So, back in July I posted a rule blurb about an upcoming apocalypse game entitled “The Fall of Morrsleb,” but those were really guidance about building armies, rather than the actual rules of the game. Well, I’m happy to say that game has passed (with some small amount of success), so I’ll spend a few posts going over how things went. In particular, I’m hoping to focus on the things that worked well, and those that didn’t, so we can improve in the future.
The rules we used for the actual game were as follows:
1) Unlike previous games, objectives will only be scored at the end of the game—not the end of each player turn.
2) Warpstone tokens have been placed around the board in clusters of 1-3. That objective will be held by that unit and can be moved around the board (a la the mission “the relic.”). Units can still run, shoot, and embark on vehicles while in possession of these objectives.
3) Harvesting an Objective:
a) Each non-vehicle unit can harvest a single objective by ending their movement phase in base to base contact with the token and collecting it. That unit will then be in possession of that objective until the end of the game or until they die—whichever comes first.
b) Units are not allowed to pass possession of warpstone tokens between themselves, or drop them (outside of being wiped out).
4) Losing an Objective:
a) When the last member of a unit that is holding an objective dies, the objective is placed in base to base contact with that model and can be harvested by another unit as normal from there on out.
5) Permanently Converting an Objective into a Strategic Victory Point:
a) Units can convert an objective they have harvested in a previous round. This would mean that the victory point would be permanently earned, and would no longer drop on death.
b) To permanently claim an objective, a unit cannot be embarked, and must forgo all movement (including running) and can only fire snapshots during that turn.
6) Alternate Uses for Objectives: Warpstones may be alternately used in the psychic phase (See #20 below)
Painted Model Benefit:
7) To encourage players to play with painted models, each player may choose from a list of Universal Special Rules (USRs) that will apply to all units that consist entirely of “completely painted” models. That player may choose from the list below:
a) Move through Cover (Roll an extra dice when moving through cover & ignores dangerous terrain)
b) Adamantium Will (+1 to deny the witch rolls)
c) Hammer of Wrath (+1 auto-hit when at I10 & S=model on charge)
d) Stealth (+1 to cover saves)
8) Before the game, each player will choose one of the options from the above list and that option will apply to every painted unit in his army. You may not mix and match between different units.
9) To judge what is considered a “completely painted” model, it is left to the sole discretion of the player/owner of the unit. If they can look you in the eye with a straight face and say that the model is completely painted, then it counts. In general, the model should have multiple colors, have some level of basing applied, and look coherent with the rest of the force.
10) An entire unit must be completely painted at the start of the game to benefit from the USR. If a unit consists of 9 painted models and 1 unpainted model to start the game, it can never benefit from the additional USR—even if the unpainted model dies during the course of the game.
11) In order to justify a diverse collection of armies being at the battle, each player will be assigned a “personal objective.” This is a mission that applies only to your army, and provides an “alternate win condition” for you.
12) Personal objectives should not be shared with any other player (including friendly players). Do not let them look at it, give them hints, or otherwise tell them what your objective is. While they may be your allies, who knows what devious plans they are up to…
13) Each objective should be clearly defined as to what you need to do in order to accomplish it. For the most part, there is a series of events you can do throughout the game to increase your likelihood of achieving your personal objective. In most circumstances, if you can do it enough throughout the game, you will automatically achieve this moral victory.
14) During each team’s psychic phase, one player will roll a dice and not the result.
15) Each player at the game will add the total number of psychic levels they have and add it to the original number to determine the number of warp charge they have for that phase.
16) When a spell is cast, one member of the opposing team may attempt to deny the witch on that spell using the dice available in his pool. It is up to the team as to who decides to roll the dice.
17) Bonuses for “Deny the witch” due to talismans, inclusions of psykers, etc. only affect the player with the models that are affected by that bonus. For example, if Blaine targets Rob’s psyker with a spell, but Rob is out of dispel dice, so Simon rolls for him. Simon would not receive any bonus to his dice rolls for Rob’s benefits.
18) Each spell may only be attempted to be dispelled one time.
19) Players may not combine dice pools.
20) Warpstone, being magical in nature can also be expended during the psychic phase. At the beginning of a psychic phase (either friendly or enemy) any player can expend a harvested warp stone token to earn an additional d3+3 warp charge tokens/dice for his army to use. Please note: permanently claimed objectives may not be expended in this manner.
