Dystopian Wars VA Campaign Guide 2011
Introduction: The Dystopian Wars VA campaign is an abstract system for tracking a series of individual games played between players over the course of several months while linking games and players together into a greater narrative. Players participate in Encounters at the convenience of all involved to earn Campaign Points. Each player is registered in a Sea Zone and will expect to play most Encounters around that Sea Zone. After collecting enough Campaign Points a player will play a Control or Epic game and then buy a Control Point if victorious to declare Control of the Sea Zone. This campaign system was inspired by the X-Cam created by Craig and Russ of the D6G, but I wanted to add the option for a challenging player to choose rather than randomly determine the objectives of a mission, and I also wanted a way to track the expense of repairing and replacing damaged and destroyed ships, all while maintaining the simplicity of the X-Cam and combining Recon & Strategy Points into a singular measure of Campaign Points.
Terminology: Campaign Points (XP) are earned by participating in games between players and completing Objectives during those games. Campaign points are an abstract measure of a fleet’s intelligence of enemy activity in a sea and the organization and logistical supply for the fleet to respond to the enemy. Encounter victories secure supply routes, allow more air bases built to support operations, and generally reflect a faction’s increasing control and intelligence during a campaign. But even Encounter losses will solicit more supplies and support sent from home which is reflected by the nominal XP earned for draws and defeats. Campaign points are also used during preparation for a game to adjust terrain, modify starting hand of STAR cards, and buy other game effects. Most important, Campaign points are spent by a challenger to initiate games. Campaign Points are also used to buy Refit Points (1 XP=200 Refit Points) to repair and replace models damaged and lost in games or Control Points (10 XP=1 Control Point) to denote dominance of a Sea Zone.
Starting Campaign: Each player claims a faction on the forum to register. Each registered player begins the campaign with a pool of 500 composition points used to build a starting force list. Additional models are added to a fleet for future Encounters by converting XP into Refit Points and paying out the composition cost of the new models using Refit Points. Anyone can challenge another player to a Recon size Encounter to begin earning XP to challenge larger Encounters; this procedure simulates the fleet scouting enemy positions and preparing to launch larger operations. Models from other factions may be included in a force but at a cost of twice their original cost, unless they are captured as prizes during Encounters and incorporated into the fleet for the cost of repainting and training new crew.
Encounters: The campaign is structured around a series of Encounters between players. Each Encounter features at least two players with a set number of composition points in each player’s Force, a tabletop with terrain placed, Objectives for each player to modify Victory Points used to determine victory, and a chart to award Campaign Points to both victorious and defeated players so they can refit their damaged fleets and challenge other players to bigger games.
The 7 Steps of an Encounter
1. CHALLENGE: Any player offers a challenge to at least one other player registered in the campaign. The challenger chooses the size of the Encounter and pays XP to initiate; both players bid to adjust starting force cost (0-3 XP bid to increase or decrease by 50 points); players reveal fleet lists.
2. LOCATION: Challenger determines terrain and conditions, placing the first piece of terrain and alternating with opponent until all pieces are placed; both players bid to adjust terrain cost, Challenger revealing bid and adjusting first (1 XP to move one terrain piece 6”; 2 XP to add one terrain piece; 3 XP to remove one terrain piece).
3. OBJECTIVES: Challenger chooses Declared Objectives first, then opponent. Both players select Secret Objectives. Roll dice to determine objectives randomly. Agree on conditions to end Encounter which can be the concession of one player, time limit for the game, or the completion of a set number of turns. The Challenger may select 1 additional Secret Objective at the cost of 1 XP.
4. DEPLOY: Challenger begins deployment by placing the first squadron, alternating with opponent until all squadrons are placed. Both players may spend XP for only one of the three Deployment adjustments: 1 XP to adjust any one squadron up to 6” from starting position; 1 XP to draw twice as many STAR cards and selecting half to discard; 1 XP to buy a third die which can be set aside and added to any one initiative roll in a future turn.
5. COMMENCE: Challenger has initiative on first turn. Play through the Encounter until conditions to end the Encounter have been met as determined during the OBJECTIVES step.
6. RESOLVE: Count Victory Points, modify with achieved Objectives, and determine final VP scores to determine victorious and defeated players. Consult the Rewards Chart for XP earned by each player.
7. REPORT: Post results of the Encounter on the forum. Spend XP to refit damaged and lost ships.
· Recon Encounter: Starting force of 400 points for each player using only small and medium models. No cost to initiate. Each player selects 1 Secret Objective.
· Tactical Encounter: Starting force of 600 points for each player. Challenger pays 1 Campaign Point to initiate. Each player selects 1 Declared Objective and 1 Secret Objective which is written down and revealed at the end of the game.
· Decisive Encounter: Starting force of 800 points for each player. Challenger pays 2 Campaign Points to initiate. Each player selects 1 Declared Objective and 2 Secret Objectives.
· Strategic Encounter: Starting force of 1000 points for each player. Challenger pays 3 Campaign Points to initiate. Each player selects 1 Declared Objective and 3 Secret Objectives.
