"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. That means that the Battle Sister is 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. 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.
More rarely they will be gathered together in 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.
|Forces of the Sisters of Battle|
|Command:|| Canoness - Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave |
Ministorum Priest - Sororitas Command Squad
|Troops:|| Avenging Angel - Arco-flagellant - Battle Sister Squad |
Celestians - Crusaders - Death Cult Assassin
Dominion Squad - Retributor Squad - Seraphim Squad
Sister Hospitaler - Sisters Repentia
|Vehicles:||Exorcist - Immolator - Penitent Engine - Repressor - Rhino|
|Flyers:||Avenger Strike Fighter - Drop Pod|
|Saints:||Living Saint - Geminae Superia|