The new Chaos Knights Codex introduces multiple new traitor Knights: the Knight Abominant, a new variant of the Abhorrent class, and the War Dogs Karnivore, Brigand, and Stalker. The new army set has them all, as well as the new Codex and data cards. In this review and unboxing, we take a close look at all the sprues, the assembly guide, and the new rules.

Chaos Knights Army Set Review & Unboxing, box front
This item was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

The Chaos Knights Army Set is available while stocks last and is up for preorder starting today, May 7th 2022, with a release date of May 14th 2022.

Features

The box contains the new 9th Edition Chaos Knight codex with an exclusive full artwork cover, a set of datacards featuring the same design, and three models: The new Knight Abominant, which also builds the Knight Rampager and Desecrator, as well as two new War Dogs, which can each be built as either a Karnivore, Stalker, or Brigand. There is also the Chaos Knight transfer sheet, as well as a new transfer sheet for War Dogs.

Chaos Knights Army Set contents
© Games Workshop Ltd. Used without permission.

Let’s take a look at each of the new kits in detail before I spill some beans on the codex at the end of the post.

Chaos Knight Abominant

The Knight Abominant is an upgrade of the existing Chaos Knight kit, consisting of a single new upgrade sprue. On his right arm, he carries an archaic Volkite Combustor, the left arm consists of whipping electroscourges. What I initially didn’t notice in the promo pictures: This Knight has a tail! It’s actually a balemace, with which he can perform another D3 extra attacks in close combat.

There are no other weapon options, nor may you mix the armament with the options of the regular kit. The kit has three new faceplates which are compatible with the regular kit and non-Chaos Imperial Knights: a more traditional one, one with huge tusks, and a wretched skull face. In addition, there are four optional branch-mounted vultures and two empty branches that can be attached to the model, and a new Chaos icon for the carapace, whose horned symbol identifies the Chaos Knight Abominant as a psyker who can access the new Warp Storm discipline in-game and manifest two powers per turn.

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All in all, a really well-done upgrade for an already fantastic model. I like the balemace tail best, it gives me Carnifex vibes.

Chaos War Dogs

Even though I find the Knight Abominant quite cool, I have to say that for me the new War Dogs are the star of the show. Each War Dog comes on three medium-size sprues, and you get each sprue twice to build two models.

Chaos Knights War Dogs sprues

One set contains the following weapon options:

  • 1 reaper chaintalon (chainsword)
  • 1 slaughterclaw
  • 1 avenger chaincannon
  • 1 daemonbreath spear (melta)
  • 1 havoc multi-launcher
  • 1 diabolus heavy stubber

Three configurations can then be built from these: The War Dog Karnivore (chaintalon and slaughterclaw), the Brigand (daemonbreath spear and chaincannon), and the Stalker (chaintalon OR slaughterclaw plus daemonbreath spear OR chaincannon). All War Dogs can choose between the havoc launcher or the heavy stubber for their top-mounted secondary weapon.

Like their Imperial Knight Armiger counterparts, the arms can move freely, but the legs are each made of one part and cannot be posed, though the left and right legs can be swapped. There are several options for the heads, a wolfish skull, a bird of prey head, and a classic Knight head with three different face plates. All parts are compatible with the Knight Armiger kit if you want to decorate a War Dog Huntsman or Executioner. Otherwise there are a few optional parts like chains, tusks, spikes, and a vulture. Vultures seem to be thing now.

Chaos Knights Army Set assembly guide

Here is a look at the assembly guide:

Chaos Knight Codex & Datacards

With 112 pages, the new Chaos Knight Codex is one of the thinner codices of the current 9th edition, but nevertheless, there are some new additions compared to the last edition, especially in the rules section. As usual with army set boxes, the codex has been given an exclusive full artwork cover with a matt finish. Maybe it’s just me, but actually, I would havepreferred to just have the regular codex, I find full artwork covers kind of miss something. But I feel the same with the White Dwarf subscription special editions 😉

Chaos Knights Army Set Codex & Datacards
Chaos Knight Codex Contents page

The background section has been expanded in a few places, especially the introductions to the individual houses. There are also four pages with two atmospheric new short stories. Gone are the four pages presenting the individual Knight variants in detail, and the map and timeline from the 8th edition codex are also missing.

