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Twisted
14-06-2010, 14:19
My gaming group and I have done some satisfying apoc games in the past, around 10K points a side, and were thinking about something new.

A battle with 3 factions, all fighting each other independantly.

This has some discussion in the BRB, but from what I have read on the (limited) threads google threw up on the topic, those rules don't really seem to work.

Thus, my idea was as follows:

At the beginning of each turn, each player rolls off. Highest wins, draws are rerolled. This determines the turn order.

If players A and B are in CC, then C can shoot into that CC, as none of his troops are in it. Wounds are allocated on a 4+ basis (1-3 its one side, 4-6 its the other).

Other rules will be thrown in. We will probably restrict a number of units based upon them potentially causing problems if they act only in "opponents turns" or somesuch.


My initial idea was a 10k a side mashup.

However, I was really interested to know if any WS members have tried this kind of fight, and if they have any insight on the situation. The initial problems I can see are poor luck shafting someone entirely (e.g. going 1st for one turn, then last for another - FOUR enemy turns separating you...), and the logistical problems of mass troop movement etc. If it helps, each side is an entirely different faction (guard+chaos vs marines vs Orks).

The battlefield size is also a factor... I was considering an "L" shaped field, as we have enough boards.

So... thoughts? I'd wager things which work for "your turn and the following assault phase" for example would have to be houseruled.

eyescrossed
14-06-2010, 14:23
The only thing I don't like about those rules is that it makes Nid/Ork armies cringe since they're no longer safe in close combat.

Shas'o Kais
14-06-2010, 14:27
I agree, armies that rely on crushing their enemies before they get shot could be at a real disadvantage, especially in Apocalypse with all the big, scary template weapons.

Twisted
14-06-2010, 14:30
A counter could be a King of the Hill style affair, where holding objectives gives points every turn. So if you sit back and shoot, you ain't going to have enough points at the end.

AndrewGPaul
14-06-2010, 15:08
In my experience, what usually happens is one player gets set about by the two others and rapidly annihilated, then the other two fight for a victory. Alternatively, two sides can end up ignoring the third, who then comes in at the end for a victory angainst the remains of the other two.

It's not just a 40K thing; it happens in pretty much any game.

DuskRaider
14-06-2010, 15:17
In my experience, what usually happens is one player gets set about by the two others and rapidly annihilated, then the other two fight for a victory. Alternatively, two sides can end up ignoring the third, who then comes in at the end for a victory angainst the remains of the other two.

It's not just a 40K thing; it happens in pretty much any game.

Quoted for truth and great justice. Problem with this is, someone will feel like they're being ganged up on, even if they really aren't. Despite this, I still find 3 way battles to be fun.

SylverClaw
14-06-2010, 15:17
I don't think it'll work.

Whenever I've tried something like that it always turns into 2 vs 1, whether it's intentional or not. Whoever shows weakness just gets munched by the other two. And it's not fun.

However... one solution I found on DakkaDakka, which I haven't tried yet, was to have a KP game where you fcan only score against the player on your left (during deployment). Thus, you'll always have to fight both people. Little point in focusing on one that way. I can see that working.

As for turns, once again you go around to the left. That way the defender will get to react immediately to the aggressor on his right, because they just went.

Other rules standard. House rules are great but I don't think they add much. That CC thing takes away more than it adds. I mean, yeah, it's logical and realistic... but this is a toy soldier game so you have to let some stuff go.

WarpWhisperer
14-06-2010, 16:16
Have played a few games of three player in my time; found that the Broken Alliance rules in the back of the big rulebook weren't too great for the turn sequence; IMO a more random sequence is required to keep everyone alert, and not allow any one player to have a distinct disadvantage.

These are the rules that I've had some success using:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Multi-Player Turn Sequence

Take a pack of cards and shuffle well.

Each Game Turn, deal out a single, face down card to each player.

Then call out the list of card values from two up to king. If a player holds a card that corresponds to the called out number, they reveal their card and it is their player turn for the game turn.

If a player holds an Ace, they may choose whether to reveal their card either first or last, i.e. have their turn ahead of anyone who has a two, or after anyone who has a king.

If two players have identical valued cards, then the suit that starts alphabetically sooner goes first; i.e. Clubs, then Diamonds, Hearts then finally Spades.

To mix things up a little more, if you include Jokers, these can be played at any time (as long as another player isn't in the midst of their turn) and will automatically 'trump' any other card, including another joker that has just been played!

