Sunday, 30 January 2011

Cities of Death Closeups #2: The Promethium Refinery

 The Promethium Refinery was one of the first ruins I constructed for the city. The inspiration was quite simple - I'd picked up a chemical plant kit from the platformer range, and I was looking for an opportunity to use some of the bits. They mix very well with the GW building kits - particularly the AdMech building, as you can see below.

Again, this ruin could be used to represent a standard Cities of Death Strategem (fuel dump would be the obvious choice) but there are many more interesting ways to use it in spicing up a game.

For a start, fuel is pretty explosive as we all know, and anyone who was anywhere near the Buncefield fuel depot in North London when it blew up in 2005 will remember the magnitude of the explosion. Perhaps centering a massive explosion on the ruin when it gets turned to rubble by siege shells and the like might provide some fun? Particularly if one were to combine such a dangerous possibility with making the ruin a key objective, or perhaps placing a retrievable objective inside it (think capture the flag). For a suitable sized explosion, the apocalypse rules might provide something, or failing that the deathstrike missile explosion rules could be used.

One could also make the ruin particulary volatile, giving any weapons fire of any magnitude that traces its LOS through the ruin the possibility of touching off a big bang (any to hit roll of 1 on a shot that passes through the ruin causes a bang might be one way).

Indeed, an entire scenario can be built around the Promethium refinery which can provide for some interesting gaming opportunities. For example:

Battle for the Refinery

Agree points value and choose forces as normal - this could be a Cities of Death battle (using terrain similar to the above) or the refinery could be in a rural or other remote area. Regardless, set up the terrain as you see fit with the refinery in the middle.

Roll off. The winner places a single objective marker somewhere within the building footprint of the refinery. This could be a simple 40k green plastic flag, or a specially modelled objective marker (an injured soldier would work well), or whatever you commonly use to mark objectives.

Choose deployment type and deploy accordingly.
This is an objective mission with a twist. The winner is the player holding the objective at the end of the game, but the objective can be moved by any unit that is able to claim it (ie a scoring unit in range with no enemy units contesting). In order to pick up the objective, the player declares that he is doing so, and places the objective on a model in the claiming unit (assuming they meet the conditions to claim it). From that point on the unit is considered to be carrying the objective and it will travel with the model that is carrying it until the controlling player declares he is putting it down. A unit carrying a objective can behave normally in every way except one - they are unable to initiate assaults (although they can fight as normal if assaulted). All models in the unit behave as normal except the model carrying the objective who is unable to shoot and in close combat will only fight with one attack at the strength on his profile. If the model carrying the objective is killed he drops it where he fell, although if the unit is not locked in combat or falling back another model may immediately pick up the objective (just transfer it to that model). The unit will also drop the objective if they break and fall back at any time.

The game lasts 5 turns. Whoever controls the objective at the end of the game is the winner. If it is contested at the end of the fifth turn, another turn must be fought. If it is still contested at the end of the 6th turn, another turn must be fought. This continues until the turn ends with the objective uncontested, or one player's forces are completely eliminated.

In addition, any shot that traces its LOS through any part of the promethium refinery risks triggering an explosion. If any shot tracing it's LOS throug any part of the refinery rolls a 1 to hit, the refinery explodes. Resolve the explosion as though a Deathstrike missile had landed on the centre of the refinery. This can only happen once. After the refinery has exploded, replace it with suitably modelled rubble. If the objective was caught in the explosion, it scatters 2D6 inches in a random direction (use the scatter dice - in the event of a hit, use the direction of the tiny black arrow on the hit symbol).

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Cities of Death Closeups #1: The Broadcast Station

Ok so in the previous post you will have seen some shots of my new City of Death in action. This was probably the single biggest terrain project I've ever undertaken, and I'm really only half way through - so far it's taken about three months, with several weeks of holiday consumed by working on it pretty much round the clock. Thankfully the first 'phase' is pretty much done so I'm taking a break and enjoying what I've finished so far before moving onto phase 2.

Phase 1 was all about getting the ruins built and the street sections finished. Phase 2 will be about building a rubble version of each ruin (so that the ruins can be destroyed by siege shells etc), and sorting out some scatter terrain.

 I thought it might be nice to look at some of the ruin pieces in more detail over a series of posts, and maybe look at ways they could be used to spice up games by introducing a few house rules.

First up, the Broadcast station.

 The idea behind this piece was to come up with something that had a lot of height and was also largely an intact building. I wanted it to be useable as an objective in its own right, and a huge fricken radio mast seemed like as good an objective as any. Below you can see a wide shot of it fully painted, with nearly the whole mast in frame.

The mast itself is not climable, meaning that most of the height is merely decorative, but it does serve to give the board a 'skyline' which looks pretty nice.

Game-wise, there are numerous ways you can use such a piece. Obviously it could be used to represent a COD stratagem, such as the command centre, but beyond that it can be used to create a characterful scenario - for example recapturing a broadcast tower that is being used by the enemy for their own ends. In an apocalypse game it could be used to represent a vital objective (being worth two or three regular objectives) and it may be fun to introduce some unusual benefits for those posessing the tower - for example, if one player is holding the tower uncontested at the end of his turn, then he could be allowed to reroll any leadership tests his men have to take in his following turn. Or he may be allowed to force his opponent to reroll his leadership tests. Or both. A titanic battle over a vital objective such as this broadcast tower could serve to create a very characterful game...

Friday, 28 January 2011

 I've recently been working on some "Cities of Death" terrain, and in the coming days I plan on posting some suggestions for gaming in a city that go a bit beyond the 40k rulebook and Cities of Death supplement, but for now here are some pictures of what I've been working on. The game in progress is a battle between my Crimson Fists and my friend's Tyranid horde.
 The Tyranids advance through the ruins of a cathedral...
 A Trygon Prime emerges at the end of the street...
 The defenders hurry to bolster their defences...
An armoured column advances to meet the threat.

Blog premise

Greetings Imperial Citizen.

This blog is dedicated to the fluff-driven 40k gamer for whom winning is not as important as participating in a game that tells a strong story. That's not to say we don't like winning,  neither does it mean we don't think 40k should be played competitively, but we recognise that tournament-focused competitive play is not the only way to play the game, but it is the most commonly talked-about approach to 40k on teh internetz.

This blog seeks to correct that imbalance somewhat.

Here you will find regularly posted articles and suggestions for playing 40k that emphasise using the game to create a compelling narrative without worrying too much about how many objectives you've captured or how many kill points you've racked up. We'll be posting scenarios and inspirational ideas to help steer your games away from competitve tournament-style play, and towards creating fun stories through your games, set in the 40k universe. Also expect to see battle reports, house rule suggestions and inspirational pics of armies, terrain and battles in progress.

In short, watch this space.