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40k: X vs Y – Orks vs Grey Knights – Let’s Krump ’em!

9 Minute Read
Oct 14 2011

Grey Knights are getting a lot of attention lately. I’m not sure why this is exactly, but the Orks have something to say about it…

Some people are still loving them as they are the latest full blown codex release (where’s the Sister love?) others just nerd rage against them because they over over powered or brokenz. I never really say any codex is broken, but acknowledge the codex creep power. But you’ve got to have something better than you previously sold or else it’s not going to sell, or at least as well.

Everyone knows about Space Wolves, Blood Angels and mostly Dark Eldar and how to use them, but what about the ever lovin’ Greenskins? As a horde army and with multi wound models Grey Knights can be a issue for them. Imperius Dominatus is going to investigated how my beloved Greenskins can tackle this grey menace which is taking over our table tops.

Before moving on I will tell you (dons flame proof suit) all that I play a typical Kan Wall list. I did previously play Battlewagon Rush as well, but I will cover the most popular Orky units to combat against the grey fiends. You may commence boo and hissing for my use of spam/net lists now (though I do like to add my own twist)… that’s out your system please cease 🙂

Grey Knights – know the grey scum

A recap on Grey Knights first.

* All have force weapons.
* All units have psychic powers, some annoying ones too.
* Plenty of mid range fire power.
* Cleansing flame.

Orks – time to bash ‘em

Warbosses are cool. They are cool because they can have a great big dirty S10 power klaw or a S9 big choppa (not a power weapon) and can seriously lay the smack down. Like any multi wound unit the Warboss has to fear the Grey Knights, especially if bringing a power klaw.

The problem with the Warboss is it’s a close combat unit and Grey Knights are just unfortunately better in close combat thanks to the force weapons. I’m not into tailoring lists, but if Grey Knights were heavy in your area then throw a big choppa on the Warboss. The Warboss would then strike at I5 (thanks to furious charge) and should be sent to batter units WITHOUT a halberd i.e Strike Squads. Sure the Grey Knights will get armour saves, but the Warboss needs 2+ to wound and can have 6 attacks on the charge, so is going to cause some damage. Ultimately you can kiss your Warboss good bye (damn force weapons) but at least he’s going to smack some Grey Knights before they smack him.


Big Mek
A Big Mek is basically a Nob. Popular wargear for a Big Mek is a kustom force field and that will do nicely against any force, not just Grey Knights. While the Big Mek isn’t going to do a huge amount to Grey Knights, it’s just best to stick with the KFF and use that to bounce off the Grey Knights lack of serious anti tank (in a pure G.K force at least).

I’m not a fan of this, but a shokk attack gun could really ruin some Grey Knights’ day. It’s AP2 so it’s going to melt power armour and force invulnerable saves on those pesky Terminators. Average 2D6 roll is 7 so should be wounding on a 2+.

I will say I’m not a fan of the Weirdboy. The powers are too random (and Orky) which makes it unpredictable and it can be easily gimped by psychic hoods, which many Grey Knight armies will have thanks to the awesomeness of the Librarian.

What the Weirdboy has is the frazzle and zzap powers which will fry Grey Knights dead. Frazzle is a S6 AP3 large blast and zzap is a S10 AP1 melta which auto hits a unit, I presume everyone in the unit will take a wound – can someone confirm?


Nobz & Meganobz
Both of these are cool units, but unfortunately against Grey Knights they are just going to get stomped.  Meganobz are a cheaper power klaw option, but slow and purposeful and lack of invulnerable save means they are easy to counter. Nobz have better variety in wargear, but can be costly.

Against Grey Knights both of them have the same weakness (which is also their strength) which is multi wounds. Force weapons would just make a meal out of them and for that reason I would leave either of these two units in your box.


I will firstly say I’m not a fan of these. Anything random and that has me second guessing or have no control over is not for me. But I appreciate that some people do like them.

We all know mech is king at the moment, but a lot of people who play the game don’t actually realise this. More often than not you will see people still playing old “4th ed” lists which contain about 4 vehicles maximum. If I remember the Tankbustas rule right they must fire at the closest visible tank unit. Lets say the Grey Knight player has limited mech, Tankbustas would be handy with the S8 rokkits but you want them firing at what you want them to fire at, not a shaken Rhino or Land Raider. Instead hide them behind terrain which blocks their LOS, now they cannot see anything. Use other units to knock out the limited mech and then Tankbustas gib the Grey Knights with ap3 rokkits. I know it’s not the best idea, but I would rather have them actually having better chances to kill power armour than blowing up a Rhino which actually isn’t a thorn in my side.

These are really going to upset Grey Knight players. Against normal Space Marine mech (Rhino & Razorback) they can do damage and against Chimeras they struggle but can get the job done. Against infantry they will mostly wound on a 2+ putting a bucket load of wounds on a unit.

In normal circumstances I would say stun locking a vehicle with Lootas is enough and sets up Orks ready to for assault, but get this idea out your head against Grey Knights as it’s not going to work that often – damn fortitude! Instead hope to pop the vehicles leaving the Grey Knights exposed, use another unit of Lootas to torrent them to pieces. If a max unit of Lootas (15) gets the max shots (45) that’s more than likely going to be maul a Strike Squad.


