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Molecule4

Black Crusade all the way to the Sol system

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So, my players have been wanting to run a Black Crusade campaign for a while and are really bent on trying to take their Crusade all the way to the Sol system and even to Holy Tera if possible. My question to you guys is, How feasible is this endeavor? 

 

I know for a **** fact that the Imperium would do everything it can to make sure no Black Crusade large enough to cut through all the sectors that stand between Tera and the Screaming Vortex would make even remotely close. i don't want them to just be crushed before their Crusade could even really lift off, but I mean, come on... The second they get anywhere near the Sol System, they have Grey Knights teleporting onto their ship, Space Marines all over the **** place, the fortifications of Mars and the full might of the Imperial Navy along with several Ark Mechanicus and the Mechanicus itself. 

 

I know Chaos can be very, very powerful, but they don't have as much in the way of the Imperium when it comes to specialized factions designed to stop this very thing from happening, not to mention the sheer firepower. So, how likely is it? Take into account players that know almost as much or more about the lore as the GM does. Also take into account that they will spend most of our first summer of sessions just trying to amass power and fap about in the Koronus Expanse.

 

Thanks as always guys! Really looking forward to you guy's feedback.

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It will take alot of hard work for the players, and it would be completely 'non-canonical' of course, but why not? If that's their end goals, then let them earn it. But it's going to be grand, epic, and totally long down the road. They have to conquer whole sectors, enslave hundreds of worlds to their war machine to even bear a chance to penetrating the heart of Segmentum Solar. 

 

But if that is their destiny, then let it be. Just make sure you don't pull any punches and don't let them act surprise when Abaddon or one of the other big fishes attack them. 

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The question is not how likely this is, but how good you are in running it in a believeable fashion. 40K is not a very realistic setting, so the question about how likely it is can be thrown out of the window.

The question is, can you come up with fun way why your characters should succeed with something so many, MANY Chaos Spacemarines before them failed with? What will be different? And can you handle it? Can you make a fun game out of it? Have you ever run campaigns on a such a big scale? If the answers are "yes", then, go ahead and have fun. If the answer is more like "no", be honest to your players, so that you can settle for a smaller scale for your game.

Myself, I made the mistake of biting off more then I could chew countless times, and I came to regret it.

[EDIT: grammar]

Edited by Gregorius21778

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So, my players have been wanting to run a Black Crusade campaign for a while and are really bent on trying to take their Crusade all the way to the Sol system and even to Holy Tera if possible. My question to you guys is, How feasible is this endeavor? 

 

I know for a **** fact that the Imperium would do everything it can to make sure no Black Crusade large enough to cut through all the sectors that stand between Tera and the Screaming Vortex would make even remotely close. i don't want them to just be crushed before their Crusade could even really lift off, but I mean, come on... The second they get anywhere near the Sol System, they have Grey Knights teleporting onto their ship, Space Marines all over the **** place, the fortifications of Mars and the full might of the Imperial Navy along with several Ark Mechanicus and the Mechanicus itself. 

 

I know Chaos can be very, very powerful, but they don't have as much in the way of the Imperium when it comes to specialized factions designed to stop this very thing from happening, not to mention the sheer firepower. So, how likely is it? Take into account players that know almost as much or more about the lore as the GM does. Also take into account that they will spend most of our first summer of sessions just trying to amass power and fap about in the Koronus Expanse.

 

Thanks as always guys! Really looking forward to you guy's feedback.

You somewhat have hit the nail on the head. If anyone got anywhere near Sol, the Imperium would pull EVERY single resource it could from anywhere within reach. It will happily give up contested worlds in distant reaches, fall back to Ork, Tau or whatever other threat because of the direct threat to Holy Terra.

Your PC's meanwhile will come under attack at almost every time by the full force of the Inquisition including but not limited to Ordo Malleus (Grey Knights), Ordo Hereticus (Witch Hunters / Adeptus Sororitas) and even agents of the Officio Assassinorum. Before they even get to launch you can be **** sure that they would get wind of it and prep to infiltrate or undermine. The Inquisition are not against using unorthodox tactics against greater threats and have been known to coerce other factions to attack.

