The Grey Knights are a predominately mid and close range army, ideally suited for dealing with all manner of foes with strong combat, solid shooting and robust support and damage from their psychic powers.
Grey Knights | Warhammer 40,000 Tactical Guide
- A strong melee army backed up with good shooting and psychic buffs
- Great maneuvering abilities for board control and speed
- Active in every phase so there will always be something for units to take part in
- Able to tackle most units effectively at midrange, and on par with many elite units
- Flexible Characters with some good wargear and upgrade options
- Small, elite army that pays a fairly high premium on many units
- Relient on Characters for certain buffs as units have set powers that generally only affect themselves, and many powers are quite crucial to making the army function well so failure can create issues
- As with most “competitive build”, the good stuff is really good and builds often revolve around those 3-4 really strong choices
- Outside of a few abilities and units, most are just Space Marines and so don’t have incredible defensive stats when faced with certain weapons
- Can struggle with ranged anti tank, especially those which reduce Damage
Here are some key points to remember when reading this Primer, mainly to save it being typed out every time. Don’t forget that this presumes you have the Codex, so some basic things may not be explained here.
Any of the rules discussed below apply only to GREY KNIGHT models with the same <BROTHERHOOD> Keyword, so no overlapping or crossing of Auras (no RAPIERS Auras or powers affecting SWORDBEARERS units, for example). There are occasional exceptions that will affect all GREY KNIGHT units, these will be called out.
Some common shorthand terms found throughout-
- X++ means an invulnerable save
- X+++, or ‘shrug’, ‘Feel No Pain’ or ‘Ignore Damage roll’ depending on how you’re feeling, means it is a dice roll to ignore each point of damage, which is taken after any failed saves.
- ‘6s explode’ essentially translates to ‘An unmodified 6 to Hit does an additional hit’, so read that as ‘Does 2 Hits instead of 1’. Per the Core Rules, anything that might also happen on a 6 to hit (such as auto-wounding) does not apply to the additional hit, only the original.
- ‘First turn of combat’ means any rules that trigger when you Charge, are Charged, or Heroically Intervene.
- ‘Deep Strike’ essentially means the unit can be placed into Reinforcements and arrive more than 9” away from enemy units.
- Some abilities interact with certain types of Psychic Powers, be they Witchfires, Blessings or Maledictions. Psychic Powers are marked with their corresponding letter to identify them (so Witchfires are W, Blessings are B and Maledictions are M).
If your Detachment is Battle-Forged (which will be most armies) and only has GREY KNIGHT units in it.
- Objective Secured as usual on your Troops, which given you have Terminators as Troops is very cool, alongside the cost efficient Strike Squads, means you have a good choice for the Primary Missions.
- The Aegis – Your main “Chapter Tactic”, giving every PSYKER +1 to Deny, and everything has a 5+++ vs Mortal Wounds. Whilst the Deny bonus is nice is generally not much to write home about, though can be quite key in some matchups, and the 5+++ does offer a layer of defense to certain abilities which can pile on the damage. Both are quite niche benefits, but fortunately the core abilities and stats of the Grey Knights are strong enough to offset this in games where it might not be relevant.
- Brotherhood Command- You can only take one GRAND MASTER and one BROTHER-CAPTAINin a Detachment, and they have to be of different Brotherhoods if you run multiple. Frankly more than 1 in an army is already ludicrous, but here we are.
- Brotherhood of Psykers- Your customisable bit, every Detachment gains some extra rules depending on what Brotherhood they are, explained below.
Every BROTHERHOOD unit gains a Brotherhood, depending on the Detachment they are in, granting them a unique Psychic Power they all know, as well as a Warlord Trait and Stratagem. Psychic Powers marked with a * last until the start of your next Psychic Phase.
Psychic Power- Empyric Lodestone* (WC 7) (M)
An enemy unit within 18” is marked, and all your VEHICLES get +1 to Wound it with ranged attacks. Makes your tanks and Dreadknights very reliable, and this is useful on any unit. Each unit can only be marked once per phase, so no bypassing any -1 to Wound abilities, but still great to ensure reliable damage going through on a key target.
Stratagem- Marked for Death
An enemy unit within 12” of a PSYKER is +1 to be Hit by all your units for a Shooting Phase. Not cheap at 2CP, but an army wide Hit buff on a vital enemy unit is a fantastic offensive buff, with the short range not being a massive issue given your teleportation abilities letting you get a “marker” unit in range with relative ease. Don’t use all the time as you’ll burn CP fast, but save for when a unit must be dealt with
Warlord Trait- Rites of Protection
The Warlord gets a Psychic Action, giving a VEHICLE within 12” a 4++ for WC5. Not bad if you’re going tank heavy, and can be pretty clutch on a Land Raider or other big thing, letting you grant Sanctuary somewhere else, but otherwise…you have Sanctuary.
Psychic Power- Inescapable Pursuit* (WC 6) (B)
The caster gets reroll Charges, great on any units arriving from Deep Strike, but even on footsloggers to help ensure a crucial charge.
Stratagem- Radiant Strike
A CORE INFANTRY unit shoulder barges into an enemy when they finish a Charge, rolling a D6 for each of them that finishes within Engagement Range, inflicting a Mortal Wound for each roll that equals or beats the enemy’s Toughness. Not bad to help punch through a few extra wounds, particularly on units with high Invulnerables, but generally your units can handle most enemies in melee without this. Handy to have, but by no means an essential ability.
Warlord Trait- Vanguard Aggression
After Deployment, the WARLORD and one CORE unit within 9” of them make a Normal Move of 6”. Weird timing, as this is done immediately after Deployment, so before knowing who has first turn, making it a bit of a risk should you storm forward and then lose the roll off. A good ability, but you need to make careful use of terrain when you do so.
Psychic Power- Projection of Purity* (WC6) (M)
An enemy unit within 12” cannot benefit from friendly Auras. A very powerful ability to help mitigate all manner of buffs on an enemy unit, letting you tip the tide in your favour by removing defensive auras, or ensuring your unit’s survival against incoming attacks by removing rerolls and the like. Note this affects the enemy unit using Auras, not from giving Auras- it will have no effect on say a Captain giving out Reroll 1s, but would have an effect on a unit that might benefit from their own Auras, like Drazhar.
Stratagem- Masters of the Word
In the Command Phase, a CHARACTER can swap out one of their Powers for a Dominion Power. Useful for flexibility, though you should generally have all the Powers you will likely use accounted for in list building, this does enable you to fill a gap should the need arise, such as being unable to squeeze in another Character, or a dead one taking away a key Power you might need still.
Warlord Trait- Loremaster
Any power cast by the WARLORD cannot be Denied if cast on an unmodified 8+. Amazing in some matchups, less so in others, and generally your Characters are casting 1, maybe 2 powers with a Stratagem, so you might not get great mileage out of this, but when you want to ensure something will go off, this is solid for those instances where you are wary of Denies. Works great with Psychic Channeling, as picking the highest lets you “fish” for the natural 8. Voldus has this, being the most magical of Knights.
Psychic Power- Fatal Precognition* (WC 5) (M)
An enemy unit within 12” not already targeted by this power trips over themselves everytime they make a Normal Move, Advances, Falls Back or Charges, taking D3 Mortal Wounds on a 4+, or 3 Mortals on a 6. Low range, but can be potent on elite armies looking to close or increase the gap, forcing them to choose between moving or staying still and thus giving you greater board control. A good all round power to have, even for the threat factor.
Lets a PSYKER reroll 1s to Hit and Wound for a Phase. Cheap at 1 CP, and let’s units operate a bit more independently from Character support, or conversely offer rerolls to a Character. A good reliability booster useful in most situations, with greater returns on bigger or more powerful units.
Warlord Trait- Divination
The WARLORD can do a WC 6 Psychic Action to get a CP. One of the only ways to get CP back for Grey Knights, and they are very CP hungry army, so this alone makes the Brotherhood a good pick, even at the sacrifice of other powers.
