Good day everyone.
I got my Urban Conquest box set in the post and thought I would share my honest thoughts as I go through the boxset and see what we get in it and if it’s worth it.
Urban Conquest (UC) is a Cityfight (Cities of Death) campaign system supplement for Warhammer 40k released in 2019. Within the box as you can see we get some low lying Scenery and plastic objective marker models. A poster! The UC Booklet. A plastic sleeved campain card wallet system (Steady Crispin)! And of course the relevant cards, which I will go into all of more detail as we continue.
First the book contents. Reading through the book shows some very gritty fluff. Really demonstrates the realities of fighting in built up areas. But the Campaign information is where the meat of this supplement lays.
The book initially shows you a simple Tree campaign for getting used to the missions that are avalable to you, all of which are included in the book. Matrix Campaigns that show a table of 2 Warlords who choose from 5 options as to what your force will do and the opponent does the same. The result will give you a misson and tell you which Warlord has the Strategic advantage. This will become more apparent later in this article.
Alright, lets break down the large Streets of death campaigns. There is a large ‘Cityscape Map’ Which has pockets for particular cards to go in.
In the left hand side go the ‘Location cards’ and in the right side go various cards called ‘Strategic Goal cards’ which shows an overall master strategy that all players will strive to achieve to gain extra points. (The two type of points system in this game style I’ll explain about shortly). ‘Random event cards’ are random events that change each round of a campaign turn. ‘Strategic Resource Cards’ are upgrade cards that can be purchased as points are won/earnt.
The Campaign can last as long as you like as long as each player gets a game in a campaign turn. I will explain a campaign turn after explaining how we first generate the ‘Cityscape‘ or ‘The City’.
The ‘Location Cards’ depict different areas of a City such as Hab blocks, Basilicanum, Administratum Districts, Ministorum Territories, Sanctums, Manufactorum Zones, Sector Mechanicus, and others. But there are 6 big locations which in order to assult them in the game you need to own certain ‘Strategic Resource’ cards to be able to do so.
How the City scape is creatated can be totally upto you. If you wish they can be shuffled (shuffle only one Special location card in) or be generated in a very narrative way. But I highly recommend you shuffle the cards as the territories won’t balance out across the board and may give some players an unfair disadvantage. The rules book gives you three main ways to set up the game depending on if you have 1-4 players. But I see no reason why you can’t play the game in teams of players. But again I see no reason why you can’t do your own thing. Randomising the cards will help to balance the two types of campaign points you will earn in the game.
As you can see the points don’t balance out very well if 4 players were to start out in each courner. But this could be rolled for randomly and could make for some interesting narrative story lines.
Next the Random event card for the start of the first campaign round is drawn randomly after shuffling the deck.
Next you decide on starting territories. There are several ways to do this….
2 player Campaign. The Special Location would be in the middle of the Cityscape. This Cityscape has a specific Strategic Goal.
2 to 4 player campaign. Rolling the highest 3 D6 determines the order of choice and vying for position.
2 to 4 player campaign. Players roll 3 D6 again to decide in which order players choose their territories. This campaign has its own Strategic goal too.
Once the territories/Campaign set up is complete, the only thing left to do before we moor off and charge our weapon systems is placing the relevant Strategic goal in it’s slot.
Two phases need to be concluded before the Campaign round is over. The Action phase and the Strategic phase.
The Action phase: Players all make a decision on if they will; Assault, Hold, Reconnoitre, Advance or Reinforce. How one player decides to what the other player may decide will depend on which mission is played when referencing the matrix within the booklet mentioned earlier. Players must take note obviously of who they played and who won and if the Warlord was slain during the game. Results earn you Glory points. At the start of any action phase all players have 0 Glory points but a win gets you 3 points and a draw 1 point and a loss 1 point. If the Enemy Warlord was slain that is one point also. At the end of the Strategy Phase all players Glory points go to 0 once more.
The Strategy phase: This phase is made up of 6 steps. Lets have a walk through them.
1. Determine Initiative: Those with the most glory points has the highest initiative. If there is a tie between players then it is a roll of to determine the order of initiative.
2. Earn Campaign points: I now finally get to explain the 2 main types of points you gain in this game system. Each player adds up their total resourse value from their Resourse cards (this is the top numbers you see from the location cards within the Cityscape photos). These are transferred as campaign points. If the Strategic Goal was achieved by a player then add the the corresponding campaign points to your pool.
3. Earn Strategy Points: A players strategy points total the added numbers of the second or bottom number on the location cards a player owns.
4. Spend Strategy Points: Get all of the Strategic Resource cards laid out on a table (including any in play) and in Initiative order choose to purchase or pass on the opportunity to do so. Deduct the points you have spent as a player from your pool if you spend our points on a Strategic Resource. Repeat this process until all players have consecutively decided to pass. Unspent points CAN be carried over to the next campaign round. In this step the use of some resourse cards allow you to use ‘Location upgrades’. If you wish to use the upgrade at this point (in initiative order) place a respective marker with that location card. A different upgrade can not be purchased for this location for the duration of the Campaign and is somewhat perminant, unless the location is ‘Razed’.
5. Seize Territory: In initiative order each player will capture a single location. You can only capture territories owned by other players if you have defeated them in the action phase in this round. Then next (interestingly) the initiative order is reversed, starting with the player with the lowest Initiative will decide on which second territory to seize. Remember the Special location card can only be seized if you have the special resource card that allows you to do it and can only be captured once per phase. Being ‘Routed’ happens when you no longer own any location cards. You lose 3 campaign points. The player must re-enter the cityscape map. If there are any uncontrolled locations they must select that Territory to make that their own. If not the rules seem to imply that it can be any other territory except a Special Location. (Even if it is owned by another player?)
6. Generate Random Event: The player with the highest initiative now shuffles and draws a new Random event card the next campaign round.
The rest of the book shows some specific Cities of Death Abilites that can be both fun and annoying for players. Including rules on Obscured targets such as if all models from an infantry unit are obscured there is a -1 to hit penalty. Lucky Hit all rolls of 6 (this ignores all modifiers) is a hit. Streets and Roads give 3″ movement to those who don’t have the Fly keyword. Height Advantage is nasty and give any models who are at least 3″ higher than the target a bonus -1 AP to their shots. You can break your cover down into Hard and Soft cover. And some other Narrative Mission special rules such as Concealed deployment, Dawn raid, Random battle Length, Reserves and Sustained Assault which for some veteran players will have some idea as to what is entailed with those.
The book also details some special rules for particular battlefield terrain features like the Imperial Statuary giving +1 Leadership for faction Imperial units within 3″ of it. And many others.
Specific Strategems for the Cities of Death games look somewhat entertaining. Sewer rats will be nostalgic for some. A lot of strategems seem to focus on making buildings more dangerous for your opponent to enter or to make them consider entering. There are also some specific tactical objectives for Cities of death within the book also.
I believe full retail price for this product is a bit of a sting for all the materials in the pack. I saved 15% off full retail price when I bought it, I suggest you try to do the same.
Well there we go. I hope our WC group will consider the option of a Urban Conquest one day and I hope you out there have enjoyed this review, I look forward to trying this out some day soon. Thanks for reading.