Warp Rift: Invasion Scenario

‘As a daemonic invasion gathers pace the presence of the daemonic creatures and the slaughter and anguish they cause can cause further Warp rifts to appear across the planet. ‘

Warhammer 40K Battle Missions, p. 20

This scenario is a modified version of the Chaos Daemon mission ‘Invasion’ from GW’s Battle Mission book.

Players: Ideally one player should play a daemon army or at least have daemon allies, but this is not required.  One player will be the ‘daemon player,’ even if he isn’t playing daemons.  The other player will be the ‘enemy player.’  If both sides are playing daemons, still use the rules for one side being the daemon player and the other the enemy player.

Board and Objectives:  There is a warp rift in the center of the board ideally about 12″ in diameter.  The rift should be a hefty piece of LOS blocking terrain.  Place four objectives halfway between each table edge and the warp rift, centered on each table edge.  The board will look something like this.

Warp Rift Invasion Scenario Board.png

‘We are at war with forces too terrible to comprehend.’

Warp Rift:  The rift is impassable terrain.  If a model from a unit deep strikes into the rift, the unit must roll on the deep strike mishap table. If a model otherwise somehow ends up with part of its base in the rift then it automatically dies with no saves or any other way it might have of staying alive such as Feels No Pain, etc.  This includes models normally able to be placed in impassable terrain such as jet pack units or zooming flyers, though such models can jump or fly over the rift so long as they do not end their move in it.

Neither player may purposefully place models in the rift, such as might otherwise happen with a “misplaced” result from deep striking.  The daemon player’s forces do not automatically die when deploying from the rift on turn one.

Deployment:  The enemy player deploys first anywhere on the table more than 12 inches from the warp rift.  He may put units in reserve in the usual ways and when they come in they can use their special rules or enter from any table edge.

The daemon player’s entire force starts in reserve.  Half of her units (rounded up or down as the daemon player wishes) enter play on turn one.  As many units as possible, up to half, must be daemons.

On turn one, these models enter play.  Units compromised completely of daemons, though not including vehicles (unless the vehicle has the Daemon special rule) may either deep strike or enter play through the warp rift treating the edge of the rift as their table edge.

If the daemon player has any remaining non-daemons required to enter play on turn one then she must pick a single board edge from which to enter play.  It can be any table edge but all of her units must enter on turn one from that same table edge.

Further forces from either army entering play after turn one can enter from any table edge or by using their special rules.  No model can enter play from the warp rift after turn one. No special rules of any kind will allow more than half of the daemon player’s units to enter the game on turn one.

First Turn:  The daemon player takes the first turn.  There is no Seize the Initiative rule in this scenario.

Falling Back:  All forces fall back toward the nearest table edge.  In the unusual event that any daemons from either side fall back, they do so toward the warp rift.

Victory Conditions:  Each objective is worth one point.  Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.  If the daemon player controls all of the objectives at the end of the game, she has achieved a total victory as daemons spill forth and drowns the region in hate and death!  If the non-daemon player ends controlling all of the objectives, likewise, he wins a total victory by crushing the nefarious attempts of the Ruinous Power’s powerful servants and bringing peace to the sector for a millennia.

Other Special Rules: Mysterious Objectives (optional), Night Fighting, Slay the Warlord.


