Sanctjud's Thoughts on Bane Knights.
?Accompanied by an icy wind and a charnel smell, bane knights glide across the battlefield sowing blood and death.?
-Forces of Warmachine, Cryx.
Bane Knights are the ?other? banes. One of the first things I would like to make clear is the following. Although they share many similarities in name and weapon master, the Bane Thralls and Bane Knights are different units and have different roles and uses. Neither is better than the other and BOTH are welcomed in any list.
If you want a versus thread, you are better off in these two threads:
Bane Knights are deceptive in speed, although they are not Khador slow, the speed looks worse than it really is. Their MAT is a standard joe, able to hit def 13 on average. Their DEF is on the low side, equaling Bane Thralls, but the Knights get an additional point of ARM, to somewhat make up for losing out on stealth. Offensively, the Knights lose out on Dark Shroud, but they are still Weapon Masters and still do terrible damage given the chance.
One of the biggest factors to any hesitation to using Bane Knights is their points costs. Each Bane Knight is one point each. But their cost is justified.
Simply, Bane Thralls are Hammers, while you pay a premium for Bane Knights who are scalpels.
How are they scalpels? This is due to the unique combination of Vengeance and Ghostly. In built ghostly is a big deal. It saves 3 focus from a Ghost Walk caster or the activation of a Skarlock or Saxon. As you can read, Ghostly allows them nearly complete freedom of movement. In addition, Vengeance is a consolation prize for suffering casualties. These two rules combined makes for their deceptive ?slow? speed. Nothing gets in their way, and they get a few inches of movement after suffering casualties.
Reach?prob. one of the top 5 best rules in Warmachine and they have it. Reach can be used in so many ways both offensively and defensively. Offensively it allows you an extended threat range and allows for more models to gang up on a single model (say a warjack). Defensively, they OWN a lot of area of the board, preventing shooting when engaged and have an easier time forcing freestrikes.
Ghostly couples with Vengeance very well. You have the freedom to move almost anywhere with no fear of free-strikes during your normal activation and during vengeance moves. This means that pressing forward into the enemy army is a safe deal with Vengeance or repositioning for better charge targets.
Take note of all the casters who do not have access to Ghost Walk to help their army to mitigate terrain (if they can?t themselves):
pGaspy, eGaspy, pSkarre, eSkarre, pShade, eShade, Terminus, Morti (for units), Venny?all these casters benefit hugely from the inherent Ghostly the Bane Knights have. To be fair, these casters do have the option for paying for the services of Saxon.
Ghostly is quite straight forward, so we need to focus on Vengeance. First read will have to be here, totally have to give nosrek mad props for posting his: Opening Strategy: Parting the Red Sea:
What you want to take away from the read, is the usage of vengeance, reach, and positioning.
One of the first things you want to do with Bane Knights is bait the Vengeance. Here is the point where opponent reactions muddy up any simple explanation.
The counter to Vengeance comes in two forms:
A. They ignore the unit and wait for a better position to
B. Kill the whole unit in one go (at least 80%)
This can be seen as a win/win for the Cryx forces. To kill 8-10 Bane Knights takes resources, and with proper positioning you may draw forward elements to reach Knights further back. Or best case scenario, they don?t kill them and you get to run them again.
To bait, you need to present 2-3 Bane Knights as far forward as possible. You need to present a few that can run amuck if left alive, and few enough to not mind the casualties.
Keeping a few behind 3? the front rank is a good for Vengeance and AOE?s. You want to set up the unit in a few ?waves? depending on how wide of an area they are trying to threaten.
Now, Vengeance is nice, but how about in timed events? Vengeance eats the time of the player which is limited. This is true, but my suggestion (which echo?s others) is to make MEANINGFUL use of Vengeance. Just move and attack with the front rank of knights?only make Vengeance attacks against lower DEF infantry and not the impossible kind of DEF?s.
Target Preference for the Bane Knights is pretty free.
Due to Vengeance, they can have quite a few attacks to focus on infantry, and with charging weapon masters, they hurt jacks/beasts well enough. Obviously the preferred target is Low DEF and Middling ARM, generally medium types.
With quantity of attacks, they are allowed to go after all kinds of infantry/jacks?reach and vengeance allows for this.
Bane knights are a solid unit with or without Tartarus. Tartarus is not an auto-include, mainly due to not really changing what the Knights already do (and then there is the cost issue).