We had a very quick looks at Grey Knights and some of the new things from Privateer Press a few days ago (Ranking Officers, Tiers and what looks like a new Warcaster for Ret), but now’s some time for some speculation proper. Even better, some more previews for Khador’s Battle Engine: the Gun Carriage!
First up: Grey Knights. Slated for an April release, there are now quite a lot of speculation and rumors floating around (mainly from Blood of Kittens, which is a pretty reliable site as GW rumors go). I won’t be talking so much about the rumors and everything, but more in relation to what they might mean to me as a predominantly Warmachine and Hordes fan, and who only dabbles in Games Workshop.
I think the Grey Knights are a great grand experiment for the latest edition of 40k. We all know that 40k thrives on a large number of models: something like 50-ish models to upwards of 100 models for a 2000 point game. It’s a much grander scale than skirmish type games like Warmachine, Malifaux and the like. And while that does rake in the dough, where does that leave gamers who are interested in the smaller model count games?
Cue Grey Knights. They’ve always been the ‘elite of the elite’ army, so updating them for the new edition seems like a natural choice. You’ll have a low model count army in the 20-30 model range, fit for the skirmish gamers and those who like to concentrate bringing out the best in their models (as opposed to the factory line approach most are forced to do with their troop masses). And if the Grey Knights can really hold their own as an army you’ll really be able to get the movie hero feel of just a handful of soldiers holding back the tide.
I totally expect the GK models to be priced exorbitantly, and amazingly baroque. After all, the Blood Angels have crazy detail and heraldry, and well it’s Games Workshop after all. But when the main obstacle to starting an army is time rather than money, the Grey Knights look like they might possibly be the first faction in 40k where I can field a proper army.
Next up, Warmachine. We’ve seen the new art and articles that were spoilered in No Quarter just a few days ago, and it seems like a huge slew of new stuff to talk about. Just off the top of my head: new Retribution warcaster, ranking officer rules (and probably some stats to go along with it), and new tier lists… it’s going to be an info-packed issue.
The Retrubution caster looks to be fun. He’s got a sword, what looks like a pistol, and a power gauntlet running to his backpack generating some sort of field. My guess is a battle mage, but a much more combat oriented model than Rahn. Probably a built in sort of Polarity Field? Or even some sort of ‘flesh of clay’ ability like the Wold Guardian/Rasheth?
The tidbit that everyone is talking about is Ranking Officers. Another new model type introduced in Wrath (together with the Battle Engines), Ranking officers are Unit Attachments that convert merc units into faction units for the sake of buffs, feats and the like. The important thing is while they will not be able to issue special unit orders, they themselves have buffs and orders that can benefit the unit in question. It looks like they can even be attached to character units, as evidenced by the art above.
Unfortunately, while ROs gain Advanced Deploy and Fearless if the unit has them, it doesn’t apply to other unit wide stats like pathfinder, stealth and the like. Combined with the fact that the unit is only considered a faction unit when the RO is in play, this would probably limit use of Ranking Officers to very specific merc units. Still, anything that gives me greater urge to cross field my mercs in my faction armies is a good thing.
We always also kind of assumed that each caster would have one tier list each but the ‘new tier lists!’ article in NQ kinda throws that out of the water. Not that we’re complaining, mind. eCaine was always boo’ed for the fact that his tier list contained lancers and not sentinels, and his art on the article means that it’s likely he’ll finally be getting the tier list he deserves.
Also, while the Battle Engines were talked about last week, this time we have a description of one of the Battle Engines: the Khadoran Gun Carriage! As one of the most combative-looking of the battle engines, the Gun Carriage looks like it’s going to be hell on the battlefield:
A weapon platform that can deliver death and ruin to nearly any part of the battlefield, the Khador gun carriage is a rolling engine of destruction. Its dual cannons can blast apart enemy warjacks, shatter troop formations, or transform the earth into a crater-scarred wasteland. Their resounding thunder often heralds Khadoran victory on the battlefield. Even without its mighty guns the massive machine can easily shatter through enemy lines and trample foes beneath tons of iron and horseflesh.
The cannons seem to pull double duty damaging jacks and units, as well as putting up terrain; we’re guessing rough terrain templates. And this gun carriage can definitely trample… it is tons of khadoran steel and horse after all! I wanted to get it before, but now I’m chomping at the bit to get it!
Add that to great prizes for the WM/Hordes leagues and I think we’ll be having a lot of fun from Privateer Press this year. 🙂
Grey Knight art by SlipGateCentral.