Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Map Campaign 2014, The Players

The map campaign I've been longing for is finally underway. Five of my friends and I have marshaled our forces and are ready for war! We are using the Border Princes campaign rules and map from the General's Compendium, an awesome supplement produced way back during Warhammer 6th edition.

For anyone unfamiliar with the campaign rules, here is a quick breakdown:

Each player has a starting headquarters territory and one "banner" representing an army. As they amass more territory they gain additional banners, at the rate of one extra banner for every 3 territories controlled. New banners spawn in the player's headquarters at the end of the turn.

In a campaign turn, the players issue orders –in secret– for each of their banners. Banners can be ordered to Move into an adjacent territory, Hold in place, or Fortify in place. They can also Raze territories to make the land useless to other players, or Recover a territory that has been razed.

The fun part (for me, at least) is seeing everyone's orders revealed on the map each turn– Playing a clever game of cat-and-mouse, trying to anticipate the opponent's moves and attack where he will be weakest, or consolidating my own banners to fortify against an upcoming assault.

Whenever a banner moves into a territory containing an enemy banner, or if two opposing banners move into the same unoccupied territory, a battle occurs and a game of Warhammer is played. Adjacent, friendly banners can help support, by adding 10% to the army's point value. The winner gains control of the territory, and the losing banner must retreat.

Our campaign will run for 20 turns, at the end of which victory points will be awarded for how much territory everyone controls. There are also a number of special territories that are worth extra points and have special rules during the campaign.

The Players


I asked everyone to put together a blurb about themselves and their armies, so, without further ado, let me introduce the participants:


Jason Pierson

"I've been playing some form of orcs for almost 18 years now. going back to late 2nd edition 40k, and 5th edition fantasy. Before that it was the Blackblood Orcs of the game Chronopia and way back before that it was when I started painting the orc figures from my copy of Heroquest. Growing up a Tolkien fan, I always had a soft spot for the penultimate antagonists. Morthak has always been a named character in all of my iterations of orc/ork armies through the years. He also ended up as my main in WoW. He's kind of become my green alter-ego." 


Waaagh Blackfang

(Orcs & Goblins)

The Spinesnappa Clan toiled about through history as nothing more than a nuisance to travelers and small villages. Their survival comprised mostly of the few scraps they could could scavenge and plunder in the wastes. Their relative isolation saved them from being pummeled into the fold of other, more prominent orc tribes.

The destiny of this nondescript clan would be forever changed with the coming of not one, but two orcs. One of them was a powerful conduit of the orc god's magic, and the other was a violently truculent beast with a peculiar mark that would become his namesake. These two would be remembered by scholars as Zargoza the Green and Morthak Blackfang, respectively.

Morthak and Zargoza started their lives no differently than any other among the Spinesnappas. However during a particularly distant raiding excursion they became caught up in a chase that would take them far from home, Their warband refused to relent until all were dead and pursued tirelessly until they found themselves the only ones alive in unfamiliar lands. Through the cunning of Mork and the might of Gork, they carved out an existence among the mountains and deserts. There they encountered tales of mighty orc armies and the destruction that they wrought. It became clear to them that this was the life a proper orc was to lead.

With that they made the journey back to the lands of the Spinesnappas, intent of starting a waaaagh of their own. What they found filled them with disgust. Lowlife scavengers and opportunistic plunderers abounded, and not one seemed to thirst for anything more. Bellowing with rage, Morthak stormed into the heart of the camp and began laying about in a bloody avalanche of rage. Orcs that cowered were butchered mercilessly, those that fought back felt a long forgotten instinct rising within them. Soon more than half of the tribe lay dead, but those that stood, swore their fealty to Morthak with the promise of more bloody carnage to satiate their now revived bloodlust.

So it is that the Spinesnappas have renamed themselves in honor of the large, black tusk that marks Morthak as a chosen vessel of Gork, and march to conquest behind he and Zargoza.



Justin Cunnane

"I play Lizardmen because they are so awesome! Dinosaurs riding Dinosaurs? Where do I sign up? Take my money, please! The true reason that drew me to the Lizardmen are the ridden and unridden monsters, their pure magical firepower, and their rock hard Saurus blocks. They're a tricky army to play, but can be very destructive in the right hands. I have been in the hobby for over 15 years, but am a more recent comer to the realms of Fantasy, being primarily a 40K player since the inception of 3rd edition. I'm excited for our campaign with old friends, and I'm sure it'll be a blast."


Chixl's Warhost

Lord Chixl, Venerable Slann of the Tomb of Gold, has guided his forces across the great ocean to the land of the border princes. The ancient plaques have been further deciphered, and for reasons only known to the Lizardmen, they have moved a great warhost across the great ocean. It is known that Lord Chixl's force hails from the Northern Lizardman temple of Hexotal, located on the Isthmus of Phaux. These Lizardmen are known as enemies of the Dark Elves, and it's no coincidence they have arrived within close proximity of the raiding force of the Dark Elves.



Josh Affrime

"It has been a long time since I have played WFB and getting back in I wanted an army that I could potentially paint well and that might look cool. Plus stompy killiness is fun."

The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron
(Ogre Kingdoms)


The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron streamed out of the dusty mountains intent on plunder and the rich savory cuisine of the borderland marches. Led by the Slaughtermaster Kaga his nephew the Butcher Sakai and the dread Firebelcher Masahiko. They shall burn all they see and serve it with a fine wine!



