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How to use the Dominus


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OK, it seems clear from the new Codex that Castellan and Valiant are definitely a mixed bag. On the one hand they have got a shiny 2+ save, RIS only costs 2CPs for them now (which potentially frees up WLTs other than Ion Bulwark) and their weapons have generally been buffed. However this has come at the cost of significant synergy with the rest of the codex. The Bondsman abilities that characterise Questoris/Armiger interactions are entirely missing. Also they do not count towards the 6CP discount for SH Detachments unless you are also running 6 Armigers. They aare also locked out of the majority of Relics (although a few of the Mechanicus House Relics are available to them) All of this leaves the Dominus Knights feeling like bolt-on units. They have big guns but function almost as well as Freeblades as they do as part of a Lance

Rather than crying over missed opportunities, I am going to make a start on how to get some good use out of these big boys. After all, they are centrepiece models in an army composed of giant stompy death robots! Also they pack the biggest guns in the codex so I think there is value in seeing how they work. The following is not comprehensive, just a list of ideas I have spotted so chip in with your own suggestions and see where it takes us.

Valiant with Sacred Arms Martial Tradition
 

The Valiant is equipped with 4 pretty devastating guns with ranges or 18" or less so adding 6" to the range of all of these with Sacred Arms is a big increase in range. This is restricted to Mechanicus Lances and Freeblades. In practice I suspect it will most often be seen on Freeblades since most other Knights are not so bothered about range restrictions. Having said that, it could be useful in a list containing mainly Warglaives and Errants.

 

Castellan with Machine Focus Martial Tradition

 

If taking a Castellan as a Freeblade, this is probably the best Martial Tradition to take. Big guns with a relatively small number of shots benefit the most from a single reroll to hit or wound each shooting phase. It also helps mitigate the risk of MWs from the Plasma Decimator if you choose to overcharge. Of course taking Cawl's Wrath also solves this problem so the two are not mutually exclusive.

 

Krast Dominus with Headsman's Mark

 

This is one of the few Relics open to Dominus Class Knights and it is pretty good. +1 Damage vs Vehicles and Monsters is tasty +1 to Wound vs Titanic targets is tasty if you are going hunting for big game. While possible overkill on the Volcano Lance and Thundercoil Harpoon, it is really good for cranking up the secondary weapon systems into dedicated vehicle killers. An overcharged Plasma Decimator is 4 Damage per hit with this Relic.

 

A similar effect can be had with the Hunters of Beasts Martial Tradition for Imperialis Knights. This is a better option for Valiants as you can pair it with Traitor's Pyre for 3D6 auto-hits at S8 that go to Damage 3 vs vehicles.

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As I have mentioned in another thread, Dominus are a bit paradoxical in that taking them requires a specific list load-out that generally is Armiger heavy, purely to get the CP refund.

 

However as mentioned, Blessed Arms is certainly a potent boon for the Valiant as range increases generally is better for short ranged weapons and the Valiant has 2 main guns that are "short ranged" (for their level of firepower). Going to 24" TCH and CC is likely the big selling point there but also 18" meltaguns, this makes it far more able to walk into the board centre and control space and be less prone to being range cheesed, as 24" tends to the break point range where I find LoS becomes more of the issue rather than being able to reach.

 

I do want to put that there is a possible use for Dominus in the role of being a rather expensive means of getting a ridiculous amount of mortal wounds on a target but it is an investment. Both the Valiant and Castellan can do this but using Calculated Targeting on them with knight of Mars from Taranis can let you make ether that TCH (Thundercoil Harpoon) or Volcano Lance be an instant chunk of mortal wounds for no effort. The TCH would land 10, no questions while the Volcano ranges beteen 9-14 mortals.

To me, this is rather nasty as since mortal wounds have "splash" where they carry over the entire unit, not just 1 model, this can mean that this combo would let you delete a large chunk of harder to wound units such as Custodes or Various Terminator units. That being said, you do still get the benefit of the rest of the guns but this lets you assure at least 1 trigger with your big weapon.

