Campaign Futuris (also known as “Future Cleveland”) is a campaign involving six players at Drawbridge Games in Pittsburgh, PA that is being launched with the 8th Edition Warhammer 40k ruleset. Some of us are returning, some are making new armies, and some are brand-new to the game. To motivate the campaign we’re using a variant of the wonderful Games Workshop Blood in the Badlands campaign system with the rules re-purposed to 40k. Future Cleveland was the joke name for the Shadow War: Armageddon board that a participant (Ryan) built. Given all the ruined buildings, the joke was based on these amazing satires. Anyhow, here are the modified Blood in the Badlands rules as we’re using them.
The campaign runs for one year in game time: four seasons with three sections each season (called rounds). At the end of each season is a special event game, and the finale is the culminating battle for Future Cleveland–the player that wins that battle wins the campaign.
Heroes and Armies
Each player begins by selecting three different HQ choices that will represent the three commanders of their armies. One is the overall war leader, while the other two represent lieutenants. Players will create a unique name and backstory for each of their heroes. Every season, the player gets three armies led by their three heroes. We are using a map image, and the players will decide each round where those armies move (they begin in a starting hex for the faction). These leaders can span armies as long as they make sense to be paired together (Imperial forces in particular are likely to be this way), and represent armies drawn from that faction.
Players also can decide on any allied forces, and declare them as a part of the beginning of the campaign (they can break alliances later if desired). In our Future Cleveland campaign, the two Imperial players should likely ally and the Chaos players may wish to ally. No one may ally with a Tyranid player, though alliances with Genestealer Cults are allowed (they are deceptive, after all).
The map is composed of a set of hexes, representing the great basin on Futuris, the primary planet in the Clevelandador system. The center 7 hexes represent the city nicknamed Future Cleveland, with the remaining hexes representing surrounding areas. The players roll-off to determine order of choice. They then claim a hex and indicate it as their base, and mark the six hexes around them as their starting territories. Players can then decide one hex in their territories to contain a fortress and one to contain a manufactorum. Finally, the player selects three different hexes as the starting points for their three armies. The total of controlled hexes a player has is considered their Empire for the purposes of these rules–and the size of their empire is counted by number of hexes.
Each round, each player follows the turn order below in order of smallest empire to largest, rolling for ties.
- Random Events
- Move Armies
- Declare War
- Roll for Manufactorums
- Fight Battles
- Resolve Victories
- Resolve Expeditions
- End of Turn
1. Random Events
Each player rolls a d66 on the random Events Table and resolves the event. The random events can affect battles, campaign-map actions, or both. The player who rolled the result is the active player for purposes of the event.
The random events table is long, so it is produced at the bottom of this document.
2. Move Armies
Armies can claim unclaimed tiles, fortify lands, fend off invading armies, and claim enemy territory–they do so primarily via movement in the campaign map portions.
At the start of each season, players can select any Hex they control to contain one of their armies (starting with the player with the smallest number of hexes).
Each campaign round (three rounds per season) players take turns, again smallest hexes first, to move armies one-at-a-time. To move an army, the player nominates the army and then rolls a d3 to see how far it moves on the map. Each player moves one army during this phase, then go back to the first player to move their second army. This way players can react to opponents’ movements. At least one army must always remain somewhere within a player’s borders to defend their empire.
3. Declare War
Starting with the player with the smallest empire, each player can challenge another player to battle. A player may issue only one challenge per turn, and may not issue a challenge to an opponent who has already been challenged*. A player who has been challenged may not issue a challenge of their own*.
* There may be cases where it makes sense to have multi-player games due to the map and the sides involved. In these cases, additional challenges can be made if they make sense to all parties involved and the narrative of how the forces are arranged on the map.
The position of armies on the campaign map is central to determining challenges. Players should review the following list, in order, to determine their challenged opponent.
- If you have an army in the same tile as another (non-allied) player, you must issue a challenge to them.
- Otherwise, if another (non-allied) player has an army in your empire, you must issue a challenge to them.
- Otherwise, if you have an army in another (non-allied) player’s empire, you must issue a challenge to them.
- Otherwise, if none of these apply, you may challenge any player an ally could challenge instead.
This should result in a game every game round for each player.
4. Roll for Manufactorums
While not every race may have a Manufactorum, each faction has their own way of supplying new troops: birthing new warriors, recruiting new cultists, traveling thru warpgates, or supply ships arriving from afar. Manufactorums are the way we represent these things–each Race is encouraged to come up with their own preferred story of how the support arrives.
