Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Big Game Big Board

New Material as of Monday January 21st starts in violet text:

New Material as of Thursday January 31st starts in red text:
 (editing note: more verbose material has been deleted)  

New Material as of Monday February 4th starts in green text:

New Material as of Sunday February 24th starts in orange text:

New Material as of Tuesday February 26th in lime text:


You'll see a little map above.  Each rectangle represents a table.  The red and blue areas are "Bases."  They're large bastion-type walls.  Each small dot represents a "Flag Objective," and each large dot represents a "Drop Zone Objective."

The board shown is not to scale. 


The Bases

Here's a photo of what each team's Base will approximately look like.  There will be access through a gate from the front, and there will be two "alleys" on the sides where models as large as a land-raider can move through.
A good example of a base.  Note the center gate.

The bastion-base will consist of four sections, two walls, two towers and one gatehouse.  Each section will be considered as having an armor value of 14 and six hull points.  Units beginning their movement phase on the inside of the base within 2" of the wall may use their entire movement phase to move their troops to the battlements above.  Likewise, troops on upper levels may move down to the inner ground floor during their movement phase.  Movement is not allowed from the outside of the base to the upper floors and vice versa.

The gate may be opened or closed during the movement phase to allow shooting from within or models to exit.  The base gates may only be opened or closed once per movement phase.

Special rule for troops on the upper floors of the base:  Models stationed on the upper walls of the base test for pinning and morale as normal.  However, troops on battlements forced to fall back for any reason will instead become pinned.

Destruction of a wall section: Walls reduced to 0 hull points will be removed from the game and replaced with rubble.  Models atop the walls when this happens will take a saveable wound on a 4+ and must test for pinning.  They will then be placed in the rubble remains.  If the gatehouse is reduced to 0 hull points the door will be permanently removed, but the terrain piece will be left in place.

When you arrive at the Big Table:

When you arrive at the Big Table may vary according to your particular participation in this year's event.  Upon being sent to the Big Table, report in with your teammates, and report to them how many points you are bringing with you scored from previous contests, the amount (if any) you are depositing in the bank (see later) and the approximate total size of your army.  You will then stage your army, if you have not yet done so.  You should be very aware of the total points cost for each unit.  This staged army is the army you will use in this scenario, and cannot be modified.  No retro-fitting units to suit your needs!

Warlord Traits:

After staging your army and reporting in, you will make a single roll for your warlord traits.  Certain warlord traits will be effectively ignored and a new one should be rolled.  These are:   Legendary Fighter, Night Attacker, Master of Ambush, Strategic Genius, Divide to Conquer, Princeps of Deceit.  

See a game judge if you wish to use a codex-defined warlord trait for this scenario.  Mentally prepare to have a warlord trait denied if it breaks the intent or spirit of the scenario. 

 Psychic powers:

After staging your army, reporting in and determining your Warlord traits, Roll for any psychic powers you may have.  Please have a game judge or opponent witness these rolls.  These results should be written down on a note.

The first players to the field will deploy by moving on from the Drop Zone Objective found in their Base.  Each team starts with this one Drop Zone claimed.

These first players will only be able to field 500 points each.  During each turn they will try to claim both Flag Objectives and Drop Zone Objectives.  Troops units (and units counting as troops) are the only units that can claim these objectives.  All other units from the army are left behind, and await purchase (see this later).

Players arriving later will spend any points they have won personally during the contest, plus any points their team deems appropriate from the bank.  New players should defer to the ongoing strategy to players already at the Big Table, but should soon work their way into the command structure.

Gameplay and Objectives:

Flag Objectives: When a flag objective is claimed (per the normal 40k rules), a flag will be removed from a Team Income Board and placed upon the objective.   Troops can leave an objective behind, but the flag will remain until an enemy unit contests it.  In this instance, the flag will be removed and placed back on the Team Income Board.  If an enemy Troops unit captures the objective, it will place its own flag upon it as well.

