Sunday, June 27, 2010

Launch Night and Turn 1 events.

Things have gotten interesting on Acadia Prime (and now it's yet to be named moon).

We had a good turnout of 6 players for the first night, 4 of which brought 1000 point armies to play.

We built the map, placed structures, and selected tiles.  First turn matchups,
The Tau, and Guard players faced off in a Tau counter attack mission from the Battle missions book.  The Tau took this ranged fire fight with 3 units killed to none, two of the units lost for the 95th were Straken's command squad and Marbo.  So the 95th will not have access to those two characters for the next game.

Space Marines and Space Wolves also had Battle missions fight.  I was too busy with my fight to notice the happenings over on the other table, other than the Space Wolves won the fight.

The Orks and Dark Angels might meet later this week, in an Ork Waaaagh Battle mission.

Had some spare time this afternoon and with the help of the kiddos, we built the moon for our two remaining players that couldn't make it Saturday night.  To do make things fair for them I had to pull a spaceport tile out of the map so every player would have one at the start of the game.  The Greenhouse Guardians had two spaceport tiles at the start, so I pulled one from him with the understanding that the tile would be replaced with a Ruin and a structure of his choice on that tile. He has yet to get back to me with that tile.  To make the structures fair I gave the moon one of each type of structure, and then had the kids place them on the map.  Turned out that their were two near each of the spaceports so, I rolled a direction die saying the Eldar player will take the spaceport  in the direction of the arrow, and the Chaos marine player would get the other one.

I finished painting up the flags, then moved some of the colors around to make it easier to see who is who.  The Orks now have yellow flags with green poles, the Dark Angels got the Dark Angel green flags that the 95th had been using.  The Tau now have Orange flags with Brown poles and the 95th took the Tan flags that the Tau had used during the map build.  Chaos Marines now have their Red and black flags and the Eldar have their Blue and white flags.

That's all for tonight.  Had a great time rolling the dice last night guys.

Campaign Standings at Launch

Here are the campaign standings at the launch of the campaign.  This should help clear up some of the more fuzzy areas.

Starting Campign Map.

  Had a very successful launch for the campaign.  Six players to start, with two more to join later.
Here are the starting positions of the players.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

T-Minus 2 days, Updated the Map Icons for online map.

Took some time last night and updated the icons for the online map.  Created a whole new batch that were pulled right from the GW site.  Also added the Polar region icon which will be in the 4 polar region tiles.
The map is clickable to show in a full screen mode and make the details out a little better.

As of this moment we have six players with two potentials joining us on Saturday.  Starting with 6 tiles each that will make a map of 36- 48 tiles, good size, seeing as there are 50 tiles available.  48 in the planetary empires box and the 2 hive city tiles I got. 

  One of the things Campaigns struggle with is keeping the players interested to it's conclusion.  I'm hoping with all the rules options (Every single expansion to 5th editions) that we have, plus the online map, plus the wide range of opponents we can keep this one going for a while.  We are an older group, and we are lucky to play once a month.  The great part about these rules is that should someone miss 6 months or drop out entirely it doesn't really matter, their tiles will just sit there while the others keep playing.
The only issue is when it comes to ending the campaign.  The Planetary empires rules state you have to play every opponent at least once.  Well what if someone drops or someone really doesn't have a desire to play one of the other players.
Few of options we have  to deal with this...

1) Stick with the rules, and wait it out.

2) If someone is MIA and hasn't played a game for 3 months straight they are removed from the "Must play to win" group.  They are still part of the campaign, and they must play everyone else if they rejoin the campaign to have a change to win.  But if someone has 10 tiles and only needs to play 1 person that has not been around for 3 months to win, I think we will call them the winner.

3) Forfeit a loss to the person you do not wish to play.  This will count as a game played against that person and they will get a roll to take a Non-Hive city or Non-Spaceport tile of their choosing.  This will take care of the "I really don't want to play him." moments.

T-Minus two days folks...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Testing the Campaign Standings chart

  So here is the Campaign standings chart.  This chart along with the campaign map will allow players who access this blog, the ability to set up games in locations away from the physical map.  At the end of every turn I will update the Map and Standings chart.  There is a link over in the side bar for quick access to the map and Standings chart too.

