Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Front Cover Sneak Peak

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, work and home life have been pretty manic lately. On the plus side, I have managed to make some progress on putting together the Narrative Campaigns Source Guide pdf during my lunch breaks.

As part of that process, I've just finished working on the layout template and I managed to get the front cover completed today. So, here's a sneak peek of the front cover .....



I would have preferred a more Giger'ish / 40K'ish background, but beggers can't be choosers. Big thanks to John over at Plastic Legions for providing the map pic and taking the time to rephotograph it so it was easier for me to work with.

Hope you like the sneak peak guys, more coming soon!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More maps for the showcase

Two more maps for the showcase, this time a computer based node campaign and a Mighty Empires map with some scratch built hives ...



Thanks to SK (Citizen Nick Hobby Center) for submitting these. As always guys, if you've got a map you'd like share, drop me a line - colcorbane@googlemail.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another map for the showcase

I just added another map to the showcase contributed by Gewaltatron, it's another excellent example on of computer generated vector image map. Vector image maps are easy to update making running and tracking the campaign quite simple.


If you've got a campaign map you'd like to share with the community, drop me a line at colcorbane@gmail.com.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I need a little help guys


I've been thinking about GoC quite a bit recently, especially where it's going and what I need to do on the project. As I've mentioned in the past, one of the things I want to do is make a pdf version that's easier to follow than this blog format and can be printed out so that players can use it away from their computers.

My original plan was to finish the blog version and then turn it into a pdf version but I've been thinking about that and the downside it that it'll be a long while until the pdf comes out and it'll be a hell of a job to convert what will be a massive blog into a pdf when I get to that stage.

I've decided that I'm going to do it in parts and publish individual pdfs of the various sections as and when I get them completed. Hopefully, this will give people something usable sooner and make putting the final pdf together much easier as all I'll have to do is compile the various pdfs and pull it all together.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be reworking the Narrative Campaigns section so that I can finish the section and make a Narrative Campaigns pdf. There's a few things that I could do with a little help with guys ....
  • Can you have a read through the Narrative Campaigns section and see if I've missed anything, I welcome any additions, advice or constructive criticism.
  • I need ideas for the Narrative Suggestions page, they can be generic or race based, just add them in the comments.
  • Finally, I need some help with graphics for the pdf. If any of you are graphical guru's or have experience in putting pdf's together and would like to help out, please drop me a line at colcorbane@googlemail.com.
Thanks in advance guys, hopefully with your help, The Going on Campaign guide to Narrative Campaigning pdf will be coming out real soon.

Col Corbane

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ending the campaign

The final key element in designing a campaign is deciding how it will end. Without setting out what the victory conditions will be, campaigns run the risk of running on for a long time with players slowly losing interest and the campaign ending in a sort of stale mate. It’s easy to think that a last man standing approach is the best way forward, but that’s not always the case. There’s a few different methods of ending a campaign including by a time limit, achieving certain victory conditions or by holding a certain about of the map.

The easiest is by time limit. Simple specify how long the campaign will last in either actual time or campaign turns. When this limit is reached, the players with the greatest number of territories, forces left or victories is declared the winner. There’s a number of advantages to using this method, the first being that it’s pretty simple to keep track off but more importantly, it lets the players know how long they’re going to be playing the campaign. Without defining an end point, it’s easy for players to become bored with the campaign and drop out, especially when things aren’t going well for them. Whereas when they know that the campaign is only going to last a few more turns or another month, they’re more likely to stick with it and see the campaign out to the end even if they’re not doing that well.

The second method is by achievements, whether it’s achieving a certain number of victories, controlling a number of key locations or a certain amount of the map. This method encourages to players to go for the objectives of the game picking their fights tactically compared with the time limit method which just encourages players to play the campaign to the end. The downside of this method is that it could take a while to achieve those victory conditions especially when campaigns turn into a stalemate. This method also doesn’t encourage players who aren’t doing that well to stick with the campaign, meaning that a player who doesn’t do well at the start might drop out early as they don’t see a chance of winning the campaign. The other important thing to note is that the victory conditions must be achievable within reason. The harder the victory conditions are to achieve, the longer the campaign will run and the more you risk the players losing interest.

The third method which is the most obvious and the hardest to achieve is a total wipeout victory. I wouldn’t recommend setting this as a sole victory condition, but if a player manages to sweep all aside, then obviously, they should win.

The best form of victory conditions are one’s that include all these methods. Simply decide on what you want your main victory condition is based on an object such as controlling key areas or a certain percentage of the map and then specify a time limit to the campaign and how the winner will be decided when the time limit is reached. This way, the players will still play the campaign tactically going after their objectives but won’t lose interest if they’re not doing well because they know when the campaign will be ending.

As a final note, it’s fine for different players to have different victory conditions as long as they’re balanced unless you’re playing a campaign with a strong narrative where unbalanced victory conditions add to the story leading to a last man come underdog type campaign. Unbalanced campaigns are fine as long as the players know what they’re getting themselves into.


Can you help? Have I missed anything? include your thoughts in the comments and I'll get them added to the page.
 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Moving forward ....


