Friday, April 13, 2012

A White Dwarf to Remember: Death Worlds Battle Missions!

Well, folks, I never thought I'd say it but.. I bought a White Dwarf.. and I liked it (and yes, I shamelessly stole that line from Meat for Meta). April's 2012 US WD387 is truly filled with awesomesauce and I think that for once the $9 tag is almost justified. There a bunch of new things to take a look at - the brand-spankin-new Empire range of miniatures with a beautiful illustration of the Empire's territory; (During the reign of Karl Franz, 2522) the final part of Warhammer Fantasy's Civil War Expansion featuring rules for the Empire, the Dwarfs and the Skaven; tons of painting tutorials, tips and tricks using the new 145 brand-new Citadel Paints but most important of all - three brand new missions and new ways to spice up your game by using PHIL KELLY's..

Death Worlds, WD387 April 2012
Death Worlds: Warhammer 40,000 Battle Missions
"Tread carefully, brother, for here even the battlefield is your enemy."
This expansion for the Warhammer 40,000 Battle Missions supplement/expansion provides you with 3 new missions to challenge your list-building skills and your skills on the tabletop.
The expansion focuses on those battles waged on the Death Worlds of the Imperium of Mankind. On the second page you will find Imperial accounts (by the Administratum) on four Death Worlds: Fenris, Sycodax, Luther McIntyre and Catachan. It's nothing too substancial or new, but it's certainly a nice touch. Gotta love the "Population: Survey Failed" tidbit about Fenris, though.


The premise is actually quite simple.
Battle Missions: Death Worlds uses five charts to add some grim realism to your games of Warhammer 40,000. The first chart is called the Hazard Randomiser Table and has 6 results on it. Rolling on it tells you how to proceed after that. Four of the results (2-4) tell you to use one of the following Death World Hazards, a 1 lets your opponent choose which table is used and a 6 lets you choose which table is used. You roll each turn to see which table you use and then you apply the effects, kind of like fielding Njal the Stormcaller. See? Pretty darn simple.

Then there are the four Death World Hazards:
- Environmental Hazards
- Seismic Hazards
- Indigenous Hazards
- Hellscape Hazards

Each table has 6 possible results and they are all very different. Some are just minor nuiscances (like a few D6 worth of S1 AP- hits on all non-vehicle units) others will bog your units down making terrain difficult and/or dangerous and others are pretty random and with high chance of pain. Nothing as asinine, game-breaking and overpowered as some of the Warhammer Fantasy spells, mind you. 
My only issue is that too many effects mess with non-vehicle units, units outside of transports, etc. giving non-mechanized armies the short of the stick more often than not. However, with some luck and clever table-choosing it may not be SO bad.

Speaking of Hazard Randomiser Tables..
old man Njal has a few words to say.
You can play normal games and just add the Death World Hazards, you can also add them to your games of Apocalypse or even to all of the other Battle Missions since they don't mess with mission objectives OR you can play one of the three new Death World Battle Missions: Search and Rescue, Breakthrough and Weather the Storm! Each one is pretty unique and personally I think that the hazards further enhance the gameplay, especially in the last two missions.
It's pretty crazy, actually.

I know I already linked you to Meat for Meta's article, but lemme do it again.
He seems to share my excitement about the newest White Dwarf issue and the new Battle Missions issue in general and then adds some pretty WILD speculations about Warhammer 40,000's 6th Edition.

Personally (and I might be a minority here) I seriously hope that missions follow the Battle Missions template in 6th Edition. It's just so much fun, it's fluffy and generic enough to make sense in conflicts between all the armies. I really like the visual of how the table is divided, where the deployment zones and table edges are and even where the objectives are supposed to go. It really helps with setting up the board.
Aditionally, I would rather have a few tables that add some variety to game play rather than having to roll for randomized terrain and then having to remember what each piece does throughout the entire game. 
With table-wide effects you roll at the beginning of the turn, apply the effects.. and you're done! It could even be an actual official phase - Terrain phase.
It's actually kind of doubtful, though, because Games Workshop will surely try to capitalize on new terrain kits and we'll get to field a gazillion towers, because that's all the terrain that Games Workshop seems to be making. The Garden of Morr is pretty awesome and an exception to this rule, though.

I'm actually might go to Staples and ask them to spiral-bind my copy of Battle Missions and then add the Death World expansion inside. How awesome would that be?

I am also kind of curious about the promised tutorials on how to make and paint some of the featured icy terrain which can be seen in the battle report between the Harald Deathwolf's Great Company and Hive Fleet Kraken.

And because I am a dreamer.. 
1) With Harald Deathwolf having his own story and a set of decals for his Great Company, wouldn't it be awesome for Games Workshop to give him some stats and special rules? Yes, I know that we already have a Wolf Lord on a Thunderwolf that's a Special Character, but .. come on!
2) You know what Space Wolves are missing? Their own Battle Missions. SERIOUSLY, Games Workshop. You gave Sisters of Battle, Grey Knights and Blood Angels their own sweet Battle Missions, but Space Wolves don't get their own set? D;

New Space Wolves Achievements:
What's That Lassie? Little Timmy Fell Down the Well? - Win the Search and Rescue mission from the Death Worlds: Battle Missions Scenarios expansion with Codex: Space Wolves.
The Dog Days Are Over! - Win the Breakthrough mission from the Death Worlds: Battle Missions Scenarios expansion with Codex: Space Wolves.

Thunderstruck - Win the Weather the Storm mission from the Death Worlds: Battle Missions Scenarios expansion with Codex: Space Wolves.
Through Hell and Back - Win all three missions from the Death Worlds: Battle Missions Scenarios expansion with Codex: Space Wolves.
Conductor of Lightning, Not a Lightning Conductor - While playing the Weather the Storm mission from the Death Worlds: Battle Missions Scenarios expansion, have Njal Stormcaller survive the Lightning Strikes Twice special rule by saving all the wounds from two consecutive Seeker Lightnings. 
Teaching an Old Dog a New Trick - While playing a game using the Death World Hazards tables, apply the Gravitic Anomaly from the Hellscape Hazards on a unit of Wolf Guards in Terminator Armor and force them to be placed in reserve and re-enter play by Deep Strike on their next turn. Who says that Space Wolves Terminators can't teleport?

3 comments:

  1. page 119 also features a certain miniature (in extraordinarily well painted form) that one could potentially win in a mere week from today. Huzzah.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, you are correct sir! I'm definitely buying one, just cause. Too bad it doesn't come pre-painted by a Golden Demon winner.

    ReplyDelete
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