Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Chaos Knights (9E)
- 1 Why Play Chaos Knights
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Household Ambitions and Bonds
- 4 Keywords
- 5 Warlord Traits
- 6 Stratagems
- 7 Secondaries
- 8 Warpstorm Discipline
- 9 Wargear
- 10 Unit Analysis
- 11 Building your Army
- 12 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.
- Dread gives you the means to work with morale without having to navigate any of the fuckery that many factions get to pass them. The damage you can cause is even more palpable.
- Everything that hurts loyalist knights also hurts you. Concentrated fire, heavy weapons, swarms (although plus 1 attack and ap on the charge helps), high invulnerable save models and specialised melee troops (TH/SS).
- Less variety in your allies due to the CHAOS keyword. You’ve got demons, chaos space marines or renegades and heretics, the latter of which is absolutely unusable due to being Forge World and Legends.
- 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. Armigers might be in packs of three, but not anything bigger.
- None of your
QuestorisAbhorrent knights get carapace weapons besides the Despoiler. Nope, not even your fancy new psychic Abominant.
- New terrain rules really hurt us a lot. Infinitely tall ruins that can block you from hitting enemy heavy weapons squad still allow this same squad to shoot at you, and even simply imposing hit penalty for being in cover can hurt Knights as they still lack re-rolls, save for a 2cp stratagem. As usual, we don't get to benefit from terrain at all. Still, you can at least reliably hit 2nd floor now.
- Holding objectives is incredibly difficult when you're just 1 model (but a huge one at that) against Objective Secured Troops. You can give one of your knights the Infernal Quest warlord trait to offset this, but if it gets destroyed, you're back to square one.
- Dedicating to the dark gods isn't very easy anymore, now requiring either a stratagem or buying Favours to get the marks.
- Dread is...not easy to memorize and the options you have available will require you to understand what you're up against to make the most of it.
- By and large, you're always looking at the same statline, including a 5++ invuln against shooting, and they all explode on a 6+, 2d6", 1d6 mortal wounds.
- Your War Dog-Class units count as having Objective Secured.
- 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.
- Fallen Hero: If you add in a super-heavy auxiliart detachment with a lone Dreadblade in it, you give it the Agent of Chaos ability, letting it join any other Chaos army without throwing off any mono-faction abilities like the Death Guard's Contagions or Thousand Sons' Cabbalistic Rituals. Likely to be what you pick up if you need a Knight for support.
- Traitoris Lance: Slightly different from the loyalists, if your army is Battle-forged, select one model in that Traitor Knights Super-heavy Detachment in your army. The model you selected gains the Character keyword. If the detachment has 1-2 Abhorrent-Class knights or 3-5 War Dog-class knights, you refund 3 CP. Having 3+ Abhorrent-Class knights or 6+ War Dog-class knights in your detachment refunds you 6 CP.
- 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).
- Towering Foe: For the purposes of counting models on objectives, your war dogs count as five and everyone else counts as ten.
- We now have the toughest "troops" in the game. Suck it, bitches!
Harbingers of Dread
The big mono-faction rule, giving you a turn-based set of rules based on things like the Space Marine Doctrines. Of course, it's all hinged upon a new rule called Dread, a special morale check for enemies that rolls 2d6 under the unit's Ld. Your units all gain a Dread range that starts at 12" and isn't changed by anything else that'd affect auras (similar to DG contagions). That may not sound too big an AOE, but you're Knights - with your large base you can cover large swathes of the board.
You get to pick from one of three different lists each turn, but the first and last turns always come from the Doom list and every turn's bonus stacks on top of those from the previous turns.
|1||Dread Host||Enemies within Dread range suffer -1 Ld and -1 to Combat Attrition rolls. This is automatically picked for you; you don't get a choice.|
|2||Encroaching Doom||Dread range increases to 15", offering a bit of reach in forcing those unfavorable Dread tests.||Creeping Decay||Enemies within Dread range suffer -3" to any of their auras and any command abilities like Chapter Masters. Against aura-dependent armies like Nids and Guard, this is a lot more devastating because it forces them to be closer together.||Gheist Storm||Enemies within Dread Range must take a Dread test whenever they charge or shoot. If they fail, they can't shoot any knights unless they're the closest target and all charge rolls are halved, which is a very direct way of crippling the foe. Won't mean much for melta, however.|
|3||Mortal Terror||Any time an enemy fails a morale test, an additional model flees before rolling for Combat Attrition. If the Morale roll was twice the highest Leadership of the unit, then they lose an additional d3 models.||Empyric Fugue||Enemies within Dread range must take Dread tests whenever they want to perform special actions, both when they start the action and during the Morale phase. Likely not to be picked unless you know that the enemy's gonna try those sorts of objectives.||Pall of Darkness||Enemies shooting from over 12" away must take -1 to hit.|
|4||Wailing Gheists||Your Dread aura now deals -2 to Leadership.||Paralyzing Insanity||Enemies within Dread range lose ObSec. Ohhhh boy, this is evil. Especially if you picked up Encroaching Doom so your War Dogs can rob objectives.||Veil of Shadows||Enemies take -1 to hit in melee.|
|5||Horror of the Warp||Enemies within Dread range now suffer -2 to Combat Attrition rolls and nat 1s force two models to flee. This is automatically picked for you; you don't get a choice.|
Household Ambitions and Bonds
The Chaos Knight answer to the Household Traditions. You have two keywords to keep an eye on for this: <Questor Traitoris> and <Dread Household>. The former is what separates the Iconoclast and Infernal households (providing you the Ambitions) while the latter differentiates your separate houses and bonds. Dreadblade knights naturally lack a Traitor Ambition and can pick any bonds they see fit, but still must pick between Iconoclast or Infernal.
- Iconoclast Household - Conquerors without Mercy: If a model with this rule charged, was charged, or made a Heroic Intervention, it gains +1A and -1AP in melee (e.g. AP0 becomes AP-1). This no longer confers any morale penalties, though Dread lets you handle that anyhow.
- Angry Marines on steroids, and effectively combines 2 separate faction traits into 1. Obviously set up to encourage you into melee, knights are already better in melee than shooting, so having 15 chain sweeps hits at S8 AP-3 D2 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 gauntlet to strip another knight or baneblade of all its armour, while the chainsword will be walking around with ap-5 (scary against Land Raiders and Titans). The biggest benefit is absolutely against marines with their new Armor of Contempt, forcing them down to an invul or death.
- 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.
In the grim darkness of the far future, The Serpent Strikes In the Warmasters' name!
