Grey Knights updates!

No, we’re not getting our codex anytime soon!

A few days ago, I finished reading the second novel in the Grey Knights series by Ben Counter, Dark Adeptus.

Dark Adeptus is the second novel in the Grey Knights series, and we’re once again with Justicar Alaric and an even smaller team of Grey Knights, as they investigate the mysterious reappearance of the planet Chaeronia from the Warp. An added complication is that the planet is a Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and so the Knights are forced to team up with the Tech Priests as they investigate what is happening. Making planetfall, the team discovers that the world has been overtaken by some form of tech heresy, with many of the structures suffused with a biological matter – clearly the Dark Mechanicus has taken root.

It eventually transpires the Tech Priests have been influenced by a daemon that has possessed the artificial intelligence of a Standard Template Construct (STC) for a Titan. The daemon has sent a signal through the Warp to the Warmaster Abaddon, as it feels he is the best recipient for the army of Titans that it has produced. Alaric and his team are able to thwart these plans after a climactic battle, banishing the daemon back to the Warp.

I didn’t think this one was as good as the first book in the series, maybe because it started with such a strange plot device for the Grey Knights to be involved with. The daemon-hunters of the Ordo Malleus, involved in something that has no apparent daemonic link? Hm. As it moved on, though, the story was fine and everything, just seemed to be a bit of a stretch at times as to why the Grey Knights were involved. I think part of me still likes the idea of the chapter operating in absolute secrecy, to the point where they never work with allies without killing them afterwards to preserve that secrecy.

Of course, all of the Adeptus Mechanicus allies end up dead by the end of the novel, so I suppose that’s that taken care of! Interestingly, the foot soldiers of the Mechanicus are referred to as the Tech Guard, as being the almost drone-like meat shields in comparison with the more elite Skitarii troops. The novel pre-dates the current Adeptus Mechanicus line, though, which uses the Skitarii as a similar drone-like foot slogger. Though I do need to stop reading Black Library novels in the mindset of having miniatures for every eventuality!

So while this was a little disappointing after how much I enjoyed the first novel in the series, it is nevertheless good to read about the exploits of the Grey Knights!

My own exploits with the Grey Knights, of course, are less than amazing, although I am quite pleased to announce that I have finally finished painting the Purifier Squad that I had started almost two years ago! I don’t know why it has taken this long, if I’m honest, but it seems to have been the case where I had gotten so far with the models, and couldn’t seem to bring myself to finish them off. It’s the sort of thing that has happened before, of course, but it’s good to have them done.

I still have a long way to go with the army, of course, but I’m looking to get another Strike Squad painted soon, along with a Brother Captain. Maybe the Land Raider will see a coat of silver paint… I might not have the whole army painted by the end of the year, but I’m hoping there will be a lot more painted by the time we get to January 1st!

Grey Knights: let’s talk Paladins

Hey everybody,
Following on from last week’s post about the Grey Knights, as I get ready for something of a major push towards finishing as many of these minis as I can by the end of the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the list that I have and what I can do with it to field an army at the 1500-points mark, and have come up with something that I am quite excited for, so thought I’d talk about it here today!

There was quite a bit of talk in last week’s blog about the idea of the Paladin bomb, and while I have expanded the list a little with a second box of these chaps, this isn’t actually something that I’m going to be focusing on too much – principally because of the points cost for these guys! However, I have taken the opportunity of a second box to fill out the squad to five men, and have used the other bits to create a Paladin Ancient, the banner-bearer that gives nearby models +1 attack. 

Having five Paladins does give me the option to equip two of them with special weapons – the wording on the datasheet in the current Codex does actually say “two”, and not “up to two”, which means that you can’t just put one in there, unfortunately. Paladins are 50 points each, and the weapons just add to that, so given that the current build of daemon hammer and two with pairs of falchions just screams melee-orientated unit, I didn’t then want to spend points on giving them ranged weapons that they wouldn’t be able to use when the unit got into combat. True, the special weapon only replaces the storm bolter, so they are still able to be equipped with melee weapons, but it’s all additional points that I’d rather spend elsewhere. I’ve gone for two additional guys with halberds, as the +1 attack for paired falchions is nice, but really, the +1 strength from the halberd should be very nice as well, so it’s a decent blend of attacks in there (especially with the daemon hammer hitting at S8!).

The choice of psychic powers for each unit is also really offensive. The Paladins have Purge Soul, which is almost like a leadership contest between the squad and their target. The Paragon, the sergeant for the Paladins, is Ld9, which is only one point above a marines’ sergeant, however, the important note here is that the Paladins will be running around with the Ancient in tow, giving them +1 to their Leadership value. There is potential for a couple of mortal wounds on a decent roll, here, I feel! Speaking of the Ancient, he has Inner Fire, one of the powers from the new Dominus discipline, which lets him roll a number of dice equal to the value of the psychic test for the power, and deal a mortal wound for each 3+ rolled. 

Having units that can take part in every phase is a big draw for the Grey Knights, and is why I think they are so expensive as models. If all of those psychic powers come to pass, they could be doing upwards of 6 mortal wounds to a unit before they even shoot anything! Everyone has a storm bolter, of course, so within 12″ of an enemy unit that’ll be 10 shots from the Paladins and another 2 from the Ancient, hitting on 3s and likely wounding on 4s, then the juicy stuff happens when they’re in combat. Each Paladin has got 3 attacks, but the banner from the Ancient gives them +1 attack if the model is within 6″ of it – so best-case scenario, we’re looking at 20 attacks. There are two models equipped with falchions, so we’re now up to 22 attacks. The Paragon will be using his four attacks to hit on 2s with a S8 AP-4 D6 weapon (with 3 damage, minimum), which should be nice! The falchion-guys will be using their 10 attacks hitting on 3s and wounding on 4s (most likely), while the halberds will be making 8 attacks wounding (potentially) on 3s. Both the halberds and falchions are AP-2, as well, and D3 damage each. 

