Sword Knights

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Cygnar Sword Knight Unit

Among the oldest of the knightly orders in western Immoren, the legendary Sword Knights are one of the cornerstones of Cygnar’s armies. Since the advent of the warjack, the Sword Knights have adapted their time-honored tactics to deal with monsters of metal as well as flesh. Trained to fight against as well as alongside warjacks, the knights are as adept at striking at a warjack’s weak points as they are at coordinating deadly coordinated attacks.

Basic Info[edit]

Sword Knights
Sword Knights.jpg
SPD 6
MAT 6
DEF 13
ARM 14
CMD 8
Unit Size 6/10
+2 (CA)
Cost 8/13, +4 for the CA 1.3 per model
See also How to Read the statblock

Weapons and Attacks[edit]

  • Entire unit except the Standard Bearer
    • Battle Blade - 1" reach, P+S 10 melee weapon.
  • Standard Bearer
    • Unarmed - This model has no melee weapons, which means a host of options are not available to it.

Special Abilities[edit]

  • Entire unit
    • Defensive Line - While base to base with another model in the unit gain a DEF boost in melee and immunity to knockdown.
    • Flank [Friendly Faction Warjack] - This model gains +2 to hit and +d6 damage for melee attacks vs enemy models in the melee range of other Friendly Faction Warjack models.
    • Penetrating Strike - If this model hits a warjack or warbeast, you can choose to auto-inflict one point of damage instead of rolling for damage.
  • Officer only
    • 'Jack Marshal - All 'jack marshals share the same set of special rules, which basically amount to: This model is not a warcaster but may control a warjack.
    • Officer - This model is the unit commander even if the unit has a Leader model.
    • Granted: Reposition [3"] - While this model is still alive and in formation all of the unit gains Reposition [3"]. (Reposition [3"] - At the end of an activation in which it did not run or fail a charge, this model can advance up to 3", then its activation ends.)
    • Tactics: Combined Melee Attack - The unit gains Combined Melee Attack.
  • Standard only
    • Standard Bearer - While the standard bearer is within 5" of the unit commander, the commander gains +2 CMD.
    • Take Up - If this model is killed you may instead remove a Grunt within 1". Remove any effects on this model, and apply any effects that were on the old grunt.

Thoughts on the Sword Knights[edit]

Command Attachment

Sword Knights in a nutshell[edit]

Cheap and decidedly average melee infantry. By themselves, they're only really capable of taking out light infantry with equally average defensive stats but in pairs they are surprisingly good at surviving a charge, thanks to their now-elite DEF levels. As for the offensive, they may knock out the last remaining boxes of a beast, or jack on their own, but not much more. To get the most out of their melee power, you have to start teaming them up with other models, especially Warjacks to make them worthwhile.

Thoughts on the CA[edit]

At first sight, the standard bearer does not differ much from the other units' CA; he mainly allows you to spread out a bit more. On the flip side, he has Defensive line too, so he can help to boost the DEF of one of your engaged trooper. The Officer lost his Drive, and won't grant Precision Strike anymore. The CMA and Reposition are good bonuses, but their usefulness depend on your meta. If you are going against jacks and beasts, MAT 6 is generally enough to land blows reliably on your target (exceptions might include Cryx bonejacks, Legion or Circle beasts). Penetrating Strike allows you to to hurt armour, no matter, what, so in most cases you'll end up with the same damage with individual attacks, as with the CMA. If you happen to encounter infantries with elite DEF (like Blightblades or Kayazy Eliminators), you better rely on removing them by some other means anyway, like electro leaps. Knights can also rely on Flanking, putting their MAT to elite levels already. The 1" reach on their weapon, plus the lack of Practiced Maneuvers also counters you to cram up all of them for a single, huge CMA. As for the Reposition, most of the time you'll be either running, or being engaged with them, thus, rarely have the opportunity to make your 3" move. The biggest issue is the price, however. Add it to a minimum unit, and for a single point more, you'll get a full unit, with 3 more attacks. Addit to a max unit, and for a point cheaper you could bring 2 minimum units, with one more attack.

Combos and Synergies[edit]

It's a unit with a linear return-on-investment graph. The more support you put onto them, the better their offensive output will be. Question is, whether or not could you spend your resources better on another unit? If they become too dangerous, they may also attract the attention of the enemy's big guns (which is not always a bad thing).

