Should I Buy A Knight Castellan: Nights At The Game Table

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What? You thought these articles were just for new releases? Nope, these articles encompass the entirety of the 40k range! Today i’m going to be talking about the boogeyman of the ITC, the Knight Castellan. So, the big bad of 40k has received a bonk on the head with the “nerf bat”. Many of you are wondering if you should take them and many more are wondering if they should still get one. So lets figure this out.

The Crunch

All-righty then, If you look at their stats there isn’t any change, but most of you already knew that. Regardless, the Castellan still has a scary profile and will delete anything you point it at. The plasma decimator still chews up everything from elite infantry to tanks. The Volcano Lance still absolutely wrecks titanic units. All that amazing equipment is still here. Also, The Castellan has a deep wound pool of 28 and a sturdy toughness 8. This thing is still a beast, and will still kill a whole truckload of stuff every turn. Its degrading profile while troublesome can be fixed with the use of a stratagem. What the Castellan does, and what it is meant to do hasn’t changed. So maybe don’t shelve it too quickly.

Upgrades And Fiddly Bits

Ok, the Ion Bulwark warlord trait still gives you a 4++ save against shooting which means you don’t have to pay 3CP every turn. This is still really nice, and if your taking a Castellan is likely your go to warlord trait. Additionally you have the ever amazing relic Cawl’s Wrath. (seriously though, did Cawl give it to a Knight House or just forget it somewhere?) Cawl’s Wrath cranks up your plasma decimator to 11. With its standard firing mode being equal to a regular decimators supercharge. Meanwhile its supercharged profile goes up to a whopping strength 9 and damage 3. At that level its going to likely be able to cripple other knights and wound them on 3’s instead of 4’s. Plus, at damage 3 you can instagib Custodes, Tyranid Warriors, and quite a few other multi wound models.

Big Guns May Tire

Even with all this there has been some important changes, as many of you may know. The Castellan has gone up 100pt’s, and the renegade version went up a little more to get both knights at the same price. This puts them at 704 points per robot. Thats not exactly cheap, and in lower points games might be a tad too much. However, in 2,000pt games the loss of 100pt’s shouldn’t be all that huge. The biggest change by far is how rotate ion shields works. The Stratagem now has a clause in it that says it cant improve your invulnerable save beyond a 4++. Im sure a lot of people are mad about this, but this is honestly something that needed to happen.

Back in 7th edition you could give a flying daemon prince a re-rollable 2++ invulnerable save. It was dumb and so they started putting rules and limitations in 8th on how far you could take an invulnerable save. Generally this is 3++, but they didn’t anticipate how crazy it would be on a Castellan. The Castellan for its points would already beat out other units at its points cost and then some. The Lord of Skulls comes to mind, they had similar points costs, but the castellan would absolutely wreck a Lord of Skulls in a single round of shooting.

Castellans were criminally under costed for what they did, much like the Wraith Knights of 7th edition. Then, you realize you can give them a 3++ save. With their high toughness they were already tricky to wound, but the 3++ save kept them safe from weapons designed to kill them. All and all it was a bit silly.

The Verdict

So, now Knights are stuck at a 4++ save across the board and as a result are a little easier to kill. Also, their points cost now better reflects what your getting. So, they aren’t as cheap and durable as they once were, but does that mean that they are bad? Thats a hard no there big shoots. These guys are still awesome, and do a lot of work for their points cost. Additionally, there is now room for experimentation as you may want to take a different warlord trait and relic to boost their toughness. You know what else? The Knight Valiant didn’t go up in points. Maybe we will even see those on the tabletop.

Either way I don’t think the Castellan is dead like some think it is. Personally, I still think its a good buy. If you are looking to add some firepower to your list I still think that this is still an amazing choice. So, hold on to that Castellan if you have one, and consider getting one if you don’t. At the end of the day it will still reduce enemy units to little more than scorch marks and meat mist.

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Also, a big thanks to Games Workshop for the images used in our article.

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