Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week 3!

Welcome to week 3!  Technical difficulties have been mostly resolved, and updates should continue as planned.  Remember to check the map for apocalyptic terrain.

The weather this week is:
3: Dust Clouds- Night fighting rules apply for this game.

Send in your moves by next Sunday.  If you haven't moved yet this week, get your moves to me ASAP.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Darkness Rising

Escaping the protracted wars of Talassar, several warlords formerly of the Occupation have made landfall on the Tau world of Au'daan.  No sooner had Imperial forces arrived in pursuit than a terrible revelation shook the forces on the planet.  All of the warlocks, sorcerers, seers and astropaths on the planet agree: someone had unleashed a terrible evil at the heart of Au'daan.  Though the prophetic details differ, each leader knows that survival will mean getting off the planet as soon as possible.  With dark energies stirring, the weather of the formerly tranquil world has become erratic, and safe landing sites have become rare and coveted.  One such location is the spaceport in Au'daan City, protected by the Tau equivalent of voidshields.  Each leader could be extracted with little difficulty, but to retain enough martial strength to pursue the mysteries of Talassar will require speed and luck!

Welcome to Au'daan!

Okay guys, after much delay I present the campaign rules for Settlers!

This campaign will last five turns, with each turn lasting a week.  Each turn is broken up into three phases: the Roll, the Battle, and the Move. 

At the roll, experience points may be spent, then I will randomly determine the special board effects for the round.  The battle phase will last most of the week, and will allow players to play any number of games.  Each game played awards the player 1 movement point, with an extra point awarded to the winner.  Movement points DO NOT carry over from week to week.

Games may be played against outside players, but only one outside game will count toward movement and no experience points may be earned this way. 

During the Movement phase, each player may spend movement points to advance on the map.  Moving on one edge costs 2 movement points, moving through another player's line (where the player is moving or where they have previously moved) costs 3 points unless you defeated that player this turn.  There is no limit to the number of moves allowed during a turn, but moving more than 1 edge will forfeit your next turn's movement.  If you do not play at least one game during the battle phase, another player may move you back one edge during the movement phase.

Each player starts at an intersection on the map edge.  The goal of this campaign will be to reach the spaceport at the center of the map before the planet tears itself apart.  Each player occupying one of the six corner spaces of the spaceport at the end of the campaign wins.  If two players would occupy one of the spaceport corners, they will play a game to determine who gets to stay.  The other player will be pushed off onto the nearest unoccupied space.

Each turn, two tiles will randomly become Apocalyptic terrain.  Games fought by players bordering apocalyptic terrain count all difficult terrain as dangerous.  In addition, all movement touching Apocalyptic terrain costs 3 movement points.

All other tiles will have a randomly determined game effect:
1: Eldritch Storm- All psychic tests automatically succeed on any roll of doubles, but also cause Perils of the Warp
2: Lightning Strikes- At the beginning of each player turn, the tallest unit in the opposing force takes d3 S10 AP4 hits
3: Dust Clouds- Night fighting rules apply for this game
4: EM Disruption- All Vehicles and other non-troops models that are mechanical in nature (servitors, drones, Techmarines, Necrons etc) suffer -1 Initiative and -2 Leadership.  Any Vehicle Damage roll also inflicts one Crew Shaken result.
5: Earthquake!- At the beginning of each player's turn, roll a d6. On a 1-3, subtract 1" from all movements made this turn.  On a 4-6, add 1" instead.
6: Hurricane Winds- No scatter distances may be reduced.  All units have a 6+ cover save against shooting attacks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beyond Talassar

Thank you all for playing in our 40k campaign!  I’m very pleased with the results, so we’ll be starting a new campaign in about a month.  We’ll be heading to the galactic north and a bit rimward to the edge of the Tau expansion, following a few of the fleeing Occupation leaders.  See me in store for signups and additional rules.

