Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
I know this topic has been discussed on MANY occasions but I want to know the general view on knights as they stand. I've run a unit in most of the games I've played with MoK, standard and muso. But it wasn't until yesterday that I found them to be worth more than their points value. I played 3 games yesterday at 1250 points, 1 against a dwarfen gunline and 2 against a lizardmen magic heavy list, and the knights performed amazing in each one, winning the game against dwarfs for me alone. It got me thinking to maybe start adding 2 units in larger games, anyone had much experience with multiple units of knights?
Nevertheless, I'm a believer in our mounted warriors, what have they done for you? From the best experience to the worst.
WORST: 5 knights hit by Skaven magic first turn - two died and then the rest panicked and ran off the board.
BEST: A deathstar knight block of 10 with a Chaos Lord pimped up with two warshrines - that unit has had some moments of glory for sure.
The most powerful knight block I have ever seen was a MoN/Rage unit with Archeon in it. Incredibly tough, and -2BS to shoot at.
“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley
Worst: Getting decimated by a well-placed Dwarf Cannon shot.
Best: A unit of 10 (with some support from a Fire Sorc Lord) beat down the following: a regiment of 7 Tree Kin, 2 Treemen (these 3 were actually all in combat with the Knights at the same time at one point, with both Treemen in the flank, and they STILL lost), and a Wood Elf Highborn on a Forest Dragon. One of the Knights actually lived through it. You wanna talk about earning your points back...
I'd field 10 guys, Mark of Tzeentch (or perhaps Nurgle, though I'm much more attracted to the universal utility of MoT), Banner of Rage. No more, no less, if I decide to field them.
Don't use them a lot nowadays, but I like running them 6 naked with MoK. They don't flee and they can bring the pain..
Warhammer Fantasy: Warriors of Chaos, High Elves
Warhammer 40k: Eldar, Space Marines, Orks
Best: 4k Game using 6 Knights w/ MoN and Banner of Rage, escorting 2 Jugg. Exalted with ASF, and pumped with a Warshrine for +1Toughness obliterated a Lizardmen Slann deathstar in two turns.
Worst: Every other game, but specifically a tournament with 5 MoK Knights getting destroyed on turn 2 by a regiment of Khorne Hounds.
Basically, 5-6 Knights won't cut it- you're opponent is going to blast them with shooting and magic and they'll be dead in seconds. I'm surprised the guy with the gunline didn't peg them early on, and leave the rest of your army, -200pts of course, slugging across the field under fire.
Keeping them alive costs resources beyond the cost of just another 5-6 Knights for a second rank. You have to hinge your magic defense around that regiment, and make them a focal point of your strategy, which limits your tactical flexibility and feeds your opponent a unit that is relatively easy to counter. Most people suggest MoT/MoN with a Banner of Rage rather than the cheaper Khorne, taking that banner away from Warrior blocks, and also tacking about 60pts onto the unit.
For the expense that your dropping on the Knight regiment alone, you can pick up another 15-20 wounds worth of Warriors. By freeing up banners and magic defense, you're spreading the love around to the rest of your army as well.
But what about the good things about Knights?
They've got a nice armor save- this is true, they do have a nice armor save of 2+. 1+ is good, but it's redundant and only slightly better than a 2+. Your Warriors have a 4+ basic, with the option for Shields and a Parry Save to make up for their lack of a true 1+. A Knight's save is roughly twice as good as a Warriors, but the Knight costs more than twice what a Warrior does. So a Warrior is giving you more than double the wounds, and double the Armor opportunities before the unit is removed, whereas a Knight gets 1 armor opportunity before a bad roll kills him. Alternatively, fielding 2 regiments of Warriors over a single regiment of Knights spreads out targets, meaning that a single failed Panic test or a Dreaded 13th won't kill off the entire points value in one go.
Two Warriors for every Knight also means that you've got extra ranks. 5 Knights is two ranks of Warriors, which is enough to cancel rank bonuses in the flank. Two ranks of Knights is four ranks of Warriors, which can effectively shut down Steadfast in most enemy blocks (after a round of combat).
They move faster- Knights used to be the airplanes of WHFB. They'd dogfight with other cavalry and make devastating surgical strikes on enemy infantry, a game could often be decided by who brought the better cavalry formation in their list, with all-cavalry armies being terrifying prospects. 8th edition hit cavalry with a nerf-stick, and the environment shift put them behind infantry blocks. The game has become a duel of battle-lines, stepping back from the mobile battles of WW2 to slower moving affairs more akin to the Napoleonic Wars. "Maneuvering" has gone from being able to control the board from several angles, to making sure that your own line is covered while exploiting gaps in your enemy's armor. WoC is actually at a disadvantage in this new environment, because we are an elite army with less overall frontage, meaning that we have less board control. Adding in a block of Knights who rides out on it's own makes our batteline even smaller. Keeping the Knights in support of the line is a waste of resources, since you're not using their increased movement value and you're taking as many rounds of shooting as your infantry blocks, but with few wounds to spare.
