Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Knights(7E)

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Why Play Imperial Knights[edit]

Um... you have one?

Most people will take Imperial Knights as allies to another force which works perfectly fine, unless your opponent thinks taking a super-heavy vehicle in regular games is OP, but remind him that that is just the way that 7th Edition works now and then slap his bitchface for insisting that his Wraithknight is still totally legit.

It takes a very rare player to be able to field an entire detachment of these guys, and the tactical effectiveness in regular 40k is dubious, since you have so few models. With the 7E codex, their effectiveness has gone up considerably with the addition of carapace weapons and the Household Detachment gives every knight ObSec, making fielding them at least doable, if still considerably expensive.

Admittedly though your models will be immune to non necron small-arms fire and any melee attacks of S6 or less. That is not an excuse to get complacent as each Knight lost will diminish your army considerably.

Also, the 7th Edition Codex update is here. So, what did 7th Edition bring for this force? We got 3 new Knights, 1 is focused on Dakka, 1 is a customizable hybrid, and one is all about close combat. Plus you also get the ability to put carapace weapons on Knight Paladins and Knight Errants, meaning you now have AA options. Also new relics and formations.

7th edition is out of date

Special Rules[edit]

Detachments[edit]

  • Household Detachment - 3-5 Knights of your choosing. You get the typical WT re-roll, ObSec on all of them (NICE), and one of them gets to become a Character who gets to take relics, gets +1 WS/BS and can re-roll to-hit in challenges.
    • Generally speaking, you are probably better off with the Baronial Court formation. With exactly the same requirements, you lose ObSec but your knights get rules which improve their function considerably. Obsec Knights sounds cool, but you've then just committed 20%-33% of your main force to a single objective... ObSec can be gained far more cheaply with the use of allies, or if you go with the Exalted court (Whole hog of 5 giant stompy mecha) you're more than likely capable of pounding your opponent so bad that you don't even NEED ObSec when your opponent cant hold ANY objectives!
  • Oathsworn Detachment - The equivalent of an Allied Knight detachment, you just get 1-3 Knights to roll with. Nothing else to see here.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Landstrider: friendly knights may add +1" to run and charge moves while within 12" of the warlord
  2. Favoured of the Omnissiah: any one standard weapon (not an heirloom) may be upgraded with Master-Crafted
  3. Exemplar of the Joust: may reroll to-hits when charging
  4. Cunning Commander: D3 Knights gain outflank in addition your warlord ALSO has outflank.
  5. Ion Bulwark: Your warlord gets to re roll 1's on their Ion shield saves. Can be helpful in the Exalted detachment since your warlord gets the old seneschal 3+ invun on their ion
  6. Knight Seneschal: gain +1 attack

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11. Yield No Ground
1 VP if no enemy reaches 12" of your table edge. Honestly, if you're running a Household army and aren't being blown to bits, this is as good as yours.
12. Duel of Honour
1 VP if you got a Knight in a challenge. This pretty much demands that you take a Household or Exalted a formation with Characters.
13. Assail the Foe
1 VP if you successfully charged a foe, d3 if you charged 3-4 enemies, d3+3 VP if you charged 5+ enemies.
14. Titan Killer
d3 VP become yours if you kill a Superheavy or Gargantuan Creature. Yeah, if you're up against a Wraithknight with sword, you're pretty much fucked Otherwise you have a half decent chance of chopping it, unless it gets lucky and gets a few explode results.
15. Honour of the House
1 VP if your Knights control an objective. You get d3 VP if you control 2+ objectives with knights. Using the Household pretty much makes this an insta-get.
16. A Grudge to Settle
Your opponent must select a unit. If you kill this unit, you win a VP. Just PRAY you're not up against a Wraithknight.

Wargear[edit]

Basics[edit]

Ion Shield
Every Knight gets this (except the Lancer, which gets something else) you get a 4++ save against shooting on a facing of their choice, chosen each turn.
ALWAYS remember to position your Ion Shield for each knight at the start of your opponents shooting phase, don't wait for him to start rolling, otherwise he'll just assume it has the same position as the previous phase. Consider making a marker of sorts to nominate easily the facing.
According to the RAW, Ion shields work until the next shooting phase, when you have to reposition it. Therefore, if it's facing the correct direction, it will protect you from overwatch shots. Plan accordingly.
Heavy Stubber
S4 AP6 Heavy 3; every Knight has at least one nipple-mounted, some have two. Likely a .50 cal in 21st Century terms (as Heavy Stubbers have been around since before the Dark Age of Tech), a low-power gun with the same strength as a bolter but not the same penetrating power, meant to wipe up anything you'd rather not waste your big guns on. The Paladin's Battle Cannon also takes one. Useful for shooting at a target you intend to charge at in the Assault phase while shooting your main gun at another unit. Every knight has the option to replace this with a meltagun, which is a good choice if you're seriously expecting to see a wall of AV.
Meltagun
You know it and you love it. All Knights can replace their little pea shooter with this thing, but it works best on Knights that have to close with the enemy to use it (read: Gallants and Errants).

Arm Weapons[edit]

Ranged[edit]

Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon
A two shot Leman Russ Battle Cannon, ever reliable and perfect for clearing big units of MEQ or worse, since that's two large blast markers that can cover a whole lot of dudes. Also, since it's ordnance, you get four chances to penetrate vehicle armour (due to the Ordnance re-roll).
Thermal Cannon
A shorter ranged, single shot pie plate that is S9 AP1 melta. So you use this for wrecking Terminators and Land Raiders. Against most other things you were probably better off with the Battle Cannon instead. Mathhammer confirms this, the battle cannon is statistically better against every target with the exception of AV14 in melta range and TEQS.
Do pay attention to that AP1, however. You get a 1/3 chance of destroying a vehicle rather than stripping a hull point as well as the ability to cripple a tank into submission.
Avenger Gatling Cannon
S6, AP3, Heavy 12, Rending - For absolutely ruining squads and/or light vehicles, especially if your opponent tends to space his units further apart to prevent them from suffering under blast markers. Can even be used as an AA weapon in a pinch due to its high rate of fire but you've got other weapons for that now. Due to rending and high rate of fire eats HP like popcorn, a built-in heavy flamer for mobs, and being best option against AV, even better than the thermal cannon against every possible target.

