House Mortan – Imperial Knights

Post has now been updated with Lancer and new Moiraxes.

House Mortan. Ah my sweet House Mortan. A Knight World stranded in the arse end of the Galaxy isolated from the Imperium by a rather inconvenient Warp storm for 100s of years. It’s ok though, as they were in complete darkness the whole time with only giant monsters for company which they had to battle for centuries using mostly hand to hand combat. Company is company though right? Anyway, the storm lifted, the Imperium dropped in for tea and now Mortan are renowned for their aptitude at smashing the bejeesus out of things up close (and in the dark).

To be honest when choosing a House,  it was the above fluff which sold me. The fact the colour scheme was also a little different (and you rarely see them on the table!) was a definite bonus.

Mortan are often overlooked when it comes to the rules too, they aren’t the best, but are still pretty sweet.

Firstly you are getting +1WS any turn you heroically intervene, charge or are charged. We can pretty much always fall back and charge, so it means you will have the +1WS the majority of the time. Mortan aren’t the most competitive House but there is still fun to be had!

So how useful is the the +1WS? Well…it means your Gallants are hitting using the -1 To hit gauntlets on 2’s and still reliably smashing face even when in the lower damage bracket. Your other non-punchy Questoris are stomping on 2s which makes even the most dakkary of Knights stomping killing machines.

The Mortan Black Pall warlord trait is ok giving you a -1 to hit from over 18”. Pop that on a Crusader in the backfield and you’ll find that it will mostly be ignored while attentions focus on more “pressing threats”.

Talking of which, any Mortan player that wants to sleep at Knight  (groan) should have 2 Gallants in their list. They are wonderful. The problem is everyone knows they are trouble and will do everything they can to avoid one crashing into their lines. So take two and share out Ion Bulwark and Armour of the Sainted spirit to keep them fisting/dancing for longer (I’ve seen that movie).

Don’t forget to advance them as you want them closing that distance as quickly as they can every turn. So give the carapace weapons a miss unless you have the points spare in which case whack on an ironstorm for the indirect fire.

When Mortan Gallants do reach their victim(s) they will get seriously killy, very quickly.

You’ll have a Knight doing x5 attacks at S16 -4 flat 6 damage (or 8 damage with the relic gauntlet) . Hitting on 2s. Pay the CP for the Knight Seneschal trait for some sizzle on the steak and you are swinging that beautiful metal fist 6 times or line dancing on a Drukhari’s head a majestic 18 times! Praise the Sun.

With your base WS2 Gallant you are hitting and wounding other Knights on 2s. If you’ve decided to upgrade to the Paragon gauntlet and the Seneschal warlord trait,you could reliably be doing silly amounts of damage per turn. Even with the standard base 5 attacks @6 damage you are dealing some serious pain. 18 x stomp attacks hitting and wounding on 2’s, -2 D3 damage is very efficient at killing Elites and thinning hordes.

Where the wheels can fall off quickly is when we get hit back in melee by anything with bite and high AP. Thunder hammers and storm shields give them Knightmares (groan).  Not having an invun in melee means that if we don’t kill or seriously weaken a potent melee enemy the turn we charge, the return damage can hurt, badly.

I’ve had completely ineffective rounds of combat with a 360 point killing machine due to 3++ SS saves being made so pick your fights carefully…Usually high wound, no invun machinery or monsters.

Three other things to remember when fighting with a Gallant (or other CC Knight):

– If you kill or destroy a monster or vehicle with a gauntlet don’t forget you can throw it on a 4+ causing mortal wounds to a unit near by.

– Death grip. It’s cheap, amazing and fun. Even without the strength roll off D3 mortal wounds, you are doing D3 mortal wounds straight off the bat (assuming you hit, which you should on 2s).  That could be critical to polishing off that Smash Captain or Daemon Prince that you failed to kill.

– Valliant last stand. Tend to catch people out and can be used to shoot or fight. You will be in the lowest bracket for damage and your Knight will still die…but you can fight again. Assuming your Gallant was polished off by a charge you are actually still at WS3. So potentially throwing back another 18 fairly accurate stomp attacks. Brutal. Nobody I have used this against ever expects it and it’s swung a game in my favour a couple of times. Situational but worth remembering.

