Inquisitor. The name conjures up mixed emotions in varying proportions for every citizen of the vast Imperium of Man. The definition, however, is even hazier than those emotions, as so the order of the Inquisition prefers it. Inquisitors range from blatantly zealous witch-hunters to strange shadowy figures with psychic powers. As they are in form, the modes of transportation for Inquisitors also varies widely. Differences aside, most Inquisitors have access to advanced technologies which are known to exist by only a handful of humankind. This includes technologies which can create immensely powerful stellar vessels.

There is no record of an Inquisitor commanding any vessel larger than a light cruiser (however, it is unlikely that if such a vessel did exist that there would be any record). Known Inquisition ships are small, fast, agile, stealthy and lightly armed. Nevertheless, the presence of an Inquisition ship in any Imperial fleet leads to a marked increase in fleet-crew efficiency. Agents and spies serving the Inquisition will see that any Imperial officer who fails in his or her duty is sent to meet the Emperor.

During the Gothic war, a sleek, black-hulled corvette vessel was spotted on several occasions. Its Imperial ship recognition code signals identified it only as the Bernardo Gui. Though the ship never asserted itself as such, it was clearly a vessel of the Inquisition. This ship performed several vague and secretive operations over the course of many years, and often solicited nearby Imperial navy vessels to provide escorting fighters or to bombard various planetary targets. It is believed that the Bernardo Gui is the ship of the infamous Inquisitor Horst, who helped trace Abaddon the Despoiler's movements before and during the Gothic war. There is, of course, no confirmation of this theory, and it is most unlikely that there ever will be.

Bernardo Gui

Inquisition Corvette
270 pts
Type/Hits Speed Turns Shields Armour Turrets
cruiser/4 30cm 90° 1 5+ 2
Armament: Range/Speed Firepower/Strength Fire Arc
Port Weapons Battery 30 cm 3 Left
Starboard Weapons Battery 30 cm 3 Right
Dorsal Weapons Battery 30 cm 2 Left/Front/Right

Special Rules:

An Inquisition corvette benefits from stealth technology which the Inquisitors have "acquired" from the Adeptus Mechanicus or captured alien vessels. To reflect this all ships firing weapons at an Inquisition corvette suffer from a left column shift on the gunnery table.

Inquisition vessels are, of course, commanded by an Inquisitor of large renown. To represent the Inquisitor being on board the Inquisition corvette is always leadership 10. The ship also comes with one fleet commander reroll. You can buy additional rerolls at the following costs:

one extra reroll 25pts
two extra rerolls 75pts
three extra rerolls 150pts

The presence of an Inquisition vessel is both a rarity and a terrifying curiosity to all captains and command staff on all Imperial capital ships. All officers and their crews feel compelled to preform their tasks above and beyond the call of duty. To represent this, all Imperial capital ships receive a +1 bonus to their leadership (up to a maximum of 9) while an Inquisition vessel is present on the battlefield. Only naval capital ships receive this bonus. Transports (they are civilian vessels), space stations and defences of any kind, escorts, and Adeptus Astartes ships are excluded from this bonus.

With an Inquisitor watching over the fleet, the fleet commissars are more ready to show that they are wary of mistakes. If a capital ship (one which receives the leadership bonus) fails a leadership test, the offending ship's leadership is reduced by one point (to represent the commissar executing the captain and appointing the first officer as the new captain). This process is cummulative, as the commissar will make no bones about executing the first officer if he fails as well. If a capital ship ever drops to leadership 6 (without modifiers) then the fleet commissar takes command of the vessel himself. The ship can now fail command checks without penalty (the commissar is not going to execute himself). Just treat the ship as if it were a leadership 6 vessel. If a capital ship receives a bridge smashed result on the critical hits table the capital ship will no longer receive the +1 bonus from the Inquisition corvette nor will it suffer the penalties as the commissar and captain are dead.

An Inquisition corvette can never lead a squadron of ships. Inquisition vessels are "observers" and always act like independent vessels. In an assault scenario, an Inquisition corvette is not worth any assault points. If reduced to one hit, the Inquisition corvette will disappear, no command check is neccessary, the ship is simply removed at the beginning of its movement phase. Note that if the Inquisition vessel leaves the battlefield or is destroyed, the leadership bonus and fleet commander rerolls granted by the Inquisitor's presence are null and void.

Representing an Inquisition Corvette: Inquisition vessels vary widely in appearance. Try using a model from another game, painted or converted appropriately. Because there is no set design for this vessel, the sky's the limit.

This article is part of our Execution Hour series based on the novel by Gordon Rennie. Surf over to The Black Library and grab a copy.

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