Monday, April 27, 2015

New Imperial Knights Incoming

Not long ago, we started getting rumors about new Imperial Knights: the Knight Warden and the Knight Crusader. Like the Knights Errant and Paladin, these Knight types existed in GW's small scale game, Epic 40,000. Although there are a few differences between the old Errants and Paladins and the new ones (e.g., the original Errants had giant power fists instead of chainswords), they're similar enough that it's been generally assumed that any future models will share certain features with the old ones.

The original Knights Warden and Crusader were both heavily armed, long-range Knights. Thus, it wasn't surprising when the rumormongers eventually gave us the following:
Crusader is armed with: Quake Cannon, TL Las-cannons
Warden is armed with: Volcano Cannon, Multi-barreled Autocannon
Both models have an optional top carapace missile launcher weapon mount, with multishot S8, AP3 anti-flyer capability
Both models are protected by a single energy field based heavily on the rules for the Stronghold Assault book’s Void Shield Generator.
Armor Values: Front:14 Side:13 Rear:13
Hull Points: 8
Both models clock in well above the cost of the Knight Paladin/Errant
As is now the norm, both Knights were supposed to be built from the same kit. Not long afterward, we were told that the kit would build a third Knight: the Knight Gallant. The Gallant doesn't appear to have an Epic counterpart.

Today, GW released their teaser for the Knights. Although the teaser only shows the new Knights in silhouette, we can guess a few things about them.

For starters, the legs, torso, and shoulder armor appear to be identical. Second, the new models can be equipped with weapons found on the Paladin and Errant. Both the rapid-fire battle cannon and the Reaper chainsword make an appearance. It's very likely that the new kit contains all the Paladin and Errant sprues plus at least one more sprue with new weapons.

Mystery Knight #1
Given that the Warden and the Crusader are supposed to be equipped for long-range combat, I'm going to guess that this one is the Knight Gallant:

The Reaper chainsword and the power fist show that this is primarily a close combat Knight, although the structure on its back is probably the missile launcher mentioned in the rumors. Its shape and location are nearly identical to the missile launchers found on larger Titans like the Reaver:

I'm very curious as to whether or not the power fist has special rules (perhaps it's AP1 versus the chainsword's AP2) or if it's just there to give the model an extra attack. If it's effectively identical to the chainsword (and assuming the kits are interchangeable), hobbyists who want to better distinguish their Errants from their Paladins could follow the pattern of the Epic models and equip the Errants with power fists.

Mystery Knight #2
This one is interesting since it's equipped with two new weapons that are difficult to identify. Obviously, its right arm is equipped with a standard rapid-fire battle cannon. However, its left arm has a large weapon with a complex shape on the end:

It's possible that this is the multi-barreled autocannon that the rumors mentioned, but I don't think the shapes are round enough to represent a rotary weapon. In fact, it looks like it could be the tip of the Volcano cannon, like the one carried by the Shadowsword:

That leaves us with the gun on the carapace:

It's difficult to tell what this is, but the rounded shapes and the loops at the top make me think that it could be a twin-linked or multi-barreled autocannon with ammunition drums and feeds.

It's worth nothing this model doesn't seem to match the rumors, which said nothing about the Crusader or Warden being able to carry the rapid-fire battle cannon.

Mystery Knight #3
Now we're really deviating from the rumors. Mystery Knight #2 may have a twin-linked/multi-barreled autocannon and a Volcano cannon, which would make it the Knight Warden. This Knight, however, doesn't match the rumor's description of either the Warden or the Crusader. It's armed with a missile launcher, the mystery arm cannon (possibly a Volcano cannon), and a power fist. If the model has twin-linked lascannons, they're hidden within the rest of the silhouette.

Given what we've been shown, I strongly suspect that Gallant, Warden, and Crusader are going to be very loose terms for the new Knights. Although the Epic Knights followed rigid patterns, the new fluff says that the weapons are actually interchangeable (GW even put tiny lifting lugs on the guns to suggest that they can be hoisted off their arm mounts) and that it's only by tradition that certain types of Knights carry certain weapons.

The GW teaser was probably meant to show the variety that the new/revised kit has and that those providing the rumors may only be aware of a couple of major builds. As for the missing Quake cannon, the only difference between the Volcano cannon-equipped Shadowsword and the Quake cannon-equipped Banesword models is literally a single piece at the tip of the cannon. It would be very easy for the Knight model to do the same.

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