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).


  1. Thanks for the article, I´ll be waiting for the rest, but it does have a goof. You cannot double cast Hammerhand on a unit. In 7th, you cannot even attempt to cast the same power twice.

    1. Grimne, I think the idea is that hammerhand grants the psyker and the unit +2 strength, and thus if both an IC and the unit cast it seperately then it is cumulative. Please someone correct me if wrong but that's how I interpret it from the book.

      Nice review Matt - much more in depth than my overview. Several things I hadn't even considered, such as the 5 power combo possibility on the Librarian. I think a stave and hammer are pretty much mandatory on units now to give them that bolstered psychic resilliance and high strength AP2. Totally agree on the ranged loadouts and think incinerators on power armour may be a good cheap option, especially if you can reliably teleport them in / move them upfield. Don't forget soul blaze on incinerators. Look forward to the next installment!

    2. Thanks for the comment Grimne. You are correct, a single unit cannot benefit from the same blessing twice in one turn even if cast from 2 different sources (BRB p26 under blessings). I had completely overlooked this rule in 7th and I am glad you have raised it now rather than me plan to use it and find out that I can't during a tournament game!!

    3. Whoops, apologies Grimne. Made the same error. Still those subtle 7th ed changes to make note of. Still, s6 swords, s7 halberds, s8 mauls and s10 hammers seem fine!

      Matt, what do you make of the halberd and sword changes as they've stirred up quite the hornets nest amongst some GK players.


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