Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Rumble in the Brunx - A Campaign Introduction


Jarl Manton Wolfen-Wolf strode onto the strategium deck of the Fjord Fjairlane as a lord enters his Court. Clad in simple brown fatigues, plain pants tucked into black, fur-lined boots and a simple tunic. The symbol of the Great Company, a skull transposed over a wolf's head silhouette on a blood-red diamond, was the only mark of his command, yet the presence of the Wolf Lord could not be ignored. Across his shoulders was draped a red cloak, trimmed with the grey pelt of a Fenrisian wolf, the alpha predators of the icy wastes of Asaheim.

As the doors hissed shut behind him, all on deck stood and saluted their lord with the sign of the Aquila over their chests, an ancient salute from the times of the Horus Heresy. “At ease,” the words more of a deep growl than a command. “Comms Master Egil, what have you got for me?”
Our Astropaths have intercepted a transmission from the Brunswick sector, Jarl. From the planet Victoria Primaris.”
What news?”
Rather than answer his lord, the Comms Master stepped to the holographic display in the centre of the strategium deck, quickly punching in the code to relay the transmission. The display came to life with the blue, static-hashed image of a PDF officer, his bare head bleeding from a gash above his right eye. Weary, strained eyes spoke of exhaustion and terror.
We have been overrun. They came from nowhere, we request aid, the planet is falling.” The holograph flashed with a searing green light, all but Manton covered their eyes, the Jarl's enhanced gene-physiology allowing his eyes to compensate for the intensity of the flash. The picture was replaced by static, but through the hiss the wet screams of agonising death echoed through the battle barge's cavernous command chamber. A death mask, with baleful green eyes resolved in the green-blue static of the holograph. A mechanical, monotone voice conveying millennia of hatred spoke: “All is dust. All is lost. We are death.”

“That is all we have, my Lord.” The Comms Master's wavered with barely contained terror.
What is the date stamp of this transmission?” The rage beneath the jarl's voice could not be missed.
It is stamped as being over a year old, Lord. The Brunswick system is too far away, the navigators tell me it will take at least six more Terran months to get there, and that's with a clean warp jump.”
Manton turned his piercing gaze upon the Comms Master, immediately making the man hide his guilt.
The Vlka Fenryka do not abandon the citizens of the Imperium, nor do we suffer xenos aberrations to murder our fellow man and claim our planets as their own. We, Humanity, are the masters of this galaxy and it is to us to show this scum that we intend to hold our domain.” The Jarl's face split into a grin, baring his extended canines. “Besides, I haven't had a good fight in a long time.”

First, finished Thunderwolf Cavalry

In my last post, I alluded to the upcoming narrative campaign I'll be playing. As you can tell, it will be Space Wolves v Necrons. The stage has been set for the titanic struggle between these nemeses. Tales of heroism and glory will be forged in the crucible of battle.

The campaign will be part narrative, part escalation. We'll have five battles of increasing points value that will tell the tale of the Space Wolves' desperate struggle to liberate an Imperial World from the clutches of the Necrontyr. Or it will tell of how the Necrons, awakening from their aeons-long slumber, rose up and reclaimed the planet to serve as a starting point in their reconquest of the galaxy.

We'll be starting with a 200 point Kill-Team mission, where the attackers will have to disable Victoria's Planetary Defence Laser Battery. Then there'll be a 1,000 point Planetstrike battle, to secure the space port near the main hive of Victoria, followed by a 1,500 or 1,850 point battle at the gates of the hive. The war will then spill into a 1,850 point City Fight and eventually a full-scale apocalypse battle with all our shiny toys.

Another angle

As this is a narrative campaign, I really want there to be an RPG element to the battles. To achieve this I'm trying to incorporate consequence and rewards. Units that survive the battles will gather special veteran rules from a random-roll table and hopefully take on distinct characters and battle-field roles. On top of this, I'm toying with the idea that if a character is slain during a battle there is a chance he won't be able to recover from his injuries. So in light of that I think a D6 should decide the extent of the injuries as follows:

Roll Result
1 Dead
2-4 Recovering – miss next battle
5-6 Fight on! - Free to fight next battle.
The random nature of this table is a bit scary, but I think that really represents quite well the risks of war. I also think it will add a nice bit of resource management, forcing us to question whether we really need our Big Bad Warlords in each particular battle or whether it can be entrusted to our lieutenants.

Sorry for the delay between posts. That's the introduction to the
epic campaign for the liberation of
Victoria Primaris.

Will the Space Wolves make it to Victoria in time to save the
Planet from annihilation?
Will the Necron onslaught prove too much for the plucky defenders
to hold out?
Find out! Next time on That's How We Role!

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