Hello fellow 40k players!
I'm in a personal quest to find a better way to play 40k. I think that the Maelstrom missions added a lot of balance to the game with the sheer power of uncertainty, making even weak armies somewhat viable simply because you sometimes can just be on the right spot at the right moment to reap a victory.
Even so, I feel like that model tends to super unfluffy games where my forces seem to be randomly assigned tasks that fail to create a cohesive sense: "go there this turn, make a challenge, go the other side of the board now!"
I do not want to change the core rules with this, but offer an alternative set of rules for people to play the game. The first thing I did was to start running a campaign and using the mission structure below.
Both players determine their army composition following campaign rules.
The campaign dictates how many army points the players will use (if not playing a campaign, players can agree on an army points cost)
Both players create their list and select a Tactical mission they will try to complete. This information is noted down but kept secret.
1 - Terrain Setup
Both players must agree on the terrain.
It is important to agree on:
2 - Deployment zones
- What is and is not difficult terrain.
- What are forests/woods that provide 5+ cover.
- What are ruins that provide 4+ cover.
- What are fortifications that provide 3+ cover.
- What are buildings, their access points and fire points.
- What is dangerous terrain. Determine if it affects flyers/skimmers.
- What is impassable terrain. Determine if it affects flyers/skimmers.
First, determine battle deployment zones method by rolling a dice.
- 1, 2 or 3: Long deployment
- 4, 5 or 6: Short deplyment
Divide the table by long table edges, 12'' from table center.
This creates deployment side A, B and the no-man's land in-between.
Divide the table by long table edges, 12'' from table center.
This creates deployment side A, B and the no-man's land in-between.
3 - Advantages
Then, roll-off to select advantages: The winner chooses one of two advantages:
- Deployment advantage: Select deployment location.
- Initiative advantage: Chooses who plays the first turn.
The advantage not chosen goes to the other player.
4 - Reveal tactical missions and army lists
Both players then reveal their tactical mission choice and their army list to their opponent.
5 - Army deployment
Whomever has Deployment advantage selects his deplyment zone and deploys his army, followed by his opponent.
6 - Initiative
Whomever has initiative advantage chooses who starts the game.
7 - Game start
Players are ready to play.
Players score victory points at the end of the game according to certain battle objectives:
- Tactical mission winner: 4 victory points
- Massacre score winner*: 2 victory points
- First blood scorer: 1 victory point
- Warlord kill: 1 victory point
- Linebreaker: 1 victory point
- Hold the line: 1 victory point
*Massacre score winner is the player who has killed more of the enemy army. Tally up the points cost of every model killed, counting their upgrades. Unit upgrades are only scored if the entire unit is destroyed. The person with more points is the massacre winner.
The player who has more victory points is the winner.
Compare the difference in victory points to determine the victory score.
- 0 - Draw
- 1 to 2 - Minor Victory/Loss
- 3 to 4 - Solid Victory/Loss
- 5 to 8 - Major Victory/Loss
- 9+ - Total Victory/Loss
The end result of the battle depends on the ferocity of it, and is used to determine casualties and structural damage.
Add up the total number of destroyed units, counting characters as two destroyed units.
- 0 - Not even a battle
- 1 to 4 - Light encounter
- 5 to 8 - Bloody battle
- 9 to 15 - Gruesome battle
- 16+ - Bloody massacre
Players may agree to string several battles using this system in a mini-campaign where a player cannot play the same mission again.
At the end of the mini-campaign, tally up the campaign score based on the results below:
- Draw - 0 glory points
- Minor Victory - 1 glory points
- Solid Victory - 2 glory points
- Major Victory - 3 glory points
- Total Victory - 4 glory points
- Not even a battle - 0 glory points
- Light encounter - 1 glory points
- Bloody battle - 2 glory points
- Gruesome battle - 3 glory points
- Bloody massacre - 4 glory points
The player with the most glory points is considered the campaign winner!
Tactical mission summary
- There are eight tactical missions available, each player secretly selects one of these before the battle.
- Each tactical mission has specific rules on how you may score Tactical points.
- The player who has scored more tactical points is the tactical mission winner and gains 4 victory points.
- Each tactical mission also has a Mission Success and a Total Success criteria. Fullfilling these will award the faction with Mission Completion points regardless of the results of the battle.
- You must fulfill the Mission Success criteria to be eligible to complete a Total Success criteria. Your gain one Mission Completion point for each criteria you fulfill.
- Establish Sensors – Gain points by using troops to deploy and control objectives on the battlefield.
- Setting a trap – Place a lot of traps and ambushes to control your enemy and score points for triggering them successfully.
- Guerilla tactics – Determine locations on the board where you gain advantages and can score extra points if your enemy is in those locations.
- Steal intelligence – Move your units to a secret passage inside the enemy territory.
- Headhunter – Hunt down the leaders and special characters of your enemy.
- Kill them all – Kill select units on your enemy army to socre points.
- Purge the enemy – Hold a location against your enemy, make them come to you!
- Superior positions – Gain advantages to kill enemy units more efficiently, scoring points every time you do.
- Your troops may spend a movement action to drop a sensor.
- Sensors are treated like objective markers that only you can control, butr enemies may contest it as normal.
- Dropping them must follow the rules as objective markers (12'' apart, 6'' from table edges).
- At the end of your turn, score 1 tactical point for each zone where you have a sensor under your control (both deployment zones and the no-man's land are zones).
- Score 2 additional points if, at the end of the game, you have one sensor under your control at each zone.
- Have one sensor on each zone at the end of the game.
Setting a trap
- Have control of at least one sensor in each zone (both deployment zones and the no-man's land are zones)
- Right before your enemy deployment, you may place 6 traps on the board.
