What better choice for my 25,000th post? How to play DKoK
and optimize your martyrdom!
Unfortunately the most important thing to remember with DKoK
is you're playing an index army. No stratagems, weak power level on most units, etc. If you're thinking of building an all-DKoK
army outside of a very low power meta you're probably doing it wrong. But it's not hopeless, there are still some things you can do to make the faction work as a supplement to a codex army. So, instead of trying to apply the DKoK
faction rules to an entire army we need to look at what we can do with the DKoK
-only units. But first, the army-wide rules/changes:
do not get a conventional regimental trait. You do kind of have this in the special rules, but you also pay for it (~1ppm extra it looks like) so it isn't a true regiment bonus. And you have no vehicle half of the rule. So, see all those tanks in the list of additional units you can take in a DKoK
list? Pretend they don't exist. Put them in some other detachment, anything is better than the zero benefit you get by applying the DKoK
are a pure infantry army.
*All infantry/cavalry units are WS
3+. If you aren't taking power weapons of some kind on every model that can carry one and giving serious thought to using them you're probably paying the wrong faction. It's a 33% damage buff, 50% for power fists, and you pay for it. Extra bayonet stabs are not nothing, but you really want to be adding extra power weapon hits.
*All units ignore shooting casualties for morale purposes. This seems great, but DKoK
can't take conscripts and you pay the ~1ppm tax and loss of a better regimental trait. If your squad costs 10 points more than a codex unit you need to save at least 3 models from morale losses to come out ahead, and by the time you're averaging enough casualties to roll that high the unit is pretty much dead anyway. And it's even worse on MSU
grenadiers/cavalry/etc, where it's effectively impossible to get any benefit. But hey, your objective campers won't break and run if they get shot at. Take the benefit, but don't consider it to be worth much.
*Orders are different, and arguably worse. Your re-roll 1s to hit order is gone, replaced with a useless morale order (you already don't run), which makes plasma more suicidal. You're still taking plasma, but orders are less critical. FRFSRF
is replaced by making lasguns pistol 2, giving you the same firepower at long range but not the 4 shots at close range. On the other hand, you can now shoot with a unit in melee, giving you more incentive to get up close and start stabbing.
*You get a limited subset of units: the ones mentioned here, and a bunch of tanks you'll never take. Again, it's a support detachment.
On to the units:
Marshal Karis Venner
: upgraded commander. 3 orders per turn, Sv
4+, a rule that random-damage weapons always roll a 1 (though if you're getting shot by them you've probably screwed up), the stock 5++ for an IG HQ
, and LD
9 that gets shared in a 12" bubble to all Imperial units
. Pretty cost-effective unless you can't make use of the extra orders, and the LD
bubble can hilariously let you teach space marines how to be brave under fire. Probably an auto-take unless points are tight.
: stock HQ
officer, except with Sv
4+ and the 1-damage rule. Does the same as codex officers, you're going to take them for the same reasons. But take a power fist!
: the codex junior officer, except in an HQ
slot. Cheaply fills mandatory HQs
, at the cost of less efficiency in orders.
Death rider squadron commander
: now here we get to something interesting. Death riders are the first reason to take DKoK
at all. M 10", T4, Sv
4+/5++/5+++ (against STR
4 and less), W4, A3, hitting at STR
-2 D D3 when you charge with two more attacks at STR
- from the horse, and you ignore the penalty for charging into terrain. IOW
, a fast HQ
unit that hits hard and costs the usual IG
efficient price. Only one order per turn, but stabby stabby! Or "move move move" to send a squad of death riders 20+2D6
" in a single turn to grab that objective. An excellent candidate for carrying the power sword relic, btw
. And you can (and will) also take a demo charge, effectively a Basilisk shot in a one-use grenade.
: 10 guardsmen, a special weapon, no heavy weapon. IMO
just a worse version of the codex squad, but it's 50 points to fill mandatory slots or toss some cheap screening units into an army if the DKoK
detachment is your only IG
. Functionally the same, they take up space on the table and soak up attacks that would otherwise hit important things, and maybe do some damage in the process. Interestingly the sergeant is BS
3+ (being a former grenadier fluff-wise), so feel free to take a plasma pistol.
: take codex storm troopers, trade the deep strike ability and doctrine for WS
3+, and make special weapons a fixed 2 instead of 2 per 5 models, and add a couple of bad options (heavy stubber and heavy flamer) that you'll never take. Obviously these are your plasma delivery unit in the troops slot. You can't deep strike, but a Centaur carrying them gets a 9" pre-game move, giving you a turn-1 threat that storm troopers can't do post-nerf. 5-man MSU
of course, there's no point to adding models when you can't take more plasma. You're probably taking at least a unit or three of these.
