When you talk about small elite armies, Knights are at the forefront of discussion, and these ones are extra spikey. An army solely made up of Vehicles, they play very differently to most other armies, being small in number but with strong ranged and melee output, and each one being equal to a score of lesser units.
Chaos Knights Tactical Guide | Warhammer 40,000 Tactical Guide
- A unique playstyle focusing on packs of War Dogs with larger Knights to lead and support them
- Despite a small army size, your units can be specialised or generalists to cover lots of bases
- Strong Melee with solid ranged support
- Great spread of upgrades to help customise your army
- You like big bots and you cannot lie
- Playing the Primary Mission can be difficult due to their small size and reliance on War Dogs for Objective Secured
- Secondaries can also be quite tricky to choose and achieve, due to being locked out of choices, or being hard to score with in the first place
- A particularly swingy army, as an unlucky turn or two can put you up against it, whilst likewise an army that can’t handle much armour will struggle with you
- Can have unfavourable interactions with Terrain, limiting your movement and firing lanes
- Being all Vehicles that degrade can impact the army’s effectiveness as the battle progresses and your Knights are damaged
Here are some key points to remember when reading this Primer, mainly to save it being typed out every time. Don’t forget that this presumes you have the Codex, so some basic things may not be explained here.
Any of the rules discussed below apply only to CHAOS KNIGHTS models with the same <DREAD HOUSEHOLD> Keyword, so no overlapping or crossing of Auras (no KHYMERE Auras or powers affecting KHOMENTIS units, for example). There are occasional exceptions that will affect all CHAOS KNIGHTS units, these will be called out.
Some common shorthand terms found throughout-
- X++ means an invulnerable save
- X+++, or ‘shrug’, ‘Feel No Pain’ or ‘Ignore Damage roll’ depending on how you’re feeling, means it is a dice roll to ignore each point of damage, which is taken after any failed saves.
- ‘6s explode’ essentially translates to ‘An unmodified 6 to Hit does an additional hit’, so read that as ‘Does 2 Hits instead of 1’. Per the Core Rules, anything that might also happen on a 6 to hit (such as auto-wounding) does not apply to the additional hit, only the original.
- ‘First turn of combat’ means any rules that trigger when you Charge, are Charged, or Heroically Intervene.
- ‘Deep Strike’ essentially means the unit can be placed into Reinforcements and arrive more than 9” away from enemy units.
- Indirect Fire weapons don’t need Line of Sight to target an enemy, but if they shoot at a unit they cannot see at least one model of, they suffer -1 BS, and the attacked unit gets +1 to their Armour Saves.
If your Detachment is Battle-Forged (which will be most armies) and only has CHAOS KNIGHTS units in it, you’ll get these rules.
It’s also worth noting that a Super-heavy Auxiliary also gets these rules, when normally they wouldn’t.
- Traitoris Lances- Makes one model in a Super-heavy Detachment a CHARACTER, and lets them refund CP if your WARLORD is in that Detachment, getting +6 CP if you have at least 3 TITANIC Knights, or at least 6 WAR DOGS, or +3 CP if you have 1-2 TITANIC or 3-5 WAR DOGS, letting you act similar to a normal army.
- Fallen Hero- One DREADBLADE in a Super-heavy Auxiliary gains the AGENT OF CHAOS, meaning you can have them in another CHAOS army without removing “Pure” army rules like Cabbalistic Rituals, so you’ve got some ally options for other Chaos armies without sacrificing their own power. DREADBLADES don’t have quite as many options as the “full” Households, but their raw power can often be well worth it for some armies that need heavier support.
- Towering Foe- Your WAR DOGS count as 5 Models for Objective controlling, whilst TITANIC count as 10. This lets you play the Primary missions much easier against smaller units, though you’ll still need to inflict casualties to larger units. Fortunately you also have…
- Objective Secured- All your WAR DOGS get this, making them much more capable of taking a point from lesser warriors.
- Traitoris Ambitions- All your Knights (except DREADBLADES) gain an Ambition depending on what Allegiance you grant the Detachment, be it ICONOCLAST or INFERNAL. DREADBLADES must still choose one, and that will affect their own abilities described later.
Iconoclast- Conquerors Without Mercy
+1 Attack and AP in the First Round of Combat, making you much more killy in combat. Works especially well for your numerous combat units, and can help out a slight bit for your less combat inclined Knights. Easy to use as it’s an always on ability with no downsides.
Infernal- Daemonic Surge
In your Command Phase, you can choose for each Knight to either take 1 Mortal Wound, and roll a D3 on the table below, or take D3 Mortals to pick one of them, lasting until your next Command Phase
- +3” Mv. A simple but useful boost to close the gap for melee, get lines of sight, or just to help establish better board presence
- Wound Rolls of 1-3 fail regardless of other rules or abilities. Whilst you have high Toughness already, this is a great survivability boost for the really powerful weapons out there.
- One weapon gets +1 to Wound. Ranged or Melee this can quite easily push a weapon into wounding on 2s, or to make up for higher Toughness units. Only affecting one weapon is a bit of a downside for units with lots of options, but it’s still a strong option to have.
- Household Bonds- Your “Chapter Tactic” rule, described below.
- Dread- Not a Detachment Rule as such, but a lot of rules mention Dread Range or Dread Tests. It’s explained in further detail under the Datasheet Rules section below, but just to give you context for the various abilities that mention it-
- Dread Range is 12”, and is not an Aura so can’t be affected by any rules that might turn them off or adjust them.
- When a unit has to make a Dread Test, the controlling player (ie your opponent) needs to roll 2D6 for that unit. If the result is greater than the highest Ld in that unit, the Dread Test is failed and then something happens.
Every DREAD HOUSEHOLD unit gains a Household Bond, provided you have at least 3 Models in their Detachment, and is from the same HOUSEHOLD. You get unique abilities and access to a Warlord Trait and Stratagem. Should your WARLORD have the associated Bond, you are also eligible to have their Relic too. DREADBLADES instead must pick a Fell Bond, all of which must be unique in the army, and they can never benefit from the Household abilities or get access to their other rules.
Households marked with a * are ICONOCLAST.
Households marked with a ˣ are INFERNAL.
Household Bond- Dauntless
+2 Wounds to WAR DOGS, and TITANIC Knights get +4 Wounds. A great boost in survivability, as this effectively extends how much damage you can take before degradation, given each bracket is X Wounds Remaining, as well as letting you stick around in situations where others would have fallen, potentially forcing your opponent to overinvest in firepower. It’s a simple but generally always useful ability, albeit not exactly exciting.
Stratagem- Warping Presence
At the end of the Fight Phase, each enemy unit within 6” of one of your units takes a Mortal Wound on a 2+, or D3 Mortals on a 6. Not the most damaging ability, but can affect a decent sized area given your base size, or help finish off something wounded in a pinch. Not terrible for 1 CP, especially if you can get deep into the enemy’s battleline.
Warlord Trait- Bow to None
The WARLORD can ignore any modifiers to their Characteristics (except those from your Damage Table), any Hit, Wound and Damage modifiers, and any modifiers to Advance or Charge rolls they make. This makes them exceptionally reliable, bypassing all manner of rules and debuffs.
Relic- Crown of Jedathra
An ABHORRENT or WAR DOG only, granting them -1 to be Hit by Melee. A good defensive Relic that offsets some of the weaknesses Knights find in combat, though against dedicated combat units they’ll often have enough attacks or skill to still inflict significant damage.
Household Bond- Virtue Through Strength
You can Reroll one Hit or Wound roll each time you Fight. A good bit of reliability for combat, which given you have a small elite army, you’ll want to ensure every attack counts.
Stratagem- Trample Them
When a TITANIC unit makes a Normal Move or Advance over a non-AIRCRAFT unit, they take D3 Mortal Wounds on a 3+, getting +1 to the roll if the unit has 6-10 models, or +2 if the unit has 11+ models. Should this make the final result a 7+, the unit takes D6 Mortals instead. A decent way to add extra damage for 1 CP, though realistically you’ll need to be close enough in the first place, as it doesn’t work on a Fall Back move, and a canny opponent can negate it entirely by spacing out to prevent you moving in such a way.
Warlord Trait- Strike First, Strike Often
Fight First for the WARLORD, a good combat buff, letting you have some counter to being Charged, or Fight Last abilities.
Relic- Serpentstrike Core
A Melta weapon becomes +2 Dmg all the time, instead of only at Half Range, and also gets +1 Str. Makes them much better at dealing with tanks, or T5 units on the Spears and Cannons.
Household Bond- Rampant Cruelty
Melee attacks made against units below Half Strength get +1 to Wound. This all but signs a unit’s death warrant when you make combat with them, so softening them first or multi charging makes for a nasty finishing blow. Note this is each time they make an attack, not when they are chosen to fight, so if you could put the enemy below Half Strength with some attacks before you finish fighting, you’ll need to slow roll in case you can trigger this.
Stratagem- Fury of Surtr’s Wake
When a model finishes a Charge, pick one enemy unit in Engagement Range and roll 4D6 for a WAR DOG, or 6D6 for a TITANIC. Each result that equals or beats that unit’s Toughness does a Mortal Wound, with each 6 doing 2 Mortal Wounds regardless. A good way to add some extra damage, depending on what you Charge, being less useful against VEHICLES and such. Costs 1 CP for WAR DOGS, and 2 CP for TITANICS.
Warlord Trait- Maddened Cries
Grants a 9” Aura that forces enemy units to take a Dread Test in each Morale Phase, suffering a Mortal Wound on a failure. It’s ok, and can rack up a wide spread of damage if you’re stuck in the enemy lines.
Relic- Warpfire Shield
Grants a 5++ vs Melee Attacks, and each unmodified 6 to Save vs Melee inflicts a Mortal Wound (to a max of 6) on the attacking unit once they have resolved their attacks. The 5++ alone is a good boost for melee survivability, whilst the Mortal Wounds can occasionally help chip away at tougher units, though will mean you’ll need to slow roll your Saves if you’re low on Wounds (can’t make Saves if you’re dead).
Household Bond- Titankin
Reroll a Hit and Wound each time a model Shoots, letting you leverage your powerful ranged weaponry with greater reliability. With the ability to reroll both, you can generally always get use out of this.
Stratagem- Interception Array
When a model shoots, you can ignore any Hit and BS Modifiers. A great boost for only 1 CP to bypass Dense Cover, unit rules or debuffs applied to you. Remember that your Characteristics from Damage is not a modifier to your BS, it’s your new BS, so it won’t work on that.
