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I found an old thread in a search to address this old debate of whether it makes more sense to field a Grey Knight Grand Master or a Brother Captain as your HQ choice. However, as the thread was more than 200 days old, I could not post to it; therefore, I am initiating a new thread on the topic.
When trying to determine the better choice, I recommend the Brother Captain, and here is why:
For a mere 8 additional points than what it costs to field the GM (choice A), you can get a BC and two additional GKT (choice B). * See note below
Now, let's compare what you get for roughtly the same cost (A vs. B). A gives you 2 Storm bolter shots that hit on 2+ (Avg 1.67 hits). B gives you 6 Storm Bolter shots that hit on 3+ (Avg 4 hits). A gives you 4 Attacks in close combat at Initiative 5, or 5 Attacks when charging. B gives you 7 Attacks in close combat at Initiative 4, or 10 Attacks when charging (Note that this is almost double the attacks when receiving a charge, and exactly double when charging). All attacks from either choice A or B are at WS 5. A gives the possibility of a Force Weapon insta-kill, but this only matters against multi-wound enemy models. Both A and B will give you 3 wounds, but A can be insta-killed, whereas B cannot.
Another effect that makes the BC the better choice is the notorious "point-sink" effect. Since in choice B the cost is spread across three models, which are already quite effective, there is little pressure to add additional upgrades. With the already pricy GM, however, there is considerable pressure to squeeze the most out of the investment by upgrading him in various ways (Icon of the Just, Master-Crafting, etc.) which also serves to make him more expensive. Thus the GM becomes more expensive as he becomes the "point-sink" with marginal increases to his effectiveness. Upgrade points to the GM instead could have been allocated to additional GKT for choice B (or PAGK, or whatever else your army requires).
To summarize - I am certainly not proposing that the Brother Captain is always the superior choice over the Grand Master. The GM offers 2 key advantages: his higher Initiative, and the insta-kill potential of the Force Weapon. In some instances these advantages may outweigh the advantages highlighted in the Brother Captain choice above. Many times, however, they do not.
*Note - I realize that the minimum Retinue size for the Brother Captain is 3 GKT, but am only using 2 in the example above to demonstrate a comparison of your choices at (roughly) the same cost. My assumption is that in going with choice B, the player will find the additional points required to get at least one more GKT.
Your humble servent,
I agree, the grandmaster save my whole termie squad against an I5 Demon Prince using his force weapon, but i like the idea of more terminators! Yet there are times ( Failing a Doom Bolt save on GM) where i found having him was a disadvantage, and the Brother Captain ( Girft of Chaos-ified) where i was thankful to have the BC. I have heavily thought of all those points you made before this post, but lately i have been favouring the Brother Captain.
I used the GM a lot more when I had fewer models to make my army with. He's cool, and conveniently uses up points (like when I had to make 1500 pt armies but barely had enough models to do so). Now that I've got enough models to actually play around with my lists at nearly any level ... I find that I use the GM a lot less. I much prefer having more models. And more tactical flexibility. About the only time I still take the GM is when I play my friend's tyranids. Very handy to have a model that can insta-kill a few godzillas....
Oh, and another nice analysis, Valerian!
ninjabackhand: point and click, again, really? even after i give you an military term "shock tactic" you still call it point and click.
RIP Warhammer 40,000: 21 Sep 1998 - 24 May 2014
My humble opinion is the Grand master, he is worth the ponts all the way, I HATE using th eBC because I know the GM is more effective.
The gold grey knight man. These are hardy men who like cheese.
Ever thought of how cheese was found?:
`` I say sah, the milk in this barrel smells foul!``
``Oooohhh, give it a go!``
''Quack, damn you!''
-Jamie heinamen, Mythbusters.
I too have mostly switched to the BC for overall flexibility and a total of more troops. Like number6 said thought, against Tyranids and Eldar, I definatly take th GM.
