Month: June 2017

Campaign Futuris: Rules

Campaign Futuris: Rules

Campaign Futuris (also known as “Future Cleveland”) is a campaign involving eight players at Drawbridge Games in Pittsburgh, PA that is being launched with the 8th Edition Warhammer 40k ruleset. Some of us are returning, some are making new armies, and some are brand-new to the game. To motivate the campaign we’re using a variant of the wonderful Games Workshop Blood in the Badlands campaign system with the rules re-purposed to 40k. Future Cleveland was the joke name for the Shadow War: Armageddon board that a participant (Ryan) built. Given all the ruined buildings, the joke was based on these amazing satires. Anyhow, here are the modified Blood in the Badlands rules as we’re using them.


The campaign runs for one year in game time: four seasons with three sections each season (called rounds). At the end of each season is a special event game, and the finale is the culminating battle for Future Cleveland–the player that wins that battle wins the campaign.

Heroes and Armies

Each player begins by selecting three different HQ choices that will represent the three commanders of their armies. One is the overall war leader, while the other two represent lieutenants. Players will create a unique name and backstory for each of their heroes. Every season, the player gets three armies led by their three heroes. We are using a map image, and the players will decide each round where those armies move (they begin in a starting hex for the faction). These leaders can span armies as long as they make sense to be paired together (Imperial forces in particular are likely to be this way), and represent armies drawn from that faction.

Players also can decide on any allied forces, and declare them as a part of the beginning of the campaign (they can break alliances later if desired). In our Future Cleveland campaign, the Chaos players may be the most likely allies, but there is no reason they wouldn’t fight each other to gain more control of the city. No one may ally with a Tyranid player, though alliances with Genestealer Cults are allowed (they are deceptive, after all).

Future Cleveland PreDeployment

The Map

The map is composed of a set of hexes, representing the great basin on Futuris, the primary planet in the Clevelandador system. The northern portion of the map contains 7 hexes representing the city nicknamed Future Cleveland, with the remaining hexes representing surrounding areas. The players roll-off to determine order of choice. They then claim a hex and indicate it as their base, and mark the six hexes around them as their starting territories. The four Chaos players will position in spots around the city, representing their control of the outlying suburbs. The four non-Chaos players will be spread around the city, and fighting to get in. Players can then decide one hex in their territories to contain a fortress and one to contain a manufactorum. Finally, the player selects three different hexes as the starting points for their three armies. The total of controlled hexes a player has is considered their Empire for the purposes of these rules–and the size of their empire is counted by number of hexes.

Turn Order

Each round, each player follows the turn order below in order of smallest empire to largest, rolling for ties.

  1. Random Events
  2. Move Armies
  3. Declare War
  4. Roll for Manufactorums
  5. Fight Battles
  6. Resolve Victories
  7. Resolve Expeditions
  8. End of Turn

1. Random Events

Each player rolls a d66 on the random Events Table and resolves the event. The random events can affect battles, campaign-map actions, or both. The player who rolled the result is the active player for purposes of the event.

The random events table is long, so it is produced at the bottom of this document.

2. Move Armies

Armies can claim unclaimed tiles, fortify lands, fend off invading armies, and claim enemy territory–they do so primarily via movement in the campaign map portions.

At the start of each season, players can select any Hex they control to contain one of their armies (starting with the player with the smallest number of hexes).

Each campaign round (three rounds per season) players take turns, again smallest hexes first, to move armies one-at-a-time. To move an army, the player nominates the army and then rolls a d3 to see how far it moves on the map. Each player moves one army during this phase, then go back to the first player to move their second army. This way players can react to opponents’ movements. At least one army must always remain somewhere within a player’s borders to defend their empire.

3. Declare War

Starting with the player with the smallest empire, each player can challenge another player to battle. A player may issue only one challenge per turn, and may not issue a challenge to an opponent who has already been challenged*. A player who has been challenged may not issue a challenge of their own*.

* There may be cases where it makes sense to have multi-player games due to the map and the sides involved. In these cases, additional challenges can be made if they make sense to all parties involved and the narrative of how the forces are arranged on the map.

The position of armies on the campaign map is central to determining challenges. Players should review the following list, in order, to determine their challenged opponent.

  1. If you have an army in the same tile as another (non-allied) player, you must issue a challenge to them.
  2. Otherwise, if another (non-allied) player has an army in your empire, you must issue a challenge to them.
  3. Otherwise, if you have an army in another (non-allied) player’s empire, you must issue a challenge to them.
  4. Otherwise, if none of these apply, you may challenge any player an ally could challenge instead.

This should result in a game every game round for each player.

Chaos Rules

4. Roll for Manufactorums

While not every race may have a Manufactorum, each faction has their own way of supplying new troops: birthing new warriors, recruiting new cultists, traveling thru warpgates, or supply ships arriving from afar. Manufactorums are the way we represent these things–each Race is encouraged to come up with their own preferred story of how the support arrives.

In this phase, roll a d6 for any Manufactorums (and related structures) and apply the results. See the full listing below in Structure Rules for the various structures and their effects in this phase.

5. Fight Battles

When starting a battle, the players decide two things: which hex it takes place on the map and which armies are involved. Normally this will be clear, but sometimes armies are a bit further apart. Use the closest armies to the opponent and a tile that lies under them or between them in a direct line.

When picking your list for battle, the following rules apply:

  • The game may be of any mutually agreeable size. The games will use the Power Points system for Warhammer 40k 8th edition. Players should aim to assemble a starting force of 40 Power points for early games in the campaign. As players build their armies, we can raise that number accordingly.
  • You must take the Hero HQ choice associated with the army that is fighting. Their power points must be paid for out of your total. Any game effects that apply to them or their force due to prior games must be used.
  • If one army is bigger than the other army due to Manufactorums, random rolls, other map elements, or relics, it cannot exceed more than 25% more points than the opposing force.

The table is then set up to represent the hex terrain and the scenario of the engagement. If players mutually agree on a scenario that fits the narrative, they can play that scenario. Otherwise, they can roll randomly among the available scenarios.

