Warhammer Quest: Chaos Adversary Cards

This should be a short and sweet one – the Chaos Adversary Cards for Warhammer Quest have just arrived.

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This (actually sizeable – it may not seem that way in the photos but they are much bigger than your palm) card deck adds a bunch of new monsters to your games of Warhammer Quest, both Silver Tower and Hammerhal, and gives a handy reference to existing creatures – no more flicking between books!

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One card gives all the rules you need to implement this deck in your game. Exotic Adversaries are used as normal (you just have more choice), while Mighty Adversaries are used in the same way but only pop up once per adventure, as they are a bit harder than regular monsters.

Finally, you can just deal cards randomly when the players meet monsters, though I am not sure many people will do that.

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I won’t go through the whole list of monsters this deck includes, as GW have handily posted the list right here. However, there are absolutely no issues with tiny text, as with their Sigmar Warscroll cards, and everything you need is very accessible.

Full marks there.

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Each card has all the monster’s stats and abilities on one side, along with how many models will appear when the encounter appears, and the behaviour table on the back.

Simples!

This deck is £15 which, given the size and number of the cards, as well as the additional utility they give in Warhammer Quest, especially if you have a sizeable collection of miniatures, is more than fair enough.

I have no choice but to give this one a full ten out of ten.

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Codex: Death Guard

When I picked up my first Death Guard models in the Dark Imperium set, I really did not intend to do them as a full army. After all, it was not as if I did not have plenty to be getting on with. However, there was just something about their sculpts and colour scheme that hooked me, and after I started playing them, oh boy, I knew they were for me!

So, it was with great interest that I started paging through the new Codex when it plopped onto my desk.

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There have probably been more previews and leaks about this Codex than any other, so I am not going to give you a page-by-page, blow-by-blow account – instead, I’ll cover the highlights and what in particular tickled me…

In terms of the background behind the Death Guard, they have been rooted firmly in the Heresy-era, rather than just being marauding warbands of diseased marines. This may be because Mortarion has arrived on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium but it does give the legion a solid base. And if you really fancy a challenge, the organisation of the entire legion is provided, should you feel the urge ti paint it all…

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By my very rough calculations, that would be about 2,500 Plague Marines, plus all the other bits and pieces (you have to figure the Poxwalkers and Cultists will push that number right up…).

The colour schemes of various companies and warbands may provide a little less inspiration than normal as, aside from one pale Plague Marines, they are all varying shades of green. Not that you are likely to expect anything else.

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Unlike the Chaos Space Marine and Grey Knight Codexes, the Death Guard are getting a ‘proper’ release, which means new units to get to grips with!

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Starting off with the characters, we get:

Mortarion: The Primarch, very hard. Don’t mess with him.
Foul Blightspawn: Champions who specialise in alchemy, bringing a variety of diseases to battle.
Biologus Putrifiers:  These guys now watch the spread of disease and work out how to make them more effective. Tend to have their blight grenades explode when you shoot them.
Plague Surgeons: Once Apothecaries, they no longer fix their brother marines (the Death Guard are somewhat resilient anyway) and instead culture diseases among their fellows. They also nick gene-seed from loyalist marines.
Tallymen: Sort of like priests, the Tallymen like counting things – shots fired, fleeing enemies, plague-ridden flies. The other Death Guard enjoy this a lot. The Tallymen also act as guardians to the most horrific viral weapons in the legion’s arsenal.

So, the new characters tend to either be developments of the original legion, or are ‘normal’ Death Guard who have gone up the ranks, become champions, and then ‘specialised’.

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We get new units and vehicles too:

Blightlord Terminators: Elite Cataphractii-equipped infantry, eclipsed only by…
Deathshroud Terminators: Those who know their Heresy-era will recognise these guys, the elite bodyguards of Mortarion, pre-daemon. Now, they are just nasty, but more of that later…
Myphitic Blight-Haulers: Kind of a Bloat-Drone with tracks, these little tanks pack a good anti-armour punch while chucking out gasses that cloak nearby Death Guard.
Plagueburst Crawlers: Mobile artillery, but part daemon.
Foetid Bloat-Drones: Not actually new, as we got one in the Dark Imperium set, but these chaps now have access to heavy blight launchers and flesh-mowers, so they are worth a mention.

One thing to mention here – the artwork of the Beasts of Nurgle is very different to the current Finecast model and, try as I might, I cannot find a single Beast in any of the army shots of this book. New plastic Beast of Nurgle confirmed?

Anyway, what are these guys like to play? Well, if you have been messing around with Death Guard in the new edition, you will already know the combination of T5 and Disgustingly Resilient is pretty cool, Miasma is powerful, Poxwalkers are fun, and Bloat-Drones can really ruin someone’s day. Oh, and that the Lord of Contagion is actually quite hard once he gets into combat.

Have things improved, we wonder?

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The ‘common’ rules for the Death Guard include Death to the False Emperor (which is nice, so long as you remember to actually use it) and Plague Weapons (which used to more or less mean knives and swords but there are many, many new plague weapons in this book), which we have seen before, along with Disgustingly Resilient. All well and good.

However, if you keep to the Death Guard keyword in your detachments, you now also get Inexorable Advance (infantry and Helbrutes ignore penalties for shooting and moving with Heavy and Assault weapons, plus Rapid Fire up to 18″), and Plague Host (Troops grab objectives, even if the enemy has already got there).

Plague Host brings the Death Guard up to spec with loyalist marines, but Inexorable Advance is really quite funky. Bolters and Plasma Guns get a bit more terrifying but, more to the point, your Helbrutes can now peg it straight towards the enemy without losing accuracy. This would be the first clue that the new Death Guard have respectable long-ranged firepower…

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It is worth paying attention to Datasheets you think you have already seen before. For example, you will note that Daemon Princes have become cheaper for the Death Guard, and come equipped with Disgustingly Resilient. Combined with some other bits and pieces we will come to in a minute, we might just be seeing the new ‘default’ warlord for Death Guard armies, though it should be noted that the Lord of Contagion has also had a drop in cost.