· Control Encounter: Starting force of 1200 points for each player. Challenger pays 5 Campaign Points to initiate. Each player selects 2 Declared Objective and 3 Secret Objectives. The Victor with at least Marginal Success or better may buy 1 Control Point for 10 XP.
· Epic Encounter: Starting force of 1500 points for each player. Challenger pays 6 Campaign Points to initiate, but the Defending player must also pay 3 XP. Each player selects 2 Declared Objectives and 4 Secret Objectives. The Victor with at least Marginal Success may buy 1 Control Point for 10 XP.
Bidding: A player may secretly bid to adjust a component of how an Encounter will begin. If both players agree to a bid in any particular step of the Encounter then each player writes down that bid and both bids are revealed simultaneously. In the CHALLENGE step these bids are competitive and each player may adjust the starting force costs of the Encounter; each player will write “+50” to increase starting cost by 50 points, “-50” to decrease starting cost by 50 points, and then write an amount of XP for that bid. If both players bid to increase cost or both bid to decrease cost then the starting force cost is increased or decreased 100 points respectively. If one player bids to increase and the other bids to decrease then the amount of XP is compared; if one player bid more XP than the other then this player’s bid wins and cancels the other and the starting force cost is adjusted by the 50 points indicated. If both players bid the same XP amount then the bids cancel each other and the starting force remains the same. Regardless of the result, both players pay the XP they bid. Bids to adjust terrain, add Secret Objective, or adjust Deployment are not competitive.
Reduced Force Bid Awards: Sometimes a player chooses to play a game using a smaller force than what is specified for the mission. If a player starts a game with a force which costs at least 10% less in point costs than the opponent’s force then the player can earn extra Campaign Points for engaging a larger opposing force. The 10% or greater difference must be determined at the end of the CHALLENGE step of the Encounter, after any bid to adjust starting force cost has been determined. If a game ends in a draw or better, according to VP earned for destroyed and captured ships and with completed Objectives factored, then the player with the reduced force earns additional Campaign Points according to size of Encounter:
Award for Draw or Better with at least 10% Smaller Starting Force
Free Control Point
Terrain: The challenger selects the method for determining and placing terrain on the board, using the method suggested in the DW book or the 2d6 Difference. The 2d6 Difference method works by rolling 2d6 and finding the difference between the two results to determine the pieces of terrain to be places, 1-5 pieces. The Challenger places the first piece of terrain, then alternating between players until all pieces are placed. If doubles are rolled, then consult the conditions table to determine any special weather conditions which will affect the models involved in an Encounter along with any special terrain placement.
Doubles 2d6 Result
Open Seas: Severe Weather: All weapons fire at one RB worse. Guns and Torpedoes fire at the next greater RB; Rockets fire at the next closer RB. Primaries still only have -1 DRM at actual RB1.
Open Seas: Night or Heavy Rain: All flying models start and remain obscured. All targets at RB 3 or 4 may only be hit by indirect fire.
Open Seas: Reefs: The only terrain is 1d6+1 Reefs.
Icebergs: Place 1d6+1 small terrain pieces which each move at the end of each turn 2” in direction determined by 1d8 roll for each iceberg. These cause 2d6 AD when struck by or ramming any surface or submersible model. This result may be rolled again if Encounter is in a Central Sea Zone.
Obscured Coastline: Night or Fog: All flying models start and remain obscured. All targets at RB 3 or 4 may only be hit by indirect fire.
Dangerous Coastline: Place 6 terrain pieces as usual and then place 1d3 Reefs.
Select Encounter Objectives: Players select Declared and Secret Objectives according to the size of the Encounter. The Challenger may spend 1 XP to select an additional Secret Objective.
1. Photographic Recon: Select any one model (exception of Tiny Flyers) to hold fire on a turn and take photos of the nearest enemy model at RB1. Roll as a regular gunnery attack and if at least a DR is achieved against the enemy model then place an objective token with the model which must remain intact at the end of the game to score 1 XP. No cards from either side may be played to affect the photographic recon attempt.
2. Kill Commodore: Crush the enemy's morale! Destroy or capture an opponent's model marked with a Commodore. Score VP equal to 10% of starting force cost and reduce opponent's total Campaign Points by 1 XP.
3. Eliminate Frigates: Cripple the enemy's small recon ships! Destroy or capture all frigates in a squadron. Score 150% VP for those destroyed frigates in the squadron.
4. Destroy Airships: Cripple the enemy's fleet of airships! Destroy enemy airships size Medium or larger. Score 150% VP of each airship model destroyed.
5. Air Superiority: Dominate the skies! Eliminate all enemy Tiny Flyers and have at least one Tiny Flyer token on the board at the end of the game. Reduce opponent’s total Campaign Points by 1 XP and score 10 VP for each friendly Tiny Flyer token remaining.
6. Hit and Run: Move models through and exit table edge behind the enemy’s deployment zone to harass supply lines. For each Small class model reduce opponent’s total Campaign Points by 1 XP; for each Medium class model reduce opponent’s total Campaign Points by 2 XP.
7. Capture Code Book: Board and capture a model of medium class or larger for intelligence. Return prize to friendly deployment zone or control until game ends. Score 300% VP of the model captured and earn 1 XP.
