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40k: Grey Knights Codex Review – HQs

7 Minute Read
Apr 21 2011
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Here’s the first article of a long review of the Grey Knights codex. I’ve broken it down so it’s easier to digest and will go over each FoC slot separately and then at the end work out some lists. Here’s the HQs not including special characters 😉

Grey Knight Grand Master

This guy is rocking in at 175 points with more or less the same stats as a Space Marine Captain except is BS6. Standard wargear gets you an Iron Halo which should be noted goes in combo with the included Nemesis force sword giving 3+ invulnerable on the Grand Master, who btw comes in Terminator armour standard 😉 . He also comes with psyk-out grenades which make Daemons and Psykers being assaulted I1, pretty handy. Hammerhand is the standard psychic power like all Grey Knight units and comes with psychic communion which can give you +1 or -1 reserve bonus, this power is cast at the start of the movement turn which makes the Grand Master almost a must have in any all deepstriking Grey Knight army. It should be noted that this power does stack with other reserve abilities.

The Grand Master does come with one very cool special rule; grand strategy. At the start of the game you nominate a unit type i.e infantry and roll a D3. That number of units you have chosen equal to the D3 can have a particular role:

Hammer of Righteousness – Nominated units can re-roll to wound rolls of a 1 through out the game. Not that awesome if you ask me, just re-rolling 1’s but it does work in shooting and assault. There is better…

Shield of Blades – Chosen unites get counter attack which can be very handy as Grey Knights have LD9 so should pass a leadership test when using counter attack and all have power weapons, so if anyone does decide to assault say a normal Grey Knight unit then they will be in for a surprise with those Grey Knights not getting two attacks, add in Nemesis halberds and they will be I6 most likely going first giving the charging enemy a battering before they even strike with extra attacks.

Spear of Light – Units selected get the scout special rule which can be handy for any outflanking say with Purgation squads with mass incinerators to get pesky camping units or maybe useful for an Interceptor squad who can use there special “shunt” teleport move in the scout phase, though this depends how you view RaW.

Unyielding Anvil – Makes the units claim objectives if they was troops, so you fancy a objective claiming Dreadknight? Sure you do 😉

 The Grand Master has the usual Grey Knight wargear such as incinerator, psycannon the assorted nemesis weapons and selection of grenades amongst other things. The Grand Master can take a orbital relay which are a choice of different orbital bombardments, however all are either heavy/ordnance and you cannot use any of them if you move, which is a bummer, plus they always scatter which isn’t a good thing for 50 points.

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Grey Knight Brother Captain

The Captain is a slightly toned down version of the Grand Master with BS5 instead of BS6 but that’s all the difference in stats. The big difference is the Captain doesn’t get the grand strategy rule, but is 25 points cheaper so you really have to think do you need/want the Grand Masters funky abilities. More importantly, the Captain has the psychic communion power which plays with reserves something definitely required for a deepstriking force.

The Captain has exactly the same wargear choices as the Grand Master except for mastery level 2 which may or may not be a issue depending if you want to use the hammerhand power. I guess it depends when your reserves have arrived.

Brotherhood Champion

The Brotherhood Champion is like a Black Templars Emperors Champion but only has a single wound and no attacks, let me tell you about the attacks though 😉

The Champion gets the Titan’s Herald special rule which lets him and the squad the Champion has joined re-roll to hit in combat. He also gets the Perfect Warrior special rules which substitutes for the attacks which have different fighting stances. You can land a single attack on every enemy model in base contact or parry the opponents strike and re-roll failed saves but cannot attack back and can do something called rapier strike which the Champion makes D3 attacks that turn but are I10 but must be directed at a single monstrous creature or I.C.

One final rule the Champion has it heroic sacrifice which is a psychic power, basically if the Champion dies you can make a single attack back if you pass the psychic test, it the attack hits (only a model in base contact) then the enemy model is removed from play.

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Librarian

The old favorite Librarian is pretty much the same flavor as other Marine codexes but standard comes with terminator armor and mastery level 2 as a psyker – making the Librarian a epistolary which costs 150 points which I think is a bargain.

The Librarian has same wargear more or less as the other two HQ choices except has the option of a teleporter homer which is very important in a deep striking Grey Knight army.

Onto the juicy bit, psychic powers. These you have to pay 5 points each for which isn’t too bad.

Dark Excommunication – This power is cast in the assault phase and any daemonic gifts will cease to work. So bye bye Bloodletter hellblades, Slaanesh rending claws, soporific musk my list goes on..

