8th Edition 40k – mini-preview Imperial Knights

Another name change to Questor Imperialis… Summary below:

  • 24 wounds, Toughness 8, 3+ save and 5++ invulnerable;
  • Base stats are 12″ move, WS/BS 3+;
  • 7-12 wounds remaining equate to 9″ move, WS/BS 4+;
  • 1-6 wounds remaining equate to 6″ move, WS/BS 5+;
  • Thermal cannon is heavy D3, S9, AP-4, D6 damage with the melta like rule (roll two, pick the highest in half range);
  • Thermal cannon gets an additional D6 shots against units with 5+ models;
  • Stomp is now called Titanic Feet and no longer removes models from play;
  • Reaper Chainswords and Thunderstrike Gauntlet do an automatic six damage per successful attack;
  • Thunderstrike Gauntlet can throw a destroyed monster / vehicle at another enemy within 9″ to do D3 mortal wounds (4+ to wound);
  • Trygons do D6 damage in melee;
  • Knights can leave combat with infantry and not suffer the inability to fire their weapons (I wonder if running a Rhino into combat with them would ignore this then?);
  • Super-Heavy detachment is 3-5 Lords of War models with a bonus +3 Command Points.

W24, T8, Sv3+. I approve. It’s durable but not crazy durable and with the new way wounding works, you’ll never have 50% of your army useless against an army of Knights or an allied in stompy robot. They also get a 5++ against all shooting. Still really want to know who these saves work! I imagine anytime a weapon takes the save past a 5+, you can utilise the invulnerable instead. i.e. A Lascannon has AP-3 so would take a 3+ save to 6+. Instead they can use their 5++. Instead cover can simply add to the normal save. I feel then a lot of 5++s are not as important as they were assuming that is how cover works as anything with a 3+ save would only be reduced past a 5+ with AP-4 or better. Anyway, will wait and see but I feel like invulnerable saves are going to be a ceiling cap.

Their damage potential seems quite high (I’m really not loving the D3/D6s!!!!) but given their cost and lack of D type weaponry which can ignore everything, much more reasonable.

Good to know also Trygons do D6 damage in melee – I wonder if most MCs will be like this or some of the weaker ones (ala Tervigons) be D3 only? Charging these guys in combat certainly seems the fastest way to drop them though their swings back will hurt. Otherwise mass high strength, low AP firepower will have it’s place but torrenting will be a much more viable option in light of the new rules.

Their ability to leave combat against infantry is a good boon for them but as mentioned, if there’s no other rule stopping vehicles / walkers from revving up against each other, forcing a Rhino / cheap vehicle into combat with a Knight to have it Fall Back will be a great way to minimise its shooting.

Thoughts?

Here’s the full text:

Imperial Knights stride the battlefield like colossi raining down destruction on the enemies of the Emperor with powerful weapons and stalwart defence. How will these mechanical behemoths play in the new Warhammer 40,000?

The Questor Imperialis, or Imperial Knights, are Knights in more than just name. They live their lives by chivalric codes and pledge fealty to their High Kings and the Emperor. Through the Throne Mechanicum, these nobles bond with their mighty Knights and enter into battle for the honour of their household.

Imperial Knights currently play as an all or nothing army. What I mean by this is that they either totally overwhelm their opponent with high armour, powerful weapons and devastating melee… or they get crushed by an army that has the specific tools to deal with them. This is largely due to the game mechanics of the way Warhammer 40,000 plays. Many weapons cannot hurt a Knight at all, while some devastate them, such as Destroyer weapons or large numbers of melta weapons. This creates very swingy, often short, games that can leave one or both players feeling a bit flat.

In the new edition, this dynamic changes quite a bit. As everything can hurt everything else, a player in a game vs an Imperial Knight army will never feel entirely helpless. While firing a grot blaster at a Knight is highly unlikely to do anything, it just might. However, to compensate for this increased vulnerability, the Imperial Knights have been given a LOT of wounds. And by a lot, I mean 24! They’re also Toughness 8 with a 3+ save. They’re quite literally twice as durable as a Leman Russ which is itself a difficult unit to take down. Add in the inclusion of a 5+ invulnerable save against shooting – regardless of which direction the shots are fired from, thanks to their ion shield – and you’ve got a resoundingly resilient unit.

