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Arbitrators in Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

Adeptus Arbites Kill Team game homegrown rules

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#1
Brother Tyler

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(With thanks to Ioldanach for the nifty template)
 
Below are an initial draft of rules for using the Adeptus Arbites in your games of Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. I've drawn upon the 3rd (? - 1999) edition Warhammer 40,000 rules for the Adeptus Arbites that appeared in issue 29 of the Citadel Journal and the 2nd edition Necromunda rules for Enforcers, as well as both editions of Fantasy Flight Games Dark Heresy RPG (especially The Book of Judgment), the Inquisitor game, and online research at Lexicanum and the 40K Wikia. It should also be noted that later editions of Warhammer 40,000 have included rules for representing the Adeptus Arbites, usually through the rules for [Inquisitorial] Stormtroopers and the Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum (equipping models with shotguns and using certain doctrines).

One principle I've drawn upon is the rules being limited to the options in the box. However, there were two ranges of models. The first were the 2nd edition Adeptus Arbites models and the second were the Necromunda Enforcers models. So there's a little wiggle room.

Adeptus Arbites models:
Hidden Content

Enforcers models:
Hidden Content

Page 1 (introduction)
Hidden Content

(Pages 2-4 are a work in progress, and none affect actual rules, so I've omitted them for now.)
 
Page 5 (Crowd Control Grenade rules, Adeptus Arbites faction tactics)
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Page 6 (Adeptus Arbites kill team options)
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Page 7 (Adeptus Arbites weapons, equipment, and costs)
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Page 8 (Adeptus Arbites commander option)
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I've used the Tempestor Scions rules as a baseline. Most of the weapons/wargear had rules in other factions (including Genestealer Cults), so the only ones that have had to be created are those in red text. As much as possible, I drew upon the Necromunda Enforcer rules.

The Crowd Control Grenades rule is sort of an experiment, and I'm not certain about it. I didn't want to use Voice of Command as that would have just made the Adeptus Arbites into Astra Militarum. When working on the weapons/wargear rules, I found that using the different grenades took too much room, breaking the format example of the official rules. Also, the standard grenade rules in Kill Team are much too simple. Envisioning a riot control situation (which should be pretty common to the Adeptus Arbites), I could see a line of Arbitrators throwing grenades to disorient and disrupt a crowd of rioters (or heretics, or cultists, or whatever). So I decided to see if I could take the 2nd edition Necromunda rules, streamline them a bit (going with only 3 of the possible grenade types), and turn them into a rule unique to the Adeptus Arbites. The first draft was a bit too powerful in my opinion, so I adjusted it by limiting it to one Arbitrator per turn (not counting the Tactic, which came later) and incorporating the randomness of the scatter dice (which don't exist in Kill Team) by allowing the opponent to move the grenade marker a random distance away. Aside from that, the rules for the grenades are fairly faithful to the Necromunda rules (in fact, I think I still need to make some adjustments to get some terminology fixed).

Two of the Tactics are copied from existing factions. I originally had four from Astra Militarum, Genestealer Cults (maybe - I know I looked at them), and T'au, but I removed two when I came up with the two Adeptus Arbites unique Tactics (Crowd Control enhances the Crowd Control Grenades rule and Lockshield represents the Adeptus Arbites locking their shields in a riot control situation). The commander tactic was stolen borrowed from the Astra Militarum.

Since the Arbitrator stat line is essentially that of the Tempestor Scions, I originally used the same points value. I reduced that by 1, though, when I changed the starting pistol from a bolt pistol to a laspistol (and assigned the bolt pistol a cost of 1). It comes down to the difference between a laspistol, power maul, and crowd control grenades versus a hot-shot lasgun and frag grenades. If playtesting shows that the stock Arbitrator is equal to the stock Tempestor Scion, I'll probably re-adjust (un-adjust?) the costs.

