So, I’ve made no secret that I am generally not a fan of Warhammer 9th edition. I really liked 8th and think the streamlining of the rules was mostly a good thing (though I am nostalgic for blast templates and vehicle facing, but apparently the new Horus Heresy edition has got me covered there). I have no real issue with any of 9th’s core mechanics changes, or the list building (though I did prefer 8th ed style detachments I understand why they moved the way that they did and do like the focus on monofaction instead of ‘goodstuff’ soup lists) - my main complete are the “GT style” missions and secondary objectives everyone in my local meta loves to use so much.

I will temper my harsh feelings with a qualification that I am not a hardcore 40k tournament player. I appreciate what secondary objectives do for the meta and for making games interesting. I just do not get to play often enough (and do not care to play “optimally” enough) to be bothered with having to optimize for 6 different secondary objectives - my own and my opponents. Plus, I find it boring to know exactly what I’m trying to achieve every game - I like my tactical challenges to be a bit less pre-planned. BUT I do enjoy the “matched play” style as for a long time it was just the default way to play the game before GW introduced the “three ways to play” concept.

Enter the Tempest of War deck cue gothic music


Tempest of War is a card deck system for generating games of Warhammer 40k. It generates the mission, deployment zone, a potential “twist” to the mission, and a set of secondary objectives that will change through the game as you score/discard them. Tacti-cool. This isn’t the first time Workshop has done a “use cards to generate a mission” set - 8th edition featured the Open War deck and “dynamic missions” have been around since Maelstrom (side note - I love it, this was my favorite way to play the game for a long time, again I like having to react to unexpected adversity during a game instead of just executing a rote plan I built at list creation time).

This is the part of the article where I refuse to call this a review because I havent played the system yet - I’m calling it a Shuffle Through instead. Just go with it. Here is what you get in the set -


Objective tokens, not expected but certainly a nice to have. Self explanatory really.


The heart of the matter - decks! You get a deck for primary objectives, a deck for deployment zones, a deck for “twists”, and then two decks (identical, one for each player) of secondary objectives. There are also two sets of stratagems specifically for this format which interact with secondaries (discarding them, etc). The first big highlight is you only need one deck to play - your opponent does not also need to bring one.

Lets address the Twist deck first (I’m just calling it that because that’s what it is) - if you played the Open War deck this may give you stress as that deck was filled with crazy things like “minus 1 to all invulnerable saves” - I played that with a Chaos Daemons army, it was an uphill climb. These are MUCH LESS SWINGY than those - mostly revolving around adjusting the CP cost of core stratagems or impacting the objectives somehow.

Essentially a mission = draw a primary objective, deployment zone, and twist. Then, each player starts with a number of secondaries. They have learned from Maelstrom - if you draw a secondary you cannot possible score (for example, something like “kill psykers” but your opponent has none) you immediately discard it and draw again, no questions asked. Nice.


You can also use one of the new core stratagems to trade CP for a new secondary if you get a draw you don’t like.

The secondaries look cool, nothing ridiculous, should force you to think on your feet to adapt. Here is a quick preview


Overall I am very impressed and look forward to trying this soon. It takes the best elements of Maelstrom and Open War and approaches it from a “hey you like Matched Play but aren’t a GT playing try-hard and just want to play some tactically challening pickup games”.