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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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guest Article: Draigowing

A Quick Draigowing analysis.


My name is Saramoff. 3++ regulars may have seen me talking in the chatbox, talking about Tyranid nonsense and other Warhammer related things. I'm a very long term Warhammer player who has only recently started to embrace the rules and competitive side of the game. This is mostly due to growing up I think and whilst by no means do I stop loving what's cool, I can see how the rules work better than I ever could. I think little else needs to be said, other than I lack actual gaming experience. This stunts my ability to see things in a more visceral light, but I have a savvy enough nature to know mostly what can and can't work.

With the introduction over, I'd like to show you my most recent list of lists, which I think can and will work. This article will focus on the big boss of the Grey Knights himself. I give you Draigowing.

In this guest article I will go through, much like the other articles about Grey Knight lists, the rundown on how I made the list, my thought process and my ideas about what does what. You know, general list stuff!

Step 1: Draigo.

It's no secret that this 275 point Supreme Grandmaster has had 3++'s proverbial erection reaching critical mass. Backed by VT2, myself and others Lord Kaldor Draigo has been proclaimed as a pretty awesome guy. Let's study him for a second, and note a few things about him.

He costs 275 points, verging on the Swarmlord in terms of points. A very good statline, surprisingly close to what a Daemon Prince usually gets. He comes standard with Grey Knight terminator gear and a Storm Shield, and the Titan Sword.

A thing to note on the Titan Sword is that it's a Master Crafted Force Weapon with the Daemonbane property. Why not just a mastercrafted Nemesis Force Sword? Well, giving Draigo a Nemesis Sword would give him an immense 2++ in close combat with his Storm Shield. Ward has avoided such a brutal save by doing this, and it does help to give him a level of balance. Nemesis Warding Staves do the same thing by only giving a 2++ in close combat, allowing the allocated model to be shot to a bloody smear.

Draigo slaughters psykers and daemons and I believe even the Swarmlord would finally take a beatdown without a thought, due to a mixture of Psyk-out Grenades and the Titansword. Nevertheless, Draigo is very strong in CC against anything, with some strong attacks backed by Hammerhand and the Force Weapon, along with 4 wounds guarded by a 3++ save. Slick! His shooting is all right, a BS6 Stormbolter is at least accurate. He has the Grand Strategy and Psychic Communion, giving him some great army flexibility. For 275 points, he may not have the inherent flexibility of a Grandmaster due to straight forward options, but he makes up for it by demolishing ass in close combat and still providing a general's selection of buffs.

Lord Kaldor “God powers keep my pimp hand strong” Draigo - 275

Step 2: Paladins.

It's strange to see how the perceptions of Grey Knights change. I heard a lot when rumours were around that a Crowewing army would be one of the strongest due to the sheer volume of Psycannons. Now, everyone dislikes Crowe (a kneejerk reaction to not being an independent character, I say!) and thinks purifiers are not too great. Similarly, paladins were originally rubbish, but now people are starting to see their use.

A paladin article has been done, so let's spare the analysis. We need two troops choices. I like to think paladins run like Tyranid Warriors, small groups of 3-4 with a big gun and boneswords for an all around awesome squad. Paladins only get two heavy weapons after 5 guys and we need them to be versitile. We'll start with 5. 2 Psycannons gives us a ranged punch, and terminator armour grants us 8 relentless shots. On top of that, you only lose your stormbolter, giving up none of your force weapons to do so!

We'll keep things simple and take a varied range of force weapons. You can really mix and match, but I always try to take a Daemonhammer to wreck something here and there. The common equipment is either 3 halberds and 2 hammers, or 4 halberds and 1 hammer. Really, it doesn't matter point wise, so we'll say a 3/2 combo. Alas, my proposed list only has enough room for 1 master crafted weapon. Keep it a Daemonhammer, because we really need them to hit home.

5 x Paladins: 3 Halberds, 2 Daemonhammer (1 master), 2 Psycannons - 325
5 x Paladins: 3 Halberds, 2 Daemonhammer (1 master), 2 Psycannons – 325

Step 3: Psyfledreads.

Psyfledreads, AKA Supernova Dreads, AKA “oh god what happened to my unit” are fantastic. Normal Dreadnoughts are cool and all but right now we need some fire support for the paladins and Draigo. Being on foot means they need other elements of the list to cover them. The Dreadnought needs little study: a standard template, we lose a Searchlight and gain a reinforced aegis and a psychic pilot for 10 points more. A bargin! It has a Doomfist (the most metal weapon name I've ever heard) with a built in stormbolter and a Multi Melta, which the list lacks.