If a player 'misses their window', i.e. forgets/neglects to declare their card at the right time, then they forfeit their player turn this game turn. Stay sharp people!

Once everyone has had their player turn, discard the used cards, deal each player another, and start the next game turn

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We've found that these rules keep everyone on their toes, and make the multi-sided game a little more edgey and enjoyable; you can plan your strategy a little, but you sometimes have to be a lot more reactive, and even players whp have thought they were out of the game suddenly find they've been given a lifeline!

HarveyH
14-06-2010, 16:35
I don't like determining the order of play every turn; having two turns in a row can make or brake the game. Tactics that a player can counter easily in a normal game suddenly become unstoppable if you don't have a chance to react.

The "King of the Hill" scenario sounds like a good way to prevent "1 vs 2" frustration.

WarpWhisperer
14-06-2010, 17:12
I don't like determining the order of play every turn; having two turns in a row can make or brake the game. Tactics that a player can counter easily in a normal game suddenly become unstoppable if you don't have a chance to react.


The problem with a more static approach is that you have two enemy player turns before your next turn, meaning you then fall into the classic three-player scenario in any game; take out the guy who's winning. As soon as you make a decisive move, you get pounced on by the other two sides.

Random turns make this a little more avoidable, and make you play much more reactively than you might in a standard game of 40K; but if you don't like this style of play, then I guess these uneven matches are not what you would look to.

Netfreakk
14-06-2010, 17:19
I've played it where each person is trying to get kill points from one other person in a circle.

Person A can only get points from Person B, where Person B can only get points from Person C, and Person C can only get points from Person A.

This way people are focused on killing someone so they don't "double team" the third player. However, it also brings in the element of trying to deny kill points, determining how many units you're gonna setup to defend against the non-kill point player and how you'll try to setup without getting sandwiched.

I found that this is more "fun" as trying to hold 1 objective while trying to deny the rest isn't as "fun" and can lead to one person sitting back and then grabbing the objectives.

bocaj
14-06-2010, 17:26
this would be a good idea except for the who goes first in each turn as said above. Id say the best layout for the tables would be like an Y and the objective is in the middle.
Also from experience of norm 40k 3 way games any fully DS/reserves army does great as long as they go last as the other armies shoot each other then the last army comes and mops up. THats y i love demons in 3way battles aslong as i either roll highest and chose to go last or just rol worst.

Twisted
14-06-2010, 17:36
Food for thought in these responses!

I'd say the big things are turn order and assaults.

Turn order I had a think about, and I still think the rolloff at the ebginning of each turn is the best idea. However, should someone get 2 turns in a row, then they just swap with the person after them.

For example

what could be:

Turn1: A, C, B
Turn2: B, A, C

Would become:

Turn1: A, C, B
Turn2: A, B, C

Makes it fairer, I guess...

Still, I like the deck of cards idea.

Ozendorph
14-06-2010, 18:25
just a couple suggestions:

1. Don't allow shooting into CC, even if the shooting player has no troops involved. Because of the pile in moves, models just get completely packed together and will suffer ridiculous casualties from blast/template to the point that no one will want to assault. Also, it'll slow the game down when determining affected models and such.

2. On any given player's turn, only fight assaults that player's troops are a part of (so assaults fought exclusively between the other two players are not worked out). Reason for this - it keeps Assault balanced with the other phases.

Sadly 3-way battles turn into "King Maker" 99.9% of the time, but you can still get some great stories and crazy scenes out of them. As long as no one is too hung up on winning, there's plenty of opportunity for fun.

LonelyPath
14-06-2010, 18:48
I'd ignore the Broken Alliance turn order for that Apoc game and instead move around the table in order letting everyone have their player turn in sequence. I'd also not allow intentional shooting into CC, but blasts that scatter into them are always fine, heheh.

If you allow player C to open fire in a assault between players A and B, what's to stop a Mawloc from bursting out of the ground below them? While it would be somewhat fun to shoot into them, those enemies are tearing eachother to bits and in reality your own forces would more likely be trying to take out what isn;t tied up to keep them away from you.

WarpWhisperer
14-06-2010, 20:04
Food for thought in these responses!

I'd say the big things are turn order and assaults.

Turn order I had a think about, and I still think the rolloff at the ebginning of each turn is the best idea. However, should someone get 2 turns in a row, then they just swap with the person after them.

