"...who battled courageously during those times, some victorious, some not, but always in the name of chivalry."
- – The Five Star Stories
"There are acts of God you cannot fight; you see a hurricane coming, you have to get out of the way. But when you’re in a
Jaeger Knight, you can fight the hurricane. You can win."
JaegerKnight Pilot Charlie Hunnam, from the movie Pacific Rim
"YOU DIG GIANT ROBOTS, I DIG GIANT ROBOTS, WE DIG GIANT ROBOTS, CHICKS DIG GIANT ROBOTS! Nice."
Somewhere between a regular walker and a Titan, the Imperial Knights are large single-pilot war machines, similar to the Tau Riptide. Usually humanoid, the cockpit for the pilot is mounted just behind the head in the main body.
In other words, they're a Battlemech.
They are really a fairly fan-wanky insertion of Fantasy-style knights into 40k, which, let's face it, is not exactly a setting devoid of knight analogues; but unlike the others, this one is much closer to the original source material: aristocratic dicks in high tech armor suits grinding the faces of the poor while being grimdark and all knightly and shit, including all of the politics, incest and backstabbing that brings.
Funnily enough for such an in-universe niche unit, Imperial Knights (officially, Questor Imperialis) are currently among the most popular models from the 40k range, if the top-seller list of Games Workshop is any indication (Hmm, what does that remind you of?). This is with good reason; their whole design and grimdark medieval-steampunk style catches the eyes, and surely a lot of people are buying it just because it looks that cool. Also, for 150 Naggaroth Buckets you get a unit strong enough to be an army on its own, or it can join any Imperial force.
Of course this also glosses over the fact that a large number of them are Cogboys(Coggirls mb?) who work for the Forge World or Titan Legion directly. Such as House Taranis (see below) and replace their sex organs with drills, mechanical tentacles, usb ports or something.(or not modified at all. Which means they are damaged by Rad poisoning but don't expect an a long explanation of what happens to the human body in this article. TLDR it's cancer) In fact some of the best Knight Patterns are AdMech exclusive. Because no cyborg worth his salt is going to allow some meatbag whose parents who are blood siblings to pilot the best gear Mars has on hand.
- 1 About the Knights
- 2 Knight Patterns
- 2.1 Armiger Knight Patterns
- 2.2 Questoris Knight Patterns
- 2.3 Cerastus Knight Patterns
- 2.4 Dominus Knight Patterns
- 2.5 Acastus Knight Patterns
- 3 Times of Epic
- 4 Why Knights are Awesome
- 5 6th Edition and Beyond
- 6 Warhammer 40,000 Freeblade
- 7 See Also
About the Knights
The knights are affiliated with, or in some cases part of, the Adeptus Mechanicus (rather than being part of the greater Imperium's war machine). Knight Worlds are worlds which supply Forge Worlds with foodstuff and raw materials, specifically those worlds defended by Knight Households. The Knight World gathers foodstuff and ores for a set period of time (usually a year) before the Adeptus Mechanicus arrive in a drop ship, occasionally bringing new knight suits in exchange for the raw materials. Knight Worlds themselves are typically Feudal Worlds, which were easily brought into compliance during the Great Crusade, and which explains the rather aristocratic tone about the Knights. Knight World politics is fueled by the constant resource tithes and the possession of Knight Titans. Any kingdom that possesses a Knight Titan could absolutely smash a kingdom without one, so it behooves a kingdom to concede to being tithed in exchange for the (relatively) ultimate weapon. Once any given feudal kingdom has become a Knight Household, any Household that has more Knights is a huge threat, so getting more is always important. By the time that the escalation becomes preposterous these Households are already shipping knights off-world to cruise the stars and fighting things, so the extra-planetary losses constantly need to be replenished, lest the Households lose their on-world detachments to off-world conflicts. All that said, Knight Worlds tend to exist rather happily alongside their Forge World; Mechanicus get a defensive buffer and food forever, and the Knight Households get to continue ruling their chunks of the planet. Or all of the planet, depending on how far you can stretch a feudal society.
During the Epic days Knights were a complete fabrication by the Adeptus Mechanicus, supplied as battle fleets where the Imperial armies are in need of them, much like a Titan Legion is. Knights were a gimmick, given to Feudal Worlds that the Mechanicum settled near in exchange for getting shipments of food, manpower, and raw materials. This simplistic lore is no longer the case; apparently the original Knight Worlds were not the Mechanicus' idea. The Knights themselves are STC relics, dating before even the Dark Age of Technology. In a shocking twist, not only does the Knight STC appear to be relatively intact, the Knight itself seems easy to produce for any given Forge World; a rare case of the AdMech not shitting themselves. When Games Workshop released the new "heroic scale" Knight models, they also released new Knight fluff with them. The first Knights were actually colonists, arriving on new worlds during Humanity's first expansion into the galaxy at large. With no way of returning to Terra once they arrived, and long periods with no outside help, those original human colonies needed to be self-sufficient and the Knight suits were sent along with them, made for fighting against the myriad threats to their existence. Additionally, it turns out that giant stompy robots could also be re-purposed for peaceful uses: cutting down trees with their chainswords, blasting apart boulders with their main weapons, or using the sheer size of their bodies as cranes, lifts, earth-movers, and various other construction equipment. As a byproduct of the Throne Mechanicum bonding processes (see below), the Knights' pilots soon came to see themselves as protectors of their people. In the cases where these heavily-armed frontier colonies were never slated for further colonization, suffered a society-collapsing event as they grew, or otherwise remained isolated, Knight Titans were given the opportunity to become the industrial and military backbone of many of these worlds.
During the Age of Strife, when humanity at large lost its ability to travel the Warp and everything generally went to shit, these planets were guaranteed to be alone and afraid, fighting for their survival against everything they already had to fight, plus all of the weirdness that comes with BIG FUCKOFF WARP STORMS. The proto-Knight-World colonies (fully-grown at this point) regressed from large-scale industrial societies into what are functionally feudal worlds with a sprinkling of techno-barbarianism. Why did this happen? Well, there are a number of possibilites: fear and panic over the lack of outside contact could have sparked apocalyptic military conflicts or nuclear wars, the whole "robot uprising" thing that was also happening during the Age of Strife could have resulted in a rejection of automation, daemons might have invaded through a Warp rift, or the entire world could have been slowly ground down to the barest essentials of living by millennia of constant conflict; take your pick! The Knights themselves eventually formed noble households as time went on, or else noble households formed around the knights, due mostly to the fact that only a large-scale organized society with military force can properly maintain a giant stompy robot. By the time of the Great Crusade (more importantly, by the time of the first Mechanicum Explorator Fleets during the Great Crusade), almost all of the remaining Knight Worlds had dwindled to feudalism over the course of the Age of Strife, and in many cases the survivors were living threadbare on dying worlds, in great need of new raw materials or the expertise required to maintain the suits. This situation was ripe for exploitation, and some clever bastard in the Mechanicum got the great idea of using these worlds as combination Agri-World, Mining World, and military training ground. Several Forge Worlds and lesser Mechanicum worlds were established intentionally within Knight World systems due to the easy symbiosis. It is assumed that any Knight Worlds which were not in need of assistance (or whom the Great Crusade found before an Explorator Fleet) sided with the Imperium at large, as opposed to becoming vassals of the Mechanicum.
As a side note, in a hilarious turn of events, in this new lore these feudal Knight Worlds leveraged their ritualization and xenophobia to purge witches and deviant thought, and therefore psychic influence, from their worlds entirely. This created pockets of relative calm in the hellish storms of un-reality that they floated in, and thus they were saved from the worst of the warpy shit, allowing them to survive into M31 and the Age of the Imperium. This is even more ironic when you consider that in the Dark Age of Technology, they were considered to be little more than a couple of backwater colonies that were never taken seriously by the rest of mankind. Now the hillbillys descendants get to lord over the conscripted masses (in theory).
