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New Warhammer 40k Mission Pack Review – Crusade: Beyond the Veil and Chapter Approved: Tactical Deployment

In days gone past we might have waited an entire year for some new missions and scenarios for our games of Warhammer 40,000, but that’s certainly not the case with 9th edition 40k! Whether you are into Matched Play or Crusade we have already had an absolute stack of missions in both the core rulebook and in the Chapter Approved Grand Tournament 2020 Mission Pack! But these are to be joined today with another 42 brand new missions across two new Mission Packs –  Crusade: Beyond the Veil and Chapter Approved: Tactical Deployment, both up for pre order today! If you would like to help support the site then why not order through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself 20% too!

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We were lucky enough to be sent early review copies by Games Workshop to check out and share with you guys! So join us now as we delve into what is within the covers of these books, and if they are worth picking up!

Warhammer 40,000 Crusade – Beyond The Veil

Crusade is possibly my favourite part of the new 9th edition of Warhammer 40k! If you’ve checked out our coverage of the Indomitus set then you will know how impressed I was with this narrative system and how its a brilliant way of linking games together through a campaign that is not reliant on the rest of your gaming group or having to arrange regular games, but only your own journey at your own speed!

We were very excited to see what would come out to support the Crusade system, but while we expected each Codex to get Crusade content we never expected to get a full Crusade supplement this soon after release!

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Beyond the Veil takes us into The Pariah Nexus, the region of space introduced in Psychic Awakening Pariah and the 9th edition core book, and gives us a way of running Crusade battles set within this Theatre of War along with the lore and information about the battlegroup sent by Guilliman in order to investigate the unusual happenings there. I’m really enjoying this sinister new storyline, and really hope we see this expanded upon in the upcoming Codexes! Beyond the Veil sets the scene giving a great framework to set your own adventures within this region of space!

In a similar layout to the Chapter Approved Grand Tournament 2020 book, we get the new Beyond the Veil mission pack that runs through the rules that are used in games set in this War Zone, which includes some new mechanics that have been introduced just in this volume! I really like the way the Mission Pack system is working in 9th edition, as it makes it very easy for Games Workshop to slot in new ways of playing, variants and unique rules that work within the confines of the pack without impacting other supplements and packs.

In Beyond the Veil we get 7 new Agendas you can pick from for your Crusade missions – while these are created specifically for Beyond the Veil games you are not limited to using just these, in fact the Mission Pack states you can also use Agendas listed in order publications. This is great as means that over the course of supplements, mission packs and Codexes we will get a growing pool of Agendas to pick from which should create lots of variety in the way you go about playing your games and lots of different chances of earning experience for your forces. As “levelling up” your units is one of the biggest draws for the Crusade system, having a collection of varied Agendas means you will have lots of new ways of getting your units those precious points of experience!

A couple of these new Agendas are tied with a new mechanic and resource added in this Mission Pack – Investigation Points.

Investigation Points represent how much your Crusade force knows about the Pariah Nexus and what secrets they have discovered about it. These points are earned every time you win a Beyond the Veil game, but also as secondary rewards from scenarios and from some of the new Agendas. These can then be spent on a number of things in a similar way to Requisition Points – and as you are still earning Requisition Points as you play Crusade games in the Pariah Nexus then you will have another resource from which to draw to on in order to advance your forces, gain Supply or even earn Battle Honours. I really like this addition and hope that we see something similar in future Codexes to represent specific goals that those armies are trying to achieve.

As you would expect from a Crusade supplement we also get some additional material to add on the tables in the core rulebook. The first of these are some new Battle Traits that you can pick from for when you earn a Battle Honour. There’s some cool stuff here that works as insurance against some of the negative effects that might beset your armies in the Pariah Nexus, but also some pretty tasty traits such as a way of giving monster units extra hits on 6’s or vehicles a 5+ shrug against wounds in the Psychic Phase!

The catalogue of Relics is also expanded in this book in the form of the special Relics that can only be found within this region of space. These feature a new mechanic where they have a “base” ability that is always active, but also a better “Unlocked” ability that you permanently gain if you roll a “6” after a battle in which you use it. You can also choose to use your accumulated Investigation Points to add to the dice roll to make it more likely to unlock. As these relics have a distinct Necron vibe to them then they actually get to add 4 to the dice roll, essentially allowing them the unlocked version on a 2+

The relics are really cool and I’m already thinking about ways of slotting them into my armies. Don’t have a psyker? Well pick up the Sphere of Darkness, this allows you to Deny the Witch, and with the unlocked version you get to Deny with +1 to the roll! Don’t want to get Overwatched up by a Tau gunline? Then the Solar Shift Core will do the trick, and let you re-roll advance and charge rolls too!

We also get some interesting new Battle Scars that offer some major benefits in exchange for a massive downside. For example you can take one that halves the attacks of monsters, however they also get to re-roll hits in return! Or how about automatically passing Morale tests at the cost of not being able to benefit from auras? I really like these as you can decide to push your luck and try to make the best of a bad situation by taking advantage of the benefit while managing the downside. This also makes you want to keep the battle scars rather than just using a Requisition Point to delete it, especially as your Crusade Rating will be less if you keep hold of them too!

Speaking of downsides, the Pariah Nexus Theatre of War introduces some new mechanics in the form of Strategic Setbacks and Afflictions. These are proverbial spanners in the works that add some twists and turns to your Beyond the Veil battles that interact with how the armies are deployed with the Setbacks (Such as limiting when reinforcements can enter and how far they can be from opponents) to Afflictions that affect how various mechanics work (Such as worsening invulnerable saves by 1) – the closest analogue to these that I can think of are the random realm abilities for Age of Sigmar, which I always found as a great way of levelling the playing field by adding a random element you cannot account for. While these are again designed for use in games of Beyond the Veil, there’s nothing to stop you using them in other games if your opponent aggress!

