Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Agents
In an interesting hiccup of fate, a little book called Codex: Imperial Agents has been bequeathed to use by the folks of Games Workshop. It contains within many factions and small detachments that an enterprising player (especially those of the Imperial bent) may wish to utilize.
- 1 Why Play Imperial Agents?
- 2 Factions
- 3 Cult Mechanicus
- 4 Aeronautica Imperialis
- 5 Adeptus Astra Telepathica
- 6 Adepta Sororitas
- 7 Deathwatch
- 8 Grey Knights
- 9 Legion of the Damned
- 10 Officio Assassinorium
- 10.1 Special Rules
- 10.2 The Assassins' Blades (Armoury)
- 10.3 Detachment
- 10.4 Unit Analysis
- 10.5 Formation
- 11 Inquisition
- 11.1 Warlord Traits
- 11.2 The Big =][='s Armory
- 11.2.1 Armour
- 11.2.2 Weapons of the Ordos
- 188.8.131.52 Henchmen Ranged Weapons
- 184.108.40.206 Henchmen Melee Weapons
- 220.127.116.11 Henchman Special Weapons and Wargear
- 18.104.22.168 All Ordos Ranged Weapons
- 22.214.171.124 All Ordos Melee Weapons
- 126.96.36.199 All Ordos Special Wargear
- 188.8.131.52 Ordo Malleus Ranged Weapons
- 184.108.40.206 Ordo Malleus Melee Weapons
- 220.127.116.11 Ordo Malleus Special Wargear
- 18.104.22.168 Ordo Hereticus Ranged Weapons
- 22.214.171.124 Ordo Hereticus Melee Weapons
- 126.96.36.199 Ordo Hereticus Special Wargear
- 188.8.131.52 Ordo Xenos Ranged Weapons
- 184.108.40.206 Ordo Xenos Melee Weapons
- 220.127.116.11 Ordo Xenos Special Wargear
- 18.104.22.168 Inquisitorial Relics:
- 11.2.3 Vehicle Upgrades
- 11.3 Detachment
- 11.4 Unit Analysis
- 11.5 Formation
- 12 See Also:
Why Play Imperial Agents?
- Rely on vehicles? The Enginseer Congregation gives you a direct means to repair and even buff them.
- Lacking psychic oomph? Take the Astra Telepathica or the Culexus or the Grey Knights or the Inquisition.
- Lack flyers? There's a formation that gives you flyers free of tax.
Overall it is quite funny to think about with it. Small detachments allow for a mess of an army. Which may or may not be the best on the min/max side of the game, but having it together with Inquisition and the very cool Divisio Military special rule can make you an army that is just oozing character. Sadly it is still a mess in some parts and missing some toys the Inquisition have in their codex.
Additionally, there are some more things to consider:
- This codex covers Inquisition, Sisters of Battle/Ecclesiarchy, and Assassins in a nice hardback format. If you already have these armies, you need this book.
- Many of the cloned units have either new formations or straight upgrades/alterations that make them better than other versions.
- So much conversion potential! Seriously, get out there you crazy modders.
This book lacks a unified Faction that is anything different than the generic Armies of the Imperium. Instead, there are several factions contained within that contain one or more formations that can be fielded.
This is particularly important with the newest ally ruling stating that Battle Brothers cannot begin the game embarked in an allied transport (thanks a lot, Eldar). One of the largest downsides of taking these new units as allies is that they have to stay outside your transports turn one.
- Not entirely! The Imperial Agents Errata lists:
- Page 46 – Faction and Allies
- Add the following to the end of the first paragraph:
- Transports from this Faction can transport Astra Militarum, Militarum Tempestus and Inquisition units as if they were all of the same Faction.
- Add the following to the end of the first paragraph:
- Page 46 – Faction and Allies
- Still not the best (that's the entry for Aeronautica Imperialis, incidentally), but better than nothing.
- Canticles of the Omnissiah: At the start of every turn, before reserves mosey on in, count the number of units with the Canticles of the Omnissiah unit. If you have more units, the resulting buff gets even better. Also, when counting the number of units you discount any squads that are falling back, and the canticle remains at that power level even if units regroup or new ones arrive on the table and bring your total higher. You may enact one Canticle of the Omnissiah which lasts until your next turn. With some exceptions, generally you can only use each Canticle once per game. The Canticles are:
- Incantation of the Iron Soul: Having 1-3 units gives them Stubborn, 4-7 gives them Stubborn and the ability to re-roll failed morale, fear & pinning checks. Having 8+ units just goes stuff it and gives them all Fearless.
- Shroudpsalm: 1-3 = Stealth, 4-7 = Shrouded while having 8+ gives both rules.
- This can combo beautifully with an allied force that you attached the Enginseer to.
- Chant of the Remorseless Fist: 1-3 units gives re-rolls of one to-hit in close combat, followed by re-rolls of one and two at 4-7, then simply getting to re-roll all fails to hit if you have 8+ units on the tabletop.
- Benediction of Omniscience: 1-3 units gives re-rolls of one to-hit while shooting, followed by re-rolls of one and two at 4-7, then simply getting to re-roll all fails to hit if you have 8+ units on the tabletop.
- This is great for gun servitors, for obvious reasons and with Imperial Agents you can have a lot of them.
- Invocation of Machine Might: 1-3 = plus one strength, increasing to plus two at 4-7, then plus three at 8+ units.
- This can make your basic servo-arm servitors surprisingly deadly in combat considering their cheap price tag, just having four units affected means they're all S8 AP1.
- Litany of the Electromancer: Your dudes generate electricity; in close combat, for every model you have with the Canticle the enemy takes a S4 AP- hit at Initiative 10 that phase. Increasing to two hits at 4-7 squads, and three hits at 8+.
- Also note that the buffs only apply to friendly models that have the Canticles of the Omnissiah special rule, as according to the rulebook, Canticle effects held by independent characters do not confer unto squads unless specifically noted, and vice versa, so you can't attach an Enginseer to a space marine squad and make them electrical or boost the accuracy of guardsmen. The only ones that apply to allies would be Shroudpsalm and The Incantation of the Iron Soul, which provide USRs that can confer to attached squads.
- Awaken the Machine: The Enginseer can give a friendly vehicle Power of the Machine Spirit instead of shooting. Awesome, and a good reason to never have him fire a shot throughout the whole game.
- Blessings of the Omnissiah: The ability to repair, it's what allows the Enginseer to restore a hull point, fix a Weapon Destroyed or Immobilised result. If he's not using Awaken the Machine then he should be using this ability.
- Laspistol: Standard small flashlight. Will never be used since you should always be fixing things or using Awaken the Machine instead.
- Frag Grenades: Useful for giving a squad that didn't have them the ability to run right through cover. Could also be thrown to decent effect, which is another reason you'll never use the Laspistol.
- Power Axe: You're stuck with it, so you might as well love it. There's worse weapons to be stuck with, and it means the Enginseer gets an okay amount of AP2 Attacks when combined with his Laspistol.
- Servo-arm: A Power Fist. Offers one attack, and if you're confident it can make for a sweet surprise in melee.
- Melta Bombs: Why not. The Enginseer only has one attack anyway, and if you're putting him with a squad to give them Frag Grenades, then you could do worse than this. For the most part, against vehicles and Monstrous Creatures it's a flat-out upgrade.
- Digital Weapons: If you're confident about the Servo-arm, then feel free. They can help turn an unlucky roll into a certain Wound.
- Refractor Field: No. The Enginseer, despite their power armour should not be taking hits, and if they did you already fucked up.
- 1 HQ, which must be an Enginseer.
- 0-1 Elites, which must be Servitors.
- Canticles of the Omnissiah: Units of this detachment gain Canticles of the Omnissiah.
A simple detachment, but a handy one. Hurt severely by lack of a transport, it nonetheless makes for a handy escort to slogging tank forces. If you're using an IG Armoured Company or a slow-walking Household Detachment, having a few of these guys will really help you out.
- Techpriest Enginseer
- Exactly the same as the Imperial Guard Enginseer; however, you are giving away orders and intra-codex synergy for effectively no limit in how many you can take and Canticles of the Omnissiah.
- If you were going to take Enginseers, this probably the preferable manner because Canticles are flat out worth it, especially if you have a Cult Mechanicus force the Enginseers and their servitors can easily buff up how many "units" are affected by canticles, giving you a +2 bonus for 50 points!
- Since Enginseers are Independent Characters they can take more advantage of Canticles than before, even giving stealth/shrouded/both to squads that don't have Canticles one turn per game, as a quick example.
- Belisarius Cawl (Imperial Triumvirate): The big bad Archmagos Dominus. Known better by his nickname, 'Fucking Bullshit!', Belisarius Cawl can be taken as an HQ in a Cult Mechanicus detachment, meaning that yes, he can be chosen by himself as a part of an Enginseer Congregation. He's definitely worth the 200 point price tag, being the best friend to tanks and tank lists, a nearly unkillable anvil, and somebody who carries around their own personal armoury that your other characters can use.
- Cawl has a Monstrous Creature statline, striking at S6 AP2 with four Attacks (3 base, +1 for two weapons), and his special rules are full of Mars-pattern hard cheddar.
- For starters, like any Dominus, he has artificer armour, refractor field and Feel no Pain, the last of which is re-rollable if he is the Warlord, basically making him immune to small arms fire and able to easily tank plasma blasts.
- Bear in mind that he does not have Eternal Warrior and his invulnerable save is only 5+. So a lucky Force hit is all that's needed to drop Cawl.
- Also like any Dominus, he can regenerate lost wounds, but instead of using Master of Machines, which he does not have, he now just up and regenerates D3 wounds each turn. Out of his pool of five. This he needs, for his weapons are devastating and combined with his other abilities, he'll become a massive fire-magnet.
- He has an Arc Scourge, an S+1 AP 4 Melee, Master-crafted, re-rollable Haywire stick tailor-made to wreck any vehicles he comes in contact with. A Master-crafted Power Axe comes in handy when he needs to kill 2+ armoured enemies and When he is overwhelmed, he can use his Mechadendrite Hive to do 2d6 S4 AP- attacks as well as a dataspike poke both at I10 in close combat, a bit like Anzion's Pseudogenetor, to clear out blobs.
- His ranged weapon though, is the most powerful one. The Solar Atomiser, the Mechanicus' version of a meltagun, is an astonishing 12" S 10 AP 1 Assault D3, Master-crafted, Melta gun that is almost equivalent to a portable melta-vet squad.
- Do note that you can (and likely should) increase the range of the Solar Atomiser by allying in the Inquisition, and using Jokaero to boost the range on the gun from 12", to 24". Even if you don't get the result you wanted, the extra Jokaero were probably going to come in handy anyway.
- His army-enhancing special rules are an icing on the cake. Scryerskull allows him to uncover a single Mysterious Objective in a turn, and while he lost Master of Machines, he still has Canticles of the Omnissiah, enhanced by the new Canticles of the Archmagos (unique to him).
- Canticles of the Archmagos: These work exactly like Canticles of the Omnissiah, scaling in power the more Canticles of the Omnissah units singing along. They can only be used if Belisarius Cawl is on the battlefield, and they also affect all Imperial vehicles within 12" of Cawl, even if those don't have Canticles of the Omnissiah! There are three of them:
- Harmony of Metallurgy: If you have 1-3 CotO units are granted a single IWND roll, 4-7 are granted two rolls, and 8+ are granted three IWND rolls to recover their Wounds and Hull Points. This more than makes up for the fact that Cawl does not have Master of Machines. Affects himself, too, so he can potentially recover 4 wounds in a single turn. No info as of yet on whether this stacks with existing IWND.
- Word of Neutralisation: If you have 1-3 CotO units increase their BS by 1, 4-7 increase their BS by 2, and 8+ increase their BS by 3. We herd you liek Doctrinae Imperatives, so we gave you a Doctrine in your Canticle so you can wipe out enemies while you are charging them. Compensates nicely for the generally bad BS of Cult Mechanicus units, allowing you to land a devastating alpha strike, and can severely increase the amount of firepower that IG/AM tanks are pumping out.
- Warhymn of Glory: If you have 1-3 CotO units now have a 6+ Invuln, which is increased to 5+ for 4 to 7 units and to 4+ to 8+ units. Pretty much the Blessing of Binharic Deliverance by another name, and is equally awesome. (Give a Knight a 4++ on the turn he gets into combat, or give a Knight Warden/Crusader +3 BS for a turn to really kill those units...)
- Do note that the Canticles of the Archmagos makes Cawl the best friend of every Imperial tank list in the game, and he can easily be cheesed with the Enginseer Congregation. Pay 40 points for an Enginseer? That's another +1 on the result of his abilities, allowing you to max out all of the results relatively quickly (especially with Servitors picking up the slack). Have Cawl buff and kill shit while your Enginseers fix all of the tanks around him.
- Arcana Mechanicum: On top of acting as a really nasty army buffer, Belisarius Cawl also gives the army that has him access to his own personal armoury. You can also gain access to it by taking a Conclave Acquisitorius formation or a Grand Convocation Detachment, but just taking Cawl is the best way to get access to it anyway.
- Numinasta's Casket of Electromancy: A not-nova with dubious use. If you can drop a character with it into the enemy's lines, and if they're running a tank list then it could potentially be useful, but 30 points and only one hit per unit make this one very situational.
- Quantum Annihilator: A different version of that disintegration gun the marines get for free, but this one's Assault D3, and its Strength is determined by 2D6, with 11's and 12's causing automatic Wounds/Pens with the Instant Death rule. Ironically one of the best weapons to use against Cawl, maybe that's why he took it. It's twice as expensive as a plasma gun, and the average roll means that it'll strike as one most of the time, however Assault D3 is undeniably better, even if its range is limited to 18", and so long as it's on a model with good BS, it can easily make its points back.
- Note that like Cawl's gun, this one can be buffed with a Jokaero from the Inquisition list, allowing you to increase the range to 30". If you're in need of lascannons, then it certainly wouldn't hurt to try, and the results can more than speak for themselves.
- Sacrifactum Autorepulsor: Technology not used since 30k's Solar Auxilia list, the Autorepulsor subtracts 2 from enemy charges, to a minimum of 0. Considering its very low price for a relic, you'd do well to include this on anybody in a gunline list, or even a heavy weapons squad.
- For bonus points, put it on a squad with flamers. That way if they charge they get WoD'd, you flame them again in your shooting phase, then in their phase, they charge again, get WoD'd again, and whoever survives all the flamings should have a very hard time winning in melee, even against a squad that wasn't meant for close combat.
- Memento-mortispex: You get to put one of the following on a unit with this device: Cognis Weapons (BS2 Overwatch and template weapons automatically get 3 hits for Wall of Death), Monster Hunter, Skyfire, Tank Hunters. A must take for any shooting list (and arguably any shooting squad) as you're going to find one of the four useful throughout the game, and it's one of the cheapest ways for the Imperium to gain Skyfire.
- Synergizes well with the Sacrifactum Autorepulsor, so long as you have two characters in a unit you can get both, and Cognis Weapons getting an extra chance to fire because the enemy got slowed down is both hilarious and useful.
- Omnissiah's Grace: Fucking awesome, there is no reason to not take this. Gives a 6+ Invuln, or improves an existing one by +1 (to a max of 3+). Forget Storm Shields, your Iron Halos/Rosarius are now just as good and without any of the drawbacks.
- Saint Curia's Autopurger: The new horde killer. First it stops enemy models from gaining bonus Attacks for charging (which could make it worth the price of entry on its own), and secondly all models in any units that are locked in combat with the bearer must pass a Toughness test at the Initiative 10 step. Anyone who fails suffers a Wound, though saves are taken as normal. This works great against armies with either low Toughness (like the new Horrors that Tzeentch armies have gotten) or against armies that have so many models/weak armour, that they're going to get Wounds anyway (Tyranids, Orks).
- Arguably the best use of this device is to stick it on an Inquisitor with Rad Grenades, as now all enemies will be taking Toughness tests at -1 Toughness, which you can Increase to -2 if you managed to get a Primaris from the Telepathica who knows Enfeeble. In these cases the device can kill more enemies than the Inquisitor and their unit, practically guaranteeing you win the combat.
- Lastly, a really cheesy tactic with Cawl is to ally in a Priest with Crusaders and make him join their unit. The Crusaders' 3++ more than makes up for Cawl's disappointing 5++, while the Priest not only ensures he won't go anywhere, but that he'll hit more often, and he'll also become more survivable too!
- Servitors: Same deal as the Enginseer. Arguably benefit from Canticles even more and if you want to take advantage of the higher Canticle bonuses, you want to get these guys. Normally milquetoast, the ability to get temporary re-rolls in shooting/melee as well as buffs makes servitors much more valuable. They're also borderline mandatory to come with servo-arms if you want your Enginseer to go around and actually fix things. If you use Litany of the Electromancer then they can also work shockingly well (badumtish) in melee combat, since they're cheap enough that you shouldn't worry too much about losing them if you want to have them counter-charge an approaching enemy.
- Navy Orders: The one and only reason you are taking an Officer of the Fleet. About 50% of the time he'll help your reserves get in (two of them makes it a practical guarantee) and with Air Superiority you have no excuse for failing reserve rolls.
- He can also hinder the enemy's reserve rolls, handy if your opponent is big on Outflanking/Deep-striking/fliers.
- Grav-chute Insertion: A rule that allows Valkyries to disgorge passengers without hovering. It's pretty sweet, even with the risky results as it helps your Valkyrie stay alive, and sometimes one or two deaths were worth taking the objective.
- Laspistol: You will take this because there's no point in keeping your CCW over it. Besides that, it's the only ranged weapon you have, and it sucks.
- Frag Grenades: If you're taking an Officer of the Fleet then these could come in handy to help certain squads who don't have them to charge through cover.
- Multi-laser: S6, three shots at a great range. What's not to love?
- Hellstrike Missiles: Hunter-Killer Missiles under a different name, and with the Ordnance type so that they're better for helping Valkyries knock enemy aircraft out of the sky.
- Multiple Rocket Pod: Super frag missiles, using a Large Blast instead of a small one. Great for hordes.
- Lascannon: The same anti-vehicle laser everyone knows and loves. S9 AP2 at huge range and on a very mobile platform.
- Heavy Bolters: If you took the Multiple Rocket Pods for horde clearing, you might as well double down with these guns too. They don't cost too much, and put out a respectable amount of dakka.
- Close Combat Weapon: As mentioned above, you'll never use this as there's no point.
- Refractor Field: Don't. It's half as expensive as the Officer who wears it and it won't save his life more often than it will, just get another Officer.
- Digital Weapons: A complete waste on Officers. Don't bother.
- Extra Armour:' Comes standard so that your birds are never stunlocked.
- Searchlight: Also standard in case you're terrified of 6+ cover saves on Turn 1 only.
Imperial Navy Section:
- 1 Fast Attack
- 0-1 HQ
- Air Superiority: You may re-roll Reserve rolls for this detachment. Combined with a fleet officer, your air support is pretty much assured to arrive turn two.
- Must be of the Aeronautica Imperialis faction.
Air Superiority Detachment: Just about everyone has access to this Detachment, but it bears special mention here.
- 1-3 Flyer Wings (For the Imperial Navy, each wing will be 2-4 Valkyries).
- Air Commander
- Pick a Wing Leader from this Detachment to be its commander. If the commander is in Reserve, you can re-roll the dice in the Interception sub-phase. If you have Air Superiority and the commander is in Reserve, you can add or subtract 2 from your Reserve Rolls, rather than 1, and your opponent must subtract 2 from their Reserve Rolls.
- Combined Formation
- You can roll once for all of the Wings in this Detachment to see if they arrive from Reserve. If the roll is successful they all arrive. If it fails none of them do. You can roll individually for each Wing if you prefer.
- Objective Secured
- All Transports from this Detachment which can Hover have the Objective Secured rule. A unit with this special rule which is Hovering controls objectives even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the Objective Marker, unless the enemy also has this special rule.
- Air Commander
That Objective Secured is the reason for the special mention, particularly since your Naval Valkyries can carry Inquisition, Imperial Guard, and Storm Trooper faction units freely - a compelling reason to ally these guys in. If you do, this is bound to come up, so remember, this is how Flyer Wings deploy:
- "[...] when they deploy, each Flyer in the Wing must be set up within 4" of at least one other model from the Flyer Wing, following the rules for Vehicle Squadron coherency described in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules."
And the wording on a Skyshield Landing Pad is:
- "When deploying your army, you can deploy one of your Flyers with the Hover type on top of each of your Skyshield Landing Pads, even though Flyers normally have to start the game in Reserve."
So, per Flyer Wings, you must deploy the two fliers near each other, but per Skyshield Landing Pad, you can deploy one of them on the Pad rather than starting it in Reserve. As there is currently no FAQ entry, discuss with your opponent whether:
- A) As the Pad lets you deploy one Wing member, the others are dragged along by the Pad's special rule, and deploy within 4" of the first Flyer.
- B) As the Pad only lets you deploy one Wing member, but the entire Wing must be deployed or not at all, the Wing overrides the Pad, and you cannot deploy any Wing members onto the Pad.
- Officer of the Fleet: The Officer must pass a command test to either give you a +1 to your reserves or force a -1 on enemy reserve rolls, seriously jeopardizing their well-thought schemes. However, he won't stop drop pods, his Ld is 7 (giving a 58% of his shit even working), and if the enemy doesn't reserve anything you've bought an expensive meat shield. So a bit more random, at that Leadership it's a bit of a risky gamble, and forces you to choose buff or bane. In combat, the Officer is as good as dead - use him as another warm body to stop a shot for your commander in the back of the squad. To boost his price up to equaling a powerfist, you can give him a refractor field for a slight boost in his chances of survival, though you might as well skip it since he'll be more survivable and cheaper just by hiding somewhere in the back (he also only needs to be on the board to use his abilities). Unlike his Imperial Guard counterpart, he's an independent character so you can use him to eat challenges that your real HQs find distasteful. He is also a massive fuck you towards Daemons players.
- In summary: he's great for or against reserve-heavy armies, otherwise mediocre. There's also the Valkyrie paywall you have to consider.
- Valkyries: (Attack Flyer) Goddamnit, why don't you have one? Valkyrie seems like a relatively expensive flying Chimera, but it is well worth it. It has BY DEFAULT Extra Armor in its profile, which means the bad bitch can never be stunlocked. If you keep your Valkyries zooming around the table, it's rare for them to die, keep them alive to support your armor with a hard-hitting blast from its Multiple Rocket Pods.
- Valkyries eat infantry and shit brass and work best carrying a squad in, deep-striking the squad in the most annoying place possible, and then flying off to rain hell on the enemy. It doesn't necessarily matter what this squad is, maybe some Sisters if you make them a part of the Inquisition thanks to the Inquisition's formation, maybe some Inquisition Henchmen, it could even start on the board if you have a Skyshield Landing Pad and be used to transport an Assassin to a better location if you feel like it.
- It should be noted that there are other units in Imperial Armies that can handle AA better, as well as Infantry better, however Valkyries are good at covering both bases well enough that if your current army's lacking a great way of dealing with either, then you likely won't be disappointed by the flyer, on top of it being a decent transport.
Adeptus Astra Telepathica
- It's For Your Own Good: If a Primaris with this rule perils in a unit with a Commissar, he dies immediately. Given that Primaris can now easily be used in other armies, this rule is not nearly as likely to come into play.
- Astropathic Orders: The one thing that makes most Astropaths better than Officers of the Fleet. Successful manifestations of powers (which is quite easy to accomplish) allows you to re-roll reserve rolls. Awesome.