Close Combat[edit]

Reaper Chainsword
The standard weapon of most non-Forge World Knights, it's a Destroyer close combat weapon.
Thunderstrike Gauntlet
Another Destroyer close combat weapon, except that it ALWAYS strikes at Initiative 1 due to the "Colossal" rule (same as the new Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage). The benefit of this is that if your punch kills a Monstrous Creature or a Vehicle, you can then THROW the dead model 12" away as an out-of-phase shooting attack that uses the large blast marker with no AP, but has the Strength equal to the model's Toughness or half of the front Armour Value of the vehicle. FUN. Even with the Colossal rule hindering your strike order, it's not like tanks are ever going to hit you back!

Carapace Weapons[edit]

Ironstorm Missile Pod
A Whirlwind Launcher without the Ordnance rule so it's worse against vehicles. It's not fantastic compared to the other weapons that a Knight can get due to its low strength and poor AP. However it can be good for clearing up the remnants of squads that you couldn't wipe out with your main guns. But since Superheavy walkers don't need to fire all of their weapons at the same target what it can be good for is shooting a unit that tried to hide out of line of sight due to the Barrage rule. Also gives you more horde clearing potential, to help deal with the fact that an enemy horde will have way more units than you can shoot at in one turn and will outnumber you 30-1.
Stormspear Rocket Pod
A Heavy 3 Krak Missile launcher, good for pounding away at squads causing ID on MEQ units or for knocking a few hull points off of tanks rather than wasting your main gun on an already weakened target. Also good for popping open light vehicles so you can blast the squad inside them to bits with your main gun.
Twin Icarus Autocannons
Your only true anti-aircraft weapon. Not as good as a quad-gun but it's the best you can get right now. Then again, better to have something that does slightly more than chip the paintwork off Flyers than nothing. Take if you go up against Flyers on a regular basis or intend to use the Skyspear Lance formation, leave at home otherwise. Mount on a Knight Paladin for a good "Jack of All Trades" type of Knight.

Knightly Heirlooms[edit]

Yes, Knights have Relics now. You only get one per Knight ("may take one of the following..."), and of course only one of each per army, and even then only if your detachment/formation gives a knight access to the Heirloom list, so you're unlikely to see Relics unless there are three or more Knights. The weapon Relics replace weapons of exactly the same type, so no buying a "third" arm or stupid stuff like that. It also means that FW knights can only take certain relics since they don't have the same standard loadouts as the rest.

The Paragon Gauntlet
A master-crafted Thunderstrike Gauntlet for 15pts. It's okay.
Ravager
For 25pts, gain a Reaper Chainsword with AP 1 which also re-rolls to-hit rolls of 1. Hand it to a Knight Gallant and watch your opponent cry.
Mark of the Omnissiah
It Will Not Die for your Warlord, sounds awesome but probably won't save your bacon as often as you think. Still better served taking Techmarine allies. Costs 30pts.
Sanctuary
A 6++ invulnerable save to all other facings on your ion shield. Nice and cheap at 15pts, you really cannot go wrong with this one.
[EDIT] - Rules as written, you get a second Ion Shield with the purchase of this relic. This can also be purchased by Forgeworld Knights. Enjoy: a Knight Lancer Warlord in an Exalted Court can have a 3++ on one facing, a 4++ on another, 5++ on the other two facings and in close combat, rerolling 1s with the right Warlord Trait.
[EDIT2] - With the addition of the new draft FAQ from GW, this is no longer the case, and indeed can't work on the various FW knights with 'Ionic Flare Shields', which are not 'Ion Shields'. This is still a draft as of this posting, with no official FAQ for the codex (January 2017).
[EDIT3] - The Codex now has an official FAQ, directly stating that Sanctuary replaces the model’s normal ion shield.
Helm of the Nameless Warrior
Gain Rampage, which is a good grab since your knight will ALWAYS be outnumbered - though at 30pts might be worth some forethought. Best equipped on a Knight Gallant.
Banner of Macharius Triumphant
All friendly units from Armies of the Imperium within 12" may reroll failed morale and fear checks. Unless you're taking allies, you're wasting your time with this. It is, however, the cheapest Relic you have at a mere 10pts.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Please note that all Imperial Knight models, including Forge World, count as being taken from the Imperial Knight Codex as a Lord of War in detatchments.

Knight Paladin[edit]

Your basic Imperial Knight with a Rapid-Fire Battle-cannon, 2 Heavy Stubbers, and a Reaper Chainsword. The Battle-cannon is the general purpose weapon that fires two large blast templates and is Ordnance, meaning it gets four chances at trying to penetrate vehicle armour with two successful hits. The cannon is also very good at wiping out large units of enemy soldiers. (I'm looking at you Orks & Guard)

While the Chainsword is entirely overkill against most things, you're better off with the stomp attacks unless you are fighting a superheavy, monstrous creature or high value enemy warriors such as Calgar or Abaddon. But you get both Stomp Attacks and chainsword anyway, so you're very likely to chew things up in melee, just be aware of what your opponent is bringing against you.

Knight Errant[edit]

Very similar to the Paladin, though with a Thermal Cannon which is S9 AP1 Melta for chewing up Terminators & Land Raiders.

The shorter range means that it's going to be much closer to the center of the table where it will inevitably start taking your opponent's heavy weapons fire and is also more likely to get drawn into close combat. So it is a good option to make it the Warlord and give him more stamina against enemy heavy weapons and better odds in melee. Either that or use it as a flanking Knight and stalk up one side of your opponent's battle line.