: it's a Chimera with lower T/W, 5-man transport capacity, and a pair of heavy stubbers as its only guns. The good part? They're dirt cheap, only 54 points each, and it's a tiny model that can easily hide out of LOS
. Probably one of the few transports to actually be useful. Grenadiers love them, command squads might consider them.
: Chimeras are trash. Giving it the ability to buy a 2+ save against lasguns (STR
4 weapons and below) that will never shoot at it doesn't make it less trash. Oh, and you get an autocannon over a multilaser, but shrug. The Centaur does everything it can do at a much cheaper price.
: limited to two special weapons, but can take a vox and a flag. The flag is awesome, +1 LD
and +1 attack to every unit within 6". Remember how you are a melee army? Take a flag. The only downside is it's a 4-model unit with no character protection, so hide it until it's time to charge. But hey, when it works it's a lot of buff. Amusingly you take the plasma guns in addition to the lasguns, not instead of them, so you've got guardsmen dual-wielding rifles.
: oh hello, the second reason to take DKoK
. These are amazing in every way. SV
3+, two plasma guns in a 5-model squad (again, MSU
every time), a mortar with the stats of a heavy bolter, melta and poison gas (wound on a 2+, AP
-2, D D3) grenades, and STR
4 shotguns that get D2 and wound on a 2+ if you "overheat" them. Oh, and by unofficial response from FW
they can take the Hades drill they had access to in previous editions. Which is essentially a mini melee dreadnought that will eat anything it charges (just save a CP
re-roll for the D6
attacks) and deep strikes the entire unit. This is a MSU
ball of hate, so much firepower in a ~130 point package that can appear anywhere on the table. You're taking at least one squad with a drill, and probably 2-3.
: standard commissar. You are already immune to morale. Why is this unit even in the book?
: creepy dude and creepy servitors that give a medi-pack (repair a wound or dead model on a 4+, lol
) and, more importantly, a 6+++ to all DKoK
units within 6". Is it worth it? Shrug? It costs ~45 points, almost as much as an entire infantry squad, will you be able to save that many models? Depends on how many infantry squads you take, I guess. Auto-take if you're spamming enough meatshields to make it pay off.
Death rider command squad
: four basic death riders (W2, A2, otherwise same stats as the HQ
version) with BS
4+ on their laspistols at +1 ppm
. Oh, and you get to outflank up to 5 units of death riders. If you're taking death riders this is your first squad of them. Outflanking your scary death ponies anywhere on the table to threaten a charge from behind is very strong, and it's only +4 points for the ability to do it.
Death rider commissar
: a useless morale buff, but on a horse. Take a death rider officer instead, which is a shame because the (OOP
event only) model is one of the most badass things GW
has ever made.
: that bit from the HQ
section about "the first reason to take DKoK
"? Still true. At 16 ppm
these are death incarnate. Show up 9" away from any table edge (you did take the command squad, right?) and threaten your opponent's objective campers/artillery/etc, or just run them up the table and declare some charges. The term "distraction carnifex" applies 100% here. They're either going to draw a ton of fire and die horribly so that the rest of your army can keep shooting, or they're going to reach melee range and deal way more than 16 ppm
worth of damage to whatever they hit. And as an added bonus they're the fastest non-flyer unit IG
have, making them great for objective grabs. Every DKoK
army should be taking these, it's probably the single best tool you can add from the list.
Heavy weapon squad
: the codex standard, but with a couple of options. Twin heavy stubbers are a "shrug" vs. heavy bolters, but heavy flamers are interesting. You mitigate BS
4+, and at 22 ppm
they're actually reasonably efficient at delivering those heavy flamers. The drawback is you'll probably need to invest in a Valkyrie to drop them, but it's not a bad beginning to a turn-1 alpha strike. Or just give them mortars and do what codex HWS
do, camp objectives and fill mandatory heavy support slots at the lowest possible cost. Cadian HWS
are better in this role of course, but it's only 90 points to bring all three copies of DKoK
: codex LRBT
, but instead of a useful regimental trait you get a 2+ save against the STR
4 or less weapons that nobody is shooting at a LRBT
when guardsmen are on the table. Oh, and you can take a plasma cannon or mult-imelta in the hull slot if you don't understand why a lascannon is better, because copy/paste errors are amusing. Please don't take these when Tallarn JSJ
Note the theme in good units vs. bad? DKoK
get their strength from MSU
"distraction carnifex" units that want to get up close and kill stuff or die trying. Your core is going to be death riders and Hades engineer squads, possibly supplemented with grenadiers in Centaurs, getting up close ASAP while your conventional units (probably from another army) get to sit back and shoot. It's effectively an alternative form of screen, instead of holding stuff back with a horde of bubble wrap you hit your opponent from behind and force them to move backwards to deal with the threat instead of rushing straight at your main guns. And if they don't? Well, death riders don't get that name for nothing. CHARGE