Thursday, September 04, 2014
Aye or Nay • Imperial Knights
So we have seen more than our fair share of the new Imperial Knight at the most recent three big events — ATC, BAO and NOVA which covers the country from east to west. It looks like GW hit the proverbial ball out of the park due to their fixes to D introduced in 7th edition. Knights are far more survivable now or so it would seem with the nerf to Smash amongst other things... Most daemon princes and other FMC don't want to go anywhere near them now. On the flip side D is much random and I've seen a handful of gants hold up a Knight for several turns in assault... Poor Knight was rolling quite poorly and just couldn't get it done.
I've heard some belly aching in regards to Knights in terms of the power level they bring to the table but I've just got to ask are they really just that good? Lots of armies have access to the Knight via the Come the Apocalypse (CtA) column in the ally matrix... It's kind of crazy and I'm sure GW is not complaining nor should they. I've seen Knights paired with eldar, Necrons and even Tyranids.
The Knight is most certainly good for sure—it can't be denied. On the other if the meta brings the right tools then they can be well handled.
Many of you are aware of the new formation dubbed the Adamantium Lance - it features three Knights with several strong buffs such as if they remain within 3" of each other they can re roll their ion shield saves. On top of that buff if one of these Knights is chosen as your Warlord then he is a Seneschal and has a 3++ ion shield save to boot.
Forge World has recently released the Cerastus Knight-Lancer:
Cerastus Knight-Lancer rules
Extremely fast and perfectly suited to hunt down other Knights amongst other big scary monsters. Several more from Forge World are on the way including the soon to be released Cerastus Knight Castigator:
CERASTUS KNIGHT CASTIGATOR
GW has also released rules for another special character Knight - Gerantius the Forgotten Knight (White Dwarf):
Gerantius is my favorite solo Knight and the perfect choice in higher point games if you only want to field one. Gerantius is WS5 - BS5, has the USR It Will Not Die (IWND), can run and shoot or shoot and run plus he has a 3++ ion shield save. Gerantius can also issue and receive challenges.
There are also the rules for the Obsidian Knight and the Household Spearhead featured in Warzone Damocles:
Except to see them all in many armies.
So back to the original question - Are Knights really good enough to win a major event? The BAO was won by Steve Sisk but he had only one and his dominant BikeStar should not be overshadowed. Gareth Hunt won the award for Battle Master at NOVA featuring two Knights along with his daemon army. So like I said they are good but so far they have not won the top spot yet—Note I'm not counting Steve Sisk's army since it only had one Knight which I personally believe is the way to go but that's just my own opinion.
If you don't have the right tools to handle multiple Knights it's going to be a rough go. What I've found is the more Knights then less support and as each Knight is eliminated their overall power level drops significantly. Their main weakness is in assault—Meltabombs and haywire grenades are their bane since they have no save against these weapons. A couple of Meltabombs can make short work of a Knight and enough haywire grenades can get the job done as well. So far the general consensus is dark eldar and Necrons are the best two counters - haywire grenades, lances, Gauss and Tesla.
From what I've seen so far a preponderance of Knights can't win a major event. The meta is rapidly adjusting and the right armies such as BikeStar and the new WolfStar quickly mulch through them in assault. Sure you can go a long way but when you finally end up facing a bad matchup it's over.
I played a lot of games versus multiple Knights back in 6th edition when they were first released - they could deal with assault much better back then since the big D was totally off the hook. I developed my own set of tactics to bring them down and it's easier to accomplish now in 7th edition. If you plan to attend a big event you must have a strong counter to Knights in general. So plan accordingly!