Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Knights (9E)
- 1 Why Play Imperial Knights
- 2 Keywords
- 3 Special Rules
- 3.1 Household Traditions
- 3.2 Knightly Teachings
- 3.3 The Code Chivalric
- 3.4 Exalted Court
- 4 Stratagems
- 5 Warlord Traits
- 6 Secondaries
- 7 Wargear
- 8 Armies of Renown
- 9 Unit Analysis
- 10 Allies
- 11 Tactics
Why Play Imperial Knights
Perhaps you were a fan of all those giant robots from those Japanese cartoons when you were little. Maybe it's because you always liked the fight between Mecha-zilla and Godzilla and wanted to see that in a wargame, or maybe its because you just love giant robots that carry fuckoff huge flamethrowers and harpoons like its some sort of whale hunting expedition. Let's face it, you like the fatties. That's what knights are for.
Has that tank been bothering you? Predator cannon on top making your life hell? Grab a knight and charge the thing, kick it over with your huge fucking robot feet, then smash it with your giant metal fist and chuck the turret at the enemy captain. Maybe you should instead give it a goddam chaingun and eat chunks out of that squad of terminators while pointing a crack-sniffing melta gun at your opponent's superheavies. If you want to drop $140 on a model that will pair with just about any imperial faction and be the centerpiece of your army, you get a knight.
Modeling and painting Pros
- Cool models. As in "psychologically-intimidating" cool. Putting a Knight on a table will cause your opponent to internally go into "aww shit" mode.
- Can be magnetised so that you can customise your knight depending of the opponent/meta, although not so much of an option with forge world models. They’re also surprisingly easy to build and paint, painting in particular is made so much easier by the presence of nice large armour panels, the ability to build the knight in separate sub assemblies, and nice sharp details which take highlights very well.
- Many online stores, including Forge World, sell conversion bitz specifically for knights, allowing you to construct them in any flavor you need to. Space wolf, Custodes, Mechanicus, even chaos versions if you don't like the new heretical models.
- Lots of large prominent areas for freehand painting, or making custom transfer. In theory you could put print out's of whole miniature painting's onto some surfaces, It's been done with a Steam tank of all thing's so it's provably possible.
- A higher ratio of points/cost then most armies. While, yes your individual models are expensive, they also cost a lot in game so a knight army overall is cheaper. A knight may cost 170 dollars, but it alone can make up 1/4th an army point cost. An equivalent amount of dollars of guardsmen or even space marines do not come close to make up so much of an army by themselves.
- Chicks. Dig. Giant. Robots.
- Tough as nails. With 24 wounds, T8/3+/5++ vs shooting, it'll take on average 23 BS3+ lascannon shots to take one down. Waltz it forward at the front of your army and watch it soak up entire turns of shooting. (Just be careful if the Guard player sets down a Shadowsword.)
- They make for an excellent Imperial ally in 2000 point or more games, especially more as it can be more efficient having a couple of slightly weaker knights running around killing stuff than a single warhound Titan.
- While you would never really put some imperial factions together (sisters of battles and marines for example) there is no imperial faction which does not gain something by the presence of a Knight (although every time this is to perform the role of “a giant fuck off robot with big guns”, but who doesn’t need a giant robot on their side)?
- Knights have all of the ranged firepower, possessing strength 9 ranged weapons for your MEQ chewing needs, high rate of fire strength 6 guns for your GEQ chewing needs and even more heavy firepower in the dominus class.
- Some of the best Forge World support of any faction. While others might get a few units which are ultimately superfluous, the forge world knights are/can be more powerful than the basic varieties and come with some very unique and interesting weapons.
- The Imperial Armor Compendium for Forge World has changed up a few things, several of which are for the better!
- Chicks. Dig. Giant. Robots.
Modeling and painting Cons
- Price, per model. Your cheapest models are the Armiger knights at a cool $75 USD/£47.50 GBP. Your standard Questorius class knights run at $157/£100 and the Dominus knights are a non-multikit bearing $170/£105! Lube up your wallet if you go Forge World--with knights averaging at $300/£201. Depending on the faction this isn't actually much more expensive than a regular army considering you only need 3-4 Questorius models to function, but it certainly feels more expensive.
- A neutral aspect more than a con, but while knights can take simple paintjobs, they thrive in the design and freehand painting fields. Look up imperial knights on google and you'll be smitten with dozens of beautiful paintjobs. If you put your knight down with three colors and no decals you're kinda missing out on some spectacle for your army. Thankfully, provided you either A) Paint the colors on smooth and with decent contrast or B) weather the hell out of them, your knight will look good without sacrificing your limbs to the machine god for better dexterity.
- Damage Tables mean that your Knights get slower and less accurate the more worn down they are from combat.
- Although tougher than they were in 7th edition, they've also gotten a lot pricier; a bare-bones Gallant runs 400 points, while a fully-kitted Crusader weighs in at 555.
- Most of your models are Titanic and more than 5" tall. If ruins are frequently used terrain pieces, you'll find yourself being shot at by infantry armies while not being able to shoot back at times.
- Knights die surprisingly easily and hit surprisingly weakly. Expect to take a lot of wounds and miss a lot of shots. As mentioned in the Pros section, their best weapon is the sheer intimidation factor of the models. Speaking of intimidation...
- You won't win the psychological warfare against level-headed opponents. Your Knights might be scary as fuck to noobs but not to those who keep their calm.
- A 3+ armour and 5++ (ranged) invulnerable save is nothing special to write home about, especially as most knights don’t get their invuln against melee attacks. Unless you’re up against “small arms” fire you will take a surprising amount of damage very quickly. Stuff like Tesla guns with +1 or +2 to hit will do an obscene amount of damage despite your saves.
- They will need help dealing with hordes even if the revised chainblades and fists do help address with most of your concerns.
- Hammernators and equivalent melee units will still wreck your shit mercilessly and almost look cost-effective doing it (although thunder hammers are slightly less effective than in 8th.)
- Dedicated anti-tank guns will bring them down with shocking rapidity. With the changes to ion shields, static gun lines threaten them quite a bit.
- You have to ally with the Mechanicus to get Engineseers and other Techpriests to repair Knights at a reduced efficiency (1 wound instead of D3, although the right warlord trait can boost that to 2), and even that limits which households you can take.
- You're big, but there are even bigger kids on the block, and the firepower and melee capability these beasts can bring to a battle makes your knights look like an Ork trukk by comparison.
- 9th mission structure doesn't lend itself to knights, although new secondaries in the codex may help with this.
Of course, you need to mention IMPERIUM IMPERIAL KNIGHTS and VEHICLE. On top of that, every knight aside from the Armigers get TITANIC, on top of each respective class: ARMIGER-CLASS, QUESTORIS-CLASS and DOMINUS-CLASS.
The Knights uniquely have two different keywords, <QUESTOR ALLEGIANCE> and <NOBLE HOUSEHOLD>. <QUESTOR ALLEGIANCE> can be turned into either the QUESTOR IMPERIALIS or QUESTOR MECHANICUS Keywords, which are relevant for certain interactions with other Imperial factions like the Adeptus Mechanicus and also determine whether or not they can benefit from a few Relics and stratagems. Non-Freeblades also have the <NOBLE HOUSEHOLD> Keyword, which will define their Household Tradition, though FREEBLADE knights have their own custom vows to pick from.
All Armiger-Class knights gain Objective Secured.
- Bondsman Abilities: Your Questoris knights have a focused buff ability that they can give to one Armiger each turn. While you can't stack these buffs, your armigers do have damage reduction when Honoured or Virtuous, reducing the incoming damage by 1.
- Super-heavy Walker: A model with this rule is "eligible to declare a charge in a turn in which it Fell Back. Each time this model makes a Normal Move, Advances or Falls Back, it can be moved across other models (excluding monster and vehicle models) as if they were not there, and when it does it can be moved within Engagement Range of such models, but cannot finish its move within Engagement Range of any of them". This means Titanic Knights can simply walk out of melee whenever they so please without taking any of the regular penalties for doing so. Tired of shooting and slicing up his Tactical squad? Walk away and shoot his Predators! Not going to win that combat against their geared up HQ? Walk away and blast him to bits in the shooting phase then charge someone else instead! A recent FAQ also gifted us with the ability to walk through difficult terrain and not suffer any movement penalties.
- Knight Lances: If your army is Battle-forged, select one model in each Imperial Knights Super-heavy Detachment in your army. Each model you selected gains the Character keyword, and thus eligible for WTs.
- Super-Heavy Detachments cost 6 CP, however taking up to two Questoris-Class knights or 3-5 Armiger-Class knights refunds 3 CP and taking 3+ Questoris-Class knights or 6+ Armiger-Class knights and some other knights refunds all 6 CP.
- Towering Foes: Now enshrined in our 9e codex, Armigers in a Knights Deatachment count as 5 Bodies + obsec, and Titanic models count as ten bodies. This includes Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachments (SHAD).
- Wandering Hero: A Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment comprised of a Freeblade Unitgains Agent of the Imperium as a keyword, letting them freely mingle with the various Imperial armies without penalty. Unit matters because it let's you bring a 3 strong unit of Armigers.
- The Mechanicus add onto this by making a Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment also gain the Knight of the Cog keyword to help benefit from Mechanicus strats.
Your new Chapter Tactics equivalents for Knight Houses. At first glance, Houses may seem akin to the sub-factions of the other Codexes, but the difference of some of them being Questor Imperialis or Questor Mechanicus means they have different access to a trio of mutually-exclusive Stratagems and Relics and the corresponding Allegiance Oath introduced in Engine War.
The big thing to keep in mind: ONLY units in Super-heavy detachments get Household Traditions and the Allegiance Oath! If you're only adding one knight to an existing army and that knight is in a Super-heavy auxiliary detachment it WON'T GET THESE BENEFITS. You'll still have the keyword you chose and will be able to use Stratagems though!
Freeblades are allowed to have a different Allegiance to the other knights in your detachment however if they do so you lose the benefit of the oath.
- The Imperialis Allegiance Oath - Vow of Honour: +1" to advance and charge rolls, you can ignore any or all modifiers to Advance and Charge rolls, and +1" to pile-ins and consolidations. While not as aggressive as Iconoclast Knights, this places an increased focus on charging and the boost to pile-in range lets your massive walkers slip into melee without charging.
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only the hunter and his prey.
Thematically, House Cadmus are the huntiest hunters to ever hunt. They're all about the fight phase and making the most of your close quarters prowess.
On the tabletop, they specialize in ensuring wounds are delivered to their target. While their relic and Stratagem lend themselves to shooting, their real meat and potatoes lie in getting up in the enemy's face and throwing all that weight around
Household Traditions - Hunters of the Foe: Now has two abilities. You can re-roll wound rolls when fighting a unit of 6+ models, as well as re-rolling a wound roll of 1 if they're not Vehicles or Monsters. Truth be told, they're kind of redundant unless you're fighting blobs of cultists or gaunts.
- Counterpoint. You can wreck vehicles in melee with no issues at all. Where knights struggle is against melee hordes where they get bogged down. Now that all knight weapons come with a sweep weapon profile you can wound all infantry in the game on a 35/36 while deal huge amounts of damage with ap others armies have to go to dedicated units for. The rerolling all wounds is redundant however unless you’re fighting T5 units (“cough” custodes “cough”) while just using your feet.
Warlord Trait -Veteran of Gryphonne IV: All incoming melee damage is reduced by one to a minimum of 1.
- Basic but a nice middle finger to heavy all those high rate of fire weapons which have received a damage boost this edition.
Relics - The Hunter's Eye: Questoris-Class or Armiger-Class knights only. Nullifies cover bonuses against the user's attacks. Very handy if you play on tables with lots of terrain.
- Situational, but as cover bonuses covers a lot of different buffs this edition it has its place.
Stratagems -Bio-scryer Cogitator Array (1/2 CP): Lets you immediately shoot at a unit that is set up from tactical reserve, provided it shows up within 12". Notably, this does NOT impose a to hit penalty, setting it apart from other similar stratagems. Not to mention having a Crusader pump a tank squad's worth of firepower into an opportunistic deepstriker is better than other armies infantry-only responses. 1 CP for Armigers, 2 CP for everyone else.
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only room for brave knights who charge everything.
Thematically, House Griffith are more akin to historical knights with their focus on expensive, well armored, and elite units charging into their enemies to break them with superior might.
On the tabletop, Griffith make awesome use of the Knight's ability to simply walk out of combat with lesser foes. This allows you to get in some serious cycle charging turn after turn to ensure your Household Tradition's extra attacks are always active.
Household Traditions - Glory of the Charge: Add +1 to the Attacks characteristic of a model during any turn in which it charged, was charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention. Yes, your Knights now have Shock Assault. While this no longer allows everyone to Heroically Intervene, you do have a Chivalric Vow that lets you do this. A 25% increase in damage output (20% for the gallant), for the melee focused knights this can be the difference between the Baneblade being able to quote “to be or not to be” at you.
Warlord Trait - Master of the Joust: Your warlord is eligible to declare a charge in a turn in which it Advanced, which is very useful since Full Tilt was re-worked in the 9e codex. Remember that you get advance and charge buffs already.
Relics - Mark of the Lance: When you finish your Charge move, roll a d6; on a 2-3 one enemy unit within 1" suffers D3 mortal wounds, on a 4-5 it suffers 3 mortal wounds, on a 6 it's D3+3. Combine with the knights ability to retreat and charge and you can put out a lot of wounds.
Stratagems - Dragonslayer (2 CP): In the shooting phase or fighting phase, until the end of the phase, add 1 to the attack's wound roll vs vehicles or monsters.
In the grim darkness of the far future, duty is eternal.
Thematically, House Hawkshroud are the broest of the Knight Houses, often sending out Knights to help others.
On the tabletop, Hawkshroud still fight harder longer thanks to their Household Tradition. Meanwhile, their strat and relic has been re-worked in 9e.
Household Tradition - Oathkeepers: Still has wounds count twice as many for the purposes of your Damage Chart, but you now count as having +1 more Honour point than you really have, letting you edge into Virtuous perks so long as you aren't Dishonoured.
- Probably one of the best traits in the codex. The loss of effectiveness from damage can really gimp your knight, but if your enemy has to deal 18 wounds to your Questoris, 21 to your Dominus and 9 to your Armigers to even drop their statistics by one point, it means you can survive far longer putting out higher damage, and give you a definite edge against other knight armies, or armies that kill you with chip damage.
Warlord Trait - Duty of Forsworn: Pick an enemy unit at the start of the game. Your Warlord adds +1 to all hit rolls against that unit.
- Not always great, but put this on a Castellan and pick the biggest baddest thing they have and watch the look of fear on your opponent's face as you tell him your Volcano Lance is hitting on 2's. This is especially something to consider with certain Vows and Secondaries.
Relic - Angel's Grace: Questoris-Class or Armiger-Class knights only. Get a straight up 5+++ against mortals AND a 6" aura that grants the 5+++ against mortals to Armigers. Much improved over the older version.
Stratagem - Staunch Allies (2 CP): Now changed in 9e, you can no longer surprise people with an overwatch ambush. Instead, select one model 12" away from a model of yours that is being charged. You can perform a 6+D6" Heroic Intervention, which is incredible range and stacks with any other bonuses you may have for HI's.
- Stacks perfectly with Defend Those in Need, as the Honoured ability lets all your knights Heroically Intervene.
In the grim darkness of the far future, one must fight back against the darkness
Thematically, House Mortan is a dour House whose planet is perpetually shrouded in darkness and covered in monsters. The Knights must perpetually fight these dark monsters, developing their strength when the greater Imperium cannot aid them.
