Welcome to Part 1 of my Imperial Knights Review. I have split this review in two as I feel there is a lot to discuss. Unlike most recent codex’s released by GW, this one has a lot of interesting and very good parts to it. In this review, I will be covering the allegiances, the stratagems and the warlord traits.
An interesting concept in creating an Imperial list with either Mechanicus or Imperium Of Man. This allows your knights to benefit from Cult Mechanicus Strategems and abilities, which we can go onto in part 2. Or if not and you simply want to use the Imperium abilities presented in the knight codex (with little other benefit apart from adding a knight to imperial soup lists) then you can do that too. Nice and simple!
Here we have the “Chapter Tactics”. Remember, all units in the detachment must be of the same household to benefit from these. Let’s cover each one and go into what benefits we can make:
(Questor Imperials) House Terryn: Roll an additional dice and pick the highest when advancing or charging, and pick the highest. Interesting, no, I lie, this is amazing! What you need to see is the combinations, and this is just the start. Firstly, some knights want to be in combat, and to do that, they’d like to be reliably fast. This is the start, an extra dice and picking the highest is very hard to come by in 8th edition, so this alone is a great start. Next we have the stratagem “Full Tilt”, which allows a knight to charge after advancing. Wow, what a combo we have. But wait, there’s more! What about the Warlord trait “Landstrider” which gives you and all friendly <HOUSEHOLD> units an additional 2 inches to advancing AND charge rolls. So now your combat knight has a potential 34 inch charge which isn’t actually that impossible to do!!! This isn’t even funny at how crazy this makes some knights become. Let’s also not forget that house Terryn also gets their own FANTASTIC stratagem, “Glory in Honour” which allows you to attack in the fight phase for a 2nd time. Wow, so for 5 CPS and some buffs, your combat knight is causing a hell of a lot of damage in that one key turn! If that doesn’t sound good then I don’t know what does….apart from maybe a nice slab of grilled haloumi, which is basically what this combat knight has become, utter cheese!
(Questor Imperials) House Griffin: Add 1 to the attack characteristics when you charge or heroic intervene + you can heroic intervene even if you aren’t a character. Ok, cool. Nothing spectacular here, just a nice little buff. Great for adding an extra 3 attacks for stomping and if your knights stick together, there isn’t many units which can convincingly charge you without getting their shit pushed back in by the counter charge. “Dragonslayer” is a nice little stratagem which adds 1 to your wound rolls against models with more than 10 wounds. This makes your str 6-15 weapons even more deadly against vehicles and big creatures giving you the option to wound on 3’s or 2’s! Overall, not bad but not seeing any interesting combos.
(Questor Imperials) House Hawkshroud: Double the number of wounds remaining when determining which damage table to use. This tends to be a free stratagem, as most people are used to this type of ability. Can be handy but honestly doesn’t come close to being as useful as the other households. What does make this household shine is its stratagem. “Staunch Allies” allows you to shoot overwatch at a friendly unit within 12 being charged and then “heroic intervene” if within 2d6. This can be game changing, counter charging your opponent if they are not aware of this ability. What about that new 3d6 flamer with a free overwatch on a str 7 damage 2 weapon? Ouch! Many people will be caught off guard by this, and if they are aware, it will put off even Custodes Bikers from assaulting your lines!! The warlord trait is also nice, pick a unit before the first turn begins and your warlord gets +1 to hit. Very nice if you wanted to take down that shadowsword or Magnus early!
(Questor Imperials) House Cadmus: Re-roll wounds in the fight phase of 1 vs enemy units with less than 12 wounds. To put it bluntly, this sucks. The amount of times this will come into effect is very slim. I don’t think the re-rolls will be overly impactful over the course of the game, especially against units with less than 12 wounds as they will likely be dead from the shooting phase or mass stomps. Their own stratagem “Bio Scryer Cogigator Array” is pretty situational with basically getting a free shot against units arriving within 12. Can catch someone off-guard and does work well, but again situational. The warlord trait to reduce damage by 1 in combat is nice for your warlord, but I wouldn’t be overly impressed by it. Next!