The third benefit to Mortan is the Slayer of Shadows Strat and it’s a good’un. For one CP you can negate modifiers for all weapons fired for that turn. Use that on a Helverin with the sky reaper protocol and you are making Hemlocks weep filthy Eldar tears. Or chuck it on a Crusader to really piss off anything that’s gone balls out to stack their minus hit modifiers.

So that’s House Mortan in a nutshell.

You can’t be too frivolous with your CPs as only likely to start with 9 on a Mono list. The problem from a ‘competitive’ stand point is having enough models on the board to reliably score points through securing objectives. Most lists these days can happily remove a Knight a turn (even more so sincere no 3++) which 

The Knights so far:

Cerastus Lancer (post updated rules)

It’s massive, looks mean and has a Lance which is taller than a normal Knight. 

They had a points drop recently but on a competitive footing I still think they struggle. The biggest weakness for me is that they are meant to be an all out melee unit but only have 4 attacks. They lost Flank speed and regeneration in the recent update but gained S16 and D8. This is actually pretty sweet and means that a Mortan Lancer with Seneschal has 5 attacks, hitting and wounding Knights on 2s doing a flat 8 damage a pop. Really one should be taking out anything in the game that isn’t protected the turn it charges. Unlike a Gallant, it’s 4++ can also weather a bit of pain coming back the other way.

Obviously without the metal mitten they won’t get the likes of deathgrip plus they can’t be outflanked using Sally forth strat as that only applies to Questoris and Armiger class.

Losing the extra D6 advance is definitely a big loss but don’t think it’s quite as catastrophic as people make out. Ultimately super competitive lists would have always gone with the Gallant over the Lancer before and I don’t think that will change.


Seriously blows hot and cold for me.  More cold than hot in all honesty. I really want it to be good. The problem is that everyone is fully aware of how much of a nuisance traitors pyre can be when they get close, so you end up having to load stick protective heirlooms, WTs and strats on them alive long enough. Even then it’s only got a 4++.

For me it can go one game where it absolutely wrecks face and then 4 games where it ends up earning nothing like its points and devouring CPs. The Siege breaker missiles with the ignore invun strat strat are lovely when they come off. One shotting a key buffing char that’s hidden out of LOS (Hi there Chaos Sorcerer. No death hex today thanks) is great.  Annoyingly I tend to miss with them more than I hit.

Again, the harpoon is great when it hits. Which for me is infrequently as by the time I’m close enough to use it I’m degraded.

Gallant x 2

Already covered in the above and probably our best/funnest (yeah funnest) unit. Had limited success outflanking using the strat so tend to keep both on the board now. They should be advancing and hitting lines turn 2 regardless using the full tilt strat. A switched on opponent can easily prevent you from outflanking where you’d ideally want to be anyway – So save your CP. Just dont let yourself get charged by high AP melee weaponry and always remember heroic interventions (I generally always spend the CPs to make all your Questoris characters as Heroic interventions can be very powerful).

Crusader x 2

On balance my most consistent and probably best units. Usually one will be third on the target priority list behind the Gallants and Helverins which means they tend to dish out multiple turns of fire before catching much back their way. Always go Thermal rather than RFBC. It’s better.

If you’ve got the points throw on the iton storm rocket pod as that’s all we’ve got in the way of indirect fire. pod, but don’t dismiss Which can be a godsend to try and pick of that annoying unit of Nurglings snuggled up on an objective getting all snotty in a ruin.

Helverin x 2 

Very strong, especially when combined with a couple of juicy strats. Mobile too at 14” and can nip about to secure those backfield objectives. Hefty range of 60” means you should be able to set these up in adjacent corners and pretty much shoot everything. Unlike its big brothers it can’t fall back and shoot so obviously try and avoid getting bogged down. Shots are only -1 AP but you are averaging 6 per turn each at flat 3 damage. That can really spoil an elite/multiple high wound units day.


I really liked the look of these so was very happy when they released rules for 40k. At 155 for the twin lightning lock variant it fills a real gap i had in my list which is clearing screens and infantry in droves. Heavy 12 gives you predictable firepower with the bonus of Exploding 6s giving you two extra automatic hits. S6 -2 D1 feels like a real sweet spot for murdering softer targets. Not play tested them enough to make a final call on them but so far so good!!

Lightning Lock Moirax

I’ll wrap it up there for now but send over any questions or feedback you might have as a comment here or via my IG account here. 

I’ve posted up a guide on how I weathered my army here

You can see how I got on with my Knights in a recent ITC here

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