Friday, May 3, 2013

Jesse's Gk list breakdown

I have been fielding this 1850 Grey Knights list for the past several months to much success.  The list began in preparation for the TSHIFT open tournament out in Seattle.  

Initially I ran IG allies for some cheap firepower, Vendettas, and my favorite IC ever Guardsmen F'ing Marbo.  After some a few games of testing I didn't enjoy how ineffective lasguns are and the how the army just didn't seem to mesh right.  I felt I wasn't getting enough from my guardsmen to equate their point cost.  Coming from a competitive MtG background where a card didn't make the cut if it didn't either give card advantage or absolutely murder for the mana cost, i try to bring the same thought process to my list building.  Enough talk, here's the list.

Inquisitor w/ x3 Servo Skulls
Henchmen: x10 Warrior Acolytes w/ Storm Bolters, x2 Jokaero Weaponsmith
Henchmen: x10 Warrior Acolytes w/ Storm Bolters, x2 Jokaero Weaponsmith
Henchmen: x10 Warrior Acolytes w/ Storm Bolters, x1 Jokaero Weaponsmith
Strike Squad: x10 Marines w/ 2 Psycannons, Psybolts, and x5 Halberds 
Strike Squad: x10 Marines w/ 2 Psycannons, Psybolts, and x4 Halberds 
Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator
Dreadknight w/ Heavy Incinerator
Dreadnought w/ x2 Twin Linked Autocannons and Psybolts
Stormraven w/ Twin Linked Hurricane Bolters, Twin Linked Multi-Melta, Twin Linked Assault Cannon, and Psybolts
Aegis Defense Line w/ Quad Gun

I'd like to go over each unit and why they've made their way into the fight.

Coteaz:  While he doesn't have the stat line to take down the games finest, a S8 thunder hammer with a 2+ save still make him a decent cc threat should the need arise.  I take Coteaz almost solely for the "card advantage" he brings to the table.  For one, he's a psyker allowing him to trade for two book powers, which I nearly always take divination, and gives him a 5+ deny the witch.  Two, he allows you to take henchmen squads as troops.  Three, he allows you to choose to re-roll the seize the initiative die.  It is a very satisfying feeling to see the glee flee from your opponents eyes as you make him re-roll the six he just thought he seized with.  Coteaz isn't done there though, as an even more satisfying feeling comes from these four words "I've been expecting you".  Which allows Coteaz and his unit to make an out of sequence shooting attack against any enemy reserves coming in within 12" of him.  All of that for 100 freakin' points.

Inquisitor:  His main job is to attach to fire the quad gun and up the leadership of a henchmen squad.  The main reason for taking him is that he gives three servo skulls for 9 total points.  Those three little skulls shut down all sorts of armies, such as daemons and bike armies.  They also keep infiltrators and outflankers at bay, while allowing for more precise deep strikes for you.  

Henchmen:  With the acolytes coming in at 7 pts a piece holding a storm bolter and scoring with Coteaz on the board, I'm not sure any army could pass these guys up.  Then throw in the Jokaero's to add Heavy weapons support to the tune of either a lascannon, multi-melta, or heavy flamer and you've got a pretty powerful unit.  That's before the random "inconceivable customization" roll from the monkeys.  Ideally I like to roll either 12" extra range or rending which happens about half the time. The other options giving either +1 to your armor save or a 5+ invulnerable save.

Strike Squad:  Force weapons everywhere you look, strength 5 storm bolters, and psycannons make these guys pretty potent killers.  They also give +5 deny the witch rolls and are able to deep strike onto rear objectives should the need arise.  The halberds started off making the list simply because that's how my guys were modeled.  I've come to like them though, generally combat squading the unit with one having all halberds.  With only one attack these marines aren't great at cc, but striking at initiative 6 with force weapons they can even the odds and even bring down monstrous creatures from time to time.  The other combat squad holds the psycannons and work well to bring down transports and put wounds on high toughness targets.  Warp quake keeps drop pod wolves at bay and the baying hordes of the warp at a distance.

