Friday, November 22, 2013

Review APOCALYPSE WAR ZONE: PANDORAX

I'm a complete Dark Angels fanboy and had to break the bank and pick up Apocalypse War Zone: Pandorax by Jervis Johnson yesterday.


Here are the specs:

The story details Abaddon the Despoiler raiding a death world full of Imperial mining colonies while a regiment of Catachan Jungle Fighters were stuck on system. Abaddon goes straight for the largest hive city on the planet. A man named Colonel Strike of the 183rd Catachan Jungle Fighters offers resistance but the hive falls and Colonel Strike orders Imperial retreat to the various mining colonies scattered through the jungles and mountains. He is surprised when his pursuers back off from giving chase. Dating back to the Horus Heresy the Pandorax system was used to channel Daemons straight from the Realm of Chaos through an underground gate called the Damnation Cache. Only the Ruinous Powers, some of the Heresy era leaders, and the Grey Knights know of its existence (because they sealed it off). However, over the past 10,000 years it had been forgotten.

Before Hive Atika falls a distress call is sent out and it is met with response from a massive Imperial Fleet and the entire Chapter of Dark Angels. Meanwhile, Abaddon is joined by the famed Huron Blackheart from the nearby Maelstrom.

The book has a very detailed account of the fleet actions that took place off world and if you still own a bunch of Battle Fleet Gothic ships like myself you can recreate the fleets, potentially in their entirety and fight it out. No BFG rules are given in any way, but all of the classes of ships are named in perfect detail for those that have the ships and books.

The centerfold battle of the book, the true feature of the book is absolutely inspirational. It is a battle that takes place during one of the fleet actions  and involves a huge battle taking place on the Revenge, and Imperial ship, while the battle rages outside across numerous asteroids and below deck in a separate chamber deck. It is gorgeous and has a bunch of cool rules.



There are then Pandorax specific rules a few pages later for fighting "on world" that include forests with massive lizards that can eat entire squads that get too close and the like. As a fan of terrain rules, I dig this, even though it takes the "Mysterious Forest" rules and takes them to Apocalypse scale in their effects.

Then there are 3 more Apoc scenarios. The one that stands out in my mind involves 6 tables representing massive mountain peaks spaced specifically so you can fire from one table to another. Also, during Breaks forces can redeploy to another table. It seems incredibly cool.

Then there's the usual War Zone Strategem/Effects Cards, Finest Hour rules for a 3 different commanders, and a bunch of formation sheets.

The Appendix is great for anyone who doesn't own a bunch of early 2000's 40K crap because a huge chunk of fluff from the old Codex:Catachan Jungle Fighters and Battle Fleet Gothic rulebook are printed on the last few pages.

I will say, the Dark Angels don't get as much face time as I was hoping but this is still an inspirational book and highly recommended for fans of Imperial Guard (Catachans, Cadians, Vostoyans represent), Dark Angels, Grey Knights, and of course, Chaos (Chaos Space Marines, Black Legion, Daemons, and Red Corsairs.)

-Nick

2 comments:

Equinox said...

Great review. I may just pick this one up because of it.

xNickBaranx said...

I'm glad you got something out of it. I'm pretty excited about the book.