Author’s note: It was finally time to migrate my gaming onto one single blog for simplicity’s sake (and because of my shiny new domain). The first few posts here will be combination posts that summarize my prior blogs. They’ll be maintained, but all new posts will happen on this site. You can check out all the older stuff at my 40k Blog, my Warmachine/Hordes and Pathfinder Blog, and my Warhammer Fantasy Blog–but be sure to follow this site for the one-source thoughts, comments, and records of all my gaming.
Warhammer 40k Campaign: Crusade of Fire
The city of Pittsburgh is spoiled when it comes to fantastic and supportive gaming stores, and at one local store the 40k community decided to give a campaign a go. We decided that we wanted to do a variant of the Crusade of Fire supplement. The reasoning for the variant is that we wanted to take it in our own direction somewhat, but still play to the main components of that campaign.
This is the campaign map with the initial planetary situation at the start of the campaign.
That meant assembling players, and playing a bunch of games. Right now–with about 20 total league games played–we’re at the point where it’s time for phase two of the campaign. Phase one has seen three factions really take off compared to the rest: the Crusade of Fire faction (Imperial Forces acting under orders from Terra and the Emperor) and the Defenders of the Sun (Imperial Forces acting under orders from the local Planetary Governor and from Mars) have each won a fair number of battles. And the The Prophets of War (all Eldar and Tau forces) had tremendous battlefield successes, leading to their near dominant control of one of the planets (Alfrost) and establishing control of a special-mission-winning space-lane.
The current planetary situation–ready for phase 2 of the campaign (the warp storm mists retreating)
So that means it’s time for phase two of the campaign. The Warp Storm–those purple mists–are about recede (see a future post here for information) and reveal a somewhat different campaign for the remainder of play. So for now, I wanted to repeat the prior rules on this site so interested folks could reference the variant that we used. Stay tuned, more destruction–and better yet pictures of that destruction–yet to come.
Crusade of Fire – Prior Rules
This is the ruleset overview of the Crusade of Fire variant rules that we’ll be using for the current 40k campaign at Drawbridge Games (starting June 18th). These rules are based off the Crusade of Fire, but with some tweaks for play in our league. Players who are interested in joining the campaign are welcome at any point, and can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What a player needs to participate:
One or more armies for Warhammer 40k, gaming supplies, and a desire to play some fun games!
Forces can scale in points by player agreement. Preferred points totals to shoot for are: 750 points (representing small skirmishes), 1,250 points (moderate battles), 1,850 points (large battles), and 2,500 points (massive conquests).
The Crusade of Fire tracks both factions and players within the games, and rewards both for success. On the factions side, there are five in the campaign. Each of these factions have sent agents to the Corvus Subsector, which are the planets which are the center of the campaign. An enormous warpstorm known as the “Crow’s Eye” had long kept the region isolated from the rest of the Imperium, but they finally disappeared: leading to many factions making a sudden and desperate grab for control of the system. Players pick their faction based on their primary detachment.
The Crusade of Fire (Imperial Forces acting under orders from Terra and the Emperor): These ships were launched in order to bring the Corvus Sub-Sector back under proper Imperial control. Initially dubbed “the Crusade of Light” with the purpose of bringing the light of the Emperor to the worlds that had been denied it so long, their sudden encounters with the waiting Servants of Ruin, Prophets of War, and The Oblivion’s guns meant that it must be a Crusade of Fire instead. Any Imperial force can choose to be Crusade of Fire except for Adeptus Mechanicus armies.
The Defenders of the Sun (Imperial Forces acting under orders from the local Planetary Governor and from Mars): These ships came not from Imperial center, but from the next sector over where an ambitious Planetary Governor– Rougeaud Yen, the Duc d’Elchingen–had made a deal with the servants of Mars. He would instruct any forces under his sway to secure planets for quick extraction of data, materials, minerals, and anything else of value. While still nominally working with others from the Imperium, certain clashes between their ends and the ends of the The Crusade of Fire developed and spread in the sub-sector. Adeptus Mechanicus armies must fight for this faction. Any other Imperial force can choose to be Defenders of the Sun.
