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"Cooperative Campaigns- rules?" Topic

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1,179 hits since 7 Jan 2013
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Comments or corrections?

Field Marshal07 Jan 2013 4:59 p.m. PST

I am thinking about running a campaign at the club which will involve the players against the campaign. particularly the 1813 campaign.
What is a good set of campaign rules that cover this type of campaign?

Pedrobear Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 6:26 p.m. PST

I can't think of a campaign which is completely cooperative (unless it's the players against an umpire), but there are those where all the players are on the same side, but in competition with each other at the same time.

There is the Race to the Rhine campaign published in Battlegames magazines a few years back where players are Allied commanders moving westwards on parallel columns on a hex map. IIRC, they roll for chance of encounter each turn, and the enemy is played by another player/umpire. They are nominally on the same side, but do not interact as allies directly, and are in competition with each other, each wanting to be the first to cross the Rhine.

Then there is "Stonewall Jacksons Shenandoah Valley Campaign" by Realistic Modelling.


This has Union commanders trying to find and engage Confederate armies on a node-map of the Shenadoah Valley, at the same time trying to raise their political prestige back in Washington.

The Confederate army's movements are controlled by an algorithm and dice, so a player only knows the rebel army's last known location, and can march towards/away from it, but will not know if it is still there until they reach a node, or which Commander/Divisions/Brigades he will actually find there. When battle results, another Union player plays the Confederate army.

Players gain prestige for success in battle and playing politics, so battlefield success is not the only victory condition here.

I think a similar model may work for an 1813 campaign, with each Coalition commander trying to be the one to find and defeat the retreating (and occasionally counter-attacking) French army. I do recommend you get a copy of the rules for reference.

Then there is my own unpublished First Crusade campaign inspired by Thomas Asbridge's book. Players are the crusader commanders, with no clear leader and binding alliance amongst them. The eventual aim is to take Jerusalem (and all the towns along the way). I used the Crusader Rex map from Columbia Games. Players gain prestige for taking towns, and each town has a number of points. However, if they do not agree on how to split the points, no one gets any. This gives them the option of going their own way, or cooperating (as was the case back then). Armies are not fixed, but generated at each battle based on the current prestige points (reflecting the shifting loyalty of the followers), and the Saracen army is rolled for each time too, depending on the size of the crusader army that arrives at a town (reflecting their tendency to be complacent until faced with a definite threat) – sometimes the crusaders will find the town abandoned or surrendering without a fight. Again, a non-participating Crusader player plays the Saracen army when battle occurs. I am quite proud of these rules as I think they recreate the operational level decisions of First Crusade as described by Asbridge quite well.

This model is more suited to a medieval era.

Hope that helped.

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 7:43 p.m. PST

Muskets and Mohawks has solo and cooperative campaign mechanics, as do most THW rules.


Meiczyslaw07 Jan 2013 8:20 p.m. PST

Pedrobear such a game would model the French against Wellington perfectly. The players would all know they're going to lose Spain, but the real objective is to look the best (for Paris) while doing it.

Sick and twisted; I like it.

Pedrobear Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 8:39 p.m. PST

I gamed Massena's retreat to Spain using that concept, but I suppose it works for Wellington retreating to Portugal too.

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 12:11 a.m. PST

No rules.

Having a (pl)umpire running the campaign narrative style is, IMO, the best recipe for success.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2013 10:45 a.m. PST

Use Kevin Zucker's games:
you can have the maps on cyberboard/vassal; if each of your players have it you can either use it as such with or not just one Cinc doing all or get it as complicated as you want.
Legacy of Glory had a system for orders etc. for use with these games. You can devise a quick one.

I would use the system; make it simultaneous (with "march orders"), instill as umpire whatever dose of
hidden agendas (who said coalition?)
variables (some the players might only guess) on moves, on supply etc.
quickly done by you as a "free kriepspiel" especially if all participants have a knowledge of the period or if you drill them somewhat on it.
have players identify to corps/armies but also do watch out that some might have not much to do (if stuck with the Cinc esp napoleon); to keep them occupied ans useful put them on TDY with recon screens etc (which also has the good effect of disconnecting the immediate findings and reactions of them from the main corps).

OSchmidt Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 10:53 a.m. PST

There was a game called "Prime-Time Adventures" many years ago which was of the type you were talking about, which was "cooperative" in the sense I think you want. It was a game about crafting and acting out an episodic television series. All the players were on the same team, and there was a GM, but basically he just handled the mechanics. When each player came to a difference of opinion as to how they wanted a "scene" to play out the GM used a simple deck of playing cards to determine whose version won, and another person got to tell the story with that outcome. He could emphasize or de-emphasize as he wished, but he could not change the outcome. It was a lot of fun, and very well could be udapted readily for a campaign game.

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