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Here's my first stab at a tactica guys, let me know what you think. Any playtesting experience would be helpful, while this is based on my observations andstatistics,so far the amount of real-world testing has been limited.
When the new rules for the Ordo Malleus Inquisitors showed up back in White Dwarf, I got really excited. These guys allow you to almost totally customize a character and his retinue, while opening the game up for some great story ideas. However, much like the new chaos codex, the amount of choices can be overwhelming for the typical player. This guide is intended to help you choose the right gear and sidekicks for your style of play.
The real strength of the Inquisitor is that he can do almost anything, even more so than your typical space marine. The downside is that he can become very expensive very quickly. To help narrow down the choices I've broken down the options into categories: the Tank, Psycher, Daemonslayer, Gunslinger, and the Marine killer. Two more sub-categories to consider are tankhunting and anti-psychers.
Tanks are designed around close combat and being able to lay a huge amount of smack on someone's sorry butt in the assault phase.
Psychers are those that specialize in the use of the psychic powers, and stopping enemy psychers. Anti-psycher is a subcategory that is totally focused on killing enemy psychers (Seer Councils for example.) The Gunslinger focuses on ranged attacks, staying away from close combat if at all possible.
Daemonslayers fulfills the most common and dangerous role in the Ordo Malleus, going after daemon packs, princes and even greater daemons!
The marine killer is an Inquisitor that is either fighting a chaos legion without the support of daemons (Night Lords maybe), or a space marine chapter that has mutated or become corrupted. He is geared specifically to take down units with low armor saves, 3+ or even 2+.
While not the best unit for tankhunting, the Inquisitor is capable of taking down possessed vehicles and providing firepower to a list that might be otherwise lacking. Throughout this guide I will refer back to these categories when choosing your wargear and henchmen. Yes, let's not forget the henchmen! These guys are half of what makes an inquisitor fit his role. They boost your abilities and can provide some cool ones on their own too. The other half is the wargear and weapons you select.
When you select an Inquisitor, your first big choice is, should you take a Lord or a standard Inquisitor? For 25 points more the Lord has better leadership, an extra wound, one more attack and power armor. Not a bad deal if you have an available HQ slot. In most cases I would recommend the lord if you can afford the points and the HQ slot. The only one where I would recommend the standard inquisitor is the gunslinger, as he should try to remain out of close combat.
All of these henchmen are useful in different situations. I've tried to suggest what I think is the best number to take for each specialty, as well as giving some suggested uses.
The Familiar 0-1: These serve two important roles, they boost your psychic powers and your Initiative. However unless you are loading your inquisitor down with multiple psychic powers (generally a bad idea), one is fine. If you are using any weapon that strikes in Initiative order, one of these is practically mandatory. Those that plan to use weapons such as power fists, thunder hammers or ranged weapons can probably skip this one, although I really love the idea of a servo-skull or two floating around.
Hierophant 0-2: These are probably the least useful of the henchmen overall, as they focus specifically on causing problems for daemons. If you are using a standard inquisitor one might be useful for the leadership boost, but with only six henchmen available you will probably want someone else instead. These guys really shine for the daemonhunter though, as the combined leadership boost for the Inquisition and the penalties for the daemons, especially if combined with psychic powers or grey knights can cause a daemonic unit to disintegrate rapidly from failed stability checks.
Acolyte: 1-3: These "red-shirts" are awesome, giving your inquisitor in effect the ability to ignore instant kill and gain extra wounds at the same time. This is their big use. In addition they get the bonus of being able to select a small amount of wargear. While not enough to make them a real threat, it is enough to give you an edge in combat.
Tank: Give these guys storm shields, and your combat monster now has an extra wound AND an extra Inv save! Great against units with lots of power weapons or instant kill weapons.
Marine Killer: Storm shields would work here too, especially against chapters like Black Templars and Space Wolves. Another possibility is giving them plasma pistols or combi-plasma, as they then have a chance to take down even mighty terminators or dreadnoughts.
Psycher: Wounds from "perils of the warp" are less painful, with your Acolytes taking the brunt of your failed warp meddling.
Daemonslayer: These guys may save your life for the additional turn you need to kill that Bloodthirster. Also, as the daemonhunter is likely to have lots of wargear, they can take some of the smaller items off your hands, preventing you from going over your maximum gear limit.
Gunslinger: Storm bolters or combi-weapons could be useful here. The loss of an acolyte to a plasma weapon isn't nearly as annoying as a warrior blowing himself up. I would stay away from psycannon rounds, as the only weapon you can afford for them is a bolt pistol (I have no idea why bolters aren't on the weapons list.) Combi-meltas or meltabombs are also useful for tankhunting.
