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de Selby
26-10-2009, 17:43
Was watching the film Resident Evil again the other night while painting (Channel 4 seems to show it every other week) and the general idea of a few soldiers fighting their way through relentless hordes in a confined space seemed like a good fit to the Space Hulk ruleset. This is the result. I haven't playtested it yet, and I need to make a lot of zombies first.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y89/deSelby/S1036679.jpg

"Deep in the lower levels of Parasol Hive is a top secret Adeptus Mechanicus research facility conducting research of the highest priority. Despite heavy protection from automated defences, 6 hours ago all communication with this facility was lost. An alpha team of veteran Imperial Guardsmen was immediately sent to investigate.

They found the corridors and laboratories apparently deserted, but contact with the machine spirit inhabiting the logic stacks at the centre of the maze established the awful truth: the dreaded zombie plague has overrun the facility, and the team must now escape from both its zombie inhabitants and the malignant efforts of the machine spirit, which seeks to prevent any potential carriers from spreading the virus into the rest of the hive.

Suddenly the scanner is picking up movement everywhere. Run!"


You will need:
Space Hulk.
7 veteran imperial guardsmen (IG) or equivalent, including sergeant, to be played by the IG player.
approx. 40 zombie models, to be played by the Machine Spirit player.

Scenario 1: Lowest level.
Use the space hulk tiles and doors as set up in the map.
Blips enter from the points marked with arrows (and later turn into zombies!). D6 blips arrive each turn.
The 7 IG must be deployed anywhere in the machine spirit room marked with the imperial eagle, and go first. If all seven reach the exit point leading to the next level (also marked with an aqilla) in 15 turns or less, the IG player wins. If one of the IG is killed but the rest escape in time, the game is a draw. Otherwise the Machine Spirit wins. You'll never reach the top level of the facility at that rate!

Use all the standard space hulk rules. Zombies are to guardsmen as genestealers are to space marine terminators, so mostly the rules are unchanged. The following modifications are in use:

The IG vets play as terminators, but:
*they have 5 action points each per turn, not 4.
*they may not shoot at doors to open them.

The 6 basic veterans carry lasguns and pistols, and count as terminators with power fists.
*they begin by using their lasguns, and may switch from lasgun to pistol (and vice versa) by expending one action point.

The sergeant has a pistol and a close combat weapon (power swords, powerfists and chainswords are all equally effective against zombies. The chainsword is a particularly prized anti-zombie weapon, however) and counts as a space marine sergeant with power sword, but may never choose to draw a replacement command point counter.

lasguns:
*count as storm bolters. A headshot (a 6) is necessary to dispatch zombies, so lasguns firing with a sustained fire bonus do not inflict a kill with a roll of 5. Instead the zombie is pushed away one square if possible (IG player decides which square, provided it is further from the firing model). A jam result indicates the lasgun has run out of ammo and is now useless.

pistols:
*count as storm bolters, but do not get a sustained fire bonus. A jam result indicates the pistol has run out of ammo and is now useless.


The zombies play as genestealers, but:
*they have 3 action points each per turn, not 6.
*they roll only a single dice in close combat.
*they may not open/close doors.
*at the beginning of each of his turns, the Machine Spirit may open or close any doors on the board, unless there is an IG vet in an adjacent square to temporarily jam it.
*up to 3 zombies may occupy a single square! Fit them on somehow. Zombies are very dangerous in large numbers.



More scenarios (levels) to follow if anyone plays the first one. Feedback appreciated.

Commander X
30-10-2009, 10:38
Right, it took a while, but after I got the chance to properly study this, here is a list of 'comments' which you might want to look into (or ignore, that's up to you ;)).


You will need:
Space Hulk.
7 veteran imperial guardsmen (IG) or equivalent, including sergeant, to be played by the IG player.
approx. 40 zombie models, to be played by the Machine Spirit player.
As an average of 7 zombies arrive in the mission each turn - 3.5 blips with 2 zombies each - and they are somewhat more durable than real Genestealers, 40 may actually turn out to be somewhat on the low side here. Although it may make the already daunting task of creating them even worse, I'd say you need about sixty at the least. A possible solution would be to find some kind of numbered token, then using one real model per square plus tokens to represent the other zombies in that square.


Scenario 1: Lowest level.
Use the space hulk tiles and doors as set up in the map.
Blips enter from the points marked with arrows (and later turn into zombies!). D6 blips arrive each turn.
The 7 IG must be deployed anywhere in the machine spirit room marked with the imperial eagle, and go first. If all seven reach the exit point leading to the next level (also marked with an aqilla) in 15 turns or less, the IG player wins. If one of the IG is killed but the rest escape in time, the game is a draw. Otherwise the Machine Spirit wins. You'll never reach the top level of the facility at that rate! The time limit appears to be rather harsh, even to Space Hulk standards. A model needs between 53 and 55 actions to simply leave the board, depending on its starting position, which - when combined with the 'conga line' issue for the guard - means it will take at least eleven rounds to get everybody to the exit (assuming 3.5 CP per turn). This means that only four rounds of delay are needed to render the mission un-winnable, something which can easily be accomplished if the zombies only use the left-most entrance and 'mob up' in the room with the four X's in the corners. (They can get there in five turns as opposed to the Guardsmen's seven, having an average of 21 zombies there when the door opens.)

