With a unique Vehicle based playstyle compared to most armies, but each capable of matching other foes, Knights offer a challenge for those looking to shake up their gameplay.
Imperial Knights Tactical Guide | Warhammer 40,000 Tactical Guide
- Large Titanic Knights supported with smaller Armigers that work in tandem to cover their flanks
- Powerful Melee with good shooting support
- Really able to enhance your smaller army with potent upgrades
- Surprisingly flexible in terms of unit access, able to have specialised or generalist Knights
- What’s not to like about acting like a noble warrior who rides around in a 20 foot tall 80 tonne war machine whilst still proclaiming to be “chivalrous”?
- Armigers will generally need support from the Titanic Knights to reach true effectiveness, whilst also being necessary to the army for playing the missions
- Being locked out of, or them being hard to score, makes Secondaries sometimes a tricky prospect for choosing and achieving
- Armies that can deal with Vehicle heavy armies can skew the game significantly, whilst on the opposite end dealing with anti tank quickly can make you tough to deal with, often leading to swingy games
- Terrain has a big impact on your army, limiting your movement and firing lanes, whilst also offering nothing in defence to your bigger Knights
- Knights degrade harshly, and will quickly drop off in effectiveness as the game proceeds, meaning your expensive units need to make their mark sharpish
Here are some key points to remember when reading this Primer, mainly to save it being typed out every time. Don’t forget that this presumes you have the Codex, so some basic things may not be explained here.
Any of the rules discussed below apply only to IMPERIAL KNIGHTS models with the same <HOUSEHOLD> Keyword, so no overlapping or crossing of Auras (no TERRYN Auras or powers affecting CADMUS units, for example). There are occasional exceptions that will affect all IMPERIAL KNIGHTS units, these will be called out.
Some common shorthand terms found throughout-
- X++ means an invulnerable save
- X+++, or ‘shrug’, ‘Feel No Pain’ or ‘Ignore Damage roll’ depending on how you’re feeling, means it is a dice roll to ignore each point of damage, which is taken after any failed saves.
- ‘6s explode’ essentially translates to ‘An unmodified 6 to Hit does an additional hit’, so read that as ‘Does 2 Hits instead of 1’. Per the Core Rules, anything that might also happen on a 6 to hit (such as auto-wounding) does not apply to the additional hit, only the original.
- ‘First turn of combat’ means any rules that trigger when you Charge, are Charged, or Heroically Intervene.
- Indirect Fire weapons don’t need Line of Sight to target an enemy, but if they shoot at a unit they cannot see at least one model of, they suffer -1 BS, and the attacked unit gets +1 to their Armour Saves.
- Damage Reduction abilities don’t stack in any way, regardless of source of rules.
If your Detachment is Battle-Forged (which will be most armies) and only has IMPERIAL KNIGHTS units in it, you’ll get these rules.
It’s also worth noting that a Super-heavy Auxiliary also gets these rules, when normally they wouldn’t.
- KNIGHT Lances- Makes one ARMIGER, QUESTORIS or DOMINUS model in a Super-heavy Detachment a CHARACTER, and lets them refund CP if your WARLORD is in that Detachment, getting +6 CP if you have at least 3 TITANIC Knights, or at least 6 ARMIGERS, or +3 CP if you have 1-2 TITANIC or 3-5 ARMIGERS, letting you act similar to a normal army.
- Fallen Hero- One FREEBLADE in a Super-heavy Auxiliary gains the AGENT OF IMPERIUM, meaning you can have them in another IMPERIUM army without removing “Pure” army rules like Combat Doctrines, so you’ve got some ally options for other Imperial armies without sacrificing their own power. FREEDBLADES don’t have quite as many options as the “full” Households, but their raw power can often be well worth it for some armies that need heavier support.
- Unyielding Knight- Your ARMIGERS count as 5 Models for Objective controlling, whilst TITANIC count as 10. This lets you play the Primary missions much easier against smaller units, though you’ll still need to inflict casualties to larger units. Fortunately you also have…
- Objective Secured- All your ARMIGERS get this, making them much more capable of taking a point from lesser warriors.
- Household Traditions- Your “Chapter Tactic” rule, described below.
- Questor Allegiance Oaths- All your Knights (except FREEBLADES) gain an Oath provided all the models in your Detachment have the same ALLEGIANCE, be it IMPERIALIS or MECHANICUS. FREEBLADES must still choose one of them, and that can affect their own abilities described later, and should you mix them into a Detachment with a different Oath, they do turn them off, so be wary of that.
Imperialis- Vow of Honour
+1” to Advance, Charge, Pile In and Consolidations, and you also ignore any modifiers to Advance and Charge rolls to boot. A nice spread of movement buffs to help you get into combat, as well as keep the pressure on whilst there.
Mechanicus- Sacristan Pledge
+1 Wound to ARMIGERS and +2 Wounds to TITANICS, and every Knight heals 1 Wound in your Command Phase. Great defensive abilities, the extra wounds can make the difference between a Knight standing or falling in a pinch, as well as slightly increasing your damage brackets, whilst the heal is useful to grant a bit of longevity to the army in scenarios where they can’t quite be brought down.
Every HOUSEHOLD unit gains a Household Tradition, provided you have at least 3 non-FREEBLADE Models in the Detachment, and all are from the same HOUSEHOLD. You get unique abilities and access to a Warlord Trait and Stratagem. Should your WARLORD have the associated Tradition, you are also eligible to have their Relic too. FREEBLADES instead must pick a Martial Tradition, all of which must be unique in the army, and they can never benefit from the Household abilities or get access to their other rules.
Households marked with a * are IMPERIALIS.
Households marked with a ˣ are MECHANICUS.
Household Tradition- Gallant Warriors
Roll an additional D6 each time you Advance or Charge, discarding one. Helps you get reliable positioning and charges off, though of course less useful for your shooting units. The other thing to account for is Advancing will limit your Shooting output to almost zero, and barring specific rules, charging is off the table as well, so whilst good to have, it’s predominately a board control ability.
Stratagem- Glory in Honour!
For 1 CP you get +1 Attack and Reroll 1s to Hit in Melee for a Fight Phase. A great offensive boost for a cheap cost, helping you carve through a foe that bit easier.
Warlord Trait- Champion of the Household
Reroll Advance and Charge Rolls. Coupled with your Tradition this will ensure you rarely get duff rolls, though remember you’ll need to reroll all of the D6 you roll, so consider before you do so lest you get unlucky and roll lower than one of your existing die.
Relic- Thunder of Voltoris
Makes a Rapid-fire Battle Cannon +1 Str, and turns it into 6+D6 shots. The Str boost is fine, only really useful against T8 units, but the reliability of the number of shots is the key takeaway here, making the Battle Cannon much more efficient.
Household Tradition- Glory of the Charge
+1 Attack in the First Round of combat, a great offensive buff for any Knight with a melee weapon, and even for those with only Titanic Feet it can help out in a pinch. Obviously favours quick combats, though with inherent ways to Fall Back and Charge its not difficult to reactivate.
A Knight gets +1 to Wound against VEHICLES and MONSTERS for a Phase. Does cost 2 CP, but it’s a potent boost, especially as you don’t have to focus fire on a single tank, so you have options to split fire if need be. Less useful in Melee due to your already high Strength, but useful to have against particularly tough foes.
Warlord Trait- Master of the Joust
Advance and Charge, a powerful ability on a QUESTORIS, and indeed the only way to get that for them in the book. Best on a Knight that doesn’t mind sacrificing their shooting for the turn, though there can be times where it is useful to make a longer charge, so this isn’t necessarily a Gallant only ability (though it is best on them due to their much lower loss of output).
Relic- Mark of the Lance
A QUESTORIS Knight picks one enemy unit in Engagement Range after they finish a Charge Move and rolls a D6, doing D3 Mortal Wounds to them on a 2-3, 3 Mortals on a 4-5, or 3+D3 on a 6. A decent boost, though being reliant on the Charge you might get this triggering maybe twice a game. It’s good, though there’s generally more overall useful Relics.
Household Tradition- Hunters of the Foe
Melee attacks get Reroll 1s to Wound against non-VEHICLES/MONSTERS, and reroll all Wounds if the unit has 6+ Models in it. Another melee booster, and whilst no good against bigger targets, it does offer nice reliability against larger squads. Somewhat counter intuitive, as the full rerolls will generally only be useful for Warglaives, who will still probably find themselves bogged down against units of that size, though it can be useful for larger Knights fighting big squads of T5 units.
Stratagem- Bio-Scryer Cogitator Array
Lets you Shoot at an enemy unit that arrived from Reinforcement at the end of the enemy’s Movement Phase, provided you aren’t in Engagement Range and the enemy unit is within 12”. Whilst the range is limited, and you can’t split, it’s only 1CP for ARMIGERS and 2CP for others, making this a fairly cheap and effective deterrent, especially one something like a Crusader that’s capable of leveraging several guns at an enemy that arrives a bit too close for comfort.
Warlord Trait- Veteran of Gryphonne IV
-1 Damage from Melee Attacks. Being Melee only is a bit of a downside, but it’s still a solid defensive boost.
Relic- The Hunter’s Eye
An ARMIGER or QUESTORIS Knight gets Ignore Cover with their Shooting. A good all round Relic, letting you bypass both Light and Dense, both of which can make a Knight’s shooting a fair bit more ineffective.
Household Tradition- Oathkeepers
Your Knights count as double their Wounds remaining for their Damage Table, and they also count as having 1 Honour Point more than you actually do, so long as you aren’t on 0. The first benefit alone is great, ensuring your Knights fight at full effectiveness for longer than normal, with your big Knights still fighting at their top bracket even with only 7 Wounds remaining. The second aspect is a bit more situational, letting you reach your Virtuous abilities a bit earlier, which whilst nice isn’t strictly necessary.
Stratagem- Staunch Allies
For 2 CP, you can pick a Knight to Heroically Intervene 6+D6” and they get Fight First to boot! The catch is you must do it before making any other Interventions, which might adjust your movement and positioning, and can only do it on a unit that Charged that turn, so it’s not useful for getting up the battlefield or parking on an Objective, but rather for actually supporting other Knights. It’s still a good disincentive to any would-be chargers should they suddenly find themselves fighting two Knights. The fight first could also cause some headaches for order of operations if there’s multiple combats going on, though generally that charging unit will strike before you, so it’s just a nice bonus more than anything.
