Inquisitor was first launched into the public eye way back in 2001, when I was on tour with the RAMC in Bosnia. It enjoyed the usual brief flurry of excitement that follows the release of a new game and then pretty much vanished below the surface. By the time I got back to the UK, keen to get to grips with this new way of wargaming, the adrenaline was gone. A few desultory articles hit the pages of White Dwarf and, briefly, we enjoyed the Indian Summer that was Exterminatus Magazine. But, basically, the game had vanished.
I thought this was a great shame at the time. I was attending a wargaming club in Camberley, Surrey, and managed to raise a brief excitement over a campaign played with 28mm models but, within a few weeks, it had essentially vanished once more.
And yet it had so much going for it. It had action on a grand scale. It had scope. Most of all, it had a fantastic sense of story and drama: something I felt that the quest for "balance" had drained from most popular tabletop wargames, and which was largely the preserve of role-play games. Now, there's nothing wrong with RPGs and, indeed, I'll make regular reference to these as this blog continues, I suspect. But most of the action in an RPG happens in your head. In Inquisitor, it happened right there, on the tabletop in front of you!
As time went on, I was happy to discover the Conclave. This haven of sanity had preserved something of the interest in the game but, as I discovered, at that time the actual play of the game had given way to a circle of people writing communal background, stories and characters without any tabletop presence.
I can't take sole credit for the change, but I don't mind saying that I was one of a small group of people on the Conclave and the now-defunct Exterminatus.net who really wanted to see the game become something meaningful once more. The first manifestation of this was the growth in people showing off their models: 54mm conversions and constructions especially designed for playing Inquisitor. Next, there came a few, tentative battle reports and suggestions that in clubs and hobby stores, people were actually dusting off their rulebooks and once more grappling with the battle for the Emperor's Soul. Then, back in about 2004, someone suggested meeting up at Warhammer World for a few games on the tables there.
That first meeting - I wasn't there - only gathered three or four players. But it was the first of a process that would soon become a regular-but-informal schedule of such gatherings. The numbers grew rapidly to 6, 9, 12 and beyond. And it was out of these meetings that the impetus for Inquisitor 2.0 emerged.
I'll explain what the project hopes to achieve in my next post.