Look no further to learn How to Play The Inquisition Warhammer 40k 9th Edition! Our experts break down the latest rules release and codex to give you the jump start on your newest army as you destroy everything in front of you.
In the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium, terrible things lurk in the darkness. And in the Imperium, The Inquisition hunts back. With their rosettes, Inquisitors have the right to declare exterminatus and destroy entire planets. Nothing puts fear in the hearts of the enemies of the Imperium like the mere rumor of an Inquisitor on their trail.
Why Play the Inquisition in Warhammer 40k?
In game terms, the Inquisition is a bizarre army to field. An Inquisition Force only has two mandatory unit choices: HQ and Elites. It can have up to 2 HQ units and up to 3 Elites along with their transports. As a result, the Inquisition doesn’t have great unit variety. Still, if you’re trying to field a complete army, they make a great allied detachment, especially if you have Astra Militarum heavy support options or Cadian infantry squads.
Equipped with the Imperium tag, the Inquisition can ally with nearly any detachment from the Imperium. If you need something special for your Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Sisters of Battle, or other Imperium faction, few allies add more elite firepower than an Inquisition Detachment. “Authority of the Inquisition” allows you to include one “Agent of the Imperium” unit in each Imperium tagged Patrol, Battalion, and Brigade detachment without using up required slots. This gives any Imperium army you fight with the chance to be far, far more elite than normal.
Additionally, If you know the enemy army you’ll be fighting, choosing the right Inquisitor and force to back another detachment might be one of your best chances for victory. Inquisitors can be specialized for four basic effects depending on their Ordo. Vast swaths of enemy types, and the enemy units representing them, suddenly find their advantages taken away form them when the right Ordo is on the field. Inquisitors can come from one of four basic Ordos:
- Ordo Malleus: trained to hunt demons! Get benefits to attacking Chaos and Demons!
- Ordo Hereticus: Trained to hunt heretics! Get bonuses against Chaos and those pesky Psykers.
- Ordo Xenos: Trained to hunt the various threats to the Imperium from various aliens. Get bonuses against any unit that isn’t Chaos, Imperium, or Unaligned.
- Ordo Minoris: You’re part of a smaller branch of the inquisition, but no less deadly. You get bonuses to reroll against Character units.
An Inquisitor, one of the most basic HQ choices of the Inquisition, can be customized with a ridiculous number of weapons. This is important because you can only have one “Inquisitor” Unit in any Inquisition detachment. Therefore, deciding on how to outfit your Inquisitor is one of the most important first steps to putting together your army. The final universal Inquisitor ability is “Unquestionable Wisdom (Aura).” Friendly Imperium units within 6 inches of your Inquisitor use the Inquisitor’s leadership instead of their own.
So in game terms, having an Inquisition detachment with a single unit greatly buffs your entire army. But you also get Jokaero Weaponsmiths and Acolytes. Acolytes can come in squads of up to 6 and are fairly robust with the ability to equip themselves with any 1 pistol and 1 melee weapon from a diverse list, with a laspistol and chainsword as stock gear. Everyone gets nervous with the 5+ save infantry that can intercept attacks for their Inquisitor is on the field.
It’s especially terrifying when the entire group can be equipped with plasma pistols. They will go out with a bang, and keep your Inquisitor alive, hopefully long enough to do damage. Jokaero Weaponsmiths, on the other hand, can use Jokaero Weapons, which will do massive damage during their individual attacks, with a heavy and assault profile. But they can also randomly improve the weapons of any ally with the Ordo tag, letting them reroll to hit and damage. Lastly, the Daemonhost.
In lore, a Daemonhost is the last thing that anyone wants on a planet. But these Daemonhosts are singular, chaotic tanks which are forced to be minions for an Inquisitor. With a d6 roll to determine a random ability at the start of each movement phase; they can randomly recover all wounds, get 12-inch movement and flight, or deal d3 mortal wounds for each enemy within 3 inches of the Daemonhost.
Lastly, each Ordos has its own unique Inquisitor you can choose: Inquisitor Cortez, Inquisitor Eisenhorn, Inquisitor Greyfax, Inquisitor Karamazov, or Inquisitor Kyria Draxus. Each can change the way your army functions with custom abilities for each of these characters.
If the Inquisition is your primary detachment, then you’ve got a group of elites fielding incredible weaponry. If they’re your support detachments, you have a small group of elites that you have designed to solve specific problems based on the enemies you think you need to fight. But regardless of how you use them, the key question is always: how do I use this toolset? So pickyour Inquisitor, and answer the question.
- Blade of the Ordo: Inquisitor only. This melee weapon goes from damage d3 to damage 3 when fighting your inquisitor’s Quarry. So it’s +1 S, AP -3, D3 against everything else.
