Start Competing: Imperial Knights Tactics

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Glory and honour! Welcome to Start Competing: Imperial Knights, our guide to getting the best out of the towering war machines of the Knight Households. Like their opposite numbers the Chaos Knights, Imperial Knights are all about bringing the biggest war machines in the game to the table.

Normally Start Competing articles are not intended to be exhaustive reviews of the faction, but given that Knights only have a few units (especially when you account for half the unit choices being “Questoris Knight, with different gun/melee combo”) we’ll talk about them all. We will be making passing reference to the Forge World Knights, but this article is mostly about the codex – for more on the Forge World stuff, check out our hot take from the most recent FAQ. What you mostly need to know about the Forge World ones are that they offer some fun, interesting options, but they’re mostly inferior to their Codex counterparts.

We will also go into more detail on souping your Knights with other factions than normal – a lot of the utility of the Knight codex comes from adding one into a more general Imperium army, or adding a small battalion of Adeptus Mechanicus or Astra Militarum units in with the Knights.

 

Army Strengths

  • All your units are tough vehicles – the weakest thing in the codex is a T7, W12 walker with a 3+/5++ save!
  • Great selection of ranged weaponry
  • Strong relics and stratagems
  • Powerful Household traits
  • Knights are ground zero for souping, and if you have an Imperial army you can easily slot one in

Army Weaknesses

  • Tiny unit numbers as a pure faction – pure Knight lists usually top out at 5-6 independent units
  • Your army can be surprisingly fragile – it only takes one misplay to see your Knights dunked off the table by a couple of guys with hammers or a lucky high-roll from your opponent
  • Knights have been a meta leader for a year – anyone serious will be expecting to play against them and plan accordingly
Imperial Knight Gallant

If you gaze long enough into the abyss, it’ll rotate ion shields. Credit: Andrew “Pendulin” Haywood

Competitive Rating

Strong

Imperial Knights are one of the strongest books in the game. When they were first released, they were absolute terrors of the meta, particularly due to the House Raven Castellan and its place in the premier Blood Angels/Astra Militarum/Imperial Knights soup list of the time. Over the past year that power has been reduced a bit, but Knights are still very strong, and they show up in many different configurations.

Special Rules

There’s a bunch of special rules which are common to most or all Knight chassis. Rather than discuss them every time they come up, we’ll talk about them here and you can assume these form part of our judgment later.

  • Ion Shield – all models in the Knight codex have the Ion Shield rule. This gives them a 5+ invulnerable save against ranged weapons.
  • Super-heavy Walker – the Questoris and Dominus Knight chassis have the Super-heavy Walker special rule. This gives them a bunch of exceptions to the core game rules. First, they can Fall Back and still shoot and/or charge. They can also move over INFANTRY or SWARM models when Falling Back (though they still need to finish their move more than 1″ away from enemy models), which makes them harder to wrap and trap. They can move and fire Heavy weapons without penalty, and finally they only gain the benefit of being in cover if more than half the model is obscured from the point of view of the firer.
  • Explodes – all models in the Knight codex explode on death on the roll of a 6. Armigers do D3 mortal wounds to units within 6″, Questoris do D6 mortal wounds to units within 2D6″. Dominus Knights are even more destructive. They roll 2D6 when they die – if either dice is a 6 they do the same as Questoris, but if both are a 6 they explode 3D6″ instead. This can be a big downside if the model is within your lines, but if you’ve piled the Knight deep into an enemy formation, it can be great – and the Noble Sacrifice stratagem can make it even nastier, of which more later.

There’s one further rule worth mentioning, which is the Knight Lances. This isn’t a special rule found on the datasheets, but it does affect Knight army construction. There’s a tier system of Knightly access to command points, traits, and stratagems, depending on how many Knights of each size you have. Broadly speaking, they can be broken down as follows:

Super-heavy Auxiliary – any unit

Any Knight unit can be taken on its own as part of a Super-heavy Auxiliary detachment. They’re all Lords of War, after all. If you do this, you do get access to stratagems, relics, and Warlord traits (the latter two via the Heirlooms of the Household/Exalted Court stratagems, which we’ll talk more about later), but not to Household Traditions, the Knight version of traits. You get no CP for doing this.

Super-heavy Detachment – Armigers only

You can take a Super-heavy Detachment with nothing but Armiger-class Knights. You get no CP for doing this, but you do get Household Traditions as well as stratagems/relics/Warlord traits. You can’t use the Heirlooms/Exalted Court stratagems on Armigers, but hilariously using the regular Knight Lance rules you can make one a character and give it a Warlord trait and relic if you want to, although you probably don’t. You still get no CP for this.

Super-heavy Detachment – At least one TITANIC unit

A Super-heavy Detachment with at least one TITANIC unit in it, i.e. any Knight bigger than an Armiger, gets access to Household Traditions, stratagems/traits/relics, and gets 3 CP. Your most likely configuration here is something like a Warden or Crusader with a couple of Helverins running around after it.

Super-heavy Detachment – At least three TITANIC units

A Super-heavy Detachment with at least three TITANIC units in it, i.e. any Knight bigger than an Armiger, gets access to Household Traditions, stratagems/traits/relics, and gets 6 CP. This is going to be a Knight-heavy army, since the cheapest version is 3 Gallants at 1,056pts.

Baroness Altria Pend-Tokage, Imperial Knight. Credit: Tyler “Coda” Moore

The Weapons

Questoris Knights come in a number of different versions, but they’re all basically just different combinations of the same core weapons. We’ll talk about all of them here, and then reference back when talking about the different Knights. Armigers and the Dominus Knights are single-configuration, and we’ll cover those in their own entries.

Ranged weapons

  • Avenger gatling cannon – the premier ranged weapon of the Knights codex. This is a great gun, with a 36″ range and 12 shots at S6, AP-2, D2. This thing has mid strength, mid AP, and mid damage – it’s basically the perfect gun for 8th edition. Rips through Primaris Marines and light vehicles alike.
  • Thermal cannon – 36″ range, D6 shots at S9 AP-4 with D6 damage and the “melta” rule (at half range roll 2D6 for damage and drop the lowest result). A much more variable weapon then the gatling cannon. Its high end is so high but it’s apt to roll a 1 for the shots or damage at the worst possible time. Better in Chaos Knights, where it’s cheaper and you can double up to hopefully smooth out the variance.
  • Rapid-fire battle cannon – with an enormous 72″ range, 2D6 shots at S8, AP-2, and damage d3, the battle cannon always looks like it should be a killer. In reality though, it doesn’t quite get there – it’s overcosted, S8 makes it mediocre against other Knights, and damage d3 makes it very swingy. There is an argument for it on the “Krastsader” of which more later, but generally it’s not going to be your first choice.

