Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

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My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

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Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

House Yato

 The history of House Yato of Draconis III is a long and gloried one, filled with battle honors stretching over more than ten millennia. The original colonists of Draconis III mostly originated from Nippon of Old Earth, their many ships and arks landing on Draconis III and its nearby worlds, thus seeding a population in the Draconis Sector that tended toward a worship of the Kami. The earliest settlers survived the monstrous inhabitants of Draconis III's many forests and seas - which they term Ayakashi - by piloting massive bipedal armored suits to drive them off. From the titanic serpentine Orochi and their kings, the nine-headed and nine-tailed Yamata no Orochi to the leviathan Bake-Kujira that dwelled in the depths of the oceans to the gargantuan, amphibious Ryuu. These bipedal armored suits later formed the basis of the numerous Knight Houses, massive formations of Knight walkers that marched in defense of the colonists against the behemoths that haunted Draconis III. Each Knight House was commanded by a Daimyo, a warlord who claimed to possess the pinnacle of courage, virtue and honor, but no matter their allegiance, the Draconians came to worship the sun. They believed that the Sun Goddess would deliver a savior to them, to unify the planet and bring unprecedented prosperity.

It was this faith in the Sun Kami and the adamantine valor of the Knight Armors that saw them survive the Age of Strife and the horrors of the Old Night. The Ayakashi and many twisted denizens that emerged from the netherworld, which the Draconians termed Jigoku (or the Warp in low Gothic), were banished back to their foul realm, the Knights crushing them underfoot and reaping them with their gigantic chainswords and burning them with hi-tech weaponry. The Men of Iron who rose against humanity were quickly culled, and the Knight World of Draconis III plunged into feudalism, with each Daimyo staking out his own private domain and commanding armies of Knights.

Eventually, the Warring Era was ended by the tactical ingenuity of a single Daimyo - Yato Yasutaka of House Yato. Yato Yasutaka led several hundred Knights in over several dozens of campaigns to isolate and crush each of his rival houses one by one. He was a shrewd diplomat, able to absorb lesser Houses into his own and forge powerful alliances - persuading Takeda Kenji of House Takeda and Uesugi Fuutarou of House Uesugi to join him in uniting the whole of Draconis III under his rule. Within four decades, he successfully emerged the supreme power on Draconis III, tying the fates of the proud House Takeda and the skilled House Uesugi to his House Yato through marriage politics or promises of glory, and subjugating the powerful House Oda, the patient House Tokugawa and resilient House Akita. Yato Yasutaka would take on the mantle of the Shogun, the ruler above all the other Daimyos, the Draconian equivalent of the High King.

Millennia later, the Imperium would come, and facing a disastrous defeat at the hands of a superior foe, the then Shogun, Yato Yoshinobu accepted the terms from Lord Marshal Mathias Perry - the commander of a massive Solar Auxilia contingent - and the Praetor from the Thousand Sons, consisting of at least three companies (the First, Fourth and Sixth) and reinforced by several Prosperine Spireguard regiments. Ever the shrewd diplomat, Shogun Yato Yoshinobu preserved the autonomy of his Knight Houses in exchange for pledging military support to the Imperium, and invited the Mechanicum to colonize the fourth world in the Draconis system in exchange for construction, repairs and maintainence of their aging Knight suits.

With the Mechanicum's assistance, the ranks of House Yato and their subordinate Knight Houses were furnished with many new Knight suits, including Cerastus patterns. While the majority of Knight armors still composed primarily of the Questoris chassis, the Knight Houses of Draconis III also received a substantial number of Cerastus chassis, as well as a few Acastus chassis. Armiger class Knights, including Armiger Knights Moirax, and Dominus Knights expanded their roster, and when Legio Draconis was founded in Draconis IV, an entire branch household of House Yato was pledged as a vassal Knight House to serve the Titans of the Dark Dragons. Thus House Kanda was formed, and they received exotic Knight armors not seen in many Houses, such as Questoris Knight Stryrix and the deadly Cerastus Knight Atrapos.

With Draconis IV's specialization in plasma weaponry, it is no wonder that Dominus Knight Castellan became one of the most prevalent Knights among households in Draconis III. Their expertise in laser weaponry also meant that House Yato and their branches have an unusually high number of Questoris Knights Preceptor, though Questoris Knights Errant and Questoris Knights Crusader are fairly common. The Armiger Knights Moirax are armed with exotic weaponry, such as volkite veuglaires, though Armiger Warglaives are also fairly common, with them being the preferred Armiger variant among the warriors of House Yato, desiring a close combat weapon. The sword remains a sacred symbol to the Draconians, so they prefer Reaper chainswords (or Reaper chain cleavers) to Thunderstrike Gauntlets, and the Cerastus shock lances of Cerastus Knight Lancers - the most common Cerastus pattern for House Yato - are modeled after the naginatas of old warriors atop horseback.

When Horus Lupercal turned against the Emperor, the Knight Houses of Draconis III declared their loyalty to the Emperor, who they viewed as the descendant of their Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. The Shogun was believed to rule as the Emperor's proxy, and the Draconians developed a fanatical belief or faith in the Emperor as divine. This was compounded by the beginnings of the Imperial Truth, particularly those espoused by Euphrati Keeler, which only reinforced the Draconians' worship of the Emperor as descemded from the Kami and the son of the Sun Goddess. They participated in many battles, campaigning against the Warmaster's forces, clashing against enemy Knight Houses such as House Malinax in Beta-Garmon and even on Holy Terra itself. They also reinforced Tallarn against the Iron Warriors, fought against the World Eaters, Word Bearers and their allied Traitor Knight Houses and Titan Legions during the Shadow Crusade and the retaliatory Crusade of Iron to take back the worlds of Ultramar. One of their more notable actions was when they helped Loyalist Iron Warriors, White Scars, Dark Angels and Loyalist Imperial Army forces defend Janus from the forces of the Warmaster, which included the Warhound Titans of Legio Audax, the Iron Warriors, the Thousand Sons and World Eaters. Hundreds of Knights were sent to hundreds of warzones, determined to exterminate the Traitors for turning their back on the Divine Emperor. Foremost of these wars was the Razing of Prospero, where a significant contingent of Knights from House Yato fought alongside the Thousand Sons when the Space Wolves, Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence attacked. There, the Knights of House Yato clashed against the twisted forces of House Malinax, and it was there that they became the bitterest of foes. From then on, the Knights of House Yato swore vengeance upon the sinister scions of House Malinax and vowed to annihilate them - which they failed to do so, despite clashing against them in many theaters of war, from the realm of Ultramar to Beta-Garmon, Tallarn and Holy Terra.

Despite suffering major losses, the jubilant House Yato took part in the Scouring, leading House Takeda, House Uesugi and the other Knight Houses of Draconis III in a campaign that saw them drive traitor Knight Houses, including House Malinax, back to the Eye of Terror. Alongside the growing Skitarii legions of Draconis IV and the expanding Draconian Defender regiments, the Knight Houses of Draconis III spent the next millennia recovering, though they frequently fought off xenos raiders such as ork incursions. They participated in the war against the green hordes of the Beast, fighting off countless orks that threatened to invade their sector.

After their recovery, around the 34th Millennium, the Shogun Yato Yoshitsune launched the Draconian Crusade to conquer the entire Draconian Sector and bring them under Imperial control. Within a century, the Knight Houses of Draconis III, their subordinate Draconian Defender Astra Militarum regiments, and their Skitarii allies and Cybernetica Cohorts from the forge world Draconis IV, as well as the venerable Titans of Legio Draconis, successfully brought over two hundred worlds to heel. The number would remain in flux and some worlds slipped out of Imperial rule, only to be reconquered later, while other new worlds were discovered and brought to the fold, but by and large, House Yato maintained a Draconian rule over the sector. The forge world of Draconis IV had their own interests, of course, subjugating a chain of forge worlds under their rule, which would later form the Helios Forges, all of whom would follow the Draconian doctrine and specialize in plasma and laser weaponry, as well as the manufacture of Knight suits and Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Hundreds of smaller Knight Houses would be founded across the Draconis Sector, benefiting from the vital supplies of war materiel from the Helios Forges.

