So something to read and consider this week as well-
Last year when I was building the intial list for my Grey Knight Army I did a heap of hunting on the web and visiting my favorite forum 40k Forums came across a great series of articles by edmundblack
the link is here www.40kforums.com/vb/content.php/257-Grey-Knight-Tactica edmund has graciously allowed me to re-post the articles here but I do recommend you head over and read through the articles they put up there are allot of good thinking pieces!
Anyway enjoy and post up your thoughts and comments!
Grey Knight Tactica
In this Article I shall be looking at each unit entry according to their place in the Force Organisation Chart and offering a little piece of advice with regards to each one. I shall also rate each entry where I can according to my own scale:
In this Article I shall be looking at each unit entry according to their place in the Force Organisation Chart and offering a little piece of advice with regards to each one. I shall also rate each entry where I can according to my own scale:
Recommend = a recommended choice for your army and certainly one to think about.
Good = a good unit that’s not quite a “must have” but is unlikely to let you down should you use it right.
Average = a unit you’d take for fluff/background/theme (1) reasons or for filling up spare points in your list.
(1) Themed lists however are cool, and themes are good. Not all units for a theme are Recommended however.
I shall break it down into each section according to the Codex, so there will be: Grey Knight Characters, Inquisitorial Characters, Generic HQ's, Elites, Troops, Fast Attack, Heavy Support and finally a Summary.
This is in no way designed to help anyone other than Grey Knight players.
HQs – Grey Knight Characters.
Lord Kaldor Draigo, Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Eternal Warrior, Fearless, Grand Strategy (Grand Master special rule, covered later), Independent Character, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Psyker Mastery level 2.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Psychic Communion (+/-1 to reserve rolls), Sanctified Flame.
Pros: Draigo is a beast. You want something dead? Point Draigo at it. He’s come in for quite a bit of flack but that’s not his fault, it’s the background he’s been given. That aside and his impressive stat-line speaks for itself. Equipped with standard Grey Knight equipment (Terminator Armour, Frag, Krak and Psyk Out Grenades, Storm Bolter) plus a rare (for Grey Knights) Storm Shield (it’s the only one available to Grey Knights in the entire Codex), he has a stat line which resembles a Daemon Prince more than anything. A Daemon Prince wearing Terminator Armour. With Grenades & a Storm Bolter. Niiice.
His close combat weapon (The Titansword) is a Force Weapon but is not a Nemesis Force Sword so no +1 to his Invulnerable Save here, but it does make him str10 against Daemons and Psykers: that’s enough to make any self respecting Rune Priest or Chaos Sorcerer avoid him like the plague! Add to this potent mix the fact that he is Eternal Warrior and has 3 Psychic Powers available to him (Hammerhand, Psychic Communion and Sanctified Flame), the latter Psychic power being an AP- heavy flamer which wounds Daemons on a 2+.
And the cherry on top: he makes Paladins Troops in your Grey Knight army. Is there anything this guy can’t do? Oh yeah, take out AV13/14. Honestly, that’s it, that’s the only thing he can’t kill (so, introduce him to a Soul Grinder or an Ironclad and you’re sorted ...).
Cons: So after all that, why only the “Good” status? Well, he’s expensive. Really expensive. If you’re going for an Elite of the Elite themed army and want to take as small a force as possible (my record is 6 models in 1500 points incidentally), then this is your guy. For everything else though, look elsewhere as he costs more than a Land Raider with some bling attached. I do somewhat get the impression with this guy that they really tried to go “all out” to create something fantastically supreme and “king of the hill”, but once they got to that point they couldn’t stop and carried on. He’s good, but he’s only one model. Put him on the board and he’ll be target number one for any Lascannon, Rail Gun and template out there.
He’s got one hell of a price on his head, and believe it or not he can’t do it all. I’d recommend seeing him in action at 2000 points+ games.
Grand Master Mordrak, the Haunted Knight of Mortain.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Grand Strategy, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Psyker Mastery level 1, And They Shall Know No Fear. First to the Fray: if he and any unit he’s attached to Deep Strike, they arrive in your first turn and will not scatter (2).
(2) Mordrak can only join units of Ghost Knights anyway, so the open phrasing of this sentence is poor.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Psychic Communion.
Pros: Re-read the Special Rules again. Notice anything missing? Yup, no Independent Character rule. But all is not lost. I think Mordrak has been somewhat hidden under Draigo’s show-stealing antics. Mordrak gets Ghost Knights, which are normal Grey Knight Terminators (GKT) for all intents and purposes, but have Stealth as standard. They also have some, but not all, of the standard GKT upgrades. It is these Ghost Knights which Mordrak can be attached to and them only. Each time Mordrak suffers a wound though, you can potentially gain another Ghost Knight, and as the Ghost Knight squad numbers between 1&5 and Mordrak counts as an upgrade character for them, you’ve effectively got a Grand Master with up to 9 wounds and one which cannot be singled out in close combat. What’s not to like?
Cons: oddly enough, what’s so good about Mordrak is also the one thing which lets him down and that’s the lack of the Independent Character special rule. For a model wielding a Daemon Hammer, that’s a good move in a way, but I suspect many would have preferred the IC rule and a sword at least. Once his Ghost Knights are gone, he reverts to being a sort of highly armoured Rambo style dude running around looking for vengeance against something, or if he dies first all the Ghost Knights leave the board too – potentially leaving you several hundred points shy in an army which can ill afford such losses. And if you’re thinking about using the Grand Strategy rule to make the Ghost Knights scoring, you can’t.
However, I think he could be fun to use or experiment with. Him and his squad do get expensive very quickly, and the fact that the Ghost Knights cannot count as a Scoring Unit in any way whatsoever does limit their effectiveness. They'll certainly be able to carry their own weight and happily batter anything in their way, but come the end of the game and you could do with a unit on an objective, one which can score it rather than just contest it is to be preferred.
Brother Captain Stern.
Status: Good. Yes, again. Trust me.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Psyker Mastery level 2, And They Shall Know No Fear, Independent Character. Strands of Fate: re-roll one hit, wound or failed save each phase, but for each one you re-roll, you give a re-roll to your opponent to use at any point during the game.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Psychic Communion, Zone of Banishment.
Pros: for a comparatively cheap cost for an HQ choice, you get a Brother Captain level model with Librarian level Psychic Mastery. The only thing (other than Strands of Fate) which Stern does differently to anyone else is his unique Psychic Power; Zone of Banishment. This is an area effect power based from Stern used within the Assault phase and any model within D6” of him must take a Strength test or be removed from play, with Daemons re-rolling successful tests. Pretty handy against any close combat that’s going badly or he might struggle with, but it does affect friendly models too (and Grey Knights don’t do Martyrdom of their Brothers).
Cons: the aforementioned “catch all” of Zone of Banishment, and the way he gives away re-rolls if he uses them. That’s about it really, and the re-rolls aren’t likely to be game changing if you use them well, and we’ve all had times when we wanted to re-roll that failed Invulnerable save, and in such instances I'm pretty sure many people would happily allow their opponent to re-roll one dice later in the game too.
Stern is an inexpensive, utilitarian HQ choice which can pull his weight with the best of them. If you’re spending around the same number of points for either a Grand Master or a Brother Captain in your Grey Knight army, look up Stern whilst you’re there – you might be surprised.
Status: Average to Good.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Fearless, Psyker Mastery 1, Titan’s Herald (Brotherhood Champion special rule, covered later).
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Cleansing Flame, Heroic Sacrifice.
Pros: he makes Purifiers Troops, rends in CC on a 4+ and can one-shot any infantry model or Monstrous Creature in the game (details covered later with the Brotherhood Champion). Having Purifiers as Troops is what makes him Good instead of permanently Average in my book. I suppose he is better in some ways than a standard Brotherhood Champion in that he’s got twice as many wounds and in that respect is more like what the Champion should have been.
Cons: he’s crap. Honestly, he really is. He’s a points tax you have to pay to get Purifiers as Troops and that’s the only reason you’d want to take him. He’s not an Independent Character, and because he’s carrying a Daemon weapon around and not a Nemesis weapon, he gives away Furious Charge to any unit wishing to assault him (and assault him they will). I suppose if you covered him well enough he’d do the job OK, but you’d either have to base your entire strategy around him or write him off as a loss straight away and send him out on a suicide mission or camp him somewhere to protect the home objective.
