Friday, 12 March 2010

The Storm God - Part 1: The Capture of Rumpolt Staudinger

First a quick repeat of the campaign rules and background...

The Storm God

Image property of Games Workshop

Most enlightened Sir,

I write with grave and worrying news. The heretic Rumpolt Staudinger has somehow escaped his imprisonment. His trial was still ongoing and upon a routine inspection his jailors found his cell to be empty and the only evidence that it had ever been occupied was this scrawled warning on the wall.

‘A storm approaches. The heavens will be ripped asunder and the thunderous racket will awaken the slumbering Storm God. Dread Sharunock, Aaracturious. Glorious Elazar rouses his immortal servant for the war to come. Fear the storm!’

The man's insane rambling never seem to cease... I have dispatched riders as news reached me today that he has been sighted journeying north, sharing his mad prophecy with all who will listen. I pray that Sigmar will guide my men in recapturing the so-called Prophet of Elazar! Then I shall turn my attention to the distressing question of how a man as old and weak as Staudinger was able to escape...

Aldebrandt Veit
Witch Hunter Captain


Krakanrok The Black made a bargain with the Chaos Gods to buy his race's immortality, in exchange they offered their eternal servitude to their Gods' armies. Aaracturious, kin of Krakanrok and his children was present that fell day and played his own part in the outcome. Aaracturious has long since returned to his slumber, rousing occassionally after the most destructive of storms, ready to make war at the dark gods' calling.
The name of Aaracturious appears in the histories of the old world on numerous occasions over the centuries. The most well-known mention though is in the legend of King Arnaldo…
Arnaldo was a Tilean who like so many sought a new life in the Border Princes. Of relatively high birth and upbringing he quickly rose to prominence in the colonies there. In the aftermath of a particularly brutal raid by Norscan pirates Arnaldo was made King of the budding port city of Gaderloc, on the Black Gulf. Whilst the legends all differ on its source, they all agree that the crown set upon his head was made from the purest gold and decorated with the most prized gems and also that it was magical in nature. Arnaldo went from a gifted young thinking man to a wise and powerful king. Indeed when the Norscan Hamund Gorebeard returned the next spring to raid the port Arnaldo met him in combat and bested him. Soon after, Arnaldo led and expedition north into the wastes. The stories say he wanted to subject the Norscans to their own devilry but the truth is unknown now. Whilst in the bitter lands of the north Arnaldo and his force had the misfortune of encountering the ancient Shaggoth, Aaracturious. Arnaldo was slain by the titanic beast and most of his army too. Those that returned told tales of the crown and the beast that had slain its wearer. They told of how the Shaggoth had taken the crown and wore it on his belt as a trophy.

Spies and informants whisper of Rumpolt's insane prophecies. Most write his words off as madness. But amongst some, the fires of ambition are stoked. The legend of King Arnaldo speaks of the value of his crown. Slaying the beast Aaracturious would be a deed to match the greatest heroes of legend. The wealth and power such things could bring a man are too hard to ignore...


'The Storm God' is going to be a small narrative campaign. It's going to be 3 games in length. The 3 games will be different scenarios and will be different from the standard Pitched Battle way of playing Warhammer.
The armies are heading north into the chaos wastes to hunt down and slay the legendary Shaggoth Aaracturious and to claim King Arnaldo's crown. Their motives may be for their own wealth, glory or power or maybe they're pure of heart and seek to do these things only to rid the world of a great evil and to regain a relic of the past.


Two big rules:
This is a story based campaign. That means words such as 'balance' and 'win' are now dirty words. The scenarios will hopefully help balance things out where there are problems but ultimately the main idea here is to have fun.

The campaign is character based and driven. The characters that people use will have to have their own name. (This also means no special characters of any sort). The name doesn't have to be anything fancy but this campaign is about these (anti) heroic personalities.

Army Rules:
Each player pics a 1000pt army with the following exceptions:
Only 250pts can be spent on characters.
Only 750 pts can be spent on the rest of the army. 2+ Core, 0-3 Special, 0-1 Rare.
No magic items are allowed. No runic items are allowed. Nothing that is bought from your magic items points allowance normally is allowed e.g. Virtues, Spites, Scavenge Pile etc.
No Daemonic Gifts, Gifts of Khaine, Vampiric Powers, Gifts of Chaos etc.
No Special characters
Marks of Chaos, Vows, Kindreds etc. are allowed.
Mounts are allowed. If they count as an additional Hero choice etc. then this rule still applies and the cost of the mount comes from the 250pt maximum allowance on characters. Please remember mounted characters require an alternate on foot model for one of the scenarios.

