Monday, October 4, 2010

Clash of Scouts multiplayer Warhammer scenario

Inspired by all the great scenario and narrative gaming ideas in the Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition rulebook, I recently decided to run a small narrative multiplayer campaign. The story centered around rumors of a long lost treasure being found in the foothills of the Grey Mountains. Several armies are sent to search the area for this legendary treasure horde, and encounter each other while searching. We would play a series of two linked games. The first would represent the scout forces of the two armies encountering each other and attempting to drive off the enemy scouts. The second would be after the treasure was located, and would be an all out battle to control the cave containing the treasure.

Below are the rules I used for the first of the two games, representing the clash of the scouting forces. It could work for up to five armies, but we played it with three and it went really well.

The Armies
Each player selects a 1500 point scout force. No lords may be taken. Each player must indicate on his army roster which unit each character will start the battle in, or if they will be on their own. If this is not clearly indicated on the army roster, the characters will not show up for the battle at all.

The Battlefield
I will set up the battlefield. It will represent an area in the foothills of the Grey Mountains where the scout forces are searching for evidence of a rumored hidden treasure. Rumor has it a great treasure horde was discovered by a group of prospectors out panning for gold.

Deploy as in the Battle Royale scenario in the rulebook (page 406), except that there will only be an army deploying in the middle if there are 5 players. Also, units can’t be deployed within 12” of a table edge that is not their own. If there is no player in the middle of the table, then armies deployed on the short table edges can deploy 12” on instead of 6”.

To summarize the Battle Royale deployment rules: Each player rolls a die (roll off ties). The person with the lowest score sets up his entire army in a 16”x24” section in the middle of the table. Then go in descending order with each person picking a free table edge and deploying their army (except for anything they choose to keep in reserve) within 6” of their table edge and more than 10” away from an enemy unit. As noted above, I’ve made some changes to this.

First Turn
The players move in the order in which they were deployed. The game will use the turn sequence from the Battle Royale scenario in the rulebook. To summarize: In the movement phase each player completes all their movement in turn. Then there is a combined magic phase. The player who went first rolls 2D6 for the Winds of Magic, and all players use that roll for magic and dispel dice. (you should all bring at least two different colors of dice with so that you can have your magic and dispel dice in front of you, since it will save a lot of time if it is completely clear how many power and dispel dice everyone has left) In the shooting phase, again each player in turn does all of their shooting. Then there is a single close combat phase where everyone fights.

Game Length
The game will last 6 turns. At the end of turn 6, roll a D6. On 4+ there is a Turn 7. At the end of Turn 7, roll a D6. On a 5+ there is a turn 8, which will be the last turn.

Victory Conditions
The objective is to take the field and drive off the enemy scouts. Each player receives one victory point for controlling a table section (for each 2’x2’ section), and half a point for contesting a section. You also receive one victory point for your general surviving the battle. Any units that have not been destroyed or fled off the table at the end of the game will be added to your army in the following game.

The winner of this game will have first choice of deployment zone in the following game, and will also have some other deployment bonuses. If the game is really close, I might also give something to the second place player, so it is worthwhile to try to do well even if you can’t win. And keep in mind that any enemy units you destroy will keep your enemy from having them in the next game.

Secret Rules
Only the following types of units will deploy at the start of the game: fast cavalry, skirmishers, flyers (non-monster), warbeasts, and scouts. Starting on turn 2, the following units can arrive as reserves on the roll of 3+: infantry, cavalry, monstrous infantry/cavalry, and swarms. The following units can arrive as reserves on the roll of 4+ starting on turn 3: war machines, monsters, chariots. Any characters assigned to units will arrive with the unit. Any characters not in a unit arrive as regular infantry.

The buildings on the table represent the shacks of the prospectors, and are haunted by their ghosts. If a unit is occupying the buildings and is not fighting in combat in the close combat phase, they will be attacked by one base of Spirit Hosts. A unit that survives the game after being attacked by the ghosts will know about the dragon protecting the treasure horde in the next game.

The winner will be allowed to deploy his survivors at the start of the following game, regardless of which deployment option he chooses. The winner will also know which deployment option each of his enemies has chosen before he chooses his own. A second place player will know which deployment option the last place player has chosen before choosing his own.

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