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How To Play BIGGER Games of Betrayal at Calth?

5 Minute Read
Nov 19 2015



Checkout some ideas for playing BIGGER games of Betrayal at Calth using the existing Horus Heresy rules with a Warhammer 40k twist!

Now that we all got our boxes of Betrayal at Calth and played a few games, it seems only natural to want to take this game to the next level right? I mean the game itself is fun and fast to play, with about zero rules questions or gray areas that I’ve seen so far. So why not try to scale it up?

Units Allowed

The first problem I’ve seen is that you just can’t play this game with vehicles besides Contemptor dreadnoughts, or perhaps anything that can fit on a 60mm base. So that probably can allow Land Speeders, bikes/ jetbikes to be honest as well. But for now let’s just ignore them and just say legal models are limited to the unit cards we have from the box to simplify things a bit. Besides we’ll need  to make special [email protected] rules for anything we add in later.

Point Levels

I feel like the 500 and 1000 point levels are pretty solid for play, and can give you that Kill Team or Combat Patrol feel to your games. Anything bigger that 1000 points may require more than just two player’s sets of tiles as well.


To calculate points simply use the “red” Crusade Army list book from Forge World, that has all the base points for the generic legion squads. While it would be cool to play with each specific legion’s units and rules, I feel like setting up the frameworks for bigger  [email protected] games is more important at this point. Expanding units and legion units/rules can be done perhaps later when we get some feedback from the community.

One Legionnaire Tactical squad of 10 men is 200 points base, and a five man terminator squad is 175 respectively, both easy to fit with upgrades in games of 500, and 1,000 points respectively.


Should the only upgrades that would be allowed to be equipped come from the [email protected] rulebook, as the crazy Heresy stuff may just be too broken for these small scale battles? You can probably safely say the squad based multi-melta is the same stat line as the Contemptor mounted one, as the Power Fist also seems to haven been ruled that way as well.

Legal squads for now would then only be the Tactical, Terminator, Praetor or Centurion units, that are restricted to wargear choices from the [email protected] rulebook only. Also no special rules from the main Horus Heresy game would be conferred to these units. Would it be prudent that if you selected a Praetor or Centurion character in termie armor to use Aethon’s stats, or if in power armor use Sedd stats, but feel free to equip them per the rules above?

Barricades could perhaps be purchased for 25 points, limit of 3 per player?

The Game Board



Games at this point level will probably require six sets of tiles, (perhaps 3 from each player) assembled in a similar fashion to the picture above. I took care to try to combine areas of like tile texture so the board sorta made sense.

Mission Types

I figure the standard victory point mission would be do-able here. Each full unit destroyed would be worth 1 victory point at the end of the game. So a tactical squad of 10 legionnaires would be worth basically at minimum 4 VPS because you have to set them up according to their BULK  characteristic (however you could split them down to FIVE 2 man units per game as well).


One Termie squad would count as five VP’s as well, because they are worth 2 bulk for unit size. So if you actually kill one, it’s totally worth a VP I feel like.

Another cool mission type could be capture the flag, using the two little standard tokens included with the game. Each player places their’s anywhere in their corresponding deployment zones, and if you are in or adjacent to the standard of your enemy at the end of the game, and they are not there to contest by being in an adjacent space to it, you win.

Last but not least you could do objective missions using the same scoring mechanic as above, just say D3 objectives for 500 point games, and D6 for 1000 point games perhaps?

Games should always last SIX turns?


Each side should be able to fit up to 1,000 points in a whole tile, so I propose we say opposite corner whole tiles would be each sides’ respective deployment zones. You can chose any set of opposing corner tiles to be deployment zones really.



Starting out with rolling for initiative to see what player chooses to deploy ONE unit first, and alternate unit deployment back and forth until there are no more units left to deploy.

Then roll off again to see who has the first turn initiative, and begin the game per the normal [email protected] rules for actions.




So those are my initial ideas. Seems like there are a few things that can be tweeked of course, and how would YOU handle command cards? Would each side have to be either “Ultras”, or “Word Bearers” when it comes to balancing the command cards? Could you interchange the words for each special character to be perhaps just a praetor or centurion?

How many cards should each player be dealt, and have in their draw deck for the game?

How would you handle Legion Special rules, and other units from the main Hours Heresy Red Book? Would working vehicles into the game like Land Speeders or Bikes be a good idea? What about things like reserves, or rules like Night Fight (restricted to LOS at 3 hexes)?



I would like to think that  hopefully there are new unit expansions on the way for this game, perhaps with more game tiles or command card decks.

Perhaps IF the community shows enough interest in this format, maybe the new Specialist Games studio can get involved in this process too!

What rules would YOU like to see for expanding the Betrayal at Calth game?



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