Saturday 9 March 2013

Rituals of Combat: Detailing the Oldhammer Weekend Realm of Chaos Warbands Game

And it is said that even the deaths of ten thousand men cannot move these Dark Lords to pity. And that they play with mortal lives like a child plays with its baubles - tiring of them easily and throwing them aside for new pleasures. But unlike the playthings of infancy, mortal pawns can bleed, and feel pain, and die beneath the uncaring gaze of their masters. 

And it is said that even when two mighty Legions of Chaos meet in battle, the Powers of Chaos cannot stay their meddling hands. As Daemon faces Daemon, Champion faces Champion, and the very lands quake with fear, the great powers pass down rituals to bind their cohorts. As if skillful advocates in a royal court, the Dark Lords argue the slightest points, the most obscure procedures, the least significant of details, vying one another for slim advantage. 

And sometimes the ritual is of great import: "You shall not use the Dark Magicks nor speak words of power" perhaps, or "No weapon iron or steel shall you use, nor any wooden shaft, but only the natural claws and long fangs that we have given." And sometimes the ritual is petty and beneath contempt, as: "No blue shall be worn, nor shall the mauves and purples be seen upon this field." And sometimes the ritual is such as to make no sense to the limited minds of mortals: "There shall be no killing, nor nay blood spilled." But in the immeasurable minds of the Dark Lords there is purpose that cannot be guessed and schemes unfathomable.

And the ritual shall be agreed, and it shall be binding, even unto the least creature, even unto the greatest. When once the Dark Powers have spoken there is no Daemon that can gainstay their word.

And the battle shall begin...

Bring Out Your Lead 2013: Realm of Chaos Warband Mega Game Scenario Rules

What follows is the current step up and rules structure for the Realm of Chaos Mega Warband battle that I will be running at Bring Out Your Lead 2013. The following rules should be seen as 'official', as far as we can have 'official' rules in the Oldhammer Movement, and have been inspired by the many emails that I have been sent in recent weeks, comments on forums and advice from other influential and sage leadheads. 

They can be tweaked further if you so wish. So, if you have an idea or a suggestion, just let me know and I'll see about including it. 

The general ruleset we will be using will be Warhammer Fantasy Battle Third Edition, supported by Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness. 

Scenario Set Up

Depending on numbers, the game will be played over a rectangular table set up. This may be many tables pushed together, or more than one table within the Foundry wargaming space. All these tables will be viewed as the same battle and in the case of a multi table approach it will be possible to move from one to another table and vice versa. The exact detail of how this will work will be established on the day. 

All table edges will be possible entry points to the game, though one will be selected as 'Khorne Only' and other as 'Slannesh Only', leaving the player with three possible entry points to enter the conflict. A player may enter the conflict at any time, or elect to withdraw his or her warband at anytime, similar to the way that you can drop in and out of online Xbox 360 games as you wish, though withdraws will need to be moved as part of the game turn. This should provide a great deal of flexibility about where you choose to start with your warband, and would represent the champion selecting the best possible position for his forces upon arrival at the battle. You could even play for a while, move out of the action, and return later if you so wished. Any rewards won would be retained.

Players will need to arrive with two copies of their Army Roster. One for their use during the game, and one for the GMs if disagreements occur. These Rosters will need to contain all the stat profiles that your warband requires, both for units and named characters as well as all special rules that you intend to use. The Lost and the Damned contains some very useful Rosters that can be photocopied or converted to Word. We shall provide an 'official' one shortly, so don't worry if you don't have access to this book. 

Nurgle, Tzeentch or Undivided Warbands may choose a side to support on an individual basis, or may act out their own hidden agendas. Those Tzeentch and Nurgle Warbands will be subject to Hatred for the opposing power and CANNOT be fielded withing 15" of a rival powers force if electing to fight on the same side. If a Nurgle or Tzeentch warband come withing 10" of each other, they must move to engage each as soon as possible and ignore other units.

Just before joining the game, players without a steed, may roll in the Chaos weapon chart in Slaves to Darkness to establish the nature of any weapon. 

General Rules 

Models can be treated as character models (they move independently) or as units. Units can be mixed on racial grounds, so dwarfs, goblins and skaven all in one unit is fine, with the restriction that movement will be calculated by the slowest moving member of the unit and that base sizes need to be consistent with the unit as a whole. 