The Servants of Ruin (all Chaos and Daemon Forces): The warpstorm activity of the Corvus Subsector was a perfect cover for the advances of Chaos. All of the planets within the system fell from Imperial rule to greater and lesser extent, and cults more numerous than to be believed were hidden everywhere. From this power base, raiding fleets of Chaos Space Marines and local Daemonic incursions were launched into the face of the Imperials, seeking to make the Corvus Sub-Sector a permanent beachhead for the waves of Chaos.
The Prophets of War (all Eldar and Tau forces): Greedy eyes and forces vying for their own foothold also had an interest in the sub-sector. The Eldar, graceful and ancient, as well as their Dark Eldar kin recognized that denying a foothold to others was a means of protecting their own interests. Likewise, the Tau sought to pursue missions of denial in the region–like the Eldar they were not interested in control, but rather claiming planets in the name of denying or increasing the cost of both Imperials and the “dangerous” races from achieving them.
The Oblivion (all Necrons, Orks, and Tyranid Forces): Some forces exist simply to ruin and destroy. A sliver of Tyranid Hive Fleet Jormungandr routed toward the region as the warpstorm subsided: the planets and their inhabitants suddenly visible to the distant controlling intelligence of the devourer. At the same time, the current Orks vying for the title of Arch-Arsonist of Charadon also took an interest in the sub-sector: the possibility of looting technology and demolishing foes meant an opportunity to prove oneself as a warboss and quite literally grow in stature. Finally additional tombs of the Necron Mephrit Dynasty and other smaller dynastic enclaves have awakened with the increase in mining and exploration in the worlds from Adeptus Mechanicus-motivated forces. While these three forces could hardly be said to be “allies”, they each have the goal of utter desolation, destruction, and extraction of resources.
Each win by a faction will add to the faction points, and will involve the spread of their faction markers across the various planets of the Corvus Sub-sector.
Battles and Campaign:
Each Battle: The campaign tracks success of factions and the successes of individual players. When two players challenge each other, they declare which factions their forces are fighting for (if they have a choice).They then fight as detailed below in “Battle Scenarios”. Following the results of the battle, both players will then record the battle and submit the scoring sheet. There are two scores that get recorded: the winning Faction gets 1 faction point. As for players, they secure campaign points as follows: a win is worth 3 campaign points, a draw is worth 1 campaign point, and a loss worth 0 points. In addition, players gain an additional bonus 1 campaign point after a battle if they have added a new painted unit to their army (this is registered with the GM’s by showing them the boxed/unpainted unit during the session before).
After completing the scoring sheet, the winner then replaces one of the opponent’s faction markers with their own. If the defeated opponent has no faction markers for their faction, the winner may expand their faction as if a tie. If the battle is a tie, then either or both players can place one of their faction’s flag if there is an same-planet empty tile adjacent to one of their own faction-controlled hexes.
Battle Scenarios: Battles for each will be basic victory points using the tactical objectives deck only (no additional objectives such as “first blood” or others). Players will place numbered 1-6 objectives (each placing three, rolling off for first placement, no objective within 12″ of another) prior to determining sides for the battle. Players generate three objectives from the tactical objectives list to start the game, following the usual rules for tactical objectives in the main rulebook. Races are allowed to substitute their own racial objectives deck/options from the Codex should they choose to do so. Regular games will be 5 turns in length. Occasionally variant scenarios will be made available for games, depending upon the progress of the campaign.
Expansion Phase: After each week of the campaign, there is a campaign expansion phase where the players for each faction can choose to expand their control of planets/jump to empty adjacent planets. That will occur on Thursday nights, and factions who have no player representatives there will have their expansion chosen for them. Expansion means either: 1) placing another control marker adjacent to one they already have, or 2) placing a new control marker on an open spot in the map if they have no other control markers or no room to expand on their current planet(s). The painted planet maps and faction markers will be kept at Drawbridge Games.