An interesting concept as far as an HQ choice goes, but his flaws far outweigh the ability he has. Purifiers as Troops is OK enough to warrant taking him, and at least he's not that expensive for Grey Knights. If he had the Independent Character special rule however, he'd be vastly improved, but alas he does not. As such, he's off on his own doing what he can and is there purely to make up the numbers in a very literal sense. If Purifiers is what you want, take a Grand Master and use his ability to make them Scoring instead.
Status: Average. Upgrade Character.
Special Rules: Standard GKT rules, Psychic Mastery 2, I shall not yield: if he dies, replace him with a counter. Each turn after that, roll a D6. On a 4+ he gets back up and carries on, separate from his squad.
Pros: he never dies. Ever. Power fist to the face? Nope: he might be down, but he won’t be out. He’s also got a higher WS, which is nice. If he goes down near an objective and gets back up late in the game, he can still capture it and score as he’s still part of a Troops choice. Doesn’t give away any Kill Points either, no matter how many times he “dies”.
Cons: Pricey, and not essential.
An interesting and possibly fun upgrade character, but not essential. He’s only one model after all, and with only one wound can only achieve so much.
HQs – Inquisitorial Characters.
The Inquisition features in the Grey Knight Codex as you’d expect, but it’s not just Ordo Malleus – there is representation from the Ordo Hereticus and Ordo Xenos as well, and each of the three arms of the Inquisition have their own unique named Character too.
Inquisitor Lord Torquemada Coteaz, Lord of the Formosa Sector. Ordo Malleus.
Status: Good (sort of).
Special Rules: Independent Character, Stubborn, Psyker Mastery 2, Spy Network: he may re-roll the dice to Seize the Initiative or may force your opponent to re-roll theirs. I’ve Been Expecting You: if any enemy unit appears within 12” of him or his unit, that unit can immediately make a shooting attack upon that unit and this can be used regardless of how many times a unit arrives within 12” of them.
Pros: if you want an all Inquisitorial army, this is your man. You must have him to take Henchmen as Troops.
Cons: he’s an Independent Character with a Daemon Hammer. That = gib, and it’ll be expensive gib too. He’s also the model you have to take to make Henchmen Troops, and I for one would rather see them available to all Inquisitors as Troops and then have Coteaz do something additional. I’d rather not get lumbered with another “must have” model to create an army more akin to what I’d want. And why oh why oh why do all Inquisitors, with the exception of Valeria, have not even got a Refractor Field? Sure, a 5+ invulnerable save isn’t likely to save them all the time, but even Guard commanders get them so why can’t some of the most powerful and influential members of the entire Imperium? Did they leave them in their other trousers or something? It is not the end of the world though and there are ways around it – but nevertheless, they’re Inquisitors, they should have such things.
Anyway, Coteaz makes a whole different army available to you. He allows you to take Henchmen to your heart’s content, and if you wanted to go down that route then you can still have one of your own creation and keep Coteaz as support.
Fyodor Karamazov. Ordo Hereticus.
Special Rules: Independent Character, Relentless, By Any Mean Necessary: he comes with an Orbital Strike Relay and can target his own models if you want and it doesn’t scatter. Dread Reputation: all models within 12” of him re-roll all failed Morale and Pinning tests.
Pros: he’s a lynchpin of your army. Yes, once upon a time he used to be a Monstrous Creature and had higher stats, but he’s still good. If he didn’t have the IC special rule, he’d be Average at best, but as he does he’s fairly well protected. Although he can’t board transports, you can surround him with Henchmen if you so wish (Crusaders recommended), or any other squad within the Grey Knights Codex which can alleviate his lack of Invulnerable save. He’s also strong and tough and has a Multi Melta and a Master Crafted Power Sword. He will need building around and using well, but within those guide lines I think he could do OK.
Cons: no personal invulnerable save and doesn’t make Henchmen Troops. Most expensive Inquisitor.
If you wanted to take Karamazov in your army, he’d really need a custom squad to go with. Henchmen would be best for this I think, rather than Grey Knights as the Henchmen better fulfil the supporting role. If you teamed him up with Coteaz, you could easily get them working in mutual support with Henchmen and provided you’ve selected your unit well, I’d imagine they’d do just fine.
Inquisitor Valeria. Ordo Xenos.
Special Rules: Independent Character, Stubborn.
Unique Equipment: Graviton Beamer (think pistol range Rail Gun, one shot only), Dagger of Midnight (functions as the Dark Eldar’s Djinn Blade), Forceshield (works as Iron Halo), Hyperstone Maze (once per game she can make an enemy Character or Monstrous Creature roll 1D6. If that D6 rolls equal to or under its remaining wounds, it’s fine – roll over that number and it’s gone), Runes of Destiny (forces all successful saves against her shooting or close combat attacks to be re-rolled).
Pros: cheap. For all the above equipment and a stat line that’s not too shabby, she doesn’t cost as much as you’d think she might.
Cons: Doesn’t make Henchmen Troops. Most of her good equipment is one shot/use only (hence her cheap price I guess) and after that she’s down to a laspistol. Also, the Dagger of Midnight could potentially kill her. Yeah, sign me up ...
She’s OK I guess. Characterfull and unique but suffers from the same flaws as the rest of the Inquisitors. Runes of Destiny could be quite useful, but it only applied to her and not a squad she’d join. But then I suppose that doing that would push her cost up even more, and that’s not what Inquisitors are about.
HQs – Generic.
Special Rules: Independent Character, And they shall know no fear, Psyker Mastery 1, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, The Aegis, Grand Strategy: per Grand Master, roll 1D3 before units are deployed. That many units gain an additional special to grant them either the ability to count as scoring (unit type limitations exist however), counter attack, re-roll 1s to wound or the Scout USR.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Psychic Communion (+/-1 to reserve rolls, cumulative with others).
Pros: Take one, apply to board, kill most things. You can upgrade your Grand Master to however you like from either a Psycannon to a Ward Stave and any additional flavour of Grenade you might fancy. Boasting a healthy stat-line comparable to any other MEQ HQ but with the added bonus of +1 BS, this chap certainly knows how to rock it with the best of them. There are some items which I consider "must haves" for Grand Masters, and these are: Blind Grenades and Rad Grenades and a Halberd (Master Crafted if you've the points). You get an I7 Grand Master who affects the enemies Toughness, goes before most other models in the game, causes Instant Death and can still take being charged on the chin like a good 'un. Giving him a Psycannon would be a good investment too (and it looks cool) as BS6 assault cannon on steroids is just too awesome to not contemplate. It is expensive however, so be wary of it.
His Grand Strategy rule is worth carefully considering too, depending on what your army lacks. This is, I think, the single most important aspect of the Grand Strategy rule: it's not there to provide buffs for the sake of it, it's there to provide what your army lacks. If you're light on scoring units, add some more. If you need to get up the board quick, give them Scout. My personal favourite so far however is Counter Attack - Grey Knights are a scary enough prospect for most people, but giving a unit of Terminators Counter Attack is potentially devastating. One little trick worth doing is giving your Grand Master both Blind and Rad grenades, attaching him to a unit of Terminators and then giving them Counter Attack. As the Terminators will have Halberds in amongst their number, any unit assaulting them will have their assault bonus nullified, be at -1 Toughness for the first round of assault and there's a good chance that many of the Terminator's are going first too. So you're effectively assaulting in the opponent's assault phase. Bargain!
Cons: gets expensive quick. Going nuts with it, you can easily make one model as high as 420 points, so choosing only what you really have to in order to get the job done is the way to go with him. He also isn't Psyker Mastery 2 by default like he used to be, and upgrading him to be so isn't cheap. However, sometimes you really need to be able to cast two Psychic Powers a turn, so it's not a total loss.
Grand Masters are great. They're the tip of the spear and can be relied upon to get the job done, no matter who or what they face. They're unlikely to take on AV adequately, but can have upgrades to alleviate that lack (melta bombs will only get you so far however). My advice would be: keep him cheap and use him well. Also keep him in the box for anything under 2000 points, he's far too expensive otherwise.
Special Rules: Independent Character, And they shall know no fear, Psyker Mastery 1, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, The Aegis.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Psychic Communion (+/-1 to reserve rolls, cumulative with others).
Pros: he's almost as good as a Grand Master stat-wise, lacking only 1 fewer BS than his more experienced Brother. Otherwise, he's exactly the same as any other MEQ Captain or Chapter Master. He's also cheaper than the Grand Master and have access to all the same upgrades but one (he can't upgrade to a Level 2 Psyker). Despite his lack of Grand Strategy rule, Brother Captains are still highly capable fighters but will perhaps run out of steam in higher points games.
