Tactica: Grey Knights, Caution, its huge!
This Tactica encompasses ALL of the Grey Knight tactics hes worked out so far and thus is VERY in depth.
if you have a spare hour to be a better Grey Knights player have a good look!
If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them in the comments section.
Welcome to the massive GK tactica. Below should be more than you probably wanted to know about how to play/build counter any particular unit or tactic for the Grey Knights army so enjoy!
(updated for v 1.1 and some v 1.2 FAQ's - Latest update Jan 17, 2013 -starting to add things with DA codex updates, also doing rewrites on lots of old articles, the parts I went through will have --------------- lines under them)
Overall: GK still competitive but much less so than before, we're now about evened up with the other codexes. Gut feeling is like we're gonna be middle of the pack for 6th edition as it progresses. Time will tell with next edition releases how we will stand up. Ahh love them codex creep. I see GK used more as a detatchment much later in 6th rather than as a pure army but we shall see. GK just have a hard time fielding enough bodies at the moment and this edition benefits so much more from MSU and lots of survivable cheap units. Necrons are arugably tops atm and will likely remain so depending on which way fliers, gauss and how some of their other powerful units will be balanced later. The old standby lists of purifier spam and all shiny metal bawkxes are played very differently now. Paladin draigo lists are also very much reduced in effectiveness. The new face of GK is a whole lot different.
While most are quite viable, coteaz and lots of henchmen seem to be the biggest winner in 6th. Snap shots make monkies better and you can get some awesome powers for coteaz. One of the cheapest 2 power psyker in the game. His multiple wounds will help vs perils, and he's got some nice 2+ armor. Just keep him away from str 6 hits and you'll be in business. Overall Coteaz is really worth taking even if you aren't buying henchmen just for the buffs alone. Forcing the enemy to reroll stealing the initiative or stealing it youself is very useful to plan on your anti-air/first blood chances. (Going 2nd is definately preferable in most scenarios with proper terrain placement and LOS to hide things but stealing the initiative can mean a victory if you are on the kill point mission.
Be careful of his "I've been expecting you" rule in that you can't use it when he's onboard a vehicle or inside a building. The rule works only if he's dismounted as it would require LOS and fire points do not count toward special abilities. A neat trick with him is that you can warp quake with other GK units and if you get lucky (a roll of 2 or 3 on the mishap table) place the enemy unit 12' of cotez (and hopefully a rather shooty unit he's attached to). Even if it's a drop pod, you can shoot at the pod and then again at the guys that pop out. They have to deploy touching the pod and then you get to shoot at them, THEN they get to move 6' away from the hull. Some may try to get out of your range by placing them further away however.
If coteaz or someone in his unit is touching a quad gun, that gun emplacement can also be used to fire out of sequence against that unit using the "I've been expecting you" rule and then claim interceptor to fire again if you wish on his turn (though you can't use it after on your turn). It's kind of crazy and may cause some contraversy so be careful to clear this up lol. For this trick, I tend to really like plasma cannon servators for obvious reasons Bolter henchmen would also be at rapid fire range so it's pretty effective even without strom bolters. A monkey with lascannon will be useful or even a multi-melta servator as you'll
Placing coteaz near a corner (approximately 12' away from the edge) will let you get hits on outflankers as well. This may cause you to be out of range of lots of stuff so I tend to go with the icarus lascannon emplacement in this scenario.
The Librarian lost the ability to use his psychic hood to stop enemy powers very well in this edition but overall can still be useful with the psychic powers you can buy from the codex or possibly just use the free powers from the book so he is still versitile. I tend to use him more offensively and less defensively than before. Consider brain mines as you can possibly use this to win a challenge easily. (I am not sure personally as it falls into the same mind shackle scarabs discussion currently but it seems to work anyway). Personally I've had some great success with him and cotez together buffing my henchmen gunlines (though I do even better with just a lv 1 inquisitor of some sort) Twin linked goodness all around. (BS3 twin linked is about 80% hit rate. Too bad the power doesn't work on the flamers to make them actually twin linked (just reroll misses so doesn't help the flamers as it doesn't give you twin linked to wound rolls and also doesn't help with plasma cannon overheats though does work on plasma guns) I really wished we could have had telekenesis, I love some of those powers. Puppetmaster would have been awesome as well as invisible. Oh well, can't get everything.
So far my personal best has been a liby with staff + brain mines + pre-cognition + prescience, just kept buffing someone else while tarpitting everything with a 2++ rerollable. It was awesome till I failed 2 perils but at that point the game was essentially over as the liby himself tarpitted a 600 point death star for almost 4 turns by himself. Only 30.56% chance of getting precog though (roll 2 dice so I just think of it like a twin link). Alternatively, I've seen him still function in the traditional role of joining a storm raven for assault and buffing cover saves with codex powers and as a front line nuke engine with pyromancy powers. Alternative strageties that have been brought up before like using the summoning or dropping in with modrak and using the summoning have been tried but really don't work all that well as you don't get the teleport homer benefits when "summoning". I've tried to use a warp stabalization field with a land raider + liby going in with modrak, didn't work that well as I mishaped a bunch since modrak wanted to hug cover and the vehicle is simply too big to fit in some places. Essentially decided that it just was too confusing a gimic and gave up on it for competitive play. All in all, been using the librarian less and less and going to cheapo inquisitors with divination as my alternative.
Brotherhood champion/crowe in close combat is kind of a strange thing due to the challenge rules. Technically if say a Sarge challenges you, you can't use rapier strike against them since they are not MC or IC. Do you just get 1-2 attacks with glittering blade? or how is it supposed to work? Kind of up in the air especially given the way pile in moves are done now. Will need some further discussions. A potentially rerollable 2+ armor and 3++ invul may make the champion a big tarpit for cheap especially with brain mines. (one wound still sucks though)
Crowe and purifiers may have gotten some nerfs due to marine durability and small squad survival but still a solid choice for psycannon spam. As a warlord, you'll probably be giving up a point in this department as Crowe is not hard to kill. You can certainly take the other enemy HQ out with him as a suicide tactic or just hide in the corner but who wants to do that ?! On the off chance you want to try to keep your warlord alive, having him man the Quad cannon or icarus lascannon on the aegis line is a decent choice. Leaves your squads open and gives him something to do. I've still done crowe lists a few times in 6th with some success still however but I feel it was more dice than list. Pairing crowe + coteaz and making coteaz or another IC that can hide in a squad is my perferred method for running Crowe now. That frees up crowe to go die for the cause or tarpit forever. Heroic sacrifice also has a good benefit that it is a buff and thus cannot be "Deny the witch'ed." There's alot of confusion current over can you deny the witch or not vs cleansing flame. Quite a few people are leaning towards that you can and an equal number of folks are saying that you can't. Please discuss with your opponent on how this should be played. No argument on heroic sacrfice however and it's generally agreed that you can't deny that thing. Also can take out Kharn with it still as it's not a psy attack and crowe doesn't even have a force weapon. Lastly, Crowe's cleansing flame does NOT have rending. I swear this gets asked once a month at least.
Draigo - despite more recent nerfs to his power sword (now AP3) and paladins, he's still an interesting choice. Post 1.1 nerfs, paladin only lists are not as good as they used to be so it will require a lot more tactics and or the perfect pairing of your enemy failing to bring alot of AP2 to use the draigowing competitively. He's still a good HQ however on his own. His Grand master powers can still make some stuff like DK's scoring or purifiers for that matter. He's also perfert to just throw at your enemy by himself or hide somewhere guarding the backline as he's really hard to kill. Can throw him in a henchmen squad too so that they get a big boss meatshield and will be hard to break with Ld10 and ATSKNF too. Don't forget that he's got a flame thrower template weapon too! One other neat strat I've seen some people use with draigo though I think it's kind of expensive to do so is that they use him to basically purchase 55 point single paladin objective campers. Very hard to kill since you can hide one model very easily. It's kind of tough to bring down a terminator with 2 wounds especially in the rear hiding. If you have another warlord, can always throw Draigo at the enemy as a MC sorta thing / bullet soak. He's boss enough to hurt if you completely ignore him and it's somewhat effective to boot as 55 points for a scoring unit is still a good deal but not close to the cheapness of 12 point 3 man acolytes which I see will be a dying breed as they can get wiped so easily while a paladin can still survive quite a lot especially as people are going for more and more ignore cover weapons/ flamers. A pally can pretty much survive most of those.
Brother Captain stern - really fun choice more than anything else. I never really recommend him unless your enemy forgets that he gets rerolls too Zone of banishment might get some synergy with the enfeeble powers as it lowers the enemy strength but that's about all I can see with it. (cept GK doesn't have biomancy so you need allies, and get lucky with powers, and deny the witch rolls, and be in D6' of enemies... ya, not that good) His sword and iron halo gives him 3++ at least in close combat but that's all I can say on the guy.
Ordo Maleus inqusitor + termy armor + psycannon + psyker is still just 110 points and can potentially get a cheap ride for your terminators in a borrowed chimera even if you don't take coteaz. (it's fine if it explodes as far as I'm concerned as it'll still get them some good 18+ inches by turn 2.) You can also use him as a very cheap and sturdy way to get divination powers for improved shooting to attach to purifiers with lots of psycannons. 5 psycannons with twin link? sign me up! Now a days vs stuff like AP3 flamers, the inquisitor if placed properly can "tank" the baleflamer from stuff like the chaos codex as wounds even against the squad have to get past the first model's save of 2+ instead of just ignoring all the 3+ armors. You really have to kind of anticipate when the dragon will come on though as having him out front also can force alot of small arms fire on him (though you can probably LOS alot of it away). He's becomming a staple in alot of competitive lists I've seen lately. Just be careful of things like Rad grenade launchers as then weight of fire str 4 can instant kill you or regular str 6 spam from like chimeras
Ordo Xenos inquisitor with psyker + power armor + rad + psycho grenade is still just 93 points and can take additional divination powers for close combat or hammerhand to allow stacking for say a purifier squad to get str 6 halberds hitting MEQ at T3. This wounds on 2+ with just 1 hammerhand but with 2 hammerhands gives you the option to instant kill thus ignoring FNP all together and improved wounding instead of just relying on force weapon activation. This strat is mostly good vs stuff like blood angels as they are the most common FNP marines. As you can chose your power before the fight, you don't have to take hammerhand but can still pick a psychic power that may benefit you quite a lot like shooting buffs vs specific enemies. (like if I'm going against blood angels or nids, I'll want hammerhand to bypass FNP (damn nurgle is still too tough with average of T5 but meh, can't win them all) vs the big book powers if I'm going to be killing lots of guardsmen anyway and can buff shooting instead with rerolls to hit.
