Kirb your enthusiasm!


"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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PsyCoteaz - Kirby's Grey Knight army list [Part 1]

This will be a list building exercise where I attempt to cover my thought processes for designing this list. It's had a lot of iterations and thoughts but I've finally come up with a list I'm comfortable with. Don't be surprised if it changes or tweaks or whatever but I love the feel of it and it lets me paint some Grey Knights which is a good thing for both you and me (I enjoy painting and you can bitch about my baby blue Grey Knights :)). A word of warning, this is quite a long post (Taak-like) but I've split it into two (unTaak-like)

So this list is being designed for 1850 but I'd like it greatly to scale to 1750 and 2000. Why 1850? Event Horizon run by Dennis/Loriness is 1850 and I'd like to be able to take this list there (I imagine the FAQ will come out right before the tournament and ruin the whole list...). That being said, most tournaments I've attended have been at the 1750 range and 2000 is looking more likely in the future. So let's begin with my background thoughts.

I love Purifiers. They are just an excellent jack of all trades unit and don't lose much for doing so. With that in mind I want to use as many of these guys as possible whilst maintaining a balanced list. I could take Crowe who makes them Troops but I really hate Crowe (the model looks nice) and feel lists based around him simply become Dreads + Purifiers + Crowe. I was considering Stormravens (and planting him in 1) but with the loss of the S8 AP1 missiles...not a huge fan of them. No Crowe then. I mentioned Dreads though. We all know I have a love for my Rifledreads. Whilst the are very much a specialised unit in providing a very particular type of firepower (hi AV10-12, I beat your face), mine see a lot of usage. Grey Knight special stuff makes them better which I will discuss later. These are therefore a must.

With that in mind I want to use Purifiers and Dreads as the core of my army. Let's examine these units and then go from there.


Cleansing flame is an excellent assault power against hordes or high initiative (6-7+) units. The power is done at the beginning of the assault phase so beats high I critters and wounds anything in combat on a 4+ (saves allowed). Against large units with poor saves this can be devastating and if you can engage the squad in a multiple combat, all opposing squads are affected. Very nice. Remember, having even one squad member alive allows you to do this. You lose hammerhand and force weapons for this (unless you bring along an IC) so against smaller MEQ type squads, cleansing flame isn't always the best choice. Outside of this they have access to cheap combat weapons, 2A base and two specials for every five guys, Ld9 for psychic powers and are fearless. Not bad for only four points per model more than your regular GK.

When you take the psycannon and combat weapon upgrades + a Rhino for added mobility and potential bunkering, Purifiers become an excellent midfield unit. They may be expensive (180-340 points depending on loadout and size) but are capable of shooting down tanks and infantry and dealing with most units in combat. These guys are really hard to pass up on in my lovely pink brain.

With their role in mind (midfield shooting unit which provides horde control and combat ability) we need more than your standard five bodies. Five strong guys with combat weapons + psycannons aren't really durable in assault. You've only got three special combat weapons and are pretty easily shot to the point of inefficiency if your Rhino dies. With that in mind sizes of 7-8 seem ideal. You can get 1-2 hammers, 2 psycannons and enough halberds to make even dedicated combat units not want to assault you. Why not 10 and combat squad? You have the same issue in regards to a small five man squad and if you don't combat squad but do take four psycannons, well that's what we like to call overkill and it becomes point inefficient. 9-10 strong squads are fine but they might play a different role (i.e. combat squadding for two squads of two psycannons). A Rhino is a good transport for this type of squad as it makes them more mobile and allows the psycannons to be fired from the top hatch for some extra protection as necessary.

With all this in mind my 'base' squad looks something like this:

8x Purifiers w/2x psycannons, 4x halberds, 2x hammer, Rhino (270)

With three squads of these guys I have got a solid 'front line' for the army which is both good at shooting and assault. They are pricey at 270 points but give me much needed flexibility.


Having spent a lot on the Purifiers we don't want to spend a bunch of points on the Dreadnoughts. Luckily these guys won't be too expensive and should leave us with enough points to make good use of the HQ and Troop slots left over.

One thing Grey Knights generally lack is good ranged firepower. Since their standard weapons (storm bolters and psycannons) are all 24" (though generally quite mobile), 48" ranged guns are very nice to have and Rifledreads bring these to the table. What Rifledreads (2x twin-linked autocannons) do is provide reliable long ranged suppression and a decent ability to pop open low AV tanks (i.e. transports). They are mobile and capable of utilising terrain to maximum effect. Grey Knights take this already decent platform and make it better in two ways.

1) Fortitude. If you are running a mech army Rifledreads are annoying and scary but if you are able to continually shake them, not so much. Grey Knight vehicles however have fortitude which is a psychic power used during your turn (importantly not their turn) allowing vehicles to ignore shaken and stunned results. Awesome. Dreadnoughts can now reliably shoot and your opponent does not know if the psychic test is going to be successful so has to consider putting more firepower into the unit to destroy it. Psychic defenses obviously hurt the success rate of fortitude but due to the backfield nature of Rifledreads, they are unlikely to be affected by such.

2) Psybolt Ammunition. If you are running a non-mech army, Rifledreads don't really bother you unless you're base T3 with multi-wound/FNP units. Psybolt ammo raises the strength of certain weapons by 1 and autocannons benefit from this. This takes them to the magical number of 8 strength. Strength 8 obviously is better for damaging mech and putting wounds on T6+ models but importantly it causes instant death on a lot more models (and also ignores FNP for T4+ models). This really helps the utility of Rifledreads much like S8 helps Hive Guard not be completely useless against many foot lists. It still isn't a great anti-infantry platform but being able to ID multi-wound T4 models or deny FNP with ranged firepower is very useful.

With all this in mind Psyfledreads are a very good unit to have so we're going to take three of them. With all their bonuses above normal Rifledreads one would expect them to be quite expensive but are only 10 points more...a bargain at 135 points!

The combination of Purifiers and Pysfledreads gives the list an excellent (but expensive) midfield and backfield core on which to build. Between the six units that's a lot of anti-tank and anti-infantry firepower which is mobile and has decent combat ability with the Purifiers.

And on that note I'll end the article here as we don't want something that's Taak-like in length do we! The second part covering HQ & Troops will come shortly after this with the end result there. I know you are all very anxious...

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