Chapter Approved 2017 Review: Eternal War and Maelstrom Missions

Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the new Eternal War and Maelstrom of War missions in Chapter Approved 2017. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

The 2017 edition of Chapter Approved also sees the introduction of 6 new Eternal War and Maelstrom of War missions. This adds a lot more variety to the missions in the 40k rulebook (as well as the awesome new ITC missions) and gives you some great new ways to play the game.

Eternal War Missions

There are six new Eternal war missions presented in the book. A couple of these introduce a new progressive scoring system, which is a nice addition to the rules and I think will encourage more objective holding or taking during the game, rather than just pouncing on them in the final turns.

Most of the missions are set up in the same way as the rulebook Eternal war missions. You set up the terrain, place objectives, determine deployment zone and the player that placed the final objective chooses the deployment zone. You alternate deploying units. In these missions, you roll off for first turn (the player that finishes deploying first gets +1 to the roll). All missions score a point for First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker.

Front-line Warfare

This mission is slightly different in that objectives are placed after choosing deployment zones. This mission uses four objectives. The first objective marker for each player must be placed at least 12″ from the centre of the board and at least 12″ from each players’ deployment zone. This means that for the standard Dawn of War deployment, two objectives must be placed on the central line. The second objective for each player must be placed in their own deployment zone.

At the end of the game, the central objective markers are worth 2 points each, the marker in your deployment zone is worth 1 point and the one in your opponent’s deployment zone is worth 4 points.

This is a mission that encourages players not to sit in their own deployment zone and to go after the objectives in the centre and your opponent’s deployment zone. I like this style of mission, as I think the game should be about going after objectives and not just sitting back and just shooting one another.

Resupply Drop

This mission uses 6 objectives placed in the standard way (12″ apart, 6″ from a table edge). At the start of the third battle round, the player with the next turn selects three of the objectives as Alpha markers. The remaining three are Beta markers. The player then randomly selects one Alpha objective (D3 roll that cannot be re-rolled with command point) and the other Alpha objectives are removed. The other player does the same with the Beta objectives. This then leaves only two objectives on the table. At the end of the game, each objective is worth 3 points.

This is another interesting mission. You can either cover your bases and go after all three of your objectives, or wait to see where they are revealed and go after them then. You can also choose which three objectives to roll for, so by turn 3 you should be in good position to choose the most optimal objectives to roll for. I think this one would be good to try and see if it works in gameplay terms to make an exciting game.

Scorched Earth

This mission also uses 6 objectives placed in the standard way. Each player scores one victory point for each objective they control at the end of each of their turns. If the objective you control is in your opponent’s deployment zone, you can choose to raze it. This gains you D3 victory points, but the objective is removed from the board.

I like this mission a lot. I like progressive scoring in a mission, which is why I am a big fan of maelstrom missions, but this is a bit more reliable. I think going after your opponent’s objectives and razing them sounds like a lot of fun. It makes it more difficult to sit back and have your common objective holders hanging on to the objective and racking up points. It also helps that you don’t need to clear the enemy off the objective, you simply have to control it, so this mission would favour large units of troops to “steal” the objectives from their opponent. I think this will be a pretty fun mission to play.

Dominate and Destroy

This mission uses 6 objectives set up in the standard way. Each players scores one point at the end of their turn for each objective they control. In addition, at the end of the game, you score 1 point for each enemy unit that is destroyed.

Another mission with progressive scoring. This one, however, balances holding the objectives with keeping your units alive while you do so. One of the issues that I have with these kill point-type missions is the inherent imbalance between different armies. It is unlikely that you will have the exact same number of kill points in your army as your opponent and the differences in unit sizes and durabilities can make this quite an uneven contest. I guess going for the objectives is a good option for this, as you can potentially score up to 30 points in a standard game, which you are unlikely to give away in kill points unless you go very heavily MSU.


