|6th Ed Imperial Knight Codex cover. I just love this artwork. An Imperial Knight from House Terryn looming over a bunch of puny Space Marines (Ultramarines? Doesn't look like them).|
Tau, you say? Pfft, who cares about their wimpy Riptides, ghostly Ghostkneels or clumsy Stormsurges. Our Imperial Knights destroy them in close combat, and even at range, they can hardly do stuff (okay, maybe the Stormsurge can, but make sure you wreck it in close combat before they fire off their D-cannon or Strength D Seeker Missiles). We have cooler Mecha than the Tau and YOU KNOW IT! To say otherwise is heresy, and you'll be reported to the regimental Commissar immediately.
Anyway, 7th Edition has brought with us a "new" Codex (well, not new as of this time when I wrote the article, it's more than a year old), with a few updates, Relics and Formations. So how do we use them? That's what this article is for.
Actually...it's going to be almost the same as 1d4chan's article on Imperial Knights tactics, so why do I even bother writing this? I think for the other tactics posts, I'll start changing things up otherwise there's no point. Just visit 1d4chan's Imperial Knights tactics instead.
Why Play Imperial Knights
1d4chan: Um...you have one?
Me: Actually...I have four.
My opponent gives me that stare. じぃぃぃ―
Me: Don't worry, I'm only going to bring one for the game. I won't use all four.
There's a good reason for that, and it has nothing to do with me being a good sportsman and giving my opponent a chance at winning without cheesing my way with 4 Super-heavy Walkers on the table. While it might sound awesome on paper to have four Super-heavy Walkers with 6 hull points each, overwhelming firepower in the form of high Strength low AP ranged weapons and Strength D melee weapons and a 4+ invulnerable save on one facing, when I actually put them into actual use it's...quite tactically impractical. Yes, they get Objective Secured in the Household Detachment, yes, they are immune to small-arms fire and any melee attacks of 6 and less, and yes, they ignore all effects on the Vehicle Damage Table with the exception of Explodes! where they lose 3 hull points at one go. But they are incredibly expensive - meaning a huge chunk of your army is gone whenever you lose one of these things, and they suck at holding Objectives. Trust me...you're not going to win many Maelstrom or objective-based games with 4 Knights.
Not to mention that the current meta is full of drop-pod melta-squads, Deep Striking Fusion Blasters or Melta, Tyranid Hive Fleet Detachment that bring up to 4 or 5 Flying Hive Tyrants because Games Workshop says you can now bring as many detachments as you want, and my opponent abused it by allying his Hive Fleet Detachment with a "normal" Combined Arms Detachment (Troops being Mucolid Spores), and tons of Haywire (Adeptus Mechanicus!) so you can expect to bid your Imperial Knights goodbye in 2 or 3 turns. Hell, you'll likely lose at least one Knight in your opponent's first turn. Trust me on this one.
And I haven't even mentioned the grossly underpriced Wraithknight that's more powerful than all the Knights with their Strength D options yet cost less in points. Someone's favoring Eldar this edition.
|7th Ed Imperial Knight codex cover. Still cool. Baron Roland from House Cadmus, perhaps?|
Why play them then? There are benefits to playing this army. For one thing, this is probably the easiest army to build and play, by virtue of you having the least models on the table. Your opponent doesn't have to wait for an eternity as you move and assign each of your multiple infantry squads targets, orders, movement or whatever. You just move each model 12". Not to mention, the Imperial Knights have very decent shooting at BS4, and are great at melee with WS4 and Strength D weapons. Even the Knight Crusader, who doesn't have Strength D melee weapons, can attack with at least 3 S10 AP2 attacks, because of his Super-heavy Walker rules like Smash. The Knights are great all-around units with amazing firepower and stuff, easy to learn, easy to play and very powerful if you know how to use them properly.
Additionally, you now have added flexibility in the forms of Relics and carapace weapons, the latter allowing you to slap on an Icarus Autocannon in case you have trouble with Flyers. While they die easily this Edition, the same can be said for your opponent - there is little your Imperial Knights cannot deal with, and they will definitely destroy at least half your opponent's army before they blow up (unless he brings all Flyers like 4 or 5 Flying Hive Tyrants). And when they do blow up, they usually send a big F U to your opponent by nuking the dudes that destroyed them. More than once have I laughed as my Strength D Apocalyptic Blast explosion nuked the Thunderwolf Calvary or melta/fusion blaster squads that melted the adamantine armor.