Campaign Rules:

I'm not going to insist on painted minis. However, I would love it if everyone could make the effort to have their characters painted at least. It's not essential though so don't feel that you have to...

Wizards will roll for spells at the beginning of the campaign and keep these spells for all 3 scenarios.

Characters will gain experience as the campaign progresses. Characters will gain:

5 pts for surviving a scenario.
5 pts for killing a unit champion
10pts for killing a rival character
10pts for killing a large target
10pts for the winning general of a scenario

There will be other bonus experience points linked with a scenario and these will be explained in the scenario rules.

Everytime a character gains 10 experience points he will get to roll on the improvement chart below.
Roll a D6

1. +1 Ws
2. +1 S
3. +1 A
4. +1 Ld
5. +1 T
6. +1 W

A character can only get each improvement once, doubles should be re-rolled.

Wizards can instead choose to continue their study of the sorcerous arts. Before they roll on the improvement chart they can choose one of the three options below.
Great Scholar: The Wizard can roll a new spell. This should be of the Lore from which he rolled for his initial spell(s).
Great Caster: All of the Wizard's casting rolls are at +1
Great Protector: All of the Wizard's dispel rolls are at +1
Once an improvement has been picked the Wizard must roll on the D6 Improvement chart. The number rolled is the improvement that the Wizard skill is replacing. If this number is rolled again should then the Wizard should re-roll as he has already had this improvement.
Each Wizard Skill can only be picked once per character.

Warriors can instead choose to hone their martial skills. Before they roll on the improvement chart they can choose one of the three options below.
Great Attacker: The character's to hit rolls are at +1
Great Defender: The character's armour save is improved by 1.
Great Leader: All friendly units within 6" can use the characters leadership for psychology tests as if he were the army general. If the character is the army general then his leadership range is improved to 18"
Once an improvement has been picked the Warrior must roll on the D6 Improvement chart. The number rolled is the improvement that the Warrior skill is replacing. If this number is rolled again should then the Warrior should re-roll as he has already had this improvement.
Each Warrior Skill can only be picked once per character.

The Dice of Heroic Destiny™ For each scenario every player will get a number of Dice of Heroic Destiny™ (as determined by the scenario rules). Each dice allows you to re-roll one dice roll. It could be an armour save, a power dice, a result on the miscast table, a break test, a misfire roll etc. You can't re-roll a re-roll for any reason. If you have enough dice you can reroll the resut of a dice involving more than one dice. Re-rolls using The Dice of Heroic Destiny™ can cause or prevent a miscast or irresistable force. Once used a Dice of Heroic Destiny™ is spent and cannot be re-used.
One other use of The Dice of Heroic Destiny™ is to improve a ward save. For each dice spent in this way a model's ward save is increased by 1. If a model doesn't have a ward save then the first dice grants a 6+ ward save and so on. Ward saves gained or improved using The Dice of Heroic Destiny™ count as having been re-rolled already and under no grounds can the be re-rolled again through either a special rule of the use of further Dice of Heroic Destiny™

The campaign winner is the player in control of King Arnaldo's Crown at the end of the campaign. Of course it looks like this might be running 3 times over so I thought it'd be fun to have a league table as well. Experience points for characters will count as points on the league table so we'll have a table showing the best individual characters based on the experience they gain and another showing the most successful players based on the experience of all of their characters combined. This is of course a sideshow to the main aim of the campaign... to have fun!

4-Player Scenario Rules
Obviously, the Warhammer rules are designed for two opposing forces battling against one another. When you have four forces there are some rules issues that arise. I've tried to address them in a way that avoids having to relearn all the rules but still allows a little bit of the intrigue and sheer brutality you'd expect when four armies meet on the battlefield.

There are only ever two sides in a combat. When a third (or fourth) player charges a unit into a combat exisiting between two or more other players then he must charge in support of one of those players.