Another fun trick with the ulumeathi plasma syphon is that it works well to help protect against rapid fire plasma guns of your enemies as well as some tau rapid fire pluse rifles (especially good on assaulty terminators). With the addition of the horus heracy forge world things, someone may field a model with dual wield plasma pistols "The Moritat legion Centurion" that gets shots that generate more shots and supposedly you can get like 70 plasma pistol hits (not just shots, he is BS 5 and can get divination buffs) in one round of shooting, this is only of the only ways in the game to stop that from happening. Also, the Dark Angles space marines which you will all see plenty of soon, sports alot of plasma. Their terminators have plasma cannons as does their bikes with twin linked plasma guns which is really bad news for us GK. This little gadget is probably one of our more unknown defenses against these things. Expect to see more of this guy in the future.
Ordo Hereticus inquisitor I really like with power armor, divination psy power, and also the psyocculum. Rarely used but can be very fun to "snipe" psykers like nids, eldar, other GK, and alot of space wolves and IG at times. Paired with some lascannon monkies and plasma cannon servators will very easily take out alot of psychic beings. Doesn't work that well on nid flying tyrants but vs stuff like doom of malantai and especially tervigons, this is quite useful. (wierd that this guy is better vs xenos nids now a days and the xenos inquisitor is better vs Legion marines lol) Another thing on the psyocculum, it's becomming more useful now that alot of people are planning to throw a librarian in with a bunch of shooty guys like either marines or IG blobs. Large blast markers are gonna be real useful here. Only problem is that we don't have too many big blast markers and all I can think up are psyker battle squads which will get denied on a 5+ or 4+ vs most librarians. Plasma cannons are probably gonna be your biggest use here.
Grand masters - farirly useful and a step up from the captain. Grand Strat is almost always worth paying for so he's a good supply of extra scoring units or scout/rerolls what have you. I've seen good effects with this guy and a psycannon which up's his points though any rolls of 6's can let you snipe precision shots with him. BS 6 will hit most things and he's relentless. Good choice to "tank" for a squad of purifiers moving up the board on foot. 2+ armor and potentially 5 psycannons to devestate just about anything. One thing I just gotta remind people is that while orbital bombardments are fun but really have been ineffective as it always drifts. Just don't forget that it is a D3 for the regular bombardment. I always think of it as a large blast but it's actually more like a manticore! (just not the lance or psybomb versions though) Generally not worth taking the bombardment. Brainmines are a consideration if you plan to get into alot of challenges. Fairly expensive choice if fully kitted out. Still vulnerable to instant death however.
Brother Captain - only really seen him used when strapped for points and you just want another terminator. I'd pay for the grand master almost every time.
Modrak - an interesting choice that gives you psy communion as well as grand strat but everyone that takes him takes him for the alpha deep strike. This has been made both better an worse than it used it be. As ghost knights have stealth, modrak (and any IC's that are attached) also get the stealth rule and with the way you can armor save dangerous terrain tests now, they have a very easy time deep striking into some ruins for a 3+ cover save along with their 2+ terminator save. This is a very expensive unit to deep strike down however and can be very vulnerable to counter assaults unless you can threaten the enemy with a ton of other guys. Alternatively, you may want the enemy to shoot down modrak as that may save the rest of your army like say if you are doing a med/short range ally like necrons or bolter DA boats trying to get to midfield without being gunned down. If going down the survival route, the fact that you can no longer assault out of reserves really hurts this as the only real way to offer support to these guys is to deep strike more guys down or using personal teleporters to get close enough to be in threat range at the same turn. You don't have to buy the full number of ghost knights to be super effective with Modrak as he's fairly threatening by himself with just one ghost knight to just give him stealth and hope to generate more ghost knights as modrak takes wounds.
The ghost knights and modrak can be very good vs enemy armor if you manage to get behind a gun line and possibly be either out of LOS first turn. Vehicles crump so easily to assault now that you can do alot of damage in the right places by turn 2. or heck, even deep strike them next to a bastion or even on top of one and use the building to screen yourself from the enemy. You can always assault the building or even take it over if the enemy are all out of there. Vs things like Tau hammer heads, this can sometimes help negate their disruption pods but most Tau would gladly give up a round of shooting to go like 36' away flat out to get away from modrak's gang so your milage may vary. Better vs IG tanks though the weight of FRFSRF may kill off the modrak bomb before he can do his thing.
If you chose to attach a librarian to the ghost knight crowd, some interesting choices for wargear becomes useful as you can have a teleport homer and deep strike further squads near by them for reinforcements (bonus to using psy communion - though modrak is just psy lv 1 so you give up other powers). As to powers, I kind of like the GK book powers as I can possibly get a bonus to attacking with might of titan and sanctuary can help save them from getting charged (though you can't cast powers at the beginning of the movement phase, you cast sanctuary at the start of the enemy phase so it's legal). Using the summoning is also an interesting tactic to get some heavy equipment behind enemy lines however, all of these are kind of just gimics and I honestly can't recommend him or the above strat in a competitive enviroment though it is a fun combo to play with. Summoning does not benefit from teleport homers so it kind of sucks. Also placing a big vehicle close to terrain and close to the librarian who may be in a squad is also hazardous.
As another aside, due to overwatch, if modrak takes wounds when he does get to charge, he can generate another ghost knight who will also get to engage in the current assault so it's yet another little trick. Taking a bunch of IC's like techmarines or a divination inquisitor can be fun too but it's trying to make the unit into a death star that just doesn't have that much survivability nor can it really dish out that much damage as ghost knights are fairly average and only really get AP3 weapons as you spawn with a sword only.
Alot of potential for DA Belial Deathwing terminators to arrive along with Modrak on the first turn with possible a drop pod with more guys and shunting DK/interceptors all in the enemy's face turn 1. Kind of an "All In" strat as if they counter that, it'd be hard for you to be able to do much about it. Would suck vs other GK's and warp quake for example.
Along the same vein as the DA deathwing assault, similar things can be done with drop pods. One successful build I've seen with Modrak was with a SW + GK allies giving grand strat to a DK to scout or score depending on set up (some 5 man squad of strike squad to sit an objective or deep strike in as he sees fit) and a 3 drop pod army. Basically everything shows up to threaten by turn 1. Modrak + techmarine grenade and hammerhand caddy, dreadnaught in drop pod, and some meltafangs in drop pod with a Jaws priest (with one other pod in reserve with some more grey hunters), all comming down near where they need to be. The guy playing it also has extensive daemons experience so he played them sorta like the all deep striking daemons cept he always has his HS on the table with long fangs. He called it his hammer (modrak, cause he's got a hammer... ) and Anvil (cause he uses the aegis defense line so it's flat... ya bad pun). I'd imagine something similar can be done with blood angels or vanilla marines as well but he liked his missle long fangs and who can blame him. At higher points spreads, he likes to take a bunch of thunderwolf calvery to really bring on the threats. Either you deal with them all by turn 1 or he's gonna crush some face by turn 2. I criticize him for low troops and lack of anti-air but he figures he'd play'em like daemons and really uses his elites/HQ's instead and ignore air threats while going to ground like a boss.
Venerable dreadnought - hull points are a big nerf overall and likely to only get used for maxing out autocannon builds which is still viable but probably needs to be at higher points. Personally I'm not running him anymore unless I'm tapped out for heavy slots by taking more DK's. Probably see a come back for psychic protection at higher points games.
Assasins - vindicare just got a big boost with FAQ v1.2 as his deadeye rule will ignore look out sir! Not as good vs multi-wound independent characters of 3 wounds or greater as they will probably survive but you can always use his shield breaker round to destroy special invul equipment like iron halo's and even master azeral's special helmet that gives invul to his whole group. If all they have on is a terminator armor, the suit will go away too actually and it's possible that the unit will lose the armor save as well if they survive. He's going to be pop'ing tanks like a boss but still has a big problem with survivability. You need to have a good ruin that you can possibly bolster. He can possibly also stand on the corner of a fortification too for a 2+ but fairly limits your field of view /LOS. Just in case you were wondering, his turbopenetrator on vehicles is a 4D6 +3 for sniper rifle and every 6 rolled on the D6, you get an additiona D3 for rending. Average roll is like 17 or something crazy. Really penetrates just about anything. Great vs other buildings. He's got the infiltrate rule so don't forget you can put him down later on to snipe things and don't have to deploy him with the rest of the group even when going first. I see alot of people make that mistake and then the enemy counter deploys 36' away from him.
Fun trick: throw him in a chimera or rhino and drive him around. He's still got a 12' sniper pistol that you can shoot on the move though the ride has to move at 6's so you're just looking at an 18' threat range doing it this way. The ride really isn't necessary but can be just extra armor as far as I'm concerned for him.
You can also snipe well with him well out of range of tons of stuff by having him man an icarus lascannon wayyyy in the corner of like say a bastion and be able to see and hit most of the board easily to snipe people. You don't get your super turbopen or shield breaker rounds but it's still pretty awesome. If somehow you got perfect timing for your powers, this guy could be insane.
If your local area can let you place down a fortress of redemption, take the krackstorm missle launcher and have the vindicare shoot it to let you snipe with a giant blast marker lol. You get to allocate everything, it's high strength, it's barrage so it'll mess with people and aegis lines and it's got good AP so you'll kill lots of things. Problem is ability to use the fortress of course and also it's barrage with the missles aimed up into the sky so you don't really benefit from your high bs at all since you'll probably only get to fire indirectly.
Other assasins start to shine when you factor in allies in which case they start doing all sorts of wierd things. A culuxus can run around with quite a few psykers thrown together from other codexes like eldar (some debate on this as I'm not entirely sure warlocks count as individual psykers and eldart tends to also mess up our own powers too so not always a safe choice). With a list more dependent on psy powers, it will often be VERY important now to shut down enemy psychic defenses, so based on what you have, that psyocculum will be very handly. The culuxus would fill the psyker assasin role well cept he/she is slow on foot. If you can steal a transport for this guy like say a rhino, he'll get to move around alot faster to hunt down the runes of warding and rune priests (of which you can face up to 2 or 4 (space wolves get 2 HQ's per FOC slot) Unfortunately due to lack of alot of other abilities, and slow to keep up with say a farseer in a skimmer zooming all over the place or a jetbike farseer, I've not really been able to do much with the guy. Decent ideas but in practice hard to pull off. Other things like psy-out barrage from orbital bombardment, massed shooting, vindicare's sniping and hope your enemy fail a look out sir test, or even the calidus may be more useful. Also mindstrike missles fill a similar role and on a better platform.