On the tabletop, Mortan's experience fighting in inky blackness translates to a skill in close-quarters, and some fun with hit modifiers.
Household Traditions - Close-Quarters Killers: Straight up improved in 9e with now letting you re-roll melee hit rolls of 1, with zero qualifiers.
Warlord Trait -Legacy of the Black Pall: Enemies must subtract 1 from their hit rolls targeting your Warlord from Shooting attacks further than 18". Useful, but only really on a backfield camping knight where they cannot be flanked by deepstriking foes. Can be combo'd with Gatekeeper for some lulz (Transhuman and -1 to hit).
Relics - Honor's Bite: Replaces a Reaper Chainsword, now upgraded in 9e. Strikes become S+6 AP-4 6 damage, and wound rolls of 6 deal 3 extra mortal wounds, Sweeps triple attacks at S:User AP -4 2 damage and wound rolls of 6 grant 1 extra mortal wound.
Stratagems - Slayer of Shadows (1 CP): Upgraded in 9e to now work in the shooting and fighting phases. One model can ignore any WS and BS modifiers for that phase.
In the grim darkness of the far future, fight for honor
Thematically, House Terryn are honorable Knights who fight to escape the mundanity of the traditions on their world.
On the tabletop, Terry hits hard and lots of times!
House Terryn is among the mightiest Knight Houses in the Imperium, and is one of the most unrelenting in their constant march to war in the Emperor's name. This is partially due to the incredibly complex, laborous, and torturous traditions Nobles are expected to follow... Unless they're at war. House Terryn is known for their exceeding gallantry and unrelenting assaults on the enemies of Mankind, and for their unrelenting commitment to their Knightly vows. One of the poster boys of the Imperial Knights, and the main poster boys for the Questor Imperialis Knights. Also they have a major role in the events of Psychic Awakening: Engine War, and its pretty cool.
Household Tradition - Gallant Warriors: When advancing or charging, roll an extra D6 and drop the lowest. Gets you up to places quicker and lets you run over and smash fools more reliably.
Warlord Trait - Champion of the Household: Re-roll Advance and Charge rolls.
Relics - Thunder of Voltoris: Replaces a rapid-fire battle cannon. 72" Heavy D6+6 S9 AP-2 D3 Blast, which is vastly improved over last edition's.
Stratagems - Glory in Honour (1 CP): Sadly changed to adding +1 attack and letting you re-roll 1's to hit in melee.
- Mechanicus Allegiance Oath - Sacristan Pledge: Regain 1 wound at the start of the controlling player's turn. Also, Armigers start with 1 extra wound, other knights start with 2 extra.
In the grim darkness of the far future, vengeance is constant.
On the tabletop, you want to run up and start wrecking fools in melee. Even more so in 9e after the Warlord Trait and Strat both were changed to enhance melee capabilities.
- Household Tradition - Cold Fury: Changed in 9e to having nat rolls of 6 auto-wound (5+ if you're attacking Titanics). Still spectacular when you consider how sweep attacks could allow several 6s to bypass Transhuman.
- Warlord Trait - First Knight: Now improves the Warlord's weapon skill characteristic by 1 (to a max of 2+), which by itself is excellent value. Omn top of this, during your command phase, you can select one Virtuous Chilveric ability from one of your select Oaths and have it be active for your Warlord.
- Relic - The Headsman's Mark: Improves damage for all weapons by 1 when targeting a monster or vehicle. If attacking a Titanic unit, add 1 to the attack's wound roll.
- Stratagem - Controlled Aggression (1 CP): At the start of the Fight phase, select up to two Armigers or one other House Krast unit from your army. Until the end of the phase, add 1 to the attack characteristic and improve each melee attack's AP by 1.
In the grim darkness of the far future, the strength of iron is all that holds.
Thematically, House Raven may well be the largest and mightiest of the Knight Households in the Imperium. They have an extremely close relationship with the Forge World Metalica, which has allowed House Raven to swell its ranks tremendously following the wisdom of Master Dominus Jamus Hetf'eld. House Raven leverages their massive numbers of Knights in order to advance as an unbreachable wall of crimson war machines, unleashing their fury upon the enemies of Humanity in a rolling wave of thunder as they advance rapidly across the battlefield. Additionally, House Raven is somewhat unique compared to other Knight Houses, as they have not solely expanded their Household in the traditional manner of passing titles and Knight Suits via inheritance, and recruiting new pilots solely from their world's nobles, as a substantial amount of their might has come from other Knight Houses and Freeblades swearing fealty to House Raven, and ultimately being absorbed into the Household. Also, their fortress on their homeworld, Kolossi, the Keep Inviolate, rivals the Fang on Fenris and even the Emperor's Palace on Terra. That is, until Bellie showed up and decided to steal the entire planet. They are the other set of poster boys for Knights, and the poster boys for Questor Mechanicus.
On the tabletop, they have a rad color scheme, with red armor, and yellow and black hazard markings as a sign of a pilot's veterancy. Really a rewarding faction for a anyone looking to learn to freehand, as the large stripes on the knights are big enough that it's not hard, but also large enough that you need to actually try and keep it straight and even, as it'll be noticeable if it isn't.
- Household Tradition - Relentless Advance: When moving or advancing, ignore any or all modifiers to your Move characteristic and Advance rolls. Also, each time this model is selected to shoot, it counts as having remained stationary. So not only do you get the 8e trait, but your Armigers can ignore difficult ground.
- Better than Terryn's Gallant Warriors when you value mobility for things other than rushing straight forward, as it enables you to do a fighting retreat. Benefits Crusaders and Armiger Warglaives the most for obvious reasons - always load up on Carapace Weapons if you're running House Raven.
- Warlord Traits:
- Master of the Trial: When hit by AP-1 or AP-2 attacks, the AP is degraded by 1. Small arms fire is a frequent nuisance, so you'll often be using this.
- Lord of the Trials: Any nat 6s to hit automatically wound.
- Inviolate: 4+++ FNP against Mortal Wounds.
- Blessed by Metalica: The warlord gains +2 wounds and can be repaired by any Metalica Techpriest despite lacking any matching keywords. If you're planning to attach some AdMech and don't mind being trapped with Metalica, then you absolutely need to pick this up.
- Banner Inviolate: Questoris-Class only. All Armigers within 6" can re-roll 1s to hit in any phase.
- Fury of the Keep: Replaces a thermal cannon. Upgraded to Assault 1d6 S9 AP-5 D1d6+2 with Blast.
- Metalican Eye: Any attacks against Vehicle or Monster units add -1 to their AP.
- Relentless Wrath: Replaces a rapid-fire battle cannon. This cannon's now Assault 2d6 and D3 - the Assault won't matter since you can't fire it in melee and could already fire it after advancing, but the D3 is slightly better than +1D for murdering TEQ (note; it does matter if it's in a Super Heavy Aux detahcment, as they do not benefit from Household traditions).
- Spirit of Kolossi: The bearer can re-roll one hit, wound, or damage roll when shooting or fighting.
- Crimson Wall (2 CP): Use during the fight phase. Whenever House Raven Character is hit by an attack, they automatically roll a 6 on their save. If you're up against something like a traitor knight with a fist or a super-power fist, you'll be relying on this.
- Hammer Blow (1/3 CP): Use during the shooting phase. One model that hasn't moved can't charge, but can re-roll 1s to hit with any Blast weapons or re-roll the hit roll if the target unit has over 6 models. The cost is upped to 3 CP if used on a Dominus or Acastus knight.
- Honour Inviolate (2/3 CP): Use during the shooting phase. If your model didn't move this turn, their ranged weapons all add +1 to their strength, meaning everything dakka can now splatter even more things. The cost is upped to 3 CP if used on a Dominus or Acastus knight, usually the shootiest.
- Horrors at Bay (1 CP): Whenever an enemy unit is attacking one of your knights, you can force it so that only models within engagement range can attack, which flat-out cripples the value of hordes as now only a few of the dozen boyz can make a swing and if their klaw nob isn't in that range, he's SOL.
- Kolossi Eternal (3 CP): Use once per game during the opponent's shooting phase. Select one non-armiger model in your army and two others within 3" of that first. All three models gain a 4++ Invuln save for that phase.
- Lockstep Advance (1/3 CP): Use during the movement phase. That model's movement is halved, but when you roll to determine attacks, you can roll a second die and drop the lower one. Usually, these weapons are the ones with Blast, so you'll want to use this anyway. The cost is upped to 3 CP when used on a Dominus or Acastus knight.
- Order of Companions (1 CP): Changed in 9e to no longer provide the bonkers value it did before. Before the battle, select one House Raven Questoris-Class model from your army. Each time this model is selected to shoot or fight, you can re-roll one hit roll, one wound roll, or one damage roll when resolving that model's attacks.
- Fortunately, you can use this multiple times in bigger games, same as most Requisition strats.
- Rolling Thunder (1 CP): Whenever one of your non-Armiger knights make a charge, any enemies within 3" of this knight take a -1 to hit, making sure that your knight will likely survive their first blow instead of going kamikaze.
- Shadow's Reach (2 CP): Use during the enemy's movement phase. Any models within 3" horizontally and 5" vertically or your selected non-Armiger unit are now considered engaged with them. This can make you a pretty wide target and fortunately isn't restricted by classification. It also means that you're more of a target, as you can be stuck fighting an enemy you don't want.
In the grim darkness of the far future, the Omnissiah's grace aids those who hold true.
Thematically, house Taranis is first of the Knightly Houses, and perhaps the most loyal to the Adeptus Mechanicus. Owners of a uniquely advanced variant of the Throne Mechanicum (the neural link that allows Nobles to plug into and control Knights) that has none of the extremely negative side effects that the rest of the Imperial Knights suffer, and they won't share. Uniquely, does not follow the concepts of feudalism or chivalry, as most other Knight Houses do, and are, instead, nearly completely devoted to the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Omnissiah. This is partially a result of the near total annihilation of the Household near the outset of the Horus Heresy, during which they were part of the minority of forces on Mars, which were still loyal to the Emperor, and carried out an epic, if suicidal, charge into a massive enemy force with the intent of slaying the enemy commander. I wont spoil how it ends, but Horus Heresy: Mechanicum is pretty cool, even if its not the best written book in the world, it really does the Knights of House Taranis, and Titans of Legio Tempestus justice. However, by a minor miracle, two of their Knights escaped what would have been the Household's final charge, and once the war for Mars was ultimately won by the Loyalists, the Mechanicum spared no expense in rebuilding the first Knight Household. Since, House Taranis has fought with the knowledge that, whatever happens, the Omnissiah will provide.
On the tabletop, This House specializes in making your Knights **really** hard to kill, while giving them some extra power in neutralizing their greatest threats - tanks and other Lords of War. The tradition is as close to a straight durability increase as you'll ever see, and the Strategem is one of the best in the book, while the Trait and Heirloom give you extra punch versus heavy armor.
- Household Tradition - Omnissiah's Grace
- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Still a straight and simple 6+++ against non-mortal wounds, totaling to T8 3+/5++ranged/6+++. Not too spectacular, but it can cover for the Ion Shields' inability to protect against melee attacks. And since Knights have so many wounds, that's a lot of opportunities for this trait to activate.
- Mathhammer time: A straight boltshell (S4/AP0/D1) has a 5/162 chance of wounding against that, multiplied by (7 - N) / 6, where N = your BS (BS 3+ means N=3). Have fun trying to penetrate that armor.
- Warlord Trait - Knight of Mars
- Once per battle, after rolling a D6 or D3 when making an Advance roll, hit roll, wound roll, damage roll, charge roll, or saving through for this Warlord after any re-rolls (if any) have been made, you can change the result of one of those dice to a 6 (or a 3 if it was D3). Not great, unless your army is Virtuous, you can then do this once per turn instead of once per battle.
- Relic - Fury of Mars
- Replaces a meltagun, twin meltagun, thermal spear, or thermal cannon. The weapon becomes a Relic for all rules purposes, add 1 to the weapon's strength, delete the weapon's abilities, and add 2 to that weapon's damage characteristic.
- Stratagem - Our Darkest Hour (1/2 CP)
- Still the coolest named strat, still the coin flip we all know and love. And now in 9e costing less CP than before (1cp for Armigers, 2cp for everyone else). Use when one of your models dies and doesn’t explode. Roll a dice, on a 4+, the knight gets back up with 3 wounds left. Notably, this happens at the end of the phase meaning your Knight isn’t just going to be pasted immediately. This is why you take Taranis. Combine with the Mark of the Omnissiah Heirloom for regen shenanigans. However, this strat can only be used once per battle, so choose wisely!
In the grim darkness of the far future, ...
On the tabletop, ...
- Household Tradition - Firestorm Protocols: Unchanged from before, when targeting the closest enemy unit with a ranged weapon, re-roll hit rolls of 1. A good choice for Knights that like to get in their opponent's faces with short-ranged weapons, like the Atrapos (the Valiant benefits little from this trait since the Conflagration Cannon already auto hits l, while the Thundercoil Harpoon re-rolls failed hit rolls against Vehicle and Monster units). Also makes the Castellan's Plasma Decimator safer to use when overcharged.
- Warlord Trait - Adamantium Knight: Wound rolls of 1, 2, and 3 made against the Warlord with this WT are auto-fails, even if the wound chart says otherwise.
- Considering that most of the Knights have T8, this will mean even dedicated superheavy-killer weapons as Volcano Cannons will only be able to wound on a 4+, dramatically reducing their effectiveness against you.
- A lot of armies do not have widespread access to strength 9 or higher weaponry, so this only really matters if you're up against Guard players (lascannon swarms and shadowswords) or against other superheavies and (god-emperor forbid) Titans. In short, you usually won't need this trait, but when you do it will be a life-saver, so consider buying it in with Exalted Court if you're facing a list with significant S9 or higher.
- Relic - The Auric Mask: When an enemy takes a Morale test within 12" of the user, it must roll 2d6 and keep the highest.
- Stratagem - Saturation Bombardment (1cp/2CP): Still the same, use before a model shoots. Any unmodified hit rolls of 6 cause 2 hits instead of 1. Better on Crusaders, the more dakka the better.
Custom Household Traditions
In the grim darkness of the far future, the oaths of knighthood are ultimately decided by the individual.
Though originally introduced in Engine War, the new codex saw fit to rearrange how custom households are decided, as well as how Freeblades get their bonus.
While Imperialis and Mechanicus Households are ultimately restricted to their own list of martial traditions, a Freeblade can select a trait from a third list exclusive to them.
- Glorified History: Not available for Freeblades. Your generic copy of an existing Imperialis household, getting everything but the relic. Ignore.
- Front-Line Fighters: +1 to Strength when shooting an enemy within 18". This means more for your Stubbers than it will your main guns. But does let Armigers Helverins reach strength 8 with there autocannons allowing instant death of toughness 4 targets.
- Hunters of Beasts: +1 to hit monsters and vehicles, +1 damage against titanic enemies. This also scores 2 Honour Points when you kill these enemies while using the Lay Low the Tyrants Oath. Better when facing Nids or Guard who rely on such units for a lot.
- Noble Combatants: The errata fixed this tradition, and not a moment too soon: As long as you don't use a melee weapon's sweep profile, it can make a number of additional attacks equal to the number that did not reach the inflict damage step of the fight sequence (i.e. didn't hit, didn't wound, or the target made their save). This goes a long way in boosting the reliability of the Strike profiles of your chainswords and gauntlets.
- Extra chances for wound rolls can also synergize with the "on a wound roll of a 6 you get X" effect that quite a few relics and traits have.
- Paragons of Honour: A pure Knights army can swear a third Oath. . . We have no idea how or even if this works for Freeblades.
