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Chapters Unwritten
08-05-2013, 16:28
At this point I am ambitiously designing a campaign system meant for public release, and since it will release post-retirement from my club, it can be designed for the public rather than for my indifferent member base. But I find myself wrestling against some difficult mechanics that have always plagued me, and would like to see what other experienced Warseerites think.

Design Goals
First and foremost, my main goal is to build something clean and intuitive that can have other aspects of play layered on.

Turn Order: The Big Problem
The main problem is (and always has been) the turn order. I want this campaign to be played by individuals, rather than teams. Operating under the assumption of even teams, it seems like things should be straightforward, but they aren't. Turn orders always feel goofy because if you attack an enemy player, you often end up with half the players stuck already engaged in a battle.

The most common idea is to have a turn order with some kind of initiative, where each player goes down the list and does something. Okay. So the problem I had with that was simply that each of the 8 players doesn't really get to decide their fate; the first 4 attack people, and the second 4 have to play those games, and so have no control over their own aggressive actions. Depending how I decide the order, they may NEVER be able to do so.

My next idea was to logically break the thing down into two halves, like a 40k turn. The top half, the first 4 players declare attacks, and the second 4 players select defenses. Then on the next turn, they do the same, but with the attacking guys now being defenders. This works out in that everyone will get in a game each session, one as attacker and one as defender... the problem is in the order.

+ Mike attacks, Rob defends.
+ Jim attacks, Kevin defends.
+ Now it's Rob's turn to attack in initiative order but he's already committed to another guy's game as a defender that session...

It gets very messy very quickly.

The Vogen system of putting a pin down on your turn and it being indicative of an attack location is very cool. But it also has issues; if I attack you, you can't attack anyone? If you attack me, can other people attack you? This all gets quite complicated, and leads to games unplayed week in and week out. I have a Quick War system built but it is very chintzy and I am afraid that allowing people to plan multiple attacks makes it so its better to meta build to Quick War multiple places at once, rather than actually fight a battle.

I do NOT want to resort to making all of the players be forced into teams. We did this for another campaign and it worked out very well, but it was designed as a team thing and this one is not.

Resource and Action Management
If any of you have ever played Twilight Imperium, it uses a system of strategy cards to determine turn order and decide special actions you can undertake in the game. I like this idea for a 40k campaign but the problem I seem to run into is much of what you'd do would end up making you NOT fight a battle...so it seems trite. I need every action they undertake to lead to a battle. So socring points that they manage to work on their forces, or other similar escalation type mechanics, don't seem like they'd do well.

Map, or Abstract Locations?
I am also debating a map. Maps are fun but they are static. Instead I was hoping to go to an abstract system where you create a location each time you battle a player, by rolling a D66 on a chart. With 36 results, you can potentially generate up to three "Location Traits" for your battle. So you could roll "Narrow Passage" (4x4 Board), "Turbulent Skies" (Flyers must snapfire unless hovering), and "The Dead of Night" (Night fighting on the whole mission). I also plan on making special named locations which have a series of these location traits to make them appropriate.

I like this idea because it makes the game seem to have a rolling battlefront while not confining the players to fighting their most immediate neighbors. Also, these locations can be fought across a number of planets that require no map, meaning the campaign will be different every time.

Well...what do you all think? The turn order is where I'm having the most trouble. Any suggestions?

Theocracity
08-05-2013, 16:47
Is there a way you could integrate the initiative order and the resource management? What I mean is that a player's initiative could be determined by certain traits, dependent on their army or campaign attributes. Orks start out with slower initiative but gain more for each fight; IG start out fast but slow down as their supply lines start to get stretched, etc. Perhaps certain actions they take could affect their initiative; for example, a Blitzkreig action could get them a boost to initiative for this round but slows them down more the next round.

Regarding the attacker / defender conundrum, maybe a system for multiple fronts could be put in place. If you're under attack and you launch a new assault, not all of your troops could participate. Similarly if you assault someone who's already defending, he might be at a penalty. Maybe this could be balanced by other army-specific rules though; Eldar are sneaky skirmishers so they might get a boost at fighting on multiple fronts. If Marines attack someone who's already defending against Chaos, the marines would be at a disadvantage due to helping their enemies.

Just some thoughts to chew on.

Inquisitor Kallus
08-05-2013, 17:01
Sounds cool. Regarding the im getting attacked but cant attack anyone else thing, can you not have say a number of different army lists? Maybe a combat patrol and kill team list in addition to the standard one? Also kind of represents scouting forces etc that wouldnt engage a larger force but may get caught by one of a similar size (i.e. combat patrol). Does that make any sense?

Theocracity
08-05-2013, 17:07
Sounds cool. Regarding the im getting attacked but cant attack anyone else thing, can you not have say a number of different army lists? Maybe a combat patrol and kill team list in addition to the standard one? Also kind of represents scouting forces etc that wouldnt engage a larger force but may get caught by one of a similar size (i.e. combat patrol). Does that make any sense?

Oh, I like that idea. Maybe there could be different rewards for engaging in that type of battle too - perhaps instead of gaining territory due to a combat patrol you get to draw a mission card instead. That way the player could take a 'consolidation' action that still results in a battle taking place.

Zaljin
08-05-2013, 17:09
What about instead of going in a turn, everyone secretly writes down their "orders" on a sheet of paper, as in army A is attacking up (or down or where ever) and everyone submits these orders at the same time and they are resolved at the same time.

Inquisitor Kallus
08-05-2013, 17:13
Oh, I like that idea. Maybe there could be different rewards for engaging in that type of battle too - perhaps instead of gaining territory due to a combat patrol you get to draw a mission card instead. That way the player could take a 'consolidation' action that still results in a battle taking place.

Like the idea of a mission card etc. The idea maybe that your scouts have found a hidden path through mountains enabling you to pick which board edge you deploy on in the next game, or an inquisitor has managed to battle his way through to a chapel through a mob of mutants/whatever and can now use SOB unit as an ally/use ecclesiarchal unit as ally, etc etc if you win the game. Some could be 'use whenever', some could be use next game or against a certain opponent, etc.