6. Resolve Victories

After the battle, the victorious army gains while the defeated army must recover. To represent this, the victorious player rolls a d6 on the Spoils of War chart below. In addition, if the “Hero” HQ of either player was removed from play as a casualty during the game, that player has to roll for them on the Character Effects table below.

Finally, the winner must roll an additional d6:

  • 1-3: the defeated army is driven back a tile toward its own empire or capital
  • 4-6: the defeated army is removed from play as it scatters. It can reform at the start of the next season, with this Hero or a new Hero as desired.

Spoils of War Chart

1 Pyrrhic Victory: You won, but your supply lines are stretching thinner and thinner. Can you hold out? In the next Roll for Manufactorums phase, subtract -2 from the rolls for all Manufactorums in your territory.
2 Stunning Victory: It’s hard to hold territory in the face of such a dominant army. Any Fortification saves made by an opponent for a hex being conquered by this army are reduced by a further -2.
3 Ranks Bolstered: The commander of your forces wants to keep these victories rolling by sending more troops. In the next game in which this Hero HQ’s army is fielded, you get an additional 5 Power Points to add to your army.
4 Elite Status: This army has been recognized as deserving of elite support in terms of manpower and materiel. In their next battle, they may add any one unit to their force beyond the normal limits of a Battle Forged army, and still count as Battle Forged. (e.g. A Patrol detachment could include a 3rd Heavy Support choice).
5 Tactical Superiority: Your victory allowed your forces insight into enemy battle plans on the planet surface, and their designs on Future Cleveland. The Hero HQ of this army immediately gains one Relic.
6 Economic Breathing Room: Your victories have allowed your production facilities to make advances as well. You may immediately construct one structure that you can place in any hex where it would be allowed (you must control the hex, no other structure there, etc.). This can be in addition to any other building this round or season.

Character Effects Chart

1 Killed: The Hero HQ succumbed to their injuries, and died. Their army, now leaderless, scatters and is removed from the map. The player cannot re-use this Hero HQ in future seasons. Their story ends here.
2 Captured: The Hero HQ has been taken hostage by the enemy. Their army, now leaderless, scatters and is removed from the map. The player whose Hero HQ is captured can choose to play a rescue special mission in any subsequent round in addition to their normal battle. If they are successful, they can then replace the captured Hero HQ with their army at any of their fortress squares.
3 Mission Incomplete:  The Hero manages to limp to safety or be picked up by medical staff. However, their injuries led to a critical command-and-control mission going incomplete. The opposing army’s Hero HQ immediately gains one Relic.
4 Offscreen Escape: What looked grim on the battlefield turned out to be simply a time for the HQ to flee to safety. They participate normally in the next battle of their army.
5 ‘Tis a Flesh Wound: The HQ recovers from their injuries fully, and participates normally in the next battle of their army.
6 You’ll Get Yours: Make a note of which Hero HQ led the force that removed this HQ as a casualty. In the next game between these two armies, this force gets to field an additional 5 Power Points, representing them evening the score against the foe.

7. Resolve Expeditions

Armies can do more than simply battle–they can conquer tiles or fortify your empire.

Starting with the smallest empire, work through the following sequence with each army on the map.

  1. If your army was driven back by another army, it may not do anything else this turn as it is too busy making a retreat.
  2. If your army is in an unclaimed tile, you may claim it. That tile’s border colors will change to match your map color.
  3. If your army is in a tile occupied by an enemy army and a battle wasn’t fought, roll a d6: on a 1, your army is removed, 2-3 your army is driven back a tile, 4-5 the enemy army is driven back a tile, 6 the enemy army is removed.
  4. If the army is in its own empire, it may build a structure from the list of structures in the Special Rules. Note that some structures can only be built by certain factions. Each tile can only contain one structure, though you can replace structures as you see fit. Each army may only build once per season (not per round).
  5. If your army is in an enemy tile that does not contain any enemy armies, you may attempt to conquer it. The player whose tile you are conquering is then allowed to make a fortification save to see if they are able to garrison their lands in time to stave off attack. They roll a d6 and apply the following modifiers
  • The tile borders a tile of the attacking enemy -1
  • The tile is adjacent to a fortress +1
  • The tile contains a fortress +2
  • The tile contains a different structure that affects the roll (variable)
  • Keys to Future Cleveland. If you have any relics, you may sacrifice them to invading armies to give you time to gather your forces. For each relic you choose to transfer to an opponent, you can increase your roll by +1

If the roll is 6+ the defending player is successful and the tile does not change hands. If the save is failed, the tile is conquered. The tile changes color to that of the invading force.

8. End of Turn

At the end of each round, make certain that all things are set for the next round. At the end of each season, there is a bonus Season Climax event. Following the season climax event, all players remove any armies that they have on the board–and then to start the next season they can place all three of their armies anywhere in their empire. If they lost any Hero HQ choices, they can have that model return (with 0 Relics and no bonuses or penalties) or recruit a new Hero HQ choice for their force to lead subsequent armies.

Planning Session


Relics are a special currency used in the game to represent information and objects that will help a faction secure control of Future Cleveland. These can range from knowledge of a special access tunnel to the physical key for a secure Adeptis Mechanicus bunker in the heart of town, and anything in-between. They can be used during the campaign rounds, but also will matter for the purposes of the campaign finale. Many will simply be a “Relic”, but some special Relics with additional rules will be the rewards from seasonal games.

Relics are possessed by one of the three Hero HQ’s for the force, and their possession will be tracked in the information for the campaign. Any time that two same-player-controlled armies end their movement in adjacent hexes, the player can swap Relics between their Heroes as they see fit.

In addition to the ways that Relics can be used elsewhere, Relics can always be traded in during the Manufactorum phase of a given round. A Relic redeemed in this way gives the player an additional 5 Power Points for the army attached to the Hero HQ that redeemed it for that subsequent battle round. As the Manufactorum phase occurs after the Challenge phase, players should know which Hero of theirs will be fighting for the round.

