“The Geas” Warhammer 40K Scenario

A geas can be compared with a curse or, paradoxically, a gift.  If someone under a geas violates the associated taboo, the infractor will suffer dishonor or even death.  On the other hand, the observing of one’s geas is believed to bring power.  Often it is women who place geasa upon men. In some cases the woman turns out to be a goddess or other sovereignty figure.

—  From “Geas” on Wikipedia

This scenario is a modified version of the Eternal War scenario ‘The Emperor’s Will’ from the 7th edition Warhammer 40K rule book.  As a Sovereign Lady of Chaos and Sanguine Narrator, the idea of placing geasa upon men appeals to me greatly!

Objectives:  Each player places an objective as per the ‘The Emperor’s Will’ mission.

  • Each player’s objective must be entirely within his own table half.
  • The objectives should should be large.  A 12″ by 12″ base  or scatter terrain enclosing a 12″ x 12″ area is ideal, though it can be larger or smaller so long as each player’s objective is about the same size.
  • Treat the objectives as a Twisted Copse so far as granting models a cover save within the boundary or on the base of the objective.  (If you are playing 7th edition 40K, remember the rules for vehicles and cover on p. 77 of the BRB.)
  • The area within the objective is normal terrain so far as movement is concerned, though the players may agree to make it difficult or even dangerous terrain if they wish.
Grey Knights and Iron Hands vs Orks Feb 2015 Boss standing over dead Draigo

Victorious Warboss Hungry hit Lord Draigo so hard his base fell off!

Geas Special Rule:  Each player’s warlord is under a psychic compulsion or geas.  The general idea is that each warlord is compelled to kill the enemy warlord in close combat.  The following applies to each player’s warlord:

  • The warlord has the Objective Secured special rule, even if he normally cannot.  Any vehicle, retinue or other unit bought with or for your warlord does not have the OS rule unless it normally would.  The warlord does not confer OS to any unit he is part of or vehicle he is embarked on.
  • Must start the game on the table or enter play during turn one.
  • Must, if possible, end each player turn closer to the enemy warlord than he was at the beginning of the player turn.
  • If a warlord is in a close combat containing the enemy warlord, both leaders must issue a challenge to or accept a challenge from the enemy warlord, if possible.

Optionally, if both players desire a more narrative gaming experience, they can collaborate during the list building phase by discussing their choice of warlords.  The idea is to insure that the two leaders have a decent chance against each other so the fight isn’t one-sided.  The objective of this scenario is to encourage the leaders to seek each other out for a fight to the finish!

If using the narrative method, players may agree to allow characters as warlords, who normally couldn’t be nominated as such.  Obviously, it is up to both players to not try to game this for an undue advantage.

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Victory Conditions:   A player receives 3 VP’s if his warlord kills the enemy warlord in a challenge.  If the warlords simultaneously kill each other, both players receive 1 VP.  Victory points are not awarded if a warlord dies in any other manner.

At the end of the game, each player receives 1 VP for each of his units with at least one model within 3″ of an objective, even if they don’t control it.  Units embarked in a vehicle count as one unit.

Additionally, a player receives 2 VP for each objective he controls.  In the case of there being multiple units with the Objective Secured special rule within 3″ of an objective, the side with the most contesting OS units is considered as controlling the objective.  OS units embarked in OS vehicles count as one OS unit for this tally.

There are no secondary objectives for this mission.

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Optional and Alternative Rules

  • You Want Me to do What?  No, For the Greater Good!:  One or both players may elect that his warlord’s geas is fulfilled when he personally kills the enemy warlord with a shooting attack and/or witchfire power instead of in close combat.  This option must be announced as part of declaring which model is your warlord.
  • I Just Want Him Dead!:  The geas is fulfilled if a warlord kills his counterpart with any kind of attack at his disposal.
  • Not Expendable Under Any Circumstances:  A player receives 1 VP at the end of the game if his warlord survives.
  • King of the Hill:  Each player receives 1 VP at the end of his player turn for each objective he controls.  This is in addition to the victory point tally at the end of the game.
  • Hamburger Hill:  There is only one objective in the game and it is centered in the middle of the board.
  • Geas of the Sanguine Sorceress Supreme:  If your warlord is killed by anyone other than your opponent’s warlord and his warlord is still on the table, your character who is closest to your opponent’s warlord is now your new warlord.  Note that the new warlord does not receive a warlord trait nor does he have the Objective Secured special rule unless he already has it.

