Arks of Omen Angron Review – Warhammer 40k
Abaddon the Despoiler alongside his daemonic ally Vashtorr the Arkifane has unleashed his Arks of Omen across the galaxy. Taken unawares from the assault, the galaxy is in flames as Chaos rises. But these are not random strikes as it first appears – The Warmaster is sticking at locations in order to gather fragments of an artifact known only as The Key, something that will change the very fate of the 41st Millenium.
In Arks of Omen Angron, up for pre order today, we learn of the battle of Malak and see what The Daemon Primarch Angron’s role is in this onslaught. We also learn about the Choral Engine, and discover more of Vashtorr’s plans.
In this review we will be checking out all the narrative developments within the book and also taking a look at the expanded rules for games of Boarding Actions – We’re also checking out the brand new kit for Angron and seeing how he stacks up against his fellow brothers!
Massive thanks to Games Workshop who sent us free review copies of Arks of Omen Angron and the new plastic Angron himself! If you would like to support the site then why not order your copies through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself money too!
We have also got a full unboxing of Angron which you can see below or over on YouTube
So let’s head to Malak and discover what lies ahead for Angron, Daemon Primarch of the World Eaters. If you want to experience the full story for yourself, some spoilers will lie ahead!
Arks of Omen Angron Review
Arks of Omen Angron is the second part of the Arks of Omen series started with the first volume Abaddon. This series, which we expects bridges the story line between 9th and 10th edition, tells of how Abaddon gains the aid of the Daemonic demi-god Vashtorr in order to gain access to an artifact that can be used to win The Warmaster’s long war. In order to give Abaddon the firepower he needs, along with a way of extracting the required artifacts, Vashtorr imbues Space Hulks with daemonic essence and arcane technology giving birth to the Arks of Omen. These Arks of Omen have been sent across the galaxy to points of interest in order to obtain and return the fragments of the Key that Vashtorr and Abaddon need to fulfil their goals.
In Arks of Omen Angron the focus moves to the system of Malak, as a fragment lays upon the world of Malakbael. Abaddon has entrusted the capture of this fragment to the Daemon Primarch Angron and his fleet of World Eaters.
Malakbael itself is an interesting planet as it is home to an ancient piece of archeotech from the Dark Age of Technology. This device known as the Choral Engine is essentially an Astronomicon signal booster, acting as a psychic beacon to aid with warp travel. With the galaxy currently blinded with warp storms, and contact to the far side of the Cicatrix Maledictum incredibly difficult, a member of the Ordo Hereticus known as Lady Emagna sees the potential in activating this device to aid the Imperium. However, much like the Astronomicon itself, the Choral Engine requires fuel in the form of psychically sensitive individuals to burn through.
Unfortunately for the Imperium, this period of light is brought to an end quickly as Angron and his fleet arrives in the system.
In the book we see some awesome space battles that really had me craving a return of Battlefleet Gothic – The commander of the fleet is a great character, and it was fun seeing the worsening of the situation from his point of view. The combination of the psychic beacon and the arrival of a Daemon Primarch also draws the attention of the Grey Knights, and it as interesting to see that even a highly ranked navel commander was not aware of the order or their authority – unsurprisingly the Grey Knights are a tad concerned about events playing out.
Unfortunately for the forces of the Imperium, Angron’s armada is too much to fend off resulting in the Daemon Primarch himself making planet-fall in an assault on the Choral Engine itself.
Angron himself is a really interesting character and rather than just being a one dimensional bad guy we really see the pain that he endures. Angron is broken body and mind, forced to endure eternal rage and pain from the butchers nails pounding away in his head. But rather than just blind rage, Angron seems to be genuinely shattered by his very existance. Above all else he feels constant pain, and his patron Khorne will not let him die. Each and every time Angron is destroyed, Khorne stitches his body back together and dumps him back in realspace to continue his carnage. We see a few moments where Angron hopes that the next death will be his last one and he will finally have peace, but there are always skulls to collect for Khorne, and Khorne cares not. I did start to feel sorry for him and his constant suffering, and it gave a little context to his tortured existance.
I don’t want to go too much into spoilers, but the ending has some interesting ramifications for the Imperium and we also see more of Vashtorr which I assume will lead into the third part of the series Arks of Omen Vashtorr.