You can also weaken resolve with IG psykers and make that neural shredder from the Callidus completely nuke down a unit since you now wound on 2+ and it's AP2. As their Ld is now very very low, you actually deny them FnP as well since str 8 easily doubles out Ld2. Heck, if you get them to Ld4, you double them out nicely.
Of note, you can polymorphine one unit but you do not have to attack that unit. They just end up being where you place your assasin. You can still neural shred something else next to them . Toss in a Marbol and you got all sorts of "I'd like to appear anywhere I like" build that at least is fun to play. (Additional note, weaken resolve is not a psychic shooting attack so you can't do it from inside a vehicle though because of that, you can also cast it when you've gone to ground with the psykers). In the same vein, you can do something similarly with a cryptec and abyssal staff and hunters from hyperspace rule with deathmarks. Teleport around and flame things essentially. Kind of limited and won't work with the above trick but can be something to consider with necron allies if you don't want to take the Calidus but like the combo
Evisor - I'd love to love this guy but so far he's been pretty much underperforming. I tend to only use him in a counter assault mode and or hide behind LOS all the way till I can get into range of a fleet assault but maybe that's not that good a use of him? Being one of the few units with fleet, I'd really like to make better use of him but so far still getting hit on 4's by most things and just being 2 wounds doesn't help all that much. The neruoal gauntlet also gets shafted by the terminator armors and all it takes is a single MSS fail to kill himself so not really my favorite here. Mostly good against assaulting MEQ or lesser but not that great against elite units (though you can shoot them with the pistol I suppose). Too weak to fight things that can fight back and too few wounds / bad saves to fight hordes. Can assault tanks with his melta bomb but again there's usually better options. Str 5 on the charge, 4+D6 attacks (average 7.5) WS8 (still hits most things on 3's = 3-4 wounds on MEQ on average then factor in 1 guy dead from the pistol and you're not doing all that much with such a short range combatant for the points)
One other piece of advice is that all your assasins are characters which means you get to assign wounds on 6's so quite useful. I've seen alot of folks forget that.
Purifiers - Much harder to use compared to 5th mostly because their surviability is still lousy while being very expensive. Baleflamers really scare these guys now.
After much testing, I'm using them almost strictly as elites lately as I just don't want to buy crowe anymore. Massed psycannons are still great. I tend to run outside of my rhinos now. The rhino is just there as mobile cover and I tend to flat out with it to block LOS to the squishy knights behind it. An assaulty block of purifiers may like to fight dismounted with say a razorback to run next to them to block LOS as cover and to shoot the enemy since they probably won't be shooting too much though to stay alive for the charge. This is all in relation to the rule that you can't assault the turn you disembark from a transport.
Standard (if there is such a thing in this game) seems to be max psycannons + 1 hammer + halberds for the rest. Other people do recommend that a staff is quite worth it for a squad or two somewhere in the army to tie up ALOT of other things like MC's or MSS challenges (put the staff on the justicar and then hammer on someone else, just don't perils! lol). If you managed to save even one wound with the 25 point staff, you just paid for a purifier (24 point body) and likely tied up something important that's supposed to kill you. If not running staff, I'd give the justicar like a halberd now so he can potentially win some challenges easily vs like other marine sergeants (chaos champions that have to challenge you or even force weapon a MC before getting destroyed completely. Have someone else hold the hammer so that you don't lose the option of engaging hard targets if you perils (which btw is really hard not to with eldar and nid's shadow in the warp. I hate my local meta lol). Falchions are almost never worth taking. Psybolts are kind of sticky point in that I am generally buying psycannons so far fewer storm bolters firing. Maybe something to consider for an assault based purifiers build. I run a fairly effective coteaz list with purifier squad thrown in for my counter assault option as well as double duty as shooters in case the enemy isn't charging but gone are my crowe purifier only lists.
At current writing time, most people tend to just buy them in blocks of 10 man size units. Crowe may or may not be used as Grand stragety (possibly from modrak or draigo even) can replace him to make them troops. If you combat squad and an average roll of 2 unit buffs, you can make 4 troops out of those 2 elite slots.(however you still need to buy strikes or henchmen (if coteaz) to satisfy your 2 basic troops) Don't forget that you can also have the same combat squad using the same rhino so one section can be dropped off but both can ride forwards. Very flexible. Due to assault restrictions though, I still tend to just run them outside the tank and use the rhino to block LOS with flatout moves but that's just me. (see more on the rhino section below)
Additional note, fearless units can't Go to Ground! so don't expect 2+ cover saves from the Aegis lines or area terrain in general if you plan on hiding these guys back there. Strike squads however can go to ground normally as can purgation squads and interceptors (and interestingly paladins too). GtG here can be very useful vs necron flier spam for example as you can get your cover save and shoot at them normally since you are snap firing anyway. Purifiers won't benefit from this. Failing morale is quite important too in that it'll open up the enemy to getting shot. Best use of purifiers in assault is still vs hordes. Treat these guys are elites and you'll get alot out of them. Treat these guys like regular disposable marines and you will go down fast. Target selection is hugely important. (chop squishy hordes, avoid terminators, or just shoot alot with them)
There is also apparently some controversy over the wording of cleansing flame and deny the witch. By pure RAW, quite a few people are saying that since the power does not target anything that you cannot actually get a Deny the witch roll against it kind of like you don't get to deny the witch vs stuff like warp quake or murderous hurricane as far as people seem to play. I'd clarify this point with your local TO or opponent. Maybe suggest a roll off as there are 2 very clear cut camps in this topic until they FAQ it. As of RAW in current writing, it seems that you probably don't get to get a deny the witch against it however GW has rules all differently for stuff that hits multiple things like Jaws of the world wolf and or nova powers so your milage may vary.
Paladins - Now with v 1.1, paladins have lost their look out sir wound allocation tricks. Overall nerfed down in the melee department given that Th/SS terminators and meganobs are going to do better against them than before. Even number of meganobs will win combat now a days. The power weapon changes hurt them vs other terminators and your local meta may start to shift to have alot more plasma. Too expensive and slow at lower points to grab objectives though.
General concensus is - psycannons are still awesome. MC'ing them is still pretty good. Since loosing character status, you no longer get to allocate wounds which sucks ALOT. 10 man blocks and 5's both work but will need different loadouts. Having 1-2 solo paladins to deep strike or camp objectives are very useful as you can use them like lone wolves but also scoring. relentless psycannons are still fun to use. 315 points for a 5 man squad with 2 psycannons (relentless so 8 shots moving thus 30' threat range). A 10 man termy unit with 2 psycannons are 450 points. 220 for strike squad and 2 psycannons but they only get 1/2 the shots when moving (4 shots when moving for 30' threat range).
No need for brotherhood banner if only 5 man. Lots of debate on if apothecary is required. Some say not worth it due to FnP nerfs but others really like him still because now you get FnP vs plasma. Generally if you have a 10 man squad, definately consider getting an apothecary but for sure get a banner. Not sure if worth it for 5's. Also MC'ing psycannons is almost always worth it. 4 MC psycannons is roughly 5 psycannons (also 20 points) totally worth it despite recent nerfs. Also, consider that FnP works for perils now so a librarian attached to the group at least gets some protection. 5+ save vs eldar 4+ ghost helm is decent I guess... still makes me envious but potentially useful depending on how much runes of warding you have in your local area.
Loadouts seem typically to be maxing out psycannons and then making sure at least 1 hammer, if 10 man, definately a banner, and then probably 1 guy with a staff and rest halberds. with the way wounds are allocated now, that one staff guy can tank for the whole group for a while despite the 1.1 nerfs. Not quite sure how or when to use swords honestly as you generally don't need them if assaulting squishy units and you really don't want to get into assault vs true assault units so I'd almost forgo falchions and swords but it may still vary.
Also of note, with warp charges, you can shoot the holocaust ability (like say with the apothecary) but you won't get to hammer hand in your assault phase or activate force weapons even with a banner. Though you can do those things on the enemy's phase as you get a new warp charge on their turn too. As a solo'din, don't forget you have holocaust too!
The Apothecary costs 55+75 points so it's a hefty 130 point investment
Roughly improves your save from 83.33% chance to save low power (non-AP2 shots) by 1/3 so roughly total of 88.88% chance to save any particular shot.
vs melta, and other str 8, it doesn't help at all
vs plasma - 33.33% chance to save (with 5+ invul save), FnP improves that to 44.44% to save - roughly meaning 1 plasma shot has 50.41% of doing a wound at bs 4, while with FnP, that drops to 42.01%.
Vs say a plasma vet squad at rapid fire range - 6 shots fired, 5.10% to do 5 wounds, and 20.81% to do 4 wounds (2 models) with FnP.
w/o FnP - 6 shots, 11.33% to do 5 wounds, and 35.15% to do 4 wounds (2 models)
Again, useful now that it works on Perils. Watch out vs Eldar/IG/Sisters/Tau with lots of str 8+ shooting. Look out for DA plasma and rad grenades as they can make paladins T3 and thus get doubled out by regular plasma. Don't fight Dreadwing in melee as we'll probably get beat by flails and storm shields and their hammer of wraths. Sorry to say but our deathstar will probably have to resort to kiting and shooting.
Henchmen - there are whole guides written for these guys and as the meta will keep changing, I doubt there will ever be an optimal way to run them but I'll just throw in what I got so far from 6th.
- space monkies better with snap fire but still not stellar. Bolter henchmen in rhinos will do well but you will likely lose the VP missions and probably will find it hard to not give up first blood point if going 2nd. DCA's can also use the fact that they have 2 power weapons to give themselves a sword for higher initive, and an axe in the other hand to get AP2 and higher str if they go up against some terminators for example. Henchmen attached to a techmarine or brotherhood champion or liby, can go to ground behind like an aegis barrier or on top of a bastion's battlements/ruins to try and survive. The only fire snap fire is unfortunately annoying. Having someone with ATSKNF can help offset their low morale though and can rally them well to shoot normally if they fall back. Very handy trick but only works a few times as people will tend to avoid shooting that unit if they were smart. I've had some tricky generals just ignore that super 2+ save unit and focus on everything else. Another cheaper choice to do this with is the malleus inquisitor in terminator armor with psycannon and divination power 1. Fairly cheap, can tank a few shots or even flame throwers, and can buff a different unit
Specific warrior acolyte builds typically involve getting some cheap special weapons and transports or run them as foot squads. Vehicle builds often involve the chimera as it's got more fire points. Plasma/meltas x3 + either 2 storm bolter henchmen or just bolter henchmen work pretty good. Alot of parked chimeras in decent cover especially if reinforced, can toss in a Jokaro or two and have 3 plasmas with 1-2 unequipped or bolter/storm bolter henchmen to good effect.