Thematically, House Lucaris's members are masters of the blitz and bearers of ancient grudges. From the storm-blasted lightning-scape of Morda Prime these tenacious engines of butchery prosecute a vicious campaign of vengeance against the Imperium; upholding the oath of enmity they swore In Horus' name after his defeat at the hands of the hated Corpse-Emperor.
On the tabletop, Their lightning warfare is represented by giving them the Hateful Assault equivalent and a 'fights first' warlord trait and a Strat to deliver mortal wounds on those puny units you've bowled over. A good choice for a melee focused army as it rewards you for maneuvering into combat and punishes those brave (or foolish) enough to charge you.
- Household Bond - Virtue Through Strength: Add 1 to hit rolls for melee weapons if a Knight has charged, was charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention.
- Warlord Trait - Strike First, Strike Often: Your Warlord always fights first. If an enemy unit has a similar ability, then alternate choosing units to fight with starting with the player whose turn is taking place.
- Relic - Serpentstrike: Replaces both of the twin meltaguns on a Knight Tyrant for 1 with the number of shots for 2 twin meltaguns (so you don't lose any shots, you only lose the ability to theoretically shoot two different units with them) and an extra point of strength.
- Stratagem - 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.
In the grim darkness of the far future, there are places even the Emperor could never claim
Thematically, House Herpetrax had never claimed fealty to the Imperium. Their world was discovered well after the Great Crusade and the house had spent the long night rejecting the claims of many a false "Emperor of Mankind". They were far more comfortable with the rituals of the dark gods than they would ever have been with the Imperial Faith.
On the tabletop, the knights of Herpetrax are determined warriors, fighting to their very last and bringing down whoever stands in their way.
- Household Bond - Dauntless: +2W for War Dogs, +4W for Titanics.
- Warlord Trait - Bound to None: Your warlord ignores ALL penalties it suffers outside of damage tracks, which is insane. On top of that, they can ignore any penalties to hit, wound, damage, advance and charge rolls, making it literally immune to all of the debuffs inflicted on it. The only way to stop your warlord is to kill it.
- Relic - Crown of Jedathra: Abhorrent-Class only. Subtract 1 from hit rolls when fighting against a Knight equipped with this relic.
- Stratagem - Warping Presence (1 CP): Use at the end of your fight phase, and roll 1d6 for each enemy unit within 6" of one of your Knights. On a 2+, that unit suffers a mortal wound while a 6+ deals d3 MWs. A sizeable upgrade from the last edition that makes it more reliable as an off-turn bomb.
In the grim darkness of the far future, time travel is WIERD.
Thematically, House Khymere was a loyal House that learned they had been declared Heretics after reports of Chaos Knights bearing their livery had been reported all over the Great Rift. Unwilling to fight against the Imperium, and seeking to clear their name, the entire House flew into the Warpiest parts of the Great Rift, was driven batshit insane, and came out BEFORE they left, thus creating the reports that originally led to their fall in the first place.
On the tabletop, the knights of Khymere are better suited against mobs. They get clear advantages on crushing the weak and preferring mobs over big things like monsters.
- Household Bonds - Rampant Cruelty: +1 to wound any units below half-strength.
- Warlord Trait - Maddened Cries: Enemies within 9" must take a Dread taste, taking a mortal wound if they fail.
- Relic - Warpfire Shield: A more accessible relic, this grants a 5++ invuln against melee, with a saving throw of 6 dealing a mortal wound to the attacker.
- Stratagem - Fury of Sutr's Wake (1/2 CP): When one unit charges, roll 4d6 (6d6 if it's a Titanic model), dealing 1 mortal wound for each roll that exceeds the target's Toughness and 2 for a 6. Costs 2 CP for a Titanic model.
- 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. Either way, this happens during the Command phase. 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: +3 to Movement. Perfect for one of the forge world knights to give them guaranteed turn 1 charges.
- Daemonic Fortitude: This model cannot be wounded on any roll below a 4+. Your go-to against S8 (Melta/Plasma/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 wound roll. 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.
In the grim darkness of the far future, a cornered beast is the most dangerous one.
Thematically, these knights embody the various predatory animals of their homeworld. Fed up with the constant exploitation by the Imperium, the nobles of Khomentis decided to take ally with daemons, bonding with them.
On the tabletop, the knights of Khomentis focus the most on efficiency, ensuring the most out of the daemonic power gifted to them and making sure that every hit they make counts.
- Household Bond - Profane Symbiosis: Whenever you use Daemonic Surge, you can opt to either re-roll the boost you got (if you sacrificed 1 wound) or pick two different boosts (if you sacrificed d3 wounds). Both of these push the buck with how effective your surges are, even if you lack the ability to save against them.
- Warlord Trait - 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.
- Relic - Daemonic Shrike: Pterrorshade only. At the start of your shooting phase, choose 1 enemy unit within 18" of the Knight with this relic. All attacks made by that Knight against the selected unit during this turn improve their AP by 1.
- Stratagem - Encircling Hounds (1 CP): Deep strike a unit War Dog-Class unit from strategic reserves, counting the effective round as 1 higher for issues such as placement.
In the grim darkness of the far future, there are fates worse than death.
Thematically, these are the remnants of Kolossi, home of House Raven, after Be'lakor sunk it into the Warp. While those who defended their home fought to the last, they were ultimately beaten and forced into the Dark Master's servitude. Now they are forced to fight against the very people they once protected and fought alongside, helpless before their new lord.
On the tabletop, the knights of Korvax focus the most upon the Dread ability, ensuring that it reaches whatever you seek to take down. The Stratagem in particular lets you walk past any terrain and bring the dread faster.
- Household Bond - Forged in Terror: Once per battle, you can acfivate an extra Harbingers of Dread power, whether from the current turn or a previous one. While your Warlord lives, this lasts for the rest of the game on all your knights, even if you have any attached units from another faction like Dreadblades.
- Warlord Trait - Lord of Dread: +3" to all aura and Dreaded ranges.
- Relic - Rune of Darkness: One per turn upon failing a save, you can trigger this rune to nullify the incoming damage. However, you have to roll a 2d6 every time you use it, breaking the rune if the roll exceeds the bearer's Leadership stat.
- Stratagem - Knights of Shade (2 CP): Two War Dog-Class units or one Titanic unit can move through any intervening terrain as though it didn't exist.
In the grim darkness of the far future, some loyalties do remain.
Thematically, Vextrix is a House bonded to the Traitor Legio Mortis, in an alliance that predates the Horus Heresy. Having performed a mini-Istvaan of their own loyalists at Beta-Garmon (the Titandeath), they have been fighting Loyal Knights and Titans for a very long time.
On the tabletop, the knights of House Vextrix are focused upon effectiveness in combat. Though limited in value on certain guns, they work best when using high damage weapons that would see more use on large things like enemy knights and tanks.