Altogether, I used to use Knights to devastating effect. 3 blocks of MCav with flails, backed by 3 regiments of Chaos Knights, characters on Discs or Chariots, and an all around fast moving army. These days though, I've found myself dropping Knights in my armies and using Infantry instead, to help with board control and making sure that where the bulk of the combat is- right along the front of my formation- I can apply enough pressure to break through in a hurry. Knights just can't cut it anymore- maybe if they were 10-15pts cheaper they'd be back on the list of 'Amazing WoC Units,' but right now they don't seem to pull their weight as well as the infantry can.
5 knights with mark of khorne are a brilliant flanking unit - sticking them into an enemy block on turn 2 can really ruin your opponents battle lines, specially if he was trying to manouvre large units around somehere, he is now stuck with a nasty unit that is winning combat almost every turn and is not easy to shift - if he turns to flank them then he is vulnerable to your warrior/ marauder blocks that are following close behind.
Provided you avoid units with hard characters or killing blow then they are an excelent prospect, and I have seen them munch their way through 50 empire halberdiers in 6 rounds of combat with no losses taken.
Everyone still wants that devastating charge to break their opponents immediately, but those are few and far between these days - attrition is the key and knights are very good at a war of attrition against large blocks of weak troops.
Ahh cap'n, you're a tome of knowledge when it comes to WoC. And yes you're right, he SHOULD have taken my knights down, he almost did, killed 4 out of 5, only the standard was left, I rolled for the charge to hit his organ gun which was sitting right next to his 20 strong block of thunderers and just made it needing a 10 to get in, from there he overran into the flank of the thunderers and after winning the next turn of combat he rolled a 10 for LD. They ran, I caught, game was Blood and glory and that unit had one of his 2 banners plus his general. Game over on his turn 3. Flukiest win I have ever had, but even if I hadn't made them flee, next turn my 3 units of warriors were about to smack into his line which would have devastated it, especially with the big block of thunderers tied up.
I guess though, that's only 3 games where I've had great success with them, every other game they were terrible. I'm still new to WHFB in a way so I'm still learning the in's and out's of our army.
@CaptainSarathai Just to get an idea of how you cover low movement and small blocks, can you link me to a fairly standard all comers list you would use?
I RUN 10 at 3k with khorne and rangers standard or nurgle with banner or rage
i dont do anyhting fancy with them but just charge the biggest horde
yes they will take casualties but they will eventualy die
i havent used them in ages but this is what they have done in some of my games
1) ran into a block of orcs with warboss, killed half the unit and they held with steadfast, on his turn he flanked my knights with a orc chariot and a unit of 9 boar boys
knights finished off the rest of the orcs, and ran down the boar boys. the warboss fled off the table
2) they ran amok against a wood elf player
3) ran them straight into a horde of no less than 100 pesants with a lvl 4, assissnated the lvl 4 and then eventually broke the pesents but were whittled down to 3 knights
so yea at big games i find them awesome, they just have to run into combat ASAP and hope not to get mindrazored to death
Best: 5 with MoN with a chaos exalted on a juggernaut took 3 turns of shooting from an entire army of high elves including 2 bolt throwers and managed to transport the exalted behind the elven lines completely unharmed. Entire unit was killed though.
“The ultimate philosophical question, “Am I human or machine” is answered by many people, “I don’t care, as long as I am”
- Myron Krueger
Maybe I'm missing something here... but I see a lot of people suggesting Knights are vulnerable to ranged missile fire. My experience has been almost the exact opposite.
I regularly use my knights against Dark Elves as shielding units for my warriors... I can take 40 shots from repeater crossbows and regularly take 0-1 wounds. Their armor seems to me to be the best defense against ranged weapons, and their speed gets them into a fight more quickly than anything else. And while there they have +1 strength, fear, and the steed can attack as well.
Yes they're expensive, but with Nurgle you can achieve the illustrious "Enemy has 0 WS." award, and with Khorne you get a huge advantage with both extra attacks and immunity to psychology. It's a rare game I don't bring at least a small unit of these along for the ride. In large battles I'll do 2 units of 10 or 12.
But out of curiosity, as a question for those worried that Knights fall too easily to ranged attacks, what unit would survive longer?