The Leviathan Rises

Leviathan up Close

Want to skip all the conjecture and see the Leviathan rules? Scroll to the bottom!

Campaigns are a great way to band your local Dropzone Commander community together while creating new, interesting missions for everyone to play. They can add a strong sense of cohesion to each battle, and give players room to let their hair down and play non-competitive missions that are focused on fun and experimentation. Narrative, my favorite part of most tabletop games, helps wrap the whole thing up to create a beautiful wargaming package!

We came up with the Leviathan campaign by comparing Desolators from Dropzone Commander to Reapers from Mass Effect. There are more than a few obvious visual and functional similarities, and they’re damn cool. The only sizeable Reaper toy I could find cost hundreds of dollars, but I loved the idea of putting something just as large and imposing on the field.

I originally planned to buy a crab toy and start cutting and gluing, but Chris stepped up and created the Leviathan as it exists now. It’s a sweet scratch-built piece using multiple Dark Eldar pieces and other odds and ends. It’s plenty badass and inspired some of our current campaign rules.

The goal of the Leviathan campaign is to have every non-Scourge faction focus on destroying a single, monstrously powerful enemy. Leviathan is meant to last many campaign days and require teamwork within each faction. Instead of tossing a damage point-soak at each faction in turn and beating them over the head with it, we designed campaign intel (CI) points as a form of currency that can be picked up and spent to do interesting things to Leviathan and give attackers an edge.

With A10, 32 DP, and a plethora of scary weapons, Leviathan is a beast on its own and no player is advised to face it without spending campaign intel to hamper it one way or another. The most basic function of CI is to allow players to target certain parts of Leviathan. They can choose what they want to attempt to knock out, essentially. If a player doesn’t target a specific feature, they can only attempt to damage Leviathan’s main DP pool. There are less than 10 unique features on Leviathan that can be targeted such as its armor, engines, different weapons, and more.

Leviathan far away

Originally we imagined campaign intel could only be spent on targeting and interfering with systems on Leviathan. But, in the first two games where it showed up, not much happened and players felt like the missions didn’t fully address Leviathan’s presence on the table. Afterward we decided to make it a lot scarier, vow to bind Leviathan’s existence on the table to victory conditions, and give players more context for fighting the thing.

Aside from Leviathan itself, players are now tasked with preventing the factories that produce Leviathan’s components from continuing their evil work. Players must spend campaign intel points to attack these facilities, and they can either attempt to destroy them, capture them, or sabotage them. Whatever the choice, success means taking the factory out of the picture.

We tried to keep player engagement at the center of the campaign. Without consequences, you end up stringing each mission together with off-the-cuff narrative. That’s not a bad way to play, but a game like Dropzone Commander doesn’t provide as much narrative punch as other wargames might. That’s not a bad thing, but I think Dropzone Commander calls for more emphasis on the mechanics of the campaign to keep players interested.

The main threat right now, aside from possibly facing off against a Death Star crab, is its possible appearance in future campaigns. Not that we’ll ever shove this thing down everyone’s throats just because, but the idea is to provide enough impetus for each faction to band together and get the dirty work done to prevent more Leviathans from popping up later on.

Fielding ideas and suggestions has been an integral part to making the Leviathan campaign fun for everyone. If you have any thoughts of your own, comment below or send ‘em our way!

Levi4

Campaign Rules

Spending Campaign Intel.

Campaign intel is cumulative and shared between members of each faction. Spending campaign intel before each game is entirely at the discretion of Leviathan’s opponent (on Saturday campaign days), but members of each faction are encouraged to communicate before game day on how they would like to spend their points.