Drop Zone Objectives: Drop Zone Objectives also receive a flag when captured.  In addition, any units arriving via reserves or purchase may move onto the board from the edge of these Drop Zone Objectives.   Players should take care not to move over the top of units that are in the way- these Drop Zone Objectives could get to be crowded places.

Falling Back:  When making a fall back move, units will always attempt to fall back toward their own Base if possible.  The last stand rule: Models falling back while within the the perimeter of the Base will become Fearless if there are no enemy models within 6" of them. 

The Economy: It is of utmost importance that players know the points value of every unit in their army.  Near each team base will be a large piece of paper called the Team Income Board.  The Team Income Board (TIB) will have twenty-six circles on it in rows, with points values in those circles.  The first point value will be 500points, and each value will increase along each row, ending somewhere around 15,000 points for a highest value.  Each circle will be covered by a flag.  Each time an objective is captured, a flag is removed from the lowest current circle and placed upon the objective.  If an objective is lost, the flag is replaced upon the TIB and consequently the income of the team will be reduced.

The number revealed is how many points that team will earn as income at the beginning of their turn.  These values are not added together.  When a player wants to bring units onto the board, he or she will have to spend the points available represented on the Team Income Board.

The Bank:  Each team has a bank of points that are not spent each turn.  For example, if a team has an income of 1500 points, and the players decide to purchase 1475 points worth of units from their rosters, 25 points would be added to the bank and be carried over into future rounds.

Bribes: Bribes are a very real thing in the 40k universe.  In this game, we will simulate them off the table top.   To make a bribe, approach any player  from the opposing team.  Request from that player that you wish to buy him a drink of his choice, whatever he wants, as a Bribe described here.  The player may then name ANY drink of choice from the bar, and you will be compelled to purchase said drink and deliver within the next 30 minutes.  Upon delivery of the drink, add the dollar value of the drink multiplied by 10 to your bank, rounding off cents.  For example, if I told Kevin I'd like to buy him a bribe drink, he could request a pint of Guinness. If that pint cost $6.75, upon delivery I would be able to add 67 points to my team's bank.  If the bar does not carry the drink, or if the drink does not physically exist, the deal is null and void.  If the player initiating the bribe does not follow through with the drink, he will be penalized 50 points for his lack of honor.

Purchasing Units: Units purchased using points from a team's economy will be sequestered on their table where they are staged to a new group called "Active Reserves."  A player may choose to move these purchased active reserves into their game on the turn when he chooses.  This way a player may choose to have their army come on in a more coordinated fashion, or await a strategic capture of a Drop Zone Objective.

Outflanking: Outflanking, "Wolf Scouting," and other methods of entering play in inventive ways will be allowed only within Army Coherency.  In this game, Army Coherency (also known as the six-foot-rule) will be extended to eight feet.

Infiltrators: Infiltrators, when purchased into Active Reserves may, at the beginning of a player's movement phase, be placed anywhere within 18" of a Drop Zone edge, providing that they maintain Army Coherency, and are not within normally prohibited distances to enemy units.  On the turn the Infiltrators are placed, they may not make a move in the assault phase.  Otherwise, they may act as normal. 

Immobile Vehicles:  Immobile vehicles as well may be deployed within 18" of a Drop Zone Objective edge.  They may not be placed within 6" of an enemy unit.

Army Coherency: D-Company house rules dictate that a player cannot deploy his army all over God's creation.  Most armies must act as a somewhat cohesive group in order to maintain command, and in games of this magnitude it helps everyone if you are near your models during gameplay.  With this mission in mind, your army may not span a diameter greater than eight feet.  To be put another way, no model of yours may be more than eight feet away from any other model of yours.  If this is the case, models out of coherency may be forced to fall back or Retire (see below) to mitigate the situation.  It should be noted that the spirit of this rule is to speed play and keep order, not to punish players who are successfully fighting on several fronts or making large sweeping gestures of force.   Judges should be contacted about players who might be in violation of this rule. 

