Thursday, September 15, 2011

Battle Report: Convergence

I designed a special scenario called "Convergence" about a year ago and Dokclaw finally took me up on the proposition of giving it a test run. Our first game revealed that the scenario had a lot of balance issues, so we hammered out some new rules, and our second attempt was much smoother. Read on for the details.


Protected for centuries by powerful magic, the Eldar Craftworld Qypuir (pronounced Kee-pweer) seemed overnight to be overrun by an insidious chaos incursion. The truth was far more nefarious however. The rot of corruption had been wending its way deep into the hearts and minds of its leaders, the twin brothers Nalathoc and Therilan. They were both powerful Autarchs in their own right, but Nalathoc harboured centuries old feelings of resentment for his brother.

The Chaos Gods found their already vast rift easy to manipulate into fratricide. When news reached the populace of Nalathoc's treachery, civil war erupted and the spirit of the people was soon broken. All four chaos powers were represented in the downfall yet they did not cooperate well with each other and factional disputes arose after the initial fall of the eldar defenses. However, the tragedy of Qypuir's destruction is but a preamble to this tale.

In a tomb of ancient forbidden knowledge, the minions of the dark powers found reference to an artifact, Dhojah, the vessel of endless woe. Centuries ago, it had been hidden and sealed within a transdimensional vault beneath the war torn surface of Khadrax, a planet besieged by constant orc and dark eldar pirate invasions. Rumour of Dhojah’s capacity for total devastation inspired forces from all four chaos powers to send immediate scouting parties to determine the validity of the reports.

The envoys on this mission did not fare so well in most cases, as they were largely intercepted by the ubiquitous forces of the Imperium that sought to seize control of Khadrax’s vast mineral resources. Tortured by Inquisitors to reveal their purpose, they soon broke and told all.

In a similar fashion, the forces of the Imperium were often captured and tortured for information. Consequently the existence of Dhojah was soon common knowledge to forces of varying persuasions from foul to noble.

Khadrax was set to become the most contested planet in the history of the Imperium, as all manner of combatants descended to the rocky surface in the quest for absolute power.

The game begins just hours after the portal that permits access to the magical vault has been unearthed by minions of Khorne. They seek to destroy the portal out of their hatred for magic and trigger an explosion of magical force energy that wipes out every living thing for miles around, the Khorne warriors included. However, they have left the portal wide open and every force that has been diligently scanning the planet’s surface for weeks have now been made aware of a power source that is radiating energy beyond what their respective scanners can register. Every available warrior, soldier, tank, vehicle, etc. is now rushing towards the focal point of the explosion to secure the artifact for themselves.

Scenario Rules

Setup Specifications

Convergence requires two tables: one to represent outside the vault, and one to represent inside the vault.

The number of players will determine what size of board surface to use, from a 4’x4’ playing surface to as large as an 8’x8’ surface. The game mechanics will work better on a square board but rectangular designs will work as well.

Points should be high, from 2500 to 3000 is ideal, although a 2000 point minimum should work as well.


The board for table 1 should be cluttered with lots of random debris, and ruins, like a Cityfight game except the clutter covers the whole board, not just the center. At the dead center of the board, the portal must be placed. The board for table 2 should be small and cramped but big enough to accommodate all the models that got through the portal. 4’x4’ should be ideal for a 2 player game. The idea is that this is going to be a desperate bloodbath. The board should also be cluttered with lots of random debris, but no buildings. It is a mystical vault after all. At the dead center of the board, the Dhojah must be placed.

# of Turns

Follows the usual main rulebook guidelines.


All forces will be arriving via a special reserves maneuver to represent the rushed fashion in which everyone responded to the energy surge. Deepstriking is possible but is very hazardous however since the explosion has rendered all terrain difficult/dangerous on the board.

The odds of reserves arriving are modified by turn:

T1: 5-6; T2: 4-6; T3: 3-6; T4: 2-6; T5: auto

No more than 25% of any force’s army can arrive each turn. This is calculated purely by points. For example, in a 2000 point game, up to 500 pts can arrive each turn.

