Monday, October 3, 2011

Executioners Characters: Pedro Kantor

Kantor is our second option for a character that grants Stubborn, and thus fits well into an Executioners force. He a Chapter Master, with the standard statline, Orbital Bombardment, and the option for a Honor Guard squad. He carries a power fist as well as a very fast firing storm bolter. He’s a solid close-combat character, though striking last with only a 4+ invulnerable save and no Eternal Warrior means he can’t stand up against real assault specialists.

In addition to granting your army Stubborn, Kantor confers the Hold the Line! rule, which makes any Sternguard Veterans scoring. As I’ve previously written, neither Tactical squads nor Scouts are very efficient at killing the enemy while Sternguard are quite good at it. By giving Sternguard the ability to score, Kantor allows you to make an army with both significant scoring presences and impressive ability to deal damage.

Finally, Kantor has the Inspiring Presence aura, which grants all friendly units within 12” +1 attack. In general, Space Marine units aren’t great in assault, so this isn’t going to turn most of your units into real assault threats. However, it helps to repulse assaults by units that you’ve thinned down with shooting. In particular, it gives Sternguard 3 attacks base, allowing them to fend off weaker assault units or even launch an assault themselves. The units that are already an assault threat, namely Assault Terminators and Honor Guard, both become even more dangerous when backed by Kantor.

This lends itself to two tactics using Kantor. The first is to keep him at the center of all of your squads, acting as a counter-charge unit and buffing your army against enemy assaults. This can be either a static firebase or advancing in vehicles. The other common tactic (and probably the more efficient one, though much less flexible) is to stick Kantor in a Land Raider with either Terminators or Honor Guard and use them as a hammer unit. Frankly, very little can stand up to either of these units backed up by Kantor’s aura.

While Kantor is individually less capable in assault than Thulsa Kane, he provides a significant buff to any units near him, producing a much more capable assault force in the end. In addition, he allows you to avoid one of the greatest weaknesses of the Space Marine Codex, weak scoring units, by allowing Sternguard to score. All of this combines to make Kantor a flexible choice for leading an Executioners army.


  1. Honour Guard are probably just too expensive to use since they lack the inv save. The only real advantage they get is that they can ride in a rhino but no one is going to let a rhino with like 400-500 points of troops get anywhere on the table.

    You can run him with vanguard vets without packs. These are not as good as assault termis but can have some spares to take damage. The whole close combat options for the codex is thrown off with the storm shield termi cost being so low for such an upgrade to the storm shield.

  2. Assault Terminators are certainly the more efficient option, but I've seen Honor Guard used quite well in the same role. Mainly, they're used for fluff reasons or because someone likes the models. A small squad in a Rhino can be reasonably cheap, but as you say, they'll be a big target in an easily destroyed transport.

    I think Honor Guard compare favorably to Vanguard Veterans. For the same cost as a Vanguard with a power weapon, you get artificer armor and a bolter. A 2+ armor save, even without an invulnerable, is a big deal, halving their amount of failed wounds and making them pretty resistant to the very common krak missile. While Vanguard Veterans allow some ablative wounds, their lack of power weapons means that they'll allow your enemy to soak up power weapon wounds and take some saves where otherwise they wouldn't.

    I don't think the Honor Guard is a bad unit. They just don't compare favorably to Assault Terminators, but nothing else in the codex does either.

  3. Vanguard do allow you to do many weapon variations to allow for some wound allocation stuff. Honour Guard run into the problem that they can only upgrade the Champion to have a thunderhammer. My honour guard has a power mace on the champion what is different enough from all the other power swords that I can call it a thunderhammer if I need to.

  4. Thanks for the link! That's a nice looking Honor Guard squad, and a very good alternative to the far too Ultramarine themed official models.

    My problem with Vanguard, based on using them with my Blood Angels, is that their mix of power weapons and standard weapons all striking at the same initiative with lots of attacks gives your opponent a lot of options for wound allocation. This is less of a problem with more biased squads (I started out running 2 lightning claws and 3 standard marines, but have since shifted to a power fist, 2 lightning claws, and maybe a power weapon). This results in taking a squad with almost all power weapons or equivalent, in which case I think the Honor Guard (or Sanguinary Guard in the Blood Angels case) is a better option because of the better armor save.

    Of course, I still want to stress that Assault Terminators are probably the best option here (I don't think I stressed that in the initial post enough, just in case newer players are reading this).

  5. I did a little comparison of vanguard vs assault marines like 2 years ago but I did not really account for the stupid wound allocation issues you get with so many units now. My basic upgrades were relic, fist, lightening claw, melta bomb.

    I hate the funny business in the wound allocation. They essentially made it totally impossible in the nid codex but left it in way to many other units in the other codexes.



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