Wednesday, 4 May 2011

40k: Grey Knights Review Part 2- The Heroes of Titan

Ahoyhoy internets, we make our return to the Grey Knights review by addressing the next important group of HQ characters; Grand Masters, Brother Captains, Brotherhood Champions and the all important Librarian.

Grey Knight Grand Masters

Grand Masters are a decent buy at 175 points for a solid combat statline, good wargear as standard and with a useful special ability. Let's take a closer look; For our buck we get Terminator Armour, an Iron Halo, Nemesis Force Sword, grenades and a storm bolter, pretty standard for most of the GK characters but with Mastery Level 2. Our weapon options are reasonably priced when we consider CC upgrades -you can't really say no to a 5pt Halberd- but our ranged ones are insanely overpriced, being 35pts for a Psilencer (if it was free I'd consider taking it, hell if it was 5 pts I'd take it!) and a staggering 45pts for the holy Psycannon. Yuck. The 5pt Incinerator is a steal in comparison. GMs also have access to servo-skulls and rad grenades which is cool and nifty, setting them apart from their special character counterparts with this added utility and can also take an Orbital Strike relay, which is cool, but worthless unless you are writing a Orbital Strike spam list, because at 50pts it's not the kind of thing to throw on a character lightly.

The Grand Master comes as standard with Hammerhand and Psychic Communion and the Grand Strategy special rule. This allows the controlling player to roll for D3 units to have one of the following effects applied to them before the game begins;
1) The unit can re-roll 1's to wound
2) The unit has the Counter-Attack USR
3) The unit has the Scout
4) The unit counts as troops for the purposes of scoring objectives

Because of the flexibility of the GK GM he is a nice buy, however the expense of upgrades and the real need to run him as a close combatant as opposed to a support character leaves me unsatisfied. Had he been available with cheaper ranged or access to a limited amount of Libby powers, I think we would see a lot of these bad boys in higher points games, however I think that the Grand Master is really reserved for a Close Combat Grey Knight army, probably in the following build, run with a unit of Paladins or GKTs:

Grand Master, Incinerator, MC Halberd, Rad Grenades, 3 Skulls, Digital Weapons  210pts

If you like that sort of thing it's great, but not my cup of tea.


The Brother-Captain suffers from the same combat niche that the Grand Master suffers from. With a slightly less impressive statline and Mastery Level 2, he comes in at 25pts cheaper than the Grand Master but with the same upgrade options. The unfortunate drawback of the Brother Captain is that Grand Strategy is missing which really takes away a lot of the utility that the Grand Master has to make up for his expense. It really is up to you if you think that the Brother Captain is a value buy, perhaps a naked one is decent in a unit of GKTs to bolster their offensive power, or as a cheaper source for the Psychic Communion power -touched upon in the future Grey Knight Psychic Powers article-. It really is up to the list maker theirself to decide if the 25pt reduction in cost is worth losing Grand Strategy.

Brotherhood Champion

Man, this guy is wicked cool, it's a shame it's so hard to implement him effectively into a list.  At 100pts he's fairly cheap in terms of characters and comes with a decent combat statline with WS 7 and I 5 to boot, along with a 2+/4+ and a Nemesis Force Sword that re-rolls failed to wounds (which strikes me as odd since it basically negates the fact he can purchase digital weapons =S) and some special rules that make him truely unique in the book (well...besides Crowe).
The Titan's Herald special rule works in the same manner that Litanies of Hate/ Battle works for other power armour armies and is nice to have if he is attached to a meaty squad.
The Perfect Warrior is coolio and really gives the Brotherhood Champion his flavour (which is dark chocolate and orange is you were wondering). Instead of dealing out attacks normally in combat, the Brotherhood Champion can do one of three actions;
1) Make 1 attack against all models in base to base contact
2) Make no attacks but re-roll all failed saving throws
3) Make D3 attacks against an independant character or monsterous creature in base to base at I 10

Heroic Sacrifice is another cool rule -well... psychic power- that the BhC has. Upon death, the Champion takes a psychic test. If passed he makes one attack against any enemy model in base to base contact. If it hits, the BhC and the enemy model are removed from play -bye, bye big nasty character-.

It's hard to fit the Brotherhood Champion in when there are so many great HQ options, but attaching him to a unit of Purifiers could be a shout, or even using him as a "suicide bomber" when combined with Karamazov's By Any Means Necessary special rule.

Grey Knight Librarian

Ah the Librarian, cornerstone of nearly every 5th Edition power armour list in the game. Did GW yet again create an auto-take character that was cheap as chips and able to sit sweet and sound inside a Rhino or in a Long Fang unit and blast away until the opposing army was dead? Thankfully not, there's some real flavour to this incarnation of the Librarian along with wargear that negates the practise of hiding in tin cans...for the most part.
For 150pts the GK Libby is more expensive than his counterparts and comes with Hammerhand, Mastery Rating 2, a Nemesis Force Sword and Terminator Armour with that all important Psychic Hood -so no hiding in Rhinos. I won't go into dicussing his powers in this post, I'll be saving that for the Grey Knight Psychic Powers article, but suffice to say, they make him more utility than offensive, which is really interesting. In practise I can see him working more like a Farseer than Mephiston, which is a nice change for a Marine Psyker. Hide him in a Chimera or a unit of Paladins behind your vehicles and throw out buffs to your lines which are superb. Well worth a shout in my mind.

Next time we'll look at our named Inquisitors.

Until then, stay safe internets.

Love, Dave

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