Guide to Grey Knights
The Warriors of Titan
SpoilerCombat Squads: With very few Missions requiring Kill Points, getting double the amount of units per FOC slot is nothing short of quite good. If, you're ever in a position where playing multiple small units of Marines would end badly for you (i.e; AP3 Blast/Templates, Kill Point Missions, etc.), you can just keep your units of ten. For this reason - and this reason alone - it's really hard to justify why you would ever have units of 6-9 models that have this rule.
The Aegis: Re-roll 1s when Denying the Witch. Some debate on whether or not this counts as a 'bonus' and whether or not you can use it when Denying Powers that don't target your units.
Purity of Spirit: If you didn't already know that Grey Knights don't suffer extra Perils from rolling on Sanctic from the rulebook, this rule spells it out again for you. However, also note that this rule also means that GK models can't generate Malefic at all. Which makes perfect sense.
1. Daemon specific. Re-roll if not playing against Daemons. Otherwise it's actually pretty good.
2. Not great.
3. Stubborn isn't the best.
4. Auto-Deep Strike in the first turn, re-roll Scatter. Really strong.
5. Counter-Attack is decent.
6. Gain an extra Power from Sanctic. Also strong. Since your Warlord will already know half the Powers anyway, you'll be able to re-roll into Vortex often enough to make it count. But, remembering that rolling this Warlord Trait is random, so, probably not that reliable.
This Table isn't great. 4 and 6 are really strong, but that's it. Like always, you're probably better off rolling on the Strategic Traits.
Relics of Titan
Bone Shard of Solor: Daemon specific, again. If Daemons are all the rage in your meta, you can have a 3+ Invulnerable save. 2+, if they're using Khorne models. So, here's hoping your opponents are using Khorne Dogs instead of Screamers (yeah, right).
Fury of Deimos: Not strong.
Cuirass of Sacrifice: Terminator Armour that gives IWND and FNP. For 15 Points its really good.
Soul Glaive: At least they got the Glaive part right. It's a Nemesis Halberd that allows the bearer to re-roll Force - remembering that Force targets all Force Weapons in a unit. Really strong. Also, while Force is active, the bearer of the Soul Glaive re-rolls all To Hit, To Wound and AP rolls. Only downside is that it isn't AP2, which would be broke. It's still very, very good though, since you can re-roll Force, and you do have other Hammers in the unit, right?
Domina Liber Daemonica: Gain an extra Sanctic Power, and all Grey Knights models within 6" re-roll 1s when making Psychic Tests. Really, really strong, since it can prevent you from failing to Manifest Vortex.
The Nemesis Banner: Gain an extra attack and Daemons treat all Terrain as Dangerous. It'd be useful if all the best stuff in the Daemons book didn't ignore Terrain.
SpoilerBrother-Captain: Standard 'Space Marine Terminator Captain' statline, who pays 30 Points for a Mastery Level, and an upgrade from a Power Sword to a Nemesis Sword, along with all the GK special rules that come from being a GK. Seems about right. A Grand Master pays another 35 Points for an extra attack, and an extra Mastery Level. Is it really worth paying 10 Points for an extra attack? The Liber Daemonica is 25 Points and gives you an extra Sanctic Power and re-rolls 1s when trying to Manifest Sanctic Powers. If you don't actually care about Sanctic and want to roll on another Table - like Telepathy - then, yeah. Paying for the extra Mastery Level is worth it. Halberd is good, Hammer is better. Melta Bombs.
Brother-Captain Stern: Stern is a Brother-Captain, who automatically knows Hammerhand and Sanctuary and the Primaris, and he's Mastery Level 2 for that extra Warp Dice. Strands of Fate is a worthless ability. If you re-roll To Wound, or anything that you need to happen, your opponent can immediately re-roll his Saving Throw on the next dice, it's a very finicky rule, and more often benefits your opponent than it does you. Zone of Banishment alters the Banishment Power, and turns it into a 'Nova', Zone of Banishment is fairly strong if you're playing against Daemons and you Deep Strike Stern into the middle of it - but that's ill-advised. His fixed Warlord Trait is Stubborn, and that's not fantastic. Still, you pay 35 Points to guarantee yourself Sanctuary, and that's not bad.
