David R. and myself manage three or four games of 40K a year. However, we wanted to try something different from the usual 1500 point one-off approach and agreed to link our next few games together in a campaign.
As with all narrative campaigns you want to add some mechanics that give more of a story telling format. So I came up with the start of a tale with which to develop over a number of games.
I ran the forces of chaos and came up with the scenario. For our first game (Grey Knights deep strike onto moon base to rid area of Chaos forces) and in keeping with the narrative, I choose to introduce some mechanics that curtailed psychic dice in the Grey Knight turn which would counteract the Chaos players problem of starting the game spread over the whole table.
The GK objective was to clear the five main rooms of the moon base of enemy forces and thus making the assault on the main planet in our next game a much safer exercise. The Chaos forces had to remain in control of the rooms as long as possible.
Special Rule One - If chaos forces were the sole occupiers of a room on the moon base one psychic dice for that turn was removed from the Grey Knight player. If two rooms were occupied, two dice were removed etc.
Special Rule Two - The chaos player rolled a D6 at the end of each of his turns and kept a tally of the total number. My idea being that the naughty chaos forces were, as usual, doing some form of summoning/worshiping ritual. And therefore, when the dice score reach 7, 14, 21 etc. an additional psychic dice would also be lost from the GK psychic phase.
Here is the story of our game:
Motspire, is a rocky moon, one of three, which orbits the world of Constance. Moon Base Beta, which despite its name, was the fourth base constructed on the surface. Its primary function was as a mining facility, but since the ore was removed, it now forms part of the Constance planetary defence grid. In addition to the old mining facility it contains a recently installed communications relay and a macro-cannon emplacement. It had a guard of three platoons, numbering 30 or so soldiers and associated staff. Two weeks ago, communications with the base were lost. Two investigation parties were sent, but the messages sent back by both were fragmentary, before they also went silent.
It was not by accident that a joint force of Grey Knights and Ultramarines were in the local systems. Intermittent reports of something nasty brewing in this part of the Imperium were made known to the authorities sometime ago. An old enemy was at work. And so the request for help from the Governor of Constance was answered unusually fast for this region of space.
The Grey Knight commander did not know the disposition of the enemy troops, but initial scans showed the presence of two small units of zombies, a Vindicator, a Predator and some Nurgle Plague Bearers. These units were on the perimeter of the moon base, and it was not to be unexpected that more enemy were inside. Something else that the scanners didn't pick up, but the psychically attuned did notice was an anti-psychic sensation that emanated from the surface.
The Grey Knights spread their deep striking forces across the moon base and started to deal with the now positively identified forces of Papa Nurgle. The Predator and a unit of zombies soon perished. The Vindicator managed to get off a shot before being destroyed. One unit of Knights got tied up with the Plague Bearers, and other Nurgle forces began to appear from the confines of the base. A second unit of Plague Bearers, and more worryingly, a Daemon Prince appeared. There was more bad news for the Imperials when their Librarian fell foul of the perils of the warp.
The Grey Knight Commander and two units attempted to enter the base but were confronted by Typhus and a unit of Plague Marines. After a short fire fight close combat began, and the Knights made short work of the Plague Marines. However, Typhus was a much tougher nut the crack. The GK commander fell and Typhus, due to his almost impervious armour, made his slow but determined way through the Knights. The Daemon Prince had by this time removed his opponents from the equation and he and the remaining Chaos forces began to converge on Typhus' position. The Grey Knights that were still combat effective decided this was the moment to return to their support craft.
So, did the nerfing of the Grey Knight psychic dice work? Yes and No. It was very in keeping with the game, and should the GKs have been able to clear the rooms, things could have improved as the game went along. Unfortunately the rooms were not cleared and the GK's problems just multiplied as their forces were whittled away. The loss of the Librarian early did not help the GK cause. The appearance of the Daemon Prince was a surprise, and he proved himself to be very effective with the reduced psychic abilities of his opponents. Typhus was rock solid, and after removing the GK commander, happily waded through the remaining Imperial lackeys. Perhaps deciding to deep strike the GK units in closer proximity to each other at the beginning of the game to support their brothers would have helped matters?
So what does this mean for our next game? We rolled some dice to determine how things may be affected:
- The Chaos Vindicator can be fixed, but the Predator will not be returning.
- The Grey Knight Librarian will not return until the last game of the campaign. The Grey Knight Commander suffered only a bruised ego.
- The Grey Knight troops themselves recovered very well and one unit next time will be short one man (David rolled 26 dice, one for each man lost in our game, and only rolled one 1!).
- Typhus and the Daemon Prince will be allowed a buff for their next game.
- The Chaos player is now limited to only one unit of Plague Marines in the remaining games.
- The next game will feature a Drop Pod landing on the planet of Constance. Due to the events at Moon Base Beta, the Drop Pods will suffer a minus one on their reserve rolls and the Chaos player will receive D3 orbital bombardments.
Thanks again to David, and I look forward to part two of the campaign.
Happy wargaming and I hope you all receive reinforcements for Christmas.