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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

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hybrid Armies

I got an e-mail recently concerning Hybrid armies, specifically Grey Knights and whether Hybrid armies are workable or not. Here's the e-mail.

"Hey Kirby,

Lately I've  been reading quite a bit on your blog.  A recurring theme I see is the idea that hybrid armies don't work with the exception of Tau and IG, but most of these articles(Armies of 5th edition) were written pre GK.  What is your take on Hybrid GK?


The early armies in 5th articles were written when Hybrid armies weren't easy to make. With newer books like Space Wolves, Grey Knights and Dark Eldar, Hybrid armies have become more popular because the books are capable of building them effectively. Compare the Vanilla Marines book with the Space Wolves or Grey Knights are there is minimal advantage gained from regularly being outside your transports (unlike Grey Hunters or Grey Knights who can fight decently outside of metal bawkes) and few units you'd want which cannot take a transport (i.e. GKT on foot, Thunderwolf Calvary, Long Fangs, etc.). 

The short and skinny of Hybrid armies isn't really short or skinny. It often opens up a lot of tactical options for you. You can often overwhelm your opponent with targets (transport + the unit inside) and have an army which is generally far more flexible compared to 'pure' armies. This is due to the combination of taking advantage of foot armies (more bodies, different movement styles such as beasts, etc.) and mech (survivability, mobility, etc.). This has to be a balance between the two however or you'll get token units (such as a couple tanks in a foot army) which are easy target priorities for your opponent. 

It's not all roses though for Hybrid armies as you open yourself up to more of your opponent's firepower. One of the advantages of a pure mech or pure foot army is making some of your opponents firepower useless or less effective. Being inside a tank means you cannot be damaged by anti-infantry weapons and being one of many infantry models on the board renders the effectiveness of anti-tank weapons largely inefficient against you. As a Hybrid army however your opponents guns will always have the ability to cause 'maximum' damage from very early on. This is the trade-off for often having a more flexible and offensive potent army. 

So Colt to answer your question, absolutely. I feel a Grey Knight Mech list is already a Hybrid force regardless as your Grey Knights need to hop out of their transports to be effective (and are too expensive to hide). Adding in units which start on foot such as Henchmen meltalines, Interceptors, Paladins, Grey Knight Terminators or Dreadknights is just a further extension of this. This doesn't mean any unit combination is going to work but a Hybrid Grey Knight force isn't going to find itself wallowing in the 'for fun' bin of competitive armies.

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