Posted by: Turkadactyl | January 3, 2017

Codex: Imperial Agents Review

Codex: Imperial Agents has had a bit of a controversial release.  It initially brought a lot of praise with the return of the Sisters of Battle to print.  The criticisms were quick when it was discovered that the beloved Saint Celestine pulled a disappearing act and could not be found.  There are a lot of opinions about this publication and I want to put my two cents worth in.

imperial-agents-legions

Imperial Agents contains several mini-codexes that have been released over the last couple of years.  These factions are intended to be used as tiny detachments and supplement a larger force.  The nine factions are as follows:

  • Cult Mechanicus (Tech Priest and Servitors)
  • Aeronautica Imperialis (Officer of the Fleet and Valkyries)
  • Adeptus Astra Telepathica (Primaris Psyker, Astropath, Wyrdvane Psykers)
  • Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle back in print!)
  • The Deathwatch (Veterans, Corvus Blackstar)
  • Grey Knights (Terminator Squad, Interceptor Squad, Nemesis Dreadknight)
  • Legion of the Damned
  • Officio Assassinorum
  • The Inquisition (Daemon Hunters, Witch Hunters, Xenos Hunters)

rose

Background

Every codex contains background fluff of some sort.  The Genestealer Cult, in my opinion, was the best out of all that I have read.  The story of the Cult is a tragic one and I felt sorry for those little whipper snappers.  Space Marines are predictable and dare I say, uninspiring.  We expect the Space Marines to be victorious and sure enough their codex contains stories of heroism and victory.  I think that is why I enjoyed the Genestealer Cult the most.  They don’t win.  They get taken advantage off, misled and devoured.  It was a nice change for codex fluff.

The fluff in Imperial Agents was next to non-existent.  Each faction gets a page of fluff, which feels like a brief summary, ala Coles Notes version, for each group.  I became disinterested really fast with this part and honestly I didn’t finish this section.  With my previous experience being Genestealer Cult, the Imperial Agents fluff was a huge let down.

The thematic photo section was a bit dull as well.  I look forward to this part.  I like seeing the atmospheric photos depicting major battles.  The photos were lack lustre and didn’t emit much emotion from me.  Again, another miss.

Detachments

Next up is the datasheets for the nine factions.  With the exception of the Adepta Sororitas, all of the other factions have tiny specialized detachments.  Games Workshop designed small detachments that can augment a larger force.  The first faction, Cult Mechanicus, has the compulsory Tech-Priest Enginseer with the optional choice of one unit of Servitors.  These units gain the Canticles of the Omnissiah special rule.  Grey Knights take a  compulsory  Terminator and Interceptor Squads and have the option to add a Nemesis Dreadknight.  All units can deep strike on turn one.

ordos

In my opinion this codex revolves around the Inquisition  For years the fans have been wanting to see all the Orders together in one book and here they are.  All of the chambers militant are now available in one book.

How about the Astra Militarum are holding the fort against Dark Eldar Raiders.  The Inquisition arrives with the Deathwatch and perhaps an Assassin.  It is not too often that the Grey Knights actually hunt the daemon en mass.  Rather, it is normal to see a small specialized strike force arrive with a representative of the Ordo Malleus to hunt for the root cause.

Each Ordo for the Inquisition can call in a small unit from their respective chambers militant to aid in the Inquisitor’s mission.  These armies are not designed to fill an 1850 point list but rather ally in to a larger force.  Each Inquisition detachment can take one Inquisitor with three units of henchmen.  Depending on the Ordo chosen the Inquisitor’s formation can take one unit from their designated chamber militant.

If it wasn’t for the Inquisition then I can’t see it worth Games Workshop’s time to assemble this book together.

Adepta Sororitas

sob

I have a substantially large Adepta Sororitas army.  I started collecting them when the Witch Hunter codex was released at the tail end of third edition.  The biggest change came from the Witch Hunter codex to the White Dwarf release.  The faith point system was put in a blender and massively changed.  I still miss that rendition of faith points.

This is the only faction in the book that is capable of building a large army.  The Sisters have their own relics page as well as warlord traits (so do the Inquisition).  While that is good they have been left a bit weaker.  The most controversial decision was removing St. Celestine from the army.  The new St. Celestine model has hit the interwebs and I am sure the new rules will be part of the Fall of Cadia book (fingers crossed).  While I am glad to see the Sisters in print again the Saint and Uriah are the only viable HQ options for the Sisters.  The Canoness used to be a good model when faith points were used properly.  After the release of the White Dwarf codex the Canoness lost access to a lot of wargear and hamstrung with a single faith point.  I think this will only affect the codex short-term as I am sure we will see the Saint’s new rules soon.

