Hunting Force allies to Grey Knights

Grey Knights make excellent allies for many armies and they themselves benefit significantly from allies of their own, especially given the somewhat “elite/specialized” nature of most GK units.

One formation that I think pairs up particularly well with a Grey Knights primary detachment is the Hunting Force from the White Scars Scarblade Strike Force. The Hunting Force requires all models to be mounted on Space Marine Bikes and consists of:

(1) Captain

(0-1) Chaplain

(0-1) Command Squad

(2-5) Bike Squads

(1-3) Attack Bike Squads

(1-3) Scout Bike Squads

In addition to these units, it gains two special rules:

**The Hunter’s Prey — Select a Primary (this must be an HQ unit), Secondary, and Tertiary target. Models from this formation re-roll all To Hits/To Wounds and gain Furious Charge when attacking the primary target, then if it is destroyed, gain the same benefit against the secondary target, and so on with the tertiary target.

**Thunderous Assault — Models from this formation inflict two Hammer of Wrath hits instead of one if their unit has five models or more.

While the special rules are quite nice, the mixture of unit types is what is especially beneficial to a GK army. Basically, the Hunting Force provides multiple capabilities that shore up weaknesses in the GK line-up:

(1) Mobility — With all units on bikes that can move 12″ + Turbo-boost, as well as Hit and Run  and use Skilled Rider due to White Scar Chapter Tactics (and gain Scout if Khan is your Captain), the Hunting Force provides multiple fast, relatively durable objective seizers that can supplement the slower (and generally more expensive) GK units. Their enhanced mobility also allows them to rapidly threaten an enemy flank or even support Interceptors and shunting NDKs with possible Turn 2 assaults.

(2) Anti-tank/Anti-MC firepower — With lots of potential access to Meltas/MMs and Grav weapons (i.e. Command Squads,  Bike Squads, Attack Bikes), not to mention potential re-rolls to Hit/to Woundfrom The Hunter’s Prey rule, this formation provides fast moving, reliable anti-tank that Grey Knights need due to their lack of melta weapons and expensive Lascannon options (i.e. Razorbacks, Stormravens, and Land Raiders are about the only place GKs can get access to these). Against MCs, Grey Knights have to rely on Psycannon Rending and getting into close combat normally, but the Hunting force provides access to fast moving units that can take melta, plasma, and especially relentless Graviton weapons. For example, a Command Squad with 5 Grav Guns that has “marked” an enemy Wraith Knight as one of its targets gets an average of 13-14 hits, 11-12 wounds, and 7-8 unsaved wounds after FNP rolls… i.e. the Wraith Knight is dead in a single volley.

(3) Deep Strike Enablers — Given that GKs rely heavily on the Nemesis Strike Formation and its ability to start bringing in units from Deep Strike Reserve turn 1, it is only logical that a GK force would benefit tremendously from access to 1-3 Scout Bikers Squads, which can Infiltrate and Scout before the game begins, then bring in ANY DSing Grey Knight unit with no scatter from turn 1 on.

(4) Mobile IC support — The Captain/Khan and Chaplain can choose to attach to GK squads, providing multiple different potential buffs, For example, the Chaplain could attach to an Interceptor squad, giving it Zealot and Hit and Run (remember, Grey Knights do not “negate” friendly Chapter Tactics like normal Space Marines do), massively improving the squads efficiency in close combat. Similarly, the Captain could take the Hunter’s Eye relic and attach himself to a “Gates of Infinity” squad of Draigo/Paladins… once the squad “bounces” (likely using Scout Bikers to bring them in with no danger of scattering), the Paladins can unleash a mass Psycannon volley that Ignores Cover thanks to the Hunter’s Eye.

(5) Mobile Close Combat Capability — While this is mainly limited to the Captain (with relics like the Blade of Vengeance or even the Burning Blade), the Chaplain, and the Command Squad decked out with PWs/SSs and the Banner of the Eagle (for Fleet and Furious Charge), this still provides an invaluable rapid moving “counter-assault” unit to support the GK squads once they deep strike in. Also, don’t forget that even lowly Scout Biker squads with 5 models that are part of the Hunting Force and a Scarblade Strike Force have the potential to get 10 x S5 AP- (Shred) Hammer of Wrath attacks on the charge, plus their normal 10 x S4 AP- close combat attacks, which is more than enough to beat up on non-dedicated Assault units in the enemy army. Hit and Run means that these unit can “rinse and repeat” as required.

In summary, for all of these reasons, the White Scar Hunting Force is an excellent counterpart to any GK army, particularly one built around a traditional Nemesis Strike Force.