Psychic Power- Aegis Eternal* (WC 6) (B)
The PSYKER and his unit get a 6+++, improving to a 5+++ if within 3” of an Apothecary. A decent survivability boost, especially on a big squad with Apothecary support, however a 6+++ only goes so far, and whilst useful against lighter fire, won’t be helping much against Dmg 2 or higher weapons outside of some luck.
Stratagem- Charge of the Ancients
Upgrades a DREADNOUGHT pre-game, giving them +2” Mv, reroll Charge, and +1 Dmg on the charge. Not bad for 1CP, but you might not get a huge amount of use on this, as your Dreads might not stick around long enough to make use of these combat boosts.
Warlord Trait- Radiant Exemplar
+3” to Auras is a simple but effective trait, particularly on Chaplains for their Litanies and on Brother-Captains, especially when using Psychic Locus.
Psychic Power- Symphonic Strike* (WC 6) (B)
+1 Attack to the unit casting it is a strong buff on top of the already good melee punch of the Grey Knights, even better on units with more models in to get more leverage out of those extra attacks. Useful anytime combat is imminent.
Stratagem- Deadly Efficacy
A unit gets exploding 6s in Melee, letting them really carve through enemy units and pile on damage. Can be overkill at times, so save it for when you really need to ensure attacks are landed on an important enemy unit.
Warlord Trait- Inescapable Wrath
Advance and Charge is a good ability, though not one really necessary for Grey Knights, with footsloggers able to redeploy or deep strike in, or wanting to charge in with their units. Likewise for Dreadknights which could benefit a bit more, you’d be wasting their ample firepower.
Psychic Power- Fires of Covenant (WC 5) (W)
Roll a D6 for each enemy model in a unit within Engagement Range, doing a Mortal Wound for each 4+. There is no cap on this, though each unit can only be targeted once per turn. On big units this can be utterly crippling, and even on smaller squads you can expect 2-3 Mortals. Tricky to use however, as you need to be in combat prior, so you can’t always get this set up, but it’s brutal when you do, meaning even a single model left alive against a big unit can take back a heavy toll.
Stratagem- Sanctic Guardians
Gives a unit the ability to Heroically Intervene. Useful for Objective defense or to support other units charged. Limited to the 3” as normal, but handy to have as a deterrent.
Warlord Trait- Oath of Witness
The WARLORD gets +1 Ld (fine), and your CORE units within 6” autopass Morale. Not the greatest trait, with the Leadership boost only really helping against the few abilities that target or work off Leadership, though not needing to worry about Morale at all can occasionally be useful for both big blocks as well as to bypass modifiers or those unlucky 6s on a lone model.
Psychic Power- Temporal Accuracy* (WC 5) (B)
Turns the unit’s Storm Bolter weapons into Range 12” Pistol 4. Only useful if expecting a prolonged combat, but allows a unit charged to have some counterpunch to help thin ranks before combat begins. Handy to have up your sleeve, but one of the more reactive powers.
Stratagem- Adaptive Excoriation
Fall Back and Shoot for a CORE unit is solid for 1CP, letting you avoid being tagged, or leveraging your weapons to more preferential targets rather than needing to use Temporal Accuracy or Big Guns Never Tire. Combined with Fight on the Move and you can have multiple units still active, at the cost of their powers and some CP.
Warlord Trait- Martial Perfection
Reroll Hits in Melee as well as Fight First is a great boost for the numerous melee beatsticks a Grey Knight army can have, particularly so on a Dreadknight, letting them leverage their strong weapons with great efficiency.
The paid upgrade section for your CHARACTERS, giving them a once per battle ability. As is to be expected with these sorts of rules, each one is unique to the army and each Character can only have one of them. Splitting them into two sections has no mechanical purpose, it’s just flavour.
- Augury of Aggression- Let’s one CORE or CHARACTER within 12” hit on 4+ when Overwatching. You still need to activate the Stratagem to Overwatch, and at 20pts it’s not too cheap, but this can cause a big dent in a charge if used on the right unit.
- Heroism’s Favour- For 15pts you can give a CORE unit within 12” the ability to Heroically Intervene for a phase. Useful to add a deterrent to your lines or for a unit to support another or help retain control of an Objective.
- A Noble Death- In your Command Phase, you grant all CORE and CHARACTERS within 6” Objective Secured, the ability to Set to Defend, and to count as 2 models instead of 1 if they’re already ObSec, until the start of your next Command Phase. For 20pts this is a great ability to help turn the tide on an Objective or help with some incoming charges. Be wary of the timing, as this turns off at the start of the Command Phase, so it will help you hold a contested Objective, or move to turn off a held Objective, but won’t last long enough to be active for scoring Primary in the following turn, so make sure you time it well.
- Omen of Incursion- Let’s you shoot at an enemy unit that arrived from Reinforcements within 12” of a CORE or CHARACTER this turn. Expensive at 30pts, and short ranged, but does affect pretty much any unit on the board so you have flexibility in who uses it. A good deterrent to have, and can dent a unit attempting to do Secondaries or charges, if used on the right target.
- Presaged Paralysis- One enemy unit you select at the start of your Charge Phase cannot Overwatch or Set to Defend that turn. Not bad for 15pts, and can be important to ensure a unit makes it to melee unscathed.
- Foretelling of Locus- Redeploy 3 CORE units after deployment is finished, or put them into Strategic Reserves for free. Any redeploy abilities are fantastic, and for 30pts this is a fairly cost effective ability. Needs to be done before determining first turn so can’t use it to too great of advantage, but is great for shoring up a weaker flank, or putting pressure on another part of the setup your opponent left open.
- True Name Shard- A DAEMON unit within 6” of the bearer at the start of the Fight Phase must Fight Last. Cheap as chips for 10pts for a powerful rule, but obviously very limited on it’s application. Probably not worth binging unless you’re expecting to see tons of DAEMONS.
- Temporal Bombs- Pregame you can set up a trap on an Area Terrain piece not in your Deployment Zone, secretly noting it on your Roster. The first enemy unit to start or end a move in it takes D3 Mortal Wounds on a 2+. It’s fine, but not all that powerful for 15pts, and will generally not be too much of a disincentive for many armies.
- Servant of the Throne- The bearer gets a 3++ for a turn. Fantastic at 20pts, even if for only a turn this makes a Character particularly tough to shift, and can keep them around in the face of powerful attacks far longer than they should, really scuppering your opponent’s plans and target priority.
- Deluminator of Majesty- A Bolt Weapon fires only 1 shot, but if it hits a DAEMON it turns off their Auras until the start of your next Shooting Phase. Pretty limited, especially given most DAEMONS don’t have amazing Auras to begin with, or aren’t targetable in the first place, so for 15pts you’re not getting a huge amount of benefits from this.
- Gem of Inoktu- The bearer gets +2 to Cast Dominus Powers for a Psychic Phase. Great at 15pts to ensure a crucial power goes off, giving you good reliability. Best of course on a Librarian who can use 2 powers innately, thus getting more mileage from this.
- Severance Bolt- Pregame you pick an enemy CHARACTER, then you can fire a single shot from a Bolt Weapon into that CHARACTER, ignoring Look Out Sir, doing D3 Mortal Wounds on a hit. If they’re a PSYKER, they also forget a random Power if you roll over their Ld on 3D6. Not cheap at 30pts for what it does, and narrow in scope given it applies to that one selected CHARACTER.
In 9th there are now sub-categories of Stratagems, essentially giving them a Keyword that has interactions with certain rules. It won’t come up all that often, just something to look out for.
Grey Knights have a variety of Stratagems, with a solid mix of offensive and defensive abilities, alongside a number of ploys useful for movement and tactical shenanigans.