  • Any Cygnar Warjack, especially those with a 2" melee range, to get the most out of Flank.
  • Archduke Runewood makes them more accurate as their Veteran Leader.
  • Alongside a caster with Positive Charge (Captain Allison Jakes or Lord Commander Stryker), being near a Friendly Faction Warjack starts to make them really dangerous.
    • If you can combine all of the buffs above, they become the equivalent of MAT 11, P+S 12 weapon masters.
      • And if you apply Runewood's Path to Victory and get a charge with them, that's MAT 13 with 4D6 for damage.
  • Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord can make them Tough. Nothing special on its own, but if you make use of Defensive Line they will keep on making Tough rolls as long as there are other Sword Knights in B2B since they can't be knocked down.

Drawbacks and Downsides[edit]

  • You've got to get your order of activations spot on to get the most from them.
  • You must accept that they are cheap and will probably take casualties.
    • Hopefully your opponent will underestimate them and go after juicier targets.
  • Being Base to Base can be a problem against blast damage and models with Killing Spree

Tricks and Tips[edit]

  • Although an Ironclad or Ol' Rowdy are not the best Warjacks to activate Flank, if you use Defensive Line correctly the Warjack can catch your own troops in the AoE and not leave your Sword Knights to die easily.
  • Against a less experienced opponent, you can run them up in defensive line in front of their warbeasts, baiting him on trampling them. If they don't get an extra die on trampling, or hitting them by default, they will likely need to boost to get them under their feet.

Changes from Mk II[edit]

The main difference is that Defensive Line swapped from being an ARM buff to a DEF buff with no knockdown (the equivalent ARM buff ability in Mk3 is Wall of Steel).

Other[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The Battle Blade is a traditional weapon found in the capital city of Caspia.
  • The unit (not including CA) was originally released in Warmachine: Escalation (2004)
  • The CA was released in Warmachine: Legends (2008)

Theme forces[edit]


CygnarLogo.jpg
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Battlegroups
Warcasters Jakes2 - Darius - Kraye - Sloan - Haley1 - Haley2 - Haley3 - Nemo1 - Nemo2 - Nemo3 - Stryker1 - Stryker2 - Stryker3 - Sturgis1 - Constance - Caine1 - Caine2 - Caine3 - Maddox - Siege1 - Siege2
C
Y
G
N
A
R
Warcaster attachments Squire (Cygnar) - Madelyn Corbeau (Merc) - Reinholdt (Merc) - Wyshnalyrr (Merc)
Other Warjack Controllers BGC Journeyman - Jakes1 - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
Marshals Runewood - Strangeways - Anson Hitch - Stormblade Captain - T. Master Gunner - Gun Mage CA - Stormblade CA - Sword Knights CA
Light warjacks Charger - Firefly - Grenadier - Hunter - Lancer - Minuteman - Sentinel
Ace - Thorn
Heavy warjacks Avenger - Centurion - Cyclone - Defender - Hammersmith - Ironclad - Reliant - Stormclad
Brickhouse - Dynamo - Gallant - Ol' Rowdy - Thunderhead - Triumph
Colossal Stormwall - Hurricane
     
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units Gun Mages - Mechaniks - Long Gunners - Precursor Knights - Rangers - Silver Line Stormguard - Storm Lances - Stormblades - Stormguard - Stormsmith Grenadiers - Storm Tower - Sword Knights - Tempest Blazers - T. Cannon Crew - T. Chain Gun Crew - T. Commandos - T. Express Team - T. Long Gunners - T. Infantry - T. Mechaniks
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team

Ranking Officer CA : Captain Jonas Murdoch

Solos Arcane Tempest Rifleman - Captain Adept - Journeyman Warcaster - Squire - Stormblade Captain - Stormcallers - T. Buster - T. Master Gunner - T. Patrol Dog - T. Warcaster Lieutenant
Runewood - Strangeways - Maxwell Finn - Anson Hitch - Harlan Versh - Jakes1 - Laddermore - Harrison Gibbs - Viktor Pendrake
Battle Engines & Structures Storm Strider - Trencher Blockhouse
 
