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6th edition 40k can't come soon enough.
1. Draigo fluff.
2. Psybolt ammo
Add that list to breaking a lot of rules that have been reinforced by every other codex and what do you get? Ward doing to 40K, what he did with Daemons in 7th.
Point aside. We can do with less of the 'world is falling', guys. GK are silly good, but they're not unbeatable.
Personally, with non-specific lists (i.e. basic tournament ones), I'd put my money on a maxed out DE list versus a maxed out GK list (or at least, many of the variants). The DE list will be much of a scalpel tool, than the Hammer of the Knights, but the army is built around that. Maxed out mech IG also have very solid odds of blowing GKs off the table.
You know what really annoys people about GKs?
> Very good rules in terms of price efficiency to power ratio.
> Terribly written fluff, which is just irritating to read.
> Low model count armies are very viable, making them easy for beginners.
> They really piss off Marine armies, as they do much of what the other marines do, but cheaper/better.
> They ignore a lot of the rules of the game.
All of the above are factors. I don't think anyone would seriously like to argue GK are fair. With the exception of a few units/upgrades, most of it is disgusting.
For example, people have been saying the Vindicare isn't a problem, as it's expensive and easily killed. Well, personally I'm not entirely sure how easily a T4 W2 4++/6+++ model, with stealth no less, is actually killed. Yes, it'll die to concentrated fire - but so does everything else! But whatever. The point is, it's 145pts, which is extremely likely to do its point's worth in damage before it goes. Each turbo-penetrator shot has genuinely got to be bordering on 30% chance to kill a land raider (11/12 hit x 1/2 kill with Ap1, x penetrating. I hate 4 dimensional probability, but considering the average on 4 dice is 14, and that's not counting the S3 or rending, I'm guessing it's fairly good odds). Or it can delete a manticore, or a ravager, or whatever - maybe even shoot actual models, rather than vehicles! Even if he can't find his point's worth, the tactical bonus of stranding someone without their ride might be worth his cost easily.
Really, the only things people really question are the random bling here there and everywhere (which happens in all codeces), and some of the henchmen. And even then, that's often gear dependent! Warrior acolytes can get real expensive real fast, but they start as IG squadsmen with pistols/CCW and +1LD, for 1pt less!
But let's say you ignore even all that. You know what still offends people? It's the ease with which they do everything. It's genuinely difficult to make a 'bad' army with them, without deliberately doing so.
Your expensive marines eating through your points? Ok, take some cheap-ass henchmen as troops.
Problems with enemy transports? Here, psyfleman dreadnoughts are ninja versus them.
Problems with enemy big vehicles? Well, most people have to risk melta, but you can get rending S7 A4 (remember, an assault cannon is statistically better than a lascannon at killing Av14. Psycannons are silly better) guns everywhere - and don't forget your vindicare!
Problems with hordes? Cleansing flame deals with them!
Want a close combat army? Viables. Want a shooty army? Viables. Want a mix? Viables. Want a deathstar army? Viable. Want a MSU army? Viable. Etc.
They just seem to be able to do whatever they want and still remain competitive. Sure, you can write a combat IG army, but you'll not win big tournaments with it. GK can write most types of lists, and still do well.
Wow a lot of grey knights hatred, funny how they're not the top codex and nobody ever seems to complain about space wolves or imperial guard which are better! I don't have many problems with the codex except the grenades on terminators and the +2 initiative halberds, at the end of the day they die just like any other marine. It's a very good and powerful codex but there is nothing in the book which is broken!
They are the top codex. Look at every tournament going, from the casual to the comped. They're the most prevelant army, making up 25% of whats brought, and occupying most of the top spots in the results.
As for power units: Purifiers are game breaking. They make horde armies auto-lose with 15 casualties at the start of combat, leading to 15 more at resolution via fearless. One unit is managable because you can take them down, with some focus. Six is just impossible to deal with.
Henchman spam is game breaking. Dirt cheap guys who abuse squad composition to bring rediculous firepower, or a huge weight of high I attacks mixed with some token stormshields to take return hits.
The power level ripples down to casual games too. A generic GK list is much too strong for a generic list from another army. And woe betide thee if you're a daemon's player. You're lucky to even make it to combat. In my last game vs. GK, I didn't even make it to my turn 4. He just rolled his psychic powers, and I removed whole units at a time. It wasn't even a *game* just an exercise in packing models away.
I used to have a Grey Knights squad in 2nd edition, and bought a 1750pt force of the new models when they came out. This is mostly because I love the models. I have Draigo but he's not in my list. However, I don't intend using this army all that much because I believe the game would be boring or depressing for my opponent. In my group we usually play for fun. If I did turn up with this list I'd probably take just 1500pts to a 1750 game or balance it myself in other ways. I want a game that is fun for both players, and winning in an exercise of rolling dice is not fun, and provides little tactical challenge.