On foot, I use 3 flavors of the acolyte alot. Bolter henchmen - good general purpose and cheap. Tags along well with almost anything and gives ablative wounds for higher priority targets that are at mid range.
Storm bolter acolytes - still really cheap for a squad of 12 and has 24 shots at 24'. Often get ignored as they don't look special but can take out more than 1/2 a Tac squad in one turn. easily out shoot their points costs. They are however 40% more expensive than bolter henchmen though do 50% more wounds/damage at max range which is where I generally find myself now a days. The meta locally has taken on alot more fliers and alot more shooting. These guys are pretty good at giving alot more than people expect. They also tend to be cheap enough that if people decided to shoot at them, I'm usually in cover and don't mind going to groud, it also incidentially means that they are most likely not shooting at my more expensive Grey Knight squads. Not as useful as ablative wounds due to increased costs. Others have recommended 1-2 in a 3 plasma chimera unit to get more shots in or in my case as a seperate foot squad positioned to be kind of closer than my GK but still out of rapid fire range of the enemy.
Pure ablative wound acolyte- no upgrades at all, even a bolter is wasting 1 point if they are gonna be wayyy in the back guarding some monkies or an inquisitor manning a quad gun or just a 3 man squad to hold an objective out of LOS. There'd be nothing for them to shoot at all game anyway. With just 3 bodies, I'm not gonna bother trying to fight anything and if someone targets them somehow, 3 bolters won't make any difference as they would evaporate anyway. The ultimate "grot" squad.
3 henchmen with plasma guns in a ruin or behind the aegis defense line is very sturdy and incredibly cheap source of plasma that if all else fails will cause your enemy to waste shots at them. 42 points for 6 shots of str 7 at 12' or 3 shots at 24'. No one is cheaper than that (except you can overheat alot lol).
Also as a strange cavait, you can even get yourself a group of melta bombs acolytes at 9 points a piece in case you ever need to mess up some tyranids in assault or bastion destruction. 12 points to get storm bolter warriors all with a melta bomb. 12 man melta bomb squad should be pretty funny. Vs MC's, you're looking at losing some 4-5 acolytes out of 12 and then getting like 8 melta bombs to go smack the enemy around with. Even if half hit, they are str 8, so can probably wound even iron arm nids at AP1 about 2-3 times and you don't even need a psychic test. Not sure if this works on the avatar of Khaine as he's immune to meltas but meltabombs have been kind of confused in how they respond to melta rules in the past with ceremite shielding so your guess is as good as mine.
Battle psykers are quite useful with large low AP blast templates but I also see alot of problems if there are heavy Eldar allies in your area as runes of warding will pretty much screw you over. Same goes for flying nids that get close fast with shadows in the warp. Can generally stay far enough from rune priests to not matter that much. A farseer on a jetbike will be tough to bring down and with the buffs jetbikes got, it'll be a tough nut to crack. As others have pointed out, if you reference page 16, all you need to fire is one psyker and the rest can be hidden out of range thus allowing you to fire without worry about too much return fire. The most you can lose is that one guy if all that is visible is one guy. Vehicle walls work well to this effect. With pre-measuring you can also make sure to keep out of range of alot of weapons and kite pretty effectively with some vehicle cover/blocking LOS. 36' is alot to work with and only HB's, missles, AC, LC's, and multi-lasers to kill a guy at the proper range (i.e. high powered weapons normally meant for your vehicles). To keep perils from wiping out the unit and to give them some protection, you can stick in some crusaders or my personal favorite or just a bolter acolyte to keep the unit alive and scoring and at least waste one round of shooting for something in the enemy's rank. Pop them in a rhino with like 8 psykers and a bolter acolyte and go to town.
Alternative use is to use a minimalistic approach. Throw 1 or 2 psykers in other acolyte groups and you can now throw down up to 6 large blast templates like a super bolter or super lasgun for cheap. Good for thinning down horde armies. Servoskull spam is another valid tactic to use with them as well since the effective range of a skull is 12' while it takes someone needing to get into 6' to take it out. Space them roughly 8-10' apart and it'd be harder to lose both while leaving your enemies in range. Need quite a few overlapping skulls to get good effects from this. Generally a higher points tactic. Lower points would be hard to find the spare points for so many skulls.
Crusaders - love these guys now. 3++ storm shields in the right position can block a ton of shots for your otherwise fragile henchmen against shooting. Also can take a power axe or something to bump to AP2 and now you can almost go toe to toe with TH terminators. Can get some militiamen from the Fantasy Britonian boxes to make quite a few of these guys and far easier to replace the weapon for an axe when modeling. With how wounds are done now, can place these guys strategically to block flamers or tank shots that ignore cover. (i.e. in front of everything else that's squishy behind them). Alot of time taken with death cult assassins (DCA's) Generaly see in a 12 man unit - 7 DCA and 5 crusaders or 8 and 4 is also popular.
Daemonhosts - generally considered useless but can be somewhat useful in that they can make a unit T4 if the unit is small enough. LoS with him is also an invul save so that may help offset some instant deaths for a lowly T3 inquisitor attached to one and caught in the open. Sadly their fleet rule does not give it to the whole unit and their other random rolls keep them from being good options. Overall, I'm just trying to find something to use him for but it's still a bad unit.
Mystics - useful for some sort of deep strike mayhem but usually leave at home
Arco-Flagellant - Not really finding much use for these guys. No save and a 5+ FnP save? ok so I got the 5 attacks of no AP on the charge and WS5, but still I feel they could be a whole lot better. Better off with DCA in almost all cases for same points
Banishers - really ever taken for the Evicerator chainsaw that gives you armorbane. 2d6 can potentially hurt AV12 dreadnaughts but I find it less than useful as the guy is only getting 1 attack base and 2 on the charge. The evicerator is a specialist weapon so you don't get an extra attack from having a pistol. This also may prevent you from using "Our weapons are useless" rule which may allow you to get away from a combat so overall I'd not take him. The special anti-daemon rule is less than ideal but can sometimes help to bring down posessed csm vehicles like helldrakes but low likelihood of him being useful.
DCA's - still damn good at assaulting though expect to lose 1-2 from overwatch and depending on what you charge. Still best comming out of a LRR or crusader as it gives them assault grenades. You can model one hand with a sword and another with an axe ( or do what I do and glue on ork axe bits to their belt) then chose to use for either AP2 or 3 depending on the initiative needed and target. Can use them as a pure counter attack unit lurking in the back just camping as well based on objective placements and Lines of sight. Divination also works for melee as well so they can really vaporize just about anything in CC with rerolls to hit. A grandmaster's reroll wounds "Hammer of Righteousness" or rad grenades give them the edge when it comes to wounding. Being caught in the open after wiping an enemy is my biggest problem with them. I try to keep it down to no more than 5-6 DCA's in a squad.10 is usually overkill unless you fight hordes all day. As fearless saves are now gone, having a unit that can wipe out other units really is actually kind of useful again. Great vs lots and lots of Nids but generally they'll get shot down so the above still applies. Take some crusaders for additional protection.
There are some that like them in a storm raven still and while it does work, I don't like it as much since it'll force the raven to go to hover mode if you want to assault out of it. The raven also doesn't have the grenades rule so you will go last when charging into ruins as the DCA's and crusaders lack grenades. To compensate for this, you can always charge into an ongoing melee as well, then you'll strike at initiative without vehicle backups. Even if you attach someone with assault grenades, the initiative penalty still applies as only models with grenades can avoid the initiative penalty.
Yet another trick to keeping yourself locked in with these guys is to do a disordered charge (even charging with just one model against a tank you can't hurt) as you lose your bonus attack and hopefully won't kill as many guys on the charge to prevent getting shot to death. Remember, DCA's have 2 power weapons which are not specialized (even if one is a sword and the other is an axe) so they actually have 3 attacks base and 4 on the charge.
Techmarine - alot of buffs for this Guy. I like him alot now. He can repair hull points and still provide bolstered ruins. (ours just works on ruins but the DA one seems to work on just any terrain *grrr jealous*) You also can't bolster FOC purchased terrain like Aegis or bastions but you can have multiple areas with good saves at least. Blast marker changes with conversion beamer not needing the hole of the marker on top of vehicles to do full damage gives him some high damage possibilites at range. He can do the the same trick with the ordo xenos inqusitor in that you can stack hammer hand to give I6 halberds str 6 and bypass FNP with rad grenades to make all hits instant death vs MEQ T4. (screw the force weapon activation wmahahahaha). The psychotrope grenades are still amazing so I'd almost always get these if I was running an assault unit with a techmarine in it.
Also, you can take blind grenades on him to give you stealth at 8' to an enemy. This is somewhat useful when you move to within charge range especially within a terrain. You can declare a charge from within 8' and if there is interveining terrain and often there will be, as long as you declare it within 8', you can end up with some nice cover saves against those nasty low ap weapons. Minor blessing but still useful and often overlooked.
Yet another trick I have found vs the baleflamer chaos helldrakes lately is that you can place him closest to the drake and he can "tank" all the wounds for the squad till he fails one at least. It's saved a squad or two of my purifiers who would just otherwise be wiped out. Watch your positioning!
While I'm on this topic, you roll 3d6 and drop the highest now for charging through terrain so it can be hard to make it into combat. And no, you can't charge through solid walls where you block total Line of Sight so there's no real way to avoid overwatch.
Best synergy so far is as an assault support character. His conversion beamer is ok but in general just ends up as str 8 AP4 which isn't that good for how much it costs. His bolstered ruins can make our psyfledreads and henchmen live a whole lot longer. 2+ cover if you manage to keep a librarian with shrouding in the ruins as well or if doing it for the vindicare as a sniper roost.
