Scenario: Underhive Fight

Warhammer 40K blog

All the cultist/mutants start on the central tower. Scarn and his mercenaries start on the tabletop level, at the edge of the complex.

If you’ve read the battle report, Underhive Fight: A Jason Scarn Adventure, you know that our infamous bounty hunter recently completed a desperate rescue mission to the plague-wracked world of Dozaria. There, he battled a group of Nurgle-worshipping cultists in order to retrieve a Runepriest wanted by the Inquisition.

It was a fun little fight, and it was great to get Jason Scarn on the tabletop for the first time—and actually survive after some heroics. It also was a nice wargaming experience because of of the incredible terrain I played on.

In celebration of this experience, I’ve decided to publish the details of the scenario. I doubt anyone will replay this scenario exactly, but I’m sharing it partly as part of the “historical” records of the Corvus Cluster—and partly to show how an existing scenario can be modified to fit a narrative battle of your own imagination. (Not that most of you don’t already know how to do that.)

You see, I wanted to play at my local Games Workshop store and take advantage of its very impressive collection of industrial terrain. But what would be the setting? Did I want Space Marines fighting Tau? Rogue Trader Adeon Drake seeking treasure?

I finally decided to go with my new bounty hunter, Jason Scarn. As a bounty hunter, his skill is finding people, so it made sense that the Inquisition would, if they didn’t kill him outright as a criminal, force him to use his skills for the benefit of the Imperium.

As I play Shadow War: Armageddon, I took a look at the game’s list of scenarios and decided upon Rescue. It made sense. There’s only one objective, and I could easily rationalize that the objective was a captive. I was intrigued by the world of Dozaria, under attack by Chaos, and I had a sizable collection of cultists. So the setting was set. I just had to write up a narrative story to create the setting for a good skirmish game.

Once my narrative was written, I created special charts with all the appropriate stats for the combatants, and I included a “fluff” briefing (see below).

Each force cost approximately 840 points. To respect Games Workshop’s intellectual property, the actual stats and special rules of the scenario are not listed here. There is enough information provided below, however, to allow you to use a copy of Shadow Wars to recreate the scenario as played.

As to terrain, there is no mandatory setup. Just deploy the cultists in the middle of the table, and feel free to make the terrain as dense as you can.

As I’ve noted, I took advantage of the industrial terrain at my local GW store. Yet, the scenario would work just as well, for example, in a desert setting, with the prisoner in a tent or immobile vehicle, surrounded by mesas, sand dunes, and limestone ruins.

(The point is to find the narrative story that intrigues you—and then use the appropriate terrain. Just make sure to provide both sides with lots of cover so it’s a fight of tactics over die rolling.)

One addition note: If you examine the Kill team rosters in Shadow War, you’ll notice I used some “as if” miniatures. For example, the cultists uses the Chaos Space Marines list. But I don’t have any Chaos Marines (or a Chaos Spawn), but I made due, as the information below makes clear.—TheGM.

Underhive Fight:

A Jason Scarn Adventure

(Scarn Player)

Warhammer 40K blog

Bounty hunter Jason Scarn

A bounty hunter of some renown in the criminal underworld, Jason Scarn has come to the attention of Inquisitor Georgina Serillian as a potentially useful, albeit reluctant, operative of the Imperial Inquisition.

Called to account for his occasional blurring of the lines of Imperial law, Scarn has been invited by Lady Serillian to “volunteer” for the occasional “odd job” for the Inquisition. The alternative: Be brought to trial for crimes against the Imperium.

Thus, Scarn now finds himself on the war-torn world of Dozaria. Once a flourishing industrial planet, Dozaria is a hellish world inflicted with the Kassig Plague, which leaves its victims little more than mindless, hyper-violent corpses.

On the planet’s surface, the noble Blood Angels Space Marine chapter battles traitorous Astartes, heretical cultists, and hordes of “zombies” in an effort to keep the world under the control of the Imperium.

Scarn’s role in this war is less apparent, if no less dangerous. He must infiltrate the underhive of an embattled hive city and rescue an Adeptus Mechanicus technician—a low-level Runepriest.

