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Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment $24.95 $12.50
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Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment
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Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/08/2015 08:26:32
This is the third and last part of The Apostasy Gambit trilogy of adventures, pitting the Acolytes against a sector-wide plot to cause chaos with the aim of restoring religious purity through all-out holy war! It can, however, be run as a stand-alone scenario - you'll just have to explain some of the backstory so that they'll know just why Saint Drusus has apparently risen from the dead to muster an army with which he intends to sweep through the Calixis Sector, purifying it of sinners and heretics with fire and the sword, or indeed any weapon that comes to hand.

Unlike the preceeding episodes, which have combined investigation and combat, this adventure is primarily about combat, including psychic combat and battles of will as well as plenty of brawling. There still is scope for the less combat-orientated members of the party to play a role, but those who cannot take care of themselves will be at a disadvantage. Notes are provided on how to source new recruits should existing party members fall in battle or go completely insane.

The adventure is made up of four parts, beginning with the Acolytes leading a siege at the head of an element of the Canopus Heavy Foot Regiment, seeking to destroy armaments factories and root out senior cultists and Drusian followers. Assuming they survive that, there's a captive psyker to rescue and a daemonic assassin to evade before the climax in yet another Cathedral leads them to a visit to the Warp itself and a stand-off with a daemon...

Each stage is presented in detail, the scene set in vivid prose complete with detailed NPCs and everything you'll need to make it all come to exciting life during your game. There's also useful material for both you and your players: for example, in the first part there's a list of specific equipment for besieging to issue - including a book of tactics that can be used to pass on helpful advice to those unfamiliar with 41st century siege warfare - so that everyone can play a full part in events. By their very nature, some of the combat sections are fairly linear, but in other parts there are opportunities for the Acolytes to take the initiative and have more of a free rein - plenty of resources and options are provided to help you respond appropriately.

By the end of the adventure, the Acolytes will know that they've been in a fight! They also should (if all went well) have a real sense of achievement, that they have adverted a great danger to the Imperial Church and the entire Sector. They will have witnessed things nobody should see and ventured where no-one in his right mind would go, seen the Warp from the inside and hopefully survived to tell the tale. Again, a rich and heady sweep through dubious places provides stirring and memorable adventure, a worthy climax to an exciting trilogy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Mathew S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/24/2012 20:02:12
Simply put, the mechanics of this adventure are broken. What should be exciting roleplaying opportunities are reduced to an endless series of skill tests so abstract as to render them meaningless. The only investigation section revolves a single -20 Tech use test, which if failed removes any option other than brute force. Without a tech-priest in the party there is no way to access most of the story, since everything needs mind impulse units to access.

If you do not intend to play the adventure as written, but instead to write your own missions around the events and setting, be warned that even that isn't up to the standard set by the first two. Where they explored some of the most interesting and unique aspects of the setting and had many memorable events and characters, this is 40k at it's most bland. Cultists are crazy and summon daemons, kill them. That's really it. The conspiracy behind the first two adventures has disappeared and you never deal with them; the only possible mystery is something the players witnessed themselves in the last adventure; and the man behind it all has already been defeated. The resolution violates the lore in pretty severe ways that I won't spoil, but if you've even read the background in the core rulebook they jump out at you.

I have run the entire trilogy as GM, and this is a huge drop in quality from the first two which had none of these problems and which I highly recommend. According to the credits page most of the same people wrote the first two, while this entry had a single author who was involved in neither. While I recommend the trilogy as a whole, I suggest you skip this chapter and make up your own ending.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Heresy: The Chaos Commandment
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/29/2012 23:44:21
'The Chaos Commandment' is, simply put, 40K at its' finest. Out of the three game lines from Fantasy Flight, I have always preferred 'Dark Heresy' for the tone of the game and the fact that the characters are often simple denizens of the forty-first millennium. It is from this perspective that the horror that is core to this system can bubble to the surface.

The first two instalments of this series were lively, spectacular romps through the 40K universe, hinged on classic icons of the setting that lent a feeling of dark gothic sci-fi infused with an almost Cthuhlu-like feeling of dread.

The themes of 'Church of the Damned' are continued in this tome, and any fans of the Eclesiarchy and the cult of the God-Emperor will find plenty to sink their proverbial teeth into. The authors have taken one of the most blasphemous possibilities and made it the focus of the final story arc - anyone truly immersed in their character (especially as an Agent of the Inquisition) will hopefully respond in appalled outrage. The role-playing possibilities are incredibly rich for the final scenes, especially in terms of the mop-up from this operation.

There is a strong action-adventure mood to all three interlocking adventures, from the assault of the Hive world (which offers characters the chance to 'get tactical', take command of squads and hijack vehicles in the service of the Inquisition). Those looking to indulge in high-octane, military/James Bond action sequences need look no further. this continues the tradition of 'Church of the Damned' which opens with a Valkyrie-assisted assault and I get the feeling that the designers have played through this several times before offering a final product - and have obviously made little tweaks along the way to ratchet up the excitement level.
This military bent is present in subsequent scenes, especially the final assault, and the cast of units in the battle lend an epic feel to the culmination of the series.

It is a difficult product to review in-depth without giving too much away, but rest assured that Fantasy Flight have capped this series off well. I mentioned in my review of Part 2 that I hoped it would end 'with a bang, and lots of fire' and someone at Fantasy Flight was obviously listening - and delivered.

I've found this trilogy to be much more exciting, horrifying and immersive than the 'Haarlock Legacy' trilogy, despite the high production value and attention to detail shown in the latter. The writers have hit their stride with this newest trilogy, embraced the 40K universe whole-heartedly and added - in my opinion - something which resonates as strongly as any GW canon.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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