Warlord Trait- Favour of the Dark Mechanicum
Heals D3 Wounds in your Command Phase, and get +1 Wound if a WAR DOG, or +2 for a TITANIC. A nice boost to your defences, as well as the ability to heal can offset slight degradation. Note that this is explicitly at the Start of your Command Phase, and so won’t be able to heal wounds taken from Daemonic Surge, at least not that turn.
Relic- Heretek Power Core
+2” Mv and +1 Damage to Melee attacks that aren’t a Sweep attack. A decent enough upgrade, though only really useful for a melee knight that wants to go hunting big things, though it does make them even better at that aspect.
Household Bond- Profane Symbiosis
When you use Daemonic Surge, you can reroll the D3 if you roll on the table, or can pick two of them if you take the D3 Wounds. This makes Surge a bit more reliable for the lesser cost, whilst given a big boost in power should you risk the higher damage.
Stratagem- Encircling Hounds
A unit of WAR DOGS in Strategic Reserve can arrive as if it was a Round earlier, regardless of the mission rules. Effectively paying an extra CP to arrive on turn 1, or in the enemies Deployment Zone can be a useful ploy, though still needing to pay the CP to put them into Strategic Reserve in the first place makes this an altogether expensive outflanking manoeuvre.
Warlord Trait- Dread Hunter
Once per game at the start of your Shooting Phase you can grant one Ranged Weapon reroll Hits, Wounds and +1 Damage. A tricky one to use as this can be very powerful indeed, but being once per game on one weapon means the actual use of it is limited to, well, it’s fluff purpose of killing a prime target. Use it when it will really count, on a unit you must deal with in that turn, or at least severely cripple.
Relic- Daemonic Shrike
PTERROSHADE model picks one enemy unit within 18” at the start of the Shooting Phase, and you get +1AP on all that models’ weapons vs that unit for the Phase. A good offensive boost, even if just to punch through Light Cover, though needs to be on a unit looking to get the midboard lest you not make much use of it.
Household Bond- Forged in Terror
Once per game at the start of any Battle Round, you can pick one Harbinger of Dread ability from the current, or a previous, Battle Round. That becomes active for the rest of the game. The Harbinger abilities are all pretty good, and whilst you’ll generally have an idea of what ones you’ll want to use in a given game, it’s useful to have an additional choice. The main issue is you won’t generally need this to come online until a bit later in the game, but when that will be is dependent on which one you’re gunning for. Incidentally this also works even if you wouldn’t normally get them, so can be useful for allied Knights.
Stratagem- Knights of Shade
2 CP lets one TITANIC or two WAR DOGS move through all models and terrain as if they weren’t there for that Phase, used at the start of either your Movement or Charge. Whilst it is pricey, this is a great ability, letting you bypass one of the bigger downsides of Knights, getting to units that thought they were safe, or bypassing a screen against your hounds.
Warlord Trait- Lord of Dread
+3” to your Auras (to a max of 12”), and +3” to your Dread Range. A nice enough upgrade, letting you support your WAR DOGS from further away, and project your Dread abilities a bit earlier.
Relic- Rune of Darkness
Once per Battle Round, after failing a Save you can turn the Damage of that attack into 0. When used, you have to roll 2D6, and the Relic can’t be used again if you roll equal or greater than your Ld. Best saved for when a particularly big weapon goes through your Sv. You’ll need to slow roll for those kinds of weapons, so you make the decision at the right time. A very powerful, if occasionally unreliable, defensive Relic, though with Ld 9 on your big Knights, you’ve got a good chance of having it for most of the game (roughly a 27% chance of rolling a 9+ on 2D6).
Custom Households basically, with which Traitoris Ambition you chose determining which Fell Bonds you have access to. DREADBLADES must choose from these, letting you pick one (and only one) ability from a list, and they can’t be Infamous Hereditary or Bound Vassals. You can mix up a DREADBLADE with say an ICONOCLAST Bond in an INFERNAL Detachment, and vice versa, but that will turn off your Ambitions for your army, and so generally not worth it.
- Bold Tyrants- When making a Ranged Attack on an enemy within 18”, increase the AP by 1. A good offensive boost, making your Knights a dangerous mid and close range threat.
- Frenzied Invaders- 6s explode in Melee. Works great on any Knight with a melee weapon, and can be useful to help out non-melee Knights in a pinch.
- Infamous Heredity- You’re from House HERPETRAX, LUCARIS or KHYMERE, but with a different paint scheme (whatever their schemes are).
- Learned Idolators- Ignore AP-1 weapons, a nice boost to protect your Knights against lighter weaponry and chip damage.
- Loping Predators- Your Knights can Advance and Shoot. It’s fine, but not really necessary given your good weapon ranges and the small board sizes.
- Precision Cruelty- 6s to Wound with Ranged Attacks get +1AP and +1Dmg, a powerful but inconsistent buff. Generally best against VEHICLES and MONSTERS where extra damage will generally always be useful and not wasted. If the AP is the main thing coveted here, consider Bold Tyrants instead.
- Prideful Wrath- You count as double wounds remaining for your Damage Tables. Powerful indeed, and generally comparable to Herpetrax, though of course without their extra rules. Herpetrax will be better at the lower brackets as they will be identical in terms of where they lie on the damage table, but take a bit longer to get there and will stick around longer by virtue of their larger health pool, whilst these Knights are slightly better in the early to mid game as they will technically stay in their top bracket for a small amount of time longer.
- Worthy Offerings- +1 to Hit against MONSTERS, VEHICLES and CHARACTERS, and if you destroy any of those kinds of models, they fill your Offering Tally for the Favour of the Gods below. The bonus accuracy is nice, though the second part will generally be fulfilled by killing a tank or monster already.
- Bound Vassals- You get to be House VEXTRIX, KHOMENTIS or KORVAX regardless of if you have their iconography on your models or not.
- Dark Forging- +4” Range for Shooting, and your Diabolus Heavy Stubbers get +1 Str and +1 Dmg, as well as ignoring Look Out Sir. A mixed bag, the Range bonus is cute though generally not needed for most weapons, whilst the Stubber buffs are quite nice, but less than useful unless going heavy into them.
- Merciless Tormentors- Reroll 1s to Hit when Shooting an enemy within 18”. A nice reliability boost, though it can mean some of your exclusively shooting WAR DOGS looking to get use from it will be in danger of being charged and neutered somewhat.
- Gheists of Ruin- Get Light Cover if the attacker is over 18” away. This helps a fair bit vs AP 0-2 Weapons, but anything above that will be on your Invulnerable Save anyways. Being that far away won’t last long outside of ranged backliners, but it’s useful in the early stages, or at least gives your foe a choice of getting close to bypass it, but then risk easier counterattacks.
- Hellforged Construction- Str 7 and below Attacks are at -1 Dmg, mitigating a lot of mid power weaponry against your Knights. The main issue is massed firepower and higher Strength attacks, so this might not come up as often as you’d like.
- Biomechanical Fusion- A 4+++ against the Mortal Wounds taken from Daemonic Surge, or if a DREADBLADE they get to use Daemonic Surge (though without the 4+++). A decent way to mitigate the downsides of the Surge, though less useful for a DREADBLADE, who may as well just be of the Household in the first place to get Surge and another rule.
- Unhallowed Inscriptions- A 5+++ vs Mortal Wounds (except those from Daemonic Surge), and +1 to Deny for PSYKERS. Mortal Wounds can be crippling to Knights, bypassing their usual defences, so this can be quite strong, if somewhat dependent on your foes.
- Warp Vision- Ignore Light Cover, a potent boost to your ranged power throughout the game.
Chaos Knights have a major focus on offensive boosts, though with some fairly important defensive boosts as well. They have a few utility based abilities too, but they are often quite restricted in what can use them.
- Break Their Lines- An ICONOCLAST Knight gets +1 to Hit if they Charged this turn. A great boost for only 1 CP, and whilst only working in that set circumstance, it makes your already strong melee offence even better, whether to help ensure hits, make up for degradation, or counter a minus.
- Hungry For Combat- For 2 CP all your WAR DOGS Melee attacks autowound on 6s to Hit against one chosen enemy unit. A decent boost, though you’ll at least 2 of them in combat to make it worth the CP usage, and you won’t need it all that often depending on your targets.
- Pack Hunters- If you have 2+ WAR DOGS in Engagement Range of the same enemy unit at the start of the Fight Phase, they each get +1 Attack. Requiring that many WAR DOGS on one unit can be somewhat overkill on many units, but for 1 CP this is great for ensuring a key foe is dragged down, if you’ve met the prerequisites.
- Skies of Fire- A WAR DOG gets +1 to Hit against AIRCRAFT in the Shooting Phase for 1 CP. Pretty niche, but can be useful to help bring down a plane.
- Murderbliss- A SLAANESH Knight that is in Engagement Range of a unit with 6+ Models gets +1 Attack, or +2 if they have 11+ Models. A good booster to help cleave through larger units, and whilst limited to the one Mark, is cheap for the 1 CP.
- Tormented Wrath- All your WAR DOGS get exploding 6s against one enemy unit in your Shooting Phase. A great boost, even if 2 CP, as it helps deal with a crucial unit from a distance.
- Crushed Like Vermin- For 1 CP, your Knight’s Titanic Feet suffer -1 to Hit, but each Hit against non-VEHICLE/MONSTERS does 2 Mortal Wounds instead of wounding normally. A mixed bag, useful in a pinch but the accuracy penalty can be significant, especially if degraded. Certainly not a go to Stratagem, but can be useful where only the 1 or 2 Wounds are needed to finish off something vital.
- Vengeful Outcasts- +1 to Wound vs IMPERIAL KNIGHTS in Melee. Super niche but powerful in that lone scenario, as these Stratagems usually are. Moving on.
- Trail of Destruction- Get reroll 1s to Hit for a Phase, when attacking units in range of an Objective Marker. Handy to have for 1 CP, though somewhat minor in application given the requirements and limited rerolls
- Unyielding Rage- -1 Dmg against Melee attacks for the phase is a potent boost to one of the main downsides of Knights, letting them offset harder hitting units in combat. Costs 1 CP for WAR DOGS, and 2 CP for TITANIC, but well worth it.
- Titanic Duel- When fighting another TITANIC model, you and your opponent hide a 1-3, then reveal them. If they are different, you get extra attacks equal to what you chose, and can only attack TITANIC units that turn. It’s only a CP, but super niche and unreliable to boot. Pass.
- Beseech the Dark Gods- Use when an UNDIVIDED PANTHEON Knight that is destroyed (but doesn’t Explode), standing back up with 3 Wounds remaining, on a 4+ at the end of the Phase. Whilst limited to a certain Mark, and only a 50/50, this can be a useful tool to have in order to get a bit more out of a Knight. Just be wary of using it when the foe can follow it up with more attacks, such as in their subsequent Charge/Fight Phase. Costs 1 CP for WAR DOGS and 2 CP for TITANICS.
