Thursday, May 5, 2016

Conquest Campaign for Dummies! - Part 3: Why do this?!?

In the two previous posts I jumped right into the meat of how this campaign system works. Here I'm going to step back and answer the question (that nobody has actually asked me) -- why should I run a campaign and further, why this campaign system?

The first thing to know about the Conquest Campaign System is that you don't need to play 30K to use it. My group is using this system for our 40K campaign that currently includes Tyranids, Genestealer Cult, Eldar and even Sisters of Battle. There are a few optional features, like the character generation that don't translate but for the most part everything goes.

It's not army specific. Most of the recent GW campaigns have been tied to certain armies like the Shield of Baal or Sanctus Reach. Even the previous Forgeworld campaigns, like the Badab War stuff were limited in that regard. The Crusade of Fire book and even Planetary Empires both had promise but you really had figure out most of the mechanics for yourself and the map/tile system in particular left potential for locked-in pitfalls that could bring your campaign to a halt.

The Conquest Campaign System, while obviously in a Horus Heresy (30K) book, is designed as a standalone system with a modular structure, and a very well thought out one at that.

Another key detail is that you're not locked into any specific missions. This book, like most of the Forgeworld books does have some great missions; and you can also find missions from many different sources these days, they're in just about every 40K release. With the Conquest Campaign System, while your games share "Traits" (to add a consistent theme or flavor), you can still play whichever missions you like best. I'm partial to the newest "Cities of Death Maelstrom" card mission set from the Leviathan supplement and White Dwarf, but you can play all (Rulebook) "Eternal War" missions if you prefer, or any combination you desire.

Really what I like best about this Campaign system is that you're just playing games, the way you always did, using your favorite missions and styles of play... but they're all tied together via Warzone Traits. If you have a well conceived narrative for your games already, you can create a Warzone(s) that will easily fit your grand design - alternatively, if you don't have any narrative ideas, you can use the Warzone Traits system to create battlegrounds with built-in theme and flavor, so your narrative essentially writes itself.
Also, regarding Warzone Traits, if your group prefers everything to be "official", then I'm sure you'll still find the available Traits suitable; but otherwise once you get a feel for how they work, it's really quite easy to write your own Traits and further customize the Campaign to fit your own narrative.

The way in which the Warzones are constructed is what sold me initially, but the Campaign Turns mechanic also adds a new layer of strategy, and is a fun way to make sure the campaign continues to progress, as well as affixing consequence and weight to your games. The Campaign "Warlord Traits" add yet another layer of strategy, as each one has a massive impact on the Campaign Turns sequence.
One afternoon (1 Campaign Turn) for Warzone: Maddox...

I am very much of the opinion that campaigns are simply - the best, and most enjoyable ways to play Warhammer 40K (or 30K), and I think every group, big or small should give it a shot at least once. It's not a 'competitive' versus 'narrative' thing either, this system anyway is flexible enough to suit whichever style or styles your group might want.

Would you like to know more? ...about setting up the Conquest Campaign:
Would you like to know more? ...about running the Conquest Campaign:

Here are some good Podcasts specifically talking about the Conquest Campaign System:
The Independent Characters:

The Age of Darkness:

The Battle Bunnies blog has a cool "tool kit" for the Conquest Campaign system:

I hope I've encouraged even just one person to try this Campaign system because it is just so nicely done and a lot of fun. Please leave questions or comments, I'd love to hear about Campaigns other folks have run and which mechanics worked and didn't work. Thanks for reading!


  1. I absolutely love this campaign system and love campaigns in general. It is honestly my preferred way to play!

    Thanks for the mention of the show in your blog post!

    1. Yeah I can't say enough good things about it, and it's got the group fired up too!

      Thanks for the comment, I'm a huge fan of the IC podcast.

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