Codex Adeptus Mechanicus: Sydonian Dragoons and the Stygies VIII Forgeworld

I think one of the “sleeper” units from the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex (and perhaps across the 40K meta in general), is the Sydonian Dragoon squadron using the rules from the “Stygies VIII” Forgeworld.

The Stygies VIII dogma gives all enemy units a -1 to Hit when shooting at its units from greater than 12” away (so, basically identical to Raven Guard and Alpha Legion tactics, except that it applies to ALL Stygies VIII model types, not just infantry/bikes/dreadnoughts). This is already an outstanding dogma, especially given the heavy shooting focus of 8th edition right now, but it is even better when combined with Sydonian Dragoons and some of the Stratagems available with them.

Specifically, all Sydonian Dragoons get the “Incense Cloud” special rule, which grants them a natural -1 to Hit for all shooting attacks against them… combined with Stygies VIII dogma and now all units shooting at them from outside 12” have a -2 to Hit (so Space Marines and their equivalents will hit on 5+s, elite characters will hit on 4+s, and Orks cannot hit the Sydonian Dragoons at all!). While the Dragoons are naturally only T6 with 6W and a 4+ save (so, pretty light-weight as far as vehicles go), you can use the Shroudpsalm Canticle to give them “free” cover (upping their save to a 3+), which combines with the -2 to Hit and their built-in 6++ save to make them VERY difficult to kill. For example, on average it would take the following to kill a SINGLE Sydonian Dragoon from the Stygies VIII faction:

-9 x BS3+ Lascannon shots

-16 x BS3+ Overcharged Plasma shots

-108 x BS3+ Heavy Bolter shots


As you can see, with all these layered buffs a unit of Sydonian Dragoons are quite survivable against all kinds of shooting (their -2 to Hit for shooting attacks against them also makes Overcharging Plasma shot when firing at them VERY dangerous, with overheats occurring on a 1,2, or 3 for most units). In terms of mobility, each Dragoon has a 10” movement as part of its base profile (which never degrades, no matter how many wounds it has lost), making it one of the fastest Adeptus Mechanicus units in the codex. On top of this, for 1CP you can use the special Stygies VIII “Clandestine Infiltration” stratagem to set up a squadron of Dragoons anywhere on the battlefield that is at least 9” away from the enemy, putting them right up in your opponent’s face immediately (and keeping them completely safe from hostile firepower until they arrive)… importantly, this occurs after all deployment/roll to seize is complete, but before the first player turn, meaning that the Dragoons still get to move when your turn come.

This means that, if you have first turn, or if the Dragoons survive enemy shooting for one turn, they can Infiltrate 9” away, then move up to 10”, guaranteeing that they are 1” away from an enemy unit and that they will make their Charge roll! Alternately, you can use the special Adeptus Mechanicus “Dunestriders” stratagem that allows Ironstriders/Dragoons to advance 2D6” (vice the normal d6”) for an average of 17” movement (and max potential 22”) per turn to get them into position to grab an objective or make a charge in subsequent battle rounds.

Speaking of making the charge, with their superior mobility and survivability, Sydonian Dragoons have the ability to hit VERY hard with the help of another new Stratagem, “Conqueror Doctrina Imperative.” This Stratagem affects any selected Skitarii unit and, for 1 CP, gives them +1 to hit with their close combat attacks for a turn (or +2 to Hit for units with Broad Spectrum Data Tether or Enhanced Data Tether, which applies to Sydonian Dragoons). This not only gives Dragoons a 2+ to Hit with all their attacks for a turn, but makes it so that, instead of getting three hits for every roll of 6+, they get three Hits for every roll of 4+ with their Taser Lances. So, what does this look like practically on the tabletop? A unit of 6 Sydonian Dragoons will generate 18 attacks on the charge… with “Conqueror Doctrina Imperative” activated, that means they hit with 15 of these, plus another 18 hits from the “exploding” Taser attacks on 4+s, giving you an average total of 33 x S8 AP- D2 hits on the charge. This will translate to the following average damage against the targets listed below:

-Guardsman Equivalents – 16-18 dead models

-Marine Equivalents s – 8-9 dead models

-Terminator Equivalents – 4-5 dead models

-Rhino Equivalents – 14-16 wounds (1 dead Rhino)

-Land Raider Equivalents – 4-6 wounds

-Wraithknights – 10-12 wounds

-Roboute Guilliman – 6-8 wounds


As you can see, this is very substantial output for a single unit of Dragoons on the charge, allowing them to effectively take on a whole spectrum of potential targets efficiently (you can also Infiltrate in a Stygies VIII Techpriest or Dominus with the Omniscient Mask Relic nearby to make the Sydonian Dragoons even more accurate on the charge/generate even more hits, if you really want to amp up the damage even further).

Finally, with all of these abilities in the mobility, survivability, and combat power departments, the Sydonian Dragoons are remarkably affordable, costing only a Fast Attack slot in one of your detachments and just over 400 points for a full units of six of them. Even outside of close combat they can be very effective at grabbing objectives, screening the rest of you army from enemy assault units, and/or playing a role in the psychological part of the game by threatening critical parts of his army with a fast-moving, hard-hitting assault unit. Whether you are playing a pure Adeptus Mechanicus army or an “Imperial soup” style force, it will be hard to go wrong with a unit or two of these mobile, hard-hitting walkers in your task force.



Index Space Wolves: Wolf Guard Bikers –“Viking Dragoons” — Battle Group

Continuing to look at various factions here and what tactical options they have on the tabletop, including armies that do not have an 8th edition codex yet.

Something that has stood out to me for a while now, and even more so after closer analysis, is the potential effectiveness of a “shooty” Wolf Guard Biker battle group, especially given the new rules for ranged weapons in 8th edition. Consider the following:


-10 x Wolf Guard Bikers (all with Combi-Plasmas and Stormshields)

-Rune Priest on Bike (with “Storm Caller” psychic power)

-Wolf Lord on Bike (with Stormshield/Thunderhammer)

-Rhino Primaris


The idea for this Battle Group is to put the WG Bikers up front, followed closely by the Lord/Rune Priest/Rhino Primaris. The Rune Priest casts “Storm Caller” as early as he can (hopefully you have first turn), giving all nearby units the benefit as if they were in cover… so the WG Bikers, Wolf Lord Biker, and Rune Priest Biker himself all gain, in effect, a 2+ armor save. Combine this with the 3++ on the Wolf Lord/Wolf Guard Bikers, plus 2W per Wolf Guard, and right out the gate you have a high level of survivability.

In terms of mobility, of course everything but the Rhino Primaris is riding a Space Marine Bike, meaning they have a 14″ move and an automatic 6″ Advance (or 20″ total move) every turn. If you are not already in shooting range on Turn 1 with the 14″ move, then this can almost guarantee that they will be within engagement distance by turn 2 at the latest. Additionally, this superior mobility combines with the strong survivability mentioned above to enable the Battle Group to effectively grab (and hold, if required) objectives all game long.

