With a new Grand Master on the way are the Grey Knights going to come back to the tabletop in force?
Grey Knights were considered by many to be the Kings of 5th Edition (or the nail in the coffin to others). With their plethora of high strength shooting, Space Marine-like saves, and devastating close-combat options they were a powerhouse army. However, over time they have fallen from that top-tier spot and have landed somewhere in the malleable middle-tier. This is very noticeable if you look at the faction breakdown from LVO:
Only 8 players took them as the primary detachment. Now, they may have been in other armies as allies, but the main trend here is that a once dominate and meta-shaping army is no where near what it used to be in terms of representation.
Now, let’s take a look at the new boss in town – Grand Master Aldrik Voldus:
Voldus is going to form 1/3rd of the Triumvirate of the Primarch. That means you know he’s going to have some pretty bonkers rules. If GW wants to make him really good they will allow him to swing his force hammer on an initiative other than 1. He’s going to be a powerful Librarian as well and he’s coming stock with Terminator Armor to boot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has some other abilities to help out in the psychic phase.
It would make sense considering Guilliman isn’t known for his psychic prowess and Cypher has always been more of a lone-gunman type. The other two Triumvirates have some cool psychic abilities (or psychic counters) so maybe Voldus is going to fill that role.
But what does this mean for the Grey Knights out there? To figure that out, let’s take a look at why they fell out of favor to begin with. I think what really hurt the Grey Knights were some of the changes to allies and the way regular Space Marines have gotten a lot of “the love” lately. I think the crippling amount of fire power that other armies are able to generate has also really hurt the Grey Knights as well. Considering they have the roughly the same types of saves as Marines but cost more points per model that could be a factor.
Also, because of that shift to ranged firepower, armies that did well in close-combat have become less popular. Hammer Hand is GREAT…have fun trying to get into close-combat. Oh – and lets not get started about formation envy…
Maybe having a new character that will breathe life into that faction. Voldus could be a cool “rallying cry” type model for Grey Knights to form-up around. Perhaps we’ll see a new Grey Knight formation that could also help them out. I know quite a few players that have Grey Knight Armies just waiting to take the tabletop – all they need is a little spark of hope. Maybe Gathering Storm III: Rise of the Primarch will be that spark!
What do you think about the Grey Knights? If you’re a Grey Knight player what are you hoping Voldus will bring to the table?