New models for the Adeptus Arbites are coming in Warhammer 40k Kill Team Soulshackle, GW revealed during the Las Vegas Open live stream on January 27. These grim enforcers of interstellar law, who are Warhammer 40k’s answer to Judge Dredd, will face off against Drukhari raiders in the upcoming box-set Soulshackle.
This is the first new Arbites kit for Warhammer 40k in several decades, despite their appearance all the way back in 1st edition. An accompanying Warhammer Community article says they can be fielded in Warhammer 40k as well as its smaller skirmish cousin Kill Team.
Thanks to an earlier article about the boarding actions game mode in Arks of Omen, we already know that Arbites can be fielded in Agents of the Imperium Warhammer 40k detachments – these are specialised field agents of the Imperium of Man, such as assassins or Inquisitors, whose presence in an army doesn’t stop the rest of your force gaining its Warhammer 40k faction bonus.
The WarCom article explains the models can be built as an “Exaction squad” full of specialists for Kill Team, or “shotgun-toting Vigilants or riot-shielded Subductor squads”. The live stream hosts estimated there will be 34 possible loadouts for models in the kit.
If you’re wondering what the space FBI are doing onboard the space hulk Gallowdark, GW explains they’re there in pursuit of a fugitive – which puts them into the path of a Drukhari kill team. The Soulshackle box set will contain an upgraded version of the existing kabalite warrior squad, giving the existing kit additional options for Kill Team and Warhammer 40k.
Soulshackle will also contain more derelict spaceship terrain for building the space hulk Gallowdark, including destructible walls and a holo-table projecting a teeny-tiny representation of the battlefield.
The design of the Adeptus Arbites has its roots in the late 80s. The GW design studio at the time was heavily influenced by British sci-fi anthology comic 2000AD, home of extremely grim lawman Judge Dredd. Design elements also found in Dredd, like a grimace-promoting helmet and extreme eagle ornamentation, appeared in the earliest designs for the Arbites.
The livestream commentators emphasised the uniquely 40k aspects of the new Arbites models, particularly the knightly appearance of their armour. We can certainly picture this kit being converted into household guard to accompany an Imperial Knights army. Frankly, they look like a lot of fun for anyone who likes painting miniatures.