Anyone who has logged at least one reported game in this campaign should see me in store for campaign buttons!  I’ve got a generic design for all players, or you can send me something cool you’d like on your button.  Please keep it campaign related and under 3” square.  Each button will cost $1 to cover the cost of making them, and I’ll be able to print them until we start our new campaign in November.

Thanks again for playing, and watch this space for updates on the next one!


Despite the valiant efforts of the Expedition forces, Talassar’s orbital weapons have been destroyed.  Even with the news that a massive Ultramarine relief fleet is inbound, the loss of the guns will be devastating to the Imperial war effort.  The Occupation ships are using the gift of extra time to deploy orbital mines and traps, so that even after the fleets withdraw the Ultramarines will be denied orbital weaponry and surveillance.  Further, the failure of the Expedition to evacuate the noncombatants limits the relief forces to a defensive posture.

While many of the leaders on both sides have fallen in the fighting, many more have escaped.  With their objectives accomplished, most of the Occupation leaders have withdrawn from Talassar, moving on with their elite guards and leaving the rank and file to continue the ground war.  Many of the Imperial commanders have vowed to pursue, but they must wait for the reinforcement fleet first.

The astropaths of the Imperial fleet report strange signs and portents.  It appears that one of the darker minded servants of chaos operating on Talassar put into motion a ritual to engulf the world in a warp storm.  His plot was barely thwarted, but the mere attempt seems to have unintentionally benefited the Expedition.  With the clearing of the warp disturbances, the Eldar seers are free to read the tides of the warp.  They claim that without the psychic disturbances and the masking done to fight it, the Tyranid presence on Talassar would have called forth a greater hive fleet from the void, likely dooming the world.

Week 5 results:
Primary: Occupation
Secondary: Occupation

Final Results:

Primary: Occupation
Secondary: Occupation
Tertiary: Tie

The Invasion of Talassar has been a success for the coalition of warlords forming the Occupation.  While casualties have been high, many of the warlords came to Talassar simply for the privilege of spilling Imperial blood, and that goal has certainly been met.  The Ultramarine reinforcements will face years, if not decades, of war to cleanse Talassar of the invaders, and the production capabilities of the ocean world have been crippled.  With Imperial resources already stretched thin, who knows how many colonies will be lost as the soldiers and weapons they need to defend themselves are redirected to Talassar.

While bloodshed was the Occupation’s primary goal, many of the leaders on both sides had hidden reasons for coming to Talassar.  Inquisitors within the Expedition report that the information leak that allowed the Occupation access to Imperial communications may also have exposed sensitive Ultramarine threat assessment documents to the cultists and pirates.  What effect this will have remains to be seen, but Expedition leaders are certain that whatever use the information is put to, it will not benefit Mankind.

In the chaos of conflict, the sources of Talassar’s sorrow have escaped identification.  While many clues and incongruities have been discovered, no conclusive evidence shows who engineered the conflict on Talassar.  The Occupation leaders are generally indifferent: while they chafe at the manipulation, none would have wanted to miss the bloodshed.  The Imperial commanders, however, fear that with the dispersal of the warlords the architect of Talassar’s war will be free to practice his craft on another Imperial world. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 5: Evacuation

With the common men and women of Talassar at risk, the Expedition forces have shown a remarkable strength of purpose.  Space Marine raiding parties led by the Imperial Fists, Space Wolves and Angels Encarmine executed an operation designed to hamstring the Ork hordes.  Eldar spearheads fell upon the cultists of the Ruinous Powers, who had been tempted out of the battle lines in their clamor for innocent blood.  All the while, Inquisitorial forces including a cohort of mysterious Grey Knights fought a bloody rearguard against the deadly Tyranids, buying time for their allies in blood.  The Expedition forces have successfully relieved the siege on Talassar's urban centers and made contact with the remaining civic leadership.

The strikes on Occupation communication nodes were another resounding success.  Expedition leaders have fragmented the enemy forces, and the apparent leak into the Imperial Strategium network has been silenced.

