Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Conquest Campaign for Dummies! - Part 2: Playing the Campaign

So now that you've Setup up your Campaign, it's time to start playing games!

Most of the heavy lifting is out of the way, and at this point there is only some minor, ancillary maintenance and bookkeeping required to make the campaign run smoothly; this is all managed in what are called Campaign Turns.

The Campaign Turns have 3 phases; The Mustering Phase, The Conflict Phase, and The Consolidation Phase.

Most of this process is easy enough to conduct over email or via a blog, wiki or forum; or even just with a notebook as long as everyone can access it.

Here's how the Campaign Turn phases work...

The Mustering Phase:

Where players from both teams take turns spending Reserve Points to Attack any of the Strategic Objectives (a roll off determines who goes first). Remember that Reserve Points represent your teams' pool of resources (men, tanks, ammo, supplies, etc...), and each team will start with an equal number. On page-168 there is a table to help you choose how many Reserve Points and how many Strategic Objectives would best fit your campaign depending on the number of people involved.

As long as there are Reserve Points to spend, any Strategic Objective can be Attacked, by either team, and as many times as desired (or until all Reserve Points have been exhausted). It's important to note that the team spending the Reserve Point to Attack a certain Strategic Objective is known as the "Attacker" in that game, and the opponent is the "Defender", because only the Attacker can score Control Points.

The Conflict Phase:

Where players from both teams play the games arranged during the Mustering Phase. All games in which the Attacker (having spent a Reserve Point) wins, gain his team a Control Point for that Strategic Objective; and all games in which the Defender wins denies any point for that game.

The Consolidation Phase:

Where both teams tally up all of the Control Points for each Strategic Objective. If either team has any more Reserve Points to spend then a new Campaign Turn can begin. If all Reserve Points have been exhausted, then the campaign ends. The team with the most Control Points on a Strategic Objective has "control" of that Strategic Objective, and the team that controls the most Strategic Objectives wins the Warzone; and if there is only a single Warzone, wins the Campaign.

Sample Campaign from Start to Finish!

Let's now apply this to our sample campaign from the previous post on Warzone: Terra. We have 4 players (2 per team), and each team has 5 Reserve Points to spend, which means that this campaign will be a total of 10 games. We'll be able to go through this entire campaign in this post - it's really that easy.

Campaign Turn 1

On the first meeting all 4 players show up to play and decide that they'll play 2 games a piece. To keep things simple each player decides to play one game as the Attacker and one as the Defender; so that a total of 4 Reserve Points (2 per team) will be spent during this day of gaming. We'll make them Team Red and Team Blue...

During the first Mustering Phase Team Red wins the roll off and decides to spend a Reserve Point to Attack Strategic Objective 1 (North America), which uses Zone Mortalis boards. Team Blue then decides they will Attack Strategic Objective 3 (Eastern Europe). Team Red decides they will counter by also Attacking Strategic Objective 3, and finally Team Blue copies this idea and they will also Attack Strategic Objective 1. Each team has used 2 Reserve Points.

During the Conflict Phase all 4 games are now played. In three of the games the Defender was able to win, denying any Control Points to the other team, but a player from Team Blue was able to win their Attack on Strategic Objective 1, giving Team Blue a Control Point for that Strategic Objective.

Now in the Consolidation Phase we tally up all of the Control Points, which at this point is only 1, for Team Blue at Strategic Objective 1.  Note the results down for future use. As both teams still have Reserve Points to spend, another Campaign Turn can begin - but that's for another day of gaming.

Campaign Turn 2

Another day of gaming comes the following weekend, and this time just 2 opposing players decide to duke it out over a couple games.

In this Mustering Phase Team Blue (after winning the roll off) decides to double down on Strategic Objective 1 and spends a Reserve Point to Attack that location. Team Red decides to Attack Strategic Objective 4.

During the Conflict Phase these 2 games are played over beers. Team Blue wins the Attack on Strategic Objective 1. Team Red also pulls out a strong win on Strategic Objective 4 in a game using the "Cities of Death" Maelstrom cards; the city ruins helping to shield his infantry from the harsh "Frozen Wasteland" Trait.

Remember you're not limited to any specific mission or point restriction. You can play whichever types of games you like best - with your applied Traits to tie them all together thematically.

In this Consolidation Phase we note that Team Blue now has 2 Control Points on Strategic Objective 1, and Team Red has 1 Control Point on Strategic Objective 4. Each team has 2 Reserve Points remaining, so the campaign is not over yet.

Campaign Turn 3

A long weekend comes and all 4 players get together again to wrap up the campaign. In the final Mustering Phase Team Blue wins the roll off and not knowing what Team Red might do, they decide to make sure Strategic Objective 1 remains theirs, so they spend a Reserve Point to Attack it yet again (or maybe they just really like Zone Mortalis). Team Red then presses that fear and spends a Reserve Point to also Attack Strategic Objective 1. Team Blue now realizes that they should try to win control of another objective so they Attack Strategic Objective 2. Team Red then sees an opportunity to control Strategic Objective 3 and Attacks that location. All Reserve Points have been spent.

The last Conflict Phase has some bloody matches and both teams win their Attacks on Strategic Objective 1. Team Blue was denied at Strategic Objective 2 as the "Ferocious Storms" and bad dice wreaked havoc on their jetbikes and skimmers. Finally Team Red was able to win their Attack at Strategic Objective 3 after deciding to play a "Kill Team" game on a 4x4 table - the "Frozen Wasteland" Trait really hurt both teams but the "Endless Forests" cover was crucial to the victory.

In the closing Consolidation Phase we can count up all the Control Points at each Strategic Objective and determine who has control at each location. Neither team has Reserve Points left so the campaign will end here. Team Blue solidly controls Strategic Objective 1, but nothing else. Team Red controls both Strategic Objective 3 and Strategic Objective 4, giving them control of the Warzone (2 to 1) and thus making Team Red the winner of this campaign.

And that's all there is to it! This was an example of a fairly basic campaign, but you can see it essentially has a built-in narrative and room for any type of game/mission.

There are several more "Traits" that I left out, as well as tons of other options in the book for building your campaign just the way you like it, there are also so many great missions to try; I would definitely recommend buying, or at least borrowing the Conquest book if you can.

The only other thing I'll talk about are Strategic "Campaign" Warlord Traits just because they're really cool. The Strategic Warlord Traits for this campaign work similar to the Warlord Traits you already know, except that they only affect the Campaign Turns rather than the actual battles. For example, the "Logistician Prime" (Strategic Warlord Trait) comes into play during the Consolidation Phase and gives you a chance (4+) to also gain a Control Point for a Strategic Objective when your opponent has actually earned it... and so forth. Really all of the Strategic Warlord Traits seem fun and can potentially have a major impact on the overall campaign.

The Campaign Turns and especially with the Strategic Warlord Traits you can add an entire new layer of strategy to your games. If you're playing 30K Legions you can even tie-in your Strategic Warlord Traits to specific Primarchs.

I'll just mention that there is also a Campaign Character Generation system that, while obviously very geared towards 30K, looks impressive.

Anyway, go out and play Campaigns! ...and please leave comments and/or questions.

See also: Setting up the Campaign.

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