If you are new to Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Wrath & Glory or thinking of picking up Church of Steel, then read on! C7 Developer Zak Dale-Clutterbuck takes us through exactly what's inside Church of Steel!
Church of Steel is now printing and should begin shipping this summer.
Buy Church of Steel here.
Church of Steel is a supplement for Warhammer: 40,000 Roleplay: Wrath & Glory focused on land and air vehicles, the mighty war engines that the grim forces active in the Gilead System use in endless battle to demolish the enemy, transport troops, and much more. Let’s take a look at what’s inside!
Rules of the Road
Art by Sam Manley
At the core of Church of Steel is a comprehensive set of new rules for using vehicles in your games of Wrath & Glory. These rules were designed with the goal of piloting a vehicle being as easy as walking, whilst making it possible to do all manner of perilous manoeuvres, such as jumping onto a moving Reaver Jetbike and attacking the rider.
As with all rules in Wrath & Glory the focus is on spectacular narrative events. Inside the Vehicle Rules chapter you’ll find an arsenal of mechanical expansions, guiding you through explosive vehicle combat with dramatic (but easy to follow) rules for damage, expanded Complications, and optional extras.
Faith and Function
Art by Stefan Ristik
Technology and religion are intertwined in the dark and superstitious future of the 41st Millennium. In Church of Steel, this is reflected by specific rules for some of the factions active in the Gilead System.
The Adeptus Mechanicus have additional abilities to reflect their fervent worship of Machine Spirits, but they aren’t the only Faction in the Imperium that blend technology with faith. The Ecclesiarchy also view their tools of war as holy objects, and as such their colossal, cathedral-esque vehicles have a pool of Faith points that the righteous can use to fuel their Faith Talents.
The zealous armies of the Imperium aren’t the only ones with special vehicles rules though — the brutal Orks are known for their ramshackle vehicles that seem to be held together purely by their immense willpower, giving them a few mechanical twists on gameplay to keep their deadly piles of scrap rolling.
There are also special rules to reflect the psychic connection between the inscrutable Asuryani and their mysterious Wraithbone vehicles, as well as the terrifyingly fast raiding vehicles of the depraved Drukhari.
Beyond the many battlefields of the Gilead System, vehicles are used simply to get from place to place. Of course, in the war-torn future of the 41st Millennium, even travel is fraught with peril. Church of Steel features a set of narrative focused travel rules to help you tell a story with your journey, be it to or through a tumultuous battlefield, a teeming hive city, or a warp-ravaged wasteland.
But what’s the point of all these rules if you don’t have several armies worth of vehicles to play with?
Church of Steel features an arsenal of more than 100 vehicles, from simple fuel guzzlers like the Dirtcycle all the way up to the levitating Repulsor battle tank of the Primaris Astartes. Iconic war machines like the steadfast Rhino are available in multiple variants, such as the simple but effective Razorback with its twin heavy bolter, and the Adeptus Sororitas Immolator that functions as much as a portable church on the battlefield as a weapon of war capable of belching torrents of the Emperor’s cleansing fire.
Beyond the basics are the complex machines of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the many engines of death that form the steel backbone of the Astra Militarum, and the sky-darkening aircraft formations of the Aeronautica Imperialis. Of course, the engines of the Imperium are often stolen and misused by the foul forces of Chaos and the insurrectionist Genestealer Cults, so expect to see corrupted variants of Imperial tanks and the industrial machinery hijacked by xenos insurgents.
Speaking of xenos, the terrifying transports and tanks of the savage Orks are shown in force — from the classic Trukks to the souped-up Megatrakk Scrapjett, and even the Tramplasquig-pulled Kill Rig, expect a variety of vicious vehicles.
The more elegant vehicles of the Aeldari scream into combat with a bevy of special rules and guidance for running encounters at extreme speeds, which may prove particularly useful if you’re pitting them against their depraved reflection, the Drukhari, and their ghastly raiding vehicles.
Finally, the soulless Necrons emerge from their venerable tombs to wage unfeeling war against the living usurpers of their rightful claim to the galaxy. Multiple unique rules apply to Necron vehicles and their strange living metal construction, and we can’t wait to see what you do with these terrifying immortals.
As you can see, the vehicle statblocks have been designed to be lightweight packages of mechanics, easy to use at the table whilst packing in also the information you need to instigate vehicular mayhem.
Art by Stefan Ristik
Church of Steel is replete with choices for vehicles, but yours will be unique. Even the thousands of Chimeras that roll off of Imperial assembly lines every day have slight differences between them, but the Tech-Priests among you will likely want to tinker with the weapons and wargear of your machine.
Many of the war machines that dominate the battlefields of the 41st Millennium are far older than their occupants, with some ancient engines of the Imperium heralding from millennia ago, before the Great Crusade. You’re unlikely to be the first person to pilot your vehicle, and just like your character, your vehicle has a rich backstory of the battles and experiences it has overcome before your game begins.
The Venerable Machines chapter guides you through the process of creating a fascinating history for your vehicle, based on the faction the vehicle belongs to. For example, if you have a Rhino in use by the Sisters of Battle, you could roll on the tables above to generate its history. If I rolled an 8 on the PAST ENGAGEMENTS table, a 6 on the MARKS OF HONOUR table, and a 7 on the QUIRKS AND CUSTOMISATIONS table, my Rhino would have a backlit stained glass window shining holy light through a fog cloud created by constantly burning sacred incense, which would likely have cast quite a striking figure in its past working as a missionary vehicle used to spread the Imperial Creed.
Art by Sam Manley
Tampering with the sacred mechanisms of a vehicle is, of course, the sole purview of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and we know that you wouldn’t be interested in breaking the hallowed compacts between the Machine Cults of Mars and the Imperium just to customise your vehicle. That’s why we recommend you avoid reading this chapter of Church of Steel, which contains the occult secrets of installing improved wargear and weapons, upgrading the engine or armour of your war machine, and delving into its holy mechanisms to make repairs. We’re sure you’ll skip straight to the section on how to ask the Adeptus Mechanicus for help and ensure all of your requests comply with the Administratum. Of course, the xenos creatures that inhabit the Gilead System have no such compunctions, and this chapter also has rules for how they customise their bizarre vehicles.
Weapons and Wargear
Church of Steel features more than 100 armed and dangerous vehicles bristling with devastating weaponry — the Repulsor Executioner battle tank alone has 6 different weapons to bring the fury of the Emperor to the enemy. Weapons and wargear from every Faction are detailed, from the complex technologies of Awakened Machine Spirits and Aeldari Holo-Fields to the brutal Ork Deff Rolla and the many, many Squiggly beasts they bring to battle.
No book on vehicles in Warhammer 40,000 would be complete without some background on the mysteries of the Cult Mechanicus. The first chapter of Church of Steel functions as a primer on the worshippers of the Machine God and the Motive Force and the strange strictures of their creed.
In addition to this dive into the lore of the Tech-Priesthood of Mars, there is an intercepted transmission from Explorator Mull Ohmras to Jakel Varonius, an annotated article titled ‘On the Nature of Machine Spirits’ that offers a glimpse into the mechanised mind of its writer.
Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.© Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2022