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April 18, 2011 by dignity
Darrell chats about the worth of taking an Honour Guard or Retinue in Warhammer 40K and what it they can do for you on the battle field.
Retinues are definately good. Maybe not as specifically killy as some things you find yourself wanting to put your commander with, but certainly for marines anyway, theyre command squad is very effective. Stick them in a razorback with TL assault cannons!
Dark eldar retinues always used to be good, and I took them all the time, but now, theyre good enough although theyre such a complicated unit to play with if you dont have a good head for keeping tabs on all the wound allocation and the in’s and out’s of mixed units. However that sometimes puts your enemy off shooting you because they cant be bothered to wait for you to work out what theyve hit!
I like the idea of a retinue/honour guard (purely for fluff sake) however as a SM player I have been put off of the idea due to the fact that there are no “good” models for you to use as an alternative to the Ultrasmurf. I say “good” but what I really mean is that I’m no good with the greenstuff and the idea of converting an honour guard is daunting and unrealistic to me at this point.
To be fair the rules for them are great, a banner that allows re- rolls for all morale and pinning tests in 12”. Not to mention adding another attack to all of the models in the unit with a chapter master or an independent character like Commander Dante your getting 4 or 5 attacks on that character alone. Points wise with all the bells and whistles thats a lot of sinkable points into one unit. Fair enough they are as hard as nails but those points are better off spent else where in smaller games in my opinion. I can see the benefits, but at this point I think I’ll take my points elsewhere.
i like how darrell explains all the rules and tricky stuff… and this is sure a fine tip ^^ i ll try it out!
You’re absolutely right Darrell! Retinues are often over-looked by many players yet they can be essential to keeping your Commander alive until support arrives. I never used them in my Marine armies in the past, but the more I think about it the greater they’re looking & with the Sanguinary Guard/Grey Knight kit you can convert a really tasty unit of Honour Guard.
Calgar is the ultimate Retinue cheese, yet I’ve never seen him & 3 squads of Honour Guard taken. Calgar and a single HG squad in a Land Raider will form a solid linebreaker unit, as his Terminator armour has a Teleport Homer as well, so if you’re lucky you can Teleport a unit of TH/SS Terminators in as well and role through almost any opponent – okay that’s half your army gone but still…
Marine Command Squads are great & very versatile, yet I still think many players will pick the Sternguard instead. Sadly it costs a LOT to upgrade them into anything more effective, although 45pts to give a few of them Stormshields would not only look good but be effective with the Apothecaries Feel No Pain as well. Again I’ve never seen a beefed up Command Squad in action which is a shame. Sadly Vulkan can’t take one
Why haven’t I seen a White Scar Command Squad on bikes with Stormshields? Aside from the fact that white is annoying to paint? If only Marines could have Terminator Command Squads, yum.
Thanks Darrell, I have an urge to get some conversions going!
I thought Retinues were only in the older books (DaemonHunters, Witch Hunters, etc..) and the “Retinue” rules didn’t apply to the new books. The rules for retinue state that the character cannot leave the unit… I wasn’t aware of that stipulation with the Honour Guard…. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Space marine command squads and honor guard are NOT retinues. They are a squad that requires a hq character to be taken to be bought. The squad does not require to be deployed with the character and do not remove the characters independent character status.
This is exactly right. Can’t think off the top of my head any current codexes that still use the actual retinue rules.
Tau and Witch Hunters are still using them. But as veedall said only older codices use these rules.
Yeah this was a bad unit to use as an example. Darrell should have actually searched through the various codex books to find a unit that actually has a sentence saying they are a retinue.
The Honour Guard and The Command Squad don’t count as a Retinue.
They just count as a separate squad that u can take for every HQ unit u have (Blood Angels Codex) or Captain/Chapter Master (Space Marine Codex),
e.g Taking a Captain allows u to take 1 Command Squad this squad isn’t a Retinue its just an extra squad that has now been made available for u to use!
Page 132 of Space Marine Codex : “You may take one Command Guard Squad for every Space Marine Captain in your army…”
The Captain is free to join any unit it wants and not just his Command Squad because no where in the Codex dose it say they are a retinue!
So there for if an IC joins the sqaud they still count as an IC in combat and can still be picked out by models in base to base!
It doesn’t say they are a retinue yet you cannot take them unless you take the character, which is always the case for retinues – ?. For me it makes sense that they would/could be retinues, so I’ll be inclined to use them as such in my house rules (also with Farseers & Warlocks etc). It just makes sense – doesn’t it?
Yet I concede you guys are right (sorry I got a little excited earlier thinking of conversion juice).
