A big draw of Warcry is the campaign system. But, the Warcry campaign system has some rules that are not the most intuitive. For this reason, it seems harder to get started playing a campaign than is necessary.
I have taken my time reading the rules carefully in order to get my gaming group playing Warcry campaigns. With the release of the Monsters and Mercenaries and the Tome of Champions, the rules for the campaign are also a bit staggered.
This article is an attempt at collecting everything you need to know about running a Warcry Campaign.
First I give a quick rundown on how the campaign system works. After that I list step-by-step what you need to do to run the campaign and when to find the different rules.
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A summary of the Warcry campaign rules and system
A Warcry campaign is lumped into the category GW calls “narrative gaming”. This means that the story and the progression of your warband are in focus, whereas the uber-competitive and very “fair” matched play riles is not the most important thing.
In a Warcry campaign all players must pick a Warband and a “Campaign Quest” this warband is on. The Warband also need a “Warband Roster” detailing what fighters you have in your warband.
The standard Warcry campaign is made as a very flexible system, which at first pass confused me quite a lot. Any player with a warband on a campaign quest can play against any other player with a warband on a campaign quest, no matter how strong each respective warband is or how far along in the campaign each warband is.
This makes the Warcry campaign compatible across gaming groups and campaigns, but for normal use, it would be suitable to all start the campaign at the same time and have players play roughly the same number of games across the campaign.
The goal for each player is to complete their Campaign Quest which all consists of 12 map points. After each battle you play, move ahead 1 map point. 3 of those battles are so-called “convergences”. The convergences are unique battles detailed on the campaign quest. To move from a convergence point you must win the convergence (but you also gain a sweet upgrade from it).
After each battle, you got quite a lot of rolling to do. You check the following:
- How many Glory Points your warbands gain (the currency of the campaign)
- Whether any of your fighters become slain or injured
- Whether any of your fighters gain a destiny level
- If you find any lesser artefacts or not
When your warband completes their campaign quest you can either go on a new one or you can retire the warband. It is up to the players in the campaign to decide how they want to handle this, seeing as a warband with a lot of upgrades can quickly snowball and ruin the campaign for the other players.
Making your warband for the warcry campaign
When making a warband for your campaign you need to fill out a Warband Roster. You can find one at the last page of the core book and an updated one at the last page of the Monsters and Mercenaries.
The official “app” by GW is called Varanscribe. It works pretty well, but sadly it does not seem like they are ever going to update it (so it only contains the stuff from the core rules).
It is updated for all the new stuff and is pretty sweet (remember to donate him a few $$$ if you like it)
You can find the rules for making a warband on page 64 of the core book.
When starting out you need to fill out your Warband roster with the following restrictions:
- Minimum 3 fighters
- Max 20 fighters
- Only 1 fighter with the runemark Leader
- All fighters in the warband must have the same faction runemark as the campaign you pick
In the standard version of the Warcry campaign, there is no max cap on how many points you can have in your Warband. It is first when you muster your Warband for a battle that you must adhere to a point limit (1000 points in your first battle).
If you decide to play with the additional rules for warcry campaigns in Tome of Champions 2019 (this mode is called “Champion Mode”) you can only have up to 1000 points in your warband roster at the start.
I strongly advise playing your campaign with the champion mode rules (more on what those rules tweak later).
Besides the fighters you want in your warband, you should also decide on:
- A name for your warband
- A name for each fighter in your warband
- Some sort of narrative for your warband and leader (check page 134-151 of the core book for names and personalizing your warband)
As you can see on your warband roster it includes some empty fields. Do not worry about those for now. The only thing you might need to look a bit at is the map.
Each quest has 12 map points on the map and when you complete the last you complete your campaign quest. The map also tells you when to play convergence battles, when you gain artefacts or traits for leader.
Selecting a campaign quest and completing it
After having decided on a Warband, it is time to select a Campaign Quest. The campaign quest runemark must match the runemark of your warband. Once you have selected a quest you must complete it before going on a new one.
Campaign quests are coming out fast and furious, but here is a lowdown on where you can find them:
- All chaos warbands released at the beginning of Warcry have two unique quests each in the core book (quests start on page 82).
- The Spire Tyrants and the Scions of Flame have 1 unique quest in the core book.
- Each non-chaos-warband released with at the beginning of Warcry will have 1 unique quest in the core book.
- The Tome of Champions includes one campaign quest for each new warband released after that.
- In the Monsters and Mercenaries book there are 4 fated quests (page 24-30) and in the Tome of Champions there are 7 fated quests (page 50-63). Fated quests are slightly different from normal quests, mainly because all warbands can embark on these quests.
What does a campaign quest include?
You know have to decide a campaign quest for your warband. Your quest includes the following elements:
- A short narrative about what the goal is for your warband
- The rules for using glory points to control territory (this is how you raise the cap on how many points you can use in a battle).
