Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Grey Knights
This is an old Edition's tactics. 7th Edition Tactics are here.
- 1 Why Play Grey Knights
- 2 The Army of Titan
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Allies
- 5 Tactics
Why Play Grey Knights
Once an army so elite and difficult to play with, its Codex has been rewritten by the Mattard in 2011, meaning that it now includes layers of cheese, units stolen from other codices and turned up to eleven, and nightmare fueling fluff abomination (but some cool stuff as well).
Have you ever wanted to field an army composed entirely of Psykers, Terminators, and units so expensive that even Space Marines will outnumber you? Do you like to slay daemons and hunt Chaos all day? Does the idea of Power-Armored Creed and gigantic baby carriers gives you a boner? Do you like layers upon layers of cheese combined to the point that you can win any games using close to no tactics? If you said "yes" to the first three questions, Grey Knights are for you. If you said "yes" to the fourth question, Grey Knights are PERFECT for you!
In actuality though, the above paragraph is hardly true anymore. Since the release of this codex, other armies have caught up to the Grey Knight's power level, with Tau and Eldar easily surpassing them. Even Daemons can put up a fair fight against the Grey Knights now. All is not lost though, as the Grey Knights can still operate even with the problems presented to them in the current edition. Unlike the previous edition though, you'll actually need to use your head to win fights. I'm sure that's not too much to ask, right? In fact, it probably was intended as it was being clearly written with 6th edition in mind, it just didn't translate as well as Necrons (although better than Dark Eldar).
Indeed, aside from the fluff massacre (which turned out has elements already in canon), the stolen units, and some cheesy combinations, the Grey Knights are a pretty awesome army to play with, having really cool and customizable aesthetics and being very, very, very adaptable. Unlike most codices, there are very few useless units in this one, and each of them can be kitted out to do anything you wish, allowing one to build a very personal army. Palatanks are bodyguards for the Grand Masters above all (and Emprah knows, if there is one nameless HQ in this codex you'll take, it will be a GM) so no need for spamming: a couple of them are enough to protect the man. Hell, do not even hesitate to take an Inquisitor and retinue! They may be weaker than GKs, but these guys are so customisable that they are sure to bring some colour in your all-silver army. You may lose some power, but what does that counts for when you can add some fun by doing so? And do not fear to use Ward units, regardless of the rage this page is full of. Although they can be really overpowered, they have cool designs and are kitted with nice gizmos that can bring fun on the table if your army is balanced enough.
In other words:
- Excellent close-range shooting
- Great close combat power
- Lovely infantry models
- Access to the Stormraven. even though most Space Marine chapters have them as of 6th edition.
- Most of this army has the option to Deep-strike to get up the field
- Low model count for easy movement and easy understanding
- One of the three armies that can take Terminators as troops
- Low model count means that you're much easier to table than other armies
- High strength AP3/2 weapons are abundant in this edition, 5++ ain't going to save you.
- Poor long range shooting options - extremely bad at trying to bust high armor at long range.
- Getting into combat is a bigger problem now than ever
As far as Apocalypse goes, you're pretty much boned there unless you take silly amounts of Jokaero (and isn't any amount of technophile space orangutans silly?), whose lascannons are pretty much your only bet against the Superheavy vehicles that will be stomping around the gameboard (or daemonhammers with hammerhand, as discussed later). As for fliers, your only chance is to throw up as many high rate of fire weapons into the air as possible and hope something hits. You also have Razorbacks for lascannons which are your best bet for long range shooting. And don't forget the special Apoc formation of Purifiers and Crowe, which can be absolutely fantastic.
The Army of Titan
- Brotherhood of Psykers: Now a universal special rule, Brotherhood of Pyskers basically just means that the entire squad counts as a single model when manifesting psychic powers, and you use the Sergeant's Ld for the test(or any model). Squads also get +1 to their Deny the witch roles, due to to fact squads count as being mastery level 1.
- Psychic Pilot: This special rule lets the vehicle use psychic powers as if it was a Mastery Level 1, Ld 10 psyker. Oh, and if it gets Perils of the Warp? Yeah, it suffers a glancing hit. This is no longer as good as it used to be (although not by much), thanks to Hull Points. Still, it means that those big scary Stormravens are gonna be raining mindbullets as well as conventional ones.
- Preferred Enemy (Daemons): Surprise, surprise, most of the Daemon-hunting Chapter know how to hunt Daemons. Hey, what did you expect? This is a lot more powerful in sixth edition, since Preferred Enemy now affects ranged weapons as well as melee.
- And They Shall Know No Fear: Also now a universal special rule, good ol' ATSKNF means they can ignore the combat results section, since it will almost never affect them. It also makes them immune to Fear.
- Combat Squads: Just like Ultramarines, Grey Knights like to split up into two five-man combat squads. Note that, thanks to Brotherhood of Psykers, splitting into combat squads will double the number of mindbullets you can put out each turn.
- Aegis: The armour worn by Grey Knights has arcane seals and holy random stuff, meaning they don't give a damn about psychic powers. Whenever a unit with this rule roles for deny the witch it re-rolls ones. Not a huge bonus , but do you expect daemon hunters to go on a chaos safari without some protection against the Warp?
Note, nearly all Grey Knight units have Nemesis Force Weapons. Force is activated as a blessing psychic power, any models suffering from any unsaved wounds from Nemesis Force Weapons are killed instantly. This means you'll typically rip through any monsters and multi-wound infantry unfortunate, or stupid enough, to get caught with you in melee. Against multi-wound daemons, all unsaved wounds result in them having to take a leadership test and are removed as casualties if they fail, though they're more likely to go down normally than for this to happen, especially since daemons aren't immune to instant death anymore. When the new 6th edition Grey Knights codex comes out, don't expect the Nemesis force weapons to still have force. We'll be lucky if they do though.
Most Grey Knight units have a psychic power called Hammerhand, which gives the unit +2S , which is applied before any modifiers (stacking with daemonhammers to grant S10).
Grey Knights don't have access to most of the standard wargear of other marine armies. Their upgrades for their infantry are mostly limited to their exclusive wargear. These are their close combat weapons, all of which follow the above rules for Nemesis Force Weapons in addition to whatever else they do. All these can be master-crafted.
