Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Paladins – Poor Misunderstood Paragons of Marinehood

So this article is going to be about exactly what the title says. I’ve been reading around the internet a lot as I’m now required to work 3 days of overtime a week and I’ve notice a general dismissal of Paladins. Now that’s not saying that people don’t like them. In fact it seems to be the opposite. People love the idea but for various reasons don’t think they’ll fit into a competitive list. So let’s look at some of the reasons people find them non-competitive and at the same time we’ll address how I see them fitting into lists.

Reasons for hate on Paladins Competitively:

-Vulnerable to Instant Death!
-Don’t mix well into a standard mech list
-Not a premiere CC unit for the cost

There are others but I think this touches on the biggest ones. So let’s address them starting with


Like almost all units in the GK codex there is the ability to run these guys up point wise and fast. Tons of upgrades and most of them sounding like a good idea will leave you looking at a very expensive unit. This can be addressed 2 ways. The first is going the minimalist approach. For 315pts you get 5 Pallies w/2 Psycannons. Most people will add 10pts more to MC both Psycannons but I’m not a huge fan as points are extremely tight in a GK list. So those 315pts get us 10 terminator wounds (since it’s easy to make them diversified w/out any extra points), 8 St7 Rending shots a turn, and a unit that is a match for anything on the table excluding TWC (Normally because of the Lord) and Nob Bikers.  The second thing to note is that at 315 for 10 wounds you’re not too far off from any elite/fast attack 10-man PAGK unit in the army, granted w/out a transport. Which leads us neatly into:

Vulnerability to Instant Death! (Like that segue didn’t ya J)

So we have as many wounds as those elite/fast attack units but not if we’re shot by Lascannons/Railguns/Melta guns and such right? Well yes but how many non-vehicle mounted lascannons do you normally encounter? How many Railguns are going to be aiming for the Paladins before killing your mobility or fire support (dreads)? What is the range on that melta everyone is so hot on?

My point is that there are several ways to mitigate the ranged weaponry that can outright kill the Pallies. Librarians w/Shrouding, Cover in general, and Vehicles being used to screen nastier elements from LOS. Combine this with the range of the most prolific weapon above being only 12” and your Pallies should be extremely survivable especially…..

When you mix it into a mech list! (Another fine seque!)

“But they are walking infantry” you say. “Nobody walks in 5th edition unless you’re a poor bastard that plays Tyranids” you say. While the idea of all mechanized forces does have its place this isn’t one of them. Against most MEQ (or all armies really excluding Guard due to the sheer number of Auto-cannons they can field) armies the weapons designed to kill tanks are the same ones designed to instant kill Pallies. Basically in this case you are giving your opponent the options to attempt to kill the moderately pricey but solid support unit or to kill your mobility or vehicle fire support. It’s a no win situation since there is no right answer. This will leave you with a powerful advancing support unit which brings me to…..

Not a premiere CC unit for the cost

No, Paladins aren’t absolute combat monsters. What they are is an amazing mobile fire power unit that combines that with the ability to be able to throw a heavy blow in CC. They will lose combat to TH/SS when they (the TH/SS) get the charge. They’ll lose to TWC w/a Lord over the course of the combat. But they aren’t designed to go toe to toe with an untouched CC superstar unit. They are designed to put wounds on those units from range and provide you the ability to reliably finish off those units in your opponents force.

So let’s recap why I think that Paladins have a place in competitive lists based on my above counter points to the general internet wisdom out there right now. I’m not going to get into the true synergy you can bring to this unit using other units in the codex as this is just a stand alone, purely personal opinion based, unit review.

A Paladin unit brings:

-The ability to fire 8 St7 Rending shots at 24” (30” w/movement)
-The ability to smash any non-superstar CC oriented unit
-Solid resilience to non-ID firepower
-An area denial unit as most people won’t want to advance to where they’ll be in combat range with anything except a super CC unit.
-A target that cause fire priority decisions in your opponent, increasing the chance of mistakes
-And just a neat unit in general J

Not saying they fit in every force but I’d heartily suggest looking at them again if you’ve just dismissed them because the internet told you to or because of any of the above reasons. If you don’t agree tell me why J


Gornall said...

I love Pallies, but have not been able to build a good list around them yet (with or without Draigo). I think the potential is there, but I haven't been able to unlock it.

inquisitor_dunn said...

Interesting. Have you ran them yet? What load out are you going with?

Hulksmash said...

You'll see them Saturday. I generally run them something like this:

Pally w/Psycannon + Sword
Pally w/Psycannon + Hammer
Pally w/Hammer
Pally w/Sword
Pally w/Halberd

This gets me wound allocation at the low, low price of 315pts. It fits nicely into even my predominantly mech build but gives me some solid oomph.

CrusherJoe said...

I love Paladins. Based on my experience with them I think you're spot on with most of what you say. I recently ran a 1500 point list of them in a local team tournament (1500 points/team member) and learned quite a bit about playing Paladins, which I recount here:


I have to say I disagree about them not being CC stars -- at least so far. I really need to test them more and granted, I was playing a list that was designed to work *with* another army that was providing support that my all-Pallies list was sorely lacking. I'm working on another Paladin-heavy list based on the lessons I learned. Hopefully, I'll have more data to report on their effectiveness against CC "superstar" units soon (I really need to smash them into some TWC and Nobs as you mentioned).

Venerable said...

Nice article..but is it not the case that for every five Paladins, one may take a psycannon? Meaning you need 10 for two dude?
This massively reduces the ranged offensive capability that is one of the key selling points you put forward here Hulk...

CrusherJoe said...

@Venerable: No, with Paladins you can take 2 Psycannons for every 5 models.

Venerable said...

@Crusher....Awesome..must've missed or misread as I skipped over them...becuase I did..feeling that regular Troop Terminators have the edge as they score without needing to build around a GM.

My concern is they are quite expensive and with points being so tight in a GK army, they are a luxury I can't afford in 1750 (which is as large as I play and most UK tournaments too)...

Hulksmash said...


They look like CC stars until you run into one of the units that's simply designed to own the combat phase. Things like Bloodcrushers, Nobz, and TWC. All are cheaper, multi-wound models that can either A) put more wounds on the Pallies than they will back or B) will put more than a few instant death wounds on them at the end of combat. Not to mention standard TH/SS Termies. Outside of those kind of uber elite CC monsters Paladins are hardcore :)


If your running a GKGM then ignore termies an get Pallies. The extra 5 wounds and extra Psycannon for 90pts is worth it. If your not running a GKGM then I agree that termies might work best for you. I personally just don't have a place in my lists for standard GKT's.

Venerable said...

I agree that this is a good setup for them...and I run a TDA Malleus Inq just tto access more small arms wounds and a second psycannon for my GKT's...so this makes them very worthwhile with a GKGM...

But it is with that caveat...as troops with GStrategy IMHO

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