It’s been a couple of years since I finished painting my Planetary Empires set, and it’s still one of my proudest completed painting projects.
I still enjoy putting the set together in different combinations and often think how cool it would be to use the set in a campaign.
Unfortunately, unless I am to run a campaign from my own house, the Planetary Empire set is not very practical.
Any map that is made from the set would need to be left somewhere that players are able to look at, pin their flags and plan their next conquest. Ideally, this would mean mounting the map on a board and leaving it down my local gaming club (First Founding). I suppose that this is actually do-able but the complications come from pinning the flags and objectives in place as they will fall out. You therefore run the risk of losing track of the campaign very quickly.
I decided I was going to create a campaign and that I could utilise the Planetary Empire set after being inspired by Andy Clark’s hand drawn map that was used for the GW Studio Vigilus Campaign.
I could easily make a map with the Planetary Empires, take a photo of it, and with the power of Paintshop Pro, I could overlay coloured hexagons over the tiles to show ownership. This way I could show the progress to players on the Facebook group page for First Founding. All I then would need to do, is to create a Google spreadsheet that players could record their results and claim territories on the Campaign Map.
In order to make for a more interesting Campaign, I needed to make sure that the Map contained some objectives that the players would fight over. The players would also need a reason to fight over these objectives.
There are many ways that you could add incentives to make players span their empires to claim these objectives, be it increases to Command Points, free units to add to an army or some kind of in-game rule buff. As I’ve never run a campaign before, I thought I’d keep it simple, and give the different type of tiles and objectives, different point values. This I hope will still encourage players to expand their empires while also giving the map some hot points where we expect to see ownership change hands throughout the campaign.
I numbered all of the tiles (except key locations) so that players would be able to identify the tile they wish to claim and select from a drop down list on the Google Spreadsheet.
Inspired by the latest GW Studio Vigilus Campaign that they’ve shown in White Dwarf and on Twitch as well as the Crusade of Fire expansion from 6th edition, I decided to create 3 Teams of players who will fight for control in the Campaign.
This means that it doesn’t matter too much if players can’t play many games as they are still contributing to the overall war effort. It also means that new players can join, or others drop out anytime during the campaign without affecting its running.
The three teams that I have created are:
- The Defenders
- The Invaders
- The Conquerors
Three generic names that won’t tie players’ forces from a specific faction to a specific team. If the players can think of a narrative as to why their army is fighting for a team, then that’s all fine. I don’t see any reason why an Adaptus Mechanicus Magos hasn’t been experimenting on some Tyranid bio-forms, that he can activate and disable at will, that he has set lose on the attackers to defend the planet.
I am also going to try and encourage players to name a Warlord for their forces, this way Players can play with several armies if they so wished as well as adding a bit more narrative to people’s games.
I’m trying to keep the campaign as open as possible, so players are free to play as many games that they like at whatever points value they want. This way the campaign isn’t dictating how anyone’s game should be played. Players can just play a game of 40k as they normally do, but depending on the outcome of the game, can affect the fate of a world. I’m hoping that the campaign will just be an add on to everyone’s normal Friday night gaming.
Every good campaign needs a story to make the whole thing worth while. I could have set the campaign as part of the Vigilus story, but decided to use my own made up one. That way anything that happens in the Vigilus arc will have no baring on this campaign. To be fair, I had already written the narrative long before Vigilus became a thing (I’ve been planning on running a campaign since I bought the Planetary Empires set). I’m no literacy genius, so the story is a very simple setting. As a nod to Andy Chambers and Piscina IV campaign (named so as Piscina is the Latin name for fish pond which was the address of the flat the games were fought in), I have created the planet Falx in the Hamus system. Both Falx and Hamus being Latin names for Hook, the location of First Founding gaming club.
For players interested in taking part, or for anyone wishing to add to this campaign for their own one, I’ve put together a campaign pack. You can read that here
Hopefully there will be interest in running this campaign down at First Founding, and if all goes well, we could extend how long the campaign runs for. There is nothing to stop adding additional campaign maps as new regions or planets are brought into the war. It may have to wait for a while though as players are gearing the up coming tournament in May. There was also talk of a Kill Team Campaign that a friend is looking to run, so that would have to finish first.