Friday, April 2, 2021

Imperial Armour Compendium Critical Review: Part 5- Imperial Knights, Titan Legions, Chaos Knights and Chaos Titan Legions

A Continuation of our 11 part review of the Imperial Armour Compendium. This time we are diving into the Imperial and Chaos Knights and Titans.

Sorry for the long delay. Just more and more life has gotten in the way and I find myself without time lately. I've gotten 1 model painted all of March and find myself falling asleep having gotten no hobbying done for the past several weeks.  Also, several points changes and FAQs occurred since release.

I am really trying to not be salty in this, and I am going to be as factual as possible but maintain a critical eye, the intent of which is to inform you and maybe, just maybe, let GW know we notice and care about this stuff. The details matter in an expensive hobby like this, and if it takes a small time blog to hold them accountable then so be it.

This review will be an in depth 11 part series, and I will update and link each successive article below, so keep checking back for updates.

First of all I want to discuss the Titans. Specifically, the titan legion rules

So now Titan Legions AND Secutarii can take a <TITAN LEGION> Keyword....
But there is nothing else to it. There are no benefits. No Warlord Traits. No Orders or Canticles or anything. I feel a bit deceived seeing as when GW was hyping the compendium on Warhammer Community, they mentioned "Rules for Titan Legions" as one of the new cool features. 

Now it is cool that Secutarii are of the same <TITAN LEGION>, and what is neat is that they can make Heroic interventions up to 6" if it is withing 6" of a friendly <TITAN LEGION> Titanic model.  Now what stinks about it is that there is no HQ unit with a <TITAN LEGION> keyword. Now while Secutarii do not stop Ad Mech units from taking a <FORGE WORLD>,  they cannot take a <FORGE WORLD> themselves, and there are very few buffs for things without a <FORGEWORLD> as far as I can tell. This doubly stinks considering FW actually does make a titan techpriest model that could have easily been give <TITAN LEGION>, and been able to interact more with Secutarii.

Now for the Chaos Titans, they have <HERETIC TITAN LEGION>. What stinks about this for them is there is really no benefit what so ever. They have no Secutarii to interact with and there is no longer a Dark Mechanicum faction (the Hellwrights moved to legends and they lost the keyword).

As for the Titans themselves, I feel they were massively Nerfed.
First of all, void shields.

They used to be an Invulnerable save that degraded with damage, and could also be used against mortal wounds.

They now operate as a temporary wound bank. So each void shield is 3 temporary wounds and a 5+ invuln (that does not work vs mortal wounds either). Each time a invuln is failed, the shield losses a shield point. What is nice is that this is irrespective of damage. The problem is that they can still be taken down relatively fast and then leave you multi-thousand point model completely open to AP. Hot-shot lasguns en-Masse can and will do damage to a titan without voids. The voids do come back each command phase, but seeing as a Warhound only has 2 voids and will be facing a 2000 point army on its own, there will be plenty of shooting to force 6 failed saves each turn. 

Now while each Titan did gain wounds, they all lost Toughness. Warhounds went from T9 to T8. Reavers T10 to T8. Warlords T16 to T9. Why? Wasn't the whole point of the system in 8th and 9th ed that you have stats over 10. With weapons that still go up to S16, S18 and even S20, this is disappointing IMO. The idea a Warlord Titan can be wounded on a 2+ is disheartening. 

Besides that, they all went up in points significantly and lost rules for any weapons not currently made by Forgeworld in 28mm scale. So things like Saturnyne Lascutter and Incinerator Missile Banks are gone entirely, and things like Warhound weapons as a carapace option on the Reaver or Warlord are no longer an option. 

Overall, Titan Legions lost a lot more than they gained.

I could go into specific weapons changes and details on the datasheet, but its largely pointless. These are rarely seen and if you own one, the reason for doing so has more to do with the model and collecting than actual game play. But it is still lamentable to see them reduced in power so much, especially since they were relatively easy to destroy even before. 

Next up, Forge World Knights

Cerastus Knights all lost a wound, but the Lancer did gain an Attack. Also, all but the lancer lost 2" of Movement, and now move as fast a Questoris Knight. They also all lost the Blessed Autosimulcra, meaning they no longer can gain a wound at the start of each turn. This used to be on a 5+, so it wasn't that reliable, but I am not sure why it had to go. Last of all, the Atrapos' Invuln save went from being a 4+ base to a 5+ and it lost its Macro Extinction protocols.

They all have Titanic Feet and the Super Heavy Walker rules... which aren't reprinted in the Compendium and you have to go to Codex Imperial Knights/Chaos Knights to read.

