Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Inquisitors ho!

After re-reading the Eisenhorn and Ravnor omnibus volumes (both by Dan Abnett), I am raring to go on converting some inquisitorial skirmish action. (and eagerly awaiting the new trilogy)

For those of you not in the know, Inquisitors in the 40k universe are something like their historical namesake, with a bit of detective, Batman (vigilante with gadgets), Punisher (vigilante who kills people), and Jedi (roving trouble shooter) mixed in for flavor.  They operate outside of the regular Imperial governing structure, and have ultimate authority, up to the level of ordering planets to be destroyed (subject to paperwork of course). Then they have retinues of helpers and minions, such as astropaths, navigators, acolytes, interrogators, servo-skulls, weapons servitors, death cultists, bound psykers, and daemonhosts.  On top of that they have access to the other more military branches of the Imperium, and can bring in anything from a single space marine up to a full army for a fight (including the aforementioned planet killing when needed).

Making things even more exciting, Inquisitors are by no means a monolithic group, with a spectrum of opinion on using the enemy's own weapons against them (Radical to Conservative) and a number of mutually conflicting philosophies on what the purpose of being an inquisitor is all about.  Philosophy aside, structurally, there are there are three main branches, or Ordos, of the Inquisition, concentrating on the three main threats to mankind.  (Xenos, Daemons, and Witches) Further, the size of the Imperium is such that the Inquisition is subdivided by sector and even sub-sector in wealthier/more populated regions. The end result is that far from being a uniform group, Inquisitors can be sub-divided until each stands alone with only their personal allies.

When you have independent investigator/destroyers with unlimited power and their own private military, and conflicting ideas on how to get things done (and even what should be done), you have plenty of potential for armed conflict.  Some of the other Imperial groups could also be in competition with the Inquisition, such as Rogue Traders, the Adeptus Mechanicium, the Ecclesiarchy and more to add further flavor (and conflict).

So Inquisitorial skirmish.  Games-Workshop themselves started this off with the game Inquisitor, which used 54mm figures in a sort of quasi-role play/hyper-detailed skirmish system.  Neither fish nor fowl, and using comparatively expensive figures that needed their own terrain, the game never really took off.  I happened to get the rules and a few boxes of miniatures from one of the Troll Boss Bob sales (I so miss those), and got the bug for large figures.  I ended up with about 30 or so figures in various states of conversion... none painted.  At the time $15-$20 a figure seemed expensive, working in metal difficult, and my interest fizzled out a bit. [which does not preclude me from hauling around a file box full of the figures of course]

Enter Inquisimunda/Inq28 and similar skirmish games using the concepts, and some of the rules from Inquisitor, in a more approachable scale, and using the massive expansion of plastic figures to make the modeling side easier as well.  Suddenly collecting a few little warbands is both achievable, and attractive, and there has been a flurry of interest about this on the various forums and blogs.

On top of that, Fantasy Flight games has come out with a number of role playing games set in the Warhammer 40k universe, which help to flesh out what equipment is available, what sort of missions could be undertaken and so on.  Dark Heresy addresses inquisitors specifically, and all of the source books and other rule books would be useful.

Figure wise, aside from the massive opportunities created by Games Workshop's own figures and the conversion of the same, the Reaper Chronoscope range is overflowing with figures that could be useful with a few GW bitz, and the Dark Heaven line could come in useful as well (wizards and such make for good psykers).

So being a visual person, I have started putting together a pinterest board of inspirational pictures for this project, and eagerly went 81 pages deep on the DakkaDakka Painting and Modeling Blog board, looking for ideas to, er, borrow.  Then, in the midst of organizing my new work table, I sorted out the horde of figures I have acquired that could be suited for this purpose.  I have held on to some figures for over 16 years, and now they will finally have a clear use.

I am very excited about this, and there will certainly be more posts to come!

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