However, to get the best of your Imperial Knights, it is advisable to play them as allies or at least bring allies for your Primary Detachment of Imperial Knights. Even with carapace weapons, Imperial Knights aren't as flexible as what allies may offer, and have major glaring weaknesses that opponents can exploit (Flyers being a big one).
Imperial Knights shine most when taken as allies or when taken with allies, as their awesome might can be supplemented by meat-shields, powerful anti-air, haywire and multiple small units mobile enough to run around capturing objectives while your Knights play the Distraction Carnifex role and tank the heat from your opponents' guns - leaving the allies the chance to roam free doing what you need them to do.
Household Detachment: 3-5 Imperial Knights of your choice, with the obligatory Warlord re-roll, plus all your Imperial Knights have Objective Secured! Woohoo! The Baron (usually your Warlord) becomes a Character, and can take Relics, receives +1 BS and +1 WS and re-roll To Hit rolls in challenges.
- Do take note that Objective Secured is overrated for Knights...you might as well take the Baronial Court, which provides better benefits (see below), and Objective Secured is more efficient and cheaper when you take allies anyway. It's impractical to park 20-30% of your forces on a single objective, and you wouldn't be able to capture most of them anyhow. If you're planning on taking 5 Knights, then going for the Exalted Court is better, not only because of the crazy benefits (see below again) but you're going to shoot everything off the tabletop anyway, so you don't need Objective Secured.
Oathsworn Detachment: Fancy name for an allied detachment of Imperial Knights, it's for those who only want to bring one or two Knights along (if you bring 3, go for Household Detachment or Baronial Court, seriously).
1. Landstrider: friendly Imperial Knights add +1" to their run or charge rolls when within 12" of the Warlord. Sweet! This is for melee-orientated Imperial Knights (looking at you, Knight Gallants)
2. Favored of the Omnissiah: Any one standard weapon (except heirlooms) become Master-crafted. Uh...okay.
3. Exemplar of the Joust: Re-roll failed To Hit rolls when charging. Cool!
4. Cunning Commander: Your Warlord and up to D3 Knights have Outflank. Awesome!
5. Ion Bulwark: Warlord gets to re-roll failed ion shield saves rolls of ones. Combine it with the Exalted Court where your High King gets a 3+ invulnerable save and watch your opponent RAGE!
6. Knight Seneschal: Get +1 Attack. Cool, I guess? Most of the Warlord Traits are melee-orientated.
Special Issue Wargear
Ion Shield: 4++ invulnerable save against shooting only (not melee) on any one facing, which you choose at the start of your opponent's shooting phase.
Heavy Stubber: Standard Strength 4 AP6 peashooter that fires 3 shots that does absolutely nothing to anything except infantry. And with AP6, the infantry will probably survive anyway. It does have insane range, and you can use it to shoot at enemy units you're planning on Charging so that you can save your big guns for other threats. It is useful, even if ineffective in wounding (but you're going to use that Strength D weapon in melee anyway, so it doesn't really need to kill anything).
Meltagun: Hell, yeah, the meltagun everyone knows and loves, S8 AP1 Melta goodness that melts through anything with AV when within melta range. Downside is the pathetic range of 12" and thus the even more pathetic melta range of 6". Only meant for Knights that you're going to send right into the thick of melee combat, or you'll be wasting your 5 points.
Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon: Remember the good old Leman Russ Main Battle Tank's battle cannon? The reliable Strength 8 AP3 large blast that instantly glibs Space Marines or Marine Equivalents (MEQs) in the open to death? Hell yeah, it's back and better than ever - the Imperial Knight's version can fire TWO large blasts. That's right. TWO S8 AP3 large blasts, and it comes with an extra heavy stubber! Park your Knight at the end of your table and make use of that hefty 72" range! Don't forget the Ordnance rule, so you can roll 2 D6 for Armor Penetrating rolls and choose the higher one.
Thermal Cannon: S9 AP1 large blast with the melta rule that absolutely vaporizes Terminators or Terminator Equivalents (TEQs). You only have one shot, though, unlike the rapid fire battle cannon, and it's half the range at 36" (meaning your melta range is 18"). Don't be fooled by the melta rule, though. You're not supposed to use this to destroy vehicles. It's for Deep Striking Terminators and other TEQs with that annoying 2+ save. That said, if you're stuck in close, you can try and blow vehicles up by hoping you roll a 5 on the Vehicle Damage Table.
