The planet Vigilus is a crucial holding point in the warp-ravaged Nachmund Gauntlet, as forces for the Imperium, traitorous Chaos marines, Orks, and other deadly Xenos creatures battle for control across its ruined landscape. This week, alone with our coverage of the T'au Empire Codex and Combat Patrol, and a close look at two new space marine sculpts, we're diving into two new source books Games Workshop sent to us for Warhammer 40K centered around this ghastly conflict: the Wars of Faith mission pack and War Zone Nachmund: Vigilus Alone.
Warhammer 40K Vigilus Alone
Vigilus Alone kicks off the first season of tournament play for Warhammer 40K in spectacular fashion. Inside the 90-some pages of Vigilus Alone is an absolute drop pod's worth of lore following the events and lore that shape the season, rules for playing a campaign on Vigilus (including epic Legendary campaign missions), army rules for a new Army of Renown, and a Codex Supplement for the Order of the Bloody rose. Finally, Vigilus Alone ends with Crusade Rules, including how the religious fervor of your war of faith affects your troops on the battlefield.
The first 46 pages of the book are a deep dive into the conflict in the Nachmund Gauntlet, and especially all the trouble brewing on Vigilus. From the role Abaddon the Despoiler played in the early conflict, to the ways Inquisitor Cartavolnus fought back the forces of chaos with the destruction of the Noctilith Crowns (and the ensuing Coronal Wars that broke out because of it). There's so much more to dive into in this book to help expand the flavor and complexity of your missions.
Diving into the content surrounding a War of Faith Campaign, there's a lot of information to parse out, and the book recommends that gaming groups elect one person to be the Campaign Master, overseeing the way the campaign unfolds. That's because this Campaign could be run with dozens of players just as easily as its run in a 1v1 format. Players can break up between Imperium and Chaos forces, and form alliances with each other. There are also special war zone abilities for various planes of battle, each giving a different boon to Imperium and Chaos Forces. Take, for example, Dontoria - a war zone that allows an Imperial Alliance unit within 6" of an enemy unit to re-roll hit and wound rolls once per turn, and allows a Chaos-aligned player to roll a D6 once per turn during their command phase to potentially deaal a mortal wound and give penalties to their leadership characteristic.
Powerful and creative Crusade Relics also appear in Vigilus, including The Burning Skull, a blackened mutated skull that shoots flames which attack a unit, and if a hit is scored, "draw a straight line between the closest point of this model's base [or hull] and that of the closest model in the target unit. Make one wound roll against the target unit, and one wound roll against each other unit this line crosses over." A tricky effect to get right, but as its a "Pistol" type weapon with a 12" range (meaning you can fire while engaged in melee), it could be useful if you're getting piled on.
The Army of Renown featured in this book is the Vanguard Spearhead. Comprised of Phobos, Suppressor Squad, Invictor Tactical Warsuit, and Impulsor units only, this Vanguard has access to a slew of benefits and relics, including the ability to move up to 6" instead of the normal 3" when it consolidates. As mentioned above, Vigilus Alone also includes added Warlord Traits, Relics, and Stratagems for Adepta Sororitas units that are from the Order of the Bloody Rose. I especially like the Armour of True Sacrifice, a relic that gives the bearer an astounding 2+ save, and awards the player 1 miracle dice if the bearer of the Armour loses one or more wounds during a phase.
Along with all these cool little options, bits of lore, and expansions on the themes of campaign play are dedicated campaign rules, new stratagems to select, and so much more we can't fit in this Preview.
Warhammer 40K Crusade Mission Pack: Wars Of Faith
Adding to the depth of this season is the Warhammer 40K Mission Pack: Wars of Faith. This spiral bound book has everything you need to run missions in the Nachmund Gauntlet. Included are the general rules for starting a Wars of Faith Game (there are rules here for Combat Patrol-sized skirmishes all the way up to massive Onslaught-sized battles), the various Idol Abilities you get as you grow in devotion to your cause, special battle traits for Priests, and new requisitions and agendas.
Along with all that, Crusade Missions fill most of the back half of the book, ranging in size and scale from Combat Patrol on up. These missions are packed with flavor, include ways to turn your heroes into Paragons that must be protected at all costs, and offer unique tactical deployment options and little-seen win conditions.
Finally, this spiral bound book (very handy for sitting flat on the table) contains a condensed version of the rules of Warhammer 40K for easy reference. All in all, this is a one-stop-shop for the Warhammer 40K player looking for a new twist on the classic mission pack.
We're looking forward to watching the epic struggles that come out of the Nachmund Gauntlet as the very first battle season of Warhammer 40K hits tables. At the time of this writing, both of these products should be up and available for pre-order, so check it out and steel your faith!
The products used in the creation of this review have been provided by Games Workshop.