Here is a good deep dive into the new Blackstone Fortress Expansion Escalation.


via Warhammer 40,000 Facebook
Rogue Trader Neyam Shai Murad didn’t inherit her Warrant of Trade easily – she had to fight for it. Now, she runs her operation as the first among equals. Her single-minded goal is to cleanse the Blackstone Fortress of the taint of Chaos, using any means necessary.




Designer's Interview




Escalation Expansion
via the Warhammer Community
https://www.warhammer-community.com/2019/08/19/a-deadly-threat-rises-in-the-blackstone-fortressgw-homepage-post-2/

New Explorers

Five intrepid adventurers join the pool of available characters, each bursting with personality – even the servitor, somehow, and he’s had his personality surgically removed. Together, they form the cadre of Rogue Trader Neyam Shai Murad.
She’s accompanied by Gotfret de Montbard, a veteran Crusader in gleaming silver armour, and a Primaris Psyker by the name of Aradia Madellan. As their goals align, an aloof and mysterious Technoarcheologist, known only as Daedalosus, has agreed to accompany them through the Blackstone Fortress. The servitor designated X-101 represents a new type of explorer, called a retinue character – the party leader can control it rather than it being a playable explorer in its own right. 














If these incredible miniatures look familiar to you, it may be because they were first seen in the tie-in game Warhammer 40,000: Combat Arena. They’ve finished their journey to Precipice, and now they’re ready to scour the taint of Chaos with extreme prejudice.
Each of these explorers offers fresh new ways to play the game. Rogue Trader Murad, for instance, is a gunslinger with paired ‘negotiating’ pistols that unleash a deadly fusillade of shots with unerring accuracy. 
The Primaris Psyker Aradia is able to use her precognitive abilities to make other players more effective. Her unique action, Psychic Boost, will help your team succeed on crucial actions. Mind over matter and all that.
Gotfret de Montbard is a close-combat powerhouse, and his ability to take punishing amounts of damage will take the heat off more delicate explorers. The Tech-Priest, Daedalosus, can designate a hostile, making it easier for the party to make successful attacks against them. Equipped with a grav-gun, X-101 offers devastating fire support and is inspired by Daedalosus’ presence on an expedition.
Teamwork has never been more important, now that you’ll have to face down powerful new enemies. These new explorers offer additional opportunities to work together and enhance the entire team, including the original adventurers. 

Deadly Threats

Of course, your capable explorers won’t go unopposed. Escalation, true to its name, increases the peril and heightens the tension of the already dangerous Blackstone Fortress. The Servants of the Abyss have been joined by a host of fanatical Chaos Cultists. Some of them are packing serious firepower – literally in the case of the Cultist Firebrand – and all of them are ready to lay down their lives in service to the Dark Gods.  













Cultist Firebrands are absolutely deadly at mid-range, and they also inflame the zeal of nearby Cultist hostiles. Their bodies are swollen with infernal power… so let’s just say you don’t want to be standing close to one when they’re killed…
Some of the other Cultists are equipped with heavier weaponry, including grenade launchers and heavy stubbers, to make you pay dearly for every inch you advance into their demesne.
New game mechanics add a few twists to the tried-and-true board game experience. The biggest change is the addition of a Menace tracker to add a sense of urgency to your endeavours – as you play through missions, the enemy grows stronger and resources become more scarce. 

The Story…

Spoilers aheadRead on at your own risk

If you’ve played through the entire campaign from Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress, you’ll have celebrated the death of the Chaos Lord Obsidius Mallex, but it seems the festivities may have been premature… Marked by eldritch xenos technology, his lifeless body has been remade by the fortress itself, even stronger than before.
This gift came at a price, as it often does. Mallex is now inextricably linked to the Blackstone Fortress, and his connection grows with each passing moment. His mind twists with visions of the past, present and future, and his own senses have become intertwined with the station itself. 
Previously, the space station reconfigured its own layout based on some unfathomable programming, or perhaps a sort of sentience, which made it difficult to explore. Mallex, however, has created a stable base inside the fortress, which allows him to muster his forces and create defences. Cultists are being drawn to the space station like moths to a flame, swelling the Chaos Lord’s ranks with loyal servants to build these stable zones
























As Mallex and the Chaos Cultists erect vile fanes to the Dark Gods, he exerts more control over the fortress itself. The world-shattering weaponry that has lain dormant for aeons now stirs, and Precipice is in the line of fire. The explorers must stop them before Mallex threatens the stability and balance of the entire region – and perhaps even the Imperium itself.





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