This article is a part of a series called “Dredging the Grimdark” that reviews how you can use old, out of production (OOP) Citadel models or odd fluff armies in your games of 7th Edition Warhammer 40k. In this edition, we will be looking into how you can represent the Adeptus Arbites on the table top. Have a favorite mini or fluff concept you’d like to play with on the table? Let me know and it could be the focus of a post down the line.
I remember the first time I saw Judge Dredd. My parents wouldn’t let me watch R rated movies at home (I missed seeing Starship Troopers in theaters. THANKS, MOM!!!) so I would go over to my buddy Bobby’s house and we would pick them out of his parent’s crazy collection of VHS tapes. This is how I saw Aliens, Predator, and eventually Judge Dredd. Something about that movie stuck with me. Is this my future? Will Sylvester Stalone be some sci-fi cop chasing me down with a machine gun motorcycle while fighting his twin and a robot? Is that a real job? The answer, according to my terrified middle school guidance counselor, was no.
|“I am the Facilities Manager!” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.|
Fast forward to the real future, and it’s not so exciting. No Mega-City One, no mutant hillbillies, and less Diane Lane. Luckily, we have Warhammer to distract us. Well, good news! You can relive all of your Judge Dredd fantasies while playing with toy soldiers. Wait, GW still has rules for the venerable Adeptus Arbites in 7th Edition, right? Lexicanum
, help a brother out:
Lame. This is the type of stuff that annoys me about GW. Not D Weapons or Meta Lists, it’s how they kill the rules for important parts of their history because they don’t have new models to sell. They need to get over that. Imagine how popular a couple single pose plastic casts of OOP models would be. They could call them Games Workshop Relics and release them on a quarterly basis. I’d buy them, and I bet you would too. They could start with Sisters of Battle. No new models, just new plastic single casts. They would fly off the shelves, like so many Flyrants at the LVO.
Ok, pretend that someone at GW reads this blog post. They bring the idea to the war room and it gets the go-ahead. They put a poll up on their website and fancy new app (which is cool, by the way), and let people decide which OOP metals will be re-cast as single piece plastic models. Hell, they could just do a Kickstarter and offer up different kits for hitting different goals. You pay $100 and you get ten Sisters of Battle in three poses (including a flamer and heavy flamer, five Seraphim in three poses, and three characters of your choice. Who wouldn’t do that! And, that frees up designers to work on new projects. The best of both worlds.
I mean, this was a huge part of GW business early on (even today when you it think about their snap-fit starter boxes). My guess is that they assume that more hardcore hobbyists need/require a more complex kit. But, I really feel like this business model discounts your avid OOP fans. Thank goodness for Bartertown, eBay, and swap meets for still giving people like me access to these models. Don’t get me wrong, I love the extremely detailed new models, I just prefer the look of the originals. I’d be interested to hear what you all think about this. Do you prefer the older models or the newer models? Are there any OOP models you would buy if they were just snap-fit or single cast plastics?
Anyway. Rather than bitch and moan about a lack of official rules for the Adeptus Arbites, I decided to find some existing rules that I felt fit the fluff of these future space cops. In my searches, I found that this is still a really beloved army in 40k. So, if you decide to take this on know that there are a lot of good resources in the community. And, you can be one of the good guys fighting to bring the soul of this game we love back to the table top. One summary execution at a time.
Option One: A Kickass Homebrew Codex
There are a lot of people that love this game. Then, there is Matthew Forish and his beautiful homebrew Adeptus Arbites codex. You can check it out here
. Now, this isn’t in keeping with my own rules for Dredging the Grimdark. But, after reading through it I felt like I had to include it. You’ll need to pass this by your opponent, but you could build an entire list out of this book. And, the rules are great. My favorite is Maul Proficiency
on the Arbites Judge. Also a really awesome collection of pictures and fluff. Check it out!
Option Two: The Inquisition Codex
Ah, old reliable. I am 99% positive that this codex was written for people like me so we wouldn’t show up in Nottingham with torches in bad Space Wolves cosplay. It is a real toolkit of rules that you can use to create nearly any Imperial army for games of 40k. They key to Arbites is shotguns and maces, and this codex has both. I would focus on Crusaders (Storm Shield and Power Maul) with some Acolytes in carapace with shotguns and some special weapons to represent your basic Arbitrator. Throw in some converted Rhinos and add 6s to taste.
Option Three: The Space Marine Codex
The biggest issue I have with using the Space Marine’s codex is T4. You should be using Scouts, with shotguns and maybe a bolter or two, but the Arbites are just good old fashioned humans. Granted, fudging the narrative a bit isn’t that big of a deal. I mean, Sly Stalone has got to be AT LEAST T5! Right? I’d call them an Execution Squad, due to their ability to infiltrate. And, it’s not too much of a stretch to run a Captain as a Judge. Just make sure to model him accordingly. Great if you are playing Space Marines, as you won’t need to ally.
The model line for Arbites is awesome. It perfectly captures what they represent in the game, along with that classic Oldhammer style. eBay
is your friend here, and you can find some good deals on the original models. If you decided to convert them on your own, I’d start with Space Marine Scouts and just find some cool looking heads (I’d suggest the Forge World Elysians). There is also a Judge Dredd Miniatures Game
, and I could see using some of these models for your forces. I assume the scale is 25mm, so they might be a bit short compared to more modern models. But, if you are using OOP Arbites, it should be a-ok.
Until next time!