Stratagems for the Grey Knights are not particularly fantastic, if I’m being wholly honest, but there are some useful things hidden away that can bolster the knights of Titan, and thinking about the Paladins in particular, there is help to keep them alive by reducing damage dealt from ranged attacks (for 1CP), once they’re in combat there’s a stratagem to give them +1 to hit rolls (for 1CP), you can keep any Paladins on the battlefield until they have had a chance to fight back (for 2CP), and the classic Honour the Chapter will allow the unit to fight again (for 3CP). 

Some really interesting options in there, I feel – and all of this is just through the use of those six models. The Chaplain’s litanies, and the Grand Master’s Rites of Battle ability, can allow them to re-roll hit rolls, should those characters be nearby as well. It is difficult to get the kind of crazy aura shenanigans of some armies with the Grey Knights, for sure, but I do like the fact that you can still get some really interesting stuff going on for them.

As a bit of a footnote for this, Paladin squads have the Combat Squads ability, meaning that you can take a unit of 10 models and, before the battle, split them up into two units of five models. Given the fact that you can take two special weapons for every five models, this allows you to break up a squad into melee-orientated and shooting-orientated. However, the points investment for this kind of squad is ridiculous – almost 600 points for the ten-man unit. It’s definitely cheaper to take a Purgation squad if you want ranged firepower in the list, as the weapons alone cost cheaper when equipped to a non-terminator model. Sure, you get the terminator stat-line on the Paladins, but the weapons aren’t any more accurate when equipped to the bigger guys, so while this option did at first intrigue me, I don’t think I’m going to be rushing to build four psilencer-wielding Paladins anytime soon! 

Grey Knights, 2020 Edition!

Hey everybody!
It’s that time of year when I start to get back into the Grey Knights army, and I think after yesterday’s reflections on the hobby goals from this year, as well as starting to read the second book in the Grey Knights omnibus, I’m really back in the mood for the knights of Titan!

This year, I’ve not yet managed to get very far with my original plans for painting up an actual army of these guys. Of course, I’ve expanded out my guys from merely having that Grand Master painted, and now have the Chaplain and a Strike Squad painted, but I feel like I definitely need to get more models painted!

As a finished squad, I think they look great, which I hope will prompt me into finishing more and more of these chaps as I go! I have a mostly-painted Purifier Squad still hanging about as well, so I do need to get on with those guys, as it’s been almost two years that they have been waiting. Definitely need to crack on there.


Having a look at the models that I have right now, I’m quite surprised at just how many points that I can field. Of course, some bits and pieces have gone up a bit since 8th, but I’m hovering around the 2000-point level, when I throw in the Stormraven Gunship and the Land Raider Crusader that I’ve saved from the Dark Angels cull. Trying to fit this into something approximating an actual army, though, I’ve so far got my list up to 1300 points:


Thinking about how I could bring this up to 1500 points, I might get some more Paladins in there, although I am quite keen on another Purgation Squad, all-incinerators.


With the new rules from Ritual of the Damned, I’ve been seeing some interesting tactical ideas around the famed Paladin-bomb, tooling a full squad of ten with four special weapons, probably Psilencers for the weight of shots, and buff them with the new psychic powers to wreak havoc:

Four psilencers is 24 shots hitting on 3s, and at S4 they’re most likely going to be wounding on 4s, with no AP and D3 damage each. The new powers and litanies, however, you can boost the range of the weapon to 30″ with one chaplain, you could improve the AP to -1 with a second chaplain, and you could re-roll hits if the enemy is within 15″. This is in addition to the pre-existing psychic power that lets you target an enemy unit that isn’t visible to the shooter. Paladins are of course Terminators, so they can be targets for the new Fury of the Proven stratagem, which gives them +1 to hit, in addition to the older Psychic Onslaught stratagem that can give the weapon +1 strength and a further AP improvement to -2. I mean, this is going to be a horrendous investment of points – that 10-man Paladin Squad alone is 508 points! – but it could be a glorious moment in the battle!

I’m not sure where I want to take the force yet, but I’m definitely going to try and paint up more of the models that have been languishing in disarray for the last twelve months or more – stay tuned for more updates on this one, as well as the review of Dark Adeptus once I’ve finished that one!

Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned

Hey everybody,
I’d like to get back to looking through the Psychic Awakening books today, as I work my way backwards from the last installment. Let’s take a look at the Ritual of the Damned!

Psychic Awakening Ritual of the Damned

This fourth book showcases the Dark Angels, with the Grey Knights and Thousand Sons taking something of a second fiddle. As we’ll see when I get to the third book, these Psychic Awakenings have served to provide the Space Marines with access to all of the Shadowspear stuff, the phobos-armoured goodness that was missing from the Dark Angels codex because it hadn’t been released at that point. There are a lot of pages of this stuff, providing the lion’s share (pun intended) of the new stuff really.

I suppose this is only in keeping with the fact that the sole new miniature to come out alongside this book was the new Lazarus mini:

While I have previously attempted to produce a Dark Angels army, mainly centred around the Deathwing, I’ve recently decided to move my focus from the first legion as I’m trying to thin out the collections into something a lot more manageable – so, while this is almost certainly a Dark Angels book, I don’t really have a great deal to add on this point!

By contrast, the Grey Knights have just one new datasheet, for the Chaplain. However, they have a lot of new rules! For almost the entirety of 8th edition up to this point, Grey Knights had suffered from being a distinctly bottom-tier army from a competitive point of view. Mainly this was to do with the cost of units, which successive Chapter Approveds sought to remedy, but the lack of real fancy rules has proved to be their detriment. However, no more!

Space Marines these days have access to new Doctrines that give them bonuses from round to round. Well, Grey Knights now have their own version of this – Masters of the Warp. You can choose one of four effects (“Tides”) to be in place at the start of the first battle round, and then in subsequent turns you can attempt to change it through the use of the Warp Shaping psychic power, which is part of the new Dominus discipline. In addition to the Sanctic discipline from the Codex, Grey Knight character models have the option to pick their psychic powers from this discipline – they must choose either the Sanctic or Dominus disciplines, they cannot mix and match. However, there are some really nice powers here, and I do appreciate having more options for my units. Previously, I’ve found myself fielding 12-13 units, meaning the powers were doubled up in an almost random manner. At least now we have more to think about, and I like it!

