With our most recent Apoc game, we revisted the concept of Personal Objectives, which originally showed up in a game of ours back in 2010. Since it went over so well back then, I decided to bring them back. However, some of them had proven to be less fun than others, so we replaced those defunct ones with some new missions.
It was our findings originally that people enjoyed them overall, but had less fun with the missions where they didn’t have a direct impact on the game. For example, the mission where you only one if no bunkers (friend or foe) collapsed caused the player to feel somewhat helpless to achieve their mission. As a result, we tried to make this series of personal objectives into things that you essentially had some control over. Additionally, I toyed with the idea of making some on-going effects for players that fit in with their objectives.
Grand Theft Rhino (Rob’s Ultramarines):
Your infantry units and Independent Characters can embark on non-super heavy enemy transports as if they were your own. Once embarked, you have full control of the vehicle, but may not fire any of its weapons. At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each vehicle commandeered during the course of the game.
This mission was an exact clone of what it was in the first game. It was such a great name and a fun concept, that it was worth trying again. In the first iteration, we found that there were literally only three transports on the enemy side the objective owner could claim, and sadly they were on the wrong side of the field.
Well, this time, it was much the same. I counted a total of seven total transports on the table that I could’ve embarked on: three rhinos and four Necron vehicles. Sadly, two rhinos were immobilized/destroyed right off the bat, and the other–though it parked right in front of me, was completely encircled with troops, which inadvertently prevented me from embarking on it.
The Necron flyers, however, did zoom right over my head, but not before all of the weapons teams in the area has been eradicated. While I did try to abandon three of my artillery platforms to embark upon those transports, Danny pointed out a rule which prevented me from doing so. Sadly, he was right, and that left me with a total of zero “rhinos” stolen. So that meant that I wasn’t able to achieve my objective…
Reconnaissance (Cole’s Grey Knights):
Scattered across the battlefield are six informants, each of which holds a vital clue to the reasons behind the recent uprising, each of which has been secretly numbered. At the beginning of the game, roll a die. At the end of the game, if you have a model in base-to-base with this informant, and no other players have a model within 2” of him, roll a die. On a roll of a 6+, you receive a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each additional informant you have questioned during the course of the game.
This mission was supposed to have been marked with various Skaven spies around the board, but Cole forgot to bring them. As fortune would have it, he was the one who drew this particular mission. Though they were spread around the board, he had about the ideal force to talk to all of the informants–since nearly all of his army deepstruck around the table. As such, Cole Achieved his objective.
Daemonic Ascension (Kurt’s Space Wolves):
At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +2 to the die roll for each objective that your warlord picked up during the game. In addition, your warlord gains the following benefits based upon the number he has in his possession:
- All melee attacks by the Warlord are S10
- The warlord gains Feel No Pain (3+)
- All attacks from the warlord cause instant death, and attacks against vehicles count as Strength D
Kurt’s warlord was on a thunderwolf, and managed to rampage around the board, and even collected a couple of objectives; however, he wasn’t able to live long enough to pick up that third objective that would’ve granted him an automatic win, and sadly, he rolled poorly and wound up failing his objective. I think he liked the concept of this, but it could’ve been a little more clearly worded. This is one that I’d use again.
Trophy Hunter (Danny’s Necrons):
Bored with years of shedding blood for mindless bureaucrats, your force has now found a real purpose in life: the thrill of the hunt. At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each HQ that you earned the killing blow on throughout the game. You receive an additional +1 for each of those HQ’s that was also a Warlord.
Danny did a great job of eradicating HQ units throughout the game. Though he didn’t manage to kill any of mine (mostly due to the fact that I hid like a coward from his C’Tan), he did manage to kill HQ units from every other player on my side. Enough so that he was able to automatically secure his personal objective without having to roll at the end of the game.
Witch Hunter (Blaine’s Tyranids):
Death to the unclean—psychic scum must be cleansed from the galaxy At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each time you successfully used the “Deny the witch” rule throughout the game.
