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Monday, 1 November 2010

Campaigns - are you mad? Yes a little...

Gaming has been a little quiet for a week or so as my wife was in hospital for an operation on Wednesday and now can't drive or lift anything for a couple of weeks. Now she's over the worst we should be back in the drafty garage again this week hopefully!

The enforced layoff has prevented much work on the terrain boards - although I have managed to model some nice roads and fields on one board - let alone have time for painting figures. But the one good thing is that it has given me a little bit of brain time to think through a possible campaign idea which has been germinating.

The trouble with campaigns is that when there are just three of you, if one can't keep up or is too busy it quickly falls apart. Unfortunately that has been an all too common story in our campaigns. But when they work they are so much fun.

So the sucker for punishment that I am, I am going to run a quick campaign based on a Very British Civil War which is set around a throwaway comment in the southern source book which talks about Basingstoke being captured by a Government column coming out of Reading. For those of you who don't know the War - its a fictitious civil war set in 1938ish assuming that Edward didn't abdicate, and the political upheaval caused throws the country into a vicious civil war with the fascists taking power.

Tom lives in Basingstoke, and has somewhat leftish leanings and always jokes about the People's Republic of Basingstoke - so a campaign based around this Government attack on Basingstoke might hit the spot. Also if Tom is 'defending' and I play a neutral umpire role, with Nick as the 'evil' government, I think it might work. Again past experience suggests that over complicating campaigns is one of the reasons they fail, so this campaign will focus on the early stages of the Govt drive on Basingstoke and the attempt by the local militia to stop them. That way, if everyone enjoys it, we can expand it depending on what happens. So if the Govt gets a bloody nose then maybe the counterattack on Reading might happen.

So again to keep things simple. I'll develop army lists for the two main forces - Nick with the fascist column and Tom the 'free Bassy' group. While I'll also do some nice little 'neutral' forces which might play a part. Then it will be up to the boys to write some simple orders and place their forces at the start line and we are off. I will aim for the campaign to be one which runs continually until something happens. So independent columns will carry out their orders as best they - and I! - think they can. This allows of nice fog of war and for insubordination or other issues to arise which personally I love in a campaign.

We'll be using the Warhammer Great War rules which are pretty simple, with some modifications and amendments suggested by a very nice chap at the Gentleman's Wargames Parlour. The casualties will be handled by a simple system I read about in an old White Dwarf - any unit reduced to below half strength, recovers to full strength. Any unit destroyed is gone for ever. Any unit reduced to above half strength gets a d6 of troops back. Any unit which routs from the table in a game is returned at half strength on a 5-6 on a d6.

Reinforcements will not be available, although some of the initial army lists will arrive after the campaign actual starts.

My only real challenge is finding a suitable map. I could draw one myself, but they never seem right, and I like using a real map so the hunt is on to try and find one suitable. If anyone has any ideas please let me know!

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