knight go ka-boom on a 4+. Knight Tyrant can have the range of their explosion extended to 3D6 if they can make a second 4+ roll. Fun times abound.
- Daemonic Guidance System (3 CP): When selecting a target for a shieldbreaker missile in the shooting phase, the missile can ignore lines of sight and snipe characters. And let's remember they effectively ignore both invuln and armour saves.
- Chainsweep (1 CP): Use this stratagem immediately after fighting with a Chaos Knights model from your army that is equipped with a Reaper Chainsword or the Teeth that Hunger. Roll a D6 for each enemy model within 3" of that model; on a 6 that enemy model's unit suffers a mortal wound. Remember it's available to a Knight that HAS a chainsword, not one that fought with it. You can stomp, then Chainsweep.
- Full Tilt (2 CP): Used in the Charge Phase. Pick a Knight that has advanced this turn; it can charge normally despite having Advanced. Good for melee focused War Dogs, Rampagers, and Despoilers. Push for melee! Being a Superheavy Walker means you're not locked in melee with the enemy - THEY'RE LOCKED IN THERE WITH YOU!.
- Devastating Reach (1 CP): In the charge phase, pick a Titanic Chaos Knight that has not yet charged, then pick an enemy unit entirely within ruins or a Sector Mechanicus structure (which must not have any models on the ground floor). That Knight can charge the enemy unit, and if its charge brings it within 2" horizontally and 6" vertically of the unit, the charge succeeds and the Knight can attack it in the fight phase (but not with Titanic Feet).
- Without this stratagem your melee Chaos Knights effectively becomes a big computer game boss after a player who’s just out of reach, combine with deaths grip to crush that character who thought that they had the higher ground.
- Pack Dogs (1 CP): After a War Dog charges, all other War Dogs can re-roll charges if they are within 12" of the first one.
Iconoclast Household Exclusive
- Break the Enemy Line (2 CP): Pick an enemy unit within 1" of an Iconoclast Household Knight that charged this turn. You can reroll all failed hit rolls against that unit. Unlike Trail of Destruction, this affects the enemy unit instead of the attacking knight. Works great when a pair of War Dogs dogpile the same target.
- Vow of Carnage (1 CP): One of three mutually exclusive vows. Use before the battle begins and select one Chaos Knight. for every ten models they kill, their attack characteristics go up by one. And yes, Mumakil, tanks and other Knights still only count as one.Utterly bananas on a a twin avenger knight. vs chaff it could easily get +2 base attacks a turn.... and then it could charge for another +1...CARNAGE.
- Vow of Dominance (2 CP): One of three mutually exclusive vows. Use before the battle begins and select one Chaos Knight. Any unmodified wound rolls of 1, 2, or 3 fail to wound that model even if they would normally wound on a 2+. Utterly INSANE on a Tyrant.
- Vow of the Beastslayer (1 CP): One of three mutually exclusive vows. Use before the battle begins and select one Chaos Knight. Reroll wound rolls of 1 if targeting a unit with a model with 8+ wounds.
- House Herpetrax - Warping Aura (1 CP): Use at the end of your fight phase, and roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 1" of one of your Knights. On a 4+, that unit suffers a mortal wound.
- House Khymere - Fury of Sutr's Wake (2 CP): Select 1 Knight during your shooting phase, and roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 3" of that Knight. On a 4+, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
- House Lucaris - Trample Them (1 CP): Use after 1 of your Knights has moved over enemy units. Select 1 enemy unit that was trampled on and roll a D6. The unit suffers D3 mortal wounds on a 2-5 and 3 mortal wounds on a 6.
Infernal Household Exclusive
- Bind the Souls of the Defeated (2 CP): Use during the fight phase. select one Infernal Household model. Whenever that model destroys an enemy model, roll a d6. on a 4+, the Chaos Knight regains 1 wound. A maximum of 6 can be regained this way.
- Pact with the Dark Gods (3 CP): Use this when an Infernal Household model is destroyed but does not explode. Roll a d6 at the end of the phase. On a 4+, the model returns to life with d3 wounds. Place it as close as possible to its previous position, but more than 1" away from Can't be used to bring the same model back a second time.
- Because the model returns at the end of the phase, it can't be targeted a second time by whatever killed it.
- Don't forget you must return outside of 1". This means you will need to declare a charge if you want to pile back in, which may be risky if you only have 1 wound left.
- Obviously, you will get more mileage by using this on a Tyrant than a War Dog.
- Daemonic Ammunition (1 CP): Use before the battle begins. All Chaos Knights one Infernal Household Detachment have their Heavy Stubbers upgraded to Strength 5.
- Diabolic Rift (2 CP): Use during your opponents Psychic Phase. If a psyker attempts to manifest a power within 12" of ANY Chaos Knight, they will peril on any result of double (as for recent FAQ).
- This Stratagem right here completely hoses psychic heavy armies. Thousand Sons, Grey Knights, Craftworlds, and Tyranids players will hate you.
- Be careful as some armies have some sort of protection against perils, like craftworld's Farseers who can ignore mortal wounds from perils on a roll of a 2+ or Magnus the Red for example. Plus 12" isn't that much... Thousand Sons in particular laugh at the range of this. Take an Infernal Enrapturess and the Daemonic Possession Stratagem if you really want to punish psykers (or use a combination for best effect).
- House Khomentis - Encircling Hounds (1 CP): Deep strike a unit of War Dogs during your deployment 6" within a battlefield edge and at least 9" away from enemy models.
- House Vextrix - Interception Array (2 CP): At the start of your shooting phase, choose one of your Knight's. That Knight now ignores all hit roll and ballistic skill modifiers for the rest of the phase.
- Bound Varadian Psychogheist: When making an attack with a ranged weapon by the bearer of this relic, any unmodified wound rolls of 6 have their AP improved by 1 (AP0 becomes AP-1).
