Sunday, 12 October 2014

How to get the most out of your Grotesques [Updated]

So I've played three  games with the new codex and supplement so far. I have won two and drawn in another. The game I drew I was facing a tournament list with a decidedly noncompetitive build so early signs are good.

Grotesques and how to use them

Grotesques ate fantastic. Aim them at anything toughness 4 or Multi-wound with toughness 6+ to get the best from them. This will either mean they are wounding on 3s with rerolls or they have a chance for their instant death buff / fixed poison wounding comes into its own.

I have been running four in a Raider with a Succubus and vanilla Haemonculus. On the charge against a tactical squad they get 5 attacks plus d3 for rampage each. Add liquifiers to taste.

This throws out roughly 26 attacks at BS4, wounding on 3s with a reroll. If you're taking them out of the codex, furious charge means you're rerolling to wound on a 2+ against Marines. 

The Succubus gives you some nice ap2 high iniative attacks to compliment the bludgeoning grotesques; I have been using this to snipe any models that might be problematic (instant death weapons etc) with her pile-in step. The unit gives her an average toughness of 5 which is phenomenal. 

Acothyst or not?

Taking a scissorhand on the Acothyst (if you want one) is a decent route.  Against a lot of enemies he will be rerolling to wound, giving him more chance for rends.  This is especially true if you are taking grotesques from the main codex (and thus have the chance for a furious charge).  An agoniser is very good as well (rerolling to wound at AP3 against Marines), but 70pts for a squad leader is a little hefty. 

I've found an Acothyst valuable for protecting the Succubus from anything which might instagib her in a challenge, but he is not necessary for the success of the squad.

An HQ Tax?

The downside of Grotesques is that to get the most out of them you should really take them on the PfP table from the coven book as otherwise their first two turns of PfP grant them nothing. This does mean you lose the s6 charge, but for fearless and zealot it's a good trade. 

The only issue with this is it imposes an HQ tax on you: the standard Cohen detachment requiring 2 HQ and 2 Elites. A better option is probably go for the 'Grotesquerie' formation (which also gives them some nice boons) but this does require you to take two squads of them. Minimum points cost for this formation would be 275pts for vanilla everything. 

Potential Loadouts

The best route would probably be to take the 'Grotesquerie' formation outlined above.  Here is a potential loud out and tactica for their use:

  •  4 Grotesques in one squad riding with a Succubus in misery armour and wielding an archite glaive
  •  3 with Haemonculus totinng liquifier in the other (give these Grotesques liquifiers if you have the points to).

 Zoom the Succubus squad up the board in a Raider causing a nuisance (perhaps using advanced aethersails), aiming for a turn 2 charge backed up by deep striking units.  The liquifier unit can either deepstrike behind enemy lines with a WWP (providing the anvil to the Succubus' hammer) or zoom up the board with the Haemonculus. 

Doubling down on the fear

Once your Raiders have unloaded their contents, be sure to use them to tank shock units in the back field.  Once empty they will likely stop being a target priority, so be sure to use them to good effect.  If the Raiders have been bought from the Coven supplement they will cause -1 LD.  Combine this with the Misery Armour to scare deep lying devastator squads etc. off the board (requires grisly trophies / shock prows).

Complimentary Units

If you are big on coven units, a Webway Portal deep striking 'Dark Artisan' detachment will give your Grotesques some valuable buffs on their FnP (if you take the Spirit Syphon).  Deepstrike them in next to your grots; liquifier and spirit syphon the enemy before a charge with the grotesques.  There isn't a huge amount in the game that can withstand this and the talos provides you with valuable vehicle popping abilities (take a scissorhand on the Haemonculus so he can help out).  This will also help to spread the fear a little wider for your tank shocking Raiders (using their -1 LD bubble).


  1. Glad to hear you're doing well with them so far. I've only played the one game, both of us took sub-par lists to try stuff out (me DE, him DA). By turn 4 he was clutching at straws, Belial did well taking out my Talos and Cronos (fleshbane power sword so I was stuck trying to save wounds just with FNP. Tabled him turn 6. I took 4 grotesques with an archite glaive succubus, the grotesques didn't even get to fight as the succy wiped out a dev combat squad on her own.

    1. Glad to hear my success hasn't been isolated! A good tip is to go to ground with as much stuff as you want on PfP turn 4 - once fearless everyone will get up immediately.

      If you're taking grotesques from the coven detachment some tank shocking of units near the board edge with Raiders is never a bad idea either - leadership shenanigans can cause them to run off!

    2. And due to freakish spectacle rule, any raiders you buy your coven detachment cause -1 leadership too!

    3. Good spot with fearless, I hadn't thought of that one!

      I'd thought about tank shocking stuff, but only using the armour of misery (don't have the coven supplement yet, that may be a post-christmas addition though!)

    4. have a look here to see the barebones of what the covens offers!

  2. Thanks Stark! My coven supplement is in the post, looking forward to trying a few of these formations, particularly scalpel squadron, that one seems like lots of fun (oh yeah, need to buy wracks...)


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