There’s also three different carapace weapons (often known as top guns) which some, but not all, Questoris Knights can take. These are:

  • Stormspear rocket pod – a 3 shot krak missile, basically. At 45pts these are quite pricey, but they offer some extra output.
  • Ironstorm missile pod – the ironstorm has two great qualities which make it hugely valuable in a Knight army; one is a gigantic 72″ range and the other is the fact it doesn’t require line of sight. The actual offensive profile is pretty good, too – Heavy D6, S5 AP-1 D2 – but really the value is in letting your Knights reach out and touch stuff they can’t see from really far away. D2 is especially good, because it means you can pop off things like mortar teams hiding in the backfield on an objective which you otherwise might struggle to affect.
  • Twin Icarus autocannon – a 4 shot autocannon, with the Icarus rule of +1 to hit FLY but -1 to hit all other targets. These tend to be too expensive for what you get, and they don’t offer either the brute power of the stormspear or the utility of the ironstorm.

Melee weapons

  • Titanic feet – basically, imagine your Knight doing this. Unsurprisingly for gigantic lumbering war machines, just having a Knight kick you is painful – the weapon is S: User (i.e. 8), AP-2, Dd3. Additionally, you make 3 hit rolls for each attack, so that most Knights make 12 attacks with their feet and a Gallant makes 15! The feet are honestly a great weapon, suitable for a wide range of tasks including stomping hordes and elite infantry to death, and they’re often the better choice than using the fist or the chainsword. Even the dual-gun Crusader build is a melee threat thanks to its feet. It’s worth noting right up top that for allocation purposes, you allocate the individual attacks on your profile – so you can only allocate the feet attacks out in groups of 3.
  • Reaper chainsword – the original Knight melee weapon. The reaper chainsword is S+6, AP-3, D6. Sounds great, right? The answer is “it depends.” Sometimes the chainsword will be overkill, since damage 6 hardly matters if your target only has one or two wounds. Ironically, sometimes it will also be underkill – for example, against something with a 4+ invulnerable save, it may well end up doing less damage than the feet, and thanks to variance it may well be better to force your opponent to take many saves and fail a few than to make them take one or two big saves where a Command Point re-roll may well end up being the difference in getting the kill. Knowing when to use which weapon is vital to playing Knights well.
  • Thunderstrike gauntlet – the big fist. Thunderstrike gauntlets are cool as hell. Compared to the chainsword they’re Strength x2 rather than +6, which makes them S16, and AP-4, which is one better than the chainsword, though they have the same Damage characteristic of 6. The thunderstrike has a positive and a negative to go with this – it’s -1 to hit, which means you’re only hitting twice with the average Knight, but on the flipside it gets to throw things around. If you kill a VEHICLE or MONSTER with the gauntlet, on a 4+ you can pick a unit within 9″ of your Knight and do D3 mortal wounds to it. Much like the chainsword, choosing when to use this compared to the more reliable stamping of the feet is key to getting the best out of your Knights.

A Knightly duel! Credit: Corrode

The Knightly Households

Suitably for a giant-sized faction, Imperial Knights have a giant-sized list of household traits to match. There are 9 in total, split into two groups; 5 of them are Questor Imperialis, with another 4 representing the Questor Mechanicus. This seems arbitrary, but it’s actually key to understanding the power of the different households, because there’s a couple of stratagems which are specific to QUESTOR IMPERIALIS or QUESTOR MECHANICUS. Broadly, Mechanicus-aligned houses are stronger than Imperial ones, because they have access to Benevolence of the Machine God and Machine Spirit Resurgent, both 1CP stratagems which respectively give a 5+ Feel No Pain against mortal wounds and the ability for a damaged Knight to act on its top profile. Mechanicus houses also have access to some of the better traits/Warlord traits/relics, too, so most often you’re going to be wanting to play those. That said, there’s great reasons to take the Imperial-aligned ones too. One of the things that makes Knights worhtwhile is how they can either be a generally strong operator which adapts as needed, or tailored to fill a specific hole in an army.

As a side note, you can also utilise the Freeblade rules to make a Knight which has no Household, but acts as a kind of knight errant (not the Knight Errant, which is one of the Questoris types!) The Chaos version of this effect is very cool – it offers some unique and powerful abilities, and you don’t lose out on much for doing so. Unfortunately in Imperial Knights you lose out on tons for swapping <HOUSEHOLD> for FREEBLADE, including a bunch of the best relics and some strong traditions, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Freeblade at a serious tournament table. For the sake of brevity, we won’t discuss them further here – they’re just not that relevant, sadly.

Additionally, each household has a unique relic, unique warlord trait, and unique stratagem. These are as follows:

Household Traditions

Questor Imperialis

  • House Terryn – Gallant Warriors – when advancing or charging, roll an extra D6 and drop the lowest
  • House Griffith – Glory of the Charge – gain +1 Attack on any turn where a Knight with this tradition charged or made a Heroic Intervention. Additionally, Knights with this tradition can perform Heroic Interventions as if they were characters.
  • House Hawkshroud – Oathkeepers – double the number of wounds a Knight has remaining for determining whether it is degraded or not.
  • House Cadmus – Hunters of the Foe – re-roll wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase against units that only contain models with 12 wounds or less
  • House Mortan – Close-quarters Killers – add 1 to hit rolls in the Fight phase in any turn where you charge, were charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention

Questor Mechanicus

  • House Raven – Relentless Advance – You can Advance and fire Heavy weapons as if they were assault, and don’t take a penalty to hit rolls for firing Assault weapons after you Advance
  • House Taranis – Omnissiah’s Grace – 6+ Feel No Pain against non-mortal wounds
  • House Krast – Cold Fury – Re-roll failed hit rolls in the Fight phase in any turn where you charge, were charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention. Additionally, re-roll all failed hit rolls in the Fight phase against TITANIC units
  • House Vulker – Firestorm Protocols – Re-roll hit rolls of 1 whenever you are shooting at the closest enemy
Imperial Knight

Imperial Knight. Credit: Jack Hunter

Relics

Questor Imperialis

  • House Terryn – Thunder of Voltoris – a rapid-fire battle cannon with S9 which rolls 3D6 and drops the lowest for number of shots
  • House Griffith –  Mark of the Lance – each time the bearer completes a Charge, choose an enemy unit within 1″; on a 2+ that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds or on a 6 it suffers 3 mortal wounds
  • House Hawkshroud – Angel’s Grace – each time the bearer takes a mortal wound in the Psychic phase, it can ignore it on a 4+
  • House Cadmus – The Hunter’s Eye – enemy units don’t get cover
  • House Mortan – Honour’s Bite – a reaper chainsword with AP-4 which does D3 mortal wounds on a wound roll of a 6

