Monday, August 13, 2012

Imperial Armour 11 - The Doom of Mymeara, Product Review

Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara is the latest narrative expansion by Forge World for Warhammer 40k.  The book focuses on the convergence of three Eldar warhosts launching a full scale attack on the frozen ice world of Betalis III.  The Eldar forces comprised of the warriors from two Craftworlds: Alaitoc and Mymeara ally themselves with the armada of Eldar Corsair fleets such as the Void Dragons, Sun Blitz Brotherhood and the Sky Raiders.  This massive war host descends upon the Imperial world for reasons unknown and becomes embattled with the Imperial Guard led by General Myndoras Odon who manages to enlist the aid of Bran Redmaw’s company of Space Wolves, the Inquisition and the Titans of the Legio Gryphonicus. 

The Imperial forces are unable to divine why the Eldar have descended upon their ice world with such ferocity and incredible martial might.  The Eldar immediately launch several surgical strikes and cripple the Imperial communications array and cause a black out across most of the planet.  These attacks go on for weeks until a single pic capture survives showing two Eldar Phoenix Interceptors shooting down an Imperial craft do the humans even realize they are under attack. 

General Odon and the Cadian 6th Armored Division start to mobilize the forces of Betalis III when the Inquisitor Lord Hestaphus Danzk of the Ordo Xenos marched into the command room and joined the war council.  Inquisitor Danzk was able to mobilize the Legio Gryphonicus and the Elysian Drop Troops lead by Captain Isarta to redeploy to Betalis III which normally would have been outside the area of influence of General Odon.  Inquisitor Danzk also petitioned the aid of the Space Wolves chapter that reports said were in a neighboring system.  General Odon decided to split his forces into a three battle groups in order to combat the Eldar forces. 

The battle for Betalis III was an epic struggle between the Eldar and Imperial forces.  Mighty Reaver titans battled the massive Eldar Phantom Titans while the skies were filled with aircraft battling for supremacy.  The Eldar employing hit and run tactics to weaken and cripple the Imperial battle line would launch a blistering offensive then retreat into the frozen wastelands moments later.  General Odon employed his own series of surprise attacks and ambushes, many times luring the Eldar into a trap.  The Space Wolves finally joined the fray, the Great Company of Bran Redmaw newly arrived from an engagement against Orks were eager to sink their teeth into some Eldar.  Through a series of long and drawn out engagements, the Eldar finally had to withdraw from the field of battle and leave the Tormus Delta battleground.  The Imperial forces recognized their retreat as a victory, but little did they realize that the entire battle was merely a distraction to mask the true meaning of the Eldar invasion…

Inquisitor Danzk following a lead journeyed to a mining facility and massive forge that had reported incidents of Eldar activity.  Upon arriving he encountered several instances of Eldar interference and journeys with his retinue into the forge to wipe out any traces of remaining Eldar in the name of the God-Emperor.  After journeying deep into the forge, Danzk finally comes upon what could only be a ritual being performed by the Eldar.  He saw a Farseer along with his priests standing before a body in ancient elder warrior that had to have been dead for thousands of years deep within the tunnels of this mining facility.  The priests were removing pieces of ancient ornate armor from the mummified remains and placing it upon a living Eldar warrior.  Inquisitor Danzk was amazed at the intricacy of the armors decoration – the craftsmanship was beyond anything he had ever encountered in all his years of study.  He began to ponder if this ancient suit of artifact armor was the real reason why the Eldar descended upon Betalis III in the first place. 

The inquisitor had his answer when moments later the Farseer and his priests circled the living warrior encased in the armor and began to chant.  A corona of icy-white light enveloped the warrior and tendrils of psychic power reached out through the chamber attaching itself to the numerous piles of bones that had surrounded the mummified corpse.  When a blinding white light seared through the inquisitor’s mind and he slumped unconscious.  Inquisitor Danzk awoke to the sounds of battle echoing through the forge.  The Farseer and Warlocks now followed behind the ghostly unit of floating Eldar warriors wielding what looked like crystalline tipped lances.  Whenever one of the floating elder aspect warriors leveled their weapon, a bolt of white hot light would emit from the prism on the end and melt through whatever was in its path.

Inquisitor Danzk tried to frantically alert the planet that the forge was under attack from a new powerful Eldar foe when the new Aspect Warriors turned and joined the Aspect Warrior that wore the suit of the ancient, elaborate armor facing the heart of the forge.   The leader leveled his prism topped lance which then fired a constant beam of white hot light towards the heart of the forge.  The others focused their prism lances to join their leaders beam making it change color from white to red to orange and so on till the beam once again turned white. When the prism lances had reached what looked to be the culmination of their power, the leader let loose their combined firepower in a single pulse.  The pulse rocked the forge causing explosions wherever it went and the last thing that Inquisitor Danzk saw was the pulse of light that overtook him as he attempted to radio base for help.

