Map Campaigns, Starting Thoughts
I've been gathering information about map campaigns for some time now, as those of you who follow this column will know. There's a lot to think about and a lot of things to gather about it. What I want to talk about you for the start up portion.
The first thing that you want to think about is the victory conditions. A map campaign has the potential to last literally forever. That is why it is even more important to set victory conditions from the start then it is in a regular campaign. The victory conditions can vary as much as how your group is. The thing that is important about the victory conditions is that they will help set the length of the campaign. The more difficult the victory conditions, the longer the campaign will last. The problem with that is a long campaign can get causalities, and not the fun 'I killed your Necromancer!' type, but the unfun 'Wow, Jim, so you're moving to Antarctica? Sure, I know it is a once in a lifetime trip to study Leopard Seals, but WHAT ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN!?!'. So you might want to take the one or more of the following victory conditions list;
*A time limit. The good thing about this is you can close it off at a certain time, and then count up map territories and then decide who wins. This is a great condition, because it can keep casual players in a bit longer, hoping for that one last surge of wins.
*Percentage of the Territories: Important to note this is NOT the complete take over of all the territories. That's a different condition. This one is generally something like 50% or 75% of the total number of players. However, it can be discouraging to those who are NOT winning.
*Full Decimation: This is the one where it is winner takes all. Depending on how much territory you have, this can be the longest of all campaigns. I'm not a fan, and it is a discouraging thing. Lots of people get knocked out or just plan old bored when it comes up to round 26.
*Capture Keys: Many map campaigns include a few 'special' or 'key' areas. With this victory condition, you see a lot of action, since capturing all the 'key' territories can mean a sudden win. This is probably the most volatile of all campaigns, because it means that someone can come in and prevent a total victory with a single well place win.
*Set Victories: Someone is declared the winner after X amount of wins. Doesn't matter what the what else is going on, if you win that amount of victories, you win the whole enchilada.
So while victory conditions are the most important thing, the second most important thing in my mind is the special stuff. I love special stuff. It makes a map campaign so much more fun. Now, in different games, these can be a lot of different things. That's what makes different games different. Er. That sounded stupid. Allow me to elaborate. In 40K being allowed to take an extra 200 points over your opponent means something, but in Mordheim it is almost impossible to do the same thing, since you are growing a warband. That's the simple bit, making stuff appropriate to your campaign. The hard part is that the special stuff comes in two parts. The first part is the different conditions of getting something special, and the second part is what to get.
Party of the First Part; Conditions. There are two main ways to get benefits of special conditions.
*Special Territories: These are individual territories that convey some sort of benefit.
*Number of Territories Taken: After a certain number of territories are taken, then someone gains a benefit.
Party of the Second Part; Benefits. There are actually a lot of different things that make the benefits worth something, but they all fall into some broad categories.
*Deployment Benefits: Deployment benefits can range from choice of who sets up first, to special deployment conditions, to even choice of scenarios.
*Extra Forces: Extra forces benefits are great. They allow you to break the normal rules of how many people that you are allow to place on the field and smash them to bits.
*Free Stuff: Free Stuff benefits allow you to take something without cost that you would normally include as part of your cost per game.
*Terrain Benefits: This is by far the most crazy stuff. Terrain benefits are typically tied to a single territory, and typically some sort of unique terrain feature like fortresses, or extra towers, or something like that.
So I've gone over some of the opening stuff to think about, and right now I need to customize it a bit with some of the stuff I thought of for a Mordheim based map campaign.
Special Areas Ideas:
1. Brewery: Bugman's is common.
2. Mercanaries Quarters: 1/2 upkeep on hired swords (except Ogres, Warlocks, and Pitfighters)
3. Slaughter House District: No upkeep for Ogres or Trolls
4. The Gladitorial Pit: Free Pit fighter, no upkeep, but does not gain XP! Can still hire pit fighter as normal.
5. Well Spring: +1 to casting checks for wizards, etc.
6. Powder Magazine: +2 on rare rolls for blackpowder weapons
7. Wharf: Warband counts as three less members for wyrdstone exchange.
8. Assayers Office: +1 die on exploration roll
9. The Tower: There is a HUGE (like 2 foot tall) tower in the middle of the territory, that the defender can ALWAYS set three models in before the game starts.
+1 to rare roll for every 5 contigious territories.
+1 to maximum warband number for every 10 territories you hold
+1 to maximum heroes in warband for every 20 territories you hold.