Forces arrive based on a d6 roll that adheres to the following table:

1 – arrive on your setup edge
2- arrive to the left of your setup edge
3 – arrive to the right of your setup edge
4 – arrive across from your setup edge
5 – you choose from where they arrive
6 – they didn’t make it to the party, roll again for the unit in the next turn.

Units with the OUTFLANK ability can modify their dice roll by + or - 1.

Winning the Game

The player who wields the Dhojah at the end of the final turn wins the game.

The Portal

The initial objective is to reach the portal. Any units that succeed in touching the portal in the movement phase are removed from table 1 and placed on table 2 using the following deployment method:

1) Divide table 2 in 9 equal sections and roll a d6 twice to determine where the unit appears according to the following graph:

2) Place 1 member of the unit dead center in the section and roll the scatter die, deviating 2-12 inches if an arrow is rolled. If the unit appears off table, it is destroyed.

3) If the unit lands safely, the other members of the unit must be placed and the controlling player can finish its movement (i.e. if you used 4” of your move to get to the portal, you can move the remainder in the vault in any direction you like).

4) However, if an infantry unit appears on top of another, their genes mix. Place all members of the unit on the table as per deep strike rules and any model touching an enemy model combines to make a MEGA SPAWN! This spawn is not under the control of any player, and moves and attacks as the Spawn in the Chaos Codex each player turn. It will have the same stats as the codex spawn except its strength and toughness are increased by 1 and its wounds are increased by 2 for every model that helped generate it.

5) If a vehicle such as a tank lands on top of an infantry model, it crushes it, gains daemonic possession and must make a roll like the Chaos dreadnought each turn to stay under control.

6) If a dreadnought lands on top of an infantry model, it creates an armoured MEGA SPAWN. This is the same as the MEGA SPAWN above except it now has a 2+ regular save and a 4+ invulnerable save.

Otherwise, if all goes well, the unit can shoot and assault as normal once deployed in the vault. The MEGA SPAWNs get to assault as well in the same turn.

The first unit that can move into contact with the artifact gains the advantages of the Dhojah(see below).

The coveted Dhojah!

The Dhojah

Any unit can possess the Dhojah. It will give its benefits to all members of the unit; however the player must decide whether or not the benefits are conferred upon the transport or the troops being transported. If the unit possessing the Dhojah is destroyed, it falls where the unit was destroyed and can be picked up in the following movement phase by any unit that can reach it. They will then gain its benefits:

Powers granted to wielder of the Dhojah

The individual unit possessing the Dhojah gains the following benefits:


a) -1 to all basic and invulnerable saving throws to a maximum of 2+ (it gives an invulnerable save of 5+ if the unit has no invulnerable save)
b) +2 weapon skill; +2 strength; +2 toughness (proof against instant death); +2 initiative for all members of the unit


a) +2 to all their armour to a maximum of 15
b) +2 ballistic skill (to a maximum of 5); all weapons are increased in power by +2 strength and all armour penetration rolls made against enemy units are made with an extra d6
c) Counts as having the daemonic possession upgrade (ignore shaken/stunned rolls)

a) Same as vehicles above except they gain +2 weapon skill; +2 strength; and +2 initiative

Powers granted to units around the Dhojah

All units with a model within 12” of the Dhojah gain the following bonuses:


a) +1 strength; +1 toughness (proof against instant death)


a) +1 to all their armour to a maximum of 15
b) +1 ballistic skill (to a maximum of 5); all weapons are increased in power by +1 strength
c) Counts as having the extra armour upgrade


a) Same as vehicles above except they gain +1 weapon skill; +1 strength

Psychic Powers

All psykers will find that the warp energies are difficult to control so close to the Dhojah. When a psyker uses a power on table 2, they must roll 3d6 for their perils of the warp test. If they roll 2 6's or 2 1's they suffer a wound as normal.

