This campaign system makes use of the three-fight system and the six-player scenario described on other pages in this section.
I have participated in many wargame campaigns, and they have all fizzled out. Sometimes this happens because they involve too many players, and people drift away. I think the biggest single factor is that people cannot see an end to them. A campaign drags on for ten, fifteen, twenty games, and people lose interest. Also, some people are very interested in things like the problems of supply, campaign logistics, and detailed analysis of the effects of wintering troops in foreign lands etc., while others just want to have a few games strung together, and care little for the off-table stuff.
Though I would love to take part in and complete a long and detailed and historically accurate campaign, experience has taught me to limit my ambition. That is why I came up with this system, which involves a campaign of just six battles. The last battle requires six players, but the first five can be just one against one. The results will always be decisive. A player, then, can join the campaign in the knowledge that he will be involved for no more than perhaps two or three games, which is not a large commitment. This makes players much easier to recruit, and unlikley to desert.
The system involves three rounds. The first round has three battles, the second two battles, and the third round is a single climactic showdown. In the first five battles, the three-fight system is used.
The premise is flexible, but might be something like this: an area has revolted against the authorities, and three charismatic rebel leaders have put together forces that are fighting for control.
The authorities (perhaps the king of the nation) have sent three commanders to the region to quell the revolt and restore order, with the promise that the one who distinguishes himself in this task will become governor, while the others might if they do quite well serve under him in lucrative but less prestigious posts.
Each commander of the king's side visits the area where one rebel leader has his operations, and brings him to battle. These battles are not single pitched decisive battles between all of the commanders' forces, but instead the rebel forces are split, not having strongholds to shelter in, nor single villages willing or able to host them all. Many of the rebels are trying to evade the king's forces, and so the king's forces must fan out to find them. These battles will not destroy the losers, but will weaken them. By doing things like winning duels, killing commanders, breaking enemy contingents, and holding the field, players score Victory Points (VPs), which represent the amount of humiliation dealt to the enemy. Commanders suffer desertion from their ranks in accordance with the VPs scored against them. VPs do not necessarilly represent fights and killings, for example an off-table (see Three Fight System) fight might result in 4 VPs' being scored, but perhaps no combat occured, but instead the forces of the king scared the rebels into deserting despite never having found them.
In the second round of battles, forces from each side combine, and two games much like the first three are fought.
The end battle
The style of this last battle is perhaps not suitable for all periods and scales of battle. Ideally the setting would be one in which personal reputations would be well-known, and many factions would be competing over an area, and the winners on the field would also be winners of peace-time rewards. Conscripted soldiers fighting in big armies of World War Two, where there were two sides - axis and allied - would not suit this system. To work, one has to believe that any player might conceivably side with any other. It is near enough impossible to believe that a platoon of British WW2 Tommies might rally to Rommel's banner just because he was doing well at the time, whereas in the Barons' Wars of medieval England, or the clashes of the Border Reivers, or Italian Renaissance mercenary bands, or bronze age Achaean raiders, or dark age cheiftains warring over a small island, or clashes between Mouri, or American frontiersman, one can more readily believe that troops would rally to the flags of individual personalities who were successful and charismatic, and desert their previous commanders.
This last battle was conceived originally as the end to a campaign, but it could be played as a one-off. To work well, the six forces should not be equal. The first playtest worked very well with forces with points values of 133, 116, 96, 96, 92, and 62.
The battle has all players deploying on-table, knowing exactly what forces the others have. If everyone sides with the strongest player, then he automatically wins. Players have to make sure that they are on the winning side, but preferably after doing a minimum of fighting. The smallest players have the least to lose and make the most loyal allies, but the largest players have the most to lose, and threaten everyone and so have many enemies. Is it better to side with the biggest player? Perhaps it is easiest to back-stab from there, but perhaps it is easier and safer to corm a coalition against him.
Printing the system out
Right then, here are the rules, in a downloadable, printable format. They include the six-player scenario and three fight system discussed on other pages. The file is in rich text format (.rtf) which you should be able to print even if you don't use Word. If you are truly baffled by them, feel free to e-mail me and ask questions. There are two separate parts to writing rules for other people to use. One is getting the rules to work, and the other is getting them across clearly to other people, and I may have succeeded at the first and failed at the second.
The .pdf file may be easier to print for people using paper other than A4 size, or using word processors that differ from mine in the way they format .rtf files. Both versions are formatted for A4.