Absolute Beginners

As I wrote in my previous post, the 2.0 KS finds itself in the unusual position of having to appeal to potential backers who already play the game and own a lot of product, and those who are completely new to Relic Knights. That post was focused on how the ‘Questing Knight’ and ‘Relic Knight’ pledge levels could be used to put a wide variety of different cadres on the table, even if they may seem at first glance to be giving a hodge podge of different models that don’t work with each other. If you back at either of those levels, then in addition to the items listed in the pledge level, you will also receive every stretch goal listed as ‘Free’ as well. The more funding is raised, the more free models you will get. If you’re interested in backing and haven’t read the other post then it can be found here.

This post is aimed squarely at those current or potential backers who are completely new to the game, and it aims to lay out some of the list building and game basics. A game of Relic Knights usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the game and the experience level of the players. Once you’ve got some games under your belt it should rarely take more than 1.5 hours. It’s usually played on a 3×3 board, though 2×2 and 4×4 are fine for smaller and larger games, and you’ll want lots of terrain to block line of sight and break up movement (not like in the graphic below where it’s all shoved off to the sides to show the minis off).


The force that you field in a game of RK is known as a cadre. It’s always led by a knight, which comes in two flavours. Relic Knights are those knights which have found their relic, that being the mech they are piloting, whilst Questing Knights have not yet found their relic, and are questing for it. Relic Knights tend to be more powerful than Questing Knights, but they cost more points. There are both RK and QK versions of several of the knights in the game. For example, you can see both versions for Marie-Claude listed amongst the stretch goals on the campaign page. In standard-sized games you will have only one knight, but at larger games you can field two, albeit not two different versions of the same knight.


A knight always comes with a cypher. In fact, it is the cypher which marks the knight out as being a knight. Cyphers are beings made from pure esper, which is the energy that powers the universe. Think of it like magic, or the Force. It is esper which you will use during the game to power your abilities in the form of the deck of esper cards. When you buy a knight, their cypher comes with them. This is true in terms of buying the actual model, and in terms of list-building. Cyphers are a little limited in what they can do, though all are good esper batteries for their faction. They can’t be killed, but are removed from the table when their knight dies.

All other units are either heroes or minions, and the remainder of your cadre will be rounded out by these models. I discuss the list-building rules in the other post so won’t repeat them here, but all heroes and some minions can be used in multiple factions.

A standard sized game is played at 50pts, and smaller games are played at 35pts. If we take a look at the stat cards for the Bang Bang cadre which comes in the starter box, we can see it comes to exactly 35pts. Bang Bang is 15pts, Mr. Milky has no points cost as he is included with Bang Bang because he is her cypher, Miss Kaylee is 12pts, and the Sundown Enforcers have a cost of 4(2)pts. This means the minimum squad size costs 4pts, and each additional one up to the maximum squad size costs 2pts. Here, the minimum size is one, which is found on the back of the card, there are three in the squad, and so it costs 8pts.

bang bang

It would only take the addition of one or two more units to make that Bang Bang cadre into a full 50pt cadre. Any leftover points can be spent on boosts to make up the cadre to 50pts. These are represented by tokens, are placed onto the battlefield during deployment, and can provide things such as bonuses to attack, additional armor, or healing.

If there’s anything I haven’t covered that you’d like to know more about, then do feel free to ask in the comments 🙂


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