Imperial Knights Codex Review (Part 2) - The Rules
Welcome back! Murphy, here, and thank you for reading the second part of my Imperial Knights Codex review. We have previously looked at the physical product of the Imperial Knights codes, their history, and even the information on Chaos Knights (Daemon Knights). If you haven't read that yet and are interested, please find part one by clicking the link below:
I've also written a few more articles about Imperial Knights, which can be found right at the top of the article linked to above. I have information on Imperial Knight news, Knightly Houses, and even steps and photos for building an Imperial Knight. Just click the link above if you haven't seen them.
For everyone caught up, you know the history, now lets get to the rules. No more wasting time. Let's get to it! Please note, that all photographs in this article are for review purposes only.
Imperial Knights Detachment
Let's start off with how to field Imperial Knights on the table top. There are two distinct ways.
Imperial Knight Detachment
This is how most people will start fielding Imperial Knights. For every Primary Detachment in your army, you may take an Imperial Knight Detachment of between 1 and 3 Imperial Knights. This is a special detachment and can be taken in addition to the standard force organization chart, meaning that you can still take a normal Allied Detachment.
If you glance at the Ally chart above, you will see that it is an additional row on the standard Ally chart. So who can ally with the Knight?
- Battle Brothers: all Imperial Forces (except Grey Knights).
- Allies of Convenience: Eldar and Grey Knights.
- Desperate Allies: Dark Eldar and Tau
- Apocalypse: Chaos Space Marines, Daemons, Necron, Orks, Tyranids
If you absolutely want to ally with Chaos or another of the forbidden fruit, then my suggestion is to take a minimal sized Primary Detachment of Imperial Guard and then Ally with another army. You can then take an Imperial Knight Detachment for your Imperial Guard.
A special note, however, Imperial Knights will treat the OTHER allies as they would on the chart. So if your Imperial Knights are on the table with Chaos Marines, they would treat each others as enemy models and cannot benefit from anything together. For more detail about WHY knights cannot ally with Chaos, and what may be coming in the future, check out Part One of my Imperial Knights review linked to at the top of this article.
Let's look at what a pure Imperial Knights army will look like now.
Imperial Knight Armies
An Imperial Knight Army is an odd thing. It has no force organization. Check out the key points:
- Primary Detachment of between 3-6 Imperial Knights
- One must be your Warlord (with improved stats and Warlord trait!)
- No other restrictions apply
- Other detachments (additional Primary, Allied, fortifications, etc) can be taken normally.
- All Imperial Knights are scoring units in an Imperial Knights Army (Note, I don't think they are if taken as Allies. Debate!).
This is an optional rule. At the same time you roll for Warlord Traits, you may choose to roll on this table for all of your other knights. You must roll on this table for ALL of your knights or NONE of them. There are good and bad results that represent the level of experience your knights have.
- 1. Knight Apparent: a rookie knight that has -1 to WS, BS and who's ion shield is only a 5+. Yikes! Note, the ion shield relies on the knights practice positioning it, so it's not inferior tech, but rather the rookie pilot has not mastered it yet!
- 2 - 5. Knight: all the standard rules and stats for knights apply.
- 6. Knight Seneschal: An experienced knight with +1 to WS and BS and his ion shield is improved to a 3+. Note: your Warlord is automatically a Knight Seneschal and you don't have to roll for the other knights if you don't want to risk it.
Imperial Knights Warlord Trait
- Your Knight Warlord and friendly Knights within 12" add 1 to their Run and Charge rolls.
- Enemy units within 12" of your Warlord must use their lowest Leadership for all checks.
- Warlord re-rolls failed To Hit rolls on the turn that he successfully assaulted
- Warlord and up to d3 Knights have the Outflank special rule!
- Warlord and friendly Knights within 12" add 1 to Building Damage rolls.
- Warlord has the It Will Not Die special rule (regain 1 lost HP on a 5+ at the end of each of your turns!).