Cons: can't be a level 2 Psyker and doesn't do anything additional for the army like Grand Strategy does.
Although Brother Captains can't cut it like a Grand Master can at higher value games, they are still worth a look. They're upgrades can still help the squad they're attached to and they'll still take on most things and prevail. I'd consider a Brother Captain a more significant investment for a Grey Knight army if the army was under 2000 points. It is here which he shines, as he's highly capable but doesn't cost as much leaving you more points to get more of what matters in: more Grey Knights.
Special Rules: Independent Character, And they shall know no fear, Psyker Mastery 1, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, The Aegis, Titan's Herald: he and his unit re-roll to hit in the turn in which they assault, The Perfect Warrior (also for Crowe): after assault moves are made, he must choose a battle stance giving him various abilities - make an attack on every model in base contact, no attacks but re-rolls failed saves, or can cause D3 I10 hits against a single Independent Character or Monstrous Creature in base contact.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Heroic Sacrifice: if he dies, he may make 1 attack against an enemy in base contact. If it hits, that enemy model is dead with no saves.
Pros: he's the cheapest generic Grey Knight HQ choice in the book. Giving re-rolls to hit like a SM Chaplain would isn't to be sniffed at, though this ability is pointless against Daemons. Heroic Sacrifice could be useful against certain enemies like Abbaddon, Phoenix Lords, Wraithlords or Greater Daemons. His Sword Storm rule does effectively turn him into a nice little low-level Close Combat assassin, as he attacks the models which he is in base contact with. As such, he can specifically attack Sergeants, special/heavy weapon carries and so on. This is easily his target of choice, and whatever you attach him to can easily take the rest on.
Cons: he only has one wound, and believe it or not that's enough to make me question his use. Consider what other models can do (albeit for more points) his one wound knocks him into the ranks of "supporting HQ". This is not a bad place to be as we shall see, but for this guy it's just not enough I think. Having two wounds like Crowe would have been more useful I think and would easily have found him a place in Grey Knight lists. As he is though, he's a bit of a miss.
It is interesting to note that in the small bit of background material for the Champion it states that they're bodyguards for Brother Captains. It's just a shame that such an interesting and potentially enjoyable piece of background writing never made it into the rules for him, as having a body guard for a Grand Master or Brother Captain would not only make sense but be a worthwhile place for the Champion to be. He needn't have been a "must take" kind of model (like Black Templar's Emperor's Champion) but as an addition to either HQ's options he would have been fine (or as an HQ which didn't take up an HQ slot). As he is though, he's not, which is a shame. He does have his place however, despite all that, but that place is at games less than 1250 points. If only he could be taken and not take up an HQ slot - that would easily see him taken far more regularly, but as it is there are other HQ choices you should investigate more.
Status: Recommended +.
Special Rules: Independent Character, And they shall know no fear, Psyker Mastery 2, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, The Aegis.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand.
Pros: where to start? If Grey Knights are where you're going with your army, then every Grey Knight army needs a Librarian. They've most of the same options as both Grand Masters and Brother Captain, but their main choices are in Psychic Powers and being upgraded to Mastery 3. When it comes to weapon options for Librarians, things become more tricky: you want him to survive, so going first is good. But at the same time you want him to have a good Invulnerable save too, so do you go with a Halberd, Sword or Ward Stave? This is the toughest choice with regards to Librarians and there's good basis for taking any of them. Halberd is good as it makes him I6 meaning you don't have to cast Quicksilver, but Quicksilver affects him and the squad he's with. Swords are default so cost nothing extra and grant +1 to his invulnerable save. Ward Staves are expensive, but give him an impressive 2+ invulnerable save. Currently, I favour the Halberd: being able to cast a psychic power can be tricky at times (Space Wolves, Tyranids and Eldar being the main problems currently), and being of a higher initiative than most things you're up against is likely to help your cause greatly.
The Librarian's main ability is in his Psychic powers, and unlike the Marine Librarians, you can have any number you wish. They do all cost points though, so be careful in your choices. Some can be cast in your opponents turn though, which does improve the Librarian's supporting role dramatically. A brief description of each power:
Dark Excommunication: removes all Daemonic Gifts from one unit in base contact with him. I'd advise taking this one at all times. Yes, you're not going to fight Daemons all the time, but if it's there in your list all the time and your primary opponent's know it's there, you're less likely to be accused of list tailoring (which is bad).
Might of Titan: +1 strength and 2D6 armour penetration for any friendly unit within 6" and can be the Librarian and his squad. If you're not taking this, you're doing something wrong.
Quicksilver: makes any unit within 6" Initiative 10 for that round of combat. Against Daemons, this isn't great (it's used in your assault phase, and if you're assaulting Daemons they're going at I1 anyway). Against everything else, it's still not great. If you've points spare, consider it, but otherwise don't fret over it.
Sanctuary: cast in your opponent's assault phase, this makes all ground within 12" count as both Difficult and Dangerous for enemy units. Likely won't finish a unit off, but could disrupt them enough. Take it, it'll be worth it.
The Shrouding: used at the start of your opponent's shooting phase, this power grants the Stealth special rule. Could be useful for if you've assaulted something, killed it and haven't quite consolidated into cover (or have and want more save). As I said, could be useful but don't lose sleep over it.
Smite: as SM Librarians. There are better choices to spend both your points and psychic power casting allocation on.
The Summoning: using the power of his mind alone the Librarian can bring any unit (including vehicles if they've the Warp Stabilisation Field upgrade, but not any unit locked in combat) to within 6" of the Librarian using the Deep Strike rules. Does not work alongside the Teleport Homer. So, infinite relocation. Sounds great, and could be handy for getting a squad to where the Librarian needs it to be in order to stop his fragile ass getting hammered into the ground like a tent peg. But a lot of GK units can Deep Strike anyway, so if you're using this power you're not only not using Deep Strike well, you're not allowing yourself to use a more offensive power during that turn. It'll have it's uses I'm sure, but it's not one I'll take in a hurry.
Vortex of Doom: as SM Librarians. There are better choices to spend both your points and psychic power casting allocation on.
Warp Rift: a template weapon which makes any model hit by it take an Initiative test. If they fail it, they're removed with no saves and Daemons have to re-roll successful tests. Much better than a storm bolter, but lower range (obviously). This will be great extra added Horde control I think, and is a "must have" in my book.
Phew, that's a lot of pros right there!
Cons: much like the normal Marine Librarian, Grey Knight ones lack a decent Invulnerable save. Whilst you can make up for this loss as far as close combat goes, it does make him very expensive. This is easily his biggest let down, as you have to pay for each additional psychic power you take and any additional equipment, his cost starts to get very high very quickly.
Librarians are great. Every Grey Knight army over 1500 points should have one, and even below 1500 points you can do worse than taking a Librarian as your sole HQ. Yes he will need defending, yes he will need to be carefully selected and equipped, but use him well and he'll certainly do all that you want from him and more. My advice would be: read the psychic powers thoroughly and try and imagine situations where each one would present itself to be used to best effect. Then think which ones would see more use more of the time against more foes and then take those. Then add other equipment to him if you like and create the rest of your army. But don't go mad with him, he's still only a Librarian. As he can cast two Psychic Powers per player turn, take two offensive and two defensive powers at least. Hammerhand can be use in either player turn as can certain other ones, so taking those and casting them to make any assaulting which happens as painful as possible is a good idea, and then come your turn again you can use two offensive ones to good effect (Warp Rift and Might of Titan for example).
Oh, and by the way: super pro tip for everyone out there - Grey Knight Librarians are great, take one.
Status: Average to Good.
Special Rules: Independent Character, Stubborn
Pros: For a stat-line resembling that of a capable Imperial Guard Commander, these guys are cheap. Ridiculously so in fact, considering they're armed with Carapace Armour, Bolt Pistol, CCW, Frags, Kraks and Psyk-out Grenades. Hardly barn-storming equipment wise, but not bad for their price tag. Every Inquisitor has the same stat line, it is merely their name and options which differentiate them. Now, depending on what you like or how you want your army to work, you can set up your Inquisitors to however you like: you can have a close combat capable Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in Terminator Armour if you like, or a "sit back and shoot" Ordo Xenos Inquisitor armed with a Conversion Beamer - the choices really are that broad, and very often aren't that expensive (OK, this is a relative term when accompanied by Grey Knights of any type ... ).