Questor Mechanicus

  • House Raven – The Banner Inviolate –  QUESTORIS class only, re-roll hit rolls of 1 in the Fight phase for HOUSE RAVEN models within 6″ of the bearer
  • House Taranis – Fury of Mars – a thermal cannon with 48″ range, which always rolls 2D6 and drops the lowest for damage
  • House Krast – The Headsman’s Mark – increase the damage of the bearer’s weapons by 1 against enemy models with 10 or more wounds, or by 2 against TITANIC units
  • House Vulker – The Auric Mask – your opponent rolls 2D6 when taking Morale tests within 12″ of the bearer and uses the highest result

Stratagems

Questor Imperialis

  • House Terryn – Glory in Honour, 3CP – after a HOUSE TERRYN unit has fought in the Fight phase, it can fight an additional time
  • House Griffith – Dragonslayer, 2CP – before attacking in the Shooting or Fight phase, pick a HOUSE GRIFFITH model. Until the end of the phase, add 1 to wound rolls made for that model’s attacks against units containing models with 10 or more wounds
  • House Hawkshroud – Staunch Allies, 2CP – immediately after an enemy unit declares a charge against an IMPERIUM unit from your army, a friendly Hawkshroud model which is within 12″ (and not within 1″ of an enemy unit) can immediately fire Overwatch at the unit which declared the charge. If the that charge is successful, the Hawkshroud model can heroically intervene 2D6″ towards that unit at the end of the phase, but cannot move within 1″ of any other enemy unit
  • House Cadmus – Bio-scryer Cogitator Array, 3CP – use after your opponent sets up a unit from reinforcements within 12″ of a HOUSE CADMUS model. That model can immediately shoot as if it were the Shooting phase
  • House Mortan – Slayers of Shadows, 1CP – use in the Shooting phase before choosing a HOUSE MORTAN unit to shoot with. Until the end of the phase, that unit ignores all modifiers when making its attacks

Questor Mechanicus

  • House Raven – Order of Companions, 3CP – At the start of your Shooting phase, pick a HOUSE RAVEN model from your army. Until the end of the phase, re-roll all rolls of 1 for that model – hit rolls, wound rolls, number of shots, damage rolls, all of it
  • House Taranis – Our Darkest Hour, 3CP – Use when a HOUSE TARANIS model is reduced to 0 wounds but does not explode. On a 4+, set the model up again at the end of the phase, as close as possible to its previous position and more than 1″ from enemy units with D3 wounds remaining
  • House Krast – Controlled Aggression, 1CP – In the Fight phase, each unmodified hit roll of 6 scores 2 hits instead of 1, or 3 hits against a CHAOS unit. Can’t be stacked with Thunderstomp, Death Grip or Chainsweep in the same turn
  • House Vulker – Saturation Bombardment, 1CP – Use before a HOUSE VULKER model shoots in the Shooting phase; each unmodified hit roll of 6 scores 2 hits instead of 1

Note: both “Order of Companions” and “Our Darkest Hour” were increased from a cost of 2CP in the codex to 3CP in the September 2018 FAQ.

Imperial Knight Gallant

Lost count of how many magnets this is articulated with. Maybe 25? Credit: Andrew “Pendulin” Haywood

Warlord Traits

Questor Imperialis

  • House Terryn – Champion of the Household – re-roll failed Charge rolls for your Warlord
  • House Griffith –  Master of the Joust – immediately after your Warlord completes a Charge, choose one enemy unit within 1″; on a 4+ that unit takes D3 mortal wounds
  • House Hawkshroud – Duty of the Forsworn – at the start of the first battle round but before the battle begins, pick one enemy unit. Your Warlord adds 1 to hit rolls against that unit
  • House Cadmus – Veteran of Gryphonne IV – reduce all damage suffered by your Warlord in the Fight phase by 1, to a minimum of 1
  • House Mortan – Legacy of the Black Pall – subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks that target your Warlord from more than 18″ away

Questor Mechanicus

  • House Raven – Master of the Trial – add 1 to armour saves for your Warlord against attacks that have AP-1
  • House Taranis – Knight of Mars – wound rolls of 6+ in the Shooting phase improve your AP by 1
  • House Krast – First Knight – re-roll hit rolls of 1 for your Warlord
  • House Vulker – Adamantium Knight – wound rolls of 1, 2, or 3 for attacks against your Warlord always fail

That is a hell of a lot of stuff for your not very many units! Broadly speaking, we are going to ignore Houses Griffith, Cadmus, and Vulker. They see very little play, even if Duncan Rhodes famously loves Griffith. The remaining 6 can be crudely summarised as follows:

Krast and Taranis – top tier, taken routinely
Mortan – taken specifically for the stratagem
Hawkshroud – not really top-tier, but it shows up a lot because many players are attracted to the whole “my Knight has to be on 6 wounds before it gets bracketed at all” bit
Terryn – genuinely, I didn’t know people ran this, but our own Scott Horras has been using it recently and I’m scared he’d shout at me if I ignored it
Raven – relevant 6 months ago and worth talking about to discuss why

Starting from the bottom and working back up, the fuller explanations are:

House Raven

Raven was the household of choice for the era of Knight Castellan dominance. That stratagem to let you re-roll all 1s was insanely good on the Castellan, which has two variable-shot weapons, one of which also had variable damage, and also gained the obvious benefits from re-rolling hits and wounds (especially since one of its guns was a plasma weapon which could do mortal wounds to you). The point where it only cost 2CP and Imperial lists could easily expect to use 20-30 in a game thanks to stacking regeneration was one of the most oppressive eras in 8th edition. Happily for everyone else, the Castellan has gone into hibernation these days, and House Raven has largely gone with them, since the stratagem isn’t nearly as good on anything else and the rest of their stuff is merely ok.

House Terryn

Terryn is the household of choice for making your Knights really, really fighty, since you get to fight twice for 3CP and unlike many such stratagems, it happens immediately rather than at the end of the phase. If you’re like Scott and you’re using a cheap Gallant as a pusher to bowling ball its way into the midfield and force your opponent to react (or even better, execute a turn 1 charge into something critical) then Terryn is a solid choice.