8. Control Center: Control the only unbroken models within 12" of the board center at the end of the game. Score VP equal to 10% of all captured and destroyed enemy models and earn 1 XP.
1. Victory at Sea Smash the enemy fleet! Score additional 20% VP of all points for destroyed enemy models (do not include captured or damaged models).
2. Capture Terrain Select a piece of terrain within 12" of board center. Place objective marker. If at least 1 AP is attached to that piece of terrain and unopposed at the end of the game then score VP equal to 20% of starting force cost and earn 1 XP.
3. Breakthrough Break through the enemy lines! Each Large or Massive size model which moves through the opponent's deployment zone scores 10% of starting force cost per Large or Massive model with at least 1 HP moving off the board.
4. Supply Convoy Challenger Only. Include transport ships with a force at a cost of 10 points per transport which moves and defends as a cruiser squadron but with no offensive weapons and only 1 AP per transport. Each transport must be deployed within 8" of one corner adjacent to the Challenger’s deployment zone and move to exit the opposite corner adjacent to an opponent’s deployment zone to earn 1 XP each. Destroyed transports score 50 VP for opponent. Captured prize transports score 100 VP for opponent.
5. Base Assault Challenger Only. Choose one player to place a bunker or airfield as part of a starting force. If the defended position is destroyed then attacking player scores 200% VP of bunker or airfield cost. If it is captured then attacking player scores 300% VP of original cost.
6. Port Blockade Challenger Only. Score at least Marginal Success to blockade enemy port. Subtract XP from opponent's total Campaign Points equal to size of encounter (Tactical -2 XP; Decisive -3 XP; Strategic -4 XP; Control -5 XP; Epic -6 XP).
Spending Points for Game Effects
· CHALLENGE: 1-6 Campaign Points to initiate an Encounter, depending on Encounter size.
· CHALLENGE: Bid 0-3 Campaign Points to increase or decrease the starting force limit for each player in an Encounter by 50 Composition Points. Write “+50” or “-50” and amount of bid XP.
· LOCATION (after terrain has been determined and placed): 1 XP to move a terrain piece 6”; 2 XP to add an additional terrain piece; 3 XP to remove one terrain.
· OBJECTIVES: 1 Campaign Point to add an additional Secret Objective for the Challenger.
· 1 Campaign Point during DEPLOY step: draw twice as many STAR cards before Turn 1, choosing which cards to start and discarding half; move 1 squadron up to 6” from starting position; buy an extra die which may be added to any one initiative roll for one turn.
· RESOLVE: 10 Campaign Points to buy 1 Control Point after a player has won a victory with at least Marginal Success in an Encounter at Control or Epic size.
· REPORT: 1 Campaign Point to buy 200 Refit Points; Refit Points are spent to repair damaged models at half cost or restore destroyed models of equivalent cost; they are also used to add new models to a force.
Encounters: Resolution: A draw result (neither player wins by more than 10% VP) awards each player with the same number of Campaign Points. Otherwise players are awarded XP according to their defeat or degree of victory. The number of XP earned is dependent on the Encounter size.
Size of Encounter
Starting Force Cost
XP Cost to Initiate
Draw XP Both
Marginal Victory >10%
Resounding Victory >20%
Crushing Triumph >30%
*If a player wins a Control or Epic size Encounter with at least a Marginal Victory then a Control Point may be bought for 10 XP.
Refit Points: players may repair, replace, or add models to their fleet using Refit Points which are equivalent to force composition cost points. If a model has at least half HP at the end of an Encounter then it is effectively restored to full strength for a later Encounter at no cost. A model which has lost more than half HP is restored to full strength at a cost of Refit Points equal to half the model’s cost. A destroyed model is restored to a fleet at the same cost in Refit Points as the cost. The basic VP awarded for damaged and destroyed models is the cost in Refit Points to restore a fleet after an Encounter.
Trading XP: players may trade or give XP between Encounters. For example: A player with many XP might decide to provide support of XP to a player with limited resources in exchange for an agreement to challenge another rival player to Encounters.
Bonus Campaign Awards
Painted Fleet: Any player is awarded 1 XP after completing any size Encounter with a fleet which includes all models painted with at least three colors on each model.
Captured Models: Any opposing models captured as prizes, after counting for VP, may be converted into a number of Refit Points equal to the composition cost of the model OR the model may be incorporated into the fleet if the player has a model to stand in for it; a captured model must be repainted and refit for future Encounters at a cost of Refit Points equal to the composition cost of the original model.
Control Point: Each Control Point declared increases the number of STAR held in a game by 1. For example, if a player has bought and declared 2 Control Points then that player’s maximum hand is 7 STAR cards. A player may never draw more than 5 cards at a time; players start the game with a maximum of five cards but may increase the number of cards held by not discarding.
Ending the Campaign
When a player accumulates 3 Control Points and all other players have only 1 or none, then that player is declared the winner of the campaign, otherwise an Epic Encounter will be scheduled between the player with 3 Control Points and any one player with 2 Control Points; if the leading player wins and earns a 4th Control Point then his faction is declared the campaign victor.