Cons: I'll say this until I'm blue in the face, the cows come home, the rivers run red and cake is made illegal - no personal invulnerable save and doesn’t make Henchmen Troops. This really irks me, irks me to the point where I'd rather not entertain the notion of doing an Inquisitorial army. Some of the most powerful individuals in the entire Imperium, men and women who can go to a planetary governor or an Imperial Guard commander and demand troops and resources and even request assistance from Space Marine Chapters have somehow managed to leave their Refractor Fields at home. I'd happily pay another 15 points or so more for Inquisitors if they had even this basic piece of equipment. Yes, you can work around this, but that's all it'll be: a work around. You are not giving your customised Inquisitor an Invulnerable Save, and nor can you make your own up and take Henchmen as Troops to create your own diverse, unique fighting force. To do so, you have to take Coteaz, and whilst he's not that expensive, it is however one thing altogether far worse - boring. Every Inquisitorial force will be led by Coteaz, and once a certain amount of "ideal" builds for Henchmen start to become known, that'll be repeated as well no doubt.
I want to love Inquisitors, I really really do. But I find it hard to do with the Henchmen Tax of having to take Coteaz and also forgetting some basic equipment. And teaming up Coteaz (Puritan) with a Malleus Inquisitor who carries a Daemon Weapon and takes Daemonhosts in his force isn't exactly sitting well within the background for either. All that aside, Inquisitors allow you to create your own miniature hero, an individual which can be tailored towards any role you desire. As such, my advice would this: create your Inquisitor to be good at one role and team him/her up with a unit which compliments that ability. They're not going to survive on their own.
Grey Knight Elite choices are many, and varied. Boasting an impressive nine choices, few other Codices can offer such a breadth of choice and options for the aspiring General to create their own unique force.
Status: Average to Good.
Special Rules: And They Shall Know No Fear, The Aegis, Blessing of the Ominissiah (as Space Marines), Bolster Defences (as Space Marines), Independent Character, Psyker Mastery 1, Preferred Enemy: Daemons.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Reconstruction (re-roll failed repair roll).
Pros: Bolster Defences is where this guy is at. Feel free to give him a Conversion Beamer, attach him to a squad and sit in cover blasting away at anything that moves. Alternatively, join him to a squad that is inside a Rhino or a Chimera and do the same. If, in the same piece of Bolstered terrain there happens to be a Vindicare Assassin too, then you'll have an extremely well defended area which will be a tough nut to crack. He can also be geared towards a more Assault based role, being the only non-HQ model which can choose from the full array of Grenades: team him up with something like Terminators and watch the gib fly. He can also take Orbital Strike Relays, but I think they are too hit and miss (literally) to be a "must have". If you want a reliable blast weapon, take the Conversion Beamer instead.
Cons: he's a Techmarine when all is said and done. He's a normal Marine in slightly better armour with an additional attack and the ability to (occasionally) repair vehicles in the 1/3rd of the time when they're not either destroyed or don't need it. Unlike his Marine brethren too, he can't take Servitors to help him in his task. The re-roll helps, but honestly - if you're trying to repair vehicles, that vehicle is already dead for all intents and purposes. He also lacks an Invulnerable save, but can take a Warding Stave if you like. If you're taking a Techmarine, take one of these I think, expensive or not. Hide him in cover and you'll make up for his lack of save and if/when he sees combat, he'll be tough to move.
He's not bad, and the Conversion Beamer/Ward Stave is a solid pair of options for him. It does make him expensive however, but once joined to a squad he should do fine. Personally, I'd rather spend the points on things which really matter to Grey Knights though: more Grey Knights.
Status: Good. There, I said it. Good as opposed to Recommended.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Brotherhood of Psykers, Combat Squads, Fearless, Preferred Enemy: Daemons.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Cleansing Flame (each opposing model in the assault takes a wound on a 4+ at the start of the Assault Phase).
Pros: Cleansing Flame is a nifty way to control hordes certainly, and against everything else it's a way to annoy them before the real pain begins. Boasting a healthy 2 Attacks on their profile, they're armed with the normal array of grenades, storm bolter and Nemesis Force Sword. They're also more expensive, so taking into account Fearless and the 2A, they're more like the old Power Armoured Grey Knights than the current Troops choice. If you want to make an army of these, or build your strategy around them, you'd need to either take Crowe as your HQ Choice (aka, points tax) or make them Scoring via the Grand Master's Grand Strategy rule. Their options are the normal type for Grey Knights as well, and Purifiers benefit from being able to take 2 per 5 models in the squad and have two options for free (Incinerator and Psilencer, though ignore the Psilencer as it should be tippexed out from every single Codex in existence no matter what format it may be in) and the Psycannon for peanuts. The Incinerator is the best option I think as it compliments the nature of this squad: to get up there, toast the enemy and get stuck right in.
Cons: They're Marines, they'll die like them. And when they do, you'll feel it. Sure, Cleansing Flame is great, but it means nothing if the models which have it have gotten themselves dead already. Put a unit of these on the board and every gun available will be heading their way. Put more on the board, and all the opponent has to do is keep them at arms length and shoot them down. For all their vaunted prowess (which is good, to be fair), they're still only Marines but more expensive. Fearless, whilst sounding promising and great for keeping them where you need them to be whilst under fire, becomes more of a liability once they're in combat. Cleansing Flame will help them here, but that's provided they manage to cast it. These guys are the nearest thing Grey Knights have to an Assault Squad of sorts and will need to be used tactically, but if your opponent can out-tactical you, you'll feel it. For either of their Psychic Powers to be used, they'll obviously have to pass a Psychic Test, and with Psychic defence becoming stronger and more widespread they may start to have problems. And once they start having problems, they start dying. And once they start dying, things become much harder for you.
When the dice gods love you, you'll love these guys. But when they don't, you won't. For me, if Cleansing Flame was an automatic thing these guys would be a "must have" (and not to mention considerably more expensive). Their impressive list of options need to be viewed with caution too, as costs will quickly run away with you (a maxed out squad on foot comes to 370 points). If you're taking these guys, be clear as to exactly what their flaws and frailties are. Once you know these and accept them, you'll easily be able to get more out of them as you'll know how to use them better. Their options and abilities imply that they're flung headlong into the melee without caution, but caution is exactly what is needed. Sure, they'll kill hordes like no tomorrow, but hordes can often take that hit and hit back far harder than Purifiers can. Marine armour means nothing to a Power Klaw or Rending Claws after all. Your best bet is to make them Scoring with the Grand Master and keep their options as few as possible (i.e., Incinerators, perhaps one Hammer and that's it). Leave Crowe where he belongs - obscurity.
Dreadnought (Heavy Support) Venerable Dreadnought.
Status: Good (Dreadnought) Average (Venerable Dreadnought).
Special Rules: The Aegis, Reinforced Aegis, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Psychic Pilot, Venerable (Venerable Dreadnought only, obviously).
Psychic Powers: Fortitude (if passed, ignores Shaken/Stunned results).
Pros: It's a Dreadnought, and the Venerable one works exactly like the Marine one so is likely hard to kill. Has access to a great range of weaponry and upgrades from Multi Meltas (one of only 3 Grey Knight choices which have Multi Meltas incidentally), to Heavy Flamers and Twin Linked Lascannons. Best option however is the "take anything on" two twin-linked Autocannon with Psybolts. Psybolts are cheap, and once added to your Autocannons mean your mighty hero can take on anything and everything up to glancing AV14. Ever since there were rumblings about what Psybolts did and which choices could take them there has been much noise made about this choice and for good reason: it's good. But do not underestimate the power of the Doom Fist - it's a Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon and is still a Nemesis Weapon. Niiice. 2*TLLACs are still preferable however, due to the impressive long range (long range being one thing Grey Knights lack in).
Cons: the Venerable one is expensive and the normal one competes too much for a slot in amongst the other Heavy Support choices. Of the two, I'd recommend the normal Dreadnought for your army as it's cheaper and if used well can be just as survivable. Both suffer from being in very crowded areas of the Force Organisation Chart, and unfortunately the Venerable loses out due to not being quite as utilitarian as the rest, and the normal one loses out as it can't compete with either Land Raiders, Purgation Squads or Dreadknights for usefulness.