(Questor Imperials) House Mortan: Add 1 to hit in the first round of being in combat. Nice little buff, again nothing overwhelming but with the small amount of attacks your knights get and how impactful they can be, it is nice to get those attacks to hit. Nice if you are running a fairly combat centric army, but then I would argue that House Terryn is also fairly strong for that in getting into combat. Perhaps there is arguments for both, I think it simply comes down to preference. Overall, a solid choice. “Slayers Of Shadows” Is a nice little 1 CP Stratagem which is used when you shoot with one of your knights to ignore any modifiers to your hit rolls. This can be great when you want to shoot at those pesky -2 to hit hemlocks or the buffed up unit of Rangers sat in cover. There are many instances this can be used, so not a bad little stratagem. Speaking of modifiers, the warlord stratagem is great! -1 to hit him with shooting attacks over 18. Adding even more survivability to your warlord is great and this added little bonus can go a long way. We all know how a -1 to hit can be greatly impactful over the course of a game so this shouldn’t be overlooked.
(Questor Mechanicus) House Raven: Heavy weapons become assault when advancing and you receive no penalty to shooting when you advance. Very nice! This gives your knights added manoeuvrability around the board, but also gives your knights added threat range around buildings. This will be used a lot for shooty knights as you will always be on the move either to get your big guns into range or to avoid combat. Very useful household trait. Their stratagem “Order of Companions” is very nice, giving one of your knights re-roll 1’s for pretty much everything that turn. This includes saves which is very beneficial. I think for 2 CPs it is hard pressed to be used often, but on a turn where you need things to go right or keep your knight alive, this is one of those stratagems. Warlord trait is ok, adding 1 to your saving throw against -1 attacks but most attacks against a knight will most likely be more than just -1. Situational and I would overlook it for the basic traits.
(Questor Mechanicus) House Taranis: 6+ FNP but not against mortal wounds. With such a large amount of wounds, this can be very useful! We all know how useful a FNP roll can be (those pesky ravagers being left on 1 wound thanks to that 6+ save) so this is definitely a contender of choice for knights. I would consider this as a go to household if you are unsure which one to take with your army, as it is basically a free buff to your army and will ALWAYS be used. “Our Darkest Hour” Wow, ok, where do I start with this stratagem. There are endless uses for this, ultimately it comes down to that 4+. Bringing a knight back alive with D3 wounds for 2CP is nothing to brush over, this is absolutely fantastic and potentially game winning. Turn 5, sat on an objective, on a 4+ you come back securing it. Need to finish off that unit? Come back alive then attack in your turn. Need to move onto an objective? Come back alive then move onto it. The only issue is the 4+ and it will probably need 3Cp for the re-roll to make it remotely worthwhile. Situational and rarely do you have 2-3 CP laid around on turn 5+ but if you do, then this can be great!
(Questor Mechanicus) House Krast: A buffed up version of House Moran, re-roll hit rolls in the first round in combat, and always re-roll to hit in combat against Titanic units. Very nice little trait, re-rolls are hard to come-by for Knights so great little buff for your combat knights. Their stratagem gives you more attacks on a 6 to hit which is nice in conjunction of their household ability, especially when stomping horde units. Warlord trait isn’t worth covering. Overall not a bad household, but nothing ground breaking either.
(Questor Mechanicus) House Vulker: Re-roll 1’s to hit in the shooting phase against the nearest target. If it wasn’t for the last part of the sentence, this would be a very strong trait for shooting knights, but unfortunately, having it only against the nearest unit can be quite irritating. Not bad choice overall, especially if you are looking at just taking a shooting army like Armigers with Autocannons or double gun knights, I’d potentially go with this trait. The saturation bombardment stratagem is very nice for getting more hits on a 6. Great ability for 1 CP and something I’d consider unig a lot on a double gun knight. The warlord trait is simply put, amazing! Wound rolls of 1,2 or 3 against your warlord ALWAYS fail regardless of STR. This means that even a SHADOWSWORD is wounding your warlord on a 4+!!!! That is insane. This ability alone would make me severely consider taking this trait as it is exceptionally worthwhile and makes your warlord knight even harder to take down!
