View Full Version : Mission playtest request - Bunker Defense

06-09-2009, 16:22
Hi there,

I'm beginning to create my own fan made campaign, and want to start getting some opinions on the missions.

This is the first mission. I'd love it if someone could play test it for me, and let me know if it is reasonably challenging for marines/stealers.

Mission: Bunker Defense

The forces of the Imperium are holding the line against a vast tyranid horde. One of the forward defense bunkers has fallen silent - the auto-sentries are no longer firing and the line is weakening. A squad of terminators is sent forward to clear the tyranids from the bunker and re-activate the automated defenses.


Marines: The marines begin in the squares marked on the map. The squad consists of a sergeant with power sword and storm bolter, a terminator with flamer and powerfist, and three terminators with stormbolters and power fists. These can be deployed in any order.

Genestealers: The genestealer player gets two staring blips; one in each of the topmost two rooms. These blips may be placed in any of the squares in the room. The genestealer player will then get 2 blips per turn as re-enforcements.

Objectives: The Marine player must get a terminator model to the command console in the central room (see map). Once at the terminal, the marine player must spend 4APs, CPs or a mixture to re-activiate the automated defenses. Additionally, a marine may spend 1AP or CP and use the console to to seal any bulkhead. If the auto-defences are reactivated, the mission is a victory for the marine player.

Extended Objectives: If you want an additional challenge, you may use these additional conditions. Once the automated defenses have been re-activated, the genestealer player recieves no more blips - the entry points are effectively sealed. The marines must now clear the bunker of all genestealers. If the marines fail to activate the defenses before all terminators are dead, the stealer player wins the mission. If the marines activate the defenses, but die before clearing the bunker, it is a minor victory for the marines. The defenses will hold, but only until the machinery in the bunker is torn appart by the genestealers. If the marines activate the defenses and clear all genestealers from the board,it is a major victory for the marines - the defense line will hold for many days!

Special Rules

Doors: The doors in the bunker are defensive bulkheads, designed to withstand the most punishing attacks. As such, doors in this mission cannot be destroyed. They may, however, be sealed as described above. Once sealed, they cannot be reopened, not even using the control panel.

Entry points: Two entry points in this mission are via the centre square on the back wall of the top two rooms. These represent the firing holes for the automated defenses, through which the genestealers are entering the bunker. Genestealers/Blips may enter these squares as normal.

http://www.freewebs.com/nedius/Bunker%20Defense%202_small.jpg (http://www.freewebs.com/nedius/Bunker%20Defense%202.jpg)

Thanks to CRasterImage for his tileset!

Insidentally, might it be a good idea to have a sticky 'missions' thread? One thread in which people can post missions for others to play? Or would a thread per mission be better, so each can be discussed as required?

06-09-2009, 20:22
Gave it a quick play to test it. Only one match so far, but it was a really easy Blood Angels victory. We suspected as much. I played Genestealers, and had a bit of a bad luck streak in the first 2 turns with stealers, getting lots of "1" blips. Either way, he quickly advanced up the central route, putting one of his regular termis on overwatch to each side, basically shutting down stealer spawns in the hallways. Having done that, he rushed the control room with his flamer, burned it clear of stealers and since I couldnt enter it because it was still burning, he was able to just seal off both doors of the stealer rooms, basically forcing me to just rush at his Overwatch, dying as the result. I lost a lot of APs on my stealers due to overcrowding the single passageway.

I think the basic problem of this map is, its just really streamlined with virtually no choices or tactical considerations. I actually think it could be done with 3 marines, barring bad luck, as long as they have a flamer.

To improve it, I would suggest the following: Flamer out, Claws or Assault Cannon in. The Flamer is just too powerful for basically guaranteeing you to be able to seal one or two doors by setting the room on fire, then rushing in before the stealers can get into it and just seal both bulkheads, or all 3 if you want to taunt the stealer a little before winning.
But to be honest, the problem is the layout. Its just not working well. An asymetrical layout with two parallel approaches to the final room, and IMO get rid of this sealing stuff unless you can figure out a way to make it anything but the perfect life insurance. Or maybe have the controls for the doors located in a room a little off to the side, so the marine has to decide whether to move there, or just focus on the objective.

06-09-2009, 20:28
I have not played this mission (but I will most likely play test it at some point).

If the marines are winning too easily, why not simply make the two paths leading out from the marine starting area a bit longer, like say by adding another 3 squares to each? This will buy the stealers some more time to prepare their forces.

06-09-2009, 23:15
While that might make it possible to kill the marines, it still doesnt make for interesting gameplay, as there is little but dice-luck involved at that point. The long, uninterrupted hallways, the indestructible doors and the symetrical setup are the problems. Look at the very first mission in Space Hulk. You have 2 routes with different difficulties there, but both make sense. Most people take the sideroute, but a game today saw a play going the main route successfully too.
Bunker defense, while nice in theory, needs a different layout to work as a tactical game, instead of primarily a question of dice rolls.