Autarch Morningchild sends word that the Eldar devices have quieted the psychic storm somewhat, raising hopes that Imperial reinforcements can be contacted and that the investigation into the warp disturbances might bear fruit.

Week 4 results:
Primary: Expedition
Secondary: Expedition

Mission 5: Evacuation

With the relief of the Talassarian cities and the restoration of Astropathic communication, Imperial leaders have decided that a protracted war on Talassar is winnable.  In order to prepare for a long ground war, the orbital conflict must be resolved.  To this end, Talassar's remaining orbital defenses have been activated.  Every minute the gun facilities remain active increases the chances of successfully evacuating Talassar's noncombatants and bringing the inexhaustible might of the Imperial war machine to bear.  Expedition forces have been redeployed to defend these facilities, and the Occupation hordes will make them pay in blood for every shot the orbital guns take.  These final battles will determine the ultimate fate of Talassar: eternal battleground or recovering Imperial colony.

Primary Objective: Place an objective in each table quarter.  At the end of each game turn, each player is awarded one Objective Point for each objective he controls.  The player with the most objective points at the end of the game wins.

The long and bitter war on Talassar has created many hatreds and rivalries.  The leaders on both sides will take any opportunity to settle the score with their opposite numbers personally.

Secondary Objective: If at the end of the game, your opponent has no unwounded HQ units on the table, you achieve this objective.  Both players may achieve this objective.

While delaying the Imperials has always been important, none of the Occupation leaders ever truly believed they would be allowed to hold Talassar.  While some may have come simply for the opportunity at bloodshed, many of the Occupation warlords had much more sinister goals in attacking a Jewel of Ultramar.  While the ground war may take a heavy and destructive toll on the Imperium, it is now inevitable that Talassar will eventually return to Imperial control.  To obscure the psychic traces of their activities, Occupation leaders have turned to the surest method of causing psychic turmoil: bloodshed.

Tertiary Objective: Before the game, count the number of models in both players armies.  At the end of the game, if the combined total number of models destroyed is 75% of that number or greater, the Occupation player achieves this objective.  Otherwise, the Expedition player achieves this objective.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 4: War of Attrition

 Despite a concerted push, Expedition forces were unable to turn the Occupation flank.  Showing an unprecedented level of coordination, Tyranid and Dark Eldar forces were able to meet the push and turn the quick strike into a protracted battle.  Despite the setback, the Imperial forces were close to attaining victory when the failure of several disruption missions left large detachments of Traitor Guard free to reinforce the Occupation lines.  The failed missions were without exception planned by Captain Fabian, and in the backlash of the tactical disaster he has stepped down as Imperial commander, leaving the fleet in the hands of a cabal of Inquisitors.

With the failure to break through the Occupation lines, Expedition leaders have been forced to focus on keeping their units intact, and have been unable to deny the supply depots to the enemy.  While the Occupation gained significant reserves of promethium from the seizures, the information implied by the drops might be more valuable.

Week 3 results:
Primary: Occupation
Secondary: Occupation
Tertiary: Tie

Mission 4: War of Attrition

The time for maneuvers and subterfuge is over.  The besieged underground cities of Talassar have made contact with Expedition forces, begging for aid.  With starving citizens rioting in the streets, the liberation of Talassar’s cities must come quickly, or the would-be saviors will find Talassar devastated from within.  To further increase the atmosphere of desperation, Occupation units have started disengaging and making for the population centers.  Questions about how the Occupation could know of the civilians’ weakness are troubling, but they must wait.  Each side is aware of the situation and the stakes: they must bring the enemy to a battle of annihilation and destroy his ability to interfere in the Talassarian sieges.  The race is on!

Primary Objective: Destroy your opponent’s ability to make war.  This objective will be determined by kill points, with Heavy Support choices worth 3 kill points each.
With the ground war rapidly developing into a massive pitched battle, communications have become the key to a defeat in detail.  An element without a direct line to the main forces can be isolated and destroyed.  Additionally, Occupation leaders who capture Imperial communications equipment may be able to tap into the Strategium communication networks for valuable tactical information.  Expedition leaders are likewise eager to capture communications apparatus in order to discover the source of the Occupation’s unprecedented coherency and organisation.

