Carthax Wiki

What is Inquisitor?[]

Inquisitor is a narrative wargame, focused primarily around the conflicts of the Holy Inquisition, either amongst its own ranks or against the enemies of mankind. Unlike the core game of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, it is not about "the front-line of mud and gas and behemoth engines" (to quote the foreword from Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn), but is instead set amongst the internal and domestic complexities of the Imperium - shadow wars where good, evil, right and wrong all merge into indistinct shades of grey.

If you have read the Eisenhorn series, you will already be familiar with the concept of an Inquisitor and his closest allies striving against these more subtle (but no less dangerous) threats to the Imperium, with their reward often to die alone and unremembered by the billions of citizens they may have saved from the encroaching dark.

Inquisitor is your chance to tell the dramatic, daring (and sometimes clumsy) stories of these unsung heroes.

Of course, you could just play Inquisitor as a highly detailed skirmish game, but generally you'll find that without the story element, players will get bored and go back to games like Necromunda and Kill-team which are designed with these small scale skirmishes in mind. A good Inquisitor campaign will have players desperate to find out what's going to happen next, and often as the characters develop the story will flow organically from one game to the next.

What kinds of characters can I play?[]

I want to play as the Imperium[]


The most common approach is for a player's "warband" to be centred around a powerful and independent individual within the Imperium such as an Inquisitor, Rogue Trader or Tech-Priests, accompanied by allies ranging between warriors, savants, astropaths, thieves, servitors or any other possibility you can imagine.

As in Abnett's novels, these characters are very often not from the military, nor are they famed heroes; they are simply any man or woman who has the skills and courage to fight in the Battle for the Emperor's Soul - a war not always fought with guns and blades, but just as often minds.

Although an Inquisitor can easily recruit familiar archetypes like a Stormtrooper, Battle Sister or Imperial Guard Sniper, with Inquisitor you're not restricted by army lists and codexes, and half the fun is to let your imagination run wild and explore new corners of the universe.

Can I play as a Space Marine?[]

Yes, although the warning is that Inquisitor lets them live up to their superhuman reputation.

A Space Marine crashing through walls and hurling Xenos scum off rooftops is exactly the kind of highly cinematic action that Inquisitor loves, but an Astartes will almost always set the tone of any scenario in which they appear, whether the GM wants it or not. They are also an odd fit in many common scenario concepts. Imagine a Space Marine asking around a marketplace for clues about the whereabouts of a missing soothsayer!

Battle Brothers belong on battlefields, so it's generally recommended that the Gamesmaster make their assistance something that is requisitioned for special or combat-heavy scenarios, rather than something available on a permanent basis.

Of course, Space Marine chapters have other resources at their disposal should a player wish to play with such a warband theme - a Chapter Master might from time to time dispatch trusted Chapter Serfs (perhaps accompanied by a failed Neophyte or servitor) on some secret mission that doesn't (yet) merit the intervention of a Battle Brother.

In Warhammer 40k I play Chaos/Orks/Eldar/Necrons/Tau etc, can I use them in Inquisitor?[]


Chaos players will find it easy to fit a warband into a game of Inquisitor. They could play a warband consisting of a Cult Magos attempting to overthrow Imperial rule; or as an Inquisitor who has delved too deeply into the forbidden and succumbed to the power offered to him by the Dark Gods.


With Inquisitor generally being Imperium-centric, it can require a little more thought to run a xenos-themed warband, but it is far from impossible.

  • Tyranids - Genestealer cults are tailor-made for Inquisitor. A warband might include the Cult Magos, a hybrid and a brood brother. Other options include the sad deluded fools who have come to worship the Great Devourer.
  • Eldar - However, the prescient powers of Eldar seers can lead them to dispatch agents into the Imperium. As Eldar possess inhuman skill and physique, their warbands will typically have fewer members, very often outcasts such as Pirates and Rangers.
  • Dark Eldar - Dark Eldar are known to sponsor anti-Imperial cults, and the Imperium is often a pawn in a ploy to rise through the ranks of Commorragh. A possible Dark Eldar warband might include a Haemonculus with a couple of his creations.
  • Necrons - Necrons are not generally well suited to Inquisitor, being either extremely powerful or mindless automatons. However, there are rumours that some within the Adeptus Mechanicus worship an ancient God who is buried beneath the sands of Mars...
  • Tau - The Tau Empire has made many attempts to bring Imperial worlds into the Greater Good without resorting to force. Some human Gue'vesa renegades commanded by a Water Caste envoy would make a great warband, perhaps supported by an Earth Caste engineer. But the Tau are not beyond covert operations either - how about a secretive Fire Caste black ops character accompanied by reconnaissance drones?
  • Orks - Orks will usually care little for the subtle plots and intrigue that are the staple of Inquisitor campaigns. However, more open-minded Inquisitors or Rogue Traders may well acquire the services of Ork Freebooterz.

