We’re on Crusade – Part 3

The Warhammer-community team brings us more info on how Crusade works!

One of the most exciting elements of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 is the immersive, narrative-driven Crusade system. To show you just how awesome they are, we’re taking you on a virtual Crusade, and over the course of the series, we’ll be introducing you to each element of a campaign. After our Crusade force’s punishing opening battle against the Necrons, we’re guiding you through what happens in the aftermath of a game.

There are three main areas to resolve after each Crusade game:

  • Discover what happened to units that were destroyed in the battle
  • Update experience points and determine battle honours for units that earned them
  • Update Combat tallies and Order of Battle

Let’s take a look at each one in turn…

Out of Action Units

After a battle, all models in destroyed units are restored, either having been repaired or otherwise recovered from their wounds. However, it’s possible for a unit to have picked up a Battle Scar along the way – you can’t always get away with being torn in half by a Carnifex or blasted apart by a battle cannon shell with nothing to show for it! A dice is rolled for each destroyed unit: on a 2+, they’re good to go, but on a roll of 1, you must choose one of the following options to apply to that unit.

To that end, we rolled for each of our Adepta Sororitas units that were destroyed in the battle with the Necrons to see what happened…*

The Canoness and Celestians fully recovered, but sadly not so the Battle Sisters. Given that they were green troops at this stage, we chose for Battle Sisters Squad Rolinda to suffer a Devastating Blow – they would earn no experience, but at least they would suffer no adverse effects, either. Had we chosen for them to pick up a Battle Scar, we’d have had to roll on the appropriate table (there are four – one each for Characters, Vehicles, Monsters and Any Other Units) and suffer the consequences.

Earning Experience

When a unit is added to your Crusade force, they begin with no experience. However, they will earn experience in every game and, if they perform well, a unit might even earn enough experience to level up! Other than achieving Agendas,** there are three ways that your units can accrue experience:

When a unit earns enough experience points to increase in rank, they unlock a Battle Honour of your choice to bestow upon them.

Here’s a breakdown of the experience earned by the units that took part in our Crusade force’s first battle.

The combination of Retributor Squad Sienn achieving the Sentinel Agenda in the battle and choosing them to be Marked for Greatness earned the unit enough experience to gain a rank! That meant that after only a single game, they are now eligible for…

Battle Honours

There are four types of Battle Honours that you can apply to a unit that has just earned a rank – Battle Traits, Weapon Enhancements, Psychic Fortitudes, and Crusade Relics. We chose to go with a Battle Trait, which has the same four categories as the Battle Scars tables.

We rolled a 3, so Retributor Squad Sienn would now be Grizzled. Being able to shrug off wounds is a useful Battle Trait for any unit, though we’re not going to lie – we were hoping for Cool-headed, as that would’ve suited a fire support unit like them even more!

Each rank that a unit earns also increases its Crusade points. If desired, the number of Crusade points that an army has can be used to help balance two rival armies. We’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s instalment.


When you first create your Crusade force, and after any battle, you can expend Requisition points to purchase upgrades for your Crusade force or units within it. You start with five Requisition points, but can never have more than five. Considering that you gain one Requisition point after each game you play (whether you won, lost or drew), it’s definitely worth spending at least one when you first create your Crusade force as we did.

As the next game we’ve lined up is against a much more experienced Crusade force, we thought that now would be as good a time as any to invest a few Requisition points in readiness. First up, we got some reinforcements in the form of three Penitent Engines. A lesson learned from facing the brutal killing power of the Skorpekh Destroyers and their lord was that we needed something that could fight fire with fire in melee. With a total Power Rating of 9 for the Penitent Engines, we needed to spend two Requisition points to increase our Supply Limit by 10 in order to accommodate them in our Crusade Force’s Order of Battle.

Next up, to take advantage of their handy Battle Trait, we decided to reinforce Retributor Squad Sienn with another five Retributors with boltguns to toughen the squad up even further and turn them into a lynchpin of the army.

However, the unit’s subsequent increase in Power Rating would also take us one point over our new Supply Limit of 60, so we needed to spend another Requisition point to bump it up to 65. This left us 4 Power short of our supply limit – just enough spare to add a 5-model Battle Sister Squad as a third Troops choice, which will enable us to field our Crusade force as a Battalion Detachment.

Update Combat Tallies and Order of Battle

The last actions to take after each battle are to update the relevant information on the Crusade cards for each unit that took part, as well as the Order of Battle for the full Crusade force itself. First up, let’s take a look at our fully updated Crusade card for Retributor Squad Sienn…

As you can see, we’ve tracked the number of units the Retributor Squad destroyed (alas, those poor Scarabs!) and have made note of their upgraded rank and Battle Honour. Crucially, the unit’s Power Rating has increased by 2 due to the unit being reinforced by five additional Retributors, and their Crusade points cost is now 1 to account for their Battle Honour.

And finally, let’s check out our updated Order of Battle…

Well, now that the Paragons of Piety have recovered from their injuries, gained experience, and even received fresh reinforcements, they’re ready for another battle… which, as fate would have it, is exactly what we have planned for them tomorrow! Join us then to see how they got on against the mighty Black Legion.

Remember, if you’re looking to begin a Crusade of your own, pre-order the Warhammer 40,000 Core Book and Warhammer 40,000 Crusade Journal today and you’ll be good to go!

* Seraphim Squad Amisara and Retributor Squad Sienn both suffered casualties, but neither unit was destroyed, so no Out of Action rolls were made for them.
** Remember that you can read about how Agendas work in the second instalment of the series.

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

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