- Abominable Constitution- In your Command Phase, a NURGLE Knight counts as full wounds until your next Command Phase, costing 1 CP for a WAR DOG and 2 CP for TITANICS. Degradation is a problem for Knights, hampering your effectiveness fairly quickly, so the ability to act at full effectiveness is well worth it, albeit somewhat limited in application given the Mark requirement.
- Doom and Despair- Once per game, at the start of Battle Round 3, 4 or 5, you can spend 2 CP if your WARLORD is on the battlefield, and choose a Harbinger of Dread ability from a previous Battle Round to be active for your army, as long as your WARLORD stays on the battlefield. A tricky one to utilise given its requirements and lateness in the game, but this can be useful to help pile on the pressure in the late game, and some of the abilities are powerful enough to help swing a battle back into your favour.
- Death Grip- When an attack Warpstrike Claw or Slaughterclaw is allocated to an enemy model, roll off with your opponent, getting +1 to your roll if your model’s base Strength is higher than the enemy models. If you win the roll off, that model can’t use Invulnerable Saves, otherwise the Damage becomes 0. Somewhat frustrating, as you’ll need to slow roll to determine if/when you’ll use it, and there’s a decent enough chance it won’t do anything. If it does work however, the 1 CP cost is low for what would at that stage be an almost guarantee to kill or at least deal serious damage to an enemy, though bear in mind the AP of the Claws themselves might not be high enough to be any better than the invulnerable already on certain targets.
- Spiteful Demise- Auto Explode. For Knights. Yes. Costs 1-3 CP as your weight class goes up (so WAR DOG, ABHORRENT and TYRANTS, respectively). If it is used on a TYRANT, you do roll a single D6, getting the 3D6” radius on a 4+. It’s costly on your bigger Knights, but the ability to devastate a large swathe of the battlefield on death is well worth the investment, so you might stab out at them from hell’s heart. Once per game, as spamming this could get quite obnoxious.
- Chosen by the Gods- A Knight without a Favour of the Dark Gods can have an associated Mark for 1 CP (on your list ala a Warlord Trait). If you don’t have the points for the Favours, this can be useful to get access to a Stratagem you might want, particularly good for NURGLE so you have access to the Abominable Constitution Stratagem above, but otherwise just spending the points is usually better. Can be used twice in Strike Force.
- Corrupted Heirlooms- The usual “Extra Relics” Stratagem, and in this case it works even if they aren’t a CHARACTER. Note this does not make them a CHARACTER, so you won’t get access to other things associated with the Keyword. There’s some very nice Relics for the Knights, so this will see some common use.
- Tyrannical Court- Makes a Knight a CHARACTER, and then gives them a Warlord Trait. Depending on your army build and Household, you have some good Traits, though some aren’t strictly necessary, however the CHARACTER Keyword does have some other interactions, mainly for Heroic Interventions, a handy boost in itself for a big Knight.
- Arch-tyrant- Gives your WARLORD an additional Warlord Trait. A good upgrade for 1 CP, letting you make a particularly nasty and customised Knight, though it’s not always needed or warranted, so consider what role or task you want them to achieve.
- Bind the Souls of the Slain- When an INFERNAL Knight Fights, each model they destroy with a Melee Attack will heal a Wound on a 4+, to a max of 6 healed Wounds. A good way to keep a damaged Knight healthier longer, or even go back up a bracket. It is done each time a model is destroyed, rather than after fighting, so you can slow roll if there is the chance of bumping you up a damage bracket. 1 CP for a WAR DOG, 2 CP for TITANIC.
- Hunting Hounds- At the start of your Movement Phase, pick up to 2 WAR DOGS that are over 6” away from enemies, and within 6” of a Battlefield Edge, and put them into Strategic Reserve. They can’t arrive that turn, but it’s useful for repositioning for a later turn, and cheap for 1 CP for the flexibility vs putting them in Strategic Reserves pre game.
- A Long Leash- For 1 CP you pick one DESPOILER, RAMPAGER or DESECRATOR in your Command Phase, and one WAR DOG on the battlefield counts as being in the range of their Datasheet Aura until the end of the turn. Fairly niche, and your Auras already have a fairly generous range, though it can be useful in a pinch for some rerolls. Patently worthless on a DESPOILER, as Heroic Interventions can’t be used in your turn…so…just don’t.
- Unleash the Hounds- After a WAR DOG finishes a Charge Move, the rest of your WAR DOGS get reroll charges against enemies in Engagement Range of the first one. A nice boost for 1 CP, and whilst needing the set up for the first one, it’s ideal for ensuring you can get as many Dogs as possible into combat, especially if you’re looking at some of the other “multiple War Dogs” Stratagems.
- Wrathsurge- If an enemy PSYKER fails a power within 18” of a KHORNE model, they immediately Perils, for 1 CP. Fairly niche, and doesn’t do much to prevent a Power in the first place, but the risk of it can be a good deterrent against weaker or already wounded PSYKERS in the vicinity.
- Harrying Hunter- 2 CP to grant a WAR DOG Fall Back and Shoot/Charge, which whilst expensive does keep your Dog active and capable of targeting what they want to. Especially useful on your ranged puppies, for whom getting tagged in melee can severely hamper their effectiveness, though the charge aspect will likely be wasted so make those shots count for the cost.
- Reap and Rend- When a Knight with a Chainsword or Chaintalon is chosen to Fight, their Sweep nets a further additional attack, but you can’t reroll any Hits. This lets you pump out a bunch more attacks, especially nasty on an ICONOCLAST with other sources of extra Attacks. For reference, most rerolls will stem from a Reroll 1s to Hit, which is roughly inferior to the extra Attacks you’d get, but it depends on any degradation or minuses to Hit, which closes the gap a bit.
- Diabolic Bulwark- Rotate Ion Shields, but now with a CHAOSY NAME! Grants a Knight a 4++ for your Opponent’s Shooting Phase (so not vs Overwatch). Used when targeted, so it can be baited out slightly, but does last for the remainder of the Phase making you harder to shift. Does cost more for TITANICS, at 2CP vs 1 CP for a WAR DOG, so it will add up quickly if used every turn.
- Infernal Aegis- A TYRANT gets a 6” Aura that gives WAR DOGS a 4++ vs Ranged attacks. Used in the opponent’s Command Phase, so it can alter where they were thinking of moving, either to bring more units to bear, or change their targets. At 2 CP, this is better value than Bulwark, provided you have at least 2 DOGS benefiting, and you’ll need to prepare accordingly in your turn before.
- Macabre Projectiles- Destroying a VEHICLE or MONSTER with a Warpstrike Claw lets you chuck a bit of it at an enemy unit within 9”, doing D3 Mortals on a 3+, and flat 3 Mortals on a 6, with a -1 to the roll if you choose a CHARACTER with 9W or less. Pretty niche for the 1 CP, with a number of limitations and then dependent on die rolls, but can be handy in a pinch (not to mention hilarious when it kills something).
- Ravenous Pterroshades- An enemy unit in Dread Range of a PTERROSHADES model in the Morale Phase takes a Dread Test, suffering 1 Mortal Wound for each point they fail the test by, to a max of 6. A nice bit of additional damage for 1 CP, and fairly easy to generate if you have some modifiers in place (which you’ll have a couple of at least). Ideal for finishing off a wounded model, degrading an enemy tank, or even “sniping” at Characters.
- Sorcerous Ammunition- A TZEENTCH model autowounds with a single Ranged Attack, and if it’s on a PSYKER they have to take a Dread Test, suffering Perils on a failure. Will necessitate slow rolling, so you can determine when/if you need to use it, but the guarantee for 1 CP is nice indeed, with the Perils being a fun bonus on the odd occasion it comes up.
Your paid upgrade section, each Favour grants you a Keyword and an ability. As you’d expect, each Favour is one per army and a model can only have one Favour. You also can only give one Favour to one model in a WAR DOGS unit, so no multiples in a unit.
In addition, each model with a Favour keeps a Tally, and each enemy model destroyed adds to the Tally equal to their Wound Characteristic. At the end of any Phase where the model has reached a required number on their Tally, they gain a new Favoured Ability for the rest of the game. WAR DOGS need 5 on their Tally, ABHORRENTS need 10, and TYRANTS need 15.
The Tally is generated from any way a model is destroyed, be it Psychic, Attacks or special rules, and doesn’t reset, so none of these are particularly difficult to reach, though of course it depends on your targets and your luck.
The size of the model determines the cost, and are written as X/Y/Z, for WAR DOGS, ABHORRENTS and TYRANTS, respectively. As a general rule of thumb, these are reasonably pricey upgrades, but the abilities they grant are quite potent, and given the nature of the army you’ll often have enough points leftover to have a couple sprinkled in the army.
Note that if any of these are given to an ABOMINANT, they are no longer a PSYKER, can’t Cast or Deny etc, but do get +1 WS and Attack. This is not generally worth it, as there are better melee knights in the first place.
Blood Shield (30/45/30)
Once per game at the start of the Fight Phase, you can turn off all Invulnerable saves made against your targets, but also against yourself. Given Knights generally don’t have an Invulnerable in melee outside of a few niche instances, this isn’t too bad of a trade off, and on the right Knight with their good AP, can all but ensure a target is deleted. Obviously not so useful on Knights with no or minor Melee (so anything that can only use Feet), and it is expensive, but the ability to deny a crucial save on an important target can be very handy.
- Favoured Ability- You can use the Blood Shield a second time. You might not need to use it a second time, but it’s useful to have, especially in certain matchups with multiple high invulnerable, high priority threats like Custodes or Tyranids.
Collar of Infernal Brass (15/25/25)
Grants the bearer a 12” Aura of -2 to Psychic Tests to Enemy PSYKERS. A bit niche, but can be useful in some matchups to help shut down lots of psychic, especially in Mortal Wound heavy builds like Thousand Sons or Tyranid Psyker bombs. It’s no guarantee, but every little will help.
- Favoured Ability- Become outright immune to Psychic Powers. Being unaffected by all Powers is again a somewhat situational boon, but in the right matchups can be crucial. This on the other hand is what you want in Smite heavy matchups, and getting this active gives you a massive advantage in protecting your Knights. A slight double edged sword in that you also can’t be affected by friendly Psychic Powers, but that is a pretty minor case.
Throne Mechanicum of Skulls (15/25/15)
Reroll Charges. It’s a cheap yet useful boost to a combat Knights’ ability to get up the field, and helps save your CP for other more useful things, or for another Knight.
