First Blood – Solo Play Campaign
Welcome to my take on a solo mode for either Conquest First Blood or the Skirmish mode Auticus released in his Stornlands campaign pack.
The idea is to provide you with some interesting gaming options while stuck at home. This set focusses on the 100 Kingdoms vs Spires from the starter set, but easily adapted to any other combination also, to switch adversaries and the protagonists.
WHAT YOU NEED
You will need two armies. One including characters you would like to develop and accompany and of course your adversaries.
To create an interesting, but not too expensive adventure we will focus on any (light-medium) Infantry, some ranged/ Volley support and elite (like Brute Drones).
The recommended game size for this campaign is 500 to a maximum of 700 points. The adversary forces neither have to fulfill any army selection requirements, nor have to be a „legal“ army list – i. e. no characters will be needed at the beginning, but could be added at later stages in the campaign.. They are purely based on the boxed set and the additional Marksmen Clones offer.
Your collection must include at least:
- 2 characters (your hero and his mentor)
- Enough units and additional characters to meet the army list building criteria on page 78 of the Conquest First Blood rulebook
- 1 VIP character/ model needed later on in the campaign
- 5 objective markers (like the ones from the starter set)
- 6 markers/ tokens for spawning points
- dice, command cards and any additional gaming material (wound & status tokens, …)
- markers for adversary activations
- playing area (3‘ by 3‘) and enough terrain to create an interesting battlefield
- at least one deck of regular gaming cards. Two would be optimal to track any adversary activations.
The story that will unfold focusses on a young officer, accompanied by his mentor. The units taken are part of a huge force, marching to their destination in the shadow of the Spire of Nepenthe.
MENTOR & APPRENTICE
Your Mentor is a full-fledged character. Select any character from the army list and provide them with any options (Items, Masteries, Retinues) you would like, by paying the costs as usual.
Your Hero is a young, not so experienced character. To represent this, his stats will be heavily modified – at the start, but also during the campaign!
The M (March) characteristic will be unmodified. The rest of his profile will be halved, rounding any factions up. This model is for free (0 points). You can add any available units to this character, but don’t have to pay for this particular model. There are also no options available for them – neither items, Masteries nor Retinues – just for now.
This particular model can however gain experience points (XP) to increase its stats and can be provided with additional options during the course of the campaign.
Imperial Officer – 60 points
Your hero based on an Imperial Officer – 0 points
Replace the rules on page 24 with the following additions (=>):
- I) Reinforcement Phase
- Both Players roll for Reinforcements, i.e. those Regiments and Characters that have been chosen from the player’s collection to participate in the battle, but have not yet entered the field.
=> No Reinforcement rolls. Half of your units (rounded down) will be available by the start of the respective turn. Same for Adversary forces. Gather all the respective cards, shuffle them and draw a number of cards up to the limit of available units.
- Any Reinforcements due to arrive are placed to one side, and will March onto the Battlefield during the Action Phase.
=> Adversary forces will arrive on one of the spawning/ ambush points, determined by the card drawn – s. below.
- II) Command Phase
- Both Players assemble their Command Stacks, created by players arranging the Command Cards of the units that are participating in the battle in order to determine the order of play in later Phases.
=> Only the player stacks his command deck.
=> Adversary will be randomly determined: gather all available cards, add one Ace of their colour and a Joker and shuffle them to build the adversary deck for each turn.
III) Supremacy Phase
- Both Players roll off to determine who is to be the First Player, i.e. the player who will activate their Command Stack first.
=> Roll one D6. On an even result it is your turn on an uneven result the Adversary will be First player. If you have fewer command cards in your command deck, you can modify the result by +1, or -1.
- IV) Action Phase
- Starting with the First Player, the Players take turns activating a unit corresponding to the top Command Card of their Command Stacks, acting with each Regiment in turn until both Command Stacks are empty.
=> when the adversary draws their card(s), they will activate according to the card drawn; i. e. activate a unit referring to the spawning point (♠️ 6 = Force Grown Drones at spawning point 6). If you have a second deck of gaming cards at your disposal, you could mark these with a copy of the first card.
- V) Victory Phase
- Check Mission Victory Conditions to see if either side has won.
- If neither player has won, a new Turn begins.
To provide an interesting, yet challenging gaming experience the adversary force will be controlled by a simple behavior tree. This represents decisions made by the opponent but cannot replace an intelligent and being able to adapt human.
The following units will be needed in the campaign of PART II. In PART IV Appendix you will find a more general approach to the different classes and types of units for Conquest First Blood. The actions stated represent the order in which the unit would act in their turn.
Priority: Adversary units will take their actions with these goals in mind.
Objective* > Hero > units > any other Character
Force Grown Drones
Claim > Advance > Heal > Charge & Clash
Support: Force Grown Drones will always try to make maximum use of their special rule, so keep them in base contact.
BEHAVIOR EXAMPLE: The Force Grown Drones would be activated next. The unit has already suffered a casualty this turn, and they would rather Heal themselves, than charge the opposing Men-at-Arms.
