Imperial Knights Review: Armiger Helverin

Hey everyone, Reecius here to talk about the new Imperial Knights unit, the Armiger Helverin! Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for more great articles and reviews.

The new Imperial Knights Armiger unit, the Helverin is a solid addition to any Imperial army. Now that you can help fill out a Super Heavy detachment with them for 3 CP thanks to the recent Imperial Knights FAQ (although you still need at least 1 Titanic Knight in there), they’re a lot more appealing than they already were. These outrider Knights support their bigger cousins and act as skirmishers and an opportunity to learn for new Knight pilots, often under the supervision of a Knight Perceptor.

Let’s jump in and take a look at what makes them good and look at some tactics for making the most of them.

What do they do?

Beyond looking awesome, the unit sports some pretty impressive stats at a very reasonable price point. Let’s look at some highlights:

  • Unit size 1-3, each Helverin becomes an individual units after being set up on the battlefield
  • 170 points base, +4pts for the Heavy Stubber as your cheapest load-out but can take a Melta Gun
  • 14″ movement
  • Toughness 7, 12 wounds, a 5++ save vs. ranged weapons with their Ion Shield
  • WS and BS of 3+
  • No penalty for moving and shooting their heavy weapons
  • Solid firepower with 2 Armiger Autocannons: 60″ range, Heavy 2D3, Strength 7, AP-1, 3 Damage
  • Decent melee with 4 strength 6 attacks, hitting on 3’s.

That’s a LOT to be excited about! Speed, reasonable durability, hitting power. Checks pretty much all the bases. So what are the challenges in using them? It can be pricey to put them on the table if you want to also get CP and Household bonuses. However, there’s pretty much an inbuilt list building strategy which is to take a single Knight Preceptor with them and as many Helverins as you please so long as you have at least 2 units of them to unlock the 3 CP. If you’re not overly concerned with the CP, you can just look to pick them up in other detachments in your army and focus solely on the Helverins.


Using them is fairly straight forward for basic on the table tactics. They want to skirmish, staying out of your opponent’s threat ranges and hammering vulnerable units with their considerable firepower. 4D3, 3 damage shots a pop is no joke. If you’ve got that Knight Percetpor, too, they’re re-rolling 1’s to hit bumping their accuracy up to 78%. That makes them quite deadly to a wide variety of targets, particularly heavy infantry like Bullgryn or Plague Drones which are prevalent in the meta at present, and also to heavier targets such as Magnus or T7 vehicles. If you can snag mission objectives while doing this, all the better! It’s easier to accomplish this when you have units playing aggressively, getting in your opponent’s face and forcing them to deal with them, leaving your hard to reach Helverins as lower priority targets.

It really is that simple with these guys on a basic level, lol. Run and gun and use your superior range and speed to stay out of harm’s reach as best as possible. Beyond that though, let’s dig into the nitty-gritty of looking for combos and ways to force multiply the Helverins.

We’ve already touched on the rather obvious Knight Perceptor combo. However, it bears mentioning that there are some inherent challenges in pulling this one off and that is namely that the Perceptor has relatively short range compared to the Helverins at 36″ vs. 60.” In order to really make it work, you’re going to want to get into optimal threat range for the Perceptor as well which means you will likely have to screen them as Helverins do not want to be in melee. If anything tags them, they aren’t shooting the next turn as they do not have the Super-heavy Walker special rule. If you go this route, strongly consider going with a Questor Mechanicus Household as you can then take the amazing Helm Dominatus relic which gives you the ability to choose an enemy unit within 24″ and all of your Armigers that fire on that target gain a +1 to hit which again, if near the Perceptor giving them a re-roll of 1’s to hit means you jump up to a ludicrous 97% accuracy! That’s a nasty combo but requires you to get up close so think about how you will keep your Helverins safely out of melee and firing away to pull it off turn after turn.

Alternatively, if you go Questor Imperialis, you can opt to use the awesome Sally Forth! strat to outflank a unit of up to 3 Helverins. This is fantastic as for 3 CP you get to keep three of your Helverins off of the table to have perfect alpha strike defense. So long as you can keep a space open for them to come on to the table, you are assured to get at least 1 round of shooting out of them. This is a great way to play them, particularly if you just want to take Helverins without investing much into supporting them. It’s a fairly self-contained and very effective strategy.


Regarding which Households benefit Helverins, they all have something to offer but the standouts in my mind are the following.