- Favoured Ability- Exploding 6s in combat, another simple but effective boost for combat prowess. Works great with a Sweep attack and other stacked Attack boosts for ultimate carnage.
Become a PSYKER, who Knows 1, Casts 1 and Denies 1, or if an ABOMINANT they Know and Cast +1 Power. The Warp Storm powers are all pretty decent, and this of course gives extra utility to the ABOMINANT, however this can effectively be read as “Pay Xpts to cast Winds of the Warp”, as realistically that’s the power you’re going to go for almost every time.
- Favoured Ability- Reroll a single Psychic Test per turn. A nice reliable boost to help ensure your key power goes off.
Cursed Rune of Fate (15/35/50)
6s to Save against Ranged Attacks inflict a Mortal Wound to the Attacker, after they’ve finished, to a max of 6. A decent enough boost, this is best against units looking to chip away at your Knight with high volume of fire, and whilst it’s not the most reliable, it can be useful as a deterrent. If your Knight is low on wounds and in danger of dying to the attacks, you’ll have to resolve Saves one at a time, in case you die before you get to the end of all the Saves needed.
- Favoured Ability- A 4++, all the time. This is why it’s a costly upgrade, as this is a massive survivability boost, as well as resource saver, letting you use Bulwark elsewhere, or consider defensive Relics on other Knights. It even works against Melee attacks, making a Knight with this a perfect counter to units looking to leverage this weakness.
Mirror of Fates (15/20/30)
Regen a CP on a 5+ each time your opponent uses a Stratagem. Knights are fairly CP hungry, so having access to an extra source of CP is a nice boost, though the nature of the game atm means you’ll have a greatly diminishing chance of getting one as the game goes on, as CP are burnt through very quickly in the early stages of the game.
- Favoured Ability- Once per Battle Round, you can turn a Hit, Wound or Save into an unmodified 6, after making the roll. A strong ability, though it will necessitate slow rolling in instances where you know you might need it, and generally you’ll keep this in the bank for a clutch Save, but any instance of use is nice. Works nicely with Sorcerous Ammunition to guarantee a Hit with this, and then a Wound with the Stratagem, for those times you just need to do damage.
The Putrid Carapace (20/40/60)
+1 to your Armour Saves vs Dmg 1 Attacks. A decent boost, helping you shrug off chip damage a bit easier, and combines nicely with the few ways you have to reduce Damage, making the Knight able to withstand a good bit of extra punishment.
- Favoured Ability- +1 Toughness. Yeah this is why it’s one of the most expensive options for most Knights. Going to T9 on your big Knights is a massive boost in survivability against the common anti tank weapons, and will generally equate to reducing bigger weapons’ chances of Wounding by -1. Doesn’t help against things wounding you on 6s or 5s in the first place, but still, a potent upgrade nonetheless.
Blessing of A Thousand Poxes (15/30/15)
6s to Hit autowound in Melee. A handy upgrade to help slightly lower the chances of duff rolls, and bypassing Wound rolls in some instances can be useful, especially against things with minuses or set values like Transhuman.
- Favoured Ability- Your Shooting Attacks now get 6s to Hit autowound as well, which as with the Melee is useful for just helping more of your attacks stick.
Aura of Corruption (35/35/25)
Grants a 6” Aura of -1 Strength to enemy units, useful for neutering strong melee attackers and getting them below certain thresholds of wounding. Remember minuses are applied after multiplications, so something with Str 5 and a x2 Str Weapon will still be hitting at Str 9 and so wounding on 3s.
- Favoured Ability- Your Aura now imposes -1 Toughness to enemy units, making for a powerful debuffer to support your melee as well as shooting into nearby units, making many of your weapons verge into the 3+ if not 2+ to Wound territories on many units.
Quicksilver Throne (15/20/10)
The Knight is able to Heroically Intervene, and also has Fight First. Both are good abilities for the cost you pay, letting you threaten units that might have otherwise been safe, and provide a pseudo counter to Chargers, Fight Last and other Fight First abilities.
- Favoured Ability- +D3” to Pile In and Consolidation Moves, a nice boost to help you press the advantage in combat, tag units further away or position better to block or threaten other parts of the board.
Beguiling Majesty (20/40/40)
-1 to be Hit and Wounded in Melee, a potent defensive upgrade to a generally big downside of Knights, making them much more resilient to dedicated melee units, and all but negating lighter units that are trying to get some lucky wounds through.
- Favoured Ability- Grants a 6” Aura of -1 Attack to enemy units, another powerful defensive boost to further aid your Knight against combat units, as well as provide support for your other units now as well.
Subjugator Machine Spirit (15/30/20)
Count as Remaining Stationary for Shooting Purposes, letting you Advance and Fall Back whilst still maintaining your ranged capabilities. Good to help shorter ranged Knights get into range or line of sight, and ideal for a ranged War Dog which would otherwise be reliant on costly Stratagems to keep them active. Less useful for bigger Knights who can Fall Back and Shoot already, but the Advance portion is nice.
- Favoured Ability- Lets you Charge even if you Advance or Fall Back. Another potent tool to keep your Knights active and threatening in all circumstances, again being a bit more useful for War Dogs who can’t do it innately, though a larger Knight will of course enjoy the Advance and Charge portion immensely.
Mark of the Dread Knight (20/40/60)
A 6+++. A nice enough defensive boost, if a pricey one, this will come up clutch on occasions, and a roughly 13% increase in your effective wounds is nothing to be sniffed at.
- Favoured Ability- You get a 5+++ instead. This is really what you’re here for, being much more reliable and likely to come up, making your Knight harder to degrade and deal with with things like Mortal Wounds.
Warp-borne Stalker (15/30/30)
Grants your Knight Deep Strike. Hilarious, if somewhat niche. Good to have if you anticipate a hefty alpha strike, but bear in mind that Knights have big bases, so screening them out can be somewhat easier than other units. A WAR DOG using this counts as a separate unit for deploying from their unit, so there’s no odd situations in that regard.
- Favoured Ability- Lets you remove the Knight from the board at the start of your Movement Phase, and Deep Strike down in your next Movement Phase. A useful trick for getting out of dodge, repositioning to another part of the battlefield, or for making last ditch Objective plays, but the same issues as above apply, being fairly easy to screen out, though in the latter stages of the game this can be easier said than done for your foe.
Blessing of the Dark Master (20/30/50)
Any attacks against this Knight cannot reroll Hits, Wounds or Damage. This is a fantastic survivability boost, removing all manner of minor buffs from the equation, and preventing things like CP rerolls from suddenly turning a glancing hit into a major blow.
- Favoured Ability- Any Hit rolls of 1-3 automatically fail, regardless of abilities. Makes for an impressively hard to deal with Knight, especially when stacked with other defensive abilities and their existing prevention of rerolls.
Note that WAR DOGS can only take Traits 1-3
- Eager for the Kill- +1 to Advance and Charge rolls, and +1 Attack whilst within your opponent’s Deployment Zone. A good spread of buffs for an aggressive Knight, well tailored for putting the pressure on your opponent’s battleline.
- Harbinger of Scrapcode- In the Morale Phase, one enemy VEHICLE within 18” must take a Dread Test. On a failure, they suffer 3 Mortal Wounds, and until the next Morale Phase count as half wounds remaining for their Damage Table, or -1 WS and BS if they don’t degrade. A decent, if somewhat niche, pick that can help neutralise strong enemy tanks, and given the timing, happens in every turn, meaning you can stack some quite nasty damage on the foe. Be wary of that same timing however, doing it to the foe in their Morale Phase will only result in the debuff in your turn.
- Warp-haunted Hull- Deny a Power, or Deny an additional if already a PSYKER, and get a 5+++ to wounds suffered in the Psychic Phase. Another somewhat situational Trait, useful to have at times, but worthless at others. Note the 5+++ applies to all wounds suffered in the Psychic Phase, and so applies to things like Perils, vehicle explosions, even against attacks resulting from the rare abilities to fight or shoot in that Phase, so be aware of that.
- Knight Diabolus- +1 Attack and reroll 1s to Hit in Melee. A solid boost to help make the most of your powerful combat weaponry, as well as somewhat offset degradation that will likely happen in terms of accuracy.
- Infernal Quest- The WARLORD becomes Objective Secured. A strong ability, especially given they will count as 10 Models, ensuring that they can hold or take Objectives from most units in the game. Ideal for any Knight, be they looking to hold your backline, or take the fight to the foe.
- Aura of Terror- Enemy units in Dread Range must roll an additional D6 and discard the lowest whenever they take a Morale or Dread Test. A decent upgrade, especially if you’re looking to leverage some of the Dread abilities, and when combined with certain other factors can lead to some horrific Morale casualties, which whilst perhaps not efficient compared to just killing units, is very thematic and fun, and lets you spread casualties around a bit more if splitting attacks or needing to attack in multiple areas.
Powers marked with a * last until your next Psychic Phase.
- Winds of the Warp* (WC 6)- Gives the Knight a 5++, and if they cast on an 8+ they get a 6” Aura that grants WAR DOGS a 6+++. The first part alone is incredibly good for the low casting value, and makes for some incredibly difficult to kill Knights when combined with other abilities. Whilst the Aura portion isn’t reliable to get, it is potent if you do get it whilst surrounded by pups.
- Vortex Terrors* (WC 5)- An enemy within 18” is -1 Ld, and needs to take a Dread Test each time they Shoot or Fight, suffering a -1 to their WS and BS on a failure, until the end of that Phase. Whilst on paper not all that impressive, this can stack up with other Leadership modifiers to act as a decent debuffer to a key enemy unit. Whilst a flat -1 to Hit would probably have been better, this is easy to cast, and does stack with minuses as well, so can have greater impact there.
- The Storm Malevolent* (WC 7)- An enemy unit within 18” is marked, granting all Melee attacks against them 1 to Wound as well as any unmodified 6s to Wound to cause an additional Mortal Wound, to a max of 3. Not bad, the bonus to wound is great for dealing with heavier targets, and the Mortal Wounds are nice to have, albeit limited as the cap is for how many the unit suffers, not per Knight attacking. The high cost does keep this back a bit, but a unit with this and multiple Knights attacking them in combat is likely doomed (though they probably were already at that point).
- Cyclonic Lamentation (WC 6)- All enemy units within 12” have to take a Dread Test, suffering 1 Mortal Wound on a failure, or D3 if the Power was cast on an 11+. This can rack up some decent damage across a swathe of enemy units, but it’s quite slow to resolve, not all that damaging, and needs debuffs to make it reliable.
