Friday, September 20, 2013

IWFB Campaign Finale - 4 player slugfest

Last Saturday the IWFB campaigns finished season 2 of the Battle in Bretonnia.  This campaign has stretched a few months with 4 - 3 week campaign turns.  This campaign was set up in the lands of Bretonnia where a rumored treasure was to be found.  Season 1 was a land grab as the armies traveled to the area to recover the treasure or for other nefarious purposes.  Season 2 was about finding clues to the whereabouts of the treasure with the culmination a 5 player battle royale on two separate tables; 1 being the treasure trove entrance(s) above ground and the other the treasure trove itself.

Catch up on some of the fluff and rules of the campaign here:

Here you see the Above Ground table.  The three towers represent the entrances to the Treasure Trove

I hosted this final game at my house and so the week up to the event I put in work to get some terrain made and an entire second table top.  I painted it gray and built some terrain pieces that represented fallen rocks, broken down pillars, etc.  Other preparation for this game was to develop a set of rules for the game.  Rules needed to be in place for many different aspects of warhammer to adjust the game for a 1v1v1v1v1 game.  (Note: one player of the 5 didn't end up making it).  Biggest issues in the game were how to get from one table to the other and what to do with the magic phase.  The winner would be determined as the player with the most treasure at the end of the game (random turn end similar to watchtower)  As the rules for this game ended up being rather lengthy I will attach them to the end of this post as an "appendix" for you to review.

Key rules differences:
1. Turn order would be random each round
2. Magic phase - all enemies received the dispel dice but could only use them in certain situations
3. Combat Phase - This was done after all 4 players had completed their movement, shooting and magic phases.
4. Treasure Trove - Movement was different, DT for all cavalry and flying movement, No Large Targets allowed, No Steadfast, Free Reforms if charged, Dwarves and Skirmishers +1 Movement

*Please see detailed rules at the end

Throughout the campaign each player was awarded "Clues" to the whereabouts of the treasure for defeating enemies on the campaign map and for controlling tiles on the map.  At the end of the campaign for every 4 clues that you had you were allowed to start 1 unit already in the treasure trove representing you getting to the location first or earlier based on your information.  The 4 players in the finale were: High Elves, Dark Elves, Empire and Dwarves.

Each player was given a 15"x36" deployment quarter on the map.  We took turns deploying units on the Treasure Trove map and Above ground maps until all units were deployed.  It was very interesting to see the different choices made in army construction.  I went for a MSU type army allowing myself a lot of units that could be used to gather treasure and would be more maneuverable to avoid enemy units:

Prince w/ 18 Sword Masters
Noble BSB and Level 2 Fire Mage with 19 High Elf Spearmen

10 Archers
10 Archers
5 Reavers
5 Reavers
9 White Lions
9 White Lions
5 Dragon Princes
1 Great Eagle
5 Shadow Warriors

The Dwarf player showed up with 2 huge blocks, 1 of hammerers and 1 of longbeard rangers with 2 war machines.  The Dark Elf player had 2 hydras, big knight bus, big unit of execs, and some dark riders backed up by cauldron and no magic.  Empire player had 2 big units of outriders and 2 big units of knights (restricted by models available).

One thing that was really cool about this battle was that the two tables were linked.  If you entered the far right tower you would be placed 1" from the appropriate spot on the Treasure Trove map and vice-versa.  Also if a rock (grudge thrower) fell on the ground at a certain spot on the above ground battlefield, it forced rocks to fall underground where it landed.  This could then hurt the units if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time in the Treasure Trove (This actually did happen to my sword masters during the game).

In the opening moments the battlefield looked like this:

I believe this is around turn 2.  You can see the dwarves and high elves battling in the foreground approaching the entrance to the under ground table.  In the background the empire castles up and prepares to shoot down the dark elves and high elves.

The High Elves in the foreground send white lions and shadow warriors hunting after treasure in the corners while the Swordmasters get hit by rocks, throwing axes and more rocks....The Cold one knights rush for the treasure in the back right corner only to trip and fall on stalagmites or hit their heads on stalactites.  The huntsmen instead go after some dark riders who appear from the above ground table.

In the early stages of the game players rushed to pick up treasure and to get units into the treasure trove.  The High Elves and Dark Elves picked up treasure early.  The dwarf player brought on some miners to try and corral the shadow warriors but they proved too quick.  The huntsmen busied themselves fighting but did eventually get some treasure.  The longbeard rangers continued to harass the beleaguered swordmasters though were never given a great opportunity to charge (thanks reavers).