Warriors 2-3: Every Inquisitor that walks onto the battlefield should take at least two warriors with them. These guys boost your own WS, and bring better armor and weapons to your retinue. I prefer the servitors to the guardsmen, but if you plan on moving and need close fire support, the guard with special weapons won't let you down. Especially with BS4. The only disappointment with these guys is you no longer have the option of a heavy flamer like you had in the WD article. 3 combat servitors with powerfists, when combined with your own attacks can shred anything from a greater daemon to terminators. Another use would be to give them meltaguns or plasmaguns in order to soften up a heavy armored unit prior to assaulting. Gun servitors are awesome support for your gunslinger too. Always upgrade one to a plasma cannon. I don't think the multi-meltas here are very useful, I would recommend using meltaguns instead if you need tankbusting. I would prefer to go with a pair of heavy bolters and a plasma cannon. When combined with the sages (see below) you can really throw out some pain.
Sages 0-2: Sages are another unit that has limited uses, but they do boost your BS, helpful if you are using a ranged attack you want to really hit with. They are cheaper than master crafting the weapon too. Their real use shines when you use two sages with a gunslinger or tankhunter. Their ability to act as a signum means you can reroll a failed plasma cannon shot, or make sure you really hit that Chaos Land Raider when you need to. These guys are probably worthless for tanks.
Mystics 0-2: Another unit that benefits the gunslinger best, they allow you to get a free shot at deepstriking units. Perfect if you have a plasma cannon or psycannon in your unit, this will really let you stop your opponent from dropping terminators or daemons on your head. If you have any ranged firepower at all one is probably worth it, and if you are using a shooty army always grab two, their ability can become downright evil then! However if your Inquisitor is tooled for close combat, these won't do you much good.
If you are planning on rushing into close combat you usually can't go wrong with the standard rhino. As always take smoke launchers and extra armor. For Gunslingers a chimera provides extra armor and two additional weapons systems, great for mowing down daemon packs. The chimera also has the bonus of allowing an Inquisitor in terminator armor to ride, this can be a big bonus for tanks, daemonslayers or psychers. Normally I would steer away from a Land Raider, as the cost is already probably getting up there for your Inquisitor, and if you can afford one I'll bet you can think of a better unit to put in it. (Like your Grey Knight terminators.)
Here is part 3 (finally! Sorry about the delays, although I have decided to add a part 5 with some examples of how you can kit out your Inquisitors. If you have a clever idea for equiping your Inquisitor email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Weapons and Wargear
For now I'll stick to the weapons that are specific or significant to Daemonhunters, as I think we already know the usefulness of devices such as the bolt pistol and power weapon. If I skip your favorite let me know and I'll add it in. Most of the items here will be compared (considering the audience) to those in codex: Space Marines. I'm going to use the following grading system for the armoury:
A- This equipment is of great value to Inquisitors. You should always carry one (or more! or at least think hard about taking one. You should see a great return on your points spent. Always find the points for one of these.
B- This device is quite useful. You should think about including one if possible. You should get a better than average return on your points. It's well worth finding room for this in your list.
C- This is a device that can be useful in some circumstances. The return on your points may vary drastically from game to game. Include if you have extra points to blow.
D- This item is of questionable value. There is probably another item that will do a better job, or the job it does is not significant enough to warrant it's inclusion. You may not get it's point value back. Buy if you need one to meet WYSIWYG or for fluff reasons.
F- This item blows chunks. Totally worthless, don't waste a single point on this junk.
This can be useful if you are fighting an enemy with lots of standard attack, but against power weapons or low AP weapons it's just points down the drain. Since most armies have access to lots of power weapons and/or plasma/las weapons, the points are usually better spent elsewhere. This would have scored lower but since using an Emperor's Champion I have found that this can actually be fairly useful at times. It's cheaper than in CSM too, so that's another point in it's favor. Good for almost any category of inquisitor.
Anointed Weapon: A
This weapon is one of the best items in the codex. Against greater daemons or daemon princes this is simply amazing, plus it has a decent chance to wound possessed vehicles. It works effectively against daemons, and will even work as a decent weapon against non-chaos opponents. The only thing to keep me from totally recommending this weapon over all others is the daemonhammer. If you really want to always strike at Initiate and don't mind being Str 3 I wholeheartedly recommend it. While perfect for daemonhunters, tanks should avoid this weapon in favor of one that will insure wounding an opponent.
If you like the Mystics ability to spot deep striking units, then this is for you. Works the same but detects infiltrating units, and is dirt cheap. Worth getting for units with good firepower.