I thought I’d take a moment of take you all through where I see GoC going in the future. What started as a ‘hobby burnout’ project has seriously grown into a titanic project. Initially, I thought I’d just give a brief overview of campaign and a simple set of rules people could play by. Overtime, this initial vision has warped out of proportion with the realities of typing it up. Ever section I type makes me aware that there’s so much more I could write about that section and I’m often dismayed that I haven’t included everything I wanted in the section. Essentially, it’s become a balancing game between getting the information out there for people to use and making it as comprehensive as I possibly could.

So, what does it mean for you guys, well, I’m certainly not abandoning the project, I’m just reconsidering how it’s developed. I’m going to aim to get all the basic sections done, so people have the information they need to play campaigns. Once this is done, I’ll be going back to add additional pages and edit the ones that already exist. So what does this mean for you, well currently the sections have been added in a logical order, so it’s easy to follow the information, but when I start going back adding sections, they’ll be coming through in an illogical order blogwise. Also, any editing of pages won’t appear in your readers, so you’re going to have to come and check the project log to find out what pages have been updated. I’m sorry about that guys, it’s simply the downside to using a blog format for this project. I’m also going to be making some changes to the appendix sections, mainly dropping the scenarios section. The simple fact is that there’s far better resources out on the web for scenarios and when you combine that with the Battle Missions book etc, the section has become redundant.

Thanks for sticking with me on this guys, hopefully together we can build one hell of a resource.

All the best
Col Corbane

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Initial forces

Once you have your map all sorted, you need to decide on what forces the players will be starting the campaign with. This doesn’t mean that these will be the only forces they have through the campaign, we’ll be looking at reinforcements later on but at this point you need to decide how you want to handle the initial forces the players deploy on the map. There are three main ways of handling the forces through the campaign, either by armies, by points or by roster.

In the by armies method, you simply decide how many armies each player has to place on the map and use to manoeuvre around the map and into battle. This method is relatively simple as once the army point level per army is set for the campaign, all the players and campaign master need to do is track where these armies are on the map. Whenever opposing armies meet, the players can simply pick their armies to the point level and play a game. This method is the simplest admin wise but doesn’t take into account the fortunes and misfortunes in battle of the various armies.

The next method is by points where you decide on a total amount of points available to a player and then the player assigns various points to various armies. For example, if a play has 4500pts at the start of the campaign, they could allocate them equally into three 1500pt armies or they could have two 1500pt armies and three 500pt ones giving them a proper armies and three scouting forces. This type require more in the way of tracking but allows for the points levels to change depending on the results of various battles and ongoing recruitment during the campaign. Overall, it gives the players greater control over the forces under their command, allowing them to amalgamate small forces or build up super forces. If you do decide to use this type, then it’s best to set a minimum and maximum point level for armies to stop players fielding lots of one unit armies or one huge super unstoppable army.

The third method is by roster, where the initial total points amount is divided up between the armies and then actual rosters are written up for each army detailing exactly what’s in each army. The benefits of this method is that it allows players to actually track the fortunes of the individual squads and vehicles playing in the campaign. This method is seriously labour intensive to track and it’s only recommended where there’s a small number of very dedicated players playing in the campaign.

Once you’ve decided on what method of tracking what points or forces each army is made of, you need to decide how many points each player is starting the campaign with. This is normally the same for every player, either x amount of points or x number of armies but you could allocated different amounts to different players if your campaign was following a strong narrative such as a desperate last stand or if a player has an advantage due to the map resources they control at the start of the campaign.

It’s also important to realise that these are just the starting forces, over the course of the campaign, their forces could diminish due to losses in battle or because of various events. They could also be replaced over the course of the campaign by the recruitment of new forces which we’ll look at later on. Once the map and initial forces have been decided, all that remains in setting up the campaign is to decide how it will end.


Can you help? Have I missed anything? include your thoughts in the comments and I'll get them added to the page.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Starting positions

Where players start on the campaign map can drastically effect how the campaign plays. When players are positioned  very close together, the campaign takes on a cut throat feel from the start with conflicts starting almost immediately. Conversely, when players are well spaced apart, then the campaign takes on a more laidback feel with payers taking time to manoeuvre into battle and out manoeuvre the other players.

When considering placing starting positions on the map, there’s a few factors you need to consider ...
  • Map size – the larger the map, the more space player will have to manoeuvre and seize ground before engaging the other players in battle.
  • Number of players – the more players there are, the less space there is to manoeuvre and the less campaign turns there are before players start battling.
  • Starting territories – player can start in one point and expand from there or start with a number of territories.
  • Map details – players that start close to a number of valuable territories will have an advantage to those who start in barren areas.
When creating a campaign, you should bear all these factors in mind when deciding where players start on the map. A small map with lots of players will result in a very bloody campaign, especially if players start with only one or a few territories. You’ll find that players quickly lose their territories and drop out from the game if they’re attacked by multiple players or have a bad run on their initial battles. On the flipside, campaigns with large maps and few players and an unbalanced amount of resources in certain areas can lead to some players gaining an unfair advantage especially as they have plenty of time to capitalise on these resources whilst other players take campaign turns to move across the map to engage them.    

The best approach for a balanced campaign is to have the starting places distributed evenly across the map, all within reach of resources so that every player has a chance to expand their territories and seize resources before they engage the other players. This ensures that no one particular player gains an advantage in resources or is wiped out of the campaign prematurely.

