Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
Times and dates in your local timezone.
Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.
I hope that you enjoy my write-up of my time in the LVO40k Championship. If you have any questions just let me know.
The missions were played in numeric order through the rounds (i.e Mission 6 Crucible Of Champions was played in Round 6).
So I went into this not expecting too much just because the Knights were built/painted over December-February 6th. With the last one being finished the night before I left for LVO I did not have too much time to practice (5 games with one Knight at a December GT, 3 with 2 at a January RTT). The main thing I learned was that I did not like Raven on multiple Knights so I decided to go Taranis for the FNP, Darkest Hour and Fury of Mars while keeping the good Mechanicus stuff.
The event hall itself was well done. Although there was not a lot of space next to each table having 4 chairs per table provided plenty of accommodation to sit down and put the army tray on during deployment which was nice. The noise level was not nearly as bad as I was anticipating which meant that I surprisingly had some voice left even after day 3 ended. As someone who is naturally more softly spoken I was actually pretty shocked about that.
Other than what is apparently a traditional first round pause with BCP issues the event ran very smoothly. The extra time for rounds (3 hours each) was amazing. While it made for a very long day which of course has its drawbacks it did seem to eliminate any issues with completing games. I only used a timer for one game in the second chance RTT on Sunday and every game finished a full game except for one.
FLG offering the mats from the event for $37.50 at the end was also a nice bonus and I will have to budget for that next year.
Pretty standard Knight stuff of the triple Crusader variety with many Guardsmen. Going over my notes from LVO I used the following warlord traits and relics in at least one match so if you have any questions about my choices just let me know.
Cunning Commander (note: I mostly used this to make Knights characters on the cheap as I did not realize, silly me, that the Heirlooms stratagem also made Knights into characters. I doubt I will use this very much in the future except as a very cheap way to make a Knight a character and minimize CP use if the other relics/traits are simply not effective or worth CP against a particular opponent.)
Blessed By The Sacristans
Armor of the Sainted Ion
Mark of the Omnissiah
Fury of Mars
While I was looking at playing Guard as my primary detachment I had some apprehension about how quickly such a list could be played, even with the strength of the indirect fire weapons. As it turned out this list played very quickly (with movement trays there are really only 25 distinct models, of which 18-22 are often just running around not needing a lot of dice rolling). So even with sometimes slower opponents being able to finish 6 turns in an hour or less made it very easy to finish full games which was nice both from a playing experience and rankings.
Knight-Crusader [25pl, 468pts] Warlord (Knight Lance Character), Thermal Cannon, Avenger Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber, Heavy Flamer, Titanic Feet, Ironstorm Missile Pod
Knight-Crusader [25pl, 497pts] Thermal Cannon, Avenger Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber, Heavy Flamer, Titanic Feet, Stormspear Rocket Pod
Knight-Crusader [25pl, 472pts] Thermal Cannon, Avenger Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber, Heavy Flamer, Titanic Feet, Twin Icarus Autocannon
Round 1 Win 36-14 vs. Necrons
Immortals x10 Tesla Carbines
Immortals x10 Tesla Carbines
Immortals x10 Tesla Carbines
C'tan Shard of the Deceiver
My opponent was quite nice but they were definitely outmatched with all of that Tesla and not much in the way of Knight removal. I elected to go second knowing that there would not be any first turn charges. With an enclosed ruin in the middle to frustrate the Necrons' line of sight there was not much killing for them to do.
Without belaboring the point I was effectively able to destroy or cripple a few units per turn while forcing him to expose something to a kill for the primary which would in turn be destroyed on my turn. The C'tan was really the only thing that a chance of killing a Knight, especially after the Destroyers went down, which is another way of saying that the Necron list just had no answers for what I brought. At the end of the game the Stormlord was hiding in cover out of LoS while I owned the rest of the table with all three Knights alive and in good health (one may have been degraded at the end).