I include these as you might consider giving one to an acolyte. If you are hunting tanks or marines, then meltas or plasma may have it's place, and even flamers (especially if your Inquisitor takes an Incinerator! However I would avoid the grenade launcher, and the needler isn't worth anything.
Rules note: If the wording of the rules is correct, then a bolter-needler might count as a pistol on the turn the needle weapon is used. If this is the case it might be marginally valuable for giving an extra attack for a turn, but this is doubtful. (Could I get an official ruling on this?)
Consecrated Scrolls: B+
If you are planning on taking multiple psychic powers, get these. They are cheap and can provide a nasty shock if used carefully. The downside is that multiple psychic power are very expensive.
This is the ultimate weapon in the daemonhunter's arsenal. If you must kill a greater daemon, daemon prince, or bloodthirsters in close combat, this is what you use. Combine this with a familiar and Sacred Incense, and you are striking before the daemons. Assuming they live they will be stunned. Against daemon packs you are wounding on a 3+ or even a 2+. Even against non daemonic enemies you have a thunderhammer, which is no laughing matter, just ask a Salamander chaplain! If you are playing a tank, I recommend this weapon over all others.
Digital weapons: C
Originally created by the Jokero for the Imperium, these have been around since rogue trader days. If you have an old model you can finally use them again. These function in exactly the same way as eldar scorpions mandiblasters. If you need a fast bonus strike at Str 4, then consider using them. Probably useful against enemies like daemons or orks with high toughness and pitiful armor saves, especially if you don't have a weapon that boosts your strength. I like the idea, and it is cheaper than terminator honors. The jury is still out for nowâ€¦
Emperor's Tarot: B+
A nice piece of wargear for helping you get the first turn. Not horribly expensive, but I'm not sure it gives you that much more of a chance to go first than rolling normally would. Probably worth the small amount unless you have already maxed your wargear, and in that case what's wrong with you? . Just remember that there is a chance of it giving you the second turn automatically. So the question is, do you feel lucky, punk? This can be very useful, especially against certain Iron Warrior armies.
A nice weapon in some armies, but pointless for an Inquisitor. Take a daemonhammer instead, or a chainfist if you really need to carve tanks.
Force Weapon: C
The high cost combined with the Inquisitors low strength makes this weapon less that useful against it's primary target, monstrous creatures. While it can still be very useful in some situations, it would probably be better used by a GK Grand Master or a Space Marine Librarian. Fluffy for psychers though.
Grimoire of True Names: B+
This item is almost mandatory for fighting daemons of Khorne, but is useful against anything other than horrors/flamers. If you are fighting daemons, this is one book to take with you.
Need I say more?
Holy Relic: C-
This is seldom used even by space marines, and your henchmen are no match for space marines. While it can have it's uses, and I can't deny the usefulness of an extra attack, you could buy a warrior with a power fist for less. It is quite a bit cheaper than the CM version, so it might be worth taking for a tank that needs all the hits he can get.
Icon of the Just: A-
For all you Iron Halo freaks out there, this is the perfect item for you. Not limited to one per army, and wearable with your shiny new suit of terminator armor, this serves the same function as the Halo. On the downside, just like the halo it won't protect you all the time and is fairly pricy. I would suggest you take either artificer armor or an Icon, but not both. If you know your opponent has lots of power weapons/fists it's probably worth taking.
Great weapon, no other character in any army can buy a heavy flamer (okay, so SoB can get a one shot version.) This can be great if you want to roast low armor save units, and is murderous against daemon packs. However it's short range means you must get very close to said daemon pack..best if fired from a vehicle during a drive by. Great for gunslinger inquisitors that don't have sages, especially when combined with some flamer toting henchmen. Since it ignores Inv saves too it's especially good at the daemon roasting, except Khornate daemons, naturally.
Lightning Claws: B+
A very nice weapon system that is seen fairly often. I always recommend taking them in pairs. The reroll to wound helps offset your low strength nicely. Great for tanks or slaughtering marines.
Master Crafting: C-
Not too a bad value for marines, but when you already get +1 WS (remember, you should ALWAYS have at least two warriors), why reroll one attack when you are better at them all?
Needle pistol: D
If you have an old Inquisitor model with one, you can use it again. Too bad it sucks. The ability to wound on a 4+ is nice, but against most enemies, a bolt pistol will just as well or better, will penetrate better and is cheaper. If I could equip several acolytes with them it might be fun, with just one shot? No thanks.