Strike squads - solid dependable, not much change honestly. You will likely take them in 10 man blocks now though as models tend to die alot faster than 5th edition and 5 man squads really just end up getting shot off the board if you aren't careful. Combat squadding and getting more board coverage just for warp quake however may still be worth it. Still very important to keep casting warp quake. Deep strikers are more prevelant now than before especially with drop pods and deathwing. It's really useful to help protect your vulnerable shooting blocks. Doesn't work on outflankers though. I always need to remind folks but that justicar in the group is considered a character. You always want to roll him seperately as you get to assign wounds due to precision strike. Most people forget that his storm bolter is just better somehow (same applies to purifiers and terminators below but with the recent nerfs to paladins, they have no one that can do this at all now) The newest strats in some successful recent tournaments have been to run big squads of strikes with psybolts. Can threaten even fliers with str 5 fire and given the new chaos dex, you'll be seening some more T6 and or T5 via other bike builds. Those str 5 storm bolters are really a good deal better than just 2-3 more bodies. Unfortunately, necron immortals can probably still out shoot our blocks and are generally more survivable. (same 3+ armor, 4 T, and also the tesla carbines are silly number of hits generally. The RP also makes a big factor for survivability). I almost never put anything other than a hammer on the squad and sometimes not even that as they are essentially purely shooty in most cases or just assault simple things like gaunts/guardsmen/tac squads.
In just about any build I use however, I try to work in at least 1 strike squad if nothing else than for warp quake. Barebones runs me like 110 points for at least a psycannon. 240 for a 10 man squad with psybolt and psycannons.
Terminators - big buffs with deep strike mishap table and terminator durability. However still suffers from volume of fire as well as mobility issues. Overall I'm still not sure how to do a list with them yet. Good choice to get the linebreaker VP apparently as you can deep strike them far forward and they are still pretty survivable. (Can put a servoskull all the way in the enemy corner but still in their backfield and with pre-measuring, you just have to be 7' from a table edge and you'll be in good shape.) Also, Deep striking into terrain? wmahahaha now you can take armor saves against the mishap. Overall, much much harder to get your terminators killed from deep strike. The shift in metas has generally resulted in a lot more plasma it seems so your milage may vary in how well you can keep these guys alive. The biggest benefit as far as I can tell is that of the relentless psycannons.
One thing to consider is Justicare Thawn. He will now make quite a few buffs to your men making his price somewhat more tolerable. (personally I think he should be a 50 point upgrade but meh) His fearless now makes the whole squad fearless. He's an excellent challenge character as well as an extra troop choice if he dies. He is also mastery 2 which will help with deny the witch saves as alot of people are going to be mastery 1 unless it is like eldrad/farseer with spirit stones or a librarian that paid for 2 powers or nids. (most everyone has to pay extra points to get to mastery 2, check their codexes! - mastery level is usually equal to the number of powers they have but there are alot of exceptions like GK librarians for example) GK baseline is 5+ resist, Thawn might make them 4+ to resist which is pretty good especially with stuff like psychic scream / enfeeblement/ hallucinations. He will be in my fluff army with St. Celestine from the sisters. In a 10 man squad of terminators, I grab the brotherhood banner often and use Thawn to cast both hammerhand and activate my banner for force weapon. I plan on having one squad from each side painted in splotches of red to signify the battle of the blood tide 876.M41 (page 15). You saw it here first folks. Take that everliving necrons!
Also of note, a brotherhood banner will alow you to freely pass your force weapon activation but you are not locked into this. You can still choose to spend your warp charge on hammer hand. Force weapon activation does negate FnP though so is something to consider (Woot, go FAQ to finally clear this up but whatever). The numbers for to use force weapon vs hammer hand looks like this -
vs t4, armor 3 marines with FNP (looking at BA) -
Hammer hand - 15.45% chance to cause 5 unsaved wounds at 10 attacks
Force weapon - 22.76% to cause 5 unsaved wounds at 10 attacks
VS T5, armor 3 marines with FNP (looking at plague marines)
Hammer hand - 5.40% for 5 wounds
Force weapon - 5.40% for 5 wounds (essentially same no matter what you do)
VS gaunts T3, armor 5 with FNP and ws 3
Hammer hand - 63.31% for 5 wounds
Force weapon - 84.19% for 5 wounds
Negating FNP now is a pretty big deal.
Additional math hammer shows us that the "standard loadout" if there is such a thing is halberds for the squad and a sword for the sarge (or staff if you got points I suppose) and accept/challenge the enemy sergeant. This results in roughly 12 -20% reduction in damage from hidden power fists (based on who's charging and number of attacks) and what not along with 30-45% reduction to squad return damage if they just have regular close combat weapons. Higher Initiative is important! As others have also pointed out, a hammer is quite useful in this squad too since it's free. I'd put it on one of the regular guys personally but equally important is the need to engage armor in melee with this kind of unit, so consider 2 hammers and 3 halberds as well. This will be really up to your local meta however. Fight all MEQ and sarge's? go with the halberds + sword for crowd control. Run into alot of thunder hammer storm shield Terminators? (personally I'd just play keep away and not engage this unit with our terminators) Get more shooting! Run into alot of Nid 2+ armor monstrous creatures? A hammer or two will be really effective here especially as you'll likely see some iron arm in theses cases. Additionally vs Nids or even eldar backed other armies, strongly consider a brotherhood banner so you don't perils yourself and guarantee a force weapon death (cept iron arm which gives eternal warrior).
These are some of the biggest changes that will be affecting most people so I'll add them in as their own category.
The good - go 18', snap fire, and are still cheap so can get your troops pretty far across the map and get good positioning. As most of our equipment is twin linked, you can shoot fliers with them if you get enough guns on the board. Despite their fragility, you can still get pretty far with them as the night fighting can help keep them alive. Mobility is very important now and that solid 18' move is golden for 40 points.
The bad - glancing doesn't benefit us as much anymore as you don't get as many stunned/shaken results so less need for fortitue power. Hull points will make certain numbers of small arms kill your vehicles easier especially side and rear armor to str 4/5 spam. Or Tau rifles at rhinos, and of course all them fun necron guns. You cannot disembark and assault anymore which hurts ALOT. If you are shot out of your transport, you also cannot assault the next turn. This also hurts us ALOT. While night fighting is good for our cover, you'll probably want to pay some extra points for search lights. Searchlights will also need your vehicle to be able to "hit" the enemy but you don't roll for spotting. You can also feel free to miss or not even be able to damage so you can spot things. I.e. drive up 12', stom bolter an AV 14 tank just so you can spot it at 24' out. You'll be snap firing but who cares, at least you spotted for your bigger guns.
Overall impressions - still worth taking. Razorbacks still good. personally perfer HB + Psybolt for the price. Other versions are decent too. assault cannons good at short range but probably less effective now that we can end up deploying on the short table edge. TL LC - good anti-tank but due to costs, and the need for mobility, I can't recommend as much. LC + TL plasma - due to ability to glance yourself to death, I'm not sure I can recommend them but the ability to shoot 2 plasma at 24' with rapid fire changes is actually a good change for them if you end up seeing alot of terminators or need to down some necron Av 13 vehicles.
Rhinos are probably more useful as alot of people will be trying to take more bodies in their troop squads.
Chimeras are a bit more fragile as the glances will hurt but then again, you don't need fortitude as much so more reliable when alive but more likely to die.
To see just how much more or less vulnerable your vehicles, a fellow Dakkanaught has made this handy excell spreadsheet so you can putz around the numbers and see just how 5th and 6th differ in your vehicle survivability.
See it here: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/461330.page
All in all, transports are still in. Deciding when you want to disembark is the hardest part of the new edition.
I.e. rolling a 6 on the gauss blaster still gives you the same glance chance as before.
For example: Gauss blasters (immortal block of 5) shooting at a charging rhino at 24 =
5shots 0.00% explode 1.15% wreck 1.15% destroy
at rapid fire -
10shots 0.00% explode 9.06% wreck 9.06% destroy
20 shots 35.49% wreck
vs just 16.67% to glance back in 5th edition per shot and will have almost only a 2% to wreck from multiple glance-wep/destroy/immobilize/wreck results. Essentially 5-6X more fragile but still overall decent protection.
Popping smoke -
5 shots = 0.0% explode, 0.36% wreck, .36% destroy
10 shots = 3.29% wreck
20 shots = 18.13% wreck
Some other tricks with rhinos/razors - you can always dismbark, move your men, shoot with them, then during the shooting phase, have the rhino drive up and block LOS for the knights. The rhino can either be dead or move out of the way (unless immobilized which then suck but it's rare). then the previously embarked knights can charge. It's a far cry from the old days but it's better than nothing I suppose. There is additional confusion at this time in that the movement phase words as written do not say that you cannot walk across your own vehicles or men. All it says is that you cannot walk within 1' of an enemy so it is quite unclear if you can just walk through your vehicle on the 2nd movement phase. Currently topic is being debated on YMDC.
Also, now if you combat squad a 10 man unit, they can actually share a ride. Can drop off one half from a rhino while the other proceed to pwn face elsewhere. Something that seems more useful the more I think about it (someone else brought up) is a 10 man purifier squad in rhinos and 2 with psycannons shooting out the top and can drop off 2 free incinerator marines to go and fry something else while the origional continues to psycannon other targets.
AC Dreads are still very good and good at shooting down air as well given the twin linked high strength weapons though AP4 makes it a bit less ideal to actually kill them. Can force them to jink which is still useful enough. Cheap enough as well. Still grade A though survivability is decreased given glancing hits are not hard to do vs AV12. For night fighting turn 1, you cannot shoot at anything 36' out so it is a good idea to get a sacrifical rhino or chimera with searchlights to find the enemy for you and then shoot with the 48' range. A fun alternative use someone recommended is flamernaught with heavy flamer+flamer arm + psyflame fuel jumping out of a storm raven and it can do some fun things. If you happen to kill everything off a quad gun, the dreadnaught can actually take over the gun too. With even more FAQ's out now about how to make GK's Force weapon themselves via Hallucination and it's quite important to have something to provide you with reinforced aegis. (i.e. don't entirely leave the dreads out of competitive lists, the passive buff is quite important and they are still great shooting platforms in just about any build)
Dreadknight - This guy just keeps getting buffed! People have been doing excellent in early 6th toruney with an incinerator /teleport DK. Jump MC still doing ok. Power fists are Str 10 and can kick ass. With the V1.1 buffs, a sword is now str 10, gives you rerolls in hits/wounds and a soild choice if you have the points. Really no point in thunder hammer anymore. Psylincer actually has some use as overwatch goodness and anti-horde though not a must take nor is the heavy psycannon (though you can clip vehicles now and it will sill count as a hit). Incinerator is buffed due to night fighting and you can still hit them far away. By far and away the best wargear option. Teleporter almost a sure take now but as some have pointed it out, you don't want him all by himself, he needs to arrive on time with other support or assault units or he's a deadman. You do get Hammer of wrath attacks with him though and rerollable charge distance as well as moving 12' if not planning to use HoW so it's still quite useful outside of shunting. Not me personally but some report heavy psylincer + incinerator is actually quite handy to have on a decently fast MC. It gets expensive but you can really thin out some horde armies with them. Of note, you can assault things on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a ruin if your DK can actually fit up there as it is allowed by the Jump rule on page 98. However, if you can't fit, you can't assault them so people can screen you out by taking up all the space, the height of the model is also a problem as the 3rd floor and keep you from getting inside a ruins. Make sure to premeasure the vertical distance as well if you are planning to assault someone with the DK and they are on the 2nd/3rd floors.