As a Mission Pack, the real meat of the book however are the missions themselves! in Beyond the Veil you get a massive 24 new missions to play through, bringing the current total of Crusade missions available to play through to a huge 42! This is an astounding amount of gaming content which should ensure your games are varied and entertaining and already an impressive increase on the missions that we saw for 8th edition. We get some varied maps and objectives which really mix up how your games play with some ace unique mechanics such as in “The Shroud” where a line bisects the battlefield awarding a 5+ invulnerable save to targets on the other side! 

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There’s loads of stuff here to keep you entertained for a long time, and I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into these missions as my Crusade force progresses!

As with Chapter Approved, the book finishes with the basic Warhammer 40,000 rules – this allows you to sling this book in your bag and have all the key rules to hand without having to carry around your full hardback rulebook! Something that is much appreciated when carrying along the other various tomes you need for a game! 

In conclusion, Beyond the Veil is an amazing book for fans of the Crusade system. Dripping with new content, more missions and building upon the great content in the Core Book, Beyond the Veil gives us more of what we absolutely loved from the Crusade system and allows us to set our battles in a brand new region of space. If you have not tried out Crusade then I highly recommend it! it’s a change of pace from the competitive Matched Play environment and allows you and your gaming group to craft stories around your armies and their progression through the ranks as they face the evils of the grim darkness of the far future! Beyond the Veil is everything I wanted from a Crusade supplement, and I’m already hungry for this to be expanded further in future Codexes and Mission Packs!

Warhammer 40,000 Chapter Approved: Tactical Deployment

It’s often said that terrain is the “3rd army” on the table and it’s often something that can sadly be an afterthought in your wargames. Personally, I love painting scenery and love nothing more than seeing a battlefield covered with lovingly painted terrain in order to capture that cinematic vibe that makes games feel move “alive”.

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Chapter Approved Tactical Deployment takes the brilliant Matched Play system from the Core Warhammer 40k 9th edition rulebook and adds an additional element to your list building – the terrain you fight over itself!

Essentially, in games of Tactical Deployment you and your opponent both bring along half of the battlefield each, buying the terrain from a separate points allowance in addition to your army points limit. These terrain points have both a minimum and maximum value giving the player a bracket from which to select their scenery pieces. In the same way as unit Datasheets, terrain Datasheets also have limits based on the number you can take and a cap on the number of “critical features” you can bring along to the battle. This is to ensure that each player has a balanced collection of terrain for which to use in the battle.

Once deployment zones have been selected then tactical terrain deployment begins! Each mission has a number of locations where terrain has to be placed, however you do get some freedom as long as your terrain feature is wholly within 9″ of the centre of that point. Players will alternate placing terrain following the restrictions within the Mission Pack, for example you players have to deploy their terrain in descending points order – so you will place your most expensive terrain piece, followed by your second most expensive and so on. Area terrain and Hills can be placed on objectives (with the marker moving so it is on the top of the piece) but Buildings (Which I imagine we will start seeing with the Hammerfall Drop Turret) cannot be placed on top of objective markers in order to limit any shenanigans! Once all the required locations have scenery on them, you are then free to place your remaining terrain anywhere in your territory.

I feel this is going to add a great tactical element to these games where you want to select terrain pieces that complement your army and allow you to set up the battlefield in much the way that the forces taking part would start to fortify them before battle begins. 

There is something that I feel I have to dock some points for here however. I was expecting Tactical Deployment to list the points values of all terrain pieces to act as a reference when building your  terrain collection. This is however not the case! We get a single example of the points of a Storage Fane (Contained in the new Battlezone Manufactorum Vertigus box, also up for preorder today) but it seems that all the other points and profiles are found separately in order Battlezone products. This seems like a massive missed opportunity to me, I feel they could have included all the points here to assist with list building (even if it was in a separate slimline book packaged with this one, similar to how the points are separated in Chapter Approved and the Munitorum Field Manual) even if the profiles themselves where in the separate Battlezone cards. Luckily the first collection of these cards are also up for pre order today, but again I do wonder if it would have been a better call to package them together with this book, as players are not going to be able to make the most of this Mission Pack without these!

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The missions themselves look absolutely amazing too, with some really interesting deployment maps and secondary objectives and some frankly epic looking Onslaught Missions that will look fantastic when covered with a painted terrain collection. You can probably get away with just using these missions without the tactical Deployment rules, however you will want to make sure that you have a fairly equal amount of  scenery on each side and stick to the terrain markers in the missions themselves to make the most of them. As a source of an additional 18 missions it certainly can’t be sniffed at, I just cant help but feel the inclusion of the points values for the terrain would have turned this into a must buy book!

As with Beyond the Veil, Tactical Deployment is presented in a similar format to Chapter Approved Grant Tournament 2020 with a great ring bound design that allows you to have it open on the table top, and again also includes the core rules in the back of the book for quick and easy reference.

Games Workshop have done great getting so many missions out for the new 9th edition of 40k, by my count across the core book and all the available mission packs we have 42 Crusade games and 54 Matched Play missions which is a jaw dropping amount of variety for a game that has only been out a couple of months! I feel the Mission Pack format really lends itself to these small supplements that add so much more content to the game in a small easy to store and transport format. I really hope we continue to see things such as this that alter the way battles work and add cool new things for us to do on the battle field.

Tactical Deployment and Beyond the Veil are both up for Pre Order today along with an array of new and repackaged terrain sets.

Games Workshop provided Sprues & Brews with review copies of both of these books.

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