Warlord Trait- Duty of the Forsworn
In your first Command Phase, pick one enemy unit, and your WARLORD gets +1 to Hit them for the rest of the game. They don’t have to be on the battlefield, and given it’s done after Deployment lends you some flexibility to pick an optimum unit.
Relic- Angel’s Grace
An ARMIGER or QUESTORIS gets a 5+++ vs Mortal Wounds, and in addition grants the same to ARMIGERS within 6”. A niche but at times handy defensive boost to a common weakness of Knights, and being able to spread it to multiple Armigers is useful indeed.
Household Tradition- Close-quarters Killers
Reroll 1s to Hit in Melee. Useful against all targets, and helps offset a modicum of your degradation. Wounding is generally not an issue for Knights in Melee, but making the Hits in the first place can occasionally be a pain, so this is a welcome bit of help.
Stratagem- Slayers of Shadows
Lets a Knight ignore any Hit and WS/BS Modifiers for a Phase. Cheap at 1CP, this helps in all manner of circumstances, be it from special rules, Stratagems or even just Dense Cover. Remember that abilities which restrict the hit range (ie 1-3 always miss, such as what Light Harlequins have) are not modifiers, so won’t be ignored by this.
Warlord Trait- Legacy of the Black Pall
Shooting against your WARLORD suffers a -1 to Hit if over 18” away. It’s a decent defensive boost for Turn 1 or a backfield Knight, and being a straight up minus means things like Ignore Cover won’t apply (as its explicitly not Dense), but the range requirement isn’t the biggest, and so it can be quite easy to get in the 18” to deny it. Your opponent of course is then within 18” of Knight however, who probably has friends and big guns around…
Relic- Honour’s Bite
A Reaper Chainsword that gets +1AP on both its profiles, and also does additional Mortal Wounds on 6s to Wound- 3 on the Strike Profile, and 1 for the Sweep. A nice boost in offensive output, all but ensuring any targets without an Invulnerable will be pasted, and a good string of 6s can really help carve through a unit.
Household Tradition- Relentless Advance
When these Knights make a Normal or Advance Move, they ignore any modifiers to their Mv and Advance Rolls, and count as Remaining Stationary for Shooting. Great for getting around the board to draw Line of Sight or get in Range, or simply press board control without loss of firepower.
Stratagem- Order of Companions
A pregame Stratagem, upgrading a QUESTORIS Knight for 1 CP, letting them Reroll Hit, Wound or Damage Roll each time they Shoot or Fight. A great upgrade for the low cost, granting extra reliability on your output. Can be used twice in a Strike Force game.
Warlord Trait- Master of the Trial
Reduce AP-1 and AP-2 attacks against you by 1. A decent defensive boost, effectively making only AP-3 Attacks hit your Ion Shields, as well as being always active and so useful in Melee as well against certain units.
Relic- The Banner Inviolate
A QUESTORIS Knight gets a 6” Aura of Reroll 1s to Hit for ARMIGERS. Great for both Ranged and Melee, this can help make an accurate firebase, or make your charge a bit more effective.
Codex Supplement - House Raven
Household Tradition- Omnissiah’s Grace
A 6+++ against non-Mortal Wounds. It’s not the flashiest or most reliable, but over the course of the game it will stack up, especially when considering your innate Mechanicus healing. Effectively translates to an extra 2 Wounds on each Armiger, and 4 Wounds on each Questoris, which isn’t shabby, and there will be times you get some spikes and nullify lots of damage as the game progresses.
Stratagem- Our Darkest Hour
A CHARACTER that doesn’t Explode can use this instead of other “on death” abilities, placing a marker where the middle of their base would have been. At the end of the Phase they died in, they stand back up on a 4+, with 3 Wounds remaining, within 6” of the Marker and not in Engagement Range (or they stay dead). Costs 1CP for ARMIGERS, or 2CP otherwise, and can only be used once per game. There’s a fair few hoops to jump through here, and the Marker placement can be a bit awkward, especially if they died whilst in a thick combat, but the threat of this can alter an opponent’s gameplan, though as with other revive abilities, as it happens at the end of the Phase you can be susceptible to follow up attacks if it happens early enough in the turn, such as being charged, which whilst you can’t control, is something to consider to prevent it being a waste.
Warlord Trait- Knight of Mars
Once per Battle, the WARLORD can turn any D6 or D3 used as part of an Advance, Hit, Wound, Damage, Charge or Save roll, into a 6 (so a 3 for the D3), after the roll and after any rerolls. If your army is Virtuous, you can use this one per turn instead. Before Virtuous, this is a neat bonus to help in an instance where you need a guarantee, such as max damage on a Melta to kill a tank, ensuring a Knight Saves against a Rupture Cannon, or making a 7” Charge. Should you get Virtuous, this becomes incredibly potent, and whilst it may not happen often, it’s worth considering the spike in power the WARLORD will get if you get there.
Relic- Fury of Mars
A Melta weapon becomes +2 Dmg all the time, instead of only at Half Range, and also gets +1 Str. Makes them much better at dealing with tanks, or T5 units on the Thermal Spears and Cannons.
Household Tradition- Cold Fury
6s to Hit in Melee autowound, or 5s against TITANIC units, making your melee a little more reliable, especially when using Sweeps, but overall it’s not the strongest of abilities due to your (comparatively) low number of attacks. The TITANIC boost is fine if pretty niche, but useful when it comes up.
Stratagem- Controlled Aggression
At the start of the Fight Phase, you can pick 2 ARMIGERS, or 1 other model, granting them +1 Attack and AP in that Fight Phase. A great combat boost for only 1CP, whether it’s on a big Knight against a key unit, or just to boost 2 Warglaives that are fighting elsewhere. They can even be in separate combats so you can always have the boost there even if fighting on different fronts.
Warlord Trait- First Knight
+1 WS, and whilst your army is Honoured, your WARLORD can pick a Virtuous ability for one of your Oaths to be active for them at the end of your Command Phase, lasting until the end of your next Command Phase. Useful to ensure they have the relevant ability throughout the game, especially if it’s the Objective Secured ability.
Relic- The Headsman’s Mark
+1 Damage against MONSTERS and VEHICLES, and +1 to Wound against TITANIC. Great for both Ranged and Melee, this makes the bearer effective at breaking apart all manner of big things, whether it’s enhancing anti-tank weapons to even greater effectiveness, or making their mid level weapon able to threaten an even greater range of targets.
Household Tradition- Firestorm Protocols
Reroll 1s to Hit with Ranged attacks, provided it is against the closest enemy unit. Whilst there’s no range limit, you’ll still need to position carefully to leverage this, but the reliability it gives is nice indeed.
Stratagem- Saturation Bombardment
Grants a Knight exploding 6s for a Shooting Phase, costing 1 CP for an ARMIGER, or 2CP for others. A good boost, with of course greater returns on a Knight with lots of guns, and especially if you’re getting the Reroll 1s to help translate a few more of them.
Warlord Trait- Adamantine Knight
Wound rolls of 1-3 always fail against the WARLORD, regardless of other abilities. A decent boost in defences, though the already high Toughness of Knights means this is only really useful against particularly strong weaponry. In those circumstances however, this is very useful for keeping your Knight around much longer.
Relic- The Auric Mask
The bearer has a 12” Aura of -1 Ld to enemy models, and within 6” it imposes a further -1 Ld, and -1 Combat Attrition. It’s an ok debuff, if nothing special, and whilst can cause some Morale issues, you generally just want stuff dead in the first place. Cute, but realistically passable.
Custom Households basically, with which Oath you chose determining which Tradition you have access to. FREEBLADES must choose from these, or from their own unique list, letting you pick one (and only one) ability from a list, and they can’t be Glorified History or Fealty to the Cog. You can mix up a FREEBLADE with say an IMPERIALIS Tradition in a MECHANICUS Detachment, and vice versa, but that will turn off your Oaths for your army, so consider that when constructing your force.
- Front-line Fighters- +1 Str to Ranged Attacks when within 18”. A decent enough boost, and can push some weapons into a better Strength range for easier wounding against, particularly against larger targets.
- Glorified History- You’re from one of the named IMPERIALIS Households, but with your own colours and livery.
- Hunters of Beasts- +1 to Hit vs VEHICLES/MONSTERS, and +1 Dmg against TITANIC. In addition, you get 2 Honour Points for Lay Low The Tyrants if you kill a VEHICLE/MONSTER. A nice enough, if niche, spread of benefits.
- Noble Combatants- If you don’t reach the Inflict Damage step with an attack, make another attack, no stacking. However. It’s literally broken as written, as you can’t use it on Strike or Sweep weapons. So dropkick duelling? It’s probably meant to be usable on Strike only, but yeah…If that’s the case, it’s decent enough for pretty much ensuring you murder something larger, but otherwise it’s fine.
- Paragons of Honour- Swear an additional Oath for these models, with all the abilities, Pledges and Troths associated with it. This is an interesting choice, as it can unlock a good spread of abilities and ways to get Honoured, but of course there’s more ways to become Dishonoured so you’ll need to be careful.
- Strike and Shield- Melee attacks against you always miss on a 1-3, and AP-1 Melee attacks become AP0. A nice spread of melee buffs, giving you some decent protection in combat.
- Blessed Arms- +6” Range to your Weapons, and +2 Shots and +1AP to your Cognis Stubbers. An ok boost, though overall fairly middling, with the Range on your weapons being mostly unneeded, and the Stubber boosts are neat, but you’ll need to really lean into them.
- Fealty to the Cog- What’s the paint scheme of the main Mechanicus Households? Whatever you want them to be if you use this.
- Honoured Sacristans- Get +1 to your Armour Saves against D1 attacks, a good survivability boost against the plethora of anti infantry weapons out there that can chip away at you over time.
- Machine Focus- Reroll one Wound or Damage Roll each time you Shoot. A small boost for reliability, but across your small army size, every little helps.
- Steel-sinewed Aim- +1 to Hit with your Ranged attacks when using Big Guns Never Tire. Good to offset being in combat, especially for your Armigers. Your bigger Knights can Fall Back and Shoot anyways to bypass the -1, but could be useful if you can’t, or don’t want to, Fall Back.
- Unremitting- Count enemy units as having double models for the Blast rule. A bit too niche for general use, though it’s quite nice to get max shots on units of 6.
- Last of their Line- Reroll Hits against enemy units with 11+ models, or 6+ if they’re an ARMIGER. Not likely to come up all that often, but can be nice if you’re in need of a dedicated horde clearer.