In this phase, roll a d6 for any Manufactorums (and related structures) and apply the results. See the full listing below in Structure Rules for the various structures and their effects in this phase.
5. Fight Battles
When starting a battle, the players decide two things: which hex it takes place on the map and which armies are involved. Normally this will be clear, but sometimes armies are a bit further apart. Use the closest armies to the opponent and a tile that lies under them or between them in a direct line.
When picking your list for battle, the following rules apply:
- The game may be of any mutually agreeable size. The games will use the Power Points system for Warhammer 40k 8th edition. Players should aim to assemble a starting force of 40 Power points for early games in the campaign. As players build their armies, we can raise that number accordingly.
- You must take the Hero HQ choice associated with the army that is fighting. Their power points must be paid for out of your total. Any game effects that apply to them or their force due to prior games must be used.
- If one army is bigger than the other army due to Manufactorums, random rolls, other map elements, or relics, it cannot exceed more than 25% more points than the opposing force.
The table is then set up to represent the hex terrain and the scenario of the engagement. If players mutually agree on a scenario that fits the narrative, they can play that scenario. Otherwise, they can roll randomly among the available scenarios.
6. Resolve Victories
After the battle, the victorious army gains while the defeated army must recover. To represent this, the victorious player rolls a d6 on the Spoils of War chart below. In addition, if the “Hero” HQ of either player was removed from play as a casualty during the game, that player has to roll for them on the Character Effects table below.
Finally, the winner must roll an additional d6:
- 1-3: the defeated army is driven back a tile toward its own empire or capital
- 4-6: the defeated army is removed from play as it scatters. It can reform at the start of the next season, with this Hero or a new Hero as desired.
Spoils of War Chart
|1||Pyrrhic Victory: You won, but your supply lines are stretching thinner and thinner. Can you hold out? In the next Roll for Manufactorums phase, subtract -2 from the rolls for all Manufactorums in your territory.|
|2||Stunning Victory: It’s hard to hold territory in the face of such a dominant army. Any Fortification saves made by an opponent for a hex being conquered by this army are reduced by a further -2.|
|3||Ranks Bolstered: The commander of your forces wants to keep these victories rolling by sending more troops. In the next game in which this Hero HQ’s army is fielded, you get an additional 5 Power Points to add to your army.|
|4||Elite Status: This army has been recognized as deserving of elite support in terms of manpower and materiel. In their next battle, they may add any one unit to their force beyond the normal limits of a Battle Forged army, and still count as Battle Forged. (e.g. A Patrol detachment could include a 3rd Heavy Support choice).|
|5||Tactical Superiority: Your victory allowed your forces insight into enemy battle plans on the planet surface, and their designs on Future Cleveland. The Hero HQ of this army immediately gains one Relic.|
|6||Economic Breathing Room: Your victories have allowed your production facilities to make advances as well. You may immediately construct one structure that you can place in any hex where it would be allowed (you must control the hex, no other structure there, etc.). This can be in addition to any other building this round or season.|
Character Effects Chart
|1||Killed: The Hero HQ succumbed to their injuries, and died. Their army, now leaderless, scatters and is removed from the map. The player cannot re-use this Hero HQ in future seasons. Their story ends here.|
|2||Captured: The Hero HQ has been taken hostage by the enemy. Their army, now leaderless, scatters and is removed from the map. The player whose Hero HQ is captured can choose to play a rescue special mission in any subsequent round in addition to their normal battle. If they are successful, they can then replace the captured Hero HQ with their army at any of their fortress squares.|
|3||Mission Incomplete: The Hero manages to limp to safety or be picked up by medical staff. However, their injuries led to a critical command-and-control mission going incomplete. The opposing army’s Hero HQ immediately gains one Relic.|
|4||Offscreen Escape: What looked grim on the battlefield turned out to be simply a time for the HQ to flee to safety. They participate normally in the next battle of their army.|
|5||‘Tis a Flesh Wound: The HQ recovers from their injuries fully, and participates normally in the next battle of their army.|
|6||You’ll Get Yours: Make a note of which Hero HQ led the force that removed this HQ as a casualty. In the next game between these two armies, this force gets to field an additional 5 Power Points, representing them evening the score against the foe.|
7. Resolve Expeditions
Armies can do more than simply battle–they can conquer tiles or fortify your empire.
Starting with the smallest empire, work through the following sequence with each army on the map.
- If your army was driven back by another army, it may not do anything else this turn as it is too busy making a retreat.
