Is the Knight Acheron the King?

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Hey everyone, Reecius here to talk Knights. As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great tactics articles.

Knights are a bit of a hot topic with some folks, but I find them to be absolutely fine for all types of play in 40k. Even the much feared Adamantine Lance formation is not out of balance, IMO. Well, it is unbalanced in that it can be a very one dimensional army to play, but I don’t think it is anywhere as obnoxious as the Seer Councils of 6th ed.

That said, Forgeworld has been putting out some absolutely beautiful models in their new line of Knights that also have some really fun rules. In terms of in-game power though, they vary quite a bit. Some of them are a bit of a wet noodle due to some key short-comings.

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The Knight Lancer, for example, is a near miss, IMO. He’s an absolutely stunning model, but, at his price point he just misses the mark. If he just had a Heavy Stubber, he’d be a stud. As is, his really nice shooting attack is often a liability as if it destroys what you are shooting at, you lose the extra movement and offense of the Lancer’s formidable melee attacks. With a Heavy Stubber, he could shoot one target, then Stubber his melee victim and be much more versatile. Something that little really does have a big impact. Now, that is not to say the Lancer isn’t good, it is, but I don’t feel it is a top competitive choice. If you find yourself facing lots of other Super Heavy Walkers and Gargantuan Creatures, he certainly has a place, but as a general purpose unit, I think he falls a bit short.

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Enter the Knight Acheron! Now we’re talking! This bad boy is a beast, and sports several key, subtle differences that really set him apart from his brother Knights. For one, he has a secondary weapon in the twin linked Heavy Bolter under his Chain Fist. Awesome. That means he can fire his devastating Acheron Patter Flame Cannon at one target, and then assault another unit he fires the Heavy Bolter at. That alone is such a big advantage.

And his Flame Cannon is absolutely beastly! It is strength 7, ap 3, Helstrom Template (the giant flamer template), and ordnance. WOW. That is devastating. It will mow through infantry and light to medium tanks like nothing. Not rolling to hit, ignoring cover and most armor in addition to being Ordnance (roll 2d6 for armor pen, take the highest) means that this weapon is ultra reliable as you reduce so many variables from the shooting equation. This offensive potency on a chassis as fast as the Acheron (12″ move, 3d6″ run) is savage.

In melee, the Acheron has base 4 attacks and his Chain Fist is a D Slapper that rerolls 1’s on that D Damage table, meaning that if you hit a vehicle, you almost certainly destroy it. Brutal.

What this equates to is an all-around amazing unit whose only downside is that his brutal damage output means he will be a top, if not THE top, target for destruction on your opponent’s list. Knights are tough, but we play with them a lot in our local meta and fine that they almost always die. The Acheron is no different in that regard as his defense is the same as the other Knights.

He supported with dedicated AA and long ranged AT and numerous scoring units is a recipe for success if ever I saw one.

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37 Responses to “Is the Knight Acheron the King?”

  1. Painjunky December 3, 2014 1:50 am
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    Nice article mate!

    Ok now I want one so I can lay that massive template over a gunline! just want to know…

    How do you deal with adamantine lance? Why is there a belt feed to a flamer?

    Thanx

  2. Pascal Roggen December 3, 2014 2:48 am
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    It’s not a belt feed:), it’s an armoured fuel line.

  3. AbusePuppy December 3, 2014 3:10 am
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    The Acheron is pretty brutal; the only real “limiter” on him is the fact that you can’t take him alone in a Knight detachment (as none of the FW Knights can be more common than any other type of Knights in such a detachment.) He’s still available solo to Imperials as a Lord of War, though.

    On a related point: I’m rather surprised that you’re allowing the Acheron for LVO while banning other ignores-armor-ignores-cover weapons, including several other chassis with literally that exact same weapon. What’s the rationale behind that decision?

    • Logan December 3, 2014 3:57 am
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      Well the Scythed Hierodule has been added. It’s S6 AP3 hellstorm with Agile.