There was little that could threaten countless Knight lances, the cyborg warriors and resilient automata of the vaunted Legio Cybernetica, near limitless men and tanks of the indomitable Draconian Defenders and the mighty Titans of the Dark Dragons. Even a Tyranid incursion was swiftly destroyed, a splinter fleet of Hive Hydra and a significant bio-fleet of Hive Behemoth destroyed when they approached the sector. On the Eastern fringe, a T'au attempt to turn several worlds over to the Greater Good was quashed, the young, upstart xenos suffering the wrath of the ancient war machines of House Yato. Even their Stormsurge ballistic suits were no match for the Dominus Knights' immense firepower, the latter's volcano lances ripping through hi-tech ballistic suits with astonishing ease. Humbled, the T'au were sent back to the Damocles Gulf to link up with Commander Shadowsun and concentate their forces on Agrellan. Oddly enough, House Yato ended up allying with the Farsight Enclaves to ward off several ork Waaaghs! and an invasion from a significant splinter fleet from Hive Leviathan. Recognizing the honor of the Fire Caste and seeing similarities, the Shogun decided it was in the best interest of the Imperium to sign a truce with the T'au - a truce that was inspired by the actions of the legendary Hero of the Imperium, Commisssar Ciaphas Cain. In secret, both forces sought to make use of each other, though in an honorable fashion.

Despite sending Knight lances to Cadia, they were unable to prevent Abaddon the Despoiler from smashing the bastion planet and were helpless to see the Great Rift tear the galaxy in half. For a while, the Draconis Sector was swallowed by warp storms, many of its systems cut off from each other. The Draconian Coalition was in ruins, with only the primary Draconis system itself remaining defiant in the face of daemonic incursions.

Fortunately, the warp storms eventually died down, replaced by the gleaming light of the Astronomican once more. With the Draconis system secured, the current Shogun, Yato Yoshimoto, declared a second Draconian Crusade, determined to take back the Draconis Sector and reforge the Draconis Coalition. The tech-priests of Draconis IV were only too happy to offer their help, for they too wish to reclaim their Helios Forges and once again reestablish that vital supply of war materiel and tireless industries. With reinforcements arriving from Terra, shortly after the newly awakened Primarch, Roboute Guilliman launched his Indomitus Crusade, Yato Yoshimoto is determined not to let the Lord Commander of the Imperium down. Should he succeed, the Draconian Coalition will be able to once more provide vital munition supplies, much-needed tanks and vehicles, armaments, important starships, Knight armors and Titans with their robust industries, manufactorums and forge temple-complexes.

However, it appears that some taint of darkness has been left behind on many of the worlds they are posed to retake...

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Praise the Omnissiah!

 Ave Omnissiah!

Our weapons at the Adeptus Mechanicus are a lot better than before! Warhammer Community has given us a rundown on what we can expect from the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex!

Galvanic weapons are better now!

We have gone from Strength 4 AP 0 to Strength 4 AP -1, and rapid fire 1 at 30" to a straight Heavy 2 at 30"! It does mean we can't move as much as before, but with 30" range, I don't see much of a need to move. Not bad!

Damage is still 1, but I'll take the increased AP. It made no sense to me that back in 8th edition, our guns went from Strength 4 AP4 to Strength 4 AP0. It should have stayed at Strength 4 AP -1. But the change from Rapid Fire 1 to Heavy 2 is a nice touch. Thanks to 9th edition rules, Heavy just means a -1 penalty to hit, so we don't have to worry about snap shooting whenever we move. I've to say, this is one of the rules I like more about 9th edition than 7th edition/Horus Heresy.

Arc weapons have also improved a ton!

Well, I wasn't expecting this when I gave my Skitarii Rangers arc rifles. I only did that because the 24" rapid fire 1 arc rifles were more compatible with the 30" rapid fire 1 galvanic rifles than 18" assault 3 radium carbines (I preferred giving my Skitarii Vanguard 18" plasma calivers instead), but now it seems that my choice has been vindicated!

Yup, you read that right! Arc weapons now wound all vehicles on an unmodified wound roll of 4+, regardless of Toughness! It doesn't matter if I'm targeting a Toughness 7 APC or tank, or a Toughness 8 Imperial Knight, my arc weapons will be wounding them all on a 4+! That makes a lot more sense than before, because even at Strength 6, I used to wound vehicles on a 5+ if they were Toughness 7 or tougher. This solves a lot of problems for the supposedly anti-tank arc weaponry. Even better, the damage is now a flat 3 instead of D3 against vehicles, which makes them a lot more reliable in hunting tanks than before! I can't wait to field them now! Also, did you see how the range of the arc rifles increased to 30"? Now they are a lot better on Skitarii Rangers and are more compatible with their galvanic rifles than before!

Transonic weapons have also improved, with transonic razors being AP -2 and transonic blades reaching up to AP -3! Nice, they can cut through Terminator armor now.

Cognis weapons are now Assault weapons, which means your vehicles can advance and fire them with a -1 penalty. So my Skorpius Duneriders can zoom across the table while still firing their Cognis heavy stubbers! Yeah, -1 penalty, but I'll take it in exchange for greater movement, I guess. Well, it depends on the situation, of course. But I'll take that option!

Also, did you see the increased number of shots for the twin Cognis autocannons? Not that I use them, so it's fine for me. On the other hand, I'm staring at the twin cognis lascannons in awe.

What in Holy Mars?! They deal a minimum of 4 damage now! That's amazing! My Archaeopter Stratoraptor just got a whole lot deadlier!

Kataphron Breachers also have similar upgrades. Obviously their heavy arc rifles probably got the same buff, wounding vehicles on a straight 4+ no matter how tough they are, but I don't know if they get better AP (they were already AP -2) and better damage. They used to do D6 damage to vehicles, probably a flat damage of 3+D3 maybe? Who knows? On the other hand, we know for sure that torsion cannons now deal D3+3 damage like the twin cognis lascannons and the range is 48". A vast improvement compared to before!

Now we can supercharge our plasma culverins on our Kataphron Destroyers without worrying about them getting slain on rolls of 1s! Instead, they just take a single mortal wound for each 1 they roll, so you don't have to worry about them blowing themselves up every time you supercharge.

That leaves one burning question in my mind, though. What about plasma calivers? Will we get assault 3 plasma calivers back? Or are they still stuck at 2 shots each? Would be amazing if we get back the 3-shot plasma calivers we had back in 7th edition...but I won't hold my breath. Nonetheless, having seen all these changes, I'm excited to get my hands on the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex! WOOHOO!

Legio Draconis: The Dark Dragons

Well, as usual, I've come up with my homebrewed Titan Legion, Legio Draconis. Also known as the Dark Dragons, their home is in the forge world of Draconis IV. They usuually comprise of battle Titans, such as Warlord Titans and Warmaster Titans, as well as the three Imperator Titans - the Shogun's Will, the Rising Sun and Amaterasu. They are usually painted in black and, they have nothing to do with the Black Legion. Their crew, meaning the Princeps and Moderatii, are recruited from Draconis III, so expect Japanese names for them. Yeah. Anyway, they eschew Scout Titans completely, mostly because they have a vassal Knight House to do the scouting for them. What a Warhound Titan can do, the Knights can do better, or so the Princeps of Legio Draconis reason anyway. Most of the material used to otherwise manufacture Warhound Titans go into constructing more Knight suits for House Yato and their branch House Kanda instead. The core of the Titan Legion is composed primarily of Warmaster and Warlord Titans.