Brotherhood Champion: Two wounds and two attacks is pretty bad. He must also always Issue and Accept Challenges, and that would be bad, since he only has an AP3 weapon. But, when he goes into Sword Strike stance, he gains Smash, which means all of his attacks are AP2 - even with the Sword. He's fairly strong. But not stronger than a Brother-Captain, who can actually roll on Div or TP. A Brotherhood Champion also can't take any wargear at all, which severely limits his usefulness, even if he does have I5 with an AP2 weapon. However, if your opponent refuses the Challenge, the Champion loses AP2, which isn't great when you're going up against Cent-stars or Iron Priest-backed Thudercav. Always ignore for...
Castellan Crowe: For 25 Points over the regular Champion, Crowe is Fearless, uses both Sword Strike and Blade Shield at the same time, meaning that when he's in a Challenge (he also always has to Issue and Accept), he's AP2 and he re-rolls failed Saving Throws. If that wasn't all, he gains a Mastery Level (that's 25 Points right there), and comes stock with Hammerhand and Cleansing Flame - and the Primaris. His Warlord Trait is that he gives his unit Hammer of Wrath, and that's not awful. The only issue with Crowe is that he doesn't carry a Force Weapon, in fact, his weapon is AP- (), so, when he's not in a Challenge with automatic AP2, he becomes significantly less good, because he can't even fall back on Force like a normal Champion could. Still, he's Fearless, and that's not nothing. Throw him into any unit you want.
Librarian: ML2, Terminator Armour and keeps his Grenades, with all the GK special rules, for five points less than a Librarian from Codex Marines. He can even be upgraded to ML3, and is the only model in the entire book that can take a Combi-Melta or -Plasma. Since he comes stock with a Psychic Hood and a Warding Stave, that gives him a Psychic Hood and Adamantium Will, so now he's even better than Space Wolves - with The Aegis as well! However, more often than not, you're going to want to swap the Stave for a Hammer, losing AW, but still, if you don't want to lose AW, you don't have to. Melta Bombs are handy. With the Daemonica, you now have 4 rolls on the Sanctic Table, which near-guarantees your ability to roll for Vortex, which is really handy for knocking out Knight Titans and T5 multi-wound models. GK Librarians are very strong models. Who needs a 'Unique' Librarian when they're already this strong?
Techmarine: 90 Points for a 1-Wound model is asking a lot. Then again, 90 Points is actually cheap (just like the Librarian). Per a Codex Marine Techmarine, he's bought a Servo-Harness and Power Axe (not a Force Weapon!), which puts him at 90 Points, even. Then you stack on all the GK rules and ML1 (Hammerhand), you're actually up a whole lot of points. Then if you really want to, you can upgrade his Axe to a Hammer, gaining S:x2 and Force for 10 Points. Still, even though he's way more powerful than his Codex Marine counterpart, he's still not that useful, Grey Knights just don't need him that much, since they're even less likely to spam Vehicles than Marines simply because they don't have any - usually. Also recalling that as strong as he is, he's still only got one Wound, and you want to pay ~100 Points for him? Really?
SpoilerStrike Squad: Marines. Defensively, they're T4 with 3+ Armour. Nothing that your opponents can't deal with already. You're paying six points per model for their offensive capabilities; ML1 (Hammerhand), and the entire unit has Force Weapons and Storm Bolters. They're very strong in Assault. But, they still have to get there in the first place. Your Power Armoured models have the ability to Deep Strike, sure. But it's far from reliable. At the end of the day, you're paying a premium for what amounts to T4 models with a 3+ save. At least Vanguard Veterans can take a few Storm Shields.
