A Justicar is a Grey Knight who has psychically and physically proven himself worthy of a new rank. Upon achieving this, the Justicar gets the honor of wearing more personal heraldry and leading a Grey Knight squad into battle. In addition, the Justicar can access the Daemonhunter's armory, taking what he views as necessary for the upcoming mission. On the battlefield, the Justicar is able to channel more psychic energy into his Nemesis Force Weapon, causing it to emanate with a power field capable of ignoring the thickest infantry armor and slicing into Daemon's hides. How a Justicar gears himself for the battle can determine a lot about his entire squad, not just himself, so it is important to consider all options.
The Justicar is the sergeant model for Grey Knight Power Armor squads, and leads his squad into battle. His cost is equivalent to another Grey Knight, so his benefits should be taken advantage of, since he is mandatory. For the 25 "upgrade" points put into him, he gains a Power Weapon, an extra attack, and one point higher in Leadership. He also gains access to the armory, being able to purchase wargear. However, a line in the codex stops him from buying weapons. "Grey Knights in power armor may only choose items from the Wargear list, they are well trained in the blessed weaponry of their order and are forbidden to use lesser items." There are ways to get around this (see the Shenanigans section of this post), but for now we'll ignore the possible exploits and simply cover wargear. Now, this will be very similar to the wargear post, and you may want to refer to this prior.
- Frag Grenades (1pt) - Models equipped with frag grenades are considered to have assault grenades and do not strike at a lower initiative when assaulting through cover.
These are one-point drops that tend to be completely useless. This only affects your Justicar, so the chance of it getting any actual use is slim to none. However, you might have that one point and have it end up saving your squad. There are better one point drops, such as search lights and targeters, but you can throw the point here if needed. I would put these on an Incinerator squad first, then Psycannons if you have them.
- Melta bombs (5pts) - They allow you to hit a vehicle (one attack) with a Strength 8 hit with 2D6 for Armor Penetration. Hits Dreadnoughts on a 6.
For 5 points, you have something that can attempt to get you out of combat with a high armor walker or kill a Land Raider. These are one of the better point drops. Sure, only equips your Justicar with this grenade, but it can really make someone think twice before charging you. It is a point filler at best, but a better one than some others. I would usually prioritize extra armor on transports over these, but I usually consider Melta bombs next.
(Note: I have skipped Krak Grenades. They really are worth nothing as you have a base strength of 6 so you only lose attacks using these)
- Refractor Shield (15pts) - Gives the model equipped with this a 5+ invulnerable save.
At first, this might seem great. 'Awesome, a 5+ invulnerable save! That'll save me against those low AP shots.' For one, if you have any plans on getting into an assault, losing your Justicar would be much worse than a normal Knight. Sure, it does give you a chance to pass those saves, but at the same time you have to allocate to the Justicar, meaning you have a 66% chance of losing him. At the same time, getting cover saves is pretty common in 5th edition, and they tend to be as good if not better, so shooting attacks probably won't even be worth using as you will probably have a 5+ cover save, if not a 4+. In close-combat, you will probably be taking a lot of power weapon wounds if any at all, so one 5+ save isn't going to change much. I'd recommend going for something else and forgoing this in almost every situation.
- Targeter (1 pt) - Allows you to pre-measure in the shooting phase. Cannot use Guess (barrage) weaponry fter measuring.
This is a great upgrade. Allowing you to pre-measure gives you so much. You can figure out if you will be in range for shooting, and if not run. You can make sure that higher priority target is in range before declaring shooting on it over a closer one. You can put this guy near tanks and measure to make sure they are in range before shooting with them, saving you some trouble. You can even measure to two different squads, checking if you would be able to assault either this turn to find out which you should shoot at. The list goes on. Such an amazing upgrade at one point, and can really help newer players out who aren't as good at estimating distances than others. If I have the points, I often put one of these on every Grey Knight squad I can. Shame Terminators can't use it.
As you can see, there isn't much worth taking, but those that are can really be gems in certain situations. Now, this wasn't the main goal of the article, though I figured I would include it with this next part. Onto the...
Now, you might be wondering what exactly I refer to with this. Well, as mentioned you can't equip a Grey Knight in power armor with weapons. Ah, but the Justicar can take other armor, granting him access to these weapons. There are benefits for this, allowing another psycannon in your squad, perhaps, but it comes at a large price, and not just in point costs. Let's go over the cons of getting rid of power armor for a Grey Knight Justicar.
- You either will pay 15 points or get a weaker armor save for 5 points, plus your new weapon will be costly.
- The Justicar loses the True Grit special rule, making his Storm Bolter no longer count as a pistol in close combat.
- You will probably lose your Storm Bolter taking a new weapon, meaning you may not be able to shoot before assaulting, depending on your upgrade.
- An Inquisitor can do practically the same thing for 20 points base + weapon cost and you don't lose your current Justicar.
- You get that new shiny weapon you were trying to get on a Justicar.
- You may improve your armor save to a 2+.
- You will gain a charge attack bonus, meaning if your new weapon is another close-combat weapon or pistol, you will gain an attack when charging.
I, personally, will probably rarely if ever use this kind of exploit, as it is simply too costly. However, I hope this gives you some food for thought and maybe you can prove me wrong, that there is a possibility of wargear that would really shine in a Grey Knight unit. Please, comment and let me know what you think about this, I'm always willing to have some feedback. Next post should cover the Heavy Support options for Grey Knights and I hope you'll find it useful.