Structure Rules

The following is a list of the various special structures that can be present on the map tiles. Note that certain structures can only be built  by certain forces–any limitations are in brackets behind the structure’s name. Where the structures have in-game procedure for the Campaign Map phase each round, they generally occur in the Manufactorum phase, unless otherwise indicated.

Manufactorum: Roll a d6 for each Manufactorum you control and consult the following:

1 – Resources Exhausted or Sabatage: The Manufactorum ceases production for some reason. Remove it from the map.

2-4 – Production Continues: For any battle fought this round, you can include 5 Power Points more forces than the agreed upon total (e.g. You and your opponent agree to a 40 Power Point game, this result means that you get to field 45 Power Points worth of army. Both players could have this, and that would mean that despite agreeing to a 40 Power Point game it ends up being both sides at 45).

5-6 – Exceptional Output: You can choose to either gain the benefit of “Production Continues” as above except with 10 Power Points rather than 5, or you can return one Army that was removed during this season to the game and place them in a hex containing one of your Manufactorums. The returning Hero HQ has the same limitations as if they were returned at the start of a season.

Fortress: Fortresses increase the fortification saves of tiles they are in and near. In addition, any battles fought by an army garrisoning their fortress (defending that hex) should include a set of defensive structures for the garrisoning player.

Psychic Anomaly: Whether an arcane amplifier, a waygate to focus a seer’s power, some blasphemous shrine to a chaos god, or a strange neural network of organic warp power, the effects are the same for this structure. If the controlling player has a Hero HQ that can use psychic powers, if they have a Psychic Anomaly structure they can reverse the numbers they roll for the Random Events table (e.g. a 36 becomes a 63).

Space Dock [Imperial only]: This structure assists in moving troops and materiel, and is essential for Imperial movements. An army starting on or adjacent to a hex they own with a Space Dock can be moved to any hex that does not contain a Fortress or is one of the 7 Future Cleveland hexes during the Move Armies phase. If the Imperial player does not choose to use this ability, then the Space Dock can be used to simply bring down more materiel. The Imperial player can field 3 more Power Points than they normally would for the agreed-upon game (similar to a Manufactorum roll).

Spore Chimneys [Tyranids only]: Tyranids not only attack the populace of a planet, but the very environment. Their consumption of the planet occurs at even a chemical level. This can generate conditions that make certain types of warfare impossible. Tyranid armies in or adjacent to a Spore Chimney hex roll a d6 and apply the following weather condition if they are the army that participates in the battle that round:

1-2 – A Nice Day After All – No effect.

3-5 – The Air is Thick with Death – The enemy player may not field any models that have both the Vehicle key word and the Flying key word.

6- The Very Earth Erupts in Horror – The enemy player may not field any models that have the Vehicle key word.

Charnel Altar [Chaos only]: While the form varies by the Chaos god, the intent is the same: this great, blasphemous altar to an unholy power of the warp focuses the intent of the Chaos forces while unnerving the Imperials. The Chaos forces receive one free unit of 10 cultists for any battle fought in or in a hex adjacent to the Charnel Altar. In addition, Imperial forces must go out of their way to target the altar to eliminate its blasphemous presence. When they have a Charnel Altar, Chaos gets a +3 bonus on all Fortification Save rolls against Imperial units for any hex that does not contain the Charnel Altar. However, due to the ire of the Imperials at the blasphemy, the Chaos player also suffers a -2 to all Fortification Saves for the hex containing the Charnel Altar itself when attacked by an Imperial force.

Waygate [Eldar only]: These structures can allow the Eldar quicker movement around the battlefield than opponents expect, allowing them to control the engagement with the foe. An Eldar force in a hex adjacent to or in a Waygate can always be the force that responds to an enemy challenge, even if there are closer Eldar armies. If they do so, that army is then moved to one hex away from the challenging army, and the battle is fought in that hex. If this would cause the Eldar player to have no armies in their home territories, they must then immediately move one of their other armies to the Waygate hex.

Triangulation Nexus [Necrons only]: Necron architecture and energy is dependent upon carefully calculated yet arcane loci and lines of magnetic power of a planet. Should the Necrons construct a set of them that complete a triangle, they are at a strong advantage. Individual Triangulation Nexuses have no benefit. If the Necron player is able to build three Triangulation Nexuses in non-adjacent hexes that form a perfect triangle (same number of hexes per side) then they can gain a set of nearly-permanent advantages. Hexes containing the Triangulation Nexuses themselves and any within the triangle automatically pass all Fortification rolls (Triangulation Nexuses can be lost thru rolls on the random events table, however). In addition, any Necron armies that are positioned in any of these hexes gain an additional 10 Power Points in any battles in which they take place. Finally, at the end of the campaign an intact and properly triangulated monolith trio yields the Necron player a bonus d6 Relics immediately before the final game.

Recruitment Center [Tau only]: Tau present themselves as beneficial conquerors, able to provide access to material comforts and stable existence to the planetary population. Any Tau-controlled hexes containing or adjacent to a Recruitment Center structure gains +1 to all Fortification saves to represent this loyalty. In addition, Tau forces can ignore result 13 “Enemy Sympathizers” on the random events table if they have a Recruitment Center in any of their hexes.

Big Mek’s Scrapyard [Orks only]: Once they get onto a planet, Orks go into full scavenger mode to produce all manner of machines of war. During the Manufactorum Phase, roll a d6 and apply the following result:

1-2- Still Werking. No appreciable gain.

3- Kan I have Kanz? For any battle fought this round, you can include 4 Power Points more forces than the agreed upon total. You MUST include a unit containing a single Killa Kan in your list to represent this addition.

4- Construct the Trukk. For any battle fought this round, you can include 5 Power Points more forces than the agreed upon total. You MUST include a Trukk in your list to represent this addition.

5- Kan I have Moar Kanz? For any battle fought this round, you can include 8 Power Points more forces than the agreed upon total. You MUST include a unit containing exactly two Killa Kanz in your list to represent this addition.

6- Deff-initely Dread-ful! For any battle fought this round, you can include 8 Power Points more forces than the agreed upon total. You MUST include a unit containing exactly one Deff Dread in your list to represent this addition.