- Coruscating Hate (WC 6)- A Smite that bounces, doing D3 Mortal Wounds to the nearest visible enemy within 18”, then the closest enemy within 6” of the original target takes a Mortal Wound on a 2+, or D3 on a 4+. Useful to help spread some damage around, though you’re better off with a Smite if you only have the one target that can be affected, or you’re really in need of the Super to do as much damage as possible.
- Spitesquall* (WC 6)- An enemy within 18” can’t fire Overwatch or Set to Defend, and each model destroyed in that unit adds 1 to a Tally for that Phase. At the end of that Phase, roll a number of D6 equal to the Tally, doing a Mortal Wound for each 5+, then set the Tally to 0. A mixed bag, with the Overwatch denial being useful for auto hitting or more accurate units, as well as to just remove the option from your foe and keep damaged Knights safer, whilst the Mortal Wound component can be all but worthless against some units, and devastating against others. The Tally is increased when a model is destroyed regardless of source, so things like Psychic powers or even exploding Vehicles nearby can cause a cascade of exploding heads.
Relics marked with a * are ABHORRENT or WAR DOG only.
- The Blasphemous Engine*- An INFERNAL Knight counts as double wounds remaining for their Damage Table, and also gets a 2+++ against Mortal Wounds suffered from Daemonic Surge. Both are good benefits, letting your Knight stay active for longer, as well as use the Surge benefits with minimal risk.
- Veil of Medrengard*- ICONOCLAST only, granting a 4++ vs Shooting, and a 6+++ vs Melee. Not needing to use the CP on Bulwark for the bearer every turn is a great boon, alongside having the option to have multiple Knights with a good invulnerable. The Melee boost is a bit more situational, but there will be times you’ll be glad to have it against particularly nasty melee units, as a chance of a save is better than none at all.
- Helm of Warp-sight*- Your ranged attacks can ignore any Hit and BS modifiers, as well as getting Ignore Cover. A great set of reliability boosts to help land attacks, and make them stick.
- The Diamonas- A DESECRATOR upgrades their Laser Destructor with +1 Shot, +2 Str, a decent upgrade that makes the weapon much more likely at destroying an enemy tank.
- The Teeth That Hunger- A super Reaper Chainsword, getting +1 Attack and +2 Str to both Strike and Sweep Profiles, letting them wound most of their targets now on 2+. Great on any Knight looking to go for combat, which given a lot of your power is there, is probably worth looking into.
- Rune of Nak’T’Graa- Grants a DREADBLADE an additional Fell Bond no other Knight in the army has. Can make some nice combinations of traits, especially if you’re looking at using a Dreadblade to cover a specific role or missing aspect in your army.
- The Tyrant’s Banner- An ABHORRENT Knight gets +3” to any of their Auras, to a max of 12”, and also generates an additional CP on a 5+ in your Command Phase. Interestingly this CP is not restricted by the usual 1 per Round rule, meaning when combined with other CP generating effects (like Mirror of Fates) can really fuel your abilities. The Aura increase is also quite good, especially combined with certain Favour of the Gods abilities that grant additional Auras.
- Bound Varadian Psychogheist*- Any attacks that roll a 6 to Wound get +2 AP, and you can reroll one Damage roll each time you Shoot or Fight. A strange combination of fairly unsynergistic abilities, with attacks that roll Damage already having high AP, and attacks that would benefit the most from the AP boost having flat Damage Characteristics. As such to maximise you’ll need to ensure you have a mix of weapons, such as a Battle Cannon alongside a Meltagun. Working in both melee and shooting is handy to have however, and can help out certain melee attacks with the AP boost.
- The Traitor’s Mark- Enemies in Dread Range cannot use the Insane Bravery Stratagem, or reroll any Morale Check by any means. In addition, once per game you can activate a second Harbinger of Dread ability from the same Battle Round for the bearer, for the rest of the game. The first aspect is quite niche, though can be useful to ensure Morale given the numerous debuffs you can apply, whilst the second aspect offers some nice flexibility and combinations to help ensure you have access to an appropriate or more useful ability for the bearer whilst your army benefits from a more generally useful Harbinger ability.
- The Gauntlet of Ascension- A Warpstrike Claw that can Reroll Hits, and also eats enemy heroes, giving the bearer +1 Str and Attack each time they destroy an enemy CHARACTER with it. The rerolls are the main draw here, as realistically you won’t be killing more than 1 CHARACTER per game, though it’s still a nice boost to have for when it happens.
- The Twisted Mask- A PSYKER gets +1 to Cast, and Knows an additional Power. Both are good benefits, letting you have more options as well as reliability, ideal for some of the more potent powers.
- Panoply of the Cursed Knights*- Gives the bearer a 2+ Save. A decent boost, predominantly against AP 0-2 Weapons, as past that point its Ion Shield time anyways. Has a bit more use against Melee, letting you still have a semblance of hope against AP 3 and 4 weaponry.
- Soul-raptor Swarm- A PTERRORSHADE model only, they get a 4+++ vs Mortal Wounds (but not those from Daemonic Surge), and each time an enemy unit has models flee whilst in Dread Range, the bearer heals a Wound, to a max of 3 per Phase. A mixed pair of benefits, the 4+++ offering a handy defensive boost against a prime issue for Knights, whilst the healing aspect can be handy to keep a Knight as healthy as possible, provided models are fleeing. This is pretty niche however, being all but worthless in some matchups, and very powerful in others, though seldom are the two both useful at the same time.
- Helm of Dogs- A WAR DOG gets +1 Attack, as well as a 6” Aura that grants reroll 1s to Wound for all WAR DOGS. Both are fantastic benefits, letting the War Dog hit harder for themselves, as well as being the only source of “Lieutenant” rerolls for the army. Even restricted to War Dogs only, as they generally make up the bulk of the army this helps bump their reliability a fair chunk.
The following are available if you have a CHAOS KNIGHT WARLORD when playing Matched Play or Grand Tournament Mission, with the usual restrictions.
Purge the Enemy - A Fitting Challenge
After picking Deployment Zones, the 3 units in your Opponent’s Army with the highest Points (including all their wargear etc) are the targets for this Secondary. At the end of each Battle Round, you score a number of VP for each target destroyed that Round, to a max of 6 VP per Round- 6 in Battle Round 1, then 5 in Battle Round 2, 4 in Battle Round 3, 3 in Battle Round 4, and 2 in Battle Round 5. If at the end of the Battle a target isn’t destroyed, you subtract 1 VP from this Secondary for each target, to a minimum of 0. A weird one that rewards you for killing high value targets (which you want to do), over the course of the game (which you’re less likely to want to do), punishing you with less chance of maxing out VP should you kill too many too early. This will lead to strange circumstances where you don’t want to kill a target in case you’re already capping out the 6 VP a round, but might need to to prevent them doing something else. It’s fairly niche, and will really depend on what you’re facing, especially if the units in question are CHARACTERS you won’t get to until later in the game, or units which might be a struggle to crack open quickly.
No Mercy, No Respite - Path of Destruction
Score 1 VP for each condition achieved per Battle Round-
- 1+ Enemy units were destroyed by a CHAOS KNIGHT wholly within your Deployment Zone
- 1+ Enemy units were destroyed by a CHAOS KNIGHT that is more than 3” away from either player’s Deployment Zone
- 1+ Enemy units were destroyed by a CHAOS KNIGHT wholly within your opponent’s Deployment Zone
Basically, a Knight in each part of the battlefield that kills an enemy unit nets you a VP. It’s basically impossible to hard to max this, as it will sometimes require some odd positioning to fulfil certain criteria, getting wholly into your opponent’s deployment Turn 1 is a huge ask, and having enough Knights left alive to do it every turn means you’re opponent’s already having a bad day if you have that many still around in Turn 5. However, you want to be killing units anyways, so in certain matchups with lots of units, or at least a decent amount, this could be worth looking at to help get a steady-ish stream of VP.
Battlefield Supremacy - Ruthless Tyrant
At the end of your Turn, score as follows-
- 2 VP if you control half or more of the Objectives and have a Knight in range of each
- 1 VP if half or more Objectives are in Dread Range of a Knight
- 1 VP if all Objectives are in Dread Range of a Knight
A fairly reasonable Secondary to achieve, depending on the mission, as controlling half or more nets you a decent amount of points, and Dread Range is large enough to catch multiple Objectives with a single Knight in the first place. Also worth noting it’s half or more Objectives, not at least half and more than your Opponent, making it a decent choice to Stranglehold for 6 Objective Missions. Whilst maxing might be tricky, you could fairly reliably get 8-10 VP on this throughout the game as you nab Objectives and get stuff in Dread.
Shadow Operations - Storm of Darkness
One Knight can start this Action in the Morale Phase provided it is in range of an Objective that isn’t Cursed, and there are no enemy models in range of it. It completes at the end of your next Psychic Phase, and then the Objective is Cursed, you score 3 VP, and for the rest of the game any non-CHAOS units within 6” of the Objective are at -1 Ld. Shadow Operations and Knights is probably not something you expected to see, but it’s actually somewhat decent. Whilst you can’t max it out, as you can’t score it in Turn 1, the timing of the Action means you don’t sacrifice any utility the turn you’re aiming to start it, and the turn you complete the Action you just won’t be able to Move or use Psychic Powers, the latter of which doesn’t matter for most Knights. The main downside is that loss of Movement, meaning a canny foe can move to just stay out of charge range of your Knight that turn, but then hey, that means it’s your Objective and they’re nowhere near it to try and take it. Whilst it won’t be massively high scoring, given its one per turn, and the other limits mean you might get around 9VP on a good day, the Ld debuff is cute to have on top of your others, it could affect how your opponent moves, and having the option to do something like this in the first place is nice to have in certain matchups where other Secondaries might be even less appealing.
And yes it’s worth pointing out that it says “the Morale Phase”, meaning you can, RAW, start this in your Opponents Morale Phase. This doesn’t seem right, so assume it’s going to be FAQ’d. As always, err on the side of caution and assume that’s not the way it will be, but check with your TO/Gaming Group how they will play it.
These are rules that will be commonly found across multiple, if not all, units in the Chaos Knights Codex.
Your classic 5++ vs Shooting remains as handy as ever, providing you a layer of protection against even heavy firepower, which given the sheer amount of AP on basic things nowadays, means you’ll be relying on this alot. The key issue here of course is Shooting only, so once you hit Melee it’s just raw stats and armour that’ll keep you around, and it being only a 5++ isn’t the most reliable thing, so if someone is spamming lots of anti tank, you’re still going to be failing a fair chunk. Fortunately everything has this, so it’ll generally always come up in game.
