Crusader-Star: Oddball Lists

Hey all, Danny here with another strange list concept to share with you all. After listening to the ETC updates from Allies of Convenience, I heard of a new list concept that I’d not ever seen, so naturally, I wanted to see what I could do with it.


The Crusader-Star centers around the lowly Inquisitorial henchmen, the Crusader. At a guardsman’s statline, he is not too much to write home about, and his measly strength 3 makes his power weapon and WS 4 lackluster (just ask Howling Banshees), but what he does have that is worth his 15 points is a storm shield, granting me that sweet, sweet 3+ invulnerable save. He’s a 5 point model with a 10 point upgrade essentially, but in the era of allies, layering psychic defense, and general tomfoolery, he makes an excellent base for a relatively inexpensive death star.

The basic build is this:

Inquisitorial Detachment:

Xenos Inquisitor: Rad Grenades (-1 Toughness to enemies in melee), Psychotroke grenades (for super fun, random debuffs), Level 1 (for more psychic dice), and a force sword (free and can come in handy). You can also add some servo-skulls to taste.

Henchmen squad:

11x Crusaders

1x Priest with Eviscerator (for prayers like reroll wounds or reroll saves in melee)


You get all of this for only 305 points bare bones (no servo-skulls, no upgrades besides grenades and psychic level for the inquisitor), which means for 610 points, you get two strong bases for deathstars that have a 3++ invulnerable save, and even without any psychic powers up, you can get a 3++ reroll in melee with the priest. You can invest more into the inquisitors to possibly give a unit scout via Liber Heresius

In ITC or any other source limited event, this also only takes up one detachment.

So how do we kick this into overdrive? At T3, this unit can still be shredded by volume of fire, so that 3++ isn’t all that helpful, but with the right allies, all of a sudden you have some mean, mean potential.


The first choice for me is Grey Knights for the simple fact that they can use Daemonology (Santic) without fear of perils, and they provide a ton of psychic dice and psychic defense. If you get sanctuary up, all of a sudden, you have a 2++. If you get hammerhand up, all of a sudden that str 3 power weapon becomes a respectable str 5. Gate of Infinity becomes quite useful as this deathstar has a relatively small footprint (as deathstars go), so it is definitely possible to have some extreme maneuverability. As always, even Vortex has some utility as a D weapon is never to be underestimated. The librarians themselves also come with cheap str 8, AP 2 melee weapons (str 10 under hammerhand), and the Nemesis Strike Force lets you cut costs of a CAD while still bringing a LoW like Draigo (who is a beast in combat, can tank like a champ, is fearless, and auto-comes with Hammerhand and Gate of Infinity)

Of course, to really make this little star twinkle brightly in a world of deathstars, you can toss in a librarius conclave for psychic dominance. With conclave, what you are really fishing for is Veil of Time to make that 3++ (or 2++) rerollable, and with null zone, you can shutdown other deathstars. After that, things like invisibility, endurance (not so great on T3 models), or what have you can make these little deathstars compete with the big boys. Also, T4 (or 5 depending build) models with str 5, ap 2 attacks (up to 7 with hammerhand) never hurt, especially with Force active for that sweet Instant Death to turn off opposing Feel No Pain.

Just need 4 more of these guys without the terminator armor
Just need 4 more of these guys without the terminator armor

The trick with all of these psychic dice and spells is to prioritize correctly and not deviate from that priority (looking at you, John). For me, you start rolling with the Grey Knight Librarians (or if you want less power but more combat, Brother-Captains/Chapter Masters), and you start fishing for Sanctuary. If you get it early, you can either keep going on santic for hammerhand (if you don’t bring Draigo) or lateral over to Librarius to fish for Veil. If you have two Crusader-Stars, The other GK libby (or Brother-Captain, whatever) should also go santic to fish for sanctuary/hammerhand. This way, you want to make sure that both of your Stars have access to both sanctuary and hammerhand. The conclave will then fish for Veil (if possible, get two veils, one for each unit). If you have any rolls left over, go for invisibility. The inquisitors are just there to be batteries, but taking Divination’s primaris, Prescience, for reroll hits isn’t too bad at all.

So, what kind of lists can you build here? I’ve come up with a few:


Dual Crusader-Star

Grey Knights CAD:

Librarian: Lvl 3. Daemon Hammer. Domina Liber (for extra roll on santic and reroll santic casts)

Librarian: Lvl 3. Daemon Hammer.