The Dark Dragons also draw from a wealth of expert tech-priests to care for their Titans, and this is represented in their Legio Trait, Elite Magos. Also, the Titans of Legio Draconis are also Masters of Defense, allowing them to fire upon enemy Titans and Knights charging upon them. The Princeps of Legio Draconis tend to be on the more cautious side, unwilling to gamble with the lives of their crew and engines, so they always have Power Reserves as a contingency...and what do you know, that's their Legio specific Stratagem. Honestly, I was torn between Plasma Rifling for their Legio Specific Wargear (which makes sense, given their heavy reliance on plasma weaponry) and Crusade Banners (because of their heavy reliance on Knights), but it makes no sense for cautious Princeps to be pushing their reactors. So Crusade Banners it is.

They participated in the Horus Heresy, fighting on the side of the Emperor against the traitor engines of Legio Mortis in particular. But because their numbers were never big, they didn't lose much. They didn't participate in the battle of Beta-Garmon, for example, with the bulk of the fighting left to House Yato instead. They did take part in the Crusade of Iron, helping the Ultramarine Legion fight off Legio Audax and other traitor Titan Legions in the realm of Ultramar. They also stood in defense of Terra against Legio Mortis during the siege.

Thanks to that, they didn't suffer many losses and Legio Draconis remained strong for the next ten thousand years. They never really became a major Titan Legion, not with so few numbers, but the Dark Dragons remained vital to the defense of the Imperium - in particular the three hundred worlds of the Draconis Coalition. They continue to stand strong, towering over the Knights of Draconis III and reclaiming the lost worlds in the aftermath of the Great Rift. As of yet, they have not met any real threat to their immense firepower, but all that might change...especially since there are rumors of Legio Mortis looming over the horizon...

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Draconis IV

 Most of the history of Draconis IV can be found in the Draconis Coalition and the history of Draconis III, but this article will expand more on the history of the forge world of Draconis IV itself.

Draconis IV is a relatively new forge world, founded during the Great Crusade shortly after the Imperium welcomed the Knight World of Draconis III back into its fold. Shortly after Shogun Yato Yoshinobu of House Yato negotiated treaties with the Imperium, he was able to entice the Mechanicum to found a forge world on what seemed like a barren planet in the Draconis system. The fourth world from the sun of Draconis, it was apparently uninhabited, but the tech-priests of the Cult Mechanicus discovered plenty of ores, minerals and other resources under the rock of the world. Within years, Draconis IV flourished as a forge world as millions of tech-priests and their indentured servitors and laborers flocked to it, to claim the world's riches for their own, and also to conduct their own independent research.

The first and most powerful of these tech-priests was Archmagos Kent Rolov, who was recently exiled from Mars because of heretical thinking. He had once maintained close ties with Koriel Zeth, the Mistress of the Magma City. Having proposed innovation and creativity as the way forward for the Cult Mechanicus, emphasizing that change and progress is the way forward, and the only way to uphold the first credo Knowledge is Power, he was seen by many as a heretic and thus he left Mars before the Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal could take any action against him. Arguing that knowledge can only be power if the Tech-Priests were willing to expand their knowledge through innovation and creativity, exploration and experiments, Rolov believed that both power and knowledge will stagnate if the Mechanicum refused to advance and attempt new things. However, with his status, he was able to become Fabricator-General of Draconis IV and continue his creed of innovation and progress in a sector distant from Holy Mars. Draconis IV became a hotbed for eccentric Tech-Priests, whose views were often considered borderline heretical by their compatriots. Pariahs, ostracized Tech-Priests, outcasts and even the frequently shunned Magi Dominus in charge of terrifying Legio Cybernetica cohorts sought refuge in this new Forge World, whose first settlers claimed authority and welcomed variety. Many of the Tech-priests were exiles from Ryza, having been hunted for pursuing new paths in plasma technology, and they arrived in Draconis IV to continue their supposedly blasphemous research. They brought with them scattered maniples of Skitarii, personalized cyborg armies more loyal to their individual Tech-priest masters than any overarching Martian priesthood.

Shogun Yato Yoshinobu was a shrewd politician and cunning warrior who recognized the need of the three Knight houses to rely on the Mechanicum. Despite having hundreds of aging Knight suits, he realized that their eventual wear and tear had rendered them all but ineffective in combating Xenos and the enemies of Mankind, particularly when he was treated to a display of power by the Imperial fleet who found them. As such, he was quick to forge an alliance with Archmagos Rolov, yet at the same time maintain the sovereignity of his House, as well as that of his allied Knight houses. House Yato, House Uesugi and House Takeda greatly depend on Draconis IV to construct, maintain and repair their Knights, the grateful Tech-Priests enthusiastically upgrading and repairing the aged suits both for their new allies' benefit, and also in order to receive protection from hostile agents under Martian authority.

Archmagos Rolov also expanded on his fledging Forge World's repertoire by trying to imitate the success of the revered Ryza. With many of the disaffected tech-priests coming from Ryza, Draconis IV's plasma technology developed rapidly and they were soon manufacturing Leman Russ Executioner tanks and countless plasma guns for the newly raised Solar Auxilia regiments in Draconis III that served alongside the Knights of House Yato. They also constructed entire columns of the super-heavy Stormblade tanks. It is said that Draconis IV produces exclusively Leman Russ Executioner tanks and Stormblade tanks, eschewing the other Leman Russ variants because it is simply easier to build tanks that rely on plasma reactors and energy weapons such as plasma cannons and lascannons than to continually manufacture and supply them with expendable munitions such as bolt shells, battle cannon rounds, Vanquisher anti-tank shells and demolisher rounds. Most of the weapons produced on Draconis IV are primarily energy-based, with las-weaponry, volkite weaponry and plasma weaponry constituting the majority of them. Rarely do the Draconian regiments use ballistic-based weapons such as autocannons or missile launchers. Instead, they are armed with lascannons, plasma cannons and even volkite culverins. For small-arms, they have the Draconis IV-pattern lasgun, along with Draconis IV pattern plasma guns, which aren't that different from those produced in Ryza. The mainstay of Draconis IV continues to be Leman Russ Executioner tanks, and even in the 41st Millenium, the Draconian Armored Defender regiments field entire columns of Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Draconis IV is also known for building the rarer pattern of Carnodon tanks, these medium tanks sporting rare volkite weaponry often not found in any other Imperial Guard regiments.

This specialization in plasma, volkite and laser weaponry extends to the Knights and Titans of Forge World Draconis IV. The Knights of House Yato are usually known for fielding more Knights Errant and Knights Preceptor than other houses, with thermal cannons and las-impulsors being manufactured in greater numbers than usual. The Dominus Knights Castellan are favored, given their plasma decimators from the forge-temples of Draconis IV. Armiger Knights Moirax are armed with the very rare volkite veuglaires, as are the volkite-based armaments of Questoris Knights Styrix given to House Kanda, a branch of House Yato dedicated to serving alongside the Titans of Legio Draconis. The Dark Dragons share the same inclination toward plasma as the forge world that they call home, the Warlord Titans often sporting Sunfury plasma annihilators and the venerable Warmaster Titan bearing twin plasma destructors. Such is the reputation of plasma technology produced by Draconis IV that it is known as the Second Ryza.

The people of Draconis III revere the sun, worshipping the Emperor as a descendant of the Sun Goddess, and this influenced the tech-priests of Draconis IV somewhat. The Cult Mechanicus in Draconis IV also holds special veneration for the sun, and they view plasma as the aspect of the Omnissiah as a descendant of the Sun Goddess, a partner to the Machine God, the two linked together by the Motive Force. That explains why they focus so much on plasma, with its ability to produce the power of a sun.

