Thursday, May 5, 2011

[Collaboration] Codex Grey Knights Review: Heavy Support

Heavy support is a section where the Grey Knights have a lot of good options. Enough that rifle dreads will probably often show up as Venerable rifle dreads, and the rock that is the Land Raider will have to fight for space.

Land Raiders

Marcus: Let's start with the easy stuff, Land Raiders. Firstly, they aren't available as a transport option anywhere. If you want some of their joyous AV14 goodness you'll have to fit it in the heavy slots.
The Land Raiders are pretty much the same as everywhere just with a few additional rules. The key one is psychic pilot and fortitude. With these you can take a psychic test at leadership 10 to ignore crew shaken and crew stunned results. All for a 5 point premium over the vanilla version, definitely worth the points.
You can also take Truesilver™ Armor for 10 points. If nobody in your area has a Daemon army don't bother. Really, bit of a waste of time as the chance of it ever being useful are pretty rare. Maybe that IG psyker battle group will decide to do a close assault on your Land Raider though? Lastly you can add a warp stabilization field. This is only any use if you have a librarian with summoning and a teleport homer that you plan on deep striking on your opponents flank or rear. So if you do, cool, teleporting Land Raiders FTW. If not, there is really no point in this option.
They all have the option for psybolt or psyflame ammo. Before you drop it on your Redeemer to boost up those hurricane bolters, remember the strength increase means they are no longer defensive weapons so you won't be able to fire them on the move.

Martin: Shame they're not Dedicated Transports. As it is, I doubt we'll be seeing many Land Raiders; in taking them, you essentially refuse Psyflemans, Dreadknights, Purgation Squads... all of which are, perhaps, more important. As with all Raider lists, if you want a Land Raider... you want two Land Raiders. And by that point, you've cut down hugely on other options.

Purgation Squad

Marcus: Really not a whole lot to say here. They are the Grey Knight take on Devastators, but because of the limited selection of heavy weapons for the Knights they really aren't that good. They have and identical stat line to the Strike Squad. The difference here is that you can up to 4 heavy weapons in a minimum 5 man squad. Only problem is, the one people most want, psycannons, is now 20 points. Twice the cost compared to the strike squad, but interestingly the Incinerator is now free. A 5-man squad with a hammer and 4 incinerators dropped behind enemy lines could wreck all kinds of havoc for just 105 points. That unfortunately misses the point of their shiny new ability, astral aim, which lets them fire round corners. The target always gets a 4+ cover save, and you still only have a 24" range, but it could be useful occasionally. One thing though, no it doesn't get around the limits of fire ports on vehicles. It's about not needing LOS, it doesn't however make your shots magically go through solid object like the side of your transport.
Martin: Personally, from the builds I've play-tested so far, I've found Purgation Squads a fantastic HS option. Kit them out with Incinerators, throw them in a Rhino - or, have a GM give them scout, and then outflank them, though the randomised entry puts me off - and then watch them toast infantry. Astral Aim certainly has its uses, but only when you're rocking Psycannons. Then, you run them up behind your mech wall, and then have them sit still, out of LOS, and pump 16 S7 shots out. Granted, you're conceding a cover save in the process, but it's a handy tool nevertheless.


Marcus: We are going to see a whole lot of psy-rifleman dreads out there. The GK codex really lacks in the long range firepower so 135 for two strength 8, twin linked auto cannons fills the gap very well. You do get all the standard dread options, and there is fun to be had with TL Lascannons and such. The rifleman just hits a nice sweet spot for points and power so will be about the most popular.

Otherwise, the dreadnought is pretty much the same as the vanilla version but with the same upgrades we talked about on the Raiders. Warpfield stabilization, psybolt/flame ammo and TrueSilver™ armor. And they get that nice psychic pilot/fortitude bonus to make them much harder to stop.

Martin: They are, truly, a solid choice; they add some much-needed fire support, which will be a welcome addition to just about any list. Fortitude helps keep them shooting away.


Marcus: And lastly, the choice that people seem to love or hate, the Dreadknight. Personally I love the model so I'll be including one. A stat line to make Tyranid players jealous, and some nice options give us a good center piece for the army. Even if those mean other players are sure to shoot at it a lot.

For close combat we start with two DCCWs and can swap out for a Daemon Hammer that will hit a whatever initiative the Dreadknight is at (cough, quicksilver, cough), or a Greatsword. It really is great too, rerolls on to hit, to wound and armor saves. With a base 3 attacks, +1 for two close combat weapons and +1 if you get the charge, the Dread knight can put out some decent hurt. Just make sure to stick to small squads though, the torrent of attacks from the 25 orcs

For range weapons we have three expensive options that are only available here. The Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Incinerator, and Heavy Psycannon. I wish the Gatling Psilencer was a bit better. Twelve shots, but the whole S4/AP- will mean they don't do very much. The heavy Incinerator gives us some awesome sauce. It works like the regular incinerator for profile, but you can set the template up 12" from the Dreadknight and lay it anywhere in a 180 arc from that point, same as the IG hellhounds. That can allow you to hit a whole lot of troops and makes it a very nice choice. Lastly, the Heavy Psycannon which again has the same profile as its smaller brothers but uses a large blast. That's a nice template to have around, but as anyone with a Vindicator or Demolisher knows, sooner or later a 24" range large blast will come back to bite you.

The only other option for the Dreadknight is a teleporter. At 75 points this is a really expensive option so if you take it you better have some real plans for it. Probably involving a Grand Master and a scout move shunt followed by turn 1 assault.

Martin: I'm not altogether convinced by the Dreadknight. Not after its nerf after the leaked Codex. Having tested them, I can see their value - they attract a lot of attention, and absorb a lot of fire, particularly when you have 3! - but I'm not enirely sold on them. Teleporters are too expensive to be useful, without becoming gimmickey. I'd rather give them 2 Heavy Psycannons, or 2 Heavy Incinerators.

So that is it for heavy support. Some nice options, and definitely a slot that will have GK players making some tough choices.

Marcus and Martin


  1. Your review seems somewhat rushed. For instance the Dreadknight can not take the same weapon twice.

  2. I took Martin to mean he would rather they COULD double up on weapons INSTEAD of taking a teleporter. But it's not crystal clear.