I was thinking about it and one way to bring Grey Knights back into “competitive” form is to, in addition to their current rules/psychic powers (like Hammerhand and Banishment, etc.), give each unit one of the new Psychic Powers from the Angels of Death supplement.
Here is how I would do it and a little explanation of why for each unit (NOTE: Librarians would not get a specific power, but would still have access to roll on any of the Disciplines, while Grand Masters/Brother-Captains would lose their ability to “roll” for a power and just get the ones below):
1 – Grand Master/Brother-Captain/Draigo/Stern — Fists of Lightning
*RATIONALE: While all these models already have solid uses in the codex, giving them the ability to increase their Strength/Attacks by +1 and generate more “chain” attacks would really kick them up in terms of close combat prowess, reflecting both the fluff and improving their gameplay usefulness across the board.
2 – Brotherhood Champion/Crowe — Might of Heroes
*RATIONALE: Nothing says “I am THE champion one-on-one fighter” like buffing Strength, Toughness, Attacks, and Initiative by +2 for a whole turn. Game-wise, this would really make the BHC and Crowe individual models to be feared, especially in a challenge, with the potential for VERY high initiative, multiple S8 attacks.
3 – GK Techmarine — Warpmetal Armor
*RATIONALE: Right now, the Techmarine is a pretty mediocre HQ choice, despite being cheaper than most GK options. Warpmetal Armor is, in my opinion, one of the top useful powers out there as it can buff either vehicles or troops significantly (i.e. AV15 Land Raiders, T5 Paladins, T7 Dreadknights, etc.). If the Techmarine had access to guaranteed Warpmetal Armor, then he would go from a mediocre choice to an exceptionally versatile and useful one.
4 – GK Terminators — Electropulse
*RATIONALE: Terminators are already one of the better options in the codex and so do not need much buffing. One thing they (and GKs as a whole) do lack is the ability to deal with mass mechanized armies (like SM Battle Companies or Mechdar) outside of close combat. Combined with their ability to begin Deep Striking turn 1 in the Nemesis Strike Force, Electropulse gives them a solid 9″ nova power than can strip HPs off multiple enemy vehicles in a single turn, thus making GK Terminators slightly more versatile in the overall game.
5 – GK Strike Squads — Null Zone
*RATIONALE: Currently considered one of the most inferior units in the army, especially compared to Terminators, giving Strike Squads guaranteed access to Null Zone would make them a VERY useful support choice for the rest of the GK army (or even allies, for that matter). Being able to reduce a selected enemy unit’s Invul save by -2 is tremendous, especially if used in conjunction with superior GK melee and Psychic capabilities and would really give players a reason to include Strike Squads in their army lists.
6 – Paladins — Veil of Time
*RATIONALE: Another top notch power, Veil of Time helps the Paladins themselves be much more survivable (which they need, considering their high points costs) and also would accurately reflect their fluffy role as “body guards” for attached Grey Knight ICs. Against non-AP2/1 weapons, Veil of Time would make Paladins almost invincible and even against Grav/Plasma/melta etc. being able to re-roll their 5++ saves would give them a fighting chance to survive and contribute to the army’s overall mission.
7 – Purifiers — Psychic Fortress
*RATIONALE: Already a strong unit, pound for pound, Purifiers don’t need an uber additional power to make them worth taking, but a moderate defensive buff like that provided by Psychic Fortress make them a force multiplier for the rest of the army, especially when fighting Psychic heavy opponents like Chaos Daemons, Eldar, SM Librarius Conclaves, etc. Fluff-wise, this power would represent the strengthening of the Purifier’s comrades against the horrors of the Warp via their sheer purifying prescence.
8 – GK Dreadnoughts — Electroshield
*RATIONALE: Right now very over-priced and underperforming compared to Dreadnoughts from other armies, by giving GK Dreads the ability to get a 3++ save (or even a 2++ save, if they successfully case Electroshield AND Sanctuary), this would more than justify their higher points cost and make them on par with the Space Wolf Great Axe/Blizzard Shield Dreads in terms of raw survivability. In turn, this would give GK players a reason to actually take them since they can provide solid fire support/melee support and absorb A TON of damage away from other parts of the army, playing basically a “tank” role for other GK units.
9 – GK Interceptors — Electrodisplacement
*RATIONALE: Already a very decent unit, this would give Interceptors even more capacity to use their amazing mobility, since they can DS, Shunt, or normal “jump pack move” into position, then “switch” with a friendly unit and get that unit where it needs to be for shooting/psychic powers/combat. Given that GKs lack Drop Pods, I think would be a great role for Interceptors and would also enhance their fluffy status as the mobile “skirmishers” of the GK Chapter that set conditions to bring in the rest of the strike force.
10 – GK Purgation Squad — Phase Form
*RATIONALE: Very similar to, but actually better than, the old Astral Aim power that Purgators used to have, guaranteed Phase Form would make this mediocre unit a very competitive choice for a GK commander, whether they use it on themselves to give their Psycannons/Psilencers Ignore Cover and the ability to shoot without LOS or they use it to buff friendly units to do the same thing with their shooting. Overall, I think this power would make Purgators significantly more useful, both individually and to the army as a whole, and would result in many players including at least one or two squads of them (unlike now, where basically no one takes them).
11 – Nemesis Dreadknights — Landquake
*RATIONALE: Since NDKs are easily the best unit in the codex already, they really do not need a buff in terms of Psychic powers. That said, Landquake provides a small little boost to their versatility, enabling them to force Difficult Terrain tests and prevent key types of units (i.e. Wulfen, Slaanesh Daemons, Eldar Aspect Warriors, etc.) from being able to run within a very large 18″ bubble. This means they can do more than just be the shooting/combat “beat stick” for Grey Knights, but also work to supplement the synergy of the entire army as a whole (or, rather, “de-synergize” the enemy’s army).
So, those are my thoughts on adding powers from the Angels of Death supplement to each GK unit (non-Walker vehicles not included)… I think it would make them much more competitive, without changing anything else, and would also keep them on “theme” as a small, elite army that wins through skilled play, psychic domination, and close combat prowess.