Been finishing off Issue 3 of The Campaigner, so haven’t had much hobby time. However, while looking through my archives, I stumbled across something I had almost forgotten about.
Back in 2001 myself and some friends played a very brief Warhammer campaign. From memory, there was a series of articles in White Dwarf that talked about a studio campaign that they held, set on an island. Of course, we decided to run a campaign too, and equally of course, it was set on an island. Okay, so we weren’t entirely original back them.
This was the map of the island, called Blithe Island (for reasons I cannot recall or fathom). There were six of us playing, though I believe that ‘Dave’ never ended up playing a game.
The end of the first turn sees a few additional features added to the map. Where we could, we tried to connect existing locations together, like putting villages on a road or a bridge over a river.
The end of the second turn see’s James and Jarryd finally choose army names. Also, I like the idea that there was a settlement of wizards here at some point. Imagine a bustling village you see in any fantasy setting, but inhabited entirely by cloaked and bearded old men.
End of turn three, and as far into the campaign as we got. It should be noted now, I was playing as Clan Vestren, and could apparently only generate towns.
There we have it, a three turn campaign. Not the shortest campaign we ever ran, though also not the longest. I think this falls into the middle point.
I also uncovered some other equally as embarrassing old material that I will post up at some point.
Just briefly I wanted to talk about the Warhammer expansion, Storm of Magic, that came out recently, as well as the worldwide campaign that is associated with it.
I haven’t read the rules or the book at all, but more often than not I have been hearing good things. Eventually I will get around to ingesting the book, but for now I can talk about what I know.
Firstly, whoever approved the name Storm of Magic should be fired. Or at least demoted. Yes, I realise that magic flows on ‘winds’ in the Warhammer world. And yes, I understand then what a ‘storm’ would be in this sense. But please. Remember Storm of Chaos? You used your storm convention on that. Sit down Games Workshop, focus, and come up with a new idea. It takes a lot to phase me, but this kind if un-inventive drivel just makes me want to find those responsible and punch them in the face.
Second, the campaign name. I suppose after Storm of Magic I shouldn’t be surprised that lacklustre name generation is all the rage, but really. Storm of Magic: Scourge of the Storm? Stop saying storm! Think of another bleed’n word!
Thirdly, as far as I can tell, this isn’t a real worldwide campaign. Yes, people from different countries can participate in the one event. But I personally wouldn’t call it a campaign.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, and I must admit once learning the basic details of how it is run I didn’t investigate any further to learn more, it is basically a facility that allows you to send win/loss results and photos to Games Workshop through Facebook. And then… that’s it. No other player participation, apparently no story arc to push. It is just Games Workshop trying to validate itself by flaunting all its Facebook friends. I don’t even have a Facebook account, and I don’t want to be forced into creating one just to be roughly pushed in a predetermined direction by Games Workshop.
As a general concept I don’t mind the Facebook/campaign interaction idea, but I don’t think it is appropriate for a Game Workshop campaign. Not when they have proved in the past that they can develop and run their own independent campaign system. They can like it back through Facebook if they want, that is fine, but using it as a central method of participation seems like a bad idea. At least to me. But then again, I hate social media. Even blogs.
Though not intentional, I haven’t really talked much about the UnderDark campaign. I shall remedy that now.
Turn three started a couple of days ago. While not as terrible as initial estimations, the Dark Host still didn’t perform spectacularly. The western front, the front I am on, is holding strongly. Our southern lines, though, are easily being pushed back.
I wasn’t too sure why this was, to begin with. But I soon learnt much of the Dark Host is MIA, not handing in their orders for the turn. In some cases some of the players haven’t even placed their characters on the map! With so few of us fighting so many of the enemy I am quite impressed we have done as well as we have. Imagine is we had even a two thirds contingent.
So far the campaign is enjoyable, though slightly more aggressive than I first thought it would be. This could be the lopsided teams giving that illusion, I’m not sure. I don’t really have a frame of reference. There are facilities for spying and other forms of intrigue, but the ability to create armies on absolutely any node directs the campaign in a more combat oriented direction. It is also a little hard to keep track of everything, as finding relevant information involves going and looking at multiple topics on the UnderEmpire forum.
Still though, it is an enjoyable game. It is a lot of fun discussing the faction tactics with the other players, though I think some might be taking it all a little to seriously. I have particularly enjoyed the fiction writing aspect. Not only writing interesting stories, but including turn relevant information (like other players on the same node, why you are moving where you are, etc.) in a way that doesn’t sound forced. So far I think I have accomplished this quite well.
It looks like the powers-that-be in the Dark Host faction are attempting to jettison some of the dead wood in our ranks. So if this campaign sounds interesting to you, there might be some openings soon. Check out UnderEmpire for info.