The Eye of Terror was Games Workshop’s gigantic Summer 2003 campaign. For tabletop generals looking to spice up their battlefields with mutants and mutant fighters, this was the field guide. There’s a lot of good background stuff in here, and it definitely provides the perfect milieu for Codex: Daemonhunters.
“Abaddon the Despoiler’s 13th Black Crusade eclipses all that has gone before. Under the eye of his diabolic patrons he has finally united many of the warring factions of Chaos under one banner…Blood feuds that have lasten ten millennia have been put aside in the name of one common cause: the utter destruction of the Imperium.”
Codex: Eye of Terror is beefier than its predecessor, Codex: Armageddon. The first 16 pages are filled with background info and artwork. The middle 16 are full-color pages of finished models, painting tips and conversion suggestions. Mutant conversions earn a lot of space, and there are a few unique suggestions (complete with pictures). The conversions for the Space Wolves’ 13th Company are a little less impressive, merely swapping in Chaos shoulder pads and backpacks.
Rules-wise, the additions address four key armies: Space Wolves, Chaos, Eldar and Imperial Guard. For the Space Wolves’ 13th Company, Fenrisian Wolves now form their own fast attack choice, in addition to accompanying Wolf Lords and Battle Leaders as in Codex: Space Wolves. The Wulfen, essentially wolf-men in power armor, make for deadly assault squads and take up an elite slot in the organization chart. Cadian Shock Troops make out quite nicely, with new morale upgrades and a sharpshooting ability which allows certain units to reroll misses. Eldar players who make frequent use of Warlocks and Farseers will love the new Ulthwé Strike Force. The Spear of Khaine Avatar is joined by a retinue of Warlocks and the Seer Council (two Farseers and three Warlocks) is a flexible, inexpensive and deadly unit. The trade-off is the limit of one squad of Aspect Warriors (although Dark Reapers don’t count against this). The Lost and the Damned Chaos army, however, is alone worth the price of the Codex. It’s an extremely flexible list with new slots for mutant and traitor units. I’ve even seen people pull out their old Squats to use as mutants. Although players who field Chaos Horde armies lose access to tactical marines and Obliterators, the availability of Defilers and Traitor tanks (Leman Russ or Basilisk) makes up for any lack of punch. Big Mutants are a new elites choice, designed mainly for hand-to-hand butchery. Chaos Hounds, meanwhile, make inexpensive fast attack units. The Traitor units are troops and accurately represent Imperial Guardsmen gone bad. The Mutants (also troops) are arguably the best value. Compared to Traitors, you sacrifice BS, but gain Demonic Resilience while saving a couple of points per model. Mutants may also receive a blessing from their respective god, for a small price in cost.
“Any Cadian who can’t field-strip his own lasgun by age ten was born on the wrong planet.”
Codex: Eye of Terror is pretty slim on characters. There are two pages devoted to Lord Castellan Ursarkar Creed (and Color Sergeant Jarran Kell), but the main character, as always with Games Workshop, is mood. The opening pages paint a fairly grim picture at the outset of Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade. The book goes a fair way to help bring back some of the old feel from the Realms of Chaos books that were lacking in 2nd edition 40k.