Codex Imperial Agents: Review

agents of the imperium

Here it is, the long anticipated Codex Imperial Agents. PeteyPab has the scoop on what you can expect from GW’s latest codex. 

Quick, tell me how many points Uriah Jacobus costs. Now roll a warlord trait for your Hereticus Inquisitor from the Inquisition Codex, and while you’re at it give me the rules for the Ulmeathi Plasma Syphon, and the Neural Shredder. If you had to scour your book shelf for 3 books, or spent 10 minutes looking for files on your phone while your opponent talks to all of the much more interesting players around them, this book is for you.


The Imperial Agents book is a comprehensive codex which a section for each militarized branch of the Imperium. I am going to cover each section.

Image by Nachoman

Cult Mechanicus

The first of many micro-factions pulled from larger factions in the book. Each faction has a new detachment with 1 compulsory unit choice, and 1 optional. This can be pretty handy if you just want to use certain units from a faction. The Cult Mechanicus section has the Enginseer Congegation, which lets you take one tech-priest enginseer as a compulsory HQ slot, and an optional elite slot for servitors. There is also a dataslate for both of those units, as well as the rules for the Canticles of the Omnissiah.


Aeronautica Imperialis

The AI faction’s detachment, the Imperial Navy Section, has one compulsory Valkyrie you can take as well as an optional master of the fleet. This is great for armies which want access to a flyer transport and cheap reserve manipulation.


Astra Telepathica

This section contains the Psykana division. Which gives us access to a compulsory Primaris Pskyer or Astropath, as well as 1-3 units of wyrdvane psykers. The primaris psyker can harness powers easier if he is close to wyrdvane psykers from the detachment. This section of the book is great for the meta because it gives access to cheap warp dice for any imperial army.


Adepta Sororitas

The first of two big codices in this book. There is actually some cool stuff in this book, and one very sad thing which I will cover at the end. First off, I noticed that this section is almost a direct reprint of the Sisters of Battle 6th edition book. Which is cool, because I felt like that book was not a terrible base for a faction, and just needed a few more rules and units to really become viable at the competitive-casual level. In this section you will find a detachment that lets you take a single Ministorum priest, as well as a new detachment for the girls in armor called the “Vestal Task Force”. Which has the ability to give all units in the detachment the ability to reroll any saving throws of 1 once in a game. Awesome! You are forced to take a compulsory elite option, but it isn’t all that bad because GW gave the sisters access to Deathcult Assassins, Crusaders, and Arco-Flagellents. Other then one minor detail, this section is a copy of the Adepta Sororitas codex, with some updated verbage to make rules clearer. Oh, and that minor detail you are wondering about….?


St. Celestine is gone. She is not an HQ choice in this book, and is completely absent from the Adepta Sororitas section of the book. On top of that, if you notice the picture above, which was on GW’s site. That hourglass symbol next to Celestine means that her model is a “last chance buy”. Now, we can only speculate whether this is part of GW’s master plan, or if a beloved character is getting phased out of the game. Let me know in the comment section!


The Deathwatch

The Deathwatch get a cool new detachment which let’s any Army of the Imperium take exactly one troop choice from the faction.

The Grey Knights

The Grey Knights get a mini version of the Nemesis Strike Force detachment. With a compulsory Troop, and Elite slot, and an optional Heavy Support slot complete with the Rites of Teleportation rule.

Legion of the Damned

I didn’t know the legion of the damned were a military branch of the Imperium, but hey. It is cool that we get the Legion of the Damned rules supplement in one very easy, comprehensive book.

Officio Assassinorum

This section is an updated version of the Officio Assassinorum codex. Complete with reworded Culexus assassin rules! Honestly, I am very glad GW did this. It really shows that they listened to their player base, and took the FAQs seriously.



Lastly, the largest section of the codex, the forces of the Inquisition. Since you probably already understand the trend here, i’m going to go over the two major differences that this section has, versus the Inquisition codex.

  • The Inquisitorial Detachment got better: You can only take 1 Inquisitor in this new Inquisitorial Representative detachment, instead of 2. But you still get the 0-3 elite slots, and a cool new command benefit which lets your Inquisitor generate a warlord trait even if they’re not your warlord. Nice!
  • One special issue wargear seems to be missing. Servo-Skulls are nowhere to be found on any of the Inquistor’s profiles, or in the SI wargear section. This is huge, and will effect the meta the most.