House Hawkshroud

I’ll be honest here – I don’t really like Hawkshroud. It’s very popular with a certain kind of player who can’t get past the whole “my Knights basically never degrade” bit, but the rest of its offering can be best summed up as “not much.” Worse, its core gimmick can be fairly cheaply and easily replicated by Machine Spirit Resurgent, available to any Mechanicus House for a single CP. The only situation where Hawkshroud is more relevant than just using that is if you for some reason have multiple Knights which are each on 11 wounds and you only have enough CP to make one of them operate on top bracket. For my money, I’d rather have the real defensive bonus and excellent stratagem of Taranis, or the brute power of Krast, and accept the chances of that happening.

That said, there is a good Hawkshroud-based combo which is being used with some success. A Hawkshroud Knight Valiant with the Traitor’s Pyre offers some serious firepower, especially so when you utilise Staunch Allies to blast out 3D6 S7 AP-2 D2 at a unit that didn’t even charge you, and then get to charge it back. If you want to include a Valiant in your army, this is a great way to get the most out of it.

House Mortan

House Mortan is an interesting one. The tradition is ok, and the relic is whatever. The stratagem and Warlord trait are both great, though. Taking a Mortan Crusader, or even a Mortan Helverin, and utilising the stratagem on it is a great way to add some strong anti-air game to your army. The Legacy of the Black Pall Warlord trait is also great for protecting yourself from counter-punch, giving your Knight -1 to hit from over 18″ away. Mortan isn’t great for multi-Knight usage since its strength is in the stratagem and trait, but as a single-Knight inclusion in a soup list which helps out against flyers, there’s a definite argument for it.

House Krast

Even as House Raven Castellans were ruling the meta, there were people advocating for, and using very successfully, House Krast. The Krast tradition is great for adding to the melee output of your Knights, allowing them to slam in and get the absolute most out of that pile of attacks available to them. The stratagem ties in well with that plan too. The combination of the Warlord trait and relic are where the real value is, however – First Knight gives you access to re-roll 1s to hit all the time, hugely valuable in an army which rarely has access to re-rolls for Shooting, and Headsman’s Mark is utterly ludicrous for anti-tank. Bringing your gatling cannon up to damage 3 against most vehicles or even damage 4 if targeting another Knight is crazy. It also makes this the one place you’d want to bring a rapid fire battle cannon – once it’s re-rolling 1s to hit and doing D3+1 or D3+2 damage, the variance is a lot easier to live with. A single “Krastsader” with First Knight and Headsman’s Mark is a very common inclusion in many Imperial lists, and triple- or quad-Questoris Krast lists have been showing up a lot too.

House Taranis

Taranis is the other main House of choice for mono- or mostly-Knight lists. The 6+ FNP is great, although a little limited by not applying against mortal wounds since piling on mortals via either psychic powers or haywire effects is how many armies plan to deal with Knights. The relic gun is pretty good too, giving you a thermal cannon with a better range and much more reliable damage. The money here is the stratagem, though – being able to pick a dead Knight back up again (and use the top bracket to boot) is absolutely vital when you only have a few models to start with, and unlike the Chaos version it’s not limited in its usage on the same Knight, potentially allowing you to repeatedly drag the same guy to his feet over and over again. There are going to be times when this strategy doesn’t work out – with a hefty 3CP cost and a 4+ roll to make (i.e. a 50% chance, or 75% if you spend another CP for a re-roll) you will inevitably hit the game where your load-bearing Knight eats shit and doesn’t get up again. It also doesn’t work if the Knight explodes – and if it does, and you need a CP to re-roll that, it dramatically reduces the chance of Our Darkest Hour actually working. That said, Taranis Knights have proven very popular recently, and they’re arguably the optimal way to go for Knight-heavy armies where your biggest concern is straight up running out of units. Just beware of Asdrubael Vect, or plans that have been kicking around for a few generations and might now come into effect.

Imperial Knight Castellan

Imperial Knight Castellan. Credit: Jack Hunter

The Units

As hinted above, the main difference between the various Knight datasheets is which combination of weapons each one has. For the Armiger and Dominus classes, the loadouts are unique and we’ll just deal with them as they appear in the codex, since that seems simplest. Most of the Questoris Knights we’ll deal with all together, because I can never remember the names of the different versions anyway. The main exceptions are Canis Rex and the Knight Preceptor, which are technically Questoris Knights but have their own gimmick and we’ll talk about separately. All Imperial Knights units are Lords of War.

 

Armiger Warglaives

Warglaives are the melee-focused Armiger class. They were first revealed in the Forgebane box released in March of 2018, and made very little impact – they were over 200pts and easily tied up by basic infantry. When the Knights codex arrived, they had been substantially changed into the form you see today. Now weighing in at a svelte 164pts base, the Warglaive had gained a second profile to the reaper chain-cleaver, which neatly helped it out with that whole “tagged by a guy with a lasgun” issue.

Let’s break down the stats. Both Armigers have a top profile of M12″, WS and BS3+, S6, T7, W12, A4, and Ld8, with a 3+ save and the 5+ invulnerable save against ranged weapons from an Ion Shield. The Warglaive version has a thermal spear and a reaper chain-cleaver; the former is a 30″ range gun with Assault D3, S8 AP-4 D6 and the melta rule i.e. at half range, roll 2D6 for damage and drop the lowest. This is a handy little gun, since being Assault lets you buzz up the field and still potshot at vehicles with it. As mentioned above, the melee arm is the reaper chain-cleaver which now has two profiles; the first is the Strike profile, which gives SX2, AP-3, D3 i.e. basically a thunder hammer with no hit penalty. This is pretty tasty for whacking holes in things. Alternatively, you can use the Sweep profile, which is S:User, AP-2, D1, but allows you to make 2 hit rolls for the weapon instead of 1 – i.e. giving you 8 attacks.

Additionally, they have a top gun like their big brother Knights. This can be either a meltagun or a heavy stubber. Generally people keep them cheap by taking the stubber, but a Warglaive isn’t the worst place to slap on a melta since it’s going to be running into short range anyway.

As things go, Warglaives seem to be a very marmite unit. Some people love them, some people think they’re rubbish. If anything limits them, it’s the 4 attacks – they could probably do with having one more, just to give them that little bit more oomph, but it’s hard to argue they’re actually bad. That 14″ move makes them pretty fleet getting across the table, especially as they’re free to Advance without giving up their whole Shooting phase. They’re best placed in House Krast, where they can rush forwards and take advantage of the ability to re-roll hit rolls to make that big Strike profile that bit more reliable. Overall, Warglaives are hard to draw a conclusion on – what you’ll probably find is that you can happily include them in lists, but they’re also the first thing to get cut. Perhaps this is what we call “balanced?”