It should be noted that the errant is more effective as an ally knight: Most other armies can do what the paladin does (that is, dakka and crowd pulverizing), while the errant's unique cannon can severely damage enemy's heavy weapons and artillery. Paladin is Spear and Shield, Errant is Greataxe.

With the release of the new codex the Errant can swap its Reaper Chainsword for a Thunderstrike Gauntlet allowing it to hurl any monstrous creature or vehicle it kills in combat. This is also quite fitting since the Knight Errant of old used to come with a large gauntlet. The Errant also gets access to carapace mounted weapons.

Knight Gallant[edit]

The Choppy Knight, comes with a Reaper Chainsword and a Thunderstrike Gauntlet, which both go together to grant an additional attack, while allowing you to go at initiative order or to go last with a chance to throw your dead opponent. Also comes with the option of any of the carapace weapons to add some measure of ranged ability, as the basic Gallant won't have anything other than a Heavy Stubber/Melta to pew-pew people with.

One great use of the Knight Gallant is to fix your points when building a list. Since Knights cost so much and the carapace weapons comes in huge chunks as well, sometimes you may find yourself wanting just an extra 100 points or so here and there, but dropping a single knight would rob you of 300+. Enter the Knight Gallant; being cheaper than the Errant by 45 points, a single one can help pay for a third ranged weapon, and in higher points lists you can even fit a whole extra knight in if you take enough Gallants,

Knight Warden[edit]

It comes with the Avenger Gatling Cannon with an underslung heavy flamer (12 shots plus a flamer is going to make your opponent wet themselves) and a Reaper chainsword, but can replace the sword with a Thunderstrike Gauntlet for 10 points. It has access to any of the carapace weapons to give itself added secondary dakka or a defense against aircraft and can even replace that stupid heavy stubber for a melta gun which is a waste of points. This knight pattern is essentially a knight crusader with a chainsaw; it can cope with most mobs but if something a bit too big to blow to bitz rolls your way, you just run at it and cut bitz off.

Knight Crusader[edit]

The new big cheese, and the most expensive of the "core" knights. Has the same Thermal Cannon that we all know and love, which can be replaced with the Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon w/Stubber if you prefer something more general use. On the other hand, instead of having a close combat weapon you get the new Avenger Gatling Cannon, sporting a massive 12 shots at S6 AP3 with Rending over a 36" range AND a Heavy Flamer for mob control, get a carapace weapon too and you'll have guns for all occasions, capable of firing at multiple targets. This is THE Dakka Knight. Its not without melee capability either, it may not have "The D" but it still attacks at S10 AP2 and can follow those up with stomp attacks with the potential to remove unfortunate models that get in the way.

This is the ideal knight to take as an allied detachment. Give it the Battlecannon and a Stormspear Rocket Pod and it can conceivably take on anything thrown at it for a decent price. Being a Super-Heavy Vehicle, it can fire each weapon at a different target, so it doesn't suffer the same problem as the Godhammer Land Raider.

Cerastus Knight Lancer (Forge World)[edit]

Faster and with a completely different load-out to the traditional types of Knight.

The Shock Lance has no blast, and is essentially a rapid fire plasma gun, so it is not as effective against vehicles at range and doesn't really give any benefit against vehicles in melee either over the Reaper Chainsword. It can however in a pinch be used as an AA Gun (since Strength 7 will fry anything Armor 12 or less with ease, and fires enough shots to offset a distinct lack of Skyfire), but this is not recommended as it is the only ranged weapon the Knight Lancer has - consider it an emergency technique for if your opponent brings three Lascannon toting Stormtalons to the party or something.

Don't forget it's shooting attack has concussive. So it can hunt MC's and other big things reliably.

What you want to do with this one is get it stuck in to squads of dudes and tear them apart. It is helped here by having an invulnerable save in melee which the other Knights don't get, more attacks and extra initiative on the charge. It also inflicts a -1 to hit on enemy super heavy walkers and GCs.

More likely to be shot at by your opponent. Being bigger means it is more likely to present a target, but also being an expensive piece of Forgeworld kit means that it is also a more attractive target for your opponent. And mind your back- it can't move its shield behind itself.

It is a good reason to make this guy your Warlord to get the Baron, the WS/BS bonuses help the Lancer immensely and make it more likely to hit with all of its weapons, while the reroll to-hit in challenges make him much more effective at his primary function of melee.

Cerastus Knight Castigator (Forge World)[edit]

This guy has a 8 shot str7 bolt cannon which -much like the Fire Raptor's Avenger Bolter- makes a good job of killing MEQ out in the open or knocking hull points off of mid-AV vehicles, but it also makes for a better stand-in AA weapon than the Lancer's Shock Lance due to having more shots and being twin-linked.

His sword is also pretty nifty, if only S10, with deflagrate and sunder rather than a destroyer weapon. Though deflagrate + tempest attack means that it can theoretically kill every single model in base to base contact with itself, this works better for large units of weaker enemies where a Destroyer melee weapon might have been preferred against smaller, more resilient units. There is always Stomp attacks however.

This guy's real weakness, though, is that he only has the bolt cannon. You need to charge the thing you shoot at, and whatever he shoots at is going to be hurting a lot anyway, so you are going to have issues of overkill when you shoot up 8 Tactical Marines, and charge them just to kill the two leftover guys, not the next unit over.

As for making it a warlord to get the baron bonus? The Lancer is still the better option, since the Castigator doesn't really need WS/BS 5 to make it any better, since Tempest attack hits automatically and its gun is already quite accurate, while getting trapped into challenges would effectively wipe out its multiple strike ability.

