Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Renegade Knights(8E)

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Robots for the robot god!

Why Play Renegade Knights[edit]

You like Imperial Knights, but not the Corpse-Emperor they serve.

Or, maybe you want a passable Superheavy for Chaos forces and don't want to go to Forgeworld to get one.

You find the prospect of two Avenger Gatling Cannons per knight very appealing.

Whatever your reason, you want a big stompy robot possibly bristling with guns.

Uncharacteristically, Games Workshop took the time to update Renegade Knights with a FREE index, bringing them in line with their Loyalist counterparts by adding in the new Knight types, a Warlord Trait, a couple of Stratagems, and a Relic. You can find it here, though of course we're happy to give you our take on it as well.

Special Rules[edit]

  • By and large, you're always looking at the same statline, including a 5++ invuln, and they all explode on a 6+, 2d6", 1d6 mortal wounds.
  • They also all share some flavor of the Super-heavy Walker rule.
    • A Renegade 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 Renegade Knight can move and fire Heavy weapons without suffering the penalty to its hit rolls. Finally, a Renegade Knight only gains a bonus to its save in cover if at least half of the model is obscured from the firer.
  • Renegade Knight Lance: Like the Loyalists, If your army is Battle-forged, select one model in each Questor Traitoris Super-heavy Detachment in your army. Each model you selected gains the Character keyword. In addition, you get no CP if your Detachment contains no Knights with the Titanic Keyword, your usual amount of CP if you have at least one Knight with the Titanic keyword, or 6 CP if you have at least three Knights with the Titanic keyword.
    • Daemonic Ritual: That's right, fuckers. Now that they can pick up the Character keyword, you're 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 Aetos'rau'keres, you're probably playing Apocalypse and the loss of a single Knight is tolerable.

Keywords[edit]

Give yourself, uh, POINTS if you guessed QUESTOR TRAITORIS and CHAOS faction keywords! Additionally, you get the TITANIC, VEHICLE and RENEGADE KNIGHT keywords.

Forge World knights get some bonus keywords, starting with the DARK MECHANICUS faction keyword and RENEGADE KNIGHT [TYPE] keyword.

  • NOTE because of the keywords given to the renegade knight and the wording on a warpsmiths master of mechanisms ability. You cannot heal your big evil robots with your small evil techpriest because the warpsmiths ability specifies LEGION vehicles, and renegade knights lack the legion keyword. However, Hellwrights have the ability to heal your stomp-bots.

Warlord Trait[edit]

You have access to the three stock traits and one from the new Renegade Knights Index.

  • Legendary Fighter: Grants +1 Attack for the next Fight phase after you charge. Can be legitimately brutal on a pseudo-Gallant or a Lancer, though any knight with a proper melee weapon will benefit from this. Extra nasty when combined with Trail of Destruction.
  • Inspiring Leader: Friendly units within 6" of the Warlord add 1 to their Leadership. Amusing when combined with your relic and can maybe boost your infantry contingents if they happen to be camping around your feet, but pure Knight lists will gain little to no use from this.
  • Tenacious Survivor: Each time this Warlord loses a wound, on a 6 he doesn't lose it. This is genuinely a good pick for any knight, especially since your opponent will be gunning for your warlord in particular anyways. Normal Characters don't have enough wounds to gain much benefit from this. 6+ FNP on a, at MINIMUM, 24 Wound model, will guarantee you'll be shaving a least a few Wounds off of all those Lascannon and Melta shots coming at you. Make your opponent work for every last drop of damage!
  • Infernal Quest: Your unique trait functionally gives your Knight Objective Secured. Can be used on a shooty Knight like a Porphyrion or a Double Avenger to protect your backline objective from enterprising deep strikers, or on a fast, aggressive Knight like a Acheron to rip one away from your opponent after stomping the unit they had guarding it flat. As an added bonus, when contesting an objective against someone else with ObSec, the Knight counts as ten models instead of one.

Stratagems[edit]

  • Rotate Ion Shields (1 CP/ 3 CP): Same as your loyalist counterparts and just as solid: Grants +1 to your Invuln save until the end of phase. 3 CP for Dominus Knights, 1 CP for the rest.
  • Trail of Destruction (2 CP): Use during a Shooting or Fight phase; until the end of phase, the chosen Knight rerolls ALL failed to hit rolls. Absolute murder and fantastic for outright deleting the linchpins of your opponent's army.

