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doghouse
04-10-2009, 21:33
I'm currently in the process of putting together an Arbite force but am having a bit of trouble putting together background information on them.
So far I have the following for the ranks:



Here are some Arbitrator ranks from Dark Heresy, thought you might use it for inspiration:

Trooper
Enforcer
Regulator
Investigator
Arbitrator
/................\
Intelligencer/Proctor
Magistrate / Marshal
Justicar / Lord Marshal
(investigation)/(command, combat)

The Inquisitor rulebook says that they operate in precincts at the centre of which is an armoured court house.
It says that Enforcers are part of an Inquisitor's retinue, Imperial citizens selected by the Inquisition when the likes of an Imperial Governor or Arbite Judge might be under investigation. I also know that they also use Repressor pattern Rhinos but other than that I'm a bit stumped.

Any info, no matter how obscure, would be of great help. :)

sigur
04-10-2009, 21:40
lexicanum
Wikipedia
Necromunda books

There's a little bit on the Adeptus Arbites in Codex Army Lists and Codex Imperialis of course but I think you already listed two very good sources of background with the =I= Rulebook and Dark Heresy.

If you don't mind a personal note, I don't think that Arbites armies make a very good 40k army on their own unless it's something story-driven or campaign.

the_yuk
04-10-2009, 22:01
Bell of lost souls did a fan based arbites book a while ago download it from here. http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2008/07/bols-mini-dex-downloads-archive.html

Axel
04-10-2009, 22:08
There also was an Arbites army (2nd edition) in one of the early 90ies WD. I can lookup the number if its dire.

Condottiere
05-10-2009, 00:01
When faced with a dilemna, all you need to do is ask, what would Judge Dredd do?

Since that is the original source.

Inquisitor S.
05-10-2009, 11:29
lexicanum
Wikipedia
Necromunda books

There's a little bit on the Adeptus Arbites in Codex Army Lists and Codex Imperialis of course but I think you already listed two very good sources of background with the =I= Rulebook and Dark Heresy.

Not to forget the Shira Calpurnia novel series and "Execution hour".

JHZ
05-10-2009, 11:34
Not to forget the Shira Calpurnia novel series
Hear, hear! And that's Crossfire, Legacy and Blind for you filth that haven't even heard of them. Very good and lots of fun stuff. Not only do we get an insight into the workings of Imperial law, but also into the internal power struggle that goes behind closed door within the Imperium.

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 11:36
Just to clear up some confusion, the Arbites are not a "police" force. The local governments handle that themselves (cf. Necromunda Enforcers). The Arbites are there to make sure the Imperial Order is upheld, not local laws. Open heresy and flaunting of Imperial law (such as failure to report psykers)? Yes, they'll be there shooting folks in the head. Riots because the governor raised the window tax for the third time in a year? Not their problem, unless the governor can't or won't handle the situation himself. In which case, they'll go after the governor as well as (or perhaps instead of) the rioters.

I don't see them as the type to use nonlethal weaponry, either. Not out of a concern for protecting the citizenry, anyway. They do, after all, use heavy shotguns, bolters and grenade launchers. I don't think they'd shy away from putting down a riot using a Leman Russ Punisher.

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 11:36
Hear, hear! And that's Crossfire, Legacy and Blind for you filth that haven't even heard of them.

Pity the blasted things have been out of print for years now, though :(

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 11:38
There also was an Arbites army (2nd edition) in one of the early 90ies WD. I can lookup the number if its dire.

160, I believe. It wasn't an army, it was only one squad, available as allies to any Imperial army.

Inquisitor S.
05-10-2009, 11:44
I don't see them as the type to use nonlethal weaponry, either.
IIRC the shock mauls (fluffwise) can be adjusted to different settings, ranging from hole-in-the-wall to stunned. And since we are talking about an Imperial police force with courts, complete legal procedures and whatever there sure is an arsenal of non-lethal weapons. Pretty hard to interrogate dead heretics. And by the way: this confusion between real Arbites and mere local enforcers stems from GW's own unreliable use of the word "Arbites" when in fact they often means just enforcers ;)


Pity the blasted things have been out of print for years now, though
That's just a question of how much effort (or "criminal" energy) you are willing to spend on a certain book. Everything can be obtained somewhere and somehow. Prizes might be high, but well, if you WANT to have something, you should be willing to spend the money or hope for the print on demand or an omnibus.

