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Thoughts on a day of Apocalypse?

Apocalypse planning

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  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 13,413 posts
  • Location:Ynyshir, Porth
  • Faction: Blood Angels

I'm considering attempting to plan an Apocalypse game for my new group, however, this will only be doable over the course of a day (say 10am - 10pm) with the possibility of setting up, deployment, and pre-game the night before. Obviously I want as many players involved as possible and i have the basic idea in mind from previous events elsewhere. However, a few questions:

  1. How many PL would you suggest per side for a 12 hour game?
  2. Time limit: T1 takes four hours total, T2 takes three, T3 takes two. Plausible? (need to fit in the breaks after all)
  3. Table options are 12x6 or 18x6. However, should it be by 4 considering it's only three turns being played?
  4. Other things to take into account?



  • Charlo likes this


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I almost wonder if you need to limit targeting in some way.... The biggest hold up of time from our last apocalypse was waiting for someone to be free while resolving saves from another part of the board.




  • 375 posts

I would go with the 12 x 6 table.  

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Diocletian Coros

Diocletian Coros


  • 19 posts
  • Location:Near Osnabrück, Germany
  • Faction: Ultramarines & Custodes

The answer is - as so often: It depends ;) 


In our group we normally start by 9 or 10 am and are done around 10 to 11 pm - including two larger breaks for food. Last time we had - IIRC - 17.000 points (not PL) per side BUT we divided the battlefield into two sections. On one side I fought to defend the imperial city with 7k points of Custodes, Ultramarines and Imperial Knights vs. 2x 3.5k points worth Tyranids and Orks. On the other side we had two players also defending the city with 2x 2.5 points of Imperial stuff vs. 3x 3.333 points of Chaos, Necrons and Mechanicum. (Yeah, I know - the lore doesn't fit but that are the armies we have...). So we had essential two different parts but kept the turns on sync. 


What I'm trying to say is: If everyone fights everyone all over the battlefield the match gets really, really slow. You constantly have to wait for someone so you can shoot at him or to shoot at you. What we are trying to do is simply "divide and conquer". Everyone gets a certain role in a more or less defined area. So he fights only 1-2 people at the same time and they mostly fight against that player. So we reduce the waiting time a lot and can manage to get mostly 4-5 turns out of the day (instead of barely 3 in the past). Yes, you can argue that it is fun to fight all over the battlefield and getting involved with everyone but let me tell you: That does not work well with an apocalypse sized battle.


I wouldn't go to strictly into a fixed time slot for the turns if it is just a fun game with buddies. The target should be the fun part of the game and that is killing stuff. Don't make a complicate mission. Just put your armies on the table and beat the :cuss out of each other ;) 


As for table size: We tend to build everything centered around a larger imperial city. This will included about all of the points of the imperials and has some cover on it. It is a standard table size maybe including a couple of inches from the surrounding landscape. As for the attackers, they have 2-3 standard table sizes around the imperial city. Sometimes they have to march along the long edges, sometimes the short. Take into account, that you can only reach so far as a human. So having a large square of 3x3 tables makes it impossible to play on the center since you can't reach there. Make a Z or L or T shape with the tables. Makes it a lot easier.




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I almost wonder if you need to limit targeting in some way.... The biggest hold up of time from our last apocalypse was waiting for someone to be free while resolving saves from another part of the board.


That's when you have teammates roll your saves for you.

Personally, I think they are coming. Like a massive electrified thousand ton ball of barbed wire with hundreds of trapped and frustrated gamers embedded in it, rolling down a hill. "That, Bilbo Baggins, is the sound of inevitability."


Do not suffer your zeal for the Chapter to lead you into argument with others.

Jarl Kjaran Coldheart

Jarl Kjaran Coldheart


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Agreed with having team mates sub for rolls

Apoc is made or broken by the group involved.

I've played games that had around 120,000 points on the board go relatively smooth and 10k games get jammed up over personality conflicts

The right group for such a commitment is vital
  • kernbanks and Diocletian Coros like this
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  • 15 posts

Coldheart is 100% correct, if you have players that act like they are playing ITC 40k it will drag and the fun will get tossed out the window.  APOC is all about showing off your collection, setting it on the table, and then taking it back off - maybe even putting it back on a couple more times (un-ending tide like stratagems). 


With dozens of APOC games under my belt in multiple editions I've developed a method for long ranged 'support' units... if the owner wants them to support another commander (ie shoot at someone not opposite them on the table) then they hand off a card with the number of shots, strength, ap, damage off to the player "calling in the fire" (team mate on the table where the shots are landing) and they resolve it.  This takes a little bit of prep work, but speeds things up A LOT and keeps players where they are supposed to be. 



I bring my 9 basilisks, I set up 3 firing batteries, I have 3 3x5 cards, each card has 3 lines one for each vehicle that looks like this:


BS 4+ 5+ 6+ | HEAVY D6 | S9 | ap-2 | d3 D | roll 2d6 for shots and discard the lowest


I give away 3 guns at a time (you can do less but I'm old school), they shoot them as they see fit, the card is returned in the morale phase and I'll line through 4+ when a vehicle drops a bracket so the next time I give it away they know. 


I do the same for each weapon on my titans, knights, deathstrikes and anything else that can fire long range and ignore LoS.  I also make these type of cards for my fliers, i slide over and do the movement, but hand off the card to the supported commander.  In this case I leave a 3x5 with toughness and save/invul to and the supported guy rolls those saves.




  • 15 posts

As a separate piece, 1 hour caps on player turns is a solid idea.  It only gets really messy when melee starts to get super deep... my groups have typically used the full hour for turns 2 and 3, but typically goes faster on 1 (lots of movement and shooting, but almost no melee) and 4 and 5 (stuff is dying off)...


You can probably even do 45minute caps.  I like the small caps as it forces players to choose what is important to them.  And if they spend 10 minutes considering their shots and don't get into melee then that's on them... it's obvious that the commander was too focused on directing shooting and NOT encouraging his (or her) troops to charge the enemy.

Lord Raven 19

Lord Raven 19


  • 271 posts

How soon will it be?

If not for a while, maybe wait for the GW apocalypse set?

  • kernbanks likes this

Lord Raven19

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  • 879 posts
Bigger table the better, allows movement and wont look like a car park.

We played a 15k per side heresy game recently and had strict 45 minute turns per team.

Encourage movement if you are using objectives, my scenario had 3 objectives per side, one placed in your deployment worth 1VP to you per turn, one in no mans land worth 2VP and one in enemy deployment worth 3VP. So to win the game you need to get out your deployment and attack.

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