Plaguebearers had a drop in cost in the Chaos Space Marines Codex, and that has been repeated here. However, the Plague Drones have not only become cheaper, but they have received an extra Wound each – still not sure they are all that, though they are fully capable of holding up enemy units for a while…

Plague Marines have the same options as those in Codex: Chaos Space Marines, but they are certainly worth a careful look. I am thinking units of 20, geared to close combat, might be a way forward – hellishly expensive, but nigh on unstoppable once you add a few bits and pieces that we are about to come to.

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The new characters sit squarely in the Elites choices, alongside the existing Noxious Blightbringer, so you don’t really have any cheap choices for HQs if you want something light to go alongside your Lord or Daemon Prince. However, the new guys are focussed squarely on improving other units rather than being cold killers in their own right (again, like the Blightbringer who speeds up other units).

The Foul Blightspawn is primarily around to stall enemy charges, removing their ability to fight first in a round. However, you will also be eyeing up his Plague Sprayer – this weapon is Assault D6 (9″ range) and automatically hits its target. The AP-3 and D3 are just mean, but the icing on the cake (the pus on the pustule?) is S 2D6 – an average of 7.

That thing is a Terminator-killer, whichever way you look at it, and characters are not going to be too happy getting hit either.

The Biologus Purifier pumps up Blight Grenades thrown by other units, turning them from Frag-a-likes to S4 and D2, with a potential for an additional mortal. That might be worth a shrug on your part, but keep it in mind as we begin to cover the Stratagems…

The Plague Surgeon is another model to keep close to your massed Plague Marine units, as he re-rolls any 1’s they make for being Disgustingly Resilient. His Gene-Seed Thief ability also means he is pretty handy in close combat against similarly-ranked loyalist Marine heroes.

The Tallyman will be another popular choice as he not only grants re-rolls to hits for nearby Death Guard, he also has a chance of refunding your Command Points – and, believe me, you will use a lot of Stratagems in a Death Guard army…

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Well, those are the characters. There is still plenty more to get excited about…

Deathshroud Terminators: At 11 points for 3, these guys are hellishly expensive, but with 3 S8 attacks at AP-3 and D3 damage, they will tear apart, well, just about anything. On top of that, any Death Guard characters nearby will gain an extra attack and, if they happen to be hit, one of the Deathshroud will step in to take the blow. Your Lord of Contagion should never teleport onto the battlefield without three of these guys.
Blightlord Terminators: These guys are 14 points for 5, which may seem a little more reasonable. You cannot really argue with T5 Terminators though, it has to be said, the weapon selections of the Loyalists are probably stronger. However, you will get a lot of mileage out of the Flail of Corruption, which will fairly reap anyone in power amour, and the Balesword they all carry is solid, if not exciting (though their Aura of Rust can increase it to AP-4). More durable than killy, the Blightlords will still cause the enemy issues when they teleport in.
Foetid Bloat-Drone: The drone now can have a heavy blight launcher, which gives it respectable (if not awesome) fire power at long range. However, the star here is the Fleshmower which, if I am reading this right, gives it 9 attacks (3 base, plus 6 for the weapon’s special rule, right?) in close combat at S8, AP-2 and D2. Tactical Squads, Chaplains… you’ll mow them all down with a couple of these.
Myphitic Blight-Hauler: The drone on tracks – comes with a missile launcher and multi-melta, which cannot be changed, but have three in a squadron and you are hitting on 3+ on the move. Decent enough for a mid-sized anti-tank unit. The really funny things are that it also gives Death Guard infantry cover, has a daemonic invun, and is Disgustingly Resilient – all on a platform that is T7 and W8, and costs less than a Blight-Drone. Count me in.
Plagueburst Crawler: Short version? Get three of these. T8, W12, Daemonic and Disgustingly Resilient. Add Entropy Cannon, that are basically lascannon that are a smidgen weaker and shorter ranged, but have AP-4, and a Plagueburst Mortar that requires no line of sight, and still kicks out D6 attacks at S8, AP-2 and D3 damage. Either have this on the front line, or tuck it behind a building and when the inevitable deep strike comes, kick out twin Plaguespitters which operate at S8 on this beast.

Now, these new units are all very exciting but, funnily enough, I think what really makes the Death Guard sing as an army can be found in the last few pages of the book.

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Let’s start with the Warlord traits.

The very first trait might be an automatic choice for you (until you get to the others, at least), as it effectively gives your warlord 4+ Disgustingly Resilient, for anything other than mortal wounds. That alone will keep your man in the game for a little longer.

Living Plague dishes out mortal wounds within 3″ of your warlord, which is easy enough to dismiss, but there are lots of different ways of kicking out mortals in this army, and they all start to add up…

However, you might well have your head turned by Tainted Regeneration – your warlord heals a wound at the start of each player’s turn. That is two wounds per round. Given how tough Death Guard warlords are in the first place, this might well put them beyond the reach of many enemies.

That Tainted Regeneration is going to be tough to beat but, depending on who you normally fight, Hulking Physique on your Lord of Contagion, taking him up to T6 could be worth a serious look, as S3 attacks (lasguns, puny mortals, etc) will just bounce off him all day.

In a similar vein to the last two, Rotten Constitution reduces all Damage by 1 (to a minimum of 1) which can really cut some of the weapons wielded by loyalist Space Marine heroes down to size.

