It's time to break some strongholds......


Yes, the book has dropped and it's time to break open this book and see what's inside.

To keep this simple I'm going to each section of the book in order, cover what's in each section, my thoughts and then close out this look into the book with some final thoughts. No points costs, so I apologize in advance if you were looking to skip out on needing the book completely, I just don't want to get sued.

 

The Book

Before we get too far I want to cover the book itself. It's a hardback, with the same kind of raised embossing we see with the codexes. The paper is the same quality with full color images we've come to expect by now. No complaints here.

Fortifications of the Imperium

This is our real introduction in the book (yes the book has an Introduction, but this really does the job establishing the feel of what this book is for) and it covers the setting and how Fortifications are used in it, at least in brief. Forging a Narrative makes an appearance, mentioning that Chaos would desecrate then and then reconsecrate them to their dark gods. Orks get a mention about them salvaging and modifying anything they get their hands on.

Basically it's to inspire some conversion ideas but doesn't really force the idea down your throat.

Nothing particularly too exciting here, but it's just the introduction so no harm there.

A Galaxy Under Siege

Do you like 40k lore? Then you might want to get a look at this if you get a chance. Battle of Macragge, Palace of Thorns and Storm of Iron get mentions here, and more. Special mention goes to "The Fellguard Incident" which gets a two page spread to tell it's events as the Imperial Guard and the traitors of the Fortress World of Kelthorn fight it out. I won't spoil anything, but I thought it was pretty good.

Lore fans might want to give this a look, everyone else may choose to skip this.

Additional Rules

First off, this section starts with the following statement:
The following section introduces new rules that are required to use the fortifications found within in your games of Warhammer 40,000.
Now, to be clear, this is a Supplement for the main rulebook, not an Expansion. You can leave it out of your games if you want, but it's right there with codex supplements in how it's used.

So the book starts off by introducing two new kinds of fortifications to the game: Massive Fortifications and Fortification Networks.

Massive Fortifications can have an Armour Value of up to 15 and have the Mighty Bulkwark special rule, which reduces damage rolls on the building damage chart by -1. As the book points the obvious here, this makes them harder to destroy.

Fortification Networks are multiple fortifications that are purchased as a single FOC slot. Which buildings are used as well as if they have to be connected or not is covered by their datasheets, though you can still place them next to each other even when they don't have to be. And no, you can't slap just any combination down and call it a Fortification Network.

It's interesting to see new fortification options outside the few we had before, as well as some changes to how they're going to work. Both of these new fortifications types make it really easy to see why fortifications get placed before terrain as well as they have the potential of taking up a lot of table space.

Weapon Rules

Destroyer Weapons are in this book, as are votrex weapons as well as a class of weapons I haven't seen before called Primary Weapons who roll two dice for armour penetration rolls and take the highest.

Not much to talk about here honestly, the destroyer weapons are the the same as apocalypse, to include use of the Apocalyptic blast template, and vortex weapons still make things go missing if they get hit with.

Well that solves the Riptide problem I suppose, but I'm going to recommend not springing Destroyer Weapon fortifications on your friends on a game if you want to keep them.

Updated Building Rules

Yes, building rules are getting an update and this alone makes the book pretty handy I think. Honestly this section gives a pretty good reason to get a copy of this book, even if it's just to share as a group at a club level. Let's take a quick look at the changes in brief:
  • Fortifications now have two classes: claimed and unclaimed. Claimed buildings are fortifications purchased by a player, and can fire their automated weapons against enemy units, even when unoccupied. Additionally they can be shot at by enemy units as well. Unclaimed buildings work like buildings currently do now, and may be classed as dilapidated if you and your opponent wish. Buildings also don't count for Victory Points unless both players agree to make them count
  • Jump and Jetpack Infantry can now embark inside fortifications. Now those rules about how many slots they count as taking up make a little more sense.
  • Battlements got changed. They now count as being the upper levels of ruins, they now count as a Large Access Point for the building and units on them can embark into the building from there, or vice versa. Jump units, Jet Pack units, Jetbikes no longer treat Battlements as Dangerous terrain, and and template or blast template that hits a battlement also hits the building.
  • Gun emplacements that are placed on the building count as an additional emplaced weapon for the building, otherwise they follow normal emplaced weapon rules. 
  • Models disembarking from fortifications may charge the turn the do so, even if the building is destroyed, as long as they don't do so through the Escape Hatch upgrade.
  • The building damage table got updated, mostly to clarify rules and explain effects on Emplaced Weapons more clearly. 
A Forging a Narrative section also talks about deep striking and buildings and some ideas how it can be handled but ultimately leaves the choices up to the players.

So a fair amount of changes here that make this book a bit more important than what it would seem previously. A fair amount of it clarifications, and some of it is a straight errata from the way the core rulebook rules work.

Now there is no requirement to use these new rules, but if the changes interest you then the book is likely more your style. Just don't expect everyone to feel the same way of course.

Fortification Upgrades

Yes, fortifications can purchase upgrades, but only if they're being purchased as part of your army. Additionally depending on the size of the building you may purchase one (small), two (medium) or three (large). These must be declared the first time the building is occupied.