But it’s not all about defence. Imperial Knights pack absolutely blistering firepower, too. The thermal cannon is utterly lethal now. Heavy D3, Strength 9, Ap -4 and D6 Damage, rolling 2D6 and taking the highest when in half range, will leave many targets as nothing more than smoking craters with a single volley. If that weren’t enough, the cannon gets D6 shots vs units with 5 or more models. I think you can start to see how useful Command Points can be when using weapons like this, maximising the effect they can have at just the right time.

Another big change is how Stomps work. Previously, Stomps simply removed models entirely from the game on the roll of a 6. While this was useful for dealing with some problematic character-laden units which were hyper-durable, it could create gameplay situations which were not very satisfying for players when their favorite model was unceremoniously stomped into oblivion with no saves!

Now called Titanic Feet, these are still fearsome weapons, but do not simply remove models from play. And if kicking and stomping models isn’t enough, you’ve always got your trusty reaper chainsword or thunderstrike gauntlet to fall back on, both of which do an automatic 6 damage per successful attack. Ouch. The thunderstrike gauntlet also has the ability to chuck a destroyed Monster or Vehicle at another enemy unit within 9″ to do D3 mortal wounds on a 4+. Splat!

Knights will be a unit that cannot be ignored, and if you’re fighting against them, you will need to plan to deal with them when writing your list. While tough, they are not invincible and, in melee particularly, they can find themselves to be somewhat more vulnerable. The canny Knights general will need to be wary of enemy models with multiple D6 damage melee attacks such as Trygons, which can severely damage or destroy Knights in a single lucky round of combat.

Knights players will also be happy to know they are no longer so easily bogged down by large cannon fodder units. In the new Warhammer 40,000, they can simply walk over Infantry models and leave combat while still being able to fire their weapons. They are fearsome units, indeed.

Though you don’t often see large numbers of Knights in a single army, those few are easily the match for many armies, and thanks to the new Super-Heavy Detachment, you’ll still be able to field them all on their own if that’s how you roll.

There’s a lot more to say about this army but for today, that is all we have time left for. We hope you are as excited to put your Knights on the table as we are!

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10 Responses to “8th Edition 40k – mini-preview Imperial Knights”

  1. Mindwarp says:

    I like the new knight rules. They're beefy, but not unbalancing in the new rule set. Fielding a knight household isn't going to be such a cheesy move anymore. And we can make a fairly educated guess as to what the stats for other super heavies will be like.

  2. Ish says:

    And GW's doggerel Latin strikes again. Quaestōris were low-ranking government agents who supervised the state treasury and conducted audits during the Roman Republic and Empire. It has nothing to do with the Anglo-Norman "queste" from which we derive the word "quest' so associated with knighthood.

    • Mindwarp says:

      Well, to be fair, it's not actually latin. It's Imperial Gothic, which seems to have borrowed more than a few words from latin, and has mutated over 40000 years.

    • artemi71 says:

      Too some extent I think they relish in their mangled Latin haha

  3. T-Jay says:

    "forcing a Rhino / cheap vehicle into combat with a Knight to have it Fall Back will be a great way to minimise its shooting."

    With CC weapons that do an automatic 6 dammage you would need multiple "cheap" vehicles to make a Knigth evn think abot falling back.

  4. artemi71 says:

    Hmm… the fact that we're seeing another degrading damage chart here, and not on the Anni Barge, is telling me that mechanic is only for the BIG stuff. Orkanaughts and Knights have them, maybe Land Raiders and definitely the Monolith, I'm thinking Wraith Knights and Riptide but maybe not Wraith Lords, Trygons too probably…

    I guess the smaller tanks are just big creatures.

    Also, I'm not sure who else could reasonably use the Super-Heavy Detachment, but I could see some fun with like Guilliman, St Celestine, and Draigo in an Imperial army, assuming their all Lords.

  5. MagicJuggler says:

    I always wanted to field a Triple Tau’nar Threat and thanks to GW rebalanced 40k, this is now possible.

    Why wasn’t I playing Epic again?