Shadow Wars Armageddon: Back to the Future

We are kicking off our week of Shadow War Armageddon coverage on BoLS. Let’s take a look as what makes this skirmish game tick:

Welcome to Armageddon gamers. This war-torn Hiveworld is beset on all sides by every 40K faction out there, doing battle deep in the depths of Hive Acheron.  Here small kill teams of the galaxy’s greatest killers stalk each other through the industrial depths for both glory and survival.

This game arrives with a GIANT heavy cardstock box filled to the limit with sprues & rules.  Yes there are 10 Marine Scouts and 11 Ork Boys, but why you came here was the TERRAIN!  It’s dripping in detail and enormous in scale.  You have all the terrain you need for basic Kill-team games, but there are more a la carte kits on the way.  This terrain is fully modular and promises some amazing boards.

These sprues are enormous.

The rulebook opens with 10 pages of background on the world of Armageddon, then dives into the 50 pages of core rules.  Following that you get the rules for creating Killteams, running campaigns, and missions.


As you would expect, the book opens with a heavy dose of background on Armageddon, hivecities and the forces onworld.

Welcome to Armageddon. Watch your step – there have only been a FEW recent invasions…

All you ever wanted to know about an Imperial Hive. Rich folks up top – the poor down below.

A look at the back of the rulebook. The games comes with rules for Astartes, Astra Militarum & Ork Killteams.


Here’s a sample page of gameplay basics to get you in the mood.  Note the return of both Scatter dice and Artillery Dice! Wow, it has been a while.

The game is indeed very, very similar to Necromunda. The local gangs of Armageddon are mentioned in passing, and after a thorough study of the rules side by side with Necromunda I can say that yes indeed you should be able to generate old school gangs and put them into the fight against their new competitors.  More on that later. The gameplay is a timewarp back to the days of Necromunda, with it’s fast-paced games, frenetic action, bottle checks, permanent logs of your Kill-team’s progress skills, injuries, equipment and glory (or ignominy). Get ready a wholly different gameplay experience from Warhammer 40,000 and enjoy the opportunity to start a new Kill-team with the purchase of a single box of 40K minis.

Back to the (Grimdark) Future

Shadow War: Armageddon $130 (Sold Out)


A deep and tactically rewarding game, Shadow War: Armageddon comes with a 120-page softback rulebook, containing:

– a history of the brutal conflicts that have wracked the hive world of Armageddon since the notorious Warboss Ghazghkull Thraka decided to invade;
– an overview of the main forces fighting over the hive world – Space Marines Scouts, Astra Militarum Veteran Squads and Ork Boyz Mobs – how they fight, why they fight and the wargear they employ;
– Core Rules: the set of rules you need to learn in order to play Shadow War: Armageddon. It covers the items you need in order to play and the characteristics of each fighter type, along with a breakdown of a game turn – this will teach you movement, shooting, hand-to-hand combat and recovering from injuries, along with an explanation of the mechanics behind using terrain;
– extra rules for hiding, shooting modifiers for targeting enemies according to your weapon’s range and their cover status, overwatch, hurling grenades, reloading and running out of ammunition, parrying, critical hits and more;
– Advanced Rules: a set of optional rules adding yet more complexity to games – these cover damage caused by falling from heights, leaping over gaps or down from higher ground, stray shots and weapon failures, as well as the psychological effects of up-close warfare – fear, terror, hatred and frenzy all have their place;
– a detailed armoury, covering the different weapons, equipment and armour available, with profiles for all the gear available to Space Marines Scouts, Astra Militarum Veterans and Ork Boyz, complete with specialised ammunition types, different weapon optics and equipment;
– 6 missions, leading you through setting up the battlefield, deploying your kill teams, and the victory conditions for your game;
– a collection of evocative photography of Citadel miniatures, helping to visualise the kill teams and battles of Hive Acheron.

Shadow War: Armageddon features comprehensive rules for linking games together into a larger campaign:

– improve your warriors with a Skills table that confers persistent abilities and upgrades to the members of your kill teams, gradually turning them into a squad of elites;
– Special Operatives: battle-hardened fighters who can be added to your squad;
– Subplots: these are mission-specific rules that can add rivalries, psychological and physical effects to your games;
– Rewards of Battle – a post-mission phase determining your squad’s recovery from injury, advancement of skills and gathering of promethium;
– a reference guide making managing campaigns easier, with blank roster sheets.

As well as this, you’ll find the items needed to play the game itself:
– 3 translucent red plastic templates – a 3” small blast template, a 5” large blast template and an 8” teardrop-shaped flamer template, along with counters for identifying miniatures in states such as Overwatch and Hidden;
– a promethium tank counter and a bunker entrance counter, used for certain missions;
– 7 dice – 5xD6, a scatter die and an artillery die.