However you also have the internal threat, absolute power corrupts absolutely and as the players amass their legions they have to contend with rival lords who would seize their army for their own or the infighting that may occur. It's likely that to have the manpower for this then they may need pacts with fellow lords or even daemons or aliens which can work against them causing inter faction friction. Unless their leader is particularly charismatic being able to instill fear and/or loyalty in the millions of units at their disposal they may find their crusade collapsing before it starts. This is why Fail-baddon does so well, he is able to command the legions long enough to achieve his goals.

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I think Abaddon deserves a bit more respect. :)

No. He's technically achieved his goals each crusade only by setting some bars so low that a professional limbo team would think it's almost ground level but still been beaten back by the Imperium and lost a lot of assets doing it. I refuse to recognise him as a success. Plus yes, no arms.

Edited by Calgor Grim

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Hey man, have you tried to command the Planet Killer with your face? The guy tries his best... :'(

Plus he's up against Creed and we all know that even the best laid plans cannot succeed when all that ****** has to do is walk calmly into the middle of the battlefield and set down a small potted plant and walk away. All while chuckling to himself around his massive pimp cigar.

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Thank you guys for the input. I will let them fight there way through, or die and try again. It will be grueling, but luckily, I have plenty of experience of running large scale warfare over various places. It'll be a lot of fun, some of my players may get frustrated, but the final fight (if it comes to that) at the Sol System will be glorious and amazing, so I we will have fun. Thanks again guys, really appreciated.

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Molecule4, I once had a similar battle for the Sol system to land on Terra in a Dark Heresy campaign (Ascension end game level). I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say I had some experience with setting up a blockade and resource management there. One word of advice - if you intend to do the space battle justice, be prepared for a very long, meticulous fight and consider doing it online with a virtual board a week in advance casually to get the mechanics out of the way before the real narrative session begins. 

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For the scenario, I would go like this:

 

1st phase: your NPC rally troops, forces and make pacts with daemons and xenos to enhance their strenght. They struggle to create a small but great empire entirely focussed on producing the weapons, ammo and armies that they need to go in the way of Terra.

 

These are their first conquests and great battles and should be covered in glory and success (unless they play very badly). The Imperium could even be too busy to send reinforcements to protect the world attacked and let the players conquer world after world.

 

2nd phase: The tricky one. As the player begin to advance, conquer sectors, win capital objectives and move towards the segmentum Solar, they are besieged by organised defence from the Imperium. This is not so bad in itself; it was part of the plan (unless they are dumb) to have their ennemy resist and organise itself against them. Unto itself, it should be doable but costly to win this part, but not so much of a problem since the players, in 1st phase, has got their hands on everything needed to set the Imperium ablaze. Where it becomes tricky, is the fact that you get conspiracies in their ranks after some minor defeats (chaos lords considering that the players are not worthy of command, etc.) and players must take down opponent and face rebellion.

 

They should then start to be slowed down to conquer back territories and important zones that rebelled against them under the command of rival chaos lords, claim new sources of ammunitions and troops because some where totally wasted in the internal conflicts. Here is coming the point where the players have become so big that their work is falling upon itself. 

Then, you remember that orks don't clearly see the difference between chaos and imperium and just go on. When the players seems to be correcting their problem, a Waaaagh launch itself on the periphery of their territories and they must enter into a big war to stop them. At the same time that the Imperium has assembled a retaliation army to face down the player.

 

To survive the second phase, the player must take the initiative: there should be NO slacking of problems; rival lords, xenos attacks, pacts that are broken, world that insurrect against their oppressors, Inquisition task forces trying to kill or sow discord in the chaos forces ranks, battlefleet coming to meet them, liberation forces taking back world, waaaagh slashing in their flank, necrons waking up on a tomb world, etc. etc.

 

At this point, the players are so big that they MUST manage their space. The only way to go forward is finding a way to manage this problem WHILE advancing, because those problems will continue to organise themselves.

