Return to the Bloodstone Marches

Call to Arms: Bloodstone Marches MapStarting December 19th a dozen of the local Hordes players, myself included, will be starting up another Call to Arms campaign set in the Bloodstone Marches at one of the local gaming stores. Saultydog and Prorpger will also be joining in on this one, and that combined with Manaburst may wind up meaning we don’t get back to our initial campaign. We’ll have to wait and see if we get a chance to finish it up some time in the future.

As for the new campaign, we learned some lessons based on how the first attempt went and have made a couple minor rule tweaks to try and help even things out a bit. These changes should help us finish the campaign before the first tour of the 2008 Call to Arms league starts while while also combating the “snowball effect” that can help one person run away with the lead. So with the following changes, the Legion of Everblight prepares to conquerer the Bloodstone Marches. 🙂

The first change we made to the Theater of War rules was to randomize initiative each round instead of basing it off total VPs from the previous round. We decided to go this way to help eliminate the snowball effect that can happen if one player builds up some momentum. It also means even the team that is last in initiative will usually still get in one attack, so no team has to sit through a turn being entirely defensive.

Next, we decided to modify attack declarations to go along with the first change. In addition to initiative being random, the team that wins no longer makes all its attacks at once. Instead it makes one attack before the next team gets to make an attack. This way teams other than the one that won initiative can also have a chance at reaching their strategic objectives. And since initiative is now random instead of merit-based, there’s no reason to give too much preferential treatment to the team with initiative for the round.

Example:
Initiative is Circle, Legion, Skorne, Trollbloods.

  1. Circle attacks Skorne
  2. Legion attacks Trollbloods
  3. Skorne attacks Trollbloods
  4. Trollbloods must attack Circle (only team not fighting yet)
  5. Circle attacks Legion (only team not fighting yet)
  6. Legion must attack Skorne (only team not fighting yet)

Finally, we’re going to start with a maximum game size of 750 points. Since we’re going to try and get in as many games as possible in a single campaign night for each week/turn, we’re likely going to have players of the same faction playing games simultaneously. This isn’t too big of an issue at 750 and 500 point levels since there’s 1 detachment per opponent, but once you get into the 1000 point sized games and take casualties into account, there could be issues. We don’t want to players using models from the same detachment simultaneously – in that case we couldn’t handle attrition correctly. The casualties the first time a detachment is used are supposed to carry through all uses of that detachment until the end of the round, but simultaneous games means models that die in the “first” game are getting reused in the “second.”

There are a couple of other options for attrition we can consider as the campaign goes on:

  • Just tossing attrition out the window next round and allowing bigger games still, but then all of the players could use the same warlock/detachment each round, which might be unfair.
  • Not let any detachment be used twice simultaneously. If someone’s using it, another player who wants to use it will have to wait. This is probably the best option assuming it wouldn’t cause us to be pinched for time. We’ll have to wait and see after the first week how things go.

These changes should help us run the campaign smoothly and efficiently, though we’ll keep an eye on how things go and make any modifications that might be necessary to help out. The campaign looks to be a lot more fun with a larger number of people – I’m looking forward to starting in the next couple of days.

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