Round 2 Win 33-18 vs. Chaos
Ahriman on Disc
Daemon Prince of Chaos (Khorne)
Horrors x1 Blue, x10 Brimstones
Horrors x10 Brimstones
Horrors x10 Brimstones
Daemon Prince of Nurgle
Hellforged Contemptor x2 Butcher
Hellforged Contemptor x2 Butcher
Hellforged Contemptor x2 Butcher
This one was a bit scarier on paper than it proved to be in reality. Definitely a solid list but the Butcher Cannons were not quite enough to take down the Knights at range.
I screened fairly effectively with infantry such as that any fast assault would (a) be unable to get over without Charge phase Fly (which of course no longer exists) and (b) be exposed to strong shooting and assault retaliation from the Knights. Some of the Chaos army started in reserve, like the x30 pink Horrors unit, which provided them protection but denied them an early opportunity to just shoot a hole in my lines.
Throughout the game I slowly attritioned down the Contemptors with the Knights as I was able to while also working through the infantry screen. While there were a decent number of bodies the mass of Guardsmen were capable of whittling them down before they were finished off by the Knights. As the infantry screen went away for Chaos it opened up my ability to selectively shoot/assault the bigger characters and the smaller ones were simply not a threat.
A note on the Khorne prince, it is of course something to be handled very carefully with the anti-titanic relic. My generally principle has been to either prevent it from assaulting if possible or at least use deployment to feed it a Knight with Sanctuary. The 4++ with Rotate in the fight phase cuts down on the damage considerably and if the Knight is not able to tank the mortals effectively due to prior damage the 5+++ stratagem can provide a little cushion. As long as the Knight is on an OK bracket it should be able to damage the Prince enough in retaliation to either kill it outright or easily finish it off with shooting/assault the next turn.
This one was pretty interesting to play out on the tabletop. There were several buildings on the table and in each deployment zone (Hammer and Anvil). My opponent placed a Gaunt screen across the table, put a big unit of Genestealers in or behind each of the three buildings they could access (mid and two in the corners) and placed the other big bugs behind the center building.
I did an infantry screen in front of the Knights spread out across the deployment zone.
For Turn 1 my opponent sent one Genestealer squad in with Swarmlord while moving everything else forward. Somehow even with buffs and the fight again stratagem the Genestealers only killed two Guard squads before disappearing into a building.
In retaliation I wiped out the Gaunt squads I could see.
After that the full Genestealers and Broodlords went into infantry and Knights. While they managed to kill some infantry they could not make much meaningful progress on the Knights which lead to a bad day for the Genestealers as most were destroyed.
At this point the remaining Knights (I may have lost one with attrition from the Hive Guard by the second or third turn) played around with the Swarmlord a bit. Even with shrugging off wounds onto the Tyrant Guard Swarmlord eventually fell. At the end of the game it was just the unhurt Hive Guard sitting in a building with my remaining Knights and infantry claiming the field.
Round 4 Loss 25-29 vs. Brandon Grant
I am going to assume that everyone reading this knows the list here.
This was the only game I played that did not finish until a full 6 rounds or tabling. That did not matter too much and it is highly unlikely that a 6th round would have changed the outcome. But perhaps with that ITC check Mr. Grant can pick up a few movement trays for the Guard horde.
In case anyone is curious about Brandon's table behavior away from stream, I can assure you that even without having met him before Brandon was an excellent opponent in person who I would certainly enjoy the opportunity to play again in a competitive or casual setting. This game will definitely haunt me for a while though as there were some missed opportunities and victory was certainly feasible.
Our deployments and objectives were fairly symmetrical with a mass of Guard and an objective towards the middle and powerful units spread out across the board. For me that was a Knight more or less in each table third while Brandon had a Castellan on one side, Bullgryn towards the middle and his other vehicles on the far side. The Hellhounds were more in the open while the Wyverns were hiding behind one of the LoS blocking hill pieces.