Avenger Gatling Cannon: 12 S6 AP3 shots with Rending! Awesome! This is the most versatile weapon in your Imperial Knight arsenal, capable of almost everything, from mowing down infantry squads to glancing lightly armored vehicles to death with its high rate of fire. Your go-to weapon for most things, and it comes with a Heavy Flamer to boot! Don't forget the heavy flamer, it's S5 AP4 template that Ignores Cover, so use it on impertinent mobs who have gotten close enough to lob melta bombs or haywire grenades at you.
- Carapace Weapons
Ironstorm Missile Pod: S5 AP4 large blast with Barrage (fire from out of line and sight, and hits vehicles from where the blast originates rather than from the direction your Knight fires). With 72" range, it's a sweet weapon meant for wiping out hordes of infantry. Storm of Iron! The cheapest of the 3 carapace weapons.
Stormspear Rocket Pod: 3 S8 AP3 shots at 48"...well, essentially a 3-shot missile launcher with only krak missiles. The most versatile of the three carapace weapons, able to shoot at anything - for example, Instant Death-ing those Space Marines in the open or stripping hull points from a vehicle. The most expensive carapace weapon, though, so be warned...I personally think they're worth the points.
Twin Icarus Autocannon: 2 S7 AP4 twin-linked shots with Skyfire and Interceptor, this is to go-to weapon for Imperial Knights if you're facing Flyers. The middling option in terms of points. Not exactly the ideal anti-air weapon, so if your meta is full of people bringing nothing but Flyers (like 4 Flying Hive Tyrants), slap them on and use the Skyreaper Lance Formation. Otherwise...not worth it. Generally not worth it at all. Bring Skitarii allies with 3 Onager Dunecrawlers equipped with Icarus Array, it's much more efficient and effective.
Reaper Chainsword: Standard melee weapons for all your Imperial Knights, it's Strength D AP2 chainsword.
Thunderstrike Gauntlet: Like above, it's also Strength D but in the form of a gauntlet this time. However, it has the Colossal rule which basically means Unwieldy for Super-heavies (striking at Initiative 1). The cool thing is that if you kill a vehicle or Monstrous Creature with the Thunderstrike Gauntlet, you can then throw the dead model away in a shooting attack at up to 12" at any target. It's a large blast with no AP, but its Strength is counted as the Monstrous Creature's Toughness, or half of the vehicle's front AV, rounded up. Very fun, gimmicky, but most of the times not worth the extra 10 points or striking at Initiative 1 unless your opponent only brought vehicles and tanks (like my Emperor's Fist Armored Company).
Heirlooms of the Knightly Houses
Fancy name for saying Relics. Yes, your Imperial Knights can take Relics now if you take the specific Formations or Household Detachment that turns one of your Knights into a Character. Best if you take an Exalted Court - all your Knights become characters and can take heirlooms! Keep in mind you can only take one of each heirloom per army, though.
Banner of Macharius Triumphant: All friendly units within 12" of the bearer must re-roll failed Morale, Pinning and Fear tests. Worthless without allies, still not as useful with them unless you're keeping your allies close to your Imperial Knight as meatshields - then yeah, it's worth the cheap 10 points it costs to bubble-wrap your Knight with re-rolling Morale meatshields.
Helm of the Nameless Warrior: Gives the guy Rampage, so allow him to rampage! Expensive at 30 points, but generally worth it because your Knight will always be outnumbered in combat unless you're facing another Super-heavy or Gargantuan Creature (like Wraithknights...ugh).
Mark of the Omnissiah: Grants It Will Not Die. Your Knight will still die, though, but an additional 30 points for a 1/3 chance of regaining that valuable hull point for your dying Knight might be worth it. Getting a Tech-priest Dominus ally might be more cost-effective.
The Paragon Gauntlet: Fancy name for an upgraded Thunderstrike Gauntlet that gains Master-crafted for 15 points more. Huh. Okay. Keep in mind that this must replace your Thunderstrike Gauntlet, so you need to already have one before you can replace it with this, making this cost 25 points in actuality.
Ravager: An upgraded Reaper Chainsword with AP1 and allows the bearer to re-roll failed To Hit rolls of 1 in close combat. Pretty sweet, but also costs 25 points. Still worth it, as with WS4 it means you'll be landing a lot of melee attacks.