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The Warlord Traits are good – the Stratagems are even better, and really start to make the synergies within the Death Guard shine. Here are some highlights:

Cloud of Flies: Gives one infantry unit cover when they are in the open, for one measly Command Point. Think about that 20-man Plague Marine unit I suggested earlier, who are now pint-sized Terminators. Or, think about Terminators, who now bounce Krak Missiles on a 3+.
Grandfather’s Blessings: Heals an infantry model (or brings one back). This could have saved my Lord of Contagion more than once in the past…
Gifts of Decay: Gets your more relics – normally, I might skip this one, but the Death Guard relics are actually quite funky.
The Dead Walk Again: Every model (friend or foe) that dies within 7″ of Poxwalkers, becomes a Poxwalker. Not likely to win you the game, but very very funny.
Blight Bombardment: Your unit of 20 Plague Marines gets charged? How about every one of them lobbing a Blight Grenade in Overwatch? Did you keep your Biologus Purifier close by? I knew you would.
Veterans of the Long War: Add +1 to the wound rolls of one infantry unit. The damage that could do in the hands of Terminators (of either flavour) will give any Lord of Nurgle happy thoughts.

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I mentioned relics earlier, and yes, they are pretty top drawer as far as Nurgle is concerned.

Suppurating Plate: I predict that you will see this on a Daemon Prince in more than half of the Death Guard armies you fight. It gives him a 2+ save, and bounces close combat hits that the armour catches – add that to some of the sexier warlord traits (Tainted Regeneration, perhaps), and the Daemon Prince will just keep on going… and going…
Pandemic Staff: Adds +1 to psychic tests made for Smite. Sounds a bit poor, but the amount of times I have failed that roll (plus gives you a better chance of turbo-blasting the power).
Fugaris’ Helm: Increases auras by 3″. Doesn’t sound so much but in some cases you will be doubling their range…

For psykers, the Contagion discipline gets new powers and… you know what… I am a little less excited by these – but I also know why.

Miasma of Pestilence is just so good. Not too good, but so good. It sort of over shadows all the others.

That said, you get Blades of Putrefaction which adds +1 to wound rolls of any Death Guard unit, with the possibility of kicking out mortals too. With a charge value of 5, this will get attention.

Putrescent Vitality has potential too, as it boosts the Strength and Toughness of an infantry unit by 1 – however, this could be quite situational, given that the Death Guard tend to be tough and strong to begin with. There will not be too many times, for example, where it is beneficial for Plague Marines to be T6. However, if they are S5, they are suddenly whacking normal Marines on a 3+. You’ll need to match up power and unit against a specific enemy.

Curse of the Leper rolls 7 dice and every one that beats the Toughness of the nearest enemy unit causes a mortal. Not desperately exciting, but a good roll could cause a typical character all sorts of problems.

The biggest issue with these powers is that the first you will pick is Miasma, cutting down on the other choices. Put another way, it is a brave Death Guard lord who goes into battle without tooling up on Miasma…

 

Summary

All in all, this Codex is, I think, a Win for Nurgle and the Death Guard. It is very characterful and while it may not have any obvious ‘Death Stars’, the sheer resilience of the army makes it very forgiving, and there are endless ways to confound your enemy as you gradually wear him down.

On the flip side there are a lot of rules to remember for each unit (what kicks out a mortal wound, and under what circumstances, for example), and you will forget a bunch of them when you first start playing. However, as I said, the Death Guard are a forgiving force, so you won’t be losing battles just because you forgot rules X, Y, and Z.

Overall, I would grade this Codex as making the Death Guard born again hard, and I can’t wait to get them onto the battlefield again!

 

Review: Blightwar

After waiting for what seems an age, the next installment of the Age of Sigmar storyline has finally arrived – Blightwar, in a great big box set. So, what secrets does it hold..?

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Now, one word of warning – I quite got into the storyline behind the Realmgate Wars, so I come to Blightwar wanting to like it.

That said, the first impression of the box set is that it is… light. It is one of GW’s big £95 box sets and it really lacks the heft of something like Dark Imperium, being more akin in feel to Execution Force and games of that ilk.

You just don’t get the feeling that you need a pack mule to get the thing home, you know?

Still, opening up the box, you can see it is filled to the brim with plastic models.

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Split between Stormcasts and Daemons of Nurgle, most of these models you have seen before (not classing that as a bad thing at all, as those Nurgle daemons will be joining my Death Guard this weekend!). However, there are two brand new models, thus far exclusive to this box set. First up is the first female Stormcast we have seen, Neave Blacktalon:

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Followed by the snail-riding champion of Nurgle, Horticulous Slimux:

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You also get a Cycle of Corruption wheel, which I will come back to in a minute. Please forgive the meaty paw in the photo, but I wanted to get across the size of this wheel – you are not going to lose it in your box of counters and dice!

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Finally, the Blightwar book itself – for me, the most important part of this box set, as this is the start of a new cycle in the Age of Sigmar storyline.

First impressions? Well, if you got used to the giant hardbacks that made up the Realmgate Wars series, it feels light. In fact, if you remember the softback you got in the original Age of Sigmar starter, it still feels light.

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Blightwar is a 40 page saddle-stitched (stapled) book – however, what is important is content, so we dive in…

The first handful of pages are a general introduction to the Mortal Realms (this is the war, the Realmgate Wars were a thing, these are Stormcasts, etc). This is fair enough, as Blightwar is intended as a starter set of sorts (though you now have a fair selection of starters for Age of Sigmar, and 40k seems to be going that way as well).

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You then get the preamble to the Blightwar, starting with how Nurgle fared (not brilliantly, letting Alarielle slip through his fingers) in the Realmgate Wars, and how he decided what he would do next. In a nutshell, Nurgle believes he was way too selfish when he fixated on the Realm of Life – there were beings all over the Mortal Realms just desperate to receive his blessings.

