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Category: Grey Knights

Gaelcon = Greycon?

The Gaelcon Accounts

So Gaelcon has come and gone with massive increases in the number of Grey Knight players and natural disasters striking in its immediate vicinity. Probably unrelated. Probably. We had considered a brief overview of the tournament early in the week but decided that playing outside and getting some fresh air would be a better use of our time. How wrong we were.

But now with a debate raging as to the accuracy of the “Greycon” moniker, we decided to be helpful and provide some stats. As stats are inherently boring and just awful, the War Altar has tried to jazz things up with bright colours, graphs and such things.

Much as I hate to enable the claims of band-wagoning by elements of the community, it seems to be a real phenomenon. The unholy trio of Grey Knights, Space Wolves and Dark Eldar claim nearly 50% of the player base.

To the slim majority who refuse to bow to their tyranny and all-round cost-effectiveness, I recommend breaking out all your strength 8, multi-shot weapons immediately. If you can’t kill four AV 11 vehicles a turn, it’s time to go home.

If anyone can find any little, lost, Imperial Guard players, please direct them towards the closest wargaming tournament. Only they can end this scourge.

The sheer number of Grey Knight would guarantee a fair portion of game points but they claim far more than their share. Only two other codexes can share that boast, Space Wolves and Eldar also running ahead of the curve.

There’s a chasing pack of armies that can still hold their own. These being the Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, Blood Angels and Black Templars. And then there are the prey lists, amongst them Orcs, Chaos, Space Marines, Tau and Tyranids.

And by this point, if you’re not considering band-wagoning, I must recommend you look into it. Again, there is a clear winner, the Grey Knights claiming the highest proportionate share of victory points, followed by the Space Wolves and Dark Eldar.

The Blood Angels, Templars and Eldar claim their fair share but no more. And where you have winners, there must be losers. In no particular order, Dark Angels, Orcs, Chaos, Space Marines, Tau and Tyranids trail behind.

And there we have the average score for each army, which speaks for itself. For the sake of intellectual honesty, I should point out that (entirely subjectively) it appears that the best players are the quickest to adopt the strongest codexes. This tends to amplify the dominance of particular builds, which see their organic advantages magnified by player skill.

But there’s no denying its strength in the current meta. So if you want to win or, at the very least, improve on your position, you might want to consider going Grey Knight. And pray that the Necron codex doesn’t screw you.

Battle report: Grey Knights vs. Space Wolves (1750 points)

Recently I started a Grey Knight terminator army with Grand Master Mordrak as the centrepiece.  I invited “Newbreed” and his Space Wolves over to give the terminator list a thorough vetting.  My friend Sébastion Le Prestre de Vauban, an accomplished military engineer and master-mind of defensive strategy, came over and offered to commentate on the game.

My Mordrak list was:
Mordrak + 5 ghost knights (x2 halberd, x2 swords, banner)
Inquisitor, psyker: psychic communion, terminator armor, psycannon, sword, x3 skulls,

10 terminators, x2 psycannon, x3 halberds, warding staff, banner, justicar w/MC hammer, psybolt
5 terminators, 1 psycannon, 1 falchions, banner, warding staff, justicar w/mc hammer,

psyfleman, searchlight
The Space Wolves list was:

3 rune priests (all with living lighting then jaws, tempest, hurricane)

4 wolf guard with combi-meltas, fists

X4 grey hunter squads with meltas in rhinos

Speeder, multi-melta/flamer
Speeder, multi-melta/flamer

X3 long fang squads (5 rockets, sergeant)

I brew some coffee and arrange the table tastefully.   The terrain offers some good locations to deploy long fangs and dreads but there are also ample LOS-blocking features.

We rolled a random mission and came up with five objectives, dawn of war deployment.  Mordrak used Grand Strategy to make all three dreads scoring—nice one!  I then bested Newbreed on the roll to place objectives and then again on the roll for first turn.   We spread out the objectives and then I deployed.   I decided to combat squad the large unit of terminators.  The inquisitor deployed on the table with five terminators in the central ruin.  The plan is to deepstrike Mordrak nearby and the two units should be able to support each other.

[Intercession by Vauban:  “Why combat squad?  You have three dreads and two infantry units to score.  There are five objectives, not six.  A man only has one stomach even if he is a fat slob.  A much better decision would be to plop the ten man terminator squad in the middle of the table with the inquisitor attached.”]