Terminator Squad: Why are you taking Power Armoured models again? ML1 (Hammerhand). Terminators with Grenades - what is this madness!? Every single Terminator carries a Force Weapon, with the aforementioned Grenades. You can even outfit several - or all! - of your Terminators with Hammers. Force Hammers. With Hammerhand. You can pick between S8, Force, or S10. Both of which end up being the same thing in the long run. If you add an Independent Character to the unit, you can make it S10, Force, because you really, really hate T6 models. Sure, Space Marine Terminators can take 3+ Invulnerable saves. But those Terminators aren't in the Troops slot, are they?
If you want max Hammers, the PROTIP is to buy a box of Codex Marine Terminators, and use the Hammers from that box, to put on your GK Terminators, with a GK Terminator box, this gives you six Hammers, for five models. Put a Hammer on an Independent Character. I don't care. That'll leave you with five Lightning Claw Terminators. Do you like SPACE SHARKS!!!? Yeah, it's expensive. But what in this hobby isn't?
That, or order Hammer bits online.
SpoilerPurifier Squad: Veteran Marines. With Fearless and ML2 (Hammerhand and Cleansing Flame), and all Melee attacks from this unit have the Soul Blaze special rule. Two special weapons per five models makes this a fairly strong unit. Similar to Terminators, any or all models can take Hammers (PROTIP: Vanguard Veteran box). But, you're not Terminators. You're Purifiers and you 'only' have a 3+ save, and no Invulnerable. All your models going last could be disastrous. You're much better off equipping a few models with the cheaper Halberds, maybe throw in one or two Hammers, as many Special Weapons as you can fit, and leave three models to be bullet magnets while you try and get into Assault. Fearless goes a long way into making this unit not suck, and is pretty much the only reason that they're usable.
Paladin Squad: Terminators with 2 Wounds. Are they T5? No? Then who cares? Okay, seriously then. For 55 points per model, they're really not good. For 20 Points, you can give the unit FNP. That's cool. But they're still only T4, and don't have better than 5+ Invulnerable save. Minimal investment is 165 Points for three models - six Wounds - and...That's it. They've got Hammerhand, but so does everything else. They've got Force Weapons. But so does everything else. Paladins are slow, they can't Sweep, and they're expensive. Those same points, using the exact same kit, builds five Terminators for 165 Points, in the Troops slot.
Are your opponents already dealing with T4, 2 Wound Screamers? Which move like the Devil and save like Jesus? Then they're going to roll right over Paladins without even sweating. Paladins are just not good.
Dreadnought: They've got Multi-Meltas, that's something. But really, since your Infantry probably wont be fielding expensive Psycannons, double Autocannons gives you that S7 ranged punch that you're missing. Dreadnoughts also have access to the invaluable Plasma Cannon and Twin-Linked Lascannon, giving you ranged AP2 and Vehicle-killing power that isn't tied to randomly trying to generate Vortex of Doom on your HQ models.
SpoilerRhino and Razorback: Also Dedicated Transports. Nothing special here. These Transports don't even have the Psychic Pilot rule. Which is fine, because that would only drive up their cost. Rhinos are fine Vehicles, but Razorbacks have Twin-Linked Lascannons, or Lascannon and Twin-Linked Plasma Guns. Which you can't get at all on your Infantry. Consider buying Razorbacks in your Troops slots, even if you plan on Deep Striking your Strike Squads, because you're not really going to bust Tanks at range any other way.
Interceptor Squad: Strike Knights who are Jump Infantry. Nothing special. Except for the fact that once per game, they can move a whole 30", and still shoot. Far more reliable than Deep Striking if your plan is to get in your opponent's face on Turn 1. Two, even three minimum units of Interceptors sends a strong message to your opponent. They need to deal with Interceptors now, or Turn 2, they'll be in Assault, which is where Grey Knights really want to be. On the other hand, if you save it 'til late game. *BAMF*, 30" move and now you're contesting or holding an Objective that would have otherwise taken you three or even four turns to get to. How many points would you pay to win the game? If you're into Interceptors, take a lot of them. If you're not...Don't take any, well, maybe minimum 5. When it comes to spending your points on 'good stuff', Interceptors are pretty far down the ladder. Although in Highlander you can only take one Stormraven anyway...
