Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cerastus Knight Castigator Rules and Review

If you've read my previous post on running an all knight army you have some idea that I really enjoy the imperial knights and have quite a bit of experience playing with them. Forge world has recently released a new knight, the castigator, and with that knight they've posted up the rules for it on their download page. For those that want the direct link to that page, here. Today I want to talk about those rules and how best to use a castigator.

At 380 points its 5 more points that your melta equipped Errant Knight. I'm not really sure why forge world made it 5 more points because looking at it on paper it doesn't seem to be functionally better than the errant or paladin, I think it just fills a different type of role (more on that later). It has the exact same stat line of a knight with the exception that it has 1 more attack in hand to hand than your regular knights. As with the lancer it has the flank speed rule meaning that it runs 3d6 inches. Gun wise it has a twin-linked castigator bolt cannon, which is a Strength 7 AP3 heavy 8 36" weapon.

The sword is a huge departure from the other 3 knights in that it is not a D weapon. Instead it is Strength 10 AP2 has the deflagrate, tempest attack, and sunder special rules. Deflagrate is a rule straight out of the Horus Heresy stuff. Once you have resolved the initial wounds from the sword it causes an additional number of automatic hits equal to the number of unsaved wounds the target unit suffered from the first hits. Those additional hits do not themselves inflict more additional hits. The tempest attack allows the castigator to forgo his normal attacks and instead get a free single hit against every model in base to base contact with the castigator at initiative step 2. So you attack slower but you get an automatic hit against everyone on your base. Lastly the sunder rule allows you to re-roll failed armor penetration rolls.

The gun aside, I think the thing that stands out for this knight is the lack of a d weapon. The first 3 knights all had them, and this one doesn't but its not a bad thing. One of the issues that the other knights have is that you really need to be worried about letting them get into hand to hand with tar pit units, or with units that have things like power fists. The castigator really solves both of those issues, while not doing it in a broken way. I see the castigator being a 1, 2 punch combination with the errant knight. If you've got a unit of say terminators in a land raider rolling down on you, the errant pops the land raider first. Then your castigator hopefully softens up the now exposed terminators with his gun, then charges in and takes out the terminators with his tempest attack. This strategy would work for Meganob Orks as well.

The role that the castigator fills is a huge boon to a knight army. The lack of true anti infantry power in the knights list was really noticeable. Horde armies like Orks, Tyranids, and imperial guard could theoretically just outlast you. The castigator can also play intercept with those beefy assault units, and help to take out the lighter armored vehicles that you don't want to waste an errant shot on. The d weapons on the other knights are nice and all, but if you miss a couple times it can really wreck your day and make you stay in combat forever. The tempest attack ability solves all that and makes powerfists a lot less deadly. Not to mention, this guy can actually be effective at shooting down flyers. The twin linked ability means that you should get a couple hits on any flyer you shoot at, which is another huge hole the knights had. Personally I see the castigator as a must take for a take all comers list.

In my previous post on a knight army, I also discussed using the various types as your warlord. For the most part I see making the castigator your warlord as a waste. He doesn't need the increased weapon and ballistic skill, the 3+ ion shield is nice but not a must have, and the warlord traits aren't that beneficial to the castigator beyond the it will not die one. I still think the knight that benefits the most from being the warlord is the lancer, but if you're not using the lancer then I would pick the errant or paladin for sure to be the warlord.

All in all the castigator has great rules. The only area I think you need to worry about with this knight is fighting other knights and super heavies. The lack of a d weapon will really show if you're attempting to take on a Stompa or a transcendent C'tan. The castigator wants to stick to infantry and normal vehicles which is clearly reflected in the rules. I know I will be picking up 2 of these for myself in the near future. Hope you enjoyed the read and found it useful.

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