Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Battle for Zandesh III

First of all, apologies for the Wednesday post - I was sans internet from Friday night through Tuesday and I didn't think to schedule a post in advance.

In the search for ever-more-ambitious fluff projects to distract me from my current fluff projects, I have decided to create a campaign for Warhammer 40k that borrows from numerous different rulesets within the Warhammer 40k umbrella. The campaign would include Apocalypse, Battlefleet: Gothic, Epic 40k, Planetstrike, and core 40k games in a grand "conquer this world or burn it to cinders" style campaign - a no-holds-barred grindfest that envelops every major aspect of planetary conquest. This is the story of that battle. On one side of this grand campaign are the forces of the Imperium, driven to conquest by the greed of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the zeal of the Ecclesiarchy. On the other side, the forces of Chaos. However, I plan to make the rules flexible enough that one or both sides can be switched for other factions (although I can't promise the fluff will make the jump so easily).

So here's a quick preview of the timeline I've got set up:

* One year before the fighting erupts, a cache of ancient pre-Crusade relics is discovered on the innocuous Imperial world of Zandesh III. Shortly thereafter, a surge in crime and mutation on the planet gives rise to doomsday cults and apocalyptic predictions.

* Chaos uprisings on the planet. The first battle will be a skirmish-level fight over a PDF barracks or Arbites precinct (Carapace Vets with shotguns make a great Adeptus Arbites stand-in). The winner can call for additional reinforcements.

* A space battle. The Imperial fleet (led by Lord Admiral Venkin) sent to pacify Zandesh collides with the Chaos armada of Iron Warriors Siegemaster Berenze Mallos. The players fight two battles. The first is a conflict in an asteroid field and will determine who is the "attacker" for the second scenario. The second scenario is a landing action, the success or failure of which will determine who takes what part in the following scenarios.

* The Battle for the Capital. Whichever fleet wins the landing action launches a full-on assault of the capital city. The Epic 40k rules would be perfect for this, as Titans and Super-Heavies clash and infantry and tanks wage bloody urban battle.

* Three Critical Location battles. Each of these will reflect a turning point in the major battle.  The Apocalypse rules may be used here, representing a hotspot of action (the fight to take down a Titan or to defend a fallen Titan; the battle to take or defend the spaceport; a strike on the city's power generators or defensive installations).

* Smaller Key Point battles. These represent subsequent fights as each army strives to gain territory. The core 40k rules should work here. Planetstrike might also be good.

* A Space Superiority battle. This will determine who has what spaceborne assets to bring to bear, from Drop Pods to Orbital Bombardments to Auspex Arrays.
* Reinforcements have Arrived. Whichever side was on the defensive during the first landing battle has recieved a surge of fresh troops. Switch sides and see if the former attackers can maintain their stranglehold on the planet.

* The Artefacts. Once the vault is discovered, another Epic Battle

* On a smaller scale, the Artefacts battle can be followed by several Critical Location battles. Much like the Battle for the Capital, each of these battles can be fought with Apocalypse rules, representing an important aspect of the struggle to acquire the artifacts. Suggested Critical Locations: The Vault itself. The planetary transit system (highway, mag-rail, locomotive) that will bring the artifact to its resting place. The outskirts of the spaceport or the wasteland around the warp portal through which the artifact will be transported off-world to the waiting fleet.

* One final Warhammer 40k battle in which the team holding the relics must take them to a waiting shuttle and the other team must do everything in its power to stop them. Maybe a character duel sort of thing.

* The Escape. The side with the artifact has almost achieved victory, but must now punch through the thickening blockade of enemy ships. Escape means victory. Failure means humiliating death.

And that's a loose write-up of the Battle for Zandesh III. I'll be back next week with juicy details.

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