5x Strike Squad

5x Strike Squad



Xenos Inquisitor: Level 1. Force Sword. Rad/Psychotroke Grenades

Xenos Inquisitor: Level 1. Force Sword. Rad/Psychotroke Grenades

Henchmen Band: 11x Crusader 1x Priest

Henchmen Band: 11x Crusader 1x Priest w/ Eviscerator

Librarus Conclave:

3x Librarian. Lvl 2. Force Axe. Jump Pack

2x Librarian. Lvl 2. Force Axe


So this list is all about having two melee stars running around. 2 librarians go with the Crusader Star without an eviscerator alongside Draigo and the non-Domina GK Librarian. The other characters pile into the other Crusader Star with eviscerator. The key point to this army is to make sure that you get sanctuary, hammerhand, and veil of time for both units, and if one is lacking any of these, that star needs to play cleanup in the backfield rather than pushing too hard into the enemy.

This list pumps out a whopping 22 Psychic Dice, which should let you compete with just about any other psychic list out there. Both stars have an innate 3++ that should hopefully turn into 2++ rerollable. This list also gives you two stars to throw around, letting you have more board control and give you a better chance at controlling the mission. With rad and psychotroke grenades in each star, you stand a good chance of beating most other deathstars as Thunderwolves and bikes go down to T4 and Khorne Dogs go down to T3 (meaning you can double them out pretty easily). Plus, the randomness of psychotroke grenades means that sometimes, your opponent is autohit and swings with only 1 attack each or goes to initiative 1.

Alpha Strikes are bad, bad news
Alpha Strikes are bad, bad news

This list is weak against alpha strikes in the first turn as it absolutely needs to powerup to be fully effective. Unlike Wolf-Tide or the standard Thunder-Star, there are not a lot of throw-away wounds here, and majority T3 means that even bolters can cause enough wounds to chew through the 3++. Character placement is key here as you need Draigo and even a librarian with crappy powers to help tank hits to protect the unit. Also, while 22 PD seems like a lot, with two stars that both need sanctuary, veil, and hammerhand up, suddenly you need to cast 6 powers per turn, so this list runs the risk of running out of fuel as psykers die or just having bad rolls/opponent Deny the Witch rolls being bananas.

But let’s look at another version, one designed to play well within the Team Tournament style events out there where Army Sources are limited, so you only get 1 Space Marine Conclave per team.


Crusader-Star for Team Tournament:

Grey-Knights Nemesis Strike Force

Librarian: Lvl 3. Daemon Hammer. Domina Liber (for extra roll on santic and reroll santic casts)

Librarian: Lvl 3. Daemon Hammer

5x Strike Squad



Xenos Inquistor: Lvl 1. Force Sword. Rad/Psychotroke Grenades


Henchmen: 11x Crusaders. 1x Priest w/ Eviscerator

DeathWatch Black Spear Strike Force (Decurion)

Core Choice: Purgatus Kill Team:

7x Veterans

4x Fragcannons

1x Stalker Boltgun

2x Grav guns

Librarian: Lvl 2 Power Axe Auspex

Terminator: Thunderhammer/Stormshield and Cyclone Missile Launcher

Auxiliary Choice: Dreadnought – Assault Cannon/Missile Launcher 120

Command Choice: Librarian Lvl 2 Power axe (95)

Command Choice: Librarian Lvl 2 Power axe (95)


So this list is essentially two Death-Stars but one focused on melee and one focused on controlling the backfield via shooting. The two command Librarians go with Draigo and the two GK librarians to bolster the Crusader-Star while Coteaz goes with the Purgatus Kill Team to project a 12 inch bubble of “Deep Strike and Die”. If somebody lands within range, that unit will pump out 8x str 9, AP 2 shots, 6x grav shots, 2x stalker boltguns, 1 special ammunition shot, and the 2x str 8, ap3 shots. With Coteaz and the Purgatus Librarian on Divination, you fish for Forewarning for the nice 4++ invulnerable save and take Prescience, or roll for Forewarning and hope to get lucky with the Librarian and roll Veil of Time as well (doubtful). Keeping the Stalker-bolter veteran and the terminator upfront gives you some chaff to soak up fire. Let’s not forget that the Killteam gets to reroll wounds against any unit with an HQ in it (hi, other Deathstars), and you can select the mission tactic to let you reroll hit rolls of 1 against HQ or Elite or whatever you need really. Lastly, the Librarian with the Auspex gives a nice -1 to cover saves.