- Mysterious Guardian- The Knight is able to arrive from Strategic Reserve as if the Battle Round was one higher. It’s fine, and good to protect against potential alpha strikes, but you’ll need to put them in Strategic Reserve in the first place, which will cost a bunch of CP
- Peerless Warrior- Once per game you can use an Epic Deed on this Knight for 0CP. You’ve some handy Stratagems in this category, but you’ll probably use this just to explode for free. More like Peerless Explosion, amirite?
- Mythic Hero- When working out if you’re Honoured or Virtuous, this model counts it as 2 higher. This can mean they’ll be different to other models in the army, and also means they’ll never be Dishonoured, which is quite handy for maintaining a particularly rule for them. CANIS REX has to have this, because he am legend.
Imperial Knights have mainly offensive boosts in their Stratagems, though their defensive ones are pretty vital for the army, ensuring you can stick around to do your damage. They also have a few utility based abilities too, but they are usually quite specific in application.
It’s worth pointing out (cos someone will scratch their head over it) that most of the Stratagems in the Codex reference VEHICLE in their description. This is to stop SIR HEKHTUR from getting stupid things like doing Mortal Wounds on the Charge. So I’m not going to repeat VEHICLE every time now, cos I’ve explained it…
- Calculated Targeting- A MECHANICUS Knight can use this in their Shooting Phase, and makes any 6 to Wound do a number of Mortal Wounds equal to the Damage Charactersitic of the Attack, and the sequence ends. With no cap. This can be heinously powerful, especially on a full ranged Knight, able to throw out huge amounts of Mortal Wounds. Carries a very hefty price tag, costing 2CP for ARMIGERS, 3CP for QUESTORIS and 4 for any other Knight, but the damage potential is well worth it, at least once a game.
- Full Tilt- Auto advance 6”, or 9” for an ARMIGER. Cheap at 1CP, and good for getting into position or setting up later turns, or used in conjunction with the certain Advance and Charge abilities to set up some scarily long charges.
- Thunderstomp- For 1 CP, your Knight’s Titanic Feet suffer -1 to Hit, but each Hit against non-VEHICLE/MONSTERS does 2 Mortal Wounds instead of wounding normally. Handy in a pinch but the accuracy penalty can be nasty, especially if degraded. Certainly not a go to Stratagem, but can be useful where only the 1 or 2 Wounds are needed to finish off something important.
- Impetuous Glory- An ARMIGER gets exploding 6s in Melee. Only really useful for the Warglaive. Will generally net an extra hit or two, but cheap enough at 1 CP.
- Linebreaker- An IMPERIALIS Knight Consolidates 6” (so 7” with the IMPERIALIS ability), and can move in any direction so long as it ends in Engagement Range, or at least 3” closer to the enemy’s battlefield edge. Grants a nice amount of movement capabilities for tagging, blocking or objective grabbing, good for only 1 CP.
- Martial Prowess- A Knight gets +1 Armour Saves when targeted by Melee Attacks, for the rest of the Phase. A great defensive boost, netting you at least a 5+ Sv against AP-3 attacks, and much more likely to shrug off scores of low or zero AP attacks. 1CP for an ARMIGER, 2CP for others, a worthy cost for a crucial battle.
- Pack Tactics- If you have 2+ ARMIGERS in Engagement Range of the same enemy unit at the start of the Fight Phase, they each get +1 Attack. Requiring 2 or more ARMIGERS on one unit can be somewhat overkill on many units, but for 1 CP this is good for ensuring a key unit is deleted.
- Pains of Old Night- Reroll 1s to Wound against a CHAOS unit in the Fight Phase. Cheap at 1 CP, but obviously pretty niche given its only against some armies, but useful when facing them. Works on SIR HEKHTUR, as he really dislikes Chaos.
- Skyfire Protocols- An ARMIGER gets +1 to Hit against AIRCRAFT in the Shooting Phase for 1 CP. Useful to help bring down a plane, but probably not one that’ll come up often.
- Thin Their Ranks- At the start of your Shooting Phase, 3 of your ARMIGERS get autowounds on 6s to Hit. Great for only 1CP, lending your ranged support a nice layer of extra reliability, and with no target restrictions they can carry on acting independently. Worth using almost every turn just due to the cost-efficiency.
- Trophy Claim- If a Knights model destroys an enemy TITANIC model with a Melee Attack, for 1 CP you gain 1 Honour Point, and this model gets +1 Attack and counts as being Virtuous for the rest of the battle. Whilst needing an enemy TITANIC, this is a great investment for the cost, boosting your slayer and rewarding the army a little to boot. Works on SIR HEKHTUR, incredibly. If you manage to do that, your opponent should just give you the win for the sheer awesome factor.
- Benevolence of the Machine God- A MECHANICUS Knight gets a 5+++ vs Mortal Wounds for a phase. A decent, though situational, defensive layer for a Knight, especially since they can be a big damage dealer to them. 1CP regardless of type.
- Death Grip- When an attack with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet is allocated to an enemy model, roll off with your opponent, getting +1 to your roll if your model’s base Strength is higher than the enemy models. If you win the roll off, that model can’t use Invulnerable Saves, otherwise the Damage becomes 0. You’ll need to slow roll to determine if/when you’ll use it, and there’s a decent enough chance it won’t do anything, which is a tad annoying. If it does work however, the 1 CP cost is low for what would at that stage be an almost guarantee to kill or at least deal serious damage to an enemy, though bear in mind the AP of the Claws themselves might not be high enough to be any better than the invulnerable already on certain targets.
- Machine Spirit Resurgent- – In your Command Phase, a MECHANICUS Knight counts as full wounds until your next Command Phase, costing 1 CP for an ARMIGER and 2 CP for TITANICS. Degradation is a problem for Knights, hampering your effectiveness fairly quickly, so the ability to act at full effectiveness is well worth it.
- Valiant Last Stand- An IMPERIALIS Knight that is destroyed by a Melee Attack gets to fight on death, provided they haven’t already fought that Phase, and don’t explode. They do count as 1 Wound, so will be hitting on their bottom profile, but sometimes that’s enough for killing a pesky enemy Character or bracketing an enemy monster that has done the deed. 1CP for an ARMIGER, 2CP for others.
- Noble Sacrifice- Do you like exploding Vehicles? Of course you do. So you’ll love autoexploding Knights. Costs 1-3 CP as your weight class goes up (so ARMIGER, QUESTORIS and DOMINUS, respectively). If it is used on a DOMINUS, you do roll a single D6, getting the 3D6” radius on a 4+. It’s costly on your bigger Knights, but the ability to devastate a large swathe of the battlefield on death is well worth the investment for the carnage it can cause, potentially finishing off damaged units, taking out Characters or just punishing the attacking unit. Once per game, as spamming this could get quite obnoxious.
- Recount the Virtues- A MENTOR can automatically inspire a teaching at the start of any Phase except your Command Phase, provided they haven’t done any teachings this turn. Cheap at 1CP, and the reliability is great for a crucial teaching, at the expense of doing multiple teachings that turn.
- Survivors of Strife- An ARMIGER can’t be wounded on a 1-3 for a Phase, helping them survive against stronger weaponry that would normally cause them a problem. A great defensive boon for 1CP.
- Heirlooms of the Household- The usual “Extra Relics” Stratagem, and in this case it works even if they aren’t a CHARACTER. Note this does not make them a CHARACTER, so you won’t get access to other things associated with the Keyword. There’s some very nice Relics for the Knights, so this will see some common use.
- Knight Baron- Makes a Knight a CHARACTER, and then gives them a Warlord Trait. Depending on your army build and Household, you have some good Traits, though some aren’t strictly necessary, however the CHARACTER Keyword does have some other interactions, mainly for Heroic Interventions, a handy boost in itself for a big Knight.
- Revered Paragon- Gives your WARLORD an additional Warlord Trait. A good upgrade for 1 CP, letting you make a particularly nasty and customised Knight, though it’s not always needed or warranted, so consider what role or task you want them to achieve.
- Exacting Charge- When a model finishes a Charge, pick one enemy unit in Engagement Range and roll 4D6 for an ARMIGER, or 6D6 for a TITANIC. Each result that equals or beats that unit’s Toughness does a Mortal Wound, with each 6 doing 2 Mortal Wounds regardless. A good way to add some extra damage, depending on what you Charge, being less useful against VEHICLES and such. Costs 1 CP for ARMIGERS, and 2 CP for TITANICS.
- A Squire’s Duty- 2 CP to grant an ARMIGER Fall Back and Shoot/Charge, which whilst expensive does keep your smaller Knights active and capable of targeting what they want to. Especially useful on your ranged puppies, for whom getting tagged in melee can severely hamper their effectiveness, though the charge aspect will likely be wasted so make those shots count for the cost.
- Flanking Manoeuvres- At the start of your Movement Phase, pick up to 2 ARMIGERS that are over 6” away from enemies, and within 6” of a Battlefield Edge, and put them into Strategic Reserve. They can’t arrive that turn, but it’s useful for repositioning for a later turn, and cheap for 1 CP for the flexibility vs putting them in Strategic Reserves pre game.
- Stormstriders- When an IMPERIALIS TITANIC unit makes a Normal Move or Advance over a non-AIRCRAFT unit, they take D3 Mortal Wounds on a 3+, getting +1 to the roll if the unit has 6-10 models, or +2 if the unit has 11+ models. Should this make the final result a 7+, the unit takes D6 Mortals instead. A decent way to add extra damage for 1 CP, though realistically you’ll need to be close enough in the first place, as it doesn’t work on a Fall Back move, and a canny opponent can negate it entirely by spacing out to prevent you moving in such a way.
- Defiant Fury- If a CHARACTER is slain, one ARMIGER can Shoot at the enemy (if eligible) that destroyed them at the end of the Phase, and can reroll Hits against them for the rest of the battle. Fairly costly at 2CP, though can help offset the loss of a Character.
- Point-blank Barrage- You can fire Blast weapons with Big Guns Never Tire, though each 1 to Hit causes a Mortal Wound on yourself. It’s cheap at 1CP, but generally you’re better off just Falling Back and not worrying about it. It might come up in situations where you might not be able to, or want to Fall Back, but generally you won’t need it.
- Chainsweep- When a Knight with a Chainsword or Chain-cleaver is chosen to Fight, their Sweep nets a further additional attack, but you can’t reroll any Hits. This lets you pump out a bunch more attacks, especially nasty on an ICONOCLAST with other sources of extra Attacks. For reference, most rerolls will stem from a Reroll 1s to Hit, which is roughly inferior to the extra Attacks you’d get, but it depends on any degradation or minuses to Hit, which closes the gap a bit.
