Scenario: Virai First Contact – A Rogue Drones Variant

Virai warrior

This is a variant of the Rogue Drones scenario in Playing the Game. The scenario is played as specified, but the ‘Victory’ and ‘Special Scenario rules’ sections are replaced with the following. In this variant, the Rogue Drones are Virai drones.

Running the Game

This can be played between two players or four, the players resolving the movement and shooting for the two Virai drones as necessary. Alternatively, the drones can be controlled by an umpire, who will then take any rolls required, move the drones, work out shooting and so on.

Set Up

Set up a mix of terrain in the standard fashion as described in the Playing the Game guide leaving the area within 6” of the centre of the table clear. The terrain should afford each side the opportunity to approach the drones without exposing themselves to too much enemy fire.


If playing with two forces, each enters the table from the opposing short table edges.  If playing with four opponents, each starts within 12″ of one of the four corners. Roll randomly to determine which player starts from which short table edge or corner.

Deploy the two drones before the first turn once the players have determined from where they will start. Each drone is deployed in a random direction d6″ from the centre of the table.

In the first turn a side can bring up to half of its force onto the table as described in the Playing the Game guide. Remaining forces can be brought on at the same edge from the second turn, making a Command test to enter as defined in Playing the Game.

Rogue Drones setup diagram
Scenario 12 Rogue Drones Setup


The objective is to reach the drones, capture them as described below, and hold on to them until the end of the game. If you can carry them off your own starting edge (recovery), so much the better.

Game Duration

The game ends immediately when there are no more Virai drones on the table. An alternative is to play until one side reaches its break value or until six turns have elapsed, then roll randomly to see if another turn is to be played in the usual way, as described in the Playing the Game guide in Rules Central.


Total the VP specified.

Capturing and in control of the warrior drone at the end of the game 2
Bonus for recovering the warrior drone off the table+1
Capturing and in control of the constructor drone at the end of the game 1
Bonus for recovering the constructor drone off the table+1
Bonus for recovering both drones off the table+2
Bonus if recovering/capturing the only surviving drone(s) at the end of the game but not taking them off the table+1

A faction with two or more VPs than any other is the winner but a winning draw can be claimed if a faction has one more VP than any other.

Special Scenario Rules

The Virai

The objectives are two unknown drones – the Virai. Any suitable models will serve for the purposes of this scenario, although stats and weapons are as defined in the Virai Army Lists (see the PDF Army Lists).

Virai Actions

To play this scenario two further distinctly coloured order dice will be required to represent the drones. Place these in the dice bag along with the order dice of the opposing players. When the first drone dice is drawn randomise which drone gets the order. The subsequent drone dice is given to the remaining drone.

Each Virai can take pins as normal for any infantry unit. If shot at and destroyed, the Virai drone is obliterated and it and its order dice are removed from play — no capture or recovery VP can be gained for that drone. A drone forced to take a Break Test and failing such that it would normally be removed from the table (such as losing in hand to hand combat) flees instead, moving 1D10″+5″ in a random direction.

The Virai are confused without their Architector, so their order dice is rolled and the result determines their action. If a drone has pins, it will have to pass a command test for the action rolled or go Down. See the Virai Actions Table to see if the order rolled is changed to another given the circumstances.

The drone must obey movement and coherency rules as for any other single-figure unit, stopping if it would move into impassable terrain, off-table or get too close to another unit.

Virai Actions Table

Roll the dice to determine the drone’s actions. If some actions are impossible or non-fruitful, the drone will follow a logical progression to the next order in sequence, as detailed in the table below.

1RallyIf the drone has one or more pins after removing that for a successful test, it performs a rally action, otherwise, follow the instructions for step 2, Fire order.
2FireThe drone aims and shoots at the nearest player unit that it can draw a line of sight to. If there are no possible targets, follow the instructions for step 2, an Advance order.
3AdvanceThe drone moves D5” in a random direction and then shoots at the nearest player unit that it can draw a line of sight to.  If there are no suitable targets then give it a Run order as in step 4.
4RunIf there is an enemy unit within 3M of the drone, it makes an assault against that unit and sprints into combat. Otherwise, the drone moves D10” in a random direction providing this is no closer to an enemy unit: if not possible, the drone goes go into Ambush (step 5).
5AmbushThe drone immediately goes into Ambush. Whilst in Ambush it will shoot at any player unit that makes an Advance/Run move within its line of sight. It will also Stand and Shoot if assaulted or react with a Firefight if Fire’d at within 20″. If the drone is still on Ambush at the end of the turn the dice is left in place and the drone remains on Ambush into the next turn.
6DownThe drone goes Down, no doubt trying to overcome a logic loop. At the end of the turn, a Down drone always attempts a Recovery test to return its order dice to the bag.
Capturing a Drone

To capture a Virai, an infantry, weapon team or equivalent command unit must defeat it in the hand-to-hand phase of an Assault by ‘destroying’ the drone. Instead of being removed from the table, either by becoming casualty or failing a hand-to-hand Break Test, the attacking unit has the option of capturing or ‘destroying’ the drone. A captured drone is placed into formation with the unit. Once a drone has been captured the player who has captured it takes its order dice, removing it from the dice bag if it isn’t already in play, and places it aside.

This means that even a capturing unit can only destroy its drone by attacking it through an Assault, again.

The drones are heavy and struggle even after being captured. Therefore, a unit can only carry a single Virai at a time and each requires a combined total strength of 15 in order to be carried by the unit. Providing this restriction is met, the Virai can be moved as if a carried objective.

If at any time a capturing unit’s Str total is less than 15 (typically three normal panhumans), the drone is dropped (see below).

So long as the Virai remains in the control of its captors it follows the unit around as described for carried objectives in Playing the Game. However, it can be shot at on a Lucky Hit, but makes a Res save as normal.

This effectively means a drone must be specifically targeted to be destroyed, whether through PBS, shooting, or hand-to-hand combat. There is nothing wrong with refusing to shoot at a drone in the PBS phase, but the drone will still shoot back!

If the drone is abandoned or dropped, it becomes independent again. It has its order dice returned to it with a Run order and immediately makes a sprint away from the unit that held it captive (and avoiding getting too close to enemy: this can get messy, so be fair).

A captured Virai must still be controlled by a unit with enough Str within a transport (and not the transport itself), otherwise it will just break out!

Designer’s Notes

The scenario is a two-part game: the first part is capturing a drone and dragging it back to your own baseline, whilst the second becomes a fight to prevent your opponent(s) from doing so. As a result, pins and command tests are crucial.

It is easy to add additional drones to the scenario just by making each drone a squad. We recommend, however, that players only score once for each drone type they have, whether constructor or warrior.

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