Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grey Knights in 7E, some brief notes

I can't explain exactly why.  Maybe it was that I played four different codex's in as many gaming days and had stuff scattered everywhere.  Maybe it was just realizing I hadn't in a while.  Whatever the cause I grabbed my Grey Knights and put them in my car just in case I needed an army, while I was on my way to play a different game (I've been messing around with a game called SAGA).  The Grey Knights found their way into the car and I ended up playing with them.

In my first game in some time, I won quite convincingly against a Chaos Space Marine, won against Dark Eldar (he conceded after one round but we stretched it out to two to see what would happen) and then had a bit longer game against Chaos Daemons + Chaos SpaceMarines.  All wins.  All convincing in the end, though the Chaos Daemons gave me a real run for my money.  Finally ran into a Daemon summoning Chaos Daemon army that boasted as many as 35 casting dice and lost in a nail biter.  Then won again in a 2v1 game against Tau and Space Marines.

This got me to thinking about the codex and its "reduced power level".  It appears all the screaming and crying and kicking over Grey Knights kind of died once 6E moved along.  Eldar made people forget all about the indignities meted out to them by Grey Knights just months before.  Pundits are saying the Grey Knight codex isn't what it once was but my question is, does it need to be?

Grey Knights are at worst middle of the pack in casting dice themselves and often better than that.  In the movement phase they can use both their normal means of mobility plus Grand Strategy from the Grey Knight GrandMaster as well as the Strategic Warlord Traits to help in that regard.  So they can be anywhere on the board if the missions call for mobility, albeit they do it a little unconventionally.  In the shooting phase, they dominate on any turn they don't have to move (and boy are they impressive then).  In melee, an army full of Power Weapons and Daemon Hammers is pretty hard to top, and though there aren't very many on the board, just one Purifier can make a real mess of things.

Their access to Assassins makes them equally potent.  The Vindicare is of course a well known quantity but the rarely seen Culexis in an army full of Combat Squad'd Psykers is absolutely terrifying from a Rhino.  You move the army up as one with the Culexis in the Rhino, with extra rhinos nearby in case the one he's in gets popped.  Then you fire his silly pistol.  With all those Psykers surrounding him.  It's...  amazing.

Grey Knights still have one of the most variable cast of characters in any codex.  They allow for a huge variety of different builds and while MANY of those are sadly under explored from what I've seen, it remains true.  Dual Combined Arms Detachments (CAD's) allow for an insane variety of combinations.  25 point inquisitors is positively stupid.   you REALLY cant find a better value buy in any codex, and while they don't wow you individually, again my question:  Do they need to?  5 attacks on the charge for 25 points even if they did nothing else, plus they come with 4+ armor, grenades, and cheap options that matter.  They represent an economical way to satisfy the slot if need be to allow for more of what you REALLY wanted to take without themselves sucking.

Purgations squads changed in 7E and are now ONLY advisable if you take the Incinerator options.  But the Incinerator option remains an insanely awesome deal.  You simply wont find a more devastating 100 points in 40K.  Getting it there is always the trick with template weapons, but 4 STR 6 AP 4 Flamers for 100 points that add a Psyker die to the pool is...  I mean there are no words for how good that is. But the Psycannon option no longer makes any sense when weighed against the Purifier option.  Simply put, if you're going to create a Purgation squad for its Psycannons, don't.  Make them Purifiers.  10 Purifiers can combat squad.  You get EXACTLY the utility you wanted from a Purgation squad but on a MUCH stronger chassis.

Facing an army that has 35 Psyker dice in a phase left even the Grey Knights overwhelmed.  There's just not enough good luck in the world against that.  But the Aegis ability that all the GK's come with allows them to re-roll 1's on their Deny the Witch rolls now (a fact I forgot when fighting for my life against Chaos Daemon spawning shenanigans) and Dreadnoughts provide a very important defense against getting over matched with offensive powers by allowing all the units within 12" to re-roll ALL their failed Deny the Witch Dice.  You cant stop the summoning.  Maybe once in a blue moon you will.  But as for being blasted by a flying Daemon Circus, the Dreadnoughts provide awesome support.  I won't forget that in future games and thought it blog worthy to bring it to the attention of those who are adjusting to the 7th Editions impact on Grey Knights.  Tournaments will contain chaos Daemons.  They are a thing.  So make sure you consider Dreadnoughts for more than just their firepower.

Dreadnoughts also know Sanctuary and Banishment powers.  Banishment nerfs the +1 invul from Cursed Earth that Daemons like to cast on themselves.  Meanwhile, Sanctuary makes the ones that can charge the Dreadnought and those he protects treat the ground within 12" of him as DANGEROUS Terrain!  This is a LOT of good support features for Dreadnoughts.  Consider that because of this, when a Dreadnought is nearby, you need not waste Dispel Dice when the enemy casts Cursed Earth.  Just wait til your turn and then cast Sanctuary and force them to waste their Dispel dice against it.  I'm a big fan of Dreadnoughts now in a Grey Knight force, especially now that Eldar/Iyanden as well as Chaos Daemons are such a big part of the competitive scene.

Anywho, just some notes to think about as you either face against the Grey Knights or fight AS the Grey Knights.  Good hunting.