Cerastus Knight-Atrapos Review
Hey everyone, back to 40k for a minute! The new Castigator Knight Atrapos came out from Forge World and is a pretty weird looking dude, but has some very interesting rules...
The first thing that makes the Atrapos special is it's durability. It has the typical Cerastus Knight chassis, but with an added HP, making it at minimum 16% more survivable. On top of that however, it has the amazing Ionic Flare Shield, which works exactly like a normal Ion Shield, except that it adds an extra point of armour to the shielded side, meaning if it's taking shooting to the front it can be AV14 with a 4+.
Additionally, if you take him in a Knight detachment that would allow him to take relics, you could make him even tougher with the Mark of the Omnissiah for IWND, or Sanctuary for a 6++ on his unshielded side (though does this replace his Ion Flare shield, or does it give him a second Ion Shield?).
Being so tough makes the Atrapos an excellent candidate for your Warlord if you are running a pure Imperial Knight list, especially if running an Exalted or Baronial court. Due to his capacity to be effective at both melee and range, all of the Warlord Traits are sufficiently useful for him as well.
In addition to being tough as nails, the Atrapos is not found wanting in firepower. It's primary ranged weapon is named the Graviton Singularity Cannon, which has a modest 36" range at S8 Ap2, with a large blast, armourbane and concussive. While armourbane would make you think to use this as an anti-tank gun, you should still remember that being AP2 means it'll most likely only cause a single HP of damage to a vehicle. Where the gun gets really interesting though is it's Collapsing Singularity rule. Before firing the weapon you roll a dice, on a 1 the knight suffers a HP of damage with no saves of any kind, but still fires as normal. However, on a 6, the weapon is carried out with the Vortex rule, making it a destroyer weapon and the blast persists on the board moving around and causing all sorts of problems. 83% of the time you shoot the gun, it will not be a vortex, so it's not something that can be relied on, but when it does happen, your opponent will feel it.
It's secondary weapon system is a combination of a Destroyer melee and ranged weapon. At range it's a single 8" range destroyer shot, which isn't awful and provides you with the critical second weapon system so you're not stuck charging what you shoot with the Graviton Singularity Cannon, though being a Destroyer does mean that there's a solid chance of killing what you were going to charge anyhow (if it's a tank or MC), which could deny you a bit of critical movement. In melee, it's nothing special, effectively a Reaper Chainsword that gets +1 on the damage table against buildings.
Two important rules to remember for ranged attacks though are it's Macro-extinction Targeting Protocols, which twin-links it's ranged attacks against Super-heavy and Gargantuan creatures, making that 8" range gun quite a bit more deadly, and it can buy Occular augmetics for a mere 10 points which allows it to re-roll 1's to hit and has Night Fight. While not a critical upgrade, it can definitely be worth the 10 points.
Of all the knights in the game, this is by far the most durable, and it has a bunch of very interesting rules. That said however, it's a fairly typical knight with a gun and a melee weapon. It doesn't close any of the gaps that pure-knight armies tend to suffer with, and it consumes a very important Cerastus chassis slot. The Atrapos makes a fantastic Lord of War choice for any Imperial Army, and in Imperial Knight armies can make an incredibly durable Warlord. If you take one though, you will need to fill the gap of anti-horde elsewhere, as it is unlikely that you will be able to take a Castigator, making your army a bit vulnerable to fast combat hordes. It is definitely a very playable option, you just need to be very mindful in the rest of your army construction if you take one.