With the release of the Angels of Death supplement, Space Marine Terminator Captains now have the option to replace their “normal” TDA with Cataphractii TDA for free.
This option provides a couple of benefits and a couple of draw-backs:
Cataphractii TDA Captain Benefits —
1)Terminator Captain’s with this armor may re-roll failed Invul Saves of 1, to represent the interaction of their Iron Halos and the 4++ force fields from the Cataphractii TDA
2)Terminator Captain’s gain Slow and Purposeful, which also applies to any squad they join, making the entire unit “quasi-Relentless” with the ability to move and still shoot Heavy/Ordnance/Salvo weapons at full BS and even charge after shooting these weapons.
Cataphractii TDA Captain Draw-backs —
1) On the flip-side, Slow and Purposeful means that the Terminator Captain (and his unit) cannot Run/Turbo-boost/Flat Out, cannot make Sweeping Advances and, significantly, cannot fire Overwatch.
So, looking at these characteristics of Cataphractii Terminator Captains, I can see two main applications for them in the game as “force-multipliers” to the rest of your army.
First, they can make the Terminator Captain into an excellent “tank” unit for his squad, especially when combined with a 3++ save from a Storm Shield (I am assuming for this article that Cataphractii Terminator Captains can access all normal Terminator Captain Wargear, despite the RAW issue with this) or Relic that grants a 3++ (Shield Eternal, Gorgon’s Chain, and Salamander’s Mantle all come to mind). With a 3++ and re-rolls of 1s for Invul saves, that gives the Cataphractii Terminator Captain a 77% chance of passing its Invul saves, vice the normal 50% chance when just equipped with a regular TDA and an Iron Halo. If you can some how bring that save up to a 2++ with Sanctuary (i.e. an allied Stern, friendly Librarius Conclave, etc.), then the Cataphractii Terminator Captain basically becomes invincible, with a re-rollable 2++ (or a 97% chance of passing his Invul save), making him an unequalled “tank” to absorb enemy combat power away from the rest of the army.
Secondly, with the “quasi-Relentless” he conveys by giving Slow and Purposeful to any unit he attaches to, the Cataphractii Terminator Captain enables allied units to employ their heavy weapon/salvo weapon firepower on the move. Here are some tactical applications I can think of for this ability:
1) SM Devastators in a Drop Pod or similar unit (i.e. Long Fangs, SOB Retributors, etc.) in a transport — Attaching the Cataphractii Terminator Captain to Devastators means they can Drop in (or fire after their vehicle has moved and disembarked them) without Snap-Firing, making them much more potent. The obvious application of this is Grav Cannon/Amp Devastators, which can fire to full effect and range coming out a Drop Pod with a Cataphractii Terminator Captain attached, but you can apply it to many other applications as well.
2) Allied AM Heavy Weapons Squads/Blob Squads — Attaching a Cataphractii Terminator Captain to these units allow them to move and shoot their heavy weapons freely (except for no Overwatch, don’t forget) and thus get LOS to their targets while still maneuvering to best effect (i.e. grabbing objectives, moving away from enemy assault units, etc.). If you are desperate, you can even have the Blob squad with attached Captain move up, shoot their Heavy Weapons, and then charge all in the same turn.
3) MT Command Squad with 4 x Hotshot Volleyguns — Following the same principle as above, except the Tempestus Command Squad with attached Cataphractii Terminator Captain can all Deep Strike together and then unleash 16 x S4 AP3 shots at max range of 24″, making them an effective anti-MEQ unit.
4) Grey Knight Power Armor Squads (i.e. Strike, Interceptor, Purifier, or Purgation) with max Psycannons — Allowing these units to move and shoot a full 4 x S7 AP4 Rending shots at 24″ (so a net range of 30″) each turn is a big buff and makes them much more viable and potent the entire game, starting turn 1 (Strikes and Interceptors can even DS in with the attached Cataphractii Terminator Captain).
5) Inquisitorial Henchman Warbands with Heavy Weapons Servitors and/or Jokaeros, all riding in an Inquisitorial Chimera — Since these Chimeras allow up to 5 models to shoot out of their Fire Points (unlike AM variants), you can move them us and shoot out the hatch with up to 5 Heavy Weapons a turn without Snap-Shooting, making for an excellent mobile “bunker” all game long.