Koronus Expanse: Opening Action

An article by    Battle Reports Battlefleet Gothic Gaming Narrative Play        0

In the Koronus Expanse, mighty fleets and armies duke it out for control of the territories bathed in the faint glow of the Halo stars. In our first installment of the Koronus Expanse Campaign, we discussed the setting and players of the campaign, as well as detailing the rules we will be using. Today we will detail the opening moves of the campaign as well as the aftermath of the first fleet engagement. Finally, we’ll discuss a little of the narrative potential and rules changes of the campaign.

Campaign Start

In these unfortunate COVID times one of our players was unable to participate in the campaign. Fortunately, another enthusiast stepped right in and the campaign kicked off with a quick 2v2 training game before diving on in. We hope that in the future Logan Payne will be able to participate, but until then I’d like to introduce…

A New Challenger: Paul ‘Puck’ Huck

How to describe Puck? Well, he’s a deeply confused man as Puck lives in Minneapolis while also being a Green Bay Packers fan – a notably cool and good trait. However, he is also somehow a St. Louis Cardinals fan which is a crime so nearly unforgiveable that only the Chaos gods themselves could take him in. So who better to helm the Chaos incursion fleets than the pure evil of the ‘best fan in baseball’?

  • BFG Faction: Chaos Incursion Fleet
  • 40k Crusade Faction: Traitor Guard

Starting Campaign Map

 

Starting Fleet Rosters

Each of the campaign players formed up initial fleet rosters of 600 points. In the early going of the campaign the maximum fleet engagement size is 750 points although the fleet rosters themselves may exceed 750 points. Only a single fleet marker is available at this time though that could change in the future.

The Imperial Crusade Fleet – Segmentum Obscurus Roster – Axel

  • Commander: 1 Renown – LD 8, 1 Reroll
  • Sante Maria – Dominator Class Cruiser
    • Flagship
    • LD 8
  • La Pinta – Dominator Class Cruiser
    • LD 8
  • Cortez’s Ire – Dauntless Class Light Cruiser
    • LD 8
  • Picasso – Dauntless Class Light Cruiser
    • LD 8

The Irontoof Waaagh – Ork Pirate Fleet – Jack 

  • Nob: 1 Renown – 1 Reroll
  • Ol’ Thunda – Kill Kroozer
    • Flagship
    • LD 5
    • Prow Heavy Gunz
  • Hull Smasha – Terror Ship
    • LD 7
    • Prow Torpedo Launcha
  • Teefrippa – Terror Ship
    • LD 6
    • Prow Torpedo Launcha
  • Gork’s Teef – 3x Brute Ram Ships
    • LD 5

The Lost Expedition – Chaos Incursion Fleet – Puck

  • Champion: 1 Renown – LD 8, 1 Reroll
  • Thralls of Blasphemy – Carnage Class Cruiser
    • Flagship
    • LD 7 (8)
    • Mark of Tzeentch
    • Space Marine Detachment
  • The Void Pyer – Devastator Class Cruiser
    • LD 9 (10)
    • Space Marine Detachment
  • Gore Squadron – 3x Idolator Class Raider
    • LD 7

Ghosts in the Void – Eldar Corsairs – James

  • Captain: 1 Renown – +0 LD, 1 Reroll
  • Estel – Aurora Class Light Cruiser
    • Flagship
    • LD 10
  • Elear – Aurora Class Light Cruiser
    • LD 7
  • Fea Squadron – 3x Hemlock Destroyers
    • LD 7
  • Dae Squadron – 2x Hemlock Destroyers
    • LD 7
  • Aina Squadron – 3x Nightshade Destroyers
    • LD 9

The First Breath of a Long War

In each campaign turn, players will alternate positions so that no player is always first or last – the cycle will repeat every four turns. Like most campaigns, the first turns are largely uneventful and quick, but serve to set up the later turns and the battle lines therein. As a result, this will be a relatively straightforward update that serves to set the tone for later narrative and campaign dynamics.

Turn One

Turn Order: Orks, Imperial, Chaos, Eldar

Following our intro 2v2, the first campaign turn saw us run through the campaign rules to get a feel for the campaign action mechanics. We agreed to reserve 40k Crusade roster building for a later date as the fleet dynamics were the only thing likely to be initiated on the first day. While the Ork and Imperial factions opted to settle their home subsector’s outlying systems, the Chaos and Eldar factions pushed outwards, skipping the uncivilized worlds for the more valuable worlds in neighboring subsectors.

