Codex: Imperial Knights FAQ – The Goonhammer Hot Take

GW pushed out an FAQ for the Imperial Knights Codex yesterday, taking aim at a few key questions people had about the book, and now that the weekly festival of Hot Take Thursday is upon us, it’s time to dig in.

The Updates

Household Traditions and Freeblades

Quite an important one to start, where there has actually been a little bit of uncertainty on the Tournament Scene. As written, it was slightly unclear whether each Freeblade unit or model needed to choose a separate Martial Tradition, which matters for units of multiple Armigers which are selected as one. From the way it was worded picking for the whole unit looked most likely to be the correct option, but it was a little hard to tell (and unusually, very hard to guess the intent on).

The FAQ confirms that yes, you pick one Tradition to apply to the whole unit, so when you add a trio of Freeblade Armigers to your army, they all have the same Tradition. This is pretty spicy with…

Noble Combatants Works with Swords Now!

Armiger Warglaive
Armiger Warglaive. Credit: Jack Hunter

Noble Combatants, a Questor Imperialis Martial Tradition, looked pretty strong except for the small issue that the way it was worded stopped it working for either profile of most Knight melee weapons. It seemed likely that it was instead supposed to allow you to use it with “big” swings but not attack-multiplying sweeps (since GW thoroughly learnt their lesson on that one with Drukhari) and that turns out to be the case – sweep attacks still cannot be used with this effect, but strikes are on the table, so if you want a trio of Warglaives making Competitive Edge swings in melee (hint – you do) then this is now an option. It is also likely to get a quick followup look to stop it working with the Magaera’s Smash attack.

Noble Combatants and Thunderstomp

Noble Combatants works with fancy swords, but what it does not let you do is double dip on your attacks with Titanic Feet and Thunderstomp by arguing that inflicting Mortals immediately after the hit meant you hadn’t reached the Inflict Damage step. You may have been technically correct, but GW make it very clear that this is the worst kind of correct, and that you should please stop trying to do that.

Exalted Court Upgrades are One Per Knight

The FAQ clarifies that, just like every other point upgrade out there, you can only buy one for each Knight. No self-respecting noble would do two jobs.

Multiple Bondsman Abilities

No, you cannot make your Armigers -2D by stacking multiple Bondsman abilities on them with Master of Lore. You knew that. I knew that. And yet it had to be written.

Weapon Corrections

Imperial Knight Paladin. Credit: Jack Hunter

A couple of fixes to weapons that are inconsistent in different parts of the book:

  • The Knight Paladin’s reaper chainsword is not arbitrarily worse than everyone else’s, getting the juicy AP-3 on its sweep. Paladins with the Princeps upgrade are doing powerful stuff out there, so if anyone had actually noticed this and was playing it as written, this is good news for them.
  • Thermal Cannons are range 30″, as shown on all unit profiles, rather than 36″ in the wargear section. Obviously a minor nerf if the latter option was being used in your area, but the gun still whips so you’ll probably survive.

Crusade Corrections

A couple of Crusade abilities that interact with Chivalric Oaths have been corrected to remove some boilerplate that they imported from similar effects but didn’t actually make sense on them. No functional change, but always good to see clarified.

What it Means

Noble Combatants now being functional is definitely the biggest change here, as it’s now a fairly strong effect. It’s probably not worth trading out a full Household for in a normal army, but on one Warglaive unit either in a Freeblade Lance or as a Freeblade alongside another Imperium army it has real potential. The latter is clearly much tougher to do in these CP starved times, so we’ll have to see how it plays out.

Wrap Up

This has been Hot Take Thursday (unless that manifests more FAQs into being, in which case we’re sorry, or you’re welcome). Comments, questions and suggestions to