Wargear[edit]

Relic[edit]

There's only one available, but it's better than nothing.

  • The Traitor's Mark: Enemies within 12" of the user take -1 to their Ld, which becomes -2 if they're within 6". Run alongside Night Lords and maybe a H&R Supreme Command detachment of Psykers to reduce your opponent's Custodes to sniveling cowards!

Basics[edit]

Ion Shield
Now just a 5++ all-round versus shooting.
Heavy Stubber
Pop-gun, now not even needed for setting up charges.
Meltagun
Can replace aforementioned pop-gun. A few more points isn't a big deal on such expensive models, and you can walk out of combat to fire it.

Arm Weapons[edit]

Ranged[edit]
Armiger[edit]
  • Armiger Autocannon - 60" Heavy 2D3 S7 AP-1 Damage 3. Exactly the same profile as the Predator autocannon which was already really good, except with two extra added benefits. First is a 12" increase in range, but the best part is these auto cannons specifically ignore the hit roll penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons. This allowed your armiger's who come stock with two of these to skirt around the battlefield as a fantastic hit and run unit. Just be careful as taking the twin autocannons means you have no chain-cleaver, and by proxy no defense against enemies that charge you other than just running away. Fortunately 14" movement means you will probably outrun anything that isn't jump infantry or a bike/skimmer.
  • Thermal spear - 30" Assault D3 Meltagun. Basically just a longer ranged Meltagun with more potential shots. Will absolutely annihilate vehicles especially if combined with meltagun you get if you replace the default heavy stubber. 30" range means you can get into half range with more safety against counter attacks. 14" movement makes getting in range a cakewalk and if any enemies do get close enough to counter attack you've at least got the chain-cleaver to clear out mobs of enemies.
Dominus[edit]
  • Conflagration Cannon - 18" Heavy 3D6 S7 AP-2 2 damage auto hits. While this may very well be THE most powerful flamer in all of 40k, 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.
  • Plasma Decimator - 48" Heavy 2D6 Plasma gun with all the same stats as a plasma gun and the same ability to overcharge for +1 strength and +1 damage at the risk of suffering a mortal wound if you roll a 1 to hit. Due to the sheer number of shots you can get with this thing you generally want to use the trail of destruction stratagem to get as many successful hits and as few rolled 1's as possible.
  • Thundercoil Harpoon - 12" Heavy 1 S16 AP-6 DAMAGE 10! The highest damage weapon in 40k, with the added benefits of re-rolling hits when targetting a vehicle or monster. In addition if it inflicts ANY damage the target also suffers D3 mortal wounds meaning it can dead upwards of 13 damage in one hit. Even if your opponent makes 9/10 fnp rolls you still deal the D3 mortal wounds as well. Any vehicle or monster with less wounds than a predator will most likely go from 100-0 in one shot, Daemon primarchs and enemy questoris/dominus knights will be severely wounded by it. With some lucky rolls, you can kill Granddaddy Smurf in a single shot. With Strength 16 and AP-6, 99% of the things the harpoon hits will wound on 2's and will not have an armour save meaning the only thing that can stop this weapon is a successful invuln save. If you want to ensure that doesn't happen, ally in a Thousand sons sorcerer with death hex to strip your targets invuln save ahead of time. The harpoon does have one major weakness however, that being its range. 12" range is extremely short for a knight weapon meaning you will have to get very close to use it and you will also most likely be in range of your enemies meltaguns, plasma guns or lascannons, and unlike the conflagration cannon, you don't have the safety net of auto hitting. You only get the re-roll hits against monsters and vehicles, and while your knight may be able to move 10" per turn, it may still take a while to get in range and give your prime target the business. However, be careful when going up against Mechrons, as their Quantum Shielding special rule means that, RAW, you cannot damage them at all with the Harpoon. Overall, the Thundercoil Harpoon is a "fun" option and is best suited for:
    • Stuff with lots of wounds but no invulnerable saves, like Baneblades, Land Raiders, Tyranid monsters of all types, and Gorkanauts
    • Dealing the final fuck you to said stuff when they are at 11 wounds or less (10D + d3 mortal wounds).
  • Volcano Lance Basically a smaller Shadowsword Volcano Cannon, with slightly fewer shots, (SS has 3D3 Dominus gets D6) 40" shorter range, 2 less Strength and 3D3 wounds instead of 2D6 from its Shadowsword-mounted cousin. But a 80" Heavy d6 S14 AP-5 3d3 D gun that rerolls failed wounds against Titanic units is still nothing to sneeze at. It also doesn't get the Shadowswords +1 to hit Titanic which is a bit of a bummer. But the trail of destruction stratagem helps make sure that whatever you shoot at with this thing gets put down, PERMANENTLY. Also weirdly enough this is the only dominus arm weapon that actually costs points to bring. granted its only 10 points, but its still a little weird.
Questoris[edit]
  • Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon - The battle cannon is no longer the reliable MEQ-slayer it once was, and this version is no different. 72" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D3 damage. It does have massive range, tied with the ironstorm missiles for the longest range weapon available to the Questoris class, and unlike Imperials, you can take two of them for good backfield sniping. Add a carapace gun for even more ranged blasting.
  • Thermal Cannon - What melta guns dream of being when they grow up. Costs 1 more point than the gatling cannon and doesn't bring a secondary weapon with itself like the battle & gatling cannons, it really needs to be targeting multi-wound models to make it count. Mind, you can always double up on them because goddamn that's a lot of heat. 36" range means you'll be a lot safer if you walk into half range to get that extra damage roll. They have also been upgraded from D3 shots to D6 shots per cannon, and it's also +1 strength compared to regular meltaguns, putting it at S9 which is the highest strength for ranged weapons in the Questoris knights' arsenal, making it more likely you get the number of shots & wounds needed to melt evaporate whatever you're aiming at.
  • Avenger Gatling Cannon - The best all-rounder; also the most expensive once you include the mandatory heavy flamer. cheaper than the rapid-fire battle cannon by 25%, and still about 3 guardsmen cheaper when you factor the mandatory heavy flamer of the avenger and the heavy stubber of the rapid-fire battle cannon. 12 S6/AP-2/D2 is the absolute champ against all kinds of infantry, including TEQ (That 2 damage in particular will make Primaris marines and the like cry), although it has clearly been designed exclusively with GEQs in mind (S6 wounds them on 2s, and -2AP ensures they don't get a save). Tears up light vehicles and can do useful work against the heavy stuff - outshooting the RFBC even if it doesn't match the Inferno cannon. With a pair of these you will put out an outrageous 24 shots per turn - goddamn!
Close Combat[edit]

