Sword Knights

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Cygnar Logo.jpg Sword Knights

Cygnar Sword Knight Unit

Mk4 icon.png
Unlimited Only
This model can only be used in the Unlimited game mode. You can see the other models with / without mk4 rules on this page.

Note that the rest of this page is about the model's Mark III rules.

Among the oldest of the knightly orders in western Immoren, the legendary Sword Knights are one of the cornerstones of Cygnar’s armies. Since the advent of the warjack, the Sword Knights have adapted their time-honored tactics to deal with monsters of metal as well as flesh. Trained to fight against as well as alongside warjacks, the knights are as adept at striking at a warjack’s weak points as they are at coordinating deadly coordinated attacks.

Basic Info

Sword Knights
Missing Info
Sword Knights.jpg
COST {{{cacost}}}
UNIT SIZE {{{casize}}}
FA {{{cafa}}}
Warcaster 0
BASE Small
MAT 6/7
M.A. N/A
DEF 13
ARM 14
ESSENCE {{{essence}}}
HP 1
F. Field N/A
WJP {{{wjp}}}
WBP {{{wbp}}}
IHP {{{ihp}}}
FA 2
UNIT SIZE 6 or 10 +2 for the CA
COST 7 or 11 +3 for the CA
1.2 each min 1.1 each max
Warcaster 1
the Statblock


  • Entire unit
    • Defensive Line - While this model is B2B with one or more models in its unit, it gains +2 DEF against melee attacks and cannot become knocked down.
    • Flank [ Faction Warjack ] - When this model makes a melee attack against an enemy model in the melee range of a friendly Faction warjack, this model gains +2 to attack rolls and gains an additional damage die.
    • Penetrating Strike - When this model hits a warjack, warbeast, or horror with a melee attack, you can choose to have the model hit suffer 1 damage point instead of a normal damage roll.
  • Standard only
    • Standard Bearer - While this model is within 5" of its unit commander, the unit commander gains +2 CMD.
    • Take Up - If this model is destroyed, you can choose a Grunt in this unit within 1" of it to be destroyed instead. Effects on this model expire, and it gains the effects on the chosen Grunt. Remove the Grunt from the table instead of this model. This model has the same number of unmarked damage boxes as the chosen Grunt.


  • Leader, Grunts, & Officer
    • Battle Blade - 1" reach, P+S 10 melee weapon.
  • Standard Bearer
    • Unarmed - This model has no weapons.

Theme forces

Thoughts on the Sword Knights

Command Attachment

Sword Knights in a nutshell

Sword Knights are very cheap and decidedly average melee units, perfect examples of what you can expect from a light infantry. MAT6 P+S10 attacks are usually the standards to which the survival of other models are being measured. They may also teach you to better understand the bell curve.

In Cygnar this unit is currently available only in the Heavy Metal theme force, one with next to no buff for infantry units. However, they can cure some of the inherent weaknesses of this theme.

  • They bring cheap bodies to score in circular zones, a duty mostly being done otherwise by minimum units of Field Mechaniks.
  • They can form screening for you, and in pairs they are surprisingly good at surviving a charge, thanks to their elite DEF levels.
  • Due to flanking, they are capable of removing enemy jammers around your jacks, with their high precision attacks.

In short, they are a unit suitable for players with whatever skill cap: they can be cheap cannon fodders, or start layering buffs on them, and watch them perform way above points.

Thoughts on the CA

The Officer and the standard bearer are both eligible for Defensive Line, but the usefulness of the the CMA and Reposition heavily depend on your meta as well as the Sword Knights' intended rule in your list. In general, if you are using them as screeners or cannon fodders there's few reason to inflater their cost further despite the cheapness of the CA. If you want to buy them, consider that the UA is only 1 point cheaper than expanding the unit to its full number, which gives you 3 more attacks and 2 more bodies for board control.

If you are willing to exploit the synergies offered by the officer, you should consider the usefulness of his abilities to your battle plans.