If the test is successful, their powers are greatly augmented. Agree with your adversary which augmentation is appropriate:

a) Template effects use the larger apocalypse template (e.g. the flamer template uses the huge flamer template from apocalypse)

b) Strength of psychic shooting attacks are doubled

c) Individual buffs become 6” area buffs for friendly units (e.g. warp time rerolls are now possible for the Chaos psyker and all friendly units with a model within 6” of the psyker)

d) Range is doubled for area buffs (e.g. Blood Angel’s Shield of Sanguinius affects a 12” area instead of a 6” area.)

Death Guard Loadout


Daemon Prince with wings, mark of Nurgle, warptime


Terminator Squad 4x with 4x combi-plasma
Dreadnought with extra CC arm, heavy flamer


Plague Marine Squad 10x with champ, fist, combi-melta, 2x meltas +rhino & dozer
Plague Marine Squad 10x with champ, fist, combi-melta, 2x meltas +rhino & dozer
Plague Marine Squad 10x with 2x meltas +rhino & dozer

Heavy Support

Land Raider with Dozer & Daemonic Possession

Space Wolf Loadout




Fast Attack

Heavy Support

The Battle

I won initiative and rolled for all my reserves. Nothing showed up except Typhus! What was worse was that with the 500 point limit, he couldn't even bring his terminator escort with the land raider. To top it all off, I rolled a 6 for table edge (he didn't show up to the party, try again next time). I was being hosed by my own rules!

Things went better for Dokclaw. His HQ made it on, and he rolled nonchalantly towards the portal.

Dokclaw's HQ
(He's wearing artificer armour, not termie armour so his rhino transport is legal)

The next turn Typhus was on again. He appeared across from the Space Wolf HQ and I only moved him 6" in order that I could shoot my lascannon. I glanced him with a driver stunned roll. It was good enough to slow him down.

Typhus finally shows up

Dokclaw's landspeeder showed up next with a squad of Longfangs. We have a history as this thing always manages to slag my land raider.

Typhus's ride is about to get slagged

1 melta shot and the land raider was bubbling wreckage. I knew it wasn't going to go well from there on in. Typhus sauntered out to face the Longfangs.

Land raider = molten wreckage

It was already turn 3 and I had accomplished nothing! Typhus took out his frustration on the Longfangs, maxing out his daemon weapon with a full 9 attacks! The squad was wiped, reminding me that Typhus is excellent for troop killing as well as monstrous creature hunting. He also glanced the speeder with his Wind of Chaos, stunning it again. Then he took cover behind the drop pod with his consolidation move.

Bucky meanwhile made his appearance and was surprisingly well-behaved. He rushed the land speeder but accomplished nothing because he needed 6's to hit.

Bucky tries to kill the land speeder and fails

Typhus tries to kill the land speeder and fails

By the end of turn 3, Dokclaw's units were already in the vault.

Dokclaw is in the vault with his HQ

The psyker made it as well

My 1st squad of plague marines entered the portal but screwed up the scatter roll, deviating off table. Poof! A 300 point squad was lost in the warp. At that point I resigned myself to the fact that the dice hated me today. Maybe they were pissed that they had been left behind for my game at Abyss.

Some Longfangs immobilized the rhino of my third squad despite it having blown smoke, and left them clambering in the mud.

These plague marines were immobilized so they never got in

By turn 5, nobody had the Dhojah yet. Dokclaw had forgotten to move his HQ. It was an extremely slow game, so slow that there was a possibility nobody would win.

I did manage to get my second squad of plague marines into the vault. They stood a chance of grabbing the Dhojah if they could get the charge.

My last hope

My adversary tried to slow down Bucky with some terminators, but decided to instead jump them into the portal. My grumpy dread followed on their heels, landing safely, but he was too far from the Dhojah to be useful.

Bucky about to make the jump into the vault

Dokclaw's termies will jump in first though

The Daemon Princess finally appeared and put in her two cents worth by assaulting the land speeder. She managed to immobilize it and knock a weapon off, but it was still hovering there. It was facing the board edge, effectively making its remaining weapons useless, so I just accepted that as good enough.

