Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Hero for a day - covert ops missions

Well howdy friends and neighbours - hope you all had an awesome Christmas and are looking forward to embarking on a hobby-filled new year!

Santa brought me a nice wodge of cash so I'll be having a careful think about what to spend that on soon - though I definitely need to start off with some new brushes and a few paints!

That's not what I'm here to talk about today though - today I figured I'd let you in on the first group of missions I have planned for hero for a day. I've started with the covert ops missions, and I've deliberately called them covert ops rather than kill team as I'll be simplifying the kill team rules - partly because I think they are over-complex for the games they represent and partly because by writing my own I don't have to require participants to have a copy of the official kill team rules. 

So, as I've said before the idea for the event is to have a series of linked missions played by two teams that will provide bonuses to the final mission of the day. Bonuses will be gained by the team result rather than individual games so if you have an off game with the dice your team mates have the opportunity to help you out!

The first mission is intended to represent the opening salvos of a planetary invasion, and obviously that mission has three potential outcomes - attackers win, deadlock or defenders win. That gives us three potential covert ops missions to play depending on which team has the upper hand. These missions will be 'Sabotage', 'Recon', and 'Covert Strike'.

This mission represents the attackers gaining the advantage in the opening mission, and pressing that advantage by sabotaging the planetary defences.

The mission will be played with a dawn of war deployment, with three objectives placed along a line 18" from the defenders deployment zone. The attackers gain 2vps each for controlling these objectives through two enemy turns. Defending players will gain 2vps each for preventing the enemy from controlling the objectives. The mission will also award 1vp for the usual secondary objectives - linebreaker, first strike (available for killing a unit in each player's first turn), slay the leader (see later) and break the enemy (see later). Each player therefore has a potential 10vps to gain in this mission.

Next up we have the mission that represents deadlock in the first game of the day - and the two forces sending out their covert ops teams to recon the area and discover the enemy's strengths and weaknesses.

The mission is played for 6 objectives, which are evenly spread around the table at the start of the game but must be placed outside the two deployment zones. Each objective is worth 1vp if it is controlled for a whole enemy turn. As with sabotage, there are four secondary objectives available to be scored.

Covert Strike
Finally in the first round of three then we have a mission to represent the defenders gaining the upper hand in the first scenario and sending out their special forces to secure a location from which they can strike at the invading armies.

This mission is based on one from the kill team rules, The board is set up with a 6" radius central terrain piece. Each player scores 1vp for each non-vehicle model that is located wholly within this area. Each player also gains an additional 1 vp for each model from the enemy team that is killed whilst it is within this area. On this occasion the secondary objectives are limited to Slay the Leader, First Strike and Break the Enemy.

At this point I should probably explain a couple of the concepts detailed above - namely Slay the Leader, Break the Enemy and First Strike. Each covert ops team will have to have a leader nominated at the start of the game. This leader is confidential until the end of the game. The model should in some way be distinguishable so that you can identify it when the victory points are added up - the easiest way is to paint an 'L' on the underside of the base. If the leader has been killed at the end of the game, the opponent gains 1vp. Break the Enemy requires you to have killed half the enemy models, rounding up if the enemy team is comprised of an odd number of models. First Strike awards a vp to a player if they can kill or completely destroy an enemy unit in their first turn - I'll admit this is shamelessly ripped from Alex at From the Fang and his Blogwars 9 event I attended this year.

So how do these missions tie into the second round of covert ops? Well, again each mission has three outcomes, so each of these outcomes leads into another mission, so there's another nine missions to write! Now I've cheated a bit, and sabotage appears a couple more times as it's such an obvious first step once the attackers gain the upper hand. I've also duplicated another mission 'Tunnel War' that I quite liked.

Without further ado though, here are the round two missions.

If the attackers win the Sabotage mission in round 1, we'll be playing 'Decapitate', if Sabotage is deadlocked we'll play 'Tunnel War' and if the defenders win we'll play 'Clear the Lines'

The attackers covert ops teams have successfully sabotaged the enemy defences, so their next objective is to sow confusion and discord amongst the enemy ranks through assassination of the leadership echelons.

Simple concept this one - you get 3vps for killing the enemy leader (remember you don't know who they are, so you'd better be observant! and 1vp for killing each specialist (I'll explain these in a separate post). You'll also get a single vp for each of the usual four secondary objectives.

Tunnel War
The defenders have stalled the enemy attempts to sabotage their defences, which leaves the attacking covert ops teams behind enemy lines. The defender needs to clear these enemy forces from behind their defences.

Another fairly simple concept, and it'll likely be a relatively low-scoring game - each player gains 1vp for each 50pts of the enemy force they kill. Again the standard four secondaries are on offer.

Clear the Lines
The defenders have defeated the attempts to sabotage their defences, and are pushing forwards to clear the enemy infiltrating forces.

This mission is a straight pick from the kill team rules, though I may look to playtest and tweak it later. The defending team gains a single vp for each model that exits the table from the enemy deployment zone (they cannot however use the outflank or turbo boost special rules). The attacking team gains a vp for every three models they kill or destroy (not ones that flee). Secondary vps are Slay the Leader, First Strike and Break the Enemy.

If the Attackers win the recon mission from round 1, we'll play 'Sabotage' in round 2. If the recon mission is deadlocked then we'll play 'Tunnel War' and if the defenders win we'll play 'Set the Trap'.

As above

Tunnel War
As above

Set the Trap
The defending team has beaten back the enemy during the tunnel war and set themselves up to ambush the invading forces as they strike at the defenders once more.

The defenders gain a single victory point for each model that is both alive and in the enemy deployment zone at the end of the game. The attackers gain 1vp for each enemy model killed or completely destroyed.

Finally if the defenders win the Covert Strike mission we'll play 'Behind Enemy Lines', if Covert Strike is deadlocked we'll play 'Hold Until Relieved', and if the attackers win then yes, we'll play 'Sabotage'. Of course the alert amongst you will have realised that we won't be playing any scenario more than once, which was an important part of the mission structure for me.

Behind Enemy Lines
The attacking forces have not only been repelled in their initial attack, but their covert ops teams have also been driven back. The defenders have a staging point for disrupting the enemy advance, and their forces are intent on using it to the fullest extent.

4 objectives are placed on the table prior to deployment, again the objectives cannot be placed in either deployment zone. The defending team gains 1vp for each model that survives the game, and another 1vp for each of the objectives that are destroyed. The attacking team gains 1vp for each enemy model killed or completely destroyed and 1vp for each surviving objective.

Objectives are destroyed by controlling them for 2 enemy turns (they don't have to be controlled by the same model for those two turns, provided the defending team retains control of the objective)

Hold until Relieved
The defenders have advanced to establish a point from which they can strike at the enemy advance, but their position has become known to the counter forces from the invading armies, who are closing in on their position.

The defending team begins this mission in a roughly 12" square terrain piece in the centre of the table. The attacking forces enter from a random table edge in turn 1 (roll for each of the attacking models separately to represent forces closing in from various directions). The defenders win if they have any models surviving at the end of the game.

As above.

If you made it this far down, well done! Seriously though - if you have any suggestions for tweaking the above missions then please let me know - I don't proclaim to be a pro when it comes to mission writing!