Campaign masters can either pick where the players start on the map which works well for campaigns with a strong narrative, such as imperial players being grouped at one side of the map whilst a combined force of chaos and ork players being grouped at the other side of the board. This then sets the up the narrative of an invading force moving across the map to attach defended position which suites many invasion narratives.

Alternatively, starting points can be assigned to the map and then players can be choose where on the map they start. In this case, it’s best to randomise the order that players choose their starting positions which can be done by rolling off or drawing lots if there’s lots of players in the campaign. This style of starting point allocation does lead to a more randomised distribution of forces which might not fit a narrative that well, but it does give the players a chance to seize starting points that they think will give them a tactical advantage due to what map details and other players are near their starting positions.

Which ever way you choose is down to you and how you want the campaign to run, as long as it's fair on all the players involved and they know what sort of setup it's going to be, you shouldn't have any problems. Once you’ve got your map designed and assigned your starting positions, it’s time to look at what forces the players will start the campaign with.


Can you help? I'm after suggestions for any ways of setting up the initial forces, include them in the comments and I'll get them added to the page.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gearing up

Well, it's been a while since I last updated GoC with life getting in the way and GoC getting put well and truly on the backburner. I hoping now life is sorting itself out, I'll be able to start getting sections added.

A big plus is that with my new job, I've got net access at dinner time and I eat my lunch at my desk, so theoretically, I've got five hours a week of dead time that I can dedicate to GoC, and so that's the plan. The other advantage of my new job is that I've got access to a wealth of design and publishing tools, which means in the future, I can look at publishing a pdf version of GoC.

So, good times ahead, keep your eyes peeled for more sections coming soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Types of map details

Once you know how you're going to define the details on your map whether it's by a grid overlaid map or with their own borders on a freeform map, it's time to start detailing your map. The types of things that can be classed as map details are anything that would effect the armies playing in the campaign.

The effect can either be on a strategic level affecting armies movement and interaction on the campaign map or on a combat level, affecting armies on the tabletop. In this section, we're just going to be looking at how these details can affect the armies playing in the campaign at a strategic level, we'll be looking at the tabletop level in a later section.

These strategic details fall into two broad categories, either natural like woods, rivers, mountains etc or man made like cities, roads, defensive lines etc. When you're designing your map, it's best to start with the natural features of the map building up the landscape before adding the man (or alien) made details. There's a whole host of details you can include on your map to build up landscape, including things like .....
  • Mountains - These can reduce armies movements whether by half etc on freeform maps or requiring some sort of test before movement even including things like dangerous terrain tests where you risk losing X amount of points for failing tests. You could also ban armies that include tanks etc from moving through mountainous terrain.
  • Woodlands - Much like the mountains, woodlands would restrict the movement of armies, especially those containing vehicles although they're less likely to be dangerous to armies moving through them. 
  • Flatlands -  Include things like plains, rolling hills and even deserts, generally these don't affect an army moving through them in any way.
  • Marshlands - These act like woodlands, restricting the movement of armies especially those containing vehicles. You could also consider marshes as dangerous terrain.
  • Rivers / Lakes - These could act as a barrier to movement forcing armies to use specific fording points or bridges, thus making these points strategically important or simply work to slow down an armies movement.
  • Seas -  These are mainly impassable to armies but you could include ports on your map and allow forces that control a port to allow to move armies across sea regions.
  • Miscellaneous - There's all sorts of other terrain features you can add to your map including things like arctic or volcanic regions and don't forget that there's alien terrain features as well and these can be as weird and wonderful as you like. (If you have any suggestions, add them in the comments)
Whereas natural map details tend to affect the movement of forces across the map, man made map details tend to have a more strategic often in the form of defensive or tactical bonuses. What sort of bonuses these details give are down to how complicated you want to make your campaign. Common man made details include ...
  • Roads - Obviously, these would allow armies to move more quickly around the map. You could either double the freeform movement rate or allow them to move through more grids per turn as long as they follow the path of a road.
  • Defensive lines / fortresses - These would offer an advantage defensively, which is a lot easier to represent on the table top but on a strategic level, this could be represented by reducing the points lost by an army battling in this area etc.
  • Cities - Another defensive structure but you could also include subsistence bonuses if you're using supply rules.
  • Ports / Airfields / Starports - These could be used to allow rapid redeployment of forces and resupply in the form of reinforcements. 
  • Factories - These could allow units to repair vehicles, increase the amount of reserves a player gets in the form of reinforcements.
  • Comms centres - big dishes, towers etc. These could allow sneak peaks at enemy rosters or planned moves, improve scouting, reserve rolls, orbital attacks etc.
  • Nuclear or Post-Nuclear Zones - Man-made, though not necessarily impassable. However, moving through such zones would incur significant penalties to the armies from rad sickness or even outright loss.
  • Variable Frequency Zones - Man-caused or natural as a result of geological/atmospheric composition. Armies can move through as normal, but they just can't communicate very well. Possible result is random movement direction of large formations as their orders are continually scrambled whilst moving through.
  • Daemonic Influenced Zones - Could be just about anything. Assuming this world is very nearly under complete Warp-control, it is entirely possible armies could end up - 1. fighting each other due to daemon influence 2. suffering a number or combination of effects of other zones as reality warps around them 3. completely impossible for normal men to cross or enter 4. army suffers extremely slowed movement as the natural defence reaction would be to tighten defences and communication to stave off influence. Basically, anything out of reality as we're talking serious Warp-control here.
  • Miscellaneous - There's all sorts of man made details that you could include, from hospitals, to monuments to missile silos. Your only limited by your imagination and how detailed you want you ruleset to be. (If you have any suggestions, add them in the comments)
When laying out the map detail, it’s important to distribute the details evenly so that no one particular player gains an advantage over the rest. This doesn’t mean that every player should have a wood, city, defensive river etc. It’s fine to clump various details in certain areas, thus creating expanses of industrial areas, heavy woodland or mountainous areas, as long as each area has its own advantages to players starting in that area for a balanced campaign.