Character models to be named on the front of the model's base for easy game recognition. Ig you wish to name all of your models for narrative purposes, please do. I, for one, would like to know the names of the foes I crush. 

A player may only field ONE warband at any one time. Though on the withdrawl or, or destruction of, a player's warband the player may re-enter the game with a new warband that can be of any chaotic power. So if you wish to field both Khorne or Slannesh warbands during the game, you can, though just not at the same time.

Upon the death of a Champion the player can;
1) Remove their warband from the field - this will represent them fleeing as individuals, or slipping way to join the retinues of successful warbands after the battle. The player could then decide to field a new warband  to the same, or different, chaos god.
2) Nominate a model to 'take command' of their warband. I am sure that all forces would have a second in command waiting in the wings, and Chaos Warbands would be no different. The character would receive an 'instant' reward of a chaos weapon (or take the weapon previously used by the champion), chaos armour or random chaos attribute depending on a D6 dice roll. 1-3: Chaos Attribute, 4-5: Chaos Armour and 6: Chaos Weapon.
3) Use the Skeleton Champion rules to 'raise' their champion from death. To use this rule you will need an undead model to represent your Champion in his undead form. So, if you are hoping to use this strategy, plan ahead a choose an appropriate model.

Reward points will be given to champions for different actions and should look something like this:

Champion killing a follower of another god = 1 reward point
Champion killing a champion of another god = 5 reward points
Champion killing a monster (e.g. anything on a 40mm/50mm square base) = 3 points
Champion of Khorne killing a Champion of Slannesh = 10 reward points
Champion of Slannesh killing a Champion of Khorne = 10 reward points
Khorne Champion killing an ally. = 3 reward points
Slannesh Champion killing through pleasure (acquiescence spell, chaos weapon etc) = 3 points

A further 10 Reward points will automatically be given to any player arriving with an 100% genuine mullet and handle bar moustache.

General Note: Any undead models, being already dead, will NOT count towards reward points. The exception to this rule will be Undead Champions. Reward Points are NOT to be used to roll of the rewards table after the battle. They will convert as 10 Reward points = 1/2 a roll on the rewards chart in Slave to Darkness. Only the greatest champions will be rewarded!

This should provide contributors with three things.
1) Rewards that can be spent on developing your champion and warband after the event.
2) A tally of points which allows us to identify the champion of champions (the model with the most points after the game is over) 
3) A tally of points which allows us to identify which side (Chaos God) has won the battle over all.

The Restrictions of the Gods

When constructing your Army Roster, you must consider the following decrees of the Dark Lords. These decrees exist purely for the Realm of Chaos Mega Battle, if you wish to play additional RoC battles away from the main table you need not follow these.

1) No daemonic weapons.
2) No daemonic entities (fielded, mounted or summoned), this is to be a conflict of mortals, though undead auxillaries are not forbidden.
3) Magic to be drawn from Battle, Illusion, Necromantic or Chaos God specific spells, avoiding those that summon daemonic entities.
4) No magic items, banners or weapons. Cold steel, claws and other normal weapons only. The only exception to this, are chaos weapons granted to the Dark Lord's champions.
5) No technology. Technological weapons are banned from the battlefield. This prohibition does not include weapons 'bonded' to the model as a chaos attribute.

Winning and Losing 

In theory, all contributors of the game are winners. After all, you will have the experience of fighting a narrative battle with a lovingly created warband with a rich backstory developed by you. After the battle, you will have plenty of material to take the story of your force further. 

The battle will end by mutual consent of the players, or at the end of an agreed time limit or when the narrative has reached a natural end. The game will be played on the Saturday, probably beginning in the morning after much faffing about and chatting. There will be an agreed break in the game for lunch (approx 1 hour) and will continue as long as necessary.

However, there will be two winners of sorts.

1) The winning side, Slannesh or Khorne, established by the side with the highest number of Reward Points. 
2) The winning champion, who can be drawn from any Power, will have the HIGHEST number of Reward Points and is still on the field at the end of the battle. 

Well, that is the game as it currently stands. Please, if you have any more ideas or suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me or post a comment below.

And, don't forget to book your place!


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