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A Stony Sleep : Final Confrontation


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#1 Enmi

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:09 AM

I am currently running the "Stony Sleep" mission from "The Emperor Protects", and I'm not quite satisfied with the final fights in the necron tomb.

 

Before going into details, here's what my players group look like :

* Salamander Apothecary (Squad Leader), rank 3

* Dark Angel Devastator, rank 3

* Iron Hand Techmarine, rank 3

* Flesh Tearer Tactical Marine, rank 1 (this is my own character, he is a bit of a 'newbie marine' so he doesn't 'outshine' the other player)

 

First, the KT has to kill some 'basic' Alpha Legion marines : no details on how many legionaries attack are given, so according to all the equipement available for the KT in this mission I assume there must be more traitors than loyalists (like 6v4 or something like that) in order to balance the fight. Just by looking at stats, I fear that this confrontation will be a bit boring/easy for my players. Moving on, the next fight is against the Tomb Guardian ... well, since my devastator has a lascannon, i don't think this one will last more than 3 turns. Again, I'm afraid it won't put up a good fight.

So basically, here's my idea : remove the Tomb Guardian fight, and instead buff the Alpha Legionaries my KT will fight. I want it to be a memorable, 4v4, Brothers against Brothers fight. Those Chaos Marines would be like Lamdus Rize's Chosen/Champions, the best of his cell. So here's my ideas to boost them :

* Up them to 50E,

* Give them Mighty Shot/Crushing Blow,

* Give them Master Crafted/Exceptionnal Weaponry,

* Add a Movement anticipator (sorry, i can't find a good translation for this one, it's the thing that give +10 to BS when you make a full-auto burst or semi-auto burst) to their bolter,

* Give them Power Weapons,

* Give one of them an Autocannon/Heavy Bolter

* Maybe add some combi-weapons

* Allow them to use squad mode and squad abilities (Oath of Glory ?)

* Up their Armour, just a little +1 on all locations

 

What do you think of this ? I'm asking for help, because I'm not really good yet at balancing encounters, especially with an Iron Hand Techmarine who's near invincible to basic weapons. If you have any ideas, let me know ! Just acknowledge this : I want my group to suffer (I love them, really, but I want them to fight their equals and sweat :D)


Edited by Enmi, 25 August 2014 - 07:22 AM.


#2 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

TBH, basic marines should be enough, when employed correctly. Their number one priority is to take out the lascannon asap, by any means necessary, which means focused fire on the devestator until he goes down. Given it's alpha legion, it's feasable to have them open the engagement from ambush, perhaps with a grenade volley, and be using stalker or combi-bolters from cover. They may actually directly target -the las cannon- rather than the marine holding it to eliminate its threat, given it can likely take less punishment than its weilder.

 

And yes, definitely, let them use the same abilities the PCs have, as well one or two fate points apiece.



#3 htsmithium

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:50 AM

If I remember right tomb guardians can pass thru solid matter, so have it show up right next to the devastator so he has no time to shoot.

 

But yes the alpha legionaries should have all the same abilities as the kill team. in fact one trick my gm pulled once was to have us discover a cell that was planning on impersonating the team. He basically photocopied our sheets, had them look exactly like us,   and then pulled the whole " all the lights go out and when they come on no one knows who is who" trick. Oh and had hacked our vox net so they showed up as friendly to our auto-senses.


  • DeathByGrotz likes this

 ding dong mala mortuus est,

quem veteres strigam

impii strigam

ding dong impiorum strigam mortuus est.


#4 Enmi

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:59 PM

TBH, basic marines should be enough, when employed correctly. Their number one priority is to take out the lascannon asap, by any means necessary, which means focused fire on the devestator until he goes down. Given it's alpha legion, it's feasable to have them open the engagement from ambush, perhaps with a grenade volley, and be using stalker or combi-bolters from cover. They may actually directly target -the las cannon- rather than the marine holding it to eliminate its threat, given it can likely take less punishment than its weilder.

