Warhammer 40,000 Crusade Journal – Review

Spoilers: This image does not match the final product.

#New40k is here and with it comes the exciting new Crusade rules that are perfect for narrative players! WOOOOOOOOOO! The Crusade Journal is a handy way to track your army’s crusade progress in a nice compact book. Capturing their triumphs and prowess as your army grows and changes.

But is it worth it?

It’s a nice looking book.

The book itself is really nice. It has a faux leather finish and a cool embossed cover and spine. It also has two ribbon bookmarks which will be useful as you fill out the book. There is a decent weight to it and an overall good level of quality. One great feature is that the pages lay flat with minimal bending (or breaking!) of the spine.

If you’re looking for a nice way to track your Crusade progress this seems like a no-brainer. However there is one caveat to this otherwise great product:

You will not use a good chunk of the pages printed in this book.

Wait? What?

Let me explain.

This layout will haunt me for eternity…

Here is a double page spread from the Journal. Crusade Card on the left, Order of Battle Roster on the right. It uses the same templates presented in the Core Book and puts a nice handwritten spin on them with the font choice. Perfect for your Crusade needs right?

Well not exactly. This is the double page spread that is on every page of the book. However, you only need one Order of Battle Roster per 15-20ish Battle Card pages. Instead we have the same amount of Order of Battle Pages as Battle Card pages. Which means most of this Journal is going to go unused because a third of the pages are not needed.

At first I thought this was a disappointing but somewhat understandable design choice to save on costs or something. Then I did some digging and by digging I mean looking at the Games Workshop webstore listing for the book….

EVIDENCE: The original and sensible layout shown on the webstore listing.

The images with the product listing show a very different layout for the book. We can see double page spreads showing two Crusade Cards pages and parts of other spreads showing the Order of Battle rosters on the left and right side of the page.

While these are mockups they do indicate that at one point this book had a much more sensible layout. Maximising the number of Crusade Card pages over Order of Battle Rosters.

Sadly the text in the store listing matches the final product,

“Inside you’ll find 200 double-page spreads where the left page is an individual unit’s Crusade card and the right is an entire Crusade force’s order of battle.”

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Crusade-Journal-EN-2020 (accessed 27/7/20)

Which means that either this stupid layout was intentional or that the books were misprinted with the listing being changed to reflect the mistake rather than reprint them.

The mock up images along with places that show promotional material for the book leads me to think that this was a mistake that has been embraced rather than corrected. Likely to save on reprinting the entire run of Crusade Journals.

More evidence of the misprint:

  • Marketing image used in this Warhammer Community Post shows the double Crusade Card page spread – https://www.warhammer-community.com/2020/07/13/were-on-crusade-part-1/ (also the top image in this post)
  • This terrible mock up image made to obscure the incorrect page layout – https://www.warhammer-community.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/vE6m2X4vX7LzY4kt.jpg seen prominently in the store listing and Warhammer Community posts. It just looks……terribly off to me.
  • The templates presented in the Warhammer 40,000 Core Book show the Order of Battle Roster on the left and the Crusade Card on the right. Games Workshop love consistency. Why have the accessory have a different layout than the rules it was made for? Also it makes sense to have the Order of Battle Roster be the first thing you fill out rather than a Crusade Card.
  • The first and last pages of the Journal are a Order of Battle Roster and Crusade card respectively with glue binding obscuring part of their design. I believe these were meant to be standed title and closing pages rather than pages for players to write on. (Speculation on my part or Sherlock-ian deductive reasoning? You be the judge!)
MORE EVIDENCE: Binding on the first and last pages are also….well….crap.

Is this a conspiracy?
Maybe.

Does it go all the way to the top?
Probably.

Are customers paying for a production mistake?
I’m like 85% certain they are which if true is a shame.

So yeah, this sucks. On the whole a product I was quite excited for is rather disappointing. I will still be using it going forward because it still does the job. It is just a shame it has so much wasted space within it and that it is pretty obvious the wasted space is a mistake that occurred during production.

So I’d say only buy the Crusade Journal if you’re ok with the unneeded pages annoying you every time you use it. Also having the niggling notion in the back of your mind that Games Workshop are more likely to run with a mistake rather than fix it.

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