Codex Grey Knights Review Part 3 – Heavy Support and Fast Attack

Greetings!

Following on from the Troops and Elites post in our Codex Grey Knights Review, it’s time to take a look at the Heavy Support and Fast Attack sections. Onwards, Brothers!

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Fast Attack Choices

We only ever had two choices in the 5th Edition Codex, which was better than the one we had in 3rd Edition!  It always left lots of space in the Fast Attack slot, unlike some other armies (looking at you, Eldar).  Let’s get cracking.


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Stormraven Gunship

What’s changed?

Decreased in price by 5pts.  Lost Psychic Pilot, The Aegis and Fortitude.  Mindstrike Missiles (S4, AP5, Heavy 1 Blast, gave psykers a Perils hit) have been replaced by Stormstrike Missiles (S8, AP2, Heavy 1 Concussive).  Lost Warp Stabilisation Field, Psybolt Ammo and Truesilver Armour.  Teleport Homer changed to a Locator Beacon and dropped by 5pts, Extra Armour reduced by 10pts to a mere 5pts.

Verdict!

Apollo: GW doth give with one hand and take with the other.  Getting Stormstrike Missiles is a big boost, and it appears to have come for free.  Stormravens are unfortunately the best anti-tank units in the new Codex (at least, outside of combat!) and you’ll be leaning on them to do the sorts of things that Henchmen with Meltaguns and Psyflemen used to do.  Stormstrike Missiles just make them even better at this, and it’s nice to see a situational benefit (anti-psyker weaponry) swapped for once in this new Codex for good old-fashioned high strength, low AP.  Extra Armour is an absolute must, as it reduces a pretty difficult result of Crew Stunned (cannot turn at all and must fly 18″) – which will probably cost you two turns of use at least, or force you to Hover – to a mere Crew Shaken (snap shots only).  The options it has lost were taken as often as you’d see a unicorn in the wild in any event, so it has lost little, save for Fortitude.

Hephaestus: Indeed, a standard must-have for any GK force I feel. While it might not be putting out the same rate of fire as before, it’s cheaper and now has a bit more of an anti-tank role with the added bonus of being able to scare 2+ Armour Save units. Always a risky business putting anything inside but could pay off by getting those assault units into combat unharmed.

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Grey Knight Interceptor Squad

What’s changed?

Exact same losses and gains of wargear and psychic powers as the Strike Squad.  Still the same points for the squad.  Psilencers went from free to 10pts, Psycannons from 10pts to 15pts and Incinerators dropped a whopping 15pts from 20pts to 5pts!

Verdict!

Apollo:  Well I think we all know what to do with these guys – cheap mobile Incinerators anybody?  For 270 points you can put 10 Space Marines with 2 Incinerators (which have the free bonus of Soul Blaze) 30″ away with perfect precision.  For when those 30 Orks REALLY need to die, or for even more flexibility, you can combat squad and have them purge different targets.  Several of these small units all shunting out in the same turn would give your opponent a real headache to deal with them all at the same time.

Hephaestus: Great for first turn harassment! Much safer than DSing but then nothing’s changed there. I like that  more weapons than just the Psycannon are viable now. Good use of Incinerators.

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Rhino

What’s changed?

Decreased in price by 5pts.  Lost Psychic Pilot, The Aegis and Fortitude.  Now has free Searchlight as standard.  Lost access to Psybolt Ammo, Warp Stabilisation Field & Truesilver Armour.  Additional Storm Bolter reduced by 5pts and Extra Armour reduced by 5pts.  Now a Fast Attack choice that can be selected individually rather than just as a Dedicated Transport.

Verdict!

Apollo: Well, the loss of Psychic Pilot and Fortitude is a bit of a shame, as it’s vastly reduced the power of the ‘light armour’ mechanised Grey Knights list.  We used to be able to run lots of light transports and even with AV11 rely upon the extra survivability of Fortitude to keep the army in the game.  In addition, the ‘Rhino-bunker’ (2 Psycannons poking out of the top hatch) that was so powerful in 5th/6th is dead on arrival due to the loss of Fortitude, and Psycannons moving to Salvo.  Rhinos are now what they always were – small ferries to get your killy stuff where it needs to go.  Shame we can’t assault out of them like the old days!  If you want you can now also select them as Fast Attack choices instead of just as Transports.  This isn’t particularly helpful for Rhinos, but Razorbacks on the other hand….