The Draconis Sector did not suffer much during the Horus Heresy, though House Yato often sent forth Knights to fight for the Emperor. The Titans of Legio Draconis, having sworn fealty to the Emperor, also sent forth their small maniples of massive Titans - often composing of Warmaster Titans and Warlord Titans alongside their vassal House Kanda to fight alongside House Yato. At their feet marched the Skitarii Legions of Draconis IV, ranging from Secutarii Hoplite Phalanxes to cyborg cavalry riding on fire-breathing mounts to armored formations of skimmering hovercrafts filled to the brim with cyborg soldiers. In line with their tech-priest masters, the Skitarii of Draconis IV field a high number of plasma calivers, though they also favor arc weaponry. The Tech-priests of Draconis IV sent Mechanicum cohorts and Skitarii maniples to fight for Ryza, helping the devastated world recover after Horus Lupercal's forces raided it, and also to help reclaim Mars in the aftermath of the Siege of Terra.

Yet, they weren't always welcome. In addition to their cyborg Skitarii, the Mechanicum military might of Draconis IV was constituted mainly of Cybernetic automata. Being in line with their tendency toward plasma, they produced an unusually high number of Thanatar siege-automata. Even their Castellax battle-automata sported Darkfire cannons and plasma cannons (similar to the Castellax-Achea battle-automata unique to the Thousand Sons) instead of Mauler bolt cannons.

For ten thousand years, Draconis IV has continued to manufacture plasma weaponry for the wider Imperium, as well as countless Guard regiments in the Draconis Sector. Over the millennia, Draconis IV has expanded its influence, becoming a lynchpin in the chain of forge worlds within the Draconis Sector, known as the Helios Forges, most of whom specialize in manufacturing plasma weapons. Unfortunately, a large swathe of them have been cut off during the opening of the Great Rift, and now that the Astronomican has returned, Draconis IV is launching a solar crusade to reclaim all those forge worlds that were supposed to be under its rule.

The Skitarii Legions have been mobilized. Armed with plasma and arc weaponry, as well as exotic technology, phosphor-based armaments and cyborg steeds, these augmented warriors will launch a crusade throughout the Draconis Sector and reclaim vital forge worlds, STCs and data for the Omnissiah!

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Questoris Knight Crusade Tactics

 After the untimely demise of 1d4chan, I am attempting to put together at least some bits of tactica here and there. I know the tactica is precisely the main draw of 1d4chan, so like the Magos Explorator of the Adeptus Mechanicus I am, I will attempt to recover the lost knowledge and scraps of data. Obviously, most of my focus will be on Imperial Knights and the Adeptus Mechanicus (or Mechanicum in Horus Heresy). Ave Omnissiah!

Knights of the Imperium...we march!

Well, this particular post will be dedicated to the Questoris Knight Crusade Army List. For the last couple of years, every time I participate in a Horus Heresy campaign (the latest one being the Janus Campaign), I bring an Imperial Knight army. Ahem...I mean a Questoris Knight Crusade Army. The reason is simple. Because I don't have any other Horus Heresy models. Well, strictly speaking, actually I do have a couple of Magos Macrotek and their servo-automata, I have 20 Secutarii Hoplites (which don't count as compulsory troops because I don't have a 28mm scale Titan), and a bunch of battle-automata in the form of 4 Castellax-Achea battle-automata (which I'm running as regular Castellax battle-automata with Darkfire cannons), 2 Thanatar siege-automata and a single Vultarax stratos-automata. I could technically use my Tech-priest Dominus or Cybernetica Datasmith as an Archmagos Dominus and form a minimum-sized Horus Heresy army, but I don't have enough models to form a proper army. Like, okay, that would be 1,545 points. Not enough to play a Horus Heresy game.

But that's a different story. I love my regular 9th Edition Warhammer 40,000 games (I'm very different from most Horus Heresy players in that regard, the majority of them seeming to swear off 9th edition and focus solely on Horus Heresy), and my Knights allow me to have my cake and eat it. I can freely swap between them in Horus Heresy and the 41st Millennium 9th Edition without needing to make any major adjustments. Best of all, they are magnetized, so if there's no Knight Preceptor in 30K? Easy, I'll swap his arm for a thermal cannon or rapid-fire battle cannon. Or make him a Knight Crusader!

That is one of the best strengths of a Knight army - you can play them in both 30K and 40K without needing major model changes or weapon swaps (it's hard to play a 30K Space Marine Legion in 40K, even if you go entirely Firstborn, especially with volkite weapons missing and all the special units, and obviously Primaris Space Marines aren't in 30K, nor are Centurions and a lot of stuff). Hell, even Imperial Militia and Cults are hard to convert between 30K and 40K. I can't use my Leman Russ Executioner tanks in 30K, and if I go Solar Auxilia, I can't take sponsons. So Knights it is. And I haven't even brought up the Mechanicum problem that has been plaguing us. WHY AREN'T WE GETTING 40K RULES FOR MECHANICUM ROBOTS AND UNITS?! I love my Cybernetica models. I really do. But it hurts to see them on the shelf, unable to play them in 40K. I could theoretically play them in 30K and I intend to do so...eventually. But I'll need a lot of new Mechanicum models to make up the shortfall, which isn't compatible with my Adeptus Mechanicus army. It baffles me that the Skitarii show up frequently in Horus Heresy lore and novels (Mechanicum, Cybernetica, Master of Mankind and Know No Fear being many of them) but they just don't show up on the tabletop because there simply are no rules for them! Apparently the Road to Terra Podcast is doing beta rules for the Skitarii, but right now they're still fixing errors that I've pointed out to them, and they have yet to update it. Maybe they'll update and upload a new version once the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex comes out, and they can add the Skitarii Marshal to their ranks. I hope. I'll write an article on it one day.

Best of all, Adeptus Titanicus is supposed to take place in the Horus Heresy (though you can also play Adeptus Titanicus matches set in the 41st Millennium). And I play a Knight Household Army. So I have both big Knights and small Knights. I can literally use the same army for my Questoris Knight Crusade Army and Adeptus Titanicus Knight Household Army in the Horus Heresy, especially in these campaigns! How cool is that?

Why Play The Questoris Knight Crusade Army?

Two words. Giant robots.

Giant robots piloted by the most badass, noble dudes in the Imperium. Okay, you have Traitor Knights who are...well, not so noble, and you have ruthless Mechanicum overlords who command tyrannical houses of Knights such as House Malinax (the archenemy of my House Yato).

Their rules are fairly simple. You don't have to worry about the Vehicle Damage Table, so no crew stunned or shaken. Only thing you have to worry about is losing D3 hull points on an Explodes! result, but that's about it. They Move Through Cover, they are super-heavy walkers, they can fall back and shoot and charge, they can fire their weapons at different targets (but you can only charge at a unit you fired at least one of your weapons at). They can stomp! Also, the robots have beaten the kaiju! So if Tyranids do somehow show up in the 31st Millennium (courtesy of the Pharos machine in Sotha), you'd want a Household of Knights on your side.

Also, they pack heavy firepower, have easy access to Strength D weapons, are fairly sturdy (though your opponent can still easily take them down with enough anti-tank weaponry and Haywire - I lost like 6 Knights to Iron Havocs with Tank Hunter). Some people claim they are unfriendly, but hey, make sure your opponent knows what they are facing and allow them to tailor their list, and it should be a close battle. Even if you're facing a load of anti-tank, you still stand a good chance of winning as long as you know how to use your list well. Knights are strong, flexible and durable. They might not be as durable as in 40K (24 Wounds is a lot better than 6 Hull Points, and an all-round 5++ invulnerable save is sometimes better than 4++, plus there are no Strength D weapons in 9th edition), but they certainly pack a punch and can stomp your opponent to the ground if they are unprepared.


You can roll on the table when determining Warlord Traits for your Knight Seneschal.

1. Hell Rider: In the first turn, your Knight Warlord and all Knights within 12" of him gain +1 to their Movement, and +1 on To Wound and Armor Penetration rolls. Sweet! Allows your Knights to move faster and their ranged weaponry become deadlier. It'll be hard to pull off a charge on Turn 1, but even so, weapons like thermal cannons and rapid-fire battle cannons would benefit a lot from this.

2. Glorious Renown: Your opponents get -2 penalty to their Leadership tests when taking Fear tests against your Knight Warlord, while your allied units within 12" may re-roll failed Morale checks. It's okay, I guess? Should be good for Imperial Militia allies.

