Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CAMPAIGN: Destroy the Gargant aftermath

Lone pilgrim, I have some grave news.

Inquisitor Lord Severus is lost on Celebes. Our mission was to prevent an Ork Warboss, Snitchtongue, from activating a daemonically possessed Banelord Titan. Our Kill-Team took defeat after defeat until we were forced from the planet. Severus refused to leave, instead turning to face the Ork leader in single combat.
There can be little doubt that Severus was overcome, if not by Snitchtongue himself, then by one of his countless Orks.

Warn everyone you can, pilgrim, the Orks are coming and they have a possessed Titan in their warband!

The Campaign
Wow, that turned into an epic campaign. It started off as an excuse to fight a few battles at home and only finished many months later after nine battle reports. This was definitely a learning experience for both of us.

Overall, I think the campaign is quite well structured and it tests each army over a number of very different scenarios. The only criticism I have is that there is little circular section hidden away in there, and we could have ended up going around in circles if the Daemonhunters had won that last game.

The reason that going round in circles would be bad is that you like to feel that your games are going somewhere and contributing to a whole. The loop could have made three or four games meaningless and then forced us to play more games. As it turned out the Daemonhunters lost and that ended the whole campaign.

We ended up playing nine games and I think we both felt that was at least one or two games too many. By the end we were more interested in just getting the games out of the way rather than playing well and coming up with plans and strategies. In a way I was almost relieved that I lost the last game to end the campaign, as if I'd won it could have led to many more games.

This is something to take into account in future campaigns. A long ambitious campaign might sound cool when you are planning it but it can become a slog when you are halfway through and you can't see the end of it. An optimum campaign might consist of between five and seven games in total. Just enough to get your teeth into but not too many to be overwhelmed with.

The Armies
The Orks were a revelation to me as the campaign unfolded. The first thing I was surprised by was just how good they are in the shooting phase. Virtually all of their weapons are Assault, meaning they can keep up a hail of fire even as they close in for close combat. Gary selected the maximum number of big shootas and rokkits in each squad (usually 3) and that meant that at least one was hitting per turn. Even the Ork sluggas are strength 4 so when they do hit, they hit hard. Coupled with the large squad sizes, the Ork shooting was devastating at times. Everything counts in large amounts!

The one standout unit for the Orks in the campaign were the Killer Kanz. They were the Daemonhunters bane in many of the scenarios. This is partly because of the lack of ranged heavy weapons in the Daemonhunter army and partly because of my poor luck in rolling on the damage tables. Even in the scenarios where they started well away from the action they could contribute something with their big shootas. Gary was so impressed with the little walkers he added a Dreadnought in his later games. Nasty.

The Daemonhunters army is not very well suited to fighting Orks. They lack the firepower to challenge the Orks at a distance, don't have the close combat hitting power to tackle them in an assault and are outnumbered in every battle. The Daemonhunters played 9 games in this campaign, losing 6 to the Orks. Even the Daemonhunter wins were very tight and could easily have gone the other way, while the Orks won several games very handily.

The Battle Reports
Writing this campaign for my website has presented a few problems of its own. I started off very blasé and just made things up as I went along. Many of the reports have photographs that don't really match the action and there are several battle reports where I don't have a picture of vital turns or combats. This is down to my bad planning and getting carried away at important points in the game. By the time I was playing the last game I was much more organised and knew what I needed for the battle report while I was playing the game. Although I wasn't really able to take advantage of this during the current campaign I will be much better off for the next one.

This brings me to another factor in the campaign. Because I was concentrating so much on getting photographs and taking notes, I barely had the time to concentrate on the game itself. I'm not just saying this to excuse my poor play (well, not much) but it definitely affected my game. Taking the photos and notes really disrupts the flow of the game and inevitably makes the game longer and slower. If I was to play another campaign I would set more time aside for each game and have much more organised before the game started. Far better to play one game a night well than two games poorly.

The other thing I would try to do is set a deadline for the campaign. This one dragged on for months and months with no date to aim for. It only got completed because I wanted to finish it off for this website. If it was just regular games then I'm sure we would have just abandoned it partway through. Four to six weeks would probably be a good period to complete a campaign.

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