Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Battle of Heffengen: scenario rules

This scenario is designed to recreate the Battle of Heffengen in its entirety. It serves as an amalgamation of the following scenarios from the End Times: Nagash source book: Heffengen: River of Undeath; Heffengen: Fire and Iron; and Heffengen: Gurug’ath’s Doom. Some of the rules have been modified to suit the game as a whole, and certain additions have been made in order to better represent the flow of the battle in the background account.

The rules presented here are intended for 6-8 players divided into 2 teams, and a total points value of between 30,000-40,000 points per side.

Spoiler alert here for those intending to read the story in Warhammer End Times: Nagash.

The Battle of Heffengen occurred about a mile outside of the town of the same name, when an Empire army commanded by the Emperor Karl Franz intercepted a Chaos incursion stemming from a breach in the great Auric Bastion to the north. The Chaos army was led by the Great Unclean One Gurug’ath, who was out for vengeance after spending a period trapped within the the very fabric of the Bastion when it was sealed after a previous breakthrough. His pride wounded and his prestige amongst the Chaos horde diminished by the ordeal, the daemon sought to reestablish his dominance over the invasion.

The Empire centre was led by the Emperor himself, at the head of a strong contingent of Reiksguard and state troops. They were facing a tide of Chaos Marauders, followed by Gurug’ath and his legions of daemons. The Empire West flank was held by state troops and artillery under the ambitious Garrat Mecke, who sought to cement a claim upon the vacant position of Elector Count of Talabecland. They were assailed by a cavalry horde led by Akkorak the Crow. The East flank of the Empire line was nominally led by general Gotfrei Talb, however the true driving force was Valten and Luthor Huss at the head of a rabble of Flagellants who had branded themselves the Army of Sigmar. They stood in the path of Crom the Conqueror, leading a legion of armoured warriors from the north.

Vast though the Empire army was, it had been hastily drawn together at a time when the nation’s resources were being sorely tested by the war to the north. It was not quite a match for the Chaos incursion and would have been overwhelmed if not for the unsought-for assistance of Vlad von Carstein who had anticipated the site of the struggle and concealed an army of the dead in the Revesnacht river on the east of the battlefield. When the Empire forces appeared about to be overrun, the Undead attacked and pushed the Chaos army back.

As the battle swung back in the Empire’s favour, Karl Franz bested Gurug’ath in combat and it appeared the day would be won until another force of Undead appeared from the north; Blood Dragons led by Walach Harkon. This should have been the final nail in the coffin for the Chaos horde, but the vampires had not been idle during their time in the north and had signed a pact with Khorne. They now fell upon the Empire forces, with Harkon cutting down Karl Franz before being bested by Vlad. With the Emperor fallen and the battle clearly lost, von Carstein left the field and abandoned the remaining Empire forces to slaughter.

This battle consists of several forces, grouped into 2 rough alliances. The attacking army consists of the following:
  • East Flank: An infantry-heavy force from Warhammer: Warriors of Chaos. This force is led by Vardek Crom, the Conqueror (his rules can be found in End Times: Nagash).
  • West Flank: A cavalry-heavy force from Warhammer: Warriors of Chaos. This force is led by Akkorak the Crow, a Chaos Lord.
  • Centre: A force consisting of 2 parts - a front wave from Warhammer: Warriors of Chaos (and in our case, also from Warhammer: Beastmen), and a second wave from Warhammer: Daemons of Chaos. This force is led by Gurug’ath, a Great Unclean One.
  • Reinforcements: A force of Blood Dragon vampires from the Undead Legions list. This force is led by Walach Harkon, a Vampire Lord. The army arrives from the north during the game.

The points values of each of the East, West and Centre forces should be roughly equal. The Reinforcements can be as small or as large a portion of the total force as you wish, however it must at least include Walach Harkon.

The defending army consists of the following:
  • East Flank: A Flagellant-heavy force from Warhammer: Empire, with support from Warhammer: Ogre Kingdoms. This force is led by Valten wielding Ghal Maraz(his rules can be found in End Times: Nagash), Luthor Huss and Gotfrei Talb, a General of the Empire.
  • West Flank: A shooting-heavy force from Warhammer: Empire. This force is led by Garrat Mecke, a General of the Empire.
  • Centre: A consisting mainly of State Troops and the bulk of the Reiksguard, from Warhammer: Empire. This force is led by Karl Franz wielding a Runefand on Deathclaw, and Kurt Helborg.
  • Reinforcements: A force of Undead from the Undead Legions list, led by Vlad von Carstein, Mortarch of Shadow. The army is concealed within the river on the east flank.

