THE HYPERION CAMPAIGN (Part 1 of 4)

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Hyperion Campaign

While overseeing reconstruction on Rynn’s World, chapter master of the Crimson Fists Pedro Kantor is startled when a lone Eldar ranger materializes from the scenery.  Having been aided once by the xenos during the fight for Rynn’s World against Waaagh! Snagrod, Kantor allows the alien to speak.  The Eldar warns that “fallen Eldar of Commorragh” seek an alien device on the Imperial planet of Hyperion.  She implies that should the Dark Eldar retrieve the item it would have dangerous repercussions for Imperial citizens and would destabilize the entire sector.  Kantor decides to dispatch two of his fledgling captains, both recently promoted to that rank: Captain Maverick, renown pistolier and risk-taker, and Captain Diomedes, vicious assault marine commander.

* Stole the image from http://entropomancer.blogspot.com – hope he doesn’t mind.

The Crimson Fist cruiser Redemption brings the Crimson Fist task force to Hyperion, a planet colonized by the Imperium decades before.  Yet their vox hails go unanswered.  Are they too late, have the Dark Eldar already sacked the planet?  It seems unlikely.  Perhaps something else has killed the populace?

The Fists decide their first move is to take command of the orbital platform Icarus.  When their advanced party arrives on the platform to clear the way, however, they discover that the Dark Eldar have the same idea…

***

This is a campaign I created a couple years ago that my friend Ben and I had every intention of playing out.  Unfortunately we only got to the of three first missions; I was moved toTexasby the Navy before we ever got around to playing Part II.  Since we didn’t get to play it, I thought I’d share and maybe someone else could partake!  The idea is that each of the three games build on the last.  My special rules for running the campaign (or any, for that mater) went like this:

General structure:

1.  Three games are played with gradually increasing points limits.

2. Each army essentially stays the same, retaining core elements while tweaking gear, unit structure, and adding new units.

3.  After each game each army earns one Veterans’ Reward to show experience in a selected unit.

4.  Winning and losing armies have special rules in the next game.

*

1.  Three games: 1st at 1500pts, 2nd at 1750pts, and the third at 2000pts.  Of course you can choose to have different points limits and play even more games.

2.  Each army gains new units in the next bigger battle, but maintains the core roster from the previous battles.  Army lists may change as follows:

a. Unit wargear, number of models, special characters, etc may be tweaked per game.  A sergeant can take a new special weapon and command a bigger or smaller squad, the units can be deployed differently, a walker can change its weapons, etc.

b. Each specific unit type taken in Game One must still be represented in subsequent games, but the number of each may be reduced by up to one-half, rounding up.  So if a marine army had 2 tactical squads in Game One, they can reduce it to 1 tac squad in Game Two, assuming the men regrouped and reorganized, but they still must have at least that 1 tac squad.  If a Dark Eldar army had 3 warrior units in Game One, they must take at least 2 Warrior units in Game Two (half of 3 rounded up is 2).  Basically, armies can reorganize but not completely shed units.  The core roster remains throughout the campaign.  This represents the same force in theatre making changes as it goes, taking on reinforcements and reorganizing for the wounded.

c. Obviously with more points you can buy new units, change wargear, etc, as long as you abide by rule (b) above.  Taking on new units is, again, like bringing in your reserves from the ship in orbit.  These new units now are part of the core roster and must be represented in ongoing episodes.

d. HQ units cannot be changed and must lead throughout the campaign.  If you only took one HQ choice in early games, you can of course add another HQ up to the limit allowed, but that new HQ unit is now a permanent member of the force.

e. Dedicated Transports don’t count – you can take as many or as few depending on the new army configuration and plan.  So 3 dedicated transports in Game Two doesn’t mean you have to take any in Game Three.

3.  Veteran Rewards are granted between battles in a campaign and consist of giving one unit a special Universal Rule, such as Stealth, Skilled Riders, or Relentless.

a. The unit selected need not have technically survived the battle, since they will be rejoining in the next game anyway (the recovering wounded now lead fresh troops with gritty experience).  The only exception to this is for HQ choices—a commander who died cannot benefit from his failure.

b. An HQ that survived the whole battle he can receive the Reward in addition to his Warlord Trait (this can make for some powerful characters!).  A Unique Special Character, however, such as Pedro Kantor or Lady Malys, cannot be given a Veteran’s Reward – they are experienced (and powerful) enough already.

c. If an HQ unit had a Command Squad,Royal Court, or other Retinue unit in a battle, they can all be given the same Veteran Reward.  If, however, the HQ model has a Reward that was given before he was later joined by a Retinue squad, that new unit does NOT benefit from that Reward—they aren’t Vets, after all, but newcomers to the battle.

d. The selected Veteran unit then retain this ability throughout the campaign but can receive only one such Reward.  After the next battle, a new unit must be selected.

4.  The victors and losers of each battle have special rules that apply in the next battle.  This is determined by each game scenario.  (As you’ll see in the up-coming blog episodes.)

***

So those are the Campaign Rules according to me.  If you like them please use them.  If you have better ideas, please share!

The actual Hyperion Campaign episodes are coming next, but I’m going to post them in a symbiotic way…  These rules appears here at Creative Twilight, as will Part II of the Campaign.  Parts I and III will appear at my blog, http://brinkschaostheory.blogspot.com so we can do a blog round-robin for the whole story.  So please join me there next for the first installment of The Hyperion Campaign: Icarus Platform.

J. D. Brink (guest blogger)

Brink’s Chaos Theory

 Fugitives of Purgatory

 

 

 

 

 

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  • http://creativetwilight.com/ Thor

    I’ve done much the same as this approach in campaigns and it’s a lot of fun. It just makes for a more cinematic and story driven campaign than just having unrelated games back to back. Looking forward to reading more.

    • http://www.brinkschaostheory.blogspot.com/ jdbrink

      Thanks, Thor! Yeah I like to add our own personal flare when I can find players who don’t mind straying from the published laws of the universe. And having everything build along one storyline adds to the fun.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jd.brink.3 JD Brink

      Story’s the big thing for me. As far as I’m concerned rules can be flexed and tweaked to make for a better story, though I know not everyone goes that way. Some are rules conformists above all else. To them I argue, the rules exist to make a fun game, not the other way around. (How did I end up on that soap box…?)

  • http://www.creativetwilight.com/ Kamui

    I like the idea of keeping a core of veterans through the campaign while allowing the rest of the army to shift around it. It provides a nice storyline for the veterans while still allowing you to keep the army viable mission to mission. I assume that a planetary conflict like this would involve much more than three battles and this does a good job of representing the ‘heroes’ of our story moving amongst the larger conflict to lend their aid where it is needed most.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jd.brink.3 JD Brink

      Thanks! I’m a big character guy and having reoccurring heroes that build in might as you go lends a nice comicbook-esque flavor to your forces. I hope I get the chance to try this again someday. I suppose you could go so far as to have a map with different sectors and different heroes/armies in each one. Maybe you could even have special heroes that deploy here or there and bring bonuses with them…?

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