Sanctuary: An upgraded ion shield that grants a 6++ invulnerable save to all the other facings that is not covered by your usual 4++ ion shield. However, as with the normal ion shield, it can't be used in close combat. One of the cheapest heirlooms, second to the Banner, and very useful especially if you bring an Exalted Court and give it to your High King. Now you have 3++ ion shield save on one side and 5++ on all the others. AWESOME!
Don't forget that all your Imperial Knights count as Lords of War, and therefore are purchased in special detachments such as Household or Oathsworn Detachments that allow you to take multiple Lords of War. Meaning these aren't your usual Combined Arms Detachment, so if your opponent has to choose a specific unit (such as HQ, Troops, Elites, Heavy Support, etc.) for whatever reason (target or benefits against those types), let him or her know.
Take note that all Imperial Knights come default with a Reaper Chainsword (with the exception of the Knight Crusader) that has an option to be replaced by a Thunderstrike Gauntlet (except the Knight Gallant who already has both). All Imperial Knights can also take carapace weapons and replace their heavy stubbers with meltaguns for 5 points, no matter what type they are. Yeah, all of them have at least one heavy stubber, and some have 2.
Your first Imperial Knight, armed with a Thermal Cannon and the second-cheapest at 370 points. Normally used for anti-Terminator duties, he can also be used to run up the table and melt a Land Raider within melta range. This guy's short range means you're more likely to send him in the vanguard of your forces, get stuck into melee, and rip things apart with that S9 AP1 large blast of his. Upgrade your heavy stubber to a meltagun for 5 points for more melta goodness, and watch him fly right into your enemy's lines. Yay. You can swap his Reaper Chainsword for Thunderstrike Gauntlet for the laughs, but otherwise the basic melee weapon does fine in close combat with its Strength D.
Your second and basic Imperial Knight who used to be the jack of all trades. Armed with the rapid-fire battle cannon, he's a versatile Knight that can literally do anything, from Instant Death-ing Space Marines and MEQs, stripping hull points off light armored vehicles, and throwing large blast pie plates around on your opponent's squads of infantry. TWO large blast pie plates, in case you haven't read the one above. His battle cannon's range means he can sit back at one end of the table and chuck those large blasts from safety. He's also armed with 2 heavy stubbers, so you have another 6 S4 AP6 shots, and if anyone Deep Strikes or gets close enough, you can charge them with him. He's no slouch in melee after all, being armed with that Strength D Reaper chainsword.
Don't just discard him, though. While the new Knight Warden might be more versatile, the Knight Paladin has more range, and his 2 large blast attacks can potentially deal a lot more wounds than the Knight Warden's 12-shot Avenger Gatling cannon, so he's actually more useful against blobs. And Ordnance means you're more likely to immobilize a squadron of vehicles (or destroy their weapons) with this guy with penetrating hits (2 chances, too!) than relying on the Knight Warden to glance them to death with only 12 shots.
The new Knight, who takes over the Knight Paladin's role as the jack of all trades. His 12-shot S6 AP3 Avenger Gatling cannon with Rending can pretty much mow down anything, from wiping out small infantry squads to stripping hull points off vehicles, but bear in mind he has a shorter range at 36" so he will have to wade into the thick of battle where he's vulnerable to counterattacks. He also has a heavy flamer, so make liberal use of that before your opponent attempts to tie you up in melee with Fearless tarpits or something. As with the Knight Errant (and also Knight Paladin), you can swap his Reaper Chainsword for Thunderstrike Gauntlet for the laughs, but since both have Strength D and the latter strikes at Initiative 1, I would suggest sticking to the former.
Not as gallant as his name sounds, this guy is completely melee-orientated, armed with both a Reaper Chainsword and Thunderstrike Gauntlet. This means he gets one extra attack. He only has a single heavy stubber for shooting (replace with meltagun if you want), but you can probably take a carapace weapon if that's your thing. However, that's probably not why you took him. The Knight Gallant is the cheapest Imperial Knight at a "mere" 325 points, so he's usually taken so that he can fit inside lists already bloated with several super-expensive Knights, you know, to make the points cut.
