GTM #207 - The Horus Heresy: Burning of Prospero
Reviewed by Thomas Riccardi

In the 31st Millennium there is still only war, as factions clash against one another. During this time in the Imperium there are tales of legendary battles, but none has been more documented than the war on Prospero. On this planet, the psykers of the Thousand Sons have accessed text that contains knowledge that was forbidden to them. In retaliation, the primarch Leman Russ has ordered the world to be burnt to its core. Fleets rain down fire as they render most of the cities into ash and flame… all except one. The city of Tizca is protected by a force field powered by their psykers, and the Space Wolves are called in to purge that threat. Can they purify the world, or be hindered by the Thousand Suns in Games Workshop’s The Horus Heresy: Burning of Prospero.

The core of Burning of Prospero is spread out over six scenarios in which the Space Wolves are trying to eradicate the remaining Thousand Sons. These scenarios can be played separately or in sequence as a larger, linked campaign. The boxed set comes complete with everything that you need to play, including dice, tiles, counters, cards, rules, and, of course, miniatures, which there are 47, all variances from the previous Horus Heresy game. Sure, there are Mark III tactical marines on both sides and the Thousand Sons also wield terminators. However, the Space Wolves have the custodial guards and the Sisters of Silence assisting them to quell the pskyer threat. Each of these miniatures are breathtaking and can be worthy addition to your collection, or even a starter force to play in other Warhammer 40k tabletop battles.

Starting the game is simple, as you first select which scenario you want to play. There are six scenarios, each of which require a different layout of board tiles. Once you’ve defined the playing field, choose sides, gather up your dice, shuffle the psychic power cards, and prep your forces. Now, you’re ready to engage in war on the burning surface of Prospero.

The rules for Burning of Prospero are easy to learn whether you’re a veteran of Warhammer 40k or just starting off in the hobby. There are four phases of each turn: enumeration, movement, attack, and consolidation phases. The first phase is for the Thousands Sons, as they have command of psychic powers that can change the tide of battle. Some of these powers can attack the units directly, however, you can only cast up to three powers per round so choose wisely. The second phase allows you to move your units (or not). However, the game provides a new feature: each zone can only hold four units. Also, if your units are adjacent to an enemy unit they are pinned and cannot move.

During the third phase, you’ll resolve attacks on the enemy through ranged or close combat. Roll the appropriate dice for your attacker while the defender rolls and adds their armor score. If the attack dice is higher than their armor, that unit suffers one point of damage. If not, it’s absorbed by the armor. Once the damage taken meets or exceeds that model’s stamina, it is slain and removed from the battlefield. The final phase is where everything is cleaned up for the next round to commence. Willpower and Warp Energy cards are reshuffled back into their decks, while Psychic powers (played and not yet executed) will need to be played in this phase. Plus, wound counters that were inflicted are removed from the board.

Aside from the rulebook, Burning of Prospero also includes a sourcebook that offers insight on the two warring factions during the campaign, with extensive background on both the Space Wolves and Thousand Sons, as well as their units.

With an epic series of battles, highly detailed miniatures, and a fast-and-furious, easy-to-learn rules set, Horus Heresy: Burning of Prospero fits the bill for both novice players and Warhammer 40k veterans. For more information on this and other products head over to www.games-workshop.com and get ready to battle on the burning planet of Prospero.

Fast Facts:

  • Number of Players: 2
  • Age: 12+
  • Time: 30-90 minutes
When not writing or playing games, Thomas Riccardi can be found in Sacramento preparing for the day when zombies, vampires, or aliens invade.