- Strike and Shield: Your knights can't be hit on anything better than a 4+ in melee and any attacks with AP-1 count as AP0. Gives you quite a bit, especially against massed small arms.
- Fealty to the Cog: Not available for Freeblades. Your generic copy of an existing Mechanicus household, getting everything but the relic. Ignore.
- Blessed Arms: All guns gain +6" range, but your Cognis Heavy Stubbers become Heavy 6 and improve their AP by 1.
- Honoured Sacristans: +1 to saves against Damage 1 weapons, your answer against getting hit by small arms fire.
- Machine Focus: Re-roll one wound or damage roll when shooting, which means a lot for you.
- Steel-Sinewed Aim: +1 to hit when shooting an engaged enemy, which incidentally does a lot for your stubbers and meltas.
- Unremitting: When using a blast weapon, you count the target as having double the number of models for the sake of determining how many hits you score. Congrats, your battle cannon is now guaranteed to flatten space marines.
- Last of their Line: You can re-roll to hit an enemy unit with 11+ models (Or 6+ models for an Armiger).
- Mysterious Guardian: This knight can arrive from strategic reserves as if it were one turn later.
- Peerless Warrior: Once per game, you can use an Epic Deed Strat without spending any CP.
- Mythic Hero: When determining chivalric abilities, this knight counts as having 2 more Honour Points, thus letting them access special perks more easily.
- Incidentally, the Canis Rex MUST take this ability, which steps in line with its WT also giving Honour Points.
Rather than psykers, your loyalist Knights repurpose their Knight Perceptor into being a Priest-like unit that can inspire Armigers on a 4+. Conveniently, this still works with Freeblades (though you'll only see use in a Freeblade Lance) and Sir Hekhtur can use this on any knights.
- The Virtue of Courage: Armigers within 6" deal another hit on a natural 6 to hit, making for a good bubble of protection.
- The Oath of Justice: Armigers within 6" count as having 2 more Honour Points for the sake of determining Chivalric abilities in case you're just on the edge over getting to Exalted powers.
- The Folly of Mercy: One Armiger within 12" can now move, shoot, and perform objective actions without risking anything.
- The Knight's Faith: Armigers within 6" gain a 6+++ FNP, with any affected by Bondsman abilities improving this to a 5+++. Just the thing you need to protect them from a melta shot.
- The Warrior's Hope: One Armiger within 12" gains the Chivalric powers of one Oath that wasn't selected. As you're not held down by any of the baggage, you can easily let this stack up on any other vows you did select.
- The Wisdom of Nobility: Mark one Armiger within 12". When they get picked for a Bondsman ability, they can share this ability with another Armiger within 6".
The Code Chivalric
Because of course you have to play the chivalric knight gimmick to the hilt.
Throughout the game you have the ability to gain or lose Honour Points by honoring certain Oaths that you swear at the game's start. While you start at 1 Honour (and thus start at Honoured for a special ability), you can gain an additional power when you reach Virtuous at 5 Honour.
Earn Honour by claiming more objectives than the enemy for a turn but you lose it for each turn where they control more objectives.
- Honoured - Duty and Wisdom: You gain an additional CP each turn, giving you more ammo for your strats.
- Virtuous - Duty and Honour: All your models gain ObSec, with your Armigers counting as 8 models now for capping. Try shoving them off now!
Earn Honour for each turn where you kill at least one Warlord/Character/Monster/Vehicle, but lose Honour if you don't kill at least any two units. Probably the hard sell depending on the army.
- Honoured - Martial Pride: Your knights can re-roll one hit or wound roll each turn.
- Virtuous - Martial Legacy: Once per turn, you can substitute one Advance roll, hit roll, wound roll or save with an automatic 6. Sadly, this doesn't help with your randomized damage.
Earn Honour each turn where you manage to Heroically Intervene or Charge, lose Honour for each turn where you don't do those in a circumstance where such is possible.
- Honoured - Selfless Heroes: Your knights can now all Heroically Intervene with a range of 6". Good for you, this might help you keep your Honour intact.
- Virtuous - Inspiring Heroes: Your knights can use their Bondsman abilities twice a turn.
Earn Honour in any round where you kill 2+ enemy units in melee, lose Honour for any turn where your knights fall back.
- Honoured - Noble Display: +1 to hit in melee after charging, getting charged, or heroically intervening.
- Virtuous - Mighty Display: Re-roll advance and charge rolls, which can help stack with Protect Those in Need.
As with various other factions in this edition, you now have a set of character upgrades for your Questoris and Dominus knights that cost Power Level and points to not only provide special rules, but also a special perk when the knight is Honoured or Virtuous and a special perk when used in a Crusade game. You can buy each one only once, but each one can also use their Bondsman abilities twice.
- High Monarch: The costliest of the upgrades, but you're also picking a mandatory warlord who can potentially double your Honour intake on a 5+. When Honoured, this lets you share the High Monarch's Bondsman ability to all nearby Armigers, making it a powerful support.
- Master of Justice: A knight that gets to pick two Imperialis traditions, with the exception of Exalted History. When Honoured, once per game you can use one Strategic Ploy strat without paying CP if you use it on a model benefiting from the Master of Justice's Bondsman ability.
- Monarchsward: The Monarchsward is your dedicated bodyguard, protecting fellow characters (thus requiring the Knight Baron strat) from getting shot while they're nearby. When Honoured, Armigers under the Monarchsward's Bondsman ability can always fight first, a perfect match for the Warglaives.
- Herald: When a knight uses their Bondsman ability within 9" of the Herald, that knight can also target an Armiger within 9" of the Herald, making a massive range boost. When Honoured, the Herald's Bondsman ability grants Armigers a 4++ invuln on top of the other perks.
- Gatekeeper: The tank of the lot, unable to be wounded on anything below a 4+ while wholly within your deployment zone. Put this on a Crusader or Castellan if you really want your opponent to hate you. When Honoured, an Armiger under the Gatekeeper's Bondsman ability gains +1 to Toughness when within range of an objective. This lets your Armigers tank a little more while keeping objectives in your hands.
- Princeps: Your mandatory warlord, the Princeps focuses on preventing Honour loss as opposed to maximizing on the gains like the High Monarch. When Honoured, the Princeps' Bondsman abilities can now work on Questoris knights as well as Armigers.
- Something to note that the -1 Damage Taken DOES NOT apply to Questoris knights, only Armigers. However, this is still a pretty powerful buff you can apply. A Princeps Errant, for example, can give a Gallant Advance and Charge, a Princeps Paladin can slap its reroll-1s to hit and wound on a Crusader, etc. Go nuts!
- Master Tactician: A knight that can take a second Mechanicus tradition with the exception of Fealty to the Cog. When Honoured, once per game you can use a Battle Tactic strat on an armiger that's benefiting from the Master Tactician's Bondsman ability.
- Master of Lore: Lets your knights gain the Mentor keyword and use teachings (only one known, and only one per command phase), while Knight Preceptors with this upgrade can use two teachings each turn. When Honoured, The Master of Lore's Bondsman ability can stack with others instead of overriding a previous Bondsman Ability.
- Master of Vox: Allows you to recover a spent CP on a 5+, letting you preserve them for other strats. When Honoured, the Master of Vox can mark any Armiger on the field to receive its Bondsman ability.
- Forge Master: Best suited for the backfield, where it reduces the incoming damage of any attack by 1. When Honoured, the Armiger benefiting from the Forge Master's Bondsman Ability add +1 to hit and wound rolls when attacking an enemy within your DZ.
- Calculated Targeting (2/3/4 CP): Allows a Questor Mechanicus knight to deal double the damage on a natural 6 to wound when shooting, that one half of the damage being made MWs, and thus incredibly lethal. It's also absurdly expensive, as even Armigers cost only 2 CP with larger classes having to spend more for that same overkill.
- Full Tilt (1 CP): No longer the go-to strat for your Warglaives and Gallants, now it only gives you an auto 6" on advance rolls (9" for Armigers). Pair up with an Errant's bondsman ability to adv. and charge for a vehicle that is rocketing across the board with minimums of 14" for Dominus, 16" for Questoris, 18" for Cerastus and 21" for Armigers!
- HOUSE TERRYN can pull off a turn-one charge with this stratagem. See Tactics for details.
- Impetuous Glory (1 CP): When an Armiger-Class knight fights in combat, each natural 6 to hit deals an additional hit. Warglaives will be using this, especially when going Imperialis.
- Linebreaker (1 CP): When a Questor Imperialis model consolidates, they can move 6" (7" when you add in the +1" being Imperialis adds) in any direction as long as they reach an enemy. The major goal for this is target priority, keeping your fists at the tanks and your chainswords at the crowds.
- Martial Prowess (1/2 CP): When a knight is attacked in the Fight phase, your knight adds +1 to their save, allowing you to tank out any potential killing blows or just making walls of fire plink off easily.
- Costs 1 CP for Armigers.
- Pack Tactics (1 CP): Any time two or more Armigers fight the same enemy, each one gets an additional attack to help take down that enemy faster.
- Pains of Old Night (1 CP): Your knights re-roll 1s to wound Chaos units in melee.
- Skyfire Protocols (1 CP): An Armiger-Class unit adds +1 to hit enemy Aircraft when shooting. Helverins will absolutely love this, but the Warglaives will still see plenty of use by virtue of their thermal spears.
- Thin Their Ranks (1 CP): Up to three Armiger-Class knights in the shooting phase get to auto-wound when they roll a natural 6 to hit. While not quite as capable of drowning everything in bullets, this does make the Helverin cannons more dangerous.
- Thunderstomp (1 CP): Now a modifier on the generally neglected stomps of larger knights, rolling to hit with these feet now takes a -1 to hit but now each hit on non-Characters, non-monsters and non-vehicles deals 2 damage. As before, this is worthless on guardsmen, but it can still flatten marines and orks with ease.
- Benevolence of the Machine God (1 CP): When a Questor Mechanicus model suffers a mortal wound roll 5+++ FNP to ignore it and all other mortal wounds for the rest of the phase. Great versus smite spam armies. Same as Benevolence of the Omnissiah. Note that while the effect is the same, the names are different. RAW this means you can use both these stratagems in the same phase, even though they do the same thing.
- Crushed (1 CP): When fighting with a gauntlet, you and your enemy need to roll a d6 (+1 if your knight's strength is higher than the enemy's). Winning makes the enemy unable to use invulnerable saves for the attack, making it devastating against daemons, but losing makes the fist utterly useless.
- Machine Spirit Resurgent (1/2 CP): Old reliable. Until the end of this turn, use the top row of a Questor Mechanicus model’s wound track, regardless of how many wounds it has left. Costs 1 CP if used on an Armiger.
- Noble Sacrifice (1/2/3 CP): Machine Spirit's Revenge, in Knight Flavour. Spend CP to make your Knight automatically, with the cost increasing with the size of the knight exploding. Dominus Knights can have the range of their explosion extended to 3D6" if they can make a 4+ roll. Fun times abound.
- Recount the Virtues (1 CP): Allows a Mentor who didn't already use a teaching to auto-cast it. This will only see use if you're throwing in a Knight from combat reserves and need to push an armiger forward.
- Survivors of Strife (1 CP): When an Armiger-Class model is attacked, they can't be wounded on anything better than a 4+ for the phase, giving a surprising amount of durability against meltas and plasma.
- Trophy Claim (1 CP): If an enemy Titanic unit was destroyed by a melee weapon, the knight who dealt the final blow gets +1 attack for the rest of the game, +1 Honour point and counts as being Virtuous, gaining all the perks from the chivalric vows.
- Valiant Last Stand (1/2 CP): One of two "On Death" Stratagems you have, and only usable if the Knight did not explode and didn't get to fight yet. This one allows a Questor Imperialis Knight to fight as if it was his turn in the combat phase before being removed, though the Knight counts as having only one wound left when making these attacks. Costs 1 CP for an Armiger.
- A model with noble combatant is a good choice for this.
- Heirlooms of the Household (1 CP): The typical "extra relic" stratagem. Unlike last edition, this doesn't make your other knights into characters.
- Knight Baron (1 CP): After choosing your Warlord, spend 1 CP to turn another knight from your detachment into a Character. Knight Characters may pick a warlord trait (for the purposes of traits that specify a warlord the Knight using it is considered the warlord). Probably one of the best stratagems simply because a) the Warlord Traits in the codex are absolutely fantastic, b) allows your Knights to perform Heroic Interventions without being HOUSE GRIFFITH, which is fantastic for melee Knights, c) opens the Exalted Court for another role and d) can be used multiple times depending on the game size, which most armies can't do.
- Revered Paragon (1 CP): Allows your Warlord to gain a second WT. With how many good traits you can use, you're pretty much spoiled for choice.
- Defiant Fury (1 CP): When a character dies, pick one Armiger. That Armiger can immediately shoot the killer and can re-roll to hit the killer for the rest of the game.
- Exacting Charge (1/2 CP): When a knight charges, roll 6d6 (4d6 if you're using an Armiger). For every roll that beats the enemy's Toughness, you deal two mortal wounds to the enemy. Costs 1 CP for an Armiger.
- Generally a good rider for fighting monsters and light tanks, as it gives you some extra punch to your attacks before the actual fighting begins.
- Flanking Manoeuvres (1 CP): When up to two Armigers are within 6" of the table edge and over 6" away from an enemy, you can throw them into reserves so you can throw them out some time later. Notable this is cheaper in terms of CP then putting two Armigers into reserves normally. Combos well with free blades with the Mysterious Guardian tradition.
- Point Blank Barrage (1 CP): Allows your knights to fire their blast weapons (so mostly the RFBC) on enemies they're engaged with, but a natural 1 to hit causes a MW to the knight. Decent call against mobs, but nothing else.
- A Squire's Duty (2 CP): An armiger can shoot and charge after falling back.
- Stormstriders (1 CP): When a Questor Imperialis knight moves or advances, they can walk over an enemy unit that isn't a flyer. Roll a 1d6 (+1 if the unit has 6+ models, +2 if it has 11), the enemy takes d3 mortal wounds on a 3+ and d6 on a 7+.
- Chainsweep (1 CP): Use this stratagem when a knight with a Reaper Chainsword or Chain-cleaver fights. The sweep profile for that weapon gives an extra attack, which is a bit of a far cry from the old version, but non-stomp attacks as a whole have gotten a good lot better. If you really want the extra damage, use Exacting Charge.
- Hurled Wreckage (1 CP): The old funbox returns again. When a knight with a thunderstrike gauntlet kills an enemy vehicle or monster, you can throw that dead body at an enemy within 9". Roll a d6 (subtract 1 if targeting a character with 9 or less wounds), dealing d3 mortal wounds on a 3+ and maxing out on a 6.
- Ion Aegis (2 CP): At the start of your opponent's movement phase, choose a Dominus Class Knight (e.g. Castellan or Valiant) in your army. Friendly Armiger-class units within 6" of that Knight get a 4++. Now takes a more comprehensive take, letting you cover multiple Armigers where Rotate Ion Shields is more for the Questoris knights.
- Rotate Ion Shields (1/2 CP): Use when an enemy targets your Knight in the shooting phase, it gets a 4++ invuln for the rest of the phase. This is fantastic, and you will be using it every turn. Costs 1 CP for Armigers.
- There is some strategy involved if you have more than one Knight, because you can only use a given stratagem once per phase. Enemies only have to declare shooting one unit at a time; a savvy opponent may bait you into using it on one Knight by shooting a couple of missiles, and then unload the rest of big guns into another one. You have been warned.