Armiger Helverins

Where Warglaives are all about smashing face-first into things and hitting them hard, Helverins exist at the other end of the table. They tote a pair of Armiger autocannons, each of which has a gigantic 60″ range, Heavy 2D3 shots, S7 AP-1 and D3, which the Helverin can move and fire without the Heavy penalty. This makes for quite the effective range – a Helverin can reach out and touch things up to 74″ away if it wants to, which you may recognise as “slightly further then a standard board.” Like the Warglaive, they can take a heavy stubber or meltagun – in this case, you pretty much always want the stubber, since you aren’t intending to get close to anything. This makes them 174pts.

In my opinion, Helverins are the better of the two Armigers, with a ferocious amount of shooting (an average of 8 shots!) and the high Damage on the gun. Their main weakness is a lack of access to hit re-rolls, with the best sources being Roboute Guilliman or a Knight Preceptor, both of which are expensive ways to get there. They’re also reasonably easy to tie up, with no access to Fall Back and shoot, and a pitiful melee profile. If you do take some, make sure to screen them well!

Much like the Warglaive version, the best compliment you can pay to Helverins is that they seem incredibly well-balanced. They’re always a solid choice, but not an auto-take. I really need to paint more.

Questoris Knights

As mentioned previously, there’s a bunch of Knight classes which fit into the “Questoris” category. In the Chaos Knights book these are all one thing, the Despoiler class, but Imperial Knights are broken out separately. The only differences (except on the Gallant) are the weapon loadouts they have, so I’ve neatly tabulated them all so you can see which is which:

Knight ClassWeapon 1Weapon 2
CrusaderThermal cannon*Avenger gatling cannon
ErrantThermal cannonReaper chainsword**
GallantThunderstrike gauntletReaper chainsword
PaladinRapid-fire battle cannonReaper chainsword**
WardenAvenger gatling cannonReaper chainsword**

*The thermal cannon may be swapped for a rapid-fire battle cannon
**The reaper chainsword may be swapped for a thunderstrike gauntlet

As you can see, in practical terms this works out to 3 Knights with one of the guns and a melee weapon (by default the chainsword, but swappable for the gauntlet), one Knight with two guns, and one Knight with two melee weapons. These all have identical profiles except the Gallant, which improves its base WS to 2+, and gains +1 Attack.

The base Questoris profile is a strong one, boasting M12″, WS and BS 3+, S8, T8, W24, A4, with a 3+ save and a 5++ invulnerable save against ranged weapons. They’re fast, tough, and packed with special rules to keep them mobile while still allowing them to fire at full effectiveness, and even fall back and shoot and/or charge so you never have to worry about some random Cultist or Guardsman touching your model and making it worthless for a turn.

So how do you pick which Knights to take? Broadly, they fall into two camps. Many people want the outright firepower of the Crusader, reasoning that if you’re going to take a 285pt chassis you might as well strap as many guns to it as possible and rely on the feet to do the melee heavy lifting. Usually this means taking the base loadout and ignoring the rapid fire battle cannon – the avenger gatling cannon is an extremely good gun, and the thermal cannon is much cheaper than the rapid fire battle cannon in the Imperial Knights book, and while it also suffers from variance issues it has a much higher ceiling. Taking this combo plus an ironstorm rocket pod weighs in at an aggressively-costed 452pts.

Alternatively, you may want some better melee output, or want to keep things cheap, or maybe you just want to run four Questoris and you’ve run up against the rule of three. Of the three mixed chassis, the Warden is probably the most commonly seen – avenger gatling cannons are the gun you really want from Imperial Knights, especially since the price changes seen in the Chaos Knights book have yet to affect the Imperial version. The Errant sometimes shows up, while the Paladin is generally left on the shelf – of the three, it pays the most and gets the least.

A Knight Gallant stalks its prey. Credit: Corrode

Gallants are in a category of their own. The better melee output is very strong, but they’re also the most vulnerable to being screened or move blocked and ending up achieving nothing. They do come in cheap at 352pts, though. They’re a popular alternative in a 4-Knight list which also wants to take some other stuff, because of the 50ish point saving on the gun-toting versions. I personally am a huge fan of Gallants, since they offer a ton of threat, whether it’s 15 stomps at WS2+ or the lethal punch of the thunderstrike gauntlet (even better if wielding the Paragon Gauntlet – see the relics section!) but they do have clear flaws and a clever opponent can stop you getting the most out of them.

Canis Rex/Knight Preceptor

I’ve lumped these together because they honestly don’t really matter. They have the same unique gun, the las-impulsor, which has two firing modes – low intensity, which is 36″ range Heavy 2D6 S6 AP-2 D3, or high intensity, 18″ Heavy D6 S12 AP-4 Dd6. The low intensity mode can be best described as a worse avenger gatling cannon, while the high intensity is like a thermal cannon which doesn’t want to be good. It’s a weird kludge of a weapon.

Other than the gun, the Preceptor and Rex do differ a little. The Preceptor has the “Mentor” rule which allows it to give Armigers within 6″ re-rolls for hit rolls of 1. Rex lacks that, but gives all Imperium models within 6″ a kind of pseudo-6+ FNP against fleeing to Morale, and a funky little ejector seat rule that lets you utilise the pilot, Sir Hekhtur, as an on-foot character once the Knight dies.

I’ve literally never seen Canis Rex in a list or on any form of table, and Preceptors almost as little. Rex is just kind of there, with his not-that-good gun and being a Freeblade. The Preceptor is a bit better because access to re-rolls is limited in Imperial Knights, and theoretically running a Preceptor with a swarm of Helverins around it is a good idea. Sadly for the Preceptor, Roboute Guilliman exists, and his re-roll 1s bubble is bigger and can’t be shot out from under him, and is much better in combat to boot (though not quite as crazy as he once was). It would take a substantial points drop or a big change to the las-impulsor to make it more worth having on its own to make the Preceptor worthwhile.

Knight Castellan

If I was writing this article a year ago, I’d have been justified in starting with the Castellan and focusing the majority of attention on that. Sadly (or not so sadly, if you were the one on the receiving end of it) those days are gone, and the Castellan is a shadow of its former self.

This sounds mad, because at first glance the thing is still really good. With a Dominus chassis, it trades up on durability compared to the Questoris, gaining 4 wounds, but loses out on melee potential because it drops to WS4+. It also gains a lot of guns. The basic armament common to both this and the Knight Valiant is a pair of twin meltaguns, i.e. 4 meltaguns, and either 4 shieldbreaker missiles and a twin siegebreaker cannon, or two twin siegebreaker cannons and 2 missiles. This is a fair amount of shooting all on its own. The shieldbreaker is a 1 shot, S10 AP-4 Dd6 weapon which ignores invulnerable saves and can, with stratagem use, freely target characters. That does mean one shot, by the way – you have 2 or 4, and you get one shot of each missile, once per turn. The siegebreaker is Heavy 2D3, S7 AP-1 Dd3, i.e. a somewhat upgunned autocannon. If you were paying attention to the House Raven stratagem earlier, Order of Companions, you can see why it was beneficial already.