The Crusader-Star will rely again on getting sanctuary up, hammerhand, and Veil of Time, and if the rolls go well, maybe invisibility (doubtful but could happen). The Crusader-Star can also use Gate of Infinity to redeploy and threaten immediately.

The Dreadnought ideally walks onto the board turn 2 or 3, shoots some objective chaff, and hopefully finds a backfield objective to camp before inevitably dying to a stiff breeze. The single strike team deep strikes onto an objective and hopes to not die.

This list still packs quite a bit of psychic dice at 18, but since really, the Crusader-Star is the one that really relies on powers, you are getting to concentrate your casting efforts. With Coteaz, you also get to mitigate being seized on as it goes from 1 out of 6 to 1 out of 36. You also double your chances to seize if necessary.

There are two odd advantages here as well: First, in ITC, your primary is Deathwatch, which means you are competing in a much shallower pool for “Best of” awards. Second, for an ETC /ATC style team tournament, you are not really using any of the “big” codexes like Space Marines, Eldar, Tau, or Daemons. This gives you a lot of match-up play within your team as you have a relatively solid anti-deathstar build that can compete against things like Wolf-star or even Wolf-tide. The Crusader-Star when at a full power can really hold up or even start to destroy another death-star (especially if you manage the Null Zone plus a roll of 2 on the Pyschotroke grenades combo), and the Kill Team has enough firepower to threaten just about everything.

Wolves howling not used ironically.

Of course, I love my Wolf-Tide, so I wondered if I could make the two work together. This gets tough in ITC as Wolf-Tide is already detachment hungry, but this version trades full psychic power for much more objective-secured and board control.

Wolf-Tide and Crusader-Star

Dark Angels Lion’s Blade (Decurion)

Core: Demi-company

Chaplain w/ melta bomb

3x 5 tactical squads

1 x 5 assault squad

1 x 5 Devastator squad

Command: Inner Circle: Azrael

Auxilliary: 10th Company

3x 5 Scouts

Command: Librarius Conclave

2x Librarians, Lvl 2, Force Axe. One will melta bomb


Wolfkin Formation

4x 10 Fenrisian Wolves

1x 11 Fenrisian Wolves


xenos Inquisitor: Lvl 1, force sword, Rad/Psychotroke Grenades

Henchmen: 11x Crusaders. 1x Priest


So a special note here: This list entirely depends if your local TO/general community allows the Librarius Conclave for Dark Angels to be included as part of their Decurion. If no, then unless they allow 4 or more sources, this is a no-go, so just putting it out there.

Assuming this is legit in your format, you trade in a lot of power dice in exchange for a lot more units. You have a 51 strong Wolf-Tide that with Azrael has an innate 4++ and either Feel No Pain (when within 3 of an objective) or Furious Charge. With the Chaplain, you get zealot for those sweet reroll to hit in the first round of combat, and overall, you have a hell of a tarpit that also pumps out a lot of str 4 attacks (maybe str 5).

The Crusader-Star is smaller with only the Inquisitor, Ezkiel, and 2 librarians to buff it, but with conclave, Ezekiel gets to cast 3 powers, harnessing on a 3+, and you still have 8 psychic levels. Like always, you are just trying to get Veil (more important here), sanctuary, and hammerhand. Those are the key powers that you absolutely need, but Veil is critical.

So you lose a lot of pop, and it is riskier, but you also get a boat load more bodies on the table to play scenario. Yes, the Demi-company is naked, but they are obsec, and their job is just hold your backfield and control it. The scouts outflank to contest your opponent’s objectives, and both of your stars push the center to contest any there. This lets you win on scenario by simply pinning your opponent into their deployment zone, and if the dice god are on your side when it comes to powers, your Crusader-Star can still do work as can the Wolf-Tide.


So here we are, another wacky build that I am going to play with once I get released from infant-care (so…18-19 years?). Also, if you happen to know the ETC player running the Crusader-Star, have him give me a ring as I’d love to hear his thoughts on it. Of course, feel free to comment on any further ideas/modifications, or of course, tell me how much I make a mockery of this game by building such monstrosities.