- Digital Weapons: Inquisitor only. Your inquisitor has concealed weapons, giving them one additional close combat attack using the close combat weapon profile. The catch: if that hits, the target takes a mortal wound. You can’t follow it up, the attack sequence ends, but it’s still a free mortal wound if it works.
- Blackshroud: Inquisitor only. If your Inquisitor resolves an attack against them, subtract 1 from the wound roll. Just keeping your most crucial HQ member alive.
- Ignis Judicium: Replaces an inferno pistol. 12-inch range, Pistol 1, S 8, AP -4, D6 damage. It increases to d6+2 against anything in half range or against Chaos and Psykers period.
- Universal Anathema: Ordo Xenos Inquisitors only. When you attack something that’s not a Vehicle or Titanic with this inquisitor using a melee attack, any wound roll of 2+ is always successful.
- Tainted Blade: Ordo Malleus Inquisitors only. This replaces a Power Sword. During the Fight phase, when attacking with it for the first time, roll a d6. On a 1, the wielder takes 1 mortal wound, and the weapon can’t be used this phase. If the target fails their saving throw, you can make a new attack against the same unit using this weapon. But you only ever get that one bonus attack. Sometimes, you just need to stack on the damage.
INQUISITION WARLORD TRAITS
- Radical: You have a Radical Inquisitor who can once per battle round reroll one hitroll, wound roll, damage roll, saving throw, Psychic Test, or Deny The Witch test made by the warlord. That’s strategic flexibility!
- Puritan: +1 to your Invulnerable Save to a max of +3! Your way is the only way!
- Formidable Resolve: +1 to your Warlord’s Leadership, and add 6 inches to Unquestionable Wisdom.
- Ordo Hereticus: No Escape
- Perform a Heroic Intervention on any ally within 6 inches horizontally and 5 inches vertically of any unit. And any time you do it, you move 6 inches!
- Ordo Xenos: Esoteric Lore
- Roll a d6 every time your opponent uses a stratagem. On a 5+, get a Command Point. This lets you use more stratagems, giving the game a “wheels within wheels, plans within plans” feeling.
- Ordo Malleus: Psychic Mastery
- Your Warlord has 1 more power from Telethesia. You can attempt to manifest 1 additional psychic power in your psychic phase and attempt to deny one additional power during an opponent’s psychic phase. It’s just a useful thing to have in your back pocket!
It should be noted that certain characters have fixed Warlord traits you cannot change.
- To the Exclusion of All Else…: 1 CP, during your Shooting phase, the Fight Phase, or your opponent’s Charge phase, when an Imperium Biker or Imperium Infantry is within 6 inches of Friendly Inquisitor on Overwatch, or is chosen to shoot or fight with. Until the end of the phase, the unit you choose, against an enemy unit specified by this stratagem, re-roll a hit roll of 1, as long as it’s their Quarry. In short: you effectively make it so that when your allied unit is actively attacking your quarry for any reason, they’re much more likely to hit.
- Execution Bombardment: for 4 CP, if you have an Inquisitor on the field, pick one point on the battlefield: roll a d6 for each unit inside 2d6 inches of that point. Subtract 1 if the unit has a Character. On a 4+ for every unit rolled for, they take D3 mortal wounds. You can only do this once per battle, and it’s an effective field clearer.
- Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will: For 1 CP, prior to the battle, give an Inquisitor who isn’t your Warlord a Warlord trait. It’s considered your Warlord for purposes of that trait. If that Warlord isn’t a vehicle, you can give one Relic of the Inquisition to that model. All relics have to be different, but nothing beats doubling up on your Warlords.
- Alpha-Class Psyker: For 1 CP, before the battle, you can make a non-named character psyker gain psychic powers from the Telethesia discipline, and you can try to deny one additional psychic power during your opponent’s Psychic phase. If you want a heavier Psyker to play on the field, this will do it.
- Strategic Excruciation: For 1 CP, if you kill an enemy Character within 3 Inches of your Inquisitor, you can gain D3 Command Points, and subtract 1 from the leadership of your enemies until the end of the fight. You can only use this once, but you could potentially get +2 CP out of it, and make your opponent’s morale tests ridiculously annoying.
- Clandestine Operation: During deployment, for 1 CP, pick 1 Infantry Inquisitor, up to 1 Acolyte, up to one Daemonhost, and lastly, up to 1 Jokaero unit. These units can be anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9 inches away from enemy deployment zones, but all models set up this way must be within 6 inches of your inquisitor. So, effectively, you can place your entire Inquisition detachment somewhere on the battlefield within those ranges. This assumes your 3 elite choices are Acolytes, a Daemonhost, and a Jokaero, but it still means you could effectively make your entire detachment appear nearly anywhere at the start of play. If your Inquisition unit has an allied detachment, you have an incredible amount of strategic flexibility.