Especially as one of these new Psychic Powers gives the Grey Knights the chance to replenish command points!

But that’s not all that we have! There is another page of relics to choose from, one of which allows for re-rolls on Psychic Tests and seems to be all the rage in the competitive scene, from what I’ve seen. But that’s not all!

Two more pages of Stratagems, following the pattern that we’ve seen in other books where specific unit types have specific stratagems. Every one of the Grey Knights specific units has their own stratagem, for better or worse – while there are plenty of stratagems that can target across the army. There are quite a few that look really nice, and I’m excited to try some out, like Empyric Surge that seems like it might take some setting-up, but could be good to try!

But wait, there’s more!

Are you getting the impression this book is a must-have for the Grey Knights? Yeah…

The sole datasheet for the Chaplain is here because of the new Litanies of Purity – similar to the Prayers of the Dark Apostle that we’ve seen. The Chaplain knows three Litanies – the Litany of Hate that he had from the codex, plus two from the new list of six in the book. Litanies are “recited” at the start of the battle round on a d6 roll of 3+. Some of them are a bit meh, which is a shame as I’d initially felt like Chaplains were getting a wonderful boost in this series of books, but there a couple there to add range to some weapons, or increase the AP of some weapons which, when combined with certain of the Tides, could give some great effects.

Oh, and we get the now classic name generator that, I’m sure you’ll all agree, is the most important part of any of these books.

The Thousand Sons have the least number of pages devoted to them, with just a couple of pages devoted to the different Cults within the Legion. Each Cult has specific warlord traits and assorted other special rules, which is quite nice but, not being a Thousand Sons player, I can’t really speak to how good these are. But even with only a few pages, it’s still nice to see that GW are giving attention to everybody in these books.


I am really excited to see the addition that the Grey Knights have had from this book. It does leave me with the distinct impression that the Codex is now an incomplete book, though, as there is just so much new stuff in here for them, you can’t really have one without the other. Especially when it comes to the Chaplain, which has perhaps the most benefit here.

As it happens, I’ve recently painted up my special collector’s edition plastic Chaplain in Terminator Armour that is available to new stores when they open. Having set me back around £35 on ebay last December, I knew I wanted to give him to the Grey Knights but had only now gotten round to painting the little devil. I’m quite pleased with the result, anyway – my local GW has got an HQ/Hero painting competition for next Saturday, and I’ll be entering him to see how he gets on!

I’m still working on drawing up a new Grey Knights list, one that might provide me with something interesting to play, so stay tuned for news on that one soon! For sure, I’ll be including another Purgation Squad since they can Overwatch on a 4+ thanks to their new stratagem!

January catch-up!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a while since my last blog post on here – in fact, I hadn’t realised just how long ago it was! Time to catch up, methinks!

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First of all, I read the very wonderful Grey Knights, the first novel in the Grey Knights omnibus, shortly before Christmas. It follows Justicar Alaric as he works alongside Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia to prevent the rogue Inquisitor Valinov from bringing the daemon Ghargatuloth into the universe. As the majority of the Grey Knights have been deployed to the Cadian Gate in an effort to stem the tide of Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade, Alaric only has a small contingent to aid in his task. They track the likely place for Ghargatuloth’s return as somewhere within the Trail of Saint Evisser, and we really delve into the whole world of Imperial saints and the Chaotic corruption there – there are several twists and turns along the way, which I don’t want to spoil here because they were really well done, but suffice it to say it’s definitely worth picking this one up, even sixteen years after publication!

There is so much to enjoy in this novel, even though I found it difficult at times to get the time to actually read it! Having recently made a commitment to getting back into my Grey Knights project, I think this made me enjoy it even more, seeing the way the Grey Knights do battle. We get some really great descriptions of the Fortress-Monastery on Titan, and there is the real sense that Space Marines are, at their heart, warrior monks.

I very rarely read an omnibus as a single book, but rather treat it as the collected individual titles, and come back to it each time I want to read a particular book collected within. However, this is probably the first time I’ve wanted to carry on with the books, and I’m definitely planning to read the second book very soon.

Sadly, painting has not been something that I’ve been enjoying of late. I think I’ve been really out of practice since not having the time after the firstborn came along. Painting is, of course, something that improves over time and, after having a significant break, I’ve found that my brush control has really fallen by the wayside, and as a result I’ve become really frustrated with myself for not producing the sort of miniatures that I want.

I’d been wanting to paint up the House Orlock gangers that I’d started to paint almost two years ago, but a combination of the loss of confidence with a brush, as well as the fact the primer on some of these is a little thick in parts (it’s a grey primer, too, and I hate painting over grey!) has made me give up and strip them.

I’ve been watching Duncan’s video on painting the Sump Dogs, though, and as always, he has inspired me to give them a proper go. I mean, none of the lazy “just give it a drybrush and call it quits!” – I’m going to (try!) and follow this guide to the letter. We shall see how I get on!

Incidentally! How sad is the painting world now that Duncan has left GW?! I was gutted when the news was leaked shortly before Christmas – Duncan’s videos were basically how I learnt to paint!

This classic was, probably, the first miniatures-painting video I ever watched, and the massive collection of videos have been some of my favourites over the years – always come back to them, and I always look for a Duncan video when I’m going to paint something to see what he has to say about it. Hopefully they’re going to keep the archive up there, at any rate!


Model of the Year was announced the other week, and it was none other than the new Abaddon the Despoiler! I’m not sure if that was a shoe-in, though, as my personal choice was the new Keeper of Secrets, which is just such a phenomenal creation, it’s almost unlike anything else they have!