Hephaestus: Yeah, it kind of sucks with the changes to Psycannons and the loss of Psychic Pilot – these are just normal Rhinos again. I thought we were special?! Shame. Fast Attack does mean we can buy them for Special Characters now but that’s just standard 7th ed Rhinos it seems, as the Space Wolves got the same treatment.

 

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Razorback

What’s changed?

Increased in price by 10pts (what?!).  Lost Psychic Pilot, The Aegis and Fortitude.  Now has free Searchlight as standard.  Lost access to Psybolt Ammo, Warp Stabilisation Field & Truesilver Armour.  Additional Storm Bolter reduced by 5pts and Extra Armour reduced by 5pts.  Twin-linked Heavy Flamer now free instead of +25pts, Twin-linked Assault Cannon, Twin-linked Lascannon and Lascannon/Plasma all reduced by 15pts  Now a Fast Attack choice that can be selected individually rather than just as a Dedicated Transport.

Verdict!

Apollo: There’s been a general reshuffle of the weapons options, such that if you ever took just Heavy Bolters, you’re out of luck by 10pts (and with a loss of a lot of good rules!).  However, the TLAC, TLL and LC/PG are all 5pts cheaper (standard across all the new Grey Knights’ vehicles to compensate for the loss of Psychic Pilot and Fortitude) and if you take TLHF, you’re quids in – they’re now 15pts cheaper!  Frankly though, to my mind all of this doesn’t make up for the loss of the best light transport in the game in 5th/6th – the Fortitude Psybolt Assault Cannon Razorback.  That baby was pure gold for 85pts.  Oh Psyback, we hardly knew thee.  Nevermind, if you want, you can now take 3 Heavy Flamer Razorbacks for 165pts as your full Fast Attack selection – send those babies straight at the enemy and it’ll totally distract them from your shunting Dreadknights and Stormravens.

PS.  Don’t forget – Imperial Armour Vol 2 2nd Ed contains Psycannon Razorbacks still with Psychic Pilot and Fortitude for 85pts **mwah ha ha ha**… Note – may not survive as valid rules for long!

Hephaestus: Good idea, it’s totally going to distract them from your Dreadknights and other game-winning goodies… not! Maybe they can prove useful by shielding those power armoured troops or Purgation Squads while they stand around and wait a turn after getting out so they can use their Psycannons properly? Yes, I’m clutching here.

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Heavy Support Choices

And here come the big guns!  Grey Knights never particularly relied upon their Heavy Support choices, save for that ever-delicious double twin-linked Autocannon Psybolted wonder, the Psyfleman, and the original gangster macdaddy Monstrous Creature, the Dreadknight. But what has changed in the new book?

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Purgation Squad

What’s changed?

Squad initial cost increased by 10pts, still 20pts per additional model.  Incinerators increased from free to 5pts, Psilencers are the same price and Psycannons dropped from 20pts to 15pts.  Lost Astral Aim and gained Banishment.  Same Justicar options and melee weapon options as the Strike Squad.  Lost Psybolts.

Verdict!

Apollo: These guys were never the most popular unit, and with the loss of Astral Aim and an increase in points, I wonder why you would ever choose them at all.  Marine Infantry Heavy Weapons squads are not particularly good in any Codex, and even with cheap Psilencers, the fact that Purgators have to be within 24″ of the enemy is an absolute Achilles’ Heel.  One to leave on the shelf.

Hephaestus: Psilencers were my first thought for this squad, but you’re right – 24″ range is painful. 4 Incinerators in a 10 man unit maybe? With only having 2 Heavy Support slots in the special Grey Knights Force Org Chart, you’re unlikely to see these in any competitive environment.

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Nemesis Dreadknight

What’s changed?

