Sunday, October 02, 2011

Revised Blog Wars 2 Scenarios

Blog Wars 2 tickets will be available by the end of this week!
Once Maelstrom get back to me with the food prices I'll get the link up and you guys can get signed up. As I mentioned in my previous post here, we're going to deviate away from the rulebook scenarios into ones which emphasise the Special Character theme of the tournament and should hopefully make for some fun and interesting games.

However, I wrote the scenarios without playtesting them (just like GW do!). Since then Matt and I have had a few games and got a chance to test all three scenarios out. Therefore I'd like to revise the scenarios again and see what people think.

Incidentally, I've found it to be quite a challenging process writing scenarios that are balanced and don't favour one army particularly whilst penalising another. Obviously, it's pretty inevitable that someone will lose out when you change anything but I think sometimes it can be clear that some will suffer with a particular game type.  As I mentioned before we've introduced Tournament Points (TPs) which will determine the winner of Blog Wars 2. They should help indicate how convincing a victory it was. For example, you could lose on objectives but decimate you're opponent. In our old system your VPs were only a secondary consideration and there were only points for win/lose/draw. Now there's degrees of victory so it should be obvious who came out on top. Now they're more important and so it really pays to hammer your opponent. This also goes some way to mitigate the problem of armies with a low unit count being difficult to beat in KP games. Potentially it's still possible to draw if someone kills a lot more of their opponent's army but loses on objectives. However, it isn't really that likely I don't think and probably indicates how close the game was. Anyway, onto the revised scenarios (text in red indicates changes to the missions).

Scenario 1 -  Halt the Advance
As the invaders make ground towards the defenders main settlements a force is sent out to intercept them and halt their advance. Their forward scouts report that an enemy commander is present in a force in this sector. If they can remove him from the equation the invasion will struggle to maintain its pace.

This mission is essentially an Annihilation battle played on Pitched Battle deployment from the normal rulebook but with the exception that each force's "Commander" (who will be a special character nominated by each general) is worth 3 KPs if they die. All other units (including any bodyguard) will be worth 1 KP each as normal. This could mean the difference between victory and defeat but you will still be rewarded for decimating your opponent's force. The secondary objective will be VPs with the tournament points broken down as follows:

5 TPs for having 5+ KPs more than your opponent
3 TPs for having 3-4 KPs more than your opponent
1 TP for having 1-2 KPs more than your opponent

5 TPs for having 1500+ VPs more than your opponent
3 TPs for having 1000-1499 VPs more than your opponent
1 TPs for having 500-999 VPs more than your opponent

I've changed the deployment to Pitched Battle because it makes for a nice simple start to the tournament to allow people to get into the swing of things. Also, I want to use the Spearhead deployment for scenario 2 for reasons I'll explain below. I think this scenario is pretty balanced as it is since it's barely any different from the rulebook mission. Clearly some Special Characters will be harder to kill than others but since the scenarios are here 2 months in advance I think people have chance to work out a way to keep them alive.

Scenario 2 - Push the Advantage
With the enemy commander slain, the invaders try to consolidate their position by eliminating their enemy from the entire sector. By doing so they can secure an area to base their final assault on the enemy's headquarters. The commanders of each force are determined not to let their opposite number get the upper hand.

This mission borrows from the Cleanse scenario from the 4th Edition rulebook. The deployment will be Spearhead from the current book. Instead of objectives the table is divided into quarters with a point for each quarter that is held by a scoring unit and contains no enemy units. In this mission the "Commander" (special character) on each side counts as a scoring unit. Otherwise it's the usual rules for scoring units from the 5th Ed book. The secondary objective will be VPs with the tournament points broken down as follows:

5 TPs for controlling all four table quarters
3 TPs for controlling 2 table quarters more than your opponent
1 TP for controlling 1 table quarter more than your opponent

5 TPs for having 1500+ VPs more than your opponent
3 TPs for having 1000-1499 VPs more than your opponent
1 TP for having 500-999 VPs more than your opponent

Therefore only by "Cleansing" the board of your opponent can you gain 5 TPs. Please note a single unit (no matter how large) can only ever control or contest a single quarter. In the event that a unit is spread across the border between two quarters they count as controlling/contesting the one which contains the majority of their models (or model in the case of a vehicle). 

