Tuesday, February 14

Survival Mode

Hello all, In my quest to bring you interesting and different articles, not like those "Just for fun" picture posts, I have been reminded to talk about one of the fun training aids that I use every now and then.

Drum roll please... Now entering SURVIVAL MODE!!!

What the crap is this? Well let me tell you, first it all starts with learning the game years ago. Just to remember the stat lines and procedure of the game, my mentor Dave would put me through all sorts of crazy play testing.

One that stuck with me was a type of test we called survival mode; yes it's what you might think of if you spend too much time playing video games.

OK, I'm some what interested, go on. Umm...Thanks I will. Lets start with the basic idea, take one unit of your liking and face it off against a control group. Sounds simple right? The results can show some interesting stats and help prepare you for knowing how match ups on the battle field might go.

Lets start simple. For our control group I am taking a 10 man Chaos Marine unit with a Champ using a sword or a fist. And our challenger...In the blue corner, weighing in at 275 points, bringing the Titansword, the supreme grand master daemon blaster..Lord Kaaaaldor DRAaaaiGOoooo!!

Here we see the big man himself, his enemy in front of him, and being given the honor of first turn. Draigo uses Sanctified Flame and charges, we go through the rounds as normal giving a fresh unit of Marines every time they expire.

Bla, Bla, Bla...What does that show us. Well after running this only twice, once against a power weapon then a power fist, we see some interesting results. In the first test Draigo made good for six and a half game turns killing 35 Marines! Never taking a perils and only missing one hammer hands roll.

In his second try, verses the fist unit, he took out 21 Marines lasting to the top of round 4. Also taking 2 perils tests and failing each.

In total taking 23 psy tests, failing 3 and taking perils on 2 of them. Not bad for the 56 dead Marines. It should also be noted that the Marines only failed one morale test and the 2 perils were back to back in the start of the second game.

Next up, the guy you love to hate or hate to love, prime minister of the sinister, AaaaBaaadDooon the Despoiler!!! Weighing in at an equal 275 points, bringing with him the daemon sword Drach'nyen and the Talon of Horus.

Ok same test, Abaddon verses the CMS units. We can get right to the results, the first major difference we see is the fact that Abaddon never got past the bottom of game turn two. But with his high number of attacks was able to force failed moral tests 5 times destroying 51 Marines in total. Interesting side note, he failed his daemon weapon roll twice, failed to save each of them and they were back to back in the second game. You don't get results like that from math hammer.

So each IC here shows that they can put the smack down and each have draw backs that can end their roll. Draigo can stand toe to toe and go the distance while Abaddon is a bit more fragile but burns a hotter.

It looks like this after 2 games each:

# of Kills, Draigo-56 / Abaddon-51

Failed moral tests, D-1 / A-5

Total game turns of combat, D-11 and half / A-4

Wounds inflicted on themselves, D-2 / A-2

Now you know what must happen... Head to head action!!!

Thats right folks, its the ultimate show down of good vs evil.

Draigo Vs Abaddon in the battle for warmaster of the universe.

The box is locked, the lights are on, its robot fighting time!!!

Results...I must know, brain..cant..wait..Grrrr... Ok, Ok giving each a starting game on the charge we rolled it out. Game one has Draigo on the charge but sees him fall at the bottom of round 2. Still he did put 3 wounds on Abaddon. Game 2 gives Abaddon the charge, yet Draigo is able to hold off the attacks and get the KO in the top of round 2.

Were now in sudden death, tied up 1-1, we roll for the charge on game 3 and it goes to Chaos. Abaddon charges and this time he is all about the business inflicting 4 wounds on Draigo at the bottom of round one.

Yes, that's true Smokey, he did get knocked out. But a good fight was had and we can see some interesting and useful facts come out of these tests that might help with the quick decisions that need to be made on the fly when the real battle starts.

So that's the idea, sometimes its good to put our favorite units to the test, see how they stack up, and rolling it out is way better at showing the randomness of the dice verses just math hammering. Plus it's just fun to do if you have the time and can help drive home special rules and timing that you might need to remember in the future.

If I'm training for an upcoming event or just wanting to test the limits of a new unit I always revert back to this from time to time. It's always fun if nothing else.

Now go get your roll on!!



  1. Wouldn't it take a long time to go through all that ? I mean personally I'd rather spend a few hours playing a game of 40k and getting some enjoyment out of it rather than this sort of tedious testing?

  2. Sure, playing a full game is more fun, but this I can do alone while my kids build Legos next to me

    1. Wait, you mean you don't play 10 hour 20,000 pt apocalypse battles by yourself?

  3. Duke, why aren't you showing your kids up by building Legos better than them? That's what I plan on doing.

  4. I can't play Legos cause im a WAAC Lego builder.

  5. I am pretty sure that WAAC lego building is how this happened...


    I gotta say, I love lego's, and for those of you that havent tried it, the Heroica lego game is a pretty fun and simple fantasy/rpg game, especially for kids.

  6. I should try this game and then pound my kids into the ground so they can learn how to cut it at top tables ;)

    Seriously though, I would like to try this game.

    1. I play it with Zane; be careful, because it plays fast and suddenly you'll have burned all your free time with enthusiastic children - quite a calamity. ;)

    2. (Que overly sarcastic tone)
      Well, crap... Maybe Ill just have them dig holes in the back yard and then fill them. Cause Im building MEN, no time for enthusiasm here, only the bitter reality that the world is WAAC and your a baby seal.
      (end sarcastic tone)

      How old is your guy? My oldest is 6, but I think he could pick up the rules... The hardest part would be keeping my younger son from smashingg the game board as he is want to do when we play chess/checkers/any other game, lol.


  7. So back on topic, It only took a short time to do this exercise. We didnt have time for a full game so we were just playing around.

    Having a friend to help roll dice makes it alot faster, sometimes I even do it with friends over the phone. Rolling dice, talking stats and looking at results.

    Also I use a chart to keep track of the action so its easy to go back and collect data.

    1. You have given me an idea... to the email account!

    2. Then my work was a success!!