Scarblade Strike Force, 1st Company Task Force, and the Land Raider Spearhead

If you are looking for a Space Marine army that can rapidly and reliably put close combat units in the enemy’s face, then a solid option is to take a White Scars “Scarblade Strike Force” detachment that includes the following:

-Battle Demi-Company (TDA Chaplain, 3 x Tacs with Grav Cannon, ASM with double Flamers, Devastators with quad Grav Cannons, all in Drop Pods)

-1st Company Task Force (3 x TH/SS Assault Terminator squads)

-Land Raider Spearhead (3 x LR Crusaders with MMs)

Three of the Tacs/ASM/Devs  arrive by Drop Pod Assault, filling the enemy DZ with targets and firepower Turn 1. Simultaneously, TDA Chaplain and Assault Terminators ride in the LR Crusaders and move up as fast as possible… that translates into a 12″ move, 6″ Flat Out, and another D6″ Flat Out because of the Scarblade Strike Force “Ride the Wind” special rule (so a total of 19-24″ move across the board toward the enemy DZ).

Additionally, as long as the LR Crusaders stay within 6″ of each other, they ignore all Shaken, Stunned, Weapons Destroyed, and Immobilized  results due to their “Armoured Behemoth” special rule. This, combined with their extra movement, all but ensures that they will get across “No Man’s Land” safely and in good shape to deliver their Assault Terminators into combat Turn 2. Once the Terminators do get into assault, they benefit from Fear, Fearless, -2Ld to enemy units within 12″ of all three squads, and Preferred Enemy against a selected enemy unit (chosen before the game begins). They also have Hit and Run at I4 (re-rollable, due to Scarblade Strike Force rules), which makes them even more potent and flexible in combat.

Even the mightiest Tau gun-line and the most elusive Eldar Jetbike Host will have trouble stopping a force like this, due to its enhanced mobility and survivability, not to mention the raw power it packs once the Assault Terminators actually get into combat.

Stormseers and the Black Tide (Death Company style)

Looking at Kor’Sarro Khan’s “Master of the Hunt” special rule, it specifies that, as long as he your Warlord, ALL friendly White Scars models that have the Biker unit type have the Scout USR.

This means that White Scar Independent Characters, as long as they are equipped with a Space Marine Bike, have the Scout USR. In turn, this means they they convey Scout to any unit they are joined to in deployment, per the wording of the Scout rule.

One way to capitalize on this ability is as follows:

1 – Take Khan with Moondraaken as your Warlord (either in a CAD or GSF)

2 – Take a White Scar Librarius Conclave made up of (3) Librarians (Stormseers, in White Scar lore), all equipped with SMBs and using the Divination Discipline.

3 – Take an allied Blood Angel Baal Strike Force with (4) full squads of 15 Death Company each, all equipped with Jump Packs and PWs/PFs “to taste.”

Now, attach Khan and each of the three WS Stormseers to a separate Death Company squad. Prior to turn 1, use the Scout move to have all four Death Compay squads get a free 12″ move toward the enemy battle-line. Turn 1, move another 12″ and run a further D6″.

At this point, your horde of 60 superhuman, blood-thirsty (literally), raging, Jump Pack-wearing Death Company maniacs should be on top of pretty much any enemy unit they are targeting, even sneaky Eldar Jetbikes. Turn 2, move another 6″, then charge (with re-rolls for distance from Jump Packs) and rip apart the enemy lines with your 300!!! S5 I5 attacks on the charge (plus all Hammer of Wrath attacks)

To make this combo even more potent, the White Scar Librarians can cast Prescience on their units for Re-rolls to Hit. Khan and the Librarians also add some power weapon attacks into the mix and can, if necessary, break off and charge separate units if the tactical situation calls for tying up as many enemy units as possible.

Overall, this is a very specialized, assault-focused build, but for those looking for a fun, competitive, and unique list built around massed Death Company, I think this battle group could be a decent option.

White Scars, Khan, and massed Graviton weapons…

Since White Scar armies with Kor’sarro Khan as their Warlord still maintain the ability to Scout all Bike units and all units embarked on Rhinos/Razorbacks, that opens up some signfiicant possibilities for a first turn, Graviton weapon “Alpha Strike:”

1 – Take the Gladius Strike Force with a Full Battle Company as follows —

a) Khan on Bike and Chaplain

b) Command Squad with Bikes and 4 Grav Guns and Apothecary

c) 6 Tac Squads with Free Rhinos and Grav Cannon

d) 2 Bike Squads with Dual Grav Guns

e) 2 Devastator Squads with Free Rhinos and 2 Grav Cannons each

2 – So, altogether, that gives you 3 Bike squads with 24 Graviton shots a turn, plus Scout to get within range turn 1. You also have 6 Tactical Squads that can Scout in their Rhinos and then let loose with 48 Graviton shots total, as well as 2 Devastator squads that can Scout in their Rhinos and put out 20 Graviton shots a turn. Total, that is 92 Graviton shots from Scouting units turn 1!

3 – Since you have so much anti-vehicle/heavy anti-infantry shooting, about the only thing missing is anti-horde capability and anti-flyer capability. To deal with this, you can supplement this force with a Storm Wing formation (i.e. Stormraven and 2 Stormtalons), kitted out with Typhoon Missile Launchers and TLed Assault Cannons (Stormtalons) and TLed Lascanon/TLed Multimelta (Stormraven). This should provide a very versatile options for dealing with enemy armor, massed infantry, and flyers/FMCs, providing the ground elements with all the support they require.