Three and a half years after 8th began, half a year into 9th, Grey Knights are the last Marines who cannot use Primaris marines – Houston, we’ve got a problem.
Primaris Marines are GW’s new golden boys – the Stormcast Eternals of the Grimdark, with an ever expanding product line. They have finally eclipsed Classic Marines with their large new range and codex, and are the new defacto standard.
But guess who can’t take Primaris units:
- Grey Knights
When 8th launched, the Deathwatch also couldn’t use Primaris models, but GW fixed that in a big way in their codex. In fact, the only “faction” now I can find that is Classic Marines only outside of Grey Knights is… no one. The “no Primaris club” used to be:
- Grey Knights (still waiting)
- Deathwatch (got Primarised)
- Legion of the Damned (unremembered in the last two Marine codexes)
Why No GK Primaris?
GW has been drawing an ever increasing circle around who gets Primaris Marines, as well as expanding the line of Primaris units themselves. Over the last two years we have seen first the “standard Space Marine codex” start off with Primaris, then the Space Wolves, Dark Angels and Blood Angels got theirs. In time the Deathwatch reinforcements arrived as well.
Now we sit after a year of non-stop Marine Codexes for 8th and 9th, and a full round of Supplementals. The new codexes have greatest expanded the Primaris range and spread them far and wide to the smaller niche armies such as Deathwatch.
But Grey Knights are fundamentally different. They are ALL psykers. They use very different locally manufactured equipment, have very different rules and specialized vehicles like the Dreadknight. More importantly, they are super-dooper secret and have a publicly unknown purpose of fighting Chaos. One could argue that adding all the Primaris units would go against the theme of the Grey Knight list and pull them closer to a standard marine list. So a 9th Edition style Supplemental Codex seems like the wrong decision.
I say “It Is Time”
But on the other hand, while I think that some specific Primaris units we’ve seen so far should not be given to Grey Knights, the concept of Primaris Grey Knights is a winner. If GW were to make some new Primaris models in Grey Knight armor, and have new datasheets for specific units with Grey Knight equipment and Primaris stats – that’s just a sign of the times.
While some “generic” units like the Infiltrators and Eliminators don’t fit the Grey Knight Aesthetic, many more do. The Grey Knight list itself is small, and only a handful of GK units need to be remade in Primaris form.
A single Grey Knight Upgrade sprue could do it. One frame with Grey Knight shoulderpads, heads, and lots of their exotic weapons and wargear could transform a handful of existing units like Intercessors Aggressors and others into Primaris Psychic counterparts to the Strike, Terminator, Paladin, Purifier, Interceptor, and Purgation squads. Heck, maybe Grey Knights could be the army to save Suppressors, if they were armed with exotic Psybolt armed weapons? If you want to be really fancy, glam up the Dreadknight with a Primaris pilot bit. Make sure the sprue has a handful of GK logos and bits to dress up the grav vehicles and you’re ready to roll! Just throw the sprue into the existing Primaris kit and rebox them – done.
The Librarian Excuse
Back in 2017 when 8th Edition was launched, GW was asked on their FB page about Grey Knight Primaris marines and said there were not enough psykers in the Primaris aspirants to make them useful to the GKs. Well with the arrival of Phobos Librarians, Primaris Tiggie, and Mephiston in the last year, along with the “Primaris are everywhere” vibe of 9th Edition, I’d say that excuse doesn’t hold water anymore.
The Time is Right
It’s almost 2021, and GW is slowly slogging through the updated codexes. Remember that Codex Grey Knights was one of the very first ones out of the gate – rushed out with little fanfare in early August 2017, the month after 8th launched. Only the GrandMaster in a Dreadknight unit was added to expand the army. They have languished in the bottom tier of the game’s meta for a long time.
The Grey Knights did get some love in Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned. The combination of Masters of the Warp, new Strats, a new Discipline, and Relics went a long way to restoring the army’s power, but it’s not enough. Like the old 3rd edition Dark Eldar range that soldiered on for too many editions before being totally replaced, the Grey Knight list looks more like a living fossil on the tabletop in 9th edition. It’s time to give the game back one of it’s previous elite armies – and that road should lead to Primaris units. It’s time.
~Do you think the Grey Knights will get Primaris units in 9th Edition- hopefully soon into 2021?