Hello Internets, it’s been awhile… My apologies.
I’ve been thinking about the Grey Knights lately, and between building lists and running numbers I have come to a few conclusions. Remember, these are just my opinion so if you don’t like it, too bad.
I’m going to come out and say it. I don’t like the new GK book. For me, it’s very limiting when you compare it to other marine books, especially the wolves. Between the very pricey units and over-the-top CC potential I’d put this army at a mid-tier level, sitting below the power 3 (BA, SW, IG) and here’s why:
The biggest drawback is the cost for the actual grey knight models (barring a few which I’ll talk about later). When you factor in the halberds EVERYONE is taking with psybolt ammo, etc you’re looking at marines that are 30+ points. Shit for that much you could be buying space wolf/Chaos Termies with combi-weapons. Getting 2 grey hunters for 1 grey knight seems pretty good… For my wolves. So what’s the problem with high point cost marines? They die exactly the same as regular marines to bolters, lasguns, (insert run of the mill gun that every unit has here) except when you lose one it’s going to hurt twice as much. “But I’ve got rhinos/chimeras/stormravens to get me there!” While true and I’m sure many marine players can tell you about that time his Rhino survived 20 lascannons and kept on trucking, realistically your rhino gets you 12″ up the table and takes a few shots that could have been going into your marines before spilling you out onto the table. Rhinos are worth it, don’t get me wrong but don’t be fooled into thinking your safe from small arms fire. They can and WILL kill you. One of the reasons BA armies do so well is the FNP coupled with power armour really helps against torrent of fire.
There are a few units in the GK book that I feel are good bargains. I see Coteaz being a must just to get bodies on the field. 6 man warrior units in razorbacks is a decent firebase while remaining relatively inexpensive and scoring. The terminator troops are not a bad choice with their brotherhood banner and 4++ in close from the force weapon. Throw a libby in to give them I10. Donate your henchmen’s chimera to them and have a good time. The libby will see its way into quite a few list with his excellent selection of spells. Personally I see good synergy with “the shrouding” (any power that can be used in your opponents turn is useful and a 3+ smoke save on a chimera full of termies is a thing of beauty), “The quickening” (as 5 points for the power is cheaper than buying a unit all halberds, and the JoTWW type power for the instant pen vs vehicles. With the lack of meltas in the army you’re gonna need a way to deal with Land Raiders. I also think the Grand Masters are a good choice with an interesting set of special rules to hand out. I see him being more useful in scouting stormraven lists or making the odd choice in your army a scoring unit in 5 obj. games. Finally my favourite unit is the Rifleman dread with the psybolt ammo upgrade. For 10 points more than a standard Rifleman, you are getting str 8 shots and near immunity to stunned/shaken. It really makes the dreadknight (ugly model) irrelevant as a firing platform as well.
Purifiers are a great model and cost pretty much on par for what they can do. They get cheap halberds and have an additional attack in addition to their cleansing power (which essentially is a 3rd attack and higher I). I, along with many others, love the purifier. However, they are not troops. I see many people picking up Crowe and running purifier armies. I just can’t see this, Crowe is terrible. Worse than terrible, he makes your opponents army stronger. Taking Crowe is essentially playing a 1500 point game with 1350 points. He raises the cost of a purifier by 6-7 points putting them into the TOO expensive category. Do yourself a favour and just take the 1 unit as an elite choice and use a Grand Master.
When Paladins were first rumoured even I thought they would be OP. Sadly with their VERY high point cost and lack of Storm Shields I just can’t see them being viable. Having 1-2 units of them in an army leaves you VERY little for anything else and while the 2 wounds in TDA with FNP is pretty good, its those damn str 8 ap 1 shots that are fairly common (see meltas) which will do you in. This leads to another point, the lack of meltas and storm shields in the army is frustrating. I see what GW was trying to do with the meltas but it gives the GK’s problems against everything better than a rhino. The storm shields I can sorta see as well (give 1 hand for force weapon and 1 for storm bolter) but you think the emperors greatest soldiers would have a few shields kicking around.
What I would have rather had would be cheaper GK infantry. Drop some of the special rules, drop the force weapons and make them WS5. Cost them at 18 points each. Then give me the option to give models the force weapons, halberds, etc at point totals that would put them at the price they are now. I’d rather have 3 halberds and a deamonhammer in a unit and have it be cheaper than all force weapons but pay out the nose.
To conclude I think the GK book is very fluffy and has potential to make some great inquisitorial themed armies but overall I think it suffers from point cost. I realize its suppose to be an elite army but I would have rather had cheaper units which I could then upgrade as I see fit to make them elite. The power of marine armies lies in fielding seas of power armour in rhinos and overwhelming your opponent by the shear resilience of it. I don’t see this in the book as EVERY loss is going to sting. The book will still give people a good game but 1 piss-poor round of rolling and it could easily be over for the GK player.