Chaos Knights Preview 2 & 3: Dreadblades & Customizing Your Chaos Knight

GW bring us some more sneak previews of the highly anticipated new Chaos Knight codex! And remember, you can pick this bad boy up on Saturday the the 6th of July, 2019 from Frontline Gaming in our web-cart at a discount with FREE shipping options!

These articles were originally published on the Warhammer-community site.

Welcome back, Fallen Noble! Today, we’ve got even more goodies from the new Chaos Knights codex to tempt you to the service of the Ruinous Powers, with a look at Dreadblades – Questor Traitoris who operate as lone wolves and mercenaries, offering their immense might in exchange for relics, knowledge or their own dark fiefdoms. Think of them a bit like heretical Freeblades.

What are Dreadblades?

Dreadblades are independent Chaos Knights who serve no single master or household, instead pledging their loyalties in temporary alliances to any warlord or demagogue who can provide them with opportunities for slaughter. There are many reasons a Knight may become a Dreadblade. Some were loyalists who betrayed their former houses for power or out of madness, such as the Hatred of Krastellan, the insane self-declared High Monarch of House Hawkshroud.

Others were unfortunate enough to be captured by Chaos forces and have had their minds shattered by dark rituals and sorcerous torture. The Sire of Doom, for instance, was locked in a state of eternal torment by the Dark Mechanicum, lashing out mindlessly at any it encounters.

Other Dreadblades have simply gone mad after years of slaughter, the violence of their task having taken a heavy toll. Decima, Incarnate Slaughter was the last Knight of House Merridon, driven insane in a brutal final stand against the Tyranids.

How Do They Work?

When you’re assembling your Chaos Knights army, you can opt to give any of your Chaos Knights the Dreadblade keyword. This doesn’t replace its Iconoclast or Infernal keyword, and if they’re part of a Detachment with other Knights with the same keyword, they’ll still benefit from Conquerors Without Mercy or Daemonic Surge in addition to their Dreadblade abilities!

Before each battle, one Dreadblade per Detachment gets a set of Pacts and Damnations. Path to Glory and Galvanised Hull are two examples of some of the deadly Pacts available.

You can pick one Pact or, if you’re feeling lucky, roll to get two! These abilities are balanced by Damnations – rules that represent the somewhat erratic personalities of these dark warriors. Forsaken, for example, stops that Knight benefitting from Stratagems.

Thankfully these Damnations only apply when you fail a Leadership check at the start of each of your turns, meaning most of the time, you should be fine! You can roll for one Damnation or, if you’re looking for a bit more control over which apply, pick two. After all, losing your Ballistic Skill and being incapable of falling back isn’t much a problem when you were intending to rip your foe apart in close combat anyway!

Dreadblades are great for Chaos Knights armies looking for more tactical options – like taking a close-combat-focused Dreadblade Rampager to mix with long-ranged Knights Despoiler and Knights Tyrant – as well as being ideal for mixed Chaos forces looking for a distinctive allied choice.

Fancy grabbing a Dreadblade for your army? These independent reavers can be made from any Knight chassis, meaning you can grab yourself a Knight Despoiler, Knight Tyrant or War Dog today and start building one! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a conveyor capable of taking a full lance of these dread warriors to battle, the Crusade Case XL will shield them from even the most determined loyalist assaults (and, y’know, the boot of your car).

Chaos Knights: 3 Builds for YOUR Matched Play Army

Chances are your Chaos army needs a Knight. While Daemons provide horrifying speed and effectiveness in close combat, and Chaos Space Marines (and their other Heretic Astartes kin) offer a superb and versatile roster of units to fill any role, Chaos Knights provide you with a deadly Super-heavy option with the firepower (or close-combat weaponry) to shatter any foe. With the new codex on pre-order tomorrow, we’re looking at three builds to try in your next matched play list.

OPTION 1: The Smasher

Let’s start with an easy one – sometimes, you just need an enemy smashed. Whether it’s a rival Knight, Roboute Guilliman himself, or large units with good saves (invulnerable or otherwise) like Bullgryns.

Chaos Knights provide your army with an awesome countering force in the Knight Rampager. Costing a mere 387 points fully geared up, it’s a steal for a Super-heavy and should slot into most army builds without much trouble. Its terrifying offensive prowess, coupled with solid Wounds, Toughness and Save characteristics means it’s likely to soak up a lot of enemy fire – much like the beloved ‘Distraction Carnifex’ of old.*

What’s great about this build is that most of its additional options take the form of Relics, meaning they’ll effectively only cost you the Command Point you spend on the Corrupted Heirlooms Stratagem.

You’ll want to spend it on the Khornate Target – an incredible pick that allows you to switch off enemy invulnerable saves!

