Codex Imperial Knights – A Review

warhammer-40000-logoBeing a very lucky boy, I got to review the Imperial Knight kit. So, it seemed only right and fair that I took at look at Codex Imperial Knights as well. Sure is tough being me some days…

Knight-codex-coverCodex Imperial Knights is the most original codex from the Games Workshop since the introduction of the Tau back in third edition even if the content isn’t entirely original. It’s a welcome to change to be looking at something not only fresh but a facet of the Imperium that hasn’t ever been fully explained until now. That’s not to say the book doesn’t have the usual vagaries one has come to expect from the background but the ambiguity is what allows for variety on the table. Although there is perhaps less vagueness than normal in this codex. I think it’s got everything to do with the fact that the Imperial Knights occupy a very unique position within the Imperium and that needed to be explained carefully lest gamers get the wrong end of the stick.

As with all of the new codices it looks gorgeous with stunning artwork and the livery of the Knightly houses rendered in all their glory. And like most of the new codices it’s an interesting read. Whilst it’s a thin book it possesses a wealth of background about the Knights, the houses and their loyalties. It’s also an interesting twist that they seem to exist within the Imperium yet apart. They have their own laws and codes of conduct that can often lead to two houses going to war with one another. Despite the obvious loss of men and material the Imperium and the Adeptus Mechanicus seem largely fine with it. Which is amusing if not odd.

It also hints a lot about the rivalry between the Imperium and the Adeptus Mechanicus. There’s all sorts of stuff in the background and Horus Heresy books about how the Emperor engineered events so the Machine Cult would come into being, and the nice reference from Mechanicum, all go a long way to do more than the usual hints we’re used to in this book.

The rest of Codex Imperial Knights isn’t so much a let down as predictable. There’s a lot of photos. Granted they’re all way cool but 16 pages of photos in a 64 page book seems a little much. And then there’s the two entry army list. Whilst, at present, there’s only the option to build the Errant and the Paladin we know Forge World are releasing the Lancer, and there are other Knight variations. I don’t think it would have been a huge ask to include the rules for those. Hell, even if they don’t release the other variants, we’re an industrious bunch – we can and will do conversions.

That aside, there’s plenty to gush over in the Codex as well. The timeline is nicely done with lots of nice references. The galaxy map is gorgeous and it’s quite fun identifying which Knight Houses would most likely fight with which Space Marine chapters based on location. I was slightly disappointed when I found out the one nearest Ultramar painted their Knights blue. Oh for a little contrast…

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As for the Imperial Knights army list (such as it is) there’s plenty to get excited about. The special rules for one thing. The list includes Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Move Through Cover, Relentless, Smash & Strikedown. Knights also get to stomp, their Reaper Chainsword gets the Destroyer special rule and to really rub salt into the wound of non-Imperial players…it also has the Invincible Behemoth special rule making it even harder to kill on top of its Ion Shields. And decent armour.

The fact that you can field them as allies or as a force in their own right is awesome the latter being done because it’s an amazing idea. Sure the Games Workshop will make a pretty penny from anyone doing it but 4 Knights is, depending on variant, comes in at 1500 points. And that right there would be a lot of fun.

I also like the fact that the Imperial Knights are allies of convenience with Grey Knights. I like to think that their mind wiping habits makes the Grey Knights dishonourable to the Knightly houses. It isn’t that, I just like to pretend.

Oh, and the Imperial Knights get Warlord Traits. Just in case they weren’t bad ass enough…

Codex Imperial Knights is a great read. Aside from the ability to take bonkers warmachines of bonkerishness (that may not be a word) it provides enough new fluff to be worth having in its own right. But the fact that it does give you the ability to field bonkers warmachines of bonkerishness just makes it all the sweeter.

Codex Imperial Knights is available from Firestorm Games priced £22.50.

Imperial Knight – A Review

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It’s been a little while since I’ve reviewed anything for the Grim Dark Future of the 41st Millennium so this article is a bit of a treat as I’m taking a look at the awe-inspiring Imperial Knight kit. I’ve always felt very fortunate to do what I do but some days I really have to pinch myself…

For those that either (A) aren’t old enough or (B) haven’t been in the hobby long enough, Imperial Knights made their debut in Epic, the 5mm game of awesomeness that has sadly fallen by the wayside along with all the other specialist games. The Knights filled an ill-fitting hole in the military offering of the Imperium being neither a Titan, nor a platoon of armour. Instead they were a kind of sucky middle ground that were often used as a distraction for the Mega Gargants that were also included in the Titan Legions boxset. The Knight Paladins looked a little something like this…

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Now they look like this…

Knight_Paladins_40kI mean look at it! It’s massive. Whilst I lament the demise of Epic Armageddon as much as any gamer as seasoned as I, or as someone who appreciates an amazing rule set, I have to full conceded that the 40k scale Knight is amazing. I wasn’t sold on the idea originally, although I totally called it when rumour of an Imperial large kit was in the offing all those months ago. I thought it was going to be a glorified Dreadknight. Nothing to really write home about. I rarely enjoy being wrong but on this occasion I briefly considered getting t-shirts made.