Whilst melta is awesome, we can make it so much better.

Two twin-linked autocannons are fantastic, and make a standard Rifleman Dreadnought. What makes Psyfledreads better is the Psybolt ammo. Strength 8 is a sweet, delicious number made of the tears of pasted Tyranid Warriors and Necrons. Two Twin-linked autocannons with psybolt ammo give us some heavy support indeed.

I'll take two.

Psyfledread - 2 Twin-linked Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo. 135
Psyfledread - 2 Twin-linked Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo. 135

Step 4: Power Armour.

Our list has some great elements to it already; a durable core lead by a character with the biggest truesilver testicles on Titan and some heavy artillery walkers. What we need now for this delicious meat is some bread. We could do with some mobile gunners, as well as some more close combat.

Enter the Power Armour Grey Knights.

It's been said Grey Knights get no heavy slots, only Psyfledread slots. This probably surprises people that I'm using a Purgation Squad. Purgation Squads not only have one of the best quotes on a page in an army book that I've seen but they are inherently flexible. 4 special/heavy weapons in the squad make them pretty good, even if the Psycannons are 20 points. The fact that you only get 4 for the entire squad gives us no reason to take more. The fact that you also only have 1 Stormbolter means that Psybolt ammo is a waste. Nothing lost, nothing gained from just 5 men.

A Purgation squad with 2 incinerators and 2 Psycannons means that you can reliably inflict pain on whatever you want, and then some. Psycannons can melt Rhinos and Incinerators certainly do a good job of destroying infantry if you target them at other things. The magic here is that you can also get a Rhino. Rhinos get 2 hatches for you to fire 2 guns. You have 2 guns of each type. Must I hint more at this?! In the protection of your metal box, you pick what to fire and what to fire it at, allowing you to have great flexibility.

Initially I wanted a Razorback, but I realised I couldn't do Drive-by purgings so easily. A twin-linked psybolt Autocannon is a great option, but I'd rather have flexibility over a big gun. Plus, it's quite costly compared to the humble rhino. The Purgation Squad will be in charge of blowing up whatever the hell is within range, being able to reliably do a good job no matter the target.

I had some extra points, so the Rhino got a bit of pimping too. A Searchlight will help out in Dawn of War, whilst a Hunter-Killer is just plain fun.

Purgation Squad: 2 Incinerators, 2 Psycannons, Rhino (Searchlight, Hunter-Killer Missile) 171

Whilst the Purgation Squad leaves me satisfied, we need more men on the board to give the enemy a bit of saturation. Strike Squads are by all means not bad. Only 1 attack each balances out the Nemesis Force Weapons, yet they will still inflict some pain if they get to charge. They get 1 weapon option per 5 guys, and quite frankly I need more Psycannons (at 10 points a pop, I couldn't say no!).

Taking 10 Strikes is a pretty cheap deal, and they fit snugly into a Rhino. So far, 2 psycannons and a Rhino works well. It does feel a bit one dimensional though, so we'll give them some anti-infantry boosting via Psybolts. I believe numbers have been done to suggest that psybolts don't really offer much more on Stormbolters when it comes to infantry at 5 men, but they become useful at 10. It's a good thing we happen to have 10! 20 strength 5 shots is decent enough firepower.

These guys will be the mini Purgation Squad, lamenting their lack of promethium based purging. With 2 psycannons to pop out of the hatch and 20 strength 5 shots to pump into an enemy when they disembark, they will do a fine job of providing both a distraction as well as a strong unit in their own right.

Also, searchlight.

10 x Strike Squad - 2 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, Rhino (Searchlight) - 281

To finish it all off, we need something that will support the Paladins. A mobile troop of men that can do close combat well enough, able to get in quickly and hold things in place/mow through bubblewrap for the paladins to deliver curbstomps. Purifiers are great at this task, and so we shall employ some.

I love flexibility and Purifiers do not disappoint. Sadly, I have too much of a hardon for paladins to truly appreciate Purifiers, but I do see their use. Cheap nemesis weapons (that paladins get for free), 2 special guns per 5 guys (paladins don't lose their nemesis weapons to do this) and a cheap sum of bodies that can jump into a transport to deliver their goods (I, uh, got nothing this time). The question is, how do I kit out these guys to perform their job to the best they can do?