The Core Chamber: This is a strange structure at the center of Future Cleveland. At the end of the campaign it counts as 5 relics. The Core Chamber is the prize for winning the scenario at the end of the Fall season, and cannot be built or claimed until then.

Faction Rules

Each faction gets a special rule in the campaign.

Chaos (Undivided): Due to their consort with the warp, Chaos armies’ Fortresses count as Psychic Anomalies, and can be used by Hero HQ’s of Chaos Undivided forces that are not themselves Psykers.

Chaos (Nurgle): The waves of plague unleashed by their forces undermine the defenses of the foe. All Fortification Saves made by forces that lose to a Chaos Nurgle army suffer a -1 penalty.

Space Marines: Space Marines are the premiere strike force, designed to take out enemy Fortifications with lightning fast raids. The bonus provided from the Fortress structure is lessened by 1 (that means that adjacent hexes gain no bonus whatsoever) if a victory from Space Marines prompted the check.

Adeptus Mechanicus: A player with any Adeptus Mechanicus armies in their hexes may re-roll the result for any Manufactorum rolls they make.

Inquisition (Ordo Xenos): Ordos Xenos not only eliminates the key technology of alien threats but works behind the scenes to protect the populace against their insidious threat. Hexes adjacent to or occupying an Ordo Xenos army gain a +1 to Fortification Saves versus Eldar, Tau, Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Orks, Necrons, and any other Xenos armies. In addition, when an Ordo Xenos army wins a battle in an enemy Xenos territory hex that contains a structure other than a Fortress, the Ordo Xenos player may immediately destroy that structure.

Eldar: Eldar forces do not re-arm in the ways that normal forces do, as they must import all of their technology. Eldar gain no benefits from Manufactorum structures. However, Eldar are also swift in their assaults. During the Move Armies phase, Eldar armies can always move up to three hexes rather than having to roll.

Genestealer Cult: The Genestealer Cult may be welcoming the Tyranids’ arrival, but they’re not exactly allies. Genestealer Cult armies may not be placed in the same hex as a Tyranid forces. If they are moved into a hex that contains a Tyranid force they are immediately removed for the season.

Tyranids: Tyranids can regrow and replace their HQ organisms with ease. Tyranids ignore results 1, 2, and 5 on the Character Effects tables–treat as result 5 instead. Their relics often represent information about how to access the city or the tactics of their foes–and thus when a Tyranid Hero HQ is removed, they can transfer any relics to a different Tyranid Hero HQ that is on the board.

Necrons: Necrons rise from below the ground when they strike, which can take opponents’ armies unaware. During the Move Armies phase, the Necron player may roll a d6 for each of their armies on the map. On a result of a 6, instead of moving that force normally they may move that army to any hex on the map they wish, representing forces emerging from a crypt network in a surprise assault.

Tau: Tau work carefully with local populations in order to hopefully recruit them. They frequently carry non-lethal loadouts and riot suppression gear to minimize civilian casualties should they have to resort to violence. This manifests in two ways in the game. First, in any scenarios that use civilian models, any injuries inflicted on them by Tau have a greater change to be nonlethal (see scenarios for particulars). Second, any time an opponent rolls on the Character Effects table after a battle against Tau in which Tau units were still present on the battlefield at the conclusion of the game, the Tau player can choose to make results of a 1 “Killed” or 3 “Mission Incomplete” be a 2 “Captured” instead–representing the selective use of nonlethal rounds to subdue the target.

Orks: With roar echoed by 1,000 Ork voices, the Waaagh gets sounded. Once per Season during the Move Armies phase, the Ork player may declare a Waaagh (by shouting appropriately). All of their army movement rolls get counted as a result of 3 that turn. In addition, Ork players re-roll result 44 on the Random Events table.

Season Mission Preview

As the seasons progress, there will be a special culminating event that occurs between each of the three sets of rounds. I’m keeping them somewhat under-wraps for now, but here’s the teaser:

Spring: “Titanfall”

Summer: “A Call Answered”

Fall: “The Core Chamber”

Winter: “The Battle for Future Cleveland”

As each gets played, I’ll provide the full rules here as a record for the campaign.

Random Events Table

11 Recalled from War: Remove one of your armies from play until the start of the next season
12 Embattled: Roll 2d3 when moving all of your armies this turn and pick the lowest result
13 Enemy Sympathizers: Any fortification saves you have to make this turn are at an additional -1
14 Assassin: A random opponent picks one of your Hero HQ choices. You must immediately roll on the Character Effects chart for that Hero HQ.
15 Deserters: Pick any of your hexes. It is immediately lost to you (and Structures it contains are destroyed)
16 Plague: Remove one of your structures.
21 Temperate Weather: No effect, for good or ill.
22 Heavy Rainfall: In your next battle, models with the Vehicle keyword move at half their listed speeds unless they have the Fly or other keywords that keep them from being bogged in the mud.
23 Sporadic Lightning: In your next battle, models with the Flying keyword must roll a d6 each time they move. On a 1, they suffer a single wound (save as normal).
24 Lava Vents: In your next battle, infantry models that do not fly or have jump or jetpacks are in danger of falling into lava. Each time you and your opponent Advance with an infantry unit, roll an additional d6 and allocate that many wounds to the unit (saves as normal).
25 Clear Skies: Thanks to the lack of obstructions, both sides in your next battle can try to leverage their air power. Both players can bring one extra Flying unit (up to Power Points 10) to the battle.
26 Terraforming: Due to the weapons and forces deployed around Future Cleveland, the very earth itself is changing. At the end of each player’s turn during the game, scatter any non-occupied, non-building terrain pieces d6” in a random direction.
31 Stoking Unrest: Pick any of your enemy’s hexes that do not contain a Fortress. It is lost to them.
32 Settlement Mission: Pick an unclaimed hex that is not within Future Cleveland. You immediately gain control of it.
33 Raiding Party: Pick any of your enemy’s hexes that do not contain a Structure. They must make an immediate Fortification save. If they fail, you gain control of that hex.
34 Sappers: Remove one of your opponent’s Fortresses.
35 Resource Capture: Remove an enemy’s Manufactorum from the map. Immediately build a Manufactorum in one of your tiles, per the normal rules of building by an army.
36 Seize the City Center: Gain control of any one hex in Future Cleveland that is currently unowned.
41 Forced March: Move one of your armies again.
42 Logistic Success: Roll 2d3 when moving your armies this turn and pick the highest result
43 Bad Intelligence: You can move one of your enemy’s armies this turn instead of them
44 Diplomacy: Name an opponent. They cannot challenge you this turn.
45 Subvert Command and Control: Pick an opponent. You may choose who they challenge this turn.
46 Secret Tunnels: You may pick any opponent to challenge this turn, regardless of location.
51 Spies: For your next game, your opponent needs to reveal their army list in advance of the game to you (allowing you to tailor your force to beat theirs if you wish)
52 It’s a Trap: In your next game, you may pick whether to deploy first or second and who gets to go first or second, regardless of the rules for the scenario
53 Prepared Ambush: In your next game, you may pick the scenario played, the deployment zones, and who is attacker/defender (if applicable)
54 Reserve to the Front: You get an additional 5 Power Points in your next game
55 Overwhelming Force: You get an additional 10 Power Points in your next game
56 La Grande Armée: You get an additional 20 Power Points in your next game
61 Strategic Information: Gain one Relic
62 Schematics of Future Cleveland: Gain d3 Relics
63 Bolstered Defenses: Any fortification saves you make this turn are at an additional +1
64 Cunning Commander: For the rest of the turn you count as having the smallest empire
65 Reinforcements from Home: For the rest of this season, you gain an extra army. They get their own Hero HQ that you designate, and operate as normal armies in every way
66 Fortune Favors the Bold: You can play two games this round. If you are challenged, you can make a challenge of your own. If you get to make the challenge first, then you may immediately make a second challenge. Either way, this second challenge can lead to another player getting an extra game in as well.
Bronze Medal Masters