The points values of the East flank and Reinforcements combined should be roughly equal to those in each of the West flank and Centre. The Reinforcements should not be more than twice or less than half the points value of the East flank force (so the Empire and Ogre element should be at least a third and not more than two thirds of the total on that flank).

The attackers (Chaos side) take the first turn

The battle lasts for six game turns, unless the players agree otherwise.

This battle is a game of 3 parts: East Flank, Centre and West Flank. It is possible for a side to gain ascendancy in any one of those parts, and yet lose the battle as a whole.

Use victory points to determine which side has won each part of the battle. Points for a given location are determined based on the forces that were designated to fight there, regardless of where they ended up. So if the army list stated that a unit would deploy on the East Flank, but it chose to deploy in the Centre instead (and died there), it will still give victory points to the opponent on the East Flank where it initially belonged. This ensures the points available to each location remain equal.

The defending Undead army (those hidden in the river) count their points toward the East Flank, where they deploy.

The attacking Undead army (the Blood Dragons) is not worth any victory points. Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows. Anything they kill will still count toward the relevant location as described above.

Each part of the battle will be won if one side claims an advantage of at least 500 victory points.


Haunted Battlegrounds

Winds of Magic:
Due to the size of this battle, the casting side will roll 6D6 for the Winds of Magic, with the dispelling side receiving dispel dice equal to the 3 highest dice. The power pool is capped at 36. Players from each side may divide up their power and dispel dice in any way they see fit. No fighting, please.

The Blood Dragons Return:
The attacking Undead force arrived late to the battle, however their appearance spelt doom for the Empire defenders. The attacking Undead are deployed in the Chaos turn immediately following the turn the defending Undead (in the river) are unleashed, or at the start of Chaos Turn 4 if the defending Undead have still not appeared.

All units are deployed anywhere within 12” of the Chaos table edge. The units may move, charge and attack normally on the turn they are deployed. Note that this means the army could take part in any of the sections of the battlefield (or all 3).

Blood for the Blood God:
Having devoted themselves to Khorne, the Blood Dragons and their entourage are even more hell-bent on indiscriminate bloodshed than they were previously. All units in the attacking Undead army are subject to the rules for Frenzy.

Hold Steady:
Empire units are not allowed to declare a charge before game turn 3.

Horsemen of the Northern Wastes:
All units in the attacking army have the Fear special rule.

Trust in Firepower:
All units in the defending army can re-roll To Hit rolls of 1 with shooting attacks.

Gurug’ath’s Revenge:
All models with the Daemon of Nurgle special rule have the Hatred special rule if Gurug’ath is on the battlefield (including Gurug’ath).

For the Emperor:
All defending units within Inspiring Presence range of Karl Franz have the Stubborn special rule, (including Karl Franz himself).

It’s Personal:
Gurug’ath has commanded his forces not to shoot the human Emperor, wanting the satisfaction of destroying him personally. Attacking units may not target Karl Franz with shooting attacks. If Karl Franz is slain during the battle, the Centre attacking player gains an additional 2000 victory points due to the huge blow to the Empire morale. If Gurug’ath kills Karl Franz, this bonus increases to 4000 victory points.

Models with the Undead special rule treat the river as open ground rather than impassable terrain. However, models that are standing in the river cannot attack in the Shooting phase, or cast or dispel spells in the Magic phase.

River of Undeath:
The defender may unleash the Undead reinforcements at the start of any of their turns. When they do so, the army is deployed anywhere within the Revesnecht river. Units from the army are allowed to move, charge and attack normally on the turn they are deployed. Baltasar Gelt may also be placed on the river in this manner, however he may not end the turn there as it is impassable terrain (he is not Breathless, see above).

Unleashing the Undead:
On the East Flank, additional victory points are available depending upon when the defenders choose to deploy their Undead reinforcements. The table below indicates the bonus points that are available for the players on the East Flank.

Attacker gains 2000 bonus victory points
Attacker gains 1000 bonus victory points
Attacker gains 500 bonus victory points
Defender gains 500 bonus victory points
Defender gains 1000 bonus victory points
Defender gains 2000 bonus victory points

The total battlefield size is 16' x 6'
The battlefield should be kept mostly open, as the battle was fought on a plain a mile outside of the town of Heffengen. The Revesnacht river should be 6” wide and run along the East table edge.

In particular the West flank of the Empire deployment zone should contain some hills, as an army based heavily around missile troops and artillery will need some improved lines of sight in order to function.

This scenario uses hidden deployment. Erect some form of barrier across the table so that players cannot see the opposition deployment zone. Both sides then deploy all of their forces simultaneously before removing the barrier and revealing their deployment.