Secondary Objective: At the beginning of the game, nominate a single Elites or Troops unit.  For the duration of the game, that unit may re-roll all Leadership, Morale, and Pinning tests (but not Psychic tests!)  If you destroy your opponent’s nominated unit and they do not destroy yours, you achieve this objective.

The psychic disturbances speckling the planet’s surface have started to develop into something much more disturbing.  Bizarre manifestations are appearing with greater frequency and spreading across the planet.  Eldar Seers have developed a temporary solution to the disruptive phenomena in the form of psychic “lighning rods” that will hopefully contain the disturbances.   Unfortunately, the psychic chaos works to the advantage of the warp-spawned and tainted in the Occupation ranks, so all Occupation forces are ordered to destroy these devices wherever found.

Tertiary Objective: After deployment, the Expedition player places an objective marker in his deployment zone.  Psychic powers used within 18” of this marker have their range reduced by d6”.  If, at the end of the Expedition player’s turn, the Occupation player has an unengaged HQ or Elite unit in base contact with the marker, they destroy the device and complete this goal. If the Occupation player does not complete the objective before the end of the game, the Expedition player completes this objective.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 3: Flank March

The fight to contain the Expeditionary forces at their dropzones has been brutal and close, but ultimately fruitless.  The fragmented nature of the command, with decisions made by field commanders rather than Strategia in orbit, has allowed the Imperials to disperse across the continent and prepare enough landing zones to receive significant reinforcements. 

Occupation leaders had hoped that the Tyranid-infested countryside would prove difficult to move through, but Eldar scouting forces were able to guide the bulk of the allied troops away from the alien swarms.  This came as cold comfort to the already decimated Space Marine forces acting as the vanguard: the tremendous casualties sustained have indicated that the Swarms may well be the most deadly foe on the planet.

In the confusion of the breakout, many of the leaders on both sides were incapacitated.  While neither side managed to gain an advantage in this fashion, the thinned ranks among the elite bear some interesting implications to the ongoing war.  With fewer rivals in play, the warlords of the occupation have banded into something resembling a true alliance, with Daemon Princes negotiating with Archons and warp-witches influencing the roiling tides of the Tyranid swarms.  The already united Imperials have suffered from newly born dissension in their ranks, with the hardline supporters of Captain Fabian’s strategies affected the most by the massive casualties.

In order to focus on the retreating Expedition troops, the Occupation was forced to destroy the Defense Towers in and around the drop zones.  With easy access to Talassar’s orbital defenses denied to both sides, the Occupation can focus on the ground war, which favors their heavily entrenched forces.

Week 2 results:
Primary: Expedition
Secondary: Tie
Tertiary: Occupation

Mission 3: Flank March

With new forces on the ground and turmoil in the upper echelons of the Expedition’s command, the next step falls to the field commanders.  The prevailing opinion is that the Imperial forces defending Talassar’s underground cities should be relieved as soon as is practical, but the dispersed landing has left the Expedition forces stranded in an isolated wilderness.  In order to break through to the populated regions, strategists have identified what they believe to be the least cohesive flank of the Occupation forces.  Taking ground will be key to turning the flank.

Primary Objective: Have more units in your opponent’s deployment zone than they have in yours at the end of the game.

Automated code signals indicate that a strategic intelligence and materiel dump was hidden by the retreating Talassarians somewhere in the area.  Retrieving it may be useful, but more importantly will deny whatever resources are contained to the opposing side.

Secondary Objective:  Place five objective markers at the beginning of the game.  Whenever an objective becomes controlled, roll a d6 and add the number of objective rolled for so far.  On a 1-4, the unit that controls the objective takes d6 S8 hits with no AP as they trigger a trap.  On a 6, remove all other objectives from the field.  The player who controls the remaining marker achieves this objective at the end of the game.

