Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: Warhammer 40,000 Battle Missions

So while at Toy Stampede picking up prizes for RECON, the Warhammer 40,000 tournament I will be running this weekend, I bought myself a copy of the latest Warhammer 40,000 supplement.

Now I wasn't sure what to expect from Battle Missions but as someone who runs a war gaming club and tournaments, it struck me as being a handy resource to invest in. As soon as I got home, I gave it a good read and well... I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

So what does Battle Missions give you? Well it contains 3 new missions for each faction (except the chapter specific marine dexes like Dark Angels and Space Wolves and the Inquisitorial dexes which is a bit of a bummer) Most of the missions don't necessarily need to be the armies the mission seems designed for but obviously some missions would work better with the intended participants.

Some of the missions seem like really good fun, Black Crusade is akin to the old Meat Grinder mission with units being recycled back onto the table as soon as they are destroyed as players race to gain the highest body count. However there are also a lot of other missions which just seem very bland or too much like each other. Frankly though it has some good, well presnted missions they aren't anything an enthusiast with a good head on his shoulders couldn't come up with himself. However that in itself highlights a strong point of Battle Missions.

Rather then having to devise and present these things ourselves, in this supplement, Games Workshop is essentially doing the hard work for those of us who simply do not have the time on our hands or the ability to do so. Also in a club environment, I imagine it will be a handy resource for players to tap into.

The background material it provides isn't really worth a mention. There's nothing really new or remarkable about it. Its just there because Games Workshop seems to feel we need to know what a space marine is and how ninja an eldar can be. Nothing we haven't heard before. But it does present some really need special missions in the form of a stream lined version of the old kill team mini game which looks every bit as enjoyable as its predecessor, if maybe a little easier to follow. Also, Line breaker looks good fun, where 3 super heavy tanks aim to smash aside the defending army and destroy the enemy shield generator. Looks like fun, not something that could be taken to seriously but as far as saturday night beer and pizza just for fun stuff goes, it would be great.

Also clash of the heroes would be fantastic fun under the right circumstances, a mission where the only thing that can kill your special character, is another special character. Could be really good fun in that unless your Colonel Straken ends up face to face with the swarm lord...

So at the end of it all, ever the eternal optimist, I think its a reasonable addition to the warhammer 40,000 family, I think it presents us with a useful resource for clubs and a handy piece of inspiration for designing missions and tryinmg something different at tournaments. But, it isn't something I would rush to buy and I certainly wouldn't get a copy if my regular opponents already had... So I guess I'm still not 100% on it... given time and some games with it, maybe it will seem more appealing.

Thanks for reading, Till next time.
- Beau

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