Null Rod: A-
This is the weapon specifically made for the subclass of anti-psycher. Tired of Mindwar killing off your HQ? Now your inquisitor can enjoy a leisurely torture session while those pointy eared freaks burn their brains out. Against enemies with lots of psychic powers (Ulthwe, Thousand Sons) this is a must have. Being able to ignore Wind of Chaos is a wonderful thing.
Power Armor: A-
If you are taking an elite Inquisitor, this is a very good thing to get. We all know the value of a sturdy suit of armor. Just remember that power weapons don't care what kind of armor you wear. On the other hand, if you can afford this, you should be able to find 5 more points to get artificer armor.
If you are using a gunslinger, this is the weapon of choice. If you thought those Deathwatch heavy bolters were neat, try one of these out. Highly recommended. Two points to note, this is a very expensive weapon, with a cost equal to a daemonhammer. Also, if you are planning on moving constantly, a stormbolter may be a better choice. Best when used in conjunction with gun-servitors and sages.
Psycannon Bolts: C
I can really only think of one good use for these, in a stormbolter for an Inquisitor that is moving around too much to use the Psycannon to good effect. The benefits of the rounds are only worth the points if you can't afford the psycannon, are fighting an opponent with lots of 4+ armor saves, or lots of Invulnerable saves. Nice ammo against seer councils and eldar in general though.
Psychic Hood: B
Slightly cheaper than the marine version, it's just as useful. Remember that it's worthless against Thousand Sons, but it works great against everyone else. I'm not sure if it's fluffy to use one while carrying a null rod, but that seems to be the ultimate anti-psycher setup.
Refractor Field: B
Cheaper than an Icon for less protection. Get one if you can't sleep without an Invulnerable save, but can't find the points or need for the Icon. Useful for marine killers or tanks that don't plan on facing lots of power weapons, but might run into a few.
Sacred Incense: A+
Always, always, ALWAYS take this if you even think you might face chaos opponents. Every army besides Slannesh cultists will have a lower initiative that you in close combat, and Emperor's Children will strike at the same time instead of going first.
Storm Shield: A
While I don't recommend giving these to your inquisitor, if he has Acolytes at least one of them should carry one. Perfect for tanks that need additional Inv saves cheap. Marine killers that will be facing hordes of power weapons (terminators, bloodletters or honor guards) should consider this also.
You already have two warriors, right? Guess what they both have. Guess what you don't need.
Teleport Homer: B-
Useful if you are using Grey Knights in your army. Take at least one of these if you are going to deep strike units. You will be glad you did.
Terminator Armor: B+
We all know it, we all love it. Cheaper than in CM, and with a couple changes. No +1 attack for you, but on the bright side, you can still zip around in a cheap transport if you want. Cheaper than buying artificer armor and a refractor field by a good deal. If you are going into close combat against units with lots of attack and relatively few power weapons, get it. Do not use against Berzerkers or Orks.
Ungents of Warding: B
If you don't have a null rod and are going up against the psychers mentioned in that entry, take these. A 50% chance to ignore psychic powers is a very good thing, and if you combine these with a psychic hood you can stop most powers from affecting you at all.
Part 4 is finally up! I need more Inquisitor examples for part 5 so please email your ideas. If I use your examples you will get credit.
For the most part, psychic powers are the frosting on your Inquisitorial cake, there for your enjoyment if you have to points or need for them. The only categories of Inquisitors that should always take powers are the daemonhunter and obviously the psycher.
Banishment: If you are playing as a daemonhunter, or if your opponent is playing a chaos army with two or more daemonic units (packs or beasts) this power is worth taking. If you can combine this power with wargear or henchmen that drop their leadership, you can actually use this to disintegrate a unit in one or two turns. If you are fighting against bloodletters this power can really help you out. Each point they fail by is one less power weapon wielding fiend that can slay your troops. If the army you are fighting against is daemon light (Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors or Night Lords) don't waste your points. This skill is good for any Inquisitor that has a good chance of ending up in close combat with packs of daemons. The downside is that there are several daemonic units that this power does not effect.
Pros: Works great on squads of daemons.
Cons: Worthless against anything else.
Destroy Daemon: This is the premiere daemonhunting skill. I would almost go so far as to say no daemonhunting Inquisitor should leave home without it. I would undoubtedly say that if you are going against any greater daemons or daemon princes. Combined with a Daemonhammer and a Grimoire you can be almost assured of your victory over the warp spawned devils. Since this is cheaper and can be more widely used than Banishment, I would recommend taking this over banishment unless you opponent is using lots of daemons (Like a daemon heavy Word Bearers list.) Overall this is the best daemonhunting power in the codex. Of course your opponent might try to minimize his use of daemons to prevent you from using this.
