Saturday, August 23, 2014

Codex: Grey Knights First Look Review

What's up everyone?  Chandler here with another review, and this time, it is Chapter 666, The Grey Knights. This is a Codex surprise in a way. Only two weeks out from Codex:  Space Wolves, and we have our next 7th edition book. This is awesome, and with the new dataslate out earlier today, the Knights are on the move, looking for Demons.

So without further interruption:  I give you Codex:  Grey Knights.
As we have seen from all of the other 7th edition Codexes, the books look great, the pictures are fantastic, and the back story is explained a little bit more (with still a lot of mystery). It talks about the end of the Heresy, the initial building of Titan, and more information on how they get their ammunition and ordnance. One of the parts that I love is that they go through the layers of the Grey Knights from the Brotherhoods through the Purifiers and Paladins. They also talk about the 8 brother hoods and how they are made up.  In addition to all of this background, they even give a brief history of each of the Brotherhoods, their heraldry, and the Grand Master that leads them.

The back story continues as they go through their role as Daemonhunters and how the Grey Knights derive their power. They go through the Words of Banishment, the Tesseract Labyrinths, and the Aegis itself. The book contains an awesome stellar map of the worlds and regions that the Grey Knights control and guard. They continue to go through the armaments of the Knights, the standard weaponry, and some history on some of the most well known Knights currently in the Imperium.

Now to the Goodies.  The Grey Knights have access to much of the same weapons and gear that they had before and I will go over the Relics at the end.

The first HQ is that of the Brother Captain and the Grand Master. The Brother Captain is the same cost as before and the Grand Master is 10 points more than before with an additional attack. Now that 35 point increase also gives the Grand Master a ML of 2 while the Brother Captain is ML 1. They both have the Aegis Special Rule (re-roll results of 1 when making Deny the Witch tests), Purity of Spirit (can only generate Sanctic powers from Daemonology), and Preferred Enemy (Daemons). In addition, they can generate from Divination, Pyromancy, Telekinesis, and Telepathy. Their war gear is standard Terminator Armour, Storm Bolter, Nemesis force sword, Frag/Krak grenades, Psyk-out grenades, and the Iron Halo. Look out because they can take from the melee weapons, terminator special weapons, special issue war gear, and Relics of Titan.

The second HQ slot is that of Brother Captain Stern. He comes in 15 points cheaper with the same stat line.  He has the same war gear as the Brother Captain, is ML 2, and has Strands of Fate (re-roll one roll to hit, to wound, or saving throw each phase, but opponent can do same at any point later in the game), Zone of Banishment (if he manifests the Banishment power from Daemonology it targets all enemy units with the Daemon Special rule with 12").  His warlord Trait is set at Unyielding Anvil (I will go over this later). His  powers are set as Banishment, Hammerhand, and Sanctuary.

Brotherhood Champion is his original cost and a half.  He rolls to battle with a WS 6, 2W, and 2A.  He has Artificer armour, MC nemesis force sword, and a ML 1. He has Heroic Sacrifice, which gives him a free attack if he is killed in combat before being removed. He also gets two modes with his sword when in a challenge - either getting Smash for the entire challenge, or allowing him to reroll failed saves. His powers are set as Banishment and Hammerhand.

Next is Castellan Crowe, at 25 points more than before. His attacks are set at 3 and he gets both modes of the Brotherhood Champion when in a challenge. He comes with the Hammer of Righteousness Warlord Trait. His sword no longer gives a charging opponent a bonus though, so that's good.

The Librarians come in with a 40 point discount, and still Mastery Level 2 base, with the option to upgrade to level 3 for half the cost of before. Techmarines come in at the same cost, but are now an HQ choice; however, they do not take up a slot if another HQ choice is taken. 

In the Troops section is the Strike Squad, at a 10 point increase, though they are still the same cost per model. Terminators are coming in at a 35 point discount, and five points less per model. 

In the Elites section, Purifiers lead off, at five points more for the unit and one more point per model for additional models, and can take a special weapon for every five models in the squad. Paladins are next, with a minimum squad size of 3, at the same cost per model. 

Dreadnoughts are an elites choice, at 10 points more than before base. Venerable Dreads are 25 points cheaper though. 

The Fast Attack section starts with the old dedicated transports - Rhinos and Razorbacks. 

Next is the Interceptor Squad at the same cost as before, though the additional models are two points less. The Stormraven comes in at 5 points less, but lost Mindstrike Missiles.