- 3 different artefacts you can choose between when you gain an artefact (you gain two in the course of a campaign)
- 3 different command traits your leader can choose between (you can 1 command trait in the course of a campaign quest)
- The 3 convergences you must win to complete your quest
At the end of the pages with campaign quests (page 128 in the core book), you will also have a short story piece when you add your campaign as well as an extra artefact. These are only used if you decide that the same warband can continue in the campaign with a new quest.
Playing a campaign battle
Ok sweet. You now have a warband roster with some cool fighters and a campaign quest lined up. It is time to go to war!
If you are playing a normal game use the normal rules (page 36-37 core book) for setting up the game. You decide on the type of game to play before you muster your warband.
Muster your warband
When you muster your warband for battle you must do the following:
- Pick a maximum of 15 fighters from your current roster
- The point value of the fighters you pick cannot exceed 1000 + 50 points for each territory you have dominated (do not worry about this in your first battle)
In campaigns, it is sometimes possible to know what type of battle you are going to play. Having different fighters gives you the ability to tailor your warband list for the trails you are about to face in combat.
If you have less dominated territory than your opponent you can spend 1 glory point to get 50 more points this battle or 3 glory points to gain 100 more points this battle (we will get to glory points later).
If you want to, you can include thralls instead of normal fighters. Thralls are never added to your roster. You can include one thrall for each dominated territory you have. You count up their point as a normal fighter.
Besides normal battles, campiagns also include some unique battles.
Playing a convergence battle
If you are currently placed on one of the three convergence spots on your campaign map (tracked on your warband roster) you must play the corresponding convergence battle and win before you can advance any further. Each convergence uses a specific set of rules, found in your campaign quest.
Playing a Challenge Battle
If you are playing with supplements from the Monsters and Mercenaries or Tome of Champions it is possible to go on a so called Challenge Battle. A challenge battle can be very difficult, so venture on them only when you think you warband is the shizzle.
You can find the challenge battles on page 34-42 of Monsters and Mercenaries and on page 68-77 of the Tome of Champions.
A challenge battle uses a very specific set of rules. The person who decides to try a challenge battle uses his normal warband but the person playing as the adversary uses a different warband (mostly BIG monsters in Monsters and Mercenaries).
None of the players gain glory for the battle nor do any players advance on their campaign tracker. Both players still search for lesser artefacts.
The big draw for the person going on the challenge is the EPIC loot you can gain (I consider taming a giant for use in your warband as epic loot). The big draw for the opponent? You will have a chance to wreck your opponents must OP fighters and have a chance at killing them off completely.
The stuff that happens after you have completed a campaign battle
The most important aspect of a Warcry campaign is the lasting effects each game has. After you have played a game in a campaign, each players must go through the following progress called the “aftermath sequence”. Note: the aftermath sequence can be different when playing a challenge or convergence battle.
I have written a full breakdown of each post-game step below.
But if you are more the visual type here is a cheat sheet for you (open a Hi Res version here).
1. Earn and spend glory points
After each battle, both players earn glory points. Glory points are the currency system of the campaign. The rules for gaining glory got tweaked slightly in the Tome of Champions (page 66). Instead of the winner getting all the glory, they have now added in more points for the lesser and playing against warbands that are “above your level”.
This is currently the amount of glory you gain when ending a battle:
Gaining glory points after the battle
Gaining glory points after the battle
|Action||Glory points gained|
|Was part of battle||3|
|Won the battle||2|
|You took down opponent leader||1|
|Took down 1/3 of opponents warband||1|
|Took down 2/3 of opponents warband||1|
|Took down all fighters in opponents warband||1|
|Your opponent had 2 more dominated territory than you||1|
Spending glory points
You can spend 10 glory points to dominate a territory. You mark of a territory on your warband roster. Your campaign will tell you exactly what the territory does, but so far it seems that all quests have the same territory mechanic: your warband muster cap is raised by 50 points and you can include a thrall (as an example, the monsters in the starter set) in your warband for each one you have.
In champion mode you get the extra benefit of getting to roll on the territory exploration table on page 79 of the Tome of Champions.
When you muster your warband and your opponent has more dominated territory than you, you can decide to spend glory points to even the odds.
If you spend 1 glory point your warband will have access to 50 more points when you muster your warband from your roster. If you spend 3 glory points, you will have access to 100 more points.
A cool, quite cheap, mechanic to even the odds when you are up against the big bully in the campaign.
Gaining additional lesser artefacts search rolls:
When you roll your search for lesser artefacts, you can choose to spend 3 glory points to gain two search attempts instead of one.
2. Injury rolls
For each fighter you have that were taken down in the game you must roll to see what happens to them. The standard campaign rules on page 66. of the core book only has 3 outcomes: slain, lost favour or full recovery.
This is quite boring with not much of an impact. In the standard rules losing a fighter is not big deal, unless they have an artefact or a destiny level. This is because you can swap fighter in and out of your roster with no consequences.
If instead you play with the champion mode from Tome of Champions on things have consequences. With regards to the injury roll, you instead roll on a big “66” table found on page 80-81 of the Tome of Champions. Now you fighter can suffer all sorts of injuries which can either be permanent or temporary.