- If your army is in an unclaimed tile, you may claim it. That tile’s border colors will change to match your map color.
- If your army is in a tile occupied by an enemy army and a battle wasn’t fought, roll a d6: on a 1, your army is removed, 2-3 your army is driven back a tile, 4-5 the enemy army is driven back a tile, 6 the enemy army is removed.
- If the army is in its own empire, it may build a structure from the list of structures in the Special Rules. Note that some structures can only be built by certain factions. Each tile can only contain one structure, though you can replace structures as you see fit. Each army may only build once per season (not per round).
- If your army is in an enemy tile that does not contain any enemy armies, you may attempt to conquer it. The player whose tile you are conquering is then allowed to make a fortification save to see if they are able to garrison their lands in time to stave off attack. They roll a d6 and apply the following modifiers
- The tile borders a tile of the attacking enemy -1
- The tile is adjacent to a fortress +1
- The tile contains a fortress +2
- The tile contains a different structure that affects the roll (variable)
- Keys to Future Cleveland. If you have any relics, you may sacrifice them to invading armies to give you time to gather your forces. For each relic you choose to transfer to an opponent, you can increase your roll by +1
If the roll is 6+ the defending player is successful and the tile does not change hands. If the save is failed, the tile is conquered. The tile changes color to that of the invading force.
8. End of Turn
At the end of each round, make certain that all things are set for the next round. At the end of each season, there is a bonus Season Climax event. Following the season climax event, all players remove any armies that they have on the board–and then to start the next season they can place all three of their armies anywhere in their empire. If they lost any Hero HQ choices, they can have that model return (with 0 Relics and no bonuses or penalties) or recruit a new Hero HQ choice for their force to lead subsequent armies.
Relics are a special currency used in the game to represent information and objects that will help a faction secure control of Future Cleveland. These can range from knowledge of a special access tunnel to the physical key for a secure Adeptis Mechanicus bunker in the heart of town, and anything in-between. They can be used during the campaign rounds, but also will matter for the purposes of the campaign finale. Many will simply be a “Relic”, but some special Relics with additional rules will be the rewards from seasonal games.
Relics are possessed by one of the three Hero HQ’s for the force, and their possession will be tracked in the information for the campaign. Any time that two same-player-controlled armies end their movement in adjacent hexes, the player can swap Relics between their Heroes as they see fit.
In addition to the ways that Relics can be used elsewhere, Relics can always be traded in during the Manufactorum phase of a given round. A Relic redeemed in this way gives the player an additional 5 Power Points for the army attached to the Hero HQ that redeemed it for that subsequent battle round. As the Manufactorum phase occurs after the Challenge phase, players should know which Hero of theirs will be fighting for the round.
The following is a list of the various special structures that can be present on the map tiles. Note that certain structures can only be built by certain forces–any limitations are in brackets behind the structure’s name. Where the structures have in-game procedure for the Campaign Map phase each round, they generally occur in the Manufactorum phase, unless otherwise indicated.
Manufactorum: Roll a d6 for each Manufactorum you control and consult the following:
1 – Resources Exhausted or Sabatage: The Manufactorum ceases production for some reason. Remove it from the map.
2-4 – Production Continues: For any battle fought this round, you can include 5 Power Points more forces than the agreed upon total (e.g. You and your opponent agree to a 40 Power Point game, this result means that you get to field 45 Power Points worth of army. Both players could have this, and that would mean that despite agreeing to a 40 Power Point game it ends up being both sides at 45).
5-6 – Exceptional Output: You can choose to either gain the benefit of “Production Continues” as above except with 10 Power Points rather than 5, or you can return one Army that was removed during this season to the game and place them in a hex containing one of your Manufactorums. The returning Hero HQ has the same limitations as if they were returned at the start of a season.
Fortress: Fortresses increase the fortification saves of tiles they are in and near. In addition, any battles fought by an army garrisoning their fortress (defending that hex) should include a set of defensive structures for the garrisoning player.
Psychic Anomaly: Whether an arcane amplifier, a waygate to focus a seer’s power, some blasphemous shrine to a chaos god, or a strange neural network of organic warp power, the effects are the same for this structure. If the controlling player has a Hero HQ that can use psychic powers, if they have a Psychic Anomaly structure they can reverse the numbers they roll for the Random Events table (e.g. a 36 becomes a 63).
