Faction Focus: Chaos Knights

The Warhammer-community team brings us an update on how Chaos Knights play in 9th ed 40k!

Giant, spiky mechs pledged to insane and uncaring deities beyond mortal comprehension? We daresay there are few things more Warhammer 40,000 than the subject of today’s Faction Focus – Chaos Knights! With more Command points to play with, the ability to bring their guns to bear and more to look forward to, the future is bright for these crusaders of eternal darkness…

Who Are They?

Not even the noblest of the Imperium’s servants can resist the malign influence of Chaos forever. From the black days of the Horus Heresy to the carnage of the Cicatrix Maledictum, many Knight households – chivalric families who pilot vast war machines – have fallen prey to Chaos, victims of fell circumstance, overweening pride or the influence of Daemons from beyond the veil. Now, they wage the Long War alongside the Heretic Astartes, as varied and terrifying as their loyal kind, from malefic households equipped with Dark Mechanicum-blessed war machines to relentless Iconoclasts committing countless atrocities out of some twisted chivalry.

How They Play in the New Edition

Chaos Knights, like their loyal kin, have a lot to look forward to in the new edition – if you’ve not already, check out the Imperial Knights Faction Focus for some tips that’ll also apply to their spiky brethren. Indeed, since yesterday’s preview, some of you have been asking how Knights interact with Command points in the new edition. Well, good news! Thanks to a rules update at launch, you’ll be getting just as many as a “normal” army. 

Usually, a Super-heavy Detachment costs a whopping 6 Command points – that’s half your allotment for a 2000-point Strike Force battle!

However, if your Warlord is in a Super-heavy Detachment and is a Titanic Knight, you’ll get those 6 Command points back, so you should still have 12 points to work with. Even if your Warlord is a War Dog (or Armiger, if you’re going loyal), you’ll get 3 Command points – enough to pay fully for a Super-heavy Detachment with no Titanic units. So, if you’re looking to assemble a deadly hunting pack of War Dogs, we’ve got you covered too.

So, if you’re going thematic and having a “pure” Knights army, you’ll have more Command points than you’d ever even dreamed of before, all without having to pack in extra Detachments of units that *aren’t* giant stompy death machines!

We asked playtester Jason Lippert’s Chaos-tainted twin, Lason Jippert, to provide his incredibly evil advice on playing a Chaos Knights army in the new edition. However, he was too busy yelling insults at orphaned puppies to provide help, and so, Jason, being lovely, stepped in again!

Jason: Both Chaos Knights (and their Imperial cousins) will find that the Blast weapon change is an undeniable improvement, with the obvious winners being the thermal cannon, thermal spear and the ironstorm missile pod. The Blast rule on the rapid-fire battle cannon will do serious work against hordes, so it also deserves consideration.

Chaos Knights will benefit from a strategy focusing on keeping the other side from scoring objectives more than trying to score them for yourself (unless you have allies), and for the first time since their introduction, they will have to take terrain into account when moving. While one of the undeniable attractions to Knights has been their ability to virtually ignore any and all terrain, you’ll now have to think about how best to take advantage of it, making for a more interactive and interesting game for both players. 

Chaos Knight Advice

For sub-faction choices, House Khomentis from Psychic Awakening: Engine War will be strong, especially featuring the incredible Knight-Castigator backed by two dual-thermal cannon Knights Despoiler. The Encircling Hounds Stratagem is superior to the new Strategic Reserves rule in Command point cost and in application.

As for units I will include in my lists, thermal spear War Dogs, dual-thermal cannon Despoilers, and even a Diamonas-wielding Desecrator make the cut. I think I might rather have a Castigator rather than a Desecrator for most situations, but which one you pick largely comes down to personal preference!

Thanks, Jason! How are YOU changing up your Chaos Knights for the new edition? Let us know on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WarhammerCommunity and stay tuned for more Faction Focus articles!

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About Reecius

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

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