A rundown from someone with Codex: Imperial Agents. It's not detailed out rules, but gives us some good insight.
via veterannoob of the Combat Podcast
Codex: Imperial Agents
Hardback, $40 US; Pre-order Dec. 10th, 2016; 136 color pages
This is the initial text review for Combat Phase weekly wargaming podcast. Ep 175 next week will have more discussion. Also, fans of the Horus Heresy, tune in to our show right before Christmas to join an all-star cast of BL authors, artists, podcasters, painters, and fans from around the world as they reflect on A Decade of Horus Heresy. Wow! www.combatphase.com or on iTunes or however you like to get your podcasts.
First off, this is another beautiful book. While I admit I don’t know if all of the internal artwork is reused or newly commissioned, the initial piece is quite breathtaking. The intro section walks through each of the nine factions included with one-two pages of fluff accompanying art (many reused but gorgeous pieces). Next the book includes the standard gallery of models in action sequences (not solo models) in the Warriors of the Imperium section. It was wonderful to see some oldies but goodies pictured, which at the time of initial review I looked up and noticed were no longer for sale or needed to be found on the web store under the search function. Since then, GW has not only announced a new Blanche-inspired Sisters of Battle Canoness, but also brought back the remaining models here for order on demand. This is good because at this point—as we said weeks ago, Warhammer Community has confirmed, and many guessed—there are no new models accompanying this release, though 2017 is only a few weeks away…so, who knows…
So yes, the Sisters of Battle (SoB) army features all existing models. That doesn’t mean the promised plastic SoB models mentioned from inside a trash bin on Warhammer TV a few months back aren’t coming soon, but unlike a supplement, this is (at the very least) a placeholder for these nine factions, introducing new detachments which have their own force organization charts (FoC) and command abilities so the odd existing model can legally fit into an army as standard, ally, or whatever you prefer. Finally we have two pages of weapons, vehicle equipment and special issue warmer before the factions begin. It’s not a lot: 2 ranged, 1 melee, 2 vehicle and 5 special issue including psyk-out grenades and a teleport homer.
Now, onto the 9 factions: each faction has its own name as its faction unless otherwise noted
1. Cult Mechanicus
We have the FoC Engineer Congregation to accompany the Tech-Priest Enginseer model that came out a while back (that cool-looking tech-priest with the axe but kinda on his own). This one is simple: Pair him with the Servitors on the next page and both units must have the Cult Mech faction. But units from this detachment gain the Canticles of the Omnissiah rule like Cult Mech usually have and the table is included. So this is good for folks like me with a cult mech or admech army or who want to incorporate these few models in. Not sure why the book started here, as it’s the slimmest of entries and they’re not alphabetical. But this certainly doesn't replace either of the admech codexes.
2. Aeronautica Imperialis
This is the one no one could guess would be in the book weeks back when the list of 9 was being theorized from the initial teaser giving 6/9 factions. Hey, I wouldn’t have guessed it either. These boys are part of Armies of the Imperium and ally as such. An Imperial Navy Section FoC has at least one Valkyrie and 1 optional Officer of the Fleet. They gain air superiority allowing them to re-roll failed reserve rolls for this detachment. Another slim one, but it gets better. The officer is a cool model I don’t recognize. He allows you to allow a navy order (these are cumulative for each officer). So you can get either a bonus to reserves or penalize your opponents rolls on reserve rolls though a 6 will always bring in enemy reserves. It’s fluffy for units of 1-4 Valkyries (125 base each) and the designer’s note tells us the combat role and pursuit and agility values of the Valkyrie have been included for players using Death from the Skies.