The speeder is even tough enough to survive 4 penetrating hits from my Princess!

My termies finally walked on, but by that time, they were worthless to me. With a 6" move, they required at least 3 turns to make it to the vault. The game could last a maximum of 7 turns and we were already in the fifth.

Termies show up way too late to matter

The space wolf HQ picked up the Dhojah at last. He would have got it sooner but as I already mentioned, Dokclaw forgot to move him in turn 4.

Space Wolves claim the Dhojah!

Right next to my footslogging terminators, Dokclaw graciously landed his last pod of troops, saving them from ennuie. I only lost one to the space wolves rapid fire, so I was able to return fire with my combi plasmas and then rip them up with power weapons. 3 dead space wolves later, the squad was sent scurrying. Too bad termies cannot sweeping advance.

Space wolves drop in and say hello to my termies, saving them from boredom

My termies take a pounding from rapid fire weapons but their armour holds up

My turn and the termies hit back hard

Inside the vault, my plague marines landed very close to the enemy psyker. I thought I was doomed because he had an amplified power he was cueing up, but it failed to do much. He finally rushed my plague marine's rhino and left my troops walking.

Plague marines get waylaid by the enemy psyker and lose their rhino

In my turn, my plague marines fired back on the psyker, but advanced towards the Dhojah. In retrospect, I should have assaulted the psyker to gain the charge bonuses since Dokclaw would be bringing the Dhojah to me soon enough.

Drive-by shooting

Some leftover Longfangs tried to snipe Typhus with missile launchers but his terminator armour save was enough to pull him through.

These troops tried to snipe Typhus but failed

Footslogging it all the way, Typhus never made it into the vault. The game would end in the sixth turn, and although he was a mere 3 inches away, he rolled a 1 for his run attempt. Likewise a whole squad of plague marines would be left outside.

Outside the vault, Typhus gets in spitting distance of the portal

Despite considerable abuse from my dreadnought, Typhus and the Daemon Princess; the land speeder would still be hovering there by the game's end. So it was to be.

Undefeatable land speeder

As for the princess and Bucky, they were both now in the vault but did nothing more than eat random shots from Longfangs and Psykers.

Princess is finally in the vault

So is Bucky

Bucky's antagonists

Dokclaw was happy the game stretched into a sixth turn. It permitted him to slake his thirst for power by wielding the awesome Dhojah against my plague marines. He mashed up the squad pretty well, but being a ten man squad made them unusually resilient. Four were still standing, enough to cause a wound on the HQ, but not enough to kill him. As their leader had not relinquished the Dhojah, the space wolves were victorious!

Close up of the final battle

Zooming out as Dokclaw claims his victory


The difference between our first game with the original rules, and the second with the revamped rules was night and day. I found the game mechanics worked much better in the revamped version.

In the original design, I split the game into two parts: outside and then inside the vault. When units reached the vault, they were deployed inside, but the players had to wait until the next game to move and fire. Dokclaw suggested we make it possible to combine turns on table 1 with turns on table 2. It made for a smoother, more sequential gaming experience.

I also followed Dokclaw's suggestion to have random deployment in the vault. It made the game even crazier and more unpredictable. My only regret is that no Mega Spawn were spawned.

I did think it might be better to have a smaller vault, maybe 3' x 3' or even 2' x 2'. The vault was so big, it was hard to have the final exciting battle over the Dhojah with all the super amped up psychic powers.

Tactically, I needed a faster army. Typhus would have been great with abusively strong psychic powers but it was too hard getting him into the vault. I did suffer from abysmal dice rolls though, so who knows?

Lastly, I think this game would rock with four separate players. The turns are very quick since units are arriving at a trickle so four player turns a round is totally feasible.

It was an awesome game and I'd like to thank Dokclaw for having the patience to play test these experimental rules enough to optimize them.

Tables des matières

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