- Rotate Ion Shields- Grants a Knight a 4++ for your Opponent’s Shooting Phase (so not vs Overwatch). Used when targeted, so it can be baited out slightly, but does last for the remainder of the Phase making you harder to shift. Does cost more for TITANICS, at 2CP vs 1 CP for an ARMIGER, so it will add up quickly if used every turn.
- Ion Aegis- A DOMINUS gets a 6” Aura that gives ARMIGERS a 4++ vs Ranged attacks. Used in the opponent’s Command Phase, so it can alter where they were thinking of moving, either to bring more units to bear, or change their targets. At 2 CP, this is better value than Bulwark, provided you have at least 2 ARMIGERS benefiting, and you’ll need to prepare accordingly in your turn before.
- Hurled Wreckage- Destroying a VEHICLE or MONSTER with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet lets you chuck a bit of it at an enemy unit within 9”, doing D3 Mortals on a 3+, and flat 3 Mortals on a 6, with a -1 to the roll if you choose a CHARACTER with 9W or less. Pretty niche for the 1 CP, with a number of limitations and then dependent on die rolls, but can be handy in a pinch (not to mention hilarious when it kills something).
Your paid upgrade section, with each being one per army and a model can only have one upgrade. Can only be given to QUESTORIS or DOMINUS CHARACTERS, and can’t be given to FREEBLADES (outside of a Freeblade Lance) which limits their application a little, but they offer a large amount of benefits.
Regardless of the upgrade, they all gain the ability to use their Bondsman ability twice per Command Phase. Obviously doesn’t work for a DOMINUS or PRECEPTOR, but for everyone else this is often worth the price of entry irrespective of anything else, letting you spread your potent buffs around your ARMIGERS.
In addition, each member of the Court gets a base ability, and a Noble Exemplar ability, which can only be used if your army is Honoured or Virtuous, and provides an extra boost to models under the effect of your Bondsman abilities (so again, not so hot for a Knight without a Bondsman ability).
They also have a Crusade rule, which is Crusade only (obviously).
Can only be given to your WARLORD, and lets you generate an additional Honour Point on a 5+ each time you would normally gain one. A decent enough ability to reach Virtuous a bit quicker than normal, or provide a bit of an extra buffer to losing them, averaging an extra Honour maybe every other turn depending on your Oaths. Not cheap at 45pts, but that’s mainly because the Noble Exemplar ability is fantastic.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- When you use your Bondsman ability, it also applies to all ARMIGERS within 6” as well. This lets you spread your buffs to pretty much your whole army, picking 2 ARMIGERS at 12” and then affecting others near you, which offers immense levels of offensive and defensive prospects for your junior warriors. It’s worth noting this isn’t an Aura, so the ARMIGERS can walk off and do their own thing as normal.
Master of Justice
Gain an IMPERIALIS Martial Tradition (except Glorified History). A decent boost for 30pts, letting you get a slightly more specialised Knight without sacrificing your main Household Tradition.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- Once per game an ARMIGER under your Bondsman can use a Strategic Ploy for 0CP. Ideal for A Squire’s Duty for a free Fall Back Shoot and Charge once a game.
Another CHARACTER within 3” of this Court member cannot be shot unless it is the closest eligible target. This is a big defensive buff, effectively adding an extra 24W to a CHARACTER, and especially if you boost up this Knight with more defensive Traits or Relics. Obviously without a Character to protect, it’s meaningless, and fairly pricey as whilst 35pts isn’t too cheap to start with, but the aforementioned extras can add up in CP cost as well.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- ARMIGERS under your Bondsman get Fight First, a handy boost for your Warglaives to give them an edge in multiple or ongoing combats.
When a Bondsman ability is used within 9” of this Knight, it can target an ARMIGER within 9” of this model, effectively letting you get a roughly 11-12” extra range on your Bondsman abilities, accounting for the base sizes. It’s a nice buff, and cheap at 20pts, which is actually crazy good value when you consider…
- Noble Exemplar Ability- ARMIGERS under your Bondsman get a 4++, which is already a great boost, but given that also applies to melee as well, which is a huge buff for your squires, letting them take much more punishment at all ranges, and overall leads to this being an extremely cost effective upgrade.
Whilst wholly within your Deployment Zone, Wound Rolls of 1-3 automatically fail against you, a substantial defensive boost against lots of common anti tank weapons. The 35pt price tag and requirement to be in your deployment does limit this somewhat, making it better suited to a shooty Knight.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- ARMIGERS getting your Bondsman ability also get +1 Toughness provided they are in range of an Objective. Bumping up to T8 grants a significant survivability boost, reducing the effectiveness of many weapons with an effective drop in wounding chance.
The WARLORD only, and lets you keep Honour Points you might lose on a 5+. Given it’s not too difficult to keep Honour points, this might not always be that useful, though a handy safety net in a pinch. 35pts isn’t cheap for that ability alone however.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- Lets you pick one QUESTORIS Knight (not yourself) per Command Phase for your Bondsman Ability. This can make a nasty Knight indeed, however a few things to note, mainly that you don’t get the -1 Damage component as that explicitly says you have to be an Armiger, and not being able to command yourself (which does make sense, whether you like it or not, TANK COMMANDERS) does limit the application a little if you don’t have a Knight that wants the benefit you can give.
Gain an MECHANICUS Martial Tradition (except Fealty to the Cog). A nice enough bonus for 30pts, letting you get a slightly more esoteric Knight ability whilst keeping a more generally useful Mechanicus Household ability.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- Once per game an ARMIGER under your Bondsman can use a Strategic Ploy for 0CP. Ideal for A Squire’s Duty for a free Fall Back Shoot and Charge once a game.
Master of Lore
If you’re a PRECEPTOR, you can use an additional Teaching that turn. If you aren’t a PRECEPTOR, you become a MENTOR, know 1 Teaching and can recount it on a 3+ as normal. A nice, albeit costly boost for 35pts.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- Lets you put your Bondsman abilities on ARMIGERS in addition to an existing Bondsman ability. This lets you stack some nice buffs, whether you’re looking at Melee or Ranged boosts. You’ll need to remember to do this after other Bondsman abilities (just in case someone gets really hung up on the timing), and makes for some hilarious combos if you do it on an ARMIGER buffed by another member of the Court.
Master of Vox
20pts nets you the ability to refund a CP on a 5+ each time you use a Stratagem. Knights are quite CP hungry, but they can already quite easily generate extra CP with Oaths or other abilities, so this may not strictly be necessary, but it is cheap as chips.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- You can use your Bondsman abilities on any ARMIGER on the battlefield, not just within 12”. Handy for a backlined or midboard Knight that wants to support an ARMIGER elsewhere, letting you be a bit less restricted on movement and positioning.
Whilst wholly within your Deployment Zone you get -1 Damage, a great survivability boost to keep your chunky Knight around a lot longer, a relatively cheap investment at 30pts. Whilst being restricted in your placement, the buff is great in the early stages of the game, and ideal for a home Objective defender.
- Noble Exemplar Ability- ARMIGERS under your Bondsman get +1 to Hit and Wound against enemy units that are within your Deployment Zone. A great offensive boost for driving foes out of your territory, as they only need to be within for you to get the benefits. Whilst it won’t always come up, the threat can be a good disincentive to foes looking to press your lines.
A first for 9th Edition (and hopefully a last, stupid Armies of Renown), being in the Codex, explictly to replace the old version as it just doesn’t work anymore with the new army set up. It functions as you’d expect, needing every model to be a FREEBLADE, but for that you get some extra benefits. Overall it doesn’t offer much, though a fully customised army has some potential with clever uses of the Martial Traditions, and it is cool.
Martial Tradition- Indomitable Heroes
Every Knight gets this in addition to the one they would normally pick, and it acts as a cross between the IMPERIALIS and MECHANICUS Oaths, letting you ignore any Advance and Charge Modifiers, and healing a Wound in each of your Command Phases. Both are handy benefits, if a little niche. Remember you don’t get the Oaths still, so no doubling up on the healing.
Every CHARACTER has this, which allows them to purchase the Exalted Court abilities even though they normally can’t and use them on their FREEBLADE LANCE units, rather than HOUSEHOLD.
Warlord Trait- Echoes from the Past
The WARLORD gains the Glorified History Martial Tradition if IMPERIALIS, or Fealty to the Cog if MECHANICUS, giving them the Household Tradition of your choice, letting you get some extra utility of choice on your Warlord. You don’t get anything else from the Household though, so it doesn’t unlock the extra Relic, Warlord Trait or Stratagem.
Relic- Bringer of Justice
A Reaper Chainsword that has +2 Str on both profiles. It’s decent enough as that will push you into wounding a tougher target on 2s (namely T8 for Strikes and T5 for Sweeps), but it’s not exactly exciting.
- Brothers and Sisters in Burden (Epic Deed)- If your army is Dishonoured, you can use this in your Command Phase to give a CHARACTER a 12” Aura that makes your Honoured abilities still active whilst within range, until your next Command Phase. A great buffer for only 1CP, as whilst becoming Dishonoured is generally somewhat tricky, it can sometimes happen, or you’ll need to take the loss of Honour to do something a bit more flexible as the mission demands.
- Strength from Exile (Epic Deed)- When a Knight is selected to Shoot or Fight, they get reroll 1s to Hit and Wound so long as they’re more than 12” away from other friendly models. Can be useful if you have a Knight off doing a particularly task, or to give a slight edge to one that’s lost nearby allies. Cheap for 1CP, though not always applicable in the early stages of the game.
- Deeds of Legend (Epic Deed)- Once per game, a Knight that destroys a CHARACTER, VEHICLE or MONSTER immediately can pick any Chivalric ability to be active for them for the rest of the game, regardless of Honour level. Great for 1CP, as it can open up an important Virtuous ability early, let a Knight no worry about Honour, and even get access to something not active for the rest of the army, giving you good flexibility for a usually easy to achieve requirement.
- Favoured Knight (Requisition)- A CHARACTER can have a second Relic for 2CP. This opens up some potent combos, whether it’s hyper defensive, two Relic weapons, extra utility or a blend. It is costly, and will likely paint a target on your Knight’s back due to their extra power, but it can make some particularly strong Characters.
