Hello chaps, just a little update today, my pal and I have finalised the fluff and the crunch for the scenario we are planning to play out this weekend, and I thought I would post what we have to date. Some of the chaps from the club may recognise a few cheeky references here and there ;-)
Thoughts or comments are welcome, hope you enjoy!
Last Stand at Eidolan
Background: The backwater world of Bennett’s End has long been a contested one, for reasons that few truly understand. For thousands of years, the infernal powers of chaos have sought to possess this world, and it has been fought over just as much by the mortal races. The strategic location of the world makes it somewhat important, the resources it holds are reasonable, but none of these mortal considerations are so vital as to explain the frequency and savagery of the conflict it has witnessed, or the lure it seems to hold over the minions of chaos.
Recently, intelligence has come to light which may finally hint at the source of this conflict. The Ordo Malleus arm of the Inquisition has obtained priceless manuscripts from an earlier, more enlightened time in the history of humanity. The manuscripts refer to an obscure and unknown mineral referred to as ‘Haemol’, remarkable for its ability to manipulate the forces of the immaterium. The system in which this mineral was discovered is named ‘Haemol Stead’ in the scrolls, and although no system with that name exists in the 41st millennium, the cartography strongly corresponds to the system that contains Bennett’s End. Could this be the secret of this otherwise unremarkable little world?
The Ordo Malleus has identified key sights on the planet for further study, one of which is the Temple of Eidolan, build around a mysterious artefact, allegedly some kind of nexus. This nexus, known as the Bane of the Eidolan, is located in an isolated area that the local population call the Tomb Hills. This area is of particular interest to the Inquisition, as there are archived reports of fierce Daemonic incursion, and of inexplicably successful defences by the indigenous population. Crucially, there are several references to strange weakening effects on Daemonic minions, which may explain how small and primitive forces could hold the might of chaos at bay. One such tale is recorded by the missionary Erastimus, who survived an incursion while bringing the light of the Emperor to the settlement some thousand years ago. He relates a tale of waves of Daemons attacking the lightly defended temple over many days and nights, and maintains that just when all seemed lost, the Daemons disappeared screaming into the warp at the moment of their victory.
There are several similar stories from a range of sources, but all were considered in isolation, and were therefore discounted as examples of the capriciousness of the warp, or the esoteric might of the Holy Emperor. The recent information regarding Haemol has cast such tales in a new light – suspicions are growing that the tales are connected somehow, and that places like Eidolan may hold some power over the Daemon-spawn, power which could be harnessed in the war against chaos. Various imperial assets have been tasked with securing this, and other similar sights, pending a full Ordo investigation. The Praetorian 215th was one of these assets, a small detachment of which was air-lifted to Eidolan with instructions to garrison the Temple. This seemed to be a simple mission and was resourced accordingly, but how naive were the agents of the Imperium… The 215th were ill equipped for what followed. This is their tale…
The most important thing – the spirit of the game!
The aim of the game is to present both players with some interesting (and unusual) tactical decisions throughout the rounds, and to create a great narrative rather than a power-gaming experience! I’m talking about a desperate last-stand in the face of unknown and unknowable attacking forces! I’m talking about a grinding and increasingly desperate assault that punishes you more the closer you get to your ultimate victory! The very stuff of legend and saga… The scenario rules hopefully guide and shape the game in this way, and are deliberately very fluffy… I make no apologies for this – I’ve had a load of fun putting it all together!
I do not honestly know how well balanced these rules are right now, and I have no idea how it will play out, but this has been put together in consultation with my opponent, (thanks Ross!), so hopefully we are pretty close. Of course, we reserve the right to make ad hoc changes during the game if we find any major issues, and I will post any amendments to consider if you want to have a go at this scenario yourself.
Forces: The Defending player has 1000 points to spend on forces. No Heavy Support options , tanks or fortifications more substantial that defence lines may be taken, representing the lightly equipped nature of the deployment. Units may not enter from reserve, (including any flyers). The Defending army may not be changed at any point during the scenario, retains any warlord traits/psychic powers, and is subject to special rules as described below.
The attacking player is not restrained by points, but has the special force generation rules described below. Where weapon/wargear options exist for Daemons, it is up to the attacking player to choose within the spirit of the game – WYSIWYG is a good policy here, but this can be refined per round to add balance, depending on the flow of the game.
Objectives: The game is played over multiple rounds. The objective for the defending player is to maintain control of a central temple, surviving multiple waves of attack in the process. Casualties from previous rounds are not necessarily replaced, recreating a war of attrition. The objective for the attacker is simply to wear down and kill all of the defenders and claim the temple – there are no other victory conditions and no turn limits per round.