Above ground the battle was immensely bloody.  The empire pistoliers unloaded a fusillade of shots at the executioners backed up by a hellblaster.  After back to back shooting turns before the Executioners got to go their second time they were wiped out to a man.  The HE spearmen fared little better being whittled down to 5 elves and the characters after two rounds of shooting.  Fireballs and a bound Soul Quench were both dispelled by the level 3 empire wizard.  The hydras on the top were being beset by flaming cannonballs galore.  The empire wizard had rolled up flaming sword and because of the magic rules and the dark elves not having a wizard they could not attempt to dispel the augment on the empire cannons.  BOOM BOOM and one hydra was eliminated.  Luckily for the second the flaming cannonball ricocheted off the thick skin (1 to wound) so it was able to charge in and eliminate a cannonball before being ground out by Inner circle knights over a few turns.

In the foreground the hammerers approach the entrance to the caves while the Dragon Princes skirt the edges to head for the grudge thrower which the dark riders prepare take out themselves.  In the background the spears head towards the empire lines, the outriders flee due to a panic check and though unseen the GW wielding knights hold the middle.
 Below ground the shadow warriors and white lions have captured treasure as have the cold ones and DE Spearmen.  The treasure count is 2-2 elves with the empire about to capture their first.  The swordmasters skirt the edge of the longbeards running for their third objective.

By turn 3 and 4 the # of units above ground was severely diminished while the # of units below ground began to increase.  Things were getting dicey as rocks continued to fall on the units below ground.  At any time a rock could cause panic checks on any unit holding treasure forcing them to flee!  This was some of the most exciting times of the game as we all began to send units down below knowing that any of us could then get the first turn next allowing charges before being able to move out of the charge arcs again, etc.  Knights continued to fall to the cavernous terrain.

There was a way to escape with the treasure if you could get it back to the above ground board and leave a board edge.  I originally was going to attempt to do this with my Reavers which I brought below ground but they failed 3 out of 5 dangerous terrain tests, failed their panic check and proceeded to run into the side of the cave (dead).  So I used my shadow warriors superior movement to avoid the miners and any other enemies. The white lions chose to stay in the corner (further than 12" from any table edge) and hope they were ignored.  The cold ones continued to move around the board using their superior movement (Swiftness banner) to capture multiple objectives.  This was dangerous as all movement could result in the loss of additional riders! 

The cold one knights and BSB, see the extra rank missing?  I thought cold ones were used to caves?  Apparently not haha!

Another below ground picture showing the swordmasters have grabbed the HE third treasure, the cold ones head for the back left corner treasure and the Reavers have made it into the treasure trove (this was right before they lost 3 dudes to dangerous terrain).  The huntsmen press their advantage towards the miners and shadow warriors after having picked up a treasure piece.  At this point all 7 treasure had been picked up. HE-3, DE-3, Emp-1

As both the Dark Elves and High Elves had 3 treasure the game would have gone to tie breaker (# of clues to start) had the game ended here.  But the game continued to turn 5, then to turn 6 and all the way to turn 7!! The entire time I kept praying the game would end so I could win this campaign as I held the tiebreaker and was getting into some very precarious positions.  In turn 6 a rock fell on Lord Baerion's head (prince) who was the last remaining man as the swordmasters had all died around him.  It didn't scatter and wounded him at S6.  It also did D3 wounds but miraculously he passed his 4+ ward save to keep the treasure and from getting squished.  In this turn 4 out of my 5 units in the treasure trove rolled 1's to get hit by rocks, but luckily all but the 1 scattered off of the units.

Above ground there was precious little alive.  I believe the high elves had a unit of archers, the BSB, Mage and a few elves.  The empire had their wizard and the dark elves and dwarves had nothing.  Below ground the Hammerers and Longbeards tried to come to grips with the High Elves, the Empire knights braved the terrain to bring the Cold ones to combat hoping to break them and take their treasure.  A single white lion from my second unit even joined the fray at the bottom and charged off the fleeing huntsmen unit forcing them to drop their terrain further from the dark elf spearmen who were coming for it.

The end game:

The High Elves barely hung on to their three objectives, the Dark Elf Cold one knights survived the fight with the empire knights to hold on to their 2 treasure and the spearmen held one for 3 for the Dark Elves.  The 7th and final treasure piece was left on the side of the treasure trove by the huntsmen fleeing.