- Probably the weakest of all the relics, as it's unreliable and weak. Has a bigger impact the weaker the gun - if you wound on 2+, 1 in 5 of your inflicted wounds has better AP, while if you wound on 6+, all of your shots do, and if you can re-roll all failed wounds somehow, this becomes even more noticeable. Furthermore, when it does come up, the AP difference is more noticeable the worse the gun's beginning AP. This means that, as a general rule, this relic will modify your heavy stubbers, heavy flamers, and ironstorm missile pods the most, followed by avenger gatling cannons, and so on. If you were already planning on taking a heavy stubber+dual gatling cannon+ironstorm Despoiler, that would be the primary time to consider this relic; for example, when shooting a Land Raider with a heavy stubber (not that you should be shooting one with one if you have a choice), this makes every wound you inflict twice as likely (2/6 instead of 1/6) to make it past the target's save.
- Not counting using the Rune relic to take Daemonic Vigour and hoping for the 1/6 chance of improved BS, this is one of only two relics you can take that buffs your ranged output directly on a non-Desecrator, so if you're trying to kit out a dakka Knight for offense, and you're up against an army without access to -1 to hit debuffs, this is what you've got.
- Helm of Warp-Sight: Rampager, Desecrator, or Despoiler only. Ignore all hit roll modifiers when using ranged weapons.
- Situational, but against armies like the eldar, tyranids, and the like where -1 to hit (or worse) are common, this trait will earn dividends. RAW this also ignores any positive modifiers you could possibly get, including the +1 from your Icarus AA gun, so never combine the two.
- Khornate Target: Once per battle during the Fight phase, the user can sacrifice their invulnerable save for that phase to have all their melee attacks bypass enemy invulnerable saves.
- Risky, but devastating on a Knight Rampager. Since the invuln save you'd be sacrificing by using this is your Ion shield, which is only for ranged weapons anyway, getting stuck in on the turn the Target is used will offset the downside of triggering it.
- Putrid Carapace of Nurgle: Whenever the bearer makes a successful saving throw against a melee attack, roll a d6. On a 4+, the attacker takes a mortal wound after their attacks are resolved.
- The more attacks an enemy makes against you the more mortal wounds they take, although you will see diminishing returns the higher the AP is of the attacker.
- Quicksilver Throne of Slaanesh: +1 to advance and charge rolls of the bearer. In addition, the bearer always fights first in the Fight phase.
- The worst of the four “god” relics, but on one of the forge world knights which are naturally very quick it helps to guarantee a first turn charge.
- Rune of Nak'T'Graa: Dreadblade only. 5++ invulnerable save against ranged and melee attacks. In addition, the Dreadblade gains one additional pact and damnation of your choice.
- Note that this can be applied to a Dreadblade with neither a Pact nor a Damnation; aside from getting two Pacted Dreadblades into a detachment, this also means you can have 1 Dreadblade that is using its relic slot to remove 1 Damnation despite being allowed to choose Damnations.
- The Traitor's Mark: Enemies within 12" of the user take -1 to their Ld, which becomes -2 if they're within 6". Run alongside Night Lords and maybe a H&R Supreme Command detachment of Psykers to reduce your opponent's Custodes to sniveling cowards!
- Stacks with the iconoclast faction trait for an effective -3 to leadership within 6”.
- The Tyrant's Banner: Knight Rampagers, Knight Desecrators, and Knight Despoilers only. Adds +1 to the Ld of all Chaos units within 6", and as long as the user is on the field in a battle-forged detachment you get a bonus CP on a 5+.
- Notably, if you take the Knower of Profane Secrets Pact, the Forsaken Damnation, and this relic, your Damnations will only trigger on 12s normally - i.e. 1/36 of the time. That said, being Ld11 doesn't normally help you, since the only use you usually have for Ld aside from resisting Damnations is resisting certain specific Psycher powers.
- Tzeentchian Pyrothrone: Turns your Chaos Knight into a Psyker. The model knows Smite and can manifest and deny one psychic power. If the Knight has the Warp-haunted Hull Warlord Trait, they can attempt to deny two powers instead. Also, the Knight always explodes when it dies from Perils (with Tyrants treating it as if they had rolled one 6).
- Knights make excellent psykers: they’re tough, fast and have a lot of wounds, which is the complete opposite of a normal psyker's profile. While only one smite a turn isn’t a lot compared to other factions, it’s still up to 3.5 (typically about 1.8) mortal wounds a turn for a faction whose low numbers work against the amount of damage they might be able to do per turn.
- The Diamonas: Replaces a Laser Destructor, making it Desecrator only. 60" Heavy 3 S16 AP-4 D1d6. Any unmodified wound roll of 6 inflicts 1d3 mortal wounds in addition to any other damage. The change from Heavy 1d3 to Heavy 3 and the +2S make this much more efficient at taking out high priority targets over the Desecrator's base weapon.
- The Gauntlet of Ascension: Replaces a Thunderstrike Gauntlet. Sx2 AP-4 D6, can re-roll all hits and wounds. Gain +1A and +1S each time you kill a character model with this weapon.
- Note that this doesn't have the rules to to throw Vehicle or Monster units like the Thunderstrike Gauntlet does. It also has no to-hit penalty.
- The Teeth that Hunger: Replaces a Reaper Chainsword. S+8 AP-4 D6 (effectively turning it into a Thunderstrike Gauntlet without the hit penalty and throwing ability). +1 attack with this weapon, but it gets pissed if you don't kill any enemies with it. At the end of a fight phase where no enemies died specifically to this weapon, roll 1d6. On a 1, the bearer takes a mortal wound. Never take this; anything that could take this can take the Gauntlet instead, and the Gauntlet is a lot better, not least because you're not penalized for switching to your feet when you need to.
Iconoclast Household Exclusive
- Veil of Medrengard: 4++ Invulnerable Save against ranged weapons. Cannot be taken by Dreadblades.
- Does what is says on the tin, but unfortunately as you lack an ability which gives enemies a minus one to hit you, you can’t recreate the cheese that loyalist house raven can pull off.
- Combine this with Vow of Dominance on a Tyrant and you can laugh off pretty much all the melta and lascannon shots in the world.
- Does what is says on the tin, but unfortunately as you lack an ability which gives enemies a minus one to hit you, you can’t recreate the cheese that loyalist house raven can pull off.
- House Herpetrax - Crown of Jedathra: Subtract 1 from hit rolls when fighting against a Knight equipped with this relic.
- House Khymere - Annihilatum: A conflagration cannon that changes its type to assault and gains an extra point in damage.