Bronze Medal Masters

So I recently won a Steamroller with my Trollbloods, and now just a couple of weeks later I managed to finish in Third Place in a 16-player Masters Trinity event.

For the event I worked hard to get everything painted up and completed. That meant finishing up a unit of Pyg Burrowers, as I think they could be good with Grissel2 (spoiler alert: they’re not). I also got a Swamp Gobber chef mostly painted, but he still needs touch-ups and so I’ll include him in a subsequent update. Despite him being a little rough, tho, I was completely painted with all three lists. I’ll attribute any success I had to the fact that I managed to field so many painted models.

0 Trollbloods Pyg Burrowers

They’re so cool looking, and they could be absurdly nasty for assassinations with her. But their Burrow is just ghastly slow. Both games I used them they never even had an opportunity to surface–and both were long games. 

For the Masters, it was a Trinity event so that meant three lists. And it was Divide and Conquer 1, which meant that I had to play each at least once (a harrowing proposition). I decided to go with my Doomshaper2 list that has been working very well, my Madrak2 anti-Ghost Fleet list (as I was anticipating up to three Ghost Fleets at the event… was wrong), and my Grissel2 list that I’m tinkering with.

1 Trollbloods Trinity Masters 3 lists pairing

The three lists and my results, along with my third place Bronze medal.

2 Trollbloods Madrak2 vs Legion Saeryn and Rhyas

Round one was against Dave C’s Legion of Everblight led by the Twins. This was a brutal slug-fest of a game. A Champion on Feat turn missed both MAT 9 attacks on an infantry model, which meant I didn’t finish off one of his heavies with 2nd/berserk swings, which led to me having to play really defensively. Mercifully, the timed rounds imposed a deadline. Dave played the game in great fashion, and literally left me with just Madrak2 and a single knocked down Fennblade Officer far away–but he ended that turn with only 18 or so seconds on his clock. We agreed to work out his declarations of his turn on my clock, so he could get the most from his time. He charged the unprotected Madrak2 with a boosted attack roll by Rhyas. Hit and scored 13 damage, but not enough to kill him–and no Crit meant that Madrak2 survived as time ran out. One of the closest games I’ve ever played, against a great opponent. I’ll remember this game for a long while. I bet 3/4 of the times he would win the match, but I happened to get lucky. 

3 Trollbloods Doomshaper2 vs Circle Grayle

My second game was against Savage’s Circle Orboros force. I wanted to get my lists played to not be locked in a later round, which meant either Grissel2 or Doomy2. Given that he had Grayle, which would give Grissel2’s shooting list a really poor look, I had to choose Doomy2. I ended up facing Grayle, and taking him out with Rök’s usual pacman trickery. Grayle didn’t have Fury on him, so once Rök got there with Wild Aggression and Primal on him, it was over. 

4 Baldur2 Stand In Art

Third round I played Larry IV and his Baldur2 Circle Orboros list. I forgot to take a photo of this game, so apologies for the substitute image above. The list was a Woldwrath, Megalith, another stone heavy, two of the stone shrimp, some stones, and a few support models. I knew that Grissel2 was a bad look into it, but I also knew that terrain could be my advantage–there was a big house blocking the path from the center zone to the flag on a Recon. I took a chance and played Grissel2, and it paid off. With the house and my strong shooting, I was able to misdirect and pull him to one side, then run her to to the flag on the other side and clear a few models. I had just enough stuff to clog the way each turn, which led to a scenario win for me. It wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t do more than 1-2 damage to Megalith or the Woldwrath thru the game. But it worked and got me to the final game undefeated. 

5 Trollbloods Grissel2 vs Cygnar Caine3

Game Four was against Larry III and his Caine3 Cygnar list. I wasn’t list-locked, so I knew I could play any of them. I might have been better to have chosen Madrak2, as he had even more shielded protection, but I went with Grissel2 as there wasn’t much to screen Caine3–and if I could get him knocked down at any moment it would be game over. It ended up being a pretty fun slugfest. He got the advantage on his Feat turn, but I still had ample to threaten him. I was able to take out all of his lights except for Ace, and cripple the right side of the Hurricane. Still not quite enough to push me thru, and there were two turns of some really bad looks for me. I played well enough for him to keep Caine3 away at least, so I’ll take that as a developing player. “First step: don’t lose to assassination on the Feat turn”. Done. Caster eventually dying in an attrition match, well… so be it. I’d prefer the win, but I’ll take this against one of the top players in our meta to be sure. Was a great game, as always with Larry III. He’s an exceptional player, and every game I face him I get better. 