That's my plan for this fight, except that I totally forgot the Stalker ( though it could be really nice to use it !) ! And how would you use basic marines in this fight (I mean, how many, which weapons etc) ? I guess their tactic would mainly be focused fire, but do you have other ideas ?

 

If I remember right tomb guardians can pass thru solid matter, so have it show up right next to the devastator so he has no time to shoot.

The Tomb Guardian is the giant spider ;)



#5 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:39 PM

I'd have them all (Five or so) open up in a surprise round on the devestator from covered positions. If he's still standing, roll init as normal and have them lob in smoke grenades into the room to impair visibility, then abandon position and stealth  through the smoke (Hefty perception tests to see them there). If the kill team remains bunched up in one spot, lob grenades out of the smoke at them and keep moving through it. If they advance into the smoke, or split up, converge for five on one melee sessions.



#6 Gurkhal

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:25 AM

How about you throw in a Champion of Chaos to lead the Alpha Legionaries? Or maybe the Alpha guys can opt for stealth and so instead of just attacking dim on, stealth after the Kill Team untill an oppertunity presents itself.



#7 Enmi

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:16 PM

How about you throw in a Champion of Chaos to lead the Alpha Legionaries?

That's a great idea !

So I think I'll go for 5 Alpha Legionaries, one with a Stalker and one Champion with some special wargear, the rest with standard wargear. Of course, I was planning for an ambush. Focus the lascannon, then have the Champion challenges the squad leader while his squad fight the rest of the KT. Try to move as much as possible to flank the loyalists (Bolter Assault !) and use smoke to cover movement/deceive the DW.



#8 Gurkhal

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:24 PM

 

How about you throw in a Champion of Chaos to lead the Alpha Legionaries?

That's a great idea !

So I think I'll go for 5 Alpha Legionaries, one with a Stalker and one Champion with some special wargear, the rest with standard wargear. Of course, I was planning for an ambush. Focus the lascannon, then have the Champion challenges the squad leader while his squad fight the rest of the KT. Try to move as much as possible to flank the loyalists (Bolter Assault !) and use smoke to cover movement/deceive the DW.

 

 

Always happy to help. :)



#9 Enmi

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 02:56 AM

So, this fight played out last night. There's some things I'm disappointed with, and there's some things I've loved and will definitely re-do :

 

What I'm disappointed with :

- The map, but this is entirely my fault : I've made it wayyy too short, so the KT easily engaged the traitors in close combat with their power weapons. :(

- Really should have insta-kill the devastator : he just kept focusing those who were engaged in CC, and rolled like 5-6 DoS everytime, so it was sure he wouldn't hit his brothers. It was more a problem due to the map (and them playing on it, can't blame this 'cause they played it dangerous but 'smart').

- My players rolled only 9-10 for Initiative, so it kinda negates the surprise turn, but again I can't blame them for that !

 

What I've loved :

- Stalker. This weapon is pure genius, and it sure stressed out my players ! The moment the devastator got hit from nowhere in the head and took 22dmg (down to -1), was just priceless : Squad Leader was the first to play after surprise round, that is kinda what his first action was like : TAKE COOVEEEER ! He was about to outright burn 2 cohesion points to use the "Regroup" Squad ability to get his squad in a better position, but he soon realised that he could just charge his opponents (But I'm very happy about his reaction, as i said he instantly looked for the squad abilities, searching something that could move everybody to cover easily). After that, they pretty much stressed the whole fight like "Who's gonna be next ? Who will die ? Oh please not me, please !!". They will definitely remember this weapon ! :D

 

-Alpha Legion : "You enter the room, dark and quiet like the rest of the xenos tomb. When you reach the middle of the room, you hear the typical sound of power armour moving and bolter arming, but you know it's already too late : 4 Alpha Legionnaries appear from behind the pillars decorating the room. They open fire with a volley of bolts, [...]"