I had first turn and unfortunately I was not fully able to capitalize on it. I plinked some Guardsmen and some wounds off of the Castellan but nothing major. If I recall correctly I did not get enough going fast enough to even bait Rotate out for the CP drain. I killed one Hellhound but the other survived on two wounds somehow. Two Bullgryn also died which helps but was certainly not going to turn the game on its own. I moved a lot of infantry forwards to try and start killing some Guard squads but even with First Rank orders not much was successful on that front.
Brandon killed some Guardsmen and did some damage from the Castellan splitting fire on the two not-Ion Bulwark Knights. They lived though. Sadly the Hellhound surviving was pretty crucial at denying me Kill More on primaries.
My turn was pretty similar to the first. I was able to get a Knight over to take out a Wyvern, although it would then die before getting a chance to repeat this against the second. Brandon had taken Old Grudges against my Warlord so I tied up the Bullgryn with a Crusader with the 2+ armor, which made for a very inconclusive combat. The silly Hellhound also survived as my Crusader totally whiffed. One or two wounds got through but Brandon made his saves. Similarly the Castellan was able to survive the Fury of Mars and other attacks, although at least I was able to force Rotate this time. It was either on this turn or the next that I made a pretty bad mistake and forgot to move my warlord Crusader, which made it much harder for it to cross the table and assault the Castellan later in the game. It also put it in a bad position to get assaulted by the Bullgryn later who became a lot scarier when within the Old Grudges aura.
This give and take defined the game as I was able to whittle down units but not able to deal a death blow to key pieces like the Bullgryn or Castellan. It survived on two wounds and we had a few turns where Brandon reliably made the 5+ Aquila roll to gain a CP off of me making a Crusader operate at full profile to keep it as deadly as always. When the Rough Riders came in I had a Primaris who just failed at smite and close combat with his stave, allowing them to survive and cause problems.
I was not fully able to exploit the first turn rush to consistently get kill more or hold more on the primaries so even with just about maxing out secondaries (11/12, never did get that last Wyvern) I was still behind and Brandon got the win.
Round 5 Win 31-19 vs. Tau
Fusion Commander in Coldstar with Drone Controller, Shield Drones
Minimum Strike Team x3
Enforcer Commander x4 CIB Dahyak Grekh
Crisis Suits with CIBs and Marker Drones
Remora Stealth Drone with x2 Seeker Missiles
Remora Stealth Drone with x2 Seeker Missiles
Sky Ray Gunship with x6 Seeker Missiles
Sky Ray Gunship with x6 Seeker Missiles
Broadsides x2 with missile pods
The Tau kept some drones, the Crisis suits and the CIB commanders in reserve while everything except one Strike squad and one character castled on the priority objective. I deployed a little more evenly with my infantry squads spread out across my deployment line (Dawn of War setup). The Knights were also fairly evenly distributed with one on each side.
The Tau were able to get first turn and unleashed a barrage of seeker missiles at a Knight with the Skyshield after stacking as many markerlights as possible. With the power of Rotate Ion Shields and Taranis FNP the Crusader barely survived the Tau shooting phase although I did lose some Guardsmen.
In my turn the Crusader's machine spirit surged viciously in conjunction with the rest of the army. I was able to get rid of the stealth drones and the Sky Ray Gunships. Other than that I removed some random small drones and most of the Fire Warriors. Away from the castle side my Guardsmen moved into a building for cover to allow them to seize the other corner objective soon.
The remaining suits, commanders and drones arrived in the Tau's second turn. The Tau were able to kill the wounded Crusader although it came back with Our Darkest Hour and damaged another pretty heavily with their Ion Blasters. While the Crusader was able to do some damage in shooting, it was hilariously ineffective in close combat as it was unable to destroy an exposed Tau commander. At least nothing untoward happened in overwatch as I was able to charge a single surviving Guardsman from a damage squad through a wall t tie up the commander and prevent any lucky fusion problems.
The tide of attrition had turned though as I was able to eliminate more Fire Warriors and drones. While I would lose two Crusaders by the end of the game it took too long for the Tau and they had no meaningful board presence left after I was able to kill the drones through shooting and morale. After I took the far corner objective away from the castle I generally had the lead in unit kills and objectives which combined with maxing secondaries gave me a fairly easy victory on points.
