Saturday, November 12, 2011

Anti Grey Knight Tactics with Space Wolves-Part 2

By Spaguatyrine

In part 1 we discussed:

The types of predominant lists
Tactic #1 Psychic defense against grey knights
Tactic #2 Removing their psychic protection
Tactic #3 Reducing the amount of power weapons before assaulting

In part 2 we will discuss.......

Tactic #4 DON'T BE TIMID!  Space Wolves are meant to assault.  Be smart but don't be intimidated by grey knights. That being said, of course they have power weapons.  But they are also weapon skill 4 and have less attacks than the space wolf grey hunter.  If you are fighting strike squads, shoot and assault as you have the advantage.  If you are fighting purifiers then you have to be more careful.  Since they are fearless and have 2 base attacks they are a tougher nut to crack.  If you play MSU, it might take multiple units to take them down.  Be smart about your situation. 

 I.E.  You have a 7 man GH unit with a meltagun and combimelta powerfist with going against a 10 man strike squad with 1 halberd and 2 psycannons.   Shooting into the the unit will kill 1-3 models.
During the assault the justicar will have only 2 attacks hitting once and with hammerhand will kill 1 model.  You then will have 18 attacks to their 6-9 depending on how many died to shooting.  With your 18 attacks you will effectively 1-2 models and they will effectively kill 1-3 models with hammerhand. At initiative 1 you will kill another 1-2 models with the WG 3 fist attacks.  You tie combat with 2-4 dead grey knights and 2-4 dead space wolves. 

In conclusion, if you have psychic protection and can cancel the hammerhand and take a wolf banner which allows the re-rolls of 1 in close combat, then you would effectively Win combat by denying 1-2 wounds from him and gaining 1-2 more for yourself. 
With terminators and purifiers this obviously changes the concept.  More halberds also change the concept but most players don't take halberds on strike squads as they cost 5 points each.

Tactic#5 "Plasma is the answer for the world today"
Plasma cannons and plasma guns and pistols are becoming more viable with Grey Knights than ever before.  Having to kill grey knights before they you assault them or they assault you is important. The more you kill the better for you.  Plasma cannons are great after you pop their transports and then put plasma templates on them bunched in a crater.  Do you have to worry about get's hot. yes, but it is very worth it to have the plasma to kill those terminators and PAGK in the open or cover.  Plasma guns and pistols are also becoming more viable as the option to move 12", jump out and rapid fire into a unit of GK that is in the open.    Take plasma my friend. I have used 2 plasma cannons since before the Nova and they have more than paid for themselves every time!
Tactics#6 'Rounds coming down range!"
The more rolls grey knights take the more things that die!  Statistics say 1 out of 3 marines will die when you roll 3 saves at a time.  High rates of fire will devastate grey knights.  Trust me. I lost my final game of Ard Boys because I played a grey knight army that had more firepower than mine did.  What does this mean?  Wolf guard with storm bolters maybe, heavy bolter razorbacks, assault cannons, frag missles, rapid firing bolters etc.  The more you have to shoot the better. Utilize your longfangs well. Deploy them in a crossfire pattern and if you have the choice, pick a deployment zone where grey knights will have to cross open ground.  (Also a key to fighting daemons)

Tactic#7 Dreadnoughts! Really?
If you can get dreadnoughts into close combat than you are golden!  With this being said you need to eliminate the librarians might of titan to make this effective.  Put a dread in base with draigo and sit there and laugh because draigo can't really do anything, This works great against paladins if you can isolate the rest of the paladins during and assault.  (Sorry Joe).  Also most strike squads and purifiers only have 1 hammer. Use that 12 armor to hurt them where they are week.  Bjorn is even stronger against them!! 

Tactic #8 Thunderwolves.  Really? 
Yes Thunderwolves can be force killed, yes they are toughness 5, but with storm shields they are still a very tough unit for Grey Knights to deal with. And yes as is a theme in all of these tactics, if you have Psychic Protection then grey knights come down a level.  Njal kills grey knights just as runes of warding does.  With your thunderwolves, combine a rune priest with a wolf tail talisman to give your self a great chance of not being force killed.  Don't be intimidated. Without hammer hand they still need a 5+ to wound the models. 

Tactic #9 Psychic protection.
I have mentioned this in every tactic so far.  IT IS THE MAIN REASON that Space wolves can stand toe to toe with Grey Knights. It won't be easy but you need this! 