- Nemesis Force Sword: Standard weapon for the codex, str 4 ap 3 and force.
- Nemesis Daemon Hammer: Standard thunder hammer plus Nemesis Force rules. It's cheap to add to a squad and is practically a must have against 2+ armored foes or vehicles, since it's the only AP2 S6+ options of Grey Knights. Rush these at that Big, Scary 6-7 wound MC. Remember, the Daemon hammer now has the Force special rule, meaning Mephiston's 2+ save and T/W 6 ain't shit.
- Nemesis Force Halberd: Big ass blade on a stick, gives you +1 str ap3. On average a nice little bonus to help you kill your space marine brethren, or go kill some MC'S by combining these with hammerhand for a nice str 7
- Nemesis Force Falchions: Gives an extra attack, nothing special.
- Nemesis Force Warding Staff: Gives you +2 str, ap4, and a +1 on deny the witch. Good when you dont like any powers being cast on yourself.
The Grey Knights all start with storm bolters, which squads and characters can spend points to buy psybolt ammo to give it an extra point of strength (this also applies to vehicles). They can be replaced with the following:
- Psilencer: Nice silencer pun, asshole. A gatling gun that fires off six shots a turn at strength 4 and wounds daemons on a 4+ if whatever you'd roll otherwise wouldn't get a better roll. Let me tell you why you will never take one: First of all, it is meant to help you wound high toughness Greater Daemons, all of whom have toughness 6. The other two GK special weapons, the Incinerator and much beloved Psycannon, both wound these kinds of models on a 4+ or more already, so the Psilencer's killing power is completely redundant, plus this thing has no AP so daemons with armor will shake it off and even Orks get saves against it. A shame, for this is quite a cool item fluff-wise, a xenos-technology based minigun shooting not bolts, but projectiles of raw psychic power. Its' heavy version on the Dreadknight is still worth considering as it is the only multi-shot ranged weapon available to that unit (Only weapon that can make use of Precision shots and only one able to hit flying Daemon Princes). Shooting a Greater Daemon with a heavy psycannon is great for 1 hit that will wound on a 3+, but pumping out 12 shots that will wound on 4+ is much better.
- Incinerator: A S6 AP4 flamer. A good choice, but generally the psycannon is a better pick. It's hilariously destructive against Blobguard, Blobtau, Blobgreen and Blobanids. Fire it and watch instant death melt those hundreds of units away. I've seen just a few incinerators table hormagaunt spam lists with ease. Shares the same strong points (albeit stronger by a point or two) as all flamer weapons, great for overwatch and for clearing occupied buildings. Shish Kebab time.
- Psycannon: Both the good ol' signature ranged weapon of Grey Knights, a strength 7 AP 4 rifle with two firing modes: 2 shots as an assault weapon or 4 shots as a rending heavy weapon if the shooter didn't move on this turn. It is always fired in the latter mode if the model using it is in terminator armor. And if you have these in a rhino you can move the rhino (reducing the passengers to only being able to fire snap shots) and then opt to shoot out of the hatch using the heavy mode for 4 shots apiece. It is by far the most used of the ranged weapons, for being both cheesy and awesome - it fires silver-tipped bolts covered with anti-daemonic symbols and impregnated with massive amounts of psychic energy, making it able to tear holes in tanks.
- Grey Knight Grand Master: Your big customizable HQ choice, and by far the best unit of this army, no matter which codex you're talking about. Although he costs a lot more than a regular marine commander with similar stats besides having BS6, he is a psyker, comes with terminator armor (which you sadly can't remove if you don't want it), and can equip any of the Grey Knights' heavy weapons, meaning he can actually take advantage of his high BS. He can also take all the stuff available for Grey Knights, including an Orbital Strike Relay, rad & psychotroke grenades (the latter letting so much hilarity ensue - it's damn uproarious to eat popcorn and watch the Swarmlord cowering in fear, Black Templar Terminators beating the hell out of each other, or twenty Ork boyz having so many different bad trips that the battlefield becomes the film set for Gremlins 3). His main selling point, however, is Grand Strategy. Grand Strategy gives a special skill to D3 of your units:
- The following Grand Strategy abilities are:
- Hammer of Righteousness: Lets the unit(s) re-roll any to-wound rolls of 1 for the rest of the game. Maybe you could take this if you feel like fooling around with units full of daemon hammers or are using a ton of psycannons against stuff that they'll wound 2s, but you have better options.
- Shield of Blades: Gives the unit(s) counter-attack. Pretty good choice, letting your opponent know that your unit is going to really inflict some pain in close combat if they don't get to charge. If you're using Draigo and a Paladin army, this is good choice.
- Spear of Light: Gives a unit scout, which isn't as good now with outflanking nerfed meaning you can't combo those together.
- Unyielding Anvil: Inane name, but this lets the selected unit(s) claim objectives as if they were troops. Unless you're using Draigo to make Paladins troops, this is probably your best pick. Interesting thought - would this make a Dreadknight scoring? Your Spiritual Liege says yes, it would!
- The following Grand Strategy abilities are:
- Grey Knight Brother-Captain - Pretty much the same as a Grand Master, with the same options. Only difference is that he doesn't have Grand Strategy, can't take Psy Mastery Level 2, has one less BS, and is 25 points cheaper. He's mostly overshadowed by other choices, many players will gladly spend the extra points for Grand Strategy and if they don't want to spend as much they'll usually get an Inquisitor.
- Brotherhood Champion - The only Grey Knight (as in, not an Inquisitor) HQ choice to not wear Terminator armor, though he does still have have artificer armor (so he can fit in Rhinos and Razorbacks). The Brotherhood Champion causes the unit he's in to re-roll failed rolls to hit on the charge, so he's the closest thing to a Chaplain the Grey Knights get, and his weapon (which only he can use) also gets to re-roll his failed rolls to wound. He has better WS and I than the other Grey Knight HQs, but can't replace his weapon and the only wargear choices he gets is upgrading his storm bolter with psybolt ammo (this can turn off some players). He's also unusual in that he doesn't attack normally and he has to pick one of three stances in the assault phase.