- Household Bond - Titankin: When a Knight shoots, you may re-roll a single hit and wound roll.
- Warlord Trait - Favour of the Dark Mechanicum: Your warlord gains 1 wound (if a War Dog) or 2 wounds (for anything else). In addition, your warlord regains d3 wounds each Command phase.
- Relic - Heretek Power Core: Add 2" to the Knight's movement and add 1 damage to a melee equipped by the Knight unless using a sweep profile. Both of these are pretty much making you focus more on monsters and enemy knights rather than mere hordes of men.
- Stratagem - Interception Array (2 CP): At the start of your shooting phase, choose one of your Knights. That Knight now ignores all hit roll and ballistic skill modifiers for the rest of the phase.
Unlike the set household Bonds above, a custom household can choose to be either an Iconoclast or Infernal household by picking a bond from one of the following lists. These are even open to Dreadblades, whom normally cannot benefit from Traitoris Ambitions.
- Infamous Heredity: Unavailable to Dreadblades. Your copy-an-existing-subfaction bond, letting you pick that dread household's bond, WT, and strat. No relics though, so why pick this?
- Bold Tyrants: -1AP to ranged attacks within 18".
- Frenzied Invaders: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 with all melee weapons except for titanic feet get an extra hit. Considering how shit titanic feet are in this edition the caveat isn't really a bad thing.
- Learned Idolators: Treat any incoming AP-1 attacks as AP0, saving you a bit of a hassle against things like bolt rifles.
- Loping Predators: Your knights count as having remained stationary if they shoot after advancing.
- Pinpoint Cruelty: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 with shooting improves both AP and Damage of that attack by 1.
- Prideful Wrath: Count wounds as doubled for wound tracks, ensuring your added survival. Especially useful for your more fragile War Dogs.
- Worthy Offerings: +1 to hit enemy vehicles, monsters and characters. If a model with this bond has a Favour of the Dark Gods and kills one of the mentioned enemies, their offering will always be accepted, regardless of their tally.
- Bound Vassals: Unavailable to Dreadblades. Your copy-an-existing-subfaction bond, letting you pick that dread household's bond, WT and strat. No relics though, so why pick this?
- Biomechanical Fusion: Dreadblades gain the Infernal Household Ambition despite normally being unable to benefit from it, while those in a household gain a 4+++ FNP against any mortal wounds suffered as a result of their Daemonic Surge.
- Dark Forging: +4" to the range of ALL guns. In addition, any equipped stubbers gain +1 to strength and damage as well as the ability to ignore LoS so you can snipe out characters.
- Geists of Ruin: Your knights are treated as being in light cover when shot at from more than 18" away (the actual wording is the Knight has the benefits of cover on its saving throws).
- Hellforged Construction: When hit by a weapon with Strength 7 or lower, you degrade the strength of that attack by 1.
- Merciless Tormentors: Re-roll 1s to hit enemies within 18" for ranged attacks.
- Unhallowed Inscriptions: 5+++ against any mortal wounds that were not suffered as a result of Daemonic Surge. In addition, psykers gain +1 to their deny rolls. Great against psychic heavy armies.
- Warp Vision: Ignore all light cover when shooting.
CHAOS and CHAOS KNIGHTS faction keywords! While all models gain the VEHICLE and all but the War Dogs get TITANIC. On top of this, you also have the various classes of knights, all renamed between the WAR DOG-CLASS knights (Armigers), ABHORRENT-CLASS knights (Questoris knights), and TYRANT-CLASS knights (Dominus knights). The War Dog Brigand, Karnivore and Stalker as well as the Abominant all get the PTERRORSHADES keyword, which only works for certain stratagems and relics.
As mentioned above, you have two wildcard keywords for your knights: <QUESTOR TRAITORIS> (Which is replaced with either ICONOCLAST HOUSEHOLD or INFERNAL HOUSEHOLD depending on what bonds you pick) and <DREAD HOUSEHOLD> (The more typical subfaction for the various knightly houses, which can be replaced with Dreadblade). A Dreadblade in a Superheavy Support Detachment also gains the AGENT OF CHAOS keyword, which allows them to mingle with other factions without throwing off mono-faction rules.
Forge World knights get some bonus keywords, starting with the DARK MECHANICUS faction keyword and RENEGADE KNIGHT [TYPE] keyword.
- Because of the keywords given to your Chaos Knights and the wording on a warpsmith's master of mechanisms ability, you can't heal your big evil robots with your small evil techpriest because the warpsmith's ability specifies <LEGION> vehicles and renegade knights lack that keyword. However, Hellwrights have the ability to heal your FW stomp-bots (but not your Codex Knights, since they lack the Questor Traitoris keyword; hopefully to-be-FAQed).
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. If you select a War Dog as your Warlord, you can only pick the first three WTs.
- Eager for the Kill: Add 1 to the warlord's advance and charge rolls and add 1 attack while they are wholly within your opponent's deployment zone. Very similar to the Landstrider trait from the loyalist knights, but worse all around.
- Harbinger of Scrapcode: During the Morale phase an enemy vehicle within 18" must take a Dread check; failing they suffer 3 Mortal Wounds and forces them to count their current wounds as halved for the sake of any wound tracks (or just reduce their WS and BS by 1 if they lack wound tracks).
- Although a very fluffy trait it’s only of real use against vehicle spam armies. Unfortunately this doesn’t work against bikers.
- 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, they gain a 5+++ save against anything in the Psychic phase.
- When combined with the Tzeentchian Pyrothrone or a Knight Abhorrent 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!
- Knight Diabolus: Your Warlord has +1 attack and re-roll 1s to hit in melee. Simple and very effective. It's just +1 Attack, but that's actually +3 chainblade sweeps or +2 claw slaps 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.
- Infernal Quest: Your warlord gains 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.
- Aura of Terror: Whenever any enemies are within your Dread range and must take a Fear or Dread test, the enemy must roll an additional d6 and drop their lowest die.
- Break Their Lines! (1 CP): Pick an Iconoclast Household Knight that charged this turn. You gain +1 to hit rolls for that unit. This now affects the knight using it, making it a bit easier to stack on other buffs.
- Crushed Like Vermin (1 CP): Pick one Titanic knight during the fight phase. Whenever they use their stomps, they take a -1 to hit but deal 2 mortal wounds against monsters and vehicles, letting them more handily flatten tanks, bypassing things like invulnerables.
- Hungry for Combat (2 CP): Mark one enemy unit in the fight phase. Any War Dog-Class knights automatically wound this unit on a natural 6 to hit, letting you ignore high-toughness enemies. This is especially worth it on chaintalons, who stand to gain the most from this.
