The Fence by Lea Davidson
A community-sourced, fun scenario for matched forces of 50-100 points. Thanks to Lea for sending it in!
Jollold is a pleasure world owned and run by Vardos Gagathax. The surface of the planet is crisscrossed by suspensor fences forming vast enclosures, some of which are thousands of kilometres long. Each enclosure is a themed game reserve which can be hired by wealthy hunters or used for military survival training and the like. The suspensor fence is designed to stop (very) big game animals from moving between enclosures.
Recently, Gralin, a somewhat crazy adventurer, took an air skiff into one of the jungle reserves on a hunting expedition. Befuddled by an array of intoxicants, the old hedonist crashed his skiff into a line of suspensor projectors that usually generate a long, straight fence between enclosures. They are now malfunctioning, causing the shape of the fence to become random.
If that were not unfortunate enough, Gralin was carrying the coordinates for an Antarean gate which he had discovered and had been drunkenly bragging about in the numerous Jollold bars. Once news of the accident broke, forces on the planet rushed to that area hoping to find the coordinates amongst the wreckage.
Running the Game
Two rival forces have rushed to the crash site and remotely identified three storage devices that may hold the valuable gate coordinates. These are to be retrieved for study. The forces must collect the devices then return to their table edge while dealing with an ever changing and impassable barrier.
Divide the table into 24 equal sized squares (or 16 if on a 4’x4′ table). Place three objective markers on the centreline 12″ in from each edge and on the centrepoint. These represent pieces of the wreckage with storage mechanisms which may hold the coordinates for the secret gate.
Set up terrain as described in the Playing the Game guide in Rules Central. The terrain should be a mix of dense and light vegetation along with hills. Perhaps the wreck of Gralin’s hunting skiff could also be used.
In this scenario neither side deploys before the game. Both sides must move half their army onto the table in the first turn, and the remainder of their army in the second or subsequent turns. Units can enter anywhere along the player’s table edge provided it is not blocked by the suspensor fence (see Special Scenario Rules, below).
Both sides are trying the recover the damaged devices and take them back off their own table edge.
Play for the usual six turns or until one side is broken, and then test to play a further turn, as described under Game Duration page 14 in the Playing the Game guide. The game also ends at the end of any turn if all three objectives are moved off the table.
Each piece of tech carried off a force’s own table edge earns that force 1 victory point. If neither force succeeds in leaving the table with an objective then each objective being carried by a force earns it one victory point.
Special Scenario Rules
The suspensor fence is oscillating wildly and flickering in and out of existence as it repositions itself. At the start of each turn (including the first), and before any unit is moved, roll 3 separate D5’s and note the order in which they are rolled. These rolls dictate the current shape of the suspensor fence near the crash site as the malfunctioning projectors try to maintain its integrity.
The table should be viewed at a grid of 24 equal squares as per the images below. Place a marker at the appropriate position on the leftmost table edge as determined by the first D5 roll. Place another marker on number corresponding to the second D5 roll down the centre of the table. Finally, position a marker on the rightmost table edge as per the number rolled on the third dice.
An imaginary line between the three markers (it may be easier to use some string!) represents the current shape of the suspensor fence. No model may move through the line. Weapons can be fired through the fence as normal and line of sight is not affected.
If a fence runs along a table edge (or partially along it) then figures cannot enter or leave the table by crossing the line. So, in the second example (below), a unit could only come on from along half of the top table edge.
When the shape of the fence is redetermined and it re-establishes itself, if any units are crossed by the new line (that is, it crosses the base of a model or crosses larger models such as vehicles or lies between the bases of models in the same unit), then the unit must test against its Initiative. Probes, shards and equipment do not count as part of the unit for this purpose.
|Pass on a roll of 1||The unit skilfully dodges the suspensor projection and may act normally this turn. They can even move through this part of the fence (i.e. between the nearest two markers).|
|Pass on anything but a 1||The unit cannot move at all but can otherwise behave normally. For example, they could make an Advance order but not move and just shoot if this would be more beneficial than a Fire order.|
|Fail||The unit goes down.|
|Fail on the roll of 10||The unit goes down and takes a hit with a Strike Value of 5. This hit causes a pin.|
To pick up an objective, a member of an infantry-equivalent unit must end their turn in contact with the objective. The storage device is small and stays with the model which contacted it. Objectives, can however be passed between models (including those in other infantry equivalent units) once per turn. Doing so requires base contact between models or minimal proximity (1″) if passing to another unit. If the model holding the memory core is killed, the objective is dropped.
Should the fence pass directly through an objective, the objective can still be reached and collected safely by models on either side of the suspensor fence.
Bad luck could mean that one player is unable to advance much for the whole game although this is unlikely. It is also possible that both forces are bogged down too much. If players find this happening then they can, by mutual consent, add more turns before the game ends.
If players want more movement in the scenario, they could add a different colour order dice to the bag. The fence only appears when the dice is drawn and lasts until the end of the turn. It will regenerate when the dice is pulled in the next turn.