I would like to discuss something that I miss from Hawk. The special scenario missions with set forces. This is basically a scenario with a set sort of objectives and actually units that are used to make a special famous battle. Many times these battles are uneven had it been for tournament games but terrain, choice of units, restrictions in the army lists and the special nature of objectives can make a scenario feel like a new minigame.
Let me explain.
To try to make my point of how you can make special scenarios I will use GW’s Lord of the Rings. It is a nice little game and actually one of the best. It really didn’t catch on at out club but it is really nice with special scenarios giving you the chance to play cool games from the movies and the books.
One of my favorit is the 2 table Ambush at Amon Hen. (Disclaimer; the rulebook Amon hen is much more boring so this is from an old white dwarf) The set-up is like this;
On table 1 you have Aragon, Legolas and Gimli Vs 12 Uruk hai.
On table 2 you Have Boromir, Merry and Pippin Vs 12 Uruk hai and Lurtz (the guy Aragon chops the head of at the end of the first LOTR movie).
The evil player have a few bows that he can put on any table but for best effect it is a must he tries to get as many on table 2 as Boromir is a beast in CC but weaker if shot at.
The tables are played at the same time. On table 1 the heroes must eat their way through a small hord of Uruk hai and leave the table as soon as possible. On the other table Boromir must try to hold out against the Evil side so that Merry and Pippin will not be caught. No Hobbit gets caught and removed – Good win. One Hobbit is captures dna removed – draw and both Evil win.
Pretty simple, right? The thing is. This scenario is extremely not suited to tournament play. The Good side has some 600points or so and the evil side has some 3-400points. But each time I have played this scenario it was tense, exciting and very tactically challenging for both sides. On table 1 the heroes will eat the Uruk hai for breakfast and on the other side Boromir basically stand no chance. Its a race against time that is fun and exciting at its best.
These type of scenarios are sometimes really fun to build special terrain to and stuff. And have a tendency to look and feel a bit more cinematic than your normal games.
Now I don’t really have a scenario in mind but have started to think in the rounds about it. And we do have some really cool scenarios in the form of the Monorail and orbital laser. But the main drawback with those is that I think it would have been even better with massive restrictions in the lists (i e use these units).
Otherwise, we have several large interesting parts in the story of DZC where Special scenarios could work.
During the first Invasion of Scourge one city deems it impossible to defend to save everyone and starts to evacuate. But the Scourge fall upon them and must kill of the fleeing humans to get more bodies. In this game you would use much pre-war tech like Hannibals, Krakens, Cyclones e t c. Probably worse infantry that are not intended for this yet. Some rough AA cover from hastily placed gun towers. The Scourge would on the other hand not have as much in the air and instead you see a massive amount of Hunters and Scourge warriors that are actually still lizardmen. The Scourge are prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure they get hold of the fleeing humans.
A UCM cruiser crashes down on another world than intended. A ground force survives but can not move at all because of cracking ground. All movements need to be with dropships. The problem is that a hunting Shaltari tribe doesn’t seem to have the same problem with their skimmers. A massive battle ensues as the UCM tries to fight it’s way through for long enough to have air coverage.
PHR hade made a spy run and finds out they have been discovered by a secret Scourge base. The Scourge might fall into UCM hands and so the base must be destroyed. The problem is that the Scourge have a orbital laser that destroys landing dropships on 5+ as the enter the atmosphere. The PHR can land almost on top of the station but that Laser will cause crap loads of pain unless it goes first. So they will only send a small special task force on that part of the field (another table) with infantry to clear it out. But will they make it in time or will they loose the possibility to keep their position secret from the UCM?
And so on.
This would mean highly unbalanced missions if you could take any units but with the heavy restrictions of units and uneven mission objectives you could really get a minimgame inside the normal games that are awesome to play while giving a lot of variation and still be challenging.