In the two-parter article where I talked about my thoughts on the recent Death Guard codex, overall I found the book to be middling or “meh” with respect to everything but a lot of the new rules, and my boy Typhus. I can’t say the same thing about Plague Purge; Crusade is why I play 40K and I like this Crusade expansion for a whole lot of reasons. I won’t get as carried away diving into the “fluff” or lore with this book as with the Codex since there’s really only about four pages of actual fluff here, with most of the rest of the lore being relegated to the three-parter War Zone Charadon books (which are too expensive for me to invest in the set at the moment.)
What you do get is more or less just what’s on the tin – six new Crusade missions for each “size” bracket that you can play with, those being Combat Patrol, Incursion, Strike Force, or Onslaught. All of these are War Zone Charadon-themed, which will be especially fun once I start to run Death Guard in these games, and as far as a set of deployment maps and objectives can go I think these are really solid. I think what I especially like is that they’re thematic and distinct without seeming overly complicated, which makes this a great resource for Crusade or just filthy-casuals like myself in general.
You don’t just get the missions, however – there are also special requisitions that you can add to your army with the points that you earn through the Crusade system, which again fit nicely into War Zone Charadon, and stratagems that you can use depending on whether your mission allows for “Recon” stratagems or “Assault” stratagems. I think this is a neat way to mix up Crusade games and give players an additional “ace-in-the-hole” that fits into the setting without throwing everything terribly out of whack for game balance or overcomplicating the format. It also gives some nice options to armies that haven’t had the benefit of a new Codex just yet, and my Craftworlder side appreciates that.
Last, and I know this is kind of a love-it-or-hate-it feature of these books, I am thrilled with the inclusion of the core rules from the Warhammer 40k 9th Edition Core book, because I no longer have to drag that massive tome around with me every time I play a game, and this makes it significantly easier to retrieve rules that I need for a game when I need to refer to them. I can see these being especially useful if you have a campaign group, where you would really only need one person (a GM, perhaps) to pick up the Core book, and then players could just pick this up and spend less for what’s going to give them easier access to a lot of the same rules and features. I know, that’s probably a bit of a stretch, but…I can’t overstate how much I like this, or the utility of a flippable, portable set of Warhammer 40K rules. Truly this book is a game-changer for me if for no reason other than how portable my core rules are now.