In addition, if you deny a psychic power that’s whose target was within 12” of your army’s warlord, you can choose to bounce that spell to another legal target, or steal the effect for your Warlord (and his unit—if applicable).
If ever there was a more perfectly suited army to an objective, Blaine’s was it. He has so many psykers in his army, he had more dice than the rest of the table combined (well, aside from Cole, who somehow managed to have even more dice than Blaine). Still, that meant that Blaine got to roll a ton of deny dice almost any time he wanted, nullifying most of our good powers, and ensuring his personal objective would be achieved.
As for the secondary benefit of stealing a power, I think that only came into effect one time, whereas he stole the “Force” power from Njal Stormcaller that was dualing with his Flyrant, and used it against the Space Wolf. Touché!
Bow to Your Jokaero Overlords (Simon’s Chaos Space Marines):
At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each vehicle you’ve destroyed in the assault phase throughout the game. You may add an additional +1 for each super-heavy destroyed in this manner.
In addition, if you destroy 6 or more vehicles during the assault phase throughout the game, the Jokaero will create the following weapon which you can use in each of your shooting phases:
S9, Large Blast, AP2 – Always scatters.
Simon got this power, which is great because he’s of the era of gamers that really inspired this card. I recall so many stories of Rogue Trader games between him, Blaine, and Rick wherein they would buy a bunch of rhino chassis and a team of Jokaero, then spend a few turns making space ships and defense lasers and then spent the rest of the game raining death upon the table. This card was meant to be a slight nod to that: if you could get in and collect enough metal (by destroying vehicles in assault), you could then use that metal to make a ship with a laser cannon firing down upon the mortals.
Sadly, Simon wasn’t able to destroy many vehicles during the course of the game. In fact, I think the only one he was able to take out was a warhound titan (which, in hindsight, should’ve given him an additional +1). I’ve gone back and added that in grey so that I can remember to do that if I re-use this card in the future.
Misfortune Favors the Bold (Sean’s Space Wolves):
At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each vehicle you have that was immobilized when trying to move through difficult terrain or for each character who loses a wound to a failed dangerous terrain test.
Additionally, any vehicles immobilized in difficult terrain or characters wounded by failed dangerous terrain checks gain the FNP (5+) and It Will Not Die special rules after suffering the ill effects (so 1-wound characters would already be dead).
This was a questionable mission in design. While you’re not completely helpless to meet the requirements, it does mean that you have to spend time running around through difficult terrain, which doesn’t happen all that many times during the course of the game. Sean wasn’t able to do this (actually, I’m not sure he ever immobilized a vehicle or took a wound because of a dangerous terrain test). I think this is chalked up to my fault, and poor mission design. Sorry, Sean.
Here Comes the Rooster (Sam’s Space Marines):
At the end of the game roll a die. On the roll of a 7+, you win a personal victory. You may add +1 to the die roll for each failed morale or pinning test you forced upon an opponent throughout the game.
Additionally, all of your ranged weapons gain the Twin-linked special rule when shooting at units that are pinned or falling back.
God bless Sam for trying. Throughout the game, he was really working on forcing tests, but the dice just weren’t with him. I’m not sure how many total tests he forced, but apparently he only managed to force 2x unsuccessful tests, so it was difficult to obtain this objective. This could be due to poor luck on his part, and perhaps due to problems with so many units in the game being fearless, but I think this mission has merit. Despite Sam’s troubles, I think I’d do this one again as well.
So, of the 8 total players, only three managed to complete their missions successfully (Blaine, Cole, & Danny), including at least one player on the losing side (I’m trying not to spoil the outcome here–if you’re interested in that, read the next post). So, it was good that people were able to use this as an alternate win condition despite technically losing the game.
Of the missions, only one I think needs to be scrapped completely: Fortune Favors the Bold. Others might need some tweaking (how on Terra do I make “Grand Theft Rhino” work?–or do I just let it go despite how cool the name is?
What do you think? Do you like the idea of personal objectives? Do you have any suggested tweaks that you’d make to the existing missions–or perhaps have some completely different ideas of your own that I can use for future battles?