Theocracity
08-05-2013, 18:01
Like the idea of a mission card etc. The idea maybe that your scouts have found a hidden path through mountains enabling you to pick which board edge you deploy on in the next game, or an inquisitor has managed to battle his way through to a chapel through a mob of mutants/whatever and can now use SOB unit as an ally/use ecclesiarchal unit as ally, etc etc if you win the game. Some could be 'use whenever', some could be use next game or against a certain opponent, etc.

Yeah, or even campaign bonuses like a strategic initiative boost. They'd have to be decently balanced and randomly drawn of course.

The Scouting Mission option could also benefit defenders. Since the patrol game takes up less time, they could potentially play both games in a round - one to defend against an attacker, while they declare a scouting mission to fight for a mission card.

Here's how im seeing a player's options would work:

1: Offensive Assault. You select an opponent who is not already engaged in an Offensive Assault or involuntary Territory Defense and fight a full battle with them. Winning gets you more territory and closer to overall victory. If you lose your opponent gains territory.

2: Scouting mission. You select an opponent, even if they are already engaged in an Offensive Assault or Territory Defense (but not in a Scouting Mission). Fight a Combat Patrol game; the victor gets to draw from the Strategic Reserves deck, gaining a boost to a future game or campaign action.

3: Territory Defense. Engaged in automatically if you are the target of Offensive Assault, but can be chosen voluntarily. If you are the target of an Offensive Assault, you get a free Scouting Mission action in this turn. If you choose this action and are not the target of any Offensive Assault or Scouting Mission actions, you gain +1 Campaign Initiative next campaign turn.

Thoughts?

sprugly
08-05-2013, 18:10
One of the simplest ways would be that each campaign turn all the players roll for their armies current initiative (d66?) And then take their turns in that order. Anyone attacked cannot make an attack themselves because they were caught out before they could launch it.

You could also devise modifiers for certain situations or locations (maybe being at a landing pad would give you a bonus or being in a swamp a negative, plus a player that won their last game could get extra or perhaps a re roll from the ground gained?)

Sprugly

Chapters Unwritten
08-05-2013, 18:17
Sounds cool. Regarding the im getting attacked but cant attack anyone else thing, can you not have say a number of different army lists? Maybe a combat patrol and kill team list in addition to the standard one? Also kind of represents scouting forces etc that wouldnt engage a larger force but may get caught by one of a similar size (i.e. combat patrol). Does that make any sense?
I am planning for people to have a Warhost which consists of multiple army lists, so the idea has merit. However, they would still require the player themselves to play potentially more than one game in a session.


Oh, I like that idea. Maybe there could be different rewards for engaging in that type of battle too - perhaps instead of gaining territory due to a combat patrol you get to draw a mission card instead. That way the player could take a 'consolidation' action that still results in a battle taking place. The idea of playing other games to get rewards is a good idea. Particularly if I set up the location aspects in such a way that you need to do this to attack the "named" areas, such as a particular city where you must first take out the perimeter patrols to get into battle, for example. This leads to other issues but is a cool idea.


What about instead of going in a turn, everyone secretly writes down their "orders" on a sheet of paper, as in army A is attacking up (or down or where ever) and everyone submits these orders at the same time and they are resolved at the same time. A secret orders system works until Guy A and Guy B both unwittingly (or purposefully) attack Guy C. Now they've got to fight some kind of custom three way battle and logically Guy C has everything to lose. I have no problem writing a 3-person mission to use for that sort of thing, but it adds the possibility that of my 8 players, games might be 3-player, 2-player, 2-player, and one guy with nothing to do.


Like the idea of a mission card etc. The idea maybe that your scouts have found a hidden path through mountains enabling you to pick which board edge you deploy on in the next game, or an inquisitor has managed to battle his way through to a chapel through a mob of mutants/whatever and can now use SOB unit as an ally/use ecclesiarchal unit as ally, etc etc if you win the game. Some could be 'use whenever', some could be use next game or against a certain opponent, etc.A way where you could play side missions to unlock special attributes you could add to the missions for your benefit seems like it'd be cool, though again bears the issue of some players having to play more games then others. It'd be a great way to add strategy to your forces, though - unlock missions, kind of like those found in Starcraft 2's Heart of the Swarm.

These are all great ideas for flavor but still leave me stuck at the player level. I really want the campaign to be a bit more than "pick somebody, play a game against them for X points" and these ideas help that but the turn order issue still applies.

One idea I had was to create 8 markers for offense and defense, specifically. There would be two steps: everyone launches an attack, and everyone scrambles a defense (using different lists, of course). That makes everyone have two games, but they need to be resolved in two sessions, and also poses problems if Guy A is attacking Guy B but Guy B is attacking Guy C, etc.

Theocracity
08-05-2013, 18:25
That's sort of why I like the scouting mission idea. You can attack someone who's already in combat, but you don't get the same benefit. You also don't have to play quite as long of a game so its easier to run.

NemoSD
08-05-2013, 19:12
I had a similar problem with a campaign I have been putting together, here is how I solved it.

The Campaign: This is an invasion campaign. The forces of Chaos are invading a world on the edge of the Imperium that is nominally Imperial. (It is common 'free trade' placing Eldar, and Tau in the 'imperium' side as they defend trade interests. Dark Eldar, and Ork players are free agents and can join either side or no side at all, or switch back and forth. Necron players are their own side. Imperial Guard players can choose what side they are on. If teams are unbalancing, the merc/free agents will be assigned to the unbalanced team.

That is the extent of the teams, from that point forward, everyone operates on their own. Unless they choose to coordinate, with one exception. Loyal Guard players must elected a Marshall, but they operate as their own regiments, meaning they do not have to follow the Marshall's orders.