- Murderbliss (1 CP): A Slaanesh knight (Meaning that you need to buy a Favour or spend CP pre game for this to even be accessible) gains +1 attack if engaged with 6+ models or +2 attacks when engaged with 11+ models. Chainblade knights and Abominants revel in glee as they amp up their rip and tear power against mobs.
- Pack Hunters (1 CP): When an enemy is engaged with two or more War Dog-Class knights, those knights gain an extra attack, making them more prone to take down the enemy with their numbers.
- Skies of Fire (1 CP): A War Dog-Class knight gains +1 to hit enemy aircraft, allowing them to level their far more effective spears to send them crashing.
- Tormented Wrath (2 CP): The shooty version of Hungry for Combat. Mark one enemy during your shooting phase. Any War Dog-Class knights automatically wound this unit on a natural 6 to hit, letting you ignore high-toughness enemies.
- Trail of Destruction (1 CP): Use during a Shooting or Fight phase when near an objective; until the end of phase, the chosen Knight rerolls ANY to hit rolls, of 1.
- This got neutered hard. Now you can only re-roll 1s to hit and you're limited to triggering only when near objectives.
- Vengeful Outcasts (2 CP): One of your knights gain +1 to wound an enemy Imperial Knights model, giving you a potential edge over your goody-two-shoes counterparts.
- Unyielding Rage (1/2 CP): Allows a knight to take -1 damage from an attack, though this won't stack with any other damage-reduction tricks like the Hellforged Construction bond. Costs 1 CP for a War Dog-Class knight.
- This will definitely see use on higher-damage weapons that might potentially tip you over the threshold to a lower bracket.
- Abominable Constitution (1/2 CP): Lets you count a Nurgle knight count as having full wounds for the turn, making this ideal for a blaze of glory run. Costs 1 CP for a War Dog-Class knight.
- Beseech the Dark Gods (1/2 CP): Once per game when a Pantheon Undivided knight (meaning you need the favour) dies but doesn't explode, you can resurrect it on a 4+, restoring it to 3 wounds. Costs 1 CP for a War Dog-Class knight.
- Death Grip (1 CP): Same as the loyalist version. Models with warpstrike claw or slaughterclaw only. Before making any saves, you and your opponent need to roll 1d6 (with a +1 if your knight's strength is greater than the enemy's); if you win, the enemy can't make any invulnerable saves, but losing makes the attack deal zero damage. Sadly less effective on killing things unless they have some manner of invuln, and this certainly is wasted on infantry or anything with damage mitigation like dreadnoughts.
- Doom and Despair (2 CP): Once per game during turn 3/4/5 while your warlord is on the field, you can trigger this to let you activate a harbinger ability from any previous turns while the warlord is still alive. This can let you pick out some extra synergies from the harbinger rules, but it will require you to have a pure-knights army to work with.
- Spiteful Demise (1-3 CP): Spend CP to make your Knight go ka-boom on a 4+, with the cost increasing alongside the size of your knight. The Tyrant can have the range of their explosion extended to 3D6" if they can make a 4+ roll. Fun times abound.
- Titanic Duel (1 CP): Use during the fight phase. Select one Chaos Knight engaged with 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. Will likely see better use on fist-knights where they might need the extra swings to tear down a beefy enemy.
- Arch-Tyrant (1 CP): Your warlord gains a second WT, something that very few armies can brag about these days, let alone any that don't require a named character like Trajann Valoris.
- Chosen by the Dark Gods (1 CP): One knight without a Favour gains the mark of Chaos, though they gain nothing else. As with the favours, a Khorne Knight Abominant loses their casting but gains +1 to WS and attacks. This can be used more times on bigger games, same as WT and Relic strats.
- Corrupted Heirlooms (1 CP): While before, this allowed you to cheese out your knights, this now only gives you extra relics without the extra keywords. If you still plan on the Tyrant-spam with WTs and Relics, you're gonna need to go waste all your CP for it.
- Does not grant the character keyword.
- Tyrannical Court (1CP): The mandatory WT strat. Sadly, this doesn't let your allied Dreadblades gain a WT, which is a big loss.
- Probably one of the best stratagems simply because the Warlord Traits in the codex are absolutely fantastic and this allows your Knights to perform Heroic Intervention, which is fantastic for melee-Knights.
- Bind the Souls of the Slain (1/2 CP): Pick one Infernal Household model during the fight phase. Whenever that model destroys an enemy model, roll a d6; on a 4+, the Chaos Knight regains 1 wound, to a maximum of 6. Costs 1 CP for a War Dog-Class knight.
- If you're looking for a way for your knight to recover from a bad shot, this can let you feed them some infantry to heal them. That said, don't let this be the reason the enemy baits you.
- Hunting Hounds (1 CP): Pick up to two <Dread Household> War Dog-Class models during the movement phase. So long as they're over 6" away from any enemies and within 6" of a board edge, they can immediately jump back into reserves for you to redeploy on a future turn.
- A Long Leash (1 CP): Pick one <Dread Household> War Dog-Class knight and one <Dread Household> Rampager/Desecrator/Despoiler knight. The War Dog is now always considered to be inside the big knight's buff aura, which can help bolster a distant war dog trying to take down their prey.
- Unleash the Hounds (1 CP): Use after one <Dread Household> War Dog-Class knight finishes a charge. Any fellow War Dogs that charge this same enemy can re-roll their charge, making this very worth it to run down a target.
- Wrathsurge (1 CP): Whenever a psyker fails their psychic test within 18" of a Khorne knight (requiring the favour), they immediately suffers Perils.
- Diabolic Aegis (1/2 CP): Same as your loyalist counterparts and just as solid: Grants a straight 4++ invuln save until the end of phase. Costs 1 CP for a War Dog-Class knight.
- Infernal Aegis (2 CP): At the start of your opponent's movement phase, choose a Knight Tyrant in your army. Any <Dread Household> War Dog-Class knight within 6" of the Tyrant gain a 4++ invuln against any shooting.
- Sadly no longer buffs any allied units, but it does help boost your war dogs.
- Macabre Projectiles (1 CP): Models with a warpstrike claw only. Whenever they kill an enemy monster or vehicle, they can toss the remains to another enemy within 9". Roll a d6, subtracting 1 if you target an enemy character with 9 or fewer wounds; on a 3+ they deal d3 mortal wounds, maxing out to 3 MWs on a 6. Ideal for chucking at another monster or vehicle rather than at a squad, but it remains just as hilarious.
