Friday 26 August 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Cerastus Knight Lancer

Good afternoon,

The penultimate review of the Cerastus frames, with just the Atrapos left to go. The Cerastus Knight Lancer has been around for some time now and it looks great still! I would say it is the most different of all the Cerastus frames and also argue that it is the hardest to use, but pays dividends if used well.


The Lancer comes with the basic Cerastus stats line of :

WS      BS      S      F      S     R     I    A   HP
 4           4      10    13    12    12    4    4    6

Overview: A very tasty stats line as you get with all of the knights and cerastus frames, the cerastus frames have an extra attack in general I think which with this knight in particular may not make too much of a difference as we will see!

Special Rules

As a super heavy walker the Castigator comes with a chunk of special rules that include:

- Move through Cover
- Fear
- Strikedown
- Relentless
- Invincible Behemoth
- Smash (eh!?)
- Hammer of Wrath

The Cerastus frames also have the special rule Flank Speed, that means they can run 3D6 inches in the shooting phase. 

Incidentally the specific wording is the knight may opt to run instead of shooting weapon in the shooting phase. This seems open to interpretation that a knight with multiple weapons could sacrifice one weapon to run and still shoot the others. Personally I think it would be a dick move to play it that way as it seems super gamey to me, but just to point it out.


The Lancer has two very unique pieces of equipment:

Shock Lance (melee) - D AP2, Swiftstrike

Shock Lance (Shock Blast) - S7 AP2, Heavy 6, Concussive

The Swiftstrike special rule grants +1 initiative on the charge for the lancer. This weapon is obviously designed to be up close and personal ASAP. I5 D weapons in the charge with 5 attacks on the charge is enough to make anyone weep (joy or terror depends on viewpoint).

Six shots hitting on 3's that will wound and ignore armour for most models on a 2+ is pretty gnarly as well. The short range of this weapon does make it trickier to use and much like the Castigator its got a powerful ranged attack that is its ONLY ranged attack.

Ion Gauntlet Shield - The wrist mounted shield of the Lancer offers superior defensive capabilities in combat but restricts its location placement and as such you can NEVER place the shield at the rear of the knight where it is most vulnerable.

This shield grants a 4++ invulnerable against shooting attacks to the front or side arcs and also grants a 5++ invulnerable in close combat. ADDITIONALLY gargantuan creatures and super heavy walkers are at -1 to hit in close combat, which with a WS4 means most will be hitting you on a 5+.


Only two options here:

Blessed Autosimulcra - IWND weak edition, you can regain a hull point on the roll of a 6 at the end of your turn for 10 points. Worth it for the price!

Occular Augmetics - May re-roll vehicle damage results of 1 when shooting from 12" or less and also gain night vision for 10 points, not worth it on this knight at all. 


I love the aesthetic of this knight and it has really focused rules compared to other variants. It is absolutely designed to be a giant killer. If you were playing 40k then this is the kind of knight you would send after a Wraithknight with its I5 D weapon, 5++ in close combat and -ve modifier to hit for the wraithknight.

In 30k you are primarily going to be wanting to send this against other knights as it will receive those benefits against it. In the absence of an opposing Imperial Knight I would send the Lancer against high value deathstar like priority targets, but avoid being over confident, most primarch will be able to destroy a knight in 1 turn or 2 turns most of close combat, unless your rolling hot on those 5++ saves.

In many ways the lack of ability to raise your shield to the rear means you can't be blase with your placement as you might be with other knights. It is imperative that you consider your back facing and cover saves, with your back to LoS blocking terrain for a 4+/5+ cover save, or even back facing against the board as you make your way up to the enemy.

A first turn run for a potentially 30" move (23" average) is I fell almost a necessity to try and guarantee a second turn shoot and charge. Though this will obviously depend on your deployment style.

Overall I would say it is the joint "weakest" of the knights with the Castigator, though to call them weak is much the misnomer. 

Peace out,



  1. Next knight purchase for me and on the hobby season list. Mainly due to the look I confess over the rules but your review is still most welcome

    1. Haha I always buy with rule of cool before competitive! Doooo it!

  2. I think you're missing a trick. Take this in an allied detachment and make it your Senechal. That gives it WS/BS 5 as well as a 3++ from shooting and a 4++ in combat. This guy will drop most Primarchs in combat if run in this way between fishing for 6s on wounds and stomps.

    1. I have admit I've only ever considered them as LoW for my mechanicum. In 30k I generally stick to just using a CAD (basically) apart from in massive games! I'll look into that thanks :)