Knight Houses make a tradition of sending their Knights on glorious quests across the stars, which mostly involves going where the Imperium/Mechanicum tells them to, and shooting/punching everything dead once they get there. Knight Houses make a tradition of basically everything, but more on that later. These quests, which one can only assume are fulfilled by the Imperial Navy or Explorator Fleets (and *not* just jumping really high, as some fa/tg/uys suggest), must be chocked-full of silly fish-out-of-water scenes as the Knights must putter around the cargo holds of ships, interacting with Guardsmen, slaves, and Imperial navymen. Knights absolutely love going on quests, because *not* going on quests means staying home and doing rituals and ceremonies. The day-to-day lives and operations of Knight Households, and the noble caste that supports them on-world, are so regimented by ceremony that the Knights themselves *fucking hate it*. Eating, sleeping, social interaction, prayer, bathing (when it infrequently occurs), walking down hallways, looking at art, and probably *breathing* are so highly ritualized that it makes Japanese tea ceremonies look like a practice rehearsal of a theatrical production put on by a class of 3rd graders. You have actual, named, 64-part ceremonies described as happening *daily* in the Mechanicus codex, and those are only one of probably three-hundred-thousand common-to-esoteric ceremonies that could be required to properly perform a given action, formally acknowledge a nobleman's change in standing or status, or even to honor a specific year, month, week, or hour of the fucking day. And Emperor save you if you fuck any of it up.
The Throne Mechanicum
A Knight's Machine Spirit is of a particularly unusual type: to interface with the suit, an aspiring noble must first join with the Throne Mechanicum (the Knight's control system) in a ritual known as the Ritual of Becoming. Due to a quirk in the bonding process, the device retains an imprint of each of its former pilots' personalities at the time they were first bonded, and as a result individual suits will develop traits echoing those of their former masters. The link also affects the noble's own mind as well; exposure to the metaphorical (or possibly literal, since there's been at least one case where a Throne Mechanicum took over operating the Knight when its noble was slain by using the memories of its old operators) ghosts in the machine inevitably causes the noble to develop strong positive feelings towards the concepts of fealty and hierarchy along with a near-mystical reverence toward the noble's ancestors. Nobody knows why this is, but the Mechanicus thinks it may have been a failsafe in the original plans meant to ensure that no noble would willingly betray or abandon his own House or perhaps a means to guarantee that the Knights would be more inclined to act as colonial defenders. Either way, this benefits the Mechanicus rather neatly.
This kind of "ghost in the machine" presence exists for true Imperial Titans as well, though in their case the machine spirit is more of an AI/second ego, and storing past Princeps' personas is something that happens, but the Mechanicus try to avoid/scrub out. Go see the Titan page for a more in-depth comparison.
There are three types of knight household, though a fourth association does exist.
- Those who align themselves with the Imperium directly are called Imperial Houses, and act as independently operating vassals of a greater empire (much like Space Marine Chapters do), therefore answering calls for aid as they feel like, rather than being ordered to. Examples of Imperial Houses are:
- House Terryn - House known for its courage and honor as well as rigidly adhering to ritual and ceremony. Supposedly its homeworld of Voltoris is so peaceful and boring and the aforementioned rituals so tedious that it only encourages them to campaign across the galaxy, thanks to a law that allows them to be exempt from said rituals as long as they're crusading. (Their colour scheme is blue.) Has developed an intense grudge against the Tau after they tried to invade Voltoris.
- House Hawkshroud - A very Noblebright house, who believe that kindness should be returned tenfold and who answer any and all requests for assistance, which means their homeworld of Krastellan lies virtually undefended. Also have links with the Imperial Fists having been praised by the chapter master for their efforts against the Eldar of Alaitoc, and are linked by proximity to the Blood Angels. (Their colour scheme is yellow.)
- House Cadmus - Were once bound to the Mechanicum, but regained their independence and became an Imperial House when Gryphonne IV was nom nomed by Tyranids. Based on the mutant infested forest world of Raisa, they engage on mutant hunts every year, with the winner getting to rule the house until the next hunt. (Their colour scheme is green).
- House Griffith - A house of hotheads who almost exclusively make use of the Knight Errant pattern and come from a planet once inhabited by actual dragons. They are also one of the smallest knight houses, but remain one of the most respected. They engage in regular jousting tournaments using old fashioned horses, but wearing adamantium armour. Have a preference for close combat. They are also the favorite house of our lord and savior.
- House Mortan - A house only recently introduced to the Imperium after being cut off by a nebula which made their planet a night world. For thousands of years they fought giant monsters in the dark until the nebula dissipated in M35 and the Imperium arrived.
- House Drakkus - Featured in the mobile game 'Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade'. Known for being dead, and for having a rather fetching jade-green colour scheme.
- House Vyridion - A Heresy-era House. Brought into the fold by Fulgrim, House Vyridion neglected to do their research when the Heresy started and took the side of the III Legion. After a few battles, however, they began to get doubts and headed for Terra, surrendering themselves to find the truth. They were then imprisoned for their crimes and nearly starved to death before being freed... to serve in the Webway. It's not known how many of them are alive or if they even have an intact walker any more, but their Baroness did make a vital contribution in briefly KO'ing the Daemon of the First Murder.
- House Vyronii -
- House Varlock - A House based on Cyprus Ultima which appeared in Dawn of War 3. Worked with the Blood Ravens in the Acheron Campaign after the Blood Ravens saved them from an Ork incursion. This Knight House has a colour scheme of blue and white with golden trim.
- House Draconis - Originated from the world of Adrastapol. A world which houses multiple households, all with names that are similar to those of mythological creatures. Draconis is the largest house on the planet, typically being the house to unite the others during times of peril and hardship, such as during the Donatosian War, where House Chimeros and Wyvorn turned against the loyalist forces to work alongside the Word Bearers, which eventually lead to the traitor houses destruction. They utilise mostly Paladins, Errants and Gallants, with some Crusaders. They feature as the main faction in the books Kingsblade and Knightsblade by Andy Clark.
- Other households are directly aligned to the Adeptus Mechanicus and are based on (or linked to) Forge Worlds through what is called the "Sidon Protocol". Though they retain their independence from the Cult Mechanicus, they do have reciprocal trade and resupply agreements as well as swearing oaths of protection to the Mechanicum, often directly to specific Forge Worlds. Houses directly linked to the Mechanicus will have access to better weapons and technology than their more primitive cousins. Which isn't surprising because Techpreists tend to be greedy buggers. Examples of Mechanicum Houses include:
- House Taranis - The First of all Knight Houses (read Mechanicum by Graham McNeill). They were founded on Mars during the Dark Age of Technology, and were later the first Martians who met the Emperor before the Great Crusade, literally the moment after he landed on the planet where he said "Machine, heal thyself." and fixed one of their suits with a touch. This house has ownership of some of the oldest knight suits. For some reason, their Knights' Throne Mechanicum units lack the typical mind-altering effects that they would normally possess; nobody knows why. One reason could be that the pilots of House Taranis are loyal to the mechanicus first, and house second. Or Mars is hoarding good shit again.
- House Raven - The largest of all Knight Households, based on the world of Kolossi and have close links to forge world Metalica. Suspected to hold secret STC data which explains why they have so many Knight suits. Their fortress, the Keep Inviolate, is said to be one of the most well-protected bastions in the Imperium, on par with the Fang and the Imperial Palace, and appears on their coat of arms.
- House Krast - The first Knight World (Chrysis) to be rediscovered during the Great Crusade, its proximity to Mars meant it was swiftly brought into the fold, but had its homeworld ravaged by Horus during the Heresy, leaving them the only Household left on the planet. They have a preference for hunting traitor titans since the Warmaster's forces on Chrysis were led by the Traitor Titan Legion, Legio Mortis.
- House Vulker - A very wealthy but deeply mysterious house from a star system with vast mineral resources, they never expose any flesh and wear golden masks to cover their faces. Their close links to the Mechanicum are evident in the golden servitors they share between worlds, and their courts being filled with tech priests... Not that outsiders ever get to see inside their courts.
- A few knightly households do not have any degree of independence at all, but instead being subservient to the Titan Legions which they march together into war. These Titanicus Vassal Houses serve as scouts and skirmishers, outflanking and harassing the enemy forces occupying the objectives as well as protecting the Titans from hidden threats. Their knights have a much higher attrition rate than normal, and their machines are not treated with reverence as with other knightly households. On the other hand, they have access to the most advanced patterns of knights due to the intimidatingly insane battles Titans are guaranteed to participate in.