Pros: Turns any weapon into a master-crafted lightning claw. Not terribly expensive either.
Cons: Only good against daemons.
Holocaust: I'm fairly leery of this one, as it is quite capable of killing more of your own henchmen that it kills enemy. If you have equipped most of your retinue with armor saves and you are fighting a horde based enemy, it might be worth it, just be careful how you place the template. It also strikes last, which may be too late to help against most large squads that it would otherwise be useful against. I would recommend leaving this power to the Grey Knights, as their 2+ armor saves can almost guarantee their effective use of it. For the same cost I would recommend taking Scourging unless you need the charge bonus using the V4 assault rules and you want a really big close combat attack.
Pros: Huge blast radius, Str 5 and can be used during assault.
Cons: Can kill your henchmen faster than it kills chaos marines, strikes last
Sanctuary: This is one of two powers that are really helpful for a gunslinger or an inquisitor that wants to avoid close combat. Like banishment, take this is your opponent is using several daemon units. This power is capable of removing daemonic units out of close combat, and will let you continue to fire at them. Another use would be for a daemonhunter or tank to force daemons out of close combat so they can charge them again, using it as a sort of "hit and run" only in reverse. It can also be useful to extract yourself from a losing battle. If you choose not to move shoot or use another power you can protect your Inquisitor as long as you want, which could be useful if you want that squad of Grey Knight terminators to assist you and they are outside of charge range this turnâ€¦
Pros: Moves daemons away, and can keep them away, can be especially useful for ending assaults
Cons: Only works on daemons, to maintain this power the Inquisitor can't do anything else
Scourging: This is one of the best psychic powers in the codex. Want your Inquisitor to treat those heretics like Count Dooku treated those Jedi weaklings? This power is force lightning all the way, baby. The one downside is that unlike Smite, Scourging's Ap is rather high, although it is still equal with a bolter. Against daemons or weaker troops this power is great, as the possible high number of attacks works well on large units anyway. Ignoring Inv saves also makes it great for frying daemon packs. I would recommend this if you have your hands full of lightning claws or some similarly nasty gear but want a powerful shooting attack. Scourging is powerful enough to make a Tank nearly equal with a Gunslinger in many respects. This is also a good power to use if you want a gunslinger that can dish out punishment in close combat as well. If you are playing a psycher I would recommend almost always taking this power. The downside is that you may get a very low number of attacks (even with only a single attack the power can be worth it though) and it isn't very effective against tough armor. Find something else to shoot at khornate daemons, as their armor or collars will protect them against this.
Pros: Great power for almost any Inquisitor, especially if you want the +1 attack for two close combat weapons. High number of attack possible, and very good against daemons or low armor saves. Can work great against several different armies.
Cons: Not very effective against marines or daemons of khorne, and it's even worse against terminators or obliterators.
Word of the Emperor: This power can be useful, although it's use can be tricky. Against units with the Mark of Chaos undivided or a high leadership, this probably won't affect them. If you can reduce your opponents Ld with wargear, or if they have a low Ld to begin with this power can be very effective. The fact that it can prevent an enemy from adding reinforcements to an assault is especially useful. It's low cost makes it worth considering in tournaments. Some people may find this to be invaluable, but almost all of my opponents seem to always make their leadership tests. This is another power that can be used to help you get the charge and not your opponent. This is 5 points cheaper than the Dark Eldar wargear that has the same effect, and it has the bonus mentioned that it can still prevent other units from charging even if you are engaged in close combat. All things considered it's probably worth taking if you don't pick another psychic power, assuming you want to have a psychic Inquisitor.
Pros: Can work against any opponent, cheap and effective
Cons: Depends on your enemy failing a Leadership test
i just wanted to say that i read half of this...and i'm proud of it.
you got some cool things going on
My attension span doesn't allow for so much information at one time. Next time use bold for the major parts.
This is great, but you forgot one small thing that really irritates my opponants. When you build a 'Tank' DH, use a Lord and buy three familiars as part of your retinue. That gives you three more 'shooting' wounds than you'd have otherwise and they are not too terrible at close-quarters either, since they are only 8pts. Besides, Inquisitor 'squads' don't rout unless they want to.
honestly i thought that was rather.................bad for a tactica.
we are all aware of what and how useful the weapons are.
and i highly disagree with most of your henchmen ideas. (o-1 familiar WTF?!
this ones way better.
I agree, WAY WAY to long.
You have to much time on your hands.
GET A GIRLFRIEND!
I disagree. It was both a thoughtfull and rather eridite text. I personnaly havn't perused the codex but this at least allows me a trifle insight to what everyone will be trying to feild. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.