Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Long Road to the Devil's Pathway

The original idea for this campaign came from the excellent General's Compendium, a Games Workshop supplement packed full of campaign ideas. This supplement came with a ready made map campaign set in the border princes complete with a fold out map. I used this for the basis of everything we've seen so far.

But unfortunately, as time went on, I began to realise that the map wasn't really representative of the Border Princes. I think perhaps the original intent may have been for it to be just a part of it, but in the background sections I've continued to refer to it as being the entirety of the Border Princes.

Take a look. This is the map we've been using:

But this is what the Border Princes really looks like on official maps:

Notice how long and narrow it is. It still has the mountains but the woods in the centre are nowhere to be seen.

I faced a difficult decision. Should I continue with the map as it stood or switch over to something more "realistic"? My goal with the campaign was always to fit as closely as possible alongside the "real" Warhammer continuum but was I prepared to rewrite history as it were to fit in with this new reality?

The clinch moment came when I realised the map we've been using isn't working very well anymore. It is getting just too crowded. For a long time there was no Empire, no Daemons and no Wood Elves. Now, with Warriors of Chaos, Beastmen and maybe Chaos Dwarfs on the way, some breathing space is required.

Time for a little retrofit of reality.

So I'm now working on a new map. All principles of the storyline are the same but I've decided to focus the action on the right hand end of the Border Princes. The principle storyline details the charge of the Undead Nation north from the Land of the Dead. Obviously they would skirt to the right of the Black Gulf sea and head toward Blackfire Pass directly north of there. Being their route, this is the main focus of the campaign, a subregion of the Border Princes that I now christen the Devil's Pathway.

Here's my new map as it stands.

It isn't finished - there's a lot more detail to go on - but this is the basic layout and I've placed all the race capitals as well. The observant among you may notice there are six or seven more capitals than there were before. Two of these are placeholders of if I ever get Lizardmen & High Elves. The rest are new races who will be taking their places in the campaign as it progresses.

Up until now I've had one Chaos realm but from now on there will be four: Warriors of Chaos, Daemons, Beastmen and Chaos Dwarfs. This represents a major spike in the power of the Dark Gods following on from the rituals that Nagash enacted to bring down allies to help him.

I won't tell you what race is going to emerge from Ebon Scar but it should be fairly surprising.

I've taken care to name the capitals and give them their own identities. Through the campaign they can switch ownership so I no longer want them to be seen just as the Vampire Counts' base or whatever.

Meanwhile, all I have to do now is work out how much of the map each race controls and come up with new rules for army movement and land-grabbing. With much smaller map hexes the old rules won't cut it anymore. The tricky thing is going to make sure that everyone has a fair shake while not restarting the campaign from scratch. That would be too big a shame. History won't be rewritten: the Skaven have still captured Fortress Malefic, the Tempestrians and Tomb Kings will still be the strongest powers; the Ogres will still be on the back foot of a good pasting... But hopefully the new map will give a good grounding that can be built on for the months and years to come.

I'm going to stick with the current map to the end of the campaign turn most likely then switch over.

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