Schemes within Schemes – Chapter Approved 2019 Maelstrom missions

Hey guys, Judge Lando again. Last time out, I was raving about how much I had been enjoying the Schemes of War Maelstrom rules (Here, in case you missed it) and how I was hoping they would get reprinted in Chapter Approved. My faith was rewarded! Not only were they reprinted, but six missions were created to use them.  Join me as I take a look at them.

This year’s must-have Xmas gift

Each of these missions takes the Schemes of War rules and adds a wrinkle, unique to the mission. The obvious intent of these is to change the way you approach the game and adds a new element to your game. It’s only one changed rule in each mission, but if you agree to a Schemes of War game in advance (so you can build your deck alongside your list) then you can randomly select which one you are going to play after the table is set up. All the missions have Acceptable Casualties, Slay the Warlord, First Strike and Linebreaker as standard rules.

Covert Manoeuvres

These manoeuvres look pretty overt

Summary – The player behind on victory points each battle round can play any and all of their cards face down, and their opponent must play their cards face-up.

I’m not a fan of this one. There aren’t many cards that are good face down. I suppose it reveals your opponent’s Defend cards, giving you a chance to stop them. Otherwise, it seems like a marginal rule. I could end up proven wrong though, we shall see once I’ve gotten some games in.

Ambitious Surge

Summary – Start of the movement phase, your opponent chooses one of your active cards. If you achieve it this turn or next, then it’s worth an extra point.

I like this one. It allows you to try and alter your opponent’s game plan. Imagine adding an extra point to a Secure card, luring your opponent to a specific part of the battlefield, or making them hold a unit back. It’s definitely interesting.

Critical Objective

Thinking is critical to scoring Objective cards

Summary – Start of your turn, you may shuffle a card from your discard pile back into your deck.

A simple one. It’s like a free Determined Push Stratagem every turn, which is good because it can be quite easy to run out of deck if you are scoring well. This also gives you a chance to re-score some easier cards if you are falling behind. It makes the Re-Prioritise, and other similar card draws, Stratagem more appealing to use as well.

Disruptive Tactics

Summary – Start of your turn, reveal the top three cards of your deck. Your opponent chooses one to put on the bottom and puts the other two back in an order of their choice.

You get a little bit of control over what cards your opponent is going to see. This can allow you to really hamper their chances of scoring points. It’s not a bad one, per se, but it could lead to very one-sided games, especially if one player’s deck doesn’t line up well with their opponent’s force or the objective placement.

Territorial Control

Board control is king

Summary – If you control more Objective Markers at the start of the turn, draw a card.

This is my favourite. A simple reward for claiming the Objective Markers, and controlling the board. It keeps the focus on the markers, even when your deck or hand doesn’t have any incentive for you to do so. Lists that can control the board will do better at this mission.

Confined Command

Summary – Start of the movement phase, your opponent may return one of your played cards to your hand. You may replace it with a different card.

The potential this one has for being a mind game is amazing. Do you hold back a higher scoring card so your opponent can’t bounce it, allowing you to use it as the replacement? Do you believe your foe is doing that, and not bounce anything at the risk of being bluffed the other way? It will lead to some interesting play and counter-play, especially with a canny opponent.

I can get away with using this pic again, right?

I’m really looking forward to trying out these variants of Schemes of War, although I do suspect that Covert Manoeuvres will be a bit lame. I’ll be sure to talk about how they played early next year. My next piece will be a companion to this, looking at the Eternal War missions from Chapter Approved 2019

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Judge Lando

A dashing man, with a dapper cape, yell "JUDGE!" and he will appear to answer your rules questions. Or, more likely, check arc and range...

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