Thursday, August 28, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Grey Knight Codex Review - HQ

Today Matt moves onto the HQ section of the codex, as I said in the previous post there aren't tons of options so it's reasonable to cover them all in one post. Once again, please feel free to comment and Matt will try to respond when he can. 

Brother-Captain and Grand Master
In the old codex nobody took a Brother-Captain. They used to be similar stat-wise to a Grand Master but were missing the Grand Strategy special rule which the Grand Masters had. Therefore everyone paid the extra points for a Grand Master. However now Brother-Captains are looking a little more attractive as they only lose one attack and one mastery level when compared to a Grand Master. Don't get me wrong most people will probably pay the extra 35 points mainly to get the extra mastery level, but at 150 points it may be worth taking a Brother-Captain if you are tight on points.

Brother-Captains and Grand Masters I now think are better than they used to be due to the ability to generate powers from many different disciplines, this makes them both like a space marine captain and librarian rolled into one! The only difference is that this space marine captain/librarian can be either S7 I5 or S10 I1 in combat if attached to a squad! I think the difficulty with these units is choosing which psychic discipline to go with. Obvious choices may be either Divination or Santic to boost themselves and the squad they are attached to (Santic also gives the chance of getting the best offensive power in the game too of course – Vortex of Doom). However, Telepathy is also tempting for the chance to get Invisibility, but personally I think it is not worth the gamble as Santic and Divination both give you much better chances of getting decent powers. In fact if the BC or GM is attached to a terminator squad I would go with Santic as the only power that’s not that great for that sort of unit is Purge Soul (and even that isn't horrendous).

Brother-Captain Stern
Again nobody used to take Stern. He had interesting rules but the strength test thing wasn't much use and a regular Grand Master was a much better option. I have a feeling things may change. At first glance he looks like a mastery level 2 Brother-Captain with a few mediocre special rules. The first of which is called 'The Strands of Fate' and is exactly the same as in the old book, basically he gets a re-roll but so does your opponent in his turn, in my opinion only worth using if you are desperate, giving away re-rolls to your opponent is dangerous. The second makes the Banishment power into a 12" nova, good if you are playing Daemons, useless otherwise. So what is good about him then? One thing, he gets the Sanctuary power as standard. This means he can be placed in terminator or paladin units and boost their invulnerable to a 4++, or even better he can be attached to Draigo….

Brotherhood Champion
In the old book these guys were cool and were the cheapest HQ, but again not many people bothered. They didn't do enough and died to easily. That may still be true here, but they have now got 2 wounds which is a massive improvement plus their Perfect Warrior rule got much better. They can now either have Smash, which not only makes them AP2 but also gives them the option of making a single S8 attack that re-rolls armour pen, or they can choose to re-roll all saving throws and with 2+ 4++. That is pretty amazing when it means he can still attack. Sounding like an auto-take right? Well no, the perfect warrior rule can only be used in a challenge and he costs 150 points, don't bother.

Castellan Crowe
Crowe is basically a Brotherhood Champion with better stats (WS8 and +1 initiative and attacks) and mastery level 2 plus he uses both rules from Perfect Warrior in a challenge. People used to take him so that they could unlock Purifiers as troops but he doesn't do this anymore. However, he can now be attached to squads and he is Fearless which is nice. Also as chief purifier he obviously knows the Cleansing Flame power (one of the best powers in Santic). In fact his only real downside is that he insists on carrying around a weird sword whose power he refuses to use, therefore it just counts as a close combat weapon and so is not AP3 and nor is it Force. But because he is in artificer armour and can therefore sweeping advance he may be worth choosing over a Grand Master to bolster a power armour squad. For example, attach him to a Purifier squad for double cleansing flame! (I can't wait - Alex)

This is probably going to be the go to HQ in this book. The Librarian has had a massive points reduction from the previous book to bring him in line with space marine librarians. However a Grey Knights librarian can be upgraded to mastery level 3 which gives him a good chance of picking up quite a few of the decent powers in the discipline of your choice, which again should probably be Santic or Divination. However, with mastery level 3, Telepathy may be worth a punt for the gambling types and sometimes Shrouding can be useful depending on what you are facing. He can be given the Domina Liber Daemonica in order to generate another power (but must be from Santic) and also allow all units in 6" to re-roll 1s when manifesting Santic powers, pretty awesome! Also it shouldn't be overlooked that he comes with a warding stave as standard which gives him and his unit Adamantium Will, so that coupled with his mastery level 3 will mean his squad often deny's powers on a 3+. In addition, the Aegis special rule (which all Grey Knights have) allows you to re-roll all 1s when denying the witch, therefore the librarian's squad becomes all but impossible to target with
psychic powers.

