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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Optimizing Grey Knights for 6th Edition

As you know I'm in full swing with Khorne now but I still like to play my Grey Knight-Necron army from time to time. Sixth edition has been out for some time now and we have two new codices (Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels). I've made some observations regarding my current list and have decided to make a few fundamental changes.

MSU Mech is Dead
My original list featured two five squads of Purifiers in rhinos. The original list was very much a hybrid featuring flyers, land raider and the two rhino squads along with the Necron allies. I've come to the conclusion that rhinos in general are more of a liability than anything else so I've dropped them and combined the two five man squads into one unit. The rhino is easy pickings for First Blood and not being able to launch an assault even if the transport didn't move is a major nerf. At first I still favored the rhino due to being able to move flat out now and Fortitude allows an embarked unit to still shoot even if it's shaken or stunned. GW has really nerfed the rhino and I think the penalties far outweigh its advantages.

Combat Squads
I lost a scoring unit but I can split the 10 man unit into combat squads if necessary. My other squad of Purifiers was nine strong and I have since added another Purifier so I can split it into combat squads as well. So I can almost double my total number of scoring units if necessary. Two full squads gives you a lot of options. I definitely prefer to have one full squad of Purifiers as they are still the best Marines in the game... A full squad can obviously take a lot more punishment and is much deadlier - they are somewhat of a quasi deathstar with Inquisitor Coteaz attached.

Purifiers and Weapon Options
As I've said above I still use Purifiers and run Castellan Crowe so they score. Some people playing Grey Knight-Necrons prefer to use Necrons as their primary detachment... Unlike characters in the new Chaos Space Marines and Dark Angels codices, Crowe still converts Purifiers to troops even if Grey Knights are taken as the allied detachment and that's a big advantage.

Choppy Flamey Smashy Death
I take one Nemesis daemonhammer in each squad along with a Nemesis Force Halberd. The daemonhammer is a huge deterrent to multi-wound monstrous creatures while the halberd is a deterrent to enemy melee-centric characters... Only characters such as Kharn have little to fear versus these two melee weapons. The daemonhammer is also your best bet versus 2+ armor saves in close combat... Never leave home without one per squad.

I am a big fan of the Nemesis force sword for the grunts... There is no additional cost and if Coteaz gets the Divination power that grants a 4++ invulnerable save then suddenly your swordsmen have a 3++ invulnerable save in close combat - remember what I said above, a full squad of Purifiers attached to Coteaz can function much like a deathstar if they are properly equipped.

The Nemesis Warding Stave and Nemesis Force Halberd are your two best choices for the Keepers of the Flame... Never kit them with a daemonhammer as this is almost surely a death sentence in plenty of challenges. The warding stave is quite costly so I just take one for the unit attached to Coteaz.

I think it's worth mentioning Cleansing Flame. Blobs are quite popular now and they really really hate this very painful psychic power. It's one of the really good things that Grey Knights have going for them in sixth edition and it's one of the many reasons why I prefer Purifiers to Strike squads.

Shooty Death
Sixth edition heavily favors shooting over melee... It's okay since Purifiers excel at both. I like to take one incinerator in each squad - mainly because blobs (zombies, cultists, gants, guardsmen, orks, etc.) are very popular in my local meta.

I take psybolt ammo as a standard option for every squad of Purifiers... It's another big advantage for Grey Knights. The psycannon is still boss so each squad has two to three.

I still run a land raider Crusader (psybolt ammo and pintle mounted multi-melta) plus a Storm Raven (psybolt ammo, twin linked multi-melta, Hurricane sponsons and twin linked assault cannon). They are both absolute beasts, highly survivable and can generate lots and lots of shooting... They are both well worth all the points for me. They also offer excellent protection when needed and can dependably deliver my Purifiers into the heart of battle time and time again.

Coteaz and Crowe
The Inquisitor is still a boss and obviously greatly enhances the army... He is such a bargain for the points and much like the Doom for Tyranids I consider Coteaz an auto-take unit. I think the Castellan has improved a lot in sixth edition - he is a master of the challenge and very few enemies will walk away from a scrap with him. It used to be considered a penalty for playing your Purifiers as troops but now I think he can really add a lot to the army. I never field him as my Warlord though because he ends up dying quite often.

The main changes to my army list were to drop the two rhinos and combine the two five man Purifier squads into one full unit. I also changed out some of my weapon options. I think Grey Knights are still quite competitive - more so especially when combined with Necrons... But you must re calibrate your army so that it's properly prepared for sixth edition.

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