The glaring point I noted was the fact that units were cheap. A unit of terminators, all with power weapons, thunder hammers for free (better than power fists and you still have your gun), or swords for a better save. Then you get the psycannon - cheaper than an assault cannon yet stronger? This should have been kept as the heavy bolter it used to be, or only Heavy 2. Comparing these two units even without any psychic powers shows the grey knights to be undercosted, or the uprgrades undercosted, depending upon how you look at it.
If you take them as per their fluff - they are supposed to be powerful but they should be more expensive to suit. I play for fun, and collect models I like. Sometimes I have to make compromises to balance the two - in this case it's self moderation to have a fun game. I don't attend tournaments and winning isn't my goal.
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The main issue with the Grey Knights is not only the fact that they have an answer to pretty much every threat, not only are they great in every single phase of the game, they also possess the greatest number of rules that break the very core of 40K and never should've made it in, GK codex or otherwise.
Here's a list of gripes I have with the codex:
- power weapons on everything. Marines, Necrons, MC's, there are a lot of units that pay through their nose for good saves. GK's ignore them and make that expense a waste.
- 24" assault weapons on everything. In practice, it is 30" if you're advancing, or 24" if you're falling back. No other army comes with such a potent ranged weapon as standard. Marines cannot assault after firing, and have half the range, same with Tau and so many other Troop units with rapid fire guns. GK's can stay at a good range of 24" and rain shots at those units, laughing at the return fire and not having to worry about assaults (unlike rapid firing units who are always in range for assault). Those other units' special weapons are also short-ranged, whereas GK's have Psycannons, aka uber-Assault Cannons that can be taken by infantry and are Assault, unlike every other heavy weapon in the game (excepting Heavy Flamers), so they don't need to stay still to make use of them and combine so well with Stormbolters. They can also upgrade their Stormbolters to S5, as if they were not devastating enough. The whole point of 12" rapid fire is that if your enemy's in range, you're in range of his assault, a kind of checks and balances situation that's the foundation of this system. Not with GK's.
- I+2 halberds. Up until GK's, the only marine squad that could purchase an Initiative boost were CSM troops, termies, and Noise Marines. The difference is, theirs was only +1, cost more, could be brought down, and those units had very limited CC capability. Way too many xenos CC units depend on I 5 or 6 to make an impact, now a GK Troops choice can deny them that for pennies AND be way more devastating against fellow marines. There should've never been the option of upgrading a marine UNIT to I 6, pretty much the highest I in the game, at such a low cost (in fact, any cost!).
- Force Weapons on everyone. Makes MC-based armies dead on arrival, screwing Tyranids even more. Rock-paper-scissors is never a sign of good design.
- Warp Quake Makes DS-based armies dead on arrival (sensing a pattern here?). Chaos Daemons weep. RPS again.
- Purifying Flame. Makes horde armies dead on arrival (here it is!). Orks and Tyranids cry tears of blood. RPS for the third time. For fun, imagine a full conscript squad against a single Purifier... no other single model can potentially dish out so much damage in a single turn (okay, except maybe the perpetuum mobile BA dread). You can't have a model kill stuff outside turn sequence!
- Servo-skulls shutting down enemy Scout and Infiltrators. For 5 points each? And you can take up to 3 per character? There's nothing like denying your enemy abilities they pay lots of points for through a 5-point piece of wargear.
- 3-man henchmen squads able to take Chimeras and Razorbacks. In practice, it's a 12-point tax to make your AFV's purchasable on their own AND scoring. Add Psybolt Ammo and Fortitude and it gets silly real fast. Other armies at least pay points for Chimera or Razor spam...
- Vindicare being the best tank hunter in the game. Last time I saw, real-life snipers didn't blow up MBT's...
- Coteaz, Draigo, and Crowe turning Elite squads Troops. Remember when Crimson Fists Chapter Master made Sternguard scoring without making them Troops ('cause, you know, that would've broken the game...)? GK's are better... Draigo and Crowe should've made Paladins and Purifiers scoring, but kept them as Elites, whereas Coteaz should've added an extra henchman slot on top of the standard one for taking an Inquisitor. Elite squads are elite, because they're elite and should remain elite! It's a way to balance out their abilities, you can't have them become Troops which has a twofold repercussion - you don't have to purchase inherently weaker Troops to fill out the mandatory Troops slots, saving you points AND you can take twice as many Elite squads of which all are scoring. As a designer, you don't do that ever!
- Grenades for free as standard on Termies. Remember when the Termies' sole weakpoint was their inability to assault into cover, making a Crusader or Redeemer pretty much mandatory? Not for GK's... Termies in themselves are clearly Tactical Terminators+. Let's see what freebies they get for the exact same cost as an SM TacSquad - a psychic power, aegis, force weapons, fists upgraded to thunder hammers OR a downgrade from fists to swords, but an extra pip of INV or +2 INI, GRENADES, better assault cannon, better heavy flamer, no pointless power weapon sergeant, TROOPS. And no one even takes these guys, the other units are just so much better! I mean, for mere 15 points you can upgrade your Super Termie to a SuperSuperTermie (Paladin).