This is the dakka Imperial Knight who is the complete opposite of the Knight Gallant above. That is to say, he is shooting-orientated. He comes stock with a thermal cannon, which you can replace with a rapid-fire battle cannon for 5 points (and you should), and an Avenger Gatling cannon on the other arm. So you can potentially fire up to 2 S8 AP3 large blasts, 12 S6 AP3 Rending shots, 6 S4 AP6 heavy stubber shots and a S5 AP4 heavy flamer template with just this guy alone. That's a lot of shots. Throw in a Stormspear rocket pod for even more dakka, and you can have him sit back at the field throwing shots everywhere. Best of all? Being a Super-heavy Walker, he can fire all those weapons at DIFFERENT targets. Watch your opponent cry as you obliterate 5 different units with just a single Knight Crusader!
Don't let the lack of a Strength D melee weapon fool you - the Knight Crusader is still no slouch in melee. He can deal 3 S10 AP2 attacks by virtue of Smash, and still has those Stomp attacks, so as long as he's not facing another Suepr-heavy Walker or Gargantuan Creature with Strength D melee weapons, he should be fine in combat.
He's also the ideal Knight to take in an allied detachment if you have the points to spare, but trust me, that almost adds up to 500 points (470, to be exact). Then again, that's the same cost as Gerantius, the Forgotten Knight of Sacred Mountain in Alaric Prime (see below).
Gerantius, the Forgotten Knight: A Knight Errant that's green, you can find his rules in White Dwarf (funnily enough you can't find them in the Sanctus Reach: The Red Waaagh! campaign). He has It Will Not Die, shoot AND run (take note you can't run and charge if you do this, though), must re-roll ones for Stomp, and best of all, has a 3++ ion shield. Don't forget he also has an innate BS5 and WS5, so those attacks will certainly hit! Can't be taken as your Warlord, though...but why would you want that? Make the other Imperial Knight your Warlord and you have 2 WS5 and BS5 Imperial Knights running around the table.
Obsidian Knight: Taken from the Warzone Damocles: Mont'Ka campaign, he's a black Knight Paladin with BS6 and WS6, has Preferred Enemy and Hatred (Tau) and a 3++ ion shield like Gerantius. Awesome. Those blue Tau campers are going to get squished no matter what. Yay.
Exalted Court: An extremely pricey formation that must take 5 Imperial Knights, but the benefits are enormous. First, all 5 Imperial Knights are characters who can take heirlooms AND get +1 BS and +1Ws. One of them is a High King or Princeps (your Warlord, duh), who gets +2 BS and +2 WS instead, +1 to his ion shield saves, the obligatory Warlord Traits re-rolls and re-rolls of To Hit rolls of ones in close combat. If you play large games and have 5 Imperial Knights, then it's worth taking this formation. Trust me. Worth it. Don't forget to buy Sanctuary for your High King, so he'll not only get a 3++ invulnerable save on a facing of your choice, but 5++ on all the other sides - and all for only 15 points!
Baronial Court: This is in some ways better than the Household Detachment, even if you don't get Objective Secured. You still get to re-roll your Warlord Traits plus re-roll To Hit rolls of ones in close combat, and your Baron or Warlord has +1BS and +1WS while becoming a Character to get a heirloom. All Knights within 6" of each other get a +1 to their ion shield save on the front arc. Plus if they are within 12" of your Baron, they can Overwatch (AWESOME! Especially with Knight Wardens and Knight Crusaders in your army!) and Counterattack!
Tripartite Lance: The 3 newest Knights (Knight Warden, Knight Gallant and Knight Crusader) become a single squadron (like Leman Russ tanks) so they all charge and engage in melee combat together. Each Knight gives the other Knights benefits until he is destroyed. The Knight Warden, while he is alive, reduces enemy units' cover saves by 1 when all Knights in this formation fire at them. Knight Gallant, while alive, gives all Knights in this formation D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks instead of 1. Knight Crusader, while alive, gives all blast weapons in the formation Twin-linked...but it's completely useless as he's the ONLY one with blast weapons so it doesn't matter anyway. Not exactly a very useful formation, unfortunately, as if tarpits tie up your 3 Knights in combat, that's a hefty chunk of your army unable to do anything for a good part of the game. And the benefits are pretty meh, considering Hammer of Wrath is AP- and your enemies will make their armor saves anyway. Only the Knight Warden's reduction of cover saves can be considered useful, but it doesn't make the formation worthwhile.
