Play Aid: Horus Heresy Weekend Campaign
You don’t think the BoLS crew is all about hardnosed tourney games do you? Well how about one of our Horus Heresy weekend campaigns to change your minds…
Several years ago I was very involved with a local gaming community in Colorado. Many of the players (including myself), were very interested in running larger campaigns, but we could never seem to complete them. A campaign would start, things would go well for a week or two, but then things would inevitably seem to break down. Work, family commitments, school, vacations, illness, or something else would come up. Games would go unplayed. First one, and then maybe more players would drop out, and soon the campaign would come to a grinding halt. What was needed was some means of running a campaign in a very short time period. Thus, this event was born.
I admit I first got the idea from reading descriptions of official Games Workshop events being run in the UK. Two-day events were being run based around a single historical event in the Warhammer 40k or Fantasy universe. Players were restricted to specific forces depending upon the event, and they would fight out battles during the weekend based around that historical battle. I decided the same idea could easily be applied to my own local group, but it would need to be scaled down to work better with the local community. The first decision was to limit it to just one day. Getting the players to show up for two days in a row was simply not possible; this was not a major convention, it was a local group where most players had limited time each week in which to throw down their models. The second major decision was to focus the event around the Horus Heresy from the 40k universe. This was a decision based more around practical considerations than anything else. Firstly, most players had access to either an Imperial or Chaos army. By allowing any Imperial codex to play on the Chaos team, I could ensure at least 5 players per team. The same could not be said for other forces. Secondly, the Horus Heresy novels from Black Library were still relatively new, and so most players had some passing knowledge of the larger background story and interest in replaying the events themselves. The third major decision was to reward non-tournament play. I did this by having variable points, unbalanced missions, and bonuses for winning games. One major criticism may be that the scenarios themselves aren’t balanced. I gladly accept that criticism, and in fact, I don’t care. Although I continue to tweak scenarios where the imbalance is too large, I accept the fact that some scenarios favor one side over the other. So long as both teams have a reasonable chance to win the campaign, having individual missions slanted one way or the other is of little concern to me.
The exact process I used to design the scenarios could encompass an entire series of articles. Suffice to say, most of them are based either off of tweaks to current tournament missions, or to scenarios found either in previous editions of the Warhammer 40k rulebook or other miniature game systems. Funny enough, the scenario which has proved to be most popular with players, “Lambs to the Slaughter” is the one I designed and play tested from scratch.
Above all, you should feel free to be flexible and adapt the rules and scenarios to fit your own situation. In the event here in Austin, both players playing the final “End Game” scenario asked if they could re-write their 1850 lists to better suit the mission. I was happy to allow it. It was their game, their event, and if allowing them that ability would result in more fun for everyone, then my purpose was served.
~Have fun with this one guys. Get painting, and have a fantastic fluff (and beer) filled weekend with your campaign inclined buddies!