Cerastus Knight Acheron (Forge World)[edit]

This thing is an absolute monster. It is equipped with a Hellstorm S7 AP 3 flamer that will wipe out anything that isn't in Terminator armor. Being a template, it ignores cover, meaning anything in power armor that comes near it might as well just be swept off the table. Since it's a Cerastus Knight, it has flank speed, allowing it to run 3d6". Between that and its 12" movement, you should have no problems getting into place to use the flamer to devastating effect.

Its chainfist of absolute death allows it to reroll 1's on the D table whenever you are hitting something with AV. Essentially, if you punch it, it dies, but that was already true for a D weapon. Also, it has a heavy bolter as a secondary weapon, not a heavy stubber, giving you a tiny bit more punch.

It's an effective horde manager and pairs well with the longer ranged knights, or with an Errant to kill off any Terminators that get close to it. The biggest drawback to this monster, other than having to buy it at forgeworld prices, is that it costs 40pts more than a paladin, and it can't hit anything more than 16" away. You pay a premium, and you are going to have to work to kill people every turn.

Because of it's close ranged nature, making the Acheron your Baron is worth considering. It has to get in close to use it's weapons, where the stat bonuses come in handy and where the available relics become most useful.

It should be also noted that this knight requires more skill from the controlling player to use effectively since the Template requires careful placement and facing from the Knight, and that can easily lead the Archeron flanked, melta'd and destroyed.

Questoris Knight Magaera (Forge World)[edit]

One of the "standard" sized (compared to the Cerastus) Imperial Knights, armed with a host of funky new archaeotech gear:

First, his Ion Shield also reduces the strength of incoming shots (functionally giving it +1AV on the shielded side) and it also has equivalent to IWND (6+ instead of 5+), meaning it has a bit more survivability than your regular knight.

It also has a larger variety of ranged weapons than your regular knight too; its main cannon is a Lightning Cannon, which is S7 so it can't insta-gib Marines like the Battle or Thermal Cannon can, but it does have shredding and rending, so it is more likely to wound things like Monstrous Creatures and is probably better for you against terminators than the Knight Paladin, but worse than the Errant.

As for support weapons, it's got a Plasma Fusil from the Horus Heresy, allowing you some S6 AP3 salvo goodness for dropping MEQ, which does considerably better than the heavy stubber.

In the melee side, you can replace the chainsword with the Siege Claw, which arguably does exactly the same, since D melee weapons are D melee weapons. It only gives you bonuses against fortifications, which were screwed beforehand anyway (though at least it ensures the fortification's screwed-ness). But the claw does come with an arm mounted weapon: it's got on of those Rad Cleanser weapons from HH too, which is basically a fleshbane flamer, with the added bonus of dropping the toughness of multi-wound models by 1 if they have taken a wound (doesn't stack) so deeply consider if you really want to spend 25pts on it, putting it at 5pts less than a barebones Crusader.

As for everything else, it's more likely to go nuclear when it dies, but you don't want to stand next to a dead super-heavy anyway, so that's not a terrible thing. And it does have initiative 2, meaning it's gonna strike last against everything bar fists and hammers which tend not to come in huge numbers. The thing to look out for, then, is melta/haywire bombs, but since Haywire mostly comes with Eldar you were striking last anyway.

Finally, should you make it your warlord?. It can't stand back if needed like the Paladin or take on other SH/GC like the Lancer. It's a line-breaking Knight through and through. If it's not doing that then it's just a Zombie Knight wandering around being nigh-useless. A Castigator or Lancer would serve much better to not give your opponent a warlord point. WS upgrades is neither here nor there when the damage output is practically the same as the other knights(except the I2 will see it dead before it swings against another Knight), and the Ion Shield upgrade would make it hilarious from that direction, but might have been better used on a different knight if you have another exotic one as well.

  • Alternative take: making this knight the Warlord might be a better idea than the others as it's a fair bit more survivable than all the others due to it's Flare shield. Also giving it the IWND relic stacks with it's 6+ not!IWND rule so hilarity might ensue when you're near death 1HP knight jumps back up to half HP.

Cerastus Knight Atrapos (Forge World)[edit]

This is your answer to any superheavies in your way. It gets Twin-Linked against Superheavies or Gargantuans, and considering that one of its weapons is a Strength D Lascutter that can be fired at short-range or in combat, it WILL see use, even if it's just to break buildings because of Wrecker. And the other gun, oh, it's just a Graviton Singularity Cannon which is a S8 AP2 large blast, has Armorbane and Concussive. Also, you roll a d6 before firing that singularity - a 1 means you lose an HP, a 6 turns this singularity into a goddamn VORTEX.

However, this specialization means anything lighter will pretty much fall under his radar, as much as one could with a lascutter with WS/BS4. If you hit it with Haywire or a D, those hits will still land even against its flare shield and killing it will be disastrous with a +2 to the destruction table.

If you can afford the point cost, (and the $$$$$$$) there is no reason to take a Knight Errant over one of these. Sure, you loose the AP 1 on the main weapon, but you roll 2d6 for pen at all ranges, not just out to 18", you gain a second shooting attack, one extra melee attack, AP1 melee, 6+IWND, Iconic flare shields, faster Run speed, one extra Hull point, bonuses when shooting Superheavies (other Knights) and Gargantuan creatures, and the opportunity to take Ocular Augmetics, giving you Night vision and the ability to reroll 1s on the vehicle damage table and Destroyer Weapon Attack table when you shoot at something under 12". Honestly, this might beat out the lancer for killing super-heavies, while remaining more versatile.

The restriction on how many Knights Atrapos you can have in an army only applies where you have other Knights, so you can take one Knight Atrapos on its own. If you have other Knights of other kinds they may not be outnumbered by the Knights Atrapos.

Special Characters[edit]

Gerantius (White Dwarf)[edit]

A Knight Errant with a whole bunch of special rules:

He has It Will Not Die, giving him more longevity on the tabletop and may run & shoot the same way that Eldar can so he can either close the range with that Thermal Cannon more quickly, or retreat after firing to get out of counter attack range or move into cover.

