I have been able to review the rules for the new narrative campaign system coming in the 3.0 release and wanted to share my thoughts. In many ways this system is similar to the Crusade engine found in 40k, but it has several significant differences. I will do a quick overview of how the systems works and then dive into the Good, Bad and the Ugly of it all.
As I mentioned earlier, the system is very similar to the Crusade campaign rules in 40k. You have a roster of units that you can upgrade over time, you have some limits on the abilities and relics that you can use at the start, there are specific missions that give you bonuses for winning etc. One of the first major differences is that the system has a heavy focus on building and upgrading a base and kingdom through the campaign. If you are familiar with the Drukhari Cormorragh mechanic in their codex it is almost identical (with the addition of rules for upgrading territories). Here are some other noteworthy changes you will see in how the system works.
- The number of Relics and Endless Spells is determined by the points level of the games you play rather then through unit advancement.
- There is one table for veterancy gains rather then the 5+ found in 40k
- Casualty systems have been revamped. Characters can perma-die and units can lose models at the start of the game if they took too many casualties in the previous battle.
- Faction terrain is determined by the battle plan and such models aren’t included in your roster.
Overall I think this system looks like it is pretty well designed. One of the problems with the Crusade system is that if you don’t have specific rules for your army, it can be rather bland and flavorless to play. While this book doesn’t have faction-specific rules it does provide more options in the form of the stronghold and territory systems. The new casualty system is also a plus in my mind. While it does run the risk of having “Feels Bad” moments when your epic character gets killed, it provides a stronger incentive to not needlessly risk your heroes. Additionally, for units, the loss of models at the start of the next game (if you were wiped out previously) is a good way to balance having a meaningful drawbacks for dying and not hamstringing a unit permanently.
There isn’t a whole lot to say here. I would have preferred to have a set of faction specific rules from the get-go. However, I do understand that they wanted something simpler at release. I think some of the language is confusing as you are upgrading not only your fortress but your territory and the distinctions can be confusing. The language can also be a bit dense at times, I still don’t know what an “Outpost” does though the highlighting of keywords in the text makes it much easier to skim for the rules you are looking for.
The main thing I am going to put in this section is my fear that the faction-specific rules will come out slowly and unevenly. The list of territories all but confirms that there will be Path to Glory rules in future Battletomes (following the 40k model). However, the slow, uneven, release of the 40k Crusade faction rules has been my biggest gripe with the system. There is a huge power imbalance between armies who have a 9th edition 40k codex and those that do not and I would hate to see it replicated in Age of Sigmar. Another reason I might be sensitive to this is that my primary armies are Daughters of Khaine and Soulblight and I am worried they won’t receive specific rules for Path to Glory for a long time. I am slightly optimistic that they could release rules for many of the factions in a General’s Handbook, which would be amazing.
I think GW is really starting to hone in on a fun rule system to conduct narrative campaigns. With the improvements on the Crusade system I think Path to Glory is in a good spot at release and we will see where the future takes us. With the full rules being released soon I am excited to start playing a campaign. Let me know what your are looking forward to and any thoughts you have about Path to Glory.
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