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Events and Battle Reports
Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day

Spring Offensive: “The Bug Hunt” special scenario by Michael Lietzke
The Bug Hunt is intended to be a fun, intense, paranoid event for the players, and is also a great way to learn what Bugs can do for the hosts (Game Masters) and players. The goal is to generate the same feelings and reactions as from watching Alien, Aliens, Starship Troopers, etc. The players are essentially landing on a planet that has been almost completely been consumed by the Swarm; there's Bugs EVERYWHERE. You can't emphasize that enough.

Player units
Each player is allowed to create a hunting party, using 200 points of Troops. In addition, each player may also spend up to 100 points on Squad Characters, Independent Characters, and their Wargear. For example, this was the Fighting Tiger Hunting Party:

  • Tiger of Varuna Talwar Chakram: 100 points (Chaplain with crozius arcanum, storm bolter, rosarius, Terminator armor)
  • Tigers of Rudra, Jatis Mahaduyana: 91 points
    • Sergeant with bolter
    • 2 Tactical Marines with bolters
    • 1 Tactical Marine with flamer
    • 1 Tactical Marine with heavy bolter
  • Tigers of Rudra, Jatis Ghuyarashtra: 96 points
    • Sergeant with bolter
    • 2 Tactical Marines with bolters
    • 1 Tactical Marine with flamer
    • 1 Tactical Marine with missile launcher
 No vehicles, transports, etc., allowed. Just infantry (bikes, cavalry, and jump packs are OK, since they’re expensive).

Our beloved heroes...
Above: Our beloved heroes, the Fighting Tiger hunting party. Go, Team Stripey!


Bug units
Here are the groups of Bugs available to the GM:

  • Broods of 10 Hormagaunts
  • Broods of 10 Termagants
  • Broods of 4 Genestealers
  • Broods of 3 Warriors
  • (Hive Tyrants)*
*When we played Bug Hunt, we used Hive Tyrants, but they clobbered everything in their path, so I recommend you don't use anything bigger than Warriors. Carnifixes might be okay, since they only get 2 or 3 attacks, but still unadvisable.

Use the stats straight out of the Codex, and play WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)

Set-up
To set-up the board, first place 100 Gaunts or half of all your available Gaunts on the table. Also, pick four terrain features for Genestealer Entry Points, and two or three large terrain features for Swarm Entry Points. Entry Points can be almost anything: boulders (the Bugs are crawling out from under their hiding places), hillsides (coming out of caves), pools and rivers, warp portals, whatever. At Spring Offensive, we had the Genestealer Entry Points around the middle, and the Swarm Entry Points near short board edges and dead center). Any board edge may be used for Nid deployment.

Player deployment
Each player Deep Strikes their force, placing them anywhere on the table they want. Player units may not be more than 6" away from their own units at deployment, but are free to split up after landing. The players go first. The goal for each player is to score as many points as possible until that players’ hunting party is completely wiped out (don’t worry, they will be).

Fighting Tigers begin the Bug Hunt
Above: Fighting Tigers begin the "Bug Hunt" during Spring Offensive


Scoring
Players score points for each Bug that they kill. They also receive a 100% kill bonus for hand-to-hand kills. The easiest way to keep score is to give each player a scorecard, with a section for each species. The player just tallies every Bug they kill, then multiplies the total by the appropriate multiplier. For HtH kills, just tally twice for each kill.

  • Gaunts (x1)
  • Genestealers (x2)
  • Warriors (x5) 
  • Tyrants and Carnifexes: If you use these, give them a x20 multiplier. Or maybe x5 for every wound a player inflicts.
Running the Hunt
This game is intended for lots of players, so I suggest a 4' x 8' table, and a GM for every player. We started with 5 players and three GMs, but that got out of hand quick. We dropped it to 4 players ASAP, and that was much better. If you can get one GM per player, it’ll run much smoother and faster.

Get 'em, boys!
Above: It's a nice change to be on the offensive against Bugs...


Controlling the Swarm
When the Hunt starts, there are no Hive Nodes on the board, so ALL Gaunt swarms will be making Instinctive tests. This is intentional, to boost each players’ confidence, since the table’s already (literally) crawling with Nids. Each player will face growing waves of Bugs every Bug turn. Use some discretion in unleashing each wave; nothing upsets a player more than being wiped out in one turn. If a player has plenty to chew on at any given moment (perhaps because they’re dealing with a dead player’s leftovers) don’t give them more.

