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Thursday, 24 March 2011

Grey Knights of Grey Archetypes: Blunder-Bubble

Blunder-Bubble? Well, it's a Blunder that these guys don't come equipped with ThunderShields, but they're pretty much as formidable in CC as the superstars of the Space Marine Elite slot (barring Dreadnoughts, which are better...)

All the same, let's do a ThunderBubble style list using GK Termies instead.



Pros:
Stealth from Libby replaces Storm Shield
Stealth Cover can't be removed by Vindicare blowing up Storm Shields.
Ranged capacity - what's more, a pretty damn good one.
Wound Allocation Shenanigans
Opportunity for Warding Stave (s)
Solid CC unit, better vs certain enemy units
The Wrap will Score, which grants additional options

Cons:
No Storm Shield vs ranged weapons - Cover not always there, despite what the Internet and especially Whineseer thinks.
Cost.  - A REAL biggie...these guys start like TH/SS, but party shoot upgrades like they were in their last year of Uni.
Reputation - A factor in the success of a ThunderBubble is the idea of using an iconic powerful CC unit as a buffer...GKTs don't have this in-game Rep.
The Wrap will Score, and is so more valuable - ThunderBubble partially works because of the expend-ability to the TH/SS, especially given that the enemy is forced to deal with them and may (usually will/would) prefer to ignore them.

So, the list itself.

Firstly, we want the Stealth ability conferred by our good friend the GK Libby.  He has a whole host of other useful bonuses, not least being the PsyHood (or Might, Sanctuary, Rift or Silver...)

This means we take the following for our HQ:

Librarian:
NFHalberd, 2 ServoSkulls, Hammerhand, Shrouding, Sanctuary, Might, Vortex - 185

This guy is costly, but versatile.  Considering his importance to the list, most particularly vis a vis the 3++ Cover...paying it is no hassle.  It's a shame I can't make him 200 by giving him Rad Grenades.  That would be truly awesome.

Next, we need the Wrap itself.  This needs to be a minimum of 10 GKTs, with probably the most efficient way to be Combat Squadding a single Troops Choice.

Let's try that first:

10 Grey Knight Terminators (aka Germinators)
Psycannon/Hammer, Psycannon/Halberd, Halberdx3, Hammer, Falchionx2, Stave, Justicar w/ MC Hammer.

One of the Hammers is on the Justicar because it helps with Wound Allocation.  Essentially, one squad is:
Psy/Halb, Justicar, Falchion, Halberd, Halberd
With the other being:
Psy/Ham, Stave, Ham, Halb, Falchion

Sadly, that unit now costs 265, but that's not so terrible.  PsyBolt Ammo is an option, but for a unit that will be Combat Squadding, less viable.  Four guys firing 8 S5 shots is hardly enough to reliably put the hurt on stuff, so why waste the points?

With that the case, we need stuff to actually BE wrapping...Strike Squads are probably too expensive for this though, so we need to look elsewhere.  That means FoCing around with what is and isn't a Troops Choice, and the best/cheapest way to do that is our favourite Inquisitor, Torquemada Coteaz.  The addition of him actually brings a lot to the list that can get overlooked in the furore over the Henchmen issue.

Firstly, he has Arti Armour, a MC Hammer, and he is Stubborn.  In addition, his "I've Been Expecting You" and "Spy Network" rules allow you to destroy Drop Armies (Pod or Jump) that try to come in anywhere nearby...and prevent people seizing on you too.  Considering they are essentially free given his cost/equipment ratio, good times.

Torq brings us to a spent total of 550 points, just to get the base of the list.  Now, we need some firepower.

With 5 Troops, 3 Heavy, 3 Elite, and no Dedicated Transports in Fast Attack, we can now have a max of 11 AV11 hulls, or 6 and 5 AV12.

Were it not for the 'Fortitude' Psychic Power (and, to a lesser extent, Shrouding - Rhinos have smaller hulls) I would advocate the second, no question.  We have two things to consider though:

1) Cost - we are unlikely to find points to fill all 11 of those slots
2) Choice - we are unlikely to WANT to take 1+1 units in all those slots.  Troops, yes, Elite, ok...HS...not so much.

