In the introduction to Setting Up a Wargames Campaign, Tony Bath warns the neophyte campaigner against “plunging immediately into complicated campaign rules” (551). Though the preparation is much different, the risk is similar to that of the adventure game campaign creator: “For many it can end by getting bogged down in the complications and, in the ensuing frustration, vowing never to go in for that sort of thing again.”
To this I add my own constraint, shared by many modern wargamers, that of time. I aim to finish the Valormr Campaign by summer’s end. I prefer to spend these days fighting battles with fantastic creatures in murky swamps, not getting bogged down with the rules in them.
Bath continues: “For that reason it is often best to start off with a simplified campaign.” Valormr is such a campaign. I draw from the first three chapters of Wargames Campaigns, wherein Bath discusses the map of the continent, the people and cultures which inhabit it, movement and weather, making contact with the enemy, transferring the strategic to the tactical scenario, and disengagement.
In later chapters, Bath delves into supply, characterization, and lots of fun and interesting bits he calls “campaign extras.” I’ll save these for more advanced games of the future. In setting up the Valormr campaign, where I make an obvious shortcut for simplicity or where I am so inspired, I record ideas concerning more complicated rules. As ideas, these are neither fully developed nor well thought through. If you go for a more complicated campaign, massage them as necessary to fit into your game.
1 As copies of the original text are less common, I cite page numbers from Tony Bath’s Ancient Wargaming (Curry, 2009).