In a year when we had all of the Genestealer Cults stuff, the new Chaos Marines, new Drazhar, Ossiarch Bonereapers, new Slaves to Darkness, new Sisters of Battle – and all of that incredible Warcry stuff!

There were so many amazing new models in 2019, it was definitely a hard call. 2020 is already shaping up to be wonderful, now that we’ve had some of the new Sisters released – that Triumph of St Katherine centrepiece model is just astounding – so I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Hopefully by then, I’ll be more confident with painting once again, and can actually knock out some of these new models!


So yeah, I think I need to get cracking with regaining my confidence when it comes to painting. There are so many miniatures that I have on the back burner of course, so I really need to crack on! I think a lot of this will be helped by going back to basics, to some extent, and trying to re-learn a lot of stuff. It’s definitely going to be worth spending the time to do this, though, as I so many models that could be outright ruined by sloppy (or worse) painting!

I mean, I’m going to be picking up the Triumph of St Katherine, for goodness’ sake! I definitely need to up my game for something so fancy!

The Grey Knights

Hey everybody,
It’s my birthday today, so to celebrate I’m writing about my current Warhammer 40k obsession, the Grey Knights!

I started this project last December, as a bit of a small-scale thing to have a change from all of the other, bigger projects that were swirling around the hobby desk. It started with a single box of miniatures and the Codex, and while I still think it’s quite an understated project in comparison to, say, my Dark Eldar or Necrons, the ranks are growing here, so it’s more than likely going to turn into quite the army before too long!

Today, though, I want to talk more about the lore of the Grey Knights, and some of the reasons for why I find them fascinating. I have actually played a game with the army as well, so I’ll no doubt talk about that also!

The Grey Knights are a chapter of Space Marines created in the closing days of the Horus Heresy by Malcador the Sigillite, right-hand-man to the Emperor (if such a thing can be thought possible), as a sort of last bastion of hope against the daemons of the Warp. As many will no doubt be aware, the Emperor had withdrawn from leading his sons during the Great Crusade to reunite humanity across the galaxy, to instead concentrate on his “webway project”, an attempt to find a faster-than-light travel path through the galaxy that did not rely on the whims of the Warp and its daemons. When Horus fell to Chaos, taking half of the Space Marine Legions with him, the galaxy was slowly overrun with daemonic incursions, as more and more foul rituals were enacted by those Legions falling from the light of the Emperor. As such, Malcador gathered about him a small band of twelve: four mortal men, and eight Space Marines, who would form a core from which to build this new Chapter.

The moon of Titan, in orbit around Saturn, had been provisioned for the foundation of the Grey Knights, and the Space Marines were placed there in secrecy to begin the process of building a psychic defense. The recruits Malcador had discovered were all peerless in their devotion to the God-Emperor of Mankind – some of whom were actually drawn from those Legions who had become corrupted by Chaos, thus showing their purity of spirit. The eight found hundreds of new recruits awaiting the rites of passage to become full Space Marines themselves. The moon of Deimos had also been moved from its orbit around Mars to act as a specially-linked Forge World to serve the fledgling Chapter. As a final defense, Malcador hid the moon in the Warp itself, as the Horus Heresy drew to a close and the Emperor found himself interred within the Golden Throne.

While the four mortal men went on to found the Inquisition, the Space Marines eventually emerged from the Warp during the Second Founding, with their ranks fully formed of a thousand Space Marines. Time had flowed differently in the Warp, of course, and many centuries had passed for them to train. However, not everybody was fully apprised of the existence of Chapter 666, and within a century of the Second Founding, most records of the Grey Knights had been erased from all but the most secure files.

The Inquisition is the direct manifestation of the Emperor’s will, and concerns itself with safeguarding humanity from three distinct threats: the alien (Ordo Xenos), the heretic (Ordo Hereticus) and the daemon (Ordo Malleus). Where Inquisitors are in need of military forces to aid them in their mission, they can call upon the forces of the Deathwatch, Adepta Sororitas, and the Grey Knights, respectively. The Ordo Malleus is considered to be the heart of the Inquisition, as the core tenet for which the organisation was founded – preservation of the Imperium against the forces of Chaos.

The Grey Knights go through rigorous trials before their aspirants can don the aegis armour, and it has been said that only one in a million will have what it takes. Aspirants are drawn from across the Imperium rather than a single or small collection of recruiting worlds, and the Gatherers – those Grey Knights too old or injured to take part in active duty, but whose psychic might is still formidable – also have the ability to recruit from the Black Ships that travel the Imperium, gathering up psykers to fuel the Astronomican. Some select Space Marines chapters also notify the Gatherers if they find a novitiate of particular psychic ability, whom they would consider a likely candidate for the Grey Knights.

In terms of Chapter organisation, there are eight distinct Brotherhoods of warriors, made up in varying degrees from the Grey Knights specific squads – Strike Squads (think Tactical Marines), Purgation Squads (heavy weapons), Interceptor Squads (fast attack), and Terminator Squads. These Brotherhoods are each led by a Grand Master, and fall under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Grand Master. At this point in the 41st millennium, the Supreme Grand Master is the living legend that is Lord Kaldor Draigo, renowned for his insane exploits such as jumping in and out of the Warp at will, battling with Greater Daemons like it’s a walk in the park, etc. In addition to the Brotherhoods, there are also two separate companies – the Purifiers and the Paladins.

The Purifiers are those Grey Knights who are utterly incorruptible, and who reside within the Chambers of Purity. Their very presence in the Warp is anathema to all but the greatest of daemons, and so they are tasked with preservation of the Iron Grimoire – the single record of what dark horror lies trapped on Titan, and against whom the Purifiers form a kind of null-defense. Their numbers are few, though – just 44 men under the leadership of Castellan Crowe – and so they are rarely deployed to the battlefield en masse.

The Paladins are the champions of the Grey Knights, peerless warriors who often serve as the elite bodyguards of the Grand Masters. They function a little like the elite first company of other Space Marines chapters, clad in artificer terminator armour. (One of the distinctions of Grey Knights is that any of the Brotherhoods can afford to field terminators as part of their force, not just the first).