  How does the chart work?  Well, it shows the resources available to any given army for a battle at that time.  In the example above the Space Wolves control a Hive City and one of each type of structure, the 95th Rifles only hold one of each type of structure.  They set up a battle choosing the points first, say 1500pts.  Then they would roll off to see who gets to choose the type of battle, The 95th wins and chooses an Omega Level City fight in hopes that if he wins he can take the Hive city from the Wolves player.  Then they consult the campaign standings chart and the Structures rules (link over to the right).

*  They have the same number of tiles so there are no bonus points awarded for having fewer tiles than your opponent.  Remember this works opposite of what you would normally think.  For every tile less than your opponent you own you get 50 more points for your army build.  This is to represent them having to spread their forces thinner to cover more ground.
*  The Wolves have 20 Power generated to only 6 for the 95th Rifles,  3x the number, So the Wolves will have +3 to the Choosing a side roll, +3 to the who goes first roll, and +3 to all his reserve rolls.  
*  The Wolves have 20 enhanced training points to only 8 for the 95th, 2x the number so the Wolves player after he builds his army can roll a d6 two times, on 4+ he can give a Universal Special rule to one of his units.
*  The Wolves player has 12 Army Supply points to only 11 for the 95th.  Having more the Wolves player gets to add 50 points to his build total, meaning he can field a force of 1550 points.

That's pretty much it.  You can see the advantage of having structures and Hive City tiles.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Winter War Rules...

  Digging around I found some pretty cool (pun intended) rules for winter warfare right on the GW website.
So I added them into our campaign rules.  Chances are they may come into play in only a couple of battles for the campaign, but it will add variety to those games.

  Here is how they will work.

  During setup, after the map is made but before the buildings are placed, roll a scatter die by the map.  The arrow points to the "North Pole" and the "Top" of our map.  Use your best judgment and select two tiles on the "Top" of the map for the "North Pole".  Then choose the two tiles that are on the "Bottom" of the map directly opposite of the North pole, this is the South pole.  For the purposes of the campaign the are the Polar regions of Acadia and will always have Winter like conditions.  Yes, there is a chance one or both City tiles will end up in a Polar tile.  Unlikely, but possible.

  Polar tiles provide a -1 to the takeover the tile roll at the end of the turn.

  A Polar tile also offers up different Stratagems to the players to use in Planetstrike and Cities of Death Games.  They have no impact on regular 40k, Battle Missions, or Spearhead games.

  The rules are there for Winter War Apocalypse, but it is extremely unlikely that all the defenders would possess their own polar tile, by defenders I mean people that lost the choose which type of game to play against your opponent roll.  Course now that I mention how unlikely it is...It will happen in the first couple turns.  So the rules are there, and if all parties agree go for it.

  I've place the link for the Winter War rules over in the "Helpful Campaign Links"  as well as below.
Stay frosty...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Campaign kickoff date set, tiles complete, & a third table.

  We have a confirmed date for the campaign start.  Saturday June 26th.  plan is to gather between 4-5pm, have a little BBQ then build the map, place structures, choose starting tiles, and play a couple of 1000pt games.

  We now have 5 confirmed armies for the campaign (Guard, Space Marines, Space Wolves, Eldar, Chaos Marines) with 3 more players that have been invited.
  As you can see I have completed the base tiles from the Planetary Empires set.  All the tiles other than the spaceport tiles are doublesided, so there is a wide range of possibilities for the Map.  I have two Hive City tiles that have been base coated, and all the structures that have been base coated and washed.  Still got to paint the Flags some time this week.

  I also did a little re-arranging down in the Gamers Bullpen (AKA my basement).  We upgraded our kitchen table, and moved the old one into the basement for "storage".  That combined with my old gaming table top that I built before I made my gaming tables...means we have three 6'x4' tables to play on.  So if we do get the 6th player on Saturday, we all can be rolling dice at the same time...if we want.  Can't freakin' wait!