I must say this was the most fun playing warhammer I have had in awhile.  The nervousness, anxiousness and randomness really added to the fun for me.  The random turn order at the beginning of each turn really had a big impact on the game though after speaking with the other players we couldn't come up with a great way of doing it as it was an advantage going first each turn.  We discussed a possible rules change to have one random roll off at the beginning and then take turns going first moving forward.  A B C D then BCDA, CDAB, DABC, etc.  Overall though it seemed to go fine and the magic phase rules seemed to work appropriately as well.  The dwarf player brought a steal a die rune which we allowed him to use on one other player each turn rather than all players.

I would love for the other players of this game to comment below if they review this battle report.  It sounded like everyone had fun.  I think the MSU really helped me win this game and in hindsight I would have brought more shadow warriors!!!  Even though they weren't allowed their scout move the 12" march in any direction and free reforms while moving really helped them keep their treasure away from all enemies.

Final kill tally of Treasure Trove (DT, Falling Rocks, etc.)
Turn 1 - 6 Swordmasters
Turn 2 - 3 Cold One Knights
Turn 3 - 2 Cold One Knights
Turn 4 - 1 W on Cold One BSB, 3 Ellyrian Reavers
Turn 5 - Safe and Sound
Turn 6 - 8 DE Spearmen, 8 HE Archers, 1 Empire Huntsmen
Turn 7 - 4 Longbeard Rangers, 2 Inner Circle Knights, 1 Cold One Knight, 1 Knightly Order


Special thanks to Jake Murphy for setting up the website and for running the campaign!!

The Buried Treasure

The Players:
Each Player is allowed to bring a 2000 point army.  The players may choose any of their characters to lead their treasure recovery force but must include their veteran unit as normal.
The Battlefields:
The map will be broken down into one 8 foot board section representing the land above the Treasure trove and one 8 food board section representing the underground treasure trove.  The map above ground will include 4  entrances to the treasure vault below positioned on the center line (length) of the board in the middle of each 2’W x 4’L section.  When a unit moves within 1” of an access point they can use the entrance like it was a building and are repositioned at the corresponding entrance on the second board edge as if it entered and then exited a building.  This works similarly for any unit trying to move back to the top board edge.  When a unit moves from one board to the other it counts as having left a building (no more movement allowed).
Treasure Trove Special Rules:
1.      Large Targets may not enter the treasure trove.  All flying movement regardless of marching is counted as dangerous terrain.  A failed dangerous terrain test causes D3 wounds.  Flying MB and Flying Infantry are allowed to use their ground movement instead if they choose to.
2.      All Cavalry including Monstrous cavalry treats all movement as Dangerous Terrain on the “Treasure Trove” board
3.      A unit pursuing into a table edge on the “Treasure Trove” board will stop 1” away from the edge similar to the Battle for the Pass rules.  A unit fleeing into the board edge is removed as normal and will drop any treasure at that point.
4.      Due to the confines of the caves no unit can claim a steadfast bonus and all units are allowed to take a leadership test to combat reform prior to battle if charged in the rear or flank to signify that they are in skirmish formations ready to fight at any time in any direction. (A unit contacted on multiple sides is still barred from making this move)
5.      Due to being in their natural element Dwarves and all Skirmishers gain an additional +1” to their movement.
6.      A unit can always march in the caves (granted they are allowed to march per their normal rules)  This signifies their haste to find the treasure and retreat regardless of enemies closing in.
7.      Due to the darkness of the caves LOS is limited to 24”.  This will affect any shooting or magic missiles as well as Augments, Hexes, and Direct Damage spells even though they normally do not need LOS. *See magic phase*
8.      At the beginning of each turn roll a die for each of your units inside the tunnel.  On the roll of a 1 that unit is hit by falling rocks as the old treasure trove begins to fall apart.  Using the small round template place it directly over the unit and then scatter it 2d6”.  Any model under the template suffers a S3 hit with the AP special rule.  Any model directly under the hole suffers a S6 hit with the multi-wound D3 special rule.
Beginning with the player with the highest number of clues (dice off for a tie) and using alternating deployment going in order of # of clues after that each player may place one unit at a time in one 2x2 section of the board no more than 15” in from the table edge.  For every 4 clues (rounded up if 3 left over, down if 1 or 2 left over) that a player begins the game with they are allowed to start one unit inside the treasure trove with the rear rank exactly 1” away from an access point.  If there is not enough room for all units to be placed this way the ones that can’t be placed start off the board and will come in on turn 1 after other units have moved away from the access points.
Turn Order:
Play proceeds as normal starting with the treasure trove map.  All players in that section of the map roll off (2d6) to determine turn order and play proceeds as normal until the close combat phase.  At this point play continues on the Above ground board edge rolling for who goes first as per the underground and playing as normal.  Once both boards have reached the combat phase the final phase of the turn can begin.
Combat Phase: Play proceeds as normal with players involved in combats moving as quickly as possible from one to the next.
1.      Combats involving 3 or more players are resolved using the highest combat resolution generated against one or more of their units.  When determining break checks count up the resolution all units of the controlling player have added and compare it to the highest resolution generated by an enemy player that has generated combat resolution against one or more of your units.
Example: My Sword Masters are fighting a unit of Dark elves to the front and a unit of Dwarf warriors to the rear.  I have killed 8 dark elves and have a banner for a total of 9 combat resolution against the dark elves and killed 5 dwarves and a banner for a total of 6 against the dwarves.  The dark elves have killed 5 high elves, charged and have a banner for a total of 10 against the high elves.  The dwarves have killed 4 High elves, charge,  have a rear, a banner and 3 ranks for a total of 11.  The high elves would take a break check on the difference between the dwarves and the elves which is the higher of the two (1 vs 5 respectively).  They would then flee from whichever unit had the most ranks.  The dark elves would not have to take a break check even though the Dwarves scored higher than them since the combat resolution generated was not against them.  If the high elves break both units are allowed to try and pursue.
2.      A unit carrying a treasure objective and subsequently breaking or being destroyed in combat will drop the treasure before fleeing. 
a.      If a unit has the option to pursue they can pursue to potentially catch the unit or they can automatically restrain and pick up the treasure not both. 
b.      In the example above both the dwarves and dark elves wish to pick up the treasure.  In this case roll a D6 and compare.  The higher roll is allowed to take the treasure.  The unit losing the roll is not then allowed to pursue instead.