3. Favored of Mars: Choose one of your Knight Warlord's weapons to be Master-crafted. Nice. House Taranis rides again! Also very useful on a Reaper chainsword or Strength D weapons.

4. Lord of the Abyss: The Knight Warlord gains Monster Hunter and Adamantium Will. Would be great if you have more Monstrous Creatures running around in 30K, but I guess it works well against Mechanicum robots (ouch, Legio Cybernetica lists had best watch out) and maybe Primarchs?

5. Pussy...ahem, I mean Puissant Commander: Add +1 to your Seize the Initiative roll, and opponents' reserve rolls suffer a -1 modifier. Pretty good, especially in missions where your opponent has lots of units in reserves. Also helped me seized the initiative when I rolled a 5 (by the Emperor's grace, I got this Warlord Trait during one of the Janus Campaign missions). Hah!

6. Indomitable: It Will Not Die. My personal favorite. Nothing like seeing the look on my opponent's face when I tell him my Warlord just gained a hull point after rolling a 5+.


Now, one of the things you must take note when playing a Questoris Knight Crusade Army - you are not using the normal Force Organization Chart. You have to use a special Force Organization Chart unique only to Knights. That means...

What this means is that, unlike regular Force Organization Charts, you only need to take one HQ and 1 Troops as Compulsory units. So you don't need to take 2 Troops. Yay. You can build an army with a minimum of 2 Knights, and then fill the rest out with an allied detachment or something. Also, because your Knights are not Lords of War, you don't have to worry about the Price of Failure in many missions. So field as many Knights as you want! Also, you can field a Legio Titanicus Titan as a Lord of War choice for a Questoris Knight Crusade Army.

You have 2 HQs, 5 Troops, 3 Elites, 2 Fast Attack and 2 Heavy Support choices. But you're playing Knights, so you don't have to worry about how seemingly restricted that is. Also, you'll need to use Household Ranks for the Knights, which would determine which slot you're using them for.

The Household Ranks work by you allocating a specific Knight to a particular Household Rank, and then adding the points cost of the rank to the basic cost of the Knight. So let's say you select a Cerastus Knight Lancer as your Warlord. He's your HQ, so you need to purchase the Seneschal or Lord Scion rank for him, and if you choose the Seneschal rank, you add the 50 points on top of the Knight Lancer's basic 400 points for a 450-points Knight Lancer Seneschal with BS5, WS5 and a 3++ invulnerable save.

Seneschal: For 50 points, you can upgrade your Warlord into a Seneschal, but you can only take 0-1 of him in a single army. He gets +1 to his WS, BS and invulnerable save. Also allows you to re-roll your Warlord Traits (something that helped me a lot).
Lord Scion: For 25 points, you can get a budget HQ that also adds +1 to his WS and BS, but not your invulnerable save. No re-rolls for Warlord Traits either. And you can only take a maximum of 1, just like your Seneschal.

Preceptor: Another 25 points, your Knights in Reserves all add +1 to their Reserve rolls. Also, your Preceptor and any Knights within 6" of him get the Interceptor rule and may fire Overwatch. Cool. Useful if you want to shoot Deep Striking Terminators when they show up in your deployment zone.
Aucteller: Can only take a maximum of 1, and comes at a costly 35 more points. What do you get in return? Well, the Aucteller can choose a single Warlord, Lord of War that isn't a Flyer, a Super-heavy Walker (remember, Knights don't count as Lords of War if you take them in a Questoris Knight Crusade Army), a ground vehicle or a Gargantuan Creature as his Sworn Enemy, and if he destroys that unit, you get additional D3 victory points. Of course, if some other Knight kills the Sworn Enemy, you don't get any additional victory points. This comes at a cost, however. If the Sworn Enemy is still alive at the end of the game, your opponent gains +1 Victory Point. Damn. Oh, and if your Aucteller is destroyed in combat with his Sworn Enemy, you may make an additional single close combat attack as one act of spite. Heh.
Legendary Freeblade: Um, this serves as your unique characters for Knights. You don't need to add any additional cost, unlike the other Hosuehold Ranks, but the costs have already been baked into them. I mean, look at Gerantius! He costs 500 whooping points! You just add him or other Freeblades into your army with their innate points and they take up an Elite slot. That's about it. I have no idea what Freeblades there are in Horus Heresy. The closest I can think of is Gerantius from 7th Edition, but yeah. I guess they'll add more unique characters when they come up with new books, but I won't be holding my breath. It all went quiet on the Horus Heresy front after the Thramas campaign (Book Nine: Crusade).

Scion Martial: No additional cost, you get a vanilla Knight in the Troops slot. In other words, he's Scoring and he has Objective Secured because he's Troops. Yay! I think.
Scion Aspirant: If you're on a budget and are looking to cut costs from your Knights, you can take a Scion Aspirant and shave 35 points away. But he'll end up have -1 to his BS, WS and invulnerable save. Also, there's a limit to the number of Scion Aspirants you can take - they must not be more than half of your Knight army in terms of ranks (so if you have 6 Knights, only a maximum of 3 can be Scion Aspirants). But he also has Objective Secured!
Scion Auxilia: The Household Rank for Questoris Knight Armiger Talons, no additional cost, but they don't benefit from the Warlord Traits that target friendly Knight models. They can score and are Objective Secured, so yay! Non-compulsory Troops, however. Unlike the other Knights, you can take up to 3 in a single slot.
Scion Amuntar: The special Household Rank for Mechanicum Knight Armiger Moirax Talons, they come at no additional cost, but you can't hold them in reserve and must deploy them more than 6" away from a friendly Questoris Knight if possible. Sometimes it's not possible because of how small your Deployment Zone is and how many models of super-heavy Knights you have, but given you can move your big Knights 12" and these guys only move 6", it shouldn't be a problem after your deployment. Other tthan that, they are non-compulsory Troops...again. Still very useful and flexible, so often worth giving them that slot.

Scion Dolorous: For 25 points, you get a Knight who can re-roll failed charges and failed Sweeping Advances. Also, you must charge an enemy Knight, Walker, Monstrous Creature, Primarch, Super-heavy Walker or Gargantuan Creature. Pretty good for a Knight Gallant or a Cerastus Knight Lancer.
Scion Uhlan: For no additional cost, you get a Knight with Scout and Hit and Run, but they reduce their front armor by 1 (so AV12). Unfortunately, they can only make Snap Shots with their ranged weapons at targets more than 24" away. Again...Knight Gallant or a Cerastus Knight Lancer, given how pitiful the range of the latter's weapon is. At 18", he's not going to be bothered by that rule. The Knight Acheron is worth a shot, but be careful about firing his heavy bolter at targets over 24" away.

Scion Arbalester: For 25 more points, your Knight gets Tank Hunter. Woo! I love this Knight. Especially awesome on a Knight Crusader with thermal cannon and Stormspear rocket pod, not to mention 12 Rending Avenger Gatling cannon shots. Also not bad on his rapid-fire battle cannon, and with Ordnance, you can roll 2 D6 twice, discarding the lowest each time. Not only that, if you decide to have your Knight stay still, his weapons can have Skyfire. So your Stormspear rocket pod and Avenger Gatling cannon will be shooting flyers out of the skies (and if you're close enough, so will the meltagun). Don't forget that you still have Tank Hunter on top of that! Do take note that blast weapons might not benefit from the Skyfire no thermal cannons, I think.
Scion Implacable: For 35 more points, your Knight gets +1 to Building Damage table rolls, cumulative with the weapon's AP. Uh, very situational, I guess? But you also get a guy who can stomp infantry better, which means re-rolling results on the Stomp table. Not only that, he has a 5++ invulnerable save against melta bombs and grenades in melee, but at the cost of not making Sweeping Advances.

