Imperial Knights Review: Armiger Warglaive

Hey everyone, Reecius here with another Imperial Knights Review! This time, the Armiger Warglaive. Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews.

The Warglaives are the first step for many Knight pilots, and are a well balanced platform that provides speed, melee, ranged firepower and reasonable defense. Piloted by Bondsmen, they don’t have the prestige of fully fledged Knights but they are fearsome war machine nonetheless. Let’s take a look at what they have to offer!

I personally really like Warglaives. They’ve got a lot of positive qualities and you can simply add them to an Imperial List or build a list around them. Let’s look at some of the benefits they come with innately.

  • 14″ Movement
  • WS 3+ and BS 3+
  • Toughness 7, 3+, 5++ vs. shooting
  • 4 Strength 12, AP-3, 3 Damage attacks, or 8 Strength 6, AP-2, 1 Damage attacks
  • D3, 30″ Melta Gun shots with the possibility of taking another Melta Gun
  • 160pts base, 177pts with the extra Melta Gun
  • Ca be taken in squadrons of up to 3

That’s a lot to like, much as with their shooty cousins, the Helverins. You have a reasonably priced model that is very fast, has solid offense in the shooting and fight phases, and has reasonable defense, too. Not bad at all. Unlike the Helverins though, the Warglaives want to go hellbent for leather right up the gut and attack, so their tactics differ a bit. They need to close to melee to get maximum effect. They’re quite versatile in what they can do with the ability to take on models with lots of wounds or to wade through units with lots of models, but all of it wants you to be close to your target.


As we’ve established, Warglaives need to get up close and personal to maximize their damage output. Luckily, they’re very fast to help accomplish that goal. An obvious choice here to help in achieving that goal is to go with House Raven which allows you to advance and fire Assault or Heavy weapons with no penalty. Combine this with the Landstrider Warlord Trait on say a Knight Perceptor, and now your Warglaives are moving 14″+D6+2″ and still firing normally. That is a range of 17″ to 22″ which is crazy fast. If you don’t need to advance and shoot, you can take any Household and with Landstrider buffing them move 14″ + charge 2D6+2″ which again, is a massive threat range and means if you deploy on the line you have good odds of a first turn charge. Average dice gives you a 23″ total move which if they deploy on the line, too puts you in range to swing.

Speaking of which, Warglaives particularly want to hang out with a Knight Perceptor. The Re-rolls of 1 to hit massively benefits them as it does with Helverins, however the big difference being that the Perceptor has a similar weapon load-out so there is no conflict in ranges between the two units. They both want to close to close range and then engage in melee. He’s the obvious choice for some awesome buffs like the Landstrider Warlord Trait, and either the Sanctuary or Armour of the Sainted Ion relics. If you are playing a Questor Mechanicus Household (such as House Raven mentioned above) then the Helm Dominatus is absolutely amazing for this combo. With it he gives all of the Warglaives within 6″ +1 to hit against a chosen target in either the shooting or fight phase each Battle Round. This combined with him already giving them re-rolls of 1’s to hit means they go up to a whopping 97% accuracy for that phase. You either slag something with Melta weapons or beat the snot out of them in melee. It is a great combo that comes in a neat little package as together they all form a Knight Detachment and give you 3CP to boot.

If you wanted to run Questor Imperialis, the very strong Sally Forth! stratagem allowing you to outflank a unit of Knights works very well on Warglaives as each application of it means you get up to 3 of them coming in from a table edge in position to attack immediately with not chance of your opponent blasting them to bits before they get to do anything.

Regardless of which Household you go with you need to have a plan for getting these little beasties into melee range rapidly without getting shot up, first. They’re surprisingly small models and as such getting cover or even completely hiding is a realistic goal for them. Rely on their speed to get them where they need to be when you need them and with that speed, you can afford to deploy them conservatively to avoid getting alpha struck.


The Warglaives are spoiled for choice when it comes to Households that work for them. Let’s take a look at some of the standouts.

