Tuesday, 10 July 2018

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

It has happened! I have finally got to play the long planned scenario in which I wanted to put my sci-fi civilians and Adeptus Arbites to an use! Hooray!

In fact, not only I succeeded in meeting my regular 2nd Ed gaming pal, but I even got to muster another couple of players. Wow. So I thought I could be the GM in a scenario involving the Arbites, the protesters and a Genestealer cult. How could I make this work? Let me post the scenario rules today, I'll show the AAR as soon as I write it!

So a demonstration then. Meh
'Those filthy, ungrateful, rat-breed scoundrels' -mumbled the Governor as he shook the dust off his uniform- 'They really sabotaged my barge! They took my barge down!'
Master Winston Lofage, Imperial Governor of Enophis, Lord Protector of the Sacred Flame of Gauldis, Marshall of the Inner Brink, Custodian Majoris of the Pious Scrolls of Saint Ander, et caetera, felt quite a straightforward rage towards all those miserable peasants who dared to infect his Hive -his Hive!- and didn't care to show anything but disrespact to his loving, parental authority. Well, yes, the tax on bread was a little bit unwelcome. But it was necessary. So was the eviction of those tatterdemalions on Sector 67. The space was much needed for the new high standard resort, couldn't they see it was for a good reason? Right, last month's decimation was some tough bussiness, he wasn't that much prone to it, but it had to be done; otherwise, overpopulation would have become an issue. Oh, those short-sighted, Emperor-forsaken, filthy rats. A life of service and this is how they repayed him. He grabbed firmly his gold finished cane, which surely was more expensive that those gritty buildings; they couldn't even manage to live within acceptable standards! What could he do about that?

The barge had been taken down just on the pier. No one was injured and the local bailiffs had secured the area. They had called for reinforcements, but the Adeptus Arbites hadn't shown up yet. Some news about protesters on the vox channel were beginning to unsettle him. A decision had to be made.
'The nearest Arbites outpost is relatively close from here, Sire' -said Armengol, his bodyguard- 'we could take our chances and get there to wait for air evacuation'. Pfff. The Governor, his wife, his counselor and his two assistants. Preposterous. They better wait for the Arbites to escort them. After all, they are on an Imperial city, where the rule of law prevails. The honest Imperial citizens wouldn't pose a threat to the Governor and his retinue, would they? ... Would they?

Apparently a mob is taking shape, some daring protesters can be seen shouting. Some casual onlookers begin to crowd round. Not looking good. Besides, this is just the neighbourhood from where those mysterious reports came from. Those regarding some kind of new cult, adults dissapearing, weird people going from here to there... Nonsenses, of course, but yet...

'OK, we're moving. Make the bailiffs open a path for us to move...'

The barge is on the right side of the pic. The Arbites Station is on the left (it's the landing pad just behind the ornithopter)

The Governor and his retinue must reach the Arbites outpost. The Imperial player will receive Arbites reinforcements as detailed below.
The protesters must avoid the Governor to escape. The rioter player will have strict rules of how will the protesters behave, as detailed below.
The Genestealer cult must capture ('kill' for gaming purposes) as many humans as possible so they can be retrieved and infected in their lair. The Governor or any authority would be quite desirable victims. Imagine if you just could make them be loyal to the Patriarch...

NB: Given that there were three players, at first I thought of a classic victory point system (i.e., killing the Governor gives X points, killing his wife gives X points... that kind of stuff). But I'm certainly happy that we discarded it at once. Some people say they play using a strong narrative element. In fact I do quite the opposite: I do narrative with a strong gaming element! So the results will be the least of our concerns (when I finish writing the AAR you'll know what I mean).

Anyway, let's go for the parties involved:

RIOTERS



M
WS
BS
S
T
W
I
A
Ld
Leader
10
4
4
3
3
1
4
1
8
Protester
10
3
3
3
3
1
3
1
6


Equipment: Meleé weapons, bricks/stones/whatever.

Deployment: At the beginning of the game place two groups, 4+1D6 rioters each, 30cm (that's like 10 inches) from the Governor's retinue, with line of sight.
Every new turn you'll have 1D3 new groups; place them at least at 30cm (10") from the Governor and with line of sight. The other players won't know for certain the true numbers of each group unless the rioters are 10 cm (4") from an enemy unit. So you will place just 5 minis and a token to represent that the authorities can only see the crowd, but not their exact composition. Note down the exact numbers of each group. Whenever the group comes close enough to an enemy unit (or an Arbites special rule says so), you will reveal the exact composition. Replace the token with as many miniatures needed. (This way you'll know your true strength, but the Imperials won't)
 
Union means strength: When two rioter groups make contact, they can try to join themselves together, rolling against the highest Ld value of both groups. When a group is 15 members strength, one of them will become its Leader (choose a miniature for that purpose). From that moment on, the group will only break up if any special rule says so. If both groups are at different activation levels (see below) and come together, the new larger group will have the highest activation level in both groups.