I agree with you all when you say they are not defined as retinues (yet they aren’t defined as non-retinues either) which would explain why I see so little around – which is a shame & would be one of my pet hates for 5th Ed – why wouldn’t any of these guys die to protect their Commander?
The only current units officially listed as Retinues are Celestians & XV8 Crisis Bodyguard units (I’d say the Ethereal’s Honour Guard unit as well) – which are all old books, which will mean the Retinue rule looks like it’s going to be phased out completely in the next year or so (sigh).
What about Tyrant guard? They have the shield wall ability which makes them act as a retinue, but only for the Hive Tyrant and Swarmlord.
The Shield well rules isn’t retinue, it just lets your hive tyrant/swarmlord join them as if they where ICs
Retinues died when the last Chaos Codex came out. Only older codexs proberly contain them.
Would be nice if honour guard were retinues then you could have taken one o mephiston and one for the sanguinor, would have been a great way to make those guys better
Yeah, poor, old Mephiston could definitely benefit from a Meat Shield. At least make him an IC!
Hey my Mephiston servived 12 melta shots from fire dragons he doesn’t need a retinue. He thinks retinues are for the weak.
Ok just checked the honour guard page in the vanilla codex and it refers to them as being a retinue for the chapter master, the blood angels codex refers to them in a very similar way as well referring to them as a high ranking officers advisors and bodyguard although it doesn’t refer to them as retinues in the special rules their pages in the codex’s do refe to them as being them
Yeah, unfortunately that is fluff. So there is no rules basis for them being retinues. It is too bad, I always thought it was a cool rule. Maybe they will bring it back with 6th edition.
But also as far as I can tell retinues aren’t ever clearly stated as being a retinue in any rules section, the book only stars that: some codex books allow you to field characters Together with a unit normally called a retinue, bodyguard or similar.
Now I would argue that what is an honour GUARD if it isn’t a retinue for a hq unit?
I think after reading the rules regarding retinues that so long as the unit has to be taken with a hq choice in order to have them then they must be classed as retinues
Unfortunately the rules are written very poorly. The main rulebook states something to the effect of “We will class them as Retinues or whatever”.
There was a long discussion on another forum with rules-lawyering unleashed. The consensus was that the retinue rules apply to units listed in codices specifically as “removing Independent Character status from the character”.
Otherwise you would end up with Infantry Platoons being Captain’s retinues (you may take platoons for every officer) or you could for example get the new Forgeworld Wraithseer as a bodyguard to your Farseer or Autarch.
so just becasue guard is in the name it make them a retinue?
e.g Hive Guard are not retinues, Wolf Guard are not retinues and I’m quite sure that every Imperial Guard unit with the word Guard in the unit name isn’t a retinue
They are not a retinue there entry does not in any way specify them as such. Also Mefiston is allowed to take a honor guard is he allowed to join them? Short answer from almost anyone playing would be no as he is not an independent character and not allowed to join squads.
Now then if you want to see an example of a retinue and char joining together to form a unit look at the Tau Empire codex the commander entry provides an example of a retinue.
If the IC becomes non-IC does he still have to be in base to base to attack the enemy IC?
No, he doesn’t, but the Darrel is mistaken in this case. Honor Guards, etc are not retinues. The only thing that could be considered a retinue in 5th are characters like Arjac and Justicar Thawn, who are unit upgrades so they’re not IC’s.
But in the tau codex there are only 5 hq choices and they had space to right out rules independently in their entries space marines and blood angels have loads more (9 in the blood angels codex it would be illogical to right out the same thing 9 times.
But looking at it they could have put an entry in the forc organisation pag that said that hq choices are only independent characters when not accompanied by an honour guard.
Damn you GW
I really think it’s time for darrel to start making follow up videos to the daily tips series. So often he makes claims that a seemingly large proportion of the community disagree with. if he took the time to respond to the often very valid counter arguments he could explain his reasoning and perhaps persuade people of the validity of his interpretation. As it stands he makes these tips videos which get routinely lambasted and then seemingly hides from the opposing side.
Open debate can only be a good thing and would help bring the community together and create a greater sense of interaction between us and the BOW guys.
Agreed it would be nice to see a follow up with maybe a confirmation from GW as to what the rulings actually are
Does a tyrant guard count as a retinue?
Since the swarm lord and the hive tyrant are not independent characters, the tyrant guard can be used the way Darryl is referring to. As far as marines are concerned, once again Darryl is wrong wrong wrong………………………………………………………………………………….. Darryl, you need to stop letting me, and the rest of us down.
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