  • CMA is good to shore up your hitting against jamming infantry if their melee reach exceeds that of the jammed warjack's, thus rendering you unable to activate the Flank bonus without activating said jack first. If you happen to encounter infantries with elite DEF (like Blightblades or Kayazy Eliminators) you better rely on removing them by some other means (electro leaps, or flanking), but sometimes CMA is your only option. Keep in mind though that since they lack Practiced Maneuvers or Tactician (save for the Llaelese Resistance under Ashlynn2, and have only 1" reach you can't cram up all of them for a single large CMA.
  • Whether or not you rely on Flank to clear up jamming units, the 3" Reposition is a good way to clear up charge lanes after you removed said units from the path of your warjacks' advance.

The Jack Marshal ability on the Officer's card is a trap. At first it seems good to have a jack around on demand to activate Flank (especially since you can have cheap Mercenary jacks with 2" reach in the Llaelese Resistance), but it makes the officer a high priority target. Also he lacks Drive so in 99% the most you can get out of this ability is to reactivate inert jacks from your slain battlegroup commanders or autonomous jacks from other jack marshals.

Combos & Synergies

This unit is grateful for any support you can spare on them. Question is, whether or not could you spend your resources better on another unit? If they become too dangerous, they may also attract the attention of the enemy's big guns (which is not always a bad thing).

  • Any Cygnar warjack, especially those with a 2" melee range, to get the most out of Flank. Consider the Lancer, either colossi, the Centurion or the Stormclad. Just watch out for electro leaps - it is not Storm Division.
  • Maddox finds the unit a great target for Dauntless Resolve no knockdown tough is an unreliable but potentially frustrating tarpit
  • Archduke Runewood - He is a great support solo, making your knights all the more accurate with his Veteran Leader ability. The occasional Pathfinder and Path to Victory can be super useful as well.
  • Gabriel Throne offers you another Pathfinder opportunity, Stir the Blood and a way to get Tough to combine with the no knockdown of Defensive Line.
  • Alongside a caster with Positive Charge (Jakes2, Sturgis1 or Stryker2), being near a Friendly Faction Warjack starts to make them really dangerous.
    • If you can combine all of the buffs above, they become the equivalent of MAT 11, P+S 14 weapon masters.
      • And if you apply Runewood's Path to Victory and get a charge with them, that's MAT 13 with 4D6 for damage. If you need Pathfinder you can take from either Throne or Runewood depending on whether you want accuracy or additional damage.
  • You can take them in Llaelese Resistance and have them marshal a merc jack there, like a Nomad, a Mangler or a Talon. They also provide some much needed damage potential thanks to flank there and can be screened by rolling fog
    • Crosse2 wants to have 10+ Unit for Lifebound to collect lots of souls. Said units should also be a problem for the opponent once it is delivered because Lifebound discourages dealing with them. Sword Knights fit the bill decently because of their high damage potential with flank.

Drawbacks & Downsides

  • You've got to get your order of activation spot on to get the most from them.
  • You must accept that they are cheap and will probably take casualties.
    • Hopefully your opponent will underestimate them and go after juicier targets.
  • Being Base to Base can be a problem against blast damage and models with Killing Spree
  • Rhupert has awesome synergies with the knights - but you must play in the Llaelese Resistance theme to use both of them.

Tricks & Tips

  • Like Sniper, Penetrating Strike happens instead of your normal damage roll. If you happen to roll it, and fail to crack armor, you cannot claim its guaranteed 1 damage point.
  • Although an Ironclad or Ol' Rowdy are not the best Warjacks to activate Flank, if you use Defensive Line correctly the Warjack can catch your own troops in the AoE and not leave your Sword Knights to die easily.
    • This can be particularly useful under Stryker2's feat.
    • It also means they can be good targets for an Earthquake from Stryker1 to knock down enemy models they are close to.
  • Being immune to knockdown, they can form a wall against pop&drop tricks, defending your warcaster.
  • Against a less experienced opponent, you can run them up in defensive line in front of their warbeasts, baiting him on trampling them. If they don't get an extra die on trampling, or hitting them by default, they will likely need to boost to get them under their feet.
  • Flank only triggers on friendly faction warjacks. Keep that in mind, if you happen to have marshaled Mercenary jacks in your list.



