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 Grey Knights – Digesting

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Posts : 1840
Join date : 2010-06-20
Age : 54
Location : Springfield

PostSubject: Grey Knights – Digesting   Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:30 am

by Kirby

Okay so I've been able to sit down with Grey Knights finally and go through them a little bit and figure out what I like and don't like.

I'll be very forthright initially (and I've said this several times; if you don't wish to read over the way codex changes are currently – please skip to the next paragraph!) – I'm not a fan of the current stage of the direction they are taking with armies and removing “flavour”; it's really easy to see in the case of Grey Knights as everything that isn't a Grey Knight no longer exists. Again, if this leads us to a great platform on which to add and evolve the game; great but I'm not loving it currently (if this is the case; there is always going to be a a time of upheaval and I will look back and gladly eat these words). Until then, well Grey Knights are an army that requires allies to effectively see use. This isn't a huge issue itself for me as I run multiple Marine armies and Eldar so have the ally options available (as well as the models to count as Inquisition). I don't have Guard though or Sisters / Knights which might be of use and for many players out there – they may not have any of these options or a lot less than someone who has collected for an extensive period. This to me is an initial negative.

But enough about that – let's look at the general overall positives and negatives so far from my perspective and where I envision the army going.

Thumbs up –

The formation is beautiful and epitomises what I feel Games Workshop has been doing with 7th edition – make army building choices that are actually relatively even. I can take the formation for some really strong advantages but I lose Objective Secured. I can not take the formation but keep Objective Secured. Which way do I go? A lot of this is going to depend on what you want the army to do obviously and this significantly impacts on what you bring / which allies you use / how you ally Grey Knights. Purifiers and Terminators are good examples; I probably would use a lot more Purifiers over Terminaors in a formation based list (with Drop Pods) but the other way round in a non-formation based list as I'm getting decent body counts per points with Purifiers and a second shooting attack from a Psychic power while Terminators are more useful when they have objective secured and don't have as much bullets to point count. That being said, both can be brought in the opposite army style as well to good effect (Purifiers – take this Pod I lend you filled with wolfy pelts and shit); the point is – it's a great choice to have and I am pleased by it.

Grey Knight Terminators – probably the first “cheap” Terminator that has been appropriately costed. They still aren't cheap (a squad of 5 with a Psycannon and hammer back 195 points) but vastly cheaper than previous incarnations. Paladins are also a more viable option with the Apothecary not being 3895 million points; still vulnerable to S8+ weaponry though.

Dreadknight – boom. Now I actually need to field some but a psychic power to take you to a 4++, cheaper weapons, cheaper shunt, access to two shooting weapons (well still really) and can score. Cha-ching. We get it Games Workshop, sell the big models. For 160 points I can get a deepstriking T6/W4/2+/5++(4++ with psy power) model with a Greatsword and Heavy Incinerator; ya I'm down. Can I take two in my Formation list please? Thanks.

Psycannon changes. I know this seems weird as a Thumbs up but it was a change many were expecting and really should have taken place. It sucks but it makes sense. That being said – the price increase wasn't looked upon favourably…

Psilancers getting Force. Actually no this is annoying for me.

Relics – there are some nice relics there without being OTT though with some of them being focused on Daemons I'm not sure if they will see regular use. This is always an issue with Grey Knight based books (or any book that has a “speciality/vendetta” against another army – cannot make it too good against that army or you'll have a lot of stuff which just doesn't help in the norm). Games Workshop seems to be getting pretty decent at these though there are generally only a handful from each book that see use.

Grey Knights are still able to generate a lot of Warp Charges, particularly with combat squads. With the lose of Psychic Pilot this is no where near as many as before but Grey Knights are still a great battery army with Combat Tactics to either fuel their own important powers or fuel an ally.

Other little cost reductions such as Draigo, Interceptors, etc. are warranted and nice to see without making them auto-picks or includes.

Thumbs down –

The losses. Psybolt Ammunition. Fortitude. Grand Strategy. Psychic Pilot. Yes Psybolt was way undercosted for certain units but it really helped Grey Knights stand out as the “elite”. It was never an autoinclude (you had to make a Rifledread first to then go duh and make a Psyfledread) but it was definitely a good option to utilise.

The Warlord table is pretty crap as well compared to some of the more recent ones though it's not god awful.

Force Weapon changes – particularly the Halberd; +1 strength when there's already a psychic power making them +2 strength is unnecessary and wasteful. Expect to see more Falchions now. No improvements to the invulnerable save with normal swords is also disappointing but the Staff change makes sense (and 2++ was a bit silly; how did that go as a game breaker btw? Oh Internet overreactions <3). Falchions at 4 points for +1A though is pretty decent offensively and should see some use in smaller quantities on the likes of Paladins.

Psilancers getting Force. It makes them more usable definitely (and that's a positive) but getting that one lucky wound through on a MC and then instant deathing it from full Wounds is just stupid.

Dreadnoughts man; come on. This is where we know Games Workshop pays attention to the goings-on but not at a very good pace. Dreadnoughts, specifically Psyfledreads, were good in 5th edition; we've moved on and your hit to Psybolt ammo makes them kind of irrelevant anyway… Long may the conversions live. Same with Razorback cost increases which we are seeing across the board. Expected but not necessary.

Other cost increases that you don't really notice at first such as Purifiers and Strike Squad average costs going up.

Overall thoughts -

The army is really the same; just with a different skin. When I mean the same I don't mean like what we see with copy pasted (or nearly) units but the core concept of the army operates in a similar fashion. You have a smaller number of models who are great generalists, some psychic back up and great shooting. What you don't have is cheap ablative wounds, access to melta/plasma or a variety across the army (you are essentially the same statline / weapon access, etc.). You must have allies to alleviate this, particularly in a world where Imperial Knights are running around (i.e. grab some melta) and AP2/3 ignores cover pie plates (i.e. you need more than a good armor save to help).

I feel in general Grey Knights are in an okay place – but you cannot run them by themselves; even in their awesome formation they aren't going to be faring too well. I don't feel they have the shooting answers to questions such as Land Raiders, AV13 Necrons, flyers, Imperial Knights, etc. with the removal of Henchmen. Their answers here are in the forms of close combat and we should all know by now that doesn't work in the past three editions of play. The tools are there but they box needs to be expanded – Allies does that.

I like a combination of GK + Culexus as an ally plug-in – it will likely spell significant doom for any army relying on psychic powers so I hope this creates a downward trend on psychic based deathstars. Beyond that, I expect to see a lot of armies taking advantage of the formation – but and I would imagine Strike / Interceptors / Purifiers are going to be the mainstay of these armies (along of course with Dreadknights). The GKT will be a more formidable army when they have access to Objective Secured and aren't chewing up points with their better statlines to limited the number of shots on that first turn. Interceptor is still a worry though… Throw in ally pods and you have a very real way to play a very null deployment game or hard and fast hitting early turns with a number of armies (though if you're not using Space Wolves as the primary, then you are not getting access to those Pods; until BA, SM, DA get updated at least).

I'll get some playtesting in with both formation and non-formation style lists and start posting some battle reports. Even though this isn't a OMGWTFBBQ release, it has helped kickstart the juices again and hopefully that will let me get over the “I work too much bug.” Smile.

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