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
Sir Winston Churchil
You didnt take into account the value of the I5 on the GM. Against all but the most tooled up CC troops he gets to strike first with his 4/5 attacks. The odds of him hitting and killing are tremendous, plus the fact that it is quite possible for him to hit and kill all enemies in his kill zone (btb and 2" from an enemy in btb) which means the potential for him to get NO strikes back at him after he kills them is easily there. The same can't be said for option B. The GM also has the same number of wounds as option B, meaning option A is just as survivable as option B, and for only a few more points (bionics, or even icon) it becomes even more so survivable.
Certainly, in low point games (<1250) a BC might be better to save points, but any other point game and a GM is well worth the investment if you can get him into CC.
I did, in fact, mention that the GM's attacks would be at I 5, which is a benefit, but not enough to usually cover the difference in the advantages that the BC + 2 GMT give, as noted in the original message.Originally Posted by dvangIf your GM charges, he'll get 5 attacks. With WS 5 and S 6, he'll kill an average 2.78 kills (hitting on a 3+ and wounding on a 2+) against most opponents. Being generous, we'll round that up to 3, which is extremely unlikely kill all enemy in his kill zone (btb and within 2"). If anyone left in the kill zone has a hidden powerfist, he will very likely be instakilled when the enemy attacks at I 1. Since the enemy gets to chose who to remove, you can bet that if there is a PF around, it'll stil be there to make this happen.Originally Posted by dvang
Now let us look at the BC + 2 GKT. They'll go at I 4, rather than I 5, but against most opponents they will still go first, or at worst simultaneously. They, too have WS 5 and S 6, which means that if they charge, they'll get 10 attacks. They will average 5.55 kills. That number is significant because it is exactly twice the average for the GM. This may not be enought to clear their kill zone, either. They might get killed by the PF wielding vet, too. But these guys are more likely to make at least one invulnerable save, keeping a GK alive, than the GM is likely to make 2 or 3 invulnerable saves.The GM would be just as surviveable if it weren't for the fact that he can be insta-killed by a single attack from a PF, whereas the 3 wounds in option B will take 3 successful wounding attacks from the PF. This makes option B considerably more surviveable, unless the opponent has no high strength (8+) close combat weapons.Originally Posted by dvangYes, but for the price you pay to make him slightly more surviveable, I could buy another GKT for option B, giving me one more wound, and two more shooting and two or three more close combat attacks.Originally Posted by dvang
Sometimes the GM is a good deal. Certainly against armies with nasty multiwound models, such as Eldar Wraithlords, and Tyranid Monstrous Creatures. Against anything else, however, the BC and GKT still win.
If you field a vindicare assassin you dont have to really worry about the power fists but Your GM should be with other units, and as such that unit would be more effective with the gm, as he would knock out some guys, then your greyknights/opponents go, gk soak up any wounds which have been reduced by the GM.
I think it just depends on what guys your going to fight. Are the Necron, the GM makes a damn good Necron Lord Hunter, and when going after orks, also the GM makes a good impact against those multiwound guys. But if you can't profit from the Instakill strike of the GM, leave him at home. A Psychic Instakill attack is worth about 40 points, which give you almost a Terminator.
well, I think th GM is better in a lot of situations, but i think it would be interesting to put the GM angainst BC and 2 termies. here's the math.
Shooting: No math really needed. even at BS5, the GM can't beat the BC and 2 termies 6 shots.
CC: this is were it gets interesting.I did the calculation so neither side gets the charge.
GM: hits on 4 wounds on 2 with 4 attacks. inflicts 1.6 wounds. invlun saves bring that down to 1.1111 wounds. rounds down to one.
RESULT: GM inflicts one wound
BC: hits on 4 wounds on 2 with 5 attacks. inflicts 2 wounds. saves bring that down to 1.38888 wounds. rounds down to one.
RESULT: GM loses one wound.
GM: attacks are unaffected by wounds lost, so deals another wound.
BC: hits on 4, wounds on 2, 3 attacks. causes 1.25 wounds. saves bring down to 0.8333.
rounds to one.
RESULT: BC inflicts one wound.
GM inflicts another wound, killing BC.
So there ya have it. the results of GM VS BC and 2 termies.
from whati can tell, Both the GM and BC are made to deal with elite units, but on slightly different levels.
hope that livened up the discussion.