  • Hawkshroud: Largely ignoring the damage table to keep firing at full effect is incredibly useful. You have to go down all the way to 3 wounds before you degrade the first time and then to your last wound for the bottom tier. If you do decide to make a Helverin your Warlord, their Warlord Trait is also solid, giving you +1 to hit vs. a specific target all game long.
  • Griffith: Is not the most optimal choice but their stratagem Dragonslayer is solid for a Helverin. +1 to wound means you will be wounding most 10 wound+ targets on 3’s instead of 4’s which makes you far more reliable in taking them out.
  • Cadmus: Like Griffith, not the most beneficial but has some good combos. Their strat allowing you to intercept is very good for establishing board control, and their relic giving you ignores cover is also solid.
  • Mortan: Their strat allowing you to ignore modifiers when shooting is fantastic for a Helverin who with it can make short work of units that can be very difficult to take out such as Alaitoc flyers, Nurgle units, etc. Their Warlord trait is also very good (again, assuming you actually make a Helverin your Warlord) is quite good as they will almost always be at more than 18″ away from the enemy making that -1 to hit very efficient.
  • Raven: Has a lot to offer Helverins. The ability to advance and still fire normally is awesome as it takes the already zippy Helverins and makes them super fast. Combo this with the awesome Landstrider Warlord Trait and your Helverins will be going between 17″ and 22″ a turn while still firing at full effect! That’s starting to approach flyer levels of speed and means very few targets will be able to hide from you. Their strat, Order of Companions, while a bit pricey for a Helverins, is quite good. Re-rolling 1’s to hit, wound, damage and umber of shots is no joke. Lastly, the Warlord Trait is quite good for helverins as they are more likely to draw AP-1 firepower and this makes you proof against that.
  • Taranis: The 6+ FnP style save is always good, and their strat that keeps a Knight on the table on a 4+ after it dies is obviously just good in general. Lastly, the Warlord Trait to get an additional -1 AP on a 6+ to wound for Armigers is very useful if you opt to go for it.
  • Krast: Generally speaking not an optimal choice but if you decide to make a Helverin your Warlord, their trait and relic are very solid giving you re-rolls of 1 to hit and increaseing your already impressive damage by +1 vs targets with a wounds characteristic of 10+ or +2 vs. Titanic models. Not always useful but when it is it makes that Helverin seriously deadly.
  • Vulker: Re-rolls of 1 to hit vs. the closest target is great for Armigers and one of the most obviously useful Households. Their stratagem is likewise very good for them, giving you 2 hits for every 6 to hit rolled. The Warlord Trait is very good for a Helverin as well, as being T7, ignoring 1’s, 2’s and 3’s to wound will kick in a lot more frequently than it will for a T8 Knight.

For my money, Hawkshroud, Raven and Vulker are the most appealing. The increased durability of Hawkshroud is amazing and the ability to just outflank 3 of them is very useful. Raven is fantastic and my personal favorite for a Helverin force. It really benefits from taking a Perceptor as well as you can then use the Helm Dominatus as described above, and then opt for the Landstrider Warlord Trait for a crazy fast, accurate Knight Lance. If you need to, you can use the Machine Spirit Resurgent strat to keep a wounded Helverin operating at max efficiency. And of course, if you pair with Mechanicus, you can repair them on the fly, too. Lastly, Vulker gives you the ability to re-roll 1’s to hit without any other buffs which is great, and with the Helverin’s speed you can often position yourself to get it to kick in on the units you want.

What is your favorite way to play Helverins?


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About Reecius

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

19 Responses to “Imperial Knights Review: Armiger Helverin”

  1. Avatar
    Colinsherlow June 24, 2018 8:40 am #

    Curiouse about the rule of 3 here. Is that 3 units or just 3 models because they act separatly once dropped?

    So could I have say 3 units of 3?

    • Avatar
      John Palmer June 24, 2018 1:12 pm #

      3 units of 3 – you can’t duplicate a *datasheet* more than three times, but even though they split into seperate units, you buy 3 as one datasheet, for a total maximum of 9. Same as how Guard could bring 31 Leman Russes if you somehow had the points to do that.

  2. Avatar
    Michael June 24, 2018 9:11 am #

    Hey Reece,

    nice work 🙂 will be there an article about the warglaives soon? cause i rly like to run at least 2 of them. or are they not as good as the rangeguys? 😀

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 25, 2018 11:31 am #

      I am working on the Warglaives, next. And thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

      I think they are really good, Frankie thinks the Warglaives are the secret sauce.

      People are already winning events with the new Knights in Imperial armies so you have loads of options.

  3. Avatar
    WestRider June 24, 2018 2:06 pm #

    These guys have me really excited, both in terms of mobile firepower (cue Predator Destructors sobbing in the background) and modeling possibilities. I want to make them look all speedy and agile compared to the more solid and plodding Questoris Knights.