For weapons, the Lancer's lance got a nice boost with a stronger profile on the turn it charges, with moth higher S and Damage. 
The Castigator's bolt cannon gained 2 shots. The Tempest Warblade went to Damage 3 from 5, but it now makes hit rolls for each attack it has, essentially doubling its attacks. It did loose its ability to do an additional D3 mortals for each wound roll of a 6, but this likely all washes out with the increase in attacks, though Mortals were nice to bypass invulns and FNP.
The Acheron Reaper Chainfist got a nice bonus with a second profile that has higher damage (flat 6) at 2x S and AP -4, and the sweep attack now makes 3 hit rolls for each attack and no longer is -1 to hit.

The Atrapos weapons had some rather extensive changes. The Lascutter shooting now no longer generates bonus attacks if it slays its target, but instead rerolls to wound, making it more reliable against larger targets. In Melee it went from 1 profile with S8 AP-3 3D to 2 profiles, S6 AP-2 3D that makes 3 hits for each attack or a S12 AP-4 6D focused attack that has a reroll to wound vs monsters and vehicles. But the rerolls to hit vs monsters and vehicles is gone unfortunately. The Graviton Singularity Cannon also changed, gaining a dual profile. What is nice is there is a mode of fire that no longer risks doing damage to the Knight, and then if gained a boosted profile with an additional D6 shots shooting up to S14 and AP-4. The only thing is now on a roll of 1-3, instead of just a roll of 1, that mode does D3 mortal wounds (instead of 1). More reward, more risk.

So the Cerastus Knights are interesting. I don't think the FW compedium hurt them, in fact most of the multi-profiles were a boon, but really it is 9th edition that has done them the greatest disservice of all. At 26 Wounds, they are always vulnerable to shooting, and with only 3+ saves and 5+ invulns, they are just a tad too vulnerable IMO for their costs, and the Atrapos in particular took a hit. 

Next up, Questoris Knights: The Magaera and Styrix. Neither had stat line changes to speak of but had some nice weapon changes. They did loose the Blessed Auosimulacra just like their Cerastus cousins. And they have the same issue IRT Titanic Feet and the Super Heavy Walker rules. Their Preysight went from just ignoring +1 to cover saves to ignoring benefits of cover, which is nice.

The Hekaton Siege claw for both gained a dual profile, one of which makes 3 hits per attack at user 2 and a crush attack that is the same stat line as in 8th with an added bonus of +2D versus vehicles and monsters. 

The Twin Rad Cleanser also got a big boost with 3" extra range and wounding on a 2+ vice a 3+. 

For the Magaera, the Phased Plasma Fusil is boosted with +1S and the Lightning Cannon gained 2 shots, moved to flat 3 damage, gained a point of AP and additional hits on an unmodified 6 to hits. 

For the Styrix, the Graviton Crusher gained a point of AP and the Volkite Chieoroville does 2 mortal wounds on a wound of 6+, instead of just generating an additional hit.

The clear winner between the two is the Mageara IMO, and is worth looking at if you are taking a Knight or Knight Army... but as with the Cerastus, knights suffer from the rules of 9th more than from any shortfalls in their datasheets.

Next up the Acastus Knights- Porphyrion and Asterius. Now the Asterius was not in the previous Index, but it does have a PDF online for the Chaos one. Not sure when it came out though, so I am just  going to be looking at the Porphyrion stat line from the Index vs the Compendium. If I recall correctly the Asterius only came into 40 in 9th anyways.

First up, like the Titans they took a T hit, going down by 1 point. It also lost a point of WS and BS at each level of damage, which is a big nerf IMO.

The Helios launcher no longer subtracts 1 to hit vs non FLY units, but only gains +1 against Aircraft and that really would just make it equal to the BS of the Index.

 For the Asterius, the Conversion beamer can be stronger, but only very long ranges, which in 9th isn't very useful. Really only can be better than the Porphyrion Magna Cannons in large APOC games. However, the Mortar is nicer than the Helios missile launcher, but at Heavy 3D3, risks having a very low volume.

For the Points of both Acastus, I personally would rather have other knights. And as everything else here, they summer from the same issues in 9th as any Titanic unit. 

Last up is the Knight Armiger Moriax. Previous PDF found here from FW still.

It lost 2" of movement, but no other detrimental stat line changes. Otherwise it had no other changes except picking up Blast on the conversion beamer. 

So In summary, I would say Titans were Nerfed heavily while knights in general got some benefits (except my poor poor Atrapos). BUT this is 9th edition we are talking about, and there is a reason you are not seeing a lot of knights out there.