Requisition Phase:

  • Orks: Retrofit – Auxilarry Power Relays (+5 cm movement) on Ol Thunda (Kill Kroozer, flagship)
  • Imperial: 50 Points
  • Chaos: Retrofit – Motion Tracking Targeters (while on navigational special orders, vessels firepower is only reduced by 25% rather than 50%) on Thralls of Blasphemy (Carnage Class Cruiser, flagship)
  • Eldar: 50 Points

Turn 1: The first brave steps

Turn Two

Turn Order: Imperial, Orks, Eldar, Chaos

Turn brought continued expansion by all players – Imperial and Orks expanded beyond their home subsectors while the Chaos and Eldar factions solidified their hold on their respective neighboring subsectors. Interestingly, the Imperial faction chose to move towards the Orks – teeing up an early opportunity for conflict.

Requisition Phase:

  • Imperial: Retrofit – Additional Shield Generator (+1 Shield) on Sante Maria (Dominator Class Cruiser, flagship)
  • Orks: 50 Points
  • Eldar: 50 Points (100 Total)
  • Chaos: 50 Points

Turn 2: New subsystem expansions

Turn Three

Turn Order: Chaos, Eldar, Orks, Imperial

Each faction has solidified it’s hold on neighboring systems – neutral territories are rapidly disappearing and conflict grows increasingly likely – especially along the border of the Imperial/Ork territories.

Requisition Phase:

  • Chaos: 50 Points (100 Total)
  • Eldar: 50 Points (150 Total)
  • Orks: 50 Points – Purchased 3x Brute Ram Ships (Mork’s Teeth) and Mega Armored Orks on Ol Thunda (Kill Kroozer, flagship) – 10 Points Remaining
  • Imperial: Retrofit – Auto-Loaders (+1 LD on Reload Ordnance) on Sante Maria (Dominator Class Cruiser, flagship)

 

Turn 3: Shoring up early gains

 

Turn Four – Shots Fired!

Turn Order: Eldar, Chaos, Imperial, Orks

Turn four closed out by seeing the first fleet engagement of the campaign. The Imperial fleet, dispatched to investigate the lack communication from multiple worlds in the subsector containing the Valcetti’s Salvation system, discovered substance to the rumors of a mounting Ork Waaagh. Following the events at Salvation’s Gate the Ork fleet was pushed deeper into the subsector to regroup while the Imperial fleet held their patrol line in the outer reaches. The Eldar and Chaos factions continued their nefarious plans and expanded to a second subsystem – the Eldar moving interior to the isolated and unpopulated worlds of the Accursed Demesne for reasons beyond our measure. Meanwhile, the maligned forces of Chaos appear to be solidifying their holdings within the Foundling Worlds and are positioned to come into  conflict with the Eldar.

Post-Battle Results:

The Imperials won the first engagement of the war, securing a narrow victory over the Ork vanguard fleet. Forcing a retreat, the Imperial fleet interdicted the space lanes from the Ork core worlds at the Undred Undred Teef – however, their settled mining and agri worlds provided sufficient repairs to the remaining fleet. Similarly, the Imperial fleet was able to affect full repairs. The following changes were recorded:

  • Imperial Fleet Commander +2 Renown (3 total)
    • Loss of the La Pinta Dominator Class Cruiser replaced by the Chupacabra Dominator Class Cruiser (LD 6)
    • Picasso Dauntless Class Light Cruiser suffers -1 LD due to crippling
    • Cortez’s Ire Dauntless Class Light Cruiser gains Expert Gunnery (3d6 drop lowest for Lock On) crew skill
  • Ork Fleet Commander – No Change (1 total)
    • Loss of the Hull Smasha Terror Ship replaced by the Hull Crumpa Terror Ship (LD 5)
    • Replenished Gork’s Teef Ram Ship squadron (LD 5)
    • Ol Thunda Kill Kroozer gains +1 LD
    • Teefrippa Terror Ship gains +1 LD

Requisition Phase:

  • Eldar: 50 Points (200 Total)
  • Chaos: 50 Points (150 Total)
  • Imperial: 50 Points (100 Total)
  • Orks: 50 Points (60 Total)

Turn 4: Conflict!

End of Turn Four Fleet Rosters

At the end of turn four, the fleets have remain largely unchanged – however, the requisition points have begun to add up and the borders of the players worlds have started to collide – expect that fleets will quickly begin to ramp up!