Poor Dreadnoughts. They're really cool models and their background is fantastic, but unfortunately they're just not really able to cut it for Grey Knights. Transplant them lock, stock and barrel into any other MEQ army however, and considering what these guys can do which the others can't, they'd be "no brainers" every time. But with Grey Knights, one is too expensive and the other has to fight a losing battle against stiff opposition within a crowded slot. If you take them, build your force around them and take more than one. Two is better, and still leaves you space to take another Heavy Support choice (for example, a Land Raider as Terminator Transport). Use them as covering fire gun platforms and protect one with the other and vice/versa and of course back them up with boots on the board. Do this and they should do you well.
Status: Average. Yup, I said it again. Average.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Brotherhood of Psykers, Combat Squads, And They Shall Know No Fear, Preferred Enemy: Daemons.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Holocaust.
Pros: Much hoo-ha was made of these guys before release as the very idea of having Terminators with two wounds was quite frankly unthinkable to some people (and in fact, still is). They have a higher WS than other Grey Knights (HQ choices aside) so are easily capable in a fight, and do get their weapon options for cheaper than normal Terminators (Psycannons are the way to go). They can also take two Special Weapons for every 5 models in the squad, so if you take a 10 man unit you're laying down a lot of hurt. The biggest noise with these guys though was the Apothecary. For a huge price tag you can upgrade one model to an Apothecary which grants the squad the Feel No Pain special rule. What this does is render your Paladins pretty much immune to AP3, 4, 5, 6 & - weapons unless they're also strength 8. Small arms fire will mostly be ignored by these guys, and due to their two wounds they'll happily wander around not worrying about such trivial matters whilst they gleefully rip the heart out of the opponent's army. Worth noting that they're also Troops in an army which contains Draigo and can also be made Scoring if you've a Grand Master by applying the appropriate rule.
Cons: They're expensive and only get more expensive. Ask anyone who puts Terminators onto the board regularly what is very often sent against them to remove them as soon as possible from the board, and they'll tell you: anti tank weapons. For all those worried about protecting your Paladins from harm as long possible, here's a list of things they need to watch out for:
Space Marines: Assault Cannons, Plasma Pistols, Plasma Guns, Plasma Cannons, Melta guns, Multi Meltas, Lascannons, Krak Grenades, Demolisher Cannons, Conversion Beamers, Orbital Bombardment, Power Weapons, Power Fists, Thunder Hammers, Lightning Claws, Force Weapons, Psychic Powers.
Imperial Guard: Rending Weapons (Sniper Rifles), Plasma Pistols, Plasma Guns, Plasma Cannons, Melta guns, Multi Meltas, Lascannons, Krak Grenades, Demolisher Cannons, Battle Cannons, Bastion Breacher shells, Medusa Siege shells, Manticore Missile Launcher, Executioners, Devil Dogs, Orbital Bombardment, Earthshaker Shells, Deathstrike Missile, Power Weapons, Power Fists, Rough Riders (yes, you do not want them to assault you).
Eldar: Melta weapons, Fire Prisms, Star Cannons, Bright Lances, Krak missiles, D-cannons, Pulse Laser, Wraithcannons, Power Weapons, Power Fists.
Oh, and weight of attacks.
I really could go on, but you get the idea. Most of what will kill normal one-wound Terminators are easily AP1/2 and very often these weapons are also strength 8 which will cause them Instant Death. When your only option for improving your Invulnerable save is an expensive one for Close Combat only, these guys suddenly aren't quite what they're cracked up to be. If they had Storm Shields too, then they'd be considerably more worthy of note. In the battle report in White Dwarf which heralded their release, I don't think one Paladin fell to the Daemons. Hardly surprising, but were they up against any body else with their "all comers" list, I sincerely doubt they'd make their points back.
The idea of Paladins is cool, their options are great but like Purifiers they get really expensive really quickly. They'll also die like any other Terminator armoured Marine out there, and ultimately that's all they are when facing off against a Melta gun. With these, I'd suggest go big or go home. Take Draigo, add Paladins and take the Apothecary. Limit their CC options to getting the job done and take duplicate Special Weapons if you take any at all (and then, Psycannons: the Incinerator is good and the Psilencer is a waste of ink, but the Psycannon is more use against more things more of the time). They are both a scalpel unit for exact use and a rock with which to base the army and it's strategy around. This conflicting purpose can make them difficult to get the best out of, but they should provide a solid spear tip to the army.
Status: Average. *sigh*
Pros: Assassins are cool. From either of the four temples, they're cool. You've the Callidus which messes with people's minds (kinda), the Eversor which removes people's heads (sort of), the Culexus which gives them nightmares (maybe) and the Vindicare who takes out key models within units (sometimes). They've a shared stat-line which would cause even a Dark Eldar Archon to raise an eyebrow, though only 2 wounds and a 4+ invulnerable save coupled with a 6+ Feel No Pain. You can only take one of each type in one army, but you can take one in each Elite slot - so a Vindicare, an Eversor and a Callidus can be fielded in one army for example. This is, obviously, very tempting and extremely awesome to do now and then. They're Assassins, how can they not be cool?!? And they don't need to be fielded with an Inquisitor either!
Cons: Oh yeah, the cons. There's always cons, and though I hate to say it, the Assassins have them in spades. Once upon a time, all Temple Assassins could be fielded in any Imperial army as a 0-1 Elite choice. They had their own miniature Codex, their own rules and abilities and even their own scenarios for you to use. They weren't cheap, but they weren't overly expensive either. They took skill to use well (and still do) but their flexibility across all Imperial armies was fantastic. Then along came the Daemonhunters and Witchhunters Codices and no longer were Assassins as flexible. They cost the same, but could only be fielded with an Inquisitor or Inquisitor Lord alongside them. Whilst they could be Allied into another army, you were looking at another 45 points on top of their original cost. All they've done with Assassins now is incorporate this points tax into their cost, artificially inflating their cost to ridiculous amounts.
"But surely they can do more now?" I hear you ask. Can they? For the most part, no:
The Vindicare can use as many of his Special rounds as he likes which is great, and whilst he can still assign his wounds with his AP1 rifle or pistol however he chooses, he cannot reduce the enemies' cover save like he used to. In a game where hiding behind a small shrub grants you a 4+ cover save from incoming non-flamer firepower, this is massive. If you're looking to take out models such as Sergeants, special/heavy weapon carriers, wounded HQ choices and so on, all they have to do is duck behind a piece of terrain and your super-sniper's shot is ignored.
The Callidus used to be able to allow you to redeploy a unit of your opponent's army before the game started, and now she can't. She also used to be able to assault on the turn she arrived and now she can't, her template weapon still wounds based on Leadership (so 5s/6s in most cases, though if they're wounded they're likely dead) and her Phase Sword only causes Instant Death now, with Invulnerable Saves allowed. All this for more points.
Culexus: he was never my favourite, and now he's still not. Second cheapest and easily most useless, this guy is your psyker-killer. Great, unless your opponent doesn't have any. He Animus still functions the same way, and combined with his Psyocculem it's likely to do lots of damage to Psykers. Wait a minute, he goes from BS8 to BS10 against Psykers? Whoop-de-doo. He used to have a nice little rule called "Soul-less" which made every unit within a certain distance have Leadership 7 (including Friendly models). Whilst this is now no longer there, if any opponent wishes to do anything towards him, they must pass a Leadership test on 3D6 which is an improvement. However, if he gets assaulted by anything (and he will), he'll die and that's a hefty amount of points gone smoosh right there. He lacks any form of close combat weapon, and whilst CC is not his role, at least having a power weapon is surely not beyond him, right?
The Eversor, a long time "go to" Assassin for many players. You want squads dead? Point the Eversor at them and watch him dance a bloody waltz. He still can, which is good, but he's gotten soooo sllllooooooow in his old age. He's lost his 12" assault rule, as well as his Neuro Gauntlet which wounded anything on a 4+ and was a power weapon. The Lightning Claw + Furious Charge + D6 assault bonus he now has isn't bad though, but it's not as utilitarian as he once was. At least he's picked up some frag grenades on his travels through the Galaxy.
The Assassins have lost quite a bit of their bite, not helped at all by their increase in cost. Whilst taking more than 1 is good, they're not the "must haves" they once were. I don't think though that that should stop anyone from taking them, just be aware of their uses and limits. I for one will be breaking mine out of their case for forthcoming games, as Assassins are still cool. I wouldn't however go mad with them, stick to one and use it well. Of the line up, the Vindicare is now more viable (pervasive 4+ cover save aside) and the Eversor will still rip stuff up like nobodies' business. The other two though, don't cut it for me. Far too expensive for what they are, and in many cases I doubt they'll make their points back.
