Thondian Path to Glory Battlepack
The bulk of the narrative play sections are devoted to a Thondian Battlepack. This self-contained set of rules allows you to jump into the brutal action in this section of Ghur, and includes some territories that will benefit you outside of Thondia! For the most part, Thondian battles do not change many core structural rules. However, the Battleplans are fairly restrictive on faction terrain and all games include a new rule called Beastslayer. Heroes who slay Monsters get to issue the All-Out Attack command for free…even if they’ve already issued it!
Season of War: Thondia includes two new quests, both designed to unlock two of the other exciting elements of this book. Incarnate allows you to choose a Hero to embark on a quest to do some murder. After your Hero kills enough other Heroes, the Ghurish energies will manifest a Krondspine Incarnate that will bond to this hero and be able to join it in battle. Hero Quest allows you to recruit a powerful hero to your roster: one you’ve designed yourself on the Anvil of Apotheosis! This quest requires you to define the number of points you want your new hero to use. Quest points are scored for pushing into opponent’s territory. Once you’ve got enough (the stronger your Anvil Hero, the more you need) this champion will rally to your banner and join you.
The first time you win a Path to Glory battle using the Thondian battlepack, you can establish a “Thondian Outpost”. Whatever Territory you pick up after this battle (regardless of which book it came from) is noted as a Thondian Outpost. From then on, it unlocks all the Thondian flavored abilities and territories in this book. While it does require jumping through a hoop, I like the narrative presented here. Your Path to Glory squad is arriving in Thondia and establish a foothold. Once established, you can head out from here to conquest and gain experience. So what are those benefits?
Thondian Veteran Abilities
Ghur is a brutal place during the Era of the Beast. Survival requires fighting not just creatures but the land itself. Accordingly, Thondian Veteran Abilities represent hard-scrabble units that manage to not get killed by the realm itself.
- Beast Slayers is a once-per-battle ability that grants your unit additional damage against monsters. Best given to large units with lots of models or attacks, to best take advantage.
- Experienced Rangers gives the unit a free movement at the beginning of the game. I’m sure this is strong, and I look forward to using this incorrectly allowing my hams to get picked off early due to being overextended.
- Grit. Need a ward? Get yourself a 6+ ward.
- Eagle-eyes adds range to your shooty units. It’s just once per battle however, so use it carefully.
- Savage Instinct will no doubt be a popular choice. Once per battle you can get strike-first if you’ve charged. Knock ’em out and move on.
- Battle-Frenzy grants an additional attack at the cost of being easier to hit. Just make sure you kill ’em first and don’t worry about it.
Prime Monster Abilities
Reflecting the continent-rattling surge of realm energy that has been unleased, Monsters added to your roster after battling on Thondia can be powerful Prime Monsters. These behemoths have special abilities that can be brought to bear anywhere you fight. Note, you’ve got to roll a 5+ when you add that Monster; Prime Monsters are rarer than their counterparts.
- Terrifying Roar. Like a Roar only scarier. Once per battle you can reduce the Bravery characteristic of enemy units within 12″. Can be used to take more models off the table but also to bring down that Characteristic for other abilities that care.
- Wild Nature – This allows the monster with a wild nature to use a Monstrous Rampage even if another model already has. Good, but limited in the sense that you’ll need to have multiple monsters that specifically want to do Monstrous Rampages.
- Monstrous Constitution is a quick little heal you can use in a pinch, once per battle.
- Fearsome is a clever little ability. Pop it off once per battle and when you reference any value on the damage table you act as if it had taken 0 wounds. Potential haymaker ability.
- Crushing Bulk – Retreat as if you can fly, and do some mortals on any unit you walk over. Just be sure to clean the gore off the bottom of your feet.
- Scent of Blood – Add 1 to hit and would rolls targeting an enemy unit with wounds allocated for a combat phase.
As noted above, before you can control a Thondian Territory you’ve got to establish an outpost first. Once you do, rolling 61-66 will unlock these special territories similar to the lists of those seen in battletomes. Some of them allow you to send a unit to hang out in that territory during the aftermath sequence. A unit can only be sent to 1 territory, so choose carefully.
- Primeval Wilderness – Increases the number of Monsters you can have and, once upgraded, improves that Prime Monster roll to make them all way more awesome.
- Wellspring of Primordeal Energy allows you to send a unit to this territory during the aftermath step. The unit sent reduces it’s casualty score (more so once upgraded).
- Collapsed Ruins – Once upgraded, increases your total unit count.