- House Coldshroud - House Coldshroud serves as vassal to the Legio Gryphonicus, and they drawn their pilots from particular families on planets in the Octad, the region surrounding Gryphonne IV.
- House Morbidia - Because of some severe crime they committed in the past, House Morbidia of Mars was stripped of its position in the Mechanicum and forced into servitude. When Legio Mortis rose up against the Imperium under Fabricator-General Kelbor-Hal's call, they successfully sway House Morbidia with the promise of freedom.
- House Perdaxia - Like House Morbidia, House Pedaxia serve the Titans--in this case the Legio Fureans--as atonement for some past crime. They were fanatically loyal to Legio Fureans, and become traitor alongside their masters
- House Vi - House Vi are unique in that they retain a degree of independence, even having their own homeworld, Procon. Many of the Legio Solaria's Princepts and Moderati which they serve under are actually daughters of House Vi being given as an offering to the Mechanicum (read Guy Haley's Titandeath), while other pilots are these women's descendants and the men become techpriests.
- Sometimes individual Knights detach themselves from Noble Houses entirely. Having been dishonoured, shunned, having fucked off themselves, or otherwise made unable to continue life within the Household, they become Freeblades and ply the stars alone (dragging their large pool of retainers along to maintain the suit, naturally). These knights break out to either quest across the Imperium or settle down outside of the ritual of their Household and protect the citizens of whichever worlds they end up on.
- Amaranthine - Never ever speaks or leaves his suit. Inquisitors chase him around trying to have a word about his loyalties.
- Auric Arachnus - Somehow connected to the Ultramarines and earned honour slaying a Dominatrix during the battle for Macragge.
- Crimson Reaper - Freak who wears a red & black face mask, who is rumoured to be a blood sucking mutant. Is very prone to collateral damage.
- Living Litany - A grey, black, and orange Knight Gallant who constantly voxes droning sermons in High Gothic, only changing into loud chants when fighting. He was always a bit bonkers, and in retrospect his fall to becoming the Dreadblade Litany of Destruction was predictable.
- Gerantius The Forgotten Knight - maintains a secret mountain base on Alaric Prime, though his planet is shared by other lesser knight houses. Thought to be undead and in command of spirits. Days which he chooses to fight upon are regarded as ill-omens. Rules for him are in White Dwarf, making him a Seneschal-level knight with It Will Not Die and the ability to both run & shoot in the same phase.
- Justice - A freeblade connected to the Iron Hands chapter who is a master of slaying traitor knights. The Iron Hands chapter appear to be keeping his secrets and will not talk of his past.
- Obsidian Knight - Fought in the Damocles campaign along with House Terryn on the planet Agrellan. - Has his own rules in Warzone: Damocles making him an absolute WS/BS 6 badass who hates Tau with a passion.
- Mydos Almighty - Hails from a world that was done in by the greed of its upper class, which it fled to actually fight. Rather hypocritically, this Knight is entirely bedecked in fucking GOLD.
- Retribution Incarnate - A hero of the Macharian Crusades, believed to be the last member of an established household.
- White Warden - The last man standing for House Degallio from the planet of Alaric Prime (same as Gerantius), and subsequently made the scapegoat for the planet's losses against the Red WAAAGH!. Known for his cracking mustache and his willingness to stand up for ridiculous laws. Has recently fought alongside the Salamanders in the defense of Nocturne on several occasions.
- Tellurus - Only living member of a fallen house, and refuses to be seen without armor. Tellurus fought alongside both House Cadmus and House Hawkshroud on Vondrak. "...towering and monstrous, a giant of adamantium and fury. With a booming cannon and a roaring chainblade for arms, it was clad in armour the colour of a winter’s sky. Blue and cold, chevroned with streaks of black and amber. A bright gonfalon streamed from its left shoulder. A rearing horse with a fluted horn at its forehead." - from Knights of the Imperium by Graham McNeill. Turns out to be a girl.
- Domeenito Ohashi - Imperial Knight who got stuck on a primitive world under attack by the Orks. In spite of being sworn to go back to his world of origin, he decides to go freeblade and fights back the greenskins becoming a hero to the population until receiving Imperial Guard reinforcement. since then he has wandered across the galaxy helping the Imperium to crush all kind of xenos raiders in the hopes of getting back home eventually.
- Dyros Kamata The Scorched Knight - A Knight whose rider apparently severed all ties with his house and burned off all his livery by walking into a volcano. He eventually learned that his dad was a corrupt prick, so he killed the old man before going off again. Was later killed by Ork bombardment.
- Sir Hekhtur- A Freeblade from Randoryn Alpha and the last loyal member of House Cereban, he was enslaved for a time by the Iron Warriors but escaped being corrupted with the rest of his captured household when his Knight Preceptor Canis Rex broke free of its confinement and blasted its way to its pilot under the influence of its machine spirit. He now fights to free any other Imperial citizens enslaved by Chaos as he was, earning him the epithet of "The Chainbreaker". Appears as the first true named character for the Imperial Knights. Like Antaro Chronus, Sir Hekhtur can keep fighting even if his Knight is taken down thanks to his trusty archaeotech pistol.
- Kalena Maxus, The Stormwalker- A Dominus Knight Castellan, she was ordered to leave by the High King of Kamdor when it became clear they would be overrun. Her orders were to remember the fallen servants of the Emperor and exact bloody revenge. She now hunts the outer reaches of the Great Rift.
- Manifest Vengeance An Armiger Knight Warglaive who is a renowned tracker, also looks like a Harlequin.
- Crimson Death - An odd Knight of indeterminate Chassis type, though it is described as being reminiscent of a Cerastus Knight Atropos, with a large shield generator mounted in a hump on it's back. Clad in a bastardised version of House Krasts colours, this freeblade utilises servitors mounted into the shield hump, which perform battlefield repairs. It is piloted by Sire J'madus Hw'ss, who has joined with other Freeblades to continue the Emperors duty across the stars.
Unlike the much larger Titan legions, most Imperial Knight Households do NOT retain Techpriests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to maintain and repair the Knight suits (though deeply-bonded Mechanicum households usually do).
Instead they invariably include a specific class of individual called a Sacristan, who is basically an artisan and a technology specialist. These Sacristans accompany the knight on his travels and keep his suit operational during the campaign, and if a Knight becomes somehow divorced from his household and becomes a Freeblade, the sacristans associated with the suit shall travel with him. It is assumed/alluded to that Sacristans have a cadre of serfs and underlings whom also follow them around, all of whom form the cadre of attendants for a single Knight.
Unbeknownst (or immaterial) to the Imperial Households, these Sacristans ARE inducted into the Machine Cult in a similar fashion to the Techmarines of the Adeptus Astartes, having been trained either off-world or under an apprenticeship to an already established Sacristan. So while they may not be fully ordained Tech-Priests, they do further the interests of the Mechanicum while living amongst the Knight Households. Sacristans may be historically connected to whomever maintained the Knights during the Age of Strife, making Sacristans even more inspired by A Canticle for Leibowitz than the Mechanicum itself already is.
Though they are rare, there are a number of Knight Households or lone Freeblade Knights who have fallen to Chaos. Most infamous of all is the Slaanesh Hellknights of House Devine, who turned during the Horus Heresy due to Targaryen-esque amounts of twincest. That said, Renegade and Chaos Knights are hunted down by Loyalist Households, who view their existence as shaming all other Knights. The "board game" Imperial Knight: Renegade shows one such hunt.
For those who survive, these Renegade Knights (Questor Traitoris) can find employment and protection within the warbands of Chaos Space Marines, or find themselves on the heretical end of a warp incursion that puts their skills and equipment to "good" use. Of course, being a massive war machine, Chaos Knights may find themselves converted into massive Daemon Engines called Daemon Knights. The only real distinction between Renegade and Chaos Knight is that Chaos Knights actually worship Chaos and can become Daemon Knights, whereas Renegade Knights can simply be disowned and mercenary Freeblades who don't always side with for the Imperium or humanity at large. The distinction is often irrelevant during the decision-making process of whether or not Imperial forces intend to kill them (though "kill for the honor of the House" and "kill the fucking traitor with extreme prejudice" aren't exactly the same state of mind for the ones doing the killing itself).