- Laspistol: Your handheld flashlight. The only reason you'll use this Strength 3 BB pistol is because it's the only thing you have, and because the Primaris gets an extra attack with it if he's using his Force Weapon, and if your Wyrdvane Psykers get into combat for some reason.
- Frag Grenades: Useful for letting a squad that could normally be hindered by terrain to charge through it without issues. Can also be thrown, but a bad roll could hurt you more than the enemy.
- Close Combat Weapon: If anyone besides a Primaris gets into close combat, they're fucked and the Imperium knows it, so much so that they gave them a weapon that only serves to give them +1 Attack in melee.
- Force Weapon: Speaking of the Primaris, this is one of the reasons he stands out. A free Power Weapon that can cause Instant Death, why not? Make it an axe to make that more likely and let him slash while other models take the hits/challenges.
- Refractor Field: A mulligan to make your Primaris slightly more survivable. Astropaths can take it, but they never should since it's not nearly as helpful on a T3 W1 model, especially when a new Astropath is cheap.
- Digital Weapons: Useful on a Primaris trying to ID things, otherwise being able to re-roll one failed Wound won't help you much.
- 1 HQ
- 0-3 Elite
- Must be of the Astra Telepathica Faction.
- Empyric Link: HQ harnesses warp charges on 3+ when 5+ Wyrdvane Psykers from the same detachment are within 12".
- If your army doesn't rely heavily on transports, like blobguard, you can add any number of Primaris Psykers or Astropaths to your forces. The extra leadership, useful psychic punch/defense, and, for the Primaris the melee boost, can add a great edge for a fairly minimal cost investment.
- Primaris Psyker: Largely unchanged from being in the Imperial Guard, he's still a very cheap Psyker, still has access to everything except Daemonology and Telekinesis, still has decent equipment (such as a free Force Weapon and Refractor Field) and Empyric Link makes him a fantastic choice to buff to ML2, give some offensive powers (go with Biomancy or Pyromancy) and stick him wherever you see fit, preferably within range of the Wyrdvanes.
- The Primaris can also make a great challenge troll; you can technically give him a force axe, which gives him three S4 AP2 attacks base (four on the charge), and so long as he's within range of the Wyrdvanes he can ensure Instant Deaths on 3+. Of course, while he can dish out the hurt, he cannot take it, so stick him in a squad, make somebody in that squad challenge to tie up the biggest, most dangerous non-Eternal Warrior enemy there is, and when everyone else in the opposing squad is dead (hopefully everyone else will attack before I1, or you'll resolve the the Primaris' attacks last) you can have him strike the opposing challenger, activate his force weapon, and there you go, no more opponent.
- This strategy works best if you give him Biomancy, since the close range will allow him to use Smite, the other close range Biomancy attacks, and the buffs the unit can get either shine mostly in combat, or will help them get there/survive it. This also isn't limited to challenges, it can work well against any unit who has multiple Wounds, you just need to hide the Primaris somewhere in the unit (use the others as meatshields) to ensure he lives to attack (seriously, he can help make short work of the new Thousand Sons terminators).
- The Primaris can also make a great challenge troll; you can technically give him a force axe, which gives him three S4 AP2 attacks base (four on the charge), and so long as he's within range of the Wyrdvanes he can ensure Instant Deaths on 3+. Of course, while he can dish out the hurt, he cannot take it, so stick him in a squad, make somebody in that squad challenge to tie up the biggest, most dangerous non-Eternal Warrior enemy there is, and when everyone else in the opposing squad is dead (hopefully everyone else will attack before I1, or you'll resolve the the Primaris' attacks last) you can have him strike the opposing challenger, activate his force weapon, and there you go, no more opponent.
- Astropath: Cheaper and weaker than the Primaris Psyker. Lacks a force weapon and needs to purchase the refractor field, though that's arguably not worth it. Imperial Agents swapped out what the Astropath used to know, now instead of knowing Telepathy and Telekinesis, he knows Telepathy and Divination (meaning he only knows Divination). An excellent choice since you're going to want to use Prescience a lot, even if you didn't have the bonus of re-rolling Reserve rolls whenever he casts a Psychic Power (he's more useful than the Officer of the Fleet for bringing in reserves, unfortunately he doesn't have the ability to hinder the enemy's). He can also be upgraded to become ML2 but you don't want to do this; if he perils then he's fucked, if he's in combat he's fucked, if he gets shot he's fucked. You're better off with a second Astropath since a second one costs the exact same while having two of them gets the same results (unless you're trying to deny, but for psychic duels you want a Primaris anyway) and is twice as hard to kill.
- Wyrdvane Psykers: Another cheap psychic option, if you need more Psykers then you should get these guys as they come in 10 points more than a Primaris, but with the same powers and the ability to buff up the Primaris further. The lack of transport really hurts these guys in this list, which is why they're best used as an ally to an army that actually has transports (either keep them near the Primaris' transport, or put the Primaris in their unit and put them all in the same transport). Bonus points if you put them in a transport that has fire points so that you can throw powers around while the others shoot (an Inquisition Chimera could be extremely handy in this case).
- Do note that if you're taking an Astropath instead of the Primaris, don't take these guys. Always get the Primaris first and then get them so that you can make the most our of their buffing ability, otherwise you're paying 10 extra points for a larger target, one that doesn't have the luxury of hiding inside another unit, and one that is limited to the same powers without the ability to become ML2 (on top of having a worse profile and worse equipment).
- Also note that you'll probably want to buy an extra body or two if you want to make the most of their Empyric Link, losing it just because one of them died stings like a bitch.
- Oddly enough, the Adepta Sororitas name is a misnomer, and it would be far better off being called 'Forces of the Ecclesiarchy' as not only are all Ministorum forces available to be used, but a specific detachment both requires a priest, and cannot be used with a Canoness.
- Acts of Faith: Still the same system from the Digital Codex. Each unit can only use one Act of Faith per game for each unit, unless you take a Simulacrum Imperialis. On a Ld test you pass and it comes into play, giving the Sisters a little bonus for a short period, otherwise you fail and your Sisters gain nothing (though veteran players will feel right at home). Make sure that there's nothing nearby reducing the ladies leadership when they start praying. You can't attempt AoF unless the whole unit has Act of Faith / War Hymns (Sisters are very puritan about who can and can't receive miracles). Each of the Sisters' units has its own Act (see below).
- Shield of Faith: Pretty much everybody in the army gets Adamantium Will and a 6++ invulnerable save... you know, in case your enemy brought a ton of plasma or something, which, come to think of it, they probably did given that this is the plasmaspam edition and all. It's also useful against pain in the ass template weapons (looking at you, Helldrake). In case your opponent hits you with something that can punch through your 3+ save (or 4/5+ cover save), you've got a 1/6th chance to save your little dudettes, which is 17% better than the average Marine, so don't forget it. All in all, not great, but not bad either for an army-wide rule. Also, while the extra point of toughness on a space marine will be more useful against most small arms fire, SoF makes your basic Sisters more likely to survive a Power Fist to the face than the average Marine, which is highly amusing.
- Do not forget Adamantium Will, it moves your chances of negating psychic warp charges from 17% to 33%, however, this should not change your attitude towards allocating deny the witch charges, still throw the same as necessary because you still need to overcome your opponent's casting successes.
- It's very (VERY) important to remember that it works for vehicles as well (6++ and Adamantium Will). So if your opponent fires off a Psychic power that can hurt vehicles (like Eldritch Storm) you get a 5+ roll for each charge you allocate (yes vehicles get to Deny the Witch too), even before cover/invul saves. And it'll also occasionally make meltabombs bounce off which will make your opponent rage.
- Martyrdom: If a model with this rule is your Warlord and gets killed, Sisters get all hot and bothered and pass all their leadership tests until the end of your next turn. All of your HQ's have this rule and when they die, it usually means that the rest of the Sisters who haven't used their AoF yet will be able to spam their AoFs in addition to not running away scared. There's the possibility of sacrificing your warlord in order to make your next turn hurt, but resist the urge - it's a nice bonus, sure, but never worth giving up your HQ (especially with their cheap, powerful special rules (you ARE taking Jacobus, right?)). It's also worth noting that this may mean your Opponent will be reluctant to off your warlord if you have multiple units with primed acts of faith in a position to use them so make sure to strategically "remind" your opponent of this rule every so often.
Alas, this is a pretty sad lot. Two are good, two are not completely worthless but nothing particularly special, and two are almost totally pointless.
- Executioner of Heretics: Warlord gains Fear. Almost entirely useless unless you're fighting Tau or something.
- Indomitable Belief: Warlord and unit with Shield of Faith have 5+ invulnerable save. Jacobus has this by default. Increases your survivability slightly, which is great, particularly with re-rolled saves from a Priest (which Jacobus is... imagine that!).
- Pure of Will: Warlord and unit reroll failed Deny the Witch tests. Decent.
- Righteous Rage: Warlord Gains Rage. No shit. Solid on a Canoness and even a Priest with an Eviscerator can benefit from this.
- Beacon of Faith: All units within 12" of Warlord use her leadership on Acts or Hymn tests. Saint Celestine has this by default. Provides a little help with AoFs, what's with Sisters base Leadership being 8, but really you should just be grabbing Veteran Superiors as a rule. It can also work wonders with War Hymns though, given how Priests are LD7 only.
- Inspiring Orator: Friendlies within 12" gain Stubborn. You've got fearless priests - and Canonesses have Stubborn anyway - so this is mostly pointless.
The Holy Armoury
- Shotgun: No. We're aware it's only 1 point, but Priests are your only source of Plasma Guns, so that's what they should have if you're not giving them Storm Bolters, or nothing at all.
- Storm Bolter: No wait, come back. If you've got a squad with Heavy Bolters (say a 20 girl Battle Sister squad or a Retributor squad) this can be an okay buy for your Superior. By no means mandatory, but not a bad buy, and it's handy on a Priest too.
- Combi-Weapon: Comes in Flamer, Melta or Plasma form. This is actually a reasonably good buy for Superiors as well. Veteran Dominion Superiors love to take Combi-Meltas to ensure success, and small (5-6) Battle Sisters squads will benefit from the one extra flamer shot. Combi-Plasma is marginal, but could possibly be useful on a basic Battle Sister squad where their AoF offsets Gets Hot!
- Condemnor Boltgun: The Condemner Boltgun is a unique Combi-Weapon that the Sisters and Inquisition get. If you hit a unit with a psyker with the condemnor shot, you cause Perils on a random psyker in the group. This is an Emperor sent buff, but the new randomness may cause some small grief if going against a Brotherhood of Psykers and you want to get rid of that one specific asshat.
- Do note that it's strength 5 on the Condemnor shot, so if you can't reach a Psyker and your enemies all have 4+ or better anyway then you have nothing to lose (then again for 10 points you might as well take a different combi in the first place).
- Plasma Pistol: The same expensive Plasma Pistol that Space Marines know and wish they could love. Not a... terrible choice for Superiors or maybe a Canoness, but not a great one.
- Inferno Pistol: Range 6", S8 AP1 Melta Pistol, for Canoness and Seraphims. Not really worth 15 points, as everyone who can take it can get a Combi-Melta (more generally useful) for 5 points less or meltabombs for 10 points less. Looks reasonable on Seraphim, but there's no price decrease for buying two of them.
- Heavy Bolter: Good choice for a Battle Sisters squad hanging on back on an objective, or a Retributor squad. One of our only choices that isn't incredibly short ranged, so you should probably have someone toting it in your army someplace.
- Heavy Flamer: We're one of the only armies that can take a Heavy Flamer on our troops (and certainly one of the only ones who can take it on a 5 woman squad) so make the most of it. 5-10 girl squads in Immolators or Rhinos with Flamer/Heavy Flamer are excellent squad configurations Battle Sisters, and a 4 Heavy Flamer Retributor squad is another good choice.
- Multi-Melta: Nah. This is a great choice on an Immolator, but on an infantry squad? Nah. It's too short ranged, we have no access to Relentless squads and its renders Retributors' Act of Faith useless.
- Chainsword: Free, but meh. The extra attack isn't really worth all that much, especially when you're losing a bolter for it.
- Power Weapon: Comes in Sword, Axe, Maul, and Lance forms. Honestly, if you're looking here, for Priests, Canonesses or Superiors, you should probably grab an Axe. At I3, you're probably striking last already (except against IG or Tau, but you're gonna crunch them in CC already) and having S4 and AP2 will probably serve you well.
- Eviscerator: Basically a two handed chainfist without the fist - powerful, but expensive at 30 points. Weigh carefully against a Power Axe and meltabombs.
- Neural Whip: It's a power sword with Shred on non-vehicle units with leadership 8 or less, and if there are multiple Leadership values, use the majority (essentially making it a lightning claw against MEQs). Mob Rule? Fuck that noise. Only Mistresses of Repentance get these, which is unfortunate as they could have been a really good weapon (basic Sisters have LD 8... coincidence?).
- Blessed Banner: Friendly units within 12" of the Banner Bearer re-roll failed Morale, Fear and Pinning tests. It's all right if you've got a ton of units and can't afford the Priests (or if for some reason you can't take the extra Detachment to include all of the extra Preachers) but that's only because it works on ALL friendly units, not just sisters.
- Chirurgeon's Tools: As long as the Sister Hospitaller is alive, her unit has the Feel No Pain special rule. If you can spare the points, take one. Yes they're only for the Command Squad, yes they're only T3, but unless you're setting that squad up as a mini-Retributor squad then you're going to want them.
- Laud Hailer: Lets you reroll failed Act of Faith LD tests. Mathematically, it's more likely to let you succeed on an AoF than upgrading to a Superior would, and can potentially benefit multiple units. Get it for your vehicles.
- Rosarius: We all know what it does. 4++ for your squishy priests, Canoness needs to buy it (emphasis on needs). Now costs 15 points. If you take a Canoness, you are buying a Rosarius. No, do not argue. Are you still arguing? Stop it, and buy a fucking Rosarius.
- Simulacrum Imperialis: Units with this can perform 2 AoF per game instead of one. Any unit that NEEDS its AoF to be useful (which, lets face it, is more or less everyone) should take these as standard. Be careful though: if the bearer dies, you can't use either of your AoFs, so if you have one of these, don't be waiting until turn 3 to attempt your first Act. But should that happen, it likely means that your other important gears (Sister Superior, Priests, HQ's, Special / Heavy weapons) are still alive and kicking, so don't burn your
hereticspants if the Simulacrum gets sniped.
- 1 HQ which must be a Ministorum Priest.
- 0-1 Elites.
- All units must be of the Adepta Sororitas faction.
- Shield of Faith: All units gain Shield of Faith, perfect for MSU command squads or small battle conclaves. Most of the time this only applies to Arco-flagellants as they are the only ones in this army that don't have either Shield of Faith by default, or a better Invuln save already, although if you're up against a Psyker heavy force then you might be happy to have it on your Priests (as they don't have Shield of Faith by default) as well as your non-sisters units.
- Like the Psykana Division, this gives you an excuse to add a priest to *every single* unit in your army. Zealot alone makes this worthwhile, but your prayers, AW, and the option for an eviscerator or plasma gun is fantastic, as well.
Vestal Task force:
- Follows the same structure as the Combined Arms Detachment except this excludes Fortifications and Lords of War, and requires one Elites choice on top of one HQ and two Troops.
- The force also has Blessed Warrior instead of Ideal Mission Commander (though they give the exact same result, letting you re-roll Warlord Traits), and Army of Faith (allowing all units in your army to re-roll failed saving throws of 1 for an entire game turn) instead of Objective Secured. Could definitely be worth it, though that depends on who you're up against. If you're up against a lot of AP3/AP2 or an opponent with ObSec, then you'd probably have been better off with ObSec.
Easily the best section of this army, so don't be afraid to unashamedly drop points here. Everyone has their uses, especially the two special characters, which in this army Celestine and Jacobus might as well be mandatory if you want to win.
- Canoness: The Canoness is the cheapest base HQ Sisters have which in itself is quite handy, since one can never have too many Bolter Bitches running around. Seeing as how she's still just T3 with a 3+ Armor Save you WILL give her at least a Rosarius for the improved invulnerable save. Depending on what you've planned to do with her you can kit her a few different ways, but she's usually used as a supportive meatshield HQ. Generally giving her a combi-weapon or a good supportive relic is a solid option. Her AoF gives Hatred... in Assault Phase. Decent on the face of it, but Priests/Uriah already have Zealot, so what's the point? She's also Stubborn, which isn't all that important, but good to remember in a pinch (as with the AoF, pretty much only if your priests croaks).
- Consider the following: Canoness can provide valuable support, while Jacobus / Celestine (usually) steal the warlord spotlight. She's a cheap HQ choice, BUT she doesn't HAVE to be cheap. Given that she can have eternal warrior, a 3+/4++ AND an Eviscerator, she can become pretty formidable. Don't go up against big-time CC HQ's, but she could hold her own against the likes of a Lucius, for example. Or, alternatively, you could lose the eviscerator, but take the cloak and have her tank wounds (in this instance, she should NOT be your warlord). Retributors love their mistress, giving them a little extra durability that they need to make it to close combat.
- Alternative opinion: While still not the best, she could beat models FAR above her weight in the right squad. Kit her out as mentioned above (with eternal warrior and the eviscerator), but throw her in a Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave squad, preferably in a decent transport (you'll need to do some ally shenanigans to get an assault vehicle) with 4-5 crusaders, 5-6 death cult assassins and 1-2 priests (1 of them having Litanies of Faith). the squad itself will have rerollable 3+ invuln save in the front of the squad to keep the assassins alive and (if you took a second priest) either shred, or more AP2 attacks (depending on your need). As a result, your Canoness' 4++ is now rerollable and she will sometimes have shred. Very strong indeed.
- Consider the following: Canoness can provide valuable support, while Jacobus / Celestine (usually) steal the warlord spotlight. She's a cheap HQ choice, BUT she doesn't HAVE to be cheap. Given that she can have eternal warrior, a 3+/4++ AND an Eviscerator, she can become pretty formidable. Don't go up against big-time CC HQ's, but she could hold her own against the likes of a Lucius, for example. Or, alternatively, you could lose the eviscerator, but take the cloak and have her tank wounds (in this instance, she should NOT be your warlord). Retributors love their mistress, giving them a little extra durability that they need to make it to close combat.
- Priests: For only 25 points, these independent characters are your cheap unit buffers. They are Zealots (Fearless and Hatred), they can take relics (litanies anyone?), and they can use War Hymns to additionally augment their unit (reroll to wound, reroll failed saves, or grants the Preacher Smash, which is hilarious, albeit for the most part impractical). Always take them, no matter what army you're running or what your plan is they can come in handy, even if you are running a single squad of basic Sisters as an allied detachment, I don't care. Take the crazy preachers.
- The big puzzle with Priests is figuring out what wargear to take, from your rather extensive armory. There are a few stand-out options, however:
- Plasma Gun: Interesting because they're the only thing in your whole army that can take a non-combi plasma. Less interesting because having your source of Fearless burn his fingers and croak is a bummer, and because Rapid Fire is not a good thing in a choppy squad. Take these if your priests are riding with a standard Battle Sister squad, since their AoF gives Preferred Enemy (pretty much eliminating any chances of Gets Hot! screwing you over), and because they generally don't want to charge anyway.
- Power Weapon: If the priest is hanging around with a fighty squad - Celestians, Battle Conclaves - a little more armor-chopping power is nice to have. I'd pass on the sword, since priests are only S3, but both the axe and maul are good options. The maul is more interesting than it looks because if you use a War Hymn to gain Smash, it becomes AP2 and the Priest becomes S8, allowing the crazy preacher to squash Chapter Masters (although don't bet on it happening, it's far more likely to miss/get saved by an Invuln).
- Eviscerator: Add a bit more heavy punch, fitting since it might as well be a chainfist. A good bet with Celestians, or maybe with Repentia, but expensive as it more than doubles the Priest's base cost. If you take this, Smash will never be needed.
- Combi-Weapon: Always nice. For the reasons mentioned above, It'd be better to avoid combi-plasma (take it on someone with a 3+ if you really want it, or just take a real plasma gun), but combi-meltas and combi-flamers can both help out in the right circumstances (both times acting as a nice surprise for the enemy). Combi-weapons can also be useful for non-Sisters armies and can be well worth it, since the preachers are already really good buffers for any army and can provide good weapons at a price (with their base and special gear) that's affordable. They can also be helped with the whole "Only X in Y can take Z" weapons, providing extra options wherever you need them.
- Storm Bolter: No, really. It's cheap, and it's Assault 2 rather than Rapid Fire. A nice option if you're cheaping out or if you're not sure what squad you'll want the priest to run with. Pass on the Shotgun, and definitely pass on the Autogun, but this is handy.
- Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith: Badass old guy who loves to smite heretics with his Twin-barreled shotgun. For 100 points you get a buffed up priest with a decent assault shotgun (basically an AP4 Storm Bolter). His banner gives Counter-attack and Fearless within 12" and, more importantly, he gives the unit he's attached to an additional AoF that always gets passed automatically, and can be used even if a model with a Simalacrum Imperialis in the unit died. It also doesn't prevent the unit from using any other Act of Faith it might have in subsequent phases.
- Let's not forget he is still a priest, so Zealot, War Hymns (on LD 9!) and for being a HQ, Martyrdom special rule. Not to pile on, BUT his Warlord Trait also makes his squad have a 5++ instead of 6++ and under 7th edition, there's no rule stating that your highest LD character has to be your Warlord. The question is not whether or not you take this guy, it's to what squad do you attach him (9/10 woman Repentia? 20 woman Sisters blob? A bunch of assassins?). If you're taking allies, consider buying him (either taken with who else you think is appropriate, or just by himself in a Delegation) and the squad you stick him with an assault vehicle. Anyway you want him, he will not disappoint.
- Canoness Veridyan: While a kickass model, Veridyan isn't much different from a standard Canoness stat wise. She carries no unique weapons outside of a bolt pistol and power sword and to top it all off, her act of faith is the same as a regular Canoness. What she does have that is unique is her special ability Clinical Precision, basically she gives precision shot and strike to ALL sister models. For a cheap 85 pts, she's not that bad of an HQ choice, but that being said, avoid putting her in melee, as she has a 6 up Invulnerable save at best, so park her in a Command Squad with Heavy Bolters near some exorcists, and get that sweet precision shot bonus.
- Saint Celestine (Imperial Triumvirate): Talk about buffs. While originally nerfed in the Digital Incarnation, her most recent (re)incarnation has received one of the biggest buffs in the entire game. Coming in at twice what Jacobus costs, you do get what you're paying for, starting with Eternal Warrior, a gift from heaven considering she's still only T3, and her 5 Wounds and decent armour (2+/4++) makes her really hard to kill, even if she couldn't come back to life with all her Wounds restored! If for some reason you still thought she was too fragile, she also comes with the Geminae Superia, Canonesses that Celestine has resurrected, though their stats are midway between a Canoness and a Celestian; the main highlight is that every Wound against Celestine is instead resolved against the Geminae Superia (making Celestine a great challenge troll). This might be a little worrying, if one of the Geminae Superia didn't come back to life each and every turn (by default giving Celestine 14+ Wounds), and to make things better, they don't prevent Celestine from joining units!
- Do note that as she can come back once per game, and does so with full Wounds, her Martyrdom only kicks in once she dies for real. On the plus side she only awards VP for Slay the Warlord when she's removed for real.
