ANNIHILATION – A Campaign System for Warmachine and Hordes (Part 1)


This is the first of two articles that describe the rules for a campaign system for Warmachine and Hordes. This part describes how to select armies and manage attrition. Part two describes an example four game campaign, the benefits of winning and how to figure out who won the campaign.

OVERVIEW

This campaign system is designed to represent the initial engagements fought between two factions over a period of a day or two. It is an escalating campaign comprising games that progressively grow in points. The factions have limited resources and losses in each game will have an impact on their ability to fight effectively in subsequent battles.

SELECTING YOUR ARMY

Each player must choose their complete force pool before any of the battles are fought. They are limited to spending 80% of the total points across all games. For example, if the campaign will comprise four games of 15, 25, 35 and 50 points then the player may choose a total pool of 100 points ((15+25+35+50) * 0.8). The number of ‘casters should be based on this points total. For example, two ‘casters are allowed in 100 point games, so the pool may contain two casters. Each caster should be distinct, i.e. you cannot include an Epic and basic version of a ‘caster in the same pool. It is important to note that free warjack and beast point allowances from ‘casters are not part of the pool. The total pool must obey all field allowance restrictions for the number of ‘casters. Here is an example 100pt force pool for Khador –

Warcasters

  • Karchev the Terrible
  • Supreme Kommandant Irusk

Warjacks

  • Destroyer (#1) 9
  • Destroyer (#2) 9
  • Devastator (#1) 9
  • Devastator (#2) 9
  • Juggernaut 7

Units and Solos

  • War dog (#1) 1
  • War dog (#2) 1
  • Battle Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2
  • Great Bears of Gallowswood 5
  • Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts) 4
  • Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 5 Grunts) (#1) 5
  • Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard (#1) 2
  • Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (#2) 8
  • Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard (#2) 2
  • Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (#1) 4
  • Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (#2) 4
  • Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt) 3
  • Koldun Lord 2
  • Man-o-war Drakhun (with dismount) (#1) 5
  • Man-o-war Drakhun (with dismount) (#2) 5
  • Manhunter (#1) 2
  • Manhunter (#2) 2

For convenience it may be worth considering troops of the same type as a group from which you can assemble different units. For example, there are sixteen Iron Fang Pikemen (excluding the UAs) above. Two of those are Leaders, so the maximum number of IFP units that can be fielded in one battle is two. However, the units do not need to be fielded as described above. Continuing the example, two min units could be fielded instead of a min and a max. As casualties mount up the number of troops that can be included will be reduced and this complicates things. More on that below.

THE GAMES (AND AFTERMATH)

Each game can be played using any scenario the players like and the armies should be built using normal composition rules. Losses during each game will impact what troops are available for later games. Here’s what should be noted after each game –

  • Grunts destroyed in each unit
  • Beasts and ‘jacks that suffer more than half damage
  • Beasts and ‘jacks that are destroyed
  • Beasts and ‘jacks that survive (and the warlock/’caster that was controlling them)
  • Solos, Unit Officers, Characters, Drakhuns, multi-wound grunts, etc. that suffer more than half damage
  • Solos, Unit Officers, Characters, Drakhuns, multi-wound grunts, etc. that are destroyed

When choosing a force for your next game the attrition suffered can begin to take a toll –

Warcasters and Warlocks

  • A ‘caster or warlock that is destroyed must ‘sit out’ the next game. Any ‘jacks and beasts that survived a game cannot receive a bond if their ‘caster/warlock was destroyed.

Beasts and ‘jacks

  • Beasts and ‘jacks that are destroyed may not be used again.
  • Beasts and ‘jacks that suffer more than half damage may be used in the next game, but suffer a permanent -1 to either their MAT, RAT, DEF or ARM (randomly chosen) due to the rushed repair job/healing. All damage is removed from the beast/’jack before the game begins.
  • Beasts and ‘jacks that suffer more than half damage that ‘sit out’ the next game are available for the following game and are fully repaired/healed.

Units

  • Grunts are destroyed permanently and their unit suffers a permanent loss. The units point cost remains the same, even if it is under strength. The exception is when a max unit drops to the min unit size (or below), then it drops to the min unit point cost.
  • Units that suffer losses may be combined with the restriction that no more units than original Leaders may be fielded.
  • Models in Unit Attachments that are destroyed are no longer available. However, if any models in a multi-model unit attachment survive then they may be included for the full cost of the UA.
  • Multi-wound grunts and Unit Officers that suffer more than half damage must ‘sit out’ the next game. If they suffered less than half damage they are returned to full health with no penalty and are available for the next game.

Combining units may be a little complicated. As leaders are not tracked separately they may always be considered to be a grunt. Units still cost either their min or max points even if there are not enough models to make up their full size and the player must attempt to field as close to legal unit sizes as possible. For example, if five Iron Fang Pikemen (from the group of sixteen) are killed the player may either field one unit of six, one unit of ten or a unit of six and a unit of five. The unit of five will still cost the same as a min unit.

Solos and Characters

  • Solos and Characters that are destroyed may not be used again.
  • Solos and Characters that suffer more than half damage may be used in the next game, but suffer a permanent -1 to either their MAT, RAT, DEF or ARM (randomly chosen) due to the rushed healing. All damage is removed from the model before the game begins.
  • Solos and Characters that suffer more than half damage that ‘sit out’ the next game are available for the following game and are fully healed.

Bonds
Beasts and ‘jacks that survive a battle may develop a bond with their controller (if they survived too). Select one ‘jack or beast that survives and randomly choose a bond for it. Each warcaster/warlock may only have one bond at a time.

Okay, that’s it for part one. Part two deals gives a basic campaign structure for planning your games and determining the winner of the campaign. This campaign should be considered a draft and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Owen

3 comments on “ANNIHILATION – A Campaign System for Warmachine and Hordes (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: ANNIHILATION – A Campaign System for Warmachine and Hordes (Part 2) @ Wargames @ farfaraway.org

  2. I might have to give this a try. I’ve been looking for a flexible but structured campaign system to play, but I wonder how this would work with several players in the mix, in an escalating format, say over the course of three weeks? This is something I’m going to have to think over. Good stuff. Thanks for posting!

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