“Registered planet 1NA had finally succumbed. The zombie plague had taken hold and the planet was doomed. Imperial intervention to recover ancient Adepta Sororitas relics were thwarted by myriad xenos forces who escaped with the prize, fleeing the sector and sealing the planet’s fate. Now, Inquisitor Mortis has decreed the ultimate sanction: exterminatus.”
“But Inquisitor Mortis has one final plan before his sentence is carried out. Mortis wishes to plunder the secrets of 1NA and discover how and why it was so quickly ravaged by the zombie plague. This most unorthodox of Inquisitors has hand selected the most unorthodox of Kill Teams to recover a number of relics before orbital bombardment begins.”
Here’s the brief the players received:
We’ll play an allied cooperative game, where each player represents one individual member of a Kill Team, specially selected by a rather unorthodox Inquisitor to complete a highly important mission on a zombie infested planet that he’s sentenced to exterminatus.
You will have to build, convert and paint your character, and devise the rules and fluff. Anything goes. Warrior, mystic, combat lunatic, Space Marine captain, xenos, mutant, heretic, daemon… Whatever you fancy, and whatever rules and equipment you can devise – if it makes everyone say “that’s so cool!” then you’re on to a winner
- The draw of a playing card will indicate the board edge (suit) and quantity (card number) of zombies arriving from reserve
- Zombies have human stats, but I1, and will always move and charge 6″ regardless of scenery. They will only ever get one attack but it will have the rending ability
- Zombies arrive together as a horde and will stay within 2″ of each other. If they can ‘join’ an existing horde on the board when they arrive, they must do so
- Excess wounds caused on a zombie can be passed on to a neighbouring zombie within 2″
- In addition to making your character, you will also have to build, convert, paint and come up with rules for one ‘monstrosity’
- When a picture card is drawn, this means a random monstrosity will arrive. If yours is selected you’ll have to introduce it to the group and explain its rules.
- The Kill Team will enter play together from the same board edge. They will have to recover certain items from the battlefield in turn, each revealing a bit more narrative and return to the centre of the battlefield to await evac, just before the orbital bombardment of exterminatus begins. More details on that later…
Regular readers will recognise we decided to continue the story started during #TheTrainJob narrative game by setting it on the same planet; Reg: 1NA.
Unusually, for this game the players only need to bring a couple of models each. They will combine them to form a unique Kill Team. The game will be a blend of narrative and roleplay-based approaches; a sort of Warhammer Quest, meets Kill Team, meets 40K.
At the command centre
“Sire, the Planetary Defence Force has been overrun. Their dead have swelled the zombie’s ranks. The weapon we provided was ineffective. Our perimeter defences will not last much longer. The planet is lost.”
Inquisitor Mortis’ aide emotionlessly delivered the grim news from the doorway of the command centre. Mortis, his face hidden within his dark cowl sat at his paper-strewn desk and pondered the news. Slowly, he turned to his aide.
“The weapon worked perfectly,” he stated flatly in his cold, robotic voice. “We must recover it.”
The command centre looked more like a laboratory than a military installation. Diagrams of human, xenos and mechanical physiology covered the walls. Here and there, tissue samples, glass vials and beakers could be seen, some bubbling away on burners or linked to spiraling tubes carrying brightly coloured liquids. The occasional severed limb, pronged with apparatus, measurement and monitoring devices sat on macabre workbenches. Mortis waved a bionic hand toward a glowing monitor that seemed to show personnel files, pictograms of warriors slowly rotating, and vid-clips of soldiers in battle.
“Assemble the Kill Team.”
Registered planet 1NA, codenamed; ‘REGINA’ had been utterly ravaged. A backwater planet, in a backwater system, 1NA was considered locally to be a hive of villainy. Yet to the Imperium, it had a relatively stable population, though somewhat unruly, and was known for reliably meeting its mining tithe, despite declining targets as resources dropped.
The zombie virus took hold fast and the planet declined rapidly. The virus was rampant; in less than four months it had laid waste to vast swathes of the planet’s populace. Those that survived the early days of infection took advantage of the chaos to further their own selfish ambition. Small tribes formed across the continents but were soon overwhelmed. The Planetary Defence Force was annihilated and with the news, Inquisitor Mortis declared Exterminatus.
