Imperial Knight Review: Lord of War: Imperial Knight Warden

knight.warden.02From my personal collection of butt kickers – currently pretending to be Renegade until I get those done – cuz I have issues.

Welcome back to another glorious Goatboy review.  Today the subject is probably my favorite Imperial Knight – The Knight Warden.  It’s the best meat and potatoes of the Imperial Knights – it isn’t the best at assault and it doesn’t have the most devastating shooting but it can hurt everything on the table top.  

As usual you can read more reviews at the Frontline Tactics Corner.

The Knight Warden is considered to be the new “default” Knight choice for most armies.  Its basic load out of a melee D weapon plus a 12 shot Avenger Cannon makes it an overall good choice for most combats.  It can bust most vehicles, put out wounds on just about anything, and with the addition of Rending on the gun – 12 shots have a good chance to bust through even the most annoying 2+ saves.  Overall this guy is never a bad choice for any army looking to add a Lord of War.

This one is for a client.  Mo Dakka with hot swappable weapons.

The Knight Warden has the normal Knight load out of some kind of shooting weapon mixed with the Reaper Chainsword of D.  As a Super Heavy Vehicle it has all the cool rules you know and love – plus the game equalizer known as Stomp.  I have played with and against a ton of these guys ever since they came out and they are my favorite Lord of War load out.


– Avenger Gatling Cannon – 36″ Str 6 Ap 3 Heavy 12, Rending – this is the gun we were wanting when we saw the Imperial Knight kit.  It shoots a lot, can do a ton of damage to just about anything, and looks cool as hell.
– Heavy Stubber – 36″ Str 4 Ap 6 Heavy 3 – the Basic default pea shooter.  I have killed many a thing with this. Nickname – Heavy Chubber
– Meltagun – 12″ Str 8 Ap 1 Assault 1, Melta – Hey if you want to pay for an upgrade on the Knight you could always use this.
– Heavy Flamer – Str 5 Ap 4 Template – The bottom of the Avenger Gatling Cannon can even spit fire.  I like to use this to “target” another unit and allow the Imperial Knight to charge all over the place.
– Reaper Chainsword – Str D Ap 2 CCW – default D slapper
– Thunderstrike Gauntlet – Str D Ap 2 CCW, Colossal, Hurl – This weapon strikes at Initiative 1 but it can throw vehicles and MC’s.  I don’t think it is worth it and talk about it more in the Imperial Knight Gallant review where you have 2 CCW options.
– Ion Shield – When deployed and at the beginning of your opponent’s shooting phase you pick a side and the Knight has a 4+ Inv save versus shooting attacks on that side.  50% of the time it works all the time is what I heard.
– Carapace Weapon – Ironstorm Missile Pod – 72″ Str 5 Ap 4 Heavy 1 Large Blast, Barrage – I have used this before and found it useful to get those pesky Marker Drones and other options.  Barrage helps you pinpoint things and having a few could win you some games.
– Carapace Weapon – Stormspear Rocket Pod – 48″ Str 8 Ap 3 Heavy 3 – If you needed 3 Krak Missiles this isn’t a bad upgrade.
– Carapace Weapon – Twin Icarus Autocannon – 48″ Str 7 Ap 4 Heavy 2, Interceptor, Skyfire, TWL – I wish this had 4 shots but it just doesn’t seem worth it.  I think it ends up being better to just throw those 12 shots from the Avenger and hope for some 6’s.

If this Knight is your Warlord or Baron from one of the listed formations – they can have access to the Relics.  The current decent ones for this load out look at helping out the “leader” aspect from this load out.

– Mark of the Omnissiah – Grants the bearer It Will Not Die from the BRB.  At the end of your turn you can roll a 5+ to regain a Hull Point.
– Banner of Macharius Triumphant – All friendly unit within 12″ can reroll failed morale, pinning, and fear checks.  If army needs it this isn’t terrible but most armies do not need it.
– Sanctuary – Gives the knight a 6+ Ion shield saves on all other sides not covered by the initial field.  You can do some combos to get it down to a 5+ with some of the formations.


Special Rules:

This guy is a Super Heavy vehicle so he comes with a ton of rules.  Here is the basic break down of each one and what you have to “worry” about.