- Psychic Channelling- Roll 3D6 picking 2 when a PSYKER manifests any powers. Whilst most units are only eligible to cast 1 Power, this is great on anything capable of casting more, or when combined with Mental Focus, and for 1CP this is affordable and potent to ensure key powers go through, or to fish for enhanced effects like Super Smites.
- Psychic Onslaught- When a PSYKER Shoots, all their Psi weapons get +1Str and AP. A good offensive boost for a cheap 1CP, but will depend on the target in terms of returns. A single Psycannon is not really worth it when compared to a full unit in a Purgation Squad, or on a Dreadknight.
- The Steel Heart- A TERMINATOR unit gets +1 to Hit in the Fight Phase. Any accuracy boost is great, be it for maximum hits or to offset possible minuses, and 1CP makes it affordable in most scenarios.
- Death from the Warp- For 1 CP a PSYKER that arrives via Teleport Strike (and only Teleport Strike, not any other redeploy type abilities) gets +1 to Hit with their Ranged Attacks. As with the above, any accuracy boosts are great to ensure greater carnage on arrival.
- Powerful Adept- Adds +6” to the Range of any Powers a PSYKER casts for 1 CP, useful for when an enemy thought themselves safe from damage, or if you need to split your forces whilst still benefiting from certain buffs. Can also be useful to make certain powers a threat from Deep Striking as well, such as Purifying Flame. Doesn’t make Vortex of Doom splash to 9”, don’t be silly.
- Sanctified Kill Zone- A PURGATION SQUAD gets +1 to Wound in the Shooting Phase when targeting a unit within half range. A couple of hoops to jump through, especially since this is on a model by model basis, and costly at 2CP. Useful if it comes up, but not something to really use all that often.
- Final Justice- Fight back with a CHARACTER when they are slain, provided they’ve not already attacked this turn. Given most of your Characters are pretty beefy in combat, this helps in ensuring they can still make an impact on the battlefield before being removed. Doesn’t work on CROWE as he does it for free anyways, and DREADKNIGHTS will attack on their bottom profile, assuming precedence from other similar rules and the timing of when this happens.
- Shadow of Undying Legends- Gives a DREADNOUGHT a Grand Master’s or a Brother-Captain’s Aura for a round, letting CORE units in 6” reroll 1s to Hit or 1s to Wound respectively. Useful when needed, and can let you spread out your forces if there’s a Dread nearby to support units out of a character’s Aura, or to make up for a missing or dead Character.
- Purity of the Machine Spirit- A MACHINE SPIRIT acts on its top profile until your next Command Phase. Land Raiders and Stormravens degrade quite badly, so for 2CP to keep them fully active isn’t bad, if you have one that is key to your plans, and it isn’t destroyed outright.
- Empyric Declamation- A CHAPLAIN auto passes a Litany at the start of any Phase (except the Command Phase), provided they haven’t recited a Litany already, and the Litany in question has not been recited elsewhere. Expensive, but if your battle plan absolutely hinges on a Litany going off the cost often outweighs the risk. Also can be used to make Chaplains able to use Litanies from Reinforcements, not something they’d normally be able to do, so offers you some flexibility, albeit at a high cost.
- Chirurgic Resurrection- An APOTHECARY brings back an INFANTRY model back to life from a unit below Starting Strength within 3” at the end of the Movement Phase. Obviously he needs to be nearby, which can limit your maneuverability for a bit, but bringing someone back for 1CP can be important, especially if it’s a model from a powerful unit like Paladins.
- Psychic Locus- Your BROTHER-CAPTAIN grants +1 to Cast in a 6” Aura for a Psychic Phase. Whilst costly at 2 CP, this is a fantastic force multiplier, great to ensure key powers go off, or to assist in damage dealing by making repeated Smites easier to use. Only affects BROTHERHOOD units though, so doesn’t work on units like DRAIGO or PALADINS, so be aware of that when positioning.
- Finest Hour- +3” to a CHARACTERS Auras for a Phase, to a max of 12”. A nice boost to ensure units are in range of important auras, or can move into more advantageous positions and still receive the benefits. Useful to have for only 1 CP, though not something necessary every turn or indeed every game.
- Thunderous Stride- A DREADKNIGHT rolls a D6 after Charging, doing D3 Mortal Wounds to an enemy unit within Engagement Range on a 2+, or flat 3 Mortals on a 6. For a single CP it’s fine, though Dreadknights are generally good enough to kill most things they touch without the help.
- Armoury of Titan- The standard “Extra Relic” Stratagem. Grey Knights have some decent enough Relics that can help define Characters, but going heavy on them is usually not necessary as most can hold themselves up without one.
- Exemplar of the Silvered Host- Gives a second Warlord Trait to your WARLORD. Pretty dependant on your Brotherhood, as generally taking 2 of the main Traits isn’t really worthwhile, whilst some combinations of Brotherhood and standard Traits can make some particularly nasty combat or support characters.
- Shield of Humanity- A non-Warlord CHARACTER in your army gets a Warlord Trait, which is fine but again dependent on what you want to do and army composition, as some Traits are pretty superfluous or just not worth looking at.
- Endowment in Extremis- Gives a unit Champion a Relic, discussed in the Relic section, though the selection is small and generally none of them are worthwhile using on a squad.
- Mental Focus- A PSYKER can manifest an additional Power in a Psychic Phase. For 1 CP for most units this amounts to either an additional Smite, or their Brotherhood power, though for Grand Master esque Characters who know more than they can cast, this is helpful to use their full repertoire of powers, particularly if it’s a power they won’t need to use every turn like Warp Shaping. Handy to have, though not always needed.
- Untainted and Unbowed- Gives a PURIFIER SQUAD -1 Dmg for a Phase. Potent vs D2 and D3 Dmg weapons as it will effectively double your resilience, though of course useless vs Dmg 3+ Weapons. For 2CP regardless of squad size, this can keep your Purifiers active for a lot longer, or force difficult decisions on your opponent regarding targets and what weapons to use.
- Psy-lance Bombardment- A once per game, expensive Stratagem that requires your WARLORD to be on the Battlefield. Place a marker anywhere on the battlefield, and in your next Command Phase it essentially explodes doing D3 Mortal Wounds to all units within 6” on a 2+, or D6 Mortal Wounds if you roll a 6+ (with a +1 to the roll for units within 3” and -1 to CHARACTERS). As with all these air strike type Stratagems, there’s a lot of hoops to jump through for often minimal damage, though the real strength comes from the board manipulation it can cause when placed at a choke point or on an Objective. Whether that’s worth 3CP is down to you and the situation the game is in.
- The Need to Know- After revealing your Secondaries, you can spend a CP to change one of yours, following the usual rules on categories etc. Can be done multiple times, though realistically you should have 1, maybe 2 in mind as a backup. Won’t always be useful, especially since you should generally be choosing Objectives that you can achieve independently of what your opponent might choose, but at least you have the option for those niche instances.
- Alloy of Disciplines- A PALADIN unit can swap out one of their powers for another Sanctic Power. Good flexibility on a unit that already has good flexibility, so they can always have something available, though with a choice of 2 already and still only casting 1 they might not need to use this often.
- Martial Presence- When a unit that Sets to Defend is attacked in the Fight Phase, you can use this to do 1 Mortal Wound back to the attacker for each unmodified 6 made to Save. Whilst this has a few prerequisites, and basically necessitates slow rolling Saves (you can’t roll saves if you’re dead), there is no limit on the number of Mortals done, and even if there is no chance of making the Saves, you are still eligible to roll. For 1 CP, it’s not bad to help add a bit of extra damage to a unit.
- Steely Advance- An INFANTRY unit counts as Remaining Stationary instead of making a Normal Move. Costly at 2CP, but avoids minus for Heavy weapons as well as letting their Storm Bolters always Rapid Fire, so a squad can always contribute a fairly meaningful amount of shots, even across the board.