They can be divided roughly into three groups similarly to their Loyalist cousins, discounting Houses sworn to Traitor Titan Legions:
- Iconoclast Houses, whose monstrous oaths to the Dark Gods have turned them into twisted mockeries of their former selves;
- Infernal Houses, pledged to the Dark Mechanicus in exchange for unnatural power;
- Dreadblades, fallen Freeblades who work for whoever can point them in the direction of someone to kill.
The Knights themselves come in several varieties, all of which have an energy shield to protect them from incoming fire and have a mix of shooty and choppy. 6th edition introduced two varieties have just recently appeared in the 40k model range, the Knight Paladin with its rapid fire battlecannon and the Knight Errant with its thermal cannon. Forge World later joined in with several of its own varieties of Knights, 7th edition introduced three other types (the Crusader, Gallant, and Warden) to the main 40k line, and 8th edition added four more (the Castellan, Valiant, Warglaive, and Helverin). WARNING: The following article contains a fuckton of sex jokes about Strength D and such things.
Knights usually deploy alongside Titan legions as auxiliary forces. Although some patterns of Knight are capable of going toe to toe with smaller titans, or even larger titans outfitted exclusively for ranged combat, the Knight's usual role is anti-infantry or anti-light vehicle freeing up the Titans to attack superheavies.
Interestingly, each Knight Pattern can be seen as a miniaturised Titan, Armigers are Warhounds; Questorus and Cerastus Knights are Reavers; and Dominus and Acastus Knights are Warlords.
Armiger Knight Patterns
Babys first knight. The smallest Knight class shown to date (roughly the size of a Dreadknight, Grey Knight converters take note), Armigers are piloted by aspiring nobles, lowborn commoners with a knack for war, and the occasional bastard child of the High King. Due to their smaller size and lighter weight, Armigers are far faster and more agile than their larger brothers, which helps them hunt and fight at the flanks of their larger cousins. Basically, they are to larger knights what warhounds are to warlords - they serve as fast support to neutralize threats to the larger engine, while also helping in combat maneuvers. They are given the nickname of Baby Knights, Mini-Knights, Moe Knights, Knight Jr, The Wee Baby Brother of the Bunch or Mini-Me for a very good reason. Instead of a full Throne Mechanicum, they use a simpler set of implants dubbed the Helm Mechanicum that can be slaved to a larger Knight's commands- akin to the connection between a knight and his squire. This is even reflected in the name, Armiger is the Latin term for an Esquire, who was a low-ranking knight or high-ranking squire who served as the shield or arms bearer for another knight, hence the name (Armiger is arms bearer, Eqsuire comes from the French word for shield).
Strangely, while they can take both a Meltagun or Heavy Stubber as carapace options, they can't take a missile pod like their larger cousins. This is despite the fact that Dreadnoughts, which are smaller, have such an option in both spiky and loyal flavors.
Armiger Knight Warglaive
Armiger Warglaives sprint into pace because they have to. Their weapon loadouts dictates that a fast and swift firststrike always gets the job done. It levels a lance-like beam of superheated directed energy from its Thermal Spear that can reduce a rockcrete bunker wall to a pool of bubbling lava. Those met by the ensuing charge are struck with an expert sweep of the Armiger's Reaper Chain-cleaver, a saw-toothed weapon that mangles metal and gnaws flesh to ruin with each shuddering impact.
Warglaives are equipped with Thermal Spears, Reaper Chain-Cleavers, and a heavy stubber or a melta gun. Sadly it has lost the ability to move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty, but you don't really care about that, because your main weapon is Assault and no one actually uses the pop-gun. Use them if you want to have the firepower of a Knight without wasting a bucket load in points, but watch out for hordes.
Its more shooty and ranged brother is the Armiger Helverin. Thus, the Warglaive is better situated in going up against CQC monsters that would have made mince meat out of the more fragile Knights.
Armiger Knight Helverin
The shootier Armiger, armed with a pair of Armiger Autocannons. The Armiger Helverin is a fast-moving weapons platform designed to lay down blistering hails of heavy fire while running rings around the enemy’s forces. In place of the close-ranged armaments of the Warglaive, each Helverin aforementioned pair of Armiger-class autocannons are capable of firing hundreds of armor-piercing shells per minute, even a single such weapon can swiftly whittle down infantry ranks or shred armored vehicles.
As such, Armiger Helverins are versatile and highly destructive for something its size in contrast to the similarly sized yet underpowered and vulnerable Sentinels, small wonder that they are popular amongst both Imperial and Adeptus Mechanicus Noble houses who traditionally relied upon the Helverins' support for their larger compatriots at war. These machines just work wonders.
Despite initial fears that the Helverin would be almost be twice the height, twice the cost, yet only half as shooty as an old-fashioned rifleman dreadnought, these little gun walkers have turned out to pack a surprising punch, with 4d3 shots strength 7 each at a ridiculous 60 inches. Did I mention that each shot deals 3 damage?
Armiger Knight Moirax
Fitted with a potent reactor core capable of powering the most destructive weaponry available to its class, the Knight Moirax was a formidable tool in the arsenal Questoris Households loyal to the Mechanicum. However, this energy core was notorious for radioactive instability, and so the Moirax chassis was considered to be an unseemly instrument with which to lay the foundations of the Imperium, seeing minimal use on human-occupied worlds before the darkest hours of the Horus Heresy. - lore from the instruction manual inside the forgeworld kit box
Previewed on Warhammer Community. An Armiger armed with a Volkite Veuglaire and a Gyges siege claw (likely a scaled-down Hekaton Siege Claw, like how the Reaper Chain-Cleaver is to the Reaper Chainsword) with an in-built rad-cleanser (basically a 9" flamer that wounds any non-vehicles and non-titans on a 2+). You can replace them with any combination of the following: Lightning Locks, Graviton Pulsars and Moirax Conversion Beamer Cannons. It also has no penalty on firing heavy weapons after moving and can perform a heroic intervention on TITANIC units of the same household.
For protection, it used an Ionic Flare Field, which differed from the standard Ion Shield in its radius but at the cost of protection. It could also be equipped with an experimental Construct Shield, which is like the $2 store version of the much more impressive Void Shields. Usually, the Construct Shield was frequently employed by the Magi of the Ordo Katastrophica to ensure their temperamental automata survive in battle long enough for them to gather vital operating data. But it seems that they manage to fit it on the Knight Moirax as well.
Questoris Knight Patterns
The vanilla Knights that are found on pretty much every world with Knights stationed on it.
Questoris Knight Paladin
One of the most vanillas of vanillas when it comes to Knight patterns. Standing nine meters tall, the Knight Paladin represents a perfect balance of speed, firepower and armor, allowing it to undertake a wide variety of roles in battle. Nobles who have the honor of piloting a Knight Paladin take great pride in their ability to carry out a variety of tasks on the battlefield.
The Knight Paladin's all-terrain capability means it can move more quickly through terrain which would be hazardous to traditional wheeled or tracked vehicles and reposition itself to engage the enemy as needed.
The first knight to appear in regular 40k, along with the Errant, the Knight Paladin is armed with a Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon with an attached Heavy Stubber and another mounted on their chest/clavicle. Like all non-Forge World Knights, it can take either an Ironstorm Missile Pod (think Whirlwind minus Ordnance), a Heavy 3 Krak missile launcher, or a pair of Icarus autocannons (I.e. actual anti-aircraft weapons) as carapace weapons to supplement their firepower, can also replace the heavy stubber with a meltagun for extra anti-armor usefulness and can replace its Reaper Chainsword with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet.
Questoris Knight Errant
One of the most vanillas of vanillas when it comes to Knight patterns. The Knight Errant are similar to their Paladin brothers, however their pilots are often far more aggressive with a penchant to ignore the whole "Chivalry in SPEHSS!" theme and go straight into RIP AND TEAR. This would make them a bit more unhinged in following direct orders and would lead to susceptible Khorne corruption if not for their absolute stubbornness in getting shit done.