Finally, and most importantly, is the combat power of this force, especially the shooting. The Rhino Primaris “boosts” the WG Biker’s to Hit rolls by +1, not only making them more accurate, but allowing them to Overcharge their Combi-Plasmas without any fearing of Overheating and killing themselves…. this allows the unit to put out 20 x S8 AP-3 D2 shots at 12″ range, PLUS another 40 x S4 AP0 D1 shots from the Twin Bolters on their Bikes (remember, in 8th edition, you can shoot every weapon on a model, unless it is a Pistol or Grenade, and you can also shoot at different targets, so the Bolters can go against light/medium infantry and the Plasma shots against vehicles/monsters/heavy infantry).

Alternately, if you are just interested in putting out as many shots as possible, then don’t overcharged the plasma and instead shoot with 20 regular Plasma shots at BS3+, 20 Bolter shots at BS3+, and 40 Bolter shots at BS2+… this can let the WG Bikers deal with Conscript blobs, masses of cheap Orks or Gaunts, and the infamous Brimstone Horror spam, etc. etc. Add in to all of this the re-rolls of 1s to Hit from the nearby Wolf Lord and you have about a 97% accuracy for any shooting by the WG Bikers (and again, you can split their fire between targets as appropriate, so it doesn’t all have to become “overkill” on a single enemy unit).

In terms of the final phase, close combat, the WG Bikers have 2A base each, even without close combat upgrades, and anything they shoot at ought to be significantly weakened before they charge it, especially with the help of the Wolf Lord and his re-rolls to Hit of 1 aura and individual close combat prowess to support them. Provided you are willing to pay the extra points (they are already quite pricy with Combi-Plasmas), then you can kit some or all of the WG Bikers out with PWs, PFs, Frost Swords, Wolf Claws, etc. to taste, making them into a potent assault unit on top of their already powerful shooting abilities.

If you really want to go “all-in” for making the Wolf Guard effective at close combat, you can also add in Logan Grimnar and Arjac Rockfist, who can deep strike in via their Terminator Armor and buff the WG Bikers with +1A, re-rolls to Wound of 1s, Re-roll of all to Hits, and making them immune to Morale… all these buffs taken together, plus any special close combat weapons and 2A base, make them very effective in the assault phase.

The key to making this whole unit work, I think, keeping the Rhino Primaris alive and close by to the WG Bikers, since the +1 to Hit for shooting really takes them over the top… while decently durable with T7 and a 3+ save, the Rhino Primaris can be destroyed pretty quickly by focus fire from your opponent, so shielding it, providing other distracting targets for your opponent, and/or adding  in an Iron Priest to repair lost wounds on it would probably be key to making this entire battle group function effectively all game long.

Index Dark Angels: Azrael “gunline” Battle Group

 So, as I have been playing around with how to make an efficient Imperium “firebase” that is not based around Guilliman and UM Razorback/ Devastator spam and is also durable enough to “take a punch” and still survive long enough to hit back (i.e. survive enemy Alpha Strike, if you don’t get first turn), one thing that jumped out at me is the efficiency of three particular Dark Angel units:

[1] Azrael — For only 36 MBs, Azrael brings A TON to a list, especially to a Gunline style list. Not only does he provide the usual Chapter Master 6″ aura of re-rolls for all to Hits, but he also provides a 6″ “bubble” of 4++ save to ALL friendly Dark Angel models (so this includes vehicles, characters, himself, etc., etc.). On top of this, he gives a “bonus” CP for being your Warlord, has solid shooting himself in the form of a Master-crafted Combi-Plasma that shoots at BS2+ (with re-rolls to Hit, of course), and is a VERY solid close combat fighter as well, with 5 x S6 AP-3 D3 damage attacks a turn, all at WS2+ and with the ability to generate Mortal Wounds on a roll of 6+ to Wound. Put it all together, he improves the offensive potential and durability of a Dark Angels Gunline, gives you more CP to play with, and can even serve as a strong “counter-assault” hero if enemy melee units get too close.

[2] Dark Shroud — Most people are already aware of how potent this Fast Attack choice vehicle is, as it gives all friendly DA units within 6″ the ability to reduce enemy to Hit rolls when shooting at them by -1… for only about 30 MBs, this can make numerous DA models significantly more survivable, especially when coupled with a nearby Azrael (so units get both the -1 to Hit bonus and a guaranteed 4++ save on top of their normal save). The Darkshroud itself is pretty survivable, with T6, 9W, a 3+ save, a 4++ Invul (if Azrael is nearby), and -1 to Hit it for any enemy shooting (i.e. on average, it would take 11-12 BS3+ Lascannon shots to kill a Dark Shroud, so your opponent will not be able to remove this “lynchpin” unit easily). Finally, the Darkshroud with an Assault Cannon can add some additional supporting firepower itself and, in a pinch, can “dash” out 13-18″ and grab an objective, if you are desperate at the end of a game.

[3] Rapier Carrier (with Quad Launcher) — A Forgeworld artillery unit (Heavy Support choice) available to all Astartes armies (except Grey Knights, of course), the Rapier Carrier with Quad Launcher only costs 17 MBs per model (this includes the two man Space Marine crew), is T5, has 4W, and has a 3+ save in its baseline profile. More importantly, it shoots at BS3+ and, with the Quad Mortar, has the option of using either Shatter Shells (Heavy 4, 24” range, S8 AP-2 D3 damage) or Thunderfire Shells (4D3 shots, 48” range, S5 AP0 D1, can shoot at targets not in LOS) each time it fires. As you can see, for the point cost, that is very potent damage output, especially given the versatility that the two different types of shells provide against a whole range of different unit types (the Rapier Carrier with Quad Launcher is kind of like the Deathwatch Veterans of fire support units I think). Obviously, even by themselves, a whole “battery” of Rapier Carriers can provide the basis of a highly effective fire base for your army.

So, now, how to integrate all of these elements into a single Battle Group? Imagine the following:




-Dark Shroud w/ Assault Cannon

-6 x Rapier Carriers with Quad Launchers 

This entire battle group comes in at just under 900 points, so in a 2000 point game, you still have more than half your points left to either build additional elements of the Gunline, add in “bubble wrap” units, and/or create a potent assault or mobile element to your forces. Additionally, between Azrael, the detachment, and your “base” Command Points, this gives you 5 CPs out the gate, before you even fill out the rest of your army (i.e. you could easily add another Battalion for 8 CPs total or perhaps even make a full up Brigade with the remaining 1100 points, giving you a whopping 14 CPs!!).

