Review – Path to Glory

Path to Glory has just plopped onto my desk, a revision of the quickfire-and-easy-to-organise campaign system for Age of Sigmar.

So, is it any good?

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If you have read through or played the Path to Glory campaign in the General’s Handbook, you pretty know what to expect. Things have been kept much the same, with the odd tweak here and there, but what has been added is scope and context.

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The first section of the book begins with the Rise of Gulgaz, a Bonesplitterz Bigboss who leads his warband on a rampage, getting stronger as they encounter various enemies – the inference here being that his warband was built using the Path to Glory system, and then various battles were played.

There are no great revelations of Age of Sigmar lore in this story, but it is fun enough to read, and you begin to see how a Path to Glory campaign can fit together on a narrative level. In a nutshell, because no points are involved in building forces, you might as well construct background behind your force – and a bunch of Orruks rampaging through the realms works as well as anything else!

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There are six pages of photographs covering various warbands, with the caption text tying them into the story of Gulgaz in some way. Not too much to say here; the photography is excellent and you may get some good ideas for putting your own warband together.

Then we get to the meat of the book – the Path to Glory campaign rules.

If you are not familiar with them, the idea is dead simple. First, pick a Grand Alliance allegiance, then a champion (leader) for your warband based on that allegiance.

The champion you pick will determine how many units of followers your warband begins the campaign with. So, for example, if you had chosen Grand Alliance Chaos and wanted a Khorne theme to your warband, you might pick something humble, such as an Exalted Deathbringer to lead your warband, who will let you have four units of followers – or you could go right to the other end of the scale and pick a Bloodthirster, who will only let you start with two followers.

This is the first ‘balancing’ mechanism used to put warbands within spitting distance of each other (don’t expect hard and fast points with these rules – they are not used, and not necessary for Path to Glory).

Once you have worked out how many follower units you have, you simply pick a Follower table for your Grand Alliance (no need to stick with the theme your opted for your champion) and roll. So, your Exalted Deathbringer could roll on the Khorne Retinue Followers table, select the Bloodbound Followers column (as opposed to daemons), and then roll up 20 Bloodreavers, 5 Blood Warriors, 3 Mighty Skullcrushers, or a Khorgorath.

Alternatively, you could roll on the Khorne Elite Followers table, which takes up 2 of your followers rolls and, selecting Bloodbound again, and get either 10 Blood Warriors, 5 Wrathmongers, or 5 Skullreapers.

However, you can also ‘branch out’ and roll on the followers tables for other Chaos factions, such as Beasts of Chaos, Skaven, Pestilens, or Slaves to Darkness – the elite follower table for the latter would give you the chance of, for example, 10 Chaos Warriors, a Warshrine, 5 Chaos Chosen, or 5 Chaos Knights, all of which you can (of course) give the Khorne keyword to bind them tightly into your existing force.

Basically, whatever Grand Alliance you choose, you are going to get plenty of options to create a wide and varied force that by no means needs to look like the force of someone else in the same Grand Alliance.

You can also use one roll to give your champion (or a unit of followers) a reward before the campaign starts – for our Exalted Deathbringer, this could be Daemonic Armour (re-roll failed saves), Molten Blood (dish out mortal wounds when hit), an Enscorcelled weapon (better Rend), or any one of nearly a dozen options in total.

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Playing the campaign is even simpler – pick an opponent (‘oi, you, stitch this!’), play a game with an agreed Battleplan, and see who wins. The winner gets D3 Glory points, the loser 1. The first warband to total 10 Glory points (or gains 5 additional units of followers) fights one more battle and, if they triumph, wins the campaign!

After each battle, your warband gets rewards, which can be upgrades to your champion or followers, or could be more followers. If you get the latter, you have the choice to burn a Glory point to roll on the aforementioned elite followers table, so you have to make the choice between a better warband or a quicker win.

There are seven Battleplans provided in Path to Glory though, frankly, you can use any of the hundred or so Battleplans already published for Age of Sigmar. Some of those in this book you may have seen before, while others are brand new, and they tend to tie into the Path to Glory campaign – perhaps granting bonus Glory points for achieving certain goals,, or adding a ‘free’ monster to a warband. There is even provision made for battles involving more than two warbands at once.

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The photograph above shows the basic layout of warbands, this one showcasing Tzeentch. As you can see, you have a wide variety of champions to kick off your force, from the ever so humble Magisters and Heralds, right up to Ogroid Thamaturges and Lords of Change (!). The followers tables are broken down into retinues (units), heroes, and elites, with each of those tables split between mortals and daemons. The reward tables for champions and followers come after.

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The champion rewards table for chaos warbands allows for Dark Patronage, gifts directly given by the warband’s god, which can be anything from the odd re-roll to increased damage or extra spells.

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While there are warband tables for every ‘current’ faction in Age of Sigmar, happily there are also ‘general’ Grand Alliance tables which allow the use of older miniatures and further increase the scope of what is possible when building a warband. The Destruction tables, for example, allow you to use an Orruk Warboss or Shaman as a champion, or an Ogor Tyrant, Moonclan/Gitmob/Spiderfang Warbosses, or (very funny) an Arachnarok Spider.

So, just because your Ogors (for example) do not have their very own warband table, you can still field an all Ogor force in Path to Glory, and the same applies to Aelfs, Duardin, Freeguilds, and undead.

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The very last chapter introduces Start Collecting Warbands – instead of going through the warband creation system, simply grab a Start Collecting box and use the forces from that! This is, of course, ideal for someone just beginning Age of Sigmar or just starting a new army, particularly if there is a group ‘Tale of Four Gamers’ thing going on, where players add a new unit every couple of weeks or so.

Not all Start Collecting sets are created equally, of course, so some must achieve tougher goals in the campaign, while others get a free reward.

Very nicely done, and in just four pages too.

 

Conclusion

The Path to Glory campaign was always something I had meant to get running, but never quite got round to. The additions and tweaks made to it with this book has just bumped the campaign up in priority (expect to see a report soon!).

For just £20, you get a ‘new’ way to play Age of Sigmar (get yourself out of the matched play rut!) and a campaign system that you can probably play through and determine a winner in a single day – certainly through a weekend.

This is a nice little addition to the Age of Sigmar line, and I think I will be recommending it!

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