For example

what could be:

Turn1: A, C, B
Turn2: B, A, C

Would become:

Turn1: A, C, B
Turn2: A, B, C

Makes it fairer, I guess...

Still, I like the deck of cards idea.

One of the worst things about the Broken Alliance turn sequence we found is that going first in one turn automatically made you last in the next turn; that's four enemy turns between your own:( I think you's agree that's a disproportionate disadvantage, especially if the other players know that they can act with impunity for two consecutive turns regarding the first/last party.

enygma7
14-06-2010, 20:32
My experiences of 3 ways have always gone down the same- the stupidest/most impatient person attacks one of the other players they both lose - the third party gets to sit back whilst they annihilate each other and then move in for the win late on. Or the stupidest person attacks both other players and gets ganged up on.

I'd second the idea of using objective conditions to force a true three way. Some examples, you can only score killpoints against the player to your left (as suggested above), you score killpoints equal to the lowest number of killpoints against one of the other players (so if you get 8kp aganst player A and 2kp against player B you score 2!) or objectives similar to the loot scenario in battle missions where you get 1vp for each turn you have a unit in contact with them and then make sure to spread the objectives evenly.

The key thing is not to take a 3 way too seriously (or personally). Its a bit of fun and you have to accept the result may well be out of your control if you get ganged up on.

LonelyPath
14-06-2010, 20:56
One of the worst things about the Broken Alliance turn sequence we found is that going first in one turn automatically made you last in the next turn; that's four enemy turns between your own:( I think you's agree that's a disproportionate disadvantage, especially if the other players know that they can act with impunity for two consecutive turns regarding the first/last party.

The last time I played Broken Alliance I had my Nids on the table, through bad rolling I had the first turn. By the time my 2nd turn arrived I only had 2 models on the table, I may have had 3 units in reserve, but that wasn;t going to do me a whole lot. Thankfully I hid the models I had left and got bad reserves, ultimately getting the last turn and turning a crushing defeat into a draw by claiming or contesting objectives.

Either way, I'm not a fan of the Broken Alliance turn sequence, or the delpoyment for that matter.

lethlis
14-06-2010, 23:03
I think one of my favorite battle reports was the 4 way battle in white dwarf where they were all trying to claim the temple in the middle. So much fun to read.

Grimtuff
14-06-2010, 23:18
I think one of my favorite battle reports was the 4 way battle in white dwarf where they were all trying to claim the temple in the middle. So much fun to read.

Which is another type of battle that is greatly enhanced by rolling for priority every turn, otherwise you can go through THREE player turns before getting yours.

PsyberWolf
14-06-2010, 23:27
In the past, I have used a square table 4'x4' or 6'x6' and had the deployment zones as follows:

1) Player 1 picks a corner to setup on
2) Player 2 picks any corner except the one opposite player 1
3) player 3 sets up in the middle of the side opposite the other two players

This works best when there is an objective in the middle of the board.

Grenzstein
14-06-2010, 23:55
In my experience, what usually happens is one player gets set about by the two others and rapidly annihilated, then the other two fight for a victory. Alternatively, two sides can end up ignoring the third, who then comes in at the end for a victory angainst the remains of the other two.

It's not just a 40K thing; it happens in pretty much any game.

Quoted for dangerously unstable amounts of truth.

megatrons2nd
15-06-2010, 05:50
Maybe alter the turn sequences instead. All the players move, then they all shoot, and finally they all perform assault moves. For initiative purposes the player who won the initiative would move last, but shoot first. For assaults allow any unit within 12" of any enemy unit at the start of the phase to make a normal assault move(if normally allowed) and the other player is charging. If a unit makes an assault move it counts as charging for that turn gaining the bonus attack for the charge. Units that may move in the assault phase move after all charging units. This should allow for the loss of an assault turn.

Corporeal
15-06-2010, 06:53
this is something we do all the time here. we modify it sometimes by we usually stick to one formula. Usually done with four players

First we roll for turns. easy enough to figure out

Then we can either run it normal or..

we do movement and assault at once. meaning we all move at the same time and assault at the same time.

Shooting is normal. A shoots at B, B shoots at C, C shoots at D, D shoots at A.

Another thing you can try is if you're player A, you can shoot at B, C, and D on your turn. Same goes for the other players. they shoot at you, C and D at the same time. so on, so forth.

and we shoot into others' cc brawls if we remember about it.

