This will be a quick rundown of my opinions of the models and options in the Grey Knight Codex.
It is my opinion, so don’t take it as Gospel, and please feel free to post any comments from your personal experiences as that is always something that will help out me and other people reading the blog.
For now I am going to sidestep the Special Characters as each of those guys could have an article to themselves.
Instead I am going to focus on the following Units:
Grey Knight Grand Master
Grey Knight Brother Captain
Grey Knight Librarian
Inquisitor (all three options).
So let’s start off with the Grand Master & Brother Captain:
Well the only real difference between the two of these is 25 points, and the Grand Masters rule allowing him to give additional special rules to D3 units. I don’t see many people taking Brother Captains because of this, because the extra 25 points will almost certainly pay off… would a normal Marine player pay 25 points for 1 squad of Assault/Devastator/Veterans Marines to become scoring? Of course he would. Especially when those 25 points for 1 unit could be 25 points for 3.
If you are going to take a Grand Master, especially in lower point games then I would make sure that you have 1 unit you clearly want the benefit for, and another two that will get some use from it as well.
You don’t want to end up giving a rule to something just for the sake of giving it a rule, although to be honest as you can choose to make something scoring this is unlikely to be wasted.
Both of them get access to the full range of Grenades, Servo Skulls and the Orbital Relay. The last of these, the Orbital Bombardment, has some real potential especially if you can combine it with the Servo Skulls on the battlefield, as any blast placed within 12” of a Servo skull only scatters D6 instead of 2D6 (there is some debate as to whether a Servo skull affects the Orbital Relay or not), not forgetting the ability to prevent enemy infiltrators from leaving their deployment zone if you have enough of them!
If you want to make your HQ a stationary target that can kill anything then this is the way to go. The two have to be used together in my mind. Beacause without them the distances can be too much. But considering the S10, Lance that counts as S10 if the template catches any part of your hull is awesome. Imperial Guard Gunlines beware, because you can castle up in a corner, but one Volley from this baby and you could lose every tank. Then add the fact it can fire in the following turn, and the following one, plus multiple fire options mean it is a very very effective way to kill Tanks at range.
Psychic powers… well they get the usual one of Hammerhand, but they also get Psychic communion. This allows him to +/- 1 from reserve rolls, allowing the units they want to turn up when they want them. A nifty power for the early game.
Then lets not forget that both of these guys can be an absolute beast in close combat means that in either choice you have a very versatile Character that can fulfil pretty much any role on the Battlefield.
Moving on I am going to talk about the Librarian. This guy has been widely acclaimed as one of the best choices for the 1500-2000 point range, and there are very few reasons to not take him. Once again he can have Servo Skulls to boost your blast or deep strike chances.
He is a level 2 Psyker, so that’s 2 Psychic powers per turn, and his array of Psychic powers is impressive. For only 5 points per power you can make him into a Character to be feared as he can know every power in the book, and then cast an array of them per turn. For a extra points you can make him capable of casting three powers a turn… while it is not cheap it might be worth the shock on your opponents face!
The Brotherhood Champion is an interesting choice as he has very little in the way of survivability, but his special rules and cheap costs can make him a very attractive option. The ability to allow a unit he is with to re-roll all failed hits is also a nice bonus. The best use for this HQ is to get him next to your enemies most expensive model, and then if you don’t kill it in combat, you get a chance to kill it when you die.
Now the rules are unclear on two things, and I hope on both counts that they are clarified in an FAQ…
1. He allows himself and his unit to reroll failed hits on the turn he arrives, so in relation to Heroic Sacrifice can he re-roll this hit roll if he fails? From reading the rules I don’t think so… but it could be interpreted that way.
2. The rules for Heroic Sacrifice state that he gets to nominate one Model in base to base… that could be a tank. So in theory he could direct his heroic sacrifice attack against a tank to kill it and remove it from play. Cheesy… yes, legal… rules as written. Not sure I would ever do this, and I expect it to be FAQ’d but an interesting option if they don’t FAQ it.
The Inquisitor choices are in there as the cheap way of getting yourself a HQ into the army. They are also nicely customisable (when you consider Henchmen) allowing you a few options for them. These guys come out as the best choice in any game that is 1000 points or less.
You can have a half decently tooled up Inquisitor in Power Armour for under 60 points, leaving you more points for other toys. In a list where every point counts something that I would advise anyone to consider.
You are also able to upgrade these guys to Psykers for 30 points a model, and give them either Hammerhand or Psychic Communion. I personally think this is a cheap way to get Psychic Communion into your army, at lower points limits this is a good thing.
It is also worth remembering that in nearly all cases where there are Grey Knights there are Inquisitors commanding and directing them, so from a Fluff point of view there are hardly any arguments regarding an Inquisitor led force.