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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Grey Knight Army thoughts

Okay so let's get some of my initial impressions down after lots of chats in the chatbawks with a variety of people. And pictures from The Wraith Gate.
  • lack of Fast Attack is annoying. The Storm Raven lacks the S8 AP1 missiles so many people forget Blood Angels have access to and it hurts the viability. We already know they are over-costed or cause a huge point sink and for an army which needs to think about long-ranged weaponry, that would of been handy (plus being able to access 24 point scoring units...SRVU anyone?). That being said, Stormravens as fast tanks with Summoning Libbies sounds fun and they do provide mobile and ranged firepower with all the usual options. A lot of lists I and others have played around with end up at the 1500 area base. Being able to add some Attack Bikes or Speeders would of been great but also made the army very similar to other Marine books. Kudos to them for not doing this as annoying as it is. Ya there are Interceptor squads but eh...30" shunt is nice whilst maintaining a 12" move but needing 10 for 2x specials, not scoring and not being fantastic in combat is an issue.
  • Elites require some actual thought I think. Purifiers are IMO the best unit there but with some mind wrangling you can get a lot out of the slot without using Purifiers (or having them as Troops). Henchs are IMO best used with Coatez since he makes them Troops but running double Inq for their special items allows a double unlock as well. Vendreads are nice in conjunction with Fortitude and their access to ranged weapons (Venpsyfledread!) but expensive @ ~200 a pop. Assassins have some nice utility (hi Vindicare) and Techmarines are finally ICs and can all take Conversion Beamers! They are expensive though (110 with Beamer) though can pretty reliably keep a parking lot going. Paladins IMO are a disappointment. They implode to anything with a bunch of S8+ attacks/shots and only have a 5++ (4++ in combat) for 55 points each.
  • 24" psycannons were needed. Maybe 36" on Purg squads or through other some special ability but certainly not army-wide. I'm glad this was changed but as stated above, GK armies will need to actively think how to access ranged firepower. With the 'base' guns of Grey Knights being 24", other units like Jokaeros, Stormravens, Razorbacks, Dreadnoughts need to be called upon for ranged firepower. 
  • hard to suppress. As before Grey Knight vehicles are very hard to suppress. Ask a Venpsyfledread who has an ~80% chance of ignoring most damage done against it when in cover (and no psychic defenses). This helps balance the medium range of the Grey Knight army in general as those 24" Rhinos and Razorbacks are just going to keep moving. Suppressing Grey Knight suppression though (Dreads) is going to  be a pain.
  • Psychic defense isn't mandatory against Grey Knights (so you aren't going to lose if you don't have it) but it will annoy any Grey Knight player indefinitely (i.e. I can now suppress you!).
  • Back to these guys with Coatez (even with restrictions to three specials). The ultimate customisable squad. I've only really played around with Jokaeros, Warrior Acos and Psykers so far, but with the option of Fortitude Rhinos, 5 fire point Chimeras and super cheap scoring RBacks (TL-asscannon Rbacks are hence forth known as passbacks [thanks Mike]), you can really build these guys how you'd like.
  • I'm not a huge fan of the normal GK squads. Sure they are hyper price efficient and if you're tight on points they are obviously better than a Purifier squad but otherwise, these guys just feel expensive considering they aren't so flash in combat (1A hurts). They are still good don't get me wrong, I just feel like Hench, Terminators and Purifiers are better options. Edit: an example Mike/zjoekov just used was 10xGK w/2x psycannon in Rhinos when points were tight. Purifiers here wouldn't gain you anything unless you were combat squadding (though you'd have a lot more punch in cc) and the GK are obviously cheaper.
  • FoC moves. This makes the codex IMO and without ICs like Crowe or Coatez, we'd have some unhappy customers. Crowe isn't super hot but consider him an Awesome Tax for how nice Purifiers are as Troops. Draigo is also there to create some movement but I think those two will see the most use in balanced builds as being able to take mass Henchs or Purifiers in any sense is good, let alone as Troops. Coupled with a Grand Master's ability to hand out USRs to certain units and you have some very divergent list combinations brewing already.
  • Dreadknight. The sky isn't falling. T6/W4/2+/5++ is nice, particularly for 130 points but isn't breaking the game. Carnifexes cry for this.
  • some of the equipment and psychic powers Grey Knight ICs have access to is just fun. Grenades and things like psychic communion, plasma syphon (yes they spelt it that way) and psybolt ammunition add some more dimensions to lists I think a lot of people have been missing. This has been done in a way which I feel brings that back but doesn't screw over game balance with 'over-powered combos.' Yes, plasma is still not the answer.
Anyway those are some of my thoughts for the moment. I'm sure I've forgotten something and I'm sure other people will have other things to say. With the glory of the new plastic I'm seriously considering picking the army up to go with my Marine collection (infantry only as I have the tanks...) as I've always been a fan of the Grey Knight style (mass halbreds!). Here's a list I've kicked around with a couple of people so far.

3x6x Purifiers w/3x Halbred, 1x Hammer, 2x Psycannon, Rhino (<-- thanks Mike)
3x3x Jokaero weaponsmith, Chimera (monkeymobile)
2x7x Psykers, Rhino (psybunker)
3x Dread w/2x TL-AC, psybolt (psyfledread)

Totals: 1850 points
42 infantry
11 vehicles

Purifiers are the 'screen' so to speak and work very well in midfield whilst most everything else puts out firepower. At 2000 you can grab another Psyker squad. Another option was running all the Troops as passbacks (Razorback w/TL-assault cannon, psybolt ammo; 3x warriors) which gives you a fair amount of points to play with (could also run 4 passbacks and 2 monkeymobiles), etc. Troops are pretty weak in all of these options (your tanks die, they die) so here's where normal GK can come in and save the day if you have the points. Anyway, just some ideas to kick-start the brainstorming!

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