Obviously, the idea with this battle group is maximize all the overlapping buffs of Azrael, the DA Lieutenant, and the Darkshroud to enhance both the shooting and durability of the Rapier Carriers. Looking at the two different ammunition types, we have the following average damage output when they all six artillery pieces are shooting with the buffs from Azrael and the Lieutenant:

24 x Shatter Shell shots at 24″ range–

**Against GEQs – 20-21 dead models

**Ork Mobz – 20-21 dead models

**Against MEQs – 13-14 dead models

**Against T4 2W  Primaris units – 13-14 dead models

**Against TEQs – 10-11 dead models

**Against Centurions – 8-9 dead models

**Against Rhino-equivelants – 33-34 wounds (or 3 dead Rhinos)

**Against Land Raider equivelants – 18-19 wounds (or 1 dead Land Raider)

**Against Stormraven equivelants – 27-28 wounds (or 2 dead Stormravens)

**Against Imperial Knight equivelants – 24-25 wounds (or 1 dead Imperial Knight)

While the range of the Shatter Shells can be a limiting factor, if deployed properly and using the rest of your army to “funnel” his forces into the range fan of the Rapier Carriers, you can see above how devastating this firepower can be… basically, you can “one shot” a Land Raider or Imperial Knight every turn or, alternately, you can devastate multiple squads of medium-heavy infantry every shooting phase (you can split the Rapier Carrier shooting across up to six different enemy units, if you so choose).

Now, looking at the Thunderfire Shells, you have the following average damage output (when buffed by Azrael and a DA Lieutenant):

24D3 x Thunderfire Shell shots at 48″ range –

**Against GEQs – 22-23 dead models

**Against Ork Mobz – 27-28 dead models

**Against MEQs – 11-12 dead models

**Against T4 2W Primaris units – 5-6 dead models

**Against TEQs – 2-3 dead models

**Against Centurions – 1-2 dead models

 Against Heavy Infantry, the Thunderfire Shells are vastly less efficient than the Shatter Shells, and even against lighter troops (like massed Conscripts or Cultists or Gaunts or Orks), they are better, but not overwhelmingly so. So, why even use them? Two reasons… one, range and, two, indirect fire… with a 48″ reach and the ability to fire at units completely out of line of sight, the Thunderfire Shells give you the ability to begin influencing the game Turn 1, tearing up all kinds of light-medium infantry and freeing up the battlefield for the remaining 1100 points of your army to maneuver in, seize objectives, charge your opponent’s Gunline, etc. etc. Also, with the ability to render an entire Ork Mob or Conscript blob combat ineffective (if not wiped out entirely) every shooting phase, you can undercut entire portions of your opponent’s strategy, especially if it hinges on board control, using cheap infantry hordes to “screen” his main forces or block deep-striking allies, etc.

Finally, beyond the firepower detailed above, with support from Azrael and the Dark Shroud, the Rapier Carriers are remarkably survivable for their points costs. Below is the average number of shots it would take to kill a single Rapier Carrier, given that it has a 4++ Invul and -1 to Hit, from some of the common weapons on the tabletop:

**BS4 Bolters – 72 shots/dead Rapier

**BS4 Heavy Bolters – 32 shots/dead Rapier

**BS4 Assault Cannons – 24 shots/dead Rapier

**BS4 Plasma Guns — 24 shots/dead Rapier

**BS4 Overcharged PG/Krak Missile – 12 shots/dead Rapier

**BS4 Lascannons – 6 shots/dead Rapier


Remember, all of the above shooting is what is required to kill a SINGLE Rapier Carrier, meaning that your opponent has to do this six times over to remove your entire Gunline…. in the meantime, you can continue to punish his forces with the rest of your shooting, seize critical objectives while he focuses on killing your Rapier Carriers, get your assault units stuck in, etc.

Adeptus Primaris: Ideas to “flesh out” the Primaris Marines

So, the Primaris Marines have been growing on me more and more, especially as I have gotten to see and play against armies with these models up close several times recently (I currently do not own any Primaris models, even though I have almost all the Power Armor army variants, including Angels Sanguine, Space Wolves, Ultramarines, Grey Knights, and a “generic” bunch of Marines I bought off eBay that can be used as “counts as” Dark Angels).

That said, while they are a very solid addition to the Space Marine codex (and I assume to future Deathwatch, Dark Angel, Blood Angel, and Space Wolf codexes), I think there is quite a lot of room to improve/enhance/add to the Primaris line of models, potentially to the point that they either get their own Codex or, if they stay “embedded” within the Space Marine book, you could still field an “all-Primaris” force and have it be flexible, competitive, and capable of taking on the whole spectrum of potential opponents.

Based on all that, here is my idea on how to fully “flesh out” Primaris Marines to the point that they can stand on their own in an all-Primaris army:



HQ Choices:

[1] Primaris Captain

*Same as current model/rules.


[2] Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor (option to upgrade with Jump Pack)

*Same as current model/unit, but with ability to add an Inceptor Jump Pack for +25 points (improves Movement to 10”, gives “Fly” and “Jump Infantry” key words, and gives Meteoric Descent and Crushing Charge rules).


[3] Primaris Captain in Reiver Armor (option to upgrade with Grav-Chute, Grapnel Launcher, or Reiver Exoskeleton)

*New option that takes normal Captain Stats, but adds in “Terror Troops” rule and the ability to take Grav-Chute for +5 points, Grapnel Launcher for +5 points, and/or a Reiver Exoskeleton for +15 points (Reiver Exoskeleton gives the model +2” to its Movement, Advance, and Charge ranges).


[4] Primaris Lieutenant

*Same as current model/rules.


[5] Primaris Lieutenant in Gravis Armor (option to upgrade with Jump Pack)

*Same as current Lieutenant model, but with 5″ Movement and +1T, +1W, +1A, and the ability to add an Inceptor Jump Pack for +25 points (improves Movement to 10”, gives “Fly” and “Jump Infantry” key words, and gives Meteoric Descent and Crushing Charge rules).


[6] Primaris Lieutenant in Reiver Armor (option to upgrade with Grav-Chute, Grapnel Launcher, or Reiver Exoskeleton)

*New option that takes normal Lieutenant Stats, but adds in “Terror Troops” rule and the ability to take Grav-Chute for +5 points, Grapnel Launcher for +5 points, and/or a Reiver Exoskeleton for +15 points (Reiver Exoskeleton gives the model +2” to its Movement, Advance, and Charge ranges).


[7] Primaris Chaplain

*Same as current model/rules.


[8] Primaris Chaplain in Gravis Armor (option to upgrade with Jump Pack)

*New HQ choice that is like a “normal” Primaris Chaplain with all the same wargear/rules, except that he has 5” movement, +1T, and the ability to add an Inceptor Jump Pack for +25 points (improves Movement to 10”, gives “Fly” and “Jump Infantry” key words, and gives Meteoric Descent and Crushing Charge rules).


