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Chapter Approved War Zone Nephilim: Grand Tournament Review

We move to War Zone Nephilim as the latest Chapter Approved Grand Tournament mission pack goes up for pre order today! As the 9th edition of the game evolves we see a shift in both command point generation and in how secondaries work – so join us in our review for a look at how this works in the new season!

Massive thanks to Games Workshop who sent us a free review copy a little early to take a look at with you all! If you would like to support the site then why not order through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself some money too!

I have also filmed a full video look through of the new book, which you can check out just below or over on our YouTube page!

War Zone Nephilim Review

We are now onto 6 monthly seasons for Warhammer 40,000 and one of the things that Games Workshop have change this time around is the fact that points are no longer included in the Grand Tournament pack – Instead these are now going to be available for free on Warhammer Community. This is a big change and one for the betterment of the game as it means that if you are not a competitive player then you no longer need to purchase the Mission Pack just to unlock access to the new points values. As such, the new Mission Pack no longer comes with a separate booklet containing the points. Instead Games Workshop have used the increased available page count in order to change another thing for this season – and that is add a complete list of every single secondary objective available to every army.

From this Mission Pack you now start each game “locked in” to 3 secondaries – Assassination, Grind Them Down and Behind Enemy Lines. The Book then contains almost 50 pages of secondaries that these can then be shifted out to – there are non-faction specific options for every category of missions, but the book also includes an assortment or secondaries for every single faction in the game including those that do not yet have access to secondaries in their own Codex.

In another change you can now choose to have all 3 of your missions come from your faction specific secondaries – you are no longer limited to only having 1 of them.

This does mean that any existing secondaries out of Codexes and supplements are no longer able to be selected for your games, however the positive side effect of this is that every single mission that is available for you to select from is contained within a single book, there’s no longer a need to flick through multiple books in order to find the mission that you need!

We also see some big changes to the way that Command Points work! Initial starting Command Points, have been massively reduced with 1000 point games starting with only 3 CP and 2000 point games starting with 6 CP. However each player gains a command point each player turn meaning that while players start with fewer, they actually gain them at a faster rate over the entire game giving us something closer to the generation of points in Age of Sigmar (If I’m honest I’d like 40k to fully adopt this system completely in the next edition)

On top of this, it now costs CP for you to take a Warlord Trait or Relic with new universal stratagems introduced to allow you to purchase them. Again, this is a big change that eats into those initial CP available to you on turn 1. Personally I think these changes are great for shuffling things up in order to generate some more interesting games. Too often games can be decided by a powerful combination of stratagems being used early in the game to devastating effect – with this change to CP generation it means that you will still be able to use this combo during the game, but it will take you a few turns to generate the CP needed in order to pull that off. I’m not really a fan of the way Strats work in 40k, I feel we have way too many of them and very often these are things that I feel would be more flavourful just being innate abilities baked into the profiles – this way then can then be balanced with points and adjusted as needed, where it feels that powerful strats can often swing the effectiveness of units. In 10th edition, I’d like to see Strats massively reduced to something closer to Age of Sigmar or Horus Heresy with a small pool of universal ones available to all armies, and then a handful of the best and most thematic ones for each army. I do wonder if the changes in this mission pack are a first step towards this.

While with previous editions we tended to get a mixture of new and amended missions, but I’m sorry to say that every single mission within the book is the same as those in the War Zone Nachmund book. This seems a massive shame to me, especially given that things have been mixed up massively with the introduction of the new Command Point rules. It also makes this book feel a little bit of a strange one – yes, we see some core list building rules change, and yes we get the new secondaries for each army but without the missions themselves changing it feels this could have been a pdf update at the 6 month point and for the book itself to refresh every year. On the plus side we do get the core rules included again after last season’s book was a little on the thin side with them excluded.

I’d also like to see this book take some influence from Age of Sigmar and come in the form of a hard back spiral bound book – Yes, the General’s Handbook is a lot more expensive, however it does feel a more substantial product with the bonus of being able to fold it out flat to see the mission details during the game.

I do feel we are in the twilight of 9th edition, and I suspect it wont be too long until we see 10th edition come around – I do wonder if we will see any other major shifts follow this adjustment to command points and how the Codexes that follow this interact with that. I think this is a good change for the game, and while more is still needed, Games Workshop can slowly phase things like this in every 6 months under this season format.

War Zone Nephilim is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 25th June

Games Workshop sent Sprues & Brews a free copy for review purposes.

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