Increased in price by 5pts.  Lost Hammerhand and Dark Excommunication, gained Banishment and Sanctuary.  He’s now a MC (Character), so can get stuck into challenges, and can be the army’s Warlord.  Personal Teleporter has decreased by a massive 45pts.  Heavy Incinerator is 10pts cheaper, Gatling Psilencer is 5pts cheaper and Heavy Psycannon is also 5pts cheaper.  He no longer has Nemesis Doomfists, just Dreadnought CCWs.  The Nemesis Daemon Hammer has been reduced by 5pts and the Nemesis Greatsword by 15pts (which is now just Mastercrafted instead of granting umpteen rerolls as it did before).  He basically has a choice now of gaining Force, Daemonbane & Mastercrafted (Greatsword), Force, Daemonbane & Concussive (Daemonhammer) or simply getting +1 Attack (2 Dreadnought CCWs – the other two are Specialist Weapons.).  The wording appears to indicate he can take a Hammer OR Sword, not both.

Verdict!

Apollo:  This is the new star of the Grey Knights.  A teleporting Dreadknight is just 165pts instead of the old 205pts, and all his weapons got cheaper.  In addition, Monstrous Creatures are far more monstrous in 7th Edition than when the 5th Edition book was released, seeing as they get Fear, Hammer of Wrath and Smash as standard now.  A NDK with Heavy Incinerator, Personal Teleporter and Daemonhammer (just in case he comes up against some big Tyranid gribblies that he needs to instagib) will only set you back 190pts and will be a major problem for almost every army to deal with, considering he can shunt 30″, torrent flame anything nearby, then charge next turn  and unleash 4 WS5 S10 I4 AP2 Force attacks.  And the Heavy Psycannon now puts out 6 S7 Rending shots as an alternative to the large blast.  The NDK is the perfect answer to Riptides and Wraithknights – he’s faster, better armed, MUCH better in combat and has some horrible weaponry.  There’s an intensely fromagey bit of my brain that is telling me to take three.

Hephaestus: NDKs have always been MVPs, now more than ever. The loss of re-rolling To Hit and To Wound is minimal. The choice now is between Concussion or MasterCrafted, as well as your pick of up to two of the three ranged weapons (and all are solid choices). Heavy 12 S4 Force shots from the Gatling Psilencer is my personal fave right now!

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Land Raider & Variants

What’s changed?

All reduced by 5pts.  Lost Psychic Pilot, The Aegis and Fortitude.  Searchlight as standard.  Lost Psybolt Ammunition, Warp Stabilisation Field and Truesilver Armour.  Storm Bolter and Extra Armour both cheaper by 5pts.

Verdict!

Apollo:  Land Raiders are Land Raiders.  Now standardised with the Marine Codex, they still do what they always did.  The loss of Psychic Pilot, The Aegis and Fortitude is a blow, and their survivability has taken a hit. but they’ll still usually get your Terminators across the table safely.  To my mind the loss of Fortitude is nowhere near as big a deal for Land Raiders as it is for the Grey Knight Rhinos and Razorbacks.  The Crusader is still the pick of the bunch for me, simply because it can hold 8 terminators.

Hephaestus: You’ll never take one of these as a Heavy Support option, because why would you when you can take them as a dedicated transport!?

 


Conclusion

Apollo:  The NDK is the big stand-out here.  Getting considerably cheaper means this guy is probably the best unit in the Codex.  Stormravens may be the best anti-tank we now have outside of charging someone with a Daemonhammer into enemy armour, but unfortunately Purgation Squads are now pretty much entirely nerfed.  I can’t see anyone taking those.  The teleport shunt army (3 NDKs, several Interceptor squads) remains highly viable and probably very nasty, and Land Raiders are still what they always were.  The changes to Rhinos and Razorbacks (combined with the general nerf of anything power-armoured in the Grey Knights army list) will mean their incidence will greatly decrease.

Hephaestus: What Apollo said. Except while there is zero competition for those precious Heavy Support slots, there there may be a battle for the Fast Attack slots for some players.

Next up, Hephaestus is taking a look at the Wargear, Formations and Lords of War options of Codex: Grey Knights. Stay tuned!

 

 

Note – all artwork copyright of their respective owners, with thanks.

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Apollo

Apollo is a warrior. He relishes the din of battle, the clash of mighty hosts and the sharp stink of gamer funk in the morning; he lives for warfare on the battlefields of the grimdark 41st Millennium; and he laughs in the faces of puny noobs. Not for him the laudable ambition of having a Golden Daemon-level fully-painted army, or a deep appreciation of an epic backstory – Apollo thirsts for victory above all else. Fear him. For he is beardcheese incarnate.