21 zombies take at least 21 actions to dispatch, and only one guard will usually be capable of fighting them due to the choke-point at the door, which is already enough to delay the Guardsmen for long enough to lose the mission without factoring in zombie reinforcements.


Use all the standard space hulk rules. Zombies are to guardsmen as genestealers are to space marine terminators, so mostly the rules are unchanged. The following modifications are in use:

The IG vets play as terminators, but:
*they have 5 action points each per turn, not 4.
*they may not shoot at doors to open them.

The 6 basic veterans carry lasguns and pistols, and count as terminators with power fists.
*they begin by using their lasguns, and may switch from lasgun to pistol (and vice versa) by expending one action point.

The sergeant has a pistol and a close combat weapon (power swords, powerfists and chainswords are all equally effective against zombies. The chainsword is a particularly prized anti-zombie weapon, however) and counts as a space marine sergeant with power sword, but may never choose to draw a replacement command point counter. Although I don't believe they had one in the film, I feel a flamer is extremely desirable here, mainly to remove the X-room issue mentioned above and to add some variety to the squad - six identical men are not that interesting to play with to be honest. Perhaps the assault cannon would be suitable instead, to represent some of the 'heavier' arms used to dispose of zombies.


lasguns:
*count as storm bolters. A headshot (a 6) is necessary to dispatch zombies, so lasguns firing with a sustained fire bonus do not inflict a kill with a roll of 5. Instead the zombie is pushed away one square if possible (IG player decides which square, provided it is further from the firing model). A jam result indicates the lasgun has run out of ammo and is now useless.

pistols:
*count as storm bolters, but do not get a sustained fire bonus. A jam result indicates the pistol has run out of ammo and is now useless. I like this one, especially the running out of ammo on overwatch thing which indeed happens only when you stand about to shoot at a bunch of approaching zombies. However, the push result is somewhat obsolete considering it does not actually matter a lot considering there are likely to be three zombies per square anyway.

An option I would suggest is making them target specific squares rather than models, and having a 'six' in normal fire or a 'five' in sustained fire kill one zombie, whilst a 'six' on Sustained Fire kills all of the zombies in the same square (this would only count for lasguns and 'assault cannons' if used, but not the pistols). That would make the zombie player actually consider whether or not to group the zombies together instead of making it a no-brainer (pun very much intended.)



The zombies play as genestealers, but:
*they have 3 action points each per turn, not 6.
*they roll only a single dice in close combat.
*they may not open/close doors.
*at the beginning of each of his turns, the Machine Spirit may open or close any doors on the board, unless there is an IG vet in an adjacent square to temporarily jam it.
*up to 3 zombies may occupy a single square! Fit them on somehow. Zombies are very dangerous in large numbers.
Currently, the multiple zombies per square are only a nuisance - one which I attempted to make less so with the previous suggestions - without actually making them more 'dangerous'. Because of this, I suggest that all zombies in the same square may act together and that when in combat, a zombie rolls 1d6-1, plus one for each additional zombie in the same square. This would make one of them relatively weak when compared to the protagonists, but this would become progressively more worrying for them when the zombies are attacking in sufficient numbers.



Well, that's all I can say right now, hopefully you find it useful enough to make another mission or two...

grg3d
30-10-2009, 11:38
Hi Question?
Can Zombies attack doors?
If not you could trace a path for the IG and not oped any doors where the zombies come in :eek:

de Selby
30-10-2009, 17:50
grg3d: cheers, the idea is that the Machine Spirit/zombie player has control of the automatic bits of the facility and can always open/close doors according to the following rule



*at the beginning of each of his turns, the Machine Spirit may open or close any doors on the board, unless there is an IG vet in an adjacent square to temporarily jam it.


Obviously the IG cannot jam doors indefinitely if they want to make it out.


Commander X: thanks, that's great feedback. Balancing the scenario/forces is definitely the most difficult aspect, and probably not a problem I have really solved.

In terms of zombie numbers I think 40 is ok; if the MS player runs out of zombie models it provides some incentive to actually attack instead of just massing them at the end. Also there's no way I'm painting more than 40 in the near future!

In terms of turn limit you may well be right. Possibly 20 turns is better, although I foresaw players basically making a run for it and only stopping to shoot when they have to. There is a serious issue here in that optimal play for the zombies may just be to congregate at the end. I agree that a flamer might help discourage this, good idea.

