Saturday, April 23, 2011

[Collaboration] Codex: Grey Knights Review: Troop Choices

And here we are ready for the troops. Lets get this party started! As short as it may be, lol!


This is another one of those codices where there are only limited troop options.  Basically we have two, and the Strike Squad you'll only ever run one way. At least with the terminators you can have some fun with options, and terminators as troops is always happy time.
Don't forget the force reorganization options you have.  Draigo gives Paladins as troops for when you want 2000 point army for less than $200.  Crowe gives Purifiers as troops although he sucks bad enough I hope people resist. Why does such an awesome model have such annoying rules? Lastly, Coteaz giving henchmen as troops and removal of the one henchman squad per inquisitor rule.  Probably going to be a popular choice.

Grey Knight Strike Squad

Marcus: Here we have your basic tactical marines.  Except with force swords, storm bolters, and a couple of psychic buffs.  Same basics as tactical marines, you start with 4 and a Justicar and can add up to five more.  They only costs a little more than regular marines.  A 10 point premium for the basic squad, or 4 points per additional dude, but when you look at what you get that is bargain time.  They can ride along in either a Rhino or Razorback.  No drop pod option but seeing as they all get deep strike who really cares. You can add special weapons, but the selection is pretty limited.  The Psilencer that nobody will ever take, the Incinerator that could get some use, and the psycannnons that will be the go to gun for grey knights.

Let's look at the range weapons for a moment. The Psilencer is Heavy 6, S4 AP-.  Lots of shots but even orc nipples get a save. The Incinerator is a S6 AP4 flamer, best infantry flamer out there, you'll be wounding most infantry on a 2+.  The psycannon  is S7, AP4 Rending and either Heavy 4 or Assault 2.  Oh and lets no forget our S4 AP5 Assault 2 storm bolters.  Of course you are limited to 24" range but that's where you have to look for balance with the Knights.  Now why would you ever take the psilencer?  Lots of shots sure, but unless you are fighting Kroot the saves are easily going to eat that advantage.

Lastly, we have the option to buy psybolt ammo.  20 points so not a cheap option.  For it to be worth it you statistically need 5 bolters firing and it will turn one of your failed rolls to wound into a successful roll.  Do that 2 or 3 times and you've made your points back at least.  With a full squad and 8 storm bolters this could be a good use of 20 points if you have room.  On a smaller squad it's a waste though.

For close combat weapons we have the same choices seen elsewhere.  Standard force sword, Falchions, Halberd, Hammer, or staff.  The only reason to select the sword is to keep points under control as they offer no additional benefit.  Halberds are a popular option as for just 5 points you get a decent jump to I6.  Falchions at 10 points are our next option.  The jury is still out on just how good they are, but the +1 attack for falchions, +1 attack for two weapons camp seems to be in the majority.  Personally I disagree, but until it reaches and FAQ we won't know for sure.  The daemon hammer is a 10 point thunder hammer.  Almost always worth having one of these around.  Lastly, the warding stave.  Just avoid it, 25 points for a 2++ save in close combat on a 20 point shooty unit is a waste.  They can be useful, just not here.

Like I said, we'll not see much variety on strike squads.  It'll either be a 5-man hammer/psycannon squad in a razoback or a 10-man hammer/double psycannon squad in a rhino.  Incinerators are more likely over in fast attack.  Halberds are more likely on the 2A purifiers.  As much fun as we had in the HQ section, it kind of sucks that the very heart of the GK army is so cookie cutter.

Martin:  Strike Squads are... meh. As compared to Purifiers, they're... lacking in flavour. You pay through the nose for wargear on, altogether, a weaker unit. However, as Marcus said, they have their place. 10 GKSS in a Rhino, kitted with 2 Psycannons, and a Master-Crafted Hammer on the Justicar; 270 points. Rather expensive unit, but that's the story with Grey Knights. Marcus speaks the truth; it's a real shame that the GKSS builds we'll be seeing will be so monotone, but that's how it works out. Unless, of course, you want to pay the Crowe tax. ;)


 Marcus: These guys are exactly double the cost of a strike squad.  For our points we are getting an extra attack, an extra point of leadership, and of course that 2+/5++ save.  Even better it is actually a 2+/4++ in close combat if they are using force swords as that weapons ability is now working.  As a result the other close combat weapons are made cheaper.  Hammers and halberds are free, and the falchions are just 5 points.  I dunno though, falchions and terminator armor.  Just feels wrong.
Our range weapons have also changed prices and we have the added bonus of not losing the close combat weapon when we take one.  The incinerator for just 5 points is a great deal.  The Psycannon got pricey at 25 points but with the relentless armor you'll always be using the Heavy 4 profile for it.
Like the strike squad, the terminators have the same option for psybolt ammo, and the same deal regarding how many people you need to make it worthwhile.  For these guys we also have the option for a brotherhood banner.  Pricey at 25 points and the bearer loses his force weapon (although still gets to attack).  For that all members of the unit get +1 attack and psychic tests (hammerhand) will auto pass.  Particularly nice with demon hammers around as the +1 from hammer hand happens before the strength doubling, making them S10.  Have a librarian hit the unit with quicksilver first and people will hate you (No they won't, see Martin's comment below).

Lastly, the fun option for the Terminators, Justicar Thrawn.  He's part Terminator, part Necron.  A 75 point upgrade to the unit and it only really gets you 1 rule.  Sure he's WS5 and a level 2 psyker (although you'll see no benefit there while he is part of a unit) what makes him worthwhile though is the fact that if he dies there is a 50/50 chance each turn he comes back.  Way to deny a kill point, but for the cost you could have almost had two more terminators.

Martin: Quicksilver doesn't work with NDHs; they're always at I1, sadly.  If only! Anyway, generally... max Psycannons. Having the Relentless Heavy 4 is awesome. Thawn is also awesome, but it's debatable whether he's worth the 75pts upgrade awesome...

Marcus and Martin


  1. NOTE: Banners only work for the force weapon test. Just sayin'.

    And I think that Thawn being Mastery 2 means you can crack off Hammerhand and your Force weapons in one turn. I can't swear to it though.

  2. I am thinking of a different way of using my guys here. More troops for my points.(my IG thinking again) Incenerators, and small squard in razorbacks for me. I will put the points into more troops, and terminators. For fewer objectives or kill points TERMINATORS. at lease thats my goal. Please feel free to leave feedback.

    Also... I try to stay away from grey areas like Thawn. I have heard of people trying to tank shock with vultures... just because it does not clearly state does not always mean you can.