Imperial Knights 7e: Making A Knight-Primary Army


Now that I've covered both the units and the formations of the Imperial Knights, now it's time to put it all together. When you're making an Imperial Knight primary army, right off the bat you know you're going to be running at least 3 Imperial Knights, which is also going to typically take up over 50% of the points you have for an army anyhow. Because of this, the Knights that you pick are critical to your list.

Covering Your Bases

First up, it's good to have an idea of what Knights are useful in what roles. If you take 2 or 3 of the same Knight, you're going to end up making your army very strong at one task, and probably pretty weak at another. Personally, I prefer to run 3 different knights with as few overlapping roles as possible.

This table pretty much represents what knights I consider for engaging what targets at range, in an ideal situation, where there are multiple targets of the same threat value. Obviously, if I'm facing an immediate threat, I may be forced to use a Knight against a less than ideal target, but them's the breaks.

Name Light Armour (AV 10-12) Heavy Armour (AV 13+) Light Infantry (GEQ) Medium Infantry (MEQ) Heavy Infantry (TEQ) Monstrous Creatures
Errant Maybe Yes No Maybe Yes No
Paladin Maybe Maybe Yes Yes No Yes
Warden Yes Maybe Yes Yes Maybe Yes
Crusader Yes w/Thermal w/RFBC Yes w/Thermal Yes
Gallant No No No No No No
Lancer Maybe No No Maybe Yes Yes
Castigator Yes No Maybe Yes No Maybe
Acheron No No Yes Yes No No
Atrapos Maybe Yes No Maybe Yes Maybe
Magaera Maybe No Maybe Yes Maybe No
Carapace Weapons
Stormspear Rockets Yes  Maybe No Yes No Yes
Ironstorm Missile Pod  No No Yes Maybe No No


When making a list, I try to get at least two "Yes" or "Maybe" in each column, which the Crusader pretty much handles on it's own with it's versatility, though making sure it's backup can cover Melee is critical as it's not that spectacular compared to the other Knights against many combat threats. Stormspear rockets and Ironstorm missile pods can be helpful in shoring up a weakness, but are by no means should be your only "yes" in the column. Stormspear rockets in particular deserve some special attention, as they really make a huge difference, for 40 points, giving your knight 3 extra S8 chances to bust open transports is a big deal, as transports typically do an amazing job of making Imperial Knights firepower inefficient since they force you to fire at a cheap vehicle instead of a more valuable unit inside.

Anti-air is something that no Imperial Knights do well, even with the twin-Icarus autocannon, it's typically best left to allies. In a pinch though, the Stormspear Rockets can be enough of a threat to at least make an an enemy flyer jink.

In close combat, they're all relatively similar, except for the Castigator and the Crusader. Any knight with a destroyer attack is fine in combat against vehicles of any armour, medium and heavy infantry, as well as monstrous creatures. The Castigator is best used against infantry in melee and will have a hard time killing heavily armoured vehicles in combat, as well as Monstrous Creatures, where combat is best left to a unit with a destroyer weapon. When facing these units in combat, it's important to be aware of the threats, units like Meganobz, which all are capable of putting some hurt on Knights should be avoided in melee unless there are only a couple models left alive in the unit. When facing enemies wielding Destroyer melee weapons, do not charge them if you aren't going to be going first. Instead, position yourself to receive the charge where the enemy will be forced to charge you through cover, as it currently stands, nothing that has a Destroyer melee weapon has assault grenades.

Combinations I particularly like are:

  • Errant, Crusader (with Rapid Fire Battle Cannon) and Castigator is my favorite combo right now. This provides me with ample anti-transport firepower between the Crusader and Castigator. Decent anti-TEQ with the Errant and Crusader, and anti-horde with the Crusader and Castigator. I have a Destroyer weapon on the Errant when things need to get dirty, and I have the Tempest Attack from the Castigator when I'm ankle deep in Orks.
  • Double Crusaders and a Warden, which provides a crap ton of fire power, 36 S6 AP3 shots a turn, plus 4 Battle Cannons, and has the Warden with Meltagun and Stormspear to counter attack against any big threats marching in. Alternatively, to save a few points, you can downgrade the Warden to a Gallant.
  • Warden, Paladin and Acheron, which lacks AP2 ranged, but it keeps all of them with Destroyer weapons and should be able to thin out most hordes before you engage them.
  • Warden, Crusader, Castigator, like the double Crusaders above, with a lot of mid-strength firepower, but also keeps the Tempest attack in case any big hordes manage to make it across the board (like big mobs of Stormboyz).

What Formation?

When you're making a 3-knight list, with more than just Gallants, and intend your Warlord to be an Imperial Knight, there are only a few options:

  • Household Detachment - The default detachment, your warlord gets a stat boost and all your Knights gain Objective Secured, unless you have a specific reason to use another formation, this is always my choice. Scoring objectives is something that Imperial Knights usually suffer with, so this is a great boost.
  • Baronial Court - If you're using a lot of Wardens, Crusaders, Castigators and Acheron, then this formation isn't bad. Overwatch is a fun trick that can really catch people off guard, but most enemies that want to assault a Knight aren't afraid of a few bolter shots, and you can't overwatch with a Thermal Cannon anyhow. Alternatively, if you're using 3 Knights that are going to sit in the back field, like the Double Crusader + Warden suggestion above, and facing an enemy that isn't super maneuverable, then the 3+ front facing Ion Shields can be really awesome.
  • Triparte Lance - This requires that you use a very specific set of Knights, which I don't think compliment each other very well, especially all a part of the same unit. Maybe for fun, not sure I'd do this competitively.
  • Skyreaper Lance - Maybe if you're facing a lot of Stormtalons in your meta?