Specialists like Chaplains, Librarians and Techmarines are deployed where they are required, rather than falling under the purview of any one Grand Master.

The arsenal of the Grey Knights contains some of the most expensive, and the most holy of weapons known to the Imperium. It’s also a bit mad, when you think of it.

The Grey Knights are most often seen wielding the Nemesis Force weaponry, psychically-charged weapons that are capable of felling daemons with ease. The power channeled by a Nemesis Force weapon directly corresponds with the psychic power of its wielder. Most common is the Nemesis Force Sword, though lighter Falchions and longer Halberds are also widely used. Nemesis Daemon Hammers combine the destructive potential of the thunder hammer with Nemesis technology to create a weapon few daemons are capable of withstanding. The Nemesis Warding Stave is a more defensive weapon, with a hollow haft that contains refractor-field generators capable of projecting out a gravitic force that can protect the bearer.

While most Grey Knights carry wrist-mounted storm bolters to pack some punch at range, there are also those warriors who carry the more specialized weaponry for the squad. There are three special weapons that are seen wielded by the Grey Knights – the incinerator, the psycannon and the psilencer. The incinerator is basically a fancy flamer, whose promethium reservoir has been blessed against Chaos. The psycannon is similar to a heavy bolter, using psychically-charged, silver-tipped bullets with a negative charge that allows them to pass through any psychic defense a foe may attempt. The psilencer, purported to be of xenos origin, uses the condensed psychic might of its wielder to destabilize the daemonic core of the foe, sending it back to the Warp. Crazy!

Of course, each Grey Knight is a powerful psyker in his own right, and upon induction to the rank of full Space Marine, is given a new name that is itself a fragment of the true name of a specific daemon. Thus, while the physical weapons these warriors wield are capable of striking a grievous blow to the denizens of the Warp, and his mind capable of impossible feats, even the Grey Knight’s own name is a weapon to be used against the Archenemy.

Grey Knights are just so over-the-top, I love them! Dating back to the very beginnings of Warhammer 40k, being introduced in the Slaves to Darkness supplement to Rogue Trader, they were expanded upon during subsequent editions through such infamous books as Codex: Daemonhunters and the like. In third edition, army lists were expanded from simply using terminators, to giving a greater flexibility of squad-building. Fifth edition saw new plastic models for the army, and expanded the list to include the four infantry builds from the Strike Squad box that we still have today. Paladins and Terminators got similar treatment, and the Nemesis Dreadknight was introduced as a new choice.

It’s really the fifth edition Codex, which was specifically a Grey Knights Codex as opposed to the Ordo Malleus, Inquisition, or Daemonhunters book, from where all the hate and complaints of being “overpowered” come. Written by Matt Ward, the book includes the hilarious Kaldor Draigo and his antics, slaying daemons before breakfast and the like, and such rules as the ability of any Nemesis Force weapon to instantly kill an enemy. Inquisitors were still in the book, which was nice, but the amount of hate it gained seemed to mean that subsequent Codices have been pared down, to the point where Grey Knights in 8th edition, while hardly unplayable, are certainly difficult to get anywhere with.

For starters, they’re expensive. I mean, I played a game at 1200 points, and had around 20 models on the table. The new Chapter Approved has helped a lot, of course, so that I can now field an actual battalion at 1200 points, but it was really quite surprising to see how many points these models weigh in at!

They may be expensive, points-wise, but they do look so damn fancy, I absolutely adore them. While I’ve often said that the Neophyte Hybrids are my favourite basic troops unit for the amount of detailing they have, the basic Grey Knights Strike Squad just looks so damn cool. They’re like the fanciest of Space Marines, with the most amazing, baroque armour – I just love them! And don’t even get me started on the Paladins! More than perhaps any other force in Warhammer 40k, I think these guys really show off that Gothic aesthetic so well. Well, maybe the new Sisters will give them a run for their money…

The level of detailing on these models is just amazing, and playing an army of psychic space monks is always pretty hilarious! As I said, I have actually managed to play a game with them (finally!) so thought I’d ramble a bit about that now as well, now that I have some experience with them!

I was playing against Chaos Space Marines, and I guessed I’d be up against a lot of daemons as JP had recently taken delivery of the Khorne half of Wrath and Rapture, so Grey Knights were a useful choice there. Playing Maelstrom of War is always difficult, as the luck of the cards can often mean losing despite playing a better game overall, you know? I didn’t get first turn, though, and so my army was really quite decimated by the time I got to even do anything. As with any elite army, each loss hurts all the more…

Every model being a psyker meant that I really had to get to grips with the Psychic Phase this time. I had visions of psychic powers bouncing round the table, as my HQs were given the more protective powers while some of the more offensive ones went to the troops – trying to remember the sequence was tough, but I think I did manage to get some decent play here. Across the turn, I managed to dish out over 40 unsaved wounds, and basically wiped the entire daemonic contingent of 20 Bloodletters and 3 Bloodcrushers from the table, with them having done precisely nothing to me. So that was useful!

However, my ability to play the actual mission was greatly stunted by the fact that I had so few warriors left to do anything with, and when JP used his Master of Executions to wipe out my Purifier squad in a single swing, I pretty much knew it was game over for me! The game lasted just one and a half rounds, as I conceded at the start of my second turn, being down something like 8VP to 0!

Like I said, though, Chapter Approved has been very kind to Grey Knights in particular, and my list for the game has seen around a 300 point reduction, overall, so I am intending to shift a couple of things around and create a battalion for the next outing for the Sons of Titan! That does mean, however, that I need to get a third Strike Squad box…

This has changed somewhat since the first Grey Knights list that I drew up, I must say! Crucially, I’ve swapped out the venerable dreadnought for perhaps the most divisive model in the line, the Nemesis Babycarrier Dreadknight. I’ve come round pretty much full-circle on this unit, from not wanting to give one house room, to seeing it as a good focal point for the army. They’re certainly bigger models than I’d been expecting, at any rate!