The battle field has been identified as a particularly active psychic location.  Whether this is indicative of a Daemon incursion, a past event or a freak alignment of natural forces, either side will be desperate to investigate.

Tertiary Objective:  Nominate one piece of terrain on the table’s center line at the beginning of the game.  This is the centerpoint of the psychic disturbance.  All psychic tests taken within 18” of this terrain will incur perils on any roll of doubles.  To investigate the disturbance, a psyker or independent character must spend one full game turn in contact with the terrain without taking any voluntary actions.  If both players have investigated the phenomenon before the end of the game, this objective is a draw.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 2: Breakout!

The Expedition forces have set foot on Talassar, but are denied the secure landing zones they desperately need.  Despite the massive casualties inflicted on the Occupation, the ground war remains a stalemate into which no reinforcements can be safely landed.  Indeed, the situation is growing desperate for the outnumbered Expedition forces, as the fight for the landing zones quickly becomes a war of attrition.

The turning point in the initial strike came at the primary landing zone, where a strike force comprised of Space Marines of the Imperial Fists, Black Templar, and Space Wolves were tasked with the destruction of a strongpoint held by Traitor Guard forces.  The fight went well despite the unexpected arrival of a Tyranid swarm and and Ork warband on the Astartes flanks, until an aerial bombardment forced the Marines to withdraw.  The valiant vanguard action could not counter the loss of over sixty percent of the Imperial forces, including almost all of the command staff and the entire contingent of superheavy tanks.  The cultists were left in possession of the field.

After-action reports confirm that the crippling ordnance originated with Imperial forces.  Confronted with angry Astartes, Inquisitorial elements have launched an investigation.  Preliminary results show that the air strike order was issued properly through the Ultramarines cruiser Fidelis, despite Captain Fabian's insistence that he never issued such an order.

The only bright spot for the Expedition forces in the aftermath of the initial action is their success in denying the Defense Towers to the Occupation forces.  While the failure to hold the towers is still a setback, allowing the Occupation forces to access the systems would have compounded an already grim outlook.

Week 1 Results:
Primary: Occupation
Secondary: Tie
Tertiary: Occupation

Mission 2: Breakout!

The failure of Expedition forces to establish a beachhead has necessitated a change in plans.  Orders have come through to attempt a dispersal: though casualties will be high, command feels that preventing the Occupation forces from concentrating at the next dropsite is top priority.  Once the Imperial forces have scattered, forces can be landed at the lowest concentrations of enemy strength.

Primary Objective: Kill points.  Expedition players can move their units off the opponent's table edge.  Units moved off the table may not return, but they award kill points to the owning player instead of their opponent.

With the massive casualties already inflicted on both sides, leadership and direction may turn the tide of the coming battles. 

Secondary Objective: Nominate one HQ unit as your General.  You achieve this objective if your General is on the table at the end of the game and your opponent's is not.

As forces disperse from the initial battlefields, the Defense Towers are still denied to both sides.  Rather than waste forces on an attempt to break into the towers, Each side will attempt to destroy the facilities to deny them to their foes

Tertiary Objective: Before deployment, place a building with AV 14 in the center of the table.  The side who destroys this building will achieve this objective.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 1: The Purging of Talassar

The ocean world of Talassar has always been an Imperial bastion in the great void.  A shining Jewel in the Crown of Ultramar, Talassar is the cradle of many of Guilliman’s finest sons, including such warriors as Cato Sicarius, Captain of the Ultramarines Second Company and hero of a thousand battlefields.

But the shining beacon of Talassar has dimmed.  The Imperial Army’s Tithe delegate—a largely ceremonial position on the Astates worlds of Ultramar—was diverted to Calth after discovering that the dusky blue world was marred by the glowing fires of war, it’s spacelanes crowded by the vessels of Mankind’s numerous foes.

