Thursday, 15 December 2011

Tamurkhan Review - Campaign and Rules

Plenty has been written and debated elsewhere about the Chaos Dwarf list included in Tamurkhan: The Throne of Chaos. It's very hard to escape the excitement surrounding the 'official' return of Hashut's favoured sons (as demonstrated by the fact I'm mentioning them from the off...). I actually find them - as with all dwarfs - rather dull, even if some of their siege engines look rather nifty. So enough about them and on to some of the interesting aspects of the campaign rules, creature and character lists that provide that real meat of the Tamurkhan book.   

Campaign Scenarios 
Rules are included that allow players to organise all the phases of Tamurkhan's campaign. What is especially welcome are the designer's notes that explicitly encourage altering and expanding the narrative is multiple ways - this makes the book wilfully inspirational and illustrative of the kind of imaginative depth that can be reached through the hobby. For those who seek and prefer a little more 'official' structure there are six new scenarios based on the saga that could easily be adapted to stand as regular WFB scenarios: simply roll a D6 on this list instead.

Chaos Beasties
Rot Knights... Bile Trolls... It's impossible not to be drawn to the filthy wonders of Nurgle! For me though, it's the Siege Giant that really shines in the new Chaos bestiary. The rules for the 'regular' giant make it one of the most entertaining monsters in the game and, similarly, it's 'pimped' cousin comes with a raft of special rules and upgrades that have taken it right to the top of my monster purchase list for the new year.

Pimp my Giant
While most people have been over the moon with the Chaos Dwarfs, I'm far more interested in the prospect of seeing some Great Hosts of Chaos take to the table, with warriors, beastmen and daemons in a combined force. On first glance this might seem to be an overwhelmingly powerful prospect. However, some very straightforward rules on the paragon, disciples, antagonism, and the tide of conquest will likely make fielding such a host an unpredictable and highly entertaining task.

The Empire of Men and some Bound Monsters
As I'm not really a fan of special characters it's the Land Ship that sent my imagination flying. This would be absolutely insane to field and I find it difficult to envisage it doing anything other than rolling across half the battlefield before blowing itself up - but what an extraordinary model! Once again the spirit encapsulated in these rules perfectly replicates the attention to detail and narrative that I try to develop around my own armies.

Soon to be commanding my very own Dread Host
If only the Land Ship wasn't so expensive... Especially when compared to the exquisite Carmine Dragon (No. 2 on the must buy list for 2012).

The Best Bits and Hidden Gems
For me, this is where things go from the great to the sublime. I've mentioned before that I prefer fluffy rules to balance rules. I'm not against balance - I just think it's of lesser importance. In this frame of mind Tamurkhan is a goldmine. Here are a few of my favourite examples:

  • The conquest of giants scenario: A brilliant capture the monsters scenario that opens up the basic WFB game to dozens of different interpretations that don't all have to hinge on the 'my plastic toys are killing your plastic toys' approach.

  • Colossal squigs: Paint an evil face on a pumpkin, roll it randomly around the table, and when it gets blown up, anyone too close is drowned in a torrent of guts.

  • Tamurkhan's possession attack: Oh, so you think you've killed my general? Well he's now possessed your champion. Cheers then!

  • The Dread Host: Commanded by a dragon and using Storm of Magic as an army book, core troops drawn from the monstrous infantry and monstrous beasts lists, special choices are monsters costing less than 150 pts, with rare choices (all non-daemonic) costing over 150 pts. My next army without a shadow of a doubt.

And so ends my brief journey alongside the horde of Tamurkhan. Of course, I think this book is fabulous and I congratulate everyone involved, especially the marketing people at Forge World who have now convinced me to spend hundreds of pounds on chunks of resin. Roll on Monstrous Arcana.

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