Your TITANIC units can Fall Back and Charge, and for the umpteenth time, Fall Back and Shoot is in the Core Rules for all TITANIC models, please go read the Core Book, it tells you lots of stuff like this that don’t need to be asked. In addition, you can move over all non-VEHICLE/MONSTERS as if they weren’t there, whenever you make a Normal Move, Advance or Fall Back. Shame you can’t step over things when Charging, but I suppose you are going into a sprint or something? Effectively means your TITANIC Knights will always be able to pick and choose their targets, so a lone Marine surviving melee with them won’t suddenly shut down a quarter of your army, and screening against them will require spacing out a lot, or tanks, giving you a modicum of flexibility in manoeuvring, despite your other disadvantages when it comes to things like terrain.
All WAR DOGS in a unit must be set up within 6” of at least one other model in the unit when deploying, and then they act as individual units from that point on, for the rest of the game. Effectively just means you have to deploy any units of War Dogs near each other, though afterwards they get to roam around freely. It’s actually a fairly large area to deploy in if you have 3 in the squad, so it’s not too restrictive, just make sure you can place all the dogs within range when setting up other Knights, as you can find yourself rapidly running out of room on some maps, forcing you to deploy out of position, or be outright destroyed.
Another thing to note, needing to deploy 1-3 dogs together generally means you have around 5 deployment drops to make, so the choice of Attacker or Defender when deploying should only really matter for terrain layouts (though if you’re playing at tournaments, that’s pretty much a fake choice as every battle in the 41st Millenium is on Planet Mirror City), so you will be out deployed. Consider this when it comes to anti tank units in your opponent’s force, as they will likely leave any prime tank hunter until you’re fully deployed.
Any ability that has made reference to Dread Range or Dread Tests is covered here.
- Dread Range- Dread Range is 12”, and is not an Aura so can’t be affected by any rules that might turn them off or adjust them. This will mostly tie in with the Harbingers of Dread ability below, but there are a few other rules that key off the range.
- Dread Tests- When a unit has to make a Dread Test, the controlling player (ie your opponent) needs to roll 2D6 for that unit. If the result is greater than the highest Ld in that unit, the Dread Test is failed and then something happens. The average on 2D6 is 7, so most units will be passing this, however you have a fair number of ways to lower enemy Ld, and there’s still no guarantee of a pass, even if there’s a small chance. Also worth noting that these are not Morale Tests, so anything that grants immunity or modifiers to Morale has zero impact here.
The “Pure” Army rule for the Chaos Knights, you get a series of stacking modifiers as the game proceeds, with a new one becoming active at the start of each Battle Round.
They’re divided into 3 categories- Doom, Despair and Darkness. Rounds 1 and 5 you can only pick Doom, whilst in Rounds 2-4 the category you can choose depends on what you chose in the previous Battle Round. You can always choose the same category, Doom lets you choose either Despair or Darkness, whilst those Despair/Darkness can only choose Doom.
Like this: Despair ↔ Doom ↔ Darkness
As you can only go from Despair to Darkness (and vice versa) by spending a Battle Round to go via Doom, or by using certain rare abilities, you’ll want to plan ahead at least a little bit. Make sure you are in a position to choose the most beneficial power in a given match up, though you also want to be careful you aren’t choosing an ability that is otherwise not that useful, though in some matchups the sacrifice of that Round’s ability might be worth it for the future play.
With a good spread of defensive and disruptive abilities here, they can help turn stacked odds against you, and certain abilities can be game changing in the late game if utilised well. The thing to consider is the radius of Dread is fairly generous, and huge chunks of the enemy army can be impacted as the game proceeds, and if they are affected it can assist the rest of your army, even if individuals aren’t close to the enemy in question.
Most abilities are Dread abilities, as explained above, and are marked with a *.
Battle Round 1
Dread Host*- Units in Dread Range suffer -1 Ld and -1 Combat Attrition. A decent enough start to help force Morale checks, and whilst some factions probably won’t care too much about the modifiers, it can come up from time to time, as well as helping you with Dread Checks and such.
Battle Round 2
Encroaching Doom- +3” to your Dread Ranges. It’s a simple buff, but doesn’t do much by itself, and so works best with a particular plan in mind for Harbinger abilities in the later turns, built in Dread abilities, or if you’re looking at taking the Ruthless Tyranny Secondary.
Creeping Dismay*- Units in Dread Range suffer a -3” to any of their Aura abilities, and -3” to any abilities used in the Command Phase. This is a powerful debuff that can cause headaches for your foe in terms of positioning and movement, forcing them to cluster up to get the benefits, or sacrifice potent abilities. Just be wary this specifically affects the Aura ability itself, so it’s meaningless for a Character outside your Dread Range, and can be countered by simply moving outside of it, though even that can work into your favour, as they move into less advantageous positions.
Gheist Storm*- Units in Dread Range must make a Dread Test every time they are selected to Shoot or Charge. If they fail the Test for Shooting, they can only shoot the closest eligible Knight. Failure in the Charge phase results in them halving their Charge rolls. Both of these are a potent ability that can drastically alter the flow of the game, forcing them to shoot at a target they didn’t want to, or failing to make the charge entirely, making your army situationally immune to Charges from over 6” away, and a serious mitigator to longer “Hail Mary” Charge attempts. Now of course, they still need to fail the Test, so some armies won’t care, but others will be severely affected.
Battle Round 3
Mortal Terror*- Units in Dread Range lose an additional model on a failed Morale Test, or an additional D3 if they failed their Morale on at least double their Leadership. Against some armies this can add up quickly in terms of how many models are lost to Morale, and makes Morale even more dangerous for units with only 2 or 3 models left. It’s generally pretty situational however, with most units either being outright killed, or losing plenty of models to Morale already. It can be useful to spread out damage and rely on failed Morale to finish off the final models, but that can be risky given natural 1s autopass.
Empyric Fugue*- Units in Dread Range that want to start an Action must pass a Dread Test, and units in range that are performing an Action at the start of the Morale Phase must also pass, otherwise the Action fails. Situational of course, as without Actions being done this is meaningless, but against armies that are looking to use them for Secondaries, or on certain Primary missions, this can be a serious thorn in their side, especially given the inherent modifiers already. It isn’t something to be relied upon of course, but can make your opponent think twice about their positioning on where and when they do certain Actions, and given the Morale phase effect happens in both player’s turns, there’s a not insignificant chance of forcing a failure before many Actions complete. Note this has no effect on Psychic Actions, being a separate thing to normal Actions.
Pall of Darkness- Ranged attacks against your Knights suffer a -1 to Hit if over 12” away. A potent defensive buff, especially since it is explicitly not Dense Cover so certain rules can’t bypass it. The main downside is coming online in Turn 3, when most of the big damage against your Knights will have been done, your Knights will be in the midboard or enemy lines, and moving into that range will be fairly easy to do. It does however afford some nice durability to your backlined Knights, and enemy units that are within 12” of a Knight best hope they kill it, lest they get retaliated against.
Battle Round 4
Wailing Gheists*- A further -2 Ld to enemy units within Dread Range. Stacking with your existing -1 makes Dread Tests and Morale much easier to inflict on the foe, which at this stage of the game can make a big difference as even small squads could be in danger of failing Morale to just a couple of casualties. Again this will be quite dependent on your foe and what Dread Tests you have access to, but it can be devastating when combined with other abilities.
Paralyzing Insanity*- Units in Dread Range lose Objective Secured. This is massive, all but ensuring that you will take Objectives from your foe, especially given the late stages of the game meaning your opponent’s forces could be quite depleted, and their other units smaller in number. The threat of this can ensure your foe overplays for the Primary so they can score as much as possible early on, and in scenarios where you are going second, this will activate before determining control of an Objective, meaning this could severely dampen your opponent’s scoring potential in the late game.
Veil of Shadows- A flat -1 to be Hit by Melee attacks, helping to add a good layer of defence to a big weakness of Knights. Only being active for Rounds 4 and 5 however is a major downside, as by this time most important melee units will have done their job by now, or be dead, making it less than useful. However if there is still a big melee threat around, or you have some heavily damaged Knights at threat from lone melee attackers, this could still prove useful.
Battle Round 5
Horror of the Warp*- Units in Dread Range suffer a further -1 to Combat Attrition, and any natural 1s on Combat Attrition checks cause 2 models to flee instead of 1. With your Round 1 ability, this means that any Morale Check will now cause an average of half the remaining unit to run, and potentially all of them with some 1s. Now of course being only active for the last turn makes this much less impressive, as most units will either be dead, or unlikely to be in a position to be failing a Morale Check due to low numbers in the unit already. In circumstances where it does come up however, it could wipe out a squad, or at least cripple them to the point of ineffectiveness in the last stages of the game. That and it’s pretty hilarious to see half a unit run from a single failed test.
All your WAR DOGS and ABHORRENTS are CORE. There are currently no rules that interact with it, but it’s future proofed at least.
Unsurprisingly, everything uses up a Lord of War slot. For the sake of ease when it comes to discussing stats and such, the units have been divided up into their 3 Classes- WAR DOGS, ABHORRENTS, and TYRANT. However each one is a seperate Datasheet, so taking a unit of War Dog Stalkers doesn’t mean you can only take 2 more units of War Dog Huntsmen, for example.
Regardless of type, these will generally form the mainstay of your force, having a robust statline, acting as your primary Objective fighters, and having a wide variety of roles via their wargear options. All WAR DOGS come in squadrons of 1-3, and sport a fairly standard VEHICLE profile, with T7, 12W and a 3+. With Str 6 and 4A, those with melee options are well suited to getting up close and personal, though you’ll want to avoid combat with your solely shooting pups. A fast 12/10/8 Mv means they can get into Range, Line of Sight and combat (or avoid it) fairly swiftly, and being non-TITANIC does offer them the advantage of benefiting from terrain to cover their advance (though watch out for Difficult Ground). They degrade fairly sharpish though, as both their WS and BS sit at 3/4/5, and they degrade at 4-6W, and 1-3W, respectively.
War Dogs marked with a * are PTERROSHADES, for the purposes of certain rules, and they all Explode for D3 Mortals in 6”.
Most, if not all of your hounds, will have access to at least one of the following.
Diabolous Heavy Stubber
Basic “sidearm” for light anti infantry firepower, the Stubber won’t do much by itself, but being freely available on all your Dogs can help them stack up some damage against lighter units.
Range 36” Heavy 4 Str 5 AP0 D1
With a name like that, it has to be something pretty sweet right? It’s a basic Meltagun. Nothing more. My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined.
Another anti infantry weapon, this one having the utility of ignoring Line of Sight. Generally the Stubber will serve you better due to consistency and being slightly cheaper, but the option is handy to have
Range 48” Heavy D6 Str 5 AP0 D1 Blast, Indirect Fire
Effectively a larger Multi-melta, this gives you some decent anti tank punch, and is available to 3 of the types of Dogs, so you have good access to it.
