Battalion - Novokh - 1495 pts
Catacombe Command Barge - Enduring Will, Resurrection Orb, Voltaic Staff
Chronomancer - Viel of Darkness
Overlord - Orb of Eternity, Voidscythe, Implacable Conqueror
20x Necron Warriors - Gauss Repears
10x Immortals - Tesla Carbines
10x Immortals - Gauss Blaster
Hexmark Destroyer - Gauntlet of the Conflagurator
10x Lychguard - Hyperphase Sword and Dispersion Shield
8x Scarab Swarms
1 Sudden Storm
2 Vengeful Stars
3 Hungry Void
4 Undying Legion
5 Eternal Guardian
Battalion - Rapiers
Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight - Nemesis Greatsword, Heavy Psycannon, Gatling Psilencer, Warlord, Sigil of Exigence, First to the Fray, Servant of the Throne
Brotherhood Librarian - Sanctic Shard, Foretelling of Locus
2x5 Strike Squad - 4 Nemesis Sword, 1 Psilencer
1x5 Terminator Squad - 5 Nemesis Halbard, 1 Psilencer
1x10 Interceptors - 8 Force Halberds, 2 Psilencers
Nemesis Dreadknight - Nemesis Greatsword, Heavy Psycannon, Gatling Psilencer
Grand Tournament 2021
12. Scored Earth
Joe's Grey Knights
Fresh off a game versus the Thousand Sons, I was feeling somewhat less confident going into this one. Sure, James has no Psykers but this is also an army he is much more familiar with and knows how to play to a pretty high level. I know that my biggest threat is going to be those Lychguard, and my aim is to use my movement shenanigans to try and avoid the fight with them for as long as possible.
I’m also still incredibly new to this army, so I would be lying if I said I knew my stratagems well. I wanted to run the same list I had run in the previous game, so whilst the Librarian’s Sanctic Shard isn’t going to do anything for me this game, I’m 90% sure I would take it in every tournament game, so it’s staying.
I’m running a pretty comfortable Necron list, I know Novokh's capabilities very well, I’ve played A LOT of games with Warrior / Immortal builds. It’s a stripped-down list to account for 1500 pts. The idea is that I’ve got a hard-hitting anchor unit with the Lychguard with supplementary troops to push Joe back into his deployment zone.
It’s my 2nd game vs Grey Knights and they have a CRAZY amount of movement which I’m definitely going to have to look out for. It’s also a match-up both Joe and I are interested in as we’re not sure how critical the Grey Knight powers are as opposed to the Thousand Sons. Do they perform just as well with all their powers as they do without? My instinct is the powers just amplify what’s already a solid base with the Nemesis Suits and Marine Squads.
I've gone for Abhor the Witch (Obviously) Raise the Banners as I've got two very close to me and I can raise them and still shoot turn 1 and finally Code of Combat, I've got 2 Overlords and Joe's got a few MSU units and my Voltaic Staff Overlord should be able to pick up at least 6 points here. Its a bit riskier with only 1500 pts as there are less units.
I’ve deployed pretty conservatively with most of the army, I toyed with putting all the Immortals behind the wall but if I do get the first turn… they’ll effectively not be doing anything of benefit for me so I do deploy them a bit further forward.
My Lychguard are hiding in the building ready to come out in turns 2 or 3 as a bit of a counter-strike and my Overlords are both safe beside them. If joe does go hard on my Warriors turn one they’re in range of the Orb of Eternity which should bring most of them back. My Scarabs are hiding behind the other ruin - He’s got A LOT of possible D2 weapons so I want to keep these as safe as possible, they’re also pretty speedy with a 12” move and fly so getting them where I need them isn’t a problem.
I’m feeling somewhat anxious, Joe’s got a lot of movement shenanigans and I don’t have the models to fully block him out of both flanks so I’ve tried to deploy a bit more centrally to account for this.