- Hexagrammic Wards- Roll 3D6 picking the 2 highest for a Deny the Witch. Stacking with your built in +1 makes it a tough ask for enemies to get an important power through, so save it for those crucial ones – a Twist of Fate on a Dreadknight is far more important to stop than a Tzeentch’s Firestorm, for example.
- Teleportation Shunt- For a not insignificant 2 CP, you can redeploy a TELEPORTER unit instead of making a Normal Move, once per game per unit. A great repositioning tool, though can’t be used to get out of combat (as you can’t do a Normal Move there), so this is predominately for utility or offensive plays, though still useful to get out of dodge should the unit be unable to get away from an impending attack quickly enough.
- Mists of Deimos- Smokescreen, but named after a moon! The usual a -1 to Hit against enemy units that target a SMOKESCREEN unit for a Shooting Phase. A god defense buff for your tanks.
- Truesilver Armour- A CORE INFANTRY unit can only be wounded on an unmodified 4+. A fantastic defensive ability when there are strong weapons that would normally be wounding on 2s or 3s, or to counteract any bonuses to Wound via special rules or Stratagems. If there’s a key unit that needs to live, accept no substitutes. Expensive however, at 2 CP base, or 3 if if there are 6+ models in the unit, so this can burn through your CP very quickly.
- Psybolt Ammunition- Supercharges a unit’s Bolt Weapons for a phase, granting them -1 AP and any 6s to Hit autowound. Helpful to get through extra wounds on a tougher unit, but the main draw is the AP, letting a unit tear through lighter infantry. Costs 1 CP, or 2 on units with 6+ models, this can add up quick on bigger units, but even on smaller squads lets them add a bit more punch to their ranged assaults.
- Zone of Warding- A unit with a Warding Stave gets a 5++ vs Ranged Attacks, or a 4++ if they’re a TERMINATOR, costing 2 CP on units with 6+ models, or 1 CP otherwise. A good defensive boost, making it worth having a Stave in all your units just for the ability to access this when needed. Lasts the whole phase after being targeted, so can be worked around by the opponent by just shooting elsewhere, and not really useful vs AP 1 or 2 weapons, but still useful to have up your sleeve.
- Psyk-Out Grenade- A unit with PSYK-OUT GRENADES that is not in Engagement Range, can lob one of them at the closest visible enemy PSYKER within 6” in your Shooting Phase, causing them to instantly Perils. Not always useful of course, and the short range keeps it a little limited, but the potential to kill or heaviliy wound a Psyker for a single CP is nice to have, and even when they explode you have your shrugs to help you survive the fallout.
- Frag Assault Launchers- An ASSAULT LAUNCHERS unit picks a non-VEHICLE/MONSTER unit within 9”, and that unit chooses to either take D3 Mortal Wounds, or be unable to Overwatch, Set to Defend and suffer -1 to their Attacks until the end of the turn. With the choice being your opponents, and only being usable by 2 Land Raider variants, this will rarely see use.
Relics with a * can be taken by a Unit Champion via the Endowment in Extremis Stratagem.
- Soul Glaive- Upgrades a Halberd with an extra -1 AP, and grants reroll hits and wounds. Nice and reliable for a footslogger, if not as flashy or useful as other Relics.
- Destroyer of Crys’yllix- Puts -1 AP and +1 Dmg on a Daemon Hammer. Still has the -1 to Hit, but when it hits it should put down most things.
- Fury of Deimos- A mega Storm Bolter with Str 5 AP -2 D2 and an extra shot, which is actually quite potent for a ranged Relic, especially as this will almost always be on a Terminator and so Bolter Discipline will kick in, letting you add some pretty decent firepower from your Characters.
- Banner of Refining Flame- An ANCIENT can unleash The Flame of Udûn an explosion of D3 Mortals to all enemy units within 6” as a Psychic Action for WC 6. Not bad, especially if expecting your Ancient to be in the thick of fighting and surrounded by multiple units, and the short range can be offset with the Powerful Adept Stratagem, though generally you’ll not get chance to use this more than once, maybe twice a game.
- Domina Liber Daemonica*- DAEMONS cannot arrive from Reinforcements within 12” of the bearer, and are also -1 to Combat Attrition whilst within 6”. It’s obviously amazing against DAEMONS, but useless otherwise, so leave it at home.
- Cuirass of Sacrifice- Grants an INFANTRY model +1 to Armour Saving Throws and a 5+++ vs everything. A solid defensive relic, though the Sv boost is only really useful vs AP 1 and 2 weapons for most Characters, though a bit more useful for Characters without a 4++. The shrug is always handy however, so this is still a good buy if you’re looking to keep a key Character sticking around.
- Sanctic Shard*- If the bearer rolls an unmodified 8+ for a Deny the Witch, it is auto denied. A potent ability against the right armies, though with only 1 Deny it’s not really something to rely on, unless you’re using Hexagrammic Wards every time to get it. Not bad, but not an all comers choice.
- Gyrotemporal Vault- Grants the bearer a WC 5 Psychic Action that gives a CORE or CHARACTER unit within 3” Fight First. A potent ability for a support Character to buff a big unit or a choppy beatstick.
- Blade of the Forsworn- A Nemesis Force Sword with +1 Dmg, that always wounds DAEMONS on a 2+ (or a 4+ if they’re a MONSTER or VEHICLE). The Dmg boost alone is nice, though really you need to be fighting Daemons to get the most benefit from this.
- Sigil of Exigence- When targeted in the opponent’s Shooting Phase, just redeploy. Use it to get out of line of sight, out of range, or into another part of the battlefield closer to a threat you want to remove in your turn. A very strong utility ability that can hamper an opponent’s plan, especially on a Dreadknight, as shooting it could just bring them closer, or into a part of the battlefield they don’t want. Not as useful on a footslogger as they’re usually protected by other models.
- Augurium Scrolls*- The bearer can reroll a Hit and a Wound each time they Fight with a Nemesis Weapon. Decent for reliability, though worthless on a Halberd (take the Soul Glaive), and a little awkward on a Champion as you have to roll them separately and can’t use their reroll on other members of their squad. It’s fine, if not very exciting.
- Stave of Supremacy*- A Warding Stave wielder gets a massive 18” Aura that causes enemy PSYKERS to Perils on any double instead of just 1s and 6s. Niche, but pretty potent against the right army.
- Kantu Vambrace- An INFANTRY model improves their 5+++ to a 4+++ vs Mortal Wounds, and also reduces Dmg by 1. Useful to ensure wounds that do make it through are mitigated somewhat, and can help a footslogging Character wade into melee with a bit more confidence.
- Artisan Nullifier Matrix- A LIBRARIAN gets a 9” Aura that makes friendly PSYKERS immune to Perils. You will Perils eventually, given the amount of Powers flying around, so this is useful to have, however the Librarian can’t be everywhere at once, and you already have a 5+++ vs Mortals anyways which can help blunt an errant Perils, so whilst nice to have is by no means essential.
- Aetheric Conduit- Makes a TECHMARINE autorepair 3 Wounds rather than D3. I mean, I guess there was a bit of space left on the page? This can be useful to fix up your Dreadknights, but isn’t a necessary choice even if going heavily into that route.
There are two Disciplines for the Grey Knights, though there’s some restrictions, namely who has access to what.
Psychic Powers marked with a * last until the start of your next Psychic Phase.
For CHARACTERS only, these are otherwise a normal Discipline.
- Gate of Infinity (WC 7) (B)- Pick a PSYKER within 18” and redeploy them. Great for offensive repositioning, getting out of unfavourable combats, opening up shooting, or making plays on the mission, whilst it is a high cost it’s well worth having, as movement is key and being able to threaten almost anywhere on the board is a powerful tool to have.