- The only restriction is that no trap may be placed within 6'' of your opponent's table edge.
- You can repeat one trap 3 times and another 2 times, but no others may repeat.
- Minefields: Determine a 6''x6'' area and treat it as dangerous terrain, but causes damage on a roll of 4+.
- Stachel charge: Place a Stachel charge on the field. You can detonate it at the end of any phase, causing 2D6 S6 AP3 hits on any units on a 6'' radius of the charge.
- Hidden Ambush: Select one troop unit with no transport from your amy and leave it out of the game. At the end of any enemy movement phase, you can deploy that squad in terrain (ruins or woods, for example) that is 6'' away from any enemy unit. That unit may fire immediately, similar to Necron Deathmarks, hitting shots on a 2+.
- Score a tactical point for every trap that is activated, but no more than once per trap.
- Traps are activated if enemy units suffer unsaved wounds from them.
- Activate at least one trap of each type deployed.
- Place 6 tactical objective markers on the game area (you and your oponent share objective markers if applicable).
- Score a tactical point every turn for each of the following criteria:
- If one of your units makes a shooting attack against an enemy unit that is 6'' away an objective.
- If you assaulted an enemy unit that is 6'' away from an objective.
- Score one aditional point if you have control of at least 2 objectives or 3 points if you control 4 or more objectives.
- Score a tactical point on at least three turns.
- Score a tactical point on at least five game turns.
- Place an objective marker on the enemy deployment zone, 8'' away from any table edge, this marks a secret passage into enemy territory.
- Place 5 markers on that objective.
- Every unit you control is trying to infiltrate enemy territory via the secret passage (objective marker) on the enemy deployment zone.
- At any moment, one of your unengaged units ends their movement 3'' away from the objective marker, you can remove that unit from the board.
- Doing so does not count as a casualty and does not award killpoints to your opponent.
- Every time you do so, remove markers according to the list below:
- Remove 1 marker for every troop unit removed from the table. Remove an aditional marker for units of 10+ models.
- Remove 2 markers for every fast attack or elite unit removed from the table.
- Remove 1 additional marker for every independant character removed from the table.
- You score one tactical point for every marker removed and an additional 3 points if you remove all of them.
- If any marker has been removed, you are considered to have completed the "Linebreaker" extra objective.
- Score at least one point with a fast attack unit.
- Score at least one point with a character (cannot be the same unit used to fulfill mission complete criteria).
- Assign 5 markers to an enemy character.
- Assign 1 marker to one of your characters.
- Every the enemy marked character takes a wound, reclaim 1 marker for every wound caused.
- If the character dies, assign the remaining markers to the nearest character. Failing that, assign it to the nearest enemy model. Failing that, claim all remaigning markers.
- Keep reclaiming markers in this manner until they are all spent.
- Score 1 tactical point for each marker you claimed.
- Score 3 aditional tactical points if your marked character has killed the original marked oponent character and survived the battle.
- Your character must inflict a wound upon the marked enemy.
Kill them all
- Your character makes the killing blow against the marked enemy.
- Assign 5 markers to 5 units on the enemy army, once per unit, cycling back if you run out of units.
- Every time you kill 25% of an enemy unit, reclaim one marker. If you manage to kill an entire unit, reclaim the two remaining markers.
- If the unit consists of a single model, then reclaim one marker per wound/HP lost on that model, and all if you destroy it.
- Score 1 tactical point for every 5 markers you have at the end of the battle.
- Score 3 aditional points if you have 15 or more markers at the end of the game.
- Remove at least one marker from at least 3 enemy marked units.
Purge the enemy
- Remove at least one amrker from every enemy marked unit.
- Before you start your deployment, place a banner marker 8'' away from one or two of your table edges.
- Trace a 12'' square barricated area around that banner. This is your gauntlet.
- The barricades provide a 3+ cover to models in base to base contact with them.
- Your models inside of the gauntlet also re-roll failed morale, pinning and fear tests.
- Set aside 18 morale markers.
- Remove 2 morale counter for every enemy model that comes within 6'' of your banner (once per model).
- Gain a morale counter for every enemy you kill within the gauntlet.
- Remove 5 morale markers for every enemy HQ that that comes within 6'' of your banner (once per HQ).
- Gain 3 morale markers if you kill an enemy HQ within the gauntlet.
- Score 2 tactical points for every 3 tokens you have left at end of the game.
- Hold 18 tokens or more at the end of round 3.
- Hold 18 tokens or more at the end of the game.
- Gather 6 superior position markers.
- On your turn, you can assign a superior position marker to a unit to give it one of three bonuses: re-roll failed to-hit rolls of 1, ignore cover and/or decrease AP by one. You can only spend one marker for each purpose for each attack.
- On your turn, you can assign a superior position marker to a unit to give it one of three bonuses: re-roll failed to-hit rolls of 1, increase S by one and/or decrease AP by one. You can only spend one marker for each purpose for each attack.
- If you manage to kill an enemy unit using these markers, take all markers that were used and turn them into Tactical superiority tokens.
- If you do not kill an enemy unit, leave them on your unit, they are now "exposed" markers. Your oponent may spend "exposed" markers in the same fashion as you when shooting and/or assaulting the marked unit.
- Return all "exposed" markers to you on your next turn.
- Score a tactical point for every marker you have collected as Tactical Superiority markers.
- Score an additional 2 points if you have 5+ markers.
- Kill a unit using at least 3 markers at the same time before the end of round 3.
- Don't let any of your units get killed by "exposed" markers.
I'll be developing my campaign system
further and would love to hear your feedback on these missions, especially if you happen to play with them!