- Ravenous Pterrorshades (1 CP): One enemy within Dread range of a Pterrorshades model must take a Dread check during the Morale phase. If they fail, they take the difference between the roll and their Leadership in Mortal Wounds, making it a very dangerous weapon without using a gun.
- Reap and Rend (1 CP): Pick one model equipped with a chainsword or chaintalon during the fight phase. Whenever this knight attacks using the Sweep profile of their chainsword, they can't re-roll to hit, but they gain an additional hit roll. The only time this might see use is if you're fighting a large enough or beefy enough unit where that one hit would be worth sacrificing a potential re-roll.
- Sorcerous Ammunition (1 CP): Pick one Tzeentch knight (requiring the favour) during the shooting phase. Any shots they make automatically wound and, if the target is a psyker, must take a Dread test. Failing forces them to suffer perils on top of whatever damage you deal them, making this a surefire way to kill monstrous psykers like daemon princes and hive tyrants.
- A Fitting Challenge (Codex): Effectively Bring It Down but on a time limit. If you don't kill your chosen enemy immediately, you're losing VP for by the turn.
- Assassinate: With the character killing specialty of the claws, this one can prove an excellent one to max.
- Bring it Down: One that just lets you take down the enemy's biggest toys, which is well within your wheelhouse as knights.
- Titan Slayers: As with Bring it Down, but more reliable. Since you pick secondaries at the start of a mission, bring this one if your enemy brought titanic units, then focus on them first.
- Slay the Warlord: We're perfectly serviceable at doing this, considering that you have a giant stomping robot on the field. However, it's not going to bring you as many points as you could get with the others.
- Abhor the Witch: Likely the one you'll take most often, as your options for Psykers are limited.
- Mental Interrogation: Depends entirely on how much you think you need your casts. If you have a Pyrothrone on the field you might be able to use it for the main offense while you have the Abominant sit backfield.
- Pierce the Veil: Mostly a matter of getting a caster back there and making sure you can waste the turns for it.
- Psychic Ritual: While you do have your Abominants and Pyrothrones for tanky psykers, the issue is that these also happen to be your ONLY psykers. Do you really intend to waste their powers on this?
- Thin their Ranks: A good take considering what guns you have in store.
- Attrition: You should always take this secondary. Considering how few units we field and how tough and deadly they are, you will almost always max this one out if you have any idea what you're doing.
- While We Stand, We Fight: A bit of a tough sell considering the very limited size of your army. Any losses cost you VP.
- First Strike: Is there a knight on the enemy team? If so, reconsider taking this. Otherwise, use this as you mow down a squad with gatling cannons or melta a transport to oblivion.
- Path of Destruction (Codex): 1 VP each turn where you kill an enemy while in your DZ, 1 VP for every turn where you kill an enemy while over 3" from each DZ, and 1 VP for every turn where you kill an enemy while in the opponent's DZ. All of this is a matter of picking the ideal loadouts, but you're not likely to score ALL of them without some setup.
- Engage on All Fronts: Thankfully you're not worrying too much about the buff auras of your Abhorrent Knights, as they're only working on your War Dogs anyway. The issue will be making sure that you don't get blocked off to begin with.
- Linebreaker: Your Knights can ignore engagement against most forces, so this is an easy take. Even better, you have plenty of them that can weather a stray melta shot or two.
- Domination: This one is effectively "double down on holding". Consider your enemy's army. If you are certain you're going to win the objective game (and with the size of your knights, you're often holding the upper hand), then go for it.
- Ruthless Tyranny (Codex): 2 VP if you control more than half the objective, another VP if half of the objectives are within Dread range, and another if you control all the objectives.
- Raise the Banners High: Out of all the Shadow operations, this one is the least bad for us. The problem with all of these is that they require our massive warp-corrupted death-machines to stop killing for a moment to do something else, and with as few units as we have, that's not an action cost we can afford. This one is the least bad, as it at least means we're in the same area as the objectives.
- Investigate Sites: This one is the worst, simply because its so easy to disrupt. When we have everything else to choose from, why would you choose an objective that ties up one of your units and is so easy to deny.
- Repair Teleportation Homer: You can't deep-strike your squads anyways.
That's right, you get an actual Discipline now. Abominants start out as your only Psyker, but you can dedicate another Knight to Tzeentch to make it a Psyker (using the Pyrothrone) or double-down on the Abominant; the Twisted Mask relic (another power known, and +1 to cast) is probably only worth on a doubled-down Abominant anyway. The Warp Haunted Hull gives more denies and a Psychic Shrug, but doesn't require the knight to be a Psyker, if you wanted to spread out Deny coverage.
- Winds of the Warp: WC 6. Gives the Psyker a 5+++ FNP, and if manifested on an 8 or more, gives War Dogs a 6+++ FNP within 6" as well.
- Vortex Terrors: WC 5. 18" range. Select one enemy unit, -1 Ld and they take a dread test. If they fail the test then they take -1 WS & BS.
- The Storm Malevolent: WC 7. 18" range. Select one enemy unit. Any Knight that targets them for melee attacks get the following abilities until the next psychic phase: +1 to wound. 6's to wound causes 1 MW to a max of 3MW's.
- What really hampers the Abominant is that its attacks are pretty much Power Fist/Thunder Hammer tier, so this power gets them some extra mileage in melee against vehicles. Also much better buffing Knights with the Chainsword, because the Claw's already wounding most things on 2s, and the extra 3 MW isn't much when you consider the stuff a claw is meant to wreck.
- Cyclonic Lamentation: WC 6. 12" range. All enemy units with 12" take a dread test. If they fail they take 1 MW or 1d3 MW if the result of the psychic test was 11 or more.
- Coruscating Hate: WC 6. 18" range. The closest enemy unit take 1d3 MW then roll a 1d6, the nearest enemy unit within 6" to that unit takes 1MW on a 2-3 or 1d3 MW on a 4-6.
- Spitesquall: WC 6. 18" range. When cast, the target unit cannot overwatch or set to defend. Also, whenever the unit loses a model, add 1 to the Spitesqual tally. At the end of the phase, roll a d6 for each lost model, and on a 5+, the unit suffers a MW. The tally is reset at the end of the phase.
Everything in your army has an Ion Shield, and everything has at least one of these guns: Everything that isn't a Tyrant comes with a heavy stubber, which War Dogs and Abhorrents 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.
- Diabolus Heavy Stubber
- Pop-gun, now not even needed for setting up charges.
