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Author Topic: Warhammer 40K Only War Campaign Ideas...  (Read 1192 times)

Padre

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Warhammer 40K Only War Campaign Ideas...
« on: May 19, 2016, 07:14:21 PM »

The GM of my F2F Black Crusade group made an off hand comment that he wanted to play a 40K game at some point and not just run them.  I have the Only War book so I volunteered, and the group agreed. 

I was fully expecting to deal with a squad of soldiers, but instead was met with a group that wants to play as an armored regiment.  Oh boy....

My plan is to run the introductory adventure from the book on our first session, but from there I'm a little lost on how to proceed against a tank after that.  I don't want to constantly pull the "you tank breaks down due to sabotage/broken gear/etc, now get out" every mission nor do I want every mission to devolve into Tank Battle Simulator 40K either.

I think I would be set with solider on foot, but the whole aspect of trying to integrate a tank into nearly everything is giving me a huge mental block.

What are some ways I can implement to balance the group's need to drive a tank and my need not to make every mission a near copy of "drive tank here, fight, drive tank there, fight" ad nauseam?
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The Digger

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Re: Warhammer 40K Only War Campaign Ideas...
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 09:21:12 PM »

Get a book called "Tramp in Armour" by Colin Forbes.  There is a paperback copy on Amazon.com at the moment for 68 cents.

This is the story (fictional) of a tank crew that gets lost behind German lines in 1940 during the run-up to the Dunkirk evacuation.  They have lots of adventures evading the oncoming nazis, fighting scavengers and Germans etc as they try to get to the Dunkirk beachhead.  Great book and would do really well I believe for your group.
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Colonel Blood

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Re: Warhammer 40K Only War Campaign Ideas...
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2016, 05:12:33 AM »

Your players have screwed you.

I totally agree that while not impossible to run, a tank based storyline is hugely difficult for the GM.

Check out the rather quite good Gaunt's Ghosts novel, Honour Guard where the main characters (an expert light infantry rifleman unit which is what your players should be) join up with an armoured squadron to recover the bones of a saint from their resting place before a chaos fleet destroys the planet all the while dogged by forces sent to stop them. That could be a campaign in itself.

Aside from the obvious Brad Pitt starring tank movie Fury, there's an old Humphrey Bogart tank film called Sahara which was remade with James Belushi (!) which is pretty good, kind of like Seven Samurai, about a last ditch defence of a strategically important nowhere town by a ragtag group of allies and there's another one following a Russian tank crew in Afghanistan which I think is called The Beast.

I think you have to force your players out of the tank as often as possible. They'll moan because they want to be inside shooting big guns but they are not their tanks. The characters are what is important. And drama only comes when they are at risk. Force them to go looking for things they need, jump surprises on them when they are out chatting with locals, cut them off from their tank squadron by falling debris, collapsed bridges, send them on special missions on their own. But also allow them to take part in tank battles and mow down infantry occasionally as that's why they want a tank so you have to throw the occasional bone.

I'd also think about creating a Moby Dick of an enemy tank that they have to run away from all the time. Create a few friendly tank crews they can have a rivalry with - who's getting the most kills? Then have a load of them wiped out by an insanely hard enemy tank and have your crew's shells just bounce off it like a German Tiger so they have to think up an ingenious way to trap it or bring it down. In fact I think in Honour Guard there is an enemy tank which has no crew - it's possessed and controlled by a demon.

Also consider having an officer n their own regupimentbwho either flat out hates them or has dubious motives. It works well in the Sharpe novels and Bob used it to considerable effect in his Green Hell campaign. I still hate that character and we never found out if he was a baddie or not.
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FireOfRetribution

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Re: Warhammer 40K Only War Campaign Ideas...
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2016, 12:57:24 PM »

I would suggest not getting too bogged down in thinking of this from a conventional warfare perspective (you and your players are probably thinking of tank warfare in the eastern front of ww2 mode).  Not that this thinking is wrong, or can't be fun: a campaign featuring different modules could be pretty interesting.  The Imperial Guard have this weird mix of ww1 and more modern doctrine-vibe, so thematically campaigns can be structured very differently if you choose.  On the offensive: in conjunction with other tanks and supporting infantry, the players must breakout through established enemy defensive lines (perhaps crossing, bypassing or reducing fixed defenses and strongpoints, water features, interesting rough terrain types).  After breakout, the players must race towards the objective point (geographical, industrial, or whatever), dealing with enemy rearguards, surprising local formations and effectively being cut off from support (how does their fuel supply hold up? What if something breaks down?  How do they manage at night when they have outstripped a lot of their support).  They may next have to hold a position while waiting for relief: tank mobility isn't much use if you have to hold ground.  Maybe they dig the vehicles in and mostly fight as infantry?  Maybe things then switch from open warfare to something very constrained, like an attack on a city (think Stalingrad or Berlin, rubble choked streets, very limited mobility, an infinite number of easy basements or ruined buildings in which to site man portable (or even autonomous) anti-vehicle weapons.  Maybe their tank gets destroyed and they have to continue on foot? 

It could equally work in a defensive campaign where they have to act as a fire brigade responding to the most threatened areas of the line, maybe dealing with constant air attack or partisans or blown bridges or retreating/defecting allies.  What do they do in a great retreat if they blow a track on a land mine?

More than this however (and which i think is even more interesting) are the possibilities for non-conventional warfare (or counter-insurgency).  The fun here is as much locating the enemy and discerning friend from foe as outright fighting.  Check out examples from the Vietnam war, Afghanistan, Iraq.  Tanks were present in all these conflicts, but they almost never were needed for their role as an armoured spearhead.  Players might have to sweep uncontrolled districts, deflect ambushes, parley with the civilian population, try to figure out layers of character to see friend from foe.  Players might be ambushed or subject to single fire and retreat attacks from mined roads, snipers, night ambushes of encampments, attacks out of civilian infrastructure.  Players might be presented with the choice of how to treat the civilian population and how to respond to attacks out of houses, villages, temples, farms, with their choices influencing the disposition of the population around them.  Terrain could play a huge feature; enemy outposts or concentrations might be found in areas inaccessible to tanks (hilly, wooded, jungle, mountainous, underground) forcing them to reconnoiter on foot.  There may be strongpoint complexes that, once found, could be attacked by the tanks in conjunction with some local allies or supporting infantry, but even these complexes might have important parts that players have to leave the tanks to investigate (tunnel complexes and/or caves are good; the viet cong were famous for these if you need inspiration).

What will be crucial is not to let the players pass these responsibilities off to someone else.  They need to be the fulcrum point of the action.
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Saeimayuka

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Re: Warhammer 40K Only War Campaign Ideas...
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 05:03:46 AM »

This is so wonderful that I found it.
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