Golden Flags: There are various territories marked with Golden Flags on each planet in the GM’s map (hidden from the players) that represent pieces of a Doomsday Device that can be used by a faction. When a flag is uncovered by expansion after a battle or in the expansion phase, then the next game played by that faction uses the special “Doomsday Component” mission for their next battle (to be revealed later). To be able to build the device, a faction needs to discover and successfully battle to recover 4 Doomsday component pieces. If the Doomsday Component mission is failed, then a new secret space containing a Golden Flag on that planet will be determined by the GM’s.
Using Doomsday Weapons: Once a faction has 4 components, they can begin to target other planets. They place a special “Doomsday Weapon” marker in the space that they build it, and it can fire from that space to any other planet each Expansion Phase (each week). To fire, the faction representative(s) select one space on a planet other than the one the device is housed upon. They then roll a single d6. On a result of a 1, the device malfunctions, was sabotaged, or simply doesn’t work any longer–it is removed from the board. On a result of 2, remove the faction flag in the targeted square but the square remains unaffected. On a result of 3-6 that space of the planet is irrevocably destroyed and will remain destroyed for the remainder of the campaign. If 50% of a planet’s squares are destroyed, then a chain reaction happens and the entire planet collapses into itself and is destroyed. Note that the one exception to the need for 4 components is the Oblivion faction–these races are more focused on destruction than others, and thus only need 3 components to construct a Doomsday Weapon marker.
Removing Doomsday Weapons: Doomsday devices are well defended, so they must be assaulted from adjacent on-planet squares only. This means (usually) that a force will need to invade another adjacent space to get one of their faction markers adjacent to the weapon, and then have a player of that faction challenge a player belonging to the faction that possesses the Doomsday Weapon. This attack will use another special scenario “Stop Armageddon” for that battle (again, to be revealed later). Once a Doomsday marker is removed, the faction’s count of Golden Flags achieved returns to zero.
Players can spend their campaign points to buy upgrades, strategies, and additional units to assist them in their attacks. They declare their spending prior to the battle, and can only buy ONE reinforcements choice per game.
|Campaign Points Cost||Reinforcement Type|
|1||Give me more men: Bolster their own forces, giving them more points to spend than their foe. This allows a player to bring an additional 50 points for small games (750 and 1250) and 100 points for larger games (1,850, 2,500, and larger).|
|1||Orbital Bombardment: After deployment, they may make a single Strength 8 AP 3 Ordinance Large Blast shot at their opponent’s force before the game begins. The shot scatters 3d6 on a miss, with no reduction in range.|
|2||Command and Control: Randomly determine one HQ choice for this army after deployment (across all FOC’s and formations). That HQ choice gains the “objective secured” special rule for this battle.|
|2||Glorious Commander: Their warlord is able to have two warlord traits for this battle. Roll once for each. If the warlord has re-rolls, or a required trait, they only apply to the first trait. They may choose from two separate tables if they wish.|
|4 (Crusade of Fire and Defenders of the Sun only)||Death Incarnate: You have hired a single assassin (Eversor, Vindicare, Callidus, or Culexus) which joins your forces for the battle|
|4 (Servants of Ruin only)||Daemonic Nexus: You may field an additional unit of daemon troops (up to 150 points) with your army for free, counted as its own detachment.|
|4 (Prophets of War only)||Engines of Vaul / Earth Caste Production: You may field an additional vehicle (up to 150 points) from your primary detachment’s army book with your army for free, counted as its own detachment.|
|4||Hunker Down: You may field one Fortification choice (up to total 200 points) for free for this battle|
|7||Shipboard Raid: Using this “reinforcement” the player gets to play an alternate mission: “Shipboard Raid”, which will be revealed only when this is first chosen. Players should notify the GM’s in advance when they intend to undertake this mission.|
|7||Critical Experimentation: Using this “reinforcement” the player gets to play an alternate mission: “Defend the Lab”, which will be revealed only when this is first chosen. Players should notify the GM’s in advance when they intend to undertake this mission.|