Other Cygnar models

Cygnar Logo.jpg       Cygnar Index       (Edit)
Battlegroup & Similar
Warcasters Caine1 - Caine2 - Caine3 - Constance - Darius - Haley1 - Haley2 - Haley3 - Jakes2 - Kraye - Maddox - Nemo1 - Nemo2 - Nemo3 - Sloan - Stryker1 - Stryker2 - Stryker3 - Siege1 - Siege2 - Sturgis1
Warcaster attachments Squire (Cygnar) - Madelyn Corbeau (Merc) - Reinholdt (Merc) - Wyshnalyrr (Merc)
Other Warjack Controllers

Battlegroup Controllers: Caine0 - Nemo4 - Jakes1 - Journeyman - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
'Jack Marshals: Runewood - Strangewayes - Anson Hitch - Stormblade Captain - T. Master Gunner - Gun Mage CA - Stormblade CA - Sword Knights CA

Light Charger - Firefly - Grenadier - Hunter - Lancer - Minuteman - Sentinel
Ace - Thorn
Heavy Avenger - Centurion - Cyclone - Defender - Hammersmith - Ironclad - Reliant - Stormclad
Brickhouse - Dynamo - Gallant - Ol' Rowdy - Thunderhead - Triumph
Colossal Stormwall - Hurricane
Units, Solos, Battle Engines, & Structures

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages - Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team - Field Mechaniks - Legion of Lost Souls - Long Gunner Infantry - OoI Resolutes - OoI Vigilants - Precursor Knights - Rangers - Silver Line Stormguard - Storm Lances - Stormblades - Stormguard - Stormsmith Grenadiers - Storm Tower - Sword Knights - Tempest Blazers - Tr Cannon Crew - Tr Chain Gun Crew - Tr Commandos - Tr Express Team - Tr Long Gunners - Tr Infantry - Tr Mechaniks
Special CA : Captain Jonas Murdoch (Mercenary unit) - Special WA: Morrowan Battle Priest (any unit)


Arcane Tempest Rifleman - Archduke Runewood - Captain Arlan Strangewayes - Captain Maxwell Finn - Commander Anson Hitch - Dreyfus1 - Dreyfus2 & Flubbin2 - Grand Master Gabriel Throne - Glyn Cormier, Illuminated One - Gun Mage Captain Adept - Journeyman Lieutenant Allister Caine - Journeyman Warcaster - Harlan Versh, Illuminated One - Lieutenant Allison Jakes - Lieutenant Bastian Falk - Lieutenant Gwen Keller - Major Katherine Laddermore - Major Harrison Gibbs - Morrowan Archon - Savio Montero Acosta - Squire - Stormblade Captain - Stormcallers - Tr Buster - Tr Master Gunner - Tr Patrol Dog - Tr Warcaster Lieutenant - Viktor Pendrake

Battle Engines & Structures

Nemo4 - Storm Strider - Trencher Blockhouse

Theme Forces
Flame in the Darkness - Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division
Refer to Who Works for Whom and/or Category: Cygnar Mercenary
This index was last updated: 2021.11

Rules Clarifications

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Rules Clarification : Unarmed      (Edit)

  • Since this model has no weapons it does not have a melee range.
    • This means it can't engage other models, declare charges, or make free strikes
    • Also it can't gain abilities that require a melee range (such as Ragman granting this model Dark Shroud).
  • However, other models that do have melee weapons can engage this model. So this model can still gain the "target in melee" shooting bonus.
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Rules Clarification : Defensive Line      (Edit)

