Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Planetary Empires: Campaign Complete

In the latest round of Planetary Empires I got in three games; one against the Eldar, another game against Tau and a final game against Eldar again - but a different player. Mars, the guy who organized the campaign, allowed players to switch armies after the 4th round if they wanted to try something different. Mars chose to switch from Dark Angels to Eldar, which is why I played two against Eldar this turn.

To top it all off the special rules for this round were:

The destruction between opposing forces has taken a toll on the planet itself. Weapons of physical and psychic destruction have been begun to rattle the planet of Belsbeth II to its core. Geological anomalies have begun springing up out of no where. Everyday deep rumblings and the choking stench of sulfuric gases herald the violent formation of deep fissures or vocalic eruptions. It feels as if the planet is tearing itself apart from the inside out.

All mission played this round have the following special rules, in addition to the rules of the mission being played:

At the beginning of each game one player should roll a d6. On a roll of 5+ all units assaulting count as if doing so through Difficult Terrain. All Run rolls are halved (rounded up).

Pyroclastic Barrage
At the beginning of the game, after deployment and Scout moves, but before the first player's turn, roll a d6 for each piece of area terrain on the battlefield, including ruins. Any rolls of a "6" cause flaming pyroclastic rock from a near-by volcanic eruption to crash into the terrain. In addition to the other qualities of the terrain piece, it is now counted as both Difficult and Dangerous, as well as having the cover save value for the terrain piece reduced by 1. If any models are in, or touching a terrain piece that is affected, they take a STR 4 hit that automatically hits all vehicles in their rear facing. Any unit suffering a wound from this attack must make a Pinning test. 

So every round I have a 33% chance that my assaults are going to get cut in half - perfect!

In my first game we played on my newly finished gaming table in my garage. With mine and bhaler's kids plowing through pizza and boxes of Lego pieces we joined the battle. Much different force than I faced last time, many jet bikes and some different aspect warriors. Warp spiders deep struck into my back field wiping out my relentless Long Fangs on turn two! I managed to get my two Rune Priests into position and keep Eldrad contained for almost the entire battle. On turn 5 the game was in the hands of the elves, on turn 6 it was a major victory for the puppies. Once again the dreadnought proved his worth by killing a squad of rangers and then heading right into the dark reapers - after having run across the entire board to get there!  

My second game was against Tau and I had my bags smoked. I won the roll to go first, deployed my troops and grinned at the thought of all those dead Tau I was about to stack up. Then my opponent seized the initiative and I watched three Broadsides blow my transports apart. My Long Fangs were decimated by a flanking unit of Kroot who shot them off the objective while my Grey Hunter squads tried to slog up the field under constant fire from the three Crisis Suit teams loaded with more missiles and plasma than you could shake a stick at. Brutal experience, absolutely brutal. However, I deserved it for deploying like a moron and I applied the lessons I learned to my next game against Mars and his space elves.

The Tau commander who ate my lunch!
In my game against Mars I used the transports to shield each other each turn as they advanced, it took more time to do it this way but it got all my Rhnio's up in one piece. The Eldar had a terrible round of shooting and Eldrad was kept in check the entire game by Rune Priests. I learned in my game against the Tau that assaulting with Marines is not always the best option, because those bolters at less than 12 inches are pretty damn good too. So I put that to use in blasting Dark Reapers and Striking Scorpions of the table while holding objectives instead of assaulting off the objectives. At the end of the 6th round it was a major victory for me and I even managed to send Eldrad packing for once!

So in order to continue the campaign another two weeks I decided to go after the most difficult of all tiles, the Hive City owned by the former Dark Angels now Eldar player, Mars...

I needed a 10 to take the tile and unfortunately I got a ten. With that roll the campaign ended with Space Wolves reigning supreme on the world of Belsbeth II!

I learned a ton of stuff about my Wolves and about the Planetary Empires campaign system. The modifications Mars made with using veteran abilities and placing bounties on the heads of certain units really made it characterful and more interesting, the special rules each round really gave the planet personality in the whole thing as well. If I could change anything it would be to stay at lower points for another round so the initial fighting can be fast and brutal. The best day of gaming we all had was the first round where we got in 3x games each with 1,000 points.

Planetary Empires can be quite a fun little distraction from the normal gaming doldrums and can really bring a stronger sense of community to your gaming circle. It forces you to play people you might not normally play all the time and it creates an engaging atmosphere. I can't wait till the next campaign in the fall of 2012, assuming the Aztecs weren't right of course...

still practicing_



  1. Gratz man. Your wolves were a terror. :)

  2. All your base are belong to Russ.

    Now, about next year...

  3. Hang on. You can roll dice to take tiles and thus cheat yourself out of playing a game?

  4. It's been a hoot reading this campaign, we're in round 3 of ours now (only 2 players but still a giggle) and so far it's a real stalemate

    Cheers for posting


  5. @Von - yep, when you win games you get to then 'roll', with modifiers added to the roll depending on the location of the tiles and any structures on them, to try and take that territory from the person who you beat.

    First person to 10 tiles wins in this case. But you can set it up however you like.

    @Fat Lad - glad you are getting to play your own as well. Hopefully some of the turn specific rules help!

  6. Ah, right, so you roll after winning a game. Phew. Panic over.

  7. I stumbled on this blog and started reading the Campaign battle reports. I remembered how much I loved doing the campaign my friends and I played, though we never finished. I was just wondering where you got your veteran rules from; it seems like exactly the thing to get my friends playing again! Especially our resident Space Wolf player.

  8. @ Tyler, page 263 of the big red book (the hardback rules book with the hammer on the front) has the veteran abilities.

    Once a squad picks a 'bracket' they have to stay in that bracket. So my long fangs would be in the 'shooting bracket' while grey hunters would end up in the 'melee bracket' and the Dreadnought in the 'Vehicle Bracket', I never really found much use for the 'field craft' bracket although some guys did.