- Daemonbreath Meltagun
- A meltagun with an edgy name. A few more points isn't a big deal on such expensive models, and you dont suffer penalties to shoot it in melee. 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-2 D3. Exactly the same profile as the Predator autocannon, which was already really good, but the extra range provides you an excellent means to become a skirmisher bar none. Just be careful, as the Executioner's twin autocannons means you have no defense against enemies that charge you aside from just running away. Fortunately, 12" movement means you will probably outrun anything that isn't jump infantry or a bike/skimmer and you can always rely on your stubber or melta if you're stuck in.
- Avenger Chaincannon: 36" Assault 12 S6 AP-2 D1. Decent range with a boatload of shots that makes it better suited for wiping out mobs with glee. While it loses in range against the autocannon, you're getting more than enough shots to compensate and the infantry you're firing at likely won't care anyways.
- Daemonbreath Spear: 30" Heavy 3 S9 AP-4 D1d6 melta (+2 damage at half range or less). Basically just a longer ranged meltagun with more 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. 12" movement makes getting in range a cakewalk and if any enemies do get close enough to counter attack you've at least got a melee weapon to clear out mobs of enemies.
- Despoiler Gatling Cannon and Heavy Darkflamer - The best all-rounder, at 60 for one and 140 for a pair 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 BC 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.
- Daemonbreath Thermal Cannon: What melta guns dream of being when they grow up, 9e has now gifted us with both a more consistent amount of shots and a more consistent damage profile; 30" Heavy 2d3 S9 AP-4 D1d6+2 (d1d6+4 at half range or less). Will typically evaporate whatever you're aiming at.
- Desecrator Laser Destructor: Exclusive to the Knight Desecrator, but at 72" Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 and D6+1d3, primed on eating tanks alive with this new and improved loyalist killer!
- ALWAYS take The Diamonas relic if you want to take this weapon. Even just the change from Heavy 2 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+.
- Despoiler Battle Cannon and Diabolus Heavy Stubber: The battle cannon is back to being the reliable MEQ-slayer it was. 72" Heavy 2d6 S8 AP-2 D3 Blast means that it will wipe out whatever marines it hits. It does have massive range, tied with the 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.
- Volkite Combustor: How the hell the Dark Mechanicus found this is beyond us. Exclusive to the brand-new Abominant at 30" Heavy 6 S10 AP-1 D3 makes it more than capable of burning through crowds, while the 3 mortal wounds on a natural 6 to wound allows it to wreck light vehicles.
- Brimstone Volcano Lance Basically a smaller Shadowsword Volcano Cannon, with fewer shots, (SS has 3D3 Dominus gets D3) 40" shorter range, 2 less Strength and d6+8 wounds instead of 2D6 from its Shadowsword-mounted cousin. But a 80" Heavy d3 S16 AP-5 D8+d6 Blast gun is still nothing to sneeze at. It also doesn't get the Shadowsword's bonuses against 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.
- Darkflame 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!
- Ectoplasma Decimator - 48" Heavy 2D6 Blast 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 two mortal wounds 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. FAQ'd to only inflict mortal wounds on unmodified 1s and now receives blast keyword, making at incredibly deadly against blobs of necron warriors and chaos space marines packs.
- 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?
- Warpshock Harpoon - 18" 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 +1 to hit when targetting a vehicle or monster. In addition if it inflicts ANY damage the target also suffers 3 mortal wounds meaning it spits a ridiculous '13 damage in one hit. Even if your opponent makes 9/10 fnp rolls you still deal them 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 even 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 with 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. 18" range is pretty short for a knight weapon meaning you will have to get 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 + 3 mortal wounds).
Chaos 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 Chaintalon - A smaller reaper chainsword for the armiger, obviously weaker than its big brother, but it comes with two weapon profiles instead of one: an S+4 AP-4 D3 Strike, or an SU AP-3 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 war dog's big brothers, they don't have titanic feet, meaning that Brigands and Executioners are left without a way to defend themselves 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.
- Slaughterclaw: The new Chaos weapon given to the Karnivore and Stalker. While it lacks multiple statlines, it provides a very hefty Sx2 AP-3 D3+d3 to give it an edge over heavy tanks and knights. It's still not going to fell these enemies without support since these are still the tiny armigers, not the lumbering Questoris knights.
- Balemace & Electroscourge: The Abominant's unique weapons. The Mace is SU AP-2 D2 that gives d3 extra attacks, the Scourge is SU AP-2 D3 that triples your attacks. While both are fairly similar in effectiveness, beware that your knight has a very low number of attacks, meaning that you're not going to get many shots without the scourge's extra swings.
- Reaper Chainsword: S+6 (S14) AP-4 D6, it's gained a new horde-busting mode by triple its attack output at S:User (S8) AP-3 D2. This makes the chainsword still potent against light tanks and monsters, but now it has all the use it needs against anything lower, including all infantry.
- Warpstrike Claw: Your evilly-named Thunderstrike Gauntlet, this now has 2 profiles: Sx2 (S16) AP-3 D8 or S+2 (S10) AP-2 D3 with double the attacks. Higher strength and damage but lower AP. This excels at pretty much the same things the Inferno cannon does, meaning anything T7/3+ or better, making it a better fit against enemy knights. 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 - Attacks at S user AP-2 D2, this replaces Stomp and makes infantry cry. 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.
- Does NOT give you extra attacks. This means that ranged Knights will be at a disadvantage when forced into combat. With the new loadouts for your existing melee weapons, you're only really relying on this for really desperate calls.
- Diabolus Heavy Stubber: Likely the preferred option for War Dogs as it gives you good range so your shooty members can fire without needing to walk forward.
- Daemonbreath Meltagun: It's a melta. It's only viable on a close-quarters unit where it needs that firepower.
- Havoc Multi-Launcher: A smaller version of the Havoc Missile Pod, shooting 1d6 S5 AP-1 D1 (Blast) without requiring line of sight to hit. This makes it only viable against light infantry such as guardsmen and little else.
- Havoc Missile Pod - Eh, it's cheap. That's about it. Shoots 1d6 S5 AP-1 D2 (Blast) 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 rocks like we're looking for ants.
- Ruinspear 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 Hellstorm Autocannons - Heavily reduced in effectiveness to only gaining a +1 to hit against enemy Aircraft. Against T7 and below it outperforms the Havoc 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 Despoiler 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 Aircraft, but you'll lose the penalty against everything else!
- Twin Desecrator Cannons: 36", Heavy 2d3, S7 AP-1 D2 Blast. Pretty much a bigger autocannon and works just as well as one.
- Gheiststrike 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.
- 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.
Favour of the Dark Gods
Sadly, your knights can no longer take marks right out the bat. Insteady, you had to spend points and Power Level in order to grant your knights not only that god's keyword but also a special power. And yes, you get Undivided perks, praise the dark gods!