3. Roll for Destiny levels
For each fighter that did not go down in the fight, you get to make a destiny roll. On a roll of a 6 for a fighter, that fighter has gained a destiny level.
Each fighter can gain up to 3 destiny levels.
A destiny level on a fighter gives it the ability to re-roll a single dice when making the attack action. If a fighter has two levels, he can re-roll two combat dice in the span of a combat.
4. Add or remove fighter from your warband
In the standard rules, you can now add and remove fighters willy nilly. So your badass bird boy died? Well, just replace him with another one. No consequences, the only limit being max 20 fighters in your warband.
If you play in champion mode (and why are you not?!) you will start out with max 1000 points of fighters AND it will cost you to add fighters to your warband.
The cost value of adding fighters to your roster depends on the points cost of the fighter:
- 0-100 points: 1 glory
- 101-200 points: 2 glory
- 201-300 points: 3 glory
- 300+: 4 glory
You can still remove fighters is per normal, but unless you are hitting the cap of 20 fighters on the roster, that is unlikely to make sense.
You do not have to pay when adding monsters, but you can only add them to your roster when you when the appropriate challenge.
You can allies (from Monsters and Mercenaries) but you can only have 1 for each dominated territory you have.
You never add thralls to your warband (but you can include 1 for each dominated territory when you muster your warband).
5. Search for lesser artefacts
Finally, you might stumble upon some sweet artefacts. Each player roll on the “66” table found on page 69-69 of the core book. In champion mode, you instead roll on the even bigger table on page 81-83 of the Tome of Champions.
Some lesser artefacts are a one time use (consumable) others might break after a battle (perishable). The Tome of Champions introduces lesser artefact that has a one-off immediate effect (instants).
Each fighter can have one artefact and 1 lesser artefact. The same fighter can also carry a “normal” artefact (the ones you gain from your quest).
Remember, if you have 3 glory you can spend it to gain an extra roll on the table.
6. Advance on the campaign progress tracker
After all that is done you move one step forward on your campaign map. If you are on a convergence and you did not win it, you do not move forward.
7. Earn Artefacts of power or command trait
If you are now on top of a spot saying Artecact of Power or Command trait, you get exacfly. Pick either an artefact or command trait from your quest.
The command traits go on your leader. If he already has one (because your warband have been through a campaign quest earlier) you can give it to another fighter which in turn becomes favoured (which is different from “destined”…). Core book page 70.
The fighter from your warband can all carry 1 artefact of power but no more (but lesser artefacts + artefact is cool).
When does the campaign end?
The rules do not really specificty when the campaign actually ends, because the rules only specifices how campaign quests works. Therefore this is left up to you and your group to decide.
There are a few variations on this.
You can decide that once a warband completes a quest, the warband has to retire. This makes sure that no warband snowballs into an epic powerhouse nobody wants to play against.
On the other hand, it can cause other power level disparity issues when new warbands join other warbands that are getting close to the end.
You can decide to race for completion. The winner is the first to complete and the campaign is over once one player has completed.
Make a long-running campaign with the warbands starting new quests whenever they finish an earlier one
This is likely the way most narrative gamers will run it. You will need to try and balance things once power gets thrown out of wack, but a good gaming group will have no problem settling those sorts of disputes.
Adjustments for the campaign and potential house rules
Warcry has some inherent issues and over a long campaign, these weaknesses might rear their ugly heads.
If you plan to play a narrative long campaign in Warcry, I suggest you take up the mantle and fix things that become broken along the way (you know, instead of moaning about like some sort of matched-play guy). After all, this is the beauty of playing with the story in focus!
Here are some suggestions for fixing things:
Decide on a designated campaign master:
Having a person (or a few persons) running the campaign can do all sorts of wonders for your game. I suggest making the campaign masters in charge of piecing the story together from round to round but also the one who can throw tweaks out.
At some point, one of the Warbands in your campaign might begin to crush the other warbands with little effort. What is the right solution? The CM could decide that the warband has become so cocky that they have taken up a challenge battle. This might backfire (and add a big monster to warband!) but it could also end up in the majority of the powerful warband getting some injuries.
Are there other narratively driven solutions to the problem? Maybe the weakest warband is suddenly joined by a super-star from their allegiance?
Try and keep the focus of the game in mind. After having played a game, both players should walk away from the game thinking “that was cool, I want to play again!”. If this is not happening, think about you as the player of the uber warband could do. Maybe you try a new (and maybe inferior) tactic the next time around?
Warbands stuck on convergence points:
Playing the same mission over and over again is fun for no one. If a player is stuck on a convergence because they keep losing, figure out a way to move them forward. An option could be that you always move onwards from a convergence after a certain point, that you always move forward but gain an extra bonus if you win and so on.
Are all warbands allowed in your campaign?:
Not all warbands are created equal and that is getting more and more clear with the release of the second wave of warbands. The biggest difference in power level is found between the chaos warbands designed for warcry and the warbands that are made up of “normal” Age of Sigmar miniatures. It is cool to mix them, but if a few of you are playing with dedicated warcry warbands they might find it very hard to compete on movement and damage output.