The inspiration for this week’s poll comes from a random thought that I had about thematic games. A problem with our recuring Apoc “campaigns” is how to tie each game together to be more than just a loose grouping of games. The other issue I have in coming up with a narative is trying to make logical teams out of the armies that are brought to our games. For instance, in a typical game, we have:
- Space Wolves / Blood Angels
- Blood Angels
- Tyranids (multiple)
- Imperial Guard
- Space Marines (vanilla)
Then there are a couple of us that play multiple armies (all duplicates of those listed above, except one also plays Grey Knights). The point of the story is that we, like most gaming groups, have a wide variety of armies. I just have trouble coming up with a thematic reason for all of those different varients to be playing on a single board–much less grouped into two teams.
The obvious answer tends to be that all of the Imperials group together to form one team, but then I have to justify why Tau, Orks, & Nids are partnered up (plus potentially some extra Imperials, to balance things out), which seems more than a little far-fetched. If the ‘Nidz weren’t involved, I think I might be able to pull something out of my arse, but who is really going to ally with an all-consuming virus incarnate that is the Tyranid swarm?
So the idea struck me: why can’t I design the armies for a thematic game? My thought was to set up a campaign with logical army choices and thematic progression. This particular idea involves the investigation of a plant infected by a Genestealer Cult. Game one would involve mostly IG vs. Space Marines, game two would progress into genestealers/IG vs space marines/GK’s, and game three could just be an all out survival battle against a Tyranid Swarm.
I would, of course, provide all of the models and pre-build the armies. The added benefit here is that I can throw all sorts of twists and alternate rules in a way that provides balance to the game. For instance, I can provide one side with less overall points, but also give them special rules (such as orbital bombardments, etc.) to make up for it.
I have to say that I’m really enamoured with this idea, but am wondering if people would have heartache with it. I know that folks work really hard on building and painting their armies, so my question is this: How would you feel if you showed up to a game where all of the armies/models were provided for you in an attempt to make the battle more cinematic? Answer below…