Basically the same as an SM Techmarine with a servo harness. Only difference is that he is mastery level 1 and can take force weapons. However it is worth noting that he can still take a conversion beamer. He doesn't take any slots so he can be used as a way to get a Hammerhand caster into a squad.

That's the HQ section sorted. Of course it'll be Troops next which is a particularly short one! I'll stick to the same schedule as the Space Wolves review with a post every other day. I'm certainly finding these an interesting read as I check them over before posting so I'm sure you guys are getting something out of them. With GW taking a short break from 40K at the moment I might even get chance to post something other than codex reviews. Hopefully I'll have some hobby content for you once this review is out of the way.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Grey Knight Codex Review - General Overview

Since I don't play Grey Knights and I'm struggling to find time to blog right now (I'm busy painting Space Wolves) I've enlisted the help of my good friend Matt who's been playing them since they were Daemonhunters and knows the army inside out. He's the guy I team up with for the GW doubles events too. Anyway, the format might be a little different from my reviews but comments are welcome as always and Matt will endeavour to respond when he can. The first post will cover some of the general rules for the new book including the warlord traits and wargear. Over to Matt...

Army Wide Special Rules
The Aegis – all GK non-vehicles units and dreadnoughts have this and it means that if a GK unit is targeted with a psychic power then that unit can re-roll 1s when attempting to deny the witch. Combine this with the fact that every GK unit that has The Aegis is also at least ML1 and you will deny on at least a 5+ re-rolling 1s. This makes it very difficult to target GK units with psychic powers.

Purity of spirit – Just a rule to clarify that all GK units manifest Santic powers with perils only occuring on a double 6.

Warlord Traits

  1. Daemon-Slayer - good for fighting daemons, useless for everything else.
  2. Hammer of Righteousness – Hammer of Wrath isn't that great especially when the unit has a base strength of 4…
  3. Unyielding Anvil – Stubborn is pretty useless, many GK units are or can be made Fearless plus they all have ATSKNF, rubbish warlord trait (and it's the one Stern has).
  4. First to the Fray – excellent trait when used with the correct unit guaranteeing a turn one Deep Strike is great and would be nice to combine with a few other deep strikes using the GK detachment rules (see below).
  5. Perfect Timing – Counter attack – not bad I suppose but not great. Not many units will be charging a GK unit with your warlord in it and if they are then Counter Attack is unlikely to help you…
  6. Lore Master – excellent trait and one that I will be hoping to roll on my librarian so that it can be combined with ML3 and the Domina Liber Daemonica and therefore allows him to know all but one of the Santic powers!

Nemesis Force Weapons
All the melee weapons below have the Daemonbane special rule. The Daemonbane rule is much improved in this codex. If you are fighting daemons then it allows the bearer to re-roll all failed to wound and armour pens as long as the Force power has been manifested. This is much better than the old leadership or be removed rule as now no daemons are Eternal Warrior so if they suffer a Force wound they are dead anyway. Therefore having a re-roll to wound gives the average Grey Knight a very good chance of banishing large daemon scum back to the warp.