Allies and Other Players: Unless specifically excepted by some outstanding reason, your codex and/or your force plays "by itself" in this scenario.  While you personally may field an allied force that may interact with your other allied force as detailed in the Warhammer 40K rulebook, your army may not be allied with another force, so therefore may not use another players' Warlord Traits, Psychic Powers, Chapter Tactics, Orders, or the benefits conveyed.  For example, if one player has an Eldar army, it may not use the benefits of Doom cast against a target unit from another player's Eldar force.   Another example, on player's marines may not "hitch a ride" in another player's transport.  Any questions regarding this should be promptly addressed to the game judge.  If in doubt, the answer is no.

Flyers and Army Coherency:  Flyers found to be outside of Army Coherency must "fly off" the table in their next available move.  They will then be placed into Active Reserves after this move, and act just as if they were available in Ongoing Reserves (see main rulebook).

Retiring Units: A unit that is more than 48" away from another enemy unit and not falling back may, during the owning player's movement phase, retire from its position.  The unit is removed from the board and returned to the player's staged units.  If the unit is at least half strength, 50% of the units value will be refunded to the bank.  If the unit is less, there will be no money returned to the bank.  The unit will then be replenished to full strength at the staging table, and be purchased as normal the following turn forward.  Note that the unit returns to staging, and not to "Active Reserves."  A unit may not Retire and Deploy in the same turn.  Independent characters, fortifications and vehicles may not Retire, and dedicated transports are not replenished using Retired rules.

Destroyed and Routed Units: Models that belong to units that are Destroyed or Routed (run off the board) are removed from the game permanently, and can not repurchased without explicit exception.

Fortifications: Fortifications can be deployed  anywhere within 18" of a controlled Drop Zone as long as they are not closer than 6" to an enemy unit.  Fortifications are not subject to Army Coherency rules, and may be used by any forces during the game.  Players should endeavor to leave statistics of their personal fortifications nearby, or be ready to answer questions about them if they are not readily available starting on page 114 of the Warhammer 40k rulebook.

Wreckage Demolition: There may be a time where there might be too much wreckage in your deployment area.  While wrecks should not be removed when destroyed unless they suffer an "Explodes!" result, a player may decide that there's just too much shattered hulks around for them to properly move about.  Therefore, any unit equipped with grenades may use them to remove a wreck from the board.  A unit must, in its own movement phase, move into base contact with a wreck.  It cannot "run" to or make an assault move to reach the wreck.  During the assault phase the charges will be placed.  At the end of the assault phase, once all combats are fought and resolved, the player will then be able to remove the wreck, without placing a crater or further wreckage.  This maneuver is not without risk however, as the demolition team may be hit by flying debris or become the victim of a tragically short fuse.  After removing the wreck, roll a D6.  On the roll of a "6" the unit will suffer a single Strength 3 hit allocated to a random member of the unit that performed the successful Wreckage Demolition operation.  Normal saves allowed.

The Winner: The objective of the scenario is to gain ground on your opponent.  A team may win this scenario in several ways. 1) By capturing every objective.  2) By reducing the bank of the opposing team to zero and destroying all of their units.  3) By making it impossible for the opposing team to deploy a single unit.  Otherwise, there will be some victory points at the end of the day.

The following victory points will only used to determine victory if none of the three conditions listed above apply, or if there is, somehow and however unlikely, a tie.

+1 point for every drop zone captured.

+1 point for every HQ, Elites, or Heavy Support within 36" of the enemy Base walls.

+1 point for every HQ, Elites, or Heavy Support within 12" of the enemy Base walls (cumulative, so a unit within 12" of the enemy Base walls would score two points).

+1 point for each unit or vehicle inside the enemy Base walls (cumulative, so a unit inside the enemy Base walls would score one point for being within 36", one for being within 12", and one for being inside, for a total of three points)

+1 point for every 10,000 points (rounded down) left in your bank at the end of the game.

 +1 point if your Warlord slays an enemy Warlord.  These are cumulative.  If your Warlord slays three or more enemy Warlords, you will be named Champion of the Event.