      • Hotsauceman1 December 3, 2014 8:05 am
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        They are allowing that but not the malcodar infernus or warhound?
        I’m disappointed reece, what happened to “Nothing that ignores cover”

        • Adam
          Adam (Thediceabide.com) December 3, 2014 9:26 am
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          It seems that now it’s no ranged-hellstorm templates (so no Hellstorm bombs or anything with torrent), and no blasts bigger than 5″ that ignore cover.

          The Scythed Heirodule, Lord of Skulls and Acheron have a Hellstorm weapon, but none of them are torrent.

          • Hotsauceman1 December 3, 2014 9:29 am
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            The scythed whatchamacallit can move 12, run, then shoot. That is prokem

          • Logan December 3, 2014 10:00 am
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            Knights are still more broken than the Scythed. They are Cheaper and can be spammed in a Knight list. 545pts vs 415pts. Don’t even get me started on the Barbed which is a wopping 565pts, and I’m only bringing him because Knights are everywhere.

          • Adam
            Adam (Thediceabide.com) December 3, 2014 1:10 pm
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            Moving 12″ isn’t that big of a deal when you still need to place the narrow end touching the gun (or base for a heirodule). The bigger deal is when you’re allowed to place it at a distance and at the most optimal angle.

          • bugsculptor December 4, 2014 10:14 am
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            Haha…. the lord of skulls is broken if any of them are. That has a high strength Instant Death hellstorm template. It can wipe a tyranid big bug army in one shot.

            There are still tactics in game that’ll take it out though – ranged AT fire, electroshock flyrants and dispersing your models and objectives on both flanks so it has to choose where to go and flame. Fortunately the lord is expensive!

          • Adam
            Adam (Thediceabide.com) December 4, 2014 1:38 pm
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            I wonder if the Lord of Skulls could weather the storm of Flyrants for very long

    • ChosenOfKhorne December 3, 2014 7:32 am
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      The selective exclusion of some lords of war was what I was wondering about as well. I recall the reason some of the LoW were excluded was that it wasn’t fun to have someone move 12″ and lay a “remove all your models” giant flamer template across your deployment zone before you have a chance to do anything. Of course it is good, by why is this more acceptable than the Lord of Skulls or transcendent c’tan?

    • Adam
      Adam (Thediceabide.com) December 3, 2014 9:29 am
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      You literally used literally wrong…

      The Acheron, Lord of Skulls and Scythed Heirodule all have Hellstorm weapons, but none of them are torrent, and so were not banned.

      The Malcador and Sonic Lances on Eldar super heavies all have a range associated with their template, which makes them quite different, not only with the range, but being able to place them at an angle to maximize the effect.

      Similarly the ignores-armor/cover blast weapons that were banned all have larger than a 5″ template, the ones 5″ and under were not banned.

      • AbusePuppy December 3, 2014 11:42 pm
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        Since they had originally banned the non-torrent Hellstorm weapons, no I literally didn’t.

        • Adam
          Adam (Thediceabide.com) December 4, 2014 12:24 am
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          Other models are equipped with the Acheron Pattern aflame Cannon? Literally the same weapon means literally the same weapon. 😉

          In any case, the LVO is allowing non-torrent Hellstorm weapons, Acheron included, it’s been written that way all along.

  4. Novastar December 3, 2014 8:29 am
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    What about Castigator? He has one of the most brutal CC weapons out there

    • D-ManA December 3, 2014 8:52 am
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      I agree. The casigator is better at taking out light to medium armored vehicles with shooting also. I will say it needs a heavy stubber or heavy bolter, but he can assault those that were embarked in a vehicle after destroying the vehicle during the shooting phase.

    • Logan December 3, 2014 9:00 am
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      Castigator is great as a Infantry Killer, since it loses its D weapon for a great S10 weapon.

      Lancer is the SHW/GC killer.

      Acheron is a mix of both. Granted is Infantry killer is more in the shooting phase than in the assault phase.

