Imperial Knight Review: Lord of War: Imperial Knight Crusader

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The final review in my initial Imperial Knight showdown is one of my favorite Knights – no matter how expensive he is.  The Knight Crusader is the Gun Boat Knight from the Imperial Knight faction.  So sit back and relax as I break down this offensive gunslinger.

As usual you can read up on more tactics in the Frontline Tactics Corner.

The Imperial Knight crusader is a mash up of the Paladin/Errant load out with the Warden load out.  You drop its D close combat slapper but still retain the glorious equalizer known as the stomp. The amount of damage it can throw out is pretty high as while he does cost more then his brothers/cousins, the additional weapon is purchased at a bargain.  This Imperial Knights role is better suited as the backfield commander who lays down punishing firepower as he hot headed friends rush up the battlefield and try to get involved with spreading the word of the Emperor.

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Overview:

The Crusader is in a lot of ways looked at as the big daddy of the Knight Faction.  It isn’t designed to rush into battle and instead looks to control the enemy through 12 bullets of hot rending lead and a few blasts from a Battlecannon or Thermal Cannon.  I find the best load out is to get as much shooting involved with the Knight in order to utilize the normal Warlord/Baron/High King upgrades of increase ballistic skill.  I look at this Knight load as 2 Leman Russes, a better Punisher tank, and 2 random guards shooting heavy stabbers.  The Knight can also be a fantastic close combat threat in the scary stomp that comes searching for high priced units.

Wargear:

Avenger Gatling Cannon – 36″ Str 6 Ap 3 Heavy 12, Rending – I love this gun as it does exactly what I need it to do – put out a ton of firepower and give it some hope to hit a flyer.
Rapid Fire Battle Cannon – 72″ Str 8 Ap 3 Ordnance 2, Large Blast – This doesn’t always do as much work as you want – but mixed with the Avenger cannon you should be able to put the hurt on just about anything
Thermal Cannon – 36″ Str 9 Ap 1 Heavy 1, Melta, Large Blast – I rarely field this one as I just prefer more blasts but if you area is full of tanks this might be the choice for you.  It is the “cheaper” option.
Heavy Stubber X 2 – 36″ Str 4 Ap 6 Heavy 3 – The Heavy Chubber as I like to call it.  The fact you have 2 of them can lead to some fun interactions as you kill important things with the lame Chubber.
Heavy Flamer – Str 5 Ap 4 Template – sometimes you got to get in close, burn the enemy and then charge in and stomp them out.
Carapace Weapons
Stormspear Rocket Pod – 48″ Str 8 Ap 3 Heavy 3 – Did room 314 call for 3 Krak Missiles and a order of Fanta?
Ironstrom Missile Pod – 72″ Str 5 Ap 4 Heavy 1, Barrage, Large Blast – I like to use this to get some damage on hidden units.  Plus Barrage lets you barrage snipe.
Twin Icarus Autocannon – 48″ Str 7 Ap 4 Heavy 2, TWL, Interceptor – I still think it should have had 4 shots to be decent.

Decent Relics – Obviously none of the Close Combat related ones.  This guy is well suited for Sanctuary, The Banner of Macharius Triumphant, and Mark of the Omnissiah.

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Special Rules:

This guy is a Super Heavy vehicle so he comes with a ton of rules.  Here is the basic break down of each one and what you have to “worry” about.

  • Move through Cover – He isn’t slowed by difficult terrain, rolls 3d6 for moving through terrain and doubles the highest dice, and always passes dangerous terrain tests.  This Model goes where he wants to and you can’t say nothing about it cuz you ain’t it’s Dad.
  • Fear – Big things are scary
  • Hammer of Wrath – When a big Robot comes crashing into you it is going to hurt.
  • Stomp – The bane of a lot of people’s life – the stomp can solve all problems.  Hey are you invisible – take a foot to the face.  Oh hey you have a 2+ FNP roll – SQUISH!
  • Invincible Behemoth – They only take Hull points when penetrated or glanced unless you roll an explode result.  If so they take d3 Hull Points.  Also you can never lower it’s Armor Value.
  • Catastrophic Damage – When this guy goes down – he blows up big.  Sometimes you an get lucky and have a D Template land one the jerk that killed it.   Other times you hurt your best friend you happen to be hanging around.  Yay dice right?
  • It can shoot multiple targets with all its weapons.  It comes in handy when you want to punish a strong unit and still want to charge something weaker.  That Heavy Flamer helps out a lot and keeps all your options open.
  • Relentless – It can shoot whatever it wants when it wants too.  And it doesn’t have to come home at Midnight because he is out of High School and is an Adult now!
  • Smash/Strikedown – This doesn’t matter so much because it has a D CCW but some of the other Knight load outs don’t have the D Slapper so auto hitting at AP 2 in close combat is good.  Strike down does something – but I don’t think I have ever used it because most things are killed when they get involved with a Knight in CC.
  • It moves 12″ and can’t fire overwatch as well.  Some formations allow them too – but at the default setting you don’t have to worry about getting flamed, chubbed, and shot 12 times with angry bullets.

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Formations:

The Knight Crusader is part of all the formations listed in the new Imperial Knight book.  Normally I use this Knight in any formation that can benefit from the Extra BS afforded to it as the leader of the gang.  I find it powerful in the Baronial Court formation as you can fit other decent knights in the picture as well as add a carapace weapon to benefit from having BS 5-6.