As much as I did not like the prospect of the mirror match I was pretty excited about this one just because I had seen the list pretty high in the rankings and wanted to see how it worked and what it did. I think the short answer is that while it did not deny secondaries especially well (I maxed out Kingslayer, Titanslayers and Marked for Death on Draigo and the GK strike squads) it was very good at denying primaries for kill/kill more as in the first round I was unable to destroy a unit at all and generally struggled to get kill more. That certainly limited my points from the primary objectives although to my benefit I was able to benefit from the Crucible of Champions bonus quite reliably.
I figured that in the mirror I really needed the drop on my opponent so I got and took the advantage. I did noticeable damage to two Crusaders although I was unable to finish either off. I could have kept going into the first Crusader I hurt and maybe gotten it down a bit further but I decided that getting the greatest damage overall (by targeting something without Rotate Ion Shields) was more important than trying to finish off the first target. My opponent did some but not much retaliatory damage and killed some infantry, including I believe finishing a squad with Draigo in melee. This was a situation where I was playing off of my relative confidence that based on deployment/bodies, etc., I had a much better chance of leading on the mission bonus points which gave me some leeway in not going hard at every possible primary point.
On Turn 2 I was able to finish the first opposing Knight. I made a small mistake when I charged a Primaris psyker through a wall to prevent overwatch and he was eaten by Draigo off an heroic intervention (always measure these things!) but certainly putting more damage into another Crusader was worth it.
My opponent was able to get a Knight at that point with Draigo close and brought in the Grey Knights to clear some infantry. The downside of course to that approach is that with them on the table I finally had a non-Knight target for the Avengers and maybe one non-character GK survived the next turn between shooting and assault. Without much non-Draigo left the game was pretty much over with the Brotherhood captain hiding in a building getting points while I held the objectives and farmed the hold/hold more/mission bonus points for a few turns. Draigo went the death or glory route on one of the Crusaders and it ended . . . poorly for him (after a few days I cannot remember if that was overwatch or totally blowing the to-wound rolls on his weapon, but either way it was bad).
Certainly an interesting twist on the Knights + other Imperium but ultimately the non-Draigo GKs were just as inefficient as I had anticipated at winning the game. I think it is a very impressive testament to my opponent's skill within the game and the power of the Crusader that they were playing at one of the top one loss tables even with the Grey Knights.
I ended up 5-1 tied for 30th. That loss will haunt me for a while but LVO was still a great experience and I am already looking forward to next year's iteration.
For the Championships I ended up 1-1 going first and 4-0 going second which seems to support the idea that outside of specific matchups the additional information gained from going second in the ITC format can easily exceed the costs.
As someone who almost never played with Knights (all of my other events were Guard primary with only a few games/events using 1-2 Knights) it was definitely interesting to play such a powerful and versatile Codex as a primary detachment. The versatility of the excellent Knight relics/warlord traits/Houses/stratagems, on top of the versatility of the Crusader platform itself in most melee and shooting situations, is quite powerful. While you may not always have the best answer (a Castellan would still be better I am sure for removing other Castellans) you should always have a potential answer for your opponent's strengths.
Because the ITC kill more mechanic is not weighted by power level or something similar it can be challenging to get the kill more primary against canny opponents which I do see as a weakness in the list. At the same time the additional CP and obsec bodies are simply invaluable (at least within the ITC format) and there is no way the list works as well without the +10 CP and the screening wall of flesh.
With one exception all of my opponents were great to play against which was nice to see and certainly cuts against some of the stereotypes about competitive players. That is not too far off of my prior experience but something that I always like to emphasize when I see it in action. If you are afraid of trying events of any size because of "That Guy", yeah you might meet one, but the overwhelming majority of players will be worth playing.
For the Thermal vs Battle cannons, probably the Guard player in me but feels silly to bring that weapon on a Knight when it just works better on Tank Commanders if you really want the profile. The points savings add up too over three of them.
