Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wednesday Night Gaming: 3-Player Campaign

Here at Wednesday Night Gaming, we’re big fans of the Broken Alliance 3-player battle setup, as there are 3 of us in the group, this being me (Imperial Guard, Grey Knights), Dougie (Orks, Chaos Space Marines) and Laur (Space Marines, Tau, Tyranids). 

While in most of our games 2 of us face off, with the odd one out invigilating, setting up the terrain and/or doing some painting on the sidelines and resolving rules queries, but all in all we do enjoy the anarchy and fun factor when it comes to the brilliant 3-player battles, especially the randomised game turn which is prone to abuse, with hilarious results.

Lately we’ve been noticing something missing in our games. We’ve been busy playing each other, adapting, list tailoring, but we’ve noticed a stagnation, a lack of development if you will.

That in mind, I was flipping through the BRB and noticed other alternative scenarios and aspects of the game I hadn’t realised was there, lurking in the background being cheerfully ignored. Particularly the rules for ‘Veteran Abilities’ (pg. 262 BRB) and  the idea of going on campaign for our troops and units to gain experience, each victory and defeat adding a new element to subsequent battles.
A campaign we will embark on!
The rules in the BRB for going on campaign using the standard mission scenarios and deployment set-ups were clear, concise and easy to apply. It’s easy to see how this will work in a 2-player setup, but then... Someone will miss out in our group of 3!
How to apply the BRB campaign basic rules in a 3-player setting?
The best way I felt to achieve this was to have a total of 3 battles per ‘tier’, where each player individually has faced each other once. Each tier takes place in the respective locations, with the terrain set up to model the locations as accurately as possible, as per the following battle map:

Each player commits to a list per battle tier, without making any changes to the army roster per tier to ensure the game is fair* to all, AND to encourage more generic ‘take-all comers’ lists.
* the exception being the Veteran abilities, which carry over from each battle to battle, unless of course the army roster is changed so significantly the Veterans ‘disappear’ and cannot be brought back. If you don’t use ‘em you lose ‘em!
The results are then tallied, and we end up with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing, which in turn gains respective victory rewards.
So basically just like in the rulebook, each game is played then replayed 3-times to determine rankings which affect the later games. The major tweak I’ve made is introducing Combat Patrol and changing the final game.
After each battle we give any surviving veterans abilities as per the rulebook.  The rest is adapting the streamlined campaign rules from the book, and adding in new elements for the rewards like ‘Strategic Assets’ from the Apocalypse rulebook, just to mix things up a bit.
To justify the ‘rankings’ and reconcile this notion with the BRB setup, the overall 1st-place winners are deemed the ‘Attackers’, while the 3rd-placings become the ‘Defenders’. The 2nd-placings are the ‘Saboteurs’, and all the  victory rewards have been amended to reflect this.
The final battle will be fought Broken Alliance-style to determine the ultimate winner of the campaign.
So without further adieu, here is the campaign aid I've produced for our upcoming games:
>Click on image to embiggen<
The idea is that the World of Wotan’s Night (see what I did there?) is a frozen hive world strategically important to the Ultramarines 4th Company. Chaos Space Marine renegades have sought to reclaim this world for the Dark Gods, while a strike cruiser of Grey Knights returning from a successful daemonic repulsion are on-route to wipe out both sides to elimate all traces of the taint of Chaos...
The 1st battle tier takes place tonight, a night of Combat Patrol games for the Wednesday Night Gamers.
Wish us luck and let us know what you think about the Campaign Aid!

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