Three's Company - Dealing with an Odd Number of Players

Three's Company - Dealing with an Odd Number of Players

Warhammer 40,000 – With a new year I’m working on running a new campaign. Rather than get complicated I’m opting to try the “Battle Honors” system presented in Chapter Approved 2018. Most of my group has committed to playing and painting a single 2000 point list before the end of the year. Which makes it really easy to have fixed unit cards that will allow us to keep track of the units experience during the campaign. I picked up a fancy hole punch to keep it official, so after the game honors can be doled out.

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Back to Badab ... A Warhammer 40K Campaign

Warhammer 40K - It's about that time again when I try to organize our gaming group to play a linked campaign. I've done my research and looked through numerous reference books to see if I could find some inspiration for a setting to tie together our games of Warhammer 40K. With grand plans to write up something immersive and complex I set to work ... and then realized I don't have time to get that in depth.

Currently everyone in my group has a Space Marine force of some type, and we never really played out a full campaign the last time we tried to run the Badab Campaign. So rather than get in over my head I'm using the forgeworld books as a starting point and making up my own missions to fill in the blanks.

Below are the missions we're using for week one. Each week I'm providing the missions to the warlord of each side to delegate who will fight which mission. Named characters can only appear in one battle each week so that will help to force some tactics when deciding who will fight where.

This will act like a ladder, each battle has to have a clear winner to move on to the next warzone. If it ends in a tie the game is replayed the next week as part of an ongoing siege. Units that survived the first part of the siege will begin on the table and any additions to the force will arrive via reserves.

During the campaign if a named character is killed they cannot be used in the following week's missions.

Week One

Capture the Shuttle (1500 points) Desert Big Table (4'x6')

A shuttle carrying vital information has crashed. Both sides need to recover the information.

Primary Mission: King of the Hill - Uncontested control of the center objective at the end of the game +5 points

Secondary Missions: Slay the Warlord, First Blood

Special Rules: Nightfight (in effect first turn), Reserves, mysterious forests, Fast Attack counts as scoring and gives up 1VP when eliminated.

Set up: Diagonal 12" no mans land through the middle 

Secure the City (750 points) Small City Table (3'x3')

Amid the sprawling hive you must secure a location to set up a command center.

Primary Mission: Objectives Place (6) objective counters in various buildings throughout the city, they are mysterious and have random values. 

Secondary Missions: Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker

Special Rules: Reserves, Intact Buildings AV12, firing points per model, Nightfight begin rolling on turn 3

Set-up: Standard 8" deployment

Secure the Complex (750 points) Small Swamp Table (3'x3')

Deep in the jungle swamp something nefarious is happening in an underground complex. Secure the entrance and prepare to cleanse the base.

Primary Mission: Table quarters for each uncontested table quarter held by scoring units +2

Secondary Missions: Slay the Warlord, First Blood

Special Rules: Reserves, mysterious forests/rivers, Heavy Support counts as scoring and gives up 1VP when eliminated.

Set-up: Standard 8" deployment

 

Badab War - Expansion Reviews

After the initial week of the campaign I'm looking into adding some of the 40K expansions into the mix. These supplements add new levels to the game and allow for interesting choices. While not necessarily the best for pick-up games, planning ahead for their inclusion into a campaign is the best way to use them in my opinion. That said let's look at what each of the expansions has to offer.

 

Cities of Death
Released near the end of 4th Edition the Cities of Death expansion revisited and revised the original City Fight ruleset. This expansion also brought stratagems into the game. Stratagems allowed players to give units or buildings special rules to reflect the special forces aspect of fighting in an urban environment. This expansion also modified the way buildings work (and was subsequently incorporated into the 5th Edition ruleset). For campaign games this ruleset is a great way to contest urban environments and makes for a very different style of play than a typical "open field" style game.

 

Planet Strike
The big release a few summers ago, this expansion saw the release of special terrain elements in the form of numerous plastic kits. Playing a Planet Strike game requires quite a bit of prior planning on the part of both players, as your force organization changes dramatically depending on if you are the attacker or defender. Also special terrain such as fortifications, craters and defense lines are a necessity. For campaign games  this ruleset can be used to simulate boarding assaults as well as planetary invasions. Given the nature of this style game players will need to be notified well in advance so they can prepare.

Spearhead
The vehicle expansion was released in White Dwarf over the summer and a pdf of the ruleset is available for free on Games Workshop's site. Like the other expansions this ruleset dramatically changes the way the game is played making tanks and squadrons scoring units. You also play using length of the board rather than the width. While this seems like a fun thing to try, not every player has access to a lot of tanks and as such requires much planning to set up a game. For campaigns this is a great way to simulate a force charging across the wastes to assault a position. Again given the nature of this type of game players need to be notified well in advance so they can prepare.

Apocalypse
This expansion removes the force organization chart so players can use any model in their collection as well as super heavies. It requires a larger table and takes a relatively longer period of time to play a game. Playing a game requires a significant amount of planning, space and time. For campaigns this is typically the final game allowing all players to field what they want and all play together. Of course if their are titans or other super heavies on the board, you may spend most of your game setting up models only to remove large swathes of them before you even get to move. 

Imperial Armour
Volumes 9 and 10 provide the meat for my current campaign. Not only do they include special characters and army lists, but also a well thought out campaign system. Also included in volume 9 are rules for boarding actions. This is a cool mini expansion that adds stratagems, and special rules to simulate fighting onboard starships. 

Badab War - Campaign Begins

Warhammer 40K – Sunday was the first day of the Badab War campaign I'm running with several members of the Paperbag Warriors. We started earlier than usual and began the campaign with a draft. Two of the players in our group insisted on playing a specific chapter from the Imperial Armour Books, and luckily one was a loyalist and the other a secessionist. These two players became the captains of theirs respective teams and than took turns drafting players for their side.

The scoring system is pretty simple winning a 1500 point or higher battle earns a team 2 VP, wining a Kill-team or small scale 40K game nets the winner 1VP. The campaign will last 5 weeks playing every other week. This makes scheduling easier and also promotes finishing off models and completing an army.

The Badad War was significant event in the 40K timeline that happened relatively recently. A group of space marine chapters tasked with protecting a remote area of space have a dispute with some of the local system administrations and declare independence. This rebellion ultimately forces the High Lords of Terra to react and send additional chapters of marines to the system to put an end to the rebellion. This minor civil war is the basis for the campaign. Forgeworld has produced 2 books that provide extensive background information and army lists which make running a themed campaign easy.

This event was one of my favorite stories from the old 40K compendium, and I painted (and since have lost) several variations of the old-school chapter schemes detailed above using the old hunch-backed beaky marine kit. Forgeworld has taken some liberties with the old background to make it more "realistic" and I've so far really enjoyed the books. Bell of Lost Souls also did their own variation of the campaign a few years ago.