(Three-Way Battles) by
players in College Station, Texas, developed these rules over the course
of a year. Like most things, they were born of necessity, since often there
would be an odd number of players, and no one really wanted to sit a game
out. We just started a three-way battle with a central objective,
and worked from there.
40K revolves around two opposing
sides of equal forces, and so the rules are written to accommodate this
set-up. Problem is that they donít work so well when there are multiple
sides. If you use the normal rules, the player that goes last often gets
pounded in the dirt without a chance to do anything. So, there are three
major changes to the normal rules, two of them aimed at the Turn sequence.
You can use one of the two, or both.
To keep things fair, the players
start every turn by rolling the dice. Whoever goes highest conducts his
first turn. The remaining players then roll off, with the highest going
next. This progresses until everyone has a turn.
The following game turn (after everyone
has moved, shoot, and assaulted) you roll off again, but whoever went last
doesnít participate in the first roll off. This prevents someone from effectively
having two un-interrupted turns in a row.
are a lot of fun, but they can get boring as you wait for two or three
people to finish their turn before you can do anything. To solve this,
the turn order is modified. Instead of the normal sequence (Move, Shoot,
Assault) each player has his turn broken up. One player moves and shoots,
then the next player moves and shoots, etc., until everyone has had a move/shoot
phase. Then everyone gets an assault phase.
modification drastically changes the nature of the game. The emphasis is
placed on shooting instead of assault, since you can almost always shoot
someone before they assault you. It also brings the return of overwatch
fire in a very simple way. However, some equipment becomes useless (like
the Eldar Crystal Targeting Matrix, which allows a vehicle to always move
in the assault phase). Just make some house rules to accommodate these
things to keep them useful.
rules are combined, it further de-emphasizes assault, since you never know
which side will get to initiate an assault, which is perfect for a free-for-all
battle. In general, hand-to-hand often becomes more dangerous, since youíll
often end up fighting two opponents at once, for three hand-to-hand phases
per turn instead of two.
Firing into hand-to-hand
The third modification is
allowing you to fire into a hand-to-hand combat where you donít have any
models within it: what do you care about shooting two enemies bashing each
To keep things simple, randomly divide
any hits between each player getting shot in h-t-h. If the sides are roughly
even, then one side is hit on a 1-3, the other on a 4-6. If one side outnumbers
the other 2:1, then the larger side is hit on a 1-4, the smaller on a 5-6.
If one side outnumbers the other 4:1, then the larger side is hit on a
1-5, the smaller on a 6. These rules assume there are only two enemies
in a h-t-h, but there could easily be three or four. In these situations,
devise your own rules. Just keep it fair.
Remember to randomly allocate hits,
not the shots. Itís a "swirling melee" after all; itís also easier, since
you may not hit. Also, any hits can be allocated to anything a player has
in the particular h-t-h being shot, no matter how many units are involved,
as long as itís in range.
Here are some further modifications.
Use the normal rules.
The firing player places the template wherever he wants, then the player
with the most models covered by it (not partials) may reposition it anywhere
he wants, as long as he still sustains the same number of models fully
and partially hit.
weapons: Use the normal rules.
weapons: Use the normal rules.
Remember, these rules are intended
for a free-for-all battle, with multiple players and enemies. They are
not intended, nor tested, within the normal context of a 40K battle. Also,
since there will be more phases per turn, games will take longer. A three-way
battle with 500 points a side lasting 6 turns can easily take 2 hours to
play. Each 250-point increase will add about 30 minutes, and each additional
player will increase the total time by about 50%.
"Take and Hold" mission
normal rules for a "Take and Hold" using the Free-for-All rules, plus the
Setup: Before placing terrain, place an objective in the middle of
the table (possibly a large hill or other piece of terrain,) and place
3 Deployment Markers 18" or 24" away from the objective, and equally distant
from each other (youíre trying to make an equilateral triangle with the
deployment markers as the corners and the objective in the middle).
Now place large
pieces of terrain to block line of sight (LOS) among each deployment marker.
The point here is to prevent anyone from shooting anyone else before anyone
moves. Forests or hills usually work best, since they donít prevent movement.
Finish placing terrain in a fashion fair to everyone. Each deployment marker
should have clear LOS to the objective.
Players now alternate placing their forces, using the normal "Take and
Hold" rules. Each deployment zone consists of a rectangle 18" wide and
as deep as the table allows, with the deployment marker in the middle of
the rectangle (itís the closest point to the objective).
Objective: Follow the normal rules for a "Take and Hold." However,
if there is a large h-t-h over the objective (which is very likely) when
the game ends, instead of tying, you may elect to fight out the h-t-h until
there is a clear victor. No other units my join this tiebreaker h-t-h,
nor may they fire upon it. Whoever wins this h-t-h, no matter where the
models actually end up, wins the game. Any unit that flees the h-t-h may
To keep things
fair, certain units, such as Greater Daemons, lose their ability to force
units to flee hand-to-hand combat. The chance of victory prevents this,
but units may still fail Leadership checks under the normal rules. Also,
units that normally ignore h-thH morale checks, like Black Templar and
Chaos Cult Marines, are forced to take them for this tiebreaker h-t-h.
The game lasts a variable number of turns, but can only end if someone
can claim the objective.
Retreat: All units retreat towards their deployment marker. If a unit
reaches their deployment marker and can satisfy the three rallying rules,
then they auto-rally as if they had reached a table edge.
Like what you've
the Jungle in the "Top 100 40K Sites"
Michael Lietzke, December 2001. Used with permission.