As far as the missing pages go, I'm working on an extensive set of tables for names. Since the Arbitrators are recruited from across the Imperium, members of the same Precinct House might evidence a variety of names. So I'm working on eight tables representing four additional regiments of the Astra Militarum and four "generic" other worlds (using real world names for different areas of our world to get more variety). The problem here is that my old computer crashes when I sit too long on certain websites (usually those with adds), and the various online lists of popular surnames tend to be on such sites. The recommendation for names will also suggest using the Adeptus Astartes name charts. Overall, it wouldn't be inappropriate to use take 1 or 2 names from each of the Imperium faction charts, giving your Adeptus Arbites team diverse names.

And it should be noted that this set of rules is a means to an end. It's part of a larger effort to actually get my Hive of the Dead Project (Last Days of Demaras Tertius and Operation: Manala) moving somewhere in the direction of "complete." I've been adjusting from what you see in those linked topics. The Adeptus Arbites come in as a last stage of the Last Days of Demaras Tertius campaign and lead in to Operation: Manala. Imagine taking a lone Arbitrator, short on ammunition, through a gauntlet of zombies, the intel he has vital to the Imperium's effort against the zombie plague. My concept is to use that as a sort of demo game. But I need to get baseline Adeptus Arbites rules down first. This is where you come in, providing input to improve these rules.
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#2
Chaplain Dosjetka

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The part that needs a bit of clarification for me is: do crowd control grenades count as being a weapon with the Grenade-type when thrown (and so don't suffer the -1 to hit at more than half range) and as an Assault-type weapon when shot with the grenade launcher (thus having -1 on the to-hit roll at distances greater than 12")?

 

Also, is there any particular reason why there are so few Gunners? In 100-point games it should be OK (though I would like to have 3-4 Gunners ideally) however in higher point games only having access to two special/heavy weapons, when other teams usually have access to up to four, could really penalise the Arbitrators.


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Accept all challenges, no matter the odds. | You carry the Emperor's will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows. | Suffer not the Heretic to live. | Abhor the Typo.

 


#3
Brother Tyler

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The part that needs a bit of clarification for me is: do crowd control grenades count as being a weapon with the Grenade-type when thrown (and so don't suffer the -1 to hit at more than half range) and as an Assault-type weapon when shot with the grenade launcher (thus having -1 on the to-hit roll at distances greater than 12")?


D'oh! I forgot that bit. Yes, they'll be treated as Grenade 1 with a range of 12" and - for Str, AP, and D. Using them with a grenade launcher will simply adjust the type to Assault 1 and the range to 24".

Also, is there any particular reason why there are so few Gunners? In 100-point games it should be OK (though I would like to have 3-4 Gunners ideally) however in higher point games only having access to two special/heavy weapons, when other teams usually have access to up to four, could really penalise the Arbitrators.


This was a result of remaining faithful to the previous rules. The WH40K Adeptus Arbites allowed a single model to replace his shotgun with a grenade launcher. The 2nd edition Necromunda rules allowed one member to take a special weapon and one member to take a heavy stubber. If these rules remain broadly faithful to their predecessors, the only deviation I could see would be to combine the gunner options so that you could take two heavy or two special weapons (rather than only one of each).

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#4
Brother Tyler

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An alternative might be to expand the unit type options. The existing unit would be called a patrol squad and would be shooty, with each model starting with a combat shotgun and two gunners (with the current options). A second unit called a shock team would be created, and this one would be bludgeony, equipped with laspistols and power mauls. Anyone could replace their laspistol with a bolt pistol, or their laspistol and power maul with a combat shotgun; and two gunners could replace their weapons with a special weapon. Such a change would still be limited to one heavy weapon, but could take three special weapons.

Another change, in addition to or instead of the above, would be to allow the Proctor(s) to replace their weapons with a grenade launcher.

All of these changes would potentially capitalize on the crowd control grenades rule, with grenade launchers being the go-to choice for special weapon models. The ability to launch smoke grenades and otherwise hinder the enemy using the other grenades is something of a counter to reduced heavy weapons.

