Analysis: Black Knights in the new Dark Angel book

Well, it looks like Black Knights recieved a slight, 2 point cost reduction per model in the rumors that are our so far for Codex : Dark Angels.

Other than that, they appear almost exactly the same in terms of rules and Wargear, except for the addition of the Ravenwing special rule (i.e. allowed to re-roll failed Jink saves) and the nerfing of the Rad Grenades on the RW Grenade Launcher (no longer reduceds T by -1; instead, causes 2W for each to Wound roll of 6).

Altogther, with the point drop and addition of Ravenwing special rule, I think the Black Knights went up in relative combat power, even in spite of the significant hit due to the nerfing of Rad grenades. First of all, with Skilled Rider and re-rollable jinks, if they choose to give up shooting at full BS, they suddenly have better than Terminator Armor protection in terms of their cover saves (only an 11% chance to fail their Jink saves and they can only be ignored by Ignore Cover weapons, which are significantly rarer than AP2 weapons). Combine this this with their 12″ move, T5, Scout, Hit and Run, and ability to Turboboost and they are easily one of the more versatile units in the game. Additionally, they still have 4 S5 AP- Rending attacks per model on he charge, they still have TLed Plasma Talons on every bike that doesn’t take a RW Grenade Launcher, and they have excellent synergy possibilities with other units.

Some examples of these possibilities are:

-Dark Shroud — The obvious one, but nevertheless excellent. Giving nearby Black Knights Stealth means that they then have a 2+ re-rollable Jink save, which makes them near impossible to kill with non-Ignore Cover shooting. Addtitionally, if they declare an Assault while within 6″ of the Dark Shroud, enemy units cannot fire Overwatch on them… quite a signficant bonus there!

-Allied Biker Sanguinary Priest — With the ability to basically attached an IC Apothecary from allied Blood Angels, this makes the Black Knights even more durable with the addition of FNP and, if properly equipped, some Grav Pistol shooting (to potentially knock a target down to I1, due to the Concussive rule, before the Black Knights charge), an Auspex to reduce enemy cover saves, and/or some Power Weapon attacks from the Sanguinary Priest to supplement the Black Knight Corvus Hammers and Huntmaster’s Power Weapons.

-Dark Angel Rhino Primaris — With the ability to to, once a game, dispatch a Targeting Data Servo-skull to a unit within 12″ in the shooting phase, the Rhino Primaris can allow a squad of Black Knights to fire Snap Shots at full BS for a turn. This means they can Scout and move up turn 1, then Jink to get 3+ (or 2+ with Dark Shroud support) re-rollable cover saves against enemy shooting, and then STILL shooting their Plasma Talons at full BS the next turn, suffering none of the disadvantages of jinking. Finally, the Black Knights can also be used with the Rhino Primaris to engage an enemy Deathstar unit protected by the Invisibility power. Imagine a squad of 10 Black Knights moving with 9″ of an opponent’s Centurionstar with Invisibility successfully cast on it…. using the Targeting Data Skull from the Rhino Primaris, the Black Knights can rapid fire with 20 S7 AP2 shot at BS4 and with re-rolls to hit, getting an average of 17-18 hits — wounding on 2+s, this yields an average of 14-15 AP2 wounds, which means the entire Centurion squad should be wiped out, unless it has some sort of cover or Invul save (and even then, it is possible that they whole Deathstar will be destroyed in a single volley).

Needless to say, I think that Black Knights will feature prominently in Dark Angel list for the upcoming codex, given the buffs they recieved and the synergistic possibilities that are out there for them.

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6 comments on “Analysis: Black Knights in the new Dark Angel book

  1. Anonymous says:

    One more note: If you use the Rhino Primaris to allow the Black Knights ot fire Snap Shots at full BS, they also become a potent anti-flyer option for one turn.

    6 Black Knights rapid-firing at a Flyer get the following results, on average:

    -Against AV10 Flyers — 12 shots, 10-11 hits, 7-8 stripped HPs

    -Against AV11 Flyers — 12 shots, 10-11 hits, 5-6 stripped HPs

    -Against AV12 Flyers — 12 shots, 10-11 hits, 3-4 stripped HPs

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  2. highwind says:

    To be honest I don’t see them doing anything substantially better than a white scars biker command squad with grav guns

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, a White Scar Command Squad with Grav guns costs 200 points for five models. For the same 200 points you get a squad of 5 Black Knights, who have all the same rules, plus re-rolls to their Jink saves. Additionally, while Grav guns have better range more shots, the Plasma Talons are more accurate (being TLed) and generally better against light/medium vehicles, as well as being WAY better against infantry with poor armor saves, like Guardsmen or Fire Warriors or Daemon hordes.

    Significantly, the also Black Knights come with Corvus Hammers and Bolt Pistols stock. This means that a squad of 5 gets 20 S5 Rending attacks on the charge, compared to the White Scars Command Squad, which gets 15 S4 attacks on the chagre — obviously, between enhanced Jink rolls and these combat stats, the Black Knights are SO much better at close combat than their White Scar Command Squad equivelants. This means, for the same price, the Black Knights are much more versatile.

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    • highwind says:

      While rerolling Jink is nice and quite strong on the defensive part, the Command Squad gets FnP which doesnt hamper their main strenght – shooting

      Plasma Talons on a per hit basis might be better vs AV 11 and slighty better vs AV 12 vehicles but are inferior to 13 and cant even harm 14… problem with this is “on a per hit basis” as Grav got much more shots, making the squad atleast equal on anything besides AV11 on 9″ or less.
      Plasma Talons also get hot which isnt that bad with twinlinked but nevertheless kills you a 40pts model on a streak of bad rolls.
      Getting twinlink on the Grav Guns is pretty easy as it is a Primaris of one of the most used psychic schools but even without twinlinking and the use of an Apothecarius you dont seem to realize the we are still looking at 12 shots Grav vs 5 shots Plasma on 9-18″ which is a HUGE difference!

      Against “light hordes” White Scars Bikers could still use their twilinked Boltguns but to be honest, both squads are completely wasted fighting against these kinds of enemys. Same goes for melee: the Knights for sure are better at melee (White Scars have S5 HoW tough) but who allows or even charges super mobile hard hitting shooters to engage in melee?

      But please dont get me wrong: I wasnt to say they are bad at all – they just arent much different from one the “meta untis” for the last month… or in other words: if you wanted to play competetive bike lists, you could have done so since 6th ED SM Codex, no need to wait for the new DA Codex 😉

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  4. greggles says:

    The black knight shroud combo is going to be just brutal!

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