Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grey Knights Codex - My Wishlist & General Feedback

I have a more detailed list for this than the Ork book.  While the Ork book did prompt me to paint some stuff up, it hasn't really made me want to play the army again.  I don't think it's the book's fault, it's more for want of full foam for stuff and not wanting to push the horde around the table again just now.

So, what was I looking for?  Well, some of the stuff, I got.  Cheaper Librarians and HQ's, Castellan Crowe gaining Independent Character, Brotherhood Champions becoming more broadly useful, standardized prices on Special Weapons, Personal Teleporters getting cheaper for Dreadknights and Techmarines going slotless in the same way as they work for Dark Angels and Space Marines were all on the list and they came through.  I also wanted the ability to make a workable teleport list which I got with the Nemesis Strike Force Detachment.  Overall, I'd say I got most of what I was looking for and that's always nice.

Now, in terms of the stuff that I didn't get, there's a bit of that too.

I wanted to see some sort of Orbital Strike option for Grand Masters and Brother Captains.  I don't think this should have been a standard ability, but something like (or costed like) the old Orbital Strike Relay would have been a nice touch since the Grey Knights are heavily fleet based.

I wanted to see the old Shadow Skies rule come back for Storm Ravens so that Interceptor Squads getting kicked out of the door wouldn't scatter.  That one sort of came through via the ability to purchase a Locator Beacon for the vehicle.

Melee weapon options for Brotherhood Champions was on my list too.  That didn't happen, but they did, admittedly, get more broadly useful.

Dreadnoughts just sort of make me sigh.  A Grey Knight Venerable Dreadnought kit with options for a Nemesis Weapon, Psycannon, Pislencer and Heavy Incinerator would have been great.  I realize GW is trying to do the release model light, but a single plastic box and maybe a plastic character would have been a really nice addition to the release.  In terms of rules, actual options for the various Grey Knight Special Weapons would have been welcome as would a reimagining of the Dreadnought in general.  Their point cost just hasn't kept pace with what they actually are.  100 points is too much for the standard Dreadnought in the Space Marines Codex and the Grey Knights Dreadnoughts aren't 35 points of extra good.  It's an unfortunate reality of the game today that such an iconic unit just hasn't aged well.  I'd have also liked to see some sort of delivery system be purchasable for Dreadnoughts that isn't a Storm Raven.  Drop Pods or Teleportation would be excellent and sensible for a fleet based chapter.

I was primed to see Strike Squads decrease in points.  They went up with the Special Weapon change, but if you take the Nemesis Strike Force Detachment into account, it's a net decrease since you only have to take one unit of compulsory troops.

Purgation Squads are still in an odd place.  Night Vision is a nice touch, but they just don't seem different enough.  Purifiers are just point for point better (which I suppose is sensible since they are 5 points per model more expensive, they're just more than 5 points per model better).  Having Banishment and Hammerhand as their default Psychic Powers doesn't help them much either.  My suggestion would be to give them some access to Divination by default or even Relentless would be a better fit to help them do their job and to keep them mobile with medium range weaponry.  Doing either of those things would likely raise their points, but I don't think I'd have an issue with that.

Psybolt and Psyflame Ammunition both went away and that's too bad.  I could live with Psyflame going away if I could just take an Incinerator on my Dreadnoughts, but I can't.  As to Psybolt, I would have liked to see it stay around in some form other than the blanket +1 Strength.  Just something small and situational like re-rolling wounds and armour penetration against Daemons or something that's probably worth a 5 point upgrade here or there.

Psychic Pilot would have been a nice option to keep around on vehicles.  As with Psybolt Ammunition, I'd have preferred to keep it optional and just assign a point cost to it.  That way, it's there for the folks who want to use it, but it's still differentiated from everyone else's vehicles.  Having it included at no cost was as silly as the current method of the pilots all forgetting that they're Psykers as soon as they sit down.

More formations would have been a nice touch.  Some smaller formations with two or three units would have been a nice addition to the single massive one.

I was hoping that the Codex would also include a Chaplain option.  That's exclusively because I like the Terminator Chaplain model though.  In terms of fluff reasons, the chances of a Chapter of Psykers actually needing a formal Reclusium isn't terribly plausible.  It's more likely that the role would be filled by a mixture of the Librarius, Augurium and the regular communion between brothers than a formal body.

Apothecaries as an Independent Character choice similar to the Techmarine would have been nice to see.  They're oddly limited in terms of how they can be deployed in every Imperial army now (well, except for Red Scorpions if they're still able to replace their Sergeants with Apothecaries).  I'd just like to see them open up a bit in terms of where they can go.  That being said, where they can go likely won't change much, so that's largely a cosmetic alteration.

The final item I'm going to bring up is the separate Armoury section.  After using it for the last day or so, I'm not a fan.  I'd rather see the pictures on the unit entries shrunk down some to include the full option list for each unit on the same page.  It just makes the Codex easier to use with less flipping through.

Painting Update - Orks

With my Orks, the painting has focused on walkers since I had some initial ideas around fielding 12-15 walkers (specially Deff Dreads and Ki...