Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Rule Idea: Random Encounters in the Chaos Wasteland

I got a rule idea out of nowhere yesterday evening building a movement tray for my Nurgle Cavalry. Hope this can bring some additional fun combating with your warbands.

(Posted this idea on the Oldhammer forum as well:

1. The idea is quite simple: 

Moving into new territory on your gaming board there is a risk of being attacked by a random creature. My thinking is that in the chaos wasteland various creatures are looming around and your warband run a risk of being attacked by one at any time…mwahahahahaaaaa

2. Preparations: 

  • Grid: Divide your gaming board into a grid, e.g. 10 x 6 squares or rectangles.
  • Creature list: Prepare a list of your creatures to be used. E.g.
    1. Giant Snail
    2. Minotaur
    3. Giant Spider
    4. Bestment (x4)
    5. Troll
    6. Zombies (x4)

3. Rules:

Key components of the rule:

  • When any unit enters a new cell of the decided grid, roll a D6. On a 6 you are being attacked.
  • If attacked, roll a new dice. Choose a D4, D6, D10, etc. depending on number of entries in your creature list. E.g. a result of 5 and you are attacked by a troll with the Creature list in above example.
  • The creature moves into close combat with the unit that has moved closest to the center of this cell of the grid.
  • Combat resolved as normal.

A band of dwarf attacked by a Minotaur

Options: I scribbled this down quite quickly and I guess that there are more details to resolve. Here are a few options I thought of:

  • Alternatively to dice rolling, a GM decides where and what to encounter on the fly or have decided this prior to starting the game.
  • It could make sense that an encounter only can take place if the specific grid cell contains some kind of scenery such as a ruin, grove, cave or well. 
  • One could decide that if the same cell is entered again nothing happens if the creature was slain previously. Possible if the creature won, entering that same cell again there is a 100% risk of being attacked. Your choice.
  • Fleeing units may or may not fall under these rules. I would opt for that they are being attacked under these rules…mwahahahahaaaa
  • I stated that on a roll of 6 on a D6 you are being attacked. This should probably be adjusted depending on the size of your gaming board and size and number of cells in the grid.

4. Why?

  • The main advantage in my view is this gives one the opportunity to use any random mini in your collection (or get a reason to paint it) that might not fit any army and never will. The creature list can contain anything. From a Giant to a few snotlings or maybe a dwarf adventure party or why not a few Slanns.
  • Some additional randomness is of course also a lot of fun…mwahahahahaaaa

5. Oh... and by the way 

  • I have no idea if this is already covered by some rules somewhere. Of course role playing use something similar.
  • I got the idea for Realm of Chaos games, but the rules could be used for any kind of game system. Skirmish games seems most suited though

The evidence: This picture taken during one of Ian Millers
many travels to the chaos wasteland clearly shows random
 creatures waiting in ambush.

I am very keen on getting your comments. Do you think this would be fun? Have you tried something similar? What have I missed?

Thx/Don Hans


  1. The ideas would work well for a game with a GM, but it might be trickier for just two opponents to run effectively unless they have time to write down some 'programming' guidelines for how an encounter should behave once it's triggered. Alternatively, if you didn't have a GM available you could run a series of encounters as mini-games before the warband clash. This would enable a bit of narrative to build up and one or both of the warbands could be slightly weakened by their journey.

    1. You are probably right that a GM is the better option (I guess that is always the better option). I think it could work without a GM as well if it is kept simple. My idea is that the creature encountered always move directly into close combat, simulating an ambush. Thus, little “programming” needed.
      Thanks for your thoughts! /Hans

    2. Oh absolutely it could work with two level-headed players, I think (with my opponents in mind) the triggering of encounter creatures would become a sort of meta-game in itself which defeats the object of randomness but that doesn't mean two hardy grognards couldn't have a laugh with this idea.

    3. Hmm...that is true. Could be a risk of that. Maybe if one keeps the probability low for an encounter this could be mitigated /Hans

  2. Very clever idea to use those minis which don't get to play (how about chaos toilets?). Her are my suggestions :
    - No grid but leave on the table a series of token with numbers under
    - beforehand, the GM or the players (2+) affect either loot (weapons, armour, spell scrolls,...) or special encounters (monsters like you said or even tricky bastards like the shaman of the bridge in the monty python holy grail=
    - you put 2+ warbands on the table whose purpose is to get the weapons and magic scrolls.

    This means everybody wants to get the more gear possible with the least enconters possible.
    At the end of the game, most tokens will be unveiled so the warbands will have to fight each other to get the remaining ones OR some cunning bastard can wait for the others to collect them and get them once their number has lowered OR the more violent ones kill everyone and then go to each token alone... Multiple possibilities.

    Would you mind me posting this on the oldhammer forum for further discussion? It really is a very good idea and could be very much fun !

    1. Chaos toilets can be encountered, though very rare, in various ruins in the chaos wasteland. It is the result of a demon specializing in infestation of restroom devices.
      Good idea with the tokens and also adding other encounters than creatures so that these rules not only cripple your warband but could also benefit them…this would evolve into something quite interesting.
      Of course, oldhammer forum would be perfect for this. No worries - I can do the posting myself.

    2. It's actually the first time I think about fluff for the chaos toilets, I like how you see them !
      See you on the forum though... ;)

  3. Posted this idea on the Oldhammer forum:


  4. I think it would be really cool that if you defeat the random monster, then the next unit to enter that zone has to encounter the carrion feeding on the corpse. You could make a secondary "carrion" creature list.

    Great idea!

    1. Nice! - good idea - and spinning off on your idea, maybe even an undead version of the killed creature...
      Thx! /Hans


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