Only War.

Tea of the Session: Strangely for me I had no tea. It was a terrible tragedy and I had to make do with Cloudy Lemonade.

Recording: Recorded but the recording is not of a high enough quality to cast sadly.

Well my Only War campaign has now started. It’s designed to be an introduction to people who have not necessarily roleplayed before, and also to fly the “Roleplaying” flag at the Games and Roleplaying Society. As such I have all levels of people in the game, some are experienced gamers who have a pretty good idea what to expect from one of my games, and the others don’t even know what to expect from Roleplaying.

I like teaching people to roleplay, I’ve done it a lot, and I somewhat consider it my duty as a roleplayer, after all bringing people into the hobby is the only way the hobby keeps growing. Even better if you can give them a good game to base their experiences on any games they go on to create will be that much better. I learned how to GM the hard way, dragging myself through illogical dungeon delves (Dragon in a 10 by 10 room) and other weirdness but lets be honest usually those games were a bit one dimensional. My aim is to get new players straight into a bit more of an involved campaign because if they then go on to run their own games, they won’t end up having to make all the mistakes I already made!

I decided to make it easy by creating both a pre-generated regiment and a set of Pre-gen characters.

The regiment, the Taelorn Planetary Custodians, used to be a purely ornamental regiment, right up until they were left as the last defenders of Taelorn during an Ork invasion. They had fought the Orks to a standstill with vicious close quarter city fighting involving a lot of Ambushes and Booby traps. Having held out for almost two months against the superior foe, the leader of the Planetary Custodians, Commander Culchan managed to lure the Ork warboss into a series of traps and finished him off with an anti-tank mine that also took the commanders arms from the elbow down.

The Warbosses second in command launched an immediate attack, which was stopped short as a veritable host of Space Marine drop pods landed on the horde. A short battle later Taelorn was saved, the space marine chapter ‘the Penitents’ making very short work of the Orks with their overwhelming force, but their delay in arriving left the Custodians with nearly 80% casualties.

Cut to ten years later, the Taelorn Planetary Custodians have become first the main defensive force of Taelorn, and then when the previous governors tithe malfeasance came to light became the Taelorn First. Massive recruitment drives boosted the numbers up to the levels expected by the Imperial guard, and the new planetary governor who was originally Commander Culchan’s adjutant and grandson of the previous governor, spent much of the planets remaining money ensuring that they were very well equipped.

As such they were intended to be sent from Taelorn to a staging planet to complete their full training before rotating them out to the actual war. Instead the Inquisition demanded their presence on Sinanphos a nearby Shrine world which had been invaded by a force of servants of the dark gods, who have slain the pilgrims, and decimated the Frateris Militia and the Sisters of the Shattered blade stationed there.
Which is the situation the players found themselves heading into.

The Players first got to discuss which of the 8 prepared characters they wanted to take, as we ended up with 6 players this meant they could cover most of the bases. The characters they selected were: the lateral thinking Commissar  the Jaded Medic, the Techpriest complete with his lifter servitor, a Jaded Medic more used to dealing with agricultural injuries, the veteran sentinel pilot, the slightly insane but very stealthy Meltagunner, and finally the Heavy Bolter Operator, who also doubles as the Platoons cook.

These selected, they were briefed by Commander Culchan on the current situation. They were heading to Sinanphos to form the outer layer of a three layer defense in among the temples and basilicas of the Shrine world. Their job was effectively to keep the enemy from proceeding through their grid square towards the main defense at the Basilica of Saint Sebastian Eutan.

Which is when they saw their grid square which seemed to consist of a few buildings and a massive square in the centre of it. The Commissar called his command squad in to discuss their plan and where they were going to deploy not only their own squad but the other three standard squads they had with them.

The ground seemed to be a bit open so the first things they requisitioned were some Sandbags and Flakboard for barricades, but despite the 60 metre width of the square they had to defend were only able to procure 20 metres worth. Their attempt to upgrade their Light infantry Las Carbines to standard Lasguns fell flat when they opened the crate they received and found it contained a missile launcher. The believed they had suffered the same fate for their request for stimms when the box they received said “Bandages 50” on the side, but with luck it turned out it was an old box and was actually full of stimm. They did however miss out on a few things, their bipod for the Heavy Bolter turned out to be a crate of food, their Bolt gun rounds was in fact a box with an inquisitorial seal on it that the Commissar took charge of. They also received some winter uniforms in response to their request for Frenzon. Their last issue was the pair of crossbows they asked for to allow them to deal with enemy troops silently never appeared. Instead they received a huge duffel bag filled with soiled uniforms that had probably been there since the Ork invasion ten years before. Certainly they stank of dysentry and trenches as the Heavy Gunner found out when he opened it and promptly passed out. The duffel was carefully toe prodded into the nearest airlock and bid a good bye too.

Thus equipped (sort of) they prepared to drop on the planet. Which is were we called the session.

All in all everyone had a good time, and any game where people who were not playing but were just in the same room come up and ask either if there are any more places, or to add their names to the waiting list for the next game you run is a good game! I’m running every other week so hopefully before the next session my massive draw-on-mat will appear so I can draw the grid square out for them. This will allow us update the map as they place their barricades and the surroundings begin to take damage, and it wont matter too much when the pens invariably stain the mat.
The Two Veteran characters (the Gunner and the Operator) seem to be getting in a fair amount of banter already, which given one of the players is a new to roleplaying type and the other is an old hand is good. Separating out the Briefings for the normal troops and the extra information that the Commissar got seems to have worked well, already the troops are wondering why he is so worried about an enemy they have been told is unskilled and unmotivated…

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