Wednesday, 1 June 2005

WEC - Our WAB Escalation campaign - Rules

Almost a year ago, we came up with the idea of putting on an WAB escalation campaign, wherein players use armies that start out small but grow during the campaign. Real life intervened and put this project on the backburner, but I'm now (finally) ready with the campaign rules (such as they are). Without further ado, here they are:

### WEC Rules. Or guidelines, really.

#### Goal

The overall goal of the WEC is to enable players to build 25mm Ancients
armies at an affordable pace, time and money wise. A second goal is to
have good, fun Ancients games.

#### Campaign setting

The campaign is set on the continent of Orbis Wabaei. A map is forthcoming from
our master cartographer.

This landmass, about the size of Africa, has seen an aeons long epic
conflict between civilisation and barbarians, ebbing across the continent in
waves of turmoil and upheaval. The two sides have by no means been of
constant ethical composition throughout the ages, with individual peoples
and tribes switching allegiance at the drop of a hat. As such, while the
conflict has endured for centuries uncounted, neither side has gained the
upper hand throughout the long struggle.

But perhaps this is about to change.

#### Initial distribution

In the WEC, players are initially assigned to one of the two sides.
Their allegiance can (and undoubtably will) change during the campaign
however. The proposed initial distribution is as follows:

Civilisation Barbarians
------------ ----------
Granadines (DB) Saxons (AH)
Romans (FvB) Sassanids (JP)
Macedonian (GK) Celts (BV)
Belisarians (BR) Trojans (GW)

#### Senate / Rat

Both sides have an overruling body that determines who gets to fight. For
the civilisation players, this is called the Senate, for the barbarian
players, it is the Rat (read this in German, although the English is also
oddly appropriate). Each player gets one vote in this body, with some
players getting more votes (see below). Each campaign turn, the voting body
determines who may fight following a fixed process:

* A player wanting to play a battle makes his intention known to his
Senate / Rat.
* The members vote on whether or not the player is allowed to play a
* If a player does not get enough votes for, he cannot play a battle
that turn. However, _his next battle cannot be refused by vote_
* A player does not vote in his own battle application

Note the emphasized point in the third bullet: this means that no player
can be held from the battlefield indefinitely. This is done to keep
things interesting for all players.

In case of a draw in the number of votes, the player gets to fight. You
need a majority to block a player.

The players in general also vote on where to fight, using simple unqualified
voting (each person gets one vote). See below.

#### Who to fight

A player can only fight a player from the other side. Who specifically
to fight is determined after both sides have determined who fights
battles. No rules are provided to match up armies - this can be dealt
with by dicing, diplomacy, as conditions to get votes, etc.

In the case of an uneven match (one side has more armies fighting than
the other), something happens that still needs to be decided upon.

#### Where to fight

Each round's battles are fought in a specific region on the map.

The battles fought in the WEC are but a small part of the larger conflict
waging on Wabaei. These other battles are not modelled in the campaign,
but the outcome of the player battles is indicative of the outcome of the
larger level: if the civilisation side wins more battles, the region being
fought over passes to that side, and vice versa.

Each turn, three regions are proposed for the player battles to occur in,
selected by a mechanism that shall remain shrouded in mystery. Each player,
irrespective of side and number of votes in their voting body, gets one vote
as to which of the regions to fight for. The region that gets the majority
votes will be the region for the next battles. The same mystery shrouded
mechanism that decides the three proposed regions will decide the region to
fight over in absence of a majority vote.

The region being fought over determines the general terrain features of the
tabletop battles.

#### Consequences of battle

After a battle, the loser and winner face consequences. First, loser and
winner are determined, by agreement between players or by using the
system provided in the WAB book (points destroyed, table quarters
controlled, enemy characters killed, etc).

The loser immediately joins the winning player's side, and seats in its
Senate / Council with one vote (no matter how many votes he had on his
original side).

The loser immediately loses all but one vote in his voting body. Should he lose again in his next battle, he switches sides, seating in his new side's voting body with one vote.

The winner gains one extra vote in his Senate / Council, and gains one
prestige point, which he keeps permanently. This last will provide a
ranking of players, and an incentive to keep high ranking players out of

Apart from these more tangible rewards, the winner also gets bragging rights
and can add a fancy title to his name, such as 'Liberator of the Lands of

#### Overview of a campaign turn:

* Initial battles are fought
* Heated diplomatic discussion takes place
* Players send the umpire their votes on who gets to play and region
to play over
* Umpire sends results of votes
* Battles are fought
* Player 'rankings' and map are updated
* Repeat ad nauseam

#### Initial battles

The initial battles have been determined by the innocent hands of the
umpire, in a carefully orchestrated yet mystery shrouded ceremony. These are
the results:

Granadines (DB) vs Saxons (AH)
Romans (FvB) vs Celts (BV)
Macedonians (GK) vs Sassanids (JP)

These initial battles will be fought using _500_ point armies. The initial region for the battles is Istria (SE corner) -- use the standard terrain generating rules in the WAB book, but limiting terrain to three features per player.

#### Table sizes

Use the following table and a die roll to determine the table size to play on:

Die roll Table Size Table Orientation
-------- ---------- -----------------
1 5'x3' Landscape
2 5'x3' Portrait
3 6'x4' Landscape
4 6'x4' Portrait
5 8'x6' Landscape
6 8'x6' Portrait

For 500 point battles, roll __1D4__ on this table.

Additional resources:

* [The WEC Web page]( -- follow the proceedings of the campaign
* [The WEC map]( -- Orbis Wabaei
__Update__ 03/06/2005: Add table size (AH), change rules for changing sides (BD)


  1. David, I am a poor, miserable christian priest in thrall to the vile saxons. They have ordered me to ask when you're available to 'play'? As they won't understand what I'm writing, let me tell you to count their points tally carefully. I suspect they will recruit Saxon spearmen at 6 points (from the Shieldwall supplement) instead of at 8 points (from the Fall of the West supplement).
    You can't trust a Saxon.

  2. Vile infidels. Pagan or Christian I care not for your vulgar ways. We are too busy writing poetry and designing new palaces to go to war this week (except in our time machine on Sunday when we are involved in something called WW2 with BKC). So, in between planting new gardens at the Al Jammybra advancing the sciences and medicine it will have to next week. I shall inscribe something poetic on that forum of devils at IntBrigade.

  3. Hi Bart,
    I have a small suggestion to your rules. As they are now written, changing sides will happen on en extremely frequent basis and there exists a possibility (after only 3 straight losses of the barbarian side, that one side no longer has any armies.
    My suggestion (take it or leave it :)) would be that after a loss, your votes in the senate/rat drop to one. Switching occurs when a one vote army bungles (yet again). This would probably generate fast switching in the beginning (everybody starts with one vote) but would make the game more robust as time goes by, without carving the factions into stone.

  4. Good suggestion by the other Bart -- only switching when you lose two consecutive times. With only three players per side, the chances that all end up in the same side soon are not negligible.
    Let's see what happens after the first round of battles, but I'm inclined to follow BD's suggestion. Any comments by the players?

  5. Query due to greying memory:
    500 points + or - general?
    Also, with 500 points, are we respecting the army list proportions set out for the armies, orr not til they get bigger?

  6. For the 500 points armies, you do not have to include a general (you may, though), but the rest of the army list does have to respect the normal proportions as much as possible. Given that the lack or inclusion of a general has a big effect on the proportion of character points at 500 points, they can be taken with a pinch of salt, but the cavalry/infantry proportions should be respected as much as possible.