The Orange
15-06-2010, 07:27
The game is unfortunately just not designed for more then 2 sides so good luck with it. I'm not sure how good randomizing player turns is. All of a sudden you can have a player getting 2 turns in before you get your follow up, and potentially up to 4 opponents turns before you get your turn again. Say for example you had a unit that fell back, after that many turn you could probably kiss good buy any chance of regrouping as both your opponents would have a chance to move in and make sure they never get a chance to regroup. And I don't even want to think about the nightmare that it would be with 3-way assaults. How do you determine who wins in the end? The one player who made the most kills? Would you except a loss even if your own troops didn't suffer any casualties but 1 opponent out did you in killing the other opponent? And IMO SM have always had an outright unfair advantage in hth due to ATSKNF.

Being able to shoot into cc would probably just ruin the game too, definitely throw that out. Otherwise people will simply just keep dancing around each other, and blast makers would be kings.

I mean it's not completely unworkable, my group used to play 3 way games before too. Its just that you'll definitely see snafu's pop up because the game just simply isn't designed for more then 2 sides (unlike some other games which we've taken up).

AndrewGPaul
15-06-2010, 08:25
It might just be easier to play 2 vs 1. Either give the lone player twice as many points as each of the other two, so the overall forces are balanced, or make the lone player the defender in an attacker-defender scenario, and balance things out with favourable terrain setup, weapon emplacements, minefields, etc.

MOMUS
15-06-2010, 09:56
Me and my gaming friends always used to play 3-4 multiplayer 40k, using a combination of rules from the 4player ziggurat mission and the 3 player ork brawl both were in old WD.

Ozendorph;
'just a couple suggestions: 1. Don't allow shooting into CC, even if the shooting player has no troops involved. Because of the pile in moves, models just get completely packed together and will suffer ridiculous casualties from blast/template to the point that no one will want to assault. Also, it'll slow the game down when determining affected models and such.'

Thats the whole point, we allowed shooting into cc to cause havoc and it just makes sense. Also 1-3 unit A, 4-6 unit B takes 2 secs.

I would avoid random turn taking, i cant see why that would ever be fun.

AndrewGPaul
15-06-2010, 13:30
I would avoid random turn taking, i cant see why that would ever be fun.

It's fairly common in some games, as it removes a degree of control from the "500-foot omniscient general", and is an attempt to simulate the "fog of war".

Nezalhualixtlan
15-06-2010, 18:40
I would avoid random turns as well, way too much potential for unbalance in back to back turns, or having to wait two other full player turns before getting to react.

I would avoid being able to shoot into CC, any CC, even between the opposing two armies. It may be somewhat realistic, but it greatly unbalances things in terms of the actual game. If blast templates scatter, just count the actual models underneath and do not assign to units randomly.

If playing Annihilation, you should score points on one person, and be scored on by the other, eliminating the "ganged up on" scenario that nearly always ensues in these types of games.

If playing for Objectives, you should probably have 1 each and 1 in the middle, with the ability to score on three of them, your own, your one opponent that would have been the same one that you could get kill points from, and the one in the middle - this should also help eliminate the "ganged up on" scenario.

I think it can work, but it's been problematic when we've tried it before sans some of these suggestions. The game isn't designed to be played in this manner, so some additional house rules in order to smooth things out are necessary, but you don't want to fundamentally alter the game balance as it's already a tenuous balance between the various factions as it is, and one side ending up getting the shaft or unfair advantages can quickly sap the fun of the game.

Twisted
15-06-2010, 19:12
Does anyone have the number of the White Dwarf where the 4 way battle was featured, by any chance?

Fenrisian Wolf
15-06-2010, 19:41
In my experience, what usually happens is one player gets set about by the two others and rapidly annihilated, then the other two fight for a victory. Alternatively, two sides can end up ignoring the third, who then comes in at the end for a victory angainst the remains of the other two.

It's not just a 40K thing; it happens in pretty much any game.

In part, the reason this happens is the board configuration. I have mentioned
this on Warseer in the past, that we use a Hexagon Board for 3-player games.
When the board is 6 sided it allows for a space on either side of your set-up between opponents and avoids the immediate 2 on 1 or one player attacks and one sits back situations. It is true that these syndromes can still occur, but the Hexagon board is a must for 3-player games in my opinion. If you couple a Hex board and avoid certain battle missions that do not apply, the games can be fun for all and work out much better. Some of the best 3 player games we have tried this way, is the Carnage or center objective King of the hill scenario.