Relics marked with a * are QUESTORIS or ARMIGER only.
- Sanctuary*- A 4++ in Melee, a great boost to offset a big weakness for the Knights, letting them last much longer in a fight against potent melee units.
- Ravager- A Reaper Chainsword that gets +1 Str and exploding 6s on both attack profiles. A simple but effective upgrade, though the Strength boost is often wasted given it pushes you to Str 15 and Str 9, making them rarely impactful.
- Armour of the Sainted Ion*- Gives the bearer a 2+ Save. A decent boost, predominantly against AP 0-2 Weapons, as past that point its Ion Shield time anyways. Also handy in Melee, letting you still have a semblance of hope against AP 3 and 4 weaponry, but at that stage just take Sanctuary.
- Helm of the Nameless Warrior*- IMPERIALIS Knight only. Any of the bearer’s Melee attacks that get a 6 to Wound do a number of Mortal Wounds equal to the Damage Characteristic of the attack, and the sequence ends. A potentially brutal melee boost, helping damage really stick with bypassing invuns, or spilling over to other models in a unit.
- The Helm Dominatus- The bearer’s Bondsman ability lasts on one ARMIGER a turn until the end of the Battle whilst the bearer is still on the battlefield, or until a new Bondsman ability is put on the ARMIGER. Decent to help an ARMIGER that is looking to go away from your main lines of support, however given the small board sizes and the range of the Bondsman ability in the first place, this might not be all that useful.
- Endless Fury- An Avenger Gatling Cannon that becomes Assault, gets +D6 Shots, and +1 AP. It’s a good spread of buffs, and lends some needed boost of output to the Gatling.
- The Bastard’s Helm- An ARMIGER can never benefit from Bondsman abilities or Teachings, however they get +1 to Wound to all their attacks, as well as their own Bondsman ability that gives another ARMIGER +1 to Wound as well. Not being able to benefit from a Bondsman or Teaching can be a bit of a detriment, however the +1 to Wound they get and grant is probably powerful enough to offset that loss.
- Mark of the Omnissiah*- A MECHANICUS Knight repairs D3 Wounds in your Command Phase. Explicitly combines with your Oath, so you heal a very respectable D3+1 Wounds in each of your turns, making you hard to bring and keep down if your foe can’t take you out in one fell swoop.
- Banner of Macharius Triumphant- An IMPERIALIS QUESTORIS Knight only, granting them Objective Secured, and you start the game with +1 Honour Point, though you lose 1 Honour point if they are destroyed. The ObSec only is good, and the extra Honour can help you get a headstart towards Virtuous abilities if you’re so inclined. The Honour loss could be an issue if you aren’t getting lots of Honour through the game, but it’s generally not a major downside unless they’re taken out turn 1.
- Mentor’s Seal- A MENTOR (funny that) knows +1 Teaching and gets +1 to Inspire them. You already know three Teachings, so this just means you’ll get even more options, and the +1 ensures they’ll go off. Whilst it won’t help the number of them you can do a turn, the flexibility is nice to have.
- The Heart of Ion*- A MECHANICUS Knight can take Mortal Wound at the end of your Command Phase (so you’ll have to wait a turn to heal it), but you get +1” to Mv, Advance and Charge, and one weapon gets +1 to Wound. It’s a solid tradeoff, though obviously don’t do it if it would degrade you.
- The Paragon Gauntlet- A Thunderstrike Gauntlet that gets +1Dmg on both profiles, and the Strike also gets +1AP. In addition, any attacks made by it ignore Invulnerable Saves on 6s to Wound. A nice upgrade, helping to make sure even the heaviest units are in danger of the Sweep, whilst the occasional ignoring of the invuns will all but ensure the target’s destruction.
- Traitor’s Pyre- An IMPERIALIS VALIANT upgrades their Conflagration Cannon with +1 Str, and 6s to Wound ignore Invulnerables. Both are nice upgrades, with the Strength being the main boost here putting you into that nice Str 8 range.
- Cawl’s Wrath- A MECHANICUS CASTELLAN makes their Plasma Decimator a middle road version of the two profiles, having +1 Dmg on the standard profile, but with no option to overcharge. Whilst the loss of Str 9 might occasionally be annoying, the always Dmg 3 and no risk of Mortal Wounds more than makes up for it.
- Judgement- A Stormspear Rocket Pod becomes much more reliable with D3+3 Dmg, and can also ignore Line of Sight. The better damage curve is the main draw here, with the ignore LoS being a nice bonus. Is this worth the Relic slot on an already expensive upgrade? That’s much more debatable.
Note that ARMIGERS can only take Traits 1-3
- Cunning Commander- Roll a D6 in each of your Command Phases, gaining a CP on a 5+. A decent way to get extra CP, but with other ways to do so quite easily via the Defend the Realm Oath, you can probably take something else instead.
- Blessed by the Sacristans- Ranged Attacks do an additional Mortal Wound on 6s to Wound, to a max of 6 per unit. This is already a nice bonus, but can really spread some nasty damage around with some split fire and lucky rolls, when you need it.
- Ion Bulwark- A 4++ vs Ranged Weapons. A dependable and almost always useful Trait, letting you use Rotate Ion Shields on another unit, making your Knights harder to shift by virtue of spreading the invulnerables across your Knights.
- Knight Seneschal- +1 Attack, and they always count as Honoured, even if the rest of your army is Dishonoured. This is a nice boost to ensure some of the key abilities are alway active for at least one Knight in the army. Works especially nicely with Defend the Realm, ensuring you always get the extra CP a turn (as there is no requirement for the entire army to be Honoured to gain the CP).
- Landstrider- A swathe of movement buffs, granting the WARLORD +2” Mv, and any Advance and Charge rolls of 1 or 2 become a 3 instead. This ensures a minimum 6” Charge, as well as the base speed increase, helping your Knight get into position easier and make charges a bit more reliably.
- Revered Knight- The WARLORD always Fights First, and you start the game with +1 Honour Point, though should they get destroyed you lose 1 Honour Point. A mixed bag, the Fight First isn’t always useful as you’ll often either Charge to go first anyways, or get charged piecemeal so it won’t alter too much in the order of fights, whilst the Honour points is nice to get a headstart, but can come back to bite you later in the game should they get killed. Canis Rex has this, because he is one.
Basically working like other “Priest” type abilities, becoming active on a 3+ in your Command Phase. It’s worth noting that FREEBLADES can only use their Teachings on other FREEBLADES, except for CANIS REX who can teach all IMPERIAL KNIGHTS.
All Teachings only affect ARMIGERS, and last until the start of your next Command Phase. Teachings marked with a * are 6” Auras, otherwise they are 12” range abilities that pick a single model.
- The Virtue of Courage*- Affected models get exploding 6s. A good offensive buff, applicable for both Ranged and Melee.
- The Oath of Justice*- Models in range count as having 2 more Honour points than you normally do. Good for making sure you have Honoured abilities even when Dishonoured, and can help push you into VIrtuous abilities at a fairly easy to get 3 Honour Points.
- The Folly of Mercy- The ARMIGER can make a Normal Move and Shoot whilst still performing an Action. A pretty niche ability as this will generally only apply to one of a few Secondaries or Mission Primaries you can take, and only being active on one model can limit your options.
- The Knight’s Faith*- A 6+++ in the Aura, or a 5+++ if they have a Bondsman ability active on them. A good survivability booster, especially on those with Bondsman active to make them even harder to shift.
- The Warrior’s Hope- Gives the ARMIGER one of the Oath abilities you haven’t got active for your army. You gain the abilities of that Oath based on your Honour level, and you can’t gain or lose Honour based on that Oath. A tricky-ish one to use, needing you to have at least Honoured active, as well as being in a position to benefit from that particularly ability. Note this doesn’t interact with the Defend the Realm Honoured ability until the next turn, as the CP isn’t generated until the start of the Command Phase.
- The Wisdom of Nobility- The ARMIGER under the effect of this Teaching can “bounce” a Bondsman ability to another ARMIGER within 6” of them, effectively allowing you to give two ARMIGERS the same Bondsman ability from one Knight, provided they are close to each other. Given the potency of the Bondsman abilities, this is a solid ability to help spread the buffs around.
The following are available if you have an IMPERIAL KNIGHT WARLORD when playing Matched Play or Grand Tournament Mission, with the usual restrictions.
Purge the Enemy - Duel of Honour
Before battle, your opponent has to select their WARLORD and the two units in their army with the highest points values to be your targets. Depending on what happens to them, you score VP for each one at the end of the game, depending on what has happened to them-
- 5 VP if destroyed by your WARLORD with a Melee Attack
- 4 VP if destroyed by any other Knight with a Melee Attack
- 4 VP if destroyed due to not being on the battlefield at the end of the game
- 3 VP if destroyed in any other way
You also gain 1 VP if the WARLORD is destroyed, but lose 1 VP for each of the targets not destroyed. Finally you generate 1 Honour Point at the end of any Round where one of the targets is killed by Melee. A decent enough spread of VP across the various methods, though reliant on your WARLORD to get involved, and less rewarding for Shooting, can lead to some odd scenarios where you might need to leave a unit alive to finish it off in later turns, which can give your opponent some respite, or just are unable to finish off. On the flipside, this can be ideal to punish key units in the enemy army that you’d probably be gunning for anyways.
No Mercy, No Respite - Honour of the House
Score 2 VP at the end of each Battle Round if you have more Honour Points than you started the Round with, or are on 6 Honour Points. In addition, at the end of the Battle score 2VP if you’re Honoured, 3VP if you’re Virtuous, and lose 3VP if you’re Dishonoured (to a min of 0). If your match up will favour you scoring Honour, this isn’t actually a bad pick so long as you can reliably generate at least 1 Honour a turn, as you generally have control over them, so you should be able to score at least 6-10VP on this, outside of unlucky turns that cause your Honour to stagnate. Note it is capped at 13VP, as being Virtuous and Honoured are technically mutually exclusive, and the Secondary is worded that they are separate. Might get FAQ’d, but for now, they don’t stack.
Battlefield Supremacy - Yield No Ground
At the end of your Turns, score as follows-
- 2 VP if you control half or more of the Objectives and have a Knight in range of each
- 2 VP if there are no enemy units wholly within your Deployment Zone
- 1 VP if no Knights end the turn closer to your Battlefield Edge than they started the turn, and no Knights have Fallen Back
You can’t score this Turn 1, but this can be somewhat easy to score as the game progresses so long as you press the attack, netting you a good 8-10VP based on the last 2 bullet points alone. Against some foes this is not a good choice however, as they can easily get into your via speed or Deep Strike, and not only deny you the 2 VP for that but potentially force you to move backwards to deal with them, costing even more.