Shadow War: Armageddon can be expanded using a variety of existing Citadel miniatures. From the tab on the right you can download free PDFs containing rules for Adeptus Mechanicus, Chaos Space Marines, Dark Eldar, Eldar, Harlequins, Grey Knights, Necrons, Tau Empire, Tyranids and Genestealer Cults – these rules allow you to assemble kill teams made up of these armies, make use of their unique weapons and wargear, gain experience and skills in campaigns and recruit special operatives in the same way the kill teams from the rulebook can.

~We have much to cover all week – so check back soon. The biggest desicion is which faction I should start.


  • kevinharoun

    Why is artillery so inaccurate in this game? It makes no sense.

    • ZeeLobby

      Cause random = fun. Duh!

    • evillsvain

      If the game uses the Necromunda’s “latest” official rules then you only throw the dice if you miss your shot to check for scatter and potential missfire (Hit+Scatter result). And there probably isn’t any artillery per se in the game, just man portable special/heavy weapons like in Necromunda ie. grenade/missile launcher.

    • Kinsman

      So much makes no sense in this game :/

      • rtheom

        Kinda feels like a 2 decade old game with rules that got left behind because they weren’t all that fun, eh? ;p

  • benn grimm

    Can’t wait for a whole week’s coverage of a game that’s already unavailable…

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I was thinking exactly the same, don’t really want to read about a game I can’t get!

      • benn grimm

        Great minds eh…? 😉

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          Speak for yourself! My brain is thoroughly addled after driving for 12 hours!

    • Joka

      Yesterday I checked and it was sold out… April’s fools, mh.
      Today I checked and it is sold out… got double fooled.
      Why Gdubs has to disappoint us even when they deliver some good stuff?

      • benn grimm

        I dunno, I’m baffled tbh, a feeling I’m getting accustomed to when considering new gw releases unfortunately…

    • Matthew

      Absolutely! This is an orphaned game as far as Im concerned. #Shadowgate

      • Valeli

        Surely you all know this will get reprinted, yeah? …. Surely.

        That said, I have very limited faith that it won’t end up an orphaned game the same way it’s predecessor eventually did.

        Unlike Necromunda this sounds like a good way to get people to “buy in” to 40k, but I still have very, very, very limited faith in GW’s ability or desire to stand by any of their specialty games.

        Not that I’ll complain if they prove me wrong, though.

        It sounds like a neat enough game, although I feel that the “non-boxed” factions whose rules are going up on the web are (sort of) a forced addition for the sake of getting people involved in 40k. I don’t particularly mind, though.

        • Matthew

          I almost dont care if they reprint or not. I wanted the box set that theyve been hyping up and creating demand for, not just a (presumably) overpriced rule book that I need to buy along with overpriced scenery. GW has really given the middle finger to people who wantes this, so I’m out.

          • Simon Chatterley


            They made an amount of a product some time ago (probably between 6 and 12 months ago) and hadn’t considered how popular it would be.

            Really all the moaning is daft. They are a shop after all. It is there job to sell a product and all this proves to GW is they are getting back to where they should be and next time they will make more.

          • Matthew

            A shop wouldnt produce a product and sit on it for 12 months, it consumes space snd working capital. Agree they got it totaly wrong with demand forecasts, but theyve been in this business a long time – surely they cant be THIS wrong?

            And if it is just a forecasting error, why not just make the product “temporarily unavailable” rather than no longer available/gone for good, and piss off this many people?

            No doubt its a cynical move – do a small release with a loss-leading box set, get everyone wanting more, then release each compontent indiividually at far higher price.

          • Shinnentai

            True, though there will be a lead time of several months to get a print-run done.

            I think I’m right in saying that GW terrain is made in China? That can really add to the lead time required since your preferred partner will have limited production windows and obviously shipping times can really get crazy.

          • Simon Chatterley

            Clearly they haven’t had it sat in a warehouse for 12 months. It will have been started 12 months ago and likely received inside the last 2. Since it will be packed in China they will have awaiting it to arrive by freight for the last month. I understand you didn’t get your copy and therefore sore about it but try to look at a bigger picture rather than just being selfish. GW is doing a lot better and going forwards will get smarter still again. They have a great guy running it and are actively engaging us the consumer. Unless everyone rages at them and cry that they left them out…they are likely to go backwards if that happens so grow up a little chum.

          • Matthew

            I agree they are doing a brilliant job recently (and also agree im whinging cos I missed out on my copy 😉 )

          • Stealthbadger

            It’s all manufactured in Nottingham as far as I know. I believe they don’t trust foreign manufacturers in case of designs mysteriously being leaked to a neighbouring factory.

            As you say though, cradle to shop floor would still take many months and the boxed games so far may have been all over the shop on sales volumes as far as we know making demand hard to estimate.

