Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday Night Mordheim; Campaign with Style

Monday Night Mordheim: Campaign...With Style...

Sorry about the delay, I was unfortunately caught up in real world work stuff. I guess that's the real nature of the world, fun stuff always seems to get pushed back.

On with the show! I've been thinking about the various types of campaigns that I've been involved in over the years that I've been playing Mordheim. Some are structured, some are not. All of them have their benefits and their drawbacks. What I want to do is talk about each type of campaign. The good thing is that quite a few of these are good for more campaigns then just Mordheim. If you wanted to run a campaign using say 40K or Maulifaux, then you would not have any trouble doing so with a quick adaption.

Campaign Style 1: Chaos
A chaotic campaign is the simplest of all the campaigns to run. Basically it means having a set time to play, and who ever isn't already playing another player, gets together and plays.
Benefits: Loose, doesn't require a lot of dedication. Zero book keeping.
Drawback: There is a chance that people play each other over and over again, and different warbands can quickly become lopsided.

Campaign Style 2: Tournament Brackets
A tournament bracket campaign is possibly what most people think of when I say campaign. It is the standard double-elimination type of bracket.
Benefits: Structured schedule of matches. Definitive winners and losers. Minimal book keeping.
Drawback: After the second round, you lose a lot of players, and each round after that you continue to lose more- which can be frustrating for people playing late bloomer warbands (like Dwarfs or Possessed).

Campaign Style 3: Round Robin
I personally Round Robin is my favorite for a number of reasons, which I've outlined previously. Round Robin everyone plays everyone.
Benefits: Set schedule of matches. Potential to go forever, allowing even late bloomer warbands to eventually flourish. Everyone plays everyone. Standard book keeping.
Drawbacks: Only works for a dedicated core of players, lossing players can have detrimental effects on a campaign.

Campaign Style 4: Map Based Campaign.
If you didn't think of the either of the tournament styles, you probably thought of the map based campaign. I think that many other games do better with maps then Mordheim, but don't sell it short.
Benefits: This campaign lends itself to narrative scenarios much better then any others. Easy to drop players in and out of the campaign.
Drawbacks: Potential quagmires where the same few players end up playing each other over and over again. High amount of book keeping. Potentially huge mismatch of Warband Ratings can happen if not carefully refereed.

Campaign Style 5: Sports Style
This is a potentially different campaign, which I rather like. I haven't run one myself, and I've mainly seen it with Blood Bowl, but I am willing to say that it would work well for Mordheim as well. The best way to describe it is like a sports season, where there is an initial 'season' where there are scheduled matches and no one gets eliminated, and then it goes to the 'playoffs', in which the top few warbands go through a single elimination tournament to find a final winner.
Benefits: Everyone gets to play everyone, set schedules, set end with final winner.
Drawbacks: Set end. Much book keeping.

Those are what I consider the main styles of campaigns that can be run. There are probably more, and variations of those I've mentioned are probably too numerous to even mention. While I'm done talking about the particular styles of campaigns for now, I think that I'll be talking about the different ways of running campaigns in the future. I think that most of them can be covered in a single post, but I think the map campaign deserves its own special listing.

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