Field Test: Light the Beacons!

Posted by Chris Hobday on

In this week's Field Test, we present a new Warhammer 40,000 mission in which players compete to either restore a doomed world's powerful psychic shield, or preventing that world's salvation!

warhammer 40k mission light beacons

The battle takes place on a ravaged world dangling on the edge of terrifying rift in realspace. Once, huge towering beacons provided a focus for a psychic shield against the foul energies of the warp, but now the beacons have dimmed. As one force seeks to reactivate these beacons before the world is destroyed, the other stands in its way.

The Armies

Both players select a Battle-Forged army to an agreed points limit.

The Battlefield

Create the battlefield and set up the terrain. Either agree with your opponent which of you will be the Attacker and which will be the Defender, or roll dice to randomly determine your roles. The Attacker will be tasked with lighting the beacons, whilst the Defender will try to stop the Attacker. Once this has been determined, each player rolls a dice. Whoever rolls highest decides which player will place a beacon first. Take turns with your opponent in placing 4 beacons on the battlefield. Each beacon must be at least 6” from a side table edge, within 12” of the centre line of the battlefield and 9” from another beacon. This means that beacons may be within the Defender’s deployment zone.


The player who placed the first beacon will start deploying first. Take turns to place 3 units within the allocated deployment zone. Players must always attempt to place 3 units when it is their turn to do so, until they can no longer deploy this number of units because all of their units are either placed in reserve or on the table. 

This mission uses the following deployment map. Based on a 48” by 48” battlefield, the Defender’s deployment zone is 15” deep from the table edge, but the Defender may not deploy within 9” of a side edge. The Attacker may deploy up to 9” onto the battlefield.

light beacons deployment art of war studios warhammer 40k

First Turn

In this scenario, the Attacker always goes first. The Defender may not attempt to seize the initiative.

Hunker Down (Special Stratagem)

In this game, the Defender is prepared for the coming assault and has access to this stratagem.

40k stratagem art of war studios

Lighting and Deactivating Beacons

At the start of the game, the 4 beacons are deactivated. In order to activate, or ‘light’ a beacon, a single model must move into base contact with the beacon during the Movement phase (it may be the member of a squad), and then do nothing during the Psychic, Shooting, Charge and Fight phases. Instead, during the Psychic phase, roll 2D6. If the result is equal to or less than the model’s leadership, the beacon is lit. 

To deactivate a beacon, follow the same process, but instead of the beacon being lit on a successful roll, it is deactivated.

If at least one enemy model is in base contact with a beacon when a model attempts to either light or deactivate that beacon, add 1 to the dice result. This effect is not cumulative so if the enemy has several models in base contact, the player still only applies +1 to the dice result.

Battle Length and Victory Conditions

At the end of the 4th battle round, roll a D6 and add the number of Lit Beacons to the result. If the result is a 6 or more, the Attacker is victorious and the game ends. Otherwise play another battle round and repeat this process at the end of that battle round. 

If at the end of the 4th and subsequent battle rounds, no beacons are lit, do not make this dice roll. Instead, the Defender is declared the victor.

Did you enjoy the mission? Do let us know what you liked, or what you would change, as we love designing these homebrew rules and want them to be as much fun as possible!

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