Psychic Powers are still something of a mystery to me, as I don’t quite know what is best with what. Astral Aim, allowing you to target units that you can’t see (as well as denying them cover saves) is perhaps obvious for the Purgators, who will be doing the most shooting. However, these powers allow you to target friendly units within 12-18″, so I’m going with the idea of giving them out almost at random, because everybody should always have a viable target. At least, until I know the army better, that’s my plan!

Hence, my mental image of psychic powers going off much like a ricochet…

I’ve really enjoyed deep-diving into the codex these past few weeks, and coming up with the list. Playing with the army was a bit confusing, but I’m really looking forward to trying them out in this new list, just as soon as I can get everything built, at least!

In the meantime…

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Should see me through the festive season! #nowReading

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The Grey Knights (again!)

Hey everybody!
Remember this post from last year, when I started with my plans for a Grey Knight army? Well, surprisingly, I haven’t managed to get very far with them over the last twelve months but, as it is clearly that time of year again, I’m now poring over the codex, and planning once more to get round to the massed psykers of Chapter 666!

Almost a year to the day (it was a year yesterday), I’m once more planning how to bring this army to the tabletop. Since I wrote up the original blog, I’ve not really done a great deal of work on them, truth be told. It was always my intention to build it as a sort of slow-grow thing, where I would build a unit, and paint it, then move on. So often in the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of building up a whole truck load of models, and then found myself almost overwhelmed and just shelving everything. Not wanting to fall into that trap again, I’ve therefore decided to pace myself, and go at things on a much smaller scale.

Last winter, I built up the contents of a Strike Force box, as well as adding two HQ units to the mix: a Grand Master built from the Paladins kit, and a Brotherhood Champion built from bits. It’s only a patrol detachment currently, and weighs in around the 450 points mark (pre Chapter Approved 2019, of course!) so I will need to get my act together here if I want to get in some games with it!

I’ve bought the almost-obsolete Doomglaive Dreadnought, an awesome model from Forge World that is now, inexplicably, discontinued. However, since I had built it up at the weekend, I think it has come to pass that I’ve been sold a recast, with some fairly toxic smells coming from it when I was cleaning it up! I’ve decided to plough on regardless, but the more I think about it, the more I’m probably going to go for the regular Venerable Dreadnought in my list, as time goes on.

Anyway, enough of that, where do I stand with the army right now?

So far, though, this is the entirety of what I have built. Yes, I know, I’ve built a lot more without getting it all painted, but that’s just a fact of life where my hobby is concerned! I’ve got a game planned in for Monday, my first since becoming a daddy, so we’ve agreed to have a small 1000-point battle. My buddy JP has got more daemons for his Heretic Astartes list, so I think it might be an ideal opportunity to bring out the Grey Knights and see what I’ve been missing for the last twelve months!

In order to bring the total up nearer 1000, I’m hoping to get a Purgation Squad built, with three psycannons for some heavier support, but I don’t know whether that will be a thing, so I’m erring on the side of caution for the time being and not including them in the list.

Grey Knights, perhaps more than any other army that I’ve played so far, appear to rely a lot on overlapping buffs. There aren’t many aura effects – the Grand Master allows for re-rolls and the Brother-Captain extends the Smite range, but that’s about it. Instead, they seem to rely on psychic powers going off that will buff each other as they progress through the battle. Reading tactica generally confuses me, anyway, but I’d been so hung up on the idea of units needing to know a power to benefit from it, I’d not really thought about it in terms of one unit using the power on another unit. So, for instance, it doesn’t matter if I give Hammerhand to the Strike Squad, when the Paladin Squad might be the best target for it – the Strike Squad can simply target the Paladins when they use it. Thus, the mental image of some crazy psychic shenanigans has been born, with eight psychic powers going off per turn!

It should be glorious!

It is important to me, however, that I don’t go too crazy with this army when I get going with it. I want to try, as much as possible, to stay true to the initial plan of painting up the units that I build as I go, and not end up in the situation where I’m looking at a whole desk full of unpainted models! The game on Monday will certainly be using grey plastic (but they are Grey Knights…chortle…) and, while I do hope to build up that Purgation squad, that will then be the limit, and I’ll set to work on painting what I have. The Purifiers are so close to being finished, it’s almost tangible, so I have no excuse to still be in this position in another twelve months’ time!

Looking ahead, I think Grey Knights could be a really fun project to use alongside the Sisters of Battle, as they’re both chambers militant of the Inquisition that work very well together: Sisters pursuing the Heretic, and Grey Knights pursuing the Daemon. Heretic Astartes are known for summoning daemons, after all, so it’s always a possibility that both elements will have stuff to do. Indeed, it could well be the sort of army that the old Imperial Agents codex inspired! Might even slip in an inquisitor!

Hobby Goals check-in: January 2019

Hey everybody!
While it’s not technically the end of the month just yet, I have an impromptu day off today, so thought it would be nice to check in and see where I’m up to as regards the hobby progress for this month. My original list of goals didn’t have any kind of time period against each one – so I didn’t want to finish painting the Deathwatch models I have in January, for instance, but I thought it’d nevertheless be neat to see how things are going!

So then, for those of you who may have forgotten, here’s a reminder of what I’d like to accomplish in 2019:

Work out what I want to do with the Tau army, if anything
This one hasn’t been quite as difficult as I’d first thought it might be, as it happens. I’d been thinking about what I wanted to do, and at one point I did feel like just getting rid of the whole lot. I initially bought into Tau because, if I’m being honest with myself, I was growing impatient waiting for the Dark Eldar codex to arrive, and wanted to play a xenos army with a book of their own. Being a completely different sort of project for me, I attacked it with relish and bought thousands of units (well, a lot) in a short space of time, built most of it, and started playing. Problem number one, therefore, was the fact I was playing games with an army that I hadn’t painted, which is never really advisable because it means you rarely get round to actually painting them up. Which has been my problem ever since, as it happens!

