Friday, October 07, 2011

Review: Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2nd Edition

The Second Edition of Forge World's expansion for Apocalypse has arrived, loaded up with tons of wargear for the tabletop. However it is not all just for Apocalypse...

On the first page they display three handy logos, indicating whether or not the unit is intended for Apocalypse games, such as the Warhound below:

Or for regular games of 40k, like these Contemptors:

The third logo is for Apocalypse formations. However one very intersting thing is that the "Warhammer 40,000 unit" blurb reads:

This unit is intended to be used in 'standard' games of Warhammer 40,000, within the usual limitations of Codex selection and force organisation charts. As with all our models these should be considered 'official', but owing to the fact they may be unknown to your opponent, it's best to make sure they are happy to play a game using Forge World models before you start.

Nafka had a post recently on Faeit 212 about the officialness of Forge World, and you can read my opinion on the matter there. Suffice to say IA units are now as legal to field as any other unit in 40kdom. Because, you know, if my opponent tells me he's playing GK razorspam or a Leafblower I'm perfectly happy to not play him as well...

But I digress...

The book itself is the standard Forge World layout, but it broke a record! It only took me five minutes to find a mistake - it's usually a while before I spot those ;)
The special mission Rampage of the Beasts describes what forces and percentages they are broken up into for the Attacker twice. Also despite being an upgrade for 5th ed, the Eldar Serpent Rider Host still makes reference to Target Priority Tests.


But minor points aside, the book is solid. Now on to some of the more interesting things:

Imperial Guard

- The Marcharius Vanquisher got a second fire mode for its AT shells, gaining the +1D6 pen on that shot only, losing the blast but also gaining Twin Linked.

- The Marcharius Vulcan can fire twice like the Stormlord. The Vulcan Mega Bolter is still over-rated.

- The Crassus went up a little in points, but can carry 5 more dudes (so you can fit a whole platoon + Command Squad in there!) and also moves 12". Great improvements there.

- The Dominus variant of the Crassus features a triple bombard. It is delightfully over the top.

- The Praetor, pictured below, feels a little underwhelming. It has three fire modes (HE, Incendiary, AA), but you have to pick one before the battle. The explosive ones are only Ordnanace Barrage 2, and though they are 5" and 7" templates, something with so many missiles on it (and an Apoc unit) looks to me like it should fire more.
That said it's good they didn't just give it an Apocalypse Blast weapon, and it's not that expensive really.

- Tauros Squadrons are there for IG or Elysian armies (the Venator is an upgrade, so squadrons can be mixed types).

- Plasmagun version of the Marcharius. It can overheat when fired on maximum, but I'm not sure it's going to be fired that way very often.

- Six of the formations are gone, as well as a number of vehicles like the Manticore.

Space Marines

- The Contemptors come in four flavours: vanilla, vampire, loup-garou and dakka.
The Codex version has more wargear options, including a special plasma blaster and the Graviton Gun.It can take a +1 BS option, two DCCW arms or a Chainfist (allowing an Ironclad Contemptor). It can also take all the standard dread weapons, though the Assault Cannon is the special Kheres model (more dakka!); mount a cyclone, regardless of other weapons; or take the heavy conversion beamer.

The Blood Angel version may take Blood Tallons, the Frag Cannon or a Magna Grapple. It can't take the beamer, plasma blaster, graviton gun or cyclone however.

Space Wolves is very similar to the Codex model, but less wargear. It also must chose a Night Saga...
The Wolves find that their Contemptors tended to savagry and excess in battle, tainting the sagas of those within. It bacame self-fulfilling as now the Iron Priest only inter those warriors already of dark disposition.
The three sagas are the Saga of the Black Cull, the Saga of the Forsaken One and the Saga of the Iron God. Each also comes with an Oath - Master of Slaughter, Oath of Sundered Brotherhood and Oath of Hubris respectively, guiding how the Contemptor will act.

The Mortis pattern starts with BS5, and must take twin heavy weapons on the arms, and may also take a Cyclone. A Mortis with twin Kheres cannons and a Cyclone sounds very tasty - 12 Assault cannon shots plus two missiles on the move would murder infantry and even armour would be afraid.

These guys are privey points wise, however. You can go mad and get some of them costing as much as a Land Raider without too much trouble...

- The Caestus and Achilles are reprinted here.

- The dreaded (ha!) Lucius pattern drop pod has not only gone up in points, but it is now risky for the Dreadnought to assault out of it.

- A formation was cut, but they left in the Automated Defence Force, which is odd as the rules for the Taratulas aren't in the book. You can download the IA2 update though to get them, but it is a bit silly.

