Pariah: The INQUISITION Review No One Expected

I’ll show myself out after that title.

In all seriousness, though this review isn’t going to be a full review of the Inquisition rules, I’m going to point out changes, and review anything new. If the rule is largely unchanged I would check out our friends at Goonhammer’s review of them here.

Part One: Base Rules

In the index the base rules were called “Index Inquisition”, now they are called “Limitless Authority”. Everything is mostly the same. They still have their psychic powers, warlord traits, relics, and stratagems. The big change here is the addition of the “Agent of the Imperium” keyword added to Inquisitors and it’s a fairly significant change.

First off lets look at what it does:

“You can include one AGENT OF THE IMPERIUM unit in each IMPERIUM (excluding FALLEN) Patrol, Battalion and Brigade Detachment in your army without those units taking up slots in those Detachments. The inclusion of an AGENT OF THE IMPERIUM unit does not prevent other units from their Detachment from benefiting from Detachment abilities (e.g. Chapter Tactics, Defenders of Humanity, etc.), and it does not prevent other units from your army from benefiting from abilities that require every model in your army to have that ability (e.g. Combat Doctrines, etc.). An AGENT OF THE IMPERIUM unit included in a Patrol, Battalion or Brigade Detachment in this manner is ignored for any rules that state all units from that Detachment must have at least one Faction keyword in common (e.g. in a matched play game), and when determining your Army Faction.”

On a base level this seems harmless, it just allows you to take an inquisitor in any imperium as a slotless HQ choice, as you could before. This is all fine, dandy, and very lore centric. For those of you paying attention this should feel oddly familiar as Assassin’s in “War of the Spider” also received the “Agent Of The Imperium” keyword with the same limitations on it.

This is relevant because it prevents you from taking an Inquisitor and an Assassin in the same detachment. For those of you dreaming about playing an Inquisitor and Assassin in your single battalion army come 9th, keep dreaming.

Other than the new “Agent of the Imperium” keyword all other rules regarding taking an Inquisitor are the same, you can still only have one Inquisitor in any Inquisition Detachment, just like the Index. Quarry works the same as does the “Authority of the Inquisition” rule. It would have been a great day if they got a rule allowing them to purchase any imperial transport in an Inquisition detachment to make up for the lack of transport options in the book but alas today is not that day.

Moving along we get to the Inquisitors themselves:

Part Two: The Units

The biggest change, as stated above, is that all the Inquisitors themselves gain the “Agent of the Imperium” keyword. Other than that Inquisitor Greyfax, Inquisitor Coteaz, Inquisitor Karamazov, Inquisitor Eistenhorn, Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, Inquisitors, Jokero Weaponsmith, Acolytes, and Daemonhosts are the same as before.

The largest change here is the addition of Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus. She has all the normal Inquisitor rules such as Authority of the Inquisition, Quarry, Unquestionable Wisdom, and a Refractor Field (5++). She is also an Order Xeno Inquisitor and has the Radical Warlord Trait. Here are her special rules:

Image Credit Games Workshop
Image Credit Games Workshop
Image Credit Games Workshop
Image Credit Games Workshop

All for the low low price of 80 points (8th edition anyway). While I have yet to take an Inquisitor in any of my lists I would be considering Draxus if it wasn’t for new “Super Psycher” Inquisitor (I’ll talk more about this in the combos section of this piece). Targeted smite is very powerful as is the ability to make something fight last. Yeah it’s only one unit, you have to be in combat with them, and you have to charge, but the ability to possibly shut down a large of Custodies, Grey Knight Terminators, or Mortarion can’t be understated. Furthermore with how punishing 9th looks to be moral wise being able to use her leadership of 9 on friendly units within 6″ could come in handy. I would always buy her warlord trait of Radical. She always wants to get a smite off and be in combat. A free reroll once per battle round of a psychic test or save can be clutch.

I do have two grips with her though. My first is that she’s only leadership 9. Greyfax, Coetez, Karamazov, and Eistenhorn are all leadership 10. She is the only named Inquisitor that is not leadership 10, which feels even funkier as she is also the only currently playable Lord Inquisitor.

My second grip with her is that she can only cast and deny one power from the “Telethesia discipline”. There are some gems in there but you are mostly going to want to cast smite with her. While there is a new stratagem to fix this, it doesn’t work on named characters.

Part Three: The Stratagems

The index has 4 stratagems, the new rules have 6, giving the Inquisition 2 more stratagems than before. All the index stratagems got renamed for some secretive reason. They are the same otherwise though. Below are their new names:

“Cyclonic Torpedo” got renamed to “Execution Bombardment”. I can only assume they made this change because someone on their rules writing team kept saying they were going to use the Sharknado stratagem.

“Inquisitorial Mandate” got renamed to “Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will” which is way cooler sounding. I want to use this stratagem alone based on its new name which can only mean that’s the reason they changed it.

“Seize for Interrogation” got renamed to “Strategic Excruciation”. I assume this change is a very British joke and reference to how wallets feel after buying all these Psychic Awakening books.