Verdict: Overall I am happy with this supplement because it combines 8 different supplements and codices together into one book. This simplifies the game, and gives “Imperial Soup” players an easy access to multiple rules which would normally be very annoying to find. This is great marketing from GW, and I hope the trend to include verbage from the FAQ continues into any supplements they release in the future.


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

56 Responses to “Codex Imperial Agents: Review”

  1. Dakkath December 10, 2016 3:39 am #

    I was expecting a lot more, to be honest. From the rumors up to this point, it sounded like this book was going to contain the complete (and updated) rules from admech, inquisition, assassins, sisters of battle, sisters of silence, adeptus custodes, legion of the damned, and possibly grey knights and deathwatch. Now, obviously that’s too much for one book. But the way they’ve only printed fragments of most of those factions is just, I don’t even know how to word it. Weird? Lazy? Feels incomplete? Doesn’t make much sense to me that you can just grab all these little 1-2 unit “detachments” willy-nilly; ITC rules aside.

    Now personally I would have kept SoB, Grey Knights, Deathwatch, and AdMech as their own minidexes* and put all the rest of those one-ofs together in this book. Actually, I think that’s what’s bugging me about this book’s structure. You have all the one-ofs and the formations/detachments needed to take them, then cram selected units from several other codices into the same format.

    The solo valkyrie especially doesn’t make sense as a splash for other imperial armies since the only ones who’ll be able to start in it are other choices from this book.

    *admittedly if you combined the cult mechanicus and skitarii into one single admech dex it would probably be big enough for a full codex. Grey knights weep with envy.

    Really disappointed that SoB were not only not updated, but they lost one of their only named characters and are forced into being led by a dude into battle if not using a CAD.

  2. Riddip December 10, 2016 4:51 am #

    For DW and GK you get new small detachments but they still have their own codex. Maybe the SoB part ist just that and a full codex with new minis will follow later.

    • Sadclown December 11, 2016 9:02 pm #

      The Nemesis Strike Force is 1 HQ and 1 Troop, so the detachment is actually bigger than the one in the GK Codex. If Pablo meant a mini version of the formation that let’s GK cast on a 3+ then that is interesting.

  3. Vankraken December 10, 2016 5:20 am #

    Sounds like a big miss from GW. No real rules updates, gutting some options, some real head scratcher inclusions like the valks (do they even have the Inq faction or are they their own faction and thus nobody can start inside them?). Lack of servo skulls is huge and it just makes the Inq far less useful. Instead of embracing the theme of the Inq and making things interesting it’s just another cut and paste job. It’s amaxing how wildly different the effort put into legion rules vs Inq rules that release a week apart.

    That being said I will reserve final judgement once I see the book in my hands but this review doesn’t look good for the book.

    • Petey Pab December 10, 2016 10:50 am #

      Valks are part of the Aeronautica Imperialis faction

      • Novastar December 10, 2016 12:02 pm #

        So no one can start in them except a master of the fleet?

        • NathanJD December 10, 2016 4:06 pm #

          Advantages I forgot:

          – Don’t have to pay 10pt champion tax. So really for a 5 man unit, CSM are 3pts more expensive than sisters.
          – Don’t have to have a character in the unit. This helps against kill points.
          – Character does not have to suicide themselves in every challenge. This again helps to avoid giving up kill points and to avoid triggering character challenge benefits/VPs.

          This all is even before the formation benefits, the best of which the CSM will get free VotLW or roll twice on the boon table. The sister’s benefits are considerably better.

        • abusepuppy December 10, 2016 9:32 pm #

          That guy needs a LOT of space to himself. Lotta anime wallscrolls he needs to hang up next to his creepy nude figurine collection.

  4. MadCowCrazy December 10, 2016 6:17 am #

    Sisters part of the codex sounds like complete garbage, if that acts of faith are the exact same as from the Digital and no points costs adjustments then the Sisters will again be retardedly bad at pretty much everything except for melta spam. Acts of Faith are what makes sisters unique yet they are some of the worst rules in the entire game. Please tell me an Eviscerator doesn’t cost 30pts because that is one of the most retarded decisions one could ever make.

    Why the fuck would a S6 Ap2 weapon cost 30pts when SM get the exact same weapon for 25pts but theirs is S8 Ap2. The difference between S6 and S8 is huge, it goes from being able to wound most things in the game to outright killing most things in the game.

    • MidnightSun December 10, 2016 9:52 am #

      “Why the fuck would a S6 Ap2 weapon cost 30pts when SM get the exact same weapon for 25pts but theirs is S8 Ap2.”