- House Lucaris - Serpentstrike: Replaces both the twin meltaguns on a Knight Tyrant for 1 with the number of shots for 2 twin meltaguns and an extra point of strength.
Infernal Household Exclusive
- The Blasphemous Engine: Double the number of Wounds remaining when determining the model's damage chart. Cannot be taken by Dreadblades.
- Useful, but rather meh when you remember that the loyalists get this as a faction trait.
- Becomes a lot less meh when you remember Infernals can be T9 for the price of D3 Mortal Wounds every turn and can heal AND come back to life with their unique stratagems.
- Useful, but rather meh when you remember that the loyalists get this as a faction trait.
- House Khomentis - Daemonic Shrike: At the start of your shooting phase, choose 1 enemy unit within 18" of the Knight with this relic. All attacks by that Knight to the selected unit improve their AP by 1.
- House Vextrix - Heretek Power Core: Add 1" to the Knight's movement and add 1 damage to a Reaper Chainsword or Thunderstrike Gauntlet equipped by the Knight. When the Knight is destroyed, add 1 to any dice rolled to see if it explodes.
Everything in your army has an Ion Shield, and everything has at least one of the guns: everything that isn't a Tyrant comes with a heavy stubber, which War Dogs and Despoilers can replace with a meltagun, while Tyrants come with 4 compulsory meltaguns. Meanwhile, Despoilers can take up to 2 more heavy stubbers as part of their arm loadouts.
- Ion Shield
- Now just a 5++ all-round versus shooting.
- Heavy Stubber
- Pop-gun, now not even needed for setting up charges.
- A few more points isn't a big deal on such expensive models, and you can walk out of combat to fire it. Only Thermal Spear War Dogs will ever actually want to Advance and fire this thing, though, as everything else in your army that can take this will have Heavy guns on it that it cares about more, which it can't fire after Advancing.
- War Dog Autocannon - 60" Heavy 2D3 S7 AP-1 D3. Exactly the same profile as the Predator autocannon, which was already really good, except with two extra added benefits. First is a 12" increase in range, but the best part is these autocannons specifically ignore the hit roll penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons. This allows your war dogs, who come with two of these at a time, to skirt around the battlefield as a fantastic hit and run unit. Just be careful, as taking the twin autocannons means you have no chain-cleaver, and by proxy no defense against enemies that charge you rather than just running away. Fortunately, 14" movement means you will probably outrun anything that isn't jump infantry or a bike/skimmer.
- Thermal spear - 30" Assault D3 S8 AP-4 D1d6 melta (roll an additional die dropping the lowest for damage at half range or less). Basically just a longer ranged meltagun with more potential shots. Will absolutely annihilate vehicles, especially if combined with the meltagun you get if you replace the default heavy stubber. 30" range means you can get into half range with more safety against counter attacks. 14" movement makes getting in range a cakewalk and if any enemies do get close enough to counter attack you've at least got the chain-cleaver to clear out mobs of enemies.
- Conflagration Cannon - 18" Heavy 3D6 S7 AP-2 D2 auto hits. This is the second most powerful flamer-like weapon in 40k (just after the Warhound's Inferno gun), but it comes at a risk. Being 18" range on such a massive model makes it very vulnerable to being focused down by enemy guns. And having to take the harpoon with it means you're a lot more limited in long range fire. However if you're fighting a big horde army like orks or nids then it will single handedly scorch a swathe through their hordes. It also has the upside that being its a giant flamer, the auto hits means you don't have to worry about missing shots due to degrading ballistic skill.
- Becomes straight up ridiculous when combined with Daemonic Power on Infernal Chaos Knights. You're essentially throwing 3D6 thunder hammers up to 18" inches away. Have fun!
- Plasma Decimator - 48" Heavy 2D6 Plasma gun with all the same stats as a plasma gun and the same ability to overcharge for +1 strength and +1 damage at the risk of suffering a mortal wound if you roll a 1 to hit. Due to the sheer number of shots you can get with this thing you generally want to use the trail of destruction stratagem to get as many successful hits and as few rolled 1's as possible. Went up to 40 points in the 2019 Big FAQ.
- A decent combo for Infernals: take D3 Mortal Wounds, pick Daemonic Power, buff the Plasma Decimator, use Trail of Destruction and supercharge. You're now shooting 2D6 S9 AP-3 Damage 3 plasma shots. Who needs Cawl's Wrath, anyway?
- Thundercoil Harpoon - 12" Heavy 1 S16 AP-6 DAMAGE 10! The highest damage weapon in 40k (discounting the D12 power claw on the Warlord Titan), with the added benefits of re-rolling hits when targetting a vehicle or monster. In addition if it inflicts ANY damage the target also suffers D3 mortal wounds meaning it can dead upwards of 13 damage in one hit. Even if your opponent makes 9/10 fnp rolls you still deal the D3 mortal wounds as well. Any vehicle or monster with less wounds than a predator will most likely go from 100-0 in one shot, Daemon primarchs and enemy questoris/dominus knights will be severely wounded by it. With some lucky rolls, you can kill Granddaddy Smurf in a single shot. With Strength 16 and AP-6, 99% of the things the harpoon hits will wound on 2's and will not have an armour save meaning the only thing that can stop this weapon is a successful invuln save. If you want to ensure that doesn't happen, ally in a Thousand sons sorcerer with death hex to strip your targets invuln save ahead of time. The harpoon does have one major weakness however, that being its range. 12" range is extremely short for a knight weapon meaning you will have to get very close to use it and you will also most likely be in range of your enemies meltaguns, plasma guns or lascannons, and unlike the conflagration cannon, you don't have the safety net of auto hitting. You only get the re-roll hits against monsters and vehicles, and while your knight may be able to move 10" per turn, it may still take a while to get in range and give your prime target the business. However, be careful when going up against Mechrons, as their Quantum Shielding special rule means that, RAW, you cannot damage them at all with the Harpoon. Overall, the Thundercoil Harpoon is a "fun" option and is best suited for:
- Stuff with lots of wounds but no invulnerable saves, like Baneblades, Land Raiders, Tyranid monsters of all types, and Gorkanauts
- Dealing the final fuck you to said stuff when they are at 11 wounds or less (10D + d3 mortal wounds).