Fighting on Tuesday Nights

Every player is invited to play a game of Dropzone Commander on Tuesday nights. There are two ways you can play:

  • Campaign Intel Mission:
    • If you would like to play on a Tuesday night and can’t or don’t want to fight the Scourge in a specific match, you will be able to play a game featuring campaign intel. Simply set up a game with an opponent, choose any scenario out of either rulebook, and take turns placing no more or less than six pieces of campaign intel on the board with your opponent. Keep them 6” away from table edges and 12” away from other points.
    • There are no restrictions on the number of Campaign Intel Grab missions you may play on a given Tuesday night, or in general, but we reserve the right to affect results if players are believed to be unfairly tampering or otherwise abusing the system for the sake of preserving a fun, engaging campaign for all EndGame Dropzone Commander players.
    • If you play a Tuesday night Campaign Intel Grab mission, you and your opponent must email Stephen for the game and its results to count.
  • Unique Scourge Mission
    • Players may choose to fight Leviathan or spend Campaign Intel to take part in a special mission (rules for spending points are below).
    • Requests to play must be made no later than Monday evening at midnight the night before you wish to play. Requests made any later will be taken on a case by case basis at the discretion of the campaign organizers.
    • Please note: We will make best efforts to provide at least two Scourge players every first and third Tuesday of each month.

If you are scheduled to fight Leviathan on a campaign day, you must email me your campaign intel trade-in choices on the night before game day. If you are fighting Leviathan and do not email me the night before with your selections, you will not be able to spend points for your game.

Campaign Intel Trade-Ins

  • (1) Target unique feature
    • Allow faction to target any specific unique feature per game.
    • May spend multiple campaign intel trade-ins to target multiple features per game.
  • (2) Delay Entry
    • Delay Leviathan’s entry per turn per campaign intel point spent. Note that this does affect the Ion Maelstrom Generator’s charge time since it begins charging on the turn Leviathan enter the board.
  • (3) Negate experimental weapon
    • Deactivate Leviathan’s experimental weapon for a single game.
  • (3) Negate claws
    • Deactivate Leviathan’s claws for a single game
  • (3) Negate plasma tail
    • Deactivate Leviathan’s plasma tail for a single game

Special Mission Trade-Ins

  • (4) Attempt to destroy Leviathan unique feature factory
    • There are 8 factories that produce each of Leviathan’s unique features; one for each feature, two for its armor. Spending 4 CI lets you attempt to destroy one of them. Successfully destroying a unique feature factory prevents Leviathan from ever repairing that feature beyond using its repair systems.
  • (5) Attempt to capture Leviathan unique feature factory
    • There are 8 factories that produce each of Leviathan’s unique features; one for each feature, two for its armor. Spending 5 CI lets you attempt to capture one of them. Successfully capturing a unique feature factory will generate 3 campaign intel per week. However, the Scourge have the option of attempting to retake this factory.
  • (3) Attempt to steal Campaign Intel from another faction
    • Spend 3 CI to attempt to steal CI from another faction. Mission types and rules on how much CI you can steal will vary, but needless to say, we can’t force anyone to accept! The CI won’t be considered spent until the actual game takes place, and defenders will also be allowed the chance to steal CI from the attacker.
  • (6) Attempt to sabotage Leviathan unique feature factory
    • There are 8 factories that produce each of Leviathan’s unique features; one for each feature, two for its armor. Spending 6 CI lets you attempt to sabotage one of them. Successfully sabotaging a unique feature factory will deal 8 damage to Leviathan’s general DP pool if he returns to the factory to restore a destroyed unique feature..
  • (6) Spring a trap
    • Spend 6 campaign intel to launch a special mission in which you will be able to deal up to 8 possible damage to Leviathan’s general DP pool using unique rules and/or terrain.
  • (6) Attempt to destroy a Leviathan-friendly starport
    • There are three starports capable of bringing the Leviathan off-world and onto the front lines (i.e.: future campaigns). Spending 6 intel allows you the opportunity to attempt to destroy one of them.
  • (12) Attempt to destroy a piece of the Leviathan fabrication facility.
    • There are four quadrants that compose the Leviathan fabrication facility. This is where each unique feature is collected and put together. Spending 12 CI allows you to attempt destroying one fourth of the facility.
    • NOTE: If multiple players, no matter the faction, choose to spend 12 CI as well to attempt a joint strike, each player will attack one fourth of the facility but they will earn TBD bonuses for doing so.
      • If a UCM player and a PHR player agree on a joint strike, they must each spend 12 CI to attack. If three UCM players wish to launch a joint strike on 3/4s of the facility, they must spend 36 CI in one batch.
    • Destroying the Leviathan fabrication facility prevents any further Leviathan’s from being built. There will never be two at the same time, but until this facility is destroyed, a new Leviathan will appear after each one is destroyed. This will carry over in a limited capacity to future campaigns if it is not destroyed by the end of the 2015 Leviathan campaign.