We'll take 10 purifiers to start. I thought 5 to begin with but 10 has both benefits and downsides. Purifiers get Psycannons at 10 a pop, which is great. Taking 10 means 4 potential psycannons, but only 6 nemesis weapons. As I see Purifiers as being more combat orientated, I wish not to dampen their abilities in combat. Taking 10 means 8 nemesis weapons and 2 psycannons or 6 weapons and 4 guns.

Tricky choice.

We'll go with 10, with 2 guns. As for weapons, we want to make sure they get the most out of their 2 attacks. He who strikes first, strikes true. As a man of flexibility, we will also need the pure power of the Daemonhammers. 2 Daemonhammers is enough, as 3 or more drags your attacks below theirs and gives them more guys to damage yours. A sum of 6 halberds, 2 daemonhammers and 2 psycannons gives them great potential anywhere: Two psycannons to blast through rhino hatches, 6 halberds means 12 attacks go at initiative 6, whilst the daemonhammers give them some punch afterwards and some wound allocation.

It also gives you the fun ability to crack a tank in half. I love me some tank cracking.

To further heighten their flexibility, Psybolt ammo will be taken, so the guys with the nemesis halberds and daemonhammers get some Strength 5 shots to volley into the enemy before the assault. We also want those hammers to hit, so they are Master Hammers.

Again, a searchlight.

10 Purifiers: 6 Halberds, 2 Master Daemonhammers, 2 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, Rhino (Searchlight) – 353

Our list looks like this:

Lord Kaldor "Warp-laced Condoms" Draigo: - 275

10 Purifiers: 6 Halberds, 2 Master Daemonhammers, 2 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, Rhino (Searchlight) - 353

5 x Paladins: 3 Halberds, Master Daemonhammer, 2 Psycannons - 325
5 x Paladins: 3 Halberds, Master Daemonhammer, 2 Psycannons - 325
10 x Strike Squad - 2 Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, Rhino (Searchlight) - 281

Purgation Squad: 2 Incinerators, 2 Psycannons, Rhino (Searchlight, Hunter-Killer Missile) 171
Psyfledread - 2 Twin-linked Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo 135
Psyfledread - 2 Twin-linked Autocannons, Psybolt Ammo 135

36 models, 2 walkers and 3 vehicles.

The list itself seems to be quite solid, but there are a few concerns. The paladins and Draigo will lag behind, though like the Daemonhammer the timely arrival to the enemy's face will be worth the wait. Their speed is offset by the Power Armoured Grey Knights, with supporting fire from all units. The Purifiers will join an enemy and take them apart, or hold off a unit for a Paladin assault. All in all, they will work together. As a Tyranid player, I find no other way better.

It lacks a Librarian. This is a pretty big thing, as Librarians are pretty good. Removing the Strike Squad would keep the links of the army strong, and the Librarian sits in with the Paladins well. Lacking a Librarian however denies me some flexibility, something to be considered. Still, the list can work well I believe but we'll see if it works in action as well as theory!

Another idea is to remove the Hunter-Killer and instead add a Teleport Homer to the Purgation Squad, and deep strike in the Paladins to make a thunderbubble-esque manoeuvre. If the Rhino goes flat out twice, it could also have the paladins delivering their smite-brimming goodness by a potential few rounds. With Psychic Communion it means you may have a good chance at getting your Paladins where you want them. Perhaps a modification for another time?

How you run your own Draigowing is up to you, but this is how I made mine and how I intend to run it. Paladins are flexible, and giving them different options means the rest of your army must change to accommodate them. At the same time, this gives you an entirely different approach in theory, though I do forsee Draigo and at least 2 Psyfledreads being 'standard'. As standard as Hive Guard, anyway.

I hope this article has been somewhat enjoyable, or at least allowing Kirby to stall for time so more stuff elsewhere can be written. Meanwhile, enjoy the picture of the Terminator. My store's black box came recently and they gave away a Terminator to paint and keep if you ordered stuff. As you can tell I did, and here is my proposed colour scheme on a really shoddily posed terminator. <- No picture provided so you get a normal googled Terminator! Added

Until then, I await April 2nd, and I know others do.

See you on Titan, brothers!


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