Codex Grey Knights Review Part 4 – Wargear, Formations and Lords of War

Greetings!
Here we are, back for the forth and final part. There has been a lot of talk about the changes to wargear and the FoC chart and how this has affected the units already mentioned, now lets actually see what they are!

Wargear

Wargear

What’s changed?

Nemesis Force Weapons

Nemesis Force Swords – lost +1 to Invulnerable Saves if you had one, gained Daemonbane.
Nemesis Force Halberds – lost +2 Initiative, gained +1 Strength and Daemonbane.
Nemesis Daemon Hammer – gained Daemonbane.
Nemesis Warding Stave – lost 2++ in CC, now give +2 Strength, Ward, Daemonbane and are AP4.
Nemesis Falchions – gained Daemonbane.
Nemesis Greatsword – lost Rerolls to Hit and Wound, Gained Master-crafted.
Nemesis Doomfists – Removed.

Daemonbane now grants rerolls on To Wound and Armour Pen while Force is activated. While Ward now simply grants Adamantium Will special rules.

Special Weaponry

Psycannon – now are Salvo 2/4.
Heavy Psycannon – gained a new fire mode: Focussed Fire:  Salvo 3/6.
Psilencer/Gatling Psilencer – Gained Force.
Incinerator/Heavy Incinerator – Gain Soul Blaze

Special Issue Wargear

Psyk-out Grenades – Can now throw them with the following profile Range: 8″, S2, AP-, Assault1, Blast, Psi-shock.
Mindstrike Missiles – Removed
Blind Grenades – Removed
Empyrean Brain Mines – Removed
Psychotroke – Removed
Rad-Grenades – Removed
Servo-Skulls – Removed

Relics of Titan

Bone Shard of Solor – 3++ invun when within 12″ of a Daemon, 2++ in that daemon is of Khorne. Also grants Hatred (Daemons of Khorne).
Cuirass of Sacrifice – Terminator armour with FNP and IWND.
Domina Liber Daemonica – +1 known spell from Sanctic, all Psychic tests for Sanctic taken within 12″ reroll 1s.
The Fury of Deimos – 36″ storm bolter with 3 shots, master crafted and Precision shot.
The Nemesis Banner – Grants +1 attack and fearless to all GKs within 12″ and all daemons to treat all terrain as dangerous.
The Soul Glaive – a nemesis halberd that grants rerolls on failed casts of Force and rerolls all failed To Hit, To Wound and Armour Pen while Force is in affect.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: Grey Knights have lost a lot of cool toys. Relics feel a bit lacklustre, thankfully they are all pretty cheap. Nemesis weapon changes are boring. Losing +2I on Halberds is upsetting. On the plus side is that they are mostly cheap. Gaining Force on the Psilencer will lead to some fantastic kills and gives the gun some decent purpose. The nerf to Psycannons is the biggest thing here, you just wouldn’t take them on anything that can’t ignore Salvo restrictions but there is a new firing mode for the Heavy variety, nice touch.

Apollo: I have to say that I’m about as gutted as a Chaos player in 4th Edition.  Grey Knights went from having some of the coolest and most interesting toys in the game, to have a wargear list that if it were a character on Downton Abbey would be called Lord Bland of Blandington.  Hephaestus, you’re just wrong, mate.  There’s very few upsides here.  Let’s start with Nemesis weapons – previously, each one did something cool that made choosing one or the other an actually difficult decision.  Now it’s difficult to make a decision because they’re all rubbish – Swords have nothing special at all; Halberds do what bloody Hammerhand does already and we lost the best anti-marine close combat aspect of the old Codex; Hammer is what it always was but it’s not something you’d ever be kitting out whole squads with, so it’s basically the same but now looks good in a limited fashion in comparison because the other stuff is so awful; Staves have gone from a magic wand that turned one squad member or a character into an absolute tarpit to something that gives you a strength boost and buffs the insultingly awful Deny The Witch mechanic.  As for Daemonbane – don’t make me laugh.  Grey Knights needed absolutely nothing else that is specifically anti-daemons.  We already lost all of our cool general purpose psychic powers for sodding Banishment across the board.  As for the ranged weapons – the nerf to Psycannons is a total groin punch and will require me to purchase almost half of an army to replace all my power-armoured models with Psycannons.  These will never again be taken on any model without Relentless, which is awfully annoying and short-sighted considering a 10-man Strike Squad box comes with 4 of them!  The other things stayed pretty much the same with some added tricks, which is not bad, but we’re not going to get over this just because a S4 24” Psilencer got Force.  You’ve got to wound BEFORE you get to cause Instant Death remember. The loss of all the grenades is actually more of a shame than almost anything apart from the Psycannon.  They gave GK a lot of their flavour and weirdness.  Bland bland bland.  The Relics aren’t awful I suppose.  At least they’re cheap, save for the Domina Liber Daemonica.  Someone take this Wargear list away from me before I burst into tears of white hot nerd rage.