Smash attacks while kind of unnecssary from str and AP perspective can half your attacks which while seemingly is madness, also allows you to kill less guys which means that you can potentially stay locked in combat longer and save youself a round of shooting so it's a valuable tactic especially if up against a small group of long fangs for example. Stay out of CC even with sword with any high invul units with AP2 melee weapons like Incubi/TH storm shield terminators for example. Try to keep away from plasma guns with pre-measuring if at all possible so sometimes taking a flank is the best option. Somewhat unrealistic to be able to stay out of range of plasma cannons but at least do your best to get out of rapid fire plasma guns unless you can charge and stay in at least on your turn. This is one of the reasons I don't depend on the sword as much though the sword looks gakking cool and overall badassery may be worth it in many scenarios.
Personal loadout is dual fists, teleporter + incinerator to keep points down. Runner up choice is the counter attacking role of the gunboat - Incinerator + psycannon with no teleporter.
Land Raider - honestly I feel the crusader has been buffed alot with snap fire and psybolt is worth it. regular land raider is exceptional for sitting on back field and shooting the Las cannons at just about everything. Redeemer is not much change but I feel it has become less effective given how much better crusader is now and the glancing deaths that will be likely from tossed grenades. Of note, while rhinos are probably too light to bother with, but with heavier armor like AV 13-14, you may get enough survivability to benefit from extra weapons since a weapon destroyed is now random, having a throw-away storm bolter or HK missle maybe beneficial to keep the bigger guns alive.
Purgation squad - After much debate, I think the main role purgation squads bring would be a ton of flamers for 1, the second is that their astral aim is actually quite good at shooting down eldar. Harlequins and pathfinders or tau stealth suits really depend on their cover saves to survive. Burning them is certainly an option but they tend to stay far away from flamers but psycannons with 24' range reducing their 2+ cover to 4+ and still AP4 is actually quite handy. It would stand to reason that you maybe able to reduce the cover save from fliers as well with them since you can get up to a 3+ with stealth flat out moves (i.e. librarian). Also neuters the invisibility power somewhat. All in all a slight buff BUTTTT, the big problem is that this ONLY works if it is night fighting. Due to the poor job of our FAQ, the ability to strip stealth and shrouding only works if it is night fighting. Doesn't apply in the day time unfortunately. I'm really hating the guy that did our FAQ. Don't think he even plays the race or has any idea what he's doing nor command of english grammer. It's not even my first language and even I, know, how, to, use, commas, and, the, word," and." (Yes, yes I know.) (still not fixed in v1.2)
Also can hide them in terrain behind that bunker you bought but some TFG put a piece of LOS blocking terrain in front of. The other good news is that they can effectively have 2+ cover saves if you hide them behind battlements like the aegis. Snap fire continues in full effect vs fliers with no downside if you are using them for that. Another combo is if you get lucky and get either misfortune or perfect timing divination powers on your psyker to attach them to this squad to then get a cover save denying or at least rerolling cover with misfortune. If shooting at 3+ armor however, don't have to worry about this very often if at all (save vs tanks). Also, perfect timing will make jink saves fail and you can go ahead and let the enemy planes evade as that just screws their shooting but you can still mess up their cover.
Interceptors - extremely useful and buffed alot but confusion on if worth taking as they compete with some really good FA choices (namely a storm raven). They are scoring in one mission now. Also much more worth taking given how much more fluid the battlefield will be. Psycannons on them still a good choice but incinerators are really starting to shine. I'm loving burning down whole swaths of things - termagaunts/guardsmen/scarabs/necron warriors, and especially eldar with crazy saves. I'm currently undecided on the weapons loadout for CC for these guys. I tend to like them with swords to keep it cheap but I've always liked having a hammer to kill vehicles and such. Not really that good on the justicare anymore since he can be challenged out and killed prior to his initive I've found in a few games. Might just leave him with a sword too though I leave myself empty handed assaulting quite a few things.
Interceptors also work better when you know your enemy's codex. I.e. what is over 170 points that's worth taking out for the interceptors. Shunt to the back of it and shoot it to death. (most likely you will be shot to death the following turn) Alternatively, an incinerator is really useful for them as well since you can potentially flame some snipers to death that has been sniping at your characters with AP2 shots since they roll 6's like a boss. Str 6 flamer can dent some tanks too and it'll be auto hit instead of the psycannon needing to roll for hitting also. (personally I still like the psycannon though since I can use them in fire support mode) (also, the guys can shoot storm bolters at armor 10 backs, AND you get to throw a krack or frag grenade now too - as you are likely very close to the enemy). Of additional note, you can shunt into terrain, no deep strike tests, and even dangerous terrain you can pass on armor saves now, so look for some 4+ ruins to get into if you are worried about survival.
I've had one good game with them were by they got dropped off by a strom raven, somehow survived (as everyone was shooting at the raven) and then managed to kill their target and then shunt back to my hq to contest it again as the enemy wiped out my home guard. What you get is flexibility! Don't forget they also get to move 12' normally and if you go 6', you can reroll a charge, as well as get Hammer of wrath in case you do just use them to assault. (something I'm still experimenting with in 6th)
Storm Raven - really buffed and making us change the loadout. HB + AC + hurricane bolters and psybolt will make it tear apart other air units as well as mow down infantry. Zooming makes it difficult to aim sometimes but the turret at least can rotate around on top. Mindstrike missles are very good still. Personally I still like mine as MM + LC turret to keep it cheap but I can see me taking out the LC turret to get the assault cannon + psybolts and hurricane bolters when points allow. (personal build MM + AC + HB with psybolts, or just MM + LC in tank hunter mode when points are at a premium and I want to keep the bird alive by staying out of range)
For old time's sake, the shrouding liby + flatout trick still works. You still get 4+ for going flat out and stealth makes it a 3+ BUT, you can't power of the machine spirit fire something anymore. No more both shooting and going fast anymore. You can alternatively give yourself a Jink move for a 5+ cover when you "evade" but you do then end up shooting just snap shots. This can still be buffed with the shrouding of course to a 4+ cover. With everything twin linked, you'll still be looking at 30% hit rates.
Hover mode so far has been kind of meh for me. I basically trade hard to hit for an AV 12 bunker. I am now a fast skimmer which means again I can only move 6' and fire 2 weapons at full BS (with PoTMS) or go 12' and fire off just the PoTMS with rest as snap shots (Not that terrible with hurricane bolters but you risk getting charged). Fast doesn't really help me as much anymore since I don't necessarily want to go flat out since I can't shoot at all. (you just get to go further in the flat out move - think of it as running for your tanks). Also with the loss in V1.1 of sky fire in hover mode, this one really sucks and should only be considered if you are disembarking troops or going for a last turn shot. Use with caution! The str 10 hits on passengers also really sucks and now with FAQ v 1.2, the dread also takes the str 10 hit on rear armor if zooming. Hovering is a str 4 hit.
Ideally, Hover is just to get yourself repositioned and stay on the board. So far I've mostly stuck to 6' moves to retain some usability. With the recent updates to shadow skies, they now get to properly disembark if going over 6' which is nice (like it should have been for the past 3 months!)
Just be careful of the movement restrictions and how expensive they are. Also, even without flight mode, they still get a 5+ jink move though you can't shoot (cept power of the machine spirit) Personally I like flying them off the table and then come in again elsewhere but not always a good idea as you are losing alot of points off the table and may only end up with 2-3 turns of shooting.
As a dedicated anti-air unit, the raven excells. Just take a look at the other options available to you:
For a squad of 10, shooting 20 shots, you can get 38.66% of a wreck off on AV 11. If you are shooting at a Jink'ing skimmer, that's cut down to 18.13% wreck.
Vs shooting at a flier - 1.72% of a wreck, if they Jink, that's cut down to 0.57% wreck.
Not very good odds :/
Bottom line though, good chance or at least decent of wrecking a rhino in a single round.
Just for comparison - for that 20 points, you can get say get 2 hunter killer missles for your anti-tank - and then get roughly 7.27% of a wreck for 2 shots with jink/5+ save. or 10.80% without a cover save.
Vs flier - 2.76% of wreck for those same 2 shots. Down to 1.84% to wreck with jink save.
Overall, pretty decent investment for a 20 point investment at 10man shooting 20 shots.
The break even point appears (where you tie with the 2 hunter killer missles) - on non-fliers (damn fliers lol) is around 9 to 10 shots fired (so 5 man or 6 man with a psycannon, or 7 man with 2 psycannons if say using purifiers)
at 9 shots it's 6.89% vs 10 shots at 9.06%. With jink, it drops to 15-16 shots to break even. (so like 8 guys, or 10 guys with 2 psycannons, and less useful the more psycannons you take)
Quite interesting after running the math.
Just for fun, Psycannons - 1 psycannon 4 shots shooting at fliers - 3.86% to destroy, 2.51% vs Jink save
2 psycannons -9.36% 5.57% with jink
1 psycannon - 2 shots ( assault mode) - 7.27%, vs 4.88% with jink
4 shots - 23.57% vs 12.83%
8 shots - 65.38% vs 38.91%
Psycannon vs flier (just for clarification) (AV 11) (assuming no skyfire and 5+ jink save)
4 shots - at least wreck - 2.49%
8 shots - 5.37%
16 shots - 13.26%
That's about 5% less chance as a quad gun, and you need about 4 squads of 5 man purifiers worth of psycannons to do this.
