What even is Shadow War Armageddon?

You'd be surprised how much mischief only a handful of models can cause.

Recently you may well have been seeing a lot of fuss and commotion regarding Games Workshop’s latest fray – Shadow War Armageddon. Typically whenever I have found something on this new boxed title most people summarise it as “It’s basically Necromunda but with 40K.”. You might even recall we posted something similar (though with a little more information) right here.

If you’re someone fairly new to the hobby or maybe you missed the Necromunda boat all those moons ago then the brief explanation above will be of no help to you whatsoever. So, allow me to explain for those of you who might be unclear as to what Shadow War is and how it works.

The boxed game comes with a fair bit of terrain but I’d recommend snagging some more if you can.
In Shadow War Armageddon you build yourself a kill team, typically up to 10 models (though some factions can have more) so that your kill team can scrap against another for a precious resource called Promethium. These fights are typically conducted in sprawling terrain known as “Sector Mechanicus” involving elevated walk-ways, bulky furnace buildings and the odd barrier here and there.

Building your teams from a number of available Warhammer 40K factions, you then get into the heat of battle via a series of structured phases as listed below.

  • Movement and/or Charging – Moving your individual units to position them to your advantage or to advance on the enemy for some close combat.
  • Shooting – Rain fire down upon your foes in a hailstorm of bullets, mass-reactive shells and such.
  • Hand to Hand Combat – Get up close and personal as you introduce your opponents to the painful end of a chainsword or two.
  • Recovery – Anyone in your team who is wounded but not out of action has the chance to rise once more.
  • Your opponent then repeats these phases for their own team before ending their turn and the cycle starting anew.

You can win a game via various feats. This can include completing an objective set at the start of the game determined by what sort of mission is being conducted or by ruthlessly having every enemy model be removed from the table. The most common bell that rings the end of a game, however, is the bottle test. Should 25% of a teams models be “downed” or “out of action” then a leadership test must be passed at the start of their next turn or else the remaining models simply dash from the table in an effort to continue their cowardly existence.

The bottle test can be a blessing and a curse as any team with only 3 or 4 models would have to take this test after losing a single unit, potentially ending the game on their second turn! This does help to speed the games up nicely, though, and means that you could play a series of games in an afternoon or even potentially a campaign over a day or so.

Boyz before Toyz! Orks typically have numbers on their side.
So, who should be excited for Shadow War? Well, anyone who enjoys small-scale, skirmish wargaming. After buying the rulebook you only need a box or so of Games Workshop miniatures before you can start rolling dice, placing tokens and failing leadership tests! Though it is fairly imported that you have a fair amount of terrain before you start playing or else you’ll find range-focused armies will quickly clean up a squad of Orks or other combat-centric foes.

We’ll be covering more for Shadow War as it is still fresh on the shelves. If you’re unsure about making the plunge and giving it a go be sure to check back regularly for more information such as battle reports, faction overviews and tactics.

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  1. Shadow War Armageddon at 8th Street Warhammer, NYC – Tabletop Games UK
  2. Shadow Wars in the Age of Sigmar! – Tabletop Games UK

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