Apocalypse is coming, and massive battles in the 41st Millennium will never be the same again! Yesterday, we began preparations for the new game with an article introducing the basics. Today, we’re going to take a look at more of the top-level concepts, including building an army, phases and Datasheets.
Building an Army
Before you start a game of Apocalypse, you’re going to need an army – a huge, impressive army with which to battle your enemies. The building blocks for each army are Detachments, and while in Apocalypse these are subtly different to their Warhammer 40,000 versions, their titles and purposes remain very similar. Prefer a lightning-fast war with lots of Fast Attack options? Then you’ll want to include some Outrider Detachments. Prefer Troops? How about more Troops? If you still want to add in some extra Troops, then the Battalion Detachment is for you!
You activate all of the units in a Detachment at the same time – this means that they all move, shoot and fight together. The key to each Detachment is its Commander – these are mighty heroes who lead the Detachment into battle – and any units that are too far away from their Commander are at risk of routing and being removed from play! A Commander is the unit in the Detachment with the highest Leadership value and, if it also has the Character keyword, then it becomes a Warlord. Each Warlord in your army generates extra Command Assets, powerful abilities that can sway the course of a battle.
With you Commanders chosen and Detachments built, your Apocalypse army is now ready to take to the battlefield.
Now we’re going to have a look at the different phases that make up a turn of Apocalypse. These are very different to those found in Warhammer 40,000, and each turn of Apocalypse is made up of four distinct phases.
The key thing here is that the Damage phase comes after the Action phase. This means that each of your units will still get to be activated even if they have taken damage that may take them out of action! No longer will your favourite Character perish or that newly painted unit be wiped out before they actually get to do something.
When you move a unit, all of the models must finish their move within ½” of another model in the unit. This is because there will be so many units on the battlefield that you’ll need the space. To this end, Apocalypse movement trays will prove incredibly useful for moving your large infantry units and ensuring that all your models remain in coherency.
After you have activated a Detachment in the Action phase, your opponent then gets to activate one of theirs. This means that you’ll never be waiting around for someone to move an entire army, so no matter how massive the battle, you’re never out of the action for long!
Let’s delve into Apocalypse datasheets – these give you the profiles for your units in games of Apocalypse but they are different from the datasheets in Warhammer 40,000. While you might still be using a squad of Intercessors or a mighty Baneblade, they behave differently in massed battles.
As you can see, some of the characteristics are the same as in Warhammer 40,000 – an Intercessor still hits on 3+ in both shooting and assault, but they no longer have the iconic 3+ save of Space Marines. This is due to the way that damage works in Apocalypse.
Speaking of damage, that brings us onto the next big difference on the datasheets – the weapons.
All weapons now have two stats: SAP (Strength Against Personnel) and SAT (Strength Against Tanks). Of course, any weapon can damage anything but, as you might expect, you’re more likely to damage a tank with a multi-melta than a lasgun! If you hit with the weapon, this shows the number you need to roll on a D12 to assign a small blast marker to the target unit. So, unsurprisingly, bolt rifles are far more effective against infantry than they are against tanks.
But where can you check out the strengths and abilities of your units? Well, all of the new Apocalypse datasheets will be available as free downloads very soon.
That’s just a glimpse at some of the big changes that are coming to Apocalypse – it really is a very different game to Warhammer 40,000 and has been specifically designed for huge games with masses of models.