Imperial Knights are divided into many chassis and variants, each with their own weapons. Do take note that any chassis can be selected for any Household Rank, but keep in mind that there are restrictions for specific chassis. If there is, I'll note them down below. But for now...let's get into it!


Questoris Knight Armiger Talon: We can take Armiger Knights from 40K as a Scion Auxilia choice in a Questoris Knight Crusade Army! As Troops! Scoring Walkers with Objective Secured! Hooray! That means we can take 1-3 of these baby Knights in a single slot, starting from 175 points but an additional 150 points for each subsequent one. Unfortunately, they cannot be taken as compulsory Troops, so you must have at least 2 big Knights already in your Detachment before you take them. They are essentially Dreadnoughts with 4 Hull points, but AV12 on front and side, and AV11 on the rear. They can take a 5-point heavy stubber or 15-point meltagun for carapace weapons, and swap any of their "close-combat Dreadnought weapons (what?!)" for an Armiger thermal spear (10 points) or Armiger autocannon. The former is a single shot Strength 8 AP2 at 36" range with melta, and the latter has two modes for their Heavy 2 64" Strength 7 AP 3 autocannon shells: armor-piercing rounds that have the Sunder rule, or incendiary rounds that Ignores Cover. You can give their heavy stubbers bio-corrosive rounds for 10 points for Poisoned (4+), but considering that you'll be wounding most Toughness 4 Space Marines with the Strength 4 AP6 heavy stubbers on 4+s anyway, it's usually a waste of points unless your opponent brings lots of Monstrous Creatures (but they will have Cybernetic Resilience, so...). Still a pretty good choice, very flexible and fast. Oh, and they have an ion buckler that gives them a 5++ invulnerable save without worrying about facing. So no more arguing on where your opponent is shooting from.
Mechanicum Knight Moirax Talon: Similar to the normal Armiger Knights, we can take a Mechanicum Knight Moriax Talon as a Scion Amuntar choice in a Questoris Knight Crusade army, complete with Scoring and Objective Secured. Yay. They don't count as compulsory Troops, however. Starting at 185 points, you can take up to 3 in one slot, with each additional Knight Moirax weighing in at 155 points. Like the Armiger Knight above, he has front and side AV12 and rear AV11, and 4 Hull Points. Basically a Dreadnought, then. But unlike the regular Armiger Knights, the Armiger Knight Moriax have 2 Construct Shields that have an AV11. So mini-void shields that collapse and don't come back online once they are taken out. They also have an ionic flare shield that gives them a 5++ invulnerable save without worrying about facings, plus reduce the Strength of non-Destroyer and non-Haywire blast and Template weapons by 1.
 - They have a sweet suite of weapons to choose from for their arms. Any 2 would be amazing, but since this is Horus Heresy and you can only shoot both weapons at the same target because the Armiger Knight Moirax is not a super-heavy walker (he can get immobilized - both Armiger Moirax Knights in my talon got immobilized when I rolled two ones in a row when traversing difficult terrain, damn), you might as well take the same weapon for both arms. That said, it's a good idea to keep one as a melee weapon in case of close encounters.
 - - The Gyes Siege Claw is your melee weapon that hits at Strength 10 (yeah, Strength 7 x2, but caps at Strength 10), AP2 and has Wrecker. It comes with an in-built rad cleansere that is a Template Strength 2 AP 5 weapon with Fleshbane and Rad-phage, so pretty cool especially against infantry. If your Armiger Knight Moirax is armed with the claw, though, you should be charging vehicles with him, so it's kind of hard to choose between shooting that rad-cleanser at infantry or just shooting it at a vehicle and then charging it.
 - - Lightning Locks are 36" range Small Blast (3") Strength 6 AP 3 with Rending. Not bad, especially against Space Marines. But nothing fantastic either, I think, especially when you compare it with the 40K rules.
 - - Graviton Pulsars have a shorter range at 24", but fires 2 small blasts (3") with Concussive, Graviton Pulse and Haywire. A death sentence against vehicles if you don't scatter. AP4 is okay, but sucks against power armor and Terminator armor. Plus Graviton Pulse means you have to roll a D6 and hope it's above the target's Toughness, so you have 1/3 chance of wounding a Toughness 4 Space Marine, who will have 2/3 chance of saving the wound (5/6 for Terminators). So point that weapon at vehicles instead of armored infanty. On the other hand, turning their position into Dangerous Terrain might be hilarious.
 - - Volkite Veuglaires, my personal favorite. An upgunned version of the volkite culverin, this baby fires 5...yes, five, Strength 6 AP4 Deflagrate shots from 36" range. The amount of dakka means that even Space Marines would buckle from the superheated Martian death rays.
 - - Armiger Conversion Beam Cannon...a miniaturized version of the conversion beam cannons mounted on the super-heavy Acastus Knight Asterius. Up to 18" is a small blast (3") Strength 6 AP - shot, which does nothing much but tickle infantry (well, might be cool against Militia infantry, I guess?). 18' to 42" is a bit better, improving to Strength 8 AP 4, so goodbye Solar Auxilia. But you want to keep your target as far away as 42"-72" for that's where the Strength 10 AP1 small blast will really kick in. Though at that point, you might as well be firing at vehicles and rolling on the vehicle damage table for that sweet explosion (I doubt Terminators would ever end up more than 42" away from your Armiger Knight Moirax, given their ability to Deep Strike).