This mission uses three objectives. One is placed in the centre of the battlefield. The other two are placed by the players, each one must be placed exactly 18″ from the centre of the battlefield and at least 12″ from each players’ deployment zone or another objective. You score one point for each objective you control at the end of your turn. If only one player has a character within 3″ of the objective, they will control it. Also, if the character controls the objective for more than one your turns consecutively, you score a number of points equal to the number of turns you control it (e.g. if you hold it for two of your turns, you score three points; one for the first turn you hold it, two points for the second turn, etc).

This is definitely a mission that favours tough to kill characters who like to get up close with the enemy. Given the objective placement, it is likely all three objectives will be down the central line of the battlefield (either long edge, short edge or diagonally), so you will want to grab them with a hard character as soon as possible and try and hold them for most of the game. I think this would be a good mission to plan ahead for, allowing you to bring a number of characters to make the game more interesting.

Roving Patrol

In this mission, each player splits their army into three portions with as equal number of units in each unit as possible. They then randomly select which portion starts on the battlefield, the rest start in reserve. After deployment zones are determined, one objective is placed in the centre of the board, and each player places one objective in their deployment zone (for 3 in total). At the end of your first turn, roll for each unit in reserve. On a 3+, they are deployed within 6″ of a board edge in your deployment zone (or can deploy using their own special rules if applicable). All units arrive from reserve at the end of your turn 2 movement phase. At the end of the game, each objective marker is worth 3 points.

This feels like another call back mission to previous editions, as it is rare for much of most armies to be set up in reserve a lot of the time. I think this would a fun mission, that would definitely favour fast and mobile units. You don’t want to deploy on your table edge and then be unable to get to the objectives in the first turn. The random nature of the forces you start with would also encourage a more balanced force, so that you don’t end up with unsuitable forces on the table.


I’m a big fan of objective-based missions, so really like these new Eternal War ones in Chapter Approved. I think that scorched earth is one of my favourites of the new missions. They should add a bit of variety to the standard missions in the rulebook.

In the coming weeks, I hope to try out all the new missions and see what they are like on the tabletop.

Maelstrom of War

Chapter Approved 2017 also features six new Maelstrom of War missions to use in your games of 40k. Maelstrom missions are one of my favourite ways to play 40k and have been since they were introduced, so I was excited to see what the new missions would have in store for me.

As with all maelstrom games, these missions use 6 numbered objectives for you to fight over.

Kill Confirmed

In this mission, each player has three maelstrom cards in their turn. If a maelstrom card involves destroying an enemy unit, it cannot be discarded until it is achieved (any impossible cards can be discarded and re-drawn). In addition, you score one victory point for each enemy unit that is destroyed.

This seems like a pretty standard maelstrom mission with 3 cards a turn. The bonuses for killing enemy units would favour an army that can hit pretty hard. Some of these may be difficult to achieve. For example, if you draw Big Game Hunter but don’t have the tools to easily take down an enemy vehicle or your tools are all dead.

Targets of Opportunity

In this mission, each player draws three tactical objective cards at the start of their turn. At the start of each subsequent turn, they must discard any tactical objective cards they have and draw three new ones.

This mission has a special stratagem called Second Chance. This costs 2 command points and allows you to select one tactical objective at the start of your turn and not have to discard it.

I really like this mission. I normally try to cycle through as many maelstrom cards as possible in a game, so this one really suits my playstyle. This forces you to play very aggressively in achieving cards, as you simply cannot wait for the opportune moment to score them, but must go all out to get them each turn if you want to score big. I look forward to playing this mission.

Tactical Gambit

In this mission, you draw up to four cards per turn. Each turn, before you draw new cards you must declare your gambit. To do this, you choose how many cards you think you will achieve in your turn, between 1 and 4. At the end of your turn, if you achieved equal or more than your gambit number of cards, you score that many additional victory points. If you don’t reach your gambit, your opponent gets that number of points.