[9] Primaris Librarian

*Same as current model/rules.


[10] Primaris Librarian in Gravis Armor (option to upgrade with Jump Pack)

*New HQ choice that is like a “normal” Primaris Librarian with all the same wargear/rules, except that he has 5” movement, +1T, and the ability to add an Inceptor Jump Pack for +25 points (improves Movement to 10”, gives “Fly” and “Jump Infantry” key words, and gives Meteoric Descent and Crushing Charge rules).


[11] Primaris Techmarine in Gravis Armor

*New HQ choice that is like a “normal” SM Techmarine with Blessing of the Omnissiah rule, except that he has 5” movement, +1T, +1W, and +1A and comes with two Servo-Arms, two Plasma Exterminators, and Frag/Krak Grenades.



ELITE Choices:

[1] Reivers

*Same as current model/rules, except can now also take a Reiver Exoskeleton for +4 points per model (Reiver Exoskeleton gives the model +2” to its Movement, Advance, and Charge ranges). Additionally, Shock Grenades have their range upgraded to 12” and, in place of Combat Knives, Reivers can instead now replace their Bolt Carbines with Reiver Blades (S: User, AP: -2, +1 Attack when fighting with this weapon) for +5 points a model.


[2] Aggressors

*Same as current model/rules.


[3] Primaris Apothecary

*Same as current model/rules.


[4] Primaris Ancient

*Same as current model/rules.


[5] Primaris Ancient in Gravis Armor

*New ELITE choice that is like a “normal” Primaris Ancient with all the same wargear/rules, except that he has 5” movement and +1T.


[6] Redemptor Dreadnought

*Same as current model/rules.


[7] Redemptor “Bellator Pattern” Dreadnought

*New Elite choice that is a close combat variant of the Redemptor Dreadnought. Base it comes with all the same stats as a Redemptor Dreadnought, a Redemptor Fist/Heavy Flamer, two Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, and a Bellator Assault Gauntlet which grants it +2D3 x S: User AP-2 D2 attacks in addition to its normal 4A with the Redemptor Fist in the Fight phase. Additionally, it has a special rule called “Fury of the Ancients” which grants it +1 to Hit for any close combat attacks on any turn in which it charged.



TROOP Choices:

[1] Intercessors

*Same as current model/rules, except have the option now to exchange their Bolt Pistols for Chain Swords for +1 point per model.




[1] Inceptors

*Same as current model/rules, except they now have the additional option to replace both their Assault Bolters with a pair of Storm Gauntlets (S: +2 AP:-2 D2, gains +1A when used as a pair, may re-roll to Wound rolls of 1) for +20 points per model.


[2] Stormhunter Land Speeder

*New Primaris Land Speeder that is armed with two Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannons or two Las-Talons, has Move 16” WS3+ BS3+ S5 T5 W9 A2 Ld7 Sv3+, has the Fly key word, has Auto Launchers and the Power of the Machine Spirit rule, and gains +1 to Hit when targeting enemy units with the Fly key word.


[3] Stormspectre Land Speeder

*New Primaris Land Speeder that is armed with two Twin Ironhail Heavy Stubbers, has Move 16” WS3+ BS3+ S5 T5 W9 A2 Ld7 Sv3+, has the Fly key word, has Auto Launchers and the Power of the Machine Spirit rule, and can either take a Force Field Generator (grants all friendly <Chapter> units entirely within 6” a 5++ save) for +25 points, a Homing Beacon (friendly <Chapter> units can arrive from Reserve within 6” of this model, as long as they are at least 3” from any enemy models) for +15 points, or a Targeting Relay (one friendly <Chapter> unit within 12” gains +1 to its to Hit rolls for that Shooting Phase) for +25 points.




[1] Hellblasters

*Same as current model/rules.


[2] Reaper Tank Hunter

*New Heavy Support choice that is a variant of the Repulsor and has the same stats, the same Hover Tank/Repulsor Field/Power of the Machine Spirit/Auto Launcher rules, and no transport capacity. Also, instead of the Repulsor’s weapons, it is armed with three Macro-Lascannons (Heavy 1 S10 AP-4 Damage: D6) that gain +1 to Wound when targeting units with the Monster or Vehicle key word.


[3] Redemptor “Mortis Pattern” Dreadnought

*New Heavy Support choice that is a fire support variant of the Redemptor Dreadnought. Base it comes with all the same stats as a Redemptor Dreadnought, two Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannons (can replace either or both of these with Macro Plasma Incinerators), two shoulder-mounted Onslaught Gatling Cannons (can be replaced with two Twin Heavy Plasma Incinerators), and two Fragstorm Grenade Launchers (can be replaced with two Storm Bolters). Additionally, if the Redemptor Mortis Dreadnought did not move in the previous Movement phase, it gains the “Stabilized Targeting” rule, which gives it +1 to Hit for any shooting attacks in that Shooting phase.





[1] “Archangel” Primaris Drop Pod

*New Dedicated Transport choice that is Movement: 0” WS- BS3+ S7 T7 W12 A0 Ld8 Sv 3+ with degrading profile (BS degrades 3+/4+/5+), has the Drop Pod Assault and Immobile rules (just like “normal” Drop Pods), is armed with a Heavy Bolt Rifle Array (30” Rapid Fire 6, S4 AP-1 D1), and can transport up to twenty Primaris Infantry models (cannot transport Jump units and Gravis Armor units take two slots). Alternately, it can transport one Redemptor Dreadnought (any of the three variants) and ten Primaris Infantry models, or two Redemptor Dreadnoughts (any combination of the three variants).


[2] Repulsor Tank

*Same as current model/rules


[3] Retaliator APC

*New Dedicated Transport choice that is a variant of the Repulsor and has the same stats (except for Movement 14”), the same Hover Tank/Repulsor Field/Power of the Machine Spirit/Auto Launcher rules, and a transport capacity of 14 Primaris Infantry models (cannot transport Jump units and Gravis Armor units take two slots). Also, instead of the Repulsor’s weapons, it is armed with three Ironhail Heavy Stubbers, two Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, two Storm Bolters, and an Icarus Rocket Pod. Finally, it has a unique piece of Wargear called the “Retaliator Force Field,” which grants it a 4++ against shooting attacks from 25” and further away (it becomes a 5++ against shooting attacks between 19-24″ away and a 6++ against shooting attacks further between 13-18″ away).


