Friday, 2 March 2012

Considering the etiquette of a three-way..

Often i find myself in three-ways. I’m sure a lot of us do.

Okay, my partner is looking at me funny now.. I’m talking of course about those 40k games where there's three of you round a table.

Now it’s me experience that in a three-way the guy in the middle gets it, literally, from both sides.

Okay, schoolboy innuendo aside it is difficult, and often unfair given the deployments that we have in the brb. last time I found myself in this situation i tried something different and I wrote a scenario to try and redress some of the issues.

“His Name Is Mudd.”

Imperial requisitions officer Harry Mudd has been a very naughty boy.

He’s been selling secrets and imperial goods and codes to both the Tau and Eldar. Then hes been selling Tau movements to Eldar, and Eldar to Tau.

Tsk tsk.

Suffice to say he’s a wanted man, and each side wants him alive.. in order to find out just how much he’s divulged.

Harry is currently on Rourke 11, refuelling and about to run into the fringe worlds. He’ll be gone in 5-7 turns.

Each side in the running has to detain Harry and call for extraction. Coincidentally that will take 5 turns…


Table kinda looked like this – everyone was equidistant from Harry at the start of the game


1200 pts per side.

Harry starts by his ship, equal distances from each force.

Harry can be detained my making base contact during a turn. On the next turn Harry will move with the squad or vehicle he has joined (Harry can join any vehicle or unit that is not mindless or subject to stupidity, regardless of transport capacity. Harry is assumed to be unceremoniously grabbed, stowed or otherwise inconvenienced)

Harry cannot be directly targeted (wounds cannot be allocated to him) but he can still be injured by blast (if everyone is hit, so it harry) or template weapons (if he falls directly under the template)

If the unit holding harry is killed, Harry will make a run for his ship. Harry moves 12” per turn at the end of the turn, beginning with the turn he escapes. (if at any time harry is not being detained he moves back to the middle of the board)

Victory conditions

If a unit hold harry for five turns, they successfully extract him and win.

If no one holds him for long enough, whoever has him at the end of the game wins

If no-one holds him at the end of the game, the force that held him longest wins.

If harry is killed, no one wins and the game is a draw

Now don’t get me wrong this wasn't perfect and we made a few tweaks as we went along, but all in all it made a nice change from a normal game, and it had the distinct advantage of making it so the person being “ganged up on” was the guy in possession of Harry, rather than just the guy in the middle.

I also tried it with an oddly shaped table, kinda like a “T”, which worked quite well too.

So yeah.. moral of the story.. it’s your game, write stuff, experiment with stuff. dont be a slave to the brb.

I’d love to hear ways you guys change the game to fit your circumstances. as a guy who teaches game design, it actually does interest me.


  1. Well an adaptation to this which seems to work for odd man games would be to have 2 equal sized forces across from each other and then the 3rd player outflanking a slightly larger force.

    I know it isn't that creative, but it mitigates the damage of ganging up one the player in the middle.

  2. I'm working on an idea. I'll let you know if it comes to fruition...

  3. Three things work for us:

    The guy in the middle has twice the points of the other two players.


    Each player must capture an objective belonging to the player on his right (or left) while defending a second objective against the player on the other side.


    One player deploys in the centre of the top table age. The other two players depoloy in the corners on the bottom table edge.

    Sometimes we combine two or three of the above ideas for a bit of variety.

  4. Two guys with really nice ideas and one with a cryptic @wait and see@.. :)

    love it.

    Thanks guys, it's something I reckon comes up way more than you;d expect in the hobby. and while other games (i'm looking at you Malifaux and you Infinity) are small enough and move far enough away from the regimented "your side" playstyle, 40K seems to miss the boat on this one.

    I might have to have a go at the "protect and defend" Idea there Lead Legion, that might have some serious legs. :)

  5. We often have this problem in our Necromunda games. Last time around we tried out the Dreadfleet approach with a roll off at the start of each turn to see who goes 1st, 2nd, 3rd.

    Not sure how well it would work with 40K mind you...


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