 The Magic Phase:
Generate Power Dice as per Normal during your magic phase.  All enemy players who have units on the same table as one of your wizards generate dispel dice normally (highest D6).
1.      Wizards can only cast spells on units that are on the same table as themselves.
2.      Wizards can only cast spells with a maximum range of 24” in the Treasure Trove.  This does not limit the distance on a random distance spell (vortex, pendulum, etc.) *A comet can’t be place inside the cave though if a comet comes down above ground rocks (large blast) will automatically fall in the caves underneath the corresponding position on the caves map (See falling rocks).
3.      Enemy wizards can only be used to dispel a spell cast within 24” of them on all tables.
4.      Enemy dispel dice can only be used to dispel a spell cast on one of their units or an augment targeted or cast from within 12” of one of their units.
Treasure Objectives:
There will be 7 Treasure Objectives set up in the treasure trove. 
1.      Any unit moving on to an objective can immediately pick it up and is allowed a free reform immediately after doing so though any movement they had left is forfeited.
2.      A unit carrying a treasure artifact is +1 leadership to a maximum of 10
3.      A unit can transfer a treasure artifact by passing within 2” of a friendly unit. If they do so both units will count as having moved for the purposes of shooting
4.      A unit can leave the “above ground” on any board edge to escape with their treasure.  This unit can’t return to play for the remainder of the game though the treasure artifact is “SCORED” and thus can’t be lost or reclaimed by any one else.
 Game Length:
This battle will use a Variable Game length.  Starting at the end of turn 4 roll a d6 and add the turn number.  If the score is equal to or greater than 10 the game ends.  The game will automatically end at the end of Turn 7.

 Victory Conditions:
The player who has escaped with or is in possession of the most Treasure Artifacts at the end of the game is determined to be the winner.  First tiebreaker is the number of clues the player started with at the beginning of the game and second tiebreaker is the empire size at the start of the game.
 Additional Rules:
1. No scout deployments will be allowed on either table.  (The armies have used their clues and come as fast as they could with their entire armies) Scouts can be deployed as one of your units into the treasure trove as normal.
2. Vanguard moves can’t be used to enter the Treasure Trove from the “Above Ground” table nor can they be used at all in the Treasure Trove.


Anonymous said...

I had a blast in this game, it was a great way to conclude the campaign! The rules were well thought out and worked way better than I expected for a 1v1v1v... game and recommend anyone interested in trying something like this to consider this ruleset.

After playing this game, I am excited to try another campaign next year incorporating more scenario driven games and fun "campaign stuff" into the system.

Thanks Ryan!

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