Chaos Knights Tactics: Knight Cerastus-Atrapos
Today, we are looking at everyone’s favorite gravity-bending Knight with a lightsaber, the Atrapos. With a little bit of shooting, a little bit of fighting, and a whole lot of killing, the Atrapos is here to be your jedi.
Danny from TFG Radio here
Chaos Atrapos Basics
- Graviton Singularity Cannon – When shooting, select a profile:
Contained Range – 36” Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3.
Singularity Range – 36” Heavy 4+D6 S14 AP-4 D3. When using this profile, roll a d6. On a 1-3, suffer d3 mortal wounds.
- Atrapos Lascutter (Shooting) – Range 9” Heavy 1 S12 AP-4 D6. When resolving an attack against Monster or Vehicles, you may reroll wound rolls.
- Atrapos Lascutter (Melee) – S14 AP-4 D6. When resolving an attack against Monster or Vehicles, you may reroll wound rolls.
- Titanic Feet – S8 AP-2 Dd3 melee weapon. Make 3 to hit rolls per attack.
Ionic Flare Shield – 5++ invulnerable save.
Explodes – When this model dies, roll a D6. On a 6, it explodes and each unit within 2d6” suffers d6 mortal wounds.
Macro-Extinction Protocols – When resolving an attack against a Titanic unit, gain +1 to hit.
Super-Heavy Walker – This model can shoot and charge after it Falls Back. When Falling Back, it can move across enemy INFANTRY models and SWARM models as if they were not there, but must end its move 1” away from enemy models. This model does not suffer the penalty for moving and firing Heavy Weapons. This model does not receive the benefit of cover to its saving throws unless at least half of the model is obscured.
Using the Chaos Knight Atrapos
The Atrapos is another multi-threat Knight that pays a bit of premium for it, but it can shoot, it can fight, it can dance, and it can sing. On first glance, the Atrapos has the same beefy statline of any Cerastus pattern with Movement 14 and 27 wounds, and an easy to miss inbuilt 5++ invulnerable. This makes the Atrapos a lot more resilient in fighting other Superheavies in melee as most have AP-3 or better weaponry, so the Atrapos gets to nullify a third of wounds on it in melee, which can be the difference between life and death. The Atrapos melee is more than enough to take down heavy threats with AP-4 and flat damage 6, and against Titanic targets, you hit on 2s, and against vehicles/monsters, you reroll the wound, giving the Atrapos a lot of efficiency for its attacks. Just by the math, against another Knight, it converts 71% of its attacks into wounds, and with AP-4, a standard Knight is taking all of that. It has those magic feet as well, so you can stomp against hordes, and in general, an Atrapos is a solid melee beatstick, especially against hard targets.
As shooting platform, it is a bit focused, but it can do big damage against the right targets. The Graviton Cannon gives you the option to either send out a few weaker shots to maybe finish off a damaged model or go full-tilt into trying to wreck something on its own. The fact that the Cannon is Heavy 4+D6 is great since you know that you are always getting 5 shots at worst, which helps factor into decision making, and banking on an average 7 shots isn’t too bad. S14 doesn’t matter much against T8, but it certainly helps against T7. The extra boost to AP is also nice as it means that most vehicles do not get a save at all (if they do not have an invul). Don’t forget that Macro-Extinction applies to any hit roll, so against another Knight or a Daemon Primarch, the Atrapos is hitting on 2s (or 3s if the Daemon Primarchs have their defensive buffs up). Damage 3 isn’t all that wonderful on a knight platform, but it is still quite good. Don’t forget that the Atrapos has a 1 shot, high powered attack from its melee weapon, so between the two, it is certainly possible to gun down a Knight. It is not entirely likely, but possible if you get close.
As the Atrapos is a multi-role attacker, both Ambitions can do work. Iconoclast gets you more versatility thanks to access to the Vows, and honestly, +1 attack for the Atrapos means that it is far likelier to 1 shot standard Knights in melee. Vow of Beastslayer is not necessary here unless you really want to stay at range and use the Graviton. With 27 Wounds and a 5++ all the time, Vow of Dominance can be huge as it means that an Atrapos is quite unlikely to die in melee to another Knight in one round. Vow of Carnage is not that great though as the Atrapos is more about quality attacks than quantity. If going Infernal, you can play risky. With the speed boost, you can rocket the Atrapos forward into a hard target on Turn 1, and that’s where the Atrapos really likes to be. You can also charge up the Graviton, which is dangerous as there’s a 50% chance you take 2d3 mortal wounds in the process, but getting the Graviton to D4 makes it far scarier at range. Again, Infernal rewards risky behavior, but that’s a play style thing. Infernal’s stratagems are not necessarily helpful here as they are often too corner case, but The Blasphemous Engine does help keep the Atrapos firing and fighting at full effect far longer.
Dreadblading is often viable as there are some plays for mileage. If going Infernal, Daemonic Vigor is never a bad idea as any of the rolls works. +2 movement? Always good for an Atrapos missile. 2+ WS for stomps? BS 2+? These all get value. Even if Iconoclast, none of those options are bad. Path to Glory is definitely worth it if going against Titanic units as the reroll makes your Atrapos as accurate as possible, and Galvanized Hull is awesome to fend off things like Salamander max-flamer bombs and such. If you want to give the Engine or Veil, then of course, no Dreadblade, but really, the Atrapos doesn’t need either of them. It cannot take any melee weapon relics, but good ol’ Quicksilver Throne is useful, and even the Pyrothrone gives you some plays for some odd angle smites and the chance to blow yourself up. Really, a benefit to the Atrapos is that it doesn’t need a lot of extras to be good at what it does. Rotate Ion is never bad for the 4++ in the shooting phase, and of course, Trail of Destruction is good, but with only 11 maximum shots at range, that is not a lot of value. This is a boost to the Atrapos in that it is not all that CP hungry unless you go for the Full Tilt missile and Spiteful Demise.
Pros and Cons
So why not bring an Atrapos? Well, like with most of the Forgeworld Knights, price is a factor. 555 points is a nice number, but that is more than 25% of a standard army, and wow, that’s a lot to pay for the offensive output your get here. While an Atrapos at max, max luck can do some staggering damage, the reality is that it’s average output is not that high. On average, the Atrapos only does 10.37 at range to the standard T8 target with a 5++ and even if Infernal super-charged at max rolls, it only does 19.7, so if within 9 for the one shot, you can do it, again, outside of what you can expect. For such a large chunk of points, you want a bit more consistent damage at range. While the Atrapos is great at killing other large targets in melee, it is 555 points that is unlikely to survive being a missile and getting a quick kill on turn 1. Throwing it down your opponent’s throat on Turn 1 may seem like a good idea, but for the cost, ouch. A Gallant-Despoiler does that better for a lot less points. Not to belabor any points, but an Atrapos still has all the same Knight problems: easy secondaries, hard time navigating terrain, and vulnerability to being alpha struck.
65/100 – A fail, but not spectacularly either. An Atrapos is cool and has moves, but it just a bit too expensive for what it can do, and it is outshined as both a ranged platform and a fighting platform by other, cheaper entries. If you want anti-armor shooting, a Double-Melta Despoiler is better, and if you want a first turn rocket, a Melee Despoiler is better, and both of these are well over 100 points cheaper.
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