- "Sword Storm" has the Champion make a single attack against every enemy in base contact with him (so stick him in the thick of it).
- "Blade Shield" means he does not attack but can reroll any saving throw he's called upon to make. With this, the guy is your tarpit, with rerollable a 2+ and a 3++.
- "Rapier Strike," which performs D3 Initiative 10 attacks (+1 if he charged) to any Independent Character or Monstrous Creature in base contact.
- If he dies in melee combat, then he can perform a psychic test to perform one final attack against another enemy model; if it hits, the enemy dies, no saves allowed. He only has one Wound, too, which means he may very well end up using this attack. Can be useful as an expensive "torpedo" unit against even more expensive enemies like Tyranid critters, or as a one-man tarpit unit to lock whatever you want in close combat while your other boys walk to the doom of their enemies.
- Librarian - Oh, how we love this guy. A psychic specialist, wears Terminator armor and has a psychic hood. He can take as many psychic powers as he likes and can be upgraded to cast up to three of them per turn (which is probably the reason Grey Knights have no psyker special character), but you have to pay for each psychic power you take, so don't take anything you won't need. What make him awesome, however, are precisely his powers. He has access to Smite and Vortex of Doom from the standard marine Codex, and a ton of other choices that make him a deadly HQ in any phase:
- Quicksilver, which makes a target friendly unit within 6", including the Librarian and the one he's attached to, Initiative 10. You probably won't use this too much because of the initiative bonus granted by halberds, but might be handy to take against high initiative units like Wyches and Genestealers.
- Alternate Opinion This power allows you to kit the librarian and the unit he's joining (most likely of terminators) with swords (for the boosted invulnerability) or falchions (for extra attacks) and still enjoy the benefits of being faster than whatever you're fighting against.
- Might of Titan, which gives an extra point of strength to a target friendly squad within 6" (including the Librarian and the unit he's attached to) and lets them roll an extra D6 when rolling for penetration, which stacks with Hammerhand, so whatever he and his squad hit is going to die, no matter what it is.
- Note Remember that this and Hammerhand apply BEFORE the 2x Strength increase from Daemonhammers. Which would mean S12 if it was POSSIBLE to go above S10. As is, you're maxed at 10, but that's still retardedly strong.
- Warp Rift, which uses a template that forces everything caught in it to take an initiative test or they die, and vehicles suffer an automatic penetrating hit. Your Librarian just took a level in badass. Especially effective against Necrons due to their low initiative.
- Dark Excommunication, which negates all daemonic gifts in base contact with Librarian before blows are struck, as if daemons weren't screwed enough already. This keeps them from hiding behind Blessings of the Blood God, removing power weapons and rending. Not as needed anymore since Bloodletters can't ignore the armor on your terminators anymore, and besides you've already got enough demon-raping assets so don't kill the fun.
- Sanctuary, now affects all enemies and makes any enemies with 12" of the Librarian that want to assault any Grey Knight codex units (this includes non-Grey Knights) take a difficult terrain test and a dangerous terrain test. Got hit pretty badly by the new rules since units can take armor saves and against dangerous terrain tests, but it can still ruin tarpits or vehicles.
- The Shrouding, gives a unit within 6" stealth, and if it isn't in cover it receives 6+ cover. Nice.
- The Summoning, pulls any friendly unit except for vehicles (unless they have right upgrade) to the Librarian using Deep Strike Rules. Kinda fun to watch your opponent's face as you summon Palatanks right before being charged by an enemy unit who thought the Librarian would be their new piñata.
- Quicksilver, which makes a target friendly unit within 6", including the Librarian and the one he's attached to, Initiative 10. You probably won't use this too much because of the initiative bonus granted by halberds, but might be handy to take against high initiative units like Wyches and Genestealers.
- Lord Kaldor Draigo - HE MAKES IT HAPPEN - The obligatory "super special character who costs more than a Land Raider" of this Codex. Creed has donned his
robe and wizard hatTerminator armor and gotten hold of some of the shiniest toys mankind has to offer, making him an outrageously powerful fighter, nearly impossible to kill (2+ armor, 3+ invuln, Eternal Warrior) and a nightmare against any dedicated Daemon player, or any psykers because his sword (a regular force sword with Master-Crafted and Daemonbane) becomes strength 10 when fighting either. Even the Swarmlord and Mephiston should fear him (Thanks to the fact that all Draigo needs is one wound to ID him. But this is probably going to change when the sixth edition codex is released). If you ever wanted to field a 1,000 point army consisting of 14 models, he makes Paladins Troops (See: Draigo's Shiny Dozen). On the other hand, he sucks in the shooting phase (with just a storm bolter and an anti-daemon/psyker flamer attack that he hardly needs either) and he'll have serious trouble with trying to take on other Terminators as his force weapon is AP3 to which Termies and their equivalents can take their 2+ save against. Anything with a AP 2 weapon and a 2+ save will most likely win combat against him. If you take him, be mindful of his flaws and build your list to get over those disabilities (remember to supply him with enough warp dust as long as he's around). Don't forget he gets Grand Strategy.
- Grand Master Mordrak - A Grey Knight Grand Master with a Daemonhammer, who can perfectly deep strike on turn one. Mordrak is unique in that he isn't an Independent Character; instead, he can be accompanied by a unit of up to 5
DaemonsGhost Knights for which he counts as an upgrade character. Ghost Knights are standard GK Terminators except their only upgrade choices are taking a Brotherhood Banner or alternate Nemesis weapons. They have stealth for +1 to cover saves (mostly useful against plasma/melta), and more can spawn if Mordrak takes a wound. The flip side is that if Mordrak dies then all the ghosts go with him, so watch out for units that can pick their targets. You can still throw Look Out Sir! rolls for him, but only at a 4+. Mordak gets the Stealth benefit as as well as long as at least one Ghost Knight is alive, since models with Stealth now pass it on to their whole unit.