Status: Good to Recommended.
Special Rules: Varies from type to type. Feel No Pain, Aura of Faith, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Warp Shield, Daemonic Power, Uncanny Reflexes, Mindlock, Inconceivable Customisation, Jokaero Ingenuity, Psychic Beacon, Psychic Barrage.
Pros: Many options and almost limitless individuality. You can create any unit you fancy for any theme you care to think of within 40k. If you want to create a totally unique army where your every modelling whim is catered for, then look no further than these guys. Within the game too they're a lot better than they were and can be a very formidable force on the table if you use them correctly. They can also provide an accurate location for units to Deep Strike to, they can provide a Psychic blast weapon that'll take out hordes and tanks with ease and they can also do close combat with the best of the rest with their Deathcult Assassins and Crusaders. If you take squads of these and attach Inquisitors to them, you can make up (to a certain degree) for their lack of Invulnerable save by taking those hits onto Crusaders, but this will not work in Close Combat (Independent Character still). They do not take up an Elite slot either, so you can still take 3 of these (for example) and 3 Assassins if you wanted to. Mobility is good as they have access to Rhinos, Razorback and Chimeras.
Cons: they're fragile, and can only be taken as Troops with Coteaz. This is really their only flaws, but it is significant as massed bolter fire will decimate them easily.
Henchmen are great I think, they're inexpensive and have almost limitless potential. For best results, I'd suggest gearing a squad to go with your Inquisitor in such a way as to compliment them (combat unit for combat Inquisitor, shooting unit for shooting Inquisitor etc) and from then on make each squad have a certain role and create them accordingly. Each squad should, I think, have at least one Crusader in (more for heavy Combat unit) to take the heaviest hits if required. For your primary units, Warriors with Storm Bolters are the weapon of choice for me. Whilst it does make them as expensive as a Veteran Guardsman, you do get a Storm Bolter which makes up for the average BS. They can also lay down a lot more fire more of the time than a similar unit armed with boltguns and aren't anywhere near as laughable as hot-shot lasguns (I still at the name). Supposedly, the hot-shot Warrior is the new Inquisitorial Storm Trooper. I'm hoping that Sisters of Battle can redeem them, as there's no such thing currently. Transports are a must have too, especially when 5 can shoot from the top of a Chimera, or 2 from a Rhino, and either of the 3 gives them increased survivability.
Grey Knight Troops are, as you'd expect, Grey Knights. They have two choices by default, but can up that to four in one army by taking either Crowe, Draigo or Coteaz with each one opening up another type of squad to be taken as troops. The default ones however, are fine and unfortunately somewhat overshadowed in terms of attention they receive because they're "normal" troops. This is incorrect, they're far from "normal" as we'll see.
Grey Knight Terminators.
Status: Recommended +. (I love these guys).
Special Rules: Special Rules: The Aegis, Brotherhood of Psykers, Combat Squads, And They Shall Know No Fear, Preferred Enemy: Daemons.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand.
Pros: They're Terminators. Terminators as Troops without having to take a certain Character or unit selection is a good thing, but having Terminators as Troops will inevitably lead people to instantly compare them to Dark Angels' Deathwing, or the so-called "Logan Wing" of Space Wolves (which is no bad thing). Grey Knights have distinct advantages over either of those two, mainly in that they don't have to take a Character to do an army of all Terminators and also that Grey Knight Terminators carry frag, krak and psyk-out grenades as standard. With these guys however, they're different: there are no power fists in sight, nor are there any lightning claws or storm shields. They do get Thunder Hammers (which are still Nemesis weapons) which help against tougher opponents and vehicles should the need arise, as well as Nemesis Swords by default and the option to upgrade to Halberds for free. The only other CC option for them is either Nemesis Falchions or one may take a Ward Stave. Though the Ward Stave is expensive, it certainly has it's place to take the heavier hits on the squad when they're in combat. I'd steer clear of the Falchions though, as either the swords, halberds or hammers are not only free, but do far more for the unit as a whole. If extra attacks are what you want, get a Banner in there. Not only will it ensure pain free use of your Force Weapons (as it allows their psychic test to happen automatically), but it gives +1 attack to each model in the squad. So 4 attacks on the charge with a Halberd or a Thunder Hammer? Yes please! Also works for Independent Characters too, but they'll still have to use their own Ld for activating any and all psychic powers.
Ranged options are good, having access as they do to one per five models in the squad and are the usual Psycannon, Incinerator and *spits* Psilencer. The Psycannon is by far the best option and should be present in every Terminator squad.
Cons: They're only Terminators. Despite however awesome Terminators are, they'll still fall to AP1/2 weapons and power weaponry of any sort can really ruin their day. Once they start dying, the squad's effectiveness starts to take major hits, so they do still need to be used with care. Unlike other Terminator units, Grey Knights do not get access to Land Raiders as a Dedicated Transport, and Terminators don't really like walking across the board. They can Deep Strike of course, but that does leave them very open to return to fire and Land Raiders from the Heavy Support slot do push up their cost very quickly.
I know that when rumours of Terminators being Troops as standard first starting circulating many people were wondering why Grey Knights got them and not other Chapters. Well, the background states that Grey Knights have the resources to do this, but I think it's more of a balancing issue. By having Terminators as Troops, you can still run a core army of power armoured guys supported by (and supporting) a unit of Terminators and have the Terminators acting as an "Elite" unit which happens to be able to capture objectives instead of leaving it all to the power armoured guys to do.
Grey Knight Terminators as Troops are fantastic, but I'd advise you to not see them as Troops in the same regards as anything in Power Armour. The reason being, Troops tend to be used in a little more of a "gung-ho" fashion, and Terminators cannot deal with that. Instead, use your Terminators to accompany any Independent Characters (HQs) you have on the board, and then use the squad as a whole to deal with whatever is in front of them. As they're armed with grenades too, assaulting into cover doesn't present them with a problem, and by using appropriate options and psychic powers, they'll likely be able to take being assaulted too. If you take a unit of these guys, I'd recommend a ride for them too. It will take up one of your precious Heavy Support slots to do it, but that security and extra anti-tank ability which Land Raiders bring is nice to have.
On the board, your Terminators need to be supported. They can do things on their own, but whether or not they'll survive doing it is another matter. As such, I'd recommend teaming a squad of Terminators up with a Strike Squad so they can mutually support each other. And by the end of the game, if either one are sat on an uncontested objective, that's a bonus to you.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Brotherhood of Psykers, Combat Squads, And They Shall Know No Fear, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Deep Strike.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Warp Quake (throws up a defensive area of 12" around the unit which if any opponent's unit Deep Strikes into they suffer a Deep Strike Mishap immediately).
Pros: They're extremely well equipped, boasting a Marine stat-line as standard, Nemesis Force Sword, Storm Bolter and all 3 types of basic grenade. They've lost their WS5, Str6 and True Grit, but I think they're better for it: it's brought them close to what they should have been and in fact are, and that's Marines but a little bit better. The Strike Squad are the bread and butter of your Grey Knight army. To field an army without a good core of these guys is asking for trouble I think. Purifiers will only get you so far, but you can take more of these guys for fewer points with much of the same options. Same options as everything else with regards to close combat and range, but they are also able to take either a Rhino or Razorback as their Dedicated Transport, so getting around needn't be a problem. And they can Deep Strike if you so desire, so it's not like they're short on options.
Warp Quake can be used to good effect if you you're up against Daemons, or suspect your opponent might be Deep Striking things in like Dreadnoughts in Drop Pods and such. It's not an offensive power, it's a defensive power and one which you can use to control certain areas of the board before units start arriving. Don't forget about it and use it, but be aware that it needs to be activated at the start of the movement phase.
Cons: Believe it or not, they're still only Marines, but more expensive. When they start dying (and they will), you'll be feeling each casualty as they get removed from the table top.
With either these guys or Terminators, the "they're only Marines" line is essential. Read it, re-read it and allow it's implications to sink in. Once it's done that and you accept the fact that they are only Marines, their use becomes easier and clearer and the army becomes much simpler to manage as a whole. It is very tempting to have entire squads equipped with Halberds, Hammer on the Justicar and perhaps even Falchions all over the place, but I really wouldn't bother. The Hammer is the one to consider, and can still be given to the Justicar as he has the most attacks, but should the squad take a Perils of the Warp attack, he'll be dead and you'll be without a hammer. Therefore, vehicles are not something these guys should be trying to tackle unless they have a reasonable chance of punching through AV10 or planting Krak grenades on AV11/12. As far as upgrades go, they'll work best kept as cheap as possible. I'll repeat that: As far as upgrades go, they'll work best kept as cheap as possible. A Psycannon or two is a good bet still, and a Transport won't do them any harm, but keep their swords and leave off the Psybolts. Keep them cheap and get more on the board, that's the way forwards with Grey Knights.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Psychic Pilot (Rhino & Razorback only), Repair (Rhino only), Amphibious (Chimera only).
