CHAIN MAIL: Witch Hunters Gunline

"Okay, I'll bite. You say witchhunter gun lines are viable. How would you build one? I've got a pile of sisters, ISTs and a decent amount of guard that I can throw at the problem, so what kind of witchhunter gun line can I build with that?"

The new Imperial Guard and Space Marine codices (and the recent Imperial Guard FAQ update) have opened up some awesome options for Inquisitorial players.

Here's some stuff to consider when you build a gunline army:

  1. Leadership: You are going to be on your board edge, so failed Morale checks can be devastating. Make sure you have some sort of high Leadership bubble. I recommend taking a cheap Canoness with a Book of St. Lucius, but Commander Chenkov (with his 12" Stubborn aura) is a decent option too.
  2. Guns: You need a LOT of shooting to pull off a gunline army in 5th Edition. I recommend a decent number of BS4 Heavy Bolters (in the form of Inquisitorial gun servitors) and Autocannons (in the form of heavy weapons squads). Exorcists are still fantastic additions for the price and Heavy Bolter Retributors are also decent for the price.
  3. Counter-attack (or Speed Bumps): There are going to be times when you won't be able to stop your opponent's advance -- or they use a method of deployment that is tough to counter with shooting (e.g., Deep Strike or outflanking). So you need something that can survive a couple of turns in close combat. I recommend combined infantry squads here, but there are other decent options as well.
  4. Options: A good gunline army has options to help it win missions. That means you need a couple of mobile units that can move to grab (or contest) objectives and you need a couple of units that you can rely on when the stuff hits the fan.
Here's an example Witch Hunters Gunline 2,000 point army list.


Canoness (Book of St. Lucius, Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades)

Inquisitor Lord (Psychic Hood, Psycannon) -- note: allied from Daemonhunters codex
-- Retinue: 2 Mystic, Sage, 3 Heavy Bolter Servitors

Inquisitor (Bolt Pistol)
-- Retinue: 2 Acolytes, 3 Heavy Bolter Servitors

Vindicare Assassin

12 Battle Sisters (2 Meltaguns, VSS w/Book of St. Lucius)

12 Battle Sisters (2 Meltaguns, VSS w/Book of St. Lucius)
Inducted Guard Infantry Platoon
-- Command Squad (4 Meltaguns, Chimera)
-- Infantry Squad (Grenade Launcher, Chimera) with Commissar (Power Weapon)
-- Infantry Squad (Grenade Launcher)
-- Infantry Squad (Grenade Launcher)
-- Infantry Squad (Grenade Launcher)
-- Heavy Weapons Squad (3 Autocannon)
-- Heavy Weapons Squad (3 Autocannon)
-- Heavy Weapons Squad (3 Autocannon)
-- Heavy Weapons Squad (3 Autocannon)

8 Retributors (4 Heavy Bolters, VSS w/Book of St. Lucius)



Basic: 105 models and 4 tanks. Five starting Faith.
Long-range Guns: 2 Exorcist Missile Launchers, 12 Autcannons, 12 Heavy Bolters (10 are BS4), 2 Multi-lasers, 1 Psycannon (BS5), 1 Exitus Sniper Rifle.
Short-range Guns: 8 Metaguns, 4 Grenade Launchers and a decent number of Bolters and Lasguns.
Leadership: 4 Books of St. Lucius, Commissar.
Speed Bumps: 40+ man Infantry Squad (combined, with Commissar), 2 12-man Sisters of Battle squads.
Mobility: 2 Chimeras (can be used by Platoon Command Squad or by Sisters of Battle).

TACTICS: I like this army enough. It's got decent numbers (more than 100 guys) and it can handle a decent number of opponents. The Mystics, Psychic Hood and Vindicare will help you against a decent variety of opponents (you can always drop the Vindicare for a Daemohunters elite Inquisitor, if you need more Mystics).

The Infantry platoon has a lot of options, like combining them into a single large squad to provide a nasty speed bump on advancing troops or lining the board edge to protect from outflankers. The Battle Sisters provide a nice Leadership bubble and are tough enough to hold objectives (made tougher by the respectable starting Faith of 5).

It pumps out a ton of shots at long range (24+2D6 shots at 48" AND 45+Vindicare shots at 36"). Even the short range shots can prove problematic for your opponent. It can stand up against most mechanized armies nicely (Autocannons are great at dealing with transports and Heavy Bolters are great at everything else). It doesn't handle tons of AV14 tanks, but two Exorcists and a turbo-penetrator round should be enough to slow them down.

If you give the list a spin, let me know how it plays!

>>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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