  • House Terryn: The Household Tradition is great to increase their advance and charge averages and pairs very well with Landstrider (which if you are using Warglaives you will likely want to have). Their strat is likewise great, allowing you to fight again in the Fight phase although realistically you will want to use this on a bigger Knight in many instances but having it in your pocket is great for when you need it.
  • House Griffith: This is a really strong choice for a detachment featuring Warglaives. +1 Attack when you charge or heroically intervene is amazing for these little guys as it means you get potentially 10 attacks a pop with the seep attack option. Against most screen units that is just death incarnate and you will walk through them. Their strat is decent for a Warglaive and will be most useful when taking on something like a Baneblade chassis vehicle to let you wound on 2’s but at 2CP may not be something you use often.
  • House Hawkshroud: Another very good choice. Their tradition allowing you to double your remaining wounds for the damage table means you have to go down to 3 wounds before anything happens to you. Very strong. Their stratagem is going to be put to better use on something like a Valiant but it can be quite good for that potential luck Melta hit in overwatch and of course, for the 2D6″ Heroic Intervention!
  • House Cadmus: re-rolling wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase against units with a wounds characteristic of 12 or less is obviously quite useful for Warglaives who can put out quite a few attacks. Their interception strat, while very good, is not one you will find yourself using all that frequently as it is far better applied on a bigger Knight. If for some reason you made a Warglaive your Warlord, their Warlord Trait of -1 damage in the fight phase is very strong.
  • House Mortan: Again, the melee buffs are just solid for Warglaives. +1 to hit on the charge/being charged/intervening is awesome, particularly when paired with a Perceptor for re-rolls of 1.
  • House Raven: As mentioned above, House Raven is very solid for the ability to move+advance+fire the Warglaives weapons at full effect. The house Raven Relic (re-roll hit rolls of 1 in the fight phase for House Raven models within 6″ of the bearer) is likewise quite good for Warglaives although I would not necessarily put it on a Warglaive. It gives you the ability to run say, a Gallant and have him act as a sort of quasi-Perceptor.
  • House Taranis: The 6+ FnP style save for their tradition is great for any Knight, Warglaives included, and the Taranis strat is likewise just flat out good ad it allows you to keep a Knight on the table after getting reduced to 0 wounds on a 4+ for 2 CP.
  • House Krast: Re-rolling hit rolls on the turn you charged, were charged or intervened is great for Warglaives as is the strat which gives you exploding 6’s to hit in melee, landing 2 for every 6, or 3 against Chaos. At 1 CP it is a steal.
  • House Vulker: While this is the “shooty” household, it is actually quite good for Warglaives. Their tradition, allowing you to re-roll hit rolls of 1 when shooting the closest enemy target will come in to play all the time as that is who Warglaives are typically firing at, anyway. And the strat which gives you exploding 6’s to hit in the shooting phase is not a bad application either as while the Warglaives don’t have a lot of shots, each one is a Melta gun so it gives you a lot when it kicks in. Now, that said, you are much better off using that on a Knight Castellan or Crusader, but in a pinch it’ll do.

Which house do you plan on using for your Warglaives?


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About Reecius

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

6 Responses to “Imperial Knights Review: Armiger Warglaive”

  1. Dakkath July 1, 2018 1:33 am #

    I want to see the math comparing a pair of warglaives vs a knight errant.

    • abusepuppy July 1, 2018 5:12 am #

      In shooting, the Warglaives are slightly superior in terms of raw output- their 2d3 total melta shots have essentially the same statline as the d6 shots from the Errant, but are more reliable in terms of overall fire. Against T8 targets the lower strength of the Warglaive’s gun means that the Errant will win out, but against typical vehicles they come out ahead. This is also true for anti-infantry shots, since they have two Stubbers to the Errant’s one.

      In melee it is a bit more complicated, as the profiles vary a bit more. T3 single wound targets, the Warglaives are better, hands down. The Errant tends to fare better against multiwound targets in general, since it can use its dancing feet to cause a lot of damage. Against a Rhino-equivalent, the Errant ends up doing ~12 wounds with its sword, whereas the Warglaives do ~9. Against single-wound Marines, the Errant kills about ~4 whereas the Warglaives edge it out with ~5 kills.

      So the straight by-the-numbers on it is pretty close, with each of them having a slight edge in one area or another but the Warglaives coming out a little better in shooting whereas the Errant tends to be a bit better in melee. However, the Errant has a lot of advantages that don’t come up in the math (for example, access to stratagems such as Chainsweep or Death Grip) and has the option to fall back from a fight where it rolls poorly in order to shoot and re-charge, whereas the Warglaives do not. However, the Errant also costs more points than the pair of Warglaives (albeit not by _that_ much), so we should probably expect it to be slightly superior.

      All in all, I’d say they are relatively balanced against each other overall, though I might favor the Errant by just a tad in the balance of things. But the Armiger chassis give the Knight codex something it otherwise lacked and I think the inclusion of 1-3 of them in a list can help the army a lot, so they’re well worth considering.

      • Reecius July 3, 2018 8:10 am #

        It really comes down to how you play them (as always, right?! haha)

        An Errant out of the box, so to speak, is probably going to serve you better. However, if you build for the Warglaives with a solid Household choice and perhaps a Perceptor to really crank them up to an 11, they become awesome.

        That said, I am sure you can find a combo list like that for Errants, too. Plus, it is easier to protect a single Errant, too with the buffs available but when he degrades it impacts you more than a single Warglaive degrading.

        It’s close enough that you can really go with whichever you like more, which is cool.

  2. Mush July 1, 2018 1:23 pm #

    Just a little mistake.

    “This is a really strong choice for a detachment featuring Warglaives. +1 Attack when you charge, are charged or heroically intervene”

    Griffith don’t get +1 attack when they are charged. Only when they charge or heroically intervene.

  3. SaXoN July 19, 2018 5:10 am #

    I’m planning on running a 1k of Knights in my half of a 2k doubles list. I’m going to take a Preceptor and 3 Warglaives, I’m thinking Hawkshroud for the House and land strider for the WL trait but after reading this would Griffith server me better as I plan to simply charge up the board ?

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