With that in mind (and with Chimeras weakened greatly if their saturation is insufficient, due to AV10 sides) we plump for Rhino hulls - and hit a dilemma.  There are two roads we can go down, and I choose not to go with Jokaero Rhino Bunkers in this instance, opting for Razorbacks...PAssBacks, to be precise (PsyBolt Assault Cannon)

To fill these, we take units of 5 Henchmen with trip-Melta.  Why triple?  Well, with BS3 Melta, you cannot rely upon a double-shot actually doing any significant damage.  Even assuming the opponent has no Cover, they will be hit once, with a 50% chance to destroy (usually) on a Pen.  If we assume a Penetrating hit (ie, an average roll) then we require 2 rolls on the chart to 'guarantee' [clearly, not a real guarantee, but as close as we can have here] destroying the target, something vital when you start committing otherwise shitty Troops to close-range anti-tank duty.

This unit, then, is:

5 Warrior Acolytes: 3 Meltaguns, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130

Sweet, no?

Let's take 3 of them, putting us at 4 Troops selected.

We have a ton of anti-infantry that is hard if not impossible to reliably Suppress...and we have 9 Melta at 3 Targets, albeit BS3.  We have spent a mere 940 points, and really have a core I like.  Sadly, our CC ability is pretty much just the GKTs, but ok.

Let's have something without a max range of 24" now, huh?

Dreadnought:
Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon, PsyBolt Ammunition - 135

The Psyfleman Dread.  How can we refuse? Answer - we cannot.

Let's have two.

With 1210 now used up, and 1 HS, 2  Troops, 3 FA and 3 Elites to fill it is time to look at some anti-heavy Infantry duty.

More Henchmen fill the bill here -

5 Warrior Acolytes: Double Plasma, Flamer, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130

How can it cost the same? Well, oddly all three Spec Weps cost alike here.  I don't get it either, especially when they each cost the same as a Combi...a 1-shot version, strapped to a Bolter.  Yeah, great.  Combi-Weapons are crap, have been since 2e.  Overcosted, no question.  As is a S6 Power Fist, but Hammerhand makes it S8/9 with Might, and Rads to consider too.... anyway.  two of this unit fills out Troops, and puts us at 1470.

Elites, there are a couple things would be nice, but I have settled on two of the following:

Purifier Squad:
2 Psycannons, 2 Halberds, Hammer, Rhino - 189

That gives a decent amount of fire with the top hatch, basically making it a Razorback that is semi-immune to Wep Dest results, though if you DO get Stunned it forces you to either not shoot or disembark and shoot.  Unpleasant either way, tbh.

Those units bring us to the target (not sure why, but I decided on it part-way through, as I didn't want to do a 2k list) of 1850.  Most games I play are 1750 though, so how would this change?  Well, dropping the AssCans on Plasma units to HBs saves 70, so dropping the Flamers for 90...drop a Power, and a Halberd from each Purifier unit.  Spot on 1750.  For up to 2k? 152 points left, 1 Elite, 1 Heavy, 3 FA, nothing else? Vindicare.  No reason why not.  lol

The final list then:

Librarian:

NFHalberd, 2 ServoSkulls, Hammerhand, Shrouding, Sanctuary, Might, Vortex - 185

Torquemanda Coteaz:
 - 100

Purifier Squad:
2 Psycannons, 2 Halberds, Hammer, Rhino - 189
Purifier Squad:
2 Psycannons, 2 Halberds, Hammer, Rhino - 189

10 Grey Knight Terminators:
Psycannon/Hammer, Psycannon/Halberd, Halberdx3, Hammer, Falchionx2, Stave, Justicar w/ MC Hammer - 265
5 Warrior Acolytes: 3 Meltaguns, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130
5 Warrior Acolytes: 3 Meltaguns, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130
5 Warrior Acolytes: 3 Meltaguns, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130
5 Warrior Acolytes: Double Plasma, Flamer, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130
5 Warrior Acolytes: Double Plasma, Flamer, Razorback [Psy, AssCan] - 130

Dreadnought:
Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon, PsyBolt Ammunition - 135
Dreadnought:
Twin-Linked Autocannon, Twin-Linked Autocannon, PsyBolt Ammunition - 135

Thoughts?


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