"My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count."
- – Rifleman's Creed
Retributors are the most logical and patient of the Sisters of Battle. They are trusted with the biggest, most powerful weapons they have available and expected to not lose their minds in religious zealotry, but to dispatch their targets with clinical efficiency.
Retributors are taken from the most level headed of Battle Sisters and organised into squads of their own, where they may select from the holy trinity of Sororitas weapons: the Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer and Multi-Melta.
One might consider them analogous to Devastator Marines, but crucially the role of Retributor is not transitional. Though it may take many years for a battle sister to advance to the rank of Retributor, they are not expected to later graduate into a different role when she has served sufficient time; nor is she expected to rotate between positions in order to keep her other skills sharp or to fill short-falls in mission deployment. If she is trusted enough to bear a heavy weapon and trained enough to use it, then that is what she does full-time.
Interestingly, this means that the heavy weapon bearers in "normal" Battle Sister squads are all Retributors who furnish their squadmates with the benefit of their experience and additional weaponry. Furthermore this is their normal method of deployment; where they are trusted to prioritise their own targets or lay down suppressing fire as necessary to support the Sisters in their squad.
Additionally, these veteran sisters can also be gathered together into Retributors squads where they can concentrate their fire to destroy their targets.
Retributors are Battle Sisters armed with either a Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer or a Multi-Melta. When taken in regular Battle Sisters squads they are viewed no differently to the rest of their squad from a mechanical perspective, aside from the Heavy weapon. Where they use the same acts of faith as their squad. Though care must be taken to consider how their weapon effectively supports the squad they are attached to, as a Heavy weapon can slow the squad down. Without the ability to Combat Squad like Space Marines can, having one Retributor becomes less useful in larger squads where having a Multi-Melta renders the rest of her sisters redundant when she needs to shoot at a Tank. So a Heavy Flamer might well be the best option.
When gathered together in Retributor squads, you actually only get four Retributors with the rest of the squad being normal battle sisters and a Sister Superior. However the Act of Faith changes to allow them to add Rending to their ranged attacks. This obviously makes them more effective against high value targets and can make Heavy Bolters and any regular bolters from supporting "normal" Sisters into a frightening shitstorm for that one turn due to sheer volume of bullets.
However, Rending on Multi-Meltas is utterly redundant and may not even trigger when you fire four times at most in the given turn.
In ninth edition; fuck what that has brought us. Heavy Flamers have gained 4", Heavy Bolters have gone to D2, and Multi-Melta's have gone to Heavy 2. The latter is particularly insane, as due to a special rule these gals don't have the to hit debuff that comes from infantry moving with heavy weapons, and that combined with the ability to take two armorium cherubs means that you can put out 12 S8 AP-4 DD6 shots at 24" hitting on 3's, going up to DD6+2 at 12". Beware the day when Eradicators get nerfed, and these gals step into the limelight.
|Forces of the Sisters of Battle|
|Command:||Triumph of Saint Katherine - Canoness |
Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave - Imagifier
Ministorum Priest - Palatine - Dogmata
Sororitas Command Squad
|Troops:||Avenging Angel - Arco-flagellant - Battle Sister Squad |
Celestians - Crusaders - Death Cult Assassin
Dominion Squad - Retributor Squad - Seraphim Squad
Sisters Repentia - Zephyrim Squad
|Vehicles:||Castigator Tank - Exorcist - Immolator |
Paragon Warsuit - Penitent Engine
Repressor - Rhino - Mortifier
|Special Vehicles:||Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica|
|Flyers:||Avenger Strike Fighter|
|Spacecraft:||Aquila Lander - Drop Pod|
|Saints:||Living Saint - Geminae Superia|
|Non Militant:||Orders Dialogous - Orders Famulous - Orders Hospitaler |
Orders Pronatus - Hagiolater