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So, summoning his Grand Cultivator (Horticulous Slimux), Nurgle sent his hordes across all the Realms, tainting sites of magical power to bring forth his own Garden.

Simples!

The two lead characters in this part of the story (Horticulous and Blacktalon) get their own write-ups in the standard ‘unit’ style. It is suggested that Horticulous might be the first daemon Nurgle ever created, and he is the preeminent expert on spreading the Garden of Nurgle.

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Neave Blacktalon, on the other hand, is the first of the Knights-Zephyros to appear, assigned to the Vanguard Chambers to basically act as an assassin in battle – they pick a target, then race ahead to destroy it.

Funnily enough, while you get a good sense of who Horticulous is and what he is like, you don’t really get a good feeling of what Neave is like as a person, other than being bloody hard.

There is a two page introduction to the Blightwar itself, depicting Neave and her Vanguard Rangers (the Shadowhammers) chasing down Horticulous across the realms. They finally track him to Ghur (Realm of Beasts) where he seems to be heading to one of Sigmar’s cities, Excelsis.

Cue big fights.

There are three Battleplans that showcase this fight, starting with Rearguard Strike which has the Stormcasts falling upon the trailing host of the Nurgle force, and culminating with The Great Sowing where the Stormcasts finally corner Horticulous in a final showdown.

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In the past, such Battleplans were presented on three pages, preceded by 4-6 pages of story that set up the fight. This time round, perhaps because of the limited space in this book, you get one page of story and one for the Battleplan itself. And you know what, GW? If this is indeed the new format for story-based Battleplans… I am okay with it. There is just enough information (once you consider the general overview that comes before) to make the battle mean something rather than just getting a collection of random models to fight.

I quite like it, especially if it means we will see more story-based battles rather than standalone Battleplans.

Oh, and there are no set forces in these Battleplans – while they obviously revolve around the contents of the box set, there is no reason you cannot really go overboard with both Stormcasts and Nurgle daemons if you already have the models.

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The latter half of the book is devoted to rules, and the first thing you come across are the Allegiance Abilities of Stormcasts and Nurgle. These just cover the Battle Traits (so no Command Traits or Artefacts), but fans of Nurgle will not be too unhappy as they now get Cycle of Corruption.

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If you lose the wheel that comes with this set, it is reprinted in the book, and basically Nurgle forces get a new effect applied every round, ranging from everyone getting healed to bonuses to wound rolls – I don’t think there are any bum notes struck here, and Nurgle generals will be able to predict what is coming next and plan accordingly.

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Warscrolls are provided for all units in the box set, along with two new Battalions. Blacktalon’s Stormhammers move a bit faster when they are close to their leader, and gain bonuses to hit rolls when they charge a unit that has already been shot up.

The Fecund Rituculturalists re-roll hits when they are close to Horticulous and can grow new Plaguebearers every round.

Finally, Pitched Battle profiles for all the units in the set, including the two characters and the Battalion.

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So, is it all worth it?

I think that will depend on whether you want/need the models. £95 is a lot (too much) if you are just wanting to continue the Sigmar storyline. However, if you want to continue the storyline and want a Nurgle and Stormcast force… yeah, sure. It is not a brilliant set by any means, but it is solid. Even if you are just after one of the forces and are looking to pass on or sell the rest, it remains solid.

I think the best I can say is that, for me personally, I like the story as presented (as short as it may be), will be using Neave and all the Nurgle Daemons in my existing forces, and consider my appetite suitably whetted for the next installment of the Blightwar which, I very much hope, will be a nice juicy hardback I can sink my teeth into.

 

General’s Handbook 2017 & Open War Cards

When the last General’s Handbook hit the shelves it marked a true shift in Age of Sigmar and how the game was played – will the dual release of the General’s Handbook 2017 and the Open War card deck have the same effect again?

It is time for us to see…

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I’ll say one thing before kicking off… this book is packed with cool things to do in the Age of Sigmar and if it is any indication of how GW will shake things up on a yearly basis for the game (and for 40k, with their similar Chapter Approved book), then the future is looking very bright for Warhammer players of any ilk.

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As expected, the book is divided into the three styles of play; Open, Narrative, and Matched Play. It starts off with Open Play, which most players are just going to skip over – but wait! As well as the general mash-up most players seem to think Open Play is (it really does not need to be that way!), the new GHB introduces some variants that are, in the very least, interesting.

For example, using the Open War cards (scroll down for the review on them), you can construct an Open War campaign with the winner of each battle able to influence the direction the campaign goes in. That might be worth a real look.

There is also ideas for Open War Tournaments – I am less enamoured with that as I am not sure Open Play and tournaments really mix. Still, it is there if you want a swing at it.

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Open Play also embraces Triumph & Treachery which, having played at the T&T event at GW HQ, I can thoroughly recommend. More than just a multiplayer game, T&T actively encourages you to make alliances, bribe opponents, and then treacherously turn against them throughout a battle. Get four or five people all doing that round the same table, and you have a real battle on your hands!

This is done through the use of Treachery Points that are accrued through the game and then spent to nobble your opponents through acts like bribing enemy wizards not to cast spells, placing a turncoat in an enemy unit, or placing a booby trap in front of a unit about to charge…

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GW then go one step further… Triumph & Treachery campaigns. This plays just like the map campaign of the first GHB but with more treachery. That kind of campaign is going to be chaotic in the extreme, but it has to be a lot of fun, and will suit less serious (more fun!) players nicely.

That concludes the Open War section and then we launch into Narrative Play – and I am all about the Narrative Play, as regular readers will know. There are a few pages on forging a narrative and building themed armies… which is okay, but the first real meat comes in the form of new Time of War sheets that now cover each of the Mortal Realms.