The Imperial Crusade Fleet – Segmentum Obscurus Roster – Axel

  • Commander: 3 Renown – LD 8, 1 Reroll
  • Sante Maria – Dominator Class Cruiser
    • Flagship
    • Additional Shield Generator (+1 shield)
    • Auto-Loaders (+1 LD on reload ordnance)
    • LD 8
  • Chupacabra – Dominator Class Cruiser
    • LD 6
  • Cortez’s Ire – Dauntless Class Light Cruiser
    • LD 8
    • Expert Gunnery
  • Picasso – Dauntless Class Light Cruiser
    • LD 5
  • Requisition: 100 Points

The Irontoof Waaagh – Ork Pirate Fleet – Jack 

  • Nob: 1 Renown – 1 Reroll
  • Ol’ Thunda – Kill Kroozer
    • Flagship
    • LD 5
    • Prow Heavy Gunz
    • Mega Armored Orks
  • Hull Smasha – Terror Ship
    • LD 7
    • Prow Torpedo Launcha
  • Teefrippa – Terror Ship
    • LD 6
    • Prow Torpedo Launcha
  • Gork’s Teef – 3x Brute Ram Ships
    • LD 5
  • Mork’s Teef – 3x Brute Ramp Ships
    • LD 6
  • Requisition: 60 Points

The Irontoof Waaagh. Credit: Boon

The Lost Expedition – Chaos Incursion Fleet – Puck

  • Champion: 1 Renown – LD 8, 1 Reroll
  • Thralls of Blasphemy – Carnage Class Cruiser
    • Flagship
    • LD 7 (8)
    • Mark of Tzeentch
    • Space Marine Detachment
  • The Void Pyer – Devastator Class Cruiser
    • LD 9 (10)
    • Space Marine Detachment
  • Gore Squadron – 3x Idolator Class Raider
    • LD 7
  • Requisition: 150 Points

A Grand Fleet of Old. Credit: Boon

Ghosts in the Void – Eldar Corsairs – James

  • Captain: 1 Renown – +0 LD, 1 Reroll
  • Estel – Aurora Class Light Cruiser
    • Flagship
    • LD 10
  • Elear – Aurora Class Light Cruiser
    • LD 7
  • Fea Squadron – 3x Hemlock Destroyers
    • LD 7
  • Dae Squadron – 2x Hemlock Destroyers
    • LD 7
  • Aina Squadron – 3x Nightshade Destroyers
    • LD 9
  • Requisition: 200 Points

Hunters amongst the stars. Credit: Boon

Campaign Rules Updates

As we move forward with each campaign update I will also discuss various changes that are being considered or have been enacted since the last update. In the opening moves, a lot was learned that have led to some alterations and potential updates for future implementation.

Enacted Changes

  • Player Action Changes – Added option to forgo remaining actions
  • Requisition Changes – Lowered appeal value for points from 100 to 50 points per successful appeal
  • Other Changes – it is agreed that anytime anyone does something real stupid it shall be fittingly referred to as a Liam Granbery.

Both changes were made to streamline the campaign. The former stemmed from a lack of an option to simply ‘do nothing’ if a player determined that to be advantageous. The latter stemmed from a realization that at 100 points per appeal, the points would quickly become meaningless as players would be able to bank massive point reserves. At 50 points, saving for larger purchases comes at a significant trade-off to ship retrofits. 

Potential Changes

  • Fleet capacity caps based on turn:
    • Turn 8 – increase fleet battle cap to 950
    • Turn 12 – increase fleet battle cap to 1,200
    • Turn 16 – increase fleet battle cap to 1,500 – battleship eligibility
    • Turn 20 – increase fleet battle cap to 2,000
    • Turn 25 – increase fleet battle cap to 2,500 – max capacity
  • Fleet marker splits
    • Allow for a second fleet marker with divided fleet rosters
    • Likely instituted at Turn 20 where fleet cap is increased to 2,000 points
  • Narrative ‘missions’
    • A mechanic to drive players to do more than simply engage opposing fleets and conquer opposing planets
    • Likely a series of missions that once completed lead to a win condition for the campaign

The first change regarding fleet battle capacity was a wholly anticipated change – though it wasn’t certain what the appropriate timing or cap raises should be. The nice thing about the BFG campaign is that even small battles are exciting – a slow cap rise still makes for an interesting campaign given the integrated BFG and 40k nature of it and the caps mostly align with the maximum banked points a player might have with a little bit of wiggle room.

The second change is more unplanned but allows for increased flexibility and tactical choice as the campaign moves into its later stages. It is intended to help facilitate tactical decision making on force splits and provide opportunity for players to both attack and defend – adding a different dimension to the campaign layer and keeping the BFG component fresh in the late game.

Similarly, the final proposed change is less well fleshed out, but the desire here is to increase the tactical considerations and create a bit of tension in choosing targets and competing against other players for more than just pure conquest. The specifics of the missions will likely be story driven, randomized for each player, and enacted all at once in the early-mid campaign. Similar to the fleet marker splits, its hoped to increase tactical choice, and provide a sense of building to a finale when the initial campaign would have otherwise ground to a boring stalemate. More on this one in the future.

That’s all for this update – we’re excited about the future of the Expanse and the war to come! Soon we expect the 40k Crusade armies to weigh as fights over worlds ensue. We’ll also look to begin implementing campaign changes that facilitate win conditions, tactical consideration, and narrative engagements! 

 

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