Psychic Powers: Fortitude (Rhino and Razorback only).
Pros: they have all the same advantages as either their Marine or Imperial Guard equivalent vehicles. Good capacity and utility, and they help provide additional protection and mobility for an army which definitely needs it. Grey Knights can only access either Rhinos or Razorbacks, but Henchmen can choose from all three. It is worth noting that the Rhino and Razorback do cost more than their Marine equivalent but the difference is marginal and the gain is significant. Once upon a time, Extra Armour was a mere 5 points, but recent Codices have pushed that up to 15. Grey Knight vehicles get a better version by default, and that's because of their Psychic Pilots and their Psychic Power of Fortitude. For the mere dribble of extra points you pay for a Rhino or Razorback, you're getting a vehicle which can ignore all shaken and stunned results which it suffers and can then continue on it's merry way however you'd like. I know Eldar are looking at such an ability with great envy, and everyone else wants a slice of that cake now too.
Razorbacks benefit greatly from the weapon options as they can upgrade their basic Twin Linked Heavy Bolters to be Lascannons, Heavy Flamers, or Assault Cannons and finally the Twin Linked Plasma Gun & Lascannon combo. For my money, basic Heavy Bolters do the job just fine and adding Psybolts to them is a genuine "no brainer".
Cons: bottom line, they're Transports. They may have the "tank" unit type, but they're a transport tank, not a heavy tank like a Land Raider or a Predator. They'll have their uses but they'll have their limits too, but work with those and they'll serve well. Razorback weapon options are horrendously expensive still, comparable with their Marine equivalent.
Every Strike Squad and Purifier unit should, in my view, take a Transport as should every Henchmen unit. The ten man unit with two Psycannons from a Rhino is certainly a good, if expensive build, but the 6 man unit in a Razorback (with Psybolts) is also able to punch to it's weight and a bit above and not cost too many points. It's still mobile and scoring all the way, so what's not to like? Remember, more Grey Knights is the way to go. For extra fun, why not try giving one the Warp Stabilisation field upgrade and use the Librarian to Summon it to wherever you want them to be? They can't do anything after that, but infinite moving ability to anywhere on the board makes even Dark Eldar look geriatric! But ... it's expensive, so be aware of that. The only options I'd consider for these are:
Rhino: none, doesn't need it.
Chimera: hull Heavy Flamer. The Heavy Bolter as standard isn't bad either, but if you're moving you can only fire one and the Heavy Flamer won't care about the average BS.
You can, if you like, walk your Terminators or Strike Squads across the board, but that's asking for trouble I think. They'll easily fall victim to anything out there, so if by taking a transport you can limit that damage, do so.
Though not numerous, Grey Knight Fast Attack choices definitely have a presence on the battle field. There are only two choices, one of which is infantry and the other being a vehicle, they can nevertheless do what the rest of the army can't do: get places quickly without using Deep Strike or Summoning.
Storm Raven. (with thanks to Angelofblades for using his article as a basis for the Storm Raven entry).
This is a good unit for Fast Attack. Versatile and with a great compliment of weapons. It sure as hell is worth it's price tag, it allows multiple options for methods for attacking your opponent. Extra Armour is perhaps ideal for the Blood Angels version, but the Grey Knight one has the same Psychic Pilot and Fortitude combination as do the Dreadnoughts and Rhinos/Razorbacks for only slightly more points - remember it's there, but psychic defence can shut it down, so Extra Armour might well be a worthwhile investment in order to keep this unit moving. One thing to realize and remember is that it has Power of the Machine Spirit, meaning it can Flat Out and fire a weapon. That's a huge deal, especially when you factor in that a lot of the weapon upgrades, aren't really upgrades, their weapon swaps. Starting with a Twin-Linked Heavy Bolter swapping out for a Twin-Linked Multi-melta for FREE!! That's huge in my book, especially in an edition where melta is king at popping armour! If you're planning to take this unit in your army, I would definitely suggest 2 of them and focus them on taking out armour. The units it carries are what deal with infantry for you, thus it is my opinion that Storm Ravens, are best set up to take out armour instead of dealing with infantry.
If starting first, then start it on the board, if you're going second OR playing Dawn of War, then start off the board and come in off Reserves. You can still Flat Out and proceed as planned.
I would definitely suggest utilizing it's transport capability, the obvious risk being that you've got a lot of eggs in one basket. But that's the risk you take.
An interesting addition to the Grey Knight's Storm Raven is that instead of the Blood Strike missiles it is armed with four Mindstrike missiles which are Defensive Weapons with a huge 72" range. The bonus for them is that if the unit which they hit contains a Psyker, then the Psyker takes a Perils of the Warp attack immediately. No wounding needed (though they still take the same wounding effect like any other weapon would cause), it's a straight-up Perils attack. Not bad huh?
Special Rules: The Aegis, Brotherhood of Psykers, Combat Squads, And They Shall Know No Fear, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Deep Strike, Jump Infantry.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Warp Quake (as Strike Squads).
Pros: The thing which differentitates these fellas from ordinary Strike Squads is their Personal Teleporters. Once per game, you may decide to relocate them to anywhere on the board (normal restrictions apply) up to 30" away and no scattering. So that's 100% accurate relocation and faster than anything else in the game (with the exception of The Summoning). Add in the same weapon options as Strike Squads and you're zipping about (albeit only once) taking on anything you might fancy. Not bad at all. Worth noting here than they can shoot, but not assault after Teleporting, but can Run if they desire.
Cons: they're a suicide unit pretty much. You'll want to take on either hordes or vehicles with their upgrades (one per five for ranged) and they can do this quite well. Get in nice and close and toast away with the Incinerators, or hang back a bit more and use Psycannons. Retaliation will be these guy's problem, and Grey Knights can't afford suicide units.
These guys aren't terrible by any means, but they aren't going to withstand a full armies' worth of retaliation once they've taken out a prime target. As such, their use is best done with caution. They could easily fulfill the role of the "last turn grab" to clear out an objective or to contest one to swing a game your way, and as they are Marines they'll likely be quite good at this. Their art will be in knowing exactly when to use their Teleport ability and keeping enough of them alive to be able to do it. As Jump Infantry, they'll support the main thrust of the battle line, taking on targets of opportunity wherever they present themselves. But use them wisely, they're only Marines, albeit Marines armed with a force weapon apiece.
See the Venerable Dreadnought entry for details.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Brotherhood of Psykers, Combat Squads, And They Shall Know No Fear, Preferred Enemy: Daemons.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Astral Aim (may shoot at a unit within range but not necessarily line of sight. Receiving unit gets a 4+ cover save regardless).
Pros: Once upon a time, Purgations Squads were so crap that I refused to even acknowledge their existence. That and they took up a valuable Heavy Support slot which was better served by Land Raiders and occasionally Dreadnoughts. They were too expensive and too fragile for their cost, weighing in at the same cost of a basic Land Raider if you equipped them with 4 Psycannons. Now though, things have changed: they've grown up, become better, and best of all - cheaper! All the same options as Strike Squads, though can still take up to four special weapons in a squad regardless of it's size.
Cons: lots of options. Yes, this is a bad thing for Grey Knight Purgation Squads, as there's only two weapon options you want for them: Incinerators and Psycannons. They also take up a valuable Heavy Support slot, a slot which has high competition with other units. With both a heavy emphasis on ranged and close combat options, their role can be somewhat confused.
Purgation Squads have come in from the cold and now no longer the black sheep of the Codex. They are an inexpensive way of dealing with massed infantry, and four Psycannons is enough to put the wind up anything in their way. They'd ideally need a Transport to get around in, and I'd favour the trusty Razorback with Psybolts (naturally). A 5 man unit with four Incinerators in a Psyback comes to a nice round 150 points, which for Grey Knights is cheap. They'll also take out huge swathes of models in one shooting phase, and if you've timed it right can still follow up with an assault with Hammerhand. The quad Psycannon unit is potentially devastating to a lot of units in their way, including Land Raiders and Leman Russ tanks, but by taking 4 of those you almost double the unit's cost. If you're doing that, you'd need to take additional ablative wounds to take the hits from incoming fire and that again puts their cost up. As such, I'd advise the quad Incinerator unit in a Transport and use them as close support on home objectives and for mopping up duties. They'll excel at this role.