- For her other equipment Celestine retains her Assault 1 Heavy Flamer Master-crafted Sword, which becomes S+2 AP3 in melee so she can consistently rip through hordes with both her 5 attacks and the Geminae's combined 6, and she now has Armourbane. While you shouldn't expect her to peel open Land Raiders (you have Dominions for that) she can and will tear apart anything AV 12 and lower, and even AV 13 isn't safe from her. At I7 she'll also strike first against pretty much anything but the big greater Daemons and some of the Dark Eldar HQs. She also gets a MEQ-killing one-shot S8 AP3 Orbital Bombardment, which is useful in the turn before she reaches combat.
- She also has some potential as a character killer once again (the Gathering Storm fluff has her kicking Abbadon's ass - with her new stats, entirely possible if unlikely, even being AP3 she has so many Attacks and the Geminae can take so many Wounds for her it's not even funny).
- Her Warlord Trait allows all units within 12" of her to use her Ld10 for AoF and War Hymns. Given that normal Priests are LD7, giving you even-odds on passing the War Hymns tests and the advantages successful Hymns can give you, this is easily a massive incentive for taking her if you were already planning on a lot of Priests (as you should be).
- She's also gained Saintly Blessings, being able to bless a specific type of unit within 12" of her with a special ability (Zealot for HQ, FNP6+ for Troops or +1 if they already had it, Counter Attack and Furious Charge for Elites, Fleet and Crusader for Fast Attack, Relentless for Heavy Support and It Will Not Die for Lord of War). These abilities make her a bit schizophrenic in a footslogging list. She should be at the vanguard of your assault, but if you are marching, she's going to outrun her bubble. To get around this, you can just ally her into another army that doesn't have the disadvantage of a marching list.
- Like Jacobus, the question isn't whether or not you should take her, it's where she should be, and thanks to her blessings she can excel everywhere. If you want her in combat, put her with Seraphim or some sort of Assault Squad (Marines with Celestine will function as a battlefield blender) and if you have a gunline, then she can still function well as a counter-charge unit.
- Overall, she is a great unit. Outside of her strength and toughness of 3 (buffed by EW), she has a fantastic statline, wargear, and special abilities, and Celestine even has her own Relics, all of which are worth it in their own way. She's not the only way to gain access to these relics, listed below, but she's definitely the easiest way.
- Ecclesiarchy Relics: First and foremost, these Relics can be given to any Character who can normally take a relic (or their equivalent), provided they're in an army that includes Saint Celestine, or are part of a Wrathful Crusade Formation/Castellans of the Imperium Detachment (just stick with Celestine, she's worth it and those other two include options for her anyway).
- Skull of Petronella the Pious: Offers a 6+ Invuln save to the entire squad, and isn't worth it for the Sisters. If given to a Priest who's put into a massive blob on the other hand, it could definitely find its use, essentially giving whichever unit you want Shield of Faith (you made sure to take that Priest as part of the Ministorum Delegation right?).
- Blade of the Worthy Essentially a Power Sword, but if the character wielding it passes a Leadership test, it turns into Celestine's own sword, but at AP2 instead of AP3. Absurdly good, especially on somebody like a Marine to offer S6 AP2 at Initiative.
- Castigator: A bolt pistol, albeit one that ignores both Armour and Invulnerable saves. At 15 points there's little reason not to take this, especially if you know your opponent's HQs are going to be having high Armour/Invulns. Hell, one shot at a SS/TH Terminator could make more than double its points back. Bonus points if you put this on an Inquisitor who joins a Jokaero to double the range the pistol normally has. It is also a good way to force a terminator captain to have a pistol for that sweet dual-wield bonus.
- The Font of Fury: The Holy Hand Grenade of Comic Sans. A frag grenade with Large Blast instead of Blast and with the the Bane of Evil rule, causing it to have Poisoned (2+) against all Chaos units. While it's obviously pretty decent against Chaos units (the only exceptions being Chaos Marines thanks to their armour), it can also be worth it against other armies too, since it's still Poisoned (4+) against them, and at 10 points only it's a steal, so long as you live long enough to throw it. Just give it to somebody wearing a Jump Pack to make sure that comes to pass.
- Shroud of the Anti-Martyr: For 35 points you can give somebody the Eternal Warrior rule. You're paying out the ass for this, so put it on somebody who'll be worth it. A good way to determine this is if the Shroud costs 50% or more what the model does once all of their upgrades have been added, then don't give it to them, just get another model, or beef them up some more. Chapter Masters in particular can benefit from this greatly (just for that extra fuck you to Powerfists/Thunder Hammers).
- Desvalle's Holy Circle: For those who hate Deep-striking. First of all it's an Iron Halo/Rosarius (so no need to buy that for whomever you're giving this to), and secondly enemies cannot arrive within 12" of the bearer, and if they scatter into that range they automatically suffer a Deep Strike Mishap. Awesome, and it's one of the very few ways that you can give certain models like Inquisitors Invulnerable saves.
Not the best selection for your army, but they're usable... kinda. Slightly improved now that the Command Squad can be taken solo though.
- Sororitas Command Squad: With the Canoness tax gone, these ladies can now be taken on their own. Their options are a little schizophrenic, their long-ranged weapons not fitting with their assault-oriented AoF combined with decent close combat capability. That said, they are a quite solid option for shooting with the allowance of up to 5 Combi-weapons, Special or Heavy Weapons.
- A pretty decent alternative Retributor squad, they can do the same job without sucking up one of your valuable Heavy Support slots and they can do it while buffing the units around them. Either shooting from the back and allowing units to re-roll their AoF tests, or by popping out of cabs to burn shit with their Heavy Flamers/Combi-plasmas. If this is your plan, then you might as well give them an Immolater.
- They do have access to Power Weapons and some good melee options, so they can also provide melee prowess, though if that's your plan you have to prepare for it. The Sisters are still only T3 so get a Hospitaller for her Feel No Pain, get some Axes to mitigate their Strength 3, get one or two Priests for psuedo-shred/more survivability, with the Sacred Banner. If you manage to charge with them they'll each deal 4 Attacks that re-roll both To Hit and To Wound at Strength 4 AP2, while being decently tough themselves.
- The Dialogus is a bit iffy, if you're taking a lot of Retributers or using a Command Squad to back up a regular Sisters squad however then they could be worth it, though at that point you might as well base the entire squad around them. Get a Blessed Standard, Hospitaller (she's cheap enough for durability she offers for the points to be worth it), and give the rest decent enough weapons, like Combi-weapons/Storm Bolters.
- Do note that in most cases you'll just be better off by slapping a Laud Hailer on your vehicles, it'll be more useful and cheaper than the entire squad.
- A fun way to use them is as the absolute bane of a psyker or a squad of psykers. Give all 5 condemnor boltguns and perils the living hell out of that farseer/librarian/cheese rerollable 2++ deathstar unit. Fun stuff. Obvious counterpick, but fun stuff.
- Celestians: Good news - Celestians are now only 14 points each (only 2 more than a Battle Sister, for +1 point of WS, +1 Attack and +1 LD) and get Furious Charge as their AoF. If you want to take them, you have to commit to them, and I mean fully. Want a squad of 5? Fuck you, just go get some more basic Sisters. 9 Celestians, Flamer, Heavy flamer, Combi-Flamer and Power Sword/Axe for your Sister Superior and a Priest (with a Combi-Flamer and Power Axe of his own). This is probably not going to be cheap, but it'll make your Celestians a fairly nasty close combat unit, which could easily be used for a downfield push or contesting an objective late game. If you do this, consider putting your Canoness in that unit too, and if you have a Command Squad with the Sacred Banner of the Orders Militant, keep it nearby too. A bit of a death star, but an opponent that doesn't know how Sisters work will very likely be caught off guard. They're still not a must have, but if you're playing aggressively they will probably suit your playstyle.
- Sisters Repentia: They are a fragile unit (6++) that pumps out a frightening number of eviscerator swings in close combat. Thanks to Rage they get +2 attacks on the charge instead of +1 and they can take a dedicated transport. Still no assault vehicles on Sisters though, moreover, if your opponent doesn't shoot them to death after blowing up their limo, he can assault the two you have left, thus negating your awesome charge bonus. If you're not running a Mech list or using ally shenanigans to give them an Assault Vehicle then do what you did before and keep these ladies behind a moving screen of blob cover (suicide IG blob, anyone?).
- Note their FNP is now an AoF (although an incredible 3+); it doesn't come standard. A full squad only costs 155pts, season to taste with Preachers. You may lose Fleet, but you get Zealot and War Hymns (reroll wounds, reroll saves (for what that 6++ is worth, do note that a re-roll boosts the Save chance from 16.7% to 30.6%, which is close to the 33% chance from a 5++, and if you have Uriah Jacobus or a lucky Canoness with the right Warlord Trait, that rerollable 5++ is better than a 4++)). It might not be a bad idea to invest in Litanies of Faith, either. These bondage babes are a glass cannon and you can't really afford them forgetting their safety word. Depending on whether you gave them the Litanies of Faith or Uriah Jacobus, it might be worthwhile to toss the Mistress of Repentance at the front of the unit, as she might absorb a couple of bolter shots up front that would otherwise cost you a Repentia. Remember that each and every Repentia you keep alive to hit home with a charge will be well worth it.
- If you really wanted to fuck somebody over, you could ally in the Deathwatch, use them to help fight the long-ranged game while the Sisters and their Priest(s)/Jacobus hop in the Corvus Blackstar, although to make this work it'd probably be worth it to invest in a Skyshield Landing Pad (you were probably going to need that 4++ anyway). Load them up, move them up, and then have them all charge out the second they're within range. So long as you can get them to where they need to be you'll never be disappointed by their performance.
- Arco-Flagellants: Puts out 4 S5 attacks per turn (that unfortunately allow armor saves) and has Feel No Pain. Good for being used as beatsticks against low-armor units, such as Orks or lesser Daemons and they can glance most vehicles to death on rear armor in a heartbeat.
- Note that they're they're insanely squishy (no armor, and FNP on T3) and only I3. You can mitigate this somewhat by taking them as part of a Delegation (you were going to use that Priest anyway) since now they get 6++ followed by FnP, but you're still going to either want to screen them, or give them a transport. They are cheap as hell for what they offer though, so don't feel bad if some of them die. Think of them as the lighter hitting version of Repentia, while those girls can deal with the heavy armour, these guys are better for the lighter stuff.
- There's a bit of a question on which is better at killing, Arco-Flagellants, or Death Cult Assassins. The answer is that Death Cults are better at killing MEQs (though just slightly), Arco-Flagellants are better at killing everything else.
- Also note that they can be used to great effect in a Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave, since that way you can pair them up with Crusaders so that they essentially have a 3++ save.
- Crusaders: Crusaders come with power swords and storm shields, and are ridiculously good for how much they cost (they also wear Flak Armour, for what it's worth). Useful only as a screening unit, use them to suck up wounds that would otherwise be unsaveable. Not so good for offense, but soak heavy fire and power weapon attacks like a sponge, while offering a good cover save to anyone behind them (your opponent can't get rid of them, or anyone hiding behind them).
- With 3++ and power swords these guys will almost always win combat with [MEQ]s, making them incredibly useful against most armies. A unit of 8 With an Eviscerator Priest with plasma can provide a very strong unit. Make sure not to forget that priest, though: the save re-roll will significantly extend the life of your bullet sponges.
- Death Cult Assassins: A very odd choice in an army that already has the Sisters Repentia, and surprisingly similar, even if there's a few base differences.
- For starters, no FnP Act of Faith, instead they get a guaranteed 5+ Invuln. Already they're tougher to kill than the Sisters, though that could easily be mitigated by Jacobus (who was probably going to join that squad anyway).
- They carry two Power Swords instead of an Eviscerator and Rage, which means that they still get the same amount of attacks on the charge, but at I6, S4, AP3 instead of I1, S6, AP2. In addition these girls get a bonus Attack over the Sisters if they're charged, or if they make it to Round 2.
- The Death Cult Assassins are WS5 instead of WS4, and this is what finally sets them apart. Sisters Repentia can be really worth it as a hard-hitting hammer, but the Death Cults are simply better against the right targets, anyone with I3 and WS4 and lower with 3+ saves or worse (so basically humans and many xenos) is going to be minced by the Assassins (they can also deal with MEQ's better, provided the MEQ's have unwieldy weapons), while the Repentia could lose some models to their attacks and not be as effective, especially in subsequent rounds.
- Do note that if you're making a list that includes both Arco-Flagellants and Repentia, that you might as well get more Repentia, unless you are very confident you can deliver the Death Cults to exactly where they need to go, but don't waste an Assault Transport trying to get them there, save that for your Repentia.
- Tactical Note: Think of these girls as Imperial Harlequins with half the cool shit Harlies get. They're a glass cannon unit that will utterly delete the right squads if they get into close combat (Incubi and Striking Scorpions come to mind). Your problem lies in getting them there, something the Ministorum Assassins don't have an effective means of doing. Instead of picking up the DCAs here, look down at the Inquisitiorial Henchmen warband which can pack the swordwhores in a land raider along with the priest you were going to take anyways and crusaders to shield them, not to mention flamer toting Acolytes who can soak up wounds with 4+ or even 3+ saves and punish enemies who charge you with overwatch. Just don't charge through difficult terrain because these ladies don't carry frag grenades.
Getting your meltas/flamers into position is priority, so running anything less than full mech infantry is a dangerous gambit, unless of course you run blob squads with Preachers, thereby making them Fearless. On vehicles we get smoke and Shield of Faith standard, so extra armor can be safely ignored. Dozer blades are always welcome point sinks, though by no means mandatory.
- Rhino - It's a Rhino. You've seen it elsewhere and you know what it does. They've gotten 5 points more expensive, it also has Shield of Faith to compensate, which is definitely worth it.
- Immolator - Battle Sisters squads have a basic unit size of 5 models, which means a basic squad can fit inside them. PRAISE THE EMPRAH! Basically this means immo-spam is back; twin-linked multi-meltas add reliable tank-busting, leaving your Sisters to tool up with flamers for the wall of death. Mercifully, they now get a 5-point price drop, searchlights and free multi-meltas now. And the Laud Hailer is a welcome addition, since you'll usually stick Dominion in here. You WANT that AoF to work. The new draft FAQ also gave it a single fire point: that's not much, but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye, and you never know when that one shot will make the difference. Don't forget it if your Immolaor gets charged when there's still a unit inside it.
- Don't forget that like the Rhino, Immolaters have Shield of Faith. Given how close they're going to get to their enemies that 6++ could come in handy, and if you're up against Psykers you're definitely going to appreciate Adamantium Will.
- Repressor (Forge World) - Under the latest Imperial Armor, it's a 75 point Rhino with AV 13 front, a free Dozer Blade, a Heavy Flamer and enough room for 8 models to shoot out of. (War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes page 239, "Two models may fire out of the top hatch. In addition there are three firing points on either side of the troop compartment, each of which may be fired out of by a single passenger.") This is a pretty solid model for units that can fire at full capacity out of it (8 girl Retributor squads, maybe a Dominion squad), if you're willing to put in the points, much less the Pounds. Now has Shield of Faith too.
- Oddly enough the Repressor is better suited for your allies rather than your nuns, providing excellent cover for something like a Deathwatch force to hide inside and take shots out of, and they can also make mean battlefield bunkers (because you might be playing the Vestal Task Force, and be unable to take the real fortifications, or you might want more mobile but still affordable bunkers). If you're worried about the Line of Sight issues, you could always ally in an Inquisitor, as depending one what army you're up against it's possible for the Inquisitor to give the embarked unit Split Fire.
- Note that most tournaments won't let you use this, though attitudes toward Forge World do seem to be liberalizing somewhat.
- Also note that this vehicle has not been available for sale since August 2015. They need to redo the mould and who knows when this will be done.
Troops are troops, you know what they do. You only have 1 option, Battle Sisters, but you have a lot of different variations on that with which to work.
- Battle Sisters - Basic Bolter Babes. Their AoF gives Preferred Enemy on assault or shooting. Come stock with Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Grenades. They therefore CAN be used as Assault troops, but that's a risky tactic at the best of times, so only use it against really weak CC opponents, or if you sprung for a Priest (which you probably should have). They can also take a Heavy Weapon and a Special Weapon (or two Specials) at 5 models, which is a big advantage and makes them one of the few Troops choices to be able to carry a Heavy Flamer. With a basic squad size of 5 and a multitude of options, there are a lot of viable builds for how to use them. Here are a few basic setups and most of these can benefit from a Simulacrum Imperialis and a Priest. If your opponents tends to be very heavy on monstrous creatures and vehicles as opposed to leg infantry, consider trading the usual flamer/heavy flamer duo for a pair of meltaguns, or stock up on Dominions instead of buying them special weapons.
- Dirt Cheap: 5 girls with no transport and no upgrades, or at most, a single Heavy Bolter. This option is only useful so that you can spend a huge whack of points elsewhere, for example, if you're taking two Combined Arms Detachments to get a ton of Dominions or the like. Still, five of them castled up behind an Aegis or in a ruin can camp on a backfield objective while providing harassing fire with their Heavy Bolter. Spring for a different fortification with attached Heavy Bolters and the whole squad can easily pull their own weight.
- Small: 6 girls or one priest and his battle harem in an Immolator with either a Heavy Flamer for improved Infantry burning or a Multi-Melta for emergency tank hunting. This squad will benefit the most from either a pair of Flamers or a Flamer and Heavy Flamer, as their job is to drive the enemy off an objective.
- Medium: 10 girls in a Rhino. This is best used with a Flamer and Heavy Flamer, as these can be fired out the top hatch without penalty. This squad is quite good at grabbing early game objectives and holding them against opposition. Consider a storm bolter on the Superior for a little extra dakka while you close the gap.
- Large: 20 girls on foot. What special/heavy weapons you give this squad is dependent on what you want to do with them. Some squads will be good at forcing less numerous enemies off objectives, in which case they should take Flamers and Heavy Flamers, whereas others will be good at hanging back behind an Aegis to hold an objective, in which case you might make good use of Storm Bolters and Heavy Bolters to maximize your fire output, either way this squad really benefits from a Priest. A 20 girl squad with a Priest is going to be nigh impossible to shift.
Fast Attack units are the scalpel of a Sisters force. Each of the units is designed to do precisely one thing and do it well. Since they do opposite things, you're going to want one of each (at least) at all but the smallest points levels.
- Dominions: Super-aggressive Sisters! They have access to Special Weapons (i.e meltas), they have Scout and their AoF gives them Ignore Cover. So let me get this straight: STR 8 AP1 Armourbane Scouts that Ignore Cover? Seriously?! If you're not giving them 4 meltaguns, punch yourself in the face right now. Eldar Serpent spam? Mmmm... delicious space elf tears. Tau suits sitting in a forest? Bend over, you're getting a lesson in MY Greater Good. Leman Russ line castled up behind an Aegis? You get my point. Give them an Immolator with Multimelta, run 18" up and melt their favorite toy. Then hop out of your ride and melt another one.
- You could have a squad of ten in a Rhino or Repressor, but 10 Dominions, 4 meltas and a Rhino cost 210 points in total; For roughly the same cost you could get 6 dominions in an Immolator, with 4 meltas, a Veteran Superior with a combi-melta and a Simulacrum Imperialis, plus either a Storm Bolter or Dozer Blades for the Immolator.
- These death stars are going to be priority target number one for any opponent whose head isn't firmly lodged up his own rear end, so you're going to need some soaks (Sisters who haven't been upgraded with weapons to take the Wounds for those who have).
- Don't forget that since they can Scout they can also Outflank; if you're deploying first, take advantage of this - an opponent who knows about Dominions can easily counter-deploy his tanks somewhere safe. Outflanking plays hell with that strategy. Any other use of them is essentially a waste, as they're your only source of Melta Weapons that can reliably get close enough to make proper use of them.
- It goes without saying that taking Flamers is a legendarily bad idea. Taking a whole pile of Storm Bolters isn't quite as thunderdumb, but again, it's an expensive way to get them and the cost is loss of a weapon that ends up ignoring both cover and armor. Don't be a bonehead.
- Seraphim: Fuck what Dawn of War thinks, these girls are the rapists instead of the other way around. Jump pack Sisters, they have Hit & Run, their AoF gives them Shred and Angelic Visage means they reroll invulnerable saves granted from Shield of Faith. The slight rewording of Acts of Faith in Imperial Agents means that they now have Shred in the Assault Phase as well, which makes them a lot more useful. Hand flamers are now half price and Inferno Pistols are the other special weapon option, but at 30 points, half the range of real meltas, and having to get really close to use them effectively (3 inches for melta bonus, max 6 inches) makes them situational at best.
- Inferno Pistols might still be worth it even if you don't want to hunt vehicles however, Shredding S8 AP1 is nothing to sneeze at and if you upgrade two Sisters you get four shots out of them, plus one more from the Superior's plasma pistol if you really wanted that TEQ squad/Monstrous Creature gone.
- They can also Deep Strike, and Hand Flamers combined with AoF will be the bane of all horde armies out there as you are able to hop into position from reserves and cover them in templates with rerollable wounds.
- Just remember, they're still T3, so if you're not taking advantage of LoS cover these girls are as good as dead. They still do some good damage to MEQ's through volume of wounds alone, moreover between their dual pistols giving them an extra attack and Hammer of Wrath they can be decent at finishing off a unit they just shot at in combat (unless it's a dedicated close combat unit, in which case you should bolt).
- Something you shouldn't rule out entirely is Hit and Run. Sure, their Initiative kinda sucks, but you're running them with St. Celestine, right? Hers most certainly does not. Most opponents will be hard-pressed to wipe more than a few Seraphim in one assault phase (Angelic Visage and Shield of Faith mean that even power weapons aren't sure-fire), so burn them, jump in and pound them, then rabbit away. Almost nothing can stand up to very much of that, and with Celestine's initiative, you almost certainly won't get swept. Just make sure to take a power weapon on your Superior to take maximum advantage of this.
If Fast Attack is the scalpel of a Sisters force, then Heavy Support is the sledgehammer. Don't expect subtlety or specialization here, all of these units are designed to just bludgeon the enemy into submission. On the plus side, they're quite versatile and both Retributors and Exorcists can probably find use against any enemy, regardless of their setup.
- Retributors: Heavy weapons Sisters, they're unfortunately not an Exorcist. Their AoF gives Rending, so they're able to cope with medium vehicles to a degree and punish anyone who has armour that beats their Heavy Bolters (and with the amount of shots you should get, Rending will come into play decently enough, especially if you ally in an Astropath to give them Prescience). A Simulacrum Imperialis is definitely useful here (extra round of rending), and the rest of the time they'll be stuck on chewing up light infantry duty.
- They are also your only real hope of dealing with Flyers without getting an Aegis, Allies or Forge World (12 Shots can probably cause the odd bit of damage here or there).
- You can also take 4 multi-meltas and giggle about how they rend, but that's not an exceptionally efficient choice.
- Consider the following: While still not an Exorcist, a large squad (7-10, possibly with a Priest) in a Rhino with Heavy Flamers can be a truly scary squad in certain playstyles, especially extremely aggressive ones. You could get a lot of mileage out of 4 Rending Heavy Flamers (two can fire out of a Rhino). Against small squads you could often wind up with more hits than there is in the squad and against large ones you can often just flat out ignore their armor saves with the flamers. They'll take careful use, but they can be devastating if used right, especially if they can contest an objective. Also, if you're looking for a good transport to make full use of those rending Heavy Flamers, try a Taurox, or better yet, a Taurox Prime. 2 fire points on each side, plus a relatively small model size means you can unleash all four flamer templates with relative impunity. Or you could grab a Repressor (if you have the money) and get an extra Heavy Flamer shot (it's unclear if a transport gets the benefits of an Act of Faith).