Shadow Operations - Renew the Oaths
One Knight can perform an Action at the end of your Movement Phase, provided they are within 6” of the battlefield centre, completing at the end of the turn. Score 3 VP when you complete it, 4 VP if they’re TITANIC, and an extra 1 VP if it was a CHARACTER. You also gain an Honour Point on a 4+. Whilst it does take a Knight out of the equation for a turn, it can be useful in scenarios where they have no viable targets, or other Secondaries are no good for the match up. The other issue is the generally low scoring, as whilst you can score highly, it will take out a TITANIC CHARACTER to score well, and you generally cannot afford to lose out on their firepower or melee.
These are rules that will be commonly found across multiple, if not all, units in the Imperial Knights Codex.
Your classic 5++ vs Shooting remains as handy as ever, providing you a layer of protection against even heavy firepower, which given the sheer amount of AP on basic things nowadays, means you’ll be relying on this alot. The key issue here of course is Shooting only, so once you hit Melee it’s just raw stats and armour that’ll keep you around, and it being only a 5++ isn’t the most reliable thing, so if someone is spamming lots of anti tank, you’re still going to be failing a fair chunk. Fortunately everything has this, so it’ll generally always come up in game.
Your TITANIC units can Fall Back and Charge, and for the umpteenth time, Fall Back and Shoot is in the Core Rules for all TITANIC models, please go read the Core Book, it tells you lots of stuff like this that don’t need to be asked. In addition, you can move over all non-VEHICLE/MONSTERS as if they weren’t there, whenever you make a Normal Move, Advance or Fall Back. Shame you can’t step over things when Charging, but I suppose you are going into a sprint or something? Effectively means your TITANIC Knights will always be able to pick and choose their targets, so a lone Marine surviving melee with them won’t suddenly shut down a quarter of your army, and screening against them will require spacing out a lot, or tanks, giving you a modicum of flexibility in manoeuvring, despite your other disadvantages when it comes to things like terrain.
All ARMIGERS in a unit must be set up within 6” of at least one other model in the unit when deploying, and then they act as individual units from that point on, for the rest of the game. Effectively just means you have to deploy any units of Armigers near each other, though afterwards they get to roam around freely. It’s actually a fairly large area to deploy in if you have 3 in the squad, so it’s not too restrictive, just make sure you can place all the dogs within range when setting up other Knights, as you can find yourself rapidly running out of room on some maps, forcing you to deploy out of position, or be outright destroyed.
Another thing to note, needing to deploy 1-3 of your squires together generally means you have around 5 deployment drops to make, so the choice of Attacker or Defender when deploying should only really matter for terrain layouts (though if you’re playing at tournaments, that’s pretty much a fake choice as every battle in the 41st Millenium is on Planet Mirror City), so you will be out deployed. Consider this when it comes to anti tank units in your opponent’s force, as they will likely leave any prime tank hunter until you’re fully deployed.
I mean it’s a not a rule, but pretty much every Knight has one. A basic “sidearm” for light anti infantry firepower, the Stubber won’t do much by itself, but being freely available on all your ARMIGERS and QUESTORIS can help them stack up some damage against lighter units. Depending on your Household, you get either a modicum of movement/Big Guns flexibility, or hitting power with AP.
IMPERIALIS use Ironhail Stubbers
Range 36” Heavy 4 Str 4 AP-1 D1
MECHANICUS get Cognis Stubbers
Range 36” Assault 4 Str 4 AP0 D1
All your non-MENTOR QUESTORIS have a Bondsman ability, which provides a bonus to an ARMIGER within 12” in your Command Phase, lasting until your next Command Phase. An ARMIGER can only have one Bondsman ability active on it at a time, and only the newest one will apply, if you ever decide to put 2 on the same one, for some reason. In addition, no matter which Bondsman ability it is, if your army is Honoured or Virtuous, the ARMIGER gets -1 Damage whilst the ability is active. This alone is a huge survivability boost for your smaller Knights, letting them take many more hits from mid power weaponry, and require more commitment from larger anti tank weapons to bring them down.
Using the Bondsman abilities is crucial to getting the most out of your ARMIGERS, so be sure to look at the ways to get multiple effects off from your Knights to make them more effective. The range is generous so positioning yourself is somewhat forgiving, and lasting until your next Command Phase means you can let the Armiger wander off and do something else for a turn with their buff intact.
Your “Pure” Army rule that grants you set abilities based on your Honour, which is gained or lost depending on certain criteria you do, or do not do, throughout the game.
You must choose 2 Oaths when writing your army list, making this pretty inflexible, so bear that in mind when it comes to which ones you look at. There are 4 Oaths to choose from, and each has a Pledge, Troth, Honoured Ability and VIrtuous Ability.
- The Pledge grants you +1 Honour, usually by achieving a certain task.
- The Troth makes you lose -1 Honour, usually when you don’t do, or fail to do something.
All you Knights gain their Honoured Abilities when your army is Honoured. If your army is Virtuous, you get both the Honoured and the Virtuous Abilities.
- Dishonoured = 0 Honour
- Honoured = 1-4 Honour
- Virtuous = 5-6 Honour
You always start at 1 Honour, and thus begin the game Honoured, and no army can go below 0 or above 6 Honour. These unlock some nice abilities from the get go, but 1 Honour doesn’t provide much of a buffer for becoming Dishonoured. Generally, the Virtuous Abilities are good, but can be tricky to unlock depending on match up. As such, maintaining enough Honour to stay at least above 1 Honour should be the goal, as whilst being Dishonoured doesn’t impose any negative effects, it prevents you from accessing several important rules, like -1 Damage on Bondsman, and the Exemplar abilities of the Exalted Court. Whilst it can also be tempting to keep generating Honour when you can, don’t be afraid of losing Honour if the game requires you to do so, just make sure you have a decent enough buffer to not become Dishonoured.
All Honour gains and losses are calculated at the end of the Battle Round, so if you’re in a position to lose enough Honour to lose an ability, you don’t have to worry about losing it until the next Round. Likewise, you won’t be benefiting from any new Abilities until the next Round either, so that’s also something to account for.
It’s also worth noting that both the Oath’s Pledges and Troths are concurrently active, so you could in theory achieve both Pledges for +2 Honour, 2 Troths for -2 Honour or a mix. It’s even possible to achieve both the Pledge and the Troth on the same Oath, effectively giving you a net gain of 0 for that Oath. This leads to a careful balancing act of how the Knights behave and perform during the game, so knowing how they apply is important, even if it’s just to maintain equilibrium and stay at the Honoured level.
Protect Those In Need
- Pledge- At the end of the Battle Round, gain 1 Honour so long as a Knight made a Heroic Intervention, or a Knight successfully charged an enemy that was in Engagement Range of a friendly unit. Generally pretty easy to do so, as you’ll more than likely want to Intervene when the opportunity arises, though there may be times you don’t want to, or can’t reliably make, a charge on a nearby combat, so watch out for that.
- Troth- Basically the opposite of the Pledge. If a Knight that could Heroically Intervene but doesn’t, or if one or more Knights could charge an enemy in Engagement Range of a friendly unit but none of them do, you lose 1 Honour. This can significantly change your gameplans, and a canny opponent can bait out or force an unwanted charge with a sacrificial unit, lest you lose the Honour.
- Honoured Ability- All your Knights get Heroic Intervention, and your CHARACTERS can Intervene 6”. A nice ability to have, both for supporting each other and helping lockdown smaller areas of the battlefield, especially those around Objectives. It does effectively mean you must do so due to the Troth above, but that alone can offset the Troth with a single Heroic Intervention somewhere.
- Virtuous Ability- Each model’s Bondsman Ability can be used another time in your Command Phase. Great for spreading more Bondsman about, but by the time you reach Virtuous you might not need this just by the nature of casualties suffered.
Defend the Realm
- Pledge- At the end of the Battle Round, gain 1 Honour if you control more Objectives at the end of your turn than you did at the beginning of your turn. Easy enough to achieve if you put pressure on the opponent, and can also cause your opponent to overextend to take or hold Objectives out of your grasp. Note that it explicitly needs to all happen in your turn, so whilst your opponent needs to proactively stop you, as they can’t just take the Objective before the Round end, likewise you can’t steal any extras in your Opponent’s turn via fighting, should you be going first.
- Troth- The opposite, if you control less Objectives at the end of your turn than you did at the starting, you lose 1 Honour at the end of the Battle Round. This does make this one a little tricky to maintain, as you need to generally hold onto the Objectives you take, or at the very least move onto another one so you are at least still holding the same number.
- Honoured Ability- Gain an extra Battle-forged CP in your Command Phase, effectively giving you 2 CP in each of your turns. A powerful boost, letting you use many more of your Stratagems than you normally would, and also helps make up for lots of CP that may get spent pregame.
- Virtuous Ability- Your Knights gain ObSec, and count as +3 Models if already ObSec. This is fantastic and potentially game flipping, able to deny your opponent from grabbing Primary at all with enough damage inflicted and enough board presence. Whilst it can come online quite late, it’s well worth trying to get to Virtuous to open this up.
Refuse No Challenge
- Pledge- If at least 2 enemy units have been destroyed by Melee attacks, gain 1 Honour at the end of the Battle Round. Your Knights are pretty scary in combat, so killing units is easy enough, the main issue is killing multiple of them. This is one that you have a little less control over, as a run of poor rolls can take this opportunity away from you, so look at it as a nice bit of bonus Honour when it happens.
- Troth- If any Knights Fall Back in your Turn, you lose 1 Honour at the end of the Battle Round. This can be quite frustrating, as one of the key benefits of TITANIC is the freedom to Fall Back and still act normally, and likewise there will be times when an ARMIGER staying in combat is a bad decision, so this one could come up fairly often.
- Honoured Ability- +1 to Hit in the first round of combat, a very potent boon to ensure your Knights inflict damage in melee, whether it’s to get high accuracy, or negate any modifiers or degradation.
- Virtuous Ability- Reroll Advance and Charge rolls, another powerful boost, though as with most of the Virtuous Abilities, this becomes active comparatively late, usually by the time you’re already pressing the midboard and making fairly close charges already. Still good to have for last ditch attempts at longer charges, or to help ensure you get better positioning when needed.
