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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Knights of the Realm - New Paladins

"Bond.... James Bond."
So Paladins, the terminator elite of the GK codex. The very grimmest of the Grim Dark Marines of the Grim Dark future (angry marines not withstanding). 2 Wounds, 55 pts per model, 2+/5++ save, armed with storm bolter, a little psychic might, and a big shiny weapon of close combat orientation.

Not going to lie, I love paladins. More than purifiers, in fact. Paladins to me sound like they belong in the codex, purifiers seem to be shoehorned in, as an alternative to paladins- but considering that the elite of the GK army wear TDA, why do we still have little PA guys? (Oh right, cause tactically, and for the purposes of MSU, they are awesome :D )

Lets look at why Paladins are good.

Relentless - Move and fire cannons. Yes, you can get 5 Fryers (Purifiers, geddit?) with 2 cannons, and put them in a metal box for 100 pts less. But they can still only move 6", and fire 4 shots. The double cannon squad of 5 dudes can move 6", fire 8 shots, 2 of which are master crafted. And then you can assault.

Wound abuse - first and foremost reason. Ask any competent Tau player, why he puts that crappy 5pt upgrade on his Team leader - its so you can manage the death of your minis in the order that you see fit. This allows you to maintain the combat viability of your unit, while weathering an incoming storm of fire. How does this help paladins? You get to keep what you want to keep on the table, unlike TH/SS termis and the like. This means someone literally has to remove every wound your squad has, to stop it doing what you would like it to do (usually moving and shooting psycannons).

Apothecary - Not my favoured option, but not a -terrible- option. Grants FNP to the squad. Wound abusing models with a 2+ and a 5++... Sounds great! Ask Nobs why they are so hard to kill! Has the same weakness though - if your opponents hitting you with AP2, you don't get your feel no pain anyways. Or instant death (ie template weapons, such as battle cannons) So the stuff that your opponent is likely to hit you with, is going to kill you regardless of your feel no pain. 75pts is a steep price to simply ward off small arms fire (Ward off! VT2's head might explode if i say that word/name enough :D )

Master Crafted Weaponry - on, you know, everyone. Including those Psycannons. So now your moving, and firing 8 shots a turn, and rerolling 1 of those misses per cannon. So effectively you get 2 riflemen dreads in your squad, except now they have rending. Oh, and unlike a riflemen, the terminators will still punch the crap out of you in CC, and they don't get stunned. (NB - I know, fortitude, but I'm a firm believer that canny players with psychic defense will hurt this.)

Why are they bad? Expensive cost. Yeah, they aren't cheap. But your paying for some very versatile elites, here, my man. Your paying for Holocaust, Hammerhand, Deep strike, TDA, relentless MC cannons, and 2 attacks base. 

So what to take on your awesome dudes of awesome? Lets look at some builds.

Base-din's - 5 dudes, 2 master crafted psycannons, mixed weapons for wound abuse. Exceptional suppression, some CC punch, and resilient. Also cost about 1.5 x what a normal terminator squad does, but with improved damage output.

Versatile - 10 dudes, 4 cannons, 3 falcions, 2 stave's, swords. The combat squad option. You can either field 2 strong 5 man units, each capable of dishing out solid midfield damage. You can also pick a firepower unit, and a CC unit, and use them accordingly. Mix and match psycannons per squad as the opponent's force requires.

Shooty - 10 guys, no falchions, MC cannons by 4, and psybolts. Again, split them as the situation requires, unloading 10 str5 shots from a combat squad is quite tasty, as is 16 from the squad behind it.

Things to watch out for - upgrades. You can really go to town on spending on your paladins, but like all 40k units, its not a great idea. MC'ing every weapon is inefficient, its best saved for hammers and psycannons. (The stuff you need to hit with). Psybolts are only worthwhile if you are taking a max squad, ie 4 cannons and 6 stormbolters, and apothecaries are hardly ever worth it, unless you have a spare 75 pts laying around.
Shrouding. I can't stress this enough - cornerstone ability of the GK army, regardless of mech or foot. Being able to get your paladins a 3+ cover save is pure awesome, and should be aimed for wherever possible.

Hopefully this throws out some insight on to why I believe paladins are viable. They are a good solid elites choice, with plenty of opportunity. Combined with Librarians shrouding, summoning, or GM's Grand Strategy scoring, they have lots of tactical options and resilience.



PS. Sean Connery is a Knight of the Realm, hence the reference to the man with the most awesome accent ever. For those kids playing at home.

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