Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Fills the Enemies of Chaos with Dread

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Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Fills the Enemies of Chaos with Dread

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus shows us how important the Battle-shock system will be – and how the traitor Knights can capitalize on the new system.

For this week’s first Faction Focus, Games Workshop have shown us the evil counterpart of the Imperial Knights faction: the Chaos Knights, these monstrous walkers invoke despair in all who stand in their way – both figuratively and literally, as their rules revolve around making enemy units less effective on the battlefield, while they revel in the dread they cause. But just how strong are the new rules for the Questor Traitoris?

Army Rules of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus

The new Harbingers of Dread Army Rule for the Fallen Knights take the “simplified, not simple” philosophy of Games Workshop to the next level. This Army Rule gives bonuses to all Chaos Knight models in your army depending on the battle round:

  • In the 1st Battle Round, Chaos Knights gain the Despair Aura, which gives -1 to all Battle-shock and Leadership tests taken for enemy units within 12” of any Chaos Knights, meaning that it will be harder to avoid losing OC and avoiding Desparate Breakouts,
  • From Battle Round 3 to the end of the game, all Traitor Knights gain the Doom and Darkness ability alongside the Despair Aura. This ability let’s Chaos Knights reroll Wound rolls of 1 against Battle-shocked units, making it easier for the Knights to damage their targets. But this skill also protects the Servants of Chaos, as Battle-shocked enemy units get a -1 to Hit the Knights from Round 3 to the end of the game.

This show that the main profile of the Chaos Knights in the next Edition of Warhammer 40k will be causing Battle-shock and capitalizing on the fear that their enemies feel on the battlefield – which couldn’t be more fitting to these daemonic machines.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Harbingers of Dread Army Rule

Alongside the Army Rule, the Detachment Rule for the Traitoris Lance has been revealed, which furthers the theme of Battle-shocking enemy units. This Rule gives an Aura for all Chaos Knights in your army, forcing enemy units below their Starting Strength to take Battle-shock tests when they are 12” within Questor Traitoris units. This works very well with the Dread, Doom and Darkness abilities of the Army Rule, as once the (somewhat) melee heavy Knights get into range, they can reduce the effectiveness of their opponents greatly.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Forged in Terror Detachment Rule

Unit Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus

We finally received another full datasheet after a few days, as the Knight Despoiler’s datasheet shows us the front and the backside of the card releasing with the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k. On one side, we can see all the Wargear that the Knight Despoiler has access to, from Daemonbreath thermal cannons to ruinspear rocket pods and the multi-weapons of the Despoiler battle cannon and diabolus heavy flamer.

On the other side of the card, we can see the parameters of the weapons, which have received the usual Strength increase but AP decrease of the 10th Edition. While some guns, such as the Despoiler battle cannon received some nerfs to it’s Attacks as well, the gatling cannon will now shoot 18 times instead of 12.

The Knight Despoiler also received some new abilities: the Dread Dominion Aura now gives War Dog models near the bigger Knights +1 to their Battle-shock tests instead of letting them make Heroic Interventions. While this ability isn’t really THAT exciting, the Seething Hatred ability is: this completely new skill of the Knight Despoiler let’s the walking pile of metal reroll one Hit and Wound roll every time they shoot or fight, which is incredibly strong. While the Despoiler only has a 3+ Armour save, it gained an increase in Toughness, which is now 12, and kept it’s 5+ Invulnerable Save against shooting attacks.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Knight Despoiler datasheet

We also got a glimpse of the Knight Abominant, the iconic tusked walker of the Chaos Knights faction. The dedicated Psyker of the Questor Traitoris has retained two Psychic powers – but not like other psykers showcased in the 10th Edition Faction Focuses. The first one is the revised Vortex Terrors, which forces an enemy unit within 12” of the Abominant to take a Battle-shock test. The second one is called Warp Storms, which damages everyone around the Knight Abominant, dealing Mortal Wounds to any enemy units 9” around the monstrosity at the end of the Movement Phase.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Knight Abominant Datasheet
Fear the Warp Storms

It’s melee weapons also got a bit better, as Balemace now has the Extra Attack keyword, hitting enemies 3 times when the Abominant attacks with the Electroscourge melee weapon, and Volkite combustor also got an increase in Strength to keep up with the other super heavy walker’s guns.

Weapon Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus

While Chaos Knights players received two weapon spotlights at the start of this week, both belong to one model, the Knigth Desecrator. The Big Gun of the Desecrator, the Laser Destructor received an extra attack, +4 Strength, but lost an AP, and it’s shots deal D6+3 Damage instead of D3+6, so it became a bit less reliable – but can deal a lot more damage if you Wound with everything.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Desecrator Laser Destructor

The Warpstrike Claw’s Strike profile will have a whopping 20 Strength in the next edition of Warhammer 40k, meaning that the Knight Desecrator will be an anti-tank menace even in close quarters combat. While the Questor lost a WS, it gained a BS, and a 3+ to Hit is still very strong when you can deal 24 Damage with just this weapon alone in a single Fight phase.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Warpstrike Claw

Stratagem Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus

Sadly, only one Stratagem was shown for the Questor Traitoris called Dread Hounds, which buffs the army’s “rank-and-file” units, the War Dog class Knights. For 1CP, this Stratagem gives two or more War Dogs melee or ranged weapons the Sustained Hits 1 ability, which gives them extra attacks on Hit rolls of 6, or Critical Hits. If the Dogs target an enemy unit which is Battle-shocked, they also get Criticals on a 5+, meaning that they can flood enemies in shots or hits very easily.

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Dread Hounds Stratagem

While the Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus didn’t show us that much (not even as much as the Imperial Knights one), it still showcased the most important aspects of the Traitor Knights, which is to sow the seeds of dread on the battlefield. This Faction Focus solidifies that Battle-shock will be a centrepiece mechanic in the 10th Edition of Warhammer, while also giving CK players something to be excited about – just as I am for the new edition of Warhammer, of which you can find articles here!

Warhammer 40k Chaos Knights Faction Focus Fills the Enemies of Chaos with Dread
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.