Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Challenges to Campaigning

Thank you to all the people that commented on my last post about campaigning. when I wrote that one it was much, much longer, so I decided to cut it into two posts. I probably put the cart before the horse on this one, since now I want to write about the challenges of running a campaign.

I've been a part of two 40k campaigns(one of which I "ran"). I've run a map-based Necromunda campaign. I've also watched some campaigns from afar (notably Brian's Ahon Project).

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make a good campaign that adds another dimension to people's games.

These are what I see as the challenges to a good campaign:

Time commitment - It seems to me that campaigns fall apart because most people have real lives that interrupt their gaming lives. This is natural. Still, a campaign system must be robust enough that it doesn't fall apart when people drop out.

Consistency of Attendance - There are some people who can play every week. Some, like me, can only two every-other week. Some people will play three weeks in a row and then disappear for a month and a half. No matter how much people play, it should disrupt the flow of the campaign.

Simplicity/ Complexity - There is a very tenuous balance between making rules simple enough that it doesn't bog down the actually playing of games but complex enough to make it worth doing in the first place.

Amount of work for the organizer - If all the work for doing everything falls on one person, that person is going to get burned out really fast. I think the trick for an organizer is to make a system that runs itself.

Commitment to the story - The way I look at it, campaign is just a way to bring role playing into war gaming. It's more fun to say, "My chaos sorcerer, Rhum Dutt, is going to slay your warboss, Snagal Teef!" than, "I'm totally going to win tonight's game, dude." However, not everyone "gets into character" with their army. That's fine, but how do you make it fun for those of us that do?

I have solutions for some of these and some I do not. I'll go into those in greater detail in future posts.

Before I get to those, I ask you, what do you see as the challenges to running a good campaign?

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Assault on Fenris continues!

Here are two more simple Assault on Black Reach/ Space Wolf conversions. The first was a simple case of clipping off the old head and then drilling out the neck with a large drill bit.

In the second, I glued a wolf tail on to the marine's belt before I glued the bolter on.



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Space Crusade!

Sorry if you've already seen this, but a friend just sent it to me and I think it's awesome!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is this a totally crazy idea?

There are a lot of challenges to running a good campaign (which I will go into in a future post). For some time, I have been brainstorming this and I think have some good ideas. However, I would like your input.

My over-all plan is very bare-bones right now, but there is one aspect I've been struggling with.

My idea is to make up an entire galactic sector. The sector would be the setting for all the games in the campaign. All planets would be under the control of different factions. There would be imperial planets and Ork planets, for example. A good example is this from Dark Heresy.

Before each game, the players would decide what planet they are playing on or for. Then, the results for that game would be applied to that planet. In this way, the factions could take control of various planets.

Recently in my Mighty Empires-based campaign, a lot of the players have been wanting to play new armies. This has happened for several reasons. Mostly it was because people wanted to start a new army or re-start an old army when the new codex came out. Sometimes, I think people just got bored with playing one army.

For the campaign I have in mind, people would be able to play whatever army they wanted on a given week.

So for example, let's say a player (we'll call him Bob) started the campaign playing space marines. Two months in, Bob is getting ready for a tournament where he wants to play his Eldar. He wants to play some practice games so he asks the GM if he can switch.

This leads to many questions. Should Bob get to keep the territory/ points he's earned? How does this affect the story background? If he can do it, why can't other people do it?

So I say, let's make a campaign that's so broad in scale that players can play any army they want. It still affects the story of the campaign, but gives all the players a lot more freedom.

To use the above example again, Bob would simply play a game with his Eldar army and apply the results to a planet where Eldar had a presence. If he wants to switch back to Marines, he'll apply the game results to plant that the Imperium is contesting. If he's smart, he won't apply the points to the same planet thus negating his own progress.

Assuming the mechanics of the game actually work, what do you think? Is this crazy? stupid? Keep in mind that this really isn't meant for super-competitive players. I'm just looking for a framework to make games more characterful.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Assault on Fenris?

This is an insanely easy conversion. All I did was sand off that weird skull/ star thing on the Assault on Black Reach Dread and glue on the space wolves vehicle symbol.

Word to the wise, if you try to do this, don't bother trying to save the rivets that are on that panel. I tried to cram my hobby knife and my files between them, but ended up just cutting them right off. I wish I had just done that right from the start. It would have saved me a lot of aggravation. I'll go back later and green-stuff some rivets back on.

There are a couple more things I want to do to do with it to make it a little more Space Wolf, but even if I left it at this stage I don't think it would be too bad (Besides the fact that I haven't cleaned off the mold lines yet).

Friday, October 17, 2008

State of the (Daemonic) Union

These pictures didn't come out as well as I hoped. I'm going to post them anyway because I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting. Cut me some slack, OK?!

Anyway, above you'll see my daemon army as it stands. I also have some partly-painted screamers, but they couldn't make the photo shoot.

My horror unit is the one that is closest to being done. Pretty much every model in the unit is at a different stage of completion, however. When I originally built them for my Thousand sons army, I was doing a lot of experimenting to get the pink to look right. I think I've finally figured it out, but now I'm faced with the difficult job of unifying the look of the unit. I'm not too worried. They are horrors after all. Cohesion isn't their strong suit.

Here is what list of the models I have and their respective stages:

Start Painting:
Horrors - 10
Flamers - 10 (Maybe two units of five?)
Daemonettes - 6 w/ standard bearer
screamers - 5 (these have to be stripped, more on that later)

Bloodletters - 8 w/ standard bearer

Lord of Change
Keeper of Secrets
Herald of Tzeentch (the warhammer tzeentch sorcerer model)
Heralds of Khorne and Slaanesh (these will be made from left over parts form the Daemnoette and Bloodletter kits. I've already started some conversion work on both)

My daemon army is my main focus at the moment. However, I will soon report on the status of my Chaos Space Marine army. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I just can't stay away!

I know I said I was going to go on hiatus or whatever, but too much has been going on in the gamer world for me to stay away, so over the new few weeks, there are a some things I want to talk about.

Kids + Warhammer

Santa Cruz Warhammer has written a couple articles about introducing kids to warhammer. I have a lot to say on this subject. I happen to be starting to teach my son warhammer 40k. We just bought Assault on Black Reach, so we've been working on that together. Which brings me to the next thing...

Assault on Black Reach
Yes, it is as awesome as everyone says. Pick one up if you haven't already. I'm in the process right now of making all the marines look more Space Wolf-ish.

The New Space Marine Codex
It just makes me so mad! I hate loyalist!!

Campaigns Rules and Narrative Campaigns

These seem to be coming up a lot in the blog-o-sphere, and again, I have a lot to say about them. I've also had a lot of requests for my adaptation of the mighty empire rules to 40K. However, 5th edition made a few parts of the rules obsolete, so I'm in the process of updating them. Also, I've had a lot of ideas lately about some narrative campaigns and would like to share them with you.

Project Logs
I've become a big fan of the project logs on Warseer. lately I've been reading them and saying, "These are great, I should start one." Then I realize, duh, I already have one, this blog. Point is, I've a lot of newly painted stuff I'd like to share. It's time to get back to my roots, so to speak.