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This is useful (I could certainly have used it during the Realmgate Wars), though there is a lot that will be familiar when playing in Aqshy or Ghyran – if you have used Time of War sheets, you have seen many of the rules presented here before. That said, we have our first real look at rules for Shyish, Hysh and Ulgu, which I will certainly be pulling out in forthcoming games.

We then get six Battleplans intended for Narrative Play… and they are all pulled from the Realmgate Wars books. That was disappointing, and I am trying hard not to use the word ‘filler’.  However, we then get a definite plus in the form of siege battles.

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Now, don’t expect anything too complicated here – this is Age of Sigmar, and counting up ‘tunnelling points’ as you try to undermine an enemy wall would not have been the way to go. Instead, GW have adopted a system based upon the siege in the Realmgate Wars – however, rather than just lifting the simple matrix system, they have built upon it. You still focus on starving, battering or tunnelling (if you are the attacker), but the effects of each are now more varied, so even if you concentrate you starving your enemy out, you may till have some success on battering down their walls.

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Two Battleplans are provided so you can start your siege immediately.

By this time, we are less than half way through the book, and now it turns to Matched Play, the bulk of the General’s Handbook.

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There do not seem to be too many changes to the actual core of Matched Play, though there are two new Rules of One (you cannot re-roll or modify the dice roll to determine who starts each battle round – bad news for Seraphon – and no Artefact can be taken twice in an army).

You also have the rules for Allies in your force, which basically allow you to bypass Battlefield roles to take a small detachment within your army – so, if you have always wanted to add a couple of Gargants to your otherwise ‘pure’ Ironjawz, it is now a simple matter. A great move to inject some variety and get new models on the table without having to build a full force around them.

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There are also six new Battleplans intended for Matched Play. This I like, having a new set of Battleplans for tournaments every year (that is how they are going to get used, after all), meaning even competitive play will not be static. There are already well over 100 Battleplans for Age of Sigmar and in a few years time, that number will increase to a truly ungodly amount!

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The Pitched Battle profiles (the points for units) have all been updated – it looks like just the current range is included (I hear rumours that the old ‘compendium’ forces will still be ‘legal, just removed to a download – which is great, as that leaves more room for everything else in this book), but older ‘direct only’ models are still there, such as the Orruk Warboss on Wyvern.

One brilliant little touch on these pages are those stars next to certain (many!) units. This denotes something has changed since the last GHB and that, frankly, is a mark of genius on the part of the designers (really simple things can be genius because the rest of us miss them…). If you want to know if anything has changed for your favourite unit, there is no need to sit down with both books and cross-reference everything, it has all been done for you.

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There is also just one Warscroll update, for the Grundstok Thunderers. This is nice as it goes, but I cannot help thinking that the GHB is not the place for this – think a few years ahead, and these Warscrolls could really start crowding out other material, when they would be far better placed as downloads… like every other Warscroll.

Finally, we get into the new Allegiance stuff. Every Grand Alliance is represented, as before, though there have been some small tweaks (don’t worry, Destruction players, Battle Brew is still there). What is new is that the small alliances are now represented – not all of them (perhaps more will appear in GHB 2018?), but enough to get you going and you do, of course, still have the Grand Alliance to build upon.

For example, Clans Pestilens and Skryre now have their own Allegiance abilities, but Verminus does not.

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There is always going to be someone who gets missed out with this approach, but I don’t think there will be too many glum faces, especially as a force like the Free Peoples get attention…

One of my favourites, the Seraphon, have this treatment, and all you lizard guys will not be disappointed – you can now teleport any unit across the table and unbind spells regardless of range… This is on top of Commmand traits, which are specific to Slann, Saurus and Skink, and new Artefacts (the Coronal Shield, which blinds enemy units, has potential, but I think a lot of people will lock firmly on the Prism of Amyntok and take advantage of the D3 mortals it kicks out during movement phases…).

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Not enough for you lizard players? Well, have a couple of new Warscroll Battalions as well. Not every allegiance gets these, but there are enough scattered about to keep things interesting. The personalities in the Battalions will be familiar to anyone following the Realmgate Wars storylines and though they take the form of the ‘mega-battalions’ that have appeared in past Battletomes, the required models are not too onerous at all. The Fangs of Sotek is a nice addition to boost a Carnosaur, especially when added to the abilities of the other Starhosts within the Battalion, but the Dracothion’s Tail might be worth a look – if someone can ‘figure’ this Battalion out for tournaments, summoning might be a real thing.

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As I said earlier, if GW can keep reinvigorating their games by these yearly books, I think they are onto a winner. Even if they release a ‘bum’ year book, you will only have a few months for things to change again rather than waiting years for a whole new edition. What is even better is that, points aside, this GHB does not really replace the old one, so they can build into a full library of ‘cool things to do in Warhammer’ over the years (that does not apply to Matched Play so much but if you chose to be a competitive only player, well, that is your look out – you are missing out on a lot!).

When GW talk about ‘game changing, again’, they actually mean it. This book is more of an evolution than the last GHB, but it is building on solid foundations and is all the better for it. At £20 for 160 pages, the GHB 2017 gets a big thumbs up.

 

Open War

The Open War card deck comes in GW’s new style ‘cigarette packet, like those of the recent 40k card decks.

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The rules to use them come, predictably, on the first card, but the rules take up four sides – now, it would have been very easy (and, indeed, lazy) for GW to simply print them on two cards but, instead, they made a little ‘gatefold’ card instead. A tiny touch, but a nice one.

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When using the cards, you divide them up into five decks; Deployment, Objectives, Twist, Ruses and Sudden Death. Draw a card from the first three decks, and you have a Battleplan all set and ready to go!

You then count up Wounds in your armies. If one player has more, his opponent draws a Ruses card. If he has more than twice the Wounds, his opponent also draws a Sudden Death card.

