The Flowers of Chivalry – Knights in Legions Imperialis

Knights are one of the choices available to spend your Strategic Asset points on, and while I’d much rather they were available as standard units just like they were in first and second edition epic, they are competing with Titans. Are they worth it compared to Titans? Let’s take a look.

House Tyrannis. Credit – Lee Marshall @TheForgeofMars


Ion Shields Suck – Sorry everyone

Ion Shields are not great. The Multiple Save Characteristic rule on page 57 of the rulebook means you can only take one save, and you have to choose between armour and Ion saves. Ion saves degrade less, but the armour save on knights is better. What this means is that very often the armour save is better or exactly the same as the Ion shield save. The table below shows when the Ion Shield save is better.

Legions Imperialis Knight Ion Saves – Green is where the Ion save is better, and note how little green there is.

As you can see the Ionic Flare Shield makes a difference when facing Blast or Barrage weapons (and this is present on the Moirax and Mechanicum Questoris Knights but not the Knight Atrapos) and Ion Shields are only marginally useful on most knight types, and almost completely useless on the Acastus. The only knight where Ion Shields are really useful are Cerastus Knight Atrapos and Knight Lancer, and this is because they have a 3+ Ion save, meaning when facing anything with -1 AP or higher Ion shields provide the better save.

From a design point of view it may be that you used to be able to take multiple saves, in which case Ion Saves (and Jink saves) would have been worthwhile, though the different interaction of Ion and standard armour saves with AP would have been very fiddly (and makes doing a chart and printing it out to take to the game with you a really useful play aid). In the final rules you get one save, so most of the time you will just be ignoring Ion Shields unless you are running a Lancer or Atrapos.

The Knights

Knight Questoris

There are five flavours of Knight Questoris, the Errant, Paladin, Warden, Gallant and Crusader. They all cost 180 points.

All of these have Move 8″, 3+ Save, CAF+8, Morale 2+ and 3 wounds. This means that they’re reasonably fast, reasonably tough and very good in melee. The difference between the flavours is loudout. These loadouts are often fixed, but there are two upgrades that you can purchase, and both are worth looking at.

Knight Errant

Packing a Thermal Cannon, Heavy Stubber and Reaper Chainsword, this is a close support knight that specialises in anti-vehicle/super heavy action. The Thermal Cannon has Engine Killer (1) below 6″, and Demolisher and Anti-Tank at any range. From 6-12″ it gets 2 dice hitting on 4+ at AP-3, below 6″ it is 1 dice hitting on 3+ at AP-4. This means that if you are shooting at a squadron of standard battle tanks you want to be 6-12″ away, and shooting at a single titan or super heavy you want to be within 6″, as AP-4 and Engine Killer 1 means a single hit does as much damage as two hits at longer range. I would recommend buying the Rocket Pod and Thunderstrike Gauntlet for this knight for more long range shooting and the ability to punch buildings.

Knight Paladin

Trades the Thermal Cannon on the Knight Errant for a Rapid Fire Battlecannon, turning it into a medium range duellist. The RF battlecannon has a 28″ range, 2 dice, 4+ to hit and AP-2, and Rapid Fire (so a 6 to hit becomes two hits) and isn’t tied to targeting vehicles/non vehicles. It pairs nicely with the Rocket Pod, which also adds general purpose firepower, and the Thunderstrike is 2 points for the ability to punch buildings.

Knight Warden

The anti-infantry version, with a Questoris-Avenger Gatling Cannon, meltagun and Reaper Chainsword. The Avenger Gatling Cannon has 5 dice, 5+ to hit, AP -2, Light AT and Rapid Fire. This means half the hits will generate a second hit, and you’ll mow down infantry and dreadnoughts, but you’ll likely bounce hard off any reasonable tank detachment, even with a 6″ melta gun giving you a single dice Anti-Tank attack.

Knight Gallant

One reaper chainsword, one thunderstrike gauntlet and the awesome power of a meltagun to shoot at targets up to 6″ away. Your shooting is abysmal, but two Rend weapons mean you roll 4D6+8 in melee. You can also punch two buildings if take two Thunderstrikes. Fighting a super heavy it means you’ll very likely win, but winning only does one wound because you don’t have the Engine Killer rule. You’ll want to be charging as often as possible with this knight, so there is an argument for not taking a Rocket Pod.