I quite like the 'push' result and I'd like to keep it for 'cinematic' reasons. Allowing zombies to attack together from the same square is a good idea and would actually make 'push'ing them a more meaningful result.

I'd still like it if people tried playing this version but I'll try tweaking things for a second scenario.

Commander X
30-10-2009, 20:02
Commander X: thanks, that's great feedback. Balancing the scenario/forces is definitely the most difficult aspect, and probably not a problem I have really solved.
That is most likely true, but the art of balance can only be learned through a lot of trial and error, so you've already made a start in the right direction by simply trying something new.


In terms of zombie numbers I think 40 is OK; if the MS player runs out of zombie models it provides some incentive to actually attack instead of just massing them at the end. Also there's no way I'm painting more than 40 in the near future!Hence my suggestion of using tokens to represent multiple zombies per square. Even without factoring in the difficulty of placing multiple actual models in a single square, the use of tokens would allow you to use those models to represent forty squares worth of zombies! (Of course, the IG player may object to the 'usefulness' of that possibility...)


In terms of turn limit you may well be right. Possibly 20 turns is better, although I foresaw players basically making a run for it and only stopping to shoot when they have to. There is a serious issue here in that optimal play for the zombies may just be to congregate at the end. I agree that a flamer might help discourage this, good idea.Another option which might help to overcome these two issues is a redesign of the map itself. (Unless it is actually an accurate replica of the actual 'level' in the complex of course.) Simply removing the choke-points by assuring there is always a 'bypass' stops all the zombies from gathering in a single place, and shortening the route itself will lessen the amount of turns required to complete the mission.


I quite like the 'push' result and I'd like to keep it for 'cinematic' reasons. Allowing zombies to attack together from the same square is a good idea and would actually make pushing them a more meaningful result.It is not that the push is not cinematic, but the ability to move one zombie one square is simply not very effective when you consider that it takes at least two AP to happen and it only costs the zombie one AP to get back to the square it was pushed from. A more serious penalty or an effect upon multiple zombies would probably be of more use to the IG player.

Perhaps a five could push the zombie(s?) in the square back and 'knock them down'. Getting up would then cost them their full 3 AP, effectively removing them from the game for one round. Although it is not a completely accurate representation of zombie behaviour - more Terminator behaviour actually - it would give a nice and useful effect whilst not actually killing them outright. Knocking down a zombie and then running past it while it gets up sounds heroic enough anyway.

de Selby
30-10-2009, 20:53
I definitely need to do at least a little redesign, I've noticed that I mistakenly used a cross piece instead of a t junction right in the middle of the board, so there is a 'corridor into nowhere' that should be blocked off!

I had a look through the maps in the SH mission book, thinking that I could just use one of those (trying to keep additions and modifications to a minimum) but there didn't seem to be a suitable one. There is a definite change in the dynamic now that the antagonists are 2 action pts slower than the protagonists, rather than vice versa. It seems hard to design a map where the zombies can actually get into the action without just blocking up the exit with bodies. I don't want the IG to just end-run around them.

I will wait for a bit more feedback and then produce a second level (with slightly different objectives, I have some ideas) and any rules changes I decide on.

Keep the ideas coming, please. In particular, if you think you can make a more appropriate map for the first 'escape' level, add it to the thread!

Commander X
31-10-2009, 21:33
Right, this took a while again - I'm not the one of the club who has the actual boxed game, and the Tileset system hates me so I had to use print screen to get an image - but here is my take on the Escape mission. Because of the relative lengthiness thereof, I will simply put up a link here to a PDF containing everything. I could also make a lengthy post explaining why everything is how it is, but I'll just wait for people to ask questions about it instead - because I'm lazy like that. :p

IG Zombie Escape (http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=644727194f39e4bb931c7453395df025e04e75f6 e8ebb871) (559kB, 5-Page PDF)

de Selby
04-11-2009, 21:03
This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping would happen, people chipping in with their own variants. I think the basic idea (use the space hulk rules with IG slightly faster than terminators and zombies somewhat slower than genestealers) is sound, and although we can kick the details around a bit that's enough to build new scenarios on.

I am hella busy at the moment but I'll be back at some point with another scenario and more comments on your pdf (would anyone else like me to produce rules/scenarios as pdf's in future?). You've stated that the blips still get 6AP in your version, which I considered. It does solve some of the design issues to do with zombies being too unreactive (unlike genestealers which typically wait to exploit mistakes made by the terminator player).

Narf
10-11-2009, 09:46
just a thought, but how about instead of a flamer, the guard have grenades issued?

ie each guardsman has 1 frag grenade, each model in a section in removed on a 5+ this stops the zombies grouping together to much, and gives the guard a chance to thin them out.

downside, if rolling a 1 when using a grenade (seperate roll) then grenade goes off in the guardsmans hand, resolve hits in his section.

de Selby
15-11-2009, 21:23
Narf: interesting idea, could maybe be incorporated into a specific scenario. Having just one guy with an area-effect weapon is tactically quite different, however.