Status: Good to Recommended.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Assault Vehicle, Power Of The Machine Spirit, Psychic Pilot.
Psychic Powers: Fortitude.
Pros: You won't get a heavier armoured tank in the entire game. Each one has a good transport capacity, but they do vary between types as normal. They are pretty much the same as normal Marine Land Raiders, but have the bonus of the Psychic Pilot/ Fortitude combo which will keep them going for longer. They are also the only way of transporting anything in Terminator armour around, and for this role the Crusader is the "go to" choice. The Redeemer is a close second but would also serve a Purgation or Purifier squad well and will be a good way to get those units to where you want them to be. The normal "Godhammer" Land Raider with it's two Twin Linked Lascannons is also not to be underestimated, and it's a good source of long range anti-tank firepower (which is something Grey Knights really struggle with). It can still carry Terminators, and as Grey Knight Terminators all have grenades, assaulting from it needn't be a problem either.
Cons: each one is very expensive in points, and each one is a huge "shoot me!" sign. Whilst that can be good as it means the opponent is not shooting at your squishier stuff, they can still die to a lascannon and are very susceptible to Melta weaponry like any other tank. Killing a Land Raider is somewhat of a trophy kill, and that really hurts Grey Knights as it's their one solid anti-tank platform. To combat this, you need at least 2 and then you're army is starting to get really expensive. Also, unlike their Marine brothers, they are not Dedicated Transports. I can see why they aren't, for balance purposes, but even having one would have been nice. They are also large models, and in a game of true line of sight, it can be tricky to hide them sometimes (and you'll want to).
Land Raiders are still a viable choice for Grey Knights, and they do move Terminators around very nicely indeed. They do have weaponry options, but again I'd advise keeping these to a minimum. Psybolts for the Godhammer Land Raider would be a wise investment I think, as it'll up the strength of the heavy bolters to 6 and Psyflame/Psybolt ammo for a Redeemer might prove amusing too. I'd steer clear of Psybolt ammo for the Crusader though, as you'll stop your Hurricane bolters from firing should you move the tank. If you take any of them, you'd ideally need two to split the opposition's fire power. I've found that a Godhammer works very well with a Strike Squad or Terminator unit inside and a Crusader to push forward and take the fight to the enemy. The Redeemer would also excel at this role, and comes in slightly cheaper.
Status: Good to Recommended.
Special Rules: The Aegis, Preferred Enemy: Daemons, Psyker Mastery 1, And They Shall Know No Fear, Deep Strike, Monstrous Creature.
Psychic Powers: Hammerhand, Dark Excommunication.
Pros: Grey Knights get a Monstrous Creature. Indeedy, a Monstrous Creature wearing Terminator Armour and with a stat-line resembling a Daemon Prince. He's not cheap, but then what would you expect for a Monstrous Creature? The psychic powers that they come with are rather situational, but his standard equipment of two Doom Fists (same as the GK Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon) are going to mess anything up from infantry to tanks. Additional weapons are good too, and he can choose from a Gatling Psilencer (same as the normal Psilencer but has 12 shots), Heavy Incinerator (works like the Imperial Guard Hellhound tank's gun) and a Heavy Psycannon (same Psycannon stats but is a Large Blast weapon). He can also be upgraded with a close combat weapon of some sort and can take either a Nemesis Hammer (Thunder Hammer) or a Nemesis Greatsword (re-rolls to hit, wound and armour penetration rolls in close combat). He's also the only other model in the Codex which has access to the Personal Teleporter, meaning he can Teleport in the same way as an Interceptor squad. Certainly makes up for his rather slow nature.
Cons: Starts expensive, gets moreso. He's also a large imposing target, and as such he'll attract every high strength AP1/2 weapon in the vicinity. If you want to upgrade him with two ranged weapons and a close combat weapon (which you can do as the guns don't replace the Doomfists), you're looking at one model which costs between 205 and 305 points. For best results, you'd need two of these and that'll really hurt the army if you go mad with the upgrades. They're also really quite slow, even with the Teleporter. The relocation is good, but once you've done that he'll be sat there taking hits. Being sat there taking hits = dead anything, so use it wisely if you use it at all. The Teleporter is horrifically expensive, so remember that it can Deep Strike or be Summoned.
The Dreadknight is one of the most talked about units from the new Grey Knights release, and understandably so. It's a large model with good stats and a nice range of options. It's downsides are that it's a large model with a nice range of options and is easily "overdone". It'll also take up a Heavy Support slot, and I think two would serve you better than one will. If you do this, be clear as to exactly what you want or expect from them, as they will dictate your strategy. I'd suggest the Heavy Psilencer or perhaps the Heavy Psycannon (even though it's not quite what I'd want it to be) as the ranged weapon option and keep the other hand as just a fist. It'll be fairly cheap and capable of taking on infantry just fine. If you need it to take on tanks, just punch them: strength 6 with 2D6 penetration should do the trick, and the Dreadknight is not lacking in attacks (and don't forget, it has two Dreadnought Close Combat Weapons, and that means +1 attacks). It is tempting to load them up with lots of upgrades, and I'd advise you not to. I'd rather see two capable cheaper Dreadknights in a list than one very expensive one. Adequately supported with the rest of the army (which will be at best one Land Raider with Terminators and Strike Squads in Transport) you should find that they do the job nicely, and they'll certainly take on enemy Monstrous Creatures easily enough as well as tanks. These should be their secondary targets though, as their ranged options are more anti-infantry. Focus on them and take out bigger things as targets of opportunity.
Personally, I think the Hammer is the best option for CC as it does make the DK strength 10 in CC without having to roll Hammerhand (which only makes him str7 with fists/sword). This means he's free to roll for either Dark Excommunication or for the Force Weapon which is handy against T6+ models. Add to this the Heavy Incinerator and Heavy Psilencer and away you go. Not cheap, but best of all worlds - the Heavy Psycannon isn't likely to take out tanks easily, so more shots and ignore cover is a good bet.
Interesting to note that by adding a Personal Teleporter to one not only makes an expensive piece of kit horrifically expensive, but does mean that it acts like Jump Infantry too. The extra mobility could come in handy, but it can also Deep Strike. So if you need it to be somewhere, you might want to think about a Deep Strike/Summoning combo.
So then, what have we learnt? Grey Knights can be a very diverse, individual and characterful army to play. They'll be challenging and rewarding when your strategy pays off.
If you want to go with a pure Grey Knight army, you can do and you'll be very well equipped to take on any foe that comes your way. Should you want to take a pure Inquisitorial force, or even a hybrid list, you'll be able to do so and be able to do it in a fun, enjoyable way for both you and your opponent.
In terms of building an army though, I offer these words of advice:
1. Do not build an army to face Daemons. However odd this may sound, don't do it. The reason being is that the army that can trounce Daemons will likely struggle against everything else. Create a balanced "all comers" list that you're happy with and use it against as many opponents as possible.
2. Keep it cheap! I cannot emphasise this enough. If you want to make a Grey Knight army that is competitive and enjoyable, keep the upgrades to a minimum. To make Grey Knights work, you have to think like a Grey Knight: whatever it takes to get the job done and no more. Excessive upgrades lead to fewer Grey Knights, and it's the Grey Knights which will get the job done. Keep squads cheap and efficient and be 100% clear as to their use, intent and ability.
3. Characters. With regards to the named Characters, specifically Draigo and Crowe, be wary of their use. If you're intent on taking an army of all Paladins or Purifiers, then take either of these two as they will be a must. BUT, I would advise this if you're not:
Create a balanced army list leaving around 200 points free for an HQ. Take Terminators and Strike Squads to be your "core" army, add in either Paladins or Purifiers if you wish and then review what you have. Do you have an army which can take on all comers? Do you have the additional unit you'd like to take? With the spare 200 or so points left over from your list writing, take a Grand Master and make them scoring if you're lacking in Troop units. By doing it this way, you gain an additional scoring unit but aren't lumbering yourself with a very expensive or a very daft HQ choice. I know what I'd rather take.
So, to summarise the summary: go cheap and keep it "all comers". You can't go wrong then.
Happy hunting, Brother!