Thursday, March 24, 2011

Initial Impressions on Grey Knights

So everyone and their mother across the internet are writing about Grey Knights. Well I finally managed to sit down with the book yesterday and give it a good solid read over and unfortunately I'm insanely excited. Not that I didn't expect it since I played GK's since they originally came out but my attention has definitely shifted J

This doesn't mean that I'm not going to be writing about Tyranids anymore. It'll probably slow down as I start to build my 2011 army (Grey Knights) but Bugs are near and dear to my heart so there will still be articles. Hopefully this will include Batreps from Adepticon in the next few weeks. Also any questions or email regarding our favorite critters will generally get me writing.

So this first article about Grey Knights. I'm going to focus on the strengths and weaknesses as I see them. . Then I’ll probably do the same w/units in the near future. I’ll upgrade to actual lists later this week/early next week since I’d like to give a bit of a foundation to my thought process before I get rolling. This will naturally have mostly to do with Grey Knight units since I'm just not interested in Inquisitors or Henchman. Let's get started!


-Assault Weaponry
-Midfield Control
-Grand Strategy

So let’s touch on this stuff real quick. The assault weaponry on every PAGK makes them almost insanely lethal. This ties into their mobility as you’ll never truly lose out on damage potential by moving. Your standard range on your weaponry is 24”. A lot of the forums out there are saying this limited range will be their death against forces like DE or Eldar. But experience w/Hive Guard tells me that assault weaponry w/24” is plenty of range.

Assault weaponry and the mobility it helps to allow you to control the middle of the field. But the other crucial component is the duality of all GK units but especially of their power armored brethren. This ability to be deadly to MEQ’s in close combat and from range, for not much of a point break, while also having weaponry that allows you to pick your fights means that generally you should control the tempo for the control of the middle of the table. Why is it important to control midfield? For Grey Knights it allows you to fight you kind of fight by giving you room to move and time your assaults. It also allows you to put pressure on the enemy and keep him from your side of the table. It also makes late game movements for objectives or secondaries possible. Allowing you to make your moves later in the game.

Grand Strategy should speak for itself so this one is pretty easy. It allows you to tailor per your game objective and your opponent. Stolen from Mike Brandt on here:
I’m stealing his idea (though I’m sure it would have occurred to me!) for using GS to help you control midfield early. Allowing units like standard Strike Squads to scout means more movement and shots for when the game starts. Rarely will it be used for scoring but once in a while I’m sure it will come up. The other options just don’t hold a bunch of appeal honestly.

Shrouding obviously ties into table control and helping keep your marines alive. 3+ cover saves for your infantry/dreads/smoked rhinos is pretty huge. And the fact that it’s used in your opponents phase means you can still cast other stuff in your turn.

Lastly Psybolt ammunition! St5 Stormbolters, St6 Heavy Bolters, and St8 Auto-cannons. It’s an upgrade I’d probably only use on the vehicles, Strikes, and Interceptors but I’m thinking it’s worth its weight in gold on those units. The ability for standard GK’s to hurt Rhino’s at range and chimera’s from the side is huge and not to be overlooked. But be careful of what units you pay for this upgrade on which leads…..(King of the Segue!)

To the weaknesses, to me, in this codex actually come closer to traps. There are a lot of places to go wrong in this book and way over do each unit. At first you're probably going to see a lot of lists that have between 20-40 models/wounds total. I think this will come down to weapon upgrades (to many hammers/falchions and master crafting) which will have your units jump up significantly. Also Purifiers……

Oh No I Didn’t!!!!!

That’s right. I think Purifiers are going to be a trap a lot of people initially fall into. On paper they look amazing for only 4pts more than standard Strike Knights for Fearless, +1 Attack, Cleansing Flame, cheap weapon upgrades and 2 additional heavies per 10 dudes.  And by using one of your HQ’s they can be troops! Seems amazing right?

Well first off there is the tax we call Crowe. He’s not a bad character but I think that at higher point values (1750+) he eats up a very important HQ spot. To get him you have to drop a Grand Master, Librarian, or if you’re Mike maybe Karamov J. So even if we consider him a Brotherhood Champion and he’s only 50 extra points that still a 1-2pt tax per Purifier in your army. Doesn’t sound too bad right?

Well let’s also look at the options for the unit; 2pt Upgrade Halberds, 5pt Upgrade Hammers, 5pt Falcions (assuming they give +2A they are a contender), and 2 Heavies for every 5 dudes. The cheap upgrades and the idea of spamming a weapon as great as a Psycannon is going to lead a lot of people to upgrade when it might not be the best idea. This will lead to less models on the table. Same thing will apply to people using Termies/Pallies/Interceptors/and Dreadknights. So many pretty upgrades that are going to add up bit by bit.

Basically Grey Knights are an army that is going to need bodies. Razor/Rhino spam isn’t going to work for us because all of our basic costs are higher. And to make the best use of our wonderful units we’re going to have spend time outside of transports. This isn’t another marine army that never leaves its metal boxes unless it explodes. This is an army that will use vehicles to reach midfield and then debark to control it.

This has gotten a little long so I’ll leave it there. Depending on comments I might expand on this theme or I’ll be writing up my thoughts on a lot of the units in the codex over the next week or so. Hope you enjoyed it! J


Vogrin said...

I agree with you on the foot firepower, I've been very impressed with them so far. Terminators, especially, have been pouring out the firepower in my test games. But they're still more expensive than you can afford to lose. Shrouding has been a MASSIVE force multiplier for me so far - we don't have 3+ invuls, but we can 3+ cover (potentially even 2+ if you have a Techmarine).

Gornall said...

Yeah... I'm not sure where the happy medium is in regards to unit upgrades. The upgrades are fairly inexpensive when compared to the base model costs and can add significantly to the unit's utility in most cases. But I keep looking at my army and wondering how I can get more bodies in it...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post!

As a fellow player who also plays Tranids AND GK's, I am VERY interested in your perspectives on how nids can adapt to this new game.

While every new codex presents challenges to the game, CLEARLY GKs will present a significant challenge to nids. That is, the usual response of "they are just marines, use more Ap1/ap2 shooting" works great for tau/guard/marines but for nids....not as much. ;)

Thanks again for the post...

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