Saturday, 21 April 2018

Codex Review: Grey Knights


My first experience with the Grey Knights was under 4th edition when one of my friends decided to get into 40K with this particular army. At the time I remember that they were rather good and frequently won their games against all manner of different armies and codexes. Subsequent editions seemed to systematically weaken and nerf them as they went along. I'm not convinced that they have done all that well under 8th either.

Grey Knights are what I would call an "Elite" army, meaning that they tend to be very good at what they do but you'll never have enough of them compared to what other armies will bring to the table. With Grey Knights I think that this is quite a weakness that isn't adequately prepared for in other areas.

Their biggest problem is in fact that the entire army is built around the concept of fighting Daemons. This leaves them being rather weak against anyone else. What Games Workshop needed to do was go back to how they used to be when they were dedicated to fighting Chaos as a whole. Make their abilities work against the Chaos faction keyword rather then Daemon and they might, just might, have a decent role to play in 8th edition.

So, let's look at the units we have within these pages...

HQ.

I feel strongly that the generic HQ choices in this codex are rather bland, with the exception of the Librarian, Brotherhood Champion and Chaplain, who don't have a named variation. Even so, I feel that the named characters, except for Valdus - who seems to be just a slightly better Grand Master - are far better choices for your army. Again it comes down to the abilities. Draigo, Stern, and  Crowe are my favourite choices because their abilities stand out more to me as being useful during a game. Each is useful in a different way. Perhaps if you know that you are not playing against Daemons, you might consider playing a generic choice but as an assault based army in that instance I'd take Crowe to lead my army.

I was disappointed by the Grand Master in Dreadknight armour. Why would you take this for your HQ, other than cool factor, when you can already take Dreadknights in your army. This needed to be a new special character with his own anti-daemonic MC abilities to be worth a consideration. If you think otherwise I'd like to know what makes this new option worthwhile?

TROOP.

Two choices presented here, Strike Squads and Terminator Squads. Strike squads are cheaper out of the two but Terminators have a bit more chance of surviving. At the basic level they are equipped the same so I would say your choice of which to take is based purely on the points level of the game you are playing.

ELITES.

The Elite choices I find largely lackluster. The Apothecary is okay and the Dreadnoughts are always a nice choice for this slot. You have two Ancients and you just have to choose whether you want them in terminator armour or not. The Purifier Squad is the one that grabs my attention. Get them into combat, and next psychic phase immolate the enemy with mortal wounds.

FAST ATTACK.

You only have the Interceptor Squad under this bracket. With the ability to ignore terrain on movement and even once per game teleport anywhere on the board these seem like a good choice. You could use these abilities to get them closer into combat or grab a much needed objective

HEAVY SUPPORT.

Firstly, Grey Knights have access to the Land Raider and it's variants. These, although highly costed, are a great choice. Really though, for cost value, you are looking at Purgation Squads and Dreadknights for your Heavy Support slots. Dreadknights are better than Dreadnoughts if you ask me for this army. Purgation squads have some nice weapon choices but ultimately due to the nature of their expected enemy, they seem rather short range to be much use against many other armies.

TRANSPORTS.

Grey Knights have the obligatory Rhino as well as the Razorback. Razorbacks are good mobile fire support but as with other marine equivalent armies, I find the Rhino is too expensive and does not have much staying power.

FLYERS.

Grey Knights still have the excellent Stormraven which I really like for this army, but they also have the Stormtalon and the Stormhawk. The Stormtalon makes for a nice anti-infantry role much like it does for regular space marines. The Stormhawk seems an odd choice as it is mainly an air superiority fighter. Not something that Grey Knights would really need in their war against the Daemons. Especially as most of the weapons it can take are already a fixture on the much better Stormraven.

LORD OF WAR.

None, which is kind of a shame but then what would you give them? Id have given them a named Grand Master in Dreadknight with some cool new abilities.


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It has taken me quite a while to write this review because I've had to go back over the codex again and again to try and understand it just a little bit more. Even so, I find this codex really bland and uninteresting. I think because it is both an Elite army, as I mentioned initially above, and because it is focused so heavily on waging war on Daemons that it feels woefully inadequate to handle anything else very well.

In order to compensate for this I wonder whether they need a general points reduction or even just some new options for their units. Even more so, I would change their rules to target the Chaos faction rather than specifically Daemons. That I think would help them a lot as lets face it, a player is more likely to be fighting some sort of Chaos Marine army than they are a Chaos Daemons one.

I don't want to put down anyone's favourite army here. I really hope that despite several read throughs that I am wrong about this book. I want to be wrong really as I love the concept behind the army. If you play Grey Knights or have played against them plenty, then please let me know where I am wrong in the above thoughts.


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