Before orbital bombardment of 1NA began, Mortis assigned a covert Kill Team to recover a devastating weapon. Recruiting from local talent, the mission was completely off Imperial records, allowing Mortis to employ xenos, mutants, heretics, as well as some of the sector’s hardest and most dangerous warriors.
Kill Team inbound
Safely deployed and clear of the battlecruiser, the Storm Eagle’s thrusters roared into life propelling the gunship aggressively towards the planet. Nestled safely within the confines of the troop compartment, an eclectic mix of warriors assembled from across the Georgia system pensively waited to receive their orders as the gunship smoothly banked to join 1NA’s orbit.
The ship’s holocom activated, an incoming communicade casting its green glow throughout the compartment and bathing the Kill Team in a low gloom. Out of the static, a robed figure appeared and could be seen adjusting his hood, revealing for the briefest moment a pair of bionic hands. Turning to face the camera, the hooded figure addressed the team, his features undetectable beneath the darkness of his cowl:
“I am Inquisitor Mortis. I have assembled you for a mission of the upmost urgency. The zombie plague has taken hold of registered world 1NA and local forces, both Imperial and Xenos, have been overrun. Unable to control the outbreak, it has now become a planet-wide epidemic. The world is lost and it is my heavy burden to sentence it to receive the Emperor’s deliverance in the form of Exterminatus.
“Yet before orbital bombardment begins, there are a number of relics I want recovering – artefacts of great importance to the Imperium and indeed the future of the entire sector. I want to discover the source of the outbreak and why the planet succumbed so quickly.
“I have personally selected each and every one of you for this task based on the unique skills you possess. Together, you are greater than the sum of your parts. Resistance will be heavy and you are authorised to use whatever means necessary to complete your mission. I am sending you landing coordinates now…”
PLAYING THE GAME
What a game!
We played in two parts; on the surface of REG:1NA locating a number of objectives, and then underground in a top secret lab full of monstrosities!
- The first game played a bit like a platform computer game – each objective was revealed one at a time, adding narrative and a bit of tense drama
- Arriving by dropship, the team had to:
- locate the survivors
- take a water sample from the village font
- get the sample analysed
- locate and secure the T-virus weapon
- get to the underground lad entrance and lock the door
- As the game entered its final stages zombie cards (reinforcements) were drawn every five minutes – this really put pressure on the team!
- The monstrosities were great fun – each player had designed their own rules. A favourite was ‘mimic’ who had the same stats and abilities as his opponent, and ‘the trouser snake’ who deployed via deep strike
- Dutch used his field craft ability to kill a Nurgle beastie – but only because he was saved at the last moment by the sniper providing him a 6+ invulnerable save
- The Kroot shaper sniping zombie hobbit Michael Jackson…who’d previously evaded four instant death wounds (clearly moonwalking or thriller dancing out of harms way)
- The beastmarines played to character and butchered everything in close combat. Predictably, they were the last ones to reach the underground lab having to be practically dragged out of combat
- The Ork doktor’s kit was wildly spectacular – one shot killed 13 zombies, whilst another backfired and woudned his comrades
- Once underground, with the door bolted, the team had to investigate the rooms and deliver the T-virus weapon
- The facility door was eventually bashed down and zombies flooded in
- Plot twist; ‘Barry’ the monstrosity turned out to be the survivor’s husband who long ago, went off to fight ‘robot space aliens’ but was never seen again – the survivor managed to convince him to fight for her (using a mini ‘higher or lower’ card game to determine the result). He was eventually overcome by the horde but not before holding them up and saving the team
- The Arbites judge managed to interogate one of the lab’s scientists to discover an alternative way out – a secret transporter room
- The final gambit saw the team break down the last door to reveal Inquisitor Mortis himself… a Necron Lord in disguise, he’d orchestrated the whole thing. In his endless quest to reverse the effects of his race’s bio-transference, his experiments had gotten wilder, grander and more deadly. The zombie virus outbreak on REG:1NA was one such experiment… with planet-wide, destructive results
- The team fell upon Mortis and took him out in close combat. But his skeletal body faded out of existence leaving his dark robes behind.
- The team disbands and the story continues…