Range 30″ Heavy 2 Str 9 AP-4 Dmg D6 (D6+2 at half range)
Your “basic” Melee option, going for flexibility with its two profiles for dealing with a variety of targets, able to take down, or at least injure, most targets.
Strike hits at Str+4 AP-4 Dmg 3
Sweep hits at base Str AP -3 D1, but double attacks
In comparison this is a solely anti big-thing melee weapon, ideal for taking out big monsters and tanks, or very heavy elite units. Be wary of getting bogged down by lighter more numerous foes however, as fighting your way out will of course take a lot longer.
Str x2 AP-3 Dmg D3+3
Sporting two War Dog Autocannons, these are all manner of infantry and light tank shredders, with each gun chucking out 2D3 Str 7 -2 Dmg 3 shots, and at a mighty 60” Range pretty much all the board is a target, visibility permitting. They can have a Diabolus Heavy Stubber, or for +5pts a Daemonsbreath Meltagun. Great for holding your backfield whilst still laying down nasty fire support, it also keeps them away from melee as long as possible, where they are far less effective, with their weapons being Heavy, and of course, not being able to fight their way out too effectively (though their cannons aren’t Blast so you can use them in a pinch). Whilst they can struggle against particularly tough units, especially those with T8, 2+ Svs, Invulnerable Saves or AP reductions, as a support element they are a solid generalist choice, though at 155pts they are one of the most expensive Dogs, so going for lots of them will result in a slightly trimmer than usual army.
A light Infantry mulcher, with options for dealing with heavier stuff in melee, the Stalker brings an Avenger Chaincannon for a dependable Assault 12, Str 6 -2 D1 at 36” Range, and a choice of Slaughterclaw or Reaper Chain-talon for melee. They also come with a Diabolus Heavy Stubber, or for 5pts can have a Havoc Multi-launcher for their secondary weapon, and can also swap out their Chaincannon for a Deamonsbreath Spear, though that can be done by the Huntsmen below already for a slightly more dedicated role (unless you’re really keen on having one with a Slaughterclaw). A good mid range price point of 145pts makes them an excellent choice for the bulk of your forces.
A basically purely melee Dog (barring the Stubber or Havoc choice), they come with both a Chain-talon and Slaughterclaw, giving them great versatility in melee. They also get +2″ Mv, +1 WS and +1A over their brethren, lending them further potency in melee. Given that’s all they do however, you’ll want to get them to grips with the foe quickly, and make good shock troops to bear down on your opponents lines and push units off Objectives, and give breathing room to your next wave. The cheapest (slightly) at 140pts, though of course only really having output in Melee, getting there is the crucial bit.
Another shooty Dog, opting for a versatile loadout of the Avenger Chaincannon and a Daemonsbreath Spear, letting you tackle both Light Infantry as well as vehicles and Monsters, all from relative safety. The shorter range compared to the Executioners Autocannons does make them more susceptible to being tagged in melee, though being able to deal with a variety of targets and with set shots makes them a bit more reliable in shooting your way out. Their versatility does come with a cost however, being tied for the most expensive War Dog at 155pts, and the slight variation in weapon ranges as well as preferred targets means positioning is key for them.
Coming with a Chain-talon and Deamonsbreath Spear, the Huntsman is an anti-tank and anti-elite unit damage dealer, with the ability to deal with lighter units if needed via their Chain-talon Sweep. They can also upgrade their Stubber to a Meltagun for 5pts to further hone in on the anti-tank role. Generally you won’t be one-shotting a tank however, outside of some good luck, so you’ll need to finish it off in melee or with other units, however the Huntsman is a good all round unit for dealing with numerous units and pushing for Objectives. At 145pts, they’ll likely be one of the mainstay units for the army.
Your typical “big” Knights, ABHORRENTS all have a beefy T8 24W and 3+ Sv, as well as 4A at Str 8. As with the War Dogs, they degrade quite harshly, dropping at 7-12W remaining, and 1-6W remaining, with both WS and BS going from 3/4/5, and Mv reducing from 10/8/6, so a weakened Knight will have a drastically reduced output. Dealing with units that can threaten you as a priority is therefore key. Being TITANIC does also make it occasionally tricky to manoeuvre, and Obscuring is your bane, however by working in tandem with the War Dogs to flush them out, you have a number of options, and your firepower and melee is potent enough that you should be able to deal with most units. A thing worth mentioning with these big Knights is that, on a raw points for points efficiency note, it’s unlikely you’ll make a Knights points cost back in a single turn, instead you’ll need to focus on their long term trades, or how much it has taken your foe to deal with them.
All of them Explode for a nasty D6 Mortal Wounds, albeit in a somewhat unreliable 2D6” range, making them potentially deadly even in death, provided you’re in the enemy lines.
Most of your big Knights will have access to at least one of the following.
Diabolous Heavy Stubber
Some light anti-infantry firepower, which won’t really do much by themselves, but can be helpful for taking out that pesky model on one wound in certain units, so your bigger weapons can be more efficient against the rest of their companions.
Range 36” Heavy 4 Str 5 AP0 D1
All your big boys have feet (obviously), but you won’t be using them if you have another melee weapon, or you really want to use Crushed Like Vermin.
Str User Ap-2 D2
That’s it. No extra attacks. It’s not “additional attacks”. If you want to have better Melee, bring a dedicated Melee weapon. A novel concept I know.
Your “standard” Melee option, having two solid profiles for both big thing hunting and infantry cleaving, you’ll generally find you have most melee options covered with this, though it will be slightly less efficient vs models with 3W and T5.
Strike hits at Str+6 AP-4 Dmg 6
Sweep hits at base Str AP -3 D2, but triple attacks
In comparison this is a more anti big-thing melee weapon, ideal for taking out big monsters and tanks, or very heavy elite units. Be wary of getting bogged down by lighter more numerous foes however, as fighting your way out will take a bit longer, though small squads can still be swatted aside.
Strike hits at Strx2 AP-3 Dmg 8
Sweep hits at base Str AP -2 D3, but double attacks
Your base Abhorrent class, getting the most flexible wargear options and making them the “generalist” of the four, and they grant WAR DOGS within 9” the ability to Heroically Intervene, handy for those that are on Objectives, or are working in pairs and one is charged. Starting at 375pts, you can pretty much mix and match your weapons, whether its a Main Gun and Melee Weapon, 2 Main Guns, or 2 Melee weapons as well as some ancillary weapons to boot, letting you either dedicate them to a role, or be able to deal with a variety of targets. They can quickly add up in cost with their weaponry, and it does cost you an additional 20pts to take 2 of the same Main Gun or 2 Melee Weapons, and whilst you do get +1 Attack in the first round of combat with the 2 melee weapons, it’s probably worth the 5pts more to be a RAMPAGER instead for their built in stat buffs.
Either the Reaper Chainsword or the Warpstrike Claw, both of which are free, so which one you opt for will really depend on what other bases you have covered in the army. Generally the Chainsword is the better, all round choice, letting you deal with most big targets pretty effectively, as well as carving through most Infantry with ease, whilst the Claw is more useful for elite prey, so it’s often worth pairing them up with a complementary ranged weapon to cover all your bases, or at least ensure you have those opposite targets dealt with by other units.
A choice of 3 big guns, either the Daemonsbreath Thermal Cannon, Despoiler Battle Cannon, or Despoiler Gatling Cannon. The Thermal and Battle cost 50pts, whilst the Gatling costs 60pts, so they’re not cheap, and can be unreliable given random shots or low damage, but they will generally serve you well. As with the Melee options, which one you opt for will generally be down to what you need to be done most by the army.
Daemonsbreath Thermal Cannon- Great for dealing with big things and elite units alike, the Thermal Cannon does have the downside of being reasonably unreliable in terms of output due to their random shots, though the average out fairly well, and whilst the have a somewhat short range, that’s often not a major deal. They can sometimes be a pain to use against tougher units due to their comparatively low Strength, but the high AP and damage helps offset that.
Range 30” Heavy 2D3 Str 9 AP-4 Dmg D6+2 (+4 at half range), Blast
Despoiler Battle Cannon- A general purpose weapon capable of dealing with all manner of targets, you pay for this flexibility with both some randomness and generally middling stats, at least when it comes to dealing with specific targets. This is not to say it’s a bad weapon, far from it, as the good Dmg and Str make it fairly reliable against most targets, and will often serve you well, but those times when you need something more dedicated can be telling, so make sure you have redundancy for those targets elsewhere. It also comes with a Heavy Stubber, for extra pew pew bullets.
Range 72” Heavy 2D6 Str 8 AP-2 Dmg 3, Blast
Despoiler Gatling Cannon- An anti Infantry blaster, and useful for dealing with lighter VEHICLES/MONSTERS in a pinch, the reliable shots and decent statline make it a decent choice, and coupled with its built in Heavy Flamer make it good for cutting through mainstay battleline units. However it is particularly susceptible against various defensive abilities, with Damage and AP reduction rules being quite prevalent, it can sometimes fall short in output compared to other weaponry. On top of that, the ability to use your strong melee capabilities, as well as other units, might not make its anti infantry role as necessary. If you’re looking at solely hunting Marines, this is probably better than a Battle Cannon, as the set shots will generally outweigh wounding on 2s, but otherwise it’s an ‘okay’ choice.
Range 36” Hevy 12 Str 6 AP-2 D2
A choice of a Diabolous Heavy Stubber or Meltagun…sorry, a DAEmOnsBrEAth MeLtAGuN for 5pts more. Either one is fine to have, opt for the Melta if you have the random points left over, unless you’re really in need of more anti infantry.
One of three optional weapons you can slap on top of your Despoiler for some extra firepower. Good for when you have some random points to spare and no Favours to gun for.
Havoc Missile Launcher- Another anti infantry weapon, this one having the utility of ignoring Line of Sight. Hits fairly hard against Infantry, and can help chip away at lighter Vehicles to boot, both of which are handy to have for 20pts.
Range 72” Heavy D6 Str 5 AP-1 D2 Blast, Indirect Fire
Ruinspear Rocket Pod – For anti-tank, effectively a 3 shot Missile Launcher that’s only got Krak. It does come in at a costly 40pts making it often a tall ask to slot in, alongside the unreliability of it’s Damage often a pain to work with.