- Exorcist: Hoo boy, far and away the best choice for HS. With the advent of Hull Points, Exorcists have become one of the most important units in your army, as they're armed with one of the best guns in the game. A single round from one of these will negate Rhino and Chimera class vehicles' armor and they can even shave Hull Points off of AV13 and 14(!), especially when taken in pairs and castled up.
- Aside from vehicle rape, they can find a use against almost every type of army. They knock MEQs and TEQs on their ass (especially if they're counting on FNP to save them), are magnificent at knocking giant T6 monsters down to size, and a single round from them has been known to reduce Nobs/Battlesuits/Tyranid Warriors to tears. Remember to bring your lucky die though, as the gun shoot d6 shots, which is a little random at times.
- Don't forget that your Exorcist Launcher is turret mounted, meaning it has 360 degree arc of sight, which can be useful if you're trying to avoid exposing your rear/side armor.
- Taking 3 is almost mandatory if you want any chance of winning in a competitive game.
- Penitent Engines: Apart from having quite an interesting looking model, this walker suffers from being stuck in Heavy Support. If it was in Elites they might be an awesome choice (six of these and a squad of Repentia? Good times). The walker has 3 attacks and with 2 CCW and Rage it pumps out 6 on the charge, though 4 attacks base is still nothing to sneeze at, and it's worth remembering that these attacks come in at S10 AP2. Granted they're only at I3, but that's still faster than a power fist. It has two heavy flamers on top of all this (in case some brainiac decides to charge you first!), but with its slow speed, Rhino-class armor and open top walker status the chances of things going Just As Planned are virtually non-existent. It's also competing for vital Heavy Support slots, and with Exorcists being an option there's little use for them.
- If you really want to use them, then target saturation can help get these guys where they need to be. If your opponent focuses on them, everything else gets to do its job. Since no opponent will focus on them (unless he's a moron), you have a decent chance of getting at least one into CC to cause havoc and this is especially the case if you ally in guard. A Leman Russ squadron (or flack tanks) combined with 2 Exorcists will give your opponent enough other things to worry about to potentially justify running some penitents.
- Still want to try these? Take nine in a low point game and watch your opponent shit a brick.
Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave: Pretty similar to the Inquisition's henchmen, these are cheap(ish) choices to fill in your army's close combat hole. Sisters do not have any assault vehicles, so it takes a lot more work to use these effectively (unless you feel like allying in a Land Raider or something) - and remember you have no grenades, so watch the fuck out.
- 1 Ministorum Priest or Uriah Jacobus
- 3-10 units of Arco-flagellants, Crusaders, and/or Death Cult Assasins
- All units become one single unit and gain Shield of Faith. Of note is that only the flaggelents don't come with an invul, so this is largely for the AW.
- Very useful at filling in the close-combat hole that the Repentia only somewhat fill, these different units come together to mitigate one another's weaknesses. Crusaders aren't killy enough? Get Arco-flagellants, as the crazies now have a really good save and are virtually guaranteed to cross the field, and this also goes for Death Cult Assassins.
- Generally speaking, you'll always want a few Crusaders, but whether or not you'll want Death Cults or Arco-flagellants depends entirely on whether or nor you're fighting MEQ's. If you are, go assassins, if you're not, go Arco-flagellants, and if you're not sure, then you're certainly not going to be hamstrung by taking both.
- Be warned that aside from the Priest, this squad has no ranged attacks, so make sure that if you buy them any of the damage dealers (ie anyone who isn't a Crusader) that you try and get them into combat, preferrably without the opponent charging since your Overwatch is virtually non-existant.
- As this squad does not have assault grenades, an easy fix is to ally in a Primaris Psyker, since he comes with them and can also help beef up the squad. Endurance for 3++/4+++ Crusaders? Yes please.
- A final note, this unit is one of the largest units you can get in the base game. Coming in anywhere from 7 models, all the way to 101 for a single unit! Don't take that as a challenge though, maneuvering a squad too large can be a real nightmare, and will almost never make its points back.
- Mission Tactics: One of the many things that makes these snowflakes special. The Deathwatch version of Chapter Tactics, at the beginning of your first turn, pick a force organization slot (Purgatus=HQ, Dominatus=Elite, Furor=Troops, Venator=Fast Attack, Malleus=Heavy Support). You re-roll 1s to hit against enemy units of that type. Once per game, you can change which type you get this rule against.
- Note that since it stacks with Aquila Doctrine, there's no reason not to completely specialize each Deathwatch squad into one roll. Don't try to cover multiple bases with each squad, just get another one to do something different.
- Combat Squads: Like normal Marines the Deathwatch can break 10-man squads into two, but unless you're in a tournament and can't take more Detachments there's no reason to do this, and in many cases it's detrimental since new Deathwatch squads could take more weapons.
- Atonement Through Honour: Blackshields only, doubles their attacks if they're fighting in a challenge, against enemies who outnumber their own squad, or against a Monstrous Creature. To take full advantage it's best to give them something strong, like a Power Fist or Thunder Hammer.
- Boltgun: The gun by which all others are judged by, though this time with some extra bling in the form of Special Ammunition: Essentially, you can choose to fire 1 of 4 types of special rounds instead of the basic 24" S4 AP5 Rapid Fire shot, but all models in a unit must fire the same type of ammo.
- Dragonfire bolts: S4 AP5, Ignores Cover. Great for taking out cover-camping Orks, Guardians, Kroot, and in a stretch Nurgle Daemons due to the shrouded bonus. Also great for circumventing Tyranid Venomthropes, and denying Jink saves to Eldar/Dark Eldar/Harlequin paper boats. This round will also cripple a Tau player who needs his Pathfinders to stay alive.
- Hellfire rounds: The most simple and universal of the special rounds, S1 AP5, Poisoned (2+). Go for it if a target is too tough to be wounded with Vengeance Rounds, or if your target is out in the open and has 5+ or 6+ armor since you'll score a lot more wounds. Said lots of wounds may be worth it against 2+ armored opponents as well.
- Hellfire shells: Heavy Bolters and Infernus Heavy Bolters get Hellfire Shells which are 24" S1 AP- Poisoned 2+ Heavy 1 blasts.
- Kraken bolts: 30" range (15" on Pistols) with S4 AP4. Great for dealing with Dire Avengers, Tempestus Scions, Carapace Armor guard Veterans, Fire Warriors, and 'Eavy Armored Orks.
- Vengeance rounds: 18" range (9" on Pistols) with S4 AP3, but Gets Hot! just like Plasma guns. Ideal for disposing with Fire Dragons, Crisis Suits, and in fact is worth it against MEQ in general. (Note, with your mission tactic rerolls you can use this with only a 1/59 (1/108 with 2+ armor) chance of dying from a given shot. Spam them.)
- Stalker pattern Boltgun: The special Deathwatch Boltguns. 5 points each. 30" SX AP5, Heavy 2, Sniper. You'll never use the base profile because Special Ammunition offers direct upgrades. Has its own special-issue ammunition profiles.
- Dragonfire Bolt: SX AP5 Heavy 2 sniper, ignores cover, 30". Good for taking out Bikes of any kind due to circumventing toughness bonuses, the possibility to rend (ignoring armor) is there too, and this just straight up denies Skilled Rider shenanigans (Ravenwing and White Scars, we're looking at you).
- Hellfire Round: SX AP5 Heavy 2 sniper, Poisoned (2+), 30". Probably the best type to use overall. Snipers wound on 4+ naturally, but Poisoned 2+ means you'll statistically score way more wounds since often a 50/50 shot is too risky.
- The Sniper special rule makes these a real threat for Riptides. Wounding on 2s rending in 6s means a five vet team can troll one into wasting its nova on the shield
- Kraken Bolt: SX AP4 Heavy 2 sniper, 36". Another great choice. Straight upgrade from the basic ammo.
- Vengeance Round: SX AP3 Heavy 2 sniper, gets hot, 24". Actually ideal for dealing with Wraithguard/Greater Daemons/Tyranid Monsters since they always wound on 4+, ignoring a Monstrous creature's high toughness and ignoring armor saves (The Riptide and the Tyrannofex have 2+ armor, but they're one of the very few MC that have one).
- Deathwatch Shotgun: Special shotgun that fires different rounds, kind of like a Special Ammo shotgun but with different effects.
- Cryptclearer Round: S4 AP- Assault 2 Shred, 16". For when the armour save simply isn't good enough to use Xenopurge Slugs on (or when Xenopurge wouldn't have an effect anyway).
- Xenopurge slug: S4 AP4 Assault 2, 16". Feel like a shorter ranged Jacobus.
- Wyrmsbreath shell: S3 AP6 Assault 1 Template. Note that gives Wall of Death so arm your guys with this and fire 5d3 overwatch hits.
- Storm Bolter: While normally a direct upgrade to the bolter, it doesn't have Special Ammunition and so it isn't as useful as the default gear. Pass.
- Combi-Weapon: The Deathwatch can benefit from the comb-weapons quite nicely, as they can still use Special Ammunition the regular gun remains useful while the Plasma, Melta, Flamer and Grav can all cover extra bases, such as buying Flamers so that you have extra Overwatch against enemies.
- Heavy Bolter: Even the big bolters gain Special Ammunition (though just one shot), but you won't want to take it. On their own these are exactly the guns you expect them to be, and if all you want is killing GEQ's and Xenos then they won't disappoint.
- Heavy Flamer: Much more effective at horde-crunching than the regular flamer, so much so that there's little reason to take the regular Flamer over this one. Overwatch "Wall of Death" with this can be VERY painful. Though it's listed as a "heavy weapon" wargear option, its rules are Assault 1 (not Heavy) so you can move, flame, and charge, and with up to four models per squad grabbing them, you don't even have to worry about low distribution which is normally a problem for these guns.
- Hellfire Shells: No. Unless you're fighting the dumbest player on the planet you should not be using these. They take a while to do if you have more than two of them in a squad, they cost too much for too little results, they are more likely to miss than your regular AP, the Deathwatch's enemies are either T3, or have a Toughness and Armour save high enough that other guns are better suited for dealing with them. Hellfire Shells suck.
- Infernus Heavy Bolter: A Heavy Bolter on crack, so much so that it became an assault weapon with a Heavy Flamer attached to it. These would be really useful if they didn't cost so much, just being 5 points cheaper than the Frag Cannon. Most of the time their long-ranged role can be done just as well by the far cheaper Heavy Bolters, and their short-ranged role can be done better by a real Heavy Flamer.
- Deathwatch Frag Cannon: A gun taken from old Furioso Dreadnoughts and upgraded. It can be a Strength 6 template weapon that fires twice and Rends, it can turn into an AP3 Assault Rending Autocannon, and it can turn into a 12" Assault 2 Lascannon. Responsible for a lot of bitching and for good reason, Frag Cannons are arguably the best gun in the Deathwatch's arsenal, and with a points cost that reflects this.
- Grav Pistol: Safer than the Plasma Pistol, it can surprise some heavily armored foe when you're wounding them on threes or twos and dropping them to I1 thanks to Concussive. Feel free to take is so that your Heavy Thunder Hammer wielding Marine has an extra edge before charging in. Bonus points if you immobilize a Dreadnought about to charge you.
- Inferno Pistol: The same Blood Angels and Sisters of Battle Pistol they know and love. S8 AP1 with a range just slightly longer than the average charge range. Also has the Melta rule, but at 3", you are more than likely to be caught in the blast, or get killed when the enemy pours out of the transport you popped. Still preferable over the Plasma Pistol.
- Hand Flamers: GW has a rules making position for whoever takes these, as it's such a bad idea you'll fit right in. Hand Flamers cost 9 points more than Shotguns while delivering the same (if not worse) results. Don't even take them to get the +2 CCW bonus, just take a better fucking pistol.
- Plasma Pistol: Ugh, why? There's better gear out there, while Inferno Pistols are shorter in range they hit much harder (being capable of Instant Death that the Plasma Pistol isn't) and Grav-pistols are equally as good against targets who are just as heavily armoured, possibly better thanks to Concussive weakening them for melee, and they cost the same too. If you really want plasma that bad, then just pay the full points and buy an actual plasma gun.
- Flamer: The classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. Makes Overwatch painful and best of all, it's cheaper than the weaker Hand Flamer.
- Meltagun: For when vehicles just need to die. Deathwatch can do well with Melta's, they're one of the few units in the game where it's possible to arm everyone with them and they benefit greatly from Mission Tactics and Aquila Doctrine, which together almost give them full re-rolls with these guns.
- Plasma gun: There we go. Far better than the pistol, and everyone in the squad can get them. It's debatable on whether or not they're better than the Grav-guns, as the plasma pistols can put out enough shots to make shooting at non-2+ saves worth it and they can shoot slightly further, but Grav-guns have the same cost and can put out more shots at a slightly closer range. At the end of the day it comes down to how much 2+ armour you think you'll be up against, and whether or not you'll be able to ID some T3 Xenos.
- Grav-gun: Nigh-useless against Orks, Dark Eldar, or Guardsmen, but absolute hell against Grey Knights, other MEQ armies, and anything relying on armor saves to stay safe. In a pinch, it can be used as anti-tank too since it immobilizes vehicles on 6s, and given how many Deathwatch marines can have them you should be able to reliably roll at least one 6.
- Frag/Krak Grenades: If you need to know what these do, then start playing vanilla Marines first before moving to the Deathwatch.
- Close Combat Weapon: A stat-less CCW. Everyone has one and you'll probably swap it out for something better.
- Power Weapons: The same flavours of AP as always. The Deathwatch can really shine in melee, and since everyone can take them you might as well gear up with all sorts. Some axes to hack apart the odd 2+ save? Why not, mauls for S6 AP4? Go ahead, you'll insta-kill Genestealer Cults, swords for I4 AP3? No, go pay the same cost to get a Lightning Claw instead.
- Power Fist: Situational at best. While the Deathwatch can find use with it, most big monsters/high Toughness enemies that would require it could probably have been better handled by one of your guns.
- Thunder Hammer: Well if you're going to get into combat with a big monster, you might as well bring along a Power Fist that can de-buff it. The points increase is marginal at this point, so take the hammer and slap it onto a Blackshield. Do note that if you want to give a regular Marine a Thunder Hammer, then you should just get the Heavy Thunder Hammer instead.
- Heavy Thunder Hammer: For when you want to go big or go home. It costs the same as a regular hammer and so costs more than the Marine carrying it, and since you shouldn't shell out the points for a second Specialist Weapon it also has no downsides while performing better. Able to ID T5 and occasionally ID everything, there's no reason not to take this if you want a Hammer.
- Lightning Claw: A single Lightning Claw, and the Deathwatch don't get much use out of these. If you take a Power Axe instead you'll normally be hurting the Deathwatch's preferred targets on a 2+, which is already re-rollable thanks to Aquila Doctrine, but if all you want is a Power Sword, then you'll be pleased to know that a Lightning Claw outperforms it in every way while remaining cheaper.
- Xenophase Blade: Literally jacking Necron Phase Swords in place of Power Swords. It's a Power Sword that forces all successful invulnerable saves to be re-rolled. Now that's big against those whose only save is an Invuln (like Harlequins and Chaos Daemons) as well as Necrons, Guard, and those whose HQ units at best have 3+ Armor that's ignored by the Xenophase blade and fall back on Invulns. Veteran Sergeants do well with these.
Special Issue Wargear
- Storm Shield: Gives you a 3+ Invulnerable save. A Storm Shield is a Veteran squad's best friend when you need to carry your cover with you to stop the ocean of AP3/2, or need protection in close combat. Otherwise, keep it simple and load up on more marines.
- Auspex: For when fucking over Cover saves is more important than shooting, though its 12" range is quite limiting. If you still want it, feel free, it's not that bad for 5 points.
- Combat Shield: 5 points gives you a 6++. If you have 5 points to spare, you could do worse than this.
- Melta bombs: No. You're wasting your extra attacks and if you wanted that tank cracked open, you should have gotten meltas.
- Teleport Homer: Well, if you're allying in somebody wearing Terminator armour, why not? Don't count on using it every game though, there'll be plenty of times where the Deathwatch's preferred target is far away from the Terminator's.
- Digital Weapons: Not worth it. You've already got Aquila Doctrine, which should be good enough.
Deathwatch Kill Team
- 1 Troops
- Must be of the Deathwatch faction.
- Aquila Doctrine: Non-vehicles of this formation re-roll armour penetration and to-wound rolls of 1. This, combined with Mission Tactics, acts as Preferred Enemy. Not bad at all if you're taking them as a single "assassin" unit.
- Veterans: Sternguard Veterans as Troops, with the same basic wargear as the Sternguard and the special ammunition the deathwatch is famous for. As for as the groups of power armoured units in this book go, they're more expensive than the Sisters, less expensive than the Knights, and far more customizable than both. To start off, you're forced to get at least 5, but unlike many other armies, all 5 of them can get special weapons and wargear, and this is where the massive amounts of customization come into play.
- If you want them to be good at semi-long ranged combat (24"-36"), then grab a few missile launchers, some stalker pattern boltguns and call it a day. Seriously, their special ammunition for the bolter can reach so far it's not even funny, allowing you to outshoot the Tau while ignoring their armour at the same time. Note that you should never buy Storm Bolters, it's just a bad idea since they cannot use special ammunition, and that is a huge bonus to just squander for a very minor possible benefit. If for whatever reason you absolutely have to take it, always replace the CCW of the Marine with it, and this goes for buying long-ranged weapons in general, losing the CCW will not hurt you in any way, shape or form, losing the boltgun will, unless you're replacing it with a weapon from the Special/Heavy Weapons lists (where replacing it is mandatory, but you can get cool shit there). Unlike the Storm Bolter, the Heavy Bolter is an option you might consider getting, it's only 5 points more than the Storm Bolter, puts out more shots than your specialist ammo allows for, and usually at a higher Strength and AP value too, though it's by no means a must-have. You could also give one of the Marines a Storm Shield and stick him up front, just in case you're worried about any long-ranged AP3.
- For mid-range combat (8"-24") you've got a some nice options, most of which are completely outshined by the all-purpose Frag Cannon. Despite their price Frag Cannons are well worth getting, and anyone who's T5 and can resist the close-range ID will still go down to a barrage of S7-S9 AP4-AP2 shots, after you use them to pop whatever Transport your target happens to be hiding in of course, just make sure they're properly supported and the enemy can't focus all of their fire on the squad before they've done their job. Getting a squad with Frag Cannons into position is one of the harder things you can do with the Deathwatch, especially if your opponent knows what you're doing, and isn't stupid. The Infernus Heavy Bolter can be useful here too, being strong enough and putting out enough shots to warrant its price tag for an Assault weapon that's usually a Heavy weapon, and the Heavy Flamer provides great protection against enemy units that somehow got a little too close, though that's more of a mulligan in this case. If you're worried about units getting that close, or if you want to close in yourself, then you should have just paid the extra 5 points and gotten another Frag Cannon. You also still have your bolters and their special ammunition, and in this case you don't want the Stalker Boltguns. Heavy simply isn't going to offer as much of a benefit as the mobility a Rapid-fire gun can offer.
- Note too that there are a few ways to get Frag Launchers into position on Turn 1, you can use the Inquisition to get Master of Ambush and set up your guys already within killing distance, or you can buy one of several transports to get them there. Corvus Blackstars, Chimera's, Sororitas Rhino's (the latter two courtesy of the Inquisition), all of them will get you there without costing too much, at the same time they'll also offer extra protection to your troops. This is nice because Frag Launchers are fucking expensive, being three points more than another marine!
- Do note as well that if mid-ranged AP2 is all you're after and you've only got one specific 2+ save target in mind, then just go for Grav-guns or Plasma Guns, both of which benefit Greatly from the Mission Tactics and Aquila Doctrine, and cost a little less than the Frag Cannons.
- For close range weapons, Heavy Flamers are a nice option, being far cheaper than the Frag Cannon (and the Infernus Heavy Bolter), shotguns can do wonders for softening down an opponent for assault, as well as acting as a good deterrent for the squad getting assaulted themselves (the amount of Template weapons the Deathwatch can field is disgusting). Once again Frag Launchers shine here but you need to be more careful with them, while their Template fire is devastating the squad's going to become a very big target, and you can only Overwatch once. If you get charged by something you didn't want to use the Wall of Death on, then you're kind of screwed when the squad you did want to WoD decides to join the party too. This is on top of not needing quite that much Wall of Death anyway (you do not need 2D3 per marine), Heavy Flamers can give you all you needed while keeping your points down. The Infernus Heavy Bolter is debatable here, mostly because of its Assault Heavy Flamer. If you know you're up against blobs and want to move marines to help counter a player who knows how to position blobs so that Heavy Flamers aren't so bad, then go for it. Even though Frag Cannon's are only 5 points more, you might need that AP4 (and Rending doesn't always cut it).
- For close combat you've got a ton of options, and feel free to mix and match. If you know you're going to be against some TEQ's then grab a power axe/fist to go alongside some Lightning Claws. Get a Storm Shield so that you can live long enough to make it to close combat in case you know that the opponent's get their fair share of AP3 weapons. Always make somebody a Black Shield if you know they're going to Assault, his special rule comes in handy more often than not, and you should definitely give him something like a Power Fist or a Thunder Hammer, as he'll almost always be Wounding on 2+ while Aquila Doctrine lets him re-roll the 1's. A Xenophase Sword for the Sergeant can also be a good idea, but only if you know what you're up against. Many opponents you want to have re-roll their Invulnerable saves are going to have 2+ armour, though you'll be glad he had it any time you go up against ones who don't. Heavy Thunder Hammers can also be a great idea, and you might as well take one instead of the generic Hammer if you were planning on getting one anyway since it's only 5 points, and being two-handed isn't going to hurt you since the generic's have Specialist Weapon. S10 AP2 is fantastic, but don't always count on Pulverize, you simply don't have the attacks necessary to get it to happen whenever it's most convenient.
- Note that having a Xenophase Sword can and will also cancel out some of the re-rollable Invulnerable save's some armies can get. You can't re-roll twice, so if the first save is successful, and the second save is a failure, then that's it, the second save remains a failure and their bonus for re-rolling saves no longer has any benefit.
- Deathwatch in assault can also benefit greatly from an allied Priest as he can make the whole squad live a lot longer than they had any right to, especially if you've got a Storm Shield soaking up a lot of damage from AP2-AP3 weapons.
- There are also a few different ways of actually getting Deathwatch assault squads into assault, however the most obvious one is to just take a Corvus, and then ally in somebody who can either bring the Skyshield Landing Pad, or ally in an Astropath (it's not like you weren't going to need Prescience on something that you were allying the Deathwatch with already).
- Finally, remember that no matter their loadout, a Deathwatch Veteran Squad is always going to be a target, so make sure you've got other squads covering their ass and picking of any potential threats (such as AP3, Strength 6+, and any sort of transport popper). Their cost can skyrocket, and losing them before they've done their job can easily cost you the game.
- Corvus Blackstar: The air transport Space Marine players (and most Imperial players) have been waiting for since the beginning of time. The Corvus Blackstar is a complete beast, being a flying transport that's also an assault vehicle while being durable enough to get your dudes where they need to be, and killy enough to justify being 60 points more than a Valkyrie. The Auspex Array is useful if you're taking the Stormstrike Missiles, as they aren't Twin-Linked and BS5 can help you land your shots. Otherwise, take the Infernium Halo Launcher. The Corvus is a transport, first and foremost, and the last thing you want is for it to get shot down with its precious cargo still inside.