 

Also, I don't think we'll see many Dominus without Ion Bulwark. The trait is far too important to never take in any knight list ever, even if you think you can do without it you can't, it is stupid value for what it gives. Even if you get it once, it is effectively a 1CP rotate. Far too valuable. That being said, I do wondering about Ion Aegis. Being able to give a bunch of Armigers a 4++ for 2CP is kind of good, naturally means you need to cover 2 for it to be "worth it" but otherwise, bit of a sidewinder to have all armigers around this one big guy sudden have 50% damage stoppage.

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Posted (edited)

I had another look at the Valiant, or more precise the Ion Aegis Stratagem.

 

As stated above, the Dominus Knights have some drawbacks:

- Next to no Relics

- No Bondsman ability; no synergys at all

- Throw away CP for the Knight Lance setup

 

While it would be nice to have some Relic options on the big boys, I don't see anything they realy need. Of course, a Sanctuary or Mark of the Omnissiah would be great, but they don't seem mandatory. They can still be the Warlord and take Ion Bulwark which seems like a good idea. They can also be Forge Master or Master Tactician with Honoured Sacristans to make them tougher.

 

The next point on my list is synergies. While kind of a heavy CP investment, I think Ion Aegis can be crazy strong. 

Of course, you miss the -1 damage the Armigers get for a Bondsman ability, but a single Questoris Knight with Master of the Lore can hand his Bondsman ability to 3 Armigers thanks to Wisdom of Nobility. Another Armiger can be buffed by the Bastards Helm. So while the Dominus Knight is a huge investment, you can still hand out 4 Bondsman buffs without a lot of trouble.

Back to the Ion Aegis: Of course, the more Armigers you have got, the more milage you get out of it, which brings us to point 3.

 

CP investment. There is no need to have 3 Questoris Knights to get the 6CP refund, you can also take 6 Armigers. Problem solved.

 

This all brings me to the following list:

 

 

 
++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Imperium - Imperial Knights) [105 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++
 
+ Configuration +
 
Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) 
 
Chivalric Oath: Oath: Defend the Realm, Oath: Protect Those in Need
 
Detachment Command Cost
 
Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus
. House Taranis
 
+ Lord of War +
 
Armiger Warglaives [24 PL, -1CP, 445pts]
. Armiger Warglaive: Heirloom: The Bastard's Helm, Heirlooms of the Household, Questor Cognis Heavy Stubber
. Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
. Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
 
Armiger Warglaives [24 PL, 450pts]
. Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
. Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
. Armiger Warglaive: Meltagun
 
Knight Paladin [25 PL, -1CP, 460pts]: Exalted Court: Master of Lore, Heavy Stubber, Heirloom: Armour of the Sainted Ion, Knight Baron, Reaper Chainsword, Warlord Trait: Revered Knight
 
Knight Valiant [32 PL, 645pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Exalted Court: Master Tactician, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Ion Bulwark
. Two Siegebreaker Cannons and Two Shieldbreaker Missiles: 2x Twin Siegebreaker Cannon
 
++ Total: [105 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++
 

 

So what do we get?

In your Command Phase, activate Wisdom of Nobility and hand out the Paladins Bondsman to a total of 3 Armigers. Another Armiger can be Buffed with the Bastards Helm. So 4 of your Armigers get the -1 damage reduction.

Depending on the deployment and the terrain, maybe it is usefull to send the remaining 2 Armigers into reserve with the Flanking Stratagem. The rest moves up the board, so that they stay within 6" of the Valiant.

As soon as your opponent opens fire, you activate Ion Aegis and, if needed, Ion Bulwark on your Paladin. All of a sudden you have got:

2 big Knights each with a 2+, 4++, 6+++

4 small Knights each with a 3+, 4++, 6+++ and -1 damage.

I think this is pretty hard to shoot down. Don't forget, your Knights also have a few additional wounds and everything that has not been killed will regenerate and can act like in top bracked thanks to the Questor Mechanicum Stratagem.

The opponent might try to punch you, but a ) all your Knights know how to heroicly intervene and b ) a Valiant has good overwatch.

Oh, and by the way, Master Tactician on the Valiant is to give him Blessed Arms for extra range.

