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Monday, 9 May 2011

Grey Knight Review- Twist I

Hi all,

This is a post about Codex:Grey Knights. A little late? Absolutely, if I was going to copy the excellent reviews done by others- notably StelekKirby and Sir BuscuitHERO, and Mercer. I'm not. Instead, I'm going to look at the Grey Knights in relation to the following 5 things:

  • Planetstrike
  • Spearhead
  • Cityfight
  • 500-1000 points games
  • Apocalypse
So today's post will be all about Grey Knights in Planetstrike- how good are they on the Attack, on the Defence and what Strategems are cool for them? Over the next 5 days I'll review the other expansions. Enjoy!

Planetstrike- Quick Re-cap.

For those who need a reminder:
  • the Force Organisation chart changes for Planetstrike missions- The Attacker gets 1-3 HQ, 0-6 Troops, 0-6 Elites, 0-6 Fast Attack and 0-3 Heavy Support. The Defender gets 1-3 HQ, 2-8 Troops, 0-3 Elites, 0-3 Fast Attack and 0-6 Heavy Support.
  • the Defender sets up the battlefield (usually to their own advantage) and determines the objectives (again, to their own advantage.) 
  • the Attacker can Deep Strike with all of their Infantry, Jump Infantry, Monstrous Creatures, Jetbikes, and any units that could usually Deep Strike (Land Speeders, Raveners etc.)
  • the Defender deploys, then the Attacker launches their Firestorm, then deploys from reserve.
  • Attacking units which can usually Deep Strike (outside of Planetstrike) can assault on the turn they arrive, and reserves arrive from turn 1 onwards
  • the Defender can have Interceptor weapons which fire at incoming attacking Deep Strikers
  • Finally, both Attacker and Defender have access to unique Stratagems to try and outfox their opponent.
Grey Knights Quick re-cap

If you need a refresher on the pro's and con's of the 666th Chapter, then those mentioned above are well worth a read. In summary:
  • Grey Knights are expensive- more-so even than other Space Marines
  • They have Terminators as Troops; each Marine has a Stormbolter and Force Weapon. 
  • All of the Marines are Psykers
  • Inquisitors, Henchmen and Assassins (including the Officio specialists) are Elites
  • Dreadknights!

OK- so now that we've had a re-cap, lets move on shall we? :)

Grey Knights as Attackers

This is by far the best role for the Grey Knights- most of the Astartes can Deep Strike (Dreadknights without Personal Teleporters cannot), and with Psychic Communion they can reliably predict their reserves. Throw in their S:5 Strormbolters (everyone takes Psybolts, don't they?) and the Grey Knights are one of the great Planetstrikers (alongside Daemons and Blood Angels.)

Digging a little deeper- you can take 6 Elites. So all of those difficult choices that you agonise over in standard 40K games can be ignored, and you can dump the armies points total straight into the Elites slot if you like. Combine this with the fact that you are allowed 3 HQ, and it opens all kinds of funky options- at its most extreme, taking Draigo and Crowe, having lots of Elite units as Troops, and filling up your 6 Elites slots with Jokaero for bunker-busting. Add Valeria into the mix.... it all becomes a little bit obscene.

So- strong, flexible HQ choices, and amazing Elites section- I haven't mentioned Storm Ravens yet. Despite the fact that they are amazing, and you can take 6 of them filled with Grey-Knight goodness, I think that most of them will be shot down by Interceptor weapons before they make an impact. If your opponent knows that you have 4+ Storm Ravens in your collection, then they will be damn sure to load up on the Defence Lasers, Lascannon Interceptors and dangerous terrain scenery- remember, you don't get it all your own way as the Attacker!

A quick point on Strategems- the obviously good ones still are (anything that increases the Firestorm will only add to your advantage.) Some others to consider:

Gremlin's Curse- one of the big threats to your Deep Striking Marines of doom is all the Automated weaponry and Interceptor guns that the Defender can use and abuse. Gremlin's curse means that only half of them will work (on average)

Ground Observer- this will make your Deep Strikes all the more reliable.

Heavy Duty Drop- usually, this is a gamble due to the chance of a vehicle being stunned. However, since Grey Knights ignore Shaken and Stunned on a Ld test, this becomes worthwhile- Deep Strike a Land Raider into the middle of the enemy battle line and watch all that Plasma they brought to defeat you bounce off. Warning: if you do this, be prepared to be called a Blood Angels player for the next week!

Sustained Assault- allowing a wiped out unit of Paladins or Purifiers to re-enter play after they've died is pretty horrendous!

Pro's- Many, many advantages to being a Grey Knight Attacker.
Con's- Not many men, not strong in Fast Attack, vulnerable to Automated and Interceptor weapons.

Grey Knights as the Defender:

At first glance, Grey Knights would not be the best choice for Defender. However, let's look at what they get.
  • Lots of Troops
  • Lots of Heavy Support
  • Up to 3 HQ
  • Sanctuary
  • Warp Quake
So- you don't get the advantage of a ton of Space Monkeys any more. Unless you take Coteaz! In this case, you can take up to 8 units of monkeys/Psykers/Stormshields... :) Alternatively, 8 units of Terminators in bunkers would be pretty hard to smash though!

It's in the Fast Attack and Heavy Support, though, where I think Grey Knights have to get inventive. The option of taking 6 Dreadknights will always be tempting- and probably terrifyingly effective! PurgationPsybolt Ammo once they've arrived. (Question- does Astral Aim work with Interceptor Weaponry?) These are both blunt instruments compared to the hidden weapon of the 666th....

Warp Quake. Any enemy Deep Striking within 12" of an Interceptor Squad using this, automatically suffer Deep Strike Mishap. This means that if you have 3 bunkers defended by Interceptors, the enemy will either land within 12" of you to assault the objective and 2/3 of them won't arrive, or they will come in more than 12" away, leaving you a turn of murdering them with S:5 guns. Just as good, if you get into a tough spot, they can Teleport Shunt across the battlefield. As can your 6 Dreadknights :)

Don't forget, you still have access to all those lovely Terminators and Characters. If you take a Librarian (or 2, or 3!) then Sanctuary is amazing- any enemy assaulting a Codex: Grey Knights unit within 12" treats terrain as Difficult and Dangerous. It's a pity this doesn't include the bunkers, otherwise it would be a no-brainer. As it is, units in the open, or used as bait, can survive longer thanks to the ministrations of the Librarian. Imagine- the enemy lands, survives their mishap, then has to slowly crawl towards you, all the while having a 1-in-6 chance of dying!

Finally- Strategems:

Force Pylons- may not be useful, but if a no-grenade, non-vehicle, non-jump unit suffers a mishap, you can stick them in this force box, and they won't be able to move for the rest of the game. Doesn't sound useful? Enemy Carnifii, Daemons (not Slaanesh) or Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators taken out of the game without a shot being fired. Sound useful now? :)

Pro's- Go from a blunt-instrument to a sneaky-tricks army, Lots of Dreadknights, Can win without firing a shot
Con's- Not many men, Vulnerable to AP 3 Firestorms


I know not a lot of people play Planetstrike, because it's not a "competitive" scenario. Granted- its focus is on being over the top and fun. Grey Knights are just as effective in Planetstrike as they are in the core system and Tournaments, and have lots of toys to throw at the opponent to make for an interesting game. 

All of you guys that jumped on the silvery bandwagon- dust off your Bastions, play some games, then come back and let us know how you got on.

There's a list for Attackers here, and Defenders here.

Comments, as always, are welcome.

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