The relentless tide of Games Workshop releases continues on a weekly basis. Fortunately, we’ve been sent a copy of the new supplements for Warhammer 40,000 for review. We’ll be covering the “Chapter Approved – Tactical Deployment Mission Pack” in the near future. However, first we wanted to dive right into the mission pack specifically designed to complement 9th edition’s Crusade Mode. Join us in peering “Beyond the Veil”!
Compact and Convenient
The immediately noticeable points of the Beyond the Veil Mission Pack are some of the best things about it. Firstly, it’s a very compact book! Coming in at around 8.5 by 7 inches, this lightweight index is exceedingly convenient to carry. Especially in comparison to the whopping-great tome that is the 9th edition rule book. Secondly, it is coil-bound, which means that cycling through pages and folding the book inverse presents no issue or damage to the integrity of the book. These two considerations, along with the handy elastic strap means that not only should the book be easy to transport and use within your games, but it should also prove quite survivable, too!
Weighing in at 111-pages, the book is astonishingly jam-packed with information! Ironically, for Crusade Mode being a narrative-heavy gaming format, there’s a rather minuscule amount of narrative/lore segments within the book. In fact, it ends up clocking in at a mere 4 pages! Thankfully, the rest of the content strewn throughout the rest of the book more than makes up for it.
Packed Full of Punch
Beyond the Veil contains a plethora of new components to spice up your Crusade games set within the “Pariah Nexus”. These includes new agendas, battle traits, relics, battle scars and a whopping 24 new missions across various game sizes. This makes Beyond the Veil a very tempting offering for anyone getting a real kick out of Crusade Mode. I actually intend on running a short campaign using the tools within this book. Worry not, I’ll be sure to report back to you all and share how it freshens up the games themselves.
Some of the new rules within the book provide fun and fascinating twists. This certainly aids Beyond the Veil in giving it a nice sense of almost unique and crooked identity. For instance, a unit inflicted by the “Creeping Chill” battle scar will always pass morale tests. However, friendly aura abilities will no longer affect them. It’ll be very interesting to see how units evolve throughout a campaign with things like this in mind.
Your characters can also attain new relics within the Pariah Nexus. Although, they are undeniably Necron in nature, so the more fanatic Imperium players may raise an eyebrow at fielding these. However, when the “Solar Shift Core” can potentially negate overwatch against an assigned unit, it feels a little too powerful to refuse!
The only thing missing from the book where Crusade Mode is concerned would be the rules for preparing and starting roster for your Crusade. This, to my knowledge, can only be found in the big core rule book. It’s something of a shame, as including this in Beyond the Veil would make it a one-stop-shop for all your Crusade Mode needs!
Additionally, with the Necron-centric nature of the book in mind, it does raise a question for me. Making it somewhat themed around Necrons does make sense for a multitude of reasons. They’re a newly updated line of models and are now the prime antagonists of Warhammer 40,000. For the narrative of the book it adds-up that elements are heavily tied to these ancient, mechanical legions. However, I cannot help but feel that this is segmenting the audience even further. The rules are clearly stated to be transferable outside of campaign mode, thankfully.
Yet, the faction focus of the book truly stands-out to me. Again, there’s method to this not-so-madness, but at the same time I ponder where this will take us in the future. Will we see more supplemental books like this tying heavily into other sole factions? Perhaps Games Workshop are merely testing the water? Maybe I’m reading too much into it…
Anyway, back to the content. The numerous missions included cater to the various game types and sizes. These include humble Combat Patrols to huge Onslaught games. Some of the existing missions in the core book of 9th edition become a little difficult to plan around. This is due to the superfluous measurements needed where objectives and deployments are concerned. Within Beyond the Veil some missions are definitely more simple than others. However, “Passage of Dread” within the book is almost baffling in the complexity of the deployment plan.
Fortunately, not all missions are as verbose as this throughout Beyond the Veil. It may simply be that I’m still settling into 9th edition missions setups, but it’s the battlefield setup that I find to be the most irksome part of the game at this time. I can’t honestly advise what could improve this off the top of my head. However, I’m sure that some of our wonderful and intelligent readers could propose some cunning ideas.
Generally, the breadth of missions across the varying game sizes feels like a tremendous offering. Whilst at this time I don’t know what the final cost of Beyond the Veil will be, the missions on offer themselves are diverse and applicable in other game modes (Matched, Open, etc). This book is almost like a swiss army knife for running games of Warhammer 40,000. It isn’t essential, but it’s very, very handy to have!
A Veiled Prize
The back end of the book contains the core rules for Warhammer 40,000 9th edition. This is one of the huge selling points of the book for me as it once again makes it more of an essential accessory to your games. It’s unsurprising that hauling around a myriad of hefty tomes for our games is less than ideal. Thus, this new approach from Games Workshop to truncate vital information into a smaller product is a tremendous step forward. Less time spent flicking through many books means there’s more time spent actually playing games.
There’s even a glossary and a section for “rare rules”, helping to cover some of the more edge-case occurrences that can happen in-game. It’s a supremely welcome inclusion and will see plenty of use in the games to come. Beyond the Veil is, quite honestly, incredibly useful to have for your games. The few issues aforementioned with the book barely hold weight as reasons not to acquire it, whether you’re a fan of Crusade Mode or not.
It’s jammed full of good content for your Crusade games which will breathe fresh life into your narrative clashes. All the core rules and other minutiae towards the back of the book will also make the book useful for those not bought-into Crusade Mode. Fans of Matched Play need not worry, we’ll be covering the “Tactical Deployment” mission pack very soon!
You can order your copy of Beyond the Veil now.
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