- Volcano Lance Basically a smaller Shadowsword Volcano Cannon, with slightly fewer shots, (SS has 3D3 Dominus gets D6) 40" shorter range, 2 less Strength and 3D3 wounds instead of 2D6 from its Shadowsword-mounted cousin. But a 80" Heavy d6 S14 AP-5 3d3 D gun that rerolls failed wounds against Titanic units is still nothing to sneeze at. It also doesn't get the Shadowswords +1 to hit Titanic which is a bit of a bummer. But the trail of destruction stratagem helps make sure that whatever you shoot at with this thing gets put down, PERMANENTLY. Also weirdly enough this is the only dominus arm weapon that actually costs points to bring. The Spring 2019 Big FAQ bumped it up to 70 points, this combined with the Plasma Decimator's price bump makes Knight Castellans 110 points more expensive now.
- Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon and Heavy Stubber - The battle cannon is no longer the reliable MEQ-slayer it once was, and this version is no different. 72" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D1d3. It does have massive range, tied with the ironstorm missiles for the longest range weapon available to the Despoiler class, and unlike Imperials, you can take two of them for good backfield sniping. Add a carapace gun for even more ranged blasting.
- The middle cost option, at 92 points for each package.
- Thermal Cannon - What melta guns dream of being when they grow up: 36" Heavy D6 S9 AP-4 D1d6 melta. Dirt cheap at 55 points, and doesn't bring a secondary weapon with itself like the battle and gatling cannons do; it really needs to be targeting multi-wound models to make it count. Mind, you can always double up on them because god-damn that's a lot of heat. 36" range means you'll be a lot safer if you walk into half range to get that extra damage roll. Will typically evaporate whatever you're aiming at.
- The cheapest option now by a pretty significant margin. Even ranged Chaos Knights like being up close with the Iconoclast Household Ambition, so double Thermal Cannons is a pretty tempting option.
- If you're not up close, the RFBC by itself does do more A*D (this does 12.25 against a target with 6 or more wounds per model; an RFBC does 14 on average against a target with 3 or more wounds per model), albeit at slightly worse S and AP. Up close, this scoots up to 15.65 A*D, on average.
- However, this weapon also has more variance than the others - your number of shots will vary more than the RFBC's do, and the Gatling Cannon doesn't vary at all; the same thing applies to the damage roll, although up close your variance is actually less than the RFBC's. Taking these means you need to rely on volume of fire to average out your rolls to the point where you can reasonably predict what they'll do - you should always take 2 of them if you're taking any, rather than 1 and something else.
- Avenger Gatling Cannon and Heavy Flamer - The best all-rounder, albeit the most expensive at 99 all told. Heavy 12 S6 AP-2 D2 is the absolute champ against all kinds of infantry, including TEQ (that 2 damage in particular will make Primaris marines and the like cry), although it has clearly been designed exclusively with GEQs in mind (S6 wounds them on 2s, and -2AP ensures they don't get a save). Tears up light vehicles and can do useful work against the heavy stuff - outshooting the RFBC even if it doesn't match the Inferno cannon. With a pair of these you will put out an outrageous 24 shots per turn - goddamn!
- Combined with Daemonic Power (Infernal Household Ambition) this is strong as fuck, but has competition now with the very efficient double Thermal Cannons.
- Laser Destructor- Newest weapon found on the Knight Desecrator, but at 60" S14 AP-4 and D1d6, plan on eating tanks alive with this new and improved loyalist killer! (except it only gets D3 shots so you're not gonna kill much with it) To top if off on a wound of 6+ it deals d3 Mortal wounds on top of everything else!
- ALWAYS take The Diamonas relic if you want to take this weapon. Even just the change from Heavy d3 to Heavy 3 is worth the command point(s), let alone bumping up your strength so you can wound other knights and Lemans Russ on a 2+.
Renegade Knights come with both the close combat weapons base, which you should probably upgrade as quickly as possible. These guys have lost the big "D", and in exchange do a flat 6 damage per hit. Great at wrecking vehicles and MCs, but they can be very binary - there's lots of things like dreadnoughts with >6 wounds that take two hits to kill and can leave a nasty mark if they get to hit back, so it's always advisable to try to soften these targets up a bit first. As noted below, you're better off kicking most infantry to death instead.
- Reaper Chain-Cleaver - A smaller reaper chainsword for the armiger, obviously weaker than its big brother, but it comes with two weapon profiles instead of one: an Sx2 AP-3 D3 Strike, or an SU AP-2 D1 Sweep that makes 2 hit rolls for each attack instead of one. Effectively giving you either 8 strength 6 attacks, or 4 strength 12 attacks for either hordes of enemies or tougher vehicles. It's worth noting though that unlike the armiger's big brothers, they don't have titanic feet, meaning if you don't bring the thermal spear and chain-cleaver, you will be left without a way to defend yourself in melee.
the sweep attack benefits greatly from the infernal damage boost, going from 1 to 2 damage. the bonus strength is unlikely to matter though.
- Reaper Chainsword - S14/AP-3/D6. Best for light-medium vehicles and medium-sized gribblies. It's not bad against stuff like Landraiders, but the gauntlet edges it out.
- Thunderstrike Gauntlet - S16/AP-4/D6. Higher strength and AP in exchange for -1 to hit and a meager +5 points. (Of course, Wraithknights get the best of both worlds with Sx2 and no hit penalty, but it's not like I'm salty or anything.) This excels at pretty much the same things the Inferno cannon does; anything T7/3+ or better. Plus, you get the lulzy spectacle of chucking a dead razorback at his warlord for extra mortal wounds, keep in mind that if you do this you are required to tell your opponent that they've been thunderstruck. The choice between the two is pretty much a toss-up depending on your opponent - take the gauntlet vs. IG and the sword vs. Deldar, etc, but either one will do the job most of the time.
- Titanic Feet - Now we're talking. Triple attacks at S8/AP-2/DD3, this replaces Stomp and makes infantry cry. This beats the other (cooler) melee weapons against any 1- or 2-wound models, including terminators. It's also surprisingly decent at kicking Rhinos and the like to death, but falls off badly against anything T8 or with a 2+. This is also the only melee weapon that Dominus knights have access to.