For campaigns that follow a particular narrative such as an invading force moving towards an industrial centre, then it’s fine to make the map layout more unbalanced as long as you balance the campaign in another way such as more forces to the player who has the lesser resources from their starting position.

Once you've fleshed out your map and sorted out your basic map rules, it's time to start looking at where people will start on the map.


Can you help? I'm after suggestions for any other map details and their potential affects on the armies passing through them, include them in the comments and I'll get them added to the page.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Detailing maps

Whereas with territorial or node campaigns, the map just serves as a backdrop to the sections or node network superimposed on to it, with a true map campaign, the actual details on the map effect the campaign both at a campaign and battle level depending on how detailed you want your campaign.

With this in mind, you need to decide what features on the map with effect your campaign. Before you can do that, there's a crucial decision that needs to be made and that is whether it should be a grid map or a freeform one.

Grid maps are simply maps with either a square or hex grid superimposed over them. The grid serves as a guide to movement and position. You simply track which grid an army is in and it's movement is based on how many spaces it can move per campaign turn from one adjacent space to another. Individual spaces can also be given various effects to represent wooded or urban areas and these affect any army in that space.

(From http://www.welshpiper.com - Used without permission)

Freeform maps are a bit more organic, they don't have grids to guide movement or define what areas are affected by what terrain. Instead, armies can move around the map much like models do in a game of 40K. How far they can move in a campaign turn depends on their movement rate and the effect of any terrain they might be passing through. It's quite common for various features on the map to have an area of effect, for example, any army that moves within half an inch of a wood is slowed down, so without the definition of a grid, you'll need to decide what areas are affected by what terrain. You'll also have to decide things like how close two armies have to get to each other before they battle, do they meet or just move within an inch of each other?  

(From http://electronicsetc.50.forumer.com - Used without permission)

Freeform maps are far more realistic than grid maps but they do require a lot more work in setting up and tracking armies during the campaign. As always, which you decide to use is down to what you want out of the campaign and how much effort you want to put into setting up and running the campaign. Once you've decide which type you're going to use, you can then start adding the detail.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Types of maps

It may seem obvious, but the map is the key element in a map campaign. With a territorial map campaign, the map can be quite simple, as long as the territories are defined with nice clear borders, the actual map they're displayed on doesn't really effect the campaign. It's the same with node campaigns, as long as the nodes and the paths between them are clearly defined, the actual map is just a backdrop.

Now, with a true map campaign, the map becomes very important because it's actually the details on the map that effect the campaign. They're the details that let you know which areas are urban, which are grassland, which are impassible seas or rivers. So, with a true map campaign, the devil really is in the detail, and the more detailed your map, the more detailed the campaign.

What you use for the map is down to you, it can be as simple as a sheet of A4 with some woods, rivers, mountains and cities drawn on it, or it could be a genuine map from the real world adapted for a futuristic campaign.

You could use an ordinance survey map to represent a region or a map of a medieval city to represent an urban area for a cityfight campaign. As long as the map suits your purpose and is clearly understandable, it's fine. So with this in mind, it's well worth taking your time to find the right map to fit your campaign as it really is the most important part of planning your map campaign.

 
 City street plan map

  
 Ordnance Survey map

 
Medieval city map

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Territorial campaign - Kentack VII

Here's an excellent territorial campaign for three players written by Sovietspace and first published on his blog The Astronomican. It was originally designed for Eldar, IG and Black Templars using both 40k and Epic, but it's easily tweaked to use other races and game systems.


Kentack VII and her moons

Late in the year 996.M41, the previously peaceful world of Kentack VII was the site of a bitter struggle between three mighty forces. What began as a straightforward compliance action by the Black Templars Adeptus Astartes, was turned on its head by the sudden arrival of the Eldar of Cairas Mythar. The Xenos intervention signalled that the world of Kentack VII was of great strategic importance, and would ultimately be a place of death and suffering for all concerned...

The Kentack system was located in Segmentum Tempestus, around 9 months rimward warp travel of the Segmentum Capital at Bakka. Although consisting of 11 desolate planets, an early Imperial exploratory team singled out Kentack VII as suitable for human habitation, and the world had remained under imperial control for tens of thousands of years. Despite having no natural water deposits and a barren landscape, Kentack VII’s mineral wealth ensured the construction of a plethora of mining colonies and even a few scattered Hive Cities, whose hard pressed inhabitants refined the rocks harvested out on the plains.