Having deploy conservatively with my infantry, I left the Terminators and Dreadknights in a left flank overload position with only my interceptors on the right flank. Once I won the roll off, I used Foretelling of Locus to move them both onto the right flank to advance on the Immortals positioned there, as well as putting my Terminators into reserve.
It’s worth noting I’ve since reread the book and discovered the upgrade specifies CORE only, so I do apologize for moving the Grand Master as well as the Dreadknight.
I manage to win turn 1, and with James’ damage output mostly being relatively short range I decide to push up into shooting range, sticking myself into the Tide of Convergence for extra range on both my Dreadknight's weapons.
The central blocks of Strike Marines chain out to grab the objective immediately to either side of them, raising banners. My Dreadknights push up into the crater to make a Veil of Darkness charge into them significantly harder. Interceptors push up along side them and just within 24’’ of the front rank of Immortals, planning to use Ethereal Castigation (A fancy way to say move-shoot-move) to then move into the ruin to their right.
Into the psychic phase, and I spend 1CP on Powerful Adept on my Grandmaster so that he can cast Empyric Amplification for +1D on the front rank of immortals, which I get off without too much trouble. My Dreadknight casts Hammerhand just to be safe. Finally my Interceptors cast Ethereal Castigation and open fire into the back rank of immortals killing two who fail to get back up again, then move into the ruin for cover. Finally, Kaldor Draigo casts Sanctuary on the left most unit of Strike Marines to give them a 4++.
Into the shooting phase, and the only thing to do is fire both Dreadknights into the back unit of Immortals. I spend 1cp on Psychic Onslaught on the Grandmaster to increase both his guns strength and AP by 1. This means that in total I’m putting 24 s6 shots, half of which are -1, half of which are -2, and then 6 shots at s9 -3 2… And I manage to kill 3. Two of which get back up again! Not a great start, but It’s about what I expected with these Immortals, they’re hard for me to shift until I reach melee.
My Overlords put their My Will Be Done onto the unit of Warriors and the Tesla Immortals. I push out slightly with the Immortals, mainly to line them up within range and rapid-fire range of the Inceptors. I keep the Lychguard in the ruin ready to strike out when Joe moves his Grey Knights closer, they’re a really critical part of the list so keeping them safe seems the sensible idea.
My Canoptek Scarabs push forward ready to be annoying, I get a 6 on their advance which gives me quite a bit more movement than I was expecting so I put them part-way in the crater, thanks to their fly keyword they ignore the penalty on movement it gives and also helps to character-block for my next move. I then Veil of Darkness the Warriors in range of Joe’s Grandmaster and Strike Squad with my Chronomancer safely next to the Scarabs.
I start the shooting phase elect to put the Warriors into the Grandmaster, I’m all ready to activate the Disintegration Capacitors stratagem. Joe then teleports the Grandmaster away… so my Warriors are sat there with only 10 of them in range of only the Strike squad I put them into them and cry a little inside. Joe had asked if I wanted to change their target before so he didn’t teleport but having just played a game against him using it I felt like it was my mistake and I’ll only learn to play against them if I make mistakes. Carrying on with my shooting I put both units of Immortals into the Inceptor Squad in the Ruin. My brain fell out and I completely forgot about the Solar Pulse Stratagem and with both units of Immortals I only did a single wound. I’m pretty sure with this stratagem, I would have killed at least 2-3 Inceptors. My Overlord fires his Voltaic Staff and manages to kill 2 on his own so that something, not quite the 3 Code of Combat points I was looking for though.
My Warriors do make their charge into the Strike squad and with the Blood Rites stratagem my Warriors manage to down the remaining 3 Strike Marines - the -1 ap from the Awakened by Murder ability coming in really handy here. They’ll probably all die next turn but maybe a few can hang on. At the very least it stops Joe's banner on Objective No.1.
Not an amazing turn but I’ve set myself up for a pretty good turn 2.