The big question is if you are spending 180/185 points for a melee knight, why aren’t you spending 215 and getting a Cerastus Knight Lancer instead or 235 and getting a Knight Atrapos.

Knight Crusader

The all guns knight, with either the Avenger Gatling plus Thermal Cannon or the RF Battlecannon plus Thermal Cannon. I would recommend the RF Battlecannon plus Thermal Cannon, as both can hit vehicles hard. Knights aren’t titans, and can’t split their fire, so going for an anti-infantry and anti-tank weapon to be a jack of all trades is a mistake. Take the Rocket Pod for more general purpose firepower.


The Knight Errant, Paladin and Crusader would be my picks. The Errant is solid against heavy armour, and still has CAF +8 with rending to massacre things in combat. The Paladin is a good general unit with good anti-anything firepower and good melee. The Crusader with battlecannon, thermal cannon and rocket pod has a lot of dice to throw against anything out there.

Acheron Knights. Credit – Soggy

Cerastus Knights

There are three types of Cerastus, the Acheron, Castigator and Lancer. They have Furious Charge, giving them +2 to CAF on the charge rather than +1, and they have CAF +11 base anyway, making them melee monsters against anything smaller than a Reaver Titan with a melee weapon.


An Acheron pattern flame cannon and a chainfist with built in twin-linked heavy bolters gives this knight decent anti-infantry firepower (the flamecannon has 3 dice, 4+ to hit, AP-2 and ignores cover, so it can get infantry out of buildings) and 3d6+11 in melee.

If the flame cannon had used the template like the Malcador Infernus, I’d be recommending it, but it doesn’t.


A Castigator Pattern Bolt Cannon and Tempest Warblade give you, again, reasonable anti-infantry/walker/cav/light vehicle firepower and good melee. The Bolt Cannon is 4 dice 5+ to hit AP-2, but has Light AT. Rapid Fire means half your hits will double, but Light AT means you’ll ping off vehicle armour. Shieldbane means you can still down Void Shields, and while there are lots of better ways of downing Void Shields, it’s better than nothing.


The Shock Lance and Ion Gauntlet Shield mean this knight behaves very differently. Your shooting (6″ range, 2 dice, 5+, AP-2) is general purpose but not the point of taking this knight. The Shock Lance gives you Rend and Reach. Rend make you 3d6+11 (3d6+13 on the charge) but Reach lets you engage multiple enemies. Reach (page 84) says that if you are engaged with a Detachment you can choose to fight other models within 2″ that are not paired off against another model, have not fought and are in the same combat. You decide which models you fight and can do this one at a time.

This lets you hit an entire detachment with your Lancer. Imagine you’ve charged into a Detachment of four Sicaran tanks and placed yourself to be base to base with one tank, and within two inches of the other three. Your lancer rolls 3d6+13, and the Sicarans are CAF+2. You mathmatically can’t lose the first combat, are incredibly likely to win the second and third and can choose not to fight the fourth tank if you aren’t feeling lucky (though you are very likely to win).

The Lancer also has an Ion Shield save of 3+, making it actually useful and against anything about AP 0, worth taking the Ion shield save.


The Lancer is the clear winner here, and also the most common Cerastus knight for people to have due to it being in the Adeptus Titanicus Starter Set. Careful placement means a Lancer can wreck single wound tank, dreadnought or infantry formations in an assault using Reach, while the Acheron and Castigator do things that other detachments can do for less points.

House Temporis Acastus. Credit – IG @samuel_fenwick


The Acastus comes with two loadouts, one the plastic model and one the substantially pricier Forgeworld model which has a much more Mechanicum Knight aesthetic. You can guess which one I prefer. They’re the slowest knight at 6″ move, the least punchy in melee at CAF +7 and no close combat weapon to give them Rend, but a 2+ save means they’re the toughest, and Blessed Auto-Simulacra lets them repair themselves when they are damaged but not destroyed.

It’s worth saying these are not the monsters they are in Titanicus.

Magna Lascannon loadout

Armed with two twin Magna Lascannons, acastus lascannon or autocannon, ironstorm missile pod or helios defence missiles.

I’d recommend going all in on anti-tank. The Magna Lascannons give you 4 dice at 25″ range, with AP-3 and Accurate, meaning you’ll average 3 hits. The lascannons give you another anti-tank dice, and the ironstorm missile pod gives you 3 dice 25″ range Light AT.