Edit: (6/22/10) Finished the two Hive City tiles, All the Structures, and a set of 10 flags for all 6 of the confirmed armies.  I actually put 3 colors on the each of the flags for the armies, flag, pole, and finial (Which is the word for the ornament on top of a flag pole, trivia for the day).  Anyway the Planetary Empires box comes with 96 flags!  And you only need 10 hexes to win so...I still have 36 spare flags for replacements or to add 3 more forces to the campaign. Someone told me I really only needed to paint 9 for each army.  Yeah I know, but I would want to be able to plant the final winning flag in the map, not that I will be the one doing that, but I would want who ever does it to have that option.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Prelude to War...

  The Greenhouse Guardians, a loyal chapter of the Space Marines call Acadia Prime home.  One of the most productive Agri-world in the sector, Acadia Prime helps fill the bellies of all loyal subjects of the Emperor.  The Guardians are first and foremost a Space Marine chapter, their duties often a pull good portion of their forces away from Acadia Prime.  Rather than leave a vital world of the Emperor lightly defended when the Guardians are away, the High Lords of Terra station an Imperial Guard Regiment on Acadia Prime.

Three years ago...
  The Mordian 95th Rifle Regiment was reassigned to Acadia Prime to act as the planetary defense force.  The 95th relieved the Cadian 87th who had been decimated by an Ork raid on Acadia.  After decades facing the many forces of Chaos about the Maelstrom, Acadia Prime seemed a simple assignment for the 95th, or so they thought.  The 95th was familiar with the Greenhouse Guardians chapter through a special dispensation for both the 95th and the Guardians set up over 400 years ago.  The 95th who specializes with sniper rifles, are supplied with Space Marine quality sniper rifles which are more durable and accurate then the standard issue guard sniper rifles.  The sniper rifles come from the Greenhouse Guardians imperial weapon allocation.  In exchange for the rifles, the 95th has stationed the Baneblade "Retribution" on Acadia for permanent assignment, only to be used by the Guardians in time of great need.

Two Years ago...
  Brother Poe was a Space Marine Captain for the Astral Claws during the Badab Wars.  The traitor Marine Chapter was drawn by the power of Chaos and are now known as the Red Corsairs, space pirates without equal.  The Corsairs strike forth from the Maelstrom, raiding, pillaging and sowing the seeds of anarchy on any Imperial world they can find.  Brother Poe, now commands a Marine Battlebarge, and has selected a new target, the fertile world of Acadia.  Guided by all the ruinous powers of the four Chaos gods, Poe sought to drive a wedge between the Guardians and 95th.

  Rifleman Daniels of the 95th, opened the recently delivered crate of sniper rifles.  Having damaged his last rifle beyond repair bashing it over the head of an Ork, Daniels was anxious to be rid of the replacement lasgun he was given.  Daniels felt a slimy goo on the stock as he lifted the rifle out of the crate.  Immediately he knew something wasn't quite right.  He lost feeling in his hand, then his arm as he watched the color drain from that limb, being replaced by a pale whitish green tint.  Rifleman Cooper looked in horror as Daniels dropped the rifle and started to scream, his skin quickly turning all sickly white with boils and sores opening up.  Daniels turned to Cooper for help and fell over dead, black slime pouring from his mouth, eyes and nose.  "Nurgle's Plague!" Copper whispered to himself as ran off to find Major Sharpe.

Eighteen Months ago...
  Farseer Senn'Jen was attuned to the happenings on the former Eldar maiden world that the Mon-Keigh's now call Acadia.  He knew the precise moment that something had to be done, that would turn the Mon-Keigh on one another, weakening their forces so he could easily remove them from the maiden world.