- Brother-Captain Stern - A solid close-combat character, pretty much a standard Brother-Captain with a force sword, with two gimmicks. His first gimmick is the Strands of Fate ability, in which he can reroll a single to-hit, to-wound, or saving throw per turn; however, for every such roll you take, your opponent also gets to make the same kind of roll. Don't go abusing it or a canny opponent will use it to screw you over. His second gimmick is his psychic power Zone of Banishment, which makes Stern forgo his normal attacks, but causes every unit within 6" of him (friend and foe) to make a Strength test or be instantly removed as a casualty (and Daemons have to reroll this test if successful). This can be very risky if he's got a squad following him (as any respectable Independent Character should), but it makes him an absolute steamroller against tarpits.
- Castellan Crowe - Your average Brotherhood Champion with a better statline, some extra toys and +50% points. Sacrifices Force Weapon for
a Daemon sworda stick that's considered a normal weapon, rends on 4+, and makes units assaulting you gain Furious Charge and re-roll to hit (Yes, he buffs your enemy if they charge you; this increases the chances of being able to Heroic Sacrifice something really nasty if you deploy him right). In 6-th edition 4+ rending is EXTREMELY cool, because this one of the few non-monstrous AP2 (most of the time) close combat weapon without that "unwieldy" trash and it autowounds ANYTHING up to and including biotitans on a 4+. He's also a Purifier and therefore gets the Purifier psychic power described below. He's a surprisingly good one-man tarpit against hordes (think Ork Boyz or Gaunts) since he wounds half of them each turn in combat and can stay there for a long time with his rerollable 2+ and 4++. An easily overlooked aspect of his psychic power is that it is subject to his 4+ auto rend as per the FAQ. That means that you have a 1/2 chance of wiping out the entire squad on the first turn if they don't have an invulnerable save. Moreover, he's the Purifiers' boss, and makes them Troops, which you should really consider doing, since Purifiers are awesome. In short, if you want to spam psycannnons from hell to breakfast, Crowe is the tax GW makes you pay for that tactic, and if you're fighting against tarpit armies or CC-oriented forces, if given enough time he can clean entire blobs by himself while having them locked in CC, giving your other units free time to roam the table and eat the rest of your opponent's forces. Otherwise, you should be looking elsewhere - he's an expensive non-independent character and thus will quickly have a lascannon tearing him new one and taking away a 175 point chunk of your army, which you can't afford with Grey Knights.
- Techmarine: The odd thing about these guys is that they're primarily useful for everything that ain't engineering (which is, you know, their main purpose). Their vehicle-repairing is terrible in basically any Codex (besides maybe Iron Hands), but, unlike most Techmarines, Grey Knights Techmarines get easy access to Rad and Psychotroke grenades on a Power Armored body, they can trade their servo-arm for a Conversion Beamer, and (if keeping the servo-arm) they remain a great source of multiple flamer attacks and a ton of melee attacks, not to mention having Orbital Strike Relay. Thus, don't underestimate them if you need some cheap additional melee punch or a powerful inexpensive sniper. Stick one in with an assault unit (if in can-opener mode) or send him camping far, far away from the battlefield (if in Simo Häyhä mode with a Conversion Beamer, as the further you are, the more efficient the Beamer is, and believe us, for a Strength 10 AP 1 Explosion in your opponent's ass, you'll be more than willing to make Bob the Builder walk a bit), and either way enjoy the results. If you actually want to make use of their repair ability, putting them in Stormravens is probably your best bet, since they've been FAQ'd to allow internal repairs.
- Purifier Squad - A steamroller against tarpits. These are super-PAGKs with cheaper special weapons, Fearless, and replacing Warp Quake with the Cleansing Flame psychic power, which causes additional wounds to all enemy models in combat on a 4+ (but allows armor saves). These guys can probably benefit the most from a Razorback.
- Venerable Dreadnought - A more powerful Dreadnought, 60 points more expensive, but with better WS/BS and the ability to force your opponent to reroll vehicle damage. However, it competes with many other choices for the Elites slot; you may have to settle for the standard garden-variety Dread if you run out of room. This has become a unit of extremely questionable merit, mostly due to cost-vs-benefit. The Venerable upgrade might save your bacon against a single lascannon or melta hit, but against high rate of fire strength 6/7 shots (assault cannons, autocannons, and their equivalents) you'll be stripped of hull points regardless. The increased BS is nice, I guess, but most of the ranged options are already twin-linked (TL BS5 is better than TL BS4, but it's a difference between 97.2% hit chance and 88.8% hit chance, you make the call). The increased WS is nice if your goal is close combat, but that also requires surviving long enough to get into close combat, which is possible by hoisting this onto your Stormraven Gunship. Remember that it retains the Reinforced Aegis rule.
- Paladin Squad - Super-Terminators, Paladins get +1 WS, +1 Wound, the Holocaust psychic power, and can take an Apothecary (Feel No Pain) for 75 Points or Master-Crafted weapons for 5 points each. These guys will run over an enemy who lacks high AP weapons. Extremely powerful, but extremely expensive and don't score unless you take Draigo. Steer clear of anything that inflicts Instant Death: A single Demolisher Cannon shot can ruin this expensive squad's day in a heartbeat. Nevertheless, Paladins will get the job done. Another way to use them is to stick a couple of them with an apothecary to an Independent Character's ass and use them as "Look out, Sir !" meatshields.
- Assassins -The assassins were "fixed" in 5th ed, meaning that they lost most of their special powers. Instead they got a statline that could make a Phoenix Lord green with envy (WS and BS 8 (that's higher than HQs in this book, and most every other book), S and T 4, 2 wounds) and are actually viable to play now. They all cost within ten points of each other and their wargear can't be changed.
- Callidus Assassin - She can pop out like the titular rambo dealing damage to an enemy unit as she does. Her phase sword is a power weapon that inflicts Instant Death. The Neural Shredder also tests against the enemy's Leadership rather than Toughness in a template, moving down weaker willed troops like wheat. Send her against big multi-wound thickies with poor leadership (Ogryns, Ork Nobz, etc.).
- Eversor Assassin - He comes with melta bombs, a lightning claw, and a Poisoned (2+) AP2 pistol. Pretty much guaranteed to cause some damage, but suffers from Overwatch fire and usually gets shot to death the very next turn unless your opponent is a blind dumbass. Alternate strategy: Use this guy like Wyches and bog him down in close combat with a squad he will win against but won't kill in one turn. Easily allowing you to massacre weaker squads packed together (Those devastators should probably have been spread out, but your opponent didn't think about that, did he?) And then continue on the rampage like nothing happened.
