Monday, 14 January 2013

Dark Eldar: Nemesis part 2 – Grey Knights

Dark Eldar: Nemesis part 2 – Grey Knights

So last time we looked at imperial guard. But what about Grey Knights? They first came onto scene when mayhem released and I remember playing grey knights and the Brighton warlord’s tournament. I was thoroughly trounced (by Rich!) As such I found that Grey Knights were just as bad as imperial guard, and they were new and exciting. So let’s have a look at them and see what’s changed.

The Past

Grey Knights were a great anti dark Eldar army for two reasons. Psybolt ammunition and Coteaz.
The ammunition made heavy bolters into venom killers and spamming ‘psybacks’ really was not just deadly to dark eldar, but very common in the mech environment. The ammunition made the psyflemen dreads very popular. Dreads were the bane of any dark eldar army due to them being able to be affectively immune from a hellion charge unlike a tank. The almost guarantee of a dead venom per shot really meant that dark eldar really struggled. Any what was worse was that any stunned or shaken results could be taken out with a psychic test which meant suppression was impossible.

Coteaz helped the spamming of these vehicles allowing them to be bought for cheap troops (12 points!) allowing a vehicle for each. Not only that he allows the reroll for seizing the initiative. For me this is the worst thing that can happen to a dark eldar player. Going second means you can deploy with that in mind. However losing the first turn after setting up aggressively spells death.

The only ray of light here was the baron but again there was a counter. Deathcult assassins were deadly against him and although not wiping him out weakened the unit enough and they could shelter in a rhino ready to strike out.

What Changed?

Well are things getting better? Very much so!

As with imperial guard, with transports getting a nerf there are less psybacks. Dreadnaughts are a lot easier to kill with them being able to be destroyed in combat with haywire. Hull points have really helped against grey knights. If a vehicle is stunned or shaken the Grey knight player may cause themselves a hull point with a miscast. This may destroy the vehicle and as such the grey knight player has to have a choice. With Eldrad, this risk is much higher and as such suppression is possible.

The move towards infantry really helps here as well a 10 man strike squad is easier for venoms to kill than a vehicle…. Obviously… and Psychic powers in general will be much less useful against Eldrad.

Allies, oddly has really helped, again like imperial guard. The addition of (most commonly) Necron allies or imperial guard it really lessens the amount of psybacks and dreadnaughts are around.

Deathcult assassins are less useful. They can’t hide in a rhino and charge out like they used to and so just aren’t used much anymore.

Coteaz however makes this army a threat. He still allows for small annoying troop units and transports. The seize the initiative also still effect the army as much as it did before.

Dreadnaughts might be easier to kill but there damage output is still high and venoms still crumple before them.

Grey Knight armies have a lot of strength 7 weapons still and every infantry unit can equip themselves with plenty of them. In a battle of attrition sometimes it’s the infantry that can win the fight when enough accurate anti-tank fire power can be brought against venoms.

The Verdict

I’ll give a nemesis rating below 10 is hard match up, 1 is much easier

5th ed 9.5/10

6th ed 6.0/10

Dark eldar really have a chance against this army now. A lot of their advantages really have gone. Although they definitely are threatening, they are much more beatable now.

Coteaz is however still the bane of any dark eldar player’s life and his continued existence will always cause heart ache.

Oddly the popularity of grey knights also appears to waning as Necrons and Tyranids are currently the most popular armies on the tournament scene. As such, I no longer go to a tournament fearing that I will have to play this match up!

Next time I’ll be reviewing my performance at the Caledonian Uprising.

Till then…


  1. Both this and the vs Guard article are really good.

    Are you going to turn it into a regular series, or is it just the 2 parts ? Further articles in the series would be great.


  2. I'm intrigued by your comment about nids being popular at tournaments. I play nids and 6th has been kind to us, but I didn't think it had made that much difference. Care to expand on that comment? Or better yet, how about an article dedicated to why Nids are being played again:P

  3. Yes tyranid review is next after caledoanian review!.

    Dakka, flying monsterous creatues, particulaly hive tyrants with double devouerers. second most popular list at cally this weekend!