The majority of units should deploy in their designated location (East flank, Centre, West flank) however this will not be an enforced rule if some units need to be moved to an adjacent deployment zone.

Note that the Undead reinforcements for both sides are not deployed at the start of the game. They will arrive during the game, as described in the scenario special rules.

In battles of this size, it is important to keep the focus upon the main protagonists. There may be many characters beyond those listed below, however they should carry only mundane equipment (no magic items), and should be attached to a specific unit, behaving much like a unit champion (however more than one character may be attached to a single unit in this manner).

Though they are not generally named, each contingent has been given a simply equipped BSB, given the importance of these models.

  • Garrat Mecke (West Flank general): General of the Empire with Full Plate Armour, Barded Steed, Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Brace of Pistols.
    • Seeing this battle as the perfect chance to prove his candidacy for the vacant position of Elector Count of Talabecland, his ambition granted him courage and determination for the battle. Garrat Mecke is Stubborn.
  • West Flank BSB on Barded Steed with Full Plate Armour, Shield, Dawnstone, Sword of Might
  • Albrecht Morrstan, Wizard Lord (Level 4, Lore of Death)
  • Karl Franz on Deathclaw with the Reikland Runefang
  • Hurt Helborg
  • Ludwig Schwartzhelm
  • Gotfrei Talb (East Flank general): General of the Empire with Full Plate Armour, Barded Steed, Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Ogre Blade
  • East Flank BSB on Barded Steed with Full Plate Armour, Shield, Dawnstone, Sword of Might
  • Valten on barded Warhorse with full plate armour and wielding Ghal Maraz
  • Luthor Huss, Prophet of Sigmar
  • Grub Kineater, Ogre Tyrant with Great Weapon, Armour of Destiny
  • Vlad von Carstein, Mortarch of Shadow
  • Baltasar Gelt, using the Lore of Undeath
  • Wight King BSB with Armour of Fortune, Great Weapon

  • Akkorak the Crow: Chaos Lord of Tzeentch on Barded Daemonic Mount with Chaos Armour, Talisman of Preservation, Sword of Antiheroes, Shield
  • West Flank Exalted Hero BSB of Nurgle on Barded Daemonic Mount with Armour of Destiny, Shield, Great Weapon
  • Gurug’ath: Exalted Great Unclean One
  • Centre Herald of Nurgle BSB with Greater Gift of Corpulence (+1 W), Greater Locus of Fecundity
  • Crom the Conqueror
  • East Flank Exalted Hero BSB of Tzeentch on Barded Daemonic Mount with Talisman of Endurance, Chaos Armour, Dragonhelm, Great Weapon

  • Walach Harkon: Vampire Lord (Level 1, Lore of Vampires) on Zombie Dragon with Red Fury, Quickblood, Dread Knight, Talisman of Preservation, Ogre Blade, Dragonhelm, Heavy Armour, Shield
  • Vampire BSB on Hellsteed with Armour of Fortune, Red Fury, Lance, Shield


  1. This is going to be epic! Can't wait to see the battle unfolding. Can't imagine how much effort and dedication it takes to play such a game and then to make a report so just wanted to say thanks to everybody involved!

    1. Cheers! Maybe one day you can join us, although it's not really MSU style... :P

    2. That would be an honor! And with such a huge battle it is already Multiple Units concept so we just need to redefine "small" here :)

  2. Looks awesome!
    Pity there are no new End Times models, would've been interesting to see them in such epic action, but I understand that they take ages to paint well.

    1. It's really just a symptom of the battle I chose, which was based on what forces we could field in sufficient size. This one worked, but being relatively early in the story arc, none of the fancy new stuff had really made an appearance.

  3. I can't cease to track your games & of the level of your preparations...just can say: "Kruto"!


  4. I love your blog (only one I read). Your battle rapports are top notch. I play battles for 20-25 k and can't imagine to make any rapport (even taking pictures is challenging when you are in middle of fight). This scenario looks really solid and can't wait to see battle.... only thing I would have change is advantage of 500 points to claim win. From my experience such advantage for 10 k battle is not noticeable.

    1. In general terms I would agree with you. It's true that 500 points is not terribly significant, although it is still 5 times the normal "victory" margin in the rulebook. My main consideration is that given the 3 zones that are being contested, we really want a winner in each one. We don't want a pile of draws. A narrow-ish victory point target improves the odds of this.

  5. Looking forward to lots of pics of this epic bash.

  6. Wow... Just wow. Just stumbling across this now, can't wait to read it.

  7. Wow... Just wow. Just stumbling across this now, can't wait to read it.

  8. Wow your reports simply amaze me. They are true works of art! Don't stop writing!

    1. Cheers Aidan, I'm glad you're enjoying them. :)