So… My immediate reaction is that the Sigil of Exigence combined with the Servant of Throne probably just shouldn’t be a thing. With my Dreadknight now in a position to run through James’ backline, and his Veil of Darkness largely neutered by that reposition, I think if I can hit hard enough right now, James won’t likely be able to recover.
My Interceptors press on towards the Immortals, knowing if I can get into melee with them, I should butcher them. The rest of my force collapses on the warrior blob to rip it apart, as well as regain control of my two home objectives. My Grandmaster pushes up to get into line of sight of the Lychguard hiding. Unfortunately I can only get into sight of one, which will prove a large failure in a moment. Finally my Terminators arrive out of deepstrike to hold the other objective. James uses Aetheric Interception with his Hexmark and manages to kill one of them straight away.
Into the psychic phase and I open up with my Grandmaster. Vortex of doom is cast on the Lychguard and does 4 mortal wounds, killing two. Unfortunately here is where I’ve made an error, as it now means I can’t see them to shoot with both guns. So instead, I hit the panic button and spend 2cp on Psychic Channeling and Mental Focus allowing him to cast another power, and roll 3d6 when doing so. He fires up his personal Gate of Infinity and realising his error, runs back to safety on the other side of the board. On James’ side, my Interceptors cast my brotherhood power Symphonic Strike on themselves, for an extra attack. The rest of my psychic phase mostly consists of pouring 6 mortal wounds into the warriors, and Hammerhand on the remaining Strike Squad.
Into the shooting phase and this time it’s a lot more effective. We bring down 7 more Warriors with massed storm bolter fire from the strikes. My Terminators and Nemesis Dreadknight fire their shots into the scarab swarm to begin chipping them down as well, without much success. On the right flank, my Grandmaster and the remaining Interceptors pump their shots into the Tesla Immortals, wiping them out and leaving only the Gauss Immortals remaining.
Charge phase, and my battle pile runs into the remaining warriors, whilst my Interceptors charge the remaining Immortals. As befits Grey Knights in combat, both of the units get thoroughly run through.
So I lost all my Immortals this turn which was mostly expected but definitely stung a bit since I think had Joe had a few less then I may have had some survive for the second resurrection orb. My Hexmark, using Aetheric Interception, managed to kill a Terminator in Joe's turn, which did feel good. In my movement phase, I move him, the Scarabs and the Crypto Thralls towards them to try and take them out.
My shooting phase comes and goes without much, with all my troops gone I don’t really have much left anyway to be honest. My Hexmark and Crypto Thralls do kill one and my Chronomancer gets his wound through on the Dreadknight but Joe saves it.
Into the charge phase - I put both my Overlords into the Inceptor squad - I don’t think one will quite do it, I am worried about the intervention but Joe’s not left me with much choice and I really need to start getting some Code of Combat points. I do get them down but it costs me a Resurrection Protocols stratagem on the Overlord. Whereas my joint force on the left side of the board do kill the Terminators.
Losing my Terminator unit to… Well, not much… More or less cements in my mind that they’re just not worth it at 43 points per model when 22 gets you a strike marine. Losing the Interceptors in James’ deployment was expected, and they’ve more than made their points back already so that’s not too much of a problem.
In order to keep scoring Engage on All Fronts, I spend 2cp on Teleport Shunt to move my Dreadknight to the top left side of the board where he can also apply some firepower into the scarabs. My Grandmaster moves around and onto the objective to contest it, assuming the command barge is dead. The rest of my force continues it’s march towards the Scarab swarm.
In the psychic phase, the Grandmaster puts Empyric Amplification on the Command Barge, and the rest of my army does nothing of note.
Shooting, and the Command barge manages to roll well and survives the onslaught of psychically boosted weaponry from the Grandmaster, although leaving him on 2 wounds left. The rest of my firepower goes into the Scarabs, clearing out two of them… Those buggers are annoyingly resilient against storm bolter fire.
