Monday 30 April 2018

40K Mini-Campaign: The Maelstrom Gauntlet

Welcome back to the Vault my fellow Venturers! Today's post involves a trip to the archives to re-visit a set of Warhammer 40,000 campaign rules some friends and I played some years ago, and freshen them up for 8th Edition; The Maelstrom Gauntlet! Archon Varchilde is ready to pick it up and take on the challenge.

The Maelstrom Gauntlet is a mini-campaign designed to take 40K players through the spectrum of Maelstrom of War missions that the 8th edition rule book has to offer. Rather than turning up for a gaming session and dicing for a mission at random, the missions & deployment types are pre-declared, so players can tailor their list and tactics for the upcoming game.

The Maelstrom Gauntlet is ideal for 4 players as each will play every opponent twice over the course of the campaign.

To encourage some friendly competition, and generate some excitement between games, a player's result in a battle will generate a number of Campaign Points (not to be confused with Command Points). The player with the most Campaign Points at the end of the 6 games is the overall campaign winner! 

Finally each player will make use of the Emperors Tarot. The Emperors Tarot are a set of 6 stratagems. A player must choose one of the stratagems for each game of the campaign, and declare which he is using before the game begins. Each stratagem may only be used once by each player during the campaign, so choose carefully!

Army Selection
At the start of the campaign each player must choose an Army Faction Keyword for the Campaign.

Each player then prepares a 1500 point army list for each game; whilst a player may change his army list between games, his Army Faction Keyword may not. 

Note that the Emperors Tarot may affect the number of points available to a player.

Campaign Points
The outcome of a game is determined as per the mission being played. A player scores Campaign Points using the following criteria: 
  • Win = 5 Campaign Points
  • Draw = 3 Campaign Points
  • Loss = 1 Campaign Point. 
Note that the Emperors Tarot may affect the number of Campaign Points earned by a player in a game.

It is much more fun to play 40K with pretty models rather than bare plastic. To encourage players to use correct models and slap some paint on them, additional Campaign Points can be earned on a game by game basis as follows: 
  • All models in a player's army are WYSIWYG = 1 Campaign Point
  • All models in a player's army are painted and based = 1 Campaign Point
So for example Painter Paul plays against Beardy Bryan. Beardy Bryan brings an unpainted army and is using Necron Warriors as proxies for Dark Eldar Kabbalite Warriors. Painter Paul has a fully representative & painted army.  Beardy Bryan wins the game, so the CPs are determined as follows:
  • Beardy Bryan: Game Win = 5 Campaign Points
  • Painter Paul: Game loss = 1 Campaign Point + WYSIWYG 1 Campaign Point + Painted 1 Campaign Point = 3 Campaign Points
The Emperors Tarot
In terms of 40K lore, the Emperor's Tarot (also called the Imperial Tarot) is a pack of 78 psychoactive liquid-crystal wafers that are linked to the psyche of the Emperor of Mankind in the Warp. The Tarot, commonly believed to have been designed by the Emperor himself before the Horus Heresy, is used throughout the Imperium of Man as a form of divination. 

In game terms the Emperor's Tarot are a set of 6 stratagems. Each player must pick a stratagem before each game with the aim that the stratagem will aid the player in his forthcoming battle! Each player will declare his stratagem before the game begins. Note that unlike the more familiar 8th edition stratagems, the Emperor's Tarot does not cost Command Points.

A player may only choose each stratagem once in the campaign, so choose wisely!
  • The God-Emperor: The player's Warlord will greatly influence the battle. The player may choose two different Warlord traits.
  • The Emperor's Throne: The battle will be fought at a place or time of great importance to the player's army. The Campaign Points earned for the mission result by the player choosing this stratagem are doubled (so Win = 10, Draw = 6, Loss = 2).
  • The Great Hoste: A superior force has gathered to crush the enemy! A player choosing this stratagem may include an additional 250 points in his army (i.e. his army is based on 1750 points, not 1500). 
  • The Knight: The player's Elite warriors will greatly influence the battle. The player's Elite choices count as Objective Secured.
  • The Inquisitor: A great deal of intelligence has been gathered before the battle. A player choosing this stratagem may choose to re-roll the dice when determining who places objectives first, the roll for first turn or when he rolls to seize the initiative.
  • The Eye of Horus: The enemy are deserving of your contempt and hatred; let them suffer your wrath. You earn both an additional Victory Point & Campaign Point for achieving Slay the Warlord, and similar bonus Victory & Campaign Points for achieving First Blood.
The forces of the Inquisition prepare for battle!
The Campaign Games
The campaign games should be played in order using the following Missions and Deployment Maps
  • Game 1 - Cleanse & Capture - Vanguard Strike
  • Game 2 - Contact Lost - Front Line Assault
  • Game 3 - Tactical Escalation - Hammer and Anvil
  • Game 4 - Spoils of War - Search and Destroy
  • Game 5 - Cloak and Shadows - Dawn of War
  • Game 6 - Deadlock - Spearhead Assault

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