– Move through Cover – He isn’t slowed by difficult terrain, rolls 3d6 for moving through terrain and doubles the highest dice, and always passes dangerous terrain tests.  This Model goes where he wants to and you can’t say nothing about it cuz you ain’t it’s Dad.
– Fear – Big things are scary
– Hammer of Wrath – When a big Robot comes crashing into you it is going to hurt.
– Stomp – The bane of a lot of people’s life – the stomp can solve all problems.  Hey are you invisible – take a foot to the face.  Oh hey you have a 2+ FNP roll – SQUISH!
– Invincible Behemoth – They only take Hull points when penetrated or glanced unless you roll an explode result.  If so they take d3 Hull Points.  Also you can never lower it’s Armor Value.
– Catastrophic Damage – When this guy goes down – he blows up big.  Sometimes you an get lucky and have a D Template land one the jerk that killed it.   Other times you hurt your best friend you happen to be hanging around.  Yay dice right?
– It can shoot multiple targets with all its weapons.  It comes in handy when you want to punish a strong unit and still want to charge something weaker.  That Heavy Flamer helps out a lot and keeps all your options open.
– Relentless – It can shoot whatever it wants when it wants too.  And it doesn’t have to come home at Midnight because he is out of High School and is an Adult now!
– Smash/Strikedown – This doesn’t matter so much because it has a D CCW but some of the other Knight load outs don’t have the D Slapper so auto hitting at AP 2 in close combat is good.  Strike down does something – but I don’t think I have ever used it because most things are killed when they get involved with a Knight in CC.
– It moves 12″ and can’t fire overwatch as well.  Some formations allow them too – but at the default setting you don’t have to worry about getting flamed, chubbed, and shot 12 times with angry bullets.



The Knight Warden is part of all the formations listed in the new Imperial Knight book.  In fact as I stated early this load out is the best “basic” Knight we have and I expect to see it in just about every Knight based army.  Here are the initial Formations and how you would use this unit.

Exalted Court – 5 Knights and one becomes the “High King”.  Most of the 5 Knight armies have 4 Knight Wardens mixed with 1 Gallant to ensure you can fit all of them in a normal tournament army.  The addition of 2+ to their WS and BS for the High King and an addition +1 for all the other Knights means these guys Avenger Gatling Cannons are hitting like its 1999 and nothing can miss.

Baronial Court – 3-5 Knights with one being the Baron.  I will run this formation when throwing down with 3 Knights.  I used to like the initial Household Detachment but found Objective Secured was not nearly as good as having a +1 to the Ion Shield save on the Baron plus any Knight near the Baron.  There is a fun combo using the Green Knight as one of the Baronial Court and getting a 2+ Ion shielded Knight Errant running around.

Household Detachment – 3 Knights where one is the Lord Baron who gets a +1 to their BW and WS plus access to relics.  The Knight Warden makes a great Lord Baron with its gun that benefits the most from hitting on a 2+.  Getting Objective secured is cute but I found most games the extra survivability of the other Courts to be better.

Tripartite Lance – A combo of 3 of the new Knights into one unit.  The Knight Warden makes a good leader set up as he can easily put out a ton of wounds.  I talked about this pretty exclusively in the Knight Gallant review with a list in the Tactics section.

Skyreaper Lance – You can put in 3 Knights but you to take the Autocannon Carapace upgrade.  I don’t think I have ever seen this fielded.  You get to Reroll wounds and penetrations versus Flyers/Flying MCs.  I guess it could be ok if the new Flyer update does a lot for the game – I s till suspect will never see this formation.



This is the default Imperial Knight I always take when building any list that wants to utilize Imperial Knights.  I just love grabbing 12 dice, shaking them in my hand, and hoping I don’t miss with half of them.  I think its the Ork in me that just loves the idea of shooting so many bullets into the enemy.  I think this load out gives you the best of all worlds with decent Close combat ability in the 3-4 CC D, a Stomp as needed, plus decent shooting in the Chubber/Avenger/Heavy flamer combo.  I will add the Ironstorm Missile Pod as a Carapace upgrade to help give me every offensive option available.  

List ideas when utilizing the Imperial Knight Warden is the one I initially talked about with the Baronial Court plus Gerantius the Green Knight.  For those wondering, Gerantius is a Special Character Knight from the White Dwarf – he is a Character, has a 3+ Ion Shield save, can run and shoot his Melta Cannon (Basic Imperial Knight Errant load out), and even rerolls 1’s for his Stomps in Close Combat.  He seems pretty strong when mixed with a Baronial Court that gives a +1 to the Lord Baron’s Front Ion Shield save as well as any other Knight within 6″ of him.