There are some kill teams that don't have lots of heavy weapons (mostly the Aeldari, but I'll look at others). In concept, I was looking at the use of crowd control grenades and wise kill team selection decisions - if you're facing a faction that has lots of heavy weapons, you might opt for more suppression shields and use a combination of the lockshields and crowd control tactics to enhance your defenses.

That's the concept, anyways. It still needs to be playtested.

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#5
Brother Tyler

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I took a look at the other factions and most are as limited to 1 heavy and 1 special. There are only a few that exceed this - Adeptus Astartes, Deathwatch, Astra Militarum, T'au, and Genestealer Cults.

The three factions against which I want to balance the Adeptus Arbites are the Heretic Astartes (a list that is almost purely Cultists), the Astra Militarum, and the Genestealer Cults. Since two of those factions far exceed the 1 heavy/1 special options, I can see some room to maneuver. If GW ever creates the Adeptus Arbites for WH40K, I think that their balance will be themed towards those three factions.

From a lore perspective, I think the focus should be on allowing for maximum grenade launchers while keeping the other heavy/special weapons reasonable. Most of the time, the Arbitrators will be focused on riot control and culls. There will be times, though, that they'll find themselves in a full scale rebellion (especially against those pesky cultists and genestealer cults). This means deviating from the precedents (but it's in the name of game balance, so I guess that's okay).

So perhaps the resolution is to increase the number of gunners to 4, allowing 2 to take a heavy stubber, allowing the other 2 to take a flamer or webber, and allowing any gunner to take a grenade launcher.

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#6
Chaplain Dosjetka

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Wouldn't a webber be an integral part of the Riot Crowd Control KitTM?

 

I'd suggest 4 Gunners of which:

  • 0-2 may replace their laspistol and power maul with a heavy stubber;
  • 0-2 may replace their laspistol and power maul with a flamer OR a plasma gun;
  • 0-4 may replace their laspistol and power maul with a grenade launcher.

Now, going off onto a partially-related tangent, does using the crowd control grenades with the grenade launcher count as a Shooting attack/happen in the Shooting phase (and thus would benefit from the +1 to hit conferred by a Comms Specialist). Right now it reads as if it was a special action and so wouldn't benefit from any bonus/suffer any penalty (though we addressed the penalty part when you confirmed that it counted as an Assault weapon).


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Accept all challenges, no matter the odds. | You carry the Emperor's will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows. | Suffer not the Heretic to live. | Abhor the Typo.

 


#7
Brother Tyler

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I could see a webber used in a variety of applications, including riot control and suspect apprehension. I'm leery of removing it because the lore for the webber is that it was originally created for the Arbitrators/Enforcers and has been co-opted by the Genestealer Cults (for a GSC kill team to be able to field one while an Adeptus Arbites kill team can't would just be wrong).

As for whether or not a Comms Specialist should affect the crowd control grenades when fired from a grenade launcher, there's no To Hit roll.

I'm considering a few other changes. One is to change the opposing player's crowd control grenade movement to 1D6" away (vice 1D3"). This creates the possibility of "missing" with the grenade (which is a very real possibility when shooting a non-guided grenade). On top of that, the Crowd Control tactic changes the placement of the additional grenades from 3" away to allowing the opposing player to place each one up to 1D6" away from the initial grenade in a random direction and more than 1" from other grenades. The more grenades you throw/shoot, the larger the resulting affected area and the more likely you are to "hit" your target, and the more you limit your opponent's placement options.

I'm also considering an adjustment to the Lockshield tactic that prevents models from making an Advance move and makes them move as if in difficult terrain (they have to maintain their formation). Also, if any of the Arbitrators in the Lockshield formation move, they all count as having moved. Now that I think about it, that last part might not be necessary.

All of these changes has shifted things around on my draft copy, so I either have to push the Tactics "cards" to another page or get rid of one. I'm leaning towards getting rid of one - Reserves of Courage. The Arbitrators already have the Nerves of Steel rule, so the Tactic seems superfluous.

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#8
Chaplain Dosjetka

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I completely agree that an Arbites/Enforcer team without access to webbers would feel wrong.