Optional and Alternative Rules

  • Chaos Extremely Divided:  This rule might be fun for games where both players are running daemons.  Associate each of the four objectives with a different Chaos God: 1 for Khorne, 2 for Nurgle, and so on.  Units containing at least one model, who is a daemon or has a mark of that particular god count as having Objective Secured for that objective.  For the oppositely aligned objective the unit cannot have Objective Secured, even if it otherwise would.  So a daemon prince of Khorne would have Objective Secured for the Khorne objective but could never have OS for the Slaanesh objective.  Plague Bearers, which are Nurgle troops, would not have OS for the Tzeentch objective.  (See Chaos Daemons, p. 26 for daemonic alignment.)
  • Lightning from the Sky: If a player controls all of the objectives at the end of his player turn he can invoke this rule at the end of his turn.  Roll a D6 for every unit on the table.  On a 1 the unit is hit by evil energy.  Non-vehicle units take 1D6 Str 5, AP — hits.  (See BRB, p. 35.)  Vehicles take a single hit with the Haywire special rule.  Hits ignore cover and use random wound allocation where necessary (see BRB, p. 35).
  • No Daemons Here, Sir!: Neither player is playing daemons.  Change deployment as follows.  Use one of the deployment zones from the core rules (see BRB, p. 131).  Roll off and the winner activates one of his units and moves it onto the board from his table edge as if it were coming into the game from reserves, or he can declare the unit is going into regular reserves, is infiltrating, outflanking, etc.  The second player then activates one of his units and does the same.  Alternate units until there are no units left to be activated.  Roll off again to see who takes the first turn.  The other player may attempt to Seize the Initiative.
  • Rift Drift:  If a unit attempts to deep strike within 6″ of the warp rift, the unit rolls 1D3 right before the first model is placed to determine how many D6’s are rolled for scatter. The result applies to all affected units until the end of that player turn. This distance may be modified by special rules or war gear, but never below 1D6, even if the unit has special rules saying it does not scatter.
    • Fluctuating Rift:  Roll a D12 (or 2D6 if you don’t have a D12) at the start of each game turn.  The result is the number of inches from the rift where the Rift Drift rule will affect deep strikers.
  • ‘Sorcerer Supreme’ Victory Conditions: These victory conditions replace the normal scenario victory conditions.  Each player receives a victory point at the end of his player turn for each objective he controls.  The side with the most points at the end of the game wins.
    • A further optional rule is to subtract a victory point from a side if it controls no objectives at all at the end of their player turn.
  • Superior Reconnaissance:  The daemon player’s board edge for purposes of moving reserves onto the battlefield must be the same as the board edge she picked for deployment on turn one.  This is to help balance the scenario, since assault armies seem to be advantaged over shooting armies, all other things being equal.  If further balancing is needed, the daemon player must declare her board edge before the enemy player deploys.
  • Swallow the Sun: If a player controls all four objectives at the end of his player turn, he can decide to invoke Night Fighting, which will last until the end of the next player turn.
  • Tactics and Mystics:  You can use the tactical cards with this scenario, with either the normal or the Sorcerer Supreme victory conditions.  The objectives are numbered 1-4 and the rift is objective 5.  Allow the enemy player to set up a sixth objective right before he deploys.  Follow the usual rules for objective placement.
    • The Emperor’s Tarot:  This is used with the Tactics and Mystics optional rule to help balance the scenario, if needed.  The enemy player deploys and draws his tactical objective cards before the daemon player deploys.  The enemy player may then decide to roll off to see who takes the first turn if he likes the look of his cards, or if both players agree the enemy player can take the first turn without a roll.  Note there is no Seize the Initiative rule in this scenario.
  • Warp Gate: Any Chaos unit of either army, where each model has the Daemon special rule, coming into the game from reserve may enter play via the warp rift from turn two onward.  This rule does not replace the normal turn one deployment rules.  (Suggested by Commissar Alex.)

Our Warp Rift: Invasion Games

IG vs. Khorne Daemonkin (1850 Points, March 2017): A tough battle with impossibly brave zealot psykers and synchronized bloodletter summoning.  It probably isn’t a good sign that the Imperial commander’s secret report ended that the ‘last transmissions [from the planet] degenerated into gunfire and maddening screams.’


“Break Their Will” Scenario

Aerial view of trench bombardment.

I first saw this scenario at Mythic Games in Santa Cruz, California.  It was their 40K “Scenario of the Week” at the time.  I liked it because while fairly simple, it promoted a style of play that was a little different than the classic Eternal War or Maelstrom missions.

Set up is as per a standard game of 40K.  There are no secondary objectives, nor are any objective markers placed on the board. Night Fighting wasn’t listed either, though I suppose if both sides agreed you could include that rule. The game ends as per the normal rules.

Players achieve victory points by meeting the following conditions:

  • One victory point for each enemy unit reduced to half strength or below.
  • Two victory points for each enemy independent character killed.
  • One victory point for each challenge won.
  • One victory point for each of your units over half strength in the enemy deployment zone at the end of the game.

Our “Break Their Will” Battles

Khorne Daemonkin, Orks, and Necrons vs. Orks (1000 points, August 2015).  A hard fought battle on both sides with many failed charges by the orks on both sides with the end game turning into a bit of a swirling battle of annihilation in the center of the board.  The mixed forces won a solid but by no means overwhelming victory.

  Ultramarines vs. Space Wolves (1250 points, Spring 2015).  A tough “war game” battle between two chapters honing their tactics.  The Space Wolves were aggressive, especially their chaplain, but what these men of the Fang had going for them in ferocity they lacked in experience.  The war games were close but in the end the Ultramarines, led by a highly experienced Captain Reuben, taught the new comers some valuable lessons they won’t forget when they battle the enemies of Mankind.

Necron Tomb Portal Scenario

 Two factions battle in an area which unbeknownst to them contains a portal to a Necron tomb.  Perhaps this is an awakening tomb world, or maybe an isolated pocket … a last surviving remnant of a mighty complex laid low by the pitiless march of eons.  Whatever the case, the sound and fury of war has awoken the Necron defenders.  

Objectives:  Take turns placing six objectives using normal rules for doing so.  The side controlling an objective at the end of the game (including the Necrons) receives 2 victory points.