- The Lascannon pairs up nicely with the Stormstrike Missiles, and if you're planning on hunting heavy armor or tough MCs with your Kill Team, they pair together nicely to help soften it up at range. The Blackstar Rocket Launcher offers some versatility in dealing with different threats. A cover-ignoring Large Blast will soften up hordes nicely, while the Corvus warheads can be used to tangle with other fliers and Xenos vehicles (as most of those are skimmers). You should weigh it carefully against the Stormstrike Missiles, though, especially if you've built your Veterans for melee. Stormstrike missiles are Concussive, so if you save them for the turn your Veterans disembark and charge, you can drop your hapless target to I1 and ensure your Heavy Thunder Hammers get a chance to swing. The Locater Beacon can usually be skipped, there's others to ally in if you want to make sure Deep-strikers don't go anywhere (Grey Knights and Mystics do the job way better), not to mention that unless you're using a Skyshield Landing Pad, the Blackstar's going to start in reserve as well, and might show up after the Deep-strikers.
- The Hurricane Bolter is useful against armies where you expect to fight a fair amount of infantry. While it's not necessary it's a handy bit of dakka to add alongside the Assault Cannon, and it buffs up with Strafing Run quite nicely.
- Brotherhood of Psykers: Now a USR, Brotherhood of Psykers basically just means that the entire squad counts as a single model when manifesting psychic powers, and you use the Justicar's Ld for the test(or any model). Squads also get +1 to their Deny the witch rolls, due to the fact that squads count as being mastery level 1.
- Combat Squads: Just like literally all other Chapters, Grey Knights like to split up into two five-man combat squads. Note that, thanks to Brotherhood of Psykers, splitting into combat squads will double the number of mindbullets you can put out each turn.
- Preferred Enemy (Daemons): Makes sense that these guys have a rule meant for fucking over Daemons. They get to re-roll 1's to-hit and to-wound. This'll transfer even if they get attached to an allied commander.
- Aegis: The armour worn by Grey Knights has arcane seals and holy random stuff, meaning they don't give a damn about psychic powers. Whenever an enemy psychic power is activated, a Grey Knight player may re-roll 1's when rolling to Deny the Witch. Not a huge bonus, but do you expect daemon hunters to go on a chaos safari without some protection against the Warp? That being said a lvl3 Lib with a staff will be denying on 3s against most witchfires and maledictions, re-rolling 1s and can bubble this 12" with his hood so your opponent gets blessings or nothing.
- Purity of Spirit: This allows your Grey Knights to use Sanctic powers without suffering Perils on any double, instead just double 6's like any other power.
- Storm Bolters: Nothing wrong with them, they're like Bolters but better (not to mention they don't fuck up your charge) and they come standard on all models except the Dreadknight.
- Psilencer: A gatling gun that fires off six shots a turn at strength 4 at AP-, so daemons with armor will shake it off and even Orks get saves against it... at least, until you learn that you can use Force on this. Unfortunately it's still not worth it as the Knights don't have the ability to effectively spam it, the multi-wound thickies will either be saved by high Toughness or high Armour. Could potentially be useful against low Toughness, high Wound models like swarms, but your Incinerator should Instant Death those already, and you don't have to worry about it missing.
- Gatling Psilencer: The heavy version on the Dreadknight pumping out 12 shots with Force, but still only S4 AP- and with the exact same problems as the regular Psilencer.
- Note that if you're lucky enough, or determined enough to get Misfortune (5th spell of Divination Discipline) you can give this gun rending (auto-wounding and ignoring armor) against a unit, which could potentially make this gun good, so if you really want to use it then feel free to stock up on Astropaths.
- Incinerator: A S6 AP4 flamer. Has Soulblaze! A good choice, especially now that this has Soulblaze, and in this smaller selection it's generally a better pick over the Psycannon thanks to all units involved either having great mobility, or the ability to Deep-strike. It's hilariously destructive against Blobguard, Blobtau, Blobgreen and Blobnids. Fire it and watch instant death melt those hundreds of units away and remember, Instant Death prevents any pesky FNP shenanigans. Shares the same strong points (albeit stronger by a point or two) as all flamer weapons, great for overwatch and for clearing occupied buildings. Shish Kebab time.
- Heavy Incinerator: The heavy version for the Dreadknight, same as the old codex (with the old special rule now coming in the convenient Torrent USR). Gained Soulblaze just like the standard incinerator. Enjoy tabling whole blobs.
- Psycannon: The good ol' signature ranged weapon of Grey Knights, a strength 7 AP 4 rifle with Salvo 2/4 (a pretty painful nerf) and the Rending USR. Thanks to it being salvo, now everything non-Terminator that moves with a Psycannon uses it as a glorified pistol that prevents them from charging. No longer the fantastic choice it once was, the Psycannon can't be taken by enough Knights to justify firing it once before combat, or even spamming it across squads as the only models that can take it are very expensive ones who excel more in combat than outside of it.
- Heavy Psycannon: The heavy version for the Dreadknight, Same as the standard psycannon (S7 AP4 Rending) but with 2 firing modes: Heavy 1 Large Blast, or Salvo 3/6 (which, because it can only be taken by an MC, really just means 6 shots). It has the same issues as the regular Psycannon but to a lesser extent since Dreadknights don't have to worry about the 'one model in X' bullshit the regular squads are saddled with. Still on a model that excels mostly in close combat, however they can be made useful by a helpful Astropath giving the Knight Prescience.
- Psyk-Out Grenades: A returning tool, these can force enemy psykers that charge to lose their bonus attack. But if you want them out of the way sooner, you can throw them, giving them a profile similar to the Haywire Grenade, except with a Blast template that will force perils on a random psyker in the
templateUNIT that gets hit. Pretty good at bypassing Look Out Sir!'s if you want to ensure that Psyker dies (and that's also if his perils doesn't outright kill him).
First things first, nearly all Grey Knight units have Nemesis Force Weapons. They are considered Force Weapons, that gives the model/unit the Force psychic power that the unit can cast (and be denied) in the psychic phase. This means you'll typically rip through any monsters and multi-wound infantry unfortunate or stupid enough to get caught with you in melee. All Grey Knight units, except for the Dreadknight, have Hammerhand, which gives the unit +2 strength until your next psychic phase so if you're up against higher Toughness armies you don't have to immediately reach for the Daemon Hammers. Grey Knights don't have access to nearly all of the standard wargear of other marine armies. Their upgrades for their infantry are mostly limited to their exclusive wargear. All of their close combat weapons have Daemonbane, which allows a re-roll on failed pens and to-wounds against units with the Daemon USR if you activated Force on the last Psychic Phase.
- Nemesis Force Sword: Standard weapon for the codex, nothing special beyond being a force weapon with daemonbane. It helps you keep squad prices down as Halberds are not the same "must haves" they used to be.
- Nemesis Force Halberd: S+1 AP3 weapon with two-handed. At 2 points a pop they are hard to say no to, until you read what the Falchions can do for you. +1 Strength isn't quite as good as +1 Attack (at least not with the amount of Attacks you'll normally be getting), and anything that would require Strength 7 from both the Halberd and Hammerhand should instead be handled by the Dreadknight, or by Knights carrying Daemon Hammers.
- Nemesis Force Falchions: Gives an extra attack due to being two Specialist weapons, but otherwise identical to the basic Nemesis Force Sword. The extra attack is pretty much your best option to make up for your low model count, and for most models the +1A will result in more wounds than the +1S from the halberd (especially if the +1S is made irrelevant by hammer hand). Considering its low cost in comparison to your high cost models, +4 points for an extra attack with no downsides is a steal.
- Nemesis Warding Stave: 5 points and it gives the wielder a Force Staff with +2 strength and Adamantium Will, like the Rune Priest's Rune Stave. Not bad for a front line Strike Squad, a 50% (Brotherhood of Psykers and Adamantium Will means we Deny on 4+) chance to Deny the Witch against stuff like Psychic Shriek can go along way to giving your Strikes some more survivability. Plus you also have Daemonbane, so extra Daemon-killy.
- This thing is a must-take for at least one member of your squad and every one of your units needs one of these. 4+ Deny the Witch and the ability to re-roll 1's thanks to The Aegis is fantastic. Also, Adamantium Will states that "if at least one model in a unit has this rule...", so one is enough. Also, you are not an Anti-marine force, you are an Anti-Daemon force so AP4 is enough, and paying 5 points for S6 before Hammerhand is always awesome.
- Nemesis Daemon Hammer: Standard thunder hammer plus Daemonbane and Force. It's cheap to add to a squad and is practically a must have against 2+ armored foes or vehicles, since it's the only AP2 weapon the Knights get, aside from the Dreadknight's gear. Rush these at that Big, Scary 6-7 wound MC, give the Knights Hammerhand, and crush the enemy at Strength 10!
- Nemesis Greatsword: Exclusive to the Dreadknight, it's like a Powerfist but with Force and Master-Crafted instead of Unwieldy, and because of this there's no reason to choose the fist over the Greatsword.
Daemonhunters Strike Force
- 1 Troops OR 1 Fast Attack
- 0-1 Heavy Support
- Rites of Teleportation: Start reserve rolls on turn 1 for units in this detachment that are Deep-striking with 3+ being a successful reserve roll. Also, Deep-strikers may shoot and run on the turn they arrive from reserve. An awesome rule, and one that can be abused by a few units, as discussed below.
- Terminators: Your only Troop choice in this book, presumably here to give the Inquisition something to call upon for their Chambers Militant like in the good old days, and/or to help out every Imperial army who had trouble finding their own TEQ/Instant Death. Grey Knight Terminators are Dead 'ard and killy, with a price to match. They will get expensive very quickly, especially if you take too many of them, but fortunately Terminators don't lose their force weapons if you give them special weapons, like psycannons or incinerators, and Termies are Relentless, so they can be kitted out for shooting without losing any assault power. They even have grenades, just about the only thing these guys don't have are Storm Shields.
- Of note is that aside from being really good at killing Daemons, they're excellent for MEQ's in general, aside from the having Force weapons they can buff up their Strength by +2 thanks to Hammerhand, and unlike regular Psykers they don't have to worry about the extra risk of getting perils. Better yet, Hammerhand also boosts regular characters attached to the party, bonus points for attaching an Eversor Assassin to the squad, charging into combat, and butchering everything in sight with the Eversor's 8 S7 I7 AP3 Attacks before using the rest of the squad to mop up whoever's left over. This also works very well with a Culexus, the Assassin's relatively low Strength being the only thing preventing them from killing things like Hive Tyrants.
- Note that if you're Deep-striking them you'll probably want some way to reduce/remove their scatter, to that end it might be worth it to get an Inquisitor and an Acolyte squad so that you could take advantage of their Mystic or a Grey Knights Interceptor Squad (more on that in their entry). You're also going to want an Incinerator, the GEQ clearer being able to destroy blobs of Guard, Tyranids and Daemons alike while denying most of them their Feel No Pain and Armour.
- Feel free to skip the Psilencer, unless you know for a fact that you're going to be up against Daemons. The high amount of shots are offset by its low Strength and low AP value, you'll likely Wound only once, but so long as you've used Banishment and so long as they don't have an armour save the single Wound should be all you need to get rid of whatever multi-wound Daemon you were up against. Otherwise if they have any sort of armour you're much better served by the Incinerator or the Psycannon.
- Speaking of the Psycannon, Grey Knight Terminators do not make a very good shooting squad as only one if five of them can get it, and while the Psycannon is a nice thing to have, it's certainly not necessary if you're going to be sticking them in a Land Raider, or Deep-striking them. Incinerators are better for the latter, being able to get guaranteed hits while being both strong and cheap, while Land Raiders have no fire points, and as soon as you're out you'll want to charge and the Termies should have no problem hacking apart whatever you were going to shoot anyway.
- As for their melee weapons, at least upgrade them so that they're using Nemesis Falchions. It's only four points to give them all an extra attack, force halberds can be skipped, if you need the extra Strength you can just go with Hammerhand, and at least one of them should be given a Warding Stave if you know you'll be up against offensive Psykers. The Daemon Hammer can also be really good, and with Hammerhand it becomes S10, so that's a plus.
- Lastly is the Justicar, Digital Weapons could be a nice bonus but Master-crafted can be safely ignored, you can get better results by allying in a Priest to help the squad out, and he'll also help them to live longer at that. Melta Bombs can also be ignored, whatever you need blown up can safely be handled better either by Daemon Hammers striking more times at S10, or by somebody else you can ally in. The Teleport Homer can also a decent option if you know you're bringing in more Grey Knight Terminators, as that's the only thing it works on but unless you feel like gambling on where the first Terminator Squad arrives it's better to leave the job of carrying it to the Interceptor's, as explained below (otherwise feel free to try and build around the first squad that landed).
- Interceptor Squad: The Grey Knights' only Fast Attack choice; at least it's one that synergizes well with the Termies. First things first, they have all the options that Terminators do, except theirs are cheaper, they can become equally as strong, but they're not as killy, or as tough as the Termies. What they excel in is acting as an anchor, thanks to their Personal Teleporter and the Justicar's purchasable Teleport Homer. Simply teleport shunt them 30", and from that new point start calling down their Terminator buddies. The only real downside to this is you don't get to take advantage of Rites of Teleportation (or if you try to use them, you're hoping they don't all immediately work).
- They can be used similarly to the Terminators, buy them at the minimum some falchions so that they get the extra attack, and everything else still applies as before. They're not a good ranged squad, Psilencers aren't usually a good idea, neither are Psycannons (and with their special 30" move they can really benefit from Incinerators), Daemon Hammers are still great, Halberds aren't needed, a Warding Stave is good if you're up against a Psyker to help deny, Digital Weapons are a good idea to help get that To Wound roll with your Force Weapons (hitting will likely be easier than Wounding anyway).
- An asshole-ish thing to do is to try and take Inquisitors so you can get Master of Ambush, then use it to Infiltrate the Interceptors in to where you want the Termies to be, that way you can take advantage of the turn 1 Deep-strike roll, along with using an Astropath and optionally a an Officer of the Fleet to ensure that they arrive that turn. This way you can hop in with the Interceptors, flame away, drop in the terminators, flame away, and even optionally use any sort of flamer the Inquisitor could buy to burn more, clearing out whatever hordes (or even higher Toughness creatures considering Incinerators are S6) and clearing out a safe space for everyone else.
- If you do this you can have nearly your entire army on the opposite side of the board on turn 1 (three Infiltrators as well as however many Deep-strikers) which could easily mess up an enemy gunline, so long as you make sure not to leave all of your units out in the open.
- Note that you can also try to use this strategy with a Dreadknight, with about as much success though it's not nearly as needed as with the Terminators thanks to the fact that the Dreadknight can also get the Personal Teleporter, which makes it a Jump Monstrous Creature and allowing it to do the same teleport shunt that the Interceptors can do (though it is still an option, in case you wanted to save those 30 points for something else).
- Nemesis Dreadknight: A monstrous creature that can ally with anyone in the Imperium? Well everyone else seems to have been getting their own MC's, so why not? Originally meant to combat Greater Daemons, the Dreadknight can do well against nearly every other MC in the game thanks to good equipment, cheap cost, good saves (2+/5++, while having access to Sanctuary to buff himself to 4++), access t o great gear and fantastic movement, at least once you buy it the Personal Teleporter (not needed if you're Deep-striking).
- Unfortunately it only starts off with the two Power Fists as a base, and while they're not bad they're not the dirt-cheap Greatsword the knight can buy either, which gives you the exact same benefits, with the Master-Crafted and Force rules to boot. The Hammer can be good too, but generally Master-Crafted attacks will help you more than Concussive and it's just a marginal increase to get the Greatsword over the Hammer.
- For ranged weapons, as above you can skip the Psilencer. Whatever you want to Instant Death should be handled either in melee, or handled by another unit entirely. The Heavy Psycannon looks nice, and it could be worth it since you actually want the Dreadknight to be charging against really meaty targets that warrants that level of Strength. If you're especially dead-set on it, then get an Astropath for Prescience and then the Dreadknight can make a lot of points back in a single volley, before making the rest back in melee.
- While not exactly meant to clear out larger groups (better left to the Interceptors and Terminators), the Dreadknight isn't too bad at it provided he has his Greatsword and an Incinerator. Flame the enemy (make sure to take full advantage of Torrent) then charge to get 5 Initiative 4 Strength 10 Attacks. Whatever you're up against should break and get crushed.
- Do keep in mind that the Dreadknight isn't without weaknesses, poison can fuck it up, so can any sort of Rending, as well as pseudo-rending and unlike most other MC's the Dreadknight isn't Fearless. ATSKNF is good for keeping it on the board, but you don't want it moved out of position thanks to things like Tank Shocks and Terrify, and having it run from assault, even if it's immune to sweeping advances is really annoying, especially if your opponent just guns it down before it can get back where it belongs. To that end try to avoid it if you're fighting enemies like Dark Eldar, or you're up against a tank-heavy force (it'll be of less use to you than some other troops with Melta's, even if it gets in close it's simply not that points efficient at that job).
- Landraider Types:
- Godhammer (Basic): Nope. Do not take it, the Grey Knights in this book work best as allies, so use them as allies, buy somebody else to blow up shit and buy a different Land Raider that'll better fit your transport needs with its loadout.
- Crusader: That's more like it. While the loss of Psybolt Ammo hurts (a tear shed in pity) it's still a really great assault vehicle, and more than capable of delivering a full squad of Termies into battle in case you didn't want to take advantage of their Rites of Teleportation. Just watch out for terrain, getting your Land Raider immobilized (even if it'll only happen 1/6th of the time) really fucking sucks, and with the amount of points you need to put into a Terminator Squad inside one of these Raiders (at least 400) you don't want it to operate at anything less than peak efficiency.
- Redeemer: This one's iffy as a prospect, if you're up against Daemons or any army that requires you to get close to use your Template weapons, then you're going to want certain defences, but these Raiders don't have any sort of defence like Truesilver armour, and its range always puts it within easy Melta range, on top of MC charge which are the two fastest ways to lose it.
- If you know you're not going to be up against either MC's or Melta's, then go ahead and take it, so long as you can use it and flame a couple MEQ's it can make its points back extremely quickly.
Legion of the Damned
Aside from being able to Deep Strike, being Slow and Purposeful, causing Fear and being Fearless the Legion of the Damned have a number of unique rules:
- Aid unlooked for: Damned Legionaires cannot be joined by Independent Characters. They always start the game in reserve, and will always Deep Strike onto the field. This isn't so bad, especially when you combine it with Saviours from Beyond, and the fact that you can re-roll both the scatter and the 2D6 dice.
- Flaming Projectiles: Cover saves can't be taken against the Damned Legionaires ranged attacks. Awesome.
- Unyielding Spectres: 3++ save. It might as well replace the power armour for the group.
- Boltgun: Classic S4 AP5 24" Rapid Fire weapon which all other standard issue small-arms in the Dark Millennium are judged by. Tried and true, whether it's shredding simple infantry or taking potshots at more heavily armored foes.
- Bolt Pistol: Standard pistol version of the boltgun, with same Strength and AP. Combined with a non-specialist melee weapon, it grants an additional attack.
- Storm Bolter: Assault 2 and 24" range. Compared to the standard boltgun, the storm bolter gets its full number of shots out to max range, plus you get to charge after shooting. Typically seen on Terminators, decent on an Assault-based Character with a Specialist Weapon (you weren't getting the two-weapon bonus attack anyway), not too useful otherwise, especially since Sternguard special ammo STILL doesn't affect them.
- Plasma Pistol: Beats any Armor save, but on a roll of a 1, it Gets Hot! and the wielder takes a Wound (that you get saves against, but still). This one hurts, not only is it inefficient points-wise, but if you failing 3++ role hurts here more than it would on a regular marine because of their higher cost and single Wound.
- Flamer: The classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. However, all your regular weapons already ignore cover and since you're paying a premium for the squad already, you might as well take something that can get more out of the bonuses. Remember S&P means no overwatch.
- Meltagun: That's a bit better, and really good if being used against any fuckers who Like to use Cover Saves. Deep-strike them in and watch shit explode.
- Plasma gun: There we go. Gets Hot! means there is always a (small) risk of killing the model firing the weapon, but there's so much to gain from a gun that ignores all armour and cover (while costing the same as the pistol, its weaker variant) that the Legion of the Damned can really make them shine.
- Heavy Flamer: Much more effective at horde-crunching than the regular flamer, so much so that there's actually reason to take this one. Still no overwatch with these though.
- Multi-Melta: A Meltagun with twice the range and the Heavy type, which doesn't matter since Legion of the Damned are Slow and Purposeful. Virtually guaranteed to blow shit up if you Deep-strike correctly, and the same price as the regular Melta Gun. Pretty sweet, sadly you can take either it or the heavy flamer, so you have to decide if you want to deal with Hordes or whether you can blow up vehicles.
- Chainsword: A stat-less CCW. You'll never take it since the Sergeant can get a Power Weapon instead.
- Power Weapons: The same flavours of AP as always. The Legion aren't great at handling 2+ armour in melee, so you could give them either a sword or a maul to deal with 3+ and 4+ respectively, depending on what you're up against and how worried you are about getting caught in melee.
- Alternate Opinion: the Damned Sergeant can still have his Bolt Pistol along with a Power Axe for AP2, Decent Strength and a 3++, and start playing SS/TH Terminator-lite, but gets the extra attack for having his pistol and Power Axe.
- Power Fist: No. Just... No. It costs nearly double what the power weapons do and you should never be in close combat with anything that would require it. Also the Damned Sergeant could just take a power axe and still get an extra attack from having two CCWs.
- 1 Elite
- 0-3 Additional Elites
- Must be of the Legion of the Damned faction
- Saviours From Beyond: All units of this detachment start as Deep Strike reserves but may choose to automatically pass or fail their reserve rolls.
- Aside from tournament faffing, there is no special reason to take the other elite choices from this detachment versus taking multiple detachments.
- Damned Legionaires: Fucking expensive, but you're getting what you paid for. Massively buffed thanks to the fact that they automatically pass/fail reserve rolls, and they also synergize really well with any faction that allows the to Deep Strike without scatter, such as the Inquisition's mystics (although the ability to re-roll both scatter and the 2D6 greatly minimizes the chance of a mishap anyway). All of their ranged weapons ignore cover, they can fire any of them on the move, and a 3++ save makes them really hard to get rid of. Take them to fuck up GEQ's that're hiding behind cover, and/or as a surprise vehicle popper if you picked up the meltaguns. They can also be pretty good in close combat, while being no TH/SS termies they do have the same statlines as MEQ veterans while ignoring all power weapons in return.
- Unfortunately their effectiveness as TEQ hunters has somewhat diminished as they can no longer take combi-weapons or a plasma cannon, a tear shed in pity, though the ability to appear whenever you want does bump up their effectiveness as GEQ killers, as they retained their Flamer and Heavy Flamer (and also retained Slow and Purposeful so that you can always fire the Heavy Flamer).
- Note that there is no real advantage to upping the size of the squad, besides denying your opponent a kill point (though that should still have taken a fair bit of effort, even with just 5 of them). If you want more, then just get another squad since this also increases the amount of special weapons the squad can take.
All Assassins are Fearless, and can Move Through Cover as well as Infiltrate. They also have three special rules unique to them:
- No Escape: Wounds inflicted by this model inflict a -2 to Look Out, Sir! saves against them.