I wanted to use Spearhead for this because it lends itself better and it means there will be a quarter each and two empty quarters at the start of the game rather than both sides starting with control of 2 each.

Scenario 3 - Final Assault
Having crushed the enemy resistance only one thing stands between the invader and total domination of the planet. The enemy's final stronghold will be defended to the last man by their supreme commander and his forces. However, buoyed by their previous triumphs, the invaders are confident of victory.

Coming into the final game the player of the two with the most TPs (or failing that VPs) will get to choose whether to be the attacker or defender.  

The "defender" chooses one long table edge and deploys anyway upto 12" from that edge but also 12" from the short edges (essentially pitched battle with the ends cut off). One objective is placed in the centre of this deployment zone with two further objectives on the edges of the zone, 6" in from the long board edge. An additional 2 objectives are placed at 18" away from the opposite board edge and 18" in from the short edges. The "attacker" can then deploy anywhere upto 12" from that edge. The "defender" may keep upto 3 units with the Deep Strike special rule in reserve (please note that models with a transport count as 2 units for this purpose). The "attacker" may only keep units in reserve that have the ability to Outflank and these may do so as normal.

The attacker always takes the first turn. The winner is the one controlling the most objectives at the end of the game. In this mission any objective held by a "Commander" (special character) at the end of the game counts for 2 points when deciding who's won.VPs are the secondary objective (but with less importance) with the tournament points broken down as follows:

5 TPs for controlling 3+ more objectives than your opponent
3 TPs for controlling 2 more objectives than your opponent
1 TP for controlling 1 more objective than your opponent

5 TPs for having 1500+ VPs more than your opponent
3 TPs for having 1000-1499 VPs more than your opponent
1 TP for having 500-999 VPs more than your opponent


As I said earlier these changes have come from Matt and I playtesting the missions. I didn't want to do 3 totally different missions that would be confusing and put people off but at the same time I'm bored of the rulebook missions at tournaments! That being said, if this all doesn't work out then for Blog Wars 3 (if there is one) I'll go back to the standard ones.

I accept that there'll still be some imperfections but hopefully the missions are now a bit fairer. We felt that in the original scenario 3 it was unreasonable for armies to be able see where there opponent had deployed and to get a first turn charge against vehicles that hadn't moved. This really penalised gunline armies because they rely on thinning out their opponent before they get too close. The attacker has the advantage of being able to see where his opponent has deployed (which makes sense from a fluff point of view) and then gets to go first. However, he will now be 24" away so only the faster armies will get those early charges. The defender has the advantage of controlling 3 objectives at the start of the game. Therefore it's really down to the attacker to make a push for them. Hopefully this balances the game and makes for a fun scenario. As I said it probably isn't perfect so if anyone can see something obvious I've forgotten then by all means let me know.

Again the idea is that people will have to really think about their lists rather than throwing together the same old generic tournament stuff. Now I'm not naive enough to think that we won't see any cookie cutter stuff but last time I was pleasantly surprised with how much effort people put in to their lists.

I'll give people a fortnight to raise any serious objections to these scenarios but after that they'll be set in stone and will be the scenarios used on the day. Everyone will receive a copy of the scenarios along with their ticket confirmation.


  1. Looks good mate. But it still looks like you have not included me. If you could please then that would be great. I will be using my Praetorians.

  2. Don't worry mate that list isn't at all up to date but it doesn't have affect whether you've got a place or not. It'll be removed once tickets go on sale at the end of the week(ish) anyway.

  3. that last one might be problematic because despite having three objectives at the start, i think the defender is at a major disadvantage in this scenario.

    the advantage of deploying second and going first, with no possible way to change it is HUGE! you could be shot off the table or assaulted on turn two with no possible chance to change anything.

    the defender should at least be able to reserve if he wants to. perhaps just deploying at least 2 units or something.

  4. It's actually an improvement on the original mission that REALLY had the defender at a disadvantage.

    You're right though. It's a bit too much of an advantage. I'm not keen on forcing people to deploy certain things and then reserving everything else though.

    I'll have a think about alternative solutions and let you know.



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