Space Dock [Imperial only]: This structure assists in moving troops and materiel, and is essential for Imperial movements. An army starting on or adjacent to a hex they own with a Space Dock can be moved to any hex that does not contain a Fortress or is one of the 7 Future Cleveland hexes during the Move Armies phase. If the Imperial player does not choose to use this ability, then the Space Dock can be used to simply bring down more materiel. The Imperial player can field 3 more Power Points than they normally would for the agreed-upon game (similar to a Manufactorum roll).
Spore Chimneys [Tyranids only]: Tyranids not only attack the populace of a planet, but the very environment. Their consumption of the planet occurs at even a chemical level. This can generate conditions that make certain types of warfare impossible. Tyranid armies in or adjacent to a Spore Chimney hex roll a d6 and apply the following weather condition if they are the army that participates in the battle that round:
1-2 – A Nice Day After All – No effect.
3-5 – The Air is Thick with Death – The enemy player may not field any models that have both the Vehicle key word and the Flying key word.
6- The Very Earth Erupts in Horror – The enemy player may not field any models that have the Vehicle key word.
Charnel Altar [Chaos only]: While the form varies by the Chaos god, the intent is the same: this great, blasphemous altar to an unholy power of the warp focuses the intent of the Chaos forces while unnerving the Imperials. The Chaos forces receive one free unit of 10 cultists for any battle fought in or in a hex adjacent to the Charnel Altar. In addition, Imperial forces must go out of their way to target the altar to eliminate its blasphemous presence. When they have a Charnel Altar, Chaos gets a +3 bonus on all Fortification Save rolls against Imperial units for any hex that does not contain the Charnel Altar. However, due to the ire of the Imperials at the blasphemy, the Chaos player also suffers a -2 to all Fortification Saves for the hex containing the Charnel Altar itself when attacked by an Imperial force.
Waygate [Eldar only]: These structures can allow the Eldar quicker movement around the battlefield than opponents expect, allowing them to control the engagement with the foe. An Eldar force in a hex adjacent to or in a Waygate can always be the force that responds to an enemy challenge, even if there are closer Eldar armies. If they do so, that army is then moved to one hex away from the challenging army, and the battle is fought in that hex. If this would cause the Eldar player to have no armies in their home territories, they must then immediately move one of their other armies to the Waygate hex.
The Core Chamber: This is a strange structure at the center of Future Cleveland. At the end of the campaign it counts as 5 relics. The Core Chamber is the prize for winning the scenario at the end of the Fall season, and cannot be built or claimed until then.
Each faction gets a special rule in the campaign.
Chaos (Undivided): Due to their consort with the warp, Chaos armies’ Fortresses count as Psychic Anomalies, and can be used by Hero HQ’s of Chaos Undivided forces that are not themselves Psykers.
Chaos (Nurgle): The waves of plague unleashed by their forces undermine the defenses of the foe. All Fortification Saves made by forces that lose to a Chaos Nurgle army suffer a -1 penalty.
Space Marines: Space Marines are the premiere strike force, designed to take out enemy Fortifications with lightning fast raids. The bonus provided from the Fortress structure is lessened by 1 (that means that adjacent hexes gain no bonus whatsoever) if a victory from Space Marines prompted the check.
Adeptus Mechanicus: A player with any Adeptus Mechanicus armies in their hexes may re-roll the result for any Manufactorum rolls they make.
Inquisition (Ordo Xenos): Ordos Xenos not only eliminates the key technology of alien threats but works behind the scenes to protect the populace against their insidious threat. Hexes adjacent to or occupying an Ordo Xenos army gain a +1 to Fortification Saves versus Eldar, Tau, Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Orks, Necrons, and any other Xenos armies. In addition, when an Ordo Xenos army wins a battle in an enemy Xenos territory hex that contains a structure other than a Fortress, the Ordo Xenos player may immediately destroy that structure.
Eldar: Eldar forces do not re-arm in the ways that normal forces do, as they must import all of their technology. Eldar gain no benefits from Manufactorum structures. However, Eldar are also swift in their assaults. During the Move Armies phase, Eldar armies can always move up to three hexes rather than having to roll.
Genestealer Cult: The Genestealer Cult may be welcoming the Tyranids’ arrival, but they’re not exactly allies. Genestealer Cult armies may not be placed in the same hex as a Tyranid forces. If they are moved into a hex that contains a Tyranid force they are immediately removed for the season.
Tyranids: Tyranids can regrow and replace their HQ organisms with ease. Tyranids ignore results 1, 2, and 5 on the Character Effects tables–treat as result 5 instead. Their relics often represent information about how to access the city or the tactics of their foes–and thus when a Tyranid Hero HQ is removed, they can transfer any relics to a different Tyranid Hero HQ that is on the board.
