January 2014. We do an "new year event" every year. I had dropped that I'd like to play with all my painted Space Marines at some time and somehow it was decided we would use that as background for the event.
I had about 11k points painted at that time and a lot of those consist of stuff I very rarely use in a friendly game, like Reavers, Thunderhawks or Termies.
The first thought to put Orcs against the Marines to recreate that epic struggle between the two races. But somehow we ended up using Chaos as an opponent. Basically two armies thrown together to thwart the Space Marines.
When we knew we would be 7 players and what armies we would play it was time to come up with some rules to get everybody to play in a way, that the games doesn't bog down, everyone has something to do and that it's still Epic.
The war on YetAnotherPlanet draws to an conclusion. A decade of war has depleted the armies. The city of WinMeWinAll has been chosen as the last battle ground. Nobody knows why or even who did so, but both armies converge to WinMeWinAll and throw all that is left of them into the fray, to win that last battle that will end the war.
The players form two teams of 3 players each. The seventh player will team up with one of his team mates or jump in when need arises
To get as many units handled at the same time as possible, the battlefield will stretch over 3 tables.
The army of each side consist of 3 forces. The city-, blocking- and relive-force. Each force of one side will start or enter the game on a different table.
The idea is that play proceeds concurrently on all tables. So one player of each side will control the play of his side on one of the tables. This leads automatically to the player leading one of the forces. Later in the game formations may move to different tables, wether the player at the table takes control of the formation or the player controlling the formation will handle the action on that table, is up to you - do what you like most.
It will be possible to have cross table actions, so the play on all tables will be synchronized.
Each table is of standard size (6x4) and they are arranged as can be seen in the following picture. The tables must be touching - spreading the battle over different rooms is suboptimal.
The center table is the city table. That's the one everybody fights over. The other two tables (side tables) represent the catchment area of the city.
The terrain on the city table should be - you might have guessed it - city like. Ruins, buildings streets and so on. The city covers all of the table.
The terrain on the catchment area tables should be not be to dense, might have some strong points/villages, should be some hills and/or woods to prevent LOS all over the table. Probably something in the middle of the table to help building a line of defense. But in the end it's all up to you - flow with the wave - sail on the spirit of the game - follow your imagination.
Each side owns one half of the city table. The dividing line connects the two edges of the side tables which touch the city table and are closest to the table center. The owned half forms the deployment area for the city force.
The side table touching the side's half of the city table is owned by that side. The deployment area for the side's blocking force reaches from the centerline of the table 30 cm towards the city table. The far edge relative to the city table is the edge where the opposing side's relieve force will enter.
Each army consists of three forces.
The relieve force starts off table and has a size of 60%(points) of the total army size. All units that start off the table must belong to the relieve force. I.e. if Terminators are to be part of the city force, they must start on the table. If they want to teleport in, they must be part of the relieve force.
All formations of the relive force will begin off the table and enter the game via the far edge of the opponent's side table.
Flyers may enter from that edge, any part of an unconnected edge that belongs to the side's own half of the city table or the long edge of it's side table that doesn't touch the opponent's half of the city table.
The city force must be at least 1/6(points) of the army size.
A maximum of 1/4(points of that force) of the formations may be of AT/LV type. A unit is of AV/LV type if half or more of it's units are AV or LV.
The city force must not contain any war engines.
The city force deploys within it's table half of the city table, but not within 30cm of any enemy unit.
The blocking force must be at least 1/6(points) of the army size.
The blocking force deploys on it's side's side table in the area stretching 30 cm from the table center towards the city table.
The objectives are places as usual.
All objectives must be placed on the city table.
The Blitz must contact the edge of the side's side table.
Than the sides deploy their city forces, just as they would do in an ordinary game, consisting of the city forces only.
Once all city force formations of both sides are deployed, both sides deploy their blocking forces simultaneously.
In Epic the active side will select a formation and take an action (first activation). If the action test was passed, the side can take a second action.
