One game with and two games against the new GKs in two days; a win, a draw, and a loss. I think I'm starting to get my head around what works and what doesn't. Some musings, but first an apology to Mat Ward. I came into this book thinking it looked like shit. It's not shit. It's awesome. So, sorry about that.
= In terms of how it all works, in my mind the GKs seem to be a lot like the Wolves, however where the Wolves rely on chipping away at you and find resiliency in having multiples of everything, the GKs will out-and-out kill your face off and find resiliency in the fact they are Marines-Plus. Squad for squad they are surprisingly destructive, and while a lot of their smashiness is concentrated in a 24 inch bubble they do have access to some natty fire support too.
= Psyfleman Dreads are, I reckon, the GK's Long Fangs; they're really, really good. Four S8 shots with rerolls to hit is enough to push a damage result past any transport's cover save in the early game, and once the cover saves start disappearing it's easily enough to tear most light vehicles to bits.
= Fortitude allows you to be a little more cavalier about deploying and moving your vehicles, and it can make GK mech armies a right royal pain in the bum. How? All the Autocannons and Missile Launchers you have brought along to Stunlock transports and Walkers; Fortitude makes those not work. Either you kill the vehicle, or it will keep coming after you.
= After yesterday's game against an MSU Coteaz army I was thinking Fortitude might be a good excuse to bring Land Raiders, the rationale being that silly Glancing hits from Missile Launchers and Lascannons would not be an issue. I was wrong. In most armies that can use them you will have enough models on the table to prevent Deep Striking Land Speeders and suicide Rhinos from Meltagunning them to death; not so with the Grey Knights. Mine only survived because my opponent's Land Speeder gunners were drunk, and his Meltawagons were too busy trying to stop my Dreads from chewing through his army.
= Dreadknights... they're a riot. They're almost worth taking for the Heavy Incinerator alone, which I reckon will be what most people do since his other shooting options don't seem all that inspiring. The Greatsword definitely seems worth it's water, although it's a choice between +1 Attack for free (giving him 5 on the charge) and rerolls on... well, everything it's possible to reroll in close combat for an extra 25pts.
= Psycannons are really cool. They're not as spammable as I'd like, but you can choke in enough of them at 1500pts to give most people headaches and they are dangerous enough to armour that they can't be ignored. The fact they will do a number on infantry doesn't really need to be stated; combined with Storm Bolters and Hammerhanded power weapons your anti-infantry needs are more or less taken care of. Give them to Terminators and they're very nasty indeed; Grand Masters and BroCaps pay a shit-ton of points for them for a reason.
= All that said, while your basic GK can and will step on the throat of most any other trooper you throw him at, the real anti-infantry nastiness lies with Purifiers. Cleansing Flame, cheap Halberds and free Incinerators sort of mark them out as the blokes you push into Ork hordes, although the extra Psycannons they have access to come in handy too.
= Grand Masters are awesome now. Other HQ options are available, some of them just as awesome, but if you want a big GK army at 1500pts then you're either taking a Grand Master or you're taking Crowe, as far as I can see.
I've got a couple more games booked in over the weekend so that gives me a chance to see how this all bears out. Guard and Tyranids next; yay!