So, today we played the zombie scenario first posted by Awakening Ynead quite a while back. A good time was had by all, but with this scenario being written for fifth ed there were some discrepancies we need to fix before we run it again.
From 5th to 6th
First off, the changes. The reduction of FNP to 5+ made the zombies weaker. However, the fact that you now get FNP against AP2 and power weapons helped negate that loss... though this did kinda suck for the best power up (the blessing of chuck norris) as your weapons now counting as AP 2 and power weapons would be largely irrelevent, unless you were beating on another player. The zombies were more durable in the wounds to Fearless are a thing of the past (allowing players to get tied up in combats for far too long) We also found Hit and Run to be rather overpowered - the granting of one USR to one member of your team would previously have had little effect, but the new version that says a unit containing at least one model with this skill has the skill means that it can be given to any squad. Combined with the zombies not dying as readily (no fearless wounds) and the hit and run was a deadly skill. In a game where consolidating from combat is reduced from D6 to D3 because of how quickly squads can move up, having a unit that FAILED to beat it's opponent suddenly leg it 15" up the field seems obscene.
I don't really want to say that we should use 5th ed rules for this scenario, as while most of us still remember the rules, I don't want to have us trying to remember the old system - far better to have a system that works for 6th ed. As such, I plan to implement the following changes.
Hit and Run - this will be reduced to 3D3", as at least then it is more in line with the result for consolidating from combat.
Zombies shall get flak armour. This 5+ save before their FNP will make them a little more survivable as well as making power weapons and AP 2 weapons have some sort of effect again - they may not ignore the FNP entirely but at least they're not completely useless - the blessing of chuck norris is good again!
Rather than change the rules for fearless, I plan to give the zombies some sort of instability style test. If they lose the combat they take an LD test and however many they lose by is how many armour/FNP saves they have to take. I may make the squad stubborn as they're only LD 5, i'm not sure on that yet.
I have one of the players asking me to alter the spawn points as late game the zombies that spawned at our starting edge were mostly redundant, but I'm reluctant to alter this - it's only a 1 in 6 chance and it's a fairly simple system so I'm happy to leave it as is.
We did keep the old embarkation distance as within 6" of the chopper was too big an area to cover and would have made victory easy. Given I am loathe to alter the basic rules of sixth edition I may change things slightly... either by having the rule being you have to have a model in base with the escape vehicle, to hotwire it for example. Either that or beef up the security of the escape vehicle somewhat, as the boss zombie didn't seem to cause any problems whatsoever.
Due to the way the zombies moved and how awesome flamers are in 6th ed, I decided you couldn't overwatch against Zombies. They assault in their movement phase and don't technically launch an assault for the rules lawyers, they catch you by surprise for the storytellers. We just played the game without overwatch, though with hindsight you could arguably allow overwatch of other players.
Finally, the upgrade of the Blue Shell. This was used quite a lot towards the end of the game, and while people may have had to choose between a good upgrade or messing with their opponents, if they rolled badly on the upgrade (zombie bile for instance) they would instantly pick the blue shell. Why wouldn't you? I think for Zombie Bile (and to a lesser extent banana skin) to have an effect we either have to do blue shell as a swap on a result of 4 or better (meaning the bad powerups are just bad, no dodging) or by applying a rule that only those within 18" of the escape chopper can be targeted by the blue shell - though this latter option means that late game no one will get the bad option, so I prefer the idea of a natural snake eyes is bad and you gotta stick with it.
I took a couple of teams. First up was a squad of guard. 2 guardsmen with flamers, a junior officer with the zealot rule, and a couple of penal legion remnants (sergeant plus 2 from 2 squads) both penal squads had +1 attack and rending, which would have been so much more useful under the old FNP rules! As it is, I did quite well with this squad, fighting my way most of the way to the chopper. I had lost a few and was in cover near a Grey Knight with psycannon - I knew breaking for the chopper he'd gun me down, so I charged him instead. I made him take 3 invulnerable saves through rending, he failed 2... but he had a medpack, so survived. He then killed me in the next round.
Another "team" was Marbo with rampage. I could have given him a guardsman or 2 for company, but as a Loner I thought he wouldn't appreciate it. With rampage he had a potential 9 attacks on the charge, wounding on 2s! He sadly fluffed his first fight completely and was lucky to survive... but then Hit and Run saw him shoot 15" up the board - an overpowered skill for sure. He was caught out trying to kill the wounded paladin again. I switched back to team one and tried to sneak up the other flank, but got bogged down in an annoying series of combats. Twice I had 13 hits and did 2 wounds (on a 4+), leaving remnants of squads alive. Sure, I finished them off in my turn, but then I was in pretty much the same position when more zombies spawned the following turn, keeping me bogged down within sight of the chopper as the rest of the field caught up.
So, what teams did well? The winner was a squad of three Khorne beserkers with the hit and run ability. After getting bogged down and killed a less than a foot from the starting line with his first team, he respawned another squad, managed to fail to win his first combat and then HnR his squad a good 13" away. A couple of fights went like this and he swiftly found himself next to the chopper, as the rest of us vainly tried lobbing blue shells at him to slow him down. Without that overpowered ability, I don't think this team was all that.
I was quite pleased with my own team, a couple of flamers, far more models (aka ablative wounds) than anyone else, and by taking the junior officer and issuing "Move Move Move" I could really get a move on when I wanted to.
Marbo was fun, and a real treat, but I know that the minute he got into the open for the sprint to the chopper one of my opponents would easily have dispatched him.
Another team member did well with 5 death cult assassins, the sheer amount of attacks these put out proving deadly. When they were finally dragged down due to their flimsy inv save, he switched to 5 arco flagellents, that managed to rampage through the growing horde waiting their turn to beat up the blood angels in the centre and move up to claim the second escape chopper. The sheer weight if attacks these guys put out meant he was racking up the kills, and had a couple of chainsaws and half a dozen medpacks before we knew it.
Most people seemed to go for the 3 marines you can scrape into a points limit this small, which was great for normal armour saves but made those rending hits downright expensive. I don't think basic marines are the way to go. You have the opportunity to pick and choose from different squads, use it. I was impressed when Rich turned up with a missile launcher with Relentless. The fact that he then got the blessing of chuck norris and used the missile launcher to kill the Paladin I had found so irritating (and who had healed himself back to two wounds by this point) was lovely to see.
All in all a cracking scenario and a fun game. We have a few 6th ed creases to iron out, and once done there is no reason why this game should be an all-day sunday event (took us about 5 hours today, thought the last 90 minutes or so of that was the fight for second!) and not just a regular Monday night thing in regular club hours if we fancy something a bit different.