Sunday, 25 July 2010

Palurin Introduction


Make history with a new type of Warhammer campaign

A new type of campaign? How so?

In the background section of most army books is a chronology of important battles in that race's history. We thought this was pretty cool, looking back on great events, and something lacking from the usual campaigns where individual battles lack significance. A battle should be important, and a campaign should form an epic history.

Other inspiration comes from empire building games like Civilisation, where the history of a world unfolds over centuries and empires rise and fall. We want things to be epic! No more fighting over a corner of the world for a few months, it is time to rule a mighty domain over hundreds of years.

So what do I play?
Each player's armies are part of an empire. At the beginning of the campaign the empires will be grouped by army book, so all Dwarf armies belong to the Dwarf empire and so forth. Within that empire you play a faction, with whatever background you want. Perhaps you represent a particular family dynasty, a social class, a clan or a religious faction. Remember the campaign is covering hundreds of years, the games you play show how important your faction is within your Empire.

Example: Duncan and Simon are both playing Empire armies. Duncan represents a family dynasty – the Alptraums, Simon wants to represent the church of Sigmar. When Simon is playing (and hopefully winning) a lot of games it shows the church is powerful and controlling the Empire. But if Duncan starts doing better then the Alptraums are trying to take control from the church and into the hands of a a powerful family.

Through this a history of the empire begins to grow.

Is there room for individual characters in the factions?
Sure, but as time passes your generals age. It's up to you when they die, but take into account the short lives of men and skaven or the longer lives of elves and dwarfs. But knowing that characters will die lets them live heroic lives and die in glorious battle. In previous campaigns whenever your general that you'd named died during a game you'd fudge it, say he wasn't really dead. But now it can become part of history, when he died in a heroic last stand against opposing forces, or maybe he was run down like a coward. Either way it's an important moment to be recorded for posterity.

How are the battles important?
It's up to you. Think of each game you play as an important part of history. Maybe a purge to remove chaos from the lands, defeat a marauding orc warlord or banish a plague of undead. Use the scenario played or a particularly influential piece of terrain in the game as inspiration. A battle over a ford maybe, or the destruction of a city. Discuss with your opponent and come up with a brief bit of background (it needs only be a line) or suggest something to the campaign organisers who'll write it up.

So how do the rules work?
We'll send out a separate rules explanation but as a quick overview, each game (played by any player) takes place a number of years after the last on the world of Palurin. We have a map, showing the continent the campaign begins on, with room for other continents to be revealed should the campaign prove popular.

Games get your empire points. These can be spent on taking new territory to expand your empire, and some areas of Palurin contain remnants of previous civilisations which will give you bonuses if you capture them. Points can also be spent on improving that territory (with cities) or increasing three empire ratings; culture, army and navy. These all have effects on the campaign map.

Simply playing gets you a point so there's nothing to lose from playing a game and you wont be letting any other player in your faction down if you lose a game. In fact playing games is important to avoid your empire going into decline.

Whilst armies are fighting it shows that their empire is active and thriving, but if no-one is playing then the empire is languishing and is placed in decline, after a while it will begin to shrink. After a long while the civilisation may eventually disappear.

That sounds bad
People change armies all the time, and sometimes there will be no-one playing a particular army for months at a time. In past this has caused problems, as the lands they own hang around on the map getting in the way. This is our attempt to fix that. If no-one is playing Vampire Counts, for instance, then what's the point in keeping them around? It also nicely represents the historical decline of empires. But if you're worried remember that only one player from an empire has to play to keep it active, and even a small game will do.

What if I'm not too interested in fluff?
Obviously you can play and not worry about spending points or deciding the importance of each battle. The campaign organisers, other members of your empire or even your opponents can decide that sort of thing. We would like you to at least think of the sort of faction you would like to play and we can do the rest, and you may start to get more into the campaign as your history develops.

So can you 'win' the campaign?
There is no fixed end to the Palurin campaign. However every so often charts will be published showing how different empires rank against each other. Which empire has the most territory? Which is the most cultured? Who owns the biggest navy? In this way there are different goals to attain. One empire will find it hard to dominate in every aspect, and if another army finds it hard to compete in one aspect then they can try and do well in another.

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