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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Initial Analysis: Grey Knights at Event Horizon

So before I get into the Battle Reports from Event Horizon let's take a look at some of my impressions from the tournament as a whole on how I played and how the list fared. I broke the golden rule and took a list I wasn't intimately familiar with but did have around twenty playtest games so wasn't going in blind. That being said I did forget a few things, namely Aegis/Reinforced Aegis and Psyk-out grenades. Not sure they would have really affected the outcome of any game but the point is moot now, I forgot ^^. I'm both happy and disappointed with how I went as I feel like a very silly error ultimately cost me but I enjoyed myself immensely.

So let's look at my specific army lists strengths and weaknesses uncovered during the tournament. First, the list.

Librarian w/Shrouding, Sanctuary, Might of Titan, Quicksilver
Inquisitor w/3x Servo Skulls
3x MM Servitors, Chimera
2x5x Purifiers w/2x Psycannons, Psyback
2x10x GKSS w/2x Psycannons, Psybolt Ammo, MC Hammer, Rhino
2x5x GKSS w/psycannon, Psyback (one with searchlight)
2x Psyfledread

So 44 infantry all up and 9 tanks. We'll discuss list changes at the end but for now let's look at the strengths.

  • Army Durability - for Grey Knights without any henchmen, 44 models is pretty nice to have. It's not fantastic but it's certainly solid and can be very difficult for your opponent to remove. Add in nine tanks and there is a lot of stuff on the board that isn't exactly easy to remove. This all adds up to a pretty stable army which means you can often keep fighting through bad dice or good dice by your opponent.
  • Psycannons - Does it really need to be said? They are a gun which you can move or stand still with shoot with to good effect and work well both against infantry and tanks. Lots of them in your army gives every unit the chance to do something.
  • Psybacks - One of the most underrated aspects of an Imperial Guard army is the Chimera. When you've got 5-8 of these guys you've got an extra 15-24 S6 shots which are really annoying. Psybacks are even more annoying and although they don't have AV12, they do have Fortitude, better BS and twin-linked. These guys cause wounds and they cause wounds reliably whilst also taking the burden off the Psycannons for dealing with AV10.
  • Stormbolters - Like the Psycannons this is the whole basis of many GK armies and mine is no exception. Combined with the Psybacks I had a lot of anti-infantry ability and didn't have to hide in the tanks all the time. This combined well with the amount of guys I had to give my opponent nearly twice as many targets to deal with which could significantly damage him (from 9 to 15). 
  • Lots of tanks - having only seven forward moving tanks isn't a huge amount and with the Chimera mostly holding the line in the center, I really only had six vehicles I could use for misdirection, cover, blocking, etc. but that was still enough to allow me to work midfield to my advantage. More would have given me more options obviously but I found six was enough.
And now let's look at some of the weaknesses.
  • Psycannons - No this isn't a type-o and yes it is a strength, too. We knew this going in but relying on lots of 5s/6s as your prime anti-tank and with minimal AP1, there were going to be games when you just cannot kill tanks. This happened twice (Games 3 and 5) and the durability of the tanks and models (40+ MEQs) was able to keep me in the game until my dice turned (Game 5) or I was able to put my opponent in a position where I could attempt to win on the non-primary mission (Games 3).
  • Librarian - say what? Yup the Libby. He was never a standout but he was a great buy with all of his powers coming into play at some point. However, I also feel he limited my army movement as I tried to keep everyone within range of him as much as possible. In the majority of the games this wasn't too bad but in Games 4 where the centre terrain piece forced me out wide, he was going to do little. Furthermore, anytime anything was setup away from the Librarian, one felt like you were wasting points, etc. In the end I put him down as a weakness because he is dictating how the army runs (close together) and if you aren't running close together, why are you running a buffing device?
  • Combat - oh wow. I know I've said. Others have said it. Everyone has said it. But you don't feel it until something terribly dreadful happens. Like a Strike Squad being unable to kill some Avengers or Sisters of Battle. The Force Weapons are a great tool for the Grey Knights and really compliment their shooting well as a follow-up or counter-attack force. They give you the option for being aggressive against certain armies but often enough, against those armies you aren't fairing much better than the much cheaper Tactical or Grey Hunter squads. This was known going in but it just needs to be said again so everyone understands.
All up I think the list is strong (obviously) but I think some tweaks are in order. Before we go there I'll cover a few things that I think I did poorly and need to improve upon with this army.
  • Aggression - I feel I was too aggressive for the most part. Not in terms of going for assaults but rather pushing my guys too far forward, too early. Against some opponents you need to chase after them (oh hi Imperial Guard) but there are ways to do this. 
  • lack of focus on the 24" - I forgot this a lot at times except Game 6 which is naughty. I talked about it a lot before hand and then threw it out the window come game time. Being able to move and shoot at 24" is a big advantage for GK against other infantry and I didn't utilise this. This hurt in Game 4 with Dire Avengers + Doom and couples with my being too aggressive. 
  • Getting out too early - With Razorbacks my units have to get out to be effective but I often got my guys out too early I feel, especially against IG. IG have great anti-infantry (remember all those multi-lasers?) and can really hammer Marines in cover by forcing lots of saves. If I had stayed in my transports longer in some games more Marines might have survived and given me more tactical options later in the game. 
With this all in mind I think the main thing I need to look at for the army is more reliable anti-tank (i.e. AP1). The Vindicare and melta-Henchmen are the obvious ways to do this so I'm going to be looking to include them in the future. I love the Librarian but think he will most likely be dropped except at higher points when I can take him and Coteaz and therefore have at least two Chimeras. He felt too much like a lynch pin and when I wasn't using his bubble auras, I felt like I was wasting him. His psychic hood will be missed, as will be the 3+ cover and making Strike Squads kinda scary on the charge (I10 and S6+2D6 will do that but they are still base 1A) but Sanctuary can be found elsewhere.

Anywho that's the wrap so far and I'll post Battle 1 tonight hopefully.

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