Tuesday 5 December 2017

Chapter Approved 2017 Review: Part 4- Maelstrom of War Missions

Chapter Approved 2017 features six new Maelstrom of War missions to use in your games of 40k. Maelstrom missions are one of my favourite ways to play 40k and have been since they were introduced, so I was excited to see what the new missions would have in store for me. 

Maelstrom of War
As with all maelstrom games, these missions use 6 numbered objectives for you to fight over.

Kill Confirmed
In this mission, each player has three maelstrom cards in their turn. If a maelstrom card involves destroying an enemy unit, it cannot be discarded until it is achieved (any impossible cards can be discarded and re-drawn). In addition, you score one victory point for each enemy unit that is destroyed. 

This seems like a pretty standard maelstrom mission with 3 cards a turn. The bonuses for killing enemy units would favour an army that can hit pretty hard. Some of these may be difficult to achieve. For example, if you draw Big Game Hunter but don't have the tools to easily take down an enemy vehicle or your tools are all dead.

Targets of Opportunity
In this mission, each player draws three tactical objective cards at the start of their turn. At the start of each subsequent turn, they must discard any tactical objective cards they have and draw three new ones. 
This mission has a special stratagem called Second Chance. This costs 2 command points and allows you to select one tactical objective at the start of your turn and not have to discard it. 

I really like this mission. I normally try to cycle through as many maelstrom cards as possible in a game, so this one really suits my playstyle. This forces you to play very aggressively in achieving cards, as you simply cannot wait for the opportune moment to score them, but must go all out to get them each turn if you want to score big. I look forward to playing this mission. 

Tactical Gambit
In this mission, you draw up to four cards per turn. Each turn, before you draw new cards you must declare your gambit. To do this, you choose how many cards you think you will achieve in your turn, between 1 and 4. At the end of your turn, if you achieved equal or more than your gambit number of cards, you score that many additional victory points. If you don't reach your gambit, your opponent gets that number of points.

This is another mission that I think will be a lot of fun to play. You need to predict how well you think you will do in your turn and gamble to score additional points. Do you go big and try and rack up your score, or be conservative to gain a few extra points each turn. I think in the first turn, it would be good to predict just one or two cards. Once you see your hand, you will have a better idea how much you can achieve in subsequent turns. During this game, it might actually be better to not score cards for a turn to then know your full hand in the following turn where you can try and score them and bet big if you think you can achieve them. This could be a great mission if you find yourself falling behind on maelstrom points, where you can catch up quickly with the right bets, or by stopping your opponent from scoring to get his gambit points. 

Race to Victory
In this mission, you draw up to 3 cards in your turn. This mission ends when either player is the first to achieve 10 tactical objectives (or you roll at the end of turn 5 as normal). 

The player that achieves 10 cards first scores a bonus 3 victory points, meaning they are likely to win the game (unless their opponent has only scored a few, high scoring cards). This seems like another fun mission that forces you to go all out and score your cards as quickly as possible, carefully sacrificing your unit to achieve the objectives- exactly my kind of game. This is one mission where a bad draw of the cards could hurt a lot. Might be worth saving a few command points to use the New Orders Stratagem to allow you to draw a new card. 

Sealed Orders
In this mission, players start with 6 tactical objective cards. Once players have no tactical objective cards left, they draw 5 new cards. Once the 5 cards are all achieved/discarded, they draw four new cards and so on. This mission also has a Stratagem called Acceptable Losses. For one command point, you can discard up to 3 of your tactical objectives. 

This mission could allow you to wrack up quite a few points if you draw the right cards. The stratagem in this one is great, allowing you to get rid of up to four tactical objective cards (assuming this doesn't include the one you are allowed to discard each turn) and change up your hand very quickly. Another mission that looks like a lot of fun. 

In this mission, you divide your army into three roughly equal portions and randomly determine which third starts on the battlefield. The rest are deployed in reserve. In this mission, you draw up to three cards per turn. The player that scores the most victory points wins. 

At the end of your first movement phase, each reserve unit arrives on a 3+, setting up within 6" of your deployment table edge in your zone, or using special deployment rules if the unit has them. All reserves arrive at the end of turn 2 movement phase. 

This mission restricts the number of unit you have on the table to try and achieve your tactical objective cards. I can see this mission scoring big in the second or third turn as all your forces arrive and can start scoring. This mission, as with most maelstrom missions, would favour a fast moving and mobile force that can get around the board quickly to score points. 

I really like the new maelstrom mission. These are one of my favourite mission types, so I am looking forward to trying out the new missions, some of which seem like a nice tactical challenge and a lot of fun.

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 must admit when I skimmed through the book the other day I thought Targets of Opportunity looked like the sort of mission you'd have written (are you secretly a member of the design studio now Mike?)

    1. Haha, I wish, Nick, I wish! If I was you would see some big changes (Deathwatch being awesome, an end to Smite spam, etc).

  2. Most of those look pretty cool, yeah. I feel like Tactical Gambit might work better if combined with Cloak and Shadows, to add a bit more uncertainty to the decisions.

    1. That would be pretty cool actually. Not knowing what your opponent is going for and trying to predict and stop them.

  3. I was a bit down on GW releasing Chapter Approved because I thought it was a bit cheeky GW making us pay for points adjustments to the various Codices when they should be free to download FAQ's/Erratas.
    Thanks for enlightening me to the contents though. The Missions look very interesting and the stratagems/Tactical rules make this much more appealing.