The rest of the army stayed the same with the exception of the Conclave.  Before a Priest would have to be taken in order to use a Conclave.  The Conclave consisted of the combination of Arco-flagellents, Crusaders and Death Cult Assassins.  Now the Priest tax does not have to be taken, however, units cannot be mixed.  Crusaders cannot join Death Cult Assassins for example.  The only way to get these units into a single unit is to take the Conclave formation.  It consists of a Priest and 3-10 units of the aforementioned units.  The formation gets the Shield of Faith special rule, which is a 6+ invulnerable save.  All units except the Arco-flagellents have an invulnerable save so this one is not game breaking.

The Adepta Sororitas did lose three formations from the previous electronic codex.  These formations involved Seraphim, Retributors and Repentia/Penitent Engine respectively.  I am going to miss the Repentia/Penitent Engine formation.   That formation gave Rampage to both, It Will Not Die to the Engines and re-roll Feel No Pain for the Repentia.  I am puzzled why Games Workshop chose to remove these formations from the army.

***Correction.  The formations in the electronic edition are Apocalypse only.  Thanks to CKuno in the comments section for pointing that out.  I don’t have a tablet so I wrote info down.  I made a mistake when I wrote the formations down.***

This version is slightly weaker than the electronic codex.  Losing the Saint is big.  The Conclave still exists but it has to be with a formation so not much of a change there.  I’m sad that the old formations were removed but that is balanced with the addition of relics and warlord traits.  I am thankful that the Sisters have finally made it to print.  This gives me some hope that they will continue to receive support and hopefully their own standalone codex in 2017.  I will be using my Sisters a bit more this coming year.

Final Thoughts

sob-art

I’m a fan of these tiny detachments and factions.  They had some fluff to the game.  None of them are game breaking.  This is a collectors book, not a gamers book.  This book has mixed reviews and it seems to be either love or hate it.  I’m a fan of the book.  I like the fluff driven lists.  There are three factors that go into my lists for a lot of my 40K games- 1) fluff; 2) how long has it been since I used the model(s); and 3) does the list have a theme.

I love Terminators, which is why I enjoy playing Grey Knights and Carcharodons.  Carcharodons love close combat so I use siege drills on my Centurions.  I’ve received a lot of comments with my Centurions such as, “Good luck getting those into combat”, “Wow, I’ve never seen close combat Centurions before”, and “Are they actually any good?”  Well, to answer those comments they’ve gotten into combat every game I’ve played and yes, they are good.  Most important though, they fit the mantra of the Carcharodons.

Like I said this is a collector’s codex.  This book is for those who have collected Inquisition and Adepta Sororitas.  I can’t see anyone rushing to buy existing pewter Sister and Inquisitor models to use this book.  These lists are not going to take any allies list to the upper echelon of game play.  This is a great opportunity for people to kit bash some models to make Inquisitors and Henchmen (be sure to check out Imperial Rebel Ork for some inspiration).

If you collect codex’s for backstory then give this book a miss.  There are no epic battles.  No rich lore.  This one is a must if you have Inquisition or Adepta Sororitas.  Everything else is filler to justify selling the codex.  I’m happy with the publication.  I have most of the models in this book.  I can now play games with my Inquisition models with thematic chambers militant lists.  Do I want to see a standalone Adepta Sororitas book?  Yes!  Until then I will be assembling and painting this model.

veridyan

In the meantime thank you Games Workshop for giving us a small glimmer of hope.  Until then suffer not the witch to live.


Responses

  1. The formations from the previous codex were apocalypse formations and were technically not legal for standard 40k games, which is probably why it’s not in the new IA codex. I also don’t believe that the previous digital codex has been officially invalidated as it is still for sale from the black library website so you can still use them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the clarification and correction on the formations. I actually don’t have a tablet so I’ve had some glimpses of the electronic codex. This is why I am glad for a printed codex.

      Like

  2. I think this is a great Codex for the hobby butterfly, I have several units of each of the factions, but don’t want to commit to a new whole army of Inq, Sisters, Grey Knights, or Deathwatch, so this is ideal, I can play them all together and actually use those models that were languishing on the shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the review. I hadn’t read much about the Codex before and quite frankly didn’t understand it. Now it makes sense.

    Small detachments are so much fun. I’m up for a Agents of Ruin type Codex. Some Rogue Psykers, Traitor Guard, Fabius Bile type renegades and exiles, Mutants, revolting rabble and Demagogues. That would be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad I could be of some help. Who knows, maybe GW will publish an Agents of Ruin. One could hope right?

      Liked by 1 person


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