Renegade Knights come with both the close combat weapons base, which you should probably upgrade as quickly as possible. These guys have lost the big "D", and in exchange do a flat 6 damage per hit. Great at wrecking vehicles and MCs, but they can be very binary - there's lots of things like dreadnoughts with >6 wounds that take two hits to kill and can leave a nasty mark if they get to hit back, so it's always advisable to try to soften these targets up a bit first. As noted above, you're better off kicking most infantry to death instead.

Armiger[edit]
  • Reaper Chain-Cleaver - A smaller reaper chainsword for the armiger, obviously weaker than its big brother but it comes with two weapon profiles instead of one. a Sx2 AP-3 3 Damage Strike, or a S:User AP-2 1 damage 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 is worth noting though that unlike the armiger's big brothers they don't have titanic feet, meaning if you don't bring the thermal spear and chain-cleaver, you will be left without a way to defend yourself in melee.
Questoris/Dominus[edit]
  • Reaper Chainsword - :S14/AP-3/D6. Best for light-medium vehicles and medium-sized gribblies. It's not bad against stuff like Landraiders, but the gauntlet edges it out.
    • with the release of the imperial knights codex/renegade knights index, the reaper chainsword was buffed from strength +4 to strength +6, making it an even more desirable choice than the gauntlet.
  • Thunderstrike Gauntlet - :S16/AP-4/D6. Higher strength and AP in exchange for -1 to hit and a meager +5 points. (Of course, Wraithknights get the best of both worlds with Sx2 and no hit penalty, but it's not like I'm salty or anything.) This excels at pretty much the same things the Inferno cannon does; anything T7/3+ or better. Plus, you get the lulzy spectacle of chucking a dead razorback at his warlord for extra mortal wounds, keep in mind that if you do this you are required to tell your opponent that they've been thunderstruck. The choice between the two is pretty much a toss-up depending on your opponent - take the gauntlet vs. IG and the sword vs. Deldar, etc, but either one will do the job most of the time.
  • Titanic Feet - Now we're talking. Triple attacks at S8/AP-2/DD3, this replaces Stomp and makes infantry cry. This beats the other (cooler) melee weapons against any 1- or 2-wound models, including terminators. It's also surprisingly decent at kicking Rhinos and the like to death, but falls off badly against anything T8 or with a 2+. This is also the only melee weapon that Dominus knights have access to.

