New Warhammer 40,000: Battlezones

Battlezones are a new addition to the latest edition of  Warhammer 40,000.

Across the many worlds of the far future, battles are fought in all sorts of deadly and exotic environments – in the depth of space, in impenetrable jungles, beneath battling starships, in the quagmire of an artillery-pounded trench network, in the heart of an etheric storm – the list goes on. Some of Warhammer 40,000’s most iconic battle have taken place in some very unusual environments. Battlezones allow you to bring these to your tabletop.

Effectively, these are special rules that can be layered over the top of any other game to represent an unusual environment. The upcoming Warhammer 40,000 book covers three of these. Night Fight, Psychic Maelstrom, and Fire and Fury. To get an idea of how these interact with the game, here’s an example, Fire and Fury – rules for battling as all hell rains down around you.

You can see that these rules will alter the way you play and position your forces, which not only gives you a new tactical challenge but is just incredibly cinematic. Picture a Black Templar assault on an Ork Rock as meteors rain down around them, or a mass regiment of Cadian Shock Troopers and the Black Legion battling over a ravaged world as their fleets battle for supremacy above. You can’t say that isn’t cool.

What’s really elegant about these is that they can be used in any mission, giving massive replayability to the (not inconsiderable number of) missions in your main Warhammer 40,000 book.

Narrative players are going to have a ball with these. Imagine running a map campaign where every location has its own Battlezone, or where players have the choice to attack at night, or with fleet support, or whatever else you can think of.

While certainly created with narrative play in mind, there’s nothing stopping this being used for other games – even matched play. If you’re looking to add just a little extra flavour to your matched play event, for example, maybe every table could have its own Battlezone rules, or maybe the first game of the day kicks off with a Night Fight game?

It’s your hobby – go nuts.

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