The school year has been off to a spiffy start, and in my constant struggle against mediocrity, I have decided to participate in a several-month escalation campaign that's going to be hosted by a LGS in my area. So far, the organizer has decided the campaign should last late October to early December, giving us locals a good month and a half to hack it out.
The campaign is going to be fought over the following premise, as posted on the organizers site;
"A long time ago, longer now than it seems, the world of El'Lahaun was
a lush paradise. It's location known only to a few, this precious gem
amongst so much interstellar flotsam and jetsam. Those who were once
known as the Necrontyr called it home, and built a vast network of
tombs and caves into the ancient rock formations. It was here they
discovered a most curious artifact, resonating in that psychic
frequency those without souls are not privy to, and by chance of fate,
activated it. Their lord, Anakharis, could discern no function to
this item and cast it aside, becoming just another trinket in his
collection from around the galaxy.
The lush beauty and teeming biome proved to be too great a lure for
another...the vast Hive Fleet Vestis had broken through this corner of
the galaxy, light years ahead of its brothers, eyes focused hungrily
on this feast before it. Years of fighting erupted, as Tyranid
monstrosities stalked the jungles and devoured all they could find,
while the golden skeletons of the Necrons emerged from their tombs to
defend their resting place. It was only after the direct intervention
of Anakharis and his newly harvested pariah wardens that they were
able to sever the hive-mind link and push back the tyranids to the
northern wastelands. With their enemy sufficiently corralled, the
Necrons withdrew into their tombs deep in the heart of the planet to
rebuild and wait for the great awakening to occur.
A human expedition has discovered this once forgotten planet, and has
set up colonies on it. Due to the vast natural resources, they have
rapidly spread across a great area, but troubling matters have
arisen. Those who are warp-sensitive complain constantly of headaches
and nightmares of a dark choir casting a voice out into the void and
disturbing reports of homesteads on the periphery vanishing, and of
wild animal attacks that have left people horribly mauled still
trouble the populace. Requests for aid have been sent out, and the
Iimperium, eager to secure so rich a world, has responded, but they
are not the only ones who have noticed the shifting below the sands of
the great deserts and the ripples in the warp..."
Each player will be signing up with a single army of their choice to participate in the battle for El'lahaun. The overall event will happen over a series of phases; each specifying exactly what each faction will be working towards, and the results of the last determining what events occur in the next and so on. The final phase will be a massive apocalpyse battle between all remaining factions!
Players will be fighting over a series of territories, outlined by a planetary map. Point limits will be set for each territory, denoting its importance to the overall campaign (IE less important battles will be fought with less points). However, bonuses will be given to players for controlling certain territories or meeting certain criteria; so far, this means a % point cap bonus for your army if you either control a certain territory, or if you bring particular units (some territories favor heavy support, for instance). Territories will be fought over and controlled Shogun Total War style.
As an added stipulation, each player must pick a designated HQ choice to serve as his armies commander. This Commander will be required to participate in some battles, notably any that directly relate to the progress of the campaign. The choice cannot change throughout the campaign (if you pick marneus you can't switch to cato later), but may enter battle with different wargear options if allowed (if you take a Captain with one set of equipment, you may take him with a different set for the next battle; but you may not take a chapter master).
I decided that I wanted to start a progress report on this campaign for two reasons; 1) I've never done anything like this before, 2) It sounds fun as hell. In addition, the organizer is doing certain things that would make the campaign really fun to follow. There's going to be a large planetary map that's going to be updated regularly as the battles unfold. In addition, all the boards for the territories are going to be pre-made, meaning drawn up on paper and posted as a PDF file. This makes it really easy for me to write up battle reports because digital cameras are difficult for me to get ahold of, and you'll at least have some idea what I'm talking about as I describe the battles.
And as an interesting note, as we all know the Space Wolf codex has just begun cutting its teeth, and there is at least one confirmed wolf player thats going to be playing in the campaign. If anything this even can serve as a gauge as to how well wolfs will fare in the long run (so you wolf fanatics out there, pay attention!).
I will be, of course, taking along my bumbling but lovable Moon Knights, led by the stalwart Captain Badass (lesser known as Jonathan Cassiel, as the official name for the narrative). As of right now, there are over 20 players signed up for the campaign, so unfortunately it will be impossible for me to cover every battle that takes place on the face of El'lahaun, but you can bet that I'll be tracking my own progress, and if not giving a full-scale report on a major battle that decided the fate of a massive territory, then at least giving minor updates over who controls which smaller territories, any small gains that I've made in the campaign, etc. You can also count on seeing the large territory map with the names of the armies that control them, as well as updates to the overall story and the different battles described in the league.
I don't expect my next update to be until the campaign is underway, so until then you'll have to wait on more specific story elements pertaining to the first phase.
Wish me luck!