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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40K: Codex Imperial Knights – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

5 Minute Read
May 10
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Goatboy here with a bit of quick thoughts about the new Imperial Knight codex – What’s good, what’s bad, and what’s ugly.

This is a pretty big week as we get a Campaign book (Rift Wars), Chaos Knight boxed set with codex, and the Imperial Knight release.  Unlike their bad guy cousins the Imperial Knights just get a brand new book.  They didn’t get any newly upgraded miniatures or other options but that is ok.  Their book is pretty full of interesting and unique rules.

As usual, I will go thru a quick the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly while waxing poetically about the big bad robots of the 40k Grimdark Universe.  Overall I think the book is neat just. But not where I would like it to be when compared to the Chaos Knights.  While we all know I have Chaos Knights I also have a large Imperial Knight army too. So I am still interested in both books and army make up.

The Good

This book is full of rules.  I think I counted at least 50 pages of rules for this bad boy so it is pretty dang hefty.  The Chaos Knight one isn’t nearly as long and most likely a lot of this is due to the large amount of customization in the book.  This is one of the places where the book shines as you can upgrade your knightly models with point costed upgrades to do some things.  Some of them force you to be the warlord and others let you gain an extra custom household trait on top of the one you have for your entire army.  This gets pretty spicy and is something I can see someone can figure out and create a powerful army.

So Many Households

On top of that customization you have a lot of household traits to choose from. All the Mechanicum houses, Imperial Houses, and even Freeblade houses have solid options.  This is similar to the Chaos Knight version where you pick a powerful ability and lose out on a bespoked warlord trait/relic/stratagem versus the pre built ones.  The Harlequin option of only being hit on a 4+ and ignoring Ap -1 seems the best for the Imperial side of things.  The Mechanicus side of things has very interesting set up. They have a double mechanic for blast weapons that counts any enemy you shoot at as double the amount of models when determining how many auto attacks you get.  The Freeblade options are also interesting as you have a Strategic reserve option that allows your knight to come in counting the turn as 1 higher.  This could be pretty spicy for a surprise Knight friend in an Imperial army.

Hello Big Friend!

Oh and just like the Chaos Knights you can take a single knight in any Imperial army and it won’t break your armies rules.  This is pretty neat and allows you to bring a powerful friend or a set of 3 powerful little friends.  I heard you needed some Melta action my friend?

You have named houses there and I like Griffith for the assault minded player.  The warlord can take an Advance and Charge warlord trait.  As this household is an Imperial one you get +1 to Advance and Charge rolls as well as consolidating an extra Inch and ignore all modifiers on Advance and Charge rolls.  This guy is going Full Tilt and you add in Land Strider Warlord trait you start to get a whole lot of extra Eldar inches as you come in for the kill.  Imperial Knights do have some powerful Warlord traits and they shine a bit more when compared to the Chaos Knights.

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The Relics look decent with a lot of weapons, an objective secured option for a big knight, 4+ inv save in melee, 2+ armor save, and thankfully a +1 to their Litany casts.  They get a Chaplain that can basically give some teachings out as an Aura ability on a 3+.  The ability to allow an Action to be performed and still shoot seems good as well as exploding 6’s attacks.  They have a FNP aura as well and all are designed to make your Armigers better.

The Bad

This book has some annoying in-game upkeep.  There are two Oaths each army has to take and they will reflect how you gain honor.  Thankfully there are a lot of abilities that count your Honor higher so you could have a chance to get the more powerful option sooner than turn 5.  The frustrating is that you could lose Honor by trying to win the game based on the Oaths.  The two will see taken most of the time is the Always Assaulting/Heroic Intervening and then Hold Objective options.  These are both things you will always be doing with Knights so hopefully you won’t accidently get Dishonored and cry in the corner somewhere.

This bookkeeping just feels annoying as you have 2 things to make sure you pay attention too.  Plus all the other weird aura abilities you have to look out for your Armigers.  This just makes for a weird experience as you can screw yourself over by moving to go get something or failing to charge.

The Ugly

There are no new models in this book so it kinda makes me sad.  I would have loved to see some kind of super cool Green Knight character again as that is always an interesting batch of lore.  Or heck a Psychic Knight or some real Chaplain looking knight that gets everyone riled up with the religious fervor of the Emperor.

The Verdict

Overall it is a neat book that extends a familiar faction.  I am still planning on doing Chaos Knights for the next few events so will see if I pivot to the good guys at some point.  It just means I need to get more Armigers ready. A LOT more armigers!

For the Emperor!

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