A Tale of Two Gamers

A Tale of Two Gamers
Scipio and Headologist's BFG Campaign

Come in, come in, and welcome back to Palladian Guard ... to what I hope will become a regular slot on the blog!  Me and Headologist recently flexed our nautical muscles with a game of GW's classic space combat game Battlefleet Gothic.

After the success of out last game, we've decided to play a campaign.  BFG is one of those old rulebooks, written in a friendly, conversational style where the designers describe and advise you about how to run a campaign (rather than just 'advising' you to buy more models like 40K).  We went for a map campaign, and in this introductory post I'll describe how we're planning the campaign and how I built up my fleet!


The Plan

As I mentioned, the rulebook was invaluable here, crammed with inspiratinal as well as tactical advise.  Because there are just the two of us, we went for a simple map-and-pin board - a star chart, with warp channels and 'nodes', that we take it in turns to move down.  Where we meet, there's a battle.  Simple!

Now, for the setting I was wary of getting bogged down with writing up a whole detailed background, so I strictly limited myself to just doing a map.  The rest of the setting can just be taken as read - after all, it's the fleets and the admirals that we're bothered about!  I jotted down some ideas on a piece of paper then sent them to Headologist.  For those of you who don't know, he's a wizard with graphical things (if his medicae fluff doesn't convince you, look at last week's battle report...) and he put together this breathtaking map for us to use...


So, not having any artistic skill myself, I decided to help by printing off all the material I could to make the logistics run smoothly.  The first battles are planned for next week; luckily this week I'm working in the office which means unsupervised access to industrial-sized colour printers and laminaters.  Printed and bound BFG rulebook with notes?  Laminated quick reference sheets?  Colour maps for the board?  Laminated full colour blast/asteroid markers?  Check, check and double check.  Hope no-one needs to use the printer tomorrow.

The Admiral

I've deliberately left the fluff alone for the most part.  My Imperial Guard army has had a huge tome of fluff written about it before it even starts - I want this fleet to be mainly event-driven, and so the campaign will be mainly writing itself as it goes along.  But I've spared some thought for a commander.

The Falchion - a Lunar-class cruiser, and Hallerman's flagship
Egon Hallerman is a bit of a rip-off of Admiral Sir James "Bongo" Tranter from Red Dwarf. I won't spoil to books for anyone who hasn't read them, but basically Hallerman is left in a dead-end job after a clerical error cuts short his career. Despite being driven and skilled in his youth he's basically gone mad with this backwater fleet, spending years brooding and trying to work out why his career has stalled. With this little squadron of light cruisers and destroyers thrust into the forefront of a Chaos incursion, will he step up to the plate and defend the Imperium with honour?

(I know Commodore is too junior for a fleet commander, especially one with so many ships, but the Imperial Promotion Table in the rules says he needs to start the campaign as a Commodore.)

The Fleet

Last week's Cruiser Clash was played with some dusty old Imperial Cruisers I've had for a while.  I decided to invest in a numerically superior fleet (military shorthand for undergunned horde of ships), and especially after reading about the exploits of the WWII naval officer Capt FJ Walker - CB, DSO and three bars - and his little troop of destroyers, I went for a nice swarm of Cobra destroyers and Sword-class frigates.  Two of the Cobras are named Stork and Starling after two of Walker's most successful ships.

Well, on to painting.  Since Commodore Hallerman is in charge of the backwater 14th Cruiser Squadron, of second-rate ships and ageing hulks.  To this end, I decided to experiment with the use of weathering powders to create a battered, weathered look. However, I contrasted it with some comparatively well-maintained prows, painted white with gold trim.  This is supposed to be a bit symbolic of the Imperial naval strategy (and the Imperium as a whole) - powerful, tough fronts and a ramshackle  crumbling fighting mass behind it.  (Insert Space Marine-Imperial Guard analogy here...)