- Empyric Amplification* (WC 7) (M)- A visible enemy unit within 12” is marked, causing all Nemesis and Psi weapons to get +1 Dmg vs them. An army wide Damage boost for some of your most common weapons is very powerful, and helps shore up the generally weaker anti ‘big thing’ Grey Knights can have. Short range and high cost can make this tricky to pull off at optimal times, but can drastically swing a shooting phase or combat in your favour when used on a key target.
- Sanctuary* (WC 6) (B)- Grants a 4++ to a unit within 18”. A great defensive buff on any of your units really, barring those with a 4++ already of course. Best off on a unit that is liable to take a battering in a coming turn, or needs to survive in order to enact a plan or hold an Objective.
- Vortex of Doom (WC 7) (W)- The nearest visible enemy within 12” takes 2D3 Mortal Wounds, and then every enemy unit within 3” of them takes a Mortal Wound as well. Great for cascading damage along a battleline, or just inflicting significant hurt onto a unit. The splash doesn’t hurt your own units, so feel free to use this at any opportunity.
- Warp Shaping (WC 4) (B)- Changes your active Tide of the Warp to another of your choice. Obviously very important if you’re looking at changing your Tides, and the only way to do that, so this is pretty important to have access to. Note you cannot go back to another Tide, so once you’ve come out of a particular Tide you can’t use it again, so just be wary of what you use when.
- Ghostly Bonds* (WC 5) (M)- A visible enemy unit within 18” halves their Movement. A potent battlefield control ability, helping to prevent charges, ranges, getting to objectives or limiting sections of a battlefield. Woe betide the opponent that sticks everything behind a screen which then clogs up their battlelines.
Each non-CHARACTER has one of these powers assigned to them, except for PALADINS who can choose 2 of them. Only LIBRARIANS can choose Powers from this Discipline, although most of these only affect themselves, so won’t be too useful for them.
Psychic Confluence- Similar to Smites, any of these powers can be cast multiple times by different units, but the WC goes up by +1 each time, even if the power is failed. Given there’s a lot of overlap of powers, this helps ensure units will have the option at least.
- Astral Aim* (WC 6) (B)- For your PURGATION SQUADS, giving them Ignore Cover, as well as rerolling a single Hit roll when they Shoot. The second part isn’t all that useful due to the high rates of fire these units have, though ignoring cover (both Dense and Light) is a nice buff.
- Purge Soul (WC 6) (W)- The only power not attached to a unit, and so can only be taken by PALADINS and LIBRARIANS, you pick a visible enemy within 12” and roll off, adding your respective Ld. If you lose, nothing happens, on a draw the enemy takes 1 Mortal Wound, and D3 if you win. It’s fine, but nothing special given it’s low range and unreliable output. A unit can only be selected once per Phase with this as well, so no multiple Paladins trying to nuke down an enemy Character.
- Hammerhand* (WC 5) (B)- The “mainstay” power, available for STRIKE SQUADS, TERMINATORS and DREADKNIGHTS, giving them reroll Wounds in melee. A powerful boost for those about to make it to combat, and usually better than a lone Smite or Brotherhood power in those instances (with some exceptions). Always useful regardless of target.
- Purifying Flame (WC 5) (W)- As the name suggests, PURIFIERS can use this to unleash a half range Smite that always does 3 Mortal Wounds, or D3+3 on an 11+. A potent close range damage dealer, though dependent on being up close, which is where they want to be, but useless from Deep Strikes unless you’re using Powerful Adept to bump the range. Smite on your way in, then unleash this as the gap closes.
- Armoured Resilience* (WC 6) (B)- Make your DREADNOUGHTS a bit tougher by adding +1 to Armour Saves. A decent enough boost, granting them at least a 5 or 6+ Sv against the common AP anti tank weapons. Won’t help them too much in the long run, though useful to discourage lighter firepower trying to get chip damage through.
- Ethereal Castigation (WC 6) (B)- Grants the INTERCEPTORS their fantastic movement abilities, letting them Shoot then immediately make a Normal Move, at the expense of doing anything else later that turn. You don’t have to do either of these, so you could just move if that’s all you need. Don’t forget that you can’t do this after any teleport type abilities, and any Stratagems used in the Shooting Phase do not work here, so no double dipping, but likewise this can be useful to bypass defensive abilities the opponent might be looking to use.
Make sure your Chaplain is in a position to use the Litanies you want to use as they are done at in your Command Phase, so it’s not possible to do on a unit arriving from Reinforcements (outside of Aura-style Litanies and moving into range, or using the Empyric Declamation Stratagem), nor can you move into the range to select them after the fact. All Litanies barring the Refrain of Convergence only affect CORE and CHARACTER units, last until the start of your next Command Phase, and everyone knows Litany of Expulsion. All Litanies are called in your Command Phase, and recited successfully on a 3+. Each Litany can only be attempted once per Battle Round, and all last until the start of your next Command Phase.
Litany of Expulsion- 6” Aura of reroll Hits in Melee. Reliable and useful as you always have this, don’t neglect to use it if combat is imminent.
- Words of Power- A unit within 6” gets exploding Wounds (so 6s to Wound do 2 Wounds instead of 1), and if you’re in the Tide of Convergence you do a Mortal Wound on top. A good melee booster, and yes it stacks with the existing Mortals generated by the Tide, with only this bit being capped at 6. Potent for really piling on the damage, even without the Tide active.
- Intonement for Guidance- Lets a unit within 6” ignore all Hit and BS modifiers with their Ranged Attacks. Great for bypassing Dense or other negatives, but often times you can bypass those with your speed or maneuverability so this might not be as useful as another Litany.
- Psalm of Purity- A 6” Aura that causes 6s to Wound with Ranged Attacks to get -1 AP. A solid boost that can stack up over time given the sheer number of shots that can be laid down by their guns.
- Refrain of Convergence- Lets any unit (not just CORE or CHARACTERS) be immune to Psychic Powers, and any existing enemy powers on them immediately turn off. You already have a defense against Mortal Wounds, so this guarantees it as well as protecting against Malediction type powers. Good in the right match ups, but not one you’ll generally look at taking.
- Recitation of Projection- A unit within 6” gets +6” to their Bolt and Psi weapons, or +3” to their Psi weapons if in the Tide of Convergence. Fine to help you reach out a little further, but rarely needed given your maneuverability and range boosts offered by the Tide of Convergence already
- Invocation of Focus- The Chaplain gets a 6” Aura that gives units +1 to cast Blessing Powers. With many of your good powers across both Disciplines as well as Brotherhood Powers being Blessings, this can help ensure vital powers go off, making the Chaplain an excellent force multiplier if your plan revolves around several of these powers going off.
- Daemon-slayer- +1 Attack on the turn the WARLORD charges, and outright ignores Invulnerable Saves on DAEMONS. Great against Daemons, obviously, and ok in other instances, though only being active on the Charge means you need to be quite aggressive- not a bad thing, just something to remember for potential ongoing combats. Draigo has this, for he hates the Daemon. Like a lot.
- Hammer of Righteousness- +1 to Wound in the first round of combat is a great offensive boost, helping the Character carve through most things that stand in their way what with their already good weapons. Crowe has this, being a duelist supreme.
- Unyielding Anvil- The WARLORD gets a 6” Aura giving all CHARACTER and CORE units ObSec, counting as 2 Models if they already have it. Yes, ObSec Dreadknights is scary and powerful, and this helps a line of Marines hold a point against more numerous foes. Stacks with A Noble Death so your Troops can count as a whopping 3 models for a turn. Stern has this, what with his name being a bit of a giveaway.
- First to the Fray- +1 Advance and Charge, as well as letting CORE units get a +1 to their Charges on any unit they are in Engagement Range with, provided he Charged that turn. A good choice for himself alone, helping you get to the enemy even quicker and more reliably than before, and whilst the second benefit is a bit more situational, it’s still a solid bonus for multi-charging.
- Nemesis Lord- Melee attacks with Nemesis Weapons autowound on 6s to Hit. It’s fine, but there’s generally better melee based traits, and this will really only come up once or twice a turn at best.