Unit Rules

Faction Rotation

Leviathan will face each faction in turn: UCM, Shaltari, PHR, Resistance

Leviathan Base Stats

A

MV

CM

DP

PTS

TYPE

CATEGORY

COHESION

LZ

10

9”

A

32

N/A

AIRCRAFT

COMMAND

STANDARD

N/A

Special: Priority Target, Too Big to Fail, Imposing Presence, Battlefield Wisdom

Priority Target: Leviathan is so large and distinct, every non-Scourge force has calibrated all available weapons to track and fire on it. Weapons without the AA rule may fire at Leviathan with an AC modifier of 2+. Weapons with the special rule Flame may not target or shoot at Leviathan. Note that the Ares battlefield scanner special rule does NOT apply to Leviathan as their weapons are configured for ground fire, not AA fire. They are still subject to the +2 AC modifier.

Too Big to Fail: Leviathan’s structure is so monstrous, even the most powerful weapons are unable to critically damage its systems. No successful roll to damage Leviathan may ever add an additional point of damage for rolling two higher than the necessary result. Devastator weapons can only inflict a maximum of 2 pts of damage per roll to damage.

Imposing Presence: When in proximity to a Focal Point, Leviathan always counts as having a higher points-value than contesting enemy units no matter how high their cumulative points value is. Leviathan’s footprint, energy fields, and psychological impact are so great that non-Scourge units are unable to hold ground in close proximity to the Scourge monstrosity.

Battlefield Wisdom: Leviathan’s architecture is new and unique among the Scourge, but its systems will become more efficient over time. The Ion Maelstrom Generator’s “Slow Charge” special rule will change throughout the campaign in the following way:

  • Game 1-4        = Roundup phase after 6 turns on the board.
  • Game 5-6        = Roundup phase after 5 turns on the board.
  • Game 7-8        = Roundup phase after 4 turns on the board.
  • Game 9           = Roundup phase after 3 turns on the board. (2 shots per game)
  • Game 10         = Roundup phase after 2 turns on the board. (3 shots per game)

Leviathan Unique Features

  • Engines
    • Destroying engines forces Leviathan to move 2” per turn.
  • Ion Maelstrom Generator
E SH AC R(F) R(C) MF ARC SPECIAL
13 1 3+ 6” F/S/R Slow Charge, Divine Wind

Slow Charge: The Ion Maelstrom Generator requires long periods of time to charge. This weapon can only be fired during the roundup phase at the end of the sixth consecutive turn on the board.

Divine Wind: The Ion Maelstrom Generator hits every vehicle, infantry base, and structure that are in range simultaneously.

  • Serrated Claws (right)
E SH AC R(F) R(C) MF ARC SPECIAL
10 1 4+ CC CC 6” F Dual Wield, Long Reach

Dual Wield: Serrated Claws (right) have 3 DP, and may be targeted simultaneously with Serrated Claws (left) by a single Campaign Intel point spend. Each weapon is treated as a distinct target for the purposes of targeting, shooting, and damaging.

Long Reach: The Serrated Claws (right) treats units that are in base contact with its flight stand as being in CC range. Despite being 6” off the ground, Leviathan has the mobility and reach to damage units directly below it.

  • Serrated Claws (left)
E SH AC R(F) R(C) MF ARC SPECIAL
10 1 4+ CC CC 6” F Dual Wield, Long Reach

Dual Wield: Serrated Claws (right) have 3 DP, and may be targeted simultaneously with Serrated Claws (left) by a single Campaign Intel point spend. Each weapon is treated as a distinct target for the purposes of targeting, shooting, and damaging.

Long Reach: The Serrated Claws (right) treats units that are in base contact with its flight stand as being in CC range. Despite being 6” off the ground, Leviathan has the mobility and reach to damage units directly below it.

