Like many gamers I am a fan of reading rules and I especially like meticulously combing through a new book, unit, weapon or anything to search for interesting and thoughtful additions to the game. Hence I gleefully pre-ordered Imperial Armour: Apocalypse Second Edition with high hopes having been very pleased with the Taros Campaign. I bought this book thinking I would be able to pick it up and use the cool, clear cut units inside in my games of warhammer and apocalypse with all the rules I'd require either included or referenced clearly on the label. Is that reasonable?
Now I won't say I was disappointed but I had expected more. There are some clever little ideas and cool new units kicking about but in my opinion they are drowned in a slurry of recycled models, unthought rulings and sometimes atrocious spelling and grammar. Here's my personal run down.
- There is an excellent opening with a clear labeling system throughout stating that the unit is either meant for normal 40K or Apocalypse. It even says it is polite to ask before using Forgeworld rules which although obvious I have always wanted to see in print. - Great Start.
- The book is very well laid out in Games Workshops distinguished data sheet format which is a joy to see while flicking through the high quality paper wrapped in a nice hard-back shell. The pictures and painting are also, top-notch. - Excellent Presentation.
- Some of the rules, units and formations are very original and interesting. Take the new 'Drone Perimeter Defense Team', an absolutely amazing and unexpected surprise which is great if you ever wanted to make a Tau defense force (i.e. Every Tau commander worth their Shas!). This continues with the 'Dreadclaw' a Chaos variant of a Drop Pod which I think every Chaos player has been crying for years to get (I have never heard of it but I may be mistaken). - Some Great Units that we actually Wanted!
- The back of the book has a condensed version of the Apocalypse rules which isn't bad though I find it fairly hard to comprehend and understand I appreciate the concept of making one book which has all the material required to use all the material inside it. - Including (semi) full rules.
- One thing that really grinds my gear is un-thought through and un-researched work from an international company. There is no excuse for the Orca to suddenly have room for 7 more Fire Warriors than the actual model has room for! 55 is not a multiple of 12 or even 6 Forgeworld! - Know your own products!
- Saying, 'Included are new Forge World units such as the advanced Tau XV-9 Close Support Armour' then only including an XV9 special character is a bit misleading. I was looking forward to using and .....buying..... some new models Forgeworld, but looks like I can't now, what a shame. - Misleading!
- Throughout the book I am constantly told to refer to other books and sources with the intro saying, ''This book is best used in conjunction with [all other codexes/rulebooks]''. Unexpected from a 'comprehensive' book. - Not all the information is included or obviously referenced to beforehand.
- Worse still, one of their main armies, Imperial Guard, have two new tanks called the 'Dominus' and 'Macharius Omega' which both do not have a picture but instead 'INCONSENSUS' printed over a shadow. Really? In a book 'accompanied by lavish photographs'? - Further Misleading!
- This one really jumped out at me, there was a constant reference to something called 'Target Priority', remember that old 4th edition rule? Apparently it still exists according to the 'updated Apocalypse rules'. - Failing to provide updated and comprehensive rules.
I really hoped that this book would be fully self-supporting, only referencing to the core rulebook and being fully up-to-date like a Codex. That is what I wanted, even if it might only include a selection of units it would still be great.
Overall I like this book, or rather the gems hidden inside it. There are some very useful rules and more importantly ideas inside but I keep thinking I could write better rules. I did mainly get it for inspiration but I still wanted to use it for games. I was also disappointed about the lack of 'comprehensive-ness' and sadly, I think I need to go out and buy more books to find out more.....