He may also re-roll 1s on the Stomp Table, meaning that he is always going to have an effect in melee.

Not to mention the 3++ ion shield.

Although it says he does not use the rules for Knightly Ranks, he is automatically a Seneschal equivalent, but cannot be the army's warlord. This is a good thing because it then guarantees you two Seneschals in your Knight army straight off the bat.

Obsidian Knight (Warzone Damocles: Mont'Ka)[edit]

Only present in a mission in Mont'Ka, and unlike Gerantius there is no indication if he should be able to be taken in a Knight Detachment or as a Lord of War choice for other armies.

He is a Knight Paladin and comes with a few extra rules: WS/BS6 and With Preferred Enemy and Hatred (Tau) means that bluberries will get blended. BS6 also means far more accuracy with that Battlecannon, while his 3++ Ion Shield allows him to tank hits like a champ.

Bear in mind, despite his improved stat-line and as mentioned before, he doesn't "fit" anywhere in a Knight Detachment and therefore can't get any Heirlooms or fit in any formations.

FAQs say use the most up to date version of the rules available, so outside the mission you would use the ones from Warzone: Damocles, but he would only be usable in Apocalypse.

Patriarch Tybalt (Apocalypse)[edit]

While he has no statline/dataslate he is present in the rules and can be made from one of your Imperial Knights, regardless of what type of suit they are wearing, so if you've got a Lancer, go for it.

He's taken as an Apocalypse Stratagem, which upgrades one of your knights into him, automatically making them a Seneschal and granting him the choice of one of the available special rules: Adamantium Will, Crusader, Hatred, IWND, Monster Hunter, Rage, Rampage or Scout. May good close combat options there, but IWND makes his Knight just as survivable as Gerantius.

He also has a special Finest Hour if he's your warlord, in addition to the usual efects, any Knights within 12" become Seneschals for a turn, boosting their Ion Shields and WS/BS for the duration so is particularly good if you surrounded him with the Knights Apparent who would gain the greatest benefit from his experience.

Formations[edit]

  • Gallant Lance - Team up three Gallants and you get Crusader, Rage, and a re-roll on the charge distance. You're still stuck with mere melee killiness, just with a bonus helping of D/Fisting when you charge.
  • Imperial Knight Baronial Court - 3-5 Imperial Knights of any type. All knights get to add +1 to their Ion Shield save to the front if they're within 6" of a fellow Knight. You also get a WT re-roll and you have to elect a Knight to become the Baron so he can get a relic and +1 BS/WS. In addition, his comrades can Overwatch and Counter-Attack within 12" of the Baron.
  • Tripartite Lance - The three new Knight variants become a legit unit and get new rules: The Warden drops enemy cover saves by 1, the Gallant gives the team d3 HoW hits, and the Crusader gives all Blast Weapons Twin-Linked. All in all, pretty neat, but if you lose any knights here, you're still forking over a VP.
  • Exalted Court - 5 Knights of any type. Everyone here's now a Character, gain +1 to their WS/BS, and can each select a relic. The Warlord gets +2 to his WS/BS and +1 to Ion Shield saves, can select a relic, can re-roll Warlord Trait and re-rolls to-hit in challenges. Pricy, but those boosts are sweet.
  • Skyreaper Lance - 3 Knights, all with Icarus Autocannons. They all get to re-roll Pens and can re-roll glances and they get to re-roll to-wound a FMC. Generally...not worth it. Just get an Onager, it's way cheaper.
  • The Exalted Court of House Terryn (limited edition 800 bucks formation) - Requires 2 Knight Wardens, 1 Knight Crusader, One Knight Paladin, and One Knight Errant. Everyone's a Character and gets Weapon Skill 5 and Ballistic 5. In addition, they can each select relics.
    • The High King (Knight Warden): WS/BS 6. Adds 1 to ion shield invulnerable saves and re-rolls all failed to hit rolls when fighting in a challenge. If the High King is your warlord, he has the Knight Seneschal Warlord trait.
    • The Herald (Knight Crusader): The herald and all models in this formation within 12" of him re-roll ion shield invulnerable saves of 1 and can fire overwatch even though they are Super-Heavy Walkers
    • The Kingsward (Knight Paladin): If the High King is within 6" and suffers a glancing or penetrating hit, you can roll a dice; on a 2+, the Kingsward suffers the hit instead. Consider the Mark of the Omnissiah since you'll be taking lots of hits.
    • The Master of Judgement (Knight Warden): The Master of Judgement reroll failed charge rolls and failed to hit rolls during the first round of each close combat.
    • The Gatekeeper (Knight Errant): The Gatekeeper has the counter-attack special rule and all of his ranged weapons have the Interceptor special rule. That's right, you just blasted that pack of Daemons right back where they came from before they could even throw a punch.
  • Household Spearhead (Apocalypse) - A Knight army on its own: 3-5 Knight Paladins or Errants (in any combination) and give the whole lot either Interceptor or Scout. Obviously Interceptor probably means a lot more in Apocalypse games since you'll likely have other units scouting forward positions. Scouting Errants are nothing to sneeze at.
  • Adamantine Lance (Sanctus Reach - The Red Waaagh) - 3 Knights Errant/Paladins. This is pretty cool, when the Knights are within 3" of each other (so pretty close then) their Ion Shields overlap and they may re-roll failed saves. This is pretty amazing no matter what Knightly Rank your Knights are, and the ion shield facing becomes less of a problem, because you've created a wall of superheavy vehicles that is more difficult to reach behind to vulnerable facings. Also the Knights get D3 Hammer of Wrath hits rather than just one, and bear in mind they are all auto-hit S10 so can have a chance of Instant Killing your targets at the beginning of combat if they fail their saves. Even better now that Paladins and Errants can take carapace weapons. still Better than most of the new codex formations
  • Anvil of the Emperor (Blood Oath) - A Reaver or Warlord Titan gets to accompany 5 Knights of your choosing. The Knights need to enter reserve and when they arrive, you need to roll a d6 to see if they either arrive from the left or right of your board. In addition, a Knight gains Twin-Linked and Ignores Cover against enemies the big Titan fired at in the same Shooting Phase.