Nevertheless, when the going gets tough, they really like to get in deep and dirty. In the heat of battle, almost nothing can stop a rampaging Knight Errant save for a complementary bombardment of anti-tank weapons and the occasional blast of a Titan weapon.
The tank hunter of the Questoris, the Knight Errant is armed with a Thermal Cannon, a Heavy d6 36" S9 Melta weapon. Like the Paladin, it can take either an Ironstorm Missile Pod (think Whirlwind minus Ordnance), a Heavy 3 Krak missile launcher, or a pair of Icarus autocannons (I.e. actual anti-aircraft weapons) as carapace weapons to supplement their firepower, can also replace the heavy stubber with a meltagun for extra anti-armor usefulness and can replace its Reaper Chainsword with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet. Fun fact: In ye olde Epic days, the Errant carried a power fist, from which the Thunderstrike Gauntlet probably draws inspiration.
Questoris Knight Crusader
Carrying more firepower than a tank squadron, the Imperial Knight Crusader strides into battle with the confidence two main guns will give you. The Knight Crusader is one of the heaviest of the Questoris Knights by virtue of carrying all that damned ammunition. Capable of smashing holes in even the hardiest defense line, the Knight Crusader offers support to its close-range brethren, standing further back and unleashing scathing torrents of firepower to obliterate threats and terrify the enemy.
The first purely ranged Knight, it has the same Battle Cannon as the Knight Paladin (which it can replace with the Thermal Cannon for tankbusting) but replaces its close combat weapon with an Avenger Gatling Cannon, which can unleash 12 S6 AP3 Rending shots per turn. You know, for when you need that squad of MEQs wiped out right now and they aren't clustered close enough for the Battle Cannon alone to kill them all.
As an added bonus, the Gatling cannon comes with a built-in heavy flamer to compensate for its relative weakness at close range. (The key word is "relative". It can still Stomp, after all, and thanks to Smash it's still shitting out S10AP2 with normal cc attacks. It just can't give anyone the D.) Thus, you have a walker that can cover both long and close distances with relative ease and making it pretty much impervious to most infantry charges.
Questoris Knight Gallant
Designed to smash apart enemies at close range, very few enemies can withstand the initial assault of the Knight Gallant. The ground shakes as the Knight Gallant stomps forward, offering its puny opponent a chance to duel in a completely
unfair and one-sided fair and absolutely honorable fight. A Knight Gallant will slam into enemy lines like a giant sumo wrestler, and come out of the other side unscathed. This in itself would make for a hilarious vision of a giant mech bumrushing anything smaller than it like an overzealous Kool Aid-Man.
A noble designated to pilot a Knight Gallant will learn the three basic although pretty simple and straightforward tenets when he is bonded with his war machine. Though they may subtly differ, the three basic tenants are to trust in your Ion Shield, make all speed towards the foe, and strike swift and sure.
The purely choppy counterpart to the Knight Crusader, the Gallant eschews its arm-mounted ranged weapons for a Reaper Chainsword and the Thunderstrike Gauntlet (described below) making it an absolute beast in close combat but of dubious use if it can't close in for the kill. Carapace weapons can mitigate this slightly, but it'll still struggle against shooty foes if it can't get into melee.
Questoris Knight Warden
As befitting of its name, this Knight looks after a swarm of enemies like a prison warden controlling a crowd of rowdy mobs and criminals. Carrying itself into the thick of the action with heavy, thudding steps, and protected by both thick adamantine armor and an Ion Shield, the Knight Warden is perfectly equipped to deal with foes who attempt to use weight of numbers to their advantage.
The anti-horde option, by default the Warden comes with the Crusader's Gatling Cannon and a heavy flamer on top of the obligatory heavy stubber and Reaper Chainsword, but it can replace the sword with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet. Due to this, the Warden is notable for absolutely tearing tarpit heavy armies in one round, sometimes an entire tarpit formation bends over on the first attack.
At first glance, the gauntlet doesn't look like much of an improvement due to the gauntlet giving a -1 hit penalty; however, if the fist ever kills a MC or vehicle the Warden can then throw whatever it killed at someone else. In game terms, this translates to an out-of-phase shooting attack that deals D3 Mortal Wounds serving as an unpleasant surprise for careless opponents.
Questoris Knight Magaera
Yet another Forge World model, this one is different however, this one is a Questoris variant, which means it's short and fat. Magaera type Knights are most often used as shock assault units, breaching the most heavily defended enemy positions, while shrugging off heavy weapons fire and self-repairing even devastating weapon strikes in a few minutes of Dark Age level of Bullshit. It is noted to be favoured by Houses that are especially closely allied to the Mechanicus and share their hatred for flesh; Houses which are outright enslaved don't get a say in the matter.
It was specially made by the Mechanicus to curry favor with Knight Houses (or to control them, depending on who you ask, seriously look at that headpiece), and it shows in the unique wargear options it gets. For a start, it has Blessed Autosimulacrum (giving it IWND-lite), and its ionic shield acts similarly to the Flare Shields normally used by superheavy tanks like the Spartan Assault Tank.
Its weapons are no less unusual- it can replace its chainsword for a Siege Claw which grants it Wrecker (and a built in TL rad-cleanser to fuck with Toughness scores), and at range it can employ a phased plasma fusil and a Lightning Cannon that mulch both infantry and all but the heaviest-armored vehicles. There's a catch, though- its reactor is highly unstable, as reflected by the +1 it gets when rolling on the Catastrophic Damage chart.
Questoris Knight Styrix
Yes, Forge World is releasing another pattern of Knight, and it's another short and fat Questoris chassis with Blessed Autosimulacrum. However, unlike most machines, the Styrix maybe one of the few that the AdMech continuously tries to avoid and even chuck out of the metaphorical window if given the chance. It is basically the bad omen of Imperial Knight patterns.
There is a good reason why it is viewed with caution. The Styrix house a machine spirit which some say became too accustomed to slaughter during the Age of Strife and the Great Crusade that followed it. Many conservative Knight Houses consider the Styrix to be a malevolent pattern, the wanton destruction it unleashes being beneath a true Knightly Knight with Knightly chivalry and values.
Other Households hold no such reservations, letting loose entire formations of Styrix Knights to annihilate their foes. This one packs a Volkite Chieorovile and a Graviton Imploder, and shares the Magaera's option of upgrading its Reaper chainsword to a Hekaton Siege Claw with complimentary Rad Cleanser. Seriously, it is a miracle that the AdMech did not sanction these machines as techno-heresy when its machine spirit is borderline Dreadclaw worthy.
Questoris Knight Preceptor
Like the Errant, Warden, and Paladin, the Knight Preceptor is armed with a Reaper Chainsword that it can replace with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet as a melee weapon, but differentiates itself from the more common Questoris variants by its Las-Impulsor. Essentially a laser shotgun in its function, the Las-Impulsor is effective against infantry and vehicles alike depending on its firing mode. However, unlike conventional Knights, the Preceptor is like the Big Boss or the Master Wushu of Knights who are often the more grizzled and commanding of these warmachines.
Knight Preceptors are commonly piloted by arms-masters and other senior members of a House, and are such, largely responsible for the training of young squires to pilot Knights in the future as well as strengthen their mental fortitude for the Ritual of Becoming. Consequently they are also able to both inspire and coordinate any Armiger-class Knights accompanying them with remarkable skill as well as recruit, train and mentally prepare the Bondsmen for their initiation into the Armigers.
By far the most famous Knight Preceptor and Pilot is the aforementioned Sir Hektur and Canis Rex, otherwise known as the Chainbreaker. What has been said about this Braveheart in Space has already been explained enough. On a side note, although you can't really tell, but Canis Rex has a little compartment for Hektur to ride in, it is a pretty neat contraption.
Cerastus Knight Patterns
Bigger and slimmer than the vanilla Knights, these absolute units bring Mars Pattern Hard Cheddar to the battlefield with exotic weapon systems.