 Team Captains: It is the sole responsibility of the team to figure out its own hierarchy and organization of its command structure.  Initially, it will be assumed that the first player from a team playing on the "Big Table" will have seniority, but this may change throughout the day.  

Petitions for Progress:  While the game designer will be participating in the Big Table game, he will also serve as an impartial judge in consort with the Big Game Mega Battle 2013 designer.  We will resolve all disputes, and have final say in all matters.  Teams taking longer than 15 minutes to "figure out their shit" with their economy can be petitioned by the opposing team to move more quickly.  Penalties for NOT moving more quickly may be arbitrarily imposed, and will not be limited to the removal of funds from the Bank.  Players are strongly encouraged to read the rules of the scenario and be punctual with their planning and communication.

 Big Table Boons: Scattered across the table will be a series of objective-like counters called Boons.  These Boons will have a description of what they do, and can be delivered immediately to a player playing in the Big Game "Little Boards."  Once a Boon is used, it is discarded and cannot be used again.  A Boon may not be saved for later use, it must be delivered in a prompt fashion to another player playing on the little boards.  If there are no players playing on the little boards anymore then all the boons will be discarded.  


1) Ordinance Maps: A player receiving this boon may discard the boon at any time to re-roll one scatter die of his choice (or force a player to re-roll his own) during a game that he is playing.

2) Improved Munitions: A player may discard the boon when placing a small blast template.  That blast template is modified to a large blast template.  

3) Automated Intervention: A player may discard the boon immediately before rolling a set of dice.  A single die may be chosen from that throw and be modified into a value chosen by the player.  This boon may not be played after dice have been rolled.

4) Incoming Orders: A player may discard the boon to automatically pass a single leadership test (counts as rolling double 1's).

5) A Hole in the Wall: A player may discard the boon to draw line of sight from a single (one) weapon to a single target and ignore all intervening terrain.  Resolve this shooting and wounding separately.

6) Heat Seeking Ammo: A player may discard the boon to re-roll his to hit rolls from shooting from a single unit for a single turn. This boon must be played at the beginning of a player's shooting phase.

7) Flesh Seeking Ammo: A player may discard the boon to re-roll his to wound rolls from shooting from a single unit for a single turn.  This boon must be played at the beginning of a player's shooting phase.

8) Armor Seals: A player may discard the boon to re-roll his armor save rolls for a single unit until the beginning of his next turn. This boon is played after a unit is wounded, but before it makes any saves.  It cannot be used after a unit has made a save.

9) Our Weapons are Useless: A player may discard the boon to declare that a single unit has an invulnerable save equal to that of his regular save.  This lasts until the end of the current player turn only.  This boon should be played before any saves are made from a unit from a particular attack.

10) Open Ground: Once discarded, a player may re-roll any Assault Move roll until he fails a charge or the game ends, whichever comes first.  This boon must be played before an assault move in order to affect the roll.  It may not be played to affect the roll of an assault move after the fact.  This boon may be used to affect any movement made in the assault phase, except ones made by vehicles (naturally).

11) Overwatch Watch: Discarding this boon while making overwatch rolls to hit improves the firing unit's chances to hit by one, effectively making this a snap-fire that hits on a 5This boon should be played before overwatch rolls are made.

12) Overwatch Distraction: Playing and discarding this boon on another player will force that player to take any 6's he rolls during a single overwatch firing sequence and re-roll them.  This goes for to-hit and to-wound rolls.  This boon should be played before overwatch rolls are made.

13) Concussion Round: Discard this boon to nominate a single vehicle-mounted weapon.  It may fire a single turn at its normal strength and AP but will also add the special rule Concussive to its profile.  This boon should be used before the vehicle fires.

14) For some strange reason...:  Discard this boon to nominate a single model in your army.  That model now also has the special rule Eternal Warrior added to its profile until the end of the current game.  This boon may be played at any time.

15) Not so Mishappened: Discard this boon to re-roll on the Deep Strike Mishap table.  This boon should be played after a Deep Strike Mishap roll is made.  The second result must be kept.

