The Beginnings

Since being introduced to Warhammer 40K back at the middle of 6th edition, we have never really been Matched Play, Tournament type players. That is not to say that they don’t intrigue me a little, just that I came from a narrative roll playing background. We have always tried to figure out how to create a narrative around our games.

I have tried to organize campaigns from 7th edition on with varying degrees of success. I was pretty excited when Kill Team came out, but the “7th edition” release didn’t seem very polished, nor did it work very well in my opinion. That opinion was echoed by our local meta as well, and the game quickly fell out of play. A revised version was release during 8th edition 40K and that had many of the “bugs” from the previous edition of Kill Team addressed; but there were still some interactions (like stacking minuses to hit) that made the game slightly less interesting than playing the “full” 8th edition 40K.

My main 40K buddy is also more interested in the campaign setting of 40K and we played several campaigns using both Kill Team and 40K games in 8th edition. One campaign we opened up to the whole gaming group; there was a lot more interest than I thought there would be. The campaign was set as Imperium vs non-Imperium. We would play a Kill Team game one week; the team that won the most Kill Team games had the advantage the next week in the 40K game. It was going well, until Summer came a long and folks were too busy to their games in. And then a few people swapped their entire armies out so the campaign just died out.

So, toward the end of 8th, I had been working another idea for campaign. I was discussing it with Tom and it would be limited to just the two of us – just too much work to have people dropping in and out. The plan was to still involve Kill Team and 40K, and the story line was to be chasing after a Blackstone artifact. When Psychic Awakening: Pariah was announced we decided to wait for it to come out. Then, shortly after that, before we actually got too far into the campaign, 9th edition was announced with its new Crusade mechanics for Narrative play. So, once again, a campaign stopped.

Crusade previews and leaks really peaked our interest. Granted, Games Workshop (GW) had previewed some similar mechanics for leveling up your squads in some of the Chapter Approved books during 8th, but Crusade looked more thought out and “balanced”. It was like GW had found the sweet spot. In fact, after the launch box was announced an the narrative for the paring the Space Marines and Necrons, the Pariah Nexus and blackstone becoming the main theme it was like GW was listening in on our conversations.

I was disappointed that there were not more leaks or previews of the Crusade system prior to the release box and basic rule book (BRB) came out. I bought two of the release boxes and headed straight for the Narrative section. I loved that fact that Crusade was more about the narrative around the army, not the over all campaign. Now I didn’t have to make sure that folks got games in before we could advance the story line forward. In fact, I no longer cared if folks swapped armies out. This was almost perfect; all I needed to do was find like minded folks and provide a compelling story for them to participate in as they were able.

We were excited to start, but GW had another wrinkle, the Pariah Nexus Mission Pack was announce. Once again we postponed the start of the Noctilith Campaign. The Mission Pack was worth the wait.