Season Mission Preview
As the seasons progress, there will be a special culminating event that occurs between each of the three sets of rounds. I’m keeping them somewhat under-wraps for now, but here’s the teaser:
Summer: “A Call Answered”
Fall: “The Core Chamber”
Winter: “The Battle for Future Cleveland”
As each gets played, I’ll provide the full rules here as a record for the campaign.
Random Events Table
|11||Recalled from War: Remove one of your armies from play until the start of the next season|
|12||Embattled: Roll 2d3 when moving all of your armies this turn and pick the lowest result|
|13||Enemy Sympathizers: Any fortification saves you have to make this turn are at an additional -1|
|14||Assassin: A random opponent picks one of your Hero HQ choices. You must immediately roll on the Character Effects chart for that Hero HQ.|
|15||Deserters: Pick any of your hexes. It is immediately lost to you (and Structures it contains are destroyed)|
|16||Plague: Remove one of your structures.|
|21||Temperate Weather: No effect, for good or ill.|
|22||Heavy Rainfall: In your next battle, models with the Vehicle keyword move at half their listed speeds unless they have the Fly or other keywords that keep them from being bogged in the mud.|
|23||Sporadic Lightning: In your next battle, models with the Flying keyword must roll a d6 each time they move. On a 1, they suffer a single wound (save as normal).|
|24||Lava Vents: In your next battle, infantry models that do not fly or have jump or jetpacks are in danger of falling into lava. Each time you and your opponent Advance with an infantry unit, roll an additional d6 and allocate that many wounds to the unit (saves as normal).|
|25||Clear Skies: Thanks to the lack of obstructions, both sides in your next battle can try to leverage their air power. Both players can bring one extra Flying unit (up to Power Points 10) to the battle.|
|26||Terraforming: Due to the weapons and forces deployed around Future Cleveland, the very earth itself is changing. At the end of each player’s turn during the game, scatter any non-occupied, non-building terrain pieces d6” in a random direction.|
|31||Stoking Unrest: Pick any of your enemy’s hexes that do not contain a Fortress. It is lost to them.|
|32||Settlement Mission: Pick an unclaimed hex that is not within Future Cleveland. You immediately gain control of it.|
|33||Raiding Party: Pick any of your enemy’s hexes that do not contain a Structure. They must make an immediate Fortification save. If they fail, you gain control of that hex.|
|34||Sappers: Remove one of your opponent’s Fortresses.|
|35||Resource Capture: Remove an enemy’s Manufactorum from the map. Immediately build a Manufactorum in one of your tiles, per the normal rules of building by an army.|
|36||Seize the City Center: Gain control of any one hex in Future Cleveland that is currently unowned.|
|41||Forced March: Move one of your armies again.|
|42||Logistic Success: Roll 2d3 when moving your armies this turn and pick the highest result|
|43||Bad Intelligence: You can move one of your enemy’s armies this turn instead of them|
|44||Diplomacy: Name an opponent. They cannot challenge you this turn.|
|45||Subvert Command and Control: Pick an opponent. You may choose who they challenge this turn.|
|46||Secret Tunnels: You may pick any opponent to challenge this turn, regardless of location.|
|51||Spies: For your next game, your opponent needs to reveal their army list in advance of the game to you (allowing you to tailor your force to beat theirs if you wish)|
|52||It’s a Trap: In your next game, you may pick whether to deploy first or second and who gets to go first or second, regardless of the rules for the scenario|
|53||Prepared Ambush: In your next game, you may pick the scenario played, the deployment zones, and who is attacker/defender (if applicable)|
|54||Reserve to the Front: You get an additional 5 Power Points in your next game|
|55||Overwhelming Force: You get an additional 10 Power Points in your next game|
|56||La Grande Armée: You get an additional 20 Power Points in your next game|
|61||Strategic Information: Gain one Relic|
|62||Schematics of Future Cleveland: Gain d3 Relics|
|63||Bolstered Defenses: Any fortification saves you make this turn are at an additional +1|
|64||Cunning Commander: For the rest of the turn you count as having the smallest empire|
|65||Reinforcements from Home: For the rest of this season, you gain an extra army. They get their own Hero HQ that you designate, and operate as normal armies in every way|
|66||Fortune Favors the Bold: You can play two games this round. If you are challenged, you can make a challenge of your own. If you get to make the challenge first, then you may immediately make a second challenge. Either way, this second challenge can lead to another player getting an extra game in as well.|