With the Ultramarines still recovering from the battle at Macragge or committed to other warzones, the lords of Ultramar are forced to seek outside aid for Talassar.  The Imperial Army has answered the call, along with nearly a dozen Astartes fleets and several Inquisitors operating nearbye.  Together the Imperial forces have mounted a great Expedition to Talassar under the command of Ultramarines Captain Mikael Fabian of the 3rd Company, charged with bringing death to their enemies and relief to the beseiged citizens.

With the void battle forced to a stalemate, thanks in part to the unlooked for intervention of an Eldar fleet on behalf of the Imperial forces, the time has come to take the battle to the surface.  Whichever side can gain control of the mighty Talassarian defense batteries can turn the tide of the space conflict and ultimately deny their foes the reinforcements needed for a ground victory.

But as the Expeditionary leaders prepare to make planetfall, many are plagued by doubts.  What foe has brought so much destruction to Talassar?  How did such a heavily defended world fall without even a single distress signal?

Mission 1: Beachhead

As Expeditionary forces reach Talassar, they must secure safe landing zones or be denied the bulk of their reinforcements.  The Occupation leaders have united in the common goal of denying a foothold on the planet's surface to the Imperial forces.

Primary Objective: Control the Field- Control more pieces of terrain than your opponent

The chosen beachheads are each home to one of the Defense Towers, part of Talassar's mysteriously silent orbital defenses.  Whichever side can control the towers will gain a significant edge in the orbital fight, and possibly clues to the circumstances surrounding the world's initial fall.

Secondary Objective: Investigate the Tower- After deployment, the Occupation player places a piece of terrain in his deployment zone.  This is the Defense Network Tower and cannot be controlled for the primary objective.  If, at the end of the Occupation player’s turn, the Expedition player has an unengaged HQ or Elite unit in base contact with the Tower, they complete this objective. If the Expedition player does not complete the objective before the end of the game, the Occupation player completes this objective.

In the early days of a campaign, moral victories are nearly as important as strategic ones.  Each side will unleash catastrophic destruction on the other.  No soldier can rest safe if he's a firsthand witness to the devastation his enemies can bring about.

Tertiary Objective: Break the Enemy- Each time an enemy unit loses 25% or more of its models in a single phase, you are awarded 1 objective point.  The player with the most objective points at the end of the game completes this objective.


Welcome to the new Merlyn's 40k Campaign!  I'll be using this site to distribute the missions and updates as the campaign progresses.  To submit a battle report, please leave a comment on that week's post with your first name, your opponent's first name, and which objectives you achieved during your game.  If you'd like, you may leave a short play-by-play or a fluff report, but please make sure I can quickly and easily find your report information. Please report your games by 6:00 each Saturday.  Late reports should be made, but may not count toward that week's objectives.

Here are the rules, if you need a reminder:

Each player will play one game per week, and their reported results will drive the mission choice and the storyline. Each Sunday, I will distribute the week's results and the next week's missions and objectives.

When you schedule a game, you'll need to work out a points value with your opponent. Realistically this will put the games somewhere between 500pts and ridiculous Apocalypse sizes, but if you agree on some other method of determining objectives you could run Kill Team or alternate force org games too. If you do something really cool, let me know and I might work it into the story.

Missions will have a Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary objective.
Here's how objectives will work:

Primary: The team that achieves the most primary objectives determines which path we move down the mission ladder.

Secondary: Completing secondary objectives will reveal extra information that may help your team win the war.  A team completes a secondary objective if more than 50% of the qualifiying reports from that team list the objective as complete.

Tertiary: These objectives will reveal further information, as well as affecting the "degree of victory" for each battle and the war as a whole.  A side completes a tertiary objective if more than 50% of the qualifiying reports from that side list the objective as complete.

You may play your games against people not involved in the campaign, or against players from your own side, but Secondary and Tertiary objectives will not count toward your side's total unless your opponent is a campaign player from the opposing side.  In the event that both sides achieve a side objective, it will not be awarded.