On Saturday I played 4 games of 1000pts matched play with my friends. Took the same list in all 4 games.
The list is below.
So, firstly, I want to bring brief reports about how the games went, then my after thoughts of the games and things I now want to change after that experience.
Lastly, I want to know your experiences so far from 9th. I see people write lists who haven't even played a game, (not talking about anyone in the GK sub forum). But I want real feedback from your experiences and testimonies. I don't want speculation or theory, or off the cuff advice without play testing in real scenarios.
I look forward to hearing how your games have been getting on and hopefully learning something from each of your experiences so we can all grow.
First Game - Tau
The first game was against a Tau list that consisted of a custom sept that gave missiles -1A with broadsides. Along with a barracuda loaded with ion cannons and blasters. Small fire warrior teams and just lots of board control and pressure. The mission we played was "RAID" from the GT mission booklet. 6 objectives meant that I had to constantly hold 2 to even get the 5VP for a turn. And hold 3 for 10VP, a daunting and difficult task when I was under constant pressure from his barrage of firepower and the secondary objectives that both he and I took.
I wanted to try different secondary's because I wasn't having success with the current ones I was taking. So I tried "While We Stand We Fight" which meant, Voldus, the Librarian and the Venerable Dreadnought being my 3 most expensive models had to survive the game to give me a possible 15VP.
I thought that would be relatively easy as I had two units of terminators that I could potentially buff up to make even more durable. Turns out when you leave them in no-mans-land. Not to be the case. I finally got to go first and decided to through a units of terminators forward with gate of infinity and 2 defensive psychic powers on them to capture a mid-board objective and prepare for a charge 2nd turn. Turns out, that was a mistake, as I offered up a sacrifice to the Tau guns on a gold plater and he proceeded to unleash hell upon them. My mind wasn't entirely in the game at that stage of the morning and crucial tactical errors in judgement meant a swift end to the game. having to leave both the dreadnought (which I was happy to do, he has astral aim) and my strike team behind in my deployment zones to hold both objectives. Meant that I only had 5 termies and 3 characters to march up the board and try to stop him. I also took psychic ritual, so that forced me to move characters and with them, their bodyguards towards the centre of the board.
Easily focused down in subsequent turns and my failure to hold objectives meant I was quickly behind the ball in terms of VP. The mission put extra stress on me to just sit on objectives and pray I don't get shot off the board. Not something Grey Knights are particularly good at. Peppering shots with stormbolters that don't have -AP feels pathetic. And D1 psycannons also just felt lackluster.
Also my dreadnought managed to only ever hit 1 out of 2 las cannons shots EVERY time I shot it. And even if I hit with both the las cannon and missile launcher in the same round. While wounding on against most targets I wanted to shoot at. I don't think I ever did more then 6 wounds total. Even then, I think I only did 6 wounds once! In four games! Rolling a 1 on a D6 with no inbuilt redundancy feels incredibly frustrating. Especially on a 40pt gun.
After seeing the increase in flat wound weapon profiles, and even the multi-melta's D6+2. The expansive Lascannon just feels horribly unreliable.
(Which brings me on to another topic I'll address later.)
Second Game - Tau.
The second game I played against the same Tau list. We rolled a different mission and we got "Centre Ground." 4 objectives, interesting aggressive deployment zones. We kept out secondary's the same. Psychic Ritual, While We Stand We Fight and Engage on all Fronts for me. And after warming up my dice hand and a coffee to kickstart my brain, the second game had a completely different outcome.
4 objectives meant I only needed to keep my dreadnought in my deployment zone to hold my 1 objective and I moved out towards the centre of the board to hold objectives, perform my ritual and sit in the centre with all of my terminator armor. I gated my 5 strike squad into his deployment to destroy an un protected unit of firewarriors who were without support and start my engage on all fronts.
He actually got first turn, and threw his flyer right into the waiting might of my psychic barrage. If did soak all of my 1st turns psychic phase to destroy it, but my dread survived on 2 wounds. It did protect the rest of him army from my attacks but it was well worth it to have that pressure lifted from my back!