Turns: At the beginning of each campaign turn, each player gives me a card that indicates his choices. All players start with 20,000 Points, and must pick units with those points, that is their army, reserves, etc for the entire campaign. They can choose to throw it all at once, but as units are lost, those points are lost for good. Turn cards give me the following information:

Has the player dug in anywhere. IE, there is a strategic fort, have they dug in there, skeleton crew there, or empty?
Are they planning an attack, if so, is it land grab, raid, or feint. A land grab is used to grab terrain, raid rubs the opposing player of actions points for the next turn if successful, and feint is reported as a land grab, but with double the points reported then actually committed.
Intelligence gathering: A chance to assess numbers in a fortification, or to detect a feint, our gain the advantage in a land grab, or turn a raid action into an ambush.
Deception: Chances to hide intelligence.
Troops committed: How many points, and what units are committed to each act above.

Limitations: A player can do an infinite amount of intelligence actions, but unless he spends more AP than the other player spent in deception, they will all fail. For example, Player A spends 6 points in deception, player B spends 9 in a single intelligence operation: ambush, than an intelligence operation is possible. I will then in secret roll a d6, and add the number of points spent by each side to the total. A unit like Stormtroopers, Scouts, Rangers/Pathfinders, Tau Pathfinders, etc must be used, If the total equals roll is tied, a Kill Team game occurs before the main turn takes place, with the intelligence unit having been caught forced to fight. If they win, the intell gets back to base, if they lose then no intell, and the unit committed is lost. If the deception roll wins, the kill team occurs, BUT it is an ambush on the intell forces, and if the deception player wins, the intell team is captured instead of killed, and the next intell roll by that player is at a +6.

Intell Actions are: Ambush, a raid can ambush an attack from the opposing side. Ambushers are always at 1000 points max (max limit for a raid) and the raid action is not used. They attack the full might of the attacking force, but the attacked force is deployed by the Campaign Master in a parade formation. (They follow a road or path, and are in formation, etc... they are marching.) The ambushers can deploy however they like, and they can at will, after turn 3, retreat. (The entire army fails all morale saves, with no hope of regrouping, and will move as if falling back, each turn towards the nearest table edge.)

Assess Strength: Commit intell forces to determine the strength of an attacking force, or a fortification. If successful, you can add up to 1000 points to your army for that attack, and change the units committed.

Detect Feint: Will tell you if a suspected major offensive is a feint to cover a sneak attack.

Intelligence Actions use Action Points, you get one action point for each intelligence unit in your army. (IG, it is Stormtroopers, Forward Deployment Vets, Harker, and flyers --flyers can not be sent on intell missions, they only give action points.-- Marines it is Scouts, and flyers, Tau Pathfinders, and Kroot and flyers, Eldar, it is Pathfinders, Rangers, and Scorpions and of course flyers, in fact all flyers add points for all armies, Dark Eldar is anything with infiltrate, same for Chaos, and Necron. Tyranid is genestealers.) Obvious some armies will be better at intell then others. You can share intell points with your team, but if so, the team mate must have intell units to commit to the operation, and you must indicate on your card that you committed points to an ally.

You are allowed two campaign actions per turn. A campaign action includes dig in, attack, and feint. Digging in requires you to declare the number points and units dug in and at point point. Attack requires you to commit X number of points and units to a point to attack. Feint you provide two lists. The actual list, and then the doubled list.

You may also declare defense garrisions, which cover a limited area, and are not counted as dug in.

Once all the cards are handled, I do the intelligence stuff first, then we move on to the campaign actions. I look at all the attacks, then keeping the defensive stuff secret where appropriate, then I inform the group of the current attacks from both sides, let them sort out how they will be handled, then we play the games.

If an attacker attacked a place not defended, the opposing force can choose to send a player to defend it. In such a case, it becomes a pitched battle, no fortifications, and all units count as having moved at the start of the fight. If a point is defended, IE a player had an army declared there, then it players as a normal game, with the CM determining mission type. If there is a dug in defender, the defender gets to place its fortifications, which it does not have to pay for, but may only deploy within, or 6 inches from those fortifications, which can only be placed in standard deployment zones. Attacker gets to choose deployment type, and if it is a night fight.

Chapters Unwritten
08-05-2013, 20:18
A bit extensive for what I'm planning, but I do like the core idea you have there, whereby players can engage in multiple types of actions but they all result in a 40k game of some sort. It's a bit too much bookkeeping for my plans, but it does give a lot of inspiration.

I want to give the players options of what to do but it is difficult, so one of the things I was planning was a Warhost. In another campaign I worked on, this was a huge list and you had to put all your units in it, and only construct armies from those units (which worked great with Army Builder's feature where it can print an army list in unit card format).

In 6th, I find that the battles are far too destructive for this, so I've opted instead to have people make multiple lists. One of my original goals was to parallel the normal game as much as possible, so I suppose this is probably pretty doable by making the lists within the warhost abide by an FOC, the way units within the lists do. I'd probably do that along the lines of fantasy's categories just because, for entire lists, they make more sense. From there, it's just a hop skip and a jump away from the smaller lists in the FOC having to fight if you're under attack. From there I will just put a time limit on the smaller battles.

Unfortunately this still doesn't help me much, while a great idea. I want to distill things so that everyone plays one worthwhile campaign battle each session. Adding an optional smaller one beforehand doesn't eliminate the problems of the earlier one of people getting criss-crossed!

Inquisitor Kallus
08-05-2013, 20:27
Somethng to do with faster armies moving first and getting to attack first? if people arent attacked then they get to play a smaller game type. Essentially having play 2 games per campaign round? Or one if you prefer. If doing two you roll off to see who goes first adding a bonus for speed of formation/army. The second round of games in the campaign turn simply reverses player positions, last becomes first etc. Have a look at the WFB campaign tile set rules if you can, i think the idea was from there. Also have a look at the 40k one. I have them somewhere but not directly to hand

gitburna
08-05-2013, 21:22
When i worked on a campaign recently(Ish) we used a hex map which i drew all over, and the Pin system denoting a players major force. However i found that the map system just ended up with the same players fighting over and over (since they couldnt reach other players in early turns), and it only took one or two games to have one of those two player in a very strong position, pinching the opponent's hex.

