I have been looking at the Grey Knights Codex since Nommern, not to start my own army or rather my second version of a Grey Knights army as I sold mine off a couple of years ago when I felt bored by them. Admittedly at that time it was also difficult to find opponents as this was the height of 5th Edition when Grey Knights were the bogeyman that everyone hated and probably rightly so. But then things calmed down and the boys in silver got passed down until they reached a position in the middle of the pack or even below. When the new codex came out, it was rather lost in the shuffle, coming out a week or two after the Space Wolves book and without any new models, only a repackaging of the old ones. In fact, the book lost nearly half its units, as all Inquisitors and their retinues were removed, as well as the four Imperial Assassins that went with them. Both now have their own books, though you can of course combine them because they are all Imperials and we all know that Imperials stick together. None the less, I found it a bit strange that their codex release met with very little fanfare, though admittedly that also meant less nerd rage than usual. But I saw a Grey Knight army in Nommern (unfortunately, I didn’t get to play it) that looked quite nice and also have a lot of things going for it on the table, so I got intrigued. It didn’t hurt that it casually managed to pulverise a Tyranid army, including blowing a Flyrant out of the sky with a Land Raider that could and quadruple 6ed its twin-linked assault cannon (‘Skyfire my ass!’). However, I was not really convinced by the built of the army, so I thought I would explore some of the options and see what sticks. I did not write a list, as I feel that this would be difficult without practical input, but here are some general ideas. As usual, I welcome all comments. Really, could someone please think of the children and comment?
So here goes:
The librarian really seems to be the only worthwhile HQ option or at least the first one
Looking at the HQ section, there are a few options, but most of them are rather expensive for what they do, which in essence is not much beyond being reasonably good at melee, provided the opponent does not have 2+ armour or T6. Granted, a Brother-Captain or Grand Master can carry a Psycannon or other heavy gun, but the points quickly add up and you get a 200+ points model with T4 and a 4++, so not the best defensive stats in the game.
A Librarian on the other hand is not tied down to simply being a melee beater, but can support a wide range of units each turn, as well as being cheap(ish) for Grey Knights standards.
Some ideas on how to equip him:
Always get Mastery Level 3. Those 25 points are always worth it.
The Purifier: ML3, Domina Liber Daemonica: This gives you a total of 5 powers from the Sanctic discipline (or 4 if you mix disciplines) and lets you re-roll all ones on Warp Tests for Sanctic powers in 6″. Stick this guy near some Purifiers and watch the world burn as they dish out multiple S5 novas per turn.
The Master Caster: ML3, Cuirass of Sacrifice: The Cuirass replaces his Terminator Armour and gives It Will Not Die and Feel No Pain, giving you two ways of saving wounds from Perils of the Warp or regenerating them at the end of the turn. This means that you can fling more warp charge dice per power as you are less prone to take wounds on a double 6. This guy should either work as a re-roll and save factory with Divination or supply Shrouding and Invisibility from the Telepathy discipline. I would choose the second one as Telepathy is just bananas for a small elite army.
As both builds cost around 150 points each, you could feasibly run both in a 2000 points army and use one as battery and one as caster each turn, switching if necessary.
You could do a viable 2+ armour army
Just a thought, but a Terminator unit with a Psycannon and conservative weapon upgrades is under 200 points, so you could fill a list with some of those units, add a Paladin unit and some Dreadknights and see the opponent cry as his AP3 guns bounce off. Speaking of Knights…
Dreadknights are stupidly underpriced
A Dreadknight with Personal Teleporter and Nemesis Greatsword is 170 points. That’s a bargain. There is of course a potential to waste points by buying too many guns for them, but the guns all work well at targeting infantry and monsters, so it might be worth running two guns per Knight. The Heavy Psycannon is the best in my opinion, as it can either drop 6 S7 rending shots on tanks or a fat template into a pile of troopers. The Heavy Psilencer is decidedly Meh! in my book, having Force is a nice effect, but only really worth it against Nidzilla-type armies. It is not that great even against Flying Monstrous Creatures, but might provoke a panic Jink, so I guess that’s something. The Incinerator is an infantry killer, but lacks the AP3 to really convince. So I’d go with a Heavy Psycannon and then see how many points there are left. Still, I think the Dreadknight is an amazing unit in an often lacklustre codex (especially in the Heavy Support part), so there is no excuse not fielding them. I think three might be asking for funny looks from your opponent, but that’s between you and your playgroup.
Purifiers are ML2?
The heading says it all. Purifiers join Zoanthropes as a Brotherhood of Psykers unit with Mastery Level 2. Moreover, you can Combat Squad them and have two Brotherhoods for a still reasonable price. Toss them in a Rhino,which Combat Squads can now share, and add two heavy weapons, preferably Psycannons because you need to get close anyway. They could take four, but you wish to remain in the Rhino for as long as possible, so there is no point in taking four and they are quite expensive. Shove some Terminators with a Land Raider Redeemer in between two such units to have a transport for the Librarian with the Domina Liber Daemonica and light up some heretics. As Novas are Witchfires, they can be dropped out of a hatch and 4 combat squads of Purifiers can generate 8 Warp Charge, so that’s half of what you need for 4 Cleansing Flames, generating 2d6 S5 Ap4 Ignore Cover hits each. Everything within 9″ of those Rhinos will be charred.
We got a great deal on Land Raiders
Admittedly, they got a worse deal than Blood Angels, who can give every unit of Infantry their own pimpmobile, but as Grey Knights have Terminators as Troops choices, they can field quite a few Land Raiders and many armies today are no longer prepared for them, relying on mass S6 and S7 shooting to kill tanks. So it might be worth a laugh dropping a couple of them on the field for your local Eldar player.
So, these are some of my thoughts on Grey Knights. I played around with it on Armybuilder and you could actually field two Librarians, some Dreadknights, Terminators in a Land Raider and the Purifiers in a 2000 points list, so why no?