Josh Affrime: The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron (Ogre Kingdoms)
Steve Stiefel: The Roving Province of Sigmarheim (Empire)
Rob Hawkins: Skryre Lord Skreekits' Lightning Engineer Cult (Skaven)
Last time, I wrote about my crushing defeat at the hands of Josh's Ogre Kingdoms army, The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron. Jason fared a little better (well, a lot better) in his assault on Steve's headquarters. Waaagh Blackfang crushed their opponents, driving the Roving Provence of Sigmarheim out of their fortress. Steve's Empire gunline and Steam Tanks weren't able to inflict enough casualties to stop the onslaught of Jason's massive unit of Orc Boyz. In the woods west of Malko (Territory 63) the Orcs scored another victory.
Both of Steve's banners were massacred, and with no headquarters in which to reform, they were utterly destroyed. Now, Steve finds himself in the same predicament as Lou, with three turns to recapture his headquarters.
That got me thinking about an alternative to being flat-out eliminated from the campaign once your headquarters and banners are gone. We are on the verge of losing two players, and we're only at the halfway point. The battles thus far have been at the 1000 point level, and will jump to 2000 points in turn 10, so they haven't even been able to play any full-sized games.
It's also no fun to sit it out out while the remaining players continue with the campaign for a few more months. I floated this idea past the others and they all agreed, so we've implemented the following rule:
When a player has no HQ, and their final banner is Scattered or would be otherwise destroyed, causing the player to be removed from the campaign, the banner instead retreats 2 territories into any unoccupied territory. If there are no unoccupied territories, it will retreat 3 territories instead.
The banner continues to follow all the rules for movement and Living off the Land, and retains its army's special campaign rules, but it can no longer capture territories or ally with other realms. It fights and retreats as normal, but if Scattered it instead retreats 2 territories, following the rules above.
Though the banner cannot formally ally, it may lend support to any one battle it is adjacent to, and may support either side, regardless of the alliance table. The banner represents the remnants of the realm's army, roaming the land as warriors without a kingdom.
This allows the player to continue participating in the campaign, moving around the map wreaking havoc, aiding previous allies where they can, or simply harassing the realm that knocked them out. With a single banner they can still issue orders, move and fight some battles, but not be in a position to affect the territory counts or win the campaign.
And with that, we've officially reached the halfway mark of the campaign. 10 turns remain. The walled city of Malko has been secured by the orcs of Waaagh Blackfang. The Roving Provence of Sigmarheim has been cast out of their fortress at the hands of the green tide. The Dark Elves' Murderous Legion are still a few moves from recapturing their own headquarters. Chixl's Warhost is slowly scouring the Dark Elf presence from their realm. The Horde of the Scorched Cauldron is steadily rolling down from the mountains. And Skryre Lord Skreekits' Lightning Engineer Cult is feverishly toiling away on some new monsters to unleash on the battlefield. (Hopefully I'll have some new Skaven models to show off soon.)