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Strike Squads

This is not a comprehensive look at the Strike Squad, but follows the reasoning of a few of the thing I like about them and what I use them for. For those not completely familair with the Grey Knight Strike Squads, they are one of the two basic troop choices for Grey Knights.

Some of the basics are 1 special weapon per 5 models in the unit. Meaning two psycannons for a 10 unit are ideal.

Psiliencer: Are heavy 24" range weapons. Making them less than ideal for anything but a terminator who can move and fire them.

Incinerator: I am not a fan of these flamers in strike squads. Either you make them shooty, or close combat oriented (which means halberds and you do not want to kill too many or make a unit fall back if you are going to assault).

Psycanon: We all know this one. S7 Ap4 rending. 24" range, assault 2 or heavy 4.

The Psycannon really is the only choice for a strike squad. They are relatively cheap here (10pts), so are the best special weapon to use. If you are not going with a special weapon for some reason, the other option really comes down to all close combat weapon upgrades.

This is in my opinion where the strike squad excels. The simply come with the ability to deepstrike. Its a rare ability to just have this as an option for your basic troop choice.

One of the interesting things with Grey Knights is how they can manipulate reserves and deepstriking rolls. Many of your HQ choices come with psychic communion. If you are using Grey Knight Terminators or Strike Squads, manipulating reserves is as simple as taking two HQs with psychic communion, where you get to adjust the reserve rolls after you roll the dice by up to +2 or -2.  This gives great control on deepstrikers when they arrive.

Servo-skulls reduce your scatter when you arrive. It is true that they can be removed, but if that is taken into account it becomes an asset, as it is one more thing your opponent is quickly trying to do. With Deepstrikers sitting in reserves, it becomes a tactical asset. Servo-skulls reduce your scatter by one die, so you are much more accurate.

Psybolt Ammunition
In no other unit are the points spent for psybolt ammunition so cost effective. For a 10 man strike squad with psybolt ammunition you are effecting 8 models with storm bolters, taking them up to S5. With this idea, it is quite possible to field an entire army with no or very little S4 weaponry.

Strike Squads are the on place I enjoy seeing psybolt ammunition used. Its very complimentary to having two psycannons, and when shooting at armour value 11, it makes sure that if your psycannons do not destroy it, you should get 1-3 glances from your storm bolters to render the vehicle inoperable.

With the flexibility of Deepstrikers being able to combat squad into different locations when deepstriking, and the manipulation of your reserves and deepstrike rolls, Strike squads suddenly become a very tactical asset on the table top. When they appear, they should be able to tear something up with psycannons and storm bolters, and they can appear wherever and whenever  you choose.

Warp Quake
The tactical flexibility advantage of the Strike Squads is something often taken for granted. Add in Warp Quake to that list, as daemon players and others with strong deep striking abilities will attest to.  Warp Quake provides a deep striking bubble of 12" surrounding the unit. This can literally effect a large area on the board with only a couple combat squadded units doing it. With their upgraded shooting, this allows them to counter punch anything that has to come in and land outside of where they were intending.

Deepstrikers are often meant to be a punch in the face to your opponent. Warp Quake quickly takes that away without much effort, and puts opposing units within optimal range of your guns. Just sitting there for you to take out.

The Strike Squad was not my favorite unit of choice when the codex came out, nor for a long time. However they are such a forgotten asset in the Grey Knight codex, that they deserve more playtime. In the world of  Draigo Wings, Coteaz, and Purifiers, the standard troop unit of the codex is not quite so shiney and most often left out of Grey Knight lists.

My current Strike Squads are 10 man units, given psybolt ammuntion and two psycannons. Total cost 240. Their objective is to drop into the fray at a time of my choosing and shoot the crap out of things. I do not upgrade their basic close combat weapons, simply for cost effiency, and the fact that having a power weapon as your basic weapon is good enough for me.

Post a Comment


  1. You need your HQs with psychic communion on the table to affect the reserve rolls correct? Do you just hide them from getting killed?

    It is true that affecting 8 models with psybolt ammo in strike squads is the most efficient in the codex I think.

    Warp Quake can also affect your army a large amount, due to it being deep striking.

    1. They are terminators grand masters. I dont generally need to hide them. So yes, they must be on the table, but attached to a 10 man unit of strike squad or a purifier squad, he is not going anywhere.

      Warp Quake on the opposing side should not effect a set up like this. Warp Quake is a 12" effect. Your guns are 24".

    2. It was really only if you can cause a mishap and/or really limit their deployment. This does require a fair amount of warp quake going on though.

      Making them deploy into terrain to cause dangerous terrain tests would also help.

  2. So Much Cheese!!! Good write up though. I especially liked the part about the psyammunition.

  3. Sorry if this is off topic but I wa hosting a game yesterday and a player with Anrakyr the traveller jacked a stromraven with mindatrike missles(?) and shot a unit of 5 terminators and killed them all. Sobieski think I found another way to counter GK. It was very amusing.

  4. I think that the Daemonhammer option on the sarge (generally with master-craft) is also a really good buy at 10/15pts; having a weapon that threatens ID and wounds consistently against any model in the game is a major edge, and it also can help you wreck tanks, etc.

    Otherwise I'm more or less in agreement. Psybolt is a solid investment if you're going for a full squad, though the option for 5+Psycannon (and no hammer) is very useful for a more MSU-oriented unit.

  5. Is the point of taking Daemonhammer so you have one model that can break armour?

    1. yes, the problem is not necessarily a tank, which can be shot do death. The problem lies in dreadnoughts/walkers. Just one could tie up the entire unit the rest of the game.

      Its also nice to be able to assault vehicles and take them down with a daemonhammer.

      For the most part, my strike squads do not have the extra points for this, but it is an excellent option to take.

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