Grey Knight Dreadnaughts ‘Rise of the Coffin Dodgers’ by Gary ‘The Voice’ Percival.

16 Jul


Dreadnaughts; they’ve been round in one form or another since the very first edition, and while the imagery for me has always been a very cool one (hands up who used to pretend to be Ed 209 on the playground?!?..Anyone?) the actual av12 dread in a game of 40k always underwhelmed for me.


But lately the tides have been turning and I as well as others have been seeing and using more and more dreads in various marine based lists. Riflemen dreads (i.e. 2 twin linked auto cannon) are the most common cause of this due to their cost effectiveness and ability to pop light tanks or turn their hand to anti infantry duties as the game sees fit, Blood Angel Furiouso Dreads (usually with the infantry shredding blood talon option) have also been a common sight in the past year, but the main cause as I see it is the preponderance of mech lists in general, where a dreadnaughts can gain cover or slip under the target priority radar much easier than before.


With the advent of the Grey Knight book however the humble dreadnaught in my opinion has really been dialled up 11 and the proverbial knob ripped off.


And here’s why:


Fortitude: A psychic power all Gk vehicles have, on a passed (leadership 10) test you get rid of all shaken and stun effects. I believe this to actually be one of the main strengths of the Gk book as a whole. The ability to have a (for example) shooty dreadnaught such as a rifleman in cover and just shrugging of stunned results is invaluable. This because allot of shooting tactics in 40k rely on “stun locking”, whereby you just stun a vehicle, make sure it can’t shoot and then move to the next target.  This creates a firepower superiority situation where even if you don’t kill all the vehicles; at least they’re not all shooting back at you next turn. This barely happens with Gk, so those shooty dreads really do churn out the hurt over a game.


Reinforced aegis: This boosts nearby grey knights aegis rule from a -1 penalty for psychic powers targeted at them to a tasty -4.  This specifically I have found is very useful vs. space wolfs and guard armies who can no longer rely on weaken resolve or Jaws of the world wolf /living lightning when they’re in a pinch. It’s a solid psychic defence ability considering you don’t really pay for it. (it’s worth here mentioning a grey knight dread is 5 points more as a base cost to most other dreads, and that pays for the aegis rule and fortitude…….it’s a steal….)


Psybolts: This is a piece of wargear that ups the strength of all storm bolter, heavy bolters, assault cannons an auto cannons by +1. This, my fellow readers, may quiet possibly the most under costed thing in any book ever, maybe even more than the changeling. The step up of one spot of strength for a measly 5 points is staggering. It makes an assault cannon passable at taking out land raiders, it makes the humble storm bolter a mini heavy bolter, and it makes a heavy bolter a passable light transport killer. It makes an auto cannon turn in to 2 missile launchers when you’re hunting tanks. That’s right those riflemen I’ve been banging on about for half a page….get better. And that’s before you even factor in other little advantages like being able to insta kill toughness four models and deny most blood angels their precious precious feel no paid saves (booo!!). The Psyrifleman Dread is, my friends for a mere 10 points more that its Codex marines counterparts…pimp.


Venerable ability: Venerable dreads have always been a bit of an odd one, the ability itself to reroll the damage table result is good; the price always seemed a little bit steep. Now with the increased offensive capability with the psybolts (to make you shoot harder) and fortitude (to keep you moving and shooting longer) and it becomes a bargain. The dreadnaught becomes a lynch pin, throwing out extremely accurate firepower almost every turn unless fortitude doesn’t get off, and with the better ballistic skill it becomes even less likely to miss. I personally have started to use one venerable as a tar pit/meat shield/jack of all trades. Armed with an assault cannon and twin auto cannon it can throw more shots (at bs5) than a rifleman the added bonus of  s7 rending shots for help vs. land raiders and mowing down elite infantry better. The decrease in range is not really a problem as I’m usually pushing forward to tar pit (i.e. tie up) units in combat. Weapon skill 5 and the venerable reroll can cause headaches for all but the most elite combat units. I call this little bad boy “ The Roughneck” and as a point man for a predominantly shooty army is great, the look of frustration on an opponent as you force a destroyed reroll to turn into a stunned; then casually pass your fortitude test and shoot them back next turn is worth the 60 point alone!!


So as you can see, with its inherent benefits and unique strengths, the Dreadnaught is a very strong choice in a grey knight army, for filling in one go that of Devastator, Psychic Defence and sometime tar pit, and I at least expect to see them in increasing numbers in the tournament scene.





6 Responses to “Grey Knight Dreadnaughts ‘Rise of the Coffin Dodgers’ by Gary ‘The Voice’ Percival.”

  1. BJ the Brave... July 16, 2011 at 18:38 #

    Grey Knights – ‘the second best army in the game!’ The dreads are just pure win!

  2. MattJ1 July 17, 2011 at 14:26 #

    Without doubt, dreads are the new, scariest thing on the scene and an auto pick in any Grey Knight Army.

  3. BadBoy July 17, 2011 at 14:28 #

    You’re on the money here Gary. Dreads are the new daddy of 40K and hitting six in my list.

  4. Mark Perry July 18, 2011 at 11:29 #

    … and then you make them scoring as well!

  5. Franco July 22, 2011 at 14:29 #

    Now I’m trying out my 1750 list after the 1500 I played at ToS and I’ve added a ven dread with the above set up and a stormraven. I’ve been using the stormraven to drop the ven dread off either midfield or in my opponents face (usually near an objective). It works well. They feel they need to deal with it but have a hard time doing so. Captain Objective Contester FTW. In the 2 games I’ve played so far he just dominated anything with 24″ and worst result he suffered was an immobilised.

  6. Neil Gilstrap July 26, 2011 at 18:34 #

    The more I’ve been playing with 6 Dreads, the more I realize just how awesome they are, and utilitarian. Granted, we play @ 2K, so getting that 6th Dread isn’t a big deal, but what I keep finding, over and over, is it’s the close combat ability that makes the Ven Dreads so worth it.

    I know that sounds dumb, but the thing to remember is that when you are packing 6 Psybolt Dreads in a list, along with 5 or so Psybacks, plus cargo, the long range shooting game is generally over by Turn 3. I mean, really, you have blown each other to bits. What’s usually left then is the assault game, probably because your opponent has now made it across the board with his (hopefully tattered) assault units and is ready to pick a fight. The problem is, he’ll have to pick it with a nigh invulnerable Venerable Dread, first. This ties up the enemy for a couple of turns which is all it usually takes for the Death Cultists to just meander from combat to combat and kill everything.

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