Stormraven Gunship: You need one, but probably not two. They're too expensive. Find another way to deal with Fliers (like Fortifications, or the fact that all of your units have Preferred Enemy (Daemons)). There's really not much to say. It's an Assault Vehicle that carries 12 models and Dreadnought. The Dreadnought 'slot' is probably something you can ignore, since you'll want any Dreadnought that you have, on the table and shooting as much as possible. But the 12 model capacity, on an Assault Vehicle is something you definitely want in a Grey Knights army, because every single one of your models carries an AP3 Force Weapon, and being in Assault is really where you want to be.
SpoilerPurgation Squad: Devastators. You get four Special Weapons. If you really want Psycannons, these guys are where you'd put them. Since taking Special Weapons removes your Melee weapons. A proper maxed out Pugation unit is therefore going to have no real Melee capability, so they'll want to sit back and shoot where their Salvo weapons will do the most damage. Just because, a Purgation Squad has Night Vision so it's worth having one unit just to pick off units who think they can get in your face just because Night Fight is up. If you really want, bring a Razorback for the Vehicle killing capability. Having one unit of Purgators with Psycannons is already really handy to pick out models from the Summoning Circus, since Preferred Enemy (Daemons) lets you re-roll a bunch of your Snap Shots on guns that have a high RoF. Tyranid Fliers? You're on your own. Ultimately though, Purgators don't Assault, so a lot of army builds aren't going to find a use for them, because...
Nemesis Dreadknight: Best unit in the book. T6, four Wounds, 2+/5++. Yes, unlike Tyranids, Dreadknights actually have a real save, and it's ML1 (Sanctuary), which means you can have a 4++ if you're really desperate. Still. For 30 Points, Dreadknights can be similar to Interceptors, and once a game, move 30". If you thought 15 Interceptors in your DZ on Turn 1 was scary, try three Dreadknights! Also remembering that you can still shoot after the 30" move. Heavy Incinerators are the weapon of choice, since it's the cheapest weapon on the list, and it's still really effective anyway. If S10 isn't enough for you, you can pay 5 Points for a Hammer, for S10, Force. If S10, Force seems like overkill, you can instead pay points to re-roll To Hit in Melee...With S10.
Land Raider, Crusader and Redeemer: Land Raiders. You know 'em, you love 'em. Or, you did. Then Knight Titans came in and ruined Vehicles for everyone. Anyway, the base Land Raider has Lascannons, which are useful, not having Frag Assault Launchers like the other 'Raiders is irrelevant, because even Grey Knight Terminators carry Grenades. The Crusader has the highest Transport Capacity, which is useful for carrying Terminators, and the Redeemer has AP3, Ignores Cover weapons. Pick your favourite. They're all good. Sort of. Nothing is better than a Dreadknight.
However, Terminators can take them as Dedicated Transports, that makes them a Troops unit, that gives you Land Raiders with Objective Secured. Yeah. That's a thing.
Lords of War
SpoilerKaldor Draigo: The Grey Knights' Chapter Master in Terminator Armour. That means he's got the requisite four Wounds and four Attacks, and Eternal Warrior. Despite only being ML2, Draigo knows three Powers, in addition to the Primaris; He automatically knows Gate of Infinity and Purge Soul, as well as the requisite Hammerhand. Purge Soul is extremely yawn-worthy, since Focussed Witchfires don't even work. But guaranteed Gate is a thing worth looking at, and something to build an entire unit around - that is, if you don't already have Librarian rolling four times on Sanctic. But hey, why not both? In addition, Draigo has a 3+ Invulnerable save that he gets for having a Storm Shield, and last, but certainly not least, he carries a S7, AP2 Force Weapon, because why the Hell not? All for the low, low price of a Land Raider. Which is totally fair, as Draigo is really, really strong.