What do I look for in an Ally?

Knights do a few things very well, and many things quite poorly. They're generally quite good at killing MEQ units, and killing Vehicles and Monsters in Melee. They struggle greatly with scoring objectives, as they typically create a low model count army, flyers can be an issue (especially Flying Hive Tyrants), and if left unchecked, Hordes are a total nightmare in combat, especially if they're fearless, stubborn, or get Feel No Pain (on T4 models obviously). If your army lacks Wardens, Crusaders or Castigators, transports can also be surprisingly obnoxious, there's nothing more embarrassing than having to put multiple Knights of firepower into killing a single Rhino.




Put it All Together

Here are a few lists that I like and why. They try to cover all the bases illustrated above, while also being fun and interesting to play. You'll notice that I stick to Imperial Allies, which is mostly due to how my collection is structured, and because I can't be bothered to keep track of what non-Battle Brother allies are up to.

Knights of the Damned

Household Detachment

  • Errant: Sanctuary, Meltagun, Stormspear rockets, Warlord: 430
  • Crusader: Rapid Fire Battle Cannon, Stormspear rockets: 470
  • Castigator: 380

Legion of the Damned Detachment

  • 7 Legion of the Damned: Plasma gun, multi-melta, Sergeant with combi-grav: 210
  • 6 Legion of the Damned: Meltagun, multi-melta, Sergeant with combi-grav: 180
  • 6 Legion of the Damned: Meltagun, multi-melta, Sergeant with combi-grav: 180

Total: 1850

This list forsakes Anti-air, with the exception of the token support from the Stormspear Rockets, hopefully being enough to make enemy Flyrants jink. On the flip side, everything is incredibly hard hitting, the Legion of the Damned are able to hold cross-field objectives quite well, while simultaneously opening up transports for the Knights, or alternatively, deliver a powerful punch against enemy super-heavies and gargantuan creatures which may be lurking in cover.


Tech Knights

Household Detachment

  • Errant: Sanctuary, Meltagun, Stormspear rockets, Warlord: 430
  • Crusader: Rapid Fire Battle Cannon, Stormspear rockets: 470
  • Castigator: 380

Skitarii Maniple

  • 10 Skitarii Vanguard: 3 Arc rifles, omnispex, Alpha with Phosphor Blast Pistol : 160
  • 10 Skitarii Vanguard: 3 Arc rifles, omnispex, Alpha with Phosphor Blast Pistol : 160
  • Onager Dunewalker: Icarus Array: 125
  • Onager Dunewalker: Icarus Array: 125

Total: 1850

The Vanguard provide some serious anti-transport capability, as well as the ability to shred hordes of infantry with their radium carbines, while the phosphor blast pistols can help the Knights make long charges, propelling them across the field even faster. The two individual Onagers provide some serious anti-air capability.


Mantis Knights

Household Detachment

  • Errant: Sanctuary, Meltagun, Stormspear rockets, Warlord: 430
  • Crusader: Rapid Fire Battle Cannon, Ironstorm missile pod: 470
  • Castigator: 380

Allied Detachment (Space Marines, Mantis Warriors)

  • Librarian: Level 1, grav-pistol, meltabombs: 85
  • 6 Tactical Marines: grav-gun, in Drop Pod: 134
  • 6 Tactical Marines: grav-gun, in Drop Pod: 134
  • Stormtalon Gunship: Skyhammer missile launcher: 125
  • Deathstorm Drop Pod: Whirlwind launchers, Drop Pod assault: 100

Total: 1848

A much more traditional list, the Space Marines provide 4 additional objective secured units, and the Mantis Warriors Librarian is able to roll on Divination, meaning Prescience on a Crusader. The grav weapons sprinkled through the marines allow them to concuss any potentially dangerous Monstrous and Gargantuan creatures which your Knight may be charging into (good night Wraith Knight), while the Deathstorm can be delivered turn 1 to obliterate enemy hordes, or kept in reserve long enough for the Crusader and Castigator to bust open a few transports before the Deathstorm lands and wrecks what was inside. This list may benefit more from the Baronial Court instead of the Household Detachment as it already has sources of Objective Secured.

by Pfreck

Bring all the Knights!

Exalted/Baronial Court

  • Crusader: Rapid fire battle cannon, Warlord: 430
  • Warden: Meltagun: 380
  • Gallant: Meltagun: 330
  • Gallant: Meltagun: 330
  • Castigator: 380

Total: 1850

It had to be done, right? 5 Knights, with a variety of Firepower. It should be able to pop open some transports before the might of the Gallants is rained down on the occupants. Overall though I don't think 5-Knight armies will ever be that great... but they'd be fun as hell to bring!





What About Xenos?


There are thousands of permutations of list that can be made in the game, especially once you open up the seemingly infinite combination of allies. As far as Xenos goes, I can't think of an army that compliments Knights more than Eldar. They give you good, fast, cheap scoring units, capable of thinning out hordes of infantry, as well as solid anti-air, and with both of these, Imperial Knights become an absolutely disgusting army to face. You might also be able to make a solid army with Necrons, as they have very robust units and quite capable anti-air through Night Scythes. If you have any exciting Knight + Xenos combo's that you've tried, please share them in the comments!

Now that I've literally written over 7 typed pages on the subject, I think it's time to put down the computer and see what the outside world looks like!