JHZ
05-10-2009, 11:49
Just to clear up some confusion, the Arbites are not a "police" force. The local governments handle that themselves (cf. Necromunda Enforcers). The Arbites are there to make sure the Imperial Order is upheld, not local laws. Open heresy and flaunting of Imperial law (such as failure to report psykers)? Yes, they'll be there shooting folks in the head. Riots because the governor raised the window tax for the third time in a year? Not their problem, unless the governor can't or won't handle the situation himself. In which case, they'll go after the governor as well as (or perhaps instead of) the rioters.
Not a local police force, but more like internal security, overseeing that planetary governments follow the Imperial Law. They're not there to uphold local law, but they're not indifferent to injustice either. For exsample, in Legacy the Arbites object and even do a small raid on an Ecclesiarchy ran punishment facility, because punishing a person just because some priest thinks they do not love the Emperor enough, is not legal by law.


I don't see them as the type to use nonlethal weaponry, either. Not out of a concern for protecting the citizenry, anyway. They do, after all, use heavy shotguns, bolters and grenade launchers. I don't think they'd shy away from putting down a riot using a Leman Russ Punisher.
Shira's power maul stuns people, and I think they did have some sort of non-lethal weapons, but they don't hold back when need be, like in Crossfire where a car bomb makes people panic and a group of arbites pretty much shoot into the crowd that tries to rush towards a door they don't have the authority to enter.


Pity the blasted things have been out of print for years now, though :(
I bought me the whole shebang not long ago off the internets. Googling it should provide some aid.

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 11:49
Oh, sure, they use non-lethal weapons when they want to arrest someone. However, when there's a mob of angry heretics outside with pitchforks, they're not going to muck about with water cannon and rubber bullets when they can use perfectly suitable heavy stubbers and flamethrowers. :)

As to being "an Imperial police force", they're no such thing. I'm not sure there is an effective analogue, really. They're like a cross between the FBI, the CIA and MI5 (back in the 70s, when they spent all their time spying on Labour politicians to see if they were being paid by the KGB).

I'll take a look for the novels (I read them before); last time I looked, they were going for $30.00 + used on Amazon.

Inquisitor S.
05-10-2009, 11:53
You can't say that. Nobody would go to FBI/CIA/KGB whatever to have their disputes settled before court. They are the Imperial law, not more, not less. And this includes police responsabilities.

JHZ
05-10-2009, 12:02
In Legacy the Arbites hold court, and I don't remember if it was Legacy or Crossfire, where they mentioned that some Judge spent his entire life going through archives to find a precedence for a court case, only to die of old age and his follower finally finding it, long after the defendant and pretty much the court itself, had long since passed on.

At least the novel trilogy puts good amount of emphasis on the fact that the Arbites are all about the law. They do raids, arresting people, investigating crimes, etc. But usually only big crimes, though for exsample the case in Legacy was just the handing down of a Rogue Trader charter from father to son, but because the charter was tied to the planet in question (Hydraphur) and one of the original charters, signed by the Emperor himself, it called for more attention than mere "sign this and lets be done with it" sort of thing.

Of FBI, CIA and MI5, only the FBI counts. Maybe MI5 as well. When is the last time CIA did anything "legal". Besides, CIA is all about foreign intelligence (just like the GRU), and doesn't do much work inside the US borders (I don't even think they have the right to do so, as that's reserved for the FBI). The Arbites do not bug Eldar craftworlds or have moles inside the Tau empire. They don't sell drugs to the Dark Eldar or guns to the Orks in exchange for some co-operation.