Commander X: Some more comments on your rules. The introduction of new weapons is fair enough, although I can best imagine IG wielding something like a heavy stubber 'counts-as' autocannon. I generally think the weapons should be less effective than the space marine equivalents, even allowing for genestealer->zombie 'rescaling' so I'd say the heavy stubber would count as an autocannon (with 3 dice not 6) and be limited to 5 shots per magazine. The flamer should count as a heavy flamer but simply be limited to 3 shots. This keeps things nice and desperate. On the other hand, I think requiring the IG to attack and 'kill' every door they pass may actually be too hard!

Effectively dividing the mission into 'stages' with doors is a good way to keep things interesting. I also think a mission where the IG have to make it to some kind of control over-ride room to open up (or close!) some blast doors/airlocks would be a good future mission.

Here is another mission loosely based on the film (it doesn't matter if you've seen it, it's largely a rip-off of Aliens but with zombies, including the tough female character who has to get the jarheads out of trouble)






Already the situation is going from bad to worse. The guardsmen have got seperated and the Sergeant has been lost. On the positive side, one team has unexpectedly made contact with a survivor inside the complex, a security operative who's quite handy in a fight. She has rallied her team in a central chamber which they must hold, while the others attempt to catch up.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y89/deSelby/S1036695.jpg

You will need:
Space Hulk.
6 veteran imperial guardsmen (IG) including one with heavy stubber, plus Parasol

lab security operative Sigourney Jovovich , to be played by the IG player.

Substitute equivalent models if desired.
approx. 40 zombie models, to be played by the Machine Spirit player.

Scenario 2: Second level.
Use the space hulk tiles and doors as set up in the map.
Blips enter from the points marked with arrows (and later turn into zombies!).

D6 blips arrive each turn.

3 IG enter from the left of the map marked with the imperial eagle, 3 IG including the heavy stubber, plus the security operative must be deployed in the large room marked with the aquilla. The IG go first. If all seven models reach the top exit point leading to the next level (also marked with an aquilla) in 20 turns or less, the IG player wins. If one is killed but the rest escape in time, the game is a draw. Otherwise the Machine Spirit wins. You'll never reach the top level of the facility at that rate!

Use all the standard space hulk rules. Zombies are to guardsmen as genestealers are to space marine terminators, so mostly the rules are unchanged.

The following modifications are in use:

The IG vets play as terminators, but:
*they have 5 action points each per turn, not 4.
*they may not shoot at doors to open them.

The 6 veterans count as terminators with power fists.
The 5 basic veterans carry lasguns and pistols,
*they begin by using their lasguns, and may switch from lasgun to pistol (and vice versa) by expending one action point.

one veteran carries a heavy stubber and pistol.
*he begins by using the heavy stubber, and may switch from heavy stubber to pistol (and vice versa) by expending one action point.

The security operative cuts a swathe through the zombies with her fists and feet, and counts as a Space Marine Sergeant with Lightning Claws in all respects.

lasguns:
*count as storm bolters. A headshot (a 6) is necessary to dispatch zombies, so lasguns firing with a sustained fire bonus do not inflict a kill with a roll of 5. Instead the zombie is knocked to the ground, and may take no other action until it staggers to its feet. A jam result indicates the lasgun has run out of ammo and is now useless.

pistols:
*count as storm bolters, but do not get a sustained fire bonus. A jam result indicates the pistol has run out of ammo and is now useless.

the heavy stubber
*counts as an assault cannon (with one reload). A headshot (or almost total destruction) is necessary to dispatch zombies, so the heavy stubber firing with a sustained fire bonus does not inflict a kill with a roll of 4. Instead the zombie is knocked to the ground, and may take no other action until it staggers to its feet. The heavy stubber gets only 5 shots plus five in the reload.

The zombies play as genestealers, but:
*they have 3 action points each per turn, not 6.
*they roll only a single dice in close combat.
*they may not open/close doors.
*up to 3 zombies may occupy a single square! Fit them on somehow. Zombies are very dangerous in large numbers, and when a zombie attacks add one to their dice score for each additional zombie (except those knocked down) in the square with them.
*zombies knocked to the ground require 3 action points to get to their feet, and may take no other action until they do.
*zombies knocked to the ground still fight in close combat if attacked, but never count as facing their opponent.

"But how did they get there in the first place?"
*unlike zombies, blips get 6 action points per turn.
*at the beginning of each of his turns, the Machine Spirit may open or close any doors on the board, unless there is an IG vet or zombie in the way of a closing door, or an IG vet in an adjacent square to temporarily jam an opening door.