The Imperial Armour 11 – The Doom of Mymeara provides the reader with an excellent story that exemplifies how Eldar attack with misdirection and guile.  The book provides not only an excellent story but also incredible artwork, maps and new rules for playing Warhammer 40,000.  The story tells us about two craftworlds and a union of Corsair bands joining forces to raid Betalis III in order to reclaim the body and armor of Irillyth, the Shade of Twilight.  Irillyth is a lost Phoenix Lord of the Shadow Spectres that the Mymeara craftworld had as one of their largest aspect warrior shrines. 

The book itself is wonderfully made, the pages are full color and the images are bright and crisp.  They do an excellent job of portraying battle scenes while still using the models.  The writers provide the Imperial Guard codex with new rules for some Apocalypse level vehicles. 

Imperial Guard Players gain the following units/characters:
General Myndoras Odon and his Command Squad.
The Malcador Infernus – Apocalypse level Hellhound Super Heavy Tank
Praetor Armored Assault Launcher – Apocalypse level Super Heavy Tank
Crassus Armored Assault Transport – Apocalypse level Super Heavy Transport Tank

Space Wolves Space Marines gain the following characters:
Wolf Lord Bran Redmaw – He’s pretty bad ass!

Eldar gain the following characters/rules/units:

Eldar Craftworld:
Shadow Spectres Aspect Warriors – Fast Attack selection
Irillyth, the Shade of Twilight – Phoenix Lord of the Shadow Spectres
Farseer Bel-Annath – Farseer of Craftworld Mymeara
Warp Hunter – Heavy selection Grav-tank w/ D-cannon
Wraithseer – HQ selection Monstrous Creature
Wasp Assault Walker Squadron – Fast Attack selection Walkers w/ Jump Packs
Hornet – Fast Attack selection Skimmer
Lynx – Apocalypse Super Heavy Grav Tank
Scorpion - Apocalypse Super Heavy Grav Tank
Cobra - Apocalypse Super Heavy Grav Tank
Vampire Raider – Apocalypse Super Heavy Flyer
Vampire Hunter - Apocalypse Super Heavy Flyer
Revenant Titan – Apocalypse Super Heavy Walker
Phantom Titan - Apocalypse Super Heavy Walker

Eldar Corsair List
Corsair Prince
Corsair Blade Sworm Retinue
Corsair Void Dreamer
Corsair Voidstorm Squad
Harlequin Troupe
Eldar Craftworld Outcasts
Eldar Craftworld Rangers
Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors
Eldar Corsair Squad
Corsair Wasp Assault Walker Squadron
Corsair Jetbike Squadron
Dedicated Transport:
Corsair Falcon
Corsair Venom
Fast Attack:Corsair Hornet Squadron
Nightwing Interceptor
Corsair Night Spinner
Heavy:Corsair Phoenix Bomber
Corsair Warp Hunter
Corsair Firestorm

In addition to the new units and characters, the reader also gets to play the actual Doom of Mymeara campaign through a series of six scenarios detailed in the book.  The scenarios are geared for various point levels from skirmish level all the way to Apocalypse sized engagements. 

I will be providing a selection by selection break down for each of the Eldar units and Corsair units in future posts, especially with how this book interacts with 6th edition and what benefits it provides.  I have already used some of the units in this book in 6th edition and I have to say that I was very impressed.  I look forward to more games using these extraordinary options.

I recommend this book to any Eldar player who is looking for a small but worthwhile update to their book.  The new units provide Eldar players with speed and flexibility without losing the high strength firepower for which they are known.  I especially recommend this book since the FAQ states that Eldar Corsairs can be used as a battle brother ally to Eldar or Dark Eldar.  The rules are also very well balanced and while the perception that Forge World units are inherently broken is unfortunately widespread, I hope this book dispels those misconceptions and brings an entire segment of the gaming population into compliance!

One thing that I could not get over was the overwhelming amount of theme that the writer put into this book.  The two craftworlds operate so differently and that’s evident in their tactics and behavior.  The Corsair warbands were extremely well stylized, they provided a closest example of an elf pirate army as you could get.  Even the new units really demonstrate the theme and power that the writer put into describing the Mymeara craftworld.  You can almost feel the anger of the warlike Mymearan Warseer as he leads an aggressive guerrilla war against the humans in order to reclaim a long lost hero.  As the story unfolds you really get to see what a mobilized Eldar Craftworld has at its disposal, especially when you are dealing with Titans and Super Heavy Grav Tanks.  It was an amazing tale and I hope there is another one soon.

I would also mention that since buying this book, I have ordered three more Forge World Imperial Armour books due to the high level of quality and excellent reading they make.  Once again, I fully recommend this product and I will be providing more reviews of not only the Forge World books but the units located therein.