By M41, generations of industrial activity had resulted in a thick smog that enveloped the planet, leaving it a dim and depressing place to exist, as well as hampering air travel to and from the surface. Continuing regardless, the mining operations became of such importance that a Space Dock was constructed on one of Kentack VII’s moons, along with orbital defences, and a permanent Imperial Guard presence was installed on the planet. Ultimately the planet paid its tithes to the God-Emperor and thus remained a largely uneventful little place. This was until Victor Quinn assumed the role of Planetary Governor.

As head of the wealthiest mining family, Victor Quinn assumed the role of Planetary Governor upon the death of the previous incumbent. For the first 20 years of his reign, life on the planet continued much as it had for thousands of years. However, at some point the ruling class of Kentack were gradually and quietly converted to a cult known as the Followers of the Farther. Initially portrayed as another branch of the Imperial Creed, the few Ecclesiarchical priests on the planet paid it little mind; until it was too late.

At the beginning of 995.M41 warp storms began to trouble much of Segmentum Tempestus, and the guiding light of the Astronomican waxed and waned. On Kentack, contact with the Imperium became intermittent and unreliable. As if foreseeing these events, Quinn and the Followers of the Farther initiated plans to break away from Imperial control and a successful covert campaign saw the agents of the Adptus Arbites and Adptus Administratum quietly removed and eliminated. However, to take total control Quinn still needed to ensure the loyalty of the population of Kentack and, perhaps more crucially, the Praetorian 5th, who were the Imperial Guard regiment stationed on the planet at that time.

Taking to the public address system on the eve of New Year 996.M41, Quinn announced to the population that a great shadow was about to fall over the galaxy. Fabricating a false tale of an Imperium in ruins, Quinn convinced the people that the Followers of the Farther where the true incarnation of the Imperial Church and that the Emperor had in fact sent the current series of Warp Storms to protect Kentack from strife. Fantastically, the velvet tipped words of the governor were convincing enough to even persuade the Officers and Commissars of the Praetorian 5th, who moved man Kentack’s defences. With the Planet under his complete control Quinn and the Followers began to work toward other, darker, ends.

However, unfortunately for Quinn, the cessation of exports from Kentack did not go unnoticed. Segmentum Command at Bakka learned of Quinn’s Heresy. Coincidentally a battle group of Black Templars were less than a months travel from Kentack, assembling to undertake a new crusade. Asked to re-establish the Pax Imperialis, the Templars took to their Strike Cruisers within days and entered the warp.

Upon arrival in the Kentack system, the Templars quickly launched an unforgiving assault on the planets main airfield, catching the Praetorian garrison completely off guard. Finding themselves under attack, the Praetorians resisted with maximum force, but the Marines quickly gained a foothold. In response Quinn quickly began to mobilise his forces, and war was afoot. However, even as the initial assault was happening, Alien forces were arriving, and would proceed to make the situation much, much more complicated.

Under the direction of Farseer Idranel, the Eldar of Cairas Mythar used the commotion of the Templar assault to gain a control of the small orbital station of Saint Octia’s dock. It was crucial to the Eldar that this planet be theirs as soon as possible, for they knew the true nature of the Followers of the Farther, and the horrors they were seeking to aid. They knew that the Great Devourer was coming.

Barely a year before, the Seer Council of Cairas Mythar had foreseen that imminent arrival of Hive Fleet Leviathan, which would tear into Segmentum Tempestus by the end of 997.M41. They had seen that the Followers in fact formed a small part of the vanguard of this invasion and that the ‘Farther’ to which they referred was no less that a Genestealer Patriarch, who had infiltrated Kentack generations ago. Indeed Quinn himself was descended from this hideous creature, and was a powerful Hybrid Magus in his own right. This was the reason that his words were able to overpower the minds of population of Kentack and the Commissars and Officers of the Praetorian 5th. In a story repeated on several of the most isolated worlds in Tempestus, the Followers were to ensure that Kentack would fall to the Tyranid fleets without a shot being fired, gifting them crucial recourses with which to jump-start their invasion.

But the reason that the Eldar chose to intervene on Kentack was deeper still. They knew the planet by another name entirely, that of Chen’lack. Ancient beyond reckoning, Chen’lack was a bastion world of the old Eldar Empire, designed to guard the fringes of Eldar space from its enemies. To this end the planet had been heavily reconstructed by the bonesingers of old, and at its heart lay an Engine of Vual, one of immense power. Forgotten after the Eldar fall, and revealed to the Seers of Cairas Mythar, Idranel knew that if they could secure it then his forces could set a trap for at least some of the approaching Hive Fleet. Whether it would be enough to blunt the invasion or not, he could not discern, but he knew they had to try…

Colour Sergeant Williams slammed home another magazine and returned the lasgun to his shoulder, which was already bruised from an hour of rifle firing. The small garrison of Airfield Primus had done its best to hold on against the black clad monsters, but it was clear that their time was almost up. Hope had been lost the moment Lieutenant Wilkins’ fire-support team had been brutally ripped apart by bolter fire and chainswords. Without those Autocannons there wasn’t much the rest of the Praetorians could do against the ceramite armoured Black Templars.

