Saturday 17 December 2016

Codex Imperial Agents: A Review

So, this isn't the sort of thing I usually post up but, given that Codex: Imperial Agents came out today with a new army list for the Sisters of Battle, among other things. I thought I would give some thoughts.

Codex: Imperial Agents is an interesting tome. They have updated quite a few digital only supplements. Codex: Adepta Sororitas, Codex: Legion of the Dammed, Codex: Inquisition and The Assassins Dataslate are all replaced by this book. There are also a few other bits and pieces.

First off we have the "Cult Mechanicus" section, which gives all imperial armies access to the Tech Priest Enginseer and servitor unit from Codex Astra Millitarium. Though, his "Awaken the Machine" rule which lets him give something power of the machine spirit specifies an 'Astra Millitarium' vehicle. So you are essentially bringing them so you can repair a vehicle. Which... marines can already do with techmarines and Mechanicus can already do with a Techpreist. So im not sure who is queuing up to use these. Sure, options are good and if you play Cult Mechanicus/Skitarri and you want to use that cool new plastic Enginseer because you love the model then go for it. He gains Canticles of the Omnissiah from his detachment, which is handy.

The second faction is perhaps the most perplexing. "Aeronautica Imperialis". An excellent idea. All the different imperial army's aught to be able to be supported by the imperial air-force. However, according to this book the imperial air force consists of Valkiries. end of list. Not Thunderbolts, Lightnings, Avengers, Arvus Lighters, Vendettas or Vultures. Which, OK. Valkiries are the only one with a Games Workshop plastic kit. However, vexingly, you cannot start in allied transports. So, while you can take a wing of allied Valkiries you can't use them for there primary battlefield role. This makes them a colossal waste of points. If you do take a pointless Valkirie you can take an Officer of the Fleet, which lets you muck around with reserves. Which is, you know, super cool. Interestingly, this Officer of the Fleet, unlike the one in the Astra Millitarum codex may take a refactor field.  Now, as it stands this is quite, quite pointless. However, Forge World *could* come along and say that we can also use all there other flyers, in which case I would be all over this like a rash. The detachment means you can re-roll failed reserve rolls. Which is pretty good. 
The third sort of minor faction in the book is "Adeptus Astra Telepathica" Which lets you drop An Primaris Psyker or an Astropath into any imperial army, and squads of Wyrdvane Psykers. The detachment makes the character better at psyker when he is near the Wyrdvane Psykers.  
The Primaris Psyker is as per codex AM. Except he looses access to Deamonology, and gains the ability to buy digital weapons.

The Astropath is more interesting. He looses access to Demonology, but gains access to Divination. He can buy a second psychic level, and a refractor feild (and digital weapons). He also gains a new rule, "Astropathic Orders" whereby if he successfully manifests a power in a turn, you can re roll reserve rolls in your next turn. That's pritty neat considering he still costs 25 points.

The Wyrdvane Psykers have lost access to deamonlogy, and cannot take a dedicate transport when compared to the version in the IG book.

At this point, I have to say, I'm not that happy with units with the same name and different rules. Especally when you start getting into. "Well, I haven't bought the Astropath upgrade to my command squad, I have instead bought the Astropath from C:IA and added him to my command squad as he is an independent character."

But those Astropaths are neat. I expect to see them popping up in many an Imperial army.

Right. The big one. Adepta Soroitas.
First big thing, all acts of faith are until the end of turn rather then end of phase. Which is situationaly handy.

I'll list the unit by unit changes I have detected.

Ministorum Preist: Now is a HQ which takes up an HQ slot. But then, you can take the Ministorum Delegation detachment as many times as you like to drop in as many extra priests as you would like. So.. who cares?

Sororitas Command Squad: Takes up an elites choice now.

Arco Flagelants/ Crucaders / Death Cult Assasins: These have been separated out into separate units in elites. You can then take an "Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave" to join all the units together with a priest. Honestly, if you want to use these models the best way to do it is by taking an inquisitor. Because then you get Land Raiders. I do however, vaguely like the idea of taking a pile of Arco-flagellants with Uriah Jacobius. The formation gives them shield of faith, which Jacobus then improves, and combined with there feel no pain they might survive outside of a metal box. Also, the bizzaro world way the Battle conclave is worded means you can join up to 10 full squads of Arco-flagellants together. Which is 100 Arco-flagellants. In a single squad. Which is silly.

Immolator: Has gained a single fire point.

Sisters also gained some Tactical Objectives, which is nice as a status thing. However, no cards as of yet. Come on. Give us a deck of cards!

Oh, and a second exciting detachment. It's a standard CAD. But you have to take an Elites choice. And you loose objective secured. However, one tern per game, you can re-roll ones to save.