- Culexus Assassin - He forces Leadership tests on people shooting at him and can't be shot at if they fail this test. His gun fires faster if there are psykers around him. Good thing the Grey Knights are pretty much all psykers...
- Vindicare Assassin - He has a special sniper rifle and a pistol, which use different rounds for varying effects:
- Allocate wounds he inflicts.
- Ruin any Inv. save wargear within 36" and in LoS on a roll of 2+, plus a wound on a 4+.
- Wound on 2+.
- Deal 2 wounds.
- Penetrate vehicles on 4d6 (the round that deals 2 wounds also does this). This has become a favored tactic (along with hip-thrusting, hump-catting, and bear-blasting) for taking care of AV14 vehicles that you can't simply spam to death with psycannons.
- The Vindicare is probably the one you'll use the most since he's one of the few decent long range options the Codex has. The Callidus can come in handy with a horde opponent (pop out of a horde, do some damage, cover them in a template, laugh), but the other two (Eversor, Culexus) are least likely to see the battlefield.
- Grey Knight Terminator Squad - Terminators as Troops, a Marine fanboy's dream come true! Oh, wait, you could do that with Dark Angels the whole time. And have them in the Elites as well. Anyway. Dead 'ard, killy, and scoring, these guys are great for wrenching objectives from your opponent's grip. However, they will get expensive very quickly, especially if you take too many of them. Unlike PAGKs, Terminators don't lose their force weapons if you give them special weapons, like psycannons or incinerators, and Termies are Relentless, so they can be kitted out for shooting without losing any assault power. They even have grenades. Just about the only thing these guys don't have are Storm Shields (though a Force Sword gives them a 4+ invuln save in close combat so quit complaining). New edition pimped them as all 2+ units! Now they can't be killed in initiative order with power weapons, so they are even better in close combat than they used to be.
- Justicar Anval Thawn - A Fearless Terminator Justicar with a force halberd who can stand up again on a 4+ if he dies. However, after he dies, he's a separate unit, and with only one wound he might end up as target practice for a Guardsman with a plasma gun. He can be good for one last "Screw You" to the enemy, but at 75 points for a unit that isn't that much better than a standard Terminator Justicar (who is free)... He gets character bonuses, gives Fearless to the squad and is level 2 psyker (cast Hammerhand and use force weapon), but he usually ends up as a minor annoyance forcing your opponent to babysit him, lest he get up and claim the objective when they leave.
- Grey Knight Strike Squad - Your basic Power-Armored Grey Knights. While they're not as durable as GK Terminators (who also share the Troops slot) and have 1 Attack instead of 2, they're cheaper (You can take two PAGKs for the cost of one GK Terminator), you can fit these guys in a Rhino, which gives them some much-needed mobility, and they can Sweeping Advance, which Terminators cannot do. They also have the "Warp Quake" psychic power, which messes up deep-strikers. Use these guys against hordes and other lighter units while your Termies handle the big guys. Keep in mind that taking a special weapon like a Psycannon or an Incinerator will cost you a Force Weapon attack or two, so think wisely.
- Rhino - Look, Rhinos! RHIIIINOS! Our Grey Knights are hiding in MEHTAL BAWKSES, the cowards! THE FEWLS! Pretty much a must for PAGKs, they give Strike Squads, Purifiers, and Purgation Squads some much needed mobility. Cannot carry Terminators, so leave these at home if you plan to take a lot of them.
- Razorback - A Rhino with a big gun on the back. Good for providing fire support for PAGKs of all kinds.
- Stormraven Gunship - Flying
ToasterLand Raider, covered in guns, good for transport and blowing stuff up. Use them to drop Interceptors and Dreadnoughts into your opponent's midst. Also, it can take a teleport homer, which allows you to zip around and safely deploy reserves in addition to its transport capabilities. Finally, unless you're bringing lots of Jokaero, this is your only method of getting effective anti-armor into your list due you not getting the regular heavy weapons for your squads and you don't get to field predators. Seriously consider taking as many of these as you can afford to. However, instead of the badass Bloodstrike Missiles you get Mindstrike Missiles, so your only tank-killing goodness comes from Multi-Meltas and Typhoon Missile Launchers. Alternatively, you can fit it with Psybolt Ammunition for an extra 20 points and turn the twin-linked Assault Cannon into a S7 AP4 with Rending that can at least glance (if not penetrate) Landraiders and Monoliths on one out of 6 hits. And with the flyer rules (shooting four weapons at full BS, not counting the one extra from Power of the Machine Spirit), the hurricane bolters (at S5 due to the Psybolt ammunition) become a great way to tear through light vehicles and infantry. Remember, this one's a flyer - your opponent needs 6s to hit it. (if your opponent hasn't taken any Skyfire, the damn thing is nearly invincible)
- Grey Knight Interceptor Squad - Your only other Fast Attack choice, these are just PAGKs with teleporter packs that make them look like something from a cheesy '50s sci-fi movie. Ask the enemy to take them to their leader.
- Purgation Squad: These are the Grey Knights' equivalent to regular Space Marine Devastators - sort of. In reality, they're really just a Strike Squad that can take four heavy weapons without restriction. Note that you must park them in cover or they will die. Oh, and due to Astral Aim, they don't even need line of sight to their targets, although they still get a 4+ cover save; incinerators work wonders here, seeing as they ignore cover saves. However, due to the fact that Grey Knights heavy weapons are all short- to mid-range, you'll have to put them at risk to get any use out of them. This is especially true if they're assaulted, as heavy weapons mean no force weapons. Make sure these guys have a transport handy to get them out of dodge when your opponent decides to pay attention to them. They can (and probably should) take a teleport homer, allowing you to conveniently Deep Strike a unit of Paladins to screen the Purgation Squad.