- Psychic Epitome- Lets you pick a PSYKER within 6”, and they do one additional Mortal Wound each time they use a Witchfire Power. Smite is not a Witchfire, and this only applies to the first part of Vortex of Doom (no mega Kamehameha for you). Great otherwise, and especially on a Librarian who can become a short ranged monster with Vortex and Purifying Flame for a horrific 5+ 2D3, potentially 3D3, Mortal Wounds, making mincemeat of whatever is close to him.
The following are available if you have a GREY KNIGHTS WARLORD when playing Matched Play or Grand Tournament Mission, with the usual restrictions (namely no using two from the same category), and you can only take one Grey Knights Secondary per game regardless of its category.
Purge the Enemy - Destroy the Daemon
Score 1 VP for each DAEMON unit destroyed, 3VP instead if it was a DAEMON VEHICLE/MONSTER, or a mighty 5VP if it was a DAEMON PRIMARCH. Obviously don’t use this against armies with no DAEMONS, so this is only really useful against Chaos of some capacity. An autotake against Daemons of Chaos, obviously, weigh up how much you could score vs other Chaos armies, and don’t bother against anyone else.
No Mercy, No Respite - Teleport Assault
Score 3VP at the end of each Round if one or more enemy units were destroyed by units that either arrived via Teleport Strike, used the Teleportation Shunt Stratagem or were redeployed with Gate of Infinity. Difficult to score high on given as you need to rely on a single unit to do the job, which can make target priority and attacking orders a bit of a headache, as well as needing to use certain powers or stratagems every turn to have the chance to score. 3-6VP is about what you can expect from this, not making it very attractive to choose.
Warpcraft - Purifying Ritual
Any PSYKER within 3” of an Objective can perform a WC5 Psychic Action to purify it, granting you 1, 2, 4 or 6 VP at the end of the Round for purifying 1, 2, 3 or 4+ Objectives, respectively. The same Objective cannot be purified more than once per Phase, but that is literally the only limitation. Purify the same Objective over the course of a game, Purify an Objective the Opponent controls, Purify it whilst fighting for you life in melee. Very easy to score given the speed and redeployment abilities of the army, and even your opponent being near the Objective can’t shut it down. The only thing that can hamper you are Denys or poor dice rolls, but it’s a rare instance where you aren’t scoring at least 12 VP on this by the end of the game. Generally useful in pretty much any mission barring 4 Objective games.
These are rules that will be commonly found across multiple, if not all, units in the Grey Knights Codex.
- Combat Squads- Before deploying, a max size unit can be split into two half sized units. Has its uses to cover more ground, though this usually comes at the cost of efficiency, as Powers, Stratagems etc will be affecting a smaller unit, however effectively doubling the number of Psychic powers a unit can unleash is nothing to sniff at.
- Teleport Strike- Your standard ‘Deep Strike’ rule, all of your INFANTRY barring the TECHMARINE and SERVITORS have this, as do your DREADKNIGHTS, giving you fantastic utility for minimising deployments or having reserves to play with and react to the battle.
Technically three rules in one, and basically every Grey Knight model barring SERVITORS has this rule, which gives the following:
- And They Shall Know No Fear- Ignore Combat Attrition modifiers. Certainly not a hugely common rule, given Grey Knights are often in smaller squad sizes so Attrition is less of an issue, but being able to bypass stacking mods might have some fringe uses.
- Bolter Discipline- Better Rapid Fire for Bolt Weapons. As well as being able to shoot double shots at half range as normal, you can also double the shots if you are INFANTRY that Remained Stationary, or all the time if you’re a TERMINATOR. These don’t stack, so your Terminators standing still in half range don’t magically get 12 shots each, but the flexibility or straight up firepower boost to many units lets you drown your foe in shots. Capitalize by getting your Infantry in strong firing lines so once they plant their feet they can fire away with no downsides, and given pretty much everyone has a Storm Bolter this can let you unleash tons of shots despite your generally small army size.
- Masters of the Warp- A bit more in depth, it has it’s own section below.
The “Super Doctrine”, letting all your PSYKERS (sorry tanks) benefit from various rules depending on which Tide is active. You choose your first one at the start of Battle Round 1, so you’ll know what can be most beneficial to you based on who has the first turn.
- Tide of Convergence- Gives +6” Range to Psi Weapons, and Nemesis Weapons do an additional Mortal Wound on 6s to Wound, to a max of 6. The damage dealing one, this lets you reach units further out of range and stack the pain on in melee. Great in most circumstances given everyone has these weapons in some capacity, and should be shifted to as soon as lots of melee is apparent.
- Tide of Celerity- Any 1s or 2s on both Advance and Charge Rolls are counted as 3s instead. Good reliability for both getting into position and making charges,, helping to increase the chance of making Charges from Deep Strike by a bit, and knowing you have minimum 6” Charges helps mitigate risks of low charges and plan out movement a bit more reliably. The only downside is needing to wait for your next turn to shift to Convergence to benefit from making combats, so you’ll need to weigh up the potential benefits of both.
- Tide of Shadows- You get Light Cover vs attacks from over 12” away, or Dense Cover if you were already getting Light Cover. A great defensive ability, making light firepower bounce off your now armywide 1 or 2+ Svs, and using terrain to your advantage makes you even tougher to shift. The de facto “Turn 1 Tide”, as this will generally always be useful.
- Tide of Escalation- Let’s your Brotherhood Powers operate like Smites, letting you cast them multiple times with a +1 to the WC each time. Some of the Brotherhood powers are strong so having multiple units able to use and benefit from them can be powerful indeed, but this is quite niche and dependent on the Brotherhood you’re running. Good if you can have this active prior to the Psychic Phase, cast the powers, then shift to something else to get other benefits.
- Tide of Banishment- Everyone gets a -2Ld to DAEMONS within 6”, and rerolls 1s to Hit and Wound vs DAEMONS all the time. The nichest of course, but against Daemons it’s a brutal Tide for reliable damage and debuffs and should be up as much as possible against them.
There’s a lot of Psykers in the army, obviously. Everything except SERVITORS, tanks and aircraft are PSYKERS and barring the HQs and PALADINS, everyone Knows 1, can Cast 1 and can Deny 1.
Everyone knows Smite, all your non-CHARACTER units have set Powers as outlined above in the Sanctic Discipline, apart from PALADINS who can pick, whilst all your CHARACTERS can choose their powers from the Dominus Discipline.
HQs have X/Y/Z notations, indicating the number of Powers Known, the number they can Cast, and how many they can Deny- for example, a 2/2/1 Psyker Knows 2, Casts 2, and Denies 1.
All your non-CHARACTER INFANTRY units are CORE, as are DREADNOUGHTS and DREADKNIGHTS, bizarrely.
Your head honcho, being beefy in combat, tough with their 2+/4++, and good for support with their reroll 1s to Hit for CORE as well as being a 2/1/1 PSYKER, these guys will form a mainstay of your army.
Terminator Armour- The “basic” one, their 6A WS2 and 6W still makes them a force to be reckoned with. At 135pts base they’re quite costly, but you’ve got good flexibility with them, and as with most of the INFANTRY they can choose any of the Nemesis Weapons giving them a choice of tools, depending on what you want them to do. They can also opt to upgrade their Master-crafted Storm Bolter to one of the standard special weapons for a points increase, though the Bolter is good enough on it’s own for the most part.