What Draigo really lacks is Sanctuary. Pair him with Stern for a 2+ Invulnerable save. If you really don't like spending points on anything else, throw in a unit of Paladins and give Draigo FNP while you're at it. Hooray! Grey Knights have a Death Star, too! ...Which requires a LoW, and is therefore banned in a whole bunch of metas. The ScreamerStar doesn't use a LoW, so that makes it okay. Obviously.
Formations and Detachments
SpoilerGrey Knights Brotherhood: Formation. Buy all the models! As long as the Grand Master is alive, all models, Manifest Powers on a 3+, rather than 4+. You can Deep Strike on the first turn, and, when any model Deep Strikes, it can Run and Shoot in the same phase. It's, sort of strong. But, 3 Strike Squads, and 3 Terminator squads is a lot of points to be spending on Troops that don't even have Objective Secured. The Formation is trying really, really hard to be a Space Marine Battle Company, but full Battle Companies aren't even that good - neither is a GK Brotherhood.
Nemesis Strike Force: Detachment. The hotness. This is a cut-down CAD, with only two slots for every Role, and four for Troops and Elites. But only has the requirements of an Allied Detachment. That is, the only thing you need to take it is one HQ and one Troops. Similar to the Brotherhood, models from this Detachment can Deep Strike on Turn 1, and can Run and Shoot in the same Phase. Sure, you lose Objective Secured, obviously. But the only requirement is one Troops unit, so it's not like you're 'wasting' points on that Troops units that don't even have the reason you take Troops units for. Use your four Elites slots and bring good Purifiers instead of Strike Knights. Doesn't matter.
The key thing to know about the Nemesis Strike Force is how well it slots in as an Allied army. As mentioned, the only requirement is one Troops, and one HQ. For those who weren't paying attention, that's a Librarian, and a unit of Terminators - with Hammers. This single unit Deep Strikes on Turn 1. Not happy? Bring Interceptors as well, 30" move into someone's face, and Deep Strike in your units. As long as you are taking no more Troops than necessary - just one, lol - you're not 'losing' Objective Secured at all, since you're taking units that wouldn't even have it in the first place. Nemesis Strike Force is where it's at. When Transcendent C'Tans were Gargantuans, the NSF was also known as the Gargantuan Slayer Detachment. While Transcendent C'Tans are no longer Gargantuan, the 'unit' is still very, very strong;
Librarian w/ Soul Glaive. The Daemonica and an extra ML is fine, but not necessary.
Terminators w/ Hammers. As many as possible.
The Librarian tries to manifest Force through the Soul Glaive, and the Terminators try to manifest Hammerhand. Ta-da! S10 Force Weapons for very little investment. Hell, if all's your interested in is the Gargantuan Slayer unit, and nothing else, and Deep Striking on Turn 1 sounds really dangerous without help (because it is), then take an Allied Detachment and pick up Objective Secured.
SpoilerImperial Armour 2 - Second Edition
Grey Knights Vortimer Pattern Land Raider Redeemer: Heavy. A Vortimer Redeemer has S7 Sponsons, instead of an Assault Cannon on the Hull it has a Psycannon. After that, it gets broken since the way the rest of its rules work don't work. But, if you want to have S7, AP3, Ignores Cover weapons, it's still very fine at doing that.
A Vortimer Redeemer has the Psychic Pilot rule. Fine. But then lists its Power as 'Fortitude', which is only a Power found in IA2(2E), and doesn't give a Warp Charge cost for how the Psychic Test is supposed to work. Either give Fortitude a Warp Charge cost on your own terms, or, give the Vortimer Redeemer a roll on the Sanctic Table. That's up to you and your meta.
Grey Knights Vortimer Pattern Razorback: Dedicated Transport. It's a Razorback, with a Twin-Linked Psycannon on top. The only way that this Tank is worth its points cost is if you can reconcile how Fortitude works - or doesn't work.