16) We've got piles of 'em 'round the back: Discard this boon when resolving a combat result.  Your combat resolution score will immediately be increased by D3.  If this roll means you win the combat instead of losing it, your forces may only consolidate after resolution of the combat.
17) Practical Joke: Discard this boon immediately before an opponent fires weapons from a non-vehicle unit.  All weapons in that unit temporarily have the "Gets Hot" special rule.  The player may not decline to fire the weapons of this unit after this boon is played.

18) Beggar's Canyon: After discarding this boon, nominate a non vehicle unit on the board.  That unit's weapons will have the "Ignores Cover" special rule until that unit takes a casualty, then it is lost.

19) Preferred Grudge: Discard this boon to nominate a unit in both your army and your opponent's army.  Both of those units have the rule Preferred Enemy against each other.  This will not override any other Preferred Enemy rule the units might already have.

20) Clock of Invisibility: When this boon is delivered to the player, he must play it as soon as possible on one of his units in play.  Roll a D6 every time this unit moves for any reason.  If the roll is equal-to or greater-than the current game turn, the unit immediately gains the Shrouded special rule until it moves again (for any reason)This boon can be used by this unit until the end of the game.

21) Upper GI Bill: Discard this boon to immediately curse a unit with Soul Blaze, as if it had just suffered a wound from an attack with a weapon with the Soul Blaze special rule.  Ideally this should be done during your own shooting phase.

22) Tough Guy: Discard this boon to grant the Stubborn special rule to a single unit in your army until the end of this game.

23) Veteran Hunters:  Discard this boon before a unit shoots to grant the Tank Hunters special rule to that unit on the table until the end of this game.

24) Double Duty Warrior: Discard this boon to change the classification of any Elite unit in your army to a Troops unit until the end of this game.  Furthermore, this unit is now a scoring unit.  This boon may be played at any time before turn 6.

25) I Think We Can Fix It, Sir: A player may discard this Boon at the beginning of his turn to immediately restore d3 Hull Points to a single vehicle that is not a flyer and is on the board.

26) Sticky Boons: A player may discard this boon before rolling an assault move to allow one infantry unit, which is assaulting a vehicle at the time that the Sticky Boons is played, to equip that infantry unit with melta bombs for that turn only.

27) Boon Recovery Arm:  A player may, instead of discarding a boon, discard this boon in its stead.  The boon that was saved by this action may be used again.  After this it must be discarded.  This boon may not be used in conjunction with the Prismatic Boon.

28) Prismatic Boon:  A player may discard this boon with another boon to randomly pick another boon. This boon may not be used in conjunction with the Boon Recovery Arm.  The player will pick any boon remaining on the Big Board Table.

29) Emperor's New Clothes:  A player may discard this boon at the beginning of his or her next game to re-roll their Warlord trait.  The player must keep the second result.

30) Black-Eye Boon:  A player may discard this boon to randomly pick one boon not yet played by an opponent.  Opponents must show the owner of a Black-Eye Boon all of their currently held boons.  Randomly choose a boon, then discard both boons.  If played in conjunction with the Boon Recovery arm, the player will discard the Black-Eye Boon and keep the randomly stolen boon.

31) They aren't so hard to hit if you aim: Discard this boon at the beginning of your shooting phase. One unit will gain +1 Ballistic Skill (BS) for a single shooting phase if it uses focus fire.  Otherwise, the unit will gain the Ignores Cover rule for that shooting phase if it does not use focus fire.  In the movement phase following the use of this boon, the unit may not move (but may Run or Assault as normal).

32) "Boon chucka-lucka-boon chucka-lucka, BOON!"   A player may discard this boon during the shooting phase to give any one unit an additional d6" on top of the Run move that they are executing, subject to all of the rules otherwise applied to that Run.

Allowed Armies and Rulesets: Armies allowed will be from the standard and most current Warhammer 40k codices using the main body of the 6th Edition Rules.  Certain rules will be bent and hammered into place to fit the theme of the game at will by the game designer.

Allies are allowed on the Big Table, however these Allied units must attempt to be as legitimate as possible in terms of fluff or army appearance (they should "fit in" not just be "tacked on.") 