Escalation of violence: The crowd is volatile and lacks any organised chain of command. They are just angry citizens. They can go from still to hostile in a second. At the beginning they will protest and shout against the Governor and authority, but will not be openly hostile. As the demonstration goes on and the Governor tries to escape, anger will rise and problems may begin. That circumstance may change as the game unfolds and the groups inteact with each other, the Arbites, etc.
To reflect that, each group must check this table every turn and act accordingly. Place 1d6 next to each group to remember what is its activation level:



LEVEL
EFFECTS
1. Dissolve!: The group breaks apart and the rioters flee away.
Every miniature flees 3d6 cm in a random direction to escape from danger, without keeping squad coherence. See rallying after disbanding special rule ahead.
2. Disputes: There is some struggle over leadership, things may go wrong. It may happen that two different groups that wanted to join up cannot do so because their points of view about the revolution are too dissimilar (apply this rule on both groups) or it can happen that the thin leadership within a group is questioned by inner debate or other reasons (running away from cops is a good reason to stop following instructions from anyone).
If you have failed a Ld test for any reason,  roll 1d6. If you get a 6, turmoil starts within the group. Take one miniature away (stabbed, injured, outcasted, whatever).
If that happens, roll again. If you get 5+, take another miniature away and roll a third time. If you get 4+, the group goes to Level 1.
 As long as the group stays on Level 2, it must pass a Ld test at the end of every turn. If you fail it, apply the effects described above. If you pass it, the group goes to Level 3 for the next turn. While on Level 2, the group cannot move closer than 20 cm. from any enemy unit.
3. Gather people: The rioters chant in unison and try the neighbours to join them.
At the end of your turn make a break test. If you pass it, the group receives one more miniature and goes to Level 4. If you fail it, go to Level 2.
4. Peaceful protest: The group shouts against authority but the protestors do not challenge the Arbites.
The group can move freely, but staying 10 cm. away from any Imperial unit.
5. Violent protest: Rage rises within the group and they throw bottles and stones to the authorities.

 The group can move freely and makes as many long range attacks as miniatures are in the group against a single unit which is 10 cm. away max. Attacks have BS3 S3
6. Rebellion!: The members of the group throw themselves fearlessly to attack the authorities.

The group runs or charges against the closest enemy unit and attacks it. Besides the usual charge modifiers, all the members of the group will have +1I while on this Level.



All groups begin their respective first turn on Level 3.

A group on Level 4 or 5 can choose at the end of its turn stay on the same Activation Level or go one Level up on the chart. Once you level up you cannot level down voluntarily; that can only happen by failing a Ld roll or by applying an Adeptus Arbites special rule.

A group on Level 3 or higher that receives a casualty for any reason will immediately rise two Levels on the chart, applicable next turn.

 Hints: No matter the Level you are on, crowd is volatile, remember; you lack any kind of organised leadership, chain of command or training. That's why it is pretty easy you can go down all the way to Level 2. Think twice before you expose your protesters to unnecesary hazards.

Rules will apply all the same, no matter if the group is opposing Imperial authorities (Imperiales eunt domus) or the Genestealer Cult (death to those freaks, we're still clean, respectable humans).


Rallying after disbanding: A group gone to Level 1 ceases to exist as such. If it had a Leader, he or she will be an ordinary protester again. If while running away a protester goes through another protesters group, the miniature will immediately stop its movement and make a Ld roll (even if the player had just made one that very turn). If the player passes it, the protester is encouraged by the crowd and joins that group. If the player fails it, the protester will keep on running until the miniature leaves the board.





ADEPTUS ARBITES




M
WS
BS
S
T
W
I
A
Ld
Leader
10
4
4
3
3
1
4
1
8
Arbitrator
10
3
3
3
3
1
3
1
7


Equipment: Carapace armour. Squad 1: Shotguns. Squad 2: Pwer maul/Supression shield. Squad 3: Bolters.
Both Sentinel and six-wheeler are equipped with a heavy webber.

Deployment: Squad 1 will enter the board at turn 1 on one side. The other units will remain as reserves and will enter at the GM discretion (Squad 2 in the six-wheeler, Squad 3 in the Arvus Lighter, landing on the Arbites Precinct rooftop).

