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25Feb/190

Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

The first supplement for Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress was released last weekend. It is called, The Dreaded Ambull, and covers a new scenario including matching upgrades and miniatures.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

When Blackstone Fortress was released, it was already announced, that it wouldn't stay a single release and further supplements and additions would be released. It is once again, a blast from the past, bringing the Ambull from the Rogue Trader era of Warhammer 40,000 into today's releases. Therefore catching not only the attention as a new release, but from the "veterans" as well.

This kit was previewed on the New Year's Open Day on January 5th. And it won't be the only recurrence of the Ambull, as there will be Ambots for Necromunda as well.

So let us see, what the 45 EUR / 35 GBP supplement for Blackstone Fortress contains. Well, the box is the size of a regiment / squad box and opens sideways with a tray. On top is a booklet along shrink wrapped together with the card board parts. Beneath that you will find the sprue, bases and further gaming materials.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

What do we have in detail:

  • Medium sized sprue covering the parts for one Ambull and two Borewyrm Infestations (along with one 50mm round base, and two 25mm round bases).
  • 16-page Dreaded Ambull Booklet
  • 18 Discovery Cards
  • 10 Exploration Cards
  • 3 Encounter Cards
  • 3 Hostile Reference Cards
  • Closed envelope with the quest loot
  • Cardboard sheet with tokens and markers
  • two sheets with rules for the scenario and for using Ambull and Borewyrm in Warhammer 40,000, along with the instructions

As you can see the cards come in four different sizes, covering new additions to the discovery, exploration, encounter and hostile reference deck. The Ambull has two different profiles, one regular and one for being enraged. For convenience, similar to other board games, the parts of the supplement are branded with a small Ambull icon, so you can see which parts of the game come from the expansion. For example if you want to set up a vanilla game and want to sort out all of the new(er) parts from the decks.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

Similar to the Blackstone Fortress kit, the supplement covers a closed envelope with the "spoils of war". As with the last review I got the feedback, that you do not want to be spoiled, therefore I'm just showing you the backside of the content and not the front of the cards. But you receive three new resources and access to the Sett VII ship.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

As for the card board sheet, it covers an Ambull marker, a new vessel, three trap counter, two way and five track markers, four Ambull eggs and two new hex fields for the board.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

There are two folded booklets, one covering the instructions and rules for using the Ambull and Borewyrm with Warhammer 40,000 and the other one covering the scenario of the beast's lair. Games Workshop already teasered the use of the Ambull in Warhammer on the Community page.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

The booklet "The Dread Ambull" is a 16 page introduction on the supplement. It covers fluff, the use of the new content and rules for the new quest.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

The Ambull comes in a simple grey sprue. Along with the Ambull there are two Borewyrm Infestations included. Even though it says on the back of the box, that this product was produced in China, the casting quality is eye-to-eye with the productions quality of the items made in the UK. With some of the terrain kits, that are outsourced to China, they detail or at least the sharpness of the details was a bit blunt (for example on the base detail kits). But that is not the case with this sprue.

It is not marketed in that way, but you do not need glue for these miniatures, as the pin-connections allow assembly without. Never the less, I recommend using glue for a proper fit and to close any gaps that may occur during assembly.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

First of all, we have two Borewyrm Infestations, these are two parts each. They fill the slot on the 25mm round base and the wyrms are added on top. The borewyrm are new to the lore and added to the background of the Ambull with Blackstone Fortress.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

As for the main actor, the Ambull is a 5 piece miniature without options or variants. It has a small piece for base detailing. The large body is split in front and back and connects easily. After that the head with a large neck boneplate is added along with the left arm and claw. The Ambull exceeds the 50mm round base with his broad shoulders and long limbs.

The Ambull itself is a creature, that was introduced in the original Rogue Trader book, and after that mentioned again in a Black Library novel called Caves of Ice, where the creature is found by imperial troops from Valhalla.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

And the three miniatures from the sprue completely assembled. There are only a few mould lines to remove and the fit is pretty clean. As mentioned above, you would not need glue, so this is very beginners / board gamers friendly, who maybe do not have that much experience with model building.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

Let's put the new Ambull into perspective. As already mentioned, this Ambull is a revival from a miniature from the old Rogue Trader era. I happen to own one myself, so let us see the two next to each other. The new plastic kit is almost twice the size. It is a well done reincarnation. But how does the Ambull measure up with other larger creatures from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Here it is in the middle between an ogryn and a lictor. The comparison to the lictor was important for me, as in many scenarios the lictor is used as the apex predator and with the new fluff, the Ambull dispute that title.

In the third picture we see the comparison with Janus Draik from the Blackstone Fortress main game, along with a regular and a Primaris Space Marine.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

And the final set of pictures with the Ambull and Borewyrm Infestations in front of the backdrop.

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – The Dreaded Ambull

Conclusion
When this was introduced back in January as the first supplement for Blackstone Fortress, I was quite amazed and really looking forward to it. I really like the new Ambull miniature. It is impressive in size, it convincingly plays the role of the apex predator. And that makes it absolutely interesting for the use beyond Blackstone Fortress. Beyond the miniature, it contains a couple of cards, well printed, along with a thick card board sheet for tokens and new board material.

I don't really want to go into the price discussion. But that is actually the only thing that bothers me with this kit. I tried to look at it from a board gaming point. Often these supplements aren't cheap, as you have a low number print run and die cut cards etc. are expensive to produce. And I can see that, with this kit as well, as we have multiple sizes of cards, the card board sheet and so on. Games Workshop is large, but not as large as for example Asmodee, so the production of these things doesn't scale that well, as tabletop war games are a niche compared to board games. If you take a look for example at Dominion, the supplements cost around 30 EUR, so 45 EUR for a single scenario expansion with three miniatures is not cheap. But, Games Workshop goes the extra mile to deliver as much additional value for this box as possible, so you'll find the rules for using it in Warhammer 40,000 in the box as well and I can imagine that we will see further uses, for example with Kill Team or Necromunda on Warhammer Community or maybe the White Dwarf.

If you're looking at the box just for Ambull, but without the use of Blackstone Fortress, the price is very hard to justify. For example the clawed fiend from the Dark Eldar range is similar in size and use on the board, but costs only 21 EUR. And even if you compare the whole box with other items from the Games Workshop range, you can almost buy a whole Kill Team for that money, or three models that size for example with the Rockgut Troggoths.

I am looking forward to put the Ambull to use in an Inq28 or Necromunda scenario, in a role very similar to a Predator, where it is unclear who hunts who. And I am really sure, that I am not the only one, as this miniature is very well done, with an impressive, dynamic and the quality you expect from Games Workshop, but it would work much better if it were around the 35-37,50 EUR price tag, from both points of view as a board game supplement as well as tabletop miniature boxed set.

The next "supplement" for Blackstone Fortress is not a real supplement, more of a pre-lude, it is Combat arena and will be released as an introduction board game. It was announced on Warhammer Community.

Warhammer 40,000 is a brand by Games Workshop.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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