3. Adeptus Astra Telepathica
I swear, they’re not all this short. :) Here’s a unique detachment for the psykers: Psykana Division w/1 compulsory HQ (either Primaris Psyker or Astropath) …[God, I miss playing Rogue Trader] and an optional units of elites Wyrdvane Psykers . The bonus here allows for your HQ psykers near 5 or more Wyrdvane Psykers from this detachment a better chance to harness. The Primaris ne upgraded and take from the 4 usual expected lores. Astropaths give your army the ability to re-roll reserves in your next turn if he/she successfully manifests a psychic power this turn! Wyrdvanes come in units of 5 with brotherhood of psykers level 1 from the same 4 lores as the primaris. Wyrdvanes are already on sale for $15 for 3 so way cheaper than expected, If you have or like these models you can put them to good use but especially synergies with psykers or reserves. You can see how these are starting to stack...so maybe the order of publication does make sense after all… :)
4. Adepta Sororitas (SoB)
The best way I decided to do this is just list the entries for you to do your own comparison for whatever you may be wondering. We get two new detachments depending on if you want small bodyguard or an entire force. Ministorum Delegation lets you pair a leader with a bodyguard. FLUFFY! As expected, they must be from the Adepta Sororitas faction. This grants Shield of Faith to the detachment making them tougher mentally and physically. The larger army detachment can buff your Army of Faith to prayer for dodging bad save rolls. The army still has the Act of Faith rule, Martyrdom, and 6 unique warlord traits. No new models today (beyond Canoness) but….I wanna see some Sisters on the battlefield! Includes also 7 relics and 6 tactical objectives. My fav is the Mantle of Ophelia granting Eternal Warrior. If you go to the webstore you’ll see these models.
Ministorum Priest - cool older models looking like zealots, each fight sub phase can get a war hymn
Battle Sister Squad
Sororitas Command Squad
Crusaders - power swords & storm shields can take rhino or immolator as dedicated transport
Death Cult Assassins
Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave formation - gains shield of faith
5. The Deathwatch
A Deathwatch Kill Team allows you better shots at wounding or armor penetration. There’s a big list of wargear and your troops of Veterans can take a Corvus Blackstar flyer. Deathwatch (I don’t have their new codex) have special rules and Mission tactics. So as before you can get a bit of variety in the unit with lots of re-rolls. Nice! I played vs. an entire DW army and they can be nuts so it’s nice that someone with only a small force can use them. All their wargear and rules are included so you can run this detachment from this book.
6. Grey Knights
We get full background and rules for demon-hunting Grey Knights (GK) to form a Daemonhunter Strike Force. Much like GK in the codex, you can come in from the beginning and wreck face fast. This is not the full GK codex, of course.
7. Legion of the Damned
This book gives the new Spectral Host detachment. We see Damned Legionanaires but this detachment starts in reserves and you can choose to come in when you feel is best. Again, a nice way to allow someone to ally or use a single LotD unit to get some variety to the army.
8. Officio Assassinorum
This is fleshed out with the 4 assassins from the board game or also available individually where you can bring 1 or a formation, though each assassin is its own Assassinorum Operative detachment allowing a single elite assassin from Vindicare, Callidus, Eversor or Culexus temples. It gains bonuses for doing what Assassins do best. :) But this is just more about using your assassins with all the info, data sheets, special rules and wargear from each Temple together in one spot. Worth a look even if you’re only kinda thinking about assassins. They also have a formation Execution Force where 1 from each of the 4 temples come with better shots at smoking their targets. Each assassin has a full datasheet with special rules.
9. (No one suspects…) The Inquisition
Our final entry includes the full background and rules for agents of the Inquisition including data sheets, war gear, and a unique detachment. Again, if you don’t have the Inquisition codex, here ya go. Detachment gains authority of the inquisition. Once again, everything rules and wargear is in here for what’s in this book. We have the usual line-up from the The Inquisitor and a cool formation at the end to bring most of these previous factions togethers.
So, that’s it. Overall, if you have these models or want to collect a select few, or have been playing the RPGs or video games and are jonesing for some Imperial Agents this lets you do that. There’s the odd formation, plus every faction gets a new detachment to make it work. I can see this being a book for players with these models or collectors but it does not replace those codexes that are in use. I liked it but was surprised they started with the super slim factions first. But I guess keep it a mix.
That’s it! Let us know your thoughts and questions. The audio podcast for Combat Phase covering this book will have more discussion on using the book. But for now, see above for the contents.