Place a square piece of terrain in the center of the table to represent a portal into a Necron tomb.  There should be four access points on the portal, one on each side.

Deployment Zones:  Set up in a table quarter no more than 12″ away from a table edge with each player’s deployment zones on opposite diagonals.  Use the long table edges for falling back and reserves.

Secondary Objectives: First Blood, Linebreaker, Slay the Warlord. Note that the Necrons can also achieve these.  It is possible for them to score the last two twice — once against each player. Players cannot achieve secondary objectives against the Necrons.

Tactical Objective Rule (TOR): At the beginning of player turn one, before rolling for reserves, roll a D6.  If the player controls the objective corresponding to the die roll at the end of his turn, he immediately receives one victory point.  On subsequent turns, if a player has not achieved the objective on the die, he may elect to roll or continue attempting to achieve the objective number rolled on a previous turn.  Note that if the rolled objective is achieved, that player must roll the next turn. Tactical warlord traits do not apply to this rule in any way, nor does the TOR apply to the Necrons.

Otherwise the mission plays as a standard “Eternal War” mission, including rules for Mysterious Objectives, Night Fighting and so on.

Necron Defenders:  Although a non-player force, the Necrons can act as a spoiler and even win the game.  They could be controlled by a GM or third player. They have some special rules governing their behavior.

  • On turn one, after both player turns, deploy one unit of five warriors from each portal entrance, exactly like disembarking from a vehicle.  Allocate aggro for each unit based on whichever side has a unit closest to that portal access point so that two warriors units are aggroed against each player. Necron units are controlled by the enemy player they are not aggroed against.  Necron units will never change their aggro status unless one player is eliminated from the game.  If the game continues all Necrons will aggro against the remaining player.
  • Each Necron unit must perform at least one of the two following actions each turn.
    • Perform a full move so that at least one model is able to shoot at a unit from the faction they are aggroed against.  Then they must either shoot or attempt an assault.  If the Necrons are too far away to do either, they must run in order to decrease the range from the closest unit they are aggroed against.  If no units from the aggroed player’s faction are on the table, the Necrons can fulfill this condition by moving and then running closer to that player’s deployment zone.
    • Move within three inches of an objective.
  • From turn two on, deploy one unit of five warriors (or three scarabs) from a random portal at the beginning of the Necron turn. It will aggro against whichever player has a unit closest to the access point they disembarked from.
  • If the Necrons cannot enter play from a portal access point, they will enter play from another random access point. If all of the portal access points are blocked, no new Necrons may enter play that turn.
  • The Necron turn always happens after both players have had their turn.  The game turn ends after the Necrons have concluded their turn.
  • If no warrior miniatures are available on a given turn, deploy a unit of three scarabs in their place.  The limit to the number of Necrons that can be on the table is the players’ available warriors and scarabs in their collections.
  • Necrons fall back toward the portal.  If in falling back a model touches the portal, the unit is destroyed.
  • All Necron warriors have the Objective Secured rule.
  • The Necron portal otherwise counts as neutral terrain.
  • If either player is leading against his human opponent by 4 or more victory points at the beginning of the Necron turn two or higher, the unit that materializes on that turn will automatically aggro against the player currently leading the game.  Include potential end-of-game victory points for controlling objectives and Linebreaker to determine how much a player is leading by.

Optional Rules

  • Quantum Shielding: The Necron portal counts as enemy terrain and can be temporarily “disrupted” through shooting or assault on turn two or higher.  If a player scores two glancing or penetrating hits against AV 13 in a single player turn, no warriors or scarabs will materialize on the subsequent Necron player turn.
  • Quantum Facing: One glancing or penetrating hit against AV 13 in the shooting phase will deactivate the portal facing the shot until the beginning of the shooting player’s next turn.  Barrage weapons affect a random facing.  Necrons can materialize from the other unaffected facings.  (Thanks to Ethereal Mark for this one.)
  • Tactical Imperatives: Use the tactical objective cards, either in addition to or instead of scoring victory points for objectives at the end of the game.  The scenario Tactical Objective Rule in no way interacts with the cards or Tactical warlord traits.
  • Other Defenders:  I chose warriors and scarabs based on the miniatures I own in my collection.  Also, I usually play smaller games so more powerful Necron units would have a greater effect than in larger games.  Feel free to vary the types of Necrons you use based on your collection and preferences.  For example, I think a Canoptek-themed Necron defense force might be fun.

Our Tomb Battles

  Orks vs. Orks (1000 points, June, 2015).  A close battle (7-6 when we called it due to time) with the Necrons really putting the hurt on both of us.  I’d assault the warriors with my trukk boyz and if I didn’t wipe them out on the initial charge they would become very hard to shift.  They certainly gave new meaning to “It will not die!”  As for my opponent, the less said about his poor, maligned battle wagon the better.