- Dreadnought - It's a Dreadnought, what's not to like? Autocannons with psybolt ammunition make for surprisingly nice long-ranged anti-tank (two twin-linked Autocannons with Psybolt ammo is 10 points cheaper than a twin-linked Lascannon) but the Assault Cannon is better for close range. It's no slouch in melee either (unless the DCCW was exchanged for another gun), however it shares the common Dreadnought weakness of meltas and monstrous creatures. Its fists are still considered Nemesis Force Weapons, so it is capable of taking most monsters down with it, unless they're immune to instant death. Psyfleman dreads are the bane of transports, pumping out FOUR count them, FOUR s8 shots at long range. 3 of these plus 3 Venerable psyfledreads can blow apart anything below AV 13 to bits without breaking a sweat. Their Reinforced Aegis rule makes the dreadnoughts every and all nearby Aegis SUPER SHINY, as in buffing their effects up to -4. Want to mess up psykers real bad? Pick up some dreadnoughts.
- Nemesis Dreadknight - Xzibit's take on Power Armor, this unit alone is probably responsible for at least 30% of the rage directed against
the Grey Knightsyour spiritual liege. An ugly mechanical Monstrous Creature with a 2+ armor save and a 5+ invulnerable save, this thing is designed to take on Greater Daemons, Tyranid bio-monsters, and the like. It also has Dark Excommunication psychic power, so this guy will definitely wreck the hell out of any Greater Demon coming his way. However, keep in mind: 130 points seems cheap at first, but that means it will have no upgrades or ranged weapons at all - ranged weapons cost 30+ points apiece and the Teleporter costs 75 points. Close combat upgrades are the cheapest, will help your big guy in melee and according FAQ, Dreadknights are now strength 10 since Dreadnought close combat weapons don't just affect Dreadnoughts. Even with the sword that lets them re-roll hits, wounds and armor pens equipped they are still S10 and none of their weapons have the specialist rule so they keep the +1 attack. The teleporter does not make them lose Monstrous Creature status either. Watch out for Necrons and Gargoyles, they will ruin your day. He is the only one non-fearless MC in entire 40k, so beware the IG psyker squad on Chimera or even paired with Hellhound, because it could tank shock this guy and chase him in 6’, for no regroups allowed. Be afraid of Dark Eldar players, their Venoms, Warriors, Hellions and Scourges can drop a surprising amount of poisoned shots on your Dreadknights in one turn, Blasterborn squads will eat a Dreadknight unless you take the Field. Even still just don't take it against Dark Eldar armies PERIOD. Hell, even 10 Wyches pistoling this guy to death will kill him. Still, these guys are professional skullfuckers, and their ridiculously silly look will make your opponent cry tears of blood to have its tanks and precious snowflake characters being torn to shreds by such an ugly baby-carrying chicken.
- Land Raider/Crusader/Redeemer - The choice of Space Marines everywhere for Terminator transport, the Grey Knights Land Raiders are similar to the Land Raiders used by everyone else. The standard "Godhammer" pattern is schizo, the Crusader has the best transport capacity, and the Redeemer is excellent for mowing down swarms of troops. In 6-th ed. defense weapon rules are gone, so don't fear to take Psybolt ammunition for the Crusader. Unlike other Marine Chapters, you get Psycannons instead of Assault cannons, meaning you have higher strength, for no penalty.
- Games Workshop went forward and released a digital Inquisition codex, which is practically the same what the Grey Knights have in their codex (which were shoehorned there in the first place). As it stands, until a FAQ invalidates half of the codex, Grey Knights should continue using their own Inquisitors. The digital version was made so that
GW could make more moneypeople would have easier access to the Inquisition.
PLEASE RESTORE THIS SECTION Grey knights do not get all the same wargear (i.e. relics or warlord traits) nor can join non GK units, so their tactics would be different than linking us to the inquisition section. Also, Valeria is only in Codex: Grey Knights
- You can practically get every single NPC and PC from your Dark Heresy campaign if you take Inquisitorial Detachment along your own inquisitors. The Inquisition has its own tactica now, but you can get the general gist of the Grey Knight inquisitors from that.
- Aegis Defence Lines: Meh Meh. Don't take it if your strictly running grey knights infantry. But, it's not a bad idea to camp a Grand Master with a Orbital strike relay. Maybe park a land raider behind one?
- Skyshield Landing Pad: Coming soon.
- Imperial Bastion: Coming soon.
- Fortress of Redemption Fluffy as hell. Grey Knights sent to defend a Fortress of Humanity versus waves of Daemons, etc. Unfortunately considering that most of the weaponry is short ranged you'd have to find someway to force them to come to you. Perhaps allied Deathstrike Missiles behind the fortress etc. (really dick move btw).
- Grey Knights Thunderhawk Gunship (Forge World): Like regular Thunderhawk, BUT EVEN BETTER. It can replace ALL of its four twin-linked heavy bolters for twin-linked Psycannons for 20 pts only. Trololo. Just remember, that with 6th ed there would be A LOT more skyfire weapons all around.
- Inquisition: Why haven't you taken it yet? Seriously, you get 3 Elites Choices (Read: 3 units of Inquisitorial Henchmen) and each of them can take a transport like a Rhino, or a Chimera or a Land Raider or a Valkyrie. That makes it worth it right up front, but with the right load out, they can fill holes in your army, so this should be your first choice right here, but it is even better not take them as allies. Inquisitors have this trick of acting a bit like a part of the normal detachment allowing you to still take another ally. Consider a Inquisitor in a Valkyrie, while still having a full Guard artillery battery and doing some screening with large blocks of bolter brothers; or a four lascannon Devastator squad buffed by a psyker Inquisitor while Knights deal with the enemy infantry. The possibilities are great with combinations of just Inquisition and Red Hunters not even counting allies of convenience at all!
- Space Marines (Red Hunters): If your group is okay with Forge World and you have an Inquisitorial detachment, Space Marines with the Red Hunters Chapter Tactic count as Battle Brothers for Grey Knights. The problem is that there is a lot of overlap between your two armies you're both bolter shooting, power armour wearing armies, just that they shoot better, while you have more special rules and buffs. However the actual nature of the Red Hunters chapter tactic makes them great for supplementing Grey Knights: you get one-turn-use ability that give one of the six useful special rules (Counter-attack, Monster Hunter, Tank Hunters, Hatred, Skyfire or Interceptor) to X units (including dreads), where X is a number of the current turn, so this bring a bit of risk management into the game. Used properly, this ability could be devastating. Combine this with your powers and you can get some incredible attack effects. They are specially good when fighting against Chaos Space Marines and Daemons: they can take on the Chaos Marines, and the Grey Knights can murder-rape the Daemons!