    Your individual House analyses seem to be kind of reaching to me by including the Warlord Trait possibilities, tho. Armigers just seem way too fragile to use as a Warlord. They’re stuck right in that nasty spot where they don’t have the mass of Wounds that a true Super Heavy does, but they can’t benefit from Character protection either.

    • Avatar
      Dakkath June 25, 2018 5:00 am #

      Knights can give warlord traits to additional models via stratagem.

      • Avatar
        WestRider June 25, 2018 1:41 pm #

        Right. Still not used to that.

        • Reecius
          Reecius June 25, 2018 1:45 pm #

          Yeah, it’s not an optimal choice but worth talking about as it is a possibility.

          • Avatar
            WestRider September 14, 2018 10:27 am

            Since I semi-randomly ended up back here, I thought I might as well point out that, upon reading the Dex for myself, I found that the Exalted Court Stratagem specifies Questoris or Dominus class Knights, so it can’t be used on Armigers.

  4. Avatar
    Rolomcfury June 24, 2018 8:32 pm #

    I see a lot of folks hyping these Helverins up… without actually running the numbers. On paper, that damage 3 gets people excited, but the AP -1 along with the cost of them really take away from the potential value.

    Against a T7/3+ save target, they dole out 4.22 wounds per turn without a buff… which is unimpressive for 174 points. Their durability (for their cost) also leaves a lot to be desired, getting felled by an average of about 20 plasma shots or 36 autocannon shots, which is not great for 174 points.

    Having said that, it’s tough to put a price on that insane 14″ speed, which is not to be underestimated. The most powerful buff they can pull is the Raven stratagem (boosting damage output by more than 50%), but I’d much rather be using that on a bigger Knight for maximum value. Maybe one of these could work with some House Raven Gallants?

    • Avatar
      Lemondish June 25, 2018 7:39 am #

      You can outrange both.

    • Avatar
      Smotejob June 25, 2018 8:00 am #

      Agree. Most of the time against t7 it will just do 3 wounds, sometimes 6, rarely more. Not bad, not great.

      But what they can do is grab objectives around the board while firing.

      They are good candidates for targeting things with a 3++ or 4++ as any additional ap will be wasted. Also… That 3 wounds is good against custodes, paladins, ogryns, demons, etc. Kill 2 custodes in a turn and they are on their way to paying for thselves.

  5. Avatar
    BM June 25, 2018 10:05 am #

    really….but u evaluate a model cause he cant damage properly r7? R7 is NOT the most common r in the game, think about all those r6 fast veichles (De) just inflict 6 wounds (2 failed saves is not uncommon) and it is degraded and hit on 4+, that can change the outcome of their next fire phase, couple less of disintegrator/dark lance hits, can impact the game.

    • Reecius
      Reecius June 25, 2018 10:13 am #

      Yeah, I was just about to say the same thing. How often do you actually see T7? I barely ever see it. Most vehicles that are actually played in the game are T6 or lower, or are T8. Most monsters you actually see are T6 baring Tyranids, too. I don’t think it is an issue, personally but if you do play in a Rhino heavy meta or what have you then perhaps these aren’t the best choice.

      • Avatar
        Smotejob June 25, 2018 11:28 am #

        Many of the T7 units just tend to be not very points efficient. (Rhino, chimera, dreadnought…)

        One of the more durable t6 units out there is the Grey Knight Dreadknight.. often sporting a 2+/3++. These are good for targeting those. Two helvrins have a decent chance at taking one down in a turn, but will likely leave it on its last tier. That is their demographic. T6 monsters/vehicle.

        • Reecius
          Reecius June 25, 2018 11:29 am #

          Agreed. They are best for taking on things like Bullgryn, Plague Drones, Venoms/Raiders, many flyers, Sentinels, etc.

      • Avatar
        AbusePuppy June 25, 2018 5:24 pm #

        I dunno about you, Reece, but I see T7 all the time. Hellhounds are T7. Plagueburst Crawlers are T7. Hammerheads and Riptides are T7. Wave Serpents are T7. Talosii are T7 (because there’s gonna be a Haemo nearby.) Hive Tyrants and Carnifexes are T7. Morty and Magnus are T7. Kastellans and Dune Crawlers are T7.

        There are a lot of powerful and widely-encountered T7 models out there; it’s still the default toughness for almost all monsters and vehicles, or at least those that aren’t Titanic.

  6. Avatar
    Djbobafett September 14, 2018 7:48 am #

    Are they 170pts EACH or hey are 170 points together?

  7. Avatar
    Christopher August 9, 2019 12:53 am #

    If you are doing death guard then Helverins can be used as chaos war dogs.i recommend this because death guard tend not to have much long range. So pairing w of these with a plague burst crawler/Defiler would make an excellent anti-character/monster

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