Castellans of the Imperium[edit]

Found in Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia, this detachment skirts the line between using no force org, and being battle forged. Basically, take Imperial Guard, Sisters of Battle, Space Marines (Vanilla Space Marines with Black Templars mind you),Imperial Knights, Assassins, and Militarum Tempestus. Then build the army around the units in there different unit organizations. Ok, so its not that clear cut. The detachment basically lists what units (by name) can be used in what position. Knights offer only to the Lord of War, and some powerful ones. They are competing with Baneblade family. Its a difference between more guns, or powerful close combat. A interesting decision. Aside from giving open reign with you army construction, the detachment gives you some other nice benefits.

  • Hatred for all. Yep, everyone in the detachment gains hatred. Even better, if you fill out the force org chart, all the units gain Zealot instead.
  • Chenkov fun. Yep, if a troop unit is destroyed, it has the chance to be in on-going reserves. Add in that you have no upper limit on the number of troops you may take, and you have some combat staying power. Just hope its not a kill point battle.
  • Build a Imperial Crusade. Basically, take what you want to create the perfect army that you always wanted.

The detachment has some problems, though.

  • Points cost. You think getting that Zealot is cheap? You are wrong. Three Lord of War Choices ain't cheap. Not to mention the number of heavy support, troop, HQ, elite, and fast attack choices you need to fill out that Force Org.
  • Multiple armies. For this detachment, you need at least two of the armies listed. So if you are starting out, this is not the detachment for you.
  • LARGE!! This Detachment is large if you plan on filling it out. Having all those books, rules, and units can be daunting.
  • Restrictions. Sorry, unless later FAQed, no Forgeworld for you (Except Vendettas, long story). Except that from Forgeworld Emails, all of their 'dreadnoughts' count as Dreadnoughts for the purposes of formations(just remember that the Leviathan's Relic of Darkness rule means that he can't claim the formation benefits, even if you put him in there). In addition, all of their Badab War Characters count as their respective type for formations. Sevrin Loth is a Librarian, while Captain Tarnus Vale is a Captain. That being said, units in armies such as Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and the like cannot be taken in this detachment.


Allies[edit]

As Imperial Knights are somewhat...limited as a main detachment, this section will mostly focus on how to act as a good ally to another army.

Battle Brothers[edit]

  • Imperial Guard:Hellhounds make great hunting dogs for the Knights and guard also gives pretty decent air cover. They also provide the one thing you lack - large bodies of cheap, expendable wounds. Also Techpriests with servitors can repair Knights if they can manage to keep up.
    • Militarum Tempestus: Their ability to lay down fire and travel quickly makes them pretty good at keeping up with the knights and clearing away tarpits.
  • Multiple Flavours of Power Armor: In general, the Space Marines can always benefit from an IK in combination with any tactics. The Stormravens/Stormfangs make great AA protection and Devastators/Long Fangs synergize well with stopping other tanks and any long range threats to the Knight of your choice.
    • Blood Angels provide close combat rape
    • Clan Raukaan: It's expensive as heck, but you can grab a Master us of the Forge and 3 techmarines, give them all servo harnesses and put them on bikes, and repair your knights on 3+. You won't slow down the knight, and unless it gets killed in one turn, it's going to be back up and running by your next shooting phase.
      • Angels of Death Update: Grab two Librarians with Technomancy (or a Librarian and Bike Captain if you want bikes as troops) and you can field up to 6 techmarines.
    • Death from the skies: A new tactic from death from the skies is to take a air superiority detachment of two interceptors and fix your anti-air problem for about 250 points. Seriously, there is no reason not to take these guys.
  • Adepta Sororitas: The Knight Paladin augments the Sister's limited long range options, while the Knight Errant can support the Sister's tank hunters with its thermal cannon and as melee deterrent. Also, a cheap Cannoness on a Quad-gun can give the Knights valuable anti air coverage.
  • Inquisition: Do take them. The Knight Paladin and its Battle Cannon benefit greatly from squads of Acolytes along with cheap access to Valkyries to save your ass from enemy fliers (one of the few weaknesses of the Knights). Due to the cheapness and less restrictive FOC of the Inquisition, they are your best bet for "filling in the holes" of your Knight army (either by providing a cheap low-cost but effective primary detachment in lower point games so you can run a single Knight as an Allied Detachment, or by buying some cheap upgrades to fill in the holes at larger points, most notably at the 1750 and 2000 point marks.
    • Take an inquisitor and 3 units of henchmen, each with a psyker and two acolytes. For under 80 points, you get a few units that can hold back field objectives while you let your knights rip things to bits, and 3 denial dice, which will help you hopefully stop a crucial power or two from going off when you don't want it too.
  • Officio Assassinorum: The new Dataslate doesn't have too much to offer Knights, but a Vindicare can pick off virtually any kind of threat to your Knight from a big distance if your Knight somehow has trouble against it, Callidus and Eversor Assassins make good distractions because they give the enemy a lot to worry about too. Although 90% of time you will accidentally kill your own Callidus assassins with scattered pieplates, so bear that in mind.
  • Legion of the Damned:These guys are amazing for knights, a 10 man squad can drop in and kill a small infantry squad with ignores cover bolters, meaning those Pathfinders hiding behind an Aegis Defense Line are dead. Provides a much needed small infantry killer squad. Take a 10 man with animus malorum and a 5 man with a melta and multimelta to get that basilisk in ruins.
  • Skitarii: Another good one, especially if you like spamming fast-moving walkers (who doesn't). Keep in mind that Skitarii don't need a lot of ranged help especially when it comes to anti-infantry, but vehicle bustin' and especially close combat are where they need the most help. Use Onagers for anti-air, Vanguard to soften heavy infantry (specifically hammernators), Rangers (especially with transuranic arquebi) to pop transports and help erase any infantry and then throw a Knight reaper chainsword and/or thunder gauntlet at vehicles, buildings, monstrous/gargantuan critters and all those generally fighty bastards. Use supporting guns for anything else that needs attention.
  • Cult Mechanicus: Take a Dominus and hit it with the Uncreator Gauntlet for hilarious 1-6 HP repair per turn, coupled with his regular repair ability.
  • Solar Auxilia: If you don't mind sacrificing the soul of your firstborn child, multiple daemonic contracts, or a few kidneys in the usual manner of forgeworld payments, Solar Auxilia is the PERFECT ally for Imperial Knights. A Nanyte Blaster Legate with Volkite Charger Veletaris sitting in an Arvus lighter is essentially Kryptonite to tarpits, and will cause them to experience critical existence failure in the span of a single shooting phase. And if you don't like the idea of waiting until turn 2 to remove tarpits with extreme prejudice, then 300 points worth of Lasrifle Sections can do pretty much the same thing, pumping out 120 shots as 36" Heavy 2 Lasguns. While it is legal in 40k, you're going to have to bash some heads in with your copy of Horus Heresy in order to get people to accept that GW and Forgeworld are literally the same company making shit for the same game.
As an added bonus, 3 Lasrifle Sections with a Medicae Section makes for god-tier backliners. Their Collimator(Heavy 2 36" S3) Lasguns mean they can contribute to a fight even from the objective, and their good saves(4+ standard, rerollable leadership when near another section) means they'll sit on the objective for multiple turns. Just be sure to give them Blast Chargers so they can still threaten MCs.

