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04/04/2011

Taking on Grey Knights with Tyranids

Chapter 666 is back with a brand spankin' new Codex and cries of cheese are already echoing across the 40k community. I'm a Tyranid player through and through, and after reading the new Grey Knight Codex I can see the boys in silver giving the Hive Fleets some trouble, but things aren't nearly as bleak for the bugs as some would have you believe.

Here are some thoughts regarding Tyranids facing the Grey Knights. These are all pretty general, and your mileage may vary depending on the exact type of GK lists you encounter.

1. They'll most likely need to come to you.

Grey Knights are an army that does most of it's dirty work in the assault phase. They have some decent shooting, but they aren't like other Marine chapters (Space Wolves for instance) that can lay down a hideous torrent of long range fire power. Grey Knights need to get within 24"to start unloading those Psycannons and Psilencers. Even then, that's just to soften you up before they can start laying into you with Nemesis Force Weapons. We can use this to our advantage. Lure them in. Use cover, Venomthropes and screening fodder to mitigate damage as the Knights close in. Then we can use our superior speed to make sure it's us that get the charge, and not them. Even though in many cases the Grey Knights will still be going first due to the +2 Initiative bonus Nemesis Halberds grant them, it's still better to deny them the charge and the extra attacks that come with it.

2. Tar-Pits are your friend.

If any army isn't afraid of Monstrous Creatures and Multi-Wound "heavy" infantry units, it's the Grey Knights. With everyone toting force weapons, they excel at killing big beasties. Making them use those Nemesis Weapons to hack apart units that barely get a save anyway and could give less than a crap about Instant Death blunts their edge a bit. Hormagaunts are your friend in this regard. A charging brood of 20-30 Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs and Adrenal Glands will be striking at the same time as Halberd toting Knights. Re-rolling 1's to hit and wounding on a 4+ with re-rolls. This is a case of the more dice you make your opponent roll, the more 1's he's going to get. While he will be killing a number of Hormagaunts, he will also most likely be loosing a couple of guys in the process as well. Every fallen Grey Knight is a major blow to his force. Your Gaunts are expendable fodder. Use that to your advantage. Hold him up, then bring in heavier hitters in following turns to assist the Hormagaunts.

3. Synapse Creatures are a double edged sword.

Grey Knights have loads of tricks and toys that really mess with Psykers. Some of our Synapse Creatures are Psykers and as such are susceptible to these and will be less effective. However, the Grey Knights also rely heavily on Psychic Powers so Shadow in the Warp can be a huge thorn in their silvered sides. Most of their Psychic Powers are also used in an assault, when they'll be nice and close and without the immunity that a transport gives. It's a bit of a catch 22. Our Synapse Creatures can be both a hindrance and a help at the same time. The benefits are worth the drawbacks though. The more Psychic Tests they fail, the less effective they are as a whole and the easier they will be to take down. Failing a crucial Force Weapon test, or not being able to use Hammerhand can swing the tide in your favor.

4. Hive Guard v. Paladins.

Paladins are scary. Expensive as crack laced with gold dust, but scary. 2 Wound Terminators, carrying force weapons, rending Psycannons and with access to Feel No Pain is a tough nut to crack. Use Hive Guard. Make them roll those 1's. Every failed save is a dead Paladin, as the Impaler Cannon will double them out, negating any Feel No Pain and causing Instant Death.

5. Don't be afriad to run.

A typical Grey Knight army will be predominately comprised of Terminators. That means if you loose combat (which you will) they cannot sweeping advance. When charging them with units like Hormagaunts, try to get them out of Synapse control if you can. That way, the Hormagaunts will get away clean without suffering "No Retreat" wounds, and can then regroup at the beginning of their next movement phase providing they run back into Synapse. These "hit and run" style tactics can slowly wear down the Terminators while preserving more Hormagaunt bodies in the process.

6. Learn their weaknesses, try new tactics and have fun.

The Grey Knights are very new, and something most 40k players haven't encountered before. A very small, incredibly elite force that can really dish out the pain. A typical 2000pt force may comprise as little as 20-30 models. Seeing a force that small, do so much damage, and survive so much in return is daunting for many players. Cries of "cheese!" and "overpowered!" will spill from many a frustrated lip. They're tough. They're scary. They're not invincible. They pay a premium for being so bad ass. They can bleed. If it bleeds, we can kill it. Use this time to try things you haven't before. Use units you never really gave a chance. Try not to get frustrated. At the end of the day, this is a game. Win or loose it's supposed to be fun.