CHAIN MAIL: IG Steel Speculum List

"Starting up a new IG army with allied Daemonhunters and came up with this list after reading your post about Inquisitorial Retinues.

Thanks for the email, Zach! Let me start off by saying I love the list. I'm totally flattered that you liked the Steel Speculum list enough to give it a spin, so you are definitely preaching to the choir here.

Here's Zach's list:


Lord Castellan Creed 245ptsThe
Company Command Squad (Medic, 3x Plasma Guns, Astropath)
//deployed in Valkyrie, held in reserve to outflank

Inquisitor Lord (Psycannon, Psychic Hood) 167 pts
Retinue: 2 Heavy Bolter Servitors, 2 Mystics, 1 Sage

Captain Al'Rahem 760pts
Platoon Command Squad* (Heavy Flamer, Melta Gun), Chimera
//deployed in Chimera, held in reserve to outflank

Infantry Squad* (Melta Gun), Chimera
//deployed in Chimera, held in reserve to outflank

Infantry Squad* (Melta Gun), Chimera
//deployed in Chimera, held in reserve to outflank

Infantry Squad* (Melta Gun), Chimera
//deployed in Chimera, held in reserve to outflank

Infantry Squad* (Melta Gun), Chimera
//deployed in Chimera, held in reserve to outflank

*Part of Captain Al'Rahem's Infantry Platoon

Veteran Squad (3 x Plasma Guns, Demolitions) 145pts
//deployed in Valkyrie, held in reserve to outflank

Valkyrie (HB Sponsons) 110pts

Valkyrie (HB Sponsons) 110pts

Ordnance Battery (3 x Medusas) 405
//held in reserve to outflank, uses Creed's Tactical Genius rule

The largest problem I see is the Inquisitor Lord hanging out in some cover while everything else doesn't come in till at least turn two. Mutilate and re-arrange this list as you see fit, my good sir!"

You totally hit the nail on the head with your observation; the Inquisitor is out of place and isn't going to have a lot of success at his job. The rest of your army is held in reserve, so your opponent is going to have nothing to shoot at for a turn or two but that small T3 unit.

One of the strengths of the Steel Speculum is that your opponent is sitting on an uncomfortable table in a hospital gown waiting for a really fast and deadly army to appear on his flanks. It's enough to unnerve even veteran players. So giving him something (even a single unit) to focus on is going to make your opponent feel a lot better about his changes -- and that's the last thing we want!

That said, I totally think you can squeeze an Inquisitor into your list. But not until you decide what role the Inquisitor is going to take. Here's why to include one:

1. Since you don't plan to use an Assassin, the next most common reason to include an Inquisitor is to benefit from the LD10 Psychic Hood. First, ask yourself if you really need it. Your army is protected from most of the nasty psychic powers -- and once you've disembarked, you aren't really too concerned about your unit (presumably they've done their primary job). So, unless psychic powers are a huge problem in your area, your probably don't need a Psychic Hood.

2. Another common reason to include an Inquisitor is to benefit from an Emperor's Tarot (which helps you get the first turn). This is important for "alpha strike" armies that need the first turn to put the hurt on their opponent. Does your army need the first turn? Not with a reserves based army -- as a matter of fact, you really don't want the first turn with this army.

3. The next reason is usually Mystics. Mystics are awesome and do a fantastic job discouraging deep strikers from getting too close to your army. Chaos Daemons and Drop Pod Assault armie hates them (and they aren't too popular with deep striking Terminators). But deep strike isn't much of a problem for this army -- I mean, where is your opponent going to deep strike that would cause you a problem? So you really don't need Mystics in this army either.

4. The only real reason to include an Inquisitor in your army might be the Psycannon. This gun makes short work of Chaos Daemons and is your best tool against Fateweaver. But your army isn't going to have problems with Chaos Daemons (you are faster, more manueverable, mechanized and you are going to force them to deploy half of their army before you bring on a single unit).

So at this point you are spending 167pts for a unit that you aren't going to get any real use from (beyond a turn or two of shooting, if you are lucky). With a little re-arranging you might be able to turn those 167pts into the ~200pts you need for a Valkyrie + Veterans + 3 Meltaguns.

I think the Steel Speculum is a pretty nasty army and I'd love to hear what you settle on. Once you get a game or two done, please let me know how the army plays -- best of luck and thanks again for the email!

>>Comments are welcome and feel free to email me your lists or questions -- I'm going to endeavor to respond to them all (although it may take me a few days, lol). Just send them to me at And, as always, your mileage may vary.

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