Fury of the Swarm is an experimental co-op mode for Warhammer 40,000, in which the players face off against a swarm of Tyranids following instinctive protocols. This week the final two missions of the Version 1 roster are added, meaning: it’s testing time.
I’m feeling pleased right now. There’s always a fear of fizzling when it comes to ambitious projects, particularly if one is doing so live on the internet. We’re not fully out of Fizzle Gulley yet, but the two missions in today’s post have brought the project into the realm of fully armed and operational (as opposed to playing the Imperial March on a cheap plastic recorder).
So today, I’ll explain what the two final missions are, what’s next, and why now’s the time for anyone on the fence to get involved.
If you want to skip my commentary and check out the rules, click the big Tyranid head below.
Fury of the Swarm route map
One post every fortnight
- Announcement post
- The initial release, with test mission
- Campaign mode go! Four missions in total, one for each campaign phase.
- Developer diary #1
- 2 new missions
- 2 new missions
- 2 new missions <<<< YOU ARE HERE
- Developer diary #2 going over feedback, and resulting rules changes.
- Developer diary #3, with a few previews of the laid out pages.
- The release of Version 1 as a downloadable PDF.
This week’s new missions
Sporefall: Living Rain
This mission will be one of the first missions played during a campaign, but I left it until the end to write since it’s so bananas (I wanted more experience under my belt first, see). You have four objectives to defend, you deploy wherever you like, and then Tyranids start falling out of the sky all over the board. It’s absolute chaos, and you have to adapt as best you can.
Playtests so far have been bracing but fun, and it’s not as impossible as it sounds. I’ll be extremely curious to hear from people who play this mission, since I imagine it’ll be a very different experience based on the Player faction. We certainly found having a few reserve units with Deep Strike to be particularly helpful.
Standout moments from our test games included a Black Templars Gladiator tank suicide charging the swarm in a desperate bid to stop the larger anti-tank Tyranids converging on an objective, and a squad of my own Terminators fighting back to back in a narrow alley way as they strove to prevent letting any Tyranid Warriors reach the doors to the building. They held on heroically until fire support became available from further afield, and we squeaked a win in the final turn.
Extermination: Burn the Nest
Just as Living Rain is the archetypal Sporefall mission, Burn the Nest is exactly what it sounds like for the other end of a campaign. It’s also an opportunity to do some Tyranid terrain (not a mandatory one, mind: you can just use normal objective markers if desired). Noted Fury of the Swarm enabler Tom kindly acquired and painted the Tyrannocyte/Sporocyst kit, then threw the resulting spare components at me to be converted into what we now refer to a tactical flesh lump.
Again, this is a mission I’m keen to get feedback on; not only is it an essential part of the campaign (if you win the Fulcrum, of course) but it also requires you to get right into the Tyranid backfield to burn out their hatcheries, which will be more challenging for some armies than others. Tom took a fairly extreme approach in our last test game, and deployed a Raven Guard air wing to great (if risky) effect.
For version one of the project, we’ve now got all the missions in place: 3 for Sporefall, 3 for the Fulcrum, and 2 each for Extermination and Evacuation. Are there more mission concepts banging around in my brain? Yes, absolutely, but I think rather than constantly pumping out fresh ideas, now is the time to consolidate and make sure what we’ve got works as well as it can prior to publishing Version 1. That’s where you come in.
Goonhammer needs you!
We already have some excellent folks submitting feedback to us, and now that all the missions are in place, this is a great time to jump in and help refine Version 1. It’s simple: you fight Tyranids, tell me how it went, and I update the rules when you find problems. It’s now possible to play a 7-8 game campaign, which is a whole lotta gaming, but it’s still cool and good if you just play the one game and lemme know your thoughts.
Again, I’m extremely grateful to those of you who’ve already been helping. I’ll readily admit I have yet to get used to the fear and joy of having strangers play games based on something I wrote, and find myself desperately hoping they have fun. Happily, the responses are generally positive, and the feedback on problems has been really constructive. I dread to think what it’s like being a studio writer reading the wailing and gnashing of teeth that can accompany an official release. Admittedly it’s also much easier for me to fix problems, since I’m not bound by printing lead times.
Anyway, the point is this: everything’s in place, and this is the very best moment to have a go if you want to make Fury of the Swarm as good as it can be prior to the release of Version 1. Once V1’s out, I intend to take a bit of a break (beyond fixing any glaring errata) so that I can have a bit of my own personal time back, and it will be a lot more fiddly to make changes to a fully laid out PDF.
If you’d like to send me feedback or questions, the most helpful way is probably the battle feedback form. You’re also very welcome to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by reaching out to me (Charlie) on Instagram. If you’re a Goonhammer patron, you can also @Charlie B on the Discord server.