Forgeworld Zone Mortalis – The coming storm

Zone Mortalis is an interesting development from Forgeworld.

The following rules expansion for Warhammer 40,000 deals with some of the most savage arenas of combat conceivable, the battlefields the Codex Tactica Imperialis refers to as ‘Zone Mortalis’ — the fatal ground. Such zones be they the contested decks of a void warship, tangled mine works, lightless underhives, the prison-vaults of sundered fortress citadels, labyrinthine industrial sewer systems and sacred catacombs, all have a confluence of factors in common such as close-confinement, limited access for attack or escape routes, as well as treacherous environments, which make them murderous venues for warfare.

Zone Mortalis looks a bit like a cross between Space Hulk and Necromunda; two of my favourite Games Workshop game systems. Now, if they could only get a football in there some how …

It’s not officially approved, and make numerous mentions to it. I am not going to make any stupid sweeping remarks like I did with Man O’ War, however, reading the rules one rule leapt out at me.

The confined spaces of a Zone Mortalis make for deadly, close range fire-fights, where a split second reaction may be enough to gun down an enemy rushing out from the darkness before death strikes you down. In order to represent this, this special rule allows units being assaulted a chance to fire their shooting weapons when they are assaulted — if they’re fast enough!
• Only units not already engaged in close combat may attempt reaction fire.
• Only pistol, assault and rapid fire weapons may be used for reaction fire attacks. Heavy weapons may only be used for reaction fire attacks if the model carrying them has the Relentless special rule.
• A unit may only make a single reaction fire attack against the first unit they are assaulted by in any given turn.
• A reaction fire attack is made after an assault is declared, but before assaulting models have moved. Casualties resulting from reaction fire may cause an assault to fail.

Making a Reaction Fire Attack: In order to make a reaction fire attack, the unit in question must first roll equal to or under its majority Initiative score on a D6. If successful it may fire its weapons at the assaulting enemy, just as it would in the Shooting phase but at -1 BS (minimum BS 1). Template weapons are used as normal if the Initiative test is successful.
A unit may not use the Counter Attack special rule if it has used reaction fire.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but this sounds a little like the Overwatch rules from the old Rogue Trader days. Given some of the rumours floating around in regard to the new edition of Warhammer 40000, this correspondent thinks that this would be a pretty awesome inclusion into a rule set that, again according to rumour, is going to be very much focussed around the assault phase.

Keep watching the skies!
Forgeworld Zone Mortalis rules