  Senn'Jen sent his finest team of Pathfinders for the task.  They covertly obtained the Nurgle tainted sniper rifle from the firebase of the 95th.  The Pathfinders then infiltrated the perimeter of the Greenhouse Guardians spaceport.  They went to the exact position at the exact time as guided by Senn'Jen.  As foretold the Mon-Keigh Inquisitor arrived at the Fortress Barracks of the Greenhouse Guardians.  He was to investigate how a Nurgle plague had been passed from the Guardians to the 95th, but he was dead before his fourth footstep on Acadia.  The Pathfinder sniper shot ended the unlucky Inquisitor's life, and the Nurgle infected sniper rifle left nearby, pointed the finger at the 95th.  The Guardians quickly assumed that the 95th had become chaos tainted from their extended time next to the Maelstrom, and launched an "Inquisition" in force of their own.  No one is sure who fired the first shot, but it only took one to have the Guardians and 95th at each others throats.  Acadia became a warzone.  A year of fighting intensified, with Chaos raids by Poe's forces and manipulation by the Eldar Farseer Senn'Jen keeping the two loyal imperial forces engaged with each other. 

Nine Months ago...
  A Space Wolf force was assigned to stop the fighting on Acadia through any means necessary.  They had been instructed that both the 95th and Guardians may have been compromised by Chaos.   The Wolves were to establish a base of operations on Acadia, and put an end to the hostilities.  They may have been successful in their task, but their arrival pushed both the Red Corsairs and the Eldar to action.  Both forces making planetfall within days of the Space Wolf landings.

Three Months ago...
  The five way conflict on Acadia was fully engaged, no one force gaining the upper hand.  That kind of conflict sends ripples though the cosmos, and one race above all is drawn to conflict...Orks.  The greenskins returned to Acadia with a Killa Kruizer high in orbit, and quickly secured a foothold on the planet with relatively fresh troops facing the battle weary armies that had been fighting for months.

Two Months ago...
  Sash'O Wes'a had been tracking the Ork Killa Kruizer for almost three years when he followed it to Acadia Prime.  His goal was to train his inexperienced Tau forces against once of the most brutal races know to the galaxy.  He stumbled onto a golden opportunity for training his cadres.  Two space marine chapters, an Imperial Guard regiment, An Eldar battlehost, and a Chaos Space Marine raiding force not to mention the Orks.  The wide array of foes would provide valuable experience to his fledgling command, seasoning them in battle.  It would benefit the The Greater Good of the Tau empire should an elite Tau army leave Acadia Prime having bested some of the finest forces in the galaxy.      

One Month ago...
  The 7th Company of the Dark Angels was returning from a mission.  They had been following some information that was leading them to a group of "Those that shall not be named." that was allegedly hiding in a system on fringe of the Dominion of Storms.  It turns out the information was bogus and the 7th Company was in a dour mood on their return journey home.  The barge then intercepted comm traffic from the nearby Acadia system, both the Greenhouse Guardians Marine chapter and the 95th Rifles Guard regiment, each supposedly loyal to the emperor, claimed that multiple hostile forces including the Space Wolves had invaded Acadia.  Thinking the old rival may have finally shown their true colors, the Dark Angels landed forces on the Northern Pole of Acadia Prime.  They and after minor interactions which all turned hostile with all the allegedly loyal  Imperial forces on Acadia, the Dark angels decided to secure the imperial world themselves and sort out the truth once that was done. 

Last Week...
  The Chaos Marines facing three chapters of Space Marines pull their forces out having accomplished their goal of creating anarchy.   The other forces on Acadia had only a brief respite as a contingent of Dark Eldar took up the abandon territories left by the Chaos Marines.  No one is sure of their motives, be it capturing slaves, securing the former Eldar Maiden world for themselves, or just just bloodlust.  The other armies soon realize that the Dark Eldar are not a typical raiding force and are players in the battle for the control of Acadia.

Current Day...
  The arrayed forces hold about the same amount of territory on Acadia Prime and it's lone moon.  No one force has the upper hand.  It is all out war...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Testing the Online Map

So I've been thinking about how to display the planetary empires map online, so that players not in my basement could look at the map.  That way they could setup battles, plot future battles, and figure out their structure bonuses for battle without seeing the real map.

This is what I came up with so far...

The map is clickable to bring out the details.  I will remove the light blue hexes for the actual map so only actual land mass is shown.

This map will be posted at the end of every turn, with a detailed account of the battles that took place and tiles that changed ownership.