In this game each table of the active side will select a formation and take an action. When the first action on all tables is handles, tables on which the action test was passed, can take a second action.
On activation, before any activation test is made, the players must announce which formation, shall do what. It is important to specify on which table the formation activates, over which tables it moves and on which table any target is. This is important. See cross table activation.
For activation purposes a formation is on the table on which the most starting DC (Damage Capacity) of the formation are located. If the DCs are equal or there is a dispute caused by units positioning, the non-controlling side may choose which table the formation is on.
A table must take at least one activation, as long as there is at least one unit on the table that can still be activated.
A table can select a formation off table for activation instead of a formation on it, provided that the unit ends it's move on the table. I.e. an off table tank unit of the relieving force can not be activated from the city table, as it will never reach it with this activation, but Terminators or Bombers could. Flyers can enter through the edge where the relieving force enters, any part of an unconnected edge that belongs to the side's own half of the city table or the long edge of it's side table that doesn't touch the opponent's half of the city table.
A table without activate-able formation , doesn't have to activate an off table formation.
A table that didn't do a first activation must not take any further activations in that turn. Think about what the last two rules mean.
If the test for the first activation was successful the table is free to take a second activation, once all tables have handled their activations.
Cross table activation.
The activation of a formation counts as activation for the table the formation starts it's move on or in case of units starting off table the formation ends it's move on.
The activation of a formation counts as cross activation for all tables
the formation ends it's move on (except formations starting off table)
any designated target is on. A not designated target would be a formation hit by a blast marker.
A table can not take an activation and be cross activated at the same time. If this would be the case one of the activation must not be done.
A table can be cross activated even if it may not take take an action (i.e. couldn't activate a unit or failed an activation test)
Formations starting off table must not cause cross activations.
The activations and resulting cross activations are announced prior to any activation test. This allows both players to check that no table is activated and cross activated at the same time.
If the activation test is failed, any cross activated table is still cross activated even if the resulting action doesn't affect the table any more.
If the activation test is failed, any cross activated table does not count as having failed an activation test. So it could still take an second activation (provided all the usual conditions are met).
End of game
The game ends as soon as one side holds 3 objectives more than the other side or when the players would like to stop.
Blitz, Defend to Flag, Take and Hold, They Shall Not Pass. Only the city table is used to determine reaching those objectives.
In addition the sides can gain one objective for each side table the opponent has no unbroken formation on.
We met on January 4th. Each army roughly 10k points. As the Space Marines drew from only one army - and had to take some rather fluffy stuff - we restricted the Chaos army, which could chose from two armies by reminding the Bad Boys not to overdue it.
This worked surprisingly well. Man, the SMs got trounced.
We met at ten and played till 5. We had a "flying" lunch during the game. The game went smoothly, mainly because all player were relaxed and willing to iron out any problems with the scenario.
At about 4 o'clock at the end of the turn (3 activations left or so) one of the SM players complained that they wouldn't stand a chance and live being hard and the Emperor would't be what he had been before and so on (no it wasn't me). So he was shown, that if the Thunderhawk, which could still activate, would land between two objectives and get it's troops out, the SMs would win. The Chaos side hadn't got anything left to counter the move, so the Thunderhawk came in, resigned to their fate, two Traitor-Thunderbolts on CAP closed in, hit twice, the Thunderhwak failed both saves, rerolled for reinforced armor, failed both saves again. We played another turn after that, but somehow that Thunderhawk disaster had been the climax and we decided to end the game booked as a clear win for Chaos. Counting losses supported this with 6000 points of SMs and 4000 points of Chaos lost.
The following pictures by courtesy Mathias Hirsch.
10350 points Marines. One Reaver is missing. From the front - city, blocking and relieving force.
6000 points Black Legion.
4370 points World Eaters. The computation savvy, will realize that the Chaos army is bigger by 20 points. Without doubt the reason for their win.