Axel
05-10-2009, 13:01
160, I believe. It wasn't an army, it was only one squad, available as allies to any Imperial army.

169, and you are right, there is only a squad and champion in the issue (and a page of background from Andy Chambers). I have a dull memory of a full army, though. I remember that I found the idea of a judge general as army leader weired. I have no idea where that list came from, though. Perhaps one of the companions?

narrativium
05-10-2009, 13:04
Pity the blasted things have been out of print for years now, though :(
It is, but the omnibus Enforcer is due out next year.

Toadius80
05-10-2009, 13:41
Is't there rules for them in the Ordo Heraticus Codex? If you read the Storm Trooper entry it has a note about using the Arbites instead of Storm's?
Couple of yrs ago I worked out a force using that 'dex with a Inq and retenue as a Judge/marshal and other units using the rules from other parts of the 'dex. Iirc I worked out a 2500pts force that, at the time would have been quite a nice reasonably rounded force and nicely themed and different when used with the specialist games Arbites models. Never actually got around to it though as the cost when I priced it up was pretty staggering!!

Seleucus
05-10-2009, 14:03
It says that Enforcers are part of an Inquisitor's retinue, Imperial citizens selected by the Inquisition when the likes of an Imperial Governor or Arbite Judge might be under investigation. I also know that they also use Repressor pattern Rhinos but other than that I'm a bit stumped.

Any info, no matter how obscure, would be of great help. :)

IIRC, Enforcers are not part of an Inquisitor's retinue, unless he recruits them from the Enforcers.

There used to be three levels of 'police' in the Imperium:

Enforcers = planetary/hive security/police, recruited from the planet's populace, charged with enforcing local/planetary law.
They act similarly to the police/secret police of your usual non-democratic state.
They have local staions within hives/sectors all over the planet, usually run by small squads.

Arbites = a division of the Adeptus Terra (not Inquisition), recruited from the Schola Progenii (sp), similarly to inquisitors, commissars, etc, charged with enforcing Imperial Law throughout the Imperium.
They are only interested in rooting out and bringing to justice (not necessarily to court!) those that transgress Imperial law set from Terra. Usually the first line of defence when the governor etc goes rogue, for whatever reason (power, Chaos etc) as the local PDF usually goes with him!
They normally have only one or two official bases on a planet, but these are heavily fortified, with a large arsenal of weapons, which will include Rhinos, including Repressor variants, Chimera and, occasionally, one or two Leman Russ.
There is a good description of this in one of the 'Ultramarine/Uriel Ventris books - the first one I believe (can't recall the name!)

The base will include courts, with a full compliment of Judges and ancillary staff including scribes, investigators, prosecutors, defence lawyers etc.

Wards/Wardens = Inquisitorial equivilent of Arbites, wearing similar equipment, but little known about them, other than that they are a purely secret police.
These appeared in the original resources for the Necromunda game, written by Andy Chambers, but have been edited out of the current Enforcers PDF (still to be found in the Specialist Games section on the GW site) written by Jervis Johnson - worth reading as it does provide significant detail on the Arbites, before turning to the Enforcers.
Wards/Wardens were, like Grey Hunters and Death Watch, kept in small units on secret bases, though these could be on populated planets, on a sector basis. They were on alert for call-out by an inquisitor, at any time, as they never knew if an inquisitor may be working clandestinely in their area and have need of them at any point. I saw these as both similar to Arbites in terms of their ability to investigate etc (though more secretly), and also able to act in the same manner as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. I would expect some of the latter would be stationed with them.

If you google 'Arbites', apart from the resources mentioned above, you will find a few websites from guys that have built Arbites armies - often with homegrown rules - such as Kendoka's, or Precinctomega. These are now quite old sites, but should help with background, heirarchy, and plausible army units. They certainly gave me some ideas!

Seleucus

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 14:31
The Enforcers are a purely Necromundan entity, IIRC - modelled after the Arbites to try to cash in on their reputation (like how hoverflies look like wasps, to avoid being eaten).

