Buckle in, this is gonna be a long one.
Now that you’ve seen the Assault Scenario let’s talk about what considerations went into it.
I wanted this scenario to represent an all-out attempt by one party to seize an objective from an opposing force, while bringing heavy weaponry to bear in order to ensure victory. I had a little story written around this scenario for the game day involving the discovery of the entrance to a subterranean facility containing lost Solomon technology. The two teams seek to control the entrance to the facility at all costs, bringing forward powerful weapons in an attempt to annihilate any enemies that might try to enter the ruins. Only when one party has been driven from the field can the other party enter the facility and reap their rewards safely.
The first decision I made was the capture area. I initially considered a round capture zone similar to the Control scenario, however I decided to use a long, rectangular scenario in order to establish the feeling that there is a line in the dirt that each party absolutely must push beyond to ensure victory. I also find that rectangular scenarios are easier to mark on the board without disrupting terrain, we generally just mark the corners with masking tape, but if you are concerned about the sticky tape damaging the surface of your terrain, you can use simple plastic tile spacers available at a local hardware store to mark the corners.
Now we need to answer the question of how big to make the area. This was pretty formulaic actually. I wanted two large based models to be able to stand within the control zone, directly across from each other, without being engaged. Large bases are 50mm, which translates to a little over 2”. This means the minimum thickness for the rectangle had to be 4.5” if I wanted two large models to be able to stand directly across from one another without touching. Then I thought there ought to be enough space for a bit of maneuvering, so I expanded it to 6”, which seems a reasonable round number.
For the width of the zone, I simply decided that it should be the same as the width of the deployment area, this ensures that speedier teams don’t have too much of an advantage over slower teams at getting to positions within the zone that are out of the slower team’s reach. If you deploy at the edges of your deployment zone, you will be able to reach the edges of the scenario zone by running straight forward.
I decided to make it illegal to score on turn one for obvious reasons. Advanced deploy and Infiltration being what they are. This way it is possible for even a team of all 6/10 speed characters to run and charge into the scenario zone before scoring begins.
The canons. These presented me with a challenge. Each cannon needed to be powerful enough to be a significant threat to characters inside the scenario zone, but they couldn’t be so powerful that no one could make it across the board. Originally, they did not have the Manual Activation rule, and instead only had a recharge rate of 1. However, I came to realize that this would mean that the cannon could only fire a special shot twice per game, which was much too weak. I knew I didn’t want it to normally fire on turn one without forcing you to give up advanced deploy positioning, so I created the manual activation rule and bumped it’s recharge to 2 in order to power it up without allowing it to blow away models while they were still positioning to attack the center. This would enable the cannons to fire a special shot on rounds 3, 4, 6 and 7, or fire regular shots every turn starting on round 2. However if you take advantage of advanced deploy, it is possible to gain another round or shooting, enabling the gun to fire special shots on rounds 2, 3, 5 and 6, with a regular shot on 7.
The cannons had to have a range long enough to threaten any model standing in the capture zone, but couldn’t have range long enough to shoot each other, otherwise a match could quickly devolve into the cannons sniping back and forth until one broke. For the same reason, I created the immobile rule to prevent players from dragging their cannon up into range of firing on more distant targets with effects like Tiamat’s World of Wires.
Though I made it immune to all status effects in order to prevent a lucky doom or paralyze attack from disabling it, I also wanted to make sure that factions with lots of defensive or healing abilities wouldn’t have an advantage, thus the immunity to positive statuses and the construct ability. Notice that I didn’t forbid abilities that directly modify the cannons stats. This was intentional, as I wanted to reward players for using the cannon with support characters like Sophia Ilmora to activate them. This gives you a stronger canon, but is also potentially dangerous as aoe attacks targeting the cannon can very quickly cost you your character.
Finally the special abilities had to be created.
I wanted the cannons to have generally poor stats, as they are free long ranged models being added to your party which may or may not be a great boon to your list. However I wanted them to be dangerous to any model approaching. The focused shot gives the canon enough power to do some serious damage to Damage Resistance or high Armor characters, while the explosive shot allows you to bust up groups of enemies with exceptional power. The throw ability on each of these shots also enables you to force enemy models out of the control zone, meaning that your first priority is going to need to be taking down the enemy canon before you can think about seriously contesting the zone.
Anima Tactics Scenarios usually fall into two scoring categories, lots of little objectives that will give you a small number of points while you attempt to edge your opponent in kill points, and very difficult objectives that give you enough points to easily make up for your losses. Since the canons are far away and as difficult to kill as a fairly strong Damage Resistance character, I wanted their point values to reflect the effort needed to kill them. However, I don’t want people to forget that controlling the center is the main objective, and that killing the canon is only one means to that objective. This is why controlling the zone is worth so many points, enough to make up for many losses taken while defending it.