Hi All, I am here with a quick interview with the ever-creative Cadian Sergent Steel
Steel about an event he is organizing this coming Saturday. What caught my eye about this event (so much so that I decided to come ) is that it is a crusade-specific event, but one that is wrapping up a campaign while attracting newer players as well. I decided to do a quick interview to learn more about his thought processes and hopefully encourage a few other players to try something similar!
- How long have you been playing 40k? what armies do you collect?
I’ve been playing Warhammer 40k since 2014 with the release of 7th edition. My very first army was Cadians which grew into more of an obsession (15,000 points fully painted and counting). I have stayed mostly loyal to the Emperor by also collecting Ultramarines, Adeptus Mechanicus, Custodes, Imperial Fists, plus all of the Inquisitor and Rogue Traders models I can get my hands on.
- Tell me about how you structured this event.?
This event was intended to be a small game, small build up event series for all levels of players, whether you were a veteran player, a new player learning the game, or a player starting a new army. We even permitted players to change armies and alliances whenever they wanted to get the best experience possible for themselves and their smaller armies.
The crusade event was set up to take place over 6 months. The first three months were only 25 PL games. The latter three months were 50 PL games. This helped with playable space too, keeping the board sizes down to half the typical board size. This forces players to focus on performing well with a few units in a generally tight space. This helped players become better generals of their forces and learn their armies in an intimate way.
We also set up the event with two moments of down time in the schedule: 15 minutes after each round to upgrade your crusade rosters and a lunch hour to allow for voting for hobby awards by the players. This seems to be a big positive by helping players feel more relaxed than in a competitive tournament setting to take care of their armies, themselves, and to get ready to be great sports for their opponents too.
- Is it tied into an existing crusade campaign? If so how do you balance the power levels between those who have been playing longer and those that have not?
This was a unique, stand-alone crusade. I honestly struggle as a campaign master to come up with ways that keep power balanced between armies, keep games fun, and maintain a good environment for new players (interviewer’s note: this …..so much this). Especially when we continue from our previous campaigns into new ones without a hard reset or complicated rules. However, players from this campaign series will enjoy the reward of unique relics available to armies used in this campaign that are continued into future campaigns. This will be a nice narrative way to have continuity, but also continue to reset and balance forces as campaigns end and begin.
- How did you come up with your mission and story ideas?
The core of narrative is from Warzone: Octarius [Pankallis Assault Campaign]. I simply used the alliances, scoring system, and other core mechanics for the framework. From there, I customized missions and rules by using the plethora of material from GW Crusade mission packs and White Dwarfs. I would often tailor specific missions to fit our narrative. For example, I took a great White Dwarf Flashpoint material that had rules for stem boosters in it and changed it narratively to it being plant spores from flora being cultivated by the Orks to make their WAAAGGHH more exciting. Now everyone was exposed but the results were always wild and random, but most importantly fun.
- What parts of the event worked well and what are you planning to change in the future?
The alliances from Pankallis worked amazing, giving players a variety of sides to fight for and to help keep pairings within narrative sense. In the future, I want to make sure missions and terrain are always setup in such a way to keep games balanced and up for anyone to win until turns 4 or 5. Obviously balanced games is something almost all 40k players want, but Crusade campaign masters have more tools at our disposal to make that happen. For examples, maybe a player who gets shot off the table turn 1 gets a few units back via Strategic Reserves or the stronger player rewards additional experience when their units are killed helping to level up under powered armies for future games.
- Any advice for those looking to run their own crusade event?
My most important advice is don’t reinvent the wheel and don’t be afraid to bend, or absolutely break, the rules for narrative sake. GW has a huge stock of amazing Crusade material already published. I pulled from every single Crusade mission pack to help write missions for this event. These existing missions are truly worth their value as a resource. Next is to get creative by bending or breaking rules for the sake of the narrative. Change how deployments work. Change how reinforcements work. Suddenly deliver negatives to the Psychic Phase because of a warp storm or activated Blackstone pylon.
Remember, this is for the players, not the campaign master. Get creative, have fun, and be open to feedback. We, the campaign masters, are doing this to help the players have the most fun possible in an organized setting.
Thanks man! I will be attending this weekend and am planning on including a quick battle report afterwards. I can’t wait! If you want to keep in touch with Cadian Sergent Steel you can do so via Instagram or Youtube.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!