- Adepta Sororitas: Coming soon.
- Blood Angels: Coming soon.
- Dark Angels: Coming soon.
- Eldar: Coming soon.
- Imperial Guard: Coming soon.
- Necrons: Coming soon.
- Space Marines (All the Other Varieties): What's the main thing that Grey Knights lack? Long-range firepower. What do Vanilla Marines have in spades, in the form of Lascannon/Plasma Cannon Devastators, Skyhammer Stormtalons or, if you like seeing your points drop faster than a hooker with a broken hip, Devastator Centurions? Long-range firepower. Your regular GKs can handle the short-range firefight with their Storm Bolters and Psycannons, pop a squad of Devastators in a ruin or fortification, and get a Techmarine to slap on a +1 Cover Save buff. 3+ cover save Lascannons? Fuck your metal boxes. Facing enemy Terminator problems? 4 Plasma Cannons will wreck their day. If you REALLY want to get some tank killing up in this, and don't fear the close range, give them some Multi-Meltas, make Vulkan the HQ and laugh as you turn everything from Land Speeders to Land Raiders into molten slag. Also, Stormtalons escorting Stormravens, that drop Dreadnoughts and Paladins.
- Space Wolves: Coming soon.
Allies of Convenience
- Orks: Coming soon.
- Tau Empire: Much like the Space Marines, the Tau also offer a LOT of long range firepower, but while the Marines offer long range firepower at moderate rates and strength, the Tau tend to either hit a lot faster or a lot harder. However, a lot of Tau things are meant to roll around a few specific things (Markerlights, railguns) that might be rather costly, and playing Grey Knights you really aren't going to have many points to spare. With 7th edition Tau are now desperate allies
While anything AV 10-12 will pose about as much challenge to your psycannons as wet cardboard, AV 13-14 can be a problem. You don't have many good options for tank hunting and its important to choose the right one. The first option is MOAR PSYCANNONS. Even AV14 will eventually falter under a hail of S7 rending shots, this just isn't the most efficient use of them.
not to use Psycannons primarily as anti-armour because Rending is Hail Mary faggotry even with 4-8 shots per unit, so instead invest in some Dreadnoughts with Psybolts and Twin-Linked Autocannons. 4 twin-linked S8 shots per turn per Dread is enough to push damage past most cover saves (unless you have some fucker with a GK Librarian giving everything Stealth) and is good for most vehicles between AV10 and 12. You could also take dreads with autocannons, just remember that inside 24", psycannons take a huge mathematical shit on psybolt autocannons no matter what AV the target is. For high AV targets, there's also Meltaguns. Another option is a Vindicare. His special penetrating shot will allow you to neutralize armor early on one tank per turn at best assuming it fails it's cover save at long range 36 inches which is not really long range. It can be is fragile and too expensive, but this has come out as the favorite choice for most cockmonglers armies . If by some exceptionally bad manly choice you've built a Coteaz army, you can also use laser apes. Since their digital weapons can count as both lascannons and meltas (among others) they are equipped to deal with just about any situation. They also have special Monkey Powers which make ordinarily-nasty weapons even nastier. Rending Multimeltas with 36" range? Yes please.
You can also spam Razorbacks with lascannons, but your best bet is to just bite the bullet and bring Coteaz with a bunch of Meltagun Henchmen in Chimeras and use them like Imperial Guard Vet squads. Using Coteaz also lets you bring Death Cult Assassins, which you should due to dual-wield Initiative 6 power weapons that murder most everything in close combat and also DAT ASS. Run them in Chimeras so you can team them up with a Librarian for MAXIMUM FUCK (+2 Strength with 2D6 for armour penetration = they will kill Walkers as well as everything else, including Paladins).
- An Alternate Take: You could always ally with eldar for lots of cool units. For anti-tank there are fire dragons in wave serpents which is THE BEST anti-tank unit in the game.
Glance to the death!
In new edition autocannons are even more cheesy then they used to be cause now vehicles have HP, which they lose with EVERY glance. So take your dreads and glance LRs to death. Watch your opponents crying. Plasma-henchmen and psycannons are nice in glancing AV 10-12, and even 13. Enjoy. Except that you need 24 S8 HITS to glance a LR to death, without cover saves. 48 if it passes through ruins. Don't rely on HP depletion.
- Draigo's Shiny Dozen: Take Draigo, take 2-3 squads of Paladins as troops with diverse wargear, don't forget the psycannons and maybe a Psyfleman dreadnought or 2, a Landraider is useful, but you will lose something for it. Below 1,500 points you will literally have roughly 12 models on the field. This army is good for newbies as it does not require much time and money to build it. A 500 point Army taking only Draigo and four squads of only one Paladin each, giving one Master Crafted, can and DOES WIN you a game against a captain with a plasma pistol, and two tactical squads (Each with Plasma Cannons, Plasma Guns, and... Shit everything plasma!), this has been proven. Be sure to play this song to your opponent when you bring this list, as it describes what they're in a nutshell. Play THIS if you feel like waiting until the chorus to start shitstomping. Don't forget to well handle it fluff-wise (justifying what is he doing there with just a couple paladins on his ass, and even give them some character) or else you might look like this : "OLOLOLOLOLOLOOOOL My Dr4ïGo 4nD pAls r SsoOo fckawsom 2+ 3++ gona fck U bItCh n00b stfu xXXXx".
- Alternative Opinion: Thinking this still works in 6th edition against the new Tau or Eldar will lose you a lot of games. Tau Riptide Ion Accelerators with Markerlight support make short work of Paladins if you're dumb enough to footslog them up the field. Meanwhile, Eldar Wraithguard can insta-death your shiny knights with their special guns. Low model count is a giant liability and while you may think you're safe in your suit of Terminator armor, your opponent will be packing AP2 weapons and can and will pick apart your squads.
