Monday, April 11, 2011

Nids Versus Grey Knights – Not That Bad, Actually

It's upon us.
So, the sky is falling. Again.

Just like Dark Eldar, Nids have zero chance against Grey Knights. The internet says so.

Zip. Zilcho. Nada.

Force weapons and mass Stormbolters are the doom of the Nids army. Just like Poison Weapons and Dark Light spam.


I don’t think so. AbusePuppy is a pretty sharp guy, but on this I guess we disagree.

Just like with Dark Eldar, people are focusing of the advantages of the enemy codex versus us, not the advantages/tools/tricks we get versus them.

This is common, but it’s also wrong.

Let’s talk about Force Weapons, shall we?

I know, I know. They will instantly kill anything they touch.

Do not pass go.

Do not collect a Kill Point (well ok, you get a Kill Point).

But they are still wound you on a 6, unless you pass a Psychic check.

They are still only power weapons, unless they pass a psychic check.

And you have to choose between wounding on a 5 or insta-killing, unless you have some very specific circumstances.

They are still on one attack models, unless you are spending extra points on Purifiers or Terminators, and thus making yourself more vulnerable to getting swarmed.

“But the Strike squad will ALWAYS get off Hammerhand AND Force Weapons, because they will be ALWAYS be supported by an Independent Character and will ALWAYS pass their psychic checks, right?” 


Most always the Grey Knights will have to choose – Strength 5 or Force Weapons.

Often they will choose Force Weapons. If they do, they will still need to wound you on a 6. Yes, that hurts, but will it always be successful? No. Especially if you can limit their swings and their hits with whittling down their numbers and Paroxysm.

You know. Tactics.
And it’s silly to simultaneously complain about “Shadow in the Warp is a short ranged effect that only works on troops in the open!” while also noting that “We are going to get slaughtered by Force weapons in base to base with our monstrous creatures while standing in the open!

Do you really think that a properly played Nids army will EVER allow Hammerhand or Force Weapons to go off that AREN’T being cast through Shadows in the Warp? Really?

I will admit I haven’t gotten in a dozen games of Grey Knights versus my Nids yet. But it really only takes one game to figure out which things can go in the “almost always,” “often,” “sometimes” and “rarely” happens categories. Right?

I’m putting “Grey Knights taking a psychic check against a TMC while not under the influence of SiTW” in the “almost never” pile. If they have thinned out your Synapse creatures THAT badly that they are assaulting your T-Fexes or whatever without SiTW, you have already lost.

Now, granted, Nemesis Force Hammers with Force Weapon status are nasty monstrous creature killers.

No doubt.

But they still have to pass the power. And remember that the weapon will likely be on a Justicar/Knight of the Flame, so will get zapped if the unit suffers a Perils attack (a not entirely unlikely event if under Shadows with the number of powers they are casting).

Remember that Grey Knights can still be blocked by cheap troops. Remember that Grey Knight vehicles can still be destroyed. Remember that troops with 3+ armor saves still don't enjoy taking a metric butt ton of wounds. Remember they still have to REACH your MC's to kill them.

Lots of things to consider.

Lots of ways to figure out their plan, and take it apart.

I got my first game in against Grey Knights last night with a Swarmlord list I had been waiting to test out. I emerged victorious. It was an excellent, close and tough fought battle which went to the THIRD goal in a NOVA mission.

But I in no way was beaten down into a pulp. Did I lose Monstrous Creatures to force weapons? Yes, twice. Do I have more than 2 Monstrous Creatures? Yep. ;D

Grey Knights can be beaten. Our codex has flaws, but they are flaws with the Dex, not because our opponents "auto-win" against us. Don't focus on the opponent, focus on your list. Focus on bringing the tools you need to take on ALL opponents, practice your ass off, and you CAN be successful.

Oh, I will say that I am more convinced than EVER that Deathleaper should be strongly considered for any Nids list that relies heavily on getting off psychic powers or is afraid of psychic powers. Alternatively, I have been more and more interested in Broodlords.

But that's not JUST because of Grey Knights. It's because they fill a need in MY list, against ANY opponent.