Daemonkin vs. IG, Dark Angels & Officio Assassinorum (2000 points)

Santa Cruz Sector, Mythic Games: March 31, 2017

Frantic reports of daemonic incursions emanate from the agricultural hinterlands of the ninth planet in the Ben Lomond system.  Elements of the Dark Angels space marine chapter investigate and find several warp rifts to Khorne apparently opened by means of the ritualistic sacrifice of entire villages.  There is nothing left when they arrive but death, red mist, blood and horror.  Astra Militarum forces, garrisoning the planet, are air lifted to support the quickly beleaguered marines.  This is one of many desperate actions.

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Imperial armored forces cautiously take up positions surrounding the warp rift.

Captain L. Danielus  and I played the Warp Rift scenario.  This time we used the Superior Reconnaissance special rule.  As things turned out, we both agreed this balanced the scenario nicely for a shooting versus assault army and made for an enjoyable game.

The Khornate forces were a Slaughter Cult formation within a Bloodhost Detachment.  In addition to my usual host of uglies, there was quite a lot of small arms potential this time with three squads of extremely angry daemonkin space marines (not Angry Marines though).  The backbone of the imperial forces was mechanized Guard veterans, assisted by nicely painted Dark Angels tactical marines and terminators led by a chaplain.  An eversor assassin rounded out the loyalist forces.  Our good captain as usual led a Combined Arms Detachment into the fray.

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It isn’t too active now, but soon deamons will come screaming from the living stone!

The early stages of the fight didn’t look too promising for the Imperium.  A squad of possessed space marines clamored out of their rhino and up three floors inside a ruin where a Dark Angels devastator squad had taken up excellent firing positions.  Say what you want about possessed, but they are as agile as spider monkeys!  Predictably, after a sharp, gruesome fight, the possessed were in possession of the ruin and the devastators were but a gruesome memory.

Also, a mob of bloodletters erupted out the rift and made straight for Captain Danielus’ massed line of chimerae.  Despite focusing almost all of their considerable firepower on that single group, apparently the daemons were strong with the might of Khorne, for when the red mist settled the remaining daemons, reduced in number but still hissing and howling scuttled onward with their black swords held high.

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Dark Angel devastators take aim.

Still, the company commander and his men never give up, and of course Dark Angels know no fear (or if they do they are pretty good at hiding it, at least in front of a chaplain), so they stood fast, determined to close the rift or at least sell their lives as dearly as possible.  Not that they would appreciate the sentiment, but they earned a grim salute from your Sanguine Narrator.  Blessings to the Strong!

Only through heroic sacrifice and much blood spilled, mostly on the imperial side, were the loyalist forces able to hold the field.  Their grip was tenacious but weakening by the second.  As the rift energies peaked, shining like a coruscating red giant, disaster was at hand.  A towering bloodthirster strode out of the midst roaring with laughter.  He was unpainted but mighty nonetheless.

The few remaining veteran guardsmen were in no position to help.  They had their hands full with a particularly frisky chaos spawn.  It seemed to have become stimulated while in proximity to one of the glistening stone menhir, which needed to be seized if the gate was to be closed.

IG and friends vs Deamonkin March 31 2017 Deathwing Terminators

Death Wing terminators teleport in to challenge the deamonkin terminators.

Everything pointed to a complete victory for the daemonkin.  In the end the mighty daemon prince stood alone controlling one objective.  He was busy cavorting over a grease spot that used to be an eversor assassin.  A vendetta gunship interrupted its dogfight with a heldrake and hovered over another objective.  To pick what what survivors they could, perhaps?