  • Sword – this is just a force sword (with Daemonbane of course)
  • Falchion – These are basically 2 nemesis force swords and so gives the bearer an extra attack for 4 extra points.
  • Halberd – I did falchion first as I suspect many people will think that they are the best choice on most GK troops and elites. They will say what is the point in having +1 strength when Hammerhand gives you +2 and therefore you will wound most things on 2+ anyway. The point is that in these days of 7th ed getting Hammerhand off is in no way a given, you will fail it often due to wanting to manifest other powers and so not using many dice and so a base strength of 5 is excellent. If you do get Hammerhand then strength 7 is great if you're up against MC's or vehicles. Even better is double Hammerhand using an Independent Character within the squad to give you strength 9 and the ability to penetrate armour 14 and make Wraithknights go away. But another argument for using halberds over falchions is that often you can have too many attacks in a GK squad, more often than not your GK unit will hopelessly outmatch the enemy unit in combat and so all the extra attacks will do is destroy said enemy unit and leave your Grey Knights out in the open to get shot to bits. Much better to cause less damage and kill the unit over 2 turns allowing your squad to exit combat in the enemy turn. Many times in the past I have purposefully not cast Hammerhand to try to prevent my GK unit from killing the enemy unit too quickly. Plus the halberd is only 2 points per model (half of the falchion cost).
  • Hammer – Still a good choice and everyone will still run one or 2 in a unit. With Hammerhand it is a S10 force hammer, so yeah pretty good.
  • Stave – Force staff but gives the bearer Adamantium Will. Excellent rule to have when combined with the psychic defence GK units already have. A unit that contains one of these will deny on at least a 4+ re-rolling ones. This gives them a better chance to deny than the caster has to get the power off (assuming they both use the same amount of dice).

Ranged Weapons (I’ll only cover the weapons unique to GK)

  • Incinerator – S6 AP4 flamer – great and will see more use due to nerfing of Psycannon.
  • Psycannon – used to be auto take on all squads in last codex. Now stats are same but it's gone to salvo 2/4 which means that GK in power armour can only shoot 2 shots at 12” if they move and then they can't charge. Not good at all. However, I will still run some on small purifier squads as I often found myself standing them still to fire 8 heavy shots before which hasn't changed. Plus I often didn't fire before charging to ensure I made it into combat so not all bad. Plus they are exactly the same on terminator models and so they will still be an auto include in those squads.
  • Psilencer – Used to be rubbish. Now have the potential to be awesome in the right circumstance. A ranged force weapon is very exciting but I can’t see me using it on power armour due to it being heavy and I can’t see me using it on terminator armour due to a Psycannon being a more useful gun. I can see me using the gatling version on a Dreadknight though..

Incidentally, I'll cover all Dreadknight weapons when I review the Dreadknight.

Nemesis Strike Force Detachment
This GK special detachment requires only 1 HQ and 1 Troop and allows up to 4 Elites but limits you to only 2 Fast and 2 Heavy. I think this is great for 2 reasons, firstly I don't want troops because they are rubbish compared to the Elites and therefore I want more Elites because they are better than the Troops.

The detachment also allows you to call in your reserves from turn 1 rolling for them as normal on a 3+. However, if they come in by Deep Strike they can Battle Focus on the turn they arrive (run and shoot in same turn) which is great for getting closer to the enemy or spreading out a bit. Personally though I will only put my squads in Deep Strike reserve if I don't manage to somehow have the ability to cast Gate of Infinity on the squad because GK units are expensive and leaving a load of them off the board is risky even with the ability to come on turn 1. I've played many games where I've had multiple reserves not arrive until turn 4. Therefore starting them on the board and casting Gate to Deep Strike them into position is much better and you can throw loads of dice at it if you really need it to go off. This is of course if you haven't managed to roll warlord trait number 4.

That's it for the first post then. I'll be posting Matt's stuff up in the same order I usually do my reviews in so HQ will be next. There aren't a vast array of choices though so the generic and special HQs will all be rolled into one post. I hope you've enjoyed the first post. It's certainly been a nice break for me and given me some insight into GK to help me when I play them next (which is Thursday incidentally).

Sunday, August 24, 2014

7th Edition 40K - New Space Wolves - Logan Grimnar and Champions of Fenris Supplement

This is the final post in my review of the Space Wolves codex and I come to Logan Grimnar who is probably the most controversial model GW have released in a long time. The community seems to be split on what has been dubbed "Space Wolf Santa" but let's see if the rules might sway people. I'll also talk about the formation in the codex and the rules from the supplement.

