Monday, March 15, 2010

Battle Missions Scenario Book - Review

I know the latest "hotness" is centered firmly around the Blood Angles rumors coming out. Here at the DTP, however, I am staying away from those rumors and I want to talk a bit about the OTHER release from GW, the Battle Missions book.

I have only had a chance to play 1 game from this book so far, but I really enjoyed that game. I enjoyed it not just because I won but also because I feel the mission added a fair amount of flavor to the game. I will talk about that in a bit, but first let me share my opinions of the book as a whole.

Opinion of the Overall Book
I really like this book for a number of reasons. I am very happy it appears the majority of the missions are very well balanced but still find a way to "play to the strengths" of each army. There are several missions I find really cool and look forward to playing. The alternate set-ups and thematic story telling heavily influences the book as a whole.

The second reason is that this provides a solid foundation for alternate pick-up games. This is a clear way for two pick-up players to roll up missions that differ from the main rule book. I do not believe that forces should be customized for the missions, but feel the missions will work best if the players put together their lists prior to the game. This forces the players to step outside of their comfort zone and play to the players ability to adapt their tactics.

Third, the special missions are just cool. Everyone has talked about the Kill Team's mission, but I want to mention Line Breaker. Here is a mission where one side has 3 Baneblades and the other has a 1500 point army. The goal is for the Baneblades to get across the board, short table edge to short table edge. Then there is Clash of Heroes, which for the Eldar is just built to put a Phoenix Lord on the table and go to town.

The Eldar Missions
Let me talk about the Eldar missions a bit.

Pre-Emptive Strike:
This mission has the Eldar player attempting to "cut off the head of the snake" by eliminating the enemy HQ units. This is a kill point mission played length-wise on the table. This really plays to the Eldar maneuverability and provides a lot of room to skim around and shoot. The enemy must deploy thier HQ at the beginning of the game, in the center of their deployment zone. Some interesting tweaks are the elimination of out-flanking from reserves and the adaptation of the "board edge" for each player. The board edge ends up being a U shape made up of the short table edge for each player, then half of each long table edge. This provides a de facto out-flank-style reserve arrival for all armies. I have played this mission and I really enjoyed it. The change in kill points de-prioritizes troops and dedicated transports for the eldar while emphasizing any kill for the enemy.

Flank Attack:
This mission gives the Eldar player the potential for the outflank ability for his entire army. It is an objective mission with 3 objectives spaces out on the board. This mission seems to give the Eldar a distinct advantage when you consider the maneuverability of the army. I am looking forward to playing this, as the enemy will have the opportunity to start on the board and deploy onto 2 of the 3 objectives. Due to the placement of the 3rd objective, the enemy has a very real potential to hold all 3 objectives before the Eldar start coming in from reserves.

Mobile Defence:
This mission is very thematic based on the Eldar back-story. The Eldar player splits his force into 2 halves and must deploy the first half while keeping the second half in reserve. The first half is any infantry, walkers, and monstrous creatures in the army. The second half are the rest of the units. The mission is an objective based, deployed as typical objectives. The benefit provided to the Eldar is a special rule called Rapid Response that allows the Eldar to start rolling for reserves on the first turn.

At the end of everything, I will repeat that I like this book. I am really looking forward to playing more games using these missions and feel that it really adds positively to the game.


  1. I'm going to have to pick this one up, I keep hearing good things about it. Thanks for the review mate.

  2. Hope it helps. As I mentioned, I really like the book and think it is a positive addition to the game. I also believe this is what many people were expecting from Planetstrike, and it has finally been delivered.