Well, there we have it!  All the logistics are sorted and the campaign is set ... I hope this can become a regular little feature about the campaign, but also gaming in general since I don't do enough of it.  Let me know what you think - especially about the weathering.  Maybe it went a bit far?

Anyway, until next time...

The Colonel

"Blimey sur!  There's tharsands of 'em!"

Comments

  1. Excellent stuff; I know that you said that this was game before fluff, but you do know that operating near the Erynies Cluster puts you firmly in the Sabat Worlds ?

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    1. Meant to reply directly to you, but my comment below went into the main section. I made all of these names up as it's meant to be a fictional backwater - I imagine one or two of the names can be found elsewhere, but with you knowledge of canon do you know if they've ever been used lol?

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    2. Thanks Zzzz! Ummm.... of course I knew that.... :s we may need to adjust names but as Kieran said this is going to be (at first) a fairly insular campaign so hopefully it won't matter too much.

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  2. My word they look superb sir, and many thanks for the shout out (and pilfering of office supplies....)

    Bollocks, this is a different Erinyes Stars to the Erinyes Group... that's the problem with the using of mythological references, GW has probably already used it somewhere without you knowing. This is meant to be the galactic northwest, almost directly opposite the Sabbat Worlds at the opposite end of the galaxy (essentially smack bang between Palladia and Mawdryn). But no doubt we'll be getting down that end of the glaxy eventually at somepoint :P

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  3. Comment bombing here, but I do really like the idea of the shining prows against the grubby part of the ship itself (I imagine mirrored interntally by a shiny bridge/quarterdeck and officers' quarters - and the rest of the ship looking worse for wear). Does Hallerman have a thing for taramasalata...?

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  4. Good sir............... This is a fantastic endeavour! Your fleet looks promising and I look forward to reading reports of many exciting clashes against the filth of the galaxy that good Kieran will throw against you. :)

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    1. You're very kind to say. Hopefully the first battles will take place this week, so batreps by the weekend?

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  5. I think that part of the problem is down to GW's "the Galaxy is so big and this has been going on for so long, that it you think of/want to do something, no matter how unlikely, there is a chance it could happen/have happened". Which is fine, but it does mean that, for instance, planets tend to move around their map from edition to edition. Kreig, for example, appears close to Terra in the new IG codex (Segmentum Tempestus), but is listed as being in the Segmentum Pacificus in some older sources.

    Ultimately of course, it doesn't matter. However, comma, being near the Sabat Worlds does provide an interesting backdrop.

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    1. Yeah, I recalled Krieg being in the Segmentum Pacificus, generally I try and perch my fictional stuff on the edge of something GW has focused on themselves - such as the Sabbat World Crusades - so I can ignore or involve myself in it as much as I want without conflicting too much with whatever has been established. In this case, as I say, this region is meant to be a bridge between Scipio's Eye of Terror stuff and my stuff in the Segmentum Pacificus (where Mawdryn is, and my Imperial Navy chaps, towards the Hydraphur end) - but I'm sure the Spears will make it down to the Sabbat end of the Segmentum eventually ;)

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    2. That's where the Devos System is ! It's small galaxy after all...

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  6. Sweeeeeeet. Love the maps and as always I really dig seeing the fleet - they're just beautiful. Looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Cheers buddy - I'll dig out the big camera and we'll get some proper shots for the battle report next time as well!

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  7. Without blowing my own trumpet, ahem, there's a high(ish) res version (or shinier at least) of the map here http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/032/f/a/40k___battlefleet_gothic_campaign_map_by_light_tricks-d5thrd1.jpg

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  8. That looks bloody great. Love the map. How did you do this ?

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    1. Cheers, my Lord! Haha well we just made sure to take really detailed notes as the battle went along, then it was Headologist who put them all together, he's really good at it

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  9. Holy Friholi that's a lot of ships!

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    1. That's why I love destroyers not battleships...

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    2. Nothing wrong with destroyers, they may not be invincible but strategic placement of them will always get you the upper hand

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