Friday, July 1, 2011

The Drunken Master: Grey Knights... Masters of flexibility?

Good day!

I was thinking to myself, as I was reading through Dakka, that most people are using the GK codex like a hammer instead of the precision tool it is.  Spamming units (deservedly good units, but spammy nonetheless) is definitely a way to play 40k, but I feel it's boring and it gives your opponents an advantage. If you play a spammy list, a smart opponent will know your strategy and how to counter it.

Nothing to say here, that shit's just true!

So I would like to take a minute to talk about some of the more flexible units the codex can field. And their sometimes unexpected effect on the game.

1. The Librarian - The Grey Knight Librarian has access to some ridiculously strong powers... and smite.  The powers are divided into 3 categories; Close Combat, Defensive, and shooting.
This is pretty much what I picture under the terminator armour

Then there's the summoning which gives you a way to build an entirely different type of GK army.  The summoning gives you redeployment options and lets you range the field a bit more with your units and vehicles.

Might of titan and quicksilver make him and his unit a CC powerhouse.

The shrouding can make your army effectively have storm shields in cover. Sanctuary is an excellent defensive power and will most likely kill several incoming attackers and/or prevent them from engaging you completely!

Smite and vortex of doom are vanilla repeats which are kind of disappointing.  They might be ok if you could use more than one shooting power, but they are pretty unnecessary here. Warp rift however can be devastating if you can place it against multiple vehicles. An automatic penetrating hit without having to hit or punch is excellent for 5 points.  The only problem with it is the AP- which will give you -1 on the die roll.  Making it hard to get a destroyed result, but a stunned or immobilized is good enough if you are in CC range!

2. The Grand Master - The grand master is not a tax like Crowe is in purifier lists.  He can support the army in a multitude of ways.  And contrary to popular belief, he is more than just The grand strategy on a stick.

I'm not sure what they're getting at here...

The GK GM can take a wide array of wargear to supplement your army.  He can be kitted for h2h with any of the nemesis force weapons with a base initiative of 5, he can provide fire support with a BS6 psycannon, he can be upgraded to mastery level 2 so that you can have psychic power options in h2h, and lastly he can take any of the awesome grenades that are available to the Grey Knights codex. 

3. Nemesis Dreadknight -  I know a lot of people are down on the DK.  Some don't like the model (baby bjorn termy ftw!), some think he can't compete since the nerf to his DCCW, and some just don't want to try him because their heads are stuck up a psyrifleman dread's ass!

Dreadknights are almost as cool as this.

Let me say, I have been using the dreadknight with personal teleporter and heavy incinerator since the codex was released.  I found that one DK in a list to be a bit underwhelming to be honest. An opponent with a lot of low AP firepower should be able to kill one in 4-6 wounds depending on cover.  But something magical happens when you field 2 Dreadknights. All of a sudden your opponent has two beatstick monstrous creatures in their face!  Unless your opponent has played against them before, they will not be ready for the havoc they can wreak against their back line.  One heavy incinerator shot will kill a whole squad of lootas, it will put some hurt on long fangs (which you will be in position to assault the next turn), and will give you side shots on multiple chimaeras if the parking lot is packed.

Jumping or shunting into the opponents backfield also makes them pull back their forces to deal with the threat. This gives the rest of your army leeway to move up the field relatively unmolested.

A side note on equipment: There has been a bit of debate about whether to equip the DK with one of the CC options. I feel they are best served with the default CC package. The extra attack for having two of the same weapon out weighs the benefits of the other options, given the cost. If the greatsword was 10-15 points cheaper I think it might surpass the 4 attacks base... maybe.  But as with all things in 40k, your mileage may vary.

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