Sunday, December 16th, 2008, HobbytownUSA Dallas will host a special year-ending Apocalypse multi-player mega-battle, with very specific participation conditions: The Crash of The Scarlet Hope!
A notorious Rogue Trader, Ormin del'Trieste, made his fortune by his swashbuckling willingness to gamble...and his outrageous rate of succeeding at high risks. His interstellar frigate the Scarlet Hope was faster at sublight than its size and registered powerplant should ever have allowed, and its accuracy and efficiency translating to and from the Warp were the stuff of legend. The rumour, traded in downhive bars on starports from Tarantum to St Josmane's Hope, was always that del'Trieste had worked some devil's bargain on some fringe world beyond Imperial authority, and was powering the Scarlet Hope with an advanced form of xenos drive.
Now, however, above the Imperial starport world of Yorke's Drift, Ormin del'Trieste's luck has run out: his vessel, the Scarlet Hope, has mysteriously fallen from the sky, devastating an Imperial city planetside. del'Trieste's fate is as yet unknown--but scans from active augurs onscene have revealed what appears to be the warpcore of the starship's secret powerplant, still *intact* and recoverable in the ruins on the planet's surface.
Every race in the 41st millennium is scrambling whatever force they might have in the area, to try to claim the prize first. Who will successfully brave the ruins of a ravaged city, the unknown perils of an active shipwreck, and the hastily-mustered forces of their enemies, to claim the prize at the heart of the Crash of the Scarlet Hope?
To participate, players *must* be at the HobbytownUSA Dallas Game Hall no later than 12:30pm Sunday, December 16th with a force consisting of *one* of the following:
- An official Apocalypse Datasheet Formation totalling no more than 900 points;
- A single Flyer of any type and the rules for its use;
- A single Superheavy vehicle of any type and the rules for its use;
- A single Gargantuan creature of any type and the rules for its use;
- Any one Warhammer 40K vehicle of the player's choice;
In instances where there are Apocalypse rules for vehicles, flyers or monsters *and* some pre-existing ruleset (ie ForgeWorld or VDR rules), the vehicle, flyer or monster *must* be played by the new Apocalypse rules. If no Apocalypse version has been printed at the time of play, the pre-existing ruleset may be used, but must be cleared with the event Organizer, Outrider Chris, in advance (doing so on this list is fine; if it is a ForgeWorld vehicle simple notification will probably suffice, if it is a VDR creation the rules will probably need to be submitted for vetting first).
To whichever above force choice the player brings, the player may add up to 1 Character and 1 Troop unit from the most appropriate codex, so long as the total does not exceed 900 points. A player bringing a Baneblade, for example, could choose to add an Imperial commissar leading an Armoured Fist unit in a Chimera, as escort (remember, Apocalypse participation requires no Force Organization chart), or a player using a Space Marine Suppression Force could add a Techmarine and a Tactical Squad in a Razorback; this is to represent that--although the haste with which the races are assembling the ad hoc forces they are throwing at the wreckage may result in unusual compositions--some leader and core force will almost always be found to build such a force around.
As always, something like this is going to draw Inquisitors like magnets; depending on that Inquisitor's Ordo and relative puritan- or radicalism, an Inquisitor would be a likely Character attachment to almost *any* force descending on the crashsite (radical daemonhunters leading Tides of Spawn they *think* they control, radical alienhunters thrown in with Eldar or Tau, for their own ulterior purpose, etc; Apocalypse is fertile ground for exploring these non-standard corners of the 40K universe...and the perfect opportunity for a player of a non-Imperial race who has always wanted one of those cool Inquisitor pewters).
Any 40K race is eligible to participate in this mega-battle. There are Datasheets in the core Apocalypse book or on GW's website in the Apocalypse section for almost every 40K army; or *any* player--even a complete beginner to the hobby--could choose the option of bringing a single vehicle model to the event and participating (in fact, if you have friends who have considered the hobby but never played before, this event is the *perfect* chance for them to do so--one vehicle model of their choice, purchased from HTUD with a month to assemble and paint it, and they are in!). Forces will be aligned the day of the battle prior to deployment, likely along the traditional axes of Forces of Order versus Forces of Disorder as featured in 2006's Medusa V campaign...but even that may see twists, as the furious pursuit of the Scarlet Hope's secret creates strange alliances!
HTUD is well-stocked in anticipation of this event, with Baneblades, Land Raider Terminuses, Vindicator Linebreaker formations and Basilisk Batteries all in stock as of this writing. Moreover, with a month to prepare, they can special order virtually any kit a player might need to expand elements of his current army into an Apocalypse Datasheet formation: examine the various formations in the rulebook and online which qualify for this event (some, which amount to too many collective points, will *not* be legal this time) and your collection to see which look most advantageous for completing the objective successfully, easiest to build upon what your currently have, or both, and jump into Apocalypse with the formation you find most appealing.
The smaller per-player forces should help speed event turns along, plus which Strategic Assets (other than any which come with the Datasheet formation you choose) will be specific to the event, strictly limited and assigned prior to deployment by the Organiser. To facilitate completion of the event, HTUD has promised a member of staff who will keep the Game Hall open late on the day, as well.
This will be the climactic event of 2007--*and* what transpires that day on-table will directly and dramatically affect events in the HTUD Game Hall in 2008. Get into HTUD and see Brad, Ted or Lee right now to get your Apocalypse formation chosen, and construction and painting underway. Grave secrets--galaxy-threatening secrets--lie awaiting discovery amidst the smoldering ruins planetside; which army will walk away with possession of the mystery of...The Crash of The Scarlet Hope!