How do I know whether my warband is balanced or fair if there are no points values?[]

Good intentions are the best start.

Think of Inquisitor as being like an action movie; Die Hard is exciting because Bruce Willis is one man (who doesn't even have his shoes) against a whole building full of terrorists. When he wins in the end, we all cheer because we watched him strive to overcome the odds. If Die Hard had starred Batman instead of John McClane it'd have been over before the opening credits and we'd all be waiting for the real villain to turn up and make it a real challenge.

It may be that your first drafts will need adjustments (either by you or your Games Master, but more about him later), but Inquisitor is not about perfectly balanced teams fighting to the death and some games may well be won through use of brains rather than brawn. You will with time get a better sense of what will be interesting and fair in game; don't be embarrassed if you get it wrong - even veteran players have to take a red pen to their latest character sheets on occasion!

For more details on balancing characters, see the Conclave Standard page. [1]

How much does it cost to get started?[]

Not much. The rulebook is free (see below) and the game needs only a few characters per player. Of course, as with all of these things, you may find that you then end up with a collection of many dozens of characters!

As a general rule, a single Inquisitor miniature is about equivalent to a squad in 40k, both in terms of their effect on the game and the amount of time you'll spend converting and painting them.

It's all a matter of scale[]

Dual scale

While Inquisitor was originally released as a 54mm game, 28mm scale Inquisitor, often referred to as INQ28[2], has also become highly popular in recent years. It uses the same rules (with centimetres or half inches as the game's 'yard')

Both scales are equally valid and should both be encouraged! Inquisitor presents a fantastic gaming and modelling opportunity whatever size your models may be.

Playing at 28mm[]

28mm scale Inquisitor capitalises on the ever-expanding Games Workshop 28mm range and the large number of other miniature suppliers that producing cyber-punk and techno-gothic miniatures, giving a very broad spectrum of models to work with.

The rapidly expanding GW plastics range offers a lot. The Warhammer 40,000 range has Scions, Skitarii, Kabalites and Wyches, with the Age of Sigmar Stormcast often providing excellent armoured models and the relaunched Necromunda range being a treasure trove of non-military characters (the Forge World Scum and Bounty Hunters are also worth a look) - all great kits that can be combined in amazing and creative fashions, with the only limit being the modeller's imagination. If you've read Blanchitsu over the last year or three, you've probably seen some fantastic examples of this kind of modelling.

The scale is also a little more frugal on space, with a board of just two or three feet per side very comfortably sized for many 28mm games.

The only real consideration is to keep players from being tempted to use models from their existing armies. While a squad of guardsmen may be valid bystanders in certain scenarios, Terminator Librarians probably aren't!

If you are looking for more information on Inq28, Molotov's Inq28 Blog and the INQ28 section on Ammobunker are both excellent resources for anyone considering playing Inquisitor at 28mm.

Playing at 54mm[]

The larger 54mm scale permits more detailed miniatures, is somewhat iconic of the game and is something of a contrast from the impersonal little grunts that die in droves during games of WH40K.

Naturally, modelling is a different experience. The larger scale means parts can be either less fiddly or more detailed, and many people feel more confident in their converting, sculpting and painting skills when working at the larger scale.

Although GW's own 54mm Inquisitor range is now only available second-hand (usually via auction websites), there is still a huge range of non-GW models that can be converted to fit into the 41st millennium - many of the parts designed for the 'heroic' proportions of the 28mm range work very well on less exaggerated 54mm models. Some alternate manufacturers include Andrea Miniatures, Pegaso Miniatures and Romeo Models. In addition, companies like Tamiya and Airfix do 1/32 military miniatures which are a good source of cheap NPC goons. (A list of manufacturers and retailers of alternative 54mm models which can be found on the modelling resources page).

A lot of people are put off from 54mm by terrain, but this is less of an issue than most would assume. Most of the buildings available from GW are already designed to work with large 40mm based infantry (Ork Warbosses, Tau Battlesuits, etc) making these buildings a suitable size for 54mm models. And when it comes to hills, rocks and trees, these naturally come in many different sizes. If you're one of those people who prefers to make their own terrain, then with a bit of thought, it's easy to make terrain that will work perfectly well for both 54mm and 28mm. After all, the Imperium is home to both grand gothic architecture and cramped hive cities.

Isn't Inquisitor a dead game since Specialist Games closed?[]

As long as players continue to play Inquisitor, then it won't die. The game is probably low on the priority list for the relaunch of Specialist Games and gets little official support from GW - but for those of you who read Blanchitsu, you've already been exposed to the work of the Inquisitor community! Many of the models from these articles were converted for use in Inquisitor.

There is a hard core of dedicated players who have taken on the mantle of support, and in many ways this has worked to benefit Inquisitor. Unlike most games, the Inquisitor ruleset is designed to be treated as little more than a set of guidelines for players to take and expand as they see fit, and for this reason the distinction between 'official' material produced by GW and 'unofficial' community-produced material is essentially meaningless.

The fan community is still producing new rules and background material for the game, in the form of new rules, scenarios and more - some of it can be found here on this very wiki, but Dark Magenta have also published many articles in their online fanzine and have also started to published sourcebook detailing some of the many factions of the Inquisition (in the same manner as the Thorian Sourcebook published by GW).

A group of fans have also started work on overhauling the ruleset with the intention of creating a second "fan edition" of Inquisitor - these plans are still in the development stages, but you are welcome to get involved in that process!

The rules look complicated - don't games take forever to play?[]

New players can feel overwhelmed when they first read the rulebook - There are a lot of rules and loads of modifiers.

Don't worry - as with most games, the rules are a lot simpler than they first appear. You probably will find yourself referring to the rulebook quite a bit at first, but almost all of the charts you need are collected together on a single A4 reference sheet.


The most important thing to remember is to have fun; if the rules are getting in the way of either the story or your enjoyment, then do what most experienced players do and ignore them! The GM is there to arbitrate the game and to make sure it's enjoyable - if a player wants their character to do something that's risky and exciting, then the GM isn't there to punish him by imposing stiff penalties. In fact he probably ought to give them a good chance of success (even if it means ignoring a few rules), because a game where characters heroically leap between buildings, dive through plate glass windows and swing across bottomless pits is more fun than one in which everyone cautiously skulks around and never does anything remotely dangerous.

One mistake that newcomers often make is to have too many characters on the table - this is understandable if they're more used to playing whole armies in 40k, but it slows the game down to a crawl. A good rule of thumb for a fast paced and fun game is for each player to have 2 to 4 characters, and for there to not generally be more than about 10 or 12 characters in total, some of which may be NPCs controlled by the GM.

If you're still feeling overwhelmed, issue 1 of Dark Magenta contains a great set of 'training' scenarios designed for the express purpose of learning the rules.

Okay, I'm interested - what should I do next?[]

Well, the first thing to do is get hold of a copy of the rulebook. While the game's support has been withdrawn from the GW website, rulebooks can still be found second-hand or the Living Rulebook (or LRB for short) is still available via the Official GW Files section of "The Skoll Archive", a fan run repository for Inquisitor game material. The Living Rulebook contains all the rules in the bought version (in fact it's a more up-to-date version of the rules), but does not include the colour sections showing pictures of the models or designer notes.

On this page of the wiki you can find links to download the unofficial Amalathian, Istvaanian, Recongregator and Xanthite Sourcebooks, as well as links to Dark Magenta and other fan articles.

The Conclave is the only online forum completely dedicated to Inquisitor, and is a great place to discuss the game and find other players. However, The Ammobunker forums also have a thriving section dedicated to 28mm Inquisitor.

If neither of these suit you, there are other forums where Inquisitor is discussed (although they can be pretty quiet) - Warseer is probably the most active, but there are also a few Inquisitor players at 40kForums, Bolter & Chainsword, Heresy-Online and Librarium-Online (to name but a few). Whichever way, finding other players is not difficult.

In addition, members of The Conclave organise regular gaming days at Warhammer World (including the annual Inquisitor Grand Tournament) and new players are always welcome.


  1. Players may also notice the "Ready Reckoner" at the back of the rulebook - a system that purports to assign points values to characters. However, while such an idea may seem useful, its use is not recommended. It is unreliable and encourages "min-max" character creation.
  2. Note that "INQ28" is also used to refer to the general aesthetic of 28mm scale Inquisition themed gaming, rather necessarily any a specific ruleset. For example, rulesets such as Inquisimunda and Kill Team.