The dreadnought however didn't accomplish much, in fact, I ended up doing more wounds with smite (2wounds with the Tide) rather then casting astral aim, then my lascannon and missile launcher combined. As my only anti-tank weaponry, the dreadnought was not living up to my high expectations.
The game ended rather quickly with me taking a huge victory for the Grey Knights and redemption!
After dinner, we both headed to another friends house and played two more games each. Two other friends were there with 2 different lists for the Adeptus Mechanicus. (Another anathema for the Grey Knights).
Third Game - Ad Mech.
So my third game was against an interesting Admech list. For those of you who followed my thread the other day about the amazing draw I had. This was not the list, nor the same player. This list consisted of no Castellans, but it did Feature Belisarius Cawl, 9 kataphron, a Skorpius disintegrater and some other nasty units. We ended up rolling "Centre Ground" again and I felt somewhat positive heading into the game.
I didn't get first turn, but Tide of Shadows and obscuring terrain really helped me weather the storm and I didn't suffer too much. My first turn, I was anble to move and advance with my characters, gate my termies in of them and proceed to charge a unit of 3 kataphrons that were Protecting his two characters. I channeled my psychic fury and managed to unleash a vortex of doom upon 3 units. Doing a whopping 6 mortal wounds to Cawl! However that evil bastard has 8 wounds unlike the generic warlords so I didn't kill him. I killed 1 kataphron with 3 mortal wounds, and 1 mortal wound on the other unit. So I came away happy. I managed to charge the unit of 2 kataphrons, killing them and consolidating into Cawl. However, little did I know what awaited me next turn.
He fell back with Cawl realising he couldn't win that fight and turned around to annihilate that unit of termies. Then at that moment, I realised after advancing with Voldus, I had left him unprotected from shooting. And a unit that reduces toughness by 1 proceeded to unload all their plasma into him, blowing him to pieces. Terrible planning on my part. I needed to get in range and unleash the vortex. But at what cost? After Cawl healed back to 4 wounds I tried in vain to finish him but I couldn't. My turn 2 was underwhelming. Cawl with 1 wound left, I decided to split my dreadnoughts fire. Needing to do 1 wound. I failed to hit on a 2+ with my venerable dread. And after using all my CP I had simply ran out of steam.
The game ended after I left him have his turn 3 and proceed to wipe everything but my hidden dreadnought off the board. The toughness and resiliency of AdMech really left me feeling inadequate and in a world of hopelessness. The slow movement and limited ability to gate multiple units really limits me. Again my dreadnought left me giving him the evil eye. Never ever successfully pushing through 2 shots to the damage roll. I'd either miss, fail to wound 1 of them, or he'd save 1 of them. For a 155pt model with 3 shots and one of those guns being 40pts. All the speculation about him, has caused me to reconsider.
Since both AdMech players won their respective games, they decided to vs each other to decide who was the rightful Tech-Priest Dominus. Which meant I was vsing Tau again. However for the two games at night, the Tau player used a different list. It consisted of Farsight Enclaves, 3+ BS to the crisis suits and 2 commanders. 1 of which was a cold star Commander with a 40" movement.
Fourth Game - Tau
Knowing that he wanted to blow up the dreadnought I left my strike squad behind in anticipation. I played more cautiously this time round, but the mission deployment was the table quarters, with the 9" circle in the centre and just was a difficult game all round. I couldn't go first and terrain was awkward for this mission. I ended up having to blow 3CP to protect a unit of termies to no avail. Leaving only 1 left in a unit of 5 felt terrible.
A nasty stratagem negated all my effects from Tide of Shadows. So no -1 to hit me. He also positioned and moved rather cautiously, not coming to far forward which didn't help me. And he was quite well protected. Feeling an overwhelming amount of pressure to retaliate before I got wiped from the board. I had to try something desperate. I buffed my full strength unit of terminators and decided to charge his warlord and the suits and hopefully tag both in combat. Losing 4 out of 5 termies in overwatch, was about the worst thing that could of happened. And of course I had to advance with my characters to even get close enough to smite and clear chaff. I should of learnt from the last game. But desperate times....