Cerastus Knight Acheron
Another Forge World model, tall and lanky like all the other Cerastus pattern models. Acheron pattern Knights were configured as rapid moving strike units who rose to prominence during the legendary battles of the Great Crusade, but whose most terrible renown was to be found on the battlefields of the Horus Heresy. They are employed as weapons of extermination and to inspire fear in their foes. Nothing will sway their attack until the enemy is utterly crushed, never to rise again from the flame-scoured ruins of their strongholds. Rare, even in those ancient times for the singular difficulties of their construction, the Cerastus Knight-Acherons were amongst the most dreaded of their age.
The Acherons’ machine spirits were regarded as particularly lusting for wanton destruction and only the strongest scion-minds could master them via the Throne Mechanicum, especially during the tumult of open battle. Has a Flame Cannon to make those Heretics extra crispy, and a chainfist (with built in twin-linked heavy bolter) that lets it reroll 1s on the Destroyer damage table against vehicles. Now you can give your opponent the D while also fisting them.
Again, like the Styrix, it is one of those Knight patterns that is pretty damned close to being full blown literal Khornate Knights that stops just short of being declared as techno-heresy by the AdMech.
Cerastus Knight Atrapos
One of the rarest and most potent types of Knights, the Cerastus Knight-Atrapos was created solely to destroy heretek engines and xenos war machines whose very nature and existence were considered a blasphemy to the Omnissiah. The machine spirits of the Knight Atrapos are said to carry with them a cold and all-destroying hunger, and for the scion who bonds with them, madness is a constant risk.
With the speed and shielding of the Cerastus chassis, and the Knight Atrapos’ Macro-extinction Targeting Protocols, the Cerastus Knight-Atrapos was an uncommonly destructive weapon of war that would have been God-tier if it was scaled up to an Emperor Titan.
It comes with the same Blessed Autosimulacra and flare shields the Questoris Knights have and also has a special rule that makes all his weapons twin-linked, if it is firing at a Super-heavy or Gargantuan Creature. All of his weapons are very close ranged but they are a big fuck off to armour and thanks to the swiftness of the cerastus knights he should be in range soon. It is armed with an Atrapos lascutter, a D weapon that can be used both in close combat and as a 8" shooting attack, and a Graviton singularity cannon (yep, it shoots black holes), a 36", S8, Ap2, large blast weapon with Armorbane and the Collapsing Singularity rule. This means that before firing the weapon you roll a D6; on a 1 the knight loses one HP (but the attack is still carried out as long as the knight survives), and on a 6 the attack gains Vortex.
Cerastus Knight Castigator
A Forge World event model, and another close-combat variant. They accomplish this with a hail of rounds from their Castigator Bolt Cannon. The Castigator is also equipped with a Tempest Warblade that can easily destroy enemy vehicles including even fellow Knights. With these weapons, the Castigator can metaphorically shove its giant warblade up the rear armor of any vehicle.
While fluff states that it is used to handle and take down hordes of lesser foes that could overwhelm other patterns of Knight through sheer numbers, in actuality there are other Knight variants better eqipped for horde cleansing, such as the Porphyrion or Crusader, who actually have more weapons suited into turning blobs of infantry into minced meat. Hence, it can be argued that the Castigator should be used as more on the lines as both crowd control and vehicle destroyer.
Uses a big fuck-off sword (which is "only" S10, but has the same Deflagrate rule as the Volkite weapons, rerolls failed armor penetration, and can exchange its attacks to hit everything in base contact once), and a Bolt Cannon which is essentially a S7 AP3 Heavy 8 giant bolter.
Cerastus Knight Lancer
One of the more uncommon but highly valued Knights fielded by Knight Houses, the Knight Lancer is a first-strike weapon, attuned to rapid assault tactics and lethal flanking maneuvers. It is renowned for its speed and power, as well as for the temperamental and restive nature of its machine-spirit. Because of this reputation, the most impetuous and glory-hungry of the Knight households are driven to bond with these war machines, their own souls a match for the fury caged within their war engines.
The close assault variant of Knight, much taller and faster than the Paladin & Errant by virtue of longer legs. It is far more specialized than the Paladin or Errant due to its weapon loadout and suffers if it is not supported. Has a physical ion shield rather than just being a force field, which means it cannot block attacks to the rear, however it can be used against close combat attacks. In its other arm is has a combi-melee/range weapon that gives it extra initiative when it charges into combat, its shooting mode is basically a 18" range 6-shot plasma rifle that concusses its targets. So better to get it into melee with other big things.
On a slightly more hilarious note, the Lancer's ranged attack is of a decent Strength and AP, and fires a lot of shots. It's also not a Template Weapon. While not recommended, it means in a pinch the Lancer can be used as an anti-aircraft gun should the Knights lack sufficient AA from other sources (e.g. you are running pure Knights and don't have the Icarus autocannons), the amount of shots it fires making it second only to the Forgefiend in terms of emergency AA. It's also excellent against TEQs! And, with its concussive plasma shots, this thing is actually capable of countering a Wraithknight; even if you don't knock it down to initiative 1, you will be hitting at the same time on the charge.
Dominus Knight Patterns
Do you want to have a Warlord Battle Titan without selling your kidney? Do you want to play with these titanic behemoths without risking being punched in the face by your friends (and spending several million dollars on superglue)? Then we got the perfect answer for you! You could play Adeptus Titanicus, or, you could get a Dominus. Dominus Knights are basically dwarf Warlord Titans for all intents and purposes.
Dominus Knight Castellan
It is the foremost artillery platform within the lances of the knightly houses, the Castellan hammers the enemy at extreme range from the moment the fight begins. Manned by a high-ranking Noble Lord, the Castellan is more akin to a mobile fortress than standard Knight. Thanks to its twin plasma cores, it is can be equipped with a wide array of heavy weaponry which can be explained more below.
Due to being powered by two plasma cores, the Castellan has become an especially shooty pattern of Knight. It is armed with a plasma decimator on one arm to blast apart heavy infantry, a volcano lance on the other for blowing vehicles to pieces, two twin-linked meltaguns mounted near the head, and three hardpoints for siegebreaker cannons and shieldbreaker missiles on its back. Seriously, this thing is decked out in so much guns it can make Orks blush in envy. Knight Porphyrion, it's time to step up your game.
One can't help but wonder how it is possible for one pilot to operate all those guns... Not like GW or battletech for that matter cares, of course. Turns out the Carapace Weapons are automated.
Dominus Knight Valiant
The Knight Valiant defeats its enemies through the simple principle of applying overwhelming firepower at close proximity. The Hellhound of the Knight Dominus in contrast to the Castellan's Leman Russ Executioner profile. With its Ion shields, this Knight can march relatively harmlessly in order for the enemy to get in range with its two large and meaty weapons.
Yes, the Valiant is armed with a giant harpoon. Yes, you will be contractually obligated to yell "Get over here!" when you hit something with it. While the Thundercoil Harpoon's range is only 12", it hits with S16 AP-6 for 10 damage (plus d3 more mortal wounds)- more than enough to destroy most tanks in one hit and knocking down most superheavies down a damage bracket (and kill Primarchs). There's also that triple-barreled giant flame called the Conflagration Cannon that hits like three heavy flamers for S7 AP-2 2 D apiece, but who cares when you have a giant harpoon?
On a side note, notice how the top-most barrel of the Flamer is
useless, as it doesn't have a pilot-light *BLAM* dependent on the two massive gouts of fire from the flamers directly beneath it to light its stream of promethium, thus displaying the usual efficiency and elegant design characteristic of the Adeptus Mechanicus in their holy service to the Imperium.
Acastus Knight Patterns
The Domini are big for sure, but these chonkers are as large as it gets without getting into Titan/Ultra Heavy Tank territory.
Acastus Knight Porphyrion
Among the largest of Knight chassis and by far the bulkiest one yet. When this beast was first revealed, almost everyone and I mean almost EVERYONE thought it was going to be a new class of Titan, seriously... this thing is so big it is literally the size of a Warhound Scout Titan for Emprah's sake. As such, it is one of the most heavily armed and armored of all the Knight chassis in service.
While it has no melee weaponry of its own, it packs a pair of twin-linked magna-lascannons- which are Ordnance 2 Large Blast lascannons which become Strength D when fired at a range of 12" or less, making it an ideal superheavy-killer. It also comes with a built-in Ironstorm missile launcher (that can be replaced with Helios defense missiles for anti-air purposes) and a pair of autocannons that can be swapped out for rad-cleansers or lascannons.