Questoris Knight Errant: He comes with a Strength 9 AP 1 Large Blast (5") Thermal cannon, heavy stubber that can be swapped for a meltagun, Strength D Reaper chainsword and an ion shield. As with his Questoris counterpart, he gets the occular augmetics option and can upgrade his heavy stubber with bio-corrosive rounds that shoot at 6" less but with Poisoned (4+). No point taking the bio-corrosive rounds since you're already wounding Toughness 4 Space Marines on a 4+ anyway. Good against Terminators, good against vehicles. Has 3 choices of caparace weapons like all plastic Questoris Knights (meaning not the Knight Styrix and Magaera), which ranges from the 72" Ironstorm missile pod that fires a large blast Strength 5 AP4...with Ordnance for some reason (no Barrage or Ignores Cover...what?), the 48" range Stormspear rocket pod that fires 3 Krak missiles (Strength 8 AP 3), to the 48" range Icarus twin autocannon that fires two twin-linked shots at Strength 7 AP4 with Skyfire. So if your opponents bring a ton of aircraft (like Fire Raptors), you can try to bring them down with the Icarus autocannon.
Questoris Knight Paladin: Same as above, almost the same as his 40K version in 7th edition (how time flies, it's already 9th edition). Almost. Instead of the normal rapid-fire battlecannon that we all know and love, we can exchange that 2-shot Ordnance S8 AP3 Large Blast for a 3-shot Ordnance S6 AP3 Large Blast, both at a range of 72". I personally like the 3-shot better for more dakka. Except that when I played him in reality, the Strength 8 variant did a lot better...especially against vehicles and Titans. Well...funny how things work out sometimes. Also gets access to occular augmetics for night-fighting, but quite a meh upgrade, and for some reason the bio-corrosive rounds for his heavy stubber is 2 times more expensive than the Knight Errant - EACH, so it's actually 4 times more expensive if you upgrade both. Argh. Not worth it, unless you're up against Monstrous Creatures and high Toughness units, but this is 30K and so the only Monstrous Creatures you face are Cybernetica automata with Cybernetic Resilience...which makes the whole Poisoned pointless. In any case, a very flexible Knight with much-needed long-range weaponry that you can tailor to be a complete Space Marine killer with his Questoris battle cannon, or capable of performing anti-vehicle duties and Instant Death-ing Space Marines with his Ordnance rapid-fire battle cannon if you so prefer. Can also take carapace weapons, so people tend to take the Ironstorm missile pod to complement the 72" range of the battle cannon.
Questoris Knight Warden: Dakka. Just...dakka. You know why you're getting him...that sweet Avenger Gatling cannon that fires 12 Strength 6 AP3 shots with Rending. This guy is a Legiones Astartes killer. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, it comes with a heavy flamer! Though the only reason why you'd take a Knight Warden over a Knight Crusader is if you want that Strength D Reaper chainsword or Thunderstrike gauntlet. Which makes sense, given the Primarchs, Titans and other super-heavies running around in Horus Heresy. Can swap his heavy stubber for a meltagun, but let's be real, you want more dakka, don't you? Can take carapace weapons as well, so if you need anti-air in a pinch, grab an Icarus twin autocannon and dakka the aircraft in question to death.
Questoris Knight Crusader: The dakka Knight. Armed with the same Avenger Gatling cannon as the Knight Warden above, he swaps out his melee weapon for either a thermal cannon or a rapid-fire battle cannon. The ideal bulwark for your army, plant him in your deployment zone and have him hose Legionnes Astartes down with 12 Strength 6 AP 2 Rending shots or blow them up with the battle cannon. The thermal cannon is good against vehicles (even if they have Armored Ceramite, Strength 9 is nothing to scoff at) AND Terminators. And trust me, you need all the anti-Terminator weaponry, especially since people love their Rites of War that give them Terminator Troops. One of the best support Knights. He's no slouch in melee either, with Strength 10 AP2 attacks in close combat (thanks to Smash rule that comes with super-heavy walkers) and Stomp, so don't be afraid to charge him in. Unless the other party is a Primarch, then...yeah, keep him far away from the Primarch as possible and shoot him from afar. The carapace weapons might depend on what armanents you take for this guy. A battle cannon? Perhaps the 72" Ironstorm missile pod might suit your Marine-hunting task well. A thermal cannon? Then maybe the Stormspear rocket pod would be better for ant-tank. And if you're desperate for anti-air, then Icarus twin autocannon would do the job well.
Questoris Knight Gallant: The choppy Knight. Dedicated close-combat Knight armed with a Reaper chainsword and Thunderstrike gauntlet, that means he has an additional attack (so 5 on the charge, yay). Given that they are Strength D, anything you send him into combat with is most likely dead. Unless it's a Primarch, then you better pray you roll 6s on the Destroyer table. Heh. Also the cheapest, so if you happen to be playing an Questoris Knight Crusade list (like me), that's where you can spare the points. I think. Usually don't take carapace weapons for this guy (because you're obviously taking him to cut down on points, and the cheapest Ironstorm missile pod is at 30 points, the Icarus autocannon at 35 and the Stormspear rocket pod is at a whooping 45 points, which is probably the only thing you would take to complement the Strength D weapons against a tank or vehicle).
Questoris Knight Styrix: Already blessed with Blessed Autosimulacra, this fellow comes with a graviton gun for Haywire, an ionic flare shield that reduces the strength of shooting attacks by -1 and -2 if it's a Blast or Template weapon (no effect on Haywire or Destroyer attacks, though) in addition to a 4++ invulnerable save and can be upgraded with a Hekaton siege claw with a twin-linked rad cleanser. But his most noteworthy weapon is the Volkite chieorovile, which fires 5 Heavy S8 AP3 Deflagrate shots at 45". A Space Marine killer, he can be awesome in a gunline, but not so good in melee with I2, so keep him at the back and wipe out those annoying Marine squads! With Deflagrate, he can potentially kill twice as many Marines as he hits!
Questoris Knight Magaera: What happens when a Thallax evolves? He becomes a Knight Magaera! As with above, he has an ionic flare shield and Blesed Autosimulacra and the option to upgrade his reaper chainsword into a Hakaton siege claw with twin-linked rad cleanser, but that's as far as the similarities end. He has the same lightning cannon as the Krios Battle Tank, firing a S7 AP3 Large Blast with Shred and Rending at 48". In place of a graviton gun, he has a phased plasma-fusil, and this makes him another Space Marine killer. As with the Knight Styrix, he's not so hot in combat with I2, and should also keep his distance. I've no idea which is better, but this guy has Shred and Rending at least while the other one has Deflagrate, so it depends if you want to stack the number of wounds, or you're worried about wounding something.

Cerastus Knight-Lancer: Cerastus Knights have the Occular augmetics upgrade for 10 points, if you want, and Flank Speed, which allows them to make a 3D6" Run during the Shoting phase. The Lancer excels at killing Characters and Gargantuan Creatures, you want this guy to get into close combat to prod things to death with his Strength D Cerastus shock lance. Swift Strike gives him +1 to Initiative when he Charges into combat, and his ion gauntlet shield protects him in close combat at 5++ at the cost of not being able to cover his rear against shooting (still gets 4++ against shooting on the front and sides, though). He also forces close combat attacks by other Super-heavy Walkers and Gargantuan Creatures to suffer a -1 to hit, which is sweet. His shooting is decent, with 6 S7 AP2 Concussive Heavy attacks at 18" for killing Terminators.
Cerastus Knight-Castigator: As with above, he has Flank Speed and can get occular augmetics for 10 points. Unlike the Lancer, he has an ion shield and a Castigator-pattern bolt cannon that fires 8 S7 AP3 Heavy shots at 36", more rounds than the Knight Styrix but without Deflagrate and the extra 9" range. His Tempest warblade is the only Knight close combat weapon without Strength D, being S10 AP2 instead but with Deflagrate, Tempest Attack and Sunder. Can kill blobs with Deflagrate and Tempest Attack, the latter allowing the Knight to make a single special attack at I2 instead, but automatically inflicts a single hit against each model in base combat with him at S10 AP2. The tarpits will get scared off, and Deflagrate potentially kills off two times as many models as your hits.
Cerastus Knight-Acheron: Again, with Flank Speed and an ion shield, with an occular augmetics option, but has a Strength D Reaper chainfist with an inbuilt twin-linked heavy bolter. This guy is different in that he uses an Acheron pattern flame cannon that uses a Hellstorm template to dish out S7 AP3 Ordnance attacks. Unlike the Knight-Castigator, this guy can roast blobs without needing to get into combat, and can even wreck vehicles with the high strength and Ordnance Hellstorm he unleashes on them. He's also decent in close combat, but if you do so you might want to Charge stuff with an Armor value to make full use of his Machine Destroyer Reaper chainfist. He's not a bad choice, and is flexible like the Knight Paladin.
Mechanicum Cerastus Knight-Atrapos: An amazing Knight who can take down Warhound Titans if you're lucky (my Knight Atrapos actually rolled 6s on his singularity cannon AND the vortex that resulted from it), he's the only one who actually benefits from the occular augmetics upgrade, which allows him to re-roll ones on the Destroyer table for his shooting attack at less than 12". And the maximum range of his weapon is 8". Yay. Unlike the others, the Knight Atrapos comes with an innate Blessed Autosimulacra, which means you recover a Hull Point on a roll of 6 at the end of your turn and the same ionic flare shield as the Knight Styrix and Knight Magaera. Meaning -1 Strength to shooting attacks and -2 if they are Blast or Template, as long as they aren't haywire or Strength D. This guy's Atrapos lascutter fires an 8" beam at Strength D AP2, and can also be used in melee as a Strength D AP1 Wrecker close combat weapon. He also carries a Graviton singularity cannon that fires at 36" range with a S8 AP2 Armorbane and Concussive Large Blast. Not only that, it has the Collapsing Singularity rule, which basically means you open up a Black Hole on a roll of 6, planting a Vortex right on top of the target. Be careful, on a roll of 1, the Knight-Atrapos loses a Hull Point with no saves allowed (ouch!). Being a Super-heavy and Gargantuan Creature hunter, he has Macro-extinction Targeting Protocols, which turns all his shooting attacks against them Twin-linked! Beware, if he dies, his Catastrophic Destruction adds +2 to the Catastrophic Damage table, so you don't want any friendly units around when he blows. Good for kamikaze-ing him into a horde of enemies PLUS Superheavies/Gargantuan Creatures, and laugh when he dies as he leaves a Strength D explosion right in those 5 stupid Wraithknights' faces. The catch? You can only take 0-1 of them per 2,000 points in a Questoris Knight Crusade army, so no spamming them. Not that you need more than 1 of them...