I only got to his warlord, and couldn't kill him. Terrible first turn for me. He fell back, buffed his suits and destroyed all my troops. Jumped 40" with his coldstar and unleashed melta hell onto my dreadnought, But at that point that was just for laughs. I resigned the following turn only having my 3 characters alive.
Well, what a day. Lots of dice rolled! A huge headache and a broken heart later...
There's so much I took away from the games with what worked and didn’t work for me. There’s definitely things to improve on as well.
The reason we’re playing 1000pt games at the moment is simply to master the use of the units we currently take in combination with the terrain. Having tactical expertise really does affect how the games will play out. It’s like a game of chess with cooler looking pieces. One wrong move and you’ve blundered your queen.
Some positive takeaways...
- My terminators, although they were the prime targets every game. It was for good reason! Those of you who followed my lists previously, I used to use only power armour. But they don’t last long. So I made the move to a few units of terminators and I haven’t regretted it yet. They soaked up whole rounds of entire armies shooting plus a brutal overwatch or two. And when they got into combat they did well.
- The psychic phase for me continues to be the most reliable way to do any decent damage. To really any army I’ve played so far. From chaos marines, to imperial knights, to Orks, tau and AdMech. The consistency of 2 wound smites really carries the bulk of the heavy workload. I also manage to roll decent when I spend my CP for vortex of doom. Like Warhammer fantasy 8th edition, “you’re 6 dicing that sucker!” So I invest the CP and try to maximise its effect. The psychic buffs like sanctuary and armoured resilience earn their weight in gold. I even tried out edict imperator to clear some chaff and that surprisingly worked well for me in a game.
- My characters continue to do work for me as much as they can. The Sanctic shard relic is amazing obviously, I really wish Voldus could have it though. They aren’t jump pack smash captains that every other bloody space Marine Codex gets to take, but they do work in their own right.
That’s about all the positives I can take away from the game. My tactical awareness and positioning did improve throughout the games, my resiliency and firepower just couldn’t carry its share of the load.
The negative takeaways...
This isn’t so much a complaint list. It’s truly things that just didn’t work for me.
- The 80pt apothecary didn’t really do much throughout any game. And if I’m being honest with myself hasn’t for awhile now. Until he gets a feel no pain bubble or revive a model on full wounds. He’s slow, and doesn’t offer much. I’ll be dropping him and trying to maximise those points in combination with other cuts to fit something else in.
- Secondary objectives were very so so for me. And if I’m being honest, right from the start of my 9th edition games, I’ve found it incredibly difficult to chose worthwhile ones that I can really maximise. GW have really dropped the ball for elite armies in this area. Not just Grey Knights. Psychic ritual is definitely not working for me, I rarely get time to cast the action. And if I am, I’m in a commanding position. So rarely. We really get nothing like Abhor the witch. And I really feel sorry for thousand sons as well. In that category of secondary’s there’s not much to choose from. So from there I feel very pressured and constricted when choosing suitable objectives. And from that point of the game I’m already behind by essentially 15VP.
- Not having cheap units to perform actions or sit back and do nothing but hold my deployment objectives. With everything needing to get within smite and charge range. I couldn’t hold a minimum 2 objectives In one of the games. After seeing 45pt units of fire warriors do nothing but cap objectives all day it really got me thinking.
- Shooting. I mean, I don’t mind rolling lots of dice while fishing for 5’s to wound. But with no negatives to AP unless I use a stratagem really feels weak. When I write lists, I don’t pay for frills till I fit all the units I want in. So I felt kinda ripped off when I added the psycannons. They were reliable obviously pushing a few wounds through at strength 7 but D1 felt a waste of my time. Usually ended up getting saved.