Heavy Support starts with the Purgation Squad at 10 points more than before. Dreadknights are next, at the same base cost. His Teleporter was reduced by 45 points. The gun options did go up 5-10 points each, but the combat options (Daemon hammer or greatsword) are reduced. Next are the Land Raider variants as normal.

The Lord of War for the book is Draigo at 30 points less. He has set powers (Banishment, Gate, Hammerhand, and Purge). His Titansword is +3S and AP2, Force, and can reroll failed Wound and Armor Pen rolls against Daemons while Force is in effect. 

The Codex Formation is the Grey Knights Brotherhood, which is a full army: a Grand Master, a Brother Captain, a Brotherhood Champion, 3 Strike Squads, 3 Terminator Squads, 2 Interceptor Squads, 2 Purgation Squads, a Dreadnought, and a Dreadknight. If the Warlord is chosen from the formation, he can reroll his Warlord Trait on the Grey Knights table. While the Grand Master is alive, all units in the formation harness warp charges on a 3+. Finally, units held in Deep Strike reserve can be rolled for starting on turn 1, and run and shoot on the turn they arrive from Deep Strike.

Grey Knights get the Combat Squad rule, the Aegis, Purity of Spirit, and their own Warlord Traits. The Warlord Traits are Daemon-Slayer (Hatred (Daemons), harnesses WCs on a 2+ when casting Banishment), Hammer of Righteousness (warlord and unit get Hammer of Wrath), Unyielding Anvil (Warlord and units in 12" are Stubborn), First to the Fray (if placed in DS reserve, automatically arrive turn 1 and can reroll scatter), Perfect Timing (counter-attack), and Lore Master (knows an extra power that must be generated from Sanctic). 

For the Weapons, Psycannons became Salvo, Psilencers became Force, and Incinerators gained Soul Blaze, and the Heavy Incenerator became Torrent. The Brotherhood Banner allows rerolling failed Morale and Pinning tests within 12", and +1A for the bearer's unit. Psyk-Out Greands can be thrown like other grenades. 

The Relics are the Bone Shard of Solor (3++ when within 12" of a Daemon, 2++ if within 12" of a Daemon of Khorne, and Hatred (Daemons of Khorne), the Cuirass of Sacrifice (Terminator armor with It Will Not Die and Feel No Pain), the Domina Liber Daemonica (knows an additional power from Sanctic, bearer and friendly Grey Knight units within 6" reroll 1s when manifesting Sanctic powers), the Fury of Deimos(36" S4 AP5 Assault 3, Master-crafted, precision shots), the Nemesis Banner (GK units within 12" are fearless, the bearer and unit gain +1A, and Daemons within 12" treat all terrain, even open ground, as Dangerous Terrain), and the Soul Glaive (+1S AP3 Force, Daemonbane, Two Handed weapon that allows the bearer to reroll dice for manifesting Force, rerolls to hit, to wound, and armor penetration rolls when force is active). 

The Grey Knight Detachement is 1-2 HQ, 1-4 Troops, 0-4 Elites, 0-2 Fast Attack and Heavy Support, and 0-1 LoW and Fortification. This detachment, as shown in the White Dwarf last week, can deep strike turn one with Battle Focus essentially. 

Finally are the 6 Grey Knight Tactical Objectives, replacing 11-16 in the regular deck: 
  • Destroy the Daemon: 1VP if 1 or more Daemon units are destroyed, D3 for 2-5 Daemon units, and D3+3 for 6+ Daemon units
  • Psychic Communion: 1VP for manifesting 3+ psychic powers, D3 for 6+ powers
  • No Witnesses!: 1VP if all opposing ICs have been removed as casualties
  • Deeds of Legend: 1VP if a GK charcter killed an opponent in a challenge, D3 if the character was an MC or IC
  • Teleport Attack: 1VP if an enemy unit was destroyed by a GK unit that Deep Struck that turn, used a teleport shunt, or used Gate of Infinity. 
  • Rites of Exorcism: Opponent must select an Objective - 1VP for controlling it at the end of the turn, D3 if this is scored on the same turn it is generated.
All in all, the Codex seems like it got more elite than it was before, with the loss of cheap Henchmen units. That said, the GK detachment requires only a single Troop. There is a strong emphasis on Santic Powers, but vehicles outside Dreadnoughts lost the Psychic Pilot rule. Terminators got a good bit cheaper, so might be fielded over Paladins on occasion. 

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