- Twin Siegebreaker Cannons: 48", Heavy 2d3, S7 AP-1 DD3. Pretty much a bigger autocannon and works just as well as one.
- Shieldbreaker Missiles: 48" S10 AP-4 D1d6. Each missile can be fired only once per game and you can't fire more than one in a turn, like the Hunter-Killer Missile; they come in pairs. Unlike its little brother, it also bypasses invulnerable saves, which means it works wonders against big multi-wound targets with high invulnerable saves.
- Try not to overload on these things. Their one shot per turn / one use per battle coupled with your mediocre BS makes them unreliable at best. You can't take any number of them aside from 2 or 4 on the models that can have them, but don't take more than 4 army wide, even if you've paid for two of the carriers.
- These missiles also help to somewhat mitigate how powerful invulns can be on some units. Yeah, odds are that volcano lance will fuck up a Leviathan Dreadnought, but if he gets lucky with his saves, at least you have these bad boys hanging around.
- Ironstorm Missile Pod - Eh, it's cheap. That's about it. Shoots D6 S5/AP-1/D2 at the same range as an RFBC but doesn't require line of sight to hit. It's okay for taking out something not within the firing line but doesn't do much else. Except that one of the hottest trends in the meta are hidden biovores, hive guard, or heavy weapons mortar squads that we can now take out without having to go searching under rock like we're looking for ants.
- Stormspear Rocket Pod - It's expensive, but it's effectively three krak missiles, and most armies pay more than 15 points a pop for a missile launcher on a platform that's not remotely as survivable. This is better than the other carapace weapons against any target barring a few weird edge cases (Inceptors). Use it to soften up light vehicles, pick off lone Crisis suits, or even kill a MEQ or two.
- Twin Icarus Autocannons - Lots of surprising things have <FLY>, right? Tau suits, jetbikes & skimmers, jump infantry... This is true, but is not enough to stop the Icarus being aggressively mediocre; FAQ'd to Heavy 4, marginally more expensive than the Ironstorm Missile Pod. Against T7 and below it outperforms the Ironstorm Missile Pod assuming you can see your target, and besides, you can still take two of the other guns. Autocannons might actually have a use on Renegade Knights!
- This may have some value on a Knight equipped with the Helm of Warp-Sight, as it would allow you to fire the Icarus Autocannons at native BS regardless of target. Sure, you lose the bonus against Fly, but you'll lose the penalty against everything else!
Obviously, all of these are Lords of War.
The Chaos equivalent of the Preceptor, the Desecrator shares the Rampager's lack of upgrade options - it's only slightly more versatile in that you can choose either melee weapon for it to pair with its gun - but at least it has a new weapon option in its laser destructor, which gives up the las-impulsor's versatility in exchange for greater effectiveness against vehicles and monsters. Allows nearby War Dogs to re-roll hit rolls of 1. In true GW fashion however unlike its loyalist counterpart, the Desecrator for whatever stupid reason cannot take a carapace weapon. Presumably because they didn't put one in the box.
Unlike the loyalist Knights, there are no pre-set patterns: you pay for the chassis with 2 melee weapons by default and can swap either of them for the weapon(s) you want, with the sole exception that you can't take 2 of the same melee weapon (not that you'd ever want to do this). 24 wounds and a 5++ invuln against shooting, so it isn't leaving the tabletop any time soon, but a fully kitted-out (with huge gun and carapace weapon) one costs even more than a (cheap) Lord of Skulls and doesn't regenerate. It's at its best against an opponent that has lots of tanks or other huge things needing a lot of killing.
Because you have more flexibility in choosing weapon arms, a properly kitted out ranged Knight should always outperform an Imperial one, sans buffs, because unlike them, you can double up on the same gun arm - for example, you can take the incredible double avenger combo, which they can't. The stock melee loadout they can take, so no advantage, there, and by and large, any combination of melee and gun or two different guns, they can field - Chaos' big advantage here is only when doubling up on the same gun.
They are also powerful, if costly, DISTRACTION CARNIFEXES that can keep most enemy anti-tank fire off of your other units. Like rhinos. Rhinos filled with berserkers.
There's an argument for every kind of weapon, but the absolute best is a pair of Avenger Gatling Cannons as stated above. It'll chip wounds off other knights and vehicles and it'll absolutely destroy horde units, too.
- With the Codex, a Knight Despoiler kitted out like a Knight Gallant now gets the buffs the loyalist Gallant got in their Codex (i.e. an extra attack and WS 2+), although they cost more points before weapons than other Despoiler loadouts.
At first glance, it looks identical to the base Knight Despoiler or Gallant, but without the option to take a carapace weapon. However, its special rule, frenzied rampage, makes up for this. For 15 points, any unmodified to hit rolls of 6 with its reaper chainsword or thunderstrike gauntlet cause 2 hits instead of 1. Would probably be broken if it affected its titanic feet. The FAQ clarified that the exploding dice mechanic also works on the relic melee weapons, making Rampagers ideal for carrying the Gauntlet of Ascension or the Teeth that Hunger.
Can be taken in either the Castellan or the Valiant configuration, and can do everything the loyalist Dominus Knights can do. Sadly, you can't mix and match their weaponry, so no Lance and Harpoon combo to delete titans outright for you! If you only bring a Knight Tyrant set up like a Castellan it'll work nicely thanks to Trail of Destruction. You have a significantly lower chance of suffering Mortal Wounds from supercharging and the Volcano Lance will be even deadlier thanks to the re-rolls. If you're running a proper Lance or a whole army of Chaos Knights, the Valiant setup is better, as it isn't as reliant on To Hit rolls as the 'Castellan'. If you can afford the points, rock the max number of Siegebreaker Cannons - Shieldbreakers are nice, but using them to snipe characters costs valuable CP.
Iconoclast: Vow of Dominance (can only be wounded on 4+) and the Veil of Medrengard (4++ against shooting) make this a superb choice, especially because Rotate Ion Shields costs 3 CP for the Tyrant. The Iconoclast ambition also makes the unit slightly better in close combat, although with the amount of guns a Tyrant has, you stand a chance of making its points back even if you only shoot and never charge.