- The dreadnought, BS2 and one of the very few options of taking anti-armour/anti-vehicle weaponry. And I know I’ve spoken about it before. I do like the unit as a whole. Non degrading vehicle that can shrug wounds and cast psychic powers like astral aim? Yes please! However I wasn’t happy with the weapon load out. Having both guns with a potential to roll 1’s on the damage roll just doesn’t sit well for me. Especially with all the consistent wound guns now. I am definitely never going to run a CCW on the dread. 8 wounds just isn’t worth it with no invul save.
- My overall speed of mobility and range of psychic powers. I’m just so slow, and I feel the pressure to get my smites off every turn. The 12 inch range in my offensive spells usually means nothing on turn 1. Especially when going 2nd I haven’t been able to mitigate anything that comes my way.
These are some of the things I suffered from through my games so far of 9th edition. Not just the games on Saturday. It’s really led me to look deeper into the codex at units I previously thought were bad or rather, I put a lower priority on.
Once I move onto larger games I’m sure I can fit more in. But now I really need to do a cost value analysis of the units I’ve taken and haven’t taken.
- I’m now looking at units like the 28pt servitors. They don’t have obsec sure. But they are so incredibly cheap I don’t really care. They can sit on objectives and do actions for me.
- Voldus is such a boss, but I really want the sanctic shard. I’m now looking at the artisan nullifier matrix. Since I always take the Librarian I’m going to test that out, that way I can modify Voldus’ cast of vortex. Essentially giving him 2 relics.
- Dropping the apothecary since his heal hasn’t been useful and trying to fit in a brother captain. Even in the small games. Only for the psychic locus ability. 24” smites will hopefully relieve the pressure I feel on my first turn so that I don’t rush up the board.
- I’ve even thought about dropping Voldus. But the sheer amount of spells he can know and cast make him invaluable and he currently gives me someone for a re roll buff. I tried to make a list with two or three librarians with 2 relics but I can’t fit the spells I want in, plus I lose the only form of re rolls. And then no Brother captain either. I also played around the idea of having a Brother captain or the librarian as the warlord and pick up first to the fray warlord trait for refilling charges. Which I desperately need because I failed so many. But something doesn’t sit well with me when that is the case. And looking at the space marine codex, I’m sure there’ll be some sort of rule in terms of choosing the warlord hierarchy. Like the space marines have. Who knows. Perhaps we need that option like the other codexes get where I can take another warlord trait for a CP or something. Then I would always take two. I even looked at inquisitors now, with the psychic spell to stop overwatch. A 60pt makes inquisitor simply to cast that. Tau and AdMech overwatch is nasty.
- Stripping back special weapons as well. I added the psycannons because I simply had a few points to spare but I never bother using the tide of convergence so buffing them is useless. D1 is pathetic.
- And speaking of ranged weapons. The dreadnoughts loadout, I’m looking at replacing the lascannon with the plasma cannon and just always overcharging it. The potential to ignore the wound I cause myself and the flat 3 damage is too juicy to pass up. Same -3AP as the lascannon and still wounding T7 on 3’s and avg of two shots with a possible 3. It’s 20pts cheaper and I can use those points elsewhere.
- I somehow want to fit in a unit of interceptors instead of the strike squad, simply for more movement. Or rhinos up the board with msu 5 man teams and using the rhinos to charge the enemy.
So things I want to focus on moving forward is focusing on my psychic phase. And getting the most out of that. And more movement and board control. Better choice of secondary’s as well.
I think the identity of the GK's is the psychic phase, and moving forward I truly hope we get buffed in this area. I need to fit the brother captain in my lists. I haven't touched on the chaplain either, but his litany to reroll the damage roll of weapons with random damage characteristics I think is needed moving forward. 1 wound from melee weapons just wont cut it for me.
So going forward, in a 1000pt game I want 3 characters, Voldus, a Brother Captain, and a Librarian. Larger games will then include a Chaplain and apothecary once he gets buffed. Their innate passive abilities really enhance what Grey Knights are supposed to be good at. And also mitigates some of the lackluster randomness of damage.
Again, HUGE THANKS for reading this far. I hope to have some discussions about where I failed and your experiences so far!
Edited by Reskin, 16 November 2020 - 01:00 AM.