Kirby here, with my thoughts on pure Grey Knights in Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition.
Yes, I’ve been missing. I’m sure none of you have cared but for those of you who did, thanks? 3++ is back up and running on a new server with a new layout, etc. but we’re still working on the bugs! Anyway, 6thedition is in full swing now and I’m happy to say I’m pleasantly surprised how it is unfolding. There are still some niggling issues but 5thedition wasn’t perfect either and I’m loving the creation of army lists currently as there is so much to be explored. Add in new Chaos and JOY!
So, at the time of this posting I’ll have played two 6thedition tournaments (both 1750 points) and that’s what these posts are going to look at (in two parts). They were radically different with one not allowing Allies or secondaries with the other allowing Allies and using BYB missions with some minor modifications to minimise the randomness (i.e. set positions for objectives in the Scouring). I took pure Grey Knights to the first and Tau with Space Wolves allies to the second.
Anyway, I am going to look at how I feel the armies used interacted with 6th edition with links to Battle Reports to give pictorial examples. Post one will be looking at the Grey Knights and post two will be looking at the Tau + Space Wolves.
Grey Knight Tournament
I’m sure there will be a bunch of whining with Grey Knights because they were so OP in 5th… Please note the sarcasm. The concept of the Grey Knight army fits well into 6th edition where infantry and vehicles support each other and although some of their biggest advantages (i.e. stormbolters on infantry, Fotitude, etc.) have been hedged, they are still a very solid army and hopefully people will whine less about them (I doubt it but I can hope, too).
So the army list:
Coteaz2x10x Strike Knights w/2x Psycannon, MC Hammer, Rhino2x5x Strike Knights w/Psycannon, Razorback w/Psybolt Ammunition8x Psykers, 4x Acolytes, 3x Plasma Guns, Chimera w/Searchlight8x Psykers, 3x Acolytes, 2x Plasma Guns, Chimera w/Searchlight3x Dreadnought w/2x twin-linked autocannons, Psybolt Ammunition
So the first thing which should jump out is the number of Troops we are utilising, the number of vehicles but the general cheapness and efficiency of the vehicles and the reduction in general unit numbers (i.e. the army is less MSU than it was before). I played against Necrons, Daemons, Imperial Guard, Grey Knights and Necrons – battle reports linked with detailed analysis. Let’s look at how I thought the army played with key points highlighted.
Generalists – Grey Knights are the all-rounder army like any Marine based force. This is highlighted by excellent shooting and the ability to beat other generalists in combat if they get the charge off due to Force Weapons. They suck in protracted combats or being charged though, particularly without the specific units which are good at this (and I have none of them) so it’s very much a counter-attack role. This was essentially highlighted throughout most of my games as against armies with weaker basic infantry (i.e. Guard, Necrons), I was able to push into midfield where I wanted to be and continue on up into the opposing armies in combat. Against the other armies (i.e. Grey Knights, Daemons) I was able to maintain my shooting supremacy and did not need to commit to combat unless necessary. This was one of the major reasons not having Allies was significant as armies with such weaknesses were unable to defend themselves appropriately if their army wasn’t built right or poor strategy was used (Games 1 & 3).
In the end the army was designed to be a shooting force first with combat used as a clear-out option – this worked well in the single army environment of the tournament and the huge lack of significant terrain.
Vehicles – I love how there seems to be a general consensus that vehicles are done in 6th. They’re not – they’ve just changed significantly. If you’re running 12 LasPlas Razorbacks then ya, it seems like vehicles suck but if you’re running cheap and efficient vehicles (i.e. Rhinos, Psybacks, Chaos Rhinos with Havocs, Chimeras, etc.) or vehicles which are quite durable whilst bringing significant firepower (i.e. Vendettas, Predators/Vindicators, Night Scythes, Barges, Russes, Dreadnoughts, etc.) they do just fine. You can’t spend as many points on them as you used to be able to and expensive vehicles are less likely to see use because of this – they become dead weights when it comes to actually determining a victor in objective missions, but they are still very useful tools.
In many of the games at this tournament we saw the vehicles being a deciding factor simply in their ability to protect my units, disrupt and block my opponent’s movement or shooting lanes and the ability to move infantry units faster. Add in they all brought extra firepower on the cheap (i.e. 3xtwin-link S6 shots for 50 points, 3xS6/3xS5 shots for 55 points, 4xtwin-link S8 shots for 135 points, etc.) and they were able to contribute substantially to games without taking away from my ability to win games. Roughly 40% of my points were sunk into vehicles and I’d say this is a bit on the high side but there are still plenty of points left over for other units.
And this is because their role was understood within the context of 6th edition.
Assaults – Assault still runs second fiddle to shooting and probably always will unless consolidating into combat becomes a thing again or cover saves are a 2+. Shooting improved drastically with general cover reductions (and yes they are easier to get but they were generally there for good players in 5th anyway) but Assault is just that little bit more of a worry during list design. Assaults can come from nowhere from all units now and no longer is hiding in vehicles a reliable defense mechanism (as seen in Game 5).
Boots on the ground – In conjunction with the bit about vehicles, having enough infantry actually capable of standing around outside of transports is very important. With 30 Marines in midfield and 23 Guardsmen-like models in the backfield (+ Coteaz of course) I had over 50 models capable of scoring with over half of them quite durable. We saw in the games where the Guardsmen-like models were forced outside of transports they died pretty quickly (Game 3, Game 4, Game 5) but the combination of the two generally allowed a significant portion of those models to live until the end of games to score. This is really important as no longer can you have teeny tiny weak units (i.e. 3x Acolytes) as your only scoring. If you had 30-40 Marines supporting four units of such Acolytes, that is more likely to work but you now NEED those larger scoring units which can exist outside of transports. This army had that and this advantage was shown in Game 1 and Game 3.
Overall I felt the army worked very well within the concept of that tournament – i.e. no Allies. Throw in Allies and the issues which were apparent for some of my opponents (i.e. Game 1 and Game 3) could be reversed upon me. I’m still not sure on the Psykers – S10 AP1 blasts are pretty nifty but even without Psychic Hoods they are pretty unreliable on Ld8 combined with being a Blast and Deny the Witch rolls. I think they are the most likely to be swapped out when one starts looking at Allies for such a list which could render Coteaz less useful despite his Psychic utility.
The vehicles played a key role in many of my games. Vehicles may have gotten much more reliable to kill in general and far easier to access (i.e. WS1 in combat) but they are still very useful support pieces as long as they are purchased correctly.
The main question and difficulty for me currently is finding an appropriate Allies template which I can migrate into this list without disrupting the synergy of what the key elements of the army are bringing (i.e. the Strike Knights + Dreadnoughts).
All in all was a nice to start off 6th edition with a tournament win. Next post will look at how the Tau + SW army went in what is hopefully a tougher gaming environment (local state ‘Masters’ event). It’s a radically different list style to what I used this tournament and an army I haven’t pulled out since early 5th edition…
What’s your take on Grey Knights so far?