As a Witch Hunters player one of the most common questions I get is about building an Inquisitorial Retinue. It’s an easy task to mess up and the difference between a strong Inquisitor and a weak one can dramatically affect an army’s performance.
Here are a few things to avoid when building an Inquisitorial Retinue:
1. Don’t take an Inquisitor unless you also intend to take Assassins. There are better ways to get BS4 Heavy Bolters in a Witch Hunters army.
2. Don’t take an Inquisitor Lord unless you are planning on taking three units of Assassins. The Elite Inquisitor is just as good and is a lot cheaper.
3. Don’t try to make your Inquisitor a close combat fighter. It’s tempting, I know, but it will never work.
4. Don’t go overboard on the unit. I try to keep the unit under 140 points for an Elite choice and 180 points for an HQ choice. If you are approaching 200 points, you’ve gone terribly wrong.
5. Don’t add Henchmen that you don’t need. Some of them are interesting and cool, but they end up watering down your majority army and weakening the squad.
6. Don’t forget about the Mixed Armor rules (BGB, p76). It’s the key to building a successful Retinue. No, really. Read it again.
Here is my typical Inquisitorial Retinue:
“Shooty” Elite Inquisitor
Elite Inquisitor (Boltgun)
Retinue: 3 Heavy Bolter Gun Servitors, 1 Acolyte (Carapace Armor, Boltgun), 2 Chirurgeons
This squad can deal out a lot of damage for 136pts and take a reasonable amount of shooting in return. Against a standard MEq army, I generally retain 100% of my Victory Points and pour out nine BS4 Heavy Bolter shots per turn for six turns. In the last year, I’ve only lost this squad to a Torrent of Fire army (Damn Eldar Scatterlasers!).
The HQ version has the same build, but I’ll add another Acolyte (in Carapace Armor) or two. Don’t be tempted to use the Plasma Cannon + Sage combo — leave this to the Daemonhunter Inquisitors.
Things to consider:
1. I buy Boltguns for my Inquisitor and Acolytes because I like them (and I usually get a couple of shots with them if my opponent closes). The squad would perform just as well if you left them with LasPistols and CCWs.
2. A Liber Heresius is a decent piece of wargear, particularly if you build your own board (or your club doesn’t build mirrored boards). Being able to select the board edge 83% (or 92%) of the time can be very handy.
3. An Inquistor Lord with a Psychic Hood can also be worth the points. I rarely use one, but with the new Eldar Codex I’ve been tempted. Don’t bother spending the points unless you are taking an Inquisitor Lord.
4. The Bolter-Stake Crossbow can be devastating in a very specific situations. When facing a Hive Tyrant, for example, it’s the best 10pts you can spend.
Things to remember:
1. Chirurgeons require you to put a wound on the Inquisitor to work. They don’t work like Apothecaries or Medics. If you can’t put a wound on the Inquisitor (due to Mixed Armor or due to the fact that he’s not a viable target), then the Chirurgeon won’t work. Yes, that means you have to pay 5pts to downgrade the Inquisitor Lord’s armor to Carapace Armor. He needs to be in majority armor type.
2. Acolytes require you to put a wound on the Inquisitor to work as well.
3. Both the Chirurgeon and Acolyte special abilities work only once per turn.
4. Gun Servitors have Targeters. That means you can pre-measure your 36″ Heavy Bolter. Always use this early in your shooting as it will help you range in your army’s other weapons. Very handy.
5. Gun Servitors also have Frag Grenades and Krak Grenades. I have yet to use them, but it’s nice to know they are there.
6. Inquisitors are psykers, even if they don’t have psyhic powers. This is rarely a benefit, but something to keep in mind.
Next Time: The Art of Taking Wounds on an Inquisitorial Retinue.