  • Prehensile Plasma Lance
E SH AC R(F) R(C) MF ARC SPECIAL
11 3 4+ 12” 12” 6” F/S/R Strafe
  • Experimental Weapon
E SH AC R(F) R(C) MF ARC SPECIAL
1 3+ 6” 6” 6” F/S/R Strange Pulse, Cumbersome AA, Radioactive Force, Unpredictable

Strange Pulse: The Experimental Weapon targets all units, regardless of line of sight or types of cover, within 6” of the center of Leviathan’s base. This also includes Scourge units. Infantry within structures may not be targeted, even if they’re on the wall, but units within terrain features may be targeted.

Cumbersome AA: The experimental weapon behaves as though it had the AA special rule except that it may not reaction fire.

Radioactive Force: The Experimental Weapon negates all forms of active saves. The Experimental Weapon is an intrusive energy blast, not a fast-moving, damaging weapon. Active countermeasures are not capable of reacting to it.

Unpredictable: Before each turn begins, roll a D6 to determine which of the following effects the Experimental Weapon uses.

  • Dense Mass: The hit squad may only move at half their MV value until the end of their next activation.
  • Havoc Aim: The hit squad, during their next activation, adds +2 to their AC value and must fire at a random unit, enemy or friendly, within range. Randomize as you see fit, but if you cannot agree on a method, number each squad in range and roll to choose.
  • Levitation: Until the end of their next activation, the hit squad is treated as being 6” higher than their current height. Aerial units are included, and ground units are treated as being at height 0”. The squad may not move but may still attempt to fire. Levitated units can only be shot at with weapons using the AA special rule. AA weapons may reaction fire against units only during their initial transition to a levitated state. Remember to account for range from their new location.
  • Teleport: The hit squad must be moved 6” away using a directional dice. If the target location is inside of an impassible terrain feature or building, the unit is moved the shortest distance possible away from the feature or building to avoid being placed within it. While units cannot be teleported into buildings, infantry can be transported out of buildings provided the the Experimental Weapon is in range and the infantry have gone to the wall as per the core Dropzone rules.
  • Translucent: Until the end of their next turn, every unit’s A value in the squad is halved. The target squad also receives passive countermeasures (+3).
  • Time Dilation: The target squad’s next activation must take place during the roundup phase of the turn in which it would have been able to activate. The squad gains 6+ active countermeasures until it’s next activation.
  • Armor
    • Each time the armor is destroyed, Leviathan’s A value decreases by one to a minimum of 1.
  • Repair systems
    • Any destroyed unique feature repairs and returns on the third mission after its destruction. (EG: Game 1 = feature destroyed, Game 2 and 3 = feature inoperable, Game 4 = feature operational.)
    • Once the repair systems are destroyed, Leviathan cannot repair itself.
      • Unique features do not repair between games unless fully destroyed. EG: If a unique feature is brought to one DP and never hurt again, it remains at one DP.

Unique Feature Special Rules

  • All unique features use the same armor value as Leviathan’s current armor value.
  • All unique features have 6 DP.
  • Damage to unique features are cumulative between games.
  • Note that Serrated Claws (left) and Serrated Claws (right) may both be chosen as a target by spending a single Campaign Intel point, but each one only has 3 DP and must be independently targeted for the purposes of hitting and damage.
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5 thoughts on “The Leviathan Rises

  1. The campaign days are great fun, guys! I’ve never done one before and I have to say that I like the reduced pressure compared to tournaments. Thanks for running them!

    Like

  2. Thanks for the article, Mike! Very interesting stuff, very creative.

    Are all campaign games on your campaign nights 1,500 points, or are other points levels allowed?

    Can players arrange to play a campaign game on a different night of the week during the current campaign “turn”? Or can they only be played on Tuesday nights?

    I’m sure I’ll have more questions, but that’s it for now!…

    J.D.

    Like

  3. Hi J.D. We usually play the campaign once every other month or so on a Saturday, but we’ve recently started trying to get people to play on their own on Tuesday nights. 1,500 is the default, but the points are really up to Stephen. It’s totally fine if people want to play larger or smaller games on their own.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Raising Leviathan | Rolling Hot

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