      Welcome to the problem every Codex outside 5th edition has had.

      The Armoury system *doesn’t work*.

  5. Wereaardvark December 10, 2016 6:21 am #

    Just out of curiosity how are sisters competitively viable for one less point then chaos marines we get a troop that is across the board worse… And wooo reroll ones once per game on a detachment that requires an Elite and probably doesn’t let us take 5 priests and we lose another one of our SC

    • Petey Pab December 10, 2016 10:37 am #

      They are more competitive casually. I didn’t say sisters were going to win the LVO.

    • NathanJD December 10, 2016 4:01 pm #

      Sisters troop advantages over CSM troop:

      – 2 special weapons per 5 models
      – Preferred enemy once a game
      – 6+ invul
      – Access to imperium allies

      CSM Advantages:
      – +1 S
      – +1 T

      • Sadclown December 11, 2016 9:05 pm #

        And all those “advantages” are meaningless in the face of new CSM supplements.

  6. hillshire December 10, 2016 6:48 am #

    To me, the most important question is:

    Do the army lists for Sisters of Battle and/or Inquisition presented in Imperial Agents replace their codexes?


    Are the army lists for Sisters of Battle and/or Inquisition presented in Imperial Agents simply alternatives which do not invalidate their codexes.

    My understanding is the latter but I see a lot of people posting as if it were the former in various forums. My reasoning is: no one would seriously consider the Deathwatch entry as a replacement for the Deathwatch codex. But maybe there is a statement within the codex that I haven’t seen yet which clarifies one way or the other.

    So which is it?

    • Bryan December 10, 2016 7:42 am #

      I’ll assume we will know next week, if those respective codexes are no longer sold. Looking forward to more info during the week, pretty clear GW clamped down on the authorised previews after last week. So far, the ones I’ve read, are more like advertising then substantial info, hopefully GW can find a nice balance going forward with what they allow.

      I don’t see the need for such secrecy myself, a week out from release.

      • hillshire December 10, 2016 7:58 am #

        “I don’t see the need for such secrecy myself, a week out from release.”

        Agreed. Based on people’s reactions in forums, it’s creating a lot of confusion which then leads to frustration and anger.

        I don’t think the reviews should list each special rule or give away too much detail but a clear presentation of how each faction can be used and how they interact would be much better than fear and speculation.

      • NovaStar December 10, 2016 12:06 pm #

        I wonder what they clamped down on it though, the traitor Legion suppliment sold out

    • Peteypab December 10, 2016 9:37 am #

      That’s the big question

  7. Bob Builder December 10, 2016 7:05 am #

    Does the Inquisition still have access to Psybolt ammunition?


  8. abusepuppy December 10, 2016 7:43 am #


    Oh good, they have removed another of the very, very small number of female characters from the game. I think that means we can count them all on one hand now.

    • NovaStar December 10, 2016 12:08 pm #

      It’s okay, the world won’t fall apart 😉

      • Slartibartfast December 11, 2016 8:07 pm #

        Because discrimination only matters if it effects you, right?

    • hillshire December 10, 2016 12:43 pm #

      Based on what I’ve been reading today, Imperial Agents Sisters of Battle does not replace the Sisters of Battle digital codex.

      That being the case, then it makes sense that an iconic HQ like Saint Celestine would not be used as an Imperial Agent at the bidding of others. Rather, she would lead Sisters armies to victory out her own codex.

      Still want to see photos to make sure though.

      • MidnightSun December 10, 2016 4:49 pm #

        That would be sensible, but sadly debunked by Celestine going on Last Chance To Buy (and almost immediately sold out) 🙁

        • Sadclown December 11, 2016 9:17 pm #

          The old Shadowseers and Death Jesters were limited availability about the same time the new plastic Harlequins were being released. Perhaps it means new sisters really are coming soon?

        • hillshire December 11, 2016 9:51 pm #

          Well, according to a post on GW’s FB, Imperial Agents does replace the digital Sisters of Battle codex. So, St. Celestine has been killed and Sisters of Battle players are left hoping she resurrects or they’ve given up warlord.

          So far, there hasn’t been a single thing leaked that makes this book desirable. A formation where an Inquisitor can smorgasbord factions together into a single detachment could be good but so far there haven’t been any leaks confirming this is possible, let alone how it would work.

