View Full Version : Warhammer 40,000 campaigns - what do you enjoy?

06-12-2012, 13:20
Over the many years of playing the game, I had developed a pretty elaborate map based campaign for warhammer fantasy based on Mighty Empires and years and years of house rules.

I'd like to move into doing something similar for Warhammer 40k.

That being said... I'm doing some research into what people would like to see out of a campaign ruleset. This will utilize Planetary Empire tiles but will undoubtedly be something a lot more complex than the little bit of rules that it gave. It will also be Game Mastered.

The fantasy campaign can be found here:

Brother Alexos
06-12-2012, 15:02
I think that the one thing that I would love to see in a Campaign ruleset is a wider use of the different game systems. Like, use Battlefleet Gothic or Killteam games to affect games on-planet. Im sure that, in a campaign of Guard v. Orks, Stormtroopers assassinating the enemie's Big Mek will affect their Vehicles, or if in a campaign of Eldar v. Chaos if the Eldar destroy the Chaos fleet it would affect what assets the Chaos faction can use.

06-12-2012, 15:43
A good story as to why every faction is fighting in the same area at the same time.

Also, I like army lists especially designed for the campaign eg GWs Ulthwe list for EoT.

06-12-2012, 15:48
The last 40k campaign I did I incorporated BFG. It was a lot of fun. The downside of battlefleet gothic is that only a couple of players ever care about it so spending time on it often seems to be a wasted effort.

Custom army lists are indeed a lot of fun. I also did a lost and the damned type list for my buddy that did not have a 40k army so that he could use his skaven last year in our campaign.

06-12-2012, 15:50
Seconding the good story element - along with the flexibility to create good stories out of the procedural events of the games.

The rules of the campaign are often secondary to this - at least in my group.

Chapters Unwritten
06-12-2012, 16:41
I have wrestled with campaigns for a long time. Our most successful one to date was a customized reboot of the Vogen campaign. Our last one was a followup but I made the error of letting one of our officers, a robotics engineer, come up with the changes. It was bloated, and if I can give you one piece of advice that is it right there: do NOT bloat the campaign! My officer's mechanics were sound but he did not realize how to give the campaign depth while still making it accessible and fun, so bloat is the deathknell.

The one we did that went over the best is available in a few places but the most direct links:



Here is what I have learned:

- The most successful iteration we had was our custom Vogen campaign, called Atmos, shown above. If you notice, I have a Late War and Early War set of the map and locations. Having phases in your campaign is vital; breaking it up into segments gives you a chance to see what rules are dominating, and change them. No one will be able to "run away with it" so to speak. It also helps keep the story fresh and the games interesting.

- Using phases of the campaign, you can take major events from early on and incorporate them into the later phases. For example, my Lone Wolf was sucked into a Monolith portal early on in the campaign. The later phases gave my army Preferred Enemy against Necrons and I got extra credit if I could destroy that player's monolith in battle.

- Players like to control their own fates. We have tried campaigns where two team captains make all the calls for a swath of underlings. The players didn't gel with this; it let us have flexibility each week but ultimately players got confused or just plain disinterested once they found they had no real role in things other than to be to the team leader what their own models are to them; pieces on a game board.

- People love to gear up their army, the same way they enjoy leveling up characters in online games for example. Creating special wargear

- People LOVE racially specific rules. For example, in our campaign a horde army like the orks or tyranids were allowed to place more pins down on the map when attacking, potentially taking more spaces on the board. We balanced this out with defenders automatically having some extra perks in that situation, as well.

- At the heart of every game is a basic mechanic which is then built upon. This is so vital I cannot overstate it: create a basic mechanic for how the campaign works for players, and then build off of it for everything else. In ours, it was simple: you put a pin in the map where you want to fight adjacent to one of your spaces. The battle uses the special rules of both yours and the enemy's space. Everything else we did built off of this (orks and tyranids could place two pins, for example, or the Eldar with their webway portal could attack any space without it being adjacent, etc.).

If you want a swath of ideas you can see our original bloated campaign here: http://www.evildice40k.com/files/ThereIsOnlyWar.pdf (password: Emperor)

We wrote this one some time ago, and it was very popular for a time, but it didn't go over well in practice, almost entirely because there is just too much of it there. The mission generator is an excellent tool but beyond that it is just...excessive.

Somewhere between Atmos' clean gameplay and There Is Only War's bloated mess resides The Battle of Essex Prime, our current campaign. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54799709/TheBattleofEssexPrime.pdf

Perhaps my mistakes can be inspiration for others.