We also integrated 500 point combat patrols into this - if your major force took on something other than an enemy's major force, we decided it should be a combat patrol to represent it as a scouting mission probing enemy defences, raid on a supply line etc.

We also used the Battle Missions expansion as it was felt these represented preferred tactics for primary forces - a d6 roll would determine which of these missions would be played (as there are 3 missions for each race) and it worked quite well.

Based on my experiences i would suggest then to scrap a map system, but that you could allow all armies to pick their preferred mission type first (perhaps with a relevant campaign based bonus for the winner), and then determine who fights who and on what sort of board by some kind of dice roll/roll off. The winner's mission is then played (they were the better prepared) This allows the players to decide if they want to do a planet strike/objective grab/take and hold/Combat Patrol to suit their army or playstyle but with no guarantee that they will definitely get to play that type of mission.

Example:

Player 1 - Orks - combat patrol
Player 2 - marine army with lots of fast attack - The Scouring
Player 3 - Imperial Guard - Big Guns Never Tire
Player 4 - Chaos marines - The Relic

Etc

Match-ups are assigned randomly, then players roll off to see which mission gets played -
In the example, Orks end up fighting Guard in a Big Guns mission, while marines fight Chaos marines in a Relic grab.
If the Orks had won their roll off, they'd be "sneaking" up to the Guard's lines in a combat patrol instead and so on

Bonzai
08-05-2013, 22:03
Regarding turn order, I wouldn't set one. The main reason is player interest. If one person doesn't show up, it can stall things out and players can start losing interest. Instead I give the players a week or two to get their games in, then the next turn starts. Players can set their own games, at their own schedual, and if some one doesn't defend when challenged during a turn, they get a loss. They only get a certain number of actions a turn, including one attack, so things tend to get sorted faily quickly.

Soss
08-05-2013, 22:24
I have started a campaign and here are some of the things I have done, we have tested it for a bit and are in the process of starting it again to test some more.

The winning player is the player with the most CVP (campaign victory points), these are like victory points in a game. You get 1 CVP for winning a battle and other options to get additional ones. I have "styles" of play that are picked before the campaign, some examples are; attacker bonus, if this player wins a game as the attacker he gets +1 CVP or kill team, if this player wins a kill team game he gets +1 CVP. You pick what CVP total you need to get to to win.

It is a map based campaign and I have it set up that each player can attack another player once per turn, they can defend any amount of times. It goes in order to see who decides who to attack first, and the folowing campaign turn the 1st player goes to the bottom and even one moves up 1 in the order. I am thinking that at the start of each turn every player in order gives thier attacking location, that way you know if player A is attacking B and player C is attacking D. Then if you where player C or D you could play your game at anytime since you know that the players ahead of you are not atatcking you.

I also have Death Worlds that do not belong to any player. These are planets where players can find artifacts and when they search there is a chance that they will have to play a game from a kill team size to 1000 points. I set this up so that the opponent could be anyone or can even be another army of a player that is in the campaign. I wanted a way that people could play other armies that aren't affected by the campaign.

I don't make it to my game store very often so I was thinking that each campaign turn could last 2-4 weeks. That shoyudl give everyone a chance to get thier games in.

Fagerlund
08-05-2013, 22:52
I designed a hexmap-campaign based off the Total War games. Ie, the players have limited amounts of armies that they move around the map. The only time two players fight are when their armies meet on the map. The map has fog of war, so scouting nearby hexes was available before moving armies. Actions are taken simultaneously, but needs a campaign master to co-ordinate. Resources or other strategic stuff were placed towards the middle of the map to encourage players into the middle and thus mix up the match ups a bit. I also had some special scenarios made for like a scouting force encountering local population/monsters should no player vs player action occur.
The armies were also set, so you had to roll dice for units lost after the battle to see if they would recover or stay dead. Then in the 'map-phase' you'd be able to recruit new units and assign them to armies etc. Ie I made a game out of the map as well, so even if no 40K battle would occur the player would have stuff to do, choices to make etc. To stop players from camping or harvesting I had special events happen, like *suddenly a horde of hungry Tyranids appears* forcing them into a fight. I also encourage players to use diplomacy while being secretive towards each other... for more game within the game.
Should it happen that one player gets attacked on too many fronts at once that are too far away from each other to justify a multiplayer scenario they always had the option to retreat (for a cost, like losing some resources or even troops deserting).
Quite suitable for a group that can't necessarily play every week for example I think. And the players that has time to play, are rewarded for it as well.

Soss
08-05-2013, 23:03
Yeah, or even campaign bonuses like a strategic initiative boost. They'd have to be decently balanced and randomly drawn of course.

The Scouting Mission option could also benefit defenders. Since the patrol game takes up less time, they could potentially play both games in a round - one to defend against an attacker, while they declare a scouting mission to fight for a mission card.

Here's how im seeing a player's options would work:

1: Offensive Assault. You select an opponent who is not already engaged in an Offensive Assault or involuntary Territory Defense and fight a full battle with them. Winning gets you more territory and closer to overall victory. If you lose your opponent gains territory.

2: Scouting mission. You select an opponent, even if they are already engaged in an Offensive Assault or Territory Defense (but not in a Scouting Mission). Fight a Combat Patrol game; the victor gets to draw from the Strategic Reserves deck, gaining a boost to a future game or campaign action.

3: Territory Defense. Engaged in automatically if you are the target of Offensive Assault, but can be chosen voluntarily. If you are the target of an Offensive Assault, you get a free Scouting Mission action in this turn. If you choose this action and are not the target of any Offensive Assault or Scouting Mission actions, you gain +1 Campaign Initiative next campaign turn.

Thoughts?