Nemesis Dreadknight- Alternatively (and most likely), you’ll strap into the Baby Carrier of Doom. Starting out relatively cheap, though adding up in cost fairly quickly as you give them weapons, this VEHICLE based Grand Master gets a fairly beefy T6 and 13W, and whilst targetable as a result will still require a fair amount of firepower to get through their 4++. Coming stock with Dreadfists for Str 12 -3 D2 attacks, you also have the option (and should utilise said options) for a Greathammer or Greatsword, with the Hammer better suited for destroying big things, albeit with a -1 to hit, whilst the Sword offers the flexibility of effectively hitting like a Lascannon, or a double attacking Sweep with a dependable -2 D2 statline. Gunwise they have the options of a Heavy version of the special weapons, increasing their shots, Str and AP in most cases, making them capable at range as well as up close, and providing much needed fire support, especially when buffed with Powers. Finally you can give them the TELEPORTER Keyword for some Stratagem access. A tooled up Grand Master will run you 215pts, but for that you get a cost effective gun platform and melee monster, able to go toe to toe with most things in the game.
Your second in command HQ, being a 1/1/1 PSYKER, losing an A compared to the Grand Master, and trading their reroll 1s to Hit for reroll 1s to Wound, for 25pts cheaper. Otherwise he’s the same with the same wargear options, and so well suited to supporting your main Infantry lines in a number of scenarios, and his reroll Aura helping to ensure a bit more reliability for your attacks.
A beatstick, but that’s essentially all he can do. A 2+/4++ keeps him trucking for a little bit, and his Fight First and 6” Heroic Intervention can offer a bit of a disincentive to charging your lines, but 4W only goes so far, and with a Force Sword to his name he’s not going to be doing horrendous amounts of damage to particularly tough units. He is cheap however at only 70pts, and being a 1/1/1 PSYKER can be useful if you need to unlock more Dominus Powers if points are getting tight.
Decent enough in melee, though that’s only where he wants to be in a pinch (let your units do the heavy lifting for him in that regard), where he shines is being a 2/2/1 PSYKER with a choice of powers, letting him add some options for casting whilst other units do damage elsewhere. Can be geared for pure support, or more damage dealing, with the Vortex of Doom/Purifying Flame/Psychic Epitome combo mentioned above being popular. Deep Strike him in to an exposed place and nuke something into oblivion. May not be a necessary addition to the army, depending on your coverage of Dominus powers, but useful nonetheless.
A 1/1/1 PSYKER repairman, coming stock with his Axe, Servo Arms and some short ranged weaponry, his main benefits are fixing VEHICLES and granting them +1 to Hit with Shooting. Hey, your Dreadknights are VEHICLES! So that’s pretty nifty, though not necessary. At 80pts he’s not bad, and still a Dominus using Psyker, so that can help, but 4W and a 2+ won’t keep him alive long so ensure he’s protected well.
The biggest contradiction in the Imperium, a Psychic Chaplain….sure. A 1/1/1 PSYKER who knows one of the Litanies, gives his Ld 9 to CORE within 6”, and comes stock with a Storm Bolter and Crozius for a bit of a melee. That’s it though, with no other customisation options. Decently tough in his Terminator Armour, he’s not too expensive at 110pts, providing some buffs with his Litanies and some lesser melee support. Whilst a Brother-Captain is a bit more reliable in terms of buffs and melee, the Chaplain can offer some more focused effects.
Take a Grand Master on foot, give him +1W, a 3++, make him a 3/2/2 PSYKER and give him Chapter Master rerolls as well. He also carries The Titansword, giving him a mighty Str 8 -4 Dmg3 in melee. For 35pts more than a Hammer wielding Grand Master, you get a better Psyker, ith better defenses, better melee, and further buffs, he’s a well worthy upgrade. The only real downside is as an HONOURED KNIGHT he doesn’t benefit from certain rules interactions, but in general he won’t let you down and offers more support and punch to the army for a fairly minimal increase.
For 20pts more than a Brotherhood Champion, you get +1W and A, your Sword does D3 additional Mortal Wounds on 6s to Wound, you also know Purifying Flame and get to cast it with +1, and fights on death, even if he’s already attacked this turn. As with Draigo, being an HONOURED KNIGHT does exclude him from certain rules benefits, but for the points he’s a great upgrade, making a decent melee fighter a bit more reliable.
A WARDMAKERS Grand Master who becomes a 3/2/2 PSYKER, and has a Daemon Hammer that hits at AP-3 and without the -1 to Hit. For 5 pts more. I shouldn’t have to tell you that is an insane bargain- if you’re running Wardmakers and have a Grand Master footslogging it, just use Voldus instead. The only time to not consider him is if you’re adamant on having a Dreadknight Grand Master, due to Brotherhood Command.
A WARDMAKERS Brother-Captain with a Sword that gets +1A, does a Mortal Wound to all DAEMONS within 6” whenever he manifests a power, and can reroll a single Hit, Wound or Save in your turn, though that does give the same reroll choice to your opponent in their next turn. He’s 10pts more than an identically equipped Brother-Captain, which is fine, the extra Attack is nice, and the reroll can be clutch though does offer your opponent a bit of help as well so that could come back to bite you. The Daemon damage is neither here nor there really. By no means necessary.
Your standard Terminator chassis, but Psychic. With 3W and a 2+/5++ they’re quite tough at holding Objectives, especially as ObSec, able to lay lots of Storm Bolter shots even when on the move, and carve through most units with their choice of Nemesis Weapons. Their main struggle, as with many Grey Knights, is dealing with heavier armour, as their ranged weapons don’t really have the punch to help, even if upgrading one, and stocking up on Hammers will add up in cost as well as make them slightly less reliable. One or 2 in a squad will help for those instances where a harder hit is needed, but going all in is usually a waste of points. Quite pricey at 42pts however, so you won’t be able to run too many, despite their quality, and there are other units to consider…
The main reason you won’t be seeing Terminators all that often is these guys exist. With identical stats and wargear options, they of course lose the W and 2+/5++ afforded by the Terminator Armour, but at 20pts cheaper they are far more cost efficient in terms of offense and board presence. These are dependable units for Objectives and light infantry work, whilst still being able to punch above their weight in melee by virtue of their veteran stats. 1 per 5 can swap out both Force Weapon and Storm Bolter for a special weapon, with the Psilencer and Incinerator being free and the Psycannon being a minimal 5, so can have a modicum of ranged support in a squad, but it generally is not worth losing the melee punch.
A Terminator CHARACTER that grants a 3” Aura of 6+++ to your CORE and CHARACTERS offers a decent enough layer of defense against normal wounds, as well as the ability to heal an INFANTRY model within 3” for D3 Wounds letting you keep Characters in the fight for a bit longer. Can take any of the Nemesis Weapons, and weirdly packs 5A making him not insignificant in melee, despite his WS3, so can be useful to shore up a combat. Not the cheapest at 100pts, but flexible enough to offer differing layers of support.
Grants a +1 Ld for CORE units within 6”, and +1 Attack if they are INFANTRY as well. Bumps the melee prowess of your units up even higher, though strangely he himself wants to avoid melee, with only 4A and an optional Falchion, he’s not geared for anything other than support. You’ll want him close to the action to grant his tasty buffs, but be sure to screen him or keep him back from particularly dangerous foes, as like the Apothecary for 100pts, he’s not the cheapest for a support character.
A Terminator Squad gets +1WS and A, become 2/1/1 PSYKERS who can pick their Sanctic powers, and 2 per 5 can have a special weapon instead of 1 per 5. For 5pts more, it’s not bad, though you do become HONOURED KNIGHTS meaning you need to be careful regarding rules interactions (no reroll auras, for example), no Brotherhood Powers, and being Elites means you lose out on ObSec. These are some pretty significant downsides, butas such they fill a different role, being a bully unit to shift stuff off objectives, or go hunting big things with their improved melee attacks. Being able to operate in smaller squads (3-10), as well as not needing to worry about rules they can’t benefit from, you can use these fairly independently of your main battleline, giving you some flexibility in where and how you use them. Don’t overload on them, and remember they die just as easily as other Terminators.
