Knight Tactics by Pascal

Hey there guys and gals, Reecius has been kind enough to ask me to write an article on my experiences with a knight army so, here it is:). Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles.

My blindingly yellow Knights started out as a joke. I’d been nagged by a good friend of mine to start a second army [I’ve run only BA since second ed] and I’d held out for years, but then….cue trumpets and angels….that wonderful 2 model codex came out and bam! complete army with all the options in 5 models. What’s even better is that it’s impossible to not play a fluffy list with all knights but sadly I never won a best army composition in any tourney I played ;).
These are the first models I’ve used an airbrush on and gosh, was it a time saver. Having experienced the torment of getting a nice yellow just on assault marine heads and hand painting three storm ravens I was never going to attempt it without one. The part that took the longest was all the silver trim and the two thousand rivets or more, the larger the surface area the more layers needed to get a non blotchy finish and there are some large open spaces on that model, yikes.
I decided to take all 5 to a few local tourney’s to see how they ran, and figured even if it took someone by surprise and they got stomped, just playing against a well painted unique army that people have wanted to see since the early nineties should make for a good experience. In 36 games no one has rage quit, stomped off or gotten smarmy, which was great.
I took 5 because it was fluffy and unique but I was under no illusions that it was the best way to run them. It was the best way to really learn all of the pitfalls of running them, however, and here are a few things I picked up along the way.
imperial knights
  1. Don’t just stomp them up the middle of the board.  It sure looks intimidating but the moment your opponent realises it’s now really easy to shoot you in the flanks you will start to lose a lot of knights.
  2. Close combat is the most dangerous place for them to be. This is true for knights and for the opponent. The carnage a knight can do in combat is epic but it can leave them exposed to shooting from multiple angles if they win combat off the charge. One nasty tactic to get around winning combat by too much is to just not stomp the unit you are attacking, you can place that template anywhere and it sure doesn’t have to be on the unit you are fighting:). Also they don’t get a save in combat and being charged by fire warriors with emp grenades, wyches, veterans with melta bombs, wraith knights , carnifexs etc is scary and can easily end in an explodey mess.
  3. The buggers can die in 2 hits! 2 explodes results will kill a knight on average[2d3+2] So be aware that you may lose one when you least expect it and try to backup your knights going for objectives or covering areas of the board with their  threat range.
  4. Imperial knights wish they were as good as wraith knights. they’ve got strength ten instant death good range guns… that they can fire on overwatch or at fliers[skyfire nexus objectives are a hilarious bonus], never get slowed, can jump over units or on top of buildings or ruins. They can one shot monstrous creatures or toughness 5 guys at range. They can’t be two shotted, don’t really care about melta and poison is usually 4+ vs haywire’s 2+. They also strike at initiative 5 which has a lost me a couple of Imperial knights charging in at full hull points before they got to swing. With a toe in a ruin the get a 4+ cover save and for the price of 2 Ik’s you can get 3 Wk’s. Man…Eldar are good;)
  5. That dying blast +will+ scatter onto one of your other knights and 6 them off the board:)
  6. There is no easy way to deal with a heavy drop pod assault list. With the shields only on one facing it’s easy to have guns from the same unit on multiple facings or worse, squads having a choice of knights, effectively negating the shield. The only two options are bunch in a corner to protect your warlord[there are good and bad ways of doing this:P] or spread out so you only lose one, don’t get hemmed in by the pods and units and don’t quite possible get hit by that scattering death blast. Terrain and amount of pods will of course temper your choices, but it’s never easy.
  7. The difference between av13 with a 4+ and av12 with nothing, is quite spectacular. Make sure you can get as much of your front arc at the enemy as possible, if that means clinging to the table edges so be it. the longer you have knights alive and threatening the better. The threat zone of a knight is one of their best assets and can be a lot more effective than a single close range melta blast.
  8. Don’t be afraid of just trying to wipe an opponent. Sometimes the low model count means you just can’t get to enough objectives and a flighty army can outscore you during the game[talking maelstrom type missions here]. If you keep trying to play their game you will definitely lose, but you might just pull out a win if you try and kill them all[cause 25% casualties moral checks etc]. Not easy, but sometimes it’s the only viable choice.
I really loved playing the 5 knights for a while, it’s quite a change of pace from pretty much any other army out there. There are subtleties to using the list but having them as or with allies is definitely the better way to run them.
The future of this army?
Well, I can’t wait to get a bunch of games in with my Cerastus Lancers. Their speed up the table, save in combat and multiple ways to deal with i4 or higher opponents will be great to experiment with. I’m also going to grab 2 Castigators 2 Archerons and one Magaera which should all be completed by the end of January. The completionist bent that was part of the reason I started collecting them has not been kind on the wallet, but it has lead to me to collecting a unique and imposing looking army while finally getting me to learn how to use an airbrush;)
now, how am I going to get them all to the LVO…..