Imperial Knight Datasheets
The same page that shows the Ally Matrix also has a section on Datasheets. It specifically says: "Imperial Knights have datasheets that contain all the information you will need to use them in your games. Each datasheet contains the following information: points value, unit type (super-heavy walker), wargear, weapon profiles, special rules.
Following on the next pages are two datasheets for the Knight Paladin and the Knight Errant. It's important to note, however, that this codex does NOT say that these are the only knights in existence. Actually, quite the opposite.
Page seven of the book explains that the Paladin and Errant are the most common build for knights because they are a perfect balance of speed, armor, and firepower. However, it does state that Crusader and Castellan Knights are slower than other types, but benefit from increased fire power and heavier armor. It also says that the Lancer Knight is a faster version used to scout, outflank, and distract enemy forces. It explains that the Lancer is highly technical and difficult to make, so that only leaders of knightly houses or highly experienced Nobles ever pilot them.
What does this mean? It leaves the door wide open for new Imperial Knight units. In my other article, I mentioned how there is a huge possibility for Chaos/Daemon Knight to appear as rules and models at a later date. I will say the same thing here about new Imperial Knights. I can very much see the creation of a new dual kit or two separate kits to create the heavy and Lancer knights. They could release the rules as Datasheets, in White Dwarf, or just in the box. Games Workshop is leaving the future very much for this option!
Alright, let's look at the rules for the Knight Paladin and Knight Errant!
Imperial Knight Rules
There are two Imperial Knight Datasheets present in the Imperial Knight Codex. As I noted above, there is room for more datasheets to arrive, as the codex always is careful to only say Imperial Knights (generically) and when it mentions units specifically it often says Imperial Knights (or any type). So I believe we will see new variants in the future. Let's look at what we have now. I will list the stats and rules together, as the only thing separating the Paladin and Errant is their main weaponry!
- WS and BS of 4
- Strength 10
- Armor of 13/12/12
- Initiative 4 and 3 Attacks
- 6 Hull Points.
Special Rules: Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Invincible Behemoth (super-heavy rule, ignore auto-destroyed weapons/attacks), Move Through Cover, Relentless, Smash, and Strikedown. Whew!
It's important to note that these super-heavy walkers. So a few things:
- Move 12". However, follow all rules for walkers, so only roll 2d6 if moving through difficult terrain and then chose the highest. Even with Move Through Cover, the maximum a Knight can move is 6" through difficult terrain. Yes, this stinks... it should be a d6 result multiplied by 2.
- Cannot fire Overwatch.
- Ignores all vehicle damage results except Explodes! which removed an additional d3 hull points.
- Can use the STOMP attack in Melee.
Both Imperial Knights have an Ion Shield, which is a 4+ invulnerable save versus shooting. It only covers one facing at a time (front, left side, right side, or rear) and it is positioned in your opponent's Shooting Phase.
So let's look at the two Knight variants:
Knight Paladin - armed with 2 Heavy Stubbers (36" Str 4 AP6 Heavy 3) a Reaper Chainsword (Melee, Strength: Destroyer!) and a Rapid-fire Battle Cannon (72" Str 8 AP3, Ordinance 2, Large Blast).
Knight Errant - armed with1 Heavy Stubber, a Reaper Chainsword, and a Thermal Cannon (36" Str 9 AP1, Heavy 1 Large Blast, Melta).
Imperial Knight Poll
What do you think about the Imperial Knights
Imperial Knights Conclusion
That wraps up this codex review! I hope you've enjoyed reading about the Imperial Knight Codex. I've really enjoyed the detailed information about their history and the personality of Noble pilots. I was actually glad to finally get official rules on how to field these awesome models. I don't currently have an Imperial Army but I now own two Imperial Knights... What to do with them?
I also love how this book leaves open the door for Chaos Knights and new knight variants. If these models prove to be as popular as the internet interest has shown, then I think we will see much more to come in the future.
Before you go, why not take the poll to the right and leave a comment down below. We always have great feedback from readers, so share your thoughts! I also have many more 40k articles to read through, so check them out if you are interested. As always, thanks for reading. Murphy out!