Adeptus Mechanicus Codex
The Stratagems below are listed as Adeptus Mechanicus stratagems in their respective codex, but several of them still work on Questor Mechanicus Knights via being Knights of the Cog. The ones affecting Knights (directly or indirectly) are:
- Benevolence of the Omnissiah (1 CP): See above.
- Important to note that since this and Benevolence of the Machine God don't share the same name (at least if they don't FAQ it out) if you have an Adeptus Mechanicus detachment, you could use both in the same phase to give two different knights a 5+++ negate mortal wounds if you need to.
- Knight of the Cog (1 CP): Use at the start of any battle round before determining which Canticle of the Omnissiah will be in effect. Select a Questor Mechanicus unit from your army that is within 12" of a friendly ADEPTUS MECHANICUS CHARACTER. That unit gains the Canticle of the Omnissiah special rule until the end of the next turn. Can we say Shroudpsalm?
- Tech-adept (1 CP): An AdMech HQ can repair your knight and another vehicle in one go. Granted, each repair only restores 1d3 wounds, but that small difference can still be enough to bring you up a bracket on the damage table. Especially worth considering on a Necromechanic warlord.
- Cunning Commander: Each turn you gain an extra CP on a 5+. While your knight is no longer any stronger, the CP bonus is way more consistent.
- Blessed by Sacristans: All guns deal a mortal wound in addition to normal on unmodified wound rolls of 6, to a maximum of 6 per phase.
- High rate of fire weapons with poor S, AP, and D benefit from this the most, such as the gatling cannon, which will deal 2 mortal wounds on average. Excellent against all targets, as the mortal wounds bypass armour and invulnerability saves, but can also splash over into those annoying infantry swarms.
- Absolutely terrifying on the Knight Castigator. The Castigator Bolt Cannon's 16 shots mean that it dishes out an average of 2.66 mortal wounds each turn. Ow.
- The Knight Crusader with an RFBC is probably the best choice for this trait, however. 12 gatling cannon shots + 2d6 RFBC shots + 6 shots from the stubbers + 1d6 heavy flamer shots + a carapace weapon is a frankly horrifying weight of firepower to throw out.
- High rate of fire weapons with poor S, AP, and D benefit from this the most, such as the gatling cannon, which will deal 2 mortal wounds on average. Excellent against all targets, as the mortal wounds bypass armour and invulnerability saves, but can also splash over into those annoying infantry swarms.
- Ion Bulwark: Ion shield invulnerable save is increased to 4++ vs shooting attacks.
- The 2019 April FAQ sadly nerfed "Rotate Ion Shields" to limit the invulnerable save a knight can have to a 4++, so you can no longer use this trait and the stratagem to make you knight Castellan a giant custodian. Oh well...Still one of the better traits to take on your dominus class knights due to the firepower they attract.
- Knight Seneschal: Simple +1 attack for your Warlord. In addition, if you ever get dishonored, your warlord still gets to benefit from the Honoured Chivalry you picked while the rest of the army can pick something else.
- Give to your knight gallant with the correct keyword trait for a total of 7 attacks on the charge, allowing a knight to kill anything smaller than a reaver titan.
- Landstrider: +2" movement and any advance and charge rolls count 1s and 2s as 3s. Powerful charge gimmick, especially Turn One Charge with Terryn.
- Hysterical on a House Raven warlord. Great for playing keep away and quickly repositioning with your shooty Knights. Also great for a Gallant- watch as the four inches of additional total movement (with the use of Full Tilt, of course) means they charge directly into the heart of the enemy lines on the first turn.
- Revered Knight: Always fight first and a mono-faction army gains +1 Honour, though losing your warlord inflicts -1 Honour. Sir Hektur and the Canis Rex take this WT, and it does transfer when he escapes his knight.
A description goes here.
- Purge the Enemy
- Bring it Down
- Titan Slayers
- Slay the Warlord
-Abhor the Witch
- No Mercy, No Respite
- Thin their Ranks
- While We Stand, We Fight
- First Strike
- Battlefield Supremacy
- Engage on All Fronts
- Shadow Operations
- Raise the Banners High
- Repair Teleportation Homer
- Ion Shield: Now just a 5++ all-round versus shooting. It will at least eliminate all those in-game arguments on where exactly your "front" arc stops. Interestingly it makes a knight as tough as a hierophant in most cases, at only a fraction of the points cost.
- Heavy Stubber: Pop-gun, now not even needed for setting up charges. You never know when it'll kill the last model in a unit, though. Well, probably not often. Now comes in Questor Imperialis and Questor Mechanicus-exclusive flavors! The Questor Imperialis gets AP -1, while the Mechanicus version comes in Assault rather than Heavy. Quick reminder: for vehicles you can fire an assault weapon in melee normally, but a heavy weapon has -1 to hit. This makes Mechanicus knights better in melee where there stubbers can help out better while Imperialis are better shooting with the -1 AP.
- Meltagun: Can replace aforementioned pop-gun for five points. Considering how much your Knights cost to begin with, this isn't that big a deal. And if it chips the last few wounds off of something or melts a Custodes, so much the better, right? A good choice for Gallants because you can fire the meltagun even after advancing (albeit you'll suffer -1 to hit when doing so).
- Twin Meltagun: Meltaguns at Assault 2. Nothing to shout about until you realize that the Dominus mounts two of these because fuck tanks, am I right?
- Titanic Feet: Went from your weapon of choice when fighting infantry to utterly superfluous for most of your Knights that have them. S:U (8) AP-2 D:2 isn't necessarily bad, but you no longer get to make extra hit rolls with them like in 8th, and your melee weapons have sweep profiles that do just that. The only time you should be using this is if your Crusader or Dominus-class Knight wound up in melee, which should not be happening frequently.
- Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon with Heavy Stubber: 72" Heavy 2D6 8 AP-2 D3, Blast. While it does have massive 72" range, if you're sitting back and sniping you're not really getting the best out of your knight. Overall, excels at very little (it has a marginal advantage over the other weapons against T7 vehicles due to the wound math).
- With House Raven the RFBC has an effective range of 87" (with no movement penalties), easily capable of hitting anything anywhere on the board.
- A good tactic would be to fire the RFBC last; 72" is long enough to reach almost anywhere on the board and it's pretty difficult to hide from a Knight. If your dice get cold and your other knights leave some stragglers, you can use the cannon(s) to clean up.
- Now officially delivers flat 3 damage, which is pretty solid into several units, and now free to equip on a Crusader!
- Armiger Autocannon: Unique to the Armiger Helverin. After suffering a bit in early 9e, the codex, we've now been blessed with an extra point of AP, making the gun 60" Heavy 2d3 S7 AP-2 D3. Works against the two and three wound Marines of 9th but it will have difficulty against the T8 fatties (Land Raiders, Leman Russ', Wraithknights) and 3+ saves mean quantity is vital, but the Helverin mounts two of them. Fantastic for how cheap a platform it is mounted on, it will do work for you.
- Loses no effectiveness when targeting Gravis-armored primaris marines compared to the usual sort without added defenses, scoring one kill per failed 4+ armor save. When supported by a apothecary, 3 damage will usually overwhelm their FNP on a 2-wound marine, but 3-wound Gravis Marines may survive. But that's hardly a unique problem.
- The most efficient weapon you have for taking out Guilliman; you hit and wound on 3+ with 4d3 attacks, the AP knocks him down to a 3+ save, and damage 3 means he'll go down quick. All of this means that you “only” need 20.25 shots from this gun to take him down, and for Guillimans price you can buy two Armigers which can pump out an average of 16 of these shots a turn (although this doesn’t take into account his regeneration ability or the fact he’ll be hiding behind meat shields).
- Avenger Gatling Cannon with Heavy Flamer: Same old 36" Heavy 12 S6 AP-2 D2. Serves as a good all-rounder, and is the absolute champ against all kinds of infantry, including TEQ (that 2 damage, in particular, will make MEQ and the like cry).
Meltas and Flamers
- Thermal Cannon: Oh BOY did the 9e codex ever help this bad boy out. Now "only" 30" range, but clocking in with Heavy 2d3 S9 AP-4 Dd6+2 Blast - and when in half range it's d6+4. Further evaluation required, but on the surface this gun is much improved and excels at taking out vehicles, monsters, and other high-wound models.
- Thermal Spear: The Thermal Cannon's lesser cousin carried by the Armiger Warglaive received a couple of nice buffs in 9e. 30" Heavy 2 S9 AP-4 Dd6 (d6+2 at half range). S9 is wonderful against all sorts of targets, and the Heavy 2 means no more wiffing on the 1d3 shots.
- Considering Armigers have a movement of 12", the range on these is more like 42", which makes them really good.
- Conflagration Cannon: The middle child between a Titan Inferno Gun and a Hellhound's Inferno Cannon. 18" Heavy 3d6 with S7 AP-2 D2 as well as the auto-hitting goodness of a flame weapon. At full movement this gives your Knight a surprisingly scary 26" threat range.
- Plasma Decimator: The Castellan's first arm weapon. 48", Heavy 2d6, S8/9, AP-3, D2/3 Blast. Like most plasma weapons, it can be overcharged for the boosted S and D, but it'll take a mortal wound for each unmodified hit roll of 1 it makes.
- Range aside this is basically a Leman Russ Executioner Cannon on a sturdier platform. It's not bad per se, until you consider that Guard players can bring 4 of these bad motherfuckers for the same price and it suffers the same problem every plasma weapon has on a platform with a degrading staline, in that its low power version is underpowered compared to what else you can take, while overpowering isn't worthwhile unless you can re-roll ones (hint: House Vulker lets you do exactly that).
- Counter opinion: yes this gun is pretty average. But when overcharging you really only have to worry about 1-3 mortal wounds. Which is not ideal of course, but on a model with so many wounds, it sort of does take a bit of the danger out of it (hint: House Hawkshroud is useful for this).
- House Raven players using their house command benefit "order of companions" to re-roll all 1s, letting you overcharge this (and by this I mean replace the plasma decimator with the cawls wrath relic) and do 3 damage a shot with a little chance to self damage.
- After a bit of experience with this weapon, it actually isn't that bad. It's like a more specialised version of the rfbc. Excels at murdering elite infantry, and whilst it does seem pretty lackluster, in reality if you are firing at the right target (elite infantry with only one or two wounds) 2d6 shots can really fucking hurt.
- Went up 40 points in the 2019 Big FAQ. This combined with the Volcano lance's increase makes the Knight Castellan literally exactly 100 points more expensive than it used to be.
- Volcano Lance: The Castellan's other arm weapon. Basically a smaller Volcano Cannon, with slightly less range and Strength than its Shadowsword-mounted cousin. But a 80" Heavy 1d3 S16 AP-5 1D6+8 D Blast gun that no longer rerolls failed wounds against Titanic units. Only found on the biggest knight. Could be devastating with the "Calculated targeting" stratagem.
- Las Impulsor: The new weapon carried by Canis Rex and the Knight Preceptor. Essentially a laser shotgun. Has two firing modes: 36" heavy 2d6, S 6 AP-2 D2 blast or 18" heavy d6 S12 AP-4 D4 blast.
- This perfectly supports both the long-range anti-infantry Helverin and the short-range anti-tank Warglaive, while still being able to mix it up if an enemy slips through.
- This is the jack of all trades option, with the inevitable "master of none" downside. 2-12 avenger cannon shots or a shorter-ranged thermal cannon with enough strength to wound T6 enemies on a 2+. On the other hand, it's never going to be wasted on inappropriate targets and the 2 damage on the Dispersed mode gives it a little extra usefulness against 3-wound models like Grey Knight Paladins.
- Thundercoil Harpoon: MAN THE HARPOONS. 9e has blessed us with 18" of range, means you'll need to be right in your opponent's face to use it and it only has 1 shot, but with S16 AP-6 D10 and adding 1 to the attack's hit roll and 3 extra mortal wounds for good measure, that one shot will fuck up almost anything it doesn't just kill outright.
- It's unknown how many shots you'll get with this in a game. The range was increased to 18", but the Valiant's movement went down to 8". So given that you may only get one or two shots with this thing over the course an entire game you need to beware of anything that can screw with your BS (hit modifiers, damage tables, etc). Also anything with an invulnerable save (like, say, another Knight) can still try to use that. Overall, the Thundercoil Harpoon is a "fun" option and is best suited for:
- Stuff with lots of wounds but no invulnerable saves, like Baneblades, Land Raiders, Tyranid monsters of all types, and Gorkanauts
- Dealing the final fuck you to said stuff when they are at 11 wounds or less (10D + d3 mortal wounds)
- It's unknown how many shots you'll get with this in a game. The range was increased to 18", but the Valiant's movement went down to 8". So given that you may only get one or two shots with this thing over the course an entire game you need to beware of anything that can screw with your BS (hit modifiers, damage tables, etc). Also anything with an invulnerable save (like, say, another Knight) can still try to use that. Overall, the Thundercoil Harpoon is a "fun" option and is best suited for:
- Multilaser: For some unknown reason, the Knight Preceptor (and ONLY the Knight Preceptor) can take one of these instead of the pop-gun, for the exact same price. If you don't plan on buying the meltagun, this is an auto-include. The extra 2 strength is just plain better at wounding anything T6 or under, with GEQ taking wounds on a 2+.
Arm Melee Weapons
These guys have lost the big "D", and in exchange do a flat 6 damage per hit. Great at wrecking vehicles and MCs, but they can be very binary - there's lots of things like Dreadnoughts with >6 wounds that take two hits to kill and can leave a nasty mark if they get to hit back, so it's always advisable to try to soften these targets up a bit first.
- Reaper Chainsword: S+6 (14) AP-4 D6 but 9E is now giving it a second profile at S:User (S8) AP-3 D2 that triples the attack load, providing you with a genuine means to obliterate hordes while still being able to hold its own against most monsters and vehicles.
- Chain-Cleaver: Has two attack options: Strike and Sweep. Strike is Sx2/AP-3/3D and Sweep S-/AP-2/1D but doubles the amount of hit rolls you can make with it. So this gives the Armiger some very nice added adaptability in their close combat.
- Thunderstrike Gauntlet: Re-worked in 9e, now no longer vollyballing things and now a free upgrade with no -1 to hit, along with two profiles. The first is Sx2 (S16) AP-3 8 damage with no -1 to hit, the second is S+2 (S8) AP-2 3 damage that provides x2 hits.
This presents an interesting choice has the Gauntlet deals more damage per attack and has higher strength, while the sword does more attacks with a higher AP but does less damage for each attack. Both have a role, so it might be an idea to bring both. Regardless, with Titanic Feet no longer having multiplied attacks, you can expect to see more of these.
- Ironstorm Missile Pod: It's cheap AND it ignores LOS (if that's ever an issue for a nearly foot-tall model). At 15 points for D6 S5/AP-1/D2 Blast, it would is anti-horde. Favorite targets: Storm Shield Termies, Nobz, Rough Riders, Raveners. it's basically a 72" range heavy flamer (without the auto-hits) that costs the same amount of points. LOS ignoring weapons are WAY stronger than it might seem at first glance, especially because infantry units can often effectively make themselves immune to a knight by standing in a building. this is the only answer to that and in practice a surprisingly good one. do not discount the 2 damage per shot either, which is fantastic at picking off primaris and the like.
- Stormspear Rocket Pod: 48" Heavy 3 S8 Ap-2 DD6. Sure it's 45 points, but it's effectively three krak missiles, and most armies pay more than 15 points a pop for a missile launcher on a platform that's not remotely as survivable. This is better than the other carapace weapons against any target barring a few weird edge cases (Inceptors). Use it to soften up light vehicles, pick off lone Crisis suits, or even kill a MEQ or two.