The plucky guardsmen almost broke against the chaos spawn, as it ate several more of their number.  The tentacled monstrosity seemed impervious to chainsword, krak missile, and that king of weapons, the lasgun.  Fortunately the spawn was so busy vibrating it didn’t notice a single guardsmen, who wasn’t taking part in the fight.  He placed his hands on the menhir and mumble an incantation.  The soldier exploded in a bloody mess but the red mist around the stone abruptly vanished.

Finally, the Dark Angel chaplain and his men advanced toward their objecrtive in the face of harrowing Daemonkin marine bolter fire.  Despite being almost under the bloodthirster’s gray hooves, the giant paid no heed to the angels in his exultation.

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Waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

“For the Emperor and Mankind!” the chaplain screamed as he slammed his crozius arcanum against the stone objective.  It exploded like a malevolent volcano.  Marines were thrown back in all directions.  The chaplain and a couple of men came to a few moments later.  The rift and all trace of the daemonkin were gone.

So it was a 3-1 win for the Imperium.  The warp rift was closed and a great swath of civilization saved.  Huzzah for the loyalist’s Objective Secured!  Without that special rule the game would have ended in an unsatisfying 1-1 tie.

The Blood God was pleased because, as I told (in an appropriately mock serious tone) one skeptical onlooker who innocently wandered over between rounds of Magic, “Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”

Let Hate and a halfway decent set of abs be our armor!

Still, the architect of this appalling heresy remains unaccounted for.  Who knows where he will strike next?

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Brimstone Horrors

I finished painting a unit of brimstone horrors recently. I thought they were cute little imps and I’ve always had a soft spot for gribbles that combine the best aspects of ineffectuality and malevolence. (It isn’t a coincidence that the first unit I finished painting when I first started 40K were grots!)

I experimented with a few different looks before I settled on the one I liked best, which was not too heavy on the red, and a green wash for the eyes, mouth and open part on their backs. As is often the case with my cell phone pictures, the green shows up much better in person than in the photos.

I decided to paint the brimstones first because I knew the temptation would be too great to use a bunch of unpainted models in games if I started with the pink horrors what with their splitting rules.  This way, working backward with these guys first, then the blues, and finally the pinks I would be able to avoid this sorry state of affairs and not fall prey to the machinations of Slaanesh!

So these pictures are the obligatory post-battle For the Daemons Back Home photo opportunity. They spent most of the battle strategically hugging the back edge of my deployment zone in such a way that they could target either flank with their miserable psychic power, anticipating the possible arrival of a couple of outflanking Leeman Russ tanks.

The lumbering behemoths never arrived, I’m sure due to the deterrent effect of my stalwart imps. At least that is what they are telling themselves as they prepare for their next encounter.

My next painting projects, so far as Chaos goes, are a unit of blue horrors and finishing up the daemon prince I’ve been picking at off and on (mostly off) since 5th edition!

IG vs. Daemonkin (1850 Points)

Santa Clara Sector, Mountain View Game Kastle: March 17, 2017

Commissar Alex and I played the Warp Rift scenario for the first time.  We used the Rift Gate as well as the Tactics and Mystics (maelstrom cards) optional rules.  My army was 1850 points of Khorne Daemonkin.  I ran a Blood Host Detachment with a Slaughter Cult formation, as well as a CAD.  Alex, playing Imperial Guard, ran a CAD with an Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company formation.

Commissar Alex wrote the summary for our game or rather the good General Nesson did.  I’m not revealing how I got my hands on it, though rest assured I have my sources!

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The blue boxes were the objective markers.  The warp rift is the tower.

The forces of chaos struck once again against the Imperium, attacking an imperial planet in the Segmentum Ultima.  [Name and location of planet withheld under security edicts.] The local planetary defense forces were no match for the traitors and after just a few months the planetary defense force had no presence outside of a few major cities.