I have set my campaign up so that there are Campaign Warlords, these are the only warlords you can use. I have 5 total, 1 that can only attack, 1 that can attack or defend, and 1 for each world that can only defend thier world. I stated above that I use a CVP sytem to determine the winner and each campaign warlord that gets killed gives up a CVP. This allows one attacking army and a defending army for each world, plus one that can be used for either.

I have a lot of othe rules for veteran status and finding artifacts also. We are starting a blog with the rules, if I get it done I might post a link.

Scarface13
09-05-2013, 02:35
A combination of random "mission" cards and strategy points could be easy to manage and keep things fresh.

The first thing you need to do for a campaign is define the terms of victory. This will determine how the players make decisions, and to some extent allows you to control them. My suggestion is to give each player "missions". These are randomly drawn by each player and kept secret. You could either have the players draw all of their mission cards at the beginning of the scenario or taken one at a time once the previous one is fulfilled. The campaign could end when one player fulfills a specific number of cards, or end after a specified time and the player with the most cards wins.

How the players will take action will be each campaign turn they will receive 100 or so strategy points. They will spend these points to attempt to create a scenario that will fulfill their missions. Each person will submit their strategy points budget and army list choice (of 3 or 4 posted at the beginning of the campaign) to the campaign manager. The campaign manager will go through, award bids to the highest bidder, and publish games and terms.

Missions could include:

Things that could be bid on or purchased with the strategy points:
Opponent choice
Mission Type
Deployment Type
Night Fight
Rulebook fortifications
First Turn
Reserve bonuses
Deny an enemy a list (if several pre-created lists are used)
Other special rules for a mission like the ones mentioned above

The mission cards could include types of scenarios to win, specific players to beat, etc.

Thornz
09-05-2013, 04:13
I have written and played MAY 40k campaigns, this is my FAVOURITE way of doing turns:

Full Credit to "There is Only War - Campaign" for the following:


Invasion Phase
The first thing that happens in a campaign turn is the Navigation Phase, in which players move their fleets to enemy worlds to invade. This is done via an abstraction used to simulate fleet travel, and also encompasses an important part of the campaign turn — your campaign initiative order.

INITIATIVE ORDER
During the beginning of the Navigation Phase, initiative order is determined for all players. This is relatively simple, and begins with a listing showing the races’ “default” initiative order:

1 Dark Eldar 7 Space Marines
2 Eldar 8 Sister of Battle
3 Daeomns 9 Imperial Guard
4 Tyranids 10 Tau
5 Inquisition 11 Orks
6 Chaos Marines 12 Necrons

This list is modified at the start of every Navigation Phase. This is done by having players each roll a D6, going down the list in its default order. Every roll of 1 puts the rolling player at the bottom of the list, while every roll of 6 puts the rolling player at the top. If you roll any other result, you remain where you are. Once all players have rolled, write the finalized order down somewhere safe and proceed to moving player fleets. The modified version of this order will remain in effect until the end of the current campaign turn.

To make it all fair, in the next turn, any players who attacked in the previous turn will automatically roll a 1 on their next initiative order. These players will also not be allowed to act until all other players who were defenders the previous round have become engaged.

Two players, same race?
If there happen to be multiple players of the same race who end up at the same initiative step, simply have them roll off. The player who wins will go immediately before the player who loses.

INVADING A PLANET
Players proceed in initiative order, declaring their destinations. All players have to do in order to move a strike force into place is declare their destination planet.

You automatically begin an invasion against the player whose planet you targeted. This means that during the War Phase, you will fight a battle with this player. From this point, both players are said to be engaged.

Once a player is engaged, no players may attack any of his other worlds. This is not true of the world that has already been invaded, however; its defences have been blitzed and compromised already!
Becoming Engaged
Once a player enters the orbit of another player’s planet with their fleet, both players become engaged. The first important detail of this is that neither player may act further during the current Navigation Phase. Astute readers may notice that this means the players with higher initiative order can render other players unable to act at lesser initiative levels.

MULTIPLE INVASIONS ON ONE PLANET
You cannot invade the other worlds of an engaged player because they are aware of the danger present and are prepared to stop an invasion cold; however the world that has already been attacked is all but helpless to repel additional invaders. For this reason, players may declare invasions against worlds that are already being invaded (so long as they themselves are unengaged and able to act). When this happens, the planetary campaign becomes a multiplayer campaign game instead, and has some unique rules.

Uneasy Allies
Players may agree to ally during an invasion. Whenever an additional third or fourth party attacks an already-targeted world, they may choose to ally with any of the forces already present there (so, a third party may choose to aid the invaders, or to help protect the world from falling into the invader’s hands by assisting the defenders!).

The defender must decide if he accepts this aid. If this happens, then the planetary campaign will be played normally, but the third party will use his army to comprise any part of the force of his ally, just as in a standard team game.

There are a number of reasons a player might do this. Perhaps a Tau army wishes to stop a Salamander Space Marine fleet from gaining a planet with the capacity to produce Terminator armour; perhaps a Chaos Daemons force has chosen to appear on the battlefield to aid their Chaos Space Marine brethren. Regardless, this alliance (as the name implies) is fragile. Players who are Allies of Convenience or Desperate Allies (see the 40k rulebook) may attack each other’s models at will, but never a Battle Brother. This has its benefits, since the planet’s ownership at the end of the planetary campaign can be heavily influenced by a sudden ambush ... perhaps this was the intent of your “partner” the entire time?

WAR ZONE
If a player joins the fray and does not attempt to ally with any involved forces (or his alliance is refused), then the planetary campaign becomes a war zone where all involved players participate in a multi-player 3 or 4 way free-for-all battle.

viking657
09-05-2013, 07:28
I've designed and run many campaign map based systems over the years, the most successful way I found of dealing with multiple challanges was to leave it up to the defender.

At the end of the round all players write down who they want to fight and submit to the campaign organiser, with the battles that needed to be fought posted on a board and scheduled before the next round could begin.

In the case of multiple challanges on one player I found it worked best if the defender could choose how to face his attackers. In the case of two players attacking one the defender could either face each player individually or face both attackers at the same time (say defender putting out 1500pts and the attackers putting down 750 each).