Gallant Lance: A lance that is gallant...ahem. Three Knight Gallants with Crusader and Rage, and they can re-roll failed charge distances. Sweet, and can be a budget allied formation to your ranged forces that have no melee capability (I'm looking at you, Imperial Guard). Not too bad, but circumstantial depending on what allies or Primary Detachment you brought along.
Skyreaper Lance: Seems like someone at Games Workshop heard all the feedback about how Imperial Knights were ridiculously weak against Flyers, and they decided to come up with this Formation as a solution. 3 Imperial Knights of any type but all must take twin Icarus autocannons as carapace weapons. In return, they can re-roll failed armor penetration rolls against Flyers, re-roll those glances to try and get penetrating hits, and failed To Wound rolls against Flying Monstrous Creatures. Not worth it, you're better off taking Skitarii allies with Icarus Array Onager Dunecrawlers instead. I mean, you're taking about 1,200 points of Knights just to fire 6 twin-linked Skyfire shots at AP4 at a couple of Flyers. Nope, not worth it at all.
Adamantine Lance: A formation taken from Sanctus Reach: The Red Waaagh! Campaign. 3 Knight Errant or Knight Paladin of any choosing, they can re-roll failed ion shield saves as long as they are within 3" of each other. Like the Tripartite Lance, they get D3 Hammer of Wrath hits instead of 1, regardless of who dies, so pretty cool. While 1d4chan may say otherwise, take note that 3" is a very short distance, and bunching your Knights together to get that ion shield re-roll is generally not very sound tactically. Not only are they more vulnerable to blast weapons, it also means they can't run around the table capturing Objectives or shooting enemies (unless you brought 3 Knight Paladins, then you can shoot all over the table no matter where they hide). I haven't even talked about the disaster that comes from having a Catastrophic Explosion - imagine losing one Knight, only to lose the other 2 because they both also got caught in the Apocalyptic Blast Strength D radius! That would be an instant tabling (unless you have allies, but seriously, that's more than half of your army gone). Not to mention, you can only take Knight Paladins and Errants, so you don't have access to the more versatile Knight Warden, the shootier Knight Crusader or the cheaper Knight Gallant. All in all, the Baronial Court is better, and provides more benefits and bonuses.
Well, to be honest, Imperial Knights are usually taken as allies to other armies, but if you really want to take them as a Primary Detachment, here are several suggestions.
|The Imperial Guard (Cadians) fight on, backed up by a Baneblade and an Imperial Knight. Yes, there's an Imperial Knight in the background behind the Baneblade, looking a little...lost.|
Astra Militarum: Meatshields. Bubble wrap your Imperial Knights with lots of expendable meatshields. Not only that, these guys are mobile, cheap scoring units with Objective Secured should you take troops. Stick Veterans in Chimeras and drive them all over the place to capture Objectives while your opponent is distracted with shooting down your big, scary Knights. For a very fluffy army, you can bring tanks, you know, combine your Emperor's Fist Armored Company with a lance of Imperial Knights to create an armored spearhead like those you read in the campaigns and novels. Very cool. Not only that, you have access to some of the best anti-air such as Vendetta gunships!
You can also take Stormtroopers
Miliatrum Tempestus as allies if you want, because not only do they have Objective Secured when taken from the supplement, they have several cool orders, can Deep Strike, Move Through Cover and grab objectives from right under your opponent's nose like the ninja wannabes they are.
Skitarii: A very fluffy and excellent choice, because they provide the best anti-air you'll ever need through squadrons of Icarus Array Onager Dunecrawlers with 4++ invulnerable saves, cleaning out hordes with the Skitarii Vanguard's radium carbines, and in general complement each other very well. Having trouble with vehicles? Grab arc rifles for your Vanguard or Rangers and glance those Land Raiders to death before melting the Terminators inside with your Knight Errant. Or throw your Sicarian Ruststalkers up the table to hurl those haywire mindscrambler grenades at those Land Raiders, whatever you fancy. Sydonian Dragoons can help with close combat against tarpits with their taser lances, and Sicarian Infiltrators are force multipliers for your Knights, reducing the enemy's WS, BS, Leadership and Initiative by 1 so that you can strike at the same time as that pesky Wraithknight for mutual destruction (rather than one-sided destruction).
