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What's the best Campaign System for Warband/Gang? Why?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Myrtle Creek, OR

Our group tends to play gang/warband type games like Frostgrave and Necromunda.
Something we've noticed is that campaign systems tend to be hit or miss.
Some let an early leader quickly develop a lead that can't be overtaken.
Some are just random bits typed up to pad the page count and to be able to say a campaign system exists.

Gangs of Mega City One (OOP) had a cool mechanic for handling runaway leaders.
Essentially once a gang got out so far ahead they would draw attention of the judges.
That forced an encounter game where a nasty force of judges would face off against the lead gang.

What system do you think does these types of campaigns the best and why?
Made in gb
Huge Hierodule

Bristol, England

In my experience the best campaigns have been run by an independent games master.
It's up to them to restore balance, mix things up and keep things interesting as well as some whip cracking.
It's a fun position to 'play' especially if you like building terrain, writing narratives, fiddling with rules systems, herding cats etc

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Oli: But it fits through the doors, Look! 
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut

The follow-up to Gangs of Mega-City One, the Judge Dredd Miniatures Game, had a simple balancing mechanic; upgrades and advances simply add to a model's cost. In a game, the side with the lower points total gets the difference to spend on hiring allies (other Judges, Citi-Def militia, characters, etc). Games were always of equal points, even if one side was the Dark Judges and the other side was half a dozen street punks.
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

malifaux 2e has what I consider the best in print, OOP...dogs of war for Confrontation (it would be imo best overall if still in print)
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Myrtle Creek, OR

 thekingofkings wrote:
malifaux 2e has what I consider the best in print, OOP...dogs of war for Confrontation (it would be imo best overall if still in print)

Any insights on why you like both of those games' campaign systems?
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

 privateer4hire wrote:
 thekingofkings wrote:
malifaux 2e has what I consider the best in print, OOP...dogs of war for Confrontation (it would be imo best overall if still in print)

Any insights on why you like both of those games' campaign systems?

For confrontation its because you build your own band from pretty much any faction, though folks who hate each other still have...issues. it allows for the whole small team to get better, not just the leader. There is a very robust system behind the models and the setting is amazing (I think Paul Bronner's art is great) Having played several campaigns of it, I never had the feeling of being so overmatched like mordheim.

Malifaux is pretty much the same, you get to build your char up to henchman and master, it also has a very solid system behind it and a great setting.

Both games require some effort on the part of the players to be invested in the game, they are not as simple as say...AoS skirmish or armageddon.
Made in si
Steady Stonecleaver

Necromunda 2017:

- the weaker gang usually picks scenario
- the gang that picks scenario brings all their models, the other gang has a limited number of randomly drawn gangers
- the weaker gang gets a massive Reputation bonus
- Reputation is the victory points of the campaign

Ergo, the game rewards good play with weak gangs and lets them pick their battles

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Made in gb
Dakka Veteran

The original Necromunda had a decent system for it. Weaker gangs got more XP when fighting stronger gangs and, if you beat the stronger gang, you got an income bonus too. It's also slightly more likely the weaker gang will get to pick the scenario.

One thing that does make a difference, is getting your head around the idea that campaign-based games fundamentally change the nature of winning and losing. We started a Necromunda campaign a few months back and the newer players were a little too fixated on winning the individual games, rather than seeing the games as part of a larger whole. I think any campaign system that at least provides a chance for weaker gangs to do well is fine when seen in this context.

Frostgrave is an example of a system that really doesn't work in this regard. There are no catch-up mechanics and the disparity between strong and weak warbands is pretty huge. Combine that with a little too much control over your warband's progression and it can become a very demoralising experience.

Having someone act as a GM is probably the best way to handle things, but can be difficult due to the extra time commitment of that person.
Made in us
Napoleonics Obsesser


It is not the best, but one aspect of the Strange Aeons campaign system is that guys don't just get better, they also get worse. For example, they might get skills and new equipment; nbut they also pick-up de-buffs in the form of psychological damage and curses.

However, this game would also work better with a GM as the "bad guys" leading the players through a pre-set group of encounters.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/12/06 17:22:41

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