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Which is the best type of campaign?

  • Linear

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Map

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • Node

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tree

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%
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As the title suggests, a simple poll asking which style of campaign do you prefer to play, linear? Tree? Map? Node?

Or do you play another type of campaign?

For me, it's got to be a map campaign.

Best one for me was a very long running Necromunda Map Campaign, with territories, rather than being assigned, being areas on the map. You could also split your gang up into smaller sections to guard different areas of your territory. Started off with a group of 8 playing, ended up with 3 of us (Luckily I was one of the final 3!) with huge empires, whilst the others had either had their entire gangs killed or were desperately holding onto their last territory, hoping that one of the Three Gangs wouldn't ruthlessly crush them. About now the campaign stagnated, so we introduced a twist: Zombies. Now, all gangs had one simple goal: Escape. There were several escape routes on the edge of the map, Zombie gangs controlled by players who'd been knocked out (Some of which had old dead gang members revived to eat the living!) and random zombie infected areas. There was also a quarantine cut off time, when the area would be sealed off. All gangs that escaped went into a new area, with the players with no more guys left creating new gangs to represent the gangs already in the new area. Eventually only 1 gang remained, an enforcer gang - spreading the light of the Emperor!

Love the tactical element of it, sending a big force of 10 juves and a gang member spearing towards a vital enemy territory as a distraction while the main force took a huge area on the other side of the enemy's territory. Then especially the run through the streets trying desperately to get to the doors before they finished.

Haven't managed to get a major 40K campaign going, but if it's anything like the Necromunda one I'd be a happy Herbiie.

So what is it for you?
 

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I've always really enjoyed map campaigns, having a map really makes the experience much more "alive" for lack of a better word. One problem i've had with map campaigns is that they are hard to finish. Usually they just keep lingering until people forget about it.

Currently I am revisiting Hardy Lebel's Chrysos Campaign form The Citadel Journal Issue 42. It's a pretty old, the copy right puts it in the year 2000. Essentially it uses territories represented by index cards, which can be fought for and discovered by playing battles. Graphically its requires some imagination, but the rules are solid.
 
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I like the tiled map campaigns, you know Planetary Empires. Great for creating narrative games.
 

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I know this is quite a few days late, but this section naturally runs slow, and the forum is currently running slow - so I feel like breathing some stanky life around.

I also prefer map-based campaigns. The problem is that many times, people who create the campaigns don't put enough thought into the way it will play out. For example, most recently I played a Fantasy campaign where we had the following rules:
1. Cities grant an extra 1500pts to your army, and are guarded by an enemy garrison of 1500pts. If no player holds the city, it is guarded by a neutral garrison and a game will still be fought to control it.
2. Towns grant an extra 500pts to your army, and are guarded by an enemy garrison of 500pts. If no player holds the city, it is guarded by a neutral garrison etc...
3. Everyone moves 4 spaces. Dwarves move 3 spaces, Elves move 5 spaces.
4. Rivers, Trees, Mountains, Forests, all slow movement by 1 space.
5. Crossing through the Chaos Portals allows you to shortcut to places on the map, but they are guarded by 1000pts of neutral Daemons, unless you are a Chaos player, when they are guarded by 500pts of Daemons
6. There are various towers and ruins on the map, guarded by a chart of random neutral encounters, which hold magic items and bonuses for your army
7. There are various terrain features which grant bonuses to your army, like Fields and Mines
8. Units gain experience and "level up" as long as they do not suffer excessive casualties. Casualties are "bought back" with an income of points each turn.
9. Capitals are guarded by a garrison of 2500pts. Armies may join any garrison at a City, Town, or Capital and are added to the total.

There are LOTs of flaws with this method. First, the map was HUGE. Players were separated by up to 4 turns worth of flat, unobstructed movement, which typically mean 4 weeks just to get to the enemy. Once there, you were faced with an army that was often twice the size of your own. If you failed to capture the city, the average points income was less than 500pts, meaning you had another 3/4 weeks waiting to get your army back up to strength. Further, characters could be killed, and if you general died, you were out of the game. This made for a slow moving game that favored defense and "turtle tactics". When players did move, it was to go beat up on small, neutral villages - which meant that each week, someone got stuck playing 500pts of doomed "defenders", and then probably had to play a second pointless game as the doomed "attackers". Most people started getting crafty with their defender lists, building "character snipers" whose sole goal was to get to the enemy general at all costs and kill him, hoping to end the player's game with a mere chance encounter with some peasant militia. No offense to the writer, but it sucked.

A better map campaign is the "node campaign", like the index-card version that PatternMaker referenced with the index cards. We call them "arena campaigns" in my group - each player gets a star of Empire tiles, usually 7. The center is his capital, and then they get 6 "points" to spend on features, or randomly generate features (depending on the rules) which are placed in the other 6 tiles. The tiles are then arranged to that each player shares 2 borders with other players at the table - sometimes we have to place a "neutral" star in the middle, which we populate with random features. The features provide bonuses to the army. Normally you only get a single "offense" banner. Your offense banner can move 1 tile each turn when in enemy terrain, and 2 tiles each turn if moving through areas that you control. Each turn usually features a battle - you bet the tile that your army is attacking, against the tile that your opponent is simultaneously attacking. If you are not attacking a tile, you still play the battle, but gain nothing by winning. When you conquer a tile, it switched colors to become part of your empire. You cannot attack the Capital tile until the player has lost at least half of his surrounding tiles (to any player).
This creates a very fast playing campaign. We played this with 500pt games of "lunch-hammer" once, and finished the entire campaign in a single day. It is intensely strategic and lots of fun, with all the good things about map campaigns and none of the bad stuff. Further, because you have to worry less about rules for movement and your run-time is decreased by the proximity of the players, you can add lots of really cool rules like "seasonal effects" or world-scale magic. We've even had dragon rampages from the center tile, plague outbreaks, rebellions, assassinations, and other awesome effects in different games, just because we didn't have to worry about attacking/defending rules and movement.

Finally, I once played a Samurai campaign (using historic rules) on a hex board. Whenever you were moving, your army had an 'Duty Value' which you had to roll beneath (like a Leadership test) if you were within a certain proximity of an enemy city or army. If you failed, you had to end your turn X spaces closer to the army or city, where X was the number you failed the test by. Each turn you remained in proximity without engaging of your own free will, your Duty Value dropped by 1, making it harder to resist the urge to charge into battle. This created a magnetic effect, where the players were moving towards action even if they did not want to. Further, the win condition was not necessarily Victory, but rather Honor - and as Samruai, there were ample opportunities to win honor amidst defeat. Attacking a smaller enemy did not cost you honor, but you would win less honor in return, and if you lost the battle, not only would your opponent win vast amounts of Honor, but you would almost certainly be shamed. If your Honor dropped too low, you lost the game as your general was ordered to commit seppuku. This game ran incredibly well, with lots of action and a lot of entertainment value. He placed a time limit on the game, to represent the Japanese 'campaign season'. At the end of the game he recorded the results and declared a winner. We have played this campaign twice more, and each time, the winner and holdings of the previous campaign were carried over, as were several effects. There have already been bitter feuds and strong alliances amidst the different players and their clans, not to mention those that are forced by the history of the game (Kenshin and Takeda lose 1 honor if they do not fight eachother when forced to take a Duty roll, but will automatically gain 1 honor if they ally against a common foe like Oda).

You can find more information and ideas on campaigns HERE
 
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