- Grinding Mountains – In step one of the aftermath sequence you make a grinding mountain roll. On a 4+ you gain that many glory points straight up. On a 1, the realm of Ghur consumes one of your upgraded Thondian Territories, downgrading it. It will not completely eliminate a territory, only downgrades an upgraded territory. The realm feeds.
- City of Bones – You can add 3 units from an allied faction to your roster even if it exceeds your limit, and once upgraded your General can be an Allied Hero. Probably some nifty tricks in here!
- Grasping Bogs – Deep in the dankest swamps of Ghur lies treasures and artifacts. Send a unit during the Aftermath and roll 2d6. A roll of 10-11 scores you some glory, and a roll of 12+ scores you glory and an artefact of power. Roll poorly, however, and your unit will make an injury roll or increase its casualty score.
Thondian Scouting Expeditions
Once you’ve got an outpost, units that were not used in the battle can go on scouting expeditions. During the Aftermath a couple rolls determine what, if anything, they find. Or fight.
- Azyrite Ruins – Roll 1d6. On a 6 you gain an artefact of power, on a 1-2 you’re ambushed and increase your casualty score. Also, if you do not immediately purchase and paint Azyrite Ruins and bring them to every battle hereafter Gregbot will find you.
- Barrens – On a 2+ nothing happens. On a 1 they find a rampaging gargant, which hurts the scouting unit on a subsequent roll of 1-5. On a 6 they gain some renown. Pretty brutal tbh given how hard it will be to succeed.
- Frontier Settlement – On a 5+ you can increase your Allied Units. On a 1-2 your unit increases their casualty score.
- Mountains– Immediate failure unless your unit has fly. If it can fly it will either succeed and gain renown or find a Maw-Krusha and either kill it (probably not) for renown or get hurt (probably).
- Realmgate – Renown and glory! Huzzah!
- Sea – Nothing happens (this is continued Idoneth Deepkin Path to Glory erasure).
- Stormvault – A fun one that lets you add an endless spell or invocation to your roster on a 5+
- Swamp – Another multi-roll minigame that ends with you either gaining some renown or finding a troll that will probably hurt you but maybe you can kill it.
- Wyldwood – As above but spites instead of trolls.
I’m not sure where I land on these. They can be high-reward but are very high risk and involve lots of rolling. I love the narrative, however, and hope to see this kind of scouting expedition repeated and/or expanded upon in future books.
Anvil of Apotheosis: Ghur
Ooooh baby. The Anvil of Apotheosis returns! Notably, this does not replace the existing rules but instead provides an alternate option. Heroes forged on this Anvil hail from Ghur and thus while the bulk of this is identical to the existing rules, there are some changes. Accordingly, please see our previous breakdown for how it works for the bulk of the details, as we won’t be reprinting it here.
The first changes to the Anvil come via Archetypes. When you create your hero they can be a Commander, an Acolyte, or a Mage. Hailing from Ghur provides them new options, however.
- Ghurian Commanders can gain the ability to give Forward to Victory or All-Out Attack for free, once per battle, or if mounted boos their mount’s combat prowess.
- Acolytes can choose between an 18″ D3 Mortal Wound prayer or can tame an enemy Monster, disallowing them from performing a Monstrous Rampage. Note: Prime Monster abilities are not Monstrous Rampages, and can still be performed.
- Finally Mages can choose a new spell, one that gives a nearby Hero the Monster keyword as the energies of Ghur infuse them.
The rest is nearly identical. There are a couple abilities with minor tweaks, so if you’re making a Ghurian Hero you’re going to want to specifically consult this book to ensure you’re getting the full benefits.
Summons to War Battlepack
Summons to War is a multi-game campaign that allows you follow the battles in the Seasons of War: Thondia lore fight by fight. It does necessitate having specific armies, including Krule-Boyz, Stormcast, and Beasts of Chaos (among others!) so it’s application is narrow. Anyone who picked up Dominion should have a good start, however! You can of course substitute your own army’s units as appropriate to match the necessary Battalions, but at that point you’re not really playing the same campaign, are you? That said, the included Battleplans are excellent and any narrative focused gamer is going to want to use them regardless of if you’re following the campaign. My favorite is Call of the Beast. It requires you to use the Monstrous Denizen rules included in this book, only you have 2 wandering monsters instead of 1. Players compete to kill monsters, not each other, turning a normal game plan on its head.
I love it all. I noted in the Deepkin Path to Glory review that part of what made blank territories such a bummer is that there were not many alternative options to pick from. This is exactly the kind of release that I love to see. Many thematic options to choose from, additional layers of narrative rolling that remind me of old school GW games, and fun battle plans. I can only hope that this is the first of many many Narrative expansion books!
Coverage will wrap up next with Matched Play. If you have any comments or questions leave them below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.