- Independent Operative: A model with this special rule can never be joined by another character. If a model with this special rule is your army’s Warlord, it never has a Warlord Trait.
- Lightning Reflexes: A model with this special rule has a 4+ Invulnerable save, and does not suffer the penalty to initiative when charging through terrain.
Callidus Special Rules
- Hit & Run
- Polymorphine: When a Callidus Assassin is deployed using her Infiltrate special rule, she can be set up anywhere on the table that is more than 1" from any enemy unit, whether deployed enemy units can draw a line of sight to her or not. If a Callidus Assassin starts the game in Reserves, she can choose to move on from the enemy board edge when she arrives. In either case, during the first game turn, or during the game turn in which the Callidus Assassin arrives from Reserves, enemy units can only fire Snap Shots when targeting her.
- Precision Strikes
- Reign of Confusion: If your army includes a Callidus Assassin, you can re-roll the dice when attempting to Seize the Initiative. In addition, your opponent suffers -3 to the first Reserve Roll they make during the game.
Culexus Special Rules
- Life Drain: Armour saves cannot be taken against Wounds inflicted by a Culexus Assassin’s close combat attacks. Any close combat attack inflicted by a Culexus Assassin that rolls a 6 To Wound has the Instant Death special rule. Any close combat attack inflicted by a Culexus Assassin that is allocated to a Psyker has the Instant Death special rule.
- Note that his attacks are not technically AP2 - rather, the model hit can't take an armour save - which can be situationally superior.
- Preferred Enemy (Psykers)
- Psychic Abomination: Psykers, friend or foe, within 12" of a Culexus Assassin have -3 Leadership, do not generate any Warp Charges, and only harness Warp Charge points on a 6 (even if the unit would otherwise harness Warp Charges on another result). A Culexus Assassin can never be targeted or affected by psychic powers – other units in the Culexus’ vicinity that are hit by beam or nova powers, or by witchfire powers that use templates, are hit/affected normally. Any blessing or malediction psychic powers affecting a unit immediately cease to be in effect if the unit moves within 12" of a Culexus or vice versa. This rule does not apply whilst the Culexus is embarked in a Transport.
Eversor Special Rules
- Fast Shot: Whenever an Eversor Assassin fires his executioner pistol, he does so 4 times. All of these shots must be at the same target, but can be any mixture of bolt pistol and needle pistol shots.
- Note that despite sharing a name with the special rule enjoyed by Dark Reaper Exarchs, this rule is drastically better on his pistol (quadrupling his ROF rather than doubling it and allowing him to mix profiles) and drastically worse on Fortification guns, and really just doesn't behave the same way at all.
- Feel No Pain
- Furious Charge
- Bio-meltdown: If an Eversor Assassin is ever reduced to zero Wounds, before removing the model as a casualty, each nearby unit (friend or foe) suffers a Strength 5 AP- hit for each model it has within D6" of the Eversor Assassin. After resolving any additional damage, remove the Eversor Assassin from play as a casualty.
Vindicare Special Rules
- Deadshot: All successful To Hit rolls made by a Vindicare Assassin, excluding Snap Shots, are Precision Shots.
The Assassins' Blades (Armoury)
Wargear of the Callidus Temple
- Neural Shredder: Basically a template Sniper weapon, hits at strength 1 but at AP2 and always wounds on a 4+, sadly no effect on buildings or vehicles. Mainly used to wipe out the bodyguard of whomever she's going to be fighting. Also keep in mind that as a Template weapon it can be used to Wall of Death enemies who are charging her, which might save her life if she's caught by somebody you don't want her to be fighting (likely because you decided to Infiltrate her too close and the opponent didn't like the idea they could only fire Snap Shots at her). Is a Pistol, so she is technically rocking three close combat weapons total.
C'tanPhase Sword: Strength User, AP2! (Bye bye Terminators) and has Phasing, which allows for each roll of a 6 in CC to ignore invulnerable saves, which makes her an excellent choice to take on enemy HQs.
- Poison Blades: Strength User, no AP, but has rending and poison (+3). You're almost never going to use these, anything with Toughness high enough to require them is either going to be something with an armour save so good that there's no point (even with Rending, and sometimes they'll have an Invulnerable save too) or it's going to be something strong enough to kill her anyway (a lot of MCs can become S8 to ID her). If you're up against something tough enough to require them, you'd be better off stocking up on something that isn't a Callidus.
- Note: Despite the name, this is a single melee weapon.
Wargear of the Culexus Temple
- Animus Speculum: A shooting attack at 18" fired in the psychic phase, Strength 5 and AP1 three shots, increases in shots by how many Psykers there are near him...friend or foe. You can also elect to use three warp charges to add three shots to the speculum's attack. Using this also doesn't count as shooting (due to it being in the psychic phase) meaning you can still toss a 'nade or run in the following phases.
- Psyk-Out Grenades: Low range, S2 with no AP. However, one Psyker in the unit targeted sufferers Perils of the Warp... and when charging the Culexus, Psykers do not get extra attacks. A mulligan at best, you'll likely use it just because the Culexus has no other ranged weapon and you're already in a position to assault.
- Etherium: All units targeting the Culexus Assassin, in close combat or at range, have to swing at BS and WS 1. Note that no matter what, your opponent cannot boost their weapon skill, meaning that even the Tau are stuck at BS1! Psykers hate Culexus by default, but this is why everyone hates him. Be wary of stuff that does not use BS or WS to hit, like Kharn hitting on 2+ in CC (why you would try to fight Kharn in assault with a Culexus is beyond us); BS is set to 1 but shots are not made into Snap Shots, so template weapons will also work fine.
- Close Combat Weapon by default, as he has no melee weapons listed.
Wargear of the Eversor Temple
- Executioner Pistol: Strength 1, AP nothing but with Poisoned, or it can fire just as a regular Bolt Pistol. Would be pretty meh if the Assassin couldn't fire it four times, and as a mixture of both Needle Pistol and Bolt Pistol at that. Generally the Bolt Pistol will be more useful. Who knows, you could be up against something like Necrons or Plague Marines, in which case poisoning the Plague Marines would be more helpful than blowing them up.
- Frenzon: The Eversor Assassin rolls 3d6 to charge and gets 3 extra attacks from the charge instead of 1...giving you 8 attacks at WS8...have fun drinking your enemy's tears.
- Neuro-gauntlet: Gives the Eversor Assassin Fleshbane and Shred in close combat, though it has no AP. Great against low armoured targets like Orks where the Power Sword wasn't going to help as much due to only being S4, and if he's up against something like TEQs then the Neuro-gauntlet will serve him better (though you'd be an idiot for pitting him against TEQs, literally every other assassin is better for that role).
- Sentinel Array: An Eversor Assassin fires Overwatch using his full Ballistic Skill.
- Power Sword
- Melta Bombs
Wargear of the Vindicare Temple
- Exitus Rifle: This is the reason this guy is so well known. This rifle is a Sniper with a range of 72"(!), AP2, and access to Exitus Ammo. This allows the Vindicare to take down a number of different enemies...See that angry Chaos Lord? *BLAM*. See that Farseer? *BLAM* See that Chimera? *BLAM*. You can do this by using one of the following bullets...
- Exitus Ammo: Each time he fires, the Vindicare assassin may choose 1 of 3 bullets, each useful in one way or another.
- Hellfire: Shots will always wound on a 2+. Of the three it's the second most useful, coming in handy whenever Shield-breaker and Turbo-penetrator rounds aren't needed.
- Shield-breaker: Invulnerable saves cannot be taken against wounds, glancing hits, or penetrating hits from this bullet. Mainly useful against models that either have really good Invuln saves but few Wounds (such as Legion of the Damned, some Daemons and Commissars) or against models that have Invulnerable saves that are too powerful to rely on Turbo-penetrator rounds (such as Cataphractii Captains or Daemons buffed with the Grimoire of True Names).
- Turbo-penetrator: Against vehicles, bullets hit at strength 10. Against all other targets, it inflicts D3 wounds. This is the one you want to use whenever a character is in sight, even if that character is in a unit. The Vindicare has a hefty price tag and killing characters is the fastest and most efficient way to make those points back.
- Exitus Ammo: Each time he fires, the Vindicare assassin may choose 1 of 3 bullets, each useful in one way or another.
- Exitus Pistol: Highly overshadowed by the rifle version, but worth noting that this little fucker is Range: 12", S:X, AP:2 Pistol, Sniper, Exitus Ammo. What does that means? Well, +1 A in combat along with his combat weapon, which is nice as a last resort; and the notion that he can relocate and keep firing anyone who gets too close with the same ammo that the rifle (a good thing as the rifle is a Heavy weapon). Which could save his life temporally until help arrives. Still not worth it using it instead of the rifle: you've brought a sniper, not a gunslinger.
- Spy Mask: All shooting shots made by the Vindicare Assassin Ignore Cover... We do not need to exaggerate how awesome this is, it speaks for itself. Any direct-firing fortification shots also benefit from this (and the BS8), which can often be more useful than the rifle.
- Blind Grenades
- Close Combat Weapon
- 1 Elite
- Operation Assassinate: Gain 1 additional Victory Point if enemy warlord was killed by an assassin from this detachment. Better for some assassins than others, but pretty much the only way to take assassins (other than unbound or with an Execution Force, below). In any case it's a nice bonus, even if you don't plan on capitalizing on it the detachment otherwise has no restrictions.
- Jan 2017 update: The Castellans of the Imperium formation from Fall of Cadia allows you to take assassins as elite choices, so 3 of them per CAD. Fun. Sadly they can't all go inside a transport together, because 3 Eversors charging out of a Landraider would make people cry a little too much…
- Vindicare Assassin: The most expensive of the four, he's got a decent way to go to make that back for somebody who can shoot only once a turn (and who you do not want in assault), though thanks to his special goodies that let him kill things better it's not an uphill battle. In general he's the best for picking out targets thanks to 'Deadshot', making shots from the Vindicare Assassin have precision shots (unfortunately Look Out Sir! is still allowed, though thanks to No Escape it'll only work half the time on IC's), but unfortunately this doesn't apply to Snap Shots. He is also an Independent Operative, which means he can never have a character join him, however he can still join units, he can be the Warlord (ironically) but sadly he still can't have a Warlord Trait (though you were probably going to roll Fear anyway, so it's about the same). Like all Assassins he has an awesome stat line - though the only stat he should be using is his BS and he is not meant to be the model that gets back his points in 1 turn - his job is back up, to take down the units that are bothering you.
- Though the other assassins are great in their own right, the Vindicare is undoubtedly the best for most situations. His Exitus Rifle can quite literally deal with everything except large hordes, though even that isn't an issue thanks to the fact that the Vindicare can enter fortifications, which can then use his BS of 8. Put him on something like a Plasma Obliterator with an attached Haemotrope Reactor so that all of his MEQ-killing S8 AP2 in that Massive Blast will ignore cover, and at BS8 on average it won't even scatter.
- Most fortress walls also offer fantastic vantage points for his rifle, so if you're getting him, try to get something extra that'll allow him to immediately set up and be able to shoot turn one.
- Callidus Assassin: The second most expensive, she is the sneaky, infiltrator type out of the 4. She has a special rule which allows her to be up to 1" from a enemy unit during her infiltrate, and enemy units can only snapfire at her during her first turn on the field, but you should try not to set her up this close. She can be counter-charged, probably by something you didn't pay for her to be killing and even though she has Hit & Run, you don't want her losing Wounds against the wrong targets (or getting ID'd by them if you were stupid enough to set her up anywhere near a S8 enemy).
- The Callidus is basically a mini-distraction carnifex meant to scare the fuck out of the opponent. Use this assassin to destroy low Toughness highly armoured models (Terminators, Power Armour, Daemon Princes with warp forged armour) as well as enemy leaders, thanks to her chance to ignore Invuln saves. With her high WS, BS and Neural Shredder she could properly take a few terminators before getting overwhelmed. Still, she is an assassin. Get her into the fight, take someone out and leave. Sticking around in fights will cost you.
- Note that if you want to take advantage of her Neural Shredder the most and are confident enough, a ballsy tactic is to shoot an enemy squad with it, then let them charge her, killing one or two more in the Wall of Death that follows since all of its attacks are AP2. She doesn't lose that much by not charging (just one attack, though the tradeoff could easily be worth it since she'll auto-hit at least one WoD anyway) and she'll almost always make her 5 attacks before the enemy can strike back, but if things don't work in your favour and the enemy retains enough models for when they get their turn, things can get sour fast. Hit and Run can also help to abuse the Neural Shredder since even if you can't fire it normally before she gets charged again, she'll still get another Wall of Death use out of it.
- Eversor Assassin: The cheapest out of the lot, he is the overwhelming attacks assassin. The Eversor excels at killing hordes, MEQ's and GEQ's thanks to fast shot which allows him to fire 4 times in one turn (at the same target) and still charge, using 3d6 and gaining 3 attacks on the charge. If he dies, he activates "bio-meltdown" which is a strength 5 hit to all models within 6" before he is removed (though thanks to the wording Wounds are applied to the unit as they would a blast weapon, so the models who get hit might necessarily not be the ones Wounded) which is a nice and final "fuck you" to whoever you're up against (and seeing as how he should always be in combat, you should always get a few extra kills with it).
- While he's very good in combat, two things that can be kind of an issue are actually getting him there, and Instant Death from anyone S8 and above with their ranged attacks. A good solution for both is to just stick him in a transport, preferably one that can assault as the Assassins can now join units. So long as he's sheltered until he can Rip and Tear you shouldn't be disappointed by the results (though you should try to avoid S8 opponents in melee anyway).
- Culexus Assassin: The second cheapest and easily the most survivable of the lot. While obviously meant to fuck over Psykers in every way imaginable, this isn't the only thing the Culexus is good at. Firstly is the reason he's so survivable, Etherium. All attacks against him are made at WS1/BS1, no matter who he's up against and this cannot be buffed up in any way, shape or form, not even by markerlight spam (so go out there and kill some blue commies). On top of this he still retains the 4++ save for whenever anything does hit, if he didn't manage to kill whatever the hell it was first of course. Secondly, all of his attacks ignore armour saves. This is important as it means his AP2 doesn't come from any sort of weapon, and isn't actually an AP value so models who can take AP values away and models who use the AP values of others against them are completely fucked, regardless of whether or not they're Psykers, and especially if he rolls a 6 on his To Wound since that's now an AP2 Wound with Instant Death. Thirdly is his Animus Speculum, which works on more than just Psykers and at an AP value that'll let it pop Rhinos and Chimeras so long as you get a lucky shot into their weaker armour. Last is the threat he's meant to counter, Psykers. As bad as he can fuck up everyone else, Culexus assassins fuck up Psykers twice as hard. No Psyker within 12" can generate a warp charge, every Psyker within that distance makes his Speculum stronger, he has Preferred Enemy (Psykers) which can help the Speculum nuke a unit (so long as a Librarian is inside a unit of terminators the entire squad's fucked), and his close combat attacks always cause Instant Death to Psykers.
- The Animus Speculum is a fantastic ranged weapon, and one that can easily be abused now that the Astra Telepathica can now be allied in, as it's possible to abuse this weapon by buying some cheap Astropaths and running them near the Assassin, on average an extra 100 points can get you 7 S5 AP1 shots at BS8 a turn. The only downside is that thanks to his Independent Operative rule he cannot be joined by them directly, however thanks to how it's written, you could put him in a unit of Wyrdvane Psykers, then add the Astropaths to that as his rule states that his model can't be joined by characters, and in that case they're both just joining a different unit.
- Note that his Speculum is powered by Mastery Levels, so he won't get an extra shot for every Wyrdvane model in the unit.
- Also, as he has Infiltrate, you can't attach him to non-Infiltrating units during deployment; see below for a (shitty) way around this.
- Another ballsy tactic is to use the Culexus as a shield for everyone else in a unit (possibly even the unit of Psykers, as mentioned in the above tactic) and put him front and center, so that the only shots that'll hit the unit will hit the Culexus first. This effectively means the entire squad's invisible, only being hit on 6's, with no hope of buffing this up thanks to markerlights.
- A really ballsy (and frankly bullshit) tactic is to ally in an Inquisitor and try to get Master of Ambush (usually allying in two or three to take advantage of their abilities and increase the odds). If you do get it, infiltrate the Culexus, and then infiltrate several Psykers alongside so that he can immediately use the Animus Speculum to tear shit up, before charging into melee to finish the job. It relies more on luck, but even if you don't get it those Inquisitors were still going to come into handy, as were those Psykers, so failure doesn't really hurt all that much.
- Do this with a 5-ape Jokaero unit to make his Speculum 30" and Rending for the rest of the game.
- You also get bragging rights if you play with the Empyric Storm random results, the opponent's Warlord gets Psychic Apotheosis, and then you kill him with the Culexus, netting yourself a bonus VP in the process.
- Vindicare Assassin
- Callidus Assassin
- Eversor Assassin
- Culexus Assassin
- All gain Preferred Enemy (Warlord)
- Gain 1 additional Victory Point if enemy warlord was killed by an assassin from this detachment.
- Generally a little overkill for anything short of Apocalypse and there's no real reason to take it as the regular detachment also provides the same bonus, even Preferred Enemy is generally not worth it thanks to the fact that the Assassins are going to cost so much more than the Warlord they're trying to kill unless, once again, you're playing Apocalypse and were going to be taking all four to do different roles anyway.
Much like the Adepta Sororitas, the Inquisition of this book do not replace that of Codex: Inquisition (at least not until the next FAQ). As another side-grade, they gain certain things, get other buffs and lose other items and units.
- 1- Unquestionable Wisdom: The Warlord and his unit can choose to pass or fail any Morale Test. Take that Papa Smurf!
- 2- Reader of the Tarot: While the Warlord is alive, you can roll two dice and choose the more favorable result when rolling for Reserves, Outflank, Mysterious Terrain, and Mysterious Objectives. This one...this one's interesting. It doesn't say that it doesn't effect Allied Detachments, it just says you can choose dice when rolling, this one's pretty sweet. Might be FAQ'd or updated, but...keep an eye on it.
- 3- Burner of Worlds: Once per game, the Warlord can skip the shooting phase to call down an orbital bombardment (infinite range, S10 AP1, Ordnance 1, Large Blast, Barrage, and Orbital). Exterminatus on demand, baby.
4-6 are different depending on which Ordo your Inquisitor is a part of.
- 4- Witch Hunter: The Warlord and his unit gain Preferred Enemy (Psykers). Karamazov has this trait by default. It's alright, though a Psyocculum somewhat negates it.
- 5- Will of Iron: The Warlord and his unit gain Adamantium Will. Since your Inquisitor is a Psyker (if you're playing them right, they will be), this makes you Deny on a 4+, pretty sweet.
- 6- Master of Interrogation: Enemy Infiltrators can't be set up within 24" of the Warlord. Well, just laugh at your opponent as you ask them to set up Infiltrators. Bonus points for rolling this against Genestealer cults.
- 4- Xeno Hunter: The Warlord and his unit have Preferred Enemy when targeting enemy non-vehicle units from the following lists: Dark Eldar, Eldar, Harlequins, Necrons, Orks, Tau Empire, Tyranids and Genestealer Cults. Pretty sweet, not gonna lie. Can be fuck-mothering useful if you're actually facing one of those units.
- 5- Xenotech Collector: The Warlord gains a 6++, and one of the Warlord's ranged weapons gains S+1 and Rending for the duration of the battle. One of the only ways to give an Inquisitor an Invuln save.
- 6- Purity of Mankind: Humanity Fuck Yeah in game. The Warlord and his unit gain Hatred.
- 4- Daemonhunter: The Warlord and his unit gain Preferred Enemy (Daemons). Coteaz has this by default. See the other two, it's conditional at best, but can be damn nice in the right spot.
- 5- Incorruptible: All units with the Daemon USR within 12" of the Warlord suffer a -1 penalty to their invulnerable save on top of any other modifiers (minimum of 6+). Watch Daemons weep if you combine this with a Grimoire of True Names and a right roll on a Daemonblade.
- 6- Forbidden Lore: If the Warlord is a Psyker, he generates a bonus Warp Charge each turn; otherwise, the Warlord gains Adamantium Will.The latter doesn't apply, you should ALWAYS take a psyker as an Inquisitor. Awesome. Just awesome.
The Big =][='s Armory
- Flak Armor: Acolytes and just about every Henchmen choice have this base. Cardboard armor with a shit 5+ save. Bolters negate it. Thankfully, many classes can trade it (such as Acolytes) or elect to take it on superior Invulns (Crusaders and Acolytes).
- Carapace Armor: 4+ save. No longer expensive so feel free to take it on Acolytes who aren't going to get Storm Shields. All Inquisitors have it base, though unlike the Acolytes they're not likely to keep it.
- Power Armor: 3+ Armor save, and a mandatory boost for any Inquisitor you want to do shit with as it only adds a marginal price upgrade (just three points to make your Inquisitor a more survivable) is a straight upgrade from the Carapace the Inquisitor has. Now it's all right to give to Acolytes since the upgrade is 5 points instead of 10, though it's definitely not necessary since an extra acolyte is only a point less. It can be pretty sweet however if you have it on several acolytes and get a Jokaero to upgrade it into being effectively Artificer Armour (and with Storm Shields you can have your own wannabe Terminator Squad).
- Terminator Armor: The good old famous Deathwing/Grey Knight Paladin armor available only on your Daemonhunter Inquisitor! It more than doubles the Inquisitor's point cost but you're likely taking it anyway because it's the only way you get a guaranteed 2+ Armor and the only way any Inquisitor can get a 5+ Invuln. It also confers the ability for your Inquisitor to Deepstrike (presumably with an attached Grey Knights squad) so it's advised you take a Mystic in that case.
Weapons of the Ordos
Henchmen Ranged Weapons
- Bolter: 1 point for S4 AP5. Want to be the same price as a Guardsmen and have better ranged weaponry? Pretty much always worth it unless you just want dedicated tarpitters, in which case the +1 attack from the default loadout is more up your alley. Thanks to the cheaper power armour you can also become a Space Marine lite, or even better if you get a good Jokaero result.
- Storm Bolter: 3 points, 24" Assault 2 is decent if you want a cheap pokey gunline. Also, if you get lucky with Jokaero rolls you can get Rending on them and begin drinking your opponent's tears. However, 5 Acolytes with SB is the same as 7 Acolytes with Bolt Guns. Sure the Storm Bolter has other advantages (such as always getting its 2 shots and not slowing you down), but always consider the trade off.
- Hot-shot Lasgun: S3 AP 3 18" range for 5 points. Slaughters MEQs pretty handily. Not generally worth it though when you can take Militarum Tempestus allies, especially since they can take Hotshot volley guns, they get BS 4 and orders from their HQ squad.
- Note that you can absolutely ally in a Cadian Battle Group Command with a Command Squad and Lord Commissar, then strap the LC to the Acolytes, and order them around, including the one where hot-shot lasguns shoot an extra shot. Not free by a long shot, but legal.
- Combi-weapons: A bit of a waste for the Acolytes. They're too pricey and you could just spend the same amount of points to get the real version.
- Plasma Pistol: A terrible idea. For five points less you can get the real version.
Henchmen Melee Weapons
- Chainsword: Bog-standard Close Combat Weapon. All Acolytes have one base, and it should stay that way thanks to the following two options...
- Power Weapon: The same everyone knows and loves from the various Codices and the Inquisition is no longer limited to strictly power swords. There's an interesting twist here, however; the Inquisition has no need (or desire) to take them. Acolytes can take them too, but they're so fucking expensive for the little guys that you're simply better off with more bodies, or other models (such as Death Cult Assassins from the Inquisition's formation as they come with them standard and have a better profile).