- 45 points is 10% the cost of your imperial knight. It might be point efficient, but you need to be careful to load too many points in one single unit.
- Twin Icarus Autocannons: 30pts. Lots of surprising things have <FLY>, right? Tau suits, jetbikes & skimmers, jump infantry... This is true, but is not enough to stop the Icarus from being aggressively mediocre. Embarrassingly, the Stormspear will knock more wounds off flying vehicles due to its higher damage per shot, even counting the penalty to hit. It's not even particularly cheap. The only scenario where you would take this over Stormspear Rockets is against Necron flying vehicles with Quantum Shielding since D6 damage doesn't do so well against them.
- Twin Siegebreaker Cannons: 48", Heavy 2d3, S7 AP-1 DD3 Blast. Pretty much a bigger autocannon.
- Shieldbreaker Missiles: 48" S10 AP-4 d6 D. Each missile can be fired only once per game and you can't fire more than one in a turn, like the Hunter-Killer Missile. Unlike its little brother, it also bypasses invulnerable saves, which means it works wonders against big multi-wound targets with high invulnerable saves. It's even better when paired with the Oathbreaker Guidance System, which makes it an absurdly powerful tool for sniping characters as if your knight was a snipers nest for Vindicare assasins.
- Try not to overload on these things. The Oathbreaker Stratagem is very expensive for an army that already struggles with CP, and their one shot per turn / one use per battle coupled with your good but not spectacular BS makes them unreliable at best. At most take four of these and one twin cannon, as you'll get around 3-5 turns of potential shooting out of the missiles and the cannons provide excellent low power shooting capability but taking one back of two missiles is worthwhile for sniping characters when the opportunity arises.
- These missiles also help to somewhat mitigate how powerful invulns can be on some units. Yeah, odds are that volcano lance will fuck up a Leviathan Dreadnought, but if he gets lucky with his saves, at least you have these bad boys hanging around
They did the math
At least some values below are suspect, so do not assume any are correct until they've been verified. For example, the correct value for a Thundercoil Harpoon firing into a GEQ unit of at least 4 models is 2/3*5/6*3=5/3=1.7 after rounding, not the 0.6 shown in the table (2/3 chance to hit, 5/6 to wound, bypasses the save entirely, deals 1 damage, killing a model, and then, on average, 2 more mortal wounds, which spill over). Still if they mistakes were made constantly, it still shows roughly how various weapons compare to each other, just take the exact numbers with a grain of salt.
|Weapons\Targets||GEQ||MEQ||TEQ||Land Speeder||Rhino||Land Raider||Knight|
|Avenger||12 S6 AP-2 D2||6.7||7.1||5.3||7.1||3.6||2.7||3.6|
|Avenger + Heavy Flamer||12 S6 AP-2 D2 + 3.5 S5 AP-1 D1||8.6||8.3||6.1||8.0||4.1||3.1||4.1|
|Endless Fury||14 S6 AP-2 D2||9.7||10.4||7.8||10.4||5.2||3.9||5.2|
|RFBC||7 S8 AP-2 D1d3||3.9||4.3||3.9||4.1||4.1||2.3||3.1|
|RFBC + Heavy Stubber||7 S8 AP-2 D1d3 + 3 S4 AP0 D1||4.8||4.7||4.1||4.4||4.4||2.4||3.2|
|The Thunder of Voltoris||8.46 S9 AP-2 D1d3||4.7||5.2||4.7||5.0||5.0||3.8||5.0|
|Relentless Wrath||7 S8 AP-2 D3||3.9||5.2||5.8||6.2||6.2||3.5||4.7|
|Thermal||3.5 S9 AP-4 D1d6||1.9||3.6||3.2||5.4||5.4||4.5||3.6|
|Thermal (Half Range)||3.5 S9 AP-4 D2d6kh1||1.9||3.8||3.7||7.0||7.0||5.8||4.6|
|Fury of Mars||3.5 S9 AP-4 D2d6kh1||1.9||3.8||3.7||7.0||7.0||5.8||4.6|
|Fury of the Keep||3.5 S9 AP-5 D1d6+2||1.9||3.9||3.9||7.8||8.6||8.6||5.7|
|Las-Impulsor||7 S6 AP-2 D1d3 or 3.5 S12 AP-4 D1d6||3.9||3.6||3.2||6.8||5.4||4.5||3.6|
|Multi-laser||3 S6 AP0 D1||1.1||0.4||0.2||0.4||0.2||0.1||0.2|
|Heavy Stubber||3 S4 AP0 D1||0.9||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.1||0.1|
|Meltagun||1 S8 AP-4 D1d6||0.6||1.0||0.9||1.6||1.6||1.0||0.8|
|Meltagun (Half Range)||1 S8 AP-4 D1d6+2||0.6||1.1||1.1||2.2||2.4||1.5||1.2|
|Ironstorm Missile Pod||3.5 S5 AP-1 D2||1.3||1.6||1.0||1.2||0.8||0.5||0.8|
|Stormspear Rocket Pod||3 S8 AP-2 D1d6||1.7||2.0||2.1||3.1||3.1||1.8||2.3|
|Judgement||3 S8 AP-3 D1d6||2.2||3.4||3.7||5.2||5.2||3.1||3.1|
|Twin Icarus Autocannon||4 S7 AP-1 D2||1.4||1.3||0.9||1.3||1.0||0.4||0.7|
|Twin Icarus Autocannon (vs Fly)||4 S7 AP-1 D2||2.3||2.2||1.5||2.2||1.7||0.7||1.1|
|Skyshield||6 S7 AP-2 D2||2.5||2.7||2.0||2.7||2.0||1.0||1.3|
|Skyshield (vs Fly)||6 S7 AP-2 D2||4.2||4.4||3.3||4.4||3.3||1.7||2.2|
|Thunderstrike Gauntlet* + Titanic Feet||4 S16 AP-4 D6||6.7||7.4||6.7||10.0||10.0||8.3||6.7|
|The Paragon Gauntlet* + Titanic Feet||4 S16 AP-4 D8||6.7||7.4||6.7||13.3||17.8||14.8||11.9|
|Reaper Chainsword + Titanic Feet||4 S14 AP-3 D6||6.7||7.4||6.7||11.1||11.1||7.1||7.1|
|Honour's Bite + Titanic Feet||4 S14 AP-4 D6||6.7||7.4||6.7||14.2||14.2||9.8||8.0|
|Ravager + Titanic Feet||4 S14 AP-4 D6||6.7||7.4||6.7||15.6||15.6||13.0||10.4|
|Titanic Feet||12 S8 AP-2 D1d3||6.7||7.4||6.7||7.1||7.1||4.0||5.3|
|Thunderstrike Gauntlet + Reaper Chainsword + Titanic Feet||5 Attacks, WS2+||10.4||11.6||10.4||17.4||17.4||13.9||11.1|
|The Paragon Gauntlet + Reaper Chainsword + Titanic Feet||5 Attacks, WS2+||10.4||11.6||10.4||20.8||27.8||23.2||18.5|
|Honour's Bite + Thunderstrike Gauntlet + Titanic Feet||5 Attacks, WS2+||10.4||11.6||10.4||22.2||22.2||15.3||12.5|
|Ravager + Thunderstrike Gauntlet + Titanic Feet||5 Attacks, WS2+||10.4||11.6||10.4||24.3||24.3||20.3||16.2|
- This maths does not take into account any effects brought on by knightly household traits or warlord traits, and should be seen as a baseline on which to improve on.
- Weapon profiles do not generally include special rules, but special rules are obeyed in the calculations.
- Gauntlets do not include the on average 1 extra mortal wound dealt if the weapon kills a Monster or Vehicle and there is another enemy unit within 9".
- Double melee means a Gallant, which also means WS2+, not WS3+, and an increase from A5 to A5.
You have 22 relics to choose from, the highest of any non-Space Marine army.
- The Bastard's Helm: Armiger-Class only. This knight no longer benefits from the Knightly Teachings or Bondsman abilities, but it gains +1 on wound rolls and its own Bondsman ability that lets a friendly <Noble Household> Armiger-Class add +1 to wound as well.
- Endless Fury: Replaces an Avenger Gatling Cannon. Changed in 9e to be a 36" Assault D6+12 S6 AP-3 D2, with the old ability being removed. The change not only almost always gives you extra hits, it's also Assault so you can Advance and shoot if you need to.
- The Helm Dominatus: Questoris-Class knight with a Bondsman ability only. You can now make one Armiger benefit from your Bondsman ability until the end of the game or until another Bondsman ability overrides it. Best suited for when you need one Armiger to break off from the pack to finish off something while your knight sticks with the rest.
- Judgement: Replaces Stormspear Rocket Pod. Changes its damage to D3+d3 and lets it target units that are not visible to the bearer. There are better choices.
- Mentor's Seal: Knight Perceptor only. They now know an additional Knightly Teaching and adds +1 to their rolls to determine if the teaching inspires.
- The Paragon Gauntlet: Replaces a Thunderstrike Gauntlet. The Power Glove returns Sx2 (S16) AP-4 9 damage for strikes and a S+2 (S10) AP-2 4 damage for sweeps. The reason why you take this incredible relic is on both profiles, if you get an unmodified wound roll of 6, invulnerable saving throws cannot be made against the attack.
- A weapon which can one shot kill girlyman without even breaking a sweat.
- Ravager: Replaces a Reaper Chainsword. Is now S+7 (S15) AP-4 D6 / S+1 (9) AP-3 D2 with triple the attacks, with both profiles giving an extra hit on hit rolls of 6's.
- Sanctuary: Armiger-Class and Questoris-Class only. Gives a flat 4++ for melee attacks only. Throw this on a Gallant or an Errant and smile.
- Superior to the Armour of the Sainted Ion against high ap melee attacks but does not improve your resilience to low ap melee attacks.
- Banner of Macharius Triumphant: Questoris-Class Knights only. Still grants Objective Secured to the bearer, but doesn't add ten models (presumably because Questoris already counts as 10 models). Now has the added bonus of having you start with 1 extra Honor Point of your army is all Knights (excluding Agents of the Imperium or Unaligned). The catch? If the guy holding the Banner dies, you lose 1 Honor point.
- This relic and the Revered Knight WL starts you at 3 Honor Points, which isn't bad at all. Combo this with Hawkshroud putting you at effectively 4 Honor Points right at the start, and you could potentially hit Virtuous at the end of your first turn!
- Helm of the Nameless Warrior: Armiger-Class and Questoris-Class only. A natural wound roll of 6 in melee inflict a number of mortal wounds equal to the damage characteristic of the attack, making all your attacks go past any invulns. Remember how your melee weapons do 6 or 8 damage if you use their strike profile? Your opponent will if you roll well with this thing.
- Traitor's Pyre: Knight Valiant only, replacing their Conflagration Cannon. Changed in 9e, now S8 with 6's to wound ignoring invulnerable saves. With 3d6 auto-hitting shots available, that is a lot of chances to grab 6's.
- Cawl's Wrath: Knight Castellan only, replacing a Plasma Decimator. Improves AP to -4 and adds +1 damage, making this basically a supersized version of the Redemptor Dreadnought's Macro Plasma Incinerator. Naturally, this makes it much better at wiping out TEQs and light vehicles than its standard counterpart.
- The Heart of Ion: Armiger-Class and Questoris-Class only. You can sacrifice a MW each turn, adding +1" movement, +1 to advance and charge rolls, and one weapon of your choosing gets +1 to wound.
- Mark of the Omnissiah: Armiger-Class and Questoris-Class only. This now heals d3 wounds each turn, and this does stack with the Questor Mechanicus oath to make it even harder to wipe.
Armies of Renown
The new version of the specialist detachment, introduced in the Book of Rust.
Freeblades are naturally cool because you get to pick-and-choose special rules without being bound to either alliance. However, you lack any major sort of unifying factor. This grants you effectively a household's value while maintaining the uniqueness of being Freeblades.
- Restrictions: Your army has to be entirely composed of Freeblades in order to gain the Freeblade Lance keyword. While each knight can determine their own traditions, none of them can be overlapping.
- Legendary Knight: A Freeblade Lance Character is free to take an Exalted Court upgrade despite being a bunch of Freeblades.
- Martial Tradition - Indomitable Heroes: A hybrid of both Mechanicum and Imperialis perks, your freeblades recover 1 wound each turn and ignore all modifiers to charge and advance rolls.
- Warlord Trait - Echoes from the Past: Your warlord gains either Glorified History (for Imperialis) or Fealty to the Cog (for Mechanicum) as an additional Tradition. This will only give you that house's tradition and nothing else though.
- Relic - Bringer of Justice: Replaces a Reaper Chainsword. Strikes become S+8 AP-4 D6, Sweeps triple your attacks with S+2 AP-3 D2, but both give you an additional attack as well.
- Brothers and Sisters in Burden (1 CP): Select your Freeblade Lance Character at the start of a turn where you are Dishonoured. For this turn, The Warlord still gains their Honoured ability if another knight is within 12" of them.
- Deeds of Legend (1 CP): Once per game, when your Freeblade Lance Character has slain an enemy Vehicle, Monster, or Character unit, that character gains a new Honoured ability that is always active. This means that something like Martial Legacy's buff only applies to this model.
- Favoured Knight (1 CP): One Freeblade Lance Character can select a second relic to own. Fortunately, you have a few relics available for such a purpose, and you also have your new relic to pick.
- Strength from Exile (1/2 CP): Select one Freeblade Lance unit during either the shooting or fight phase. For this phase, while the unit is over 12" away from any friendlies, it can re-roll 1s to hit or wound, which is pretty important since they lack any auras of re-rolls.
All of the below are Lords of War, except for the Sacristan Warshrine (which is a Fortification).
- Sir Hekhtur “The Chainbreaker” and Canis Rex: The first true named character for the Imperial Knights. Sir Hekhtur rides into battle in Canis Rex, a modified Knight Preceptor that is kitted out with a Las-Impulsor, a multilaser, and a unique thunder strike gauntlet that has 2d6 damage and always deals at least 6 damage (this is worse than the Paragon Gauntlet, which is D8; ignoring models from W7 to W11, where the Hekhtur's Gauntlet is worse than this, you can think of his Gauntlet as D7.56). Uniquely among the Knights, Canis Rex's BS and WS both start at 2+ and do not degrade below 4+. More importantly, any Imperium model that flees within 6" of Canis Rex rolls a d6, with a 6 meaning that they don't flee. This makes Sir Hektur a good support for the Imperial Guard (fitting, since he was first introduced in the Regimental Standard).
- If Canis Rex is destroyed without exploding, Sir Hektur is set up within 3" as if he was disembarking from a destroyed transport. Should he survive, his statline is similar to a Tempestor Prime, and he can fight with an Archaeotech Pistol, which is BS3+ Pistol 1 S5 AP-2 D2. While nowhere near as strong as he is with Canis Rex, he can still put out a few potshots with some Guard squads covering him, and Canis Rex isn't considered destroyed until Sir Hektur is also slain.
- Sir Hekhtur is locked to Questor Imperialis, meaning he won't play nicely with Mechanicus, but gets the +1 to Advance and Charge from the Imperialis detachment rule. He also has Knight Preceptor, so he can use the Capacitor Charge stratagem.