You also gain a special task: For each model this blessed model kills, you need to tally up the total number of wounds the slain enemy had. Once you reach a certain number of wounds (5 for War Dogs, 10 for Abhorrents, 15 for Tyrants), the Dark Gods will accept the offering and activate a special "Favored" power for the rest of the game.
NOTE: Abominants might want to think twice when taking Khorne favours - it shuts off their psychic powers, but improves their WS and Attacks by 1. While this can make your tentacle rape extra rapey, you have far better weapons if you intend on fighting other knights or heavy tanks. Besides, tentacle rape is more Slaanesh's thing anyway.
- Blood Shield: Once per game, you can trigger this ability, making the enemy unable unable to make invuln saves against your melee attacks (making for sure monster-killers), but it also shuts off your shields as well, turning it into a costly AND risky gambit. After all, even a tank in combat can still shoot off its lascannon sponsons at you.
- Favoured: Offering Khorne enough sacrifices lets you trigger this ability a second time.
- Collar of Infernal Brass: Grants a 12" bubble that makes psykers take -2 to any psychic tests. A nice little bubble to keep them out of the close quarters of any shooty knights.
- Favoured: Offering Khorne enough sacrifices makes your knight immune to all psychic powers, turning it into a living dead zone, something even the Sisters of Silence lost out on.
- This is an excellent option for when you need to have some psychic defense in your army but you still want to take "Abhor the Witch!".
- Throne Mechanicum of Skulls: Lets your knight re-roll charges. Simple and your cheapest Favour.
- Favoured: Offering Khorne enough sacrifices adds a melee crit effect. Every natural 6 to hit in melee scores an additional hit.
- Pyrothrone: Turned from a generic relic into a Tzeentch-only upgrade. Your knight still becomes a psyker and learns a Warp Storm power, while an Abominant with this favour gains a third power they can cast each turn.
- Favoured: Offering Tzeentch enough sacrifices lets your knight re-roll one psychic test each turn.
- Cursed Rune of Fate: Whenever this knight rolls a natural 6 on a save against a ranged attack, the shot bounces back and deals a mortal wound to the attacker, up to a maximum of 6.
- Favoured: Offering Tzeentch enough sacrifices grants your knight a 4++ invuln. Considering how valuable this save is to your knight, this makes your kills worth the pricetag.
- Mirror of Fates: Anytime your enemy uses a CP while your knight is on the field, you steal that CP on a 5+. For a Strat-heavy army, this can make yourself a little more sparing of what you can throw on the field.
- Favoured: Offering Tzeentch enough sacrifices grants this knight a 1/round ability to turn one hit, wound or save roll into an automatic 6.
- The Putrid Carapace: This knight gains a +1 to any saves against attacks with a damage of 1. Against armies with tons of small-arms fire like Guardsmen or Orks, this will pretty much make you invincible. As such, it's an incredibly costly favour.
- Favoured: Offering Nurgle enough sacrifices grants this knight +1 to Toughness, making them even harder to crack.
- Blessing of a Thousand Poxes: When this knight attacks in melee, any natural 6s to hit automatically wound. This surprisingly costs more for your Abhorrents than your Tyrants.
- Favoured: Offering Nurgle enough sacrifices extends this ability to all of your knight's guns.
- Aura of Corruption: Your knight gains a 6" bubble that inflicts -1 to the Strength of any enemies within it, making it more worthwhile for knights prone to getting into melee, though not necessarily ones built for it.
- Favoured: Offering Nurgle enough sacrifices grants your knight another 6" bubble that deals -1 to Toughness. This one is more suited for your melee knights.
- Quicksilver Throne: This knight can now heroically intervene and always fights first. Surprisingly super-cheap for your Tyrants, though it's not much more expensive for your other knights.
- Favoured: Offering Slaanesh enough sacrifices improves this knight's pile-in and consolidation range to d3+3".
- Beguiling Majesty: Melee attacks against this knight take a -1 to hit and wound rolls, making it more of a blocker.
- Favoured: Offering Slaanesh enough sacrifices grants this knight a 6" bubble that deals -1 attack to all models in it.
- Subjugator Machine Spirit: Why yes, those weird titans are still around. This allows your knight to count as having been stationary even if they shoot after advancing or falling back.
- Favoured: Offering Slaanesh enough sacrifices lets the knight charge after advancing or falling back, making it more mobile and more effective in close combat.
- Mark of the Dread Knight: Grants your knight a 6+++ FNP save.
- Favoured: Offering the pantheon enough sacrifices upgrades the knight's FNP save to a 5+++.
- Listen to the whispers of the Dark Gods. Shrug off those Daemonic Surges, you know you want to.
- Warp-Borne Stalker: Allows this knight to deep-strike anywhere at least 9" away from an enemy unit. This works even if they're a War Dog who was part of a squad, as the War Dogs already split up once deployed.
- Favoured: Offering the pantheon enough sacrifices allows this knight to return to reserves and then re-deploy anywhere on the board.
- Blessing of the Dark Master: Enemies can't re-roll hit, wound, or damage rolls against this knight. Way to infuriate the aura-based meta.
- Favoured: Offering the pantheon enough sacrifices makes it so that this knight can never be hit on a roll below a 4+.
- Take the Infernal households for Daemonic Surge and start slaying chaff for favour, and at the end of the phase, have a monster that makes all your opponents hit like guardsmen. The mark of the Dread Knight might help you shrug off wounds by adding an extra step, including those from Daemonic Surge, but this one lets you be tanky by making more attacks fail in each step. And the Emperor help your opponent when you roll/pick Transknight physiology, limiting your opponents attacks to a 25% chance to make it to the armor save phase.
- Since this specifically doesn't act as a penalty to hit, you can still stack minuses to hit (just note, if they have 2s and 3s to hit, the -1 to hit will do jack shit).
Relics of Tyranny
- Bound Varadian Psychogheist: Abhorrent-Class and War Dog-Class only. 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 2 (AP0 becomes AP-2). It also re-rolls one damage roll when shooting or fighting.
- 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.
- The Damage re-roll is equally weak, as the number of weapons with randomized damage aren't many. While it's a bit more reliable for any thermal cannons or daemonbreath lances, it's still not going to be enough outside of any circumstances where you NEED this over any number of better relics.
- The Diamonas: Replaces a Laser Destructor, making it Desecrator only. 72" Heavy 3 S16 AP-5 D6+d3. 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 Warpstrike Claw. Sx2 AP-3 D8 monster-killing strikes or S+2 AP-2 D3 with double the attacks. You can re-roll all hits. Gain +1A and +1S each time you kill a character model with this weapon.
- Helm of Dogs: War Dog-Class only. The bearer gains +1 attack and a 6" aura that lets fellow war-dogs re-roll 1s to wound. Yes, this does apply to itself.
