Monday, May 23, 2011

[Collaboration] Codex: Grey Knights Review - Elites Part Two

We've saved the best for last.  Here we are closing out the Grey Knights force review with the rest of the elites.  The part that includes the Paladins and Purifiers that are forming the theme around which a lot of armies are based.

Martin: Grey Knights have access to Techmarines, who, pre-options, are much the same as those from Codex: Space Marines. However, they do happen to have access to some great war gear options.

That they have Frag, Krak, and Psyk-out Grenades out of the box, as well as access to Blind, Rad and Psychotroke Grenades, and Empyrean Brain Mines, means that they're a fantastic counterpart to any assault unit. Furthermore, thanks to Hammerhand, he's a great addition to, say, a mixed Death Cult Assassin/Crusader/Banisher Henchmen Squad, bringing all their Power Weapons up to a fierce S5. Add Rad Grenades to the mix, and BOOM! You're hitting MEQ on 3s, then killing them on 2s.

They are, of course, more than up to their traditional role of babysitting vehicles/walkers. However, with Fortitude around, I'd be more inclined to throw them in with your

The only disappointment is that they're 1W. I guess I'll just have to cope with it. It's not the end of the world, when he's in a meaty squad or whatever- especially with Crusaders in there to soak up those AP2 shots! - but I'd have expected 2W, when I'm paying 90 points for him.

Marcus:  I think the only reason to bring a techmarine is if you've used both your HQ slots but want another "HQ" to help a squad out.  An inquisitor can fill the same role, with 3W, for the same or less points.  Like you said though, he is a great force multiplier in a close combat squad with hammerhand and rad grenades.  He also gives you access to the amusement of a conversion beamer or orbital strike relay if you are playing a big, open table.  Still, 90 points base and then more if you want those 'nades or toys.  Pretty pricey.

Purifier Squad
Martin: Now, these guys are where it's at. Once you've paid your Crowe tax of 150 point, you'll never go back. Let's take a look through what make Purifiers so boss, especially as compared to standard PAGK.

Purifiers are 24 points, as opposed to 20 points. For this, however, they gain an additional attack, and the Cleansing Flame psychic power, which is great for thinning down squads before combat commences. These boosts alone are arguably worth the 4 points, but the real magic of Purifier Squads lie in their wargear options.

They can stock up on a plethora of wargear, and get it all cheap as chips. Let's assume they have connections in the Inquisition... 2 Purifiers per 5 can swap their NFSs and SBs for Incinerators or Psilencers (Incinerators, definitely), at no additional cost. Psycannons are the same, for just 10 points extra. They can also grab Halberds for just 2 points, or Falchions or Hammers for 5.

So, bundle them 10-strong into a Rhino, load them up on Psycannons and Halberds, and bring a Hammer or two along as insurance against Walkers/MCs, as well as Psybolt Ammunition for good measure, and you're looking at a fantastic shooty and/or hitty unit that can really take the fight to your opponent.

Marcus:  Definitely a value deal.  When 'nicely equipped' a squad of 10 will barely cost you any more than an equivalent armed strike squad.  For instance, 10 guys, 2 hammers, 2 psy cannons, 6 halberds.  The costs are 270 vs 282.  So for 12 points you get the 2 attacks and cleansing flame as Martin mentioned.  Plus swap two more halberds for psycannons and it only cost you 16 more points.  Definitely why people are willing to pay for the under performing Crowe and just build an army around these guys.

They are near the top of why the Grey Knights are an elite army.  Its not difficult to end up spending 30 points each on these guys.  That means you won't be putting too many of them on the table, and as good as they are, they suffer from a lot of the same weaknesses regular marines do because of the 3+ save.  They won't be happy when that cheap squad of melta vets gets its points back just be killing a few Purifiers.

Venerable Dreadnought
Martin: Much the same as the Dreadnought in the Heavy Support slot, which we covered earlier. The only notable difference is that you're upping the cost by 60 points, in order to gain +1 to both your WS and BS, and gain the Venerable rule. All comments on the Dreadnought apply here.

Marcus:  I'm sure these will occasionally show up as venerable psy-rifle dreads as people fill up their heavy slots.  Thing is, that's a bit of a waste for the points that would cost.  The 60 points get you very little on something that will sit in the back field and fire twin linked shots.  This dreadnought is more suited to an assault cannon or multimelta, the DCCW and being on the front line with the Paladins.  With the venerable rule and fortitude you should be able to keep moving a bit longer, this puppy will need a lot of concentrated fire power to bring down.  Fire power that would otherwise be instant deathing your Paladins and HQs.  It's big, it's scary, and it'll be a great shield for the rest of your force.  Plus, if it makes it to the enemy lines it'll do some good.  Pity it can't take 2 DCCW.

Paladin Squad
Martin: The "uber-l33t Terminators" of the 40k universe. For 55 points, you get a 2W, WS5, 2A and Ld9 Terminator, with the Holocaust power. He can take a Halberd or Hammer for free, or a pair of Falchions for 5 points.

Multiply him by 5, and you're looking at a properly good up-close-and-personal unit. Multiply him by 10, and you're looking at one hell of a deathstar; especially if you add in the Apothecary to give the buggers FNP, as if they weren't survivable enough already.

They have many uses, I guess. With Draigo, you can go all out and have a Paladin army - something that I've fielded in the past, with great success - or you can use these guys as your meaty, threatening 'distraction unit'; something to keep your opponent occupied whilst your Rhinos rumble forward, full of Purifiers, ready to unload and purge the heretics!

Marcus:  The most obvious uses of these will be Draigo troops or a death star unit to focus your opponent.  One interesting alternative though is the fact that minimum unit size is just 1.  Holding a Paladin in reserve and then dropping him somewhere behind enemy lines is going to throw your opponent a little off balance.  While it is just one Paladin that is still enough of a threat that it needs to be dealt with.  And if not, it is either going to be running up to engage some back field support or run over and contest an objective.

I'm not sure the Apothecary is worth the points in a Paladin squad.  While FNP is a good bonus to have, it won't work against a lot of the stuff that scare Paladins.  Things like Lascannons, Multimeltas and power fists/klaws.  Against the stuff FNP is good against the 2+, 2W and would allocation mean you are seriously tough anyway.  A 75 point premium for the little extra that FNP brings seems a bit costly.  

Brotherhood banners though I could go for.  An additional attack and automatically activated force weapons is very nice.  Equip these guys with Falchions and you could be looking at 5 instant death power weapon attacks each on the charge.

Well, that's it for troops.  We've already covered psychic powers, so one more post about the new weapons and equipment and then we can get on to some army lists.

Martin and Marcus

1 comment:

  1. Here is why I don't like Paladins and especially the FNP guy.

    Lascannons, and Lances.

    Both are AP 2 and double the toughness of the Paladin. Face an army that can field multiples and youve jsut overpaid for your terminators by a whole lot.

    The only pro I see for these guys is if you are in a meta that has 0 of the above, cuz you can kit them out and play shenanigans ala thundercav.