Charges, and my Grandmaster gets into the Command Barge whilst Kaldor Draigo and the Strike Squad make it into the Scarabs. Once again, I’m starting to see just how much damage Grey Knights do in melee as both units are destroyed without much trouble.
I don't have much left… Loosing my Overlord to the Grand Master was rough, he’s usually a lot tankier with Enduring Will and Quantum Shielding but with the Pyschic, Shooting and Melee he just melted.
So the Lychguard finally come out of the ruin, I’ve used the Orb of Eternity on them this turn to get them an additional model back up to 9. My plan is to use the Eternal Protectors (if I can chain back to the Overlord) and Blood Rites stratagems to boost them to 5 attacks each and take down one of the Dreadknights. With Hungry Void active this turn it should be very doable. If I can survive this turn I should be able to take the 2nd one down in turn 4 and hopefully recover some of the lost points.
The shooting phase comes and passes, the Hexmark fires into the Strike Squad and does 3 wounds, the Chronomancer misses.
Into the charge phase and we start with the Lychguard, I only need a 8, with two dice and +1 this should be easy! I roll a 5... I Command Point re-roll into another 5...
Having failed the charge with the Lychguard and taken a staggering 3 losses in overwatch... I call the game there. Joe’s Dreadknights will clear the rest of my army up alone in turn 4 due to their mass Damage 2 shots and rather than going through the motions we’re both pretty clear on what happens next. So we calculate the scores and see where we are.
Well, having now played two games with them (admittedly only 1,500 point games but still) I can safely say that the belief that the sky is falling and the Grey Knight codex is terrible -- simply is not true. Is the book as strong as Ad Mech and Drukhari? Absolutely not, and that’s okay with me.
One of my biggest problems with Imperial Marines is that they have lacked a lot of manoeuvrability, and whilst their survivability in early 9th edition was somewhat enough to mitigate this, as new codex’s have come out, that simply hasn’t been the case. With the Grey Knight’s manoeuvrability, you can easily manoeuvre and position to apply punch wherever you need it, which to me has always felt how Space Marines are meant to play. Marine units are simply too elite to reliably trade up a lot of the time, but with the Grey Knight book, it feels like you can choose when to take those trades.
Going forward, and building up to 2k, I fully intend on dropping the Terminator unit. They simply feel too expensive to warrant an increase of a save, and extra wound over Strikes. My plan is to add another Nemesis Dreadknight because… Well, those things are a bit nuts. Another 2x5 Strike Marines, and then another 10 man unit of Interceptors. I’m not sure that quite gets me to 2k, but we’ll wait and see!
Thanks to James for our game, I think learning to play against Grey Knights is going to be a bit like Genestealer Cult lite… It’s very hard to pin down any of their units.
Man that was a rough game… I brought a downsized 1500 pts Necron list that I’ve been running for a while (albeit I don’t usually bring 2 Res Orb Overlords.) And it just got annihilated… The mortal wounds were painful but I wouldn’t have said they were that critical, its frustrating not getting Reanimation Protocols but it’s something I can live with. This for me really highlights Grey Knights strengths, most of their damage comes from Shooting and Melee and when the powers go off, it just steps it up a notch. I wanted to try a game vs them without any denial abilities and despite this game, I still think Necrons might be able to give them a good show.
The main thing is just how damaging the Strike/Interceptor Squads and Nemesis Knights are in both shooting and combat. They ripped through whatever they charged and gunned down about the same. My Immortals felt like a paperweight the way his Interceptor Squad went through them and really shows that Halberds are super critical against T5 models.
I’m really struggling where to go with Necrons, I’ve had great success running similar-esque lists in the past and perhaps this game was a fluke with me just not knowing Grey Knights capabilities. And the mistake with the Grandmaster Teleporting away definitely made a big difference. I’m excited to try a 2k game out against them with my full arsenal of tools - I think I might stand a better chance and it gives me more flexibility on Secondaries too.