Theme Forces
Storm Division - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Gravediggers
Merc cygnar.jpg

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Mercenary Battlegroups
Warcasters Ashlynn - Bartolo - Damiano - MacBain - Durgen - Fiona - Ossrum - Gorten
Requires a 2+ caster game
C
Y
G
N
A
R
M
E
R
C
E
N
A
R
I
E
S
Other Controllers Mini-casters Gastone Crosse - Rorsh & Brine - Brun Cragback & Lug
Marshals Colbie Sterling - Dirty Meg - Raluk Moorclaw - Rutger Shaw - Thor Steinhammer
Warjacks & Warbeasts The mercenary battlegroup members you can include in a Cygnar army depends entirely on which mercenary is commanding them. There are too many permutations to list here, please refer to one of the model entries above for full details of what it can take.
     
Units, Solos, & Battle Engines
Units High Shields - Horgenhold Artillery - Forge Guard - Ogrun Assault Corps - Press Gangers - Sea Dog Deck Gun - Sea Dog Pirates - Steelhead Halberdiers - Steelhead Cavalry - Steelhead Riflemen - Tactical Arcanist Corps - Thorn Gun Mages
Alexia1 - Sam & the Devil Dogs - Nyss Hunters - Blythe & Bull - Boomhowlers - Herne & Jonne - Aiyana & Holt - Lynus & Edrea
Solos Gobber Tinker - Ogrun Bokur
Alexia2 - Alten Ashley - Anastasia - Bradigan - Grogspar - Brun Cragback & Lug - Colbie Sterling - Dirty Meg - Doc Killingsworth - Eiryss1 - Eiryss2 - Hawk - Gastone - Gorman - Hutchuk - Lanyssa - Rockbottom - Dougal - Ragman - Raluk - Rhupert - Rorsh & Brine - Savio - Sergeant Nicolas - Stannis - Taryn - Thor
Warcaster attachments Madelyn Corbeau - Reinholdt - Wyshnalyrr
Battle Engines Hammerfall Siege Crawler


Rules Clarifications[edit]

Rules Clarification : Unarmed      (Edit)

  • Since this model has no melee weapons it does not have a melee range. This means it cannot:
    • Engage other models
    • Charge
    • Free Strike
    • Gain abilities that require a melee range (such as Ragman granting this model Dark Shroud).

Rules Clarification : Defensive Line      (Edit)

  • You don't need to have the entire unit in B2B to get the bonus. Even just two models in B2B will give it to each other. Which way they're facing doesn't matter, either.
  • Defensive Line is 'always on' (unlike Shield Wall).
  • You can still get Defensive Line while knocked down.
  • Since models move in straight lines, it impossible to keep two models B2B while advancing. Thus you cannot benefit from Defensive Line while moving through acid clouds etc.

Rules Clarification : Flank      (Edit)

  • You can gain the Flank bonus vs knocked down/stationary models (refer to the latest Errata).
  • Melee range is measured from your front arc so you cannot trigger Flank on models in your back arc.
  • The target enemy doesn't need to be in the Flanker's LOS, just their melee range.
    • Most of the time if something is in your melee range then it is so close it's in your LOS too, and the difference is meaningless.
    • But if you have 2" reach and you're jammed up in B2B with a bunch of closely-spaced enemies, you'll find your LOS is blocked. In this case, you might be able to trigger Flank on an enemy model that is "hiding" behind that front row of jammers, even though you don't have LOS to it.
  • Flank is not tied to a specific weapon, so Mount attacks and Power Attacks can benefit as well.

Rules Clarification : Penetrating Strike - None yet. (Edit)

Rules Clarification : 'Jack Marshal      (Edit)

  • Marshals can take character jacks (unlike in Mk2). (Closed thread)
  • Although they never get the Power Up bonus, a marshaled warjack can gain focus via other means (such as Accumulator, Empower, Spirit Harvester, etc).
    • They can do this even after the Marshal dies and they become autonomous (unlike in Mk2).
  • 'Jack Marshal & Ranking Officer (Edit)
    • If a Ranking Officer joins a unit with the 'Jack Marshal ability, then they can still only take Mercenary warjacks - they don't gain access to Faction warjacks. (Infernal Ruling)
    • They can control that mercenary warjack as normal, even though they're technically no longer the same faction as the jack. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Officer      (Edit)

  • Even if they're not on the Officer's card, an Officer can give (and benefit from) any non-standard orders that are on the unit's card (such as Shield Wall). Refer main rulebook.
  • When the Officer dies, the Leader model becomes the new Unit Commander (you don't get to choose).
  • But if your unit doesn't include a Leader model, then you do get to choose any of the remaining models to be the new Unit Commander. You don't swap the model, but it may be worth putting a token down so you can tell that grunt apart.

Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table.
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies.

Rules Clarification : Tactics vs Granted     (Edit)

  • Granted = The unit loses the ability as soon as the model that grants it is taken off the table.
  • Tactics = The unit keeps the ability for the entire game, regardless of who dies.

Rules Clarification : Reposition      (Edit)

  • Models out of formation cannot move via Reposition. Refer to the "Out of Formation" rules in the core rulebook.
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at the end of activation" (such as Sprint) after resolving Reposition, because your activation has ended. Click here for a detailed explanation
  • You cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground) during a Reposition. Because you can't trigger it while moving, and after moving your activation has ended.
    • This holds true even if it's a unit with multiple Reposition moves. (Infernal Ruling)

Rules Clarification : Combined Melee Attack      (Edit)

  • Each CMA only counts as a single attack, no matter how many participants are involved. This means, for example, that if Satyxis Raiders damage a warjack and trigger their Feedback ability, the enemy warcaster will only take 1 damage total, not 1 for every Raider.
  • Any bonuses (such as back strike) or penalties (such as the target being behind cover) are determined according to the model leading the CMA (the attack leader).
    • If the participants have buffs/debuffs but the attack leader doesn't ... then the CMA doesn't because only the attack leader matters. Simple as that.
  • A single unit can perform multiple CMAs, utilising different groupings of models. eg a unit with 10 models could make one 10-man CMA, two 5-man CMAs, or five 2-man CMAs, or etc.
  • CMA for units that have more than one melee weapon (the short version)
    • Once you have more than one melee weapon, charging becomes a bit complicated. There are two important rules:
      1. A model which charges must use its first attack to make a charge attack. It can't "skip ahead" to contributing its second non-charge attack before it's resolved its first attack.
      2. For a CMA to gain the charging bonus, then all contributors must be contributing a charge attack.
    • These two rules have a few, slightly confusing implications. Click the expand box below for a full breakdown.
CMA for units with more than one weapon (the long version) (Edit)
The following example is about Satyxis Raiders, but is equally applicable to other units with two CMA:
  • Each Raider gets two attacks. Both, one, or neither can be a CMA as you choose.
  • If you are doing two CMA in a row, then you should note that the second CMA doesn’t have to use the same “primary attacker” or the same “participants” as the first CMA.
    • For instance, you could have the first CMA with raider A being the "primary attacker" and raider B being the "participant",
    • then for the second CMA have raider B the "primary attacker" and raider A the "participant".
    • Or leave A alone for a moment and use B plus C. Whatever takes your fancy.
  • Primary attackers and participants don't have to use the same weapon. So, continuing with the above example, you could have primary A use lash and participant B use horns, then primary B use lash and participant A use horns. Effectively granting you two lash attacks with CMA bonuses!
  • Combined Melee Attack and charging
    • Remember the 2 rules above?
    • Rule 1 means you cannot contribute your second, non-charge attack before you have resolved/contributed your first attack.
    • Rule 1 means you cannot "skip ahead" to resolving your second, non-charge attack before you have resolved/contributed your first attack.
    • but wait, there's more!
    • However, thanks to the "Units with Combined Melee Attack ignore the rule that one trooper's combat action cannot begin until the previous model's combat action ends" rule, you can "pause" your second attack if you want to do a CMA with it later. For example:
      • Model A performs its charge attack.
      • Model B performs its charge attack. (Interrupting A)
      • Model C performs its charge attack. (Interrupting B)
      • CMA using A, B & C's remaining attack.

Rules Clarification : Standard Bearer      (Edit)

  • If the Officer dies, the Standard Bearer can give the CMD bonus to the Leader model.

Rules Clarification : Take Up - None yet. (Edit)


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Note to Editors
To edit CA's tagged abilities, Click here