Vs AV 12 (5+ jink)
4 shots - 1.24%
8 shots - 2.63%
16 shots - 6.33%
Psycannons cannot get the AP2 from rending. It does not apply now more specifically after FAQ v1.2 in case people had doubts
Additonal notes: mindstrike missles are the bomb. Hitting either GK psyker squads or IG battle psyker squads can kill alot of models. Hitting GK squads (strike/terminator/purifier etc) forces a test on just one of them. Hitting IC makes it so they have to take it. Fortune does not work on ghost helms for mindstrike in case of hitting eldar. The warlocks and farseers are hit by each model. So if it clips the warlocks but miss farseer will not perils the farseer and only kill the the warlock hit by the plate. This also took a slight nerf as FnP now works on top of stuff like ghost helm to deny the perils damage.
Aegis defense line - very worth taking and if you jam in the assasin into the gun, it's now BS8. whahahahaha. Also get to abuse the heck out of this thing with gunlines which GK does fairly well. Worth it for vehicles/henchmen/purgation/strikes. Not so much with purifier based armies unless you just wanted it for the quad gun.
Fortress of redemption - no data yet (well there is data but most of it is how necrons or IG can abuse it with barrage weapons or imotek and lighting strikes and how the rules are broken in that you can't shoot at unoccupied buildings)
Imperial Bastion - Good at blocking LOS, also a quark of the psybolts rule allows your strike squads for example to fire the emplaced heavy bolters at str 6. Generally 2 should be able to hit something or other most of the time (1 shooting of course with a standard bastion, you usually have 2 fire points out of it too so a psycannon can also shoot). Also if placed correctly, units on the top ruin can get unobstructed shots at lower ground units that maybe trying to hide behind an Aegis and deny them a save. Top floor is a battlement so it's only a 4+ cover and you cannot go to ground for a 2+ cover. You are also very vulnerable to blast weapons as you are most likely crowded up there along with any quad gun / las cannon you bought up there. While power armor still gets saves vs all the terrible building damage rules, it's still alot of str 6 hits for things that get through the AV14 which isn't too hard usually for many armies. Vanquishers, rail guns, tachion arrows, las cannons and multimeltas are still very popular around where I am so be careful using this thing. It's definately a gun box, but that's all it really is. Good as distraction if you ask me. (however, even saying that, I still bought one just to try it out some more. If I find that it does work, I'll change what's here)
Skyshield landing pad - more useful for daemons but as others now point out, you just have to place in your half of the table and not just your deployment zone. This can be in the near center of the board such that all your terminators can arrive in good position without worry. Servo skulls may provide a cheap alternative to this but less reliable. Also you can place terrain such that you can give yourself some nice LOS around the skyshield so your newly arrived troops will be just fine from shooting by the enemy's long range guns. Very fun to dump a tank like a godhammer land raider like a gun boat or even a storm raven (in hover mode, or if you ally in something weak) parked on top of it. Note that you just have to be on top of it to be "shielded" you don't actually need to be covered by the walls to get the 4++ invul save. You may have some problems detecting units with the top turret on the SR due to LOS issues because how tall that unit will be now if you do this. In addition, as the skyshield is technically a fortification, and not considered a battlement, you may try using page 18 of BRB to claim a 3+ cover save as well (and 2+ with stealth @_@) This is still on debate in YMDC so your milage may vary.
And while it may make you that TFG... you can always place very large LOS blocking terrain in front of enemy emplacement turrets though expect the same in return and while it may sound like a good idea, it actually can make that turret more survivable as you may have to get all the way around it to get the linebreaker achievement and you'll also not be able to shoot that turret till you get into its LOS. Recommend to place your defense as far forward as possible to take advantage of that in some builds. Not really that necessary if say you have alot of barrage fire weapons. Then more LOS the better lol. Note, you can be lashed off the top of a battlement or ruin and can take some serious damage from falling via gravity page 95.
Interesting idea that I ran across in another thread - get the fortress of redemption and upgrade to krackstorm launcher, then get yourself a vindicare, you do get the "Deadeye" rule since the turret is treated as a weapon by the vindicare so you can assign wounds as you like. Only problem is that the template is likely not able to draw LOS as it's behind the parapit so most likely will only get to fire indirectly. Without a FAQ, we'll not know for sure if you can fire directly with the launchers.
Also, if you do happen to manage to kill the enemy manning the quad gun for example, you can shoot with your models. Free gun! Also since it just says model, you can even have your CC/flame dread fire the thing.
GK have no brothers in arms so they will never be able to benefit from other people's buffs nor can they cast hammerhand on their allies
Solid choice - Guard (long range shooting), SW with psychich defense Jaws and excellent long fangs. Just be careful though as their runic weapons will stop your GK's psychic powers too as we're considered "enemies." As opposed to the eldar where you have no choice, if you do take rune priests, try to keep them 24' away from anything that needs to cast psychic powers on the GK side of things. Also Grey hunters as a troop choice is solid for your required takes. With the latest SW FAQ, JAWS will kill just about anything now, that includes artillery, jump infantry like wraiths, D.lords, and all necron stuff very well plus they do not get reanimation protocol or Everliving rolls against it. Can really mess up the small amount of ground forces most necron air forces tend to have by turn 1 drop pod assault with JAWS and melta/plasma toting grey hunters.
Personal favorite set up currently is Command squad with plasma/melta and a lascannon in a chimera + LRBT + valkyrie + either an aegis line with quad gun or hydra and take GK as the allies, and 2 squads of melta vets in chimera or plasma vets with a lascannon in chimera hiding in the back. I am currently experimenting with cheap platoons of bodies and some heavy weapons squads with AC or LC in the back. Fire on my target and things tend to help. Quite a few people also like the mini combo with the primaris psyker + psyker battle squad with psysichic shreak. Personally I just love the telepathy tree, it's very powerful but is succeptable to deny the witch so less reliable than divination buffs. Space wolf allies would give you access to telepathy as well. You can also get 2 powers as well as some drop pods and runic weapon. Lately in tourney scenes the IG blob platoons have been very successfully used with something like a lord commisar or command squad to bring alot of benefits such as a huge mass of troops that will unlikely run away due to lord commisars and can hose down people with bunch of las guns with FRFSRF as well as vendetta support coupled with storm raven on anti-tank duty(maybe tanks but so far GK seem to have as good if not better options in the heavy slots). (other races like SW or marines with divination makes FRFSRF just insane for how much damage it can do, we just benefit from the large mass of bodies, our divination will usually have to be used to buff strike squads or purifier psycannon spam) The latest tournament builds seem to have some very large platoons backed by a lord commisar which will give everything ld 10 and the big blob just moves across the board sucking up fire. It's also got so many bodies that even necron flier spam will have trouble shaving off enough pieces to stop it.
Another good combo that's not very fluffy but can definately be a power play team will be GK + necrons. In honestly, I think necrons with double FOC will be strongest at 2k + points but we're talking GK here and a destroyer lord with MSS, scythe, and sempiternal weave (necron artificer armor basically) and with/w/o res orb + wraiths + doomscythe + night scythes will all be pretty darn powerful even without resorting to named necrons. Nightfighting from solar pulses will also help keep us alive while potentially nullifying other necrons. Elites may really show some benefit with Triarch Stalker as their heat ray can give even more of our stuff as twin linked. Also a c'tan shard may have some nice benefit with writing world scape but we don't have the thunder fire cannons or enough cryptec's with tremor staffs to take advantage of it. (Remember, another part of the necron allies is that you actually get a royal court that you can stack with a bunch of necron lords with MSS (well 5 of them anyway) and some cryptek's (total of 5) that don't count towards the FOC. 5 lords + warscythes for AP2 + MSS each + artificer armor = 375 point super death star. Each is only 75 points and can pretty much out fight anything in the game for similar costs. Just the transportation is their weak spot as you'll probably have to steal a ghost ark or night scythe from the immortals or warriors to get them where you want to go. Immotek unfortunately will end up shooting your knights though since we're just allies
If going with c'tan, I think gaze of death may be a fun assault option though getting very expensive. I'm not sure on my feeling with the monolith so I'll let others comment on any synergy with us. I honestly think necrons will probably the most powerful allies for us as they provide great shooting as well as some of the better assault options in 40k right now. For best shooting, probably GK + IG or Tau. Best psychic defense will be Eldar or space wolves (though with Eldar's runes of warding, you also will block your own Gk's psychic powers as they are just allies of convenience, so honestly can't recommend them for this role). Kind of depends on your local meta. Eventhough I actually really hate necrons, I just can't deny the power they offer. Will have to wait to see with the newer codexes and how the FAQ's go forward. Thinking of necron shooting backed up by some GK counter assault coupled with necron assaults too+ flame templates to deny cover saves which have been buffed alot. After some testing, the c'tan idea was good but I just haven't been able to really make it work that well. I'd almost perfer a DK instead.
GK + Tau will also do very well I think. Tau just keeps getting more and more buffs. You can now ground flying MC's with marker lights (lolz), disruptor pods on their vehicles gives them shrouding! ( so you can have a hovering devilfish get a jink save + shrouding to a 3+ cover save in the open!, It gest more crazy as you can flat out if you skip shooting to act like mobile LOS blocker for a 2+ cover save!!! ) All sorts of LOS blocking abuse with these vehicles. Broadsides now also get targeters! That means they behave more like long fangs now and can do some major damage with their rail guns. No getting 2+ cover via ATSKNF behing an aegis but still possible to get 3+ cover via runins and a techmarine. Crisis suits also can provide a ton of plasma and you can use targeters to dump shots on all sorts of units. Really huge buffs. Survivable vehicles now mean mech tau is going to be pretty darn strong and those squishy fire warriors now have mobile cover as well! Tau + eldar can probably still out shoot you though I think and barrage templates will still mess up your guys unfortunately :/
Personally I want a working fluffy but still competitive list with GK + sisters but not comming up with anything. All I got is st.celestine + Justicar Thawn to make some sort of immortality list for fun
Here's a list of the allies guide for all those that don't have the book yet:
For those that don't know your librarian and cotez/inquisitors can buy optional psychic levels and either take powers from the codex or randomly take them from the new psy powers list via picking a particular stragety tree. And no, no other units in the codex can get other powers. Not GM's, not brother captains, not rhinos, not DK's.
From testing so far: HATE eldar, really do, make sure to kill the farseer with runes of warding before attempting but vs most everyone else, it's really useful. Divination tree is the way to go but if you are facing alot of mech like IG flier spam, or necron airforce, you can try your luck with Telekenisis with Objuration mechanicum which is a nice haywire grenade that dominates the heck out of squadrons. The rest of telekinesis is kind of underwhelming. Pyro has definately some fun nukes but again, my personal favorites have been divination.
default power is amazing. Helps all your infantry significantly which helps psycannons significantly. If you have some way of casting these, I'd skip MC'ing psycannons.
