Beyond The Allies: Changes to Inquisition Codices

As you’re probably aware, GW did an unprecidented thing this week and released PDF copies of “current” codices.  Both the Daemonhunters and the Witchhunters books have been digitized and are now avaialable from GW’s site (click on their names for the appropriate links).

So now, anyone can download the codices for free from GW’s website with a couple of caveats:

  • You need to sign in to the GW account (well, to get informed of their release through GW, or to find and download them on their website, but not to use direct links to download them).
  • You do not receive the exact same codex as you would buy in the store.

The first is a minor inconvenience, but the second has other ramifications (that is, assuming it was intentional and not some fat-fingered slip up).  Not only does it mean that everyone can own a copy of the codex (for free), it also means that the official rules for each of the armies succumbs to the new books.  So, it’s important to note the changes in them.

The big change that’s buzzing around the internet is that both books lost their rules concerning Allies & Inducting other Imperial forces in them.  For those tournament players out there, it means that you will no longer see IGuard or Marine variants with Psychic hoods, or Mystics running around.  For casuals, it’s sort of a kick in the pants, as any sort of allies are removed from viability.  The good news there is that true casual gamers shouldn’t mind allying in units from other codices by means of house-rules.

If you’re interested in the debate on the changes to allies, there are plenty of sites talking about just that.   The Back 40k and Whiskey & 40k have some good posts about them, and internet forums everywhere are crawling with rumors and analysis.  Figuring they’ve got things under control, I figured I’d look at the other changes to the books.

Grey Knights are No Longer Psykers & Daemons Take a Holiday

Page #20 of the previous ‘dex was a general overview of the Daemonhunters Army List, including some basic descriptions of how Force Organization Charts work, and how to read unit entries.  It also contained a section called “Special Daemonhunters Notes.”  This page is now missing from the current codex (though curiously enough, the equivalent page from the Witch Hunters book is still there).

Beneath this section there are a couple of outdated rules regarding Sentries and Experience.  There is also a rule that states that GK’s are psykers.  Specifically that rule read:

“Each squad of Grey Knights is able to manifest a gestalt psychic consciousness far more powerful than the sum of its parts.  The squad leader (Justicar or Brother-Captain) counts as the focus for this psychic energy and is therefore used to determine range and source of psychic powers, and will count as a psyker in all instances (determining shots from an Animus Speculum, being affected by a Crucible of Malediction, and so on).”

Now that that rule doesn’t exist anymore, GK’s have lost their psyker status (despite the fact that Terminators can still take a psychic power).  It does make some effect on the game, but since they never really had psychic abilities, I don’t think it will be huge.  It is something to keep in mind when you use your Culexus Assassins though… (yeah right).

Also in this section is a definition of what it means to be a “Grey Knight” or a “Daemon.”  Now, RAW has already nullified what it means to be a daemon in many instances, since virtually everything in the Chaos Demons codex have different names than what are mentioned here.  There were a few hold-outs though, including Nurglings, Eldar Avatars, and several selections from the CSM book.

Rules as written means that, since this page is removed, these are no longer counted as Daemons for the purposes of this army, and so it (almost?) completely negates the rules that affect them.  As for removing the definition of what it means to be a Grey Knight, that seems a little nitpicky, as all of the defined units already have the word “Grey Knight” in their title, but I could see people dredging this up.

Ultimately, if the goal of releasing these codices was to remove the ally rules, it would seem removal of this page in the DH book was just an oversight.  The page would help explain to new players how to use the book, and how to make an army, and includes some relatively minor rules clarifications.  However, unless GW updates the PDF, Inquisition players will have to live without psychic Grey Knights, or anti-Daemons…

Fluff Removal

Both books are almost completely devoid of fluff (not that 4th Edition codices were noted for having a tremendous amount in the first place), but the total size of the books were brought down from about 70 pages to about 25.  Most of these pages were fluff related, giving us back stories about why they’d fight against specific armies, or just general tales of the 40k universe. 

