Friday, 15 May 2015

Imperial Knights - no tournament love?

I must have more time on my hands at work these days - two posts in the same... year!

The ETC is currently voting to include or don't include super heavies. Or whether to ban entirely or make an exception for iKnights.

The UK GT is finalising its rules for 2015/16 season and a combined 400 points can be spent on Forgeworld and Superheavies combined.. So it looks like a max of 1 iKnight or Wraithknight.

The question is, do UK tournies follow suit?

The ETC has a tremendous ripple effect on tournaments and in whether the casual tournament player knows it or acknowledges it, the decisions made on this high play level influence what they see on the tabletop.

If you don't think the ETC has an impact, the UK Indy GT certainly does - dropping to 1500, no Maelstrom cards - just a select combined mission pack, and a 400 point cap on FW and Superheavies.


I am going to try and get back on the the UK scene a bit more this year, hit the GT qualifiers and then hopefully qualify for the Final next year. I am confident that if I read the meta right I can more than qualify, but the question today is:

Is this the right direction for UK play?

Are iKnights THAT hard to kill/dominant in the game for a tournament player? In the era where GW are allowing us to play with our toy soldiers in almost any way we see fit (ASIDE: remember when you played 40k as a little kid and you just made it up as you went along, confident that your imagination would guide you right for FUN... this is it, but with rules to guide us now that we are more advanced mentally - or not!!) is it right to buck this trend, to rebel against the tide of new releases?

If this is the direction our game is heading - Epic but on a heroic scale (which I for one, am not against!) then shouldn't the UK scene be trying to roll with the punches rather than hit back against an opponent that simply can't feel the blows?


  1. To be honest, I thought FW got it right with 30K when they said that a max of 25% of your army could be Lords of War (and then made sure that all superheavies etc. were classed as LoW). I realise GW discarded this rule for the rule of cool, but its a nice easy fix to re-apply in 40K to tone most things down.

    1. 25% is fine, except when the company have released an army which is entirely made up of Lords of War? And are you counting 25% lords of war for special characters like ghazgull or Dante? Then you have no chance of running a superheavy in favour of an inspirational leader?

      I think that limiting is... Limiting! Haha, is it really needed in light of more and more super heavies and Lords of War coming in?

      Actually, I think I'd be happy knowing that there was a consistent tournament approach to these things, then the "tournament meta" can shift and develop as a discrete element to casual play.. One that is characterised by optimal , points efficient unit choices capitalising on synergies

  2. IKnights are a tough nut for some armies to crack, but Lance shots or MCs or Grav or Necron Gauss or any Haywire deals great damage to Knights and the opponent loses a big chunk of points and army in the process.
    Necron Warriors and Haywire Crypteks dropping in from a Scythe would down a Knight a turn. Grav Weapons and MM bikes in WhiteScar bike army - some would say that grav heavy bike lists are OP too... Grav weapons rock!
    Until recently (darn Carapace AA weapon) Flyers could act with impunity, my Stormtalons with rending AS Cannons and Lascannon or Skyhammer Missiles are manoeuvrable enough to bypass the facing of an Ion Shield and pummel Knights.
    Or alternatively, tarpit them with cheap mobs/troops - stomp hurts but otherwise makes them ineffective at objective grabbing missions.
    I think 25% on LoW is a reasonable cap, and let IKnights in by all means, I doubt any would make it to the top tables. But I think a cap is perhaps needed to keep it 'competetive'? Rather than rock/paper/scissors.

    1. No more Haywire Crypteks buddy..gone the way of the Dodo.
      But your point is no less valid, there is a wealth of options in all armies to deal with them.
      The chief amongst this being... Play the mission as toonboy78 says below - maelstrom helps balance the game by its sheer existence...

      Rock Paper Scissors can be an issue if there was no answer to IKnights. In many cases, I think it is just Ad Lance that's causing the real problems. Rerolling saves, effective fleet for charges, d3 s10 hammer of wrath per knight.. And the Seneschal having a 3++ reroll able...without it... Not that bad!

    2. AD lance a problem? 3 knights that is 1000+pts and they have to stay within 3" of one of the other ones to get the bonuses, that is a lot of board they are not covering

    3. They cover over 20" laterally and move 12" ... Knights DO possess excellent board control. Staying in 3" is only needed before they hit combat... IMHO

  3. i don't believe in banning/restricting anything in the rules.

    why can't i play with my army of knights?

    i think the rule already have options in them to balance them up.

    1. play smaller games, 1500 would be a real struggle to go crazy with knights (of any kind). if you do then you a losing options elsewhere (fliers, units to take objectives, manoeuvrability, table coverage, psychic abilities, etc)
    2. maelstrom missions. if you play them, then you need a wide variety of options in your army or some of the missions will be unachievable.

    these 2 options alone should balance out most crazy options in armies without having to add in other (potential unbalanced and unfair) rules, that restrict players/collectors from using the models they have spend time and money on.

    1. ""...why can't i play with my army of knights?..."
      This is a big point isn't it? GW tells us what is legal, and if an army of (@1500) 3 models plus a scattering of allies is A way to go...
      There is no limit on scatter bikes for example in the UK GT, with their cheap cost and psychic suppor to include Rending and Psuedo-Rending ... How many of these will be seen? I'd wager a large amount. Are these any less frustrating than IKnights?

  4. I think the lower points value is the way to go. Leave everything in, but only give players 1500 points to spend.

    1. 1500 is where I started playing tournaments 5 years ago.. It was quick, encouraged efficiency and enjoyable. Whislt I may be used to 1850 now, it could be a welcome return to MSU or deathstars could emerge again..or both.. But I think a trio of Knights wouldn't be insane or unstoppable!

  5. Knights actually add an interesting twist to the meta, and while initially scared of them, I think any army that can handle armor can handle Knights. Hell, I ate two with misfortune and flesh hounds! They certainly aren't the fun-killers they initially seemed to be. It can be hard for people as they are a VERY hard rock to some scissors, but I have come to terms with them.
    Limiting them especially in the light of the more powerful deathstars and DPA armies that are coming around seems petty, and will only lead to a further flattening of any meta. Not OP, not OG, but definitely OK.

    1. Scum... 100% agree. All armies can deal in some way! Even Orks!