Review of Crusade Mission Pack – Beyond the Veil

Hello everyone,

Today I am very excited to present my review of the first DLC mission pack GW has released for the Crusade Campaign system. Overall, I am excited about what this release represents, and I think it provides a lot of cool rules and options for anyone who is looking to set up novel or fluffy games. I have broken my review down into three parts: 

  1. Story
  2. Crusade Rules
  3. Missions

Story:
There actually isn’t much to say here. I thought GW would advance the plot further, but the story section only occupies around four pages. If you were expecting something like the old Forgeworld books you will be disappointed. That being said, I think this does show GW is continuing with the trend of focusing on more open theaters of war allowing for players to develop their own stories within the setting. However, I would have liked a little bit more from GW here and it feels a little too shallow.

There actually isn’t much to say here. I thought GW would advance the plot further, but the story section only occupies around four pages. If you were expecting something like the old Forgeworld books you will be disappointed. That being said, I think this does show GW is continuing with the trend of focusing on more open theaters of war allowing for players to develop their own stories within the setting. However, I would have liked a little bit more from GW here and it feels a little too shallow.

Crusade Rules:

I feel that this is the most fleshed out of the sections. They have added new artifacts, agendas, battle traits and scars, as well as a few new mechanics.

  1. Agendas: The new agendas are interesting and fluffy, and there aren’t any that seem like must-takes (Uncover the Answers would be the easiest it seems but even then it is a gamble). I do like how they have tied in the agendas with Investigation points and I feel like this mechanic is something that has broader application outside just this campaign system. The only downside of these new agendas is that they add more book-keeping as the bonuses can be spread out over more units> But,if you are playing Crusade, you should just get used to the book-keeping. It’s part of the fun.
  1. Battle Traits and Scars: As with the above none of the battle traits are overpowered (a very good thing). One thing I felt was not addressed is how you would factor in these new traits when rolling for them randomly (perhaps it requires a D10 now?) Given that these traits aren’t really better than the ones in the core book it’s less of a concern swapping them out, but still something to think about. Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole book comes in the new Battle Scars table. Previously scars were always negative but in this book the new ones typically have some positive outcome as well. For example one scar forces you to declare a charge if there is an enemy unit within 12” of your unit but also gives you extra attacks on a hit roll of a “6”. Given that each of these scars are better than the book options, if you are organizing a campaign I may recommend not giving your players the ability to freely swap them out but that they can take an additional scar for every 1-2 other scars they have. 
  1. Relics: The relics overall are pretty fluffy and tame, and the antiquity ones look like the most fun. The Hieroptek Staff and Sphere of Darkness are probably the best though the Rod is also great (I am thinking it would be fun to pair the Staff with another power that reduces enemy attacks for a -2 combined) One of the cool things about this section is they have added an unlocking mechanism whereby artifacts can be unlocked to improve them and unleash their potential. This is a mechanic I plan on using in the future as you could apply it to other campaigns (raiding a chaos armory, or having Harlequins protecting a portion of the Black Library etc.) 
All this belonged to Chaos!

Missions:

There are a total of 18 new missions in the book and while I wont go into detail on them they look like a lot of fun (especially the Regroup and Fighting Retreat missions). Another thing I love is that they have started to add in a variety of missions that can be transposed into other settings, like several city-fight missions that look very enticing. One of the two new mechanics to mention in this section is called: Strategic Setbacks and Afflictions. These two factors are environmental hazards of the Pariah Nexus and affect your ability to play the game in different ways. The Setbacks affect your army’s deployment (everything from how and when reinforcements come on to dictating where in your deployment zone you can place units.) Afflictions affect the units on the board when you play the game (subtracting “1” from psychic powers, removing the Ob. Sec. rules etc.) 

The other notable mechanic is “Investigation Points”. You can gain these through winning a battle or certain agendas you select and they can be spent to gain relics or honors etc. I like this system a lot, it does add a bit more tracking, but I appreciate that they have tried to tie in agendas with specific bonuses rather than just trying to gain exp. 

The rest of the book:

 I was a little surprised to see that the above sections only seem to cover two thirds of the book. The rest appears to be the core rules for 9th Edition which will provide a lot of value if you don’t have them already, but do seem a bit redundant if you have the core book already. Either way this makes it an even more enticing purchase for those who are just interested in narrative play as it provides you a lot of bang for your buck. 

Overall, I think this book is very solid and represents a promising step forward for Games Workshop. I will be excited if GW continues to release these supplements as they can function almost like a Volo’s Guide to the Pariah Nexus as each new one provides additional content. My only concern will be bloat especially if we get 6-7 books in as it will be difficult to track which units have what scars, traits and relics from which books. If they are planning on releasing more of these books it would be great if they could tie them in to an existing app to aid in all the record keeping (hint hint) 

Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments on the book in the comments section below!

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

secondhandhsop

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One Response to “Review of Crusade Mission Pack – Beyond the Veil”

  1. Avatar
    Rob Butcher October 17, 2020 12:00 am #

    GW started making a serious company providing figures and scenarios for the RPG (and a major tv show) of the early 1980’s. These feel like a throwback to the days of D&D campaigns that lasted a month or two, then you bought another.

    GW have listened to past feedback about not wanting to carry heavy rules books + camapign books – now we get rules bundled in for quick reference. That’s an improvement over the old four page rules card.

    I like the scenarios, settings etal. Maybe these are what PA would have been without all of the 8.5 rules and datasheet buffs. I liked those missions, but couldn’t afford 9x£25.

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