Formation and FoC

Grey Knights Brotherhood (Formation)

1 Grand Master, 1 Brother Captain, 3 Strike squads, 3 Terminator squads, 2 Interceptor squads, 2 Purgation squads, 1 Dreadnought, 1 NDK.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: Gives a nice bonus to casting powers but nothing else new that you don’t already get when taking the Nemesis Strike Force FoC. Clearly just for larger games where you are likely to take the large requirement needed. It’s just a bit of everything, nothing cool or themed. Meh.

Apollo: What the hell is this thing?  Someone absolutely phoned this nonsense in.  

“Guys we need to put a Formation in the GK Codex because our shadowy overlords have decreed that all codices have to have one now.  What shall we do with it?  Should we do a sweet Deep Striking phalanx of Dreadknights? How about a speartip strike force solely of Terminators and Paladins?  How about hammer and anvil force – Purgation Squads and Dreadnoughts that have to deploy on the table, and Interceptors and Dreadknights teleporting all over the place?!”
 
“No.  None of those things.  We shall have EVERYTHING in the Codex all in one big mess with no theme or sense behind it.”
 
“But why?  That’s not cool at all”
 
“Because some idiot might go and buy the whole lot at his friendly local GW like a walking wallet chump.  Our customers are morons that have never heard of the internet or of list building, right?  Good work guys, time for a 2 hour lunch.”

Nemesis Strike Force (FoC)

Compulsory: 1 HQ, 1 Troops.
Optional: 4 Elites, 2 Heavy Support, 2 Fast Attack, 3 Troops.

Verdict!

Hephaestus: Granting access to 4 Elite slots while only requiring a compulsory 1 HQ and 1 Troop slot, as well as Reserves rolls starting turn one if DSing and the standard Warlords Trait rerolling. Pretty good trade for losing Objective Secured, Apollo?

Apollo: Hephaestus, whatever warp dust you’ve been smoking, I want some.  Are you even reading the same Codex as I am?  This thing is a joke!  The only thing that makes it barely tempting is the Turn 1 Deep Strike on a 3+ and the ability to run and shoot that turn.  Otherwise you’re giving up precious slots that you need for Dreadknights and Stormravens to get more slots for Purifiers (little bit nerfed), Paladins (woah big spender – you really going to take more than 2 squads of these guys?) and Dreadnoughts (utterly awful now) AND reducing your ability to take the new stars of the Codex – Grey Knights Terminators.  Now, at a low points level, say 1500 and below, this Detachment makes sense, as you’ll run out of points long before you run out of slots, but for a normal game, stick with your trusty Terminators Objective Securing left and right.  


Lords of War

Lord Kaldor Draigo

Draigo

What’s changed?

Reduced in price by 30 points.  WS reduced to 6 from 7, BS reduced to 5 from 6 and S and T reduced to 4 from 5.  Lost Grand Strategy, Psychic Communion and Sanctified Flame.  The Titansword goes from having two chances to Instant Kill Daemons and Psykers to instead re-rolling failed To Wound rolls against Daemons, and has had its Strength increased by 3 and its AP increased to 2, but is no longer Strength 10 against Psykers and Daemons.  Knows Banishment, Gate of Infinity and Purge Soul powers, and automatically has Daemon-slayer as his Warlord Trait.  No longer makes Paladins troops.

Verdict!

Apollo: Was there any need to change his rules?  This smacks of meddling for meddling’s sake.  The big loss is the inability to convert Paladins into troop choices, but since everything scores these days, and the special Grey Knights Detachment Chart has space for 4 Elites, he’s not holed below the waterline.  Let’s celebrate the fact that Draigo is now cheaper and his Titansword is better against most targets (S7 AP2 with 5 Attacks on the charge at Initiative 5!) albeit it’s worse against Daemons.  One might almost think that GW has a bit of a hard on for Daemons in 7th Edition… I have no idea why his stats have been reduced.  Clearly wandering in the Warp gives you some sort of muscle wasting disease.  He wasn’t overpowered before, and this guy is supposed to have carved his name on Mortarion’s actual heart.  Come on GW – don’t write fluff cheques your rules can’t cash.