Additionally if your building is a multi-part building the upgrade only counts for the part it was purchased for, the other parts have to purchase them separately (as they are essentially different buildings). Each part of the building (excluding battlements) can have different upgrades if you wish. The upgrades for Buildings are:
  • Ammo Store (grants re-rolls of To-Hit rolls of 1, but doesn't effect emplaced weapons)
  • Booby Traps (the first unit to occupy the building suffers 2D6 S4, AP5 hits with the Ignores Cover special rule)
  • Escape Hatch (adds an additional access point within 12" of the fortification)
  • Magos Machine Spirit (the building's automated fire resolves using BS3)
  • Searchlights (they're searchlights, what did you expect?)
  • Void Shield (yes, just like the ones on a Titan, only you can only have the 1 per building)
  • Obstacles are another upgrade category. You can purchase up to six sections of any of the following: Tanglewire (grants a 6+ cover to models behind it, counts as dangerous terrain)
  • Barricades (grant a 4+ cover save and models in base contact with the barricade and within 2" of it count as being in base contact for purpases of close combat and charges)
  • Tank Traps (Impassible Terrain for non-Skimmer Vehicles and Open Ground for all others. Grants a 4+ cover save)
The upgrades for Battlements & Battlefield are purchasable pieces of Battlefield debris that must be emplaced on the building's battlements or wholly within of 6" of their fortification. Includes:
  • Ammunition Dump (grants 5+ cover, models within 2" reroll 1s to-hit)
  • Comms Relay (same as main rulebook)
  • Gun Emplacemet with Icarus Lascannon (same as main rulebook)
  • Gun Emplacement with Quadgun (same as main rulebook)
Now obviously a lot of new stuff, plus a few classics here. This book adds a number of new options to the table and I think it really helps the Fortifications feel a lot more varied and really helps increase the ways they can be fielded.

Fortification Datasheets

So to make this easy I'm going to just go through the list, and if the item is a Fortification Network I'll list what it consists of. Also, a few of these don't have images suggesting that they may get future releases. I'll note those too. Some of these have special rules as well, but I'm not going to dig into those as honestly I need to keep GW's lawyers happy by leaving at least some of this a mystery. So here we go!
  • Aegis Defense Line
  • Imperial Bastion
  • Imperial Strongpoint (1-3 Bastions, 1-5 Aegis Defense Lines, 0-1 Skyshield Landing Pad, 0-1 Honoured Imperium)
  • Honored Imperium (1 Imperial Statue, 2 pieces of Imperial Rubble (it's not a Fortification Network, I just thought I'd let you know anyways))
  • Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Line
  • Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Line Emplacement (up to 3 sections of Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Emplacement sections and up to 2 Imperial Defence Line end sections, each section must be in contact with another)
  • Wall of Martyrs Imperial Bunker
  • Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubt
  • Wall of Martyrs Vengeance Weapon Battery
  • Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defense Network (1-3 Wall of Martyrs Imperial Bunkers, 1-4 Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defense Lines, 1-2 Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Emplacements, 0-2 Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubts, 0-2 Wall of Martyrs Vengeance Weapon Battery)
  • Promethium Relay Pipes (no image)
  • Void Shield Generator (no image)
  • Void Relay Network (no image)
  • Skyshield Landing Pad
  • Fortress of Redemption
  • Macro-Cannon Aquila Strongpoint
  • Vortex Missile Aquila Strongpoint
Now that is a lot of stuff to choose from, and some nice combinations of  options means that what you bring can really scale with the size of the game. Which is good because these will eat into your points total fairly quickly.

Siege War Missions

Three new missions to play with a new FOC based on who is the Attacker and the Defender. Defenders may take up to 3 Fortifications, but must purchase at least one and otherwise follow normal FOC rules. Meanwhile, Attackers gain a fourth Heavy Support slot to fit more bunker breaking options into the army.

The missions are:
  • Bunker Assault (Attacking player tries to take control of a fortification with, destroying a building with or end up within 3" of a Targeting Auger objective which is worth 3 Victory Points. Otherwise it plays like a Purge the Alien mission that gives Victory Points for each Total Collapse or Detonation! result inflicted on the defending player).
  • Breakthrough (Defending player tries to maintain control of 3 objectives in their deployment zone, and gains Victory Points for each enemy unit they completely destroy. Attacking Players gain 1 Victory Point for each unit that is in the Defender's Deployment Zone and D3 Victory Points for each unit that has exited the table through the Defenders Table Edge)
  • Last Stand (Each player gains 1 Victory Point for each enemy unit that is completely destroyed, Attacking players gain 1 Victory Point for each Total Collapse or Detonation result inflicted on the Defender's Fortifications, and an additional D3 Victory Points for each of the Defender's Last Survivors that have been completely destroyed. The Defending player gains an additional 2 Victory Points for each remaining Last Survivor unit that has not been completely destroyed at the end of the game)
Honestly I don't see anything in here I don't like. The missions add some spice to the game and allow for a number of new, or classic scenarios to be played. I really dig these.

Final Thoughts

This book really has one market: people who like Fortifications. Maybe even like them too much. It's not a bad book, and I like the updates and all the new options. It's nice to see more of the terrain pieces GW produces being given rules.

That said this book is a lot of GW's other products: if it sounds like something you want, get it, otherwise skip it and share your friend's copy when they want to use the rules from it. It's not for everyone and like all supplements it's a real case by case basis on if this will be worth your money or not.

Also, if your into playing tournaments, make sure you check with the TO well in advance before you go dropping a lot of money on a Fortification Network or the other things in this book.


 
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