Black Knights is a Vampire Counts cavalry unit in Total War: Warhammer. Atop their skeletal steeds, Black Knights destroy enemy battle lines with powerful cavalry charges.
In the times before the Empire, there were few domesticated horses, and horsemen were exceedingly rare. In most tribes, a steed was a symbol of wealth and status. So it was often that only a Chieftain and his closest warriors would ride mounted into battle, the wealthiest of their number clad in crude iron plate and carrying stout shields. When these early Knights died, their horses were ritually killed and buried in the barrows alongside their masters, to carry them in the afterlife. Many centuries later, the Vampire Counts are known to summon forth the gruesome remains of those ancient Knights in order to bolster the masses of lesser Undead minions under their control. As a Vampire stalks through barrows and mausoleums, Dark Magic swirls invisibly around him like a cloak, probing and penetrating the cracked and overgrown porticos of each resting place and saturating the bones of the armoured corpses within. A thousand years of dust shifts and dissipates as the parchment-dry cadavers twitch and sit upright. In a morbid mockery of their old lives, these Black Knights stir into motion, tearing themselves free of thorny creepers and thick cobwebs, cold fingers clamping around the hilts of age-blackened blades. Alongside them, the skeletal remains of their steeds jerk to unlife, twisted by magic into hellish mockeries of the noble beasts they once were.
- ↑ Anti-Infantry: Anti-infantry units have an advantage against targets that are smaller than a horse. This advantage can be a damage bonus against small targets, superior weight used to smash through lighter enemies, or an explosive attack from range that effects a large area.
- ↑ Armoured & Shielded: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage. Shields have a chance of blocking arrows, bolts, rifle shots and similar small arms fire - but only in a forward facing arc.
As far as their stats are concerned, Black Knights are rather mediocre melee cavalry. Their armor, melee attack, defense and charge bonus are nothing special, but they are still competent flankers because of their high speed and ability to cause Fear. Let the enemy engage your frontline of Skeletons or Grave Guard, then attack their rear or missile units with your Black Knights. Lacking a bonus vs large creatures and the strong charge of shock cavalry, they will most likely lose frontal engagements against enemy cavalry, so it is best to tie them up with your Skeleton Spearmen before sending your Black Knights into their rear or the enemy infantry.
They are the cheapest credible cavalry the VC can field though and will get the job done if you can turn a flank without them having fight through something meaner than them. Because of their higher melee attack and defence, they also don't need to be cycle charged as much as their Barded version or Blood Knights once you've got them engaged in they enemy's rear or flank.