Monday, 31 August 2015

Medusa IV Campaign- map-based 40k campaign

Stand to attention, dust off those Bolters and re-fill the cheese tanks on your Wave Serpent, it's campaign time!

As part of my hobby goals for the coming year, I was wanting to run a 40k map-based campaign. I have run a couple of these in the past, the first was the old Vogen cityfight campaign from the pages of White Dwarf, the second was a slightly smaller version of the campaign I am currently going to describe. We never got to finish this campaign due to problems with gaming space and time constraints, so I was keen to see if I could run it again.
I advertised the campaign at Dundee Wargames club and got a fantastic response from the guys there with 14 players signing up to take part (no doubt due to my constant pestering). This was way more than I was expecting, so I had to modify things slightly to fit with so many players. My campaign rules were based on the Planetary Empires campaign book, as well as some modified rules I had found online from "The Siege of Exodus Prime" (apologies to the creator of this campaign, I could not find the original source to credit them). The map was a modified version of the one found here.
What was a bit different about this campaign for me was that this time I would be active as a campaign overlord (essentially a Dungeon Master), so I would be fighting battles in the campaign, but could not actually win it. By doing this, I will be able to give the players secret objectives to achieve during the campaign and come up with some unusual scenarios for them without any bias as I would not have a direct stake in winning.
The rules for the campaign were as follows:
The Medusa IV Campaign
Medusa IV was your standard Imperial world, raising tithes for the Imperium and supplying able bodied men to bolster the ranks of the Imperial Guard. All that changed when the Ork rok emerged from the warp. On their way to a distant Waaagh, the gargantuan vessel crashed out of the warp and headed straight for the planet. The planetary defence batteries opened fire on the approaching vessel, splintering it into dozens of fragments. Though the bulk of the invading army was annihilated in the vacuum of space, enough fragments reached the planet’s surface to cause chaos.
After a decade of brutal fighting, the planetary defence forces, with the aid of their Astartes allies had come close to wiping out the Ork menace from the planet. The surviving greenskins had been force back to the embattled Kharisyian sector. As they prepared to deliver the decisive blow, the planet was suddenly invaded for a second time. Sinister forces appeared, each with their own agenda to once again sow havoc on the inhabitants of Medusa…….
The Campaign
The map attached shows the dispensation of the various forces in the Kharisyian sector.
The map the players will be fighting over.
Each campaign turn (approx. 1 month) will be split into two phases; The Resource Phase and the Battle Phase.

The Resource Phase:
Each campaign turn you will gain resource points from the territories you occupy and must pay for upkeep of your existing territories and buildings. Every two weeks, each player will receive 3D6 resource points (RP) plus an additional 1D6 resource points for each territory you control (I will roll for each player and inform you of your totals at the end of the month).
In order to maintain upkeep on your territory, you must pay 1 resource point for each hexagon you control and 2 resource points for each structure that you control. If you do not have enough points to maintain your territory, you will lose any excess tiles/territory. Any leftover points can be saved or spent how you wish; building new structures, bribing minor realms to fight for you, etc, if you have any ideas on how to spend your points, let me know.
The cost to build new structures are as follows:
Power Station- 30 RP
Shield Generator- 30 RP
Manufactorum- 40 RP
Command Bastion- 20 RP
Spaceport- 50 RP
Defence lines- 30 RP 
Only one new structure can be built each campaign turn.

Battle Phase
During the battle phase, you can send your armies forth to capture new territory in an attempt to carry out your noble/nefarious schemes.
Every two weeks, you may attempt to capture a new map location. In order to do this, select a tile that you wish to attack and fight a battle.
Every two weeks, each player may choose one tile to try and capture. The player currently controlling the most territories/tiles will get to choose which tile to attack first, followed by the player who has the second most tiles, etc. until all players that wish to attack have chosen a tile.
If two players choose to attack the same empty tile then they will fight one another. If both players choose to attack a tile occupied by a third player at the same time, the attacking player with the most tiles will get to attack that spot. The attacking player with fewer tiles will need to choose a new location to attack.
I have chosen to arrange battles every two weeks to give people time to play all their required games (if you attack an opponent’s tile and are yourself attacked, you will need two club sessions to get your games played). Obviously things are going to get complex as the campaign progresses and I may ask you to alter your moves so that each player is only attacked once per turn. For example, one player may end up being attacked 4 times in one campaign turn. It would be unfair to expect them to have to get all these battles played in one month.

Fighting a Battle
 If the tile you select to capture is blank (has no opposing army symbol) then you may fight any opponent you wish (the enemy force will represent a scouting or raiding party in the area). This is to allow you to fight any opponent you wish, it does not have to be someone already in the campaign and will allow you to capture territories each week if you wish.
If the tile you wish to attack contains the flag of an opposing force, you must fight that player in order to gain control of the tile.
The battle can be of any point size you and your opponent agree on, and can be any type of battle you wish to fight (standard game, maelstrom of war, cityfight, planetstrike, etc).  

Battle Bonuses
You may receive bonuses based on your control of the map:
1.      Compare the number of tiles that you and your opponent currently possess. The player will the least number of tiles gets a 50 pt bonus for each additional tile that their opponent possesses. E.g. Player A controls 4 tiles and attacks Player B who controls 2 tiles. Player B will receive an extra 100 pts bonus for the battle. This represents larger armies having to stretch their forces to control a larger area. This bonus only applies when attacking other players, attacking a scouting party gives no bonuses.
2.      Manufactoms that are controlled by the player also give bonuses to the army total.