 

Thank you for the further clarification regarding the crowd control grenades.

 

I'd suggest waiting a bit before implementing the changes to the crowd control grenades you have in mind. 1D3" scatter is already potentially a reasonable distance given the small size of the battlefield and of bases in general. It's typically the kind of thing that needs to be playtested before any further tweaking.

For the Lockshield tactic, I'd simply make it so that any models currently benefiting from the tactic halve (rounding up) all distances that concern the models' movement (i.e. halve their Movement/Advance/Charge/Pile in/Consolidate/etc distances). Keeps it simple that way.

Last but not least, I agree that the Reserves of Courage tactic will likely see little use when you already have a free re-roll (unless you really need to pass that Nerve test).


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Accept all challenges, no matter the odds. | You carry the Emperor's will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows. | Suffer not the Heretic to live. | Abhor the Typo.

 


#9
Brother Tyler

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Here's Playtest Version 2 (just the pages that matter):
 
Page 5 (Crowd Control Grenade rules, Adeptus Arbites faction tactics)

Hidden Content

Page 6 (Adeptus Arbites kill team options)
Hidden Content

Page 7 (Adeptus Arbites weapons, equipment, and costs)
Hidden Content

Page 8 (Adeptus Arbites commander option)
Hidden Content

The only real changes are on pages 5 and 6, the changes/additions appearing in red text. Anything that was previously in red text is now in green text (I won't change the text to normal color until it's validated/resolved). If you've been keeping up with the replies, you're already up to speed (I didn't really do anything different other than to rename the squad, matching the precedent of the 2nd edition WH40K rules).

You'll notice one note on page 5 concerning the save that the Lockshield tactic confers. You can ignore that because I realized while composing this post that the suppression shield itself already confers a 3+ save, so the "lockshield" benefit is the invulnerable save. facepalm.png


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#10
Chaplain Dosjetka

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Passing thought: is there any point in keeping the scatter shot slugs as they currently are? The solid variety will always be better in every scenario. Perhaps you could make the weapon type Assault D3 or Assault D6 to represent the scatter effect and make it more than just a weaker version of the solid shells?


Edited by Chaplain Dosjetka, 01 February 2019 - 04:51 PM.

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Accept all challenges, no matter the odds. | You carry the Emperor's will as your torch, with it destroy the shadows. | Suffer not the Heretic to live. | Abhor the Typo.

 


#11
Brother Tyler

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I'm leery of changing the scatter shell rules. Other factions have some form of shotgun, all with identical rules, and those rules appear verbatim here as the scatter shell. So the right thing to do would probably be to make the solid shell weaker.

 

The trick, I think, is making the solid shell attractive under certain conditions, without making it an automatic choice over the scatter shell. The first change is to adjust the type to Assault 1. The Adeptus Arbites and Enforcers models are all carrying single barrel pump shotguns, making that easy. That change alone might be enough.

 

Another balancing act, though, is making the executioner shell attractive under another set of conditions. The key component of the lore behind the executioner shell is that its tiny little brain can find the target even when that target is behind cover and when the target is at long range. The Necromunda Enforcer rules also imposed a penalty for shooting the executioner shell at short range, and I've translated that penalty into the shell's ability (it's not exact since short range in Necromunda was 0-4" rather than the 0-9" the ability covers). Perhaps adjusting the executioner shell profile to Assault 1 will also suffice.

 

The difference between the scatter shell (standard) and the solid shell is that you can fire the slightly weaker scatter shell with an Assault 2 profile vice Assault 1, but the slightly stronger solid shell (S 4 vice the S 3 of the scatter shell) has better penetration (-1 AP). The scatter shell compensates with the bonus of 1 to its S when the target is 0-9" away (representing the shot not having fully scattered yet).

 

The difference between the solid shell and the executioner shell is mostly in that one works better at long range (executioner) while the other works better at short range (solid). The executioner shell is much better at range, though, so I'm halfway of a mind to reduce its S to 3. The only reason I won't do that (yet) is because the Necromunda Enforcer rules profile gave it a S of 4 and I don't want to implement too much designer's bias.


