Goatboy here with a review of the new Vigilus Campaign book – aka Chaos Players gonna buy another 50 dollar book y’all!
Overall this is an important book for Chaos players as it gives you a ton of new rules with most being pretty dang good. It ranges from a ton of powerful Specialist Detachments, new Renegade Army rules, and a ton of cool fluff with Abaddon being a jerk. I feel they only missed a few things in the book with not looking towards the Death Guard that were supposedly already on the planet. Beyond that though – this feels like a really strong release and builds upon GW thoughts on how to help armies out.
As usually I go through the Good, the Bad, and the Meh in this release. I know new stuff can’t always be full of the best things in the world – but I feel overall this book did a ton of good. It makes me think the next release will breathe some more life into the Blood Angels and whoever else they are fighting. Maybe we’ll see the Necrons get some love. Or just continue sleeping in their tomb worlds.
Vigilus Ablaze – The Good
The new Renegade legion rules are pretty boss. One stands above the others and will most likely be the glue for new Chaos Space Marine armies. Each of them add a bit of fluff to their armies and lets you have a heck of a lot more options other then just Alpha Legion. I really like the new Red Corsairs book as they really bring a lot of power to the Chaos Space Marines. In fact I think this new updated rule is really how they need to look at making distinct troop for the armies both good and worthwhile to take. You shouldn’t make the troop just better as doing that would disrupt some of the balance that is still there in the game. Making you take some to gain something else is the better way to work this and the Red Corsairs bump to Command Points will be a good thing. Mix an amazing Stratagem (Tide of Traitors for Chaos Space Marines) and you have the legion will see on the table top a lot. I think it also helps that Legion Traits don’t flow to anything not Infantry, Biker, or Helbrute. Plus Cultists losing Legion traits means looking at the Chaos Space Marines might be something armies will build around. A nice blob of 20 Marines that can die, reappear, and shoot the crap out of an enemy seems pretty dang good. I like the other Renegade legions – but they are not nearly as powerful as Red Corsairs. I do wonder if the Flawless host could be interesting with a heavy Assault army as they can start to stack a ton of extra attacks if they go after some Imperial jerks.
The Renegades also get a slew of Relics and Warlord Traits. The Red Corsairs win pretty well on the Warlord traits as they gain an extra free relic. I like the Flawless host trait as well as it gives your Character a lot more extra attacks on that lovely roll of a 6. Add a few stacks of pluses to hit and you get a guy generating a ton of extra attacks when they slam in. That Daemon Prince starts to look pretty dang bawler when he gets a +1 to hit. The relics are alright too with some extra weapons, another 2+ armor option, and more attacks/aura increases. I think the combi-melta for Red Corsairs seems decent especially if you throw this on an index Biker Lord. Will see how long those Lords stay around in the coming months.
There are a ton of Specialist Detachments that just scream usefulness to me. I really like the Daemon Engine one as it has a good Relic, Warlord Trait, and stratagem. Plus if I take a Supreme command of Lord Discordant it easily fits within this specialist option. The Trait gives every daemon engine within 6″ +2 to their movement as well as staking on top of the Stratagem that lets an engine advance and charge. I like the Trait and while I think you can just combo with a daemon detachment full of Slaanesh goodness to get the rule – it is nice to have for something like a Lord of skulls coming at you. The Relic replaces the Mechatendrils of a Warpsmith with a set of ones that does one attack to everyone within an Inch of the model. This could be good for killing a ton of Orks or other large unit squads.
The Host Raptorial also feels pretty strong as you can easily have a 3 pack of Warp Talons, a cool double Claw Warlord, and a warlord trait to activate them. The trait gives everyone within 6 inches a +2 to their charge so you can easily have a 7″ charge set of Talons that ignore Overwatch. Watch those Tau jerks quiver in their boots as you get mixed in with some Claws and then have your buddies crunch in from behind. It feels like this one is a pretty cheap little option and lets you have this powerful unit for late game objective grabs and damage potential. I think going with World Eaters is the best for them as they gain an extra attack if they charge as well as the nice Strat to deny a psyker power on a 4+. And who wouldn’t want to make some Khorne Berzerker Warp Talons coming down.
The Black Legion update is pretty interesting as it does give some interesting Stratagems. I don’t see this as amazing as some of the other options but it at least feels fluffy and fun. The Council of Traitors Stratagem that gives you more Warlord Traits for 1 CP seems pretty powerful if you want to set up some nice Bubble Auras throughout an army. There is an interesting set of Relics with another cool Chainsword to add to the pile of awesome that is the Hydra blade. I wish some of them would replace some of the Daemon Prince’s options but that would probably be too good. Abaddon got slightly better with the same points cost. He will still kick the crap out of most things beyond a Primarch or Daemonic Primarch. Which is pretty much all we could really want in the leading bad guy of the universe.
I really wish they had pushed more of the Daemonkin bits in this book. I was hoping for more from the Possessed and while the Detachment isn’t bad – it still won’t make you take them in an army. I think the blob of 3+ armor guys still goes to Red Corsairs with their new Tide of Traitors like ability. I think you could make a case to have some crazy Possessed running around with the Warlord trait, daemon friends to boost their power, and Greater possessed to add more to the pile of nonsense that would be. I just don’t think it would be all that good.
The Fallen update makes them more playable which is good – it just isn’t as much as I would have liked. These guys sound like the upcoming bad guy for a Campaign but it feels like they are hanging way too long. I am hopeful will see them come to he forefront at some point beyond another redux of Khorne nonsense. Of course if that Khorne nonsense brings me some new Berzerkers then I take it all back and say sorry to the great skull father in the bleeding sky of my nightmares. Speaking of Khorne the little detachment here is ok. It brings some fluff to your Bloodletter bomb and while good – the limit of 3 detachments means you won’t see it that often. Still the book gave us the Altar that you can summon to the table top. This is pretty cool and I just wish it was cheaper as that 100 points feels like a bit too much when dealing with Daemons their the cheap rates.
The cultist detachment feels like it would have been powerful if Cultists kept Legion traits. The ability to Reroll to charge, add ons to the Prayer powers, and fearless options seems powerful. Of course I think with the 5+ inv save prayer going and some other options this detachment could be powerful. It again comes down to only having 3 detachments to work with. Still it isn’t bad and maybe this might have been the thing to cause the Cultists to go to 5 points even with a Nerf to their rules.
The Merely Meh
I talked a bit about this – but the lack of Death Guard is somewhat annoying in this book. We know they came down to the planet in a little short story so the question is where did they go? A single Death Guard Plague Bringers detachment would have been cool. Make it Plague Marine heavy and you have something unique to tack onto the Chaos Salad that is this new book. I also would have liked some more Daemon options as there is chatter about Slaanesh in the book as well. I know chatter states Slaanesh is coming but it is still annoying as we continue to wait for the creepy bad guys of the Grimdark universe.
Overall the book is good and will be a must buy for the Chaos player of your group. There is too much to not use and while the rules are not a major section of the book – the fluff and stories help add to the wallet dent you will have to deal with when the month finishes and all the Chaos goodies come out. This is a good time to be a Chaos player and hopefully some of these design elements come to Marines with the emphasis on taking actual Marines instead of just the cheapest troop choice in your book.
~Death to the False Emperor!