Review By Richard Winstone
I refuse to lie and pretend the world of Warhammer has been a big part of my life, it hasn’t I walked into the shops looked around and thought….well that’s a cool toy what’s this all about.
So it took me a while, I have played Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2 in its entirety to get a feel for it before embarking on the new expansion Chaos Campaign. I suggest reading Peety’s review of the base game here to catch up on the game itself.
I love the whole universe is torn and there no outright good guys, every faction has a reason for acting how they do and all have some form of justification for it, right up until you meet Malos Vrykan and the Chaos faction, there outright evil as they spread the influence of the dark gods.
Introducing new map mechanics showing the universe just how it will be if chaos is allowed to spread.
Playing as Malos you start off with a rather small force pretty insignificant in the 40K world, you start off with a simple escort mission where you find yourself in a part of space with plasmic medusae (huge space jellyfish for people like me not in the know) they explode when shot or if they come into contact with a ship, very quickly your engaged by the Ultramarines.
With the enemy having superior numbers, you must use the plasmic medusae to your advantage to fend off the Ultramarines and complete your objective.
You quickly realize the system you’re in is surrounded by the Imperium fleet but it’s ok you have the 4 dark gods on your side aiding you with unique abilities or gifts to aid you in wiping the Imperium fleet from the mortal plane in due course.
As you conquer planets you gain boons, offer a gift to Slannesh and he will push any opposition out of the system of your choice using his powers as the god of lies, Khorne the good of anger will taunt a random fleet to engage an adjacent system, Tzeentch shifting will bring in an invasion force to attack any system that you will it to and finally Nurgle the god of rot will weaken all the ships in a system with damage to the hulls and their troops granting you a huge advantage.
During the base game, the bombardment playstyle seemed to be the most beneficial, but during the chaos campaign, new gifts from the Dark Gods mean a divide and conquer strategy can have a real impact on the game and allow more direct combat.
This brings me on the new admiral option, there are 3, Renegade a basic bunch and the most commonly available, Chaos legions world bearers like yourself that have some decent skills, and the Marled Legion and they are also blessed by the Dark Gods, you have the World Eaters having incredibly strong boarding parties (known as bloodletting parties), the Death Guard that simultaneously heal allies while damaging any enemy caught within its range.
Emperor’s Children are gifted with the ability to disable both the defensive and offensive capabilities of any ships in range for a period of time, and finally, the Thousand Sons Wind-of-Change ability conceals your fleet in a gas cloud that follows your around giving great flanking options.
I’m no expert but I felt this chaos campaign expansion really changes the game up and gave new interesting options and it’s great to see the issue Peety raised about the beta being all ironed out. I’m not going to go into the multiplayer side Peety covered that pretty well the only real difference is the ability to select the Chaos Faction.
Ok so the game hasn’t made me a die-hard Warhammer Fan, but I found the lore in the game interesting and it definitely added to it, the tactical nature and fun gameplay not only allows you to think outside of the box but actively promotes it.
For someone on the outside of the universe that is Warhammer 40k, this is definitely a doorway into this world, but even without knowing anything about it, it’s still very enjoyable and does a decent job in not excluding new player/fan into the fold.