Monday, April 26, 2010

CAMPAIGN: Thoughts on using Battle Missions, Part 2

 So how can we use these categorizations in a campaign? This, of course, depends on which kind of campaign we are playing.

For a map campaign, there is generally an attacker and a defender, which certainly simplifies matters. Battle missions can be used here to add a bit more flavorful spice to the proceedings. To decide whether you use the Attacker's or Defender's mission there could be a strategy roll, determined either by a simple roll off or even going back to the old Strategy Ratings. Sufficient success on the roll (say, 3 or 4 more than the opponent's roll) could allow an army to use its Envelopment mission. If they win, it results in greater gains for them, as in an extra territory conquered, and of course greater losses if they lose the mission as well. Even if the attacker ties it would still count as a (normal) loss. Think of it as a double-down move where you win big or go home. Standard (or nearly standard, such as Dice Like Thunder missions) could also be incorporated into this schema in the case that there is a tie for the Strategy roll.

You could also have access to different Missions be tied to different hexes or nodes. Control a territory that has a large defense installation on it? Congratulations, you may now use the Prepared Assault mission when you are attacking. Is the terrain on a certain hex very dense, or has been prepared to hold off invasion for some time? You can use the Trench Warfare or Close Quarters Action to defend this area.

They may also allow you to perform special maneuvers. Take the Daemon's Invasion mission for example. They could use this as a defensive mission (such as the defense of their "capital", or the first entry point) or they could use it to launch an assault anywhere on the board and have a new rallying point for their forces. This could be coopted by another army to represent a massive teleporter/tellyporta/wraith gate that the enemy forces can use.

A narrative campaign could also use the missions in a very straightforward manner, as shown by the tree below:

The great thing about this format is that if you are bored playing a certain set of missions you can always either switch armies or simply reorganize your selection of missions from the others in the Battle Missions book. Play a Guard army that relies on speed and reserve tactics instead of the old gunline? Switch out Trench Warfare for a more fluid defense mission like Feigned Retreat or Cut & Run instead. And if you wanted to stick with the Missions aspect of the campaign, you can always switch out the Apocalypse at the end for Clash of Heroes, which is often just as epic.

So those are my thoughts. This isn't intended to be the end all be all of Battle Missions campaign usage, but more of a jumping off point for your own adventures. The great thing about the book is that it adds a lot of flavor to your campaigns with very little effort on your part, making campaigns easier to plan and more enjoyable to run. It's a great resource, and a lot of fun too.

So let's hear it. What ideas do YOU have for using the book in campaigns?

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