FLYER Choices:

[1] Overlord Gunship

*New Flyer choice that has Movement 20-40” WS6+ BS3+ S8 T8 W16 A4 Ld9 Sv 3+ and the ability to transport up to 7 Primaris Infantry models (cannot transport Jump units and Gravis Armor units take two slots). It has the Airborne, Supersonic, Hard to Hit, Hover Jet, Crash and Burn, and Power of the Machine Spirit rules and is armed with two Plasma Incinerator Arrays (30” Rapid Fire 3, S7 AP-4 D1 or S8 AP-4 D2 with a Mortal Wound for every to Hit roll of 1 when Overcharged), a Twin Lascannon, and two Heavy Frag Missile Launchers (each is 48” Heavy 2D6 S4 AP0 D1, can re-roll all failed to Wound rolls against Infantry targets).


So, in summary, with my proposed ideas above, the “Primaris Line-up” would look like this:


-Primaris Captain/Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor/Primaris Captain in Reiver Armor

-Primaris Lieutenant/Primaris Lieutenant in Gravis Armor/Primaris Lieutenant in Reiver Armor

-Primaris Chaplain/Primaris Chaplain in Gravis Armor

-Primaris Librarian/Primaris Librarian in Gravis Armor

-Primaris Techmarine in Gravis Armor





-Primaris Apothecary

-Primaris Ancient/Primaris Ancient in Gravis Armor

-Redemptor Dreadnought

-Redemptor “Bellator Pattern” Dreadnought







-Stormhunter Land Speeder

-Stormspectre Land Speeder




-Reaper Tank Hunter

-Redemptor “Mortis Pattern” Dreadnought



-Archangel Drop Pod

-Repulsor Tank

-Retaliator APC



-Overlord Gunship


The good thing about this from GW’s perspective would be that, aside from all the HQ choices and Apothecary/Ancient (which would be in their own, individual kits/blisters), you would only need to produce 5 Infantry kits (Aggressors, Reivers, Intercessors, Inceptors, Hellblasters) and 5 Vehicle kits (Redemptor Dread with Mortis/Bellator variants kit, Repulsor Tank with Retaliator/Reaper variants kit, Stormhunter/Stormspectre Land Speeder kit, Archangel Drop Pod kit, and Overlord Gunship kit).


2000 Point Battle — Tactical Report

I recently played a 2000 point game at my local store and thought I’d break down my list, what worked, what did not work, and how I would revise my forces and tactics going forward, based on what happened in this battle:

 First off, my list. I took three Detachments (one Astra Militarum Battalion, one Ultramarine Spearhead, and one Grey Knight Vanguard) for a total of 8 CPs and 9 “drops,” based on how I deployed in the game.

 —Astra Militarum Battalion—


*Tempestor Prime with Rod of Command

*Tempestor Prime with Rod of Command



*5 x Scions with 2 Plasma Guns

*5 x Scions with 2 Plasma Guns

*5 x Scions with 2 Plasma Guns

*5 x Scions with 2 Plasma Guns



*Chimera with Multi-laser, Heavy Flamer

*Chimera with Multi-laser, Heavy Flamer


—Ultramarine Spearhead—


*Sergeant Chronos



*Predator with Twin Lascannon, 2 x Heavy Bolter

*Predator with Twin Lascannon, 2 x Heavy Bolter

*Predator with Twin Lascannon, 2 x Heavy Bolter


 —Grey Knight Vanguard—


*Castellan Crowe



*Brotherhood Ancient (Warlord, with “First to the Fray” WL Trait, and GK Relic Banner)

*GK Apothecary

*10 x GK Paladins (3 x pair of Falchions, 3 x Halberds, 3 x NDHs, Paragon with Sword)


Overall, the plan for the AM Battalion was for each Chimera to load up with two Scion squads and a Tempestor Prime, providing me mobility/protection for the Plasmas, plus a source of Orders to re-roll 1s when I overcharged them, as well as “generalist” fire support from the AM Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) in the form of their Multi-lasers and Heavy Flamers. Importantly, despite being made up of 8 separate units, this only accounted for two “drops” during deployment, giving me a solid chance of going first.

 For the UM Spearhead detachment, Chronos was there as a cheap HQ who also made one Predator always shoot at BS2+, no matter what damage it takes, unless there are -1 modifiers like from moving, enemy fliers being “hard to hit,” Raven Guard chapter tactics, etc. etc. The Predators themselves were included to give me the option to use the new KILLSHOT stratagem (for 1 CP it gives them +1 to Wound and +1 damage if they are all within 6” of one another and shoot at either an enemy Vehicle or Monster), but also provide versatile fire support due to their mix of Lascannons and Heavy Bolters.

 Finally, for the GK Vanguard detachment, the idea was for everyone to start in Reserve except Crowe (who can’t, unless you use the special GK stratagem to override that for him), them bring them in Turn 1 to overwhelm a particular portion of the enemy battle line and then “roll up” his forces from their with the powerful psychic, shooting, and close combat potential. Crowe himself was deployed near one of my Predators, out of LOS, as a counter-assault unit who also had the “Gate of Infinity” power to bounce himself around the battlefield and either support other units in close combat or, if necessary, grab objectives later in the game.

 My opponent was a veteran 40K player and a great guy who I enjoyed playing against and talking with the entire game. He brought his all-infantry, Primaris heavy Ultramarine army, with a small Grey Knight contingent in support, so thematically it was a bit of a “civil war” type game between our forces. If I remember correctly, he ran something like the following:


—UM “Primaris” Battalion—


-Primaris Captain in Gravis Armor (his Warlord, with the UM “uber Iron Halo” relic)

-Primaris Librarian

-Primaris Chaplain



-Primaris Apothecary

-Primaris Ancient



-5 x Intercessors with Bolt Rifles

-5 x Intercessors with Bolt Rifles

-5 x Intercessors with Bolt Rifles



-5x Devastator Centurions (3 with Twin Heavy Bolters and Hurricane Bolters, 2 with Lascannons and Centurion Missile Launchers)


—Grey Knight Vanguard—


*Grand-Master in TDA (with NDH)



*Paladin Ancient

*GK Apothecary

*3 x GK Paladins (all with pair of Falchions)


This gave him 7 CPs and his WL Trait (which we forgot to use all game long) was the UM one that enabled him to “regain” expended CPs on a roll of 5+.

 So, the game was somewhat “old school” in nature, with 4 Objectives (each worth 3 VPs if you held them when the game ended), plus the traditional Slay the Warlord, Line breaker, and First Blood.

 We deployed using the new “Frontline Assault” deployment type (each player is along a long edge of the board, with the deployment zones being 9” from the center point in the middle and 6” from the long board edges on the very sides, making for in essence a “wedge-shaped” DZ for each player). There was lots of cover and LOS blocking terrain overall and he deployed heavy in the center, with an Intercessor squad on each flank and his GKs in reserve. I deployed with two Predators in my center, the Chimeras (and their Scion passengers) on the right, plus the third Predator and Crowe on my far right… also, like him, I kept my entire Grey Knight TDA contingent in reserve. I finished deploying first and so got +1 to the roll to go first, which I ended up winning. He tried to seize the initiative and failed, so I went first.