The real money on the Castellan is the main guns, though. The volcano lance is an utterly heinous weapon, an 80″ range gun with Heavy D6, S14, AP-5, 3d3 damage, and the ability to re-roll wounds against TITANIC models. Paired with it is the plasma decimator – strong on its own, at Heavy 2D6, with either a standard profile of S7 AP-3 D1, or a supercharged profile with S8 AP-3 D2, but horrific when replaced by the ever-present Cawl’s Wrath, a MECHANICUM only relic weapon which pumped that profile up to S8 AP-4 D2, or S9 AP-4 D3. The supercharged profiles both do mortal wounds to the Knight on a hit roll of a 1 – another reason that Order of Companions was so strong there.

So why don’t you see this hateful thing any more? Well, as they sometimes do, Games Workshop failed to react quickly to its incredible, meta-warping power, and then hit it all of a sudden from three directions at once. The cautious approach was tried in the September 2018 FAQ, with the Tactical Restraint rule cutting off the flow of command points to feed this thing’s Ion Shield rotation and Order of Companions (bumped in the same FAQ from 2CP to 3CP), but that didn’t do enough – many players still gambled, successfully, that if you started with enough CP you could get through 2 turns of powering up the Castellan and then if your opponent wasn’t dead things had gone badly wrong anyway, so why worry? As such, in April 2019, more drastic measures were taken. First, Rotate Ion Shields was erratad to make it so that it could never improve invulnerable saves to more than a 4+. Second, the guns which were previously free had whacking great points costs slapped onto them, raising the points cost of the Castellan overnight. This one-two punch was enough to knock the Castellan out, and almost overnight it evaporated from tournament tables everywhere. Arguably at 650pts it might well have stuck around, but (rightly) losing the 3+ invulnerable save and also becoming more expensive was too much to make it worthwhile.

A Knight Castellan. Credit: Corrode

Knight Valiant

The Valiant is the other Dominus class chassis. Initially it was overshadowed by the awesome power of its cousin, the Valiant turned out to be Pretty Good. It trades the volcano lance and the plasma decimator for a thundercoil harpoon and conflagration cannon. The harpoon is a hilarious weapon – Heavy 1, S16 AP-6 (what even needs this!?) and damage 10. Just to make sure you really make an impact, you can re-roll hit rolls against VEHICLE and MONSTER units with it, and if you do damage them you get to do an additional d3 mortal wounds on top – which means that if this thing hits and wounds an 11 wound vehicle or monster, that boy is dead no matter what. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the conflagration cannon – Heavy 3D6, S7 AP-2 D2, with auto-hits. If you really need to get rid of infantry – ANY infantry, right up to Primaris Marines and Terminators – this is your gun.

The big limiter on all of this is that the only Valiant-specific relic, the Traitor’s Pyre which upguns the conflagration cannon, is IMPERIALIS only, and the paltry range of both – the cannon is only 18″ range, while the harpoon is an even more paltry 12″. In a world full of heavy melee threats which want to take your Knight and punch it into scrap, the requirement to get so close can be pretty scary. That said, Valiants are super cool, look better costed next to the Castellan in light of the latter’s points changes, and still bring enough firepower to bear to be plenty menacing – and of course, they’re much more likely to get use out of those meltaguns than the Castellan ever was. If what you want from your Knight is to get up close and deliver horrific, personal death, then the Valiant can be a good choice with the right support.

Other tips and tricks

What they lack in units, Knights make up for in great stratagems and relics. We’ve covered the Household-specific stuff above, so we’ll run through the rest here briefly and discuss the dos and don’ts of Knightly glory.

Stratagems

  • Ion Aegis – 2CP – grants a 5+ invulnerable save to any stationary IMPERIUM unit wholly within 6″ of a chosen DOMINUS Knight. Practically never worth it.
  • Noble Sacrifice – 2CP – discussed previously, this lets you explode on a 4+ instead of a 6+, and yes, that means you can double explode a Dominus Knight on a double 4+. Great for really punching back at someone who’s annoyed you, perhaps by killing your Knight.
  • Thunderstomp – 1CP – do d3 mortals to INFANTRY or SWARM within 1″ on a 4+. Never worth it.
  • Skyreaper Protocols – 1CP – re-roll failed hit rolls autocannons from an ARMIGER HELVERIN against units with FLY. Suffers a bit for having the “old” re-roll wording compared to the Chaos version, but still pretty good.
  • Rotate Ion Shields – 1CP/3CP – gain +1 to invulnerable saves with a Knight. 1CP normally, 3CP for a DOMINUS class. A bit less good than it used to be now that it’s limited to making your save a 4+. Can also be used with Sanctuary, the relic which gives you a 5+ save in combat as well as shooting, to get a 4+ melee invulnerable (note: apparently the Chaos Knights version of this only works against ranged attacks. So if the FAQ drops Monday and this changes, it’s not my fault).
  • Heirlooms of the Household – 1CP/3CP – get 1/2 relics for your Knights. Unlike other such stratagems, this one actually makes the model a CHARACTER, allowing you to give a random Knight a relic even if it’s not a character for any other reason.
  • Exalted Court – 1CP/3CP – make 1/2 Knights a character and give them a Warlord trait. Great, because your Warlord traits are really good and getting more of them is a big win.
  • Pack Hunters – 1CP – one Warglaive can charge, and then other Warglaives within 12″ can re-roll charges. Whatever.
  • Oathbreaker Guidance System – 3CP – a shieldbreaker missile can target a character regardless of whether they’re the closest model. It can also shoot out of line of sight. This stratagem seemed like utter bullshit on release, and got bumped from 2CP to 3CP, and to an extent it still sucks because it has the capacity to just randomly punk something vital and that’s extremely unfun to be on the receiving end of. On the other hand, we live in Space Marine Sniper Meta these days, so this doesn’t feel that bad now. Since the two Knights which mounted shieldbreakers slid out of the meta a bit, this has reduced in appearances somewhat.
  • Full Tilt – 2CP – One Knight which advanced can still charge. Fantastic for yeeting a Knight across the table right into someone’s face, particularly when combined with the Landstrider Warlord trait (see below). Beware of Drukhari or Genestealer Cults players counterspelling this into non-existence!
  • Ironhail Heavy Stubbers – 1CP – gain -1AP for all heavy stubbers in a QUESTOR IMPERIALIS detachment. Yawn.
  • Devastating Reach – 1CP – a bandaid solution to bad terrain rules. Basically, you can fight some guys on the upper floor of a ruin. Often defeated by guys being on a hill instead of, strictly, in a ruin.
  • Chainsweep – 1CP – maybe do a mortal wound or two in melee. If you’re using this you’re just showboating, leave that child alone and let him pack his army up with dignity.
  • Death Grip – 1CP – the opposite of showboating. The most metal stratagem in 40k, this lets your Knight squeeze a guy to death in a contest of strength, which your Knight is very well-equipped to win. After fighting, you immediately make an additional attack; if it hits you do d3 mortal wounds. After that, roll off and if your Strength+d6 exceeds your opponent’s Strength+d6, do another d3 mortal wounds to them. A hilarious way to murder something unexpectedly.
  • Bonded Oathsmen – 1CP – I’ve literally never remembered this existed. It lets Armigers heroically intervene or something.
  • Valiant Last Stand – 2CP – Questor Imperialis only, your Knight can fight on death (acting on its bottom profile). Potentially amazing if it lets you get another round out of a Gallant or something, but you do need to be Imperialis to use it.
  • Benevolence of the Machine God – 1CP – as discussed earlier, this gives you a 5+ Feel No Pain against mortal wounds. Great for keeping your guy in the game against one of the main things which can tear it down.
  • Machine Spirit Resurgent – 1CP – again, discussed earlier, for 1CP at the start of the turn your damaged Knight can act like it’s undamaged. Money.
  • Cognis Heavy Stubbers – 1CP – never has a stratagem been better summarised with “whatever.”
  • Sally Forth – 3CP – pick a QUESTOR IMPERIALIS or ARMIGER class Knight, and outflank it (i.e. arrive 9″ away from enemy models and within 6″ of the board edge, on turns 2-3 in matched play). This sure is there? It has the potential for some serious Fun but also it’s Imperialis-only and 3CP. A Landstrider Gallant appearing from behind you using this could be extremely threatening, but also the 6″ of the board edge limitation means it’s that bit easier to screen out.

