Saturday, April 23, 2011

First Impressions of the Grey Knights

So the Grey Knight codex has been out for a few weeks now and the internet is ablaze with the usual this-new-codex-is-overpowered-GW-broke-40K type of thing. Well I know I'm not the first to say it but they really aren't as unstoppable as the general consensus seems to make them. I'll do a proper Know Thy Enemy about them at some point when I've had more time to fully read the codex but for now here's a rough idea.

On the face of it they seem pretty ridiculous. We've got Space Marines who (nearly) all have force weapons making anything with multiple wounds and no Eternal Warrior seem a bit flimsy (this means you thunder wolf cavalry). Most of their units have the option of Force Halberds for a minimal points cost giving them Initiative 6. They also have pyscannons which are essentially S7 assault cannons. Don't get me started on dreadknights!

However, I've had a few games against them since their release and I've managed 1 crushing defeat, 1 very close draw and a clear win. Now the defeat was the first time I'd played them and I didn't understand what they were all about. I think we've gotten very used to seeing very assault orientated SM armies with the Wolves and BA releases. However, GK are NOT an assault army and should be treated accordingly. Now that may come as a surprise to some people since they look very much like they should be assaulting with their snazzy nemesis weapons but the real strength of the GK list is in it's firepower.

The GKs work best if they're shooting at you. All of their power armoured squads can put out a ridiculous amount of firepower at 24" or less and can take a large number of psycannons. Grey Knights want you to avoid combat with them so they can pile even more shots into you, don't give them the satisfaction. Incidentally, it'd be interesting to play against them with IG and see how they deal with a shooty army.

Anyway, to cut a ramble short, the key thing is to try and get into combat with them as soon as possible. Grey Hunters are still devastating on the charge and if you stay locked in combat that's another turn they're not shooting you. Their squads are likely to have smaller numbers than you but your transports aren't going to last very long, although thanks to poor range on most of their weapons you won't have to go far to get into combat with them. Once you're in combat you'll discover that, when charged, they mostly only get 1-2 attacks each and without many re-rolls they're not going to get a ton of hits through. Don't get me wrong you're going to lose hunters but accept it and play the long game.

There are, in my opinion, two units that will really stand out against Grey Knights. Firstly the flavour of the month lone wolf with chain fist and storm shield will give them a headache with a 3++ and eternal warrior. Granted your FNP is going to be mostly useless though. Lone wolves should scare dreadknights and give land raiders something to think about.

I scored a shock victory against Matt's Grey Knights using Orks. In this game the star of the show was a deff dread who was ignored in favour of shooting at my trukks. Granted I can't see Matt making that mistake again but what a mistake it was. The dread walked through several terminators causing them to flee taking Draigo off the table with them. The only model they had any hope with, the hammer, rolled a 1 for armour penetration and paid dearly. The lack of power fists really hampers the GK's ability to deal with dreadnoughts. OK so you should be careful of them around the dreadknights but they going to be pretty nasty otherwise.

The important think to take from this post is that you shouldn't think about having a shooting match like you can against over armies. Pile headlong into combat and do your best to get the charge. You should easily outnumber them, and if not you should combine units so that you do. Expect to lose men but accept it and prove they aren't as overpowered as they appear. 

Oh and a pair of rune priests really upsets them!! Anyway, back to painting my army for Blog Wars....

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