While the story is focused on Angron’s assault on Malak, we still get an interesting mixture of characters, see some epic battles and get some awesome things happening. I really enjoyed the narrative and I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the continuing story plays out over the next few volumes.
The second half of the book is new content for games of Boarding Action with expanded rules for the World Eaters, Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, Grey Knights, Astra Militarum and Orks.
Now at first I was a little apprehensive about these, as one of the best things about Boarding Actions was the stripped back lack of stratagems, and in this book we see new ones added for all of these factions. Thankfully they have limited these to jump 6 for each faction (with sub factions such as chapters getting an additional 1)
While this makes things a little more complex than just the base stats in the main Boarding Actions rules from Arks of Omen Abaddon, it does give each of these armies a bit of variety – I do worry that other factions that are not in this book may fall behind a little, but hopefully over the course of the Arks of Omen series all of the armies in the game get their own additional rules.
Within these rules we see “mustering a Boarding Patrol” rules that allow each of the armies to build their armies in unique ways, along with rules adaptations that alter the way some of the codex rules work in order to make them more balanced for games of Boarding Action. All of these rules can be found for every faction in the game over on Warhammer Community (And nothing is different here between those in the download and those in the book)
What is new however are enhancements, these can be picked instead of the core enhancements in Arks of Omen Abaddon and offer some flavorful options that also open up some conversion options such as making your Ork Warlord into a Cybork (Giving him extra wounds and toughness) or giving your Space Marine hero artificer armour granting them a 2+ save and a 4+ invulnerable save.
While these rules are only for those 6 factions, we do also get content that can be used for all players of Boarding Actions in the form of 6 new missions. These are really fun and include some new features such as some areas of the ship that are exposed to the void and are inaccessible, with the attacker aiming to open the airlocks to cause the entire ship to be sucked out into the cold of space!
We also get rules for the unique scenery pieces included in the Into the Dark Kill Team set – The book talks about an upgrade set for the Boarding Action scenery titled “Kilzone Gallowdark” which presumably is all of the unique sprues out of Kill Team, with rules included here for the intact and collapsed pipes, electro nodes, terminals and even explosive canisters that can be shot to cause damage to nearby units.
If you like Boarding Actions then the book is certainly worth picking up for the additional missions, though keep in mind if you dont have any of the factions listed in the book then there may be a little less value for you.
I am interested to see if they continue to expand on Boarding Action over the next two books, or if we perhaps see a different game type introduced. Though from a narrative point of view, Angron would have been the ideal place to introduce Planetstike style games, so I suspect all 4 Arks of Omen books will be based around Boarding Actions – Which is certainly not a bad thing!
So what do I think of Arks of Omen Angron? While the Boarding Action content feels a little lighter than that in Abaddon, it makes a decent expansion to the rule set with 6 new missions and some additional army content – though I hope all other armies also get content in the upcoming Arks of Omen books.
As with Abaddon, the real draw to this book however is the new narrative. Those wanting to learn more about Abaddon’s master plan may be disappointed, as the entirety of the story is about Angron’s assault on the planet, with Vashtorr getting involved towards the end of the narrative. But I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and seeing how events play out. There’s also a few hanging threads at the end that may have some impact in the following books. I also really liked discovering more about Angron and his current mental state, leaving me feeling a little sorry for his tortured existence.
Angron, Daemon Primach of the World Eaters
And speaking of Angron, Games Workshop also sent us a free copy of the new Angron model – and I eagerly tore the box open to check out the contents inside!
Inside are 2 large sprues, and we get a couple of different model options in the form of alternate heads
It wasn’t too difficult to build, though leaving the model in a couple of sub assembles does make it a little easier to build. I left both of the shoulder pads off along with the chain of skulls, though leaving the wings separate would also make it easier to get to areas with the paintbrush.
You can also see how he stacks up to his brother Primarchs below:
He was great fun to paint up, and I’m looking forward to putting together a daemonic force to accompany him – There’s a moment in the Arks of Omen Angron book where he is accompanied by 8 Bloodthirsters that I absolutely need to recreate on the tabletop!
Arks of Omen Angron and the plastic Angron are both up for pre order today and are released Saturday 11th February
Games Workshop sent Sprues & Brews free copies for review purposes.
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