Carapace Weapons[edit]

Dominus[edit]
  • Twin Siegebreaker Cannons: 48", Heavy 2d3, S7 AP-1 DD3. Pretty much a bigger autocannon and works just as well as one.
  • Shieldbreaker Missiles: 48" S10 AP-4 d6 D. 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. 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. At most take four of these and one twin cannon, as you'll get around 3-5 turns of potential shooting out of the missiles and the cannons provide excellent low power shooting capability but taking one back of two missiles is worthwhile for sniping characters when the opportunity arises.
    • 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.
Questoris[edit]
  • Ironstorm Missile Pod - Eh, it's cheap. That's about it. Shoots D6 S5/AP-1/D2 at the same range as an RFBC but doesn't require line of sight to hit. It's okay for taking out something not within the firing line but doesn't do much else.
  • Stormspear Rocket Pod - It's expensive, but it's effectively three krak missiles, and most armies pay more than 15 points a pop for a missile launcher on a platform that's not remotely as survivable. This is better than the other carapace weapons against any target barring a few weird edge cases (Inceptors). Use it to soften up light vehicles, pick off lone Crisis suits, or even kill a MEQ or two.
  • Twin Icarus Autocannons - Lots of surprising things have <FLY>, right? Tau suits, jetbikes & skimmers, jump infantry... This is true, but is not enough to stop the Icarus being aggressively mediocre; FAQ'd to Heavy 4, marginally cheaper than the Stormspear and besides, you can take two of the other guns. Autocannons might actually have a use on Renegade Knights!

Unit Analysis[edit]

Obviously, all of these are Lords of War. All but the first three entries are FW.

Renegade Knight[edit]

Unlike the loyalist Knights, there are no pre-set patterns: you pay for the chassis with 2 melee weapons by default and can swap either of them for the weapon(s) you want. 24 wounds and a 5+ invuln against shooting, so it isn't leaving the tabletop any time soon, but a fully kitted-out (with huge gun and carapace weapon) one costs even more than a (cheap) Lord of Skulls and doesn't regenerate. It is at its best against an opponent that has lots of tanks or other huge things needing a lot of killing.

Because you have more flexibility in choosing weapon arms, a properly kitted out ranged Knight should always outperform an Imperial one, sans buffs, because unlike them, you can double up on the same gun arm - for example, you can take the incredible double avenger combo, which they can't. The stock melee loadout they can take, so no advantage, there, and by and large, any combination of melee and gun or two different guns, they can field - Chaos' big advantage here is only when doubling up on the same gun.

They are also powerful, if costly, DISTRACTION CARNIFEXES that can keep most enemy anti-tank fire off of your other units. Like rhinos. Rhinos filled with berserkers.

There's an argument for every kind of weapon, but the absolute best is the Avenger Gatling Cannon as stated above. It'll chip wounds off other knights and vehicles and it'll absolutely destroy horde units too.

  • With the new Index, a Renegade Knight kitted out like a Knight Gallant now gets the buffs the loyalist Gallant got in their Codex (i.e. an extra attack and WS 2+).

Renegade Armigers[edit]

The mini-Knights can still be taken in groups of three, but only the Renegades can mix and match the two different Armiger types in the same unit (for example, two Helverins plus a Warglaive). Keep in mind they don't have the Super-Heavy Walker rule the other Knights have, so unlike its big brothers, if an Armiger falls back, it can't shoot anything. Something to keep in mind if going the autocannon route. On the issue of the meltagun or the stubber: if the armiger takes the thermal spear and reaper chain cleaver it is really down to personal preference, but the meltagun will serve you far better. It's Assault, firstly, you'll be in or near melee range most of the time with it and D3+1 Melta shots sounds a lot more reliable then just D3. If you are going for the Autocannons, stick with the Heavy Stubber. The melta is more expensive and you'll almost never be within range to use it, unlike the Stubber which is dirt cheap and has a respectable 36" range.