Since the release of the Dominus, the Acastus has lost its title of Dakka-knight, with only 6 barrels of Hell compared to the smaller Dominus' 8-12, but still holds its own as a pretty potent Titan-killer in a game of Apocalypse since it has two superheavy-busting weapons instead of only one.
Acastus Knight Asterius
Continuing the trend of the 50s Atom Punk design of the AdMech. This is another Acastus Knight, this time equipped with two twin-linked Conversion Beam Cannons, two Volkite Culverins, and a Karacnos Mortar Battery capable of unleashing radioactive death from afar. Because of the cost and rarity of the weapons they were lugging around as well as the cost of the Knight itself, these big boys were already rare even in the age of the Horus Heresy with the Asterius patterns being even more scarce than Porphyrions.
Like its counterpart, these were the big boys of the Knight Houses. These mighty behemoths were armed to annihilate enemy armour and hordes of infantry, so it's not surprising that this thing is the quintessential MEQ, TEQ and GEQ pesticide. The carapace hid the aforementioned Karacnos mortar battery, yes, the same weapon found on the Karacnos Assault Tank. Essentially, the Asterius deals with hordes and tarpits whilst the Porphyrion deals with the more armored meatboys like superheavy tanks, titans and fellow knights.
On tabletop in Horus Heresy, the Titan wannabe over here comes in packing with 8 Hull Points, heavy AP values and a 4+ Ion Shield save. Its front, side rear and armor are 14, 13 and 12 respectively meaning that it can readily walk fast and close enough to unleash its beams of death. With its Initiative 3, WS 4 and BS 5 it may not be hitting that much, but its Strength of 10 means that when it hits, it hits hard. However, it only has Attack 3 which is to be expected for a knight like this.
What everyone is interested of course, is its weapons. The Asterius Conversion Beam Cannon is a pretty nasty weapon with a 42-72″ rangeband hitting at S10 AP1, 7″ Massive Blast at its max range. The Sunder rule lets it reroll failed armor penetration rolls, while Wrecker is +1 on the damage tables for fortifications. Basically, it can make entire tank fleets bend over in pain. While its power is reduced somewhat at close range (losing Sunder and downgrading to Large Blast at ranges of less than 42", and losing Wrecker and going down to a regular Blast at ranges below 18"), it is still a force to be reckoned with even when not at full strength.
There is also the aforementioned Karacnos battery, which handles similarly to the Assault Tank variant. A 60" S5, AP4, Heavy, Barage weapon with Blast of 3". It also continues having the Fleshbane rule that always wounds models on a 2+ and Rad-phage with it’s Toughness -1 for the rest of the game if the unit survive. Not to mention that as an artillery weapon, it ignores cover.
With these weapons, you get the feeling that even the two Volkite Culverins are nothing more than window dressing while they would be a great horde killer on anything else. Also the face looks a bit ridiculous even by Warhammer standards.
Times of Epic
Back in the times of Epic Warhammer 40,000, the Knights we know and love looked and acted very differently than they do now:
|Lancer: Faster than other Knights, this pattern is all about scouting, distraction and hit-and-run tactics. Instead of its standard Shock Lance, it can swap it for a shorter in range, yet more powerful Power Lance. The only downside of them is that they are the most fragile of Knight Pattern. Now in 40k too, being the first Forge World Knight kit.|
|Crusader: Slower, yet sturdier and more powerful, Crusaders are armed with heavy weapons that are usually found on Warlord or Imperator Class Titans (such as the Quake Cannon). Due to them moving slow (blame the heavy weapons and loads of armoured bits) compared to other Knights, these behemoths are used to snipe targets from extreme range and act as a powerful support force for the rest of the Knights.|
|Castellan: The short-ranged cousin of the Crusader that swaps its standard Lascannons for multi-barreled Autocannons. This makes the Castellan a nightmare for infantry and light vehicles, as well as allowing it to deplete an enemy Titan's shields in a disturbingly short time.|
|Baron: The biggest, baddest of all the Knights. Baron Knights are piloted by the deadliest members of a Knight House. Each Baron is actually built from the very basics as an ace-custom for its pilots, combining the power and speed to keep pace with Lancers with armor nearly as tough as a Crusader! Typically armed with Battle Cannons and the Lancer's Power Lance, the Barons lead their kinsmen to war and victory.|
|Warden: Piloted by the eldest (read retired) members of a Knight House, these goofy-looking Knights shouldn't be underestimated, much like the old-timers that pilot them. Warden Knight make up (like the Crusader) the heavy support part of a Knight House in the long-range category. Although not as fast as the youngsters, the pilots of Wardens make it up with years of brutally hard-won experience that makes them as deadly as the Barons.|
Why Knights are Awesome
Imperial Knight lore is some of the coolest stuff in 40k. True to both the medieval tradition and epic feel that 40k thrives from, Knights protect the Agri Worlds that the Mechanicus use to supply (and predominantly feed) their incredibly ravenous forge worlds. These Knight steeds are easier to produce by far than even the humble Warhound Scout Titan and so can be made reliably, produced almost as an afterthought. So Knights aren't the biggest, baddest, most overblown thing in 40k -- but, they are to the Knight Worlders. The people who live and die on those Agri Worlds, delineated from other Agri Worlds by their designation as Knight Worlds, are all on the technological and societal footing of Medieval Europe. A lot of these worlds look like Bretonnia, from Warhammer Fantasy. Kings and Queens, Arthurian legend, stone brick castles and skullcapped peasantry abound; fields and forests extend to every horizon without end. Remember, it's much, much more important to obey societal doctrine than to optimize food output.
Imagine what someone from that world would think when they see an Imperial Knight. The most agile giant robots the Imperium makes, capable of shrugging off lasers and plasma bombs, tower silently over a field on a world that probably doesn't even have gunpowder weaponry or a Copernican idea of the night sky. The kingdoms of the planet may have their petty wars, but life is dominated by meeting the food and resource quotas of machine-men from the sky, who build and fix the Knights that children and adults view with awe and reverence, like some amalgam of god and monster. These machine-men could destroy entire kingdoms on a whim by dropping stars from the sky. Kingdoms train their nobles and knightly warriors to fight with swords, horses, and hammers. They conscript armies from farming peasants, and use squads of bowmen to kill men at range....except for the Knight pilots. Those who are honorable enough or skilled enough may graduate beyond knighthood, to Knighthood. Someone who takes a bath maybe twice a month and lives by torchlight has the duty to step inside a machine of such power and complexity that the science of the forty-first Millennium proves incapable of comprehending it. Those men are revered beyond their kings, for they are the wielders of magic and death, and are entrusted with more true power than any other man on the planet. Those men fight monsters, murderous warriors from the sky, and even other Knights from enemy kingdoms. Sometimes, when the machine men come down when they aren't expected, the men who pilot the god-monsters must go far away to battle alongside the machine men in their wars. Not a war on the other side of the world, but a war on a distant star, surrounded by machines and giants even larger than they, on a war that will never matter on the strategic scale but still must be fought for that is what their protector, the Master of Mankind, demands and requires.
Imagine the man who has the lifelong job of knowing how to run the Knights, whose sacred duty is to recruit and train pilots. Imagine. A lord or general may give the order to bring cavalry around the left flank, and fire the laser cannon onto the walls of his enemy's castle. Despite his most valorous deeds, his children grow up playing with a giant metal god standing over them, silent and omnipotent, resplendent in livery and gold leaf. These children one day grow old and tell stories not of lords and generals, but of the time when their kingdom's metal giant slew a great beast, or razed an entire castle single-handedly, or ran across the entire world to deliver medicine to a dying king. Imagine what a pilot is to his subjects, or his lords. What legends would be told of them, the men who step inside the kingdom's giant? Their legends are not sagas of inscrutable gods or immortal emperors or statistic-scale tragedies, but of simple, honorable soldiers told by humble, hardworking people centuries after those soldiers are but dust and memory.