Autocannons would give you 3 dice with a shorter range and also Light AT, and the Helios defence missiles are really good against aircraft but this is a knight not a titan and you can’t split fire.

Conversion Beam loadout

This is a fixed loadout with no options. You get two Conversion Beam Cannon, a Volkite Culverin and a Karacnos Mortar Battery.

The Conversion Beam Cannon have different profiles at different ranges, and basically you want to shoot at things 18-35″ away, where you get two dice per cannon, hit on 3+ and have AP-4. 35″ is a pretty long range for LI, and you’ll reliably punch through the armour of anything on the board (think super heavies and titans, as 2+ save becomes 6+). At above 6″ you have Demolisher, which goes well with AP-4 and 4 dice for knocking down buildings.

The Karacnos mortar is 30″, not tied to a target type, ignores cover and is AP-1, so you’ll get another hit on average. The Vulkite Culverin is a 14″ 2 dice weapon and Light, so it isn’t going to be shooting anything big. Deflagrate is nice to have, but even if everything hit and wounded that would still be only a max of 4 potential wounds, and in a range bracket where your conversion beams only roll 1 dice each.


Both variants are basically big shooty guys there to punch through vehicle and super heavy armour. The Magna-Lascannon loadout is more reliable for doing it’s job (as getting close to it doesn’t significantly reduce it’s firepower) and accurate really helps if you have an attack of the bad dice. At 250 points a model, it’s not that much cheaper than a Warhound, which let’s you take titan weapons, have void shields and split fire.

Imperial Knights - Armiger Helverins
Imperial Knights – Armiger Helverins
Credit: Pendulin


These little resin doofuses cost you 180 points for 3. The downside is that they’re a lot of cash from Forgeworld for the minis as you’ll want three of the same type and they come packaged with two Warglaive and one Helverin. They are all Move 8″, Save 3+, CAF+6, Morale 2+ and 2 wounds.


The Warglaive has a Thermal Spear and Reaper Chain Cleaver. The Thermal Spear gives them an 8″ 1 dice 3+ to hit AP-3 Demolisher Engine Killer (1) attack, meaning that they can toast a heavy tank or knock a big chunk of wounds off a titan if they can get close. The Chain Glaive gives them Rend, making then 3d6+6 in melee.

These are small and Nimble, meaning they ignore penalties for Difficult Terrain, and they are great for jumping on and murdering enemy armour in a high cover/low LOS environment, like a dense city scape.


These are absolute trash for the points, with a 2 dice Light AT attack that means they are outgunned by Aethon Heavy Sentinels which clock in at less than a third of the price per model. No Rend means they’re vulnerable to getting mobbed in combat, and you don’t want to put these in a detachment with Warglaives because they’ll want to shoot at infantry not tanks.


The Helverin is a lovely model, but the Warglaive is actually useful as a skirmisher/ambush unit to make your opponent regret bringing heavy armour into narrow streets or a dense forest.

While these have a 3+ save and 2 wounds, so do Malcadors and leaving them out in the open isn’t a great idea either.


Mechanicum Knights

I’m going to talk about these separately, as they all have unique loadouts and in some cases behave significantly differently to the base chassis.

Knight Styrix

This is for clearing infantry, and packs a Volkite Chieorovile (range 12″, 3 dice, 4+ to hit, AP-2) which has Deflagrate, Light AT and Shieldbane. This means it can knock down voids, but is terrible against vehicles and good at microwaving infantry and getting extra hits from Deflagrate. The Graviton Gun is a great anti-armour weapon due to the Graviton Pulse rule, but has a range of only 6″ and AP -1.

The Hekaton Siege Claw gives Rend and Wrecker (3) with AP-5, meaning it’s great for tearing down buildings.

Blessed Auto-Simulacra gives it a 5+ Heal for each wound it has in the end phase.

Knight Magaera

A heavy fire support knight, the Lightning Cannon is a 3″ Blast weapon with a range of 22″ and 2 shots. It hits models under the template on a 5+ with AP-2. Potentially this is very nasty, but a sensible opponent isn’t grouping models together so whole detachments get caught under Blast templates.

The Phased Plasma Fusil is a nice Light AT weapon, and the Hekaton Siege Claw and Blessed Auto-Simulacra work exactly the same as on the Knight Styrix.

