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How to Play Imperial Knights in Warhammer 40K

5 Minute Read
May 22 2024

Today take a look at some basics of how to play and get started with Warhammer 40k Imperial Knights in 10th Edition. All hail the giant robos!

The Imperial Knights are ancient Imperial houses who go to battle in hulking, stomping warmachines in Warhammer 40K. Their armies consist of various sizes of Knights, from lowly Armigers to the gigantic Dominus-class machines. Like Knights of old, Imperial Knights follow their own chivalric code.

So below we offer some tips on how to play Imperial Knights and get started with the army.

Who Are The Imperial Knights?

Imperial Knights are towering bipedal engines of war that hail from feudal worlds of the Imperium known as Knight Worlds. Knights which are sworn to the service of the Emperor are known as Questor Imperialis. Knights which are sworn to the Omnissiah are known as Questor Mechanicus.

There are thousands of Knight houses across the Galaxy. The Knight Worlds operate under a strict feudal system and are typically sworn to either the Adeptus Terra or Adeptus Mechanicus. Each world is led by either a single or a number of Knight Houses, whose ranks are made up of Nobles who pilot Knight suits into battle.

A High King leads knight Houses sworn to the Adeptus Terra. Directly beneath him are a number of Barons, each rule a fief of territory. While all Barons owe allegiance to their king are not equal, and some have different ranks.  Each Baron, in turn, controls a number of Knightly Vassals, which operate alone or in formations known as lances.

Knight Houses sworn to the Adeptus Mechanicus often accompany the Collegia Titanica into battle or are garrisoned to defend key Forge Worlds. Their organizational structure is similar to those Houses sworn to the Adeptus Terra. Each is led by a Princeps and below him are Barons who can hold a variety of titles. Below the Barons are Vassals.

Why Play Imperial Knights

Imperial Knights Lancer


Imperial Knights are great if you love big, stompy robots and love the Emperor. They are truly the most elite army, guaranteed to be outnumbered, barring allies or mirror matches. Their impressive statlines and giant weapons give the Knights a real chance, even when they are badly outnumbered – and they always are!

Strengths of the Army

  • Good at fightin’ and shootin’
  • Giant robots
  • Few models

Weakness of the Army

  • High point cost result in low numbers
  • Difficult to handle objectives

Imperial Knights Army Rule

  • Code Chivalric– Take an Oath for a bonus, complete your Deed for CP and a further bonus!

Imperial Knights Detachment Rules- Noble Lance

  • RulesIndomitable Heroes gives all your Knights the Feel No Pain ability, which gets even better if you complete your Oath.
  • Enhancements: Theses have a wide range of useful utility and you’ll usually need to pick one to fill out awkward points.
  • StratagemsRotate Ion Shields is the classic making an appearance here- giant robots love invulnerable saves.

Key Imperial Knights Units To Know

Warhammer 40K Imperial Knights don’t have a ton of models, so knowing what units to take can be tricky. Here are some suggestions to get you off on the right track.


Knight Armiger Warglaive

The diminutive (relatively) foot soldiers of Knight armies. Armigers can still smack stuff well enough thanks to Impetuous Glory.

Armiger Helverins

These “little” guys are great ranged support, both fast and lethal. They autocannons are extremely effective and feared ranged weapons.


Other Units


In addition to having a giant spear cannon and mammoth-size flame thrower, the Valiant can force Battleshock tests with its Overwhelming Firestorm ability.


Imperial Knights Castellan
The biggest and baddest of Knights available in plastic (Forgeworld resin has its own standards!), the Dominus Castellan is a great centerpiece with a ton of firepower. It will help hold the line defensively with its Ion Aegis aura

Knight Crusader

The “shooty” version of the basic Imperial Knight. The Crusader packs a lot of guns into a standard Questoris chassis with its Punishing Salvoes.

Knight Preceptor

This Knight has a cool gun and gives some interesting tech via its Mentor  Bondsman ability and Exemplar of the Code.

Knight Gallant

The pure close combat Knight. Equipped with a big sword and big fist, they will also boost nearby Armigers with their Bondsman ability. If they can reach the enemy lines, there is little that can stop their rampage thanks to Martial Pride.

Knight Warden

The Avenger Gatling Cannon-armed Knight Warden punches way above its weight thanks to the Thin Their Ranks providing Devastating Wounds.

Knight Paladin

One of the most basic and vanilla of Knights, the Paladin is equipped for ranged fire with their rapid-fire battle cannon. They have a decent gun and still do the stomps. Not bad! They are pretty reliable thanks to Seasoned Noble.


Knight Errant

The other most basic of Knights, the Errant comes with a Reaper Chainsword and Thermal Cannon standard. Overall, it is one of the cheaper Knights available.

Sample Starter Warhammer 40k Imperial Knights Army

Army: Imperial Knights

Armiger Helverin 1 Model. He is equipped with: 2x armiger autocannons; questoris heavy stubber; armoured feet;

Knight Paladin . 1 Model. He is equipped with: meltagun; rapid-fire battle cannon; reaper chainsword; Questor cognis heavy stubber; Stormspear rocket pod; titanic feet, Unyielding Paragon.

Knight Paladin . 1 Model. He is equipped with: meltagun; rapid-fire battle cannon; reaper chainsword; Questor cognis heavy stubber; Stormspear rocket pod; titanic feet, Unyielding Paragon.


How to Play Imperial Knights

Up front, the most difficult part of playing Imperial Knights is managing objectives and board control. You don’t have many bodies, and you will always be outnumbered. This means you will usually have to rely on blasting your opponents off the board. You will learn to master some well placed Stratagems and a hail of high-intensity shooting. Despite their impressive guns, and seeming toughness, the Imperial Knights are a delicate army that takes skill to use well.

For the Emperor!

Author: Allen Campbell
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