Setup: You will need at least one building to represent the temple, and this game is to be played on a 4ft by 4ft square board with a recognisable point of the temple building directly over the centre of the board. This point represents the ‘Bane of the Eidolan’, a Nexus of unknown origin and power, and the focal point of the whole game… A lightly fortified settlement can be set up around that, (low buildings, sand bags, barricades and the like), while the area outside the settlement has little in the way of terrain. The defending player sets up first, in any way they choose, while the attacking player sets up according to the special rules below.
We’re surrounded! – Number the board edges from one to four. In addition, the attacker can choose 2 edges to additionally number 5 and 6, thus loading the odds of their forces arriving on one of these edges. A D6 is rolled for each unit entering play, and that unit comes on within 12” of the centre of the corresponding edge. Note that all attackers in the starting force must arrive this way, deep strike is not permitted (though deep strike can be used for Daemons summoned later in the round).
Thousands of them… – Before each round, the attacking player randomly determines the size of the attacking wave. The defender rolls 6 times on the ‘horde’ table, and twice on the ‘nightmare’ table below:
|1||D6+1 Daemonic infantry – attacker chooses type||D3 Daemonic Fast Attack|
|2||D6+2 Daemonic infantry – attacker chooses type||D6 Daemonic Fast Attack|
|3||D6+3 Daemonic infantry – attacker chooses type||1 Daemonic Elites|
|4||D6+4 Daemonic infantry – attacker chooses type||D3 Daemonic Elites|
|5||D6+5 Daemonic infantry – attacker chooses type||1 Daemonic HQ (‘light’, e.g. Herald)|
|6||D6+6 Daemonic infantry – attacker chooses type||1 Daemonic HQ (‘Heavy’, e.g. Greater Daemon)|
When will this nightmare end? – The game lasts for between 4 and 6 rounds – the Daemon player secretly decides and records whether 4, 5 or 6 rounds will be played at the beginning of the game, but is not obliged to reveal this number until the last round of the game. On the last round, the Daemon player informs the defending player that it is in fact the last round, and rolls for troops as normal, but with the modifiers shown below:
|4||+2 Hordes rolls, +1 Nightmare rolls|
|5||+2 Hordes rolls|
|6||No additional rolls|
Last ditch effort – The Daemon warlord must join the final assault – this ‘Heavy’ HQ choice is taken in addition to any other rolls made on the force selection table. For example, if the attacker chooses round 4 for the final assault, the Daemon army is made up of 8 rolls on Hordes, 3 rolls on Nightmares, and an additional Daemonic ‘heavy’ HQ (the warlord).
The Nexus – ‘Bane of the Eidolan’ – The nexus is in the temple of Eidolan, represented by a recognisable point of the model that is placed directly over the centre of the board. The origin of this artefact is unknown, and its effects are poorly understood. It cannot be controlled, damaged or moved. Each turn, the nexus has a random range of 4D6 inches. Any Daemon unit that is within this range, or moves into this range during the turn, loses its daemonic save for that turn, while WS, BS, S & T are all reduced by 1. Any flying Daemonic unit that finds itself within range of the nexus is immediately treated as if it failed a grounding check, as per the rules.
The nexus also disrupts Daemonic abilities to summon allies – Daemonic psykers within range of the nexus suffer perils of the warp in the same way as a mortal psyker would when casting Malific powers (i.e. on fours rather than sixes).
As well as affecting Daemons, the nexus can also aid mortals in their persecution of the warp-spawn. Any mortal psyker who uses the Sanctic discipline within 6” of the Nexus can do so using the normal rules for perils of the warp (i.e. perils on sixes instead of fours).
Pulse of banishment – Occasionally, the Nexus will transmit a strong pulse of energy. Daemonic units anywhere on the table must take a regular instability check on any turn that a double is rolled for the Nexus range. If a treble is rolled, each Daemon unit must take a Leadership check, and is instantly banished if this check is failed. All Daemons are automatically banished on any round that a quadruple is rolled.
Hallowed Ground – The wider area around the nexus weakens Daemons, and the very ground resists their presence. Daemonic forces are automatically banished on any turn in which the attacking force drops below a certain threshold. Before setting up for each round, calculate the Daemonic force strength. Each Daemonic troop model counts as 1, Fast Attack & Elite models count as 2, and Daemonic HQ’s count as 5 towards this total. This value is used for the remainder of the round (so Daemons summoned ‘in-round’ are not added to the total). The entire attacking force is automatically banished when the defender destroys models that add up to half of this value, (rounding up). Note that summoned Daemons that are killed are included towards reaching this value.
