Skip to main content

40K narrative campaign sequence

Charlie: In case it's of some use to anyone, today I'm sharing the campaign sequence I used for the Samalut IX campaign. This means it's meant to be used in conjunction with the interactive campaign map I made. These rules are written assuming that the players are using Space Marines. Were I to run something similar for players with other armies, some changes would be needed, and I'll postulate some adaptations at the end.

In a nutshell, the campaign was about two Space Marine commanders responding to a distress signal from an Imperial world. Their job was to prop up the Planetary Defence Force for a week, after which multiple regiments of Imperial Guard would arrive to crush the Ork invasion.

Playing a campaign sequence

1: Comms phase
Allied forces provide intelligence and call for aid. The GM updates the map with new alerts and dispositions, and provides a strategic summary of the previous day's events.

Units await deployment from FOBs and strike cruisers

2: Strategium phase
The astartes commanders decide where to commit their units, moving them from the strike cruisers/Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) onto the map.

Forward Operating Bases (FOBs)
Designed for swift deployment and minimal setup time, these forward operating bases are prefabricated structures with a 'one-shot' deployment. Each strike cruiser carries one FOB, which can be 'fired' at a planet's surface during any one strategium phase. Move the FOB icon from the strike cruiser to any point on the campaign map. Once deployed, the FOB may not be moved.

The FOB is equipped with defensive turrets and a perimeter wall, but cannot autonomously defend itself against an enemy assault - if you think it might be attacked, it's worth leaving a garrison force behind!

Orbital reserves
Any units capable of teleporting and/or deploying by drop pod may be kept in reserve on board the strike cruisers. Each unit held in reserve like this may be called upon during any one battle during the campaign turn.

This option is only available whilst the strike cruisers are in orbit; should the strike cruisers be forced to withdraw, any units on board must either deploy immediately to a FOB or stay on board the ship until it can return to orbit.

The units are now deployed on the campaign map

3: Resolve engagements
Fight the battles until they have all been resolved.

Any non-vehicle model with multiple wounds who still has at least one wound remaining at the battle's end is assumed to regain all their wounds in the subsequent recovery phase.

Roll a D6 for each model reduced to 0 wounds during the battle, adding 1 to your roll if an apothecary is present on the battlefield:

Roll again: 1-3= dead, 4-6= gravely wounded, miss rest of campaign
Injured: place in medicae facility on strike cruiser or in FOB. It is best to have a box or container set aside for this purpose to prevent confusion. See recovery phase.

Note that models which quit the field due to morale are not considered to be injured.

Damaged vehicles
Keep track of vehicle damage during engagements and refer to the recovery phase.

4: Recovery phase
The astartes return to their FOBs and strike cruisers for fresh supplies and to tend their wounded brethren.

Move all astartes units to a strike cruiser or FOB.

Medicae facilities
Marines in the medicae facility can rejoin their units on a 4+. If an apothecary spends the entire campaign phase in the medicae facility, recoveries are made on a 3+. Any marines that fail their roll must remain in the medicae facility.

Damaged vehicles
At the end of each campaign phase, damaged vehicles recover 25% of the wounds they suffered. Each uninjured techmarine allows two vehicles to recover an additional 25%, or one vehicle to recover an additional 50%. If a techmarine spends an entire campaign phase in an FOB/strike cruiser with a vehicle, it regains all its wounds.

Destroyed vehicles

If a vehicle is reduced to 0 wounds during an engagement and the space marines retreat, the vehicle is looted or destroyed by the orks. If a vehicle is reduced to 0 wounds during an engagement and the orks retreat, it is recovered and taken to a FOB or strike cruiser for repairs. See damaged vehicles above.


Alterations for other races/armies

Imperial Guard
Since guard a slow, lumbering army, you might as well do away with cruisers in orbit, and have FOBs be more temporary structures that can be moved a short distance during each recovery phase. You might also want to have a radius around each FOB to define how far Guard units can stray from their base before they run out of fuel, and you might also give the player multiple FOBs depending on the size of the campaign.

Guardsmen are also significantly less durable than space marines, so I'd only use the injury rules for the officers, and assume that any guardsmen taken out of play are either dead or will take too long to recover from their wounds to play any further part. I would therefore suggest that any unit which loses more than half its members during one engagement is disbanded, its remaining members divided among those squads who only took a few casualties. Once the next campaign turn is over, you are then given a squad from the reserve companies, all wet behind the ears and crying for their mums.

Since the guard have techpriest enginseers, the vehicle rules can stay as they are.

Sisters of Battle
Treat sisters hospitallers as apothecaries and you're good to go. Whilst sisters aren't posthumans we can handwave that as their power armour absorbing the brunt of the damage, and their faith helping them fight through the pain.

So far as I know sisters lack the equivalent of techmarines, so unless they have mechanicus allies their vehicles will only be regaining 25% of their wounds per turn.

Given the proliferation of bionics in this army I'd say any techpriests spending their turn in a FOB have to decide if they're going to function as apothecaries or techpriests during the strategium phase.

These guys should probably have movable FOBs, ships in orbit... the works. I'd treat battlesuits as vehicles for recovery purposes, and maybe use the Guard rules above for fire warriors/kroot/etc. That feels imperfect, but I'm not sure of a better solution off the top of my head.

You'd probably want to have something that feels like spawn rates, i.e. all units recover 25% of their lost wounds at the end of every campaign turn, and any broods/creatures which lose >75% of their wounds are consumed and used to spawn a new critters, so must skip a campaign turn then come back.

Genestealer Cults
I'd probably just use the same rules as for the Guard, above.

These guys should probably be slow to recover casualties, since they're roughly as fragile as normal humans but without the abundant numbers. Honestly, I'm not sure what the right answer is here.

Chaos Space Marines
I'm pretty sure I don't need to write anything here.

Well Necrons pretty much fix themselves. I guess so long as their ship's in orbit or their tomb is located on the surface, they pretty much just regenerate, and you don't really need any extra rules.



  1. Thanks for posting! Glad to see rules of your campaign for once! In fact, it seems nearly able to work for solo gaming.
    Once a battle is set to happen, how do you choose orks forces ? Do you have a hidden map with disposition and location of each ork forces? Or do you create an ennemy force according to what SM plaers havec deployed in the battle?

    1. Hi Major!

      Because the ork forces moved across the map as red blips with power levels, the players could guess what the ork army would be like based on the scanner readings. If you look at the map, all the red blips represent ork formations. They all have numbers in them, e.g. E25 B50--Energy 25, Biosigns 50--which would mean 25 power levels of vehicles and 50 power levels of infantry.

      The players had to try and guess what the army was based on its scanner readings and how fast it moved across the map. Loads of B with a little bit of E moving slowly suggests an infantry horde. A fast moving formation with high E and low B suggests speed freaks, a slow formation with high E and low B suggests a dread mob, and so on. I would then pick a suitable mix of orks from my collection up to the power level on the campaign map, so I didn't have to be super precise about it.

      Of course, Tyranid and Necron armies would be something of a problem, since Tyranids would be all B and Necrons would be all E!

      I hope that answers your question :)

  2. Looks good, nice and simple, no faffing about for the sake of faffing about, I like!

    On the Eldar recovery, you could maybe do something along the lines of if a 2+ wound character dies, you wouldn't need to roll for a wraithguard/lord/knight in your army, as their soul stone is passed along? Would only work if you HAD wraith chappies in your army of course...
    Not really aware of any particular medicinal technology that craftworld Eldar have that would affect these rules, other than being immortal


Post a comment