Ork Boyz
Boyz do combat and do it with numbers to back them up. The key to winning combat is swamping the enemy with numbers and high amount of attacks. In the end the Boyz will whittle down the enemy unit simply because they cannot kill all the Boyz. Against Grey Knights this will work to some degree.
Shoota Boyz are probably the best option to take against Grey Knights. In combat the Orks don’t care about the force weapons as they will die anyway. Also there is probably not going to be a huge amount of difference from their normal leather jacket 6+ save. Lets take a full unit of 30 Boyz inc Nob and throw in 3 x big shootas. If my math is correct that’s 49 x S4 shots (Nobz’ pistol) and 9 x S5 shots.  Again if my math is correct (and rounding) that’s 3 dead Grey Knights from shootas and about one dead from a big shoota so 4 in total. That’s only 6 Grey Knights for the Orks to batter in combat.

* A lamentable note on Purifiers
Purifiers are a hordes worst nightmare. Even a single Purifier could possibly kill half a horde (average) before the horde even slaughters the single survivor. Against Purifiers I would shoot them to death with everything you’ve got. I would only charge them if you have enough Boyz to absorb possible cleansing flame wounds and if you don’t fancy getting counter charged next turn.

Fast Attack

Perhaps one of the best Ork units in the codex. The tactics of a Deffkopta stay the same (which I am sure you all know anyway) against Grey Knights, you just need to be more selective of your targets.
Grey Knights bulk of fire power is mid range (24”) so a ‘Kopta alpha strike, scoring immobilised, wrecked or destroyed would put a (Big Mek’s) spanner in a Grey Knights plans. As usual the ‘Kopta will be a suicide unit and distraction and will die to the Grey Knights in their following turn.


What a Deffkopta would be more suited for is acting as a tar pit unit. Grey Knight players love Dreadnoughts thanks to the cheap ‘psynought’ (my own funky name!) setup, this usually includes double twin-linked autocannons with psybolt ammo. Use the Kopta to assault the Dreadnought and keep the thing tied up. With the lack of a DCCW the Dreadnought will spent several turns attempting to take out the Kopta, which will let your Orks advance with limited Grey Knight Dreadnought fire power coming their way.

I’ve used Buggies before and they didn’t work for me, I do prefer the Deffkopta, but I can see they suit mech lists i.e Battlewagons nicely.

To be honest there’s nothing really new I can tell you about the Buggy. It’s going to work like it always does and that’s tackling vehicles and gibbing infantry.

Heavy Support

Ah the deffrolla-ing infantry shooting platform that is the Battlewagon. A true Grey Knight force lacks serious anti tank. Sure they can take the expensive las Razorbacks and use up valuable points, but usually a true G.K force has psycannons – buckets of them. Battlewagons are av14 front and av12 side so as long as you keep that front armour onwards the Grey Knights will struggle. Sure the rending psycannons can pop av14, but they need to hit, roll a 6+ to rend and then get a 3+ again to damage – Orks get the KFF save and then the Grey Knights need a 4+ again to wreck the Wagon (open topped). My point is before anyone says anything is that’s a lot of dice to roll for the Grey Knight player. It’s pretty much the same on the side armour 12 as well, 6+ to pen.

Speed up in the Battlewagons keeping the front armour on, attack a single flank leaving some of the G.K’s fire power out of range. Deffrolla vehicles and infantry (maybe instagib some Paladins?) and if you’ve moved 6” use shootas from the Boyz to whittle units down or finish them off.

Big Gunz
Yes you in the back, you may laugh but the Big Gunz ain’t too bad. The zzap gun is probably the best here (normally I wouldn’t advocate taking it) but it’s AP2 and 2D6 strength, so hopefully 7 then. It’s going to kill power armour and force invulnerable saves on Terminators. If you’re lucky you might get S8+ which can instagib Paladins too.

Killa Kanz and Deff Dreads really annoy Space Marines, that also includes Grey Knights as well. Both walkers come with DCCWs and a decent amount of attacks. This means they can destroy combat squads and maul large units without risk or low risk of taking any damage in return. Realistically what has a Grey Knight got to combat against walkers in assault? *Hammerhand? Oh I’m shaking, you’re S5 and can glance the Kanz at best. Krak grenades? That’s a 6+ to hit then mate. Daemon hammer? Ok I’m paying more attention, but the walkers still strike first leaving a mauled unit before that hammer even strikes.

* Hammerhand will only be a worry say if using multiple casts of the power and other modifiers. Hammerhand on a daemon hammer is only slightly better than not using hammerhand and only mildly increases the chance of damaging a walker.

No doubt the best anti Grey Knight load out is the kustom mega blaster. S8 AP2 will kill power armour dead, force invulnerable on Terminators and can instagib Paladins. Not to mention gets hot! doesn’t affect vehicles either so boo ya 😛 . Get a couple of shots in and maybe kill a single Marine thanks to Orks crappy shooty, then wade in with DCCW and laugh as the Grey Knights can do very little and smash them to bitz – ho ho ho.


Oh, I would just like to point out in case I wasn’t clear that I do not advocate taking a KMB. It’s just giving a option 😉 I’d probably go more DCCW.


I will say that I am not a Grey Knight player and accept that some of these tactics may not be correct. I do play Orks and have done since their current codex came out. All the tactics I have mentioned above is what I would do in the circumstances and you may have some different tricks up your sleeve.

In summary how to defeat Grey Knights or at least give them a good run for their money is to really shoot them to death with high rates of fire power. This can be tricky for Orks because of the crap shooting, but they have loads of shooting which make up for and as Grey Knights are a small elite army this could be damaging over all.

You need to select your targets correctly and get your firing orders sorted to make the most of the situation. Now get krumpin!

I hope this helps any Ork players struggling to beat Grey Knights and that it gives food for thought and ideas. If you have any anti Grey Knight tactics for Orks, or just want to say how your Greenskins beat Grey Knight face then let me know!

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