Acastus Knight Porphyrion: The beefiest and most destructive Knight on the block. At about 500 points, he has 8 hull points, a front armor of AV14, and is armed with two twin-linked magna lascannons, which means 2x2 Ordnance large blasts of Strength 10 AP 2 that can reach from across the table with his 72" range. Can take either lascannons or autocannons or irad-cleansers, though you might as well go all the way with las weaponry if you think about it. Also has the same Ironstorm missile pod that regular Questoris Knights have, but you can swap it for the Helios Defence missiles for anti-air if you want. However, you cannot choose a Knight Porphyrion to be a Scion Aspirant or Scion Uhlan (why the hell would you do that, anyway?).
Acastus Knight Asterius: Same as the Knight Porphyrion, but instead of twin-linked magna lascannons, you get twin-linked conversion beam cannons. Oh, and radioactive warheads in the form of Karacnos mortar battery. Same as the Ironstorm missile pod, but with rad-phage and fleshbane, at the cost of a small blast instead of large blast. Wait, rad-phage? Simply means the poor victim who survives the blast gets his Toughness permanently reduced  by 1 for the rest of the battle. Combine that with the two volkite culverins (4 Strength 6 AP5 Deflagrate), that's some serious anti-infantry firepower. Before I get ahead of myself, let me talk about the conversion beam cannons. They are all Strength 10 Ordnance, but like conversion beam weapons, improve over range. 0-18" gets AP3, small blast (3"). 18"-42" nets you AP2, large blast (5"), Wrecker. 42-72" gives you AP1, massive blast (7"), Wrecker AND Sunder. So essentially, whatever tank you look at from long range...dies. As with the Knight Porphyrion, you can't choose him to be a Scion Aspirant or Scion Uhlan, but nobody would be crazy enough to do that. I hope.

Questoris Knight Dominus: Unlike their 40K counterparts, the Dominus Knights in 30K are quite underwhelming. They are certainly sturdier, with front and side AV13, rear AV12, and 7 Hull Points. They do cost 360 points, and that's before you start adding the costs of their main armaments. Armed with up to 3 twin-linked siegebreaker cannons, which are essentally twin-linked autocannons, you can swap any of them for two one-use shieldbreaker missiles each, which are 48" Strength 9 AP3 missiles that ignore invulnerable saves. Then you have 2 twin-linked meltaguns, which, I guess? You can get an 80" Strength 9 AP2 Blast (3") volcano lance for 45 points....wait, why isn't this Strength D? I know, right? It's so...weird. The better option is the plasma decimator for 55 points, being a 48" Large Blast (5") Strength 8 AP2 with Gets Hot. The Conflagration cannon is another amazing choice, with Hellstorm Strength 7 AP 3 Ordnance. And it costs only 30 points. Go figure. Then you have the Thundercoil Harpoon, which is 12" Strength 10 AP1 with Ordnance, Armorbane, Fleshbane, Instant Death, Sunder and Harpoon. What the f is Harpoon? It means you can only fire the damned Thundercoil Harpoon, which costs a whooping 50 points, once every two turns. Yeah, you read that right. Not only do you have to pray that the single shot hits, you can't fire it in your next turn. And it doesn't ignore invulnerable saves unlike the shieldbreaker, so you have to pray that your opponent fails his invulnerable save. On the plus side, if your opponent fails the save, or you were smart enough and lucky enough to hit a tank or vehicle without any invulnerable saves, you deal D6 wounds or hull points to that single model. That's a lot of praying to the Omnissiah or the Empror that you have to first hit (you have 1/3 chance of missing) and your opponent failing his invulnerable save (50% chance of making it) for a weapon that can only shoot every other turn and costing 50 points. A hard pass.
Best to arm him with two conflagration cannons or 2 plasma decimators or a conflagration cannon and a plasma decimator...if you can get them, that is. I guess the volcano lance is still worth a shot, but it's a small blast lascannon, so...still underwhelming. You've got to be one hell of a gambler to risk the harpoon, though.

Questoris Knight Crusade armies count as Mechanicum on the allies chart, so...

Sworn Brothers
 - Iron Warriors
 - Iron Hands (notice both Iron legions made it to this list!)
 - Sons of Horus (NOOO!)
 - Salamanders (for some good old flamer and melta lists)
 - Raven Guard (while the Knights take on the enemies, the Raven Guard sneak around in the shadows)
 - Mechanicum (makes sense if you think about it, and they're essentially the same faction. Not to mention your Knights rely on their Battlesmiths to repair them, and your Mechanicum allies benefit from long range firepower and AV13, ion shield and super-heavy durability)

Fellow Warriors
 - Dark Angels
 - Emperor's Children
 - White Scars
 - Space Wolves
 - Imperial Fists (you would think House Taranis would be buddies with the other siege warfare Legion, not to mention their close proximity to Mars during their defense of Terra)
 - Night Lords
 - Blood Angels
 - World Eaters (they eat up any technology they find, and those they can't swallow, they break. Damn Khorne worshippers)
 - Ultramarines (basically House Terryn)
 - Death Guard (well, they're also obsessed with the death of flesh)
 - Thousand Sons (psychic powers and robots don't match...cough Castellax-Achea...cough)
 - Word Bearers (freaking Traitors)
 - Alpha Legion (don't know what they're thinking)
 - Imperial Army
 - - Solar Auxillia: A great idea if you need bodies on the table, especially since you're lacking a lot of models whenever you play Knights. Claiming Objectives would be easier with them.
 - - Imperial Militia and Cults: Very flexible allies with a wide selection. You can make pseudo-Skitarii with a combination of Survivors of the Dark Age and Cyber Augmented! Throw in lots of cheap, expendable soldiers as bodies, if that's your fancy, the way you spam Solar Auxillia Lasrifle sections, and again, tanks! They also have a Malcador if that's what you want.

Er...I don't think I'm qualified to talk about this. I mean, I did okay with a pure Questoris Knight Crusade army during the Horus Heresy campaigns I participated in, and I can tell you one thing. If your opponent isn't prepared, it'll be one-sided. If your opponent is prepared, then it won't be one-sided. You just need to adjust the facings of your Knights to make sure they tank the most devastating hits on their ion shields. Be careful of Strength D weapons, they can really ruin your day, but unless your opponent rolls 6s on the Destroyer table, which is unlikely, don't be overly afraid of them.
Against other vehicles, Knights excel in close combat. Between Strength D close combat weapons and Stomps, you should have no trouble clearing tanks and infantry. Be careful of Terminators with power fists and armorbane weapons. And one thing you must beware of - haywire. If your opponent is spamming haywire, keep your Knights far away from them or you'll have a really bad day. You'll realize that 6 hull points aren't enough, especially against haywire.
Make no mistake, Knights are incredibly strong in 30K, but they are by no means invincible. Fellblades, Shadowswords, Fellglaives, even Titans (Warhound Titans) and other Knights exist in great numbers during the Heresy, and a single Primarch or Terminator squad with armorbane weapons can ruin your day. Drop pods filled to the brim with meltaguns and combi-meltas would also be killers, and Iron Havocs and other support squads (basically 30K's version of Devastators) armed with lascannons, missile launchers and Tank Hunter will wreck your Knights, even with ion shield saves. Sometimes it's a good idea to charge them across the table and stomp on them with your titanic feet. Or lock them up in combat so that they can't shoot.
Don't be afraid of Price of Failure. Unless you bring a Titan along with your Knights (you might as well play Apocalypse by then), you don't have to worry about Price of Failure because your Knights don't count. So if your opponent is trying to claim 4 extra victory points for killing 4 of your Knights, nope. That's not how it works. Do remind him that in Blood Feud, he does get extra victory points for destroying Super-heavy walkers, so the game is balanced even with Knights in it.