Cult Mechanicus: If you're not taking a Knight Errant, Kataphron Destroyers with heavy grav will be an awesome addition to your army. Or Kataphron Breachers with all that haywire goodness to pop open transports, Land Raiders and other vehicles while your Imperial Knights stomp over and flay them alive with their usual weaponry and/or Strength D melee goodness. However, the real reason you're bringing Cult Mechanicus along is for the Tech-priest Dominus. Not only can he repair your Knights on a 2+ (1 hull point) which is invaluable - you can slap on an Uncreator Gauntlet and take a chance to see if your Knight recovers up to 6 hull points in one turn (usually you'll just restore one or D3 on average). Hilarious if you pull it off, especially after your opponent worked so hard to deep strike all those meltaguns/fusion blasters to bring your Knight down to 1 hull point. Hah! The Emperor protects! Uh...in this case, it must be the Omnissiah.
Beware of tarpits! Particularly those with haywire grenades or meltabombs. Veterans charging your Imperial Knights with meltabombs can be scary, as are Sicarian Ruststalkers, Dark Eldar and other dudes with haywire stuff. Tau Fire Warriors with EMP grenades...not so much and if they are that close, charge them and wipe them out in close combat before they can do anything to you.
Be careful. The moment you bring an Imperial Knight (or an army of them) to the table, your opponent will most likely go all out and bring drop pods loaded with melta squads or Deep Striking Crisis Suits, Stealth Suits and Ghostkneels with fusion blasters, or lots of other things. And then there's the Stormsurge with Strength D missiles and Wraithknights that will nuke your Knight from far away with their ranged Strength D weapons (how do those things cost under 300 points?!). Also beware of armies of Flyers such as Tyranid's Endless Swarms or 4 to 5 Flying Hive Tyrants in a single game. The best way to counter these guys are...unfortunately not bringing more Knights, but having a lot more variety in your army. Supplement your Imperial Knights with small, mobile squads of say, Veterans or Stormtroopers to capture objectives while your Knights serve as a distraction like the big fire-magnets they are. Bring Onager Dunecrawlers or Vendetta gunships for anti-air if necessary. If your opponent counters with Gargantuan Creatures of their own, bring Stormtroopers with their delicious orders to eliminate them with Elimination Protocol before they can take out your Knight. Easier said than done, I know.
Then there will be opponents who will outnumber you with tarpits. Surround your Knights with blobs of your own or tanks to prevent them from getting tarpitted. Tanks and the Emperor's Fist Armored Company might be a good idea because your opponent will most likely be too distracted with the Knight to shoot your Leman Russ tanks, leaving them to drive around and razing the rest of his army with their BS4 bonus. Or bring Skitarii to use them as even more durable meatshields with exotic weaponry that can take out enemy vehicles and infantry alike, what with all that access to haywire and radium rounds or just taser them to death. If you're bringing Cult Mechanicus, adapt accordingly - heavy grav for Gargantuan Creatures like Wraithknights and Terminators or TEQs, and haywire for heavily armored vehicles like Land Raiders and Leman Russ or other Super-heavy Walkers and Vehicles. Particularly if your opponent thinks countering your Imperial Knights with Imperial Knights of his own is a good idea, bring those Kataphron Breachers as allies and enlighten him on why Knowledge is Power. Against Eldar, it might be good to bring a mix of Kataphron Destroyers with heavy grav to take out those pesky Wraithknights, Wraithguard and Aspect Warriors or whatever, and Onager Dunecrawlers to take out Wave Serpents (though they are no longer as trollish as they once were with those stupid cover saves).
|The Cadians (Imperial Guard) fight desperately against the Ork hordes of Warboss Grukk Facerippa, their Imperial Knight allies of Alaric Prime adding their immense firepower in the background. As I said, Imperial Knights never fight alone.|
Remember, variety is key. While it might be fun to plop down 5 Imperial Knights on the table, you're better off tactically by bringing allies to supplement your Knights. Just read the fluff - the Imperial Knights never fight alone! They're always accompanied by Skitarii infantry running underfoot to help clear tarpits and make up for the numbers, or lumbering beside the columns of Leman Russ tanks of the Imperial Guard (not to mention the Imperial Guard running underfoot...again, but this time trying not to get squashed). Just look at the pictures above!
So yeah, keep this in mind, and bring your Super-heavy Walker out with troops to back him up! For the Emperor!
Knights of the Imperium! We ride!
Skitarii Tactics (under construction)
Cult Mechanicus Tactics (under construction)
Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard Tactics (under construction)