- Helm of Warp-Sight: Abhorrent-Class and War Dog-Class only. Ignore all hit roll modifiers and cover when using ranged weapons.
- What an absolute glow-up. With the cover-ignoring, this makes the relic-bearer a far more frightening marksman.
- Panoply of the Curse Knights: Abhorrent-Class and War Dog-Class only. Grants a 2+ save.
- Soul-Raptor Swarm: Pterrorshades only. The bearer gains a 4+++ FNP against mortal wounds lost (except those inflicted by the Daemonic Surge ability of Infernal houses) and a Dread aura that lets them recover a wound for every model that flees while within the aura.
- The Teeth that Hunger: Replaces a Reaper Chainsword. +1 attack to any profiles, either the monster-killing S+8 AP-4 6 strikes or a horde-clearing S+2 AP-3 D2 with triple the attacks. Luckily this no longer has the penalties from last edition, letting be even more of a TAC weapon.
- The Traitor's Mark: Enemies within Dread range cannot benefit from the Insane Bravery strat or any other that would let them re-roll morale tests. Run alongside Night Lords and maybe an H&R Supreme Command detachment of Psykers to reduce your opponent's Custodes to sniveling cowards!
- The Twisted Mask: Psykers only. The bearer knows one additional power and adds +1 to any psychic tests, making it a bit of a buff for a Pyrothrone knight or an Abominant.
- The Tyrant's Banner: Abhorrent-Class only. Boosts the range of any auras by +3" to a max of 12", and as long as the user is on the field in a battle-forged detachment you get a bonus CP on a 5+.
- Veil of Medrengard: Abhorrent-Class and War Dog-Class only. 4++ invulnerable against ranged weapons, 6++ invuln against melee.
- 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.
- The Blasphemous Engine: Abhorrent-Class and War Dog-Class only. Not only does the bearer count as having double the number of wounds for the sake of degradation, they also gain a 2+++ FNP against wounds lost from the Daemonic Surge ability all Infernal houses use.
- Rune of Nak'T'Graa: The bearer gains a Fell Bond that isn't used by anyone else in the army, making it way more welcome.
Obviously, all of these are Lords of War.
Your equivalent of the Dominus-class knights.
- Knight Tyrant: 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.
Your equivalent to the Questoris-class knights. All of them have 24 wounds with S8/T8. They also all have a movement of 10" with the exception of the Rampager's 12" movement.
- Knight Desecrator: 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 shooting 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.
- Knight Rampager: At first glance, it looks identical to the base Knight Gallant, but without the option to take a carapace weapon. This is nowhere near as busted as last edition without Frenzied Rampage to boost it, but this does give an aura to let nearby War Dogs to re-roll melee hit rolls of 1. This can make it a useful support, especially for any gangs of Karnivores with their claws and chainswords.
- Knight Despoiler: The only knight without a clear-cut loyalist counterpart: you pay for the chassis with a fist and chainblade by default and can swap either of them for the gun(s) you want, even doubling up on a weapon if you feel so suitably insane. Even better, you can take the goddamn carapace weapons no other knight can grab. 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, but you can do that and gain an extra attack if you charge, get charged, or heroically intervene, forcing them to reconsider such notions. Furthermore, your aura lets nearby War Dogs heroically intervene even if the Despoiler isn't your warlord, which can make for a big bubble of no-charging if you select another knight to be warlord.
- Knight-Abominant: The big new showpiece of 9E, a psychic knight with a surprisingly intact volkite combustor that, while not too effective on knights with only AP-1, does deal three mortal wounds on a natural 6 to wound on top of its base 3 damage. It also has two options for melee weapons besides the stomps, both of which make up for the surprisingly pitiful 3 attacks, the difference being that one lets you triple your output for S:User AP-2 D3 attacks while the other gives you 3+d3 S:User AP-2 D2 swings. The difference mostly boils down to how quickly you want something to die, but even then, this knight's role isn't to be fighting up-front but to cast and blast.
The equivalent of the Armiger-class knights. While you can grab units of 3 per datasheet, each squad can split up when deployed, expanding your coverage. Each one has S6 T7 and 12 wounds with a 3+ save. Each one is plenty nimble with a 12" movement, while the melee-only Karnivore boosts ahead with 14".
- War Dog Brigand: Your heretical Armiger Helverin, though not by much. Your Brigand comes with the thermal spear like the Huntsman and a chaincannon that's more than capable of handling most crowds with AP-2. You also get a havoc launcher that gives you some short-ranged bombardment as it doesn't require LoS to hit, but you'll be subject to any penalties for doing that.
- War Dog Executioner: The Dakka-laden War Dog, equipped with a pair of autocannons for crowd removal from afar. It's also got the option between either a meltagun (kinda conflicting when your autocannons work very far away) or a heavy stubber for lighter infantry.
- War Dog Huntsman: Your heretical Armiger Warglaive, equipped with an evilly-named thermal spear, meltagun and chaintalon so tanks can go and cry all they want. Of course, the issue with the meltagun comes to its minimal range, so you'd be better off just getting a heavy stubber so you're only worrying about the spear's optimal range.
- War Dog Stalker: The adaptable one. Comes with the autocannon and sword base, but can swap either out for a thermal spear and slaughterclaw respectfully. Your jack of all trades War dog. Can also replace their heavy stubby with a havoc launcher for fun.
- War Dog Karnivore: Your zippy little murder engine, boosted to 14" movement. Not only do they have chainblades to handle either crowds or tanks, but they also have a slaughterclaw for a power fist-alike with Sx2 AP-3 D3+d3 to demolish knights. While you have havoc launchers here too, you're simply better served by picking up the heavy stubber so you're not worrying about the LoS penalties and get 5 points back.
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, it's the same weapon.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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 2+ when shot except against vehicles or titanic units.
In spite of its D3, it has 0 AP and that's fucking weak.OBJECTION! The Magaera has empyreal preysight, which means it's targets never get the benefits of cover against it's ranged attacks. In an edition where many units are either in cover or count as being in cover the Magaera's twin rad cleanser effectively has an ap of -1. 2D6 hits means it will average 7 hits, which then wound on 2+ and are D3. This means that the twin rad cleanser is likely to kill off 2 MEQs per shot, which is impressive for a free side-weapon
- 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.
- 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 2+ when shot except against vehicles or titanic units.
- 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 upddate), 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, 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.
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
Armies in 9th are no longer allowed to pick and choose warlord traits, relics, psychic powers, extra relics, pre-game buff stratagem, etc at the table. The following only works if you know your meta ahead of time. 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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