Tactics[edit]

Hit the enemy until it dies. Avoid tarpits, or at least have someone to pry your fat knight butt out of them. (A Knight Castigator is nearly tarpit-proof, if you're not averse to Forge World). Keep some distance to other knights, because you're going to lose few and it's not fun (for you) when that first cold apocalyptic mega-fart takes out not only the initial knight, but also other knights. Avoid engaging units with Melta Bombs or Haywire Grenades like they have plague and you just recovered from fever. Specifically Imperial Guard vets with Demolitions doctrine (10 meltabombs in a squad? yikes!) or Skitarii Secutor Hoplites (or Vanguard or Rustalkers or Cataphron Breachers...) Fire Warriors with EMP grenades are less of a problem because they're lousy Tau WS2/I2, and will probably whiff anyway after you kill most of them, but if you get unlucky the pain can be extreme. 1 saving grace is, the new FAQ limits grenades to 1 per squad in Assault and shooting to streamline, so there's a little less chance that you'll die to them, but think carefully.

They're nigh unto never seen these days, but if you do happen to encounter Sisters Repentia, watch the hell out. On the charge, they have Rage, and their weapons have Armourbane and AP2, and they tend to come in decent numbers, usually with shenanigans (Zealot, for example). They will chop a knight into little bits of metallic confetti, even if you charge them and kill one with Hammer of Wrath and every single chainsword swing (Castigators are the exception, they will massacre the Sisters here). Stomp may get some satisfying revenge, but it happens at the same time as their doomtastic chopping action (and the meltabombs that the Mistress and their Priest minders almost surely have). That said, don't be afraid to take one on the chin to stop them from dicing up something more valuable, like a Warhound Titan.

Counter Tactics[edit]

