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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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grey Knight Codex Review - Fast Attack (Zoom Zoom!)


Hello friends, from a far off land I have returned... No, actually, my wife and I have had our second baby, and I haven't had any time to do an article in... forever. So I thought I'd start off with something simple - Codex Grey Knights! Now I am not a long time GK player, I'm mainly utilising them so I can create my counts as Thousand Sons army, with psychic might included. What this means for you, my grey-armored loving compatriot, is that I've literally spent every waking moment poring over batreps, the codex, and many other sources, to try and get a feel for Magic Marines (patent pending).

Lets go a bit crazy, and start with the Fast Attack section.

We're still waiting on VT2 to start his review...looks like SneakyDan is joining in the fun.


The red headed stepchild of the GK codex - you either love, or hate, personal teleporters. With the release of the FAQ, the much acclaimed game breaking shunt list is now dead and buried - guess what kids, we always knew that would be the case. Interceptors, however, still do the same things they always did really well.

First things first - interceptors are not your assault infantry. "But they have jump packs! And so do Vanguard Vets! Surely these guys are the same?!?!" Your partially right, they are sort of the same. They attack from an unexpected angle. But while VanVets do this in assault, and draw your opponent out of their castle, Interceptors do it from range, peppering the enemy with firepower from an angle they don't expect. The ubiquitous psycannon is key here friends, as it allows us to deliver medium, rending firepower, at an unexpected angle, like the side armor of your opponents Manticore battery, or past the intervening distance between you and his Long Fangs. After you have softened your target, you can -then- swoop in and possibly mop them up in your following turn, if your opponent hasn't totally destroyed your squad.

Loadout: 10 Interceptors, 2 Psycannons, MC Hammer on the Justicar. This is, in my opinion, the only way to field Interceptors. Points are wasted on things like halberds, you don't need them, as you generally don't want to be assaulting. Dependant on your opponent, you can combat squad your unit, creating 2 smaller units which cause issues. Squad half a) gets the Justicar with the hammer, and 4 boys, and squad half b) gets the 2 psycannons. Due to personal teleporters not scattering on a shunt, its quite easy to deploy your units in a manner that grants maximum cover the the rear squad with the cannons, while presenting an insurance (read: Powerfist) laden threat in the first. Your close squad can either stormbolter somethings rear armour, and hope for a glance, or run, and present a better screen for your rearsquad toting the psycannon. The close squad can also do things like cast warp quake vs certain armies, preventing your opponents pods/strikers from dropping on close to help eliminate your fastmoving threat.

As with most things in 40k, Interceptors work best with support. 10 GK's moving quickly to an exposed flank scares noone, and you can't reasonably expect your 'Ceptor squad to pick off 3 dakkapreds in a turn with an amazing multi assault (okay, technically they could, but its not reliable. CC for tank hunting rarely is, even at str5. ) When used in a hybrid list designed to take advantage of their strengths, 'Ceptors can be quite effective. Moving 4 x 5 man combat squads, and 2 DK's with heavy incins onto the side of an opponents deployment is quite unnerving, and saturates your opponent with targets in close - allowing things like your Razorbacks or Rhino mounted squads to close the distance, with minimal interference. It's highly likely those fastmovers will take horrendous damage - Rely on power armour, and cover saves, to get you through. Some armies will tear this style of strategy apart, and others will struggle with it.

Stormraven Gunships

HOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEE this is a can of worms. The general pro's and con's of the Raven have been extolled many a time on both chatbawks, forums, and mine and Kirby's own articles. The BA equivalent comes with a barrage of AP1 Str8 missiles - perfect in the current mechanised environment to decimate a light armour target or two on your first turn, if it gets to fire. On the downside, it is only AV12, its melta-immunity is laughable, and they are as expensive as a bleeding landraider. The BA version, in my opinion, works ridiculously effectively as a gunship, when correctly used, but the GK one.... Why in crap's name, GeeDubwya, did you have to go and take away good missiles, and replace them with crapfest ones? The mindstrike missile is what changes the Raven's role in the GK dex - it goes from alpha-style gunship, with mid/late game ferry capability, to pure delivery unit.

Why, you ask, would I take a Raven, instead of simply deepstriking/scoutmoving/outflanking/summoning my terminators/purifiers/ Dreadnoughts into close proximity? Ravens bring something the GK codex lacks - accurate melta fire. Its not the be all and end all (considering majority of armies dont rely on land raiders, these days, and you have redundancy in Str10 Hammers) but it is tasty to have, on such a fast moving platform. Twinlinked Multi melta, with either the plasma cannon (redundant, but nice) or lascannon (better, high str AP2 for sniping tanks that are out of melta range) gives you some anti tank. The flying brick can be a decent delivery system for terminators/paladins, or purifiers, especially when coupled with some well placed servo skulls. Dropping your 10 man Quad cannon purifier squad accurately on your first turn does have its merits, regardless of the price of the method. If using ravens in this manner, I'd suggest the same reasoning applies as with all transports - redundancy. Single ravens are worthless, but a list with 3 ravens and a plethora of foot could have its merits.

I have seen a lot of conversation about the awesome that is Psybolt Ammo on Raven's with Hurricane bolters - Its not good guys. The str of a fast vehicle is its ability to move fast, and fire all weapons. A raven with hurricanes can move 12", fire its multimelta and a tank, and fire its assaultcannon + hurricanes at a second soft target, at full effect (thank you PoTM). By upping the hurricane bolter str to 5, it is no longer a defensive weapon. There's no real reason to do this, even the hurricane bolters themselves are a bit of a waste on a GK Raven - effective Str4 anti infantry is not something you lack.

Mindstrike missiles will be covered in another post, but I'll throw the short version out here - sit you nation all. Situational. I've playtested the Raven a bit with Mindstrikes, and against my opponents Marine based armies, they are solid gold - Use other ranged firepower to pop the transport, then spam missiles onto their psychic hood carrier till he drops. Its also useful for putting wounds on other GK's (meh) and toweling tervigons in close proximity (cause you struggle with MC's as grey knights... again, wtf GW. ) The argument could also be made that being able to snipe psy-nullifiers is handy... but GK's don't rely entirely on their psychic ability, its merely flavour to the codex, much like power through pain for dark eldar.


In short, the FA choices in the GK codex seem fairly gimmicky - the Raven brings good anti tank, and the 'Ceptors provide supporting firepower to pressure DK lists. However, the units in themselves seem..... overpriced for what they bring to the table on their own? You can build good lists around them, but the whole FA section seems tacked on. Teleport Packs would have been a fantastic (and probably justifiably expensive) option for normal GKSS (scoring fast movers), and moving DK's with telepacks to the FA section could have made for some fantastic MC GK foot lists (army of babycarrier robots, anyone?) Either of the two choices can be used in a list, and effectively, but neither really jumps out and grabs you on its own.

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