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this isn’t an attempt to defluff future codices.  On the contrary, 5th edition has seen larger books as a whole, and the re-emergence of fluff (as well as an overall increase in codex prices).  While the removal of these “superfluous” pages could also be a chance for GW to re-write “history,” I suspect it has more to do with decreasing the overall file sizes to reduce the strain on their network from worldwide downloads.

Adversarial Elimination

One of the really under-used sections of these books was the rules for Adversaries.  Both books contained the ability to include renegade psykers, possessed daemons, mutants, and other rabble in armies which played against them.  This was perhaps the only way to reasonably field a proper Lost & the Damned force (short of “counts as”).

The reason they weren’t used was because you essentially had to engineer a force against your opponent.  The rules weren’t valid unless you were explicitly playing against one of these two armies, so you had to know ahead of time that you’d play against them, as well as own a copy of the codex yourself.  Since you can’t tell who you’re going to play with ahead of time in a tournament (or in many gaming clubs), they didn’t get much use.

I do find it a little discouraging though, as I intended to use them in an upcoming Apocalypse game, but can’t do so without an opponent’s permission now.  It’s a laid back game though, so I don’t forsee anyone having a problem with it, but it will lose a certain amount of shock and awe…

Missions Gone

Both books had unique missions that were tailored to their back stories.  Whether you were defending a shrine, stopping rituals, or ferreting out tainted “Daemonvessels,” they really set a story for you to play by.  Granted, most players didn’t play them regularly, and they’d still be perfectly valid to play today, but I figured it was important to note that they’d been removed from the new books.

Summary

So, in addition to the removal of allies/inductees, there is a distinct lack of fluff (including missions, and the adversarial rules).   There’s also a couple of changes to Grey Knights and to Daemons.  Other than that, I could find no rules changes.  I didn’t go through the books with a fine toothed comb, but it would appear they only removed pages, but did not alter any text.

So, is it intentional?  Who knows?  I think that the community would do best to just make some basic assumptions (such as Daemonhunters are still bound by a FoC).  By and large, the internet community will likely skip that entirely, and GW will be forced to slip page #20 back into the book (at least).  But we’ll see if people can act civilized…

As to whether this actually means anything to the rumors of an upcoming Inquisition codex, it’s anyone’s guess.  The only other time I remember them releasing a PDF codex was the Blood Angels in 3rd edition (or was it 4th?), which was their official book for several years.  Based upon that previous experience, and the fact that rumors of Dark Eldar are also circling around (plus the renewed focus on WHFB), I think it’s pretty safe to say that we won’t see an Inquisition ‘dex anytime soon.

What do you think?

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20 comments on “Beyond The Allies: Changes to Inquisition Codices

  1. As far as the “no longer counts as daemons for this army” I'd have to disagree. The GK book no longer makes the effort of defining who a daemon is … however, all the units within the Chaos Daemons codex have the “Daemon” rule, which means they count as being a daemon for game purposes, as well as having a USR or two (Eternal Warrior, I think).

  2. Oh, I'm with you on that–except there are people that will cling to what it says in their codex. They'll argue that the fact that another codex might reference a rule by the same name doesn't matter, and site things like Storm Shields as examples (eg. some 'dexes have them as 3++ and some as 4++ in h2h only). The fact that the DH codex goes to lengths to define what a daemon is for the purposes of their own rules is what counts. Since Bloodletters and Plaguebearers are neither “Daemonic Packs” or “lesser daemons” they don't count as Daemons for the purposes of DH's abilities. Not that I agree with that interpretation, but I do see where they're coming from. Rules as Written can get tiring when taken to absurdity. But now that you mention it, maybe it does just serve to make the definition of what it means to be a daemon even more broad? If the excuse for not calling Chaos Daemons “daemons” was that the DH book had an exclusive rule covering what it meant to be one–then with that exclusive rule gone, you'd have to paint things with a broader brush?