WarpWhisperer
16-06-2010, 07:32
Does anyone have the number of the White Dwarf where the 4 way battle was featured, by any chance?

It was available for free download a while back.....

Twisted
16-06-2010, 20:40
Thanks for the link, but which WD was it actually posted in?

WarpWhisperer
16-06-2010, 23:25
I'm pretty certain WD251...

Corporeal
17-06-2010, 04:15
It might just be easier to play 2 vs 1. Either give the lone player twice as many points as each of the other two, so the overall forces are balanced, or make the lone player the defender in an attacker-defender scenario, and balance things out with favourable terrain setup, weapon emplacements, minefields, etc.


we tried that out here aswell. it went pretty well.

EmperorEternalXIX
17-06-2010, 04:21
In my campaign we have an alternate turn order that may help you. Here is the text from that sidebar:



Alternate Turn Scheme
If all involved players agree, you may use an alternate turn scheme for free-for-all multiplayer battles that might speed things up. Using your current campaign initiative values, have each player perform their movements in one big movement phase. Then have each player perform their shooting in a similar fashion. Finally, perform all assaults at the same time in one large assault phase, again using campaign initiative to determine who gets to enact their charges first.

This may or may not speed up your game, but it can certainly adds a lot of interesting tactical possibilities (and that 4th guy won’t be bored to tears waiting for his turn!). You will need some other means in place of the campaign initiative, but generally this concept might work for you. The campaign also has a three-way deployment for a standard table.

Markkoh
17-06-2010, 06:46
have like an objective for army to get, so we don't have people just laying back and shooting the whole time.

eyescrossed
17-06-2010, 07:07
You could have an objective to the left of each player, in the deployment zones of the opponent on the left, so each army has to defend their own and mount an assault to the left.

mulkers
17-06-2010, 10:30
The only thing I don't like about those rules is that it makes Nid/Ork armies cringe since they're no longer safe in close combat.

They also have the advantage of fighting rounds of CC after everyones turns, not just their own i.e. 3 combat phases per turn

eyescrossed
17-06-2010, 11:01
They also have the advantage of fighting rounds of CC after everyones turns, not just their own i.e. 3 combat phases per turn

You could use the same argument that they're likely to suffer twice the casualties to shooting than they normally would. Not only that, but there ARE some units Orks don't wanna get into combat with, and they'll get an advantage from extra CC phases.

Everything has an advantage and disadvantage.

Tak
17-06-2010, 14:25
In my humble exerience, 3 ways are much more fun than traditional two ways but come with an additional risk of a fall out or two someway along the line. Someone will always get more attention that the other two and you tend to get one who gets or feels left out BUT if done correctly can be a very fullfilling experience. ;)

mulkers
18-06-2010, 08:10
The hardest thing about a 3 way is to be effective, you shouldn't split fire, and it very easily turns in to a two on one.

Twisted
23-06-2010, 17:31
Bit of a bump, but I thought people might be interested in what we eventually settled on!

A 4 way match - Guard+Chaos vs Marines vs Chaos Daemons vs Orks

1 objective in the centre, most points nearest it at the end wins

Every team gets 2 random secret objectives to fufil, such as kill the enemy commander of X team, keep your commander alive, secure X terrain piece, etc.

Hopefully it'll work!

WarpWhisperer
23-06-2010, 18:50
Interesting idea on the secret objectives. Is it a roll on a table, or dealing out of cards?

What did you settle on regarding the (hotly debated) turn sequence?

Twisted
23-06-2010, 23:20
The objectives themselves are known to everyone, but who gets what is secret, so that noone knows what the other person is trying to do, and everyone is forced to fight everyone (noone can end up with 2 objectives which cause him to focus on just one player!)

As for the turn order, we decided to follow the K.I.S.S path and just do it as a rolloff at the start, then either anticlockwise round the table or just in order of highest to lowest, and keep it at that. Everyone has the advantage and disadvantage of 3 turns before his own. Person who goes first has to risk manouvueuring into a position where he can be shot at more by everyone else, person who goes last gets to observe all his enemies moves before striking.

Assaults are only done on a player's turn if they have units in a particular combat. So player A is fighting B and C, he does that assault on his own turn. Another one with C vs D though is discounted for that turn. And so on.

WarpWhisperer
24-06-2010, 07:31
Cool; I look forward to hearing how it pans out :)