- GW forgot to put the standard wording in Exalted Court and Heirlooms of the Household preventing them from working on Canis Rex, but Heirlooms is useless, since the strat says a model can't have multiple relics and the rules for relics state that Canis Rex has a relic already. Exalted Court will work, but only in a Freeblade lance since court rules prevent Freeblades from having them, but the lance has an exception for that, and they also have a stratagem to let a Knight get a second relic so you CAN RAW put another relic on Canis if there in a Free Blade Lance
Baby's first Knight, and at movement 14", strength 6, toughness 7, 12 wounds, 4 attacks and a 3+/5++ save it is most certainly a knightly (if diminutive) sight, and 3 can be taken in one Lords of War slot. Be aware of the fact that you don't have access to the same "Super-heavy Walker" rule that the other Knights do and your weaponry is made specifically for taking on lone targets or groups of them at range, so avoid melee hordes like the plague (although a Warglaive's Chaincleaver can put out 8 attacks, so it's not like you're completely helpless). As of the FAQ, these guys still provide zero CP when in a Super-Heavy Detachment full of nothing but themselves, but effectively no longer stop your Super-Heavy Detachments from gaining CP if you have at least one Knight with the Titanic keyword in the same detachment, thus allowing them to finally be the cheap point fillers they were advertised as.
- Armiger Helverin: The dakka variant of the armiger, armed with 2 Armiger Autocannons. These little gun walkers pack a surprising punch, the two of their cannons putting out 4d3 S7 shots each at a ridiculous 60" and with no to hit penalty after moving. Did I mention that each shot deals 3 damage?! Carapace weapon wise, Heavy Stubbers are the way to go. Their range, while not the best at 36", still gives the knight some distance. Plus, the extra shots help add to the bullet hose of the autocannons. Meltas are just too short range to help this knight.
- Their range is important. While a lucky round of shooting can see a Helverin put some serious hurt on the enemy, more often than not against anything with a good save or toughness they'll only get one or two shots through. Being able to fire 60" puts them out of range of a great deal of the more common weapon systems in theory but in reality you don't have many models and need them forward on objectives where they are targetable. At the end of the day the Helverin occupies a nice slot and will do well much of the time, but needs to be able to get 3 turns of shooting out on average to take down a T7, 10-12W, 3+ target. Plan accordingly, or find easier to chew targets.
- They are as woeful in melee as most vehicles.
- If you are running a full knight army do not target vehicles with these guys. Sit on objectives and slaughter Infantry in a hail of high caliber shells while your bigger Knights destroy the bigger targets and act as fire magnets. The "Thin Their Ranks" engine war stratagem greatly helps Vs large units.
- If you expect to get close to the enemy, never take one of these; once you're within 36", a dual lightning lock Moirax will completely outperform it against just about any horde in the game, while a dual volkite Moirax will beat it against just about anything (and if you're up against an army whose tough/hard units have good saves, within 24" a pulsar + lightning lock Moirax beats this against anything).
- Knight Moirax (Forge World): The long-awaited Forge World Armiger is a much-welcomed addition to the family, bringing some very flexible firepower for quite cheap (for Knights, anyways, and cheaper than regular armigers). Unlike the previous two, which are locked in their weapon loadout except for their carapace gun (which ultimately isn't even a real choice), the Moirax has a lovely variety of weapons it may pick and choose from. The best part is, you can mix and match in any way you want, including double guns! They are 1-3 per slot (like regular armigers), giving you the option to field any number of them even with the Rule of 3. its Special rules is a 6" heroic intervention for titanic Household buddies.
Your melee weapon choice made all the sweeter for being completely free! As one might expect, it's a scaled-down version of the Forge World Questoris Knight's Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad Cleanser, granting a D1d6 Power Fist that shares the Hekaton's new vehicle busting rule (+2 Damage vs Vehicles and Titanic units), as well as the lovely buffed Rad Cleanser's D6 auto-hitting, almost auto-wounding D3 bullshit. While having two melees does nothing for you, a pair of Rad Cleansers will make everyone cry for cheap. A Moirax with a pair of claws makes for a premium Monster hunter, guaranteed to give your Tyranid friends flashbacks of their Carnifexen having their legs pulled off one by one. Even if you're not going double claw, having one of these is never a bad idea.
- The claw outperforms the warglaive in melee vs vehicles but the warglaive outperforms the Moirax vs infantry. The Grav/Claw combination is pretty interchangeable with the warglaive.
- Because the Claw and the Cleanser are typically good against exactly opposite units - you usually won't face non-vehicle titanics - the pair makes the Moirax a credible close-range jack of all trades, but you'll need to get very close to use them. Cleanser vs screens and claw vs the thing behind the screen.
- The Rad Cleansers love the blessed arms tradition giving +6 range gives a lot more wiggle room.
Shove off, Helverin, the real long-ranged Anti-Tank walker is here. A mini version of the Asterius Knight (get used to this trend) With D3 S10 AP-2 D4 shots outside of 36", and the mobility to stay that far away, this gun looks like an excellent deal. The one plaguefly in the sacred machine oil is that the MCBC is limited to 1 per knight, making it a terrible choice in practice - outside of 36", it'll do a credible job of chipping away at things, but at a worse points efficiency than just about anything else you can field, and inside of 36", it's worse than any of the 5 point guns. As a result, you're usually better off picking something else, and committing to getting within 36".
- The Imperial Armor Compendium now lets you rock two of these, at the cost of twenty points. Now we can finally run the Moirax as a highly mobile Great Value Asterius. Also, the ranges have changed now. Each moirax conversion beam cannon does D3 S6 AP 0 D2 shots between 0-18", S8 AP -1 D3 between 18-42" (which pairs decently with any of the 24"/36" moirax guns if you choose to mix and match) and S10 AP -2 D4 between 42-72" (ideally you would be doubling up on the conversion beam cannons if you're relying on this profile).
A super Grav Cannon, with D6 shots (blast) at S6 AP-3 D2, up to D3 vs 3+ or better saves. Falls to the same pitfalls as most Grav weapons, as while the AP and Damage scream Anti Tank, its lackluster Strength and 3 damage is actually better at killing MEU/TEU and may not be overkill if they happened to have some kind of FNP. Has a strong niche against Light Vehicles with good armor, like Armoured Sentinels and Landspeeders, but the Lightning Lock and Volkite Veuglaire have very similar stats at a better range. It still does surprisingly well in the anti-tank role with its high rate of fire and assurance that if a shot does wound, it's going to fucking hurt - provided you are shooting targets that have a 3+ or better save, at least 3 wounds, and don't have a great invuln, this will usually be your best gun. In 9th, this weapon outperforms lightning locks against 2W and 3W (3+) models, which is useful considering all marines got upped to 2W and gravis to 3W. Being d6 Blast, it also comes closer to the Lightning Lock's number of shots when targeting hordes (on equal 12 shots/8 hits vs. 12 shots/12 hits).
The little sibling of the (now buffed!) Magaera. A flat 6 Shots PER GUN at S6 AP-2 alone stings enough, but when you add in the extra 2 Hits per 6 rolled, undamaged armigers averages as many hits as it has shots. See that Cultist horde? Me neither. Prime escorts for a Knight Preceptor to keep those hits rolling in. The best gun you can field for murdering most basic units of infantry you will face, including GEQ. Against MEQ, it is slightly overshadowed by the graviton pulsar, due to marines going up to 2W.
You guessed it, it's a tiny Styrix gun. This gun out-ranges the Pulsar, having the same range as the Lightning Lock, but the Lock is a superior horde-clearer, and the Pulsar is usually a better heavy-clearer. The only time the Veuglaire is better is against heavy targets with excellent invulns, like storm shield terminators, Death Guard Terminators, Adeptus Custodes and Thousand Sons.
- Forgeworld only stock twin lightning lock moiraxs or Volkite/Claw. Other weapons are an extra cost on top. Although it is pretty easy to stick your spare volkites on a warglaive if you want a cheap extra chassis as their similar enough.
- Armiger Warglaive: An armiger armed with a mini Thermal Cannon called a Thermal Spear at 30" Heavy 2 S8 Ap-4 D1d6 (D6+2 at half range, like all melta weapons), as well as a Chain-Cleaver that has two attack options: Strike and Sweep. Strike is Sx2 AP-3 D3 and Sweep is SU AP-2 D1, but doubles the amount of hit rolls you can make with it. So this gives the Armiger some very nice added adaptability in their close combat. Carapace weapon wise, it depends on what your view the role of the Warglaive. If you view it as a tankbuster, going into melee VS heavy infantry with the strike profile or if your a House Imperialis the Melta is your best bet. The Armiger is going to be up close anyway, so the melta's range isn't going to be an issue. The ability to shoot after advancing is a nice bonus and the heavy Stubber, while having nice range, doesn't compliment well with the knight. However if you want Warglaive's going into melee using your sweep profile against lighter infantry AND your a Mechanicus house, then the Cognis Heavy Stubber can give you 4 additional shot's against lighter targets in melee.
- A good if not amazing all-rounder. A unit of Warglaives pose an existential threat to most armoured forces in the game at range and can reliably chew through most things in melee because of their dual profiles. Larger hordes will still pose an issue but such is the life of a Knight. Effectively a Devil Dog with melee weapon. The real effective use is with Sally Forth. Watch your opponent's face drain of hope and life as three of these babies appear in the right place at the right time to erase several pieces of armor and charge into his squishy underside, then follow up with Pack Hunters for rerollable charges.
- Pairs well with House Raven's ability to Advance without penalties.
- Now only 145 pts per model according to the new codex, making them the cheapest unit availible to us.
Now moving 10" and no longer having attack multipliers on Titanic Feet, the Big Boys have seen a few different improvements in 9th, and gained special abilities to buff Armigers.
- Knight Crusader: The gun platform for Questoris Knights, armed with an Avenger gattling cannon and your choice of Thermal Cannon or RFBC. Either set up can perform well; whether it's melting Vehicles and shooting up elite infantry, or with the battle cannon in an anti-infantry role. The Bondsman ability allows you to select an Armiger within 12" to get +1 to their Ballistics Skill, which works great for Helverins and (presumably) post-FAQ Moiraxes. This loss of the attack multiplier on Titanic Feet hurts a bit, but make no mistake; the Crusader remains a good choice.
- Knight Errant: After being neglected for much of 9e, the Book of Rust offered a glimpse of the Errant's potential with the House Raven's relic Thermal Cannon. Now with the 9e codex, that potential has been unleashed in the form of 30" heavy 2d3 S9 AP-4 d6+2 (d6+4 at half range) thermal goodness, and the choice between either the sword or the gauntlet - both of which have sweep profiles (and have outstanding relics to choose from). The Bondsman ability is excellent too; pick an Armiger within 12", that unit can declare a charge in a turn which it advanced AND you add 1 to it's to Advance and Charge rolls, which means after staring down the Thermal Cannon people will need to deal with the Errant and a yeeted Warglaive. With all of this, the Errant now settles into being our best Big Game Hunter.
- Knight Gallant: Comes stock with 5 attacks, a 2+ weapon skill, and 12" of movement over the standard knight - it comes kitted out with a chainsword and gauntlet, making it your go to melee knight unless you want to go to forge world for a lancer. The Bondsman ability isn't bad either; +1 to the Weapons Skill for an Armiger. Like in previous editions, the Gallant makes for one hell of a distraction as a 400 point melee missile.
- Knight Paladin: Comes with a Reaper Chainsword and a Rapid Fire Battle Cannon. On one hand the loadout doesn't make much sense; the RFBC has 72" range while you also have a melee weapon, but on the flip side this Knight is well-suited to splitting attacks between two targets. While the buffs to the RFBC (flat 3 damage!!) and melee options (sweep attacks and great relics!) alone would make the Paladin a solid choice, the real money is with the Bondsman ability; select an Armiger 12" away, that unit can re-roll 1s for both hits and wounds. Overall the Paladin, much like the Errant, has finally found its footing in 9th, with the Paladin finally becoming the all-rounder it always should've been.
- Knight Preceptor: The knight preceptor takes the role of a Knight drill sergeant. His Mentor rule now makes him act as a Chaplain, which is very excellent. Comes packing a reaper chainsword, which it can swap for the gauntlet, and a Las Impulsor is a good all-purpose weapon that synergizes nicely with both types of Armiger: Dispersed mode can thin out infantry swarms that might tarpit a Warglaive, and Focused mode deals with the tough armored targets that the Helverin's autocannons can't reliably damage. Can take all the standard carapace weapons and, funnily enough, replace its heavy stubber with a multilaser for free, which means you'll never, ever take a heavy stubber. No Bondsman ability for the Preceptor, they're too busy doing Knightly Teachings.
- Knight Warden: Boasts a Gatling cannon with built-in heavy flamer and reaper chainsword. This will perform well against almost any target, and it's a good candidate for the gauntlet upgrade to shore up its marginal weakness against landraiders and their ilk. The Bondsman ability has an Armiger you select from 12" away count as 10 models when holding objectives, which considering Armgiers are obsec, isn't that bad.
- Questoris Knight Magaera (Forge World): Received several changes over the years and has settled into a fantastic all-around role. To start, it's ranged attacks ignore cover, which is excellent as opponents will likely be hiding in cover on several occasions. The lightning gun is Heavy 8 S7 AP-2 D3, and every hit roll of 6 scores a bonus 2 hits, which acts like a to-hit bonus but better due to interactions with things like re-rolls; you're likely average around six to eight hits with the gun. Instead of a the pop gun or melta, we get a phased plasma-fusil (again another throwback to 30k) which is a twin plasma gun that can't overcharge but clocks on at 24" Rapid Fire 2 S7 AP-3 D2. Melee-wise it comes with a Reaper Chainsword by default, but the real value is swapping it for a Hekaton Siege Claw (which looks like one of those prize grabber claws at an arcade) which has Sx2 AP-4 D6, -1 to hit, +2D against Monsters and Vehicles, or a second profile which is the same as Titanic feet, but strictly better, as they deal D3 damage while still making the 3 hit rolls. The siege claw also comes with a twin rad cleanser from 30k: 12" Assault 2d6 S2 AP0 D3, Automatically Hits, Poisoned (2+), which is radically better than a Heavy Flamer. Generally you want to get within 12" and melee to make the most of the claw and Plasma-Fusil, but the Lightning Cannon does add some ranged punch. On top of all this; a 5++ in melee that can be rotated with Ion Shields. Comparing the Magarea to other Questoris Knights is tricky; you're basically trading the Carapace weapon to ignore cover. Ultimately, you'll want to pick based on what you value with the shooting weapon(s) and associated strats and if that outweighs not having the Claw, which is our best melee weapon for Questoris models.
- Questoris Knight Styrix (Forge World): Ignores cover, and comes with a Vulkite Chierovile (Heavy 5 S8 AP-3 D1d6, nat 6 to wound is +2 Mortal Wounds), which is incredibly swingy - and with only five shots, you'll find landing those wound roles of sixes difficult. It also has Graviton Crusher (Heavy 1d3 S6 AP-3 D2, D3 against Sv3-, does not have Blast). Overall, it's inferior to the Magarea due to it's main gun lacking the damage output of the Lightning Cannon.
The "biggest" Knights yet (discounting the walking box that is the Porphyrion, and the ceratus chassis. GW calls it a big knight, but it isn't that much bigger than the classic knight chassis), with 28 wounds each, the usual strength and toughness of 8, a 2+/5++ and packed full of guns. But unlike the Questoris Knights these are only WS 4+ so they won't handle close combat so well.
Both knights have twin-linked melta turrets and 3 hardpoints, each of which can be equipped with either a turret with 48" Heavy 2D3 S7 AP-1 D2 Siegebreaker Cannons, or a pair of one-shot, one-per-turn 48" Heavy 1 S10 AP-4 D1d6 Shieldbreaker Missiles that ignore Invulnerable Saves. Note that you have to take two of one, and one of the other. If you have the points, always take the Cannons - ignoring invuln saves is fun, but unreliable.