Relics

  • Sanctuary – a strong opener for our relic selection. Sanctuary gives you a 5+ invulnerable save against ranged and melee weapons, instantly fixing one of the weaknesses of a Knight, that is blokes with big hammers. A great relic to throw on a Knight you intend to push forward and into the melee danger zone.
  • Ravager Ravager replaces a reaper chainsword, making it AP-4, and granting re-rolls of 1 to hit with the sword itself. This is probably not your first choice of relic, but it has a place as something to switch in for a chainsword-toting Knight.
  • The Paragon Gauntlet – a thunderstrike gauntlet with no hit penalty, AP-4, and damage 8. For when you really, really, really want to fuck something’s day up. Great on a Gallant – I once used this to annihilate an opponent’s Castellan on turn 1, at which point he conceded.
  • Armour of the Sainted Ion – gives the Knight a 2+ save. Great for protecting your Knight against small arms fire or low/no AP melee like Orks. You will often need to assess whether the Armour or Sanctuary is better. If your opponent is only likely to put AP-3 melee weapons into you, then the Armour is often more relevant, since you’ll have a 5+ either way. The difference comes down to what you expect to face, and what stratagems you’re employing – you can rotate your Sanctuary save to be a 4+ in combat, but equally you can utilise the “Knight of the Cog” stratagem from an allied Adeptus Mechanicus detachment in order to get Shroudspalm on your Knight for an opening 1+ save (for a great example of a list utilising this, check out Beth’s list from the London Open). It all depends on what’s across the table from you.
  • Endless Fury – an utterly bonkers relic. Replacing an avenger gatling cannon, this gun has the same range, 2 extra shots, and each unmodified hit roll of a 6 means 2 hits instead of 1. It is perfectly possible to fire this gun and end up with more hits than shots fired. It’s not even improbable. An amazing weapon, and one that’s almost always worth taking.
  • Judgment – a relic stormspear rocket pod which can re-roll failed hit rolls. I’ve never seen anyone use this.
  • Skyshield – a reiic twin Icarus autocannon with 6 shots. Again, I’ve never seen anyone use this.
  • Helm of the Nameless Warrior – QUESTOR IMPERIALIS only, add 1 to hit rolls in the Fight phase. Ditto.
  • Banner of Macharius Triumphant – QUESTOR IMPERIALIS QUESTORIS only. +1 Ld for IMPERIUM units within 6″, coutnts as obsec, counts as 10 models. This is theoretically pretty handy – Knights can struggle with holding objectives, and things that help you do that are at least theoretically a good idea. The main mark against this is that you almost always will find you have 3 better relics to take, and especially so when it’s IMPERIALIS only and the “best” choices, particularly for multi-Knight lists, are both Mechanicus.
  • Traitor’s Pyre – previously mentioned on the Knight Valiant entry, this is the relic conflagration cannon. Also IMPERIALIS only, this thing re-rolls to wound, which is pretty huge. Again, mostly let down by being IMPERIALIS only.
  • Mark of the Omnissiah – QUESTOR MECHANICUS only. Roll a d6 at the start of the turn, 1-5 you regain 1 wound, on a 6 you regain D3 wounds. Mostly this just lacks a bit of oomph, and again, there’s usually 3 better choices.
  • The Helm Dominatus – QUESTOR MECHANICUS, QUESTORIS or DOMINUS only. Once per battle round at the start of either Shooting or Fight, you can activate the relic; pick a unit within 24″ and all Armiger models add 1 to hit rolls when they’re within 6″ of the bearer. This would theoretically be a great pick with a Preceptor, if a Preceptor was worth taking. If for some reason you wanted to run a Preceptor + Helverin swarm, this is worth taking in that situation.
  • Cawl’s Wrath – already discussed in the Castellan entry. Auto-pick when they were strong, and if they ever return to darken our tables again, it’ll be an auto-pick again.

Baroness Altria Pend-Tokage, Imperial Knight. Credit: Tyler “Coda” Moore

Warlord Traits

The six basic Warlord traits for Impeiral Knights are Pretty Damn Good.

