Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sin City Dispatch #17: The Tangled Webs We Weave

Hey everyone, and welcome to the latest issue of the Dispatch!

It is going to be a quick issue this time as we to take a sneak peek at what I am working on to add a little depth to our local Warmachine group, so sit down and strap in because we are about to hit the ground running!

Tell Me A Story...
Moving Beyond the One Shot Game in Warmachine

Let's be honest here; I really enjoy playing Warmachine and Hordes. From game system to the miniatures themselves, there are lots of things that I really enjoy about it. Yes, some of the rules are kind of questionable and the way that they wrote some of the abilities leaves you wondering if English was their first language but as a whole, I really like the game. But nothing is perfect, right?

One of the things that has always bugged me about Warmachine is the fact that a 'caster has to be included in every army. When you are fighting a grand, sweeping battle it makes sense, but for some kind of a small patrol? Now think about it. Does the general ever go out for a walk with the grunts to see what he can find? Really now?

Thankfully, I am not the only one that feels this way so I have started work on a group of linked scenarios that are more "realistic" (we are talking about a fantasy game after all). Things start out small as the leading units of two armies encounter each other, building to the next battle as the scouts rejoin the main force, and then culminating with the two armies coming together in one final battle. Will it work? Damned if I know but it should be a lot of fun to try it out! Here is how the "story" begins...

The Battle in the Gnarls
Part One of a Mini-Campaign
for Legion of Everblight and Cryx

Pushing ever southward, the Legion of Everblight have moved into the Gnarls seeking ancient stone circles. It is believed that these circles might hold information about the location of some of the other slumbering dragons. Knowing that he is still too weak to face the Dragonfather, Everblight needs to gather more of his siblings power so that one day he can ultimately defeat Turok.

Meanwhile, the forces of Turok are also moving through the Gnarls but in their case they are seeking fresh necrotite sites. Needing more of this unholy substance to power their dark warmachines, the necrotechs have spread out with their hordes of thralls unaware of their Lord's nemesis lurks so close by.

Special Rules

As all of these missions are set in the Gnarls there are some special rules regarding terrain, specifically just what types of terrain can be used. Here is a list of the various features that can be used through out the campaign, along with any rules that might apply to them.

Forest: By far the dominant terrain feature in this campaign, the Gnarls are known for how densely the trees grow. To accurately represent this, at least half of the terrain features that are placed on the board must be forests. These forests all follow the basic rules laid out in the core rulebook; count as rough terrain, provide concealment, block line of sight. For more information, refer to the appropriate section of the rules.

Hills: While not a mountainous region, the Gnarls still has its share of hills located within it borders. As with the other terrain features, these use all the normal rules from the core rulebook.

Ruin: Humans are often crazy enough to try anything once and that includes trying to build a home in the Gnarls, a known home to the Dire Troll. This ruin represents the end result of that foolish line of reasoning.

Stone markers: Numerous stone markers can be found throughout the Gnarls. While some of these hold great power, most are nothing more than ancient pieces of stone.

Stream: While there are no major waterways that pass through the Gnarls, there are a number of small rivers and streams that cross the area. A stream is a body of shallow water that follows all of the basic rules from the core rulebook.

In addition to these terrain rules, the board for this scenario should also be smaller than the standard 4' x 4'. We will be using a 2' x 3' table but a 2' by 4' would work just as well.

There are also several special rules regarding force composition. This is the first of three scenarios in an escalating mini campaign. In this scenario, advance troops from the two factions have encountered each other and closed to attack. What happens next in the campaign depends entirely on the outcome, as whatever troops are left from this game are used in the future games. This means that in addition to trying to win the scenario, each player also has to take attrition into account.

As an added twist, either side can also choose to retreat at any time during the game by simply declaring that they are withdrawing at the beginning of their turn. While doing this means that they lose the game, it also means that it is possible to avoid taking crippling loses early in the campaign.

Set Up

For this first battle, each side can field a force of no more than a total of 150 points with the following additional restrictions:

no multi wound units

a maximum of one solo

no character units or character solos

no warcasters or warlocks

Once the forces have been selected, a total of four pieces of terrain are placed on the table with the players taking turns doing this. As noted in the special rules, at least two of these pieces of terrain must be forests. Once the board is set up, a die is rolled as normal to determine who will deploy first and take the first turn. Forces are then deployed as normal except that any units with Advance Deployment also must be deployed at this time with the rest of the army in the regular deployment zones.

Victory Conditions

The scenario continues until either one side is completely destroyed or one side chooses to withdraw from the battle. The remaining player is then the winner of the scenario, which has two distinct benefits. The winner is able to replace up to 30 points worth of casualties that his army suffered and can choose who will be the first player in the next scenario but more on this later.

The Parting Shot...

And there you have it! This is only the beginning but I am really interest in seeing how the whole thing plays out and I plan on sharing it with the rest of you. That's right, the battle reports are coming back and the first three will follow the Battle in the Gnarls. Come back soon to check it out, but until then may all of your dice come up Dragons!


Anonymous said...

a maximum of one solo

no character units or solos
Erm whattt?


Snowman said...

That means no character units or character solos but you can include one regular solo. My bad on the wording as I can see how it could be taken wrong.

Consider it fixed!