New Imperial Knights Bondsman Abilities 40k Rules

New-imperial-Knights-chaos-rulesThe new 40k Imperial Knights Bondsman Abilities rules will let some of your engines provide bonuses to other ones nearby!

We’ve seen a decent number of rules already, but this will improve the power of your smaller knights, which sometimes do feel a little underwhelming. So, with this and the chivalric abilities, the smaller knights might really be hitting hard. 

Warhammer Community unveiled the newest rules, but we’ll also take a look at the rules we’ve seen so far. Let’s get into it!

Imperial Knights Chivalric Abilities Confirmed by GW

Imperial Knights Chivalry

For a true scion of a Knight world, victory only matters if the code is upheld –  even against the treacherous Dread Households. If every unit in your army has the IMPERIAL KNIGHTS keyword,* and they’re all from the same Household (or FREEBLADES, who come and go as they please), then when building your army you must swear two different Oaths, chosen from a pool of four. 

Each Oath comes in four parts: a Pledge, a Troth, and two Chivalric abilities.

Fulfill your Pledges, and you’ll earn Honour points throughout the battle. You begin with one point, giving you access to Honoured abilities, but work your way up to five (or six) points and your Knights will gain powerful Virtuous abilities as their chivalry shines through.

Basically, you either gain or lose points every turn based on if you can finish the quest. The more honor you have, the better abilities your army has access to.

Refuse No Challenge Oath

Imperial Knights Chivalry 2This could be hard to actually gain value on because you have to kill two separate units in melee to actually get the point. However, as long as you don’t fall back, you’ll be sticking on that one point pretty easily.

Imperial Knights Chivalry 3This is the payoff for keeping it. If you have 1-4 points, you get +1 to your hit roll, if you have 5 or 6, you get to reroll all your advance and charge roles, so pretty sweet.

Defend the Realm Oath

Imperial Knights Chivalry 4

Those who take an Oath to Defend the Realm must secure the Imperium’s territories, and so Pledge to control more objectives than the enemy. Conversely, the Troth kicks in if you cede an objective, costing you an Honour point if you end the turn with fewer objectives than you started it with. 

first knightClick Here To Get The New First Knight Miniature Bundle!

This is easier to lose points than the one above, but also, can be easier to get more value as well.

Imperial Knights Chivalry 5

Safeguard your objectives long enough, and you’ll activate Duty and Honour – a Virtuous ability that makes you even harder to dislodge by giving your whole army Objective Secured. Models that already have that ability, such as Armigers, count as three extra models when determining control.

Considering you don’t have that many models, getting better ObSec is always a plus for this army!

Imperial Knights Knightly Teachings 40k Rules Revealed!

knightly teachings

The Knight Preceptor strives to set an example for younger comrades – as such, it has the MENTOR keyword, and can pick three Knightly Teachings from a list of six. Each Preceptor can recount up to two of its teachings in your Command phase, rolling a D6 for each – on a roll of 3+, that teaching was inspiring enough to light a fire in the souls of their ARMIGER-CLASS squires.

Once you’ve instructed an ARMIGER-CLASS ally within 12”, it can perform an action even while staying mobile and laying down withering fire – perfect for securing crucial Secondary Objectives without missing a beat.

Considering you don’t have many units, being able to still shoot with them and do actions is a big deal. We expect this to be taken a lot if you actually want to score points.

The Warrior’s Hope

knightly teachings 2

This teaching permits a nearby ARMIGER-CLASS unit to benefit from the Chivalric abilities for an Oath of your choice – why not ask an Armiger Warglaive to Refuse No Challenge for a bonus to its charge rolls and melee hit rolls? You’ll still need enough Honour points to qualify for those abilities, but you won’t gain the Oath’s Pledge or Troth, so you can act without fear of disgrace.

If you want all your Armigers to take advantage of your oaths, this is the way to go, especially considering 12″ is a pretty big range.