- Power Fist: Fucking hell, why? There is no reason to take this, it's just way too fucking expensive and you're never going to make those points back on Acolytes! Actually costs more than a Thunder Hammer on your Inquisitor!
Henchman Special Weapons and Wargear
- Flamer: BS3 doesn't matter here, so it's not an awful take if you expect hordes.
- Meltagun: Do take it. Short-ranged Anti-tank and good at downing Marines in a pinch. Take 3 per squad and jam tons of them with an Astropath and two meatshields in Rhinos/Chimeras and roll down the field.
- Plasma Gun: With S7 AP2 and Rapid Fire, it excels at taking down just about anything from Orks to Terminators to Tyranid Monsters. Though rolling a 1 to-hit means Gets Hot! and your guy can die. Be aware of this and take Carapace Armor at the minimum, or better yet Power Armour. Once again the Acolytes are BS3, grab an Astropath for Prescience so that on top of hitting more often, Gets Hot! doesn't hurt you as much. Just remember, you can't use Prescience from inside a Chimera.
- Something to take note of is that Acolytes pay more than other armies for their flamers, but less for their plasma guns (probably because flamers ignore their BS3), so you should always strongly consider plasma acolytes if you're considering Henchmen.
- Defense Orb: Adds 5++ invulnerable save. Jokaero get these, not you. Your Inquisitor doesn't get an Invulnerable save unless he's a part of the Ordo Malleus and buys Terminator Armor.
- Storm Shield: The user gains a 3+ invulnerable save, but can't get the bonus for two CCWs. Acolytes can buy them for 15 points, but for some stupid reason Inquisitors can't get them.
All Ordos Ranged Weapons
- Bolt Pistol: Allows your Inquisitor to have an extra attack. All Inquisitors have 1 base but it is almost always a better call to replace it with another weapon.
- Combi-Weapon: Tried and true option, a Bolter that comes with a 1-use Flamer, Meltagun, or Plasma Gun. If you know when to use it, it will never disappoint. Acolytes can also take these, although it's kind of pointless since they can get the full version for the same price (though that only applies to three of them, however you shouldn't need more than three anyway).
- Plasma Pistol: The same pistol Space Marines, Imperial Guard, and Sisters of Battle have. However, because you're such an influential fellow you can get yours for the same overcosted price of... 15 points. Not great, and it's unlikely to make its points back in a game unless you somehow manage to ID some GEQ commander (Genestealer Cults come to mind).
All Ordos Melee Weapons
- Chainsword: Bog-standard Close Combat Weapon. All Inquisitors have one base but it is almost always a better call to replace it with another weapon.
- Power Weapon: As mentioned in the henchmen section, the Inquisition has no need of them. Seriously, Hammers for the Ordo Malleus cost the same and are far better, Hammers for the Ordo Hereticus are only five points more, and Ordo Xenos Inquisitors have cheaper Power Swords as an option which combine with their rad grenades for better results.
- Force Weapon: No longer limited to just Power Swords, force weapons are power weapons with the Force Special rule. A Psyker Inquisitor can take one for free, and that is awesome. Generally won't disappoint if you want to smack things with Instant Death. Note too that it is the only item here that Acolytes cannot take.
- Power Fist: Nope. There's still no reason to take this, it costs as much as a brand new Inquisitor (who also gets a Warlord Trait), upgrading to get a free Force Weapon is only five points more, and both Malleus and Hereticus Inquisitors can buy Hammers which are not only better, but cheaper!
All Ordos Special Wargear
- Psyk-Out grenades: All Inquisitors have it by default and this can't be swapped for anything. Made from the psychic shit that condenses from the bottom of the Golden Throne and stops charging Psykers from getting their bonus attacks should the unit get charged, and can also be thrown as a weak S2 AP- attack that causes a Psyker in the unit to immediately suffer Perils. Specialized, but free, so you've no right to complain.
Ordo Malleus Ranged Weapons
- Hellrifle: 36" S6 AP3 Heavy 1, Rending - not to be confused with the Hellgun, this fucker does an impressive job of tearing up MEQs. Debatably cheap enough to spam, but only if you have an Astropath using Prescience to ensure you don't miss. You can also use it to instadeath most GEQ HQs (as well as enemy Inquisitors that aren't Ordo Malleus since Power Armour's the best they can get), which is a nice little touch.
- Incinerator: S6 AP4 flamer. A good choice, but generally the hellrifle is a better pick. However, it's hilariously destructive against Blobguard, Blobtau, Blobgreen and Blobanids. Fire it and watch instant death melt those hundreds of units away. Shares the same strong points (albeit stronger by a point or two) as all flamer weapons, great for overwatch, crowd control, and for clearing occupied buildings. Shish Kebab time.
- If you want, you can take a Hellrifle and an Incinerator, making you needlessly dangerous at any range, but that's pretty expensive compared to a bolt pistol in your other hand - and for the exact same cost as the two big guns, your other hand could be holding a Nemesis Daemon Hammer.
- Also, real talk: An Inquisitor with a Hellrifle is 40 points base, while an Acolyte with a Plasma Gun is 14 points base - that's nearly 3 Acolytes per Inquisitor at that rate, and S7 AP2 is better than S6 AP3 Rending, before you realize rapid fire is better than heavy, although 36" is better than 24", Inquisitors can join other units and don't have Get's Hot!... Hence the reason why it's spamability is debatable. In any case it's worth remembering.
- Storm bolter: Malleus Terminators get it by default. It's 2 shots at 24" so it's an improvement over the Bolt Pistol or the Bolter part of a Combi-weapon. Since it is assault, not rapid-fire, it's great on any dedicated close combat units.
- Psycannon: The good ol' signature ranged weapon of Grey Knights and the shit responsible for 20% of the rage directed against them before 7E, it's an S7/AP4 Rending rifle with an unusual Type: Assault 2/Heavy 4. In this codex it can only be taken by Malleus Inquisitors in Terminator armour, so it always uses the latter profile. The 15-point price is very reasonable, but to get access to it you have to blow 40 points on Terminator armour, and now that one Inquisitor costs as much as three. Avoid it; if you want to be more shooty then you've got other options, and the only thing it really shines at on these Inquisitors is being an AV11/AV12 transport popper.
Ordo Malleus Melee Weapons
- Daemonblade: While using a daemon weapon is almost always a bad idea if you aren't with Chaos (especially because it's S User and AP-), it gives you two randomly selected powers from the following list (roll two 2d6, if you get the same result twice it lets you choose which buffs you want). It can be funny if you get the right rolls, and since 7 is statistically likely, it's alright versus Daemons, I guess... Thankfully too this book also clarifies which effects apply to the Inquisitor, and which effects only apply to the blade, so even if you're not using them the blades can still help you out if you roll lucky enough, though now they're also Two-handed weapons.
- 2-3: Attacks with the Daemonblade are made at +3 Strength.
- 4: The wielder gains +3 Attacks. This is one of the results you want if you're using an Inquisitor who's only taking the blade for its buffs, and easily the best result if you took a pair of them.
- 5: The Daemonblade becomes AP2. All around a good result, especially if you get boosted strength.
- 6: The wielder gains +1W each time an unsaved wound with the Daemonblade is inflicted up to a maximum of 10 wounds.
- 7: The Daemonblade always wounds Daemons on a 2+, and forces them to reroll successful invulnerable saves. Arguably better than the Daemonhammer for taking on Greater Daemons that you've paralyzed with the Grimoire of True Names and Empyrean Brain Mines.
- 8: The wielder gains Furious Charge and Rage. This is another result that only applies to the user, allowing you to reap the benefits while using a different weapon.
- 9: The wielder gains Feel No Pain and Eternal Warrior. Once again it specifically applies to the user, so you don't have to use the blade to gain the benefits.
- 10: The Daemonblade becomes Poisoned (2+). This could be worth it if you got the result to increase your Strength since Poisoned allows you to re-roll failed To Wound rolls in close combat, as long as the user's strength is higher than the target's Toughness.
- 11+: Gain Force and generate a bonus Warp Charge each turn. An awesome bonus, your Malleus Inquisitor should always be a Psyker anyway.
- Note that if you DO decide to try out a pair of Daemonblades, they generate their powers independently, so the same powers can duplicate across them, and powers 4 and 11+ stack (not that either result is likely), so your Inquisitor can generate two additional Warp Charges or get +6 attacks, which will bring him to 10 total (3 base + 3 first daemonblade + 3 second daemonblade + 1 two CCWs), 11 on the charge (12 if you also have Rage).
- Note too that since the effects are so random it's not recommended to take these blades in anything but casual matches. They cost the same as Daemon Hammers, and generally won't perform as well, though if you take one alongside a Daemon Hammer simply to buff up the Inquisitor's profile then they could potentially be worth it (possibly giving you a S10 Inquisitor on the charge, or giving your Daemonhammer 8 Attacks on the charge, not to mention being the only source of Eternal Warrior for your squishy Inquisitor).
- Nemesis Daemon Hammer: Standard thunder hammer with Force plus forcing Daemons/Psykers wounded by this to test Ld or get insta-killed. An awesome weapon, not just because of its rules but also because of its shockingly cheap point cost. Malleus terminators also get this by default.
Ordo Malleus Special Wargear
- Empyrean Brain Mines: After assault moves have been made but before any blows are struck, nominate one enemy model in base contact with the bearer. That model must pass an Initiative test to avoid the brain mine. If the test is passed, nothing happens. If the test is failed, the victim cannot strike any blows during this Assault phase. It's all right on its own, but great when combined with anything that lowers the enemy's Initiative (such as Strikedown, Concussive, or that weird stasis shit if you ally with Dark Angels) or when the Inquisitor is already up against a low Initiative target. Also provides good protection in Challenges, you could derp out an opponent and own them with your Nemesis Hammer.
- When combined with the Grimoire of True Names and a Daemon Hammer you turn your 90 pt Inquisitor into a Daemon killing machine. One-shotting a Blood Thirster in a challenge is not unheard of, and as mentioned in the Null Rod entry, if you combine this with a Hereticus Inquisitor who has the Null Rod (and maybe a third Malleus Inquisitor for good measure and extra insurance on your Brain Mines) you can even kill Magnus without breaking a sweat, as well as any Greater Daemon for that matter.
- Psybolt Ammunition: Your boltgun/pistol/stormbolter now has +1 Strength. If you're struggling to put those last five points somewhere, it's not the WORST take. Would go better on one of your vehicles, though (like a Heavy Bolter Razorback or Chimera).
Ordo Hereticus Ranged Weapons
- Condemnor Boltgun: This Combi-weapon incorporates a single-shot crossbow- while S5 AP- seems like a joke, it also has the Psi-Shock rule that forces a randomly determined Psyker in the enemy unit to insta-Perils on top of anything else. Pretty neat, but a bit expensive for what it does, being the same price as a plasma pistol and pricier than combi-plasma.
- Inferno Pistol: The same Blood Angels and Sisters of Battle Pistol they know and love. S8 AP1 with a range just slightly longer than the average charge range. Also has the Melta rule, but at 3", you are more than likely to be caught in the blast, or get killed when the enemy pours out of the transport you popped. Still preferable over the Plasma Pistol and if you get the Jokaero to boost the range on it then it can be a really effective weapon (on top of looking really cool), particularly if you take two of them.
- Orbital Strike Relay: Unique to Karamazov (unfortunately). Unlike Inquisitors with the Burner of Worlds Warlord Trait, Inquisitor Krazypantsoff(Карамазов) gets a choice of three different forms of Exterminatus. All of them have infinite range and the Orbital rule, and are also once per game.
- Barrage Bomb: S6, AP4, Ordnance D3(!), Large Blast. When you absolutely have to blow everything up. Best reserved for Traitor Guard, hordes, and Genestealer Cults.
- Lance Strike: S10, AP1, Heavy 1, Lance, Blast. Your go-to Titan-killer.
- Psyk-out Bomb: S6, AP4, Ordnance 1, Psi-Shock, Large Blast. Situational at best and probably the weakest of the three. About the only time you'd use it is when you have a model in combat with the enemy's Warlord who happens to be a Psyker (or they're in combat against a really powerful Psyker) and you take advantage of Karamazov's By Any Means Necessary rule to ensure it doesn't scatter. Whichever Psyker you do want to give a guaranteed perils to, however, should also be the only Psyker in that unit; otherwise, you'd have been better off with the barrage bomb.
Ordo Hereticus Melee Weapons
- Null Rod: It would be an average power sword if it weren't for its special Witchbane rule, which prevents the unit with this item from being targeted by all Psychic Powers, friendly or enemy. In addition it also has the Instant Death rule if used against enemy Psykers, and at AP3 it can kill a surprising amount of opponents. Hell, two Inquisitors with Null Rods and a Priest will have a guaranteed kill on a Hive Tyrant (mathhammer wise) so long as the Priest challenges, while remaining cheaper (although to that end a Culexus Assassin would have been better for the job).
- Feel free to laugh as Magnus the Red struggles to deal with puny humans (Malleus and Hereticus Inquisitors) who are not only immune to his Psychic shit, but can also beat him in melee thanks to the The Grimoire dropping him to I2, the Brain Mines paralyzing him, and their hammers keeping him at I1 so he stays paralyzed. Oddly enough a group of Inquisitors with this gear are far and away the best defence against him, so long as they can catch him in melee they've got (mathhammer wise) a guaranteed kill while costing a fraction of the Primarch's points.
- Note that while it stops Psychic Powers from affecting the unit, it doesn't prevent the unit itself from using them, so feel free to attach it to a Psyker-heavy force so that you can lob powers while remaining safe from Psychic counter-attack, and with all of the Psychic bullshit flying around, a Null Rod can easily be worth the points.
- Thunder Hammer: An interesting buy. For 5 points less than a Power Fist you get Concussive, which is a nice bonus. It's more likely to come into effect with your Inquisitor because his S6 blows will only insta-kill other mere humans. Malleus' Daemon Hammer is better and cheaper; feel free to rage.
Ordo Hereticus Special Wargear
- Psyocculum: The user's unit gets BS10 when shooting at a unit which has at least 1 model with Psyker, Psychic Pilot or Brotherhood of Psykers/Sorcerers. AMAZINGly situational. Emphasis on Amazing. Bonus points for using this versus Tyranids. It doesn't work on Flying Monstrous Creatures with Psyker rule, sadly. Psyocculum pushes your BS up to 10, but then Snap Shooting from them being flyers drags it back down to 1, regardless of the circumstances. Find some form of access to skyfire (Skyfire Nexus, Space Marine Command Tanks) though and you're good.
Ordo Xenos Ranged Weapons
- Conversion Beamer: An interesting little item for Xenos Inquistors that fires a blast that gets more powerful the farther it shoots (from 1<=range<=18 inches it's S6 AP-, 18<range<=42 it's S8 AP4 and from 42<=range<=72 it's S10 AP1). Obviously this is best used for a heavy weapons Inquisitor at the way back, maybe with a couple Jokaero to back them up (though preferably not in the same unit as the bonus +12" result doesn't help in any way). Combines oddly well with the Split Fire granted by the Liber Heresius, allowing you to shoot 1 Vehicle wayyyyy the fuck off on the other side of the board while the rest of the squad hit another. Don't forget Prescience. But what you do is this. Take a Xenos Inquisiitor with one of these, and a Hereticus one with a psyoccolum behind an Aegis with icarus lascannon. What happens then is you get the beamer shredding anything far away while the Hereticus pops flyers. Woe betide Lords of Change, Flying Princes, Flyrants or... well, any other psykers, as the BS 10 lascannon can punch a hole in anything with wings and the beamer will mulch any Psykers on the ground. And the best part? This is both dirt cheap and easily spammable (well, except for the curiously difficult to come by Fortifications slot).
- Needle Pistol: The range stinks, and at the price it's at, you might as well buy a Plasma Pistol for the same cost. You'll almost always wound on 2's with that thing, you'll always be AP2 (rather than the shitty AP6) and Gets Hot! is a slight price to pay for your gun not being total shit.
Ordo Xenos Melee Weapons
- Scythian Venom Talon: S User, AP-, Poison (2+). You can be a shitty version of a Dark Eldar, but it has no AP and no Rending. About the only way it could be worth it is if you found some way to boost the Inquisitor's Strength (or if you're up against somebody who has no armour, such as Daemons), but without access to Biomancy (and Iron Arm which would have made this awesome) the best you can do is to skip it.
Ordo Xenos Special Wargear
- Digital Weapons: Re-roll a single failed To Wound roll each assault phase. Could help get that lucky Force strike in. If you're in melee, and Ordo Xenos, things have probably gone wrong already, unless you take the following two trinkets in which case it could be a very good investment...
- Psychotroke Grenades: Roll a d6 when in the first round of an assault and something hilarious could happen:
- 1 - Jack shit. Better hope you're with a good assault squad.
- 2 - All your attacks auto-hit. Also, the enemy models only get 1 attack each. Roll this against something that has a fuckton of attacks and high WS (Ork Boyz, Daemonettes, Wulfen, Genestealers), and watch the opponent rage harder than the Angry Marines.
- 3 - You re-roll failed hits. Not so great, especially if you're in a Henchman Warband where a Priest is giving the unit Hatred, or have an allied Priest in the same unit.
- 4 - The enemy is now Ld2. Fearless ignores this natch, but for any non-fearless units the price of losing combat by even a pitiful 1 wound just got extremely high.
- 5 - The enemy is now I1. No longer worthless now that Psyk-out grenades have been changed. It combos best with Empyrean Brain Mines, which your Inquisitor can't get, though if you did take a Malleus Inquisitor and aren't fighting Daemons then good on you.
- 6 - All enemy models must make initiative tests. If a model fails they attack their own guys instead of yours, and any wounds count toward your Combat Resolution. Single model units re-roll this result. This is the result you hope for against Orks and Tyranids, aside from #2. It can also be pretty sweet against Daemons if you use the Grimoire of True Names to nuke a big monster's Initiative.
- Rad grenades: Grenades that reduce the enemy's toughness by 1 for a round when in assault. Pretty nifty. Pretty much a guaranteed brief enfeeble on the enemy.
- Has the strange property of not limiting the reduction of toughness to 1. Per 40k rules, T0 results in instant death. Also makes no mention that it doesn't stack with other units. So if 3 ordo Xenos with rad grenades charge a 50-strong guardsmen blob as separate units, all 50 instantly die. Field 25 of them for 1000 points, and slowly march them up the field. Laugh as everything dies from being near them. Take some skitarii allies and stick him in a squad of vanguard, laugh as your inquisitor kills the mighty space marines on a 2+!
- Note too that this Rad grenade stacking strategy is one of the few counters to the new Split rule the Pink Horrors have gotten. Separate Inquisitors can charge in, and cause all Daemons involved to die by proxy, then do that to the Blue Horrors, then the Brimstone Horrors, without much worry.
- Ulumeathi Plasma Syphon: Matt Ward's infamous addition to the Grey Knights is now (mercifully) in an army that isn't quite as likely to abuse it. It still reduces all models firing plasma weapons within 12" to BS1, making it a pain in the ass to anyone who relies on them. This new book also makes it clear that all plasma weapons count, including the Tau's plasma rifles.
Only one of each relic may be taken for your army. Also ordos restricted.
- Grimoire of True Names: Why AREN'T you taking this? 5 points. When the bearer of the Grimoire of True Names is fighting a challenge against a model with the Daemon special rule, his opponent suffers a -5 penalty to his WS, I, and Ld characteristics (to a minimum of 1). Now bearing in mind that now, EVERY army can take daemons thanks to Demonology this is actually quite useful, and once again it's only 5pts. A lot of Chaos Space Marine armies that you see at the tournament scene tend to take a Daemon Prince these days while Daemon armies will take Greater Daemons, and if it comes to slay the warlord, so long as they have Brain Mines your Inquisitor will wipe the floor with them. Being able to hit it on 3s is a godsend even without worrying much about counterattacks and if you also gave them a Daemon Hammer (and why wouldn't you?) challenges will be a breeze. This also works against Eldar Avatars too and is downright hilarious when your 60pts inquisitor goes all Calgar on Khaine.
- Liber Heresius: 15 points. Also known as "The Big Book of Heresy", the bearer of this tome can take a Leadership test at the start of any turn (At Ld10, that's not too shabby). If the test is passed, the bearer of the Liber Heresius and his unit, gain either Scouts (only before the start of the first turn), Split Fire, Counter-Attack, Fear, or Hatred until the start of their next turn. You can't choose the same rule twice, though. Overall, a well-rounded choice and good for all-comers lists, you might as well take it so long as the points are free.
- The Tome of Vethric: 20 points. If your opponent's detachment is a xenos army, the tome's bearer gains a USR from the following list that corresponds to that xenos race. If both the primary and allied detachment are xenos, you get both of their corresponding USRs. Since all of them are ideal for countering their corresponding race, this one is a must-have when fighting xenos. Unfortunately, since over half the factions in the game are Imperial/Chaos, it may not be the best choice if you aren't tailoring.
- Eldar: Split Fire
- Dark Eldar: Night Vision
- Tau: Furious Charge
- Necrons: Tank Hunter
- Orks: Counter-Attack
- Tyranids: Monster Hunter
- Dozer Blades: You know what it does. Re-roll failed Dangerous Terrain tests. Can't be taken by Land Raiders, unfortunately. Virtually mandatory on every other vehicle that'll be on a table with even mild terrain.
- Storm Bolter: You should know what this is too, hopefully. It's a Storm Bolter, it's in the basic weapons loadout above already.
- Hunter-Killer Missile: A one-use only Krak missile (S8 AP3) but with infinite range. If you needed to ask about this, no, you need to go back to basic.
- Searchlight: Right, report to the Lord Inquisitor. (Removes the Stealth from Night Fighting on a single unit, but you also lose the Stealth given from Night Fight if you do so). Night fighting is piss-poor in 7th but it doesn't matter since almost all vehicles come standard with this anyway.
- Smoke Launchers: Well, people always forget to use these, so...I suppose it's tolerable to mention. Once per game, the vehicle gets a 5+ Cover Save. A nice way to get your transports semi-safely to their destination.
- Psybolt Ammo: All Bolter, Heavy Bolter, Storm bolter shots gain an additional +1S. Give this to a twin-Heavy Bolter Chimera and revel in the Dakka.
- Truesilver Armor: If a model with the Daemon, Psyker, Brotherhood of Psykers/Sorcerers or Psychic Pilot hits this vehicle in close combat, it suffers a Strength 6 hit for each hit once damage has been resolved against the vehicle. This is godsend against daemons as you can dangle a rhino with this in front of 20 flesh hounds and get 1st blood and make your opponent RAGE.
- Bonus points if you somehow manage to Instant Death a Psyker with it.
Inquisitorial Representative: Resembles the Inquisitorial Detachment but keep in mind several things. First of all, in order to take another Inquisitor: you have to field another one of these, and considering the benefits you would probably want to do that already. Secondly, with this you cannot field mobs of select models. Acolytes are the only Elites choice that can be fielded in units of more than one model. All others are solitary unless taken in a specific formation. You lose direct access to the Arco-flagellant, Ministorum priest, Death Cult Assassin, Psykers, and Servitors unless you take a specific formation, though the new formation highly resembles the old unit and comes with a few new bonuses.
- 1 HQ
- 0-3 Elite
- Authority of the Inquisition: The Inquisitor from this detachment may generate a Warlord trait even though they are not the Warlord. For the sake of the Warlord trait they count as a Warlord. Honestly fantastic for grabbing an extra Tactical Warlord trait, and thanks to the wording you can keep taking additional detachments (of one Inquisitor each) for additional traits.