After several more months the Imperial navy arrived, bringing with it the forces of the Imperial Guard. After a few weeks the traitors were driven back towards the equator by our numerically superior forces.

However the deaths from all the fighting caught Khorne’s attention and the vales between realities weakened. Using this to their advantage, the forces of chaos enacted obscene rituals and the sacrifice of an entire village to break open a warp rift, which allowed daemons into material space.

IG vs. Daemonkin March 17 2017 Synchronized Bloodletters and Demolisher

Synchronized Summoning ought to be an olympic sport!

The ritual was successful but only allowed for a few daemons to come at a time; however the deaths of guardsmen and traitors fueled the warp rift and soon the trickle became a stream. As the rift grew our commanders realized that if they wanted to have any hope of preventing [name of system redacted] from becoming a daemon world they would need to seal the rift before it enveloped the entire planet.

In a desperate gamble they headed directly towards the rift hoping either the priests or sanctioned psykers attached to the regiments could find a way to close the rift before it was too late.  As they approached it reality began to distort and madness reigned.

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Vendetta on an attack run against a Chaos Space Marine rhino.

While the exact events are unknown what is undeniable is that the imperial guard forces failed to seal the breach. After a few hours the rift began to grow rapidly and soon enveloped the planet in just a few days. Imperial command on the planet sent reports to orbital assets for as long as they could but the last transmissions degenerated into gunfire and maddening screams. The planet in question is currently under quarantine by the Imperial navy.

— Administratum Summary based off the final reports of Imperial General Asher Nesson

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As a sort of post script, we found this scenario gave a bit of an advantage to the assault-based army, all other things being equal.  I have to say this was not unexpected.  So we came up with the following optional rules and I added it to the scenario page.

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.

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.

Neat Space Ship in the Santa Clara Sector

I visited the Game Kastle store in Mountain View, California for the first time a few days ago and saw some neat miniatures in their display cases.  I particularly liked this space ship.  It reminded me a little of an Omega class destroyer from Babylon Five, which was one of my favorite television shows some years ago.

Interesting Space Ship Mountain View GK March 17 2017

No idea what game, if any, this ship is from or for, but I like it. Looks like it might be scratch built/kit bashed?

This ship is going to stick in my mind whenever I talk about the inept orbital bombardments, sketchy teleportation near misses, and the like for which my evil Space Wolves are known thanks to their ‘good enough … they’ll figure it out’ philosophy concerning all things relating to space and to a lesser extent technology in general.

Max Mini’s Mean Green Gobbo

I recently finished painting this goblin miniature from Maxmini, which they call a Mean Green Gobbo.  I’ve had him for a few years now.  I originally bought him when many of my opponents were using Marbo and I thought this guy would make for a humorous answer to that worthy super commando.

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I considered trying to do some pupils for his eyes.  In the cell phone pictures I think he could use some, though from table top distances I doubt anyone is going to notice.  I might do so one of these days when I’m painting something else, but I’m not too worried about it.

I also tried out some Vallejo gun metal blue for the first time on his left gun.  I used Nuln Oil over it, but decided I didn’t like how dark it was, so I did a heavy second layer of blue.  Then I added a little silver to the blue for the highlights, and just a very light touch of silver only to a couple of places I wanted to be very light, such as the muzzle tip.

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I’ll probably use him to keep some of my artillery or foot gretchin in line when my commissar is too busy for such mundane duties.  (He usually is to be found these days among the boyz.)  He’s kind of short for a gretchin minder, but I think if I allow my opponent to draw line of sight from the top of his right thump gun, then that’ll be about the same height as a standard runtherd.

Further, his Moar Dakka approach to things certainly gives him at least the same shooting and close combat power as any goblin leader, though trying to fire everything at once, like I’m sure he inevitably does, isn’t going to be too great for his accuracy.

 

 

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 she 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.

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‘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 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 a table edge.

If the daemon player has any remaining units 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, other than the warp rift, 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 (rounded up or down) 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.

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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.’

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