The Virtue of Courage

knightly teachings 3

While reciting this inspiring lesson, the MENTOR’s encouraging aura causes nearby ARMIGER-CLASS allies to land an extra strike on all hit rolls of 6. This potent benefit synergises wonderfully with the newly-upgraded reaper chain-cleavers, giving your squires eight hit rolls with the Sweep profile – and up to 16 total hits!

Getting extra hits is never a bad thing! While you don’t get a ton of shots with this army, each extra hit is really going to make a big difference.

New Imperial Knights Bondsman Abilities 40k Rules Revealed!

knights Bondsman Abilties

Bondsmen abilities are a system of battlefield patronage – or “domineering neural implants”, depending on how you want to look at it – in which fully-fledged Knights command the lowlier combat walkers. Each variety of QUESTORIS-CLASS Knight has its own Bondsman ability,* allowing it to direct a nearby ARMIGER-CLASS ally toward specific tasks.

While we don’t have the full picture yet, these sound like they could be pretty strong! Even something simple like a +1 to saves, strength, or movement could come in pretty clutch!

Crusader's duty bondsman

Applied at the right moment, these abilities can give your supporting Knights the boost they need to claim victory – while keeping them safe from your dishonourable foes. The Knight Crusader, for example, can use Crusader’s Duty to improve the Ballistic Skill of a nearby squire, such as an Armiger Helverin.

Speaking of potentially clutch bonuses, +1 BS is actually huge! A 3+ becoming a 2+ is massive, especially when you have a greater number of shots being pumped out by the model.

Bondsman abilities are deadly enough when used by a regular Noble – but they become truly devastating when an Exalted Court marches to war. Battle-forged armies may promote any QUESTORIS-CLASS or DOMINUS-CLASS CHARACTER into a member of an Exalted Court, granting it an array of game-changing abilities to bring to bear on the battlefield.

If you do upgrade them into an Exalted Court, you can use their Bondsman one more time, meaning double the impact of the ability, by giving it to an additional model! When a list is as dense as imperial knights, getting one more activation of targeted support can be the difference between 1/6 and 1/4 of the list getting supercharged.

high monarch

Members of the Exalted Court also gain specific abilities according to their station within your household. Let’s take the High Monarch – the loftiest position for any QUESTOR IMPERIALISWARLORD to hold.

Similar to the Exalted Court’s power in affecting multiple models, the High Monarch’s ability makes it so your Bondsman is essentially an Aura, making this extremely powerful if you place a few knights together to take advantage of this boon!


Take the Gatekeeper – an ancient, traditional station for those who hold down the fort on a Knight World. While this doughty Knight is defending your deployment zone, attempts to wound it will always fail on an unmodified roll of 1-3 – and their Bondsman ability can increase the Toughness of any squires tasked with holding objectives, such as the Armiger Warglaives.

This ability changes gears to defense and makes the knight a very hardy model to destroy, not to mention the bonus to Bondsman abilities also gives +1 Toughness which can come in clutch against high strength weaponry and potentially make it -1 to wound!

There are 10 different positions in Exalted Court – five each for QUESTOR IMPERIALIS and QUESTOR MECHANICUS – and a whole host of Bondsman abilities. The range of potential combinations is mind-blowing, especially when you combine them with Oaths, Knightly Teachings, Stratagems, and more.

Lastly, GW hints at a total of 10 different Court roles, making for 8 more to come that are potentially equally powerful options!

Here’s all the latest on the upcoming rules updates and points changes for Warhammer 40k.

Click Gallery below for full-size images.

Here’s the most up-to-date list of new Games Workshop bits from preview models that we should keep an eye out for. Click on the gallery above to see dozens of Rumor Engines with new models still left to be revealed!

All the Newest GW Model & Rules Previews For 2022

Do you like the Imperial Knights rules we’ve seen so far?

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About the Author: Andrew Schrank

College student, Lord of fluff, and Master of Ice Hammer
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