21) To keep things moving and ensure that players get equal time, we’ll be using chess clocks to time our turns. Play is scheduled to start at 10am and end at 6pm.
22) Each team will be allotted four hours of time. At the end of each of their turns, a representative from their side will punch the clock to start the timer for the other team.
23) We will not break for lunch. Food, bathroom breaks, etc. are to be taken at the player’s convenience.
24) Since we’re all adults, please do not feel that you have to wait for a specific opponent to watch your dice rolls, during a given phase. If you can’t find the owner of a model you wish to fight (or they’re otherwise occupied), feel free to grab another member of the opponent’s team. That player can watch dice rolls, and even make armor saves/etc. for other teammates.
25) If you’re not comfortable with someone else making saves for a particular unit, you should pay careful attention to that unit throughout the game.
Generic Apocalypse Changes since Last Edition:
26) Warmaster: Each side will need a warmaster. During the setup phase of the game, each team will nominate one player to be the warmaster.
27) Strategic Reserves: Units in reserve can come into the game based upon their unit type. For the purposes of this game, the end of every full turn is considered a “break” for the purposes of reserves coming on (though it will not stop the clock)
28) Scoring Units – All units score in apocalypse.
29) Seize the Initiative: This rule is in effect for the game.
30) Divine Interventions: Each warlord can attempt to call a unique (once per game) Divine intervention at the start of their turn–the effects vary greatly by army, but all last for a game turn. These require certain conditions be met before they can be invoked.
31) Finest Hours/Sons of the Primarch: Like divine interventions, these are army specific traits that can be used by each warlord once per battle and last for a game turn. They don’t, however, require any other specific conditions other than to be done at the start of the turn.
32) Bonus Points: Extra points are awarded for killing Super-heavies, Gargantuan Creatures, Warmasters, & Stopping Finest Hours.
33) Strategic Victory Points: The points you tally to win the game can also be spent during the game. They can be used to bring back destroyed units or be used to fuel some strategic assets.
34) Strategic Assets: Each player can choose a single strategic asset at the beginning of the game before deployment.
35) Unnatural Disasters: We will be using the masters of disaster table for this game.
There’s not a lot of radical new options here that we haven’t at least played with in the past, but they’re worth noting the differences in this particular game:
- Chess Clocks – The time was pretty well neck-and-neck throughout the game until around the final turn, where the first team fell woefully behind. I’m not sure if this was due to poor time management, or the fact that the master of disaster ate into the first team, or just happenstance. In the future, we should pause the clocks for the master of disaster and any other between turn effects.
- Personal Objectives – We re-used a few from the previous time and created some new ones as well. This really deserves it’s own post though, so I’ll try to remember to do so in the future. As a whole, I think they were rather successful–just like before.
- Changes to Psychic phase – This wasn’t anything we’ve done before, nor was it a big radical difference, but since 7th edition added the phase, I think it was a good way to handle things. It did mean that certain players really took a lot of time in the phase, and at least one player complained that having so many opponents gave him the feeling like he never got any powers off–but I think that’s just the way the psychic phase works in general.
- Scoring Objectives – There was confusion about how this works. I don’t think that people were necessarily going into base-to-base contact with it the turn prior to harvesting the objectives. In short, this needs to be clearer for future games–but I think the underlying idea of scoring only at the end and dropping objectives on death is a good thing (though I don’t recall other people doing this much. I do know that whenever I saw Simon pick up an objective I immediately pummeled his squads until he dropped them).
As a last minute change, we also brought back Strategy Cards. The thought was that in every Apoc game I’d been to prior to this, people always seem to choose the same assets and, since I hadn’t gone through the new ones, I wanted to prevent that from happening again. So, in a pinch, we just dusted off the old strategy cards and used them again. They did have a few tweaks required to use them in 7th Edition (and in Apoc as well), but I think they went over fairly well. I do need to go through and modify some of them to eliminate super heavies from being targeted–at least for those that are ridiculously powerful, like “reinforcements.”
So those are the basic rules we used for this game. In my upcoming posts, I’ll try to go over the personal objectives, terrain, armies, players, and a bit about the significant events that went on for the game. But that’s for another day…