Wave 1: The player gets a new Gaunt brood in their immediate vicinity. The brood may not move, shoot, or assault when they first appear.

Wave 2: The player gets two new Gaunt broods in their immediate vicinity. The brood may not move, shoot, or assault when they first appear.

Wave 3: The player gets two new Gaunt broods and one Warrior brood in their immediate vicinity. The broods may not move, shoot, or assault when they first appear. Note: Most players will be dead after facing Wave 3. If they aren’t, each subsequent wave is allowed to move, shoot, and assault freely.

Wave 4: The player gets two broods of Warriors, and either two broods of Gaunts, or a brood of Genestealers.

Wave 5: No one at Spring Offensive made it to Wave 5, but two Warrior broods and four Gaunt broods should suffice for this and subsequent waves.


The Tigers chase off some Hormagaunts
Above: Killing 'gaunts is easy, but wait 'til the big Bugs arrive...


 

Unleashing Genestealers
Anytime a player has a unit within 6" of a Genestealer Entry Point terrain piece during the Bug turn, roll a d6. On a 4+, a Genestealer Brood pops out. They are free to move and assault.

Once a player activates a Genestealer Entry Point, tell him (and only him) the rules for why they showed up. Do not tell him where other Genestealer Entry Points are. Also, on a roll of a 6, Genestealers will still show up and attack that player from any Entry Point they have activated.

Once a player is eliminated, tally up their score, and let a fresh player deploy anywhere on the board. If they want to land near a large swarm of Gaunts and Warriors, that’s their problem.

Additional notes and rules
Genestealers: Originally, Genestealers were supposed to “sneak in” from a board edge, using the terrain to hide their location. To keep them a surprise, we would not place them on the board until a player had LOS to them, where we would then place them on the board. However, the Desert Table at Borderlands didn’t look too conducive to that kind of deployment so we pretty much made up this new rule on the fly. In fact, we made lots of stuff up on the fly. We hadn’t hosted a game like this before.

Genestealers were supposed to show up whenever a player moved within 12" of an Entry Point, allowing the player to shoot them before being attacked. Since the Genestealers were starting in cover, they would receive a 5+ cover save.

Unfortunately, one of our GMs got a little excited when the Tigers deployed right on top of an Entry Point, and had them attack right away. We decided to stick with his way of deploying them for fairness. We also cut it to 6". In the end, it seemed ok, since a small brood of Genestealers can’t absorb casualties very well. Heck, they can easily be outnumbered, flee from hand-to-hand, and get cut down in a Sweeping Advance (just ask Micah, who gets the “Ultimate Survivor” award—his lone Hero on a bike outlasted everyone else). 

Also, in hindsight, we should have replaced the Swarm Entry Points with a few more Genestealer Entry Points, since the players at the edges rarely got to play with Genestealers, and we rarely used the Swarm Entry Points. We compensated instead by giving them more Bugs to play with in each wave.

Missions: Another idea that didn’t make it to the actual Bug Hunt was player missions. I had toyed with the idea of giving each player a secondary objective apart from killing Bugs, like survive for 6 turns, kill 40 Gaunts, kill a Warrior in hand-to-hand combat, even hunt another player’s character. However, we decided to leave missions out, since we figured we’d have our hands full enough without them.

I even thought of making race specific missions, but decided against that because I thought generic missions would be plenty. With some adjustments, missions could make “The Bug Hunt” even more enjoyable.

Hunters hunting Hunters: When I first thought of the Bug Hunt and proposed it to the Gate’s Forum, one of the immediate questions was whether or not the players could shoot each other. My initial answer was “NO!”, but people kept bringing it up. So I gave it some thought.

One idea was that each player could only keep their points if they "teleported" off the board with at least one survivor. Thus, a dastardly way for someone to win would be to get a few safe kills, then kill off the player with the highest score (Editor’s note: Try the “player vs. player option” if you dare, but it’s a guaranteed way to start arguments).

The issue was pretty much decided for us, when over a dozen people signed up to play in The Hunt. We had a hard enough time getting everyone in to play. However, missions and player killing could work if you turned the Bug Hunt into a scenario with 3-4 players. That might also work better if you gave each player a slightly larger force. Also, it would add yet another element of paranoia, since you could never know when a player might decide to shoot you instead of Bugs.

Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day


Related Pages
Other Events at Borderlands
 

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© Copyright Michael Lietzke, April 2001. Used with permission. Photos by Kenton Kilgore
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle