Chaos Knights – Forgeworld Review: Cerastus Atrapos

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, we are going to look at the lightsaber (sorta) wielding Knight that loves to kill hard targets, the Knight Cerastus Atrapos. It can kill big things dead, but has a few tricks against heavy infantry that are worth exploring. Of course, don’t be foolish and miss out on all the stuff happening over at Frontline’s Tactics Corner!

Image from 40K Wiki

Primary Weapons:

  • Graviton Singularity Cannon – When shooting, select a profile:
    • Contained Range – 36” Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3.
    • Singularity Range – 36” Heavy 4+D6 S14 AP-4 D3. When using this profile, roll a d6. On a 1-3, suffer d3 mortal wounds.
  • Atrapos Lascutter (Shooting) – Range 9” Heavy 1 S12 AP-4 D6. When resolving an attack against Monster or Vehicles, you may reroll wound rolls.
  • Atrapos Lascutter (Melee)When in melee, select a profile:
    • Focus:  S12 AP-4 D6. When resolving an attack against Monster or Vehicles, you may reroll wound rolls.
    • Sweep: S6 AP-2 D3.  Each time you make an attack with this weapon, make 3 hit rolls.
  • Titanic Feet – S8 AP-2 Dd3 melee weapon. Make 3 to hit rolls per attack.

Special Rules:

Ionic Flare Shield – 5++ invulnerable save.

Explodes – When this model dies, roll a D6. On a 6, it explodes and each unit within 2d6” suffers d6 mortal wounds.

Macro-Extinction Protocols – When resolving an attack against a Titanic unit, gain +1 to hit.

Super-Heavy Walker – This model can shoot and charge after it Falls Back. When Falling Back, it can move across enemy INFANTRY models and SWARM models as if they were not there, but must end its move 1” away from enemy models. This model does not receive the benefit of cover to its saving throws unless at least half of the model is obscured.

The Atrapos is another multi-threat Knight that pays a bit of premium for it, but it can shoot, it can fight, it can dance, and it can sing.  On first glance, the Atrapos has the same beefy statline of any Cerastus pattern with 26 wounds and an easy to miss inbuilt 5++ invulnerable.  This makes the Atrapos a lot more resilient in fighting other Superheavies in melee as most have AP-3 or better weaponry, so the Atrapos gets to nullify a third of wounds on it in melee, which can be the difference between life and death.  The Atrapos melee is more than enough to take down heavy threats with AP-4 and flat damage 6, and against Titanic targets, you hit on 2s, and against vehicles/monsters, you reroll the wound, giving the Atrapos a lot of efficiency for its attacks. While it is only S12, that really doesn’t matter as against Vehicles or Monsters, a rerollable 3+ is better than a flat 2+ from S16 or better.   Just by the math, against another Knight, it converts 71% of its attacks into wounds, and with AP-4, a standard Knight is taking all of that. It has those magic feet as well, but a new upgrade is that its laser sword can now sweep. It trades strength for consistent damage, giving you 12 attacks at S6 Ap-2 but just flat 3 damage, making it far more reliable, and well, since it is not Titanic Feet, other House abilities can stack with it, making it far more versatile.

As shooting platform, it is a bit focused, but it can do big damage against the right targets. The Graviton Cannon gives you the option to either send out a few weaker shots to maybe finish off a damaged model or go full-tilt into trying to wreck something on its own.  The fact that the Cannon is Heavy 4+D6 is great since you know that you are always getting 5 shots at worst, which helps factor into decision making, and banking on an average 7 shots isn’t too bad.  S14 doesn’t matter much against T8, but it certainly helps against T7.  The extra boost to AP is also nice as it means that most vehicles do not get a save at all (if they do not have an invul).  Don’t forget that Macro-Extinction applies to any hit roll, so against another Knight or similarly Titanic threat, the Atrapos is hitting on 2s.  Damage 3 isn’t all that wonderful on a knight platform, but it is still quite good.  Don’t forget that the Atrapos has a 1 shot, high powered attack from its melee weapon, so between the two, it is certainly possible to gun down a Knight.  It is not entirely likely, but possible if you get close.

As the Atrapos is a multi-role attacker, both Ambitions can do work.  Iconoclast gets you more versatility thanks to access to the Vows, and honestly, +1 attack for the Atrapos means that it is far likelier to 1 shot standard Knights in melee.   Vow of Beastslayer is not necessary here unless you really want to stay at range and use the Graviton. With 26 Wounds and a 5++ all the time, Vow of Dominance can be huge as it means that an Atrapos is quite unlikely to die in melee to another Knight in one round. Vow of Carnage is not that great though as the Atrapos is more about quality attacks than quantity.  If going Infernal, you can play risky.  With the speed boost, you can rocket the Atrapos forward into a hard target on Turn 1, and that’s where the Atrapos really likes to be. You can also charge up the Graviton, which is dangerous as there’s a 50% chance you take 2d3 mortal wounds in the process, but getting the Graviton to D4 makes it far scarier at range.  Again, Infernal rewards risky behavior, but that’s a play style thing.  Infernal’s stratagems are not necessarily helpful here as they are often too corner case, but The Blasphemous Engine does help keep the Atrapos firing and fighting at full effect far longer.

Choice of House can help make the Atrapos better at dealing with a variety of threats.  With Frenzied Attackers and Hate-Driven Charge, that makes the Sweep of the laser sword you get AP-3 but also explodes on a natural 6 to hit.  Throw in Iconoclast for +1 attack and -1 AP, and suddenly, an Atrapos is sweeping in with 15 attacks at AP-4 on the sweep and flat Damage 3, making the Atrapos pretty much an elite infantry killer. This is likely one of the best ways to run the Atrapos as it will certainly annihilate a hard target, but it becomes a great multi-wound infantry killer where even a unit with a 4++ has to worry about making that many saves. House Lucaris is another good one for Iconoclast for the +1 hit in the first round of combat, making the Atrapos incredibly lethal in melee, and even when going against another Titanic unit, you get +2 to hit, making the Atrapos one of the few Knights able to do decent damage to a Lancer in melee by cancelling out their -1 to hit modifier. Making the Atrapos fight first via the Warlord Trait is also helpful, making it a risky proposition to charge the Atrapos because it will get to swing first, either with the lightsaber at full power or sweeping, but few things want to take that much heat.  For me, I am partial using the Atrapos with the custom Iconoclast House of Frenzied Attackers and Hate-Driven Charge, making the Atrapos really awesome at killing medium to heavy infantry.

Dreadblading is often viable as there are some plays for mileage. If going Infernal, Daemonic Vigor is never a bad idea as any of the rolls works. +2 movement? Always good for an Atrapos missile. 2+ WS for sweeps? BS 2+? These all get value.  Even if Iconoclast, none of those options are bad.  Path to Glory is definitely worth it if going against Titanic units as the reroll makes your Atrapos as accurate as possible.   If you want to give the Engine or Veil, then of course, no Dreadblade, but really, the Atrapos doesn’t need either of them.  It cannot take any melee weapon relics, but good ol’ Quicksilver Throne is useful, and even the Pyrothrone gives you some plays for some odd angle smites and the chance to blow yourself up.  Really, a benefit to the Atrapos is that it doesn’t need a lot of extras to be good at what it does.  Rotate Ion is never bad for the 4++ in the shooting phase, and of course, Trail of Destruction is good, but with only 11 maximum shots at range, that is not a lot of value. This is a boost to the Atrapos in that it is not all that CP hungry unless you go for the Full Tilt missile and Spiteful Demise.

So why not bring an Atrapos? Well, like with most of the Forgeworld Knights, price is a factor. 520 points is a nice number, but that is more than 25% of a standard army, and wow, that’s a lot to pay for the offensive output your get here.  While an Atrapos at max, max luck can do some staggering damage, the reality is that it’s average output is not that high. On average, the Atrapos only does 10.37 at range to the standard T8 target with a 5++ and even if Infernal super-charged at max rolls, it only does 19.7, so if within 9 for the one shot, you can do it, again, outside of what you can expect.  For such a large chunk of points, you want a bit more consistent damage at range.  While the Atrapos is great at killing other large targets in melee,  it is 520 points that is unlikely to survive being a missile and getting a quick kill on turn 1.  Throwing it down your opponent’s throat on Turn 1 may seem like a good idea, but for the cost, ouch. A Gallant-Despoiler does that better for a lot less points. Not to belabor any points, but an Atrapos still has all the same Knight problems: easy secondaries, hard time navigating terrain, and vulnerability to being alpha struck. 

73/100 – Can do some work in a very specific build, but not ideal either.  An Atrapos is cool and has moves, but it just a bit too expensive for what it can do, and it is outshined as both a ranged platform and a fighting platform by other, cheaper entries. If you want anti-armor shooting, a Double-Melta Despoiler is better, and if you want a first turn rocket, a Melee Despoiler is better, and both of these are well over 100 points cheaper. Still, if you want that mix of threat where you can shoot a bit but also can really wreck elite infantry or hard targets, an Atrapos can do work.

Thanks as always for reading, and if you want to watch some super-heavy action, be sure to check out TFG Radio’s guest TL;DR battle report!

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About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.

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