Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Very Big Little Game - Space Hulk - Now with added zombies

John C asked Dave G and myself to run another participation game at the club and we were happy to oblige. 

Following the old adage of bigger is better we decided to something a lot bigger; a six foot by six foot table (we hoped this would help in dealing with the problem of central objectives, so that which ever side you forces began you would be the same distance to the middle). We kept the armies to the same conditions; 300 points, a maximum of two wounds per model and at least 100 points spent on troops. 

The middle two foot square of the table was a raised room with a door on each side. In which stood eight statues (toughness five, two wounds and a 5+ invulnerable save) surrounded by 45 zombies. 

The objective of the game was to 'kill' zombies (1 victory point per five) and to destroy the statues (5 points for each). 

Special rules:
- Teams are made up of two players who have a faction each.
- Each team rolls a D6 before the start of the game, and depending on who rolled the highest they decide which side of the table to begin.
- Before the start of each turn the teams roll a D6, and whichever team rolls highest goes first for that turn, with the other teams teams going clockwise from there.
- The Zombie Roll: Before a team begins its usual turn sequence it rolls 2D6. It can then move that number of zombies from anywhere on the board to anywhere else as long as they at least one inch away from any other model. 
- Only models that are stood in the central room can hurt the statues or the zombies in the central room.
- Once a side kills five zombies they are re-cycled and put back in the central room by the Dungeon Master.
- Any faction which has a model in the medi-lab gains a 5+ feel no pain roll.
- Any faction which has a model in the armoury gains twin-linked on its weapons.
- Any faction which has a model in the Comms Room can re roll the zombie roll dice.
- Any model moving onto a teleporter pad in the teleporter room can disembark onto any other teleporter pad on the table. If a model moved onto a single teleporter pad, not in the teleporter room, they could move onto the next teleporter pad nearest to the one which they had just embarked.
- Once every team has had their turn the zombies move and fight controlled by the Dungeon Master.
- just by chance I had placed a building on the outside of each table side and this allowed a nice little platform for each team to place their killed zombies (until they reached five in number when they recorded their victory points on a dice) and their destroyed statues. This made it very easy to keep track of how everyone was doing.

At our club we are currently restricted to three hours on club night, which makes this type of game a real challenge to ensure that it is finished on time. Players are reminded that we are here for a bit of a laugh (if they want to be competitive then this is not the game for them). To keep the game ticking along, and only after checking with Dave G, (who will happily tell me if my idea is a little too mad), I will add new rules to achieve a speedier approach to the game. For example:

- when players caused wounds on zombies outside the central room they rolled the zombies feel no pain roll themselves.
- In the zombie turn my intention was to move and fight with all the zombies on the whole board. It soon became apparent that this slowed the game down too much. The solution was to only move and fight with zombies in the central room. The others, placed on the lower levels by players remained where they stood. 
- In the zombie turn I also intended to allow them to move outside the confines of the central room, but this idea was dropped early on because of time pressure.
- As the game progressed close combat in the central room became quite confused and I had to fudge some combats when the zombies replied. It involved rolling a number of dice which seemed appropriate to the huge melee going on, and looking for fours to hit and fours to wound. Nothing scientific to the approach, just an attempt get things moving quickly and relatively fairly.
- If the line of fire to statue was blocked by zombies I judged that there was not a sufficiently clear corridor (1 inch wide) with which to target the statue.

My ideas for the next running of this game:
- When a team kill five zombies they give them to the team on their right (who had their turn before them) and they can place them anywhere in the central room.
- the statues need to be more resilient. Perhaps toughness six.
In our game (pictures throughout this article), we had four teams. Team 1, Dave R and Callum. Team 2 Kanan and Alex. Team 3 Dave G and Alex R. Team 4 James and David P. (Yes, within the nine of us taking part we had 3 David's and 3 Alex's).

It became clear that the teams had two different approaches; in the zombie phase, place zombies in front of your own troops and score points for killing them, or alternatively get to the central room as quickly as possible to score 5 points for each statue removed. In the time available we got to turn four, and it was clear that the teams who went for the statues were going to come out on top. Dave and Callum finished first 10 points ahead of James and David, and third place was given to Alex and Dave who beat Alex and Kanan by the narrowest margin of one zombie!

All agreed that this had been the best little big game so far. I must thank Dave G again for being a very able partner in these escapades and to all those taking part in the spirit of silliness.
Happy wargaming.

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