I'll also make a link in one of the side menus to show the current map.

So what do yah think?

What the Structures mean...

  After you have worked out the point values for each battle, but before you build your army, you and your opponent will compare tiles/assets to see if you have battle bonuses. Compare the points you have against the points your opponent has. Refer to the charts below for detailed army specific assets.

  • Power Stations modify the die for Picking the table edge, Who goes first and Reserves!
  • Command Bastions give out Universal Rules, so Howling Banshees with Furious Charge could be on a table against you...or Sternguard with Feel No Pain...or Melta Vets with Tank Hunter.
  • Shield generator is for the end of the month roll to resist taking a tile.  So you are adjacent to an imperial guard players Hive city tile and you have beaten him in an omega level cites of death game.  End of the month comes around an you roll to take the tile,  Being adjacent is a 3+, but there is a -5 from the Shield generator, and another -1 for it being a Hive City, so you will need a 9+ to take the tile.
  • Manufactorum, simply adds to the point you build your army with.  If you have 3 times the Factory points as your opponent, you get an extra 150 to build with.
  • Tiles.  This work opposite of how you would think.  The player with the fewer amount of tiles gets the extra points.  This is to because the player with more tiles has to spread his forces out more to cover all his tiles. 
  • The maximum bonus for Power Stations, Command Bastions and Manufactorums is 3x.  So if a player has no power stations, and their opponent has one power station, their bonus is the 3x row on the chart below.

There are two ways to add points to your army build.  One through Manufactorums, Two through having fewer tiles than your opponent.  Now spending those extra points are handled in a slightly different way...

Spending bonus points
Bonus points can be used to either add units to the player's army list, to allow the player to take mercenary units from a different list, or to ask for help from another player in the form of allied units.  For example, a Space Marine player with a bonus of 150 points could either add 150 points to his army, or use 150 points worth of units chosen from another army list (Imperial Guard, for example, or Eldar), or ask another allied player to help out with 150 points worth of allied units.

Mercenary and allied units take up force organization slots on the player's main army. In effect the units count as part of your army, even though they may have been chosen from another army list or lent to you by another player. For example, if you took a mercenary Heavy Support unit, then it would take up one of your Heavy Support slots. Note that any further restrictions that apply to taking mercenary or allied units in their own army list are waived.

Design Note: Mercenary units are included to allow players to use models from other armies in their collection. It's also a cool way of starting to collect a new army.  Allied units, on the other hand, allow you to include models from another player's army with your own - they can be controlled by you, but really they should be commanded by your ally!

Monday, June 7, 2010

To take a tile...or to build/swap a structure.

So here are the proposed rules for the end of the turn (Month).

For each battle you have won you may attempt to take a tile from the opponent you have beaten.

The person with the most tiles goes first.  If there is a tie then the the person with the most victories that month goes first.  If still tied, person with fewest losses goes first.  Roll off for ties after that.  The person rolling will roll for all their victories before the next player rolls.

The Planetary Empires rules mention about building additional structures after the map has been built.  After reading through the rules four times, damned if I can find those rules for adding buildings during the campaign.
So to make things as simple as possible, we will treat building creation just like taking a tile.  Same die roll, same modifiers.  You may, rather than attempting to take a tile, add a structure to one of the tiles you already own.  Having a tile adjacent to the tile you wish to build on is important, as you will need a 7+ base to build on an isolated tile that you own.  Yes the modifiers apply to the building attempt (tougher to build with spaceport traffic, opponent shield generator disrupts construction security, etc).  You may only attempt to build or swap one structure per turn, but you may attempt to do that at any point of the end turn phase (before, after or between your attempts to take tiles).

Each tile may only have one "Structure" on it.  Spaceports tiles are not considered "structures" so you may place a structure in one of those tiles.  Hive City tiles already have all the structures in them so may not take an additional structure.

You may also attempt to swap out an existing structure.  Say as an Imperial Guard player you want swap a power station for a shield generator.  You may attempt to do this using the "swapping" modifier on the table below.