  3. I'd love it if it were true (and it still could be very much so), but in myexperience, getting word from a GW employee isn't worth much. They aren'tofficial, they're just a guy giving out a ruling–at least that's alwaysbeen the case before when it came to them settling rules disputes. Thebasic jidst was: if it's not in a codex, rulebook, or an FAQ, take it with agrain of salt.That was predicated on the fact that you could call up and get anotherrandom employee that would swear the opposite was true.So, while I hope this to be true, I'm going to remain skeptical until I hearotherwise. Of course, for what it's worth, I'm fairly skeptical of theoriginal “change” when the PDF was released. It's just fun to talk aboutsometimes. :)Thanks for the head's up though!

  4. Thanks for the link. As I responded to the link below though, I'm going toremain skeptical for the time being.I sure hope you're right though (not because I'm super hip to power gamers,but because lack of allies fairly well neuters the DH book, and I alwaysthought they brought great flair to Imperial forces). The irony of the allyrules to me is that power gamers live to ally in Inquisitors, and really, Iwish I didn't have to take them to play with things like Assassins…Thanks again for the link. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

  5. Yeah, I think now that the pdf codex does not define what a daemon is, you rely on the units in other codices that specify that the unit is for all intents and purposes a “daemon.”…although it's all moot, given GW's response to Ottawa. 😉 I wonder if they'll fix the pdf…

  6. It's worth noting too, that many tournaments use the Adepticon FAQ as their own house rules as it answers many many rules holes GW doesnt in their always lacking FAQ's and while it's not perfect its a large scale collaboration which gives it weight. In this case the Adepticon FAQ states clearly what is and isn't a daemon in today's enviornment, including “Everything in codex Chaos Daemons” and a number of other randoms like the Avatar.on the main subject though, WH's still have inductees just not allies it's a box to the left of the first page of the army list. However the DH's have had their Inductee box actually removed from the Heavy Support page and replaced with a graphic….. This fact lends some serious support behind the idea that the PDF's are meant to alter the codex as it shows effort was made to alter them aside from the page numbers.Rob you make a great point too, anyone supposing that the removal of allies is going to nerf the casual/fluff gamers ability to have cool inquisition forces accompany his army is just going to get his other casual gamer freinds to let him still do it under the old rules. Not all of us hard core tournament gits are RAW Junkies, iv played games against random opponents at Bosco's with some seriously wacked up lists before and it doesnt bother me a bit because i can tell when theyre trying to gain an advantage to win, or trying to have fun with the army of their liking or the army they have the models for.i 100% hope the new PDF's are meant to be “edits” of the paper codex and the new baseline rules for the 2 books in tournaments and other “official” affairs, allies are fine but the…well you know my opinion on them. Besides i can just taste the “pro” imperial guard players tears this week at the loss of the mystics…mmmm tastes like fear.

  7. According to that email, the tournament groups all use the paper codices, not the pdf. Even if it were intentional, I don't think it'll matter in tourneys.On another note, the main thing that makes me think the pdf's are errors (other than the email) is that the german, spanish and french pdf's all HAVE the allies sections in them. It's just the english version that excludes it.

  8. Don't believe everything you read on the internet.Go check those codex's yourself, of those 3 only the German codex retains the Inductees section, all of them are without the allies page and all but the German have replaced inductees with graphics.

  9. oh i should note im talking about DH, i didnt bother checking WH codexs for other languages because i dont much care about them.

  10. yes i have returned from a crazy amount of work / monster hunter addiction. I plan to be at Bosco's this Saturday to play.

  11. it was on the Wii, a couple friends of mine got me to rent it from Gamefly. It's where you and up to 3 freinds go out and hunt big monsters. It's not one of those games the impresses most people right up, but once you play it a bit it really starts to grow on you.So we obsessed over it for the last month and beat basically all its content, now its back in the mail and im free to obsess over my plastic space men again!

  12. and it keeps going.some WH codex pdf's have had their inductees removed now as well. Given the effort being put in here to change these, i think it's pretty safe to say their being given out as official.

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