Lay Low The Tyrants
- Pledge- If at least 1 WARLORD, CHARACTER, MONSTER or VEHICLE is destroyed by a Melee Attack, gain 1 Honour at the end of the Battle Round. If you can get to one of these in Melee, it’s often a fairly easy kill outside of the biggest and baddest things, so this can be quite simple to do, but conversely against some armies all but impossible if they either don’t have these categories, or can evade your Melee.
- Troth- If you don’t destroy at least 2 enemy units in a Battle Round, you lose 1 Honour at the end of that Round. Whilst this applies for both Melee and Ranged, this can be punishing in certain matchups, with Custodes, other Knights or Monster heavy Tyranids being tricky to score this against by sheer virtue of their small numbers. By no means an “autofail”, but can sometimes be a tough ask to avoid.
- Honoured Ability- Every Knight gets to a reroll a Hit or Wound each time they Shoot or Fight. Reliability is always good, especially for an elite army, and this is a great way to ensure your attacks count, vital for making Knights able operate effectively against the odds.
- Virtuous Ability- Once per Battle Round, you can turn any Advance, Hit, Wound or Save into a 6, after rolling the dice. A good, albeit extremely limited ability. Only applying once per Battle Round neuters the application of this significantly, and whilst powerful in a clutch moment (especially on a vital Save), it can lead to some decision paralysis on when to use it, and who to use it on.
All your ARMIGERS are CORE. There are currently no rules that interact with it, but it’s future proofed at least.
To the shock of noone, everything uses up a Lord of War slot. For the sake of ease when it comes to discussing stats and such, the units have been divided up into their 3 Classes- ARMIGERS, QUESTORIS, and DOMINUS. However each one is a seperate Datasheet, so taking an ERRANT doesn’t mean you can only take 2 more QUESTORIS, for example
Regardless of type, these will generally form the mainstay of your force, having a robust statline, acting as your primary Objective fighters and holders, and with both variants covering both your Melee and Shooting bases. Both types come in squadrons of 1-3, and sport a fairly standard VEHICLE profile, with T7, 12W and a 3+. With Str 6 and 4A, the Warglaives are well suited to getting up close and personal, whilst you’ll generally want to avoid combat with your Helverins outside of fighting the flimsiest of units. A fast 12/10/8 Mv means they can get into Range, Line of Sight and combat (or avoid it) fairly swiftly, and being non-TITANIC does offer them the advantage of benefiting from terrain to cover their advance (though watch out for Difficult Ground). They degrade fairly sharpish though, as both their WS and BS sit at 3/4/5, and they degrade at 4-6W, and 1-3W, respectively.
They all Explode for D3 Mortals in 6”.
Sporting two Armiger Autocannons, these shred Infantry and big things alike, with each gun chucking out 2D3 Str 7 -2 Dmg 3 shots, and at a mighty 60” Range pretty much all the board is a target, visibility permitting. They can have a Stubber, or for +5pts a Meltagun. Great for holding your backfield whilst still laying down nasty fire support, it also keeps them away from melee as long as possible, where they are far less effective, with their weapons being Heavy, and of course, not being able to fight their way out too effectively (though their cannons aren’t Blast so you can use them in a pinch). Whilst they can struggle against particularly tough units, especially those with T8, 2+ Svs, Invulnerable Saves or AP reductions, as a support element they are a solid choice for softening or killing most targets. 155pts makes them the slightly more expensive of the two, so going for lots of them will result in a slightly trimmer than usual army.
The Warglaive is a good all round unit for dealing with numerous unit types and pushing for Objectives. For anti-tank and anti-elite unit damage dealing they have their Thermal Spear at range, effectively a Multi-melta with +6” Range and +1 Str, whilst in Melee they can Strike with their Reaper Chain-cleaver, hitting Str+4 AP-4 Dmg 3. For lighter units they do have to resort to Melee only, but their Sweep hits at a nice AP-3, and whilst only D1, it does double your attacks
They can also upgrade their Stubber to a Meltagun for 5pts to further hone in on the anti-tank role. Generally you won’t be one-shotting a tank however, outside of some good luck, so you’ll need to finish it off in melee or with other units. At 145pts, they’ll likely be one of the mainstay units for the army, able to deal with most units and scenarios well, and ideal for supporting your larger Knights with more output and that all important ObSec.
Your typical “big” Knights, QUESTORIS all have a beefy T8 24W and 3+ Sv, as well as 4A at Str 8. As with the Armigers, they degrade quite harshly, dropping at 7-12W remaining, and 1-6W remaining, with both WS and BS going from 3/4/5, and Mv reducing from 10/8/6, so a weakened Knight will have a drastically reduced output. Dealing with units that can threaten you as a priority is therefore key. Being TITANIC does also make it occasionally tricky to manoeuvre, and Obscuring is your bane, however by working in tandem with the Armigers to flush them out, you have a number of options, and your firepower and melee is potent enough that you should be able to deal with most units. A thing worth mentioning with these big Knights is that, on a raw points for points efficiency note, it’s unlikely you’ll make a Knights points cost back in a single turn, instead you’ll need to focus on their long term trades, or how much it has taken your foe to deal with them.
All of them Explode for a nasty D6 Mortal Wounds, albeit in a somewhat unreliable 2D6” range, making them potentially deadly even in death, provided you’re in the enemy lines.
Most of your big Knights will have access to at least one of the following. Apart from the CRUSADER, they all have one of the Melee weapons, and either one is free.
Your “standard” Melee option, having two solid profiles for both big thing hunting and infantry cleaving, you’ll generally find you have most melee options covered with this, though it will be slightly less efficient vs models with 3W and T5.
Strike hits at Str+6 AP-4 Dmg 6
Sweep hits at base Str AP -3 D2, but triple attacks
In comparison this is a more anti big-thing melee weapon, ideal for taking out big monsters and tanks, or very heavy elite units. Be wary of getting bogged down by lighter more numerous foes however, as fighting your way out will take a bit longer, though small squads can still be swatted aside.
Strike hits at Strx2 AP-3 Dmg 8
Sweep hits at base Str AP -2 D3, but double attacks
All your big boys have feet (obviously), but you won’t be using them if you have another melee weapon, or you really want to use Crushed Like Vermin.
Str User Ap-2 D2
That’s it. No extra attacks. It’s not “additional attacks”. If you want to have better Melee, bring a dedicated Melee weapon. A novel concept I know.
All of your Knights will have at least one Stubber, which can be upgraded to Meltagun for 5pts more. Either one is fine to have, generally opt for the Melta if you have the random points left over, unless you’re really in need of more anti infantry.
One of three optional weapons you can slap on top of any of your QUESTORIS for some extra firepower. Good for when you have some random points to spare and no Court upgrades available.
Havoc Missile Launcher- Another anti infantry weapon, this one having the utility of ignoring Line of Sight. Hits fairly hard against Infantry, and can help chip away at lighter Vehicles to boot, both of which are handy to have for 20pts.
Range 72” Heavy D6 Str 5 AP-1 D2 Blast, Indirect Fire
Ruinspear Rocket Pod – For anti-tank, effectively a 3 shot Missile Launcher that’s only got Krak. It does come in at a costly 40pts making it often a tall ask to slot in, alongside the unreliability of it’s Damage often a pain to work with.
Range 48” Heavy 3 Str 8 AP-2 Dmg D6
Twin Hellstorm Autocannon- An anti-air gun, which may or may not be useful to have depending on your opponent, but it’s still some extra firepower for 20pts. Even then, it’s not the hardest hitting of things
Range 48” Heavy 4 Str 7 AP-1 D2, +1 to Hit vs AIRCRAFT
Errant- The midboard “flex” unit, packing a Thermal Cannon, great for dealing with big things and elite units alike with Range 30” Heavy 2D3 Str 9 AP-4 Dmg D6+2 (+4 at half range), Blast. Whilst it does have the downside of being reasonably unreliable in terms of output due to their random shots, it averages out fairly well, and the somewhat short range is often not a major deal either. They can sometimes be a pain to use against tougher units due to their comparatively low Strength (usually wounding most heavy things on a 3+), but the high AP and damage helps offset that. At 425pts, they are averagely costed, for a Knight.
Their Bondsman ability grants +1” to Advance and Charge rolls, and also gives Advance and Charge. This is great for getting a WARGLAIVE into a crucial combat, or to contest or even claim an Objective an enemy has a unit parked on. The sacrifice of the Thermal Spear can be a bit of a shame, but this can often be worth it to ensure combat or pressure is applied.
Another mid range combatant, this one comes with anti Infantry/light tank Avenger Gatling Cannon, hitting at Range 36” Heavy 12 Str 6 AP-2 D2. The reliable shots and decent statline make it a fine choice, and coupled with its built in Heavy Flamer makes it good for cutting through mainstay battleline units. It is particularly susceptible against various defensive abilities, what with Damage and AP reduction rules being quite prevalent, so it can sometimes fall short in output compared to other weaponry. On top of that, the ability to use your strong melee capabilities, as well as other units, might not make its anti infantry role as necessary. 435pts makes them slightly more expensive than the other mixed loadout Knights, which whilst not exactly a lot in the grand scheme of things, can make a difference in ancillary wargear.
Their Bondsman ability makes the ARMIGER count as 10 Models for holding Objectives. It’s not particularly flashy, but can help tilt an Objective in your favour. However the goal for Knights should be to soften or wipe units in the first place, so your ARMIGERS can pick up or steal the Objectives in the first place. Whilst this can be helpful in a pinch, it’s more of a buffer than something to truly build around.
An all shooty Knight, coming with an Avenger Gatling Cannon/Heavy Flamer combo (see WARDEN) as standard, and then a choice of either the Thermal Cannon or Rapid-fire Battle Cannon (see the ERRANT or PALADIN, respectively), either being a free option. The most expensive of the Questoris Knights at 485pts, but they can lay down some impressive firepower, making them ideal for a home objective defender or to act as a second wave to move up and hold the midboard as your other Knights press the attack. Whilst their Melee is lacking compared to the other Knights due to only having Titanic Feet, and thus combat can be detrimental to them should they get charged, it can often still be enough to deal with the last model or two in lighter units, or to drop kick a heavily damaged enemy tank. That and you can freely Fall Back and Shoot so its not like you can tied up outside of some rare special rules.
For their Bondsman, they grant +1 BS, a powerful boost especially for HELVERINS, making them far more reliable when healthy, and to still grant them decent accuracy when even heavily degraded.