As an additional note, I did not have a chance to listen to Brandon's Best in Faction podcast interview before originally posting the batrep but minutes 30-40 include a discussion of this list and our game if you want to hear someone else's perspective on it.
This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2019/02/14 17:40:40
Triple Crusaders was all about the versatility of the platform. You get two guns that are each effective against different targets and a useful melee profile. Three Knights lets you grab one of each carapace weapon which again gives you versatility against different opponents and more relic options.
When you have most of your army concentrated in three models it is nice to be able to grab the tools you need for any specific matchup out of the huge variety of traits, relics, etc., in the Codex.
Some of this also comes down to the other options available. The Gallant is good but I prefer something that can contribute in shooting and assault. The other similar Knights suffer from a split in focus without to me being dominant in assault enough to compensate for the gun loss. Might be different after I play some mirror matches but for now I am going to stick with Crusaders.
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/02/15 13:31:38
Well of course but they can plink some wounds and you have triple thermal cannons plus the relic stormspear. The only time I felt I lacked enough anti tank was against Brandon and that was partially just bad luck with a Hellhound and the Bullgryns being so tanky.
I would of course not want to play something like that with a casual list but it made for a close and challenging game in a competitive environment. Even as far as balance I would just want to see a few tweaks like fighting at full profile costing more on a Dominus and Rotate Ion Shields not stacking with Bulwark.
Reemule wrote: I run 3 Taranis Crusaders, all with Battlecannon and Ironstorm Carapace.
I like it as its dumping out a reliable 28 shots if I don't get the Hflamer involved. That kind of dakka stalls out most hordes when repeated 3 times.
Also the Avenger is better than you would think. With 3 of them, that is 36 shots, 24 hits, 8 wounds on a knight after saving throws of 4++
Also, in general, if your in a HTH situation, the kicks do good enough work I find. So its a strong all-rounder of a Knight.
I'm a big fan of the Avenger too, run Blessed by the Sacrosanct on it for incredibly reliable and hilarious mortal wound shenanigans.
Thanks for the reports, really interesting to see how you dealt with different enemies. still getting into warhammer after along hiatus so I'm getting into a lot of these, and yours are well written, concise and keep to the facts, excellent stuff.
Thank you all for the words of encouragement. Took the list to a 3 round RTT and had that come up 2-1. Brief summaries below for anyone interested in this list style and matchups.
Round 1 vs. Necrons Win 35-15
Played against a Wraith horde (3 big if not quite max units) backed up by Tomb Stalkers, x2 Doomsday Arks, a Triarch Stalker, 3 heavy Destroyers and some assorted characters.
This was another match where the Necron book just did not have what it takes to go up against triple Knights. My opponent's dice certainly betrayed him in the first several rounds (the ranged shooting effectively did nothing other than thin some Guardsmen) but even if it had been better it just did not have the tools to be in a winnable position. The Wraiths are very tanky but that only gets them so far.
Round 2 vs. Cadians/Castellans/Deathwatch Win 28-19
This was a little different than the Brandon Grant list but similar concepts. It had:
Vigilus Artillery - Brigade Detachment
x6 Guard squads, 3 with Lascannons
Officer of the Fleet
Special Weapons Squad x3 Sniper Rifles
x2 Armored Sentinel - Autocannon
Mortar Heavy Weapons Squad
x9 Deathwatch (Storm Bolters/Storm Shield)
The Castellan did eat a Knight turn 1 but I was able to bring it back so I got the shooting out of it on my turn and made him have to kill it again (which of course takes some work). Other than that his shooting was ineffective. In my turn 1 I cleared out a couple of Guard squads and the not-artillery vehicles.
In his turn he re-killed the one Crusader and hurt another. The Deathwatch came in but he kind of forgot they existed until the end of the turn. In my turn I killed the Deathwatch other than the Watch Master and worked through the remaining infantry and the Wyvern.
