Recently I was invited to play a campaign in a day of Shadow War: Armageddon. Having only had a few games of it beforehand, I was a bit trepidatious; but I donned my finest Inquisitorial Hat™ and jumped in all the same.
You may remember, dear reader, these from a long time ago.
Well I’ve been adding to them and they now number seven miniatures, which is a pretty good starting force for Shadow War. Naturally they’re not painted however…
So what is it?
I’m glad you asked. Shadow War is a skirmish game where you’re fighting for resources in the smog-ridden underbelly of a city on a planet in the 40k universe.
That sounds an awful lot like Necromunda…
Yes. Yes it does. In case you haven’t heard yet, Geedubbs is doing Specialist Games again. Awesome.
So veterans of Geedubs will already know that their games are “I go, you go” and I think if there was anywhere where we could see a break to that tradition, it would be in a skirmish game like this. Bolt Action by Warlord Games (and presumably their other main titles) has a novel method of taking turns, that of drawing tokens from a bag blindly; you put a token in the bag for each of your units, and whoever’s token comes out of the bag selects a unit and takes their turn with it. I’ve mentioned before that I think this would make 40k
epicº brilliant, but with 8th…its not needed. AS 8th IS ALREADY BRILLIANT
Veterans of Geedubbs will also say that balance has almost always been an issue with a lot of the games, and sadly I am here to tell you this is the case for Shadow War as well. Some armies are simply better than others. I think the Inquisition really suffer, as the weapons available to them aren’t as varied, or as simply powerful as you’d expect or want from a force that technically can call on help from anywhere else in the Imperium and they can’t really be refused. That isn’t to say that they don’t have a workable list, but rather exactly that: they have one workable list. 2 snipers, 2 crusaders, a storm shield equipped Inquisitor* and some ablative wounds (read “minions”) to keep them alive.
I chose to go in a slightly different direction with the Inquisition though, so I had:
- Inquisitor with storm shield, power sword and shotgun, Davos Viscerion
- Crusader with storm shield and power sword, Repentant Soul
- Crusader with storm shield and power maul, Kahrdel the Preist
- Acolyte with autogun and red dot, Arras – Senior Tech Acolyte
- Acolyte with bolt pistol and power sword, Ishmael
- Acolyte with shotgun and red dot, Leo the Witcher
And during the campaign I managed to get another
- Acolyte with bolt pistol
- Acolyte with storm bolter
- Grenades for everyone! YAAAAY
- Rad grenades for three people. Which I REALLY like, btw
However, I cannot stress how much fun this game is. You really do fear Heavy Bolters or Genestealers – both of these perform exactly as they should. By way of an example, one Genestealer held off 3 Deathwatch Veterans, 2 Crusaders and my Inquisitor in combat? Not all at the same time, but Dayum.
During the campaign things did not go to plan, but then again do they ever? Amazingly I didn’t lose anyone, but there were a few headwounds to go around. I either came 3rd, joint 3rd , or 4th out of 4 people, but I’m mainly putting that down to my guys being unpainted, and nothing at all to do with poor leadership.
º Joke aborted – they’re two different scales
*Ok, so running around with a 3+ invulnerable save is nothing to be sniffed at, but I can’t give my henchmen plasma, melta, grav, galvanic guns or even carapace armour as an upgrade.