Infernal: If you're rocking the conflagration cannon and thundercoil harpoon, any Daemonic Surge effect will be beneficial. For the 'Chaostellan', Daemonic Hunger isn't that great due to the increased range of the weapons, but extra movement could always come in handy for reaching objectives. In addition, having 28 Wounds also means you can more comfortably sacrifice D3 to choose your result. Infernals also get access to Pact with the Dark Gods, which allows you to potentially bring your giant knight back to life at the end of the phase it was killed.
The mini-Knights can still be taken in groups of three, but only the Renegades can mix and match the two different War Dog types in the same unit (for example, two Helverins plus a Warglaive). Keep in mind they don't have the Super-Heavy Walker rule the other Knights have, so unlike its big brothers, if a War Dog falls back, it can't shoot anything - something to keep in mind if going the autocannon route. On the issue of the meltagun or the stubber: if the War Dog takes the thermal spear and reaper chain cleaver the meltagun will serve you far better. It's Assault, firstly, you'll be in or near melee range most of the time with it, and D3+1 Melta shots sounds a lot more reliable than just D3. If you are going for the Autocannons, stick with the Heavy Stubber. The melta is more expensive and you'll almost never be within range to use it, unlike the Stubber, which is dirt cheap and has a respectable 36" range.
- Note that since you only have 1 datasheet, you're limited to 3 units total of these, unlike loyalists, who can take 3 of each loadout (and for everybody, each unit can have up to 3 members).
All in all, the Forgeworld renegade knights are effectively the gimmick knights - they don't have the raw firepower you can otherwise take on your regular knights (ignoring the Porphyrion) or they cost considerably more plus have some bonus rules. Whether or not you need that in your army is up to you; your mileage may vary.
Previously, Forgeworld Renegades had access to certain rules that distinguished them from other Knights. As of the July 2019 update, Games Workshop has released new data sheets that removed said abilities. (possibly to compensate for them gaining benefits from Traitor Ambitions. or they could have just forgotten. Who knows.) For the purpose of posterity, they are mentioned below.
- Outdated: The following rules no longer exist as of the July 2019 update
- Forgeworld Renegades have an upgraded Titan rule, adding this: A Renegade Knight <name> can shoot if there are enemy models within 1" of it, as long as all of the enemy models have the INFANTRY keyword. In this case, it can shoot the enemy unit that is within 1" of it or any other visible enemy unit that is within range and more than 1" away from any friendly models.
- They also gain Infernal Autosimulacra:
- At the beginning of each of your turns, roll 1d6; on a 5+, heal 1 wound.
- Cerastus-based models have the Flank Speed rule, giving them a 2D6" advance,
All Cerastus-based Knights share a base speed of 14 inches and 27 wounds. Otherwise, they are identical to your Despoilers. They can only get access to relics and traits by being the actual warlord of your army. Paired with Infernal and the Full Tilt stratagem, that's M16, Advance 1d6+1, Charge 2d6+1 - on average, you can get into melee with something 30 inches away (easily inside enemy deployment turn 1)! This goes up with the Eager for the Kill Warlord Trait (+2", effectively), the Quicksilver Throne of Slaanesh relic (another +2"), and half the time, the Daemonic Vigour Dreadblade Pact will add another +2 - note that most of these (the Pact is the only exception) are only able to add +2" due to adding 1 to Advance and Charge, which Full Tilt then lets you apply both of.
- Renegade Knight Acheron
- the Acheron has the misfortune of costing almost the same as a double Rapid Fire Battle cannon Despoiler, but with far less ranged firepower.
- The flame cannon and heavy bolter is hilarious if used against infantry. The chainfist costs 5 points more than a Thunderstrike Gauntlet, but lacks the -1 to hit and the ability to throw enemies. Otherwise, its the same weapon.
- Renegade Knight Lancer
- The shock lance is marginally better than a reaper chainsword in close combat (provided you charged this turn) while its shock blast is quite mediocre. Getting a 4++ against close combat attacks is pretty slick [also-1 to be hit by titanic units], though.
- The Lancer is a dedicated anti-knight melee unit that excels when it can go toe-to-toe with other titanics. If you are using it for its shooting, you are doing something wrong.
- Renegade Knight Castigator
- The castigator is a more balanced version of the Lancer that can excel in both shooting and melee. all for only ten points more. As with the rest of the Cerastus line, it has seen a major revision to its data sheet.
- The Castigator Bolt Cannon is now an Avenger Gattling Cannon with four more shots at half the overall price. If you could take two, it would probably be too good.
- The tempest warblade is now a Reaper Chainsword that only deals 3 damage. What's the upside? It makes two hit rolls for each attack instead of one. Pretty much the ideal middle ground between the reaper and titanic feet.
- Renegade Knight Atropos
- The most expensive of the Cerastus line (for 50 points more, you can grab a harpoon tyrant), this titan-killer knight gets a bonus +1 to-hit against anything with the TITANIC keyword, which is useful because that lascutter gets to re-roll failed wounds against monsters and vehicles.
- Don't think it's helpless against everything else though - it has a graviton singularity cannon (which has gone through a somewhat major revision.) It now has two profiles, both with 36" range. In Contained mode, you get Heavy 4, Strength 8, ap -3, 3 damage. If you are feeling lucky, you can use singularity mode. Heavy d6+4, strength 14, ap -4, 3 damage. The downside? when you select this profile to shoot, roll a d6. On a 1-3, the Atropos takes d3 mortal wounds.
These are the fluffy choice for a Dark Mechanicus army... if only there were any rules for a Dark Mechanicus army. Or you could just run them as Infernal Houses. Both of these can bypass cover for all non-vehicles. Extremely gimmicky, their value is hotly debated.
- Renegade Knight Magaera
- The Lightning Cannon is an odd weapon. Heavy 6, Str 7, Ap -2, 3 damage. Any to hit rolls of 6 cause 2 additional hits. It sits in a weird place half-way between an avenger gatling cannon and a rapid fire battle cannon. It has fewer shots than the avenger, but its higher strength and damage makes it more efficient against light vehicles. Its weaker than the Rapid fire battle cannon, but has on average the same, if not higher number of shots and better damage.