In the example above, the Chaos Knights (red) could charge in to combat supporting either the Orcs (green) or the Empire Militia (blue) depending on the choice of the player. This is declared as part of the charge declaration. If the Chaos Knights could only get into combat with the Militia then they'd have to combat them meaning they will support the Orcs in their combat. Until the combat is completely resolved a unit that supports another counts as being on the same side. This does not apply to any units not involved in the combat!
Generally combats are fought in the turns of the two players involved in them following all the normal rules. If a combat involves more than two players then the combat is fought in the turn of each player involved. This means that with 3 players a combat (if it lasts) will be fought 3 times in the same game turn and 4 times if there are 4 players involved. This represents the pace and brutality of a combat involving quite so many combatants.
Combats are resolved in the normal way. Charging units go first (if this applies to more than one unit then they go by initiative order etc as normal) etc. Combat resolution is calculated in the normal way. Supporting units add their resolution to the combat as if they were a unit in the same army as they are helping. For example, in the picture above, if the Knights charged into the combat and attacked the Orcs then their combat resolution would be added to that of the militia. As normal in a multiple combat you can only get the bonus for ranks, outnumber, banners etc. once.
Units flee, pursue, overrun as normal. Units count as being on the side they were on in the combat until all fleeing and pursuit moves have been made.

Each player casts spells in the magic phase of their turn as normal. However, the other players all generate dispel dice in their opponents' turn. Dispel dice can only be used by a player that the spell will effect, area of effect spells etc can effect more than one player so in this instance the players can pool their dispel dice to make a single roll. This follows all the normal rules. So if a double 1 is failed the dispel attempt automatically fails etc. Players can also give their own dispel dice to a player to aid them in dispelling a spell that doesn't target any of their own units. You can only give the army dispel dice in this way and not any dice generated by magic users. Likewise these army dice can be given to the casting player to aid him in casting a spell. If used (the player doesn't have to accept an offer of additional dice to dispel or cast!) then a resulting miscast only effects the wizard that attempted to cast the spell. As he attempts to channel all the additional magical energy something obviously goes wrong.

Part 1 - The Capture of Rumpolt Staudinger

Rumpolt Staudinger is a man of extraordinarily long life. He was already in the winter of his life when his path crossed with that of a mortal follower of the chaos gods. That man was known by the name Elazar The Glorified. Elazar was still a mortal man when he led a small warband to the Hospice for the Insane at Sensfeld. What had drawn him from the north to that place nobody will ever know. He and his followers stormed the Hospice and took great delight in slaughtering the many patients there. The good Sisters of Shallya who ran the hospice were bound in chains and led into the courtyard of the abbey that had become the Hospice. One patient alone was spared from the slaughter. Rumpolt Staudinger. Elazar marched the elderly man into the courtyard and let him witness the heinous act that followed. The Sisters of Shallya were crucified, foul runes daubed on their flesh, their souls offered as gifts to Slaanesh. It was this unholy act that earned Elazar the ultimate favour of the Serpent God. Rumpolt Staudinger witnessed Elazar's ascension into immortality. Elazar has kept Rumpolt alive through countless lives of men since then. The man is drawn to the great and terrible acts carried out by the Daemon and his followers, cursed to witness them all. To the Cult of Elazar that has sprung up in the wake of his tales he is a prophet, a mouthpiece of their idol.
To Elazar, Rumpolt is a toy, an oddity, a pet. Elazar protects and prolongs the life of the wretched old man but only so that he can have the pleasure of tormenting him, himself. Forcing him to witness and record the fell deeds done in his name. But that doesn't mean Rumpolt isn't important to Elazar. The daemon is the embodiment of the selfish vanity and ambition in man. Rumpolt catalogues the daemon's glories and in his maddened state shares them with the world. There are some who listen and find themselves drawn to the worship of the daemon and Elazar's power grows within the Realm of Chaos. His own mad ambitions slowly being realised...


Rumpolt journeyed north. He knew his steps would be dogged by the Witch Hunters but he knew that there was nothing they could do to him that would match the eternity of torment he’d be subjected to if he failed his daemonic master. Along the journey there were those that helped him, they offered food and shelter from his pursuers. He preached his warning to any who passed him but they thought him mad for the most part. Mad he might possibly be, but he knew the truth. Soon the forest roads gave way to open plains. Fevered dreams haunted Rumpolt’s nights so he gave up trying to sleep and continued walking in the darkness. He knew he had to bear witness to the Storm God’s reawakening. It was both his privilege and his curse.
As he journeyed ever northwards the landscape became barren and featureless. He knew he drew near to the wastes. To an observer he might have looked like a lost old man but despite there being no landmarks and having never seen his path before, Rumpolt knew exactly how to get to where he needed to be. His journey was halted though. In the distance he heard a shout go up, and then others followed suit. They’d finally caught up with him. He was too old and weak to put up any fight now. He tightened his grip on the stick he walked with. He whispered a plea to the daemon and stood silent, ready to face the wrath of his pursuers…


Rumpolt alone, amongst mortals at least, knows the path through the wastes to where the Storm God slumbers. Obviously, this makes him exceptionally valuable (alive!) to anybody who seeks Aaracturious and Arnaldo's fabled crown. So we start when the armies have spotted his silhouette in the distance as dark clouds start to fill the sky