  • Escalation - If a player brings Knights to the table his opponent is permitted to roll on the Escalation Warlord Traits table instead of their usual selection. While some traits are better than others, each of the traits do help.
    • In particular versus Knights, you should aim for the one that reduces Destroyer/Stomp/Blitz rolls by -1, which increases your survivability significantly by removing Deathblow from the list of results and increasing the chance of nothing happening at all to 33%.
  • Stronghold Assault - Any Fortification/Fortification Network that grants access to Obstacles grants access to the best hard counter to Knights: Tank Traps. Ready the tear cups as Knights can not cross Tank Traps as written, nor can they Stomp over them. Of course, your TO may ban them entirely, or nerf their use, so check first.
  • Skitarii / Cult Mech - All the Haywire you could ask for, Sicarian Infiltrators and Kastelan Maniples add their debuff aura and S10 power fists/smash to the table. TPDominus can also take knights apart. The Holy Requisitioner with its precision deepstriking and plethora of haywire shots can make quick work out of a knight or two.
  • Eldar / Dark Eldar - Experience has taught that Haywire Grenades work well against Imperial Knights. Unfortunately Dark Eldar Wyches have become the whipping girls for GW across 6th/7th edition due to the introduction of overwatch, an overall improvement of the shooting game, and have lost widespread access to Haywire grenades. Their invulnerable save offers them protection against anything other than 6s on the Stomp/Destroyer tables, so they're more likely to survive combat than most other squads outside of some builds of loyalist/chaos terminators, but since only DE characters get Haywire they will be lucky to score a few hull points before losing combat. If your opponent has scourges, prioritise their removal, Haywire blasters with their manoeuvrability will not end well for your knights, ion shield or not. Swooping Hawks are no longer great vehicle hunters after the new FAQ since they can only use 1 haywire grenade per phase. Revenant titans wreck knights quite quickly since any 6's rolled in D table destroy the knight automatically, and you get 4 tries every turn. Also, did I mention thanks to all Distort Weaponry getting Destroyer status that they can destroy knights in 1 volley? And the Wraithknight now has ranged D-weapons, so any 6s from range and the knight goes bye-bye. If you're worried about web-waying Wraithguard with D weapons, a counter tactic can be making use of Coteaz and some serious dakka to make sure they never see the table with enough force to take off your knights. Also, BEWARE HARLEQUINS! The Harlequin's Caress weapon on Player squads and especially Solitaires causes automatic glancing hits on any roll of a 6 to-hit in melee, and army-wide invulnerable saves means they couldn't care less about your Stomp and Destroyer attacks unless you get lucky. Kill them at range, because if one of your giant stompy robots gets assaulted by these nimble little fucks then it's game over for you, sunshine.
  • Flyers - Flyers, the bane of many Knights over. All Flyers from Stormravens to Doom Scythes are a Knight's worse enemy. The big guns on the Knight (with two exceptions) are Template weapons, and their Heavy Stubbers at best are going to chip the paintwork. In short, most Knights have little to no defence against anything that flies, especially if it packs copious amounts of Anti Tank firepower. This goes double if you're playing regular 40K and have disallowed Forge World in your gaming circle But then you have probably banned Knights too so point moot. However, with the presence of the new Carapace mounted Guns, you can now upgrade any Knight to have a Twin-linked Skyfire and Interceptor Autocannon with the benefit of being a Superheavy, meaning the Knight can target fliers reliably while his big guns target something else. When lacking in Autocannons however, the Avenger Gatling Cannon's 12 shots should guarantee a few sixes on the to hit. If your group allows for Forge World, the Styrix, Castigator and Lancer can also stand in for AA purposes (though this is ill advised for the Lancer, as it is its only shooting attack and the Lancer needs to charge things, so only use it as a last resort).
  • Chaos Space Marines - Throw Kharn at one of the knights. No seriously. Kharn, if he gets the charge off, can statistically blow up a knight through the sheer number of hull points he can shave off in a single turn. And due to his high initiative, he can do this before the knight has a chance to react. However the resulting explosion will more than likely pancake him so he's more like a one-use bomb. Still, considering he's a fraction of the cost of a Knight and a decent horde killer and tank popper, he's not a bad choice. Just make sure you choose carefully at which Knight explodes. Alternatively, damn near anything from Forge World available to CSM is considerably deleterious to Imperial Knights from the small (Blood Slaughterers) to the similarly sized (Kytan) to the fuck-huge. You can also use Be'lakor. A bit expensive, but with 6 S7 AP2 attacks on the charge with armourbane (with master - crafted weapon, in case you fail a 3+ hit) fellow will do nasty things to enemy knights, and he's impervious to most of the knight's shooting attacks, with 2+ jink and Eternal Warrior. Also, you know, invisibility to troll your opponent.
  • Orks Tankbustas. Truckloads of Tankbustas. Warbuggies can also fair quite well as outflank can fuck with their Ion shield. Generally any walkers will get shredded before they reach the Knight or just die to him attacking first in melee as they are all I2 (even a Orkanaught will likely die before it strikes). If you've got a fetish for giant mech battles though you could also bring a Stompa. FW lets you custom build your own stompa and it's quite easy to make it deadly against any kind of superheavy.
  • Chaos DaemonsPlaguebearers . With on six glancing swords, able to come in 20 daemon, 2+ save when going to ground in cover, and can be given feel no pain with a herald and you have some FUN* knight crackers that have decent odds of getting there assuming they don't get tied up with other infantry units. Plus any army can use them with summoning, maybe not enough but enough to get a point off or distract it.
  • Tau The Tau have some of the best options for dealing with individual Knights, with the advantage of deep strike, long-range high-strength weapons and resilient units there are lots of effective counters. Generally if an enemy is taking a Knight you don't have a choice but to prioritize it's destruction, it's too difficult to avoid close combat due to their speed. The best way to kill one is to force the owner of the knight into a "no win scenario" by covering two or preferably three facings with lethal firepower. This is best done with deep striking fusion suits, deep striking fusion keels, a deep striking/swooping Y'Rhava or good deployment of broadsides, Hammerheads or Riptide/Rvarnas. They pick one (or two) facings for their shield and suffer for the rest, effectively guaranteeing one dead knight. Your best Knight killers are:
    • Suicide Squad Fusion Suits: crisis suits with double fusion. Cheapish and with a fairly safe bubble of range to deep strike and shoot. Get marker support or a buffmander to assure that you hit (tank hunters helps too with the PENC). This squad will likely die but it's a worthy sacrifice.
    • Fusion Ghostkeels: also deep strike dependent, they have a smaller window of safety so try to get a homing beacon. They get the same number of shots at better BS (take them in a team of 3) and you will have a durable, effective killing machine that will likely survive the next phase.
    • Y'Vahra: If you have forgeworld dollery-do's get this bastard. His Ion Pulse cannon is absolute death to vehicles due to its haywire pulse rule and his mobility is amazing. He can rip apart a knight with one round of shooting, or at least knock it so low in HP that another squad can finish it off. It also can escape CC.
    • R'Varna: Another Forgeworld usurer, this bastard is a knight killer at its heart and soul. If it gets a stutter fire shot off on an shielded side of a knight, the knight is dead. With the potential of 12 st 8 hits in one round of shooting, this is a points effective knight hunter with great range.
    • Riptides: these are actually poor knight hunters but they have the mobility to get into position and clean up someone else's mess. The biggest bet you have is to have some for intimidation sake to try and goad the enemy into facing their ion shield the wrong way.
    • Stormsurges: alone they are adequate, if risky hunters of knights, the pulse driver dumping two demolisher cannons on them every round. The magic happens when you give them marker light support. D missiles eat Knights for breakfast. You only get 4 per surge, so be careful with how you use them
    • Ta'unar: Holy fuck what is wrong with you? I wanted to teach you how to beat knights not drive the other player into suicidal depression. The Supremacy armor is designed with the sole purpose of eating Knights and competing with Warhounds. It's massive blast D weapon combined with its 6 lascannon shots can wreck a Knight a round, if you give it fusion annihilators you may kill more but you are dangerously close to close combat. Never get in close combat with a Knight. Ever. Period. And either way, you've basically gone and taken a warhound titan to kill a knight. Nice.