Stay frosty – The defending player sets up first and has the first turn, and the attacking player can attempt to steal the initiative on the first round. The defenders are alert and prepared from then on – they always have the first turn and the Daemonic player cannot steal the initiative from round 2 onwards.
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide – The defenders have no option but to stand and fight – all defending units have the ‘And they shall know no fear’ special rule.
Darkest before dawn – Night-fighting can only happen for one round in the scenario – the rule is applied as follows:
Round 1 – night fighting on 6+
Round 2 – night fighting on 4+
Round 3 – night fighting is automatic
Round 4+ – no night fighting
Vehicles – Vehicle damage results are carried over through rounds, and are cumulative over the game, and any wrecks are left in place as scenery. However, if the defending force contains at least one tech priest then you may attempt to make one repair per priest in between rounds, (but vehicle destroyed results cannot be reversed).
Note, vehicle crew from a wrecked vehicle are assumed to be casualties, and roll on the casualty table. If they are returned to duty then they are treated in exactly the same way as a normal rifle armed infantry squad member and join a squad of the defending players choosing. If the crew member is hospitalised and then ‘activated’ in defence of the temple, then they form part of the ‘walking wounded’ squad in the normal way, again, armed with a rifle. Vehicle crew from an exploded vehicle are assumed to be dead.
Man the defences – Keep track of defending casualties each round. At the end of the round, roll on the casualty table for each individual:
|1, 2||Dead – remove from the defending army for the remainder of the game|
|3, 4||Serious injury – it’s the hospital for you m’lad|
|5, 6||Flesh wound – man the f*** up and get back in the line|
Models that are returned to play via the ‘flesh wound’ result take full part in the next round, and are deployed as normal with full wounds and no other negative modifiers.
Models that are hospitalised are treated in the temple of Eidolan. Normally, they take no part in the next round, and must also roll again on the casualty table at the end of the next round. Models that are hospitalised will join the battle, (ignoring medical advice), if any attacking model moves within 6” of the temple. If this happens then hospitalised models are combined to form a single ‘walking wounded’ unit for the remainder of the round. This unit fights as a single infantry squad, armed and equipped as per the model, but with -1 applied to WS, BS, S, T. Multi-wound models are returned to play with a single wound.
Special rules and benefits from models in the ‘walking wounded’ squad are applied to the whole squad if explicitly stated in that rule, e.g. Stubborn. Character abilities like ‘Voice of Command’ are likewise retained. Independent psykers also function as normal, but members of a psychic brotherhood cannot use any powers unless the whole brotherhood (or what’s left of it) is also among the walking wounded – they are too traumatised by being separated from their psychic brothers to act independently.
The casualty table roll can be modified as follows:
I ain’t got time to bleed – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by +1 if the casualty is an independent character or officer.
Convalesced – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by +1 if the casualty had a full round in hospital without being activated as a ‘walking wounded’
Stoopid Ogryns – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by +1 if rolling for an Ogryn model
Puny Halflings – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by -1 if rolling for a Ratling model
Weakened state – Surviving ‘Walking wounded’ models automatically roll on the casualty table with a -1 penalty at the end of the round. This penalty is increased to -2 if the ‘walking wounded’ model is also killed during the round in which it was activated.
He’s lost his mind! – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by -1 for a victim of Perils of the Warp
Nurgle’s Rot – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by -1 if one or more wound is caused by a minion of Nurgle.
Horribly burned – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by -1 if one or more wound is caused by a flamer/flame type weapon
That’s gotta hurt… – Rolls on the casualty table are modified by -3 for any victim of Instant Death
Butchered – Rolls on the casualty table may not be taken on any round where there are no surviving active defenders and the attacking force is still in play. There is no one able to prevent the Daemonic horde from butchering the wounded where they lie – all the defenders are assumed to be killed, (and probably eaten).
Modifiers are cumulative, for example:
A Primaris Psyker who lost a wound to Perils and also lost a wound to a Nurgle Daemon would apply the following modifiers to the casualty table roll:
+1 for ‘I ain’t got time to bleed’
-1 for Nurgle’s Rot
-1 for ‘He’s lost his mind’
Total – 1
Recovery table – Any multi-wound model that starts any round with less than the full complement of wounds must roll on the recovery table below for each wound it is missing:
|1, 2||The wound is not recovered in time for the next round|
|3+||The wound is recovered|
Multi-wound models that suffer wounds during a round but are not killed do not roll on the casualty table, but use the recovery table instead.