This is another mission that I think will be a lot of fun to play. You need to predict how well you think you will do in your turn and gamble to score additional points. Do you go big and try and rack up your score, or be conservative to gain a few extra points each turn. I think in the first turn, it would be good to predict just one or two cards. Once you see your hand, you will have a better idea how much you can achieve in subsequent turns. During this game, it might actually be better to not score cards for a turn to then know your full hand in the following turn where you can try and score them and bet big if you think you can achieve them. This could be a great mission if you find yourself falling behind on maelstrom points, where you can catch up quickly with the right bets, or by stopping your opponent from scoring to get his gambit points.

Race to Victory

In this mission, you draw up to 3 cards in your turn. This mission ends when either player is the first to achieve 10 tactical objectives (or you roll at the end of turn 5 as normal).

The player that achieves 10 cards first scores a bonus 3 victory points, meaning they are likely to win the game (unless their opponent has only scored a few, high scoring cards). This seems like another fun mission that forces you to go all out and score your cards as quickly as possible, carefully sacrificing your unit to achieve the objectives- exactly my kind of game. This is one mission where a bad draw of the cards could hurt a lot. Might be worth saving a few command points to use the New Orders Stratagem to allow you to draw a new card.

Sealed Orders

In this mission, players start with 6 tactical objective cards. Once players have no tactical objective cards left, they draw 5 new cards. Once the 5 cards are all achieved/discarded, they draw four new cards and so on. This mission also has a Stratagem called Acceptable Losses. For one command point, you can discard up to 3 of your tactical objectives.

This mission could allow you to wrack up quite a few points if you draw the right cards. The stratagem in this one is great, allowing you to get rid of up to four tactical objective cards (assuming this doesn’t include the one you are allowed to discard each turn) and change up your hand very quickly. Another mission that looks like a lot of fun.


In this mission, you divide your army into three roughly equal portions and randomly determine which third starts on the battlefield. The rest are deployed in reserve. In this mission, you draw up to three cards per turn. The player that scores the most victory points wins.

At the end of your first movement phase, each reserve unit arrives on a 3+, setting up within 6″ of your deployment table edge in your zone, or using special deployment rules if the unit has them. All reserves arrive at the end of turn 2 movement phase.

This mission restricts the number of unit you have on the table to try and achieve your tactical objective cards. I can see this mission scoring big in the second or third turn as all your forces arrive and can start scoring. This mission, as with most maelstrom missions, would favour a fast moving and mobile force that can get around the board quickly to score points.


I really like the new maelstrom mission. These are one of my favourite mission types, so I am looking forward to trying out the new missions, some of which seem like a nice tactical challenge and a lot of fun.

What do you think of the new missions? Which is your favourite? Excited to try them out on the tabletop?


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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

6 Responses to “Chapter Approved 2017 Review: Eternal War and Maelstrom Missions”

  1. Adam Vollrath December 9, 2017 10:30 am

    Scorched Earth sounds really fun, and helps some armies that might struggle to hold objectives in other missions.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr December 10, 2017 3:08 am

      Yeah, I am looking forward to trying it out.

  2. Xenos Player December 9, 2017 3:12 pm

    So with two missions that make reference to reserves this gives the Lictor strategem pheromone trail a use in match play right?

    • Brakhal December 9, 2017 3:47 pm

      2 out of 24, and not so much. Is like the old Trigon tunel: if the unit you want to arrive with the Lictor arrives before, they will have to run the whole table.

  3. ChrisG
    ChrisG December 10, 2017 1:42 am

    Overall i am not a huge fan of most of these on the first read through but i think i should play them a few times before making any final judgements.

    At first i disliked the race to victory one quite a bit but thinking about it it really discourages gunline camping and could make for shorter games which might be neat for games where you have lets say 2 hours max. It will be fun to see what people think once they have tried these a few times.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr December 10, 2017 3:10 am

      I think it looks like fun, but not sure how much quicker it will be. The game will last at least 4 turns, assuming you can score every single card you draw, which is a big assumption. I can see games going to at least turn 5 or 6 and not even finishing with 10 cards scored.