Adam Murton was the winner of the Scenario Competition early in 2017 with his ‘Bronvar’ campaign – a series of interlinked scenarios around the renegade domas of Captain Braccus Hajonne and its raids on ‘Bronvar’, a world dominated by the Boromites and recently absorbed into the Concord Shard ‘Blue 519’.
Here we present the first of his scenarios: a transport hauler carrying critical supplies and ore is set to be captured. Whilst ideal for a Boromite Hauler, other transports can be used. Some background on Bronvar can be found in Adam’s introduction to the Bronvar system and the Shakor Mining Guild.
Bronvar Episode 1: Road Block
A narrative scenario for 750-1000 points.
Jun gazed into the distance, his ocular enhancements throwing the mountain pass into vivid relief. Broel fidgeted beside him, unable to settle his bulk into the warm rocks. That was Broel for you, thought Jun. In melee you’d want his large frame by your side, but staking out a mountain pass prior to an ambush he was an annoyance.
Broel sighed and the rocks around him reverberated with its echo. Jun winced at the noise and the risk it would draw attention to them. He fought back the urge to reprimand his fellow warrior. Instead he stared as far down the pass as he could; past the bend before the rock slide they had caused.
There, in the distance: something changed. The heat haze darkened. Moments later Jun saw a Boromite heavy hauler crest the rise head towards the roadblock, wallowing on its thrusters as potholes and rocks altered the thrust. Jun smiled wryly. It must be heavily laden, he thought, for its dampeners to struggle so. He blinked his way back to normal vision and reached round for his mag-gun.
“Okay Comrades, ready yourselves. Here comes the prize. Wait for it to grind to a stop. Wait for it, wait for it… On my mark….. Attack!!!”
Boromite miners often camp deep in the hills and mountains of Bronvar, a profitable but risky strategy as it leaves them vulnerable to raiders – Boromite and Freeborn. Their journeys from their camps to the closest transmat node can be down narrow and windy mountain passes and frequently skirt the mesas that populate the arid plains. Along such passes and roads there is a risk of ambush.
The renegade Freeborn of Domas Hajonne have targeted a heavily laden transport as it travels one such road. The raiders have caused a significant rock slide to block the pass. When the hauler is forced to stop and change its path, the ambush will be sprung.
This works well for a range of points values, but it is recommended it starts with 750 points apiece. Whilst the scenario is written assuming the defenders are Boromites and the raiders Freeborn, the scenario will work with most of the factions. Ghar forces, if used, should be the raiders.
The defenders should have an unarmed or armed vehicle capable of transporting ore in addition to their own forces. If they choose an armed vehicle, then it takes up a support slot (at 750 points, its normal slot at other combat levels) and must have its points paid for – see the Designer’s Notes for details.
A 6’x4’ table should be set up with rocky or mountainous terrain. The scenario comes in two variants: the first assumes that the road skirts a mesa or is a mountain pass, with part of the table being completely impassable and high cliffs preventing easy access; the second assumes the raiders caused the roadblock where the road passed between two impassable, but smaller, mesas or rock spires. The tables should be set up as shown in the accompanying diagrams.
In both variants the road must be clear and the obstacle consists of heavy rocks offering Res+2 protection (see pp.56-57 in the Antares rulebook). In addition, the road block has been deliberately constructed, so applies a penalty of Ag-2 to all crossing it. As normal, vehicles require an Ag Test to cross and can only do so with an Advance move.
In the first variant, the road block should be about 5”-10” from the centre of the table with a substantial piece of area terrain opposite the cliffs. This area terrain to one side (the raiders made sure it was a good road block!) must be Difficult terrain with at least an Ag-2 penalty: we suggest calling it ‘jagged boulders’, and be Dense terrain. The raiders are in hiding behind the dotted lines shown in the diagram.
In the second variant, the road runs directly from one corner to that opposite but passes through a gap between two, impassable mesas or spires. The spires and the road block should be within 5” of the centre of the table and it is here that the roadblock has been created. In this variant, the raiders set up behind the diagonal lines on opposite sides of the table.
Away from the road, the terrain should be difficult to cross especially for the transport, but not completely impassable to transports. The terrain should be plentiful, low and awkward near the road and only offering really good cover 10” or more away from the road.
The escorting force must be positioned at least 10” from the centre of the table, heading towards the opposite corner. The transport must be on the road at the start of the game. The escorting troops must not be more than 5” from the road.
Once the escorts have deployed, the raiders can deploy behind the diagonal lines, depending on the scenario (see diagrams abaove).
The defenders want to get the transport vehicle off the table at the corner opposite that from which they start. The raiders want to isolate the transport and capture it.
The game lasts six turns or until the escorting units are broken, or until the end of a turn with the raiders in control of the transport. Roll to determine if an extra turn is played as per the Antares Rulebook (page 141). If control switches back during the extra turn, continue until the ‘Duration’ conditions are met again! The game will not last more than 7 turns.
The Escorts win 2VPs if they still control the transport at the end of the game and +3 if they remove the transport from the other end of the pass. Raiders win 3VPs if they capture the transport and +2VPs if they break the opposing force. See ‘Scenario Special Rules’ for capturing the transport.
Special Scenario Rules
Control and Capturing the Transport
Controlling units are any apart from sharded, probe and beast units. Control of the transport can be claimed – captured or recaptured – if, at any point in the game, a force matches one of the following conditions, dependent on whether the hauler is unarmed or armed:
- For an unarmed transport when a force’s controlling unit is in contact with the transport whilst none of the opposing troops are within 5”.
- When the armed transport is defeated it in hand-to-hand combat whilst no opposing controlling units are within 3” (note the different range – this is potentially more difficult). ‘Defeated’ is measured by the normal assessment of who has most pins, whether or not the hauler needs to take a Break Test.
Control is retained providing the capturing force keeps a controlling unit within 5” of the transport.
Units that are Down (Isorians!) are still counted as being able to establish control as a tactical decision to do so may well help their survivability, but at the cost of capability of course.
Whilst equal in points, the deployment means the attackers have an advantage in positioning and careful use of special munitions can cause havoc amongst the hauliers. However, it is still difficult to capture and retain the hauler so we suggest switching sides to see how it feels on the other foot! An interesting variation which really puts the pressure on the defenders is for the attackers to have an extra 250 points…
It can be difficult to take the armed cargo vehicle at 750 points and still retain a valid list. If there is a struggle to fit it in, players should take units in the following sequence:
- The armed cargo hauler (190+ points in a Boromite force).
- Minimal Tactical options (for example, 4 units in a 750 point Boromite force).
- Minimum Support options (normally zero at 750 points, but often one at 1000 points).
- Other units as allowed by the army list.
Though unlikely, it is possible the hauler can change hands several times during the game, in which case the same conditions apply: it can be as difficult taking back the hauler as it is taking it in the first place!