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#12
Brother Tyler

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Looking at the Crowd Control tactic a bit more, I think it's going to make game play far too complicated. Multiple grenades means multiple clouds, and the size of each grenade's cloud can change each turn. I think that the effect needs to be simplified to simply increasing the area of effect (gas/smoke cloud size or flash flare radius) by 2" for each additional grenade. Actually, I'd also include a modifier of +1 on the D6 roll for each additional grenade (it's hard to shield your eyes from blinding flashes coming from multiple directions).

So the revised tactic "card" would read something like:
 

Use this Tactic in your turn in the Shooting phase, when you nominate an ARBITRATOR to use a crowd control grenade. All friendly ARBITRATOR models within 6" of the nominated model may use the same crowd control grenade. All such ARBITRATOR models must use the same profile for crowd control grenades. Place the nominated model's grenade as normal. For each additional grenade thrown/fired, increase the cloud/flash radius by 2". If using photon flash flares, models add 1 for each additional grenade when testing to see if they are blinded.


Okay, that's just a first draft I composed off the top of my head. I'm sure we can improve upon it.

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#13
Brother Tyler

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Here's Playtest Version 3 (just the pages that matter):
 
Page 5 (Crowd Control Grenade rules, Adeptus Arbites faction tactics)
Hidden Content

Page 6 (Adeptus Arbites kill team options)
Hidden Content

Page 7 (Adeptus Arbites weapons, equipment, and costs)
Hidden Content

Page 8 (Adeptus Arbites commander option)
Hidden Content

As before, changes in this version are in red text. Changes/questionable portions from previous versions are in green text (those that have been validated have been changed to normal text color).

The only real changes have already been discussed - the solid shell and executioner shells for the combat shotgun have both been changed to Assault 1 (from Assault 2); and the Crowd Control tactic was simplified, but I made each additional grenade increase the cloud/flash size by 1" instead of 2" (did a little math on volume and stuff).

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#14
Brutallica

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Thats really nice work man! Wish there was modern Arbites models around, would pick that faction in a hearbeat!

Would you mind pming me your word/photoshop file? Im interessted in making other homebrew factions (TRUE space wolves), and i you wouldnt mind me using your legwork that would be awsome. 


 



#15
Brother Tyler

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Thats really nice work man! Wish there was modern Arbites models around, would pick that faction in a hearbeat!

Would you mind pming me your word/photoshop file? Im interessted in making other homebrew factions (TRUE space wolves), and i you wouldnt mind me using your legwork that would be awsome.


I'll be posting the finished rules in the DOWNLOADS section once it is completed. If you're looking for the template, I can't take credit for it. The template was created by Ioldanach. He uploaded it to the DOWNLOADS section already (the link is in my first post).
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#16
Brother Tyler

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Here's Playtest Version 4 (just the pages that matter):
 
Page 5 (Crowd Control Grenade rules, Adeptus Arbites faction tactics)
Hidden Content

Page 6 (Adeptus Arbites kill team options)
Hidden Content

Page 7 (Adeptus Arbites weapons, equipment, and costs)
Hidden Content

Page 8 (Adeptus Arbites commander option)
Hidden Content

As before, changes in this version are in red text. Changes/questionable portions from previous versions are in green text (those that have been validated have been changed to normal text color).

The only real changes were to the Cyber-mastiff, which I felt was lackluster previously. I also compared the previous rules to the Cyber-mastiff rules in Gang War III. The attribute scores were based on the Necromunda Cyber-mastiff. I also clarified the relationship between the Cyber-mastiff and its HANDLER, and replacement of the HANDLER in both the Handler and Protection Subroutines abilities. The most significant change was the addition of the Lock Jaw ability, based on how police dogs are used in real life. It's definitely a first draft so needs to be playtested. The cost of the Cyber-mastiff was increased to 10, but may need to be adjusted further after playtesting.

