Saturday, 30 April 2016

April Space Hulk - The daughter of Mr and Mrs Space Hulk

Another massed participation 40K Space Hulk game at the club, with the possibility of walkers and if we were lucky, a Dreadnought or two.

Above: Zombies, thousands of 'em. Err, no, 45 actually.

Special rules:
- Teams are made up of two to three 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 target models 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. This will continue until one of the players gets a model until the central room. Then the Dungeon Master places the zombies equally in the corners of the playing area.
- 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 team 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. Disembarking from any teleporter gives you a 3 inch move. A player can block access to and exit from if they have three models in base to base with teleporter. Access to the teleporter in the teleporter room cannot be barred.
- A model must be within three inches of the teleporter at the start of the movement or run phase to embark or disembark.
- Once every team has had their turn the zombies move and 'fight' controlled by the Dungeon Master. All Zombies for that turn will move/charge 2D6. Only one roll is made for all Zombie movement on the table. Zombies will move into contact with the nearest player model. If it is not possible to contact the nearest player model, they will contact, or move the full distance towards, the next nearest player model.
- Fighting Zombies. Zombies don't fight in the traditional sense. They explode on contact with a player's model. Once the Zombie models have moved, a model who has been touched by a Zombie can perform over watch. If the Zombie is not killed, the Zombie explodes. On the roll of a six the touched model has to pass an armour save. Zombies are not granted an invulnerable save if they explode. 
Zombie Statistics - Toughness 3. Wounds 1. +5 Invulnerable Save. Fearless.
Army Composition (250 points):
No vehicles, monstrous creatures or flyers. A maximum of two wounds per model, one special or heavy weapon per five troops. 1 Dreadnought or walker may be taken per force, costing up to 150 points out of your 250 points allocation. A minimum of 75 points must be spent on troops. One figure must be your nominated Warlord.

Above: Neil and Dan attempting to intimidate the opposition.
36 Squares of Despair:
The playing surface is laid out in 36 one foot by one foot squares and 36 numbered pieces of paper corresponding to each square are place in a cup. At the beginning of each turn, a D3 is rolled, that number of randomly drawn numbers are taken from the cup, and should there be any figures (not Zombies) on that square, a D6 is rolled for each one. On a roll of a 1 then the model has been struck by falling debris must pass an armour save. The pieces of paper are not returned to the cup.
Walkers subject to a hit as a result of the Square of Despair suffer a glancing hit.

Above: Apparently something more interesting than the game was over on the left.
Victory Points:
- 1 point for every 5 Zombies killed (not exploded as a result of 'combat').
- 1 point for every enemy model killed
- 5 points for every Warlord killed
- 5 points for every walker killed
- 5 points for finishing the game with your walker in the central room
- 5 points for finishing the game with your Warlord in the central room
- Apart from the final turn, 1 point for every model in the central room at the end of each game turn.

Above: 0.2 of a point about to be scored.
Changes for previous Space Hulk games:
- I wanted there to be even more interaction between the players, and less activities for the Dungeon master, so that eventually Dave G and myself could actually take part in games. I dropped the statues from the central room from the last game to help to increase player interaction. But then I pictured all of the players models just milling about outside waiting for a final turn dash. Awarding points for the occupants of the central room during the whole game seemed to be ideal at focusing players attention on this area from the very start. 
- By charging the game mechanics keeps the games fresh and interesting. I don't want people just designing the same small force every time because they know exactly what to expect. I also think this is why the games have been very popular, as there is always something new.

The Game
We had ten players, plus Dave G as Zombie Wrangler, and myself as Dungeon Master. We organised the players into four teams:
- The Eldar (The Awesome Eldar Alliance, or was it the Eldar Awesome Alliance, or it could even have been the Alliance of Eldar Awesomeness......errr sorry, just having a Life of Brian flashback). Anyway, the team was made up of Neil and Dan.
- 40K and 30K Space Marines, whose team (Kanan, Dave R and Alex R) were called, for a reason I was not sure of, Valerie Gorback! 

- The Ork and Shaltari alliance went by the name Orktari (Pete and Neil)
- And finally, the Necron and Imperial Guard team took the title, The Enslaved (Cheerful!). Made up of Chris, Michael and David P.

Above: Team Orktari

Above: I try and take pictures regularly during the game. This particular shot intrigued me. Dave G (Zombie Wrangler) clearly has a clenched fist, and appears to be about to throw it, with other players looking fairly concerned. I have no idea what the actual situation was to have created this illusion (Gentleman, no violence please this is a wargaming club). I had joked during the game (when an uneasy alliance between the Eldar and Space Marines had broken by the traitorous Eldar), that this appeared to resemble a Wargaming Jeremy Kyle episode. This picture would seem to illustrate this quite well. I can only assume someone had down something nasty to Dave's beloved Zombies, and he had taken it badly.

Not surprising, with such a large number of players, events do arise, which may take you a year of wargaming to experience. Alex R's Space Marines entered the central room, and in their Zombie phase, clustered a large number of Zombies together, planning to target them with a grenade. All good so far. Unfortunately, the grenade scattered a killed a Marine belonging to Alex's team mate (and Father, Dave R). Dave R was unsurprisingly not happy about this turn of events and attempted to throw his own grenade at the Zombies, hoping that it might scatter onto his son's figures, but to no avail.

Above: 'Wat's the hold up?' - a Query from the Ork Warlord to the Killa Kan. Do you want to tell him, or should I?
The Space Hulk game appears to have taken on a spirit of its own. And that spirit does not like D weaponry. In a previous game, the Eldar players had suffered serious bad luck when rolling to wound with the ultimate weapons of the Eldar craft. The Eldar were not perturbed and rolled up again looking to cause mayhem and bring the D. However, in one round of shooting they hit seven times, and rolled six ones to wound!!! (Sorry Dan and Neil, but this is not ever a very funny thing).
The Results.
Once we had number crunched the final scores (allowing for the different team sizes), it was The Enslaved (32 points) who had narrowly came out ahead of the Eldar (31 points), with Valerie Gorback third (27 points) and Orktari (18 points)* fourth. Well done to Chris, Michael and David P.

*Foot note - the Orks would have scored more points but on the penultimate turn a Killa Kan fluffed his close combat attacks against a lone Guardsman, and as a result, blocked the stairway to the central room, and as a further result, the Ork faction could not pile into the room on turn six (doh!). And a yet further result of that was much gnashing of Ork teef.
We can conclude that April Space Hulk was a great success and that the Space Hulk format still has an enthusiastic audience.

Above: Action in the final turns focused on the central room.

Next Time
I was disappointed that players did not take more walkers. We had two Killa Kans and some Sentinels, but no Dreadnoughts (sad face).
Players liked the Square of Despair rule, and wanted it to effect more of the gaming area and be more deadly as the game progressed.
For the next game, if we include Zombies again, I think we will tweak them a little, and once a player's model enters the central room, dead Zombies are no longer placed back on the table. Again, with the aim of speeding the game up. It was apparent that once everyone had arrived in the central room, everything slowed down a little. However, we did, for the first time ever, complete six turns. Hooray.
I would like to thank everyone again who took part, and played the game in the spirit that it was intended.
Happy wargaming to you all.

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