All in all a great tournament. The folks at SCG Hobbies put on a good show, and there was great turnout. I was really proud of myself for doing so well, but I also recognize that I got very lucky in my games. A few seconds more in game one, a gap of more than an inch in game two, and just enough models to clog in game three were the difference between 3-1 and 0-4 for the day.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):


Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 73 (Win/Loss 52/21/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)


19 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn, Kaya2, Helynna, Stryker2, Craye, Venethrax, Kaya3, Absylonia2, Skarre1, Kallus2, Gaspy3, Karchev, Una2, Saeryn & Rhyas, Grayle, Baldur2) / 3 Losses (Feora3, Exulon Thexus, Caine3)

Protectorate of Menoth:

3 Wins (Kaelyssa, Magnus2, Skarre1) / 7 Losses (Makeda1, Deneghra1, Thyron, Kozlov, Kryssa, Fiona, Gaspy3)

Convergence of Cyriss:

9 Wins (Maddox, Haley2, Rask, Helynna, Makeda1, Gorten, Kaelyssa, Vayl2, Gaspy1) / 2 Losses (Venethrax, Helynna)


8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 4 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax, Grayle, Horgle2)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Kriel Ordeal

Kriel Ordeal

Another week of (lots of) games, and more progress and practice with my Trollbloods. It’s good, as our summer event at my main game store is a story game that is Trollblood-related, so having more completed is always good.

First up, painting progress: I spent a Friday night, all day Saturday, and about two hours on a Sunday morning just painting two Dire Trolls. Finished up Rök and a Dire Troll Bomber. It was a grueling painting session, but I wanted to be certain that I get everything finished for a big Masters Trinity event coming up in my area.

1 Trollbloods Rok and Dire Troll Bomber

I’m really pleased with how they both turned out, Rök especially. He’s such a great model, with so much character to him. And the Bomber was fun, as I did a pose more like he is hurling one of the lit barrels of explosives. 

On the gaming side, this week was just five different games against a variety of opponents–some folks I face often, others who it was fun to face because we don’t get to play as frequently. For the first three, I was still working on getting some table time with my Doomshaper2 list that I’ve been working on. I’m hoping to see where his limitations and difficulties lay. The latter two, I took my Grissel2 list because I wanted to be more practiced with her list.

2 Trollboods Doomshaper2 vs Kallus2

First up, a game with Doomshaper2 against Enrico’s beautifully-painted Kallus2. He played the match up very well. I got an edge by taking out his Beast Mistress with a long-distance trample by the Earthborn thru a woods. He bought a few attacks and killed her, which left Kallus2 down on points. He did ample damage (killing Rök and Mulg both), but finally was knocked down by a thrown Carnivean and killed. Was a great game, as both Enrico and Kallus2 were tough opponents. 

3 Trollbloods Doomshaper2 vs Gaspy3

Second game with Doomshaper2 was against Ryan’s Gaspy3. Ryan is always a great opponent, and this was a match of the fast. Gaspy3’s Mobility and fast base SPD on jacks meant that we threatened each other at long range. I managed to get Mulg in first on his Kraken (it was go for it, or lose him because of the speed I was facing), but didn’t quite finish it off. However, Rök did a great job mulching the screening Satyxis Raiders and collapsing one side of the assault. Gaspy3 had to use his Kraken to try and kill Doomy2, but he came up just short. When he did, we called the game as Rök and the Earthborn were in place to roll in and kill Gaspy3. Fun game to be sure, but I definitely would play it different next time–making sure to save Mulg for cleanup and let the Earthborn or Mauler lead the way. 

4 Trollbloods Doomshaper2 vs Karchev

Third game with Doomshaper2 was against Colton’s Khador, a heavy list led by Karchev. It turned into a huge slugfest. You can see in the picture above, it was just a jumble of heavies clobbering each other across a couple of rounds. I managed to get the lead when he counter-charged the Mauler with Behemoth. Able to take out Behemoth after he had just one attack in on my beasts rather than a full round made the difference. Colton had to use Karchev to try and regain ground. Unfortunately, I had just too much heft left and was able to finish him off. Great opponent in Colton as our games always seem to become crazy slugfests when we’re able to play. 

5 Trollbloods Grissel2 vs Exulon Thexus

Swapped it up by switching to my Grissel2 list for additional games. I faced off against Larry’s Cephalyx list, helmed by Exulon Thexus. It was a rough battle, but I managed to keep the score close through scenario play. By reaching a spot where I could win unless he went for it, he went–and was able to use Thexus’ feat to line up a slam that took the Runebearer over Grissel2, leaving her prone and prey for one last Monstrosity (her defense 17 with Swarm would have been a tough one to get thru otherwise). I definitely knew to respect the feat, but it got hard to avoid it as the game drew on. Great game as I always have fun and learn a ton playing against Larry, and I definitely need to swap some elements of my Grissel2 list. 

6 Trollbloods Grissel2 vs Una2

Final game was against Rob’s Circle Orboros army, led by Una2. Full of Griffons, I knew that I needed to strike fast at Una2 if I could. Rob is one of the very best technical players in our greater meta, so if there was a way to engineer a kill on Grissel2 he’d find it. I had a huge dose of luck on my side in this match. Grissel was able to position to get a knockdown shot onto Una2 and heaped on the damage with her shooting. Then I got super lucky drifting templates onto her from the Bombers to kill her–amusingly even more lucky because a few Pygs that I could actually charge in died because I stupidly chose the Crescendo shot for my third shot. I managed to just get the kill on Una2, and it was totally dice luck rather than much skill to be sure. Rob was a great opponent, and I’m looking forward to facing his Circle again in a match where it’s much more skill vs skill than me getting absurdly lucky. 