    • Adam
      Adam (Thediceabide.com) December 3, 2014 9:25 am
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      It’s all list dependent. A Castigator is fantastic at killing transports, mediocre at killing infantry at ranged, but good at killing them in combat. Most armies already do fine at killing transports and infantry at range, so it makes the Castigator less important.

      If you’re making a TAC list, the Acheron will kill swathes of infantry at range, but is also more effective at killing enemy super heavies and gargantuans.

      They’re both good variants, but I’d say that the Acheron is better for most armies.

      • Novastar December 3, 2014 11:14 am
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        I’m thinking a Castigator would fit right in with a drop pod army, crack the shells with melta and pound the nuts with the knight lol

  5. iNcontroL December 3, 2014 10:42 am
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    nice article reece! Didn’t realize this guy was such a beast.. would love to see em on more tables.

  6. jy2
    jy2 December 3, 2014 5:12 pm
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    I sure am glad that the Adlance formation is just the normal knights and not the crazy FW ones.

  7. Ciaran December 3, 2014 6:09 pm
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    Lovely that this thing is allowed but god forbid the Tau get a useable superheavy or someone with experimental rules.

    • Hotsauceman1 December 3, 2014 7:06 pm
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      They do, it is just banned by FLG

      • TinBane December 3, 2014 7:19 pm
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        He might mean one that isn’t banned by FLG. Still, it’s worth considering allowing them with a nerf or something. Assuming they are overpowered, but within the realms of reasonable.

      • Ciaran December 3, 2014 7:24 pm
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        I know, I want to be able to use them at LVO. This thing makes the one decent Tau LOW look like a chump, and its 200 points more. Its upsetting that every other faction gets to use lots of toys and were stuck with a thin codex.

        • iNcontroL December 4, 2014 12:33 am
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          I’m sorry.. are you complaining about the Tau codex.. AS A TAU PLAYER? I just wanted to check.. for scientific purposes.. you could be the first good sir, you really could.

          • Ciaran December 4, 2014 11:52 am
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            I hear that Tau are winning every tournament and are literally unbeatable. That’s why 16 of the top 16 at BAO were Tau right? Oh wait, I don’t think Tau hasn’t won a GT since 6th.

        • Rob December 4, 2014 5:37 am
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          Are you complaining about the tau codex? Have you read and or played with it? Unless you have refused to use half of it for sporting reasons, in which case I salute you.

          • Hotsauceman1 December 4, 2014 11:56 am
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            It’s just no fun that every army gets a usable super heavy except Tau.
            I meaneed the reason it is baNed is it might ignore cover. Might. We are not banning the fell blade despite the fact that you can get perfect timing off onow it

          • Ciaran December 4, 2014 12:08 pm
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            Hotsauceman gets it. In a format that allows lords of war it would be fun to use a lord of war. I don’t expect the world but if I’m up against a brass scorpion and 3 heldrakes I want to use something cool.

          • iNcontroL December 4, 2014 8:54 pm
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            Tau just won the brawl in the fall which was a GT my man… Paul McLevey talks about losing his first game in 40 or so games (since 6th) to me actually in a practice game 🙂 Besides that there have been a few wins on the east coast not too long ago as well. They winning % wise are top 3 and have been since 6th as well. I get the gripe with not having a cool LoW but to extend that to calling the codex shallow and then vaguely MAYBE suggesting they don’t dominate and aren’t good is… well just stupid. I want to be more polite but it literally is stupid.

  8. slaede December 4, 2014 9:05 am
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    You need to be sure to nerf invisibility so there is no defense against the hellstorm flamer template!

    • bigpig December 4, 2014 10:38 am
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      Except a 2+ save all those invisible centurion stars are rocking

  9. Roland Durendal December 4, 2014 9:28 pm
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    What are your thoughts on a stock Magaera? I was looking at it again just now and it seems decent if you don’t waste the points for the siege claw. S7 AP3 large blast, rending and shred main weapon and a 3 shot “plasma” lite gun is pretty good.

    • Bob December 9, 2014 5:17 am
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      Well hes just a normal Knight and not a Cerastus frame. What can he do an Errant can’t despite costing more points?