For those without too many games under their belt yet, take my word for it that if you play with mysterious terrain and objectives, the game works much better than if you were depending on 5th edition terrain placement. With Scrier's gaze (divination roll of 6), you get to choose your mysterious terrain which can solve alot of problems such as sky fire and rerollable armor saves.
(roll of 5) Precognition is amazing for keeping your liby or cotez/inquisitor alive. With a staff, the liby becomes an amazing tank. Rerolling 2++? dominates like a death star by himself.
(4) Prefect timing - throw your caster into a bunch of henchmen and monkies and watch them tear it up. Ignore cover is realllllly useful this edition. Prevents jink rolls too so very powerful. If you happen to have some blast templates like from servators packing plasma cannons, this power is almost OP vs other MEQ or TEQ armies.
(3) misfortune - kind of a useful power too as you can negate some of the crazy rerolling of 2++'s. Helps alot with wounds but math wise, the primaris power is slightly more useful most of the time.
(2) forewarning - kind of meh power, useful to protect some terminators in the open or paladins walking without cover. Generally cover isn't too hard to find or provide so I feel like the primaris power would be a good trade out for this one
(1) Forebolding - probably trade this myself but definately useful for say a gunline vs assault type army. 4 psycannons with this can mow down alot of guys before they get charged. Still has it's uses buffing counterattack and full BS overwatch but I'd rather wish it made snapfire full bs. ahh one can dream
Primary - Prescience - makes just about everything act like twin linked is awesome. Has no effect on plasma cannons overheat but does work on plasma guns and also no effect on flamers since it's not actual twin linked. Alot of people forget but this also works on assault too. Not just useful for gunlines! (doesn't stack with precognition though)
Just in case people have not yet looked at the rule book, I can't help you there, buy the darn thing. It's good. The 2nd part is for those that have not yet read all the FAQ's... here you go just in case you haven't bothered to check them yet.
We're specifically over here:
Main book FAQ at :
Additionally: questions that have been hammered out already but often get people confused:
Halberds are special force weapons so they are AP3, you swing at I6. And you use your base strength.
Turbopenetrator from the vindicare is str 3 (for being a sniper) + 4D6 armor pen + AP1
How to build a TAC (take all comers) List
gotta have a coverage for a wide variety of problems including
1) Psychic defense / ways to kill psykers ( vs Eldar/GK/SW/BA/tyranids for the most part)
2) Anti-air (just about everyone cept necrons and IG can potentially take out more of your air defences than you have so it's almost vital to have at least some air power yourself )
3) ways to preserve gunline - hold against fast movers/outflank/deep strike
4) at least some anti-horde and ways to get rid of cover.
5) some ways to at least slow down any deathstar / feed them cheap units
6) have some reserves - you really want first blood so keep the squishies off the first turn or so
7) CC tank of somesort with 2+ saves for melee, as well as some ways to deal with challenges and it could be that you just don't have anyone they can challenge
8) survivable objective campers
9) how to deal with 2+ armor
A List really needs to be able to do all of the above in some way shape or form to be good at competing as a TAC list now. Missing one or more of the above really leaves you open to getting curb stomped by some list that goes all out. i.e. if you don't have any psy defense, Nids will eat you whole. No anti-air, necrons will stomp you, no outflank protection, IG got some 8 rhinos and 50 guys that can show up on your door stop or some crazy deep strike crisis suit bomb.
Luckily, GK have some good tools for all of the above:
1) psy defense - mindstrike missles, null rod, psy-out bombardment, condemnor x-bow, psyocculum shooting, and reinforced aegis!
2) Fliers- twin linked weapons are common, but so far my best anti-air has been another storm raven. or of course quad gun
3) outflank - castle one corner and use cotez to defend it. really discourages some folks, also I almost always take a strike squad or interceptor now just to stand in the middle of the map and warp quaking.
4) anti-horde - my space monkies and their flame throwers have failed pretty hard on that front cause I never have enough of them. having DK with incinerator has been very useful. Thinking of paying more for a psylincer now to add to that.
5-6) death stars - so far my list has depended alot on cheap chimeras to feed to the enemy or rhinos or razorbacks and of course running away. I tend to reserve alot now with some squads or just park the vehicles behind cover in the first turn. I have won and lost a few fights now just cause of first blood. Cotez going first really helps with reroll initiative stealing also
7) CC tank - typically I like to have some techmarines with a staff or like a purifier with a staff... or terminator with a staff.. ya.. lots of staffs lol. Liby with staff and the reroll divination power has been really strong for me
8) sturdy objective campers - we can get some nice numbers of bodies but this part I think we're a bit behind. I can't really find enough points to stick crusaders everywhere but I really want to
9) how to deal with terminators -we got choices but does depend a bit on rending for our AP2, we'll also have some issues with volume of fire too. We're definately decent but not to like necron or tau or IG level.
10) mobility- one thing so far I've been struggling with for my scoring units as I now no longer depend on my cheap transports to get anywhere. Something like bikes/jetbikes or what not from allies that are fast moving troops are going to be really useful I think but I don't have alot of personal experience with it though I feel like it should work. Anyone have any experience on this?
How to beat - (death star / crazy combo) - stuff you'll see at toruny from someone but hopefully not your friends
1) Eldar + DE vect + harliquins + rerolling saves - Most likely will see this at tournament scenes. About the only thing that will really work is to either #1 - ignore the death star and or feed them crappy units like a chimera or rhino every so often to slow them down. Having a librarian doesn't help anymore since the hood can only stop things targeting your own men. It won't stop buffs. Only a rune priest SW ally will work or having an eldar ally yourself with runes of warding can pose a challenge. We really don't have too much other than massed shooting to take them down but unfortunately a 2++ rerollable save is just mean to try to try to shoot through. Also, if you have a storm raven, the mindstrike missles should also work to at least take down the farseer via perils. They still get a 4+ ghost helm save unfortunately but you do have 4 missles per plane, it's getting them to hit that's the problem. Despite guide and fortune not working for DE units, an IC that joined an eldar unit that was the target of these powers still work so you will still have to deal with the killer clowns with horrible rerollable saves. They don't get as much out of their shadowseers or look out sirs as much though.
2) Necron air force - probably going to be the most devestating thing on the table for a while. Until there's alot more flak missles (which we'll really only ever see by allies), you can try countering with storm ravens and maybe a grand master to psy communion to try and delay your reserves till they are needed to kill the doom scythes.2 storm ravens could help alot in this kind of match up but I'd just use them as dedicated gun boats and not bother with assaulting troops out of them. IG allies could also be good as you can have some hydra + quad gun + vendetta + storm raven to retiliate somewhat. Still a very difficult match up though. Maybe if long fangs got flakk missles, that could be an option too. I'm really hoping DA will have some cyclone missle launchers that have sky fire. Terminators in 4+ or 3+ cover from ruins will be hard for the necron air forces to budge and can dish out the hurt fairly well. Time will tell what we'll have access to. For their ground forces, you may have to use SM/SW/BA drop pod turn 1 alpha to eek out a win if they tend to just have 1-2 things on the table. With the update, now MSS also gets to try and activate your force weapons against you. Counter this by using up your warp charage and use hammer hand or something else. A way to tarpit for a turn or two is to get the sarge killed from combination of warscyte + MSS via challenge then be locked in with them on their turn with the rest of the squad. You can then fight it out on his turn and then either fail and fall back (no sweeping with ATSKNF) or continue to tarpit their guy. If you get away, that's an extra round of shooting and assault you can do back on your next turn. (sorta like a wierd sorta hit and run). Also wraiths will now be at I1 for charging through terrain even though they ignore it due to rule book change v1.1. Their lash whips however will make your guys also swing at I1 so don't get too cocky. Also they do not get an extra attack from their CCW upgrades so don't let the other guy talk you into it! In the mean time, try at get into assault with his ground forces as best as possible and be in his zone sorta helps as well as spreading out in general. With so much air power, he won't likely have that much ground forces which will be vulnerable to everything you got shooting at him. Take advange of cover saves vs big nasty fliers.
Alternative counter strat is to use huge blobs of men with either IG platoon allies or other races of big blocks of infantry (such as necrons @_@). If you got sometihng with like 60 bodies in it, it's pretty much impossible for even tesla spam to deal with very well. Used by recent NOVA winners to help counter fliers and hold objectives for the win.
3) Daemon/nid flying circus - alot of crazy flying monstrous creatures? well in some ways we're better than most to deal with them as we can get decent volume and perferred enemy works in shooting as well. Just becareful though as a henchmen army won't have perferred enemy and DK's can't really do much to them at all unless they fail and crash down for you to assault. Just have to #1 kill the troops usually for the daemons as they are usually going to be small and pretty weak as compared to before, and #2, ignore the troops for nids as they won't have as many flying MC's and you can clean them up with flamers pretty effectively after the big ones go down usually. SitW will still make it very annoying to activate force weapons without a banner though so just be careful and try to assault with some IC's that can buff hammer hand or activate themselves and or a second squad in the same assault phase to improve your odds.
4) Tau/IG gunline - decently effective and probably will out shoot your gunline by range and blast templates. Try to have at least something in your list that goes fast and can engage armor / assault as their alpha strike capabilities are quite good. Try some reserves or use something like SW drop pods and or necron allies to get close enough to engage. The tau especially benefit from Eldar allies. They will neuter your psychic powers while out shooting you so you will definately need mobility and some assault to counter them. More tailored to counter GK but I can see other horde armies walking on them. With the changes to tau vehicles and targeters, they will be a serious force to be messed with. Tons of plasma will melt all our power armor and they got survivable vehicles even in the open so they will likely have (to borrow a Jy2 pharse) good positional dominance no matter the map. Thankfully their units are still kind of overcosted if you buy all the upgrades but that disruption pod will really make their expensive vehicles perform really well blocking LOS and the like with flat out moves. Will be hard for GK to counter as they play best against other low model count armies.
And with permission from the origional author (thx Loreweaver), some stuff to think about when you want to declare a charge:
(average of 7inches for success on a charge in open ground, average of 5' if in terrain) We unfortunately don't have too much fleet but at least now you have a better idea on when you would avoid setting off enemy overwatch.
More to come in this section as I run into more crazy combo lists. (or see someone else engage one)
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