With that thought Williams faltered, for the second time during the battle. Black Templars? But they were Astartes of the Emperor, why were they massacring loyal Imperial soldiers? He quickly remembered the words of the great Quinn, his revelation that the Imperium was tearing itself apart with civil war, but it suddenly just didn’t feel right. Why was this happening?

As he looked around him however his doubts quickly faded. As he saw 2nd Platoon engage the enemy, saw Lewick’s Squad cut down by a single Astartes, saw Commissar Thorn fend off three Marines single-handed, he decided only loyal soldiers of the Emperor could die with such heroism. The enemy must be traitors. And, as he was decapitated by a Chainsowrd he never saw coming, Colour Sergeant Williams was convinced that what he was doing was right...


Campaign Rules




(It is important to note that these rules are designed for Eldar, IG and Black Templar armies using 40K and Epic, however, with a little tweaking it could be used for any army in the 40k universe).

Starting Locations
  • Eldar: St. Octia's Station
  • IG: Praetorian 5th HQ
  • Templars: Airfield Primus
Basic Rules
  1. To begin, have all players roll off to see who goes first, second, third etc. This order will remain throughout the campaign.

  2. Moving off from their starting point, players may move into an adjacent territory to one they already own (unless location rules state otherwise).

  3. To capture a territory occupied by another player, simply declare you are moving into it and then consult the location special rules to determine what sort of game is played. Game size (i.e. points limits) is agreed between players before the game begins. The winner of the resulting game wins the territory.

  4. Blue lines donate space routes, which can be travelled by any army. Should a space route be used to invade a territory, then a planetstrike game should be played. Note there is a space route from St. Veyda's Dock & the Praetorian 5th HQ. Also note that, despite the fact that it is linked to the planet on the map, St. Veyda's Obrital station may only be attacked directly by adjoining space routes or St. Veyda's Dock.

  5. Campaign play continues either until a predetermined date or until two of the three armies have captured their vital locations (see location special rules). The person with the most territory points is then declared the winner.
Location Special Rules
*note that unnamed territories with the symbol that looks like a cracker are Towns, and unnamed territories without a symbol are Plains.

The Plains


Being largely a bleak and inhospitable planet, Kentack had much to offer in the way large open spaces, be it for leisurely walks in the near-poisonous atmosphere, holiday travel or general carnage and mayhem. Only really to be used as a method to get to somewhere more important, control of the plans nonetheless proved vital in the war of 996.

When attacking a plain, roll a D6. On the roll of a 1 play a game of 40k, on a 2-6 play a game of Epic.
1pt

The Towns

Outside the Hives, settlements are rare - the expense of importing vital resources like water and foodstuffs often out weighed any possible gain. That said, some of the larger mining stations had small supporting settlements, that often became the focus of fighting in the area.

When attacking a town, roll a D6. On the roll of a 1-2 play a game of 40k, on a 3-6 play a game of Epic.
1pt

Airfield Primus

Site of the initial Templar landing on Kentack, the Airfield became the base of their operations for the duration of the war. The extensive airfields and runways allowed the Marines to deploy to any point on the planet, giving them the element of surprise that the Astartes so loved. However, Kentack’s fraught atmosphere, worsened by the increasing Warp tension, meant that any airborne travel was hazardous, and ships often crashed en-route, for no explicable reason.

Control of the Airfield allows a player to occupy any plain or town on the map, playing a Planetstrike mission to gain control of the area. However, if claiming a territory in this way, the player must roll a D6. A roll of 3-6 means the attack goes ahead as usual. A roll of a 1-2 means that a terrible accident has occurred, and no attack is made. The player may do nothing further in the campaign turn.
2pts

Ecclesiarchical Palace

Keen not to cause unrest amongst the population, nor to give any visible sign of their treachery, Quinn and the Followers left Kentack’s Ecclesiarchical Palace largely untouched throughout their reign (although the preists themesleves were slaughtered, naturally). Upon learning this, the Black Templars made it their primary mission to sucure the Palace and the artificts within, to potect them from any possible harm. They vowed that the bones of Saint Octia would not fall into the hands of any enemy.

When attacking the Palace roll a D6. On a 1-2 play a Cityfight game, 3-4 play a 40k game, 5-6 an Epic game. This is the Templars’ PRIMARY OBJECTIVE.

3pts (8pts for the Black Templars)


Hive Primus

Once the jewel in Kentack’s crown, Hive Primus used to be a relatively civilized place to live. As with any typical Imperial Hive, the glory and splendour of the Spire realms were contrasted with the dull and depressing drudgery of the middle and lower Hives, where life was a simple cycle of working to survive. Home to some 4.5 billion citizens, the Followers of the Farther were keen to keep this valuable bio-resource intact, and as such constructed huge defensive walls and bastions; as much to keep the people contained within as to keep any enemy out. The result was a besieger’s nightmare of dense killzones and murderous streets.

Hive Primus can only be attacked once all three Hab P territories have been captured. The Grand Assault Mission is always played at this location.
7pts

Habitation Blocks P/a, P/b & P/c

Though often centrally planned, Hives normally sprawl out of their original confines as their populations grow, Hive Primus being no exception. Vast tracks of hab blocks and supporting infrastructure stretched for miles in every direction around the main Hive spire, and this was where most of Kentack’s citizens lived their pointless, unfulfilling lives. Although not designed with defence in mind, the very nature of condensed streets and alleyways made the Hab regions a nightmare to take and hold. This situation was not helped by the murderous hab gangs, who eked out a living, even as war raged around them.