It looks gorgeous. Now there’s been some nonsense floating around about how GW ripped off the Cygnar warjack design to which I have this to say: the Knight model was there first. Whilst a dramatic evolution from the old models shown above, the hallmarks are all there. Plus it’s just superior in just about every way possible to a warjack model (no disrespect to Privateer). That’s not me Warmachine bashing. It’s better than most models I can think of beyond boutique resin models that occupy a league of their own.

Absolutely everything about the kit screams careful consideration. Not just how the model goes together, which is very clever and in some aspects resembles more an Airfix kit than toy soldiers, but the look and simple posability. Granted it loses something by the legs not being even slightly posable. This does mean that short of attacking your £80 kit with a saw your Knight is going to look largely like any other. However, the way arms and head all go together means that you can still tell a story or strike a roguish pose. And that’s pretty important.

The other significant detail is how very un-40k it is. Now bear with me on this. The Knights are an STC from the first expansion of man. They are older than just about any other fighting machine, suit or armour or weapon in the Imperium. Some have been painstakingly maintained over 15,000 years and so the design aesthetic and the technology level is different. Not vastly but enough that it’s noticeable. Enough that you look at the Knight and can see it’s an entirely more elegant construct than a Warlord Titan or even a Warhound.

It’s all beautiful curving armour plates and simple (but not crude) manufacture for longevity. And the detail is just the best. Everything about the model is stunning. The face plates, the weaponry, even the handles and grip rails that are totally unnecessary but fit right in. My own two – no really – gripes are the battle cannon is a bit bland. I suspect it was designed to look like a lance and it just looks like a slim-line acme cannon. I don’t hate, but I don’t love it and helped me make the decision to build my Knight as an Errant. The other is that some parts of the build are a bit fussy which could be helped if the instructions didn’t suck out loud. The visuals are poor and the close-ups are blurry versions of the main images and so are pointless.

However, it isn’t the most complicated kit in the world so with a bit of careful thought and trying pieces before gluing them you should be fine. One would hope. With careful gluing you can keep quite a lot of movement in the arms just to make things more fun and with some very careful cuts and the strategic placing of magnets you can quite possibly build it to switch out the weapons.

On the board it’s a beast. Weighing in between 370 & 375 points depending on your weapon of choice, it’s a toughie with armour 13 at the front and 12 at the sides and rear with 3 hull points on top. And if that weren’t enough the Ion Shield affords it an invulnerable save. Throw in some handy special rules and some horrendous weaponry and you’ve got yourself a party.

The weaponry is equally tasty. As I mentioned, the options are either a two shot battle cannon – which is nothing to be sniffed at, or a turbo charged melta weapon with more strength and a large blast. Both have merits and your regular opponents will most likely dictate your choice. I opted for the latter mainly from a design point of view, but as I have plenty of opponents with vehicles or multiple wounds, splatting them with a melta gun of doom followed by the fooking great chainsword of destruction is too good an opportunity to pass up. And speaking of the FGCOD, it’s just madness. It has strength D so will pretty much auto annihilate anything it touches. The interesting scrap would be a Knight verses a Warhound. The Knight weighs in a significantly fewer points and would have to endure the torrent of  Vulcan Mega Bolter shots but providing it got into base to base with the Titan I can see the Knight chopping its leg off and then beating the Titan to death with it.

Failing that, take two.

The Imperial Knight is a superb model. It’s not cheap and it’s not the easiest model to build but I can think of at least 5 kits from Forge World that fall into the same category and they’d cost you more. And this you’ll actually use. It’s an indulgence. A gift to you from you. And it’s absolutely bad ass on the board. Not indestructible by any means and it’s the proverbial bullet magnet but it’ll look ace whilst it gets shot to shit. It’s a triumph for Games Workshop and I don’t say that often. Is it worth the money? Honestly? Yes. I’d happily buy another. And another.

The Imperial Knight is available from Firestorm Games priced £76.50.

More Leaked 40k Imperial Knight Images

The Imperial Knight really does look a bit awesome. And it’s release, judging by the cover shot below, is imminent. Spare underwear at the ready…

There’s a WIP shot of the kit below as well which gives you an idea of the scale, the posability of the model as well as the big shooty bang bang-ness of the weapons. And the copious amounts of air that you’ll trap inside the model once it’s built.WD-4-cover knight-100 knight-101 knight-102 knight-103

Warhammer 40k Imperial Knight Teaser

With just 5 days for us to take out small loans, rinse our credit cards, raid our children’s piggy banks or steal their new shoe money the Games Workshop have released a teaser trailer for the new Imperial Knight.

As per usual it shows feck all and gives us know indication of price but, hey, it’s gotta a pretty crest.

Imperial Knight Images Leaked

The rumours surrounding the Imperial Knights have been kicking around for ages. Since the rumours of the new Codex Space Marines start floating around in fact. Even to the extent that the rumours were pointing towards the Knight being in the Codex. As you know, we don’t get involved with rumours on The Shell Case so we’ve been waiting for some form of confirmation that the Knights are coming out. And now we have it.

I gotta say: they look pretty cool but also kinda like Warjacks…just saying. It is nice to see the Knights back in the 40k Universe. I had dozens of them back in my Epic/Titan Legion days. The recreation has been largely faithful which is kinda nice, but it’s good to see they’ve moved the design on.

I’m just braced for the price. Because it’s going to be a lot.

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