Logan Grimnar
Frankly, most people took Logan in the old codex just for the chance to run an all terminator army as he made Wolf Guard troops. That rule has gone now but since everything is scoring it doesn't make much difference. Of course it stops you running more than three units of terminators though (outside of the the supplement - see below).

The man himself has dropped in points significantly but there's a reason for this. His Living Legend and High King abilities have been completely removed. It seems Logan has become a lot more selfish. Otherwise he's still an Eternal Warrior (with an extra wound thrown in) and has kept his other generic special rules. His warlord trait replaces his old saga, increasing its range to 12" and adding re-rolls for Pinning too. The Axe Morkai, like other frost weapons, now gives +2S making him S6 AP3 at initiative 5 which is great considering he gets 6 attacks on the charge. If you choose to use the two-handed version he's essentially got a power fist as before. Effectively he's still the same in combat then but he's lost the potential for Preferred Enemy that High King used to grant.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room then, his chariot (or sled depending on your view). It comes with a hefty price tag but is an AV12 3 HP vehicle with a 4++ save and also converts pens to glances. The wolves pulling his chariot also give him an extra four S5 AP- Rending attacks at I5. Of course this all means he's on his own though as he can't join units when mounted on Stormrider. It's worth having a read of the chariot rules at this point as they've changed from 6th. For example you can assign hits from shooting to either the chariot or Logan which can effectively give him a couple of extra wounds. Also you get D6 S6 HoW attacks on the charge. That makes him pretty badass if you ask me. He'll be pretty tricky to shift and will cover ground pretty quickly to smash into combat.

I guess it all comes down to whether you can stomach the model or not then. Personally the chariot is growing on my but I think I prefer the old Logan.

Great Company Formation
Before I move onto the supplement I just want to briefly talk about the only formation in the codex. It involves taking one of everything except TWC. There's quite a list of units there and even without upgrades you're talking around 1,000pts. Depending on the points limit that basically means this formation is your whole army. I personally find the formation a bit restrictive as there are units in there such as wolf scouts (and to an extent long fangs) that I probably wouldn't take. You get exactly the same benefits as the Wolves Unleashed detachment but also everything causes Fear (which is rarely useful) and has Furious Charge (which is pretty good). I'm just not sure Furious Charge is worth the restrictions. I'll have to give it a go at some point though I suppose.

Champions of Fenris Supplement
Alongside the release of the new Logan model came the Champions of Fenris supplement. This works like other supplements in that it has a slightly different FOC which comes with its own special rules, warlord traits and relics.

An army chosen with the formations or detachment in the supplement gets a few special rules. Sagaborn means all characters must issue or accept a challenge. It clarifies quite nicely that you can choose which character accepts but generally I'm not a fan of being forced to challenge. Of course, knowing this rule is in play you'd equip your characters accordingly. Also, it isn't as big of a deal as it was with the changes to challenges so that attacks spill over into the rest of the combat. What helps too is First Among Equals which gives wolf guard and TWC characters Preferred Enemy (Characters) in challenges.

Warlord Traits
There are some decent offerings here. Re-rolling a single saving throw every turn could be awesome for a 2+/3++ character. Re-rolling to wound isn't so great as you're already getting Preferred Enemy, like wise Master-crafted is only a minor buff at best. The last three are better giving Outflank, Fearless or Preferred Enemy to the warlord and his unit. Basically then a 50:50 chance of something useful which makes them better than the standard codex options most of the time. It's worth bearing in mind that you can still take traits from the codex or rulebook instead if you wanted.


  • Armour of Asvald Stormwrack - basically terminator armour with 4++ and IWND. Pricey for what it is when you consider you could have terminator armour with a shield for 10 pts less. 
  • Frostfury - assault 4 storm bolter with Helfrost. Not bad at all for the points and potentially removes enemy models.
  • Krakenbone Sword - perhaps a little pricey but AP2 is always nice and having it at normal initiative is great for those challenges.
  • Morkai's Claws - very expensive but I suppose only 50% more than a set of wolf claws and they have Rending and D3 extra attacks.
  • Pelt of Balewolf - depends on how it interacts with Daemonic Instability but I'd say most MCs are immune. Can't really see much point in taking it.
  • Fellclaw's Teeth - bit pricey when you consider you're getting Preferred Enemy a lot of the time anyway.
Generally speaking they're better than the codex relics but I still don't see a lot of point in splashing out on them in competitive play.

