Monday, 3 December 2012

Crusade of Fire reivew

Crusade of Fire is not as bad as I feared. Knowing what it is like now I think I still would have bought it. It just depends whether or not you feel you'll get something out of it. In the introduction it does say that the book is designed as a knd of spring board for people to create their own campaigns and here are some ideas. Can't grumble with that.

The main body of the book is the campaign itself. It does suggest the use of the Planetary Empires set but if you have access to hexmap software you can make your own no problem. I would have done it as a series of planets in the sector rather than a tile system but that is just me. It uses a similar victory mechanic as Planetary Empires plus bonus points (see below). The Corvus sector isn't even a sector it is just a planetary system with 9 worlds and a space station. The idea being that it was engulfed by a warp storm and that storm is slowly receding back and uncovering worlds as it goes. Nice idea actually. The book gives some new traits but they are overall campaign ones rather than warlord traits. You roll on the Crusade of Fire (Imperial) or the Servants of Ruin (Chaos). Anyone else chooses which they want. These determine how your forces will win campaign points. Again, nice idea. You also get a review of each of the planets from the POV of either main side (Imp or Chaos) and why they want those worlds. All fluff but if written up properly would make for some nice hand outs for the players.

You then get a detailed backstory to the crusade and more in depth info on the planets for any GM you have running the campaign who may wish to include some secret objectives or add extra stuff to make things unpredictable. It makes suggestion ideas like having a lost necron tomb which awakens during the fight, and having a necron force (controlled by the GM or a neutral third player) enter the battlefield.

The main body of the book is handed over to the armies played by the GW staff members as they played the game, the special scenarios they came up with, and some rather vague battle/turn reports. For me, it was an interesting read but I can see how some may see it as a waste of money. Not everyone gives a damn about their games. The special scenarios struck me as being a bit too much hard work to employ and I don't think I would use them. They are not my cup o tea.

Next up is the dog-fighting rules as an addition to the flyers in the rulebook. I wouldn't bother. These were a bit of a dissapointment for me. It essentially adds more actions into the flyer's actions, and thus bogs the game down I think. YMMV of course. The special maneuvers and fighter aces rules are tied into the dog-fighting rules so you can't use them outside of that addition. I wanted something different here.

Then we have rules for Daemon Worlds. I suspect everyone has seen the page shot of this that was floating around for a couple weeks before release. Everything for fighting on Daemon Worlds is in that screen shot. Feels a bit like the extra rules for Death Worlds that WD put out a while back. These could see some use in my games though they won't be for everyone's liking.

Lastly, the book gives us the Arena of Death rules for gladiatorial combat. This is designed for very small tables (2x2 is recommended) and one or two characters aside. Again, I think this is for a certain sort of player really and I have no use for it. There are rules for manoeuvres and facings, plus manoeuvre cards with some actions promoting the adulation of the crowd.

Overall, I think the actual campaign idea is rather good and even if you don't try it as written, you can easily adapt or tweak it. As someone who has been searching everywhere for a decent set of campaign rules this was worth the purchase of the book. The rest of it less so which is dissapointing. I would have rather that they ditched the extra rules and expanded the campaign to include random events, multi-system campaigns and the like.


  1. Can't comment on the contents, I've not read it. But I hope they do more. I do believe it's the first thing they've done that hasn't been designed purely to shift models. Taking your comments aboard, they just need to tighten it up. They can learn!!
    Failing that we still have the wonderful Forgeworld books.

    We can all count our blessings it's actually a book, not a digital product.

    1. If they had expanded the campaign rules and made it more narrative, with random events and more detail, this would have been really worth while. As it is, its a nice jumping point for ideas but that is about it.