I am happy to report that I have found my new favorite way to play 40k. Tournaments are great, but there’s something very enjoyable about a narrative campaign. Recently, our gaming group up at Gamer’s Sanctuary just finished up our second campaign. For six weeks, we had a high number of players show up to play out battles on a campaign map dubbed Murder Valley. We had 16 to 20 people at a time. Our last campaign organiser even painted up a nice set of the Planetary Empires kit. Many thanks go to Mealstorm on the Gamer’s Sanctuary forums. We didn’t actually use the Plantary Empires rules, but the tiles were a great visual aid for the campaign. Each week, this map was a great planning tool for everyone to know where best to use their generals for attack and defense. The results were posted on the forums so everyone could plan for their next moves.
We had a great mix of tabletop generals, veteran and new players alike. The campaign encouraged non-tournament lists, though there wasn’t any restriction that said you couldn’t bring whatever you wanted. Everyone really helped establish what turned out to be a cool campaign narrative with two teams, Imperial versus Xenos and Chaos. Reading the battle reports on the forums was almost as much fun as actually playing out each week’s attack or defence mission. Having played in two of these now, I am excited about working on my own rules for running a campaign in the future.
Some things I really liked that I’d like to repeat when I run a campaign in the future:
- Army list was set at 3000 points, no FOC. Each week you “drafted” units from your 3000 point list to build a legal force for that week’s game, usually 1500 points. Units lost in one week could not be used again next week with the exception of Troop choices. You weren’t required to own all 3000 points of your list. This allowed you to double up on unit choices if you wanted to limit losses from week to week.
- You were required to designate an army general, who could be a named character. Your general stayed on the map and was used for missions if he was adjacent to the territory you attacked or defended each week. If you brought him you added 250 points to your list for that week.
- Territories were added up each week. This score determined the team army value for an Apocalypse finale. Our first campaign finale was a huge battle, with eight players to a side and 1500-2000 points per player. The one for the most recent campaign will be broken up into two smaller 5v5 Apocalypse games so we can get through more turns.
- We used scenarios from the Battle Missions book in the weekly games. A lot of them are slightly unbalanced, but that added to the fun.
This was a picture from the Apocalypse battle that ended the first campaign last year. We have the finale for the current campaign coming up at the end of this month. I’m pretty excited as I have been playing Tau this campaign and am looking forward to abusing the Tau Apocalypse formations. I will have more on that later. For now, I have some terrain pieces I have to get back to painting for the big finale.