Arcing Fire > Aim & Volley > Move & Volley > Advance
Arcing Fire: Marksmen Clones will always try to make maximum use of their special rule, so keep them in effective range.
Charge & Clash > March & Charge > Inspire & Clash > Heal
COMBINED ACTIONS REFERENCE
Advance: March + March, unit tries to get into cover.
Claim: The unit tries to occupy a mission objective, or point of interest for your forces. It would rather March twice, than Charge to get into position.
Heal: The unit immediately heals 1D3 models – s. p. 21 „First Blood“ Rulebook.
The adversary’s forces are sheer endless in numbers and are present in the whole region. This means that destroyed units will be set aside and could become available later in the same game and also that they could appear nearly everywhere on the board!
To represent these circumstances and the opponents command deck, a special card deck comes into play. The number of cards available depends on the units physically available – i. e. 24 Force Grown Drones will make up any combination of 6 units of 4 Drones each, or 4 units of 6 Drones.
You will need the following gaming cards: assign one suit for each available unit type – i. e. Force Grown Drones represented by Spades (♠️), Marksmen Clones by Diamonds (♦️), etc. Just be consistent in their allocation.
The numbers represent the spawning point on the table edge on which side the units will enter the battlefield and later on be activated. Just determine the corresponding number to each spawning point before the start of the game.
The total used depend on the unit size determined by the scenario. In Scenario 1) for example this will be the cards 2 – 7 + Aces.
Aces: Draw immediately another card and place both units as one bigger unit at the latest drawn spawning point.
Finally add a number of Jokers to the deck, as described in the corresponding scenario, to complete the adversary command deck. The Jokers are special conditions, or events that can occur during the game.
A lot of scenarios allow the adversary to keep bringing a sheer endless tide of units back to the table. If an adversary unit is destroyed and this special rule is in play, just put the removed unit and card aside to bring them back later in and shuffle their card into the reinforcement deck, when they would be available again.
The battles are taking place on a 36“x 36“ area. Choose a number of terrain pieces as recommended on page 66 of the First Blood rulebook. Try to create a challenging, but realistic battlefield for yourself and the scenario you are going to play.
Place 1 objective in the exact center of the board. Then divide the battlefield into four even parts (4x 18“x18“). Place 4 objectives in the center of each part – forming a X on the battlefield.
As soon as the terrain was set up, choose one side to be your table edge.
Then place up to six (6) spawning points on the edges of the area. Each point at least 12“away from each other and the edges. These points are used when determining the point of entry for the adversary’s reinforcements and do not count as terrain, or anything other than a visual reminder. The markers are numbered from 2-7 and are referring to the reinforcements/ spawning cards of the adversary. These markers are treated exactly as points of entry, ignoring any enemy interference – s. page 30.
PART II THE CAMPAIGN
SCENARIO I: “Scouting Ahead”
Forces: 400 points
Mandatory: Mentor, Hero
You have been assigned to scout ahead of the main force. Your mentor at your side, you feel confident enough even without the protection in numbers. Rumors haunted the fires at the camp last night, that something terrible and non-human dwells in these marshes. Accompanied by the rising yellow mist and a foul odor you show no fear and find your way through the bog and stale waters.
Place 1 objective in the exact center of the board. Then divide the battlefield into four even parts (4x 18“x18“). Place 4 objectives in the center of each part.
The table and terrain should represent an area in the marshes with a couple of hollow trees and one or two zonal terrain pieces of water – s. p. 49.
Scouting parties: The adversaries units will be organized in the smallest possible unit size for this battle – i. e. a unit of Force Grown Drones or Marksmen Clones (Infantry) is made up of 4 models, a unit of Brute Drones (Brute) is made up of 1 model. No unit has any upgrades.
Event (1) – Rising Mist: At the start of the game the range for visibility (LOS, volley & spell attacks) is reduced to 24“. Every time you draw a Joker card, you reduce this range by 4“ to a minimum of 8“. Shuffle the card at the start of the next turn back into the adversary deck.
Only your characters can claim objectives in this scenario (by checking points of interest).
- At the end of each Game Turn, you gain 1 VP if you Claim any of the Objective Marker nearest to your Reinforcement Edge, 2 VPs if you Claim the Objective Marker at the center of the Battlefield and 3 VPs if you Claim any of Objective Marker nearest to the opponent’s Reinforcement Edge. Each objective claimed this way is then removed from the game.
- the Adversary scores 2 VP for each removed character and 1 VP for any Leader and Standard Bearer.
The game ends when either you or the adversary gain 8 VP’s, or all your characters have been removed as casualties.
MORE SCENARIOS COMING SOON…
PART III EXPERIENCE
Your Hero gathers experience points (XP) for each VP they score in the scenarios. However to increase their stats you have to pay a number of XP up to the new stat value; i. e. to increase the Clash value you have to spend 2 XP and to increase to 3 (3 XP), etc.
You will find further options becoming available to your Hero (like Retinues) in the respective Scenario descriptions.