In the last of the great Inquisition stratagem name changing of 2020 “Requisition” got changed to “To The Exclusion Of All Else…”. All I’m going to say about this one is that name of this stratagem would make a great name for an angsty emo album.

The New Stratagems:

“Alpha-Class Psyker” is a 1CP new stratagem – Use this Stratagem before the battle. Select one PSYKER INQUISITOR model from your army that is not a named character. This model knows one additional psychic power from the Telethesia discipline, and can attempt to deny one additional psychic power in your opponent’s Psychic phase. You can only use this Stratagem once per battle.

I like this one. I think it’s phenomenal and when we get to the “Combos” section of this piece you’ll see why. It opens up a lot of cool options. It’s a bit of a bummer though you can’t use it on a named character but when by the time you’re done reading this article you probably won’t want to.

The second new stratagem is called “Clandestine Operation”. It costs 1CP. Heres what it does:

Use this Stratagem during deployment. Select one INFANTRY INQUISITOR unit and up to one ACOLYTE, up to one DAEMONHOST, and up to one JOKAERO units. These units can be set up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9″ away from any enemy deployment zones, but all models set up in this way must be set up within 6″ of the selected INQUISITOR unit. You can only use this stratagem once per battle.

This one actually could be great but with how detachments work in 9th I don’t see any value in spending 2-3CP in taking an Inquisition detachment. If you want to spend 1CP to play your fragile Inquisitor anywhere on the board cool, just don’t expect them to live very long unless you have something nearby to protect them. Furthermore, now that you can spend CP to outflank units (in 9th) this just doesn’t feel worth the use.

This could have some play if you wanted to throw an Inquisitor in your opponents face in the hopes of shutting down a key psychic early at the expense of 1CP and your unit. You could also use it to counter something like Scouts or Nurglings. In either case, though hopefully there will be terrain to hide in and your opponent doesn’t have any ordinance so you don’t just feed them an easy kill.

Part Four: Warlord Traits

Other than adding Draxus and giving her the “Radical” Warlord trait there are no changes here. Moving on. Nothing to see.

Part Six: Telethesia Discipline

The only changes here are in name only (I really should have seen myself out ages ago…).

“Ascertainment” was changed to “Scouring” probably because no one could pronounce it.

“Power Through Knowledge” was changed to “Incantation” most likely due to the fact that the knowledge is dangerous commodity in the Imperium.

Part Five: Relics

The only change here is that “Bio-Corrosive Poisons” was renamed to “Universal Anathema”. I have nothing witty to say about this name change because I like it. It could mostly be due to the fact that one of my favorite albums is Eternity by Anathema. The whole album is a bit of a deep cut but if you like progressive goth rock you should check it out.

Image Credit Games Workshop, White Dwarf November 2019.


There is only one combo worth talking about and I touched on it in the stratagem section. I don’t have a clever name for it other than “Super Psyker”. To pull this off, you need to take an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, make them a Psyker, buy them their Ordo Warlord Trait – “Psychic Mastery”, and use the “Alpha-Level Psyker” stratagem on them. For 2cp and 55 points, you gain access to 3 casts/denies, 3 powers from the “Telethesia Discipline”, and a relic.

Relic wise they are all kind of duds but since you get it for “free” with the “Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will” stratagem you might as well take one. I would take “Blackshroud” to make them a little more survivable in the chance that something does hit them.

Powers wise I would take “Terrify”, even with the overwatch changes, “Mental Interrogation” for the chance at a command point, and “Castigation” so you can dish out 2d3 mortal wounds a turn.

If you wanted to get cheeky and had the points to spare you could make your Inquisitor a Terminator Inquisitor for the extra wound and 2+ save. If you do, combined with the relic “Blackshroud” they will be more survivable than people expect.

Finally if do you take an Ordo Malleus Terminator Inquisitor I would strongly think about taking a Psi-Cannon and swapping out “Terrify” for “Psychic Pursuit” for a character hunter. Some armies don’t have access to snipers (I’m looking at you Adepta Sororitas…) and this combo gives you one with a bit of risk in pulling it off.

Wrapping Up

What I do really like about it the update is the “Super Psyker”. Being able to slot in 3 casts/denies and/or a character hunter for under 110 points either way (once again 8th edition points) does fill some holes in certain imperial armies. With a massive change to single detachment armies being able to cover a major weakness with almost no downside can’t be understated.

On a whole though this updated book feels like a bit of a waste. The bulk majority of rules content in Pariah is the Inquisition stuff and it’s mostly a rehash of what we’ve seen before. It kind of feels as if the name changes, two new stratagems, and Draxus were created just so they had a reason to put the Inquisition in Psychic Awakening. I would say it’s worth buying the book if you didn’t get your hands on the semi-limited edition printed White Dwarf with the Inquisition rules in it but for some reason that’s one of the White Dwarf’s you were able to get digitally.

If you’re interested in joining the GDFC Discord Community, please reach out to us at You can check out our latest content on our YouTube channel, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Spotify, and follow us on the typical social platforms for all the latest releases from the GDFC team.