Tactics#10 All tactics work together.
This is how everything works together. Using all these tactics together will make your chances stronger to beat grey knights with Space Wolves. 

Space wolves are the best at units cohesively working together for a common goal.  Use their strengths! 
By the way, isn't it funny that most pictures of space wolves are actually silver with trims of gold??


  1. Great analysis. Most defo you cannot stress enough the importance of Psychic defense that the Wolves have (3+ power cancellation re: njal, 4+ for other rune priests) which is an integral component of defeating Grey Knights.

    That been said will have to disagree with #7 (dread rush), a tactic only for the desperate, or opportunistic!

    GK players will have a tendency to take min. 1no. Daemonhammer per 5 men squad (termies, paladins, SS, Interceptors, etc) as an insurance due to their lack of melta for armour busting.

    That been said GK layers also do the same with their psycannons (1 in 5), and when whittling them down in long range will tend to keep their psycannons and lose their hammers, which in that case you pull the old dread rush and bob's yer uncle. (of course, terminators can take both psycannons & daemonhammers on one model so that negates this above scenario, but ignore that!)

    However I would avoid putting a wolf dread into close combat with any GK if they have any daemonhammers left that you don't manage to kill after assaulting, as they will go last. Hammerhands will ruin your day if you fail to nullify it, as S4 becomes S5, then doubled to become an S10 thunder hammer attack which will chew through Armour 12, let alone 13. I know they'll only get the 1 attack (PAGK), but if you must commit your dread, absolutely whittle down their numbers first before doing so.

    Also re: Draigo, unless the GK player is idiotic enough to have draigo run around without a paladin or termie retinue, feel free to dread rush. Otherwise, AVOID as no doubt draigo's bodyguard will have a Daemonhammer hidden somewhere there, and Draigo who is mastery level 2, along with brotherhood of psykers for the Paladins, will mean they can attempt to cast Hammerhands 3no. times (which is 3no. times you'll have to nullify on a 3+, but all it takes is a single fail!).

    That been said, the proper deployment of the Rune Priest/Njal to create anti-psychic bubbles is key to negating the advantages of the GK player.

    Great advice Spag!

  2. Thanks for your comments. In reference to a dread with draigo works if you can tie up the paladins with Thunderwolves where a paladin with a hammer cannot get within base.

    Unless, I am mistaken, Draigo and a group of paladins cannot cast hammerhand twice unless they have a librarian. You cannot cast the same psychic power.

    In addition, paladins will often not want to use their hammerhand to force the thunderwolves. Choices! :)

  3. Gotcha re: tying up Paladins to make sure none of the hammers can touch the Dread. In these high points, small elite unit games, the exact placement and location of models before, during, and after an assault becomes paramount in terms of game-making and game-breaking events!

    Re: Psychic powers, a group of Paladins are bound by Brotherhood of Psykers (therefore Psychic Mastery Level of 1, ergo 1no. Psychic Power) so get to cast Hammerhands once, if they haven’t already cast Holocaust as a shooting attack, or are holding themselves back to activate their Nemesis Force Swords, as you say choices, choices!

    Draigo himself is an Independent Character AND Psychic Mastery Level 2, just like a Librarian, hence he can cast 2no. powers.

    But !

    You’re right re: not being able to cast the same psychic power twice (My bad, just found this has been cleared by by the latest BRB FAQ version 1.4, July 2011, page 3). This also means that if a Librarian tries to cast Warp Rift (or any other power e.g. Summoning, Shrouding, etc) and it’s nullified by the Space Wolves psychic defense, they’re not allowed to try again, but have to cast a different power instead.

    So just to re-clarify: Draigo and a bodyguard of Paladins should only be able to cast Hammerhands twice. Much better oddsfor the Wolves!

    Does this mean though, that in Wolf Vs GK games, the GK player should thus spend the whole game hunting down and trying to kill your Njal/Runepriest? :)

  4. Chaos Marines can be very effective vs GK with Chosen/Havocs and PM tooled with massed plasma, supported by obliterators. Used a list with 24 plasma weapons and watched those paladins evaporate.

  5. @Menzies,

    Normally yes, but his Njal is always behind another rhino, or in cover with plenty of stuff in between him and the enemy.


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