For the past few months, in-between a air few models for the Age of Sigmar campaign, we have been building up forces to re-fight the entire Badab War! Andy and James chose to take the side of the Loyalists (Salamanders and Marines Errant respectively) while went for Secessionists with the Mantis Warriors (though I think it likely that the Tyrant’s Legion will be showing up sooner rather than later!).
With the Salamanders and Mantis Warriors now painted up and in fighting form, it is time to engage in our first battles (the Marines Errant are going to be arriving a little later, something about transfers not quite finished…).
We are using the Imperial Armour books as the baseline for this campaign, and so are starting with Phase I: Shadows of War. This covers the basic opening fights of the war, before the balloon really goes up in Phase II. How long will we spend on Phase I? No idea, really – it will probably depend on how long it takes for us to get forces ready for Phase II!
What we do know is that we are breaking Phase I up into two parts.
The Karthan Convoy
An important Imperial (Loyalist) convoy is travelling from Vyaniah and Khymara, but is ambushed by the Secessionists. What this means is that we are going to be fighting a lot of boarding actions (again, using the rules in the Imperial Armour books), interspersed with a few big battles on the hulls of ships and in cavernous holds and hangars. Most will be with small armies, but I think some Kill Team games will also get a look in. Also got an idea that we can also use Death From the Skies to do some dogfighting, but we’ll see how it goes.
This will be a semi-map based mini-campaign, as we fight ship-to-ship, boarding each and taking important targets in them. Space Hulk tiles are going to be used a lot here.
Our opening battles, however, will be on the industrial moon of Bellerophon’s Fall, a vital supply and navigation point. It is currently being garrisoned by the Mantis Warriors, but the Salamanders and Marines Errant are both conducting their own landings.
These will be handled by two tree campaigns, each covering the landing zones of the Salamanders:
…and Marines Errant:
For the scenarios, we are drawing heavily from the old Battle Missions book, adapting them (where needed – it is not a great deal of work) to the latest edition of 40k.
After these landings have been fought, we will move to a small map-based campaign for Bellerophon, following a similar system to that presented in the General’s Handbook for Age of Sigmar, using perhaps a dozen hex-tiles from Mighty/Planetary Empires.
The battle for Bellerophon’s Fall ends in a special massacre scenario, where the Marines Errant have been caught unawares as the Mantis Warriors move in to kill/capture their entire leadership.
All that will cover Phase I of the Badab War. So, how will we tell who wins?
Well, while we will be fighting hard on the tabletop, we are ever mindful that this is a story-based campaign and not a competitive tournament. There is a ‘Force of Story’ at work – we know that the Loyalists will drive the Secessionists back to the Palace of Thorns, and the only question is whether the Tyrant manages to escape or is killed during that assault. What is important is how we get to that point and what happens along the way.
So, for Phase I, each side gains 1 Campaign Point for every victorious battle. They gain 3 points if they win a boarding action, and there are 4 points up for grab in the final Massacre mission.
Up for grabs is control of the space lanes. If the Loyalists have more campaign points, they will gain a +1 bonus to all Reserve rolls for the rest of the war! If the Secessionists win this phase, they can instead re-roll Deep Strike scatter – again, for the rest of the war.
So, getting those victories, even this early on, could be important!
We are kicking off this campaign in the next couple of days, beginning with the Salamanders landings on Bellerophon’s Fall…