Dreadknight:  I used to run these guys all kitted out with the teleporter and great sword, but for sixty more points I was able to run two bare bones models instead of just one.  Deep striking these giants into the back field is a favorite tactic of mine.  Wiping off elite units who "thought" they were safe bunkered up in their cozy ruins.  Enter the heavy incinerator.  Having one monstrous creature behind the lines is bad enough, two is terrifying.  I generally run them with reckless abandon, making insane deep strikes or head long charges into the enemy.  Truth be told, I'm really just trying to tie up the enemies attention with them as the rest of the army mercilessly neuters their ability to hold objectives.  Though when playing "Big Guns" it never hurts to have a T6 4 wound model holding an objective come turn 5. 

Dreadnought:  S8 twin linked auto cannons, what more do you want?  Most times the dreadknights are taking the high strength shots, allowing the dreadnought to quietly pick off targets at will.  I'll usually try and get him into some cover where he can see most of the board and shrug off some incoming fire.

Stormraven:  I didn't realize how effective this unit was until i encountered two of them in Seattle.  Coming from reserves, they simply roll up and mulch units thorugh sheer weight of fire.   The hardest choice is deciding which unit you want dead the most.  Want to murder a squad of traitor guard AND that cursed Leman Russ?  Just go ahead and "power of the machine spirit" your multi-melta into the russ.  You missed?  That's ok, its twin linked.  Hurrican bolters and the assault cannon can handle the infantry.  Rune priest giving you trouble hiding in a squad of long fangs?  Two mindstrike missles and  little luck will take care of that.  Armor 12 all around with ceramite plating to nix  melta shots and the storm raven is pretty good in a dog fight as well.  Oh yeah, AND they can transport guys making last round objective grabbing a possibility in a fairly immobile army.  

Aegis Defense Line:  Pretty straight forward, give the henchmen something to hide behind.  I feel the quad gun is a must to give some anti-air until the raven shows up.  

That's the army.  I've tweaked and tuned it a dozen times and think I've got it where I want it.  I've had good tournament success with it along with a great casual play record.  My general battle plan is to bring the enemy into the 24" kill zone of the storm bolters and to head off any cc threat with the dreadknights.  The reserved Stormraven takes goes after the biggest threats when it arrives.  I set up henchmen with a good killing zone in front of them with objectives close at hand.  Coteaz centers himself in the mix to cast prescience on whoever has the best shot.  I intertwine the combat squads of marines to be able to cover the area in warp quakes.  If i come up against another shooting line type of army I reserve the dreadknights and strike squads and go for behind the line insertions.  My best match-up has been vs Daemons and Tyranids.  Preferred enemy daemons and the servo skulls keeping the scouts from moving up before the game pretty much takes care of them.  Hordes of bugs die swiftly to 50+ stormbolters while the dreadknights can smash up the big bugs.  The toughest so far has been from the new Tau.  The rip tides can easily keep away from the dreadknights while the infantry can throw so much fire at them that the saves just can't all be made.  I've only faced them once, I'm confident my knights will quickly pinpoint the weakness and exploit it to maximum effect. 


  1. Can't read the font, but a nice breakdown of the army. Glad it is working well for you!

  2. I definitely want to see if my refined Daemon build can take this on.


  3. I've heard this list has issues with Saint Celestine. Is this true?

  4. Have you thought about making a 3rd Dreadknight work? Would the Dreadnaught be worth removing just to make sure you have no armor on the table (other than the flyer)?

  5. Bill, maybe wed at evo? Yes, St. Celestine's zombie corpse rose three times to blaze a bloody trail of destruction through the acolyte ranks. Luckily Coteaz was around to smite her time and again with his mighty thunder hammer. Mike, perhaps that would make sense, though I'd need to cut 25 points somewhere to get the third dreadknight. I like the lone dreadnought though since he never seems to take much fire and is allowed to put out his S8 autocannon shots all game.

  6. Sure, I could do wed night. What time?