There is a great deal of variety here – the Objectives cards create the victory conditions, and they can be as obvious as placing objective markers, to King Slayer, which gets players to count out the Wounds they dish out, doubling their score if they nobble the enemy general.

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Twists create adverse conditions players must either get around or find someway to use to their benefit. Dead of Night, for example, limits the range of all spells and attacks, while Battle Frenzy boosts all melee attacks.

Ruses are used to boost weaker armies, and basically represent inspired tactics like Outflanking an army or bringing in Reinforcements (recycling a dead unit). If an army is really outclassed, it can used Sudden Death cards to focus all their efforts on a single objective to immediately win the battle – Assassinate allows you to destroy the highest Wound Hero or Monster in order to win, while Endure simply means you need just one model on the table at the end of the fifth round.

Assuming you can avoid the real twits in your group (five Bloodthirster man) who just want to win at all costs, I think this is a great little system for pick up games. There is plenty of variety in this card deck, and there is no reason why any two games should repeat themselves, a hallmark of Age of Sigmar.

GW have avoided printing the text too small (unlike their recent Warscroll cards – grrrr!) and, at just a tenner, I don’t think you can go wrong…

Codex Chaos Space Marines & Grey Knights

The universe of the 41st Millennium has been rocked today but not just one new Codex, but two – the Chaos Space Marines and their long-running foes, the Grey Knights.

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In this little review, I am going to be concentrating more on the forces themselves as they pertain to the setting, rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of the rules and stats themselves – leaks have already been flooding out for these two books, and the debates over rules and points values will be raging in just a few days, so you can get all of that elsewhere. Think of this as being from the narrative point of view, rather than a consideration of the points efficiency of taking three Grand Masters in Nemesis Dreadknights (seriously, does no one see an issue with taking three Grand Masters?).

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Just flicking through these two books will give the same impression – there is some new (and very nice) artwork lying around, but also an awful lot of reused art, and nowhere is this more apparent then on the front covers. Overall, especially when matched against the massive tomes packed full of gorgeous art that followed the launch of Age of Sigmar, it does give the impression of the books being a little… rushed.

Now, I do not think that is actually the case. I think the actual content of the books stands on its own, and that art was reused on this scale simply to speed production – after all, GW has said that ten new Codex books are coming out from the launch of the new edition to Christmas, which is a lot. Alternatively, maybe we will find out that art resources were diverted to a massive project we have yet to hear about (the 40k equivalent to the Realmgate Wars?).

However, someone who really cares for the art in these books may come away thinking things look a little… cheap.

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I have far fewer issues with the background material. The initial sections talk about the nature of Chaos, what it is to be a Chaos Renegade, four pages are given over to the Horus Heresy, and then there is a look at the larger legions. Each gets four pages, starting with the Black Legion.

There is some nice imagination shown here, as Plague Marines, Rubrics, and Noise Marines are all featured in Black Legion colours – I mean, we always knew they existed, but I don’t think we have ever really seen the cult Marines as a specific part of the Black Legion, they always seemed kinda tacked on. It is a nice touch.

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Many people seem to like the Alpha Legion, but though they have popped up in a couple of 40k novels I have read recently, they still have not quite grabbed me. Added to that, the twin-lightning claw chap on the bottom left is listed as being skilled in infil-traitor tactics. Yeah, they went there.

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There is only so much you can fit into four pages, but it does seem that there is enough to get your teeth into if you are looking to start a new legion. You can read about their origins, their tactics, and what they are likely up to in the 41st Millennium, as well ‘famous battles’ and some example warbands.

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As well as those shown here, you can also read about the Night Lords, World Eaters, Emperor’s Children, along with 16 once loyal chapters that have since turned to Chaos.

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Some, like the Crimson Slaughter and Red Corsairs we have seen before, but I don’t think the Flawless Host has been a feature yet (interesting point, the Flawless Host truly believe they are the embodiment of justice and purity…).

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All the various units are covered, from the highest Daemon Prince to the lowest Cultist. One thing that rapidly becomes apparent here – no new units. Of course, we were not really expecting any, but don’t expect to find even a little tweak in their roles.

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This does bring me to another observation that had not really occurred until I started thinking about these books in terms of the new edition and, importantly, the newest models…

The Chaos Space Marine range really does look tired. True, if you are a Craftworld player, you might be wondering why anyone would complain if they have plastic models for the bulk of their armies, but I am beginning to get where many Chaos players are coming from. It comes to something when Cultists look better than elite Terminators…

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They do look better when mobbed together but, on their own, even the likes of the Berserkers look… a bit gangly, a little forlorn. Fortunately, those of us wise enough to worship at the altar of Nurgle look to be well-served in the next month or two…

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So, no new units. Is this Codex going to give anything to the Chaos Space Marines?

Well, yes, actually.

For a start, the old legions are no longer all mashed together under the heading of ‘Chaos Space Marines’. Each is instead treated in the same way as the differing chapters of the Loyalists so your Night Lords army is no longer Night Lords simply because you painted them blue – they are Night Lords because they scare the bejeezus out of any enemies who get close to you. The World Eaters get extra attacks on the charge, the Word Bearers rarely run, and so on.

Layered on top of this are the Stratagems which are divided between ‘general’ Chaos Marine (gaining a boon of Chaos mid-battle, loading up a gun with daemonic shells, and so forth) and those tied to specific legions. So, any Chaos Space Marine force can be imbued with the Fury of Khorne if it has the right units (getting them to fight again during the fight phase), but true World Eaters might shrug off psychic powers aimed at them (before burying a chainaxe in the psyker’s face, no doubt).