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#17
Ioldanach

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I always loved the Judge Dredd feel of the Arbites. I'm not much help on the rules with this one, but I think that the list should be designed with balance optimized for 50/50 against Genestealer Cults. I'm not sure how the new GSC models will factor into that balance, though. Are there any other Arbites types in the lore that might expand the options available for both regular kill teams and commanders?

Can the HANDLER Arbitrator be a specialist? The use of "Arbitrator" implies (to me, anyways) that the option is not available to Arbitrator Gunners or Proctors. Is that correct?

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Anhrathe: KT faction rules | KT Command Roster (using Asuryani rules) | SWA/KT Miniatures WIP | SWA Kill Team Rules
Asuryani: (Homegrown SWA Kill Team Rules) Black Guardians | Dire Avengers | Howling Banshees | Striking Scorpions
Drukhari: (Homegrown SWA Kill Team Rules) Kabalite Trueborn
Ynnari: (Homegrown SWA Kill Team Rules) Ynnari
Inquisition: (Homegrown SWA Kill Team Rules) Ordos

#18
Brother Tyler

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Yes, there are some other Arbites types, and one is a decent counterpart to the Genestealer Cult gunfighter.

 

The rules don't prevent the HANDLER from being a specialist. I didn't want to be that prescriptive/restrictive. Yes, Arbitrator Gunners and Proctors may not be assigned as the HANDLER.

 

One thing I wanted to do with the Lockjaw rule was represent how police dogs run down their prey, latching on to a limb and wrestling the perpetrator to the ground. I wanted the average human (Astra Militarum trooper) to have a very difficult time of extricating themself from the Cyber-mastiff's jaws, while the Adeptus Astartes should have a much easier job of it. At Strength 3, an Astra Militarum trooper would have to roll 6+ to free himself. An Adeptus Astartes, meanwhile would have to roll 5+. If the Cyber-mastiff's Str is adjusted to +1 for the roll (vice +2), then Astra Militarum improve their chances to 5+ while Adeptus Astartes improve their chances to 4+. Right now, I think that the Adeptus Astartes have too poor of a chance. The only alternative I've come up with gives the Astra Militarum too easy of a chance, so I'm still trying to figure out the best way to differentiate between normal human strength and that of an Adeptus Astartes (or equivalent) when trying to get free of a Cyber-mastiff's jaw.

 

And I just remembered that there's a pooch in the Rogue Trader expansion. I need to break that out and look at the rules. It might be better to just copy those as a baseline. If I remember correctly, that pooch isn't a Cyber-mastiff, so the enhancements would represent the augmentations of cyber widgets and Adeptus Arbites training.


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#19
Brother Tyler

Brother Tyler

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  • +++ADMINISTRATUM+++
  • 19,952 posts
  • Location:The Temple of Oaths
  • Faction: VIIth Legion
Here's Playtest Version 5 (just the pages that matter):
 
Page 5 (Crowd Control Grenade rules, Adeptus Arbites faction tactics)
Hidden Content

Page 6 (Adeptus Arbites kill team options)
Hidden Content

Page 7 (Adeptus Arbites weapons, equipment, and costs)
Hidden Content

Page 8 (Adeptus Arbites commander option)
Hidden Content

As before, changes in this version are in red text. Changes/questionable portions from previous versions are in green text (those that have been validated have been changed to normal text color).

The cost of the Arbitrators was increased by 1 each. This was after comparison to the Voidsmen from the Rogue Trader expansion.

The Cyber-mastiff was adjusted in a few areas. The Movement characteristic was reduced from 9" to 8", the Attacks characteristic was increased from 1 to 2, and the Ld was increased from 5 to 6. Also, the teeth (weapon/attack) were changed to "vicious bite" and its profile was changed. Also, the BEAST keyword was added.This was after comparison to Aximillion, the dog in the Rogue Trader set. Aximillion is just an unenhanced canid, so the differences from Aximillion are to reflect the "cyber" portion.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Adeptus Arbites, Kill Team game, homegrown rules

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