View Full Version : An Ambitious Campaign

Mad Doc Grotsnik
10-07-2006, 19:54
In the near future, I intend to kick off what should turn out to be my most ambitious project to date.

What is this project? An on going, season dependant, Warhammer Campaign. Ideally, it will end up with a Hex map made from my Mighty Empires tiles, for the basic terrain, and hand made icons for each force.

The idea is that in the aftermath of Archaons invasion, Nobles from all over the Old and New World have decided to chance their luck in the Border Princes and Badlands, rather than constantly fend off raiders and plague.

As you might well imagine, each player will represent their own fledgling nation, and the Campaign will hopefully document the fortunes of these brave Frontiers men.

Initially, I think I will kick off with Skirmish and Border Patrol sized forces, so that even new players in my club can take part fully. This also, in theory, prevents victory going to he with the biggest army. In time, as the players assemble larger and larger forces, I will introduce larger games, but without excluding the smaller affairs, which ought to be fun anyways!

So far, whenever I've attempted to run a campaign, two things have scuppered them.

1. ******** players who refuse to obey the Narrative, and powergaming their way to victory.

2. Stagnation. When one player begins to pull away from the pack in terms of victories, previous methods have always seen them become rapidly untouchable. This leads to a boring campaign.

So, what am I doing to defend against such things? Well, first of all, I'm running it at OUR club. Thus, the games will be invite only, which clears up problem number one. Problem number two...well, I have a theory to tackle it with.

NPC Forces. Essentially, I go out and procure several Border Patrol sized forces, namely Orcs, Gobbos, Skaven, and Beastmen. With these available, players can get an excellent variety of opponents, without overloading the campaign with players. Sure, this will be pricey on my pocket but I've eyed up all of the above forces at one time or another, so they will eventually get used.

Oh, and I mentioned Season Dependance. Well, thats an idea I've had. Essentially, any really big games (over 1,500) will be played out during the Summer, or 'Campaign' Months. Well, I say Summer, I really mean Halfway through Spring to halfway through Autumn/beginning of Winter. When it's not campaign season, other delightful little games will be on offer, including custom designed scenarios pitting Mordheim Warbands against each other in attempts to scupper your neighbours.

Can anyone suggest anything else? I'm going to include random encounters, weather, plagues etc... for total depth....

Mad Doc Grotsnik
10-07-2006, 22:46
So far tonight, I've thrashed out two of the antagonist forces, Orcs and Beastmen. The Beastmen will be formed from models in my existing collection, provided I can find that accursed Chariot. If not, I'll have to buy one.

The Orcs have a solid Savage theme, with Savage Boyz, Shaman, Boardboyz, and Gobbo Wolf Riders. Just the sort you'd expect to run into in the Badlands....

As for the Skaven, my mate Lol has a fledgling Pestilens force, so I might see if he'll finish painting it for inclusion. I might well go a step further, and dig out my old Marauders and that to represent a Chaos Cult in the vicinity....

11-07-2006, 11:19
I don't know what your campaign rules are, but some of the problems I've found with running map based campaigns are...

Book-keeping - some players like Empire management, some just like gaming. Too much essential book-keeping by the players can put people off.

Un-equal forces - It seems like you're not allowing this but unequal pointed games are generally not fun for either player.

Player access - If army territories are divided off, then players are restricted in who they can play against. Having to play against the same opponent all the time can be boring.

Therefore my best advice is: Keep it simple and make sure people can just play warhammer and have a good time.

Since it sounds like you're working to a narrative you might be able to eliminate some of the problems.

11-07-2006, 12:05
The only way to avoid stagnation is not so random random events.

The players getting away from the pack need to be hit with a run of bad luck whilst the players who are not doing so well need to get a boost to keep them competative.

In my campaigns when you win a battle obviously you get all the benifits that were tied to the scenario/narrative but you also have to take a card from the "bad news" deck. equallly when you lose a battle ...you guessed it.... you take a card from the "good news" deck.

The players know this is the score before they start, it keeps it competative, which everybody wants, keeps the good players on their toes...having to overcome adversity..the loss of a key magic item or an elite unit due to a pay despute or 10% from all units (thus rank bonuses) due to big trouble in botty land after that troll curry...etc. My good players rise to this challenge and get more fun from this than walking over players not doing so well.