I’ve got a lot of stuff built, most of it primed, but I still have plenty of stuff just in boxes, so for my first efforts here, I’ve decided to get rid of the boxed stuff. I’m then going to look at what I have left, draw up a list or two, and see what I think from there. I think I still want to keep some of the big suits, so I’ll be keeping hold of things like that second Riptide, and probably all of the Crisis Suits as well, but I’m considering getting rid of the second Commander (not sure yet). I’m also going to see if it’s worth it selling off a lot of the bits that I’ve been keeping a hold of. This hobby isn’t cheap, after all, and so I’m thinking it might be worth it to sell off things like the fusion blasters and whatnot, in an attempt to then finance armies that I do want!

So far, then, good progress has been made with trying to sort out the Tau!

Continue painting the Deathwatch models I have
This one ties in to another blog that will be making its appearance tomorrow, but suffice it to say that I feel like most of the New Year/early January period was spent writing and re-writing lists for the Deathwatch army, before then building up more veterans ready for painting. So I suppose progress hasn’t so much been made with this one, as reversed, because I now have almost twice as many Deathwatch models as I had this time last year!

But I’m chipping away at them, and hopefully soon there will be finished units that I can unveil here on the blog!

Continue to build up and paint the 1500-point Grey Knight list
This one has somewhat suffered for the last point, but in recent days, I do feel like I’m getting myself back on track as regards this project. I am definitely feeling Grey Knights at the moment, so I’m excited to get this show on the road! While I feel like I’m swamped in Deathwatch and Tau miniatures that are just sat there, primed and taunting me, I’ve not been quite so prodigious with the Grey Knights, having a Strike Squad built up and primed, but nothing else, meaning I can concentrate on painting the Purifiers and the Grand Master.

So far, I’ve been making some pretty decent progress, I think, so I’m really quite pleased to be going down this route for my new army for 2019!

On a side note, I’ve recently managed to pick up the pieces for the Doomglaive Dreadnought that has been discontinued by Forge World, so I’m hoping that will turn out to be okay! The weapons are coming from the US, and the main body from Germany, so I’m always a bit nervy of such things turning out well…

Anyway!

Paint some Nighthaunt and see what AoS is all about
Of all of my goals, I think this is the one that I have succeeded with the greatest. While I’ve not fully painted the entire list just yet, I’ve nevertheless managed to get quite a lot done – so they’re not just bare plastic – and have played a total of two games so far. To put that into perspective, I played seven games of 40k during 2018 altogether! So far, then, I think I’m doing quite well with playing games. How are the models looking?

Well, there is still quite a bit to be done, of course, and I do think that miniatures that have been primed white look just dreadful until they are actually fully painted. But overall, it’s good to be actually seeing an improvement with them on the whole, I feel!

I’m really pleased with how my AoS exploration has been going, as well, as it has gotten me excited for playing, which is making me want to paint more, which is nothing but a good thing!

Of course, I have been a bit guilty of running before I can crawl, and have been planning out all manner of different army projects of late. So for AoS in particular, I’ve been taking steps to reduce that significantly, and have decided to get rid of the Idoneth Deepkin models. I know that I’ve only recently been building army lists for them and everything, but I do feel that, of all the armies I’ve looked into so far, they’re just not doing it for me. The models look fantastic, don’t get me wrong. It’s just the way the army seems to want to play, I just can’t seem to get into it. So I’ve taken back what I can, and will be selling the rest off shortly.

This isn’t meant to be some kind of slow abandonment of fantasy, however. Rather than going wide, I’ve instead decided to go deep into the Death faction, and will be broadening my Nighthaunt into the Legions of Nagash at some point, giving me the perfect excuse I need to buy the big guy again! Both of my AoS games have been at the local store against the same guy, who is Chaos through-and-through, so I think it’s perhaps a better approach to just stick to one faction and really go into that.

So there we have it! Hopefully there will be more exciting updates for you all next month, when I hope to actually have some finished units to show off!

Sunday catch-up

Hey everybody!
It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve been here on my blog, so I thought it might be time to take a look at what I’ve been up to, and what I might have missed in the recent days!

So this is exciting then! I am a huge Ghostbusters fan, as I’ve mentioned here when my blog turned two in 2016. That same year, of course, we had the reboot movie come out, with an all-female cast, a movie that I didn’t feel the need to watch as it just felt all too unnecessary. I’m not trying to make a chauvinist point, though I suppose it does sound like it. It’s just a franchise that didn’t need a reboot.

I read an article recently on movieweb that talked about how the recent trend for modern sequels has become a thing, as opposed to the total reboot of a beloved film series, and if the rumourmill surrounding Ghostbusters 3 is anything at all to go by, we could have a success on the way next summer. There’s talk of a Stranger Things vibe, which I’ve not yet seen but heard good things about. Now, given that the world has moved on from 1980s-style kids-on-an-adventure, I guess it won’t quite be that way, but I’m looking forward to seeing how a modern sequel to these films would work. If there are enough call-backs to them, without trying to keep too much in that re-hash frame of mind.

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Starting 2019 in style!! #nowReading #GauntsGhosts

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I’ve been reading the fourth Gaunt’s Ghosts novel since New Year, and finally got round to finishing it the other day. It was a good read, though did feel a bit like a slog at times, given the storyline. Gaunt is forced to make a tactical error when rooting out some Chaos Cultists on Hagia, the homeworld of Saint Sabbat herself, and so is given a final task to evacuate the holy relics of Saint Sabbat before the world is overtaken by the Archenemy. It’s quite the slog into the hills to recover those relics, but there were some nice bits, and it’s always good to read about Chaos cults.

On the subject of books…

Remember back in December, I took a look a look at the first book in the Enforcer series, Crossfire? Well my fellow blogger wordaholicsanonymous has also published his own review of the book that we read as a buddy-read at the end of last year. I feel like he’s done a better review than me, and his copy looks like part of the Warhammer 40k Legends series, so has some extra fancy bits in it that my omnibus was missing, so if you’re interested in a different take, please go check out what he has to say!

