Friday, 13 July 2018

Rebels with a cause (A WH40K2 Scenario) - The game

If you read the rules I posted a few days ago, then you know what all this nonsense is about. You are warned. Proceed under your responsibility. You are about to enter my realm of silliness and crazy games that go out of control before you even realize what's going on.

You should read the introduction in the previous post so you have a full perspective of what's going on here. Long story short, the Governor is stranded within the uneasy borders of the low Hive, his barge been taken down. He and his retinue must reach the closest safe point, an Arbites outpost just on the other side of the board. They better hurry before the angry mobs of desperate citizens decide that the Governor needs to be held accountable of his bad deeds and lynch him. Besides, the murmur of the shouting has reached the under-underhive. A mutiny is the best chance imaginable for the Genestealer Cult to make a raid and capture citizens to be infected. For sure no one will miss anyone in the middle of the upcoming battle...

Yes, I stole that pic in the background from the internet. I'm that despicable
So the Governor's retinue will start on the right side of the pic, where you can see the barge. They must reach the Arbites outpost, that landing pad on the left of the pic. They will receive Arbites reinforcements, attending the disstress call. The protesters becoming rioters will be all over and a few Genestealer Hybrids will emerge from the docks when the time comes...

At least they have been civilized enough to mark off the accident area with cones
Will we have enough civilians for this scenario...?
Things start to warm up when a bunch of freaks come close to the Governor and begin to shout and chant.

Imperiales eunt domus!
The Arbites come to the rescue! The first squad appears on one side, they come from downtown and were the closest patrol.

No, it's that way!
But... what in the name of the Holy Emperor are those? They come out from the docks...

And they look determined to cause some (additional) mayhem
In fact, the first thing they do is spotting the Governor's retinue...

...and killing his secretary!
Oh, more problems. In that elevated monorail there are some protesters, who carelessly action the emergency breaks.

They just shout and insult the Governor. They tried to jump out of the wagon, but failed their Initiative roll (man, are you insane? Jump? No way!)
But he's not a patient man and sends the bailiffs to silence them
The Hybrids set themselves in Overwatch
And a new squad emerges from the sewers in the docks!
The protesters in the monorail decide to get out and take their action to another level:

OK, that's a new achievement in the history of demonstrations
The Arbites walk towards a trap
They cleanse the area, but new Hybrids are on overwatch!

This group of protesters is sniffed and revealed
The protesters jump from the railway to the platform!
They throw one bailiff to the water (I can only imagine that scene like the old days of the A-Team)
A group of protesters appears, so the Hybrids are forced to use their overwatch on them
And they kill indeed a couple of them!
The Escalation of Violence Levels proved to be terrible for the rioter player, as he insisted of failing every single break roll he had to do. Seriously.

Disperse! A lot of groups went to Level 1 in no time
In the Psychic phase the Imperial Psyker opens a Portal
And they escape through it!
The Arbites break in the firefight
But a new Hybrids squad comes in, with the Magus
A group of angry rioters reach the Governor's retinue
And they kill the Governor's wife and his Counselor!
Reinforcements are late!!
Get the Governor outta here! I'll keep them at bay as long as I can!
That's a movie entrance, just at the right moment
So the Governor barely manages to escape, but only to find...

...this. Glups!
After taking the dead minis apart, here you have a general view of what happened so far. The Governor is halfway, on the center of the board. Protesters and Arbites are struggling just north of them, a few steps away. But the way to the Outpost is blocked by the Genestealer Cult. There's still a lot of game ahead!

I should have photoshopped this pic too
The Arbites secure the area while the Governor goes back and climbs the stairs...
...followed by the Cult (oh, can you imagine what a prey?)
New protesters come from everywhere
From everywhere!
The spirits are high and they team up in a truly dreadful mob
Things are getting nasty for the Governor
I'd say the Imperials look surrounded
Well. Then it happened. These civilians came up where the Ornithopter was:

They rolled for Initiative and one of them got to pilot it
Well, pilot. To go upwards...
...and quickly down
You see what's happening? My pal rolled the scatter dice and bam! Right on the Governor's head.

BUT the Governor jumps into the trash can
And he so saves his life
Imperial reinforcements come to the rescue
But the Cult also brings something to the party
The Cult and the rioters engage
The market is going to see some action
Suddenly... a presence, a subtle presence that had not been noticed before revealed itself. Alien in its nature, from beyond the stars. Greedy, ancient, unaware and careless of the desires and the goals of humans and Genestealers, of rich and poor, ïa, ïa ehrm... I mean...