 All units must be painted in at least two colors and all models that require bases will have them attached.  All units must be WYSIWYG and conversions must be believable and recognizable.  

Apocalypse and Forge World units will be allowed, but Data Sheets for them must be provided.  

If you're bringing a unit nobody's heard of before or that the casual 40K player does not have access to, it must be registered on the D-Company Website ( http://www.d-company-wi.com/forum41/2847.html ) before it will be allowed on the table.  VDR will also be allowed with game designer (me) approval, no surprises.   

Apocalypse Formations will not be allowed. 

Further 6th Edition Rule Exceptions: Rules that grant bonus victory points will be completely ignored. (edited out infiltration and outflanking comments)    Reserves rules are modified to fit the scenario.  The Scenario rules take precedence over 6th Edition Rules at all times.

Comment here, or on the forum: http://www.d-company-wi.com/forum41/2847.html

p.s. If you want in on the fun, you should get on the forum and say so.  The game is in March, so hurry up.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Big Game Ideas Part Three

A few good friends visited me over the holidays and indulged my compulsion to send every social event into board games.  For Christmas I purchased my wife a copy of Last Night On Earth.  We played a game where Andrew and I were Zombies and she and Dan were the Heroes.  The Heroes didn't fare too well, but still we had a good time.  After Kristin went to work we three guys played a game Dan had brought called Eclipse.  It was surprisingly easy to learn and gratifyingly fast paced.  It moved quickly to a conclusion, having only a set number of turns for a player to explore, escalate, and go to war.  It had some similarities to Agricola, in which there were a set number of turns and there was a side board of inventions one could research and purchase.

Eclipse, later in the game.  Note the rows of blocks on the cards.
So what's this got to do with the Big Game?  Well, this little boutique-esque Eclipse game was the progenitor of a sort of epiphany for me, as for years I've been trying to figure out a way to handle a "drop in" Big Game.  One of the hardest things to manage in a Big Game is that people have real lives, and getting everyone to show up (or even wake up) at 7:00am to be there by 9:00am is sometimes challenging.  As well, sometimes players that we'd all like to can't make it for the whole allotted time, and decide that this game will be the one they don't attend.

This Eclipse game had this very novel way of handling economy.  There were planets that you could colonize by removing a block from your board and placing it atop the little square on the planet.  Underneath the block was a number, starting low but exponentially rising as blocks would be removed.  What it made was a very quick and easy method of tabulating income, just look at the largest revealed number, and voila, there's how much money you're making.  Subtract what you're buying, and adjust the slider on the outer track. 

What I'm thinking for this upcoming Big Game is to have a system where players could start out on the board and capture objectives for their team.  Each team would have a board, and if they captured an objective they'll remove a block (a penny, more likely) and that will reveal a number.  Might be 250pts for the first penny, 500 for the second, 1000 for the third and so-on. 

At the beginning of each team's turn the players will meet around their own economy board and decide who gets the points to bring into the game, dropping them into specific landing zones that they've captured.  They'll subtract the value of the units they are bringing in, and put the rest of the points back into the kitty to be added to the economy next turn. 

A player could arrive mid-way through the game and be allowed to bring 5,000 points directly into the game if his team had earned enough through capturing objectives. 

How many objectives will there be?  A lot.  There has to be for something like this.  Also, players beginning on turn one will have only 500 points, so it'll be on them to capture an objective, hold it, and build up some cash to bring on the rest of their army.

What else could be purchased with the economy?  Orbital strikes, reinforcements for ruins, re-rolls, even victory points (that can't be refunded).

If everything goes as planned, Rob will be running the Big Game tournament side, and I'll catch the loser's bracket in a big-table drop-in slug fest.  Folks can come at any time during the weekend and get in on this game, and even if someone comes with only 1200 points, they can still buy units that got creamed and can recycle them back onto the board.  There's no reason why anyone would not be able to play the game, unless a team has absolutely no economy at all.

I think that might be when a team has lost.