When I first decided to use an Ordo Xenos component of my army of Lamenters, I studied the rules very carefully and asked for some advice online about what you should take or not take.
The first thing which struck me, was how interesting the entire Demonhunters Codex was comparitively to the Witch hunters. It was almost as if somebody had slapped the WH codex together with a few bits and parts and some sisters stuff. I was rather taken however with the grey knights and their special rules and also the Inq forces in general.
A lot of people whine that the Inq have crap.... but I question that. Most people point at the humble Inq storm trooper and tell us he is hopeless. I am not so sure after some review. Lets compare vs other things that are just as viable.
Imperial Guard Vets
The humble Inq stormtrooper has a stat line which reads as like the Imperial Guard Vetran but a point less where? . They are both almost identical apart from yep... LD and Armor Save. Cool. The Inq stormtrooper BEGINS with a 4+ save, something that the guardsmen does not have. He also has a targeter allowing you to pre-measure the distance before shooting. This is all built into his 10 points. Not a bad effort when you consider that for a vetran squad similiarily equiped your paying 100 points and thats not with the ability to pre-measure a shot.
The Vetran comes with a lasgun. All fine. The Inq stormie comes with a hellgun. Same range and ability but with the 5+ AP. Although not a fantastic weapon, its still superior slightly to the IG vetran.
So after 100 points spent on a squad you have a vetran squad with a 4+ armor save and you have a sgt with leadership 8. With the Inq you have 4+ armor save and on top of that all your troops have a leadership of 8, not just a character.
Admitedly to get the Inq vetran sgt, your paying an extra but you gain access to the linq board for items... so what could you then do? Its an interesting idea.
Where this all falls down however, is as soon as you start looking at special weapons? Not always? Maybe... well for less points I can give the Inq stormies plasma guns, its more expensive to do it for the vetrans. But the vetrans can have 1 more weapon. But go back one step, and look at the Inq war gear for the same points.... I can give him a combi weapon and even the firepower here. I could give my Inq squad leader a melta bomb too... and retain my 4+ save. Something the guardsmen cant do ever.
I can already hear the cry of... but as soon as you put them in a Chimera..... and your right. Its the Chimera that will stop you every time. Thats what stops you, the inability to think Vetrans could be ok outside of their pill box. It stops me. BUT.... what if we look at this in a different fashion. The Inq stormies are scoring units... so are the vetrans, but who said that you need to take Vetrans always in a Chimera? Well it does make sense. But not always...
4 Chimeras are going to set you back 200 odd points for a Guard Vetran army.... I can get 4 more squads of scoring Stormtroopers for that.... are they as effective? Against a lot of opponents the answer is going to be yes, no matter what, unless your playing strict KP missions. 40 hell guns is a hell of a lot of firepower to bring down vs 4 multilasers with no AP and Heavy Bolter option or HF option. We have gotten into the habit of seeing the entire vetran squad as protectable, not what really matters which are the special weapons, thats what does the killing for the vets in 9 out of 10 firefights. Not the lasguns. So... if we think I can sustain 3 or 4 shots here from other infantry then all of a sudden you start to think that another 4 squads of strom troopers for 400 points vs 4 Chimeras for 420 is not such a bad investment, as your literally swamping your opponent with troops. Great for Objective missions.
What if we actually learnt to use terrain and cover as its meant to be instead of hiding in Chimera's perhaps the guard would be more inclined to field infantry type armies?
I am not debating how a Vetran squad is accepted practice or wisdom, but I do find it silly that a heap of people dis the poor Stormtrooper for what ammounts too..... not a bad little guy vs his IG counterparts in the Vetran area.