With the defender having a greater say in terrain setups I found it made for some unusal pairings but it balanced and resulted in fun exciting games

The defender would also be fighting a seperate battle as he too would be challanging someone in an attempt to gain a tile piece.

Chapters Unwritten
09-05-2013, 12:43
I have written and played MAY 40k campaigns, this is my FAVOURITE way of doing turns:

Full Credit to "There is Only War - Campaign" for the following:

:-)

It is interesting you should quote this to me, as I wrote it. Funny story... PM me if you are interested.

TIOW is very beloved even now, and there are still people downloading it. I'm looking to improve on it and streamline it, more or less.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

Bergen Beerbelly
09-05-2013, 13:07
In the map hex campaigns I've been running it was really simple to avoid three ways battles with the fourth person sitting out.

First I need to let you know that I allow allies from the core rule book but players have to stick to the same allies all campaign long. No changing allies just because you want an edge and decided to take some orks instead of some Chaos with your Necrons.

Second, is that I only allow one defender army to be in a map hex at a time and only one attacker. So if two armies converge on one map hex and move into it at the same time I make them roll off to see who reacts first. Space Marines (of every variety) have an advantage in that they always win these rolls if they are not going against other Space Marines. This shows that they are masters of the swift attack and usually take opponents by surprise. However, if rolling off vs other Space Marines, they must both roll as normal.

The highest scoring player in this roll off then gets to move his Army into the hex to fight the defender. The lower scoring players army acts as if it had been given hold orders instead and stays in its current hex.

So if two players end up not playing because of that then I usually have them fight a battle with whatever army they have brought as allies instead of their main army.

This battle will not allow them to capture a map hex but it does give them bonuses on their next battles with their main armies. The winner of this battle of the allies will gain two re-rolls to ANYTHING they want in their next battle with their main army. The loser will gain one re-roll to ANYTHING they want in their next battle with their main army as well.

This at least gives them some sort of compensation that they can use to help in their next battles since they can't gain territory. So it can allow things like re rolls on the spell tables, re rolls on armour saves, re rolls on the Warlord Traits tables. Anything they want.

Bubble Ghost
09-05-2013, 13:53
I always wanted to try out a sort of 'currency' system for turn order. The chances of a) me ever getting around to this, and b) myself and people I know having the patience to actually test it, is minuscule. But the basic idea would be: how well you do, or accomplishing certain goals or holding certain map locations or having certain units, could give you initiative/supply/strategy/whatever tokens. Use those to 'buy' your place in the turn order, representing the resources you've committed (nominate how many you're bidding in secret then everyone reveals). Tie breaker is whoever has the FEWEST unused ones in reserve wins (they're obviously more committed/desperate). If you're forced into action before your turn to act comes up, you get your tokens back (or some of them at least) for next time.

The fun thing is that you can play with tokens like that in all sorts of other ways as well as their basic purpose. Cash them in spontaneously in the middle of a game to buy a reroll. Use one at the start of a game when you've been attacked to detail some of your men to build a defence line. Call in an air strike. Buy out of being attacked by a particular player in first place.

It would get complicated fast, take aeons of testing to balance, and I have no bloody idea whether it would work it all. But I love the concept.




Alternatively: play two games per round, one attack and one defence.:p

Chapters Unwritten
09-05-2013, 15:15
Two games per session is probably the way I will go. It allows every player to play one attack and one defense, but also, I will divide the campaign turns into "top" and "bottom" rounds, respectively.

I was also thinking of reworking my Quick War, so that it's at least a fight: I was going to give each army its own stats by FOC slot, and let the Quick Wars be resolved as a quick Assault Phase between two "units" whose models comprise the entire army. So you can actually have your lists fight it out real quick.

In this regard, I suppose if I have a good enough quick war mechanic, I can just allow a much more realistic situation where you are fighting all over the place. The risk, of course, could be that your army could get swept, and you can't use that list at all anymore.

If that's the case I would just need to force one battle to be "Crux" battle - the book could bill this battle as the final moments of an epic clash, culminating in ultimate victory. I would just make these worth more, to encourage people to not spam.

Chem-Dog
09-05-2013, 17:11
Turn Order: The Big Problem
The main problem is (and always has been) the turn order. I want this campaign to be played by individuals, rather than teams. Operating under the assumption of even teams, it seems like things should be straightforward, but they aren't. Turn orders always feel goofy because if you attack an enemy player, you often end up with half the players stuck already engaged in a battle.

Unless I'm reading you wrong, you're looking at a "one game session equals one campaign turn" system, which could well be the spanner in the works for running fluid campaigns.

If you have a "Battles phase" in which each player is allowed to launch one attack and perform any defences as required and allow that to run as long as it needs to you can wrap up the turn with any resource, manoeuvres, campaign events and whathaveyou after all relevant games are resolved.

One mechanism that I am fond of exploring in a campaign is concentrating only on victories, the number of defeats a player suffers in a campaign only obliquely impacting their campaign by awarding other players a win, this allows a player to still be a vital component in the overall campaign rather than simply etting whittled down, perhaps even after a first game narrow defeat, and never being able to claw it back because of multiple stacked win advantages and lose disadvantages that start piling on.

The simplest expression of this would be a Campaign Victory Points system which allows players to spend their CVP's on certain advantages (which could be entirely linked to resource collection or territory generation, +1's to the income roll from one territory, or the ability to shift a territory generation roll up or down a band as you see fit).
For a fine setting you could even award CVP's irrespective of ultimate game victory (although winning a game should be rewarded) based on objective control and mission completion: A player who succeeds in consistently scoring Linebreaker or Slay the Warlord could be said to be having some measure of success even if he is frequently pipped to the post in terms of holding down battlefield objectives - You could even go so far as to slant the CVP awards for certain achievements based on what Codex is being used by a player.