Company of the Great Wolf Detachment

This is essentially the mechanism for getting an army of terminators with 1 HQ and 2 Elites as the only compulsory requirements and a further 6 Elites been an option. Troops are limited to 3 units and you can take upto 4 HQ but there's still 3 fast, 3 heavy, 1 fort and 1 lord of war. Obviously you get Sagaborn and First Among Equals but in addition you get the standard trait re-roll (only on the supplement traits) plus the Kingsguard special rule which gives +1 WS to Wolf Guard and TWC.

Kingsguard Stormforce (Formation)
This formation consists of Logan on his chariot, some terminators in a land raider and a Stormfang in support. Basically "please buy the new Logan and flyer models". The formation gets First Among Equals, Kingsguard and Sagaborn plus the terminators get Furious Charge and a charge range re-roll when they hop out of the land raider. In addition you can have the Stormfang arrive when you want. That's pretty good for the Stormfang as you can guarantee to get it after an enemy flyer has arrived to try and take it out before it targets you.

Brethren of the Fell-Handed (Formation)
Just Bjorn and two ven dreads (which I'd be putting in drop pods) which get Sagaborn and Adamantium Will. The other two dreads get a 5++ save if they're within 6" of Bjorn and all three of them re-roll to hit in combat. That's pretty effective but it does force you to bring all of them down in the same part of the battlefield or, if you're brave enough, walk them up the field together.

Wolf Guard Voidclaws (Formation)
As you might expect this is just five terminators with wolf claws. They get First Among Equals, Sagaborn and Kingsguard and allow you to re-roll reserve rolls. In addition you can re-roll when they deep strike on the first turn. This is actually half tempting as you get to drop them in turn one but I'm not confident they'd survive long against a lot of armies. Reserve roll manipulation is nearly always a good thing though.

Grimnar's War Council (Formation)
Superfriends unit of Ulrik, Njal, a rune priest and an iron priest (although they can be split up). Personally I'd split them as they could give 4 units Fearless that way. If you do keep them as a unit and throw Logan in too they get Zealot but I don't think it's worth the trade. What's great is that you get to re-roll for deploying first and add 2 to Seize with the Wise Counsel rule. That alone makes this formation worthwhile to me as it could easily be game changing. Njal may not be especially great but the other characters are worth taking if you stick the Iron Priest on a thunderwolf (as I mentioned in the Elites section review).

Arjac's Shield Brothers (Formation)
Arjac with some TH/SS terminators in a land raider crusader. They get First Among Equals, Kingsguard and Sagaborn plus Hammer of Wrath. In addition they get Fearless whilst Logan is alive and Zealot if he's killled. They also get Shieldwall which is the same as the Deathwing Knights rule but if you make close combat invulvnerable saves on 6s you inflict S8 AP2 hits in return. That could be awesome against some units but isn't especially reliable.

Wolf Guard Thunderstrike (Formation)
10 wolf guard in a pod plus some terminators. The formation gets twin-linked on the turn they deep strike but all arrive on the same turn (single reserves roll). Pretty good if you're throwing a lot of melta into the units but with the increase in costs it soon gets pricey.

The Champions of Fenris (Formation)
An interesting idea this. Basically a formation of formations with all of the special rules from the individual ones plus some extra rules. This is all centred around the War Council. If Logan is alive they get re-rolls to hit in combat, if the iron priest is alive vehicles get IWND, if Njal is alive they get Ad Will and if Ulrik is allive they get Preferred Enemy. That's a pretty impressive combination of special rules but since you have to take one of each of the above formations it's probably a bit too restrictive. I might give it a try at some point just for the novelty.

As with all of the formations and detachments I feel like GW is basically trying to persuade you to buy models you probably wouldn't have. I don't see why Logan's company should have bonuses to TWC except to encourage you to buy them. Some of the formations are better than others but generally speaking I'm not a fan of being so restricted in my army selection. I'm very tempted to try them out though as the bonuses they give are too good to pass up.


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