Saturday, March 15, 2014

Do the Imperial Knights Break the game?

Ah yes, welcome back to my corner of madness dear readers. I have taken a short break from the blog while I caught up on real life. I have a ton of projects abound, and thoughts that I have been dying to post but I have a direction at this point so I wanted to start with some quick thoughts on the new Mini ME Titans.

This is a very interesting move by "those that shall not be named" at GW headquarters. They released what by all means appears to be one model with some weapon option but instead of being a dataslate, it is an entire codex. This is interesting in itself because it makes the models more playable by over all community standards. The model might normally be banned to only other Escalation events and then we could all move on about our life, however we don't generally ban a Codex. It's honestly pretty rare lately for a unit from a codex to be banned, let alone an entire codex. (There is a joke here about a one unit codex, but that's just too easy.. I think I am better than that)

So what we have is a D weapon, mini Titan that has slipped passed our Airport security and will most likely at least be allowed at several events going forward.

How do I feel about the model? After much thought it comes down to these issues.

First off The model itself is cool looking. GW makes cool looking models and I think for the most part people are happy with this one and most people I know have already picked one up regardless if people will be allowing them to field it or not. The model seems pointed well and not over costed per say (pay attention FW can we get some balance from you guys? lol)

Secondly I am a little sad that we have started a one model arms race? If allowed so many lists will need to run this model to be viable in the new meta is my initial thoughts. It's lame that to make certain lists or armies viable you have to add one or two of these models to them. So your going to see just as many knights as you see Coteaz models here shortly. (I like to assume Coteaz is actually in some of the knights so clearly he is in every army at this point. His influence is all reaching!) The knight does help combat Death Star 40k that we are currently in at the moment, so seeing new lists hit the table or playing games that aren't won or lost because one person rolls a 11 would be cool.

Thirdly I am worried that this will usher in the era of escalation. If the knights are working and we already have D weapons  we might as well play with everything, is easily a mind set you are going to see people jump into.. I am not a fan of playing with full blown Escalation and D weapon wielding terrain personally as standard 40k. Not to mention the cost I know this isn't a cheap hobby but sometimes I feel like it's getting silly.

So I feel that I don't mind the knights and if they allow it even though it will mean seeing a lot of knights if it mixes up the field from just pure deathstars I don't see that as a horrible thing. However if Escalation uses this as entry into standard 40k the knights aren't as good. So you'll start seeing titans and the such and I have a stance on titans. Not against them personally, but if I have to field a Titan to play competitively than I am out until that nonsense is over. I will collect and maybe play combat patrol,

Perhaps its getting close to time to switch my primary game system to something else? I hear good things about drop zone, Mali, and even Dark Age.


  1. You have a well thought out post here, but I believe you are over reacting.Knights can be destroyed pretty easily. A drop pod full of melt is a viable alternative, plus it is useful against fortifications, av 14 etc. What knights bring to the table is an easy way to build a list. Drop 900 points, and all of a sudden I have to paint half as many models. Cheer up, the rule of knights will be short. They are just another part of the game.

    1. I think they are harder to kill than you give them credit for but, I do hope I am over reacting to every army having to field one. you do have a point about being way easier to build and paint a army!

  2. They seem OK to me overall (they may even be over-costed on points, but it is hard to value out the Stomp, etc. rules). From a use-wise I would have preferred something like a Crusader version where all the weapons would be ranged. It would have certainly seemed less like a single model codex if there was at least 1 melee and 1 ranged version of the knights. From a balance point of view though if the Crusader has ranged D weapons then I can see why they may have done this, since the current knights only have a melee D weapon which at least gives you a chance to do something against it versus just auto-dying to ranged D weapon pie plates.

    S8 ranged weapon to the sides of these knights will really chew them up, even lance, haywire, melta, powerfist/thunder hammer, are all still quite good here against them.

    1. I think the Melee D weapon isn't so bad for standard 40k as you said. The ranged weapon would make it clearly in the same class as the escalation stuff. The fact you can use it to counter assault Death stars, makes it's cost justified I think. It isn't shabby, until the meta shifts in another direction of course.

      Not tons of Str 8 in the current meta at events, but again the knights will shift up the meta, although remember if you assault it it do death with thunder hammer's it explodes strength D which means you could lose that unit anyway lol.

  3. As you touch on several related subjects, a couple of different thoughts;

    Knights are killable, and a big chunk of points. When they go, they're relatively likely to take something with them. All of these factors can be addressed.

    Str D being assault, rather than shooting has been addressed, It is definitely a mitigating factor on the knights being overpowered contention.

    That leads into escalation easily enough, as that very point is what the community has resounded with, in regard to escalation. Even those who like escalation concede that where it is overpowered or unbalanced, it is where str D ranged enters the picture.

    So, is this likely to open the floodgates of an escalation arms race? Doubt it. Those who run the tournaments are already engaging is fifty shades of comp in order to institute some version of what they perceive as balance.

    Major events liked Adepticon already run a no holds barred event of some sort, and run the tournament separately. I suspect that will continue as it has.

