Imperial Knights Codex Review (Part 2) - The Rules

Imperial Knights Codex Review
Imperial Knights Codex Review


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 Codex Review
Imperial Knights Codex Review
Imperial Knights Ally Chart
Imperial Knights Ally Chart

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 Codex Review
Imperial Knight Codex Review
Imperial Knight Freeblade
Imperial Knight Freeblade

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!).

Knightly Ranks

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

  1. Your Knight Warlord and friendly Knights within 12" add 1 to their Run and Charge rolls.
  2. Enemy units within 12" of your Warlord must use their lowest Leadership for all checks.
  3. Warlord re-rolls failed To Hit rolls on the turn that he successfully assaulted
  4. Warlord and up to d3 Knights have the Outflank special rule!
  5. Warlord and friendly Knights within 12" add 1 to Building Damage rolls.
  6. 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 Codex Review
Imperial Knight Codex Review

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 Codex Review
Imperial Knight Codex Review
Imperial Knight Super Heavy
Imperial Knight Super Heavy

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

  • More Excited than ever!
  • Meh.
  • Dislike the direction 40k is going :(
See results without voting

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!

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Comments 12 comments

Pizzaboy 2 years ago

Really looking forward to starting a knight army! Thanks Murphy, this has been a really helpful review!

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murphy80 2 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks, Pizzaboy! It was a blast reading through the codex and I'm still assembling my knights. I can't wait to test them out, but I refuse to play them until they are painted. I want to deliver the full effect of these awesome models!

Ray 2 years ago

Defenetly cool what they did with the knights, and if they do come out with chaos versions, i so want to see em. If they keep to the current fluff, we will see aome slanesh ones. Tchinch would be cooler though to me, as it would likely have giant daemonic flamethrowers.

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murphy80 2 years ago from Florida Author

I think we'll likely see a kit much like the new Helbrute. It will have the same base model for all the chaos gods, but different bits we can add to specialize it. That new Helbrute is amazing, so I can only imagine how great something will be that is more than twice it's size and probably 5x the surface area!

JuankiMan 2 years ago

Honestly, I find the Knights unimpressive. For their huge points cost (and price tag!) I think you'd be better served buying two Leman Russ battle tanks, which give you the same amount of ordinance, much better secondary weapons, superior armor and more tactical flexibility.

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murphy80 2 years ago from Florida Author

Point per point, I think you are probably right, JuankiMan. If you look at the primary weapon of both models, the leman russ comes out on top because you can get an equal number of shots and a lot of extra for the same cost. However, the Knight is not completely useless.

Consider that it ignores all damage effects other than Explodes! (which removed +d3 more hull points). It also has a built in 4+ invulnerable so one side. It can also assault infantry and demolish vehicles and monstrous creatures in assault. With that D-strength chainsword and the super-heavy Stomp, it can dish out the hurt in the shooting phase and then assault a different unit (targeted by its heavy stubbers) and obliterate that.

That said, a landing of sternguard with meltas, or wraithguard, or fire dragons can still tear right through a knight if the owning player is not careful! Your point is very valid, but the knight still is a great value for everything it does bring.

:) 2 years ago

Why are they not battle brothers with grey knight, I think games workshop should bring out a similar model for the grey knights but with more psychic powers as grey knights don't really have any apocalypse stuff

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murphy80 2 years ago from Florida Author

The way I see it, Grey Knights are a secretive organization that are almost mythological across the Imperium. People don't trust them as much as other Imperial forces because they have their own agenda beyond simply defending the Imperium... and they've been known to mind-wipe people they've worked with :)

But I agree that a Grey Knight psychic-knight would be an amazing unit! All the physical strength of the knight, but with some psyker buffs and a giant force weapon? Wow! Great idea!

Vladarethull 2 years ago

Will you be able to ally with dark angels and space marines in the same army?

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murphy80 2 years ago from Florida Author

As if right now, yes, Dark Angels and Space Marines are two separate armies with separate codexes. They are listed as Battle Brothers in the Allies Matrix.

Imperial Knights do not take up an Allies slot, so you could have Dark Angels, Space Marines, and Imperial Knights in the same army.

JadeBlack 22 months ago

@:) My take is the Imperial Knights are dedicated to the protection of those who cannot protect themselves, honor, justice, duty and an alien kind of chivalry.

Killing *every single allie* you just fought with because they looked at a bloodletter? Not honorable, their duty, protecting anyone and nor is it Just.

Using an entire army of warrior women as paint? same deal.

Grey Knights are knights in name only, there is no reason for the Imperial Knights to befriend them as they are Knights. Knights that exist specifically to save people.

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murphy80 22 months ago from Florida Author

I think your take on Imperial Knights is right. Reading the fiction in the codex, they do seem like noble protectors. They are relics of a time when colonies were left on their own and they had to turn to heroes within the colony to protect them. I really like the Knight story line and hope they continue adding to it!

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