Oh yes, and with no explanation they have removed Saint Celestine from the list. My working theory for this is we are going to get new rules, and an awesome plastic kit as a one off addition in a campaign book. However, you can call me an optimist.

We did however, sort of, get a new unit. The oft sold out Canoness Veridyan. Her rules are not in the new book, but come in the box with the model. Which is irritating. She's effectively a Canoness with a power sword who may not alter her wargear. For five points above what that would normally cost she gains the rule "Clinical Precision" All friendly unit's within 12" have precision shots and precision strikes. This is pretty interesting as she makes an interesting support piece. She can hang around at the back, in a heavy bolter retributor squad. Give them a buff, keep your Exorcist(s) within 12" and you can have Exorcists with precision shots also. Which is quite neat for sniping characters out of squads. She also has BS5, so you could be sitting her on an  quad gun or something at the same time. Could be neat.

 Deathwatch. Ok, I have never played deathwatch and I don't know the deathwatch book. You get a detachment which contains one troops choice. They can reroll to wound roles and armour pen rolls of 1. That one unit is a Deatwatch Veteran squad. Said squad can take a Corvus Blackstar as a transport. Neat.

Gray Knights. Detachment gives them the ability to teleport in on the first turn. You need one troops or one Fast Attack choice, you may then take a Heavy support choice.

Your options are
Troops: Terminator Squad
Fast Attack: Interceptor Squad
Heavy Support: Nemesis Deardknight, Land Raider, Redeemer, Crusader.

Legion of the Dammed: A Copy paste from the digital book.
Offico Assasinorum: A Copy paste from the digital book, with the Execution Force formation as an option which I think was previously in a campaign supplement.

Finally, the Inquisition. Where things get a little weird again.

So, the formation. You can take one HQ and one to three elites.
The Inquisitor gains the ability to generate a warlord trait. This is an additional warlord trait. So you can have two warlords. Or has been pointed out on the internet, you can take piles of cheap inquisitors and have ALL THE WARLORD TRAITS.

You know, because they are 25 points base.

Some changes to the Inquisitors themselves.

 Prices of power weapons, fists and plasma pistols have been normalised. Except for the ordo xenos inquisitor who still gets 10 point power swords but no access to other power weapons. Heretics and Malleus inquisitors can now take power axes.

Malleus inquisitors can now take Deamonblades, Hellrifles and Incinerators when in Terminator armour.

Power armour is 5pts cheaper.

Lost servo Skulls.

Condemmor bolt guns and Psyk out grenades have had rules wordings updated to match draft FAQ's that were around.

Inquisitors can now only take there themed relic, rules remain the same.

Ok. The warband is gone as a unit and separated out into other units, which are then combined using a formation, just like the battle conclave before.

Acolites are the mooks. These are the only ones that bring a dedicated transport though, and they did loose access to razorbacks.

Oddly, the old Mystic henchman is now inside the Acolyte squad, and you can upgrade any number of Acolytes to a Mystic. However, none of the other henchmen work this way.

Deamonhosts are in as a unit of one. Very pointless outside the formation.

Allthough, Cortez can give them objective secured. Which could be handy.

Jokaero are also units of one. Very pointless outside the formation. Giving them indpendant charicter would have been so very cool. Alas.

Then you get this warband formation. In which you must take a unit of Acolytes.
You can then add:
0-1 Preist (from the sisters of battle list)
0-1 (Units of 2-10) Crusaders (from the sisters of battle list).
0-6 Deamonhosts (from the sisters of battle list).
0-1 (units of 3 - 10) Arco Flageellants (from the sisters of battle list).
0-1 (units of 2 - 10) Death Cult Assassins (from the sisters of battle list)
0-1 Enginseer (from the mechanicum list)
0-6 Jokaero
0-1 Astopath (From the Adeptus Telepathica list)

So, a large formation that ties things together.

Personally, I used to run an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor with a Priest, a Psyker, five death cult assassins and 4 crusaders. All in a land raider redeemer.

Now, I have to take three Acolytes, and the old 10 point psyker from codex Inquisition is gone.

So I will probably run, Inquisitor, Preist, Three Acolites with flamethrowers, an Astropath, Four Death Cultists and two Crusaders. Though it strikes me now, actually. That Astropath could go anywhere. The Inquisitor is not needed to bring him because he has his own detachment. I could put him somewhere else (like the retributor squad where he can sit and cast preciance and buff reserve roles all day long) and take an additional Crusader.

All in all.

I quite like this book. (aside from the upsetting loss of Celestine without explenation)

It consolidates a lot of bits together and gives a real toolbox.

I do begin to wonder if letting anyone imperial take loads of formations of one character is sensible. It seems clunky...

However, all in all. Some nice options.

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