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Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory, Vow of Absolution $19.99
Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.
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by Irene [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2024 10:10:45

I have mixed feelings on this one. The book provides beautifully in-depth lore on the Absolvers Chapter, written with Cubicle 7's customary nuance. However, as a definitive Astartes sourcebook, it rises to the level of “okay.”

Perhaps I was spoiled by “Inheritance of Embers,” which provided more Archetypes than I ever thought possible (including Mandrakes, which I did not dream would ever be playable). However, while I expected the majority of this book to focus on the Absolvers (that was never in doubt), I was disappointed by the lack of content for other Chapters.

Things NOT found in this book include:

  • No Archetypes for high-profile non-Codex units found in big-name Chapters (Space Wolf Blood Claws/Black Templar Neophytes as an alternative to Scouts, Wolf Priests as a Chaplain/Apothecary hybrid, Sanguinary Priests, etc.)
  • No Rules for major Successor Chapters whose character has notably drifted from their roots (Black Templars, Lamenters, Exorcists, Silver Skulls, most of the Salamanders successors, etc.)
  • No further create-your-own Successor Chapter rules.
  • No section on the Deathwatch – which surprised me most of all, as they would be the logical focal point for non-Absolver Astartes – or any further information on their base of operations, major characters, plot-hooks, etc.

As for what IS there, the Archetype section does a decent job of filling out the roster of major codex-aligned roles. (This includes the Techmarine, the one Archetype I thought they absolutely needed to include.) Vows of Absolution also takes the welcome step of re-printing Astartes archetypes from other books, so you can have them all in one place for easy reference. The book also expands the concept of using talents to represent certain Astartes roles from “Assault Doctrine” and “Devastator Doctrine” for the Firstborn, to several new doctrines for the Primaris, which I believe adds a lot of potential flexibility to play.

(Note: These are not the only new Archetype additions, simply the highlights that stood out most to me.)

There are also a bunch of new Astartes talents, including two for each of the First Founding Chapters. (As this is the main acknowledgment non-Absolver Chapters get in the book, it feels insufficient, but the talents themselves ARE cool.) Two new Librarian disciplines were also added, although the second only consists of three powers. Chaplains have also gained access to new abilities called “Litanies of Battle.” The book also adds a bunch of new Wargear, (although, at the time of writing, this section appears to contain a number of errors, which seem to be in the process of being fixed).

The newly-added lore for the Absolvers IS fascinating, detailed, and well-written. The book does an admirable job of answering a number of questions hanging over the Chapter – and in a way that creates even more potential plot-hooks. As a GM, it introduces many elements I can’t wait to play around with in my games; I am practically salivating at the potential. The book goes into expansive detail about the Chapter’s multiple bases of operations and areas of concern for the Absolvers around the Gilead System.

There are also multiple side-bars with intriguing additional plot-hook ideas for a potential GM. (My favorite addition are side-bars in a distinct color that are clearly from an increasingly alarmed Inquisitor who’s taken on the mission to investigate the Chapter.) Also, avoiding spoilers, there is a MAJOR plot point introduced in the book, which has the potential for massive ramifications for the System – which, again, as a GM, makes me giddy.

All in all, a mixed bag. If you are fine with an Absolvers-only Astartes campaign, you will likely be quite happy. If you are looking for the definitive Astartes sourcebook ... it isn’t that the book fails to add good things; however, if you are a fan of other pre-existing Chapters – especially some of the less Codex-compliant Chapters (Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Black Templars), or Chapters with a more unusual Chapter flavor (Lamenters, Exorsists, Silver Skulls) – there will still be material you can use, but the amount of it will likely be disappointing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Creator Reply:
Hi Irene,

Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate it and will look into more non-Absolvers and Astartes content in the future.

The Cubicle 7 Team
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Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory, Vow of Absolution
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