All in all some good games. I need to tinker some with my Grissel2 list, and think up another list to pair with them for three list formats. But I’m feeling fairly pleased with how my Trollbloods are doing for me.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):


Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 69 (Win/Loss 49/20/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)


16 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn, Kaya2, Helynna, Stryker2, Craye, Venethrax, Kaya3, Absylonia2, Skarre1, Kallus2, Gaspy3, Karchev, Una2) / 2 Losses (Feora3, Exulon Thexus)

Protectorate of Menoth:

3 Wins (Kaelyssa, Magnus2, Skarre1) / 7 Losses (Makeda1, Deneghra1, Thyron, Kozlov, Kryssa, Fiona, Gaspy3)

Convergence of Cyriss:

9 Wins (Maddox, Haley2, Rask, Helynna, Makeda1, Gorten, Kaelyssa, Vayl2, Gaspy1) / 2 Losses (Venethrax, Helynna)


8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 4 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax, Grayle, Horgle2)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)

Trollbloods Steamroller Success

Trollbloods Steamroller Success

I recently took my Trollbloods force to a local Steamroller, and managed to win the event. I was really pleased with the success, as I have a fairly competitive meta here in the Western PA, Eastern OH, Northern WV area. I was lucky and faced one newer player, but still had to push through two tougher ones on my way to the win. It was a three round event, with strength of schedule as first tiebreak and control points second.

Here are the two lists that I brought. Certainly nothing absurdly special with them.

D Trollbloods Steamroller 2016 Army Lists Doomy2 Grissel2

I’ve seen lots of variations in the Doomshaper2 list that are close–I like the Trollkin Warders personally, but others can vary on the sort of defensive package they give to the old man Troll. As for the Grissel2 list, I’m hardly sold on it as an approach. I tested it exactly once after painting her up, so it was much more theory than practice.

However, because the event had no Divide and Conquer restrictions, I simply ended up playing Doomshaper3 in all three matches. Only in the third match, against Skarre1, did I find myself thinking that maybe Grissel2 would have been better. But Doomy2 proved able to exploit my opponent’s moves well enough that I managed the win.

I took the Armory as my objective in both, as this list has some severe problems with incorporeal troops–and we have a player who frequents the locale of this store who had been prepping games with a many-incorporeals Ghost Fleet list recently. Being able to hand out magic weapon didn’t come up in any of my games, but it would have been handy if I needed it.

A Steamroller 1

Game One was against Larry IV’s Circle Orboros list, helmed by Kaya3. His other list was Kromac2, and I recognized that both had enough meat and enough transfers to likely survive Grissel2 assassination attempts. So Doomy2 it was. Kaya3 took an aggressive stance with her beasts and stones, which would be a good plan against many forces–but Doomshaper2 can get his Warbeasts WAY further than people expect. Mulg was able to crash up into his Warbeasts and take one out and a stone. Rok came up on the other side and mulched a full unit of Skinwalkers, leaving his force in a vice between them–with two other heavies trailing. He was unable to clear either Mulg or Rok, and that meant that they slowly caved in the sides and ended up taking out Kaya3. 

B Steamroller 2

Second game was against Dave’s Oracles theme list led by Absylonia2. I had never played Dave before, so it was great to meet a new player–and he’s an amazingly interesting guy. Looking at his options, again there was no way that Grissel2 could get the assassination done. Plus, Doomshaper2 has good ways to make warbeast-heavy lists have to play conservatively. So it was Doomy2 again. Thanks to Doomy’s Agitation, I was able to get the game to the point where Absylonia2 felt she needed to go for objective. That meant I could take a shot at killing her. I took two free strikes (from a Neraph and a Nyss Sorceress on Hellion) on Mulg, but had pre-placed a whelp just in case adjacent to his landing zone. I got lucky with the damage done to him, and he was able to reach Abby2 on Feat turn–and Mulg was able to finish her off. Dave was a great opponent, and I felt like I managed to eke out a lucky win against him. Next time I definitely will not be that lucky. (note that I forgot to take a picture with Mulg standing there before I packed up, so the above shot is just Dave’s great-painted Abby2 and company). 

C Steamroller 3

My third game was against Ian’s Cryx force. I last played Ian in a tournament at the end of Mark II, also facing Skarre1 then (that time I was fielding my Cryx). It was fun to revisit our old clash. As I said above, I thought about Grissel2 as I would have on-paper liked her into this list more. But the threat of Gaspy3 as his other list led me to think that I’d need the caster who could power thru a Gaspy3 Feat turn on damage if I needed to. He ended up dropping Skarre1, so the battle was on. I got lucky in the way that he spaced his jam unit, allowing Rok to just start chain-killing them right down the line. He then counter-charged his two Seethers into Rok. A spawned whelp from the damage let me repair the branch that I lost from their attack, and go right into killing the pair of Seethers and even getting up to damage Deathjack. More importantly, though, the counter charge left a straight path for Mulg to reach Skarre1. Again, the distance the “slow” Trolls can get on Feat turn can really surprise opponents. Mulg finished it off with ease, and that left me in the top spot for the tourney. 


Overall I had a really fun time with the tourney, but I’m going to take it for what it is. Doomy2 definitely is a “fool me once” kind of Warlock. Once people know how he runs and what he can do, they can better space and obstruct and really limit his game. I’m definitely inclined to keep fielding him, but I recognize I’ve got to get to the point where my other lists are able to do heavy lifting too. That said, it was good to get a tournament win and I’m looking forward to testing my Trollbloods mettle in the future.

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):


Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 64 (Win/Loss 45/19/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)


12 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn, Kaya2, Helynna, Stryker2, Craye, Venethrax, Kaya3, Absylonia2, Skarre1) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Protectorate of Menoth:

3 Wins (Kaelyssa, Magnus2, Skarre1) / 7 Losses (Makeda1, Deneghra1, Thyron, Kozlov, Kryssa, Fiona, Gaspy3)

Convergence of Cyriss:

9 Wins (Maddox, Haley2, Rask, Helynna, Makeda1, Gorten, Kaelyssa, Vayl2, Gaspy1) / 2 Losses (Venethrax, Helynna)


8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 4 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax, Grayle, Horgle2)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)


Warders gonna Ward

Warders gonna Ward


Another two weeks, another load of painting and games put in. As always, I’ll start with the painting. Finished a new Warlock, Grissel2, and a unit of Trollkin Warders to accompany her. Plus I also completed a Trollkin Sorcerer (getting ready to face Ghost Fleets in my local meta).