Cityfight games are always played in the habs.
Hab Gangs: Any 1 rolled for difficult or dangerous terrain tests will result in the unit loosing D3 models to stealthy Hab gangs. Monstrous Creatures, Independent Characters or Vehicles are not affected.
2pts each

Hive Secondus

Although significantly smaller than Hive Primus, Hive Secondus proved to be incredibly important during the war for one primary reason. Fearing the retribution of the Emperor’s forces, Quinn and his entourage quietly relocated there, hoping to escape attention for as long as possible. Messages were covertly dispatched to the brain-washed Praetorian 5th, who made the rescue of their beloved leader their highest priority.

Citfight games are always played in Hive Secondus. This is the Praetorian 5th’s PRIMARY OBJECTIVE
.
4pts (8pts for the Praetorian 5th)

Habitation Blocks S/a & S/b

Being constructed in the late M36., Hive Secondus was significantly younger than the Primary Hive. As a result its hab blocks were somewhat better planned and often contained wide boulevards and wooded squares. It was therefore a surprise to many that, as war neared, the populous descended into even more violent gang warfare than that seen in the Habs of Primus, as mans basic instincts were revealed.

When attacking a hab, roll a D6, on a 1-2 play a 40K game, on a 3-6 play a Cityfight game. Hab Gangs rules apply.
2pts each

Hive Secondus Habitation Block S/c (The Tunnels)

Another, little known reason, for Quinns flight to Secondus was his knowledge that he could return to his capital quickly if he needed. He was aware of an incredibly long tunnel system that stretched from a secret opening in Hab Block S/c, right into the heart of Hive Primus’ Spire. Constructed by a mad Lord Governor, Rector the Wise, some three thousand years ago, its existence had long since fallen out of common knowledge. It was a useful card that Quinn intended to keep up his sleeve.

When attacking Hab S/c, roll a D6, on a 1-2 play a 40K game, on a 3-6 play a Cityfight game. The player who controls Hab S/c may launch an attack on Hive Primus, by passing the need to occupy it’s surrounding habs. However, due to the size of the tunnel, no vehicles or walkers may be used in the assault.

2pts

Kentack Fabrication Blocks

In addition to its mining operations, Kentack had a small manufacturing sector, which supplied industrial equipment to its own Hives and nearby systems. Sanctioned and co-run by the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Fab Blocks encompassed many miles of factories and workhouses, engaged in relentless construction. The faction that eventually gained control of this region was able to harness these resources to bolster their own forces.

Cityfight games are always played in the Fab Blocks. The player who controls the Fab Blocks is allowed a ‘free’ 50pts in any 40k game, or a ‘free’ 100pts in any Epic game
4pts

Kentack VII Spaceport

Previously a busy harbour, filled with bulk haulers loading up on Kentack’s mineral exports, the increasing Warp Storms meant that the Spaceport played little part in the wars overall course. Still, it was one of a only a few reliable routes onto the orbital stations, and the powerful assets contained therein.

When attacking the Spaceport (expect from a space route) roll a D6. On a 1-2 play Cityfight, 3-4 play 40k, 5-6 play Epic.

4pts

Mining Post Xc-03

For the population of Kentack, Mining Post Xc-03 was much like any one of the several hundred mining posts that could be found dotted over the planet. It had been in place for several generations and workers had successfully drilled many miles below the surface, following a particularly strong adamantium vein. Little could they know that they were but scant meters from unearthing the immense Engine of Vual, before war came and drilling ceased. For the Eldar, locating this devise was an objective of all consuming importance

When attacking the Mining Post, a 40k game is always played. This the Eldar’s PRIMARY OBJECTIVE
2pts (8pts for the Eldar)

Praetorian 5th HQ

Positioned far away from most areas of habitation (in order to create detachment between the Guard and the population) the HQ of the Praetorian 5th was a fortress befitting any garrison force. Though far from any existing front line, the Praetorians had ensured they were well equipped, and boasted a full infantry regiment as well as supporting armour, even a number of Superheavy detachments. As soon Kentack was assaulted the Praetorian 5th sallied forth from their palisades, ready to rid the world of the enemies of the Emperor. It was tragic that so many of them died whilst unwittingly furthering the cause of the Xenoform Quinn, and it is a sin that the 5th seek to absolve, even to this day.

When attacking the HQ (expect from a space route) roll a D6. On a 1-2 the Grand Assault Mission is played, on a 3-6 a Cityfight game is played.
2pts

Space Routes - Any attack launched using a blue ‘Space Route’ results in a Planetstrike Mission being played.

St. Octia’s Station

Cited on the smaller of Kentack’s two moons, St. Octia’s station was home to the planets defensive weapon battery, designed to form the last line of defence against any hostile Space Fleet. It proved to be no match for Eldar ship technology however, whose vessels slipped past its defences unseen, and proceeded to capture the station without much fuss. Its guns were not wasted however, as the Eldar Guardian teams put the Mon-Keigh weapons to good use.