          But there have been some things which make this book undesirable so far: removing the only SoB named HQ (Jacobus doesn’t count, he’s a priest), losing servo skulls (quite useful when you don’t want to be washed over by White Scars grav shots Turn 1), and Acts of Faith still being once per game on a Ld test (although you can spend points to add more chances) while Traitor Legions are getting all kinds of fun new goodies.

          Really, my Chaos loving friends had fun reading through all their rumors last week of things they were getting while I’m reading about all the things I’m losing. So far, I am very disappointed with this release.

          I would much rather they had left the codexes alone and just offered a bunch of fun formations and objectives like Angels of Death. They could have easily made formations combining units from different factions as well as faction specific ones.

          So disappointed in GW after all of the cool releases that have been happening. There needs to be a lot of awesome yet to be revealed to turn this around.

    • AngryPanda December 10, 2016 12:43 pm #

      I want to mock them for it but I got nothing. They’ve gone way past any satire at this point.

  9. Mr Morden December 10, 2016 7:50 am #

    Thanks very much for the review – very helpful.

    Sadly this does seem to be mixture of good – a hardback version of rules, artwork and fluff and then major disappointment:

    As others have said, is the Adepta Sororitas army list is a replacement for the digital dex. If so its a major downgrade with the loss of St C in exchange for a couple of minor formations – one of which is for allies.

    The fact that all units in this dex retain their own faction is anther major swing and miss – unless the Inquisitor and friends can use y transport in the dex as “Inquisitorial Mandate” or similar rule.

    but once again if the review is correct and there are no other changes to the listing, the Sisters elelment is a major slap in the face to their players. Again.

  10. 1PlusArmour December 10, 2016 8:51 am #

    Disappointing. Losing Celestine and getting no real rule updates is frustrating. Losing Servo Skulls is a BIG change, too!

  11. Johnny December 10, 2016 9:11 am #

    Let’s hope her removal is a good thing and hopes of a new mini for her and rules in the actual sisters codex rumored to be in Q1, it’s happening anyway so let’s look on the bright side at least

  12. AngryPanda December 10, 2016 12:47 pm #

    I felt so sorry for those Sisters players that thought they’d get any real attention in this for the last few weeks.

  13. Dayone916 December 10, 2016 2:54 pm #

    This book sounds like complete trash… glad I read this article before preordering it.
    I went from extremely excited to borderline mad in regards to this release.
    How could they get traitor legions so right but this book so wrong?
    Swing and a miss gw

    • AngryPanda December 10, 2016 5:34 pm #

      Very glad for the review. The concept of the book sounded interested. A bit like a testing ground for combining Imp factions in the future?
      But this is just terrible.
      But then even Traitor Legions built on the 6th edition crap codex chaos. Maybe they’re just recycling stuff for some last minute cash ins before 8th.

  14. Adam (RUMBL) December 10, 2016 3:16 pm #

    Any word on which units are in there for GK? Sounds like 3 slots but no units?

    • Petey Pab December 10, 2016 9:50 pm #

      Any units with the grey knight faction

  15. Fagerlund December 10, 2016 3:54 pm #

    Wow, I don’t know what all of you angry people have been reading stuff to have had such high expectations? I think it was very clear from the beginning that this was going to be a copy-paste job…

    For me though, it looks really sweet. I’ve never intended to run a full army of either of these factions… just small warbands. So I’m really happy about being able to add a Killteam for my Ordo Xenos Inquisitor etc… 🙂

    • WestRider December 11, 2016 5:48 pm #

      Yeah, it’s really cool for people who just want to splash in a bit from one of these Factions. I do feel the Sororitas Players’ pain, tho. I know how that feels from back before I gave up on Nids.

  16. ryan bridges December 10, 2016 4:45 pm #

    Kind of head scratching really, after the home run GW hit with the Traitor Legions this books seems a bit meh and even unnecessary. That being said, it’s still a cool addition and may have some hidden gems. Plus the sisters could be updated .

  17. Deathwhisper December 10, 2016 6:23 pm #

    Let’s look at this from a sales perspective. When I read this review said had info on grey knights termis and dread knights, how about kal D? If he wasn’t posted, and St C wasn’t posted…
    I’d lean that they just added SoB hit squads etc to clear out those old models. And that when the stocks of pewter are cleared out, the plastic parade will be in. I wouldn’t be calling it quits on the o’l girls yet. This would be one of their ways to clear out the old stocks then put out new candy for us to buy more again. Notice how it seemed to be a bunch of bonus detachments and not full fledged.