A Strike Squad that become HONOURED KNIGHTS, trade Hammerhand for Purifying Flame (and get +1 to Cast it), and can run 2 per 5 in terms of special weapons. For a pt more, its an interesting sidegrade, which generally isn’t going to be worth it, with virtually anything the Purifiers are able to do the Strike Squads do slightly cheaper, whilst getting Brotherhood rules and ObSec. Similar to Paladins then, these guys make an interesting spearhead, operating independently of the rest of the army to go hunting Characters or things to hit with their Purifying Flames, but otherwise you probably won’t take them.
Give a Brotherhood Ancient +1WS and A, the option to upgrade his Storm Bolter to a special weapon instead of taking a Falchion, make him an HONOURED KNIGHT, and his Banner can also be used in the Command Phase to give a CORE unit within 6” +1 to Hit with melee attacks. He’s one per army, though realistically you weren’t taking more than one Ancient anyways, and for 10pts more he’s a decent enough upgrade. If you have the points and aren’t worried about the HONOURED KNIGHT limitations, he’s a worthy upgrade.
A weird little unit that basically has to be near a Techmarine to do anything useful, though at least they don’t take up any slots if he’s in the army. They can add some cheap but incredibly flimsy Servo-arm attacks, or a couple of heavy weapons but given their stats that’s a trap. They are useful as an Action caddy for Secondaries, however that is obviously game dependent, and Marines can get by with Uncompromising Firepower when necessary so it’s not as vital as you might think. Can be safely skipped unless you’re banking on Actions being a part of your Secondary plans in most games.
Flexible lads that can be given a variety of loadouts, though it generally boils down to being shooty or being a mix. Quite slow, but decently tough despite their low Wounds thanks to Duty Eternal and a 6+++, they’re quite cheap to add a reliable bit of shooting or combat punch with their WS/BS 2, and being CORE they benefit from various buffs. Their Venerable brethren above are just generally better however, so consider them first unless you desperate to save points. Alternatively, for a mere 15pts over the normal Dread You can upgrade to a mighty WS/BS 2 which makes them super reliable, especially combined with CORE.
Basically the same as above but without the 6+++, and 1 less WS and BS. Their Venerable brethren above are just generally better with their stat increases for only 15pts more, so consider them first unless you’re desperate to save points.
Strap a teleporter pack to a Strike Squad and call it a day. Moving like a FLY unit with a 12” Mv, as well as the TELEPORTER Keyword, these are capable of putting immense pressure and board control on the battlefield early, a bargain at only 2pts more. Losing ObSec does mean they are a bit harder pressed to steal Objectives, but are fantastic at early grabs, late game bullying, dealing with units as a vanguard, and generally supporting other elements like Dreadknights. A fantastic choice that is very aggressively costed, there is a place for these in any list.
A Strike Squad that can take 4 Special Weapons in place of their normal wargear, otherwise being the same, sans ObSec. Useful to add a modicum of ranged support, though be wary of the Psilencer and Psycannon as they are Heavy weapons, so teleporting in or moving in range hampers their accuracy a bit, and with only 24” Range, you are going to need to move at some point. Incinerators can offer a bit of horde clearing utility, and deep striking in with a bunch of Str 6 Heavy Flamers can seriously dent light infantry for a fairly low cost, so if that’s something struggled with it might be worth looking into.
Much like the Grand Master version, just slightly lesser stats and cost. Whilst losing a WS and A makes it a bit less efficient, it makes up for it with CORE, and keeps that tasty 4++, keeping them as a beefy melee and ranged element to your army. At 30pts cheaper base they are very efficient for their output, and will do you well in any game.
Ahh the iconic Land Raider, with three different variants but all filling a similar role – a very expensive battle tank/transport hybrid that doesn’t quite survive as long as it should, degrades horribly and costs a good chunk of points, at 285pts before upgrades. All the Land Raiders need to be transporting something given you’re paying a large amount of points for the privilege, but then you get an “all your eggs in one basket” issue. It’s a scary basket admittedly, and some armies may struggle to remove it, but the Raider family is just a little underwhelming given its price tag, and given the already existing maneuverability the army thanks to your good choice of deployment and redeployment abilities, they’re a fun but often superfluous choice.
So officially this is just the normal Land Raider, but the Godhammer is the pattern name in various forms of fluff. Twin Heavy Bolter, 2 Twin Lascannons and an average 10/5/3 Capacity (Infantry/Terminators/Centurions respectively), this is the Land Raider for those weird times when you want a generalist tank with long range weapons that also wants to be transporting units across the battlefield. Basically the reason for the Raider family’s perceived quirkiness – it wants to do a bit of everything, whilst doing none of them amazingly well.
The Templar special before it was
stolen gifted to everyone else, this is your anti-infantry and proper transport Land Raider, getting a vast amount of dakka in the form of Assault Cannons and Hurricane Bolters, and an increased capacity of 16/8/5 models, this one is far more obvious in design – drive forward and unleash a lot of combat lunatics in the enemy lines. Now you could argue depending on the contents this could be achieved cheaper elsewhere, and you may be right.
The one with the big flamers. The shortest range Land Raider in terms of weapons, but also with probably the most useful, Str 6 AP- 2 Dmg 2 Flamers are pretty great, and also highly useful on a Tank that wants to go forward with it’s cargo only to get tied up in following turns. Has a middling capacity of 12/6/4, but that’s enough for a full squad of something and Character support. Advance it turn 1 and hope for the best.
Banisher (Forge World)
With a lower capacity but better guns than the below Rhino, the Razorback is more expensive for the privilege of carrying said guns, and so is more useful as a pseudo-battle tank. Almost like the opposite of a Rhino really – where the Rhino is there to hold and contest whilst the contents deal with units, here you want to protect a small unit by putting them inside, then have them disembark whilst the Razorback deals with other threats.
Cheap and effective, the Rhino (and to an extent Dedicated Transports as a whole in 9th) provides ablative protection for your Infantry, ways to get them up the board, as well as something you don’t mind keeping back or moving around to hold Objectives. It doesn’t add much firepower to the army so don’t be afraid to Advance to hold or contest those objectives, or charge it into units to tie them up. Can be useful to protect units not teleporting onto the battlefield
Flyers in general are in an odd spot right now, being quite flimsy and often expensive. At nearly 200pts the Interceptor packs a good amount of firepower and a respectable T7 and 10W, but with no Hover option means it needs to position itself carefully, or fly off the board losing a turn of shooting. Also any half decent anti tank weaponry that could deal with ground tanks can deal with the Stormhawk (that Hard to Hit only goes so far), but being more expensive than most ground targets makes the loss of it a bit more painful. It has its uses, but it’s expensive for what it does.
Similar in profile to the Stormhawk, but comparable in role to the Storm Speeders. As with the Speeders, there are more efficient units, and the points can quickly reach the near 200 mark if loaded out in certain ways. Whether this is an effective use of points is debatable for such a flimsy chassis.
Basically a flying Land Raider, with the associated issues. It has a pretty tough profile, a good amount of heavy weaponry and a decent Transport Capacity (12/6/4, the same as the Redeemer), with the added bonus of being able to air lift smaller variants of DREADNOUGHT. But it also comes with a high points cost, which only gets bigger depending on what you kit it out with. It needs to be transporting something to warrant its cost, which leads itself to becoming target priority one, and keeping it safe warrants spending CP to put into Strategic Reserves effectively delaying its cargo’s use until turn 3 and losing the Gunship’s firepower for turn 1. If you get turn 1 with it and it’s loaded up with goodies it can be hilarious to park it in the middle of your opponent’s battleline and the threat of whatever is inside to jump out next turn. But if you don’t they’ll probably end up footslogging, and you’ll be 300+ points worse off to boot.
You’re meant to be somewhat clandestine and secretive, you can’t have massive tanks rolling around.
Ok yes technically you can have a Thunderhawk, but it’s Forge World and I’ve not gotten round to those yet, so – Coming Soon!
What part of “get in, smite the Daemon and get out” don’t you get? You don’t bring walls, you teleport through them.