To take a tile or add a structure, select the tile you wish to attempt to take or build on.

Roll 2d6.

  • If the tile is adjacent to a tile you already own 3+ to succeed.
  • If the tile is not adjacent on a 7+ to succeed.
Modifiers to the die roll:
-2 if it was a minor victory.
-1 if tile has ruins, defense lines or swamp
-2 if tile is a Spaceport
-1 if tile is a Hive City
-1 if the tile is in a polar region
-(#) if the tile contains or is adjacent to an opponents shield generator (# determined by army)
-1 for each additional attempt after the first.
+1 if you "tabled" your opponent
+2 if swapping a structure (only one attempt per turn but may happen any time during end turn attempts)

*These modifiers are stackable (Yes, multiple shields stack)
*Spaceport tiles are considered adjacent to all other Spaceport tiles.
* Scenarios/rulesets that do not define minor / major victory will be considered major victories
* Roll of a 12 always succeeds
* Roll of a 2 always fails

That's all for now...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Forging Acadia (Building the map)

So, here is the draft of how we will be building the map for our 40k campaign.

1) Randomize the tile build order of the players there.

2) Draw a tile from the box.  The tiles are double sided, so be sure to have one side up and one side down.  the side up will be the side we will use.  The player may swap their tile with either a Hive City tile, or a Spaceport tile and place that tile instead.  After the first tile, all tiles must be placed so they touch two other tiles.  Spaceport tiles may not be adjacent to other spaceport tiles.  Hive City tiles may not be placed within two tiles of another Hive City (must have at least two tiles between them).  Continue until all players have placed 6 tiles.

3) Roll a scatter die near the map, the arrow points to the direction of the "North Pole".  Choose 2 tiles on each (4 total) the "North" and "South" poles.  These areas will be considered the "Polar" regions for the campaign and have freezing temps and winter conditions.  Winter War rules may be used in battles over these areas (Only impacts Planetstrike, Cities of Death and the extreamely rare Apocalypse games).

4) Randomize the building placement order of the players.

5) Each player in turn will place a "Structure" on a tile if they wish.  The structures being Command Bastions, Power Stations, Manufactorum and Shield Generators.  Each have a different impact on either actual battles or the roll after the battle to see if you capture an opponents tile (A hive city tile has the abilities of all the tiles combined).  The players continue around unit one player says they don't want to play any more buildings.  The remaining players may if they wish place one more building until it gets back around to the player that didn't want to.  The impact of each of the buildings is different depending upon the army you are playing, meaning Imperial guard get more use out of a Manufactorum, where Eldar get more use out of a power station.  Hive City Tiles may not have a structure placed upon it. (They are good enough as they are and the shield generator would just get confusing) 

6) Randomize the player order for Tile selection.

7) The first player will select a tile, placing their flag on that tile.  then the second, etc.  We will do a flip flop order like a fantasy draft where the last player will select a tile then the order of selection is reversed with the last player picking another tile, and back through all the players in reverse order.  The flip flop will continue until all players have selected 6 tiles.  When selecting a tile you MUST select one that is adjacent to a tile you already own if at all possible.

Now the map is complete.

For a prettier version of what you just read only with pictures...follow the link below.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Planet Acadia, background.

The Acadia system is homeworld to the Greenhouse Guardians, Space Marines Chapter.  Acadia Prime, an Agro-world  is located in Segmentum Ultima, in the Dominion of Storms region just east of the Corinthe system.
Acadia was granted to the Guardians just after their founding, and quickly grew into one of the most productive systems in the segmentum.  Centuries of growth have seen the population expand, and Acadia now has not one, but two hive cities.  To help secure the now vital planet, a detachment of Imperial Guard has been stationed there.  The Mordian 95th Rifle regiment have recently been assigned to Acadia, after an extended deployment about the Mealstrom.

Acadia has seen it's share of conflict.  Eldar, and Ork forces have tread on Acadia Prime.  As have Chaos Marine and Traitor Guard forces attacked the system as they struck out of the Maelstrom.  Many ruins cover the planets surface telling tales of battles long forgotten.