 Summarizing the game, my Paladins/Apothecary/Ancient dropped in on his right flank turn 1 and completely removed his Intercessor squad using the new PSYBOLT AMMUNITION stratagem. My Predators, Chimeras, and Plasma Scions also managed to kill all his Centurions, his Apothecary, and a number of his Intercessors by the end of Turn 2. However, his “counter-drop” of Grey Knights and the rest of his Primaris shooting/close combat was able to eventually destroy all three of my Predators, both my Chimeras, and all my Scions, leaving only Crowe (who bounced to an Objective late in the game with “Gate of Infinity”), my WL Brotherhood Ancient (who also stayed back from the fight to hold an Objective, get Line Breaker, and deny him Slay the Warlord), and my Apothecary left by the end of the game.

 My GK Paladins moved slowly toward the middle of the board (where his main Primaris Battle line and one of the Objectives was) over the course of several turns, but when they finally got into close combat there, the Primaris Gravis Captain, Primaris Chaplain, Primaris Ancient, and Primaris Librarian killed them all, a bit to my surprise (they did get into combat without the benefit of +1A from my Brotherhood Ancient, since he was camping on an Objective far away and they did kind of charge in piece-meal, but they also were not able to crack the 3++ save of the Gravis Armor Captain, who survived multiple rounds of their best punches and then beat them down with his D3 damage power fist).

At the end of the game, he had several more units left than me and significantly more combat power (i.e. almost all of his GKs were still alive, plus most of his Primaris HQ options, while I only had Crowe, the Brotherhood Ancient, and the GK Apothecary), but I actually was able to squeak out a win due to VPs (we both held two objectives, but I also had Line Breaker and First Blood, while he had none of the “auxiliary” objectives).

 Evaluating how I played, here are a few things I did well and a few things I did poorly:



[1] I had good target priority and concentration of fire early on, I think, with the Grey Knight TDA contingent overwhelming his right flank and my strong shooting assets rapidly removing the Centurions, which were a large threat to my forces.

[2] I made good use of the Chimeras, adding their firepower to my other shooting, using them to “block” off enemy forces, and getting them to survive late into the game and absorb a lot of combat power away from the rest of his forces.

[3] I made sure I was aware of and playing for the key VP conditions all game long, even when I started losing in terms of raw numbers of troops, thereby enabling me to control as many objectives as him and gain the edge via Line Breaker/First Blood when all the dust settled.



[1] I did not use the mobility/range of the Predators very well to keep them out of harms reach, enabling him to eventually destroy them all with a combination of shooting (including a lot of close range shooting/Smiting from his Primaris forces) and assault (the Grey Knights finished off my last Predator with Chronus in it because I had backed it into a corner, rather than “dashing” it away after they deep struck nearby.

[2] I didn’t employ my GK Paladins very effectively, dropping them so far on the flank that it took them multiple turns of “foot-slogging” to get into Smite/close combat range for the rest of the battle and, when I did get there, I didn’t deploy them in a way to maximize all their shooting, psychic abilities, and close combat power (I just kind of rushed into assault as quickly as possible, assuming they would be able to “brute force” their way to victory, an assumption which cost me dearly).

[3] I didn’t use my GKs, Scions, and UM Predators very well in terms of mutual support, but pretty much deployed them in separate parts of the board and fought them as “independent” elements, which enabled my opponent to deal with them in piecemeal fashion to some degree. For example, if I had dropped some of the GKs in near the Scions, then I could have used their threat to distract his shooting/assault (keeping the Scions alive much longer) and also could have supported the GKs with the Chimeras shooting and LOS blocking. Similarly, with the Predators, if I had some of my Scions or GKs to help screen them, they would have survived much longer and been able to contribute all game long, potentially.

[4} I didn’t use the ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT stratagem to drop a massive dose of Mortal Wounds in the center of his very clumped up Primaris Marine battle-line… if I had remembered to do that when I still had 3 CPs left, I think I could have massively softened up his forces, potentially to the point of critically wounding them, and when my GK Paladins finally assaulted, the combat in the center might have gone quite differently.


So, based on all that, going forward, what would I do differently in terms of list construction and tactical employment of my troops?

 Well, right now I think I will keep the Scion and Astra Militarum portions of my army, with the exception of potentially trading Chronus out for Marneus Calgar… not only does Calgar give me an additional 2 CPs (so up to 10 total for my army; I blew through CPs pretty quickly, especially using PSYBOLT AMMUNITION twice, which while very effective, cost me 4 CPs right there), but he also provides re-rolls to Hit for all my Predators if they stay close together (another thing I will do differently, deploy them all near one another), gives me a VERY powerful counter-assault element to protect them, and, finally, as my new Warlord, he is tough to kill and lets me regenerate expended CPs on a 5+.

 Now, of course, Calgar is much more expensive than Chronus, so I have to recoup points somewhere else… well, I think my GK contingent, while powerful, is a very heavy points investment with less than optimal return… instead of a Vanguard of Paladins and “supporting cast” detachment, I think I might opt for an Outrider detachment with three Interceptor squads (two 5 man units and one 10 man unit) and GM Voldus as the HQ… this gives me highly mobile infantry that can get around the battlefield all game long with their 12” movement (and special Shunt move), still shoot very well with their massed Stormbolters (and can use PSYBOLT AMMUNITION still), can grab Objectives late game, and also give me a range of Psychic powers to use still.

 As for Voldus, with the ability to cast/deny three psychic powers a turn, he can be an incredible “toolbox” to support the Interceptors, plus he can use Gates of Infinity all game long to go anywhere on the battlefield (i.e. like back to help Marneus and Predators, or over to support the Scions if need be) and he is no slouch in close combat either (5 x S8 AP-3 D3 attacks, all hitting on 2+s with re-rolls to Wound!). Finally, if I had enough leftover points, I would probably invest an UM Thunderfire Cannon, since its fire support can help at range, it can use the TREMOR SHELLS stratagem to slow enemy forces down, and the Techmarine Gunner can help repair my Predators if they are damaged.


Codex Chaos Space Marines: Unit Profile — “Fire Base” Hellforged Leviathon Dreadnoughts

With the recent Forgeworld books for Chaos Space Marines, plus the new Chaos Space Marine Codex that just came out, the Heretic Astartes have the ability to create a potent fire base for their army based around a pair of Hellforged Leviathan Dreads that is highly durable and can put out a devastating amount firepower each turn.