I will take an aside to say that the Castellan as Krast can be just as brutal against Knights with the Krast relic. I would still agree that Order of Companions is amazing but Krast is still really good against harder targets while staying as an AdMech house.
As the game played out I made sure that I was ahead on primaries each turn while focusing on killing the infantry to stay ahead on objectives. I actually got a little lucky on some random shots at the Castellan (just forcing Rotate Ion Shields) and got my Kingslayer points out of it but that did leave me unable to finish off the Basilisks who were still around at the end of the game. With the primaries secured I did enough on secondaries (couple of big game, Kingslayer, 3 Reaper) to stay ahead.
Round 3 vs. Harlequins and Eldar Flyers Loss 8-32
The only good thing about this was that despite getting stomped in Round 3 I still had enough points the first two matches to be the best 2-1 player. The hard takeaway though is that other than being far more aggressive in deployment and hoping for Turn 1 I am not too sure of how to improve against this archetype. Once a player figures out how to block movement/charges with cannot be charged supersonic flyers it is pretty rough going.
Anyway the list was:
Kabal of the Black Heart air wing with x3 Razorwing Jetfighters
Alaitoc Battalion with Autarch Skyrunner, Farseer Skyrunner, x3 Rangers, Crimson Hunter Exarch, Hemlock Wraithfigher
Serpent's Blood Vanguard with Shadowseer, x3 Death Jester, Solitaire, Skyweavers x5, Skyweavers x5
The Skyweavers and flyers got their Knight and it standing up was Vect'd. I went through the bikes in the first two turns but never really had a good answer for the flyers (no luck with the Thermal Cannons). Good use of the flyers prevented the remaining Knights from doing much in melee.
The Solitaire was extremely effective against my infantry. The Rangers did not do much other than sit on objectives but the Eldar characters were able to get into effective situations against infantry squads. The Solitaire also had a perhaps somewhat lucky shooting phase where it failed to die despite a couple of squads FRFSRF'ing into it. But such is the luck of the dice.
Potential changes going forward
Adding in an on-demand assassin to help with annoying things like relic Shock Attack Gun big meks and Doom seems like a no-brainer once the March rules come out. The cost there will likely be a combination of some infantry and/or carapace weapons. It would also be nice to have an astropath for the 3rd psyker and not having to use Maelstrom from a primaris.
The other thing I am considering is re-arranging the infantry. This comes from two angles:
(1) Taking out some Guard for AdMech to have the two Tech-Priests and access to the Graia anti-psyker stratagem.
(2) Switching out some Cadia guardsmen for Tallarn. In general I almost always have some squads advancing throughout the game so being able to advance and FRFSRF would be nice. The stratagem also gives access to outflanking which would be really nice to have in certain matchups to get pressure on the enemy deployment zone and far objectives. If I do this I may also play with the points to see if I can use a conscript unit here just to have better staying power in numbers when coming in from the flank.
Yea, the Eldar Flyer lists are gonna be hard for you to deal with with basically just 3 crusaders being your only reliable answer. Have you considered replacing one with like 3 Helverins? It would cost you the extra 3 CP you get from having 3 Questoris Knights, but it would seriously boost your anti-air abilities, Helverin Autocannons rip up Eldar flyers.
It is something I might try if I ever pick up the models for it. It does have some major costs (losing melee and CP) but if I keep running into builds like that it will certainly be an option to consider.
Thanks for the battle reports. I really find actual battle reports more helpful than listening to peoples theory hammer. Also the fact they're written means its easier to read them while at work...
The choice between Krasts punchiness with its relic and the strat for cc versus the Ravens order of reroll all 1s is tough. I run a castellan and am experimenting with a number of houses other than Raven. In order to soften the blow I'm currently running Bobby G who gives all imperium within 12" reroll 1s (it helps with my vindicare assassins BS2+ reroll 1s too) which is pretty mean.
Eldar Flyers are the only list that truly worries me. Have you considered House Mortan for its "ignore hit modifiers" strat?