In summary: Don't confine a whole Campaign Turn to just one game session and allow games that need to be fought to be resolved, then mop up with all other business after they are done. Recording only victories gives you less numbers to keep a hold of, most players can at least remember who they've fought and what the result of the game was. Remove the need to determine who "goes first" in a campaign turn and you make a lot of those issues vanish (though I can't promise others won't rear their heads....)




Resource and Action Management
Map, or Abstract Locations?

Both these issues tie into one thing for me. If resources are derived entirely form territorial holdings (IE: You have captured an a Admantium Mine which generates D6 "resources" per campaign turn -which can be boosted by expending CVP's remember) you need only keep a record of which player holds what territories, no map necessary.
The absence of a map allows any player to engage any other player because there aren't defined boundaries, no occasion where Bob can't attack Dave because Pete's in the way can arise - less snarl up even if one player's territory becomes an enclave within the held land of another as the campaign develops.

Old hands will remember the Thorskinsson's island campaign run in WD many moons ago, In that each player was extremely harshly limited on what he could include in his army, things like magic items and even Musicians, Standards and Champions were unavailable initially and became available as players acquired certain territories. I've not looked at those WD's for a while, but I'm sure the basic meat of that system could be transposed to modern day 40K with some basic points and FOC limitations.



Instead I was hoping to go to an abstract system where you create a location each time you battle a player, by rolling a D66 on a chart. With 36 results, you can potentially generate up to three "Location Traits" for your battle. So you could roll "Narrow Passage" (4x4 Board), "Turbulent Skies" (Flyers must snapfire unless hovering), and "The Dead of Night" (Night fighting on the whole mission). I also plan on making special named locations which have a series of these location traits to make them appropriate.

As I mention above, I'm all for a non-map oriented campaign. Territories can be developed or exploited (invest to improve their return or slash 'n' burn them for a one shot resource hit). Overwhelming victory might entitle the player to wrest control of a territory from another encouraging players to go for particularly lucrative assets which will then encourage players who own those assets to empty them out or heavily fortify them. Heavily fortifying a territory would then entitle the player to pick any number of additional benefits (ranging from total control of table set-up, the installation of Interceptor nodes or Skyfire nexuses, additional Fortifications options and the suchlike).
This kind of thing would be the extent of the effect of battlefield influence territories have. Stuff like the nightfight example you suggest would instead be given over to a separate list of resource/cvp spends that can be used by players to enhance their battlefield effectiveness. Other examples could be Vanguard - for extra Elites, Reconnaissance - for deployment advantages, Preliminary bombardment- for ...well kinda obvious really, and so on.
"Campaign events" could influence this kind of thing too, "Storm Season" might inflict the same effects as your "Turbulent Skies" example- Allowing players to decide upon the risk/reward of deploying affected units ahead of games and even influence how players build their armies when such units are less likely. These things could effect specific players who are lucky/unlucky or be blanket effect across all player.


Alliances.
Though you are understandably keen to avoid forced team-ups you could allow players to enter temporary alliances.
This would be a "contract" - which promises the exchange of resource/cvp in exchange for fighting a battle on your behalf or supplying troops to aid with a particular battle (using the Aliies rules) - Or a "Sponsorship" which particular players back others with additional CVP/Resources to aid in a battle. You/players might even take to offering a bounty on the heads of particular units or characters, 3 CVP for the head of Marneus Calgar!

A bit scatty, I know, but maybe something in there that sparks an idea. :)

Inquisitor Kallus
09-05-2013, 21:39
Hells Dawg, we need to get together for some kind of uber campaign planning thing

Chapters Unwritten
11-05-2013, 13:39
So I think I've figured out what I'm going to try and do.

Since I need every action to result in a battle, it seems like it would be wise to make every action some type of battle (I know, seems obvious, right?).

The basic mechanic is that each player starts off with multiple lists, and three locations (abstract; possibly on cards or a list, no maps).

The turn order is decided by putting logistics token into a container and drawing them at random. The faster your army is, the more of these tokens will get put into the container for you. In turn, there is a limit on how many times you can draw. So some armies, like Dark Eldar, might have 3-5 logistics markers (aka their dice) in the pool, but can only draw 1...Orks, on the other hand, can put 3 in, but are allowed to draw up to all 3.

When one of your logistics markers is drawn, you may declare a battle action. Here is where the simplistics of the idea really comes to the fore: I just decided, since I need every round of campaign workings to end in a battle, I might as well make what you do in the campaign mechanics just all lead to different battles. To this end, every "action" you undertake sets up a type of battle with one of your types of lists.

- Seize Ground is an action that lets you fight a battle to gain territory. Both players bid a location and randomly select a third; the winner gets to keep two of the three. The rules for bid locations modify the battle, signifying the fight is taking place between those two locations.

- Raze lets you fight a dangerous battle where you risk your army list to destroy an enemy's locations. If you lose, though, the penalty to your list is worsened, as they are cut off from their allies. If you win any location you destroy is permanently removed from the deck/game.

- Take No Prisoners is a crazed all out attack on a specific army list of the targeted enemy. It is very dangerous but if you succeed the enemy list may be crippled or even outright destroyed, removing it from the campaign. I foresee people using this on Heldrake spam lists...

- Recon is a 500 point Kill Team mission which you can use to give a particular army list a deployable campaign buff marker.

I think this is a good way to handle this sort of a campaign. It's very basic and gives you the opportunity to attack a player's lists, his territory, or his holdings.

You can win one of two ways: Be the last person with any active army lists remaining, or control the most locations at the end of the final campaign turn.

What do you guys think? This is simple and gives me a lot to play with for individual armies' rules ...

Chem-Dog
11-05-2013, 17:59
Hells Dawg, we need to get together for some kind of uber campaign planning thing

I'm all ears. Figuratively speaking.



The turn order is decided by putting logistics token into a container and drawing them at random. The faster your army is, the more of these tokens will get put into the container for you. In turn, there is a limit on how many times you can draw. So some armies, like Dark Eldar, might have 3-5 logistics markers (aka their dice) in the pool, but can only draw 1...Orks, on the other hand, can put 3 in, but are allowed to draw up to all 3.