Why? The Runepriest is the sole survivor of a Mechanicus facility that was seeking a vaccine for the Kassig Plague. The facility was overrun by Death Guard Space Marines, who long ago turned away from the light of the Emperor. But, before he escaped, the Runepriest downloaded all the facility’s research to his personal cogitator.

To “help” you in your mission, the Lady Serillian has generously provided you with the services of one of her elite stormtroopers, Sergeant Noguru. No doubt she also is being sent along to ensure that Scarn doesn’t go through the motions of a rescue and leave when the risks grow unreasonable.

The Mission: Rescue (as per the rule book)

All rules of Shadow War: Armageddon apply. The stormtrooper, in an exception to the rules, is equipped with a grenade launcher and bolt pistol.

All of Scarn’s forces use the stats for the Astra Militarum Veteran Kill Team.

Kill Team members: Scarn, 6 x mercenaries, Sgt. Ninguru.

  • Scarn is treated as veteran sergeant. He is equipped with carapace armor, bolt pistol, frag grenades, and assault blade. He has the Nerves of Steel skill.
  • Mercenary #1 and #2 are veteran guardsmen. They are equipped with flak armor, lasguns, and combat blades.
  • Mercenary #3 through #5 are guardsmen. They are equipped with flak armor, lasguns, and combat blades.
  • Mercenary #6, a sniper, is a special weapons specialist. He is equipped with sniper rifle, flak armor, combat blade. His rifle is equipped with a red-dot laser sight.
  • Sgt. Noguru, Inquisition stormtrooper, is a Militarum Tempestus scion (special operative). She is equipped with carapace armor, frag and krak grenades, bolt pistol, and combat blade.

Victory Conditions: As per the Rescue scenario.


Underhive Fight:

A Jason Scarn Adventure

(Nurgle Player)

Warhammer 40K blog


For the glory of Nurgle, the planet Dozaria has been blessed with the Kassig Plague, a disease that destroys the mind and leaves its victims as little more than mindless creatures.

Unable to care for themselves, victims’ physical forms quickly degenerate, leaving them looking like walking corpses. No wonder the unenlightened citizens of the Imperium refer to these blessed souls as “zombies.”

Your masters have called you away from the battles raging upon the planet’s surface. You’ve been sent into the underhive of a city to guard an Adeptus Mechanicus technician, a Runepriest.

Why? He was one of many with the audacity to seek to cure the plague and undo Nurgle’s gift. The Adeptus Mechanicus facility where he worked has been destroyed, but this technician escaped and may have taken valuable information with him.

The Runpriest ultimately was caught. You are blessed with the responsibility to  guarding this technician until your masters have time to interrogate him.

Under no circumstances may you kill this technician, even if there’s a danger he will escape or be rescued.

Do not question this odd command. If he escapes, it is Nurgle’s will. After all, perhaps he is infected and will carry Nurgle’s gift to new worlds? Or perhaps his data is flawed and will lead the Tech Priests in a fruitless line of research? Or perhaps this is all a game of the gods …   and what excitement is there in a game if you can’t lose?

The truth is not for you to know.

The Mission: Rescue

All rules of Shadow War: Armageddon apply. The aspiring champion and Charos Marine gunner are, for narrative purposes (and lack of appropriate models), replaced with “as if” cultist figures. A deformed mutant can be used if you don’t have a Chaos Spawn.

Demonia has the Mark of Nurgle special rule.

All Nurgle forces use the stats for the Chaos Space Marine Kill Team.

Kill Team members: Demonia, 8 x cultists, and giant mutant.

  • Demonia is treated as an aspiring champion. He is equipped with cobbled-together power armor, bolt pistol, and power sword.
  • Cultists #1 through #7 are treated as Chaos cultists. They are equipped with improvised armor, autoguns, and combat blades.
  • Cultist #8 is treated as a Chaos gunner. He is equipped with improvised power armor, flamer, and combat blade.
  • The Giant Mutant is considered a Chaos Spawn (special operative). It has the Crushing Blow skill. It is equipped with what I call a “demon blade” to justify its d6 attacks.

Victory Conditions: If your opponent flees the table due to a Bottle Test (morale check), you win. You may not move the objective (Runepriest) once it is deployed.

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our wargaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.

Categories: Scenarios, Shadow War

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