Vigilus Defiant introduces a swath of new rules and lore, like the new Primarisized Marneus Calgar, but far more exciting than Primaris Marines having a canonical way to “upgrade” everyone are the introduction of “Special Detachments” – Meet Formations 2.0!
The Vigilus Weekender might be over, but we’re still feeling its effects. More information is slowly making its way out from the event horizon, and today we’re going to talk about Vigilus Defiant. This is, of course, the ongoing battle fought over the lone world standing sentry over the entrance to the Nachmund Gauntlet–one of the only stable passages into the Imperium Nihilus (though as the months have gone on, this has shifted to the only one, but I’m not sure how accurate that is).
Over the past year, one planet has taken centre stage in the Warhammer 40,000 narrative – Vigilus. Everything this year – Kill Team, Speed Freeks, Tooth and Claw – has been setting the stage for a climactic conflict upon this beleaguered world – and now, the War of Beasts has begun.
The book will do many things, including advancing the conflicts set up in those earlier boxed sets–but according to everyone’s favorite heresy-era Marine and 40K blogger Garro, there’s shiny new toys for everyone in the form of new Special Detachments. Let’s take a look:
The main draw for players (and what will likely cause the most controversy) is the introduction of “special detachments”. These are a selection of special rules that stack on top of existing detachments that give special rules for certain units (akin to formations in 6th and 7th). These work in that you pay a certain amount of command points to call your detachment ‘SD Indomius crusade veterans’ for example, this then allows units with certain keywords to unlock (via command points pre game) additional rules buffs to represent certain narrative forces. For example the Indominus crusade veterans special detachment allows intercessor squads to be upgraded to veterans. There are several special detachments in book for regular marines (plus angels and deathwatch, but not wolves), Chaos, and Orks, with Tempestus scions, Genestealer cults, and Mechanicus, and I think Space wolves, getting one each.
These detachments aren’t like old formations in that you can only take units x,y,z in them, you can use them with any detachment with the correct faction keyword. However the special rules will only effect certain keyword units, plus the Special detachments cost command points to purchase as well, which should keep them in check. they were also stated as being useable in matched play, as GW see the campaign expansions no differently than the indexes or codices.
The upshot of all that is: you pay some amount of command points to give special rules to everyone in a detachment with the appropriate keywords–which could add some extra tactical flexibility to the game, or could be a big headache, depending on which side of the equation you end up on. The Orks, reportedly, have a special detachment that lets you take a Stompa as your Warlord, complete with a set of Warlord traits and everything.
It looks like Vigilus is going to add fuel to the game one way or the other. What do you think about these changes? Are detachments a welcome sink for command points, or are they only going to further unbalance the already fiddly CP system?
And is it better to say Primarified? Primarisized? PriMarneus?