Rob Hawkins

"I took up the mantle of the Skaven because their play style is completely different from my Vampire Counts. They run off the battlefield at the drop of a hat, and have a lot of shooting and wacky machinations that will either work perfectly or fail spectacularly. The army presents a lot of opportunity for unique conversions as well. I always get a kick out of running map campaigns– Seeing allies formed, and the inevitable betrayals that result.  Coordinating banners for support is key to winning the campaign, which means grabbing as much territory as possible!"

Skryre Lord Skreekits' Lightning Engineer Cult


Skryre Lord Skreekits and his cult of lightning engineers have been toiling ceaselessly in the depths of their Under-Empire. Warp-fueled abominations and war machines are ready to be unleashed upon the Old World. 




Steve Stiefel


"I’ve been playing Empire since their big relaunch way back in 6th Edition. Back at Gamesday in Baltimore in 1999, I saw a preview of the metal Engineer model armed with the Hochland Longrifle held by an imp. I was hooked! When the new boxed set came out my buddy and I did the whole “buy two boxes-I’ll take the Empire, and you take the Orcs” deal. My Bretonnians, Wood Elves, and Dogs of War were immediately put on the back burner, (sounds familiar, right?) and I furiously began amassing my Empire army that quickly rose to over 2000 points in just a little over a month of non-stop modeling and painting.


"These days, that army started so many years ago has grown to over 10,000 points, fully painted, with a few thousand more in various stages of completion. This is actually representative of the Empire’s greatest strength– versatility. The map campaign gives me the opportunity to draw from my great selection of models that are as varied as the many different foes that I’ll be facing over the next few weeks."


The Roving Province of Sigmarheim


Pious and powerful, yet arrogant and rash, bristling with a power of faith unseen in even the most notable of the Sigmarite creed, a young warrior priest named Albrecht Hexenjaeger, set forth from Altdorf many years ago with a single purpose in mind– to raise an army of the faithful the likes of which the Empire had never seen. Unburdened by the Emperor’s tempered hand and the bickering politicians, unshackled by the constraints of the Church of Sigmar, he would take it upon himself to reclaim the lands that had fallen into the hands of the enemy. The evil. The weak. This would be done in Sigmar’s name, and His alone, as foretold by the twin tailed comet seen above Albrecht’s boyhood home and the voice in his head all those many years… 



 Louis Mule


"I started playing dark elves in 5th edition because they seemed most similar to my 40k eldar army (this was before they created the dark eldar). Also the background story of the elf civil war was always one of my favorite bits of warhammer lore. This campaign will be a good motivation to paint some of the newer units like Doomfire Warlocks and Kharibdiss."


The Murderous Legion

(Dark Elves)


A lone raven flies over the Druchii encampment and lands on the slender arm of Etienne Kinslayer, sorceress and twin to her brother Katienne Kinslayer . Her dear brother is "general" of this host he calls his Murderous Legion, but she is clearly the clever one of the pair. The scroll tied to the raven's foot has news about the results of her brothers latest tactical ploy. She ponders if she should pass on the information to the general or make some minor alterations first.

Born on Death Night and to lowborns did not help their prospects for glory, but their unprecedented victories in the Witch King's Murder Games made them the talk of Druchii noble society. Sponsorship and slaves were heaped upon them. Famed generals all vied for their enlistment but the Kinlsayer twins would not fight for another generals glory. Malekith, in a rare gesture of amusement and whimsy, ( and to humble his other generals a bit ) raised the Kinslayers to nobility and granted them rights to invade and conquer of the Border Princes in his name.



Deployment and Initial Turns

After meeting to discuss the rules over drinks and dinner we were ready to get started.  Only a few minor tweaks were necessary to bring the rules in line with the current edition and iron out a few rough spots.  Since some of us were starting new armies, we also set the points on a sliding scale, to incorporate a slow-grow aspect.  Starting out, banners represent 1000 point armies.  At turn 10 that increases to 2000 points, then 2500 points at turn 15.  

Next, we selected our headquarters territories, and got rolling.  As you can see from the deployment map, the Skaven were isolated in the Northeast with plenty of room to expand.



The first few turns flew by, as everyone moved out from their headquarters.  A few failed difficult terrain rolls aside, everyone had expanded enough to gain an extra banner or two.  The Orcs' special rule allows one of their banners to attempt a Force-March, potentially gaining two territories on its own.


Alliances were also swift in coming– The Dark Elves and Ogre Kingdoms have allied, as have the Lizardmen and Empire. The Orcs and Skaven have agreed to ally, split the map in half, and then fight it out once the others are defeated!


In turn 5, however, things got interesting. The Orcs were multiplying quickly, and made a beeline (squigline?) straight for the Empire's headquarters. 



Steve would have his hands full, but HQ territories count as Fortified, and combined with the Empire's special rule, his army would have a bonus of 250 points and extra defensive fortifications. It would be 1250 points of Empire vs. 1100 points of Orcs & Goblins.

Once battles start occurring, this is where campaign turns start to slow down. Rather than just emailing orders, players need to schedule their battles and play the games. I'll be posting updates as the campaign progresses, and I hope you'll follow along.


By the way, losing one's headquarters doesn't mean they're out of the campaign; the player has three turns to recapture it, and can't generate new banners until they do. Hopefully Steve can defend his headquarters and stay in the game!

'Til next time!


  1. Fantastic. Love the idea of a campaign. Do you have a file of the map that is easily filled in like that? Or do you have to eye ball it every time?

  2. Thanks! I update the map with Photoshop turn-by-turn.

  3. SO PUMPED. Totally enjoyed the big Empire v Vampire Counts game you posted last year and I'm soo looking forward to reading on how this campaign turns out. I check your blog everyday, but I'm rooting for the Lizardmen!


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