Range 48” Heavy 3 Str 8 AP-2 Dmg D6
Twin Hellstorm Autocannon- An anti-air gun, which may or may not be useful to have depending on your opponent, but it’s still some extra firepower for 20pts. Even then, it’s not the hardest hitting of things
Range 48” Heavy 4 Str 7 AP-1 D2, +1 to Hit vs AIRCRAFT
The first of the more “set loadout” Knights, the Desecrator comes with either a Chainsword or Claw for Melee (either one is free, so your choice), a Heavy Stubber, and a Desecrator Laser Destructor, a solely anti tank gun that fires 2 Heavy shots at 72” Range, hitting at Str 14 -5 Dmg 6+D3. It also has +1 WS, making it a bit better in a fight, as well as a 9” Aura of Reroll 1s to Hit for Ranged Attacks made by WAR DOGS, letting it support your lines a bit as well. A bit of a mixed bag, as the Laser Destroyer looks nasty on paper, but realistically will still struggle to hurt something as little as a Rhino, so keeping him back isn’t really viable, despite what his Aura implies. Yes there will be times he instantly nukes something like a Tyrannofex or Land Raider, but those will be few and far between, and hedging your bets on that happening will only lead to disappointment. Instead he’s better off leading a horde of Dogs into battle, softening up a big target for them to jump on or plink down with guns to finish them off, and then utilise his better WS in melee against other targets. At 400pts, he’s reasonably priced provided you use him actively, pressuring the foe whilst facilitating your hounds output on their way in.
The final Knight that is set in its ways, but a whole bunch of flexibility by virtue of their base wargear as well as being a PSYKER. Knowing and Casting 2 gives them nice utility from the Warp Storm Discipline, and Denying 1 might not save you against Psychic heavy foes, but can prove crucial against vital powers like Null Zone or Doom, or against Secondaries like Mutate Landscape. Their weapons are a mixed bag, being fairly middling by Knight standards but potent in the right circumstances. At range they have a Stubber, but more exciting is the Volkite Combustor, firing 6 Heavy shots at 30” and hitting at Str 10 AP-1 and Dmg 3, but with 6s to Wound doing 3 Mortal Wounds in addition. This helps make it capable of dealing with both heavily armoured units and hordes alike, though you’ll often need those 6s to spike to do significant damage, as the AP-1 is fairly insubstantial, though the Dmg 3 and set number of shots can still cause nasty output on the right targets. Melee wise they do only have 3 Attacks, but this is offset by their Electroscourge tripling those attacks, and hitting at Str 8 -2 Dmg 3, effectively trading off some AP of the Chainsword’s Sweep for more Damage. The 1 less base attack is somewhat offset by their tail attack Balemace, hitting for an additional D3 Attacks at -2 D2, so you aren’t lacking too much. They also have pet birds, giving them the PTERROSHADES Keyword, for what that’s worth. A solid all rounder, their access to the Psychic Powers and their decent weaponry make them adept at dealing with a number of targets, though they will suffer with the low AP on their weaponry, meaning they’ll have to rely on their somewhat unreliable Mortal Wound output, Relics, or being ICONOCLAST, in order to make up for their shortcomings in that regard. At 430pts they have the potential to be potent on the field, though it’s worth ensuring they have some DOGS nearby to help with particularly beefy or harder targets they might otherwise struggle with by themselves.
A pure melee Knight, coming with both Chainsword and Claw for melee flexibility, and a 9” Aura that grants WAR DOGS Reroll 1s to Hit with Melee Attacks. With a built in +2” Mv, +1 WS and +1 A over the base Abhorrent chassis, the Rampager is fairly cost effective for their 400pts, as whilst you must be in melee to be effective, you’ll generally murder whatever it is you’re fighting when there, and your lack of ranged weapons (no your Stubber doesn’t count) means you can Advance Turn 1 with no loss of output if you aren’t likely to make combat. Whilst this can put them in a dangerous position, the counterargument is a) You have more than 18 Wounds you were never safe from Shooting to begin with, and b) Your opponent has to deal with you, as ignoring you just means you’re crashing into them next turn. Now being purely melee does mean you can be screened out against the targets you really want to fight, and chopping your way through a horde of lesser Infantry isn’t exactly a good use of your cost, so make sure you have ways to thin those screens before you get there, or at least get rid of enough of them that they won’t be able to fully block out your charge on their key targets. As mentioned above, this is a much better choice over a 2 Melee Weapon Despoiler, unless you’re either desperate for the Intervention Aura, need to shave off 5pts, or just like being inferior I guess.
The biggest class of Knight, TYRANTS sport a similar profile to the ABHORRENTS above, though are slower are 8/6/4 Mv, and have a worse WS of 4/5/6, though given they only have Feet to attack with, that’s not a major concern. They make up for that by having 4 extra wounds bringing them to a mighty 28, as well as a base 2+ Sv making them ever so slightly tougher. The slower speed is a bit of a detriment, and they don’t offer anything to the army outside of firepower, so it’s really got to count, and at a whopping 585pts base they can sometimes feel quite inefficient at times. They can absorb a fair bit of firepower however, and do have a high damage ceiling in terms of output, so they can’t generally be ignored.
Each TYRANT comes with 2 Twin Daemonsbreath (sigh) Meltaguns, and a choice of either 4 Gheiststrike Missiles and a Twin Desecrator Cannon for +15pts, or alternatively 2 Missiles and 2 Desecrator Cannons for +30pts. Each Missile is a once per game shot at 48” that hits at Str 10 -4 and ignores Invulnerables, though only for D6 Damage, and only one can be fired per turn, making them somewhat lacklustre. Meanwhile the Desecrator Cannons fire 2D3 Shots at Str 7 -1 D2 Blast, at 36”, lending some more anti Infantry and light tank firepower to the army.
Taking 2 Missiles and 2 Cannons is generally the better choice, despite the higher cost, as they will generally be more reliable through the game, and the limit of one missile per turn means you’ll only see a return on them should you survive for pretty much the whole game.
When they Explode, they really explode, rolling 2 D6 instead of 1 to see if they pop, doing D6 Mortals to everything within 2D6”, but if both come up 6s, you get an eye-watering 3D6” range instead. A TYRANT in the lines has a nice ~30% chance of exploding, and every now and then will basically just remove a part of the battlefield, which should warm your cold Chaotic heart.
Each TYRANT also has the choice of one of two weapon sets, and whilst there is no set designation of them in the book, for reference we’ll use the Imperial name here for splitting them up.
In the spirit of the book, we’ll call you the Daemonshatter Baron. It means nothing, but sounds cool. The long range variant, this costs you 10pts more but that’s generally a sound deal for the weapons you get. For that you get a Brimstone Volcano Lance for anti tank, and a Ectoplasma Decimator for anti elites. The Lance fires D3 Shots at a frankly unnecessary 80” Range, hitting at Str 16 AP-5 and a whopping 8+D6 Damage, along with Blast just cos. Whilst on paper impressive, it suffers the same issues as the Laser Destroyer on the DESECRATOR above, namely that it will, on average, struggle to one shot certain things, though it is much less likely. On the other arm, the Decimator fires 2D6 Shots at 48”, at Str 8 -4 D2 Blast, or can overcharge to Str 9 and Dmg 3, though at the risk of suffering 2 Mortal Wounds for each 1 to Hit, making it a risky proposition (and means Trail of Destruction is almost mandatory when you can use it), albeit a highly scary one. Both of these weapons will serve you well through the game, though both having random shots does mean they aren’t the most reliable. Whilst they will average out over the course of the game, that’s not really something you need with Knights, as every turn has to count lest you fall behind on output. There’s unfortunately no real way round it though, so you’ll have to remember for every turn it powers up and obliterates multiple units, there’s a turn lurking round the corner ready to send you to Whifftown.
Again, not official, but you have now been dubbed the Soulbreaker Thane, cos I’ve decided it, so there. The “close combat” version, though only by virtue of its guns being 18” Range, this one comes with the Darkflame Cannon for crisping infantry, and the Warpshock Harpoon for spearing big gribbles. The Darkflame Cannon chucks out a respectable 3D6 shots at Str 7 -2 D2 alongside autohitting, meaning even on their bottom bracket this can put out some nasty hurt. The stats are decent enough at cooking most light to medium infantry, though falls short of dealing with particularly tough units. On the flipside, Harpoon fires but a single shot, though it does get +1 to Hit against non-AIRCRAFT VEHICLES and MONSTERS. Should it hit, it does so at Str 16 AP-6 and Damage 10, plus any time it’s allocated to model (ie you successfully Wound it), they take an additional 3 Mortal Wounds. Effectively, if you hit it and it doesn’t have an Invulnerable, it’s probably dead, or at the very least heavily crippled. It also allows you the honour of being the best of players, as single shot anti tank weaponry isn’t exactly reliable, but then counterpoint, you brought a harpoon gun to a gunfight. On a more serious note, it’s not the most reliable, as after averaging die results you might be lucky to kill a Rhino every other turn, so it’s not exactly great. But it’s a lot of fun. And this is a game, shockingly. All told, this variant is perhaps not as reliable as the shooty one, especially by virtue of their lower range coupled with their slow speed meaning they may not even do much in the first turn, but they aren’t as bad when degraded due to their accuracy buffs, and can offer some reliability when they do inflict damage that you might be sorely missing.
A note on Forge World Knights- none of them have the WAR DOG, ABHORRENT or TYRANT Keywords, meaning they are exempt from pretty much every rule in the book- They can’t be made a CHARACTER via Traitoris Lance, MOIRAX won’t get ObSec or benefit from Knight’s Auras, none of them count towards the Lance for the purposes of your CP refunding, they have weird, if not non-existent, interactions with Stratagems, they can’t be given Favours or indeed many of the Relics. Now this will probably be FAQd, but for RAW purposes, consider this when looking at these models, and check with your TO and/or gaming group for their rulings on it in the meantime.
Otherwise they’re Coming Soon! as I have a LOTof other things to work on.
Tango’s Fallen of Kolossi (House Korvax, 2000pts) -caveats: I’m a bit of a rule of cool player (read as collector..) as opposed to chasing a meta list, I like the lore around House Korvax, and did not start collecting Chaos Knights until the White Dwarf supplement allowed me to take a SHA det. as part of a Disciples of Be’Lakor list. Ironically, it was the price per pt that settled the decision for me, knights are towards the more reasonable side in terms of expense from GW’s lineup. Feedback is welcome, I currently use battle-scribe and codex’s to theory-craft, if… Read more »
Thank you for this Chef – informative as ever and the sprinkling of humour/sarcasm really is appreciated!
Awesome breakdown of the new rules and units! I am tempted to get the new box to use with my death guard to run the psychic knight, they mentioned on war com that you can use the knights as allies without losing army rules, is there much on that in the codex and do you guys think it is worth doing or will it be a bit disappointing compared to running just knights or just death guard? I mostly want Mortarion backed up by a knight to make decisions hard for people on hat to target. Thanks again for the… Read more »