40K Tactics: The Care and Feeding of a Dreadknight
Here is my first tactical article on the technical application of the Nemesis Dreadknight (NDK).
— Personal Teleporter (PT)
— Heavy Incinerator (HI)
I am not a fan of the sword as it’s expensive plus you give up one attack. A NDK with two Doomfists has a base of four attacks and five on the charge. The NDK is WS5 so he is hitting most units on a 3+ which is good enough for me. They can pound the heck out of armor in melee since they are monstrous creatures (2d6 armor penetration coupled with S7 via Hammerhand) and should be able to take out a five man squad of Marines in no more than two rounds of melee. Versus a razorspam army an NDK can quickly roll up an entire flank – pops transports with your psyflemen and psycannons while your NDK eats whatever spills out.
Using the Big Guy
I have always outflanked my NDK – nothing on the table can hide from his HI template the turn he arrives by using his shunt move… 30″ onto the table from either short edge plus another 12″ to place the template plus another 8″ for the template. That’s a total distance of 50″ ! Therefore the NDK can always cover more than the length of the table (roughly 70 percent) in one turn with the HI template. If you’re playing against an army with lots of mech it’s fairly easy to drop the HI template across the rear sides of two vehicles. I remember one game versus Imperial Guard when my NDK destroyed a squadron of two Leman Russ using this tactic. Sure the dice were very hot but it can happen. The NDK was shot off the table the following turn but he had left a big mark with two smoking craters. This tactic is also useful if you need to dig out a heavily entrenched enemy troop such as Dark Eldar Warriors.
Another tactic I have used with the NDK is to use his shunt move to cut off an assault from an enemy unit versus my Paladins or Grey Knight terminators. The NDK has a huge base so it’s quite easy to position him in such a manner as to completely block off another friendly unit from the enemy charge arc. This tactic buys you some much needed extra time and helps to ensure your Paladins, Grey Knight terminators or a squad of Purifiers will be able to charge the following turn rather than be charged. I used this tactic once to prevent a large squad of Death Company mounted in a Blood Angels Stormraven from assaulting my Paladins. The next turn my Librarian successfully cast Quicksilver and the Paladins cut down the entire squad of enemy Death Company.
Returning to the topic of options (wargear) you can spend lots and lots of points on an NDK such as including a gatling heavy psilencer as a second weapon. Sure the big gun looks really cool but as I said in the beginning I just stick with the personal teleporter and heavy incinerator – he costs almost as much as a Land Raider equipped as such and to me there is no need to tack on any more unnecessary points. The personal teleporter while very expensive is a must have – a walking NDK will be shot off the table more often than not before he can launch one assault. If you are going to spend all those points it’s worth it to take the teleporter as it makes the NDK much more of a big threat, which is exactly what you want.
Typically I will only ever use at most one NDK and that is only for games at 2500 points or more. The NDK is situational at best while psyflemen always tend to do well and are roughly half the cost each – so you can almost afford to take two psyflemen in place of one NDK. An NDK can make for some exciting moments in a game though so there is always that potential. Versus armies such as lance heavy Dark Eldar the NDK has a very short predicted life span on the table – the enemy will quickly blast him into a pulp from a position of safe range and there’s not much you can do to prevent it either. Sometimes the NDK is nothing more than expensive fire magnet drawing enemy firepower away from the rest of your army so in my opinion the NDK is more of a fun unit to play as opposed to a really competitive melee beast. Sure there are times he will shine but there will probably be more times when he comes and goes just as quickly.
~Your turn! Dreadknight – Yea or Nay?