I remember the old Arbites article in the Necromunda supplement book (the hardback one, that collected all the rulebooks and WD articles). I don't remember anything about the "Wardens", though.

Inquisitor S.
05-10-2009, 14:35
The Enforcers are a purely Necromundan entity, IIRC - modelled after the Arbites to try to cash in on their reputation (like how hoverflies look like wasps, to avoid being eaten).

No, that's not true. We have seen local enforcers on planets that have nothing to do with Necromunda, cf. Ravenor and possibly Eisenhorn series. Never heard anything of these wardens, but if they are a more recent addition to the background that would not be too surprising.

bosstroll
05-10-2009, 15:50
169, and you are right, there is only a squad and champion in the issue (and a page of background from Andy Chambers). I have a dull memory of a full army, though. I remember that I found the idea of a judge general as army leader weired. I have no idea where that list came from, though. Perhaps one of the companions?


The citadel journal had a complete arbites army list. Part of the Covert-X campaign. Sadly, i can't recall which issue this was.

Basically: A Dark Angel succesor chapter gets bitch slapped by the IoM, 900 years later their scout company lands on a planet, after being lost in the warp, and then continus their campaign against the legal arm of the IoM.

Pretty cool campaign that, need to look it up again.

the1stpip
05-10-2009, 15:52
You need to model an Experimental Dreadnought (ED 911), armed with assault cannon and Dread CCW (if you don't get the reference, watch Robocop).

And use the old Space Crusade Chaos Dread for it if you can get hold of one.

Inquisitor S.
05-10-2009, 15:53
You need to model an Experimental Dreadnought (ED 911), armed with assault cannon and Dread CCW (if you don't get the reference, watch Robocop).

Or just take the one from Starquest :p ;)

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 16:04
No, that's not true. We have seen local enforcers on planets that have nothing to do with Necromunda, cf. Ravenor and possibly Eisenhorn series. Never heard anything of these wardens, but if they are a more recent addition to the background that would not be too surprising.

Argh, didn't finish my sentence properly. The Enforcers going around looking like Arbites is a Necromundan thing (although it's probable other planets either copied the idea or came up with it on their own). It's up to individual governors to rule as they see fit, so there's no such thing as an Imperium-wide "standard police unit". The ones in Scourge the Heretic didn't seem to be so well armed, for instance, and Lord Sagramoso's police units (in Space Marine used multimeltas as riot control weapons :eek:

Inquisitor S.
05-10-2009, 16:16
Not sure if those police units were Sagramoso's, wasn't that on that planet that got warmer and warmer? Long time that I last read that actually. But yes, enforcers are not standardized, however I think that on hive worlds we could expect something similar to the Necromundan ones.

JHZ
05-10-2009, 17:48
You need to model an Experimental Dreadnought (ED 911), armed with assault cannon and Dread CCW (if you don't get the reference, watch Robocop).
Dread with two twin-linked autocannons and a hunter-killer missile.


And use the old Space Crusade Chaos Dread for it if you can get hold of one.
Guess who has one, just waiting for me to get inspired to use it in something.

doghouse
05-10-2009, 21:05
Cheers guys, this is all really useful stuff!

AndrewGPaul
07-10-2009, 12:55
One more thing; from the same article in WD 169 that gave us rules for the current Arbites miniatures:

"They live there in that great plascrete tower surrounded by walls and razor wire, only emerging to seize some unfortunate who has transgressed against the Imperial Laws or to patrol the city to prove that it belongs to them. There are crystal lenses and sound wave detectors on that tower that can watch citizens or listen to their conversations 100 leagues away. Imperial spy satellites watch what they can't see directly and even the Governor fears them. They aren't from here and have nothing to do with us, no more than Orks or Eldar, if they have families or children we don't know about them and we don't care. They wouldn't so much as buy a glowbulb from us and we wouldn't sell it to them. It's ironic that they have the rather benevolent title of Arbitrators."
— Vorkas Zolowski, prior to his arrest for pernicious sedition against the Emperor of Mankind