The players not doing so well don't get bored and loose interest because they get some good news..a new charcacter/unit/item joins them to offset their losses. A grey wizard appears in their hour of need, the chef they employed (having got rid of that idiot who used to make troll curry) is a halfling chef with his hot pot or they meet a unit of wood elf scouts tracking or dwarf troll slayers keen to join them for a chance to kill bad guys.

etc, etc...

It works for us.

Brock Sampson
11-07-2006, 13:39

I think that the "bad" and "good" news idea is great. I really like that a lot. Besides wargaming, I am a HUGE fan of real time strategy (and turn based) games, and part of what makes them so fun is hearing the news in the kingdom. Adding these, "events" certainly makes for an entertaining campaign, especially since you are using it as a balancing tool and a great narrative addition to the game.

I do like what you have going on in the drawing room Mad Doc. I like map based games, and at my local gaming store, the last fantasy campaign was pretty cool. They had HUGE map that they had printed at a local office supply store. The mounted it over a piece of what looked like sheet metal (actually it was probably aluminum) and they used magnetic bases that they all painted to represent the colors of their territories. It looked great, and played well too. My buddy (who ran the last one) is doing another one soon. And he was thinking that he would use fleets to keep most of the players accessable.

Inviting players is a good way to get a group together that has the same idea/vision of how you want the campaign to run. Most likely they will help facilitate that, and help you work out the kinks.

Sound like you have a good brainstorm. Keep us informed...

Mad Doc Grotsnik
11-07-2006, 21:18
I too am quite taken with the Good News/Bad News decks....

Any chance you could PM me a list of your various cards? I fancy thieving your idea and passing it off as entirely my own work guv'nor....

Someone mentioned about 'roped off' territories. Well, yes and no. There wil; be areas 'owned' by each Fiefdom, but only for as long as they can hold onto it. As I intend this to be an ongoing campaign, I don't want Fief V Fief combat until at least well into the second year. Until that point, I want to protray their fledgling Principalities as just that. Fledgling. Yeah, you coud go march against your nearest neighbour....but he has just as many men, and a Castle....if you lose, you'll have less men, and NO Castle by the time he's finished. Hence the Border Patrol forces. These will be used for the day to day management battles (driving them out basically) and, if the players twig, could even be suitably bribed into giving the other Fiefdoms a roughing up on your behalf.

In order to maintain interest, I have asked my three players (will hopefully get more involved) to each design a special character, and a Mercenary Regiment. The characters are assigned by me, so Lol is doing a Savage Orc Shaman, Adam a Pirate Captain, and Deacon a Pestilens Plague Pontifex. Other than race and type, they have free reign. These will then become the leaders of the NPC forces, to give them some extra backbone.

The Mercenary Regiments, however, are entirely up to them. Perhaps they'll be Ninja from far of Cathay. Or Celestial Dragon Monks from Ind, or just some rock hard skull crackers from the Empire. I don't know, and I don't care...as long as the models are converted, and they have not only rules and models, but Background AND a Motive/Hidden Agenda, I'm happy. They may not even surface in the campaign, as although I quite fancy Mercs playing a decent role, their quality and availability will be linked to the size of your settlements...After all, the real hard nuts will be wanting good pay.....

11-07-2006, 21:31
Grotsnik at our local store someone is doing an excellent job of running a campaign. One of the things he did was create a group of "marauder" players who act like vikings - they aren't playing in the full campaign but are tabbed to play one off games as "NPC" opponents. He'll have them raiding "safe" cities, or defending towns in unexplored territories.

I think it's great as it gives those folks who aren't able to devote enough time to be in the full campaign a chance to play a bit and keeps everyone on their toes as the marauders can really pick any army they own to be their force for each battle.

links -

Most of our discussion is via email but I've been tossing up some of the materials on the store forum as a reference source.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
11-07-2006, 21:34
Is pretty much what I was aiming for. Will have a damned good squizz at that later.

The Mordheim part also has it's role to play, as I envisage the Mordheim Warband as being the scouts of the various Citystates/Fiefdoms, seeking out new places and mapping the terrain as they go. Thankfully, I have a full set of Mighty Empires, so I'm hardly short on Villages etc.

To represent the quelling of a village, I'll probably have my own STC Human Warband to represent the men of the village fighting for what little they have. Could be quite good fun if one village manages to stave off invasion time and again!