Psychic Pilot with Fortitude. Fortitude doesn't work as written.
Grey Knights Mk IV Doomglaive Pattern Dreadnought: Elites. Venerable Dreadnought which comes with a Dreadnought Force Weapon (that's S10, AP2) and Psycannon. However, if it chooses to strike at Initiative step 1, it gains D6 attacks. Reinforced Aegis works as written (though not as intended), and it totally screws anyone who rolls a Perils attack.
- Psychic Pilot, Fortitude. Doesn't work.
Grey Knights Thunderhawk Gunship: LoW. Pay 65 Points over a regular Thunderhawk for the Psychic Pilot (Fortitude) rule that may or may not even work depending on your meta. Aegis and Reinforced Aegis still work, if not really. The big reason that you take a GK Thunderhawk is access to free Mindstrike Missiles, which are stupidly good and there's a reason that they're not in the Codex. But, rules as written, and rules for Mindstrike Missiles can be found in IA2(2E), making it totally legit. You're a ****, but it's legit. A GK Thunderhawk can also upgrade its Heavy Bolters to Psycannons, which is fine. Ultimately though, a GK Thunderhawk is really expensive (both in points and in currency), it uses Mindstrike Missiles which were removed from the game for a reason, and it's got a Psychic Pilot rule which doesn't really work unless your meta allows it to. Not the best option, but it's an option if you feel like being That Guy.
A decent-looking Thunderhawk can be built out of two Stormravens and a Vindicator. If you want the Turbo-Laser Destructor - which is totally optional, if not really good - you'll also need the barrel of an IG Shadowsword.
SpoilerAdepta Sororitas: Meltaguns.
Astra Militarum / Militarum Tempestus: Meltaguns. Unlike the AS, they also bring a lot of bodies, with the option for even bigger guns, in the form of Tanks and Vendettas which Grey Knights just don't have outside of Land Raiders.
Imperial Knights: Knight Errants have a Melta weapon.
Inquisition: One of the strongest Ally choices you can make. Coteaz in a Purgation Squad (or any squad, really) makes himself known really quickly against any army that makes use of Deep Strikes. But you, yourself really want to abuse Deep Striking as well (that Nemesis Strike Force), that's where Inquisitors with Servo-Skulls come in, meaning that you only Scatter 1D6 when trying to land near one, which is immensely helpful and wins games. True story.
Codex Marines: Imperial Fists' Tank Hunting Devastators/Cent-star, Drop Ultramarines, Drop Salamanders, Pedro Kantor, fast-moving White Scars. Take your pick. With near unlimited access to Plasma and Melta weapons, Codex Marines brings the Special Weapons that Grey Knights can't, without sacrificing their T4 or putting a hole in their wall of 3+ Armour. Or, if you do want to put a hole in the wall, Codex Marines brings a lot of solid options in the form of Scouts, who obviously Scout and in turn, Scout-block, for a very low price tag. Jamming Beacons on Land Speeder Storms also make another hassle for Deep Striking armies and Blind Grenades - when they work - mean that your opponent can shoot less effectively while your Grey Knights move into Charge range.
Blood Angels: Specifically, the Flesh Tearers Strike Force from Exterminatus. Gives you access to up to six - six! - Battle Brother'd Drop Pods which you can then cram all of your Grey Knights into who really want to be in your opponents' DZ on Turn 1 and then Assault on Turn 2. Safer than Deep Striking any other way, and half of your 'Pods automatically show up on Turn 1, which is a slightly better option than failing a Reserve roll on Turn 1. However you roll percentages, you're guaranteed to have at least one unit on the board, and you can make sure that it's the one you need. Wheras with a 33% chance to fail a Reserve roll on Turn 1, whose to say that you wont fail the unit you need, first go, and then roll in successfully the two other units that you don't need or care about (and that's before you factor in ability to Mishap). It's all about how you choose to build your army, and Drop Pods are really reliable and therefore really good.