Forces of the Imperium

- The Lighning, Valkyrie and Vulture are all out, replaced by the Sky Talon.

- The Arvus can take jury-rigged guns.

Da Orkz

- The Looted Rhino, Gun Wagon, Battle Fortress and Krusha Wagon are all gone.

- The Warkopta, Kustom Meka-Dread, Kill-Blasta/Bursta, Lifta Wagon and Grot Tank Mob from IA8: Armour of Gork (or possibly Mork) are all in however.

- The Grot Mega Tank is also in. It takes two 'heavy turrets' of twin linked Kan gunz, and three light turrets of Kan Gunz. It's better armoured than a Chimera, but not by much. Movement and shooting are very much like the Grot Tankz.


- The Wraithseer has had a few tweaks to its powers. Foreboding is now -2 to Leadership or be Pinned, and Deliverence is now Feel No Pain.
Enliven still seems like a waste to me - I'm yet to hear an Eldar player lament the lack of Fleet on his or her Wraithlords. Something like Fleet or some bonus to shooting would have been good. Or making it count as Assault Grenades.

- The Phantom Titan has had a fair bit of work done to it. It still costs the same, but they have changed the shields, it's hard to hit in CC, Spirit Guides got reworked to not suck and the Star Cannon got an extra shot (yay?).
I'm still of the opinion that the secondary weapons are too short ranged, but it is a much better bang for your metaphorical buck.
Point to note is that it can hit anything in assault with a titan CCw, as its Towering Monstrosity rules doesn't prevent it.

- The Hornet gained Aerial Assault from the Dark Eldar codex, so is much more useful.

- Ths Scorpion, Cobra, Phoenix, Void Dragon Phoenix and Nightspinner are all cut.

- The Lynx hasn't changed from its beta rules.

- The Warp Hunter got a BS bump, and a bigger blast on the main gun.


- The Scything Talons of the Heirodule and Harridan gained re-rolls to hit. The Harridan is now a proper flyer, and the Gargoyle brood rules were tweaked a little.

- The Malanthrope got some stat changes, went up in points and now has a Synapse based boost to units around it.

- The Stone Crusher Carnifex went up in points, but had some stat changes and is harder to kill, with a boost to its Regeneration rolls.


- Added in Commander R'Alai in his XV-9 suit. He gets a special experimental weapon and has special ammo on top of that, though they Get Hot!


- Have a unit! The Tomb Stalker is very gribbly. Able to Fleet, Deep Strike, Move Through Cover, Hit and Run as awell as assault units without having LoS first. It also has a special immunity to weapons that wound regardless of toughness (Hellfire shells, sniper weapons etc).
It's pretty pricey points wise, but cheaper than a Monolith.

Dark Eldar

- The Reaper is the Raider built around a giant haywire blaster, shown above. It has two fire modes, and can cause multiple haywire hits in one shot.

- The Tantalus is the big two hulled vehicle, and can carry 16 dudes. Unlike the model shown at Games Day it doesn't have the pintle mounted weapon, only the two Pulse-Disintegrators (which fire 6 shots each...). It can also bladevane infantry and vehicles (for 2D6 penetration), and is an open topped tank, so can ram and tank shock on top of everything else.

- The Raven fighter looks rather sad now...


- The Tzeentchian mega-greater Daemon is absent, but the other three are represented.

- The Chaos Warhound can now be Possessed. It is a great deal for the points.

- The Chaos Contemptor is very similar to the Codex version, with a few key differences. It has some unique chaosy secondary guns, can take a Havoc Launcher instead of a Cyclone, and doesn't have the invulnerable save.
What it does have, however, is the ability to ignore 50% of glancing hits, and also ignore a smaller number of penetrating hits.
Dedications to the four gods are available, but must be modelled appropriately. The Chaos Contemptor is also not crazy, so won't go around killing your own dudes.


There are also four new Apocalypse missions. They are well written, including details of reccomended table size, points levels and detailed scoring information. Each is very different and would obviously require a lot of planning, moreso than normal.


Overall this is a great resource for anyone interested not only in Apocalypse, but in expanding their 40k options. Like always there's more for Imperial players, but both Eldar factions have some great things too.
It does suffer in that it references other IA books in a couple of places, and they also cut a number of units out that aren't in regular Codexes which, when coupled with removing the master unit list that listed what book everything was in, seems rather stupid.
Also, the Reaver is on the cover, but the rules aren't in there... that's not just silly, but a little misleading in my opinion. I'm not sure why anyone approved that, as a great shot of the Contemptor would have worked just as well.

In total I'm giving the book an 8/10.

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