Newbreed decided to hold everything in reserve.  Everything.  He wants to wait until the disposition of my forces is clear.
[Vauban remarks: “Clever F*&#”]

I am, of course, content with his decision because my stacked psychic communions will keep my terminators off the table until his force disposition becomes clear.

 Inquisitor and five terminators deploy while the space wolves stand ready in reserve.


I deep strike Mordrak to the middle of the table in front of a ruin.  Two dreads stomp on to the table on my right flank and one dread takes the left flank.  Mordrak’s unit runs into cover and the dreads run as well hoping to occupy advantageous positions.   The Inquisitor moves towards Mordrak but rolls poorly for difficult terrain and running.

Below: the end of turn 1

[Vauban comments: “Not a terrible plan by the GK player.  We can see that he means to claim the three objectives on his right while using a single dread on the left to vex any wolf unit that occupies the objective on that side.”]


Mordrak and the inquisitor successfully cast psychic communion.  I take a +2 on the roll and keep both remaining terminator squads off the table.  The inquisitor unit moves towards Mordrak at a glacial pace.  However the dreads have better luck and occupy some excellent sniping locations.  Mordrak continues into cover.

Only two space wolf units arrive from reserve: a land speeder and one squad of long fangs.   They come on to the space wolves’ right flank.

Line of sight is traced along the barrel of the weapon, right?

The Inquisitor squad claims the central objective.  Note: the other terminators are inside the ruin.

Long Fangs and a speeder arrive from reserves.

[Vauban gushes: “What a fabulous table.  Pity the armies are not up to the same standard.”]


[Vauban chides: “Two turns through the game and no shooting—what tedium! ]

The stacked psychic communion keeps the two remaining terminator squads off the table.  The dread on the my right wrecks the space wolf speeder.  Mordrak and the inquisitor unit continue to gird themselves.

The space wolves receive four units from reserves: three grey hunter squads and another squad of long fangs.  The fangs occupy barricades on the space wolf left flank.  The three Hunter squads in rhinos enter the center of the board.  Two move on 6” and one moves on 12” to obscure the other two.  It pops smoke.  The squad of long fang that walked on turn 2 fires on a dread and destroys one of its auto-cannon arms.  A rune priest inside a rhino casts Jaws of the World Wolf at Mordrak’s squad but three terminators pass their tests.  Shooting at the same unit is also ineffectual.

Long fangs seek succour behind xeno barricades:

Three grey hunter squads in Rhinos:


The two terminator squads arrive.  One deep strikes near the long fangs on the space wolf left, the other near the fangs on the space wolf right.

[Vauban notes: “A poor decision.  Let the space wolves have the objective on their right.  With only 20 terminators the GK forces cannot afford to spread out.”]

Mordrak’s squad and the inquisitor squad move to engage the center grouping.   A mediocre shooting round sees the termies on the GK left drop two rockets, while two dreads combine to immobilize one rhino.  The third dread kills the sergeant in the long fang pack on the space wolf right.   The terminators on the GK right fail to cause any casualties among the long fangs.  The inquisitor destroys the storm bolter on the immobilized rhino.   Mordrak and his unit charge the immobilized rhino and wreck it.

The remaining grey hunter squad arrives from reserves.  The space wolf player drives off the remaining mobile rhino in the center towards the objective on his left.  Two squads of grey hunters prepare to unload on Mordrak.  Combined jaws and shooting kill four ghost knights.  Mordrak and the remaining knights are killed in the ensuing assault at the cost of three  grey hunters.

Grey Knight terminators deep strike near Long Fangs:

On the other flank Grey knight  terminators make a similar deep strike:

Mordrak and his ghost knights are greeted by the occupants of two rhinos:


The two dreads on my right flank move to secure the objective.  Pop smoke or shoot at the long fangs?  I decide to shoot at the long fangs.    The termies on my right move to engage the intact/full rhino.  The inquisitor squad moves up—finally getting some good difficult terrain rolls—to get some payback for mordrak.  Shooting again disappoints as both dreads combine to kill two long fangs while the terminator squad pings off the rhino.  On my left flank the termie squad charges and wrecks a rhino and the grey hunters disembark in good order and prepare to shoot the hell out of the terminators.  The inquisitor squad charges and wipes a squad of grey hunters and consolidates to an objective.