This Knight is a great accompaniment to shooting- or psychic-based Chaos armies, like the Thousand Sons or Alpha Legion.

OPTION 2: The Tower of Terror

A Chaos Knight isn’t just a source of damage – it’s a bulwark that is great for keeping your troops safe. This build is designed to plug into Chaos forces looking to add a bit of extra durability to their armies.

We’ve opted to gear the Knight Tyrant with the thundercoil harpoon and conflagration cannon as an assault deterrent, helping you discourage enemy combat units from charging the centre of your line. Where this Knight really comes in handy is with the Ion Aegis Stratagem.

Surround them with a horde of Chaos Cultists or another low-points unit of infantry, and you’ll significantly upgrade their durability. This is fantastic for holding an objective in your backline, creating a living barricade that few armies have the ability to breach. It’s also a great way to support already tough Chaos units that lack invulnerable saves, like Plague Marines in a Death Guard army.

If you’re looking to hold objectives with nigh impunity while providing brutal short-range firepower, this is the Knight for you.

OPTION 3: The Overlord

761 points might seem like a lot to dedicate to an “allied” choice, but this Detachment has a place in pretty much any Chaos force. Between the War Dog autocannons and the Knight Desecrator’s laser destructor, you’ll have some flexible firepower.

To put (molten, tainted) icing on the cake, the Knight Desecrator helps improve the accuracy of your War Dogs.

What makes this Detachment shine is the bounty of Command Points it unlocks for your army. A Chaos Knights Super-heavy Detachment made up of 2 War Dogs and a Knight Desecrator provides a respectable 3 Command Points, the Knower of Profane Secrets Dreadblade Pact gives you an additional 1, and The Tyrant’s Banner gives you an additional Command Point every turn on a roll of a 5+.

This lets you make full use of awesome Chaos Knights Stratagems like Trail of Destruction, or combines well with close-combat Chaos forces. Use these guys to pin down your opponents at range while Khorne Berzerkers or hordes of Daemonettes shred them up-close.


You won’t have long to wait to add your favourite Chaos Knight to your army! Make sure to pre-order the new codex, the Knight Desecrator and the Knight Despoiler tomorrow – or kick off your army today with your chosen Dominus–, Questoris– or Armiger-class Knight.

Named for a classic Tyranid tactic, where basic Carnifexes are deployed to distract enemies. A ‘Distraction Carnifex’ is a unit that is deadly enough to demand a lot of enemy attention – generally possessing great durability, a low points cost or both – meaning even if all it does is absorb fire, it’s done a good job.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

7 Responses to “Chaos Knights Preview 2 & 3: Dreadblades & Customizing Your Chaos Knight”

  1. sultansean July 5, 2019 10:23 am #

    A) Yes it all looks really cool.

    B) I’m really worried that all we are going to see is Knights now. They already make up 10% of the meta if they become 20% that is just boring.

    C) I hope Death Hex gets limited to Chaos Astartes à la Jinx.

    D) Rampager/Gallant getting a points bump? I think with the plethora of Chaos buffs and being able to double wield the same weapon (Gatling cannon) it would make sense for chaos knights to be slightly more base points wise.

    • Reecius July 5, 2019 1:16 pm #

      Well, hang tight as while I am certain Chaos Knights will be everywhere out the gates, in time I think they simmer down to a normal level of representation.

      The Gallant is pretty under-priced so at least IMO, this price point is just reflecting what is fair for what you get. The Chaos version has a lot of really powerful combos for melee, too. I will talk more about those tomorrow!

  2. Dakkath July 5, 2019 12:00 pm #

    I can’t tell if I’m excited or worried that the writers are starting to use terms like “distraction carnifex”. It’s actually used correctly here, so kinda nice to see them embracing the community more. Though that will definitely swing to worry if I spot “Fish of Fury”.

    • Reecius July 5, 2019 1:14 pm #

      Oh, Fish of Fury was already on the Warhammer Community page, I know because i wrote an article using it and defining it for them, haha.

  3. NinetyNineNo July 6, 2019 8:22 am #

    Looking at the Khornate Target, it looks like Chaos Knights don’t get god Marks and instead are full-on IK palette swaps. Bit of a shame.

    • Reecius July 6, 2019 8:38 am #

      Yeah, they are Knights with different special rule,s strats, etc. that have a Chaos theme to them. They’re really fun though, and quite good. I am thoroughly enjoying playing mine.

    • PrimoFederalist July 7, 2019 6:10 am #

      I’m pretty sure no one expected them to get Chaos marks: that would be an insane Pandora’s box of rules overlap that would be both OP and also a months-long nightmare of rules clarifications. No marks was the right move.

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