Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Hero for a Day update

Greetings all, I thought I'd just post a quick update here for you all so you can keep up to speed with what's happening.

As you've hopefully seen here, I've been working away in the background on getting some missions set out for the event - so far this is limited to the covert ops missions, however I'm now progressing onto the larger games and I'd therefore appreciate any input you may have. I'm not above shamelessly ripping off other missions people may have come up with (with their consent of course) so if you'd like to point me in a direction then please feel free to add links to the comment section.

The actual mission structure I'm working to - if only we got to play all of these!

Last night I got the basics of four missions sketched out (edit: I've actually changed my mind on one of them, so I'll only detail three for now, and update the post later to include the fourth). I'll have to play test them of course, but I've based them off missions from the planetstrike and altar of war publications, so they shouldn't need too much tweaking.

First up we have planetfall - where contact is made between the advance elements of the attacking force and the first line of defence of the defenders. This will be a single player mission, I'm yet to decide on 1500, 1750 or 1850 pts. 

The main point of this scenario is to represent an all out assault to break through a first line of defence, so we've got a couple of tweaks to standard procedures to represent that. First up, the attacker starts with their entire army in reserve (and consequently they also get the first turn with no seizing the initiative allowed), though to avoid the unlikely potential issue of not getting any successful reserve rolls, half the units (rounding up) in reserve will arrive on turn 1 (attacker's choice of units), with reserves rolled for as normal from turn 2.

This will obviously handicap the attacker to some extent as they won't have the full force available to them from the start, so to compensate, the defenders cannot deploy within 12" of their own board edge, or 24" of their opponent's edge. This should mean that even longer ranged units that would normally hang back will be within striking range of the attackers early in the game.

The mission will be played using dawn of war style deployment with 3 objectives placed evenly along the centre line of the table. Each of these objectives will be worth 2pts to the player controlling them at the end of the game, with Slay the Warlord and First Strike available as secondary objectives. Tactical objectives will also be used in the game, with each player drawing 2 cards at the start of their first turn. Each achieved tactical objective can be replaced with a new randomly drawn card at the start of the next turn, but a player may never hold more than two cards. Cards that are not achievable in relation to the forces remaining to the enemy can be immediately discarded and re-drawn (for example if you draw a card that awards points for killing flyers but they have already all been destroyed you may discard and redraw - a Commander would not issue a tactical order that cannot be achieved).

After this, the mission played will be dependent on the outcome of the previous round, so there will be three potential missions to play based on the three outcomes (attackers win, defenders win, or stalemate). It is important to note that the scenarios played will be dependent on the team's results, not an individual game.

The next three missions will all be played as doubles games - with specific rules in place as to how they affect each other where necessary.

Hold the Line

There are no specific restrictions in relation to the doubles aspect of this game, though where two different factions are represented they will not suffer the ill-effects of the allies rules - both elements of the force are too focused on the goal to worry about being suspicious of each other. In practical terms this is really just to prevent imperial factions gaining a bonus from being battle brothers when their opponents may be from two different factions.

If the attackers win the first scenario, then we'll play this mission - with the defenders desperately trying to hold onto their defensive lines, becoming more and more stubborn as the conflict rages on.

This game will again be played using dawn of war deployment, with tweaked victory points. There will be three objectives this time, each worth 3 victory points to the player holding them at the end of the game and deployed along a line 12" from the defender's edge. The mission is about more than simply holding objectives though as each player will gain a victory point for each unit completely destroyed or fleeing at the end of the game, along with slay the warlord, first strike and linebreaker secondary objectives. 

The real kicker in this mission represents the stubbornness of the defenders, as they will gain 'fearless' when holding an objective.
The astute readers amongst you will probably have picked up by now that this mission is tilted slightly in favour of the defender (fearless when holding objectives can be a powerful mechanic, and the position of the objectives close to the defender's edge means claiming them is more difficult for the attacker). This is absolutely deliberate, and you'll see this type of thing reflected throughout the day in the missions. I've run campaigns previously where round results gave bonuses to a final mission and whilst on the face of it it seems very fair, it also has the effect of tilting the final match quite a bit if the previous rounds are all won by one team. Yes, you can argue that each team has the potential to win the rounds, but I think in this instance what I'm aiming for is a fairly even final match, so when one team has the advantage (as in this instance, the attackers will have won the first round and therefore gained a bonus) the resulting scenario will be tilted slightly in favour of the loser of the previous round to even things up and make sure the final game is as even as it can be.
This mission is played if the first round is a tie (unlikely I know with VP's to be added up over ten games, but it's possible, and I may look to introduce a buffer within which the round is consideed a stalemate even if one team has more vps!) and represent both sides pouring troops into the scrap.

There is a special restriction in this case in relation to the nature of the game as a doubles match. 1 player from each side deploys their army as normal. The other player represents the additional forces committed to the conflict by their respective commanders, and begins the game in reserve. Reserve units arrive as normal from turn 2, but both teams deploy their reserves from a random table edge, determined at the beginning of that team's turn 2. Once a table edge has been allocated to a team, the second team cannot deploy from that table edge.

Other than that, this is a simple game using kill points, Slay the Warlord, First Strike and Linebreaker, and the tactical objectives deck. Please note though that you do not use the claim objective cards from the tactical objectives deck - the mission isn't about securing ground it's about hurting the enemy! Each player (player, not team) draws 2 cards at the start of each turn, with no maximum hand size.

After them Lads
This is one of my personal favourite missions, and as such is almost lifted straight from the altar of war in which the original inspiration is located. I've still introduced the tactical objectives decks though as I like the way they introduce a requirement to be more flexible in-game. Essentially the mission represents the defenders repelling the initial attack, and pursuing the attackers as they fall back to a stronger position. What I really like about the mission though is that it imposes a real sense of time passing to the players, as the numbered objectives are only scoreable in certain turns of the game, representing the attackers falling back and being hounded as they go.

This mission is played using Hammer and Anvil deployment, with the numbered objectives (1-4) placed in specific locations on the battlefield. two objectives are placed in the centre third and two objectives in the attackers third. The central two objectives are only scoreable in turns 1-4, but are worth 1vp each in turns 1-2 and 2vps each in turns 3-4. the attackers two objectives are scoreable in turns 3-6, but are worth 1vp each in turns 3-4 and 2vps each in turns 5-6. I should note here that when you score the objectives is voluntary, so you can hold onto the card in the hopes of picking up 2vps in the next turn, though obviously that brings its own risks.

Other tactical objectives can be scored as normal, and the mission uses slay the warlord and first strike secondary objectives.

I think that's all for now - I may tweak these later once I've play tested them, but in the meantime if any of you spot any glaring issues, please let me know either in the comments or by emailing the blog address.

Till next time,