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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Monday, May 2, 2011

5th Edition, Grey Knights and Tyranids.

Disclaimer: This isn't so much to make a point above shooty grey knights are the ones to be scared of, and indeed will basically play out as my response to a few opinions I've seen in regards to this issue. As a result it may seem scattered. My bad, but hopefully it opens a few eyes.

Wait, what? We been here before?

Mmk, yes we have. Well, this article is going to be taking my usual rant format. So hey-o, lets go. (:

Abusepuppy recently put up an article about the various weaknesses Tyranids have to Grey Knights. So I'm going to do the same general thing from a Grey Knight perspective. One thing I do kind of want to nip in the bud.

Combat grey knights. Le sigh. Sure, grey knights are pretty killy in combat, especially if you run purifiers. But someone has said it better than I ever could. "they die like bitches". And Stelek is right. They do die like bitches. See, I played against them with my GK (that is, I played against combat GK with my GK) and I shot them off the board. I've also played against mech IG, who I shot off the board. And I played against Tyranids. And I shot them. Off the board. It's because of this I'm not really 100% behind the whole "combat GK are going to end us" thing. No, grey knight combat builts have some horrific matchups. The odd combat unit, ugh, it can be dealt with. They're no harder to kill than other marines. So, where does that leave us? Shooting. Ja, here we are.

Grey Knight shooting, it's more than just psycannons! In fact, in playtesting, the Riflemen dreads have probably been MVPs. Point for point in shooting they absolutely tie with the psycannons for shooting damage, if not beat them. Thing is if you're bringing psycannons, you bring more than just psycannons. You bring Grey Knights, who will kill everything at shooting, and close combat. Apparently. Am I right?

Sort of, lol. Lately I've been messing around (on Vassal, but it's mostly mathhammer I was testing anyway, so it's ok) with Thunder Hammers in my squads. Specifically purifiers and purgation squads. Put it this way, they work. Other combat? Less so. Lets go into this a bit... Basically, Grey Knight combat is "good enough". What do I mean by that? Well, it's unlikely to win you anything by itself, but as a tool it works fine. It's honestly more a defensive bonus than offensive. What it DOES protect you against is things like Mephiston. How? Hammers. It has to be hammers. The other upgrades don't make your unit into a "combat unit". They make them into a unit that can fight in combat, and dies like tactical marines. Big difference. Honestly, Stelek said this stuff better than I can.

So this leads us back to shooting. In my 2 grey knight armies, I have a lot of shooting. In my first, I have 6 meltas, 6 multi meltas, 2 multilasers, 2 relentless psycannons, and 6 dreads. In my second, I have 19 psycannons. Combat wise, my first army has a unit of 10 terminators with 5 halberds, 4 hammers and the banner (so 3A per model and they autopass their force weapon check). The second army has 2-3 hammer attacks in every squad. 3-5 on the charge, in addition to normal force weapons. What this means, is that both armies have VERY good shooting, and good enough combat.

So, how does this relate to Tyranids? Well, due to the short range of the tyranid hive guard, they need to get close. This brings them in range of every gun the Grey Knights want to point at them. Tervigons and Tyrannofexes cannot get close, as they will get shot and hammered down. Where does this leave Tyranids? Stuck 13" from the grey knights not able to get closer safely, is where. Against Tyranids with my Grey Knights I shot off 80% of the hive guard turn 1 + 2, and removed all of the monstrous creatures with shooting. One was going to die to combat, but I fluked on psycannon rolls (6s ftw?). Alright, so what can the bugs do? Well, believe it or not, grey knights still aren't so hot in combat. Clever use of Shadow in the Warp (gonna be a godsend for stopping force weapons) and catalyst will pay dividends against their shooting. And take it from the GK player himself. If you try to engage me in anything remotely like a ranged war, or a war of attrition, I will win. In this matchup, I outshoot you by a bazillion, and I take a punch better (as I have so much ID floating about). So, where does this leave you?

Combat and systematic shooting. Now, I think this is a hard matchup, don't get me wrong. But there was one unit that I was scared of when I was playing against the tyranids. Genestealers. Able to run my shit through in close combat, I had to deal with them, and I did. By shooting.

Just like everything fucking else.

This is someting I really wanna nip in the bud. The above was mostly a plug for stealers. I think they're great in competitive nids, but it illustrates a point. Nids will beat GK in combat, and it's not our combat you need to worry about. You CAN win in combat. You will lose the shooting war.

 Combat Grey Knights are not so scary. They die like marines. You can kill marines.



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