The up and down reaction to Codex: Grey Knights continues. Every time I find something that makes me like the Grey Knights, something else pops up to reignite the fire in my belly. And the book still isn’t out for another… 4 days. I actually had to count my fingers there. Forgive me, I’m eating allergy medicine like it’s candy.
I had a great conversation with TJ at the local GW about Grey Knights, restoring a lot of my faith in the new army book over the weekend. And then today I head over to Facebook and wander into another massive discussion about the new Codex: Crowe, my favorite of the special characters from the book, making Purifiers Troops. These are the GK Veterans, so they are Fearless, have 2A and a bonus psychic power compared to the regular ones. For a miserable couple of points you get these awesome bonuses, and on top of it all their equipment options are a fraction of the cost.
So, when fully equipped, these bastards are Troops, have twice as many special weapons as regular squads, have better stats, and actually cost considerably fewer points. Fully kitted out squads of 10 with 4 incinerators and upgraded Force Weapons (ie. halberds/falchions/thunder hammers) cost around 270pts, where a squad of 10 regular GK’s with the same upgrades would be more like 340. Same equipment, better stats, extra psychic power and special rules … for significantly cheaper. Why wouldn’t you take Crowe and make this list?
I would be doing you a disservice by skipping over that conversation with TJ. He envisions Grey Knights as the saviours of the metagame. What does he mean by that? Simply put, Grey Knights are an elite army that specializes in beating down other elite armies. Nob Biker lists, Loganwing, the elite Blood Angels builds, etc. will really have a tough time dealing with them because they lack the one thing that Grey Knights truly fear: numbers. The Grey Knights army might actually be enough of a threat to these lame-ass 40k builds that people will consider taking more reasonable armies, especially in competitive environments.
With only one attack each, Grey Knights will truly struggle to thin down ranks of cheap troops, and Nemesis Force weapons are simply overkill against armies that have crappy armor saves or little/no multi wound creatures. Pit the Grey Knights against something like an Ork army based entirely around Nob Squads in Battlewagons, on the other hand, and it’s a different story altogether. Having a crapload of models with 2W, FNP and unique equipment that forces you to allocate all of your wounds separately doesn’t mean a goddamn thing against Grey Knights. An entire army of Force Weapons = dead Nobz. No armor saves, no FNP, and a much better chance of instant death in combat. Considering the fact that almost every Ork army that played at the OOTB tournament last year used a variant on this build, I’d say this is a big deal.
So, will an army like Grey Knights be a big enough threat to power-gamer builds to skew the metagame back towards balanced, reasonable army lists, circa 3rd and 4th edition? Or will the crazy game of one-upsmanship continue as people simply try to out-Goatboy each other with every new release? Time will tell.
Meanwhile, I just found out that Robin Cruddace wrote the Khemri book that is going to be coming out in ~1 month’s time. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t very, very nervous all of a sudden. Are they going to be like the Imperial Guard, full of viable unit options and a million special characters, or the Tyranids, whose book was a confusing mess special rules that needed a ton of FAQ’s right from day one? With him, it could go either way.