1 Trollbloods Grissel2

I like her as an assassination threat, and for what she can enable for infantry. Maybe it’s my experience with Amon, but handing out Parry can be pretty solid for loads of tricksy play. 

2 Trollkin Warders

This unit turned out really well. I’m quite pleased with the result. Ton of work in, but good payoff in the end product. 

3 Trollkin Sorcerer

Hehe, this guy looks so silly. My friend Dan always says “hey can you read this to me” about another player’s Trollkin Sorcerer, as they printed the text on the outside of the scroll. I was careful to put the runes inside–so he was the one reading it. 

In addition to all the Trollbloods painting, I also finished some Convergence of Cyriss pieces in my slow build toward that force: A Cipher and an Optifex Directive.

G Convergence of Cyriss Cipher

I swear those arms look like rockets–but he shoots from the face-gun. What a silly faction.

H Convergence of Cyriss Optifex Directive

I really liked these guys, and I’m feeling like some of the more characterful infantry of the faction are going to be my painting draw. Next up, I’m leaning toward some Clockwork Angels or some Eradicators. 


While I painted some Convergence, gaming has been entirely Trollbloods these past couple of weeks. I’m definitely feeling the groove of Trolls–which is good, given our upcoming summer campaign that is Trollbloods-focused.

4 Grissel2 vs Helynna

First game was against Steve’s Retribution, and my frequent nemesis Helynna. She is a thoroughly solid Warcaster, and he always pilots her well. I was able to leverage Grissel2’s assassination threat to finally finish her off. Being able to free up the Pyg Bushwhackers without need of their expensive UA (thanks to her Dash spell) is a huge boost to them and their ability to put some steady damage on assassination targets. 

5 Madrak2 vs Caine2

Next I faced Andy’s Cyngar, led by Caine2. I wanted to get a shot of how cool he looks, because Andy did a great job with the conversion and the paint scheme. Caine managed to inflict enough damage on himself that I finished him off through the course of an extended game with my Madrak2 force. I mucked at least one thing up (Blood Fury is warrior model/unit), but it was somewhat inconsequential. I’ve been thinking of Madrak2 in Band of Heroes theme as a good answer to some concerns in my meta, so I wanted to get some reps with him. Great game full of Trolls beating on stuff and my opponent coming up short on rolls other than with his Warcaster–I’m looking forward to the rematch as Andy is always a great player.

6 Madrak2 vs Craye

More Madrak2 versus Cyngar, this time against Mike’s beautifully painted force. I included this picture because the model just looked so good. Madrak2 would go on to take a free strike from this guy, walk around, and smack Craye to death (he’s just out of the shot). Was a good game, and Mike had the upper hand in attrition–but got a little too close with Craye, who could have been far further back. 

7 Hunters Grim Special Scenario

My final game was against Charles’ Cryx. We continued with our on-again, off-again narrative campaign that he’s constructed, reaching the conclusion this time. The vault had been opened by the Skorne, though in the process Morghoul had been felled. Yet, other powers were interested in what emerged. My Trollbloods, led by Grim2, got to the ruin first. Grim found a strange shade lurking there, and he managed to use his magical force to bind the creature. A good thing, as it attempted to possess him!

8 Trollkin Scouts vs Venethrax


A battle ensued as Lich Lord Venethrax also came seeking the power revealed from the opened ruin. Grim had to try and get the bound spirit, with its escaping energy, back to the Kriel where Doomshaper was waiting with the ritual to truly set the creature at rest. That meant his force had to sell themselves dearly in the process of delaying Venethrax’s advance. Grim managed to escape as the Trolls held on just long enough. The Trollkin Scouts managed to charge Venethrax alongside a Stone Scribe Chronicler–however his defensive abilities caused their thrown axes to miss horribly and fell allies (a Storm Troll that was assisting). Their assault blunted, it was all they could do to simply die under Venethrax’s blade while allowing Grim to make good his escape. 

As always, a great set of games. Especially the story campaign I informally did with Charles. That was a fun way to motivate our games together. I normally game on Thursdays, but Charles can really only get Sunday games in–so we agreed that doing a little story would keep our games fresh despite playing each other alternate weeks. I would definitely recommend that approach for anyone who has a limited set of opponents. Having the routine special scenarios that told a small story made it lots of fun. I can’t wait for the next one!

365 Points Challenge Progress (2017):


Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2017: 61 (Win/Loss 42/19/0); 2016: 123 (Win/Loss: 74/49/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)


9 Wins (Gaspy1, Terminus, Barnabas, Gunnbjorn, Kaya2, Helynna, Stryker2, Craye, Venethrax) / 1 Loss (Feora3)

Protectorate of Menoth:

3 Wins (Kaelyssa, Magnus2, Skarre1) / 7 Losses (Makeda1, Deneghra1, Thyron, Kozlov, Kryssa, Fiona, Gaspy3)

Convergence of Cyriss:

9 Wins (Maddox, Haley2, Rask, Helynna, Makeda1, Gorten, Kaelyssa, Vayl2, Gaspy1) / 2 Losses (Venethrax, Helynna)


8 Wins (Kaelyssa, Nemo3, Zaadesh2, Makeda1 x2, Kaya3, Grayle, MacBain) / 4 Losses (Makeda2, Venethrax, Grayle, Horgle2)

Retribution of Scyrah:

13 Wins (Tanith x2, Venethrax x2, Malekus, Gaspy1, Ragnor, Zaadesh2 x2, Grayle, Borka1, Makeda1, Strakov) / 5 Losses (Zaadesh2, Thyra, Xekaar, Tanith, Gaspy1)