- Shieldbreaker missiles seem weak at first, but because, of their AP, they technically ignore both invul and armour saves, making them absurdly good for sniping characters, especially those with 6 or less wounds.
- However, the flipside is, you can still only fire one per turn. If you can afford it, make sure you think hard about whether you'd rather have the option for a 3rd missile on turn three (when, odds are, either your knight is dead or you've already won) or if you'd rather fire the extra cannons while he's still alive.
Seriously consider giving these guys the 'Ion Bulwark' warlord trait. 'Rotate Ion Shields' costs 2CP on them and they will attract a lot of fire.
- Dominus Knight Castellan: Comes with a 48" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-4 D2 Plasma Decimator (S9 AP-4 D3 if you Overload, but it suffers 2 mortal wound for every roll of 1 to-hit, so a way to re-roll 1s and/or access to a repair mechanic is a wise choice) and an 80" Heavy 1D3 S16 AP-5 1D6+8 dmg Volcano Lance. This is GW's answer to FW's Atrapos. While not quite as good against other superheavies, it's a superb vehicle killer. Fire at a Guard tankline and watch it evaporate. The QUESTOR MECHANICUS Household Tradition is the only way to get access to the Cawl's Wrath relic. An upgraded Plasma Decimator. Giving you two reasons to always have a Castellan in your army. With the stratagem of the house Taranis you can resurect it with a 4+.
- At 625 points post september 2022.
- Dominus Knight Valiant: The short range version of the Castellan, trades the powerful long range firepower for RIDICULOUSLY lethal short range guns (plus the twin meltas and same hardpoint weapons options as above). It sports the Flamer-type 18" Heavy 3D6 S7 AP-2 D2 Conflagration Cannon and the 12" Heavy 1 S16 AP-6 D10 (Yes, you read that right - and its real damage output is even higher!) Thundercoil Harpoon. The harpoon gives-you +1 to hit against VEHICLES and MONSTERS, and deals an extra 3 Mortal Wounds to the target unit if it deals any damage, making the 10 DAMAGES an underestimate of its damage. Try and avoid firing against things with invuln saves.
- The biggest weakness of this guy is that he needs to get in close to do damage, but has the slowest movement of all Knights. Assume you won't be able to fire the big guns for the first couple of turns, and position to break line of sight. This can't be stressed enough. If you are up against a cc army, the valiant is great, because no one wants to get close, but against a gunline, that's a lot of turns of wasted potential.
- A Hawkshroud knight valiant can provide fantastic protection for imperial allies, for 2cp it can fire it's overwatch including that auto-hitting conflagration cannon at a charging enemy unit, this is a potentially game winning strategy particularly if your opponent is caught off-guard. (No longer an option in 9th...)
Forge World Knights
Remember that these guys also have the <HOUSEHOLD> keyword, so you can buff them appropriately if your army is battleforged around that keyword. As of the IA Compendium, these guys are affected just fine by all your fancy Codex rules apart from their limited access to relics. Fortunately, the 9E codex has seen a lot of the strats drop their more restrictive conditions so that you're not entirely hosed despite some of the limitations on equipment.
Unlike the Dominus Knights, who are only an inch or so taller than a normal Knight, these things are big. They used to be T9 with more damage bracket levels (like usual FW superheavies) but got decreased to "slightly above Dominus" profile (just +2W, -1A).
- Acastus Knight Asterius: A Porphyrion that has swapped out its magma cannons for 4 FUCKHUGE C-beam cannons. You know, the things that increase in strength, AP, and damage the further away from the target you are? These monsters max out at S16 AP-3 D6, though even at the minimum range they still kick like a mule, at S12 AP-1 D2. However, with a knight's high movement, this probably won't be that much of a problem. Couple with the fact that you're delivering 2D3 shots per gun and you've just quashed any hope your opponent had of even getting to use their own superheavy. And we're not even done yet! It's got a Karacnos Mortar Battery to drop radioactive death on infantry that basically cannot be denied. Cover? You wish. Line of Sight? Get fucked, buddy. High Toughness? Oh, that's just adorable. It's also got a pair of Volkite Culverins to give some extra close-range kick, just in case your opponent tries to close and reduce the brutality of your guns. Unfortunately, the very decent guns aren't decent enough to cope with the Asterius's absurdly high point cost, meaning it's worse at murdering just about anything than a properly kitted out Crusader or Castellan.
- Acastus Knight Porphyrion: The big brother of the other knights (seriously, this thing is huge), with four massive guns that give Tau armies inferiority complexes. The default loadout comes in at over 780. While this thing is a murder machine with on average 8 S12/AP-3/D6 shots from its two twin magma cannons, the increase is going to make it hard to fit much else in a list. You may as well upgrade the autocannons to lascannons because why the fuck not. With T8, 30 wounds, and 3+/5++ vs. shooting, it's not going anywhere in a hurry neither. It will smoke a Leman Russ in a single volley with room to spare and stands a chance of crippling (if not outright killing) a landraider. Also has the honor of being the only FW Knight that can mount a carapace weapon. In addition to the usual Ironstorm, it can also take its own unique weapon, a rack of Helios Defense Missiles. It more or less functions as a hybrid between the Icarus and the Stormspear, firing one less missile than the latter and dealing a flat D3 instead of D1d6, as well as gaining a +1 bonus to hit Aircraft. Took a harsh hit in the 2019 Summer update, being knocked down to BS3+ and T8, same as every non-Armiger knight. On the upside, it can fire its main guns on Overwatch now. Woo?
- Although you’ll mostly only use this in apocalypse battles, consider taking this instead of a Baneblade (plus something else to make up the 300-400 leftover points) as your anti-armor, as fully kitted out with all the lascannons there is nothing smaller than a titan or one of the tougher knights which can survive against it, and at T8 and 30 wounds there is little outside of those same categories and hordes of lascannon guardsmen which can destroy it. Your opponent will also be thinking of little else while this is on the board, and unlike a war hound, you have points left over for meatshields or elites in a 2000 point game.
- Keep this thing out of melee, yes it’s S8 and T8, yes it “can” retreat from melee and still shoot, but with no proper melee weapon, only 3 attacks at WS4+ (undamaged), a normal knight will do a lot of damage to a Porphyrion (if it can ever get close enough. It’s low attack count and no anti horde guns also mean that it will get tarpitted.)
- An excellent candidate for Armiger bodyguards, two Helverin Armigers with their two autocannons each will throw out a lot of quality dakka downrange, which will threaten anything T7 or less while still putting out the shots to at least moderately dent hordes. Such a setup allows you to run this knight as your warlord, opening up a huge array of possibilities for improved invulnerability saves, accuracy, and armour. A pair of double Claw and Cleanser Moiraxes will also be an excellent deterrent.
- The Imperial Armor Compendium has blessed us with a big point reduction; big boi is now sitting at 780 points, which gets you crazy anti-armor, two autocannons, and some ignore line of sight missiles. For an extra 10 points you can swap out BOTH autocannons with lascannons!
All Cerastus knights are a bit faster than stock, with a 12" move, and have 26 wounds, making them a little better than the Questoris chassis. Though not included in the statlines, each model does still possess the same stomp attack as any codex knight.
- Cerastus Knight Acheron: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. I have only the most up-to-date cultural references. The Acheron flame cannon does 2D6 S7 AP-2 D3 hits at 18". This is a solid choice against pretty much any target, almost as good as the Avenger against infantry, almost as good as the Thermal Cannon against vehicles (only really falling off vs. the really heavy stuff). Barbecue those annoying Tau stealth suits with their negative hit modifiers. Twin heavy bolter is just gravy. The chainfist is equivalent to the gauntlet, trading the volleyball effect for no -1 to Hit, which is probably a worthy exchange.
- With the flame cannon hitting with 3 damage, charging an Acheron is basically suicide to any unit if you're willing to spend the CP to overwatch with it. The Acheron enters and leaves fights on its own terms, no one else's. This can be a good strategy to mess with hard hitting melee units.
- Pair this with House Raven for some ludicrous reach, being able to advance and still fire your flamer as if moving normally allows you to reliably knock out medium and light vehicles with ease, flyers in particular, which would normally rely on their speed to pick off vulnerable targets while avoiding retaliation, are particularly vulnerable.
- Acheron vs. Valiant: Now you might be thinking, which flavor of crispy burning goodness do I want to inflict on my opponent? In the Valiant's favor, its Conflagration Cannon is better at it's job of murdering infantry. +1D6 hits over the Acheron's Flame Cannon at the cost of -1 damage means it deals the same amount of overall damage to heavy targets, but roasts a greater number of 1W and 2W squishies. In addition, the Valiant packs an impressive amount of anti-tank weaponry with which to murder heavies. On the other hand, the Acheron is MUCH quicker, allowing you to get in there and start setting people on fire that much sooner. It also packs an actual melee weapon, letting you give some unfortunate tank an Imperial Fisting after reducing its infantry escort to ash. Finally, the Acheron is a fraction of the cost of the Valiant, allowing you to squeeze in an additional cheap Knight or a couple of Armigers to run up the field alongside it AND doesn't burn up half of your CP to use Rotate Ion Shields. In summary, the Valiant has the better flamer and can handle a broader range of targets, but the Acheron carries it better and is more easily taken with friends to cover its weaknesses.
- Take both and burn everything (smaller than a superheavy).
- The Imperial Armor Compendium has gifted the chainfist dual profile - a "sweep attack" which does three hits rolls instead of one (S: User, AP-2, 1D3 damage) and a "saw attack" that hits with the S: x2, AP-4, 6D profile. Note that the sweep attack has the same statline as the Titanic Feet that all knights are equipped with (appearing in the wargear section, but not having stats shown in the compendium), a forebear to 9E's revamps to melee by nerfing feet. Sadly, this still won't work with any relics or the Chainsweep strat.
- The Imperial Armor Compendium has also gifted us with a point reduction(!) to 480 points, making the Acheron a solid unit to bring that no one will dare charge in fear of being overwatched/chainfisted.
- Take both and burn everything (smaller than a superheavy).
- Cerastus Knight Atrapos: The weird middle child of the knight family with some unusual weapons and sculpting. Same stats as all other Cerastus chassis with the same abilities except for a shiny new 5+ Invuln save that works in melee and +1 hit modifier for shooting units with the TITANIC keyword. So overall, a nice buff that makes it ideal for dueling other super heavies, both at range and in melee. Its weapons are very similar and received a hefty rework in the Summer 2019 update. The Graviton Singularity Cannon is a whole different beast now, with two firing modes. The first, Contained, is more or less the old profile, minus the "lottery", at 4 S8 AP-3 D4 shots. The other mode is Singularity, which is a toned down version of the old "jackpot", granting 4+D6 S14 AP-4 D3 attacks. The catch is that when you pick the profile, roll a D6; on a 1, 2 or 3, you take D3 Mortal Wounds. Overall a significant buff, allowing you to hit like a de-orbiting cruiser when you need to and avoiding needless self damage when you don't. Its other weapon, the lascutter, is even better now! It still has 2 profiles, a Heavy 1 S12 AP -4 Damage 6 shooting attack that now shares the melee mode's Wound re-roll vs Vehicles and Monsters instead of its old extra attack on kill mechanic, and a S+6 (so 14, same as its old flat Strength) AP -4 Damage 6 melee attack that can roll failed wounds against monsters or vehicles. In addition, the Atrapos differs from other Cerastus Chassis by having an additional ability; Macro Extinction Protocols. This adds plus 1 to any hit roll of an attack made against a unit with the TITANIC keyword. This makes the Knight Atrapos quite a good pick when going up against a vehicle or monster heavy army, as well as be a bit more of a bullet sponge, just be aware of the very short range on your weapons. Now that the lascutter is tied to Strength. It makes the Atropos an ideal target for Strength boosting effects to reach that S16 sweet spot.
- In addition to stomping, the IA Index gave the lascutter a dual profile in melee. The sweep attack does the usual x3 hits while doing a tasty S6, AP-2, 3D - the focus attack still hits like a truck with the S12, AP-4, 6D and re-rolling wound against monsters and vehicles.
- The Imperial Armor Compendium has KEPT the still shiny 5++ invuln save. Combined with a point reduction(!) to 520 points, the Atropos is now a premier vehicle/monster hunter.
- Cerastus Knight Castigator: Comes equipped with a Castigator bolt cannon and Tempest Warblade, which now might be the forefront for "new best melee weapon". The Castigator bolt cannon now puts out an impressive 16 S6 AP-2 D2 shots at a decent BS. Meanwhile, the Warblade strikes at S+6 AP-3 D3, two less damage than before, BUT it now swings twice for every attack you make with it. That's 8 Attacks base before any traits or Household Traditions. As you can imagine, this stack beautifully with any boosts to Attacks.
- Possesses the best anti infantry gun a knight can have, the only better gun any model can have (without twin linking etc) is the Vulcan mega bolter, which puts things in perspective. It's a superior horde clearer with the bolt cannon and it having an incredible melee weapon. At 460 points, this is still solid value.
- Cerastus Knight Lancer: This is your real close combat specialist and has a speed boost to prove it. Its lance has two profiles: The standard weapon is S+6 (S14) AP-4 D6 and can shoot six S6 AP-1 Dd3, but if you charge, that lance becomes Sx2 (Upping it to S16) and D8, a true menace to whatever it faces. However what really makes this stand out is that it gets a 4++ in the fight phase, which lets it spar much more comfortably with other melee bruisers (note this does mean you're technically vulnerable to out-of-phase attacks like Acts of Faith etc.), and imposes a -1 to hit against enemy titanic models in melee, which coupled with its 4++ invulnerability save makes it the toughest of all the knights against a all targets except a Reaver with a melee weapon. Its ranged attack isn't too bad and at 420 points it's not even that expensive.
- Your main issue with this knight is getting it into melee with another knight or Titan as your opponent will see it coming from miles away and keep all their super heavies as far away as possible from your probing lance. With the new codex, take full advantage of this knight. Rotate ion shields works on its melee invulnerable save and with the right choices this thing will make first turn assaults. Take the landstrider trait for +2 advance and charge. Take helm of nameless warrior for 2+ws. Use the advance and charge stratagem to nuke that superheavy turn one. Combine with household traits for more goodness, Terryn being the best. Advance 3d6, dropping the lowest, then charge 3d6, dropping the lowest. With Land Strider, a Lancer has an average move/advance/charge threat range of 36 inches.
For a very lean investment, you get a platform that can heal your giant robots and protect any tech-priests/Techmarines you want around to heal your giant robots more effectively. It can also grant either an extra 6" move for when you want to move away from it, maximize out the number of shots from a non-relic ranged weapon, or restore any previously used shieldbreaker missiles. Allows for either very tough ranged knights or very fast melee ones (or both). However, as this costs both a full detachment and requires your Knight to give up a round of shooting, its use is ill-advised.
- The Ritual of Reloading works well with a Valiant as a charge or deepstrike deterrent if you have nothing good to shoot at during your turn; the Ritual specifies the next time the weapon is 'fired', so an automatic 18 Conflagration Cannon hits if you're expecting an alpha strike is totally doable (even more flexibly with the Hawkshroud stratagem). Can also be paired with Cadmus's stratagem if your opponent is keeping all their high value targets in reserve and you expect them to deepstrike in. Still kinda pricey for a niche use, though...
- Works good for creating a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX with any ranged Knight. If your opponent ignores him, punish him with full firepower/ a charge from across the map. If they shoot at it, use your healing from relics, allies and such to shrug it off. Might be a bit pricey but that face when their Shooting was wasted or slammed by an entire volley at full power will be worth it.
- It actually makes your Knight worse. Two shooting phases at random dice is statistically better than one at max shots, same with two movement phases rather than one slightly better one.
