Friday, 2 June 2017

Shadow Wars Armageddon - review

You all know me as a 30k player, but this week I jumped on the band wagon and got myself a copy of Shadow Wars Armageddon.

Me and my mate Gav had been discussing playing a small kill team type game. I initially persuaded him to have a go at the Strike Force rules in Horus Heresy Book 3, but it just so happened the week we turned up a the game club to have a go, everyone else was playing Shadow Wars! haha

The other thing that persuaded us to give it a go was that we both fancied converting and painting a small kill team force and play a campaign, which is what SW:A is exactly geared up to do. It also gave me an opportunity to pick an army that wasn't Space Wolves, but didn't require a massive commitment.

We rocked up this week to give it a go, and guess what? No one else is playing it! That didn't deter us...

Here's a quick summary of our first game:

We spent the first 30 minutes coming up with a squad. When we start the campaign for real we will likely spend more time on doing this and then converting and painting the relevant miniatures up, which is part of the experience. We came out with 4 miniatures each! Not what I was expecting when I first saw that you were allowed up to 1000pts, but I quickly found out that the 'high' points allowance is just to allow more granularity in the squad selection. A chaos space marine is about 250pts for example, rather than 15pts in the main game.

(Note: I used the smoke / wrecked markers from Zinge in this game for the first time and they look really good and really added something to the game.)

I also wondered if the game would take too long as the units can only move 4", but again, played on a 4x4 board, and with all the sneaky speed rules that Gav's Eldar had purchased meant that I only had maybe one or two rounds of shooting at them (much use that was with their fancy camo cloaks...) before they were up close and personal.

The game mechanics works well and is familiar, sort of a cross between Necromunda and 40k 7Th edition and it was good fun weaving a bit of narrative into each of the units. As the campaign gets going I imagine we'll get quite attached to our characters.

Only a couple of issues from me really. Firstly, 4" movement, or 8" running, doesn't really allow you to take advantage of the height of the scenery. I was using my TT combat scenery again, which has levels at similar sorts of heights as the Games Workshop Shadow Wars scenery, and going up one level takes 3" of movement. I wish they could get higher quicker.

Secondly, the 'bottle test'. You need to take it at the end of every turn where you lost 25% of your squad, which is pretty much after maybe the second turn if you only have 4 team members. Gav totally had the upper hand on me with his Eldar cutting the traitor marines down in combat and slitting their throat as they lay on the ground. He absolutely would have won, but because he failed a bottle test at the end of turn 4, the game was over. It just seemed too easy for him to loose that, in my opinion anyway.

Overall, a great game and we'll be forging ahead with an informal campaign (I think Gav has already committed to buying his force, which means I now need to go buy something too! haha).

What do you guys think? Loving it? Anything you'd change?

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k - Get in touch on Twitter: @davetgent

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