An Enslaver!
Yup, consult your Rogue Trader manual if you please. Consult this very blog to know more about it. I had this long time debt and finally managed to pay my dues. The creature deserved a role in a scenario. Well, that explains many things, such as the rebellion itself. Or would you expect honourable citizens to revolt against their legitimate and benevolent rulers? No way, it must be a xenos complot! :D
I just took the profile from the RT book and adapted to 2nd Ed. standards. I, as the GM, would be taking control of it, and would mess with all the players at the same time. It was just a way of adding a little more mayhem (but my idea was also trying to balance things if one of the players was doing it way better than the others).

The Cult tried to fry the six-wheeler with the drilling laser, but the puny dice rolls prevented it
Remember, the Governor is hidden inside that green recycling bin in the market area
The market where blood is being spilt
The civilians assault the Sentinel AND FU&%#NG KILL THE PILOT
The combat in the market goes as expected
Finally, air evacuation arrives, with reinforcements
While the Hybrids took over the market, the civilians took that van...
...and smashed it into the stalls
Definitely my players have ideas I cannot even foresee
I bet you forgot about this one
The rioters use the captured Sentinel against the Arbites
In the meantime, these guys go try rescue the Governor
 The Governor has a displacement field (a tiny Warp reactor that literally moves him a few meters away to prevent hits). So every time he receives a hit, there's a chance that the guy ends up somewhere else. Oh, the laughter! Imagine a Warp portal constantly opening and closing avoiding the Governor to receive any harm. Totally worth of a movie.

The Enslaver sings a lullaby and tries to convince them that they are his little children now
In the meantime, the captured mining drill had been shooting the laser cutter at the Arbites six-wheeler with most disappointing results. Apparently you need to go through some kind of learning if you want to handle industrial heavy machinery, who could have guessed. So then the civilians decided to take a new approach...

Ramming it was way more destructive!
The angry mob surrounds the Governor
The giant brain slug extends its power towards protesters and whoever comes around
The Arbites cleanse the area and the Governor runs
So close... Just behind the metro station
I have to say that by that moment it was way past 1:30 AM, the wife and the Suberling were long time gone to bed... and here we were yet, hushing and rolling dice carefully. My fellow players took a decision that honoured them; they decided just to play the Governor's run and forget about the other accessory side stories. The man had just one final setback. He had to go under the monorail, where a group of protesters was waiting and throwing stones and stuff. If he could go through that, we could consider him saved. So he ran and ran (as fast as his belly and short legs allowed him to do so). Some stones hit the ground next to him. But finally...

...he fell, his head smashed. Just a few steps from salvation
This time not even the displacement field was able to save him. The protest had become a riot, the riot a rebellion, and the rebellion an uprising!

The rioters had achieved victory! If victory was a word that could apply to this situation. Trust my word: an Imperial Governor attacked and lynched, a heretic Cult seen, a xenos criature roaming freely in the neighbourhood... Oh, brother, I can tell you one thing for sure; next Imperial force knocking at your door is not going to be a mere Arbites patrol...

Weirdest demonstration ever
Phew, what a game! You can see that anything could have happened during the whole battle. The Genestealer Cult had some serious chances of infecting the Governor (and in doing so, getting access to the whole Imperial chain of command!). The Magus psi powers were dreadful, and really got a notorious influence in the game (that's why I decided the Enslaver to get control over the Hybrids, to make things more even).

The rioters rules (the activation levels and so) were a fun thing to do, but now with this experience I think I would change some things, specially the deployment rules. A series of really bad rolls made a lot of groups to dissolve almost as fast as they appeared on the board. My mate played the protesters way more aggressively than I expected, so in the end the activation levels stuff was almost a matter of limiting the use of force he was prone to use. It's a pity we didn't get to use some rules, like the Arbites trying to calm the mob down. I would have loved to see some more interaction between law enforcement agents and rioters, the spirits going up and down. But it was fun the way it all happened!

The Governor's retinue behaved as I had expected, but their survival was far shorter than I predicted. The escape being sort of the McGuffin in the story, it worked as the conducting thread all over the game. It was completely fun.

On the whole I can say I enjoyed it a lot. It's been enormously rewarding to see the story unfolding on the board and the players really getting involved in their roles. The board served its purpose. As you can see, it's official, I've reached its saturation point, I cannot deploy another single building on it, and that's the exact goal I have pursued all this time.

So I declare myself satisfied. Everything has been worth of the time devoted to the project. The game was utterly fantastic for me and I hope the players enjoyed it as well. Now I can move on (Right, you know I already have more boards and games in mind!!)

I hope you have enjoyed this a little too!