Renegade Dominus Knight[edit]

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 Renegade Dominus 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 Renegades, 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 Renegades have no way of sniping characters with them and they'll be wasted if your knight is taken down before you get to shoot them.

Forgeworld Renegades[edit]

  • 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.

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.

Cerastus-Based[edit]

These four get the Flank Speed rule, giving them a 2D6" advance.

Renegade Knight Acheron
The flame cannon and heavy bolter is hilarious if used against infantry. The chainfist is only marginally better than a Thuderstrike Gauntlet, though.
Renegade Knight Lancer
The shock lance is marginally better than a reaper chainsword in close combat while its shock blast is quite mediocre. Getting a 4++ against close combat attacks is pretty slick, though.
Renegade Knight Castigator
Nowhere near as shooty as a regular Renegade Knight with dual Avengers but that tempest warblade marginally useful for putting the hurt on vehicles or monsters by dolling out and additional D3 mortal wounds on 6 to wound. Mind you're at -1 damage versus your other weapons so it's fairly iffy.
Renegade Knight Atropos
The titan-killer knight gets a bonus +1 to-hit against anything with the TITANIC keyword, which is useful because that lascutter gets to reroll wounds against buildings, monsters and vehicles in close combat while you can take another shot against another unit if you kill a monster or vehicle at range (standard no-chaining clauses in effect). Don't think it's helpless against everything else though - it has a graviton singularity cannon which can double its strength and damage while getting better armour penetration on D6 roll of 6; however, a 1 causes a mortal wound. It also strips a point of leadership off enemies with 6" and gets a 4++ from shooting attacks and a 5++ in close combat.
Questoris-Based[edit]

These are the fluffy choice for a Dark Mechanicus army... if only there were any rules for a Dark Mechanicus army. Both of these can bypass cover for all non-vehicles and get a 4++ in combat, dropping to 5++ otherwise. Extremely gimmicky, their value is hotly debated.

Renegade Knight Magaera
The Lightning Cannon is less effective than a battle cannon, and that's sad. You can upgrade its reaper chainsword to a Hekaton Siege Claw (which is identical to Thunderstrike Gauntlet) with a built-in twin Rad Cleanser - it always wounds on a 3+ when shot but in spite of its D3, it has 0 AP and that's fucking weak. Finally, it has an Ectoplasma fusil differentiating itself from its loyalist stripe by having a lower strength of 6 but deals 2 damage... at rapid fire 2 24" away. It's hard to really know what to say about this one - the only weapon worth anything is the souped-up plasmagun but it's hardly worth an expensive knight with lackluster weapons.
Renegade Knight Styrix
Instead of a lightning cannon and ectoplasma fusil, this one has a Hellburner Chierovile and Graviton Crusher. The former is basically a RFBC with better AP, fewer shots and shorter range that generates more hits if you wound on a 6. It does alright against vehicles but a thermal cannon is just flat out better. Then there's the crusher which dishes out D3 hits at S6 AP-2 and D2, increasing to D3 if the target's armour save is 3+ or better. It's okay, but like the ectoplasma fusil, is it really worth taking an expensive Knight for that one gun?
Renegade Knight Porphyrion[edit]

The shootiest, tankiest of the Renegade Knights. 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+, 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+ 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 to hit most things and your hits and damage are nearly identical to that of the rocket pod on regular knights.

Building your Army[edit]

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). It pays better than drug dealing and you're going to need the money more than your kidney(s). Although Knight armies are not exactly cheap, you can now get your foot in the door with just one or two knights and some armigers (this is made even easier by the Renegade box set), but to expand from that you're going to be spending the same amount of points and dollars on single models that other armies spend on entire detachments. NOTE: the Imperial Knights: Renegade box set has TWO Knights ($140 each), and a $75 piece of terrain for $190. If you look on ebay and whatnot you can get it as cheap as $160.

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
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Imperium
Chaos
Eldar
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Tau
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