– Exalted Court – 5 Knights and one becomes the “High King”.  Having to take 5 Knights is hard in 1850 and if you take one of these you will need to have another Gallant.  I just don’t see this Knight really fitting into it even though is an option.

– Baronial Court – 3-5 Knights with one being the Baron.  This is where the Knight will shine as he can easily be the Baron and utilize its better BS to mow down the enemy.  I would run this with 2 Warden to have the a strong amount of mo’ dakka to take down your foes.

– Household Detachment – 3 Knights where one is the Lord Baron who gets a +1 to their BW and WS plus access to relics.  Again just like the Baronial Court the added benefit of a +1 to the BS is very strong.  Plus he becomes Objective Secured which is powerful for a Knight that will most likely stay back at home base.

– Tripartite Lance – A combo of 3 of the new Knights into one unit.  I talked about this pretty exclusively in the Knight Gallant review with a list in the Tactics section.

– Skyreaper Lance – You can put in 3 Knights but you to take the Autocannon Carapace upgrade.  I don’t think I have ever seen this fielded.  You get to Reroll wounds and penetrations versus Flyers/Flying MCs.  I guess it could be ok if the new Flyer update does a lot for the game – I s till suspect will never see this formation.

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Tactics:

The last WargamesCon had me playing 2 of these Knights mixed with a Space Wolf/Dark Angels death star.  The Knights held the backfield, put out decent pressure, and helped pop any transports/issues that the Death Star didn’t need to handle.  I ended up beating up on a Necron player and then go too cocky with another Necron player who showed me the power of massed Gauss.  Still I found the army to be very stable with a lot of play versus most of the field.  If I were to play it again in the new updated books of Dark Angels and Space Wolves I would probably play the following.

Knight Oathsworn Detachment
Imperial Knight Crusader, Rapid Fire Battle Cannon
Imperial Knight Crusader, Rapid Fire Battle Cannon

Ravenwing Detachment
Chaplain, Bike, Meltabomb
Ravenwing Command Squad X 3, Apocathery, Ravenwing Banner
Ravenwing Bike Squad X 3, Grav Gun X 2
Ravenwing Bike Squad X 3, Grav Gun X 2

Space Wolves CAD
Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf, Cyber Wolves X 4
Iron Priest, Thunder Wolf, Cyber Wolves X 4
Blood Claws X 5
Blood Claws X 5

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This just shoves in a decent mini Death Star with some decent firepower from the Knights.  The Death Star can be sacrificed as while it is a decent investment in the army you still have enough play to go get objectives and other options.  I thought about changing from the Ravenwing Detachment and going into White scars to get Objective secured bikes and a little more play with the Death star with Storm Shields and other options.  Both are viable as the main design of the army is a far reaching set of Knights who can punish the opponent far away and let the Death star go do its work – bringing about the groans of players everywhere as you make a crap ton of saves.

I see this Knight as a great mix of the things I like about 40k.  Large amounts of dice to use when shooting at your opponent and a decent chance to hurt people in assault.  I am not nearly as lucky as some people with my Stomps but I do have a decent number of deaths caused by explosions under my name.

I still see a lot of room for the needed “d weapon” in close combat so if you are just using these guys and no other forms of assault or counter assault they will suffer.  They do hit at Strength 10 and Ap 2 in close combat but you need that extra ability to just go crazy and roll a 6 or two in close combat.  Especially if this guy can challenge out a “leader” model and have some hope in killing him before he gets to swing at Initiative 1.

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I’ve toyed with the idea of taking this Knight in a Baronial court with the Knight character Gerantius.  I would utilize him to move to the center and start pouring out firepower in hopes to keep close enough to ensure the Green Knight gets a charge off or two.  I have also looked at 3 Crusader builds that try to keep the backfield clean mixed with a ton of cheap “bikers” to run up, push the opponent back, and hopefully survive to hold an objective or two.

Overall I think the Warden is still the best buy when it comes to Knight load outs.  This Knight works best in armies designed to utilize its shooting powers by letting them shoot as many times as they can – this usually means needing some kind of fast moving assault unit or other option designed to “take the attention” from you opponent as your Knights move into range and prepare to do the good work of removing the enemy with blasts, bullets, and a little bit of luck.

As always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day!

 

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5 Responses to “Imperial Knight Review: Lord of War: Imperial Knight Crusader”

  1. Nathan Fluger May 12, 2016 3:14 pm
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    MORE dakka.

  2. westrider May 12, 2016 4:32 pm
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    Somehow I never noticed before that the Ironstorm is Barrage. That does definitely give it some nice extra utility over the Stormspear.

    Speaking of which, you mentioned an order of Fanta in the Stormspear entry. My Knight House is actually House Phantos, named after Fanta because they’re in an orange colour scheme to match my Ryza AdMech.

  3. BobC May 13, 2016 2:59 am
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    How many of these do you think we’ll see now that folks can take the renegade knights with 2 gatling cannons?

    • Dakkath May 13, 2016 7:21 am
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      We’ll still see tons of Imperial knights, just the forces of chaos will now be trying to fit in their gunslinging knights as well.