- If you are running a Questor Imperialis Imperial Knights detachment, this is the only way to get repairs on one of your knights. Bring either Imperial guard allies for a tech-priest, or Space marine allies for a techmarine (though the IG techpriest is probably your best choice) to make full use of the Ritual of Repairing, and to repair other vehicles on your personal repair station (like leman russes).
- Its only real use is in new Apocalypse game, where this terrain dont have downsides of 40k version.
Okay, these aren't called "allies" anymore but whatever. Unless you're planning to take an all-knight army - which may be cool every now and then, but gets kinda boring both to play and to play against - you're gonna need some boots on the ground. Remember the adage "The tanks can take the ground but can't keep it.". However, in 9th edition it is important to keep in mind that taking allies is much less advantageous than it used to be, as it no longer provides extra CP, and costs CP instead. It will run you a whopping 6CP if you don't make a big Knight your warlord to take allies.
So, what do you want from your pathetic inch-high minions?
- Anti-horde - It could take all game for a single knight to chew through a blob of 50 conscripts. Bring some massed low-strength shooting and free up your big guys for bigger fish.
- In 9th edition we can now just walk over dudes, so this is less of an issue as it used to be.
- Objective capturing - Camping a back-field objective means that your knight can't get into the thick of things (unless it's a Castellan/Crusader who doesn't want to), and now that you need relics or the right WT to get Objective Secured you'll have a hard time with that too.
- Surgical threat removal - Enemy got a special character that's buffing their troops? Out-of-LOS artillery giving you a headache? Snipers and/or deep-strikers, or even just high mobility units are what you're looking for here.
- Cheap anti-tank - The knights' dirty secret is this: for their points, they don't actually have a whole lot of firepower. You can easily struggle to get through large number of tanks such as Space Marine Razorspam or an IG tank army. It is worth noting, however, that the price hikes that came with 9th, and the more objective focused gameplay has reduced the amount and efficacy of tank spam lists (in fact, this ties into why Knights are in a bit of a rough spot right now) so this is not as much of an issue as it once was. However, as Mechanicus and Guard get their codexes and find their footing in the new meta, this could well change, as these are two armies that can easily get plenty of tanks while still bringing push threats and infantry.
The synergy with AdMech is strong, and with four of the nine Knight houses swearing fealty to Forge Worlds, this is also a pretty fluffy choice. Machine Spirit Resurgent is arguably the best stratagem in the codex, allowing you to use the top row of the damage table (which cancels out the Weary Machine Spirit burden). Benevolence of the Machine Spirit lets you ignore mortal wounds on 5+, essentially turning your knight's ion shield into a void shield. Knight of the Cog can give your Knights Canticles for the turn, which means cover in the open (for 2+ saves) or +1 strength (insane with Stomps and Death Grip). Note also that with the Imperial knight codex, the benevolence of the machine god stratagem is included, allowing you to use both it and the mechanicus stratagem on the same turn, which is a nice bit of flexibility.
Enginseers come at the low price of 35 points each including gear (and he can heal your Knights!) and both Rangers and Vanguard are 9 points per man, so a minimal battalion runs for as little as 205 points. While we're at it, consider the Necromechanic warlord trait to double up healing from your Enginseers--more with the Tech Adept stratagem. Monitor Malevolus also lets you recycle your CP and the opponent's CP on rolls or 6. There are also some really efficient units to fill out the Battalion with. Dunecrawlers and Mars Kastelan Robots offer great anti-tank or air and anti-horde or character, respectively. Stygies VIII Dragoons and Fulgurite Electro-Priests are great alpha strike melee options that can infiltrate at the start of round 1 for 1 CP each (Post BIG FAQ 2 that stratagem changed to a 9" scout move rather than a full infiltrate). The former gets a disgusting -2 to hit and has high volume, high strength attacks, which is great for vehicles and characters. The latter is riskier, especially if you aren't going first, but they vomit mortal wounds and can fight twice for 3 CP.
- An Onager Dunecrawler with Neutron Laser and 2x Cognis Heavy Stubber costs 125pts. The Neutron Laser is better than the Thermal Spear in every aspect. (48" vs 30", S12 vs S9, same AP, and more or less equal damage). Toughness-wise, due to the Armiger gaining a 5++ (Though unlike the Crab it only works against shooting), with the zoom bot still having 1 more wound, the onager has become more and more of a backline support tank. Due to the fact that Canticles are only availabe to the onager if you go Mars, that the Armiger has gotten tougher, and that with the more movement orientated 9th edition it is quickly becoming more optimal to just pick the Armored Psycopath. Just remember that that leaves a larger hole in your backline (some rangers will fill that up) and that as long as these medieval missiles are able to make it to the front lines you'll be glad to have some Feudalistic Fuckery within your ranks. Especially considering the overall lack of durable melee monsters the Admech are suffering from. You also benefit from having distraction carnifexs on the board. As even though they do cost 150 points each the concentrated fire required to take them down will be more than worth the other options.
The most competitive option, if tournament lists are anything to go by. Wherever you find the armies of the Imperium, you'll find the Guard in support. That, or you can paint them up in the same colours as your Knight and say that they're his household retainers.
The low cost of Guardsmen means you can bring a decent number of bodies on the cheap, but thanks to the changes made by 9th ed, the loyal 32 now COST you CP to bring along. A battalion will now cost you 3CP to bring along, but allows you to bring up to 60 giant brass-balled guardsmen, on top of various other elites/tanks/officers. If you're going in on the Guard, you should make sure it's worth your while, as the barebones loyal 32 can be easily victimized by deep striking claw/shield vanguard vets, and a dozen other push threats, which can slip past knights relatively easily, and beat the stuffing out of knights on the primary.
Basic guardsmen with orders can spit out a surprising amount of firepower and can be used to screen, clear chaff, or camp on objectives. Scions are reasonably effective infantry that can be used for deep-striking/grav-chuting in plasma for some high mobility tacticoolness. IG artillery is also great: Mortar heavies weapon teams (HWTs) or Wyverns for anti-horde; Lascannon HWTs, Basilisks, or Manticores for anti-vehicle. Keep in mind that HWTs, although a great bargain, are extremely fragile. As for infantry, keep 'em cheap, dump them on an objective, and hope the enemy ignores them. Guard also has access to cheap psykers in the Astropaths and Primaris Psykers for Deny the Witch and support powers. Furthermore, Guard can bring Techpriests as Elites which is helpful for keeping your Knights alive. Guard armor can be useful as well, sporting weapons that are comparable to many of the weapons the Knights can take, allowing you to specialize your knights more if you so choose. Leman Russes can carry battle and plasma cannons along with a variety of hull- and sponson-mounted weapons to threaten a variety of targets. Hellhounds have GEQ-munching 16" flamer cannons that can negate hit penalties.
Sir Hektur is an especially good pick for infantry-heavy Guard; he reduces the chances of them fleeing after a failed morale test, and if Canis Rex is destroyed he'll have plenty of screening units to hide behind.
Another important thing: Guard is one of the few armies that doesn't lose anything by bringing you as an ally right now besides CP, and the ability most of their units have to auto-wound on an unmodified hit roll of 6 has drastically improved their competitiveness (while still not fixing all the other glaring issues with their hilariously out of date codex).
Well, you've probably got some lying around, so that's a start. Oathsworn Knights can often be found accompanying the marines into battle, though fluffwise it's very much on the side of Marines supported by Knights rather than Knights supported by Marines. The downside is that marines (the dudes) are somewhat pricey, and tactical marines are rather uninspiring (even if this edition has made them better). Marines have good and cost-effective tanks, though, so that's always an option; you'll find it hard to go wrong with Razorspam (though razorspam is not what it used to be). Librarians are a no-brainer for your HQ; it'll be nice to actually have something to do during the psychic phase for a change, even if their powers are shit (unless you take a vanguard librarian, in which case have fun with your newfound cheese).
However, with the 9th edition Codex, you’ll be severely disadvantaging your marines with the loss of Combat Doctrines by including them in an army with non-marines.
You could always just grab Guilliman on his own or with a posse of Librarians and Smash Captains. The loss of doctrines won't hurt these units so much as they aren't so reliant on them in the first place. Beware, Knights + Guilliman is pretty cheesy.
Vindicares and Culexus are great for anti-character and anti-psyker duty, and Eversors are excellent in anti-horde duties. Just be aware that if you turn up to your FLGS with an army of just knights and assassins your name will be mud before the day is out. The new Psychic Awakening rules allow you to pay 100 points for one of the assassins, and pregame (after seeing your opponent's list) decide whether or not to spend 2 cp to switch assassins. The assassins have stratagems now as well which can improve their tactical flexibility.
Sisters of Battle
Sisters offer you cheap, shooty, and decently durable troops. Load up on storm bolters (only 2 points!), and use them either MSU-style in transports or footslogging in blobs of 10+. Take Celestine if you want to drink your opponent's tears. Melta-toting Dominions is a perennial favorite. Exorcists, OTOH, are actually fairly mediocre tank hunters this edition.
Adeptus Astra Telepathica
An alternative take on Sisters of Battle are the sisters of silence, which you’ll take for one reason, anti-psyker, smite spam can do a surprising amount of damage to your knights, and the sisters are excellent of making mincemeat out of psykers and also provides Primaris Psykers as HQs. ** Note the update to the rules means that Sisters of Silence can only go in battle forged detatchment with other Sisters of Silence... the only possible ways to field them are without a command unit with no CP added, or at the cost of a CP to gain a single unit. Except... The Index entry for a Primaris Psyker has the keyword for Astra Telepathica so can be used to fill out your detachment with a HQ for the extra CP and some psychic support.
An interesting and complimentary mix, as the custodes are excellent character hunters and are capable of controlling objectives (and hordes) with their jet bikes with hurricane bolters, but lack anti-vehicle weapons, while the knight is excellent at hunting down vehicles but lack the shot output to deal with hordes. This combo will struggle to rake in the command point of other armies, but your army will be effective whatever enemy is thrown at it, and it gives you an excuse to paint your knight gold and red (go on, you know you want a golden banana knight), plus there’s a kick ass custodes knight conversion kit on shapeways or available for cheaper directly from the same guy.
These GEQ aren't going to have a shadow of the effectiveness of even an Armiger, but they won't require an additional detachment because of their Agent Of The Imperium keyword, and they can hold an objective for 40 points- far cheaper than even a Warglaive! Use these to hold the backfield and stand around on objective markers while your mechs do the real work.
The Barmy Armi Army
Armigers provide a cheap supply of quality ranged firepower in either your long ranged, high volume form (Helverin, Moirax), or the armour melting Warglaive form, all for (at most) 159 points, and can be taken in large unit sizes, allowing you to take up to nine of each type of Armiger (Helverin, Warglaive, Moirax), avoiding the rule of three which will hobble many other armies. Firstly, you take as many Armigers as you possibly can, leaving enough spare points to buy at least one Preceptor (two if you're running a mix of Warglaives and Helverins), take Warglaives if the enemy has a lot of heavy armour, Lightning Lock Moirax against hordes/MEQ, Helverins for everything else (or anything tougher than toughness 8, as at that point the Armiger autocannons rate of fire is superior). Then, take a Preceptor to be your warlord in a detachment with all your Armigers (giving them the Helm of Dominatus and whatever warlord trait suits the situation, a 4++ invulnerable save is recommended though).
Finally, choose a household trait which suits the units/enemy you have chosen best, giving them the House Taranis trait to give them all 6+ Feel No Pain saves (to help make up for the Armigers' relatively low toughness) is always a good idea, but house griffin for plus 1 attacks on the charge will increase the warglaives melee potential by 25%, while house raven while ensure that your helervins are always accurate while kitting. Against other knights/other large single entities hawkshroud is recommended to ensure that your units always fight at peak performance, as in such battles it becomes a case of which site starts missing the most shots first.
In a one thousand points game this gives you one Preceptor, 3 Armigers (of your chosen flavour) and three command points, but more importantly you can get your Armigers to hit on 2s (admittedly against a single target at a time), rerolling 1s in both the shooting and fight phases, all with weapons which other factions would pay through the teeth for (60” D3 autocannons, S12 dual profile chainswords and 30” meltas).
This one's pretty self-explanatory, take a detachment with 3 gallants, from either house Terryn for reliable advances or Hawkshround for great durability and heroic interventions up to 12", give 1 the paragon gauntlet and another one Landstrider (don't put both on 1 or it will draw too much attention) then just throw them up the board. Gallants are the cheapest questoris class knights so this one's not too expensive in points, at least by knight standards; this means you have more points to spend on allies, ideally a double battalion or even a brigade of guard with a wyvern and basilisk in the new formation. Oh, and it goes without saying that you should bring as many mortars as possible.
Terryn's Terrifying Turn-One Charge
Cerastus chassis roll 2d6" advances, House Terryn rolls an additional die for advances & charges drop the lowest (8.4"), the Landstrider WT gives you a +2" to Advance & Charge aura. This gives you an average threat range of 14" + 10.4" + 10.4" = 34.8" average melee range. Considering the "standard" No Man's Land and Enemy Deployment Zone measure 36" wide, this means you only leave a single inch for the enemy to safely deploy in. Did you also happen to read how you can give your Lancer a 3++ up there? If you don't want to pay FW price, a regular Terryn Landstrider Knight still rushes 28.86", more than enough to cross the 24" No Man's Land.
- Alternative and updated for 9th (pre-codex): This got significantly stronger post-Engine War as House Terryn being Questor Imperialis gives it a +1 to all Advance and Charge rolls that do not stack with other sources (so the Landstrider WT is a bit of a waste by only giving +2 even if it is an aura). This DOES free you up to take the Champion of the Household WT to re-roll ALL failed charges which more than makes up for it. This makes your charge range 3d6h2+1” (9.4”) with a re-roll (which ends up giving you a consistent >10” charge range the math gets complicated quickly). With the standard board size reduced and the bonus to advance distance as well, you should have no problem closing to close combat even if you don’t want to field a Cerastus.
- If you want to attack ANY part of your opponent’s line in CC, use the Sally Forth Stratagem, especially since Knight lists are not hurting anywhere near as much for CP.
Not much to say here - if you've been paying any attention to competitve 40k you've already seen this. Take a House Raven Castellan, give it Cawl's Wrath, and pop Order of Companions. Split your fire and take out two tanks a turn, or focus down on that pesky Tesseract Vault. Costs an arm and a leg in CP and requires a screen, so ally in some Guardsmen and fire away.
- Some recent rules changes to the game and the Castellan itself mean that this is no longer the game-breaking meta-warping combo it once was, firstly the castellan went up by 100 points making it over 700pts (over 1/3 your list at 2000pts). It can no longer get an invuln higher than a 4++ and many of its stratagems went up in CP cost dramatically. Just as if that weren't enough, you can now only gain 1 CP a battle round so there's no way to make up for the increased stratagem cost.
- A Knight Valiant version of this strategy. Use Flanking Maneuver on a Valiant to create a monstrous turn 1 assassin to remove any lynchpin character or vehicle deployed relatively close to the front of your opponent’s territory. Remove even screened characters by using the Electrothaumic Overload and Oathbreaker Guidance Systems stratagems to make your opponent concede before the end of your first turn.
House Hawkshroud's Double Valiant
The staunch allies stratagem granted by House Hawkshroud can be very strong when paired with a pair of Valiants. Any opponent foolish enough to charge you now must survive overwatch from two giant autohitting superflamers. If your opponent is a monster or a vehicle, they have a 51.77% chance of getting 'pooned in overwatch. This whole combo is improved by Hawkshroud's stellar house ability which keeps those harpoons at full power for longer
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