The space wolf player moves his forces to destroy the inquisitor squad.  In the shooting phase both long fangs on the space wolves left flank ping off the dreads.  Shooting kills three terminators in the inquisitor squad.    On the space wolf right shooting kills three terminators.   When the dust settles on the assault phase only the inquisitor remains in the center while the warding stave is the sole survivors on the GK left flank.

The game, unfortunately for the Grey Knights, continues.

Warding staves are great in assaults:

Two dreads hold an objective:


The dreads pop smoke and pray really hard to the emperor.  The remaining terminators shoot and wreck the last remaining rhino.  The grey hunters get out and prepare to unload.

[Vauban sighs: “It’s déjà vu all over again.”]

The space wolf player wrecks the remaining dreads despite their smoke screens.  The grey hunter squad eliminates three terminators with shooting and then charges and kills the remaining two.

[Vauban says: “Pity it was in the middle of the day because the grey knight player could have used a drink.”]

Victory to the space wolves.  Mind wiping will have to wait.

Aftermath.  Indeed, I could have used that extra squad of terminators on my right flank.  As I type this the glue is drying on additional halberds for the terminators.  This battle has shown that I6 /5++ is better than I4/4++.

[Vauban concludes: “But for two crucial tactical errors by the Grey Knight general, combat squading and spreading his forces, the game would have been close.”]

Pythagoras and You

Proud to present a rare treat from OnTheStep.net’s Bristolscale7. A veteran Warhead you’ll be seeing Bristolscale7 cruising the Irish scene with his new Grey Knights!!

Below we have a standard Grey Knight castle in a pitched battle or spearhead scenario. Three psyflemen* dreadnoughts castle behind three razorbacks. The dreads are tall enough to shoot over the razorbacks but obscured enough to receive a cover save when taking return fire. They are accompanied by a librarian with the Shrouding psychic power which improves the dreads’ cover saves to 3+. If you come within 24” of this formation you will be subjected to withering stormbolter and psycannon fire.

How should you proceed? For the sake of this article we’ll say that you do not have sixty outflanking genestealers at your disposal. Instead, let’s assume you play the ever popular space wolves and bring fifteen missile launchers to the table. The trick is to deploy your Long Fangs beyond the range of the dreads but within reach of the razorbacks. Turn the GK castle into a prison! Your Long Fangs can take solace from the 6th century Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras.
Granny always says that pretty teeth and book learning only get you so far in life, but we all know the older generation is as thick as pigshit, so let’s see what he has to say. The Pythagorean Theorem, for those of you who slept through math class, states that a^2+b^2=c^2 where c is the hypotenuse of a right triangle and a and b are the other two sides. Like so:

We know that the table is 48” across, and because we were observant and jacked up on Red Bull during our opponent’s deployment we know that the most vulnerable razorback is five or six inches on to the table. Thus if we put a missile launcher one inch onto the table in our deployment zone he will be 42” away from the razorback and about 45” away from the nearest dread—not far enough. The Pythagorean Theorem can tell us where to deploy our precious Long Fangs such that they will be within range of the razorback but safe from those meddling dreads.

In our triangle above we know that the length of A is 42” and we know that we want the length of C to be 48”. We adjust the formula accordingly to b=√(c^2 )- a^2 and when we crunch the numbers we get just over 23” for side b. Deploy the Long Fangs one inch onto the table and 23” to the right of the razorback and they’ll be ready for action.
What’s that you say? How the @#^& are you supposed to be know where 23” to the right of the razorback is without pre-measuring? There are a number of possible solutions to this problem. If you are playing a seize ground mission perhaps you demonstrated foresight and placed an objective as close to the corner as you could—12” from each table edge. You now have a visual 12” measurement to work with. If you are playing either capture and control or kill points you’ll have to estimate the distance. If the deployment is spearhead you will know where the center of the table is and where 12” extends from the center. If all else fails a razorback is just over 4” in length so try to visual a line of five of these extending from the target razorback. The most obvious solution is to get good at estimating distance—you know like Fantasy players used to be able to do before they got to pre-measure everything.
Next time I’ll show you how understanding this can allow to control the outcome of a dice roll
– BristolScale7
*Grey Knights Dreadnought armed with two twin linked autocannons and upgraded to include psybolt ammunition.

Grey Knights Codex Cover

The new Codex Grey Knights cover for all to see:

Click for full image.

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