40K: Grey Knight Daemonic Adversaries Return

The Grey Knights are getting a new Grand Master but they are also bringing some “friends” along…

With Rise of the Primarch the Grey Knights are getting a new character, a formation and a few extra rules to boot! But one of the more interesting things that’s coming along with them is the return of the Daemonic Adversary rules – now, these are OPTIONAL and both players must agree to use them. So keep that in mind before you start planning your Grey Knight buddies downfall…

image via Scanner (Spikey Bits)

The Adversary’s Warlord gets access to this chart which has a bunch of “fun” rules to mess around with. By default they get access the following special rules: Daemon, Fleshbane, Armourbane and Smash as well as a +3 invulnerable save!

They also get some optional upgrades (like becoming a Psyker if they weren’t already). And, depending on the faction, you can also get some new allies to accompany you.

There is also a 2d6 Daemonic Incursion chart with eleven more effects that can be applied. On the Adversary’s Psychic Phase, you roll 2d6 and add the turn number. The higher the roll, the better it is for the Adversary. These effects range from additional Warp Charges, to stat bumps, to improved saves all the way up to all their non-vehicle units gaining Daemon, Fearless and Furious Charge.

Again, I want to stress these are OPTIONAL and seem like they are designed to be used in a “narrative” play scenario. I doubt we’ll see these incorporated into some of the larger tournaments out there just due to the fact that they only apply to the player who is playing against the Grey Knights.

Overall, they seem interesting and really just force the Grey Knight players to fight a slightly more uphill fight. These rules and more can be found in Gathering Storm III: Rise of the Primarch.

The Gathering Storm: Rise of the Primarch $50


Cadia, the long-standing symbol of Imperial defiance against the relentlessly encroaching tides of Chaos, has fallen to the fury of Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade. Craftworld Biel-Tan has been shattered, along with the dreams of their restoration to prominence. Chaos is ascending – all across the galaxy, raging Warp storms cause havoc as reality itself twists in agony.

Hope, however, remains. An alliance of Ynnari and Celestinian forces has found common ground in their desire to ward off Chaos. These heroes of the Imperium and warriors of the Aeldari race through the webway to Macragge, there to attempt the unthinkable – awaken Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines, and seek his leadership in this desperate battle for nothing less than survival. The Storm Gathers…


Uphill or more balanced? Whatever your point of view, they are still optional! Unless your Tyranids…#SadTyrant

  • Daniel Oliver

    So GKs were already under-powered, and this book provides a “fun” way to make them be even more under-powered? Good thing I wasn’t hoping for any buffs for GK

    • Alienerd the unbannable

      With Space Marines of every colour in the rainbow (and then some), it’s par for the course that some are going to perform better than others. Grey Knights have a lot of things in their book that I know I’d want for a different army!

      • PewPewDakkaDakka

        True. But this is the first time that I know of that there are rules that can be used that don’t benefit your army. It’s an interesting direction to go in.

        I would actually give these rules are shot when playing against someone who’s list was sub-par to mine, but there are not a lot of armies that struggle vs GK.

        • Graham Bartram

          +1 for your sportsmanship.

        • Chumba

          Have a flick through the ork codex it’s full of rules that don’t benefit your army.

          • Matt Halkos


          • OctopusVolcano

            Or Tyranids 😅

  • generalchaos34

    wouldnt this give them a leg up because now they get to use all their fun anti-daemon powers and relics on any unit? The only problem is giving all the independent characters free psyker upgrades, since depending on the army and its ability to generate Independent characters (AM and Inq anyone?) it could get rediculous

    • Daniel Oliver

      It gives the GK a boost when fighting the ICs, but those characters now start with a 3++, and the Daemonic Incursion favours the Adversary.

  • Walter Vining

    a 3+ invul on my farseer and I can still use the runestone since I wont have to use my 4+! oh and I can summon demons to protect my wraithknight and scat bikes…
    I need to get some demons for the three GK players in my area

    • Daniel Oliver

      Making “friends” the Eldar/Daemon way! 😉

      • Walter Vining

        who needs friends? you can build more “friends” if you really needed them in your life 😛

        • PewPewDakkaDakka

          I like where your head is at.

  • DDisforDangerous

    I think a lot of people miss the point; this is mostly for fluff reasons. Normally I’d have a hard time justifying the Grey Knights fighting the Tau, now it’s a lot easier (ie. the Grey Knights want to kill a possessed Ethereal and so on).

    • Deacon Ix

      Unfortunately Tau, Genestealers and Nids are on the no go list.

      • Colton Krewson

        Only for the independent characters. For the Warlord, they still get all those boons, and they can still use Daemons as an ally of convenience.

        • Deacon Ix

          Ah true, after a couple of re-reads :-/

  • Mr.Gold

    Take a Baronial Court as an adversary (with the Baron as a warlord) a 2+ invulnerable save on the Baron if he is within close range of other knights… anyone, anyone??

    • Walter Vining

      and upgrade him to a lvl 2 psycher….a knight summoning demons….

      • PewPewDakkaDakka

        At least the GKs would then have something they could kill.

    • OldHat

      “Independent Characters” are specified in there. I am guessing this is for non-vehicle models, honestly.

  • Gañan

    It is a joke right?

  • LunaWolf

    Oh look, those “upgrade to a Summoning Expert” abilities that I wish Word Bearers got.

    • Sz

      Do they need it? I’ve witnessed a couple of games and holy crap can they bring the heat in the summoning game.

  • Ronin

    Optional rules for fluff games and players who treat the 40k game like RPG encounters rather than a football match. Reading is a fundamental skill.

  • Brad Parks

    Where are these “extra rules” that you speak of GK getting?

  • Chaosrex

    I find it funny that other armies need a GK rume to make them actually good…

    ok i’ll proclaim my kharn as the Deamonically possesed adversary…

  • Foehammer7977

    These rules are very, very similar to the rules present in the original daemonhunters codex years ago (the original reappearance of grey knights, I think it was 4th edition 40k). Basically GK not show up to fight your average pro invasion, so they gave rules to allow opponents to make their army “daemonic” to justify deployment of GK to fight them.

  • AnomanderRake

    …So instead of giving us a Primaris that’s useful against non-Daemon armies they’ve decided to just make all armies Daemon armies?

  • Patriarch

    They don’t seem a massive net bonus vs Grey Knights. All GK have preferred enemy: Daemons. Most of them have the “Banishment” power along with Daemonbane on their weapons, which has no in-game effect on anything which isn’t a daemon. Lots of their equipment has anti-daemon rules.

    This looks fairly balanced. The possessed side gets loads of cool options, but the GK are automatically improved becuase they get to use their special rules.

    My only disappointment is that GSC can’t use the rules. The original Genestealer Cults could quite specifically harbour deamonic possession. A Patriarch with a 3++, armourbane, and extra mastery levels seems like an appropriate adversary for Grey Knights who have the buffs to take him on.

    • Alexandre Ménard

      I agree that this sucks, but you could explain it by the fact that before in the lore, genestealer were a completely different specie, tyranids didn’t exist (in my opinion, this is sweet memories).

      Before, they were simply a psychic race, now they are a psychic extensions of a bigger thing (hive mind).

      But hey, these are optionnal rules that your adversay must agree to use. Ask him anyways, at this point, its more or less at the player’s discretion.