Getting Started
The battlefield is a 4' by 4' square. To work out which player will deploy first each roll a d6 the player with the highest roll will deploy first, the next highest second, and so on. The players will take their turns in the order in which they deploy (unless a special rule says otherwise e.g. Bretonnians who pray will go last to play but can still deploy first).
Each player receives 2 Dice of Heroic Destiny™

The deployment zone of each player is a 18" long by 12" deep area from the centre of each table edge. The scouting elements of each army are the first to close the distance on Rumpolt Staudinger to reprsent this in the deployment phase only the following units are deployed in each players deployment zone:
Units with a movement characteristic of 7+ (after any modifications for barding etc)
Units with a random movement of 3D6 or greater
Units with the Fly special rule
Units with the Scouts special rule.
All of these units are deployed in their deployment zone. The player who deploys first, place ALL of his units elligible to start the game on the table before the next player deploys all of his and so on. No special rules for deployment such as ambush or scouts etc. have any effect. All units elligible must deploy in their deployment zone.
Rumpolt Staudinger starts in the centre of the table.

Remaining Troops
At the start of the remaining moves phase of each players turn the rest of their force will begin to arrive, those that arrive will depend on which game turn it is.
Turn 1: Units with a movement of 5+ or a random movement of 2D6.
Turn 2: Units with a movement of 4+ or a random movement of D6
Turn 3: All units that haven't already arrive do so.
Units arrive from their table edge and are treated as troops returning from pursuit off the table with the exception that if they are free to march they may.
Warmachines etc. are brought on based on the characteristic of their crew. Units with mixed movement (such as monsters and handlers) always move at the speed of the slowest member of that unit.
Characters can be brought on independently or with a unit. If they join a unit then they go at the speed of the slowest member as normal.

Rumpolt Staudinger
Rumpolt Staudinger cannot be harmed in any way and cannot be targeted for spells etc. If he would be hit by a template or an area effect spell etc he is not affected by it. Rumpolt does block arches and counts as an enemy troop to forces of any player who does not have him in custody. Troops cannot move within 1" or Rumpolt and must halt if they were to do so.
If Rumpolt isn't currently in the custody of a unit he can be capture by making a successful charge move into base to base contact with him. The unit halts its charge once it makes base to base contact with Rumpolt and then Rumpolt is moved to the side of the unit etc. to indicate that they currently have him in custody.
Rumpolt has his turn before all the other players starting from Turn 2.
Rumpolt always move D6". If not in custody this is in a direction determined by the scatter dice but he will always stop 1" from an enemy unit. If in custody the result of the D6 is Rumpolt's move characteristic for the turn. Rumpolt can never march and a unit with him in custody is unable to march also. Flyers that have hm in custody are unable to fly to keep him in check and so must use their ground movement. As ever, a unit will move at the speed of its slowest member and whilst in custody Rumpolt counts as a member of the unit for this purpose (and this purpose alone!). A unit with Rumpolt in custody only ever flees and pursues D6".
A unit can surrender custody of Rumpolt in the remaining moves part of their movement phase, before the unit itself moves. In which case Rumpolt is moved 1" away from the unit closest to the centre of the table.
The only way a unit can take custody of Rumpolt from an enemy unit is to wipe out the capturing unit or break them from combat. If the unit with Rumpolt breask the victorious unit instantly captures Rumpolt. The victors can still pursue etc but they will only be able to do so D6" now.
Rumpolt never fights in a combat and never counts as a model in combat for the purposes of outnumbering etc.
A unit with Rumpolt is bound by any compulsory movement it is normally bound by (although the speed of its movement may be changed by Rumolt's presence). However if a unit flees for whatever reason it surrenders custody of Rumpolt.
Should a unit surrender custody of Rumpolt or if they are killed outside of a combat etc. Then he reverts back to his random movement in his own turn as before.

To win a unit must move off the table edge with Rumpolt in their custody. In which case the game ends and the controlling player is the winner. If this doesn't happen before the game ends that the player with Rumpolt in custody wins. If nobody has Rumpolt in custody at the time then the player with the closest unit wins, if more than one unit is within the same distance then whichever has the highest unit strength wins. If it is still a tie then the player (of those players that it is a tie between) whose table edge that Rumpolt is closest to will win the game.

In addition to the normal experience bonuses if a character or his unit finishes the game with Rumpolt in their custody that character gains an additonal +5 Experience.