Certain units or unit types could affect one's logistical flexibility, an army full of heavy main battle tanks would be slow and easy to spot (and intercept) when compared to an entirely airborne detachment or a Scout/Recon force.
Without an overview of each and every army and how they're treated in this system, it's possible certain Codexes are on a hiding to nowhere simply because they're famed neither for speed or for manoeuvrability.


When one of your logistics markers is drawn, you may declare a battle action. Here is where the simplistics of the idea really comes to the fore: I just decided, since I need every round of campaign workings to end in a battle, I might as well make what you do in the campaign mechanics just all lead to different battles. To this end, every "action" you undertake sets up a type of battle with one of your types of lists.

- Seize Ground is an action that lets you fight a battle to gain territory. Both players bid a location and randomly select a third; the winner gets to keep two of the three. The rules for bid locations modify the battle, signifying the fight is taking place between those two locations.

- Raze lets you fight a dangerous battle where you risk your army list to destroy an enemy's locations. If you lose, though, the penalty to your list is worsened, as they are cut off from their allies. If you win any location you destroy is permanently removed from the deck/game.

- Take No Prisoners is a crazed all out attack on a specific army list of the targeted enemy. It is very dangerous but if you succeed the enemy list may be crippled or even outright destroyed, removing it from the campaign. I foresee people using this on Heldrake spam lists...

- Recon is a 500 point Kill Team mission which you can use to give a particular army list a deployable campaign buff marker.

I think this is a good way to handle this sort of a campaign. It's very basic and gives you the opportunity to attack a player's lists, his territory, or his holdings.

You can win one of two ways: Be the last person with any active army lists remaining, or control the most locations at the end of the final campaign turn.

What do you guys think? This is simple and gives me a lot to play with for individual armies' rules ...

I like the idea, but isn't asking players to have multiple legal lists prepared, to bring all appropriate models to each session (which you'd have to do if you don't know who's fighting who and where) along with all paraphernalia expecting a little too much?

If you boil it down simpler and have each "banner" representing X number of FOC options which can be augmented by assets or territories owned (EG Possession/Control of Road Network = +1 FA, Possession/Control of Rail Network +1 HS, Possession of Freight Airport = +1 Flyer -FA or HS-.) and reduced by the loss of such assets, attacks or specific locations or attacks that target particular unit types (or possibly even by attacking certain enemies who hold certain assets - Air Defence System trumps Freight Airport and incurs a permanent loss of one appropriate slot if the attack fails) you let people play about with army composition as whim takes them, rather than forcing them to stick to the same thing- especially if that thing only works with the presence of certain units which have been lost. Of course you might get to a point where you've lost all your HS options or something, but you should have been more careful ;)

Chapters Unwritten
11-05-2013, 20:59
In my experience, honestly, it's been more accepted by players to have to deal with multiple lists that are unremarkable than to have to track who has access to what arbitrary changes week to week.

Multiple lists is perhaps not the best way to do it, but I feel like it's less hassle than the ever changing FOC restrictions and extras would be.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

ForgottenLore
12-05-2013, 01:02
The turn order is decided by putting logistics token into a container and drawing them at random. The faster your army is, the more of these tokens will get put into the container for you. In turn, there is a limit on how many times you can draw. So some armies, like Dark Eldar, might have 3-5 logistics markers (aka their dice) in the pool, but can only draw 1...Orks, on the other hand, can put 3 in, but are allowed to draw up to all 3.

When one of your logistics markers is drawn, you may declare a battle action. Here is where the simplistics of the idea really comes to the fore: I just decided, since I need every round of campaign workings to end in a battle, I might as well make what you do in the campaign mechanics just all lead to different battles. To this end, every "action" you undertake sets up a type of battle with one of your types of lists.

I'm not really following this. Who is drawing tokens and when? Is the token determining who gets to make a decision or is the token itself what makes the decision? How does this solve the basic problem of either some players being locked out of a decision or risking some players having to fight many many battles in a given time while others only have one?

Chem-Dog
12-05-2013, 16:48
Multiple lists is perhaps not the best way to do it, but I feel like it's less hassle than the ever changing FOC restrictions and extras would be.

You know your players better than I do :) My lot will arrange a battle for the following week and then arrive without an army list written out or have a last minute change of plans, overtime, illness or something else that'll mean they can't attend.

Most of my suggestions are scalped quite shamelessly from Necromunda, there territories can give you revenue (some with an extra bonus if certain criteria are met), bring new fighters to your gang, influence deployment in games or enhance your gang's weapons. Each of them is left to the player to handle, which happens with a minimum of effort. Everyone understands the FOC chart and should be able to understand alterations made to it quite easily, allowing people to react to changes by altering the make-up and choice of their force.

Another approach would be to give players a number of "resources" representing individual FOC slots which are then allocated from a pool to build an army (or Banner if multiple forces are being used) and allow them to gain refunds for each unit that makes it off the table in reasonable shape.
Example, I build an army that consists of 1 HQ, 3 Elites, 2 Troops, 1 FA and 2 HS options, I spend the corresponding amount of points from each stack in my army pool.
The battle goes badly and only a single Troops Choice and my HQ escape annihilation, this allows me to refund 1 point to my troops stack and one to my HQ stack but the other points are lost from my overall pool in that "army".
The next battle sees me running short of Elites as most were butchered in the last game, but I'm not obliged to field the force designed to rely heavily on Elites without the Elites, as that would likely lead to another drubbing, purely because I had some bad dice in another game.

Territories could then be designed to do things with this in mind - replenishment of points in certain FOC areas, recovery of otherwise lost points, increase the damage threshold before a unit is considered "lost", that kind of thing. Effects could be instant, recurring or a one-shot deal some could affect all of a player's banners, be given to a single banner or require a banner to occupy the territory to take effect, they could even require a banner to remain otherwise inactive for a Campaign Turn to gain any effect.