At this point they were all like "Gosh, fell into the trap ! It's gonna be a pretty hard fight, guys !", and they weren't even aware of the Stalker.

"[...] shouting out loud in their vox "FOR THE EMPEROR !" ".

I'm sorry, but there is no other way to say it : they sh*t themselves, the shock was on everybody's face. They were stunned for like 10s, and then everybody was like "What is happening !?". After the session, they all assaulted me : "YOU'VE READ "LEGION", EXPLAIN PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE" :D

 

-Champion : This guy definitely did his job. He was rushed by the techmarine, but the later soon realised that he kinda was no match for the Champion. If it wasn't for the Flesh Tearer, the Iron Hand would have perish. :)

 

Even if the fight wasn't that hard - I mean, at end of the fight, we only have 2 mid-life marines (9/19, 11/20), 2 marines with 0HP and 4 Fate Points used - mainly because of the map, I think it was a good fight, 30-40min were I could feel the stress overtaking my players. Some even thought they will not make it, having their head cleaned by a Stalker shot. I'll just finish this post by quoting my players after the fight ;)

 

"If those guys weren't a kind of 'final boss' for the mission, then I'm REAAALLY afraid that we're in deep trouble" - Devastator

 

"I feel like I've made a huge mistake. I think I'll will not make it to the end this time. Omnimessiah protect me !" - Techmarine, fighting the Champion

 

"Can we stop here for now, and put the exploration of the tomb to a latter session ? I feel I can't take more" - Every players

 

 

BTW, link to the music used during the fight ('cause I think it helped a lot to build this scene !) :
- most of the fight

- end of the fight, specially when everybody started to be low on health

 

 

And a big Thanks to everybody who helped me for this fight :D .


Edited by Enmi, 08 September 2014 - 02:59 AM.


#10 javcs

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 03:33 AM

Nicely done.

 

In the future, you can work short range maps by adding terrain elements and/or environmental hazards and playing with elevations. Also, traps, especially in preset ambushes.

One or two guys hiding above the KT's entrance with stealthed weapons, and then more guys on the KT's level a distance away, drawing the KT forward and into the engagement, while the stealthed guys are sniping the KT from behind (making them unaware targets).

Put the enemies up on some balconies (or similar small elevated positions) - that way they get cover, and can't really be charged very well, and trap the access/charge routes, or across chasms that are wide enough to make jumping a challenge.

Use piles of rubble/rough terrain to inhibit free movement.



#11 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 08 September 2014 - 07:01 AM

Hah, yeah, it's not about mechanical difficulty, it's all about creating suspense and making them sweat in their boots. Even if they could rush through, it sounds like they had heaps of fun, which is the whole point. Nicely done! :D



#12 silvercat18

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 08:57 AM

I think its one of my consistent issues with the published scenarios - they often put in stats and threats that are clearly intended to trouble the kill-team but don't get past things like their basic armour and toughness. I just ran through most of the tyranid scenarios in the Jericho reach book, for example, and most of the environmental effects for being on tyranid planets mean nothing to even a starting marine - so why are, at times, entire pages dedicated to them?

 

Similarly, antagonist threats are frequently sub-par, to the point of being downed in less than a turn unless some exceptionally complex map set up is used. There are even occasional "if you party is having difficulty, do this", side-boxes, which imply that the scenario is actually quite scary, when in reality the kill team will murder entire legions of such foes without breaking a sweat.



#13 Snerded

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Posted 16 October 2014 - 12:58 PM

But yes the alpha legionaries should have all the same abilities as the kill team. in fact one trick my gm pulled once was to have us discover a cell that was planning on impersonating the team. He basically photocopied our sheets, had them look exactly like us,   and then pulled the whole " all the lights go out and when they come on no one knows who is who" trick. Oh and had hacked our vox net so they showed up as friendly to our auto-senses.

 

How did you guys figure out who was whom?? I really like this idea and will have to work it in somehow on my players!






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