 

 

3rd phase: The closing on the Sol System. At this point, victory should be so close that whatever approach in the background, the players are choking the imperium. This should be a part where massive armies fight for the most important worlds of the Segmentum Solar and and even the Sol System, where the players must face the greatests imperial assets (and even Primarchs that came from their final prophecy to fight back the chaos forces). Battles should be costy and only very hard and costly choices should bring the player forward; tactical hesitation or prudence, at this point, is worth defeat. These are battles where you've got 1 chance out of 2 to win and only speedful decisions will win the day. 

 

4th and final phase: The Sol system is in ruin, the players have lost a lot of their strenghts and know that a great army is coming to meet them. They must conquer Terra fast unless they are taken in the counter offensive and broken. And then, the capital moment. Abaddon decides to take the initiative (if it wasn't done in the second stage). He comes with a great army that looks like reinforcements and take on the opportunity of a galaxy aflame and destroyed imperial forces. He come to Terra and seems like a saviour because chaos forces seems too limited to conquer Earth before reinforcements arrive.

 

And Abaddon orders the player to submit, to be his most trusted lieutenants, and they will purge Terra. Now players have two choices: resign all the hard work, or take on Abaddon. This could end in two ways: they war with abaddon which destroy both forces just in time for the Imperial reinforcements to arrive, or they submit and win terra and are ready to take on the reinforcements. They can then plan to betray Abaddon which is now the new Emperor of Mankind and the following chaos could break their dynasty in a few decades, giving the Imperium a chance to get back Terra and the lost worlds...the Imperium more weakened than ever before...and the Emperor certainly dead.

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I'm not sure about trying to grind the Imperium down in a war of attrition. That just seems like a bad way to loose. The one thing you never give the Imperium when it's on defense is time. The Imperium will strip sectors to the bone, if not abandoning them entirely, in order to get additional forces to defend the Segmentum Solar, much less Sol itself. Plus, give the Imperium time and they will send legions of Temple Assassins after you.

 

I think going for a massive build up first is the right beginning, though. However, I'd go for a longer buildup without telling anyone that you're aiming for Terra, but when you're ready to go, you go straight for Terra, perhaps with some split off groups making raids to draw off/block immediate reinforcements.

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I'm not sure about trying to grind the Imperium down in a war of attrition. That just seems like a bad way to loose. The one thing you never give the Imperium when it's on defense is time. The Imperium will strip sectors to the bone, if not abandoning them entirely, in order to get additional forces to defend the Segmentum Solar, much less Sol itself. Plus, give the Imperium time and they will send legions of Temple Assassins after you.

 

I think going for a massive build up first is the right beginning, though. However, I'd go for a longer buildup without telling anyone that you're aiming for Terra, but when you're ready to go, you go straight for Terra, perhaps with some split off groups making raids to draw off/block immediate reinforcements.

 

^ This. The main reason that Aba-fail does as he does is that he strikes really quickly and gets what he can before the Imperium can muster a counter defence.

 

He calls up a load of mates and says:

"Oi, Varnax the Damned, you fancy a cruise round Imperial space? Grab some guys together and we'll go rolling."

And most of them go:

"Yeah go on then but I'm stopping at McDonalds drive through on the way there"

 

They agree mostly to work with him quickly and often with few questions since they know if he says to hang with him, he usually has a (terrible) plan.

 

The longer you leave this planning and the bigger your warband gets, the greater the changes of rumours spreading and intelligence leaking to the Imperium or other powers. Once the Imperium gets word you'll have infiltrators, mobilisation at nearby sectors or a possible first strike on your own warband before they get launched.

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I'm not sure about trying to grind the Imperium down in a war of attrition. That just seems like a bad way to loose. The one thing you never give the Imperium when it's on defense is time. The Imperium will strip sectors to the bone, if not abandoning them entirely, in order to get additional forces to defend the Segmentum Solar, much less Sol itself. Plus, give the Imperium time and they will send legions of Temple Assassins after you.

 

Maybe I wasn't clear, but I didn't mean a war of attrition.

 

They still have to take strategic places along the way, which they will have to hold (stable warp routes and jump points, astronomicon relay, rich ressources worlds to reinforce their ressources fast0, and this is where that the problems come.

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