Age of Sigmar: The Sons Of Behemat – Avoiding Imperial Knight Pitfalls
The Sons of Behemat are coming to Age of Sigmar – but will they cause the same “issues” Imperial Knights did? Let’s chat.
When Imperial Knights hit the scene in 40k they kind of broke the game for a bit. But it was really when they got their full codex that they took off. Their reign of terror lasted until Space Marines got all their new toys. It was a rough time to be a non-Imperial player. “What does this have to do with Age of Sigmar?” Well, with the arrival of the Sons of Behemat there is chatter online that they are the AoS equivalent of Imperial Knights. But are they really? And will they create the same pitfalls in AoS that Knights did in 40k?
When looking at the overall issues that Knights caused it really comes down to three big problems
- Limited Army Choice
- Incredibly Durable Firebase
- Long Range Alpha Strike Power
Where there other problems? Yes – but we’re going to focus on those three and address why the new Mega Gargants may or maynot have the same issues.
Limited Army Choice
This one is pretty straightforward because our first issue with Imperial Knights is that they could only be taken by – you guessed it – Imperial Armies. Sure, Chaos Knights got in on the mix later and that helped even the playing field a bit. At the end of the day there was a very clear delineation between the armies that had access to Knights and the armies that didn’t. Could the other armies compete? Sure – just like the Halfling Blood Bowl Team can “compete” in Blood Bowl. I hope you like hardmode.
The Sons of Behemat, at least as far as we know, are going to act more like a mercenary force. They are going to be available to use in every faction according to the GW preview. That’s already a huge improvement because if everyone can take them then no single faction gains the advantage – at least initially. Again, this is based on what little info we got from the preview but as of now, that’s what we’re going with.
Incredibly Durable Firebase
The next issue that Knights caused was the fact that they were an amazing firebase that was just insanely tough to kill. We’ll talk about their firepower in the last point as the focus of this point was their durability. This came from a bevy of mechanics that worked in their favor. They clocked in at Toughness 8. If you’re familiar with 40k’s statline you know that a T8 unit is already super tough and hard to hurt. It would take a Strength 9 weapon to wound it on a 3+ dice roll and it takes at least a Strength 16 weapon to wound on a 2+. “But you can wound anything on 6s” – yes, that’s true but then you’d have to deal with the Knight’s 3+ save as well as the possible Ion Shield. Oh and don’t forget the stratagems and all the other ways to make Knights survive. And if you DID manage to wound a Knight, congratulations – you did a wound! How many does it have left? Somewhere between 24 and 28 wounds…
Toughness isn’t a thing in Age of Sigmar. You wound a unit based on your attack’s to wound roll. So a unit of 20 Chaos Warriors is still a threat vs a 20 wound model. That alone really makes the big scary units more manageable. Ask anyone who runs a monster and they will tell you the same. AoS also doesn’t have the same Command Point/Stratagem mechanics so you won’t be able to load-up on CPs and spend them all on Rotate Ion Shields to keep your Gargants alive. You might get to do something similar once or twice – but you won’t have a stock to 15 CPs to fall back on.
Long Range Alpha Strike Power
The final issue that we are going to address is the firepower of a Knight. Often, games with Knights came down to who won the initiative roll. The winner would be able to cripple the other side’s forces in a single turn thanks to the sheer volume of firepower that a Knight can generate. They could either destroy the enemy Knight or kill off the other parts of an army to the point where the rest of the game was pretty moot.
In AoS the big scary monsters typically can’t wipe out the majority of an enemy army in a single turn. They might be able to kill your army – but it’s going to take them a few turns to do it! In that time, you could be scoring objectives and playing the mission to actually overcome that army. The Alpha Strike problem is also mitigated by the nature of AoS, the missions, and also the “Dreaded Double Turn” mechanic. Imagine of 40k had a double turn mechanic. Suddenly all those one trick pony Alpha Strike Armies would have to plan for the “what if I lose the roll next turn…”
On top of all those factors, there is more risk for monsters “getting in there” and fighting in AoS. You can’t sit back and shoot all day with a Giant. They might have a ranged attack – but it’s not going to kill entire units in one shot. Close Combat is going to happen and Giants aren’t going to be a turtle up and shoot playstyle.
A Whole New Batch Of Problems
Mega Gargants aren’t going to step in the same pitfalls as Imperial Knights. Having said that, they could create a whole new batch of issues down the road. Honestly, we won’t know for sure until we get a good look at their rules. But for now, based on what we know currently, the Sons of Behemat are avoiding at least three of the main issues Imperial Knights caused and that’s a good start.
What do you think? Will The Sons of Behemat break the game the way Imperial Knights Did? Let us know in the comments!