GTM #209 - Shadow War: Armageddon
Reviewed by Thomas Riccardi

On the Imperial hive world of Armageddon, war is a daily occurrence and blood flows freely. The green menace known as the Orks are spread far and wide across the planet's surface, and at every turn they clash against the forces of the Imperium. While the mighty Space Marines seem to claim glory for all of the Imperium, there are forces working together to squelch smaller threats. This is the story of one of these Kill Teams, dispatched to Hive Acheron to stop the Ork threat. Will the forces of the Imperium be successful, or will they succumb to the green tide? This is the setting of Shadow War: Armageddon, a boxed game from the folks over at Games Workshop!

When you first open the box, you’ll be greeted with a sea of grey plastic, as there are more than a few miniatures to piece together. This core set contains everything you’ll need to construct two Kill Teams, consisting of twenty-one miniatures (ten Ork Boys and an Ork Nob, and a ten-man Space Marine Scout Team). However, there’s more! There’s enough Sector Mechanicus machinery that’ll allow you to recreate part of a Promethium sprawl!

Also included are 64 counters to indicate if a model is running or on overwatch, as well as three plastic templates (“small blast,” “large blast”, and “flamethrower”) to help determine weapons effects on the battlefield. Lastly, dice and a 125-page rulebook round out the mix for this two-player skirmish.

The aforementioned rulebook is incredible! The opening chapter gives you the history of the wars that have taken place on the planet of Armageddon, chronicling the invasions that the Orks have initiated and the warriors who’ve fought in these conflicts. From the dreaded Ork Boyz Mobs to the Space Marine Scouts, each of these factions are detailed extensively, along with the weapons they use on the battlefield. The rules section covers how to organize the forces and utilize them for a Kill Team. For those unfamiliar, Kill Teams are veteran units, but with smaller forces (usually of ten models per side). Each of these models includes stats which determine how far they move and how accurate they shoot.

Clashes are broken up into four phases:

  • Movement: During this phase, you can move your character up to the full allotment, run double their movement stat, hide to conceal their position, or charge their opponent to get into melee range.
  • Shooting: The shooting phase allows those with ranged weapons to open fire on targets that are within the line of sight and in range, while applying various modifiers to hit, as well as their ballistics skill. You then roll the dice - even if it’s an assured hit, because if a “1” is rolled, it’s an automatic miss. Saves are applied to armor and wounds are totaled, and if the target is down to a single wound, you roll on a table to ultimately determine if they endure to fight another round, or be taken out of action.
  • Hand-to-Hand: This occurs when two models are touching base to base and can engage in hand-to-hand combat. This is calculated just like Shooting, but, instead, uses the model’s attack characteristic rather than their ballistic skill. Saving throws, rolling to wound, and resolving injuries follows suit.
  • Recovery: In this phase you can try to regain some of your unit’s nerve if they’re shaken by enemy fire or wounds. If a fighter is ‘broken’, they’ll scramble towards cover and not engage in combat (their weapon skills count as ‘one’ in this frame of mind).

The remainder of the rulebook explains various specifics, such as the weapons used by each side and their characteristics. There’s also several scenarios that can be played with the option of campaign play, with rewards for completing a mission. 

If you’ve ever wanted to get started playing Warhammer 40k this is the game for you! Shadow War: Armageddon features comprehensive rules, and boasts tons of scenery and miniatures. For this and other games head on over to www.games-workshop.com and get ready to battle for Armageddon!

Fast Facts:

  • Number of Players: 2-player   
  • Time: 30-120 minutes
  • Age: 15+
When not writing or playing games, Thomas Riccardi can be found in Sacramento preparing for the day when zombies, vampires, or aliens invade.