Speaking of which, the Dark Hereticus psychic discipline has been expanded and, usefully, there is one power from each of the Chaos gods (excepting Khorne, of course) that can be substituted instead – this is one thing that bothered me about Index: Chaos, whereby a Death Guard force might take a Chaos Sorcerer, but it would feel distinctly un-Nurgle despite its Keywords. This way you get the full range of Chaos powers, but can still give your Sorcerers a feel of their legion.

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The legion-specific theme continues through Artefacts of Chaos and Warlord Traits – so, you can tool up your World Eaters Lord with a Brass Collar (really screws up psykers) while making him Slaughterborn (+1 Attacks and Strength every time he kills something really nasty – could add up to some interesting numbers!).

With this book, Chaos Space Marine players have received a lot of the toys they have been asking for, to the extent that the only thing that really lets down a Chaos Space Marines force now are the models. The Thousand Sons have already seen some love, and it looks like Nurgle’s boys are next, so we might have some faith in Khorne and Slaanesh getting their turn.

For my part, I have been giving some serious thought for a while to doing Kharn’s warband – nothing too grand, just a little detachment to add to other armies, featuring a bunch of Berserkers, Kharn himself, and the odd daemon engine or three…

That is the Chaos book done – now we turn to the Grey Knights.

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Though priced at the same point as the Chaos Space Marines book, this Codex is noticeably thinner. However, given what it adds to the army, I don’t think Grey Knights players are going to be complaining all that much.

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It follows the same format as the Chaos Space Marines book (and Space Marines, for that matter), and I think we can probably expect that to remain for the first ten Codex releases at least – Age of Sigmar Battletomes have changed, but did so over a fair period of time. I have a feeling the first ten 40k books are ‘locked’.

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Also like the Chaos Space Marines, there is a distinct feeling that this Codex was released to get the army properly supported under the new edition as quickly as possible (no one wants to be relegated to a pure Index force for long). So, re-used artwork, and no new models upon release.

But then we spy…

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As it turns out, the Grey Knights do get some new toys, albeit ones that have been available to lesser Marines for years. Not that I think Grey Knights players are going to be turning their backs on them.

Grey Knights Chaplains are now a thing (useful, considering the powerful close combat weapons the Grey Knights use), as well as Stormtalons and Stormhawks, a nice addition alongside the ever-present Stormraven.

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While no conversion guides are present, examples of converted models are pushed to the fore, and I think we are by now all aware of the Dreadknight Grand Master in White Dwarf – who now has his own Datasheet in the Codex, so go ahead and convert one (but only one… come on, can we not all agree that you should only have one?).

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The Chaplain and Gunships are not massive additions by any stretch, but they do serve to round out the Grey Knights nicely, into a more capable force.

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Absent new models (as, I am guessing, maybe half of the first wave of Codex releases will be), I think the core of the books will not be the army lists themselves, as we have already seen the Datasheets in the Index books (and changes are likely to be minor, if they are made at all), but the Stratagems/Warlord Traits/Relics/Psychic Discipline – which is quite odd when you think about it, as it means the books are revolving around perhaps just half a dozen pages.

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However, those pages have a great effect – after all, they are what makes the Ultramarines different from the White Scars and, here too, they are used to hammer in what makes the Grey Knights what they should be on the table. Expect Psybolt Ammunition (boosts AP and S), Orbital Bombardments (oh, yes), and Teleportation Boosts (bounce your Interceptors again) when facing the Grey Knights – it is a fairly subtle layer to add to an army, but those Stratagems really do have an effect on the battlefield and make you feel you are playing a very different force to your opponent, beyond the actual models and their stats.

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At the end of the day, there are no great revelations in either of these books, and certainly nothing in the way of Codex: Space Marines (Inceptors with plasma!). But they are solid in their approach and, more importantly, will elevate an army beyond its bare bones Datasheets in the Index books.

That, I think, is their central point. The Index books get you playing the new edition with your full, existing force, but the Codex for your army will make it shine.

We all want new toys for our armies but, given the proposed hectic release schedule, I think this is an acceptable compromise to get all the armies up to spec without having people wait for years until their turn comes along. At this pace, everyone will have their Codex in fairly short order (be a little patient, at least!), and I am sure we will be getting new toys along the way.

Overall… solid, if not spectacular, unless you already have a Chaos or Grey Knights force, in which case your army is going to feel a lot more flavourful on the table.

Review – Codex: Space Marines & Datacards

I’ve got the new Codex: Space Marines and you haven’t!

Ahem.

So, the 8th edition Codex: Space Marines has plopped onto my desk and, as we have done so many times before, we must ask ourselves the deep, moral question – is it any good?

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First things first – this book is jam-packed full of stuff. Jam-packed. Rules, datasheets, background… you name it, they probably squeezed it in.

Second, the artwork is continuing in GW’s current rise in quality and is fairly fantastic.

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So, this Codex: Space Marines covers all the ‘general’ chapters (Ultramarines and their successors), along with some of the more esoteric ones, including the White Scars, Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists, Black Templars, Salamanders, Raven Guard, and Iron Hands – and their successors. If you are a die-hard Dark Angels Blood Angels, or Space Woofs player, I am afraid you are going to have to wait your turn, but there is still plenty of new things to get your teeth into (which we will get to soon enough!

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This book assumes only base-level knowledge, so you have an introduction to the Space Marines themselves, how they are built (with differences for the new Primaris guys),  chapter organisation, and the Indomitus Crusade.

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Take a closer look at the Ultramarines 2nd company above – at first glance, it is the same organisation as we have seen before, but on closer inspection, you can see the Primaris Marines are riddling the company, and there are now 12 squads.

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The Ultramarines get a fair few pages to themselves (of course), but the other chapters get a whack at the Grot too, with squad markings, banners, major battles, and successors.

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There is even a section for ‘other’. It is good to see the Mentor Legion back and representing (yes, I am old enough to remember when they first appeared in White Dwarf), though there is no mention of their special gear (I have a feeling GW does not really know what to do with them yet – there were discussions about revisiting them during the Paul Sawyer-era of White Dwarf, but nothing came of it then either).

