Starting a Narrative Campaign

Full of New Year vigour, I’m going to attempt to get more gaming done this year, which is a pretty low bar given how much was done last year, but never mind that.

I prefer my games to have some form of a narrative element, and like most wargamers I dream of the ‘Campaign’, that grand scale series of actions that encompasses many battles, even using multiple games systems. This is, of course, purely setting oneself up for failure, given the average wargamer’s attention span (with mine being among the shortest…).

So, to begin this fated course I’ve decided that we need a map. Not just a battlefield one, not a field of operations, nor continent or planetary, but a whole sub sector of space!

First some 40k related parameters:

Sectors are divided into a variable number of sub-sectors, each usually comprising between 2 and 8 star systems within a 10 light year radius (some may encompass more systems — others only 1).

Space Fleet (White Dwarf Article)

Using the ‘write what you know’ principle and with an aim to draw in some players from the local area, the idea is to develop a subsector map using my closest Games Workshop store in Swansea and a 10 mile radius around it, with the principal settlements becoming the important star systems within.

A few circles are placed roughly where the settlements are, and dotted lines represent the warp channels that connect those systems (following major road connections)

This gives ten settlements as shown at this map scale either fully or partly within the subsector, plus Swansea Airport.

Using the campaign rules from Battlefleet Gothic, each settlement will then be classified as a 40k system type and renamed.

Swap out the map for a nice starry background and voila:

The next step is to name and classify the systems. From the Battlefleet Gothic Campaign Rules:

Each system will be one of the following types: uninhabited, agri-world, mining world, hive world, penal colony, forge world or civilised world. The system may actually contain more than one world but the political power and the bulk of the resources will be concentrated on the type of world shown.

Battlefleet Gothic

While I’m taking some inspiration from the real world equivalent, I also want a mix of the system types. For example, Swansea has a prison so makes sense as a penal colony, the Airport is uninhabited but makes sense as an important staging or assembly point. Both Llanelli and Port Talbot have large steel manufacturing plants and so make for good Forge Worlds.

Next up, naming and detailing the systems.

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