Chaos Knight Codex Background section

The rules section has been completely overhauled and now has a similar level of depth to the other 9th edition codices. The first major addition is subfaction rules. Battle-forged detachments with more than three models, all from the same Dread Household, receive a Traitoris Ambition and Househould Bonds. Each of the major Iconoclast and Infernal houses has its own set of Traitoris Ambitions and Household Bonds, as well as their own stratagems, warlord traits, and relics. If you don’t play one of the major houses or have a Dreadblade, there is also a list of Fell Bonds with generic abilities.

Chaos Knight Codex Rules overview

The second big new addition is the Favour of the Dark Gods. You can now either dedicate your Chaos Knights to one of the four Chaos Gods or mark them as undivided Chaos. For each god and Undivided are three additional abilities to choose from, which costs extra points or power.

Last but not least, we have a unique new gameplay mechanic called Harbingers of Dread. You start with the Doom ability in the first battle round, and in the second battle round, you choose whether to stay with Doom or switch to the Despair or Darkness ability. It works like this every round, but you always have to choose Doom before you can switch from Despair to Darkness or vice versa. In the fifth round, you also have to choose Doom.

Chaos Knight Codex Harbingers of Dread

Very thematic, but as a Chaos Knight player you definitely have to remember a lot of abilities and gameplay mechanics. Thankfully the book has a very well written glossary and reference section.

You will also find the Warp Storm psychic discipline for the Knight Abominant, new secondary objectives for Matched Play, and a very flavourful set of Crusade rules. By collecting 3 Damnation Points, your Knights can advance to deeper and deeper circles and unlock various advantages in the process, but also certain quirks and disadvantages.

And of course, we have the datasheets. Good thing is that all the variants based on Imperial Knight kits are still, namely the War Dog Executioners and Huntsmen, Knight Despoiler, and Knight Tyrant.

Value

As usual, the army set is only available in limited quantities, and as Chaos Knights are popular and the box has a decent discount over the individual price, I think the box will, unfortunately, sell out very quickly. Especially at our partner shops Wayland Games, Element Games, and Taschengelddieb, where there will be an extra discount of up to 20%, which is worth it twice for this box. Check the following link to see if the box is still available:

With your purchase via our link, you are also supporting us at the same time, thank you very much!

But how much do you actually save compared to buying the box individually? The box has an RRP of £160/212 €/$265, and contains an Abominant, two War Dogs, a codex, and datacards. The Imperial Knight Despoiler also consists of a regular Imperial Knight plus an upgrade sprue like the Abominant, and costs £100/130 €/$170. Armiger Warglaives and Helverins will be combined in a new box containing two models with both options and upped to £52.50/67.50 €/$85 (so if you still want to save 5 quid and don’t need both options, see if you can find the old boxes before they sell out). The Chaos Knight codex is £32.50/42.50 €/$55 and datacards are £17/22 €/$29, so you can estimate the value of the box at £202/262 €/$339, which is over 20% off over individual purchase, which is pretty decent for an army set box containing all new items.

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9.0
Score

Pros

  • The whole release in a single box
  • No filler models like in the Black Templar army set
  • Over 20% discount over individual purchase
  • All new models are great

Cons

  • Still a pretty expensive set
  • Limited availability, will probably sell out very quickly

Final Verdict

The Chaos Knight Army Set is a very good box that contains all the products of the release wave without any filler. The built-in savings of 20 to 25% (depending on the currency) are nice because the box is of course still quite expensive. Nevertheless, it will probably sell out fast, so you should make up your mind quickly.