Hephaestus: 1. It wasn’t HIS name he carved.. Jeez! 2. With all the changes, why has that bit of fluffed stayed? Jokers. 3. Years of drug addition tends to lower ones physical capability.
Oh yeah, rules. So has Eternal Warrior, 4 wounds with a 2+2++ with a successful Sanctuary cast. The guy is a beast and a default of a lot of players.  


Wargear, Formations and Lords of War Conclusion

Hephaestus: A lot of the cool toys are gone and the toys that remained have changed a fair bit. They are, for the most part, still awesome toys to have but lack a little of the fun and uniqueness they once had. The new FoC is cool but favours Eternal War mission and we all know no one plays these much now we have cool mission cards! Draigo is an absolute beast, and that’s relative to this Codex! Better grab one before they go out of stock!  

Apollo: I don’t want to bore our gentle readers with another rant, but by Titan the wargear changes are truly awful.  I have to declare an interest here – I have a lot of Grey Knights in power armour that will need to be substantially remodelled or retired, but that doesn’t take away the sense that GW have pulled quite possibly the most obvious “weaken stuff that is good, buff stuff that is poor, that way the cash cows, I mean customers, will still buy things” move I’ve ever seen.  The special Formation and Detachment are hilariously awful and badly-thought-out, unfortunately – they could have been so cool!  Draigo is a shining light in the darkness.  Even now that he is weaker than his previous incarnation, he’s still worth it, especially given the points drop.  Plus now you can take him AND two cheap Librarians to fart powers all over the place!


Final thoughts

Hephaestus: They have massively streamlined this codex. It won’t play like it did before but will still be very good. I had my first outing with them the day after I got the Codex with just what I pulled out of my box (minus the strike squads, it has to be said) and they performed very well. You will likely see a focus on the obviously good units at the start but as players begin to experiment, I think we are going to see some cool lists (and I’m not talking about allying crap in like Inquisitors and Knights, yes it’s crap! I said it.) The Codex itself has all the options you need to be highly competitive. I want to see DSing shenanigans with Cleansing Flame, Shunting Incinerators and MIND BULLETS!

“There are those who might see contradiction between our abhorrence of the Daemon and our wielding of sorcery. Yet these contradictions live only in the minds of weak men, and we are not accountable to such as they.”
– Grand Master Valdar Aurikon

Apollo: Ignore him, he’s far too indoctrinated and brain-washed by the evil overlords of GW to notice that our beloved Grey Knights have had their force blades blunted, their psybolts replaced with rubber ones and their Aegis filled with edam cheese.  Remember the (Knights of) Titan of old, for we shall not see their like again in our lifetime.  Yes, some things have got better and somethings have been buffed, but that’s like saying “Oh goody a stay in hospital to cure my flesh-eating bacterial disease, I can catch up on my reading!” -the things that have gotten better have only done so in comparison with how much has been nerfed or taken away.  I don’t want to turn this into a ‘the old days were better’ rant, but I just generally feel a bit cheated at how I m going to have to go and buy so many new units to remain competitive.  Looking on the bright side, I do now get to work out a fun way to convert several Dreadknight models so they actually look good, instead of like a big baby carrier.  Hmmm  maybe something involving a Knight Titan head…. Watch this space!

 

That’s the last time I play good cop/bad cop with Apollo. Thanks for reading everyone and hope you found our review helpful in some way, after all the ranting of course. Let us know your thoughts on Codex: Grey Knights!

– Hephaestus

  • http://www.feedyournerd.com/ greggles

    Nice overview. I wouldn’t get too upset though. A lot of the changes are kinda of out of context as the rest of the codexes haven’t been updated yet. As they all receive this same treatment, the balance shifts. It just hurts to be the guys at the beginning of the GW thought shift. (ork player here).

  • BrianDavion

    incidently the brotherhood formation has a theme. it’s a Grey Knight briotherhood, with roughly the kind of force divide that occurs when one typically takes the battlefield all together (which would be a lot more intreasting if they hadn’t given us the brotherhood break downs earlier but I digress) space wolves also had a formation like this in their codex, so I think with the Marine codexes this can be the expected formation. which is sad as I agree it is so useless.