Inquisitorial Stormtroopers, We Hardly Knew 'Ye

This article is for the guy with 40+ metal Wulfen models. 

We all tend to get pretty excited when a new release comes knockin'. New models, new rules and new background are a wargamer's nerdy delight. There's a feeling of history in the making - a new generation of whatever race is being updated. Standards are typically raised and we all settle in for a four-to-ten year ride as the new codex/army book works its magic on tabletops across the world. 

But what about that guy in the corner? What's he so upset about? He's selling his army or switching game systems or throwing up his hands in disgust and leaving the hobby altogether. But didn't his army just get an update? Shouldn't he be leaping for joy?

Every new release has new players flocking to the hobby, attracted by ever more robust sculpts and streamlined rulesets. However there are those that get left behind after years of anticipation and brand loyalty. Some players are put off by a change in fluff. Others feel that their codex/army book is now far too mainstream and shirk away from the thought of playing against the same army over and over again.

Still others are repulsed by the new rules and this is the saddest case of all. If you enter the hobby based on an attraction to a certain unit, it's playstyle, it's fluff or both and that unit is erased from the face of the hobby this likely leaves you feeling betrayed and not a little pissed off. "How could Games Workshop do this? What were they thinking?"

There's been plenty of examples over the past few years. Mild instances might include items like Carnifexes or Leman Russ Vanquishers - models that are still playable, even in competitive environments, but are a shadow of their former selves. No one likes it when the unit they spent years building a strategy around, converting painting and collecting suddenly becomes an exotic paperweight. Still the rest of the army is updated and many other models that might have accompanied these "nerfed" units are still very usable and may even be better than they used to be. 

More extreme cases are of course where units are erased completely from the game. All 'Chapter Approved' entries fall into this category as do many units whose models now only "count as" something in the newest iteration of their army's rulebooks. Some older examples of the latter are Tyranid war veterans and 13th Penal Legion. Both of these cases are tragic due to the vast potential these units held to become characterful entries in their respective codices. All of those beautifully converted models reduced to playing the role of the "rank-and-file" entries. Boring and sinfully wasteful. 

The most recent and perhaps the most perplexing of these cases is of course the removal of Inquisitorial Storm Troopers from the game. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 just get the hell out of the game. This is distressing on a number of levels. Firstly because it is worrying to see a core part of an army erased without even a reference. Inqusitorial Stormtroopers are not once referenced in the entire document which is meant to update a book that could field nothing but Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. 

Secondly it is equally distressing that GW would imply the use of the Warrior Acolyte entry to replace Stormtroopers but did not spend more than three or four minutes contemplating, designing or testing this unfortunate entry. Thus they wash their hands of the issue for the next few years until it becomes profitable to produce plastic Stormtroopers. Ironically the implication that IST's are now to be used as Warriors comes in the showcase section wherein an "Imperial Guard Stormtrooper" model (which is of course the same model the studio used to represent IST's in the previous edition), one of the few models in the industry that actually has grenades visibly sculpted on to it is offered as a representation of a unit that does not even have the option for grenades. 

This gruesome level of carelessness will likely cost the company a great deal of profit as the opportunity to give Imperial Guard players a bandwagon to hop on is missed. Simultaneously all those that shunned the "Grey Knight" codex as a "fly-by-night" Space Marine update are not given the chance to take their Inquisitorial force in a different direction.

Luckily Rules Manufactorum agents need not fall prey to this poor re-conception of  non-MEQ Inquisitorial forces. Rather this seems an excellent opportunity to take matters into our own hands and see just what we can do to redesign IST's and all those neglected units that accompany them in dusty display cases worldwide. 



Master Bryss said…
Amen. I'm starting a Coteaz army myself, but the lack of BS4 is just wrong. What makes the situation worse is that the new 'best' henchmen, i.e Death-Cultists, Crusaders(!) are the ones in expensive metal blisters. Before, this was fine because there was a cap of 3, but now, because of that, Inq. forces are still stuck with the 3rd Edition Plague of cloned model units.
Jonathan said…
Yeah, I had two well-painted, 9-man squads of ISTs (metal Kasrkins) that have been relegated to Warrior Acolytes. Kind of a bummer, and just like Master Bryss above, I'm sorta forced into a hybrid Coteaz/GK list to use the models I've lovingly painted. I'm not pissed, just really disappointed.
Atrotos said…
@Master Bryss: I haven't seen any great conversion work for either of those henchmen which makes me sad. There just aren't a lot of options for a Coteaz force which is back-asswards if you ask me. The faction with the richest fluff in the game was just completely overrun by bad game design.

Where are their grenades!?

@Jonathan: Buddy I feel your pain but at 80 metal Kasrkin I think I got you beat :). I'm not pissed either because I make up my own rules all the time but like you I'm really let down. This could have been a golden age for Inquisition players - now everyone's like "just play with the IG dex!" Which is the equivalent of telling Grey Knight players to use the Space Marine dex.
Master Bryss said…
I'm doing Ordo Hereticus Crusaders using Brettonian men at arms as a base. Death-Cults, well I like the metals but if I can find a cheaper option...

I'll probably use Witch Hunter ISTS lots under the basis that "Grey Knights are a variant Chapter" and remove the cap, with the cheaper transports.
Fuzzbuket said…
hmm i have been thinking about this too... and hate the new dex.

silly fluff
bland ruels
dragio, JOKEaroo, herticus, xenos and SPEESHKNIGHTS IN SPEESH IN KNIGHTS

which has left me thinking.

CODEX grey knights now exists where beafor it did not

Codex daemonhunters is no longer supported by GW BUT when GW released the dex as a pdf the opinion was that you could still use the old one

codex daemonhunters has not been replaced.

can you still use it? ( i want to!)

or could you use the WH dex and use allied units form codex DH and codex assasins?

oh and @ataros grey knights are now just space marines with power weapons.... space wolves, sang guard and blood angels are better representations.

matt ward makes balanced dex's : by making EVERY THING GENERIC AND A loT OF 4'S

seriously ask any old-school GK player that if they wrote a erretra every mont they cold have the old GK's back they be happy.

//rant over

Atrotos said…
@Master Bryss: Men-at-arms are a good start but the fixed nature of their sleeves makes them difficult to pose. I wish you luck with that endeavor.I'll be looking for pics on Bryssling.

@Fuzz:I really do think most of the older GK players would trade the new rules for the old with some minor point adjustments.

That's just sad.