Monday, 4 December 2017

Chapter Approved 2017 Review: Part 3- Eternal War Missions

The 2017 edition of Chapter Approved also sees the introduction of 6 new Eternal War and Maelstrom of War missions to add to the 12 in the rulebook. 

Eternal War Missions
There are six new Eternal war missions presented in the book. A couple of these introduce a new progressive scoring system, which is a nice addition to the rules and I think will encourage more objective holding or taking during the game, rather than just pouncing on them in the final turns.

Most of the missions are set up in the same way as the rulebook Eternal war missions. You set up the terrain, place objectives, determine deployment zone and the player that placed the final objective chooses the deployment zone. You alternate deploying units. In these missions, you roll off for first turn (the player that finishes deploying first gets +1 to the roll). All missions score a point for First Blood, Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker.

Front-line Warfare
This mission is slightly different in that objectives are placed after choosing deployment zones. This mission uses four objectives. The first objective marker for each player must be placed at least 12" from the centre of the board and at least 12" from each players' deployment zone. This means that for the standard Dawn of War deployment, two objectives must be placed on the central line. The second objective for each player must be placed in their own deployment zone.

At the end of the game, the central objective markers are worth 2 points each, the marker in your deployment zone is worth 1 point and the one in your opponent's deployment zone is worth 4 points.

This is a mission that encourages players not to sit in their own deployment zone and to go after the objectives in the centre and your opponent's deployment zone. I like this style of mission, as I think the game should be about going after objectives and not just sitting back and just shooting one another.

Resupply Drop
This mission uses 6 objectives placed in the standard way (12" apart, 6" from a table edge). At the start of the third battle round, the player with the next turn selects three of the objectives as Alpha markers. The remaining three are Beta markers. The player then randomly selects one Alpha objective (D3 roll that cannot be re-rolled with command point) and the other Alpha objectives are removed. The other player does the same with the Beta objectives. This then leaves only two objectives on the table. At the end of the game, each objective is worth 3 points.

This is another interesting mission. You can either cover your bases and go after all three of your objectives, or wait to see where they are revealed and go after them then. You can also choose which three objectives to roll for, so by turn 3 you should be in good position to choose the most optimal objectives to roll for. I think this one would be good to try and see if it works in gameplay terms to make an exciting game.

Scorched Earth
This mission also uses 6 objectives placed in the standard way. Each player scores one victory point for each objective they control at the end of each of their turns. If the objective you control is in your opponent's deployment zone, you can choose to raze it. This gains you D3 victory points, but the objective is removed from the board.

I like this mission a lot. I like progressive scoring in a mission, which is why I am a big fan of maelstrom missions, but this is a bit more reliable. I think going after your opponent's objectives and razing them sounds like a lot of fun. It makes it more difficult to sit back and have your common objective holders hanging on to the objective and racking up points. It also helps that you don't need to clear the enemy off the objective, you simply have to control it, so this mission would favour large units of troops to "steal" the objectives from their opponent. I think this will be a pretty fun mission to play.

Dominate and Destroy
This mission uses 6 objectives set up in the standard way. Each players scores one point at the end of their turn for each objective they control. In addition, at the end of the game, you score 1 point for each enemy unit that is destroyed.

Another mission with progressive scoring. This one, however, balances holding the objectives with keeping your units alive while you do so. One of the issues that I have with these kill point-type missions is the inherent imbalance between different armies. It is unlikely that you will have the exact same number of kill points in your army as your opponent and the differences in unit sizes and durabilities can make this quite an uneven contest. I guess going for the objectives is a good option for this, as you can potentially score up to 30 points in a standard game, which you are unlikely to give away in kill points unless you go very heavily MSU.

This mission uses three objectives. One is placed in the centre of the battlefield. The other two are placed by the players, each one must be placed exactly 18" from the centre of the battlefield and at least 12" from each players' deployment zone or another objective. You score one point for each objective you control at the end of your turn. If only one player has a character within 3" of the objective, they will control it. Also, if the character controls the objective for more than one your turns consecutively, you score a number of points equal to the number of turns you control it (e.g. if you hold it for two of your turns, you score three points; one for the first turn you hold it, two points for the second turn, etc).

This is definitely a mission that favours tough to kill characters who like to get up close with the enemy. Given the objective placement, it is likely all three objectives will be down the central line of the battlefield (either long edge, short edge or diagonally), so you will want to grab them with a hard character as soon as possible and try and hold them for most of the game. I think this would be a good mission to plan ahead for, allowing you to bring a number of characters to make the game more interesting.

Roving Patrol
In this mission, each player splits their army into three portions with as equal number of units in each unit as possible. They then randomly select which portion starts on the battlefield, the rest start in reserve. After deployment zones are determined, one objective is placed in the centre of the board, and each player places one objective in their deployment zone (for 3 in total). At the end of your first turn, roll for each unit in reserve. On a 3+, they are deployed within 6" of a board edge in your deployment zone (or can deploy using their own special rules if applicable). All units arrive from reserve at the end of your turn 2 movement phase. At the end of the game, each objective marker is worth 3 points.

This feels like another call back mission to previous editions, as it is rare for much of most armies to be set up in reserve a lot of the time. I think this would a fun mission, that would definitely favour fast and mobile units. You don't want to deploy on your table edge and then be unable to get to the objectives in the first turn. The random nature of the forces you start with would also encourage a more balanced force, so that you don't end up with unsuitable forces on the table.

I'm a big fan of objective-based missions, so really like these new Eternal War ones in Chapter Approved. I think that scorched earth is one of my favourites of the new missions. They should add a bit of variety to the standard missions in the rulebook.

In the coming weeks, I hope to try out all the new missions and see what they are like on the tabletop.

Chapter Approved 2017 Review
Part 1- Deathwatch and Genestealer Cult Faction Rules
Part 2- Orks and Imperial Knights Faction Rules
Part 3- Eternal War Missions
Part 4- Maelstrom of War Missions


  1. I'm looking forward to playing some of these, picked up the new book yesterday along with a pack of open war cards, which also look quite fun for less competitive games!

    1. Me too, Nick. Some new missions are great. My maelstrom mission review comes out tomorrow, those are the one I am really looking forward to trying.

  2. Definitely glad to see more Progressive Scoring. I find it tends to make for more interesting Games.

    Dominate and Destroy has some interesting internal balance. A good MSU force should be able to spend enough more time holding enough more Objectives to make up for the additional Kill Points it will give up.

    Does Roving Patrol mention anything about Units that can normally go in Reserves and then have alternate Deployment options (Tunneling, Teleporting, Jump Pack Assault, etc.), and even more, for those like Drop Pods that are required to start in Reserves?

    1. It mentions that units that can deploy using different techniques that are in reserve can use these. No mention about units that must start in reserve being in the initial deployment. I guess you could keep them in reserve but must deploy them on turn 1, or your opponent might allow you to swap them with a unit in reserve (chosen or randomly selected).

    2. Good to know that it does at least take the alternate Deployment options into account.