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Warhammer 40K Hot Mess: Why Are Imperial Agents in 40K at All?

4 Minute Read
Apr 2 2024
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Goatboy here to talk about the rumored Codex Imperial Agents.  Are Imperial Agents even needed, and are they a good or bad thing for Warhammer 40K?

Imperial Agents are an interesting bit of glue to have for the game’s Imperial Armies out there.  They represent some of the religious, bureaucratic, and militant portions of the Imperium, the mainstream  armies might not always have.  It is an interesting set of units, but one full of danger, because a few simple balance mistakes could all of a sudden expose half the game’s armies to powerful 40K rules.

Why Have Imperial Agents At All?

I think the real reason to have them in Warhammer 40K, is it gives designers an option to create different units to help fill out some of the Imperial armies’ missing pieces.  Sure, it could lead to powerful interactions, but it’s cool to think of an Inquisitor leading a bunch of wild Space Wolves into battle.  Or how about a group of fallen Marines taken under the wing of a Radical Inquisitor ready to prove themselves correct, no matter the risk. A lot of the weird fluff in 40K is so interwoven with the idea of fight against the initial incursions of Chaos that it makes sense to pull these crazy humans into the superhuman world of 40K.

Imperial Agents Could Tie Into future TV Shows

We know a Warhammer 40K TV show is getting worked on, and while we would all love to see Space Marines running around, I expect it to be a smaller show than a giant battlefield.  This would lean into the Inquisition side of things, delving into the bowels of a forge planet or some other forgotten foothold of humanity.  We’ll have to wait and see if this is the path GW takes as I think some kind of investigation show dripping with 40K lore would be awesome. It’s also a future easy tie into keeping these units in 40K to introduce newcomers to the game.

Imperial Agents Offer Unique Rules

Unique is the keyword here as the builds and designs could set up for some really interesting interactions.  GW pushed keywords so heavily in 10th Edition, so creating a set of leaders that can slot in, update, and change how certain units work in Imperial Armies could be really unique.  What if their detachments allow them to pull in certain things from other armies?  They are not just a glue piece but the actual detachment to build around?  It could be as simple as they can take Marine Battleline or Sisters Battleline units?  It could be even crazier with small choices they could all make to create a “Imperial Agents” detachment with friends?


Is a Codex Imperial Agents Worth It?

Would a purported Codex Imperial Agents have been better as some kind of yearly book update with the Dataslates and other choices all smashed together?  Or should this just have shown up in White Dwarf and stayed a free release on the app?  Really we have to wait and see and figure out how much of this is a real solid codex, versus just a supplement to cover all these miscellaneous models that are out there.

I am unsure about the whole thing as I have memories of the old days where an Inquisitor lead a unit Terminators who could never fail leadership, immune to all psychics, and fought first in combat.  Or they had some kind of xenos grenades that made the bad guys suck and get smashed in combat.  Time will tell.

Do you think Imperial Agents are still worth a 40K codex, or should they be exiled to Kill Team?


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