- You can upgrade its reaper chainsword to a Hekaton Siege Claw with a built-in twin Rad Cleanser. The Claw has the same -1 penalty as the thunderstrike gauntlet, but trades the ability to do bonus mortal wounds for +2 damage against vehicles. In addition, the twin rad cleanser a 2d6, 9" flamer that always wounds on a 3+ when shot but in spite of its D3, it has 0 AP and that's fucking weak.
- Finally, it has an Phased plasma fusil (24", Rapid fire 2, Strength 7, ap -3, 2 damage).
- While the Magaera has a number of interesting weapon options, it pays out the nose for it. If you don't take the claw, you are clocking in at nearly the same price as an atropos or a Double Battle Cannon Despoiler.
- Fun fact: For some idiotic reason, the Magaera costs 40 points more than the Styrix even though they have functionally the same model before taking weapons into account.
- Renegade Knight Styrix
- Instead of a lightning cannon and ectoplasma fusil, this one has a Graviton Crusher and a Volkite Chierovile (formerly called a Hellburner Chierovile)
- The Volkite Chierovile is basically a RFBC with one better AP, 5 shots instead of 2d6, shorter range, and d6 damage instead of d3. Wound rolls of 6 cause a mortal wound in addition to any other damage. It does alright against vehicles but double thermal cannon Despoiler is just flat out better for alot less.
- Then there's the crusher which dishes out D3 hits at S6 AP-3 and 2 damage, increasing to 3 damage if the target's armour save is 3+ or better. It's okay, but it can't save a model that is about 100 points too expensive.
Renegade Knight Porphyrion
The shootiest, tankiest of the Renegade Knights (Reduced BS 2+ to 3+, T 9 to 8, and Armor save from 2+ to 3+ with no point decrease with the new "SUPER FORGEWORLD KNIGHTS UPDATE" has basically gimped an already overcosted model to the point of being a glorified target vs taking 2 rapid fire battle cannon despoilers for an average of 24 strength 8 ap -2 damage d3 shots, 2 targets, and 18 more total wounds). Has the most wounds, a higher toughness and some goddamn big guns! Said guns are S12 AP-3 D6 spitting out 2D3 shots per gun - you're looking at an average of 6 shots at a starting BS of 2+ (3+ BS now with the "GREAT" Forgeworld Knights update), which is awesome. Also comes with two autocannons and ironstorm missile pod, which can be upgraded into two lascannons and Helios defence missiles respectively. FYI, you should definitely do this; 2 lascannon shots at BS2+ (3+ BS, YAY) is too slick to ignore and the Helios missiles are a pair of Krak missile shots that are at +1 to hit anything with FLY and -1 to hit everything else. You're basically hitting at the same or similar BS (Guardsmen BS) to hit most things and your hits and damage are nearly identical to that of the rocket pod on regular knights.
War Dog Moirax
A new War Dog variant that was released the same week that forge world unveiled the Chaos Knight FAQ and updated rules for taking Forge World Knights in a Chaos Army. Coincidence? Craven marketing ploy? You decide. Cheaper than a regular War Dog by 17 points, they come with 6 different weapon options (though half haven't been released yet). However, the real surprise comes in their ability to mix and match weapons just like a Despoiler.
- Moirax Siege Claw with built in Rad Cleanser: A weaker version of the Hekaton Siege Claw; Strength x2, AP -3, 1d6 damage. -1 to hit and +2 damage against vehicles and Titanic units. The Rad cleanser is a 9", assault d6 flamer that always wounds on a 2+ (strength 2 against Vehicles and Titanic units) but no AP and strangely enough, a flat 3 damage. The claw is truly a bizarre weapon. Its bonuses work best in melee against a vehicle, but to get use of of the rad cleanser, you want to be close to infantry. Furthermore, you don't gain any benefit for taking two melee weapons, so you are stuck at only 4 attacks if you double up. The only real reason to consider taking this is for the double rad cleansers and the price. Since the claw costs nothing, this is the cheapest option to fill out your list.
- Volkite veuglaire: Your other starting weapon and only the second currently available. 36", Heavy 5, strength 6, ap -1, and 2 damage with 6s to wound causing an additional mortal wound. The Volkite is a solid middle of the road weapon. Its strong enough to wound bikes, custodes, and death guard on 3s, and the 2 wounds will make each failed save hurt. Sadly, the lack of AP holds this weapon back. Doubling up on the Volkite makes it costs exactly the same as a war dog with autocannons.
- Lightning lock: The third option available and the only one you can currently buy in doubles. 36", Heavy 6, Strength 6, ap -2, 1 damage with 6s to hit causing 2 additional hits. The Lightning Lock costs the same number of points the volkite does and trades 1 damage and the chance of mortal wounds for an extra point of ap, an additional shot, and the option to explode for more hits. Thats an amazing deal (?).
- Graviton pulsar: 24", Heavy d6, Strength 6, AP -3, 2 damage. The damage increases to 4 when resolving an attack against a target with a 3+ save (or better). The Graviton Pulsar costs the same as the lightning lock, making it one of the cheaper ranged options. It's an excellent MEQ killer, but the short range and random number of shots are its biggest weakness.
- Moirax conversion beam cannon: Tied with the Volkite at most expensive ranged option and unquestionably the highest damage potential. Comes with 3 profiles based on the target's range. All shots are Heavy d3. 0-18" is strength 6, ap 0, 2 damage. 18"-36" is strength 8, ap -1, 3 damage. 36"-54" is strength 10, ap -2, 4 damage.
Building your Army
Consider selling some organs and blood or volunteering for experimental drug testing (seriously, you get paid >$2000 for lying in bed all day and answering some questions. Also, it hardly ever goes wrong. Hardly ever - edit: no for real though the pay comes at the end and it usually between a couple weeks and a couple months. Also the pay isnt that good typically). It pays better than drug dealing and you're going to need the money more than your kidney(s). Although Knight armies are not exactly cheap, you can now get your foot in the door with just one or two knights and some armigers (this is made even easier by the Renegade box set), but to expand from that you're going to be spending the same amount of points and dollars on single models that other armies spend on entire detachments. NOTE: the Imperial Knights: Renegade box set has TWO Knights ($140 each), and a $75 piece of terrain for $190. If you look on ebay and whatnot you can get it as cheap as $160.
