Friday, April 7, 2023

REVIEW: Arks of Omen - Farsight

Welcome back to Arks Week here at Mengel Miniatures! With the final book in the series, The Lion, announced, it's time to cover the three books that followed Abaddon. Monday saw angry Ron, and Wednesday we covered the nefarious Vashtorr. Today we take a look at the hero of the T'au Empire, and one of the coolest characters in 40k (in my humble opinion), Commander Farsight! This is the first book to not focus on a Chaos character, and the only one to have a xenos front and center. What does Farsight have to do with Vashtorr's collection of artifacts? Let's find out!

First off, I would like to thank Games Workshop for sending me free PDF copies of these books to review. I've been really enjoying this series so far. I'm going to cover each book seperately, and will mostly focus on the lore, while just briefly touching on the rules in each one. Now, let's take a look at Arks of Omen: Farsight!

This book takes a bit of a detour from the previous three, heading over to the Farsight Enclaves, and featuring everyone's favorite rogue T'au. I know some people have said this is only loosely tied into the overall Arks arc, which is somewhat true, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I've listened to both of the Farsight novels by Phil Kelly and am a big fan of them, so this was right up my alley. They're great books, and will greatly enhance your appreciation for this book as well. I wouldn't be surprised to learn Phil Kelly was the author behind this installment of Arks or at least involved in some way. It feels like his writing.

We join the T'au as they are trying to repel in invasion by the infamous warboss Nazdreg. The orks have always been a thorn in Farsight's side and now they're getting ready to take out the Enclaves as well as the main T'au Empire. Nazdreg has perfected his tellyporta technology to the point where he can outfit his spaceships with larger versions and basically teleport an entire planet to death. Unfortunately for him, he's having a hard time getting these massive weapons built due to the T'au's constant harassment of his forces. Farsight has gotten wind of this and has tracked down their main lair to a planet close to a dreaded planet from his past, Arthas Moloch. For those who don't know, Arthas Moloch is the planet where Farsight found his sword, which gives him unnatural long life, as well as where a bunch of demons manifested and killed the Ethereals assigned to his expedition. Since then the planet has been quarantined.

A large battle ensues between the T'au and the orks as Farsight closes his trap on them. There are a ton of cool moments, and a potentially important event for a rather famous warboss (Nazdreg has been in the game for a very long time), but I don't want to spoil it. The T'au come out on top though, stopping the immediate threat, but the orks are still a large presence. Farsight is determined to wipe them out for good in the Enclaves, but a wrench is thrown into his plans when a large Chaos fleet led by one of the Arks of Omens appears in system. Knowing he can't fight a battle on two fronts, he retreats to the surface of Arthas Moloch, intending to draw both the orks and the Chaos forces down and into conflict with each other. He also sends a desperate plea to the main T'au Empire asking for reinforcements. Although him and the Ethereals don't get along well, his reasoning is that if Farsight loses here, the orks and Chaos forces will just rampage through the rest of T'au space.

While all of this is going on, there is also a Deathwatch vessel watching from orbit that is cloaked and hidden. Very early on we learn that a bunch of the Marines in this force are actually Alpha Legion operatives, who made a brief cameo in the Vashtorr book. They've been sent here by Vashtorr himself to help secure the key fragment on Arthas Moloch in case the main Chaos force fails. Without going into too much more detail there's a big final confrontation on Arthas Moloch between all of the forces, there are some deaths, and Farsight must come face to face with a vision he had earlier in the story of himself as essentially a Khornate champion. Can he overcome his violent urges or will he succumb? I enjoyed the story overall and thought it was well written, but it's definitely a bit of a detour from the main story so far. I'm also a bit confused by the key fragment in this book. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to recognize what it may be or not. I mean, I recognize part of it, but the rest is a bit of a mystery. If you're a T'au and/or Farsight fan though I think you'll really enjoy this story. It also has some rather large ramifications for the future of the Enclaves and the main T'au Empire that I'm excited to see play out in future books.

On the rules side of things we get the final set of faction rules for Boarding actions with rules for the T'au, all of the Aeldari factions, and the Sisters of Battle. This includes special rules for forming your party, as well as a few more Stratagems specific to each faction. Nothing overwhelming though, with only a handful of new Enhancements and 6 or so Stratagems per faction. On the scenario side of things we get rules for Dark Depths missions, which have each player set up one side of the board according to some pre-laid out maps. Each player picks their own map though, and then you combine the two to play the game. It's kind of a random map generator and a cool idea. There are also rules for multi-player games with 12 different scenarios to pick from.

This concludes Ark Week for now. You can check out Monday's article for Angron, Wednesday for Vashtorr, and be sure to check back in the future for my coverage of The Lion once it's released.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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