  1. Cunning Commander – gain a  CP and get a free once per game re-roll of a hit/wound/damage/saving throw for the Warlord. This was briefly popular until everyone realised you don’t need to use Exalted Court to be able to take relics, and now it sure exists.
  2. Ion Bulwark – the other thing that was just automatically written next to “Knight Castellan, House Raven, Cawl’s Wrath” on every Imperial army list for a year. Ion Bulwark turns the 5+ ion shields save into a 4+. Once upon a time this was vital for achieving the 3+ invulnerable of doom, but now that you can’t improve past that and you’re less likely to have your whole game plan hinge on the same model, it’s merely “very good” rather than “the only option.”
  3. Knight Seneschal – +1 Attack. Sort of default good, and certainly can be funny to make a Gallant an 18-attack monster, but not necessarily your first pick.
  4. Landstrider – +2″ to Advance and charge rolls for your Warlord and friendly models within 6″.  A fantastic trait for mobility – your Knight gets an effective 14″+D6″ movement, and much more reliable charges. It’s perfectly possible to pull off a huge turn 1 charge against an unwary opponent with this.
  5. Blessed by the Sacristans – pick one of your Warlord’s non-relicweapons; each time that weapon makes an unmodified wound roll of 6, do an additional mortal wound. Low-key good on something with an avenger gatling cannon, though probably no your first pick.
  6. Fearsome Reputation – enemy units within 12″ are at -1 Ld, within 6″ they’re at -2. Knights don’t really do anything exciting with Leadership, so whatever.

Lists

That’s our lot for the Imperial Knights book! All that’s left is to talk about a couple of army lists. For this purpose we’ve used two examples, one of a “mixed” list of Knights with Imperium support, and another which is more or less pure.

 The mixed one comes from Wings’ second round opponent at LGT, Tom Leighton.

Army List - Tom Leighton's Imperial Knights - Click to expand

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
+Player: Tom Leighton
+REPORTED ARMY FACTION: Imperium
+TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 15
+TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1,997
+POWER LEVEL: 113
+ARMY FACTIONS USED: Space Marines, Imperial Knights, Adeptus Mechanicus +TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Spearhead Detachment == Space Marines, Ultramarines [20PL, 428pts] 1 CP HQ: Sergeant Chronus (30): [2PL] [30pts]
HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55): Techmarine Gunner [Warlord] (26), Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5), 2 Servo Arms (0): [4PL] [92pts]
HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55): Techmarine Gunner (26), Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5), 2 Servo Arms (0): [4PL] [92pts]
HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55): Techmarine Gunner (26), Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5), 2 Servo Arms (0): [4PL] [92pts]
HS: Whirlwind Hyperios (90): Hyperios Launcher (30), Storm Bolter (2) : [6PL] [122pts]
== Super Heavy Detachment == Imperial Knights, House Taranis [75PL, 1,404pts] 6 CP
LOW: Knight Crusader (285): Thermal Cannon (76), Avenger Gatling Cannon (75), Ironstorm Missile Pod (16), Heavy Flamer (14), Heavy Stubber (2): [25PL] [468pts]
LOW: Knight Crusader (285): Thermal Cannon (76), Avenger Gatling Cannon (75), Ironstorm Missile Pod (16), Heavy Flamer (14), Heavy Stubber (2): [25PL] [468pts]
LOW: Knight Crusader (285): Thermal Cannon (76), Avenger Gatling Cannon (75), Ironstorm Missile Pod (16), Heavy Flamer (14), Heavy Stubber (2): [25PL] [468pts]
== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Mechanicus, Graia [18PL, 165pts] 5 CP
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer (30): Omnissian Axe (0), Laspistol (0), Servo-arm (0): [3PL] [30pts] 
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer (30): Omnissian Axe (0), Laspistol (0), Servo-arm (0): [3PL] [30pts]
TR: 5 Skitarii Rangers (35): 5 Galvanic Rifles (0): [4PL] [35pts] 
TR: 5 Skitarii Rangers (35): 5 Galvanic Rifles (0): [4PL] [35pts] 
TR: 5 Skitarii Rangers (35): 5 Galvanic Rifles (0): [4PL] [35pts]
ARMY REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0

Tom’s list has three Crusaders all with gatling cannons, thermal cannons, and an Ironstorm missile pod, supported by Space Marine Heavy Support units and a Graia detachment of Adeptus Mechanicus. The Knights provide a tough core of heavy firepower and reasonable combat potential, while the Thunderfire Cannons and Whirlwind help the Ironstorm pods out with their objective of clearing infantry units hiding away in cover. The Thunderfires additionally offer some movement control which can help keep the Knights safe from melee threats which might otherwise want to rush them. The Ad Mech provided valuable command points, cheap Troops and characters to cover objectives, and the powerful Graia stratagem to block psychic powers. The additional elements help shore up the potential weaknesses of Knights, making the army more flexible.

Army List - Jay Middlecote's Imperial Knights - Click to expand

+ PLAYER: Jay Middlecote
Team: Mohawk Miniatures
+ ARMY FACTION: Imperial Knights
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 9
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1998
+ POWER LEVELS: 107
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Imperial Knights
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 2 

+ SUPER HEAVY DETACHMENT – HOUSE KRAST 

LOW: Knight Crusader [285] with Thermal cannon [76] Avenger Gatling Cannon with Heavy Flamer [89] Ironstorm Missile Pod [16] Heavy Stubber [2] – 25 PL [468] – WARLORD, Headsmans Mark Relic 

LOW: Knight Crusader [285] with Thermal cannon [76] Avenger Gatling Cannon with Heavy Flamer [89] Ironstorm Missile Pod [16] Heavy Stubber [2] – 25 PL [468] 

LOW: Knight Crusader [285] with Thermal cannon [76] Avenger Gatling Cannon with Heavy Flamer [89] Ironstorm Missile Pod [16] Heavy Stubber [2] – 25 PL [468] 

LOW: Knight Warden [285] with Avenger Gatling Cannon with Heavy Flamer [89] Reaper Chainsword [30] Ironstorm Missile Pod [16] Heavy Stubber [2] – 23 PL [422] 

LOW: Armiger Helverin with 2 Armiger Autocannons [170] Heavy Stubber [2] – 9PL [172]

Jay’s been very successful with pure Imperial Knights lists over the last year (and they’re awesome-looking, too). This list is more or less exactly what I was thinking of when talking about the Knights above – 3 Crusaders and a Warden, with a Helverin backing them up. The list is very simple in concept – 4 big tough robots and their little mate, laying down a ton of firepower, and utilising the Krast Household tradition and Warlord trait to brutal effect. Depending on match-up, they might use Heirlooms of the Household or Exalted Court to add extra relics and traits in, depending on opponent – despite the low model count there’s a subtle flexibility to it. Jay’s been on a couple of podcasts recently talking about playing his Knights, and if you want to hear more about it I recommend you check them out – you can hear him here on the 40k Stats Centre.

Jay Middlecote's Imperial Knights

Jay’s fantastic looking Imperial Knights. Credit: Jay Middlecote

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this guide to the valorous Knights of the Imperium! As ever, if you think we’ve missed anything, or got anything wrong, then hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com or over on our Facebook Page, and we’ll do our best to respond.

 

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