Drone: The drone moves 20 cm. each turn. At the end of its movement, the drone can reveal how many protesters does a group exactly have. Take the token apart and make the rioter player place as many miniatures as needed. The drone has Armour value 7 and no weapons.

Authority: Any Arbites squad can try to de-escalate the conflict with the rioters before using violence. After the squad movement, but before the shooting phase, the squad leader can address the protesters and command them to drop their attitude. Choosethe closest rioters group within 20 cm. range (with line of sight) and make an Initiative roll. If you pass it, that group will immediately go one Level down in its Escalation of Violence chart. If you fail, that group will immediately roll 1d6. If the rioter player gets 5+, the group will mock the authority and will go one level up for next turn.
No matter the result, after that roll the Arbites Squad will be able to resume its turn. An Arbites Squad will only be able to open fire on a rioting mob if the group is on Level 5 or 6. If the group has just gone to Level 5 as a consequence of the roll explained in the precedent paragraph, they will not be able to open fire against them.
The riot control squad will be able to charge on any rioter mob, no matter its Level.


GOVERNOR'S RETINUE



M
WS
BS
S
T
W
I
A
Ld
Governor
10
4
5
4
4
1
3
1
10
Companions
10
3
3
3
3
1
3
1
7
Bodyguard/Cop
10
4
4
3
3
1
3
1
7
 

 Equipment:
The Governor is equipped with a displacement field.
The Navigator is equipped with a med pack.
The bodyguards are equipped with frag armour, autogun and bolt pistol.
The bailiffs are equipped with frag armour and bolters.

The members in this group are not affected by the restrictions on the use of force that apply to the Arbites. They will use any means possible to keep the Governor safe and make him reach the extraction point.




 GENESTEALER CULT



M WS BS S T W I A Ld
Magus
10
3
3
4
3
1
5
1
8
Leader
10
3
3
4
3
1
5
1
8
Neophyte
10
4
2
4
3
1
5
1
8
Acolyte
10
3
3
4
3
1
5
1
8
  
(NB: I'm pretty sure the terms 'Neophyte' and 'Acolyte' were used in a sense in 2nd Edition and totally inversed their meaning in later Editions...)

Equipment:
The Magus is a Psyker.
Leader: Bone sword, laspistol, frag armour.
Hybrids: Autoguns, autopistols, knives.
If both the Magus and the Leader die, the whole army must make a break roll. The units that fail it will be broken. The units that pass it will go frenzy for the rest of the game.


That is more or less everything. I still have an ace up my sleeve, which I will not speak of today, to keep the surprise just as I did with the players in the game ;)

I'm writing the post with the AAR just as soon as I post this one, so I hope you'll be able to read it in a few days (many, many pics involved, I promise!)

12 comments:

  1. Just wow, you put a lot of thought and effort into this.
    It's great to hear you finally get get to use all these gorgeously painted miniatures in a battle.
    2nd edition is a lot of fun and very well suited for skirmish too in my opinion, though it suffered from some balance issues at times.
    I look forward to the report and hear the conclusion of this little scenario.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We use 2nd Ed precisely because it's manageable for skirmishes and narrative games, but we always try to balance some particular issues with house rules. Above all, the use of a GM helps a lot; anyway, my pal and I share the same philosophy about gaming, so we have never really experienced any 'weird' effect whenever we get to play :)
      I'll try to have the report before the weekend. I'm on it!

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  2. Really great! I love old ed. too ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! 2nd Ed is the game I'm most familiar with when it comes to wargaming, it offers quite fun choices for our silly ideas! :)

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  3. What a great example of how to use narrative to define the goals and motivations for your players.
    A strong storyline like yours obliterates the need for placing markers or assigning points to objectives.
    "Did the Gov survive?", "How many new cultists did you snatch?"

    I can't wait to see the battle report

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do enjoy with the storytelling process. And I love living that in first person, making the story move forward with every decision. Your games are always mesmerizing for me, so it's quite a huge compliment to hear you like this, thank you!

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  4. This is absolutely amazing. I just can’t wait to see the battle report!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! There are a lot of silly ideas that weren't really tested before. You'll discover if they worked (hopefully) soon!

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  5. Replies
    1. Haha, it was definitely fun! I've started writing the report, I hope I can remember everything!

      Delete
  6. Sounds awesome and looks fantastic. Can't wait to see how it turned out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It was a fun, different game. Pics coming soon! :)

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