Extra bonus points may be spent on adding to your force from your own army or may be spent on an allied contingent (if you have enough points and models, etc.)
Players may wish to only apply the points difference between the two forces for battles: e.g. Player A controls 5 extra territories than Player B, so player B would get an extra 250 pts. However, Player A also controls enough Manufactorums to gain an extra 100 pts bonus. They decide to play a 1500 pts game and player B gets an extra 150pts to spend (250 tile bonus-100 manufactorum bonus).
This is intended to give players with fewer tiles and resources a chance against opponents who have more territory.
 Determining Victory
If the attacking force won the battle, they must roll 2D6 in front of their opponent to see if they were able to capture the territory. You must roll equal to or more than the result listed below to see if you are successful in capturing the tile.
How easy a tile is to capture depends on its location and how easy it is to defend:


Tile Location
2D6 roll required.
Tile is adjacent to one of your existing tiles.
Tile is not adjacent to one of your existing tiles
Tile is in river or forest or has defence lines
Tile has a shield generator
-Modifier (see below)
Crushing Victory was scored
Tile is in mountains or has a spaceport
Attempting to capture more than one territory per campaign round
-1 for each additional


For example, a player is attempting to capture his second territory of the campaign turn. The tile adjacent to one of his existing tiles, but is in a forested area. He would need to roll 5+ on 2D6 to capture the tile (3+ for an adjacent tile, -1 for capturing his 2nd tile of the campaign turn, -1 for a forest tile).
A crushing victory is one where you have satisfied one of the following conditions:
·         Tabling- You have completely destroyed the enemy army.
·         Punishing Foothold- In an objective based game, you control at least 4 objectives and your opponent does not hold any objectives.
·         Tactical Victory- In a maelstrom game, you have achieved at least double your opponent’s victory points at the end of the game.

A maximum modifier of -4 can be applied to any attempt to capture a tile (unless a shield generator would incur a worse penalty, then only use the penalty for the shield generator).
If your roll is successful, then you can claim the tile which you attacked.
First Campaign turn
During the first campaign turn, you may only attempt to capture tiles which are adjacent to your own and that are not controlled by other players. This represent the invading army attempting to establish a beachhead and secure supply lines (it prevents players being eliminated in their first game of the campaign).

Map Locations/Buildings
The map begins with a number of strategic buildings in place and allows players to build new strategic buildings in their territories. Each grid tile can only have one building on it and no buildings can be placed on a mountain tile.
Power Station: Power stations provide you with the resources to quickly move your troops into position for battle. Compare the total number of power station points that you and your opponent have, for each additional power station points you control, you receive a bonus. For 1-10 extra points, you may add +1 to your roll for choosing deployment zone and who deploys first. For an extra 11+ points, you add +2.

Shield Generator: Shield generators protect strategic points on the map and make a tile more difficult to capture. A shield generator adds a modifier to the capture roll as shown in the table below. The first number is the modifier added when attempting to capture the tile the generator is located in, the second number is the modifier added when attempting to capture a tile adjacent to the shield generator.
Manufactorum: These supply your army with resources to quickly supply fresh troops and equipment to battle.  Compare the total value of the manufactorms you control (from the values given in the table) and compare with your opponent. The player with the highest total gets extra points based on the difference (1-10 pt difference gives the player an extra 100 pts, 11+ gives the player +200 pts).

Command Bastion: These allow you to be better organised and prepared for battle. Compare the total value of the command bastions you control (from the values given in the table) and compare with your opponent. The player with the highest total gains a bonus based on the difference: 0-11 point difference- +1 to seize the initiative roll. 12+ point difference- +1 to seize the initiative roll and one unit (plus transport) in your army gains the outflank special rule.

Spaceport: A spaceport provides greater mobility to your troops as well as making tiles easier to defend. A spaceport counts as being adjacent to all other spaceport tiles.

Defence lines: These protect your territory making them harder to capture. In addition, if you are attacked on a tile which contains defence lines, you may take a free Aegis Defence line for the battle.

Power Station
Shield Generator
Command Bastion
Space Marine (all chapters)
Imperial Guard
Eldar  (+Dark Eldar)
Chaos Marines
(inc. Sons of Horus)
Thanks to the great sign up for the campaign, I have decided to arrange the players into several different factions. This will hopefully make it easier for people to play their games each week or have one of their allies help them out with battles during the campaign.
If you are attacked and you cannot play the battle, you can ask one of your allies in the alliance to fight the battle for you. This represents their forces in your controlled area repelling the invaders. All the rules for fighting battles above still apply (remember to include any bonuses for extra tiles or buildings in your games).

Secret Objectives
As well as capturing territory and crushing your enemies, each player in an alliance will be given a secret objective to complete. Completing this objective will give you a bonus to some of your games played during the campaign. If you would like to suggest a secret mission (just what the mission is, I will determine the conditions necessary to achieve it), please let me know.

Winning the Campaign
The campaign will run for several months (or until you all get bored with it!). The winning alliance will be the one that has captured the most territory per player. The winning player will be the one that has captured the most territory.
So that is the campaign as I am going to run it. I will take the role of the Planetary Defence Force on the planet, allowing me to use my Guard army in the sections highlights (as well as possible using my other armies for raiding forces). I will be using my blog to report on the progress of the campaign and hopefully get some photos and reports of the battles taking place in the coming months.

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