Looking at the Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought stats, it comes in with a T8, 14W, and a 2+/5++ save (becomes a 4++ in close combat), plus the ability to regain lost wounds when it kills enemy models in the Fight phase… combining all that together, we are looking at near Land Raider levels of durability. On top of this, it starts with BS2+/WS2+, making it very potent in both the shooting and assault portions of the game. Now, in terms of weapon options, it comes with some very powerful close combat options (either siege claws or siege drills with built-in meltaguns), but that is not what we are looking at in this particular scenario. You can choose to replace one or both close combat weapon options with Soul Burner Ribaukins (an 18″ weapon that deals Mortal Wounds if it hits), Grav-flux Bombard (another 18″ weapon have S9 AP-5 and does high damage against Monsters/Vehicles/Titanic models and also gains lots of shots against units with lots of models in them), or with Butcher Cannon Arrays (a range 36″ weapon which is Heavy 8 S8 AP-1 D2 and inflicts -2Ld on a target unit if it causes any casualties to it).

For the purposes of using a pair of Hellforged Leviathans as a long-ranged “firebase,” let’s go with the Butcher Cannon Array, due to the power/reliability of its stats and, especially, due to its long range. Basically, if your give both Leviathan two Butcher Cannon Arrays, that means it is putting out a total of 32 x S8 AP-1 D2 shots base, all at BS2+ and a 36″ range (and they can split there shooting among up to four different targets, if necessary).

Next, place a Chaos Lord or Daemon Prince within 6″ for re-rolls of 1s to hit, giving it 97% accuracy… that means that you should average 31-32 hits each turn, with average dice. Looking at some potential targets, it would average the following:

[1] T4 MEQ squads — 12-13 dead models (with D2 per shot, even 2W models like Bikes, Terminators, Primaris, etc. will get massacred by this weapon)

[2] T6/T7 3+ save Monsters/Vehicles (like Stormsurges and Predators) — 20-21 Unsaved Wounds

[3] T8 2+ save Vehicles (like Land Raiders) — 10-11 Unsaved Wounds

[4] T8 3+ save Vehicles/Monsters (like Imperial Knights) — 15-16 Unsaved Wounds


As you can see, this level of firepower can be very potent against a whole range of targets, especially given that it is being put out by a single, very durable model with significant reach. To make the Leviathans even more durable, you can keep a Warpsmith nearby and, when they start taking wounds, have him repair D3 wounds a turn to keep them alive and shooting at full capacity. Additionally, if you give one of them the Mark of Nurgle and one of them the Mark of Slaanesh and make them a part of the Alpha Legion, then they naturally get -1 to any enemy shooting against them from more than 12″ away and a Chaos Sorceror can cast “Miasma of Pestilence” on one of them, adding ANOTHER -1 to hit for enemy shooting against that specific Hellforged Leviathan (so -2 to Hit against the one Dreadnought and -1 to Hit against the other, at least at ranges greater than 12″) and cast “Delightful Agonies” on the other (Slaanesh-marked) Hellforged Leviathan, allowing it to ignore Unsaved Wounds on a roll of 5+.


Codex Grey Knights: Unit Analysis — Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight

One of the most significant additions to the Grey Knights codex that was just released is a new HQ option, the Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight (abbreviated as GM-NDK from here on). Let’s take a look at his stats, how he compares to existing units (i.e. the “vanilla” Dreadknight), and how GK commanders can maximize its abilities in their army.

First off, the GM-NDK, without any damage, has M8 WS2+ BS2+ S6 T6 W12 A5 Ld9 Sv2+/4++… compared to a “normal” NDK, which has M8 WS3+ BS 3+ S6 T6 W12 A4 Ld8 Sv 2+/5++, the GM-NDK has the same degrading profile (Movement, BS, and Attacks all degrade, based on the number of wounds taken), but has superior WS, BS, A, Ld, and Invul save. Additionally, while the GM-NDK has the same close combat weapon, shooting weapon, and teleporter upgrade options as its “vanilla” NDK, it also comes with the “Character” keyword (so it can be your WL and even take one of the new GK relics), the ability to cast/deny two Psychic Powers (vice just one each for a normal NDK), and the signature Grand Master ability, “Rites of Battle,” which gives all friendly GK units within 6″ the ability to re-roll 1s to Hit.

So, that is a significant set of upgrades over a normal NDK, but what about the cost? Well, the GM-NDK takes a HQ slot, vice a Heavy Support slot, which is generally superior since for almost every kind of detachment you have to take at least one HQ, thus alleviating that “tax” with a very solid HQ choice. Points-wise, without any Wargear costs included, a GM-NDK costs 38 MBs, compared to  26 MBs for a “vanilla” NDK, so it is almost 50% more expensive… that said, if you take into account its superior offensive capabilities, durability, psychic options, and buffing capacity for the rest of your army, I actually think the GM-NDK is almost a steal for its points cost.

As mentioned earlier, the GM-NDK has the same weapons options as other NDKs, including a Gatling Psilencer, a Heavy Incinerator, and a Heavy Psycannon for ranged weapons and either two Dreadfists, a Dreadfist and a Nemesis Greatsword, or a Dreadfist and a Nemesis Daemon Greathammer for close combat weapons. Combined with WS2+/BS2+ and innate re-rolls of 1s to Hit, this make them very dangerous in both the shooting and close combat phases, even when a GM-NDK has moved and so suffers -1 to Hit for shooting Heavy Weapons. Additionally, due to its extra attack over normal NDKs, the GM-NDK has more overall threat potential in assault and can also take more damage back, thanks to its built-in 4++ save.

Now, that we have looked at all that, how can a savvy GK commander maximize the GM-NDK’s effectiveness on the battlefield? Thanks to the new codex, Grey Knights get access to new Relics, new Stratagems, new WL Traits, and an expanded “Sanctic” psychic powers discipline. For the GM-NDK, even though he is a character, there is actually only one Relic that it has access to… the Fury of Deimos, Destroyer of Crys’yllix, Soul Glaive, and Banner of Refining Flame all replace Wargear that the GM-NDK does not have access to and the Cuirass of Sacrifice is “Infantry models only.” This leaves only the Domina Liber Daemonica relic, which forces enemy Daemon units within 6″ to lower their Ld by -1… solid against Chaos Daemon armies, but not spectacular and very situational.