- Interestingly this detachment says that unique Inquisitors picked as a part of this detachment can generate and use a Warlord Trait, even if they're not the Warlord. Thanks to the wording not saying it replaces a Warlord trait, this could be argued that unique Inquisitors (such as Coteaz, Karamazov and Greyfax) get two Warlord traits if they are the warlord, and that they're not limited to their chosen trait if they're not the Warlord.
- All units must be of the Inquisition faction.
- Ordo Malleus Inquisitor: Easily the most melee focused of the three, the Malleus Inquisitor still has access to the Daemonhammer, and he still has access to his Daemonblade, though they can now dual-wield them and the blades make it clear which of their effects affect the user, and which affect the blade (meaning that he can get four effects by using two blades, even though he can only attack in close combat with one), though you shouldn't expect something amazing out of it, even if you do purchase two swords for him. His ranged weapons aren't that bad either, though getting a Psycannon costs a lot of points, as does the Terminator armour it requires (to the point that it's arguably not worth it), and the Hellrifle is almost cheap enough to spam it as a MEQ-killer (get some Astropaths for Prescience and this certainly becomes an option), though as already mentioned this Inquisitor mostly shines in melee. Make him a Psyker, give him the Daemonhammer and Empyrean Brain Mines and let him go to town with his force weapon.
- If you want to make the most out of him and you happen to be fighting Daemons (or really anyone with the Daemon rule), then feel free to take the Grimoire of True Names, and use this alongside your Brain Mines to drop Greater Daemons down to I1, then smash them with the Daemonhammer. It's not unheard of for Bloodthirsters to charge into fights against these guys and fucking lose.
- Inquisitor Coteaz: Coteaz covers a lot of bases, and covers them very well. He's a good psyker, has a decent enough ranged attack, is good enough in melee and doesn't cost a lot of points, what's not to love? Well for starters even though his model is wearing a rosarius whoever wrote the rules didn't recognize it, so he has no Invuln save. This is easily remedied by putting him in with a unit of Acolytes, with at least one of whom has a storm shield (though unfortunately he's kind of boned if he gets into melee combat with anyone S6 or higher). Secondly his special rule, Lord of Formosa isn't really all that useful in the current rules, thanks to the fact that Daemonhosts and Jokaero are single-model units now (you can give three models ObSec, yay) and between the three, Daemonhosts, Jokaero and Acolytes make up all of the models he can give the rule to.
- That being said, he's still good for his points, and his I've Been Expecting You rule is nothing to sneeze at, in a properly shooty squad (gained by using the Inquisition's formation or by allying him in with another army) he can cause an absurd amount of damage in a very short time, and even if he doesn't, the bubble he generates that scares away Deep-strikes and Outflanks could easily be worth the price, though if you want an Inquisitor who isn't a jack-of-all-trades you'd be better off with the generic one.
- Edit: As Corteaz can be taken in the new Castelleans of the Imperium Detatchment in fall of Cadia, the Lord of Formosa rule will give all non-vehicle units in the detatchment Obsec, which is something the detatchment was missing, it is worth considering!
- Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor: The saddest of the bunch, though not fully without advantages. Unfortunately the Malleus and Xenos both have more going for them than the Hereticus Inquisitors, and of the three the Hereticus is far and away the most specialized. They also get shafted in odd ways, such as their thunder hammers costing 5 point more than the Malleus' version, and that one's a force hammer! Their power fists also cost 5 points more than their thunder hammers! That being said, there are a number of ways to get a lot of use out of these Inquisitors, mostly through buffing/defending the unit they're currently in.
- Both of these revolve around using the Null Rod and Psyocculum. The Psyocculum is straightforward, put him in a unit (even a unit of conscripts) and so long as you're shooting at a unit with psykers, they'll be BS 10. Preferably you'll be using weapons meant more for killing the unit around the psyker than the psyker themself, as that means you get more out of it. The Null Rod on the other hand is mainly meant for countering the psychic bullshit that's been going around as of late, simply put it makes the Inquisitor a miniature Culexus Assassin. Their attacks are at AP3 with Instant Death against psykers (which encompasses a surprising amount of characters, hell two Inquisitors with Null Rods and an allied Priest can kill a Hive Tyrant while remaining cheaper) and no psychic powers may be used against them or their unit. Getting a few Inquisitors with Null Rods to protect from Magnus and Ahriman could have been worth it on their own, even if this detachment didn't also let them come with their own Warlord Traits. They can also take the Liber Heresius to further buff their unit, and considering the buffs it can offer it's well worth the 15 points to do so.
- Inquisitor Karamazov: Still no Invuln save, still no Eternal Warrior, still gets ID'd by a railgun shot. Put him in a unit that has storm shields to give him some sort of protection, or better yet add him to the Inquisition's formation, try to get the 12" range bonus from the Jokaero and laugh as he burns shit with a 36" multi-melta before crushing opponents in assault.
- Karamazov best shines in an assault-heavy army, preferably one that has alternate means of traversing the board (such as Marines with their Geomancy) but he can still work with the Inquisition, all you need is an Acolyte unit who got far in a transport (one of whom is a mystic), an Inquisitor who happened to get Gate of Infinity, and then you can deep strike Karamazov and his unit right next to the Acolytes without fear of scatter. This is of course assuming you opponent's not coming to you, if they are then they'll have their work cut out for them as Karamazov can rip and tear with the best of them.
- Karamazov's also pretty good as a buffer too, Dread Reputation makes sure that he and everyone else around him stay exactly where they should be (functioning as a priest-lite, but for multiple units) while By Any Means Necessary is actually helped by the Daemonhost's new size of one model per unit, so long as you can get any of them into combat you can sacrifice a 10 point model to make sure his blasts don't scatter, which is more than worth it.
- Inquisitor Katarinya Greyfax (Imperial Triumvirate): 150 points costing a shitload more than a regular Inquisitor (also halfway between Coteaz and Karamazov), and debatably worth it. She has the exact same statline as normal inquisitors, but has a Master-Crafted Condemnor Boltgun, a Master-Crafted Powersword, and a Psyocculum in addition to her Psyk-out grenades. While this doesn't excuse her cost, she's a ML2 psyker who always counts as having a higher level than the enemy to help deny, and one who can only take Telepathy, though she does also always know a unique power called Aura of Oppression: WC1 or WC3. The 1 Warp Charge version is a malediction targeting a single enemy non-vehicle unit within 12" which forces a pinning test, which even if they pass they cannot run, turbo-boost, sweeping advance, or fire Overwatch. The WC3 variant is instead a "nova Malediction" targeting all non-vehicle enemy units within 12". How much you plan on using her Aura is what's going to determine whether or not she's worth the hefty price tag. It's great in particular at shutting down Tau Support fire bullshit and Dark Angels Supreme Fire Discipline (and it combos beautifully with Assassins and assault heavy Henchmen Warbands). If you don't plan on using it, then don't get her, stick to a regular Inquisitor who can grab better more useful gear and abilities while costing less, and if you are going to use it then grab some Psykers (preferably Astropaths from the Telepathica) for extra charges.
- Ordo Xenos Inquisitor: A good shooter and de-buffer, of the three the Xenos Inquisitor is best suited for an all-comers list as their Rad Grenades, Plasma Syphon and Psychotroke Grenades all work wonders on everything. Put them in an assault squad to help it mulch through the opponents and keep it safe from rapid-fire plasma, or give him a Conversion Beamer, sit him back, and start shooting. Interestingly it could be argued that the rad grenades stack with each other, and since they don't stop at lowering their victims to T1, you could have three Inquisitors charge the same T3 target, and it would die before striking back at all. While not ideal, this could also be used to cancel the new Pink Horror's bullshit split rule.
- Unfortunately the Ordo Xenos don't have a special character of their own since Inquisitor Valeria's now dead, presumably killed by Greyfax above.
- Acolytes: Acolytes are an excellent unit, cheap enough to function as extra bodies to any army lacking them, while having decent upgrade options. You could outshine the Tempestus with hotshot lasguns and power armour (still BS3, though Prescience from an Inquisitor or a Psyocculum can help with that) or you could give them all bolters/storm bolters, which makes them an odd squad, one that doesn't cost a lot and still gets good weapons. They're also cheap enough that you'll have to start weighing what's worth more, a killier/hardier squad or multiple, weaker squads?
- Do not use them as melee troops. Though they have two weapons they still have the statline of a regular human, and unless they're up against similarly-sized units of humans, or they charge units of humans that don't number too much, they're going to lose and any of the armour options to make them live longer are wasted on an assault squad of these guys. If you still really want to use them in an assault role, then just take the formation below and stock up on better melee units while putting any wounds you can on the acolytes first.
- Of note is that they're one of the very few units in the game who can make use of the gunslinger rule. Acolytes can buy plasma pistols and combine them with their laspistols to fire twice, though don't expect this to be any sort of game changer.
- Available Transport Options:
- Chimera: The tax for getting it isn't so bad however, Acolytes are dirt-cheap and the Inquisition's Chimera's have certain advantages to them, like being able to upgrade their heavy bolters with psybolt ammo so that you're ID'ing GEQ's, Tempestus and Tau, all the while ignoring most of their armour saves. A storm bolter also wouldn't go amiss either since it'll also benefit from the psybolt ammo. It's a good little transport, and well worth the points once upgraded.
- Sororitas Rhino: That's correct. 5 points more than Codex: Inquisition but now with a 6+ invulnerable save and Adamantium Will. Debatably not worth it compared to the Chimera, it's cheaper, loses a point of armour in the front but gains a point in the side, and it doesn't have options to the psybolt ammo that the Chimera has, though it otherwise keeps the same roll. Take it if you're strapped for points, or are really worried about Psyker shooting your tanks, but not so worried about it that you'd by an Inquisitor with a Null Rod.
- Land Raider Variants:
- Godhammer (basic): Shouldn't be taken. You've got monkeys for lascannons, Inquisitor's (or allied Astropath's) for re-rolls, and even Chimeras provide deadlier heavy bolter fire. You also don't have the troops needed to make this one worth it, and if you're allying just to get an Assault Transport out of the Inquisition then you're better off with one of the next two options.
- Crusader: If you're taking this it'll be because you're allying the Inquisitor in with another army that doesn't have access to Assault Transports, or you're using the formation that allows you to take a massive unit and you built if for assault. If it's the former, then load it with your best unit, charge in, don't risk going through terrain (seriously, the Crusader shines in close range and getting immobilized is a huge waste of 250 points) and have fun. If it's the latter, then it's a bit iffier. While the Inquisition can get good assault units, Chimeras with psybolt ammo (which the Crusader can no longer purchase) are cheaper, more spammable, and more likely to make their points back. If you used the formation to build a good assault squad though (see the formation for more details) then it could still be worth it to load the Crusader up, charge into the enemy, and use buckets of dice considering how many attacks you should get from charging.
- Redeemer: Iffier than the Crusader, the guns are good, the issue simply comes from the fact that it is extremely short ranged. If you can get it there it'll tear shit up, but if your opponent has a few melta's/monstrous creatures/chainfists (or their equivalents), then its range easily puts it into their range, which is the fastest way to lose it. If your opponent doesn't have any of those however, then the Redeemer is good both against MEQ's and hordes and can arguably make its points back the fastest out of the three, only needing to flame/shoot a few particular squads to break even.
- Valkyrie: Unless you use a formation to ally in the Deathwatch (and you really shouldn't, explained in the formation), this is the only flyer you're going to have access to. It's a good thing that it's a good one then. It still doesn't have access to the armoury (so no S6 heavy bolters for it) but it's still the tough and deadly plane from before, and it still has access to grav-chute insertion, which is great considering that Acolytes cost so little it doesn't matter if one of them dies or not when you use it. Put them inside, use it to pester infantry/destroy aircraft (loading it up with high Strength or blasts as is appropriate) and have fun.
- Daemonhost: Free kill points for the enemy! Seriously, Daemonhosts are not hard to kill and their effectiveness is extremely random. They can be fun in huge groups, but you're limited to one model per unit outside of an Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband formation, so if you take them you're either running an unbound list, you're using the formation, or you're going to be abusing the fact that they now come with the Daemon special rule as there are some weapons/rules that can activate when a model is near a Daemon, and paying 10 points to make this a guarantee is certainly worth it. Don't take them if your plan is simply to run lone Daemonhosts at your enemy, more often than not it won't work out in your favour.
- Jokaero Weaponsmith: The shooting monkeys everyone remembers and loves. They still keep all of their old weapons (including the ring/lascannon/multi-melta/heavy flamer); however, now they are limited to one model a unit if fielded outside of an Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband formation. Single-model Jokaero aren't going to do too much unless you roll really luckily on either their shots or their special table, and even then the special table is only going to affect the Inquisitor or whatever other character you're allied with. Buffing any Independent Character with +12" to any non-template ranged weapon is really good. If you added Cawl to the unit, for example, you could turn his gun into a 24" S10 AP1 Melta that fires D3 times.
- Overall though, if you want to make sure your Jokaero are going to do something then you can't just stop at one. Get at least 3. Yes, that'll max out your detachment, yes, that can leave you open for Kill Points, but another detachment gets you another Warlord Trait and with 3 you can at least guarantee they are going to do something. You'll get a good result on the random chart, or they'll blow up that transport that you needed gone, and unless your opponent can make kill points off of them then they'll likely not consider a single 35 point model worth the firepower of an entire squad, especially when there're larger, more threatening targets out there.
- This editor would like to point out the fact that Jokaero got a HUGE buff this time around. You see, it used to be when you rolled a 6 or higher on the Inconceivable Customization chart, you would have to roll two times and have be satisfied with what you got (and if you had 6 or more of them, every roll was always a 6, so you got nothing). However, this time around, it specifically says, "pick any two of the first 5 results". This means, it is now worth it to run a squad of 6 Jokaero in the formation. Oh? What's that? My squad of 12 acolytes (6 if they have been shoved inside a Chimera) are now GUARANTEED to get a +12" range AND Rending? Or better yet, they all have a 2+ armour save and +12" range?
- Chimera: The Inquisitorial Representative detachment has no option for a Heavy Support unit of any kind, so if you take a Chimera it'll be as a dedicated transport (see above for tactics on how to use it best), or it'll be in an unbound list and why would you go unbound with this army? Getting a bonus Warlord trait is worth the points and the Acolyte tax is so minimal for their Chimera.
Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband:
- 1 Inquisitor of any type, including Unique Characters
- 1 Acolyte unit
- 0-1 Ministorum Priests unit
- 0-1 Crusaders unit
- 0-6 Daemonhosts units
- 0-1 Arco-flagellants unit
- 0-1 Death Cult Assassins unit
- 0-1 Tech-priest Enginseers unit
- 0-6 Jokaero Weaponsmiths units
- 0-1 Astropaths unit
- All units/models (excluding the Inquisitor) combine with Acolytes into one large squad.
- One Inquisitor from this detachment may generate a Warlord trait even though they are not the Warlord. For the sake of the Warlord trait they count as a Warlord.
- Depending on your Inquisitor, you may field an additional unit at cost, with all of the units now sharing the Inquisition Faction rather than their own faction(s):
- Ordo Malleus and/or Inquisitor Coteaz may purchase a Grey Knight Terminator Squad. The effectiveness of this squad should be obvious, though unless you choose to Deep-strike them they don't offer much the Inquisition doesn't already have (and for far cheaper) other than 2+ saves. If you do choose to Deep-strike them however, then you should make one of the Acolytes a Mystic to ensure that there is no scatter (remember that this does not work while embarked). Having termies always arrive with perfect accuracy is great, they can serve as a nice scare tactic, absorbing fire so your other units have nothing to worry about or they can hack apart anyone in melee (and considering how easily Grey Knights can become S6 with 3-4 Attacks each, that shouldn't be an issue).
- Note too that if you give the Inquisitor Terminator Armour he can join the fight right next to the Grey Knights, which could be really useful as the Grimoire of True Names and Empyrean Brain Mines can both take out any Daemons strong enough to tear through the Grey Knights 2+ Armour saves, while his Incinerator can help both with clearing out any enemies he lands near, and Wall of Death'ing anyone who tries to charge the unit.
- Ordo Hereticus and/or Inquisitor Karamazov/Greyfax may purchase an Adepta Sororitas Battle Sisters Squad. The Sisters are a little harder to justify over the Knights, and are better at supporting a shooting force rather than a melee one, even though Hereticus Inquisitors are better suited for melee (their ranged options simply not being as good as the other two Ordo's). If you gave the Inquisitor a Psyocculum and are up against a Psyker-heavy force then they could easily be worth it (especially if the Inquisitor also uses Prescience), a decked-out Sisters squad can also greatly benefit from the mobility provided by a Valkyrie that the Inquisition can provide for them this way, being tough enough not to die to random fire like most of the Inquisition's units, while remaining a better option over a fully loaded up Acolyte squad thanks to their special rules and Act of Faith.
- Alternatively you could station them a little farther ahead than your other squads and let them valiantly die to enemy gunfire and charges (or put them wherever your own force is weak to do so), soaking up a fair amount of damage in the process that could have been used against your other units. If making them martyrs is your plan then keep their loadout minimal, in this role they're likely only going to use their Act of Faith once and even if they don't get it you won't see a big loss. Paying for martyrs to get anything besides more bodies is just a waste of points.
- You could also use them to get extra Rhino's or Immolators, but rather ironically the Sisters' vehicles will benefit your other units a lot more than they will the nuns, most of your other units being better off closing the distance while the Sisters will want to keep away from the enemy.
- Ordo Xenos may purchase a Deathwatch Veterans unit. There's very little point to this, if you ally in the Deathwatch you get Aquila Doctrine, allowing you to re-roll any AP/To Wound roll of 1, whereas if you get the Inquisitor to bring them in you get nothing, aside from them being a part of the Inquisition again (so the only reason you'd do it, is because you care about the fluff). If for whatever reason you're forbidden from taking allies, then this is more of a mulligan than anything else. In that case you'd want to take them, load them up with melee or ranged (whichever fits your preference, although preferably they'd do the opposite of whatever your current Henchman Warband is doing so that all of your bases are covered) and then go to town. If you're going ranged you could try giving them a Chimera or Sororitas Rhino to help close the distance (both of which are more likely to last longer than the Deathwatch's own vehicles) and if you're going melee wise then you should take the Blackstar, or a Land Raider if you know that you're going to be up against a lot of AA.
- Keep in mind that all units taken "have" the Inquisition faction. As units can have multiple factions and there is no wording indicating otherwise, this means they gain the Inquisition faction without losing their own, which is the only reason Dedicated Transports don't quickly become fucked up.
- The warband may take a Chimera, Sororitas Rhino, Land Raider (basic, redeemer, or crusader), or Valkyrie as a transport.
- Because your allied units are now Inquisition faction, they can start embarked in an allied Inquisition Valkyrie. This is especially helpful for Sisters who otherwise lack a flying transport.
- Generally there's no monobuild with the Henchmen Warband, though there are a few things you're going to want to add right off the bat. Get Crusaders or Acolytes with storm shields (the Crusaders are cheaper and better if you take Power Weapons) to take the hits for everyone else, and get a Priest to ensure your unit stays where it is (25 points is a small price to pay for Fearless); remember, the Priest can take an Ecclesiarchy relic, and you can put Daemonhosts in the unit, so the Mace of Valaan is a particularly entertaining choice to consider (although the Litanies of Faith will usually be a better choice, if you're shelling out for a relic at all).
- From there you can build off of whatever you want the squad to be doing, get a few Jokaero if you're going shooty (make sure to get at least two monkeys so you can avoid the shit result on their table) and make sure to buff them with the near-mandatory Astropath (always choose Divination so that BS3 doesn't screw you over as hard). This also makes a good bunker to station a shooty Inquisitor in, such as an Inquisitor with a conversion beamer (though be warned that the Jokaero's range buff is actually a nerf in the case of the beamer). If you commit to all 6 monkeys, the entire unit should be designed around the two results you're going for - for example, 36" Rending Storm Bolter Acolytes become an interesting choice at 7 points apiece.
- You could also add a Hereticus Inquisitor with Divination and a Psyocculum if you wanted to skip the Astropath entirely and are up against a Psyker-heavy force (buying the Inquisitor the Psychic Level is only 5 points more than getting the Astropath, and they also get a free force weapon to boot, just in case you get into combat). Coteaz could also be fine if you got the +12" range buff from the Jokaero. A Malleus Inquisitor with a Psycannon could also do well, but that combination eats up a shitload of points and you'd be better off with 2 more Jokaero for your shooty squad.
- Another option is to get a shitload of Acolytes and Boltguns, 10 of them are only 50 points, and if you get the range buff from the Jokaero then 10 Acolytes with Storm Bolters + Prescience (aka what the entire squad was getting in some way anyway) then they can mulch hordes across vast distances (yes, this means you'd not only outrange the Tau with their pulse rifles, but you'd be doing it with better guns). Bear in mind you need all 6 Jokaero to guarantee results, so if you're packing them in a transport you need to keep your Acolyte volume down; if you want more than 7 Acolytes, you'll have to shell out for a Crusader, and that's a lot of points.
- If you're assaulting then depending on what you're up against you're going to need Death Cult Assassins and/or Arco-flagellants. Death Cults are slightly better against MEQ's (it's a very slight difference), Arco-flagellants are better against everything else except Monstrous Creatures with high Toughness and/or high saves, but if you get into combat with those then the Death Cults weren't going to save you anyway. If you're going melee then as far as Inquisitors go you should stick to Malleus, Xenos, Coteaz and Karamazov. Karamazov's lack of an Invuln save is greatly mitigated by Crusaders; unless buffed by Jokaero Coteaz mainly shines in melee and both the Malleus Inquisitors and the Xenos Inquisitors get better gear than the Hereticus as far as this unit goes (such as a cheaper Thunder Hammer that's also a Force Weapon, or Psychotroke/Rad Grenades/Plasma Syphon).
- Notably there isn't much reason why you'd take an Enginseer; he might come in handy fixing a vehicle and/or in combat but those points are still better spent on another unit, as the Enginseer's role in the warband is limited (and if you really wanted him, you should just ally him in anyway, at least that way he gets the Canticles of the Omnissiah rule and that version's an Independent Character to boot, although that won't let him start the game embarked). The Daemonhosts are also iffy, either being really good or really bad depending on the roll of the dice, but then again they're only 10 points so go for it if you're feeling lucky and have the points to spare (and consider one compulsory if your Priest is carrying the Mace of Valaan). Just make sure to get a lot of them, as when they finally get that really good roll, you can be rewarded by a fantastic result. Another thing to note is that Inquisitors who choose Sanctic Daemonology might get lucky and get Sanctuary, in which case they can make every Crusader/Acolyte with a storm shield get a 2++ save to effectively make the squad unmovable.
- While not recommended, a ridiculous tactic is to take this unit specifically with the Acolytes, a Chimera, and two Jokaero just so you can pull up to another transport (presumably one looking for a much meatier unit), use the two multi-meltas to burn open the transport (they'll be Snap Firing, as Jokaero are not Relentless, so good luck!), and then the use everything on the Chimera to gun down the exposed occupants. It's a pricey tactic and one that relies on your opponent not knowing what you're doing (it's also easily countered), coming in at 162 points minimum (preferably 172 with the recommended psybolt ammo and storm bolter on the Chimera), but if you're feeling lucky then go ahead and fuck up a Land Raider with it.