  18. C-Stock December 10, 2016 6:53 pm #

    Not updating Sisters (except by removing their heroine) is the saddest, laziest thing I’ve seen GW do in ages. I’m floored.

  19. Adam Vollrath December 10, 2016 8:50 pm #

    Good review, thank you.

    Will ITC players have the option to play from the older codices, especially Inquisition and Sisters? Or are servo-skulls and Celestine gone forever?

    And yeah, can anyone board those Valkyries? Seems silly otherwise.

    • Petey Pab December 10, 2016 9:52 pm #

      The valkyries are their own faction.

    • Jesper77 December 11, 2016 5:17 am #

      These are the new official rules for SoB. Why wouldnt they be the one to be played with? Like a DE player wanting the Baron and choose to play with a older codex.

      • Incarnant December 13, 2016 12:17 am #

        Because it’s not a replacement for Deathwatch, Grey Knights, etc?

        Weirdest book release in a long time.

    • Chris December 11, 2016 8:04 am #

      If Servo Skulls are gone it probably means my Inquisitor is going back on the shelf 🙁

  20. wintertalon December 11, 2016 9:12 am #

    Yes no Servo Sku

  21. Derek December 11, 2016 8:35 pm #

    Can each faction share each other’s transports? Such as a unit of sisters in grey knight land raider?

  22. Duz_ December 12, 2016 4:31 am #

    The inquisition Ebook is still for sale though on BL
    There’s servo skulls in there. 😉

    What did they change for the assassins?

  23. AbaddonAZ December 12, 2016 8:30 am #

    I just went from Really Excited to. Meh… I guess I just saved $40. I was really hoping for something exciting to give me a reason to paint all of this SoB stuff I’ve had Nib for years. Maybe we’ll get a battle Report that’ll change my mind. Holding my final judgment for now.

  24. O'shas'var December 13, 2016 4:28 am #

    I would like if GW does more of this style of codex. Personally, I would like to see a codex for tau auxiliaries (basically, more kroot and vespid units, in addition to new ones (Morralians, Gue’Vesa, Pakasar, etc.) Each species would have their own warlord traits, special rules, formations and wargear.

    Just an idea.

  25. Relorian December 14, 2016 11:09 am #

    So i am extremely disappointed. As a hard core Sisters player I was counting on this update to finally give me something to pin my hopes to. Instead i’m now pondering leaving Warhammer altogether. Removal of St. Celestine is really the last straw in destroying Sisters as a playable stand-alone army. The Cannoness is basically unused due to it being so bland for a commander and Jacobus is nothing but a priest and should be part of the Inquisition codex, Not sisters of battle.

    For years GW stated that soon the Sisters would get their day in the light… clearly this is NOT that day nor do I believe there will be anything updated coming next year or in the future editions. They might as well Squat us at this point in time instead of giving us just enough to linger on with no hope of being a real army again or getting any real rules clarity or updates.

    I guess on the plus side thats 40.00 more that I can spend on christmas and I’ll have a nice limited edition cannoness to hock on ebay when it arrives.

  26. Relorian December 14, 2016 6:55 pm #

    So I may have spoken all too soon. I fired off a very polite rage letter to GW and I got the following reply:

    Thanks for writing in to us. Both the existing digital Codex: Adepta Sororitas and the upcoming Codex: Imperial Agents will allow you to field Sisters of Battle. The army list in Codex: Imperial Agents doesn’t replace the Digital Codex. St. Celestine can still be fielded in a Adepta Sororitas Detachment, but not an Imperial Agents Detachment. Similarly, Kaldor Draigo of the Grey Knights doesn’t appear in Imperial Agents (only a very small selection of Grey Knights and Deathwatch are available).

    • Dakkath December 14, 2016 9:39 pm #

      On the one hand, that’s really reassuring. On the other, this is not the first time in recent months that GW’s said, “You can use either version of the army list”. It feels like it’s setting a bad precedent. At the very least it’s confusing, are we not supposed to be using the latest version of any given army list/unit entry/datasheet?

      • Relorian December 15, 2016 9:37 am #

        Given that the Sisters portion is a direct copy/paste from the digital codex im guessing both will be the current codex.

        I also on a whim asked them if we would ever see Sister Ephrael Stern and got an ambiguous answer that if they add new models she is a very real possibility based on lore.

  27. Keith December 19, 2016 10:28 pm #

    What changed about the Culexus?

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