CHAIN MAIL: Building Inquisitorial Retinues

"I'm a new player who dabbled in space marines before deciding on the Grey Knights. I know they are hard but I am up for the challenge and love the fluff and models. I want to take a GK only army with an assassin, so i need an inquisitor or the inquisitor lord. I dont know how to use an inquisitor though, i was thinking about some kind of fire base model and retinue? Maybe some gun servitors? Saw u offered help and was hoping u could?"

Thanks for the email, Paul! This is one of the most frequent questions that ends up in my inbox. I'm happy to help as much as I can. Unfortunately, the best answer I can give you is "it depends". It depends on the army you are building and the role you want the Inquisitor to field.

Here's my general spiel on building an Inquisitor:
1. Go cheap: Don't spend a lot of points tricking out your Inquisitor. A WH Inquisitor needs a Psychic Hood -- nothing else. A DH Inquisitor needs a Psychic Hood and a Psycannon -- nothing else (if you are playing a gunline or really, really need the first turn then an Emperor's Tarot is probably worth the points here).
2. No psychic powers: Really, don't do it. Really.
3. No suicide Inquisitors: Don't build a unit that requires getting close to your opponent (e.g., a plasma team or close combat retinue). You want this unit to survive the entire game.
4. Don't buy useless henchmen: You need a retinue that can help you win the game. Don't buy Familiars, Heirophants, naked Warriors, etc. Every unit needs a purpose in your army.

Here's the build I use in my Relictors army (and why):

Inquisitor Lord (Psycannon, Psychic Hood) -- and sometimes Emperor's Tarot
-- Retinue: 3 Heavy Bolter Servitors, 2 Mystics, 1 Sage

1. Anti-Psyker: The Inquisitor Lord has an unlimited range LD10 Psychic Hood, which is fantastic (and gets more important with every new codex that comes out).
2. Anti-Deep Strike: The pair of Mystics gives me a decent radius to discourage my opponent from using the Deep Strike rules near me.
3. Anti-Daemon: The Inquisitor Lord's Psycannon is a great gun. It makes short work of Fateweaver (hits on 2+, wounds on 3+, no saves -- ouch) and can wound just about anything in the Chaos Daemon's codex on a 4+ or less.
4. Gun Servitors/Targeters: I seriously love Heavy Bolter Gun Servitors. They've got a hefty BS4 that helps me get a decent number of hits and they've got a Targeter that let's me pre-measure ranges.

That's a lot of versatility in a single unit.

This unit puts out 12 9 BS4 Heavy Bolter shots and 3 BS5 Psycannon shots at 36". And Iron Will means that the unit isn't going anywhere, even if it takes a lot of hits. I put this unit in the hardest piece of cover in my deployment zone (hopefully near an objective) and shoot. If you build your army right, the unit will draw very little shooting from your opponent (it's a pain to pry an unbreakable unit from 3+ cover) and they will get 6 rounds of shooting.

Note: Take advantage of the Targeter during your shooting phase. Measure to every unit that could reasonable be a target of your shooting. That gives you exact distances that you can use to help you make decisions. Are you worried that your opponent will be able to assault or rapid-fire next turn? Then see how far away they are from your Servitors and do the math.

Great question and best of luck!

>>Comments are welcome and feel free to email me your lists or questions -- I'm going to endeavor to respond to every email. Just send them to me at And, as always, your mileage may vary.

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