Mind you, thats a very common mistake in many home-made missions. There is a reason why the Space Hulk missions get reused from edition to edition: its not THAT easy.

07-09-2009, 00:11
I completely agree with you Kaunshar. A symmetrical layout such as the one given simply does not offer any tactical flexibility for either player.

My suggestion for the person wishing to improve this mission idea would be to try and use a suitable existing mission layout as well as the suggested forces, then make adjustments from there until you've played it enough that you have a challenging scenario for both players. You can still include your ideas one or two at a time until reaching the desired level of difficulty.

07-09-2009, 01:50
I haven't played the mission. But I can offer some thoughts to make it tougher. (assuming it needs to be tougher, based on what others have said)

If the "story" of the mission is:
- Space Marines race to shut the bulkheads
- Space Marines "clean up" the remaining Genestealers

Then perhaps the path to the console needs to be longer. To make that race more arduous. Also, if someone was racing to the console, I see no reason for them to choose any other path than strait up the middle. Perhaps having 2 equally valid paths would be better.

Perhaps the blip threat needs to be heavier, giving the Space Marine a reason to want to REALLY HURRY to shut off the inflow of Genestealers. Perhaps raise the blip count to 3 or even 4 to add that incentive. This would also give the Genestealer player some things to think about. He could either spend lots of blips to slow you down during the first part of the mission. Or he could keep them in reserve to build up a nice large army to handle the second part of the mission. (the "clean up" part)

07-09-2009, 06:36
Hi all, thanks for the feedback!

I'll go away this evening and make the map wider and taller, adding different routes to the control room and a longer journey. I don't want this too big a mission, as I want this to be a bit like suicide mission - a fairly small, quick mission just to get the campaign ball rolling, hence the initial small size and fairly simplistic route.

I'll see what I can make up this eve. thanks again!

07-09-2009, 06:45
I think the seal the facility then exterminate the stealers game is the way to go. One thing that would make it challengin though is swapping the T piece in the centre for a cross section and having an entry point there.

Sure teh marines force each blip to arrive there to lurk for a turn but they reall have to worry about them.

07-09-2009, 07:32
It can also help if you change the bulkheads to act like star trek doors, blockling line of sight and opening automatically as someone (or something) approaches. Players can open them for no AP. The control room still seals them permanently, and shooting still doesn't destroy them. This makes flaming that room a lot harder.

07-09-2009, 07:37
its a great effort though, this is exaclty what I was hoping to see from members of the SH community. More of the good work mate well done.


07-09-2009, 09:55
I was thinking, what about removing the central corridor? Maybe reversing the 3 way room and adding in another spawn point to the top of the map? It would still be a small, fast map.

I guess the question would then be how to vary the two routes? maybe one has more spawn points, but they are further away from the access corridor?

07-09-2009, 16:51
i would say taking out the central corridor piece and making the joins there into stealer entry points would make for a much tougher mission, as then you have to advance into the enemy and watch your back at the same time. To expand on that i would rotate the objective room 180 degrees and have the join facing up, and put a short corridor with a corner/t-junction on for an entry point there. The layout stays around the same size but it becomes a lot more difficult.

I would also suggest that only 1 door can be sealed per turn, or, only 1 door can be sealed at a time.

And maybes using the other squad instead, might make it harder.

07-09-2009, 18:29
Ok, I added a slighly different mission map to the first post, and added the extended objective idea of clearing the bunker afterwards.

There are now two routes. One is shorter, but passes more entry points. The other is longer, but with fewer entry points. Go the short way and you'll need more marines to stay alive to hold the entry points. Go the long way and you'll give the stealer player more time to mass the troops.

What do you think?

09-09-2009, 10:11
I like the revised version.

Before I make comment, Why did you choose bulkheads as opposed to regular doors?


09-09-2009, 10:28
I'm not a fan of sealing the bulkheads. Since when sum1 gets to the console room he will seal 1-2 doors leading to the console room and win the mission on next round or win the mission imidietly if he has enuff action points.

Also I would suggest using normal doors instead of bulkheads. Just add more doors if you don't like the idea of shooting them down.

09-09-2009, 11:39
The only real reason was part of the scenario. It's an armoured bunker - you shouldn't be able to machine gun down doors... That was all.

But it's these sort of things I'm interested in. What do others think? to seal or not to seal?

09-09-2009, 12:22
Stick with the seal, it makes for a decent enough victory condition especially if it's 4 APs per bulkhead. That means they have to defend the bunker whilst they are sealing it and then kill all the stealers after thay've done that.

Stick with your scenario if it's for a campaign. It's sounding decent.