A pure melee Knight, coming with both the Chainsword and Gauntlet for melee flexibility, as well as +2” Mv, +1 WS and +1 A over the base Questoris chassis to help both get there and make the damage count. Whilst you must be in melee to be effective, you’ll generally murder whatever it is you’re fighting when there, and your lack of ranged weapons (no your Stubber/Melta/Carapace weapons don’t count) meaning you can Advance Turn 1 with no loss of output if you aren’t likely to make combat. Whilst this can put them in a dangerous position, the counterargument is a) You have more than 18 Wounds you were never safe from Shooting to begin with, and b) Your opponent has to deal with you, as ignoring you just means you’re crashing into them next turn. Now being purely melee does mean you can be screened out against the targets you really want to fight, and chopping your way through a horde of lesser Infantry isn’t exactly a good use of your cost, so make sure you have ways to thin those screens before you get there, or at least get rid of enough of them that they won’t be able to fully block out your charge on their key targets. At 400pts they aren’t cheap, like all Knights, but the output and pressure they can leverage is fairly efficient for the cost.
Being under their Bondsman ability nets +1WS, great for a WARGLAIVE to really leverage their Chain-cleaver in combat.
Another general purpose Knight, capable of dealing with all manner of targets, their flexibility of their Rapid-fire Battle Cannon does have a “cost” in the form of a bit of randomness and generally middling stats, with Range 72” Heavy 2D6 Str 8 AP-2 Dmg 3, Blast. This is not to say it’s a bad weapon, far from it, as the good Dmg and Str make it fairly reliable against most targets, and will often serve you well, but those times when you need something more dedicated can be telling, so make sure you have redundancy for those targets elsewhere. It also comes with a Heavy Stubber attached, for some extra bullets. 425pts puts them firmly in the normal range of the Knights.
Their Bondsman ability keeps with their generalist theme, giving Reroll 1s to Hit and Wound. This is useful on either ARMIGER, making them a bit more reliable at both Melee and Range.
Chaplain Knight! Rather than a Bondsman Ability, they know 3 Knightly Teachings, and can use 2 of them in each of your Command Phases, giving you a good bit of flexibility to support your ARMIGERS in tandem with other abilities, helping buff them up even further, if with a little less reliability. They come with a Las-impulsor, a versatile weapon that can deal with mid range Infantry with their Low Intensity profile, shooting Heavy 2D6 at 36”, Str 6 AP-2 D2 and Blast, or heavier elites and tanks using their their High Intensity profile, for only 24” and Heavy D6, but Str 12 AP-4 D4 and Blast. They also have the option of a Multi-Laser (36” Range Heavy 4 Str 6 AP0 D1) for their Secondary weapon, but whatever. At 420pts they are an interesting choice, capable of filling the generalist role of a Paladin whilst potentially offering some unique and often powerful buffs via their Teachings, though that 3+ to use them will sometimes just let you down.
Canis Rex- A special FREEBLADE CHARACTER PRECEPTOR, he gets +1 WS, +1 BS and +1 Attack over a normal Preceptor, exploding 6s (at both Melee and Ranged) against non-IMPERIUM units, a free reroll on a Hit, Wound Charge or Save once per Battle Round, as well as Freedom’s Hand, an upgraded Thunderstrike Gauntlet that gets +1AP on his Strike, and 6s to Wound do additional Mortal Wounds as well, doing D3 with the Strike profile, or 1 with the Sweep. Finally, if ever he’s destroyed but doesn’t Explode, you set up SIR HEKHTUR, as if disembarking from a destroyed Transport, a pretty standard “human profile” INFANTRY CHARACTER that comes with a fancy Pistol (15” Pistol 1 Str 5 AP-2 D2) and nothing really else (note he does not have the CANIS REX Keyword and so get’s none of the Knight itself’s rules, like Teachings, Shields, the exploding 6s etc). However, this explicitly means he’s not counted as destroyed until SIR HEKHTUR is destroyed, which can be vital for Secondaries like Bring It Down or Assassination. Whilst Sir Hekhtur himself won’t last long with his T3 4W and 4+ Sv, it’s a neat little buffer for denying potential VPs. All this for only 20pts more!
Rex is generally a clear upgrade over the base Preceptor, the only downside being a FREEDBLADE and of course a Special Character, so is somewhat limited in customisation, as well as being bound to IMPERIALIS turning off the Sacristan Pledge for MECHANICUS Detachments, so just something to be aware of.
The biggest class of Knight, DOMINUS sport a similar profile to the QUESTORIS above, though are slower are 8/6/4 Mv, and have a worse WS of 4/5/6, though given they only have Feet to attack with, that’s not a major concern. They make up for that by having 4 extra wounds bringing them to a mighty 28, as well as a base 2+ Sv making them ever so slightly tougher. The slower speed is a bit of a detriment, and they don’t offer anything to the army outside of firepower, so it’s really got to count, and at a whopping 585pts base they can sometimes feel quite inefficient at times. They can absorb a fair bit of firepower however, and do have a high damage ceiling in terms of output, so they can’t generally be ignored.
Each DOMINUS comes with 2 Twin Meltaguns, and a choice of either 4 Shieldbreaker Missiles and a Twin Siegebreaker Cannon for +15pts, or alternatively 2 Missiles and 2 Desecrator Cannons for +30pts. Each Missile is a once per game shot at 48” that hits at Str 10 -4 and ignores Invulnerables, though only for D6 Damage, and only one can be fired per turn, making them somewhat lacklustre. Meanwhile the Siegebreaker Cannons fire 2D3 Shots at Str 7 -1 D2 Blast, at 36”, lending some more anti Infantry and light tank firepower to the army.
Taking 2 Missiles and 2 Cannons is generally the better choice, despite the higher cost, as they will generally be more reliable through the game, and the limit of one missile per turn means you’ll only see a return on them should you survive for pretty much the whole game.
When they Explode, they really explode, rolling 2 D6 instead of 1 to see if they pop, doing D6 Mortals to everything within 2D6”, but if both come up 6s, you get an eye-watering 3D6” range instead. A DOMINUS in the lines has a nice ~30% chance of exploding, and every now and then will basically just remove a part of the battlefield, which is always hilarious when it happens.
The long range variant, this costs you 10pts more but that’s generally a sound deal for the weapons you get. For that you get a Volcano Lance for anti tank, and a Plasma Decimator for anti elites. The Lance fires D3 Shots at a frankly unnecessary 80” Range, hitting at Str 16 AP-5 and a whopping 8+D6 Damage, along with Blast just cos. Whilst on paper impressive, it will on average struggle to one shot certain things, though it is much less likely. On the other arm, the Decimator fires 2D6 Shots at 48”, at Str 8 -4 D2 Blast, or can overcharge to Str 9 and Dmg 3, though at the risk of suffering 2 Mortal Wounds for each 1 to Hit, making it dangerous to both you and your foe. Both of these weapons will serve you well through the game, though both having random shots does mean they aren’t the most reliable. Whilst they will average out over the course of the game, that’s not really something you need with Knights, as every turn has to count lest you fall behind on output. There’s unfortunately no real way round it though, so you’ll have to remember for every turn it powers up and obliterates multiple units, there’s a turn lurking round the corner ready to send you to Whifftown.
The “close combat” version, though only by virtue of its guns being 18” Range, this one comes with the Conflagration Cannon for crisping infantry, and the Thundercoil Harpoon for spearing big gribbles. The Conflagration Cannon chucks out a respectable 3D6 shots at Str 7 -2 D2 alongside autohitting, meaning even on their bottom bracket this can put out some nasty hurt. The stats are decent enough at cooking most light to medium infantry, though falls short of dealing with particularly tough units. On the flipside, the Harpoon only fires a single shot, though it does get +1 to Hit against non-AIRCRAFT VEHICLES and MONSTERS. Should it hit, it does so at Str 16 AP-6 and Damage 10, plus any time it’s allocated to model (ie you successfully Wound it), they take an additional 3 Mortal Wounds. Effectively, if you hit it and it doesn’t have an Invulnerable, it’s probably dead, or at the very least heavily crippled. It also allows you the honour of being the best of players, as single shot anti tank weaponry isn’t exactly reliable, but then counterpoint, you brought a harpoon gun to a gunfight. On a more serious note, it’s not the most reliable, as after averaging die results you might be lucky to kill a Rhino every other turn, so it’s not exactly great. But it is fun, which is what games are meant to be after all. Whilst this variant is perhaps not as reliable as the shooty one, especially as their lower range coupled with their slow speed meaning they may not even do much in the first turn, but they aren’t as bad when degraded due to their accuracy buffs, and can offer some reliability when they do inflict damage that you might be sorely missing
A note on Forge World Knights- Some of them don’t have have the QUESTORIS or DOMINUS Keywords, meaning they are exempt from pretty much every rule in the book- They can’t be made a CHARACTER via Knight Lances nor count towards the Lance for the purposes of your CP refunding, and they don’t interact at all with certain abilities and rules. Now this will probably be FAQd, but for RAW purposes, consider this when looking at these models, and check with your TO and/or gaming group for their rulings on it in the meantime.
Otherwise they’re Coming Soon! as I have a lot of other things to work on.
So Master Tactician doesn’t say it has to be an Armiger. If you have a Princeps to put a Bondsman buff on a Questoris-class Knight, then you can use a free strat on it. Hello free Calculated Targetting!
Seriously awesome Chef. The detail and insights are exemplary. Give yourself an Honour Point my good sir.
Lovely work as always, Chef. Been using this article as a quick reference when I’m theory crafting and don’t have my tome with me
just got the codex and had some questions/wanted to see what people thought about Noble combatants and specifically how it works with thunder stomp. first i think the first instance of “strike” mentioned in the ability is meant to be “Smash” as it is in the second time its mentioned, meaning the sweep profile of the Hekaton siege claw from the forge world knights. Second do you get to rounds of attacks with thunder stomp if you have this martial tradition since the attack sequence end with the to hit roll and you get another attack for every attack that… Read more »
Nice useful article ahead of the codex release. Imagine also great for those looking to see what they might be facing
Great stuff Chef, a very insightful read.
Top read Chef! Thanks 🙂
So Abhorrents are now options for Imperial Knights? Think I spot a typo in the Questoris Section.
I love these Tactical Guides, been poring over it since it came out, trying to see what silly shenanigans I can come up with for a Castellan in my Ultramarines list. Appreciate the effort that goes into these! <3