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As is usual for Codexes (and Battletomes, for that matter), each unit gets its own write up to place it within the context of the army, starting with heroes, and going through to squads and vehicles. You will notice that squads are now grouped together, such as with the Close Support squads above – Inceptors, Reivers, Assault, Centurion Assault, Bikers, Attack Bikes, Land Speeders, and Land Speeder Storms… all Close Support now. Other squads are divided into Battleline, Fire Support, and Veteran.

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All the special characters are also covered, from Mr Guillman himself to Chaplain Grimaldus, who proceeds the Black Templars specific Emperor’s Champion and Crusader Squads.

IMG_9180There are plenty of photographs of Space Marines in the ‘hobby’ section, as you would expect and while I have not yet gone over all of them with a magnifying glass to spot new models, there are some that leap to the eye, such as the Primaris Chaplain and Apothecary.

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You will also notice some new equipment fits as you flick… OMG, Inceptors with Plasma Exterminators, Inceptors with frigging plasma weapons!!!

Ahem. Do excuse me. But I think I have spotted a new favourite unit for some people…

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All those goodies aside, it is the rules you want to know about, eh? Just what does the army list have that is new and exciting?

Well, for a start, little has changed in the ‘core’ army rules. And They Shall Know No Fear is the same as the Index, and Black Templars don’t get psykers. Of course.

Once again, I have not gone through the Datasheets yet with a fine toothcomb but, oh my, some things have already leapt out at me.

Aggressors and Reivers get lots of new options. Of course they do, the three-pack of Reivers was only ever going to be representative of the unit. The Flamestorm option on the Aggressors could be a lot of fun, though I suspect the Auto Boltsorm Gauntlets and Fragstorm Grenade Launcher (sorry, they are not Krak Missiles!) combo will be the preferred option. Unless you play Salamanders.

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The Redemptor Dreadnought is looking sweet, with the Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon (Heavy 12) or the Macro Plasma Incinerator (Heavy D6 and can be supercharged) leading the way for me at the moment.

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Inceptors, as we saw earlier, can be equipped with dual (two of ’em!) Plasma Exterminators, each Assault D3 with normal plasma damage which can, naturally, be supercharged.

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And the Hellblasters are not forgotten either, and they very much retain the plasma theme – you have seen the Plasma Incinerator already, but has Sir considered the merits of the Assault Plasma Incinerator? Not enough oomph for Sir? Then might I suggest the Heavy Plasma Incinerator? For the entire squad?

Suits you.

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And there is what may soon become everyone’s favourite new tank, the Repulsor, which is… just bedecked with weapons. It is a fairly short-ranged attack and, once you move beyond the twin-Lascannon, the longest ranged weapon is only 36″ and that is a heavy stubber designed to take down flyers. You’ll be closer and more personal with this tank which, considering it deducts from enemy charge rolls against it, may not be a huge issue (it has the same Wounds as a Land Raider anyway).

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Beyond the Datasheets, we have the reference section, which includes all weapon stats, and Stratagems unique to Space Marines and a few for specific chapters. White Scars, for example, can spend 1 CP for Born in the Saddle, which lets a Biker unit shoot and charge in the turn. Minor things, but very characterful, and way better than formation rules hat kick in all the time.

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Relics are back, again with some chapter-specific choices, to be given to any Space Marine Warlord.

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A nice surprise was an expanded Librarius Discipline, now bumped up to six powers. You get the three from the Index, plus Psychic Scourge (roll off against an enemy unit to deal mortal wounds), Fury of the Ancients (mortals wounds to every enemy unit in a straight line), and Psychic Fortress (auto pass Morale tests, and save against mortal wounds from psychic sources).

 

Conclusion

At the start of this review, I asked whether the book was any good. In a sense, that is irrelevant, because if you play 40k and have Space Marines, you are going to buy this book anyway (I presume you are only here to get a peek at it before it appears on shop shelves proper). This is one of the easiest sells GW has on their hands.

However, ignoring any rules issues that will need some games on the table to unearth, my opinion is a good one. The art and layout is top notch, the background comprehensive, and there were enough surprise ‘goodies’ to get the attention of even a hoary old veteran like myself.

If I absolutely had to level a criticism or two… well, all the points values are separated from the unit entries as they are in the Index. However, a) this is not an issue for me as I am one of those freaks using Power Levels (!) and b) I would be amazed if GW did not change this format in Codexes down the road – they have been very responsive to this kind of thing with the Age of Sigmar Battletomes, which now look very different from their first appearance, though I think the four already-announced Codexes will all follow the current pattern.

Second, there is no real hobby section, which is a shame. They have gradually been adding hobbiest bits and pieces to the Battletomes, and the latest (Kharadron Overlords) had full painting guides and even a little conversion section. It would have been nice to see that here but, on the other hand, they did have a lot of ground to cover with this book.

 

Datacards

So, I picked up the new Datacards as well.

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First impressions – this is a very ‘deep’ box, meaning it has a lot of cards inside. Second, while the box itself is not as durable as the (frankly bullet-proof) sets we had in the last edition, the ‘cigarette packet’ format somehow feels a bit more upmarket. Your mileage may vary on that one.

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Inside, there are three types of cards – the Tactical Objectives (which I never use – never really got round to that style of play), Stratagems (useful, because they are just the thing that can be forgotten during a game), and all six of the new psychic powers, plus Smite.

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Overall assessment – there is nothing wrong with these cards which, for a game accessory like this, is going to be all you can ask for. They are not going to shake your games to their foundations, just make playing a little bit easier.

Job accomplished on that one.

Now… where is my Codex: Death Guard, eh?

 

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!