So, if Relics are not really going to enhance a GM-NDK in competitive play, what about Psychic powers? “Smite,” “Purge Soul” and “Vortex of Doom” all give solid abilities to generate Mortal on the enemy and can supplement the GM-NDK’s other shooting options, “Astral Aim,” while a good power for certain uses (such as on friendly GK Land Raiders, Purgation squads with max Psilencers, etc.), is going to be rarely useful on a GM-NDK, which does not want to be hiding behind LOS blocking terrain and instead should be close to enemy lines and/or in melee as much as possible. That leaves “Hammerhand,” “Sanctuary,” and “Gates of Infinity,” all if which are exceptional force multipliers for the GM-NDK. “Hammerhand” adds +1 to Wound rolls for any melee weapons, meaning that, against those high T7/8/9 opponents that it would normally wound on a 3+, the GM-NDK is now wounding on a 2+ in close combat. “Sanctuary” is another obvious buff, giving the GM-NDK in essence a storm shield for a 2+/3++  overall level of protection. Finally, “Gates of Infinity” makes a GM-NDK hyper mobile, with the  potential to redeploy almost anywhere on the table every turn if it needs to (and also to escape from close combat and still shoot/charge again that same turn, since it does not have to Fall Back in the movement phase when using this power). The beauty of these three powers is that they all can either be cast on the GM-NDK by itself or cast on it by another nearby GK Psyker (which is almost all the units in the Grey Knight army!)… this means that, potentially, the GM-NDK could make use of all three of these powers in the same turn, greatly enhancing its mobility, protection, and close combat ability all at once.

Aside from Psychic powers from the Sanctic discipline, the GM-NDK can benefit tremendously from some of the new GK Stratagems. Here are a few that can be used to enhance its prowess/effectiveness on the tabletop:

[1]  Truesilver Armour (1 CP) — When a GK vehicle suffers a Mortal Wound, activate this power. For that Mortal Wound and any other Mortal Wounds it suffers for the rest of that phase, on a roll of 5+ they are ignored. Since GM-NDK and NDKs are classified as vehicles, this stratagems gives them the ability to basically ignore 33% of any Mortal Wounds they suffer, which is especially useful in the enemy Psychic phase against opponents that can put out lots of Mortal Wounds via psychic powers (i.e. Tzeentch armies, enemy Grey Knights, etc.).

[2] Only in Death Does Duty End (1 CP) — This stratagem can be used after the GM-NDK is slain and allows it to shoot or fight one last time for “free” before being removed. While not the best ability ever (the fact that it only works when you are already losing the GM-NDK is a negative), when you REALLY need to take that enemy Warlord with you or shoot to finish off the last man in a unit holding a critical objective, it can make a difference with your GM-NDK.

[3] Heed the Prognosticars (2 CPs) — While pretty expensive CP-wise, this ability improves a GK Character’s Invul save by +1, so on a GM-NDK it gives it a 3++ (or, in conjunction with a “Sanctuary,” he can have a 2++ which, along with T6 and 12W, makes it VERY survivable against anything but Mortal Wounds).

[4] Psychic Onslaught (2 CPs) — Another expensive stratagem, but being able to improve the Strength and AP by +1 and -1 respectively for all of a GM-NDK’s Gatling Psilencer and Heavy Psycannon shots for a shooting phase can lead to some VERY potent damage output (i.e. the Heavy Psycannon becomes Heavy 6 S8 AP- Dmg 2 and the Gatling Psilencer becomes Heavy 12 S5 AP-1 Dmg D3)

[5] Finest Hour (1 CP) — Doubles the range of “Rites of Battle” for the GM-NDK for a turn. Given that the GM-NDK  already has a large base (and so a bigger than usual radius for its “Rites of Battle” aura), this stratagem can make it buff most or even all of your army for a turn, if you really need to make sure as many units in your army as possible are re-rolling 1s to Hit.

[6] Psychic Channeling (1 CP) / The Aegis (2 CP) — I grouped these together because they all either buff the GM-NDK’s ability to cast powers (Psychic Channeling) or deny enemy powers, which are both useful in certain situations, especially when you ABSOLUTELY have to either get a power off or make sure your opponent does not get his power off (don’t forget, you get +1 to casting and deny the witch naturally, thanks to the “Brotherhood of Psykers” rule, so combined with these stratagems you have a very solid chance of “winning the fight” in the psychic phase).

Finally, in addition to Psychic powers and Stratagems, GM-NDK can be chosen as your army WL and take one of the six new unique GK Warlord Traits. Of the WL Traits available, I think the best ones to use on a GM-NDK warlord are as follows:

[1] Hammer of Righteousness — When the WL charges, he adds +1 to Wound rolls in the Fight phase. If you don’t want to use Hammerhand on the GM-NDK  (i.e. to save it for use on other units that turn, or to let the GM-NDK take “Sanctuary” or “Gates of Infinity” as its other “non-Smite” power, then this can be a useful power to give him, though being limited to only after charging has some limitations.

[2] Lore Master –This allows the GM-NDK Warlord to know one more power from the Sanctic discipline, so basically it can now know Smite and two Sanctic powers. Given that it can cast two powers a turn, this WL Trait gives it the ability to use, say, “Gates of Infinity” and “Sanctuary,” or “Hammerhand” and “Sanctuary” together without outside help, which can be a great addition to your flexibility and combat power for the GM-NDK (if the GM-NDK  is running “solo” away from the rest of your army for some reason, then I think the value of this WL Trait goes up significantly).

[3] Nemesis Lord — Add +1 to the Damage characteristic of your GM-NDK warlord’s melee weapons. This can be a massive boost to your close combat abilities, with Dreadfists now having a damage of D3 +1, Greatswords having a damage of D6 +1, and the Daemon Greathammer having a damage of between 4 and 7. Of all these options, if you are running a GM-NDK with the Nemesis Daemon Greathammer, then I would serious consider this WL Trait, since a minimum damage of 4 (and max of 7) is VERY good and will allow your Warlord to cut through everything from Baneblades to Wraithknights and Imperial Knights with ease.

[4] First to the Fray — The GM-NDK and all friendly GK units within 6″ get to re-roll failed charges. Given Grey Knight’s proficiency in close combat and the importance of making charges throughout the course of an average game, this is probably the best overall WL Trait and one that most people will use on their GM-NDK, since it provides massive utility not only for your Warlord himself, but also for the units around him as well (using this in conjunction with the “Gates of Infinity” power to escape from combat, then immediately land 9.1″ away from another enemy and then shoot and charge back into combat that same turn will be a very effective use of this WL Trait, I think).

Finally, one thing more thing to remember about the GM-NDK is that it can benefit from certain buffs/support of other nearby characters, such as re-rolls of ALL to Hits if Draigo is nearby, increased Smite range from adjacent Brother-Captains, re-rolls of ALL to Hits in combat from a nearby Chaplain, etc. Perhaps one of the most significant “force-multipliers” for a GM-NDK is actually a Techmarine, since (somewhat surprisingly), all Dreadknights are now classified as vehicles in 8th edition, meaning that they can have D3 of their lost wounds automatically restored each turn by a GK Techmarine within 1″ of them.


Overall, as many players have already figured out on their own looking through the new Codex, I think the Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight will be a very competitive, popular, and effective choice in 8th edition, especially when in conjunction with some of the buffs/enhancements discussed above… not only is the GM-NDK a very strong combatant in its own right, but it is a strong force-multiplier to the rest of your army as well, thereby making the entire Grey Knight battle group more effective than the sum of its parts, I think.