 

Playing this way is pretty expensive on CP, but:

You start the game with 10 CP which isn't bad at all.

Every round you generate 2 CP instead on just 1 thanks to your Oath.

You can save CP on a Stratagem thanks to Master Tactitian.

 

I think this whole setup might work pretty well. Fine tuning might be needed (maybe Master of Vox on the Paladin for more flexibility with your movement and a chance of CP refund instead of Wisdom of Nobility... maybe change the Paladin to an Errant... or a Cunning Commander as a second WLT on the Valiant in case you are realy eating CP like a mad man)

 

What do you think?

Edited by DeStinyFiSh
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In your Command Phase, activate Wisdom of Nobility and hand out the Paladins Bondsman to a total of 3 Armigers. Another Armiger can be Buffed with the Bastards Helm. So 4 of your Armigers get the -1 damage reduction.

Sadly the Bastard's Helm does not confer the -1 Damage rule as far as I can tell. Apart from that it looks a really solid list. My main concern would be lack of range. I would want to swap some of those Warglaives out for Helverins but I realise the points are very tight for that.

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Posted (edited)

 

In your Command Phase, activate Wisdom of Nobility and hand out the Paladins Bondsman to a total of 3 Armigers. Another Armiger can be Buffed with the Bastards Helm. So 4 of your Armigers get the -1 damage reduction.

Sadly the Bastard's Helm does not confer the -1 Damage rule as far as I can tell. Apart from that it looks a really solid list. My main concern would be lack of range. I would want to swap some of those Warglaives out for Helverins but I realise the points are very tight for that.

 

Out of interest, and to clear up confusion, where are you taking that from? Any Armiger under the effects of a bondsman ability gains -1 damage while not dishonoured; the helm confers a bondsman ability, so would give out -1 damage too, is my interpretation at least?

Edited by Lord Raven 19
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On reflection I see you are right. I was thinking that since the bearer cannot benefit from a Bondsman ability, it would not count. But the second affected Armiger definitely does get it.

 

Congratulations, you have changed my mind on the internet (I thought that wasn't allowed :wink: ).

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So how do you get one knight to hit three armigars with the bondsmen ability, base is one, then Nobility adds another, how you tapping the third?

Paladin can use its Bondsman ability once and the Exalted Courst allows it to use it a second time. Wisdom of Nobility allows it to be passed on to a third.

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So, there are multiple ways to get more than 1 bondsman use. First, and most common, is Exalted Court as all those upgrades by nature confer +1 use of Bondsman. Questor Imperialis can technically affect as many as you can get with 6" of a High Monarch as their Noble Exemplar turns their Bondsman use into an Aura technically (though it just does give every armiger in range the boost).

Second and somewhat questionable in usage considering, the Knightly Teaching does allow you to copy an ability over onto another armiger. Not sure how useful but never know, could be handy. Technically...somewhat funny to note, you can combo that Teaching with the Disliked-Fellow Helm as while the Armiger itself can't be affected by Teachings...it doesn't confer that downside to others so you could have 2 armigers with that teaching running around.

A third and most miss it because I believe it comes from a fairly bleh Chivalric Code however one of them does confer a +1 bondsman use while on a Virtual...I mean Virtuous state.

 

So by technically, you can have one knight give out 4 Bondsman boosts in one round. 1 base, 1 Exalted Court, 1 Chivalric Code, 1 Knightly Teaching benefit.

 

However, considering this thread is about the Dominus...don't know how we got onto Bondsman abilties...Dominus don't get those.

-intense stomping and laser fire is heard- Oh now look, you upset them again! 

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So how do you get one knight to hit three armigars with the bondsmen ability, base is one, then Nobility adds another, how you tapping the third?

Paladin can use its Bondsman ability once and the Exalted Courst allows it to use it a second time. Wisdom of Nobility allows it to be passed on to a third.

 

 

Ah ok, missed that. Oh that means my planned Master of Vox with Equarry Vox and Noble Teaching group will be able to hit 4 of the 6 armigars in the force.. sweet.

 

Ok, carry on.

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