The Unworthy 32
Take an allied Renegades and Heretics Battalion Detachment. 2 Renegade Commanders and 3 Renegade Militia Squads. Gives 5 CP for the low price of 170pts leaving you plenty of space to fit in 3-4 Despoiler / Rampager Knights of various configurations into your list. Alternative is to do a 3 Knight Gatling-Build with Stormspears (for +3cp) and a couple of War-Dogs for melee protection or more shots from Autocannons, although at that point you're an utter THAT GUY for doing so. Also, 3 Knights lets you play with the Imperial Guard vehicles a little like a Leman Russ, or Valkyries or Earthshakers. For the meantime, Renegades and Heretics may actually pop their heads up in the meta.
Cry Havoc and let loose the Dogs of Chaos
Knight Armigers for the loyalist knights are surprisingly versatile and resilient units, able to fulfil the role of infantry/monster melee hunters or bullet hoses as needed. However, some of their main weaknesses were low attack counts, an inability to retreat from combat and continue fighting, and poor ap on their sweeping chainswords. Aka, they suffer against hordes. The iconoclast trait solves (most) of these. Grab yourself 3 warglaive war dogs and a knight desecrator (with the traitors mark and aura of terror) and give them the iconoclast trait. This gives your warglaives a choice of 5 S12 ap-4 D3 attacks or 10 S6 ap-2 D1 attacks on the charge, and as long they’re within 6” from the preceptor (cough) desecrator they re-roll 1's to hit and the infantry blobs which before would have been a major hurdle now suffer -2 to their morale tests and roll 2D6 and discard the lowest dice on morale tests, plus an additional model will always run away on a failed test.
This gives you 6.48 dead GEQ’s or 4.32 dead MEQ’s on the charge per armiger, and with the -2 to morale, one extra fleeing model and an average of 4 when they roll the dice for their leadership test means that any infantry unit which is not custodes and is charged by your robotic Death Star, will be running away. Very quickly. For your non-horde issues you still have your D3+1 melta shots, plus the long range firepower the desecrator can bring.
The Lord of Terror
As per standard for a Chaos army, the Codex has given us a heaping pile of Leadership shredding debuffs. Unlike most armies, however, you can cram all of yours onto a single nightmare model. Take a Renegade Knight Atrapos as your Warlord, give it Iconoclast Ambition, the Aura of Terror Warlord trait and the Traitor's Mark relic. Combined with your huge base, your knight inflicts an enormous bubble of -2 Leadership, -3 if they get close enough, that forces units to roll twice and take the highest on Morale tests and follows up with an additional fleeing model on failed tests. Combine as you will with Night Lords and various other Leadership debuffs.
Need for Speed
If you want your melee Knight to engage in combat as soon as possible, consider the Eager for the Kill warlord trait (+1 to Advance and Charge rolls) and the Quicksilver Throne of Slaanesh relic (+1 to Advance and Charge rolls), then remember to use the Full Tilt stratagem for 2 CP (charge after advancing). Not fast enough for you? For the price of D3 mortal wounds per battle round you can select Daemonic Hunger from the Infernal Household Ambition for +2" of Movement and another +1 bonus to Advance and Charge rolls. Then, there's the Daemonic Vigour Dreadblade Pact that adds further +2" of Movement on a D6 roll of 1-3. This way you can get up to +4" of Movement, +3 to Advance and Charge rolls, and then charge after advancing, in case you really want that first-turn charge to happen, potentially even on an apocalypse size board with a forge world knight.
Iconoclasts: Specializing pre-battle
This is advice for a competitive setting. Iconoclasts have access to 3 mutually-exclusive stratagems in the form of vows. All of these are really good, but what makes them truly great is the fact use them before the battle. This allows you to specialize against your opponent. There are a few really good Knight builds that go together very well with certain vows. Double Avenger Gatling Cannons are superb with the Vow of Carnage as you can get more attacks before you crash into the enemy. This vow also makes this Knight a late-game terror, forcing your opponent to focus on it. Double Rapid-fire Battle Cannons may not seem so strong but their S8 is useful against all targets and when combined with Vow of the Beastslayer you become more reliable against enemy vehicles and super-heavies. If you're trying to save points, a double Thermal Cannon Knight is even more terrifying with Vow of the Beastslayer. Lastly, Vow of Dominance is great when you're facing massed heavy firepower and/or other super-heavies. It's especially valuable on Tyrants due to their points costs, so if you're bringing one of these consider Dominance.
A few builds that include vows versus popular builds:
-If fighting 2+ Aeldari flyers: double Avenger Gatling Cannon Despoiler with Helm of Warp-sight relic, Vow of the Beastslayer. Ignoring the -1/2 To Hit is huge and you will get a lot of mileage from re-rolling 1's too.
-If fighting hordes with lots of support characters (GSC, Astra Militarum): reaper chainsword + thunderstrike gauntlet Despoiler/Knight Rampager with the Gauntlet of Ascension relic, Eager for the Kill warlord trait and Vow of Carnage. You'll be getting extra attacks both from stomping hordes and killing characters. More often than not you'll have to kill screens before you can start pulping their support characters - Carnage will make you a lot more likely to paste any support a huge horde might have once you've dealt with them.
-If fighting hordes and you have the double Avenger Despoiler: just take Vow of Carnage. As stated above, you'll get more and more attacks as the game goes on. Don't be afraid to split your fire, but pop Trail of Destruction if you do whenever you can.
-If fighting parking lots (SM Razorback spam): ideally take a double Thermal Despoiler with Vow of the Beastslayer. This is super cheap, but relatively bad vs. anything else. A more take-all-comers build is a Double RFBC with Beastslayer. If you only brought double Avengers (can't blame ya, they're good) Beastslayer will help too, but it won't be as good as the previous 2 builds.
-If fighting hordes of daemons: double Avenger Despoiler with the Khornate Target and Vow of Carnage. Vow of Carnage will raise your number of attacks and when you charge in, pop the Target to paste them daemons like you're supposed to. This is also rather useful against units who rely on invulns and hide behind screens of troops.
It's important to notice that by taking each double ranged weapon once, you will have access to most of the above builds by spending CP on relics and vows. Use this to your advantage and specialize against your opponent. Close combat Knights are great too, but depending on terrain, you might not reach combat at all. Bring guns to ensure you get to deal damage.
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