    The only difference is that where organizers draw the line may shift from supplements and expansions to "codexes." GW seems to be shifting the meaning of that word. Hellbrutes are getting a codex. Legion of the Damned has a codex. Codex may come to mean rules for, single units, groups of units, or entire factions, but also means that it all is intended for use within "standard" 40k.

    Again, that's maybe. Who knows? GW's shifting their business model on the fly, and has firmly come down on not supporting tournament style play. Which means, just as it has for a while now in sixth, that we have entered an age of comp.

    It is up to event and tournament organizers to implement some form of comp if they want "competitive 40k." The only thing that really remains is for the community to unify and pick a standard of some sort. I don't think that's likely, but you can see consensus forming in the blogosphere, or that portion of it that hasn't given up.

    So far it seems to be that, Str D ranged is game breaking, or borders on so, and that some form of comp is necessary, and that's where the debate has started and factions are forming.

    As tournaments experiment with formats, things will shake out. As large a portion of the community agrees with you about not wanting titans to be a necessary element of their army, I suspect you will be pretty safe there too.

    1. The comp isn't that impressive at the moment. Although it is leaning on becoming a bit more currently they are comping more than one ally and a few events are making changes to the rerollable saves. Aside from that the only other comp thing I see is if they allow SA they ban some of the units. I haven't seen Escalation allowed with units banned just yet it so far appears to be all or nothing on that front.

      Your point about the word Codex being thrown around is interesting though, I hadn't considered that they would just start calling everything a codex. That would make things even less formal from them in regards to what is standard play and what isn't IMO. Although as you hint at, perhaps they could care less as long as we are buying things.

      I hope that a large portion of the community is on board with not needing a Titan like you say though. I suppose I should wait and see what the new rumored 6.5 edition rules say to clear up or muddy the waters further.

  4. Read Abuse Puppy's review of the Knights and their codex yet?

    I think it's the most rational I've read so far. Two of the key passages being;
    "So this is a question I still wrestle with. Is there an army that wants to bring in a Knight? I don't think that pure Knights, as a pure force, are a viable tournament competitor- though certainly they will play spoiler army to some others and will occasionally take tournament victories because of some good rolls. "


    " Knights are not just expensive, they are incredibly expensive, and they are never scoring in an allied detachment (though this does console those who get them as Desperate Allies slightly, removing the main disadvantage of that part.) Why spend four or seven hundred points on something that is basically just a Wraithknight at the end of the day? You could get a Farseer, Wraithknight, and even a squad of troops for only a tad more than the minimum Knight price, and the Wraithknight alone is arguably better than the Knight at many tasks (like killing Riptides!)"

    Ultimately, I don't see them being a viable tournament addition, not as a primary force, certainly. To have them as a primary force you're looking at a minimum investment of 1110 points. There's not a lot of options left with the 390 to 890 remaining points, not when you consider that's got to accomodate anti-air, scoring, etc.

    Each knight is, assuming an ability to take shots from multiple facings, six av12 hull points, and the knights themselves are mediocre at range. There a lot of existing armies that can deal with that, and if you deal with them early in the game, and they're likely to be a high priority target, they're more likely to go boom close to your enemy, rather than you.

    You're right, comp isn't impressive at the moment. It's just getting started though, and from my read, Escalation is much more often disallowed than not. The community has been slow to pick up on it as, comp was a dirty word in 5th.

    I'm really not at all worried about escalation, or knights.

    1. I agree that I don't expect to see a pure knight army, but what the knight excels at is being a counter charge unit to help deal with deathstars. The current Deathstars in the game are resilient and the Stomp plus D weapon tend to tear through that and do damage anyway. Now while the Knight is killable by all means, the deathstar lists lack the support units to do this in a quick manner. So if nothing else you end up buying yourself a few turns while they deal with the knight or two and the rest of your army goes to town on his support units.

      What you end up with is bring high shooting forces back to the table. You can easily bring a gunline Tau for example and now add a Knight or two depending on your preference. Then boom the Deathstar that developed to deal with your high rate of fire now has to keep its distance until the knight is dealt with. Very different than a Riptide or a Wraithknight. IMO.

      The Deathstars showed up in the meta as a reaction to TAU. Tau was crazy good and doing massive damage. This is why the screamerstar for example wasn't being played until Tau was popular on the scene. It has the ability to stand up to that massive shooting Tau brings. So now that we have a solid counter assault who isn't going to bring one?

      So I don''t completely agree with several of his points. He says several current builds can easily deal with a knight or two at range and I disagree. I also hear people name off units that will utterly kill a knight, but in general I am not seeing these units being ran on the competitive scene at all? A drop pod full of melta for example isn't a popular choice at the moment in the land of everything gets a rerollable inv save, and no vehicles except wave serpents that downgrade pens. It is pretty common that it is more reliable to glance things to death than to pen them to death in the current edition.

      Plus I havent even talked about buffing the knight. We haven't even mentioned that clearly the other player will react and protect his pricey toy. Tech marines to repair it perhaps? Sky shield to stand behind or on top of... casting powers on the thing etc... I still feel that the knight is more viable than most people are giving it credit for at initial glance.

      Comp is still a dirty word people are just trying to react to the massive nonsense GW releases without any direction. However that is a topic of an entirely diff article lol.


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