Wednesday, November 26, 2008


A number of influences have converged and got me thinking about DBA and Hordes of the Things again… This past week I’ve been planning and plotting and figuring what I’d need to finish up a number of DBA and HOTT armies. I’ve even started some painting and rebasing of old figures to the new basing standards. All this has, of course, got me thinking, once again, of the megalomaniac dream of running a grand sweeping fantasy campaign of good versus evil (and all the confused and easily corrupted, volatile and fickle humans in between…).

Since the very first edition of DBA came out (I still have my first edition somewhere – ordered direct from England in 199 – after reading about it in a Wargames Illustrated article..) I’ve wanted to run a campaign. It’s just never seemed to work out – people involved never getting around to painting armies, moving away, unable to find people willing to play, etc… I imagine it would add so many new dimensions to the basic tabletop wargame. From the wheeling and dealing (and possibly back-stabbing) of international diplomacy to strategic planning and movement to new elements of tactical decision making – do I risk destruction of my army to win this battle or retreat and live to fight on another day…?

I reckon I could put together six or seven armies in the not too distant future; Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, possibly Undead and two to four Human Kingdoms. I’ve been considering two options for campaigns..

The first would be a simple one day or weekend long affair using the simple campaign system as presented in the DBA/HOTT books. All participants would be present and I imagine it would be a bit like a game of diplomacy with some games of HOTT in between to figure out the results of armies bumping into each other…

The second idea would be a longer, on-going campaign with a more detailed campaign system – possibly based on the old Mighty Empires game. For this campaign I would recruit players on two different levels. First I would need to recruit players, that would hopefully be unknown to each other, who would serve as the kings or leaders of the various countries. They would be players in a play-by-email campaign of politics and strategic decision-making – and so wouldn’t necessarily have to be from around here! On a local basis I would need a couple players to game out any battles generated by the strategic campaign movements – though, if needed, these could even be played solo – and these would be chronicled in battle reports on my blog… or maybe even a new one dedicated to the campaign…

These two options wouldn’t necessarily be mutually exclusive. I thought I might run a simple day or weekend long campaign whenever I get all (or even SOME) of the armies finished… maybe in February for m 6th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash? Or alternatively (or additionally) I could potentially be convinced to drag the whole mess out to Edmonton or Calgary – either to Fallcon or Mayday or some other mutually agreeable weekend… (this might be tough this coming year as time and money for travel will be a bit tight as we really can not further put off some serious home renovations… maybe if I could carpool/split gas with others, this might be a bit more feasible…). The ongoing campaign could start anytime after I get all the forces finished.

I imagine the long campaign would be played with weekly campaign turns that could represent seasons (spring, summer, fall) or months of the campaigning season (six, approximately equating to April to September…?) depending on the system I use. At the very minimum players would be expected to send one email to me each week indicating where they would like to deploy their field army (or armies) at the beginning of the campaign season and which elements of their army they’d like to replace, and then where they would like the army to move each turn… It would be helpful, though not necessarily necessary, to read all of the campaign notices, dispatches from other players, and battle reports from the previous moves… There would be all sorts of opportunity for as muc or as little role-playing as one desired; sending secret messages to other kingdoms, or making public royal proclamations, challenges or ultimatums!

I might even tie the long campaign into my weekly Savage Worlds game night – for which the players have just made new fantasy characters… (BWA-HA-HA-HA-Ha-ha-ha…ha…heh… see? Megalomaniac slipping out again there…)


Who’s interested….?


  1. I'll keep that in mind!

    Wait... for the PBEM strategic campaign...? Or would you be willing to travel all the way to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to play in a weekend long campaign!?

    For the extended PBEM campaign I've sent a note out to a bunch of friends, they'll get first crack at it - if I don't get enough though (I can't imagine I won't...) I'd open it up to followers of the blog!


  2. Hi Tim

    Just wanted to point out that the new edition of Mighty Empires is realy sweet and nice.

    The rules are very simple - and usable for all sorts of miniature campaings. They are so simple that they can be modified a bit without hampering playability - and yet so balanced and interesting to be worth a game.

    And the plastic hexes that came along with the rules box are a precisous find. Mine are painted i desert scheme ready for some Colonial mayhem.

    Thomas :o)

  3. I had the original one, and still have the rule book somewhere. I might use some stuff from it. I'd like to keep it simple for the PBEM players - on the level of the old Diplomacy board game - they can send messages, proclamations, ultimatums and treats to other players, and they can determine where their army moves to each turn and that's about it.... maybe send very general orders to their army commanders in the field - which of course could totally be ignored...

  4. You can count me in. PBEM suits me just fine.
    I could be talked into another b-day wargames weekend too.

  5. Cool.

    I'm not sure there's going to be a Winter Wargames WEEKEND this year. I'll probably just run a Savage Worlds game the evening of my birthday...

    CVT and I were talking last night about the possibility of a Wargames Weekend in Saskatoon in the spring sometime.

    I'll keep you posted.

  6. Would a PBEM player need his/her own copy of Mighty Empires?

  7. No.

    I "MIGHT" base the campaign rules off Mighty Empires. Or, more likely I'll probably use the rules right out of the HOTT book. (or maybe I'll use Jeff's rules, if I ever get around to emailing him back....).

    For the heads of state in the PBEM campaign I want to keep this as simple as possible - like the old boardgame "Diplomacy" - you can send messages back and forth (through me) and you decide, in a general sense. where you want your armies to move. The minutiae of tactical command and supply and organization of your armies is more or less left to your generals (which will be me and the local players that will play out the actual battles to determine the outcome of the movement of armies).

  8. Wait... Which "Chris" is that...!?

    Damn all of you Chrises and Johnses!!