Demigryph knights warhammer 8th edition empire overview
In the game
In the game demigryph knights are a special monstrous cavalry choice for the empire. Demigryphs are ridden by inner circle knights and come with the full imperial knight regalia full plate mail, shield, barding and lance (though this can be exchanged for a halberd). They also have the usual command upgrades of inner circle preceptor, musician and standard bearer. Any unit of demigryph knights can take a magic standard.
The power in demigryph knights is the melee prowess of the demigryph themselves although inner circle knights rank around the best the human forces of the empire can muster they are by far overshadowed by the powerful demigryph.
Demigryph knights are a new unit for the forces of the empire in 8th edition warhammer and a welcome addition due to their combat prowess and the plethora of superior foes the human forces of the empire have to face.
Pros and cons
Pros are that demigryph knights are the only monstrous cavalry available to the empire they are decent costly points wise have 3 wounds and a fantastic 1+ armour save. They also pack probably the hardest punch of any empire unit in melee combat, backed up with their survivability will make them a familiar sight in many empire armies. Being a special selection also means you have up to have your army to spend on units of them.
Although heavily armoured and with 3 wounds apiece demigryph knights are vulnerable to any attack that bypasses their 1+ armour save and reduces it considerably. Demigryph knights only fight effectively in a single rank, as only the riders can make supporting attacks the combat prowess of the demigryph is lost if they are in a rear rank. Sadly neither grandmasters nor captains of the empire can ride upon demigryphs (or perhaps better warrior priests) this forces them to the outside of the demigryph knight unit and leaves them vulnerable to being sniped by war machines and other templates. As the most powerful empire unit demigryphs can really use the advantages offered by these characters to bolster them even further.
Demigryph knights can be used in two main ways as a shock cavalry or as a grinding unit. As shock cavalry you are relying on the 3 strength 5 armour piercing attacks of the demigryphs to destroy your enemy in a short space of time, if your lucky the inner circle knight atop may also cause a wound or two though the demigryph will do the bulk of the damage.
With a 1+ save demigryph knights can be extremely hard for low strength opponents to actually inflict major damage on them. This allows the demigryphs themselves to cause considerable damage over a number of combat rounds and grind these units down until they break.
The option to switch lances for halberds is interesting but ultimately I do not feel it is worth the exchange. Increasing 1 attack to strength 5 over strength 4 does not seem worth the loss of 1 point of armour save. The difference between saving on a 2+ and a 3+ is massive and the demigryph itself has enough attacks to make up for this loss.