Wednesday, 18 November 2015

BFG - Missions and Advantages

A friend and I had a chance to play some Battlefleet Gothic a couple of weekends ago and to mark this special occasion (we don't get to play too often!) I wanted to try something a little bit different.

This 'little bit different' manifested itself as a set of Advantage Cards which give minor perks to the players during the game and a set of Mission Cards for use with a modified version of the Escalating Engagement scenario. You'll find rules for both of these below.

Are these cards fair? Probably not, but we had a fun, tense game that came down to a 6-5 win for the Chaos forces (boo!). There were some really memorable moments and it was interesting trying to adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances.

A Mars class Battlecruiser escorts a pair of transports as they try and reach a dock at the far side of the planet.

Advantage Cards

Advantage cards come in a set of 40 (play with a deck each or one between you) and each one can be expended to give a minor benefit during the course of the game. Each card has a little bit of background as to what the effect represents and it will tell you when you are allowed to play it and what the effect will be.

Some cards are definitely quite powerful while others are rather niche and need to be used creatively or held until just the right moment. I've tried to cover a fairly wide range of effects and they should all be at least somewhat applicable to every faction.

A sample Advantage Card.

There are quite a few different ways in which the cards could be distributed and I haven't decided on which is the best yet. Here are a few you could try though.
  • Each player draws one at the start of their turn. This is how we tested it out.
  • One card per 250 points of fleet.
  • Allow players to purchase them for 15 points each during fleet creation. Each purchase would allow them to draw one card at random at the start of the game.
Whichever way you do it please let me know how you got on as I'd love some feedback.

Three escorts intercept a Slaughter class cruiser while the transports continue their mission under CAP cover.

Scenario Thirty-Two: Invasion

Chaos and Imperial forces are embroiled in a long running campaign and have now encountered each other in the vicinity of an Imperial world. Both Navies are scattered, disrupted and trying to carry out their own orders as best they can. 

This scenario uses a set of Mission Cards to give a dynamic, randomised game between two asymmetric forces.

Rather than choosing your fleet from one of the fleet lists in the rulebooks, the ships you have available are determined by the Mission Cards. Players will each need a deck of cards for their own faction (either Imperial or Chaos). Each player will make use of 5 randomly drawn cards over the course of the game.

Standard Chaos and Imperial ships are assumed to have a Leadership of 7. Space Marines have a Leadership of 8 and Transports a Leadership of 6. Each fleet has a single re-roll.

A sample Imperial Mission Card.

Invasion takes place around an inhabited Imperial planet. A large planet should be present roughly in the middle of the battlezone and a scenery element representing an Orbital Dock is within its gravity well. Any other celestial phenomena should be set up in a mutually acceptable way.

Ideally there should be a low orbit table to fight over as well although this is not compulsory.

At the start of the battle each player will only have a small portion of their forces on the tabletop: the others arrive as reinforcements later. Each player randomly chooses one Mission Card (face down) from their deck to represent their starting force. Roll to see who places their Mission Card first. A Card may be placed anywhere on the table that is not within 30cm of a table edge or within 60cm of an enemy Card.

Once both Cards have been placed, reveal them and deploy the ships from the forces they represent anywhere within 10cm of their location. Any ships that meet the requirements of the cards can be placed.

First Turn
Once all ships have been deployed both players roll a D6 and the player with the higher score has the choice of whether to take the first or the second turn.

A Sample Chaos Mission Card.

Special Rules

Mission Cards
In the end phase of each player's turn, the player randomly chooses another Card from their deck (face down again) and places it along a randomly rolled table edge with the following restrictions:

  • The Card may not be placed within 60cm of any enemy ships.
  • If there are friendly ships within 30cm of the table edge the Card must be placed within 30cm of them.
At the beginning of a player's turn, he can try to bring additional ships into play by rolling a D6 for each Card that is already in place on a table edge. The score needed to bring on the ships represented by that Card is a 4+. 

If the roll is successful then the Card is revealed and all ships represented by it must move onto the table from anywhere along the table edge that is within 10cm of the Card.

If the roll is failed then the Card may be moved along the table edge up to 25cm.

Planetary Assault
If using a low orbit table attacking ships must move within 30cm of the planet table edge on the low orbit table to send troops to the surface and bombard enemy positions. If a capital ship ends its turn within 30cm of the planet edge the player may deploy 1 Assault Point. If a transport ends its turn within 30cm of the planet edge the player may deploy 2 Assault Points. A ship deploying Assault Points may do nothing else that turn.

If a low orbit table is not being used then some slightly different rules apply:
  • Ships may deploy Assault Points while within the gravity well of the planet as long as they do not fire or go onto special orders during that turn. 
  • Ships only deploy half the amount of Assault Points that they would normally deploy each turn. (It's a lot more difficult from high orbit!)
  • Ignore any additional Ground-based Defences that would normally be granted as part of a Mission Card.

Game Length
The game lasts until one fleet disengages or is destroyed.

Victory Conditions
Both fleets score Victory Points as per the objectives printed on their Cards. The fleet with the greatest Victory Points total at the end of the battle wins. Each card provides a maximum of 2 Victory Points. There are no additional points awarded for crippling or destroying opposing ships.

Each action taken will only count towards a single objective at a time. For example, if you have two missions where each is to deploy 2 Assault Points, then deploying 2 Assault Points will only complete one of them. You will need to deploy a further 2 points to complete the second.

A Dominator broadsides one of the Devastations, buying time for a crippled Dictator to disengage.

The cards were designed with the ships that my opponent and I have available. If you do not have the same ships in your collection then I would recommend the following alterations.
  • Three Escorts may be swapped out for a chance of receiving a cruiser instead. On a 4+ a cruiser is deployed, otherwise the player gets nothing!
  • Four System ships or one Defence Monitor may be swapped out for three Escorts (or a 4+ chance for a Cruiser as above).
  • Two Strike Cruisers may be replaced by a Cruiser and three Escorts (or a 4+ chance for a second cruiser as above).
The Orbital Dock always has the same amount of hit points regardless of how much damage it has suffered and it is immune to critical hits. It has 6/Defence (for the purposes of boarding actions), 2 Shields, 5+ Armour and 3 Turrets.

The Distress Beacons were represented by some orbital defences although any small based marker would do just fine.

The Cards reference transport points instead of a fixed number of transports. For example two transport points can be represented by two Transports or one Heavy Transport or four Fast Clippers and so on.

Well, that's it. Hopefully I haven't missed anything. Please do have a read, or better still try it out, and let me know what you think. No doubt it's riddled with typos and there are bit that will need clarifying so any feedback is welcome. :)


  1. Pretty nice! I'll have a quiet look at the cards, but they look fun :)

    1. Great, please do let me know if you have any feedback. :)