- Coteaz Leaf Blower: Remember those annoying as fuck leaf blower lists that finally made IG in 5th edition an army to be feared for the first time in 40k? Well Coteaz can imitate these lists, using GK Psyfleman Dreadnoughts, Henchmen squads of Jokaero spamming lascannons/meltas and Warrior Acolytes packing meltaguns/flamers in Chimeras acting as MechVets. There aren't really any extras you can add to this as you're taking full Troops and Heavy Support slots, if you have spare points grab a Vindicare assassin and GK Veteran Psyfleman Dreadnoughts to max out that long-to-mid range anti-tank. Advantages over the IG variants is the stupidity of lasermonkeys, GK vehicles using Fortitude and Vindicare Assassins. The disadvantages are that people already hate you for being GK, anything that can get to close combat will auto-win, although this really shouldn't happen, only
Vanguard Veterans(nope, Vanguard Vets lost that skill), CSM Lesser Daemons and Space Wolves (they will fuck your shit up on turn 1) can assault the turn they deepstrike to the best of my knowledge, everything else needs to survive for at least one of your shooting phases, that said watch out for Dark Eldar Wych lists, if you're too far forward they can pull of their first turn assault shenanigans, so against DE army that is Wych heavy(unlikely as it is) use your Chimeras as a buffer against them, also keep your dreadnoughts back as they can assault them, avoid being shot due to being in CC and thanks to Haywire grenades they have a reasonable chance of beating it and then moving onto your less resilient squads.
- Purifires: This is the way many people love to play GK in Russia. They fill out their troops choices with 5-6 Puries with psycannons on las-plas razors, one pack include 8-9 Purifiers and Libby which ride a Land Raider or Stormraven to eat everything in CC. Garran Crowe (which is motherfucking badass and has a cool look) is taken as HQ. Psyflemen dreads are used as heavy support. So you can have a motherfucking gunline which deals with almost any armor and not to suck in HtH. -- Got hit hard by the nerf bat in 6th edition-- Purifiers are now really squishy, and so will take a very skilled player to be competetive.
- Oh Really?: This how men with beards so beardy they grow fucking beards play GKs. 2000 points, Coteaz, Grand Master w/ Orbital Relay, 6x Techmarines with Orbital Relays, some Crusader troop squads and Stormravens. Have you ever wanted to bitchslap people so hard they crap napkins? Donkeypunch a mofo into yesteryear? How about dropping 14 S6 Ap4 large blasts on their face turn one? Proxy this buxom bastard and give it a whirlydo. Doesn't work at lower points levels since you need the double FoC to be able to saturate with enough orbital strikes.
- Draigowing: Now this is cheese. Probably one of the most elite and tasty 1000 point list out there(or more). The idea of Draigowing is to take Kaldor, put 3 or 4 Pallys in a squad, and two more squads of 3 or 4. Hell, maybe if your playing 1500 you could thrown in a dreadknight. But, don't forget the idea of this list it. And that is to have Draigo being escorted by pallys with psycannons. Kinda cool right? This is by far, the most un-competitive list the grey knights have. You'll most likely lose all your matches, get eaten for breakfast by Tau and Eldar, but this is a pretty fun list. But try not to burst out in tears when a melta template from a hellhound wipes out an entire squad. This is not exactly the same a "Draigos shiny dozen" so don't get confused.
What to buy
Every time you buy Grey Knights, Ward gets a raise. Buy more Coteaz, and get some Sisters of Battle to provide the Inquisitorial Henchmen, thereby denying Ward his money.
Also, if you want there's a better way to use Grey Knight without having to buy their specific models. The Space Marines have a chapter similar to the Knights and it's called the Exorcists. Check them out on Lexicanum for a complete history. Basically, they are a secret project conducted by the Inquisition in which they have the Marines possessed and later exorcised so they can gain a resistance to Chaos. Plus they are invisible to all the Daemons except the ones who are incredibly powerful. They have a mutual respect going on with the Inquisition and apparently team up with them on various occasions. This gives players a fluffy reason to field them with Inquisitors on the field. So there you have it, buy Space Marine models, paint them in Exorcist colors, and make Matt Ward cry. Forgeworld even has an exorcists character, with a master crafted S10 TH that wounds daemons AUTOMATICALLY. Hardcore.
Alternatively: the Grey knight dex can be used to proxy sisters of battle with surprisingly effectiveness. "why does your Cannoness have terminator armor save?" shield of faith. "why are your sisters all psychic?" their not, their using acts of faith. That said stay away from terminator armor as much as you can if you do this and stick with 'normal' power armor troops.
For people NOT interested in being butt-hurt over the latest codex and instead just want to play /TheGame/, a good starting choice is, of course, a couple squads of either GKTs or GKSSs, depending on your financial restrictions and what amount of points you're looking to start with. For the recently-inducted, 500-750 pt. games are a good way to get your feet wet, and thus you will probably want to go for a pair of GKSSs and a Librarian [whose psychic attacks are fuck-right devastating]. A good expansion will be with Terminators and one of the more specialized HQ units, or if you're looking to have some diversity, an Inquisitor and their retinue. Invest in at least one Stormraven, a Dreadknight, and either a Rhino or a Land Raider, depending on the balance of power-armor units to terminators, respectively. And of course, be sure to ignore the people rolling their eyes for selecting the Grey Knights; Matt Ward's silliness aside, the Grey Knights ARE a pretty fuckawesome army list with a good aesthetic design for the hobbyists and, with practice and patience, can efficiently lay waste to anyone they stand against. If you balk at the Grey Knights fighting something other than daemons, well...if you look hard enough and scream you battle litanies loud enough, ANYTHING you set in front of your Knights on the tabletop will look like a daemon.
Also, if your opponent is loose with his WYSIWYG rules, the Dark Vengeance starter box provides you with warrior acolytes right off the bat. The cultists with guns can be used as almost any warrior acolyte option you can have, barring the melta guns and plasma guns. I would also like to point out that Sisters of battle actually serve a purpose (HUZZAH(?)), serving as warrior acolytes with a few weapon load outs, which is okay I guess if you only want melta guns. Fantasy-battles flagellants can also be nice material for conversion, they'll look pretty nice with flamers and meltas.