Alternative Scenario for Epic: SPACE MARINE(tm)

This scenario simulates a desperate situation in which a small army is fortified within a Castle, waiting for a rescue team to arrive and save them. The defenders are heavily outnumbered and must resist holding their ground to slow the attackers and allow their leaders to escape the siege. The rescue team will land nearby with a small task force intended to open a gap in the assailants' ranks and cover the defenders in their run for the safety of the starship.

On the other hand the attackers are on the verge of success. They control all the terrain surrounding the Castle and the final assault is ready. The arrival of the rescue team puts them in a difficult situation, because they have to cover two fronts, spreading their troops all over the field.

The final assault starts when the starship has already entered the planet's atmosphere.


This scenario develops quite slowly, so at least 5/6 turns are required (it mainly depends from the dimension of the gaming table, from the distance between the Castle and the Landing Zone). An alternative can be to end the scenario when the starship takes off. This action must be declared at the beginning of a turn before anything is done and it automatically ends the battle.


The Defender's objective is to save three personalities that are inside the castle at the beginning of the battle. One of them is a character model (a Commander, a Librarian, a Medic, something similar) and the attacker knows his identity. Just choose the model and point it out to the attacker. The other two will be secretly picked up from the defender (you can write down the choice on a sheet, or put some kind of mark under the model's base). These two hidden character can be disguised in any kind of model except robots, sentinels and the like. It can even stay in a titan. An hidden character can pass from one vehicle to another, but in such situation it will be spotted. When the troop stand/vehicle in which the character is hidden is destroyed the character is killed.

The victory points are assigned as follows:

Breaking Enemy UnitCard's VPs
Known character reachs the starship10
Hidden character reachs the starship5 each
Unbroken unit that started the battle within the castle and is in the starship when it takes offCard's VPs
Breaking Enemy UnitCard's VPs
Known character killed5 Hidden
Character killed10 each


We played this scenario with 2500 pts of Space Marines in the Castle, 2500 pts of Eldar as rescue army and 6000 pts of Chaos attacking.

There are some restrictions:


The game field should follow this rules:

The dimensions can vary, of course, but it is important to leave at least 80cm - 1m between Landing and Castle areas. The LANDING AREA should present light cover at most. It is the area where the Rescue starship will land, so no heavy obstacle should be present. The CASTLE AREA and the MIDDLE ZONE should be very thick, unless you want the scenario to become a *real* slaughter. Don't put big, unpassable objects in the middle of the field (rivers, high mountains) or the Defender will be unable to reach the Rescue team.


You can decide where to put the Castle, or resolve the position with any random system (I prefer the latter). The Castle should be at least 30x30. If it is smaller the 2500 pts of defenders simply cannot fit in. The Castle is a Fortification that gives a -2 to hit and 4+ modifier. It also have a Titan Weapon mount (no plasma weapons). The weapon is always considered in FF orders, has a 360 degree of radius and has a 1+ saving modifier. The castle save on 2+ on 2D6.


The DEFENDER deploys first. He can deploy in the castle or in the surronding area at a maximum of 10 cm from the Castle. All the defenders inside the castle have the benefits of the castle bonuses (-2 TH, 4+ SAV). Troops or vehicles outside the castle have no extra bonuses.

The ATTACKER can deploy *anywhere on the field* with the exception of the castle and the surronding area (min 30 cm distance). He deploys always last.

The RESCUE ARMY deploys from the rescue starship at the beginning of turn 2. The starship is randomly placed in the Landing Area, and any enemy model under it is crushed and burned by the intense heat of the starship's engines (automatically destroyed). the ship should be about 30x30cm wide (we used a Millennium Falcon model and it worked great). The troops will come out from distinguishable exits (it is better to define the exits before starting the scenario), so no FF orders is allowed in their first turn. The starship has a Titan Weapon mount with the same stats of the one on the castle, and a very thick armor (something about 3 layers of 1+ on 2D6 armor. Or some void shields, maybe. It was never fired upon, so this part is still unchecked). Note that the ship is placed on the board at the very beginning of turn 2, but the army's movement follows the usual SM rules for initiative.


We played this scenario twice, always with Space Marines defending, chaos attacking and Eldar as rescue team. The unusual deployement allows a lot of new tactical situations. For example the first time we played the SM player choose to resist in the castle, trying to do as much casualties as possible to the enemy. This, and the attacker's deployement (most of the army was around the castle), allowed the rescue team an easy landing. This first battle was played with the "usual" SM tactic, that is find a good firing position and start pouring death on the enemies. The rescuers found themselves in a void area, and it took a couple of turn for them to be effective. Unfortunately we had to end the battle before finishing.

The second time I (BTW I use Eldar) played with a different SM player. He used a completely different tactic. By the end of turn 1 only a devastator detachment, a SM detachment and a bike squad remained in the Castle. All the other troops (all fast troops, such as Scout titans, land speeders, bikes) were spreaded on the field. The attacker had to follow a lot of fast targets (and we know chaos army is not the best in terms of speed), but he cleverly saturated all the middle zone. This, and the good use of the chaos awards he made, granted a Chaos victory, 57-39.

The attacker can take maximum advantage from the numeric superiority he has in the 1st turn. The short range between his forces and the Castle allows a lot of short-range firepower and a good hth slaughter. OTOH he must cover a wide field to avoid the escape of fast-moving troops, and it is assured that some of his troops will remain unused. The attacker could also sit in the middle of the field and wait for the defender and the rescue team, trying to avoid any "big gain".

The defenders has a number of options, too. Remember that the focus of the scenario is to save the character. The defender will surely break almost all of his units (giving 20-30 VPs to the attacker), but he can take 20 pts from saving the characters. A good tactic is to launch some "decoys", units with high speed that can divert the attention of the attacker, unbalancing his line (All in all, the game develops much like an american football game :-).


Stefano Lanticina

Last Updates
19 July 1996reformatted
16 April 1996reorganized
8 June 1995first published
Scenario designed by Stefano Lanticina and Nicola Spaccucci
Playtested by Stefano Lanticina, Nicola Spaccucci, Franco Borghi and Mattia Valenti
HTMLed by Stefano Lanticina
Comments or corrections?