Possession of St. Octia’s Station allows the controlling player to launch a preliminary bombardment at the start of any 40k game, or a free Orbital Bombardment (with the stats bellow) in any Epic game.
Orbital Bombardment - 3BP - Macro Weapon

2pts

St. Veyda’s Dock

Similarly to the Spaceport, St. Veyda’s Dock was of little use given that most of the combatants already had their forces on the surface of Kentack. However its advanced communication arrays did allow army commanders greater accuracy in coordinating their forces on the ground, an asset that gave the upper hand in many battles.

When attacking St Veyda’s Dock (expect from a space route) a 40k game is always played. While controlling St Veyda’s Dock, a player may add or subtract 1 from any of their reserve rolls.
1pt

St. Veyda’s Orbital Station

Taking up the majority of Kentack’s largest moon, St Veyda’s Obrital Station was almost a city in its own right. Constantly looking onto the surface of the planet, the Station was mostly used as a launch pad for strikes onto the surface, though these faced similar difficulties to those lunched from Airfield Primus.

When attacking St Veyda’s Station (expect from a space route) an Epic game is always played. Control of the Station allows a player to occupy any plain or town on the map, playing a Planetstrike mission to gain control of the area. However, if claiming a territory in this way, the player must roll a D6. A roll of 3-6 means the attack goes ahead as usual. A roll of a 1-2 means that a terrible accident has occurred, and no attack is made. The player may do nothing further in the campaign turn
3pts

End of Rules

Design notes - So there you have it guys! This is the first campaign that I have entirely written myself and I would love to hear any questions or comments you guys have, either to clarify or improve the rules. 

Creator - Sovietspace

Friday, January 1, 2010

Unbalanced Raid Scenario - Fighting Withdrawal

Fighting Withdrawal

The heretical betrayal bringing back some of their darkest memories, several detachments were so enraged they refused to fall back, their righteous fury lending strength of might to their arms and accuracy to their fire and allowing them to beat back their attackers. Having fallen back to their waiting landing pads, they await planetary extraction.

Your forces have fought their way free of a scathing ambush. Extraction is imminent, your transports have reported an estimated maximum ETA of 7 tics. Enemy contact expected from all fronts imminently. Prepare yourselves.

Setup

Place a skyshield landing pad (or any equivalent terrain piece) central to the board. Defender sets up all terrain. All Defender (Loyalist) forces must be deployed within 12" of the landing pad. Defender may not use any reserves (all units are already present). Attacker deploys nothing. Attacker takes the first turn. Defender may sieze the initiative normally.

Forces - Standard force organization chart

Scenario Special Rules
  • The defender has successfully fallen back to their primary extraction point. Appropriate super heavy flyers are inbound to extract the detachment. The flyer is a thunderhawk if Space Marines. It can carry up to 30 marines in power armour (terminators count for 2). An entire unit must be extracted at one time.
  • The thunderhawk is inbound from orbit (Modified Reserves) and will arrive on turn 3 (4+), 4 (3+), 5 (2+), 6 (auto).
  • Units must be able to move within 2" of the thunderhawk to embark, which they may do according to the rules below.
  • If the landing pad is shielded, the thunderhawk will not be able to land, embark, and depart in the same turn. It may do any two of these actions in a single turn on a shielded pad.
  • If the landing pad is not shielded, the thunderhawk may land, embark any available units, and depart in the same movement phase.
  • If the thunderhawk does not land on the pad, it will be forced to land during 1 turn, load during the following, and take off in the next turn (meaning it could land on 3, load on 4, take off on 5)
  • Landing pad operates per Planetstrike Book.
  • Any attacker units may enter the board from any table edge on turn 1. No more than 3 units may enter from the same edge.
  • Army attacker units in reserve may outflank if desired.
  • Attacker units will fall back towards the closest board edge.
  • Defender units will back towards the landing pad. They automatically regroup once there.
  • If a thunderhawk is destroyed or departs the board, another from the squadron will arrive the following turn automatically.
Mission Objective

This mission can be played with two mission objectives. Kill points are used for those wishing to have a detailed account of how much they "won" by. In this method, defender units extracted are worth one kill point to the defender. Defender units left on the table at the end of the game are considered destroyed by the attacker. The other method less complex. If the defender gets more than 1/2 of his units extracted, he has achieved a win, less than 1/2 but more than 0 will achieve a draw, and 0 units off will achieve an attacker victory. This method is more advantageous to the defender by making it more difficult for the attacker to achieve a victory.

Reserves - Standard reserves for all units placed in reserve. For campaigns, defender reserves should be limited to those available at the end of the previous mission.

Game Length - Non-standard game length. The game will last 7 turns or until there are no defender units left alive on the field, which ever comes first.

Design Notes - This mission was designed to follow the Ambushed and Betrayed mission in a narrative campaign setting. This mission was designed to show the forces of the defender if they achieved a draw or win in the previous mission. This mission is extremely unbalanced, and should regularly result in a win or draw for the defender. This mission places the same constraints on the defender as the Breakout mission. Additional considerations should be made to whether the super heavy transport can shoot/be shot at. In play testing this was ruled out (we found that more fun at <1500 points). If it can shoot, this mission quickly becomes too unbalanced and the points cost/benefits afforded to the attacker should be re-examined.

Creator - sunflame


Did you like this scenario? anything you'd suggest or change? let us know what you think, add it in the comments.