Cerastus Knight Atrapos by Thundercloud

Cerastus Knight Atrapos

This is the Knight that knows it’s competition is the Lancer and hasn’t been skipping the gym. It’s an assassin designed to murder super heavy tanks, knights and titans (if you can multi-charge two stormhammers, you’ll kill two stormhammers), and you’re very likely to strip two wounds off a Warhound or Reaver.

Macro Extinction Protocols mean you can reroll all failed hit rolls when shooting at a Super Heavy, Knight or Titan detachment, and reroll one dice in fights. You have Furious Charge, for +2 when you charge in. The Las Cutter isn’t just an incredibly nasty short range anti tank gun (6″ range, 2+ to hit, AP-4) but it has Rend, Engine Killer (1) and Wrecker (3).

On the charge you are 3d6+13, rerolling one dice against super-heavies, knights and titans, and doing two wounds if you win.

For shooting the Graviton Singularity Cannon has 16″ range, 2 shots, hits on 3+, AP-3, Armourbane (enemy reroll successful saves) and Collapsing Singularity (roll a dice before firing, on a 1 take a wound, on a 6 ignore Ions, Invulnerables and Void Shields).

The Atrapos also has an Ion shield worth using that protects it from incoming fire.

This is a cold blooded knife fighter designed to eliminate high value targets and knights, and it could conceivable take out a Warhound or Dire Wolf if their Void shields are down in a single turn of shooting.

Mechanicum Knight Moirax Talon

Not every Mechanicum unit can be super cool, and these are 200 points for three. Lightning locks are better than Armiger Autocannon as they aren’t light AT and are AP-2, but it’s still 2 dice hitting on 5+ on a 66 point model when there are dreadnoughts and Aethon Heavy Sentinels providing similar firepower at a fraction of the cost.

The Volkite Veuglaire and Gyges Siege Claw loadout is much better in combat, with 3D6+6 due to Rend and the ability to punch buildings with Wrecker (2) and AP-4, but the Volkite Veuglaire is another 2 dice Light AT weapon that will bounce off most things.

For 200 points buy another big knight instead.


Well it’s the Knight Atrapos, isn’t it, with the Knight Magaera coming a distant second. The Atrapos has a super cool model, super cool guns and a really clear battlefield role of shanking your opponents coolest units.


Knights are interesting, characterful, and a great support choice in a low point game (say 1000 points, where your 30% allowance won’t let you buy a Titan). But once you start getting to 1200-1500 points and Warhounds and Reavers appear on the menu, they are up against bigger meaner options with Void Shields and Titan weapons.

Allied forces come out of this 30% as well, so for Astartes you’d be picking between a Basilisk artillery company and 2 knights, and 12 Basilisks are going to win. For Auxilia you’re choosing between some drop pod Astartes and knights, and Astartes will likely win, given they’ll provide a hard counter to various shenanigans, including artillery companies.

If Knights had been allowed as a separate army choice (perhaps with their 30% strategic asset allowance having to be spent on Solar Auxilia or Astartes) or they didn’t count towards strategic assets, then it would be different.

Some of the knights choices are just plain bad (Helverins and Moiraxes, Cerastus except for the Lancer and Atrapos) and lack of point defence or the ability to split fire makes them worse (allowing the Acastus to split fire would really help it as a firebase option).

A lack of Engine Killer on most melee weapons means knights will almost always win a combat with a two wound tank, put a wound on it and then fail to kill it.

Knights are tough given they are multi-wound models with a 3+ save on almost all of them but their Ion Shields are pretty useless on most models.

The best of the knights (Lancer and Atrapos) have very clear roles they are built around. Lancers are there to slaughter an entire detachment using Reach, Atrapos are there to slaughter super heavies by either multi-charging them so they can kill 2 or 3 in one go, getting into a short range firefight, or running up and slicing chunks off a titan.

Armiger Warglaives are a great ambush unit and hunter of heavy tanks with their Thermal Cannons, or ganging up on something and tearing it apart with Chain Cleavers.

There are very clear reasons why Strategic Assets are limited to 30% of an armies points, but there is nothing game breaking in the options for Knights, and a Knight Household detachment limited to say one per 3k points and not taken from the Strategic Asset allowance would let them have some time in the sun.

The models for knights are great, and with so many available in plastic it would be great if they could be taken as an army in the way Solar Auxilia and Astartes are. The world as it is, they are competing with Titans (which everybody loves) and allies from the faction you didn’t take (which will likely have some really cool stuff) and they get pushed aside because of that.