Might of Titan – Used in the assault phase a single friendly unit within 6″ or the Librarian and one he is with gets +1 strength and additional D6 for armour penetration. This does stack with hammer hand so multiple S6 attacks on vehicles, like having krak grenades but more attacks and 2D6 armour penetration. Against infantry laying the smack down wounding mostly on a 2+, use this power with nemesis halberds and you will be I6 S6!

Quicksilver – This gives a unit within 6″ or the unit the Librarian is with and himself  I10, bring it on Keepers of Secrets!

Sanctuary – Any models within 12″ of the Librarian attempting to assault Grey Knights units from the codex treat all terrain as difficult and dangerous. It’s also handy to note the keywords are “friendly units from Grey Knights codex” which means this will benefit Inquisition units etc.

The Shrouding – Gives units within 6″ the stealth rule, if the unit isn’t in cover a 6+ cover save. The power is used in the opponents shooting phase like the Shield of Sanguinus power of the Blood Angels.

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Smite – As per Space Marine codex.

The Summoning –  This power can pull a friendly unit from the battlefield and reinsert them within 6″ of the Librarian using deep strike rules. Sounds cool and can be useful if the unit has a lot of power i.e Purgation squads, make sure you take a teleporter homer on the Librarian so if you try this trick units won’t scatter onto your own Librarian!

Vortex of Doom – As per Space Marine codex.

Warp Rift – This is a psychic shooting attack in the form of a template, the unit must take a initiative test for every model hit, for every test failed a model is removed no armor saves. Auto scores penetrating hit on a vehicle. Handy power, especially against lower initiative models like Imperial Guard for example or slow Daemons i.e Nurgle ones. The auto penetrate a vehicle is nice, get a 5+ or 6+ and that vehicle is done for – bye bye Land Raider and Monolith with the right rolls.

Inquisitors

There’s a choice of three Inquisitors; Ordo Malleus, Ordo Hereticus and Ordo Xenos. All have the same stats and cost the same points. It’s the wargear which slightly separates these guys.

Wargear is mostly the same though each has a few unique items i.e Malleus gets a nullrod etc. All can be upgraded to level 1 psykers taking hammerhand or psychic communion, very handy if you don’t fancy paying 150 points on a Brother-Captain and you still want to play with reserves for say 55 points 😉 .

If I am reading it right you can only take a unit of henchmen with a Inquisitor, the words say “For each Inquisitor in your army you may include a unit of 3-13 henchmen.” Which means no funky monkeys without a Inquisitor as a HQ. As a bonus the henchmen don’t take a elite slot if you do take them 😉

Summary

Some interesting choices in the HQ and got plenty of choices. All are pretty decent and cost reasonable points. The wargear options are plentiful and to be honest I don’t think any or much of the wargear will be useless or not wanted like you get in some older codexes.

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I think the Grand Master does what the Brother-Captain can do except has the funky grand strategy rule. You will need to decide if you need any of those abilities in your army and is it worth costing a extra 25 points over the Brother-Captain. I would consider the Grand Master strongly taking note of the grand strategy ability. If you don’t need any of those then a Brother-Captain is the way forward…

The Brotherhood Champion is the cheapest Grey Knight HQ but doesn’t really do a lot in my opinion. Only a single wound HQ sure has 2+ armour save 4+ invulnerable and the funky force weapon but just fail one save and the Champion is dead. Adds a nice benefit to a close combat unit, but worth 100 points? I am not too sure…

The Librarian will probably just as popular in the G.K codex as in other codexes, the psychic hood does really help but it’s going to be the range mostly which covers half the width of the table. With all Grey Knights having the aegis special rule all can potentially stop psychic powers, or ones targeted at them to be more specific. What the hood does is stop all psychic powers targeted at the Grey Knights or not. One piece of wargear which is important is the teleporter homer, as these aren’t common in the codex and a deep striking army will find this very useful, particularly a Librarian using the summoning power.

The Inquisitors are probably the best buy in the codex. They’re the cheapest HQ choices and allow you to take the latest rave; everyone’s favorite space monkeys – the Jokaero Weaponsmith. The best thing about the Inquisitors is they can play with reserve rolls like the Brother-Captain and Grand Master for a third of the points cost. You want cheap reserve bonus rolls these are your guys.

All in all I can see the Grand Master being a popular choice depending on some tactics you have in mind for the grand strategy rule. The Brother-Captain I cannot see being used much, even with him being cheaper than the Grand Master but doesn’t add anything more and the real benefit the Captain brings is the reserve roll fun which a Inquisitor can bring for a lot less cheaper. I think the Librarian will be as popular as ever and with the right wargear can even be a bit of a power house in combat.

You can find a guide to nemesis force weapons here: A guide to nemesis force weapons

Which HQ you prefer? A Grey Knight power house or a cool Inquisitor?

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