I picked up the new Chapter Approved book for Warhammer 40k the other day, and was so impressed I just had to come here and briefly ramble about how good it is! Choc-full of good stuff, it’s definitely worth picking up for fans of the game, I have to say!
The book is divided into sections that follow the three ways to play, with new rules and missions for each of Open Play, Narrative Play, and Matched Play. Under the Open Play section, we have the rules for Apocalypse games of 8th Edition, and three missions specifically for that, along with the now-famous vehicle design rules that allow you to build your own land raider, along with some datasheets for chapter-specific land raiders to inspire you. Want flamers on top of flamers? Then the Angel Infernus might suffice!
Narrative Play holds the rules for both Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault, each with six missions, and each with a host of stratagems warlord traits and force organisation charts. Not content with all of that, however, there are also rules that allow you to link both together in a campaign! Here are also rules for some of the classic battlefield terrain such as the aegis defense line and void shield generator.
The most exciting part of the book, for me, is Matched Play, which features six new Eternal War missions, six new Maelstrom of War missions, a nice little feature on making your own objective markers, and then updated rules for all of the armies that haven’t yet had a Codex release. There are eleven army entries, and each one gets at least one unique warlord trait, relic, and stratagem. Of course, it’s not a perfect solution for going up against a full Codex army with your Index list, but it should be enough to keep going until you do get that Codex.
On a side note, I really hope GW keeps the pace going with the Codexes in 2018…
Finally, the Appendix features Battlezone rules, covering the Sector Mechanicus and Death World Forest, and has four pages of Empyric Storms stratagems that can cause all sorts of twists and turns to your games, giving psykers and daemons buffs as the Warp decrees. There are rules for ladder campaigns, and finally, the updated points values that everybody has been so keen to find (yes, Forge World models are also in here!)
This book is an amazing supplement to the game. When it was announced, I thought it was going to be amazing, but then with the news that it would have updates for various armies etc, I felt that it might make the game too cumbersome, having yet another book to bring along for a game night. While that is partially true – if I want to use the Webway Portal stratagem when playing my Dark Eldar, I probably need to bring this book as well as the Index, and have a rulebook on hand in case weird things crop up, I feel that the benefits to this greatly outweigh the negatives. The sheer amount of choice as to how you play your games that this book provides is just phenomenal, and I can’t thank GW enough for this.
It’s apparently going to be the first of this kind of annual supplement, much like the General’s Handbook for Age of Sigmar, which will seek to rebalance points and such where necessary. I find this both good and bad, as I worry a little as regards how much they’re going to tinker with the rules in the 2018 edition. I do appreciate the time that is being taken to re-evaluate the game, of course, but there is a part of me that is concerned about how far this will be taken.
However, if we get more missions, more interesting rules for scenery and stuff, then I’ll be happy!
To sum up, then, if you’re playing 8th Edition right now, you need this book in your life. It’s just a rules book, there’s no real fluff in here, but it’s very much worth getting your hands on!!