6th Edition and Beyond
Imperial Knights became a Codex in 6th edition. With the ability to be a Household detachment of 3-6 knights or an allied detachment of 1-3 knights, Knights may ally with Chaos, Daemons, Necrons and 'Nids as Come the Apocalypse, Dark Eldar, Tau and Orks as Desperate Allies; Eldar as Allies of Convenience; and all of the Imperium Faction as Battle Brothers (Yes, even Grey Knights).
Note: Imperial Knights are only Vehicles, only scoring if they're your primary. But let's face it you're always playing Purge the Alien anyway, even when it's not. The GW Imperial Knights are not Lords of War for other Imperial armies (the FW ones, however, can fit there), they are an army unto themselves. If you're playing 3-6 as a primary detachment, pick one as your Warlord; he gets relics and +1 WS/BS
Lets do the numbers:
- 1000 pts - You can have up to 2 models to fit the points cost. Sadly this means no Primary Detachment or even formations in low point games as everything has a bare 3-knight minimum requirement. You could run 3 Gallants, and have 75 points left for other options/upgrades, but it's not even remotely competitive, even as the formation.
- 1250 pts - Up to three models this time, making it the first points level you can play with your Primary detachment. With the new codex and a slew of upgrades, depending on what you choose, you can fill out the remaining 100 points with either upgrades to the knights themselves, or take one of the more expensive knights (like the Crusader).
- 1500 pts - Perfect if you plan on only taking Paladins, taking Errants will nab you some extra points to upgrade those stubbers into melta guns (or take a gauntlet for every 2 Errants). At this points cost you can field 4 of these Knights. If you want to field any other types, especially the formations, you're gonna have to start dropping knights, or take a few Gallants to free up the points.
- 1750pts - Now possibly the new sweet spot for Knights. With around 250 extra points to play around with, you can either afford to bring in some Crusaders to pack more damage, upgrade every knight with a carapace weapon, or take 3 Gallants (the cheapest Knights) to bring 5 knights in a 1750 game.
- 1850pts - Similar to above, but now you can field 5 Knights without having 3 or 4 of them be Gallants while still having a decent amount of points to play around with. Note that 5 bare naked Errants cost exactly the same amount, so if you're confident in your melta-spam, this works too.
- 2000pts - Now with upgrades, this has also become a sweet spot for people looking to field the Exalted Court or Baronial Court. With roughly 150 extra points to play with, you can either grant each of your knights one of the relics, or start upgrading them with extra weapons and other whistles. Alternatively, you can field up to 6 bare-bones Gallants at this point, which is just enough to take two Gallant Lance Formations (although this is not wise, it is recommended, if only to see the horror in your opponent's face when 6 knights basically leap across the table to charge him).
So what if you want to deploy 6 Knights on the field at once? You are looking at somewhere between 2220 - 2250pts. If you can do this you just paid $840 USD for an entire army of only 6 models, you sir are the envy of many neckbeards and clearly have more dollars than sense. And we thought the Grey Knights were an elite army per model. Or you can just, oh I don't know, scratch build 6 knights and save yourself $820 bucks. Just sayin'.
Note: Flyers may not be laughing quite as hard with the new 7th edition codex, but may giggle a little as the carapace mounted AC isn't too scary (unless you have five knights all with that weapon...but then your opponent may laugh for different reasons). The Warden/Crusaders gatling cannon can do some credible anti-flyer work and may be your best bet. Regardless, it remains a valid tactic to continue to take all those point you couldn't spend (see above) and buy a Vengeance Weapons Battery w. Quad Icarus, or two, or even better a Firestorm Redoubt.
Second Note: FW have made their own version of an all-knight list, which actually has Knights fitting into a modified force org chart.
Warhammer 40,000 Freeblade
The plot's simple; you're a newly initiated knight of House Drakkus and your bonding ritual only just finishes when Chaos Space Marines dedicated to Khorne show up and fuck shit up. You end up being the last knight of House Drakkus and you get rescued by the Dark Angels who take you on a merry adventure of fucking Orks and Chaos up. Fun fact: canonically, your Freeblade takes the name of "Vortigan". You're welcome.
OH NO. Turns out that it is a free2play nightmare, with forced 30 second video ads and amazing amounts of not so subtle hints that you should really be buying their shitty supply drop 'loot crates' and a mind boggling array of other detritus. You know you have a pile of exploitative and badly written shit on your hands when upon clicking on said loot crate, a derpy marine with cybernetic implants and a voice like a talking vibrator pops up and proclaims he "Can scarce imagine what glorious spoils lie within- let us find out!" Bleargh.
The icing on the cake is unlocking new chapters in the story, which require playing variants of story missions (okay) to grinding pointless, barely randomized low-level “patrols” (kill us now). That doesn’t sound bad at first... but you can only do three “patrols” at once with a two hour cool down. If you’re a schmuck and gave them money, you get... up to five. Later chapters require up to 50 “patrols” being done, at which point, you should be playing an actual game.
Its only saving grace is the paint and customise your own knight section, which is kind of fun! One can then take take pictures of said pimped out knight and then promptly uninstall. New update! You can use the absolutely pointless AR mode to pretend you have actual money to buy an actual Titan!
Recommended to play on Facebook gameroom if you have it. No ads, MUCH easier play, and the integrity system has been revamped. Also, due to how things work, bring a melta gun, and gatling cannon to Multiplayer. Always will win. This strategy will actually help you get loot mega quick. Play against noobs and rack up the valor tokens until you get the best multiplayer gear which can also be used in campaign. This tactic specifically is the most efficient because multiplayer doesn’t damage your Knight as you continue to play, and this method can quickly get you to an ideal ranking. If you reach this ideal ranking, the daily valor token amount will give you enough to buy at least one crate per day (keeping this quota requires you play MP at least once a day). When the season is over, you’ll get an even bigger sum of tokens which you can use to get lots of crates. Basically if you do this right, you’re almost guaranteed to get high quality gear before the season is over. Rinse and repeat. The three super weapons that will be described below can be obtained in these valor crates. Upon getting any or all of these, they will be your go-to weapons from now on.
However, there are 3 super weapons in the game that are hyped up by the in-game offers (which, of course, means money): the Graviton Gun (light), Gauntlet (melee), and Lightning Cannon (heavy). The Graviton gun is a gravity based weapon that’s every bit as deadly as the fluff describes it. It has the dakka of the stubber and tank-busting potential of the melta, making this the perfect weapon against anything short of the melee bosses. The Lightning Cannon has the same anti-tank abilities as the other heavy weapons, but can effortlessly score multikills and combos thanks to the chain effects of the lightning. It also sounds epic. The gauntlet is just a better chainsword which can display lightning or lightning claws. What makes this weapon so great is that while its hit margin is slightly smaller than the chainsword, hitting within the gauntlet’s margin AT ALL guarantees critical damage on every hit, on top of it already dealing more damage than a chainsword. These weapons individually are game changers. Needless to say, each weapon is a jack of all trades, master of all. If you’re lucky enough to get all 3 of them (or greedy, if you paid money for them), you will be unstoppable. You will be so powerful that the game will actually get BORING, since everything is easy now.
- Chaos Knight
- Imperial Knight House Creation Tables, work-in-progress tables you can roll on to generate a Knight House of your own.
- BattleTech, the original "mechas as a stand-in for feudal knights".
- Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Questoris Knight Crusade (30k)
- Tactics on how to play them.
|Playable Factions in Warhammer 40,000|
|Imperium:||AdMech:||Adeptus Mechanicus - Mechanicus Knights|
|Army:||Imperial Guard - Imperial Knights - Imperial Navy - Militarum Tempestus - Space Marines|
|Inquisition:||Inquisition - Sisters of Battle - Deathwatch - Grey Knights|
|Other:||Adeptus Custodes - Adeptus Ministorum - Death Cults - Officio Assassinorum - Sisters of Silence|
|Chaos:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines - Lost and the Damned - Renegade Knights|
|Xenos:||Aeldari:||Dark Eldar - Eldar - Eldar Corsairs - Harlequins - Ynnari|
|Tyranids:||Genestealer Cults - Tyranids|
|Others:||Necrons - Orks - Tau|