  1. That was absolute insanity . . . I LOVE IT!!

    1. Haha, thanks! It was indeed! An enormous piece of fun, trust me :D

  2. Suber, that is awesome!!! So many toys on the table! Seeing all those protesters together - huge! And what a story - the kamikaze ornithopter, the governor in the bin, the displacement field, the Enslaver, the run to glory. So good!

    Thanks for taking the time to share. I'm sure this is one I'll come back to look at again and again.

    1. Thank you very much! There were a lot of things happening every turn, and all of them were ridiculously fun. Rationing the events out proved to be a good call, we were crying out loud the whole game :)

  3. Absolutely brilliant! Wow. And good to see that the great 2nd edition still stands the test of time ;)

    1. It does! 2nd Ed is quite an excellent game for skirmishes like this. We could have used some RT traits, but anyway, we solved all the decisionmaking processes either using Leadership or Initiative. We had a really good time!

  4. The improvisation of the player behind the protesters was fantastic. Ramming, crashing, and thinking of all the different ways his people could cause havoc.

    Also, this is only possible because of your decision to Gamemaster the scenario. Acting as the referee empowers the players because they have someone impartial to regulate any unexpected actions.

    ...and like you alluded to, now you have a complete setup for the next game. The city is in chaos, the Gov is dead, a Cult is running wild, an alien is on the loose.

    Anything could happen! Call the Inquisition!

    1. Thank you, glad you like it :)
      The interaction between a GM and the players is key to the success of such a game. We all were on the same page an thus all the different decisions made sense (within the whole silliness of the scenario itself!). I always encourage that kind of out of the box way of thinking, it makes the players give their best and focus on enjoying, not on taking rules to the edge for their own benefit.

      You are right, a mysterious ship with a =I= engraved on it has been recently seen in the vicinity...

  5. It was immensely fun! A game for the ages. :)

    Thanks for building the table, painting everything and, on top of that, gamemastering. It was amazing.

    1. Thank you for being the rules betatester! :P I'm so happy you all enjoyed it. But now we have to keep on! Tere are so many things happening right now!

  6. Oh, what an excellent looking game my friend!

    1. Thanks! We had a lot of fun, it was immensely enjoyable :)

  7. Glorious. And that swarm of civilian figures is mighty impressive!

    1. Thank you! Well, that's the result of perseverance and years of searching and collecting any mini I deemed I could get into the setting :P

  8. Absolutely crazy! I love it!

    1. It was! These games go beyond the forces involved or the mere dice rolling, they have that silly point that makes then funnier than expected. Thanks!

  9. Absolutely Fantastic game report. The table looks amazing. YOu should be proud of it Suber!

    1. Thank you very much! I can only say that this project has taken a few years of my life and I REGRET NOTHING. :D

  10. For someone like me who has never really dabbled with tabletop gaming, this looks like absolute mayhem and fun! :)

    1. Well, it certainly was! For non-regular gamers it all can be a little bit overwhelming at the beginning, but once you get familiar with the dynamics, it's all easier. The leading concept here is freedom to act as you please, so there are little constrictions, if any, about what you can do. The key idea is just to have fun, not to blindly follow whatever ruleset we may use.

  11. Absolutely awesome mate!! Really great battle report! I love seeing some fantastic looking toy soldiers on the table enjoying some second edition mayhem!!

    1. Thank you! You can see this can get out of control pretty quickly, but that's the better part of it! :D

  12. That was a whole barrel of fun :D. Thanks for inviting me!

    1. Thank you for playing! I can understand that facing this kind of entropic game can be a little weird, but you reacted really well and added some of the best moments in the whole evening! I hope you enjoyed it!

  13. Awesome. Those civilians. We need them. Where did you get them all from ??

  14. Great game with plenty of the madness that makes for something memorable. Well done! What minis do you use for the civilians?

    1. Thank you! Dammit, I now realize I should have created a 'Civilians' label in the blog. I think (but only think) here are the links to what I've done with civilians (some links may be missing, I just did a quick search):

      I believe there are more, but you get the idea :D Minis from here and there and some greenstuff all over :D

  15. Me encanta. Parece taaaan divertido ><

  16. Una escenografía muy maja, y esa tanqueta con las ruedas de tente es lo más :)

    1. ¡Muchas gracias! ¡Buen ojo con las ruedas, jeje! La verdad es que construir todo esto ha sido un proyecto muy personal que me ha llevado varios años, pero en general estoy muy contento; partidas de este tipo hacen que merezca la pena :D

  17. So good. What a table, and a fantastically over the top and cinematic story.

    Well done.

    1. Thank you very much! The whole thing went crazy prety early in the game, but I guess it only made it better :D