Thats right its the End Times… Wait just kidding, I mean Apocalypse. Apocalypse (from here on in i”m calling it Apoc.) Is one of those game types that was always really cool to see, but rather time consuming to play. Regardless of the edition it, would often take an entire day to play at the higher end of things and not everyone can dedicate the time. If takes between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours for an average player to get through 2,000pts. Then Imagine what getting through 10,000pt games or even 4,000pts if you don’t include lots of Titans. Either way something needed to change, and boy did it ever. Apoc now has a new ruleset designed from the ground up. The Dak is here to guide you
The Crunch At Its Most Basic
Everyone has new stats! Every unit in the game has a new stat card to represent what they do. So lets take a closer look. To start M, WS, and BS remain the same, and you still roll a d6 for punching and shooting. Whats interesting is that the Attacks and wound profiles are tied to the size of the squad. For example, 10 warriors have 2 attacks total and 2 wounds for the entire squad. Where as 20 warriors has 4 for each respectively. They also have an 8+ save, which you take on a D12.
If we look at their guns we notice quite a few changes. To start there is a new weapon type we can see called small arms. We also have an attack profile that says user. this means that when they shoot their guns you roll dice equal to the units attack profile. So either 2 or 4 depending on squad size. With rapid fire likely increasing this at half range.
We also don’t have a Strength stat anywhere, instead we have SAP and SAT which stands for Strength Against Personnel and Strength Against Tanks respectively. You now roll a D12 to see if your attack wounds, the target number depending on if your targeting Vehicles/ Monstrous Creatures, or personnel(infantry).
Also, there doesn’t seem to be any points system, instead we have power level, and there is currently no mention of points system.
Notice Something Interesting? In these detachments there is no requirement for an HQ. What I have been able to gather, is that if you take an HQ or character you can nominate them to be the detachments warlord. which means you can have several warlords on the table. There are still some questions I have about this, as it turns out being near an HQ is important in Apocalypse. I will detail why a little later. However, the number of warlords you have affects the number of Command Assets you have access to, you also seem to build a deck of Command Assets when building your army, with factions having Command Assets unique to them.
These seem to be replacing Command Points seen in regular 40k. Each one being designed from the ground up for Apoc. It’s also worth noting that a few target entire detachments. You get to build a 30 card deck of these.
In Apoc you alternate deploying entire detachments, you can even put some into tactical reserves.
You start by rolling of with you opponent using a D12. whomever rolls higher is said to have initiative for the game turn. This one is very straightforward.
Start by checking to see if the detachments units are out off command range, which is more than 12″ from your commander. If the Uint is to far away it gets an out of command token. This can have a big impact later in the game turn.
In this step you can set up any units that were set up as reinforcements. Be it outflanking, forward positions, or a form of deepstriking.
You then draw 10 Command Asset Cards, with the Number of Warlords in your Army affecting how many you can draw total.
You Have 3 orders you can use, and in this step you issue an Order tokens to an entire detachment. Placing the tokens face down next to that detachments commander. Once all order tokens have been placed, all players flip over their tokens at the same time. More on the what the different orders do below.
Whats and Order and what does it do?
Orders dictate what your ENTIRE detachment will do in the Action Phase. Each with their own benefits and limitations.This one is the most flexible, it lets your detachment move, then either shoot or fight in combat.This one will be a T’au favorite. The Detachment cannot move, but you get a bonus to shooting. The downside is you will take a penalty if you get locked in combat. So proper planning will be important if you plan to use this.
Orks will likely use this one a fair bit. You don’t get to shoot, but you get to double your movement! Then you get to fight in close combat! I have noticed there is no mention of declaring charges, or overwatch. So how all this will play out with certain factions like T’au have yet to be seen.
Carnage and Dakka Galore
Now we move on the phase where stuff happens. All your moving, shooting, punching, and hair pulling happens here.
Players activate one detachment at a time starting with the player who has initiative. The player resolves that order for the entire detachment. Then, the opposing player activates a Detachment. Play continues back and forth until all detachments have activated.
Another thing worth noting is that wounding a unit doesn’t appear to remove models. Instead you place a blast marker on the unit. If you go to place a blast marker on a unit that already has one, you instead place a large blast marker. Units that have have blast marers still get to operate as if they hadn’t taken damage for the rest of the action phase. So you will always get at least one turn out of your units!
Bringing The Pain
In this phase dudes die, and both players will resolve any blast markers on their units.
If a Unit that has an Out Of Command marker has any blast markers on it, then the units routs and is immediately destroyed. Yikes! Now this is why having commanders/ Warlords around is important.
Otherwise, you start by making saving throws for the unit using its save characteristic on its unit profile. You Roll a D12 for each blast marker and if the number is equal to or higher than the target number on your save characteristic then the damage is prevented. However, for each large blast marker you only get to roll a D6. So large blast markers will be deadly to all but the most armored units. For each failed saving throw the unit takes a damage marker.
If the number of damage markers on a unit is more than half its wounds characteristic then the unit is critically damaged. As a result its attacks characteristic is halved for the remainder of the battle. If the number of damage markers on a unit ever equals or exceeds its wounds characteristic then the unit is destroyed and removed from the battlefield. If all units in an detachment are destroyed then the detachment is considered destroyed as well.
Any Units that have blast markers on them and aren’t destroyed have to take a Morale test. In order to take a moral test you roll a D6 and add the number of blast markers on the unit to the total. If the combined value is higher than the units leadership characteristic You Fail, then the unit takes an additional damage marker!
Thats it, thats the whole turn for Apoc, and you would then proceed to play through these phases again until the game ends.
I am loving this new ruleset, and I am secretly hoping some of it makes its way to regular 40k. Namely how Damage is resolved all at once. Alpha and beta strikes have always been an issue in 40k. Its just not very fun to lose half your army before you get to do anything with it.
I also, like the inclusion of D12’s as it gives GW a better gradient when designing unit and weapon profiles. This system for wounding seems to be a middle ground between the current 40k rules and AOS’s system of fixed wound rolls. Its fixed but certain weapons remain effective against certain targets, Yet still has enough variance to show that a lazcannon is a bit better against tanks than a missile launcher.
The future for Apoc and 40k looks especially bright if GW manages to successfully integrate these elements into 40k. Im ready for a 9th edition how about you?
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As always, a big thanks to GW fro the images provided for this post!