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

19 Responses to “Knight Tactics by Pascal”

  1. Adam ( September 29, 2014 11:15 am #

    Damn it Pascal, you’re making me want to double up on my FW knights… Why can’t I just be happy with 1 of each. 🙁

    • Oscar September 30, 2014 3:02 am #

      I’m a bad bad man Adam:P[for some reason my account says oscar rather than Pascal, oh well…. it is my first name:)]

  2. mason September 29, 2014 11:21 am #

    Good article Pascal, Glad you are writing on here more.@Adam Because 3 with better then 2. Just like in the bedroom.

  3. Reecius September 29, 2014 5:16 pm #

    I really want to try the new Knights, myself.

    • Oscar September 29, 2014 6:19 pm #

      well, I’ll be popping by for a battle in martinez, you might get to try fighting some:P.

      dang it, I had some more photo’s coming, if anyones interested.

      • Reecius September 29, 2014 6:45 pm #

        Nice one! I will upload the photos.

      • TinBane September 29, 2014 6:52 pm #

        Those are awesome photos!
        Very pretty knights!!

  4. MItchell.k September 30, 2014 2:21 am #

    I must say playing this army (even with using an army for the first time) was a lot of fun. Personally I’d rather play this list then 90% of eldar lists.

  5. Lardus September 30, 2014 2:24 am #

    My only gripe with this army, is that it seems EVERYTHING is coming from FW. I don’t mind a few units from FW, but basically the entire army? I have my codex knights, but will not go FW anytime soon.

    • Oscar September 30, 2014 2:41 am #

      ohhhh, you’re missing out:P and all the rules are free so…it matters were the delicious mini’s come from?

      • Lardus September 30, 2014 3:57 am #

        Unfortunately it does matter. Price is a factor with my local currency tanking due to some Chaos Corruption in government-I think our President is a fallen Primarch. Also, we are limited to 2 sources for most organised play here. Don’t know if they will allow more than 1 FW unit per army. I don’t mind that the models come from FW as much, rather I would really have liked more rules/unit variations in the actual codex.

  6. William September 30, 2014 3:09 am #

    Got a castigator on the way. Once it gets here it is going in EVERY list.

  7. rexscarlet September 30, 2014 3:23 am #

    super secret knight tactics; buy 3-9 knights for a basic 40k game, move them into range.
    thus end lesson
    next week super secret Titan tactics…
    nice pics

    • Pascal Roggen September 30, 2014 2:09 pm #

      well, if that’s all you got from this article, I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll do a super in depth one, but it might be a little dry. Also, at 2k or less you can’t have more than 5 knights so… 9 is right out:P

      • rexscarlet October 1, 2014 4:43 am #

        lol, sorry for the snark, but besides Eldar, Knights are the new Pink, and then Captain Hindsight/Obvious tells players that. well…
        It used to be that SM were the norm/average/no tactics required army that could just be set-up on a table and hold their own, now it is Knights.
        Again, great pics and it is a good article.

  8. Massive Dynamic September 30, 2014 7:49 am #

    Thanks for the article, one of my favorit things to do is take out a knight with a squad of Fire Warriors.

    I have a question though. Why is 5 Knights acceptable but 3 Riptides and a Wraith Knight suddenly cheese?

    • Pascal Roggen September 30, 2014 1:20 pm #

      5 Knights have huge problems, it’s just strength 5 or less isn’t one of them:P.

      I brushed on it during the article but wraithknights are soo much better for the price, and sometimes… just much better. Also, they get backed up by things like wave serpents, which can deal with fliers and hordes. Also wave serpents are much faster moving and help to negate the lower model count.

      Riptides can intercept and sky fire, dealing with the other problem which plagues 5 knight armies, which is drop pod, or heavy reserve /deep strike list.

      monstrous creatures also don’t care which way they are facing thier weapons and gain cover by having a toe in a ruin etc.

      both riptides and wraith knights are a lot more manouverable than ik’s they can jump up floors of ruins, actually get on top of a fortification, jump over other units, or with riptides, jump shoot jump.

      a wraith knight can one shot other monstrous creatures from range, which a knight can not.

      tau+ eldar specifically are also less fluffy than 5 imperial knights:)

      but as always, your views on cheese may change depending on what you are used to. There are a lot more things about why 5 knights aren’t great but it’ll just end up a wall of text;P.

      here’s on basic list swap that might give you a picture
      5 knight errants, or
      3 knight paladins[or some of the FW choices] + 2 wraith knights + farseer on a jet bike + 2 min sized jet bike units.

      It’s kinda easy to see which is the way better list no?

      • Jural September 30, 2014 2:10 pm #

        Where Wraithknights have issues are D strength weapons, STR 8+”instant death” (basically force), remove from table (not a lot of that), or poison 2+ (if AP 3 or higher.) and there really isn’t a lot of that in the game.

        Knights have less of an issue with ranged D strength (only because that’s the obvious place to put your shield at!), and no problems with force, poison 2+, and fare better against remove from table. But they have to deal with melee D, melta, massed STR 6+ shooting, haywire, and issues with facing.

        But on it’s own, I think it’s hard to argue there is a better piece in the game than the Wraithknight. They are that good… Actually, the Wave Serpent may win that crown, lol… Luckily this isn’t Pokemon.

  9. mastercrafty October 29, 2014 2:07 am #

    Love the first pic. With BA dread.. “when I grow up… I want to be YELLOW!!”

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