Episode 124: New 40K: Crusade


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In this episode, we talk about Crusade, the new narrative system for Warhammer 40K. We talk about how it works and how you can use it to easily run your next narrative campaign. The Battlehosts Episode 124


Crusade is the new narrative system where the action happens between missions; what your army starts with is not what your army ends up with.

In previous narrative systems, GW basically did a series of missions, or battlefield rules like “lava” or lightning, or more random stuff that, while fun, was not really balanced and the players had to work to create a narrative.

The problem with all of these is that winning is still a goal; you are not incentivized to NOT win, beyond just wanting to have a good time, but that requires a certain mindset of player.

The great thing about crusade is, win or lose, your army and importantly your units change and evolve between games. You actually might be incentivized to pursue an agenda rather than just win the mission.

Order of Battle

You start with a 50 PL force, which is your supply limit. On your order of battle sheet, which you can photocopy from the book, it lists each of the units in your crusade force along with a battle tally and requisition points.

You can swap units on and off your crusade force if you like, but once removed it loses whatever it has gained.

Requisition points start at 5 and you use them to increase your PL limit, purchase warlord traits and relics, increase unit sizes, swap out weapons or powers, remove battle scars, or add units to your order of battle.

Crusade Cards

Each unit listed on your order of battle has a crusade card. Each unit starts off with 0 experience points and 0 combat tallies. After each battle, your unit gains 1 experience point by participating and 1 for each enemy unit it destroyed. You can also mark a unit for greatness before battle where it will get 3 additional experience points.

You also select agendas for your army, which are almost identical to secondary objectives in matched play. You select a number equal to the size of the battle, with 1-4 agendas depending on the mission size. Units that score these agendas or secondary objectives earn additional experience points at the end of battle.

Rank Battle Honors

As your units gain experience points, they increase in rank. They start with 0 experience and 0 battle honors, but as soon as they gain 6 experience points, they move to the next rank and gain 1 battle honor. Units can have up to 4 battle honors, but they need to get to 50 plus experience points and reach the rank of “legendary.”

For each battle honor, you can do one of the following:

  • Battle trait: a skill or upgrade to the unit.
  • Weapon enhancement: upgrades to ranged/melee weapons
  • Psychic Fortitudes: upgrades to psychic power
  • Relic: relics given to character units that you can have in addition to codex relics, examples.

Each battle honor increases a unit’s crusade points. So, you can match power level with someone to ensure the forces are equal just like before. You also compare crusade points, and the person with the lower number gets a number of command points equal to the difference.

Out of Action and Battle Scars

After battle, you have to roll for each unit that was destroyed in the game. On a 1, it fails the out of action test and either loses D6 experience points, or suffers a battle scar and its crusade points drops by 1.

Note you can use Requisition points to remove a battle scar, but you will have to increase the crusade point again. You can have multiple scars, but not the same one twice.


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