A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mission Critical: Bolt(er) Action. The farm

A quiet day on the farm

Imperial Marines on route to their extraction point run into a spot of trouble

Design note:
The original farm mission was the intro mission for 40k 2nd. Reading some of the Oldhammer sites is a great source for inspiration for mission and background. Slightly less so for painting ;) The game works better with GM and two players.  The models were painted and supplied by Franco

Marines secure the farm

The terrain and the battlefield:
The battlefield consist of a farm surround by low walls. Some dense woods and line of site blocking hills make up the rest of the terrain.

Imperial space marine briefing:
You are brother Captain Cato, 5th company Salamander chapter of the Imperial space marines. 4 weeks ago you were assigned to provide escort to inquisitor Solomon in his mission to investigate why the planet of Pan had ceased to pay imperial tributes.
On arrival to the planet you accompanied the inquisitor to meet the regent. On meeting the regent the inquisitor commenced hostilities by blowing a hole in the regent head with her bolt pistol. In the ensuing fire fight the inquisitor was killed. You overload the city’s thermonuclear reactor and destroyed the capital in retribution. That was thirty minutes ago, now you are in a derelict farm outside the blast area on route to the Thunderhawk extraction point.  The extraction point lies south just beyond the next hill.

PDF move to flank them
The Marine force consists of
Captain Cato and aide(1 captain and 1 marine with boltgun)
Fire team Maruis (NCO and 4 marines all with boltguns)
Fire team Ceasar  (NCO and 4 marines all with boltguns)
Fire team Pilus  (NCO and 4 marines all with boltguns)
Fire team Nero (heavy bolter team)
Fire team Ares (Missile launcher team)
All the units are veterans
While more PDF cover the farm

Pan planetary defense force briefing:
You are Mandrake Hoth, captain in the Pan planetary defense force. Ten minutes ago the capital ceased all communications. The mushroom cloud that appeared on the horizon around the same time leads you to suspect the loss of communications may be permanent.  Your commander has ordered you to take a platoon to make a sweep of the area.  Your priority is to check the old Hansom farm place where you and your second lieutenant Kurtz have stored your retirement fund of illegal acquired fines. You are not expecting trouble but if you do you are expected to communicate it back to base. This would be difficult since you would then have to explain why you are outside of the assigned patrol area. Also you are not sure you can trust Kurtz since he is of dubious morale character.
2nd Lieutenant Kurtz ans his group take fire moving around the other flank

The PDF Force consists of
Captain Hoth and an aide(captain with pistol, 1 trooper with autorifle)
2nd lieutenant Kurtz ( 2nd lieutenant with pistol)
1st Squad (NCO, Heavy stubber, 8 troopers). The NCO and the troopers are armed with auto rifles
2nd Squad (NCO, Heavy stubber, 8 troopers). The NCO and the troopers are armed with auto rifles
3rd squad (NCO,9 troopers all with auto rifles)
4th squad (NCO,9 troopers all with auto rifles)
HGM team (1 trooper with Heavy Bolter, 2 with auto rifles)
All the units are regular
A heavy bolter teams provides covering fire
The Marines start the game in the Farm grounds. The PDF move on from the eastern table edge when activated.
Marines try to go down the centres

Special rules:
Heavy stubber counts as a normal LMG and an autorifle counts as a rifle as per the mains rules.
Missile Launcher:
Frag missiles do not exist in Bolt Action.  Treat the missile launcher team as a Anti tank rifle. In addition each hit does D6 hits.
Heavy bolters:
Heavy bolters do not exist in Bolt Action.  Treat the heavy bolter team as a MMG team that can move and fire like a rifle if crewed by marines or as a normal MMG team if crewed by the PDF. In addition the heavy bolter gets a +1 fire power bonus. Player special need to roll a unmodified six to snipe targets in other units.
And they shall know no fear:
Space Marines a tougher than your normal protagonists in Bolter Action. Any time a Space marine unit takes a pin marker roll a D6. On a 4+ the pin marker is ignored and the units carries on as normal, on a 1-3 the pin marker is placed as normal.

Round two sees the marines being a bit more cautious

Game ending:
At the end of each turn roll 2D6 if the number is greater or equal to the game turn then the next turn is the last turn of the game.

Victory conditions
Each side scores victory points for the following conditions

Space marine victory conditions
1 point for each marine to leaves the table from the southern table edge
5 points if Captain Cato leaves the table edge from the southern enemy side
1/3 point for each PDF trooper killed
1 point for each PDF officer is killed

PDF victory conditions
1 point for each marine killed
5 points in Captain Hoth ends the game inside the farm building.
2 points in Second Lieutenant Kurtz ends the game inside the farm building.
1/3 for each PDF trooper that survives

If one sides score more than 5 victory points more than there opponent they are the winner.

The heavy bolter team wipes out Hoth assualt force

The play through:
We played the mission through twice. The first time, Franco lead a brave Marine charge down the centre of the battlefield. It met a bad end in a hail of bullets.  We swapped sides for the second run. This time the Marine advance was more cautious. Two squads led by the Cato advanced through the woods while the heavy bolter and missile teams provided supporting fire.  Cato got shot early in the advance but the squads were able to leap frog each other overcoming the first line of resistance before getting repelling at the main line of resistance.  Hoth led his heavy bolter team and a rifle squad across the opposite flank. His force was destroyed attempting to storm the compound. The game end with four marines in three squads in the compound facing 2nd lieutetant Kurtz and half a dozen men.

Afterwards I added a third squad of marines and gave both of the main protagonists an aide (aka bullet shield).


Frank O'Donnell said...

Good & fun game to play Darra, not sure if marines need another squad or not but only one real way to find out.

Dakeryus said...

they need an extra order dice. During the testing the PDF guys had more dice and were more liklely to go frist and activate the important units when they were need. It might be better if for the marines players pick two dice from the bag and the Marines picks the one that is used. But that might be very nasty

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