Reading Azazel’s progress with the Balewind Vortex has reminded me that I was going to be painting up some terrain of my own this month! I’d decided to start work on one of the Promethium Reactors that I have, so I’ll start work on that shortly. At least it’s already built and primed! Hopefully I can start to make a dent in the massive amount of scenery I have waiting for some paint, anyway! With regard the Grand Master of my Grey Knights army, however, he’s been coming along quite well!

I’ve been struggling a bit to really get into painting stuff, though, but I continue building like there’s no tomorrow! I’ve been trying to get my Grey Knights and Deathwatch armies into positions where I feel like I could happily start playing them. It’s a bit more urgent with the latter, as I’m going to be entering a doubles tournament in the summer (with any luck!) alongside my mate Kev’s Grey Knights. I think I’ve been through about a dozen iterations of the army list, but finally have 1000 points built and ready to go!

It’s been a slightly different story with Age of Sigmar and my Nighthaunt, though, who had their second outing last Monday in a three-way match against Maggotkin of Nurgle and the Ironjawz!

To be fair, they didn’t do a great deal of anything, though it was an interesting game to see what everything could do. Definitely enjoying myself with fantasy right now, I must say. I’ve been excitedly thinking about plans for a Legions of Nagash army, incorporating one of my favourite models in the range, Arkhan the Black! Thinking back to such models as the Mortarchs, which came out back in the End Times, has also got me thinking about a Skaven plan when the new box set comes out, as I think steampunk rat-men could be quite a hilarious project! I’m sure I’ve got a Thanquol & Boneripper still knocking about somewhere from back in the day! I think it could also be time to dig my Deepkin out, as well!

So with all of this stuff, and the anticipated imminent arrival of the Genestealers, I feel like I’m going to have my hands full with a lot of projects on the go! I’m not yet convinced by Kill Team: Arena, which feels a little like it may not be the product for me, though I am excited to get my hands on the Primus Gunslinger model that’s coming in the next faction expansion for the game!

I’ll have a proper hobby catch-up at the end of the month, anyway, and see how I’m getting along against my hobby resolutions!

2018 in review

Happy New Year, everyone!
It’s time to go all traditional, and all, and look back at my hobby year for 2018!

It’s been quite the year, I have to say! Despite some monumental events, including getting married in September, I’m glad to have been able to keep going with hobby stuff. I’ve definitely built more than I’ve painted, but of course that is always the case, really! Starting really quite early, I built this beautiful beast 12 months ago, though he sadly still languishes in the same state after all this time!

I really need to get a move on and make some decisions as regards my Tyranids.

I’ve done quite well with the Great Reanimation of my Necrons, getting a good number of units painted up, including the beautiful new Cryptek model. I’ve still got a way to go with the army, for sure, but having only had one unit of Immortals painted in the new Thokt dynasty scheme back in 2017, this year has seen a real surge! Splendid stuff.

2018 saw me start a couple of armies, most notably the Tau. I’m in a bit of a weird position with this army now, as I feel like it was a bit of a distraction for me while I was waiting for the Dark Eldar codex. I did enjoy building up the models, for sure, and I think there is still a place for them in my collection, but probably nowhere near as many models as I have ended up with! So I’m going to be looking through both the Tau and Tyranid collections in an effort to thin out some of the dead wood, so to speak, and make sure I only keep enough models for small forces of each that I want to actually play with. Famous last words, probably, but still!

I’ve made significant strides with yet another xenos force, the Genestealer Cults!

I was really quite surprised that I even managed to finish these guys, as I’ve been working at them for a long time now, but always seemed to be putting them off for one reason or another. Kill Team, in that respect, was a good thing for me, as it made me finish painting them up, and indeed to get moving with more models for the force:

Being a horde army, though, I’m still nowhere near to having the required number of models for the force, but I think I’m suitably inspired to keep going. Slow and steady, and all that!

I’ve been steadily progressing with my Dark Eldar, though having painted up pretty much the entire army in 2017, 2018 has definitely been a slower year for the dark kin. I’ve got plenty built up, for sure, mainly due to having formed the plans for the army during 7th edition, but we’ll see how many models get painted during 2019…

In terms of smaller scale games, I’ve painted up some Van Saar gangers for Necromunda, and have started work on the Elucidian Starstriders, but this is where things get interesting, as I started looking back into fantasy after all these years, with the new iteration of Warhammer Underworlds.

It was a lot of fun, and it has led to getting myself into a very ghostly mess!

The Nighthaunt models are beautiful, but I’m also vacillating between Idoneth Deepkin and Chaos Beastmen in creating my first army for the new Age of Sigmar. It’s definitely going to be one of them, though I’ll most likely also be picking up some of these new grots models in time. I do enjoy squigs!

Finally, I’ve been working on some of the Chaos Cultists that I’ve had hanging about for years, inspired by the weird and wonderful underbelly of 40k that we got to glimpse in Blackstone Fortress!

This game was quite the boon to me, as it inspired not only the Cultists but also work on the Electro-Priests that had similarly been hanging about for years – all in all, then, it was very much well-received!

I wonder what 2019 will see for my hobby! Hopefully some of those models that I’ve built up over the last year will see themselves finished!!


I’ve definitely enjoyed my hobby time this year, but in order to make sure I stay focused during the coming year, I’ve drawn up a list of hobby resolutions as a lot of folks have been doing over on instagram:

There is a nice mix, I feel, between some of the more wide-ranging stuff with the Grey Knights and the Nighthaunt, and more focused goals for things like the Neophytes and Doomsday Ark. There is bound to be more that distracts me as the year goes on, of course – I’m looking forward to the Genestealer Cults getting their bikers, for sure! Whether Inquisitors come out for Kill Team is anyone’s guess, though I’m fairly positive I’ll go heavily into this one!

I’m going to be writing up my Hobby Progress blogs on the last day of each month as 2019 goes on, so it should keep me motivated to stay on track. Exciting times ahead, at any rate!!