Imperial Knight Formation: Baronial Court
Lord Baron – Imperial Knight Warden, Ironstorm Missile Pod
Imperial Knight Warden, Ironstorm Missile Pod

SM White Scars CAD
Techmarine, Bike, Conversion Beamer, The Hunters Eye
SM Bikes X 3, Grav Gun X 2
SM Bikes X 3, Grav Gun X 2
SM Bikes X 3, Grav Gun X 2
SM Bikes X 3, Meltagun X 2, Attack Bike, MM

This is a pretty basic Knight list with the combo addition of the Hunter’s Eye Touching you everywhere Tech Marine as well as enough Objectie secured to be a problem.  The Gravs are set up to help ensure different units are hitting at Initiative one if your Knights are charging in as well as being able to hurt just about any unit on the table top.  It has enough play and weapon options that it should give most basic lists problems. I really have enjoyed the Conversion Beamer Tech Marine as he helps touch your enemies all across the table top.

The other way I have seen the Warden used is the Exalted Court set up.  This is the one that I tied with at the LVO and find it too be a very rough list for specific army builds.  It just shoots so dang much with everyone hitting on a  2+ and covering your enemy in bullet holes.


Formation: Exalted Court
The High King aka Mr Fat Pants – Knight Warden, Sanctuary
Knight Warden
Knight Warden
Knight Warden
Knight Gallant – aka the Sacrificial Lamb.

This list is pretty basic – it runs 5 Knights that run around, shoot lots of things, and then get into combat and hope they roll a ton of 6’s.  The biggest issue is you have to make sure to not get blocked in when playing versus drop pods, or having “rough” terrain that makes it hard to get involved and shooting the bad guys.  Imperial Knights are one of those armies that have very specific match ups that end up being so hard for an opponent to overcome.  Then they have the match ups that show a Knight or two dying every single turn.

I find the Warden as a good addition even as a single Lord of War for most armies.  If you needed some decent shooting this guy isn’t a terrible buy.  We all know how good Stomp can be as a means to deemphasize the power of a death star by showing the pain of a Stomp or two.  I’ve run 2 in a lot of lists utilizing the Oathsworn detachment as while I would usually like 3 within one of the powerful formations – it just doesn’t always work out and give me what I need in the Ally/CAD I am trying to add in.  Still 2 will kick a lot of butt and having 24 shots getting thrown out at your enemies is a great way to ensure your more important units stay alive and kicking.

Overall like I said early this is exactly what I want in a big mean ole robot running around on the table top. It has the exact weapon load out I always wanted when the initial Knight came out and the set up is perfect addition to most armies.  You get a decent shooting platform mixed with a strong assault/anti assault element.  I am so thankful this basic load out is now useable by the Chaos Space Marines.  I just wish I had some of these formations I could smash together with the new Sorcerer Cabal and other Daemonic friends.

As always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day!



7 Responses to “Imperial Knight Review: Lord of War: Imperial Knight Warden”

  1. Dakkath May 6, 2016 6:49 am #

    For that exalted court, the gallant has a niche in charging pods and chucking them with the gauntlet.

  2. Pascalnz May 6, 2016 6:56 am #

    Sanctuary also grants another ion shield save. The equipment is listed as an ion shield full stop, then it goes on about 6 + invuln. Ion shield is a piece of equipment and nothing stops you from having two.

    • Novastar May 6, 2016 8:30 am #


    • Somerandomidiot May 6, 2016 10:12 am #

      Frontline has ruled that it does not actually grant a second shield save, fortunately.

  3. SomeCallMeTim May 6, 2016 12:23 pm #

    Strikedown have been changed in the FAQ:

    Q: The Strikedown rule states that attacks with it cause the enemy unit to move as though through difficult terrain. Does this carry over onto a Super-heavy Walker’s guns?
    A: Strikedown only applies to the Super-heavy Walker’s Stomp attacks.

    Nice buff, all things considered.

  4. Arabviking May 8, 2016 3:11 am #

    When you suffer explode, it is d3+1hull points, not just d3.

    • AbusePuppy May 9, 2016 12:39 am #

      It’s d3 hull points in addition to the one from the penetrating hit.

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