Codex Grey Knights Review Part 2 – Troops and Elites

Greetings!

Following on from our HQ and General Rules’ review, Apollo and I are back and it’s time to take a look at the Troops and Elites sections. What’s gone? What’s changed? What’s new? Let’s crack on!

Troops

One thing before we begin, Psybolt Ammunition is completely gone. I’m too upset to comment, lets move on…

Apollo:  I weep with you, brother.

Grey Knight Strike Squad

Strike Squad

What’s changed?

Base squad points increased by 10pts (Still 20pts per model(pm) though), Incinerator decreased by 15pts, Psycannon increased by 5pts, Psilencer increased by 10pts, Halberd decreased by 3pts, Falchions decreased by 6pts, Hammers no change and Warding Stave decreased by 20pts!
The Justicar now has access to Meta Bombs, Digital Weapons and a Teleport Homer while the ability to Master-craft a weapon increased by 5pts.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: So, a fair bit has changed! While some of the weapons and base cost of the squad have increased, most of the other weapons have decreased which, coupled with the changes to Psycannons, might actually result in everyone seeing the other two special weapons in Strike Squads! But with the loss of Psybolt and the Psycannon changes, its more likely you just wont see these guys very much this edition. Thoughts Apollo?

Apollo: The Psilencer has got considerably better in the new Codex and the Psycannon’s switch to Salvo has correspondingly nerfed it for Grey Knights in Power Armour – no more zooming about in Rhinos shooting out of the top hatch!  I can’t see any reason to take Psycannons in Strike Squads anymore – they’ll have to get close to the enemy to use them properly, and at that sort of range Grey Knights die just as easily as any other Marines.  Looks like I’ll be breaking off the Psycannons for Psilencers or Incinerators!  Unfortunately, Strike Squads are utterly uncompetitive compared to Terminator Squads now.  The negative changes, such as no Warp Quake, no Psybolts, nerfed Psycannons, points increased etc are not really made up by cheaper close combat weapons, and the fact that everything scores these days means that these guys have gone from the staple unit to one to leave at home.

Grey Knight Terminator Squad

Termies

What’s changed?

Huge price drop of 7pts pm, Incinerator increased by 5pts, Psycannon decreased by 5pts, Psilencer no change, Halberd increased by 2pts, Falchions decreased by 1pt, Hammers increased by 10pts and Warding Stave decreased by 15pts!
Justicar gained access to the same Special Issue wargear as their Strike Squad counterpart.
Got given Land Raider variants as Dedicated Transports.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: A few nice toy additions with a price drop on average. Same solid choice, just a bit cheaper. Oh, and Objective Secured Land Raiders anyone? Happy days!  

Apollo: Now that’s what I’m talking about!  GW obviously wants to sell some Terminator boxes!  It’s a shame that Nemesis Swords don’t give +1 to the Invulnerable Save anymore, but you can’t have everything.  A 10-man squad with 2 Psycannons is only 370 points and deep striking in will be a huge problem for the enemy to deal with.  2 such squads can easily be the backbone of your army, especially if they’ve got Objective Secured in a Combined Arms Detachment, and that leaves you with over 1000pts for toys in a 1750 army.  The Grey Knights of old all went to war in Tactical Dreadnought Armour, and it seems GW wants those days to come again.  Must resist the urge to go and buy 40 Terminators.


Elites

Paladin Squad

Paladin

What’s changed?

Unit base cost increased by 10pts (same pm cost though) and now have a minimum Unit Composition of 3 and a huge Apothecary price drop by 55pts! Incinerator and Psilencer both increased by 5pts with the Pyscannon receiving no change. Same changes to Melee weapon costing as the terminators above. Added option to take a new Nemesis Banner (more on this later).
They can also all take from the Special Issue wargear and the same Dedicated Transport options as the Terminators.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: Loving the Apothecary point plummet, going to become a standard upgrade. Also able to take Master Crafted, Digital Weapons and Meta Bombs on every model. Nice alternative to taking a Divination-Librarian and Hammers, Apollo?

Apollo: Why would you ever now NOT take an Apothecary? Clearly the boys have been in training!  Now that Draigo can’t make them Troops the old days of the solo Paladin Deep Strike Daemon hammer tactic are gone anyway, so the minimum unit size is no great loss.  Looks like a 5-man unit with 2 Master Crafted Psycannons will be an absolute no-brainer to me!  2+/5++ FNP with 2 Wounds and potentially with Draigo tanking for them at the front?  What’s not to like?!

Dreadnought & Venerable Dreadnought

Dread

What’s changed?

Price increased by 10pts, Nemesis Doomfists are gone, Warp Stabilisation is gone, Truesilver armour is gone, Extra armour decreased by 5pts, Multi-melta replacements have changed with Autocannons and Lascannons dropping in pts while Heavy Flamers and Assault cannons have gone up in pts. Power Fist replacements have gone up as well, Autocannon by 10pts and Missile launcher by 5pts. Reinforced Aegis is gone, replaced by standard Aegis.  