Now we know what all the households offer, lets look at the strategems which stand out and helps unlock a lot of potential for Imperial Knights. I will discuss the strategems which I have not already mentioned above and ignore some of the basic ones:
Ion Aegis: A Nice 5+ invulnerable save for all imperial units wholly within 6”. The range is increased because of the size of the Dominus knight, allowing you quite a large coverage of the board. I wont rave on about this but it is a nice added bonus.
Rotate Ion Shields: Wow this is amazing! For 1CP (3 if Dominus Class) I would be using it quite often. +1 to your invulnerable save is just too good to miss out on. It is certainly a shame that you can’t always have this on your Dominus Class due to the amount of CPs it costs, but on the first and second turn when your opponent has most of its weapons available, it can be exceptionally useful.
Heirlooms of the Househould: Brilliant way of getting some extra relics which for Imperial knights are great bonus’s. I wont cover the relics here but for 1 or 3 CPs it is definitely worth taking, especially for knights which aren’t your warlords detachment.
Exalted Court: Wow, you should always be taking this. For 1 or 3 CPs you gain 1 or 2 extra warlord traits, some of which I have covered above. Having multiple warlord traits, most of which are amazing for Knights is brilliant! Have a good look and see what amazing combo’s you can bring as some are increasing that knights suitability, whilst others gives your knights added buffs. Don’t leave home without this one!
Oathbreaker Guidance System: Ok so a lot of people have been raving about this one, but for 2CPs only ONE of your Shieldbreaker missiles can target a character. I would have like to see all of your Shieldbreaker missiles on one model can do this in one go but alas no. This means you are potentially (have to hit and wound first) causing D6 wounds to a character. If the stars line up and you make the hit and wound rolls (most of the time 3’s then 2’s) then great, but then you need to roll high on the damage chart (most characters are 5 or 6 wounds). I can see the hype but I’m not overly impressed. Id rather fire these at big things like Stormsurges with a 4++ or Ravagers with their 5++. Getting rid of firepower which can hurt me back would always be my first and foremost priority so I wont be raving about this unless you see an opportunity (Warlock with Quicken for example).
Death Grip: This stratagem is hilarious and adds a little mini game with you and your opponent. Since you have a Str characteristic of 8 or more on most of your Knights, you should be winning the roll-off causing you to absolutely crush your opponents characters extremely easily. For 1 CP this is a fantastic ability for any Thunderstrike Gauntlet knights.
Valiant Last Stand (Imperial Knight Only): Great ability to attack or shoot before being removed, unfortunately on the lowest damage table chart, but if you don’t need to hit (Conflagration Cannon) then this can be amazing! Situational but brilliant.
Overall we have a large amount of situational but game changing stratagems which gives the Imperial Knight player plenty of options throughout the game which is great and a sign of a well-rounded codex.
As I have covered some specific warlord traits above in the household section, here I will cover other traits worth mentioning and having a look at. Remember, you can take mutiples of these thanks to the Exalted Court stratagem.
Cunning Commander: Funny how we see a very similar trait like this in eveyr codex, but this time instead of a CP regained on a 5+ or 6+, you simply start with 1 extra. Not overly impressed but it is still a free CP for an army which likes to use CPs and also the free re-roll for your warlord is always well received.
Ion Bulwark: 4+ Invulnerable save against ranged attacks. Brilliant in conjunction with Rotate Ion Shields strategem for a nice 3++ save for this warlord. A basic trait but one which will keep your Knight around for longer, definitely worth considering!
Blessed By the Sacristand: Fantastic buff to one of your warlords weapons. On a 6 to wound you cause a mortal wound with that weapon. Id consider this on weapons with a high volume of shots/attacks such as the Conflagration Cannon or Gatling Cannon.
As you can see there are multiple Warlord Traits worth taking in this codex, so be sure to consider which ones you will take when building your army, and which ones you may need when you can take more with the Exalted Court Stratagem.
That’s all for now in my Imperial Knight Review, join me next time for part 2 where I will be covering the large amount of amazing relics, then go into depth on each Knight and an example army list!
Thanks for reading,