- Rad and Psychotroke Grenades. Not only are they permanent buffs to the squad's damage output in CC, they also a) have the potential to make them auto-win nearly any combat, b) affect Instant Death, unlike, you know, every other ability in the game, which is one of the no-no's in the game (or was, I suppose). I guess Ward thought GK's were too weak in assault and needed a buff...
- Psybolt Ammo. No, just... no. This shouldn't have been in the game period. Standard GK squads running around with mini-heavy bolters (what other marine army can do this?), STR6, cheaps as chips, unshakable scoring Razorbacks, PSYFLEMEN (upgrade 2 TL autocannons to 4 TL missile launchers for 5 points, oh, and ID T4... BALANCED!)... There should've been no Assault Cannons in the army - all 'Backs should've had the option to take a proper Psycannon instead of an Assault Cannon, and bolters of any variety and autocannons shouldn't have had upgradable STR. No other army can do this and for a reason!
- Fortitude. All other armies pay 15 points to get an upgrade that reduces all Stunned to Shaken to make the vehicle able to move all the time unless Immobilized. GK's pay 5 points to ignore the vast majority of Stunned and Shaken and can always move and, even more importantly, shoot. You can't silence a psyfleman for a turn by shaking him (like, you know, many armies bank on to have a chance at winning). Why? It breaks another core feature of the game!
- diversified Paladin squads. Remember when GW nerfed Tyranid Warrior and Carnifex squads and Daemon Bloodcrusher and Fiends and made them unable to diversify their wargear, so as to avoid another Nob Bikers incident? Guess what, this philosophy only applies to xenos, but not to marines, vide TWC and... Paladins.
- deep-striking Soladins. I'm not even going to bother elaborating on this, single-man squads are an inherently idiotic notion.
- Death Cult Assassins. Like Wyches, but better. Pack them into a Land Raider along with a Techmarine with 'nades and win every combat. Oh, and if the LR is immobilized, you have a shot at repairing it.
- Purifiers getting a discount on every single weapon upgrade. What is the reason for this? They cost 4 points more than a regular GK, and those 4 points cover the game-breaking Purifying Flame. Furthermore, you can take them as troops, so... why? They even get extra (and cheaper) heavy weapons! Even Interceptors don't get a discount, and they're more expensive!
- Grand Strategy allowing you to make pretty much any unit scoring. Self-explanatory. As if GK's had trouble with Troops. What other army can decide which of their non-scoring units become scoring and do that just before every game?
- Hammerhand stacking with Hammers for STR 10. This breaks the basic rule of 40K, multiplication before addition. But GK's are the best humanity has to offer, so they break the laws of physics! Seriously, feth you, Matt Ward.
90% of the above should've been obvious to anyone familiar with the rules of the game, this isn't something you let slip through due to inadequate beta-testing! Which can only mean it was all premeditated. Infer from this what you will. In my opinion, and ignoring its power level, the GK codex is a complete trainwreck on the design level. It ignores or outright breaks basic rules of 40K and denies the enemy their abilities (can't counterattack against Psychotrokes, can't Scout or Infiltrate, can't deploy hordes/MC's/high-armor close combat specialists, and so forth). Remember Lash? GK's are like that, but more insidious. At the end of the day, Ward would probably have this to say to the question of why are the GK's so powerful: "It would be a shame if they weren't!"
Last edited by -DE-; 07-05-2012 at 12:53.
Gonna go ahead and make a guess that the GK codex is geard towards 6th and that this is to blame for much of the OP sutff?
But there's no excuse for the appaling background.
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Other than their ridiculous nades' I don't find anything in GK codex intrinsically, on its own, overpowered. HOWEVER, my beef with them, and why I hate their dex, is that there are no restrictions on great choices and allows for ridiculously undercosted/overpowered synergy.
For example, one can take a cortez henchmen spam army with stormravens and psybolt rifleman dreads with no restrictions what so ever. I mean if the dread/stormravens were restricted to armies led by say a grandmaster, or were 0-1, or any number of restriction options they would be externally balanced. Instead you end up with a codex, that because of it's lack of restrictions, offer players no drawback from just taking the most powerful units and spamming them. That's my main beef and why they are so powerful in my opinion.
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Nope, most of the worst builds GK have are with Troop choice abuse. Draigowing, Purifier Spam, and Henchmen spam all have the units involved as troops from a SC. Even ignoring that, you still have terminators with NFW to fall back on.
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ringBook to rule them all, one ringplace to find them, One ringCodex to bring them all, and in the Darknessfuture bind them. Time for the unified Marine Codex.