Venerable is now an upgrade for the standard Dreadnought, price drop by 25pts, rest as above.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: Overall, Venerables got cheaper while the Standard rose in price. With the FoC changes, the move to Elites frees up those HS choices. With the loss of Psybolt Ammunition, we will see more of the standard Dread options. They also kept Psychic Pilot which is great adding another valuable die to that Warp Charge Pool.

Apollo: Seriously, GW, sometimes I want to metaphorically flip the table.  Why oh why is Reinforced Aegis not just largely nerfed as it was with the 7th Edition FAQ (re-roll failed Deny the Witch rolls, but only on the Dreadnought itself – no bubble effect), but GONE ENTIRELY?!  Was it overpowered under the FAQ?!  That, combined with the loss of Psybolts, has basically chopped Dreadnoughts off at the knees as a competitive choice.  Grey Knights Dreadnoughts have no way to get across the table quickly, so anything short ranged like Multi Meltas, Heavy Flamers or Assault Cannons are pretty much useless, and, sadly, 4 shots at S7 (2 x Autocannons) or 2 shots at S8/S9 (for Las/Missile) just don’t cut it.  Combined with an increase in points and the loss of Fortitude, I can’t see myself ever fielding these again.  Perhaps there’s a stockpile of Dreadknights in the GW warehouse that need to be cleared.

Purifier Squad

Purify

What’s changed?

Each model has been increased by 1pt (Also reflected in the unit base cost), now are Mastery Level 2 and gaining Soul Blaze in combat. Incinerators, Psilencers and Psycannons have all gone up in price by 5pts, 10pts and 5pts, respectively. Daemon hammers have gone up by 5pts while Falchions and Warding Staves have dropped by 1pt and 20pts, with Halberds staying the same.
Knight of the Flame gained access to the same Special Issue wargear as their Strike Squad counterpart.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: Special Weapon price increases seem a bit harsh on the ‘unofficial’ CC unit of the C:GK but only paying 1 more point for Mastery Level 2 and Soul Blaze in combat is a pretty sweet deal! I already ran these guys a lot in my C:GK lists due to their cheaper access to the big melee weapons. While its not strictly true any more, they are still going to burn down those horde blobs better than anyone so will be competing for those Elites slots more regularly now, lucky you have plenty to spare!

Apollo: I think the change to Psycannons (from Assault 2/Heavy 4 to Salvo 2/4) is the big nerf here.  I used to gleefully run 2 Psycannons in a 5 man squad mounted in a Rhino and firing out of the top hatch they were an excellent bunker unit at around 18-24”.  Now, not so much.  You’ll have to switch their role to combat, which is a shame, as we all know that 40k is a shooting game.  ML2 is a big bonus, as every extra dice in the Warp Charge pool is very valuable.  Cleansing Flame is more powerful now, in my view (unless you used to charge big units of Ork Boyz a lot!), but has gone up to Warp Charge 2, so swings and roundabouts.  You also don’t have to choose between Cleansing Flame and activating your Force weapons anymore!  The change to the Force Halberd is a shame, as striking at I6 was enormously useful.  I would advise taking at least one Stave per unit to give them Adamantium Will – they’ll be Denying the Witch on a 3+ usually.  Overall these guys’ role has changed but they’re still pretty handy and they’re probably the best Power Armoured Marine close combat unit in any Codex.


Troops and Elites Conclusion

Hephaestus: The changes to Psycannons and the loss of Psybolt Ammo has hit the Strike Squads the hardest. Purifiers, Paladins and the Terminators will ether avoid them one way or another. I’m pretty excited to run cheaper Terminators and pumped up Purifiers. That Objective Secured Land Raider is a must as well! Definitely more positives than negatives here. 

Apollo: It looks to me like Terminators will be the new stars of the show.  Take a bow, Strike Squads – sadly you just can’t cut it anymore.  A solid core of 20 or so Terminators may be a must-buy from now on. But, frankly, that’s what Grey Knights armies should always have been!  Grey Knights now have the cheapest, and possibly best all-round, Terminators in the game, in my view.  Combined with the Rites of Teleportation if you take the Codex Detachment, you could easily ruin someone’s day.  A squad of Paladins led by Draigo is still an absolute tank as well.  Purifiers aren’t going to be your shooting backbone anymore, but are still handy in combat.  Shame about Dreadnoughts, but we all knew the Psyfleman of old’s days were numbered.  

Next, Apollo is taking a look at the Heavy Support and Fast Attack options of Codex: Grey Knights! Stay tuned!

Hephaestus

Greetings! Welcome to my forge!

Right…yeah, Hephaestus here, aka George. Been playing 40k since 4th ed. This is my second hobby blog but first for table top gaming. Been playing a lot of Xwing, Mordheim and 7th Ed 40k over the last year. I’ve collected models for a while but only recently caught the painting bug with help from Zeus and Hades! Let me know what you think: Horus Heresy Salamanders