The Games Master
When three players want to play a Warhammer 40,000 game, but they cannot find a fourth opponent, most of the times they simply deploy three full armies and playing a free-for-all match, or allying two smaller armies against the third, bigger, one. Those approaches can result in wonderful games, sure, but there is another approach that is worth to try: one of the players becomes instead the Games Master, as if you were Roleplaying (or playing Wharhammer 40,000’s first edition, Rogue Trader). A Games Master is essentially a referee, whose main task is to judge on the doubts about the rules that might arise in the game, but he can also create unconventional game events, establish rules for situations not covered by the rulebook and, if the situation requires it, also to run a “NPC” force, that usually cannot win or lose a game, but is only there to add flavour to the scenario and hinder the armies of both players.
The following mission is written considering the presence of a Games Master.
An enormous concentration of energy appeared in the middle of no-man’s land, and it is so incredibly powerful that you can feel it inside your body, without resorting to any instrument. Your army reaches the point to investigate at the same time of an enemy force, and they both discover that the anomaly is due to a horrible ritual aimed at summoning a powerful Daemon on the planet. Stop the servants of the Ruinous Powers and prevent your opponent from taking possession of the dark temple.
Both players choose their armies as described in the Prepare for Battle section of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. The Games Master chooses an unbound army with half the point value of those of the players, composed only by Daemons and Cultists from Codex: Chaos Daemons, Codex: Chaos Space Marines and/or Codex: Khorne Daemonkin. The Games Master’s army must include at least one Herald, but cannot include any Daemon Prince or Greater Daemon, and all his Daemons must have the same demonic alignment.
Use the deployment map included in this mission. Place a temple or other suitable terrain in the middle of the table, then set up the terrains as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.
Before deploying any model, the players and the Games Master must roll for their Warlord Traits.
The Games Master deploys first, placing all his models within 6″ from the middle of the table. The players then take turns to deploy their forces as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.
The player who deployed first has the first turn, unless the other player manages to Seize the Initiative.
The Games Master’s turns happen before the turns of the other players, but in his first there is only the Psychic Phase.
The mission uses the Variable Game Length special rule.
At the end of the game, the player who has scored the most Victory Points is the winner. If both players have the same number of Victory Points, then the game is a draw.
The temple in the middle of the table follows all the rules of an objective marker. At the end of the game, the player that controls the temple gains 3 Victory Points. If the Daemon Prince is summoned (see below) and then killed, the player that killed it gains 2 Victory Points.
Kill the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Blood.
Mission Special Rules
Night Fight, Reserves.
The Summoning: The Herald(s) controlled by the Games Master are trying to summon a powerful Daemon Prince. During their Psychic Phase, any Herald with the Psyker special rule can try to manipulate his Power Dices for the summoning as if it were casting a psychic power: each success adds 1 Summoning Point to the pool. The controller of the nearest enemy unit can try to Deny the Witch: each 6 reduces the successes of the Herald by 1. The Herald suffers Perils of the Warp as if it was trying to cast a Psychic Power, but if there is any Cultist within 6″ from it, the Games Master can sacrifice one of them to avoid the Perils of the Warp before rolling on the apposite table. In addition, each Wound dealt by a ranged or melee attack of a Herald adds 1 Summoning Point to the Pool. When there are 10 or more Summoning Points in the pool, a Daemon Prince (chosen from Codex:Chaos Daemons or Codex: Khorne Daemonkin and without any point limit for its options) appears on the temple as if it was Deep Striking, but without rolling for scatter. The Daemon Prince is added to the Games Master’s Army.
The Temple: The temple has its own datasheet, that you can download from here.
EDIT: If you want, you can download this mission as a .pdf from here.