Monday, November 28, 2011

Review of Imperial Armour Apocalypse Second Edition

During the Apocalypse game I played last weekend I picked up the new Imeperial Armour Apocalypse Second Edition book as a bit of an impulse buy.  I've enjoyed the recent Imperial Armour books and I've begun to collect them slowly. 

Earlier this year I had picked up both of the Badab War books, Imperial Armour Nine and Ten.  These books both detail out a conflict we have heard snippets of from codexs (even one of the most used washes, is named after the dispute) and some novels though this is the first description of the marine on marine conflict by the Forgeworld folks.  The thing I enjoyed most about the book was it's descriptions of the different marine chapters.  Each book went into graphic detail of the history and involvement of about ten chapters per book, including my beloved Raptors. I've also been teetering on the edge of starting an Astral Claws army for a while now, and one day that impulse may be too hard to resist.

But I digress, back to this Imperial Armor book.

This book has become a bit of a lightening rod for debate lately, due to "The Stamp".  The book is a collection of units, each with a stamp that designates which game it should be used in, Apoc, Apoc Formation, or Warhammer 40k.   It is the Warhammer 40k stamp that is causing some calamity. The statement in question (or stamp, if you will) is the below(stolen from BOLS, with apologies.)

The interpretation has fallen into two camps, one that the units are official and okay to be used in any game or tournament. BOLS is making the case, as many in my local meta gaming scene are, that the units help balance a currently vastly unbalanced game.  The second camp, with The Independant Characters being the most high profile example I could find, is stating that the above statement is mearly the status quo, that nothing has changed.  You need your opponents permission to use Forgeworld in any game and they are not Kosher for most tournaments, unless explicitly allowed.

I don't honestly know who is strictly right, though I hope the first camp is for two reasons. One is, I simply like Forgeworld.  The models are fantastic, the books are well put together, and other then a terrible distribution system for sales are a huge asset to the hobby. Two, I think this game does need some more balancing.  Games Workshop has shown very little interest, other then some FAQs, in balancing the game that they see as more of a hobby and less of a balanced competitive game.  I've always disagreed with this stance, I think it can be both. Regular codex updates and FAQs (with today's digital distribution through e-books and pdf.s should be easy) would fix this problem.  Forgeworld has come along and helped out a few long in the tooth codex's by giving them some effective, points appropriate units.  The BOLS article does a detailed explanation of this, so I won't plagiarize or rehash, so if you haven't read it go take a look. 

As far as units in the book are, there are some fantastic models.  The two standouts that I see are the Remora Drones for the Tau and the Wraithseer for the Eldar.  While other armies get some much needed love, these are two models that add something to codexs that were released when Bush was still in his first term and are woefully under served by our Games Workshop overlords.  

The Remora Drones helps get the Tau what they need, more marker lights that aren't tied to Devilfish.  They also add some needed speed to the list.  While the Tau used to be mobile, in today's game of fast vehicle spam they can play down right snail like.

The Wraithseer does to the Eldar what some of the Marine Chapter Masters do. It add some synergy by unique abilities that affect only certain types of units and makes them stronger. The Eldar have always had a strong psyker enhancement and the Wraithseer does this in a new and unique way by helping the Wraithbone units in the list.

All in all, despite the controversy, I am hoping to see some of these units pop up in my local gaming scene. A friend this weekend put it best.  "I got into this game to play with cool toys,and there are a lot of cool toys in that book".  I couldn't agree more.

What do you think? Do you want to see these units showing up, or is Forgeworld to be only used in "special" games and events?


  1. Barring super-heavies, titans, and flyers, I see no reason why Forgeworld units and models shouldn't be official. Really, the main two criticisms I hear are that there are a few units that might be slightly over-powered compared to their points cost (check the last half-dozen GW codices and I think you'll find this same issue), or people don't have access to the FW rules since they're so expensive.

    If what you can afford has bearing on what's allowed on the tabletop, I think I'll start refusing to play anyone who has a new army that they've purchased in the last 5 years. After all, I haven't been able to afford a new army, so how fair is that?!

  2. @Jonathan It's a good point about the money. If folks would only play against armies of equal value,we'd have two value systems, dollars and points.

  3. While I am a bit late posting this - let me clear up something about our stance on Forge World Units (and this stamp).

    We are NOT saying you need to get permission to run specific units from your oppoenent. We ARE saying that the use of FW rules constitutes a different WAY of playing the game (much as Cities of Death, Planetstrike, Spearhead, etc.) and you and your opponent should agree ahead of time if you are playing with Forge World units... then the door is open to whatever you want.

    This exact stance has been clearly stated in several Forge World books in the author introduction. So are they official? Yes. As official as any 40k Expansion.

    Saying all of that - we use them all the time in our games and I would love to see them included in tournaments!

    1. It's been a while since I wrote this post so I don't even recall the podcast I was referencing. Would you like me to edit this post to clear up your opinions on the topic?