  • You don't need to have the entire unit in B2B to get the bonus. Even just two models in B2B will give it to each other. Which way they're facing doesn't matter, either.
  • Defensive Line is 'always on' (unlike Shield Wall).
  • You can still get Defensive Line while knocked down.
  • Since models move in straight lines, it impossible to keep two models B2B while advancing. Thus you cannot benefit from Defensive Line while moving through acid clouds etc.
    • Unless you have an ability to move through models, like Tactician.
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Rules Clarification : Flank      (Edit)

  • You can gain the Flank bonus vs knocked down/stationary models (refer to the latest Errata).
  • Melee range is measured from your front arc so you cannot trigger Flank on models in your back arc.
  • The target enemy doesn't need to be in the Flanker's LOS, just their melee range.
    • Most of the time if something is in your melee range then it is so close it's in your LOS too, and the difference is meaningless.
    • But if you have 2" reach and you're jammed up in B2B with a bunch of closely-spaced enemies, you'll find your LOS is blocked. In this case, you might be able to trigger Flank on an enemy model that is "hiding" behind that front row of jammers, even though you don't have LOS to it.
  • Flank is not tied to a specific weapon, so Mount attacks and Power Attacks can benefit as well.
  • If you have two sources of Flank they are still giving you the bonus from the Flank rule so do not stack. (Infernal Ruling)
  • If the target moves in/out of the Flanker's melee range between the attack roll and the damage roll (for instance if you throw it) then you need to reassess whether you get the Flank bonus for the damage roll. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Penetrating Strike - None yet. (Edit)

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Rules Clarification : 'Jack Marshal      (Edit)

  • If a warjack gets a marshal benefit (such as Crush) but then moves out of the marshal's CMD range, it keeps the benefit. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Marshals can control character warjacks. (Closed thread)
  • Although they never get the Power Up bonus, a marshaled warjack can gain focus via other means (such as Accumulator, Empower, Spirit Harvester, etc).
    • They can do this even after the Marshal dies and they become autonomous.
  • 'Jack Marshal & Ranking Officer (Edit)
    • If a Ranking Officer joins a unit with the 'Jack Marshal ability, then they can still only take Mercenary warjacks - they don't gain access to Faction warjacks. (Infernal Ruling)
    • They can control that mercenary warjack as normal, even though they're technically no longer the same faction as the jack. (Infernal Ruling)
  • See also this article for the Autonomous warjack rules and how to re-control them.
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Rules Clarification : Officer      (Edit)

  • Even if they're not on the Officer's card, an Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall). Refer main rulebook.
  • When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
  • But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.
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Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table. (think "G for Goes away")
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies. (think "Tac-Tick = K for Keeps")
  • Granted [ Vengeance ]
    • If the model granting Vengeance dies, the unit will not get any Vengeance attacks.
    It is "If you have Vengeance, and you were damaged last turn, you get a move+attack."
    It is not "If you get damaged, you get Vengeance next turn."
    • If you lose Vengeance halfway through resolving Vengeance, then you stop resolving Vengeance immediately. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table. (think "G for Goes away")
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies. (think "Tac-Tick = K for Keeps")
  • Granted [ Vengeance ]
    • If the model granting Vengeance dies, the unit will not get any Vengeance attacks.
    It is "If you have Vengeance, and you were damaged last turn, you get a move+attack."
    It is not "If you get damaged, you get Vengeance next turn."
    • If you lose Vengeance halfway through resolving Vengeance, then you stop resolving Vengeance immediately. (Infernal Ruling)
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Rules Clarification : Reposition      (Edit)

  • Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
  • End of Activation (Edit)
You cannot resolve two end-of-activation movement effects (refer to "End of Activation Movement" in the core rulebook). For EOA stuff that doesn't involve movement, though, it gets a bit more murky:
  • Some EOA abilities explicitly state your activation ends as part of resolving the ability (like Reposition), and some don't (like Refuge).
Whether it is explicit it or not, by definition an EOA ability is the last thing you can do for that activation. For instance, if you resolve Refuge and then continue your activation to cast more spells, then you have not used Refuge at the end of your activation.
You cannot do an "at any time" ability during or after triggering an EOA ability; you cannot cast spells, purchase additional attacks, use a mini-feat, etc.
  • If you start resolving an EOA movement (such as Reposition) then you cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground). Because you can't trigger it while resolving the EOA movement, and after the EOA movement your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
  • For units: if any model in the unit starts resolving the unit's EOA movement, then no model in the unit can trigger an any-time ability. (Infernal Ruling)
  • See also the training article: LPG - End of Activation.
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Rules Clarification : Combined Melee Attack      (Edit)

  • Each CMA only counts as a single attack, no matter how many participants are involved. This means, for example, that if Satyxis Raiders damage a warjack and trigger their Feedback ability, the enemy warcaster will only take 1 damage total, not 1 for every Raider.
  • Any bonuses (such as back strike) or penalties (such as intervening terrain) are determined according to the model leading the CMA (the attack leader).
    • If the participants have buffs/debuffs but the attack leader doesn't ... then the CMA doesn't because only the attack leader matters. Simple as that.
  • A single unit can perform multiple CMAs, utilising different groupings of models. eg a unit with 10 models could make one 10-man CMA, or two 5-man CMAs, or five 2-man CMAs, or etc.
  • CMA for units that have more than one melee weapon (the short version)
    • Once you have more than one melee weapon, charging becomes a bit complicated. There are two important rules:
      1. A model which charges must use its first attack to make a charge attack. It can't "skip ahead" to contributing its second non-charge attack before it's resolved its first attack.
      2. For a CMA to gain the charging bonus, then all contributors must be contributing a charge attack.
    • These two rules have a few, slightly confusing implications. Click the expand box below for a full breakdown.
CMA for units with more than one weapon (the long version) (Edit)
The following example is about Satyxis Raiders, but is equally applicable to other units with two CMA:
  • Each Raider gets two attacks. Both, one, or neither can be a CMA as you choose.
  • If you are doing two CMA in a row, then you should note that the second CMA doesn’t have to use the same “primary attacker” or the same “participants” as the first CMA.
    • For instance, you could have the first CMA with raider A being the "primary attacker" and raider B being the "participant",
    • then for the second CMA have raider B the "primary attacker" and raider A the "participant".
    • Or leave A alone for a moment and use B plus C. Whatever takes your fancy.
  • Primary attackers and participants don't have to use the same weapon. So, continuing with the above example, you could have primary A use lash and participant B use horns, then primary B use lash and participant A use horns. Effectively granting you two lash attacks with CMA bonuses!
  • Combined Melee Attack and charging
    • Remember the 2 rules above?
    • Rule 1 means you cannot contribute your second, non-charge attack before you have resolved/contributed your first attack.
    • Rule 1 means you cannot "skip ahead" to resolving your second, non-charge attack before you have resolved/contributed your first attack.
    • but wait, there's more!
    • However, thanks to the "Units with Combined Melee Attack ignore the rule that one trooper's combat action cannot begin until the previous model's combat action ends" rule, you can "pause" your second attack if you want to do a CMA with it later. For example:
      • Model A performs its charge attack.
      • Model B performs its charge attack. (Interrupting A)
      • Model C performs its charge attack. (Interrupting B)
      • CMA using A, B & C's remaining attack.
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Rules Clarification : Standard Bearer      (Edit)

  • If the Officer dies, the Standard Bearer can give the CMD bonus to the Leader model.
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Rules Clarification : Take Up      (Edit)

  • If you use Take Up the attacking model cannot trigger anything that needs the attacker to "Destroy" a model (such as Alpha Hunter, Killing Spree, Berserk, etc). Although the model that was attacked reached the Destroyed step of the timing sequence, Take Up negates that entirely. (Infernal Ruling)

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