            All this said I still can’t work out why they just don’t get a servitor to hit ‘print’ again for the accessories and book. They’re clearly still cranking out the sprues.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Because GW does this all the time. They never learn. They sit on stuff for years. If you ever read the copyright on some sprues, some models were made 1-2 years before they actually get released.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            They said its limited, and it has the ‘no longer available’ thing next to it, so that usually means it isn’t coming back.

            If they are sensible they will swiftly reissue this box set and make a hardcopy rulebook available at a sane price.

          • Simon Chatterley

            I’m sure they are looking at doing more. They are a sensible business again these days. But after Dreadfleet where they did a limited run and had a ton of stock left you can’t really fault them for being a touch more pessimistic.

            If it was my business though I’d be utterly chuffed. Sold out in an hour, internet rabid for more of it. It’s a win/win really.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            They have done hasty reprints before so lets hope so.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Hate that they do that. Same was with the Blood Bowl Snow board. Which I get it was limited, but why keep it on your gosh darn website if you have no plan to restock it?

          • frankelee

            The businessman who thinks there will always be a next time… when he won’t blow it. Sure.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Kill teams appears to be orphaned already… but that could be due to them releasing it so darn close to a new edition change.

      • benn grimm

        Usually takes a bit longer than this though, the original Necromunda at least got a few years before it was abandoned, minus one week has to be a record…

    • silashand

      Yeah, my thought was why bother?

      • benn grimm

        Well I guess they have the articles all ready to go and I’m sure the fifty people who actually managed to get a copy will appreciate the in depth coverage…;)

    • Kinsman

      Blessing in disguise.

      • benn grimm

        It’s a very good disguise…

  • Stealthbadger

    Look on the bright side. Next Saturday there will never have been a better time to pick up dirt cheap second hand scout sprues.

  • Simon Chatterley

    Yeah articles like this is a little red rag to a bull when something so limited was so sought after.

    But the game rules are freely available and the terrain will be out soon if you want it.

    Personally I’ve seen “Necromunda” boards in MDF that you can make over 4 levels and in a 4 by 4 square for £150 that I’d much rather spend my money on.

    • Lyca Atteneder

      I’m completely with you. After about 10 minutes in the store it was allready sold out… damn.

      Could you tell me where one can find the rules? The only thing I have found to download were the rules for the additional factions… nice but without the basic rules for the game they aren’t of much use -.-

      • Simon Chatterley

        Sorry, I meant “will be freely available”

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          If you pirate them. Apparently the rules are a pay download, AFAIK.

          • frankelee

            Well if you’re a pirate, or you don’t want to pay them $30 for a book they copy and pasted, that’s what people will do.

    • Iconoc1ast

      Yeah. They look awesome!

  • euansmith

    I’m wondering what sort of cool, Flash Gordon style space shuttles will get made from those tower terrain pieces?

  • Carlos Guillén Sabadell

    Same issue on spanish store… out of stock

  • Ghaniman

    Doesn’t look like anyone’s posted this, but GW has the rules for the factions free on their website.

    • Karru

      It was mentioned/posted in the other article, the one that mentioned this weeks releases. Of course, those rules are useless as long as people don’t have access to the main rules, so people don’t talk about them as much.

      • Ghaniman

        I clearly ain’t been reading the articles that closely, lol. I come here for the comments.

  • AwesomePizza

    GW needs to fire who’s ever in charge of stock management. Half the site is on back order and new releases always sell out first week.

  • Old zogwort

    The game is fun to play and I plan to play if often, but I dislike that I just can’t buy the book to learn the rules. Its just really sucky that you have to learn it on the fly in stores without being prepared properly.

    • Christopher Witecki

      Sucky or Better? No wait, it’s sucky,

  • frankelee

    Extra points 4 plebs if they have they have the rulebook up before next Saturday!

  • Graham Roden

    I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome game but for me this year is only about Adeptus Titanicus.

  • memitchell

    I have a feeling this game will not sit long on game store’s shelves. This time, loyal retailers will not be stuck with unsold stock. That’s my conspiracy theory.

  • God I miss original Necromunda…

  • GiftoftheMagi

    Yeah I find the whole marketing of this game baffling. They spend a good long while getting us geared for it, making it available to pretty much every army in 40K…and not only sell out in 10 minutes, but slap the “No Longer Available” sticker on it. As in, you will never see this again on the store.

    WHY. Seriously WHY would you do that. It isn’t lack of materials, as the models are basic ones from previous boxes, and the terrain is being mass produced already. It isn’t the rules, as you can still get those. Is it the box itself? Are they out of space to make them and put them together?

  • Senexis

    What a bunch of garbage. Just when you think GW is getting their muck in a pile, they go and do something as boneheaded as this.
    Beyond stupid